July 30, 2013

Ethics vs Economics

In all the controversy around the Games in Sochi, where are the different corporate sponsors? Where is the IOC?

The IOC's response is and has always been that it shouldn't be about politics, I call bull-crap! There is a difference between not agreeing with the political ideals of a host (or participating) country and accepting blatant disregard of the most basic of human rights. As a signatory country of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we should strive to live up to it and demand from (non) signatories that they adhere to it should they want to do business with us. The games were conceived as a means to promote understanding across cultures, thereby lessening the dangers of war. The games are all about bringing us together despite our differences. But there are limits to what we should tolerate, let alone accept.

Looking at the, lack of, response from the IOC and the different national OC's, I can't help but wonder if it hasn't been about the big bucks all along. Now, it's about the LGBT community, but how many families have been "evacuated" over the years in order to create big and spectacular venues for these games. How many countries literally sold their souls to get a chance to be the host?

Isn't it time we, the international community, stood up and told the organisers to either put up or shut up? Isn't it about time that sports be subjected to the same demands and expectations we have for other industries? Let us not kid ourselves, this is business and as such should be held to the same standards we demand from other multinational corporations.

The international community is all aflutter demanding boycotts left and right for Russian products. I concur. But I also say, let's give a strong signal to the enablers that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

It's about time ethics won it from economics in sport too.

July 29, 2013

DARE to speak up!

It seems that every couple of years, I find a reason to revisit a famous poem by fr. Niemöller.
Once again, we see a government institutionalizing repression and hate of a whole segment of society.

And once again we see the same government organising the Olympics and YET again, the international community is against boycotting the games. Will this countries' president refuse to attend the medal ceremony if a LGB (or T) athlete wins a medal?

Haven't we learned from the mistakes of the past?

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

I believe that a very strong and unequivocal international signal should be send to such countries. HUMAN rights are UNIVERSAL rights. And the right to education is a human right.
A countries' government is tasked with the well-being and safety of ALL it's citizens.

I encourage all DARE to speak up before it's  too late YET AGAIN.

July 20, 2013


It's really been a while since I last wrote down some of my thoughts. The past couple of months have been great on so many levels.
I've managed to find that satisfaction in life. Just enjoying every single day I get to live. Making new friends, visiting new places and making new memories. Through this all, I have to keep remembering not to loose touch with "old" friends. As much as I loathe it, I guess I will have to start planning time with friends a bit more consistently. So if any friends are reading this, hit me up with a proposal. :)

In february, I went back to Lisbon. Spent a couple of days walking around and remembering why I love it so much there.  If I had the means, I'd be in Lisbon at least every couple of months. The first day or two, I was quite nervous about bumping into the reason why I visited Lisbon the other times. Thankfully, this didn't happen. I got to revisit a lot of places and enjoyed my time spent there. Took some beautiful pictures, met new people and got my eyes opened regarding other people. All in all, a learning experience.

For my birthday, I rewarded myself with a trip to Malta. One of the most spontaneously trips I've taken so far.
I spent more time rediscovering my photography and took some of my best photo's to date. I also discovered the delight of just have a drink with a stranger and chatting, with no ulterior motive.
I still can't fathom an island with nearly three times the population of my native island can live together on three-fourths the surface area. And yet, it never felt crowded.

Aachen also was graced with my presence, albeit for just 24 hours. Hanswurst still rocks! And guess what... I took more pictures there. My trusty new camera is sure getting a workout. :)

I foresee more trips in the future for me and my camera,

I know this blog hasn't been as deep as in the past, but sometimes life is about the lighter stuff to.

Till the next blog.

P.S. rights to these photographs belong to me :)

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