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Geography Archives: Ukraine

Europe Between the Pit and the Pendulum

If you have ever read Edgar Allen Poe‘s gruesome stories you may recall feelings of horror like those which made me, still a youngster, cringe and shudder.  I have similar feelings when I hear of bloodthirsty, barely-hidden “concerts” by German Neo-Nazis, which too often lead to violence against subjects of their hatred: hippy-type leftist youngsters […]

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PEGIDA, SYRIZA, and the Future of Europe

Recent events here in Germany remind me of a playground seesaw, with constant ups and downs of one side and the other. All autumn we watched the upward swing of PEGIDA, “Patriotic Europeans Against Islamization of the West,” most rapidly but not only in Saxony’s capital Dresden.  Its main features were a fast-talking, shady leader […]

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The Red-Red-Green Victory in Thuringia

Yes, “red-red-green” squeezed through to victory — by one single wavering vote. Political parties in the USA have animal symbols, donkey and elephant.  In Germany they have colors: the Christian-Democrats (CDU), due to clerical ties, are black, the Greens of course green, the Social Democrats (SPD) traditionally red.  When the redder Linke (Left) party came […]

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Come to Dresden

Cops, Hooligans, and Neo-Nazis in Germany

Confrontations with the police in Germany have not been quite the same as in Ferguson and other USA cities.  But some were dramatic enough.  Back in September 2010 mass protests in Stuttgart against a huge underground railroad station at the cost of a prized old building and a central park were hit hard by cops […]

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Democracy, Hypocrisy, and President Gauck

In the USA Republicans are jubilant.  Jubilation here in Germany is about an event twenty-five years ago: “We beat those red SOBs!”  But is there not, hidden behind the confetti, helium balloons, and crowing of the victors in both Germany and the USA, an occasional jarring note of anxiety? A man with good reason for […]

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Losing Heads and Sending Arms

Two famous heads got lost in Berlin.  Neither loss, I hasten to add, was connected with brutality.  From the past or near future, they caused melancholy or rejoicing, depending on your viewpoint. One loss really occurred twenty-two years ago, when the 62-foot red granite statue of Lenin on East Berlin’s Lenin Square and Lenin Allee […]

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Bodo Ramelow

Sour Pickles and Sour Grapes

When politicians vacation and little action is expected, the words German journalists use for such summer doldrums is “Saure-Gurken-Zeit” — “sour pickle time.”  Since German often squeezes things together into what Mark Twain called “not words but panoramas,” it’s usually written with no break, “Sauregurkenzeit,” and may be derived from the time before the harvest […]

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Venezuela: Questions about Democracy and a Free Press

First question: Why? If Venezuela’s government is a dictatorship, why have there been 18 elections in 15 years under the late president Hugo Chávez Frías (d. 2013) and his democratically elected successor Nicolás Maduro?  Why is it that according to many international observers Venezuela’s democratic elections are, in the words of ex-president Jimmy Carter, “the […]

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Germany’s Left Party on the EU and NATO

Running up a down escalator is itself mighty difficult.  Trying to keep your footing both on an up and a down escalator at the same time is simply hard to imagine.  Yet it gives an idea of Germany’s present Ukrainian policy. Soon after Soviet soldiers left East Germany between 1989 and 1994, the newly-unified country […]

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Russia and the Ukraine Crisis: The Eurasian Project in Conflict with the Triad Imperialist Policies

Moscow, March 2014 1. The current global stage is dominated by the attempt of historical centers of imperialism (the US, Western and Central Europe, Japan — hereafter called “the Triad”) to maintain their exclusive control over the planet through a combination of: so-called neo-liberal economic globalization policies allowing financial transnational capital of the Triad to […]

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National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Venezuela

As protests have been taking place in Venezuela for the last couple of weeks, it is good to check on the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the US Empire’s “stealth” destabilizer.  What has the NED been up to in Venezuela? Before going into details, it is important to note what the NED is and is […]

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Stumble Stones in Germany

Stumble Stones in Germany

The late, late snow has finally disappeared from Berlin’s streets.  Visible once again, here and there, are the “stumble stones” — Stolpersteine in German. Many Berlin tourists will enjoy the night life.  They may also look upwards — at the giant TV tower, the Brandenburg Gate, at ancient and less ancient churches.  There is a […]

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From Solidarity to Sellout: The Restoration of Capitalism in Poland by Tadeusz Kowalik

Tadeusz Kowalik, 1926-2012

  Professor Tadeusz Kowalik (1926-2012) was a noted Polish economist who played a major role in Polish economic debates for more than a half century.  A graduate of the University of Warsaw, Kowalik was a student of the distinguished Polish Marxist economist Oskar Lange and like his teacher, was a prominent advocate of market socialism […]

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No Deutschland Über Alles — and No Bris

Germany suffered two losses last week and underwent one very intimate decision.  Whether the latter was a win or a loss depends on your (point of) view — about male circumcision. Most important to most Germans was probably their hope to win the European soccer championship, held this year in Poland and the Ukraine.  Germany […]

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Outcome of the Visit to Syria by a Mission of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

  In August a UN OCHA Mission visited Syria to assess humanitarian needs in the country stemming from the ongoing crisis there.  The Mission included staff from several UN institutions and humanitarian agencies (UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO, WFP, IOM, etc.).  The Syrian authorities provided the Mission unimpeded access to all objects of interest.  The UN officials […]

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Cautionary Tales for Would-Be Weather Engineers

  James Rodger Fleming.  Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control.  Columbia Studies in International and Global History Series.  New York: Columbia University Press, 2010.  Illustrations. xiv + 325 pp.  $27.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-231-14412-4. In Fixing the Sky, James Rodger Fleming traces human efforts to control weather and climate from ancient […]

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