30/06/2014

Is Iraq Déjà Vu All Over Again?

The recent announcement that the United States was sending some 300 advisors to Iraq should have sent shivers up the spines of many Americans with historical memory. It did at least for me, someone who vividly remembers that the original engagement of the U.S. in the Vietnam War began with a similar seemingly simple gesture by President Kennedy. While this time the advisors will be arriving at what was announced as the winding down of involvement, the parallels are no less striking.

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16/06/2014

A Tale of Two Heidis

The story of Heidi is a Swiss and international classic. It is a fictional account of a young girl and her grandfather in the Swiss Alps and the virtues of living with nature. Today there are two Swiss Heidis intimately involved in real time with the real tension between Russia and Ukraine. While the idyllic Heidi finds refuge with her grandfather in mountain pastures, the two Heidis are trying to settle one of the thorniest political problems since the end of the Cold War between Moscow, Kiev and Western leaders.

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A Tale of Two Heidis

The story of Heidi is a Swiss and international classic. It is a fictional account of a young girl and her grandfather in the Swiss Alps and the virtues of living with nature. Today there are two Swiss Heidis intimately involved in real time with the real tension between Russia and Ukraine. While the idyllic Heidi finds refuge with her grandfather in mountain pastures, the two Heidis are trying to settle one of the thorniest political problems since the end of the Cold War between Moscow, Kiev and Western leaders.

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10/06/2014

Swiss Nature vs. American Wilderness

Why are the Swiss so fascinated with one bear roaming the Grison? Why are the Swiss so fascinated by the introduction of a wolf or lynx into the countryside? While these may seem superficial questions, the answers reflect fundamental attitudes toward nature as well as subtle differences with the Sister Republic, the United States.

The role of nature in Switzerland is obvious. From small, public garden patches outside metropolitan areas to weekend and holiday retreats in the mountains, the Swiss adore being in nature. Romantic poets and artists throughout Swiss history have written about and painted the virtues of being in the state of nature. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, after all, was born in Geneva.

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06/06/2014

Brady Dougan is the quintessential, successful, modern man

Brady Dougan is the quintessential, successful, modern man. Dynamic, wealthy, media-savvy, he is at the head of one of the world’s largest banks. He is the envy of an entire generation who want to be sitting on the top of the corporate totem pole. He has it made. His total compensation package for 2013 was close to $10 million.

Mr. Dougan testified before a United States Senate Committee. During his testimony he made two simple statements that are perfectly clear, and totally contradictory. 

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