Live from Brussels

Musings from a bored analyst/project-manager.
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Friday, October 04, 2002
 
Guns for Nepal, continued...

A while ago I wrote about the troubles caused for the coalition in the Belgian government by granting an export licence for machine-guns to Nepal. It all ended in a compromise so the Green party could try to save face a bit: the weapons would be delivered, but only after the elections in Nepal. 'No problem', said our P.M., 'the production schedule in the F.N. arms factory won't allow for a quicker delivery anyway'.
But now it seems the Nepal elections might be postponed. This has interesting consequences for Belgium: do we deliver the weapons anyway? The P.M. claims Belgian arms-export law allows for deliveries to democracies defending themselves against dictatorship. But if the election is postponed, is it still a democracy? And what if it is postponed because of a rebel threat and the 'democratic' government can't defend itself due to lack of guns? Would Belgium in effect be helping the rebels topple democracy then? Questions, questions...
In my opinion, the guns will be delivered anyway. The arms factory is in bad financial trouble, and jobs are more important than principles in the French speaking part of Belgium where it is located. The French speaking greens and socialists are bound to approve the delivery for this reason, while the dutch speaking socialists don't care and the greens will have a hissy fit but won't care enough to actually quit the government over this. The other two parties in the government are sure to approve of it, as both the P.M. and the foreign minister (who are members of these two parties) are known to strongly favour the delivery.

 
Lileks does it again...

Yet another brilliant Screed, this time thoroughly Fisking Paul Wellstone's speech in the U.S. Senate.

Thursday, October 03, 2002
 
Bush pic

By now, everybody must have seen that fake picture of Bush holding the upside-down childrens book. Over at Cold Fury they have a great new version of it, which proves Bush knew about the WTC attack beforehand, too!

 
World's funniest joke

A couple of New Jersey hunters are out in the woods when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn't seem to be breathing, his eyes are rolled back in his head. The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps to the operator: "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator, in a calm soothing voice, says: "Just take it easy. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a shot is heard. The guy's voice comes back on the line. He says: "OK, now what?"

According to scientific research this is the funniest joke in the world...
Hmmm, no comment.

Wednesday, October 02, 2002
 
Think of the Children!

Another hilarious satire site: thinkofthechildren.co.uk. Don't forget to click this link at the bottom left of their page, it has some interesting history of the site and some nice e-mails...

 
Copyright protection

Edward W. Felten has a page up listing some of the items that would need government mandated security measures if Fritz Hollings' CBDTPA became law: Fritz's Hit List.
Item #7 is a Barbie cash register!

Tuesday, October 01, 2002
 
Power of the web vs. stupid car mechanic : 1-0

When you are a car mechanic who likes to joyride in customer's cars, dont brag about it on The Mustang Message Board. The owner might read it, ask for advice on another board like SVTPerformance and get your ass fired! Oh, and ruin your boss' garage, because of the huge wave of negative publicity.


 
Mohamed Al Dura

Mohamed Al Dura was the kid who was shot while crouching behind his father when caught in a crossfire between Palestinian gunmen and the IDF. His death was blamed on the Israeli army, but according to this page, which has photographs, diagrams and eyewitness accounts, the IDF could not have done it, because the soldiers couldn't see the location they were hiding, and the bulletholes don't match. Check it out yourself!