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!

Another step on Nepal’s long march to peace.

In between 1996 and 2006 Nepal was caught in a civil war. The Maoists euphemistically named it the Peoples War. It was a medium scale civil war which started with the aim to overthrow the Nepal monarchy. It was started and led by Maoist insurgents and forces within Nepal. When unexpectedly the royal family assassination took place in 2001 (many blame the former crown prince but the cause of the event was never completely unveiled) the country was brought into further turmoil. It ended with a peace accord on November 21, 2006. The then king abdicated and Nepal became a federal republic. A democratic republic also as a parliament was instated and efforts started to draft a new constitution. In 2012 the country still doesn’t have a completed draft for the new constitution let alone an installed one. It still lives under parliamentary supported government guided regime and is still in the process of becoming a peaceful democratic country. The good thing is that Nepal has been able to rebuild society into a more open and democratic one and many Nepalis are actively involved in constructing their nation.

Maoist forces in training (photo courtesy of Khairul Today)

Still, a lot of problems, challenges if you will, exist. Crime rate is high especially concerning trafficking of women and children, drugs trafficking and domestic and gender based violence. The Maoist forces have still not completely integrated in the Nepal society and the level op corruption although being the glue in society is very high. Nepal is for all intents and purposes a very complicated country. Poverty is all around but at the same time Nepal has become one of the most attractive tourist countries in South Asia. After all, Chomolungma (‘mother of the universe’ as the Tibetan’s call her) is overlooking the country and with the name Mount Everest it attracts large number of western tourists to the country. And because of that attention and the mystification of the former Hindu kingdom many westerners are confronted with the vast amount of problems that Nepali society faces. Resulting in an extreme large number of NGO’s working in the country with volunters from all over the globe.

What’s lacking is a strong connection on political level with the international community. Reasons for that being that the international community is pre occupied with Africa and the Middle East and everything in the Himalayas seem to be under control. But is everything under control?

Nepal is walking the tightrope. Just today the Nepali army finally took over the maoist army camps which is a major step towards lasting peace. The Maoist are a force to reckon with. They have a formal position in Nepal’s parliament, just as the other communist parties have. The current governent after all is a Marxist/Leninist led government. The Congress Party with it’s traditional India link is currently not in the government seat but has been there for long. None of the parties have a majority. New elections are still not there because there is no new constitution as the drafting process is continuously sabotaged by some of the political parties involved and because of that it is unclear how the democratization and constitutional processes in the country will evolve in the coming years. Which is a pitty as they started off so well in 2006. The drafting process of the new constitution involves a couple of revolutionary novelties in South Asian politics and rule, like the formal dismissal of the caste system that has held the whole population captive for hundreds of years, the introduction of third gender as a legal and equal foundation for lesbians, gays and transgenders and the rights to education and health care for all citizens. Those are few of the amazing changes that this newly drafted constitution will bring to beautiful Nepal. When it gets there and if it gets there.

In the meanwhile the world economic crisis has hit the country hard. Energy is problematic as 100% of the oil reserves are managed by India and the production of electricity is way below the needs of the country. These two resulting in a hampering of economic activitities to an unacceptable level and gross unrest under the Nepali population. This, in combination with strong corruption and a weak and instabel government is continuously leading to bandhas (strikes) in the country. Especially in the densily populated and economic all important south of Nepal. The number of undisturbed working days available to build the economy is terrifying low. And then there still is that silent force of Maoist forces that has its position and power in the country and still has the risk of resurrecting itself if the political situation becomes undesirable for them. They have laid heir weapons down and are being integrated in the Nepal armed forces, their camps are now being taken over and at Thribuvan Airport there now is one checkpoint and not two (one of which was a seperate Maoist checkpoint). Their visible role in everyday life is decreasing fast and the Maoist veterans are slowly becoming part of the greater Nepal society. At least, that’s how it seems. But there are still political killings in the country and press freedom is threatened by continuous attacks on journalist. The government, being not very strong, is unable to dismantle the Maoist forces as they are in fact part of the current political system. And maybe they shouldn’t even try.

The good news is that today the Maoist army camps are no longer Maoist army camp but army camps from the Nepal army. That at least reduces the number of different armed forces in the country. The bad thing is that it didn’t happen voluntary but because of unrest in the camps making the handover of the camps two days earlier than planned to prevent outbreaks of violence.

Still, it’s a small but important step on Nepal’s log march to peace.

Alice Verheij © 2012

On the economy of fear.

A few things are uncountable. Magical things like the stars in the sky and the exact number of people on mother earth. They are the mysteries of nature. But some uncountable things are not the mysteries of nature but rather the result of the mind of mankind. Like how many people were killed by other people and how much money is earned by creating fear.

Today I zapped through some television programs on my laptop and in one of them an acclaimed journalist explained the inner workings of ‘The Fed’s’, the FBI. The American Federal Bureau of Investigation. The organization that makes and breaks presidents and the organization that protects and manipulates society. All for the good of the security of the State. At least that’s what they’re supposed to do. But not always what they really do.

Another show showed the horrors of World War Two. After all, it’s that time of the year again. Every year just after the beginning of spring Dutch television re-focusses on that war that started over 60 years ago and lasted ‘only’ 5 years. Many wars have been fought since and many are still being fought now. The third program had someone discussing the current financial crisis and somehow 9/11 came into tha discussion. And in yet another program there was a discussion about spending less money on development aid and what that would do to our security in the west. The speaker presumed an improvement of the safety of our economy because less people would come to live on ‘our money’.

And all of a sudden it became clear to me.

We in the west live in an economy that’s thriving on fear. Terrorism, war, immigration, foreigners, homosexuals, emancipation, they all seem to scare the hell out of governments and agencies working for those governments. Because there is no control over any of them.  Of course governments try to control society and to get a grip on the tumbling economy. But they also know that it really is in vain and they do not really want to have grip. Because behind those governments there are thousands of organizations and individuals who thank their very existence to fear. Fear is simply big business. It is for many the big money maker.

Now, if only 1 percent of the money that goes into this fear industry would go into improving living conditions of the poor and threatened across the globe, I am sure many problems would be solved. But that is not what we do in the west. We rather embrace fear because we need that in our lives. There have never worked more people in organizations who’s task it is not to help refugees or disadvantaged but to keep as many people outside our well protected and secured society. There was never spend more on arms globally and believe it or not, most of that goes to the scared west.

So now not a single day passes with politicians explaining the need to secure our society even further, to lock it up in way that even less people are allowed to become part of that society. Xenophobia is the very basis of politics nowadays and goes hand in hand with the adagium of the need for economic growth. Because that is what our society has become. A society interested in two things: growing economy and securing that economy from outsiders. We have become protectionists.

And that alone creates jobs, lots of jobs. For people making CCTV systems and others monitoring society with these thousands of cameras all over our streets observing you and me. Jobs for people working in security, just because we think we have so much to secure. Jobs for police forces and armies. Jobs for supporting ‘peace missions’ that inadvertently result in more fighting and more killings far away from our safe little homes in out safe little bubble. If fear would leave our society I am sure this society would collapse as the result of thousands and thousands of extra unemployed and we would after some time become less financially rich. But our minds would be much cleaner then, our hearts warmer and our future brighter because we would have to embrace friendships and foreigners. We would have to open ourselves up for the ones we do not know and the ones we haven’t taken notice of their existence. We would be condemned to start living together, not against each other.

And that is scary. So in stead of that we simply put more money, more effort and more people on the balance of our economy of fear. No government, left or right wing will change that. Because in the end we all want to have more than the others. And at the end we will loose is all. But will we ever learn of that? Will we ever become less focussed on growth and will we ever learn that there can also be an economy of less, a social society. A society that cares and not scares.

Alice © 2012

Ying, yang and gender recognition in the Netherlands.

It’s another day like that… life swinging from sad to happy to sad to happy…

Today I learned that my income has decreased to an unmanageable level. Ruining many of the plans I have or at least making my life much more difficult. That, of course makes me sad. The good thing being that it also makes me angry about the dire situation I have been driven into. Well, I have a roof over my head and food to eat for most of the days. But that’s it. Still, it’s good enough for now.

The good news of today came from the government. The government? Yes! The government.

After many years of hardship the government decided to finalize the draft of the gender recognition act and have it send to the State Council for evaluation. When they agree, and let’s hope and pray they do so, a new law will finally replace the current law that is breaching a number of articles of the international Human Rights. The new law brings these changes once agreed by the parliament (let’s hope this time the government doesn’t fall before the law is brought to parliament):

  • a person can change legal gender without surgery (not applicable for me)
  • a person does not have to be sterilized as an effect of fore mentioned surgery (an old inhumane demand)
  • a person does not need to go to court to get that done. And experts statement suffices (I have that of course)
  • a person can just go to the municipality to have the changes made (which is a lot more affordable)

These four changes take away the barrier for me to get my legal status changed. I have been refusing that change because of the existence of that law and the effect of that on people like me. That law has ruined lives and part of my life. It is still an inhumane law that should never have existed and although it seems that it is being abolished at last it is a bloody disgrace that it has existed and politics has allowed it to exist for so long.

Anyway, in spite of the personal hardship I have to go through these days, this is great news. I have no idea how long the procedure at the State Council will take and how long it will take to push this law through parliament but I welcome the progress, I do not however expect that this will come in effect before 2013 due to normal legislative procedures in the Netherlands. Especially as the government seems to have listened to the arguments of organizations and people like me who responded to their call for feedback some time ago. The greatest disadvantages of the proposal that was at hand at that time have been jotted out. A good thing and worth a compliment.

So, and this is quite a unique thing for me to do, I call for a big hand of well meant applause for Minister Teeven and his people who are changing the world for transgenders in the Netherlands and for me personally for the better!

Alice © 2012

Here’s the Dutch language press statement from the government:

Kabinet wil meer erkenning voor transgenders

Persbericht | 02-03-2012

Mensen die transgender zijn, kunnen gemakkelijker de vermelding van het geslacht op hun geboorteakte laten wijzigen.

Zij hoeven niet langer eerst een operatie of een behandeling met hormonen te ondergaan om hun lichaam aan te passen aan het geslacht dat zij wensen. Ook vervalt de zogenoemde sterilisatie-eis. Die bepaalt dat transgenders onvruchtbaar moeten zijn, voordat de geboorteakte kan veranderen. Dit staat in een wetsvoorstel van staatssecretaris Teeven van Veiligheid en Justitie waarmee de ministerraad heeft ingestemd.

In de toekomst is het voldoende als een deskundige vaststelt dat de overtuiging van een transgender persoon blijvend van aard is. Met die verklaring kan de ambtenaar van de burgerlijke stand de vermelding van het geslacht in de akte van de geboorte wijzigen. Voor mensen die lichamelijk man of vrouw zijn, maar die er diep naar verlangen een persoon van het andere geslacht te zijn, betekent het schrappen van de vereisten van onvruchtbaarheid en van fysieke aanpassing aan het verlangde geslacht een ruimere erkenning van hun genderidentiteit. Verandering van het  geslacht in de geboorteakte werkt door in allerlei overheidsadministraties, zoals het GBA. Dat heeft gevolgen voor het paspoort,  andere reisdocumenten en school- en universiteitsdiploma’s.

Het kabinet verwacht dat transgender mensen beter in de samenleving zullen functioneren omdat belemmeringen worden weggenomen. Daarnaast hebben verschillende instanties als Human Rights Watch, het Comité van Ministers van de Raad van Europa en de Mensenrechtencommissaris van de Raad van Europa voor de aanpassing geijverd. Internationaal is steeds meer het inzicht gegroeid dat wettelijke erkenning van de genderidentiteit van een persoon niet afhankelijk moet zijn van eisen als geslachtsoperaties of hormonale behandeling. Nederland sluit zich daarbij aan.

De ministerraad heeft ermee ingestemd het wetsvoorstel voor advies aan de Raad van State te zenden. De tekst van het wetsvoorstel en van het advies van de Raad van State worden openbaar bij indiening bij de Tweede Kamer.

Big spending ministers in the Dutch cabinet.

So this is what the declarations of some of the Dutch cabinet ministers sum up to in the first year of their government.
The year in which they started on one of the harshest economic policies pushing on minimal earners in my country.

And these are only the declarations of their bills for food, lodging, apartments, furniture and such excluding their wages!
These governmanet officials are party members of the Christian Hypocrits and Liberal Robbers. Now, who was saying that the Netherlands is on of the least corrupt nations on the globe?

1. Minister of Defence Uri Rosenthal (Liberals) €325,000

2. Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs Ben Knapen (Christian Democrats) €210,000

3. Minister de Jager (Christian Democrats) €181,000

4. Minister Verhagen (Christian Democrats) €139,000

5. Prime Minister Mark Rutte (Liberals) €102,000

6. Minister of Agriculture Henk Bleker (Christian Democrats) €97,000

Total of the top 6 in their first year of robbing the nation: €1,054,000 on declarations only!

* Information from RTL News.

Alice © 2012



Occupy Wall Street.

UPDATE: On October 15, the OccupyAmsterdam and OccupyDenHaag movements kick off. I’ll join in on the Binnenhof. Please, if you care for our society and the people on the downside of it, the victims of government and corporate corruption and dishonesty, come! Join in, it’s important. We all need a revival of solidarity!

For days now I am following the news about the Occupy Wall Street movement. People from all layers of society showing solidarity with the ‘have not’s’ against the ‘have’s’ in the United States of Corruption. They are brave, very brave. What these people do is address the US government and the corporations on their responsibilities for the economic crisis that is caused by the financial industry which is corrupt to the core. They doe that in the very heart of that system, on Wall Street.

Obviously, the city and the government need to protect the corporations and workers of these corporations in the financial heart of the US. For many reasons. Some of these reasons have to do with the benefits government, city and financial corporations share. And because they have the power of force by owning the police force they have no problem at all to use that police force against this solidarity movement. That police force is derailing frequently, like last night. The video shows police brutality against peaceful protestors. The Wall Street crowd was about 12.000 last night, not just a few hundred. And it’s continuously growing. The govenment and city will in the end do everything to break that protest. Question is, can they?

The people of the OWS movement are protesting against the people and corporations that caused the demise of so many people and small businesses. They protest against the greed that has become the major exponent of the so-called free market. A market which is not free at all but governed by the interest of financial institutions and governments. A market divided and driven by corruption. Not only in the US, but globally. Because how things are in the US is not very different from how things are in Europe and elsewhere in ‘western’ society. The consequences of the unmatched corruption in the US is that it has spread all over the globe. Financial institutions and governments in Europe are just as corrupt as those in the US. There is nog difference in that. Occupy Wall Street is not only fighting for the freedom of the people on the edges of the American society but also of those in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and many, many other countries. They fight for the rights of the poor in the west and in essence they fight for survival of western society. It’s a revolutionary movement and I can only choose their side in their battle.

The police response, guided by the city and the major is flat out fascist. Beating protesters who are totally right in their protests and protecting the interest of crooks in the government and corporations. They have had enough and finally there was nothing left to do than to protest together against what the so-called free society of the US has produced: poverty and sorrow for hard working and honest people and richness for criminals, crooks and politicians.

Personally I can not wait until the OWS movement which is expanding fast over western society will go to the streets in my country. I will be there. Writing about it, maybe filming it. Because I care for my society and because I too want to see an end of the corruption in my country. Because I too think that the current government in my country is totally on the wrong page to fight an economic crisis by protecting the egoism based layer within my society. So on October 15 the ‘Bezet Beursplein 5’ starts in Amsterdam. Check OccupyAmsterdam and OccupyDenHaag on FaceBook. Rumor has it that I’ll be present too. It seems about 850 others are saying that they’ll be there too on October 15. Will you join?

Alice © 2011

Here are the links: