Top 5 Blog Posts

May 7, 2007 at 11:43 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
  1. Separation of Church and State Divides Turkey, including comment made responding to other comments
  2. EU creates more problems than it causes
  3. Don’t they have anything more important to bicker about?
  4. Comment # 4 On Don’t they have anything more important to bicker about?
  5. How do you spell EU?  D-O-O-M

Separation of Church and State Divides Turkey

May 1, 2007 at 10:46 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The possibility of a Muslim President has caused uproar in Istanbul, according to CNN.  Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul announced his candidacy for the office of President, and more than 700,000 protesters marched on the capital.  Turkey has remained secular since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk established the Secular Turkish Republic after the fall of the Ottoman Empire after World War I.  They firmly believe that Turkey needs to remain secular and that Gul will base his policies on Islamic Law.  Many of the protesters are calling for an early election to elect a new legislature, which elects the president.  Currently it is dominated by Gul’s pro-Islamic party.  The also fear that he will use the presidential power of veto to help Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan implement Sharia law.

Another fear is that the military will intervene.  Previously when a pro-Islamic leader was elected the government removed him from power and replaced him with a secular leader.  The military is afraid the religious leadership will hurt Turkey’s chances of joining the European Union, and therefore they may intervene.  The battle between secularists and religious supporters is not unique to Turkey, however.  Similar arguments have occurred all over the world.  I don’t believe the answer can be found by choosing one over the other, but instead a balance must be found.  This is easier said than done, however, I am not sure what will work best for Turkey.

Watch out, Superman!

April 26, 2007 at 9:50 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A mineral found recently in Serbia may be a real life version of Kryptonite from the popular “Superman” comic book series, according to CNN.  The new mineral, called Jadarite, was studied at London’s Natural History Museum.  When Dr. Chris Stanley, a mineralogist at the museum, did an Internet search for the chemical compound, odium lithium boron silicate hydroxide, he discovered that it was the same chemicals that were supposedly the makeup of the Kryptonite used by Lex Luther in “Superman Returns.”  Instead of the green radioactive crystal seen in the comic books. it is a white powdery substance.  The new substance will be on display on the museum after May 25.  This new discovery really doesn’t mean much as this point, but it is an interesting find nonetheless.

EU makes denial of genocide illegal

April 19, 2007 at 8:53 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

According to CNN, a recent law passed in the European Union makes it illegal to deny a genocide, such as the Holocaust.  The process has taken six years, however, because of the differing opinions of the 27 member states.  One of the main disputes was about the definition of genocide.   The Holocaust and the killings in Rwanda were quickly accepted, but many Baltic states wants the actions of Stalin to be also classified as genocide.  Russia, although it does not deny the tens of millions of deaths at the hands of Stalin, they also see him as bringing Russia into the industrialized 20th century and helping to cause the downfall of Nazi Germany.  This debate severely lengthened the time necessary to create these laws.

Another issue that had to be addressed was many of the member states, such as Great Britain, claimed this law counteracted their own states’ free speech laws.  Although they do not condone the genocide, they also do not want to limit the rights of their citizens to voice their opinions.  Because of these two dispute, the European Union allowed member states to opt out of the regulations.  If they do decide to participate, the individual states determine the punishment.  This is much less severe than the three years imprisonment which was int he original proposal.  Many states also have their own preexisting laws of denying genocide, such as Germany and Spain.  This law was able to find a compromise between the various faction that has so far been generally supported.

EU creates more problems than it causes

April 17, 2007 at 7:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

According to the EU Referendum, the European Union is a completely useless entity.  This blog state that a recent addition of new monetary laws is just another example of their inability to function properly.  There have been many recent cases of money laundering, much related to drugs, and the EU has tried to fix the problem with new laws.  These make it more difficult for bank accounts to be opened and makes the transferring of money more time consuming in order to verify the accounts and where it is going.  It is understandable that the European Union would want to stop these action, but according to this blog, the laws make it difficult for even city clubs to do their banking.  I am not knowledgeable about exactly what is happening in the situation or the laws they have created, but I am not sure if this is the correct response.  I am also not an economist, so I do not know what kind of effect this will have on the economy.  I do not agree with the blogger that the EU is pointless.  Every government makes mistakes, and I think that the EU has done more good than harm.

How do you spell EU? D-O-O-M

April 12, 2007 at 8:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

This is what the Brussels Journal claims.  It cites an article by Francis Fukuyama, the Dean of the School of Advanced International Studies as Johns Hopkins University.  The article states that the world will end in a state like the European Union, and the Journal says that Dean Fukuyama claims that the European Union is going to lead to the demise of mankind.  I am not sure that is what it says.  When I read the article I read that the European Union was the wave of the future.  Dean Fukuyama states that when the world ends it will have a governmental body similar to the European Union, meaning that humanity will move in that direction for the rest of history.  That does not mean that the European Union will be our downfall.  The Journal has a very strong bias towards individual state sovereignty and I feel that misinterpreted this article in order to fit their own needs.  I would be interested to know what other think, and what they believe Dean Fukuyama means.

Presidential Election divides France

April 10, 2007 at 6:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

As the date of the French Presidential Election draws closer, nearly half of France is still unsure of who t vote for, according to CNN.  Out of the 11 candidates, four have separated themselves with two as the front-runners.  Right wing Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist Segolene Royal are leading the race, with Sarkozy slightly ahead.  Trailing behinds are Centrist Francois Bayrou and 78 year-old right wing Jean-Marie Le Pen.  Nearly half of the population is still unsure which candidate to vote for, which means that at this point it is truly anyone’s game.  The four candidate have launched multiple attack campaigns against each other in order to give themselves the edge in the polls.  Le Pen has been the harshest in his attacks calling Sarkozy an immigrant while claiming he is the candidate of the soil.  In an unsual turn of events, the Socialist party jumped to Sarkozy’s defense, stating Le Pen’s comments just show the extreme xenophobia of the extreme right.  I find this article reassuring, because it shows that elections are not just viscous in the United States, but can become brutal throughout the world.

Perhaps the EU is not as united as we think

April 3, 2007 at 8:05 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

According to the blog the Monarchist, there is disagreement in Europe about whether denizens of the United Kingdom are British subjects or citizens of Europe.   This debate came to the forefront recently when 15 British sailors were taken hostage by Iranian Revolutionary Guards.  Since 40% of Iran’s exports come from the European Union, many feel that Europe could just place sanctions on Iran in order to solve the situation. Europe wields more power over Iran than the United States does, and if the EU wanted to they could quickly get the release of the hostages.  The problem is, according to this blogger, the rest of the European Union does not consider Britain to be a member of the EU.  They do not see 15 Europeans being held hostage, they see 15 Brits and they see no reason to help Brits.  Great Britain is one of the most powerful members of the EU, and if they are as isolated as this author claims it could mean bad news for the hostages.

So if the EU won’t help the British, what is the next step?  As the author points out, the United States is already spread thinly between Iraq and Afghanistan.  And although I assume we would be more than willing to help, considering they are one of are biggest allies, we do not have much influence over Iran.  That leaves the United Nations, but the Russians will not allow the Security Council to make any sanctions because they want to maintain good relations with Iran.  That leaves Britain isolated in a very dangerous situation.

Don’t they have anything more important to bicker about?

March 29, 2007 at 9:50 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I mean, honestly, this is possibly one of the most rediculous stories I have heard. According to Knut Albert’s Beer Blog, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave an antique beer mug to French President Jacques Chirac as a retirement present. This has caused outrage in Turkey and the Turkish Foreign Minister says the European Union needs to stop looking at the past and look to the future. What is the problem, you ask? Apparently, the mug depicts Napoleon’s 1799 victory over the Ottoman Empire in Egypt. This image makes the Turks feel alienated from the rest of the European nations. Personally, I think Turkey needs to get over it. No offense was meant against Turkey. The German Chancellor knows that Chirac enjoys German beer more than French wine (something I am sure does not please his people) and gave him suitable gift. One would think the European leaders would have more important things to do than squabble over art. This is just like Iran screaming bloody murder because they feel “300” is offensive. It is a movie about a historical event (although it is highly inaccurate, but that is another story). The Germans are not offended when they are depicted in our World War II movies. The British are not offended with Revolutionary War movies. Both Iran and Turkey need to realize that history occurred, and something that happened more than 200 or 2500 years ago should not be a cause of debate today.

France Ignores Enviornmental Code

March 27, 2007 at 9:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

After more than twenty years, France is finally being forced to comply with environmental codes from 1987, according to EuroNews.  Half of the pigs, poultry, and one third of the cattle are raised in Brittaney.  The run-off from the waste and come into contact with the region’s water supply, thus the entire population of Brittaney is at risk.  This violates the nitrate directive passed by the European Union, and France could face up to 28 million euros in fines.  Brussels is threatening more fines for everyday that the French do not fix the problem.  Paris has a new plan that could by time and it is currently being reviewed by Brussels.  EU officials say that the Court of Justice could still be called at any time.

I just find it ironic that a country who often criticizes other, including the United States, for the environmental policies is guilty of the same.  I am not saying that he U.S. does not have room to improve, but I do not think people in glasses houses should throw stones.  It is the job of all the citizens of the world to protect the environment,  not just the United States.

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