Thursday, February 4, 2010

UN climate report is not correct!

Delta works.

The UN climate change panel IPCC not only wrongly predicted Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035, it also put more than half of the Netherlands below sea level...

The Dutch environment minister, Jaqueline Cramer, yesterday demanded a thorough investigation into the 2007 report by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change after a Dutch magazine uncovered it incorrectly states 55 percent of the country lies below sea level. The the Dutch national bureau for environmental analysis has taken responsibility for the incorrect figure cited by the IPCC. Only 26 percent of the Netherlands is really below sea level.

The error surfaced at a time when the IPCC is already under fire for another false claim that revealed earlier this week. The 2007 report states glaciers in the Himalayas will disappear by 2035, while the underlying research claims the mountain ice would last until 2350, British newspaper The Sunday Telegraph discovered.

When Cramer heard of that blunder she wrote a letter to the IPCC, saying she was "not amused" there were mistakes in the scientific report she bases the Dutch environmental policies on. Now she is confronted with errors in the data about her own country. "This can't happen again," the minister told reporters in The Hague on Wednesday. "The public trust in science and politics has been badly damaged."

The IPCC based its claim about Dutch vulnerability to rising sea level on data it received from the Netherlands environmental assessment agency PBL. "The Netherlands is an example of a country highly susceptible to both sea-level rise and river flooding because 55% of its territory is below sea level where 60% of its population lives and 65% of its Gross National Product (GNP) is produced," according to the report.”
But the Dutch agency now admits it delivered incomplete wording to the panel. "It should have said 55 percent of the Netherlands is vulnerable to floods; 26 percent of the Netherlands is below sea level and another 29 percent can suffer when rivers flood," the PBL said in a statement after the mistake was uncovered by Dutch weekly Vrij Nederland on Wednesday.
The error features in chapter 12.2.3 of the “Impact, adaptation and vulnerability” section of the IPPC report. This part of the analysis was drafted by the so-called working group II, a different group than the one that wrote the part about the scientific basis of climate change and its causes.

One of the reasons the document is error-prone is in the width of its scope, experts say. A description of consequences of climate change all over the world is bound to touch on areas few people know anything about. In its report, the IPCC draws on publications assessed by outside scientists, reports from organisations like the World Bank and management consulting firm McKinsey, and even descriptions from tourist guides and observations from volunteers. Those sources have to be supported by others and are scrutinised through "qualitative analysis". But a problem in the analysis is there are few scientists in the world who know a lot about regional effects. Few people have enough knowledge and insight to predict longtime trends in ice development in the Himalaya, for example.
The Dutch mistake, however, is of a different order. Scientists missed the incorrect wording of the claim that they received from the PBL. Maarten Hajer, the director of that agency argued the conclusions of the IPPC are still solid: climate is changing, the earth is warming up and human behaviour is to blame for a large part of that. He did acknowledge damage had been done to the reputation of climate scientists. "But I prefer to call it a scratch in the finish rather than a dent," he said.
The saga continues!

the Trial Wilders and his 18 witnesses

The latest twist in the trial of the Dutch populist right-wing MP Geert Wilders on charges of insulting Muslims and incitement to religious hatred: the Freedom Party (PVV) leader wanted to call 18 witnesses to give evidence in his defence but, in a pre-trial session, the court has whittled the number down to just three.

The judges also ruled that their evidence will be heard by an examining magistrate in private and not in open court. The ruling explains that the move is probably intended to stop Mr Wilders maximising publicity around the case. And that's a good decision in my opinion since he wanted to call witnesses to show that his negative comments, about for instance the Qur'an, were true. These included Mohammed Bouyeri, the militant Muslim who murdered Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh in 2004.
The judge however argued it was well known that some people use the Qur'an to justify violence and that evidence to prove the point was not needed. An angry Mr Wilders told journalists: "This court is obviously not interested in the truth". The trial proper, which will take around a week, will begin towards the end of this year. Below the list of 18 'witnesses'. And mentioned who will be heard. Up to you what is relevant:

Dr. Wafa Sultan

Wafa Sultan became famous when she criticized Muslims in an interview on the Iranian channel Al Jazeera because they treat non-Muslims differently from Muslims. Her latest book is called “A God Who Hates: The Courageous Woman Who Inflamed the Muslim World Speaks Out Against the Evils of Radical Islam”. The court has approved the request by Wilders to call Wafa Sultan as witness.

Dr. Simon Admiraal
Simon Admiraal received his doctorate as an Arabist from Hans Jansen. He does research on radicalization in Arabic sermons. In the newspaper De Volkskrant he wrote the opinion articles “No integration, thanks to the headscarf brigade” and “Sharia contains every must, may, and may not of Allah”. The court has approved the request by Wilders to call Simon Admiraal as witness.

Dr. Hans Jansen
Hans Jansen is known for his critical remarks about Islam. He compiled the book “End struggle: The final clash between the liberal West and traditional Islam” together with contributors such as Paul Cliteur, Mat Herben and Robert Spencer. The court has approved the request by Wilders to call Hans Jansen as witness.

Dr. Robert Spencer
Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch and author of “The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion” (2006). Wilders has not been allowed to call Robert Spencer as a witness.

Dr. Andrew Bostom
The Arabist Andrew Bostom [in the picture with Robert Spencer and Atlas Shrugs (Pamela Geller) at the Counter Jihad Brussels 2007 conference]. In 2005 he published his book “The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism” and the essay “Jihad means holy war.” Wilders has not been allowed to call Andrew Bostom as a witness.

Prof. Dr. Afshin Ellian
Professor of Law and Social Cohesion and opinion writer Afshin Ellian (born Iranian) warns against “Islamofascism”, political Islam, which according to him threatens the democratic rule of law. Ellian is a columnist for the newspaper NRC and blogs weekly for Elsevier. Wilders has not been allowed to call Afshin Ellian as a witness.

Prof. Theo de Roos
Theo de Roos is Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure and wrote about the Wilders case in the article “Enterprise and Criminal Law: Amsterdam Court interferes in political debate, the case of Wilders”. Wilders has not been allowed to call Theo de Roos as a witness.

Bill French
Bill French, Director of Center for the Study of Political Islam in Tennessee, is cited in several blogs that are critical of Islam. His research showed that Muslims worldwide have killed 120 million people. Wilders has not been allowed to call Bill French as a witness.

Prof. Sam Solomon
Sam Solomon, ex-Muslim, Director of Fellowship of Faith for Muslims, expert in the area of Sharia Law and author of “The Mosque Exposed”. Wilders has not been allowed to call Sam Solomon as a witness.

Prof. Tom Zwart
Tom Zwart, head of the School of Human Rights Research. Zwart wrote in Dutch Jurist magazine the article “Wilders: Yes, allowed!”. Wilders has not been allowed to call Tom Zwart as a witness.

Prof. Raphael Israeli
Raphael Israeli, author of the books “The Spread of Islamikaze Terrorism in Europe: The Third Islamic Invasion” and “The Islamic Challenge in Europe”. Wilders has not been allowed to call Raphael Israeli as a witness.

Judge Andras Sajo
Andras Sajo, judge at the European Court of Human Rights, disagreed with the ruling of the court that convicted National Front Politician Feret of discrimination. Sajo favors the freest possible debate, without judges interfering. Wilders has not been allowed to call Andras Sajo as a witness.

Prof. Henny Sackers
Henny Sackers in 2007 commissioned by the Minister of Justice to do research on blasphemy, and published “Blasphemy, discrimination expressions and hatred because of religion and hate statements: an inventory study”. Wilders has not been allowed to call Henny Sackers as a witness.

Mohammed Bouyeri
Mohammed Bouyeri is the murderer of Theo van Gogh. Wilders has not been allowed to call Mohammed Bouyeri as a witness.

Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi
Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi said in 2000 that the death penalty for Salman Rushdie will never expire. Wilders has not been allowed to call Mohammad Yazdi as a witness.

Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati
Wilders has not been allowed to call Mohammad Ahmad Jannati as a witness.

Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
Yusuf Al-Qaradawi is an influential Islamic scholar who in 1990 wrote that the Islamic revival movement is an organized effort to make the Islam once again the leading force for society and to install Sharia. Wilders has not been allowed to call Yusuf Al-Qaradawi as a witness.

Imam Fawaz Jneid
The Imam Fawaz Jneid cursed Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Theo van Gogh in a sermon several weeks before the murder of Theo van Gogh. Fawaz would have issued a fatwa on the Amsterdam District chairman Ahmed Marcouch by calling him a “Munafiq”, someone who poses as a Muslim but does not believe. Wilders has not been allowed to call Fawaz Jneid as a witness.

I don't understand why Prof. Tom Zwart, ECHR judge Andras Sajo and Prof. Henny Sackers are not allowed as witnesses since all the three have an incredible good name.

Day Opening - February 4

Old bridge in Ardesen, Turkey - by Halil Aydinlioglu

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Erdogan and his AKP party are going wild

First we witnessed yesterday a new fist fight in the Turkish parliament between AKP MP’s and the opposition, today Turkey’s FM hailed Iranian elections of last year while at the same time people are executed for protesting. In another laughable round, the ‘Chief’ negotiator of Turkey for he EU declared that Turkey must not take EU report seriously. And today Erdogan’s buddy the Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, got some bad news: the Appeals judges ordered the International Criminal Court on Wednesday to reconsider its decision not to indict Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir on charges of genocide in Darfur. De facto: indict him for committing genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and much more ugly things.
Erdogan, the new Sultan and New Prophet (although God doesn’t talk with us for more than 2000 years), feels comfortable with all these dictators, since he himself is one.

Who takes the guy serious? Still 30% of the Turkish population and some Arabs who feel that they need Turkey in the future since their oil fields are dwelling…

Are we waiting for a new wave of imperialistic powers like the Neo-Ottomans? I don’t think so. But who can talk to some stubborn Islamists?

Picture reminds me of H.

Tomorrow doesn't care

I just found out that John Lennon was assassinated. What a bummer. I thought the whole thing was a joke, you know, like Dean Swift's epitaph.

I remember sitting at the bar at Troll's in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with Jack Lambert who was playing with his bridge and listening to Howard Cosell announce that John Lennon had been killed during a Monday Night Football broadcast and saying to myself: "WTF? Did he just say John Lennon has been shot outside North Dakota?" I still doubt the existence of either North or South Dakota. I've never been there. Have you?

Apparently I just continued drinking and taking drugs for another thirty or forty years and never really realized that John Lennon is actually dead.

That's like finding out that the dinosaurs are all gone and the planet is populated by weak-kneed idiots incapable of dreaming of biting the heads off the comets. I hope that never happens.

Turn off your mind, relax
and float down stream
It is not dying
It is not dying

Lay down all thought
Surrender to the void
It is shining
It is shining

God, I wish that worked for me.

Day Opening - February 3

Bridge of Hope and Discord
Mostar, Bosnie & Herzogovina

Monday, February 1, 2010

#Statement 29

''In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate”

Isaac Asimov

Day Opening - February 1

yeah...what's next?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Statement #28

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

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands turns 72 today

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

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

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

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

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

Day Opening - January 31

Michael Dudola: Premonition of Spring

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Culture driven economic revivals - Ruhr area / Istanbul

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

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

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

Day Opening - January 30

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

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

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Obama and Casino Capitalisme

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

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

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

Government support and the Car industry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day Opening - January 28

I'm about you?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tiny Dutch car maker Spyker buys Saab

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

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

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

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

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

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

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