Since December 20th, 2007, ever-smaller Serbia is surrounded by the ever-larger European Union. Nine countries have joined - bringing to 24 the number of nations to have abolished internal passport controls.
The latest wave of members includes eight former communist states, and Malta.
Switzerland will become the 25th Schengen country when it joins next year.
This wall is called Schengen, imposed against the Others in the region who will not comply with the standards emanating from Brussels. Every state around Serbia has come to make its peace, more or less, with the huge fact of European soft-power. Serbs do not comply.
The latest battle in the war on globalization came Friday morning in Madrid, when a handful of demonstrators staged a protest outside the Finnish embassy. Their target was a particular northern Scandinavian toy factory, which they see as an example of the dark side of globalization. Brandishing placards, the protesters' made their message clear: "We're with the Kings!" they chanted. "Down with Santa!"
The Bremerton resident nailed Santa Claus to a 15-foot crucifix in front of his house.
"Santa has been perverted from who he started out to be," Conrad said. "Now he's the person being used by corporations to get us to buy more stuff."
Deck the halls with clinical depression
This week, Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas told an audience at Chapman University in California that he often wishes he could quit the bench, but is so inspired by injured soldiers returning from Iraq that he stays. He added that he doesn't really "like" his job, saying, "There's no money in it, no privacy, no big houses, and from an ego standpoint, it does nothing for me."
As you might expect, Justice Thomas bring that sort of delightful cheer to his own holiday newsletter. Are you on the mailing list?
posted by insider at 2:48 PM 0 comments links to this post
Save the Whales
It's a scene that brings laughter and cheers from visitors to a Japanese aquarium - two white beluga whales wearing Santa hats.
But environmentalists are saddened by the sight of what they say is the final humiliation for the whale in a country that hunts them down with harpoons.
The beluga whales have been fitted out with the cute Santa hats to entertain the crowds at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise on Yokohama Island.
"While whales are being used for entertainment in Japan, the Japanese fleet is subjecting whales to a cruel death in the Southern Ocean," said Mr Darren Kindleysides, a Sydney-based campaigner for the International Fund for Wildlife.