Blog, News

3 Ways Dutch Summits are Different

Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Category: Blog, News

This week’s ‘United States of Europe’ update: Meet the new hosts of the EU Presidency: the Dutch! They’re responsible for microscopes, wifi, the fact that carrots are orange – and for some of the most convoluted decision-making the world has ever seen. For the first half of 2016, EU summits will be hosted by the Netherlands, a culture based on the paradox “How can a meeting start out so productive, but then end so differently?” Here are my 3 reasons […]

Dutch Green Tech – Why Isn’t Everyone Doing This?

Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Category: Blog, News

[As printed in Hollands Glorie magazine, December 2015]   As the Netherlands hosts the EU Presidency in 2016, it’s a chance to show off Dutch progress on the environment – just not at the governmental level. Historically, when it comes to environmental innovation, the Netherlands has a lot to brag about. And these days there’s also plenty to brag about, but there’s not a lot of bragging going on. Why?Because the current Dutch government doing so little to limit carbon emissions […]

What is a ‘Doug Stanhope / Amsterdam Comedy Swapcast’ ?

Date: Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Category: Blog

How did I get name-checked at the Doug Stanhope show? Am I the Michael McIntyre of Dutch comedy? What is a ‘Doug Stanhope / Amsterdam Comedy Swapcast’ ? If you don’t know Doug Stanhope, he’s a in a league of his own. He’s earned the label ‘Comedians’ comedian’ because he dares to go to the dark places mainstream comedians don’t. He even started a group called ‘The Unbookables.’ His solo DVDs have names like ‘No Refunds,’ ‘Morbid Obscenity,’ and ‘Before […]

Housing Quiz 2015 ‘How to Be Dutch’

Date: Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Category: Blog, News

Housing Quiz, 2015 (as printed in XPat Journal, Nov 2015) Welcome to the Netherlands. You’re going to need a place to live. What should you expect? Here are some helpful quiz questions, based on my own personal research and submissions from readers of my book ‘How to Be Orange.’ Question 1: When you get the keys to your new Dutch housing, what can you expect? A – Set of keys, with extremely detailed explanation how to use them. B – […]

3 Things you need to know about COP21 Paris Climate Summit

Date: Friday, December 4, 2015
Category: Blog, News

3 Things you need to know about COP21 Paris Climate Summit ‘United States of Europe’ 1 December. This week: COP21 in Paris. Polluters polluting the planet to cut down on pollution.   COP21 stands for ‘Conference of Partners,’ the 21st annual. Inspiring. Here are the 3 things you need to know to sound smart about COP21! 1) Who are players? First of all: climate activists. They were told that protests were forbidden, but they gathered anyway for a cleaner environment […]

For Peace in Syria, Assad Needs a Nobel Prize

Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Category: Blog, News

For Peace in Syria, Assad Needs a Nobel Prize. ‘United States of Europe’ 25 Nov. 2015 Greg Shapiro Peace in Syria. It’s the geopolitical equivalent of trying to buy a cheap PlayStation4 on Black Friday. But there’s good news. Finally, US politicians are taking the Syrian problem seriously, because of the threat of Syrian refugees. Even though the refugees are about as statistically significant a threat as choking on your pumpkin pie. Syrian refugees. The ebola of 2015. And while […]

After Paris: the Grief-Shaming. ‘United States of Europe’ 17 Nov. 2015

Date: Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Category: Blog

This week on ‘United States of Europe’ – How NOT to politicize terror attacks. Friday the 13th, France suffered its worst terror attack ever. And inevitably some people will politicize the tragedy, after a period of shock, grief and mourning. BUT then some folks said ‘Why Wait!?’ This week’s theme is: ‘I don’t want to politicize this tragedy. BUT…’ From the makers of: ‘I don’t want to be racist, BUT…’ and the results are just as painful. In the US, […]

Let the Scooter Stay? The True Test of Dutch Assimilation

Date: Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Category: Blog, News

[as printed in Hollands Glorie Summer 2015] DUTCH BIKE PATH ETIQUETTE Yes, Nederland is a crowded country, and personal space is rather small. How small? Contrast Amsterdam with Chicago, where I grew up. In public, even if someone comes close to you with their shopping cart, they’ll stop and make sure you’re okay. People wonder why Americans talk so loud. It’s because our personal space is so big. We have to be loud, just to be heard. In America, my […]

While Sanders & Clinton Talk, EU Acts on Multinationals Tax – ‘United States of Europe’ 10 Nov. 2015

Date: Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Category: Blog, News

While Bernie & Hillary Talk about Making Multinationals Pay their Taxes, the EU Is Actually Doing It. ‘United States of Europe,’ 10 November, 2015 How to stop tax cuts for multinationals? Give them subsidies. Multinational companies are very creative with their bookkeeping, and they end up paying very little tax. Apple (based in Ireland) pays about 1%. Amazon (based in Luxembourg) pays as low as 1%. Starbucks (based in the Netherlands) pays well under 1%. It’s a popular topic at […]

Why I Comedy.

Date: Saturday, November 7, 2015
Category: Blog

Cafe Mezrab Comedy Fridays- free entrance! And free to play! (i.e. No pay.) So – though it’s a Friday – it’s like an open mic. At least that’s how I approached it… The two acts before me wisely played up the Single & Flirty material and got the crowd whipped up into frothy sexual tension. I followed with my bits on society & politics and killed the vibe like a safe sex lecture. After the show, the other comedians were […]