Vote him out!

I probably shouldn’t post this – this is not a political blog after all and I am not an American (nor would I ever wish to be) – but oh my goodness, I can’t keep quiet! What is happening in the US affects the world and it affects me and I just need to let it out. So, look away now if you are sick of (left wing) politics and here goes…

From my perspective the US is completely falling apart under the current ‘leadership’ and my heart breaks. It’s one drama after the other coming from the US. This past week alone it’s been voter suppression, lying speeches at the Republican National Convention (RNC) that the Trump base will just lap up as truth and now the shooting of Jacob Blake and the inadequate response to that (#BlackLivesMatter people!)… I just can’t handle it anymore.

Here at home, we already call that man in the White House a wannabe dictator and if that man isn’t checked or, best yet, thrown out (how hasn’t that happened yet?!?), he will turn into one and that will be the end of US democracy. It is so painful to watch what has become of a country that the world, and my kids, used to look up to; the admiration has gone, my kids are disillusioned and stunned at the lies and the nationalist arrogance on display. We now feel disbelief and horror when we look at the US and the way in which this president and his cronies can not show any adequate leadership and, worst of all, are unable to show human decency. Well, First Lady Melania tried in her RNC speech, but her words sounded completely hollow, knowing to what a diseased administration she belongs.

I came across this the other evening: Charlie Chaplin in 1940 from the movie The Great Dictator and his attack on Hitler and Nazism. For a while there, after the Second World War, it seemed like we as a Western society were working towards the ideals he mentioned but we seem to be sliding away again…

It’s time that man in the White House is voted out with a very clear majority in November… I fear it won’t happen (I just can’t understand that Trump still has an over 40% approval rating!) but I so very fervently hope it will. The world, and my family, will be grateful.

Sarah Cooper’s parodies

I came across this about a week or two ago, these videos have gone viral, and I think it’s my favourite parody of that guy in the white house ever.

This next one is a pretty accurate portrayal of someone talking out of his ass during a staff meeting. I’ve been in meetings like this before…

I am totally fascinated, I can’t stop watching and grinning at these videos. In a way these are tragic too as it beggars belief that these are the actual words of a world leader. It’s not just the words she mimics, it’s the added body language, the gestures, the looks. She’s so good.

Here an article about her in the LA Times, in case you’re interested, and she has a satirical blog too. I’m actually considering getting her 2021 calendar called Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings, seeing as I am in meetings pretty much daily and these tricks could really come in handy.

I’ve been thinking in terms of crushes for the last fortnight or so due to the fictional crush challenge I just finished and I think Sarah Cooper has just become my latest crush. I am so glad she’s not fictional.

We’re going to hell

We had elections today in the Netherlands, provincial elections and waterboard elections. While waterboards are very important for our little country that has partially been claimed from water, the provincial election is the bigger fish. The people who get voted in decide who will make up our ‘First Chamber’ (our senate or upper house). So, to the polling station I went this afternoon.

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First exit polls show that the far right party, Forum voor Democratie (FVD) will become the biggest party in my province of South-Holland. Two years ago I breathed a sigh of relief when another far right party (PVV) narrowly missed becoming the largest party in our parliamentary elections. In these elections we’re not that lucky, it seems. This other far right party, FVD, participated in provincial elections for the first time and it looks like they’ll be the largest party here in our province. What the F*** is happening to this world? I’m so angry now!

I need to go to bed and just hope that tomorrow morning the news will be more favourable and this will only have been a scare. I’m emotionally drained right now.

RA DM

Luckily I’m exhausted and I expect to drop off to a hopefully oblivious sleep quickly.

Still topical!

Reading a Gregory Peck biography by Gary Fishgall and I came across this…

Gregory apparently said this in 1948, seventy years ago, during the McCarthy Communist witch hunts in Hollywood. He was no Communist but even so, he did not like the witch hunts. This still sounds so topical today, and so true…

It’s serious

In all my 48 years on this earth I have not felt so scared for the future as I have felt in the past year and a half after Brexit was voted for and after the US elected an idiot president. In my lifetime I never liked any Republican US president, not Reagan, not the older George Bush and I thought it could not be worse than George W. Bush but I was wrong. I was not a fan of their politics, just like I’m not a big fan of our current Dutch prime minister, but with them I never quite felt like the world was going to end. I do sometimes feel that now with the man who has got to be the most idiotic and dangerous Western leader since Adolf Hitler: Donald Trump! News of the idiot reneging the Iran nuclear deal and telling lies about it as justification is the latest example of his idiocy.

It’s not just Donald Trump and his “me me me” nationalist right-wing racist and misogynist philosophy that scares me. It’s also this whole right-wing nationalist trend, dipped in racism, which is so prevalent in Europe right now that is so damned scary. Donald Trump is alienating the world and when Europe needs unity more than ever to face it, we have Brexit happening and elections in Austria last year and recently in Hungary where nationalist right-wing leaders win (yet again and seem to get more extreme). In the past 70 odd years there never was any danger of war for our small nation alone. We are part of a bigger European Union and the big USA was our friend. Together we could handle it all, but USA doesn’t feel so friendly anymore and the EU is showing cracks. Is it the beginning of the end? There’s a move towards ‘everyone for himself’ and excluding others and for me the end of that move is only darkness, devastation and possibly war…

In 1997 mandatory military service was abolished in The Netherlands. Even before that, it was easy to avoid conscription for even minor health, psychological or conscientious reasons, because there really was no need for a big Dutch army in a unified Europe standing together. Mr Esther never had to serve because of his asthma, my older brother never had to serve because of a minor foot problem he had, my younger brother never had to serve because of a back ailment… I think my other two brothers weren’t even called because they were living abroad and still are. If they were called, there certainly was no difficulty in not having to go into the Dutch military.

My son is turning 17 in two months time and the other week a letter for him arrived from the Dutch Ministry of Defence…

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What the letter says is that, as he is turning 17 this year, he is automatically registered for military service. He doesn’t have to serve, as there is no conscription anymore, but he is registered.  Every Dutch man between the ages of 17 and 35 is registered and should there be a need in the future, he can possibly be conscripted and called upon to serve in the military after all. He could possibly have to serve up until the age of 45.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in defending yourself when faced with evil and I do commend military people who put themselves in harm’s way for peacekeeping missions, as the Dutch military does now. The idea is noble, although I feel that war and violence never is the real answer.

I always hoped we had learned from the second World War and that at least within Europe and the US we would never have to fear such evil self-serving idiot racist leaders anymore. Democracy would put a stop to the most extreme ideas and extreme leaders, I thought. Isolationism and “me me me” power struggles were over, now that there is cooperation in Europe and with the US, I thought. Racism after Auschwitz is only a fringe idea now, I thought. I guess I was wrong. Even when ‘justified’, in my heart I do not believe in war. In the end there is only death and destruction and lives torn apart.

If my son had received this letter from the Ministry of Defence 10 years ago, or maybe even two years ago, I would just have acknowledged it and laid it aside. But when I see what the Western world I live in is becoming now, for the first time I really am worried. A lot has happened in two years and even more can happen in the next 18 – 28 years! Yes, my son won’t have to go into the army now, but what will the state of our world be in 5 or 10 years time? What if we are slowly sliding into a World War III? What if my son does have to go to war one day? I don’t even dare think of that scenario… I don’t want my son or anyone else in the generations after him to have to experience war… I always hope that mankind will learn its lesson but with all the wars and devastation already in the world now and with these scary trends now in Europe and the US, I feel that any lessons that may have been ‘learned’ are so easily forgotten. I want my son to live in peace, I want all of us to live in peace!

My son is not in the least bit worried, not yet in any case…

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… but I am…