YOUR BRIDGE BETWEEN EUROPE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST


 
 
 
 
 
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Slavoj Zizek Speaks at Town Hall
The first time anyone goes into Seattle’s Town Hall, their reaction is invariably the same: “This place looks like a church.” Everyone sits in pews encircling a stage, anxious to receive some sort of knowledge or enlightenment.
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Ikea: Match Made in Heaven
When I first stepped into the maze that is IKEA almost 6 years ago, I had no idea what to expect. I had never even heard of IKEA and now almost 80 percent of my home is comprised of IKEA labeled products.
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Bosnia: Is it Time to Go Separate Ways?
Lord Ashdown’s article on the clear and present danger for the integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina has stirred up more than a few spirits in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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Why does the UK have no National Holiday?
I was flipping through one of my favorite news magazines the other day, when I came across a story that struck me.
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A European View of the US Election Campaign
Ulf Gartzke, a visiting scholar at the BMW Center for German and European Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, writes that many Europeans are captivated by and invested in the outcome of the US presidential election campaign:
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Studying Abroad as a Life-changing Experience
Tens of thousands of young students each year pack up their lives for a few months to a full school year in hopes of creating a lifetime memory.
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Why is the International Community Failing in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
01 October 2007 will have marked one year since the 2006 general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina were held.
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A New Foreign Policy for France?
French president Nicolas Sarkozy campaigned for a clear pledge to break with the policies of the past. 
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Will the EU kowtow to China again?
For an alliance that claims to value democracy and human rights, the European Union has a funny way of showing it.
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The Color/Colour Scheme
Never mind the Da Vinci Code or any One World shadow government conspiracies because the real threat to mankind is much more sinister and a whole lot closer to home.
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50 years ago
The Hungarian Revolution broke out in Budapest on October 23rd, 1956. According to the Austrian Peace Treaty, finally signed in 1955, the Soviets should have left Hungary within 90 days. A year later they were still there.
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It's all Greek to me
Crime was down recently in the nation’s capital but then I found out that Congress was in recess and although that just may be a coincidence it’s still too early to tell if the two are in somehow related.
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In search of European democracy
Is the European Union a democracy? The Europeans and most others will argue yes, but there are many different degrees of democracy. Many Europeans increasingly feel powerless when it comes to their national government and particularly that of the EU, and for good reason.
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Another solution for Cyprus
I gave it some consideration since some time ago and see that it is like trying to mix water with oil. In Northern Greece, in the area of Thrace there is a Greek Community of Turkish descendants and a couple of months ago it took place an episode related to offering a governmental position to a lady Gul Karahassan--  of Turkish decent in a proposition of George Papandreou, the leader of the other major in power political party in Greece.
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Europe, Thy Name Is Cowardice
A few days ago Henryk M. Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, "Europe – your family name is appeasement." It’s a phrase you can’t get out of your head because it’s so terribly true. Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they...
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Iraq: Truly fighting for freedom?
"You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time." This famous quote, attributed to Abraham Lincoln, implies that in a functioning democracy leaders cannot be continually deceptive. Eventually they will be found out and given their just desserts.
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Maternity leave is not a private issue
To be honest, the discussion around statutory paid maternity leave caught me off-guard and as a surprise. I thought that in the 21. Century paid maternity leave was not a privilege but a fundamental right that doesn’t need further attention.
 
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Europress: A look at Europe's media
It was another typical month in the European presses.  The election in Italy brought in a new leader, Romano Prodi, but the old leader refuses to leave as of this writing.  Berlusconi has never been good at exits.  And this is the most important exit of his life.
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Won't you be my cinnamon friend?
One aspect I have treasured about my association with my European friends is that they really do see life here in the United State from a completely different set of eyes (or tastebuds). 
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America’s cinnamon hype
The other day I had to clean out my refrigerator. Not because I’m a clean freak but rather because some of the groceries inside were about to develop a life of their own!
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Gun-happy America
Sometimes I wonder whether I live in one of the most civilized nations in the world, the United States, or in the old Wild West, waiting for John Wayne to turn the corner and shoot everything into order.
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Suburbs: Snap out of it
In regards to suburbia, I wish I could tell the American public to just “snap out of it.”  Many, many voices are saying it is time for a new American dream, and Americans are worn out trying to keep up with that lifestyle’s demands.

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Suburbs: Dream come true?
It hit me one day while talking to an American friend of mine. He told me that there had been a terrible incident at his son’s school. “What happened?” I asked.
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Not so crazy about tax time
Straight up, I hate taxes. Sure, I appreciate all the good things government can provide while spending our hard earned tax revenue, when they provide an infrastructure, social safety net, schools and fire-trucks, for instance.
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Quality: America must do better
Americans pride themselves on being a “can-do” nation.  We are willing to tackle any job, and gosh darn if a little elbow grease and bailing wire can’t pull it together. 
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... and this to human dignity
Many in Europe still vividly remember the highly publicized Marc Dutroux trial in the city of Arlon, Belgium, back in 2004. In the end, pedophile Dutroux, convicted of abducting, abusing and killing young girls, was sentenced to life in prison. 
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There just ain't no quick fix
In the face of the Madrid and London bombings; in the face of the many lost lives of European civilians that tried to help rebuild a battled region; in the face of all this, it almost seems disrespectful if not outrages to claim that Europe is content to sit out the war, hoping that violence never finds  a way within its borders.
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Bottled water is drinking water
It is true that consumers world-wide are becoming ever more cautious about the threat of “contamination,” choosing mass-marketed products guaranteed to make our homes and persons temples of hyper-cleanliness.
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The different shades of death
Starting with the execution of Captain George Kendall by firing squad, December 1607 (some sources say 1608) in Jamestown , the death penalty has almost always been a feature of the American criminal justice system, first in the colonies, and after independence, in the entire United States. 
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How to talk politics to an American
Naturally, there are Americans who crave a good discussion of politics, but one can’t approach this quarry willy-nilly.  Don’t just saddle up to a complete stranger and say, “Hey, so what do you think about abortion?” (or the death penalty, George Bush, Iraq, nuclear waste, whales, or gay marriage). 
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Power-less
The overhead power lines in my street resemble a huge spider net and also remind me of the 70s. Am I stuck in a time warp? No, I’m just in suburban Seattle. They haven’t seemed to bother updating their power supply like Germany where all power lines are underground, safely hidden from falling branches and severe weather conditions.
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