Live from Brussels
Musings from a bored analyst/project-manager.
Friday, August 30, 2002
Thursday, August 29, 2002
As you might have noticed, I've added a couple of sites to my blogroll, some long overdue. If you know of any other interesting sites (such as your own?), just drop me a line.
Samizdata has a great wrapup of the Johannesburg Conference. Go read it, it's funny!
Girl hit by meteorite?
How's that for a day-opener: the BBC reports on the incredibly improbable event of a girl being hit by a meteorite. Some scepsis is in order though. No independent scientific verification has been made of yet. And looking at the size of the thing and the speed at which these things usually enter the atmosphere, I'm surprised she still has her foot...
(via: posted at 8/29/2002 09:17:00 AM
Wednesday, August 28, 2002
Score one for Belgium!
Whoever said that no innovation comes from Europe anymore needs to look at this. American shoppers are amazed at a new automated convenience store/giant vending machine, which have been in operation here for years. Yay!
(And no, ours don't just sell waffles, beer and chocolate...)
More on Basque party ban
Here's a link from CNN about the Basque separatist party ban.
The reason given for the ban in the article:
Garzon, Spain's best-known prosecutor, issued his 375-page injunction accusing the party of aiding ETA's "crimes against humanity," including the killing of 836 people in 3,391 attacks during the armed group's 34-year struggle for an independent Basque region.
What exactly are we to understand by 'aiding' , anyway? Did they make the bombs? Fund the terrorists? Bought them drinks? Aaargh, the insufficiency of modern mass media!
Guns for Nepal
In the past few days there has been a bit of a brouhaha in Belgium about arms sales to Nepal. In short, the FN arms factory announced it had signed a deal to export 5000 machine guns to an unnamed country. The media found out they were destined for Nepal, a country where the government and marxist rebels have been fighting each other for six years.
By this time, the cabinet had already given FN the green light to go ahead with the deal. But according to European directives (what else?) there is a ban on exporting arms to areas where a civil war is going on. So Belgian foreign minister Louis Michel personally ended the civil war in Nepal. No, really, on the foreign ministry's website the travel advisory for Nepal suddenly changed. From a country with a civil war going on it was changed to a place with 'unpredictable troubles' going on.
But the Green party kept going on about it, although two green ministers were present at the cabinet meeting where the decision was taken. And now, the minister from the Flemish Green party (AGALEV) has resigned over this. The minister from the Walloon green party (ECOLO) so far refused to resign, mumbling something incoherently about the sustainable development conference when asked about this on TV.
Brusselsblog will keep you posted!
Democracy vs. terrorism?
I must say I have some uneasy feelings about the banning of the Basque separatist party in Spain over alledged links to the ETA terrorist group. If there are people in that party who support terrorism (with actions, money, coverups, ...), they should be arrested and dealt with. If they merely fail to condemn terrorism, or condone it, that's their problem, and most people will see them for what they are: idiots.
But banning an entire political party? That smells so much like a dictatorship that it isn't even funny anymore. They've just taken away the political outlet of 10% of the Basque voters. What do they expect them to do? Vote for the government instead? Or go even more radical, perhaps driving a number of them into terrorism?
Tuesday, August 27, 2002
Neo-sovereignity as an answer to transnational progressivism?
Found an interesting article over at 3bruces.com, discussing the future of world politics and the role of America in it. Seems like your standard 'policeman of the world' approach, but it has some nice theories about Bush 'stupidity' as well.
I'm not really sure where I stand on this article yet, but I think it is worth reading and mulching over. Comments?