Gypsy Palaces in Huedin

Few places in Romania have a higher concentration of garish gypsy palaces than the little town of Huedin, located just west of Cluj.  The palaces have always struck me as the architectural equivalent of gold grillz and raised trucks—flashy emblems for American proles who want to project a moneyed lifestyle despite earning $30,000 a year. Most people…

Gypsies 2, Journalists 0

I wasn’t even going to write about this until I nearly fell out of my chair laughing as I saw that it’s now an international story. If you prefer video, click here for the Euronews report (in English) or click here for the TVR report (in Romanian). If you prefer print, here’s Mediafax, here’s Adevarul,…

Benefits Street

Right now the number one show in Britain is Channel 4’s “Benefits Street”, which allegedly focuses on people receiving “benefits” or government money. Episode 2 heavily featured immigrant Romanians (often pronounced Rumanians on the show), one a gypsy family from Romania and the second a group of 14 agricultural workers from Romania. Despite the fact…

Gypsies aren’t normal

Last night was a wonderfully democratic exercise when the pan-European channel “Euro News” hosted a discussion with EU Commission Vice President Viviane Reding in which she answered questions from ordinary people. Please don’t misunderstand me, Ms. Reding did an excellent job last night, especially considering that English is not her first language, and she showed…

The White Billionaire’s Burden

About 100 years ago, a famous British man wrote a poem about poor and uneducated little brown people (of the Phillipine Islands) and how it was the white man’s “burden” to help them. I was reminded of that sentiment once again this morning after reading an open letter from billionaire George Soros in the Guardian…