Blog, News

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 […]

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 […]

How NOT to Celebrate Guy Fawkes Day

Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Category: Blog, News

The Hypocrisy of Guy Fawkes Day – ‘United States of Europe’ 3 November, 2015. Guy Fawkes Day – what is it exactly? Believe it or not, Guy Fawkes has been around since before ‘V for Vendetta’ in 2005. The Brits explain Guy Fawkes Day as a national celebration of freedom – the freedom to remain obedient to the State. Every year on the 5th of November, the British light bonfires and celebrate their freedom. The freedom they celebrate is the freedom from […]

3 Reasons Why EU Right Wing is Wackier than US

Date: Saturday, October 17, 2015
Category: Blog, News

3 Reasons Why EU Right Wing is Wackier than US A couple of weeks ago I may have given the impression that EU – & US – are being overrun by an army of jesus-looking, sandal wearing, liberal hippy vegans. Okay, that ain’t exactly true. From Conservative Cameron to Christian Conservative Merkel to Viktor Orban ‘The Vic-tator’ – the EU is plenty Right-Wing. Orban himself has said his governing role models are Russia and China. But we didn’t have room for that […]

3 Reasons Why Putin in Syria Is OK with US & EU

Date: Sunday, October 11, 2015
Category: Blog, News

Putin in Syria – WHY? This week on ‘United States of Europe,’ I was inspired by the Daily Show motto ‘If you smell it, say it.’ So many news outlets are full of commentary on WHY Putin is in Syria. ‘WHAT is he up to?’ 1) BUT few news outlets mention ‘Russia Military Base in Syria.’ Tartus is – according to NYT page 4 – ‘Russia’s only overseas military base outside the former Soviet Union.’ Wanna see how many overseas […]

Why It’s Okay to Hate Germany Again – Dieselgate. GSUSE Oct 2, 2015

Date: Friday, October 2, 2015
Category: Blog, News

Last week: ‘Why it’s okay to like Germany again.’ This week: ‘Why it’s okay to hate Germany again.’ While most of the world was at the UN, trying to outdo each other’s CO2 campaigns… Volkswagen has been lying and polluting. And it’s not just Volkswagen, it’s apparently the entire German car culture that allowed them to get away with it for so long. Volkswagen polluting is like Bill Cosby raping: everyone knew about it, but it wasn’t cool to talk […]

Throwback Thursday- Comedy Central News

Date: Thursday, October 1, 2015
Category: Blog, News

Throwback Thursday – Comedy Central News 2007 Wow, look how dark my hair was back in 2007… (I think it was Andrew Moskos who convinced me to dye my hair, actually.) Since I started at Boom Chicago, I was busy with the news. We started the Boom Chicago News segment in the show. And back in 2001, Pep Rosenfeld & I had ‘Boom Chicago News’ on TV at AT5 (right after Pep got back from writing on Weekend Update at […]

Public Art? Or Vandalism?

Date: Friday, September 25, 2015
Category: Blog, News

My 11 year-old started at a new school in a new neighborhood – a developing neighborhood. It has a healthy immigrant population, much more diverse than the ‘VrijeSchool,’ which was comparatively  lily-white. Across the street from the school is a rather large mosque. Across from the mosque is a police station, which – for some reason – has extended its flagpole so it’s just a bit higher than the minaret of their neighbors. And at the apartment complex next to […]