Live from Brussels

Musings from a bored analyst/project-manager.
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Friday, October 24, 2003
Belgium Will Send (some) Aid To Iraq!

Not a day after my post complaining about the lack of Belgian aid, a decision has been taken to send € 5.000.000, for projects that 'directly benefit the people of Iraq' to be administered by 'U.N. agencies like UNICEF'.

Well, it's a start. Bush wanted to send $, Belgium will send € 5.000.000. That roughly works out to 1 Belgian euro for every 17.400 American dollars. And the Americans paid for the military operations to remove Saddam too.

As one of the commenters noted, even "with my head out of my ass" that still doesn't look to me to be a significant amount of aid yet. Especially not from people who claimed to care so much about 'the Iraqi people' before the war. But what do I know?

Thursday, October 23, 2003
Jarvis Nails It!

Damn! I never thought someone could convince me to take the train to work instead of the car (even with traffic jams included, the car is *still* faster here in crowded Belgium!).

But if the Belgian railways were to implement this idea from Jeff Jarvis I'd be on the train in a heartbeat! Why, I could waste all that commuting time in a way much more fun than sitting in my car behind a row of trucks every day...

Interesting List

Found this via the U.S.S. Clueless: : Iraq Donor Countries

No Belgians in there... shame on us! If our government really cared about Iraqi children and stuff, they could at least send some medics or mine-clearing/munition-disposal experts. But nooo....

Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Interesting Poll Results

The results of the highly scientific Dilbert Weasel Awards are in.

Most striking conclusion: G.W. Bush won the competition for Weaseliest Individual easily, mostly because his idiotarian co-contenders heavily split the vote. Dubya on his own got about as many votes as the next four contestants (Michael Moore, Yasser Arafat, Jacques Chirac and Saddam Hussein) combined.

There was also some good news for Jacques Chirac though, because France got the Weaseliest Country Award, and as a politician he could also enjoy winning the Weaseliest Profession Award.

For the full results, see: - Weasel Awards

Saving SPC Gray

Just read an extremely moving piece about the people involved in saving the life of an injured soldier in Iraq. Literally over a hundred people contributed to it, and if any one of them hadn't the guy would have died.
Just go read it: Magic in the Baghdad Cafe: Saving Specialist Gray

Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Observations on America (24)

Back again...

  • Americans take their freedom of speech extremely serious. Bumper stickers, lapel pins or front-yard signs are much more common than in Belgium, in my (admittedly) limited experience. Over here, people in general are much more cautious in expressing their political views to strangers.

    Belgians: We Hate American Foreign Policy!

    Heard on the radio news: according to a study, over 70% of Belgians thinks the American foreign policy of G.W. Bush has made the world a less safe place.

    Well, count me in with the other 30% then. Ending two terrible regimes and wiping out loads of terrorist bases and ending some serious terror funding isn't anything to sneeze at.

    Okay, the zeal and conviction of the remaining jihadis might have been increased substantially, and maybe recruiting even went up for Al Qaeda too. But at least these wannabe-martyrs are getting blown to hell in Iraq now, instead of blowing up busses or skyscrapers full of civilians over here...