Media (410)


(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

I migrated to the US from Holland in 1992 and have dual American and Dutch citizenship. Since I worked as an educator in the Netherlands before I came to the US I’ll have a small pension and social security benefits coming from Holland after I turn 65 in March 2016, and as I have some financial planning to do for my retirement I went on line and tried to log on to my account at the agency that administers Dutch government pensions, ABP, but my access was denied. I was informed that from now on I could only log on with DigiD, a new creation of the Dutch government.  Subsequently I found out that I would also need DigiD to get information on line from the Dutch Social Security Administration, SVB.  So I tried to register for DigiD on line.  The first obstacle I ran into was that I would need a ‘burgerservicenummer’ or BSN, the Dutch equivalent of a social security number that was introduced after I left Holland.  When I called the DigiD helpdesk I was told that my BSN should be in my passport, but in my passport, issued by the Dutch Consulate in New York City, that space was left blank.  Ready to give up on DigiD I called ABP and asked them to mail the information I needed to me.

To my pleasant surprise the documents I received from ABP a couple of weeks later included my BSN, which allowed me to find out what I needed to know from SVB over the phone, but also made me decide to give DigiD another shot.  After entering the required information on the DigiD website I first got the message that I would have to visit a ‘balie,’ a special desk, with my passport, in order to get my DigiD activated.  The message included a list of those desks, none of which were in the US.  For me, living in New Jersey, the closest ‘balie’ was in Paramaribo, Suriname.  There are also desks in Bangkok, Wellington and some European capitals, but not in the UK or North America.  When I again called the DigiD helpdesk I was assured that they’re working hard to add more desks, but that for now Paramaribo or Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport were my best options.  Since it so happens that on Sunday, 12/27/15, I’ll have a layover at Schiphol, I made an appointment at the ‘balie’ there for that day and again entered my information on the DigiD website, where this time I got the message that it could not be processed.

In response to my subsequent inquiry the DigiD helpdesk informed me per Twitter Message that I could only apply once I had been de-registered as a resident of Amsterdam, my former hometown, for which I would have to show up in person, with my passport, at City Hall.  City Hall is closed on Sunday, and I would not have had the time to go there anyway, so I finally decided to give up on DigiD, which will make my communication with Dutch government agencies much more complicated than it needs to be.

In the Internet age, the whole process is an anachronism.  DigiD claims that it creates extra security, but in the end all you get is a username and password, only known to the user and DigiD, which can be stolen just as easily as any other  username and password, via spyware or other forms of identity theft.  The same level of security can be established on line without having to visit a ‘balie.’

Sadly, the way the process is organized shows complete disregard on the part of the Dutch government for its citizens living abroad, many of whom will never live close enough to a ‘balie’ to get DigiD, and therefore will have significant difficulty accessing information they’re entitled to.

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Telling Lies

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

Politicians will say almost anything to get elected, but exactly when are they lying?  Lying is generally defined as knowingly giving false statements or saying things that are not true.  The active word here is knowingly.  Pretty much everything GOP candidates say about their tax plans for instance, each of which is some version of supply side economics, is not true.   Since Ronald Reagan’s ill-fated and brief trickle-down experiment it is public knowledge that cutting taxes for the rich while reducing government spending doesn’t produce jobs and only increases deficits, but as long as there are economists who sing the praises of such policies politicians can claim not to know their detrimental effects.  So sometimes politicians can say things that are not true without actually lying, but most of the time the following happens: A politician says something outrageous, often referring to dubious sources, and subsequently that statement is debunked by journalistic fact-checking.  Once it has publicly and beyond a shadow of doubt been shown that what that politician said was not true, and he keeps repeating it, he’s telling a lie.

Lying is by no means a prerogative of male politicians.  On the Republican side Carly Fiorina is a serial liar, although she’s not very good at it.  Her entire record as the chief executive of Hewlett Packard, the high tech company she all but ran into the ground, is public knowledge, but she keeps denying that her tenure there was a disaster.  More damaging are the lies Fiorina keeps telling about Planned Parenthood.  In spite of proof that a video she claims to have seen was doctored, and that events it depicted never took place as shown, she keeps repeating her line about a baby ‘its heart beating, its legs kicking’ of which the parts were harvested to be sold.   The deranged drifter who killed three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado last Friday was heard mumbling something about baby parts, and could easily have been inspired by Fiorina.  The Governors who are running often proclaim imaginary policy accomplishments in their state and a popularity they can only wish for, although some of them probably are genuinely delusional in that respect, while Senators tend to embellish their family history.

But the biggest liar of all is Trump.  He started his campaign by saying that Mexico sends rapists and drug dealers across the border, and from there it has been downhill.  Recently Trump tweeted crime statistics that would show that 81% of white murder victims were killed by blacks, while the real number is 15%.  Then he outdid himself by declaring that he had seen thousands of Muslims in Jersey City cheering as the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center came down.

When confronted about the egregiousness of that statement Trump doubled down but also undermined himself.  He had not actually seen the Muslim crowd but only heard about it, and it could have been in Paterson instead of Jersey City.  His final ‘argument’ was that hundreds of people had called or tweeted him that they had seen or heard the same thing.

It’s Trump's model.  He repeats a lie so often that some of his half-witted followers start believing that it’s true and feed it back to him, which he then uses as ‘proof.’  With so much insincerity on the other side, it’s no wonder that Hillary’s emails have become an afterthought.

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Tot nu toe zijn verschenen:

    1. Guns
    2. Trump's Narcissism
    3. Ben Carson
    4. ISIS
    5: It Ain't Over Until the Fat Lady Sings
  6: Jersey City 
    7: Telling lies
8: DigiD
9: Sinatra
10: My country, tis of thee
11: Birtherism campagn
12: Correspondents
   13: The Trump presidency
14: Two Ducumentaries
15: Social security
16: Luigi
   17: The Oscars Ceremony
18: Jackie Obama
19: St. Patrick's day
20: Raul
21: Ted & The Donald
22: Walking with ghosts
23: Yankees & Politics
24: Trump's personality
25: Con men
26: Stop the Bern
27: Mrs. Clinton's Emails
28: Ali
29: Hard choices
30: The second amendment
31: #Trexit
   32: Globalization
33: Civil war
34: Wazzup with Chris
35: How Hillary wins
36: Branding
37: A huge mess
38: Trump T.V.
   39: Deplorables
40: The final stretch
41: Tealeaves
42: Turning Point?
43: Gettysburg
44: A fly on a pile of shit
45: The Donny Horror Show
46: Terrible times
47: The unexpected debacle
48: A desk murderer
   49: The empty headed presidency
50: The Trump Team
   51: Can Trump still be dumped?
52: Pussygrabber-in-chief
53: Trump & Putin
54: The Asterisk President
55: Illegitimate
56: Narcissism squared
57: A doctor's office
58:The Vulgar President
59: The Chaos Presidency
60: A mole or a useful idiot
61: Trumpgate
   62: All the president's men the Sequel 
   63: Bullshitter in chief 
   64: Four problems 
   65: That was the week that was 
   66: Curveballs 
   67: Wag the dog 
   68: Why Trump plays golf 
   69: The first hundred days 
   70: Trump's Looks and Sounds 
   71: Patterns
   72: Field Trip 
   73: Collusion, Espionage or Treason?
   74: The World’s Laughingstock
   75: Pitching is the name of the game
   76: A ''Dear Leader" event
   77: Trump is losing it 
   78: Inside Trump
   79: Russioan Roulette 
   80: All in the family 
    81: Chaos and panic
   82: Priorities 
   83: The art of lying
   84: The Dog Days of August 
   85: A Narcissistic Racist 
   86: A week in the old country
   87: Trump''s Third Dovorce
   88: Screwballs
   89: It's Miller Time
   90: ''Believe me''
   91: A fucking moron 
    92: One Busy Week
   93: The Myth 
   94: Does Trump triumph?
   95: Mueller's Web
   96: Flip-Flop in China
   97: The Pinnacle of Hypocrisy
   98: Flipping Flynn 
   99: Trump Unmoored
   100: The Imperial Presidency
    101: Blow-job
    102: Equity Theory
   103: Trump's Biggest Lie 
   104: Eskimo's in the White House 
   105: Fox and Friends
   106: Shithouse and Chaos
   107: Dreamers and Mueller
   108: State of the Union
   109: Everybody loves a parade
   110: Comforter-in-Chief 
   111: Cowardice and Insanity
   112: The Chaos Presidency Revisited 
   113: Little Rocket Man, I Prresume
   114: You're fired
   115: Drums of War
   116: Look Mama, without Lawyers
   117: Back to the base
   118: A Mafia Boss
   119: Lawsuits Galore
   120: Meltdown
   121: Hizzoner speaks
   122: Politics of Destruction
   123: Full Protection
   124: Treason
   125: Pardons Galore
   126: Killing Comey
   127: The Art of Making Friends
   128: Babies as Hostages
   129: Justice Pirro
   130: Due Process
   131: Putin is fine
   132: My grandfather and Trump
   133: Legal Matters
   134: Follow the Mone
   135: The Mueller Interview
   136: Lordy, There Are Tapes
   137: The Illegitimate Presidency 
    138: The I-Word
    139: Crazytown
   140: It's Mother Nature, Folks
   141: Deny, Deny, Deny!

   142: Here Comes the Judge
   143: Daddy's Favorite Klutz
144: Mob Rule
   145: A Thorough Investigation 
   146: Resentment and Hatred
147: Toxicity
148: Running Scared
149: Darkest Hour
   150: Thankful for Me
151: Bombshells
152: Sentencing Memos
   153: Triple Trouble
   154: Distractions
   155: Road Trip

   156: The Kremlin in DC
   157: A Rat in the Hous
158: Rudy''s Marbles
159: A Big Fat Defeat
   160: A Nationale Security Threat
161: One Sentence
   162: Planet Trump
   163: Running the Gauntlet|
164: No Nobel
   165: Fallout
   166: The Long Game
   167: John McCain is dead
   168: The Mueller Mess

   169: Completely Exonerate
170: Trump's Orbit
   171: Trump's Pin Cushion
   172: Legal Trench Warfare
173: Stonewall Barr
   174: Above the Constitution
175: King Donald
   176: Nancy is Praying
   177: Mueller speaks
178: God Save the Queen

   179: Trump and the Zodiac Killer
   180: Elvis is in the House
   181: Countdown to Mueller
182: Trump's Gettysburg Address
   183: The White House of Horrors
   184: Send Her Back

   185: No Nothing is Something
   186: Of Mice ans Men

   187: A Rock Star in El Paso
   188: Trump Yells at the Data
   189: The King of Kings
190: A Welcome Relief

   191: Trump is Never Wrong
192: Tango with the Taliban
193: For whom the Whistle Blows
   194: Distressed and Deflated
   195: "BULLSHIT"
   196: Great and Unmatched Wisdom
197Nancy Neuters Putin’s Pooch

   198: U Usefull Fucking Moron
   199: ‘Lock Him Up
   200: The Dumbo Defense
201: Before the Fall
   202: Starting to Fall
   203: Saving Thanksgiving
204: Escape from London
   205: Plumber-in-Chief
   206: A Very Ugly Word

   207: How Nancy Stole Christmas
   208: A Not So Happy New Year
   209: Superman from Krypton
   210: Lying on the Fly
   211: Greetings from Davos
   212: Bring in the Clowns
   213: Trump Unleashed
   214: Rule of Law No More
   215: Johnny
   216: A Tale of Two Crises
   217:Ignorance and Disinformation
   218: Paying the price
  219: Trump always knew
  220: A Second Desk
  221: A different tone? 
  222: Cheerleader 
  223: Scapegoating
  224: The King of Ventilators 
  225: Definitely not a Docta 
  226: Every day a 9/11 
  227: Transition to Greatness 
  228: More Stupidity Every Day
  229: Freedom of speech


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Jersey City

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

Jersey City, the second largest city in New Jersey with 265,000 residents, is located south of Hoboken, where I live.  You can only enter Hoboken from the south through Jersey City and vice versa, so the populations are well acquainted.  Ethnically Jersey City is divided into four major groups: Hispanic or Latino (28%), Black or African-American (26%), Asian (24%) and Non-Hispanic White (22%).  Racially Whites are the largest group, with 33%.  A more detailed look reveals that Jersey City is the ultimate melting pot:  The Hispanic contingent primarily comes from Ecuador, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Cuba, and there are African-Americans from Nigeria and Kenya.  The Asians come from India, the Philippines, China and Vietnam, and for the Non-Hispanic Whites the most reported ancestries in the last US Census were Italian, Irish, Polish and German, although there are also leftovers of earlier English and Dutch populations.  With so much diversity there has to be a high level of cross-cultural tolerance in Jersey City, maybe only similar to the level of tolerance in New York City, the neighbor across the Hudson.

Muslims constitute 4.5% of all religious adherents in Jersey City, and among them there is significant diversity as well. Surprisingly, the fastest growing segment of the Muslim population is Latino, but there are also African-American, Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims.  Although Jersey City’s population has a significant Arab-American segment it does not constitute the majority of the city’s Muslims, because it includes a large Egyptian Coptic community.  At a rally in Birmingham, Alabama, last Saturday, Donald Trump declared that on 9/11/2001 he watched thousands and thousands of people in Jersey City cheering as the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were coming down in lower Manhattan.  He could only have been referring to the local Muslim community, but his ‘eyewitness’ account was quickly debunked.  The Jersey City police department denied that something like that ever happened, and there was no video footage of it, which if it existed would have been shown by all networks, both immediately after 9/11 and frequently during the years that since have passed.  So Trump was lying, plain and simple.

From the beginning racism and xenophobia have been at the core of Trump’s campaign.  Playing into the sentiments of the white part of the American underclass, he used the announcement of his candidacy to proclaim that Mexico is sending rapists and drug dealers across the border, and trumpeted that 11 million undocumented aliens should be deported.  After the Paris attacks he found something even better, now mobilizing the anti-Muslim feelings of the same group.

Trump’s only campaign issue is destructive on three levels. Geopolitically it plays straight into the hand of ISIS, which is desperate to frame its quest as a war against infidels and the West, and undoubtedly appreciates that Trump obliges. Domestically it weakens the tolerance that is the fabric of the US society, and finally it sows fear in the hearts of Hispanics and Muslims alike.

Last Friday ABC showed a special by Barbara Walters, showing Trump as a family man with wife and kid, children from earlier marriages, and grandchildren playing in his office.  I was reminded of footage of Hitler playing with his dogs, an appropriate association in this case.

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It Ain't Over Until the Fat Lady Sings

Hugo Kijne is een Nederlandse kennis van mij, die al heel lang in de USA woont. Met regelmaat verzorgt hij columns op mijn blog onder de titel Home From Abroad. Daar ben ik hem dankbaar voor.
      Hij heeft een nieuwe roman geschreven onder de titel ''It Ain't Over Until the Fat Lady Sings''.

U kunt hem -en mij- een plezier doen door het boek HIER te nomineren.

Het wordt genomineerd om door Kindle/Amazon als e-book gepubliceerd te worden. Het is een nieuw soort competitie, die de 'breakthrough novel' competitie vervangt.  Hoe meer nominaties des te groter de kans dat het gepubliceerd wordt. 

De Inhoud:

How working for a crazy boss could kill you

Martin Noordhof’s employer replaces his boss with a creature that has no management skills and not the foggiest idea about the work that he does, but at the same time has no inhibitions about telling him how to do his job. His new boss has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and Martin finds out that being in a subordinate position to such a person is constant torture. The creature demands the immediate execution of every insane instruction, and the book tells the story of Martin's resistance.


This is a little book about something that could happen to almost anybody who is in the workforce. Unless you are a CEO or a business owner your boss’s boss can suddenly decide to get rid of your boss, and replace him or her with a creature that has absolutely no management skills and not the foggiest idea about the work that you do, but at the same time has no inhibitions whatsoever about telling you how to do your job.
      If you are particularly unlucky that creature suffers from a condition known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Dealing with someone with NPD is always unpleasant, but being in a subordinate position to such a person is torture. The creature with NPD cannot accept the notion that it is less than perfect, and therefore cannot learn, because acquiring new knowledge would imply that something had previously been missing and it had therefore been imperfect.
      So the afflicted person who is now your boss will never try to understand your job, listen to your ideas about how problems can be solved, or allow you a certain amount of autonomy. Contrarily, this creature will only accept complete obedience and demand the immediate execution of every one of its instructions, no matter how damaging to the operation for which you are responsible. And as if that were not enough, it won’t accept responsibility for anything that goes wrong, even if its orders were followed to the letter.
      For your new boss could not have made a mistake: the only explanation for any disaster is your intentional failure to obey. That perceived insubordination will lead to punishment, the only contingency of reinforcement that the creature considers effective. Unlike it, you are the one who has to learn, and that will be hammered into your brain until it bleeds and your life slowly starts flowing away.


   Home From Abroad

   1. Guns
   2. Trump's Narcissism
   3. Ben Carson
   4. ISIS
   5: It Ain't Over Until the Fat Lady Sings


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