Spain Defeats the Extreme-Left Populists »

Spain, the Eurozone’s fourth largest economy, has been without a real government since October, when the campaign for a general election kicked off. After an inconclusive result, the country was left in political limbo. That status will change soon due to last week’s elections, which produced a clearer outcome. Without an effective government, Spain...
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Europe Sees the Long March of the Extreme Right »

Austria’s far right candidate, Norbert Hofer, has lost the second round of the election for the presidency by a mere thirty thousand votes to Alexander Van der Bellen, a former Green Party leader. Europe has breathed a sigh of relief, but the stunning success of the nationalists, who won the first round and caused...
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Whose Fossil Fuel Use Will G7 Leaders Reduce by 70%? »

Our global political masters met in Germany this week: see how green they are? They’re walking ... in a field: can’t get any greener than that! And, as usual, they are coming up with the definitive solutions to the greatest threats of today: the end of the use of fossil fuels—in 85 years. No...
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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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