Monday, May 31, 2010

First comments on the Gaza flotilla disaster by Shmuel Roster (blog)

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Details are still sketchy as I write this post, so all is subjected to changes. However, here are a couple of things that need to be watched, and understood at this time. I will update this post as we go along.

Obviously, this was not the intended result of Israel's intercepting of the convoy. Did Israel know in advance that the soldiers will be ambushed? If not, that is a problem. Maybe the problem. If they did, how did Israel prepare the forces and what was the plan for taking over the ships?

With all the all-too-familiar outcry about public relations, public opinion, world opinion, Israel's image etc, one has to remember that PR - as important as it might be - is not all in life. Definitely not all in military life. If force had to be used as to prevent the flotilla from going into Gaza - if there was no way around it - than PR becomes a secondary issue and will have to be dealt with later.

Will Netanyahu cancel his US visit and go back to Israel? (he did) I think he shouldn't do such thing, but this will be politically risky. Rabin didn't come back from a visit when the first Intifadah erupted (he was Defense Minister) and was criticized for it. I always thought this criticism wasn't fair - it was Monday morning quarterbacking. But Netanyahu might face the same dilemma and the same result if he doesn't come back - and violent demonstrations make this event the cornerstone marking the beginning of third Intifada. If he comes back and nothing happens he will also be criticized - for being hysterical.

With all due respect to Turkey's protestations, the crisis in Turkey-Israel relations isn't new, and the interests of the two sides didn't change because of this event. If the Turks turn this into a major crisis it is because they were looking for excuses to ignite such crisis.

Remember the Jenin Massacre? Remember reports like this one? "A British forensic expert who has gained access to the West Bank city of Jenin says evidence points to a massacre by Israeli forces". The evidence was bogus, as we all know now. When there's smoke screen, there's rumor. When there's rumor, we know nothing.

Tzipi Livni had offered to help - that's good. She can be one of the most effective speakers at this time, clarifying to international audiences that this wasn't some crazy action by the "radical Netanyahu government". I expect most Israelis - vast majority of Israelis - while unhappy with the result and worried about the possible consequences - to generally agree that letting the flotilla into Gaza was not an option, and that letting peace activists stub Israeli soldiers with knives and hammer them and axe them was also not an option. This brings us back to the first point I was making: Did Israel have enough intelligence? was this the only operational option?

Day Opening - May 31

Air piracy

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Pope and Cyprus

Pope Benedict XVI, often under fire for political missteps on foreign trips, is heading into a potential diplomatic storm when he visits Cyprus this week, a pilgrimage to a divided island that could 'anger' Turkey and the rest of the Muslim world (although for the Muslem world; it's none of their business!!) . Divisions between Greeks and ethnic Turks, splits in the Orthodox Christian community, and concerns over damaged Christian and Muslim houses of worship will be come under scrutiny during Benedict's three-day trip starting Friday.The pope's linking of Islam to violence during a speech in Germany led to outrage in the Muslim world, nearly forcing cancellation of a trip to Turkey in 2006.
Cyprus police say that although they are aware of possible protests by some religious groups against the pope's trip, there have been no credible threats to his safety.
Cyprus was ethnically split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Turkish Cypriots declared an independent republic in the north in 1983, but only Turkey recognizes it and maintains 35,000 troops there.
Officially, the island's division is not on the pope's agenda. Benedict has no plans to visit northern Cyprus, said Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi. He declined to anticipate what the pope might say on the issue.
Innstead, the trip was designed around Cyprus' location as a bridge to the Middle East, a role Turkey likes to play. He will meet with leaders from Catholic churches in the region to draw up proposals for a major meeting of Middle Eastern bishops at the Vatican in October.
Still it will be hard to ignore Cypriot tensions.

a) the Turkish Embassy to the Holy See said it regrets the pope will not visit the north, insisting he would be welcome there and saying it hopes Benedict won't ignore the Turkish community in his speeches. There is a tiny Catholic community with three churches in the north, the embassy said.
A government official in Ankara said Turkey would be watching the visit closely and may comment if there is indication of political support for the Greek Cypriots or any allusion to the alleged destruction of churches in the north - during a 2006 Vatican audience, the late Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos gave the pope an album of photographs of destroyed churches in the north under the Turkish occupation and of others converted to restaurants, shops or other secular uses. While most of the former Ottoman buıildings in the South are in good shape, something the Turkish government don't like to admit.
b) There are problems between Cypriot Catholics and Orthodox Christians, who are dominant in the south. Some hardline Orthodox clerics, who view the pope as a heretic, say Benedict should stay in Rome to avoid provoking the island's 800,000 Orthodox. Doctrinal, theological and political differences caused the Orthodox and Catholic churches to formally split in the 11th century. Officials from both churches have been engaged in talks in recent years to heal "The Great Schism," but opposition to reconciliation still lingers.

Benedict is to hold an ecumenical prayer service shortly after arriving. He will also meet with the president and diplomatic corps as well as the island's small Maronite and Roman Catholic communities. But none of the Turkish Cypriots are invited.
I don't know if this visit is a smart move.

Day Opening - May 30

The living room, the hall and the bedroom of an house made under Mexican architecture, Mexico DF

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Why the Netherlands will win this years World Cup Soccer

The following article appeared at the site of by Marco Hochgemuth
Next week 'Why the Netherlands will loose the World Cup'.

One in three Dutch people say it’s a dead cert: “Oranje” – as the Dutch football team is known in the Netherlands – is going to win the World Cup in South Africa. The streets are turning red, white and blue (the colours of the national flag) and orange (the colour of the national football team). Five reasons why the World Cup could become the biggest Dutch party of 2010.

1. The Big Four

The Dutch team has the Big Four: Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Rafael van der Vaart. No other side in the World Cup has four such technically gifted and prodigiously goal-scoring strikers. The only question is whether manager Bert van Marwijk dares to field them all at once, as Robin van Persie would like.
Van Persie could well prove to be the biggest of the Big Four. After months convalescing from a serious ankle injury, he’s now in top form for the World Cup. It’s tempting to make the comparison with Marco van Basten, who recovered from a serious injury just before Euro 1988 and led the Dutch squad to victory. Then there’s Wesley Sneijder, who captained Inter Milan to become the Italian champions, win the Coppa Italia and take the Champions League trophy. Arjen Robben triumphed with Bayern Munich and was named the best player in the Bundesliga. And Rafael van der Vaart, who Real Madrid dumped at first, came back to establish himself as a regular goal scorer for the team. Just give these four players the chance to do their stuff, and Holland will be flying back with the cup.

2. The Terrible Two

In midfield there are two butchers of the merciless Italian type. Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munich) has a knack for putting his opponents out of action professionally, without exactly keeping to the rules. What’s more, he’s no mean playmaker. And he’ll be side by side with Nigel de Jong (Manchester City) – who may look friendlier than Van Bommel, but he’s just as tough.

3. Manager Bert

After the unsuccessful Louis van Gaal, the inconsistent Dick Advocaat and the unpredictable Marco van Basten, since 2008 the dependable Bert van Marwijk has been in charge of Oranje. Since then the Dutch team hasn’t lost a match. They even won all the World Cup qualifying matches. The stoical Van Marwijk has the gift of holding the team steady in spite of all the player’s egos. He’s no tactical mastermind and is wary of experimenting, but he makes up for it with his experience and talent for teambuilding.

4. No competition

The Dutch team doesn’t face much opposition. In Group E the Netherlands has drawn against Denmark, Japan and Cameroon, which makes it a cinch. Johan Cruijff wrote, “The draw for the group phase is ideal to the extent that if you do what you have to do the quarter-finals must be possible.” That is when the real competition begins, but every team has got its own problems:

· The Italian team, current world champions, are too old and lack a good striker.

· Brazil has a pretty good team with perhaps the best keeper, Julio Cesar. But they’re stuck with a poorly-performing Kaká. What’s more Brazil’s in the so-called Group of Death, with Portugal, Cote d’Ivoire and North Korea.

· Argentina has a great team, but a bad manager (Diego Maradona, with all due respect).

· Germany’s missing playmaker Michael Ballack due to injury.

· England is missing David Beckham and has to cope with the players having flings with each other’s wives.

· In France, everyone’s fed up with the national team, especially manager Raymond Domenech.

· And European Champion Spain has the statistics stacked against it. Spain has played in the World Cup 12 times, but only got as far as the semi-finals once, 60 years ago.

5. Everyone’s supporting Oranje

‘Orange fever’ in the Netherlands is raging harder than ever. Houses, streets, and even entire neighbourhoods are turning orange. Thirty-four percent of the Dutch think their team is going to bring home the cup. More than 5000 Dutch fans are making the 10,000-kilometre journey to South Africa. And even al-Qaeda seems to be backing the Dutch team. When a Saudi terror suspect said he was planning to stage an attack on the Dutch team, al-Qaeda denied everything, describing the story as “cheap lies”.

NEXT INSTALMENT: Why the Netherlands is going to lose the World Cup

Statement #38

Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing so gentle as real strength.

Saint Francis de Sales

Day Opening - May 29

Good morning!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dutch Doctors organization say no to circumcision

“The circumcision of boys is in the vast majority of cases medically pointless, risky and is moreover a violation of the child’s physical integrity.” This is the new standpoint released by the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG). Between 10,000 and 15,000 boys are circumcised in the Netherlands each year, mostly for religious reasons, and the KNMG “objects to it in principle”.

The association takes the line that if there’s no medical reason for an operation, you shouldn’t do it. “The rule is you don’t cut healthy children,” the KNMG’s chairman said. The operation is far riskier than people think, the association claims, and it’s advising doctors to point out the dangers to parents before wielding the scalpel.
The KNMG isn’t calling for a ban, as with the much more severe practice of female genital cutting, because this would just push the practice underground. And a urologist  stresses that the objections are only against circumcising babies and young boys: “When they’re older people can decide whatever they like.”
And I tend to agree with him.

Day Opening - May 28

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Who are the Young Civilians (organization) in Turkey

Below an article about the Young Civilians in Turkey:

Why is “young civilians”? why do you name yourselves as such?

“Young Civilians” has appeared as our name by a manifest on the Kurd issue declared on 19th May, 2006. Young Civilians is an umbrella group executing the Political Vision Movement which most of us are members. It is the naughty boy inside us. However, civil society experience of the team creating Young Civilians is much older than it. We as a group of youths from various universities pioneered by METU (Middle East Technical University) Communication Society gathered together in Van on 19th May, 2000. We, youths the perception of state and political memorization collapsed by the earthquake of 1999 organized an alternative youth celebration of 19 May (originally a national youth festival day celebrated every year the same day). These gatherings have been carried on in different cities such as Istanbul, Rize, Konya and Ankara every year on 19th May since 2000. By these gatherings in which we brought together intellectuals and youths from very different social segments, we searched for the possibilities of constructing a new, creative and opposing discourse, and a local, honest, democratic position. The name of ‘Young Civilians Are Uncomfortable’ grounds on “Let’s Save the ‘19th May’s from Stadiums,” a manifest declared at a gathering on 19th May, 2003 in a salon of TBMM (the Parliament of Turkey). In summary, we declared at the gathering that ‘these stadium ceremonies existed only in totalitarian countries and they are old-fashion way of ceremony’. Our manifest was in the headlines of many newspapers the next day. we were subjected to scathing criticisms for two weeks afterwards. A newspaper, Cumhuriyet put the headline “Young Army Officers Are Uncomfortable” the next month following to our manifest while one of the five reasons of their discomfort as “Young Civilians are Uncomfortable” comes from a reference to that headline.
More herreeee

Best city to live in

I could not find Istanbul on the list as they only publish the first 50 of the 221 cities but
Amsterdam is the 13th most pleasant city to live in as  the annual league table of cities published by the Mercer advisory agency once again rates Amsterdam number 13 out of a total of  the 221 cities. (scroll down for the first 50) The highest ranking city of East European cities is Prague ranking 70, so Istanbul and Bursa (also included in the survey) must be after place 70 (Turkey falls under the category Europe).

Top of the list is Vienna - once again - followed by Zurich and Geneva (all three boring im my opinion). Vancouver and Auckland tied for fourth place. And once again Baghdad came in 221st place.
Mercer determines the quality of life in each city on the basis of 39 factors in ten categories. The agency looks at the political climate, economic conditions, the social and cultural environment, health and sanitation, schools and education, public services and transport, consumer goods, housing and the natural environment.
A spokesman for Amsterdam's culture alderman Carolien Gehrels says the Dutch capital is satisfied with its rating. "We'd like to be first, of course, but 13th place shows that Amsterdam is a pretty good place to live."

Day Opening - May 26

Argentina celebrated yesterday their 200 years of Independecy

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A mosque near Ground Zero?

In a building damaged by debris from the Sept. 11 airliners that brought down the World Trade Center and soon to become a 13-story mosque, some see the bridging of a cultural divide and an opportunity to serve a burgeoning, peaceful religious population. Others see a painful reminder of the religious extremism that killed their loved ones.

Anything having to do with that day, that place, carries enormous meaning. Now two Islamic organizations have partnered to build something that they say will bring some good from something very bad.

In my opinion, tasteless. And today I received a weekly letter of M. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and a former US Navy lieutenant commander who wrote down why planning this mosque only already is a provocation. He is an American Muslim voice advocating for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Consitution, liberty and freedom, and the separation of mosque and state. He is leading the fight to shake the hold that the Muslim Brotherhood and their Network of American Islamist organizations and mosques have on organizxed Islam in America. A guy like this we definetely need in Europe!
Here some parts of his article in the New York Post of yesterday:

In the 1960s, my parents left their despotic motherland of Syria for the promise of genuine liberty and religious freedom in America. In the decades since, we have led the construction of a number of mosques in the towns where we lived.

I am an American Muslim dedicated to defeating the ideology that fuels global Islamist terror -- political Islam. And I don't see such a "center" actually fighting terrorism or being a very "positive" addition near Ground Zero, no matter how well intentioned.

To put it bluntly, Ground Zero is the one place in America where Muslims should think less about teaching Islam and "our good side" and more about being American and fulfilling our responsibilities to confront the ideology of our enemies.

This is not about the building of a mosque or a religious facility. It is not about religious freedom. This is about a deep, soulful understanding of what happened to our country on 9/11.

When Americans are attacked, they come together as one, under one flag, under one law against a common enemy that we are not afraid to identify. Religious freedom is central to our nation - and that is why the location of this project is so misguided. Ground Zero is purely about being American. It can never be about being Muslim.
The World Trade Center site represents Ground Zero in America's war against radical Islamists who seek to destroy the American way of life. It is not ground zero of a cultural exchange.

You can read more hereeeee

Day Opening - May 25

Gates of Sorghvliet park, the Netherlands

Monday, May 24, 2010

Underage drinking in the Netherlands

Parents are starting to get the message that alcohol is not good for their offspring. Just four years ago, 25 percent of parents in the southern province of the Netherlands, Brabant, did not see anything wrong with under-age drinking. Now, nine out of ten parents think teenagers should keep off the drink until they turn 16, which is the legal age for alcohol consumption in the Netherlands.

Supermarkets have also become stricter about selling alcohol to youngsters, but researchers at Twente University have discovered that sports clubs and pubs still flaunt the rules.

In 2006, the province of Brabant set aside 800,000 euros for a campaign against under-age drinking. The province's teenagers were among Europe's heaviest under-age drinkers with 90 percent of teenagers drinking before they reached 16.

Under-age drinking affects the development of the brain and damages various organs and can lead to alcoholism later in life. The researchers do not have statistics on whether teenagers are actually drinking less, but they think the change in parents' perceptions is encouraging. "Drinking often begins at home. That is why the parents attitude to drinking is important." Curiously, most parents think other parents do not do enough to prevent their children from drinking alcohol. How curious to blame always The Other.
Anyway, Ösman is under way to Oss, one of Brabant's main cities and a notorious place for the radical left. Lets see how he comment later tonight.)

Day Opening - May 24

his opinion...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Statement #37

Religion is like Love; if you take every day a little of it, it can cure. But if you take a high dose day by day, it will be addictive, makes you blind and in the end… kills you.

Day Opening - May 23

Paradise? Argentina...

About Hürriyet - a Turkish newspaper

The Turkish mainstream newspaper 'Hürriyet' is not an example of honest journalism. And certainly not a newspaper based upon news. Rather on rumours/gossip and lazy journalism. Therefore their alliance with the German tabloid Bild.
Andrew Finkel is a well known writer and journalist. Here an article he wrote about their 'ethics'. The journalistic ethics of the Turkish Hürriyet.
Fitch downgraded Hürriyet last year August to a BB- status: unreliable. Here Andrew' story:

Defending freedom of the individual and freedom of the press



Ertuğrul Özkök, the former editor-in-chief and now columnist of the Hürriyet newspaper, has called me personally to account in what is on the surface a peculiar piece.

He likens the Doğan organization he works for to the far-right, Holocaust-denying, anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-everything party in France, the National Front. And he seems to take pride in comparing his own employer to the ultra-conservative head of that party, Jean-Marie Le Pen. At least that is the curlicue logic of his argument, and far be it from me to rescue him from his own eloquence.

It all has to do with Al Capone.
But let's step back many months to when the brouhaha all started. I was commenting in this column on an editorial in The New York Times which accused the Turkish government of unbecoming conduct. The paper rushed to the side of the Doğan Media Group and said that the outsize tax bill which its parent company faced was a clear attempt to interfere with press freedom. I certainly did not argue with the assumption that the fine was politically motivated. However, I said that the Doğan group would be far more worthy of sympathy if it used the power of its media more responsibly and if it had not been so cavalier about other people's rights of expression.
More madness herreeee

Friday, May 21, 2010

Everybody Draw Muhammad Day (2)

The scene: Yesterday evening late at night in Johannesburg.
Place: South Gauteng High Court
Why: Jamiatul Ulama (Council of Muslem Theologians) tried to stop the publishing of  a Zapiro cartoon featuring the Prophet Muhammad.
Result:: request rejected.
Outcome: angry callers, and even death threats hit the newspaper's office.
Read the story here and enjoy the cartoon on the right.)!'

Day Opening - May 21

Lighthouse, Bodrum, Turkey

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day

Pakistani For 'Freedom'
Mohammed a la Monroe' The Winner!

Save the nation, allow drugs (the Netherlands)

While in most countries even marijuana is prohibited, the former Dutch (conservative) European Commissioner Frits Bolkestein c.s. wants to see an ending of the prohibition of all drugs in the Netherlands.
Frits Bolkestein had an interesting career in international business  (SHELL) and politics and was party leader of the Dutch VVD (liberals, which means in the Netherlands: conservative, free market minded and  small government minded party) Here his article and why he wants that soft and hard drugs must be free available.

Austerity measures to cut public spending are a hot topic for debate everywhere in Europe. In the Netherlands, where a new parliament will be elected next month, several proposals to reduce spending by 30 billion euros are on the table. All of these proposals hit where it hurts, but one option could actually be a welcome relief: drug regulation. By 'regulation', we mean: permitting the production and sale of drugs under strict conditions designed to minimise use, while making it as safe as possible.

Regulation, however, remains a colossal taboo, even in the Netherlands. And in spite of the Dutch cabinet's pledge that no subject would be taboo in its review of potential austerity measures, a government committee charged with studying possible cutbacks in the security sphere has barely dared broach the subject. It has only considered further regulating the less harmful drugs, marijuana and hashish, which could – under certain assumptions - save 183 million euros now spent on law enforcement and other government efforts, and generate 260 million in taxes. The committee said nothing of other drugs.
Recreational drugs were made illegal in the Netherlands 40 years ago. But they are used more frequently than ever, and there are no indications whatsoever that prohibition is effective. It is absolutely certain, though, that prohibition is causing extensive damage, the extent of which has barely registered with the public. At least half of all crime in this country is caused by drugs, either directly or indirectly.
More herreeee

Day Opening - May 20

Golden Valley!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Who burned down Izmir (Smyrna)?

Turkish schoolbooks explains that the Greeks and Armenians burned down Izmir (Smyrna)
Here an article by our friend Orhan Kemal Gendiz:

I believe that facing the truth is an extremely therapeutic exercise. It is this way for both individuals and for nations. But, of course, there is a price to pay for facing the “truth.”

You have to be ready to feel some anguish, at least, but most of the time, you have to be ready to feel pain. There are two reasons for this: When you face a truth that you’ve covered up, it rattles your sense of self. Facing any kind of truth that has been hidden or concealed will make you have to redefine yourself. Of course, there are also a series of “illusions” predicated on these concealed truths. As a result, accessing a concealed fact about the past leads to the devastation of many other things that are based on the lie you told yourself. It is for this reason that coming to terms with the past is not easy.

Since nationalism is a state of constantly serving one’s own interests, all “establishment” stories of nationalism contain many fictitious elements. From a nationalist perspective, “others” are almost always flawed, wrong and unfair. It is for this reason that “nationalism” is actually a collective form of “egocentrism.” The inevitable outcome of egocentrism is the inability to grow or mature. For this reason, nationalism prevents society from facing its past. Confronting the past dismantles egocentrism and inevitably leads to the development of the ability to have “empathy” for others. You can’t be very nationalist when you empathize with others.
More herreeeee

Day Opening May 19

Ataturk. Today is it a public holiday in Turkey:
Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day

Monday, May 17, 2010

H@PPY BIRTHDAY to Internation Musing!

Today is Hans's birthday.
We shouldn't let this pass by unnoticed of course, so here's to Hans!

Happy birthday to you!!!

Day Opening - May 17

Bruxelles, by Gaston Batistini

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Circus V-Maximus

Every year in May the most famous races of the Formula One calendar is held in the streets of Monte Carlo, Monaco. Lots of glamour, money, prestige and jetset. For most of the race drivers it's their home Grand Prix, racing through their front yard.
Being passionate of cars and car racing, especially F1, it's my least favorite race. Why? Because the infrastructure is absolutely not fit for racing at this level. But, from an objective point of view, it's a very interesting event, watching fast cars challenging narrow streets and corners going round the track at speeds that reach almost 300 kph (through the Tunnel to La Piscine). Where in the world do F1 pass apartment blocks, a swimming pool, a casino and mega yachts?
8 years ago I had the honour to imagine being an F1 pilot, driving at 80 kph through the Tunnel (windows opened of course, just to hear the blasting sound of my Peugeot 206 GTI reflecting on the walls...) I admit, there is some magic in it, being able to enter the holiest of the holy asphalt, at least in Europe. Being about 25 years too late for becoming potential F1 driver, this is the closest to getting the feeling.

On Sunday I'll be watching the 'Grand Prix de Monaco' on TV. Two weeks later the Circus Maximus (of top speed) will set camp in Istanbul. I'm still hoping to visit the race there (5 years ago I was close!).

My next project will be saving for a mega yacht to watch (or to be watched at) the Monaco race in May of some year in the future...

Day Opening - May 16

Seljalandsfoss, Iceland, under volcano´s ashes - Kristjan Freyr


Wow, it's hot in Istanbul! And humid. I know that some readers of this blog would love to be here right now, so be here, nobody put restrictions on travelling to Turkey. Am I right Osman?.)
Snurk, snurk, what's going on in Turkey besides the sex scandal where the husband even didn't apologized to his wife for a 10 year long affaire?
At least in the Netherlands, the guy who had a affaire said: 'stop'. After he was throwed out of his house by his wife.
What in Turkey? They still try to explain that it is some kind of 'conspirary'. Probably done by foreigners. Yep, the country of Denial never can face the truth, always putting  foreigners on the block, ready to beheaded.  How racistisc!
Good night! More later.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day Opening - May 15

Autumn, Oude Gracht, Utrecht, the Netherlands by Jan Hemels
(here I spent part of my childhood)

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Rabbit and Legal Aid...

The Netherlands is a country of animal lovers, it even has an Animal Rights Party in the Dutch Parliament with two seats. But this sounds too crazy for me: the Council for Legal Aid has ruled that it was wrong to grant legal aid to a woman who wanted to see her old bunny so badly that she went to court.

“Punkie’s case” as it has become known, and The Council for Legal Aid is now trying to get the money back.
Why? It all began with an aggressive rabbit, the aforesaid Punkie. A woman in the Dutch capital had found a new home for the bad bunny at a farm. But when she received a letter jokingly telling her Punkie had been put in its place and the fluff was everywhere, she got worried and demanded to be given the farm’s address.
The judge in the case was not only surprised that the case had been brought before him at all, he was also astonished that the woman had actually received legal aid. Apparently she lost the case. But the new owner did make one concession and sent a photo showing Punkie alive and kicking.
Wow! You Cheeseheads are getting Nuts!

Turkish hacker responsible for Twitter follower bug

Interesting, or not.))

It would appear that a Turkish hacker is behind a bug that struck the Twitter social networking website earlier this week, causing users -- including celebrities -- to “lose” all their followers.

The bug interfered with the networking component of the Twitter site that allows users to “follow” and “be followed” by other users, enabling them to share messages and updates. The hacker’s bug overrode the permission component of this process on the site, meaning that any user could force any other user to follow them without having to submit the request for verification first. As part of their efforts to fix the bug, Twitter staff had to employ a method that temporarily removed the list of all those following and being followed on Twitter. Users were still able to post messages but had no way of knowing whether anybody else could see their posts. Celebrities and others eagerly “Tweeted” about the doings of the hacker.
More hereeeeee

Day Opening - May 14

De l'autre côté, il y a toi...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day Opening - May 13

Aquaduct over the highway, the Netherlands, by Ekim Tan

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why Capitalism Needs Regulation | Discovering Secular Humanism

Why Capitalism Needs Regulation | Discovering Secular Humanism

Overtime kills

And the awful truth for most employees is that overtime kills you. According a research by British scientists which monitored more than 10,000 civil servants over a period of 25 years, overtime ruins the condition of the heart.

The findings are published today in The European Heart Journal. Apparently hard workers quite easily add another three to four hours to a full working day, increasing their probability of heart problems by 60 percent.

People who clock off on time do not have an increased risk of heart-related illnesses. So all those election promises no doubt made by the British Conservatives and many of the Dutch parties during election campaigns to get rid of civil servants could actually be good for their health...)

New Major of Amsterdam

Ysuf al-Qaradawi: ''Oh Allah, take your enemies, the enemies of Islam. Oh Allah, take the Jews, the treacherous aggressors. Oh Allah, take this profligate, cunning, arrogant band of people. Oh Allah, they have spread much tyranny and corruption in the land. Pour Your wrath upon them, oh our God. Lie in wait for them. Oh Allah, You annihilated the people of Thamoud at the hand of a tyrant, and You annihilated the people of 'Aad with a fierce, icy gale, and You destroyed the Pharaoh and his soldiers — oh Allah, take this oppressive, tyrannical band of people. Oh Allah, take this oppressive, Jewish Zionist band of people. Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one''

Day Opening - May 12

Paris by Vladimir Efimov (click on picture to enlarge)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dutch football club 'bans' non-native children

The ends of the Dutch Multi-cultural expirement? Or simple too many parallel societies?
Read it here:

A Dutch football club has announced it will no longer accept new junior members of foreign descent. It is not the only amateur club struggling with immigrant parents, who organisations claim do less than their share to keep their clubs running.

By Irene de Pous and Freek Schravesande

Sports bags were cast onto the pitch, quickly followed by two boys who wriggled their way through the fence surrounding it. It was 6:15 on a Thursday evening: practice time for the youngest members of amateur football club GLZ, located amidst Rotterdam's multiethnic neighbourhoods.

Junior coach Hatip Ersoy, on his way to the pitch with a net full of footballs, said he had been left aghast by the decision announced by Quick 1888 last week. This amateur football club in Nijmegen will be putting children of foreign descent who apply for membership on a waiting list, while allowing native Dutch youth members. "The stupidest thing they could do," Ersoy said. "Isn't a club supposed to be a reflection of its neighbourhood?"

Foreign parents don’t help out

The main motivation for Quick 1888's decision is that immigrant parents are generally less willing to spend time helping out at the club, either by staffing the cafeteria or by arranging for transport to away games. This is considered a sin at Dutch amateur football clubs, which are largely kept afloat by the goodwill and dedicated efforts of their members. Currently, over 80 percent of Quick 1888's juniors are of foreign descent, and it is suffering logistically as a result. Native Dutch are said to feel less and less at home at the club. Members of Nijmegen's' city council have already expressed their misgivings over Quick 1888's new policy. Five mothers sitting in GLZ's canteen on Thursday night were also astounded by the move. "Not involved? Us?" said mother Dilek, who hardly missed any of her son's practice sessions in the last five years.

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I feel so bad

I know I promised that I would write home to Mom every week, on Tuesday after lunch, as soon as she died, and she's been dead for years now, so I have no excuse for just pulling on my pud and writing screenplays and poems and short fiction and investigative cave journalism that my mother wouldn't give a shit about if she happened to stumble upon it while she was still stinking up the surface of the planet, but see?

That's what's Mother's Day does to me. It makes me want to rape and kill, like marijuana does to Officer Friendly, who talked to my elementary school students back in the day, but that's a different post. This is a post about why I have been missing from these post glacial equivalent of cave paintings at Internation Musing.

I volunteered to become an oil devouring microbe farm to help my former vice president in hiding Lon Cheney and his buddies over at Halliburton in an attempt to keep the head nigra in the nation of miserable fucks from maintaining his incredible popularity heading into the mid-term elections. I have nothing against nigras or head, but everyone knows that the NOMF is predicated on the twin notions of military superiority and plausible deniability.


You talking to me?

Take the recent Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Illegal Aliens. Please.

My personal opinion is that anyone who is stupid enough to live anywhere that multi-national corporations and malignant nations can put a prize up their poop chutes while they are watching some reality show are getting not quite all they deserve. Marketeers can turn this shit storm into new opportunities where idiots like you and your family will cash in double coupons to microwave pre-oiled seafood with advanced hydrocarbohydrates. Buyers beware.

If you trust Biraq Insane Osama, you trust your mother. Do you really go there? Of course you do. That's what makes you so special.

And God loves you, whether or not you can watch South Park.

Day Opening - May 12

Alhambra, Grenada, Spain

Arash's World: Should we really Love our Enemies?

Arash's World: Should we really Love our Enemies?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fort Europe and the Euro

Today's big news is the European Union's stability package for the eurozone. Unfortunately, there is still disagreement about the details of the deal.

European leaders have set up a large-scale emergency fund designed to prevent eurozone members in financial trouble from becoming bankrupt and they hope the move will send a clear signal to the markets that they are "no longer playing poker with single nations but with the whole euro bloc".
About 60 billion euros will be available immediately from EU reserves and that the other eurozone countries will stand guarantee for much larger loans if necessary. Germany, the Netherlands and Finland were holding out on agreement for a long time, fearful of writing "a blank cheque".
The three countries came under fire from European civil servants. "If we're not careful, we'll make the same mistake as with Greece," said one. "The final bill ends up being much higher because of offering too little help for weeks."

Call today "D-Day for the Euro" as European leaders building a defensive wall around the single currency. You can ask whether the speculators will make mincemeat of the euro or whether they will now be convinced that so much money has been pumped into the fight that "Fort Europe" is not to be taken.
In the meanwhile, the Netherlands has managed to win a place in the forthcoming G20 summit of leading financial nations. It says Dutch diplomats had a difficult battle to secure a place in the face of international irritation at the ending of the Dutch military mission in Afghanistan.

Day Opening - May 10

Rexaging by Wim Ipenburg

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Everybody must get stoned (instead of getting stoned)

The 14 coffeeshops in the city of Maastricht in the south of the Netherlands are offering their customers a free joint on 9 June.

There is one condition: they have to go and vote in the parliamentary elections on that day. The association of coffeeshop owners says cannabis users are generally quite lazy when it comes to civic responsibilities.
In other towns and cities, the coffeeshops plan to close on Election Day in the hope that their customers - since they can't go to their local coffeeshop for a joint - will go to the polling station instead.

The coffeshops are keen that their customers should vote. They are hoping for a return to a more liberal soft drugs policy. The political climate has been noticeably tougher towards coffeeshops in recent years.
Get stoned instead of getting stoned!

Day Opening - May 9

EU 60 years; the EU now and in the future?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Back in Istanbul

Yesterday evening we came back to Istanbul after two amazing days in Barcelona and 4 days Madrid. We made the right decision to come back one day earlier than planned; more than 15 airports in North Spain were closed today! Madrid was fun, especially to see all the faces from all around the world again in a different setting. Two years ago in Budapest, last year in Milan and next year in Mexico DF; they changed the hosting city for next year from Rio de Janeiro to Mexico City due to security and safety reasons. Strange since when I visited Mexico DF n 1980, I never felt so unsafe. Anyway, our plans changed too. From Mexico we will either fly to Costa Rica/Panama or Cuba. But our next trip, in July, will not change: we will go to Georgia and Armenia. Now enjoying mid-summer in Istanbul.

First full written Arabic internet addresses online

Internet addresses can now also be written entirely in Arabic. Previously internet users in Arabic countries could only write the domain names in Arabic, but the country code after the dot had to be in the Latin alphabet.

Internet users in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Saudi Arabia can now utilise their own alphabet. One of the first internet addresses completely in Arabic is that of the Egyptian Ministry of Communications & Information Technology.
Next week Russia will receive its own country code in the Cyrillic alphabet. Some month ago the The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) decided to allow all languages to be used for internet addresses.

Day Opening - May 8

Rio Tarcoles river, Costa Rica

Friday, May 7, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

in Barcelona (1)

Wow, Barcelona is indeed an amazing city which I tried to deny stubbornly its existence for 30 years and wow, if I want to hear Dutch, I don’t have to go to the Netherlands but Barcelona! Now I know why so many Dutch football players and coaches feel at home here. Dutch cheese heads everywhere. The idiol spot for an old advertisement guy like me to examine the behavior of the Dutch Johnnie’s and Anita’s, right Bertus..) And the perfect spot to see how female taxi drivers handle their customers...

Barcelona is a compact beautiful city with so many amazing sites, that I will put some pictures we made this weekend, when we are back in good old Istanbul, on this blog. We love the so friendly people (while the city is so overpopulated with tourists that you would expect some kind of tourism-fatigue…no way!), the beauty of old city, modern architecture, human friendly fascilities, magnificent views and Gaudi, that we, Ö and I declared this one of our favorite cities among Ö’s Tokyo, Bangkok and mine Prague and ours Budapest, Miami, Rome and Buenos Aires. Now only some pictures of Gaudi's (also the designer of the parc - day opening May 5) La Sagrada Familia, which he designed for his Love for Jesus, our savior...more about this trip to Spain (and Syria) later this weekend.
Now a short night rest and back to Istanbul tomorrow end of the morning!

Results investigation THY airplane crash in Holland

A common malfunction with Boeing radio altimeters, compounded by several errors by pilots, led to last year's fatal crash by a Turkish Airlines plane as it dropped short of the runway at Amsterdam's airport, according to investigators' final report released Thursday.

Flight TK1951 - a Boeing 737 carrying 135 passengers and crew from Istanbul - crashed 1.5 kilometers from Schiphol Airport on Feb. 25, 2009. The three pilots were among nine people killed.

The Dutch Safety Board investigation affirmed its initial findings that a faulty altimeter played a key role in the crash. The altimeter registered the plane's altitude as being below sea level when it began its final descent from 2,000 feet (610 meters), which in turn caused the plane's autopilot to reduce the throttle to an idle too soon.

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Day Opening - May 6

Parc Gaudi, Barcelona

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Madrid to Barcelona

We left Madrid today for Barcelona. Madrid is really nice, love the architecture and the people there. But it miss a lake, sea or simple a river. Madrid is only land.

The one hour flight from Madrid to Barcelona was with Iberia, a carrier which I never used before and will not use ever in the future; you have to pay for a glass of water! Hola!!

Barcelona looks nice. Tomorrow we will do a full Bus-Hop and Stop trip from 9 in the morning until 8 in the evening. So many things to see! And Friday back to Istanbul instead of Saturday: we shortened our trip for two reasons: 1) again the volcano in Iceland is active and the situation in Greece can spread over Europe. Let us be safe back on Friday, instead of taking the risk of getting grounded in Barcelona for a while…

Day of Freedom

Today Holland celebrates Liberation Day as a reminder of the ending of World War II 65 years ago. After a crazy Memorial Day yesterday, at which during the two minute silence at the National Monument at the Dam in Amsterdam, some idiot created mass panic in the crowd by yelling out loud and causing mayhem. Result: innocent people getting injured. A disrespectful and brainless action...

Anyway, Liberation Day.

This is a moment for all of you to take a minute to think about the freedom you live in, and imagine what it's like to live in an environment of war or similar (Palestine, Tibet). Stop one minute with nagging about the power of the media (I'll spend at least one minute of not nagging).

Tomorrow we live on with our lives, in more or less freedom.

I'd like to end with a quote of singer Michael Franti:"We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can't bomb it into peace."

Spanish youth hit hardest in the crisis

The unemployment rate in Spain surpassed 20 percent last week. The country's young are hardest hit in the economic crisis sweeping through the southern European nation.

By Merijn de Waal in Barcelona

Almost every workday, Beatriz Mera heads to her bank's branch office in the centre of Barcelona. She sidles up to the counter with a folder bulging with documents under her arm. "Then I demand an explanation, I whine and I complain until they send me away," Mera said, sitting in a bar around the corner from the bank. "I have few options left other than being a pain in the behind."

Mera (30) grabbed her folder and spread out the documents and forms it contained in front of her. They showed how she and her partner took on massive debt during the economic boom. Apart from two mortgages, they also took out an 'insurance policy' that turned out to be a risky financial product. This is the reason she is now waging war against her bank. "For 18 months now we have to pay instalments of 2,000 euros a month," Mera lamented. "We simply don't have the money, and we won't have it for years to come."

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Day Opening - May 5

Just Love

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

Queensday Party in Istanbul (30 April 2010)

Queensday Party in Istanbul 2010
Organised by Marc Guillet (photo) and Daniel Stork (Cultural Attache of the Netherlands at the Dutch General Consulate)
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