The Netherlands

Why only populism can save the left

Populism is hated by leftist parties. With the advance of populist parties, the left is collapsing like a house of cards. Do both phenomena have something to do with each other?

What exactly is populism?

A subdivision into political directions popular among political scientists is populism, elitism and other directions (for example liberalism, religious or green politics) that remain outside the populist versus elitist discourse. Populism is a political vision in which an elite is held responsible for exploiting the population, or part of the population. Well-known populist parties in the Netherlands are the PVV and the SP.

A populist song, the Socialist International. Source: Norzartonk.org

Awake, rejected of the earth

The most populist message ever from the nineteenth century came from the unadulterated left: the writer and philosopher Karl Marx. He developed the Marxist ideology of a class struggle. This discourse is essentially populist. After all, the capitalist class exploits the proletarian class. Marx's call for proletarians worldwide to unite to create a classless society is essentially a populist discourse. Namely: calls for the overthrow of the bourgeois-capitalist elite, which exploits the proletarians. The milder left-wing variant of socialism is also essentially populist.

Unlike modern right-wing populists, classic left-wing populism is internationalist. Marxism sees robbery capitalism as a global problem, exploiting indigenous workers as well as colonized peoples in the rest of the world.

The incoherence of the modern left

The core values of the left are equality, brotherhood and the emancipation of the oppressed. A purely thinking left person will therefore always take sides for the oppressed man, for self-development and for solidarity. And, with this, reject any ideology that divides people.

At the moment, among left-wing parties such as the Green Left and the PvdA, it is bon ton to defend Islam as a victim of oppression by the mainstream culture, while Islam is an extremely patriarchal, homophobic and sexist belief.

Left-wing parties are also in favor of a meat tax, van energy taxes and strict environmental requirements. These mainly affect the poor. Food spending is a big chunk of minimum income budgets. By a meat tax meat is only affordable for the rich. With their energy taxes, the poor pay for subsidized solar parks and wind turbines from major international investors. Foreign giants such as Microsoft and Google are happy to use the subsidized green energy for their data centers and park the millions of profits made in a tax haven. In places where beautiful, environmentally friendly and above all affordable homes for people with a low and middle income could have been built in the green, with solar panels on the roof, ugly large solar parks are being built that will make the rich even richer.

Partly due to environmental activists calling themselves left, social housing has stopped. The scarce social housing is becoming increasingly scarce because of the massive immigration. The achievements for which the labor movement has fought hard, such as the scholarship, have disappeared. Because of the neoliberals, certainly, but also because of the betrayal of the left to the rejected in the Netherlands and the rest of the earth.

How can the left regain its power?

All truly successful left movements were nationalistic to some degree. Think of the Vietcong and other left-wing liberation movements. Difference between fascism and left is that nationalism of left movements is inclusive and does not distinguish between different ethnic groups. The populist left sees the entire population as victims of the exploitation practices of the international colonizer or their successors, the international robber capitalists. Not just the ethnic minorities, such as the identitarian left. Not just the largest ethnic group, such as right-wing populists. Everybody.

Today, the elite is neoliberal and globalist. The European Union and the neoliberal world order are working out well for multinational companies and the highly educated people who work for them. They import products from low-wage countries for little money and sell them to the local population for a lot of money. They channel the profits to a tax haven. They close factories in the Netherlands and reopen them in Eastern Europe or China. Other companies hire underpaid Eastern European workers to do dangerous and unpleasant work. Globalization thus benefits the elite, while the underclass bears the consequences in the form of unaffordable houses, low wages, unemployment and poor working conditions.

Populist left

There is one left party that stands up for the exploited underclass as well as for the exploited Eastern Europeans. That is the Socialist Party. The SP realizes that in its current form the European Union is primarily a neoliberal party, but that it turns out badly for its own employees. The commonly used argument that cheap workers strengthen international competitiveness is incorrect. Time and again it appears that it is mainly high labor productivity that strengthens the local economy. And you achieve this through experienced, well-trained employees who are an inseparable part of the company. Where the company and the employees go through fire for each other and go hard to make the best products in the world. Not by exploited flex workers.

We are not helping the poor in the rest of the world by letting in asylum seekers in bunches at a time. We do help them with visionary development aid and by removing unfair trade barriers and tax treaties.

An entrepreneur who can only survive on low-lithium is not worth a wink and should go bankrupt as soon as possible.

Cybernetic Government: AI as Prime Minister

We humans do not excel in integrity politically. What if we opt for a cybernetic government, i.e. appoint an AI as government?

The first months of 2021 were not a peak of democracy. Once again, parties came to power that excel in short-term politics, cheat voters time and again and act against the interests of the Netherlands. What if we leave politics to computer algorithms? Futurologists seriously consider a future society that is primarily cybernetic in nature.

In fact, more has come from cybernetic government politics than many people realize. Econometrician and feared, because expert and conscientious Member of Parliament Pieter Omtzigt (CDA) stated in his book A new social contract (2021), which for an outsider is nonsensical government policy intended to make purchasing power models correct. A good example of Omtzigt is the new employed person's tax credit in the 2021 Tax Plan. Politics wants to do “something nice” for the middle class. So politicians invents a complicated employed person's tax credit that is maximum for people with a middle income of around 40,000 euros. Not coincidentally the electoral group of the ruling coalition.

Cybernetic government is not as far away as we realize. The reason for the existence of this bizarre scheme is the purchasing power of the middle class, according to the CPB calculation model. That must be correct, the VVD thought. Source: National Government of the Netherlands

The Secrets of the Cybernetic Government

These models are secret according to good Dutch political practice. Just like the epidemiological models of the RIVM, which support the covid-19 decisions and which are scientifically controversial.

If computers already largely dominate the Netherlands anyway, could we not make this process more transparent? Why should we have lying, blundering and spinning politicians as intermediaries between the voter and the calculation model? Why not directly disclose the source code of the algorithms that govern us? And give us a say? It's time for that psychohistory?

Invisible wealth must be forbidden

Of the majority of the world's possessions, only a small number of people know who they really are. They are invisible wealth. Why is this allowed?

Visible wealth

The differences in prosperity in a small-scale society such as a village are relatively small. The reason is simple. It is known of every villager what he owns and where that wealth comes from. So if a villager is very rich, the other villagers will more often ask the wealthy to take his responsibility. For example to sponsor poor villagers or a common project. By nature, people love equality. As a rich person, keeping all wealth to yourself makes you little loved by the rest. Hence, only when property becomes anonymous do the differences in prosperity become too great.

Often neoliberals see poor people as parasites, who contribute nothing net to the system. That's bullshit. If a cleaner and a garbage collector would earn ten times as much from their work as they do now, they would be “great contributors”. At least, according to the accountant, then. In the Covid-19 crisis we saw how important the work of the lowest paid workers is. Shelf fillers turned out to be indispensable. Bag fillers don't.

Invisible wealth rules the world. What are we doing about it? - Predjama Castle, author: Stephen Colebourne from London, UK

Where is the invisible wealth?

A well-known way of making wealth invisible is trust, in full: trust of foundation. The recipe is simple. The wealthy “trustor” transfers his assets to a foundation. And from that moment on, the wealth is invisible. In the meantime, this foundation is under the management of administrators, the trustees. The trustees manage the trustor's assets. This one has nothing to say officially. He does, however, enjoy the benefits of ownership. These trusts are common. Not only for private individuals, but also for multinationals.

The trust is just one example of a legal entity. A legal entity is an invention from the nineteenth century. The local supermarket is not owned by a person, but by a BV (bvba) or NV. If this BV goes bankrupt, the creditors can whistle for their money. A popular trick is to load one BV with debts. This BV subsequently goes bankrupt. And simsalabim, the debts are gone. In the meantime, the tax authorities have become wiser, but this type of fraud still occurs regularly.

Invisible wealth, power without control

Large companies are now owned by one worldwide web of investment firms and hedge funds. These funds often also have shares in each other. It has become an inextricable tangle. A money machine that extort a large part of the world and distribute the proceeds to a small group of the super rich. Nobody is responsible. They pay less and less tax, but can use the protections of the states where they operate for free.

For example, if someone disrupts the order in a StarBucks cafe, or comes to rob the place, the police will come. If you start a restaurant under the name "StarBucks", the police will come to the door for a violation of StarBucks trademark law. That costs the Dutch and Belgian state, and therefore us, money. Yet Starbuck pays hardly any tax, due to a sophisticated construction [1]. That means the company is parasitizing the societies where they plug their expensive coffee full of unhealthy sugars.

StarBucks is not unique in this. Worldwide, companies such as Starbucks and Action societies and immensely enrich their owners. They cut wages and increase costs by charging ever-higher prices for their products and licenses. For example, Microsoft receives five to ten dollars for almost every Android phone sold [2]. The reason: the package of software licenses, with which Microsoft threatens to sue smartphone makers. As a result, smartphones are becoming more and more expensive.

How can this invisible wealth be addressed?

Ownership is one negative law. Namely, it gives one person or group of people exclusive right to a certain item, for example the patent on a certain technology or country, to the exclusion of others. There are certain obligations against this right. For example, the duty to contribute to the land in which the property is recognized through the payment of tax. At this point, the owners are escaping this duty by hiding. They benefit from legal protection for their property, but do not pay for it. They violate the social contract.

Time, then, to get our share of it social contract also no longer to be met. If a homeless person in StarBucks makes a fuss, the police can stay home. If Warda and Joost “illegally” start a new Starbucks café without a license, have the mayor do the opening and wholeheartedly recommend it to the local fool.

Of course they are too patents of companies that do not pay tax are no longer valid. We invite smartphone manufacturers to start producing without royalties here in the Netherlands and Belgium. Bet these companies pray and beg to pay their taxes properly from now on?

Sources

  1. This is how Starbucks avoids tax, Arjan Noorlander, NOS, 2014
  2. Analyst: Microsoft gets $5 for every HTC Android phone, ZDNet, 2011

No Human is Illegal: The Consequences of Mass Immigration

The Netherlands and Belgium are popular as a country of residence. No person is illegal, says Bij1. What are the consequences if establishment in the Netherlands and Belgium is legal for everyone?

Population increases by 40 percent due to “no human being is illegal”

According to a Gallup poll, around 700 million people worldwide want to migrate if they had the opportunity. About one percent, seven million, wants to move to the Netherlands. Belgium is less known and smaller. That is why fewer people want to move to Belgium: around two million, seems likely. Seven million new Dutch and two million new Belgians would mean that the population of the Netherlands and Belgium with 40 resp. 20 percent would grow. And the Netherlands is not even the most popular migration country. Switzerland and Singapore's populations would more than double or nearly triple respectively.

No human is illegal? Good news for construction companies and home and landowners

The millions of new residents must first be sheltered. In other words, houses. Lots of houses. Lots of houses. As in: two Brussels, and seven times Rotterdam. The easiest way to achieve this is to build a lot of flats. This way you create many homes on a small surface. A neighborhood with flats such as the L-flat in Zeist (Europe's largest flat) has a population density of around 10,000 people per square kilometer. If you put them together a bit of Hong Kong style. For those seven million extra people in the Netherlands and two million in Belgium, this means a city, consisting of tower blocks, measuring seven by ten kilometers, resp. four by five kilometers, there. In short: a mecca for enterprising real estate investors.

BNP is growing strongly, as is the turnover of supermarkets

The strong growth of GDP is due to this extra alone house building and the extra consumption of these seven, resp. two million people. Of which we will assume that five, resp. three million of age. It is estimated that social services will reach around 100 billion, resp. Pay an extra 30 billion in social assistance benefits and other subsidies, about which later. Much of this will disappear towards the country of origin.

We can assume that they will spend almost all of their disposable income in the Netherlands and Belgium. Social assistance benefits are not very high, namely. From an accounting point of view, this amounts to an increase in GDP of around twenty percent - the shops where they spend their money also have to do their shopping again - the so-called multiplier effect of consumption. Especially the neighboring countries will be happy with this. Their stores in the border region with the Low Countries will generate much more turnover, while they will not have to incur the costs for social services.

Lots of young men, shortage of young women

The group that wants to migrate [1] consists mainly of young single men between twenty and thirty. That is good news for the voters on Bij1. These are mainly single women. It is less good news for the police and the judiciary. And the male natives, of course. They will have a lot more trouble getting the woman. Or for women who want to walk the streets alone at night. Young men are more likely to be criminals. Mainly single young men. What also does not help is that these men mainly come from African countries. There, women have a low status. The top ten emigration countries are predominantly African. [1] [2]

More low-educated people who do not speak Dutch

However, employers of companies are happy where many low and intermediate educated to work. Such as gardeners and cleaning companies. The supply of workers is increasing sharply. They no longer need to hire Poland. Highly educated people are less likely to choose the Low Countries. For them, countries with low taxes and high incomes are more popular. Think of Usa and Singapore. If the brain drain is taken into account, the number of highly educated people in Belgium will fall significantly, while in the Netherlands it will increase by 21 percent [1]. Belgium is an attractive migration destination for Congolese and other French-speaking Africans. After all, they already speak French. Even more bad news for Flemish separatists, they are losing their majority. And the Dutch can then come up with new Belgians jokes.

After a few years, when importing seven million immigrants, the Netherlands will probably be very similar to the Palestinian refugee camp Mar Elias in Beirut. (c) author / Visionair.nl

Big debt, end of social system

Someone has to pay these billions. That “someone” is the tax-paying citizen. An uprising will break out if the tax goes up by a quarter. Thus began the 80 Years War. So the government will go into debt. In the first year you have to think of net 70 billion, resp. 40 billion national debt per year. About thirty percent is returned as VAT and other taxes. More in the long run. When more people find work. This means more debt for both countries. That the national debt per year by a sloppy 20 percent, resp. 15 percent per year.

We already have previous experiences with migrants. Many of them will remain unemployed. Seven out of ten Syrian and Somali migrants in the Netherlands are still unemployed [3]. The highly educated will find work faster. The government will probably reduce welfare considerably after a few years. This is the only way to keep it affordable.

"No human being is illegal" and ethnic conflict

Diversity is not always positive. Research data [4] from Bosnia shows a strong correlation between a mixed population and social unrest. To keep the Low Countries calm, a form of police state will therefore have to be introduced. This ties in seamlessly with the rather totalitarian party program of Bij1 [5]. Among other things, the party wants to transfer control of companies to the employees. Also impose all kinds of extra anti-discrimination rules. Toxic masculinity to punish. And also nationalisations. Then a one-off corona tax on all assets. This only works through a dictatorship.

The richest will leave the country. You are welcome everywhere with money. The rest cannot go away. They have a house. And a job. Also a family. So they will not give up their property without a fight. This is a recipe for anxiety. In short: let's not do this. No human being is illegal, but Lebanon is not a nice prospect.

Hezbollah supporters have a great deal of experience fighting armed conflict. Their extensive experience will come in handy in Bij1's Netherlands. Source: Author's photo, in Hezbollah Tourist Landmark of the Resistance, Mleeta, Lebanon

Sources

  1. Neli Esipova, Anita Pugliese and Julie Ray, Gallup, More Than 750 Million Worldwide Would Migrate If They Could, 2018
  2. Measuring Global Migration Potential, 2010–2015, IOM, 2017
  3. Seven out of ten Somalis on welfare, CBS, 2015
  4. Natalija Novta, Ethnic Diversity and the Spread of Civil War, Journal of the European Economic Association, Volume 14, Issue 5, October 1, 2016, Pages 1074–1100, https://doi.org/10.1111/jeea.12171
  5. Party program Bij1, 2021

Nitrogen auction with emission rights solution for nitrogen problems

The Netherlands is a small, densely populated country with an extensive livestock population. That does not go well together. Naturally low-nitrogen nature reserves are increasingly dying. Is a nitrogen auction the solution?

Why is nitrogen a problem?
Just under eighty percent of the Earth's atmosphere consists of nitrogen gas (N2). Nitrogen is an indispensable element for life. We consist of proteins and proteins from amino acids, a nitrogen compound. The Netherlands contains millions of nitrogen sources, ranging from pets to pig fattening, and of course you, dear reader. Car traffic and construction activities also emit nitrogen, albeit much less than people and especially fattening farms. In the nitrogen discussion, we mean all nitrogen sources, other than atmospheric nitrogen and nitrogen bound in proteins. These are mainly ammonia (NH3) and nitrogen oxides (NO, NO2 and the controversial laughing gas N2O). Nitrate (NO3-) that washes out of fertilized fields is an environmental problem.

Nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands have already fallen enormously, but unfortunately insufficient for the new strict EU standard. Source: [2] [3]
Brutal construction freeze due to an administrative emergency
The EU has enacted strict rules for nitrogen emissions. Rules that are easy to enforce in a sparsely populated country such as France or Bulgaria, but very difficult in the Netherlands. The problem is not that nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands are increasing. On the contrary. This has fallen considerably, partly due to strict laws and regulations such as the mineral accounting for farmers [2] [3]. The problem is that partly due to the appalling lack of foresight by the Rutte cabinet, emissions did not fall quickly enough. As a result, a building freeze was declared with significant economic damage - and a continuation of the housing crisis.

Nitrogen Auction: Pros and Cons
The free market is very good at finding the economic optimum. This can be an advantage, at least if the scope of the free market is limited in such a way that no externalities occur. Creating externalities happens quite quickly. For example, clever entrepreneurs started breeding muskrats themselves, when the government put a premium of ten guilders on each rodent killed. In principle, the government can sell the right to emit nitrogen, for example, through a nitrogen auction. If a pig farmer quits, he can sell his emission rights through the auction to another farmer, to a builder or a nature organization (which then does not use them). At a certain point, the entrepreneurs who can earn the most euros per kilo of nitrogen emissions hold the emission rights, creating an economic optimum. According to the school booklet economics.

Any system of laws and regulations involving money has the potential for fraud. Nitrogen emissions take place in the form of gaseous compounds. Gases are notoriously difficult to trace from a single source. For example, a farmer can report that he has installed an expensive capture installation that he does not actually have, or a much worse cheaper model, which means that his emissions are much higher than official figures show. It is therefore necessary to check thoroughly here, preferably also with regular field measurements in the vicinity of major nitrogen pollutants. On balance, this system is therefore feasible.

Sources
1. Emissions authority: give nitrogen rights trading a second chance, FD, 2019
2. Acidification and large-scale air pollution: emissions, 1990 - 2017, Center for the Living Environment, 2017
3. O. Oenema, Fact sheet nitrogen sources, Wageningen University, 2019

Should the Pill of Drion be on everyone's nightstand?

Member of Parliament Pia Dijkstra of the D66 party comes with a proposal to improve the sustainability of public finances. Give anyone over 75 a suicide pill, the Drion pill. Is this a good plan?

What is the Pill of Drion?
In 1991, legal scholar Huib Drion (1917-2004) proposed in an opinion article [1] that a suicide pill should be made available to all elderly people over 75 years old who requested it. This pill had to consist of two preparations: pill A and pill B. Only the combination of these two preparations would have a lethal effect. Preparation B should then be taken a few days after preparation A to allow the suicide to reconsider. This idea caused quite a stir and became the proverbial Pill of Drion.

Bill Completed Life in broad outlines

  • To be eligible, someone must be 75 or older;

  • These are people who do not qualify for euthanasia, but who do consider their lives complete;

  • These people first have a conversation with an end-of-life counselor;

  • There must be at least two meetings with the end-of-life counselor and there must be at least two months in between;

  • The end-of-life counselor is a doctor, nurse or psychiatrist who has completed a special head study to become an end-of-life counselor;

  • The life counselor must check whether the death wish is authentic and consistent, and whether other solutions are possible;

  • If the end-of-life counselor agrees, a date of death will be agreed;

  • The end-of-life counselor collects the lethal substance from the pharmacy, keeps it at home, administers it on the agreed date, stays with it until the client is dead and returns any remainder to the pharmacy;

  • An assessment committee checks whether everything has gone according to the rules. [4]

Benefits of Drion Pill
Proponents of the Pill of Drion cite arguments such as: if an elder feels that his life is no longer meaningful, he should be able to end his life in a painless way, because suicide is a human right.

Is being able to end your life voluntarily a human right?
Source: Adapted

Unspoken arguments are, for example: the elderly are expensive. They don't work, they eat our pension pot, make disproportionate demands on healthcare and to make matters worse, they exacerbate the housing shortage and vote more often than average for populist parties. They poison young, impressionable people with “wrong” ideas such as nationalism, religion and traditional festivals. Every year of life of an elderly person costs society tens of thousands of euros in pension and care, which can be more usefully spent on, for example, redundancy schemes for politicians and contributions to the European Union. Suppose that every older person over the age of 75 took the Pill of Drion, that would mean 1.4 million fewer AOW benefits, hundreds of thousands of empty houses and, if every older person over 65 took this pill, half the health care costs [2 ]. And think of the inheritance tax. Enough to keep even the most insane election promises and to spice up the European Union. At least, for a while. It is also remarkable that the discussion about the Pill of Drion flares up especially in times of economic hardship. For example, in 1991 the Dutch economy showed signs of cooling down and in 1993 there was a slight dip.

Some proponents, such as [3], the D66 proposal does not go far enough. They want everyone to have access to this “miracle pill”, including people under 75. Can Drion's “humane” Pill save our public finances?

Disadvantages of Drion's Pill
The main drawback of the Pill of Drion is that it makes it so much easier to kill without leaving a trace. A murder with this suicide pill can then seem like a suicide by a murderer. A forensic anatomist cannot distinguish between murder and suicide. Also, spreading deadly poisons among the population means that murder weapons are always close by. Every drink can contain a deadly poison. Not a pleasant thought.
In the D66 proposal, this disadvantage has been overcome by placing the professional “end-of-life counselor” as an independent third party. This makes the job more difficult for killers. However, murders by “end-of-life counselors” and psychological murders, in which wealthy older people are told that their lives are over and it is okay if they die, remain possible.

A second drawback is the drawback of euthanasia in general. It is a great violation of the dignity of human life.

Why do the elderly want to die?
A healthy person enjoys life. This also applies to almost all healthy elderly people. Reasons for no longer wanting to live for healthy elderly people are a feeling of loneliness, hopelessness or uselessness. As with young people, loneliness is a major problem among the elderly. We humans are a social animal species and contacts with young people are very important for the elderly. The elderly are the living memory of humanity and also ensure the transfer of culture. It is true that a transfer of culture that is in conflict with the “makeable society” so beloved by D66, but still: a transfer of culture.

Conclusion: the Pill of Drion is an unfortunate idea. There are plenty of useful things healthy seniors can do when they feel useless. The late Drion himself has also done many useful things after his retirement. Instead of glorifying death and seeing the elderly as a burden, we need to develop medical devices and medicines that help older people stay healthy longer (preferably: stop or reverse the aging process) and involve them more in society. There are reasons why older people are less involved with fashionable theories. Often, not always, these are very good reasons. Their life-based criticism can help put things in perspective and develop better concepts.

Sources
1. H. Drion, The Self-Willed End of Older People, NRC Handelsblad, 1991
2. People over 65 make half of all healthcare costs, Vectis.nl, 2018
3. 'Make the Drion pill available to everyone', John Jansen van Galen, Het Parool, 2020
4. Completed Life Bill, EO Explainer, 2020

Should we introduce a meat tax to protect the environment?

Our planet is heavily overloaded. One of the biggest drawbacks in terms of use of space is agriculture, and in that respect especially livestock farming. It would be better for the ecosystem of the earth if livestock farming were to disappear, or at least limited to livestock, which eat plant remains inedible for humans. Should we introduce a meat tax?

How serious is the problem?
At the moment, the earth is facing a major ecological overshoot. That is, we use up renewable resources faster than they are renewed. According to the Global Footprint Network, the Netherlands has already exhausted its rightful share of the world's resources. Belgium makes it even more colorful: April 5. And this is another favorable picture, the result of the Covid-19 outbreak. Since 1970, the year when humanity first went 'red', the ecological footprint has only grown. So the problem is serious indeed. And livestock farming is an important part of this footprint, and therefore of the problem. [1]

The Netherlands and Belgium use between two and three times as much as the earth can handle. Source / Copyright: Global Footprint Network, 2020

A meat tax is not a good idea and for this reason

Animal protein is the most digestible of all protein types according to the DIAAS method, which is recommended by the FAO [2]. Growing children in particular need animal protein. Even soy, the most complete vegetable protein source, is still incomplete. Soy also contains toxins that make raw soy poisonous and can only be rendered unsavory with the help of traditional techniques such as fermentation [3]. Archaeological findings have also shown that the descendants of farmers are taller, stronger and healthier than the descendants of people on a vegetarian diet who often show deficiency diseases [4].

Rich parents have enough money to buy meat for their children and to grow them up healthily. Now poor parents have that money too, because meat is relatively cheap. A meat tax will not deter wealthy parents who like to eat meat. So the real target of the meat tax, which its proponents will never tell you, is poor people, who spend a significant portion of their disposable income on food.

With this meat tax, poor parents are forced to give their children toxic soy or even worse vegetable alternatives. As a result, they are more likely to develop chronic diseases in adulthood.
In short: the heartless meat tax should never be introduced, this amounts to the heredity of poverty and condemning the children of the poor to a defective body.

In vitro meat, a better solution

Better, the government gives substantial development subsidies to Dutch companies that develop lab meat, such as Mosa Meat. Cultured meat is many times less harmful to the environment in terms of ecological footprint. If the cost price can be brought below that of meat from live animals, and at the moment the cost has already fallen from € 250,000 to € 9 per hamburger, this is a better solution. [5]

Sources
1. Global Footprint Network, Earth Overshoot Day
2. Laure Herreman et al., Comprehensive overview of the quality of plant and animal-sourced proteins based on the digestible indispensable amino acid score, Food Science And Nutrition, 2020, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.1809
3. Arlete M. Becker-Ritt, Antinutritional and / or toxic factors in soybean (Glycine max (L) Merril) seeds: comparison of different cultivars adapted to the southern region of Brazil, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 2004, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.1628
4. Helen Thompson, Switching to Farming Made Human Joint Bones Lighter, Smithsonian magazine, 2014
5. Mosa Meat: From € 250,000 To € 9 Burger Patties, Clean Technica, 2019

Is Islamism legitimate and different from jihadism?

Where countries such as Sudan and the United Arab Emirates are moving away from the most controversial aspects of the Islamic legal system of Sharia, Islamism is emerging in the Netherlands and Belgium. According to a group of predominantly “progressive” opinion formers, we must distinguish between Islamism and Jihadism. Where jihadism is seen as criminal, because: calling for violence, this group sees Islamism as a legitimate political movement. Are they right? What is Jihadism and What is Islamism?

What is the difference between Islam and Islamism?
Islamism is a neologism which basically amounts to "political Islam". Traditionally, there was only Islam, which contained both personal and political elements. In Sharia there is no distinction between the personal and private domain. The hadith (traditions) of a political nature, such as the prescribed penalties and marriage laws, are in the same book as the hadith of a personal nature, such as the prescribed way of praying or performing the ablution. This follows the system of the most important Islamic scripture, the Quran. The Islamic state also strictly monitors the religious life of the individual. For example, communal prayer for Muslims was regularly a legal obligation in a Sharia state, as in the strict Islamic state of the Almohads [1].
In summary, in traditional Islam there is no clear distinction between the political and the religious dimensions. These flow seamlessly into each other. The explication of Islamism is of a fairly recent date, with thinkers such as the Egyptian Islamist Sayyid Qutb, executed by Nasser. Before that, and to a large extent after that, there was no distinction between the private domain and the public domain in terms of Islamic law. The strict separation of the private domain relates solely to the prevention of “illegal” sex between unmarried persons of the opposite sex. The harem is derived from the Arabic 'haram': forbidden or sacred.

Corporal punishment such as whipping, abolished in the Low Countries more than a century ago, will return when Islamists have their way.
Source: L'Exécution de la Punition de Fouet by Jean-Baptiste Débret (1829)

What is the difference between "Jihadism" and "Islamism"?
Who reads the magazines quite tough in terms of readability that terror groups such as Al Qa'eda and Islamic State, such as Inspire (Al Qaeda) and Dabiq (IS) is striking that the sources they cite are the same as the sources that Islamists cite. Namely the Quran and (especially) the hadith. A group known as 'non-terrorist' such as Hizb-ut-Tahrir condemns attacks on, for example, Israelis and others; enemies of Islam 'good on theological grounds. [2] This also applies to a large extent to the ideologically more flexible Muslim Brotherhood, which for the purpose of uniting all Muslims under one Sunni caliphate and subjugating the non-Muslims, sees the mutual differences between Muslims as secondary [3] . There are countries where this group manifests itself peacefully, such as Turkey and many Western countries, and there are other countries where this group carries out terrorist attacks (Gaza Strip, Syria).

Ideologically, there is no difference between a "peaceful" Islamist and a "jihadist", except for a disagreement about the strategy to be followed. The ideology of jihadists IS Islamism. “Jihadism” (more accurately: jihad al-qital, armed struggle) is only a method of struggle of Islamism, it is not a separate ideology.

What if jihadists or Islamists are in control?
The consequences are the same in both cases and extremely predictable: introduction of Sharia, ie restriction of the rights for women and non-Islamic groups, introduction of the jizya (a head tax applied to non-Muslims), introduction of polygyny, abolition of the human rights of homosexuals, the death penalty for leaving Islam for ex-Muslim men / life imprisonment for ex-Muslim women until they change their mind, ar-rajam (stoning) for married Muslims who have sex with someone other than their own husband or a ma malakat amaynukum ('what belongs to the right hand', ie slave girl taken prisoner). And, of course, invalidating the marriage of an ex-Muslim to his wife, in countries such as Egypt where a Sharia light prevails. It was not until 2020 that there was open discussion in Egypt about the abolition of this law [4]. Had this ex-Muslim lived in, for example, Mauretania, where Sharia law applies, he would have been executed.

As you have already understood, dear reader, slavery is also being reintroduced. After all, abolitionism is bida (innovation) of the kuffaar (unbelievers). And, of course, the invalidity of a non-Muslim's testimony against that of a Muslim. In Pakistan and Northern Nigeria, for example, you see Islamism in practice. In all countries where Islamism is advancing, women's rights and the rights of non-Muslim and sexual minorities (including those who have sex without marriage) are being curtailed or abolished.

Islamism has no positive sides compared to the currently prevailing political ideologies in the west.

In short, not really ideals associated with progressive, let alone visionary thinking.

Is Islamism Legitimate?
The question is whether Islamism is “legitimate”. The CP'86 has been banned by the courts due to racism. The ideals of apartheid of Islamism are also over the edge of what is permitted under current Dutch criminal law. We are therefore inclined to answer this question positively in the negative.

Sources
1. D. Serrano, Judicial pluralism under the “Berber empires” (last quarter of the 11th century CE - first half of the 13th century CE), Bulletin d'Études Orientales, https://doi.org/10.4000/beo.3229, 2015
2. Hizb ut-Tahrir: ideology and strategy, Henry Jackson society, 2013
3. A. Ayyash, Strong Organization, Weak Ideology: Muslim Brotherhood Trajectories in Egyptian Prisons Since 2013, Arab Reform Initiative, 2019
4.
Amna Naseer: Controversy in Egypt after a statement regarding the legality… [of a marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man], 2020

 

'Vaccinate the super spreaders first'

The Dutch Council for Public Health recommends that the government first vaccinate the elderly and other people with a weak immune system against the covid-19 causing SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Is that sensible? No, says a physicist who made an epidemiological analysis. Is it better to vaccinate the (generally very healthy) superspreaders first, no matter how unethical it sounds?

Spread of SARS-CoV-2 mainly through superspreaders and in superspreading events
Massive outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 mainly occurred at indoor mass gatherings [1]. Infamous cases included auditions of choirs, church services, Friday prayers in mosques, nightclubs, slaughterhouses, indoor parties and political gatherings. Or in nursing homes with vulnerable people. Often times, this epidemic started in one infected person who attended several such occasions: the superspreader. For example, a South Korean infected woman infected dozens of people in both a hospital and a church service [2].

Extinguish the curve: why the superspreaders should be tackled
Humanity is better off without the SARS-CoV-2 virus and other viruses that thrive on humans. A vaccine, certainly one in rapid succession, so relatively poorly tested for side effects as is now being marketed by the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna, is a rather drastic way of eliminating this virus worldwide. If there are other, less invasive methods to get the transmission rate R well below 1 (ie to ensure that less than 1 person is infected per infected person, so that the epidemic will die out), these are preferable. Preventing superspreading events, such as banning all large gatherings indoors, is not a lot of fun, and a serious violation of the constitutional freedom of association, but it is effective. Another measure that would prove very successful is the vaccination of super spreaders. In the case of covid-19, these are people with a lot of social contacts, people who work with vulnerable groups (hospital staff and nursing homes) or people who work in covid-19 sensitive areas (such as slaughterhouses). For example, we get the epidemic under control much faster with a smaller amount of vaccines.

How do we track down the super spreaders?

SARS-CoV-2: is it ethically responsible to vaccinate healthy people earlier if we stop the epidemic sooner?
Source: USA government (state.gov)

Most people have a relatively small number of contacts. A small number of people have a huge number of contacts. Israeli physicist Shlomo Reuvin developed an effective way to track down these potential superspreaders: ask a large number of people who their acquaintances are. A small number of people turn up much more often than others. It is precisely these people who must first be vaccinated, says Reuvin, and not lonely elderly people. In his calculation models, a much smaller percentage of vaccinations already turned out to have an enormous effect: if most superspreaders are vaccinated, the epidemic appears to be a drastic decrease in R even with a low vaccinated percentage of the population, think of ten to twenty percent exhibit. With what we now know about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we can vaccinate these super spreaders in a targeted manner. The 'indirect vaccination obligation', advocated within the VVD, is indeed an infringement of constitutional freedoms (physical integrity, in this case), but would in fact be extremely effective in stopping superspreading events.

Also see: Covid-19: the nonsense of the five-foot rule

Sources
1. Such is the impact of superspread events, MauriceDeHond.nl (Mari de Hond), 2020
2. 'Superspreader' in South Korea infects nearly 40 people with coronavirus, LiveScience, 2020
3. Shlomo Reuvin et al., Efficient Immunization Strategies for Computer Networks and Populations, ArXiv pre-print server, 2003
4. Minister De Jonge: 'No indirect vaccination obligation', Parool, 2020

How do we fight fake news?

As is often the case around election time, the Dutch discussion about fake news flares up once again. The Dutch Minister of the Interior, Lady Kajsa Ollongren (D66), wants to establish an “independent” institute that is engaged in countering the spreading of “fake news”, which, according to her, and many others, is a major threat to democracy. would form. Does this make sense?

What is fake news?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, a well-known English proverb. Likewise, some “real news” and some “fake news”. In the Middle Ages, answering this question was easy. Real news, that was what the Church (ie the Roman Catholic Church, saw as truth. Or, with the southern neighbors, what the ruling Islamic sect saw as truth. The rest was fake news, or heresy. The spread of fake news took a lot of flee with the invention of the printing press. For example, the Albigenses, who in the twelfth century had similar ideas to Luther and other Protestants centuries later, were a marginal group, their heretical ideas about reading the "holy scriptures" instead. of the interpretation of the church could be quite easily suppressed with brute force. Not many people had a Bible, because it had to be copied by hand: literally a monk's work. That changed after the invention of paper and printing. was no stopping then: the information monopoly of the Roman Catholic Church was quickly broken.

The Internet has a similar effect. In the good old days, when there was no internet yet, many CPN members or journalists were recruited by the BVD (predecessor of the AIVD) [1]. That was also possible, because there was (and is) only a handful of newspapers. All radio and TV stations could also be counted on one hand. Even now, dozens of journalists work as AIVD agents [2]. That also changed with the internet. For a journalist it is no longer a career-technical death sentence if there is no longer employment with newspapers or TV channels. Mainstream controversial talk show host Robert Jensen, for example, set up a much-watched covid-19 policy-critical YouTube channel after his TV show was shut down, with the motto “the [mainstream] media is the virus”. This also applies to journalists such as Joost Niemoller (now active as a weblogger), which is also controversial in the mainstream, or the widely watched (according to the main stream media) online current affairs program Weltschmerz, wholesaling wild conspiracy theories. In addition, there are now thousands of bloggers, vloggers, influencers and, of course, your unsurpassed visionair.nl. Hence, there is a great need in the government to combat this uncontrolled proliferation.

Ministry of Truth

This need among both Brussels and Hague regents explains why there is now so much attention for fake news [3]. For example, Ms Kajsa Ollongren now wants an independent administrative body separate from the government (but funded by the government) to tackle so-called fake news [4]. According to the minister, there is 'no question of' a thought police. She emphasizes that it will not be the government that will monitor incorrect information. "The government does not have that role." An independent body that is not tied to a political party or ministry must track down and report on the disinformation. ”
It is not without reason that an old Dutch proverb says: whose bread one eats, whose word one speaks. A politically independent administrative body (we are talking about that now, after all, the question of what is fake news and what is true news is politically charged) is the worst of both worlds. It is not independent and cannot be approached politically. It is pre-eminently a manifestation of the “deep state”.

Inquisition

The inquisition, an institution of the Roman Catholic Church that detected and combated deviations from Roman Catholic doctrine, was also an "independent body not tied to any political party or ministry." The fact that the local government did the dirty work of the stake was no comfort to the burning witches and heretics. Government organization or not: If an organization is authorized by the government, as here, there is no functional difference from a government organization.

Inquisitors engaged in the fight against fake news. Source: Wellcome Trust / Wikimedia Commons

Furthermore, the government is also an important source of misinformation, as became apparent at the start of the covid-19 epidemic, when the Dutch government organization RIVM considered masks “not necessary” [5] and, following the WHO, claimed that asymptomatic patients virus [6]. Data scientist Maurice de Hond has already provided harsh and substantiated criticism on this. That led to a conviction on the social media giants for “fake news” [7]. There are more examples. Powerful interest groups will always hijack and bribe authoritative sources to impose their own fake news (this time labeled “official truth”) on the rest.

What then works? Simple: monitor the standards of good journalism. Teach citizens how to practice thorough investigative journalism, for example through free courses with an exam. This is probably one of the most useful skills to keep our democracy, a democracy. Our democracy is in safer hands with hundreds of thousands of trained citizen journalists than with a few hundred professional journalists often recruited by the AIVD.

Sources
1. The long arm of the BVD, memories of the infiltration - Dutch Communists from NRC, 1994
2. 'We should not be so surprised that the AIVD recruits informants among journalists' - Trouw, 2019
3. Countering disinformation and fake news - Dutch national government, undated
4. Ollongren tackles “fake news” about elections - BNR Nieuwsradio, 2020
5. 'Mouth mask is not a realistic way of dampening coronavirus' - AD, 2020
6. WHO withdraws claim: 'Perhaps many corona infections by people without symptoms' - De Morgen, 2020
7. Maurice de Hond disappointed in YouTube due to removal of corona video: 'I say the same as German top virologist!' - Gaand.nl, 2020

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