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 nbclatino.com
In my last post I voiced my disgust with the liberties police take on a daily basis in regular, unthreatening situations, and I wrote that nobody seems to have a problem with it. Not enough to do anything about it, anyway. This, of course, is not completely true. Continue reading
Posted in Society, Travel
Tagged America, are you a US citizen?, border patrol, border patrol checkpoints, discretionary powers, humor, immigration, law, opinion, police, police interrogation checkpoints, rights, society, us citizenship
image from foxnews.com
So last week “America’s sweetheart” Reese Witherspoon’s husband was arrested because he was driving while drunk. Bad. Badbadbadbadbad. You get no argument from me there.
But Reese herself was arrested, as well. Why? She got out of her car. Not only that, but when the police officer told her to get back in the car, she drunkenly told him she had a right to stand on American soil. Gasp! The horror! How dare she!?! Continue reading
I’ve been feeling kind of truculent lately, so let’s see if a list of five things I can’t stand will get it out of my system.
Let me begin with drivers behind me–when I’m up front at a stoplight, waiting to turn left at an unprotected left turn–honking for me to go ahead and make the turn already. Continue reading
Posted in Consumption, Lists, Neither Here Nor There, Religion, Society
Tagged animals, Boston bombing, community, disasters, ducks, hangers, Lists, opinion, religion, traffic, victims
(image from biography.com)
Well, I’ll probably be banned from ever entering Utah for this, but here goes.
I just read The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff. It tells the somewhat parallel stories of two nineteenth wives: Ann Eliza Webb, wife of Brigham Young, the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints’ second leader in the 1870s, Continue reading
Posted in Books, History, Religion, Society, University
Tagged Ann Eliza Webb, Ann Eliza Young, boeken, books, Brigham Young, Briham Young University, Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, David Ebershoff, godsdienst, Joseph Smith, LDS church, Mormonen, Mormons, opinie, opinion, polygamy, religie, religion, The 19th Wife
(Image from media1.policymic.com)
Yesterday I wrote about Dickens’ experience in America in 1842. One of the things that shocked him was the pride Americans had about carrying weapons. Continue reading
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 Books, Education, History, Politics, Society, Travel
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
image from breitbart.com
Okay, finally I’m getting around to the post about Red Dawn.I think it’s no coincidence that it was remade around this time. Continue reading
Posted in History, Society, World War Two
Tagged community, firearms for protection, gun control, guns, movies, Newtown, North Korean invasion, North Korean occupation, opinion, Red Dawn, school shootings, second amendment
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
Sometimes a homeless man with a huge horseshoe mustache panhandles at one of the intersections in southwest Austin. I don’t talk with him much, because the timing is rarely right. He’s accompanied by a black Labrador, who usually sits under an umbrella stuck in the ground, a water bowl within reach. Continue reading
I am thankful for my friends. From my best friend since we were almost fifteen and my other Dutch friends, to my friends right next door here in Austin, and everyone in between. I don’t need to blog about my appreciation of them, because I connect with them in other ways. (But if you’re reading this: Hi. I love you.)
Here, I want to give thanks to the blogging friends I’ve made. Continue reading
(Image from tonic.com)
Disclaimer: I know most of my readers are compassionate people. So this is directed toward–well, you’ll know who you are.
From the first time I came to America with T, then my boyfriend, I have been shocked at the number of homeless here. Continue reading
Posted in Austin, Consumption, Food, Housing, Society
Tagged 47%, America, Amerika, Austin, daklozen, DPchallenge, giving money to the homeless, handouts, homeless, opinion, society, there but for, thuislozen
(Image from andilit.com)
I know this is a man, but it’s a good picture, isn’t it?
In an earlier post I wrote about Steve, a homeless guy I see almost every day after dropping off the kids at school.
Another homeless person I’ve met, but only once, was a woman in her late thirties or early forties. It was a cold and rainy day, and I stopped at the traffic light she was at, beside an overpass, in between showers. When I gave her some money she thanked me and told me to stay dry. Continue reading
Posted in Austin, Housing, Society
Tagged Austin, daklozen, homeless, homeless and dogs, homeless shelters and pets, honden, opinion, pets, seizure alert dogs, society, thuislozen
For many years now, there has been a huge rift within our family, caused by traffic lights. T and I are in permanent disagreement and our son B is pretty firmly on my side. R is undecided, but I’m convinced she will see the light (I couldn’t resist) in due time. Continue reading
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
Every now and then I make myself unpopular with many of my neighbors. We have a Yahoo group, which is great, because with lightning speed we can get the word out about a lost dog or a scam artist in the neighborhood. But sometimes it can get contentious, and when it does, it seems that I’m often right in the middle of it. I have no idea why, because I’m just mild, non-confrontational, li’l ole me, right readers? Continue reading
Posted in Housing, Transportation
Tagged children, DPchallenge, humor, kids in the street, kinderen op straat, opinion, safety, traffic, veiligheid, verkeer
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
I have always respected most religious beliefs. Sure, I put my foot in my mouth occasionally, but I have no problem with religion in itself. I can see how there’s a human need for spirituality of one kind or another, and that some of us have a bigger need for it than others. However, there’s supposed to be a separation between church and state in this country, and when that idea is so blatantly trampled, when religion interferes with science, education, politics and human rights to the degree it does here, then the respect is clearly not mutual, and I don’t feel as obligated to be religiously correct. Continue reading
Posted in Religion, Science, Society
Tagged America, creationism, gays, global warming, godsdienst en homoseksualiteit, godsdienst en onderwijs, godsdienst en wetenschap, godsdienst in Amerika, homosexuals, House Science Committee, Netherlands, opinion, religion, science, science and religion, science education, statistics, statistieken
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
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
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
In general service in America is much better than in the Netherlands. But there is one aspect of telephone service that really gets me. Continue reading
Time for one of my pet peeves.
Scene in a restaurant: Continue reading
Posted in Holland, Society
Tagged American patriotism, Being American, Dutch heritage America, Dutch-Americans, European taxes, European-style healthcare, Eurpean society, Eurpoean-style safety nets, nationalities in America, opinion
When I was young in the Netherlands, we lived in an old farmhouse in Eemnes, and by old I mean from 1607. Continue reading
I’ve written about my views of American democracy vs. parliamentary democracy before. Now the Republican primaries are going on. Continue reading
I know that compared to western Europeans Americans are generally less concerned with privacy, and celebrities–regardless of what they’re famous for– are fair game, but the whole Courtney Stodden affair seems a really good case for at least protecting children’s privacy somehow, if only to protect children from themselves if they don’t have parents who look out for their best interests. Continue reading
The other day I was talking with an elderly man while we were both waiting at the garage for our tires to be fixed. He told me his son is a football coach and a teacher—I don’t know what subject he teaches. He worked at a charter school for years until it went under recently. So a little while ago he worked as a substitute at a regular public school for a week. A public school here in Austin in what’s considered a good neighborhood, so it’s a reasonably well-rated school. Continue reading
Posted in High School, Sports, University
Tagged college football, Dutch P.E. teachers, education, football, high school football, opinion, Paterno, Sandusky, seksuele kindermishandeling, sexual child abuse, sport op Amerikaanse scholen, sport op Amerikaanse universiteiten, sports, sports in American schools
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
I’ve posted before on my frustration about above-ground power lines and how dangerous they are in a storm. And in certain footage of the tornado that ripped through Joplin, Missouri, two days ago, the first thing you see when the tornado touches down is a power line being snapped. Continue reading
Posted in Housing, Nature, Technology
Tagged architecture, beton in huizen Amerika, bouwen Amerika, concrete in tornadoes, Joplin tornado, opinion, safety regulations housing construction, safety regulations tornadoes, technology, tornado damage, wervelwinden en veiligheid VS, Wervelwinden 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