People get worked up about pornography – the pictures, the corruption of our youth, the disgusting aspects of it, etc. What I hate, however, is that here in Switzerland a newspaper kiosk will have computer magazines and gaming magazines somewhere on knee level, and just above it, on eye level, naked women, quickies, anal offerings, and other interesting details. Whenever I want to buy my beloved gaming magazine, I have to stare at porn.✎
I should add a picture.✎
It reminds me of my Spam folders. Reading the subject lines is already an insult.✎
Blocher has been replaced! Widmer-Schlumpf accepts cabinet post.
Some positive developments at last.
Blocher is the head of the People’s Party (SVP) – the one that has been involved in the Islamophobic activities criticized by the OSCE a few weeks ago. (→ OSCE expert concerned by Swiss Islamophobia)
Obviously removing an exponent does not cure the Swiss of Islamophobia, so I hope that his removal is but a symptom of a changing attitude. As they say, “hope dies last.”✎
I just saw some interesting numbers regarding the ownership of small firearms: Switzerland is 22nd in absolute numbers and 4th in guns/head. 
They cite a publication by the Institute of International Studies, Geneva (HEI). I’m assuming they’re talking about the Small Arms Survey. If you check the chapter 2 summary (PDF), you’ll see that Switzerland is indeed number four with 46 firearms per 100 people. (The USA is number one with 90 firearms per 100 people.) I find the numbers tricky to understand at a first glance, because the text talks about civilian firearms, but the graphic no longer mentions this distinction. When looking at the numbers, it is therefore important to remember that the SwissMilitaryService makes it possible for most able men to have an assault rifle at home (the SIG SG 550). I’d have to read the complete chapter…
Back to the report, however. There’s an incredible spread in published numbers, apparently: They vary between 1.2 million and 12 million guns. (There are 7 million people living in Switzerland.)
And we sell arms to nations violating human rights: Between 2002 and 2004 we sold guns to China worth USD 600’000, guns to Russia worth USD 340’000, guns to Indonesia, Israel, and Turkey worth USD 200’000, and smaller amounts to Guinea, Pakistan, and Serbia.
Oh, and let’s not forget the sad incident at the end of the second war in Iraq, where Switzerland was the first to pronounce hostilities over (faster than Bush!) – all because Switzerland is not allowed to sell arms to warring nations, and there was a big deal involving the USA. (Ironically, one of the few instances where arms dealers are interested in their clients being at peace…)
A friend of ours put up some pictures from somewhere in Switzerland. I think those are the kind of pictures that made Claudia’s brother’s wife’s aunt & uncle exclaim “It looks just like the Shire!!” when they saw Switzerland. ✎
- Datum: Mi 18.10.2006
- Zeit: 18:00-20:00
- Ort: Vortragssaal HGKZ, Ausstellungsstrasse 60, 8005 Zürich
Ich teile Daniel Boos’ Ansicht:
- Damit stellen sie die Frage: ist der Ausbau der Urheberrechte noch im Interesse der KünstlerInnen?✎
I have no words. Swiss voters take hard line on asylum and immigration – we’re now getting some of the strictest asylum and immigration laws in Europe.
Building the highest walls for Fortress Europe.
Here’s what the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, has to say about Switzerland :
- 27 July 2004
- UNHCR raises concerns about proposed revisions of Swiss asylum law
- 18 March 2005
- Switzerland: UNHCR deeply regrets adoption of new asylum law
- 27 September 2005
- What is UNHCR's opinion of new Swiss asylum measures?
- 24 September 2006
- The Swiss do not reject the revisions to the laws on foreigners and asylum seekers.
I remember seeing a flyer that basically showed soldiers in the second world war guarding refugees, and a title saying: “2 × NO – so that we won’t have to feel the shame fifty years later.”
I guess we can start now.
Shame on us.
It reminds me of an earlier referendum against easy naturalisation of second (!) and third (!!) generation foreigners living in Switzerland. You’ll find my German rant on 2004-09-27 Switzerland. See also ForeignersInSwitzerland.
If you want to know what Switzerland looks like, take a look at the Switzerland Group on Flickr. Subscribe to their RSS feed.
Archimob ist ein Verein, der Zeugnisse über die Zeit des zweiten Weltkrieges sammelt und archiviert. Auf der Webseite gibt es 555 Interviews, jedes davon ca. 2h lang. Wahrhaftig ein “Oral History” Projekt.
Siehe auch: DeutscheWikipedia:Oral History.
Nice pictures of the Swiss Alps by a friend:
Am Sonntag bin ich von Arth auf den Rigi gewandert (mit dem Zug von Zürich nach Zug, mit dem Bus via Walchwil nach Arth), und zurück nach Goldau (und von Arth-Goldau nach Zürich mit dem Zug).
Notice the haze on these pictures: