Friendly advice to my brothers and sisters in Finland and Sweden.
The planned enlargement of NATO to include Finland and Sweden is being hailed as proof of the strengthening and cohesion of the Western bloc and as a demonstration of the defeat of “Putin’s” plans, i.e., those of the Russian Federation. Add this to the daily clamors announcing a military victory of the Ukrainians and presaging an economic meltdown of Russia and even the possible overthrow of the Russian regime.
According to legend, Ernest Hemingway bet his 1920s-era colleagues he could write a complete story in just six words. Hemingway is said to have considered the resulting piece his best work: “For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.”
Making no attempt to keep up with Hemingway, this article provides an overview of the dire climate-change situation in fewer than 300 words. Perhaps even Twitter users will find time for the entire essay.
I have been hearing a lot of pundits and politicians bemoan “socialized medicine” and its supposed inefficiencies and inequities. These horror stories are never accompanied by data, just hearsay and anecdotes from “a friend of a friend” in Canada or the United Kingdom. Rarely have I heard from people who have themselves experienced a universal public health care system. As one of those people, I thought I should speak up.
While living in Finland for three years, I experienced socialized medicine up close and personal. I gave birth to my son there.
Finland’s public health care system is run by a government agency called KELA, and the doctors, nurses, dentists, and other health care workers are government employees. KELA usually covers 100% of the cost of most services at public clinics, with small copayments for prescriptions and hospital stays that are scaled to a patient’s income. Finland also has many private clinics that are available to those who want to use them, where patients pay the extra cost of the private service (KELA will pay up to what the service would cost at a public clinic). When you visit a clinic or hospital you present your KELA card at the reception desk, and if a payment is necessary you can pay at the clinic, or a bill can be sent to your home.
by Rick Rozoff
July 26, 2009
A Swedish newspaper reported on July 24 that approximately 50 troops from the country serving under NATO in the so-called International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) had engaged in a fierce firefight in Northern Afghanistan and had killed three and wounded two attackers.
The report detailed that the Swedish troops were traveling in armored vehicles and “later received reinforcements from several soldiers in a Combat Vehicle 90.” 
The world has become so inured to war around the world and seemingly without end that Swedish soldiers engaging in deadly combat as part of a belligerent force for the first time since the early 1800s – and that in another continent thousands of kilometers from their homeland – has passed virtually without notice.
A Finnish news story of the preceding day, possibly about the same incident but not necessarily, reported that “A Finnish-Swedish patrol, part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), came under fire in northern Afghanistan” on July 23rd. 
by Rick Rozoff
June 14, 2009
Since the beginning of the year the United States and NATO have repeatedly indicated in both word and deed their intention to lay claim to and extend their military presence in what they refer to as the High North: The Arctic Circle and the waters connecting with it, the Barents and the Norwegian Seas, as well as the Baltic.
Washington issued National Security Presidential Directive 66 on January 12, 2009 which includes the bellicose claim that “The United States has broad and fundamental national security interests in the Arctic region [which] include such matters as missile defense and early warning; deployment of sea and air systems for strategic sealift, strategic deterrence, maritime presence, and maritime security operations.”  Later in the same month the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO] held a two-day Seminar on Security Prospects in the High North in the capital of Iceland attended by the bloc’s secretary general and its top military commanders.
This coordinated initiative has been covered in a previous article in this series  and plans by the West to encroach on Arctic territory and confront Russia in the western region of the ocean have been addressed in another.