Friday, October 31, 2008

The after party

A bunch of peri- and post-menopausal girls had an nice evening out together: A delicious meal in good company and a beautiful authentic building, good service, perfect. After the meal three of us decided to walk to where Bee lives, Borg had left her car parked there and the plan was she would give me a ride home. So we walk down the late night streets, admiring the beautiful Floral Art buildings, crossing an open space to find Bee's street just the other side of a railroad bridge. There in a flash I see my friend Borg on her face, a guy pulling at her purse and she too dazed to let go or to pull back. Bee and I start making a lot of ruckus. I loudly telling the young white male to let her alone, to take his hands of her purse, to go away. Bee was louder than I and shouting also at the other big guy. Moving towards my friend, the young man lets go, Borg gets back on her feet, dripping with blood and Bee is shouting you: rotten bastards.... So, offended the small guy comes back and threatening stands in front her. The other guy taking off with her camera... Bee was steaming: this in her own town, in her own neighborhood. After some care at the hospital Borg decided just to drive home, and yes she did drop me off. Today, she is almost alright.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


The old lady in the corner made it till sixteen. Now she is buried next to my black labrador.
She was an intrepid traveler: enjoyed the desert, trips and snow.

Tootsie liked my musical friends: Robin Rowley's guitar case suited her just fine, Norris was a perfect lap when playing the dulcimer. And after the party there was a pillow fight between mother and daughter ;-).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Religious beliefs

Being a member of the ACLU, I get informed about their activities and once again, I am deeply convinced about the importance of their work. In order to protect A.A. a five year old American Indian. The Needville Independent School Districtin Texas punished him for practicing and expressing his families religious beliefs and heritage by wearing his hair in two long breads. The school rules prescribe short hair. A.A. Is suspended in isolation in school because his family refused that he stuff his long hair in the back of his shirt at school. This would cause the child discomfort and shame about his culture and heritage. Courts have held that the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution protect students' rights to dress in conformation with their religious beliefs. Texas' Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) provides additional protections. After so many centuries, we still haven'tt got it right. The child has been subjected to this treatment since September 3. Parents should not have to choose between public education and their heritage as American Indians. Remember: They were here first!

Friday, October 17, 2008


The publisher/poet Hannie Rouweler came up with the idea of bringing together 10 poets: 5 of the Flemish persuasion and 5 Dutch, 5 male and 5 female.
Here she proudly shows Saturn over the Schelde. The Schelde is the proud river going through Antwerp.

We all read, were well taken care of with wine, coffee and pies
and had a good time on a wonderful autumn day. Listening to the poets was a voyage of discovery. Some read thoughtful poetry, some seriously funny light verse...
Food for body and soul.
Pictures by Albert Hagenaars, reading here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

60 years of Universal declaration of human rights

This 60 year old Universal declaration of human rights "has become the yardstick by which we measure respect for what we know,, or should know, as right and wrong". Ban Ki-moon.

A New York artist staged this procession to commemorate this anniversary. Eleanor Roosevelt was instrumental in promoting the original idea.

And yes torture is unacceptable.

Wherever and whenever, for whatever reason.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Anarchist tendencies

Green feminist non-violent pacifist with anarchist tendencies that is how I described myself on a ‘social network’ I flippantly filled out. Now a travel acquaintance wants to know what I mean. I think all decisions should be made at the lowest possible level and at the highest necessary level. Personal decisions about my life are mine, decisions about global warming and how to deal with it are local and global. You get the drift. All authority should be questioned and controlled: does a government respect civil liberties, do they fulfill the treaties signed or is it untrustworthy. If obeyed, the authority carried should be deserved. Respect has to be earned, is not a given coming with a job or function. In order to live together in a group or a society one should agree on the terms. If the terms have outlived the situation, a new negotiation about terms and conditions should be started. I am committed to non-violence, so we should talk, build confidence and trust, between individuals, groups and states. Diversity of knowledge, creativity, insight is seen as enriching and stimulating thought and exchange. Diversity=choice. Choice=freedom. With freedom we can responsibly choose to change. Change: yes we can!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Help for the blind

The small Brussels Griffon in the back is 16 this month and if she were a human person she would be classified 'legally blind'. I am developing a whole new admiration for guide dogs: they have to anticipate every obstacle or possible pitfall, puddles that are too deep, steps, potholes, people, bicycles, you name it ... And now I have to learn how to do that for my Toots.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Art for art's sake?

Random messages about art. The painting is to be found in a post office: Art doesn't speak until spoken to and art solves nothing...

The other sign is the name of a gallery now closed. That figures with such a name. In defense of art I must say that it helps us dream, react, externalize, internalize. To me it is like the consolation of a far away friend.