Live from Brussels

Musings from a bored analyst/project-manager.
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Friday, January 31, 2003
 
Gulf War Simulator

Okay, so I don't agree with it, but it is damn funny nonetheless: idleworm: games - gulf war 2. A great flash animation.

 
Food for Thought

An interesting view on what's been going on in the blogosphere the past couple of months: The Blogosphere and The War in Europe. Read it, if you have a blog...

Thursday, January 30, 2003

 
Yet Another Personality Test

Which OS are You?
Which OS are You?



 
Text of 'The Letter'

Read the full text of the support letter from 'The Eight':
OpinionJournal - Extra
United We Stand


 
Damn Those Unilateralists!

Eight European nations have unilaterally decided to support the U.S. in its policy on Iraq, without even consulting with their 'allies' Germany and France! How dare they! Such simplisme... (CNN.com - Europe eight back Bush on Iraq).
Apparently they published a letter in several major international newspapers to show their support and urge others to follow. Meanwhile, Louis Michel, Belgium's foreign minister, claims Belgium was never asked to sign such a letter. I wonder why? I guess that's what you get when you shake hands with the likes of Arafat, Kabila, Castro and the ayatollahs: people don't seem to think you'll support removing dictators from power. However, there might be hope: he claimed that it was important 'not to get isolated' on issues like Iraq. Signs that even Belgium, whose foreign policy has always closely followed France, is beginning to turn away from Paris?

Wednesday, January 29, 2003
 
Nucular :-)

Just saw the State of the Union speech live here (it is now 4.15 at night here), and it was quite an experience. Seems like George W. Bush has done it again: he laid out a clear case against Iraq, and made it very clear that if the world will not solve the problem, the U.S. will. I also loved the way how he described some of the terrorists' fates: 'they won't be a problem anymore'. Pure Soprano-style...
But also the subtle hints to France and Germany... calling all free countries, and many are heeding the call. Heh, except for some 'old European ones' ;-)
What amazed me most was the announcement of a massive research effort into hydrogen powered cars. No word on where the energy to create the hydrogen from will come from though. Nucular power, perhaps?

Tuesday, January 28, 2003
 
A.N.S.W.E.R. = Collaborators!

The Blog from the Core claims to have found evidence that Iraq and A.N.S.W.E.R. are linked more closely than previously thought... I wonder who is behind STOPUSA in Belgium now...

 
Google...

Why Google is so great?
Omaha.com has the answer:
This is your brain on Google


 
More Smoke?

And then there's this article:U.S. to Make Iraq Intelligence Public. It reports the U.S. is going to declassify some of the intel it has on Iraqi WMD's, but that this will be done on a case by case basis, so as not to reveal too much on the methods used to gather it.
The article also talks about the chicken-and-egg problem this intel poses: it can be used as a reason to start bombing, but by revealing it, the Iraqi's will know what will be bombed and could take countermeasures. And if the info is not revealed, the case for bombing gets weaker.
In my opinion, if the intel is real, Bush will go ahead anyway: he might take a short term hit in the polls, but if he turns out to have been right he will get a huge boost afterwards. (If he was not, this might cost him his re-election, though...)

 
Smoking Gun on Friday?

The Washington Times writes: The Bush administration will present new evidence directly linking Saddam Hussein with the al Qaeda terrorist group , according to a "senior administration official". Could get interesting...

Monday, January 27, 2003
 
And now for something completely different...

This weekend I was away with my fiancee, to a gathering organised by 'Marriage Encounter'. It was a kind of course where by writing and talking to each other you prepare for marriage, learn to communicate, clear up some issues you still might have and stuff like that. The organisation has catholic roots, but among the organizing couples there were also people from other denominations present (including a couple who were hard-core creationists).
Friday and saturday went pretty well, and not much was said about religion at all, actually. But on sunday, the topic of marriage before the church came up. Since all discussions were strictly private between the couples themselves, this was not really a problem for us to discuss. My fiancee and I talked about it, and about my not feeling totally comfortable about it. She is kind of religious, while I don't really believe, I'm more of an agnostic, but we knew that about each other for a long time and it has never been an obstacle. I have no problem with marrying before the church, if that makes her happy (and it will), but I don't want to be a hypocrit at the same time. I don't want to stand there in church and lie about believing in God, because in my feeling that would also taint my marriage vow: if she knows I'm lying about things one moment, how will it look when I promise all kinds of things to her right after that?
My fiancee understands all of this, and I'm sure we can work something out with the priest (we know him) so that I won't have to say any untruths during the ceremony.
But that was not the point of my story: what amazed me most at the weekend, was that when we told some of the organising couples about this, and my feelings about it all, instead of listening, understanding and trying to help find a satisfying solution, they tried to convince me that in fact, I did believe! "Aren't you amazed at the complexity of nature, where it all comes from, blah blah blah?" Yes, of course, but the point is I don't know, and consequently I don't really 'believe' in a god, or force, or spirit, or whatever... And even if I did, it still is a long leap from that to saying things like "I believe in resurrection, afterlife, God, Jesus, saints....", which is what the real problem is.
I was simply amazed: these people just could not grasp the idea of somebody not 'believing'...

 
Go Read This... Now!

If you're still not sure about the war in Iraq, go read this essay on Eject! Eject! Eject!: WAR.