Tag Archives: Belgium

What 2022 brought to us and looking forward to 2023

Liberation

Lots of people thought 2022 would be the year of liberating us from that terrible virus which got the world in its grip. Though not a liberation became several people on their part, an even more senseless killing ‘disease’ came unto Europe.

The leader of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, who would love to find a renewed Soviet Union, said at the beginning of the year he would bring liberation to the Ukrainians. Instead, his “bloodstained” tyranny plunged Europe into the war on a scale not seen since 1945 as Russian troops advanced on Kyiv on Thursday night, February 24th.

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is shocking and disgraceful. It is the latest terrible aggression by the Putin regime and the latest damaging conflict in our world, with so many people being killed or injured, losing loved ones and seeing their homes destroyed.

2022 has been a tough year to navigate, with a series of political and economic crises that continue to shape our world.

One powerful man

Who could have ever imagined that one man, from up north, would single-handedly turn the world upside down? However, he has succeeded very well in not only bringing black snow over several people, and literally turning the landscape blood-red, he has severely disrupted economic life in several countries.

Following two long pandemic years – with many still experiencing the effects – we’ve witnessed the outbreak of war in Ukraine and could feel in our purse how it affects us also in our region. We cannot ignore this war that has affected many citizens. At our new WordPress Site “Some View on the World” we have given a voice to those suffering in the conflict as well as reporting the situation on the ground and providing the expertise needed to understand geopolitics.

Picturing what is happening in the world

As best we can, we try to give a picture of what is happening in the world on the continuation of “Our World“. 2022 was another year of figuring out how we would be able to keep up with bringing political and religious news alongside our other spiritual websites. We hope to find that balance further in 2023.

By nature, I am not an easy person and have dared to clash several times by speaking my mind outright. Even in the articles, I publish here and on my other websites, my thinking is based on my personal opinion. One can agree or disagree with that view. I, therefore, appreciate that people also dare to express their opinions. But in general, there is a little reaction in that area. Still, I hope the articles brought, can make people think. For instance, I was happy to find that my op-eds on Christmas in the Daily Telegraph were able to bring a debate after all.

Hoping to expose wrongdoings

With the news we place at Some View on the World we do hope we also could be able to expose the mistreatment and deaths of migrant workers in Qatar for almost a decade as well as other wrong attitudes towards people as well as animals and plants. At my personal site and this site as well, in particular on “Some View on the World” we continue to bear witness to the climate crisis as it destroys lives, uproots whole communities and changes the course of our shared future. We hope for 2023 to be able to bring regular news about our environment.

The fallout from the January 6 hearings and Donald Trump’s presidency could get our attention, and we hold our hearts for the intentions of Mr Trump, wanting to come back as president of the U.S.A..

Independence of my websites

For all the reporting we do here, and on my other websites, I would like to remind you, readers, that there is no financial support from companies anywhere and that all reporting is based on personal and independent reporting, where I keep searching for this site among texts that appear on the net what could possibly be fascinating for you to read as well, and thus to reblog them here.

2022 could bring lots of blogs on the net of which we presented some selections over here too. At Firefox several could find their way into ‘Pocket’, like: Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid, How to Want Less, A Neurologist’s Tips to Protect Your Memory, Why You Should Really Stop Charging Your Phone Overnight, A Guide to Getting Rid of Almost Everything, a.o. most read.

Uncovering and unravelling

Whether on social, political or religious issues, we are eager to seek the truth and expose false reports. Exposing wariness is not always appreciated, but is very important in our view. To do that, we can count on several investigative journalists and some newspapers to join in the pursuit of that muddle, so that together we can make certain things known to the world while others would rather see them covered up.

At Some View on the World we have maintained round-the-clock coverage from several places, not always bringing nice news, like mass graves of Bucha, Izium and many war crimes.

The war accelerated a global economic slump, sending costs soaring, throttling energy supplies and raising the spectre of blackouts, malnutrition and a winter of discontent across dozens of countries. As global food supplies fluctuated, we reported on the hunger gripping the Horn of Africa and Afghanistan. In 2022, it became impossible to ignore those victims in poorer countries. But sadly, we had to observe how little the public cared about those people living far from their homes. And closer, many did not wish to have refugees, so we could speak of a refugee crisis again this year.

Here in Belgium, the influx of refugees seems completely uncontrollable and many, even with small children, shamefully had to sleep outside several nights through rain and wind. This while in Great Britain, the reception was also not going smoothly and people started looking for a housing solution in Rwanda, and proceeded to deportations.

Condition of mother earth

A lot of people do not want to realise that things are very bad for Mother Earth. To this, in 2022, several scientists again tried to make it clear to the world that we need to think seriously about this and take action. We were confronted with UK’s hottest summer, a very early and long great Summer in Belgium, drought in Europe, and the accompanying fires.

Heating the houses became for many difficult to keep in the household budget. It looked like mother nature felt the pressure on the energy market, as well. Everywhere in Europe, we had extremely high temperatures for the time of year. In Belgium 2022 became the warmest year since measurements.

The climate emergency ran as a constant thread through much of our Some View on the World journalism in 2022.

While many European countries were suffering from a shortage of water, they had it in other countries, like Pakistan, too much. Devastating floods in Pakistan, encountering one of its worst natural catastrophes, Sydney’s wettest year on record, ferocious heatwaves in the US southwest and the costliest Atlantic hurricane for years, could catch our attention.

At Cop27 in Egypt, the Guardian asked the tough questions. Though, we did not give so much attention to the changing tactics of activists, now more likely to throw soup at a painting as they are to glue themselves to a public highway.

Uprising

In my view, many other protests could get our attention earlier, as they were carried out in a more correct way. Coming from a not expected corner, sparked by the death in custody of a young woman, Mahsa Amini.

Once again, we were able to conclude in Afghanistan and Iran that there is no improvement in human rights yet. The Iranian authorities tightly control reporting inside the country, so we counted on the teams of the Guardian to redouble efforts to reach protagonists to tell their stories. Social media remained also important for this, so it was satisfying to see the Guardian Instagram video on why Iranians are risking everything for change reach more than 2 million viewers.

It is impossible for me to have news sources everywhere, which is why we must also call on professional companies, for which we must also pay. Financial aid is therefore very welcome to cover these expenses. Nevertheless, we try to be as aware as possible of the general events, for which we also make further use of the known news channels and reliable TV channels and newspapers.

United States debacle

In terms of exposure, it was imperative to look at the Trumpists who still claim high and low that the US elections were forged.

The country which was formed on the idea that it could be a free world where everybody could express himself freely and would not be bounded by limitations through a government, in 2022 came to see deep political divisions, caused by a man who as 45th president of the U.S.A. did mutiny on that state and brought democracy in danger. His party made the ongoing climate crisis and racial, economic and health inequalities worsened. It was impossible to ignore the fallout from the January 6 hearings and Donald Trump’s presidency, as well as his willingness to come back as president.

The repeal of Roe v Wade provided a divisive backdrop to the November midterm elections. The conservative, or better said, the extremist Christians in the U.S., made it possible that women lost even the right to their own bodies. They also did not want to give an eye for mother nature nor for all those poor Americans who have no house or anywhere to live except on the streets, where many in the last weeks of the year found their dead by Winter storm Elliott. Buffalo got the worst hit by that bomb cyclone.

Political storms

In 2022 there were more significant elections in America which caught our attention. In Brazil, there were an anxious few weeks as Jair Bolsonaro wanted to do like his friend Trump, saying the votes were falsified. Finally, he suffered a chastening defeat by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who completed a comeback from prison to the presidential palace.

To our annoyance, we in northern Europe had to observe an inverse movement towards South America. The far right in Sweden, Italy and Israel, could get most seats in parliament. Despite her political prowess, the 45-year-old from Rome, whose strong will and determination has drawn comparisons to Margaret Thatcher, Giorgia Meloni has spent three decades fighting her way to the top of Italian politics. She is clear evidence that go-getters win. In October last year, after Brothers of Italy managed to draw votes away from the Northern League in its northern strongholds in local elections, a secret recording revealed Matteo Salvini hitting out at Meloni, calling her a “pain in the ass”.

In Belgium, too, the newspapers disguised several polls, clearly showing that the right is making a strong rise and where voices can already be heard that NVA will have to make the choice to form a majority coalition with Vlaams Belang.

As for British politics, prime ministers came and went with alarming regularity and the nation buried the pound, Queen Elizabeth and its global standing in quick succession. For 10 days in September, the future of the monarchy dominated the newsroom. The crazy game of the English conservatives who wanted their leader to put his capsones under the benches and to ask the people to stay at home because of Corona and not to have parties seemed to think it normal that their leader could do that and lie about it too. The whole world could laugh at the blunders of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, while the British citizen seemed not to mind. In any case, they did not demand new elections and left it to the Tory members to elect the new prime minister.

In Australia Labour could note a historic federal election victory.

Economical storms

The struggle between Russia and Ukraine is also a struggle between the Putin regime and Western Europe.

The war accelerated a global economic slump, sending costs soaring, throttling energy supplies and raising the spectre of blackouts, malnutrition and a winter of discontent across dozens of countries. But we also noticed that certain companies were abusing the war in Ukraine to raise their prices.

Cereals and gas were not released enough by blockades from the Russians, which caused major food problems, especially in Africa. In Western Europe we felt our energy prices skyrocket due to the pressure on the export and import markets. In Belgium, it took forever for the government to take measures to mitigate the costs of its citizens. After several months of calls by the Labour Party PvdA/PtB to reduce VAT to 6% and by their appeals to the public to put pressure on the government, things finally came to a head.

Health matters

2022 received big leaps forward for Alzheimer’s treatments, bowel cancer prevention and understanding depression.

In several countries there was joy that people could come together again to party and that the elderly should no longer be separated from their children and grandchildren. The lockdown had made it very clear how important personal contact is. It was striking how in 2022 teenagers and twens still had many psychological difficulties, which were not resolved. Bad enough, many could not be admitted in time, causing unnecessarily too many young people to die, while this could have been avoided.

Post-pandemic in Europe in danger

For months Europe tried to combat Covid-19. We started the annual overview with the relaxation of the Corona measures. But at the end of December, they now appear to be endangered because Europe does not want to take strict measures for the Chinese who are now allowed by their government to travel outside China again, which will allow them to spread the increased disease further outside China. With the coming Chinese New Year, they could start a new pandemic as in Belgium, it started in Antwerp.

For much of the world, a sort of post-pandemic normality has resumed – with one striking exception: the country where it all began. Chinese leaders faced a rapid spread of public anger caused by their draconian Covid lockdown policy. Only after some activists could ignite a revolt against the lockdown and more people joined them on the streets, even coming to shout to get rid of the Chinese leader and communist party, the government got seriously afraid and eased the lockdown measures. After they had done that another hell broke down, the virus rapidly spreading and killing so many people the mortuaries could not handle it anymore.

While the Chinese seem to be in the first Corona wave, as it were, the rest of the world has gotten out over time and everyone is now looking forward to a shock-free 2023.

We too look forward to an ending of the war in Ukraine and to a peaceful solution between Kosovo and Serbia.

At Some View of the World and at my other personal Space, we shall try to bring you up-to-date news of the happenings in the world, and here on this website, we hope we shall still be able to offer you and share with you, some worthwhile articles to read in this coming New Year.

 

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A sincere thank you to our readers and supporters – wherever you are in the world,
we wish you a wonderful end to 2022 and an optimistic 2023.

°°°

In case you like our work,
do not forget that we always can use your support.

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With mention: support websites

For which we thank you wholeheartedly

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Additional reading

  1. G7 agreed to ban or phase out Russian oil and gas imports
  2. 2022 the year of fearing some wars

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Announcement, Crimes & Atrocities, Ecological affairs, Economical affairs, Food, Headlines - News, Health affairs, History, Lifestyle, Nature, Political affairs, Publications, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Gender, genderless, androgyny, bisexuality, cisgender and transgender

How many children between 10 and 14 are not going through a phase where they wonder who or what they are?

Photo by SLAYTINA on Pexels.com

In some countries, such as Belgium among others, there is a view that there are not two genders but that genderless people should be taken into account, i.e. people who feel neither male nor female and often have no need for a person ‘of the opposite sex’. In Belgium, they are given the designation X under their gender. The genderless, a grammatical category, often designated as male, female, or neuter, used in the classification of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and, in some languages, verbs that may be arbitrary or based on characteristics such as sex or animacy and that determines agreement with or selection of modifiers, referents, or grammatical forms.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

In other countries, such as the United States of America, then, people who feel genderless or feel that they are in a body of another gender are more likely to be regarded as “devilish” and are taunted and humiliated, as well as dismissed as perverts. For many citizens over there it is normal that the man should have the highest position and that the woman should be considered the lower one, and coloured people the lowest. Equality is out of the question, whilst in other countries, it is not the priority at the moment. Worse is it when there are people who admit they feel attracted to both sexes, male and female. From searching by whom they feel most at ease, some enjoy their being with both genders and enjoying sex with as well as male as female persons. such persons are often between two camps; for one group they are cowards, not gay enough, unfaithful, untrustworthy, indecisive, and confused, for others, they are doing it for attention, or just for sex and their own selfish physical satisfaction. In some cases it is also part of the experimenting, looking for their own particular favourite, on the way to gay or on the way to find out that they are sitting in a wrong appearance male or female body. For lots of people, their wondering and feelings, being afraid of what others would say, make them suppress their sexuality and their true inner feelings. For most Americans, it seems that only the “normal” (heterosexual) kind is valid, making it very difficult for those who feel differently, to express their feeling or to accept what they really are.

In the USA, there is a very dangerous development going on at the moment, with a certain grassroots group wishing to have all kinds of books removed from libraries and schools. Books for children and young adults containing themes of race, gender and sexual identity received an “unprecedented” number of challenges last year, the American Library Association (ALA) has said, reflecting a growing national trend of attempted censorship. The challenges came from conservative parent groups and others. In some cases, the group says, librarians and elected officials were threatened with violence by members of the Proud Boys and armed activists at school board and library board meetings. In April, Pen America, a non-profit organisation that works to protect freedom of expression in the US, reported that 1,586 bans were implemented in 86 school districts across 26 states in the nine months to the end of March. The challenges reported to ALA in 2021, it said, represented the highest number of attempted book bans since the list began more than 20 years ago.

Already two years ago Republican state Rep. Tony Randolph introduced a bill that would outlaw marriage equality, permanently legalise conversion therapy, ban changes to legal gender markers, and block the passage of LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections.

In February 2020 House Bill 1215 (prohibit the state from endorsing or enforcing certain policies regarding domestic relations) was the third in a trio of anti-LGBTQ bills brought to the state’s legislature, the House passed a bill that criminalised trans-affirming medical care for minors. The other, Senate Bill 88, would require mental health providers to out kids expressing gender dysphoria to their parents. Anti-LGBTQ lawmakers and organisers use the state as a test case for the nation, experts say.

Kara Ingelhart, a staff attorney at Lambda Legal, characterises HB 1215 in particular as one of the most comprehensive bills to date targeting LGBTQ people.

Such laws and attacks from thought-limiting groups are also happening also more in some countries of Eastern Europe, where one can see that people’s freedoms and rights are gradually becoming more and more restricted.

“We don’t allow children’s parents to decide whether or not they can drink underage, whether they can smoke underage, whether they marry underage, and we certainly should not allow a child to be disfigured in a horrible way, in an irreversible procedure before they’re 18 years of age,”

Rep. Williams Lamberth, R-Portland, said.

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) said they require parental consent to treat minors who are being seen for issues to those receiving gender-affirming care and never refuse parental involvement for those under 18. VUMC officials said they began their Transgender Health Clinic because

“transgender individuals are a high-risk population for mental and physical health issues and have been consistently underserved by the U.S. health system.”

“We have been and will continue to be committed to providing family-centered care to all adolescents in compliance with state law and in line with professional practice standards and guidance established by medical specialty societies,”

officials said in the statement.

In some countries, people go so far as to consider it plausible that those who dress or behave differently from their physical appearance may be freely harassed, humiliated in words but also in deeds, even raped.

Photo by Alexander Grey on Pexels.com

Countries already immersed in a civil — rather, uncivil —war between two distinct political ideologies, the last five years seem to have come into a #MeToo rage and starting another uncivil war between the two genders.

During childhood, it often happens that parents want to steer their children into certain role patterns that are traditionally constructed. The search for “being” and dealing with attraction towards others, be they persons of the opposite or same sex, is part of growing up and belongs to peculiarities of puberty and adolescence that most young people have to go through.

During the search for one’s own personality and sexual identity, it does happen more than once that a conflict situation arises between parents and child because the parent cannot enter the child’s own emotional world and feels hurt or feels a sense of failure because the child chooses a different sex than the parent has in mind.

In September of this year Tennessee lawmakers made their way into the discourse about providing gender-affirming care. Matt Walsh — a Daily Wire conservative commentator, who questions LGBTQ rights — said he considered the care to be that of castration and mutilation to minors and adults.

According NHS England most children who believe that they are transgender are just going through a “phase”, and therefore  it has announced plans for tightening controls on the treatment of under 18s questioning their gender, including a ban on prescribing puberty blockers, outside of strict clinical trials. The last few years in the states as well as in England we could see more clinics where such puberty inhibitors or hormone blockers, medicines used to postpone puberty in children.

Several campaign groups in Britain, receiving taxpayers’ money have told teachers to drop all gendered toilets and language – and not to tell parents if they change their child’s identity.

The Cass Review, commissioned by NHS England, has found

“there is a disproportionate number of children on the spectrum, in care, same-sex attracted or with trauma in their background who identify as trans.”

Victoria Atkins, who has responsibility for the Government’s gender equality policy, expressed concern that a rising number of teenagers were seeking “life-changing” medical interventions. Young people were undergoing treatment to change their gender because they regard it as

“an answer to questions they are not asking themselves”,

the minister said.

“It may simply be a case of greater awareness, it may be that for some they see it as an answer to questions they are perhaps not asking themselves. We need to be particularly alert to this with regard to young people. The treatments are so serious and life-changing, I’m a little cautious of the use of those treatments because of the potential for the rest of their lives.

“Lots of questions are rightly being asked about how we treat young people, people whose bodies perhaps haven’t developed yet.”

The NHS  services note that there is a need to change the services because there is currently

“scarce and inconclusive evidence to support clinical decision-making”.

NHS England says that the interim Cass Report has advised that even social transition, such as changing a young person’s name and pronouns or the way that they dress, is not a “neutral act” that could have “significant effects” in terms of “psychological functioning”.

Parent groups and professionals have long raised concerns that NHS medics have taken an “affirmative” approach to treating children, including using their preferred names and pronouns.

The proposals say that the new clinical approach will for younger children

“reflect evidence that in most cases gender incongruence does not persist into adolescence” and doctors should be mindful this might be a “transient phase”.

Instead of encouraging transition, medics should take “a watchful approach” to see how a young person’s conditions develop, the plans state.

When a prepubescent child has already socially transitioned,

“the clinical approach has to be mindful of the risks of an inappropriate gender transition and the difficulties that the child may experience in returning to the original gender role upon entering puberty if the gender incongruence does not persist”.

In March 2022 there were 5,500 children on an NHS waiting list for gender swap treatment at the Tavistock and Portman Trust’s Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) in London, after a “surge in demand”.

In 2010/11 this were only 138 children and in 2020/21 a 17-fold increase could be noted, that number had grown to 2,383 children.

Could the surge in demand for help and treatment possibly be linked to a global pandemic and the three lockdowns that left vulnerable youngsters imprisoned, isolated and glued to their screens?

By January 2021, a report compiled by the Care Quality Commission showed that the waiting list had already reached 4,600. In March, Stephanie Davies-Arai, founder of campaign group Transgender Trend, explained that during those lockdowns,

“life stopped, really – so adolescents at that stage in their lives, where they’re really searching for their identity, turn online”.

Photo by Alexander Grey on Pexels.com

The public consultation documents say that change is necessary against a backdrop of a sharp rise in referrals to the gender identity service, from just under 250 in 2011-12 to over 5,000 last year.

In recent years there has also been a spike, with

“the number of referrals currently at 8.7 per 100,000 population per year in 2021-22 compared to four per 100,000 in 2020-21 and 4.5 per 100,000 in 2019-20”.

On the day that Tom Daley marched into the Commonwealth Games with a pride flag bearing trans colours, the health service announced in July that it would be closing the Tavistock and replacing it with two regional centres based in specialist children’s hospitals.

Trans-ideology according to some is the inevitable culmination of left-wingers deconstructing gender and sexuality in the 1960s cultural revolution. Several conservatives are asking for a serious look at the consequences of the previous era of free expression of opinion and free sex.

Gay activists discredited the notion of aberrant sexual activity. Feminists said gender was a construct and a prison. This coincided with a new take on children, insisting they weren’t miniature versions of their parents but autonomous human beings who should control their own destiny, even their education.

The move is aimed at taking a more “holistic” approach to treating children and looking at the reasons why they are questioning their gender.

It is expected that the regional centres will be operating by the spring, whilst long-term plans for the gender identity services for under 18s, based on the final recommendation of the Cass review, will come into effect in 2023-24.

Rather than being delivered by therapists and hormone specialists, the new clinical teams will include experts “in paediatric medicine, autism, neurodisability and mental health”.

The proposals note that a “significant proportion of children” who are referred for treatment have neuro-development issues or family of social problems.

The new treatment teams will be led by a medical doctor and the service will only take referrals from GPs and other NHS professionals.

NHS England will also “strongly discourage” young people from buying hormones from private clinicians and will not accept clinical responsibility for the treatment of those who have done so.

Is one prepared to bear the consequences that children with yet serious questions regarding their identities and gender have to resolve, and how?

How exactly does the NHS plan to clear up the mess and plan for the fallout of mental health issues that will emerge?

The consultation on the plans closes in December.

It is the task of the adults to help children to accept themselves as they are and to get them to feel happy in their own bodies, even when it is not fitting in the general traditional idea of the mainstream. Parents and health workers should not teach them that mutilating their genitals and living inside a skin costume of the opposite sex is the way to peace and contentment, because studies have shown this is not the case. A life lived in medicalised pretence is not a happy or healthy one.

But we should be open to helping those who have come into adult age, and even when for some that may look late, when they are in their twenties and then changing, there are still many years to come to live in a ‘renewed body’.

Let’s hope the tide is turning, for the sake of our children.

 

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Preceding

A Progressive Call to Arms

Added commentary to the posting A Progressive Call to Arms

Times of overcorrections

Who Am I That I Could Hinder God?

Do the concepts of male and female need to have a formal official definition

The Catholic synod on the family and abortion

Looking at an American nightmare

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Additional reading

  1. What’s church for, anyway?
  2. Anti-Semitic incidents in Australia in 2012 highest ever on record
  3. Human relations 2013
  4. Study says highlighting gender leads to stereotypes
  5. 2014 Culture
  6. Same sex realtionships and Open attitude mirroring Jesus (Our View)Same sex relationships and Open attitude mirroring Jesus (Some View on the world)
  7. Tony Campolo Calls for Full Inclusion of LGBT Into the Church
  8. Two synods and life in the church community
  9. 2015 Human rights
  10. Cincinnati outlaws quoting the Bible
  11. In Eastern Europe the Foundations of the European Union in danger
  12. Right-wing fundamentalist Christians to dictate the U.S.A.
  13. Rights of Polish people in danger
  14. Living in this world and viewing it
  15. Problems with church counseling for gay people
  16. A selection of The Telegraph articles for Sunday 2022 October 23
  17. The Telegraph Front Page for Monday 24 October 2022
  18. Oppressive language of anti-Jehovah people does more than represent violence
  19. Intermarriage and Protecting the state of the Jewish and/or Jeshuaist family
  20. Belonging to or being judged by
  21. Need to Embrace People Where They Are

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L'égalité n'est pas secondaire face aux défis majeurs de notre époque. Croire l'inverse reviendrait à prendre le problème à l'envers.

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  6. We’re All Going to Die: Doctors
  7. Shocking News from the White House!!!: EU, transgender peoples, bathrooms and disagreements.
  8. Transphobia: a debate that is perhaps wisest to sit out.
  9. Imprecise pronouns
  10. Oh, come on, or: Srsly?
  11. Gender-neutral, or: Girly
  12. America’s (Two) Social Commandments
  13. The Tail Of A Winner: A Ten Commandments’ Tale
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  18. Unprecedented South Dakota Bill Aims to Erase LGBTQ People From Public Life Entirely
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  29. Non-binary genders
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  31. College students are increasingly identifying in ways other than’she’ and ‘he.’
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  47. Is It Men Behaving Badly or Is It Us? Help-Hiding in Men
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  49. I Just Want to Understand the Other Boys
  50. US libraries face ‘unprecedented’ efforts to ban books on race and gender themes
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  52. Biblical Sexuality and Gender Bibliography
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  68. Mulher transexual tem direito a cirurgia plástica mamária feita pelo SUS
  69. La verdad sobre el supuesto trío de Fernando Carrillo con una modelo transexual
  70. Asesinaron a Alejandra Ironici, la primera mujer trans que cambió su género en el DNI sin ir a la Justicia
  71. La insólita historia del transexual que denunció a un ginecólogo porque no lo atendió
  72. Revictimización, discriminación e indiferencia: la realidad de las personas trans en Latinoamérica

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Questions asked, Welfare matters

Saudi Arabia Calls On Muslims To Sight Ramadan Crescent Moon On Friday Evening

Belgium is one of the European countries with the highest number of Muslims. According to a demographic study carried out in 2010, Belgium has 623,780 Muslims, i.e. 5.8% of the population. Islam is thus the second religion in the country after Christianity.
Ramadan is therefore part of multicultural Belgium, and Belgian Muslims look forward to it every year and celebrate it with the same joy as Muslims around the world.

Ramadan 2022/1443 will begin in Belgium on Sunday 3/4/2022, according to astronomical calculations. For the year 2022, the night of doubt will be on Saturday 2/4, based on an astronomical calculation.

Another “night of doubt” is observed at the end of the month to define the last of the fasting month. Although in recent years astrological calculation has gradually replaced the sight of the crescent moon.

Date du début de ramadan 2022/1443 en Belgique

AMRAH

PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has called on all Muslims through the Kingdom to sight the crescent moon of the holy month of Ramadan on Friday evening, state news agency (SPA) reported on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court called on Whoever sight the crescent moon by naked eyes or through binoculars to report to the nearest court and register their their testimony, or to contact the nearest relevant department to guide them to the nearest court.

Muslims follow a lunar calendar consisting of 12 months in a year of 354 or 355 days. Sighting a crescent moon heralds the start of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

More than 1.5 billion Muslims around the world will mark the month, during which believers abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, and having marital relations from dawn until sunset. They also try to avoid evil thoughts and deeds.

Ramadan is sacred…

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New rules in Belgium to stop the spread of coronavirus

 

 

When we look around us we have the impression that there are a lot of folks who seem to come from another planet where they do not know that there is a dangerous virus going around this globe. They do not take any precautions to avoid the virus spreading further. In case much more people would have kept a distance and wearing mouth masks as well having had a vaccination, we would have already for a long time some more normal life. But now, because of so many not taking enough precautions, we have a yo-yo effect because the government does not want to listen enough to the medics but prefer to find a balance with the economic sector.

The government has set once more some rules to stop the spread of coronavirus.
They and we can only hope that more people shall come to see the seriousness of this disease and shall follow these rules. This way, you will avoid becoming ill or making others ill.
Thank you for following them.
Together we’ll stop the coronavirus.

Please remember:

 

Please note: Some cities and towns have stricter rules. For example, in cities where not enough people have been vaccinated, such as in Brussels. Check the website of the city or town.But generally you can say we have to respect the basic principles

  • hygiene measures (e.g. washing hands, coughing and sneezing hygiene)
  • we have to keep the distance rule = the safety distance of 1.5 m is the norm,
  • outdoor activities should be prioritised wherever possible. Where necessary, indoor areas must be adequately ventilated;
  • wear breath protection i.e. mouth mask worn correctly (nose and mouth completely covered): The mouth mask obligation has been further extended and is widely used from the age of 10. For example, you will also have to wear a mouth mask when moving around in the hospitality industry.
  • Teleworking will again become compulsory for positions that lend themselves to it. If your boss does not wants to do it, try to convince him for keeping to this rule.
  • The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) is extended to include a mouth mask requirement in the following sectors:
    • public events and private meetings with more than 50 persons inside or more than 100 persons outside,
    • catering industry, also when private meetings take place
    • theatres, concert halls, music halls, cabarets and other performing arts facilities, cultural centres and multi-purpose halls for cultural activities, indoor circuses, cinemas, museums and (indoor) amusement and theme parks.

Measures per region

Journeys

In Belgium

  • You are allowed to move around freely.
  • If you are using public transport (bus, tram or train) and are you older than 12 years of age, wear a face mask covering your mouth and nose.

Travelling abroad

Shops and catering industry

  • All shops are open.
    • When you enter the store disinfect your hands first. Wear a face mask.
    • Do you own a shop? Read the guide by the FPS Economy.
  • Markets are being organized.
  • Night shops are open.
  • Hairdressers and other non-medical contact professions, such as pedicure and beauty salons, are open. Wear a face mask.

Bars and restaurants

  • Bars and restaurants are open.
  • You need to have a Covid Safe Ticket. You can find your Covid Safe Ticket at www.covidsafe.be or via the CovidSafeBE app.

Sports and leisure

  • Events or shows can be organized, for example theatre, professional sports competitions or concerts.
  • Organized activities, such as sports clubs or associations, are allowed.
  • Religious services are allowed.
  • You can practice sports anywhere.
  • Dance clubs and night bars are open

Caution:

  • In some places you need to wear a face mask indoors. For example: in libraries, theater halls, concert halls, sports centers, etc.
  • In some places you need a Covid Safe Ticket. For example: at large-scale events, in dance clubs and in fitness centers.
    • You can find your Covid Safe Ticket at www.covidsafe.be or via the CovidSafeBE app.
    • Do you have to show a Covid Safe Ticket? Then wearing a face mask is no longer mandatory.

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3 Things Black People Wish White People Understood

In Europe we regularly see some films and news clips that portray American culture, giving us the impression that there is still a big problem with the attitude of white Americans opposite black people.

The Writer Erin a writer on Tarot, Soul, Spirituality, Culture, and Mytho-tainment, believes that

Living in America is a very interesting conundrum. On one hand, it is a free country, the land of opportunity, and a melting pot of cultures and perspectives.

We may have the idea that it is a free country, but see that it is not so free for many coloured people, and that lots of Americans think their own individual freedom goes above the freedom of others.
The article writer admits also that the U.S.A. is often a painful place for people of colour. She writes

For black people in particular, it’s a place where our ancestors traumas have carried over into our present.

We agree that here in blue Smurf country (Belgium) by football- or soccer fans we also do find a lot of racists, though lots of soccer players over here are dark-skinned. More than once they get banana peels and awful language thrown at them. But in the U.S.A. it seems to go much further:

Systemic racism, like inequalities in housing, banking, education, and healthcare are serious aspects of our trauma.

says the American coloured writer. She continues

But another, that we don’t think is quite understood enough, is our experience with not being heard and with having our pain disregarded by people who are simply too uncomfortable to listen.

In many countries that is a big problem, that the majority does not want to know and does not listen to sounds which should alarm them, indicating that there is racism around them.

We disagree with Secrets of HIV-Aids Journal where writes

Belgium and American journalists for decades have the delight to support the lies, deceptions, and crimes of their governments, politically and medically, but now they are finding it uncomfortable because an African journalist is in their mist exposing their crimes. {Belgium and America have something in common, the killing and disfiguring of black people}

Already many decades, several Flemish writers in Belgium talked about bad conditions for African people in Belgium as well as in the colonies. After World War II we regularly got to read stories of what had happened in the previous centuries by certain people who used the colonies for their own financial gain at the human cost. That writer of the article says he is already living in Belgium for twenty years and want his readers to believe that

no one hears of a killing of a black man, doesn’t mean that everything is normal in the country.

His idea of black people to

wake up each morning to see statues and streets named after the lunatic King Leopold II, whose relatives, the royal family, together with the Belgian government feel comfortable about it.

gives a distorted view of how black people manage to cope or have difficulties with the previous history of colonisation, which for sure is not such a good one, but it is ridiculous to do away with that history. Denying what happened in the past, taking away all the statues of the previous colonisers would fade away that important part of Belgium history. It would be the same bad thing if we would take away the statues of all historical figures who did something wrong, and as such would have all the street nameplates that remind us of Napoleon, Ferdinand Foch, Pinochet, Marshal Bugeaud, Bertrand Clauzel, Reagan, Nixon, Adolfo Calero, Arturo Cruz and Alfonso Robelo, and other human rights violators, Spanish and Austrian king, princes and rulers.

According to history, the Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler, killed over 6 million Jews. The shame Hitler brought to Germany, forced the country’s leaders to change the name of the streets after him, moreover, everything relating to Hilter was banned.

writes who continues denying the fact that in the last 2 decades many street names in Belgium, have been changed because the officials no longer considered it appropriate to display the name of a controversial figure on street signs or in public squares.

Belgian National Leopold II monument in Brussels

That is not the case in Belgium, a country that planned to destroy Congo and the people for losing its colony. The Belgian government and the royal family are happy that the big statue of Leopold II riding on a horse is not easy for demonstrators to pull down but they will pull it down, unfortunately, that time will be too late.

The Belgian Congo (dark green) shown alongside Ruanda-Urundi (light green), 1935

Belgian Congo, former colony (coextensive with the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo) in Africa, ruled by Belgium from 1908 until 1960.

He also goes a bridge too far in claiming that Belgium’s aim was to destroy Congo. That was not the case at all. Several police and business leaders may not have been shy about exploiting the local population, but on the other hand there were many more people who really wanted to make a positive contribution, albeit sometimes with a wrongly coloured vision, and who did a wonderful job without humiliating or abusing the coloured people.

In the article of The Writer Erin, is expressed the hope to summarize 3 things that black people wishes white people understood.

If well meaning white people wonder why

“we can’t just all come together and get along”,

the writer does hope that her article may be a great place to start. She writes

And truthfully, most black people are angered when faced with these issues because we think white people should understand this innately.

However, everyone hasn’t walked in our shoes and everyone doesn’t understand the world from our point of view.

Don’t get me wrong, I am aware that all black people don’t share these views. All black Americans aren’t ancestors of slaves. And all blacks haven’t been culturalized in our communities.

But I can say that there are general overarching beliefs and themes and for the most part, these feelings and beliefs are patterns in the black American psyche.

Please continue reading the articles:

  1. 3 Things Black People Wish White People Understood
  2. Belgium and America have something in common, the killing and disfiguring of black people

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Preceding

From Guestwriters 2016 in review

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Additional reading

  1. Martin Luther King’s Dream Today (Our world)Martin Luther King’s Dream Today (Some view on the world)
  2. Arson attack carried out on Stevenage Central Mosque (Our world)Arson attack carried out on Stevenage Central Mosque (Some view on the world)
  3. Speciesism and racism (Our world) = Speciesism and racism (Some view on the world)
  4. Rome mobilisation to say no to fascism and racism (Our world)Rome mobilisation to say no to fascism and racism (Some view on the world)
  5. Apartheid or Apartness #2 Up to 2nd part 20th Century
  6. Trump going over the top bringing a blasphemous act (Our world)Trump going over the top bringing a blasphemous act
  7. Don’t Envy the World (Our world) = Don’t Envy the World (Some view on the world)
  8. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart (Our world)Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart (Some view on the world)
  9. “Black lives matter!” a statement of proclamation (Our world)“Black lives matter!” a statement of proclamation (Some view on the world)

+++

Related

  1. Belgium and America have something in common, the killing and disfiguring of black people
  2. Police departments struggling to hire, especially minorities
  3. Stop Saying We Need More Black Doctors, Lawyers, etc.!
  4. The Apartheid killers of South Africa
  5. Black people are dying more than any other people on this planet – Wangari Maathai
  6. Those Orleans girls are still racist (or STUPID at best)
  7. A History of Jake Bird in North Omaha
  8. The Average White Guy Game
  9. Trolls or Smurfs… a tale of microaggressions and boundaries
  10. Building Little Harlems Around the Globe
  11. Numb to Racism – The Life of a Tennis Player
  12. truth about White colonization in Africa / White woman Dropping Facts about African History & Racism
  13. It is a scientific tautology to say black people are prone to pandemics
  14. Arguing With Black People Over Black Culture

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Flash Floods Are Proof That Climate Disaster Is Already Here

To remember:

Mary Dhonau is one of the leading flood risk experts in the UK, and says we all need to be concerned about the proliferation of so-called “super basements” in areas like Kensington and Chelsea.

“There are a lot of celebrities in those areas – Simon Cowell, Kate Garraway, Brian May – and they were all flooded,”

“A lot of them have these super basements, and when you stop and think of the earth that has been excavated to accommodate all these projects, that’s earth that would have absorbed water had it still been there.”

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We will almost certainly not avoid climate emergency now. As the Met Office puts it:

“Even if we were to stop all emissions today, we would not prevent some changes. However, the sooner we cut emissions, the smaller the changes will be.”

There is no longer time to stop the process; that ship has well and truly sailed. But there is still time to mitigate the worst of its damage.

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Perhaps the question of ‘what can we do?’ is not the right one to ask after all; a self-lacerating response engendered by a society that has gaslit us into believing that it’s our plastic straws that are to blame – rather than, you know, the 71 percent of all carbon emissions that come from just 100 companies.

“The onus is on the government to reduce emissions,”

Juliet Kinsman adds.

“That’s why they exist, to protect every member of society. We all have to think what we can do more, of course, but essentially this is on the government, private sector, and manufacturing to think of solutions.”

Matthew Neale

Credit: Twitter/Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

On the evening of the 12th of July, bookseller Lynn Gaspard received a text from her mother, concerned that their west London bookshop would flood yet again. “We were really worried,” she says over the phone, “but thinking, ‘What can we do?”

It’s a desperate question that has reverberated around the world, perhaps this month more than ever. The floods that have swept across the southeast of England in July caused significant property damage, leading to evacuations in London – on the 12th of July and, remarkably, again on Sunday – and the cancellation of Standon Calling festival.

But they are not yet comparable to the devastation in Germany and Belgium, where over 180 people were killed in flash floods, nor the horrific scenes of submerged homes in India or flooded subway train carriages in China. In the UK, many are praying that it…

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Are the European floods linked to the climate crisis?

Almost certainly. Scientists have long predicted climate disruption will lead to more extreme weather, such as heatwaves, droughts and floods. Human emissions from engine exhaust fumes, forest burning and other activities are heating the planet. As the atmosphere gets warmer it holds more moisture which brings more rain. All the places that recently experienced flooding – Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, London, Edinburgh, Tokyo and elsewhere – might have had heavy summer rain even without the climate crisis, but the deluges were unlikely to have been as intense.

There has not yet been an attribution study for the latest floods in Europe because the analysis takes several days.

Please continue reading: What is causing the floods in Europe?

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Investigating how climate affects intense rainstorms across Europe, climate experts have shown there will be a significant future increase in the occurrence of slow-moving intense rainstorms.

The scientists estimate that these slow-moving storms may be 14 times more frequent across land by the end of the century. It is these slow-moving storms that have the potential for very high precipitation accumulations, with devastating impacts, as we saw in Germany and Belgium.

Professor Lizzie Kendon, Science Fellow at the Met Office and Professor at Bristol University, said:

“This study shows that in addition to the intensification of rainfall with global warming, we can also expect a big increase in slow-moving storms which have the potential for high rainfall accumulations. This is very relevant to the recent flooding seen in Germany and Belgium, which highlights the devastating impacts of slow-moving storms.

“Our finding that slow-moving intense rainstorms could be 14 times more frequent by the end of the century under the high emissions RCP8.5 scenario, shows the serious impacts that we may expect across Europe if we do not curb our emissions of greenhouse gases.”

The study findings are relevant to climate mitigation and adaptation policy in Europe, with specific implications for future flooding impacts, the design of infrastructure systems, and the management of water resources.

Currently, almost stationary intense rainstorms are uncommon in Europe and happen rarely over parts of the Mediterranean Sea. Accurate predictions of future changes in intense rainfall events are key to putting effective adaptation and mitigation plans in place to limit the adverse impacts of climate change.

> Extreme Storms Will Be More Likely In Europe Research Shows

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Heaving had too much rain

A Drop Of Rain” shall not harm, but the last few weeks here in Belgium we had enough water and could witness some very major cloudbursts that caused huge water and mudflows. In 262 villages the damage was horrible. In Wallonia the clean-up shall take several weeks but now mountains of rubbish start already towering above the horizon.

De ramp bovenop de overstromingen: hoe de hulpverlening in Wallonië volledig in het honderd loopt

Photo: Marc Gysen – Nieuwsblad

This year in several countries there is no reason at all to sing and dance in the rain.

Everyone will understand that the assistance and crisis management for one of the largest floods ever experienced in our country was and is a feat. Days (weeks) people did not get to see much help from the government, but luckily lots of citizens of this country showed to the government that this is not such a split country as many politicians want many to believe. While there appears to be a total lack of coordination, ordinary citizens have plucked up the courage to go miles away to offer help to the residents in the affected areas.

Many flood victims literally have nothing left. Only what they have on. Soon civic initiatives were launched. In several villages all over the country, there were collected warm blankets, sheets, non-perishable food, etc..

Dirt left behind by water in the July 2021 flood

In the face of this huge water disaster that has swept over Wallonia and West Germany, we have noticed a wave of great solidarity. The terrible thing also shows something very beautiful, namely the solidarity of ordinary people with their fellow man, while politicians sit around bickering and talking about setting up committees instead of rolling up their sleeves.

When there is a setback– a death, an accident, loss of job, or something of that sort – there is nothing funny. It doesn’t sound good to laugh at any of this. What looks appropriate in this condition is crying, cursing, expressing grief or all these expressions. {Finding Humour In Tragedy}

Belgium and West Germany are hit by an enormous disaster. Lots of families have lost close relatives and have seen their house and/or business seen destroyed by the strong mass of water which seemed to have had an unknown power.

It is difficult for anyone to move on without these expressions. The time taken for moving on depends on person to person and the degree of loss. Like everyone knows the bigger the loss, the more time it will take to heal. {Finding Humour In Tragedy}

But in the small details and by the many people who have come to help, several victims of this natural disaster were able to find some light in the dusk and occasionally got a smile on their face of satisfaction, that ordinary people had not abandoned them after all, as father state seemed to have done, or rather seems to be incapable of intervening with any real help.

Receiving some smile at several moments in the day of hard work getting rid of all the filthy gunk, makes saving the day. More often, crying is more near than laughing. But in these circumstances, we can see that laughing at a problem gives power and a sense of control over it. Otherwise, depression sets in and worsens the situation.

After the July flooding in Pépinster solidarity to clean-up, August 2021

Who would not be displeased and depressed to see a life’s work wiped off the map in a few minutes?

Much too often we hear voices expressing their thankfulness for those citizens from all over the country who came to help, though they also feel abandoned by the governement.

“Everything, everything, we had to do here ourselves. Where was the army? The police? Once we saw them. Then they came to save people. But they had already been rescued by family, by friends, by random people who came from everywhere. It’s fantastic, but it shouldn’t have been like this. There are also people whose job it is to help us,”

is a much-heard expression.

Wherever you go to ask in the villages where the Ourthe and the Vesdre suddenly seemed like the Amazon last week, so big, people speak highly of the volunteers. They were there as soon as they could be. They understood what was needed. They cooked, mopped, dragged, comforted. Some were young, others old. Sometimes they hardly spoke French, but Arabic, Dutch or Flemish. Everyone speaks of strangers who suddenly turned up with buckets and sponges, who cleaned whole houses from top to bottom and moved on without waiting for a ‘thank you’.

This is something “magical” and worth remembering how such a disaster brought so many people close to each other. The difficulty to cope with this situation was soothed by the helping hands. For years those traumatised people shall have to try to rebuild their life.

Not dealing with emotions or any kind of disaster will not get anyone out of that trauma. Instead, depression, anxiety and many more problems will arise in no time. {Finding Humour In Tragedy}

The coming days and months it shall be up to insurance companies and to the governments of the affected states or Länder, to do the restoration and healing work.

Wallonia is licking its wounds. Now that the water has receded everywhere, the devastation becomes clear and the living conditions for thousands of people have become very precarious.
After the drama of the floods, a second small disaster may now occur. It appears that many people are not insured, and will therefore not be able to claim financial support from the Walloon Disaster Fund. This appears to be the case in Verviers.

12 August: Cleanup Floods à Olne / Fraipont / Trooz ” grand nettoyage après les inondations ” Kan een afbeelding zijn van één of meer mensen, staande mensen en buitenshuisMoirivay, 4877 Olne, Belgique

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A Pepinster des milliers d’habitants ont encore besoin d’aide
Les premiers bénévoles venus sur place nous ont dit avoir besoin de relève.
De très nombreuses personnes manquent encore de vivres pour se nourrir décemment chaque jour.

Vous pouvez faire un don, leur préparer un repas , des crêpes.
Un travail de nettoyage est encore nécessaire.

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Duizenden inwoners hebben nog steeds hulp nodig in Pepinster De eerste vrijwilligers die ter plaatse kwamen, vertelden ons dat ze hulp nodig hadden. Heel veel mensen hebben nog steeds niet het voedsel om elke dag fatsoenlijk te eten. Je kunt doneren, een maaltijd voor ze koken, pannenkoeken Een schoonmaakklus is nog steeds noodzakelijk.

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Preceding

A dangerous turning point – Earth facing the collapse of everything

Europe’s catastrophic flooding was forecast well in advance – what went so wrong?

Europe Floods: Death Toll Over 110 as Rescues Continue

Kolkende watermassa’s doorheen de straten

Faalt de overheid in aanpak van de overstromingen?

Open Discussie Zomer 2021

Overstromingen in Limburg, Duitsland en België door extreem zware buien

Toename van de kosten van extreem weer mogelijk onderschat

Solidariteit en hulpgoederen

Fraipont na de zondvloed, tussen miserie en veerkracht

De medische nood blijft hoog

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Related

  1. Wateroverlast in het midden van de zomer
  2. Waterramp voor Wallonië, Vlaams-Brabant en Limburg
  3. Maas niet bevaarbaar door drijfhout en de te sterke stroming
  4. New Flooding Leaves Trail of Destruction in Dinant, Belgium
  5. Floods in Germany, Belgium Destroy Homes, Leaving Dozens Dead
  6. The flooding swept away homes and part of a castle in western Germany.
  7. Dark Stuff
  8. Cleanup efforts underway following deadly, disastrous flooding in Europe
  9. Rescuers race to prevent more deaths from European floods
  10. Climate disruption is not just the heat, it’s also the flooding
  11. Europe flood death toll tops 160, costly rebuilding ahead
  12. 07/17/21 BBC: Europe floods: Rescuers race to find survivors as hundreds remain missing
  13. German Of The Day: Kriegsgebiet
  14. Watch compilations Europe flooding (July 2021)
  15. Floods in Luxembourg
  16. Death toll from European flooding passes 180 as rescuers search debris
  17. What is causing the floods in Europe?
  18. German Wine Regions Devastated by Flooding
  19. Heatwave continues, flooding in europe and other parts of the world, “freedom day” has arrived.
  20. Parts of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany experienced devastating floods in… – MMF Social Media Hub
  21. Extreme Storms Will Be More Likely In Europe Research Shows
  22. Belgium Hit With Renewed Flooding
  23. Floodwaters inundate England
  24. Flash Floods Are Proof That Climate Disaster Is Already Here
  25. Germany flood loss near EUR 5bn, likely a single event for reinsurance: AIR
  26. How well is flooding managed where you live?
  27. After the deluge …
  28. Flooding & Factions

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You’ll Probably Get Covid-19 Eventually. But Avoid It for as Long as You Can.

That even people who had two injections of anti-covid-vaccines are not totally safe, was proved by the several who still got infected with the delta variant and the 8 deaths from the elderly home in Belgium.

Dewayne-Net Archives

You’ll Probably Get Covid-19 Eventually. But Avoid It for as Long as You Can.
The next six months of this pandemic may look dispiriting. But that doesn’t mean we’re doomed.
By Melody Schreiber
Aug 6 2021
https://newrepublic.com/article/163186/youll-probably-get-covid-eventually-avoid-long-can

“Hot vax summer” never quite materialized. For parents, like me, and other caregivers with vulnerable family members, it wasn’t clear what exactly we could do safely. Now, as Covid-19 cases in the United States spike and we learn that vaccinated people may transmit the delta variant to others, we are all donning masks again and gritting our teeth in preparation for more restrictions. And we’re wondering: Will it always be like this?

The science is pretty clear: SARS-CoV-2 is here to stay. It will become endemic, which means the virus will continue circulating through humans and animals in the next few years. Elimination, where the virus is almost entirely quashed, is possible, but…

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Paper Flowers~How To

In Belgium there is a long tradition at the coastline to “sell” paper flowers for shells.
Exchanging shells for paper flowers is a beautiful tradition that should not be lost. In schools today, the tradition of making paper flowers is not given much attention, so it is not bad to look at examples from other countries.

Unlike other countries the paper flowers are not for the Día de los Muertos, but for celebrating life. So no Mexican version of Halloween but an explosion of colour and life-affirming joy.

 

Find also to read:

Day of the Dead~ Did You Know?

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Related

  1. History and Future
    Mexican Folk Art
    Day of the Dead (1957)

    All Saints’ And Souls’

  2. Blues of all Shades

    Custom Día de los Muertos leather jacket

Mws R Writings


How to Make Paper Flowers for Day of the Dead

Step-by-step instructions for making paper flowers for Day of the Dead. How to make paper flowers easy, how to make tissue paper flowers, Mexican paper flowers. #tissuepaperflowers #paperflowers #Mexicanpaperflowers #dayofthedead

Day of the Dead is coming up on Sunday and Monday. We set up our alter last weekend and are beginning to decorate it with candles, incense, and pictures of loved ones who have passed. Today I will place a little jar of salt on the alter to represent the earth and to cleanse the spirit. The final piece will be the colorful addition of large paper flowers.

Step-by-step instructions for making paper flowers for Day of the Dead. How to make paper flowers easy, how to make tissue paper flowers, Mexican paper flowers. #tissuepaperflowers #paperflowers #Mexicanpaperflowers #dayofthedead

In Mexico, enormous fresh marigolds in red, orange, and yellow are used to decorate the graves and alters but paper flowers are also popular and are often strung together to make elaborate garlands which are draped overhead and along the edges of the gravestones.

Step-by-step instructions for making paper flowers for Day of the Dead. How to make paper flowers easy, how to make tissue paper flowers, Mexican paper flowers. #tissuepaperflowers #paperflowers #Mexicanpaperflowers #dayofthedead

I amnot, not, not a crafter so believe me when I tell you they are very simple to make. All you need is one package of colorful…

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Europe’s catastrophic flooding was forecast well in advance – what went so wrong?

Almost 200 people dead and many others still missing. Billions of euros’ worth of damage. Communities devastated. Thousands of homes destroyed and their occupants traumatised.

Hannah Cloke  advises the Environment Agency, the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, the Copernicus Emergency Management Service, local and national governments and humanitarian agencies on the forecasting and warning of natural hazards. She is a Council member of the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council, a fellow of the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, a fellow of the Centre for Natural Hazards & Disaster Science in Sweden and is also affiliated to Uppsala University in Sweden. Her research is funded by the UKRI Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

I am a flood forecaster who helped to set up the forecasting system that was used to predict the recent floods in Germany and surrounding countries. I saw days in advance that they were coming. I read reports of rainfall and river levels rising. And then I watched with growing horror as the death toll surged.

The European Flood Awareness System (EFAS), which I helped to set up, is part of the EU’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service. It provides early information on flooding to national and local authorities across Europe. I work closely with people there in my role as an independent flood scientist at the University of Reading to improve and analyse EFAS data. I don’t work in the team that issues early flood information to authorities, but looking at the data with colleagues, I could see early on just how serious the floods looked.

Forecasts on Friday July 9 and Saturday 10 for the Rhine catchment, covering Germany and Switzerland, had shown a high probability of flooding that would begin on Tuesday July 13. Subsequent forecasts also showed the Meuse in Belgium would be affected. The forecasts in the following days showed that there was little doubt that a major flood was coming.

EFAS sends out bulletins of early information which are designed to be read, understood and acted on by experts. They are not directly available to the public. Public flood warnings come from the national and regional weather, environment and civil protection agencies, and EFAS information needs to be used by these authorities alongside their own forecasts.

The first EFAS bulletin was sent to the relevant national authorities on Saturday July 10. More updates continued over the following days as more precise predictions became available. Formal flood notifications were issued to authorities in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg, as well as the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) of the European Commission throughout Monday and Tuesday. As the event neared and uncertainty in the forecast shrank, the predicted start of the flooding was pushed to Wednesday for smaller rivers and Thursday for the larger downstream rivers. Around 25 individual warnings were sent out to parts of the Rhine and Meuse.

The German weather service, DWD, had independently forecast extremely high rainfall too and issued warnings for more than 200 mm of rain in the same areas several days ahead of time, saying that flooding was possible. Regional warnings were also issued, for example by the Environment Agency in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, one of the areas hit particularly hard by flooding.

The floods that did happen matched the scale and distribution of those that were forecast several days before. I was very surprised, therefore, that so many people died, given that authorities knew about the event and had sufficient warnings to get people to safety before the floods began.

Where flood warnings fail

Clearly, tragically, the whole system designed to save lives by ensuring people act on warnings before floods arrive, did not work as it should have done. It may be that individual parts of the system worked exactly as they were designed, and it is certainly true that forecasts were accurate, and there were some warnings issued through official channels. In some areas, many authorities did act in time, to evacuate people, erect temporary flood defences, and move vehicles to higher ground. But this clearly did not happen everywhere.

In the middle of an election campaign, some German leaders in national and regional government still seemed to defend the locally-devolved nature of disaster management in Germany, insisting that the warnings were adequate and agencies did their work well. It is like claiming that the maiden voyage of the Titanic was a success because 99% of its engineering worked perfectly throughout. While their arguments may be true on an individual scale, unless those in power admit that the system ultimately failed, they risk failing to learn lessons and put others at risk in the future.

Science, in large part, is about helping people see the invisible. What is the use of a perfect forecast if the people it is supposed to warn cannot see the danger they are in? Effective flood warnings require people to be able to see into the future and imagine their house full of water, to assess the likelihood of that happening, and to see the multiple paths they could take to keep them, their family, and their property safe.


Read more: Report from Europe’s flood zone: researcher calls out early warning system gridlock amid shocking loss of life


I recently took part in an exercise encouraging scientists, from senior professors to school pupils, to trace the path of water in a river through time using just their imagination. Weeks later, we are seeing what happens when people cannot visualise the threat of a river ripping down their street, or a lake appearing in their house. These are the elements of flood warnings that must improve.

As climate change increases risks from heatwaves, fires and floods, we need to not only slash emissions but prepare ourselves for the problems we already have in store. Even with sufficient decarbonisation measures – which we are still yet to see from any major government – there is no avoiding the consequences of a hotter, more turbulent environment.

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Suggested further reading

McEwan, L., Garde-Hansen, J., Holmes, A., Jones, O. & Krause, R. (2016). Sustainable flood memories, lay knowledges and the development of community resilience to future flood risk. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 42, 14 – 28. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12149.

Alexander, M., Priest, S. & Penning-Roswell, E. (2017). The risk of ill-informed reform: The future for English flood risk management. Area, 50, 426 – 429. https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12393.

Forrest, S., Trell, E. & Woltjer, J. (2018). Civil society contributions to local level flood resilience: Before, during and after the 2015 Boxing Day floods in the Upper Calder Valley. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 44, 422 – 436. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12279.

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Ecological affairs, Headlines - News, Lifestyle, Nature, Welfare matters, World affairs

Europe Floods: Death Toll Over 110 as Rescues Continue

Probably we are looking at more than 150 victims of the heavy rain and flooding which took parts of Germany, Belgium and the South of the Netherlands. Authorities said late Thursday that about 1,300 people in Germany were still listed missing, but cautioned that the high figure could be due to duplication of data and difficulties reaching people because of disrupted roads and phone connections.

In Belgium, Pepinster, Theux, Chaudfontaine, Spa, Liège a.o. got enough water to forget draughts for months. Most of the drowned were found around Liege, where the rains hit hardest. Skies were largely overcast in eastern Belgium, with hopes rising that the worst of the calamity was over.

Please find this report about the flash floods this week which followed days of heavy rainfall, sweeping away cars and causing houses to collapse across the region.

“Some parts of Western Europe … received up to two months of rainfall in the space of two days. What made it worse is that the soils were already saturated by previous rainfall,”

said Clare Nullis, spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization.

Those who keep saying Climate chance is an invention of revolutionaries and lefties, should have a better look of how our weather becomes unpredictable.

Extreme weather events are hitting Europe more frequently as climate change warms the continent, experts agree.

2020 was Europe’s hottest year since records began over 300 years ago, according to analysis of global weather stations by Berkeley Earth, and eight of the 10 hottest ever years have been in the past decade.

The continent’s average temperature is now roughly 2C warmer than it was at the start of the 20th century – an increase that has come with a growth in extreme weather.

For example, warmer air holds more water which, in turn, can lead to extreme downpours.

Please find to read and watch another video > Europe Floods: Death Toll Over 110 as Rescues Continue by Frank Jordans

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Plastic Free July is coming

In Belgium the government has already done somewhat to avoid plastic waste. Nowhere in shops and supermarkets, plastic bags are presented. Vegetables can be bought by placing them in the basket without a bag, or with paper bags provided by the shop, or in the reusable cotton bags.

Ear buds and a lot of body-care and make-up items are now all made of paper. But for the reusable cups, it is striking that they are not yet sufficiently reused … So there is still a lot of work to be done.

 

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Preceding

Plastic world under control

Helping end plastic waste

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Additional reading

  1. Freshwater, marine and coastal pollution
  2. The European Union – the environmental challenges and your voice
  3. Stepping forward with public commitments for Making different sectors carbon neutral by 2050
  4. Green Deal: new EU rules on limiting importing and exporting plastic waste

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Further related

  1. Plastic Pollution
    Too Much Plastic Waste on the Beaches
  2. How ‘Forever’ Can Be Destructive
  3. Plastics Waste in the Time of CoronaPlastic and Ocean
  4. Global Plastic Waste Contributors
  5. Plastic waste’s poisonous journey through food chain
  6. Ocean Plastic: Women Who Bear the Brunt, Women Who are at the Front
  7. The Future of our Oceans: Are we getting ‘Hung Up’ on the wrong issue?
  8. Formations of different Plastic
  9. Are your clothes feeding the fish?
  10. Just Keep Recycling: How Can We Save Our Oceans From Fashion Pollution?
  11. Reducing Our Plastic Waste Footprint
  12. What Is Plastic Waste & Why It Is The World’s Biggest Problem?
  13. These Four Plastic Items Make Up Almost Half Of All Ocean Trash
  14. Drive to rid world of plastic bags in spotlight
  15. EU bans some single use plastics
  16. Different Plastic Types & Which Types of Plastic can be Recycled?
  17. Microbes in cow stomachs can help break down plastic
  18. New method turns biodegradable plastics into foam to combat pollution
  19. An End to Pennsylvania’s Preemption on Local Single-use Plastic Laws?
  20. 5 Sneaky Plastics To Avoid This Plastic-Free July
  21. A Guide To Plastic Free July
  22. Thousands Sign Petition To Ban Plastic Packaging For All Non-Food Items

Recycle IT

What can you do this July?

Plastic Free July®is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics? Choosing to refuse plastic packaging in July might be an option for you!

Ask you family, friends, sports club or office to commit stop buying or using items packed in single-use plastic. Swap to a reusable alternative. For example, you could swap out takeaway coffee cups for a reusable one, you could start buying plastic-free toothbrushes or use a personal reusable water bottles and so on.

Plastic Free Poster 1

Can you Refuse’ Single Use Plastic?

Each year in July people all over the world aim to exclude plastic bottles, cutlery, fruit packing, coffee cup lids and other common…

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A looming danger for youngsters

It looks like CoViD-19 is going to be here around for many more months and companies are feeling the pressure of more difficult months to come. (Worldwide at the moment 16.341.179 infected, 650.792 deaths)

Some companies already make misuse to re-organise or restructure their business. Several layoffs are in the air.

Shannon Allen, a Second Year Undergraduate student studying Sociology at the University of Portsmouth, gives some advice to her peers at her blog Bloggit. she gives some key tips for gaining experience, especially in digital marketing, and seems herself also on the lookout for groups or media posters, perhaps to find like-minded young women who will literally chat about anything and everything!

She also started volunteering with a local volunteering centre, and with good reason brings this under attention, because many more people should find such a way to use the free time they have now in lockdown. Also, for those who work now from home, a lot of time has come free because they do not have to lose so many hours in traffic for going to work.

For the other free time and for meeting others, at night, she writes

Often, when I see my friends there is alcohol involved, often leading up to a night out. As the clubs have remained shut in England, this has been off the cards so we have had much more trips to the park or the beach, and nights in watching Disney+ and playing on the Nintendo Switch. It is so important to spend quality time with people, especially as after next year we probably won’t see each other very often as we start the next chapter of our lives. {Boost the positive vibes!}

We only hope she does not come together any more with more than 5 people, who would always be the same people from the same circle or bubble. In Belgium and France we have seen too many youngsters gathering in all sorts of venues like nothing is at hand and corona would not exist. Such irresponsible attitude is totally disrespectful to all health care providers.

Instead of clutching or to stick together those youngsters could meet more via social media and use more time to take some extra schooling.

Miss Allen writes

Over lockdown, I have been trying to complete as many online courses as I can. {Experience Unlocks Doors!}

which is a very good idea which we would promote very much.

A good place to look for these, if you’re looking at digital marking related ones, is the google digital garage and futurelearn*. I have also started an 3 day internship with ‘Brightside’, in ‘Business, Operations and Marketing’, which was free to join and you also gain a certificate from! It involves networking with business professionals and learning key skills within this business realm. {Experience Unlocks Doors!}

LinkedIn Logo 2013.svgFor sure what is going to be very important in the coming months is to make sure there are job securities to look at. As such it is not bad to make yourself already be known on the business and employment-oriented online service LinkedIn and to search for job/ voluntary roles and groups

LinkedIn is a great way to start, it tailors role ads to your cv, depending on your experience and where you live. It is also a great place to find groups to join that post related content. Following tags is the simplest way to start, for example I follow #digitalmarketing which is regularly updated with interesting posts. {Experience Unlocks Doors!}

*

Ed.note:

File:MOOC poster mathplourde.pngMassive open online course (MOOC) aimes at unlimited participation and open access via the web

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Related

  1. EU Symbols
  2. Getting Through
  3. Every child must believe in himself!
  4. The Right to Education
  5. 18 Reasons to Volunteer Your Time
  6. The Best Idea I’ve Ever Had
  7. Get involved
  8. Virtual Volunteering – 10 ways you can make a difference even while social distancing!
  9. Renew the contract
  10. My Animal Sanctuary Volunteeting Experience
  11. My Experience as a Peace Corps Health Extension Worker – Part 2
  12. Volunteering Makes Our Lives Better!
  13. Listening Across Generations
  14. Has being in lockdown made you think about how to live more simply?
  15. Volunteer to help at Croydon Animal Samaritan’s shop, 136 Cherry Orchard Road @scrumblesuk
  16. NCS Programme 2020
  17. Elaine Brown gives her time to uplift Cobb County children in need
  18. It’s time to rest and I find that hard to do when there is so much to do and people – my people, my peers – are being abandoned by this government.
  19. Work Readiness Opportunities
  20. Creating Community and Togetherness

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Hosting a Virtual Seder During a Pandemic

Dear readers,

Hopefully, you are all in good health.

On April 02 there are 5,552 people registered in Belgium that are infected with the novel coronavirus who are receiving treatment in Belgian hospitals.
That there are only 1,143 deaths of the CoViD-19 virus at the moment is thanks to the exceptional precautions that the government has taken and which a large part of the population adheres to.

The coming week brings us, what in normal circumstances would be the busiest time for gatherings, in our effort to remember how God has liberated us, and to make sure that the younger generation would come aware how we always should remember how God Helps and Guides His People.

14 Nisan is normally the Day of The Memorial Meal.
This year that shall be different from all other years.

In Lockdown times, best not to meet too many people and to keep social distance, nowhere in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal shall there be an open public Memorial Meal or Pesach Seder.

While you might not be able to physically gather around the seder table this Passover, do not forget that you can come together online.

Check out our 10 tips for creating a meaningful and fun seder experience for your family and friends, near and far.

  1. Use the same Haggadah. 

    You could make and can use a Haggadah you could send out by e-mail beforehand and/or screen-share it with your guests, or encourage everyone to print their own copy.

  2. Designate an e-Moses.

    It can be very helpful to pick someone to lead the virtual seder. Make sure this person has experience successfully using Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc..

    He can play Moshe and let us remember how Moshe ditched his desert aesthetic and returned to the Egyptian palace to deliver God’s message, with the help of his brother and hype man, Aaron.

    Telling the exodus story he may not forget to bring forth how Moshe spoke about God commands and how God clapped back at the Egyptians. Children perhaps can have drawings made of the pathway formed between the walls of water and the Israelites who made it to the other side without harm.

  3. Make a “seating and speaking chart.”

    This year there can best not swapped places. Best is to have everybody all night using the same place at the table, and if possible having enough distance between each household member.

    But this year we should also account for the virtual seated next speaker. Figure out ahead of time who is going to read what. Throughout the seder, text the person you’d be sitting next to.  Be careful when all speakers are on there shall be too much echo and everything could become too chaotic. Therefore, let everybody stay muted and follow an order of speaking plus having put up an arm or (funny) sign requesting to speak.

  4. Maintain that there are no excuses for why people can’t attend.A danger of such critical times as these, is that people come a bit lazy or like to avoid their religious obligations.
    Unless, you know, they don’t have internet and/or a device to connect to it. Anyone can be part of your Passover experience.
  5. Have a practice run.The organiser best has several contacts beforehand with those who would take care of the surprises.Also, send instructions for accessing your virtual platform of choice ahead of time so nobody holds up the seder by not knowing their Wi-Fi or other password.For those who do not have their computer enough secured and therefore had best their camera taped, they have to be encouraged to take the stickers or tape off their cameras.
  6. Eat and drink with measure spread over the long time of gatheringAs usual at a seder have the different courses interrupted by animated talks, readings from Scripture and prayers.
  7. Work with what you have.

    With all the panic shopping, it can be intimidating to venture out to get everything you need. That’s OK. Get what you can and improvise the rest.
    Our people have survived greater quandaries with a little ingenuity and determination.If you can’t get matzah, cut some cardboard into squares or large circles (you can even put dots on them with a marker for texture, but do not consume—this is purely decorative). Swap out sriracha for horseradish. Use literally anything green. Squish trail mix into a charoset-like paste.Use a regular plate as a stand-in for a seder plate. It’s the thought that counts.
  8. Bring a little Purim to Passover.

    Never forget to make the long evening pleasant enough or entertaining enough to the children. Remember this night should be a night of remembering and giving it further to the next generation.Nobody would be against making some good fun and nobody would object to have people being dressed up as Moses, Aaron, Miriam, etc.Got kids? Great, they can be the frogs. Or the lice. It depends how stressed they’re making you.
    Got teens? Do the whole seder using Snapchat filters, then do a TikTok dance break in the middle of the seder for added social media cred. But only if, like, you know the choreo.
  9. A night different from all other nightsAlso do not forget that 14 Nisan is ‘super special’.Laugh a little hysterically and cry only a tad when you get to the Four Questions and someone has to ask, “Why is this night different from all other nights?”
  10. A Liberation to celebrate

    Do your best, have fun and remember that though we are in isolation to protect ourselves, friends, families and fellow human beings everywhere, we are still free to be Jewish or Jeshuaist and celebrate our heritage and salvation by the Highest and Strongest!

Let us not forget to show our love to God by remembering what He has done and still does, and let us show our love to others by taking enough precautions to keep everybody safe and in good health. Even when we might be very isolated in our own cosy home, let us feel the union with brothers and sisters all over the world, and let our prayers be with them all.

Please pray:

I will seek to make this world a better place, for all people, today and tomorrow. To this, in their memory, I pledge myself. Ani ma’amin. Am Yisrael chai.

A Jewish community eating the symbolic Passover food during the Seder evening, the evening before the Passover festival (picture-alliance / dpa / Robert Fishman)

As you come to the end of the seder, remember that this uncertainty, while it already feels like 40 years of wandering in the desert, is temporary. The Israelites made it eventually. So will we.

Next year, in person!

For 2020:

Keep safe and well, having a lovely Passover seder.

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Preceding

CoViD-19 warnings

Anxiety Management During Pandemic Days~

Hope on the Horizon: Pandemic Anxiety Management II~

Pandemic Anxiety Busters~

Mel Brooks saying “go home” to Max Brooks

Christian Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

7 Ways To Boost Your Immune System in Lockdown

Love in the Time of Corona

Recrafting our World

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Reminders

  1. The unseen enemy
  2. Under-reporting the total number of coronavirus cases
  3. Coronavirus on March 11 declared a global pandemic on March 31 affecting more than 177 countries
  4. No idea yet for 14 Nisan or April the 8th in 2020 Corona crisis time
  5. Only a few days left before 14 Nisan
  6. First time since Nazi time no public gathering
  7. Voor het eerst in jaren weer een Pesach in isolatie
  8. Even in Corona time You are called on to have the seder
  9. A meal as a mitzvah so that every generation would remember
  10. A night different from all other nights and days to remember
  11. Let’s Think About Redemption Differently
  12. At the Shabbat HaChodesh: readings about blood, liberation and purification
  13. Zeman Chereisenu – the time of our freedom
  14. Ki Tisa – Torah Portion
  15. Egypt, Moshe and Those who never felt they belonged there
  16. In Every Generation: The Return of Anti-Semitism – Pesah Day 1, 5779
  17. The Most special weekend of the year 2018
  18. Call to help others
  19. How should we worship God? #7 The Breaking of Bread
  20. How should we worship God? #8 Love one another

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Announcement, Being and Feeling, Educational affairs, Headlines - News, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Positive thoughts, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Aalst Carnival and Unia analyses reports

Area of action: Society

Grounds of discrimination: Racism

In December 2018 Unia pressed in anti-Semitism hearings in the Belgian Senate for the reintroduction of an anti-Semitism watchdog. The organisation asked Minister Kris Peeters, at that time responsible for Equal Opportunities, to take the first steps towards an inter-federal action plan against discrimination and racism. Anti-Semitism remains a persistent problem. The calls being made by Unia in 2018 were in response to a large-scale survey of 16,000 Jews in twelve EU countries by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), a human rights agency of the EU.

The findings of the report make for a sobering read. They underscore that antisemitism remains pervasive across the EU – and has, in many ways, become disturbingly normalised. Already in 2018 an overwhelming majority of survey participants felt that antisemitism was getting worse. They also feared for their own safety, and that of their loved ones. Though we also could notice not only the monotheist Hebrews or Jehudi were targeted. Jeshuaists and Muslims, worshipping the same God were not loved either and felt the pressure. Jeshuaists and Jews belonging to different Judaic denominations protect themselves by not coming out to much in the open and by leaving their kippa at home, only discreetly displaying mezuzas, avoiding certain areas in their cities or skipping Jewish events.

The many graphs contained in the report reveal a sobering picture of Belgium. Except for France, Jews do not experience anywhere in the EU as much hostility on the streets as they do in Belgium. Among those surveyed, 81 percent mentioned public spaces as the place with the most hatred of Jews. The European average is about 70 percent.

“These are figures that require a structural approach in the form of a vigilance unit and a plan that overarches policy areas,’

stressed Unia director at that time, Els Keytsman.

Already in 2018, a shocking statistic sended a clear message:

in the past five years, across twelve EU Member States where Jews have been living for centuries, more than one third say that they consider emigrating because they no longer feel safe as Jews.

In the meantime, we know about many Jews and Jeshuaists who left Belgium.

Vlag van het Vlaams BelangMuch too many people seem to forget how antisemitic acts can have a profound impact not only on individuals and those close to them, but also on the Jewish community as a whole. Several manifestations may bring forward all sorts of the types of antisemitic acts which we see increasing since a decade and by the growing popularity of two Flemish National parties, the right-wing populist Flemish nationalist Vlaams Belang, with a strong anti-immigrant message that succeeded the right-wing Vlaams Block, and the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA – New Flemish Alliance), a movement that self-identifies with the promotion of civic nationalism, which strives for the secession of Flanders from Belgium.

The last few years in Belgium and France we have seen an increase in desecration of Jewish cemeteries, vandalism of Jewish buildings or institutions, expressions of hostility towards Jews and Jeshuaists in the street and other public places, but also an enormous antisemitism in the media. It is incredible what we can find on the internet, including social media, where nobody seems to be willing or able to silence the hate-speech.
In 2018 antisemitism online was already seen as a particularly widespread problem: a large majority of all respondents in the 12 survey countries (89 %) consider this either ‘a very big’ or a ‘fairly big’ problem, and as many (88 %) believed that it had increased over the past five years. The percentage of respondents indicating that antisemitism on the internet is problematic is especially high (at least 90 %) in Belgium, France, Italy, and Poland. In Belgium and France, a majority of respondents rated almost all antisemitic manifestations that the survey asked about as ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big’ problem. These are also the countries with the highest proportion of respondents indicating antisemitism in general as a problem.

The majority of respondents of that survey are aware of legislation that forbids discrimination based on ethnic origin or religion – some 64 %–87 %, depending on the area, indicated knowing about it. They are most aware of anti-discrimination legislation in employment and least aware of protection related to housing. Most respondents (71 %) also say they are aware of an organisation in the country that offers advice or support for people who are discriminated against, but we should be aware that out of self-protection most Jews and Jeshuaists do not dare to react or bring the problem into the public. Respondents most often referred to Jewish organisations specialising in the safety and security of the Jewish community and/or antisemitism, and national equal-ity or human rights bodies. Lots of Jews and Jeshuaists lost their trust in the Belgian State and in Belgian politicians.

Fortunatelyserious incidents are today punishable by law. For example, in 2018 Unia was a civil party in the case against the vandal who caused serious damage in the Jewish quarter of Antwerp.

“Unia was also a civil party in the case concerning the attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels.”

Last November Unia was calling for a more inclusive image for folkloric events and intangible heritage such as the pre-Lent merrymaking and festivity carnival. Unia said local organisers and partners can play an important role in this. That is one of Unia’s recommendations in a report drawn up following the controversy about the anti-Semitic float in the municipality Aalst, on the Dender River, 24 km (15 miles) northwest of Brussels.

Unia feels that dialogue and awareness must be a priority.

“What is offensive to one person is apparently folklore for another. Showing consideration for other people’s sensitivities can never be simply imposed by law. Only through dialogue can we take into account the feelings of others and learn to see things from their point of view. “

That is why Unia organised meetings between Belgium’s Forum of Jewish Organisations and a group of Aalst carnivalists.

“Their float – depicting anti-Semitic stereotypes – was unintentionally reminiscent of Nazi propaganda. We understand that many people were shocked by this connotation, and it led to a highly polarised conflict. We have seen that both parties now have an understanding of each other’s position and context. Talking to each other does not guarantee that stereotypes will never crop up again, but it is a start.”

It could have gone the right way, but this year, it uncovered the hidden agenda more clearly. From what was presented at the cortège was more than just laughing with something that bothered them. It was showing their disgust for another culture and other religion than theirs.

Much too often we hear the excuse

“For carnivalists, freedom of expression means the freedom to make fun of anything and anyone.”

Though, one should question how far one can go with mockery. Unia says

“Conversely, that freedom also means that you are bound to provoke controversy now and then, and you have to be able to deal with criticism.”

People from Aalst seem to have lots of difficulty with the criticism they received over the last twelve months.

Lots of events happening in Aalst real lovers of God would never come to know if they were not shown on television and brought into social media.
Thanks to social media, images of parades and festivities are reaching the general public on an unprecedented scale and are thus amplified and sometimes, or more than once, may be taken out of context. Moreover, while in the past, traditions were not called into question, this questioning has now become appropriate, Unia notes.

“As such, that is a positive thing. Folkloristic events can evolve according to changing attitudes and new insights, allowing them to become celebrations in which no one is left out”,

according to Keytsman.

We do find politicians and organisations for protecting civilians, should recognise historical similarities and see the dangers behind certain events, which, in the beginning may look harmless and childish, but have a very deep and dangerous undertone. Puerile actions may develop into actions out of frustration and dissatisfaction which generates aggression against certain population groups.

This year out of frustration, how they were treated by Unesco, everal people in the parade mocked the specialized agency of the United Nations (UN), using Jewish caricatures as well.

But, from what we came to see and hear in the media, it went much further.

Unia promises to collect all the information and will investigate whether criminal offences were committed. For this, they are in contact with the prosecutor’s office and the police.

We wonder how Unia is going to act or take juridical prosecution against the group who had their float a sign labelled

“regulations for the Jewish party committee,”

and it included a not to misunderstand sarcastic:

“Do not mock Jews”

and a shocking

“Certainly do not tell the truth about the Jew.”

which clearly indicates they have formed an idea about Jews in general and do want others to believe that Jews have something to hide or do not want to have the truth about them told. This means those carnavalists understand the truth about the Jews is not or may not be told!?!

Rudi Roth, a journalist for the Antwerp-based Joods Actueel Jewish paper, said the expressions of anti-Semitism in Aalst this year were more numerous and prominent than last year. He called it a

“backlash effect.”

Coming closer to the event celebrities gave notice not having free time to come to the parade. Several politicians backed out of appearances with Aalst’s mayor, who has defended the parade displays.

According to Christophe D’Haese of the right-wing New Flemish Alliance, carnival is not an anti-Semitic event and should be seen in its context of

“everything is allowed”.

He said the event

“certainly has anti-Semitic elements,”

the likes of which he said had not been on display since the end of the Nazi occupation in 1945.

With good reason Rubinfeld said

“Aalst’s name is now associated with anti-Semitism,and that’s partly because of the mayor’s inaction.”

With questioning eyes, we are very curious to see whether Unia this year will make a real effort to go to court and make it clear that what has been shown this year in Aalst has been far out of proportion in our society and cannot be admitted.

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Preceding

What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism

Anti-Semitic pressure driving Jews out of Europe

Perhaps Anti-Semitism for lots of people isn’t always easy to see

What makes you following Christ and Facebook Groups

A Jew and Muslim walking together side by side down USA city streets

Speaking up and Celebration of Purim

Numbers 10:10 Make Your Rejoicing Heard

Niet te negeren gebeurtenissen rond Joden in België

Hoe ver kan men gaan om zich te beroepen op Vrije meningsuiting

Aalst Carnaval: Unia analyseert meldingen

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Interned and tortured at Breendonk before deportation to Auschwitz and later Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen.

Catherine Annabel, who established in 2012 “Inspiration for Life” loves to write about the things that interest, challenge and move her. She is retired after many years working in higher education administration, most recently for the University of Sheffield.

She gave a talk at the 2019 Conference, Violent Spaces, of the Landscape, Space & Place group from the University of Nottingham, where she mentioned Winfried Georg Sebald who was born in Bavaria in 1944, in the last months of the war.

Born in Wertach, Bavaria Winfried Georg was one of three children of Rosa and Georg Sebald. From 1948 to 1963, he lived in Sonthofen, having his grandfather as the most important male presence in his early years, because his own father being in prison as a prisoner of war until 1947. His father had served in the Wehrmacht, but after he returned home, having spent a couple of years as a prisoner of war, the things that he had seen, and done, were never spoken of.

While at school in Oberstdorf the boy got to see images of the Holocaust. –  probably the liberation of Belsen – it looked unbelievable. No wonder that no one knew how to explain what they had just seen, because those who had to speak about it, where at the time of the events ‘part of the system’.

writes:

It was, in a way, what we’d now call a box-ticking exercise. Because, of course, the teachers were part of the context. Sebald, like many of his contemporaries, was unable to accept this collusive silence, and his increasing alienation from his homeland led to him working first in Switzerland and then moving to the UK, where he spent the rest of his life, teaching at UEA until his death in a car accident in 2001. {Marks of Pain: Architecture as Witness to Trauma in W G Sebald’s Austerlitz}

Sebald’s work imaginatively explored themes of memory as they related to the Holocaust. His novels include Schwindel, Gefühle (1990; Vertigo), Die Ausgewanderten (1992; The Emigrants), Die Ringe des Saturn (1995; The Rings of Saturn), Logis in einem Landhaus: über Gottfried Keller, Johann Peter Hebel, Robert Walser und andere (1998; A Place in the Country: On Gottfried Keller, Johann Peter Hebel, Robert Walser, and Others), and Austerlitz (2001).

Catherine Annabel writes,

The Holocaust, indeed, became a presence in his poetry and his prose writing. It seems never to be very far away, invoked maybe by the name of a place, innocent in itself, but carrying the weight of history. In many of his works, it is addressed obliquely, but the figure of the refugee appears in several of his books.

Max Ferber, one of the four protagonists of The Emigrants, left his home in Munich (capital of Bavaria) in 1939, following Kristallnacht, his father having obtained a visa for him by bribing the English consul. We are introduced to Ferber via the narrator, who does not ask about his history, why or how he left Germany, until their second meeting, at which point Ferber tells how letters from his parents ceased, and he subsequently discovers that they were deported from Munich to Riga, where they were murdered. In Sebald’s final work, Austerlitz, the Holocaust becomes text, not subtext, foreground rather than context.

Sebald’s (fictional) protagonist, Jacques Austerlitz, is an architectural historian, with a particular interest in what he calls ‘our mightiest projects’ – fortifications, railway architecture, what they used to call lunatic asylums, prisons and law courts. {Marks of Pain: Architecture as Witness to Trauma in W G Sebald’s Austerlitz}

We meet the narrator first in a carceral space – Antwerp’s zoo. After his first conversation with Austerlitz, he is moved to visit Breendonk, one of the fortresses that Austerlitz had mentioned.

But it is not the history of how such places were designed, the flawed theories of defence against enemy incursion, that confront him there, but the much more recent past, Breendonk’s conversion into a concentration camp in the Nazi era – a transit camp for deportation to Auschwitz, and a place of torture.

    • Originally built for the Belgian army 1906-13 to protect Antwerp – ‘it proved completely useless for the defence of the city and the country’
    • Covered by a five-metre thick layer of soil for defense against bombings, a water-filled moat and measured 656 by 984 feet (200 by 300 m)
    • Requisitioned by the Germans as a prison camp for political dissidents, captured resistance members and Jews
    • Infamous for prisoners’ poor living conditions and for the use of torture. Most prisoners later transferred to larger concentration camps in Eastern Europe
    • 3,590 prisoners known to have been imprisoned at Breendonk, 303 died or were executed within the fort itself and as many as 1,741 died subsequently in other camps before the end of the war. {Marks of Pain: Architecture as Witness to Trauma in W G Sebald’s Austerlitz}

Sebald brings in a human witness here, the Austria-born essayist Jean Amery, born Hanns Chaim Mayer, who by his participation in organized resistance against the Nazi occupation of Belgium got detained and tortured by the German Gestapo at the Auffanglager Breendonk in Fort Breendonk, afterwards to be brought to other concentration camps, Auschwitz and later Buchenwald and finally being liberated at Bergen-Belsen in 1945. After the war the former Hanns Mayer changed his name to Jean Améry (the surname being a French-sounding anagram of his family name) in order to symbolize his dissociation from German culture and his alliance with French culture. He settled in Belgium, where he  lived in Brussels, working as a culture journalist for German language newspapers in Switzerland. He did not write at all of his experiences in the death camps until 1964, when, at the urging of German poet Helmut Heißenbüttel, he wrote his book Jenseits von Schuld und Sühne (“Beyond Guilt and Atonement”). It was later translated into English by Sidney and Stella P. Rosenfeld as At the Mind’s Limits: Contemplations by a Survivor on Auschwitz and its Realities.

Haunted by nightmares of the horror he had witnessed he committed suicide in 1978.

Our narrator finds Breendonk to be a place of horror. The darkness inside is literal, but also metaphysical, and it becomes heavier as he penetrates further into the building. He begins to experience visual disturbances – black striations quivering before his eyes – and nausea, but explains that

‘it was not that I guessed at the kind of third-degree interrogations which were being conducted here around the time I was born’,

since he had not at that point read Amery’s account. Sebald is telling us that the narrator’s reaction to Breendonk is not, therefore, personal, not related in any way to his own experiences or even to things he had read, but intrinsic to the place, as if its use, or abuse, has changed its very nature, violence become part of its fabric.

Breendonk is the first of the trio of Holocaust sites around which the text is structured.

It’s built to a star shape, a six-pointed star. This was a favoured design both for fortresses, designed to keep invaders out, and for prisons, designed to keep wrongdoers in. {Marks of Pain: Architecture as Witness to Trauma in W G Sebald’s Austerlitz}

According to Austerlitz this is a fundamentally wrong-headed design for a fortress, the idea that ‘you could make a city as secure as anything in the world can ever be.’ The largest fortifications will attract the enemy’s greatest numbers, and draw attention to their weakest points – not only that, but battles are not decided by armies impregnably entrenched in their fortresses, but by forces on the move. Despite plenty of evidence (such as the disastrous Siege of Antwerp in 1832), the responses tended to be to build the same structures but stronger and bigger, and with inevitably similar results. {Marks of Pain: Architecture as Witness to Trauma in W G Sebald’s Austerlitz}

As the design for a prison, the star shape makes more sense. It does not conform to the original layout of the panopticon, but it does allow for one central point of oversight and monitoring, with radial arms that separate the inmates into manageable groups. The widespread use of existing fortresses as places of imprisonment for enemies of the Reich was primarily opportunistic, of course, but the ease of this transformation illustrates Austerlitz’s arguments quite well. {Marks of Pain: Architecture as Witness to Trauma in W G Sebald’s Austerlitz}

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the Soup will not be eaten as hot as it is served

“Are they really bringing people to workplaces to give them a better life?”

It was known or said that even if Jews were converted to the Christian faith, they remained “different” because of their bloodline. It was also known that many were jealous for the lifestyle and family feeling which could  be found in the Klal Yisrael or Jewish communities. Many goyim found the Jews separated themselves from the society, but they did not often see it were goyim who themselves gave enough reason not to mix too much with them.

Samuel Morgenstern was one of those shopkeepers who was one of the most loyal buyers of Hitler’s paintings in Vienna, by which Hitler could receive enough money not to be a tramp. Naturally there were also rumours Hitler could not stand Jews because he got a disease from regularly going to some ‘Jewish harlots’.

Portrait of Karl Lueger (ca. 1900), mayor of Vienna. He used anti-Semitism as a political strategy. Collection: Austrian National Library / painter: Alois Delug. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Rights: Public Domain

Hitler, Adolf: Mein Kampf

Mein Kampf, (German: “My Struggle”) political manifesto written by Adolf Hitler. It was his only complete book and became the bible of National Socialism (Nazism) in Germany’s Third Reich. It was published in two volumes in 1925 and 1927, and an abridged edition appeared in 1930. By 1939 it had sold 5,200,000 copies and had been translated into 11 languages.

It perhaps were not just rumours that the politician, co-founder and leader of the Austrian Christian Social Party, and mayor of Vienna Karl Lueger (1844-1910), used anti-Semitism as a political strategy, and that he was also praised as “the greatest German mayor of all time” by Adolf Hitler (In Mein Kampf) who did not mind following his ideas.

The prejudices about the role of the Jews in the Great War were incorrect, but as with many rumours, it spread like a virus. Many Germans did not want to believe how more than one hundred thousand German and Austrian Jews had fought for their homeland, one of them being Otto Frank, the German-born merchant best known as the father of Anne Frank, who witnessed the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

In the 1920ies our family members could already hear how our brethren were compared with germs. It was as if our people had been infecting generations for ages. That Hitler never thought his people were not strong enough to live according to the wishes of their god or according to the mitzvot of the Only One True God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. Lots of our friends could not believe that those who said they were “Christian” and as such would, or should, be following the Nazarene Jewish rabbi who preached brotherly love, could do such atrocious things, as others told about them. Perhaps it was to set up Jehudiem against Christians, so that the goyim had all the reason to tell

religion is the cause of war.

The words spread that Hitler said that you cannot fight a disease without destroying the person who caused it, and as such according to him, the influence of the Jews would never disappear without removing the perpetrator, the Jude, from the midst of the Arian race.

Radical ideas paved the way for the mass murder of the Jews in the 1940s, but not many of the Bnei Yisroel or Chosen People of God wanted to believe the rumours at first.

In many families, like ours, it was the saying

“the Soup will not be eaten as hot as it is served”.

They heard about plans which would be taken, but they seemed so unbelievable that they could not be true or would have been exaggerated, as by a circling fire. Others were not so much at ease, and warned

“to be aware of a silent dog and still water”.

Should we look askance at him? Now we can easily say they had much better looked at him out of the tail of their eyes. By not believing the many rumours, lots were woken up with a start, when it was too late.

For a long time, many wondered if it was within the odds, whilst others said

“He is not likely to go.”

Others wanted to be a friend to all, forgetting that then they would be a friend to none. Many debates about what went on in Germany and Austria could bring lots of talks after the children were sent to bed. For sure that what was to be spoken about was not for children’s ears.

It was, and is still, known that there was and is, an existing prejudice that Jews associate with financial power and monetary gain. Many are also convinced Jews are “foefelaars“, who make their pile on the poor white people. Lots of Jews may be looked at as a ramay / nokhel, a fiddler or cheater whilst there was no oysnarn at all.

White movement propaganda poster from the Russian Civil War era (1919), a caricature of Leon Trotsky, who was viewed as a symbol of Jewish Bolshevism.

In many countries people also looked at the Jehudi as the originators or conspirators and spreaders of communism. The vast majority of the communist leaders at that time were Jewish. However, it is only a small part of the Jews that were communists, and what a lot of people did not see is that several Jews were promoting or aiming for social equality, this being considered by many liberals and capitalists a danger for the economy and consumption gain. During the war with the Soviet Union, from 1941 on, it will be the idea of the ‘Jewish communism’ (sometimes also called Marxian-communism or meant to be Jewish Bolshevism, also Judeo–Bolshevism) with terrible consequences. The population and the prisoners of war being brutally treated by the Germans.

When Hitler got into power rumours got stronger, but still many did not want to believe what went around. Others were smart enough to be at the safe site by sending their beloved far away from Germany and Austria. Some thought they would be safe in Holland, but how they were mistaken. Having gone to Holland luckily several managed to cross the channel and find a safe haven in the United Kingdom, but the others got taken and deported.

At the Schalkland, in the “Klein-Brabant” region, less than 25 kilometres from the centre of Brussels and 19 kilometres from Antwerp, to the south of the Dendermonde highway (Mechelen – Dendermonde) was build the “Willebroeck Fort” as a fortified defence to protect the port and city of Antwerp, which by Royal Order dated 12 January 1907 rechristened the fort “Breendonck Fort”. On september 20th 1940 Sturmbannführer Philip Schmitt brought his first victims to Breendonk. The Fort officially became the Auffanglager Breendonk, a transit camp; a major centre for the Sicherheitspolizei-Sicherheitsdienst (SIPO/SD), the german political police.

Words spread that in Breendonk the kaze-the mats were to be removed from the earth in which they were covered. Three or four men had to push a railway carriage that was loaded with the earth. It was not the best marterial the prisoners had to use. Of these vehicles, the wheels were worn out, having to be pushed on worn-out rails, so that a person would have more than it is possible. Was it a rumour or was it true that the SS guards, with their weapons beated on the upper arms, the backs of the heads of the unfortunate ones until the latter were exhausted, but also fell dead?

Former working site at the camp of Breendonk. The regime set up here by the Nazis hardly differed from that of an official concentration camp. The undernourishment and the forced labour wore down the body and mind. The ever-present physical cruelty sometimes caused the death of prisoners. Initially, the camp was only guarded by a few German SS and a detachment of the Wehrmacht. In September 1941, the Wachtgruppe of the SD arrived as back up. This time, these were no longer German SS but mainly Flemings.

Some of the prisoners were to be buried up to the neck, after they were first on a ferocious manner, beaten. The S, S. jailers were there, then settled for the pitiful earth at the face of them. The game lasted sometimes for 1 or 2 hours, and when the victims were about to die, they did not stop to punch and to death. During the singing of the song of Breendonk, the text of which these words were placed on the grave:

” Wir werden nie mehr Breendonk vergessen, das Paradies-tier Juden…’.”

Sturmbannführer (majoor) Schmitt had created and placed a pulley on the ceiling in a folterbunker (torture bunker or blockhouse) of the camp, to make, that the victim’s hands at the back tied up would be drawn to the ceiling.

After that, it was a pizzle of the shot, he was then beaten with a bullepees (bullenpees: baton between a whip and a stick made from dried penis of a bull). When the hoist was released, the unfortunate person fell on two angular boards. Kachelpoken or stove pokers were glowed for immediate use,… because the Jews were not worth the bullet. They had to be sent to death during work and by torture.

When the words rang true for most of the Jews still living in the region, it was too late to find a safe place for their children and for themselves.

After the camps in Belgium or Holland as “Musselmen” (completely emaciated) thousands were deported to Germany to find an end to their unbearable suffering, either of starvation, giving up, or in the gas chambers.

The remaining Jews in Belgium were unable to follow the course of events that their fellow believers underwent elsewhere. Their own concerns were too overwhelming for this and contact with neighbouring countries was too incomplete. The seeping job tidings were considered exaggerated …

Commissioned by the notorious member of Heinrich Himmler’s SS, the Nazi paramilitary corps, Adolf Eichmann, the Sicherheits polizei in Berlin, wrote the following urgent letter, in which the word “Secret” is not missing (22 June 1942):

“From mid-July and early August this year, special trains of 1,000 people each day are planned, first of all about 40,000 Jews from the occupied French territory,
Send 40,000 Jews from the Netherlands and 10,000 Jews from Belgium to employment in the Auschwitz camp.
“The circle of persons to be included extends primarily to Jews who are skilled in work, insofar as they do not live in mixed marriages and do not have the nationality of the British Empire, of the U.S.A., of Mexico, from the enemy states, from Central and South America, as well as from the neutral and related states.

“I may request willing access and assume that there are no objections to these measures on the part of the foreign office either.
Commissioned get. Eichman “

On 12 July 1942 the last restriction on freedom before the local raids started was put visible on billboards. From the onward Jews were no longer allowed to visit cinemas, theatres, sports grounds or public institutions. In the trams they were only allowed to stand on the front platform of the trailer.

Such regulations still did not unbalance many of the Jewish diluted community. According to many the German measures only wanted to deprive the Jews of public pleasures … (Few will then have immediately known that the first nocturnal masses in Paris on Friday July 17, 1942 raffle had taken place.)

Wimpel Organisation Todt.svg

Pennant for Organisation Todt

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2007-0074, IG-Farbenwerke Auschwitz.jpg

Woman with Ostarbeiter OT badge at Auschwitz

The second Jewish labour team was also confidently leaving the civil and military engineering organisation “Organization Todt” to Charleville-Mèzières (18 July), until on July 22 the second deception beared its bitter fruit.(It was the day that the memorial of the destruction of the Temple took place in Jerusalem in the evening – Tischa be’af – -). Jews were arrested without any excuse! When that day the trains from Brussels and Antwerp stopped at Mechelen as usual, Feldgendarmen were on the platform. All the Jews, both men and women, were taken out. The same happened at the Antwerp and Brussels North terminus stations. (The Brussels-North-South connection did not yet exist.) Their freedom had ended. Some went to Breendonk. Most were sent to the 18th century Dossin barracks, where between 1942 and 1944, 25,484 Jews, 352 Roma and Sinti were deported. Just over 5% returned from Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Kazerne Dossin, Goswin de Stassartstraat 153, B. 2800 Mechelen, where in the old barracks, visitors will find a memorial, which commemorates countless people who stayed there in despair and fear and who died later in unspeakable circumstances.

From the onward the Jews throughout Belgium were being seized by panic. Being an ode alone was therefore sufficient here to be arrested … The Jewish Council was powerless … followed by a reaction of partial sobering among the Jewish population. They forged new flight plans that were kept secret even from close acquaintances.
The panic mood was tempered after a few days. When  people received mail from the internees in Mechelen it all looked not as bad as the rumours went around.

They are not nearly as bad there … Fruits are missing … They may receive packages …

Faces from those who lost their life after being brought to the Dosin Kazerne in Mechelen

These days we remember all those who lost their life in a struggle to survive in a hatefull world.

Let us not forget how politicians can use disinformation and propaganda to mislead many and to create unwanted scapegoats.
We also may not let ourselves be fooled this time that it would not be as bad today with what was happening in the 1930ies. There are people who say

That can never repeat again

but after the Great War all people agreed also that such a horror should never take place again. Only a few years later the world found itself again in such time or terror.

This time let us be more careful, notice the signs of people bringing others on the wrong path, and react wisely to those who want us to believe we are ridiculous seeing ghosts or bad things in what are just jokes or carnavalesc activities.

 

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Preceding

Remembrance and freedom in the Netherlands – Dodenherdenking and Bevrijdingsdag

Niet te negeren gebeurtenissen rond Joden in België

The danger of having less than 25 000 Jews in Belgium

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Additional reading

  1. The Great War changed everything
  2. Reformed Churches Muzzled but Protest at Barmen
  3. 2019 was #4 a Year of much deceit in Belgium and the rest of Europe
  4. Signs of the times – “An object of scorn and ridicule”

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, History, Lifestyle, Pictures of the World, Political affairs, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Just a thought for this month of Changing colours in Western Europe

The North and West of Belgium may look like a country full of bricks, full of houses with here and there some green trying to stay straight and alive. Where there can be found trees and fields the landscape is changing to red, yellow and golden colours. In the little gardens we may have mushrooms are the living proof we are in fall.

From the Schmidlin Family Farm we hear that at their place, in the Pacific Coast Range of Northern Oregon,

Fall seemed to only last a week this year in the Pacific Northwest.

the vibrant hues of the trees as the leaves turned from greens to wild splashes of color was only in full display a short while.

Trees with leaves ready to fallStorms that came in from the ocean sent wind and rain driving sideways at times. They lashed at the vegetation and ripped the tender stems of the leaves right off the trees that are drifting into slumber in preparation for the cold ahead. {From Vivid To Bare}

For the moment in Belgium we did not receive our portion of Autumn storms, but the temperature indicators do not seem to know where to go, one day cold the other day warm (? 17° C) for the time of year.

This year in Flemish Brabant the trees started already becoming brown in July (because of the water shortage for two years already), though in the South of France in September we could find lovely green colours and later in October them starting to give way to red, yellow and gold. They want to show the world they are strong and not yet willing to give away the crown they may be in the sky. Whilst mother earth cries unto them they sing their song in the wind, calling for memories and tricking us into lovely walks in nature.

At some places in Europe the birches are master of the surroundings. At the Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve it won’t be long until they lose their leaves, so the  park strongly advise to get out there now – or we’ll miss the best autumn colours!

Loch Kinord has been looking especially pretty with the yellow birches. There’s just something about reflections on water that makes things extra-beautiful. {Golden Autumn Days – Muir of Dinnet NNR}

How long did we looked forward to sunny and warm days, and how quickly they are gone. Though at for some years, at certain times in Belgium it looked like we only had two seasons, a wet one and a wetter (and colder) season. With global warming we are treated with more extremes, hotter days but also more heavy winds and rainstorms. Some parts in West Europe receive in a few hours the amount of water which would normally fall there in three months. Without any concession, the water takes everything it can grab and drags it along into the depths or miles further to throw it on one large scrap heap. Cleaning up is all what rests for those who could survive the sudden torrent.

Is it not water then there are the flames which love to lick the earth and get tourists flee their resorts of rest. That way the flames get those fleeing people thinking about the drought and how they too are responsible for what is going on with nature which seems to have lost its wheel.

Is it the slow speed by which this year wants to announce the coming Winter, that I may be feeling a little bit down? Or is it my awareness that mankind has not treated his surroundings very well? Is it me feeling like man has lost his connection with mother earth or not willing to take care of it any more?

Though Fall brings us such magnificent colours and when we look at the many blogs and at Instagram, we are treated with an incredible world of magic. But that magical colourful world is something which seems to be far away from the industrialised economical world of West Europe. Most people not receiving enough time to go to the parks and to enjoy the changing nature.

The trees call out and reach to the people down there. But they do not seem to hear or seem not wanting to see. Even when youngsters already for months call those in charge of governments to become aware that we should turn our way of life and have to make serious measure to protect our earth.

Let those voices on the streets in the big cities know that their honest cry is heard, by those who can live in that beautiful nature, which seems to be  strangled by industry and by profit-seeking investors. The trees may be leaning in close to encourage another and want to give the people who live around them the lovely sweets of a year of pride standing high above the earth and streaming water. Now

it’s as though
Heaven itself conjoins with Earth. {Encouragement}

Is it not that the youngsters of today could also need some encouragement? Or should they become the driving force to get those older people coming to change their attitude of life? Perhaps the roles have to be switched and in this age it have to be the younger ones to bring the older ones to the senses?

It is just my (feeling down) thought for today.

 

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Find some Autumn reflections and lovely pictures at

  1. Encouragement
  2. Golden Autumn Days – Muir of Dinnet NNR
  3. virginia hikes: Mount Pleasant loop, October 24 2019
  4. Fahnestock Flora
  5. Spectacular Color along the Parkway

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Additional reading

  1. Temperatures rising
  2. Air-conditioning treath and HFCs extremely powerful heat-trappers
  3. Global watershortages and Worsening food security conditions
  4. June – July 2019
  5. Stepping forward with public commitments for Making different sectors carbon neutral by 2050
  6. Reducing effects of environmental disasters
  7. After the Summer-holiday thinking even more about God’s creation

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Related

  1. It’s getting hot in here!
  2. Global Warming
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  6. Industrial Carbon Storage/Removal
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  10. New assessment related to Arctic Climate Argument
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  12. Global Warming
  13. Arctic impact has showed our world is in danger
  14. Marianne Williamson: We Need ‘World War II Level Mass Mobilization’ to Fight Climate Change
  15. Tirol: Will Austria stand up for its environment and against Climate Change by refusing the Oetztal & Pitztal ski area merger?
  16. Caring for the Earth

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Ecological affairs, Lifestyle, Nature, Welfare matters, World affairs

How to Go Forward without Fear

Lots of our brethren and sisters do not dare to come in the open. Most Jeshuaists prefer to stay in the darkness of this world hidden. They are afraid of being discovered or unmasked as Jew or Jeshuaist.

Many of our friends wonder how we live life when the world seems to be spinning in ways we did not expect it to be and where so many are against other religious people. Many Jews in Belgium and France are afraid. Several already left these regions, because they did not find it safe any-more for their kids to grow up here, and remembering what happened to those who wanted to leave Europe in the 1930ies too late.

Perhaps we should go to the Scriptures to find some advice, for being able to cope with our fear.

The first chapter of the book of Habakkuk is essentially a long complaint followed by God’s response. It then continues with yet another complaint and another response from God. The book concludes with a prayer or a Psalm from Habakkuk. This book was written, proceeding the fall of Babylon, yet the date of composition of the book cannot be guaranteed just by perusing the book itself. Most likely, individuals who lived after the fall Babylonia in 539 BCE understood much of this book is a meditation on life in an unjust world. They wondered how to relate to God when nations “slays nations without pity,” and “seize homes not their own.”

Today we can see many places in the world where nations are slain. We can see that political leaders do not mind what happens to those living in their country. Some even not having a blush on their face when they use gas-bombs on areas where many innocent people (inclusive many children) live.
We find lots of places where there are people who say they fight in the name of Allah (= God) but do the most atrocious things one can think of. Often they say it is the suffering people their own fault, not trusting in the right god.

What do we do when individuals do not place their trust in God, and how can a pious person deal with this unwieldy situation?

God responds that the answer is clearly written on tablets, perhaps as described in the book of Deuteronomy.

He then says:

הִנֵּ֣ה עֻפְּלָ֔ה לֹא־יָשְׁרָ֥ה נַפְשׁ֖וֹ בּ֑וֹ וְצַדִּ֖יק בֶּאֱמוּנָת֥וֹ יִחְיֶֽה׃

“Lo, his spirit within him is puffed up, not upright, But the righteous man is rewarded with life For his fidelity.” (Habakkuk 2:4)

This verse, initially describes a person whose life is swollen with not good things and who lives a twisted or unjust life. Perhaps it is one full of deception or one full of egotism. It then moves to a pious person whose faith is in God even under the most dire circumstances. Even though they must live life where justice is delayed or denied, that time according to God will be short-lived. Habakkuk goes on to draw a parallel with Isaiah chapter 11:9, that there will be a time when everyone will know God…

We agree today does not seem to be such a time, because not many are knowing God. Several people may say they believe in God, but they do not worship God, or many even believing in a three-headed god, they call the Trinity, and as such not believing in the God of Moshe, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Christ and his disciples.

Today sometimes it looks like we are living in a world where everything is permitted, as long as it is not a matter of religious expression. Then suddenly no religious symbols are allowed or persons are not allowed to wear what their religion demands. In several countries we can see demonic people offering themselves as the leader who shall make their nation great again. With the stroke of a pen those men think they themselves can play for god and decide what to do with other people and with other nations. Every occasion, be it even the national day they use for putting themselves in the picture and throwing hate words against others.

Today many people are confronted with difficulties to come around, not earning enough, but working hard enough to have not much time for the rest of the day. Several people in Europe are wondering and struggling, what can they could do to make this world a better place and to assure it to make Europe a safe haven for all sorts of people.

In a world of greed, where materialistic values often take first place, money or financial gain and pleasure have become the gods of today next to the many starlets and idols from entertainment and sports.

In this world today there seems not much place for integrity, the moral value that makes people the same on the inside as they are on the outside — with no discrepancy between what they say and what they do, between their walk and their talk. Many people around us prefer to wear a mask and present themselves differently on social media than they are in reality. that is also an important factor why so many in our community are so afraid to show themselves in public.

Though I believe we should not hide, but come out of our cocoon and show people that it might go different ánd better. The answer is that the most impact we will have is on those who surround us. It is their lives that we can make better. We can and should speak up when we see injustices, and we can remove blind spots by becoming more aware of the world around us and the systems that work in it – systemic poverty and racism for example. We need to focus our energies on walking in the footsteps of God as a community. The book of Habakkuk ends by saying:

“my Elohim Hashem Jehovah is my strength: he makes my feet like the deer’s and lets me stride upon the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:19).

You should know it is inside of us all  that God is found and when we unite our hands together we can bring the divine into this world through our very actions.

Those who believe in God should join hands and show the world their unity. It may not always be easy to live our lives full of tackling difficult and challenging issues, but let those experiences cause ourselves to grow and become better individuals and communities more focused on God and assisting those around us.

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Additional reading

  1. If some of us do not feel safe
  2. Speciesism and racism
  3. Governments need to be more proactive to ensure racism is kept in check
  4. Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #1
  5. Faith related boycotts
  6. Rome mobilisation to say no to fascism and racism
  7. On French beach French police forces woman to undress in public
  8. Allowing dress code according liberty of religion
  9. Today’s thought “When approaching the battle against your enemies today” (May 03)
  10. Religious Freedom in a Multicultural World
  11. Jewish and Gentile Disciples
  12. Martin Luther King’s Dream Today
  13. God Our Refuge
Columbia hate crime

Racist tirade on Columbia’s university campus

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs