Election Day (2017)

As i am writing this i am on a flight from Strasbourg back to Amsterdam. At the same time people back in the Netherlands are voting in one of the most contested elections of recent memory. There is a real (although increasingly unlikely) chance that the xenophobic, populist and anti European PVV of Geert Wilders will become the biggest party and that the rest of the political spectrum will splinter into 15 or more parties. The dutch elections are seen as a first test for the future of a united a…

A new era

When I went to sleep yesterday night I was expecting my daughters Yuki and Mika to wake up in a world where three of the most powerful persons are women. Instead, we woke up to a world in which a misogynistic, ignorant, racist, fear-monger was elected to be the next president of the United States of America. That makes it pretty likely that they will grow up in a world that is considerably worse than the one I grew up in. 2nd breakfast of the morning: double espresso + vodka shot But this is not…

Pirates for Obama

Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas brought together a bunch of american musicians and actors to record a video clip (song) based on the ‘yes we can’ thank-you speech held by Obama on January 8th in Nashua, New Hampshire. The whole clip (‘yes we can song‘) is extremely well done (you might want to call it ‘slick’) and certainly makes me want him to win as many delegates as possible tonight. Especially since, towards the end, there is some proud display of a pirate flag tattoo by one of the female…

Dennis for President (of the US of A)

Most people probably have never heard about Dennis Kucinich who seems to be running for the Democratic party’s ticket to run for President of the United States of America. However it seems that he is the favorite candidate of my much respected left-wing friends in the US (or at least some of them). Not sure if he really makes a chance but he sure is special. If you believe his website he is some modern day jesus, only better: In Lebanon, Dennis and Elizabeth also spent time walking through destr…

When i am president (Obama vs. Osama) ...

Just read a fairly impressive speech on terrorism by US presidential candidate (technically he is a candidate for nomination as a candidate) Barack Obama. The speech it is quite a contrast to what you hear from the current US administration and for large parts actually makes sense even though it contains a fair share of patriotic pathos. For all i know this speech is the first time i have come across a US presidential candidate (who actually has a realistic chance of winning) who seems to realiz…

Boom!!!

Love this picture which i found when i was going through reports from the submidalogia#2 conference this morning: Picture by criscabello From what i can make up from his tags the picture was taken in Olinda in Brazil and shows a mobile sound system used to campaign in the presidential elections (see the ‘Lula e Eduardo’ sticker on the car door).Ii particularly like the mixing panel build into the ceiling of the drivers cabin and the serious expression of the driver.…

Observing elections

If I was an election observer i would definitely sign up for the early shift. the one were the city is still half asleep and disgruntled volunteers head to the polling stations they have been assigned to to open them hours before the first 10% the electorate show up to exercise their democratic rights. If there is a mood that expresses the status of those tired, self-defeating and worn-out parliamentary democracies societies it is probably the mood which prevailed in the streets of Berlin this m…

Posters with multiple politicians on them

There are federal elections on the 18th in Germany. One of the parties contesting (and having a good chance of actually entering parliament) is the newly founded ‘Die Linke.PDS‘. This party is a merger of the PDS (which is the sucessor party to the former east German ruling party SED and the WASG which is a left wing split-off from the SPD. being a merger they have to leaders (Oskar Lafontaine & Gregor Gisi) and arguably the worst election poster so far: That's Lafontaine on the left and Gis…

Election Day (fuck the French!)

Before going to Beirut to watch the elections we go to the city of Saida. we start at the unimpressive ruin of the chateau d’eau that lies in the small fishing port opposite of the medina. the leaflet provided to vistors by the ministry of tourism is identical in text with the section about this place in the lonely planet. would be interesting to know who copied from whom. the thought that future generations main source of historical information are the little boxed texts in the various editions…

The city of the dead...

Tomorrow will see the start of the parliamentary election in Beirut. (The other parts of the country will vote on the consecutive sundays). The city while feeling relatively empty and calm is full of campaign posters and flags. As all of them are in arabic it is hard to to tell what they advocate but the whole thing seems to be centered on persons anyway. By far the most prominent is the face of the late Rafiq Hariri whose party is now run by his son. There is not a single place in Beirut…