Saturday, March 17, 2012

Free speech

i still dont get what the above message has to do with the particular company, i.e. storage, but.... the message is very true. and i guess, taken broadly, it represents one of the things dutch people value very much; do whatever you want to do, as long as it doesnt bother me. which leads me to another dutch trait i like; they are far more direct than for example americans. no "excuse me" in the netherlands; if you block someone's way, they will just say "i need to pass" ("ik wil erlangs"), or even "get out of my way" ("opzij"), and thats not necessarily meant rude, while the american "excuse me" is intended to be polite, but almost always sounds very rude to me (but that could very well just be me! i so far have never managed to say "excuse me" even in situations where it would be the only way to get someone out of my way. i just cant get these words out of my mouth).
anyways, i actually wanted to write about something else! we just found out that rick santorum, still in the race to become the republican presidential candidate, has made up some disturbing "facts" about the netherlands. according to him, 10% of all deaths in the netherlands are due to euthanasia, and 5% of these are involuntarily. because of that, he has said, dutch elderly generally wear a bracelet to let health care workers know that they do not wish to be euthanized, and many of them seek health care outside the netherlands as they are afraid to never leave the hospital again, but in a coffin. here you can watch what a more sane american has to say about this (she also invited a dutch reporter). and here you can see what rick santorum's press secretary has to say to the (same) dutch reporter when asked about his ridiculous and untrue claims (it also shows what santorum said in 2009 about this).
sometimes this country and some of their people really freak me out. once again, this man, or should i say lunatic, is in the race to become a presidential candidate, and thus intends to rule this country! how is it possible that a man with very twisted ideas and values has come this far? or can repeatedly say flat out lies about a country i doubt he ever visited? what else does he make up? america, the land of the free and home to the brave... are you kidding me..?
perhaps santorum should get the above sign in his office, so that every now and then he can ponder about it. maybe one day it would make him realize that just because he doesnt like something, he should forbid others to do so.... ?