Category Archives: Netherlands

Brandeis Reacts In Fear

Ayaan Hirsi is a critic of the Muslim religion and has fought against Islamic fundamentalists in Africa,the Netherlands and around the world. She is definitely not a person who is loved by those of the Muslim faith. Her experiences in Somalia and in her childhood caused deep feelings of anger against those who insist on a fundamentalist interpretation of the Muslim religion. She deeply resents male domination of women by fundamentalists, she resents genital cutting by these members of the Muslim faith. She has been blunt and makes clear that in her view, the Muslim is a “violent and nihilistic cult.” These are not pretty sounding words to make about a religion,and there is no question she utters generalities. A generality results in the innocent as well as the guilty being branded by words.

For some reason, those in charge of Brandeis were not aware of that Ms. Hirsi was all about. They had invited her to accept an honorary degree but when a letter arrived from the Council on American Islam Relations, bells sounded in the administration office. Just remember, College academic leaders always place money before other objectives. “We cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values. We regret that we were not aware of these statements.” Huh? She has been talking this way for over a decade. What, in the first place, led you to invite her?

Goodbye Uganda And Kenya

The tragedy of Africa is,not only the colonial experience under European powers, but the aftermath of being colonized by its own leaders whose only concern is with retention of power for themselves and their associates. Thanks to the benefit of Western Christianity, a high percent of Africans are infused with hate toward those who fall into the category of being homosexuals. New laws in Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria make homosexuality a crime that is punishable not only with fines or prison, but even with death. President Obama, along with numerous European leaders, urged African heads of government to take a stand that protects the rights of gays and lesbians, Unfortunately, the words of Western Christian leaders is more attractive. They have educated people to hate homosexuals.

Sweden presently contributes over $40 million in economic aid to Uganda, but that money will no longer be delivered due to the new anti-homosexual laws. Along with Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands there is now a movement to halt any economic assistance to an African nation that has made homosexual love to be a crime. Unfortunately, the poor and women who need birth control assistance and children in school will be deprived of economic assistance in order to whip or beat or jail or kill those who are gay or lesbian. Such is the way of Christianity in Africa!!

Forgotten European Youth

Among the tragedies of Europe’s dance with austerity has been a dramatic rise in unemployment throughout the region. An estimated 50% of young Spaniards lack jobs and similar figures are evident in Greece or Italy or even Sweden. Hundreds of Swedish young boys and girls went on a rampage through the streets of Stockholm showing their anger at being ignored and having their lives put on hold. They set fire to over 300 cars, burned down a restaurant and threw stones through store windows. There are even reports of a police station being burned to the ground. The initial outbreak most probably arose from police killing a 69 year -old man who was wielding a machete. Young people felt the police over-reacted.

It is time for Europe to abandon the austerity tactic and go back to some old fashioned John Keynes stimulus to the economy. Sweden might borrow the Depression CCC which placed one million young Americans to work on infrastructure tasks. FDR even pushed through bills that paid artists to paint or musicians to play music of people to put on plays. Provide meaningful work and riots will cease and desist.

Future For Youth?

Four years ago in most European nations young people were hopeful that with further education there would be ample opportunities to secure a good job.Today, the unemployment rate in Spain or Greece is over 50% for young people with scant prospect of changes during the coming decade of their life. Stylia Kampani, now works as an unpaid intern for an important Athens newspaper. What happens after the end of her internship is unknown. “None of my friends believes that we have a futureor will live a normal life. That wasn’t quite the case four years ago.” She is now part of a lost generation which is doomed to low wages, uncertan job security and loss of control over individual lives. European nations have not learned the lesson of America’s Depression when the federal government created jobs for youth like the CCC. It funded the theater, opera, symphony orchestras and provided many job opportunities in society.

Germany recruits some  skilled workers from Greece or Spain. In the UK anger is directed at immigrants because the government has done nothing to offer youth a chance for the future. Oh, it has tripled the cost of college. Youth needs to go beyond protest and organize political parties which pledge to create jobs, and, in so doing create hope. If governments refuse to act to create jobs, the end result will be emergence of neo-fascist political parties based on hate an violence.

US Troops In Europe-Why?

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago there was something termed a Cold War between the Soviet Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance. The assumption was there was need for American troops in Europe in order to make clear to Soviet leaders that an attack on West Europe would involve an attic on the United States of America. In 1991, the nation then known as the Soviet Union, collapsed and ceased to exist. The current Russian army would encounter problems fighting Georgia-as it did. The question of the hour is-why are there American forces in Western Europe?

The Cold War ended two decades ago. There is NO  threat from the East. There is NO threat from Russia. Ami, it is time to pack up and Go Home! It is time to end relics from the past.

Rogues Gallery Of Criminals

Visit any police station and you will be able to see a gallery of pictures of those deemed to be violent criminals whose arrest would benefit society. Harm Schilder, a Catholic priest in the Netherlands has uncovered a new form of Rogues Gallery, pictures of his parishioners who no longer want to attend his church. He now displays their pictures and names in order to show the town who are real Catholics and who have left the faith. “This isn’t about pointing a finger, naming, and shaming.” He simply wanted those who  do not attend services to know they are not coming to church.

After all, if your name is not on display as one who will not come and listen to Father Schilder, how will you know that you are not in church??Oh,he wants a copy of your identity card if you don’t show up. I wonder if one has to write an essay about why they don’t attend church?

So Long Syria

The end is certain for the regime of Bashar al-Assad, the question is only when since it is rather certain how it will occur. The United States government just sent Patriot missile batteries to Turkey along with 400 American troops where they will  join missiles and troops from Germany and the Netherlands. If Assad sends missiles into Turkey they will be destroyed and if they do arrive, Turkish troops will head for the Syrian border. Rebel forces are seizing government military bases, they are in Damascus, and it is almost certain that within weeks, troop desertions will dramatically rise.

The  central Syrian concern is what or who appears once Assad departs. Frankly, it is not out of the question for a new civil war to erupt once the thug leader of Syria departs. Obama has been careful to hold off supplying  weapons to Syrian rebels because no one knows if al-Qaeda or religious fanatics will assume control over the rebellion. This is one time to wait-and-see.

Light Up In Amsterdam!

To live in the United States of America is to inhabit a land in which common sense has long since been replaced by misguided efforts to control social habits and thinking. Not since the debacle of Prohibition has the American nation been treated to constant failure to enforce laws. However, over in the Netherlands, tourists visiting the city of Amsterdam will now be able to light up and get a bit high at the local cannabis cafe of their choice.

The issue of allowing tourists to use cannabis has been argued for the past several years since some believe letting anyone get high will lead to –anyone getting high? Make use of drugs a crime and one has opened the pandora box of crime. The cry of drug lords simply means that drug lords will not be able to gain huge amounts of money. In Amsterdam, just relax, light up and go on a nice trip inside your mind that will not cost a penny. And, neither will drug lords get a penny!

On Reporting Racism In A Society

Those who write on the Internet or in  the media are daily confronted by issues related to acts of racism. A person is beaten to death by some youths and it appears the victim was a member of an immigrant group. Does one report there murder as an act of racism or as a murder? In the Netherlands, right wing anti-Muslim leader, Geert Wilders continually blames all societal ills on immigrants. He hates Muslims and believes Islam is a violent religion.

For years Wilders has upheld a typical Dutch family headed by “Henk and Ingrid” as the prototype of what it means to be Dutch–unlike those Muslim immigrants, none of whom is named Henk or Ingrid. Last week, a Dutch couple, named Henk and Ingrid, murdered a Turkish immigrant. Should this  be reported as an act of racism? Does one single out A  murder and claim that murder is symbolic of racism?

Perhaps, it is time for the media to be more selective as to what represents racism. After all, people murder one another each day.

Nothing To Sneeze At?

The United States government took the unprecedented step of asking scientists to withhold important information about research that might be used by terrorist groups. They want key parts of work describing how  scientists managed to mutate the H5N1 bird flu virus into a strain that become infectious . The new strain could be spread by a  cough or sneeze. There is fear a terrorist or criminal gang could obtain the strain and use it to kill or for blackmail purposes.

Some raise questions as to whether such research should take place in a university setting lacking adequate security procedures. On the other hand, some scientists are concerned that important information that could assist the research of other scientists will not be shared. Frankly, as a non-scientist, it is scary what could happen. Are there times when open information can become open dangerous information?