Dealing With the Dutch Disease

In my back yard – and in many others – there is an ongoing battle with Dutch elm disease. These little varmints (elm bark beetles) are destroying plenty of elm trees. But that is not what I am talking about here, although it makes for a good analogy.

I am talking about various ideological varmints which have been doing a great job of destroying Dutch society recently. But let me point out at the outset that Dutchophiles need not get upset with me here. I love Holland and Dutch people, and I in fact lived there for five years.

But I am greatly concerned about those who have been working overtime to destroy the nation. And all those who love the Netherlands should not mind having these truths pointed out. Indeed, most of these problems occur in the big cities, and most rural Dutch are quite aghast at where their nation has been heading for the past few decades.

As I have documented previously, Holland has lots of big problems with prostitution, drugs, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, and so on. But as I have also written about, some of these problems are beginning to be dealt with head on. So there is certainly hope for Holland. See my article here for example:

But here I want to mention three news items which have just appeared, showing us that Holland still has a long way to go. All these issues appeared in the media in the past few days, so let me discuss each one in turn. First, there was this very concerning report about more crackdowns on religious freedom.

The story opens as follows: “MPs voted on Tuesday afternoon for a change in the law to prevent civil servants refusing to conduct gay marriages. It is thought to be the first time the government has been defeated in an important parliamentary vote.

“Under current legislation, registrars can refuse to carry out a gay wedding if they are opposed on religious grounds. The cabinet has argued that as long as gay couples can get married in every local authority area, opt-outs should be allowed.

“But opposition MPs say this is institutionalised discrimination and want a change in the law. Although the anti-Islam PVV is sympathetic to this position, the party had been expected to vote against it because of its alliance with the minority cabinet.”

So it looks like Christians, Jews, Muslim and other religious and cultural groups will be forced to go against their own conscience in this area. So much for tolerance, which Holland so strongly prides itself in. So much for religious freedom, freedom of conscience, and genuine diversity. It seems instead that everyone must become subservient to the militant homosexual lobby.

The second issue has to do with ongoing concerns being raised by a Dutch politician. A European correspondent writing for an American website begins his article with this title: “Netherlands Sliding into the Abyss”. Bruce Bawer discusses a new book by Geert Wilders:

“In a new interview in the Dutch magazine Panorama, Geert Wilders talks about a variety of things, including his forthcoming book about Islam, which will be published in the U.S. in April. In it, he says, he’ll document the fact that ‘Islam is a dangerous ideology’ and that ‘Muhammed really is one of the big bad guys’ of history, whose negative influence continues to be felt today. Yes, Wilders acknowledges, there are genuinely moderate people who call themselves Muslims, and if they want to call themselves Muslims that’s fine with him – but there is no such thing as a moderate Islam.”

The lack of real integration, and the huge problems with crime in the Islamic communities there, are just some of the problems the nation faces. Says Bawer: “It’s hard to believe that in the year 2011 there exist Dutchmen – outside of the perennially clueless cultural elite, that is – who are still able to believe that things aren’t ‘really so bad.’ But, alas, there are. There are.

“To be sure, thanks largely to pressure from Wilders and his Freedom Party, the last few years have seen reforms in Dutch immigration and integration policies. But has it been too little, too late? For the unfortunate fact is that one set of indicators after another continues to head south. Take a new report commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and produced by Risbo, a research institute at Erasmus University. It shows that of males in the Netherlands’ ‘Moroccan community’ between the ages of 12 and 24, no fewer than 38.7 percent have come to the attention of the police at least once during the last five years in connection with some offense – mostly violent crimes and thefts.

“The winner in this dubious sweepstakes is the historic city of Den Bosch, about fifty miles south of Amsterdam. In Den Bosch, just under half of young Moroccan males between 12 and 24 – 47.7 percent, to be exact – have police records. (That’s up from 45 percent last year.) In a long list of other cities – Zeist, Gouda, Veenendaal, Amersfoort, Maassluis, Oosterhout, Schiedam, Nijmegen, Utrecht, Ede, Leiden, and The Hague – the figure also topped 40 percent. In every municipality that was studied, incidentally, the scores for Moroccan youths far outstripped those for ethnic Dutch kids, among whom an average of 13 percent of boys in the same age cohort had come in for similar police attention during the same period.”

He concludes, “After the murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh, the hounding of Ayaan Hirsi Ali out of the country, and the prosecution of Wilders – all because they dared to express their opinions about Islam – and given the increasingly out-of-this-world statistics such as those included in the Risbo report, one wonders exactly what it would take to persuade the Dutch media that it’s time, at long last, to permit a truly wide-open, no-holds-barred discussion of Islam in the Netherlands. One fears that by the time some of the media moguls realize it’s time to let ‘er rip, it’ll already be much too late.”

The third item is somewhat different, and it is not unique to Holland, but has to do with the radical environmentalists and their grandiose plans which often turn out to cause more harm than good. Here is how one news item covers the story:

“For centuries, the Netherlands has harnessed wind power, using windmills to drain water from low-lying marsh and turn it into arable land. Now however, Holland is falling out of love with its iconic technology. When the Netherlands built its first sea-based wind turbines in 2006, they were seen as symbols of a greener future.

“Towering over the waves of the North Sea like an army of giants, blades whipping through the wind, the turbines were the country’s best hope to curb carbon emissions and meet growing demand for electricity. The 36 turbines – each one the height of a 30-storey building – produce enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 100,000 households each year.

“But five years later the green future looks a long way off. Faced with the need to cut its budget deficit, the Dutch government says offshore wind power is too expensive and that it cannot afford to subsidize the entire cost of 18 cents per kilowatt hour – some 4.5 billion euros last year.

“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.”

As mentioned, plenty of other nations are also having second thoughts on these wind turbines. Whether it is too late to redeem the situation remains to be seen. But this story, along with the other two, shows us that modern-day Holland is a real mixed bag.

It has bought into all sorts of reckless radical social experimentation, and some of that now is being repudiated or at least resisted. Whether the Dutch will have the courage to fully take on the activists and reclaim their nation is a moot point. But I hope things begin to turn around real soon.

[1439 words]

13 Replies to “Dealing With the Dutch Disease”

  1. Of course I had to react. My “dutch blood” still responds to all I hear or read about Holland. I have been in Australia for more than half a century but my reaction is still one of pain when I hear how Holland is sliding deeper and deeper into mud. However, my reasoning also speaks and says: “so what? What is so different over there than here in aussie land? Today over there, tomorrow here. WHEREVER blind people make decisions we are reminded that without Godly absolutes the ruler of darkness will kill, steal and destroy.”
    Though our battle and your warnings can sometimes seem to be in vain, our God, our Lord of lords, will one day say: “Enough!!!”
    Keep on sharing Bill! I shall keep on praying as long as I have breath.
    Evangeline Rykes

  2. It is strange that you can write such high praise for Geert Wilders without mentioning that the party he leads, the Freedom Party, supported the legislation you criticise.

    “PVV” is an acronym in Dutch for “Partij vor de Vrijheid”. They are in a similar position in Holland as the Greens are here i.e. they are not part of the government, but because the government needs their support to get legislation through parliament they have a strong say in whether the legislation passes.

    If Mr Wilders, an atheist, had not supported this legislation, it could not have passed their parliament. It is difficult to describe as a Christian ally a non-Christian who opposes freedom of religion for Christians. It is of course possible to take support from wherever it comes, but it seems particularly out of place in this article not to mention this crucial fact.

    FT Alexander, Melbourne.

  3. Thanks FT

    But please inform us all where exactly I called Wilders a “Christian ally”? Of course he is a non-believer, and of course the PVV supports the homosexual agenda. I support him and his party only when I am in agreement with them. They are pro-Israel and acutely aware of the dangers of Islam, so that I strongly support. That does not mean I support everything else about him and/or the party of course. And in my other articles about him on this site I have made that rather clear.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  4. You know this green madness has gone too far when even the New York Times is prepared to cry foul. Much of the Federal “Stimulus” went to these clean projects and these corporations are happy to stick their snout in the trough.

    The Obama administration of course looking after their environmentalist cause and calling it “stimulus”.

    See “A Gold Rush of Subsidies in Clean Energy Search”

    Damien Spillane

  5. Mr Muehlenberg, I didn’t mean to quote you, but the feel I got from this article (and others) was that you were presenting him as a Christian ally. I felt this was an important omission that your readers should know. I apologise if I’ve overstepped the bounds.
    FT Alexander

  6. Thanks FT

    No probs. I have nowhere said he is a Christian ally but I have applauded him in certain areas. To approve of what a person is doing in some areas does not of course mean one approves of him in all areas. There are plenty of people I support to a certain extent. Indeed, the guy who wrote the piece on Wilders in this article – Bruce Bawer – is a case in point. He is well aware of the dangers of militant Islam, so I support him there. He is also a homosexual, so I don’t support him there.

    There is a place for working with others who are like-minded in certain areas on limited objectives and causes. It is called co-belligerency. But I discuss that elsewhere:

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  7. What do you mean that he is a homosexual so you don’t support him there? He can’t help being gay. Surely even as a Christian you must realise that gay people have a perfect right to exist and contribute to society?
    Walter Rice, UK

  8. Thanks Walter

    Not only are you really straying off topic here, but you happen to be wrong in everything you say. Of course he can help being homosexual. Homosexuals themselves admit to how much choice is involved in the lifestyle. And of course tens of thousands of people have left the homosexual lifestyle, putting lie to your claim. I fully document this in my new book. But for starters, see here:

    And please tell me where I said that homosexuals do not have “a perfect right to exist and contribute to society”. People who get their jollies in group sex or drug taking also have a right to exist, but that does not mean for a moment that I have to approve of their lifestyle.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  9. Hello Mr Muehlenberg. Thanks for your response.

    I must tell you that not a single gay person I have spoken to or heard on the television has ever claimed their sexuality is a choice. Many have unhappy and failed marriages behind them or families who have disowned them, proving it is not a choice.

    What word would you use to describe someone who said: “Of course Christians have a perfect right to exist, but it doesn’t mean I have to approve of their lifestyle”? What would you make of someone who set up an Internet blog trying to convince Christians that it’s fine to change, encouraging them to become atheist or another religion?

    And of course, being Christian is a lifestyle choice. Far more of a choice than sexuality.

    Walter Rice, UK

  10. Ah! The old chestnut “they can’t help being gay”! Actually, it may be that certain people have not been able, despite genuine efforts, to change a habit/lifestyle (some alcoholics, who try to give up drinking, don’t suucceed, despite many efforts). Of course, many homosexuals are quite contented with their gay-ness. The truth (the point which I fancy Bill was making) is that people are not homosexual in their essential nature; they may have become homosexual as a result of various influences and causes (does not even Peter Tatchell discount the idea of a “gay gene”, a gay physical essence?). Oh, and, er … what is “contributing to society”, exactly? People should define the things they refer to.
    John Thomas, UK

  11. Thanks Walter

    But how does talking to a few homosexuals and seeing a few on TV make your case? There are far more homosexuals in the world than your very limited circles will allow for. I know plenty who have left the lifestyle. What do you do about them? Just pretend they do not exist because your narrow ideology will not allow for them?

    And how in the world does the fact that some people have left heterosexual marriage and became homosexuals prove they have no choice in the matter? It sounds like exactly the opposite. And you obviously have not read the links I provided which shows that homosexuals can and do choose their lifestyle. But I guess ignoring the facts and evidence is how your side likes to operate.

    As to your first question – so what? People say such things all the time, and even worse.
    As to your second question – so what? There are plenty of websites and organisations dedicated to that very thing.
    As to your last statement – so what? You really are not offering any sort of argument or evidence here.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  12. Walter’s comment that “many homosexuals have unhappy or failed marriages behind them” proves even more that Homosexuality is a “Life-style Choice”.
    Those folk have “chosen” to leave a marriage relationship for selfish/wrong reasons.
    An “unhappy marriage” can be turned around; a failed marriage can be reconciled, when two people make a choice to honor their marriage commitment!
    God has given them and all of us a FREE WILL, to choose right from wrong; to stay in a marriage or bail out etc

    Regarding the Dutch dilemma – Righteousness exalts a nation.
    Barb Hoc

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