I just had to share this. Kort maar krachtig, is what we call that--brief and to the point.
Posted in Politics, Society, Uncategorized
Tagged America, crime, fraud, law, opinion, politics, prison privatisation, prisoners, prisons, wall street, white collar crimes
image from nbcbayarea.com
Since I’ve been blogging about Victor Hugo’s stories, let me jump over to England and Charles Dickens.
This winter break I had the bad luck to get the flu. For days I could barely get out of bed. But every cloud has a silver lining, and this cloud’s lining was that I got to read Martin Chuzzlewit in a few days. Continue reading
Posted in Travel, Society, Education, Politics, History, Books
Tagged American academic titles, American capitalism, American superiority, Amerika, Amerikaans eten, books, Charles Dickens, Dickens in America, Dickens in Amerika, Engelse literatuur, food in America, geschiedenis, gun rights, history, liberty, literature, Martin Chuzzlewit, opinion, Penguin Publishers, second amendment, teen pregnancy, tiener moeders, typesetting, Verenigde Staten, vrijheid, vuurwapengeweld, Wordsworth Editions
In my last post, I addressed the idea of giving teachers guns in the classroom. But the NRA wants more than that. They want everyone to have a gun, because, as they say, “The only thing more dangerous than a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”. Or something like that. Continue reading
Posted in Media, Politics, Society, World War Two
Tagged community, first amendment, gun laws, gun rights, history, opinion, Piers Morgan, politics, school, school shooting Newtown, second amendment, Second World War, shootings, society, tweede wereldoorlog, vuurwapens, wapenbezit, World War Two
That signs like this are necessary outside schools is already ridiculous enough.
So you would like to see teachers walking around with assault weapons slung over their shoulders. Your focus is on the idea that those teachers would shoot the killer.
You’re overlooking several aspects of the issue. Continue reading
Posted in Education, Politics, Society
Tagged community, education, firearms, guns in schools, Newtown shooting, opinion, politics, school shootings, teachers, vuurwapens in school
Ah! Only seven days and one to go to Halloween, my ravenous readers, so I feel compelled to warn you. I move as though invisible through the streets and alleys and I observe the good citizens of my subdivision decorating their trees and lawns with whimsically carved calabashes and synthetic spiderwebs, comfortably convinced that ghouls are merely a myth, a myth upheld for no other reason that to have a costume party. Continue reading
Posted in Media, Politics, Religion, Society, Television
Tagged alliteration, American education, american extremism, Amerikaans onderwijs, bigotry, birthers, Christian extremism, conservative talk radio, costume party, education, Halloween, horror, KKK, media, Obama, opinion, politics, racism, racisme, scary monsters, talk radio, talk shows, tea party, zombies. Amerikaanse politiek
So do political parties in parties in multi-party systems use attack ads? This is another post in the series based on a Facebook conversation with my neighbor M that started here. Continue reading
Posted in Politics
Tagged American politics, Amerikaanse politiek, amerikaanse politieke partijen, attack ads, elections, media, opinion, parlementair stelsel, parlementary politics, politics, politieke reclames amerika, presidential election 2012, twee-partijen systeem, two-party politics, verkiezingen, verkiezingen amerika
Since Dutch-style party platforms are such an alien concept to Americans, I thought I’d show you how it works. Sure, both parties in America have their platforms, but they’re ultimately useless texts, because each individual representative will say as much as possible what all the voters in his/her constituency want to hear, and then mostly do what Continue reading
Posted in Politics
Tagged Amerikaanse partij programmas, Amerikaanse politiek, democratic party platform, Dutch party platforms, election, Nederlandse partij programmas, opinion, political accountability, political party platforms, politics, presidential election 2012, republican party platform, verkiezingen Verenigde Staten
Should the wing nuts (that’s right-wing nuts and left-wing nuts for you, Dutch readers) have less say in the elections? Or More? How does that work in the Dutch parliamentary system?
The other day my neighbor M and I had a Facebook conversation on American and Dutch political representation. My last post was the beginning of this conversation, with me shamelessly expanding on my Facebook comments. In this post my answer to his first follow-up question. Continue reading
Posted in Politics
Tagged American politics, Amerikaanse politiek, Amerikaanse verkiezingen, compromise in politics, compromissen in politiek, elections, multi-party system, opinion, parlementair stelsel, parliamentary system, political disenfranchisement, politics, proportional representation, tea party, twee-partijen stelsel, two-party system, verkiezingen
Are you wondering if it’s time to change politics? Wondering how it works in other countries? The other day my neighbor M, a few other people and I (but mostly my neighbor and I) were having a discussion on Facebook that I’d like to share, with some expansion on my comments. I’ll cut it up into several posts, to keep it readable. Continue reading
Posted in Politics
Tagged American politics, Amerikaanse politiek, Amerikaanse verkiezingen, meer-partijen systeem, Nederlands parlementair systeem, Nederlandse verkiezingen, opinion, parliamentary system, partij programmas, party platforms, political accountability, political disenfranchisement, politics, politieke aansprakelijkheid, politieke ontevredenheid amerika, proportional representation, twee-partijen systeem, two-party system
This is what I dreamed last night.
I was in a school gym, remembering how we would be made to run laps around a gym just like that in high school in the Netherlands. And I remembered that I could. I’d be tired, and I’d be protesting loudly like any self-respecting un-sporty teenage girl should, but that’s all. And I resented–in this dream–that I can’t run for two minutes now without having a gimpy knee for the next two weeks (this is real; I ran for two minutes last weekend, and now it hurts when I walk down steps). Continue reading
Posted in Austin, Education, Healthcare, Holland, Politics, Society, Sports
Tagged American conservatism, American construction, American dream, American education vs Dutch education, American houses, American prudishness, Amerika, Amerikaans onderwijs, Amerikaanse huizenbouw, Amerikaanse politiek, Amerikaanse rijkdom, beweging, dreams, dromen, education, gezondheid, health, humor, opinion, politics, sports
I wrote a post about the anti-science attitude of many Republicans two days ago. This Daily Show video is going around Facebook, but it illustrates the ridiculousness of the anti-science folks so beautifully that I just have to share it here as well.
Posted in Politics, Religion, Science
Tagged Aasif Mandvi, creationism, education America, evolution, humor, opinion, politics, Religion vs science, science funding, The Daily Show
One of the definitions of “entitled” is having the right to something. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney uses the terms “entitled” and “entitlement” as dirty words. It’s clear from his speech at a fundraiser dinner that he feels people should not be entitled to food, health care or housing. Meaning that if people don’t have the money to pay for food, shelter or the doctor, they can’t expect the government to help them. To Europeans, that is pretty shocking. In Europe we call entitlement programs parts of the social safety net.
The terminology illustrates the fundamental difference in attitudes toward people who need help. Continue reading
Posted in Politics, Society
Tagged 47%, entitlement programs, fundraiser dinners, health, healthcare, hidden camera, Mitt Romney, opinion, politics, republican politics, Romney's entitlement speech
They say that any American alive at the time can tell you exactly what he/she was doing when JFK was shot in Dallas. September 11, 2001 was one of those days as well. Continue reading
Another question I got from my funk post was: What do European kids learn about American history. Well, I can only talk about what I learned, but feel free to add to it in the comments, Dutch readers.
I had History several times a week, from seventh through eleventh grade, and from Mesopotamia to the Vietnam War, more or less. I seem to remember that we started learning about America in tenth grade, and it would have continued through eleventh grade, whenever America came up in realtion to a certain period. This would have been around 1977-1978. I’ll just describe what I remember; trying to be systematic after all those years wouldn’t work. Continue reading
Phew! Okay, now for something completely different.
Are you reasonable, intelligent, informed? Do you want your children to learn science and to marry whom they love? But you insist on staying with the republican party? Despite that the Tea Party republicans seem to be taking over and you don’t identify with them?
Are you sure?
(Okay, democrats, you can’t say I didn’t try first.)
My neighbor has started a Facebook page called Colin Powell Republicans, and he hopes it will become a movement. Maybe you should check it out and like it.
Posted in Politics
Tagged Colin Powell, Colin Powell Republicans, creationism vs. evolution, gay marriage, new republican movement, opinion, politics, reasonable republicans informed republicans, religion, science vs. religion, tea party
I recently discovered Ted Talks, when a really good and amusing Ted Talk video about book cover design was going around on Facebook. It has since become my new magazine of choice.
I especially like to select the videos that have been labeled “jaw-dropping”. Continue reading
Posted in Media, Politics, Technology, Travel
Tagged American news coverage of foreign news, American space travel, Amerikaans nieuws, Cassini space probe, Huygens space probe, media, navelstaren America, news, Saturn moon landing, Titan landing American news coverage, Titan probe landing
Rush Limbaugh, an extreme right-wing radio host here in America, is in the real news right now. At issue is the fact that Catholic institutions don’t want to give their employees health insurance that includes the contraceptive pill. Continue reading
Posted in Healthcare, Media, Politics
Tagged American healthcare, contraceptives and healthcare, gezondheidszorg Amerika, health, media, opinion, radio, Rush Limbaugh, Sandra Fluke, voorbehoedsmiddelen Amerika
Photo: Rogier Bos
One thing every person my age grew up with in the Netherlands was war stories. Stories about World War II, that is. But before I share some of my family’s stories, let me first give some background info.
Germany attacked the Netherlands in the beginning of May, 1940, and a few days later we capitulated, because the Dutch army was pathetically outdated, having been neutral during World War I. Most soldiers moved around on bikes. The Germans bombed the hell out of Rotterdam and told the Dutch government that Utrecht would be next if they didn’t surrender. Continue reading
I’ve written about my views of American democracy vs. parliamentary democracy before. Now the Republican primaries are going on. Continue reading
If I were to call Glenn Beck’s radio talk show, this is how I imagine it would go:
Glenn: And let me go to Barbara in Texas, one of my favorite states. How are you doing, Barbara in Texas?
Me: Hi Glenn, thanks for having me on your show. I’m so excited!
Posted in Healthcare, Media, Politics
Tagged access to healthcare, American health insurance, conservatieve radio programmas Verenigde Staten, conservative talk radio, European health insurance, gezondheidszorg Verenigde Staten, Glenn Beck, health, health care, health care Europe, media, Obama Care, opinion, radio, Sicko, universal healthcare, ziektekostenverzekering Verenigde Staten
What would I do if I were president for a day? There are tremendous limits to what a president can do, let alone in one day. If I were president for a day, the most I could hope to get out of it would be really good room service from the White House chef, and shooting some hoops in the White House basketball court. Here’s a more useful question: What would I change if I were an absolute monarch for a day, and after that the country went back to being a democracy forever? Continue reading
Posted in Politics, Writing Prompt Responses
Tagged American politics, Amerikaanse politiek, Amerikaanse verkiezingen, campaign financing, geld en politiek in Amerika, multi-party system, opinion, parlementair systeem versus Amerikaans systeem, parliamentary system, politics, politics and money, president for a day, proportional representation
(From a letter in 1998)
President Clinton was in the Valley in January. He gave a speech in front of a big gathering in the football stadium of Mission High School. We got there hours ahead of time, like everybody else, it seemed. Close to the stadium the road was cordoned off on both sides by school buses parked bumper to bumper. Men in Black made sure nobody slipped through. Continue reading
In America everybody is elected. Not only members of the local, state and federal governments, but also sheriffs and judges. The election for local sheriff here was made more interesting because of a small scandal. Continue reading
Maybe the biggest difference between the Dutch and the Americans is the American need for patriotic display. The only time the Dutch wave the national flag or play the national anthem (instrumentally–most people don’t know the lyrics past the first three lines) is during an international soccer game. Here in America you can’t turn your head without seeing some form of the red-white-and-blue spirit. Continue reading
There is nothing quite as frustrating to me as American freedom of speech.
Political correctness was pretty much non-existent when I left Holland, and judging by the percentage of racial slurs on a website with Dutch swear words that I visited recently, it still is. I have to say that living here, I have been influenced by the whole political correctness thing, and when I see those racial slurs on that Dutch website, neatly collected in alphabetical order, I cringe. I would have cringed before, but now I feel shame–yes, shame, ladies and gents–for my country. Continue reading
Posted in Politics, Society
Tagged Amerikaanse politiek, anti-gay activists, freedom of speech, hate speech, homoseksuelen in Amerika, Huckleberry Finn, ku klux klan, n-word, neo-nazis, politics, Westboro Baptist Church
Notes From a University Student 14
A few months ago a debate was organized between one of my professors in the English department who’s a Croat, and an American professor in the political science department, about the situation in Kosovo and whether or not America should intervene. Continue reading