the Netherlands

Insurmountable tax money for the welfare state

Recently I got the chance to be enlightened by a few friends on how generous the mighty Dutch welfare system is to the people and how “fortunate” people are benefiting on such generous welfare structure. Without further blathering, here is the real deal:

Deal 1: Apparently if you reside in the Netherlands (a resident, not necessarily a citizen) and work for an under-paid job (by Dutch standard, 1000euro/month is considered under-paid), and you also happen to live in an “over-paid” apartment/house (let’s say the monthly rent is 400euro/month), you are then eligible to apply for the national rental subsidy, which the government would spare you hundred something cash every month into your little pocket. By the way, just saying, the Dutch government already has this super cheap welfare housing in every municipality for the “less fortunate”.

Deal 2: If you are registered as a student in the Netherlands (for Dutch citizen only), you would receive a monthly pocket money from the government for at least 4 years plus free traveling of the Dutch public transportation system (the expensive bus and train are all free!). But the rate of pocket money is different, judging from if you still live with your parents or not. Obviously if you are registered to live away from your parents you’d receive 250euro/month, if not you would only get 90euro/month. As far as I know, most Dutch students still stick to their parents through most of their twenties, while “living” in a different place close to their school.

Deal 3: If you reach 18 and become a university student (not only Dutch but for all EU citizen) in Holland, you could immediately request a student loan from the government (if you think your 300euro/month subsidy couldn’t sustain a student life with 1000euro/year tuition). Let’s say a pothead who just reached 18 claim 600 euro/month from the loan. Even if his parents came to the tax office and told them his son is a no good pothead and can never repay his student loan, the loan is most likely to be granted, for the age 18 is the legal age for individual to bear their responsibilities fully. The fun part here is that if that pothead miraculously does finish his degree, but he can’t find a decent job within the four years after graduate, the government would send a guy to check the situation and would deem the dude incapable of bearing the financial burden and therefore cancel all the student loan debt he took during his university period. Isn’t that sweet? By the way, I have written an article previously talking about such case in detail.

It’s hilarious that how the Dutch welfare system treats people like they are very honest, pure, and vulnerable to money issues. But unfortunately I have known too many evil doers who are simply just sitting on this system and get money for nothing. There was a story of a dude from South America who basically came to Holland to live and study, without paying even a dime, and making a considerable monthly income upon his idleness! The only trick is, he got hooked with a true love of Dutch origin. That reminds me that sometime ago I met this Dutch cop. The guy actually only does one thing: to find out who is taking money out of the government for such gimmicks. A little more information, most of his targets are those Moroccan immigrants.

Here is the thing, with such a generous welfare system, it’s a sin not to take advantage of it for the mortals. For all I know, old Dutch geezers are probably the only people who are stupid enough to stay clean of those welfare money. The young pothead kids do it, other EU people do it, immigrants do it. Well, I don’t think the amount of babies they produce every year could sustain such a giant money hole. Just wait till the money runs out.

Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet

Like the celebration of Santa Claus in the States in Christmas, the Dutch has their Sinterklaas to be celebrated every 5th of December. As winter approaches, so does the celebration season for the Sinterklaas in the Netherlands.

For ones who are not familiar with this particular Dutch culture, Sinterklass might sound like a Dutch version of Santa Claus. Regardless of different historical origin, the tradition of Sinterklaas celebration is way more dazzling than the bland story of Santa Claus with his reindeer sleigh and elves workbots. Wonder why? Let’s have a look at those pictures first:

You can not possibly miss the man in red robe and big white beard in the picture above. That’s the traditional portrait of Sintterklaas. Looks quite similar to Santa, doesn’t it? But look closely at the people around him, notice anything unusual? If not here’s a clear picture of the people around him:

See that? The “black” people in clown suits are “Zwarte Piet“, literally means “Black Peter” in English. That’s the dazzling part of Dutch Sinterklaas celebration.

First time I saw such celebration in the Netherlands I was literally stuttered. Black servants in clown suits around the white-bearded Sinterklaas? I had to pinch myself to make sure it was real. The Dutch really celebrated the festival with great enthusiasm, even if that means a white Sinterklaas with dozen black Zwarte Piet in the parade. Gotta give credits to their tenacity to cling to their peculiar traditions.

You know what’s even more outrageously hilarious? Being a country full of blacks from Suriname, Somalia and so on, in the Netherlands the portrait of Zwarte Piet has always been done by the blond Dutch locals, even if that means additional black paints and ridiculous afro-wigs, such as this one:

Those black paints are really good for the Halloween costume party for sure.

Of course leftists bitch about it all the time, but the tradition thrives.

Belgian Awkwardness: Historical Roots

I’ve always wanted to write an article about Belgium. Now that I just got back from Brussels, it is the perfect time to write something about this strange country.

The Belgian government has been vacant for quite some time. This is a well-known fact. A country without a national government for so long, yet the country is not in total anarchy. You can find it nowhere but Belgium. The country hasn’t had a formal government since last June in 2010, making the longest record for a country without a government, seconded by Iraq (only 249 days). Northern Dutch-speaking Flemish just can not resolve in peace with their Southern French-speaking Walloon buddies, albeit literally being the same nationality. That looks quite strange in a modern country like Belgium at first glance. But to look a step further, I’d say it’s rather pretty predictable that things would turn out to be not working in Belgium. This political complexity goes back centuries. We should had foreseen it coming long time ago.

Since the demise of Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, Low Countries (including the geographical region of current Belgium) was closely associated with theFranks, the Germanic people who invaded and ruled France after the Romans. To this day, Dutch language (including Flemish Dutch) is the closest living language to the long-gone Old Frankish, which perished in France as a result of cultural assimilation to the much higher Roman culture (read the development of French language for more details here). Dutch, as a living relative to the Old Frankish, survived in Flanders and the Netherlands. Historically this was often explained as one of the profound impact ofTreaty of Verdun in 843AD among the grandsons of Charlemagne, which demarcated the Scheldt River as the border between the West and Middle Francia, what later became the territory of France and Holy Roman Empire, respectively. One could speculate that under different political influence, Northern Belgium retained their Germanic trace within the Holy Roman Empire dominion in the Medieval age, which defined the modern Flanders; whereas the South held strong ties with France, who went through the gradual assimilation  process into the Latin culture, which the Romans have brough upon Gallia since the Caesar’s Gallic Conquest in 51BC.

Belgium, along with the rest of Low Countries, began to flourish in trade with the prominence of Hanseatic League in early Medieval age around 13-14th century (mostly feud states). Since 1405AD, Flanders and later roughly the whole Belgium have been annexed into the Duchy of Burgundy via the classic way in medieval Europe politics: royal marriage. Likewise, Duchy of Burgundy was partially annexed by the legendary House of Habsburg out of a marriage, in which Belgium was transferred to the dominion of Austrian Habsburg, Spanish Habsburg, and later Austrian Habsburg again (don’t even get me start how messy the European history is)…

Anyway, some pivotal information here from this ultra-twisting history: Soon after Philip II of Habsburg, King of Spain inherited the Low Countries (known as Seventeen Provinces) from his father  Charles V of Habsburg, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and King of Spain in 1556AD, protestants in Low Countries (then as sort of loose fiefdom confederation), also known as Spanish Netherlands, began to revolt against their Catholic Spanish lord in the north in 1568. This resulted in the consolidation of the loose linkage among seven northern provinces in the Low Countries, a.k.a the foundation of a new nation: The Netherlands (that’s why the nation’s name is a plural form). This was later known as the Eighty Years War (combined with the more infamous Thirty Years War in the end). After the war, Spanish Habsburg was able to maintain control in what was then called “Southern Netherlands”, which was roughly the geographical region of modern Belgium. Southern Netherlands were mostly Catholic (even in Flanders!) at the time and sided with the Catholic Spanish for such crazy wars among Protestant and Catholic. So Belgium in general parted with the Netherlands proper mainly because of the religious difference stemmed in the 16th century. As a result, Netherlands proper was able to consolidate their Germanic heritage from its own newly-established government; whereas Belgium was still under foreign dominion and susceptible to foreign influence, especially France. In 1581, the foundation of Ducth Republic in the North marked the separation of history of Belgium (Southern Netherlands) and Netherlands proper (Northern Netherlands). The term “the Netherlands” became the specific term for The Northern Seven Provinces ever since.

When the Dutch Republic in the north was swamped in defending their precious independence from Catholic powers all over Europe, Belgium (then Spanish Netherlands) was not a land of peace either. The French Bourbon, especially the great Louis XIV, had longed for the rich land of Spanish Netherlands. Consequentially the French in the 17th century had initiated several military campaigns in this region. That was a real messed-up time for Europe, constantly wars among every nation, especially in Low Countries. Wars after wars, years after years. War of DevolutionFranco-Dutch WarWar of the ReunionsNine-Years War… In 1713AD Belgium along with Luxembourg were transferred to Austrian Habsburg after the War of the Spanish Succession, marking the pause of French aggression in this region. Meanwhile, it was a great time for the French culture to spread handsomely in the Southern Netherlands. Nobles all over Europe were proud to speak French rather than their own language. Southern Netherlands, like other European regions, was no exception, especially in Wallonia.

Politically, the concept of Belgium as an independent sovereignty debuted briefly in 1790. The short-lived United States of Belgium was founded as a discontent to Austria’s political reform in Southern Netherlands. Belgian states wanted to maintain their decentralized political system, both the Dutch speaking Flanders and the French speaking Wallonia. It is noted that the concept of modern nationalism, that is one country one major ethnicity one major language, the basis of modern state, was not the fashion for the sovereignty in Europe until 19th century or even early 20th century. Medieval Europe was always about the kinship of the nobility. It has absolutely nothing to do with the ethnicity, the language the region possesses. In the case of Low Countries, the decentralized loose confederation of many fiefdoms had existed since early Medieval Age and they intended to keep it that way at the time. This is the basis why United States of Belgium could be created at the time, as both Flanders and Wallonia just wanted to get rid of Austrian centralization reform and remain the medieval political system. Though the independence was short-lived after a quick repression of the Austrian troops, the concept of a united Belgium remained, or rather the concept of the continuation of the loose decentralized confederation remained.

Later on the messy history continued. Right after the French Revolution in 1789AD, Southern Netherlands revolted against Austrian Habsburg again. As the same time the French started to hassle this important crossroad once again. The French army, under the First French Republic, invaded Austrian Netherlands and successfully annexed it into France. That was a time of constant upheaval and frequent change. On one hand France was going through a drastic period of enlightenment, when the idea of modern state, the concept of being French in France, started to emerge rapidly. This had greatly facilitated the penetration of French language in Belgium, which was then occupied by France. Nobles in Belgium at the time were mostly from the South and speaking French instead of Dutch at the time, which became the major force in the Belgium Revolution against the later Dutch governance in 1830AD. On the other hand, Belgium was inspired by the French Revolution and remained strongly of his own will of independence. All Belgians, regardless of the language they use, saw the hope to strive for a united sovereignty to protect themselves from foreign power. Any attempt from the outside that aims to alter the decentralized political tradition of the Southern Netherlands (Northern Netherlands broke the tradition themselves when fighting against the Spanish over 200 years ago) would meet with fierce resistance in Belgium. The French themselves, were no exception as the unfavorable foreign power in Belgium. The forcible suppression of the use of Dutch language over French (French nationalization process), particularly in Flanders, sparked the Peasants’ War in 1798AD. Though France managed to repress the revolt, the awareness of language identity, a key concept for modern nationalism, was spreading quickly at the time, particularly the modern Flemish movement for their Dutch-speaking identity.

Interestingly, after the downfall of Napoleon in Waterloo, Belgium in 1815AD, Belgium was engulfed by the United Kingdom of the Netherlands at the Congress of Vienna. This was actually the first time that all Low Countries (including Luxembourg) stood as a single independent sovereignty in history. However, after many years of resisting foreign power, Belgians no long saw themselves as part of Netherlands identity. Dutch was promoted as official and administrative language over French. The united kingdom was governed by a Protestant king at the time. These two facts very much touched the nerves of Belgian nobles, mostly French speaking from the south, and the Catholic clergy that remained influential in Belgium. So there began the Belgian Revolution in 1830AD against their “northern buddies”. It is noted that Flanders at the time was highly reluctant to side with the French-speakers and even the Catholic clergymen. The language identity for the first time overran their religious identity (Flanders being mostly Catholic) in the Belgian Revolution. However, it was again the French, who wanted Belgium so badly for so long, aided and supported the revolution against the Dutch and subdued the Flemish to subordinate in this revolution. At the same time, European powers were scared that France would annex Belgium again, which could impose profound threat to them (with the memory of Napoleon War still fresh). They soon found a German noble to be inaugurated as the king of Belgium in 1831. Nine years later, 1839AD, the Treaty of London was signed between Belgium and the Netherlands, which granted the independence of the Kingdom of Belgium.

The mistrust that snowballed over the years (Flanders to French influence and Walloon to Dutch influence) escalated even further after the establishment of the Kingdom of Belgium. Flanders, in particular, was repressed and persecuted for their Dutch-speaking heritage. The newly established Belgian government was mostly controlled by the French-speaking Walloons and intended to go through a radical modern nationalization process. Eradicating the Germanic trace of Flemish population and enforcing one language (French) for Belgium was one of the key objectives for the then Belgian government. French was set as the only official language in the newly founded kingdom. Investments were heavily favored over Wallonia. Flanders, once a prosperous region, was heavily repressed culturally, economically and politically. One obvious example is that the Dutch version of Belgian Constitution did not exist until 1967AD, over 130 year years after its French version! Such mistreatment against the Flemish have greatly facilitated the growth of Flemish nationalism over French-speaking Walloon’s governance (instead of smothering Flemish identity). The tension between Flemish and Walloon went all the way through 20th century up to now. It is no surprise that after so many years of mistreatment Flanders want out of the Walloon-dominating Belgian political realm, especially when Flanders is doing much much better than Wallonia economically.

Belgium, from being the southern part of Low Countries, went through a long period of foreign occupation until its own independence. However, its independence is rather an assurance of the continuation of their decentralized feud-state confederation system. Modern nationalism in Belgium, under the odd years of various foreign occupation, did not manage to evolve a unified “Belgian” identity over the years. With the failed attempt to enforce a single language in the former city state alliance, nationalism emerged separately: the identity of Dutch-speaking Flemish first under French occupation in late 18th century; and the identity of French-speaking Walloon exerted under the Belgian Revolution against the Dutch in early 19th century. The concern over religious difference, which separated them from the Netherlands in the first place, was submerged by the Dutch and French language/culture conflict which fermented a distinguishable cultural and political dichotomy domestically (especially after years of systematic suppression of Flemish culture in Belgium). This is very odd for the development of a modern state. With the “minority” culture/language being over 50% of the total population in Belgium and its total economical superiority over majority region in the past decades, it’s a miracle that Walloon-dominant Belgian government could retain power for so long. I would not be surprised to see the failure of current Belgian political system albeit its constant reforms. In the current situation, Flanders has the advantages of almost every parameter over Wallonia. The autonomy, a trick to tame the restless minority in a modern state, clearly would not fulfill Flanders’ growing confidence and appetite. Based on its historical roots, since there’s never a single identity in the first place plus there is years of language/cultural ongoing tension, the partition would not be a drastic move to foresee, especially from Flemish point of view. After all, the existence of Belgium is a total awkwardness of a failed attempt towards a modern state. This is, however, nothing unique only to Belgium. Such examples could also be found in the dissolution of former Czechoslovakia and former Yugoslavia.

Belgian Coat of Arms, see how complicated it is?

How to spread your gene when you have autism

Literally if you are autistic, you basically have the chance of scoring with chicks AND knocking her out at the same time that is comparable to the chance of winning a ticket to Monaco from your local radio lottery AND hitting the jackpot at Casino de Monte-Carlo. The probability is so insignificant that the idea of an autistic dude fathering kids with some normal chick is just bogus.

Just trying to keep it real. No hard feeling. Therefore for guys with autism the way to spread their genes must be unorthodox and atrociously creative. The conventional pick-up moves won’t be applicable at all. In another word autistic dudes must have other ways to do it! Don’t worry if you couldn’t think of any workable alternatives for the time being.  There is already a dude who did it for all the autistic kids:

Dutch sperm donor with autism fathered at least 22 kids

Yes, you can, apparently. This dude hid about his autism deliberately and has been an active sperm donor on the internet and successfully put his autistic tadpoles in at least 22 healthy eggs. He is only 30 years old and has already at least 22 offspring! What’s more, even after he was flagged he is still an active sperm donor, for he is not registered in the official sperm donor record (and therefore unrestricted legally)! This is what happened: desperate big blondes in the Netherlands couldn’t find perfectly healthy guys on the street (or they are convinced guys on the street are all jerks?), and they lost the patience of waiting in the long line for the sperm donation in the official organization. As a last resort for their desperation, they tend to sketchy internet sources for sperms that are going to contribute half genes of their fatherless children; meanwhile this autistic dude was waiting for long time gearing up…

What I don’t get here is how hard it is for a conceivable chick to lurk into a local bar or club to seduce some lecherous dicks for the sperms (plus you could enjoy the consummation)? I on the other side (and I am sure most of guys as well) would love to be the gladiator to accomplish the quest. But the reality is that this autistic dude mastered his plan (though he didn’t really personally score with those chicks, at least I could feel better for myself in this way), and had a decisive victory.

What an epic winning for him. Now people with autism, this might actually be the chance for you to spread your genes! I remember I was reading some articles about animal mating skills years ago when I was pretending to study biology. There was this very impressive peculiar pattern about how male frogs of smaller size spread their sperms to female frogs who are only interested in big ones with the deepest croaking magnum. Knowing its croaking could never beat bigger frogs, the small frog would rather hide behind the bushes where the female frog is ovulating in copulation with the big male frog and ambush the female frog to push their own sperms in raiding speed. The big male frog and female frog of course are not happy with it but it would be too late to reverse the situation; and there will always be some sneaky small ones in the future…

Am I being too notoriously bigoted here towards dudes with autism here? No, here is the part of story I deliberately kept to put in in the end of this article: some of those 22 kids he fathered are already showing the symptoms of autism. This is definitely an epic failure for the eugenics and the Dutch population. Good luck competing with the Muslims in the baby race in the land of tulip and windmills.

Funny trivia about flags

After a week’s intense project on country profiles and information compilation, I finally got some free time to write something. I decided to share some of the interesting findings about national flags that came across in my work:

  • My flag is your flag! almost..

That means your flag is my flag as well. However, it doesn’t really mean that my people is your people. I guess it would be fine for the Netherlands and Luxmerbourg to sawp citizens equally, I doubt if Romania, Ireland, and Manaco would ever want to bring the people under the “same” flag to their countries from Chad, Ivory coast, and Indonesia, respectively.

 
 
Imagine in a gymnastics competition in the Olympic games (where Romania is pretty good at), a Romanian girl has to compete with a surprisingly good Chadian athlete (let’s say this half Chadian half Romanian girl was raised in Romania but somehow decided to represent Chad to compete in the gymnastics, a sport game where you virtually don’t see blacks at all). In the final round the Chadian unexpectedly overran the Romanian champion and took over the first place by slightly 0.01 point advantage… Then the national anthem of Chad was playing around the stadium (majority of the audiences in their home wouldn’t detect a single difference between Romanian and Chadian anthems anyway, if they would have any impression on either of these two countries). Meantime, both Chadian and Romanian flags were raised up in the air, with the former one slighter higher than the latter one. Momentarily there was a special visual switch to the raising flags in the stadium and then gradually faded into the picture of the crying Chadian and Romanian girls on the platform, I bet some audience would immediately get electrocuted out of their lethargic boredom and shout out loud: “Look at that flag, one white and a black!”
After all, my flag is indeed your flag as well, if you happen to hold the citizenship of those countries.
  • My flag is REALLY just my flag! totally…

As Romanians were still in deep sorrow about their loss in another Romanian flag in the Olympic gymnastics, others would hurry to proclaim the uniqueness of their national flags – that my flag is really JUST my flag! A Nepalese would proudly shout out loud into the sky: “Only Nepal has the double triangle flag in the world!”.

Flag of Nepal

Qaddafi royalists would deride on the Nepalese irregular weird-shaped flag and think all green flag in the world represents Libya. Too bad Formula One did not adopt the green flag as the winning flag for the racers in the last lap, otherwise Gaddafi could claim that Libyan as well.

Flag of Libya

Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, fellow countrymen of Paraguay couldn’t help snorting to exert their contempt with the amateur pennon or the green rectangular flag. They would flip over their national flag and show others how prestigious their flag is, so prestigious that it is designed differently for the observe and reverse side.

“What’s the use of prestige anyway?” The Liberation Front of Mozambique begs to differ. They kicked away all those “prestigious” white Portuguese “with love from Russia”. They would rather put those practical lovely AK-47 on their national flag in memory of these babes that helped them sweep away the colonists.

Flag of Mozambique

The Northern Alliance of Afghanistan would never agree with the former black rebels in Africa about how they should decorate the flag. After years of Taliban rule in Afghanistan with only Shahada on the blank flag, the new rulers of Afghanistan can’t wait to switch the flag back to their good old black-red-green stripes with the classic Afghan emblem – a mosque with its mihrab facing Mecca, which was first adopted by the Emirate of Afghanistan over a hundred years ago. Classicism is all what’s it about. They just couldn’t get enough of their good old fashion three-color-stripes on their flag, and therefore decided to add two more mini Afghanistan national flags in the emblem that was placed in the center of the flag to show their passion and admiration for the classic time.

Speaking of passion for classicism, there is nothing more passionate and respectable than putting the totem you have worshiped for thousands of years. That is the case for Bhutan, the only country who put a DARN dragon on its flag. You eagle, lion, tiger lame worshipers, there’s nothing more awesome than a darn dragon, not even if dinosaur were still alive! We Chinese would be the first one to exclaim up into the sky, “Alas, our dragon is now in the flag of that petty princedom of Bhutan. Not to mention the first modern national flag of China is nothing but a giant dragon!” Koreans would be the second one to sign, though secretly, “Alas, if only we didn’t listen to China in 1882, we would have got that giant dragon in our flag instead of this Yin-Yan scam…” Well, now it’s pointless; Bhutan got the pure awesomeness. The darn small tiny mountain state of Bhutan.

Flag of Bhutan

  • My flag is no longer my flag! epic fail…

Some respect culture and tradition, some don’t. Some just likes to change their national flags once in a while to confuse everybody, if everybody cares at all. This certainly troubles the organization I worked for, who has to constantly keep an eye on those new changes all the time to avoid political controversies from displaying the old flags. In the past 5 years, there are six countries that have deliberately changed their flags to complicate my work. There are Republic of Malawi (2010), Republic of the Union of Myanmar (2010), Republic of Iraq (2008), Democratic Republic of Congo (2006, by the way, only dictators like to emphasize their countries being ‘democratic’), Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (2006), and Kingdom of Lesotho (2006).

A flawless education system for students

How long do you want to spend (or have you spent) in the college?

Grrr… Let’s see. 4 years normally? or 3 years in UK? 1 or 2 years for a Master study program?

Well, recently I met a smart fella in a random social event. He is still a student in the Netherlands in his late 20s. His answer was: 8 years or maybe more. To my surprise, he was actually bragging and quite comfortable in talking about his prolonged student life in the Netherlands and trying to explain why he was glad about it.

Here goes the story. This dude, Mr.V, comes from a well-off family in some other EU country, never really had any worries in his childhood, but study was never his strength. He referred to his graduation for the 4-year Bachelor degree in his home university in his own country as a total “miracle”. He barely made it through his dissertation defense and countless re-re-re-exams. And what was ever more miraculous was that he got into the Erasmus exchange program and went to a university in the Netherlands for his Master’s Degree.

“Of course I came to the Netherlands for party and weed”, said he with rapture, “one year of pure adventure and lots of fun and then I go back”.

That was his original plan. But now 3 years later, he’s still here in the Netherlands.

Evidently I skipped the stories of the stoic repetition of re-re-re-re-exams, but that didn’t really matter. At least he is happy with his stasis in the land of windmills and tulips.

“I tell you man, why should I ever leave the Dutch university?”

“?”

“I am working as a part-time in the local hotel two hours every day. Because of that, I could get a total student subsidy of 800 Euro per month from the Dutch government, plus my working money, I get like 1500 Euro a month just being a student in the Netherlands, why should I ever bother going back home or start looking for a real job?”

“!”

There it goes. So this fellow somehow proved that he has to take the part-time job beside his study in the Netherlands, successfully applied for the student subsidy from the Dutch government, working 2 hours a day as a janitor, BOOOM~ he earns more money than lots of fellas who are struggling after the graduation just being a “student”. He got no problems of parties, travelling, or anything he could obtain for just being a student in the Netherlands, albeit being even a non-Dutch student (except for passing the exams and finishing the school). As far as I know, he just booked his ticket to Ibiza for the summer…

What a wonderful system! As an individual being, I would LOVE to be like him. For my school days were always stressful and competitive. I had to struggle my best to graduate as fast as possible and achieve as high grade as possible so that I could make sure my parents’ investment on my education was worth every penny they paid for. Never really heard of the term “re-exam”, let alone the concept of getting paid for partying as a student as long as you want!! Darn only if I were born in Europe…. Who want to have a job anyway, I would stay as a student for as long as I want! Government pays! The generous Dutch government decided to handsomely reward those who want to stay in the university, as long as you are an EU citizen. Readers, go applying schools in the Netherlands immediately if you are an EU citizen!

You will be well fed with generous tax money and watered with beers and wine. Great study plan, isn’t it? Except there’s one point missing…….What’s the point of keeping those students for NOT studying?

I bet this dude is no single case in Holland. And I am definitely not the only one who realized who absurd the system is, either. Recalling several months ago, Dutch government finally decided to do something with it. A budget cut, mainly to reduce the monetary subsidy for the students in higher education, and unsurprisingly, met with fierce resistance and protest from massive student unions all over the Netherlands. The new law basically says that if you stay longer than the required time length of a study program (roughly like 3years for a Master’s progam, for example, still too generous in my opinion), you will be no longer eligible for governmental student subsidy and the tuition will jump to a realistic figure from the heavily-subsidized 1000euro per year (and yet students are bitching about 1000Euro a year for school -> That is less than one month earning of merely being student for that guy).  Looks like there are lots of students in the Netherlands not happy about the cut-off of their nutrient tubes from the tax money. that leaves me to think, what kind of young people this system would produce in the end? Not to mention the waste of tax money in the ticket to Ibiza…

Luckily the Dutch government was strong enough to enforce the budget cut, but it’s far from enough. Mr.V could still happily live every after, at least in 2 years, he wouldn’t have to worry about neither a real job nor a real “pass”.

Alas, what on earth was happening that turned the once prestigious and elegant university education system that produces social elites, philosophers, and scientists, into a wonderland for hippies, slackers, and party animals that don’t really study in the great Europe? This is even below the mediocrity that educational system experiences in Northern America and elsewhere. I have to be a cynical prick on this one…

 

 

Updates for the ritual slaughter ban in Holland

In my previous block I have acclaimed the Dutch move of ritual slaughter ban targeting halal and kosher slaughtering as a brilliant move to use the dismay of one leftist group (animal rights group) as an excuse, or at least the most visible rationale to tame the growing trouble-making Islamic influence in the Netherlands.

I found this quite interesting and funny, especially the fact that Dutch legislation picks up animal rights, a common leftist ideology associated with affluence and excessive feminine sympathy , as a new sharp sword and shell to confront the most controversial social issue in Europe (that is… grrr. Immigration, Islam etc.). Though the Dutch move is not as sophisticated and convincing as it seems, it still counts as a big leap forward from simply denying the existence of those problems with wishful thinking of a peaceful neighborhood where gay couples neighbor a Wahhabi clan and say hi to each other with smile.

Gotta give credit to this action for that. However, there’s the follow-up of this ban which I found even more entertaining and amusing than the original story: the annoyance of the Jew in the Netherlands

What’s with the Jews? Well, the modern Europe is simply too intimidating to do anything that looks even slightly anti-Jewish (I avoid the term antisemitism, as their Muslims counterparts are the same breed – Semites, except for the Turks and Hausa). And there is really no reason to disdain the Jews in Holland anyway. Sure they may not believe in Jesus Christ and pretty much dominated the capitalistic financial world and help created ideology monsters like Communism and leftism, but they coexist pretty nicely with the other people nowadays and have produced loads of smart fellas that propel the voyage of modern human civilization. Looks like Jews are clean from European’s bash on Muslims, but why are they bitching about ritual slaughter ban?

Well, to answer this question, it is important to clarify that some Jews (though most of Jews in Europe and America got emancipated from strict religious belief) are still practicing their ancient rituals, which pretty much share a lot in common with their Muslim/Arab relatives. For example, Jews don’t eat pork, just like the Muslims. In this case Jews also perform a ancient ritual slaughtering called Kosher that is almost like the Jewish version of Halal in Islam, or the other way around (whatever makes you feel better). Evidently when the pretentious Dutch politicians were desperately looking for a way to curb the Muslims implosion in the country while still claiming to be much of a believer in universal equality and freedom that would attract enough votes to be popular, they could not single out the Muslims and deal with the issues publicly (though I think it would be much more effective to deal with the situation alone) due to their paradoxical “political morals”. Thus they have to bring down the whole clumps of “ritual slaughter” into the muddy water; and that act unfortunately also targets Kosher slaughtering as inhumane and banned as a result. This is basically how the Jews get spotted into the collateral damage (like the French ban on religious symbols at school, you think the French don’t like the cross-necklace wearing Catholic or Jews with Star of David?). So at the end of day, in this story, Jews get served, Kosher slaughter banned. Even though it is so obvious that Jews are not the target and Kosher is not Halal,their interests have to be sacrificed for the sake of aiming at Muslims. Even though Rabbis openly protest for the innocence of Kosher slaughtering, clarifying them not being the target but the Muslims (and they are absolutely correct), the hypocrisy of European politics matches on. Pity the Jews, just inconvenient timing when leftism deters any effective actions without hypocrisy and contingent  collateral damages. To me, it is such a relish to look at the contrasting stances and arguments of different claimants in this case.

When left attacks “minorities”

This morning I have briefly went through this piece of news, which caught my great attention.

Dutch MPs vote to ban religious slaughter

Basically the Netherlands is following the steps of New Zealand, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland to become the latest country to ban halal or kosher animal slaughter in their own country. I always view religion as a guideline of personal philosophy and worldview (albeit being a stupid one), and anything else that does not have to do with this should not be labeled as religion in a free country (e.g. islamic finance, sharia law, and halal/kosher slaughter). I am glad to see the Netherlands is starting to deal with its issues with the Muslim immigration population in its country, this is so much better than left UK appeasement to Islam, which is going to bring down UK to a total sectarian clash forefront eventually (what a pity).

Either way, the most funny part is that the the animal right group is one of the most visible groups that are lobbying for the ban of halal/kosher slaughter. This is such a great combination to push such moves as a group of leftist animal rights group, which is considered as sort of able-to-come-common-ground thoughts in Europe, go against the so-called religious minority, as named by other groups of leftists. It is so obvious that to publicly denounce a religion practice or immigration is mostly likely to be labeled with racism and hatred  and get ridiculed in the mass media. As much as it is the right the move to deal with the practical issues, you need sophisticated public speaking skills to awaken the mass to stop denying the fact that those problems don’t exist and there’s nothing serious out of it. If you are too outspoken, look at that Geert Wilder. Basically if the visible voice beyond this ban is from realists like Wilder or Le Pan, the media tone would be much more different, I am sure there is going to be massive condemnation from the mass media, which is basically controlled by the leftist liberal who thinks all people think alike and should be treated alike. But if it is the animal rights group who accused the religious slaughtering inhumane to the animals, looks like people tend to stand along with the animal rights with a little bit of hidden annoyance against Muslims in their mind. Though animal rights are not something that I find appealing or worth paying attention to, I am more happy to see some restraint of the Islamic gloom in Europe.