Tag: flyers

Stealing is bad. Or so we’re told. Theft, unfortunately, is relative. Losing your hard-earned cash to consumer spending is no different than being robbed. After all, it’s not about buying what you need, but what you want. There’s a big difference, particularly in terms of what motivated you to splurge in the first place. (More…)

“Good thing it wasn’t Leila Khaled,” my father muttered, as the Carabinieri carted off an Arab-looking man in handcuffs, submachine guns pointed towards his back. “It was too easy.” (More…)

Margins still matter. If the flyers that litter inner city neighborhoods have any say on the issue. Promoting bands with political names. Written in languages other than the national. Being on the outside still has value. At least culturally speaking. (More…)

They weren’t supposed to hate Jews. Selectively anti-Semitic – meaning anti-Muslim, not Judeophobic – Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland party has finally aligned itself with pre-populist fascism, condemning the country’s culture of WW II guilt, and shame over the Holocaust. (More…)

Revolution leads to repression. If the utopian convulsions of the 20th century are our guide, it would be impossible to conclude otherwise. The Soviet Union, Communist China, the Islamic Republic, capitalist Russia. In each and every case, the path to democracy was consistently compromised. (More…)

France is lost. Or so it would appear if you read the country’s newspapers regularly. Marine Le Pen will be the next president. The Socialists can only give in to the banks. Racism is the new norm. Emergency powers have become permanent. The only alternative is fascism. (More…)

Nationalist parties are funny things. As convention would have it, they’re platforms for narcissism. Vote for us because we’re about your superiority, is their message. Particularly when it comes to ethnicity, and class. (More…)

The location is excellent. Many of the buildings are nice, albeit historic – meaning survived WWII. And, like the rest of Berlin, rents have largely been low. That is, until about five years ago, when the British and French began moving in. (More…)

The grass is always greener on the other side. As far as truisms go, there’s not much to argue with. The Promised Land was never promised to anyone, and there’s never enough milk or honey to go around once you get there. Yet, faith in the idea that the foreign is always better remains a constant. Just ask the million plus refugees from the Middle East that arrived in Germany last year. (More…)

It ought to be a positive. To have their situation constantly referred to as “the worst crisis since World War II,” today’s refugees ideally ought to be shown the courtesy accorded to persons engulfed in a similar disaster. Why not invoke that era? Aside from the scale of the crisis, it should be an immediate guarantee of empathy, because Europeans all know what the last global conflict was like. (More…)

Few countries agonize more about sending their troops to war than Germany. That doesn’t prevent foreign deployments, however. German forces have been sent abroad for over twenty years nows, beginning with the war in Bosnia. But the ongoing debate highlights the persistence of pacifism in the country, crossing political boundaries in a manner unheard of in the United States. Given German history, one can understand why. (More…)

The populists are wrong. Getting settled in Europe is a lot harder than it seems. Though refugees and asylum seekers often receive support from their adopted home countries, the process of settling down, and earning residency, is incredibly hard, with no guarantees of success. It all depends on how you handle immigration bureaucracy, not just at the moment of arrival, but for years to come. (More…)