Ignorance Kills

by Jeff Schweitzer Added 20.09.2014
We learned  recently  that eight health care workers combating the Ebola epidemic were killed by an angry mob who believed the doctors and nurses were infecting people with the virus. The population most in need of help murdered the only people...

ISIS: Illusions Versus Reality

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 18.09.2014
"The rise of many jihadist groups can be traced several decades back to the reigns of corrupt and ruthless Arab dictators......Adding to this mix is President Bush’s misguided Iraq war, which has ignited the long-dormant Sunni-Shiite...

The Looming Death of Homo Economicus

by Dennis J. Snower Added 18.09.2014
"In short, mainstream economics – and the concept of homo economicus – recognizes only half of what makes us human. We are undoubtedly motivated by self-interest. But we are also fundamentally social creatures." KIEL – The world seems to be on...

The Economics of Violence

by Bjørn Lomborg Added 18.09.2014
"....domestic violence against women and children imposes a social cost of $8 trillion each year, making it a huge – and vastly underreported – global issue." COPENHAGEN – What is the biggest source of violence in our world? With the brutal...

Ted Cruz: The Dangers of Not Listening

by James J. Zogby Added 16.09.2014
My mother was fond of saying "if you want someone to hear you, you must first listen to them"—know them, understand the questions they are asking, and be sensitive to their concerns. If you do this, she would say, "you will be able to speak with...

Bush/Cheney Created Conditions that Led Directly to ISIL

by Robert Creamer Added 16.09.2014
It takes a lot of gall for people like Dick Cheney to utter even one critical word about President Obama’s strategy to eliminate the threat of ISIL in the Middle East.   In fact, it was the unnecessary Bush/Cheney Iraq War that created the...

Why Germany Can't Avoid a Larger Military Commitment to NATO

by Daniel Wagner and Allison Sorkin Added 16.09.2014
Germany's position as Europe's leading economic and political power put Chancellor Merkel in an awkward position vis-a-vis how to address Vladimir Putin's extra-territorial activities. With high implied stakes for the post-Cold War order,...

The Cold War Never Died

by John Feffer Added 13.09.2014
In '89, it looked as though the war had finally ended. For five decades the conflict had ground on, and both sides had grown weary of it all. There had been previous pauses in the hostilities, even a détente or two, but this truce looked...

Erdogan Needs A Spasm Of Lucidity

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 11.09.2014
The ascendancy of Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the presidency places Turkey on a trajectory that could usher in a new era unlike any other since the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. During his tenure as...

Parallels to 1937

by Robert J. Shiller Added 11.09.2014
NEW HAVEN – The depression that followed the stock-market crash of 1929 took a turn for the worse eight years later, and recovery came only with the enormous economic stimulus provided by World War II, a conflict that cost more than 60 million...

In South Sudan, China peacemaker role marks a first in its diplomacy

by Daniel Wagner and Giorgio Cafiero Added 11.09.2014
This summer marked the third anniversary of South Sudan's independence, yet few of its citizens had reason to celebrate. As the youngest member state of the United Nations, South Sudan has endured a bloody civil war since December that has...

How the Rich Rule

by Dani Rodrik Added 10.09.2014
PRINCETON – It is hardly news that the rich have more political power than the poor, even in democratic countries where everyone gets a single vote in elections. But two political scientists, Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin...

Choosing Death

by Peter Singer Added 09.09.2014
PRINCETON – “I will take my life today around noon. It is time.” With these words, posted online, Gillian Bennett, an 85-year-old New Zealander living in Canada, began her explanation of her decision to end her life. Bennett had known for three...

In Defense of Christians

by James J. Zogby Added 09.09.2014
We have every reason to be concerned with the fate of the Christian communities of the Arab World. From Egypt to Iraq, these ancient churches have not only survived through centuries of hardship, foreign invasions, and domestic repression, they...

Can Palestine Win the Peace?

by Daoud Kuttab Added 09.09.2014
RAMALLAH – The rollout of the war-ending ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestine last month was impressive. With almost perfect synchronization, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced the end of the war on Gaza in a televised...

Facing Reality in the Eurozone

by Adair Turner Added 08.09.2014
LONDON – European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s recent speech at the annual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has excited great interest, but the implication of his remarks is even more startling than many initially...

There is nothing ‘medieval’ about Islamic State atrocities – they’re just cruel and brutal

by Norman Housley Added 08.09.2014
In Pulp Fiction, when Marcellus Wallace tells his captor and tormentor Zed that “I’m gonna get medieval on your ass”, we are spared further details, which is just as well since it involves a pair of pliers and a blow torch. To Marcellus,...

Countering Putin With Human Rights

by Wenzel Michalski Added 07.09.2014
The summer break for German parliamentarians is over. On their return to the capital, their eyes will almost certainly be on the crisis in Ukraine, and the role that the Kremlin has played in stoking it. Many politicians are probably wondering...

Reading Israel from Left to Right

by Ian Buruma Added 05.09.2014
NEW YORK – Israel’s current government and its supporters in the West are quick to denounce criticism of Israeli policies as anti-Semitism. This can be inaccurate and self-serving, but it is not always wrong. Israel’s defenders are right to...

Reckless Policies, Dire Consequences

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 04.09.2014
The Netanyahu-led government’s announcement of its decision to annex nearly 1,000 acres of Palestinian land in the West Bank between the Etzion settlement block and Jerusalem amounts to nothing less than a reckless and offensive act that only...

A Western Strategy for a Declining Russia

by Joseph S. Nye Added 03.09.2014
CAMBRIDGE – The Aspen Strategy Group, a non-partisan group of foreign-policy experts that former US National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and I co-chair, recently wrestled with the question of how to respond to Russia’s actions in Ukraine....

“But Is It Good for the Jews?” 

by Lawrence Davidson Added 02.09.2014
The Perennial Question If you are over fifty and were raised in a Jewish household, you either heard this question, “but is it good for the Jews?” explicitly asked numerous times or were subtly encouraged to think the question to yourself. It...

Why Israel?

by Shlomo Ben-Ami Added 01.09.2014
TEL AVIV – Israel’s latest war in Gaza has echoed through Europe’s capitals in a powerful and destructive way. In Berlin, London, Paris, Rome, and elsewhere, Israel is being denounced as a “terrorist state.” Angry demonstrators burned synagogues...

Down with Dengism

by Minxin Pei Added 01.09.2014
CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA – China has recently held a series of solemn, high-profile ceremonies, barely noticed by the outside world, in honor of the 110th anniversary of former leader Deng Xiaoping’s birth. But, as with most political festivities...

Democracy in the Twenty-First Century

by Joseph E. Stiglitz Added 01.09.2014
NEW YORK – The reception in the United States, and in other advanced economies, of Thomas Piketty’s recent book Capital in the Twenty-First Century attests to growing concern about rising inequality. His book lends further weight to the already...

Hope for High-Tech Mothers

by Naomi Wolf Added 01.09.2014
NEW YORK – Have two highly skilled women – with four babies and toddlers between them – finally found a way to achieve an ideal work-family balance? It looks as if PowerToFly, a new startup launched to place women around the world in tech jobs...

Building NATO’s “Weimar Triangle”

by Tobias Bunde, Dominik P. Jankowski, and Martin Michelot Added 29.08.2014
BERLIN – Some months ago, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen referred to Russia’s annexation of Crimea as a “wake-up call” for the West. Since then, Europeans and Americans have slowly but steadily tightened the economic screws on...

Why ISIS immune to 'naming and shaming'

by Bill Frelick Added 29.08.2014
We who work to promote human rights operate in the realm of treaties, rule of law, and state responsibility. These are benchmarks of accountability that presume our world civilization has moved well beyond the horrors of the past: From the...

Now That The Guns Have Been Silenced

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 28.08.2014
The new ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has immediately raised the same old question: will it last, or is it merely just another pause, providing the prelude for the next round of fighting à la previous ceasefires? My reading of the situation...

The Next-Generation Greenhouse

by Esther Dyson Added 28.08.2014
ISTANBUL – The challenge of ensuring adequate, nutrient-rich food for an expanding global population is a daunting one, especially given constraints on key resources like water and agricultural land. As it stands, the two leading approaches to...

Peace in an Age of Extremes

by Michel Rocard Added 28.08.2014
PARIS – We live in a time of progress and folly. From bullet trains to the Mars rover, humanity has an insatiable appetite for pushing boundaries and breaking records. But, while radical ambition can drive progress, it can also fuel recklessness...

A Step Closer to Brexit?

by Peter Sutherland Added 28.08.2014
LONDON – The referendum on Scottish independence, due on September 18, comes at a time of growing opposition in the United Kingdom to remaining in the European Union. This is significant, because Scotland is the strongest base of pro-European...

Ignore the IQ test: your level of intelligence is not fixed for life

by Bryan Roche Added 27.08.2014
We’re getting more stupid. That’s the general gist of a recent article in the New Scientist, reporting on a gradual decline in IQs in developed countries such as the UK, Australia and the Netherlands. Such research feeds into a long-held...

Endgame for Putin in Ukraine?

by Robert Skidelsky Added 26.08.2014
LONDON – Vladimir Putin may (or may not) enjoy 80% public support in Russia for his Ukraine policy; but it has become increasingly clear that he has bitten off more than he can chew. The question is: At what point will his position as President...

The Overstretched West

by Joschka Fischer Added 26.08.2014
BERLIN – The chaotic consequences of the gradual disintegration of  Pax   Americana  are becoming increasingly clear. For seven decades, the United States safeguarded a global framework, which – however imperfect, and regardless of how many...

The Middle East Crack-Up

by Shlomo Avineri Added 25.08.2014
JERUSALEM – The horror stories emerging from northern Iraq, as well as the continuing slaughter in Syria’s civil war, point to a tectonic shift in the Middle East. Almost 100 years after World War I, the regional state system established after...

Remembering Jim Foley

by Peter Bouckaert Added 25.08.2014
My dear friend Jim Foley, the American journalist brutally executed by the Islamic State this week, was one of the kindest and most caring people I’ve ever worked with. In the often competitive and macho world of war reporting, Jim stood out...

Italy’s Downward Spiral

by Hans-Werner Sinn Added 22.08.2014
MUNICH – Italy is now in a triple-dip recession. But it didn’t get there by itself. Yes, the economy’s long slide reflects Italian leaders’ failure to confront the country’s loss of competitiveness; but it is a failure that is widely shared in...

Let's Stop Whistling Dixie: Missouri's Toxic Political Culture Must Change

by Charles J. Reid, Jr. Added 21.08.2014
Quite properly, journalistic reaction to events in Ferguson, Missouri, has focused on the militarization of the police, on the role of racism in the killing of unarmed African-American men, and on the political disenfranchisement that allows...

Fixing Europe’s Orbán Problem

by Thorsten Benner and Wolfgang H. Reinicke Added 21.08.2014
BERLIN/BUDAPEST – In April, when German Chancellor Angel Merkel congratulated Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on his reelection, she let it be known that his large majority implied a “special responsibility” to use good judgment and behave...

James Foley murder: inside the mind of Britain’s jihadis

by Matthew Francis Added 21.08.2014
The chilling video showing the apparent murder of the journalist James Foley by the Islamic State has reinforced the terrible risks involved in the brave and important role that journalists play in reporting from overseas conflicts. In a 2012...

The High Cost of Cheap Meat

by Christine Chemnitz and Shefali Sharma Added 20.08.2014
BERLIN – Factory-style livestock production is a critical driver of agricultural industrialization. Its remorseless expansion is contributing to climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, and human-rights violations – all to satisfy...

The Liberal Zionist Dilemma

by Lawrence Davidson Added 19.08.2014
Part I - The Liberal Ideal Liberalism, framed as a socio-political ideal, argues that human beings are good and social progress achievable.  It is a “glass half-full” outlook. Within this paradigm all individuals, not just members of a specific...

The Great War’s Forgotten Soldiers

by Shashi Tharoor Added 19.08.2014
NEW DELHI – One hundred years after the start of World War I, the world has been commemorating that seminal event. Described as “a war to end all wars,” the Great War, as it was called at the time, failed to live up to its billing. Those who...

How Money is Made

by Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and Richard A. Werner Added 19.08.2014
BERLIN/SOUTHAMPTON – Last month, the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) announced the establishment of their own development bank, which would reduce their dependence on the Western-dominated, dollar-focused World...

Obama's Iraq Policy: Passing the First Hurdle

by James J. Zogby Added 18.08.2014
With Nouri al-Maliki agreeing to step aside in favor of Haider al Abadi, Iraq may have passed its first hurdle on the way to forming the kind of government that will be needed to defeat the Islamic State (IS) and save the country from further...

Revolutionary perovskite solar cells could be a game changer, but questions remain

by Jon Major Added 18.08.2014
Whenever I tell people I work with solar cells I am asked the same two questions: are they ever going to be really cheap? And can you get me some? While the answer to the second question is no, the answer to the first is a lot more positive....

Rise of the Islamic State signals a changing world order

by Daniel Wagner Added 16.08.2014
The world is transfixed at the rise of the extremist Islamic State group, contemplating its implications for the greater Middle East, and aghast at the inability of any country to stop its march across the Levant. The birth of the world's newest...

The Right Iraqi Intervention

by Gareth Evans Added 14.08.2014
CANBERRA – US President Barack Obama deserves unconditional support for his decision to use military force to protect the persecuted Yezidi minority from threatened genocide by marauding Islamic State (IS) militants in northern Iraq. The United...

Is anyone immune to the social media echo chamber?

by Vincent F. Hendricks Added 14.08.2014
It’s becoming increasingly obvious that as we spend more time communicating via social media, we are disappearing into bubbles. We receive information from the same sources and witness the views of the same people in our personalised newsfeeds...
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Letter from the Editor

About Facts & Arts

Facts & Arts is an internet publication that functions as a platform for writers of quality content, who are likely to have similar audiences, and whose articles on Facts & Arts accordingly support the distribution of one another. Facts & Arts'...

Goodness in Leopold Bloom

by Mary L. Tabor Added 18.09.2014
Note to my readers: This essay is a follow-up to my rereading of Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse that is more personal essay than review and my rereading of Kafka’s The Trial. I’ll culminate this series with a discussion of how these three...

Me, two books and two movies

by Colm Herron Added 13.09.2014
The first time I fell in love was in the children’s section of Brooke Park library. I was eleven and she was ten and her name was Josephine and she had so many freckles on her face that she was a haze of delight. It didn’t take long for me to...

Channeling Creativity: Dylan, Plath, and Uncle Tom

by David Galenson Added 04.09.2014
In 1962, Bob Dylan told an interviewer: "The songs are there. They exist all by themselves, just waiting for someone to write them down. I just put them down on paper." Three decades later, he told another interviewer that his best songs had...

A Lesson to Learn

by James J. Zogby Added 02.09.2014
Almost daily, we are faced by difficult choices we are challenged to confront over a range of foreign and domestic policy concerns. We must decide whether to stand firm on principle or negotiate and compromise; whether to push for everything we...

Gaza has New Atheists split over which religion is more wrong

by Stuart McAnulla Added 19.08.2014
The New Atheists are once again provoking controversy, this time with their comments on Gaza which has prompted divisions among those better known for presenting a united front against religion. Over the past decade, the likes of Richard...

Pray to Jesus -- Or Else

by Jeff Schweitzer Added 16.08.2014
I applaud those who retain the strength to fight the never-ending battle against ignorance, intolerance and persistent persecution of rationalists. The latest nonsense comes from  Georgia, a state that seems hell-bent on conserving medieval...

Laughter as Nutrition

by Jeff Schweitzer Added 13.08.2014
Humor is an essential part of the human experience. We tend to think of comedy as frivolous, a side show to the miseries of hunger, disease, and poverty that visit the vast majority of the global population. In the face of humanity's enduring...
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Mordecai Shehori: finding that special 'zing' in your piano

by Michael Johnson Added 18.08.2014
Pianist Mordecai Shehori’s prodigious output of CDs over the past few years must be setting some kind of record. Almost every piece of the piano repertoire he has studied throughout his long career is being preserved for posterity, now amounting...

Why Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem still resounds today

by Nicholas Ashton Added 14.08.2014
The past may be a foreign country, but in terms of war, they do not do things differently there; death is death at any time and in any language. No other work in the Classical repertoire could be more topical or appropriate in commemorating the...

Composer Scott Wollschleger: Painting with the Right Notes

by Ivan Ilic Added 19.07.2014
An interview by Ivan Ilic.  I first came across Scott Wollschleger as I browsed the Project Schott New York website.  Instantly, I knew that his Music Without Metaphor was the right piece for a new CD I was preparing. [1]   Wollschleger had...

Pianist Ernest So’s latest discoveries

by Michael Johnson Added 17.07.2014
Chinese pianist Ernest So’s eclectic tastes set him apart from the current run of young Asian keyboard superstars now filling concert halls around the world. He has the technical brilliance of the best of them but more importantly he is a...

Interview With Composer Gregg Lehrman

by Teddy Wayne Added 13.07.2014
Gregg Lehrman is a composer and entrepreneur who has helped score music for a number of big TV shows and films. Lehrman has also invented an ingenious new musical instrument,  REV, which reverses sounds. I spoke with Lehrman about his invention...

Caressing the arpeggios: Shirley Hunt does Bach’s cello suites

by Michael Johnson Added 09.06.2014
The Bach suites for solo cello can leave you suffused, body and soul, with their plangent resonances if you allow them to. These six intimate pieces seem conceived to exploit the sensual nature of the cello. Since the revival of the suites in...

John Cage: ‘More mainstream than ever’

by Michael Johnson Added 05.06.2014
When British music lecturer Julia Winterson offered composer John Cage a cup of coffee, he just looked at her. Ms. Winterson, recalling the 1989 encounter, said she thought maybe he hadn’t heard her or didn’t understand her Yorkshire accent....
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