Tag: Europe

Google Agonistes »

News reports on Tax Day suggest that the European Commission wants to nail Google Inc.’s scalp to the wall as punishment for committing alleged antitrust (competition) law violations. At issue is the way in which the company assigns priorities to the links consumers see when they “google” generic search terms like “booksellers”, “cameras”, and…
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Another Urban Legend? The Middle Ages Were the “Dark Ages” »

As the culture wars intensify in America, let’s consider some of the roots of these contentious conflicts. With the “Age of Enlightenment” of the 17th and 18th centuries, a “modern” narrative was invented to explain the history of the West, the wider world, and humankind’s place in the universe. This narrative claimed that liberty,…
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Self Censorship »

One by-product of the Paris terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo was an outpouring of support for freedom of speech. While there was general agreement that the magazine’s content has been, beyond a doubt, offensive to some (and not only Muslims), almost everyone agreed that freedom of speech is a fundamental right that should be…
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One Benefit of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press… »

… is that you know who your enemies and opponents are. They will speak out against your ideas, your actions, or maybe just you on a personal level. One reason we value these freedoms is that they help make those in power accountable. Those who disagree with particular policies or actions can say so…
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The 100th Anniversary of the Christmas Truce »

This Christmas marks the 100th anniversary of the spontaneous “Christmas Truce” created by trench-warfare soldiers of World War I. All along the European front, soldiers lay down their arms on Christmas day, and took the chance that those on the other side would join them in observing their common holy day: A German soldier,…
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Obesity Can Be a Disability, Says European Court of Justice »

The European Court of Justice has just issued an opinion holding that obesity can be a disability requiring employers to “take appropriate measures . . . to enable a person with a disability to have access to, participate in, or advance in employment, or to undergo training, unless such measures would impose a disproportionate burden…
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The Power of Ideas »

Today marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the most thrilling event of my lifetime: when oppressed individuals came together and laid claim to their birthright of liberty. Also known as “The fall of the Berlin Wall.” It wasn’t supposed to have happened this way. “Everyone” knew the Soviet Union was the strongman. The intellectuals dismissed…
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Speak Loudly and Carry a Small Stick »

At the beginning of the twentieth century, President Teddy Roosevelt’s foreign policy was, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” At the beginning of the twenty-first, President Obama’s policy appears to the the opposite: “Speak loudly and carry a small stick.” President Obama threatened Syria not to step over a “red line” by using…
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Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, Part 2 »

Russia’s Vladimir Putin has obtained a Pyrrhic victory in forcing the Ukraine to reject a free-trade agreement with the European Union that would have eliminated 95 percent of custom duties on its exports to those 28 countries and, more importantly, institutionalized its ties to the Western world. The move has triggered protests that have…
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U.S. Ranks Third Lowest of Eleven Countries on Health Care Spending »

Every year, scholars from the Commonwealth Fund report the results of a survey of eleven developed countries, which questions thousands of residents about their health costs and access to health care. The media invariably cherry pick the report to produce headlines like this: “We pay more, wait longer than other countries”. Perhaps there is…
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