Live from Brussels

Musings from a bored analyst/project-manager.
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Friday, November 08, 2002
Score another one for W?

After the thrashing the Republicans gave the Democrats in the election on tuesday, another vote has gone in George Bush's favour: U.N. passes Iraq resolution on weapons inspections - Nov. 8, 2002.
The chance that things might be going 'Kablooie!' in Baghdad very soon has increased a lot since monday. Interesting times lie ahead...

Thursday, November 07, 2002
Free Trade scores over Fair Trade in Berkeley

It seems the proposal on the ballot in Berkeley, California to force coffee shops to sell only fair trade, organic or shade grown coffee was defeated. This article has more details.
In my opinion, this is a good thing. The response to 'unfair trade' (because of subsidized coffee, import taxes etc.) is not making trade even more unfree by instituting a law-based monopoly, but should be making trade more free (and thus more fair). The people who got this measure on the ballot should have tried to get an anti-farm subsidy initiative voted through, or an import tax lowering.

Parody time

Here's another fun take on Apple's Switch Campaign.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002
Create your own fanmail!

Click here to see what a certain young lady thinks of this blog (link not safe for work). Then wait a few seconds and you can create your own!

Fly naked

About a year ago, the idea was proposed in the blogosphere of having airline passengers strip naked before the flight in order to be absolutely sure no weapons were smuggled aboard.
And now you can! Not for security reasons, though, but there will be a
special naked flight from Miami to a nudist resort in Cancun.
So if you worry about airline security, and need to travel from Florida to Cancun, here's your chance!
(via: Jeff Jarvis)

Tuesday, November 05, 2002
Death from above

U.S. forces blew up some al qaeda bigwig in Yemen yesterday, using a hellfire missile launched from a predator unmanned plane. CNN reports: U.S. kills Cole suspect. Does anyone else feel uneasy about this?
The keyword here is 'suspect'. The rest of the story is also filled with 'suspected', 'believed to be' and other weasel words, indicating that the guy wasn't convicted yet.
Granted, he probably wasn't a nice guy, more likely he was a bloodthirsty killer of sorts, but he was only an 'alledged bloodthirsty killer'. What kind of mandate did U.S. forces have to whack him? Was he a member of an opposing military organisation against which war was officially declared (like the Taliban)? Was he a convicted murderer awaiting execution? Did he resist arrest (the article does claim that in a previous attempt to arrest him, 50 people were killed)? Or perhaps in Yemen it is perfectly legal to shoot people who are suspected of being criminals... who knows?
Anyway, I'm sure all the legal technicalities will be discussed in the blogosphere very soon: it appears there are some very competent law professors out there who could have a field day with this case... Here's hoping they will!

Monday, November 04, 2002
London trip

For the past three days I was in London for a short vacation with my girlfriend. I took the opportunity to take some nice pictures:

The Middle-Eastern rap group 'Axis of Evil' has a new member... me!

An American preacher at "Speaker's Corner", claiming he was Japanese and didn't like Bush.

Yet some Arab members of his audience kept shouting nasty things about 'You filthy Americans and criminal Jews killing children in Palestine' and stuff...

Another weirdo doing his "My god/belief/political system is better than your god/belief/politcal system" -thing.

More photo's to follow, when I have time to re-size them for the web. Just to tantalize you, here are some of the things I plan on putting up: a German Enigma machine, a ballot of Hitler's election (bearing a striking resemblance to the one Saddam used, just 'yes' or 'no'), a copy of the paper Chamberlain waved when declaring 'piece in our time', the 'big brother is watching you' poster currently adorning London bus-stops, and much more...