Anonymous.. Who?

anonymous i am freeSince I often get questions from friends about who or what is Anonymous, I thought I would try to explain the phenomenon. I say try, because the movement is elusive, loosely held together by people joining forces for a certain cause, after which the formed group ‘disbands’ and the people get on with causes they think valuable enough to put their time and resources in, forming new bonds with others.

Anonymous is not an organisation, but rather a movement. No appointed leaders, no official membership cards, no rules, no predefined targets. In principle every one can call himself/herself Anonymous if he/she agrees with the general goals and worries of the movement.

anonymous-march-protest-activist.siAt the beginning Anonymous consisted mainly of ‘hacktivists’, a term formed by the words ‘hacker’ and ‘activists’. They allied themselves in the struggle to keep internet free, to fight censorship, and to react against what they designate as corrupt corporations and organizations, by putting their knowledge into having some effect on the world. To that end they meet via certain websites, and seek out like-minded hackers who want to join forces for a certain project. In 2008 for example, hacktivists started to attack the servers of the Church of Scientology.

Very soon the general idea behind Anonymous became the preservation or the installation of freedom of speech, and of freedom in general. No longer only hacktivists called themselves ‘Anonymous’, but more and more people not involved in hacking and computer technology joined the movement and joined the ranks of Anonymous. They organised protests and actions in the streets, for which they mustered sympathisers via social media. The Guy Fawkes mask is often worn during those protests to show affiliation with Anonymous.

1-vendetta-guy-fawkes-mask-on-black-849146
The Guy Fawkes mask

Guy Fawkes was an English military born in the 16th century, who was arrested and hung on the scaffold, and afterwards his lifeless body was quartered together with three other co-conspirators. They were accused of plotting the death of King James and nobles by blowing up West Minster with dynamite on the 5th of November 1605, but all confessions were obtained by torture. Anonymous made Guy Fawkes as the symbol of the fight against oppression and censorship by the establishment.

polish MP ACTA
Polish Members of Parliament protesting ACTA

The actions of Anonymous are always non-violent. Often Anonymous intervenes in causes where they consider the involvement of the government as being insufficient, in cases of oppression, child abuse, racism and radicalism, corporate exploitation, etc.. Sometimes they act against governments by hacking their systems and protesting. The ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement in the United States and the ‘Indignados’ movement in Europe were widely supported by Anonymous, so were Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, Bradley/Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden. In the case of WikiLeaks Anonymous hacktivists attacked the servers of Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and the Swiss bank PostFinance because they acted against the interests of WikiLeaks. The standard method of the hacktivists is a DDoS-attack, whereby a server is bombarded by millions upon millions of requests until the server buckles under the massive data.

US-POLITICS-PROTEST-ANONYMOUSSo, if you are worried about the evolution of governments in our ‘free’ world, where slowly but undeniably our freedom is restricted in the name of ‘national security’ and ‘safety’, but allowing multinational corporations and money to rule the world, if you are indignant about the establishment not doing much about officials killing people with racist motives, or not acting promptly concerning the abuse of children or women, if you get angry about people oppressing others without our leaders intervening, or if you stand up against every form of freedom restriction, and you want to raise your voice in a peaceful but devastating way, than you are a proud member of Anonymous. You don’t need to have a specific quality like advanced computer knowledge or access to secrets, just your voice combined with millions of others is the force that makes Anonymous unstoppable. We are the masses, we are the 99%.

We are Anonymous

We are legion

We do not forgive

We do not forget

Expect us.

anonymous malcolm XLove, yann ❤️

The God of the Black Hole (AKA Belgian Treasury) appeased?

download (1)In their struggle to keep the electorate happy, politicians shun no means to reach that goal. Lying and deceiving are the standard ways to put the citizens on the wrong foot. What effectively is done about real problems is not the issue, perception is everything.

Last week the Belgian Minister of Finance launched a new proposal to tax the rich. Belgium has been in a kind of uproar since the appointment of the current government because – just like all the legislatures before them – they raised taxes for the ordinary people. These are protesting the fact that no contribution is made by the big companies and the rich, which are – as we know now – exempted from taxes via ‘rulings’ offered by politicians via the Belgian IRS. These rulings were kept secret from the general public for a long time, but after ‘LuxLeaks’, the leaking of documents about tax exemptions for companies and the rich in the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, reporters found out that Belgium also offers special treatments to those who have too much money to pay.

Tax-RichUnions in Belgium have taken a categorical stance against extra taxes for the working people while the rich do not contribute. Neither do they pay any taxes, but that is beside the point in this plea. The slightest disagreement with the government nowadays leads to actions by the unions, just because they do not appreciate the way the government is taxing the less-than-rich (except the unions, but they are rich).

corporation_cartoon_talk_things_outFortunately we have politicians to solve the problem, or rather to change our perception of the problem. The Minister of Finance declared that a withholding tax of 25% would be imposed on all foreign funds held by Belgian citizens. The Cayman Islands being a renowned tax haven for shady wealth, the tax was promptly baptized ‘Cayman tax’. The latest estimate of the wealth parked in foreign tax havens by our reverent Minister was in the order of 60 billion euros. The cautious estimate of specialists in this matter is the quadruple of that sum. But hey, you can’t be too strict on those people having to immigrate their money to get some yields less-than-rich can’t get.

Mark Twain fool peopleWe are talking about a ‘withholding tax’, that means that interests and dividends are taxed, not the original sum. The government is pleased that the new tax will enable them to make a ritual sacrifice to the God of the Black Hole of Belgian Treasury of 460 million euros per year, to start in 2016. I do not know on what yield those numbers are based, but I can only guess that the actual yields achieved by those 60 billions are far higher than 4% (the average yield when renting out property in Belgium). When I calculate with the minimal 4% yield (by interests and dividends), a taxation of 25% on those gains would result in 600 million euros of taxes. So somewhere the line already 140 million euros have disappeared even if we calculate with the cautious prognosis of 4% yield achieved by investing those 60 billions. Count on politicians to make money disappear even before they can put their hands on it!

The sum of 460 million represents 0.0077% of the total wealth parked off shore by Belgians (as estimated by the brave Minister).  Does the revolutionary Minister believe the Belgian public opinion will be appeased by the ‘bloodshed’ his new ‘Cayman tax’ will cause within the ranks of the wealthy? He does, and in the end, I fear I have to admit he will be right…

Keep on smiling! ? yann

anonymous government has failed you

Icarus’ dream

mexico zonsondergang PP
Flying in the Mexican sunset

Many of you know the mythology of Daedalus and Icarus fleeing their captivity by King Minos on the island of Crete. Daedalus, the father, made wings by covering frames of wood with feathers that were held together by wax. During the flight Icarus became haughty and flew – against the explicit warnings by his father – too close to the sun so the wax started melting, resulting in his death by crashing into the Aegean sea.

DCIM100GOPRO
Flying over the cliffs in Portugal

Fortunately this era we have had many technological advancements that enable us to fly freely trough the skies. Without fuselage or enclosed capsule, without engines, but with a maximum of safety and comfort. The paraglider was developed out of the square parachute, with more stable and better gliding qualities. The two have not much in common nowadays, except for the fabric of the wing and the lines connecting the pilot to the wing. The harness, the area and form of the wing, the gliding ratios, and many other things don’t have much in common. Where a parachute is meant to enable someone who jumped from an altitude (from a high obstacle, airplane, helicopter, balloon, etc..) to land safely, a paraglider is meant to enable a person to effectively fly in the air, eventually taking him to higher altitudes if the winds and thermals are favorable.

DCIM100GOPRO
Croatia

Paragliding world records have been set where hundreds of kilometers have been crossed, and there are many competitions all over the world where men and women strive to complete a pre-defined course via a set of waypoints in the shortest time. The course cannot be completed without taking time to gain altitude in thermals (air that is rising), just like sailplanes do, so tactics and skill are the main requirements for a would-be champion. World championships are held, where the best pilots from over the world battle against each other in the blue sky.

IMG_1901
Elke flying in the Mexican mountains

But as with all sports, the majority of enthusiasts are just paragliding for recreational purposes. There are rules, like areas to avoid (eg. airports and reserved air spaces) and how to behave when flying with others, but due to the lack of over regulation paragliding is often called ‘the anarchistic sport’. This is also due to the mentality of the people engaged in this sport. Everyone is helpful, champions are easily approachable, and every one abides by the rules of nature and winds.

jan start el penon mex
Ready for take off – Mexico

The accessibility of paragliding for all people makes that everyone, regardless of age, gender and certain disabilities can learn to fly and enjoy hours in the air. There are pilots who are missing legs and manage to start and fly as well as able-bodied persons, blind people do fly in a tandem with a guide sitting in front of them, and I have known a man of 78 in my former club still flying on a regular basis.

During my wanderings all over the world with my paraglider as luggage I met lots of people. In this regard the most remarkable certainly is Marko Hrgetić. Five times Croatian paragliding champ, vice World Champion, holder of many titles and achievements (but too shy to admit it), he was the guy who really learned me to fly. I did my basics with a Belgian flying school, but unfortunately the focus was on earning as much money as they could from the students by postponing flight independence of the apprentices as long as they could. Fed up with this I found Marko in Croatia.

DCIM100GOPRO
The North Sea coast in France

The extraordinary thing about his method is that, once the pupils are proficient enough to handle the basic stages of flight safely, Marko flies together with his students. This way he, for example, can direct them towards a thermal he found to gain altitude, and monitor them from nearby flying in the same conditions his apprentices are moving in. And thus teach them the finer skills of flying and becoming one with the air carrying us trough the sky. All with utter respect for the safety and security of his pupils.

Apart from his flying and teaching skills Marko is a really nice, dependable guy. A bit shy and wary at first, but warm, open and welcoming once he gets to know you. And once friends, always friends, just like friendship is meant to be in life.

tandem Marko
Marko Hrgetić and me during my tandem pilot course (Croatia)

The hoard of beautiful Croatian women did not seem to satisfy Marko’s tastes, so he got himself hijacked by a wonderful Mexican women named Alma who made him her husband, and together they just became the proud parents of a little son. Having noticed that Mexico was abundant with commercial ventures to take tourist in tandem flights, but lacking high-level flight schools, he started a paragliding school with his wife: Escuela de Vuelo Flumen (Flumen is also the name of the paragliding club near Rijeka, Croatia, that Marko set up and of which he still is the president for the members did not accept his resignation ?). So now Marko is helping hundreds of people to fly the Mexican skies, be it locals or tourists coming especially for his high reputation and the favorable flying conditions in this sunny country.

flumen girls
‘The Flumen Girls’ – Elke sitting on the left, Alma is next to her

If you are travelling to Mexico, or you just want a special and very proficient teacher to learn this amazing sport, contact Marko. If Mexico is too far, you can safely make your first ‘steps’ in paragliding with the Flumen paragliding club in Croatia, where Marko educated himself new instructors by his high standards. I can warmly recommend Ivana, she is a beautiful person and a hell of a woman! ? Also for tandem flights to get a taste of free flight you can always contact them (below).

Love, yann ❤️

Flumen for flying in Mexico

Flumen for flying in Croatia

note from the author: I am not sponsored by Flumen, Marko Hrgetić or anyone else, nor affiliated to them in a commercial way, but I wanted to write about my experience with this amazing and safe sport, and with those wonderful people I got to know well over the years.

Icarus’ dream

mexico zonsondergang PP
Flying in the Mexican sunset

Many of you know the mythology of Daedalus and Icarus fleeing their captivity by King Minos on the island of Crete. Daedalus, the father, made wings by covering frames of wood with feathers that were held together by wax. During the flight Icarus became haughty and flew – against the explicit warnings by his father – too close to the sun so the wax started melting, resulting in his death by crashing into the Aegean sea.

DCIM100GOPRO
Flying over the cliffs in Portugal

Fortunately this era we have had many technological advancements that enable us to fly freely trough the skies. Without fuselage or enclosed capsule, without engines, but with a maximum of safety and comfort. The paraglider was developed out of the square parachute, with more stable and better gliding qualities. The two have not much in common nowadays, except for the fabric of the wing and the lines connecting the pilot to the wing. The harness, the area and form of the wing, the gliding ratios, and many other things don’t have much in common. Where a parachute is meant to enable someone who jumped from an altitude (from a high obstacle, airplane, helicopter, balloon, etc..) to land safely, a paraglider is meant to enable a person to effectively fly in the air, eventually taking him to higher altitudes if the winds and thermals are favorable.

DCIM100GOPRO
Croatia

Paragliding world records have been set where hundreds of kilometers have been crossed, and there are many competitions all over the world where men and women strive to complete a pre-defined course via a set of waypoints in the shortest time. The course cannot be completed without taking time to gain altitude in thermals (air that is rising), just like sailplanes do, so tactics and skill are the main requirements for a would-be champion. World championships are held, where the best pilots from over the world battle against each other in the blue sky.

IMG_1901
Elke flying in the Mexican mountains

But as with all sports, the majority of enthusiasts are just paragliding for recreational purposes. There are rules, like areas to avoid (eg. airports and reserved air spaces) and how to behave when flying with others, but due to the lack of over regulation paragliding is often called ‘the anarchistic sport’. This is also due to the mentality of the people engaged in this sport. Everyone is helpful, champions are easily approachable, and every one abides by the rules of nature and winds.

jan start el penon mex
Ready for take off – Mexico

The accessibility of paragliding for all people makes that everyone, regardless of age, gender and certain disabilities can learn to fly and enjoy hours in the air. There are pilots who are missing legs and manage to start and fly as well as able-bodied persons, blind people do fly in a tandem with a guide sitting in front of them, and I have known a man of 78 in my former club still flying on a regular basis.

During my wanderings all over the world with my paraglider as luggage I met lots of people. In this regard the most remarkable certainly is Marko Hrgetić. Five times Croatian paragliding champ, vice World Champion, holder of many titles and achievements (but too shy to admit it), he was the guy who really learned me to fly. I did my basics with a Belgian flying school, but unfortunately the focus was on earning as much money as they could from the students by postponing flight independence of the apprentices as long as they could. Fed up with this I found Marko in Croatia.

DCIM100GOPRO
The North Sea coast in France

The extraordinary thing about his method is that, once the pupils are proficient enough to handle the basic stages of flight safely, Marko flies together with his students. This way he, for example, can direct them towards a thermal he found to gain altitude, and monitor them from nearby flying in the same conditions his apprentices are moving in. And thus teach them the finer skills of flying and becoming one with the air carrying us trough the sky. All with utter respect for the safety and security of his pupils.

Apart from his flying and teaching skills Marko is a really nice, dependable guy. A bit shy and wary at first, but warm, open and welcoming once he gets to know you. And once friends, always friends, just like friendship is meant to be in life.

tandem Marko
Marko Hrgetić and me during my tandem pilot course (Croatia)

The hoard of beautiful Croatian women did not seem to satisfy Marko’s tastes, so he got himself hijacked by a wonderful Mexican women named Alma who made him her husband, and together they just became the proud parents of a little son. Having noticed that Mexico was abundant with commercial ventures to take tourist in tandem flights, but lacking high-level flight schools, he started a paragliding school with his wife: Escuela de Vuelo Flumen (Flumen is also the name of the paragliding club near Rijeka, Croatia, that Marko set up and of which he still is the president for the members did not accept his resignation ?). So now Marko is helping hundreds of people to fly the Mexican skies, be it locals or tourists coming especially for his high reputation and the favorable flying conditions in this sunny country.

flumen girls
‘The Flumen Girls’ – Elke sitting on the left, Alma is next to her

If you are travelling to Mexico, or you just want a special and very proficient teacher to learn this amazing sport, contact Marko. If Mexico is too far, you can safely make your first ‘steps’ in paragliding with the Flumen paragliding club in Croatia, where Marko educated himself new instructors by his high standards. I can warmly recommend Ivana, she is a beautiful person and a hell of a woman! ? Also for tandem flights to get a taste of free flight you can always contact them (below).

Love, yann ❤️

Flumen for flying in Mexico

Flumen for flying in Croatia

note from the author: I am not sponsored by Flumen, Marko Hrgetić or anyone else, nor affiliated to them in a commercial way, but I wanted to write about my experience with this amazing and safe sport, and with those wonderful people I got to know well over the years.

To free, or not to free.. the nipple…

free
The Free The Nipple campaign T shirt

The much ado about nipples these days is quite disturbing for me. Maybe I was pulled out of my comfort zone. Not by the sight of all those nipples appearing on the internet, in the news and social media, for I have seen female nipples by the thousands, maybe by the hundreds of thousands, in my life, and I never thought anything of it except that they looked nice. To get excited I fortunately need something more than fat and glands with a nipple on top, a physical trait that doesn’t look very dissimilar to the construction men tend to carry themselves on their chests.

But the whole free-the-nipple action took me out of my comfort zone because I had never given any thought about the physical discrimination inflicted on women by society for their somehow larger breasts. I always saw breasts as being a natural part of every human being, them being often swollen a bit more in the case of women, but still, nothing out of the ordinary as I grew up in Africa where people regard breasts as a female trait with a primary function to feed babies. Later as a kid on I played on the European beaches where women went topless, and during my pilot’s career I often found myself relaxing next to half naked flight attendants getting a tan on a Caribbean beach. The sight of breasts never meant that much to me as long as there was no sexual allusion in play.

caea delevingne
Topmodel Cara Delevingne protests against the discrimination

So I am rather ashamed I gave no more thought to the subject. I know, I am a male and I never was confronted with limitations imposed by some groups in society as they tend to do with women. So yes, I can only encourage women to fight for their rights. And yes, I am ashamed that they have to fight for those rights, for it seems to me as a natural thing that the same rules apply to both men and women.

What really caused me a lot of irritation during the biggest part of my life was the sexualization of nudity. When people tend to confuse someone being naked with someone wanting to have sex. Or do they get upset because the sight of nudity causes a sexual urge within themselves? What is offensive about a natural human body? We were born naked, our ancestors long ago roamed the earth naked, and it feels liberating to be naked, even if it is only in our own private space and for our eyes only.

Some folks pretend they are Christian, or Muslim, or whatever, and from this background they condemn nudity. I can only ask them that if their god created us like we are, are his creations then so hideous they have to be permanently hidden by clothes? Would it not be truly grateful toward their god to revere the gift god created in all its splendor?

scout-willis
Scout Willis walks topless in the streets of NY to protest against Instagram policy

Others say that children should be protected from nudity. Have you ever seen a child reacting against the sight of nudity out of itself? Are there not similarities between the teaching of racism and the teaching of primness to our children? A child will never make a difference between color or race if not told, neither will a kid express any opinion on nudity without influence from parents, friends or society. So prudishness is not a natural given, it is a thought imposed by grown ups and society in general. If people behave like female breasts, penises and vaginas are not okay to display and to be seen, then kids will follow these thoughts and grow up this way. If children see naked people around behaving in a normal, friendly, non-sexual way as is done in nudist camps, then they will think nothing of it and be perfectly at ease with their own nudity.

movie free the nipple
From the movie “Free the Nipple”

For this is a real disease of our society. We cannot be who we are, we have to be someone else or we do not really belong. We do have to dress following certain codes called ‘fashion’, women have to paint their faces with make-up, people have to abide by the strict rules of bodyweight and shape, etc.. Even the way a woman trims or shaves her pubic hair, which is usually kept invisible for third parties, is influenced by dictates of the era we’re living in. There is nothing wrong with someone nicely dressed, with beautiful make-up that emphasise beautiful eyes or eye lashes or lips, just as there is nothing wrong with a woman not being made up and not dressed to seduce every passer-by.

Why can’t every one be free? Why can’t someone post a family picture of her/his family on nude vacation on social media? Who are the perverts? Those who are naked in family between like-minded people thinking nothing wrong of it, or the people sexualizing the whole thing and trying to ban this out of fear of getting aroused? Is everyone that is naked having sex or even thinking about it just like the prudish seem to insinuate? Why this whole taboo about penises when half of the world’s population pendulates one? Why this whole cover-up of vaginas knowing at some point we all crawled out of one, having been blessed with the biggest wonder in the universe: birth?

Try me! - Erika
Try me! – Erika ©yannbastiaans

Maybe that is why I never gave much thought about breasts and nipples, I was too busy getting irritated by the narrow-mindedness of society about dicks and pussies. I was already one step ahead, one bridge too far, or better: one bridge further.

Just love yourself, respect and love your body, for it is a wonderful gift from nature (or your god) that should be adored and honored. And there is nothing to be ashamed of, you share the same bodily specifics with at least 3.5 billion people of your gender. Do you still have the illusion you are so physically unique to the point you should be ashamed of it?

Take care, yann ❤️

To free, or not to free.. the nipple…

free
The Free The Nipple campaign T shirt

The much ado about nipples these days is quite disturbing for me. Maybe I was pulled out of my comfort zone. Not by the sight of all those nipples appearing on the internet, in the news and social media, for I have seen female nipples by the thousands, maybe by the hundreds of thousands, in my life, and I never thought anything of it except that they looked nice. To get excited I fortunately need something more than fat and glands with a nipple on top, a physical trait that doesn’t look very dissimilar to the construction men tend to carry themselves on their chests.

But the whole free-the-nipple action took me out of my comfort zone because I had never given any thought about the physical discrimination inflicted on women by society for their somehow larger breasts. I always saw breasts as being a natural part of every human being, them being often swollen a bit more in the case of women, but still, nothing out of the ordinary as I grew up in Africa where people regard breasts as a female trait with a primary function to feed babies. Later as a kid on I played on the European beaches where women went topless, and during my pilot’s career I often found myself relaxing next to half naked flight attendants getting a tan on a Caribbean beach. The sight of breasts never meant that much to me as long as there was no sexual allusion in play.

caea delevingne
Topmodel Cara Delevingne protests against the discrimination

So I am rather ashamed I gave no more thought to the subject. I know, I am a male and I never was confronted with limitations imposed by some groups in society as they tend to do with women. So yes, I can only encourage women to fight for their rights. And yes, I am ashamed that they have to fight for those rights, for it seems to me as a natural thing that the same rules apply to both men and women.

What really caused me a lot of irritation during the biggest part of my life was the sexualization of nudity. When people tend to confuse someone being naked with someone wanting to have sex. Or do they get upset because the sight of nudity causes a sexual urge within themselves? What is offensive about a natural human body? We were born naked, our ancestors long ago roamed the earth naked, and it feels liberating to be naked, even if it is only in our own private space and for our eyes only.

Some folks pretend they are Christian, or Muslim, or whatever, and from this background they condemn nudity. I can only ask them that if their god created us like we are, are his creations then so hideous they have to be permanently hidden by clothes? Would it not be truly grateful toward their god to revere the gift god created in all its splendor?

scout-willis
Scout Willis walks topless in the streets of NY to protest against Instagram policy

Others say that children should be protected from nudity. Have you ever seen a child reacting against the sight of nudity out of itself? Are there not similarities between the teaching of racism and the teaching of primness to our children? A child will never make a difference between color or race if not told, neither will a kid express any opinion on nudity without influence from parents, friends or society. So prudishness is not a natural given, it is a thought imposed by grown ups and society in general. If people behave like female breasts, penises and vaginas are not okay to display and to be seen, then kids will follow these thoughts and grow up this way. If children see naked people around behaving in a normal, friendly, non-sexual way as is done in nudist camps, then they will think nothing of it and be perfectly at ease with their own nudity.

movie free the nipple
From the movie “Free the Nipple”

For this is a real disease of our society. We cannot be who we are, we have to be someone else or we do not really belong. We do have to dress following certain codes called ‘fashion’, women have to paint their faces with make-up, people have to abide by the strict rules of bodyweight and shape, etc.. Even the way a woman trims or shaves her pubic hair, which is usually kept invisible for third parties, is influenced by dictates of the era we’re living in. There is nothing wrong with someone nicely dressed, with beautiful make-up that emphasise beautiful eyes or eye lashes or lips, just as there is nothing wrong with a woman not being made up and not dressed to seduce every passer-by.

Why can’t every one be free? Why can’t someone post a family picture of her/his family on nude vacation on social media? Who are the perverts? Those who are naked in family between like-minded people thinking nothing wrong of it, or the people sexualizing the whole thing and trying to ban this out of fear of getting aroused? Is everyone that is naked having sex or even thinking about it just like the prudish seem to insinuate? Why this whole taboo about penises when half of the world’s population pendulates one? Why this whole cover-up of vaginas knowing at some point we all crawled out of one, having been blessed with the biggest wonder in the universe: birth?

Try me! - Erika
Try me! – Erika ©yannbastiaans

Maybe that is why I never gave much thought about breasts and nipples, I was too busy getting irritated by the narrow-mindedness of society about dicks and pussies. I was already one step ahead, one bridge too far, or better: one bridge further.

Just love yourself, respect and love your body, for it is a wonderful gift from nature (or your god) that should be adored and honored. And there is nothing to be ashamed of, you share the same bodily specifics with at least 3.5 billion people of your gender. Do you still have the illusion you are so physically unique to the point you should be ashamed of it?

Take care, yann ❤️

And Justice for all…

Instituut-voor-Rechten-Vrouwe_Justitia_shA few years ago Belgian politicians created a new toy to evade their responsibilities to adequately fund the judicial apparatus. In the last decades Belgian justice has become a class-justice. Understaffed, underfunded, and lost in an incomprehensible maze of laws often contradicting each other, the doors have been set wide open for shrewd lawyers and rich clients to evade the full penalty of law. There has been proof of corrupt judges in the past years, and nothing guarantees us that corruption has been eradicated within the system meant to protect the weak.

834734587The police is also low on budget, and needs to economize year after year. Investigations of simple and clear matters take years to finalize, and after that these cases are handed over to a slow and incompetent judicial system. Not incompetent because of the lack of competence levels of the staff, but incompetent for the lack of staff and funds. It is not uncommon for a thief having been caught red-handed by the police forces to be convicted three or four years after the crime, nor is it uncommon for a man literally with blood on his hands from grave domestic violence on his partner to be left roaming freely in society during the following years, awaiting trial. Meanwhile the psychopath is left free to manipulate and deceive, and to go to his job as high-profile manager acting as if nothing happened. The psychopath is even allowed to educate his minor children during these years, because he was not convicted and last trial during divorce granted him co-parentship, even if those same kids were witnesses during the several bloody beatings by their father of his partners and their mother.

'At Filmore holdings, we don't break the law. We donate to politicians to change the law.'But fortunately we have our heroic politicians to come up with creative and lucrative solutions. They invented the ‘GAS-fines’. Gas is an acronym for ‘Gemeentelijke Administratieve Sanctie’, which means ‘Municipal Administrative Sanction’. With the system they effectively sidetracked justice, which they first deliberately made slow, expensive and ineffective (and thus incompetent), and then created the golden egg for the authorities. Each municipality has now designated civil servants charged with the task to search and fine perpetrators of the rules that vary from municipality to municipality. Every town, city, village, is free to set up their own rules to be obeyed.

In some places it is prohibited to climb in a tree. In others it is strictly forbidden to eat a sandwich on the steps to the church. Some places banned singing by children in the street. And there are places where you cannot throw personal trash, like the peel of an orange, the receipt of a purchase or the wrap of your sandwich into the bins lining the streets, placed there to.. right, throw in your small trash while wandering the streets. The main problem is that even a Belgian citizen, visiting a nearby locality, never knows which rules are instated in that place. That gives the Belgian a hard time, and surely seems to enhance the feeling of freedom of the nationals.

When kid I learned in school that our constitution is based on the separation of the three main powers: the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. I cannot determine anything else but an infringement against the constitution. The power that voted the rules, that effectively implements those rules, and the one that fines the transgressions is one and the same.

sheneman-supreme-courtjpg-c6ccb73d1afd2649I also learned – bad student as I was – that there is a legal separation of authorities in the persecution and verbalization of offenders. First the assessment and investigation of a possible infraction (most often done by the police), secondly the review of that infraction by the court, followed by the establishment of an eventual fine, and third the claiming of the pecuniary fines by the State. In this case we have one authority doing the assessment, the fining, and the collection of the fines. Without much of a hassle citizens are robbed in an unconstitutional way of their money, thanks to an illegal system that was legalized by their own politicians.

Of course some people are protesting. The majority is against, but as always the ones raising their voices and straining their necks are part of a minority. Politicians understand well the old adage of ‘divide and conquer’ combined with disguise and deception, by keeping their poor subjects busy with their daily concerns of keeping themselves afloat in the sea of taxes, of worrying about their jobs, of being scared for the future of their offspring, and setting population groups up against each other. So the majority is effectively silenced, and the few ranting and raving are presented to the public as antisocial, as extremists, as unstable personalities. With thanks to the media.

Many lawsuits have been filed against those ‘GAS-fines’, questioning the legality and constitutionality of the laws permitting these fines. But I think you get it.. Justice is understaffed and underfunded… So we are not near a final verdict concerning this matter.

Keep smiling! yann ❤️

Belgian Justice corrupt? Noooo! ?

anti-domestic-violence-the-kitchen-small-82253In June 2014 police in the Ghent region (Belgium) received an emergency call from a woman whose face was beaten to pulp by her partner. They arrived in full force with three police vans at their house and took the man in custody. She was brought to a hospital where was determined she had a broken jaw and a broken eye socket. In addition to that she suffered from major hematoma all over her face, and some cuts. It was all a bloody mess, the front of her shirt was torn and red.

His ex wife was called by the police at 7AM, just after they stormed the house, to go fetch her 3 children (aged 13,11 and 10) who were staying with him at that moment since they were co-parenting since their divorce six years earlier. The children were duly impressed, they were woken up by the cries for help from their dad’s newest partner whom he had a relationship with since three years. Her 2 children (aged 10 and 9) were also present in the house during the drama, and it was the banging and yelling of the children at the locked door of the parental bedroom that offered the beaten-up woman a chance to evade her assailant.

19She declared to the police she sat on his bedside that sunny morning, next to him who was pretending to sleep, when she confronted him with mails he sent to other women. In these mails he wrote in rather foul and demeaning language to these women, in accordance with his dominant sexual appetite. Often he added a video in attachment of him vigorously masturbating. She knew he was cheating on her since quite a while, and while she accepted he needed more sexual partners she did not appreciate his lies and deceit around it. But those messages, and the language contained therein, shocked her gravely. When she told him – still feigning being asleep – that she was rather disturbed by the tone of his sexual adventures, he jumped out of bed, hit her, and ran to lock the bedroom door. Thereafter he straddled her and started to strangle her by choking her windpipe with both hands, banging the back of her head on the floor.

The kids woke up by the noise of the struggle taking place in the room next door. They started shouting after their respective parents, and banged shortly afterwards on their bedroom door. Probably this saved the woman, for he eased his grip on her throat right when her vision started to blur and turn black. She was losing consciousness. The rush of oxygen revived her and she managed to pry herself loose. Having lost his grip he started to beat her in the face with both fists, leading to the trauma described above. Meanwhile the cries, shouts and banging of the kids behind the door went in crescendo, and presumably this saved the victim for the second time. He apparently regained some of his senses and she managed to wriggle herself from under him. After having unlocked the door she fled outside, followed by the children who were in shock by the sight of the bloodied face and clothes of the woman. In the garden she managed to call the emergency services.

His initial statement at the police station was that he remembered little of what happened, beside admitting he beat her. A few days later he rejected this first statement and declared he thought at that time she was a burglar sitting on his bed and he wanted to protect himself and the children.

fviolence5That same day, barely a few hours after the drama, his ex wife received again a phone call from the police that she should return her children to him. This in accordance with the divorce agreement. That happened around 10AM. That same afternoon, at 2PM, he held a Birthday party for his second son in his house, where many kids and parents were invited to. Nothing in his attitude nor talk gave away the dramatic events that unfolded in exactly same place just a few hours before. According to his children and witnesses he was joyful and calm. In the few hours before the arrival of the guests he decorated the house and bought cakes and drinks for the Birthday party. When asked why his partner was absent he told his guests convincingly she was away for her work at the United Nations, where she held a job as a legal expert.

Already I can feel some of you being indignated over the fact that he was allowed to go back home after an attempted murder on his partner, and having beaten her up severely, a mere three hours after the facts. Often we read in newspapers, the same goes for Belgium, that people are kept in custody for a long while after having hurt their partner in a quite lesser way. What made him an exception? Especially if you know that this was not the first complaint against him for extreme violence.

During his marriage his ex wife filed complaint against him because he beat her, causing her to fall backwards on the floor, in the presence of their children. Two years after their divorce he beat her again when they met by chance on the street. He was bicycling with his children and she said hi to her children, which he did not accept. She was evacuated by ambulance to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a concussion and  hematoma in the face. During one of their divorce procedures the violence was put on the agenda by her lawyer, but the judge dismissed his behavior as having been ‘provoked’.

Woman being kidnapped and abusedBut this was also not the first time his newest girlfriend filed a complaint against him for domestic violence. In 2013 he pushed her into the deep pond in their garden, and pushed her head repeatedly under water, trying to drown her. This he did six consecutive times. She finally managed to get out of the cold water. But justice and the police saw no urgent reasons to react in any way to her allegations and no follow-up in this case was given. He managed to persuade her this was a bad mistake he made due to personal problems, and she unfortunately decided to give their relationship another try.

Today, a mere nine months after she left him because of the last beating, an investigating judge accompanied by police presented themselves at her front door (where she lives alone with her children). Due to a complaint where she is accused of having committed libel against him, the police came to seize her phones and computers. He effectively managed to rob her of any way of continuing her work as an independent counsellor for the United Nations and the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières.. Her crime? She informed a few months ago the CEO of the company he works for as a manager about the beating she received, accompanied by a self-portrait of her bloodied and mutilated face.

kiwanis_logo_575pxAnd she turned up at a meeting of ‘Kiwanis Ghent’, the organisation that pretends to be socially oriented for the sake of the destitute but rather is a decoy for wannabees to socialize with booze and promote their careers trough the ‘old boys network’. The present members were rather shocked to see her face, her swollen and purple lips, cheeks and eyes, and pledged to help her. Her  now ex-boyfriend stood then on the verge of being elected as new president of this Kiwanis chapter. Not longer than a week later Kiwanis Ghent reversed course and declared that their fellow member was in dire need of help, and that they would do everything in their power to support their suffering friend. His ex girlfriend never heard again from these bar knights with their silver mouths.

Again I can feel some of you getting indignated about the turn of events. At least that is the way I feel about this. And then pops the inevitable question into my mind, causing confusion and fear: could it be that the Belgian judicial system, including police, is corrupt? I can hardly believe this, but these events, and I could narrate some more ‘strange’ actions and verdicts by Belgian Justice that happened in our lives. Because the ‘ex wife’ is my wife since six years. And the psychopaths’ second victim became one of our best friends, after having been told by him during their whole relationship we were ‘terrorists’ and evil people she must avoid contact with, effectively shielding her from finding out the truth about his psychopathic character.

anonymousWhy is a man having been taken into custody with blood on his hands (literally) released a few hours after the crime, and how do we have to situate an organized police action led by an investigating judge, in a case of libel forcing themselves into a house to seize private computers in the presence of children? Where is the proportion in these cases? How does a serious physical crime relate to a mere verbal transgression by an individual? Where is the justification for these judicial steps?

The working of the Belgian police and justice was one more reason for me to go in voluntary exile, and thus to deny this corrupt State my tax contribution. That makes for at least three civil servants less getting their wages paid by the money they used to steal from me, as the total taxes in Belgium (including income tax, levies, VAT, etc..) amounted to two thirds of my income .

Be happy ?, yann.

Belgian Justice corrupt? Noooo! ?

anti-domestic-violence-the-kitchen-small-82253In June 2014 police in the Ghent region (Belgium) received an emergency call from a woman whose face was beaten to pulp by her partner. They arrived in full force with three police vans at their house and took the man in custody. She was brought to a hospital where was determined she had a broken jaw and a broken eye socket. In addition to that she suffered from major hematoma all over her face, and some cuts. It was all a bloody mess, the front of her shirt was torn and red.

His ex wife was called by the police at 7AM, just after they stormed the house, to go fetch her 3 children (aged 13,11 and 10) who were staying with him at that moment since they were co-parenting since their divorce six years earlier. The children were duly impressed, they were woken up by the cries for help from their dad’s newest partner whom he had a relationship with since three years. Her 2 children (aged 10 and 9) were also present in the house during the drama, and it was the banging and yelling of the children at the locked door of the parental bedroom that offered the beaten-up woman a chance to evade her assailant.

19She declared to the police she sat on his bedside that sunny morning, next to him who was pretending to sleep, when she confronted him with mails he sent to other women. In these mails he wrote in rather foul and demeaning language to these women, in accordance with his dominant sexual appetite. Often he added a video in attachment of him vigorously masturbating. She knew he was cheating on her since quite a while, and while she accepted he needed more sexual partners she did not appreciate his lies and deceit around it. But those messages, and the language contained therein, shocked her gravely. When she told him – still feigning being asleep – that she was rather disturbed by the tone of his sexual adventures, he jumped out of bed, hit her, and ran to lock the bedroom door. Thereafter he straddled her and started to strangle her by choking her windpipe with both hands, banging the back of her head on the floor.

The kids woke up by the noise of the struggle taking place in the room next door. They started shouting after their respective parents, and banged shortly afterwards on their bedroom door. Probably this saved the woman, for he eased his grip on her throat right when her vision started to blur and turn black. She was losing consciousness. The rush of oxygen revived her and she managed to pry herself loose. Having lost his grip he started to beat her in the face with both fists, leading to the trauma described above. Meanwhile the cries, shouts and banging of the kids behind the door went in crescendo, and presumably this saved the victim for the second time. He apparently regained some of his senses and she managed to wriggle herself from under him. After having unlocked the door she fled outside, followed by the children who were in shock by the sight of the bloodied face and clothes of the woman. In the garden she managed to call the emergency services.

His initial statement at the police station was that he remembered little of what happened, beside admitting he beat her. A few days later he rejected this first statement and declared he thought at that time she was a burglar sitting on his bed and he wanted to protect himself and the children.

fviolence5That same day, barely a few hours after the drama, his ex wife received again a phone call from the police that she should return her children to him. This in accordance with the divorce agreement. That happened around 10AM. That same afternoon, at 2PM, he held a Birthday party for his second son in his house, where many kids and parents were invited to. Nothing in his attitude nor talk gave away the dramatic events that unfolded in exactly same place just a few hours before. According to his children and witnesses he was joyful and calm. In the few hours before the arrival of the guests he decorated the house and bought cakes and drinks for the Birthday party. When asked why his partner was absent he told his guests convincingly she was away for her work at the United Nations, where she held a job as a legal expert.

Already I can feel some of you being indignated over the fact that he was allowed to go back home after an attempted murder on his partner, and having beaten her up severely, a mere three hours after the facts. Often we read in newspapers, the same goes for Belgium, that people are kept in custody for a long while after having hurt their partner in a quite lesser way. What made him an exception? Especially if you know that this was not the first complaint against him for extreme violence.

During his marriage his ex wife filed complaint against him because he beat her, causing her to fall backwards on the floor, in the presence of their children. Two years after their divorce he beat her again when they met by chance on the street. He was bicycling with his children and she said hi to her children, which he did not accept. She was evacuated by ambulance to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a concussion and  hematoma in the face. During one of their divorce procedures the violence was put on the agenda by her lawyer, but the judge dismissed his behavior as having been ‘provoked’.

Woman being kidnapped and abusedBut this was also not the first time his newest girlfriend filed a complaint against him for domestic violence. In 2013 he pushed her into the deep pond in their garden, and pushed her head repeatedly under water, trying to drown her. This he did six consecutive times. She finally managed to get out of the cold water. But justice and the police saw no urgent reasons to react in any way to her allegations and no follow-up in this case was given. He managed to persuade her this was a bad mistake he made due to personal problems, and she unfortunately decided to give their relationship another try.

Today, a mere nine months after she left him because of the last beating, an investigating judge accompanied by police presented themselves at her front door (where she lives alone with her children). Due to a complaint where she is accused of having committed libel against him, the police came to seize her phones and computers. He effectively managed to rob her of any way of continuing her work as an independent counsellor for the United Nations and the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières.. Her crime? She informed a few months ago the CEO of the company he works for as a manager about the beating she received, accompanied by a self-portrait of her bloodied and mutilated face.

kiwanis_logo_575pxAnd she turned up at a meeting of ‘Kiwanis Ghent’, the organisation that pretends to be socially oriented for the sake of the destitute but rather is a decoy for wannabees to socialize with booze and promote their careers trough the ‘old boys network’. The present members were rather shocked to see her face, her swollen and purple lips, cheeks and eyes, and pledged to help her. Her  now ex-boyfriend stood then on the verge of being elected as new president of this Kiwanis chapter. Not longer than a week later Kiwanis Ghent reversed course and declared that their fellow member was in dire need of help, and that they would do everything in their power to support their suffering friend. His ex girlfriend never heard again from these bar knights with their silver mouths.

Again I can feel some of you getting indignated about the turn of events. At least that is the way I feel about this. And then pops the inevitable question into my mind, causing confusion and fear: could it be that the Belgian judicial system, including police, is corrupt? I can hardly believe this, but these events, and I could narrate some more ‘strange’ actions and verdicts by Belgian Justice that happened in our lives. Because the ‘ex wife’ is my wife since six years. And the psychopaths’ second victim became one of our best friends, after having been told by him during their whole relationship we were ‘terrorists’ and evil people she must avoid contact with, effectively shielding her from finding out the truth about his psychopathic character.

anonymousWhy is a man having been taken into custody with blood on his hands (literally) released a few hours after the crime, and how do we have to situate an organized police action led by an investigating judge, in a case of libel forcing themselves into a house to seize private computers in the presence of children? Where is the proportion in these cases? How does a serious physical crime relate to a mere verbal transgression by an individual? Where is the justification for these judicial steps?

The working of the Belgian police and justice was one more reason for me to go in voluntary exile, and thus to deny this corrupt State my tax contribution. That makes for at least three civil servants less getting their wages paid by the money they used to steal from me, as the total taxes in Belgium (including income tax, levies, VAT, etc..) amounted to two thirds of my income .

Be happy ?, yann.

They have no shame

In a Belgian newspaper appeared today an article about poverty among children in Belgium. The data are from 2012, and concludes that in that year, 16,7% of the youth under 18 lived in a family that had an income lower than the poverty threshold.

n-CHILD-POVERTY-large“Despite the global impact of the crisis the poverty levels in Belgium have remained stable, but the poverty risk for youth has slightly increased(..)” states a report from the Ministry of Social Security. “40% of the single-parent families live in poverty, but without child support and other tax benefits that number would amount to 60%”.

“These numbers clearly depict the importance of an efficient battle against social exclusion”, states the Secretary of State for Poverty Reduction and Equal Opportunities.

And me, I just grew silent by those numbers and statements.. And moments later, I felt the indignation grow inside me. How can a Secretary of State talk about ‘an efficient battle’ when so many families are victims of our hunger for profits? How can the Belgian people accept their leaders as competent and trustworthy when they are considering buying F-35 jet fighters for 5 billion euros, while so many people do not even have the right and means for a respectable and fulfilling life? Don’t they have any shame???

child-povertyMaybe the numbers are a bit too elusive for everyone to grasp. Suppose your kids are in a class of 25 pupils. Well, 4 (FOUR!) kids in that class live under the poverty threshold.. Is that in any way acceptable to you, while your kids at home are bickering between each other whose turn it is to put the plates and cutlery on the table for your nicely cooked evening meal? And if your kids go to University, remember that some of their co-students are homeless, for there are no less than 2400 homeless students in your little kingdom.

How can it be that you, the citizens of one of the richest countries in the world, pay the highest taxes in the whole wide world, and the politicians still manage to embezzle your trusted funds to provoke another deficit on the balance sheet, while some rich people (the 1%, remember) and multinationals get secret deals with the Belgian IRS getting exemptions on taxes everybody else has to pay, and while other people – including kids – are living in poverty? How can it be that you are so cowardly to shut up, just do your duty and vote, pay your taxes like obedient children, and just let this happen in your own back yard? While knowing that there are others, ‘the happy few’, who maximize their profits on the weakness of the people and just get richer and richer every day in a “legalized” way. And you even continue to march along when politicians break the news – with their grave and saddened faces – that taxes will be raised again for some more deficits need to be cleared.

your fear is their powerAgain, this horrible observation just confirmed my determination to pay never again taxes to the financial black hole called Belgian State. Every nation deserves its politicians, and I can confirm you deserved right. Go on putting the blame on the blacks or East-Europeans, the Muslims or Jews, the left or right wingers, the small business owners, the workers, or whomever, you are just playing the game the politicians want you to play for their own sake. And for their filled bank accounts.. Meanwhile be happy and don’t give a damn, the banks conduct business as usual and surely they can count on you if things go bad next time as you helped them out the time before? I am just happy in exile ?

Love, yann ❤️