Saturday, June 30, 2007

Stories I Didn't Do - "Rotten Cops"

I get the daily police blotter from Amsterdam, and over the past year I had noticed what seemed to me to be a *ridiculous* number of police officers being fired.

Reasons ranged from drug abuse to violent behavior to corruption _ pretty much anything you could think of. All ages. I saved at least 30 of these in a little text file. I'd post it, but it's in Dutch. Take my word for it.

Anyhow, yesterday the Justice Ministry announced that they had been working on an anti-corruption project on a national scale. So their spin was, there are not an unusually high number of rotten cops here, they are just held to unusually high standards.

The rumor is, Amsterdam cops are more corrupt (if possibly less violent) than others. But there's no evidence.

So, which is it? More corrupt or more caught?

The answer to me seems unknowable.

Let me know if anybody has an idea of how I could crack this nut.

Oh, and this story introduces a tag: 'confronting my ignorance.' I plan to use that one a lot. MORE

Friday, June 29, 2007

Obama Obeisance

Any candidate who dreams of the presidency knows that a visit to my father is necessary. They kiss his hands, they bring a small gift. But dad keeps his own counsel, and gives no public endorsements.

Actually, my father said he attended a fundraiser with an open mind about which candidate he's likely to vote for in 2008.

Surprisingly, given that this was an event you'd think would be populated mostly by supporters, the first question from the audience was an aggressive critique of Obama's position on some topic (I fear healthcare). My dad said Obama acquitted himself admirably, answering the arguments point by point.

Still, no endorsement from Don Sterling.


Sometimes you just have to take a chance

I found this lady's story inspiring.

"Amsterdam District Court judges Wednesday rejected the claim of Helene de Gier, who said she was traumatized by not winning the country's National Postcode Lottery, which she didn't enter, while her neighbors did."

-Associated Press MORE

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Casey Jones you better watch your Speed


Amsterdam's 'Mother Teresa' Dies

Expatica Version

I met her once; she was joking around the whole time. It was a little hard for me to understand her Dutch, but her smile was hard to resist.

I couldn't help thinking while writing this story that she got so much recognition in her later life _ which is great _ but there are so many lonely old people who are pining for attention. It's overwhelming to think about all that pain. Majoor Bosshardt was very deserving of respect, but then, who isn't? She would have been the first to agree...

"World, world, oh world! But that thy strange mutations make us hate thee, life would not yield to age." MORE

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


This is a photo of me and my son Zephyr. MORE


Hi all. It's been several years now since I began sending a monthly letter to my close friends and family. It was a way of keeping the people who have played an important part in my life up to date on my doings and undoings.

Now I'd like to keep a less private record of generally what's going on with me _ the life of the mind, including thoughts about my work, and occassional glimpses into my private life.

There's not really any way of keeping things totally separated. There never was, but in this day and age that's more apparent.

At any rate, I'm hoping the blog format will set the hurdle lower for people I know well to communciate with me, and people I should know to introduce themselves.

Positive and negative commentary is welcome, but I reserve the right to censor the scurrilous.

Click here for the most recent post... MORE