April 10th, 2010 § § permalink
Dealing with shrinking cities in eastern Germany:
One of the IBA’s more radical ideas is that of “city islands” in Dessau-Rosslau. The planners have “kind of disassembled the city into pixels and put it back together again using a cut-and-paste method,” as Brückner explains. According to the concept, Dessau-Rosslau would abandon the model of a more compact central city, leaving only islands of houses. “Buildings will be cut out and in the empty spaces we will insert countryside,” Brückner explains.
December 23rd, 2009 § § permalink
Alexander Lukashenko has often been referred to as Europe’s last dictator. All of a sudden, though, he seems to be on a push to rapidly liberalize Belarus’ economy and turn it into a high-tech paradise. But is this socialist island really ready to attract Western investors?
This is really simple. Business isn’t the opposite of dictatorship; it’s something almost orthogonal to it. If one man’s whim completely changes the government of a country, then it’s a dictatorship. Obviously I’m glad his current passions encompass encouraging business rather than staging purges, but that doesn’t make Lukashenko any less a dictator.
December 15th, 2009 § § permalink
Der Spiegel, like everybody else, pulls apart Ban Ki-Moon
Jacob Heilbrunn, a commentator for the respected American journal Foreign Policy, called Ban “the world’s most dangerous Korean.” The moniker is a terrible insult, since by rights it belongs to Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s erratic dictator. But it’s also a gauge of the disappointment currently reigning in the United States. Heilbrunn fears the UN is rapidly becoming irrelevant under Ban’s stewardship. Ban’s sole achievement is having attained his post, Heilbrunn claims, calling the secretary-general a “nowhere man.”
November 23rd, 2009 § § permalink
Also in Der Spiegel, polling of Turkish Germans:
Turks are the largest ethnic minority in Germany and make up almost 4 percent of the country’s population. Yet only 21 percent of those polled feel happy to call Germany home.