The Story The Media Is Not Telling About The Netherlands

Narrative Collapse posted an article about the Netherlands‘ election today. As usual, they cut through the mainstream media spin to the actual facts.

The article reports:

The following is the number of seats in parliament each party will get.

VVD 33 (center-right)
PVV 20 (right-wing)
CDA 19 (center-right)
D66 19 (center-left)
SP 14 (left-wing)
GL 14 (left-wing)
PvdA 9 (center-left)
CU 5 (center-right)
PvdD 5 (left-wing)
50+ 4 (pensioner advocacy)
DENK 3 (left-wing)
SGP 3 (right-wing)
FvD 2 (right-wing)

Divided into four categories you have:
Center-right: 57/61 Right-wing: 25
Center-left: 28/32 Left-wing: 36

So, you basically have 54.5%-57.3% of parliament on the right and 42.7%-45.3% on the left.

What the English language media is telling people is that this is a humiliating defeat for conservatives because Geert Wilders party on got 13% of the vote. This is only disappointing if you look at polls from weeks ago that showed the PVV almost neck and neck with VVD.

The article reports that the election illustrates increased polarization of the voters in the Netherlands. It also notes the following:

What is actually demoralizing is reports that VVD intends to pick D66 as a coalition partner instead of PVV. This is the exact behavior associated with “RHINO” and “neo-con” Republicans in the United States. They run to the right during election season and then run back left the day after.

Geert Wilders is not a radical (as the media has tried to convince us). He is a man who loves his country and wants to see his country preserved. Unfortunately it may take many of his fellow countrymen some time to realize this. Hopefully, that realization will come before the Netherlands is destroyed.

Assisted Suicide

California has just passed and Governor Brown signed a law that allows doctor-assisted suicide. I have a problem with that. I don’t want people to suffer, but I am opposed to actually taking someone’s life because they are suffering. I believe that medicine can alleviate the suffering and allow the patient to die peacefully on their own. I see no advantage to simply killing a patient before their body is ready to die.

Assisted suicide has been legal in the Netherlands since 2001. We might take a look at their experience with the practice of euthanasia to see how it works.

According to a Daily Beast article from February of last year:

Their law, which went into effect in 2002, allowed doctors to end the lives of their patients in the context of a state health care system that emphasized close consultation with family physicians over many years. The termination of life was supposed to be limited to those with “unbearable and hopeless suffering” whose mental faculties were not impaired and who had no other hope of relief.

But recent revelations about the way euthanasia is practiced by one group in The Netherlands, especially for those suffering from psychiatric illnesses, is making even the Dutch feel uncomfortable. The new debate raises questions about the way appointed commissions judge these life-ending practices, and echoes the kinds of ‘slippery-slope’ criticisms often made by right-wing and religious parties in the United States.

…But where does one draw the line? Because these patients are not physically ill, the evaluations of independent psychiatrists are under scrutiny. Does this mean any person suffering from serious depression can shop around until he or she finds someone willing to help with suicide? And euthanasia is not only for old people. How young can you be and still get legal help if you want to die? How far should society go to overcome the biologically inbuilt threshold that makes it hard to take one’s own life by aiding someone to do so?

The controversy surrounding the Life-Ending Clinic’s activities has caused the Dutch press to look at some of the other cases from recent years. In one particularly disturbing case a 35-year-old woman, the youngest to die since the Dutch law was introduced, got help killing herself in 2012. Excerpts of her file were published by Dutch national newspaper Trouw and read like a sad story of clinical depression. But the file also shows an extended period of hopefulness. Not enough apparently. A team of doctors decided there was no cause to wait, and ended her life.

I have heard reports of elderly patients in the Netherlands going into the hospital for a minor matter and being euthanized in the interest of saving money for their families. I cannot personally attest to these stories, but because of the sources, I am inclined to believe them.

It would be ironic if in America the first generation to kill their children in abortion because those children were inconvenient were also the first generation to be euthanized by their children because having an elderly parent was inconvenient.

Ignoring The Value Of Life

CBN News is reporting today that Belgium’s parliament has passed a law to legalize euthanasia for children of any age. This is frightening. I know how traumatic it has been in the past for my husband and I to euthanize a pet–I can’t imaging putting a parent in a position where euthanizing a child is an option. I am sure that there will be pressure exerted on parents with extremely sick or disabled children to opt for euthanasia rather than use extensive medical resources to treat the child.

The article reports:

Under the new law, if both parents agree their child should be killed, three doctors and a psychologist would then have to certify that the child was aware of the consequences of his or her decision. The child would have to be under medical care.

“We are talking about children that are really at the end of their life, and it’s not that they have months or years to go. They will, their life will end anyway,” Dr. Gerlant Van Berlaer, chief of clinic for pediatric critical care at the University Hospital of Brussels, explained.

“And the question they ask us is, ‘Well, don’t make me go in a terrible, horrifying way. Let me go now while I’m still a human being and while I’m still, while I still have my dignity,'” he said.

But critics asked how anyone could gauge a child’s capacity for discernment in such a situation.

How long will it be before children with minor disabilities will be candidates for euthanasia?

 

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The Need To Learn From Mistakes Made By Other Countries

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article today stating that the Netherlands is changing the rules of its welfare state.

The article states:

The Netherlands has been known for its generous welfare system. Three decades ago, when the U.S. was spending about 22% of its GDP on entitlement programs, the Dutch were spending more than 40%. The Financial Times named the Dutch system a “comprehensive egalitarian social model” built in the 1960s and 1970s.

…Three months ago, newly coronated Dutch King Willem-Alexander told his country that the “classic welfare state of the second half of the 20th century” was over. It would be replaced by a “participation society” because the “arrangements” the nation was operating under “are unsustainable in their current form.”

Among the changes is a requirement that welfare applicants must prove they have actively looked for a job for at least four weeks before they can receive benefits.

“And once they begin to receive benefits they will either have to work or perform volunteer community service,” says the Cato Institute‘s Michael Tanner.

Other savings will be found when youth services, care for the elderly and job retraining are kicked down to the local level, which is better equipped to be more efficient with other people’s money.

The Dutch have learned that those who work cannot support those who do not work indefinitely. Eventually those who work get very tired and decide to join the non-workers. If we do not learn the lesson the Dutch have learned, we can also expect to have to make drastic changes in the near future.

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The Problem With Green Energy

A wind turbine at Greenpark, Reading, England,...

Image via Wikipedia

Green energy is a great idea. Unfortunately, we haven’t reached the point where it makes economic sense. I suspect we will get there in the near future, but we are not there yet. When the United States or other governments try to force the issue, they run into problems. (See rightwinggranny.com from March 8, 2011, which explains what has happened with green energy in Spain). Now it’s the Netherlands’ turn.

On Wednesday, November 16, Reuters reported that the Dutch government is preparing to end its subsidies of offshore wind power. There are 36 turbines in the North Sea that produce enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 100,000 households each year. Because of the need to cut its budget deficit, the Dutch government says it can no longer afford to subsidize the entire cost of offshore wind power (18 cents per kilowatt hour–4.5 billion euros last year).

The article reports:

The government now plans to transfer the financial burden to households and industrial consumers in order to secure the funds for wind power and try to attract private sector investment.

It will start billing consumers and companies in January 2013 and simultaneously launch a system under which investors will be able to apply to participate in renewable energy projects.

But the new billing system will reap only a third of what was previously available to the industry in subsidies — the government forecasts 1.5 billion euros every year — while the pricing scale of the investment plan makes it more likely that interested parties will choose less expensive technologies than wind.

The outlook for Dutch wind projects seems bleak.

There will come a day when green energy is practical. Today is not it. When the government interferes with the free market, bad things happen.

 

 

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