U.S.-German Relations Hit Turbulence; Saying Socially Responsible Sounds Great; Canada's Humanism Questioned; Swiss Set To Vote Again; Defending Obamacare; Harper Goes Ahead With Sanctions On Iran

From Der Speigel:

"...Then, as the extent of the NSA's surveillance became clear, it was abruptly forced to draw a new conclusion: Germany is a third-class ally that the US trusts so little that it monitors German phone calls, emails and text messages. It even tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone..."


Define 'socially responsible." 

Seriously. People need to start thinking thing - and buzzwords - through.


Canada not doing enough for asylum-seekers: Harvard study.

"...The Harvard report also shows Canada and the U.S. are failing to meet their obligations to asylum-seekers under international and domestic laws, said Efrat Arbel, one of the report's authors.
"Canada for many years really did extend meaningful protection to asylum-seekers and that's something to be very proud of, something to live up to," she added in an interview on the eve of the study's official release.

Indeed, the report says, Canada served as an example to the United States in the 1980s, inspiring its southern neighbour to be more welcoming to central American asylum-seekers who were fleeing war-torn regimes in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala..."

The problem is, there's a nativist streak with Canadians these days. 


Fresh off a vote that restored sanity momentarily in the West, the Swiss are about to vote on whether to give citizens $2800 a month.

It's thought-provoking but is it really feasible? Reason magazine is of the opinion that it's the lesser of all evils since it would reduce the bureaucracy and its efficiencies. The community aren't buying it.


The New Republic argues insurances cancellations not attributed to Obamacare.

Yet, TNR asserts it threatens liberalism.

"...Wilson imagined technical experts, the new breed of social scientists emerging from the universities, who could help steer the economy."


"...the Affordable Care Act is the Russian novel of social policy, now totaling 20 202 pages."

Anyway. Good read.


Toronto Star asks if Obama is Jimmy Carter.



Of course not!

"...Obama’s smarts and good intentions are still widely accepted and admired..."

No, they are not 'widely accepted and admired.' As for the former, smarts and good intentions, all up for debate. 

Stupid sentence from a major paper.

"...and both are seen to lack the key presidential traits of deviousness and ruthlessness."

Really? I don't see that with Obama. I see a rather indifferent individual and politically shrewd.  The passage of Obama was pretty ruthless if you ask me. His Presidency has been rocked by enough scandals to wonder if he's duplicitous and devious.


The Front Man, in The National Review:

On Obama:

"His social circle includes an alarming number of authentic radicals, but the president’s politics are utterly conventional managerial liberalism. His manner is aloof, but he is too plainly a child of the middle class to succumb to the regal pretensions that the Kennedys suffered from, even if his household entourage does resemble the Ringling Bros. "

"...President Reagan’s guiding lights were theorists such as F. A. Hayek and Thomas Paine; Obama’s most important influences have been tacticians such as Abner Mikva, bush-league propagandists like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and his beloved community organizers. Far from being the intellectual hostage of far-left ideologues, President Obama does not appear to have the intellectual energy even to digest their ideas, much less to implement them. This is not to say that he is an unintelligent man. He is a man with a first-class education and a business-class mind, a sort of inverse autodidact whose intellectual pedigree is an order of magnitude more impressive than his intellect..."

"...The result of this is his utterly predictable approach to domestic politics: appoint a panel of credentialed experts. His faith in the powers of pedigreed professionals is apparently absolute..."

"...Barack Obama is the first president of the democracy that John Adams warned us about..."

Driven by an agenda more than ideas.

That much is, well, transparent.


The Canadian government is going ahead with sanctions against Iran. Seems like Harper doesn't feel like changing his name to Chamberlain.

I guess they don't trust Iran - or Obama.

One thing we can't say about this conservative government, they don't necessarily fall into line with the USA.

Speaking of which, for a country that sure loves Obama, he knows how to ignore us.

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