Browsing All posts tagged under »Europe«

Joan Larsen Presents: The Most Magical Holiday Season

December 21, 2016

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by Joan Larsen The years spent in our lovely decorated home waiting for Santa to make his magical, glorious appearance are long past.  The close-knit family of our childhoods seem to have scattered in all directions now. Changes in tradition never seem to be easy.  But after more thought, more talk than you might believe, […]

Joan Larsen’s Secret Wonders: The Lofty World Above Zermatt

February 17, 2016

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By Joan Larsen Is it really possible to fall in love with a mountainous landscape so incredibly beautiful, with people so wonderfully warm and caring that we found ourselves pulled into this world – the wondrous world of Switzerland and Zermatt – again and again throughout our married lives? After a lifetime of travel, we […]

Joan Larsen Presents: The Most Magical Holiday Season

December 23, 2015

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by Joan Larsen The years spent in our lovely decorated home waiting for Santa to make his magical, glorious appearance are long past.  The close-knit family of our childhoods seem to have scattered in all directions now. Changes in tradition never seem to be easy.  But after more thought, more talk than you might believe, […]

Revisiting and Re-Living: the Beginning of the End of European Tolerance?

November 16, 2015

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Extremism threatens everyone, but ordinary citizens who happen to be Muslim have the most to lose. After the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, we wrote the following piece.  Now, following the coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday, it seems more relevant than ever.  Extremist violence in Europe is escalating, and nowhere is this more […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Up, Up, and Away in My Beautiful Balloon!!

July 29, 2015

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By Joan Larsen   Early morning. Imagine floating thousands of feet above the earth, looking up at a deep blue sky with just a sprinkle of white clouds, looking down at a sea of Midwestern cornfields in a sea of green. I was young. Very young … and going up in a hot air balloon […]

Getting Pretty Tired of Extremist Violence in Europe

February 16, 2015

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Don’t like the local culture? Peacefully use democratic mechanisms in place, or LEAVE. Your hurt feelings don’t justify murder and mayhem.   Decades ago, when I was in college, we had a European student in our class.   He didn’t seem to have much good to say about America; there was always some pointed observation criticizing […]

Clash of Civilizations: Will Long-Term Peace Require Segregation?

January 19, 2015

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Are conservative Islam and Western liberalism fundamentally incompatible? To understand what is really happening in Europe now, and where it is likely headed, I urge everyone to read two articles: Samuel Huntington’s 1993 article in Foreign Policy, “Clash of Civilizations?“, and Damon Linker’s current piece in The Week, “Can Islam Ever Make Peace With Liberalism?” […]

“I Am Charlie” May Signal the Beginning of the End of European Tolerance

January 12, 2015

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Extremism threatens everyone, but ordinary citizens who happen to be Muslim have the most to lose.   The extremist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo staff and a Kosher grocery in Paris mark a tipping point in Europe. It has been building for years: ethnic Europeans have become increasingly frustrated and angry with escalating intrusions of […]

Joan Larsen Presents: The Most Magical Holiday Season

December 25, 2013

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by Joan Larsen The years spent in our lovely decorated home waiting for Santa to make his magical, glorious appearance are long past.  The close-knit family of our childhoods seem to have scattered in all directions now. Changes in tradition never seem to be easy.  But after more thought, more talk than you might believe, […]

Gypsies, Stereotypes, Offense, and Truth (Updated)

October 21, 2013

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Back in the days when parents still told their children fairy tales and scary stories at bedtime, the old saw about Gypsies stealing children was a staple (one famous example was Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, in which Esmeralda had been kidnapped by Gypsies as a child).  I had never given the idea […]