June 10, 2010

Bad values and good riddance

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 9:59 am

Here’s a Skype conversation between two 24oranges bloggers yesterday, while watching the Dutch national election results:

Branko: “that is so not shopped” (the above picture)
Orangemaster: “It isn’t!! I saw the item on telly!”

Here’s proof: another photo, taken by a legitimate news source.

Branko: “I guess he just doesn’t give a shit anymore. Is he the guy who coveted a job in Europe?” (as in, if I can’t be Prime Minister (power is addictive), I’ll try for some job at the EU level, which he didn’t get because people don’t like him there either!)
Orangemaster: “He’s going doooown tonight.”

Freshly ousted Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende (in the pic), who has just caused a historic loss for his Christian-values peddling party, is wearing a T-shirt with a big swear word and is drinking the worst drug kids will probably ever encounter in their lives: alcohol.

Balkie, as we call him, was visiting the picturesque fishing village of Volendam, where ironically, the youth are bored to tears, drink themselves into a stupor and take lots of drugs when beer doesn’t do the job. But much like Balkie himself, they close their eyes to how people view these problems (total lack of self-relfection), look at the scenery of their touristic village and act like every is fine.

I gladly use this photo taken by Michael Sijbom, ironically (and I laugh writing this), campaign strategist for Balkie’s political party who needs as much image rebuilding as Rotterdam did after WWII.

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May 31, 2010

More people in prison on suspicion than after conviction

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 8:28 am

Law professor Yvo Buruma has sounded the alarm about the number of innocent people being detained pre-trial in the Netherlands.

According to Buruma the numbers of acquittals in the country has risen from 4.5% to 7% in the past five years. More people are in gaol awaiting trial than people who have already been convicted.

In a blog entry last week Buruma claims this is a worrisome development because robbing somebody of their freedom is an exceptional power that the state should only exercise under exceptional circumstances, and because a person should be considered innocent until proven otherwise. Although he does not outright say it, it would almost seem that the justice department is keeping people imprisoned for the wrong reasons.

The criminal law professor at the Radboud University Nijmegen determines four categories of aquittal:

  1. It is unclear what happened,
  2. It is unclear what part the suspect played,
  3. There was no intent, and
  4. The judge fails to see the crime in the accused’s actions.

An example of the latter is the 14-year-old who jokingly told Prime Minister Balkenende on the social networking site Hyves that he was going to die and was acquitted earlier this month.

It is perhaps interesting to note that the falsely imprisoned typically only receive 80 euro a day in damages, regardless of actual income lost.

Link: Sargasso.

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