Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Truths About Amsterdam

Bill O'Reilly recently portrayed Amsterdam as a cesspool of corruption and liberal failure. In his attack he failed to refer to any sources where he found his information, because he didn't have any - not that this is surprising, when have we ever seen a right wing conservative use cold hard facts?

Here is the original video:

(I just love how she says "social tolerance" like it's a bad thing).

In response to this, two Amsterdam locals Robert and Elian, launched a video (and a website) showing the cold hard facts O'Reilly failed to mention.

Here is their video:

Their video gives the percentage of population in the Netherlands and in the US that has ever used cannabis (US: 40.3% Netherlands: 22.6%). More interesting though was a statistic I found on NationMaster - that Cannabis users in the US doubled those in the Netherlands;
US: 12.3% - Netherlands: 5.24%

What's more, it turns out that this crime infested cesspool of anarchy also has a fraction of assaults compared to those in the US;
US: 7.569 per 1000 - Netherlands: 2.689 per 1000

Their experimentation with "free love" that is also contributing to their liberal failure not only leaves them with a fraction of teenage pregnancies per capita compared to the US;
US: 1,671.63 births per 1 million people (highest in the world) - Netherlands: 172.061 births per 1 million people
but also with so few abortions that they don't even make the list;
US: 4.0945 per 1000 people - Netherlands: less than 0.113986 per 1000 people

(Statistics from from NationMaster).

Statistics aside, here are my truths about Amsterdam:

- I feel safe when going home alone in the middle of the night.
- I feel safe walking the streets of the red light district, which I can't say for any other place i've been were prostitution is located, and let's face it, it's located almost everywhere.
- I see happy people all the time. Happy adults and happy children (in fact according to UNICEF the happiest children in the world).
- Although I have easy access to it I still choose not to smoke weed.
- I feel safer here than I did in any of the suburbs I lived in in Australia.

What's your truth about Amsterdam?


Az said...

My uncle lives in Amsterdam and in December 2007 we went to visit him. I can hoonestly say its one of the most chilled out places I've ever been to. The atmosphere is serene and tranquil and there isn't any of that paranoia that we have to live with here in South Africa :)

Anonymous said...

It's greener than most cities because more people bike than drive! :)

Anonymous said...

I think this also means that they are more fit in general, too! (My guess anyway, as they spend their lives on bikes.)

Invader_Stu said...

It's so wonderfully ludicrous. I've been living in Holland for 8 years and it's a lot safer then even London.

I had the laugh the first time I saw this video.

Life Abroad said...

Angela, this is such a great post you've created. I was horrified when watching the first video clip. They make Amsterdam seem like some out-of-control drug and sex-crazed city! One thing that I learned while living there is that it is the tourists, not the Dutch locals, who use the Red Light District and coffeeshops the most. I loved reading through your stats and watching the second video. Ugh I can't believe some of the crap that Fox news spews out.

Angela said...

Azra: It definitely is one of the most chilled out places! :)

Amanda: I have also noticed how much fitter and healthier people here are too! It's really kicked me into exercising often and eating well again (e.g getting back on gluten free) :)

Invader_Stu: I wish I could laugh, but he just makes me so angry :)

Heather: Thanks :) I never understood why it's OK for Fox "News" to spread blatant lies. But it's hard to argue or reason with the lunatic fringe like O'Reilly, and unfortunately for us they will always have an audience... disturbingly larger than one living in reality would hope.

Pamela said...

This is great! When I first told my family I was moving to the Netherlands, my father immediately freaked out and said how the Netherlands is a crime and drug infested country - assuming all of this without ever having been here because of the social tolerance. I have found that after living here for the last couple of months, I feel extremely safe and much healthier than I was back in New York.

Angela said...

Pamela: My parents reacted the same way! Actually my mum even said I should reconsider coming here. Then my dad read in the Greek paper a couple weeks ago from a Greek journalist that The Netherlands is actually a beautiful, peaceful place to live and has totally changed his mind about it...

Still though, they refuse to come for a visit, pretty sad...

Anonymous said...

I live in Utrecht, so I don't spend so much time in Amsterdam, but I agree, it is rather safe compared to other major cities throughout the world Rielly and Fox News and Right Wing Conservatives make me so ashamed to be an American