Friday, September 07, 2007

I got three things from this article

A few observations from reading this article.

1. You can't trust The Independent to describe pictures to you. This:

At first sight, the poster looks like an innocent children's cartoon. Three white sheep stand beside a black sheep. The drawing makes it looks as though the animals are smiling. But then you notice that the three white beasts are standing on the Swiss flag. One of the white sheep is kicking the black one off the flag, with a crafty flick of its back legs.
Doesn't really describe this:If anything I think the sheep look concerned.

2. Whoever wrote this article basically made a mistake in referencing this book. The author didn't read the book, or he didn't understand it. The title is either a poor choice of words (coincidence) or indicative of stupidity.

3. I think the Swiss have it figured out when it comes to nationalism and citizenship. We would do well to follow their example.
"How direct democracy functions is a very sensitive issue in Switzerland," he says, explaining why he has long opposed joining the EU. "To the average German, the transfer of power from Berlin to Brussels didn't really affect their daily lives. The transfer of power from the commune to Brussels would seriously change things for the ordinary Swiss citizen."

Switzerland has the toughest naturalization rules in Europe. To apply, you must live in the country legally for at least 12 years, pay taxes, and have no criminal record. The application can still be turned down by your local commune which meets to ask "Can you speak German? Do you work? Are you integrated with Swiss people?"
Anti-nationalism goes right along with Marxism and the more infuriating facets of pacifism. The fact that the Swiss have pride in their country and are exclusive flies in the face of most liberals, who feel that any sort of privilege or right earned by one is earned by all.