Category Archive 'Netherlands'
24 Jan 2017

Dutch to Trump: Make the Netherlands Second!

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From Dutch television show “zondag met lubach”.

09 Mar 2016

De Vuist van Adriaan Bra

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The Brass Fist of Adriaan Bra, from the City Hall of Veere, The Netherlands, 1546

Zeeuws Archief:

In West Flanders, during the 1500s, criminals were punished symbolically by being obliged to have cast in metal a copy of the hand they used to commit some act of violence.

Adriaen Bra was a fisherman who was convicted of assaulting the servant of the bailiff with a knife. He had won the knife playing dice with the Pub owner Pieter Ritssaerss. But Ritssaerss wagered the knife on the condition that the knife’s new owner would take it and use it to “cloppen” the bailiff and his minions. Ritssaerss evidently had a score to settle.

Adriaen Bra was the happy (and perhaps also drunk) winner. He kept his word and proceeded a week later to attack a servant of the bailiff with the knife. He was apprehended and sentenced to the making of the fist, and that was not the only punishment. He was banned from Walcheren for an interval of time, and if he came back earlier he would have to pay for it with his neck.

The judgment of Adriaen Bra is preserved in the archives of the tribunal of the city Veere roll of criminal cases from 1514 to 1552.

17 Oct 2015

15th Century Dutch Warship Figurehead Lifted From the Baltic Sea

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Daily Mail (8/11):

A wooden sea monster has emerged from the Baltic sea after lying on the ocean floor for more than half a millenium.

The creature, which has ‘lion ears and crocodile-like mouth’, is around 660lbs (300kg) and stood at the prow of a 15th-century Danish warship.

It was carefully lifted from the coast of Ronneby in southern Sweden [last August] by divers bringing up treasures from the wreck of the ‘Gribshunden’.

A sea monster has emerged from the Baltic sea after lying on the seabed for more than half a millenium

The Gribshunden, which belonged to Danish King John, is believed to have sunk in 1495 after it caught fire on its way from Copenhagen to Kalmar on Sweden’s east coast.

Although the hull suffered extensive damage, the remaining bits make it one of the best preserved wrecks of its kind, dating from roughly the same period as Christopher Columbus’s flagship, the Santa Maria.

18 Sep 2015

Yale Collecting Interest on 1648 Dutch Bond

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Lekdijk Bovendams, Beinecke Library, Yale University.

Yale University acquired a 17th century Dutch bond as an acquisition for its rare book & manuscript collection, but that is not stopping Yale from collecting the interest due on the perpetual bond.

Bloomberg Business:

Yale University will receive 136.20 euros ($153) in interest on a perpetual bond issued in 1648 from Dutch water authority de Stichtse Rijnlanden.

The 1,000 guilder-bond ($509), which is written on goatskin, is among five of the world’s oldest bonds that still pay interest, according to Clarion Wegerif, a spokeswoman for the water authority. The money will be paid out on Monday.

Yale contacted the agency to collect the interest, Wegerif said in a phone interview from Houten, the Netherlands. “We’ll be handing out a symbolic check and wire the rest.”

Yale, which has an endowment of $23.9 billion, paid 24,000 euros to acquire the bond in 2003 as an artifact. The university hasn’t been paid interest since the acquisition, according to the agency. The bond was issued to pay for a small pier in the Netherlands’s Lek river.

05 Jan 2015

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Image Diver: Detail from Warmond Castle in a Winter Landscape, Jan Beerstraten, 1661-1665

13 Nov 2013

Rabbit Wins Dutch Trotting Race

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31 Oct 2013

9-Year-Old Sings Puccini

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Amira Willighagen, age 9, sings “O mio babbino caro” (“Oh My Beloved Father”) an aria from the opera Gianni Schicchi (1918) on television program Holland’s Got Talent.

11 May 2013

“And in Death, They Were Not Divided”

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In Roermond, The Netherlands, the headstones of two members of a mixed Protestant-Catholic marriage manage to overcome strict 19th century religious divisions.

Atlas Obscura story.

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

14 Sep 2011

The Kinetic Sculptures of Theo Jansen

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He calls them Strandbeests, “beach animals.”

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

07 Dec 2009

Satirizing the Left is Futile

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Publius responds to a satirical proposal by Jeff Perren contending that, if government has a responsibility to provide health care to those unable to get it on their own, why shouldn’t government also provide sex for the hopelessly disadvantaged romantically? by pointing out that, in the Netherlands, they’ve already thought of that one.

02 Sep 2009

Dutch Prosecutors Charge European Arab League For Publishing a Cartoon

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The Utrecht public prosecutor’s office announced today that it intends to prosecute the Arab European League (AEL) on hate speech charges under Dutch Law for re-publishing the above cartoon on its website.

When the cartoon first appeared last month, the public prosecutor’s office threatened to charge the group if it did not remove the cartoon. The cartoon was punishable, Dutch prosecutors warned, “because it offends Jews on the basis of their race and/or religion.”

Subsequently, the same prosecutor’s office ruled that the Danish Mohammed cartoons were not offensive to Muslims as a group and were not an incitement to discrimination or violence against them. It declared that the Danish cartoons publication
on Geert Wilders website in 2006 had not violated Dutch law. Nor had the TV programme Nova, which also showed the cartoons.

AEL responded to what it declared to be a double-standard on freedom of expression, and re-posted the Holocaust cartoon.

The Utrecht prosecutor’s office said charge have been filed against AEL for “insulting a group and distributing an insulting image.” The maximum penalty under Dutch Law is a year in prison, but the prosecutor’s office stated that a fine of up to euro4,700 ($6,700) would be a more likely penalty when charges are filed against an organization.

I find it interesting to reflect that long ago, during the period of the European wars of religion, the Dutch port cities used to represent a refuge of tolerance sought by heretics of all descriptions and a publishing center beyond the reach of repressive ecclesiastical authorities. Contemporary political correctness clearly has a longer reach than the Council of Geneva or the Holy Office of Rome. Benedict Spinoza could peacefully grind lenses in Rijnsburg or The Hague, despite having offended the Jewish community with his “abominable heresies and monstrous acts.”

It was touch and go clearly on whether one could publish a cartoon expressing mild derision of the Muslim prophet. There can be no doubt that questioning the Holocaust is an intolerable heresy. Good thing the stake is also politically incorrect.

30 Dec 2008

Dutch Labor Party Changes Position on Islamic Immigrants

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Violence and social unrest have finally awoken the Dutch left from its Rousseau-ian dream. A new Labor Party policy paper calls for an end to the politics of victimhood and a quick dip in the melting pot for Holland’s Islamic new arrivals.

International Herald Tribune

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, the Netherlands had lived through something akin to a populist revolt against accommodating Islamic immigrants led by Pim Fortuyn, who was later murdered; the assassination of the filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, accused of blasphemy by a homegrown Muslim killer; and the bitter departure from the Netherlands of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali woman who became a member of Parliament before being marked for death for her criticism of radical Islam.

Now something fairly remarkable is happening again. …

Two weeks ago, the country’s biggest left-wing political grouping, the Labor Party, which has responsibility for integration as a member of the coalition government led by the Christian Democrats, issued a position paper calling for the end of the failed model of Dutch “tolerance.” …

The paper said: “The mistake we can never repeat is stifling criticism of cultures and religions for reasons of tolerance.”

Government and politicians had too long failed to acknowledge the feelings of “loss and estrangement” felt by Dutch society facing parallel communities that disregard its language, laws and customs.

Newcomers, according to Ploumen, must avoid “self-designated victimization.”

She asserted, “the grip of the homeland has to disappear” for these immigrants who, news reports indicate, also retain their original nationality at a rate of about 80 percent once becoming Dutch citizens.

Instead of reflexively offering tolerance with the expectation that things would work out in the long run, she said, the government strategy should be “bringing our values into confrontation with people who think otherwise.”

There was more: punishment for trouble-making young people has to become so effective such that when they emerge from jail they are not automatically big shots, Ploumen said.

For Ploumen, talking to the local media, “The street is mine, too. I don’t want to walk away if they’re standing in my path.

“Without a strategy to deal with these issues, all discussion about creating opportunities and acceptance of diversity will be blocked by suspicion and negative experience.” …

For the Netherlands’ Arab and Turkish population (about 6 percent of a total of 16 million) it refers to jobs and educational opportunities as “machines of emancipation.” Yet it also suggests that employment and advancement will not come in full measure until there is a consciousness engagement in Dutch life by immigrants that goes far beyond the present level.

Indeed, Ploumen says, “Integration calls on the greatest effort from the new Dutch. Let go of where you come from; choose the Netherlands unconditionally.” Immigrants must “take responsibility for this country” and cherish and protect its Dutch essence.

Not clear enough? Ploumen insists, “The success of the integration process is hindered by the disproportionate number of non-natives involved in criminality and trouble-making, by men who refuse to shake hands with women, by burqas and separate courses for women on citizenship.

“We have to stop the existence of parallel societies within our society.”

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