October 15, 2015

Council member is his own worst enemy

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 11:49 pm

aalsmeer-old-flower-auction-branko-collinBram Heijstek has had a rough year. The council member of the municipality of Aalsmeer has been on the receiving end of several death threats that were allegedly signed by a colourful coalition of political opponents, reporters and famous locals. About the only person who did not threaten Heijstek was Heijstek himself… wait, let’s rewind the tape a bit. According to The Post Online, Heijstek was arrested two weeks ago on suspicion of identity theft and stalking after he had faked numerous threats to his person.

Two weeks before his arrest, RTV-NH had asked Heijstek about the possibility of having faked the death threats against him. Heijstek told the broadcaster, “I’ve been physically attacked three times this year. That seems a difficult thing to do to yourself. And you know, these threats are easy to trace.”

He added, “If only the police worked a little harder,” which they then did.

The police have released Heijstek, but they expect that the politician will be prosecuted, considering the amount of victims involved.

Aalsmeer is a town just south of Amsterdam and is mostly known for its flower auction, which takes place in the largest building of the world, measured by surface area.

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January 30, 2014

Politicos mock entries paint-the-king competition Zwijndrecht

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 12:18 pm

paint-brushes-kara-harmsCity council members of Zwijndrecht near Rotterdam have taken to mocking the amateurs who entered a municipal contest for painting a state portrait of the new king, Willem-Alexander.

According to AD (which has photos of the actual paintings), SGP’s René van den Berg said: “We are going to discuss whether we should even pick one of these paintings as a winner. […] The quality of some of them is atrocious.”

The winning portrait will be hung in the council chamber. The winner will receive a prize of 750 euro.

Wim van der Does (D’66): “This is kindergarten level painting. Some of these don’t even look like the king.” A third, unnamed council member added: “I hope we’re not going to hang one of these behind me.”

At least some politicians refrained from belittling the voters. Chris Moorman (ABZ) had been against an amateur contest from the start, but took his loss graciously: “Let’s be fair and pick a winner with humour.” Mayor Dominic Schrijer thought it was great that so many people spent so much of their time and energy in creating portraits and added “the entries vary a lot, from colourful to black and white, and from realistic to naïve. We deliberately chose paintings by real Zwijndrechters.”

Other cities such as nearby Sliedrecht have managed to organize paint-the-king competitions without insulting their constituents.

Zwijndrecht doesn’t seem to have learned from this episode. On 19 March it will organize another competition in which, if past experiences are anything to go by, mostly amateurs will compete. That’s the date the elections for city council will be held.

(Photo by Kara Harms, some rights reserved)

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February 19, 2012

US presidential candidate’s Minute of Lies

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 12:14 pm

Said conservative US presidential candidate Rick Santorum during a campaign stop:

Well in the Netherlands people wear a different bracelet if you are elderly. And the bracelet is ‘do not euthanise me’. Because they have voluntary euthanasia in the Netherlands. But half the people that are euthanised every year, and it’s ten percent of all deaths, half of those people are euthanised involuntarily at the hospitals, because they are older and sick.

And so elderly people in the Netherlands don’t go to the hospital. They go to another country. Because they are afraid, because of budget purposes, that they will not come out of that hospital to [inaudible].

Look at what has happened just in our tolerance of abortion. Fifty years ago, people who did abortions, sixty years ago, people who did abortions were, you know, in the shadows, or people who were considered really bad doctors. Now abortion is something that is just accepted. Well, of course people do abortions, it’s legal, it’s fine, there are no moral and ethical problems. This is the erosion, and it happens in the medical profession, and it can happen very fast, and I think Obamacare will lead us down that road.

None of this is true, of course, and even though it is the weekend the Dutch press is already having a field day with this. NRC writes: “Santorum thinks he knows the Netherlands“. Powned dubs Santorum’s “a surreal view“, OK, so maybe not a field day. Everybody knows that you just let a madman spout his gibberish, I guess.

Should this mentally unhinged person ever become president of the USA though, he will control the world’s largest arsenal of chemical and nuclear weapons. Besides that minor worry, just enjoy this bit of mainstream crazy, because it does not get much sillier than this.

(Video: Youtube / RightWingWatch.org. Photo by Gage Skidmore, some rights reserved.)

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July 2, 2011

Dutch parodies of famous album covers

Filed under: Music by Branko Collin @ 7:36 pm

As you may have read, after the Rutte government attacked “entarte Kunst” it is now promoting “Blut und Boden” music. Dutchnews reported yesterday that “MPs on Thursday evening voted in favour of a quota for Dutch language music on Radio 2, the public broadcaster which focuses on popular music. The motion, drawn up by Martin Bosma from the anti-Islam PVV, requires programmers to make sure 35% of the music played on Radio 2 between 07.00 and 19.00 hours was produced in the Netherlands.”

The folks at the Amazing Retecool blog have used their regular Photo Fuck Friday to try and imagine what famous record covers would look like if all music had to be in Dutch. Shown here are Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the Netherlands by Ohjajoh and Foreigner’s Double Passport by Gelul.

Meanwhile, Radio 2 have announced that they have no intention of adhering to any quotas, NRC reports. Two weeks ago minister Marja van Bijsterveldt announced that public broadcasters will have to take cuts of up to 127 million euro.

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January 2, 2010

Man hit by New Year’s dive starting gun

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 1:09 pm

An alderman from Oldenzaal in Twente got hit in the leg yesterday when a cannon went off near him. The third edition of the local New Year’s dive was to have been started by the alderman, Frits Rorink, firing the gun, but the device initially refused to go off. According to AD, swimmers had already taken to the water when the cannon fired after all.

Rorink was brought to a hospital where doctors diagnosed him with a broken fibula. His recovery is expected to take some time and multiple operations, according to Tubantia.

A 59-year-old man from Enschede was arrested on suspicion of a “possible connection” with the accident.

(Photo of the 2010 New Year’s dive of Scheveningen, in which so far no new models were discovered, by Alexander Fritze, some rights reserved.)

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