November 26, 2011

Dag van de Verontwaardiging

Pictures from the protest in Amsterdam last sunday called 'Dag van de Verontwaardiging.'

Oc Am

The Occupy Amsterdam camp last sunday.

November 23, 2011

Fogger 2

Last week's midday sun, for a moment shinning through the dense fog.

November 18, 2011

Imperial Tropes

“We face the threats from rising powers — China, India, others — that we have to always be aware of and try to make sure that we always have sufficient force protection out there in the Pacific to make sure they know we’re never going anywhere.”

Leon Panetta
(US Defense Secretary)

November 13, 2011


Shots taken from the Zeitgeist Netherlands HQ, overlooking de Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, Amsterdam.

November 10, 2011

Dutch Treat 3

Check this out. Right after the Second World War in 1946 the Dutch government had plans to annex territory from Germany. You learn something every day. The plans were denied by Allied command in light of tensions with the Soviet Union and the necessity to build a strong, new Germany to confront the communist threat.
The Dutch annexation plan was actually the second proposal in their quest for compensation. In 1945 the Dutch state demanded 25 billion guilders from the Germans. Needless to say that this plan also didn't come to fruition. In the end Germany paid the Netherlands the amount of 280 million marks. Read more about it here. From my perspective it also shows the contemporary mindset of colonialism, seize every bit of land that you possibly can.

Sketchzoid #41

November 8, 2011

Dutch Treat 2

Interesting bit of news surfaced today in the newspapers. The Netherlands, along with the U.S.A., had formulated a plan to military intervene (invade) the South American country of Suriname. In 1986 the Dutch government was very concerned about its citizens who were residing in Suriname. The latter being a former colony of the Netherlands who gained independence in 1975. The resulting democracy was short lived since in 1980 a military coup overthrew the government and declared a socialist republic. Under the leadership of Desi Bouterse a number of citizens were executed in 1982 and a civil war ensued.

Most fascinating some 25 years later is that an invasion plan was actually considered at the time. The current Dutch cabinet remarks that the plan never reached the point of a political decision and remained in the consideration 'stage.' However, the ministers who went public today refuse to reveal the associated documents to the public. They simply remain classified. Which in some way is also revealing, secrecy still being the name of the game.

November 4, 2011

Summerback, Again

Amazing weather patterns this year. Summer was downright bad with weeks of continuous rain in July, which normally is the time here in Holland to enjoy the beach. We didn't get a chance. Oddly enough autumn provided some days at the beach and that is quite unusual. Normally we have that fine English weather, wind and rain. Today the temperatures got up to 18C and you could walk around outside in your shirt. Normally you'd need a winter jacket already. Just last year we had snow and frost in November. Seeing the news last week it was America's northeast who got the winter surprise. Strange stuff.

November 3, 2011

Greek Tragedy (2)

Holy crap, what's happening in Greece? On my way home this afternoon I ran into a friend who was waiting for the bus and he enlightened me about the 'crisis' in Europe. In another twist and turn Greece decided to let its people vote about the financial aid package (and subsequent austerity measures) through a referendum. This send shockwaves through both the markets and other nations that make up the European Union. Good chance of course that the Greek people will vote it down.

Watching a Dutch newspaper website which monitors the latest information regarding the Greek political situation it's evident that a lot of people are worried. It's also unclear at the moment if the referendum will proceed. There seems to be a great deal of political infighting in Greek parliament, and safe to say that isn't helping either.

Their situation can be described as followed. They are screwed, one way or the other. If they decline European help there's a good chance they will be ousted from the European Union. Should they accept, the financial situation of every citizen will drastically decline. Ironically, they have no one to blame but themselves. Although I'm no free market advocate I can see that 'the game' simply caught up with them and the simple axiom that everyone usually understands is that you can't spend more than you have.

There's a whole mechanism beyond politics and that is the money creation and immediate connected debt itself.

Governments that don't abide by the monetary rules are the first to feel its consequences. Greece has also been very deceiving and has proven to be an unreliable partner. When joining the European Union they presented false financial data. Their deficits where in reality much worse. Goldman Sachs was so kind to offer their assistance.

Greece failed to recognize the first monetary rule. Money is created in a bank, and has to go back to the bank. Failure to do so means foreclosure. Banks rule, not nations.