Friday, February 4
Say It Loud, Allochtoon & Proud!
Meanwhile, in Dutch news, the parochial bigotry of that small minded, petty-bourgeois huisvrouw Rita Verdonk reaches new and dizzying lows:
Is this not stunningly beautiful?
The world's largest bacterium,Thiomargarita namibiensis (“Sulfur pearl of Namibia”).
Well, we knew that it would happen; how could it not, while the Republican's hold Congress' gonads in a vise - but it doesn't make it any easier to accept or bear. That that corrupt, second-rate, sycophantic bought and paid-for shyster lawyer and torturer manque, Alberto Gonzales, is now Attorney General of the USA, and charged with protecting the legal rights and freedoms of all US citizens, absolutely beggars belief.
( Copyright: The Illustrated Daily Scribble)
Many Americans, including the editors of the New York Times ( not noted for standing up to the Rethugs) are wondering what this will do to the US's standing in the rest of the world:
Speaking as a fully paid up member of the reality based-community that passes for the rest of the world, I can tell you my immediate reaction and it's not nice. "Fucking dumb-assed Americans" pretty much sums it up. Because if not stupid, then you must agree with Gonzales and his approval of torture of anyone who disagrees with his Chimperors plans, and even some who don't but just got in the way. Your Republican senators apparently do agree, and you voted for them, didn't you? For fuck's sake, you have all the information to know that the new head of the whole of the US justice department approves torture, HE SAID IT UNDER OATH. Take a look - it's right there in the transcript.
To pontificate, as Bush did in his State of The Union address (and as Condosleeza is doing now on her visit to Tony Blair) on freedom, liberty, democracy and the American way, just makes the rest of the world go "WTF? Surely the US public can't be taken in by this rubbish when its so demonstrably untrue?" But the American public is taken in, every single time. Either that or they do know and they just don't give a damn. Personally I think the latter is more likely.
In say, 25 years, when the climate is totally fucked, hordes of refugees roam the world looking for a safe place to live, when tsunamis, hurricanes and crop failures are regular occurrences, when the insurance companies go bankrupt, when the oil runs out, when there's no safety net of welfare for anyone; when a repressive, torturing, theocratic government has run the nation trillions and trillions of dollars into debt - remember then the scum who voted for Gonzales:
Alexander (R-TN)Allard (R-CO)Allen (R-VA)Bennett (R-UT)Bond (R-MO)Brownback (R-KS)Bunning (R-KY)Burr (R-NC)Chafee (R-RI)Chambliss (R-GA)Coburn (R-OK)Cochran (R-MS)Coleman (R-MN)Collins (R-ME)Cornyn (R-TX)Craig (R-ID)Crapo (R-ID)DeMint (R-SC)DeWine (R-OH)Dole (R-NC) Domenici (R-NM)Ensign (R-NV)Enzi (R-WY)Frist (R-TN)Graham (R-SC)Grassley (R-IA)Gregg (R-NH)Hagel (R-NE)Hatch (R-UT)Hutchison (R-TX)Inhofe (R-OK)Isakson (R-GA)Kyl (R-AZ)Landrieu (D-LA)Lieberman (D-CT)Lott (R-MS)Lugar (R-IN)Martinez (R-FL)McCain (R-AZ)McConnell (R-KY) Murkowski (R-AK)Nelson (D-FL)Nelson (D-NE)Pryor (D-AR)Roberts (R-KS)Salazar (D-CO)Santorum (R-PA)Sessions (R-AL)Shelby (R-AL)Smith (R-OR)Snowe (R-ME)Specter (R-PA)Stevens (R-AK)Sununu (R-NH)Talent (R-MO)Thomas (R-WY)Thune (R-SD)Vitter (R-LA)Voinovich (R-OH)Warner (R-VA)
(Thanks to PZ Myers at pharyngula for the list)
Remember them especially when you try to complain about the government fucking up the country and get thrown in jail, or worse, for your presumption. Remember also that you voted for those who voted for him. Yes, it is your own damned fault.
The rest of the world will also have to pay for the laziness, brutality, venality and sheer stupidity of the majority of US voter's mistakes, (and if history is any guide, it will be a payment disproportionately higher than any an American voter will suffer). We lesser beings, we non-americans, don't get a choice for good or ill; the USA does what it does and well, we just mostly have to take it. But we will remember who it was put us in that position.
Wednesday, February 2
Towards A Lesser Anglo-Dutch Understanding, II
I couldn't possibly have put it better myself. On browsing expatica's discussion boards (something I do when feeling particularly hostile) I came across this reply to a post on 'What do you least like about Holland and/or The Dutch?', which sums up pretty neatly my views on the Dutch as a nation. Let's face it, the Dutch are chavs.
"Raimund, it's not that the Dutch are ugly and impolite mutants. It's just that they're:
Overly aggressive, Self-important,
Champagne liberal, NIMBY-oriented,
Overly sleazy, Exploitative,
Sneezy germ-spreading, Canine-excrement-smearing,
To which I might add, inter alia,
Tasteless, Badly dressed ,
Not half as cultured as they'd like to think
Screechy, Bad-mannered ,
Deceitful, The worst hair in the world,
Truly weird noses ( this is a local country, for local people...)
And what do they do when they find the sum of all those sterling Dutch qualities in human form?
Naturlijk, they make him Prime Minister.
The Dutch Nose, in All Its Mutant Glory
Are they perhaps related? I think we should be told...
Als ik naar de TV kijk
dan staat daar weer Jan-Peteren vliegt
spontaan het kwikuit
(the King of the Nerds is a Nerd among Kings)
Een wereld vol ellende
En wie moet ons besturen?
En dat moeten wij verduren
(het is niet makkelijk, tis helemaal niet makkelijk)
When I watch TV
I see Jan Peter again
And the mercury splashes spontaneously
from my blood pressure meter
(The King of the Nerds is a Nerd among Kings)
A world full of misery
And who is there to rule us?
Jan Peter Balkenende
And we have to endure this ...
(It's not easy, it's definitely not easy)
Chorus:Uh-oh ... hope all goes well ...Uh-oh ...
hope he doesn't make a fool of himself again
Copyright © 2004 Doc Jazz
Oh, this has cheered me up no end-
Homeless grab EUR 100,000 from ATM
1 February 2005
"AMSTERDAM — Twenty homeless social security recipients were suddenly made a lot richer recently when they were able to withdraw a total of EUR 100,000 from a faulty Fortis Bank cash machine in Rotterdam.
Two homeless people withdrew EUR 33,000 and have disappeared without trace. An official with the Pauluskerk homeless shelter said they might now be sunning themselves on holiday, newspaper De Volkskrant reported.
A computer glitch last Thursday night allowed social security recipients to withdraw an unrestricted amount of money. The recipients used their special bankcard from the Dutch social security office that usually only allows them to withdraw EUR 140 per day if the have sufficient funds in their account. But the computer problem meant the limits of their bank accounts were not checked, literally opening up the bank's vaults. The amounts withdrawn from the cash machine ranged between EUR 400 and EUR 18,000."
Monday, January 31
Why The Iraqi Elections Passed Me By.
It's been pretty vile weekend here in the world of end-stage renal failure. I've had yet another nasty kidney infection and have spent the weekend alternately shivering and throwing up - Lord, I so don't need this. The worst of it is is that there is no end in sight - or rather there is but the question is when and where. There are times when an end to it seems very attractive, particularly when in excruciating renal colic that no painkiller can touch.
I'm now on the the last type of antibiotic that will actually work, so I have to avoid taking them for as long as possible for fear of lurking bacteria developing resistance. Once that happens there's nothing that will kill the infection, unless someone comes up with a new miracle drug, and my kidneys will fail for good. I've been told by my UK specialist that I am unlikely to be considered a good risk either for perineal or regular kidney dialysis, or a transplant, even should there be a kidney available. Because of a previous bout with cancer and lots of major abdominal surgery my insides are a mass of scar tissue and adhesions, and any transplant surgery would be unlikely to succeed; ditto dialysis.
So that's that then.
Knowing one is going to die and how, but not exactly when, is a bit of a burden. My mother and father both died fairly young, of cancer (my father in his early '50's, my mother at 62) and I am beginning to see their faces in mine when I look in the mirror. The same drawn, gaunt expression, the same inexorable weight loss, the same look of ineffable fatigue.
But still, nil desperandum eh? as my Dad would 've said.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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11/28/2004 - 12/05/2004