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Theo Bruinsma: Coming To America

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There was a song during the eighties by the Scottish rock band, Simple Minds, called “Promised You a Miracle.”  But I always heard it as "Promised You America."  In 1983, after graduating from high school in Holland, I stepped aboard a KLM Boeing 747 to Los Angeles, California.  It was a one-way ticket to paradise, at least so I thought at the age of eighteen.  It was to be my long awaited escape from the Dutch rain and wind to a land of sunshine and opportunity — from grey skies to blue skies — from socialism to capitalism.

As a teenager growing-up in Holland, I used to watch numerous American TV shows.  The one that I really liked was Magnum, P.I. starring Tom Selleck.  At this time in Holland there were only two government television channels, and they didn’t commence until 3pm in the afternoon and ended slightly passed 11pm.  And though Magnum, P.I. was featured only once a week, it provided me with enough inspiration to enter the world of palm trees, white beaches, beaut…

SHE DROVE A CITROËN SM

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SAN FRANCISCO -- 1983-85:  And one of my favorite places to go was a place called Dancers, located on Harrison and Second Street.  Dancers was a large, dark place with many colored lights flashing around as an industrial-beat of music kept breeding an inescapable aura of sexuality. At least this is what it felt like after a second beer.  At Dancers the libido was liberated and celebrated, and girls were dancing everywhere, including on top of the bar.  And it was at Dancers where I would finally meet my first girlfriend, Brionna.

Before meeting her that night, I had already been rejected by a dozen other girls.  I had walked up to one-after-another, requesting a dance but the response was always “No Thanks.”  Part of it had to do with my Dutch disco outfit, white jeans, green Acosta shirt and white leather dress shoes.  Perhaps I was overdressed since most of the clubbers were wearing torn jeans and torn t-shirts.  But more than not getting the fashion right, I had noticed that most cl…

WHEN SINATRA SINGS

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DALLAS, TEXAS: In October of 1986, there was a huge event at the Hilton Anatole Hotel (which was then called the Loews Anatole).  It was the Princess Grace Foundation, and it would become the biggest event in the history of this hotel.  Several days prior to this event, all waiters who were scheduled to be working this function underwent background checks.  Though we weren’t told of any specifics, there were a lot of suits walking around and we suspected they were federal agents.

In the afternoon, as we were setting up the banquet tables with wine glasses and silverware, numerous celebrities were rehearsing their presentations for the event later that evening.  As I was wiping and placing the dinner knives around the table, Diane Warwick was sound-checking the microphone from different locations in the back of the Pavilion room.  Based on her interaction with some of the people around her, I found her lacking presence and color, much like the dress she was wearing. This was disappointi…

THE STARCK CLUB

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DALLAS, TEXAS -- 1985-89: My favorite place that I would frequently visit in Dallas was the Starck Club.  It was located in the old part of town, where the once life-sustaining warehouses were abandoned and crumbling, right past the forgotten railroad tracks of the forgotten Industrial Revolution.  But this one particular warehouse was adopted and remodeled by the French architect and designer, Philippe Starck.

The Starck Club was owned by numerous people, and one of them was rumored to be Grace Jones.  Getting into the Starck Club wasn’t easy.  There was always a long line and the club’s doormen were very selective about who they allowed to enter. Since I was in my early twenties with bleached blond hair, I was hip enough to pass.  I also wore black parachute pants while standing in white leather shoes -- all very Duran Duran like.

The first time I entered the Starck Club I was in a state of shock and awe.  It wasn’t just the unique design of the club, but the energy, the music, and th…

Pim Fortuyn: The Man Queen Beatrix Feared the Most

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Had Pim Fortuyn lived 9 more days he would have become the next prime minister of the Netherlands. Question: Who gained the most from his death?

Many years after his assassination it was reported that former Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers had said that Queen Beatrix didn’t lie awake at night over the death of Pim Fortuyn.


The truth is that Queen Beatrix hated Pim Fortuyn. And though she didn’t pull the trigger, the question is whether she was influential in preventing him from receiving secret service protection, knowing the growing death threats against him.

It was Minister Klaas de Vries, as the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, who denied Pim Fortuyn secret service protection. But was Minister Klaas de Vries acting on his own in the Kingdom of the Netherlands? Or was he following orders?

By not giving Pim Fortuyn secret service protection the government ensured that his life was in jeopardy. But why would they do this? One reason was that Queen Beatrix had never forgiven hi…