alexdegenhardt: (Headdesk Community)
Time to hear the conservatives go on and on how gun control curtails our freedom and how the criminals are all gonna kill us in our beds, because we don't have any weapons. Switzerland finally votes on the issue of gun control on February 13. The defense minister (also a right-wing conservative) was awfully dismissive today in an interview in a newspaper of women and how we "don't understand guns". I think we understand them plenty. Women just usually see guns from the wrong end of the barrel. Because guns are used against women. Everytime one of those asshats is going on about how guns make everything safer, I just want to smack them. I've never been in a situation where I wished I had a gun. Having a gun around just gives the illusion of safety.

Everytime some dude runs amok and he kills his family and/or his coworkers, he's using his army gun. Or when someone thinks about suicide and his army gun is there, in his apartment. A couple of years ago, some guy shot a 16year old at a bus stop. Weapon of choice: army gun. Don't effing tell me we're safer, when every effing douche's got a gun. Of course, there are probably gonna be more illegal weapons. People who want a gun, will always be able to get one. I just think we shouldn't hand them out like candy.

I'm thinking about inventing a drinking game. Everytime members of a certain party mention how foreign criminals are going to kill us, take a sip. I'm sure I'd have alcohol poisoning in no time! At the very least, it'd take the edge off listening to them talking nonsense on tv.
alexdegenhardt: (Red Tulips)
In honor of today, the Swiss National Holiday, I thought I'd make a Swiss-centric entry.

Things you may not know about Switzerland:

-We have 4 official languages: Swiss-German (63%), French (20%), Italian (6%) and Rumantsch (0.5%). I speak Swiss-German, but the kind of Swiss-German you speak differs from State to State and sometimes even from valley to valley. There are certain dialect that I almost need a translator for. For example, my first roommate was from the south and their dialect is very distinctive. There were a couple of moments when I went "what???".

-According to legends, Switzerland celebrates it's 717th birthday today. Here's why we celebrate our National Holiday today: The federal charter of 1291 which closes with the words "in the year of the lord 1291 at the beginning of the month of August".

-We don't have a president or prime minister like other countries. Well, we kind of do, but the presidency rotates annually. More about it here. One of the seven, Moritz Leuenberger, is a blogger. He blogs about political things and just daily life stuff in German and French. He comes across as a intelligent human being.
alexdegenhardt: (Awesome Chuck)
At least, politically speaking. The anti-Blocher movement finally gets their asses into gear.

Again

Nov. 29th, 2007 01:17 pm
alexdegenhardt: (I Want Brains Heroes)
The swiss gun laws are under fire again, because there has been another shooting with an army gun. In the meantime, the swiss parliament has decided to at least not to let them keep the ammo at home. But they still persist in letting them keep the gun at home, despite the fact that they aren't legally allowed to do anything with it, except storing. But why change tradition, even if it could help make people safer? For me, it's such a no-brainer. *sigh*

Sicko

Nov. 24th, 2007 07:02 pm
alexdegenhardt: (Hey there PD)
I saw "Sicko" today and I must say I'm so grateful to live here in Switzerland. Our healthcare system is far from perfect and basically a bottomless moneysucking pit, but I've never heard of someone getting thrown out of the hospital, because they couldn't pay their bills. And everybody's got to have basic health insurance, it's the law.

All in all, Michael Moore's approach to other countries healthcare systems is very simplistic. I'm sure there's a bit more to France's system than you don't pay for anything ever and when you have a baby, you get a nanny for a few hours a week. What was funny for me in the movie when Michael Moore asked the group of Americans living in France about how many sick days they get and everybody was like "when you're sick, you're sick". The concept of sick days was one I never understood. Why would you limit the time your employees can miss work, thus forcing them to turn up to work when they're sick and infecting all the others? If you're suspect someone of playing hooky, just ask them for a doctor's note. In Switzerland, in most companies, if you missed more than 3 days of work you're expected to bring a doctor's note.

What most health care systems in the world have in common is the notion of solidarity. In the US it's everybody for themselves. It also seems that employees are more at their employers mercy in the US. Pension plans, yearly vacation time, notice periods and many other things are all regulated by law in Switzerland. It seems very easy in the US to slip through the cracks, one serious illness can land you in bankruptcy. And while I'm certain there are also people falling through the cracks in Switzerland and the rest of Europe, the net is finer and there are smaller cracks.
alexdegenhardt: (Voice Of Reason HIMYM)
Switzerland elected a new parliament today and the conservative, right wing nationalists gained again. Not quite as much as 2003, but still gained, while the social democrats lost both seats and voter %. At least the Green Party gained a bit, but I was seriously hoping for a different direction. So apparently I live in a country with 27 % morons.
alexdegenhardt: (Snape wants you to die HP)
Because of you, the Independent thinks we're all a bunch of racists. And I can kind of see why. As a society, we've gotten so used to the spiteful, hateful messages the SVP is sending out, we don't take notice anymore. We're not so easily shocked anymore, so they keep trying to provoke us even more. I know I tend to tune them out. But they really are a bunch of despicable human beings who keep trying to dictate the course of my country via fear. The sad thing is that it's working, a lot. There's nothing sacred for them and just when you think they can't quite possibly stoop any lower they do something else. We have an anti-racism law, which our justice minister (!) wants to get rid of 'cause it "prevents freedom of speech". Coincidentally, it's also the law member of his party get most in trouble with. Gee, I wonder why that is?

This fall, there are national parliament elections and I hope very much that the SVP loses some of its power. They really only are the leading party by 3 seats. Not that you would know that by the way they behave. They are loud and see themselves constantly as the victim. I don't want live in a country with so many stupid people.

Examples of SVP campaigns
alexdegenhardt: (Default)
The issue of gun control has come up once again in Swiss politics and they are still refusing to do anything. I don't get it. I just don't get it. Approximately 300 deaths a year and they still don't think that maybe, just maybe they should change the current situation. How fucked up is that? The policy of keeping your army gun maybe made sense in the past, but how many people will have to die for them to realise that they can't keep living in the past? And I just love how the Swiss People's Party is bringing up criminals and defending your home in this discussion. You idiots, this has nothing to do with that. Neither is wanting to store the guns at a central place just a try from the democrats to abolish the army. It's common sense, it's what reasonable people want, it's a very small change that could save hundreds of lives. But they won't be able to keep this up forever, more and more people, especially my age are for this change.
alexdegenhardt: (Default)
Sometimes I wonder why I even bother voting. The results of this weekends vote are depressing. I hate the fact that fear and envy won over compassion. I hate that people feel mistreated by the government. Like it's so desirable to be an asylseeker in a foreign country, thousands of miles away from the people they love, in a country where they don't speak the language with different customs and where they are not allowed to work. And yet, those stupid people still think that's preferable to a regular 9-to-5 job. Morons! Is there abuse? Unfortunately, yes. But I rather have some people abuse the system then to refuse people that really need it the help.
alexdegenhardt: (Default)
The world is a scary and depressing place. The climate changes more and more, leaving the world with draughts, floods and hurricanes like we've never seen them before. The weather is getting more and more extreme. Case in point this summer: over 30 degrees celsius in July, 15-20 degress and raining in August. That is not normal.

In other shocking news, the rape of a 5 year old girl by two 10 and 13 year old boys is making me sick to my stomach. What has the world come to, if sexual predators start at such a young age. Where will this end? An Indian got beat up this weekend by a couple of racists. I just don't get it. How can you beat up somebody simply based on the colour of their skin? This hate frightens me. It seems that there is no limit of what people will do to each other. The way we treat each other gets more and more violent. And it spirals out of control.
alexdegenhardt: (Default)
I'm happy, because during my vacation my favorite hockey player, Mark Streit, signed a two year contract with the Montreal Canadiens. This is a good sign, for Swiss Hockey and him, because that looks like a vote of confidence by the GM of the Habs.

On Tuesday, Sonja came over and signed the Contract. I can't believe that after the months of search, I finally found a roommate. It's slowly sinking in that she's moving in on Sunday. I get a lot of stuff done that I wanted/needed to do for a couple of months. I'm on a roll, organizing and writing people. I got the hotel reservation for my vacation in July in Ticino. Things are going great!

On Saturday I saw "The Sentinel". Good movie, very entertaining, good cast. I can definitively recommend it. There were a couple of things that went through my mind, while I was watching it. The difference between the political systems of the USA and Switzerland struck me. In the US, the president is not only the most powerful politician, but also a symbol of the country, an icon, someone who's on a pedestal, isolated from the very people he's trying to lead. In Switzerland, our highest politicians are still "normal", down to earth people, some of them even commuting to work by public transport. They have bodyguards if they're appearing somewhere in an official function, but they certainly don't have a 24 security detail following them and their loved ones into the bathrooms. And because they're 7 people and the power is therefore not concentrated, they are probably lesser at risk of being killed by a terrorist or a lunatic. I personally prefer our system, but that's the Swiss Mentality talking. Swiss never wanted to have a king, the concentration of power in the hands of one being frightens them. Plus I think it's nice to have politicians who are closer to the issues "Joe Normal" is having, because they don't live secluded in a golden cage.

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