The Norwegian Government Keeps Book Publishers Alive
April 11, 2014

And other reasons Norway is the best place in the world to be a writer.

Uganda Revives Its Favorite Distraction: Anti-Gay Legislation
December 05, 2012

One of international diplomacy’s most infuriating political footballs is back in play. Uganda’s infamous Anti-Homosexuality Bill, versions of which have threatened the death penalty for gays and imprisonment for anyone who fails to inform on them, has passed a committee and is once again awaiting discussion in parliament, which could come any day. The issue has been in and out of the spotlight since 2009, and isn’t quite getting the media attention it has in previous years.

One Cent for the 99%: Why Eliminating Pennies Doesn’t Make Sense
March 30, 2012

Yesterday the Government of Canada announced it was eliminating the penny from Canada’s coinage system. The provided reasons: Its declining spending power, rising production costs (1.6 cents per penny), and the harsh reality that “some Canadians consider the penny more of a nuisance than a useful coin.” Likewise, other countries have been re-evaluating their lowest-denomination coins, with Australia, Norway, and Switzerland among those that have already stopped circulating them.

Why is Breivik Facing a Maximum Sentence of Just 21 Years?
August 01, 2011

Americans reading the news last week may have been surprised to learn that Anders Behring Breivik—the man who has admitted to killing 76 people in twin attacks in Norway on July 22—currently faces a maximum initial sentence of just 21 years in prison. Timothy McVeigh, in contrast, was found guilty on eleven counts for killing 168 people in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and he was executed by lethal injection in 2001.

The Norway Attacks Reveal the Parallels Between Islamists and Islamophobes
July 25, 2011

Last week’s heart-breaking massacre of teenagers and others in Norway makes it dismayingly clear that the religious warfare at the heart of Al Qaeda’s crusade against the West and its supporters has now found its mirror-image not in the random act of a deranged lunatic, but in a meticulously planned execution of the anti-Islamic ideology that has been spreading like a poison throughout European political culture for at least a decade.

The Norway Attacks: Who is Abu Suleiman Al Nasser?
July 22, 2011

Speculation abounds as to who conducted today’s attacks in Oslo and for what reasons. For now, we don’t know who is responsible. Recent news has focused on the Nordic identity of the gunman in custody, suggesting that the incident was an example of domestic extremism.* At the same time, an organization called Ansar Al Jihad Al Alami, or The Helpers of the Global Jihad, has also taken responsibility for the attack.

Three Ways Obama Can Fix the Housing Crisis
July 19, 2011

Today, more the two years after the official start of the recovery, we find ourselves mired in slow growth and high unemployment. The majority of Americans cannot distinguish between this recovery and stagnation, if not continued recession. One question is why the economy is performing so much worse than in the previous post-recessionary periods since World War Two. And once we think we have an answer to that question, we have another: What is to be done? Economics is the obvious place to turn for answers.

January 1 Is Not Yet Over. But The First Terror Killings Have Already Brought Death to Dozens of Men And Women
January 01, 2011

Yes, of course. The majority of Muslims are against terror killings of Christians. Maybe even a big majority. But the fact is there is little evidence and, in fact, almost no evidence of revulsion at what has become the distinctive imprint of Islam in the modern world. Alright, I'll note the most important caveat: it is not Islam but Islamists and Islamism that are at fault in this ongoing outrage. But still! Wouldn't you think there'd be a protest or two somewhere in the arc of Muslim faith that stretches from Indonesia to Morocco and southwards to the deepest reaches of Africa?

Burma Bombshell
December 20, 2010

Many minor Wikileaks scoops have attracted media notice—like the fact that Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi apparently always travels with a buxom Ukrainian “nurse”—but one frightening disclosure in particular has not received nearly enough attention. In several cables written from the U.S.

Who’s The Happiest One Of All?
July 29, 2010

This is one of those slightly hokey surveys that measures the happiness of nations. Done by the Gallup World Poll and written up for Forbes by Francesca Levy, its results are not entirely surprising. Rich countries generally do better than others, although Saudi Arabia ranks 58th just ahead of Pakistan. Almost three times as many Saudis are “struggling” than “thriving.” On the other hand, the United Arab Emirates (which is a country made up of wealthy scions and resident ex-pats) and Kuwait register respectably 20th and 23rd. So how about Egypt?