Of mice and pens
Our recent editorial on the Belgian Foreign Minister's criticisms of George Bush had readers scurrying for their keyboards. And they have also written in on many other subjects from the Flemish-Walloon stand-off to smoking in restaurants.
Regarding your article "When the mouse roars", I just want to say thank you. It was excellent.
My husband and I live in America and we are doing everything we can to leave this place (I'm a British citizen).
We've sold our house, motorcycles and our furniture because we just cannot stand being here any longer.
We hate the fact that the American government has assumed the role of world dictator.
This is no longer a democracy here, our freedoms are being taken away quietly.
Our media is either scared to or doesn't want to show the American people what's really going on in the world and if, by chance, something provocative (i.e., not supporting Bush & Co.) does get aired, then it's perceived as liberal propaganda.
We would love more than anything to move to Belgium, and that's our goal.
We admire and look up to Belgium for having the guts, balls, whatever to stand up to this evil monster and tell it like it really is.
My husband and I firmly believe that if this election doesn't result in a new government, the citizens of America are, in effect, telling the world that they approve of our government's horrendous behaviour and we don't want to be part of it.
What this government has done to the world and this country is appalling and disgusting.
The world is not a safer place because of Bush & Co., quite the contrary.
I shudder to think what will become of the world and America if their form of government gets re-elected (or the
elections are tampered with again).
Wish us all luck this November!
Thanks for an excellent response to the pro-Bush Americans who dismiss the comments of the Belgian Foreign minister with such contempt.
I hope you'll continue to correct their unacceptable and dangerous attitudes at every opportunity.
More power to your pen!
Belgium is not a mouse, neither is Mr. De Gucht. The real mice are the ones who have this huge military might, but don't have any moral deterrence, our beloved global terrorist.
Please get your message out in Wisconsin and other states that are crucial.
There are tons and tons of Republicans here that still believe there is a link between 9/11 & Iraq, mainly because we have radio and TV outlets that have a ring-wing bias.
Our newspapers are largely Gannett owned and so we fight an uphill battle for Kerry.
Thankyou for recognizing that the country is more important than party, too bad GWB doesn't have that priority.
The Belgian Foreign Minister's comments on Bush's speech to the United Nations comes off sounding like a small dog yapping. No surprise about his comments though, considering Belgium has to mimic everything the French say or do.
I once heard Belgium compared to a Chihuahua, (smallest dog in the world), and France compared to a French Poodle (primpy, foo-foo) dog.
The context of this comparison was in their lack of backbone and in their way of dealing with today's terrorism situation .
Karel de Gucht can yap yap all he wants to, but a Chihuahua will still be the smallest dog in the world!
Regarding the story about being an American in Europe and the fallout of the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners.
I am a very proud American!! Why don't you show the pictures of Americans over in Iraq trying to help rebuild the country being beheaded. Shame on you for running an article that is so slanted Democratic.
We (Idiots) in America, who live in America, are extremely proud of the job our President is doing.
He has eliminated the one big WMD called Saddam Hussein without the help of Germany and France.
I would've enjoyed very much reading your article on the Flemish-Walloon relationship if it wasn't so sad.
As a Flemish born I went to school in Overijse, so you can imagine the chuckle I had over recognizing the zeal of the message the author received about one of his articles from someone living there.
But fundamentally, the question the author poses is the right one.
Why aren't the Flemish able to exploit their economical, numerical power in the political arena?
Answering this question will automatically reduce the success of the Vlaams Blok, which in the end is nothing more as response to the frustration of the Flemish about the inability of regular politicians to solve this question.
As for me, I decided to stop worrying about it moved to Switzerland and started getting on with the rest of my life.
Before anyone starts pointing to the local right wing party, the SVP, more than 25% of the Swiss population is non-native.
Also Switzerland is a much more direct democracy and through its binding referenda at least twice a year on all-important topics, there are fewer excuses to let such situations linger on, as they do in Belgium.
A propos of night flights over Brussels. I find it simply criminal that some corrupt bastards endanger kids in order to let DHL make more money.
Planes should NOT fly over Brussels, ever.
If a plane crashes over a field of potatoes, you kill 100.000 potatoes and a couple of cows.
If a plane crashes over a school in densely inhabited Brussels...
Night flights should be abolished and day flights drastically reduced.
If DHL relocates, good riddance!
Why should the quality of life of a million inhabitants be destroyed in order to let some commercial bastard and his political lackeys make more money?
How can a majority of Belgians want a ban on smoking in restaurants and cafes when they seem perfectly happy to allow dogs in!
Smoking and secondary smoking is an accumulative risk, whereas a dog is an instant health hazard.
My wife and I own a cafe here in Oostende and receive many nasty comments when we ask people to leave their dogs outside.
If there were a nation-wide ban on dogs then perhaps people would take a ban on smoking as a health issue and not just more interference from a nanny state.
I am 69 years of age and always thought, since I was overseas that the voter was allowed to file an absentee ballot at the appropriate time through the mail.
Since it has been bandied about to use the internet to vote we have had problems.
Maybe we need to go back to the old way of being responsible to send our vote through the mail.
If they are not counted we have done our duty.
My father had taught me that to vote was the highest priority of the citizen.
Now that I have returned from Luxembourg to the US and started looking for a new job, I am finding that no one seems to value my overseas experience. All of the returning expats I know have reported this problem. Before going, I read a lot of articles that said companies valued it.
I want to say that I have no objection to this 'no car day' -- but why is it always on a Sunday in Brussels?
It should be on a normal week/work day so that everyone -- especially the politicians and the eurocrats -- would 'feel the pain' and the joys of taking the public transportation.
It is too easy for these folk to impose an 'ideal' on others when it does not concern their own comfort.
When it is on Sunday the only people who are really inconvenienced are those poor Christians who wish to go to Church.
That should not be!
So truly car free days during the working week please.
Letters may be edited for reasons of space and clarity.
The views expressed are not necessarily Expatica's.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgium, news, letters