Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Ö and I met with Mustafa since then several times. And I follow him about his writings. I must say, he’s still one of the few Turkish columnists with an original view. Not my view, but he is not so predictable as many other writers/columnists. Sometimes I agree, sometimes not. But at least, he’s open for discussion.
But lately, his columns became more ‘political Islam’ motivated! I know that he takes his religion serious, but on the other hand he describes himself as a free-lance Muslim; he’s not that devote at all in the orthodox sense but rather naïve about the impact of his writings these days.
His last column is all about the cruel killing of a 16 years young girl in SE Turkey. This took the attention of the international press. Instead of totally condemning this terrible happening, I read excuses between the lines of his article. Here my critic and I point to several statements:
1) MA: A 16-year-old girl was buried alive by her relatives simply for befriending boys. Forensic experts found soil in her lungs and stomach, indicating that the poor kid was conscious while being buried into the ground. May God have mercy on her soul. And may her killers face punishment in this world and the next..
I don’t think that we must vent our anger about a person who commit a crime by saying; ‘I hope you get the punishment in this life and alter-life’. This reminds me about the Calvinistic and of so inhumane punishments of the middle Ages.
2) The problem is the topography of historical Kurdistan. It is a very mountainous region, which is inhospitable to trade routes, railways and highways. Hence its inhabitants have lived almost isolated from the outside world for centuries and have remained largely untouched by modernity. The same is also true for the ill-famed “tribal areas” of Pakistan, which is, again, very mountainous.
The problem is not topography but culture relativism. Do we see honor crimes in the Himalaya. By the Buddhist monks? In the inlands of Cambodia or Brazil? Do we see these honor crimes in remote areas of Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Sweden?
3) Let me explain. Of course, Islam, like other Abraham religions, has laws and punishments about sexual morality. The Koran, for example, criminalizes adultery, and thus Islamic law, or the shariah, has developed a system of regulating how it will be penalized.
No, only Islam has a set of laws and punishments for these crimes. Only Islam has set of laws, neither Christianity nor Judaism. There are no set of books, like in Islam, how to punish people when they don’t obey religious rules. Only Islam and its Sharia.
4) Dr. Stefanie Eileen Nanes, another academic who studied honor killings in Jordan, agrees. “In fact, this practice predates Islam,” she notes, “and young men who commit these murders have been quoted as saying that in these cases, despite what Islam says, tradition is stronger than religion.” And if they don’t find themselves willing to do that, they should question whether they are, too, under the influence of the patriarchal codes of male-domination, rather than the Islamic norms of justice.
Islam preserved and inherits aged old and barbarian traditions very well, as the only religion, until today, the year 2010. And what shall we do now about people who ‘left Islam’, ‘who are gays’, ‘women who are suffering because genital mutilation’? Where are the fatwa’s against those crimes? Sharia deals with many things, including politics, economics, banking, business, contracts, family, sexuality, hygiene, and social issues.
In fact with my private life. In fact it deals how 'infidels' such as me must be treated. How arrogant!
Dear Mustafa, as long as you don’t stand up against these crimes against humanity, and I don’t hear a single woman calling for Sharia law, you will be my target of fair criticism. Sharia is non discussible. It's mediaval.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
In spite of numbers, Dutch Muslim are political non-entity by By Brian van der Bol and Mark Hoogstad
By Brian van der Bol and Mark Hoogstad
The Islam Democrats (ID), represented by a single delegate in The Hague’s city council since 2006, wanted desperately to avoid a swift implosion, as has been the fate of some other young Dutch political parties in recent memory. They failed. The party fell prey to infighting and is now divided into two feuding camps. The party’s plans to participate in the upcoming municipal elections in Rotterdam, Utrecht, and other Dutch cities, have been put on hold.
Mohammed Rabbae, a former member of parliament for the Green party and currently chair of national organisation representing Moroccan interests, expressed his regrets over the schism. “More unity would be good,” he said. Two years ago, Rabbae still believed the ID would blossom into a stable, national political force representing Muslims. “These are people who operate within the limits of Dutch law, but are also able to give a voice to the Islamic community’s grievances. They have done well challenging the dominant stereotypes of Muslims,” Rabbae said.
The power struggle within the ID’s ranks came as no surprise to Rabbae however. “Sectarian and personal interests are often paramount in Islamic movements,” Rabbae said, citing the lack of a “uniting leader” and an established base as contributing factors.
The Netherlands is home to some 825,000 Muslims, according to government statistics, accounting for five percent of the population. In cities like The Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, approximately one in ten residents adhere to the Muslim faith. This makes the electoral potential for Islamic parties significant. But while populist Geert Wilders gathers much of his support by scolding Muslims in the Netherlands, parties that want to unite them are yet to find their constituency.
Rabbae said the Dutch Muslim Party (NMP), led by Henny Kreeft, a former member of the assassinated Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn’s political party, suffered the same problems as the ID. The NMP will participate in seven municipal elections in March, including those in Rotterdam and The Hague. The party will try to appeal to the same narrow slice of the electorate the ID hopes to sway. Talks between the NMP and ID last year yielded no results however. Both parties cannot even agree on why the talks failed.
In The Hague, a city of almost 500,000, a grand total of three Muslim parties will now be participate in local elections. Still, NMP leader Kreeft denies his community is divided. The Netherlands is also home to a multitude of Christian parties, he pointed out. “Would you ask them the same question?” Kreeft wondered. In Rotterdam, with 600,000 people including approximately 30,000 Muslims who can vote, Kreeft’s NMP will be the only Muslim party to partake in the March 3 elections.
‘No Turk will vote for a Morrocan’
Theo Coskun, who leads the Socialist Party in the Rotterdam city council, thinks little of the electoral threat posed by the NMP. “No Turks will vote for a Moroccan. The opposite is even less likely,” he said. Coskun used to go by the typically Dutch surname of Cornelissen, until he married a Turkish-Dutch woman 14 months ago and adopted her last name. Coskun knows Rotterdam’s Muslim community well – a sizable one in a town where 48 percent of the population is of foreign descent. He thinks the NMP will meet the same fate as another Muslim party, the Islamic Party Netherlands, that participated in the last municipal elections and failed to gain even a single seat. In 2006, the IPN got a measly 626 votes, 0.2 percent of all ballots cast.
Coskun likes to put the potential voting figures into what he feels is proper perspective. “A lot of people who call themselves ‘Muslim’ are very secular,” he said. According to Rabbae, himself still a member of the Green party, most Muslims prefer established political parties.
Muslim reluctance to support Islamic parties is often explained by the poor track record Muslim parties have in their countries of origin. Rabbae understands fears that some Muslim immigrants may have, but also referred to the Turkish AK party "that operates well within the limits of established law” he said.
Even though Muslim parties have drawn little support so far, their members believe they can address legitimate political concerns. NMP-founder Henny Kreeft, for instance, feels that Muslim interests are not sufficiently spoken for within existing parties. Muslim politicians needed to “confirm to political profiles” within established parties, he Kreeft said.
Alaattin Erdal, who will lead the Christian democratic CDA in one of Rotterdam's boroughs said Muslims voters like casting their ballots for established parties candidates. They do, however , prefer choosing candidates of shared ethnicity. “Their vote carries more weight that way. Muslims are not looking to be marginalised politically by voting for marginal parties,” Erdal said.
Disappointed by the establishment
Some politicians are on the fence. Abdelhafid Bouzidi, for instance, who led a national committee last year in support of the controversial Muslim philosopher Tariq Ramadan. Both the Green party and left-wing liberal D66 have offered him a prospective seat on their Rotterdam delegations since. Bouzidi (31) did not take them up on the offer. He is still uncertain what type of political party he should join. “In essence, I fit in well with existing parties. But I have been somewhat disappointed by them. And I am not the only one,” he said.
Bouzidi felt most offended by Ramadan’s dismissal. Ramadan served the local government in an advisory capacity but was fired after his involvement in an Iranian government-funded TV-programme became public. Parties across the political spectrum, including Labour, Greens and Christian democrats, came out in favour of Ramadan’s dismissal. “Still, my gut says the time is not yet ripe for a Muslim party,” Bouzidi said. Ironically, Ramadan has come out saying he doesn't feel Muslim's should isolate themselves in separate political parties.
Still, Rabbae feels a a political party based on Islam would do much to enrich the Dutch political landscape. “Muslims are still feared in the Netherlands, and these feelings are stoked by people like Wilders. It would not hurt if Muslims went on the offensive and demonstrated that it is possible to be both a democrat and a Muslim,” he said.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Tension mounted within the church, with the minister refusing to defend himself at a local session because he no longer wished to be branded “a suspect”. The church has now concluded that the minister’s words do not damage the foundation of the church and “can be seen as part of the theological debate”. It looks as if they haven’t entirely succeeded in papering over the cracks, however. The offending minister himself responds by saying “If my view is allowed, then there’s something wrong with the foundations of the church.”
Thursday, February 4, 2010
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 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, 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 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.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
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.
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.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
Sunday, January 31, 2010
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.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
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.
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
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
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.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
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.
A Dutch newspaper describes how a 22-year-old was sworn at and beaten up in 2008. The case caused a commotion when it turned out that the police didn’t have time to take a statement from the young man. The fact that no-one was ever prosecuted has not improved feelings in the Jewish community. Jewish people feel increasingly discriminated against. Rabbi Raphael Evers tells the paper “My mother says it is worse than during the Second World War.” Mainly because of the growing Muslim population, Jewish people feel uncormfortable as they are often the target of Muslm youth.
But there is hope: children from Jewish secondary schools in Amsterdam are told to ask their grandparents for their stories about the Second World War. They are impressed when they see their own names on a wall commemorating those who were deported to Westerbork transit camp during the German occupation of the Netherlands. And that a Muslim school in Rotterdam has even adopted a war monument, the first ever Islamic school in the Netherlands to do so. The headmaster explains, “We tell the parents, without understanding Dutch history, you cannot live in this country.”
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I've always thought that mass beachings by marine mammals were a little like Masadas and Jonestowns and various other antisocial actions taken by individuals and groups of individuals and even little communities of socialists that had not been corrupted by the allure of voting that could be probed, alien puns intended, for deeper meanings about the interactivity of various idiotic lifeforms the various idiotic Gods had decided in Their wisdom to dump on this doomed and dying planet for their sheer entertainment value.
When I designed the cover for the One Minute President, I chose to construct a collage of a big black whale (presaging former Secretary of State Colon Bowel, not some albino honkey Moby Dick, but a mean blooded buck) having his back broken by a rampaging Statue of Liberty after already having written in the introduction to the book that transformed George W. Bush from an inquisitive young drunk into the most powerful developmentally disabled asshole on earth: The One Minute President is not merely the stinging indictment of a system of government and thought so bereft of meaning and morality that even whales beach themselves on our shores to protest it.
I'm sure my conviction that marine mammals and I share a commitment to self-annihilation stems from having encountered herds of the beasts in a small boat on the Long Island Sound during my deformative years and having those butt hole surfers scare the fecal detritus out of me by flipping the boat en feet into the air in a playful display of inter species bonding that I still do not fully appreciate.
I write several pages every day outside my paying jobs and have been writing several pages every day for more than 40 years. Assuming that I only averaged 10 pages a day (although I sometimes write 50 pages in a single outburst and rarely write fewer than 1,000 words) during this period of ludicrous production of virtual cave graffiti, in the more than 145,000 pages of invective and satire and savage indignation I have produced over the years, who would be surprised that I often return to the idea of mass suicides among various species on a planet ruled by idiots and mock such events with the same ferocity I exhibit when discussing common poopadoodle?
For instance, today I happened across a piece I originally wrote in the third year after 9/11 (note the coded news cycle info), when the calendar changed because the world had suddenly become such a new and amazing place where everything was possible and people, plants, animals, and pure energy were for once able to share their perceptions about reality, fantasy, and poopadoodle. Or did I just imagine the horse exhaust about 9/11 changing everything?
I found the contents of that post particularly apropos considering the situation in Haiti and the entertaining coverage of that entirely predictable catastrophe on the InterWeb and the broadcast news.
You can read the whole thing here.
Monday, January 25, 2010
But there is one person, Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Chair of the Italian Muslim Assembly, who preach another thing and also on another tone. For decades now.
Here about his last visit to Israel, and this is not propaganda, I know of his existence for more than 10 year!
After a decade of having watched our conflict morph, he says, from a thorny Arab-Israeli problem to a seemingly unsolvable Muslim-Jewish one, Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi, the director of the Italian Muslim Assembly and an outspoken critic of Islamic fanaticism and terrorism, has once again come here with a message of hope: Peace is possible between Islam and Judaism, between Israel and the Muslim world based on the Koran and the traditional Muslim sources.
The 49-year-old Sunni scholar was in Israel for three weeks, his first visit in four years, during which time he toured Jerusalem, was a guest of the Jewish community in Hebron, and lectured at Bar-Ilan University and the Israel Center in Jerusalem (sponsored by the Root and Branch, where he is co-chair of the Islam-Israel Fellowship).
The crux of what Palazzi has to say is that Israel exists by "divine right" not only according to the Bible but also according to the Koran. He notes that it is clearly stated in the Koran (Sura 5:21) that God gave the Land of Israel to the Children of Israel and ordered them to settle there. In addition, it is predicted that before the End of Days, God will bring the Children of Israel to retake possession of the Land, gathering them from the different countries and nations (Sura 17:104).
As a Muslim who accepts this premise of the Koran, Palazzi has no problem with Jewish sovereignty over the entire Land of Israel - including Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. During his visit here, he repeatedly urged Israel to assert its sovereignty by building in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and wresting political control of the Wakf (the Supreme Muslim Authority) and the Temple Mount from the Palestinian Authority.
Continue reading here
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
I am thinking (for the first time) to make plans how to spend my year and what I want to achieve from it. The very next step is writing them with a big fonts and put it to my wall to remember everyday for motivation. Let`s see if it is going to work it out! Wish me good luck!
Friday, January 22, 2010
If I write down what he wrote in Today's Zaman a couple of days ago, I was 'hanged, cursed, fatwaa'd' and named a racist, colonialist, orientalist (what's wrong with that - the Orient still percieve the rest of the world as colonial barbarians - stuck in the past) facists and of course a Zionist. But this time Orhan wrote it down. A Turk. I know that some nationalist will try to define the guy as a Greek, Armenian or worse Jewish (...) spy. But he's only a simple Turkish lawyer and Human Rights activist.
If you know something about the human soul then you’ll understand Turkey.
But you can’t understand it with theories or concepts. In Turkey, infrastructure is not dependent on superstructure, even in the final stage. The reverse is also true. In short, you cannot make sense of this country with the help of Marx or Max Weber. You can only understand this country with the help of Yunus, who said, “There is an inner self inside me.”
Turkey is like a wounded person who suffers from a complicated neurosis. You can hear him brag about himself in seizures that are brought on by profound inferiority complexes. He continuously oscillates between two ends of a pendulum. If you cannot understand this neurotic individual, you cannot understand Turkey, either.
Suppose your father had committed a crime before your eyes when you were a kid, and you dedicated your life to denying this incident ever happened. Suppose that you have a number of sisters and brothers. None of you could remember that moment of murder, but occasionally, you talk about it with fuzzy memories. There was a half brother, wasn’t there? But, he had provoked our father too much! But, we can’t remember it all. What happens to these neighbors? All of them are lousy. They try to bring those images before our eyes. They just want to separate our family. They want to strip us of everything we have. We have no friend in this world, and we are all alone.
Continue reading herreeeeee
Apparently, twelve percent of all female motorists in that country regularly hold what surely must be very one-sided conversations with their vehicles, compared to only 6 percent of male drivers. Five percent of all motorists even give their cars nicknames, including such gems as The Flea, Old Boy, The Green Monster, The Mini Disco and My Midlife Chrysler. The survey also showed that the Dutch are very careful about their cars and don’t easily trust others to drive in them. The only other person allowed to drive in the old jalopy is usually the owner’s partner...
I am curious how lang those Dutch female drivers talk to their cars?.)) Here in Istanbul, when you see a driver making strange 'moves' 9 out of 10, it are female drivers.))!!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
KLM says that in the past, there have been instances where it was unable to seat a passenger because they were too big for one seat, while a second was not available. The new policy reportedly guarantees that obese passengers will be able to actually reach their destination. However, Mieke van Spanje, the chair of the Obesitas Association, does not see it that way. She calls the policy “unethical” and “Hopefully a very early April Fools Day joke”. Ms Van Spanje says airlines should have two seats for obese people on every jetliner. “Because they are now making their problem our problem”.
The Dutch Socialist Party MP Emile Roemer supports her point of view: “Do midgets get a short-people discount when two can fit in one seat? Do pregnant women have to pay extra? No, of course not. It proves this is a clear case of discrimination”. His party has demanded the transport and public health ministers find out whether the new KLM policy violates European aviation regulations...
What do you think? I love to have 3 seats on my own! Once they put me in a 'middle seat' which means that I felt like a sardine...but I didn't file a law suit. Discrimination?...hmmmm
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Just kidding. Voting simply reinforces genetic stupidity that has been identified in human DNA and is one of the key reasons that the Bush administration was dead-set against steam room (or was it stem cell) research because Fubar and Insignificant Dick Cheney feared that stupidity would eventually be bred out of humanity, leading to peace, love, and understanding.
Did I really just write that? Of course not. I wrote it much later and then copied it and came back here to paste it. Time and space are like that. You can do whatever you want with them and they won't complain. People, on the other hand, complain about every goddamn thing. Take me. Please.
Once again it is Tuesday after lunch, that cosmic time in the universe when everyone can see without glasses and hear without idiot-assisted commentators. And smell. God damn that smell.
I realize some people think that democracy is a step up the evolutionary ladder from slime mold, but I've always viewed the act of voting as a form of self-abuse that doesn't even engender the slightest pleasurable shudder in the loins. Voting is an unnatural act designed to debase human beings and have them genuflect before the altar of supreme secular stupidity.
I don't need you to be the boss of me, and I surely don't need whoever you voted for. Are you kidding?
I recall exactly when I decided our wonderful democratic system and its freedoms was adulterated horse exhaust. This was long before George W. Bush became the world's most powerful developmentally disabled little Eichmann on the planet through exercise of the rule of law or Biraq Insane Obama took over to make the world safe for the rest of the idiots.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
According to a formula devised by a psychologist and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) expert, Monday the 18th of January is the most depressing day of the year. Although other experts doubt the scientific veracity of the formula, there's plenty to be depressed about; the joys of Christmas are long behind us, New Year's resolutions have failed and it is dark, cold, wet and miserable outside. Unless you live in Australia or South America where you enjoy a warm and nice holiday.)!
Anyway, we Eurasians and Americans, this should all mean that we can now look forward to around 51 happier Mondays, although I have my doubts about that.
Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and their ilk, have spawned a host of new jargon. Surprisingly, one of these terms was already in use in 17th century Holland.
“Defriending”, or ostracizing a former pal from one’s digital inner circle, might seem to be the pinnacle of linguistic modernity. When the act of defriending was first committed is a fact perhaps lost forever in the fog of history. But surely this historic moment did not take place in 17th century Holland?
Perhaps it did, Dutch writer Ed Schilders has found. Using the tried and true technique of lexicographical resarch (i.e. looking somehing up in the dictionary) he discovered the Dutch translation of the word (ontvriending) dates back to at least 1626. He found the term in de Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal, an exhaustive 43-volume opus on the Dutch language which took more than a century to complete.
Hidden on one of the Woordenboek’s 50,000-odd pages, Schilders found an entry written in 1892 describing the practice of ‘defriending’, which at the time meant “to take away one’s friends” or “to make into an enemy”. The entry quotes references dating from 1626 and 1658. One is a reference to the infamous courtesan of Lais, a woman so beautiful - and sexually available – that she drew pupils away from a famous philosopher, “defriending” him in the old-fashioned sense of the word. “Today you can defriend someone. In the past, you were defriended,” said Wouter van Wingerden, a linguistic consultant with the Society for the Dutch Language.
The other reference is found in Psalm 88:8, translated in the King James Bible as “Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me.” The Dutch version quoted in the Woordenboek might be close to 400 years old but it is definitely more concise. It reads ‘Mijn vrienden hebt ghy my ont-vrindt,’ which translates to “My friends thou hast defriended.”
The word fell into disuse after the 17th century, perhaps because the Netherlands had few friends left. By 1672, the young Dutch republic found itself at war with France, England, and the dioceses of Cologne and Munster.
In 2009, “ontvrienden” (defriending) was named Word of the Year in an annual election held by the Dutch publisher of dictionaries, Van Dale. The title is commonly reserved for new words. The winner of the 2008 election (“swaffelen”) describes a decidedly odd sexual act popularised by a Dutch student who catapulted to internet fame when a video of him appeared online. Without going into unnecessary detail, the video featured both the boy’s privates and the Taj Mahal. It does not yet appear in the Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal.
According to van Wingerden, the word is, to some extent, really new, since it had fallen into disuse for centuries and has only recently been reincorporated into the Dutch language as a translation from English.
For a term that describes such an unsociable act, “defriend” has proven surprisingly popular worldwide. In 2009, the New Oxford American Dictionary also anointed the word “unfriend” Word of the Year, noting that the term had “both currency and potential longevity”. The American dictionary did note the word “friend” had been in use as a verb in 17th century English.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Apparently the Dutch authorities sent a delegation to Turkey last November. Although it didn’t actually find the fugitive people trafficker, it realised there was no point in putting Baran on a most wanted list as Turkey has no extradition treaty with the Netherlands. For the Dutch this all points out how this “goes against the general public’s sense of justice”.
Sam was sentenced to eight years in prison in absentia, shortly after his disappearance. And in case some of yous need any persuasion about what a nasty piece of work he is, prints a photo of his victims after he has beaten her up are widespread on the Internet.
Forced abortions, beaten up with baseball bets, 'branding' his 'women' with a 'B' on their bodies...the list goes on.
But no way that the Turkish authorities wants to extradit him to the Netherlands. No, he's a Turk and needs to be pampered like a Turk. Hundreds of women are hidden in women shelters. But in a country where 'Muslimhood' is more important than womens rights, he enjoy a nice and beautiful life in Antalya.
Yep, Sam is back in town although not Amsterdam but Antalya...
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
By Jeroen van der Kris in Brussels
The Bulgarian candidate for the new European commission allegedly hid her ownership of a company, getting herself and chairman Barroso in trouble.“Disastrous,” was an oft-heard comment in Brussels about Rumania Jeleva’s performance Tuesday at a hearing by members of the European parliament. The Bulgarian, Rumania Jeleva (40), prospective commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response, could have done little worse than she did.
Her name had been circulating for weeks. Rumour had it her husband worked for a company involved with Russian organised crime. Nobody knew if these rumours had any merit. Then, on Tuesday, only hours before the hearing, an article appeared on the Financial Times Deutschland’s website containing a verifiable claim: Jeleva was said not to have reported the fact that she owned a consultancy firm. A direct violation of EU rules.
Jeleva responded clumsily to the accusation. At the start of her hearing, Thijs Berman, spokesperson for the Party of European Socialists, asked the obvious question about her alleged business interests. Others followed his lead, but Jeleva ignored the question entirely and set off on a ten minute monologue about anything but her consulting business. When the parliamentarians finally got her to answer the question she switched from English to Bulgarian, apparently afraid to make mistakes.
Continue reading herrreeeeee
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
No one has ever gone broke misunderestimating the stupidity of the American people. Inspiring Americans to yearn to strive for the manageable mediocrity that comes with being dumb, fat, and lazy is what has made this country great. Look around, you don't believe me. Show me one accomplishment in the past 50 years of American history that wasn't predicated upon stupidity, ignorance, or mean-spirited bigotry, and I'll let you see my photograph collection of Klingons circling Uranus.
If the eight-year reign of error from 2000-2008 wasn't enough proof that Americans are morons, all you have to do is look at how U.S. elections are conducted and how easily voters get fooled again and again, unable to admit how completely batshit insane it is to expect different results while repeating the same dumb process.
Consider the fact that two ballot measures in Oregasm are in danger of failing, despite involving what amounts to spare change from the ruling class, but ordinary Oregonadian idiots are lining up in their tea-bagging costumes to shout and spew and fume and brandish weapons to celebrate the second amendment, which was put into the Constitution by the Founding Fathers in support of the notion that there is no problem that can't be solved with the right bullet. America is always looking to build better bullets.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
But I know that my son in Monterrey will be happy!
So, our Dutch multinational Heineken has purchased the Mexican brewer Femsa Cerveza for 3.8 billion euros.
It is the second major acquisition by the Dutch brewer in the last few years. In 2008, the Amsterdam-based company purchased the British Scottish & Newcastle in a joint acquisition with Danish brewer Carlsberg, paying 7.8 billion pounds sterling.
Heineken hopes its newest expansion will strengthen its hold on the Latin American market. Femsa Cerveza is the brewer of Sol, Dos Equis, Tecate and other beers.
The global beer market has seen a lot of upheaval in recent years. Developing markets, where there is still room for growth in consumption, are hotly contested by a handful of giant brewers.
Heineken got the best of several other brewers that had shown an interest in Femsa, including the Irish multinational Diageo and its direct competitor SABMiller.
Femsa, which is currently owned by a number of Mexican families, is one of Mexico’s two largest brewers. It controls about half of the local market, owns 35 beer brands and is the largest bottler of Coca Cola on the planet. The acquisition of Femsa will increase Heineken’s market share not only in Mexico, but also in Brazil and the US, where Femsa’s products are popular with Latin Americans. Many of Femsa’s products are currently distributed by Heineken in the US. This contract would have come up for grabs if another party had purchased Femsa.
Heineken’s own brand and Amstel have performed well in the American market, but these ‘premium’ beers have come under pressure due to the economic crisis.
Heineken is paying 3.8 billion for Femsa, but it will also be taking on 1.5 billion in debt and retirement plan obligations. The acquisition is funded by a stock emission which will lead to changes in the brewer’s management. The Mexicans have acquired a minority interest in Heineken, granting them two seats on the company’s supervisory board. The Heineken family will retain its controlling interest in the company. Markets responded positively to the news, with Heineken’s stock value currently up four percent.