ryan barnes photo 2

Separatists from Quebec to Flanders are still reeling from Scotland’s September 18th referendum in which voters chose to remain in Britain. The spillover effect from a successful Scottish push for independence, which would have provided a fillip to other like-minded movements around the world, never occurred. Secessionists in Catalonia in Northeastern Spain, home to sixteen percent of Spain’s population and nearly a fifth of its economic output, nonetheless persevere in their efforts to leave Spain.

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Severe turmoil makes diplomats in Haiti fear violence from government goons called Ton Ton Macoutes. Chris Hill, age ten, realizes the danger when his parents show him how to aim the loaded pistol they keep at home. “Don’t use it unless you have to,” his mother says. He doesn’t have to. The State Department soon evacuates all diplomatic dependents. That was in 1963.

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bod.hunter2At last week’s NATO summit in South Wales, there was a most prominent “absent guest” who could have been called to by any of the Western leaders, but especially by U.S. President Barack Obama:

Avaunt! and quit my sight! let the earth hide thee!
Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold;
Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
Which thou dost glare with!

But unlike the terror he felt in face of Banquo’s ghost, Macbeth declared himself able to deal with “…the rugged Russian bear…” (or also, stated here for the record, “… th' Hyrcan [Iranian] tiger…”)

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brianbeary-august2011On 10 September, President Jean-Claude Juncker unveiled his team of 28, one for each member state of the European Union. With his promise to create a ‘more political, less technocratic’ Commission, supporters of the EU executive are hopeful that Juncker will restore the Commission’s lustre and emulate the visionary leadership of Jacques Delors, who served as European Commission President from 1984 to 1995.

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Among the precepts Henry Kissinger plentifully permitted himself in his multi-volume memoirs were four which seem especially urgent now that President Obama is, step-by-slippery-slope, committing America’s military once more into the cauldron of Iraq.

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