I miss him

Yesterday the current US president was welcomed to Brussels amid protests…

… while this morning on German TV former US president Barack Obama is being interviewed for the yearly German “Kirchentag” (a huge yearly church conference) that is being held in Berlin this year…

Obama TV

He was interviewed together with Angela Merkel (who, as I type this, is rushing to Brussels for the NATO meeting with Trump)…

Obama Merkel TV

… and I am painfully aware yet again how much I miss Obama as president!

Feeling sick & being fearless

After a few days spent in a cocoon with happy family celebrations I emerge again to the world and I feel sick at what I see. Last week there was the horrible news coming out of Aleppo in Syria of the already horrible situation becoming worse than ever! With winter approaching, the need for help only becomes larger. UNHCR accepts donations for help, if you are so inclined (click on image for link):


I have been supporting SOS Children’s Villages for over 20 years now and I received a request for help for Syria in my e-mail in Dutch (again, click on the image for more info in Dutch):


Or go to the following SOS Children’s Village emergency relief pages, should you feel the urge to learn more and maybe donate:

This morning the news is filled with even more horror. There was a terror attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, with so far 12 reported dead and 48 injured. Awful, awful! I know what happens next too, the far right stands up and proclaims whole groups of people responsible who have nothing to do with this and the mistrust of everything that is ‘different’ grows. Meanwhile in Zürich reports this morning that 3 were hurt in a gun attack near a Muslim prayer center; apparently shots were fired at people who were praying. Of course, this last bit of news is just a footnote because attacks on Muslims are deemed less shocking, I presume. There is the sickening news of a Russian ambassador shot dead at close range in Turkey and horrifically Donald Trump has been confirmed by the Electoral College to be the next US president… Of course, that last bit of news was completely expected. I understand the Electoral College was also founded to stop demagogues from gaining power, but I guess Donald Trump is not viewed as a demagogue…

Yes, I am feeling sick about the news yet again. I have never been as terrified at what is happening in the world as I am now, in 2016. David Bowie died in January and it all went downhill from there… I still very much agree with Paul Bettany’s tweet in June:


Richard Armitage posted his yearly Christmas message yesterday morning on Facebook, addressing the news and fears of this past year. Screenshots here, just in case:

I don’t want to go into a lengthy analysis of this message. The one thing I really can not agree with is the congratulating part in this bit: “there were “Wins” (and I respect and congratulate those who made those choices)”. Doesn’t quite gel with the being fearless part of the message for me. If you are fearless you also need to be able to speak out against choices that go against everything you feel is right and congratulating such choices doesn’t fit. Other than that I totally agree with Richard that “there is a literal and symbolic shift happening in our world” and I like the sentiment of trying to be fearless. He says there is “a narrative of fear out there, which we must resist, or accept isolation and division.”  and I couldn’t agree more.

As much as I want to crawl back under a stone, especially after the heartwarming weekend I have just had, I guess sticking my head in the sand is not helpful. I can subscribe to trying to be fearless, lending a helping hand and I add a personal hope that the humanity Richard mentions will show itself from it’s best side and not from the horrific side we are witnessing now. I so very fervently hope 2017 will be a better year!