Europe

Europe’s Fading Cosmopolitan Dream

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In headier days, Europe’s leaders dreamed of a multicultural continent, its aging cities saved by millions of new migrants eager to join a stable, prosperous urbanity. This was the promise behind former U.K. prime minister Tony Blair’s Cool Britannia, the multicultural fervor of Herman Lebovics’s Bringing the Empire Back Home: France in the Global Age, and the early enthusiasm that greeted Germany’s refugee influx in 2015—estimated now at 1.6 million.  read more »

Germany Went Totally Green Too Quickly

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Has U.S. leadership gone awry? Senators Chris Coons and the honorable Dianne Feinstein recently announced they will introduce the Climate Action Rebate Act, which aims to generate $2.5 trillion in tax revenues over 10 years by slapping a fee on oil, natural gas and coal starting in 2020. This isn’t leadership. This is followship without the fairy tale ending.  read more »

Passenger Travel in Europe and the US: More Similar than Different

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Probably one of the most enduring myths about the differences between Europe and the United States is that Europeans travel mainly by trains and transit, while Americans cling to their cars and airplanes. This misunderstanding comes in part from what I have called "Louvre Syndrome".  read more »

America Is Number One: Too Bad The Politicians Don’t See It

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The United States is a great country dominated by small minds. The two dominant political forces of our time — the progressive left and the Trumpian right — have a stake in pushing a declinist narrative, one to change the country in a more statist direction, the other to stir up resentment and nostalgia among the middle-class masses.  read more »

Paris, London Lead European Metropolitan Areas: Latest Data

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Eurostat, the statistical agency of the European Union (EU) indicates that Paris is the largest metropolitan area in the EU, Switzerland and Norway, with 12.8 million residents, according to the latest estimates. This is slightly more than number two London --- which may soon be outside the Union --- with 12.4 million residents.  read more »

Judenrein Europe

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Some people go their whole lives without seeing a ghost; me, I see them all the time.

Detective Bernie Gunther in Phillip Kerr’s Greeks Bearing Gifts

Last month the German commissioner for “Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight Against Antisemitism” used his impressively titled office to advise German Jews against wearing kipahs in public. The commissioner’s response to a surge of anti-Semitic violence in his country was a sheepish acknowledgment that Germany is once again a dangerous country for Jews. And as Germany goes, so goes Europe.  read more »

China's Urban Crisis

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China stands as the primary exhibit of twenty-first-century urbanism. At a time when elite cities in the West barely manage to grow in population, Chinese cities have emerged out of virtually nothing, as hundreds of millions of people have moved from farm to city.  read more »

Europe’s Overlooked Suburbs: Key to EU Election?

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In the run-up to the elections for the European Parliament, The Economist magazine suggests that the old political divisions no longer apply (“Between somewhere and anywhere: The politics of suburbia in Europe,” May 11, 2019). As the chaos of a British Parliament is unable to meet its self-defined Brexit deadline, The Economist observes that “Culture wars have taken hold of European politics and eclipsed the old left-versus-right distinction,” suggesting that the traditional majority social democrats and Christian democrats could find themselves outnumbered after the election:  read more »

With Anti-Semitism On The Rise, Jews Must Call Out Hatred On The Left And The Right

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Es iz schwer tzu sein a yid. It is hard to be a Jew. — Sholem Aleichem

The recent deadly assault on the Chabad temple in Poway — just six months after a bloodier massacre in Pittsburgh — reflects the sad reality that anti-Semitism, in all its hoary forms, is back.  read more »

Subjects:

Pulling the Plug on HS2 (London-Birmingham High Speed Rail)?

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High speed rail may be proposed as a climate change panacea here and elsewhere, but the results on the ground are less than promising. California Governor Gavin Newsom announced this week that the California high speed rail project would be scaled back to the route between Bakersfield and Merced, in the San Joaquin Valley (which the state has enough money for). In his “state of the state” speech the Governor said “…let’s be real. The project, as currently planned, would cost too much and take too long. There’s been too little oversight and not enough transparency.”  read more »