Sunday, January 31, 2010

Statement #28

''The souls of emperors and cobblers are cast in the same mold...The same reason that makes us bicker with a neighbor creates a war between princes."

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands turns 72 today

She is nearly the oldest head of state in Dutch history. Only her great grandfather Willem III was older when he died as reigning monarch in 1890 aged 73.

On 30 April this year Queen Beatrix will celebrate the 30th anniversary of her succession to the throne, which came after her mother Juliana abdicated aged 71.

Queen Beatrix remains very popular among Dutch expatriates. In a survey conducted by Radio Netherlands Worldwide, they gave her a rating of 8+.

Of the 1,100 expats surveyed, one in five of them has met the Queen, often during one of her state visits. I had the chance to meet her in 2007, but I was stuck in the Istanbul traffic jam.
Emigrants praise her state visits for boosting the image foreigners have of the Netherlands. Half of those interviewed expect the Queen will abdicate when she turns 75.

Beatrix is rarely quoted directly in the press, since the government information service (Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst) makes it a condition of interviews that she may not be quoted. This policy was introduced shortly after her inauguration, reportedly to protect her from political complications that may arise from "off-the-cuff" remarks.
She has one of the highest approval tatings in the Netherlands.

Day Opening - January 31

Michael Dudola: Premonition of Spring

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Culture driven economic revivals - Ruhr area / Istanbul

The Ruhr region of western Germany was once a thriving industrial zone that is now a collection of abandoned industrial sites. The disused sites are being transformed into museums and performance venues in the hope that regional interest and increased tourism will lead to economic revival.

2010 is the 25th anniversary of the EU’s Culture Capital program. Participants receive funds for events reflecting European character and that directly involve residents. The region of Ruhr, Germany and the cities of Istanbul, Turkey and Pecs, Hungary share the 2010 Cultural Capital title.

The lead gallery photos shows one of Rurh’s opening events, a light installation by artist Callous Porter at an old coal-wash plant in Essen’s Zeche Zollverein that is now a World Heritage site.

Day Opening - January 30

Bosphorus Bridge, Istanbul. one of the amazing 18 bridges of the world.

Bosphorus Bridge: Although it may not be the longest or largest bridge in the world, the Bosphorus Bridge in Turkey is renowned because it separates two continents, namely Europe and Asia. The Bosphorus Bridge was completed in 1973 with a main span of 3,523ft and clearance of 210ft. In 2005, American tennis star Venus Williams played a five-minute tennis match on the bridge with Turkish player Ipek Senoglu, the first tennis match ever to be played across two continents.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Obama and Casino Capitalisme

Many Americans cannot understand that the global superiority of 'this great nation' is over and they blame Obama for that. I think that the USA went down earlier regarding prestige and well exactly when Reagan introduced his 'Casino capitalism' which created the credit crunch crisis. And what is changed? Not that much,  bankers on Wall Street are still greedy and not many regulations are implemented to avoid a next crisis.

But one remarkable thing happened; grass root conservative America became well organized and are blaming the ‘socialist’ Obama for all what went wrong with the economy while the world, obviously, consider that it all started all long time ago, starting with Reagan.. Now conservative America is fighting and wants to get rid off the government while in Europe we took over the government a long time ago. That's a difference!

Is it because of that Finland consider high speed internet as a human right while in the USA people even not want to consider a health care insurance as a human right. That makes a big difference of setting priorities. America is still a great country but needs some self assessments desperately. Will Obama find a way out? I don’t know, but he still needs a fair chance for the rest of his term in office

Government support and the Car industry

A shimmering ray of light broke through the desolate darkness that enveloped the Western automotive industry, as the minuscule Dutch car manufacturer Spyker acquired Saab of Sweden.

Good news was long overdue in the car business, which has been performing poorly in both the US and Europe. Last year government subsidies on the purchase of new cars still propped up turnover somewhat, but this has eaten into future demand. An unsustainable government policy if there ever was one. Now that subsidy programmes have expired, this year will prove to be another tough one for the industry.

Spyker’s takeover of Saab recalls the image of a frog trying to swallow a heron, especially considering that Spyker is itself operating at a loss. In the world of high finance however, an acquisition like this one is anything but impossible.

Spyker’s stock exchange listing plays a part here, since it allows the company to raise capital easily. The current transaction may therefore be called a reverse takeover. Such a deal calls for sharply priced financing which is anything but risk-free.

Saab has been operating at a loss for twenty years. Its owner, General Motors, was more than happy to find a way out that would leave its pride intact. The Swedish government also benefits from the deal now on the table. It has also put its money where its mouth is by underwriting a loan from the European Investment Bank to the newly created Saab-Spyker conglomerate, in what appears to be a form of government support to private enterprise.

Spyker, a manufacturer of sports cars, but only in very modest numbers, will now be able to enjoy the benefits of Saab’s infrastructure. Saab may yet stand to gain from Spyker’s tenacious style of management, which will prove invaluable in a globalised market that leaves little room for bit players.

One thing is sure: this merger is the next step in the turbulent reshuffling of the car industry that is currently ongoing. The ‘Big Three’ American car manufacturers are all hurting. Ford has sold its Swedish subsidiary Volvo to a Chinese competitor. General Motors has also sold its trademark Hummer, an icon of American excess, to the Chinese. In Europe, only parts of the German car industry are still standing. Its French counterpart is only kept afloat by generous credits. General Motors has reconsidered its decision to sell Opel’s German operations, but it will be closing the brand’s Belgian franchise.

The importance of a healthy automotive industry is hard to overstate. The car business is more than a string of production plants and a source of employment. It is a hotbed of technical innovation in the areas of manufacturing technology, management, and fundamental research. Direct or indirect government support will only sustain the industry temporarily. It may also delay the implementation of necessary reforms. The car industry will need to face these tough times on its own. Only the future will tell if Spyker’s acquisition of Saab will prove successful, but the car industry sure could use some of the guts and entrepreneurship that are behind it.

Day Opening - January 28

I'm about you?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tiny Dutch car maker Spyker buys Saab

Money was apparently not the problem in the takeover of Saab by the small Dutch car company Spyker.

Spyker CEO Victor Muller told Dutch public radio today that the amount of money involved was not an issue. The problem was getting the Swedish company's owner General Motors to reverse its decision to run down the Saab brand.

He added that he does not regard the takeover of such a large company as an unacceptable risk and he hopes the shareholders will back him. Mr Muller intends to make Saab profitable again by emphasizing its exclusive character. In recent years, he says, Saabs have begun to look too much like Opels.

It is not the first time Muller, who revived the Spyker brand a decade ago, surprised the world with his optimism and unlimited energy. When Spyker was losing money in 2006, he bought a Formula 1 team for tens of millions of euros in a disastrous attempt to put his company on the map internationally. But negative publicity, investor walk-outs and troubles with the Dutch stock-market watchdog did little to steer Muller from his path.

Spyker’s purchase of a Formula 1 racing team in 2006, got the company deeper in already existing of financial trouble and made Muller collide with fellow shareholders, investors and journalists. He stood down as CEO in May 2007, but returned seven months later.

Some fun facts:
Spyker last year produced 43 cars, at an average price of 200,000 euros, with little over 100 employees. At its peak, Saab made over 100,000 cars and it currently employs 3,400. What's the difference...

The acquisition was hailed by politicians in Sweden, where Saab’s closing could have put 8,000 people (employers, car dealers and suppliers) out of work. The Swedish government, awaiting parliamentary elections later this year, did everything it could to prevent that.

More ant-semitism in the Netherlands

Today is the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi death camp Auschwitz. But anti-Semitism in the Netherlands is on the rise, partly as a result of last year’s Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. According to the Centre for Information and Documentation Israel, the figures have doubled, with 250 reports of anti-Semitism in 2009. “That is a lot considering the size of the Jewish community.” says Peter Rodriguez from the Anne Frank Foundation.

A Dutch newspaper describes how a 22-year-old was sworn at and beaten up in 2008. The case caused a commotion when it turned out that the police didn’t have time to take a statement from the young man. The fact that no-one was ever prosecuted has not improved feelings in the Jewish community. Jewish people feel increasingly discriminated against. Rabbi Raphael Evers tells the paper “My mother says it is worse than during the Second World War.” Mainly because of the growing Muslim population, Jewish people feel uncormfortable as they are often the target of Muslm youth.

But there is hope: children from Jewish secondary schools in Amsterdam are told to ask their grandparents for their stories about the Second World War. They are impressed when they see their own names on a wall commemorating those who were deported to Westerbork transit camp during the German occupation of the Netherlands. And that a Muslim school in Rotterdam has even adopted a war monument, the first ever Islamic school in the Netherlands to do so. The headmaster explains, “We tell the parents, without understanding Dutch history, you cannot live in this country.”

Day Opening - January 27


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Istanbul this morning

Istanbul this morning after 4 days of snow (storms) This is north Istanbul. On the other side of the Bosphorus you see Asian side of Istanbul. We live a little higher and have a spectacular view these days. This picture is made by Brian of Istanbulblogger. He lives around the corner (in Istanbul terms 20 minutes walking or 5 minutes driving)from Ö and me. You will find more amazing pictures there under A day in the Snow. Just check his blog!

Sometimes a whale is more than a tail

I've always thought that mass beachings by marine mammals were a little like Masadas and Jonestowns and various other antisocial actions taken by individuals and groups of individuals and even little communities of socialists that had not been corrupted by the allure of voting that could be probed, alien puns intended, for deeper meanings about the interactivity of various idiotic lifeforms the various idiotic Gods had decided in Their wisdom to dump on this doomed and dying planet for their sheer entertainment value.

When I designed the cover for the One Minute President, I chose to construct a collage of a big black whale (presaging former Secretary of State Colon Bowel, not some albino honkey Moby Dick, but a mean blooded buck) having his back broken by a rampaging Statue of Liberty after already having written in the introduction to the book that transformed George W. Bush from an inquisitive young drunk into the most powerful developmentally disabled asshole on earth: The One Minute President is not merely the stinging indictment of a system of government and thought so bereft of meaning and morality that even whales beach themselves on our shores to protest it.

I'm sure my conviction that marine mammals and I share a commitment to self-annihilation stems from having encountered herds of the beasts in a small boat on the Long Island Sound during my deformative years and having those butt hole surfers scare the fecal detritus out of me by flipping the boat en feet into the air in a playful display of inter species bonding that I still do not fully appreciate.

I write several pages every day outside my paying jobs and have been writing several pages every day for more than 40 years. Assuming that I only averaged 10 pages a day (although I sometimes write 50 pages in a single outburst and rarely write fewer than 1,000 words) during this period of ludicrous production of virtual cave graffiti, in the more than 145,000 pages of invective and satire and savage indignation I have produced over the years, who would be surprised that I often return to the idea of mass suicides among various species on a planet ruled by idiots and mock such events with the same ferocity I exhibit when discussing common poopadoodle?

For instance, today I happened across a piece I originally wrote in the third year after 9/11 (note the coded news cycle info), when the calendar changed because the world had suddenly become such a new and amazing place where everything was possible and people, plants, animals, and pure energy were for once able to share their perceptions about reality, fantasy, and poopadoodle. Or did I just imagine the horse exhaust about 9/11 changing everything?

I found the contents of that post particularly apropos considering the situation in Haiti and the entertaining coverage of that entirely predictable catastrophe on the InterWeb and the broadcast news.

You can read the whole thing here.

Day Opening - January 26

Beautiful roads of the world...

Monday, January 25, 2010

More confusion in the Muslim world

As far as I have understood, there are more than 400 references in the Qu'ran related to denigrating Jews and Christians. (Hindu's and Buddhist etc. don't exist).
But there is one person, Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Chair of the Italian Muslim Assembly, who preach another thing and also on another tone. For decades now.
Here about his last visit to Israel, and this is not propaganda, I know of his existence for more than 10 year!

After a decade of having watched our conflict morph, he says, from a thorny Arab-Israeli problem to a seemingly unsolvable Muslim-Jewish one, Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi, the director of the Italian Muslim Assembly and an outspoken critic of Islamic fanaticism and terrorism, has once again come here with a message of hope: Peace is possible between Islam and Judaism, between Israel and the Muslim world based on the Koran and the traditional Muslim sources.

The 49-year-old Sunni scholar was in Israel for three weeks, his first visit in four years, during which time he toured Jerusalem, was a guest of the Jewish community in Hebron, and lectured at Bar-Ilan University and the Israel Center in Jerusalem (sponsored by the Root and Branch, where he is co-chair of the Islam-Israel Fellowship).

The crux of what Palazzi has to say is that Israel exists by "divine right" not only according to the Bible but also according to the Koran. He notes that it is clearly stated in the Koran (Sura 5:21) that God gave the Land of Israel to the Children of Israel and ordered them to settle there. In addition, it is predicted that before the End of Days, God will bring the Children of Israel to retake possession of the Land, gathering them from the different countries and nations (Sura 17:104).
 As a Muslim who accepts this premise of the Koran, Palazzi has no problem with Jewish sovereignty over the entire Land of Israel - including Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. During his visit here, he repeatedly urged Israel to assert its sovereignty by building in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and wresting political control of the Wakf (the Supreme Muslim Authority) and the Temple Mount from the Palestinian Authority.

Continue reading here

Day Opening - January 25

The Turkish militairy busy as usual with plotting.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day Opening - January 24

The mediaval city of Calcata, Italy. Now a place for hippies and squatters!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Teeming With Stupidity And Weirdness: Just No

Teeming With Stupidity And Weirdness: Just No

Fresh plans for 2010!!!

Did you make any plans for 2010? Do you want this year to be different from others? Well, I do!

I am thinking (for the first time) to make plans how to spend my year and what I want to achieve from it. The very next step is writing them with a big fonts and put it to my wall to remember everyday for motivation. Let`s see if it is going to work it out! Wish me good luck!

Day Opening - January 23

See the differences.

Friday, January 22, 2010

To Understand Turkey and Turkish people

Below you will find a column by Orhan Kemal Cengiz, a friend.
If I write down what he wrote in Today's Zaman a couple of days ago, I was 'hanged, cursed, fatwaa'd' and named a racist, colonialist, orientalist (what's wrong with that - the Orient still percieve the rest of the world as colonial barbarians - stuck in the past) facists and of course a Zionist. But this time Orhan wrote it down. A Turk. I know that some nationalist will try to define the guy as a Greek, Armenian or worse Jewish (...) spy. But he's only a simple Turkish lawyer and Human Rights activist.

Just read:

If you know something about the human soul then you’ll understand Turkey.

But you can’t understand it with theories or concepts. In Turkey, infrastructure is not dependent on superstructure, even in the final stage. The reverse is also true. In short, you cannot make sense of this country with the help of Marx or Max Weber. You can only understand this country with the help of Yunus, who said, “There is an inner self inside me.”

Turkey is like a wounded person who suffers from a complicated neurosis. You can hear him brag about himself in seizures that are brought on by profound inferiority complexes. He continuously oscillates between two ends of a pendulum. If you cannot understand this neurotic individual, you cannot understand Turkey, either.

Suppose your father had committed a crime before your eyes when you were a kid, and you dedicated your life to denying this incident ever happened. Suppose that you have a number of sisters and brothers. None of you could remember that moment of murder, but occasionally, you talk about it with fuzzy memories. There was a half brother, wasn’t there? But, he had provoked our father too much! But, we can’t remember it all. What happens to these neighbors? All of them are lousy. They try to bring those images before our eyes. They just want to separate our family. They want to strip us of everything we have. We have no friend in this world, and we are all alone.
Continue reading herreeeeee

Are Dutch getting nuts?

To some this may appear to be a rhetorical question while others may take some comfort regarding their own sanity from a report in a Dutch newspaper of today, which tells that a recent survey among Dutch drivers shows that “Many Dutch people have a personal or even emotional bond with their cars”.

Apparently, twelve percent of all female motorists in that country regularly hold what surely must be very one-sided conversations with their vehicles, compared to only 6 percent of male drivers. Five percent of all motorists even give their cars nicknames, including such gems as The Flea, Old Boy, The Green Monster, The Mini Disco and My Midlife Chrysler. The survey also showed that the Dutch are very careful about their cars and don’t easily trust others to drive in them. The only other person allowed to drive in the old jalopy is usually the owner’s partner...
I am curious how lang those Dutch female drivers talk to their cars?.)) Here in Istanbul, when you see a driver making strange 'moves' 9 out of 10, it are female drivers.))!!

Day Opening - January 22

Cool dog, by Asti Rus

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fat passengers in Fat planes....

The Dutch national airline KLM, these days part of KLM-Air France, has recently decided to charge obese passengers for an extra seat, albeit at a 25 percent discount. A KLM spokesperson looked on the bright side: “It’s great, isn’t it? Now they are sure to get a seat.” However, “the fatties themselves are really furious”. One of the ‘fatties’ in question, Jos Blik, from Amsterdam, who weighs in at an ample 200 kilos, envisages embarrassing discussions between obese passengers and cabin crew about whether they are they actually too big to fit in one seat. “It’s already so embarrassing. This is just another case of adding insult to injury”.

KLM says that in the past, there have been instances where it was unable to seat a passenger because they were too big for one seat, while a second was not available. The new policy reportedly guarantees that obese passengers will be able to actually reach their destination. However, Mieke van Spanje, the chair of the Obesitas Association, does not see it that way. She calls the policy “unethical” and “Hopefully a very early April Fools Day joke”. Ms Van Spanje says airlines should have two seats for obese people on every jetliner. “Because they are now making their problem our problem”.

The Dutch Socialist Party MP Emile Roemer supports her point of view: “Do midgets get a short-people discount when two can fit in one seat? Do pregnant women have to pay extra? No, of course not. It proves this is a clear case of discrimination”. His party has demanded the transport and public health ministers find out whether the new KLM policy violates European aviation regulations...
What do you think? I love to have 3 seats on my own! Once they put me in a 'middle seat' which means that I felt like a sardine...but I didn't file a law suit. Discrimination?...hmmmm

Day Opening - January 21

Friends since childhood.
By; Raymond Rekis

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Voting makes you stupid

Just kidding. Voting simply reinforces genetic stupidity that has been identified in human DNA and is one of the key reasons that the Bush administration was dead-set against steam room (or was it stem cell) research because Fubar and Insignificant Dick Cheney feared that stupidity would eventually be bred out of humanity, leading to peace, love, and understanding.

Did I really just write that? Of course not. I wrote it much later and then copied it and came back here to paste it. Time and space are like that. You can do whatever you want with them and they won't complain. People, on the other hand, complain about every goddamn thing. Take me. Please.

Once again it is Tuesday after lunch, that cosmic time in the universe when everyone can see without glasses and hear without idiot-assisted commentators. And smell. God damn that smell.

I realize some people think that democracy is a step up the evolutionary ladder from slime mold, but I've always viewed the act of voting as a form of self-abuse that doesn't even engender the slightest pleasurable shudder in the loins. Voting is an unnatural act designed to debase human beings and have them genuflect before the altar of supreme secular stupidity.

I don't need you to be the boss of me, and I surely don't need whoever you voted for. Are you kidding?

I recall exactly when I decided our wonderful democratic system and its freedoms was adulterated horse exhaust. This was long before George W. Bush became the world's most powerful developmentally disabled little Eichmann on the planet through exercise of the rule of law or Biraq Insane Obama took over to make the world safe for the rest of the idiots.

Pataphysicians, offend your bad selves with the Paul Harveyian dregs of the story

Day Opening - January 20

Fužine, Croatia, by Disorder

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Blue Monday

It was yesterday 'Blue Monday', the most depressing day of the year. The best day ''to stay in bed with the curtains closed and the blankets pulled over your head". Diid you?

According to a formula devised by a psychologist and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) expert, Monday the 18th of January is the most depressing day of the year. Although other experts doubt the scientific veracity of the formula, there's plenty to be depressed about; the joys of Christmas are long behind us, New Year's resolutions have failed and it is dark, cold, wet and miserable outside. Unless you live in Australia or South America where you enjoy a warm and nice holiday.)!

Anyway, we Eurasians and Americans, this should all mean that we can now look forward to around 51 happier Mondays, although I have my doubts about that.

Day Opening - January 19 - Three Years Later

Three years after the killing of Hrant Dinc a solution (read: conviction) still far away.

Omnium: Another hypocritical idiot

Omnium: Another hypocritical idiot

Dutch 'defriended' as far back as 1626

'Friends' by Jan Steen.

Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and their ilk, have spawned a host of new jargon. Surprisingly, one of these terms was already in use in 17th century Holland.

“Defriending”, or ostracizing a former pal from one’s digital inner circle, might seem to be the pinnacle of linguistic modernity. When the act of defriending was first committed is a fact perhaps lost forever in the fog of history. But surely this historic moment did not take place in 17th century Holland?

Perhaps it did, Dutch writer Ed Schilders has found. Using the tried and true technique of lexicographical resarch (i.e. looking somehing up in the dictionary) he discovered the Dutch translation of the word (ontvriending) dates back to at least 1626. He found the term in de Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal, an exhaustive 43-volume opus on the Dutch language which took more than a century to complete.

Hidden on one of the Woordenboek’s 50,000-odd pages, Schilders found an entry written in 1892 describing the practice of ‘defriending’, which at the time meant “to take away one’s friends” or “to make into an enemy”. The entry quotes references dating from 1626 and 1658. One is a reference to the infamous courtesan of Lais, a woman so beautiful - and sexually available – that she drew pupils away from a famous philosopher, “defriending” him in the old-fashioned sense of the word. “Today you can defriend someone. In the past, you were defriended,” said Wouter van Wingerden, a linguistic consultant with the Society for the Dutch Language.

The other reference is found in Psalm 88:8, translated in the King James Bible as “Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me.” The Dutch version quoted in the Woordenboek might be close to 400 years old but it is definitely more concise. It reads ‘Mijn vrienden hebt ghy my ont-vrindt,’ which translates to “My friends thou hast defriended.”

The word fell into disuse after the 17th century, perhaps because the Netherlands had few friends left. By 1672, the young Dutch republic found itself at war with France, England, and the dioceses of Cologne and Munster.

In 2009, “ontvrienden” (defriending) was named Word of the Year in an annual election held by the Dutch publisher of dictionaries, Van Dale. The title is commonly reserved for new words. The winner of the 2008 election (“swaffelen”) describes a decidedly odd sexual act popularised by a Dutch student who catapulted to internet fame when a video of him appeared online. Without going into unnecessary detail, the video featured both the boy’s privates and the Taj Mahal. It does not yet appear in the Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal.

According to van Wingerden, the word is, to some extent, really new, since it had fallen into disuse for centuries and has only recently been reincorporated into the Dutch language as a translation from English.

For a term that describes such an unsociable act, “defriend” has proven surprisingly popular worldwide. In 2009, the New Oxford American Dictionary also anointed the word “unfriend” Word of the Year, noting that the term had “both currency and potential longevity”. The American dictionary did note the word “friend” had been in use as a verb in 17th century English.

source, NRC

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Look out Ladies, Sam is in Town:

The Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf (compare it with Hürriyet in Turkey) has tracked down fugitive people trafficker Saban Baran, otherwise known in the Netherlands as ‘the beast’. The notorious criminal escaped during family leave from a Dutch prison last September, in spite of warnings that he was likely to do a runner. He is a violent criminal who forced at least 100 women into prostitution. Now he runs a disco in, or not?!

Apparently the Dutch authorities sent a delegation to Turkey last November. Although it didn’t actually find the fugitive people trafficker, it realised there was no point in putting Baran on a most wanted list as Turkey has no extradition treaty with the Netherlands. For the Dutch this all points out how this “goes against the general public’s sense of justice”.

Sam was sentenced to eight years in prison in absentia, shortly after his disappearance. And in case some of yous need any persuasion about what a nasty piece of work he is,  prints a photo of his victims after he has beaten her up are widespread on the Internet.
Forced abortions, beaten up with baseball bets, 'branding' his 'women' with a 'B' on their bodies...the list goes on.
But no way that the Turkish authorities wants to extradit him to the Netherlands. No, he's a Turk and needs to be pampered like a Turk. Hundreds of women are hidden in women shelters. But in a country where 'Muslimhood' is more important than womens rights, he enjoy a nice and beautiful life in Antalya.
Yep, Sam is back in town although not Amsterdam but Antalya...

Day Opening - January 17

Paris by night
by: thewestistheverybest

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Away for a couple of days

I am heading  to Belgium and the Netherlands in a couple of hours, and will be back in a couple of days e.g. Sunday. Good to know that the roads are okay now and no snow expected the next couple of days im NW Europe.
Until then!

Day Opening - January 15

....we all have a nice flight...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bulgarian European commission candidate blunders at hearing

Bulgaria is lately often in the news regarding their EU membership. But the following story makes really headlines!

By Jeroen van der Kris in Brussels

The Bulgarian candidate for the new European commission allegedly hid her ownership of a company, getting herself and chairman Barroso in trouble.“Disastrous,” was an oft-heard comment in Brussels about Rumania Jeleva’s performance Tuesday at a hearing by members of the European parliament. The Bulgarian, Rumania Jeleva (40), prospective commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response, could have done little worse than she did.

Her name had been circulating for weeks. Rumour had it her husband worked for a company involved with Russian organised crime. Nobody knew if these rumours had any merit. Then, on Tuesday, only hours before the hearing, an article appeared on the Financial Times Deutschland’s website containing a verifiable claim: Jeleva was said not to have reported the fact that she owned a consultancy firm. A direct violation of EU rules.

Jeleva responded clumsily to the accusation. At the start of her hearing, Thijs Berman, spokesperson for the Party of European Socialists, asked the obvious question about her alleged business interests. Others followed his lead, but Jeleva ignored the question entirely and set off on a ten minute monologue about anything but her consulting business. When the parliamentarians finally got her to answer the question she switched from English to Bulgarian, apparently afraid to make mistakes.
Continue reading herrreeeeee

Day Opening - January 14

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tuesday after lunch, the cosmic time in the universe

This post is a tribute to the truly Imaginary Dan O'Neill, a man whose work did more to inspire my dehumanistic efforts to cure my imaginary acquaintances around the globe of their imaginary diseases by offering the kind of mercy and understanding that this Dan O'Neill can't even conjure without your generous contributions.

It is also a test of whether I can figure out how to cross-post to Dr. Faustroll Writes the Wrongs as well as the Pataphysical Emergency Broadcast System.

Pataphysicians in your area in voluntary cooperation with the NOMF and other global, federal, state and local anti-authoritarians have developed this system to keep you disinformed in the event of a factual emergency. If this had been a life-threatening emergency, the attention-grabbing sentence you just read would have been followed by a flash of light, searing heat, and a voice from beyond asking if you know where your tookus is.

Obviously, the world has been saved again, and we can get on with the business of enhancing our preconceptions of one another by considering that all politics is poopadoodle, locally and globally, as I slip into my smoking jacket and begin to recite from a post about the voting dance of idiots in Oregonadia, a place I know well.

No one has ever gone broke misunderestimating the stupidity of the American people. Inspiring Americans to yearn to strive for the manageable mediocrity that comes with being dumb, fat, and lazy is what has made this country great. Look around, you don't believe me. Show me one accomplishment in the past 50 years of American history that wasn't predicated upon stupidity, ignorance, or mean-spirited bigotry, and I'll let you see my photograph collection of Klingons circling Uranus.


If the eight-year reign of error from 2000-2008 wasn't enough proof that Americans are morons, all you have to do is look at how U.S. elections are conducted and how easily voters get fooled again and again, unable to admit how completely batshit insane it is to expect different results while repeating the same dumb process.

Consider the fact that two ballot measures in Oregasm are in danger of failing, despite involving what amounts to spare change from the ruling class, but ordinary Oregonadian idiots are lining up in their tea-bagging costumes to shout and spew and fume and brandish weapons to celebrate the second amendment, which was put into the Constitution by the Founding Fathers in support of the notion that there is no problem that can't be solved with the right bullet. America is always looking to build better bullets.

Day Opening - January 13

Hamas humor...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Heineken is buying Mechiko Beer!

You first buy their beer and then you take their minds. Enfin, I rather see Heineken building a beer brewery in Saudie Arabia or Kuwait, Rocking the Kasbah, than buy one of my favorite beers.
But I know that my son in Monterrey will be happy!

So, our Dutch multinational Heineken has purchased the Mexican brewer Femsa Cerveza for 3.8 billion euros. 

It is the second major acquisition by the Dutch brewer in the last few years. In 2008, the Amsterdam-based company purchased the British Scottish & Newcastle in a joint acquisition with Danish brewer Carlsberg, paying 7.8 billion pounds sterling.

Heineken hopes its newest expansion will strengthen its hold on the Latin American market. Femsa Cerveza is the brewer of Sol, Dos Equis, Tecate and other beers.
The global beer market has seen a lot of upheaval in recent years. Developing markets, where there is still room for growth in consumption, are hotly contested by a handful of giant brewers.

Heineken got the best of several other brewers that had shown an interest in Femsa, including the Irish multinational Diageo and its direct competitor SABMiller.

Femsa, which is currently owned by a number of Mexican families, is one of Mexico’s two largest brewers. It controls about half of the local market, owns 35 beer brands and is the largest bottler of Coca Cola on the planet. The acquisition of Femsa will increase Heineken’s market share not only in Mexico, but also in Brazil and the US, where Femsa’s products are popular with Latin Americans. Many of Femsa’s products are currently distributed by Heineken in the US. This contract would have come up for grabs if another party had purchased Femsa.

Heineken’s own brand and Amstel have performed well in the American market, but these ‘premium’ beers have come under pressure due to the economic crisis.

Heineken is paying 3.8 billion for Femsa, but it will also be taking on 1.5 billion in debt and retirement plan obligations. The acquisition is funded by a stock emission which will lead to changes in the brewer’s management. The Mexicans have acquired a minority interest in Heineken, granting them two seats on the company’s supervisory board. The Heineken family will retain its controlling interest in the company. Markets responded positively to the news, with Heineken’s stock value currently up four percent.

Day Opening - January 11

Daily business in Miami

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Men and Their Promises

Global warming? Europe hit by severe cold weather...
From: the West Is The Very Best

Day Opening - January 10


Saturday, January 9, 2010

How to be a well-behaved Rum (Official name for Turks of Greek origin)

Below a sharp article by Herkül Millas, a Turkish citizen of Greek origin and  a Political Scientist.

How to be a well-behaved Rum

*Warning! This piece of writing is meant to be ironic. It may be misleading for those not familiar with irony. (HM)

When Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew spoke recently during a visit abroad about some of his complaints in reference to life in Turkey, many people -- from state dignitaries to civilian patriotic types -- displayed reactions that ranged from “Turks cannot be thus crucified” to “Whatever it is you want to say, don’t say it in foreign lands -- say it here instead.” And when I recalled that my grandmother, who used to love cats very much, used to warn us when we were being naughty and pulling the tails of local cats “Min ta stavronete ta gatia” or “Don’t crucify those cats!” it made me think to myself, “Well, I guess we are Rums, and we start up with this crucifixion business pretty early in life!” In any case, the real point of this piece of writing is quite different. I was able to extract the necessary lesson from this incident, and now I wanted to give you readers -- as well as the few true Rum specimens (“Rum” being a term used to describe Turkish citizens of Greek ethnic origin) who may be reading this -- some pointers on how to be good Rums. Here is my list:

A wise Rum never speaks about Turkey when abroad. And of course, the wisest stance of all is to simply never mention anything that could sound to anyone like a complaint. Actually, the less you speak, the more profitable it will be for you! The real ideal here is complete silence. Even less than silence. This is also sometimes referred as “knowing your place.”

If a Rum feels he or she absolutely must speak on some topic, then one subject they could touch on would be the unfairness of the policies applied by Greece to the minorities in Western Thrace. The complaints that the minorities living in Western Thrace have about life can be mentioned.

Continue readding herrreeee

Day Opening - January 9


Friday, January 8, 2010

White couple gets black son

'White woman gives birth to black son, father unknown” is the bizarre tale of a Dutch white lesbian couple, one of whom went to the local hospital to be inseminated with the sperm of a good friend – also white – only to give birth to a black child. While in this case the error couldn’t be clearer, experts say the administration at the hospital’s sperm bank was so disorganised that many more mix-ups may have occurred: donor details were not recorded, donors were not given medical check-ups and the vials in which donor sperm was stored were not coded.

The lesbian couple in this case have now gone to court to make the hospital divulge the identity of the likely father. “Our son has a right to know who his father is. And he needs to know that we have done everything possible to obtain that information,” was their emotional plea. But the gynaecologist in question is refusing to give the information on the grounds of medical confidentiality. The women’s lawyer emphasises the extent of the impact: not only the mothers and their son are affected but also the friend who donated his sperm and may be the father of other children as a result of a similar mix-up. It’s now up to the judge to decide whether confidentiality wins out over disclosure.
If I were the son, I also would know who the heck my father is...

Day Opening - January 8

The Netherlands yesterday (monumental protected area)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sick? Twitter your doctor...

A Dutch populistic tabloid reports that two general practitioners have opened a "virtual surgery" that utilises both Twitter and the internet. Patients report their symptoms via Twitter and doctors Bram Brandenburg and Erik Jansen tweet the diagnosis back to the ailing person. Dr Brandenburg tells the paper: "It can be anything from the flu to skin diseases - with photos - to requests for a second opinion."

Because tweets cannot be longer than 140 characters, "patients with a complicated case are given a login code and they can report their symptoms in more details on a secure website".

The National Federation of General Practitioners is not wildly enthusiastic about the move and its spokesperson tells the paper: "While we are not against utilising new technologies, we are concerned about confidentiality".
One can imagine the diagnosis: take two aspirins and tweet me in the morning!
source: RNW

Day Opening - January 7

Chain bridge in the fog, Budapest, Hungary.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I am whining to you from a strange, strange land...

Thanks for the warm intro, Hans. You realize that many Portlanders may be offended by your description of Stumptown as “the always sad and misery city.” Some may think that you meant they are stingy, although they are no more miserly than folks in Scroogetown or Tightwadington. Portlanders pride themselves on living in a place that is almost like all the really important places in the world without any of the less than desirable consequences that come with actually being an important place.

For instance, there is no crime in Portland, and they have a gay mayor who didn't swap cigars with Monica Lewinsky and waited until Beau Breedlove was 18 to do the old in-out in-out. Thought crime is only a misdemeanor, and it still isn't illegal to install a Web cam in a portable toilet and stream video of the backsides of unsuspecting crappers to the Internet. Homeless people in Portland self-organize into Dignity Villages and Joyous Sheltervilles, and panhandlers will actually do your dishes for spare change. All you have to do is bring them to the transit mall or Old Town, which is an American landmark which served as the basis for Skid Row.

The truth is, I was run out of Portland twenty years ago for conduct unbecoming a caring citizen. I’m writing this post from the Portland Pataphysical Outpatient Clinic, Lounge, and Laundromat secret headquarters just down the road from Idiotville, Oregon. It's a ghost town now, but perfect for hiding out from enraged gaggles of Portlanders. Google it, if you don’t believe me.

Dear readers, unlike Hans and the other Internation authors, I only speak and write in English, and some say I don’t do that very well either. When Hans first approached me about co-blogging last September 11 (the eighth anniversary of another day of infamy that apparently changed absolutely nothing), I was skeptical, particularly when he wrote these words: It took me more than one year to find a sane USA citizen, brave and courage, familiar with Faust his Greatness until I found this blog....I had received a similar letter from a fanboy at the CIA last year asking me if I wanted to become an airborne underwear model for the chance to win a free one-way ticket to Detroit.

I'm not only a proud Faustian, people. Equally important to the demonic bloodline is the troll ancestry on my mother’s side. I bet you didn’t know that most civilized native North American Indians are descended from trolls. Well, now you do. Some people call us Cherokees, because white people kept sneaking up behind us, but we’re trolls in our hearts, and in our underpants.

Hans has given me complete freedom to write about anything I want as long as I don’t get any more obscene than Pope Eggs Benedict when he puts down homos, which (knowing the Pope personally from his Hitler Youth days) does not specifically refer to limp-wristed same-sex butt-buddies but to homosapiens in general. I have promised not to use overly use my favorite four-letter expletive that begins with f and ends with k, because I'm a flexible doctor, you see.

I also agreed to refrain from insulting Muslims, Christians, and Jews, because I have free rein to go after Agnostics, Atheists, Stoics, Mormons, Yazidis, Bahaå'i's, Sikhs, Hindus, Shintos, Scientologists, Zoroastrians, Confucians, Janes, Epicureans, Transcendal Meditationists, and Stoogists, not to mention Americans, many of whom I know well, some more intimately than I would have liked, having survived more than 60 years among their proud idiocy without apprehension, detention, and harsh interrogation. Lucky me.

I have worked as a writer and editor for years, often involved with translation and localization to support heavy equipment, computer hardware, software, and services for release into the wild in the EU, South America, Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East. In that capacity, I have always been told that humor does not translate well, and it is unwise to instruct non-English speaking people not to stick their tongues on the electrodes on a computer power supply because damage to the equipment may result. Apparently non-English speaking people are always serious, suicidal, and will go out of their way to stick their tongues on power supply electrodes simply to show any American who's boss around here.

In my own work, however, I only write humor, satire, and invective, because I don't believe in anything and was born with a surplus of funny bones but little sense, common or otherwise. If you really want to be insulted and offended, visit my blogs by clicking on the title of this post. My nickname is More Brains and Than Balls, and the only tool I have to express the fierce laceration inflicted upon my heart by dealing with the lunacy of my fellow citizens is Swiftian English.

In the United States, we claim to believe that all people are created equal and should have equal opportunity to justice, fairness, health, and happiness. This is horse exhaust, of course, but it sounds nice and keeps people from other countries that are more honest about reality trying to get over here to glom up on all the wonderful things that America has to offer, most of which involve fast foods and ephemeral services.

Kurt Vonnegut realized that the only way to make all people equal is to create a Handicapper General to level the playing field and have everyone struggle to achieve the lowest level of manageable mediocrity, a concept John Cougar Mellancamp immortalized in Little Pink Houses. He sang this song with a straight face at the party to celebrate the election of Barrack Hussein Obama and nobody noticed, except the Republicans who said the party sent the wrong message to terrorists.

So if I write something that offends you, take heart in the realization that it probably also offends thousands, maybe millions and possibly billions of other people with whom you and I have nothing in common, except the secrets we don’t want to talk about and the obvious facts that seem too depressing to even point out. Consider me an equal opportunity offender who has yet to find a country, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, economic theory, philosophy, political system, ideology, or fraternal order to feel at home with. In fact, I recently changed my fingerprints because the old ones kept smudging the screen on my iPod.

I’ll try to focus only Hegelian energy in my posts here and refrain from the annoying positions I take when dealing optimists (who believe the glass is half full) and pessimists (who prefer it half empty). Instead, I ask you to put aside your preconceived notions of how stupid and mean-spirited Americans are, and let me show you how much less intelligent and more vicious they really are. As another of Vonnegut's dying characters once said on a freight car on his way to a concentration camp: You think this is bad? This ain't so bad.

If you are looking for cynicism, go elsewhere. Cyncism is entirely too positive a world view, embraced only by wimps and pollyannas, and the whole half-full/half-empty debate is wasting precious energy when we should be trying to keep the planet from dissolving. Do you realize that if the planet continues to dissolve at the current rate, billions of people will be sucked through the surface and spewed into space? Trust me. I heard it in an old Steppenwolf song.

So, my solution for the new year is to dispense with these bothersome glasses and drink straight from the bottle. Care to join me?