Introduction LO: Yesterday, 8 April 2022, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, offered Ukraine a fast track to EU membership (eg, Deutsche Welle, Reuters). She may not have read the Haaretz interview below. The current main illiberal EU member states are Hungary (pro Russia) and Poland (anti Russia). Zelenskyy Says Post-war Ukraine Will...
13 Mar, 2022
Bloomberg title: The World Younger Russians Knew Is Over By: Anthony Halpin Date: 11 March 2022 “The exodus of foreign companies from Russia may hurl the country back decades in just a few weeks, as consumer goods and services are denied a whole cohort of those under 40 who took them for granted. This is the “Putin generation” that came of age under the...
6 Mar, 2022
Financial Times title: Francis Fukuyama: Putin’s war on the liberal orderFT subtitle: Democratic values were already under threat around the world before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Now we need to rekindle the spirit of 1989By: Francis FukuyamaDate: 4 March 2022 “The horrific Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 has been seen as a critical turning point...
21 Feb, 2022
Compared to the previous century, in which I grew up, I notice that our intolerance towards 'others' is (still) increasing. Our intolerance relates to (the freedom of) (i) speech, (ii) worship (ie, religion), (iii) sexuality (eg, LGBT, non-binary) and (iv) making own choices (eg, unvaccinated). Why?? The common denominator above is identity. We dislike others being,...
17 Feb, 2022
At Schiphol Airport, the loudspeakers near the treadmills keep repeating: "Mind your step". This analogy came to mind when thinking about the Third Law of Motion by Isaac Newton: for every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction (source). In other words: what goes around, comes around. Nowadays, it's common practice to propose to forbid,...
27 Oct, 2021
The childcare benefits scandal that toppled the (still outgoing) Dutch Cabinet is still expanding. At least 1,115 children have been taken away from their families due to that same scandal. These parents lost everything while they were being drowned in debt, following clawback activities by the Dutch tax authorities. A friend told me that the Belgian approach is the...
- I invented Gilead. The Supreme Court is making it real. (Margaret Atwood)
- Take care of your thoughts when you are alone
- “I Have to Admit, I Have a Very Low Opinion of Human Beings”
- “It’s a pity we can’t stay friends with everyone”
- Fiscal Policy Is Way to Deal With Divergence, ECB’s De Cos Says (Bloomberg)
- What is the “Great Replacement” right-wing conspiracy theory? (the Economist)
- Democracy might be in crisis. But Autocracy certainly is (FT)
- “I just don’t care anymore.”
- “Solitude has always been my analgesic of choice.”