Live from Brussels

Musings from a bored analyst/project-manager.
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Saturday, May 15, 2004

Look at this BBC article:
BBC NEWS | UK | Politics | Editor sacked over 'hoax' photos. Piers Morgan, the editor of British paper the Daily Mirror, has been fired because he kept defending the authenticity of Iraq abuse photos that were discovered to be fakes. Note that the BBC still puts scare quotes around the word 'hoax'. One wonders why...

Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Say "Uncle"!

Just got a phone call this morning: I'm an uncle for the second time. My sister has given birth to Niels Van Grimberge, her second child and first son! And my wife gets to be godmother! Yay!

More Klaartje Pictures

As requested...

  • Klaartje Schenk and Klaartje Van Loy...
  • The proud grandfather
  • Isn't she cute?

    More pictures can be found here...

    Strangely Quiet...

    Last week some pictures surfaced of prisoner abuse, which were all over Al Jazeera. Today, a video surfaced where a prisoner is brutally murdered by cutting his head off. Weird, nothing on Al Jazeera:

    Tuesday, May 11, 2004

    Nifty! It seems that now even Google is blogging: Google Blog!

    Unintended Consequences

    Radio morning news made me chuckle while driving to work. The genius in charge of health care in our government decided that costs needed to be cut by reducing people's expenses on drugs. So they issued a directive which forced drug companies to lower the prices of all drugs that were available for more than 15 years. And another directive which made large packages of drugs more expensive than smaller ones.

    The thinking was, people would buy the cheaper (older) drugs and also smaller packages, thus reducing waste as well.

    Predictably, market forces came into play: drug manufacturers, seeing they would have to sell the older drugs at a loss, simply replaced them with newer, more expensive ones. The old drugs were simply discontinued. And doctors just kept on prescribing large packets to their patients, because they needed them.

    The result: even higher expenses overall, no efficiency gained... That's what happens when you mess with a free market.


    That is the name of a disputed electoral district here in Belgium. Flemish parties want it to be split because right now French speaking parties can try to drum up votes in many Flemish areas (which they succeed in because of the many Eurocrats living in those areas). Anyhow, courts have decided the Flemish case has merit and that the current district is unconstitutional. But so far there seems to be little effort being spent to split it before the upcoming European and regional elections, despite a 10.000 strong demonstration last weekend.

    But enough about Belgian politics: what is much more funny is the reaction by some Americans (I guess) over at Rantburg... They know little about Belgian linguistic politics and laws, but that doesn't stop them from calling one side facists and denouncing the other side for speaking French. Just to avoid any future invasion: there are no WMD's or oil wells in Brussels, although we *could* do with a bit more democracy and free speech...