There's lots of good, interesting stuff out there. Fascinating stuff. Truly fas-ci-nating!
The Large Hadron Collider, a particle accelerator designed to find a.o. the Higgs-boson aka the "God Particle", is scheduled to begin operation in May!
2008 will see the launch of Europes very first spacetruck, the Jules Verne. It will carry cargo to and from the ISS.
Also, Europes new spacelab Columbus is scheduled to finally begin operation this year... and a new launch missile, smaller than the Ariane V, is making its entry: the Vega.
Contrary to what you would think, there IS substantial progress in much of (black) Africa. A country like Botswana e.g. deserves far more attention than it gets.
Between 1997 and 2004, carbon dioxide emissions from countries which signed he Kyoto protocol rose on average 21.1%. Carbon dioxide emissions from the US rose 6.6% in that same period.
Al Qaeda has lost in Iraq. Harry Reid is as depressed about that as Brian de Palma over his summer 2007 earnings, but that don't change a thing.
But in spite of myself, I keep coming back to what is quickly evolving into an existential issue for Europe. The following topic is but one in a kaleidoscope of faits divers, societal trends, side effects and very visible developments, which all point in the same direction: the islamization of my continent. It is but a small topic. But it will tell you a lot.
Spirit is a Flemish "leftist liberal" party, an offspring of the now defunct Volksunie, which once was a relatively normal Flemish nationalist party. More than thirty years ago, some unsatisfactory accord, the so-called Egmontpact, was reached between Flemings and Walloons which angered the more radical part of Volksunie's electorate enough to flock to the then brand new Vlaams Blok. Some ten years ago, what was left of Volksunie split into a "rightwing" part, NVA, and a "leftwing" part, ID21. NVA attracted the saner guys, ID21 the nutters. ID21 quickly crumbled and morphed into the even nuttier Spirit under the guidance of a certain Bert Anciaux. Leftist, progressive, ecologically responsible, pluralism, general nuttiness plus a mellow variant of Flemish nationalism were the main credos of the hodgepodge of weirdos making up Spirit. The founder, Bert Anciaux, somehow made it Minister of Culture on a Blue Monday, some five or six years back. I recall a story from those days, when there was a serious row about a school director who had sent a kid back home because he was so stitched up with piercings and earrings that he'd set off a metal detector at Zaventem International Airport by simply thinking of using a plane. Minister Bert Anciaux rushed to the defense of... the pupil, on the grounds that, fasten your seatbelts, all great cultures of humanity had worn earrings.
But we digress.
These days, the chairwoman of Spirit is Bettina Geysen. Spirit's bigshots are a bit pissed off, because their ideological brothers, the Flemish socialists from SP.a, find themselves in the opposition now that there is a government (other big losers of the June 10, 2007 elections, the Walloon socialists, hold minister portfolios though). So it was not exactly in the best of moods that Mrs. Geysen climbed the stage to give the annual New Years' speech, two weeks late.
Guess what she was wearing.
Geysen lambasted the fact that the City Council of Ghent, in a rare show of realism and not a little influenced by a VB proposal, approved in November 2007 of a decree requesting Ghent's public servants working in a visible position to not wear the veil. Before you think that is discriminatory, know that the decree also forbids the wearing of any religious symbol, be it a Christian cross around the neck or a jewish yarmulke. Also, the rule does not apply to muslim women working in some back office where they are not seen by ordinary citizens. All this to ensure strict neutrality. No protests btw from the crusaders and the world's evil machinists, only from you-know-who.
You just remember.
These are the people actively promoting abortion.
These are the people actively promoting euthanasia.
These are the people who fiercely opposed any reference to Europes judeo-christian roots in the EU Constitution.
These are the people who spit on our traditions and who mock the Catholic Church.
These are the people who would love Bush, Powell, Rummy and Cheney to be tried by the ICC.
These are the people who think America is a dictatorship (one lunatic, Geert Lambert, "observed" the 2004 Presidential elections anxious to prevent another theft of the election by Bush)
These are the people actively promoting gay marriage.
These are the people actively promoting gay adoption.
These are the "Boss In Own Belly" feminists.
These are the BOM-Mothers (Bewust Ongehuwde Moeders, "Consciously Unmarried Mothers").
These are the people who would suggest instead of a stable family transitional relationships whereby the initial biological mother and father swap partners every number of years, creating ever more complicated so-called "composed families".
And they lie in bed with a belief system that, once in power, will crush them first.
I, Outlaw Mike, live in the world's Biggest Open-Air Loonybin.
One day, we will come to Columbus. And Vega. And Botswana. And the ISS. And the God Particle. God willing. One day we will come to that.