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Sports and human rights: give me back my orange!

The color of orange is hijacked by criminals supporting morons. This is why I state this:

All over the world we have nations. Nations with laws. Laws to protect the rights of the citizens of these nations. And where there are no laws we see chaos. Some nations, in fact many, have terrible laws. Nations that abuse human rights of some of their citizens. Nations like Russia, Poland and the Ukraine.

And then we have sports. International sports. With it’s own laws setting itself apart from society. Organized around large amounts of money and exercising their financial powers to push governments to their desire. That goes for the International Olympic Committee and that goes for international soccer. International sports knows a lot of corruption simply because when there’s a lot of money flowing, corruption is always around. The FIFA knows that and so does the UEFA. So often they organize major sports events in countries that are well known for their lawlessness, human rights abuse and corruption. One of the main events in Europe this year is obviously the European Soccer Championships. The location is Poland together with the Ukraine. The argument that the international sports federations use to defend themselves when organizing events in human rights violation countries are always the same: it is for the good of the people living in those countries. Therebye underlining the position of sports as not being bound by international law. The FIFA is the worst as they actually demand countries to change their laws, but UEFA is not much better.

So this year the soccer players have shifted to Poland and Ukraine. The Ukraine where a list of governments has an equally long list of human rights violations and political oppression. Where political opponents are abused and thrown into jail, tortured and sometimes killed. Where free speech is absent and free press is hindered when it addresses government initiated crime. The Ukraine being a country that – just like Poland – is increasingly homophobic and transphobic. Where violence against homosexuals, lesbians and transgenders is not being addressed by the government but silently supported. And sometimes not even silently but explicitly with police force. The Ukraine is working on draconic laws against any public display or discussion of gay and trans rights. Even supported by the political party of Mrs. Timosjenko who is herself in jail being the victim of her own government (after having been responsible of victimizing others when she was ruling). This is what the Ukrainian parliament will be discussing any time soon:

Bill # 8711 proposes:

1. To ban any production or publication of products promoting homosexuality;
2. To ban the use of media, TV or radio broadcasting for homosexuality promotion;
3. To ban printing or distribution publications promoting pornography, cult of violence and cruelty or homosexuality;
4. To ban import, production or distribution of creative writings, cinematography or video materials promoting homosexuality.

Bill # 10290 determines the forms of homosexuality promotion as follows:
1. holding meetings, parades, actions, pickets, demonstrations and other mass gatherings, which are directed to and/or are expressed in intentional dissemination of any positive information about homosexuality, which may negatively influence physical and mental health, moral and spiritual growth of children;
2. holding educational lessons, thematic conversations, interactive games, optional classes, other educational events on homosexuality;
3. messages, articles or appeals spreading in any form the call for homosexual lifestyle in mass media, which may negatively influence physical and mental health, moral and spiritual growth of children;
4. spreading information in any form about homosexuality or of the call for homosexual lifestyle in institution of general education, which may negatively influence physical and mental health, moral and spiritual growth of children.

If adopted, the laws will introduce steep fines (up to 100 net minimum incomes or 300 net minimum incomes) or imprisonment up to five years for “homosexual propaganda”.

Now obviously these proposed laws are directly violating the basic rights of homosexuals and transgenders in the Ukraine. The international sports associations like UEFA don’t care about that. The soccer players, their team managers and trainers, there staff and their supporters do not speak up. They just celebrate their freedom based on the financial and corrupted power invested by UEFA. They vandalize society, they incriminate their countries in supporting a government that is abusing it’s own people and they are in fact – by staying silent and being in the Ukraine – passively supporting the government of that country. It makes them co-conspiracers of a government that incriminates gays and transgenders.

Which is why I don’t give a shit about international sports events and why I do not want to be associated with the European Soccer Championships at all. It is why I do not support the Dutch soccer team that is in my views composed of a bunch of rich hippocrites. Which is also why I hope they are ousted asap and the color orange is given back to the rest of the people after being hijacked by a bunch of criminal supporting idiots.

I want my orange back, without the filth attached to it caused by soccer supporters.

Alice Anna © 2012

PS Support this if you agree that we should pressurize the Ukraine parliament!

Een kadootje voor mijn lezers.

Beste lezers,

soms moet je iets geks doen. Soms is dat heel zo gek niet.
Aangezien de drukkosten tegenwoordig hoog zijn en er geen fondsen zijn voor heruitgave van mijn debuutroman, gegeven dat ik die al lang in een eBook PDF versie klaar heb én gegeven dat ik gezien wat er allemaal dit jaar nog uitkomt aan nieuwe uitgaven, geef ik jullie hierbij een kado.

Daar is een reden voor. Ik ben een tegenstander van het beleid van het inmiddels demissionaire kabinet dat over zijn graf heen regeert en nog steeds allerlei maatregelen er door drukt die de samenleving schaden en de zwakken in de samenleving hard in de portemonnaie treffen. Ik ben een tegenstander van het beleid van de gemeente Den Haag die in navolging van dit cultuurbarbaarse kabinet de kunsten in Den Haag afslachten door intrekking van de steun aan het Koorenhuis waar duizenden Hagenaars met veel plezier tegen redelijke kosten kunst leren beoefenen. En ik ben tegen het intrekken van de subsidies aan kleine theaters als Branoul en de Regentes die een functie hebben in deze stad. Dat soort beleid raakt mij aan alle kanten. Het creeërt een klimaat in de samenleving waarbij kunst als nutteloos, overbodig en zonder waarde wordt gepositioneerd. Als hobby, als tijdverdrijf.

Met het gratis beschikbaar stellen van mijn debuutroman maak ik een statement tegen dat beleid. Tegen de destructie van de kunst, of dat nu amateurkunst of ‘professionele’ kunst is. Het is een statement gemaakt met de wanhoop van de schrijfster en de bohémienne die deze samenleving onderuit ziet gaan en als enig antwoord daar op heeft haar kunst op straat te gooien. Niet omdat die kunst niks waard is, maar omdat het de enige manier is waarop iedereen met of zonder geld daar kennis van kunnen nemen. In de hoop dat de bestuurders ooit hun verstand terug krijgen.

Mijn debuutroman Eén latte, een cappu en een espresso is vanaf vandaag gratis te downloaden vanaf deze website én vanaf GoodReads. Het downloaden hier is natuurlijk het eenvoudigst want dat is als U dit leest precies één klik weg. Klik HIER voor de eBook versie.

Ben ik gek dat ik de eBook versie gratis weggeef? Absoluut!

Alice Anna Verheij

For my English speaking readers: what is written above this is an announcement of the availability of my debuting novel FOR FREE DOWNLOAD. It is in Dutch, so if you’re in for a challenge, please go ahead and download and enjoy the book. And spread the word! To get it, just click on THIS.

I don not want to live in the Netherlands.

My dearest friends in the Netherlands know it and a few even understand it. Most of my Bhutanese and Nepali friends do either not know it and when they do they certainly do not understand it. The fact that I do not want to live (or die) in the Netherlands, the land I was born and raised and have lived for almost all my life.

Jan Jacob Slauerhoff

Many years ago a great Dutch novelist and poet wrote a poem explaining his feelings. His name was Jan Jacob Slauerhoff (1898-1936). A writer who studied medicine, became doctor and started writing. He later enlisted as ships surgeon at a Dutch boat company and made many journeys to the far east. He’d seen China, Japan, Hong Kong and the Dutch Indies (now Indonesia) many times. His confrontation with Asia changed his life to the extend that he in the end detested the land he was born and raised in. Much the same like me at this point in my life. He returned to the Netherlands, went to South America, returned again. To Italy, to Tangier, to South Africa. He got malaria and tuberculosis and returned to the Netherlands in stead of Italy again and died in a nursing home in a small town in the middle of the country at the early age of 38 years. And although he had desired a seamans grave he was cremated at a cemetary where many literarians were either cremated or buried. Jan Jacob Slauerhoff was one of the last true Dutch literary bohemians and was for many years an inspiration for me in both work and life. He still is now I am slowly becoming yet another bohemienne who is detached from her motherland.

When people read and understand his poem ‘I don’t want to live in the Netherlands’ they might very well understand me. So here it is in English translation. Or at least my attempt to that which is by no means easy to do. Underneath the English version one can read the Dutch version which is extremely poetic and intense and shows the feelings of someone touched by travel to the far east and observing the ignorance and stupidity in the Netherlands. If I would have had the talent to write like him it could have been my poem. The rhyme didn’t survive translation, the intentions and intense feelings however did. After all I might be a novelist and a poet but I am from another time and another quality. I wish I would have been able to talk with him sometime.

In the Netherlands I do not want to live,
One has to constantly fulfill ones desires there,
Because of the neighbours,
Who eagerly peep through every hole.
I’d rather go living in the steppe,
Where one is not hindered by his next of kin:
For the crying of my lusts no heron will hasten itself,
No fox will accelerate its pace.

In the Netherlands I do not want to die,
and putrify in wet soil,
On which one never has lived.
I’d rather wander aching
And end up with the nomads.
My compatriots mock me: “He is a failure.”
Yes, that I could not damage them (any)more,
Has in liberty dejected me too often.

In the Netherlands I do not want to live
One always has to strive for something,
Think of the well being of ones fellow-creature,
Only in hiding one is allowed to affront.
But not thrash a face so it clatters,
Just because I don’t like that feature.
Abuse someone without a reason
Testifiess of loose morale.

I do not want to live in narrow houses.
That have thrown uglyness in towns and villages
by the thousands…
There they all walk with a stiff collar
– Not from style, but to show off
That one knows how it should be –
On Sundays to greet each other
Through streets in black parades.

In the Netherlands I do not want to stay,
I would grow fat and stiffen up.
It is too calm there for me, too dignified,
One speaks slowly there, never gets vehement,
And never dances on the feeble rope.
But the defenceless are tormented,
Never is such a lumpish farmers head decapitated,
And never, no never happens a great crime of passion.

J.J. Slauerhoff – translation Alice Verheij © 2012

In Nederland wil ik niet leven,
Men moet er steeds zijn lusten reven,
Ter wille van de goede buren,
Die gretig door elk gaatje gluren.
‘k Ga liever leven in de steppen,
Waar men geen last heeft van zijn naasten:
Om ‘t krijschen van mijn lust zal zich geen reiger reppen,
Geen vos zijn tred verhaasten.

In Nederland wil ik niet sterven,
En in de natte grond bederven
Waarop men nimmer heeft geleefd.
Dan blijf ik liever hunkrend zwerven
En kom terecht bij de nomaden.
Mijn landgenooten smaden mij: ,,Hij is mislukt.”
Ja, dat ik hen niet meer kon schaden,
Heeft mij in vrijheid nog te vaak bedrukt.

In Nederland wil ik niet leven,
Men moet er altijd naar iets streven,
Om ‘t welzijn van zijn medemenschen denken.
In het geniep slechts mag men krenken,
Maar niet een facie ranslen dat het knalt,
Alleen omdat die trek mij niet bevalt.
Iemand mishandlen zonder reden
Getuigt van tuchtelooze zeden.

Ik wil niet in die smalle huizen wonen.
Die leelijkheid in steden en in dorpen
Bij duizendtallen heeft geworpen…
Daar loopen allen met een stijve boord
– Uit stijlgevoel niet, om te toonen
Dat men wel weet hoe het behoort –
Des Zondags om elkaar te groeten
De straten door in zwarte stoeten.

In Nederland wil ik niet blijven,
Ik zou dichtgroeien en verstijven.
Het gaat mij daar te kalm, te deftig,
Men spreekt er langzaam, wordt nooit heftig,
En danst nooit op het slappe koord.
Wel worden weerloozen gekweld,
Nooit wordt zoo’n plompe boerenkop gesneld,
En nooit, neen nooit gebeurt een mooie passiemoord.

Freedom of speech in a country in distress.

The Netherlands is a country in distress. A land with a population and a government and parliament who in general do not longer understand the basics of democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of demontration. Liberties that are the very foundation of the international acknowledged human rights and the part of the root of a free democracy.

Why do I make such a judgement?

Well, let’s bring forward two incidents involving Dutch members of parliament to illustrate why I write this.

Geert Wilders
(PVV member of parliament – allowed to initiate a discriminating website and backed by the prime minister)

A couple of weeks ago the right wing political party, Freedom Party or PVV, started an initiative by bringing a website online were anyone is requested to file complaints about specific groups in Dutch society. Focussing on Polish and Eastern Europeans as being the cause of raising criminality figures, stealing jobs from the Dutch and things like that. At least according to the opinion of that party. Of course a large number of decent Dutch and almost the whole European Union reponded in anger. Justly so. But the prime minister (from the Liberal party) simply refused to denounce that PVV initiative. Even when urged to do so by almost all non PVV politicians in the Netherlands and many others in Europe. The effect of that of course is the démasqué of the Netherlands as a tolerant and non discriminating country. Simply because a political party that is supporting the minority Liberal-Christian Democrat government is allowed to discriminate and the prime minister backs that.

Somehow in this case some people lost focus on the value of freedom of speech as they seem to interpret that as the freedom to insult and discriminate. And some other politicians do not even want to stay away from that. Making this incident the ultimate devaluation of the universal right to freedom of speech. Thank you Mr. Wilders for helping to make this disgusting political attitude clear by initiating that flatout discriminating website that is still active to the disgrace of the Netherlands.

Sharon Gesthuizen
(Socialist Party member of parliament – arrested for protesting peaceful while carrying a coffin)

Today there was another incident. A Dutch member of parliament and Socialist Party was arrested during a public protest against the bad ecnomic policy of the Dutch postal service. The arrest was made by the police because she did not adhere to previously ‘agreed’ rules for that protest. Thing is that the police makes rules and simply does not accept that these rules are broken, even non violently. What did happen during that protest? Well, the deal was that it was to be held in a specific location in front of the parliament building and that the protestors were not allowed to bring a coffin with them during that protest. Reason for that being that the police finds carrying a coffin in a protest on the same day as the funeral of the children victims of a terrible bus accident is being held in Belgium, our neighbouring country, indecent.

This is interesting as in this case the police seems to be judging the way protesters (non violently) protest. Not based on the law but on the police’s opinion on what is decent. Something that is most certainly not in the capacity of the police to do. There is no legal basis for that and only in ‘police states‘ where democracy is not the basis the police force does things like that. The arrest was explicitly made for that reason according to the police spokes person. Now, of course it is not very sensitive of the protestors and this member of parliament in regard to the feelings of the victims of that bus accident and their relatives. But on the other hand this protest had absolutely nothing to do with that. The reaon for protesting was something completely different and the location of the protest in our country. So the police doesn’t allow a protest because of a memorial service in another country.
By all means this is a crazy thing. The police actually is limiting the freedom of speech and arresting a member of parliament without a legal basis. Therefore the police is breaching the democratic foundation and rules of this country.

So the simple conclusion is that right wing politicians have the liberty to openly insult and discriminate against groups in the Dutch society and even make an openly call for action to the population to do the same. Left wing politicians on the other hand who protest against an anti-social policy of a large company are arrested because of carrying harmles (though possibly shocking) objects in a peaceful protest are arrested by the police and held in custody for five hours.
Connecting these two incidents is a good example of the current state of democracy and freedom in the Netherlands. That state can be comprised into one four words long sentence:

Gone  – down – the – drain.

The Netherlands is a country in distress. Democracy is translated in the freedom to insult and dicriminate, vulnerable people, the arts, education, health care, public transport and many other important areas of society are being abolished and opposition is being silenced by the police on vague and unlawful grounds. But does anyone in parliament see this reality? Do the people see this? Does anyone get worried? Does anyone do anything against this moral downfall?

Alice © 2012

Badlands Netherlands.

It might be so that in western Europe we have trouble with the economy, but that’s not so special when seen on a global scale. And it might be so that we in western Europe have problems with people from outside our countries who come here to get a better deal than in their own country because there’s it’s worse. And it might very well be so that in my country, the Netherlands, there are thousands of Polish, Rumanian, Bulgarian and other eastern Europeans pushing on employment and by doing so make life more difficult for many Dutch born citizens. And it can also be that in politics people think they should protect their country and society.

But that doesn’t mean that it is anyway halfway humane or decent to set aside groups of people in our society as criminals and outlaws whose only goal is to be a pain in the ass of the ‘better part’ of society. It certainly doesn’t mean that a political party should be allowed to setup a hatred driven website where people can complain anonymously about Polish people and other easter Europeans who live and work in our country. And above all it is a travesty of decency that thesame politcal party does so while hiding behind freedom of speech and opinion. Because when that freedom means limiting the freedom of others it is not about freedom anymore but about discrimination.

In my country there’s a rights wing xenophobic and islamophobic political party led by Geert Wilders, a parlementarian from the south of the country, that does all of the above. The Freedom Party (PVV) set aside foreigners by habit. After continuously attacking Islamists they have now found another group to target: eastern Europeans working and living in the Netherlands. The PVV threw a website online where one can anonymously complain about foreigners from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Specifically targeting these groups as the groups that they feel are bringing all kinds of social problems, criminality and upheavel in our society. It’s an openly hostile act against many people in our society who are part of ethnic groups that have migrated to our country out of economic motives.

No matter how much truth there is in the complaints about for instance Moroccan youth or Polish workers and Bulgarian and Rumanians, it is simply unaccetable that such a hostile website is online.

Of course the judicial system has decided that the front man of that PVV party is free to state what he wants to state about specific groups in society. And of course there are problems with specific groups in society, but setting these groups aside and labelling them as troublemakers and criminals is short sighted and an unbelievable act of political indecency. Actually: it’s barbaric. The fact that this PVV party is allowed to play such an important role in Dutch politics is a shame on the Netherlands. It’s disgraceful to see that in my country people are treated the way they are by this PVV party. It’s shameful that politics and laws have no answer to this party of hatred. It’ disgusting to realize that thesame political parties that seem to oppose too much control on the internet doe not act firmly against that one political party that has lost all sense of decency. It’s degrading for the Dutch society as a whole that this party of xenophobic lunatics are even being listened to. It’s absolutely terrible to realize that because of this idiotic politics the Dutch society has transfomed itself in a selfish and xenophobic hostile society that rather allows crazy people to discriminate others than to defend the ones who are being set aside unjustly.

But that’s how it is today. The Netherlands has lost it’s innocence. It is not anymore a country that puts freedom for all at the top and that defendes the rights of any human being equally. Over the past few years this country has changed into a country where many don’t want to part of anymore. Including myself. I am disgusted of the politics and general mood in this society, I am sick of the selfishness and xenophobia and I am tired of the media who jump on every statements or action from crazy politicians. This country makes me somber and sick and has become for me a country to be ashamed of and not a country to be proud to be a citizin of. The Netherlands has become a sad country with a dark shadow hanging over it. A shadow of selfishnes, fear and xenophobia. A country where somehow many voters seem to want that, a country that has lost it’s status as a guiding nation, a safe haven for the vulnarable and a tolerant country and has turned into a place where decent people shouldn’t want to live. I for one do not. I do not see this country as my homeland, because it isn’t anymore. I have not changed but the country around me has changed into a filthy place poisened by hate. Hate brought by crazy politicians and strengthened by media who are only interested in the number of viewers everyday.

My biggest desire has become to leave this country that has become so mindless and short sightened as soon as possible. And if needed for good. I have lost hope that the Netherlands will ever become the beautiful country it once was. Because the people simply do not see nor understand what has become of their country. I for one am deeply ashamed of my country for it has changed into something that I can and will not relate to anymore. A xenophobic country ruled by populistic disturbed people and a prime minister who doesn’t have the decency to stop the nonsense and just says that he is not going to give any comments. How degrading!

Alice © 2012