Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Had the company been monitoring Twitter for brand mentions, they could have set up a dedicated feed and been responding to the conversation for at least 45 minutes before their own response site was in place. They could have even prepared for the eventuality by defining keywords and bots to follow/respond with important information well in advance of any crisis hitting.
As the communications environment in which we operate becomes even quicker and the expectations of consumers from those involved increases, Twitter is certainly going to be a key communication channel in times of crisis and there is absolute no reason why companies can’t – and shouldn’t – be incorporating it into their crisis response plans. Voila!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
BBP: 3% (sympathy votes)
Trend watching is an important semi-science within communication management, but often not taken seriously. Early indicators of tonight, I am writing this here down at 08.30pm, looks like that the AKP is not doing well. But the CHP is still a party which can not lead the opposition against the AKP. What would happen if the CHP leader, D. Baykal, was not their party leader anymore?
Beyond generally accepted social standards which are continually shifting, Christianity sets a moral standard—the attitudes toward and treatment of women by Jesus. There is no recorded instance where Jesus disgraces, belittles, reproaches, or stereotypes a woman. Examples of the manner of Jesus are instructive for inferring his attitudes toward women and show repeatedly how he liberated and affirmed women.
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity has become a major focus of this contemporary gender debate. In 1977, George W. Knight III argued in a book about gender roles that the subordination of women to men is theologically analogous to the subordination of the Son to the Father in the Trinity. The current pope strongly condems all violence against women: "disturbing is the crushing yoke of discrimination that women and girls so often endure, not to mention the unspeakable practice of sexual violence and exploitation which causes such humiliation and trauma," Benedict told an audience of government leaders and foreign diplomats this week in Angola and mentioned that especially in the USA, where many clergy abused women and children in the past, needs more investigations.
In Judaism, the past 30 years, have seen a revolution in how reform Judaism views women as well. Judaism now believes in the equality of men and women. The reform movement rejects the idea that halakha (Jewish law and tradition) is the sole legitimate form of Jewish decision making, and holds that Jews can and must consider their conscience and the ethical principles of Judaism when deciding upon a right course of action.
However, the status of women and for example their testimony in Islam is still disputed. Some jurists have held that certain types of testimony by women will not be accepted. In other cases, the testimony of two women can equal that of one man ( although Quran says 2 women and 2 male are needed but if a male cannot find another male he may carry this testimony out himself). The reason for this disparity has been explained in various manners, including women's lack of intelligence, women's temperament and sphere of interest...and sparing women from the burden of testifying... but more worrysome, the Qur'an has left open its quantity, nature, and other related affairs to be defined by social custom and tradition. See here the current problems. And now I refer to an article about an Imam in Bosnie who raped a your girl. Read it herreeee
Moral: where sexual abuse and voilence against women in religious circles are discussed and condemned, most of the Imams worldwide don't want an open discussion on the matters!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Fortunately Mozilla Firefox created the add-ons for its internet browser. The add-ons are extra tools you can download to extend the possibilities of using the world wide web.
There are two add-ons that are unmissable when you work with internet. The first one blocks most of the adds that are integrated in websites. It's called Adblock Plus. It comes with a package you can choose from and most of the adds are blocked. Flashblock is the second one. It prevents all the flash files on websites from popping up. You've to click on the pictogram to play the flash instead.
Another nice addition, is the dictionairy that can check your spelling in many languages.
Good bye to all the adds, welcome easy readable websites. If you want to check out more add-ons, the recommendations on the Firefox website are worth a look as well. Every country has its own recommendations.
A tip (if you already use Firefox you might know this already, but for those who don't): if you want to see a new web page, but you don't want to leave the current one, press the right mouse button on the link and choose 'open in new tab'. You can open a new blank tab using the command ctrl t or for Mac users command t.
Life in Istanbul, Turkey is interesting and I can only describe it with two notes; ‘Everything is possible’ and Turkey has still that ‘Overwhelming service-attitude’.
Turkey has not one face, and for sure not one identity, its unpredictable. Which makes it for expats so interesting.
And yes, I’m still rocking here! In fact, Burak Bekdil wrote yesterday an interesting article about Turkish people, which you can read here...
Turkey is not European, not Asian, not African, not Middle East, Turkey is on its own, its a life-long experience...
Turkey is not like Greece but they have a lot in common as Dayflyer explains; British expats in rural Greece. As this post is part of the world wide chain of expats, go thereeeeee and travel all aroud the world.
This entry is part of Golden Prague’s World Blog Surf Day where 25 expats are writing today about their experiences in their host countries.
Friday, March 27, 2009
It has been a while since you heard from me and it makes me feel ashamed. I actually love to write on this blog, but my investigation at the moment is quite time consuming. Researching all day from 9 o'clock in the morning till 10:30 in the evening makes me tired. So when I come home I put my computer aside and the first thing that's switched on, is my stereo. For these last few weeks Room Eleven gave me back energy and put me in a mood to swing, shake off all the counting, fighting for information and difficult conversations about things that are technical and bring up more questions than they answer.
The friendly voice of Janne Schra is surrounded with pleasant jazzy influences, cheerful tunes and powerful sounds. The songs cover the wide range from breakable guitar music to the power of a brassband. All played by four skilled musicians: Arriën Molema on the guitar, Tony Roe plays keyboards, Lucas Dols wheels the bass and Maarten Molema is responsible for the rithm since he's the drummer. Janne Schra sings in every song of which many they've written themselves. With funny lyrics and sometimes serious songs she exposes her own capasity as a singer. But the covers are pleasant to listen to as well, since they have a completely different sound than the original ones. Take 'Bitch' for example (originally from Meredith Brooks). They made two versions and it took me a while before I recognised them as being cover songs. Not every song is as pleasant as the jazzy Brooks cover or one of my favourites 'Swimmer'. A song that got banned from my list is 'Looking At My Feet' and 'Hey, Hey, Hey', about holiday missery is one I often skip.
Last weekend Room Eleven played in the Royal Theatre of Carré in Amsterdam; a dream of many artists. Pleasant for the ears and for me it's one of the bands that can cover the label easy listening. A welcoming start of the end of the day.
Another adjustment will be the ‘look-of-Internations’. Some Canadian designers offered to restyle the template into a professional design where Internations will provide them with some banners and back links. Let’s see how this works, I am always cautious since we get so many offers. This site will be professionalized, without a doubt, but to put it full with ads is not the idea behind this blog-project.
In the meantime, 4 more sites are added to the blog roll of Internations:
Cher, an American living in Prague; GP, a German living as well in Prague, Martin, an Englishman in Bulgaria and a French blog of Mirabella, her blog is bilingual: French/English and she has a photo blog there as well. I recommend all four sites.
I hope today to write something about Social Banking (or Social Finance) as I promised Sam. If not today, for sure tomorrow. But tomorrow I will also write something about Turkey; my life as an expat in Turkey since I participate in World Surf Day (expats from all around the world).
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Reports in the Dutch press say that businesses and local authorities have agreed on the trial, which aims to keep drivers off the major motorways at busy times. Traffic jams are generally held to be harmful to the economy and the environment! Exactly what I noticed when I came over to Turkey in 2002; time consuming and therefore expensive.
The electronic devices in participants' cars in the Netherlands will check how often the driver uses the motorways in the Utrecht area. The lower the use, the higher the bonus will be. The premium will be paid for by the road user's employer, who in turn will be granted a tax reduction and a subsidy, which I think, must be a a priority for the upcoming elections in Turkey. But who cares.
Earlier experiments in the Netherlands, three years ago to discourage driving during the rush hour between the city of The Hague and its satellite town of Zoetermeer yielded a 50-percent reduction, which can be set as an example how Turkish Municipalities can deal with the immense traffic chaos in Istanbul.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
“(T)he reason for his death,” says Hamid, “has not been announced but he was in very bad psychological condition.”
Considering torture and other types of mistreatment are par for the course for free speech prisoners in Iranian prisons, Omid’s death may well have been a direct result of Iranian government actions. Considering the government usually places bloggers in prison with the most dangerous criminals, his death may only have been an indirect result. Either way, the men of the government of Iran and its prisons have a lot to answer for.
In the meantime, for what it’s worth, our heartfelt condolences go out to Omid’s family. They’ve killed one of us.
But the Turkish quasi-democratic and religious government is likely to use its veto, as the only of its 26 members. Will this be seen as a ‘bow to Mecca’ or Turkish right on vetoing, based on religious’ motives? Turkey becomes religious and bigot in its foreign policy.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Meanwhile, even Princess Maxima, the Argentinian-born wife of the Dutch crown prince, has entered the fray. She says that after seven years in the country she has failed to discover a Dutch identity.
The Netherlands used to be seen as the most enlightened and enthusiastically multicultural country in Europe. Now the country - like others in Western Europe - is suffering an identity crisis. Multiculturalism itself has become discredited.
Critics say it created conflict by encouraging minorities to separate from mainstream society. The new buzz word is 'integration'. While the relationship between Dutch Muslims and the rest of Dutch society remains uneasy, new 'integrationist' policies emphasise the importance of the Dutch language and the centrality of democracy and liberal values such as women's and gay rights.
So did the old Dutch model fail? Is a new one emerging and should minorities be obliged to adopt Dutch values, as immigrants in the United States become American?
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Military sources disclose that Saudi intelligence services are deep in recruitment for a new radical Islamist terrorist militia in the southern Gaza Strip towns of Deir al Balakh, Khan Younes and Rafah, with Egyptian blessing. More than 1,000 Palestinians have joined up in two weeks, poached from the extreme Hamas fringes and the Salafi sects.
And there is morree
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
And there is morreee
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Here some examples of textbooks which spread hatred infuriated the killings of foreigners aka non-Muslims, shows anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and more of that stuff which made Hitler so popular in the thirties of the last century in Germany and made Mussolini such a lovely guy in Italy. I don’t know if I have to laugh or cry, but I really feel pity for all those kids who have to read this, since in the end they simple are indoctrinated from the beginning until the final class of their education. No wonder that Turkish educational system ranks among the worst in the OESO countries.
“Islam is the religion which attaches most importance to cleanliness.” (Z. Sert (2007) Lise Health Studies, p. 11, Ankara: Ministry of Education Pulications).
“We are Turkish, we are superior to everyone else.” (M. Ulusavaş (2007), Middle School Traffic and First Aid, p. 47. Ankara: Ministry of Education Publications).
“Sink it in the Black Sea and let the anchovies eat it, but…is there any use for anchovies fed on gavur (derogatory term for non-Muslims) meat?” (N. Özdemir (2007) Primary School Music 6-7-8, Teacher’s Guide Book, p. 148, Istanbul: Ministry of Education Publications).
“Countries in the region and developed countries with an interest in the region are uncomfortable with the fact that Turkey is becoming stronger…Turkey’s geopolitical characteristics make it a target for more internal and foreign threats. Turkey is facing and will always be facing internal and external threats.” (N. Yavuz (2007) Primary School Turkish Republic History of Revolution and Kemalism 8, p. 170, Istanbul: Prizma Publications).
And more herreeee
Ray Kurzweil, Bill Gates favorite writer (because he can predict the future of the computer industry) wrote a book: 'singularity'. And in that book you can find this picture: The system goes on-line August 4th, 2013. Skynet becomes self-aware at 2:14, August 29th 2013. Wow!
Computers no longer struggle to make sense of what they see, they can instead outperform humans. Write down in your agenda: Agust 29, before it's too late...
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Ruthenia was once independent...for one day. On March 15th, today exactly seventy years ago, it enjoyed its sole day of independence. Declared in the morning and snuffed out in the evening by an invasion from neighboring Hungary. Ruthenians have had little joy since. Maybe the only famous Ruthenian, Andy Warhol, once said: 'I come from nowhere'...
Saturday, March 14, 2009
In indoor swimming pools is the rule that male swimmers can not wear a T-shirt, or or a swimsuit with pipes over the knee. But the Dutch Equal Treatment Commission has ruled that a council-run swimming pool in the eastern town of Hengelo acted illegally when it banned the wearing of the garment known as a "burkini." The burkini, which leaves only the head, hands and feet of a swimmer uncovered, is worn by Muslim women who adhere to the strictures of their faith regarding dress. The commission said the ban was an unnecessary encroachment on the freedom of religion. Nonsense; this will give 'regular swimmers' an uneasy feeling.
Jenny already wrote about this yesterday, but it’s worth mentioning here; the independent news site Bianet is tracking the murdering of women in Turkey since March 1 of this year. And guess what? Every day one woman is killed in Turkey, often by relatives. You can see the list here. And if you look after the reasons why they are killed, you only can conclude that there is something deep rooted wrong in the Turkish society. The rapes, harassments, domestic violence etc. are not mentioned.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Seven people have been arrested in the Netherlands on suspicion of planning a terror attack on an Ikea furniture store and a number of shops near the Ajax stadium in the capital Amsterdam.
The arrests follow a telephone warning to Amsterdam police late on Wednesday evening, police chief Bernard Welten said on Thursday evening. The caller from Brussels said three people were planning an attack using explosive devices in or near a major department store in the southeast of Amsterdam. The aim was to cause as many casualties as possible, the caller said.
Public prosecutor Herman Bolhaar told the press that the caller was a relative of one of the perpetrators of the train bombings in Madrid, five years ago. The six men and one woman who were arrested are between 19 and 64 years of age; all of them are Dutch citizens of Moroccan origin. All of them are charged with preparing an act of terrorism. After these arrests, police say the threat has been eliminated, but the prosecutor added that more people may be arrested.
In addition to the arrests and a number of house searches in the Dutch capital (picture), police in Belgium carried out house seaches in Brussels.
In the course of Thursday morning, the Ikea store and a number of other shops in the area were evacuated. The shops are on Arena Boulevard, named after Ajax's Arena football stadium which is nearby. The shops and the Heineken Music Hall remained closed all day. It is not clear when they will reopen; the police search for hidden explosives is continuing.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
When I lived in the USA, people were pretty divided regarding politics, if you spoke about politics at least. Here in Turkey, people are not only divided but the society at large is enormous polarized. Sometimes it looks like that you don't have a choice in how to be: you are a secular fanatic or a religious conservative bigot as Mustafa today pointed out. If you are not one of them you are automatically the opposite, no gray allowed. The media is attacking each other as well, acting like a political party and be a political factor of importance. In fact, journalists become personal and delicate in their attacks. I find this a worrisome development Therefore; the tendency towards a more "polarized" society must have a central place in the Turkish political debate. Fears that the splitting of the society into "two nations" could drive social conflict to levels that have been unknown in Europe since 1945. The combination of this polarization with other individual factors such as race or religion is an additional factor of concern in my opinion. In sum, there are growing signs of social clustering and polarization and these phenomena seem to favour the raise of social unrest. Even e-groups debates are highly run by emtonions; rational comments and nuances are waved away with a cynical undertone. Or is Turkey finally maturing, I don't think so. And as long as reactive behavior plays a key-role, the blame-the-other factor, and nationalisme and xenophoby are embraced and exploit, I don’t see progress towards integration in the EU, although billions of Euros spent (see chart)
Here the latest from the EU regarding Turkey.
Turkey is still a 'Generals Republic'.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The group - a Kurdish feminist, an Armenian writer, and an academic and a photographer, both Turkish - were presenting a book of photographs of people from Turkey.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The credit crunch has many victims. Some have lost their homes, other their jobs. And some, like Dutch immigrant Jelle Hans Reitsma in California, have even lost their lives.
On the last Friday before Christmas, 41-year-old Roxanne Reitsma woke up with a start. It was only 4.20 a.m. but her husband Jelle Hans was not lying next to her.
In normal times, this wouldn't have worried her. Jelle Hans Reitsma (37) was in the habit of getting up before dawn to inspect his 18,000 cows or to check on the dozens of workers who keep his farm in Corcoran, California, running day and night.
And there is morree
But China has sent extra security troops yesterday to Tibet to guard 'its international borders'. Today it will be 50 years since the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetans, fled to India following a failed uprising against Chinese rule. China wants to prevent the anniversary from being used for what it calls "sabotage activities". The 10th of March marks also the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising of 1959, when more than 86,000 Tibetans were slaughtered by Chinese troops. More info herrreee
Monday, March 9, 2009
Within twenty-four hours the concensus on the arrest warrant was shattered. In Sudan, Bashir, who refuses "to kneel to colonialism", immediately ordered overseas aid organisations to leave the country. This threatens an even greater catastrophe than the current one of some 300,000 dead and nearly three million displaced. This leaves Bashir indifferent. There is no way back for him.
There are signs of international polarisation as well. The African Union and Arab League want the UN Security Council to suspend the arrest warrant. The African and Arab worlds already consider the ICC an instrument of a one-sided western legal system. China supports this because the arrest warrant is likely to delay peace in Sudan. China has huge oil interests in the country and takes a more hands-on approach to peace in Africa's largest country than for instance the European Union.
But this does not make it improper to ask whether the arrest warrant could have an adverse effect. There are currently more scenarios that point to a further worsening of the political and humanitarian situation in Sudan and even the whole region. "A gamble with unknown consequences and very high risks," according to the British writer and anthropologist Alex de Waal, director of the non-governmental organisation Justice Africa.
The arrest warrant certainly illustrates the tension between principles and politics. Sometimes a fundamental truth leads to peace, as happened in South Africa after apartheid. In Sudan, the straight and principled path looks impassable. The political consequence could be that trying Bashir is pointless and that the arrest warrant will merely feed resentment against the west.
The opposite argument is also valid. Bashir does not recognise international law, but the arrest warrant does increase the pressure on (and isolation of) Bashir. Accomplices and counterparts elsewhere in the world now know they too can be indicted and run the risk of being accused of crimes against humanity. So the arrest warrant can send a preventative signal.
This does however demand that the case is brought to a conclusion. If this fundamental first case against a serving head of state does not reach a verdict, it will not be beneficial to the status of the ICC as the guardian of universal standards or for the international consensus that the horrific violence in Sudan must come to an end.
Dutch Interior Minister Guusje ter Horst believes local officials and politicians should be better instructed in what is acceptable behaviour for public servants. On the Dutch political television programme, Buitenhof, she said too many local politicians had displayed a lack of integrity recently.
She was referring to incidents including the scandal surrounding the mayor of Den Helder, Stefan Hulman. He was found to have been receiving allowances for two homes, and it also transpired that he had submitted a huge number of dubious expenses claims.
Ms ter Horst says this sort of behaviour brings local government into disrepute.
While in Turkey, local corruption is not a scandal but accepted as 'normal',
Sunday, March 8, 2009
In like a lion and out like a lamb, march ends this Sunday with a promising memory of upcoming spring. How delightful.