Hi There!

(For my Dutch-English translating and proofreading business, please go to D-E Translating. You can also go to my D-E Translating WordPress site. Thank you.)

Welcome to my blog.

I’m an energetic, slim, reasonably pretty thirty-year-old. However, I reside in a rather shocking, obese, aching, apathetic 54-year-old body. I love living in Austin but I’m chock-full of criticism of America in general. The Rockies bring me to tears, but so does the health care system. I’ve adopted Thanksgiving, but not the Pledge of Allegiance. If I seem elated and unbearably grouchy in sometimes schizophrenically quick succession, this is why.

I love the usual: my husband, my children, my friends and our pets. I hate heat; stupidity; bone spurs; spiders; and walking, cycling and stair-stepping in place.

I collect raft books and I’ve developed a weird obsession with the bottoms of bridges.

When I lived in the Netherlands, twenty years ago, I loved hot tea, wild camping in Great Britain, gardening, reading for days on end, and I walked and cycled everywhere. Now that I live in a pretty darn hot part of the US, with kids that have to be driven everywhere by car, I love reminiscing about hot tea, wild camping in Great Britain, gardening, reading for days on end and walking and cycling everywhere…

My blog is a crazy—some might say completely unhinged–collection of posts about any of the above-mentioned issues and then some. Nothing is sacred. I blatantly ignore all American no-nos. Which means I talk politics, religion, I don’t idolize  teachers and I swear (but not that much).

As you read my posts you might laugh, seethe, weep or shrug your shoulders. If you like a post, great. Let me know. If you hate a post, great, let me know. I’d like to think I’m always right, but don’t let that stop you from telling me if you disagree. We Dutch love a good argument.

If you want to know more about how I ended up in America and an overview of how that’s been, visit my About page.

Otherwise, have at it!

(In my posts, I refer to my husband as T, my 17-year-old son as B, and my 15-year-old daughter as R.)

Revoke the License to Kill

image: nytimes.com

image: nytimes.com

I take it back; this isn’t a series about police training alone, but about all of it, since it’s all so interconnected.

The first thing that should change in American police policy, in my opinion, is allowing officers to use lethal force any time they feel threatened.

Considering how much firearm use is emphasized in the training, why can’t the policy be that they can aim for the shoulder or the legs if they feel that shooting is the only way to prevent further danger? The notion that any time someone reaches in their pocket, officers can empty their clips into the person is just ridiculous.

I would suggest that an officer can use lethal force only if a person is actually aiming a gun straight at them, or at least in the process of aiming it at them. Otherwise it should be possible to stop someone by shooting their arm or leg, at least long enough to then overpower them by other means and put them in handcuffs.

Whenever a police officer uses his gun, there should be an investigation later to see if that was his only option in the situation. The notion that we shouldn’t question an officer afterward because it will make them think twice before shooting next time is absurd. We should do exactly that.

Racism within the police is hard to combat, as is their general attitude of being in attack mode in any and all interactions with the public instead of treating people with common decency, but if the police don’t have this rather open license to kill, at least it would save some lives. That would be a beginning.

Police Training within the Police Hierarchy: A Bad Idea

image: kombijdepolitie.nl

image: kombijdepolitie.nl

It seems that in America, many police forces do their own training. So the police teach recruits what they think the police should know and how they should act. Where’s society’s input? Continue reading

1984: Dutch Police Training Adjusts to Society

img876_edited-1I have been pointing out that something has to be done about American police training  in practically every post I’ve ever written about the police. America is finally catching on. Increasingly, there are calls for changes in police training after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York City. Continue reading

This Says it All

I found this video on a post about Zwarte Piet by Travelogues of an African Girl. Holland, it’s time to catch up.

They’re All Druggies and Alcoholics

image: askusfortcollins.com

image: askusfortcollins.com

An argument you hear often for not helping the homeless is that if you give them money, they just spend it on drugs or alcohol.

First of all, there are plenty of people homeless who aren’t drug addicts or alcoholics. It’s often hard to tell the difference. Continue reading

Zwarte Piet and Ferguson

image: vrij-zinnig.nl

image: vrij-zinnig.nl

In a reply to a comment by Onno on one of my posts about Zwarte Piet, I mentioned that the Netherlands is still in the Stone Age when it comes to racial sensitivity. Onno responded by pointing to Ferguson. Continue reading

Please DO Feed the Homeless

image: sleuthjournal.com

image: sleuthjournal.com

It’s that time of year again: people donate to food banks that feed the hungry and to organizations that provide meals for the homeless. Continue reading