January 30, 2012

Animal emergency number forwards callers to local TV channel

Filed under: Animals by Branko Collin @ 10:36 pm

The animal police do not seem to be entirely sure what to do when people call their emergency hot line, 144, De Pers reports.

Ms Van der Meer from The Hague called the number last week because she had found a wounded bat. The operator forwarded her to Dierenambulance (a volunteer-run ambulance for animals), where they referred her to pest control.

Residents of the Amsterdam neighbourhood Geuzenveld called 144 because a cat had refused to leave a tree for several days —they were told to call the local TV station, AT5.

Press spokes person Ed Kraszewski of the National Police Services Agency said that “the 25 operators received training, but it is mostly ‘learning on the job’.”

Parliamentarian Dion Graus (PVV), the initiator of the animal cops and 144 thinks that operators are trying to sabotage his brain child from the inside.

(Photo of a Dierenambulance by Alberto Garcia, some rights reserved)

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August 27, 2011

Government party ends freedom of speech room in parliament

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 1:48 pm

The Freethinkers Room in the buildings of parliament has ceased to exist. The exhibition of endangered art was abandoned some time during the past months by government party VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy), Volkskrant reports.

The exhibition was founded in the party’s quarters in 2008, and was an initiative by VVD and PVV (Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party) who were both in opposition to the governing coalition at the time.

The room was used to display art of anti-Islamic xenophobes. When a left wing politician suggested that the room also host the “Wilders is an extremist” poster, PVV quit the initiative. Later prime minister Rutte banned further art critical of Wilders from the room, even though its makers had received “grievous threats“.

At the time one commentator surmised that Rutte built his Freethinkers Room mainly so that he “could have a photo opportunity with the parents of Theo van Gogh”. De Pers on the other hand states that the room was merely a cheap campaign trick to begin with.

(Photo: the poster by “Internationale Socialisten” that led to the arrest of three protesters, and to the beginning of the end of the Freethinkers Room. Text: “Geert Wilders. Extremist. Can cause damage to you and the society.”)

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May 25, 2011

Calling James Sharpe a ‘porn baron’ is a bad, bad thing, judge says

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 11:25 pm

Former parliamentarian James Sharpe of the right-wing extremist Freedom Party (PVV) won an injunction against free newspaper Spits last week.

Spits is no longer allowed to call James Sharpe a ‘porn baron’. The epithet is ‘biased and unnecessarily hurtful’, internet lawyer Arnoud Engelfriet alleges.

One imagines the porn industry will be elated to see itself officially disassociated from Sharpe by a court of law.

Sharpe, son of a black immigrant and married to a Romanian woman, won a seat in parliament on a platform of hatred against immigrants, but resigned his seat when it became clear that he had lied about his Hungarian porn empire having a run-in with the law. This was during a time when Freedom Party front man (and single member) Geert Wilders still tried to get rid of representatives with a shady past—until he realised that this way he would soon be running out of viable candidates.

(Image: the Freedom Party logo. Any association with the logo of the Dutch Nazi party is, I am sure, as coincidental as flying the Dutch Nazi party flag.)

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April 18, 2011

One in five Dutch men would like to own a gun

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 9:35 am

Maybe that title should be: popular science magazine sees women as second-class citizens whose opinions need not be known. The magazine, called Kijk (Look), asked over 1,700 ‘respondents’ if they would like to own a gun if such a thing were legal in the Netherlands, and 16% of the men said yes.

Possible gun lovers lurk both in cities and in the country, and are both high income and low income earners, according to Kijk. Preferences do follow political divisions, though. Christian democrats could not care less about owning guns, only 6% of them would want to. Of the extreme right wingers of the PVV on the other hand 29% feel they need to be packing in order to feel safe.

(Photo: one of the few times that I ever wore a helmet. I had long flowing hair back when I was performing my military service, so I tried to avoid wearing my helmet. The gun, by the way, was a FN FAL, just shortly before they were replaced army-wide by Diemaco C7s.)

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