Wednesday, December 31, 2008
If You Had the Entire World's Attention for 30 seconds...
What would you say?
What is the message you would send to 6.5 billion people that would make this world a little bit closer to the way you want it to be?
What's the tag line?
What's the case?
30 seconds... We're listening...
These are the words of Sam Brannon, a American friend in Istanbul.
Happy 2009 to everybody!
SPIEGEL: Since the beginning of your online campaign, more than 25,000 Turks have signed a statement apologizing for war crimes committed by the Ottoman Empire during World War I. More than a million Armenians lost their lives in the catastrophic events, which began in 1915. Is this the beginning of a critical examination of the past?
Oran: The majority of Armenians welcome our initiative. But there are hardliners who criticize our petition for not specifically using the word "genocide." They are afraid that our apology could foil Armenian demands for reparations. Such people merely see us as lackeys of the Turkish state.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
PKK and Hamas have only one thing in common: both are branded by international bodies as terrorist organizations. And Hamas, with its extreme Islamist agenda, is in power because some influential tribes and gangs supports them, don't have my sympathy. And it looks like that the Arab League really, as usual divided, don't know what to do. They don't sympathize with Hamas either but at least they can use their influence - as far as they have influence on these kind of organizations - to stop Hamas. They were always as helpless and divided while the seat of this organization is in Cairo, the capital of Egypt, receives enormous amounts of financial aid from the Western world. To do what?
The PR campaign of Hamas, because of the censorship of Hamas, works well. So does their rhetoric.
But what the heck can you expect from Israel if Hamas started again using the population of Gaza as a human shield?
Two articles from a Saudi blogger give some insight. Here is the first post and here the second one. It reflects almost 100% my opinion in this conflict. Saudi Deist is through entrecard the guest blogger of the day on this blog. (see symbol entrecard on the right of this blog)
Monday, December 29, 2008
The colour red increases the attractiveness of a woman for men. Men find the same woman much more attractive in a red blouse than a blue one and the same goes for a black and white photo of a woman in a frame with a red background than the same photo with a white, grey or green backdrop. The opposite is true for women looking at the same photos.
And the men don’t think the woman with the red background looks kinder, or more honest or more intelligent - it’s about sexual desirability. Men, meanwhile, are not aware of this effect.
These are the findings of a study of mainly white males aged around 20 carried out by psychologists from Rochester University in the US and reported in the November issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
According to the researchers, the results of the study mean that red is the colour used by women to attract members of the opposite sex in the same way as other female primates.
During the mating season, the area between the sexual organ and the anus of female baboons, chimpanzees and macaques turns dark red, for other apes the vulva is a more subtle shade of red. Although this doesn’t happen to women, they do blush more during ovulation and tend to wear more revealing clothes so that the redness of their skin is more visible.
The findings of the Rochester University study are all the more interesting because earlier research has indicated that the colour red is primarily a stop signal. For example, people perform less well in IQ examinations if the cover of the test paper is red. What happens is that the right frontal cortex of the brain is stimulated by the red colour; this is the area associated with avoidance behaviour.
Associated with romance
According to earlier research, when people are being assessed, they associate red with danger, making mistakes and warnings. Fear of failure then results in poor performance.
But on a more personal level, red symbolises exactly the opposite. Not “go away” but “come hither”. Red has been associated with romance (or sex) throughout history. Red light districts signal sexual availability or women express this themselves by wearing rouge or red lipstick.
Psychologists are currently attempting to find out if red also makes men more attractive to women because amongst some primates, such as the mandrill, the most dominant males clearly display more red. The first results indicate that red is indeed equally attractive to women.
So having a Ferrari, will be good for men looking for a woman.)
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Yona Metzger, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, talks to SPIEGEL ONLINE about the Abraham as the father of all three monotheistic religions -- Islam, Christianity and Judaism -- and explains how that connection could be a starting point for a dialogue of peace between them.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Chief Rabbi, Jews refer to Abraham as "Our Father Abraham." How difficult is it for you to accept the fact that Christians and Muslims also call Abraham their father?
Metzger: This is not difficult at all. It fits very well with the Jewish religion. A close look at the word "Abraham" reveals that it is constructed from the words "father of many nations." So, if Muslims associate themselves with Abraham's son Ismael, or Christians associate themselves with Abraham's grandson Esau, or we associate ourselves with his other grandson Jacob, then three great monotheistic religions were born from him.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Can you give another example of dialogue?
Metzger: During a recess, in a conference which took place in Europe, one of the heads of the Muslim Courts in Jordan invited me to a cup of coffee in the lobby of the hotel. We sat for about half an hour. I began telling him about some of my problems; I told him about my family, my children, some issues with rabbis and the chief rabbis that are under me and the responsibilities I have. He told me about his problems. At the end he stood up, shook my hand and told me: "Now, after having told me all of your stories, and after I have told you all of my stories, I cannot hate you."
Read the full interview herreee
Addressing a huge congregation at the Vatican's St Peter's Basilica, he appealed for a new understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. In fact, they, the Popes are doing tthat each year.
I many times thought Peace had come
When Peace was far away --
As Wrecked Men -- deem they sight the Land --
At Centre of the Sea --
And struggle slacker -- but to prove
As hopelessly as I --
How many the fictitious Shores --
Before the Harbor be --
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
The statement, which is non-binding, calls on countries to take all "necessary measures" to make sure people are not treated like criminals because of their sexual orientation. So far 66 of the 192 member countries have signed the treaty but the United States, the Vatican and the Islamic Conference countries have not.
In a speech to the UN on last week, Dutch foreign affairs minister Maxime Verhagen said the statement was "not radical" and reminded member states that the universal declaration of human rights also bans discrimination.
"Human rights apply to all people, in all places and at all times. So they apply to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people too," Verhagen said. "As long as there is a divide between the principle of universality and the practice of everyday life, statements like this are vital."
Homosexuality is illegal in 86 countries around the globe with gays subject to the death penalty in countries like Iran and Yemen.
Verhagen also said he was disappointed in the US position: "It is a pity that a country which takes such a strong stand on human rights does not support this declaration."
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
‘To me loyalty has nothing to do with nationality. But the country of origin must lose its grip. To become Dutch you must, in principle, give up your old nationality,’ Ploumen said.
Earlier this month, the national statistics office CBS said the Netherlands has over a million people with dual nationality. Out of 16 million citizens.
Ploumen’s apparent rejection of dual nationality goes against her party’s stand until now. One Labour junior minister and the new Labour mayor of Rotterdam both have dual nationality.
The number of city council members from Turkey and Morocco, the Muslim countries with the largest populations in the Netherlands, grew by 62 percent, to 223 from 139, according to a Dutch research group. Immigrants from those countries in the 150-seat national parliament rose to seven from five. All have dual citizen ship.
The interview coincides with the publication of a Labour party policy document on integration written by Ploumen entitled Divided Pasts, Shared Futures.
In the document, Ploumen says the Labour party has been too tolerant towards immigrants for too long. ‘The one mistake we must never make again is to swallow criticism of cultures or religions in the name of tolerance,’ the paper quotes her as saying.
Newcomers to the Netherlands must choose to join Dutch society. The job of the government is to defend the state of law, tackle misunderstandings and generate opportunities through high-value education, good social services and an active labour market policy, Ploumen said.
Local politicians who have to deal with actual problems – such as the refusal of some people to shake hands – will have three choices: to tackle the situation according to Dutch standards, to confront or to tolerate.
Honour killings should be tackled according to the law, she said. But the wearing of Muslim headscarves in the classroom is an example of where tolerance should be used. And equality between the sexes is an issue requiring confrontation, the paper quoted her as saying.
The Labour party will vote on the policy document in March.
Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus)
1954. Oil on canvas, 194,5 x 124 cm.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. gift of Chester Dale, 1955
When disembarking from the steamship America in Le Harve on March 27, 1953, on his return from New York, Dali announced to the reporters gathered around himself termed as sensational: an exploding Christ, nuclear and hypercubic. He said that it would be the first picture painted with a classical technique and an academic formula but actually composed of cubic elements. To a reporter who asked him why he wanted to depict Christ exploding, he replied, "I don’t know yet. First I have ideas, I explain them later. This picture will be the great metaphysical work of my summer."
It was at the end of spring in 1953 in Port Lligat that Dali began this work, but it is dated 1954, the year which it was finished and then exhibited in the month of December at the Gallery in New York. The painting may be regarded as one of the most significant of his religious oils in the classical style, along with Madonna of Port Lligat, Christ of Saint John of the Cross, and The Last Supper, which is in the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.
"Metaphysical , transcendent cubism"is the way that Dali defines his picture, of which he says: "It is based entirely on the Treatise on Cubic Form by Juan de Herrera, Philip II’s architect, builder of the Escorial Palace; it is a treatise inspired by Ars Magna of the Catalonian philosopher and alchemist, Raymond Lulle. The cross is formed by an octahedral hypercube. The number nine is identifiable and becomes especially consubstantial with the body of Christ. The extremely noble figure of Gala is the perfect union of the development of the hypercubic octahedron on the human level of the cube. She is depicted in front of the Bay of Port Lligat. The most noble beings were painted by Velázquez and Zurbarán; I only approach nobility while painting Gala and nobility can only be inspired by the human being."
Monday, December 22, 2008
First of all, it was good to meet Seda last Friday. Seda, born and raised in Turkey is our co blogger under the name 'sonagre'. She lives in Greece.
Sandra is still recovering after some weeks in the hospital but blessed with a child! She posted her happiness today.
Several new sites are added to the Chain of Internations. Let me introduce some of them:
Saudi Deists. A new blog from Saudi Arabia. Deisme means: believe in God not in Religion.
Another interesting blog is from Walton, an expat in Kazachstan. Probably I will write for his site occasionaly. Kazachstan is an interesting country!
Mova from Indonesia is another blogger which will be added to the Chain. Mova is an Catholilic in Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim community.
And last but not least: Nevin, a good sparring partner about Turkish issues. We disagree all the time but agreed to keep the 'lines open'.
Welcome to Internations.
To keep you updated,
Someone's arrived at our house
To whom we're related.
He screams and he wails
But he still brings us joy,
For the arrival we have
Is a new baby boy!
The name of our little darling is Arjun Anielkumar.
Thanks everyone for your warm wishes!
Arıtman should be expelled from CHP regardings his accusations that President Gul is of Armenian origin...
Adeviye Gül, the mother of President Abdullah Gül, could be Armenian. She could be Kurd, Georgian, Circassian or similarly.
Instead of accusing European countries of rascist behaviour, Turkey has to look in the mirror before that is broken. Rascism is institutionalised.
Read here the article.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
The publication follows pressure from US president elect Barack Obama who wants to appoint Clinton's wife Hillary as his secretary of state. Obama wants to ensure there are no conflicts of interest between the minister for foreign affairs and her husband's charity work.
The list does not include exact sums of money but says that Johan Friso donated between 100,000 and 250,000 US dollars.
The French are famed for their culinary skills which consist of "baking bread" and "producing hot buns and tarts". There is also the widely adopted pastime of drinking excess coffee so as to be able to stay up late into the night; indeed France is a nation of "midnight alley cats".
The French have also have a great claim to fame by having overpowering unions, which have led to slow industry and the country being in perpetual recession and ruled by crypto-fascist governments since France's defeat in the Second World War.
Slave Market with the Appartion of the Invisible Bust of Voltaire
1940. Oil on canvas, 46,5 x 65,5 cm.
Collection Mr. and Mrs. A. Reynolds Morse, on loan to Salvador Dali Museum, St.Petersburg, Florida
Dali's double image of theBust of Voltaire by Houdon has been use many times in various works and publications to illustrate the time - space concept. Dali did a guache of this figure as a picture puzzle. Scientific American magazine in the December 1971 issue used a detail from the Slave Market with Disappearing Bust of Voltaire to demonstrate the physical structure of the perception system of sight in which the optical neurons reverse the images. While painting this picture Dali related in Dali de Gala : "I kept reciting without ever stopping the poem of Joan Salvat Papasseit, 'Love and War, the Salt of the Earth.' " Salvat Papasseit was a Catalonian anarchist whom Dali greatly admired. In Barcelona he was accused of having become an extreme rightist because the only thing he did was to apologize for the war at a time when everybody else had become pacifists.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I read an invitation to dream today.
The words formed a magical display,
that made me think of love and thoughtful hope
I would have cried if I could. But I know,
Just isn’t proper.
“Come sit,” it said, and spin me happy tales.
Stay with me tonight, beside shadows stale.
Learn how dreamers sleep and love, wake and live.
Do not let feelings close too tight, give
the world beauty.
Please don’t think I’m too strange because I love
the way I feel, or feel that I am above
all the usual norms of happiness.
I’m not. My life is still the propermess
it was tomorrow.
Follow the stars if you would like to fly,
Go right ahead, don’t write, don’t say good bye.
The invitation is nice, lie, or spin,
dance or sing. No guilt, no sorrow, no sin.
Leave dark superstitions.
Copyright 2008 Kelly David Tolman
Friday, December 19, 2008
New trend name: 'Crowdsourced Corporate Layoffs'
Belgian creative agency So Nice has put up a website for the sole purpose of firing one of their eight employees (either that or they have created a clever scheme that capitalizes on the shoddy economy). You Choose We Fire features a Brady Bunch-style layout of those on the chopping block. According to the site, one of them has to go, and visitors to the site get to decide who it will be.
I find this column by Cengiz Candar touchy and straight out of his heart.
I was a friend of Hrant Dink and one of those who felt responsible for his death.
I was not so very close to him and we met rarely. But we were friends. We had built our own memories. We were the two panelists on the last day of an open-to-public workshop titled "From the Balkan Wars to the new Turkish Republic" on March 7 to 10, 2002 at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. It was his first trip abroad. We were together in Paris in 2006. We were together on panels in Istanbul and Trabzon. We sat around the dinner table so many times and shared bread at his Kınalıada house.
And there is morreeee
Thursday, December 18, 2008
She just gave birth to a son, with the name Arjun Anielkumar; son of Sandra Singh and Aniel Birtanti. Congratulations!!!!!
More news later!
Geert Wilders' anti-Islam film Fitna will not be shown in the European parliament building, which I think is the right decision.
The film, which had an enthusiastic showing in Israel last week, was due to be screened yesterday afternoon but party leaders decided against earlier in the day.
Gerard Batten of Britain's anti European Independence Party had invited Wilders to show the film.
According Wilders was it 'a very sad day for freedom of expression, "It shows once again the bankruptcy of the European parliament."
I miss her the logic since I don't see the necesity to show this terrible made home movie since it's a one-man show movie.
That UK anti European Independent Party is a member of the EU parliament shows that the parliament is mature enough to make the right decisions.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Maxime Verhagen has told Dutch radio he "will not be involved in anti-Semitism" at the meeting next April in Geneva, Switzerland. Israel already has said it will skip the conference, saying it is turning into an anti-Israel tribunal.
In Tuesday's interview, Verhagen described draft texts for consideration at the meeting as "unusually poor and incoherent."He said the sole intention of countries drafting them appeared to be criticising Israel and condemning the West. Verhagen accuses countries of abusing the conference "as an anti-Semitic witch hunt."
As long as countries such as Iran, Sudan, Libia are leading the world regading human rights, simple boycot this conference.
And choosing Colonel Gaddafi to head a world anti-racism conference is like appointing a pyromaniac to be town fire chief. How can a regime that consistently ranks as one of the most notorious violators of human rights, a government that sentenced to death five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor only because they were foreigners and therefore easy scapegoats be charged with promoting fundamental principles of human dignity and equality?
But all Depends on how you define "anti-Semitism"
Just when you thought you knew all about anti-Semitism – turns out it means Arabs too, at least according to Algeria's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva.
When the Algerian diplomat, Idriss Jazairy, argues that anti-Semitism's definition should be expanded to include Arabs, who are a Semitic people, the director of the Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust at Touro College, Anne Bayefsky, shot back. The greatest source of anti-Semitism today operates "under the guise of anti-Zionism and anti-racism activities," epitomized by the U.N. Human Rights Council's disproportionate focus on criticizing Israel, she said.
Archeological Reminiscence of Millet's Angelus
1933-35. Oil on panel, 31,7 x 39,3 cm.
Dali -Museum von St. Petersburg, Florida, gift Reynold Morse
In the works of the Surrealist period, Dali treated those elements of disparate appearance with absolute realism which emphasized the proper character of each one of them, making an exact copy from a document, a photograph, or the actual object, as well as using collage. He increased the effect produced even more through the use of techniques stemming from the precision of Vermeer to the blurred shapes of Carrière. Once he had given an emotional autonomy to his protagonists he established communication between them by depicting them in space - most often in a landscape - thus creating unity in the canvas by the juxtaposition of objects bearing no relation in an environment where they did not belong. This spatial obsession derives from the atmosphere of Cadaqués, where the light, due to the color of the sky and of the sea, seems to suspend the course of time and allows the mind through the eye to glide more easily from one point to another.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
As Americans have something with shoes and bailouts, in the Netherlands we throw cakes (one time a smoke bomb)
In 1965, Princess Beatrix became engaged to the German aristocrat Claus von Amsberg, a diplomat working for the German Foreign Office. Their marriage caused a massive protest during the wedding day in Amsterdam on 10 March 1966. Prince Claus had served in the Hitler Youth and the Wehrmacht and was, therefore, associated by a part of the Dutch with German Nazism. Protests included the memorable slogan "Geef mijn fiets terug" (Give me back my bicycle), a reference to the memory of occupying German soldiers confiscating Dutch bicycles. A smoke bomb was thrown at the wedding carriage by a group of Provos causing a violent street battle with the police. As time went on, however, Prince Claus became one of the most popular members of the Dutch monarchy and his 2002 death was widely mourned.
Monday, December 15, 2008
In its press release Transparency International claims that the youth especially have a belief that laws are not being enforced, that no one takes any responsibility, that the education system is sick. It also states that not only is corruption instilled as an everyday fact of life but that it has also become part of the tradition of life.
I am not trying to justify the rioters, but Governments and those with power have to take responsibility for their actions.
When the lawyer of the policeman who fired the shot, comes out before the coroners inquest and declares that the death was a result of a ricochet,
When the lawyer continues and says that in time we will see if the youth should or should not have been shot,
When the policeman were not placed in immediate custody,
When the lawyer for the policeman says that he had to take on the case pro-bono because the previous lawyer asked for a certain 'sum' to be placed in her bank account to get a favourable hearing,
Well you can see why the family of the deceased youth hired their own doctor to witness the autopsy,
You can also understand why people think that corruption is so widespread, and these inflamatory remarks came out recently, after the bulk of the rioting had been done.
Corruption has become so commonplace that no one is ashamed of asking for a bribe, doctors ask it outright, people ask each other, how much did you pay for your degree. And of course this state of affairs would eventually spill out one way or another.
But of course its the little guy who gets hurt, the villas and the shops of the elite are still fine, the poor shop owners took the brunt, the police took a beating as they were ordered by the government to stand by and watch. And in the end, me and a few other guys in greece - the only taxpayers are left to foot the bill for all this.
A gang of youths harassed a Liberian family to such an extent that they were forced to leave the southern town Waspik.
There is a tendency in the Netherlands which blames Islam for most of the problems the country faces today. Below a more nuanced article about the extreme right groups in the Netherlands. Although they are marginalized, they still have a voice through the populist PVV.
The article is a back ground one, and an opinion. At least we can make the problems the Netherlands face disputable, in contrary with Turkey which became more intolerant against other people their religions, ethnicity or simple roots. Read that here.
The Dutch government’s efforts to monitor radicalism in the Netherlands have been focused primarily on potential Muslim terrorists. But this could favour extreme right-wing organisations whose numbers have gone up significantly during the last few years.
By Sheila Kamerman
Being a Muslim in the Netherlands means always having to be wary. Ordering a halal meal on a transatlantic flight, refusing to shake hands with a woman or growing a beard is enough to arouse suspicion. Could this be a terrorist?
The Dutch government favours a broad approach in its battle against radicalism, says Bob de Graaff, one of the authors of the eighth edition of the annual Racism and Extremism Monitor published by the Anne Frank Foundation and Leiden University on Tuesday. It is not just the small terrorist sleeper cells which are being monitored. A much larger group of Muslims who might possibly turn to radicalism is also under scrutiny.
And there is more herreeee
The Average Fine and Invisible Harp
1932. Oil on panel, 16 x 21 cm.
"At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napaleon. and my ambition has been growing steadily ever since." Salvador Dali, In "The word of Salvador Dali", Macmillan, 1962.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
...this is the headline of Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.
The heading must be 'Turkish Mili Gorus' involved in massive fraud. Mili Gorus is active in Germany (HQ Koln) and in the Netherlands. Also some activities are reported in Belgium.
Two months ago I submitted an article at TDN, now Hurriyet Daily News.
The article was all about the activities of Turkish groups in West Europe: Mili Gorus, Lightscheme, Grey Wolves and even the current Turkish government.
Hurriyet rejected my column, for obvious reasons: Turks can not do anything wrong in Europe. And Turks helped to build the European society. Only...they forget that most Turkish immigrants in West Europe fled their country after several bloody coups, something most Turkish people simple ignored.
But finally, Hurriyet woke up and put an article about Mili Gorus in Germany.
Can they also do some investigations about the neo-fascistic Grey Wolves in Europe?
This week’s europeans looks at what steps are being taken to keep your private details private and protect your data from being misused.
Here an clip about which measures will be taken.
Composition: Evocation of Lenin
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Flag of the Union of European Socialist Republics. This was decided upon once the EU members realized the Soviet Union hasn't existed for 17 years. (it includes Turkey as well)
Click here for Part 1
Click here for Part 2
Countries that just can't wait to become members;
Albania (No customs? Free drug trafficking WOOT! Sign me in!)
Bosnia and Herzegovina (We generally want to piss off the Serbians!!!!
Canada (Sees it as the only way to make English an official language in Quebec)
Croatia (We wanna join to prove them that we may someday secede!)
Israel (Jews under German rule worked so great the last time, right?)
Macedonia (We want everybody to know that we exist! ..and we hate all neighbours..)
Moldova (Uhm, what is this thing "money" you talk about?)
Montenegro (See Bosnia and Herzegovina.)
New Zealand (We are more English than England. Just ignore the map.)
Serbia (Argues that EU really is a part of Serbia. Unfortunatelly, they are already allied with Klingons.)
Turkey (We are Europeans! Chill out! You will see the truth when there is a döner kebap restaurant in every street. There is already? Hey, why the heck are we waiting for, then!)
Ukraine (We want the money! And no Russky gas!)
USSR (The opportunity for the next empire!)
The People's Republic of Cork (We want to piss of the Dubliners, like)
Transnistria (A wannabe state, in war with Ukraine, Moldova, Ghana and Milwaukee)
Mordor (They need love!)
Russia (As part of the project EUSSR (European United Soviet States of Russia))
Africa (The whole continent is in a recession, so it would be better to merge. EU wants low prices on safari, Africa wants in Paris)
Yugoslavia (Maybe it would make us a country again!)
Countries that just don't give a shit:
Norway (The fish is ours, the oil is ours and we're not stopping whaling just because the rest of the world says it's barbaric!) Plus they are sort of mad that the EU sold them to Svalbard so they don't even have a say in the matter anymore!
Iceland (Can't cooperate with any union that recognizes other languages than Icelandic)
Japan (If it moves, harpoon it! If it doesn't move, harpoon it 'til it does, then harpoon it anyway)
Switzerland (Why should we? We've got all your politicians crawling around in our bank vaults anyway...)
Sicily (It's none of your business, well technically we're not a country, but if we were it would still be none of your business.)
Greenland (We are to Canada what Canada is to the US. We need nothing else! We have been in the EU and don't recommend it, we're saying it to you Iceland.)
Liechtenstein (Can't agree with EU's Rubik's Cube standards)
Blueland (I'm blue, dabu-di-dabu-da, dabu-di-dabu-da.)
Armenia (Can't join 'em, beat 'em)
Coalition of Coriolis Force (We're a country?!?!? Since when?!?!?)
Friday, December 12, 2008
Both were asked if their conversations with Hirsi Ali could have led her to believe the government would keep on protecting her after her move to the US.
Zalm told the judicial hearing that he had done everything in his power to ensure that Hirsi Ali would continue to be protected after she left the Netherlands. He said he repeatedly urged the justice minister and the US ambassador at the time to ensure that the former politician would get security. They said everything would be arranged. And that’s what he told Hirsi Ali, who was extremely worried about her safety.
Nevertheless he made extensive use of his position as minister. His talks with the US ambassador were held in the ministerial office "while enjoying a glass of American whiskey". He used cabinet meetings to approach the justice minister about Hirsi Ali’s security.
When it looked like Hirsi Ali would lose her Dutch passport in 2006 because she had lied about her name during her asylum request in 1992, Zalm asked his ministry’s lawyers for advice on her legal position.
Hirsi Ali continued to be guarded by Dutch security officials when she went to the US in Augustus 2006. But it was never the intention of the Dutch government to do this “indefinitely”, said Zalm yesterday.
The Americans would take over at a certain point, or at least, that was the cabinet expected. But it was not long before Zalm heard from the Dutch justice minister that this assumption was incorrect. According to US law, private individuals are not entitled to permanent security. The cabinet decided it was then up to Hirsi Ali or her American employer to take over responsibility for her security.
Zalm didn't think he did, but said he couldn't really remember. Hirsi Ali must have been aware of the fact, he said. In conversations about her security the phrase “transition agreement” was always used and that implied a temporary period.
Böhler put the same question to the second witness, counter-terrorism chief Tjibbe Joustra. He was responsible for Hirsi Ali's security and had regular discussions about it with her. But at the hearing he could not remember much about them.
Joustra: “I really cannot remember.”
On just one point Zalm and Joustra seemed to have a different recollection of what had
happened. Zalm no longer knows whether Hirsi Ali discovered the US would not take charge of her security before or after she left. Joustra knew it before her departure and Hirsi Ali knew it as well, he said. Even though he had to admit he himself never told her.
Two other witnesses will be heard next Thursday. After those hearings Hirsi Ali's lawyers will decide whether she wants to pursue a court case to demand the Dutch government accept its responsibility for her protection.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Read here more about Anne Frank House.
Violence against Muslims in the Netherlands rose considerably last year, according to the latest monitor on racism and extremism published by Leiden University and the Anne Frank Foundation on Wednesday.
The number of violent incidents against Muslims rose to 82 in 2007, from 62 in the preceding year. However the total number of racist attacks last year was down to 187, according to the 306-page report.
According to the Anne Frank Foundation, anti-Muslim sentiment has grown ‘significantly’ in the last year and public opinion about Muslims has become more negative.
The researchers also conclude that the stream of anti-Muslim comments by the PVV party, led by the controversial MP Geert Wilders, and the massive attention they are given in the media, have contributed to Islam phobia in the Netherlands.
The fact that the justice department decided not to prosecute those who made these anti-Muslim statements also played a role, say researchers Jaap van Donselaar and Peter Rodrigues.
The researchers also conclude that the PVV can be labelled as an extreme-right group because of, for example, its dislike of ‘strangers’ and the political establishment, and its tendency towards authoritarianism. The party also attracts more radical right-wing extremists, the researchers say.
Wilders is furious with the report. ‘They have gone completely mad. It is an insult to the PVV and our voters,’ he told ANP news agency.
-it's good to know that the PVV are not doing well in the polls.
Have added two more (expat) blogs to the Chain of Internations: one is a photo blog of Max called Istanbul Trials. For people who never been to Istanbul, have a look for a good impression of Istanbul. One of his pictures is the one here above.
The second one is of Tamra Hays. Her blog is a travel weblog. Living and teaching in Istanbul for a couple of months after lived in Cairo. Always interesting how expats view Turkey in general and Istanbul in particular.
Another interesting photo blog is of an Argentinian journalist. View it here.
The principles of the Declaration were translated into concrete law for Europe in the European Convention on Human Rights of 1953. In the past few decades the influence of this Court has grown immensely. Hardly a month goes by without Strasbourg reversing national rulings, changing policies and legislation.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The following column by ÖMER TAŞPINAR makes sense to me. A sharp analysis about the situation of Muslims in Europe and how the USA is so paranoid about these Muslims, if they are all jihadists. I don't agree with him that Europe is an aging, beautiful and peaceful museum. There he is only talking with some dedain.
If you are an American policy maker focusing on Europe, the job sometimes gets quite boring. For the US government, the top foreign policy priorities these days are far away from the old continent.
Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the trouble spots, where the action is. Europe, on the other hand, appears to be an aging, beautiful and peaceful museum without much relevance to global strategy. In fact, Europe's relevance to American foreign policy seems mostly confined to two issues. The first is Russia and the question of how Moscow would react to another round of NATO expansion, probably to Georgia and potentially Ukraine.
The other one is Muslims in Europe. In fact, this issue is perhaps even more important than Russia because it directly relates to America's nightmares about terrorism. No wonder that in their latest assessment of how the world will change between today and 2025, US intelligence agencies had only one big point to make about Europe: The concentration of Muslims in some cities could lead to "tense and unstable situations, especially if economies lagged." The report also argues that Muslims in Europe would "value separation in areas with Muslim-specific cultural and religious practices." This bleak view of angry Muslims in Europe is becoming a cliché in American debates. If you watch TV programs in the US about Europe you get the sense that second-generation Muslims in Europe are all engaged in radicalism and that Europe has now become a jihad factory thanks to their growing numbers.
And there is moorrreee
It was the first time a representative of the Dutch government has attended the annual event, and comes at a time when pressure is mounting for an official apology for the killing.
The massacre took place during the five years of guerilla war which preceded Indonesian independence when Dutch soldiers executed some 431 men and boys from the village.
In his speech, which was in Indonesian, Nikolaos van Dam referred to earlier “sincere apologies from the Dutch government.” Until now, the official Dutch line has been to say “sorry” for the massacre.
But in the Dutch version of the speech, the words apology or excuses do not appear. Instead, the word “regret” is used.
After his speech, the ambassador said the words could be taken as an apology. “For me, [apologies and saying sorry] are the same,” he said.
Batara Hutagalung, who is behind efforts to get the Dutch government to apologise properly, said the ambassador sent out a mixed message. “Was he speaking about apologies or about regret?” Hutagalung said. “He says they are the same thing, but they are not.”
In 2005 when the then foreign minister Ben Bot spoke about the massacre, he too used the word “regret”.
The Dutch government acknowledged in 1969 that a mass execution had taken place at Rawagede during Indonesia’s struggle for independence, after revelations by a former Dutch soldier on the scale of the atrocities perpetrated by the Dutch army in its former colony.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The EU currently has 20-30 member states, give or take 5. Everyone is confused, really. Some are member states, but won't use the euro, "'cause it sucks". Others are members, but not really, as they just joined, and they want the money, basically. Those with the money want to make sure they hold on to it as much as possible. Some states are too small to count as states, so they get invaded by the EU (e.g., Monaco). No one knows how many member states the EU has.
To enter the EU, a country must participate in the Eurovision song contest for 3 consecutive years prior to entry, with the exception of Israel (they need to visit Eurocamp Industrial Showerboothes for "activities") and Turkey (reason for non-admittance unclear but we can assure them that it has nothing to do with their majority religion. Nothing at all).
Other Entry Requirements include :
1. A Flag
2. A National Anthem
3. 2 valid forms of ID, including a driving licence and something with your address on
Typical EU legislation.
The Treaty of Masticate established the European Hyper-Parliament and enabled it to produce Ultra-legislation in some limited areas. The same treaty also established the European Court of Ultimate Justice to enforce legislation and to jump up and down on Hitler's grave. There are two major types of EU Legislation; Directives and Regulations.
Directives are used to legislate bad things. Directives are created through an arcane mixture of voodoo, black magic, hatred, pure evil and Phil Collins CDs by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra featuring Jay-Zee
Some examples of directives are:
European Hatred Directive (EC-H4t3D)
European Satanic Directive (EC-54T4n1c)
European Genocide Directive (EC-63n0c1D3)
European Hitler Moustache Directive (EC-H1t13r)
Regulations are the counterpoint of Directives in that they legislate only good things. Regulations are created by mixing kittens, love, lurve, sugar, syrup, puppies, candy, sex, happiness, chocolate, polar bear cubs, honey and Nelson Mandela together in a big mixing bowl and stirring until those cute little sad-eyes just pop out of their cutesy lil' heads!
Some examples of regulations are:
European World-Peace Regulation (EC-P34c3-N0w)
European Cutesy-Wootsey Kitty-Cat Regulation (EC-5000-Cut3)
European Snuggle-Bunnie Regulation (EC-5nU6613-3uNN13)
European Mahatma Gandhi Regulation (EC-M4h4tm4-64nDh1)
Austria (Annexed by E.U. in 1995 Anschluss II)
Bulgaria (Joined to grab the money)
Belgium (the one that holds the money and, strangely, shares it with the other members)
Cyprus (joined to get the Turkish out)
Czech Republic (do you know better option how to make the Austrians angry and earn money?)
Denmark (Uhhhmn.. What? Did we join? When? We still have Danish Crowns! And beer! For faen, haell op en Tuborg! )
Estonia wants to show to the EU, who are the Estonian electritians.
Greece (joined so that their polititians stop working alongside the rest of the Greeks/ having someone else dealing their financial messes)
Finland (joined because - um, Russia didn't)
France (joined to get an opportunity to dump manure outside government buildings in Bruxelles)
Germany (Started it to finally get some lebensraum. Heimat!)
Hungary (joined for the money and afterwards look down on the neighbours outside it)
Ireland (so that GB would not be the only one in union with Belfast)
Italy (Joined for the nice fireworks on the union celebration party)
Latvia (see Estonia)
Lithuania (see Latvia)
Luxembourg (joined just to force the others recogizing Luxembourgish as a language)
Malta (joining the EU was the next best thing to being under the Italian, Greek, Spanish, French, and British rules once again, which they really enjoyed. Really.)
Monaco (will join as soon as it is declared Euro tax exempt, and its casinos are guaranteed the right to remain in existence)
The Netherlands (Joined for the free traffic of East European girls to feed the Red Light District) Poland (joined because kinda had to, being in Europe's centre and all, and to give Russia the finger)
Portugal (prefered to be at the edge of something instead of the middle of nowhere)
Romania (Need broader market for its drug exports)
Slovenia (They felt so alone without Yugoslavia)
Slovakia: a good way how to make the Hungarians angry and get some money
Spain (another one that joined for the money and got all of it)
Sweden (joined because - um, Finland did)
United Kingdom (joined to feel superior, But quickly realised they didn't like paying for French farmers to feed their cows spent uranium and withdrew)
Mexico (Mexicans finally got independence from the US (reference needed) and thought it was cool to join Europe and to show the United States that they suck)
End of part 2
...writes Hurriyet yesterday. Butchers injured? I don't understand how a butcher can be injured...
Carpetblogger wrote an interesting posting about this.
Below some pictures from around the world. Looks like that it is not that bad in Turkey. But how do we call this? Culture relativism? Anyway, I still can not digest this part of Bayram.