Politics

Who killed the electric car

Finally watched "Who killed the electric car".

Very interesting, I wonder if they would still get away with that now, it would be an interesting mental exercise to see if the internet and the blogosphere could haveconvinced the auto makers to keep the electric car alife.

Maybe a topic for my new blog Ideology 21 ... when I finally get ready to launch it.

Meanwhile have a look here for the film on Google video. Or, even better, buy it from Amazon ...

I hope a lot of Americans listen to this ...

 

I've always admired Powell (except maybe that afternoon at the UN ...) and once again he sounds like the voice of reason.

Monthy Python does US2008

 

Michael (more youtube goodness) still is the funniest Palin, the other one is rather tragic. And John is probably still the funniest Python ...

No comment

Source: via Blip TV

Children questioning education

I just registered a new domain and want to start blogging more regularly about the more serious subjects that are on my mind, stuff like politics and religion and education ... check this clip out, talk about a motivation to go scream from the rooftops. What are we doing?

glumbert - Dumbing Us Down: The American Tragedy

Wow, listen to this woman!

It makes a nice difference from the usual complot theories to see someone make the argument based on history!

Source: Thanks Adam

American technology breaking down in Rome

... and who was saying Italian technology was not reliable.

Yes this is the President’s limo breaking down in the middle of Rome. The first minutes are boring but the end is worh it.

 

Source: Jalopnik

Rollins on using anger

Henri Rollins talking about being young and being responsible, wow:

 

glumbert.com - Henry Rollins’ Ember of Rage

 

 

Fair and Balanced

For those non Americans, "Fair & Balanced" is ironically the byline Fox news uses. They are the same people who would start their news shows with "184 days before the re-election of President Bush" ...
Here is an other example of their "reporting" on politics. Barack Obama is a US senator and hopefully a candidate for the presidency in 2008. That is if America is ready for something different ... He's of mixed race (black dad and white mom) raised for the first years of his life in Indonesia (as a Muslim) and then in the US by his (white) grandparents. 
Anyway, here's some coverage he got on Fox. Clearly they have been learning from Rove or some other republican adviser, they try to hit two birds with one stone, accusing the Clinton campaign to leak information on Obama ...
 

Fair and Balanced ... right

And how can you pick a man who's middle name is Houssein, who actually met a Muslim in his life and has had to fight and work to get where he is today ... And he once used Cocaine! And he's not a regular parishioner at his Reformed Church!
Thank God there are enlightened men like W who can counterbalance this ... Oh but didn't he used to be a alcohol and cocaine addict ... and a failed student and a failed soldier and a failed business man and ...

I really wish a guy like Obama could become the President, but really, my hopes are not very high. Imagine how different the world could be with someone like him in power ...
How can we convince the Americans?

Enough said

M, thanks, Kos thanks for the reminder:

Source: Daily Kos

The world today

As all of you regular readers know I sometimes like to go of on a political rant or commentary but lately I have restricted my postings to some ... lighter stuff. Which as those of you who know me is very unlike me, seeing what is happening in the world around us. And it's certainly not due to a lack of frustration with the goings on but rather a lack of energy with icogs coming closer to a critical point (we want to launch end of September) and my shoulder operation and ...  Just haven't been up to it.

But Ze puts my thoughts/feelings in words in todays post.

So true soooo true.

Source: Ze Frank's site

Belgian government leading the way

... for once.

And taking a stand against Redmond!

Belgium adopts open office doc format

I haven't had any info on this one through my many governement contacts ... guys!
I'll follow up when I find out more.

Source: Thanks Skip,
The Register

Politics and music

I really like Luc, but as much as we seem to find each other on many technology issues, I don’t think we’ll ever see eye to eye when it comes to politics ...

So I had to reply to this one ...

Honestly, I’m not much of a musician but if this "Political song" is the best the right can come up with they’ll have to try hard to compete with us lefties knowing that we have stuff like Neil Young’s Flags of Freedom in our camp.

Others seem to agree with me  ...

Source: Luc Van Braekel

CD&V & NVA show their true color ...

and it’s grey for bland and ... what’s the colour for STUPID?

Today our proud Flemish government has made a new agreement proposal for our national TV/media company, VRT.

(ed.: Apparently this rant warranted a re-write ... sorry Paul)

So just some background to start with ...
As most of you know Belgium is a bit of a complex country in which several cultures, with different languages are trying to live together. And while some of us think we should try to do this in Harmony, others just want to split the country up. I have a fundamental dislike of nationalism, as I think it's usually based on wrong motivations, fear, ignorance, ... But I have no problem with some national pride, I'm Belgian, I'm proud of Jacques Brel, I'm Flemish, which makes me proud of Hugo Claus or other cultural icons. So when the Flemish nationalists, who share the power in Flanders with the Christian Democrats, take measures against our local national media company, it annoys me, I'd even say it pisses me of and leads to rants ...

So what are they doing wrong?
Well, we have a small market for localised content, good programs have a maximum potential audience of 20 million Dutch speakers in Belgium and Holland. Since the media market was opened in the late 80's the national broadcaster has been in competition with commercial stations. This has caused some changes, advertising was introduced, ...

So for a while the commercial stations were leading the way even though they mainly buy shows from the US or concepts that they localise. Very few good local content was produced.

The current administrator of the VRT changed that and since 2002 (nl) the public broadcaster has taken the lead again. How did he do that? By making good TV! And by using their funds to build a cluster of small, creative production, effects, program companies. Some of these have grown to international fame. They exist because the initial boost they got from the national TV.

I like this approach, motivate companies to make good product which put's them on the map, locally but, through awards and international sales, also globally! A whole industry exists in Belgium thanks to this outsourcing policy.

So now they want to go Digital, start 8 channels, basically following the BBC model. (The discussion on the need for 8 channels is for an other post) And if they take the same approach of outsourcing this might give another boost to a whole range of young technology companies .

So what so our proud nationalist politicians do ... they cut the administrators wings, one digital channel only, one fifth of the budget for the next five years, ... Basically they put their trust in the commercial guys to create content and progress and want the national public broadcaster not to be to ... ambitious for lack of a better word. 

So, this is where this stream of conscience burst bellow came from.


----------------------------INITIAL MESSAGE----------------------------------------

Today our proud Flemish government has made a new agreement proposal for our national TV/media company, VRT.
The manager wants to launch 8 digital channels over the next 5 years and asks for 500 mill €
The politicians propose 1 (ONE) digital channel and 91 mill € for the next 5 years.

These guys have partnered with a nationalist party, actually their guy (my absolute least favourite Belgian politician) is responsible for media ...
And where do they get their inspiration ...
The management form the VRT form the BBC
The Flemish nationalist, christian politicians ... from F’N berlusconi (note the lack of capital!)
Who would you prefer for inspiration?

And they kill the national broadcast company, the primary distribution channel for Flemish culture (way to go for favour nationalists!) in favour of the commercial channels who manage to make dreadful soaps and run American series and B movies. The commercial channels have not been able to compete while the national broadcaster which has been selling several programs and concepts internationally, as they are so innovative and creative and has been winning awards all over the place.

On top of that the approach of the VRT has proven to be a driver for our economy, launching several production and special effects companies that are now players in the world market, as has been proven the last 10 years,

I’m so pissed of, I COULD SCREAM. These guys are bound to win in the next election, the people get the government they deserve, what the hell have we done wrong to deserve these idiots.

Peace Out, America, I’m coming back. (Can you imagine, I’d rather live trough an other couple of years under an idiot as Bush as these hypocrites and idiots.r wants to launch 8 digital channels over the next 5 years and asks for 500 mill €
The politicians propose 1 (ONE) digital channel and 91 mill € for the next 5 years.

These guys have partnered with a nationalist party, actually their guy (my absolute least favourite Belgian politician) is responsible for media ...
And where do they get their inspiration ...
The management form the VRT form the BBC
The Flemish nationalist, christian politicians ... from F’N berlusconi (note the lack of capital!)
Who would you prefer for inspiration?

And they kill the national broadcast company, the primary distribution channel for Flemish culture (way to go for favour nationalists!) in favour of the commercial channels who manage to make dreadful soaps and run American series and B movies. The commercial channels have not been able to compete while the national broadcaster which has been selling several programs and concepts internationally, as they are so innovative and creative and has been winning awards all over the place.

On top of that the approach of the VRT has proven to be a driver for our economy, launching several production and special effects companies that are now players in the world market, as has been proven the last 10 years,

I’m so pissed of, I COULD SCREAM. These guys are bound to win in the next election, the people get the government they deserve, what the hell have we done wrong to deserve these idiots.

Peace Out, America, I’m coming back. (Can you imagine, I’d rather live trough an other couple of years under an idiot as Bush as these hypocrites and idiots.

So now

Check this out ... brrrr
Created for the UN's International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Source: Kris in Malaysia
via Ine

Society moving to the (extreme) right

The belgian children’s parliament prime-minister, Tom De Slagmeulder, sympathizes with the extreme right party Vlaams Belang and says it’s a good idea to send foreigners back to their country. I guess he wasn’t vetted before they put him in front of the cameras or doesn’t have a spin doctor yet ...

It’s outrageous! Imagine how a 12 year old kid get’s those ideas in his head!

I never posted this before, but I guess it could be the start of the first post of the new year ...

If there is one commitment I made to myself is to do something political, something to stop the move to the right in our society.

I’ll post some ideas soon ...

All the best for the new year, let’s make it a great year.

FEEDBACK from Paul: On the left-right thing he points out it’s more of a up-down thing ... as the simplification of society and politics takes root. Or maybe 12 corespondes to the average mental age of the ... ;-) Thanks Paul!@

Reverse psychology in UK politics

After reading this article I was wondering wether the Conservatives are already predictung their loss in the next UK election or is it reverse psychology?

Meanwhile at the lib-dems, Charles Kennedy goes popular, is this the right approach?

And then there’s the UKIP getting down and dirty ... I guess that’s what you get for uttering such nonsense ...

let’s see who wins

PS I couldn’t find any pictures of slurry kilroy but watch the video on the BBC site, it feels good ;-)

Source: The Guardian
BBC news

They got him

After months and years of avoiding a certain faith the Canadians finally managed to catch him. Not in some cave or hiding place, no, they invited him over and he came ...

Busted!

Source: "CNN"

The true color of the US

Some interesting detailed maps on the US election (Thanks Maarten, Typepad's man in Brussels).

From USA today

A detailed one with shades of purple, even more confusing ;-)

And a pdf version

But the one I like the best is the BBC's which allows you to travel through time and see the maps since WWII (look under the Past Elections tab!). It shows a strange evolution. The values of the Democrats such as equal rights, emancipation and ... seem to have been replaced by new Christian morality which have been wel exploited by the Republicans.

I guess this is inspirational for redrawing the electorial maps in the future ... (an other crazy old American habit we Europeans don't seem to get at all ...)

Source: USA Today
BBC News
Maarten Schenk's Blog

The Power of Nightmares

Neo-Conservatives and Muslim Extremists

  • Fighting for the same goals
  • Using the same tactics
  • And using the same strategy of Fear
    This program swept me of my feet, and I am frustrated to have seen it after the US elections, I'm not sure because, you know, how much influence can I have..., but maybe to share with some of my American friends, to give them some extra motivation.
    I don’t want to talk to much about it, but I hope we can start a dialog on what is said here ...

    An other interesting site on the topic. Why can't the US broadcasters make these kind of programs and/or sites. I love the Beeb!!!

    In essence the conclusion is that the Network of Al Qaeda ia about as real as the Communist networks of dictoators sponsored by Russia of the 80s. But the real tread is that by attacking Al Qaeda and making them enemy number one, many young muslims have started adhering to their extremist ideas. So the organisation may be a myth but their ideas are very dangerous and no war, or no gun is going to stop this, on the contrary. This just seems to re-inforce my idea that the war on terror is going the same way as the war on drugs ... a neverending battle we can't win without going beyond the symptoms and look at the cause (as in you can't solve the drugs problem you don't take away the demand and you can't solve terrorism without giving people in the refuge camps some hope of a better future)

    Some quotes:

  • Precautinary principle is build on a negative world image and allowing preemtive action to unproven treaths (so the person with the most imagination gets most power, because the fact there is no evidence becomes a reason to act ... watch the show it'll make more sense)
  • Fear explores the disillusion and lack of alternatives of the masses
  • We need to build a new ideology, a new Grand Idea that people can beleive in. (society that believes in nothing fears people who beleive in something)
  • Source: BBC News
    Reith Lectures 2004