Friday, January 8, 2010

Day Opening - January 8

The Netherlands yesterday (monumental protected area)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sick? Twitter your doctor...

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

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

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

Day Opening - January 7

Chain bridge in the fog, Budapest, Hungary.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day Opening - January 6

Some wisdom.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Update and introduction of Dr. Faust

Some people don’t like Mondays, I don’t like Januaries for the same reason; the cold start of a new cycle.
On the other hand a new year means reflections and new opportunities. And I love the years which marks the end and starts of new decades. So 2010.

News from the co-authors on this blog: Sandra is happily pregnant for the second time within 2 years and she is doing fine. Eva is doing okay so does Seda. Unfortunately I lost Christos out of sight but I’m sure we will meet again.

Since Bea left Internations last year and the heading here implies that an American is writing for Internations, we had to look for another yankee from the USA will join this group of bloggers. And we found one!  May I introduce you to Dr. Faust from the always sad and misery city of Portland, Oregon. His style is different than that of former and existing authors on this blog. I hope you enjoy his epistles as much as I do. Welcome Dr. Faust!

Here his introduction on his own blog:

You have arrived at your imaginary one stop shopping destination for cures, solutions, and remedies to your everyday ailments, problems, and pestilences. Here at the Portland Pataphysical Outpatient Clinic, Lounge, and Laundromat the patients and staff are committed to giving you exactly what you need without fuss or bother.

If you have been wronged, let us write about it in a manner belittling the needle and the damage done. In the spirit of the Sonya That Racist Latina Whore Sotomayor (no relation to John Gravity Mayer) Supreme Court nomination hearings, let me interject more inappropriate levity into the ether by suggesting that two Wongs don't make a White.
Carry on, my natal sons and daughters of the devalued devolution. We are only crust when we spin.

For people who are quickly offended, just take a U-turn and drive away from us! Far away!

Day Opening - January 5

Heaven on Earth: Dolomites, Italy

Monday, January 4, 2010

Arash's World: The Romantic Spirit versus the Classical Modern Mind: Different Paradigms and Worldviews#links

Arash's World: The Romantic Spirit versus the Classical Modern Mind: Different Paradigms and Worldviews#links

Day Opening - January 4

Grand staircase.

New years resolutions? No..But...

No, this year I didn’t make any new year’s resolutions, only some wishes. Since my last year’s resolution became a disaster: I didn’t quite smoking. So this year only the Wish, and I think that I found the right way how to handle this long-time addiction: I discovered Zyban.

Zyban is a smoking cessation aid and atypical antidepressant. Ant least that’s what it’s said. But do I need that since I’m not depressive at all; I take vitamin B since I was a kid. But I admit that Zyban, when started it using in October made me very happy...really happy.)! So happy, that I didn’t stop smoking at all. But this year another try. And thus a wish.

Second wish is that Ö and I finally can make our trip to Argentina and Chili, more preciously: Patagonia. Why? Because we both are tired of all the b.shit of ‘Muslim’ terror and fundamentalist Christianity which find its roots in Calvin 400 years ago but still alive in the USA. A country which spoiled the whole West it free and Fine imago under Bush Jr. So, we will be scouts to see if Life is worth there living! Yep, Argentina we are coming!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

a quote from Atatürk

Der Islam, diese absurde Gotteslehre eines unmoralischen Beduinen (gemeint ist der islamische Prophet Mohammed), ist ein verwesender Kadaver, der unser Leben vergiftet. Er ist nichts anderes als eine entwürdigende und tote Sache. Die Bevölkerung der türkischen Republik, die Anspruch darauf erhebt, zivilisiert zu sein, muss ihre Zivilisation beweisen, durch ihre Ideen, ihre Mentalität, durch ihr Familienleben und ihre Lebensweise.“
 (Mustafa Kemal Pâscha “Atatürk”, Quelle: Jacques Benoist-Méchin, “Mustafa Kemal. La mort d’un Empire”, 1954)

Don't know how many Turks know this quote, or even if this quote is original?
They put it under quotes about Islam among some well know writers and philosophers such as Voltaire, Diderot, Flaubert, Schopenhauer.

Day Opening - January 3

Scotland: Lights and shadows, by Boris Michalicek.
For Laane.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The EU and Turkey

Below an interview with Çiğdem Nas, one of Ö's closed friends since high school.
She is an expert in EU-Turkey and knows what she is talking about since the EU-Turkey project is her daily work for more than 10 year. Besides some fair criticism, she is realistic as well: she knows fairy well that implanting all the chapters of the Copenhagen Criteria by Turkey would be suicide for Turkey. That the divers governments used and still are using the EU as a carrot for their Turkish voters, is undeniable. Take for example the chapter ‘environment’ which implementation would be cost the Turkish state around 20 million €. Is that it worth and will the Turkish taxpayer accept that? And she has more points of concern. And she avaoids the usual populistic talk. Therefore it's always a pleasure to talk with her.

You can read here cautious and balanced answers of this interview below. Enjoy'

Çiğdem Nas, the deputy secretary-general of the Economic Development Foundation (İKV), has said the European Union hopes to become a more powerful force on the world stage with the Lisbon reform treaty going into force and that there are important changes concerning Turkey.

“Overall, the Lisbon Treaty may be interpreted as a further step on the road towards a federal Europe. Thus Turkey should think deeply about the notions of Europe, supranational integration and what recent reforms may imply regarding the concept of state and sovereignty,” Nas told Today’s Zaman for Monday Talk.

The treaty, which aims at making decision-making smoother, creates a long-term president and enhances the powers of the EU foreign policy chief, is intended to give the 27-country bloc more political clout to match its economic weight.

The treaty finally came into force on Dec. 1, eight years after European leaders launched a process to make the EU more democratic and efficient.

The new European Parliament was elected in June 2009 under the existing Nice Treaty. So there are 736 members of the European Parliament (MEPs), down from the previous 785. Under the Lisbon plan, the number will be fixed at 750.

Nas answered our questions about the changes to come with the new treaty and their relation to Turkey.

Read it all here.

Why Do People Believe In A God? | Discovering Secular Humanism#links#links#links#links

Why Do People Believe In A God? Discovering Secular Humanism#links#links#links#links

Day Opening - January 2

New year resolution: share and share alike

Thursday, December 31, 2009

5 Years of Internation Musing Blog!

It is already 5 years ago that I started this blog with the help of an English BBC journalist in the Netherlands: Jonathan. He was here in Istanbul to attend and speak on a conference about social media and online interactions. Much changed in these five years.While this blog was first only handled by me on my own, after 2 years other people joined the the group of co-authors and some left for different reasons, mostly 'lack of time'. But also feeling 'not so secure' after being trapped in threatening online discussions.

In the meanwhile, this blog has been quoted by Turkish journalists and columnists, American newspapers and TV stations such as CNN, ABC, CBS and European newspapers as the Dutch 'Het Vrije Volk, Telegraaf, German Newspaper Bild, France Newspapers Le Figaro et Le Monde, Spanish El Pais  and many other news forums for the original approach and diversity of news and cultural items this non-commercial site offered and will continue to serve.
Many thanks to the co-authors of this communication platform and readers in particulary
May all your dreams become true in 2010!

We wish you all a happy and healthy 2010!

ps. here the first post.

Day Opening - December 31

More PK than the new Mercedes

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Arab slave trade and its history

You hear daily in the Arab world how evil the Jews, Europeans and Americans etc. are. Especially regarding colonialism. Below you will find a link with a 5 min during 'presentation' how the Arab slave trade predates the Europeans one, with one difference, it started in 600 until now. No, and it is not propaganda from right wing groups but from a radical left Muslim group in the USA called Black Educator. And I can tell you that this put everything in a different perspective. They didn't take into account 700 years of plundering the Far East where estimated 20 million people have been killed by Arab imperialists to spread their religion. Neither the numerous attacks on Europe by the Moors in Spain, Arabs in Sicily and Ottomans into the Balkans up north.  

Here's a brief summation of the history of Arab enslavement of African Peoples. It is important to know this history in order to understand both the evolution of Western capitalism's slave trade and the current atrocities against Africans (by Africans) unfolding in the name of Islam and/or "Arab Civilization."
And here is the link.

Day Opening - December 30

Camello! North Africa.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

St. Nicolas, Santa Claus and Turkey’s shameful hypocrisy

Saint Nicholas (270 - 6 December 346) is the canonical and most popular name for Nicholas of Myra, a saint and Greek Bishop of Myra (Demre, in Lycia, part of modern-day Turkey). He was born when Lycia was part of the Roman province of Asia and was Hellenistic in its culture and outlook. When Myra was overtaken by the Islamic invaders, the Sjesluk Turks, sailors from Bari, Italy seized the remains of the saint and brought the remains with them and cared for them. There are numerous variations of this account. The most popular is that they are said to have taken them in response to a vision wherein Saint Nicholas himself appeared and commanded that his relics be moved in order to preserve them from the impending Muslim conquest.

Santa Claus, whose English name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, was the mixture of Saint Nicolas and the Santa Claus from Lapland. The historical St. Nicolas was model of the contemporary Santa Claus which is celebrated over the world with Christmas, 24 and 25 of December. So in fact, Saint Nicolas is still a Christian saint and Santa Claus the ‘secular’ and popular variant. And both are celebrated on different days because St. Nicolas is a traditional Winter holiday figure in the Netherlands, Belgium, Aruba, Suriname and Netherlands Antilles, celebrated every year on Saint Nicholas' eve (5 December) or, in Belgium, on the morning of 6 December. The feast celebrates the birth day (actually his name day, a Greek tradition until this very nice day in December) It is also celebrated in the traditionally Germanic parts of France (North, Alsace, Lorraine), as well as in Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and in the town of Trieste and in Eastern Friuli in Italy. Additionally, many Roman Catholics of Alsatian and Lotharingian descent in Cincinnati, Ohio, celebrate "Saint Nicholas Day" on the morning of 6 December.

Now, the Turkish minister of Culture, who probably never in his live celebrated Christmas or St. Nicolaes Eve or morning, in all his pious Muslim devotedness, decided to bring back the remains of St. Nicolaes back to Turkey…where it belongs in his opinion. Of course his arguments are pure 100% commercial and not based upon Cultural heritage (What is Turkish and Muslim about both St. Nicolaes and Santa Claus?). So, the remains of St. Nicolaes can stay in Bari where they are safe. Because when the remains would be send back to Myra/Demre, the Greek Orthodox Church there would be turned into a museum and the remains would be exploited for commercial and propagandist reasons. It was not long ago that in Van, Turkey, the Armenian 7th century Cathedral Church of the Holy Cross of Aghtama was restored and turned into a museum, going on with the Cultural Genocide in contemporary Turkey.
And im my opinion you cannot demand something back what was never yours! This is usurpationism!

Day Opening - December 29

Winter in Italy

Monday, December 28, 2009

Day Opening - December 28

Russian Orthodox Church by Aleksandr Alekseev

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Statement #27

Each person in your life is there for a reason, and that reason always has something to do with love.

Day Opening - December 27


You Are Invited To Witness An Execution

Blogger Madyar reacts to an ad, published in an Iranian newspaper, that calls on people to attend the executions of alleged thieves in Khuzestan Province.

Since I saw this picture, I have been in a state of shock and cannot help but wonder about the reasons behind such an act. It’s not possible to imagine such blatant disregard for all the protests against so many executions in the country. The Judiciary, besides not changing its attitude in the face of all these protests over death sentences and executions, has also made the enactment of these inhuman verdicts public and is inviting the people to witness it.

The death sentence is a violent and inhuman verdict, and carrying out the execution is also an inhuman act, but inviting people to watch the execution is tantamount to spreading violence and institutionalizing it in the minds of the members of the society. Through such an act, the Judiciary has clearly indulged in spreading violence.

No ticket is issued for the violent act and it is not even carried out indoors. Some children and or young people, with their parents or alone, may go to witness the scene. What an impact it would leave on their minds! Witnessing the death of a person at the hand of another person cannot be justified by any moral, human, or legal norms. And what positive outcome could it possibly have for the viewers? The purpose is nothing but to create intimidation and fear and to further violence and oppression in society. What they want to say openly is that they will deal in this way with criminals, and even with their opponents.

According to the figures available to me, at least 33 political prisoners in Iran are languishing in prison awaiting execution. Ehsan Fattahian [a Kurdish activist who was hanged] was one of the examples of violent executions of political prisoners carried out last month.

Who is the one to decide whether someone has fought against God, on the basis of which death sentences are awarded? Who says that you are God's representative on Earth and can act on His behalf and take someone's life, which God has given to him? In which countries is carrying out executions publicized on billboards? It only happens in Iran.
more hereeeeeeeee

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Al-Qaeda link tried to blow up airline between Amsterdam and Detroit

A Nigerian reported to have links to al-Qaeda is being questioned after an attempted act of terrorism on a plane arriving in the US, officials say.

They say the 23-year-old man was trying to ignite some kind of explosive device as the airliner approached Detroit.
The flight from Europe landed safely after the man was overpowered by passengers and crew.
Witnesses said he burnt his leg but no-one else was hurt among the 278 passengers and 11 crew on board.
Officials have described the device as a mixture of powder and liquid which failed to go off properly.
More hereeee
Happy Christmas boy, hope you will spend the rest of your life in jail...

Day Opening - December 26

A Merry Christmas from Canada

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Snow crime stories

There was a lot of snow in the Netherlands and a flurry of snow crime stories. On its front page of a Dutch daily, it alerts to the fact that groups of youths in Gouda (a city in the West of Holland) are forcing cyclists to stop by building blockades out of snow. Once stationary, they are robbed. The police have nabbed five teenagers for the scam.
A similar racket but on a larger scale is reported from The Hague, where gangs of youths have been building snow roadblocks and robbing motorists caught in the traps.
Another newspapers provides their readers with a happy ending of a third story which begins with a father leaving his five-month-old baby on the back seat of his car. While he nipped off to check on whether the trains were running, the vehicle was stolen. The thief decided stealing a baby was a bit more than he bargained for and dropped the infant off at a supermarket. Staff smelt a rat, took the car's registration number and phoned the police. The thief couldn't get far in the snow and was picked up shortly afterwards. The father was reunited with his baby. Well, it's a happy ending if you're not the thief. Happy Christmas!

Day Opening - December 24

Christmas in Bruggen, Belgium

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Swiss referendum

The Swiss people recently ratified a referendum that forbids the construction of Muslim mosques with minarets attached, and now Swiss People’s Party proposed the organizing of a new referendum that will deport from Switzerland all immigrants who committed a crime.

This new referendum could enter in a conflict with the 1951 Geneva Convention about immigrants status. The convention says that no immigrant should be deported if he faces inhuman treatment, racial, political or religious discrimination in his own country of origin.

However the Geneva Convention was clearly made to protect fellow Europeans from Communist tyranny but today the convention is highly outdated as no one really faces such discriminations anywhere on the planet. The convention has also been misinterpreted many times and used for wrong purposes. Today it serves as a gateway for Muslims exremists, who are prosecuted in their counties of origins such as Syria, Somalia, Turkey, Egypt etc. to enter freely into Switzerland, according the SPP.

The legal situation in Switzerland seems set to change following the vigorous campaign for a referendum on deportation of foreign criminals launched by the anti-immigration SVP, which is a key element in the ruling coalition. It was in the run-up to the 2007 general election that the SVP launched its campaign to raise the 100,000 signatures necessary to force a referendum in order to introduce into the penal code measures that would allow for the deportation of the entire family of a convicted criminal under the age of eighteen, which is of course ridiculous.. There was consternation in parliament, as critics pointed out that if the law was passed, it would be the first such law in Europe since the Nazi practice of Sippenhaft, although there is of course a huge difference between being deported to the concentration camps and being expelled for serious crimes to their countries of origin or other European countries.

By February 2009, the SVP had already collected 210,000 signatures, more than double compared to what the law requires, and in response to the pressure from the SVP a new Aliens Bill was introduced into parliament that aims to establish precise criteria as to when a residence permit could be withdrawn from a foreign offender. Under the proposed legislation, foreigners sentenced to two years imprisonment or more, or having accumulated the equivalent prison sentences over a period of ten years, would have their residence permit rescinded and therefore be liable for deportation and they will also be banned from entering Switzerland from 5 to 15 years. In less serious cases, the draft Bill allows the authorities to judge for themselves whether to withdraw the residence permit of the person concerned.

This referendum is only a soft version of the original project that was supposed to deport all immigrants who asked for asylum in Switzerland. In fact,  this bill is simular to regulations in the USA, where an 'alien' after having comited a third crime automatically will be expelled.

The State Council, (superior chamber of the Swiss parliament), decided on December 10, 2009 to resend the proposal of SVP to the special commissions who will have to decide at the beginning of 2010 if the new referendum is compatible with the Geneva Convention and with the Swiss Constitution.

Day Opening - December 23

A violin repair shop.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snow brings high-tech Dutch to their knees

Traffic in the Netherlands, and many other European countries, has been severly affected by the wintry conditions; much of the Netherlands is covered with a 10 centimetre-thick blanket of snow.

The Dutch cyclists' union has received scores of calls from short-distance commuters complaining that local authorities are making every effort to clear the roads but are ignoring the dedicated cycle tracks.

Public transport cannot provide an alternative for the private car, because trains are running a skeleton service having dropped direct intercity connections. The Dutch rail network is one of the most intensively used in the world, and delays quickly cause disruptions to the entire network.

Buses were unable to leave garages at the start of the day. Bus company Connexxion told the press that although the roads were passable, many bus stops and stations were frozen over, making conditions for passengers hazardous. People have been urged to avoid travelling.And work from home!

The morning rush-hour saw a whopping 250 kilometres of traffic jams on the motorways, which is considered far above the average on a normal day but even more so today because schools and many businesses are closed for the Christmas holidays.

Air traffic is being affected as well, and flights to Europe and North America are subject to delays and cancellations.

Meteorologists are warning that a new weatherfront passing over the Netherlands on Monday will dump a fresh load of snow on the country.
source: RNW

Day Opening - December 21

An old DC3 in the air

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ethics, Moral Relativism and Islam

Below a philosophical text of I. Kahn, a philosopher who, according the law of logic, made a short analysis of Islam and Ethics. If you take the web site Islam Today you will find the following excerpt of an article: The differences between Islam and secularism are substantial. The issue at hand is none other than the difference between monotheism and polytheism. They say that the mosque is for Allah and everything else is for “Caesar”. The schools are for Caesar. The media is for other than Allah. They restrict Islam to the mosque and the prayer room. Everything else is to be governed without resort to Islamic Law. This is outright polytheism. This issue is not open for debate. Islam, as the final religion, has supremacy over all faiths and over every aspect of life. There is no place for secularism in the lands of Islam or among the Muslims. yeeeeehhhhhhh

In the meantime a group of European intellectuals are preparing a process against the Islam, nobody will be accused only the religion Islam has to defend itself in court against complains such as: promoting segregation of man and women, separation of state and religion, predicting hate against everything which is Western, predicting everything against which is non-Muslim etc.

Enfin, below the excellent article of I. Kahn:

Ethics, Moral Relativism and Islam

By I Kahn

Many Muslims in justification of the deeds of Muhammad propose that we view his life with a sense of moral relativism. Succinctly put; do not juxtapose the standard of morality practiced in today’s West dominated society to the rituals and life styles of 1400 years ago. This can only be construed as an admission that moral values of today are incongruous with those followed at the time of Muhammad. The assumption is that many if not most moral values have evolved, transformed even revolutionised themselves in to a framework unrecognisable from the time when they were practiced over a millennia ago. Hence his marriage and its subsequent consummation (3 years later) with a 6 year old, his violent looting of passing booty laden caravans, his bloody conquests of non-Muslim tribes, his aggressive (rarely defensive) policy of imperialist Islamic expansionism, his penchant to acquire slaves and regard women as spoils of war etc. must be viewed within a context of Arabia at the time. This as far as justifications go is fair enough. Life then mostly was barbaric and brutish and Muhammad, fair play to him, was a product of his time. It certainly does facilitate the absolution of Muhammad from many of his “misdemeanours”.

The problem however is that this leaves Muhammad in a very precarious position. As a “perfect” human being and faultless messenger of a supreme being delivering the final and absolute word on the subject of morality and ethics to be practiced on Earth he puts himself on a pedestal as the epitome of what is righteous and virtuous. So far so good. The issue however gets trickier when the acceptance of the finality and absoluteness of his message is made a pre-requisite for all Muslims if they are to qualify themselves in to the realm of Islam. Not only is a Muslim expected to follow the written letter of the Quran to its logical conclusion (whatever that may be), he is also necessitated to glorify the life of Muhammad by imitating and replicating his behaviour and lifestyle to its very last detail. Muslims take pride in attempting to mirror Muhammad’s mannerisms and are filled with a fetishistic desire to be as close to “perfection” as Muhammad himself supposedly was.
Continue reading herreeeee

Day Opening - December 20


Arash's World: Blame it all on Pandora: Holding onto Hope in a World of Pain and Suffering#links

Arash's World: Blame it all on Pandora: Holding onto Hope in a World of Pain and Suffering#links

Saturday, December 19, 2009

#Statement 27

Hafith al-Barghuthi in Palestinian AL-HAYAT AL-JADIDAH

I am not frightened when Switzerland or any other country forbids the construction of minarets. However, I become afraid when I see Islamist groups destroying minarets and mosques over the heads of worshipers in Arab and Islamic countries.

Day Opening - December 19

Turkish architecture

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy X-mas and New Year!

Hello Everyone,

I wish you happy holidays to you all. I hope 2010 is going to be a great year with loads of joy, success and health.

P.S: I will try to write more in the coming year Hans :) I am lost lately I know.


Dictators in Copenhagen

Islam Karimov

Robert Mugabe

It was fun and at the same time cynical to see this week notorious dictators and butchers as Islam Karimow and Robert Mugabe attending the Climate summit in Copenhagen. If these people have the slightest interest to talk about Climate Change problems, then they must be welcomed. But I think that this kind of events are for them only a possibility, to show for a world audience, that they are still in charge in their countries. Yes, Ahmadinejad, attended as well. The only missing person was al-Bashir from Sudan...but who cares? His friends in the OIC?

The Danish newspaper Politiken published an editorial this week which is an interesting read:

Copenhagen is having to welcome several members of the global Chamber of Horrors. In the same way that Politiken today presents the views of Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, discussions about global climate have to include dictators.

Among the first to arrive was Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe who is barred from entering the European Union. But since the summit is under the United Nations umbrella, Mugabe has access to Denmark, despite the horrors he is responsible for in his country.

We would like to have warmly welcomed Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. But he has remained in Zimbabwe to save money. Mugabe is here with a delegation of 59 people!

We also have to let in Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov, despite the fact that human rights organisations say that he has the habit of boiling his opponents to death . And he let his troops kill almost 1,000 people who demonstrated against horrible living conditions in Andijan in 2005.

It remains unclear whether President Gurbangulij Berdimuhamedov from the dictatorship in Turkmenistan will be coming, or whether Burma’s Than Shwe will be arriving. Nor can we dismiss the possibility that the Summit can hopefully provide an opportunity to put pressure on them to improve conditions in their home countries.

One scoundrel who is expected to stay away is Sudan’s President Hassan al-Bashir. As head of state he would enjoy immunity, but as he is being sought for genocide, Denmark would also be duty bound to hand him over to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague that has issued an arrest warrant for his detention.

It is possible to prevent dictators from travelling freely to United Nations meetings by opening a case against them at the ICJ. That does not happen when crimes are ‘only’ those of electoral fraud and conduct resulting in bloodshed – conduct that many others than those named here are guilty of – including Russia’s leaders.

Genocide is a different issue, and one which Ahmadinejad, for example, cannot be accused of. Unlike al-Bashir. The definition of genocide under international law is the attempt to exterminate a people. While minorities are persecuted in Iran, there is no basis for calling activities attempts at a systematic extermination of national groups.

Ahmadinejad tells Politiken that he will be using the Climate Summit to put forward an extra argument for his controversial nuclear programme. He will stress the fact that nuclear power is beneficial to the climate. And here is a point in which America’s Obama and other Western leaders agree with him.

Day Opening - December 18

All we need is love.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Update - Happy Holidays

It’s a long time ago that I didn’t post for 5 days on a row. However, some unexpected and unwanted changes took and still takes all my energy and attention. And my planned 2 weeks holiday starting this week…farewell to it. Will be probably even busier the next weeks than the last months. One thing is good, business is really good.

While the last years Bayram was always around and within the month of December now all is already passed and looks like that Turkey is busier than ever. I left all the social unrest here in Turkey behind me and focus me on some serious possibilities and opportunities. And if you are in town and want to celebrate Christmas with a nice Christmas Party, you are welcome the 26th of December from 18.00, Just write me.

I will post some entries to coming days about events and historical events I find interesting.

And about the whole fuss of the minaret ban in Switzerland, I never so so many Christmas trees and decorations as this year in Istanbul...

Day Opening - December 17

Magic of Christmas?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day Opening - December 14

Boutique de Noel, Quebec City by Jean-Francois Noel

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Human Right Watch about Closing down the DTP

I am waiting what Mr Riza Türmen , a former judge of the ECHR will say about the closing down the Kurdish DTP party, but here a statement made by Human Right Watch:

What does human rights law have to say about closing down political parties?

Freedom of expression and freedom of association are protected under the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Turkey is party. Those rights can be limited on the grounds of public order, but any restriction must be prescribed by law, only be done for a legitimate aim, and be necessary in a democratic society (i.e. be the least restrictive measure possible to meet the legitimate aim). Speech that incites violence can be legitimately restricted, but the restrictions must also comply with international human rights law. However, the speeches and statements presented as evidence in the case do not openly promote or praise violence.

While Turkey's present laws provide for the prosecution of individuals for the kind of statements listed in the indictment, Turkey's prosecution of non-violent speech has been repeatedly criticized by the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and domestic and international human rights groups.

While many of the party's officials are currently facing criminal prosecution for their speech, the majority of these prosecutions appear to be wholly unjustified. What is more, no evidence has been presented in the indictment that would warrant a decision in the case before the court to dissolve their political party.

The European Court of Human Rights, which assesses state compliance with the convention, has heard nine cases against Turkey concerning political party bans by Turkey's Constitutional Court. In all but one case, the European Court has ruled against the decision to ban, finding Turkey in violation of articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention (freedom of expression and freedom of association.)

The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, an expert body that advises on law reform consistent with human rights standards, has developed guidelines on closing parties. The guidelines, approved in 1999, state:

Prohibition or enforced dissolution of political parties may only be justified in the case of parties which advocate the use of violence or use violence as a political means to overthrow the democratic constitutional order, thereby undermining the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the constitution. The fact alone that a party advocates a peaceful change of the Constitution should not be sufficient for its prohibition or dissolution.

In response to the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a resolution on June 26, 2008 (PACE Resolution 1622 [2008] ) on "The functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey: recent developments" stating that:

14. The current proceedings against the AK Party, regardless of their outcome, spark a renewed debate about the legal basis for the closure of political parties in the country and show that, despite ... reforms, the issue of dissolution of political parties in Turkey is not closed. The Assembly notes that it becomes clear that further constitutional and legislative reforms in this respect are necessary.

Similarly, the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe adopted a legal opinion on Turkey's frequent actions to close down political parties, ("Opinion on the constitutional and legal provisions relevant tothe prohibition of political parties in Turkey": CDL-AD [2009] 006) in March 2009, concluding that:

106. ... the provisions in Article 68 and 69 of the Constitution and the relevant provisions of the Law on political parties together form a system which as a whole is incompatible with Article 11 of the ECHR as interpreted by the ECtHR and the criteria adopted in 1999 by the Venice Commission and since endorsed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

107. The basic problem with the present Turkish rules on party closure is that the general threshold is too low, both for initiating procedures for and for prohibiting or dissolving parties. This is in itself in abstracto deviating from common European democratic standards, and it leads too easily to action that will be in breach of the ECHR, as demonstrated in the many Turkish cases before the European Court of Human Rights.

108. Because the substantial and procedural threshold for applying the Turkish rules on party prohibition or dissolution is so low, what should be an exceptional measure functions in fact as a regular one. This reduces the arena for democratic politics and widens the scope for constitutional adjudication on political issues.

The article can be read herreeee

Day Opening - December 12

Picture made by Iranian protestors of their president
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Turks, Kurds and Turkey; a new Ban

The Turkey’s Constitutional Court late Friday delivered a landmark ruling, banning the pro-Kurdish (or let me say: representing the majority of the 17 million Kurds in Turkey who faced for 80 years forced assimilation and de facto annihilation) for alleged links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. The decision to close down the Democratic Society Party the DTP under Articles 68 and 69 of the Constitution and the Political Parties Law given that actions and statements made by the party became a focal point for terrorism against the indivisible integrity of the state, which is on itself discussable and arbiter; who is the state and who represent the state?

The hard line denialists in the current Turkish establishment, those of the CHP, the MHP or AKP, are simple not ready to face an ugly past and resume their mythical stories about a Turkey which sit on ancient civilizations without using that history. In front of a world wide audience Turkey stands up and say clearly the same words as Mussolini said:  All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state. But Europe moved forward..
And Turkey proved today that its stuck in the cold war and its own history

Day Opening - December 11

my favorites

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

YouTube ban in Turkey - More idiotry

Sometimes I cannot believe my eyes when I hear the Turkish government speaking about for me simple and rational issues. I know that they take each and every time the discussion ‘hostage’ with throwing the words ‘our sensitivities’ on the table, but today I heard the most lame excuse for the YouTube ban in Turkey: The Turkish Minister of Transport, Yıldırım said the main problem with YouTube was not the videos but the owners’ refusal to open an office and pay taxes in Turkey. The minister said that if YouTube offers a service in Turkey, it should also have a representative in the country.“If you refuse to do that, there is nothing this country can do for you,” he said. Yıldırım said his ministry, the courts and the tax administration all demanded a legal addressee for YouTube in Turkey, but it refuses, stating that it is a global company that is not considering opening an office in Turkey. “This is no different than an ordinary company that opens up shop without dropping by the tax administration,” Yıldırım said.

Okay, we know that Facebook, Google, LinkedIN, eBay, blogger sites, Yahoo, MySpace, CouchSurfing, Flickr, Plaxo, Orkut, Twitter, Wikipedia etc. don’t have an Office in Turkey either, since in general these are social media sites and that means you don’t pay for their services. So, is the Minister Of Transport in Turkey, responsible for Internet and thus social media, up-to-date what’s going on Internet? I don’t think so. And of course this guy is uproarious, dumb, and completely out of touch with the reality. A child of 10 knows that YouTube is a FREE video-sharing site. But I think that this minister wants that the Turkish citizens, in Turkey and abroad, are going to pay for these sites and that the Turkish government then can tax the users….are you kidding me?

And then you have Tayfun Acarer, president of the Information and Communication Technologies Authority, or ICTA, who said there were 32 court orders regarding YouTube. “Atatürk is a sensitive [matter] for Turkey,” he said. “Not only people who live in Turkey but ones who do business in Turkey have to be sensitive about this matter.” Acarer said he could not understand why YouTube’s lack of sensitivity was not being questioned by people who criticize the ban. “I believe that no commercial foundation is above Turkey’s sensitivities,” Acarer said.
Now mister Acarer, I am highly sensitive and allergic fot idiotry...does that counts as well?

Is a Christmas tree offensive?

It was the 13th day before Christmas and all was quiet in the Netherlands… except at The Hague University (THU), where a board decision not to put up a Christmas tree has sparked a “national outrage”.

De Telegraaf, the equivalent of the Turkish Hürriyet, in its never-ending quest to pander to the lowest common denominator, writes that “ the THU’s decision not to put up the traditional Christmas tree this year because of the large number of non-Western students has spread dismay across the nation”.

According to the paper, students, council members, parliament and no less than 1,000 De Telegraaf readers have expressed their outrage at THU’s yuletide blasphemy. One of the more subtle reader comments suggested the school board should be “covered in tar and Christmas decorations”, clearly a more festive variant on the time-honoured corporal punishment of tarring and feathering.

Another newspaper in a slightly more nuanced commentary, writes that Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party, in its unrelenting campaign to prove that Western traditions are perishing under an Islamic onslaught, “hardly could have wished for a better Christmas present, particularly as the party is about take part in local elections in the Hague for the first time. Btw, lots of Christmas trees here in Turkey and two years ago, when we were in Dubai during Christmas, also there Christmas trees in the shopping malls...

And the our hero, the local politician Abdu Khoulani of the Islam Democrats says: “This is so inept, there have been no signals whatsoever from our supporters suggesting that a Christmas tree would be considered offensive”. hurray!!!

And what about the THU? Communications Director Annelies van Rosmalen says in reality the decision was a little less politically inspired: “The decision was all mine. I hated that tree and thought to myself ‘let’s go for something different this year’. However, with my phone ringing off the hook, I can tell you that right now I would love nothing better than to see that fake tree standing here”.

Be that as it may, it does not answer the question why the THU in an internal memo said the decision was taken “To emphasise the international character and diversity of the student body”. Smacks of backtracking on the part of Ms van Rosmalen...

source: rnw

6 Belges sur 10 contre les minarets

Une enquête réalisée par iVOX pour « Le Soir Magazine » à paraître mercredi montre que 59,3 % des Belges interrogés sont favorables à l’interdiction de la construction des minarets. Les Suisses, eux, s’étaient prononcés à hauteur de 57,5 % pour cette interdiction.

38 % des Belges interrogés se sont déclarés tout à fait favorables à l’interdiction de la construction de minarets. Parmi ces 38 %, les Wallons sont les plus favorables (44 %), devant les Bruxellois (40,3 %) et les Flamands (34,3 %).

Si l’on prend le critère de l’âge, le groupe des plus de 50 ans est bien plus favorable (47,9 %) à l’interdiction que le groupe des 30-49 ans (32,8 %) et des moins de 29 ans (29,9 %). Les hommes sont plus favorables à l’interdiction que les femmes, avec 41,8 % contre 34,2 %.

Les Belges ne seraient pas seulement opposés à la construction des minarets, ces tours extérieures d’où traditionnellement les muezzins appellent les fidèles à la prière, mais également à la construction de mosquées. Le sondage montre que 56,7 % des personnes interrogées sont opposées à l’édification de mosquées en Belgique et 61 % ne veulent pas qu’une mosquée soit édifiée dans leur quartier.

Ces résultats sont issus d’une enquête en ligne réalisée par iVOX du 3 au 5 décembre 2009 auprès de 1.050 personnes, avec un indice d’erreur de 3 %.

Sarkozy ne dit pas non aux minarets, mais à l’ostentation

Day Opening - December 9