Friday, December 28, 2007

song of the day (or rather the lyrics...)

Dog New Tricks
Garbage

I wish I had not woke up today
Everyone mistakes the things you say
Take the simple truth and
Twist it all around
Make it sound important
Make it seem profound

Dog new tricks
Nothing you learn will stick
Dog new tricks
You make me feel so worthless

Everyone I know has gone away
Died or left or just forgot to stay
Sometimes took for granted
Sometimes turned away
Sometimes didn't say what
I meant to say

Dog new tricks
Nothing you learn will stick
Dog new tricks
You make me feel so worthless

Nothing you learn
Nothing you learn
Nothing you learn
Nothing you learn

I never would have pegged you
For what you have become
Everyone lies
Everyone cheats
Not like you've done

Dog new tricks
Nothing you learn will stick
Dog new tricks
You make me feel so worthless

Dog new tricks
Nothing you learn will stick
Dog new tricks
You make me feel so worthless

KYOTO MAP

Turkiyenin Kyoto Protokolunu imzalamamasi onu dis politika acisindan su sekilde yalniz birakiyor...

The last situation in regards to signing and ratifying Kyoto Protocol is as follows:
Red: signed/failed to ratify
Green: signed/ratified
Grey: no position

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sendika düşmanı çağdaş işveren


Sendikalı oldukları için çıkarılan YÖRSAN işçileri, fabrikanın yakınında eylemlerini sürdürüyor. Ağalık geleneğini sürdüren işveren, "sendikaya kapıldıkları için" işten adam attıkça sendikaya daha fazla üye olan YÖRSAN emekçilerine teşekkür borçluyuz.

16/12/2007, Radikal

AHMET İNSEL
Türkiye'nin en önemli süt ürünleri işletmelerinden biri olan YÖRSAN, 11 Aralık'ta bazı gazetelere yarım sayfa ilan verdi. Yeni çıkan bir ürünü tanıtmak veya yaklaşan bayram vesilesiyle ürünlerini hatırlatmak amacı taşımıyordu bu ilan. Şirketin yönetim kurulu, "Türk Kamuoyuna Açıklama" başlığıyla, sendika düşmanı paternalist işveren zihniyetini sergiliyordu. İlandaki ifadeler, işverenle sarmaş dolaş, huzur içinde yaşayan şirket personelinin bir tür terörist sızma girişimine maruz kaldığını ima ediyordu.
Sendikal örgütlenme düşmanlığı konusunda YÖRSAN yönetiminden geri kalmayan büyük basın, şirketin Susurluk işletmesinde olanlardan haber yapmaya tenezzül etmediği, belki de şirketin reklam harcamalarından dışlanmaktan korktuğu için, bildiğim kadarıyla Birgün okurları dışında, ilanda kast edilenin gerçekte ne olduğunu bilen okuyucu pek yoktu. Ama YÖRSAN yönetiminin girişimciliği sayesinde, gazeteye verdikleri ilan, bu işletmede garip şeyler olduğunu herkese duyurdu. Son derece başarılı bir tanıtım operasyonuydu bu. Bu işletmenin sahiplerinin ve yöneticilerinin yönetim anlayışını, zihniyet dünyasını tüm çıplaklığıyla bize tanıttı.
Susurluk'taki işletmesini, "Türkiye, Balkanlar ve Ortadoğu'nun en büyük süt ve süt ürünleri entegre tesisi" olarak sunan, çağ atlayan Türkiye'nin medarı iftiharlarından biri ve "Gelenekten Geleceğe" sloganını benimsemiş mümtaz muhafazakâr liberal girişimci ruhun cismanileşmiş hali olan YÖRSAN AŞ'nin açıklamasından uzun bir alıntı yapalım önce: "YÖRSAN Yönetimi ve çalışanları olarak huzur içinde çalışmalarımız devam ederken işyerimize; bir takım kişiler tarafından organize edilen ve çalışanlarımızı; yönetim, iş yeri ve iş arkadaşlarıyla karşı karşıya gelmelerine neden olacak ve iş barışına zarar verecek bir takım faaliyetler yürütüldüğü; gerçek dışı ve doğru olmayan beyanlarla bazı çalışanlarımızın bu menfi faaliyetlere katılmaları için zorlandıkları ve bununla alakalı olarak maalesef iş yerinde üretimi aksatmaya çalıştıkları, bazı direnişçi personelin; makinalara, ürünlere ve çalışmak isteyen personele zarar verdikleri tesbit edilmiştir". Anlamsız noktalı virgüller, imla yanlışları, "gerçek dışı ve doğru olmayan" türünden dil incileri, özgündür.

Sendikal örgütlenme
Gelelim olgulara. İşveren verdiği ilanda, "burada 850 kişinin çalıştığını" beyan ediyor. 2007 Ekim ayındaki işveren bordrosunda ise 383 kişinin resmen çalıştığı görülüyor. Herkesin sendikasız, bir kısmının ise sigortasız olduğu bu cennet işletmede, "iş barışını bozucu bir takım faaliyetlerin" ne olduğuna bakalım şimdi.
YÖRSAN'ın Susurluk işletmesinde, bundan beş ay önce Türk-İş'e bağlı Tek-Gıda İş Sendikası örgütlenme çalışması başlattı. İşletmenin resmi istihdam bordrosunda yer alan çalışanların çoğunluğunu sendikaya üye olmaya ikna ettikten sonra, yetki almak için 22 Kasım'da Bakanlığa müracaat etti. Bakanlık, 4 Aralık'ta çalışanların listesini YÖRSAN'dan istedi. Verdikleri ilanda, "Ulu Önder Atatürk'ün işaret ettiği yolda; Türk Milletini seven, O'na sadakatle bağlanan ve O'nun yükselmesini ve yücelmesini sağlayacak bir anlayışla" çalıştıklarını belirten YÖRSAN yönetimi, 5 Aralık'ta 16 işçiyi işten çıkardı. 7 Aralık'ta 70 işçiyi daha attı.
Ama sendikanın yetki için müracaat ettiği tarihte 235 olan sendikalı sayısı, işverenin bu vahşi davranışına tepki olarak 350'ye çıkınca, 8 ve 9 Aralık günlerinde işten çıkarılan işçi sayısı 375'e ulaştı. Bu ağır baskıya rağmen, işletmede stajyer adı altında, öğrenci kimliğiyle sigortasız çalıştırılanların da sendikaya üye olmasıyla, şimdi sendikalı sayısı 485'e ulaşmış durumda.
YÖRSAN yönetimi, üretimi devam ettirmek için, çevre köylerden kamyonlarla topladığı vasıfsız işçileri fabrikaya getirmeye başladı. Yüksek teknoloji kulanılan işletmede, hijyenik koşullarda üretim yapma kapasitesi olmayan bu toplama işçilerle, iyi kötü peynir ve yoğurt üretimine devam edilirken, sendikanın talebi üzerine işyerine gelen sigorta müfettişleri 12 Aralık'ta 59 sigortasız çalışan tespit etti.
YÖRSAN yönetiminin ilanına dönelim: "Yönetim olarak bizler bugüne kadar çalışanlarımızın hak ve hukukunu korumayı; onları enflasyona karşı ezdirmemeyi; hak ettikleri ücret ve sosyal yardımları zamanında eksiksiz olarak ödemeyi görev bildik". Kısacası, sendikaya gittiniz, nankörlük ettiniz, "size ekmek verenlere" ihanet ettiniz diyor bu paternalist ve bir o kadar milletini seven Türk işvereni.
İşten çıkarılanların ortalama kıdemi on yıl. Aralarında 20 yıldan fazla kıdemi olanlar da var. İşveren işten çıkarma tebligatında, otomasyona geçildiğini ve işçi fazlası ortaya çıktığı için iş akitlerine son verildiğini söylüyor. Ama bu nedenle işten çıkarmanın da yasalarda kuralları var. İşverenin otomasyona geçiş veya üretim düşüşü nedeniyle toplu işten çıkarma arzusunu bir ay önce bildirmesi gerekiyor. Zaten ilanda ne otomasyondan bahsediliyor ne işçi fazlalığından. "Şirkete zarar verecek kişileri bir gün bile bünyemizde tutmayacağımız bilinmelidir" diyor meşum açıklama. Ardından tehdit geliyor: "Çalışanlarımızın kötü niyetli kişilerin menfi propagandlarına kapılarak olumsuz herhangi bir davranışta bulunmamalarını, herhangi bir sıkıntı veya problemle karşılaştıklarında hiç çekinmeden bizlere başvurmalarını, olumsuz herhangi bir durumdan en büyük zararın kendilerinin göreceğini hiçbir zaman unutmamalarını" hatırlatıyor, "Yüzde Yüz Türk Sermayeli" olmakla övünen yönetim.
YÖRSAN yönetiminin davranışı bugün her türlü rengiyle Türk işveren sınıfının tavrını özetliyor. DİMES meyve suyu işletmesinde de, sendikaya üye olan 14 kişi hemen işten atıldı. Tek-Gıda İş burada da mücadeleye devam ediyor. İşveren, işten çıkarılanların geçici işçi olduklarını, normal iş akitlerinin sona erdiğini ve hemen bundan sonra işçilerin sendikaya üye olduklarını iddia ediyor. Ama işten çıkarılanların ikisi 10 yıldan fazla, üçü 5 yıldan fazla, altısı 1 yıldan fazla, biri de 11 aydır o işletmede çalışmış. Bu nasıl geçici işçilik? Bu nasıl bir desteksiz atma cüreti?
Sendika, "Gelenekten Geleceğe" gitmeyi kendine şiar edinmiş YÖRSAN'da, önümüzdeki günlerde büyük ihtimalle yetki belgesini alacak. Bu muhafazakâr liberal işveren de, "iş barışını bozan, kötü niyetli kişilerin" içinde yer aldığı Tek-Gıda İş'in temsilcileriyle uzlaşma masasına oturacak. Ya da paternalist kibrine ve genlerine işlemiş sendika düşmanlığına teslim olup bedeli ağır bir bilek güreşine girişecek. Emekçileri, "ekmek yedirilen" ve bunun karşılığında ekmek yediği kapıya nankörlük etmemesi, ekmek yedirene sadık olması ve hatta tüm varlığını ona armağan etmesi gereken bir tür reaya olarak gören bu paternalist zihniyetle, onun anlayacağı dilden konuşmak gerekiyor. Yurttaş mücadeleleri sadece siyasal alanda verilmez. Vahşi kapitalizmin kaplanlarına, paternalist kapitalizmin ağalarına karşı verilecek mücadelede sosyal amaçlı tüketici girişimlerine de büyük ihtiyaç vardır. Yurttaş mücadeleleri sadece siyasal alanda verilmez. Vahşi kapitalizmin kaplanlarına, paternalist kapitalizmin ağalarına karşı verilecek mücadelede sosyal amaçlı tüketici girişimlerine de büyük ihtiyaç vardır.
Ağalık geleneğini sürdüren işveren, "sendikaya kapıldıkları için" işten adam attıkça daha fazla sendikaya üye olarak, yıllardır damarları kurutulmaya çalışılan sosyal sınıf bilincinin bütünüyle yok olmadığını bize gösterdikleri için, YÖRSAN emekçilerine teşekkür borçluyuz. Tek-Gıda İş sorumlularına da, sürdürdükleri örgütlenme mücadeleleri vesilesiyle, bu işverenlerin ve kraldan fazla kralcı çağdaş yönetici zümremizin, faşizan yönetim anlayışlarını tüm çıplaklığıyla kendilerinin ifade etmesine vesile oldukları için ayrıca teşekkür borçluyuz.
Özgürlükçü düşünün, geleneği dönüştürmeden geleceğe yönelmek isteyenlerle, sadece siyasal ve kültürel alanda değil, işveren cephesinde de görülecek büyük bir hesabı var.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sinir otesi operasyonu durdurun, Barisa bir sans verin!

18 Aralik Sali gunu saat 18,00'de

İSTANBUL GALATASARAY MEYDANI’NDA,
ANKARA YÜKSEL CADDESİ’NDE
İZMİR'DE KIBRIS ŞEHİTLERİ CADDESİ GİRİŞİNDE BULUŞACAĞIZ!


Bu sabaha karsi, Kuzey Irak'ta onceden belirli hedeflere ama daha
kapsamli ve daha genis bir alana hava operasyonu yapildi. Ucaklarin
bombardumani ardindan, uzun menzilli toplarla sinir otesi bolge ates
altinda tutuldu. Iran topcusunun da bazi hedeflere ates ettigi, ABD
guclerinin de operasyonu destekledigi soyleniyor. Resmi kaynaklar
dogrulamiyor ama bu bolgedeki bazi koylerin ve sivillerin de zarar
gordugu basina yansidi. Bugun TV haber bultenleri silah ve bomba
seslerinden gecilmiyor. Pazartesi gazete sayfalari adeta savas
bulteni olacak.

Oysa ulkede ve bolgede barisa en cok ihtiyac duyulan gunlerdeyiz.

Bir yandan yeni silahlanma projeleri devreye girer, butce deliginin
icinden milyar dolarlik tank projeleri cikartilirken; bir yandan
savasci politikalara ve militarizme tahkimat yapiliyor. Bunun
bolgedeki karsiligi ABD politikalari dogrultusunda yeni gerilimlerin
yaratilmasi olurken, ulke icindeki karsiligi ise sovenizmin
yukseltilmesi, halklar arasinda dusmanlik ve Iran'a saldiri dahil
her turlu askeri mudahaleye yol vermek oluyor.

Simdi sokaklara cikip 'Sinir otesi operasyonlari durdurun - Barisa
bir sans verin!' demenin zamanidir.

Kuresel Baris ve Adalet Koalisyonu, 18 Aralik Sali gunu saat
18,00'de Istanbul, Ankara ve Izmir'de ortak basin
aciklamasi yapmak için, baris bayraklari ile sokaklara cikiyor.
Mumkun oldugu kadar kalabalik olalim. Barisin sesini
yükseltelim. 'Barisa Bir Sans Verin' pankarti arkasinda bulusalim.

Küresel Baris ve Adalet Koalisyonu
Yürütme Kurulu
16 Aralik 2007

partnerships, governance ans sustainable development

new publication (follow the link for details) (click here for contents and preface)

Our first coauthored publication with Frank Biermann, Philipp Pattberg, and Sander Chan is out.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A visit to Groeningen


This weekend I have seen my first authantic Dutch wedding (in which BOTH the bride °°eefje°° and the groom °°frank°° was Dutch and I have joined more than the party, also the ceremony). and I have been to Groeningen for the first time. It is a pretty city with a large centre, and it didnt immediately give me the feeling provincial towns do, such as Utrecht. Another nice thing was the mix of etnicities and particularly age groups. that is hard to see here in the Netherlands.
Finally, I have been to the Groeningen Museum, and its contraversial building (which I try to demonstrate with the pictures).


I must admit, I have found the interior very impressive.
From the outside I would much prefer to look towards the central station of Groeningen, which is a really nice building, a replica of CS Amsterdam which one can hardly appreciate in these troubled times characterised by the construction of North/South line.

Two of the three exhibitions I have seen were fascinating (The collection was closed for some reason). But both require me to do some research, so that I can illustrate what I saw. In the meantime, if you ever go to Groeningen, make sure you drop by to see the Expressionist around Kirchner and Russian Legends and their depictions in books.



Wednesday, December 12, 2007

hypocricy unlimited: arms for peace!

Nicolas Sarkozy criticised over Gaddafi visit

By Henry Samuel in Paris, Source: telegraph.com
Last Updated: 2:39am GMT 12/12/2007

Nicolas Sarkozy's chief human rights official has become the latest public figure to rebuke the French president for receiving Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, saying France was not a "doormat" on which he could "wipe off the blood of his misdeeds."
"France is not just a trade balance," she told the daily Le Parisien, adding that any business deals must be offset by "guarantees" from him on human rights in his country.

Mr Sarkozy announced that Libya would sign for around ten billion euros worth of deals for French military hardware and a nuclear reactor.
The expected nuclear deal is part of a "pact of trust" with Muslim nations laid out last week Mr Sarkozy in Algeria, where he signed another nuclear cooperation accord.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

pope benedict and I agree for the first time!


Pope says shun excessive materialism at Christmas
NOTE: my only relief is that here in the Netherlands, the whole present giving bit is carried out at the beginning of december (and in my case rather nicely, thanks to the deibels in general and carla in particular, who accepted to share their chimmney with me, as I dont have one of my own and would be miserable without any doubt, waiting for him in vain in front of my heater in the dark storage room) as (as far as I'm concerned) St.kls comes over from Spain (who knows why...) and brings presents while outsourcing the distribution to some black piets (that serioulsy offend black friends and some politically correct americans). the only nice thing is that he's on a horse (yes, white), not on a carriage pulled by reindeer. it seems to me that the suffering of the deer is replaced by the suffering of the pieten.
anyway, pls see how me and beneditus agree (and please dont ask why I was reading christaintoday.com):

Pope Benedict on Sunday urged Catholics to rediscover the religious significance of Christmas, saying the holiday should not be dominated by materialism.
Posted: Sunday, December 9, 2007

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict on Sunday urged Catholics to rediscover the religious significance of Christmas, saying the holiday should not be dominated by materialism.

The Pope's words at his Sunday blessing to crowds in a rainy St Peter's Square marked the second consecutive day that the Pontiff warned of consumerism just as the Christmas shopping season kicked off in Italy.

"Too often, unfortunately, today's manner of living and perceiving Christmas suffers from a materialistic mentality," he said.

On Saturday, when Roman Catholics marked the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the leader of the 1.1 billion member Church said adults were only deceiving children by introducing them at ever younger ages into a life of unbridled materialism.

Too many children were growing up in a world saturated with "false models of happiness" and being lured by unscrupulous adults into what he called the "dead-end street of consumerism," he said on Saturday.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Jepara, Central Java, Indonesia — Security personnel from PLTU Tanjung Jati B coal power plant in Jepara, Central Java fired five gunshots and drew knives as activists from Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior, today climbed the coal plant´s cooling tower and loading crane hanging banners that read "Coal Kills Climate."
Indonesia is hosting the UN Conference on Climate Change from Dec. 3- 16 where world governments will agree to begin negotiations on a range of measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions to stop the dire impacts predicted to result from climate change. Greenpeace flagship, SV Rainbow Warrior, is in Indonesia to bring the message of urgency for climate action, starting with a global energy revolution and an end to deforestation.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

the last filamingos in the Salt Lake are dead

the babies couldnt fly yet so they couldnt run away. There was no water where there used to be... this is the start of what we will see many times in the coming decades as the climate changes.
YOU CAN STILL JOIN THE DEMONSTRATIONS ON CLIMATE ACTION DAY, THIS SATURDAY.


Flamingo yavruları, her yıl Tuz Gölü'nün güneyindeki üreme alanlarından karınlarını doyurmak için tam onyedi kilometrelik bir mesafe yürüyerek kanalın ağzında toplanıyorlar. Yavrular her yıl olduğu gibi bu yıl da Konya Kanalı'nın gölle buluştuğu noktaya geldiklerinde bu kez hüsranla karşılaştı. Binlerce flamingo yavrusunun uçmasına birkaç hafta kala gölde tek bir damla su kalmadı. Kuşlar son beslenme alanları da kuruduğu için susuzluğa yenik düştü ve Tuz Gölü toplu flamingo mezarlığına dönüştü.

HALA CUMARTESI GUNKU KURESEL ISINMA EYLEM GUNUNE KATILMAYI DUSUNMEYENINIZ VAR MI?

stranger than fiction


I have seen an unexpectedly brilliant movie last night with Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman and more...

Influences
The film borrows heavily from Niebla by Miguel de Unamuno, a Spanish novel about a character who becomes aware he is being narrated by a writer and goes to visit him. (However, in Unamuno's story, the main character commits suicide.)

The film contains several references to Rene Magritte's painting The Son of Man, the most obvious of which is when Harold is seen walking to work in a dark suit with a green apple in his mouth.

Geometrical and mathematical motifs occur frequently throughout the film. According to bonus features on the DVD release of the film, these represent Harold's "GUI" (graphical user interface): his thoughts as he takes in the world made visible, and were designed to reflect Harold's OCD-like counting and measuring behaviors.

The last names of many characters can be connected to the last names of famous modern scientists and mathematicians: Francis Crick, James Watson, Gustave Eiffel, David Hilbert, Nicholas Mercator, Blaise Pascal, Arthur Cayley, and Gösta Mittag-Leffler. Penny Escher's name can be connected to M. C. Escher, a Dutch graphic artist whose work was heavily influenced by mathematics. The Kroenecker bus, which hits Harold, can be attributed to the famous mathematician of the same name, Leopold Kronecker. Karen Eiffel's publisher, Banneker Press, can be attributed to mathematician and clockmaker Benjamin Banneker. Other small mathematics and science references are slipped in, such as a mention of the corner of Euclid Street and Born Avenue.

Trivia
A scene at the pool shows Prof. Hilbert, reading Sue Grafton's novel (either "I" Is for Innocent or "J" for Judgement.) Character Karen Eiffel's brainstorming for ways of killing her characters are similar to Grafton's early practice of recording maiming fantasies.

Plot
Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) is a dull auditor for the Internal Revenue Service who is awakened alone each morning by his wristwatch. He is a compulsive counter and an obsessive time-saver. One day, Harold begins to hear the voice of a woman who is omnisciently narrating his life. Harold attempts to communicate with the voice, but soon realizes the speaker does not know that he can hear her. Later that afternoon, Harold's watch stops working while he is waiting for the bus. Harold resets his watch to a time given by a bystander and hears his narrator remark that this seemingly innocuous act would lead to his imminent death.Anxious at this ominous narration, Harold sees a psychiatrist (Linda Hunt) who attributes the voice to schizophrenia. However, after Harold insists that schizophrenia is not the case, the psychiatrist recommends he visit a literary expert. Harold then visits Jules Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman), a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, for advice on how to change his apparent destiny. At Professor Hilbert's office, as they are trying to deduce the author of Harold's story, Harold notices on the TV an interview with author Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson), who is talking about her next book, Death and Taxes. Harold immediately recognizes Karen's voice as that of his narrator. Hilbert, surprised, states that in every one of her books, the protagonist dies just as life becomes worthwhile.
Harold then begins a frantic search to find Karen Eiffel, eventually tracking her down through a decade-old IRS file. Arriving at her apartment, he meets her, discovering that she is an antisocial woman who constantly smokes cigarettes; makes a policy of never answering readers' correspondence; and is absorbed in her own self-image of herself as a great writer. Harold explains that he is the leading character of her story and that he does not want to die. Karen is stunned to learn that all she had typed has happened to a man living in her own realm of experience and is therefore horrified at the possibility that the cruel deaths she wrote for her previous protagonists had occurred to similarly real people. On the advice of her assistant Penny (Queen Latifah), she gives him the manuscript of the story, which has yet to be typed, and tells him to read it. Deciding that he cannot bring himself to read the manuscript, Harold gives it to Professor Hilbert to read first.

I wont tell you the ending. I hope you are convinced it is worth watching.

Monday, December 03, 2007

There exists in the midst of time; the possibility of an island


by Michel Houellebecq
translated by Gavin Bowd
Weidenfeld £12.99, pp345
The Guardian says:
They have become a type. Michel Houellebecq writes characters, voices, versions of himself that are all victims of the fallout from the Sixties. Set adrift by the sexual revolution, alienated by consumerism, incapable of belief and prisoners to their restless desire, they spin around the globe disgusted by everything but the hope of blowjobs from women half their age. Houellebecq would have us believe that this is a universal condition, that we are all, like it or not, caught up in his helpless rage against the tyranny of sexuality and the marketplace, but it generally comes across as a more personal complaint. (read the rest)
another review

Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm reading...


Just finished Karakter (F. Bordewijk) and half-way through the Scarlet City. I must admit, I've found Bordewijk too sober, and too much of a realist (bordering fantasy). His depiction of a Dutch psyche was illuminating nonetheless.
It was a little scary as well:
"If that is what is expected of me, I thought, "I will have to frustrate quite a number of people... Who wants to be like that?!"
then I noted that actually most of my Dutch friends (friends though... not everyone I see on the street) ARE like that:
- self-disiplined (bordering obsession),
- self-motivated (ending up in frustrations that cannot be overcome),
- proud and sober (which looks inhumane in the first instance),
- sarcastic towards others because also towards oneself (which makes me feel terribly insecure)
- crossing the borders of idealism and realism constantly (which I often appreciate and yet, sometimes find frustrating because whatever I suggest gets lightly criticised from one angle or the other)...
Anyway, it was a good book and I will still have to see the movie.

The Scarlet City, is so far exciting, as some historical books are for politicologists. This makes it difficult for me to notice how good literature it is... Her narration is diverse and the plot is certainly deeper, more interesting and exciting than a Dan Brown book (which was the previous book I read on Rome, unfortunately). It makes the reader wonder how the characters will change in time or IF they will change in time, which seems to be gift Hella Haasse shares with Bourdewijk.

A sad trip to Arcachon


Wiki says
Arcachon is a commune of the Gironde département, in France.
Arcachon is a popular watering-place, with a fine beach and a mild climate, said to be favourable for invalids suffering from pulmonary complaints, on the Atlantic coast of southwest France, 34 miles southwest of Bordeaux and at north of the Landes forest.
At its south entrance from the Atlantic ocean, the Arcachon Bay is crowned by Europe's largest sand dune, the Dune de Pyla (or du Pilat), nearly 3 kilometres long, 500 metres wide reaching 107 metres in height, and moving inland at rate of 5 metres per annum.
(history and more...)

I think it was one of the most boring places I have seen, and that we were lucky to have missed our initial train and were late to get to Arcachon. Instead we could walk around another side of Bordeaux (for which, due to our obligations at Sciences Po we didn't have the time earlier), and agreed with Victor Hugo on his view of Bordeaux: "take Versailles, add Antwerp, and you have Bordeaux". It was rather pretty, but stinky. Here are some photos:
pics by Fari or me or Sander by his camera -mostly...
more to come on wine tasting soon...

Friday, November 09, 2007

The real threat perceived correctly by China ;)

China bans Bibles from 2008 Olympics
China is banning Bibles from the Olympic Games next year allegedly for security reason, according to reports Tuesday.

by Michelle Vu, Christian Today Correspondent
Thursday, November 8, 2007, 8:33 (GMT)

China is banning Bibles from the Olympic Games next year allegedly for security reason, according to reports emerging earlier this week.

The Bible is allegedly on a list of items – which include video cameras and cups – prohibited at the 2008 Summer Olympics. This means Christian athletes will not have access to Bibles in their Olympic village housing.
Moreover, reports are saying that the communist and officially atheist country is banning all religious symbols at Olympic facilities in Beijing and warning visitors to not bring more than one copy of the Bible with them to China.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

back from paris-bordeaux-paris: post1 (Paris)



I had a great time, but I am so happy to be back home... For some reason travelling becomes increasingly more difficult and exhausting for me. getting old? writing phd? having seen too much in too little time? who knows... probably a combination of all.


In Paris,

1. I've visited the Panthéon , idly watched Foucault's Pendulum, visited the graves of Jean Jacques Rousseau and Voltaire (and had a scared look at Marie Curie's grave too but I was not sure if she was still radioactive so I moved away quickly)

2. I've seen Emma, and


3. I've been to an Archimboldo exhibition: Archimboldo used to be one of my favourite artists when I was a teenager and was painting for the first time. I never knew he was so famous in Austria (where the collection came from) and in France (where there was a 1.5-hour que in front of Musée du Luxembourg.





While seeing Emma was the best part of it all, I really appreciated the sunny weather, Sander's presence and the complexity and grandeur of Paris for once...

And finally, I've seen a very good movie: This Is England. (trailer)
The film highlights the irony that although the skinhead subculture was partly based on elements of black culture (especially Jamaican ska and reggae music), a large faction of the subculture was adopted by white power groups such as the National Front. The story focuses on young Shaun (Thomas Turgoose), who, following bullying at school, falls in with a bunch of likeable skinheads. The new-found freedom and social acceptance he finds is short-lived, and takes a much darker turn when National Front member Combo returns from prison and reasserts his leadership, which splits the group in two. What follows is an often disturbing view of 1980s England offset by the ramifications of the Falklands War and the rise of white nationalism.


ON BBC - The Guardian

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

%52



"Resmen ve açıkça tırsıyoruz. Eli kanlı ve parası bol iktidarlar, medyalarından okullarına, sokaklarından meydanlarına “kap bayrağı çık sokağa” kampanyası düzenliyor, hiçbir gelecek veremediklerini bayrak altında kütleleştirip “sivil militarist seferberlik” ilan ediyor, ortalık “vur kır parçala” tezahüratlarından geçilmiyor. Paketlenip askere götürülen gencecik kardeşlerimiz tüm tarafların silahlarını Amerika’dan aldığı savaşlarda öldürtülüp, sonra da devletli-ordulu-şirketli iktidarların timsah gözyaşlarına meze yapılıyor, ama ölmeyip de tezkeresiyle geri dönenlerin aynı gün işsizler-geleceksizler ordusuna teslim olacağından hiç bahsedilmiyor. Apoletli generaller karargâhlarında savaşçılık oynamaya hazırlanıyor, medyalı generaller her gün Irak’a çıkartma yapıp artık kırmızı şarap yerine kan kırmızısı üzerine yazılar yazıyor, cüppeli generaller üniversite-kışlalarında “uygun adım marş marş” yürüyüşleri düzenliyor. Anlaşılan o ki, hakiki çıkartma hayatlarımıza yapılıyor! Eline bayrağını alan neye niye ne sebeple salladığını bilmeden faşist kütleleşmelerin içerisinde “hain düşman al sana bayrak” narasıyla sokağa çıkıyor. Salyalar akıyor... “Yahu şöyle düşman müşman bi şeyler bulsak da saldırsak linç etsek, olmadı şurda bi Kürt biliyorum, ona dalalım”a bir kelime daha ekleyemeyecek bir ideoloji, her gün her gün yürüyüşler yapıyor. Ordu, her şehirden özellikle seçmiş gibi, birkaç genci canlı teslim alıp tabutta geri gönderiyor. Tırsıyoruz, “her şehre bir tabut” kampanyası mı başlatıldı? Irak’a girmek için II. Bush’un ve kutsal piyasaların icazetini bekleyenler, sokaklarımızda savaşı çoktan başlattı. Türkü Kürde, Kürdü Türke kırdırma harekatı başladı, o da yetmez, kendisinden olmayan herkese ve her şeye saldıran linç sürüleri gündüzleri ve geceleri şehre iniyor! Herkesler ellerinde o genç ölümlerin kefenini taşıyor! Biz bu terörün ortasında tırsak kaldık! Tırsıyoruz, tırstıkça sıra bize gelecek diye daha çok tırsıyoruz. Çok fazla “Yaşasın Ölüm” sloganı var ortalıkta, ama biz hayatı seviyoruz. Hayatı boğuntuya getiren bayraklı-linçli-salyalı kütleleşmenin karşısında kem küm etmiyoruz, alttan almıyoruz, sağdan soldan kıvırmıyoruz, direkt söylüyoruz: biz harbiden tırsıyoruz. Bu terörün ortasında tırsak kalmışların da az olmadığını biliyoruz. O sebeple BİZ KAÇ TIRSAĞIZ kampanyamızı başlatıyoruz."

BÜTÜN TIRSAKLAR SAFLARI SIKLAŞTIRIN! (TIKLA!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I don't want operations abroad...


tezkereye ve operasyonlara hayir kampanyasina katilmak icin tiklayin.
TEZKEREYE VE OPERASYONLARA HAYIR

Savaşı çözüm olarak görmeyip barış isteyenler olarak;

Savaşa karşı barış, Irkçılığa karşı kardeşlik, Ayrımcılığa karşı eşitlik diyenler;

Askeri değil siyasi çözümden, Hamasetten değil insaniyetten yana olanlar;

Akan kanın durmasını isteyenler, sesimizin kısılmasına sessiz kalmak istemeyenler olarak Türkiye’nin Kuzey Irak’ta askeri operasyonlar yapmasına yasal zemin sağlayan ve TBMM’de onaylanan Tezkereye ve sınır ötesi operasyonlara hayır diyoruz.

Bu amaçla kamuoyunun bilgisine sunulan aşağıdaki deklarasyona katılıyorsanız siz de imza verebilirsiniz.
SINIR ÖTESİ OPERASYONA HAYIR!

Biz aşağıda imzası olanlar,

1- Sınır ötesi operasyonların akan kanı durdurmadığını, sadece daha çok kan akmasına neden olduğunu görüyoruz.

2- “Terör”e karşı mücadele olarak meşrulaştırılan bu tür sınır ötesi operasyonların halklar arasındaki kardeşlik bağlarını zayıflatıp, nefret, düşmanlık ve ırkçılığı körüklediğini biliyoruz.

3- Kürt sorununun barışçıl siyasi çözümünü zorlaştıran çatışma ortamını körükleyen bütün operasyon ve eylemlerin son bulmasını talep ediyoruz.

4- DTP ve demokratik olarak seçilmiş milletvekillerinin barışın inşa edilmesi için muhatap alınmalarını, üzerlerindeki baskının kaldırılmasını istiyoruz.

5- Yukarıdaki nedenlerle sınır ötesi operasyonlara yasal zemin sağlayan tezkereye ve sınır ötesi askeri operasyonlara hayır diyoruz.

İmza atmak için imza@tezkereyeveoperasyonlarahayir.net

War always coincides with censorship

Zaaf imajı yayan ve moral bozan yayınlara yasak
24 Ekim 2007 Çarşamba, NTVMSNBC

Hükümet Hakkari’deki saldırılarla ilgili “güvenlik güçlerine dönük zaaf imajı yayan, toplumsal psikolojiyi olumsuz etkileyen” radyo ve TV yayınlarını durdurma kararı aldı. RTÜK kararı tüm yayın kuruluşlarına tebliğ etti.

Radyo ve Televizyon Üst Kurulu’ndan yapılan açıklamada, 3984 Sayılı Yasanın “Yayınların Men Edilmesi” başlıklı 25. maddesinin, “Yargı kararları saklı kalmak kaydıyla yayınlar önceden denetlenemez ve durdurulamaz. Ancak, milli güvenliğin açıkça gerekli kıldığı hallerde yahut kamu düzeninin ciddi şekilde bozulması kuvvetle ihtimal dahilinde ise Başbakan veya görevlendireceği bakan yayını durdurabilir” hükmü hatırlatıldı.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Strange bedfellows? NOT AT ALL!


(Sometimes working at an institute for environmental studies, as I do, gets depressing: Particularly when you figure that even your close colleagues have a fundementally different reasoning than yourself. My favourite colleague thinks it is ok to be christian and climate-friendly. He even seems to suggest that one should be environmentally friendly to obey their god. Anyway, without further ado, here is an article from Fortune Magazine, that suggests that a coalition among Evangelists and CEOs is "strange". I don't think so. So long as the "call to action" is about business leaders agreeing to "cost-effective, market-based" regulations to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, I don't see anything strange about it at all... Read it, it is a farce!)

Strange bedfellows: Evangelical Christians, FORTUNE 500 execs and environmentalists band together to curb global warming.

Marc Gunther, Fortune Magazine
February 8, 2006

An unlikely coalition of evangelical Christians, FORTUNE 500 executives and environmentalists is coming together to press the U.S. government to take action to curb global warming.

The latest example: Evangelical leaders Wednesday announced a "call to action" asking government and business leaders to agree to "cost-effective, market-based" regulations to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, which are mostly caused by burning fossil fuels.

The new initiative, two years in the making, includes modest buys of print, radio and TV ads, with an initial budget of about $200,000. The TV commercial, which will run on Fox News, CNN and local stations, shows images of hybrid cars and windmills and says: "We can stop global warming for our kids, our world and for our Lord." Radio ads will run on stations owned by Salem Communications (Research), a Christian firm.

Among the 86 leaders who signed on to what is being called the Evangelical Climate Initiative include Rick Warren, author of the best-selling book, "The Purpose Driven Life"; the leaders of the Salvation Army and World Vision, two big Christian charities; and about 40 college and seminar presidents including Duane Litfin, the president of Wheaton College, which has been dubbed the evangelical Harvard.

"We will see tens of millions of evangelicals engaged in the work we are talking about today," said the Rev. Dr. Leith Anderson, former president of the National Association of Evangelicals and senior pastor of a Minnesota megachurch.

In its statement on climate change (available at www.christiansandclimate.org) the evangelical group went out of its way to praise big companies such as BP (Research), Shell, General Electric (Research), Cinergy (Research), Duke Energy (Research) and DuPont (Research) which, it said, "have moved ahead of the pace of government action" and "offered timely leadership." In response, Chad Holliday, the president and CEO of DuPont, congratulated the evangelical leaders "for adding their voice to calls for concerted global action on climate change."

The Rev. Jim Ball, who is executive director of the Evangelical Environmental Network, said a conference of business people and evangelicals will be held this fall at the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University. "We're going to be all about building relationships," he said.

There will be plenty to talk about. Business and environmental leaders, for example, have voiced concern about the growing cost of natural disasters.

Swiss Re, the world's second largest global reinsurer, is among the sponsors of a big coalition of institutional investors, called the Carbon Disclosure Project, that seeks to identify the business risks of global warming to investors. This month, the coalition (www.cdproject.net) of more than 200 institutions with assets of $28.9 trillion under management wrote to 1,800 of the largest quoted companies in the world by market capitalization, asking for the disclosure of investment-relevant information concerning their greenhouse gas emissions.

Meanwhile, W. Todd Bassett, the commander of the Salvation Army, said hurricanes in the Southeast, tornadoes in the Midwest and fires in the West have put enormous pressure on his organization, which is America's biggest charity. "Few doubt that there has been a significant increase in natural disasters, not just in the U.S. but around the world," Bassett said.

Much of this is designed to turn up the heat -- no pun intended -- on President Bush, who is both an evangelical Christian and an ally of business. So far, the Bush administration has resisted calls for government regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.

Of course, neither big business nor evangelical Christians are united on the issue. ExxonMobil (Research), the world's biggest oil company, has opposed government rules to control carbon emissions. So have some, but not all, coal-burning utility companies.

About 20 prominent, politically-active evangelical Christian leaders -- including Charles Colson, Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family and Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention -- recently urged the National Association of Evangelicals to stay out of the global warming debate. They wrote: "There should be room for Bible-believing evangelicals to disagree about the cause, severity and solutions to the global warming issue."

But with publications ranging from The Economist to Christianity Today urging action to curb global warming, there's little doubt about which way the winds are blowing, in both the business and evangelical worlds.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

how to defend peace when everyone disagrees...

It is becoming increasingly difficult to even suggest peaceful solutions in Turkey these days. Major political parties predominantly claim that the only way out is to wage war against Iraq. Whoever disagrees, become targeted, are labeled as terrorist even when their only claim is a peaceful engagement in this political atmosphere.
The radical nationalist leader Bahceli explicitly suggests to treat the citizens of Turkey that demand peace in the same way that the "enemy" is treated in the approaching war (labeled as 'overseas operation').
(see today's Radikal for details) Is he actually suggesting that I should be killed because I don't want more people to die? Does he mean that the believers of political solutions (which have so far not been tried) should be targeted as well? Isn't he sick and tired of bloodshed? (rhetorical question, as the answer seems obvious...)

Monday, October 15, 2007

my dull weekend (but a great book)...


This weekend was one of trying and failing to work. Instead, I read a good book and had a rather dull visit to the Jewish History Museum in Waterlooplein.

It has a detailed and fancy website, and the exhibition is very informative regarding the Jewish history of Amsterdam. (It probably wasn't the museum that is dull, but myself.) It actually was not over-the-top tragic and I highly appreciated the approach.
Moreover it helps you figure a lot of street names in Amsterdam ;)


The only exciting part of my weekend was reading Les Particules Élémentaires (The Elementary Particles, or in "British" Atomised) by Michel Houellebecq. Almost 7 years ago when my by-then boyfriend suggested me to read a favourite book called Atomised, I put it on my top reading list, I even started a few pages and then absolutely forgot. Only now, (thanks to Wiki) I figure that it was the same book as Elementary Particles, and it was a fascinating book. Other than the side effects: nausea, inability to motivate oneself to do anything at all, depression, etc. As the New York Times described it, "a deeply repugnant read."

Follow the links for the plot and co, but shortly put it is about "love", sex, reproduction, molecular biology, existence, humanism contextualised to the last few decades of the western world...

Two fave quotes:
“I know, Bruno continued (..) Huxley’s world is usually described as a totalitarian nightmare, an attempt to pass the book as a vicious accusation. That’s most hypocritical. On all points, genetic control, sexual freedom, the struggle against old age, its culture of leisure – Brave New World is a paradise to us, in essence it is exactly the world we are trying to achieve, until now without success.”
“The belief in the free and rational determination of human actions, in particular, the belief in the free and rational determination of individual political choices, probably resulted from a confusion between the concepts of freedom and unpredictability. The turbulence of a river flowing around the supporting pillars of a bridge is structurally unpredictable, but no one would think to describe it as being free.”

Thursday, October 11, 2007

hortus of Linneaus

I finally had a chance to visit hortus botanicus. If you are visiting amsterdam, you might prefer to skip it as it is not particularly interested unless you like plants as such, but if you live here, it makes perfect sense to have an annual membership, and spend time reading there and looking at the quite impressive diversity that fits in such a small space. The Orangery is a beautiful building, and the fact that Linneaus was once there is exciting in itself.


"Hortus was founded in 1638 by the city to serve as herb garden for doctors and apothecaries. It contains more than six thousand tropical and indigenous trees and plants. The monumental Palm House dates from 1912 and is renowned for its collection of cycads. The initial collection was amassed during the 17th century through plants and seeds brought back by traders of the East India Company (VOC) for use as medicines and for their possibilities for commerce. A single coffee plant, Coffea arabica, in Hortus's collection served as the parent for the entire coffee culture in Central and South America."


What I liked most was the butterfly greenhouse, but also the feeling of being amused with the autumn the stillness of the place. I can imagine that in full bloom the garden would be much more impressive, and yet the tranquility in this town is something rather hard to find and therefore I regard it highly...

Have a look!


Some Info on The Hortus:
The Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam is one of the oldest botanic gardens in the world. Today, there are more than 6,000 plants (>4,000 species) growing in the garden and greenhouses. The Hortus is located in the Plantage district on the edge of the hectic center of Amsterdam. Behind the 300-year-old gates, however, the bustle of the city seems to disappear.

Originally, the Hortus was a medicinal herb garden, founded in 1638 by the Amsterdam City Council. At that time, herbs were of vital importance as the basis of medicines and the city had just experienced a plague epidemic. Doctors and pharmacists trained in the preparation of prescriptions at the Hortus.


Thanks to the ships of the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC), the Hortus expanded quickly in the 17th and 18th Centuries. The VOC ships brought not only herbs and spices, but also exotic ornamental plants. In fact, a few of the Hortus' 'crown jewels' date from that time, e.g. the 300-year-old Eastern Cape giant cycad.


The Orangery is located in the middle of this living museum and possesses one of the most beautiful outdoor cafés in Amsterdam. After an extensive renovation, it reopened late in 2003. Now, in addition to its function as café, the Orangery rents two assembly rooms for exclusive parties and meetings.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

BLOGGERS TO UNITE ON BLOG ACTION DAY
All Blogs Invited to Take Part in Joining Voices to Help Environment

An international initiative of bloggers known as "Blog Action Day" launched today, with the aim of uniting thousands of blogging voices, talking about one issue for one day. This year on Blog Action Day, which is slated for Oct. 15, 2007, bloggers will be discussing the environment.

Major blogs have signed up to participate, including Lifehacker, Dumb Little Man, Lifehack.org, Get Rich Slowly, Web Worker Daily, GigaOm, The Simple Dollar, Zen Habits, Freelance Switch, LifeClever, Unclutterer, Pronet Advertising, Wise Bread and many more.

"For just one day, we'd like to unite as many of the millions of bloggers around the world and speak about one issue - the environment," said Collis Ta'eed, an Australian blogger from FreelanceSwitch.com, and a cofounder of Blog Action Day. "We want to display the potential and the power of the blogging community, which is a disparate community but one with an amazing size, breadth and diversity. By bringing everyone together for one day, we can see just how much can be achieved, and how much we can be heard."

Blog Action Day is a non-profit initiative, and will be an annual event. As an alternative to blogging about the environment on Blog Action Day, bloggers can opt to participate by donating their blog's proceeds from Oct. 15 to one of several environmental organizations chosen for this purpose: Greenpeace International, The Nature Conservancy, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), the Conservation Fund, and the Sierra Club.

Bloggers who would like to participate in Blog Action Day should visit BlogActionDay.org or email Collis Ta'eed at collis@eden.cc, so they can be listed on the Blog Action Day site. To participate, a blog just needs to write about the issue of the environment on Oct. 15, 2007, or donate its proceeds for the day to one of the chosen environmental organizations.