The Watering Hole: Tuesday October 25th – Switzerland Voted

Two small centre parties – the Conservative Democrats and the Liberal Greens – are the winners of Sunday’s parliamentary polls ending years of increasing polarisation.

The rightwing Swiss People’s Party and the centre-left Greens suffered the biggest losses in the House of Representatives compared with the 2007 vote. The two main centre-right parties also saw their support slip, while the centre-left Social Democrats registered a slight gain. (read more)

Obviously the Swiss were fed up with the fear mongering and the hate politics. I feel very sorry for the Greens. They are the ones who should have profited from the increased interest in environmental issues in Switzerland, but the Green Liberal Party, which is basically promising to build a greener capitalism, so everybody can keep their Porsche Cayennes, outstaged them. The SVP (Swiss People’s (Tea-) Party) just got their due. Good riddance to some of their MP’s.

Here’s Swissinfo’s comments page, so you can get a glimpse into the Swiss Psyche. See any similarities?

This is our open thread, so open up!

158 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: Tuesday October 25th – Switzerland Voted

  1. If ‘right’ and ‘liberal’ or ‘left’ mean the same in Switzerland as in the US, then I quickly am fed the impression that the most certainly terminal disease from which Amurka suffers is NOT purely a local problem in central North America.

    What puzzles me, I guess, is that I’d think the Swiss would be more cognizant and fearful of what can happen under right wing supremacy. Or maybe too many have forgotten the events of the late twenties and early thirties — and the consequences thereof — in neighboring Germany?

    One thing is beginning to appear to be a global certainty: the average mind of the human mass is not yet intellectually evolved enough to master even low levels of politic-think.

  2. Is Anne Kornblut of the Washington Post a righty or lefty? I never can focus on what she’s saying. I just get lost in those big brown eyes. 😀

  3. I have a couple conflicts.

    I grew up in Texas and followed the Texas Rangers growing up (but like the Mets….they were perpetual losers). After moving away from Texas, I lost track of them for a time, and kinda I hated them when (Payrod) Alex Rodriguez played for them, but I am excited for them now that they are leading the World Series 3 games to 2 over the St. Louis Cardinals.

    My conflict? Every time they show the President and Mrs. Bush behind home plate, I secretly wish that the webbing between the field and the fans had been weakened just enough to let a potential foul ball squeeze through and smack President Bush on the noggin. Sort of a baseball noogie of sorts, if you will.

    Thank goodness the Rangers head back to St. Louis now and I won’t have to see Bush sitting back there so smugly.

    My other conflict? Part of me would really like the Rangers to win the World Series, and part of me wants the Rangers to lose because it would pain the Ex-President. (Petty, I know, but I’m human.)

    So I ask you: What’s a gal to do? Should I try to rise about my emotions and root for the Rangers? Or give in to my basest desires to want to poke George W. in the eye?

  4. You mean baseball season isn’t over yet? It’s about as bad as presidential election ‘season’ for chrissake! 🙂

    Last night on Hardball we learned why a flat tax will create jobs. According Republican Strategist John Feehery, “It worked in Estonia.”

    I can think of no adequate response that doesn’t require a flush toilet.

    • Baseball season isn’t over, but the NBA season is going to be delayed for two more weeks. I can’t remember if it’s a strike or a lockout. 😆

          • Since it’s supposed to snow here tomorrow I’m guessing hockey is underway too? And the only reason all four won’t be on at the same time is either a players strike or an owners lockout in basketball?

            It could be that dude in California was right about the world ending, that he just missed the date by a few weeks!

            • It was a few years ago (2004), the Turtles were in Vancouver for the days leading up to new year.

              Sitting in Starbucks before watching a candlelight parade, SammytheTurtle (aged about 7) asks her father, “Dad, what disasters can happen in Canada, volcanoes and earthquakes?” – this was the Christmas of the tsunami.

              Dad: “Well they did cancel the hockey season due to a strike a few years ago”

              (sounds of coffee snorting through the nose in the booth behind me)

            • I remember when the NHL team from Winnipeg moved to Phoenix a decade or two ago. There were many in both cities who felt that action signaled the soon-to-be end of the world. Unfortunately, they were all wrong. Phoenix still has the Coyotes (who now “play” in a new hundred million dollar taxpayer-funded arena in the suburb of Glendale), and seems to me I remember that Winnipeg got a new franchise. Wonder where it will move to?

        • I’ve never been to Latvia, Estonia, or Lithuania, but I am intrigued to note that the structure of the female body there seems to be very close to that which I’ve observed in other locations. That’s a good thing. A VERY good thing.

          Still, the fact that the flat tax in Estonia apparently worked to create jobs there is probably not as much a global universal as is the structure of the female; more research is needed. Anyone, feel free to study the impact of tax structure even as I work to uncover more info on the impact of the female. Structure.

      • I hate pro sports, refuse to follow or give a damn about any team in any league or conference, period.

        If they’d pay for their own bloody stadiums and arenas I still probably wouldn’t care less about their schedules, seasons, or existence, but at least they’d be legitimate. It bugs the bejeebers out of me to know that some of my tax money in AZ was wasted on two arenas, a baseball stadium, and a foosball stadium — at a time when the schools my kids went to had leaky roofs among other maintenance problems, were understaffed, classroom size was quite often ‘overpopulated’, etc. etc. No money to repair schools but were able to scratch up a billion bucks to pay for prof. sports facilities. And that was just Maricopa County in AZ — same thing happened all over the place, and why? LA was the smartest city on the block. It got rid of the Rams, didn’t build a new stadium, and has been without foosball for what, ten years now? And LA still exists, last I heard.

        • I agree that it has been a problem. To carry your argument to it’s logical conclusion, I think that Pro sports teams holding cities and states hostage for stadiums began a horrible trend for other businesses to do the very same thing by shopping their headquarters and plants to other states for tax breaks. Good for the company’s bottom line and investors’ pocketbooks, but bad for workers all over the place.

          i.e. Boeing is now in Chicago, JC Penney moved from Illinois to Texas years ago…

          Had the pro teams not been able to get away with it, maybe other companies wouldn’t have done the same thing.

          • I agree. In fact, isn’t Boeing planning to move much of its manufacturing to S. Carolina soon? Wouldn’t surprise me to see much of the American MIC move to China one of these first days. Cheap labor and all.

            Money rules. Why is that?

  5. A bit of irony?

    The Occupy Oakland has been a city withing a city: set up a library tent; child care tent, etc.
    Across the street: Goldman Sachs office – an interviewed worker said the Occupy Oakland have even been mowing the lawn around their encampment!

    At ~4a.m. the police state took over – herding and arresting the peaceably assembled! It will not deter that’s for sure. The cops need to pay attention to situations that are detrimental to the citizenry – a camp dedicated to social change is not.

  6. Condoleezza Rice joins George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld & Dick Cheney on Iraq spin patrol

    Now here comes Condoleezza Rice, the latest from the Bush White House trying to rewrite history on Iraq, make it out to be some kind of triumph for all of them, make herself a hero of a war that cost this country so many young lives and so much money and so much prestige.

    • Anything the police deem it to be – well with the help of the city attorney and the health department. All declared lies were truth..
      nothing new for a police state!
      As mentioned – a Goldman Sachs office is directly across the street – employees watching the Occupy say it is peaceful and that the tent city was organized and fairly clean. The Occupy people even mowed the lawn!

    • Yes. I was up until almost 3:00 AM. It was not just bright enough to outshine the local light pollution but even showed through the intermittent high cirrus clouds. I may have seen brighter displays while way out in the boondocks but I’ve never seen them so bright in town.

    • It’s apparent the dog did eat his homework and he’s attempting to re-connect the pieces from the other end.

      No matter – it’s all excrement!

    • The part that I find amazing is that he’s still leading in the polls. I guess there isn’t anyone else left in the “anyone but Mittens” sweepstakes. I don’t know how anyone could listen to KochCain for more than a half-minute and say; “gee! I think I could vote for this guy”.

  7. American Exceptionalism. boy howdy. Not only do we show the rest of the world we treat dissenters and protesters in pretty much the same way any totalitarian regime does, putting lie to our claims of wanting to ‘spread democracy’ around the world but we aren’t even bright enough to notice that the various countries who have already done this and toppled regimes outnumber the ones that have failed to do so.

  8. I’m thinking the next candidate to toss their hat into the Repub circus ring will either be Statler or Waldorf. They would have more credibility because most people realize they are puppets and are expected to say silly things.

  9. Oh btw, nine years ago today Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash.

    How different things would be with him still around.

  10. As we witness the authorities feeling compelled to deny the occupiers their first amendment guarantees, we know one thing.

    The rulers are getting nervous.

    • It is just not fair that they can’t find pictures of large gatherings of crazy religious people. Maybe it’s because they are too busy hiding in their closets…praying, of course.

  11. Thankfully, the world will end in 2012…

    HONOLULU — Up to 20 million tons of tsunami debris floating from Japan could arrive on Hawaii’s shores by early 2013, before reaching the West Coast, according to estimates by University of Hawaii scientists.

    A Russian training ship spotted the junk – including a refrigerator, a television set and other appliances – in an area of the Pacific Ocean where the scientists from the university’s International Pacific Research Center predicted it would be. The biggest proof that the debris is from the Japanese tsunami is a fishing boat that’s been traced to the Fukushima Prefecture, the area hardest hit by the March 11 disaster.

    • Refrigerators float? Who could have guessed? I wouldn’t want to open THAT after it’s been at sea since March.

      As for the world ending. I’m beginning to think that it’s us humans that will be ending… the world will go on with the next incarnation of “dominant species.”

      I hope the next one does better than us. Humans (and our detritus) are the future oil fields of the earth.

      • “As for the world ending. I’m beginning to think that it’s us humans that will be ending… the world will go on with the next incarnation of “dominant species.”

        If you’ve ever seen The History Channel’s Life After People you know that’s a certainty.

      • I have often thought that the world would be a better place if evolution had stopped once the big cats showed up. Since that ship has sailed I’m willing to give the scorpions and/or cockroaches a crack at being the dominant species. At least there’s virtually no chance that they could actually make the earth uninhabitable for anything else.

        • Don’t tell that to my ex in Phoenix. A sewer roach or two made her bathroom uninhabitable! I suggested tossing in a couple of scorpions to get the roaches, at which time the house itself was basically deemed, for me, uninhabitable.

          • Bugs, arachnids, and other assorted invertebrates don’t faze me. I find them fascinating. I have a “pet” spider with a web in my reading lamp. During the summer months I leave the lamp on and the windows open so she gets a few “noseums” but I don’t think she’ll last through the winter. I have seriously considered raising some fruit flies for her. When I get bored with the computer and the fish and I don’t feel like reading I love to watch her tending her web.

          • I just caught the meaning of your last sentence. When I had my house in the woods I lost a few lady friends who freaked out whenever one of said wood’s denizens moved in. Bugs, bats, mice, chipmunks, assorted birds, and even a few snakes found their way in over the years. I caught a baby bull snake in the garage and kept him for years. I fed him with mice, shrews, and voles that I caught in the tool shed with a live trap. The only critters that ever bothered me too much were the bats because of the risk of rabies but the cats kept the others in check.

            The weird part is that the ladies weren’t put off so much by the critters as by my refusal to freak out. Sigh… I never managed to find a single woman who would let me touch her after I picked up a snake.

            • I like all critters with but a handful of exceptions including mosquitoes, gnats, houseflies, horseflies, fleas, and lice (my older daughter brought some of those home once, a genuine pain i.t.a. Snakes don’t concern me, nor do lizards, spiders, scorpions, etc. Cockroaches are interesting, but I’d rather they move in with the neighbors and stay there. In Phoenix, a mouse sneaked in one day and I managed to corner it in the pantry. But coaxing it out was impossible so I had to do the little critter in. I felt very bad about that, still do. Much worse than I’d have felt had it been a Republican even.

            • I don’t mind people holding snakes or when they are behind glass in the zoo. It’s when they are on the ground or in the water or trees that I get the willies.

              Maybe you should skulk around a College Biology Building — find a nice woman scientist….

    • I still can’t do it. I can’t force myself to root for Dubbya’s team. Actually, I can’t stand LaRussa either so I couldn’t care less who wins the series. Well, I couldn’t care much less. At least the Cards have two former Twins who I don’t think the Twins should have let go so I’m kinda rooting for them to do well.

    • The only reason I would be happy if the Rangers won is for Oliver (reliever of 20 odd years) and Washington. Not a fan of Nolan Ryan and of course the Bush connection. It does pain me to see the Cards in the final AGAIN, but they sure put on a good run to get there.

  12. At University there is the yearly vote for the president of the Student Union. One year back in the day (I hate that saying, so why use it!?) we nominated Pillar. Pillar was a stand out in our home room (we actually had a home room which was where we all had a personnel desk and some lectures common to the group were given – they don’t have those anymore). Those that sat behind Pillar couldn’t see squat. People were constantly posting notes on Pillar. This was very helpful if you were looking for the location of the Saturday party.

    Pillar was made of concrete and was basically immovable. It was not the first and not the last joke candidate. There were always people that were very serious about the job and you could tell by listening to them.

    Now with the GOP it seems the race is full up with joke candidates!

    • Back in MY day, Pillar was always very accommodating. Immovable, Pillar could be depended upon to steadfastly hold position, enabling me to avoid confrontational and or dirty looks. A master strategist could count on her rock solid position to support flirtatious activity as well.

  13. I ran out of replies so I’m replying to LibertyLover here:

    I’ve met women who like snakes but they’ve been married and/or in a committed relationship. Well, there was a gal who worked for me who had a snake, a scorpion, a tarantula, and a parrot who almost bit her nose off but she was a bit too young and I’ve never been in favor of “screwing the help”.

      • Dang. Maybe ah coulda shoulda gonta Missoura this winter…

        (Sorry. Inside joke I’m the only one who gets.
        Been to Branson in the winter. Deader than the Jesus they nail up every Thursday afternoon at the Passion Play.)

          • Perhaps someone can introduce pRick to:

            The Church of God with Signs Following is the name applied to Pentecostal Holiness churches that practice snake handling and drinking poison in worship services, based on an interpretation of the following biblical passage:

            And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover, (Mark 16:17-18)

    • You’ll just have to convert someone then, I suppose. Snakes are like Republicans, once you spend some time around them or come to understand them, they aren’t so bad. No, I take that back. Snakes are nothing like Republicans.

      • There’s no “lower” animal that’s as foolish as Republicans. There are snails that get infected by worms that make them suicidal and that’s about the best analog for the stupidest 25% of the population.

        Frankly, I’ve never really desired a permanent mate or children. I seduce someone a few times a year in order to exercise my biological imperative and I have no regrets. I’m a good uncle and mentor but I’m not parental material. My philosophy on child rearing is: if I don’t kill the little bastard he, or she, will drive me to suicide.

  14. New breeding site for coelacanths found near Tanzania

    Once thought to be extinct for millions of years, the “living fossil” coelacanth is more widespread than scientists believed, with a new breeding site being detected off the coast of northern Tanzania through DNA analyses of the deep-sea fish.

    • The oceans are truly a fantastic place. While kayaking about a mile offshore I saw a large (rayed) dorsal fin flopping above the surface. Cautiously approaching, I found an ocean sunfish lolling about at the surface. Only having seen them before in pictures, I was simply amazed.
      I haven’t been out paddling in over a week because a great white shark attacked a surfer just south of Newport, the surfer survived unscathed, miraculously, but the nose of his board had a two foot semi-circle taken out of it…

      • Back when I used to fish off of San Diego, 1969-1974, the ocean sunfish, and just about every other denizen of the West Coast, would appear during the mating season for squid. The first time we spotted one we thought it was the head of a decapitated shark (Back in those days and, all too often today, sharks were exterminated as vermin.). Squid season also afforded opportunities to view: killer whales, false killer whales, pilot whales, three or four different species of dolphin, and all kinds of sharks including one Great White that seemed to be bigger than our 20ft. boat! We even caught a couple salmon. It was a magical time of the year.

        As a fisherman I think the best part was that every species of fish went into a combined frenzy and torpor. The frenzy part was that anything that looked a bit like a squid would get a hit as soon as it touched the water. The torpor part was that the fish that were hooked could barely swim and would just regurgitate all the squid they had eaten while being reeled in. Alas, as of the last time I visited the places we used to fish, the numbers and diversity of species have been greatly reduced.

    • The idea that the “Star of Bethlehem” was a nova, supernova, or comet has been bandied about for years. In other exciting cosmological news: a planet that hasn’t even finished forming has been imaged. It’s estimated to be less than 100,000 years old. Of course, the creationists will bleat out that we can’t prove the validity of said observations until and unless we can capture the whole process, from beginning to end, in a time lapse that is collected in a single human lifetime. I think it’s one of the most exciting discoveries yet.

      • BillO would just burst his “little grey cells” attempting to fathom this without the ‘help of god’.

        This is an exciting time when a planet is discovered in the formation stage.
        (To this day I recall my third grade teacher saying we’d never make it to the Moon – it wasn’t in God’s plan).
        My delight on July 20, 1969 – by then I was in high school – to see the landing of the Moon – on T.V. is what started my thought–that there might not be a ‘God in Charge’.

        • I don’t remember who said it but there’s an old quote that goes something like: “It takes an enormous ego to be truly stupid”. Bill0 is a perfect example.

        • Also…

          Bill0 can’t figure out the tides. I think I was six or seven when I got stranded on a rock while exploring tide pools. That night, after Dad rescued me from the rising water, he explained the tides to me. God was not even the smallest part of the explanation.

            • Alas, it’s a cloudy night and spitting rain so I’ll return to the earlier subject.

              I have always found that no anthropomorphic God could ever create the wondrous universe we live in. Hypothetical gods can perform miracles but it takes a force far more wonderful to make everything make sense once it’s explored, and understood, in detail. For the life of me; I can’t understand why that frightens so many people. When they apply their arbitrary gods it makes it impossible to truly understand much of anything.

      • Religion seems to stifle any creativity… everything needs to be stern; uncaring; humorless.
        It teaches god is serious business with no sense of fun.
        If he does exist and created everything then he must have a sense of frivolity.

  15. Repugnant/teapottiers can’t seem to win by being truthful. They must ‘borrow’ and skew facts.

    Stossel’s Attacks On Public Education Feature Misleading, Out-Of-Context statistics to tout charter schools as a preferable alternative to traditional public schools.

    (he’s so idiotic and childish – this is a stunt done in elementary school to ‘win’)

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