Tag Archives: European Union

A genuine European Union to ensure welfare, security and democracy

We European citizens are worried and scared. The economic and financial crisis has impoverished many of us. Youth unemployment risks creating a lost generation. Inequality grows and social cohesion is in peril. The EU is surrounded by war and instability from Ukraine to Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa. The flux of refugees and migrants has become a structural feature we must address together, in a human and forward-looking manner. In many Member states we witness authoritarian tendencies and the rise of nationalist and xenophobic forces. Democracy and the core values of the European modern civilisation are under attack. The EU itself is questioned, although it ensured peace, democracy and welfare for decades.

We European citizens don’t want our national politicians to care only about their next local or national election. They ask for European solutions to European problems but then they act to render those solutions impossible or ineffective. They disregard sensible Commission proposals or fail to implement decisions already taken , including when agreed by all. They claim, one day, for Europe to do something and protest, the following day, Europe’s proposed actions.

As the anniversary of the signature of the EU’s founding treaties is approaching, a group of over 300 European academics and personalities are endorsing this appeal to relaunch European integration and inviting civil society, academia, young people and citizens to participate to the March for Europe in Rome on March 25.

Alberto Alemanno for VoxEurop

Signing of the Treaty of Rome, March 25, 1957.

Signing of the Treaty of Rome, March 25, 1957. – AP Images – Treaty of Rome, originally (1957–93) Treaty Establishing the European Economic Community, succeeded by (1993–2009) Treaty Establishing the European Community and (2009– ) Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union; also called, together with the Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

25 March 2017 is the day of the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties which have made the EU project the most successful experiment of peace and integration ever.

This date may go down history as yet another self-praising, boring, closed-door party of 27 EU leaders or as the germ of a first conscious, popular and patriotic European manifestation. A March for Europe – mimicking the one that took place in London in the aftermath of the Brexit vote – has been announced by the Union of European Federalists. Unfortunately, only the usual suspects – a few pro-European organisations – are behind this one-in-a-generation opportunity to show how many citizens of Europe support and share its ideals, values and lifestyles. Despite its high-potential in prompting a genuine, pan-European manifestation calling for a renewal of the EU project through an inclusive, constituent process, the risk that it may reveal a flop is dangerously high.

The appeal below intends to pierce the typical Brussels bubble currently surrounding the March for Europe, by broadening its audience to a much wider public. There has never been a better opportunity to federate – in a critical moment of its existence – the multitude of associations, movements and grassroots actors who believe in the European project. There has never been a better opportunity to make your voice heard and contribute to the emergent European public space. There has been never been a better opportunity to shape your history and that of the generations to come.

See you in Rome on 25 March. Help us spread the call below through the hashtag #MarchForEurope2017!

A genuine European Union to ensure welfare, security and democracy

We European citizens are worried and scared. The economic and financial crisis has impoverished many of us. Youth unemployment risks creating a lost generation. Inequality grows and social cohesion is in peril. The EU is surrounded by war and instability from Ukraine to Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa. The flux of refugees and migrants has become a structural feature we must address together, in a human and forward-looking manner. In many Member states we witness authoritarian tendencies and the rise of nationalist and xenophobic forces. Democracy and the core values of the European modern civilisation are under attack. The EU itself is questioned, although it ensured peace, democracy and welfare for decades.

We European citizens don’t want our national politicians to care only about their next local or national election. They ask for European solutions to European problems but then they act to render those solutions impossible or ineffective. They disregard sensible Commission proposals or fail to implement decisions already taken , including when agreed by all. They claim, one day, for Europe to do something and protest, the following day, Europe’s proposed actions.

We ask national politicians and the media to stop depicting integration as a zero-sum game, thus pitting nations against one another. In an interdependent world no nation can satisfy all of its citizens’ basic needs and appeals for social justice. In this context, integration and supranational government is a positive-sum game. Our European social model based on liberal democracy and a social market economy can only survive in a multi-level framework of government, on the basis of the subsidiarity principle.

Dutch passportEstonian passportWe European citizens are aware that globalisation is transforming the world. We need a European government to foster our common values and contribute to the solution of the global problems threatening humanity. The world needs an outward-looking cosmopolitan Europe to help build a more effective and democratic global governance to cope with climate change, peace, global poverty, and the transition to an environmentally and socially sustainable economy.

Seat

The European Central Bank (ECB; French: Banque centrale européenne) = central bank for the euro and administers monetary policy of the eurozone, which consists of 19 EU member states and is one of the largest currency areas in the world.

Phrygian cap on pole.svgWe European citizens recognise the EU as an incomplete Res Publica. It has a ridiculous budget (0.9 percent of GDP) and no financial autonomy from Member states, while its current competences are out of date for what is necessary to successfully answer the challenges of the current crises. It has a federal like legislative, judiciary and central bank. But democracy is the possibility for citizens to choose the government and make it accountable. For the Union to work and be democratic its decisions, including budget, foreign and defence policy, and the reform of the Treaties, should primarily be taken by a qualified majority representing the majority will of European citizens and states. The Commission should evolve into a fully-fledged government, setting and promoting a political agenda legitimated through elections. European parties should present their candidates to the Presidency at the European election.

The alternative is a directly elected President of the EU merging the Presidencies of the Commission and the European Council.

On 14 February 1984 the European Parliament adopted the Draft Treaty establishing the European Union, the so-called Spinelli Project, pointing towards a political union, which Member states disregarded. On 14 February 2017 we call upon the European Parliament, the only directly elected body of the EU, to take a new initiative to kick-start the EU on strengthened democratic basis. Talking about banking, fiscal, economic, energy, security, defence and political unions makes sense only within a genuine democratic European Union, with all those policies under a European government.

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Signing of the Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, in the Jerónimos Monastery of Lisbon, Portugal, 13 December 2007, which entered into force on 1 December 2009

On 25 March 2017 the Heads of state and government will celebrate the Treaties of Rome establishing the European Economic Community and Euratom in 1957. We call upon them to match the vision of the Founders. They should open the way to the re-foundation of the EU on the basis of the European Parliament proposal, and immediately exploit all the Lisbon Treaties’ instruments to strengthen EU institutions and policies, especially on foreign and security, economic and social policies.

We call upon the Europe’s youth, its civil society, workers, entrepreneurs, academia, local governments and European citizens to participate in the March for Europe in Rome on 25 March. Together we shall give the political leaders the strength and courage to push forward the EU to a new beginning. European unity is key to solve our common problems, safeguard our values and ensure our welfare, security and democracy.

This Appeal was drafted by Roberto Castaldi with Giuliano Amato, Yves Bertoncini, Stefan Collignon, Anthony Giddens, Ulrike Guérot, and Miguel Maduro. It is available in various languages for further adhesions at March for Europe with the list of signatures and the info on the March.

Marcus Ampe

March for Europe: in Rome on March 25

Flag of the European Union

English: Constituency for the European Parliam...

English: Constituency for the European Parliament election in 2009 Español: Mapa por el Elecciones al Parlamento Europeo de 2009 Français : Circonscriptions aux élections européennes en 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles:

Human tragedy need to be addressed at source

60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century

F: Une véritable Union européenne pour garantir le bien-être, la sécurité et la démocratie

D.: Eine echte Europäische Union die Gemeinwohl, Sicherheit und Demokratie gewährleistet

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Announcement, Economical affairs, Headlines - News, History, Juridical matters, Political affairs, World affairs

60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century

Anti-European movements seem to be enjoying a fair wind, not only in Great Britain but also here on our side of the Channel. This demonstrates how Euroskepticism has become a threat to the fundamental values of the common European life.

Although the EU considers itself a unity, it is unable to introduce a united policy. In the absence of such policy, it is impossible to overcome the growing economical and social inequalities between the citizens of the Member States.

The European Economic Community, founded 60 years ago, was meant to maintain and guarantee peace. More than ever nowadays, in an unsafe world where hundreds of thousands are fleeing the horrors of war, we should embrace and take care of this precious gift of peace. Though many people today are willing to step out of the union, this is not the moment. It would be reckless to put all of it on the line.

People may not forget that we have already so many years of no war experience. In our regions the EU also managed to protect democracy: the freedom of press, freedom of speech and a free choice of religion (those being just a fraction of the inviolable rights Europeans enjoy).

All Member States of the EU have to ensure democratic guidelines, and countries aiming to join the EU cannot hinder reform processes. This contributes to the broadening of democratic values.

Two essential aspects of the European Union are the free movement of persons and a single currency. Admittedly, they Euro Series Banknotes.pngare not perfectly elaborated; the Euro being the most commonly criticised aspect. However, in the Euro Zone, currency exchange disappeared along with the attached fees. We can cross the borders of all EU countries without passport control or visa requirements. It is really a pity that the last few months we saw the Schengen Agreement undermined. That agreement is the seal of proof for our ‘Union’, which assured a free movement concept within the internal borders, not only contributing to the economical dynamism but also to an inter-cultural exchange and thus to peace and understanding between different cultures.

No border control: Border crossing between two Schengen Agreement states, view from Germany to the Netherlands. The Netherlands begins at the red line added to the photo.

The ex-communist countries by putting up walls are forgetting what it meant to be inclosed and are taking on a very selfish attitude. Free movement across our internal border-states is necessary, but also an allowance for people and goods entering our community.

Map of Europe indicating the four member countries of the Visegrád Group

Visegrad Group, also called the Visegrad Four, or V4 is a cultural and political alliance of four Central European states – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – for the purposes of furthering their European integration, as well as for advancing military, economic and energy cooperation with one another.[

All the Visegrád countries now have leaders who could be fairly described as national-populists. In Western Europe, their rhetoric would often put them at the far-right of the political spectrum: they typically reject migrants and Islam, and do not wish to reproduce the Westerners’ experiment in multiculturalism in their own countries. This has led to clashes with Western Europe, notably Angela Merkel’s Germany, and the European Commission, who have advocated the welcoming of millions of refugees and the distribution of thousands across Central Europe.

Furthermore, all these nations – with the exception of Poland – have made various pro-Russian statements, and implied that they would ideally want a reconciliation and reinforcement of economic ties with Moscow. This bodes ill for the maintenance of the EU’s sanctions against Russia, in retaliation for the annexation of Crimea, and which can only be maintained by unanimity. More generally, Trump’s traumatic surprise electoral win in the United States is likely to embolden Central European conservatives in challenging Brussels and Berlin’s leadership of the EU.

Central Europe according to The World Factbook (2009),[17] Encyclopædia Britannica, and Brockhaus Enzyklopädie (1998)

The area in which this is most apparent is perhaps demographics. Central Europe faces severe medium-term decline in the face of ongoing emigration – while wages have risen, they remain much higher in the West – and extremely low fertility, which goes from 1.3 children per woman in Poland to 1.5 in the Czech Republic.

As a result, the European Commission projects that all these nations, with the exception of the Czech Republic, will see a drastic decline in population between now and 2080, falling by as much as 25 percent. In Poland, this would mean almost 10 million less people. This will inevitably mean a weaker Central Europe in the world, with a rapidly-shrinking labour force obligated to commit an ever-greater share of resources to an exploding population of pensioners.

The case of demographics shows the weaknesses of Visegrád’s alternative vision for Europe. Borders and national sovereignty are indeed means of slowing change, including undesirable change. But in themselves, they would do little to halt Europe’s decline to an elderly collection of statelets on the western Eurasian periphery. No doubt more creative and forward-looking measures are needed to prevent such a scenario and secure a sovereign Europe’s place among this century’s leading powers.

Everywhere in Europe we have to face the problem of the older getting population. Europe shall need young men and women to strengthen our workforce. When we can help rescuing people fleeing for the horrors of war we should open our borders.

Therefore, we can only shake our heads when we hear that others plan on building walls. Europe is familiar with such division. We must not let it come to that point anymore. To question the free movement of persons, on anyone’s behalf, would be a major setback for this free and diverse community.

The EU is not perfect but it assures peace and safety in Europe. To criticise it, is legitimate. To destroy it, is not.

We cannot deny that reforms and innovations are needed to make the EU fit for the future. However, these reforms can only be completed through unity and cohesion and not through antipathy and inner conflict.

A strengthening of the European Union is very overdue.

Isn’t it a privilege to be able to call our neighbours our friends? To move freely without passport control? Not to have to exchange currency? And moreover: to live in peace?

For us Europeans, these privileges have become self-evident, just like so many other things in the EU. And yet so many are beginning to question it all.

With thanks to Vox Europe

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Preceding articles

Still Hope though Power generating long train of abuses

Challenges and impact on freedom of movement within the EU

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Additional reading

  1. Migrants to the West #1
  2. Migrants to the West #2
  3. Migrants to the West #3
  4. Migrants to the West #6
  5. Migrants to the West #8 Welbeing
  6. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  7. 2015 Human rights
  8. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  9. Religious Freedom in a Multicultural World
  10. The New gulf of migration and seed for far right parties
  11. Problems by losing the borders
  12. Brexit: The mother of all uncertainties
  13. Walls,colours, multiculturalism, money to flow, Carson, Trump and consorts

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  3. Schengen area: Update and state of play
  4. Hungary: The Abject Failure of the EU
  5. UK & Europe
  6. UK: MP McDonagh chairwoman of the all-party parliamentary group of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community calls crack down of radicalisation
  7. Brexit bill to go before MPs from Monday
  8. Brexit, Blair and doing the right thing
  9. Will UK Nationals Lose their EU Citizens’ Rights after Brexit?
  10. Pros and cons of multi-speed EU
  11. Poland ‘alone’ in the EU after Tusk re-election snub — Anti-European Union storm clouds — “The EU is in Germany’s sphere of influence.”
  12. Ordanoski: There is only one direction for Balkan countries – west
  13. As ECB Charts Economic Course, Politics Complicate the Picture
  14. EPRS circular economy infographic
  15. Berlin calls for dialogue to mitigate risks in Balic Sea region
  16. Reactions to the ECJ decision on asylum law in EU
  17. Europe: Poland fails to stop Donald Tusk EU re-election
  18. Donald Tusk re-elected as European council president
  19. Much to Poland’s Chagrin, Donald Tusk Wins Second Term as European Council President
  20. The European pass or how to expel more

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Filed under Headlines - News, History, Juridical matters, Political affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

From Guestwriters 2016 in review

English: The logo of the blogging software Wor...

Each day million articles are published, looking to find a reading eye. Every day thousands of new articles appear on WordPress. In 2016 one hundred seventeen billion nine hundred thirteen million one hundred forty-eight thousand three hundred fifty seven words got published on WordPress. {Automattic WordPress year-in-review-2016}

2016 in view

The year that David Bowie and Prince passed away, like several very well known figures of the arts world, it looked like some people who made it in their life did not want to stay here any longer. It was also the year of lots of terrorism and political correctness, where those who are different than the mainstream (disabled, transgender, refugees, extreme religious and non religious groups, jihad fighters,) got lots of attention.
In the United States of America Obama Care which at last had become a reality came back under threat. North America saw in Boston in November, the Disability Policy Consortium accepted proposals and held a Disability Intersectionality Summit. Presentations included topics on the intersections of being undocumented, being LGBTQ+, being a person of colour, having mental health disabilities, on #DisabilityTooWhite – the hashtag and movement around the the disability community’s failure to represent racially diverse voices – and more. Lots of things came on the American roller-coaster, having Michigan banned non-emergency restraint and seclusion for disabled students and Georgia’s governor speaking in favour of Employment First policies for disabled people in Georgia.

2016 Nice attack.png

Route of the attacker from west to east at the Promenade des Anglais, Nice

With the 15th anniversary of 9/11 the jihadi‘s made sure they would not be forgotten; ISIS/ISIL and BokoHaram being the new strongholders. In Europe the fear took so many people that politicians saw the opportunity to fuel the extreme right and come with absurd laws, like banning burkini‘s. All the fearmongering having fueled by the March 22 suicide bombings at Brussel’s Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station, leaving around 35 victims dead and 360 seriously injured, ISIS claiming responsibility.
America also got its portion of  ISIS-madness with a gunman claiming allegiance to the Islamic State opens fire at gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49, injuring 53 – one of the bigger mass shootings in the U.S.A.. September 17 a terror bomb in Chelsea, New York injured 29 people. Lots of Americans got so frightened of Muslim people, looking at them if they all would be terrorist, though they under their own white Christian population had more victims by weapon violence this year than by terrorism. Several times the world could see how racism is still a big problem in the States and how police can not keep themselves in control when arresting black people. (African American Alton Sterling shot by Louisiana police in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile shot by police in St Paul Black on July 6; American Keith Lamont Scott September 20)
The Islamic militants for sure where very active all over the world. Some events called for more attention worldwide, having foreigners also under the victims or by being considered the country’s worse terror attack for the year, like at a cafe in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where a fighter killed 20 hostages and 2 police on July 1. The next day (July 2) a large lorry bomb in Baghdad killing at least 125 people and wounding 150, Islamic State claiming once more responsibility.  On December 11 a bombing at a chapel in Cairo, Egypt, killed 25 and wounded 45. December 19 again a truck was used to kill many people, like in Nice on the 14th of July now the target was a Christmas market in Berlin killing 12, injuring 48.

Terroranschlag-Berlin-Breitscheidplatz-2016 (2) (31731061626) (square crop).jpg

Aftermath of the 2016 Berlin attack

In the States of America on January 17 the Fourth Democratic presidential candidates debate showed how Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders clashed over healthcare and gun control in Charleston, South Carolina, and gave us an idea that though perhaps the best candidate of all Bernie Sanders would not going to make it to president elect. Two days later Sarah Palin officially endorsed Donald Trump‘s presidential bid at a Trump rally in Ames, Iowa. What nobody thought possible occurred when this man made it to the preselections, then to the selection to finally become what nobody would ever dreamed possible, him becoming president elect. November 8 Republican Donald Trump became elected President of The United States of America, defeating democrat Hillary Clinton despite Clinton winning 2.9 million more votes. Europe fell on its back for the second time, the first one having been the vote for the Brexit (June 23), who nobody had thought would come through. These two unexpected events show clearly how careful we must be when we think it not necessary to spend time on such personalities and situations.

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Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

For that reason we should much more react on what is going on on ecological level. The Paris Agreement on climate change signed in New York (on April 22) binding 195 nations to an increase in the global average temperature to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C is only the beginning of a long road to run. Global warming is not only blamed the cause of many people having to flee for the rising water-level. On August 1 there was an anthrax outbreak in the Russian district Yamalo-Nenets, Siberia killing one and infecting 8 others, also killing 2,300 reindeer. Indian government declared levels of air pollution in Delhi an emergency situation, closing schools and construction sites on November 6.

Though 2016 seemed to be the year that people where more concerned about the whereabouts and the look of their friends on Facebook and Twitter. Social media being the major interest gainer of the year. Most people more concerned about their outfit, fashion, style and strangely enough books and films again.

Astronaut Scott Kelly

Astronaut Scott Kelly

Lots of people running with their heads in the skies did not notice that US astronauts Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to earth, on March the 2nd, after nearly a year (340 days), setting an ISS record. For the earthly matters it became time that the U.S.A. did something positive to restore the relations between them and Cuba. March 20 Barack Obama became the first US President to visit Cuba since 1928, arriving for a 2 day tour.

The ‘Big Joke of the year’ (in April) was to see how many politicians who said something had to be done against fraud and how people had to pay honestly their taxes, their names could be found on the 11.5 million confidential documents from offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca , the Panama Papers exposing widespread illegal activities including fraud, kleptocracy, tax evasion and the violation of international sanctions by the world’s elite in the world’s largest ever data leak.

On April 11 UN-backed ceasefire came into effect in Yemen conflict between Iranian-backed Houthis rebels and government forces.

June 7 with a car bomb attack on a police bus in central Istanbul killing 11 was just a beginning of a whole series of bombings in Turkey of which there is no clarity if they are orchestrated by some political forces to have Erdogan in an even stronger dictatorial position. June 28 presented again a suicide bombings and gun attacks, at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport killing 42 and wounding more than 200. We have no idea if the coup d’etat was something set up by Erdogan himself. It gave him way to hold a big clean up and to get rid of all those who stood in his way.

In Colombia more than 50 years of conflict came in its last stadium, the governement and Farc rebels signing a ceasefire agreement on June the  23rd, followed by many talks to have the rebels not being sued.

2016 for this platform

WordPress Administration

WordPress Administration (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of the 595,795,035 posts written on WordPress we only presented a mere 358 articles, hoping our humble little site could catch some interest by the many people who are scanning the worldwide internet for something interesting to read. From our tiny country not having any funds, not having serious backing and not able to afford much money on writers, designers or even having our own publishing space, just using the private limited funds of the editor and responsible publisher Mr. Marcus Ampe, we sincerely try to find some interesting literature on the net and present it to our readers and visitors. Because not having much GBites we are limited in re-blogging because pictorial content eats our internet data space, but when a must read is found with lots of photos we still do hope to be able to discuss it or to present it in one of our articles.

English: Stats on Cross-ideological Blogging

Stats on Cross-ideological Blogging (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We must confess that we did not catch many readers for the many work-hours we invest searching for additional and further reading material. Luckily this was the first year we did not very angry letters of people being onerous that we included their article in the listing. In 2016 for the first time we even got a letter thanking us for having brought 1000 readers to someone’s site. Though we put a lot of work in creating all the links in the articles and in the accompanying list of interesting articles, to our sense or liking not enough people make use of those links and referential titles. For that reason from now on we shall perhaps start putting less url-backgroundlinks to words or tags, but still shall continue to try to offer you a list of noteworthy article by other bloggers.

It is a pity we only could find 7 782 views of only 4 827 visitors coming along.
Officially opened to the public on 2014/03/2 we got 1 847 visitors the first year and 2 764 visitors in 2015, so we may be satisfied it is a line going upwards. Though published from Belgium in the European Union, our ‘home-country’ only delivered 269 views. The United States being at the top with giving us 3745 views, followed by the United Kingdom delivering 852 views and our northern neighbours the Netherlands offering us 532 views may encourage us to continue.

The home page caught 2 118 views, followed by 349 for the About page. Of the articles “Religious celebrations in May 2016” got the most views (only 103) and got only 4 likes.

People naturally have to find us. 1 437 do so by using search machines, whilst 783 use the WordPress facilities. 155 come along by Facebook. But we too are happy to find other WordPress users referring to us and bringing readers to our site. Naturally our own authors or own sites like our ecclesia site (9 views), the Belgian Biblestudents and the Bijbelvorsers (each 8) and Stepping Toes (7), but non connected writers like ridzerdvandijk.wordpress.com with 8 views and sneakytwistedlittlewildheart.wordpress.com (good for 6), entering the promissedland (5), discoveronething (5), eternalhunt (5) and some others bringing us each 4 or less viewers.

U.S. advertisement for the 11th edition from t...

U.S. advertisement for the 11th edition from the May 1913 issue of National Geographic Magazine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The most used search terms were ‘hoopvolle slogans’ and ‘bezinningsteksten zelfkritiek’ with each 3 hits.
We ourselves brought 110 readers to our other site “Our World” and for for other sources Wikipedia got 56 readers from us, whilst the Collins dictionary got 21 and the very good Encyclopaedia Britannica only 18 views. Abortion and crime rates by wordlifeandlight managed to get 6 views from us and Lizaborstlap received also 6 visitors, as far as we can see from our statistics.

imageThis last person who has always been a person with a to-do list is also one of the people who wanted to share some writing on this platform. But there were many days when she became a slave to her lists and she had to face that things don’t always happen as planned and that she would feel like a failure if she wasn’t able to cross out all the tasks that she allocated to a specific day.{a goal should scare you a little and excite you a Lot!}

She may perhaps had to become, like us, more specific and to be realistic in what she can (and can’t) achieve in one day; but we did want to reach so much and sometimes got frustrated not seeing our accomplishment for the day.

We are still looking for authors who would not mind to write about lifestyle, interior design, fashion, cooking, family life, gardening, nature and ecological matters and some persons who would not mind tackling the history and people who would love to write about education and health. There are so many subjects not covered yet by people who can tell more about it than we can.

From the end of 2016 onwards we added two viewpoints, namely two comparators, on one site the Muslim world and on the other site the Judaic world and traditions.

English: Monkeys Blogging Español: Simios blog...

English: Monkeys Blogging Español: Simios bloggeando (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We do know that certain subjects are not tackled here. Marcus Ampe would love to find some one talking about family matters, family life being one of the cornerstones of our society. To his regret he must also establish that in 2016 not enough regard was given to ecological matters. Man having to live in surroundings which are too polluted and which are filled with buildings and cars, but not given the freedom to have enough green to bring enlightenment and fresh air to people. It is really getting time that more people warn others about us, man, to take care of mother earth, before it is too late.

Whilst on WordPress in general 112 million posts were liked, we did not have many likes. 8 billion e-mails were send on WordPress, but in those there are not counted the very many e-mails we got in our own e-mail box, instead of reacting on the blog articles themselves. This is a pity, because other readers can not read the reactions and oh so often we have to reply to very similar questions, which is more time consuming than having a reply which can be read by thousands on the internet.

For 2017 may we hope that if there are even more articles written on the internet than the 595,795,035 posted on WordPress in 2016 and the huge amount of comments, making it up to 457,596,906 comments on WordPress, you shall be able to  find some very interesting articles and comments here too.

Donald Trump enters the Oscar De LA Renta Fash...

Donald Trump enters the Oscar De LA Renta Fashion Show, New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2016 we saw that it is possible that those with the biggest mouth and do not mind trampling over many can get their cause. 2016 may have been a disastrous year on several issues and lots of important issues where not even mentioned or got not the right attention. For this new year we love to repeat our call to get more people daring to come out for the poor and the maltreated. We also once more want to ask people to wake up the majority of the population who still keeps their eyes closed for what is really going on in this world. There is a need of more people who are willing to stand up to preserve and encourage the progress of humanity while resisting the forces that threaten to turn it backwards.

We have to be very cautious for what certain people try to do with their nation but also with the world. As citizen we should be aware that politicians are nothing without their people and that folks if they really want can be much stronger than those politicians, who dare to look away from the citizen who needs help and encouragement. Those who call themselves Christian should be there to give a hand to all that need help, not forgetting nature, plants and animals who do not have a voice. therefore we do hope to find more blogs tackling their problem, and would love to have an author on ecology writing for us from this year onwards.

Without you reader we are nothing and can do nothing. We thank you for being here with us and for the followers we are grateful and do hope we can please you with a varied menu.

Wishing everyone a great 2017.

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Preceding article

2014 in review

In 2015 finishing our first year: From Guestwriters 2015 in review

Pokémon craziness

2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Children of Men

Max Lucado: I Had a Dream That Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Reached a Truce

Leaders in disguise

Looking at man’s closest friend

Looking at an American nightmare

The twist of politics and expression

Tribes Redux

Darkest just before dawn

Bruxelles Ma Belle

Mountains of information, disinformation and breaking away

Women in France running with naked bosom all right but with covered bosom penalised

An American Embassy to the Eternal Capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem

Humanity Quote for Pax Populi

When will it stop

Not limiting others but sharing peace with all

Not missing your appointment in 2017

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Additional reading

  1. EU’s European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) asylum seekers and Eastern neighbours
  2. At the closing hours of 2016 #1 Looking down at terror
  3. At the closing hours of 2016 #2 Low but also highlights
  4. Suffering brothers and sisters in Malawi, Mozambique and surrounding areas
  5. Not much interest for English articles
  6. From Bibles and other religious writings and those who witness for Jehovah
  7. 2016 American Bible survey
  8. On April 21 brother Nelson, in the world better known as Prince was lost
  9. Social media, sympathy & shocks
  10. Foreign workers and immigrants
  11. A stain of shame for the European Union
  12. Voted against their system
  13. A sleeper cell of militants was said directing attackers sent back to France from Islamic State’s de-facto capital in Raqqa, Syria
  14. Daesh hits heart of Europe
  15. Islamism Rises from Europe’s Secularism
  16. March 22 2016, attacks in Brussels at airport and metro
  17. A Black day for Belgium – Brussels Airport ravage
  18. Knife-trust in democratic sore back
  19. For those who call the Brussels Airport attacks a fake or a conspiracy of the government
  20. Terrorist attacks in brussels
  21. Silence, devotion, Salafists, quietists, weaponry, bombings, books, writers and terrorists
  22. US President, Barack Obama Condemns The Outrageous Brussels Attacks
  23. What Associated Press released on Wednesday 23 March 2016
  24. Mediterranean bloodshed
  25. Nice attack, terror everywhere and coup attempt in Turkey
  26. Is Europe going to become a dictatorial bastion
  27. French showing to the whole world their fear and weakness
  28. On French beach French police forces woman to undress in public
  29. France and the Burkini
  30. Secularism in France becoming dangerous for freedom of religion
  31. Christians, secularism, morals and values
  32. Listening to the lessons of the Bible and looking for ways to please God
  33. Where’s the Outrage Over Nun Beachwear? – The Daily Beast
  34. You are what you wear
  35. Does Banning Face Veils Help Us Fight Terrorism?
  36. Jews the next scapegoat for Donald Trump
  37. The American clouds of Anti-Semitism
  38. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  39. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  40. Trump has been buffetted by accusations of miscunduct
  41. Fearmongering succeeded and got the bugaboo a victory
  42. Are United States of America citizens going to show their senses
  43. When so desperate to hold onto power
  44. Some quotes Americans should remember when going to the ballot office
  45. Brexit and British business
  46. Brexit No. 2 Blow-up
  47. Nigel Farage called Donald Trump’s victory ‘bigger than Brexit’
  48. A strong and wise fighter who keeps believing in America
  49. Bosphorus bloodshed
  50. Belgian aftershock from the Turkish coup d’état

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Other WordPress bloggers looking back at 2016

  1. 2016 Year In Review (by Hunter Bonner)
  2. 16 things i learned in 2016
  3. 2016 was lighting candles to mourn, but it was also carrying torches high
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  14. 2016 Year in review book tag
  15. V’s Reading Year in Review: 2016
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Filed under Activisme & Vredeswerk, Announcement, Crimes & Atrocities, Ecological affairs, Economical affairs, Headlines - News, History, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Tribes Redux

All over Europe we are feeling the pressure of certain people who think the country belongs to them only, even when their ancestors immigrated to that country which was then willing to receive them and to give them a place to build up a better life. But now their grand- or over-grandchildren do not want to give others such a chance to make something better out of their life.

The far-right (or today also called the Alt-right) becoming stronger in West-Europe and now also spreading like a virus over the United States of America and Canada, should make those who feel more for a democratic system more worried and anxious to take action, for bringing a halt to this fungus which can make our whole nation rotten and a dangerous swamp to live in.

Good that William Hill does not keep his writings private any more.
He likes to start each posting with a quote by someone past or present that speaks to the topic he want to address.Today he starts of with a quote from the young Kenian journalist at Africanews, Euronews and co-host for Ebru News “Aiming at the 4th°. First. Fast. Factual. Final & Future word” who thinks

The world is a sitcom waiting to be written. Start young.

Robert Kodingo who has a news room with French, English African and Nigerian speakers and sends praise from Nigeria (on Periscope TV). Robert Kodingo his quote

“We hate each other by race, color, tribe, wealth, gender etc because everyone wants to feel special and different than the other. I do not however have a solution on how people can stop having an ego that makes them specially superior than the other.”

should make us to see how ego has conquered the capitalist world.

William Hill or Bill his thoughts are sometimes serious and personal, sometimes just humorous, sometimes intentionally provocative (to make the reader assess their own thoughts on the subject and to elicit a comment). He also could see what is going on in Europe.

He also is not blind to notice that loss of old national sovereignty with subservience to Brussels’ bureaucracy might have been a good reason for many to go for a Brexit. {Immigration} He writes

but the largest reason is the huge influx of Middle Eastern and North African immigrants flooding into Europe, financially taxing, particularly the western, northern industrial nations. That, and the fear that embedded among them are terrorists bent on destroying western civilization. {Immigration}

But he suspects there’s a more truthful reason.

“It is interesting…the rhetoric [and] the gathering strength of right wing politics….Everywhere in the West ‘immigration’ [is spoken] in terms of the end of …’culture’, displaying signs of feeling threatened by these ‘others,’ who are portrayed as an invasive force.” ( Himani Bannerji.) {Immigration}

.

In Europe our states or countries are free to be part of the European Union or to stay out or like Great-Britain has shown, to leave.For a long time our guest-writer Bill espoused his belief that free, open and unencumbered travel and residency should be a right of all peoples, that globally – that right enjoyed by citizens within the United States and the European Union, respectively – should apply to everyone, world-wide. {The Great Wall of Donald}From his writings we may learn that many American Christians seem to be sitting with a very very old idea

if you worked hard enough you could become a rich, influential person. For centuries the only ones who needed to be educated to succeed were the clergy. {Education in America}

From the same article we learn at our surprise that not many Christians from the U.S.A. are holding postgraduate degrees:

Hindus – 48%

Jews – 35%

Buddhists– 26%

Catholics – 10% {Ed. note: we do not know Bill only looks at Roman Catholics, like often many Americans do or at all Catholics}

Protestants – 9%

(Not mentioned were those without a confessed religion. I wonder what percentage they are?)

If you wonder (as I did at first) why Christians are so far behind other religious, I think the answer is cultural.

Buddists and Hindus both share a similiar belief that the soul’s future condition is dependent on the knowledge acquired by the mind in this lifetime, that knowledge becomes understanding of life, and that is the ultimate goal of life. (It would seem that, contrary to Christian teachings that all understanding will be granted to the soul upon death,  Buddists and Hindus believe understaning is not a gift in the next life, rather something to be strove for in this life.)

The Jews for most of their history – at least in Europe – were not allowed to own land (which was the riches of the day) and they had to be ready to leave on a moment’s notice to escape local progoms against them.  Hence an education was portable and enabled them to find work without being tied to one place.  {Education in America}

 

No wonder than perhaps we can find so many who are carried away so easily by words from some one who knows his rhetoric well. For politicians it is proffered that their folks do not think too much for themselves. Therefore certain countries are trying to give the idea to their inhabitants they are ‘somewhat’ or that they can get a ‘degree’ but that degree does not say much or has not much value opposite the degrees of renowned universities. The Donald Trump University promised to give some money back to those who complained they are ripped off.

It is known that

Males of most species of animals are prone to violence, yet where it is the male that is the primary care-giver and has the greater role in raising the young, it is the females that compete violently with each other. {News that doesn’t sell newspapers}

We could see many republican women who could skin Hilary Clinton alive. But for certain women the other and coloured women may also be a competitor on their market for men. and when they have to see that certain of those women of an other race can climb higher than them it makes it very painful.

Certain politicians playing in on the weak part of their audience made a handy use of the fear the media is creating by lots of people.  As such by the fear mongering in several nations of Europe and different states in the United States, those who found an easy way to point at a target or culprit, proclaiming nationalism, anti-immigrant and religious intolerance.

*

To remember

  • significant up-tick in the level and number (almost a daily occurrence) of violent confrontations racially + ethnically,
  • US, a nation of immigrants + freedom of religion + who for the last sixty years promoted internationalism by multiple treaties of cooperation in multiple areas

For Bill there is a good tombstone epitaph over the grave of humanity after we destroy ourselves.


“Mine mine mine.
That was the curse and power of human beings — that what they saw and loved they had to have.
They could share it with other people but only if they conceived of those people as being somehow their own.
What we own is ours.
What you own should also be ours.
In fact, you own nothing, if we want it.
Because you are nothing.
We are the real people, you are only posing as people in order to try to deprive us of what God means us to have.”
 ― Orson Scott Card

+

Preceding articles

Autumn is in the land

Enough with the Clothes Shaming of Muslim Women

American Christians have to think twice before going to vote

++

Additional reading

  1. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  2. Migrants to the West #1
  3. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey
  4. The New gulf of migration and seed for far right parties
  5. Our political systems and juggling with human laws
  6. Objective views and not closing eyes for certain sayings

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Further reading

  1. Puritans and Pilgrims
  2. “We Are Not Our Grandparents:” Yeah, That’s Pretty Clear
  3. To be an ‘Aryan’
  4. Standing Rock
  5. Ancestors
  6. Ancestral Reverence
  7. The Past
  8. Gifts from our ancestors
  9. Echos of ancestors
  10. Origins
  11. 7 Things Our Ancestors Stockpiled To Survive Winter
  12. Friendship Comes in Small Gestures
  13. Don’t judge from the cover
  14. Let’s clarify! Migration, Immigration, Emigration: the importance of proper definitions.
  15. A Migrant By Any Other Name is an Expat
  16. 260 White Crosses
  17. Jo Cox: victim of ‘Leave’ hate crime.
  18. Immigration to the UK from the European Union hit a record high in the run-up to the Brexit vote
  19. A record number of migrants have arrived in Italy this year by boat
  20. 1,400 migrants rescued in Mediterranean
  21. Italy’s Minister Of Interior (Freemason): Surrender Your Homes To Migrants Or Face Jail
  22. Calais: the State in total hesitation
  23. France and Them: Expats, Migrants, Refugees
  24. Swiss immigration quotas: where do we stand?
  25. VQR 2016 Prize for Photography – Jason Florio ‘Out of the Sea’
  26. Austria News | Asylum-Seekers
  27. Bulgaria News | Asylum-Seekers
  28. A flirting coach is giving refugees dating lessons ‘to help them integrate’
  29. These migrants must be sent back to Africa and Asia. Migrant crisis: Bulgaria orders migrant deportations after riots at camp on Turkey border | World | News | Daily Express
  30. My Issue With “Stopping the Boat People”
  31. Fate of thousands of missing migrant children in Europe still unclear
  32. Merkel says EU and Turkey must stick to migration deal
  33. Child asylum seekers subjected to controversial age tests
  34. A Word To The Criminal Migrant
  35. Recycling means risk of increased crime in Denmark
  36. Erdogan threatens to allow 3m refugees cross into Europe
  37. Erdogan Warns Turkey Could Open Gates for Migrants if Pushed by EU — After EU Stops Talks With Turkey on EU membership
  38. Encounters With Racism, Anti-Semitism, and Bigotry in Germany And Beyond
  39. Video: Racist Attacks!
  40. Punk: Beyoncé Unleashes Formation
  41. The Future President
  42. America once turned its back on Anne Frank, just as Donald Trump rejects Muslim refugees today
  43. Article of the day: American ethnic politics in comparative perspective
  44. Blame Trump on the Rich, Part 4: The KKK and the two Neighborhoods Adjacent 
  45. “But why can’t we have white pride?”
  46. For White Voters, It Was Education, Stupid
  47. Republicans Can’t Be Christians — Sorry!
  48. Bridges – Stepping Forward with Lilka and Andy
  49. Cartoon of the day
  50. Reader letter: Alt-right story ‘refreshing, important’
  51. “Doctor Calls Michelle Obama ‘Monkey Face,’ But Says She’s Not Racist”
  52. Adichie’s “danger of a single story” and the Rise of Post-Truth Trumplandia
  53. 12-2-16
  54. The US once gave amnesty to almost 3 million undocumented migrants. Here’s the economic argument for doing it again
  55. Ladies and Gentlemen. The President of the United States.
  56. He’s Making a List
  57. Monochromacy
  58. Let’s All Get Vulnerable
  59. Sermon Notes – gRace Part 2: Good Fences Make Bad Neighbours
  60. Anti-Semitism in Hungary and Its Spiritual Twin Poland
  61. Honor Diversity
  62. District temporarily pulls classic novels after complaint
  63. Top 10 reasons why it’s hard to talk to some white people about race.
  64. (12/01/2016) No Less GOD’s Creation
  65. Envie de partager ce texte

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Quotes and Thoughts

“We hate each other by race, color, tribe, wealth, gender etc because everyone wants to feel special and different than the other. I do not however have a solution on how people can stop having an ego that makes them specially superior than the other.”

― Robert Kodingo

Some nations in Europe, and lately the United States, have been voting for leaders or policies that proclaim  nationalism, anti-immigrant and religious intolerance. There has been a significant up-tick in the level and number – now almost a daily occurrence – of violent confrontations racially and ethnically, without any indication of possible abeyance.

Things I find loathsome and abhorrent. Especially here, in the US, a nation of immigrants and freedom of religion and who for the last sixty years has promoted internationalism by multiple treaties of cooperation in multiple areas. The incoming Trump administration is still in the formative stages and there…

View original post 490 more words

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Economical affairs, Headlines - News, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Lessons of the Somme

Showing some photo’s from one of the display panels within the Thiepval Visitor Centre featuring photographs of some of the men who were commemorated on the memorial we should stand still by the millions of people who lost their lives, not only in World War I but also in World War II and the many battles which were fought on the battle fields in Europe. At last common sense brought the nations together working on a community of unity, the European Union, which now is back under threat.

The panel created in 2004 and consisting of 600 head and shoulders pictures which were selected to provide a fair representation of the 72,000 on the memorial are just a shade of men who had ideals, hopes and dreams, which were shattered to pieces in agony and despair by the cruelty which overtook them all.

Display panels in three languages — English, French and German — may provide an overview of the course of the Great War from 1914-1918, but it is the task to each sincere civilian and honest human being to spread the message of peace all over the world in their own mother tongue and show the world why that atrocity which took place 100 years ago may not happen again.

Today there are still millions of people dying because the greed to power and the aim to suppress others is still with the stealth of a tiger looking at the world and to malinger as a dangerous silent virus which has no mercy, bringing damage to both parties involved.

John Grant as Meticulous Mick writes from Cork in Ireland that he

was pleased to see that there were a number of school educational trips to these sites of historic importance.

all over Europe schools should have such trips in their curriculum. In Belgium is is an obligated element to make the youngsters aware of the dangers of prejudice against others, racism and undemocratic systems.

His blog was started on 13th May 2013 in order to explore some of his more creative skills that were just waiting to leap out. From his visits he presents his photographs and today we would like to ask you to loo at those of the battlefields.

In walking around the “Y-Trench” cemetery within the grounds of the Newfoundland Memorial at Beaumont Hamel, the largest area of the site of the battle that has been preserved of the Battle of the Somme, he was struck by the number of graves that all bore the date of that fateful first day of fighting, 1st July 1916. Of the 780 men of the Newfoundland Regiment that went over, only 68 were able to report for roll call the next day. Like many battlefields of the Great War many bodies could not be identified any more and lots of people could not be found.

For him

As much as the memorial was impressive, it was the preserved scars of war, the unmarked graves and the statistics that had the most effect on me. I was humbled. {100 Years On}

The Forward Trench at the site of the Somme, Beaumont Hamel

Trench Lines – Photo John Grant, working under the name of Meticulous Mick and JRCR Grant.

+

Preceding

Honouring hundreds of thousands of victims of the brutal Somme battle

Ulster Tower ceremony for the Irish at the Somme battle

Aftermath

+++

Relating articles

  1. Battle Of The Somme.1
  2. The Battle of the Somme 2
  3. World War I History: ‘A Good Kick’ -The Story of the Ball That Led To One of The Bloodiest Battles in History
  4. What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
  5. World War I History: Slaughter on the Somme
  6. The Somme (1916) Working Class Holocaust
  7. July 1, 1916, the beginning of the Battle of the Somme
  8. 2/7/1916 The Somme: counting the cost, planning the next steps
  9. Neville, George Henry. Died 2nd Jul 1916
  10. Monday July 3, 1916
  11. Day 3 of 141 days of the Battle of the Somme 1916-2016 100 years
  12. 3/7/1916 The Somme: a failed night attack
  13. White, William Samuel. Died 3rd Jul 1916
  14. Collins, Henry Edward. Died 3rd Jul 1916
  15. July 4, 1916 – Battle of the Somme greeted with ‘the greatest enthusiasm’
  16. “My darling, au revoir.” – War diaries of Captain Charles May | GM 1914
  17. Rugby and the Battle of the Somme: the International Players who Died
  18. The Young Lost in the Somme
  19. The Last Day Of The Somme.
  20. The Battle of the Somme remembered at Camberley’s war memorail
  21. 19,240 Shrouds at Exeter
  22. 19240
  23. We are here
  24. The Battle of Fromelles : 19 July 1916
  25. Remembering the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme
  26. Whitgift School commemorates Battle of the Somme Centenary
  27. In the Field – The Battle of the Somme (100 not out)
  28. Remembrance day
  29. A day late, but…
  30. 3 Days, 3 Quotes | Day 2
  31. The Somme
  32. Flodden
  33. Recalling visits to WW1 Battle of the Somme war memorials
  34. Change, My Dear
  35. Letters From A Lost Generation – First World War Letters of Vera Brittain and Four Friends
  36. A Series of Unrelated Traditions
  37. roadside
  38. An Invasion of Lilies
  39. And Winter Descended
  40. A sombre day

Meticulous Mick

I myself was quite unsure about visiting the site of the Battle of the Somme. I did not know how I would feel, what emotions it might stir.

Having now been, I am unequivocal in recommending that people should go to such sites. In reality, visiting these sites did more than any book might convey and brought the message sharply home; the futility and waste that war brings.

These lessons need to be passed on, generation to generation. It was in that regard that I was pleased to see that there were a number of school educational trips to these sites of historic importance.

The Thiepval Memorial itself contains the names of 72,195 British and South African soldiers “missing” in the Battle of the Somme.

We all need to learn.

Note: Images of the soldiers were taken at the Thiepval Memorial, Flanders, France.

Credit: Statistical information taken from Wikipedia

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by | 2016/07/04 · 11:46 am

Being European in a Post Brexit Britain

Britain and exit to get Brexit and to become the boomerang which shall frighten citizens of Great Britain, Europe and the U.S.A..

A referendum – a vote in which everyone (or nearly everyone) of voting age can take part – was held on Thursday 23 June, giving the inhabitants of Great Britain the opportunity to have their say to decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union. Most people at the continent were convinced that the sane minds of the Britons would vote for “In”, but they and the bookkeepers were unexpectedly wrong.

According to British standards the turn out was very good, 71.8%, with more than 30 million people voting. It was the highest turnout in a UK-wide vote since the 1992 general election. But 52% to 48% decided they did not want to be involved any more in the economic and political partnership of the 28 states making up the European Union.

Whilst EU law still stands in the UK until it ceases being a member – a process which may not take long time – clearly some British people showed they have no intention to keep up a European attitude of diversity of people. Already before the election, the last few months up to the referendum, it showed that it was much more about immigration and racism than economical and political reasons. As soon the vote to leave the EU was published the aggression against foreigners and other looking people than British people became public.

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Yesterday at the Flemish television we could see and hear about non-British and nationalised immigrants in Great Britain being harassed.

The politicians have worked hard the last few months to create a hate against all foreign people in Great Britain and a disgust for all those who have an other skin colour or an other tongue.

The 27 EU member state countries their politicians should carefully look at what they have to avoid at any price.

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Male and female were created to keep each other company and to multiply creating a world were they could all live as brothers and sisters united together in a beautiful and sacred world. Of the environment man made already a terrible mess and of their way of living they proved not ever having succeeded to build up a good nice society for everyone. this gives good reason to keep working hard at the project European Union and to strive together to a liveable and loveable mini-world on this globe of diversity.

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Rhiannon, a nineteen years old half Spanish, half Welsh but of British nationality, currently studying at the University of Exeter and living in a student flat in Exeter. With university studies, work and just generally living her life, she hasn’t really had much time to dedicate to keeping up a blog and she didn’t want this to become a chore – it was never her intention to make this something that makes her feel pressured to maintain. {A Quick Update (June 2016)} but we may be pleased some youngsters also get to feel when it is really time to let their voice also be heard.

What happened on June the 27th made her decide she wanted to write more about the effects and the aftermath of the referendum first, and seemed to have become a victim herself as well.

Would it be not normal people can speak different languages? Even when living in one country and being able to speak the language of that country very easily, would it not be justified to speak the language of other family members when going out together?

Though when she went shopping with her mother she spontaneously started speaking in Spanish, just chatting about what they were buying and such. However, after about ten-fifteen minutes of that, as they were leaving the store, the mother seemed not feeling alright speaking in Spanish. When people have such reason because they are taken by fear, this should alert us Europeans and all civilised citizens.

Her mother did not find it such a good idea that they speak in Spanish and that it was best to stick to English.

Listen to what had happened and what the answer was when Rhiannon asked her why.

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Preceding:

Denmark votes in favour for a Discriminatory Nazi law

Poster: Please Help The Refugees

Tolerance Ends When There Is No Tolerance Shown Towards Us

Our life depending on faith

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Additional reading

  1. The New gulf of migration and seed for far right parties
  2. Migrants to the West #7 Religions
  3. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #8 Work
  4. Silence, devotion, Salafists, quietists, weaponry, bombings, books, writers and terrorists
  5. Social media a destabilisation tool in the Middle East and Syrian conflict
  6. Economic crisis danger for the rise of political extremism
  7. Preparing for an important election
  8. 2015 Economy
  9. Brexit clashes and reasons to consider to bring out the right vote
  10. Backing the wrong horse
  11. Brexit, Nexit, Vlexit and Frexit
  12. Financial mishmash
  13. Trump brand of migrant demonization #1
  14. Trump brand of migrant demonization #2
  15. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  16. White Privilege Conference (WPC) wanting to keep the press out for obvious reasons
  17. Pope Francis says Catholics must become evangelisers
  18. Unity doesn’t mean uniformity
  19. Consequences of Breivik’s mass murder
  20. Religion, fundamentalism and murder

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Find also to read:

  1. Cameron decries ‘despicable racism’ and Palin dumps New World Order: Eight things to know about Brexit so far
  2. European right-wingers, emboldened by Brexit, eye their own yes-or-no votes on the future of the EU
  3. Right sees a U.S. parallel in Brexit vote–and it could be right
  4. Home is where the hate is
  5. Post-Brexit: racist attacks go mainstream in disunited kingdom
  6. Our stance against certain religions and immigrating people
  7. Pelagianism, abundant sex, no works and refugees
  8. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  9. For those Christians who say they are the Victim
  10. What can YOU do to help stop this new wave of racism?
  11. Brexit has given voice to racism – and too many are complicit
  12. ‘Go back home’ – Bitter backlash post EU referendum
  13. After a campaign scarred by bigotry, it’s become OK to be racist in Britain | Aditya Chakrabortty
  14. I’m Stunned At How Brexit Has Unleashed Racism And Hate
  15. Brexit: Wave of hate crime and racial abuse reported following EU referendum

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Further readings

  1. Not seeing the wood for the trees: A blog on progress and setbacks
  2. Being European in a Post Brexit Britain
  3. ‘Brexit ‘- What is this all about and how it affects Europeans
  4. Brexit; My Review on the Result
  5. Brexit Nonesense
  6. Brexit: Ugly Democracy
  7. Brexit and You
  8. My father fought in WW1, and my mother learned Esperanto – this is what they would have thought of Brexit
  9. Coming to terms with ‘Brexit’
  10. Brexit: So, did Anyone have a Plan…
  11. Andrew Coyne: Voters need to be sold on the merits of open borders, not have free trade foisted on them
  12. Universal discontent with Tory government and policies triggers intergalactic referendum
  13. Hold a second referendum, British cabinet minister urges as prime minister heads to Brussels
  14. Project Fear May Be Over, But Reality Is Much More Frightening
  15. Germany Issues Demand That All Existing EU Member Nations Form Single Superstate • Now The End Begins
  16. Brexit – Will it Affect Cats and Dogs?
  17. Brexshit.
  18. If It Had Been
  19. Brexit and The Folly of Democracy
  20. What is sufficient to constitute an Article 50 notification to leave the EU?
  21. John Ivison: Britain drifts rudderless amid growing sense no-one is in charge in England after Brexit vote
  22. Richard M. Salsman: Britain will thrive after it’s free from the EU’s socialists
  23. I thought you were progressives?
  24. The ‘Leave’ Camp Won. That Doesn’t Mean Brexit Will Happen.
  25. The Brexit Vote: A British “Paul Revere” to Prep
  26. Cameron decries ‘despicable racism’ and Palin dumps New World Order: Eight things to know about Brexit so far
  27. Brexit Will Not Happen
  28. The Great Brexit Kabuki: A Masterclass In Political Theatre
  29. Gideon, We Really Can’t Wait Until September For You To Respond
  30. Brexit, nouvel ordre du jour : « C’est le temps de paniquer! » — Vraiment?
  31. British leaders want to take their time leaving the EU, but many European politicians want them out
  32. The UK Needs To Fail
  33. How Brexit Will Change America and the World
  34. Why the British Said No to Europe by John Pilger
  35. EU response to Brexit: Totalitarian Super State
  36. Brexit – venom, bile and hatred
  37. #Brexit
  38. The UK, the EU, and Berlin Station
  39. Autistic InnerSpace Comic No.66
  40. Coming to terms with ‘Brexit’
  41. Brexit: So, did Anyone have a Plan…
  42. A modest proposal – let’s have a referendum every day
  43. Brexit for Australia – And Others!
  44. Brexit: Why I voted Leave – A Singaporean in UK
  45. ‘fine thanks. oh, except for brexit’
  46. Brexit: The Disconnect
  47. And Yet…
  48. Punk, I’ve changed my mind; we need to Brexit
  49. A house divided: thoughts from a disunited kingdom
  50. Europe laughs and waves goodbye to England (the soccer team and its Brexit-loving fans)
  51. Don’t blame the young for feeling politically disillusioned
  52. Cameron decries ‘despicable racism’ and Palin dumps New World Order: Eight things to know about Brexit so far
  53. Cameron condemns xenophobic and racist abuse after Brexit vote | UK news | The Guardian
  54. We still have love

wanderlust's mind

Today, I want to tell you all a little bit about what’s been going on in my country, specifically the UK. You’ve no doubt heard about our current political situation – after a massive country(ies) wide referendum, the UK has voted to leave the European Union – and I was planning to write more about the political side of things and specifically my personal opinions about it. However, something happened today that made me decide I wanted to write more about the effects and the aftermath of the referendum first. So the politics will have to wait for now.

So what happened today?
Today, my mother and I went into town to do some shopping. Whilst we were there, we spontaneously started speaking in Spanish, just chatting about what we were buying and such. However, after about ten-fifteen minutes of that, as we were leaving the store, my mum said to…

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

UK Politicians willing to tear up decades of environmental protections

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Filed under Ecological affairs, Political affairs

Symbolic move to scare people away

Because Denmark found it had to need tighter immigration rules Martin Henriksen, immigration spokesman for the populist DPP, used the debate to call for an extension of the border controls that have currently been introduced on a temporary basis.

Copy of “the Independent” cartoon in the article about Human rights groups who also objected to measures delaying family reunifications (2016 January 27)

Do we have to say “After more than ” or “it took only” three hours of debate to have the minority Liberal Party government’s bill adopted by 81 votes to 27, with the support of the opposition Social Democrats and the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (DPP)? One politician abstained and 70 others were absent.

This shows clearly how the majority of Denmark is feeling about people in need coming to safer places, like Denmark and Germany.

Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen, of the opposition left Red-Green Alliance, argued that the measures taken are

a symbolic move to scare people away.

The United Nations warned the measures would “fuel fear and xenophobia” but Danish politicians claimed they were

“about creating equality between migrants and Danes”.

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The tough measures such as confiscating refugees’ valuables to pay for their stay and delaying family reunification to three years, are not worthy for a free democratic state.

Denmark’s prime minister has warned that the 1951 United Nations treaty governing the rights of refugees might need updating. After Sweden imposed identity checks for travellers coming from Denmark, Denmark did the same along its border with Germany. Hungary had already built a razor-wire fence along its border with Croatia. {NYT}

Denmark and all the other European countries can and should take other measures to avoid the influx of refugees to the more wealthy countries of Europe. Last year, a record 21,300 refugees entered Denmark, one of the highest rates per capita in the EU, but Germany has to face more entrants and public opinion is also under pressure in that country.

Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, wrote to Denmark’s immigration minister to oppose the property seizures.

“I believe that such a measure could amount to an infringement of the human dignity of the persons concerned,”

he said.

The family reunification delays have also been heavily criticised, with Denmark being accused of violating the European Convention on Human Rights.

Jonas Christoffersen, the director of the Danish Institute for Human Rights, told Al Jazeera:

“The right of refugees to be reunited with their family is protected by numerous international conventions ratified by Denmark. We believe the government is overstepping international law by implementing this bill.”

Liberal and left-wing EU parliamentarians criticised the proposed bill and took aim at a new provision in Danish law that would delay family reunification for up to three years for people in need of temporary protection.

“This law … goes completely in the wrong direction,”

Cornelia Ernst, a far-left German politician, said on Monday.

Amnesty International said the country had started a “race to the bottom” as support for refugees continues to wane across Europe.

“To prolong the suffering of vulnerable people who have been ripped apart from their families by conflict or persecution is plain wrong,”

John Dalhuisen, its Europe and Central Asia Director said.

“This is a sad reflection of how far Denmark has strayed from its historic support of international norms enshrined in the Refugee Convention.

“European states must stop this dismal race to the bottom and begin to meet their international obligations, by upholding refugees’ human rights and dignity. Anything less is a betrayal of our common humanity.”

Liberal Party spokesman Jakob Ellemann-Jensen defended their proposition by telling CNN’s Christiane Amanpour last month:

“All Danish citizens and refugees coming here receive universal health care; you receive education from preschool to university, and you receive elderly care; you receive language training and integration training free of charge, paid for by the government.”

The only demand that we set to measure this is if you have the means to pay for your housing and for your food — regardless of whether you are a Dane or whether you are a refugee — then you should.”

Similar laws exist in Switzerland and Germany, according to officials there. Dozens of cases were reported in Switzerland of migrants’ assets being confiscated to fund their living expenses, although in Germany it was unclear if, or how widely, the policy was enforced.

According to CNN many in socially liberal Denmark say they are appalled by the law, which the U.N. Refugee Agency has called

“an affront to (refugees’) dignity and an arbitrary interference with their right to privacy.”

Wiebke Keson, a 72-year-old Danish refugee center volunteer, said she was “shocked” by the notion of confiscating jewelry.

“Since I’m German, I was immediately thinking about our own history,”

she said, voicing a common criticism that the policy echoes Nazi confiscations of Jewish valuables.

The refugee camp in Thisted (Photo the Telegraph)

A Syrian family was stopped by the police at Padborg Station in Denmark, near the German border, en route to Sweden last year. Credit Mauricio Lima for The New York Times

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Please do find to read:

A stain of shame for the European Union

Denmark votes in favour for a Discriminatory Nazi law

Denmark approves controversial refugee bill allowing police to seize asylum seekers’ cash and valuables

Danish MPs approve seizing valuables from refugees

Denmark adopts controversial law to seize asylum seekers’ valuables

Denmark approves law on seizing refugees’ valuables and delaying family reunions

Danish Law Requires Asylum Seekers to Hand Over Valuables

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Denmark votes in favour for a Discriminatory Nazi law

On Tuesday the 26th of January 2016 it was good to see and hear that there was someone from a tiny country who dared to raise his voice against an outrageous and discriminatory Nazi law of which the Danes and some other East European countries would hope keep away other asylum seekers.

In 2008 Denmark had barely immigrants from the ‘other’ category, under which granted asylum requests also fall. In 2009 it rose, to 7.6 immigrants per 10,000 residents. That was the same as in the Netherlands, but the country was more desired and achieved in 2010 more asylum seekers than the Netherlands. The “other” category counted for Denmark in 2010, 9.7 against 7.2 for the Netherlands.

Danish politician Lars Løkke Rasmussen. (This ...

Danish politician Lars Løkke Rasmussen. (This image is a cropped version of File:Dmitry Medvedev in Denmark 28 April 2010-12.jpeg). Attribution: http://www.kremlin.ru. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen‘s center-right party Venstre presented his new cabinet in June 2015, it looked forward to a stricter policy to arrive mainly because the influx increased constantly.

On Tuesday, January 26th, it was the in December proposed plan toned down, that was accepted to be taken in a law.

The Danish government wants to make it clear that all rejected asylum seekers are immediately returned, but also wants to bring a dissuasion by taking the belongings of immigrants.

In Europe more and more Nazi ideology seems to get back coming up. By excluding certain groups of people travelling between the communities it creates a dangerous distinction. If one were to ask money to people to be allowed to settle in the country one could still accept it. But to just take the belongings from only one population group, refugees, is just unacceptable.

Following similar moves in Switzerland and southern Germany, Denmark’s parliament voted on Tuesday to allow police to search asylum-seekers on arrival in the country and confiscate any non-essential items worth more than 10,000 Danish kroner (about €1,300) that have no sentimental value to their owner. Who will also determine the handling of emotional value which may be retained and which are pricey to be saved? In any case, it also creates the possibility for the police force to hold back (steal) goods from those who are trying to enter the country and to have the confiscated goods disappearing in their own pocket.

The centre-right Danish government says the procedure is to cover the cost of each asylum-seeker’s treatment by the state, and mimics treatment of Danish citizens on welfare benefits.

The UN has nevertheless called the move concerning and regrettable, while an opposition party termed it “morally horrible”. This new legislation is ethically unsound and unworthy for a Union which want to carry the words democracy and freedom in its emblems. In the European Union all states should join hands to take care that human rights standards are kept high.

May we expect such a ague or getting the creeps by those in power in the European Union that measures will be taken to protect the right of those who are fleeing war and horror?

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Find also: A stain of shame for the European Union

A Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Denemarken zwicht onder druk van anti asielzoekers

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The Meaning of Paris

  • Paris already reeling from January’s attack on Charlie Hebdo + a Jewish deli  > most recent attacks > breaks proverbial camel’s back.
  • world’s fears come to fruition + Daesh (ISIS or Islamic State) claimed responsibility => French President François Hollande dubbed attacks an “act of war”
  • act of terrorism > forced to reconsider, by political forces at home and abroad, military strategy.
  • Will more airstrikes be a possibility? Will the President send more special forces? Will “boots on the ground” no longer be theoretical, but a reality?
  • geopolitical implications>  current refugee crisis = most pressing since World War II.
  • status of thousands of refugees = inexorably more complicated in wake of this attack.
  • surge in support among anti-immigrant, Eurosceptic parties across Europe + National Front in France.
  • broader societal implication of this terrible event in France = Islam
  • social media show 2 specific trains of thought: 1.use this attack as referendum on Islam in its entirety + 2. claim “terrorism has no religion.”
  • > both miss an important point.
  • Assigning collective responsibility to a diverse group of over 1 billion people the actions of one specific militant group = tremendous error in logical and moral reasoning
  • blaming this attack on Islam as a whole simply validates Daesh’s worldview of a battle between Islam and the West.
  • Awoefully unwise to evade a pointed criticism of very particular strains of Islam > Wahhabism and Salifism
  • call out these dangerous worldviews = brand of Islam Daesh dedicated to = outrageously antithetical to all the values of Western democracy.

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Preceding:

Paris Attack and Ranting

Spike In Anti-Muslim Attacks Casts Spotlight On Government Policies

Human tragedy need to be addressed at source

Before you blame All Muslims for the terrorist attack in Paris

Solidarité: The Paris Attack and the Refugee Crisis

A husband’s heartbreaking tribute to his wife killed in the Paris attacks

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Find also to read:

  1. Paris attacks darkening the world
  2. Brussels-born Salah Abdeslam key suspect Paris terrorist attacks
  3. Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and created fear
  4. Massive police operation in northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
  5. French Muslims under attack
  6. Do we have to be an anarchist to react
  7. Wrong ideas about religious terrorism
  8. Human tragedy need to be addressed at source
  9. If Europe fails on the question of refugees, then it won’t be the Europe we wished for

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Sportocracy

Eiffel-Tower-390271

Barbarism has once again descended on the French capital. Yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, which have left 129 dead and hundreds others wounded, have unleashed a profound sense of panic as well as a mass mobilization of solidarity around the world for the victims that will – hopefully – serve as the antidote to the unprecedented terror that has now gripped the iconic city.

In events like these it is easy for well-intentioned individuals to want to avoid thinking about any broader social and political implications. But as these discussions will invariably appear, they must be considered.

Paris was already reeling from January’s attack on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish deli but these most recent attacks – again on locations that define “normalcy” for most Parisians: the national stadium, a concert hall and restaurant – may ultimately be what breaks the proverbial camel’s back.

Now that the world’s fears have come…

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