Devil May Dare

Devil May Dare

“Daredevil” is not a word that many people associate with Germany these days; certainly not the nation’s military. And that’s probably a blessing, even if its allies long for less hesitant support. The history of Germans acting boldly took a wrong turn shortly after Martin Luther nailed his theses to the church door. Does anybody want to risk urging them to act now and think later? More»

The Russian Option

The Russian Option

Carl Bildt, Sweden’s outgoing foreign minister, apparently took a decision that shocked many across Europe last week. He announced that the representatives of the Right Livelihoods Award, who bestow the yearly Alternative Nobel Prize, were banned from announcing this year’s winner at his ministry, something they had been doing for 18 years. More»

Right for the Wrong Reason

Right for the Wrong Reason

Few pieces of journalism have aroused the ire than Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem did when it was published in 1963. Arendt, who covered the trial for The New Yorker, seemed to have her own agenda. At times her tone bordered on flippancy, particularly when she accused the Judenräte, the councils that ran the ghettoes of Poland and Russia, of collaboration. More»

Latest entries
A Movement Beyond Wages

A Movement Beyond Wages

In cities across the US, the campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, from $7.25, is picking up steam. It’s already been mandated in the small airport burg of SeaTac, outside Seattle, and Seattle itself has enacted its own wage increase, although one with caveats that critics fear are too partial to business. More»

The Syriza Effect

The Syriza Effect

It’s being called an earthquake. It’s being heralded by right-wing parties as a revolutionary mandate. And, in typically American terms, it’s being read as a ‘protest’ vote, that will evaporate when it comes time to return to national politics. However, there’s no arguing that the European Union elections, which took place May 22nd-26th, profoundly shook Europe’s political elites. More»

Flagging the Divide

Flagging the Divide

Monday was Memorial Day in the United States a day to reflect on those who have died, willingly or not, for their country but also a day to reflect on what the commemoration of their deaths means politically. Established in the aftermath of a brutal civil war, it implicitly served to bring a divided nation closer together. Perhaps that’s why it has felt more important in recent years. More»

Juma Calling

Juma Calling

When I was a child, my mother used to blow on me gently after namaz. It was a folk custom meant to cleanse me of her transgressions, and protect me from the djinn. I did my Juma prayers at Berlin’s Türk Sehitlik mosque seeking that same type of maternal protection. More»

Flex Your Head

Flex Your Head

Immigrant equals female. So one might be inclined to think by the significance accorded the hijab by populists. Muslim headscarves are not so much a security threat, as they are a gender-designator for outsiders. It’s pretty high concept for conservatives, for sure, but best read psychoanalytically. This is about fear. Not theory. More»

How Not to Oppose Imperialism

How Not to Oppose Imperialism

Suppose you learned some new facts about Star Wars, that could shake the narrative that the Rebel Alliance defeated imperial aggression when it destroyed the Death Star. The Rebels,  in their cash-strapped infancy, received money from the National Endowment for Democracy, as American officials saw it as a way to break the Galactic Empire’s monopoly on shipping routes. More»

Barbarians at the Gate

Barbarians at the Gate

The headlines got it wrong. On May 13, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released the results of a global survey of 100 countries that found that 26% of those surveyed crossed ADL’s threshold for anti-Semitism. The ADL said that “The survey found that anti-Semitic attitudes are persistent and pervasive around the world.” After all, they said, that 26% represents an “estimated 1.09 billion people” worldwide. More»

Fighting the Euroskeptics

Fighting the Euroskeptics

The EU elections will be shadowed by paradox. Almost everyone agrees that the continent’s establishment parties will lose ground to insurgent ‘Euroskeptics’ on both the Right and Left, making it harder to conduct business as usual in Strasbourg and Brussels. If this happens, millions of people will have voted to devalue future exercises in supranational polling. More»

Fear of a Populist Europe

Fear of a Populist Europe

For weeks, the European press has been citing polls indicating that populist, anti-immigrant parties are poised to make major gains in EU parliamentary elections starting May 22nd. If the predictions turn out to be true, the far-right expects to take approximately 15 per cent of seats in Parliament. This is almost double their showing in the 2009 elections, and includes parties ranging from UKIP to Golden Dawn. More»

The Cost of Inequality

The Cost of Inequality

One morning in May of 2007, I entered onto a Manhattan subway platform, fearing I’d just made a bad decision. I’d just accepted a job at a local newspaper that covers labor, and a part of my beat covered transit workers. It wasn’t just because I was leaving a comfortable research gig at a union to “follow my dream” of journalism, but because I wondered if I had overestimated the importance of the stories I’d be working on. More»

Remixing Brussels

Remixing Brussels

Brussels without the EU. It’s a hell of a thought, particularly for the tens of thousands drawn to the city, to work for European political institutions and business. So omnipresent are Union offices and buildings that, for most visitors to the Belgian capital, they are the city. Never mind the medieval architecture, the longstanding immigrant community, and the beer and fries. More»

The Appeal of Russia

The Appeal of Russia

On March 27th 2014, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu abstained from the vote at the UN General Assembly on a resolution on Crimea. It was de facto support for Russian aggression. The significance of this event may not have hit the mainstream just yet, but it may soon outpace it in its own trajectory. More»