Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Pope is doing it again.

Tuesday’s comments by the Vatican’s second man, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone indicating a connection between “homosexuality and paedophilia” has led to furious reactions throughout the world. The cardinal, who made the comments in Santiago in Chile, says there is scientific evidence for his claims.

While the Pope, previous as a cardinal, himself may be guilty of covering up sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests! German magazine Die Zeit revealed last week that he personally appealed to a US bishop to stop a church trial of Father Murphy in 1998 for the sexual abuse of 200 deaf children. In a letter to the bishop he wrote 'that father Murphy had suffered enough and was in poor health'. My ass! No, not mine, his!


Hence, the Dutch gay rights organisation COC calls the cardinal’s claim at least as “absolute nonsense”. It says his words contradict a 2009 report by the US Bishops Conference that concludes that there is no connection between homosexuality and paedophilia. According to a spokesperson even the pope dismissed such a connection in The New York Times two years ago. (Cannot find the link again)
Another Dutch person, the Theology professor at Amsterdam’s Free University, Ruard Ganzevoort, says the comments demonstrate the chasm between the moral thinking of society and the moral thinking of the church. In the church’s eyes both are violations of the rules. And Pastoral psychologist Anke Bisshops says she has no idea which scientific evidence the cardinal is referring to. “It seems to be another Vatican slip up: either the Jews or homosexuals are to blame.”  She points out how inward-looking the Vatican is. In its culture this is not a strange thing to say, confirming how estranged the Roman Catholic church is to the rest of the world.
Inward looking and outward to innocent children!
On the picture above you can see how lively the Pope is.
No death threats from Catholic radical suicide bombers however...

Iceland; A Paradice for (internet) Journalists?

Iceland’s much anticipated “Truth Report” into the causes of the 2008 financial crisis has highlighted not only the “extreme negligence” of senior political and financial figures, but also the lack of openness and transparency about just what the country’s banking sector was getting up to. A new parliamentary initiative seeks to ensure that Icelanders will never be kept ignorant again.

When the Icelandic economy imploded in 2008, the citizens of the vast island with a tiny population were stunned. Most Icelanders had no idea their nation was so financially exposed. Government documents leaked to the public since then show that many in power knew exactly what was going on. Yesterday’s report into the financial crisis has also confirmed that the then head of Iceland’s central bank, along with the then prime minister, withheld information about the true state of the country’s economy.

Paradise for journalists

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, openness has become a catchword in Iceland, along with the belief that everyone has not just a right but also a duty to know what the government is getting up to in their name. One response to this is the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (Immi), a proposal supported by all parties that aims to make Iceland a haven for investigative journalists and whistleblowers everywhere.
The official website of the Immi says “Because of an economic meltdown in the banking sector, a deep sense is among the nation that a fundamental change is needed in order to prevent such events from taking place again”. The proposal tasks the government with adopting laws that provide strong protection for sources and freedom of expression and information both at home and abroad. As some nations are known as tax havens for their secrecy, the Immi suggests Iceland could be the opposite – a journalism paradise known for its openness.

The proposal has a practical as well as an idealistic side, suggesting that attracting internet-based international media and publishers could become a growth industry for Iceland.

Source: RWD

Day Opening - April 14

Old Monastary, Syria (nex weekend we will have a XXL weekend - we spend that weekend in Syria and Lebanon (Beirut)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Advertising dictatorship

Netherlands is one of the worst countries for bombarding television viewers with advertising. And I always believed that Turkey and the USA are much worse  But lets take a snapshot: the average coach potato watches a stunning 380 commercials a week, putting the Netherlands in eighth place!  World wide!
Changing channels doesn’t help either. Both public and commercial channels double the amount of time dedicated to advertising by adding trailers for their own programmes. The Dutch Advertisers’ Association is not pleased with the development as the trailers do not help the efficiency of their commercials.And the patience of television viewers in the Netherlands has reached its limit. Only six percent of people say they like watching TV commercials. Part of the problem is that TV advertising is a relatively cheap medium with huge reach, making it attractive to low-budget advertisers. And you don’t need me to tell you that watching cheaply-made adverts increases the irritation factor. Three years ago when commercial channels introduced advertising pop-ups during programmes one viewer was so incensed that he wrote “We are sliding into an advertising dictatorship.” Then we here in Turkey are already in it, next to some 'other dictatorships'.

Underage prostitutes locked up while their pimps walk - update the Netherlands

The Netherlands locks up underage girls who have been manipulated into prostitution. They are held "for their own protection". Their pimpt often go free.

By Merel Thie and Frederiek Weeda


A white sheet lay spread out on the floor. The girl who lives in this room prefers sleeping under her desk instead of on her bed, her supervisor explained. She was neglected as a child and feels safest tucked away in a corner.
The floor-sleeper is one of 60 girls housed at the Alexandra protective care facility for minors in the Dutch city of Almelo. Of all the girls there, 90 percent were exploited by pimps. Sometimes the girls themselves deny they are victims, but if the authorities harbour strong enough suspicions they are locked up at Alexandra nonetheless.
morreeeee herrrreeee

Day Opening - April 11

Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, by Mehmet Akmin

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Secrecy unveiled by the almighty internet

A week ago the world was surprised by a scandal caused by the US military during the war in Iraq. Accompanied by deciphered footage of the US army, recorded from an Apache helicopter, and published by Wikileaks.org, it showed us the ease at which the army used (and most probably still uses) force against innocent people in combat zones.

After publication of this footage the entire media corps spent time on analyzing and criticizing the role of the US army, especially at missions that aren't globally supported. Let me be clear, this is not a plea in favor of the US army (or whatever army in these situations), but I want to take a better look at the sources that reveal news like this. It strikes me that the serious media is being lead by websites that can proclaim anything in order to put others in a negative spotlight. And yes, it is of course a good thing that the 'good guys' will be corrected where needed, so unnecessary harm will be prevented in the future.

Websites like Wikileaks publish topics on their pages which seem products of journalism, but contain lots of subjectivity, including 'text balloons' and subtitles in the video, pointing out what the persons in the picture were carrying or doing. It enforces the assumption that what happened was utterly wrong, that's for sure. On the other hand, the serious media instantly followed the statements, because the pictures spoke for themselves. Well, I question that. Couldn't the picture have been cut and edited? Couldn't the voices been put in afterward, just to exaggerate the story? During a moment of extreme stress, sometimes wrong decisions are taken, which unfortunately lead to innocent casualties. This event has only been one of the many shootings which took place in Baghdad and in Iraq, but just because it had been a doubtful context it is food for the masses.

I am a fan of people like Michael Moore, but I do not absorb the information unconditionally. It is valuable that there are people and media that stand up against the establishment, but let's not assume that initiatives like Wikileaks tell us the objective truth and nothing but the truth.

Halal or not Halal: how to kill animals on the right way...

Britain’s second biggest fast food chain hoped to woo the Islamic market by opening 86 trial outlets selling halal-only meat – that’s from animals slaughtered under strict religious guidelines.

But KFC’s target diners insist the chickens are not being killed in the right way and say they will stay away.
And furious non-Muslim customers have set up Facebook groups protesting that the trial branches, which also ban pork, have dropped their favourite bacon-topped Big Daddy burger from menus.
Groups with names such as “Against the KFC Halal Trial” and “No Halal at Colne KFC” – referring to a branch in the Lancs town – are rapidly attracting members. For meat to be halal, the animal must be alive when its throat is cut as a verse from the Koran is recited.
KFC insists their methods meet the approval of the Halal Food Society. But Islamic leaders disagree, saying the pre-stunning of animals in the chain’s mechanical process means a third are already dead at the point of slaughter.
And the fact the prayer is played over a speaker means each bird it not blessed individually as it is killed.
They have now threatened to warn the UK’s 2.4million Muslims not to eat KFC meat, and will meet with the fast food giant on Wednesday to question how it is killing chickens sold as halal.
I am happy that we have in the Netherlands the PvdD, Party of Animals.

Day Opening - April 11

Thinking in beauty!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

#Statement 35

There was a time when a male lion was seen as an embodiment of a great and dominant hunter of a pride. This perception reflected the majority of opinions at a certain time. However, various studies conducted in ensuing years told a different story: that female lions were the real hunters of a pride. That is, statistics of female lions hunting for their pride dominated the overall hunting pattern of a pride. These statistics put to rest the specific question of who hunted the most in a pride. In fact, these statistics form the definitive scientific basis of these studies.

Day Opening - April 10

Japanese garden, the UK, yesterday

Friday, April 9, 2010

A funny 'love story' with bad ending

A Dutch newspaper run a story with the heading "Desperate hero loses lover anyway",  which tells the sorry tale of an 18-year-old resident of The Hague who decided to win back his ex-girlfriend by staging a robbery. He planned to prove his worth by leaping to the rescue of the damsel in distress. Initially everything seemed to go according to plan: girl walks home at midnight, knife-wielding masked assailant duly appears and "like a true action hero, the ex boyfriend leaps out, charges after the thug and saves the day after a dramatic tussle as the girl looks on."

If it hadn't been for those pesky CCTV cameras all over the place, we might even have had a happy ending. But police investigating the case found footage of the action hero chatting away to the thug beforehand like the best of pals. When confronted with the evidence, the knight in shining armour was forced to admit it had all been an elaborate ploy to impress the girl of his dreams. The girl later reveals "I thought there was something weird about it all when the robber kept shouting at me to hand over my bag. I didn't even have one with me." hahaha
Perhaps predictably she now wants nothing more to do with her would-be saviour. At least he can count on some support from a Dutch columnist Jerry Goossens who wonders "Couldn't the police have turned a blind eye? It is spring after all, the season of love. A period of collective lunacy for all creatures great and small. In The Hague a young lad’s dream of heroism has turned out to be nothing but an illusion ... oh, love can be cruel."

Day Opening - April 9

Old Greek Monastary, Samsun, Turkey

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sustainable architecture in Istanbul

Seems like sustainable architecture was just the beginning; as architects and designers perfect that arena, I’m sure more structures like One & Ortakoy will pop up. A mixed-use complex, it integrates technology, sustainability and aesthetics.
Located in Istanbul, the One & Ortakoy building was designed by Global Architectural Development. It will include two separate buildings, one for residential purposes and another for commercial.


Day Opening - April 8

Meteroa, the Flying Monasatry, Greece

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dutch elections, politics, terror, immigration and the same nonsense

In a report out today, the Dutch national anti-terrorism ‘supremo’, Erik Akkerboom, warns that Muslim extremists could highlight aspects of the campaign to make the Netherlands look like a country that is generally hostile to Muslims. This could spark strong reactions, especially on the internet. Mr Akkerboom further warns that violence could also come from left-wing radicals or animal rights activists.

With the murder in mind of Pim Fortuyn just days before the 2002 election, the security services will be concentrating on radicalised individuals of every ilk. Nevertheless Mr Akkerboom admits that no concrete threats have been made as yet.

Meanwhile, some focuses on the costs of the election campaign. Apparently, the amount spent on Dutch election campaigns is ‘peanuts’, costing less than 75 eurocents per voter, compared to ten euros in Belgium. And nowhere near the amount spent in the United States. No election-circus in the Netherlands.
That’s just as well, because few voters actually decide which party to vote for on the basis of the campaigns. “It’s the amount of attention they get in the media that counts,” says a communications professor from Amsterdam University.
The important thing is the element of surprise – perhaps a soundbite which gets picked up by the media and sticks. For instance, Christian Democrat leader Jan Peter Balkenende accused Labour leader Wouter Bos of “turning” during a televised debate back in 2006 - the image has stuck until this day. So, in spite of the anti-terrorism coordinator’s warnings, political leaders may be tempted nonetheless to conduct a fierce debate.

İmmigration

Still on the subject of politic, it looks like Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party has finally got what it wanted – figures on the cost of immigration. The preliminary findings of a survey – carried out for the party - into 20,000 non-western immigrants will be released end of April but some information already leaked to the press. Findings which indicate that the flow of these immigrants into the Netherlands costs the country somewhere between six and ten billion euros a year.
But Geert Wilders points out that this is a conservative estimate: “The real costs are much higher.”
As a result the party thinks immigration should be stopped, or at least severely limited, especially as the next government will have to make serious spending cuts. “This won’t hurt citizens, you don’t have to send anyone away,” says Mr Wilders. Also scientists came to the same conclusion, but it would be wisely to use the data with care. And not to stigmate a certain group.
The apparent reasons why this group of immigrants costs more are that they are more likely to receive social welfare benefits and become involved in crime. On the other hand, they are less likely to use childcare facilities or student grants.
The study was commissioned by the Freedom Party itself, after Integration Minister Eberhard van der Laan refused to put a price on immigration. But according others, the party should be careful about taking a strong anti-Muslim stance. Following the recent local elections, its demand for a ban on headscarves in public buildings has led to it being left out of coalition talks aimed at creating local executives. The party has since slid down the opinion polls because of its failure to compromise and take political responsibility in the two major municipalities where it fielded candidates.

Day Opening - April 7

Windmill in the Holland (not so typical Dutch)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Arash's World: The Unsung Hero: The Daily Struggles of the Ordinary Person

Arash's World: The Unsung Hero: The Daily Struggles of the Ordinary Person

Johan Cruijff's grandson

If you've ever felt the pressure of having to live up to expectations, spare a thought for young Jessua Andrea, who came to Amsterdam at the Easter weekend to play in FC Barcelona's junior B team. His surname: Angoy-Cruijff. Yep, that's Cruijff as in Johan. Or as legions of Dutch football fans like to call him: "God".
A Dutch newspaper reports that "all eyes were on the 17-year-old" as he took to the pitch "wearing number 14, just like his grandad". There were no divine revelations, however. Jessua could not prevent his team from suffering a 2-0 defeat at the hands of their Dutch counterparts from Ajax. "I'd really like to have won here, but it wasn't to be" shrugs the teenager philosophically. "But it was special playing here. My grandad shone on this pitch."

The coaches at Barcelona have the thankless task of keeping the pressure off young Jessua. "You can't compare him with Johan Cruijff," they insist. "Every player is different." Only to add tantalisingly "Although I do see a family resemblance..."

Hamas' Children

Day Opening - April 6

Madrid, Spain

Monday, April 5, 2010

Islam Critic Necla Kelek, A Turkish-German writer, An Enthusiastic Defender of Freedom

An really interesting artcile!

The Turkish-German writer Necla Kelek is a vehement defender of democracy. Her criticism of Islam has made many German intellectuals uneasy. But has she been unjustly vilified?

There are also problems among Germans, it's not just the Turks, a young man points out. Necla Kelek is familiar with this objection -- it's one she hears again and again. She grimaces for a moment but then smiles gently and says in a confessional tone, "There are also a lot of things not right in Germany."
The young man is satisfied, and Necla Kelek later admits that certainly not all Muslims pose a problem for democracy in Germany. In fact most of them certainly don't -- but there are still the few who do and they are the ones she has chosen to focus on. It's the problems she is concerned with, she says.

Kelek, 52, a German woman with Turkish roots, is sitting in the cultural center in Achim, a town near Bremen in northern Germany. She has just finished a reading from her new book, "Himmelsreise" ("Journey to Heaven").
The book casts a critical look at Islam and condemns the oppression and lack of freedom within Turkish communities and families in Germany.
More herrreeee

It's raining in Macondo

At least I suspect it is. It's snowing here. It has been snowing or raining for several weeks, although it has not stopped the peas, asparagus, spinach, onions, or lettuce from growing. We have been eating corn salad for several weeks, along with wild greens such as creaseys, dandelions, amaranth, and chives. We even found a bowl of morels on the edge of the straw mulch we put down west of the rhubarb (which has also been tasty in pies, crisps, and adding savor to roasted chicken).

We happen to live in a country where collateral damage happens elsewhere, unless you call 911 to report a domestic disturbance. Then all bets are off. If you are stupid enough to call the local cops or the sheriff's department, you get what you deserve. I have yet to see a single law enforcement official ever indicted for killing an unarmed civilian. But hell, if God had not meant for cops to kill whoever they could, He wouldn't have given them so many goddamn guns.

I can't remember if I am late for Tuesday after lunch last week or early for the next. Seriously now, does it matter? In my life, to this point, nothing has mattered, and if it's left up to me, nothing is going to matter between now and the end of the world. In fact, I think that the end of the world is a continuing source of amusement for people like me, who may number in the hundreds of thousands of meaningless mobile blobs on the landscape, waiting to be accidentally slaughtered in the war without end. Of course, I'd have to move to some targeted country to do my part in adding to the body count, and that's not likely to happen. I like still learning English. I don't have time for those guttural languages.

This being Easter and all, when those who pray that Christ won't come back as a brain eating zombie to gnaw on their fearfully ignorant skulls, I do want to comment on the insane drivel of the Vatican homily given by the Pope's own drooling cocksucker, the Right Rev. Vaginiera Cuntalamessa, who is probably getting at least a significant portion of his vow of poverty paid for by your favorite multinational corporation for arguing that the fact that priests have been enthusiastically buttfucking boys and girls as part of the absolution process for several centuries without fear of prosecution is clear evidence of God's way to Man and for anyone to suggest that the Holy See was wrong in condoning or encouraging such God-sanctioned behavior is the equivalent of the Nazis gassing jews, gypsies, faggots, and other undesirables, such as you...where was I?

Was I going to condemn the lunacy or applaud it? I have no idea. I don't really give a damn who does what to whom for what purpose. Do you?

If so, facto. Pass me the Preparation H.

It is still raining in Macondo. Always has. Always will.

Day Opening - April 5

Tulip fields, the Netherlands

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Turkey's daily's are getting wild over Easter

Yep, it is Easter weekend in Turkey and the Turkish English Daily’s did their utmost best to get some attention. Maybe it was just coincidence but the Hürriyet Daily News opened today with the heading that ''Islam is 'more empowering' for women than Catholicism, a Spanish convert says''. Voila, we forget the role the average woman has to play in Muslem societies, including my Turkey. The author of this article had or a blackout from JC or is simple not able to make a sensitive article during egg-eating Christmas.

More serious it is when a Turkish Islam scholar, in an op-ed explain why the fatwa, which was ordained some 600 years ago in now called Turkey writes that this fatwa cannot be abrogated. The guys also believes that every Muslim has a duty to do whatever it takes to establish and sustain the “peace of Islam.” According to Islam, war is not waged to seize other people’s lands or to force people to accept Islam; instead, war is carried out to ensure justice, peace and freedom in every part of the world…(Islamization?) Pronto!

Good to know that our good friend Mustafa Akyol lightened up my day with his excellent column about the early days of Kemalism. Even the arch conservative Yusuf Kanli sometimes cannot take it anymore: how can we as country be democratic if our parties are not democratic, let alone the society at large! Enfin: below is Mustafa’s article again. The other links? You can destroy them together with the Pope’s appearance in his Vatican of today.

From Mustafa' article where he recites the ideas of some leading figures in Atatürk's government:

“It is my firm opinion… that the lords of this country are the Turks. Those who are not real Turks have only one right in the Turkish fatherland, and that is the right to be servants and slaves.”
and:
For me, a Turk has more value than all the Jews of this world, not to say the whole world,”
It's all herrrreeee

#Statement 34

But you know what they say, science goes only so far and then comes God.
So, be prepared for the unexpected.

Day Opening - April 4

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

GPS system for dementia sufferers...

An initiative that help people to get out and about, features a GPS system that allows dementia sufferers to take a walk by themselves “giving patients more freedom and carers more rest”. It reveals that “many people with dementia have an uncontrollable urge to go walking”. Instead of always having to accompany them, carers can now log in on a computer to see where their charges are. Experts concede that the system is not yet ideal but have every hope that the teething troubles will soon be solved. The latest version is even equipped with a “bring me home button” which activates a kind of “sat nav” to guide the walker back the way they came.
Another iniative is about the Netherlands’ first allotment garden for the disabled. Research shows that allotment gardeners are among the happiest people in the Netherlands. So why shouldn’t the disabled benefit too?” It talks to one of the participants Ton who says “We used to have a garden, which is why this project appealed to me. Being out in the open air – that’s the most important thing for me. And doing a share of the work, even if I can’t do much.” A researcher involved in the project insists “Green spaces are more than just a luxury. They improve people’s health. It’s something the Dutch healthcare sector should make better use of to improve patients’ health.”

Day Opening - April 3

Easter Islands (Chile) by Steve Alvarez

Friday, April 2, 2010

European countries ponder banning the burqa

All over Europe, a debate is raging on prohibiting facial veils. Countries’ responses differ, but the arguments are the same everywhere.


By Marc Leijendekker

“The burqa symbolises the submission of women,” is the claim of one Austrian minister, a social democrat. No, outlawing burqas could lead women to shun the streets, warns Sweden’s prime minister, a liberal conservative. This week, a Belgian parliamentary committee has called for an all-out ban of burqas. Meanwhile, a French court has called such a restriction legally untenable.
The burqa, a garment completely covering the female body and face, is worn in some Islamic traditions. The question whether such clothing should be forbidden in public places has been the subject of debate in many European countries lately. In the continent’s major countries, a majority supports a ban, a survey by the Financial Times (FT) showed last month.
Continue reading herrreee

Day Opening - April 2

friends?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Immigration comes at hefty price in the Netherlands

From Dutch quality newspaper Nrc.nl

Immigrants are expensive for Dutch society, but few people want to say it out loud for fear of the consequences, a study by a Dutch scientist has found.


By Dirk Vlasblom

The economic effects of immigration have become a hot-button issue in Dutch politics. The mere mention of the subject is often greeted with suspicion and loathing. But that didn’t stop scholar Jan van de Beek from writing his doctoral thesis on the issue. In his PhD research, which he defended at the University of Amsterdam on Tuesday, he answered two related questions: what kind of economic consequences did mass immigration to the Netherlands between 1960 and 2005 have, and why is it such a taboo to study the economic effects of these immigrants?

Van de Beek has come to conclusions the Netherlands may not like. Since the 1970s, little research has been done into the economic effects of immigration, for fear of playing into the hand of the xenophobic right. As recently as last year, populist politician Geert Wilders asked the Dutch cabinet to calculate the net costs or benefits imposed on society by immigrants. Cabinet refused to do so, which led to uproar amongst several opposition parties. The minister responsible called it “improper” to reduce citizens’ contribution to society “to a profit-loss analysis”.
Continue reading herrreeee

Day Opening - April 1

Amboseli National park, Kenya
by: Oleg Domalega

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Q1

90 days, 13 weeks, 3 months, 1 quarter...
Common in companies with shareholders, less at blogs, let's reflect on the results of the first quarter of 2010, you're invited to share your news facts of the last three month period.

Is it Obama and his Public Health Assurance Act? Is it the shameful history of the Catholic Church which was revealed internationally, including claims that the old guy in the Vatican was involved, which led to some strange clerical reactions.

Is it the mad winter in Holland as well as in Istanbul with a long period of snow? Or a natural disaster of a totally different league: the earthquake Haiti?

Is it Canada winning most medals at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, including the prestigious hockey gold medal? Or the blunder of the Dutch speed skating coach that messed up the golden race for his protege Sven Kramer at the 10k race?

And before you think "Hey, where's the most important and entertaining thing in this world? Politics", is the most important news coming from Kopenhagen, The Hague or Paris? Environmental failure, political tragedy or the loss of credibility of Sarkozy?

I could go on and on, but I'll leave it to you all.
Personal opinions are welcome.

The Dutch variant of Big Brother

"Toilet camera surveillance is taking things too far", was the heading of a Dutch newspaper and asks a number of academics what they think of the news that Dutch Railways and Amsterdam's public transport service have been using security cameras to monitor behaviour in their toilets. Dutch Railways has installed cameras to find ways of improving toilet hygiene, while in Amsterdam, cameras have been used to track down a public transport worker who was writing death threats on the walls of the staff toilet. Professors at Tilburg University slam the measures as "the most far-reaching form of camera surveillance imaginable", "unacceptably naive" and "out of all proportion". They muster some sympathy for the use of cameras to catch the malicious vandal in Amsterdam, but even then they warn the case would not hold up “if it went to the European Court of Human Rights".
All’s well that ends well. In the end, the public transport service has now removed its surveillance. It seems the cameras were causing greater unrest among the personnel than the death threats...understandable?:)!

Day Opening - March 31

Forgotten Jobs of Turkey: the Copper Master

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

add on add-ons for firefox

A while ago I gave you some add-on tips for Firefox. Some might be handy, others for a bit more security and privacy.

One I recently discovered is ghostry. This add-on shows which web sites are watching you. A blue little ghost on the bottom right of your browser alerts you about web bugs, ad networks and widgets. A box in the top right of your screen tells you which websites register your visit.

On Internations are four websites that note your visit. AddThis, Feedjit, Google Analytics and TwitterCounter.

Day Opening - March 30

Enamorado de la Luna
by LuisBeltrán

Monday, March 29, 2010

Some interesting facts about Azerbaijan

It is an emerging democracy with a benevolent and poetic leader Nezami Ganjavi who has ruled the country since independence in 1991. He speaks and writes in Persian but all Azeris still understand him.
Let's face it, no one knows anything about Azerbaijan other than that they love their minorities, especially the Azerbaijanis.
You see, at first Azerbaijan belonged to Iran. But then a few Azerbaijanis pissed off some Turkic tribes and they were all like "oh hell no bitch." So the Turkic tribes conquered Azerbaijan, forced their language on them and today the Azerdumbassbaijanis believe they are all real Turks from East Asia. Even today Azerbaijanis are all like "Wooo Turkish pride, our ancestors were killed and raped by the Turks but we love them all woooo!" Then some shit happened in the 19th century when Azerbaijan was ass-raped by the Russians and then again by the Soviets until 1918 when Azerbaijan's asshole was so widely gaped the Soviets were like "Screw this shit, it's like putting it in a exhaust pipe." So they gave them some fake country by the name of Azerbaijan. Note: at one point in time, Britain, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, India, and America were all a part of Azerbaijani Turk land, but due to Persian fascism, this is now not the case. Did you know Julius Caesar, Nikola Telsa, Alexander of Macedon, Lenin and Einstein were all Azerbaijani tUuRkz?
Azerbaijanis are the most newest people of the world. They came to Azerbaijan in 1918, 5000 years after the great Armenians came. Azerbaijan has not forgotten the crimes of Armenians from Dinosaurs to organizing separatist lectures at Harvard, and has promised to slap every single Armenian on their ass before they die prompting Paris Hilton, to become Paris Hiltonian and move to Azerbaijan by 2015.
Azerbaijan is a country never heard before 1918. due to a forgery by Armenian terrorists who have censored Xenophon's book about his travelings in Azerbaijan.
While the silkworm industry was important in the colourful past during the construction of the Silk Road, petroleum is the country's future with petro-dollars flowing like lava into the country. Dubbed the new Saudi Arabia by the Dubai Post newspaper, Azerbaijan is preparing to amend its constitution so that Ganjavi will become the country's King to emulate his Saudi counterpart.
Azerbaijan is the most tolerant state in the world, and often uses its army to plant potatoes in alleged Armenian cemeteries. The potatoes are to prevent the Armenian dead from separatist claims, which president Nezami Ganjavi thinks is the best way to find solution for a conflict between Glendale and Azerbaijanaijan.
Premium-quality tents are being ordered from the West so that its nomadic peoples can have luxurious housing thanks to the petro-dollars. For the city dwellers, urban planners from Belarus are being brought in so that Baku and the country's other major cities can rival the lovely post-Soviet architectural splendour of Minsk. For the managerial and political classes, comfortable villas are being built with the expertise of architects from California. Thus, Azerbaijan will be sharing its wealth with its population, in accordance with their true needs.
These are good times ahead for the people of Azerbaijan. However, Azerbaijan has the dubious honour of having the highest rate of evil geniuses per 100,000 residents, in the world. In fact it has twelve times as many evil geniuses per 100,000 people than any other country. The next highest being the Federated States of Micronesia.
Azerbaijan is quite a sucessful country, and is used in famous culture. For example, there's a book based on this country, Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azerbaijan.
Source: uncyclopedia

Day Opening - March 29

First day of Spring in Denmark.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Earth Hour

Earth Hour, Yesterday:
Via: thewestistheverybest

In need of new notions by CENGİZ AKTAR

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made the following statement March 19 regarding the polemic he himself started following his United Kingdom visit: “The words I uttered in London that I could deport people from Armenia [working] in my country and my remarks that we could consider this, were, and still are, exploited by both national and international circles malevolently; they removed the word ‘illegal.’”

Then while receiving artists, he repeated himself in detail.

These words clearly reveal the prime minister’s state of mind on such grave matters. First of all, illegal or not, if the issue is Armenians in Turkey, one must be very careful about the language as the matter is extremely sensitive and amply painful. Armenians were in Anatolia even before Turks, but now they are not. No matter how you name it, this is not normal. It is not an issue to be underestimated, not at all.

The prime minister’s words and explanations show that the he has no sensitivity on the subject matter. Millions in Turkey, including the prime minister, have been subjected to a 90-year-old denialist curriculum at schools on the annihilation of Anatolian Armenians. So if nobody knows anything today, it is in a way understandable, however unacceptable. But if the person refusing to hear different perspectives on the subject, face harsh facts or bully around is the prime minister of Turkey, then this is a very serious matter.
Continue reading herrreeee

Day Opening - March 28

true love

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Statement #33

''If Google is blocked, we will see nothing but darkness''
Chinese scientist Ma Yuance, on how Google's pullout from China will affects his research.

Day Opening - March 27

Easy Rider

Friday, March 26, 2010

Some thoughts about the child abuse by Catholic clergy

The historian Maarten van den Bos of the University of Amsterdam argues that celibacy is not the only explanation for child sex abuse at Roman Catholic boarding schools and seminaries in the 1950s and 1960s. "The finger is often pointed at celibacy as the determining factor, but that is too easy. Of course, celibacy will have played a role, but much more important is the under-reported fact that nearly all the accusations relate to boarding schools. The then prevalent power structures, the closed nature of these schools and the frequent contact between teachers and students are much stronger factors than celibacy. Abuse was also common at British boarding schools and in Scouting." Mr Van den Bos also points to the changing attitudes toward sexuality among Catholics in the 1950s. Extensive debates on sexuality were initiated in Catholic magazines, often arguing for a healthy sex life as part of the 'loving encounter' between spouses. "The changing mindset among Dutch Catholics in the 1950s had its effect on the value attached to priestly celibacy". The large number of men leaving the priesthood in the 1960s is believed to have been the result of changing social attitudes. Mr Van den Bos writes that the priests and monks in the Netherlands would have been aware of these developments, and argues for an examination of the role they played in the abuse scandal.

Former minister Wim Deetman, who was appointed by the Dutch bishops to chair a commission to investigate the abuse, has announced he will present a plan of inquiry. According to Mr Van den Bos, he would do well to choose a broad approach which would place the abuse in the wider context of how Dutch Catholics dealt with sexuality. "Such an approach would place the abuse at boarding schools in perspective and avoid the all-too-easy image of celibate men of God indulging their sexual urges on innocent children".

In my opinion this inquiry must extend to the systematically abuse of women and children by teachers, imams and other Muslem leaders in the Netherlands, for example the imam of the Hague Islamic cleric, whos radical views are even in countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE unacceptable. Here an interview with the guy.

DUTCH INTERVIEW OF ISLAMIC CLERIC FAWAZ JNEID

Day Opening - March 26

La Flores, Argentina

Thursday, March 25, 2010

'It's time for Turkey to Snap out its Self-delusion'

An interesting article in Der Spiegel On line about Merkel upcoming visit to Turkey.
You can read it herrreeee

Day Opening - March 25

The eternal flames of the Chimaira (Turkey) - Olympos

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Some interesting facts about Turkish Dutch in the Netherlands and more...

One interesting finding is that almost 60% of Turks think there are too many foreigners in the Netherlands.

Non-Western immigrants (mainly Turkish, Morocs) who live in 'black' neighborhoods, have less contact with ethnic Dutch than immigration who live in 'white' neighborhoods. That is the conclusion of the study 'Maakt de buurt verschil?'(Does the neighborhood make the difference?) by the Dutch Social and Cultural Planning Bureau (SCP). The report was presented today. The study was prepared for the Ministry of Housing and Integration.

According to the researchers, mixing ethnic Dutch and immigrations increases the chances for contact. The report also shows that education, language, employment and generation are important explanations for the existence of mutual contact.
More facts:
-The more non-Western immigrants the neighborhood has, the less contact immigrant residents have with ethnic Dutch. Ethnic Dutch in a 'black' neighborhood associate more with immigrants than ethnic Dutch who live in a 'white' neighborhood.
-The researchers say that 52% of ethnic Dutch never associate with non-Western immigrants for leisure activities. 35% of Turkish-Dutch, 29% of Moroccan-Dutch, 17% of Antillian-Dutch and 14% of Surinamese-Dutch never associate with ethnic Dutch out of work.

About 40% of the respondents of Turkish, Moroccan and Antillean origin and 33% of Surinamese-Dutch personally experienced discrimination (or feel excluded)
But also, about 40% of Turkish-Dutch and 35% of Moroccan-Dutch would oppose it if their children would choose an ethnic Dutch spouse. Surinamese and Antilleans don't think it's as bad, respectively 5% and 3% would make a point of it. 22% of the ethnic Dutch weren't charmed by the idea that their children would choose an immigrant partner.
Ethnic Dutch were least positive about Moroccan and Antillean Dutch [ed: both groups appear quite often in the news regarding crime]. On a scale of 0-100, Moroccans got 45 points, Antilleans 48, Turks 55 and Surinamese 58. Non-Western immigrants were in general more positive about ethnic Dutch.

58% of the Turks think that the Netherlands is full and should not accept more immigrants, compared to 44% of ethnic Dutch and about 33% of Moroccan, Surinamese and Antilleans who think there's too many foreigners.

On a study of 2 years ago:

The Hague: Too many foreigners

About 60% of city residents, regardless of ethnic background, think that the number of foreigners in the city is too high.

By Turks this feeling is greatest: 73% of Turks think that the number of foreigners in the city is too big. By Dutch 58% think so and by Moroccans and Surinamese 53%.
This according to a yearly survey of city residents by the municipality. The surveyors also checked how people felt about their own neighborhoods.

My question: who is simple dissatisfied or who is xenophop?
All sources are Dutch ones. Therefore no links.

Bodrum architecture

Gokhan Avcioglu is the architect behind this inventive house which can be found in Bodrum, Turkey. Featuring pools on top of the house, the design of the ‘Exploded House’ definitely stands out, but somehow appears like it fits perfectly among its surrounding environment.


Rainwater is collected and stored in the pool on the roof. The water then cascades from the roof onto another and is then circulated. This creates a natural cooling system for the hot climate in which the house is located.
Kudos to Ali Bekman and Ozlem Avcioglu for taking the amazing photographs of the domestic design wonder known as the ‘Exploded House.’

Through: trendhunter

Day Opening - March 24

Lake Van, Turkey

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The mark of McCain

As hard as it may seem to most of the world, last night the United States of the NOMF™ took its first little baby steps toward hunting down and rounding up terrorists in the insurance industry who are the direct descendants of trickle down necronomics, where the motto was "Don't worry. Urine, all the way." Or maybe it was "Don't worry. We're happy." Not that it matters.

Poor feeble-minded John, as opposed to bald-headed John from that classic Zappa tune, Dong Work for Yuda. Apparently, our living mush-headed hero McCain is suffering from post dramatic sleaze disorder, in which doomed Republicans gather together in cramped basement media entertainment centers to stroke each other's insignificant penises while dreaming of Olympia Snow and listening to the soundtrack from Lemmings.

I guess John is having second thoughts about having let Karl Rove talk him into putting Sairhead Sirhan Palin on the ticket to ensure that another spineless Democrat — who also conveniently happened to be shamelessly non-white — would be doomed to failure and humiliation as the result of inheriting eight years of fiscal, domestic, and foreign policy incompetence. Gee, I wonder what Sairhead is thinking about. She looks like her panty shield is leaking.


You can read the entire screed here.

Day Opening - March 23

De Keukenhof, the Netherlands, yesterday.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ayaab Hirsi Ali wins prize

Ayaan Hirsi Ali wins orthodox Christian prize
Former Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali accepted an award in front of a spray-painted graffiti slogan reading “Say what you think”. Her audience wasn’t a hip-hop convention, but the youth wing of the Dutch ultra-orthodox protestant SGP party. And the prize they were awarding her was for “a person who is notably positive about Christianity”.

Ms Hirsi Ali is currently in the Netherlands promoting her new book Nomad, on a visit from the US, where she now lives in exile. “It’s odd that as a woman I should be receiving this prize,” she joked – the SGP famously bans women in their ranks from holding office. “What’s more, I’m an atheist!” she added.

However, the young Christians have read her book and reckon it shows she’s “realised that not all religions are the same”. Which presumably means they think she’s stopped having a go at religion in general and is now sticking to knocking Islam in particular. But Ms Hirsi Ali wasn’t going to be won over so easily, she took the young Christians to task for their party’s discrimination against women, gays and lesbians. Pronto!

Day Opening - March 22

Bergamo, Lonbardy, Italy

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gayrites in Turkey, but no Gay rights

When one senior member of PM Erdogan his government told the press that homosexuality was a disease; his PM didn't stopped her. Nope, they found a cure against 'gayrites'. And that means 'no human rights'. The PM of Turkey in all his wisdom,  knows how to deal with these 'pigs'. Not bad for an under educated streetfighter.
Alah Akbar your whollyyy Master!
I am sure you know how to deal with Jews, Budhhists, Hindus and at the end....with me.

Arash's World: Truth as a beautiful many-splendored Thing and the Importance of Being and Embodiment#links

Arash's World: Truth as a beautiful many-splendored Thing and the Importance of Being and Embodiment#links

Day Opening - March 21

Breakfast: bashful Walrus!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Online Islamic sex-shop opens for business in the Netherlands

This is a fun read - never heard about 'halal sex', enjoy:

The sex products Dutch Muslims used to bring back from the Middle East are now available online.


Abdelaziz Aouragh is a Muslim, lives in Amsterdam, and deals in sex articles. His webshop El Asira, which is for Muslims, will soon be selling Pure Power capsules which "heighten male performance, desire and pleasure", Desire capsules for women, sensual stimulators for him and her and lubricants based on cocoa butter, water or silicon. El Asira calls itself "the first Islamic online webshop for sex articles and care products". Its webshop should be open for business starting this weekend.

Continue reading herrreeee

Day Opening - March 20

Spring!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Confronting Genocide - Armenian Democide

About the Turkish Armenian Reconcilation Commission go here, its members here.

A note from one of its members last week:

''They, the members were chosen by the Turkish government and were in constant communication with the authorities in Ankara. They pushed for the independent study and when the study was concluded and they did not receive the answer they wanted, they disbanded TARC. Source: "Unsilencing the past: track two diplomacy and Turkish-Armenian reconciliation" By David L. Phillips
For the Turkish readers and others who repeatedly call for independent inquiry; well there was one down during TARC at the behest of Gunduz Aktan and the other Turkish members. They, the Turkisg governement, did not like the outcome and dissolved TARC. So basically Turkey will continually ask for new forums when they do not like the result. An independent inquiry has been done. "Turks and Armenians participating in the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission, requested a legal analysis on “the applicability of the Genocide Convention to Events during the early Twentieth Century.” The legal analysis employed a far more rigorous definition than Norman Stone who simply defines genocide as “the sort of thing Hitler did.” The crime of genocide has four elements — 1, The perpetrator killed one or more persons. 2, Such person or persons belonged to a particular national, racial or religious group. 3, The perpetrator intended to destroy in whole or in part that group, as such, and 4, The conduct took place as part of a manifest pattern of conduct. Since some Ottoman leaders knew that the deportation of Armenians from eastern Anatolia would result in many deaths, the legal analysis concluded that the perpetrators possessed the requisite genocidal intent and thus the events include all the elements of the crime of genocide as defined by the Genocide Convention. The legal analysis also concluded that the Genocide Convention contains no provision mandating its retroactive application. It was, in fact, intended to impose prospective obligations to its signatories. Therefore, no legal, financial or territorial claims arising out of the events could successfully be made under the convention. The outcome was a win-win. It validated the suffering of Armenians as genocide and freed Turkey from liability. Opponents of genocide recognition may muddy the facts, but they should not distort the legal definition of genocide embodied in the convention."

An aricle by good friend Orhan Kemal Gendiz: Confronting Genocide

Have you ever tried to tell someone directly what his problem is? This person, for example, may have a deep inferiority complex, and this may be very obvious to you.

Do you think it would be helpful to say this to him upfront? “Hey, you have an inferiority complex, be aware of your problem and correct yourself!” If this kind of “help” worked, millions of people would not spend years seeing psychiatrists and psychoanalysts.
Let us assume you even know what the root cause of his problem is. You know his childhood, and you know what kind of specific traumas in his childhood caused his problems today. Would it help to tell him this root cause? “Your father used to beat you up a lot, and therefore, this caused you to have very low self-esteem.” Would this work? I do not think so. You cannot reach his subconscious self by simply saying the “truth.” The logical “content” does not make what is subconscious conscious.
Continue reading herrreeeeee

And another article by Orhan:

When I sat down to write this article, I was interrupted by a television program in which the Armenian question was being discussed. One of the most popular television channels in Turkey held an open discussion on the events of 1915 in Turkey.


There were two historians in the studio, and one was joining in from the US via satellite. The two in the studio were just repeating the “official Turkish history” thesis, but the academici from the US was fighting quite passionately against the official narrative of 1915. He is Turkish historian Taner Akçam.
Akçam has been fighting against official Turkish history for quite some time. To ultranationalist Turks, he is a “traitor.” For me, he represents the conscience of Turkey. Many people in Turkey are not aware of this, but Akçam is the figure who showed Armenians that, like the ones who saved the lives of Armenians in 1915 despite the threat of execution, there are indeed “good Turks.” Akçam may be the only Turk some diaspora Armenians have ever seen in their lifetimes, and he changed the image of “Turks” in their minds forever. Akçam is quite an intelligent man. He is very cultured. I deeply admire his analysis of Turkey. But he is also a man who speaks from the bottom of his heart, like Hrant Dink. To me, he represents the future of Turkey, which will have no taboos and will be free from the burden of the past.
Continue reading herrrreeeee

If you have read everything, you are able to reach your own conclusion. All written here is written down by Turks, not Armenians, French, Americans or Swedish etc.

Day Opening - March 19

Steam Railway, Lake Brienz, Switzerland (click on picture to enlarge)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Turkish government shameles interference in foreign politics.


In a shameless speech in Turkey for 1.500 politicians of Turkish descent from all over the world, the Turkish PM minister Erdogan, well known for his double standards, racism, kamikaze politics spoke the following words: ''Turks living abroad sould not integrate but be more active representing Turkey''.

You can read the article here. Good to know that some Turkish-German politicians were outraged. Anyway, Erdogan became a clown, a dangerous clown who makes every day headlines all over Europe. And it's time that Milli Gürus and the Grey Wolves active in the Netherlands are prosecuted for money laundering, drugs and women trafficing and a lot more crimes.

Is Amsterdam ready for a new metro?

Amsterdammers are bracing themselves as the drilling of the metro tunnel in soft sandy layers under the historical heart of the city is due to begin today. At the flip of a switch the head of the drill will begin to turn and the first centimetres of earth will be removed, reports nrc.next. But don’t worry, as a precaution the ground above the first 90 metres has been frozen.
In the 1970s when the first metro line was laid in the Dutch capital, it was all much easier. The town council just demolished all the buildings above the line. They had to put up with a few riots first, mind you. Since then any plans to modernise the metropolitan’s transport system underground were put on hold. That was until a “magic drill” built metro lines in Japan and Germany. In the 1990s, the North-South line found its way back onto the municipal agenda and Amsterdammers voted in favour of the project in a referendum.
But it all went horribly wrong in 2008 when subsidence damaged a number of listed buildings close to the construction site. As a result, public confidence in the project is low. In the last local elections, anti-metro party Save Amsterdam won a seat on the local council. Residents along some parts of the line will be put up in hotels during construction work. Amsterdam’s best known department store De Bijenkorf tried to postpone the drilling until more research could be done.
However, in spite of all the risks and misgivings, drilling is going ahead. The builders of the North-South Line say they are confident nothing will go wrong. But just in case, they have had the drill blessed and a statue of Saint Barbara, patron saint of miners and tunnel diggers, guards the entrance to the tunnel shaft. So fingers crossed then! Not while biking!!!

Day Opening - March 18

Khor Virap monastery and Mount Ararat - Armenia/Turkey

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Game of Death

Shortly after lunch today — it being Tuesday — I posted a story I wrote seven years ago that appears now like actual reportage that no professional journalist had the nads to submit to the liberal media.

And when I was waiting for that to post, I came across a story about a game show in France that picked up on some psychological tests conducted in the home of the brave, land of the free, fifty years ago that let me to write this:

I'm so tired of the French taking advantage of the best the NOMF has to offer, from Jerry Lewis to recycled British game and reality shows. Now they have embraced the entire soul and inspiration of American culture with The Game of Death, inspired by Ivy League experiments at Yale in the sixties that were designed to determine whether the Nazi contagion had jumped to the offspring of the Greatest Generation.

For those of you who missed the results, yes, Americans in the Yale experiments proved perfectly willing to commit torture and mass murder when convinced by authority figures that it's the right thing to do. I remember after getting drafted being told to look at my service as a wonderful way to travel the world, see new places, meet interesting people, and kill them.


You can read the rest of the post here.

Day Opening - March 17

Pamukkale, Turkey

Monday, March 15, 2010

InterNations - the Expat Community!

A couple of weeks ago I received a very friendly email of Philipp, the founder and Managing director of InterNations, an expat forum/web site. He found our blog Internation Musing interesting and wanted to exchange logo’s. I know InterNations since I was invited to become a member one year ago, and to be honest, I didn’t know that much of them only that they have an excellent website and are connected all around the world through more than 200 expat communities. But I made some great connections here in Istanbul. And promised myself to attend once their monthly meeting down here in Istanbul. Philipp and I had some interesting email exchange and since then, their Istanbul logo, is on the right screen of this website, tough still not well displayed.
Tomorrow evening, finally, I will have my ‘maiden entrance’ at their monthly Istanbul expat get-together of this great off-line/on line organization and I encourage you to do the same in the more than 200 places where InterNations have their monthly get-togethers
Below you will find a description of InterNations:

The online community InterNations attracts thousands of members in search of new contacts abroad every month. InterNations is the international social networking service for expats and global minds worldwide. The members are diplomats, managers and employees of multinational companies, IGOs and NGOs, foreign correspondents as well as their families. They actively discuss both local and global issues and also meet up in over 235 communities on a regular basis. In Turkey InterNations has five communities at the moment in Ankara and Istanbul.

After celebrating its second anniversary in late 2009, the German start-up recently hit the 150,000 members mark. InterNations was founded by three young entrepreneurs and has been online since September 2007. They came up with an web-based solution for the ‚real-life‘ problems of the expat community – and their business concept was promptly awarded the “Land der Ideen” award by the German government and the Federation of German Industries.

Due to the members huge interest in real-life networking, the site is no longer imaginable without the casual InterNations get-togethers. Hosted by so-called Ambassadors, they serve as a valuable addition to the site’s online services. The biggest communities, like New York, Munich, London or Madrid have 300 to 500 attendees at their monthly Events. In total, there are worldwide around 100 InterNations Events and Get-togethers every month. Istanbul is a growing community and already has more than 200 attendees at its monthly InterNations Events.

An interesting fact mentioned worth is; our co-blogger on this forum, Seda, is establishing at the moment a chapter of InterNations in Thessaloniki. (Seda is also in charge to modernize our blog, but that’s another point..later)

Day Opening - March 15

Pamukkale, Denizli, Turkey

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jenny White's latest book: the Winter Thief

In life you meet many people. Jenny is to me the classic example of leaving a footprint in very positive sustain. We met for the first time in the summer of 2008, when Ö and I just moved from the busy area of Macka to the suburbs of Istanbul, Tarabya. I picked her up with my small Lancia to meet another anthropologist and friend, Erkan Saka. She didn’t stop talking and I didn’t stopped listening! We had a nice encounter the three of us and met on several social occasions later before she moved back to Boston the end of 2008. But we stayed in touch!


Last week she announced that her last book ‘The Winter Thief’ was released. Her fourth in a series of Kamil Pasha’s: The Winter Thief


About the Winter Thief;
January 1888. Vera Arti carries The Communist Manifesto in Armenian through Istanbul’s streets, unaware of the men following her. When the police discover a shipload of guns and the Imperial Ottoman Bank is blown up, suspicion falls on a socialist commune Arti’s friends organized in the eastern mountains. Special Prosecutor Kamil Pasha is called in to investigate. He soon encounters his most ruthless adversary to date: Vahid, head of a special branch of the secret police, who has convinced the sultan that the commune is leading a secessionist movement and should be destroyed—along with surrounding villages. Kamil must stop the massacre, but he finds himself on the wrong side of the law, framed for murder and accused of treason, his family and the woman he loves threatened.
More about Jenny White here and here.

Besides writing fiction, Jenny is an Associat Professor teaching social anthropology at Boston University . She has published two scholarly books on contemporary Turkey: Money Makes Us Relatives, a description of women’s labor in urban Turkey in the 1980s, was published in 1994 and Islamist Mobilization in Turkey was published in 2002. It explains the rise of Islamic politics in Turkey in the 1990s and won the 2003 Douglass Prize for best book in Europeanist anthropology. At the moment she finalize her study about Turkish nationalism.

Turkey: A Nation of Conspiracies

Below an article by Claire Berlinski, an American novelist, freelance journalist, travel writer and biographer who lives amid a menagerie of adopted stray animals in Istanbul.
If you live in Turkey for a while you know exactly were she's talking about; the conspiracies, paranoia behavior, corruption and fear. It took me some years to understand what really was going on around me; Turkish people always warned me for the other Turkish person and always told me: 'don't trust anyone'. Later I discovered that people who warned me the most, were also less reliable than others. Enfin, enjoy this perfect article published in the Wall Street Journal of yesterday: A Nation of Conspiracies; Coup plots and growing extremism. Why the West can't ignore Turkey's paranoia.

Last fall, having observed that few women in Istanbul took martial-arts classes, I conceived the idea to work with local instructors on creating a women's self-defense initiative. My project met with initial enthusiasm, particularly among women concerned with the high rate of domestic violence in Turkey. But other martial arts instructors in the city grew uneasy, sensing a plot to swindle them out of their small pieces of the martial-arts pie. Istanbul quickened with lunatic rumors that the initiative was a conspiracy to disparage the other instructors' martial prowess and steal their students. Martial-arts cliques consumed themselves with plotting and counter-plotting. Secret tribunals were held, covert alliances formed, poison-pen letters sent, friends betrayed. I gave up in disgust.
And there is moreeee herrreeee

Day Opening - March 14

Andalucia, Spain (will be here in a couple of weeks)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

#Statement 34

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all

Emily Dickinson

Spotted in Amsterdam

Now Job Cohen is the new leader of the Dutch labour party, some supporters addapted very quick...

Day Opening - March 13

Notre Dame Basilique, Paris.