Despite not being a member of the European Union, Switzerland is under intense pressure from Brussels to raise taxes as companies flee high-tax EU welfare states in favor of more business-friendly Swiss cantons. And if the nation refuses to bow down soon, so-called “eurocrats” are threatening retaliation. The Swiss government has been in discussions with EU bosses for over a year regarding Switzerland’s non-compliance with the “EU Code of Conduct for Business Taxation.” The EU’s goal, according to the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, is to eliminate what the supranational regime in Brussels calls “harmful  tax practices” — low taxes which attract capital, businesses, jobs, and workers away from the crumbling European super-state.  
While churches, pastors, and Christians everywhere bemoan the state of spirituality in today’s culture, Americans can point to few notable Christian leaders in the nation. The findings of a November 21 study led the Barna Group to conclude that there are gaps to be filled — if not for national leaders, at least for “more local and regional Christian leaders to emerge — whether in churches, ministries, or a variety of other capacities.” Barna’s latest study —based on telephone interviews of a random sample of 1,007 adults in the continental United States, aged 18 and older — reveals that no single Christian leader has emerged to a level of influence that captures the attention of the nation. Indeed, when asked to identify the single most influential Christian leader today, 41 percent of respondents were unable to think of anyone meeting that description.  
The death of longtime homosexual activist Frank Kameny offered an opportunity for “LGBT” professionals to gather and celebrate their increasing presence in the federal government, as well as to insist that more be done to advance their interests. On a mid-November evening, a group of D.C. bureaucrats gathered at the Cannon House Office Building to remember the “gay rights pioneer,” who, reported the Associated Press, “is credited with staging the first gay rights protests in front of the White House and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. He had been fired from his job as a government astronomer for being gay. Kameny took that case to the Supreme Court 50 years ago.” John Berry, director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, told the gathering — which included White House staffers, Congressmen, and a Yale Law School professor — that Kameny was responsible for blazing the trail “that I and countless others followed into public service.” Berry, who in 2009 became the Obama administration’s highest level homosexual appointee, told the assembled group that Kameny’s “unrelenting and unceasing fight for gay rights enabled other Americans to step out of the closet and into the full light of equality. But most importantly, his long battle and eventual triumphs show the miracles that one person wrought upon the world.” While Berry may be one of the most high-profile homosexuals serving in the Obama administration, he is by no means the only one.
Campaigning in New Hampshire earlier this month, Mitt Romney referred to the automatic cuts in defense spending that are supposed to go into effect as a result of the failure of the so-called “Super Committee,” saying: “We cannot put America’s safety in jeopardy by virtue of the failure of this committee.” And Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), during a presidential candidates' debate in October, expressed a similar sentiment regarding military cuts: “We can’t do that to our brave men and women who are on the ground fighting for us.” It is curious that among so many “conservatives” there is such explicit intent to preserve the size of the federal government. While it is true that the Constitution does provide authority to the legislative branch of the federal government to “provide for the common defense” of our nation, the current spending level of the Pentagon far exceeds that level necessary to carry out this constitutional mandate. Not only that, but the automatic cuts associated with the failure of the super committee are not cuts in the absolute sense, but cuts in future planned spending. Even if these cuts are made, defense spending would still increase, but not as much as otherwise.   When Congress ceded its authority to a single committee, that committee was tasked with presenting a plan to reduce the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years. Failure to accomplish this goal would result in a slate of “automatic cuts” in the same amount, $600 billion of which would be siphoned from future planned spending for the Department of Defense.
A flawless launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on November 26 has NASA’s latest mission to Mars safely on its nearly nine-month journey to the red planet. NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, a rover that has also been given the name Curiosity, is the American space agency’s most advanced rover to date, and its mission is nothing less than to continue the search for life on Mars and prepare for future human exploration. Although the speed and maneuverability of the two-ton Curiosity rover may not offer much when it comes to travel on Earth, its capacities in both those regards could transform the study of Mars. According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s website, Curiosity promises to move across the surface of Mars at a speed vastly beyond the capacity of earlier probes:  
Dr. Donald M. Berwick, the controversial administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) appointed by President Barack Obama during a congressional recess, announced that he will be resigning from his post on December 2, about a month before his appointment would have expired. Obama originally nominated Berwick to the position in April 2010. Despite being controlled by Democrats, the Senate failed to schedule a confirmation hearing for Berwick. Obama then performed an end run around that chamber and appointed Berwick during a July congressional recess, leaving him with a term that would expire at the end of 2011 unless the Senate later confirmed him. Obama nominated him again in January 2011; but after meeting with fierce resistance from Republicans, 42 of whom wrote him a letter requesting that he withdraw the nomination, he did little to advance Berwick’s cause. “Once it became clear that the President wasn’t willing to stick his neck out, Berwick left,” commented Forbes’ David Whelan. “You can’t blame him.” Obama undoubtedly calculated that if he did indeed stick his neck out, he was likely to meet the same fate, politically speaking, as the famed specter of Sleepy Hollow. Berwick had, after all, been quite open about his fondness for socialized medicine — which, as Whelan points out, is “not surprising, given that he was the President’s nominee.” For instance, wrote William P. Hoar in The New American:
The European Court of Justice issued an important decision on November 24, ruling that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operating on the continent cannot be legally compelled to monitor the online activity of their customers. The complainant, SABAM (a Brussels-based consortium of artists, authors, composers, and publishers), was asking the court to force ISPs to aid its mission to fight file sharing of material copyrighted by its members.   The ruling is a significant victory for ISPs who rely on the ability to promise anonymity to their subscribers.   According to the text of the European court’s decision, copyright holders can still request that service providers take down websites that provide links to copyrighted content, but ISPs are not required to proactively search out and block pirated material offered by any of the various sites they host.   The case came to the ECJ on appeal from a lower court ruling that an Internet service provider, Scarlet, prevent its users from trading files on a peer-to-peer (P2P) network. The files at issue were songs and videos owned by SABAM members.
In its attempt to quell rising uneasiness in the wake of the failed German bond sale last week, the establishment magazine The Economist rushed in over the weekend with a series of four separate articles promoting its globalist and internationalist perspective on the matter. The first article noted that the risk to the euro within the next few weeks is “alarmingly high” unless measures are taken. The article blamed lack of leadership — “denial, misdiagnosis and procrastination” — for the unfolding and accelerating crisis. First, a recession appears to be imminent as the austerity measures are taking hold across the euro zone and slowing already shaky economies. Second, there is evidence of a run on banks holding large positions in the sovereign debt of the weaker countries. As the banks are facing a June 2012 deadline to improve their capital positions they are now seizing this opportunity to unload as much of that debt as they can, thus explaining the significant rise in interest rates all across the zone. This reflects the simple fact that the banks have loaned money to each other — loans that exceed their deposits, according to The Economist — and now are unwilling to continue to make those loans. This is putting the various spendthrift — “feckless” is their word for it — governments at risk of default when they can’t borrow the money to pay their bills. Especially at risk is Italy, which has to roll over $42 billion of debt the last week in January and another $62 billion at the end of February.
They call it Dearbornistan, Michigan, for more than one reason. Yet another surfaced last week week when The Detroit News and the Associated Press reported that a male nurse, fired for treating women Muslim patients at a taxpayer-subsidized health clinic, has filed a lawsuit against Dearborn. That’s right. According to the lawsuit, John Benitez, Jr. was terminated for doing his job because “conservative” Muslims complained about him treating women wearing the hijab, although he did so under the orders of a doctor. Some 30 percent of Dearborn residents are Arabs, although it is unclear what percentage of those are Muslims. One indication is that Dearborn boasts the largest mosque in North America. Another is the mounting evidence of bias against Christians in such places as Fordson High School, where the student body is 80 percent Arab. No Male Nurses for Women Muslims A nursing as well as Army veteran, Benitez, 63, began working at the clinic in September 2010, AP reported, citing the complaint filed by his lawyer, Deborah L. Gordon.
Outraged over a weekend U.S. and NATO attack that killed 25 Pakistani soldiers and wounded more than a dozen others, the government of Pakistan has taken prompt retaliatory action. Supply lines through the nation for the American-led coalition occupying Afghanistan were shut down immediately and, according to the Interior Minister, permanently. Pakistani officials are also demanding that U.S. air bases in the country be vacated within two weeks. "Pakistan's sovereignty was attacked early this morning," said Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani the day of the incident. "This is our Pakistan and we have to defend it." Other Pakistani officials also vented their fury over the attack and demanded swift retaliation. Citizens were outraged, too. Headlines in national newspapers spoke of “murders” and an act of war. According to news reports, thousands of Pakistanis protested the attack as well, shouting “down with America” at U.S. diplomatic posts across the country. "America is attacking our borders. The government should immediately break ties with it," a Pakistani housewife at an anti-American demonstration in Karachi was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency. "America wants to occupy our country but we will not let it do that."
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