Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lost


Lost: 1.2 trillion USD, Bail out: 700 billion. Difference: only 500 billion USD.

Listen now to the words of Franklin Delano Rooseveldt:
"We have nothing to fear but Fear itself! ...
“There Must Be a Strict Supervision of All Banking and Credits and Investments. There Must Be an End to Speculation with Other People’s Money"
...during his inaugural speech in 1933.
Sounds strangely relevant to today, does it not?

No freedom of movement for Turks in EU, says Dutch Labour

I don't think that Turkey will be happy by the Dutch socialists policy, staunch supporter of Turkey's bid for the EU as they released their draft manifesto for the European elections in June 2009.

"Stricter conditions should apply to the freedom of movement for the inhabitants of Turkey if the country joins the European Union", says the Dutch Labour party. The demand is included in Labour’s first draft manifesto for the European elections in June 2009.

Labour’s stance on EU membership for Turkey, published on Monday, brings the party closer to the position of the right-wing Dutch liberal party VVD.
The VVD has made it clear that it will only agree to Turkey joining the EU if there is an exemption to the right of the country’s workers to find employment in other member states.
The Dutch Labour party also wants restrictions to Turkey's accession to the Schengen area which allows complete freedom of travel, without border checks, between a number of EU nations.

Turkey has been in talks on EU membership since 2004 but the issue is an extremely sensitive one in many member states.
In yesterday’s manifesto, the Labour party says "that promises of EU membership to countries in the western Balkans and Turkey should be honoured as long as the countries involved meet the so-called Copenhagen criteria for democratic governance, human rights and market economy".

Succes Turkey!

Arson attack on publisher of the Jewel of Medina



Three men were arrested in London this weekend on suspicion of terrorism after an arson attack on the offices and home of Dutch publisher Martin Rynja, owner of the Gibson Square publishing company.

Gibson Square is publishing the controversial novel The Jewel of Medina by American journalist Sherry Jones, about the prophet Muhammad and his child bride A'isha.

continue reading herrreeeee

Wall street become Boulevard of Broken Dreams

About two-thirds of Republican lawmakers refused to back the rescue package, as well as 95 Democrats (40%). The Republicans didn't supported the plan of their President. How will this effects the elections on the 4th of November...as it looks that McCain is not the absolute leader for the GOP in these elections.
And the stock market immediately dipped hundreds of points after it became apparent that the bill would fail. The Dow closed down 777 points at the end of trading Monday.

Day opening - September 30

Portrait by Michel Sandre

Monday, September 29, 2008

Update

Tomorrow, if the weather is OK, I will drive to Izmir for a short break, and from there I will take a boat to one of the Greek islands. I am in Turkey for 6 years but never been to Izmir. So it will be my first visit.

Two blogs are added to Internations chain: Nihal's Crossroads and Metin's Talk Turkey (again.)!
Also added a niced widget about S. Palin; I look forward to her debate with Biden.

Rest me to wish all Muslims a Happy Bayram.

Three governments nationalise Fortis bank

The Belgium, Dutch and Luxembourg governments have agreed to inject 11.2 billion euros into financial services group Fortis after the banking and insurance company got into trouble last week. The bailout announced on Sunday makes the three governments the owners of the company. Fortis was valued at 12 billion euros at the close of Friday trading.

"We could have not intervened, but the question was whether Fortis would have survived on Monday," Dutch finance minister Wouter Bos told reporters.
Dutch and Belgium finance ministers, their central bank presidents and European central bank president Jean-Claude Trichet deliberated with Fortis' management throughout the weekend. Fortis, one of Europe's top 20 banks with 85,000 staff worldwide, was deemed too big to be allowed to fail.

Each government will take a 49 percent stake in Fortis in their respective countries. Belgium will inject 4.7 billion euros, with the Netherlands investing four billion euros and Luxembourg 2.5 billion euros, the latter in the form of a convertible loan.
The intervention comes as both consumers and investors lost faith in Fortis' plans to avert the crisis. Last Friday Fortis management announced it would boost its balance sheet by selling an additional 10 billion euros in assets but that was not enough to stop a further 21 percent drop in its share price. CEO Herman Verwilst resigned and was replaced by Filip Dierckx as acting CEO.
In total, Fortis lost 35 percent of its value last week. It’s troubles stem from the international financial crisis and the expensive 24 billion euro acquisition of operations belonging to Dutch bank ABN Amro last year.

The governments’ plans for Fortis include the sale of ABN Amro Nederland to an unknown party. Fortis chairman Maurice Lippens, accused by shareholders of concealing the bank's troubles for too long, resigned as part of the rescue deal.

source: nrc.nl

Obama - McCain covers


The back side and the cover of the American magazine Mature. Do you see any differences.)
Below the cover of New York June 2008.

Here the best covers finalists 2008.

'The market tried to tell us something and no one listened'

Mohamed A. El-Erian is the co-ceo of the world's largest asset management company Pimco. An interview about the ins and outs of the credit crunch.

By Egbert Kalse and Daan van Lent in New York

Mohamed El-Erian has worked through the weekend again, just like he has every other weekend over the past weeks. When the American government announced the comprehensive bail out plan for banks, he wrote a ten page investment instruction for his employees at Pimco, the largest asset manager in the world.
During an interview with El-Erian on the 49th floor of the Allianz Tower, with a view on Central Park, he looks exhausted. As Pimco’s co-ceo is responsible for Pimco’s 830 billion dollars in assets.

He says the American bailout plan is “a necessary step because the situation had to be stabilised”. But he doubts it will be sufficient. “My sense is you need to do more. We are going to look back and 700 billion will not be the final number.”

continue reading herreeee

Obama: The Savior for the American Economy and Needed Change Agent

Obama forges new American ground as the first nominated African-American presidential candidate for the Democratic Party. I guess the Republicans can now toot their first with a woman as a vice-presidential candidate.

I wonder if the Republicans would have ever nominated a woman had Hillary Clinton not run as a presidential candidate and fared so well. Probably not!

While the Obama campaign still seeks donations to combat the McCain ads and other ridiculous falsehoods, Obama supporters are out on the streets daily signing up voters, canvassing neighborhoods and calling people on the phone to let them know the Barack Obama many believe who'll save the American economy and change the face of American politics.

Find out more about Obama beginnings, his background and education and make an informed decision for the November 4th elections.

I think it's always good too to get opinions from other Americans with a different perspective due to their culture, ethnicity, religion or country of birth. Sam Sedaei, and Iranian-American, gives a detailed look at why he believes Obama is the answer.

Vote on election day and hopefully, you'll mark Barack Obama for president.

Day opening - September 29


Sunday, September 28, 2008

When Sarah Palin Pitbull talks..


...she looks like this...
Here 'in conversation' with Alvaro Uribe (R), President of Colombia, 3 days ago.

Trouble in Paradise?


GAZA, Sept 26 (Reuters) - A pro-al Qaeda Palestinian group vowed on Friday to avenge the deaths of nine of its members in clashes with Hamas police earlier this month, unless the Islamist group declares an Islamic state in the Gaza Strip.

Jaysh al-Islam, or the Army of Islam, said nine members were killed in clashes with Hamas policemen on Sept. 16 when the Islamist rulers of the Gaza Strip raided the compound of the militant Doghmosh clan.
"Revenge is a right that must be fulfilled," the Army of Islam said in a statement.
Picture above is made last Friday in Indonesia; Muslim women rallied outside the US embassy in Jakarta to mark Al Quds Day.
Al Quds Day is held on the fourth Friday of Ramadan and is being observed to show support for Palestinians in 'Occupied' Jerusalem. Do you feel the Love? Do you feel it...

The F..k you umbrella


This F*ck the Rain Umbrella is perfect for those days when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed only to discover that, to make matters worse, the rain is pouring down outside.
Guaranteed to get your mood across, the F*ck the Rain Umbrella is the latest clever design from Art.Lebedev.
This umbrella is the ultimate complaint to the weather gods, or perhaps just something to wave about at the passing traffic to let them know how crappy you are feeling as well.

Barack Obama Cleans Up on John McCain

Last night was the big first debate between the Democratic and Republican Presidential Candidates. So what happened?

Many predicted that Obama would win hands down on the economy, but the CBS polls showed an overwhelming 66% of uncommitted voters believe Obama knows how to change the economy for the better and only 42% for McCain. Ouch!

The CNN polls showed similar numbers with 51% regarding Obama as the clear winner of round one and 52% thought the direction of Iraq would best be directed by Obama.

You can watch the entire debate or portions thereof: The first part addressed Iraq and the taxpayer bailout for corporate America; part two continued the same on security of the country and its financial solvency, and finally, part three examined issues about Iran, Russia and relations with other countries.

One of my favorite commentators, Roland Martin, weighed in on what he thought the candidates didn't say and what's on the minds of many people.
Arab News, on the other hand, gave a different perspective about who fared better during each part of the debate.
Huffington Post, usually decidedly Republican, also wrote about aspects of the two candidates' dialogue.

Of course, in the end, each party came out saying that their candidate won and show the presidential promise. Do the stats support the claims?

I have to wonder why Americans would want McCain, a known Bush backer, who would be the oldest president, if elected, and there's a pretty good chance he won't last one term since he's had health problems for many years and looks mighty peaked most of the time. And who would take over? An inexperienced Palin who needs McCain to broker deals for her.

You decide and let us know your decision about who's winning and who will.

Day opening - September 28


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Deniz Dili ve Edebiyatı


Deniz Dili ve Edebiyatı

müjde. gün döndü güle bakanlar
yaşasın! uzun yıllar var bahçeme
düşmedi kötü niyetli yaprak
Düşse de, yıkadım uykumda geceleri
yaktım koyu mavi çizgidendi direği
çürük, yelkenleri yamalı.

şimdi tüm ırmaklar denize!
kan, sinir uçları hepsi
böbrek taşları hep denize!

suya bakan yüzler gördüm
anahtarları iki kaş arasında
iki orman ortasından geçiyor yolları
kalbime. Kalbim susma sakın
bu çırpıntı, bu aşk!
Hey sevmesini sevdiğim…
Hadi denize.

The debate: is McCain an unguided missile?


I watched it, 'the debate'. If you look at McCain body language only two things were remarkable: he didn't look at Obama and second, he left the impression of a boxer, ready to give his opponent a hook. McCain and Palin makes the perfect couple, that of unguided missiles. Attack, attack, attack!

Turkey and Malaysia

Most of the time I agree with my dear friend Mustafa Akyol about the civil society. But lately, I feel that he miss the point somewhere. In his latest article he made some valid points, but one sentence scared the hell out of me:

"Some fear that we will soon become another Iran. Others worry that we will turn into another Malaysia (which doesn't sound too bad, actually).'

Here some info why I don't trust Muslim dominant societies!

Malaysia is a multi-religious society but Islam is the official religion. According to the Population and Housing Census 2000 figures, approximately 60.4 percent of the population practiced Islam; 19.2 percent Buddhism; 9.1 percent Christianity; 6.3 percent Hinduism; and 2.6 percent traditional Chinese religions.

Although the Malaysian constitution theoretically guarantees religious freedom, in practice the situation is restricted. Additionally, all non-Muslims who marry a Muslim must renounce their religion and convert to Islam. Meanwhile, non-Muslims experience restrictions in activities such as construction of religious buildings and the celebration of certain religious events in some states.

Despite being the supreme courts of the land, the Civil Courts (including the Federal Court, the highest court in Malaysia) in principal cannot overrule any decision made by the Syariah Courts; and presently are reluctant to preside over cases involving Islam in any nature or question or challenge the authority of the Syariah courts. This has caused notable problems, particularly involving civil cases between Muslims and non-Muslims, in which civil courts have ordered non-Muslims to seek recourse from the Syariah Courts.

A 60% dominace of 40% is a delicate case. Read more about this: V.S. Naipaul.

In the American Poor House: Bailouts for the Financial Wizards of Greed

The first presidential debate begins tonight between Barack Obama and John McCain. I don't think I'll watch it because afterwards we'll get plenty of pro and con commentary. You can hear the lowdown on CNN, BBC, university radio stations and a myriad of other radio and TV stations. Don't miss out on the locations and times of subsequent debates.

Great news, though, for readers who want the debate transcripts (in 5 languages) to analyze them or to carry around for all your upcoming confrontations. I have debates daily with people who are greatly divided about the upcoming elections. Good thing, I can research a topic!

So, today, I'm on my financial bailout of $700 billion dollars soapbox. It's costing me a lot of moolah that I don't have. What a great America where the American public pay the greedy criminals that catapulted us into the biggest financial doom and gloom since the depression, not to mention impact the world markets as well.

How interesting. Can you imagine you just robbed the citizens of your country and the judge says that's okay, here's your million dollar salary as a reward?

The Bush Administration and Republican Plan: Bail out the greedy monsters instead of fixing the problems. What's worse? The CEO's and senior staff of all these corporations will continue to run them. Is that like putting the fox in the chicken house? Stop the Housing Bailout!

Let's ask ourselves—better yet, let's ask the White House why they don't want to know how we got here, so we don't get in this trouble again.

Who's winning in this taxpayer bailout? Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan eloquently gave us the answer. One CEO in the bailout worked three weeks before the company went under and will be given $19 million—that's $7 million in bonuses and $12 million in salary.

Yep, looks like we'll protect the criminals, allow the incredible greed and the best part of this new deal, every American taxpayer gets to foot the bill, thus it's a taxpayer bailout.

Back in 1999, Bush decided to pull the plug on regulation and allow intermingling which left accountability in the dust for the banking, mortgage, securities and speculations businesses . This caused lots of accounting fraud with everyone making a profit along the way.

So, while the government should be literally crawling like ants to see how these corporations got this way and use audits and oversight to find out what happened, instead Bush produces a three-page bill to present to Congress.

Bush wants Congress to take this three-pager and just accept and approve it without any review and all in three days. This makes no sense since other bills take forever to pass or not.

There's a right way and a wrong way to do something and this time the answer is restore regulation versus deregulation and bring back the moral and ethical values America sorely lacks at this point in the game.

Maybe we should take some of that bailout money and build prisons to house these financial wizard criminals.

Vote Obama for a new America!

Day opening - September 27


Friday, September 26, 2008

You can marry a nine-year-old girl! A new fatwa...


Sheik Mohammed Ben Abderahman al-Maghraoui in Morocco, had issued the fatwa on his Web site, arguing it was lawful for a Muslimman to wed a nine-year-old girl because Islam's Prophet Mohammed had done so.
Local media in Morocco have reported that authorities have ordered the closing of 60 schools and a Website run by a Muslim religious leader who argued that girls as young as nine could marry.

At least three dozen Koranic schools are to be shut, local media quoted government officials as saying. The Al-AhdathAl-Maghribiya newspaper also said an official from Morocco's Religion Ministry was fired in the southern town of Marrakesh for not catching the contentious fatwa, or religious ruling.
Sheikh Maghraoui derided criticism of his claims as “part of a secular attack against the Islamic nation and its theologians”.
Shall we castrate them all, or let them practice their religion believes?
Below this article some amazing reactions.

'The US is working on the wrong solution'

An interesting article by Sweder van Wijnbergen, a professor in economics at the University of Amsterdam.
Read it herrreee

The Obama - McCain debate; the first real test

It’s still not clear if the debate as planned will go on with both McCain and Obama there. McCain is saying that he only will be there as the problems with the 700 billion USD Bailout package is solved. In the meanwhile he became part of the problem to find a solution. A nice but cheap tactic not to go in debate with Obama. The latter already said that he will be there anyway, with 3.000 journalists. I hope that the debate goes on as planned: you will see an energetic Obama, ready to answer all kind of questions and McCain? I’ve my doubts.

Note: McCain just announced at midday Washington time, that he will be participant in the debate.

Mektubun Gül Kurusu - Your Letter is a Dry Rose


Mektubun Gül Kurusu

kokuna eklenmiş bir orman
peşinden gidiyor sekerek
karanlık… rengi solmuş bir
tabanca patlıyor yüzümde
tuttuğum kâğıt sağır
yazın bulanık.

dokunurdum, papatyalar
açardı ensende. Kilit.
gündüz vakti gelemediğim
yukarı mahalle aklın
gece olur siyahıma kaçardı.
boynundan aşağı suya giden
sevinçti ellerim, telâştı,
kırık şimdi testilerim.

seni süsledim
dikenini sevdiğim
ne çok, ne çok, çok. hem de çok
işledim çemberime
iğne iğne çizdiğim
kalbim delik, derim dağınık.

Nurduran Duman
() ()
Your Letter is a Dry Rose

A forest attached to your scent
comes after you by hopping
the darkness…a faded pistol
Cracks at my face
the paper I hold is deaf
your writing is blurred

I would touch, the daisies would
bloom at the back of your neck. The lock.
your mind an uptown district

I couldn’t go in daytime
would slip into the black of mine
when it became the night.
my hands were joy, were excitement
on the way to fetch water below your neck
my amphorae are broken now.

I adorned you
the one whose thorn I loved
very much, very much, much, very much indeed

I overstated you on my head scarf
my heart I scratched with a needle
has a hole, my skin is messed up.
Nurduran Duman
Translated by Neslihan Akkar

Errasmus Award

The British-Dutch journalist and author Ian Buruma will receive the Erasmus Prize on November 7 from prince Willem-Alexander. The prize is worth €150,000.

Buruma was chosen because he embodies the ‘New Cosmopolitan’, this year's theme.

Buruma (57) has edited The Far Eastern Economic Review and The Spectator and is currently professor of democracy, human rights and journalism at the Bard College in New York.

Obama, The Transparent vs. McCain, The Fence Sitter

AARP, the premier American organization for people over 50 years old, accumulated thousands of questions from Americans all over the U.S. who wanted answers from the horse's mouth, our presidential candidates.

AARP asked the questions and stated their views, and then asked Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain to give their view. AARP also asked them whether or not they supported the AARP view or not.

If you check out the questions and answers, you'll see that McCain chose to sit on the fence, neither agreeing nor opposing every question and issue.

Conversely, Obama shows that he's not afraid to make a stand on what he believes. Obama made it clear if he supported or opposed the AARP view with only one question not marked as either supporting or opposing.

Not to eclipse the vice-presidential candidates on this road to The White House, on October 2nd, Obama's running mate Senator Joe Biden and Republican running mate Sarah Palin are scheduled for a debate.

What's the rub? Republican McCain would only agree to their debate if it was a formal, short question-answer format giving less chance for freedom to answer. Why? McCain and his advisers recognize that Palin's inexperience as a debater would leave her at a disadvantage against the orator Democrat Joe Biden.

Gee, I wonder who I'd prefer in The White House: Someone who can hold their own or someone who can't answer a question when asked?

Read about it on More Than a Sideshow.

Day opening - September 26


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dutch Parliament urged to get tough on Wilders


Geert Wilders, leader of the populist Dutch PVV, uses parliamentary debate to spew out blatant racism, in flagrant defiance of the normal standards in parliament. He has the right to free speech, but the parliamentary chairman has the right to call him to order if he oversteps the mark, says columnist Elsbeth Etty. Elsbeth Etty is a former member of the Dutch Communist Party.

Twenty-five years ago, the Dutch journalists union NVJ conducted an internal debate about the way immigrants were portrayed in the media. The most important recommendations made by the union’s working party were that religion, ethnicity, origin and nationality should only be mentioned when relevant and to avoid generalisations.

In 1989, NRC Handelsblad published a justice ministry report which showed that 33 percent of all young Moroccan men had “registered contact with the police”. Moroccan organisations said the article was “sensational” and “discriminatory”.

Now the bad behaviour of a group of Moroccan youths has hit the headlines again, and the question remains: is their background relevant or not. As in 1989, the answer is yes.
The string of incidents involving these young men has an undeniable social and cultural component and shows a pattern of behaviour which needs to be addressed. And the public's right to know is more important than any unintentional stigmatisation or discrimination.

Free speech

Yes, Wilders does have the right to free speech. But the chairwoman should make sure that what he says does not contravene the rules of parliament – those are the standards and values enshrined in Dutch democracy. And if Wilders does not want to uphold them, he should be removed from the debating chamber.

Continue reading herreee

Istanbul traffic Rules; New traffic signs as well?!


Today I had to skip one rendezvous due the fact that the city planners in Istanbul are building road exits which are too small leading to a too big business area, where too many cars wanted to go at the same time, blocking a three lanes road completely. When I passed the critical point (boiling) I saw some people screaming, others were using their fists, all in front of the Istanbul office of the MHP gang. And I was hopefully this morning that with the new traffic laws, if they pass the Yes Vote of both the CHP and MHP gangs, driving a simple car will be easier... I am already losing hope! Later I found myself in the midst of a gigantic construction site were dolmus after dolmus tried to cut me off. One was so aggressive that he tried to bump me, but my little car was to quick and he bumped another dolmus…and I, and female passenger were away, letting the macho’s (bad dressed) after us, although my female passenger – a very poetic talented writer – could not resist the show them The Middle Finger! The latter all found place between Uskudar and Harem (do not think about something exotic, more about something which is painful for the eyes). It’s now waiting on the Traffic police to enforce with military power the new laws, if accepted of course. And please, new signs as well!

Mr. "No" McCain NOT for Mainstream America

Presidential candidate McCain believes $6.55 is a livable wage for Americans. That's $262 per week before taxes for 40 hours. Shame! Shame! McCain voted 19 times against minimum wage increases. In Arizona, McCain's state, it's $6.90 per hour and Palin's Alaska is $7.15.

What's Illinois minimum wage where Barack Obama is senator? $7.75! Big difference, isn't it?

McCain voted four times against the child education act. No to Child Health Insurance and No to a Head Start funds increase. McCain talks the talks, but doesn't walk the walk. His record doesn't match his rhetoric.

So, is McCain for your family? No livable wage; No child care or after school care; No to child education and no to child insurance reauthorization.

McCain is against equal pay for equal work and says women should be more educated. I guess he doesn't understand the concept of equal pay for equal work.

And what does Palin think? She's more against women's rights than her running mate waving the flag against abortion on every count to include rape and incest. What's more Palin doesn't even agree with McCain on the climate change issues.

Palin believes we should adapt to climate changes instead of preventing further deterioration of our globe. She is so sure of herself that she has publicly challenged the near-consensus of scientists and their evidence that humans are the key factor in global warming.

I guess Palin's Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and beauty pageants qualifies her to challenge some of the greatest scientists in the world!

Vote Obama for a new face of America!

See what Obama stands for on all the issues. Then click on flyers and documents, then click on Issue Flyers, it will bring up a list of Available Assets you can download by topic.

A new happening

With the introduction of the non-smoking policy in the Dutch pubs and other public spaces, there is also an introduction of a new word: smirking.

Visitors of pubs, concerts and indoor train- and bus stations have to affront the upcoming cold weather to get their shot of nicotine. A good and safe reason to start a conversation with a stranger or to make a move towards someone interesting who is in the same position. Therefore the word smirking is a merge of the two words smoking and flirting. And a 'new' phenomenon has born.

And it's clearly visible, all the terraces are crowded with people and the Dutch are smirking in full speed.

(the word smirk already has a meaning: "A constant smirk upon the face, and a whiffling activity of the body, are strong indications of futility." According to Wikipedia or have a look at the smirking chimp, who else could that be than George W. Bush)

Day opening - September 25


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A way of stop smoking - 1

As kids take up smoking, it’s important that they know there are fun things to do with cigarettes as opposed to just becoming addicted to the nicotine. Children can release their artistic ability by designing their own cigarette packs, get a vitamin boost via a cigarette, and even enjoy a smoke in bed - as long as the have the cigarette dousing bib in place.
In case you didn’t already know, cigarettes will kill you.

1)For years Heupink and Bloemen Tobacco Company, Netherlands, has strived to change the otherwise generic taste and appearance of everybody’s favourite carcinogen. The Dutch company has rolled out a series of coloured and flavoured cigarettes, ranging from the chocolate flavoured Black Devils to the vanilla infused Pink Elephants.
With flavours and colours designed to meet all tastes, these cigarettes are sure to attract a whole new generation of smokers.

Taking on Darwin in Turkey


By Daniel Steinvorth in Istanbul

Fundamentalist Christians in America are not the only ones leading a crusade against Darwin. Creationism and "intelligent design" are becoming increasingly popular among Turkey's Muslims, too.

The man who wants to save the world goes by the name of Harun Yahya and resembles an actor from the age of silent films. He wears a white silk suit, gold cufflinks and has a finely trimmed beard on his chin. "In 20 years," he says in serious tone, "humanity will enter a golden age."

continue reading herrreee

Stand Up, Be Heard and Vote on November 4th

Have you recession-proofed your life? You better because here in North Carolina unemployment is at 6.9 percent compared to 6.1 percent nationally. These percentages can only be seen in America during recessions. Yes, recession has arrived, if you are in doubt.

Have you lost your life savings for your children's education or your retirement through one of the collapsed or bankrupt corporations? Check now to see if your life savings is insured by the FDIC. If not, find out how you can protect your money.

Unfortunately, Al Qaeda achieved their goal to start the demise of the America we once knew. Proof is in the present American recession combined with high unemployment and the collapse of the major mortgage and banking institutions.

What are you going to do about it? Has your voice been heard? Have you invested time to find out what the candidates have supported in the past and will continue to support to make a better America?

It's clear now that many of the Bush policies didn't work from supporting his cronies for large billion dollar war contracts to bailing out these multinational companies that stole the life savings of millions, yet CEOs kept their large salaries and bonuses. Do you know that McCain has continually supported Bush policies for the past eight years and still rarely disagrees with him?

What am I doing about it? I've become an active voice to elect Barack Obama. I'm voting for a big change; a change away from the old boys' network and national policies that include controlling the minds and pockets of other countries.

I support the candidate that has, in fact, lived as a middle-class American who made it through Harvard University Law School to be the first Black American president of the Harvard Law Review. I'm going with the guy that knows how grassroots organizations can build a new America.

We need to pay attention to the myriad of national problems and start to solve them.

Barack Obama is a new voice for the American people who'll change the face of an America that lost its way.

What are the issues you need to know about to intelligently support your candidate? Get a strategy for the reasons you'll vote for your candidate on November 4th and what's predicted to be the most hotly debated elections in our lifetime. Vote for Change!

Day opening - September 24


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Turks, Kurds, Greeks, Armenians, Cypriots and more

After Kemal by Perry Anderson

This is a long story!

A speech at UCLA:

In a famous essay, one of the most acute self-critical reflections to emerge out of any of the youthful revolts of the 1960s, Murat Belge – a writer unrivalled in his intelligence of the political sensibility of his generation – told his contemporaries on the Turkish left, as yet another military intervention came thudding down over more than a decade of ardent hopes, that they had misunderstood their own country in a quite fundamental way.
[1] They had thought it a Third World society among others, ready for liberation by guerrilla uprisings, in the towns or in the mountains. The paradox they had failed to grasp was that although the Turkey of the time was indeed ‘a relatively backward country economically . . . and socially’ – with a per capita GNP similar to that of Algeria and Mexico, and adult literacy at a mere 60 per cent – it was ‘relatively advanced politically’, having known ‘a two-party system in which opposing leaders have changed office a number of times after a popular mandate, something which has never happened in Japan for example’. In short, Turkey was unusual in being a poor and ill-educated society that had yet remained a democracy as generally understood, if with violent intermissions – Belge was writing in the aftermath of the military putsch of 1980.

Thanks to Erkan, more herrrreee

Dutch armed forces!


Two Dutch gendarmeries while on duty protecting the Boss of the Netherlands...

Articles

More than 6 months ago I was approached by a major international association to write ‘nice’ articles about Turkey. I promised to do so, but never did it actually. Not that I have a problem writing ‘nice’ about Turkey, but I spent too much time blogging. So, from now on you will not find any comments here from me about how nice Turkey is, and which direction it shall has to take, I only will write about articles from Turkey. And my original writings…they will be published in Turkey and throughout the world starting this week. And you will find them, integral here and there…and even here and there...)
Just watch...

Steaming Ahead on the Obama Train

In America, we're down to 42 days to the presidential elections and it's neck and neck for Obama and McCain. So, the way I see it, Obama-Biden is the only choice. McCain already told us he wants more of the Bush policies which has plummeted the country into the worst collapse of our mortgage and banking businesses since the depression and one of the highest unemployment rates in years. While we had a large surplus of money in the coffers when Clinton departed, we now have trillions and trillions of debt to China and Russia and in the midst of two wars to follow the likes of Vietnam. Oh happy day!

Who wants more of that? I don't; and furthermore, I'm a middle aged female who also was a career military officer and typically don't vote on a party ticket.

Go check the real facts on both candidates on the website run by the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania to see what's true, what's false and who's telling little white lies or exaggerating the truth. Be informed!

Day opening - September 23


Dutch invented short selling in 1609

The practise of 'naked short selling' dates back to Dutch colonial times. Dutchman Isaac le Maire, a major shareholder in the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC), speculated on the depreciation of stocks as far back as 1609.

The VOC was established in 1602 when it was granted a 21-year monopoly by the Dutch government to trade with Asia. It was the first multinational corporation in the world, and it was the first to issue stocks.
Le Maire invested 85,000 guilders in the company in 1602, but had become dissatisfied by 1609. The VOC had not paid dividends and stock-holders were not being given information about its financial results.

Read the article heerreeee

Monday, September 22, 2008

The name game

This is just fun; type in your surname and discover where it originated. My surname is de Wit, simple Dutch, but also well known in Belgium and Oceania. I tried ‘Saka’ from Erkan, and his name is from Nigeria and quite popular in Sweden and India as well.
Ozlem her surname Bankal which is originated in India too! And when I type the Dutch slang word ‘Lul’ (dick) it’s popular in America…I know that since they have a place in Texas called Lulen…(full of dicks..))
Simple, type in your surname and discover were your name comes from. Have fun!
Herreeee the site and don't cheat!

Dön Dolaş Gök Kuşak (Where I go, the Rainbow)


Dön Dolaş Gök Kuşak

yiterken çiçek yongaları içinde
bu sis yol… ucuna demir attığın
döneyim, güleyim diye yeniden
son yaz kokularını yüklüyorsun gözlerime
gözlerin çünkü… öyle dolu, çok gül
yaprak yaprak ıhlamur…

seni açtım. yıllar var kilitliydi ağzın
sol koluma yakın derimin altında
yavaşça yeniden açtın. Toprak
bir çömleğin içine düşmüşüm gibiydi
kalbin. pişirdi yüreğimi iyice
ne bir yırtık ne çizik: yaram kalmadı
iyileşmedik. ellerin en keskin ipek, zarif tığ
nakışladın tenimi. Dilime üfledin
öfkem dindi, dudaklarım iğne oyası.

şimdi yitmek isterken sisli korular önümde
bu dik yol… sonuna saçını uzattığın
süpürgem olsun uçayım ya da
tutunup karasına çıkayım diye
gözlerini attığın renksiz kuyulardan
derine düşmem zor. öteye gitmem olası.

çünkü yağmursuz göğüme serdiğin gök kuşak
hem ucum hem sonumdur benim.

Nurduran Duman

()()

Where ever I go, the Rainbow

as this foggy road where you anchored
disappears amongst the flower chips…
you fill the latest summer fragrances in my eyes
that i come back, that i laugh once again
because your eyes are…so much full of, so many roses
leaves and leaves of the linden trees…

i opened you. for many years your mouth was locked
close to my left arm under my skin
you slowly blossomed once again. your heart felt as if
i fell into an earthenware pot. it fired my heart thoroughly
neither a rupture nor a scratch: not a single unhealed wound
i have now. your hands are sharpest silks, most elegant needles
you embroidered my skin. you blew your breath upon my tongue
my anger ceased, my lips are needle lace.

now as foggy woods tend to vanish ahead of me
this steep road…which at its end you let your hair
that it be my broom to fly with or
in the colorless wells where you threw your eyes
that i hang onto their black to come ashore
it seems hard for me to fall deeper. probable that i go further.

because the rainbow you spread out at my rainless sky
is both my edge and my end.

Nurduran Duman
Translated by Neslihan Akkar

More poetry and info about my dear friend Nurduran here.

Day opening - September 22


It's September!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What do you do with a paedophile?

You can endless discuss the following delicate problem from a legal perspective but personally I think that a specialist in Descriptive ethics & laywer has to step in:

Editorial:

Where should a convicted paedophile go to after he has served his prison sentence? The city of Utrecht is currently wrestling with this question after a housing corporation won a legal action on Tuesday allowing it to terminate its rental contract with a paedophile. A judge ruled that it was 'extremely undesirable' for the man to live in the same block of flats as his victim. His apartment is a few floors lower than his victim's.

This is clearly a painful state of affairs, in the first place for the victim, whose plight highlights a well-known problem. Of course, the paedophile should not have been allowed to return to his own flat in the first place, under these circumstances. And Utrecht's mayor Aleid Wolfsen should have been informed of the child abuser's release from prison. That goes without saying. But the mayor also wants the legal power to re-house convicted sexual delinquents against their will. Is that justified?

Like other citizens, a paedophile who has served his sentence should be free to go where he wants. Legally speaking, the paedophile, like any other criminal, is free to live where he pleases once his sentence has been served.

Anonymity helps every former delinquent reintegrate into society. A paedophile becomes a pariah when his efforts to return to normal life are obstructed, especially publicly. And that means the threshold to prevent the repeat of an offence is removed entirely. A society that casts out its wrongdoers will get disproportionately more problems from them.

Continue reading herrree

Weird trees

It was Buddha who said:"A tree is a wonderful living organism which gives shelter, food, warmth and protection to all living things. It even gives shade to those who wield an axe to cut it down."

And Joyce Kilmer immortalised the grace and beauty of trees in poetry:
"I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree."

Here some of the most amazing and unusual trees from around the world.

Once, some 25 years ago I drank too much, and felt in love with a tree on my way home: they had to wake me up the next morning while embracing and sleeping around a tree...




Day Opening - September 21



Unknown.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Legal loophole allows polygamists to become Dutch citizens

Immigrants who have entered into polygamous or bigamous marriages in their country of origin can obtain Dutch citizenship due to a loophole in Dutch naturalisation law, mayors of the four major cities in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague) say.

Having more than one spouse is prohibited in the Netherlands and polygamous marriages do not comply with the demands immigrants have to meet when applying for citizenship.
However, people who meet specific demands can acquire Dutch nationality through a special regulation in one of the statutes of the Dutch law on citizenship. Under this, citizenship is granted after a three month process which does not include verification of whether an applicant is polygamous. The applicant must not have a criminal record and must prove he/she was born and lived on Dutch soil for a substantial amount of time.

The four major cities have called on the justice ministry to close the loophole in the law.
In Amsterdam alone dozens of immigrants have acquired citizenship because of this breach, research from the mayor's office shows. The city wants the law changed but has found the immigration and naturalisation service unresponsive.

While polygamous contracts cannot be made in the Netherlands – and are punishable by law – those who arrange such marriages abroad can list them in municipal registers.
Amsterdam has 173 men with one or more wives on its books and the national statistics office estimates there are several hundred cases across the country. These are written off as "administrative errors" because the law prohibits such unions.

Source: nrc.nl

Proudly presents...


Day opening - September 20


Gouda, Candle night - the Netherlands

Friday, September 19, 2008

Do You See What I See: Its my party and i will cry if i want to.

Do You See What I See: Its my party and i will cry if i want to.

Anti-Muslim, anti-Jewish attitudes

I find the following article shocking. That anti-semitism (often used behind the facade of being anti-Zionism) is on the rise in Europe is alarming. That immigrants from Muslim countries have serious problems with a person who are ' Jewish born' is a well-known fact. But that in general the perception towards Jewish people in Europe became more negative is something to think about. And it become more crazy that anti-Muslim feelings are crossed at the same time.

Here some excerpts of the article:

Anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish feelings are rising in several major European countries, according to a worldwide survey.

The Washington-based Pew Research Center's global attitude survey found 46 percent of Spaniards, 36 percent of Poles and 34 percent of Russians view Jews unfavorably, while the same was true for 25 percent of Germans and 20 percent of French.
Spain has not had a large Jewish population since expelling its Jews in 1492. The other four countries have a long history of anti-Semitism culminating in the Holocaust. The figures are all higher than in comparable Pew surveys done in recent years, the report said, and "in a number of countries the increase has been especially notable between 2006 and 2008."
Opinions of Muslims are also dimming compared to previous years with 52 percent in Spain, 50 percent in Germany, 46 percent in Poland and 38 percent in France having negative attitudes toward them.

Britain was the only European country without a substantial increase in anti-Semitic attitudes, the report said, with just 9 percent in that country rating Jews unfavorably. In the United States 7 percent had negative views of Jews as did 11 percent in Australia.
But about one in four in the United States and Britain thought poorly of Muslims. "There is a clear relationship between anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim attitudes," the report said. "(Those) that view Jews unfavorably also tend to see Muslims in a negative light."

The most extreme anti-Jewish feelings, the poll said, were found in predominantly Muslim nations, where favorable attitudes were only in the single digits among Turks, Egyptians, Jordanians, Lebanese and Pakistanis.

The survey also said positive attitudes toward Osama bin Laden have declined in several countries but the al Qaeda leader still enjoys high support in Nigeria, Indonesia and Pakistan.

Full article? Click herreeee

Day Opening - September 19



A-Ha.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Is the USA bankrupt or their faith?

The USA and world economy.

I’m not an economist, but I know that for a long time the USA economy is ruled by greedy individuals who only cared about themselves (remember Enron). The last 28 years the USA is ruled by these people starting with good old Uncle Reagan and his fellow mate in Europe Mrs Tatcher.
Unlike the British the Americans never got a clue what was really at stake. The Brits voted Tatcher away but the Americans were blinded by a dream: one day they would be millionaire as well.

Yes, the childish and over emotional character of Americans was exploited by Reagan and the Bush dynasty. There was some air when Clinton was president but the Americans are still more interested in others private lives unless their own pocket is emptied.

Yes, capitalism is the only show on earth and the only sustainable, if well implemented like in the Nordic countries of Europe and in other Euro countries.

It’s now time for the USA the pay back their 1.2 trillion euros they are in debt with Europe.... Who's first?

Sell your virginity for 1 Million Euros


Italian former Big Brother contestant is offering up her virginity for sale at the hefty price of a million Euros.
20 year old Raffaele Fico, said she needed money to buy an apartment so that she could move out of her rented house, and also to get herself some acting lessons.
Fico told glossy Italian weekly Chi said, “I can’t wait to see who’s going to pull out the money to have me. I don’t know what it’s like to have sex. But if I don’t like him I’ll just have a glass of wine and forget about it.”
Fico joins a string of other beauties who have offered to sell their virginity for a million dollar price tag.
Her brother told the magazine: "She's never had a boyfriend. I swear on my mother's grave. "She's a devout Catholic and prays to Padre Pio every night."
And do we believe that?

Turkey and the EU: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is doing it again.

Instead of practicing some self reflection the Turkish PM Erdogan is criticizing the EU for not speeding up the EU accession process. Its clear that Erdogan doesn't know that Turkey has to do its home work before the EU talks really can resume. Instead he is using cheap nationalistic rhetoric. Better calm down!
Here the article.

Day Opening - September 18



Billy Ocean.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

ICT ranking by country

An innovation-friendly culture, a steady flow of talent, advanced technology infrastructure, a robust legal regime, well-balanced government support and an open business environment are all vital factors that enable a country's IT producers to thrive. These form the basis of the Economist Intelligence Unit's "IT industry competitiveness index", in which the United States ranks as first in the world in 2008, maintaining its top position from the previous year.

Some important points:
-Sourcing talent will be among the toughest challenges IT producers will face in the coming years. The US, Singapore and UK provide the best environments for human-capital development among the index countries.
-Ecosystems similar to America's Silicon Valley—bringing together talent, technology, venture capital and good universities, supported by a risk-taking ethos—will remain the best incubators of IT innovation.
-The US, Australia and west European countries retain the world’s most effective systems of intellectual property (IP) protection and the most developed bodies of e-commerce and cybercrime law.
-To support the development of local IT production, policymakers' best efforts are aimed at improving education, skills development, and the financing and legal environments. E-government development and a proactive broadband strategy also help, as can calibrated support for innovation. Trouble often comes, however, when governments try to champion specific companies or technologies.

Turkey ranks 39, Greece 33 and the Netherlands came into the top ten, ranking 10th.
For the full article click herreeee

Everything you wanna know about Sarah Palin


Click herree

Day Opening - September 17



Milli Vanilli.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Turkish 'Milli Görüs active in funding terror organizations


The Dutch AIVD revealed this weekend that the Turkish mosque organization Milli Görüs of Erbakan has close relations with terror organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Earlier this year Milli Görüs was in the news because of fraud. They sold illegal green funds stocks with the promise of 40% interest. Thousands of Turkish families in the Netherlands and Germany lost all their savings. Millions of euros simple disappeared.
Milli Görüs is against integration of Turkish people in West Europe, its notoire anti-Semitic, and it wants to expand the Islam throughout Europe.
Ibrahim El-Zayat is the spin in the web. He is member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The chairman of Milli Goros Yusuf Altuntas denies all allegations.

Day Opening - September 16



Wham!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sarah Palin for President


I like this ad, but you must be a nerd to vote for her....

Bush is not doing that bad: approval ratings

APPROVAL RATINGS

Medvedev (Russia) +47
Rudd (Aus) +25
Berlusconi (Italy) +13
Merkel (Germany) +2
Sarkozy (France) -8
Harper (Can) -11
Bush (US) -33
Fukuda (Jap) -34
Brown (UK) -47

Sources: Levada Centre; Newspoll /The Australian; IPR Marketing / La Repubblica; ARD-DeutschlandTREND; IPSOS; Angus Reid; CNN/Opinion Research; Nikkei; IPSOS/MORI

The story? Herrreeeee

Wanted: Stories of Turks who saved their Armenian Neighbors

Wanted: Stories of Turks who saved their Armenian Neighbors

Monday, September 15, 2008

ZİYA MERAL

The 20th century is full of things that we wish never happened, but they happened and nothing can undo them. Even though both Plato and Nietzsche urged us to start tabula rasa with a mighty and necessary lie that will enable the youth to forget the past completely, we know all too well that what is left in oblivion is always more present than we would ever want it to be. Forgetting is not an option, if not impossible, but mere remembering alone does not guarantee that things will happen “never again.” The battle we need to fight is not only against “too much forgetting” and “too much remembering,” both of which destroy the present and any chance of a better future, but also against how and what we remember.

“Righteous Gentiles”:

I don't remember at what age I first came to learn about the Holocaust, but I vividly remember what I felt when I read each page Elie Wiesel, Primo Levi and Viktor Frankl wrote. As my academic interests took me deeper into genocides and ethnic violence, my realization that normal people like me had turned out to be mass murderers has shaken my trust completely in my own and human beings' goodness. However, it was also within the same darkness that I have come to find hope in the deep and profound human potential to love and sacrifice for the other.

Hanna Arendt recounted the story of a German soldier, Anton Schmid, who disobeyed his orders and helped the rescue of 250 Jews till his execution by the Nazis. In his last letter to his wife, Schmid told her that he “merely behaved as a human being” when he risked his own life. After sharing the effect of listening to the story of Schmid during the Eichmann trial, Arendt noted; “How utterly different everything would have been in Israel, in Germany, in all of Europe, and perhaps in all countries of the world, if only more such stories could have been told."

This is exactly what Holocaust memorials have tried to do. With the Jewish concept of ‘Righteous Gentiles', Jews have found the moral backbone to not only remember the destruction and brutality but also the great courage and virtue that has been showed by non-Jews in risking their own lives to save their Jewish neighbors. There is a section dedicated to them in memorial sites, and Holocaust movies almost always include helpful Gentile characters.

While remembering the human truth in all of its beauty and darkness at the same time, the memory of the Holocaust has moved from being exclusively a Jewish memory. It is now the memory of our old race, the memory of the moment that humanity failed, not just Nazi Germany. It's because it has shifted from being exclusively a memory of ‘perpetrator Nazis' killing ‘Jews', both Jews and Germans and all of us can mourn together for what has happened.

continue reading herreeee

Ziya Meral can be reached at ziya_meral@yahoo.com

Day Opening - September 15



Blondie.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Trojan supermom Sarah Palin knows the drill

This woman wants polar bears off the endangered species list to make way for expanded oil drilling. “Drill, drill, drill,” the crowd chanted during Palin's debut speech at the Republican convention. American writer and feminist Eve Ensler paired the imagery of this response with the danger of a McCain win: “I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.”But Palin is a working mom with a rifle, a soldier's mom, a hockey mom, a special-needs baby's mom and a pregnant teen's mom. Sadly, her appeal might be bigger than Hillary Clinton's. The real threat is Republican marketers. Yes, Palin is a pawn to draw votes – not from Hillary's camp as many pundits say – but rather from women who will hate Hillary all the way to the polls.


She said that striking a country that poses a real threat first was not only “our right” but the president's obligation. In the interview she said if Russia pulled another Georgia, the U.S. should take them on, too. Voters nostalgic for the cold war like that kind of talk. The economy is in shambles. Unemployment is at a five-year high. Seven years after 9/11, the Taliban and Al Qaeda have regained their footing in Afghanistan. The U.S. will be in Iraq for generations to come. Columnist Arianna Huffington wrote Tuesday that every second not spent talking about the Republican Party's failures gives McCain and his sideshow a chance. Barack Obama needs to reflect the country's anger and offer remedies for policies that have brought Americans and the planet to their knees.


Click here for Kristen Stevens her article.

Day Opening - September 13



Kiss.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Runners beware!

A quite forest walk is almost impossible these days. The woods, parks and even the streets are crowded with runners who are trying to keep up with today’s fashion that requires a 16-years-old body. Of course I didn’t run today to follow this fashion, I’m the exception that enjoys it to beat myself up.

Somewhere on the road I stopped to regain breath, do some stretching and enjoy the beautiful forest that I was missing. (To maintain the pace, it’s important to focus on one point and forget about everything that’s around you. When you start looking around, you’ll find yourself stepping into a pool of mud, hitting a tree or walking, realising that you’ve lost the nice running flow that’s so important to loose all that impossible body fat.)

Reality knocked on my head, literally: autumn has arrived and I realised it too late. A bunch of oak trees gave it’s fruit, right on top of my head. After that it became even more official. A wind came in, blowing away the first yellow leaves from the beech trees. The nice sun of this morning disappeared and the clouds that were the cause of it started to rain. So for those (at least here in Holland) who like to keep in shape in mother nature’s gym: be warned. Because if it’s not an acorn or a chestnut falling on your head it’s very likely a rain shower will make you aware of autumn’s arrival.



A Tashnak man hugs a Turkish girl

Friday, September 12, 2008
VERCİHAN ZİFLİOĞLU - First Person
Yerevan

It was an extremely interesting experience for me, as an Armenian young woman who was born in Turkey, and as a journalist as well, to follow the Turkey-Armenia football game in the Armenian capital, Yerevan. A few meters away from me Turkish President Abdullah Gül was sitting next to his Armenian counterpart Serge Sarkisian behind a window. In front of me, right beneath the sky, the holy Mount Ararat rose in all its grandeur.

For the first time in my life, I was getting prepared to watch a football match in a stadium. My journalist friends who already know that I am Armenian-Turkish were, in a joking way, asking which team I would support. But it was indeed a difficult question to answer. As an Armenian from Istanbul, in Armenia I was a “stranger” and on top of that I was representing the Turkish press. Warm people of the country I was born in were on one side of me and a society that my roots belong to was on the other side. I belong to whom?… I felt alone in a stadium filled with thousands of people and I was facing a dilemma.

I experienced perhaps, the most difficult time of my life at the Hırazdan Stadium. After the match, my colleagues from Hürriyet daily approached me and said: “We have seat on the plane. If you wish, we could go to your hotel to pick up your bag and could return to Turkey together…” These words were echoing in my mind. I could either go back home to Istanbul or I could spend a few days in Yerevan.

Continue reading herrreee

Some pictures and Erkan's iftar.)


All these pictures are made at night and of bad quality. I am better in taking pictures with a camera instead of with my GSM..) Picture about is of Erkan's iftar this week Monday at our house. Erkan is a smart guy: he sleeps during the day, have breakfast 'iftar time' - with beer.) - lunch at night and diner early in the morning. During the day sleeping...)

Ilker a friend during our housewarming party 2 weeks ago.

Our terrace before they replaced the windshields with took them 2 weeks.

Looking over the valley with thousands of lights.