Saturday, February 27, 2010


Possibly one of the dumbest questions ever brought up by a rock journalist was, when sometime in the nineties a Japanese reporter asked XTC's Andy Partridge why they had named their band after a drug. XTC had actually been around since 1976 - long before 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine started killing off around 30 suckers yearly in the UK alone. Between that year and 05, just missing their thirtieth birthday, XTC produced a small number of reasonable hits, of which imho Making Plans for Nigel is their best, and then (in that order) Dear God, Senses Working Overtime, and The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead. But that's just my opinion. Oh well. Generals and Majors and The Mayor of Simpleton aren't bad either.

In 1988 the song Fisherman's Blues and the album with the same name kicked off the start of the second phase of Scottish-Irish-English band The Waterboys' long life, which was formed in 1983 around Mike Scott and continues to this day. Fisherman's Blues explored folk and country songs. Before that, The Waterboys produced a run of the mill rock sound which included a couple of good solid hits (A Girl called Johnny, The Whole of the Moon). After that, that is past 2000 - the band was actually on hiatus between 1996 and 2000 - came a mix of alternative rock and acoustic folk.

That's. all. Good night.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010


That didn't take long. As anyone who follows the international news even remotely knows, the Dutch Cabinet, a coalition of Christian Democrats (CDA - ChristenUnie) and Socialists (PvdA), has fallen over the question whether or not to prolong the Dutch NATO mission in Afghanistan. Over the past few years, the Netherlands has had some 2,000 military personnel in that country, of which the ground arm - some infantry battalions, mechanized howitzers, mortar units and several Apache helicopters - was engaged in Uruzgan province, and the air arm - first six, then four F-16 fighter bombers - in Kandahar. Unlike the bulk of NATO members, the Dutch had no caveats regarding the deployment of their troops, were often in the thick of the fight, and suffered accordingly: at least 21 dead so far and scores of wounded, many of them maimed for life. NATO and the US wanted the Netherlands to prolong the Dutch mission beyond August 2010 - a departure date the Dutch had been predicting for some time. The Christian Democrats under PM Jan-Peter Balkenende viewed the request favorably. The socialists of the PvdA, under the leadership of Wouter Bos, also the country's Finance Minister, were adamant and did not want to stay in the government if Balkenende insisted on staying the course in Afghanistan. Thus happened. So last Saturday, Balkenende had no choice but to offer Queen Beatrix the resignation of his cabinet.

Guess who's glad?



Rotterdam, February 24. The Dutch withdrawal from Uruzgan is "a very good decision".

It is "just and truthful that the Dutch people understand that they don't need to give their lives for America's goals", says Qari Yuousef Ahmadi, spokesman for the Taliban for South Afghanistan", in a telephonic conversation with this newspaper [NRC Handelsblad - MFBB].

The Afghan Taliban have two 'official' spokespersons, who claim attacks and provide the media with commentary on the NATO mission and the Afghan government. It is unclear how they keep contact with the Quetta-shura, the Taliban leadership allegedly having its headquarters in the Pakistani city of Quetta.

Ahmadi calls on "other countries that lose lives for American purposes" in Afghanistan to "follow the way of the Dutch". The Netherlands is the first of the 43 countries participating in NATO's mission in Afghanistan to withdraw. "The Dutch have realised: we have no profit here, our objectives do not lie in this country, so why would we sacrifice ourselves?" says the spokesperson.

Guess who's sad?

Asadullah Hamdam, the governor of the Afghan province of Uruzgan, where the Dutch mission is based, told the BBC that peace and reconstruction efforts would suffer a setback if the Dutch troops left.

"They help our security forces a great deal in security matters here," said Mr Hamdam told the BBC. "In many districts they work together with the Afghan National Army, and they help in developmental projects.

"They are constructing bridges, schools, roads and assisting in many other educational projects."

As I have often ascertained on these pages, in the struggle between the west and the islamic world, there are but two options. The first is that the west tries to implement the values and mechanisms in the hellhole and sub-standard-everything-humanly-worthwhile that is the muslim world. We should not hope for them to become like us, but if we can steer them to some semblance of economic prosperity and can convince them to solve their problems in what passes for parliaments there, instead of caving each other's heads in, I would consider that a HUGE victory. If anything, better economic prospects may make it less attractive for their 18-40 years old to self-detonate. And maybe, just maybe, a daily life less desperate may encourage 'enlightened' (read less fanatic) scholars to define a less bloodthirsty version of their moon cult.

The second option is an all-out war between the muslim world and the rest of humanity, lest the latter be not infected over time with the cancer that constitutes the former.

In my not so humble opinion, the first option is the best. There is no guarantee it will work out, since islam is "the strongest retrograde force in the world", as a famous British politican once remarked. But because the alternative is so terrible, option 1 should at least be tried. In Iraq, it worked, or, at least, we did our part of the bargain. A strong indigenous military apparatus guards the young republic. Democratic principles leave an awful lot to be desired, the christian population has rarely had it worse, but personally, I'd counsel some years of patience yet to let them sort their things out. If the sane part of humanity comes to an inevitable conclusion a few years hence, no one can blame us for not having tried to hammer sense in islamic heads.

The Dutch now running away in Afghanistan, at this stage, nullifies all the good that came from their involvement. Nursing generations of muslim girls to school for example, with hopefully bening effects on Afghan policy in years to come, is now being flushed through the toilet. And because of who and what?

Why, because of the socialists of course. Had it not been for the man below, Wouter Bos, Uruzgan would continue to receive Dutch support and protection. Dutch soldiers would have kept islamic fanatics at bay.

Instead, Bos is pandering to the islamic fanatics at home. You see him here with a thoroughly brainwashed young muslim girl, Azeza Morcy, on a PvdA congress a couple of months back.

Dutch socialists should pursue a policy that keeps a battle involving howitzers and Apaches 8,000 kloms away from their mills and canals... simultaneously, on the homefront, they should stand up for everything that we hold so dear, especially our freedom... Instead, they cut and run in Afghanistan, and pander to the fanatics at home. Below Lodewijk Asscher, a prominent socialist in Amsterdam. As you can conclude from Mr. Asscher's campaign poster, his integration efforts in Turkistan on the North Sea proceed very well.

Campaign poster exclusively in Turkish. Gee, are Piet and Klaas and Johanna not interesting anymore Lodewijk?

Campaigning for the upcoming elections with a trusted aide and/or mentor, one of his New Adopted People.

Congratulations asshole! You have made it to the pages of Hurriyet, the no.1 Turkish Newspaper! You succeed summa cum laude for the Dhimmi Integration Test!

And so The Netherlands sink away in the multicultural quagmare. In Afghanistan the Dutch cut and run in the face of bearded medieval wifebeaters and headchoppers who couldn't possibly imagine what a toilet pot is for except for washing papaver poppies. At home they slither in the mud and whore for votes to please their future muslim overlords, who shit on everything the socialists have been so gung ho about for decades.

"If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." -- Winston Churchill

My condolences to the relatives of the Dutch soldiers who fell in Afghanistan, and my heartfelt wishes for the best for those wounded there.



Via Theo Spark:

They are backtracking now, but only because there has been stiff opposition from saner minds. The real travesty is of course that a courtroom next to Ground Zero was scheduled in the first place.

But what could you expect from an Attorney General with NINE AIDES defending muslim terrorists?


Monday, February 22, 2010


I am NOT thinking of my retirement, hell no. I hope I will still be working when I'm 70. However, when the day comes I will finally have some more time for the wifey, let's just hope there's sufficient dough for maintaining the same living standard. Since I do not really count on the Belgian State anymore to provide me with a decent pension by 2040, what with importing bazillions of welfare consumers and paedophile worshipping wifebeaters while indigenous Belgians seem to have forgotten how to procreate and all that... I've been taking my precautions since a couple of years. My company pays for a so-called Group Insurance, as well as for an IPT (Individuele Pensioen Toezegging, litterally translated Individual Pension Allowance). Personally, I have, apart from my savings and stocks, a VAPZ (Vrij Aanvullend Pensioen voor Zelfstandigen, meaning Voluntary Additional Pension for Independents), and, in addition, I participate in the popular 'pensioensparen' (Pension savings), in simple terms setting apart your own future pension with montly payments, tax deductible so that you may get up to 40% back annually, i.e. taxed less, depending on your income.

I understand the US has something similar in the form of those famous 401(k)'s, be it that apparently this form of retirement savings seem to be mostly employer sponsored plans, whereas our 'pensioensparen' is a wholly individual undertaking.

Well... for the time being the money hungry Belgian State seems happy to let us take care of ourselves. In the US however...

Yesterday I stumbled, via Protein Wisdom, on a very interesting column by Newt Gingrich and Peter Ferrara in, titled

By Newt Gingrich and Peter Ferrara
Posted 02/17/2010 06:52 PM ET

"You did the responsible thing. You saved in your IRA or 401(k) to support your retirement, when you could have spent that money on another vacation, or an upscale car, or fancier clothes and jewelry. But now Washington is developing plans for your retirement savings.

BusinessWeek reports that the Treasury and Labor departments are asking for public comment on "the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams."

In plain English, the idea is for the government to take your retirement savings in return for a promise to pay you some monthly benefit in your retirement years.

They will tell you that you are "investing" your money in U.S. Treasury bonds. But they will use your money immediately to pay for their unprecedented trillion-dollar budget deficits, leaving nothing to back up their political promises, just as they have raided the Social Security trust funds. This "conversion" may start out as an optional choice, though you are already free to buy Treasury bonds whenever you want. But as Karl Denninger of the Market Ticker Web site reports: "'Choices' have a funny way of turning into mandates, and this looks to me like a raw admission that Treasury knows it will not be able to sell its debt in the open market — so they will effectively tax you by forcing your 'retirement' money to buy them."

Moreover, benefits based on Treasury bond interest rates may be woefully inadequate compensation for your years of savings. As Denninger adds, "What's even worse is that the government has intentionally suppressed Treasury yields during this crisis (and will keep doing so by various means, including manipulating the CPI inflation index) so as to guarantee that you lose over time compared to actual purchasing power."

This proposal follows hearings held last fall by House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Calif., and Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., of the Ways and Means Committee focusing on "redirecting (IRA and 401k) tax breaks to a new system of guaranteed retirement accounts to which all workers would be obliged to contribute," as reported by"

Powerline Blog has some very sound remarks too:

"In other words, the government will allow you the "opportunity" to give Washington your savings, in return for which the government will give you unmarketable T-bills or other unreliable promises to pay some minimal rate of return. The program likely will be "voluntary" to begin with, but that makes no sense--you can buy T-bills in your retirement account any time you want. So the only possible point is to make the exchange mandatory. The government steals your savings in exchange for an IOU.

Will it happen? Clearly the Obama administration, inspired by Argentina, is exploring the option. Today, we have the first administration in American history that aspires to be a banana republic. But can they get away with confiscating millions of Americans' savings? I doubt it. Because first on the list of those who have accumulated wealth in reliance on the laws governing private savings accounts are lawyers. Most people don't realize it, but even lawyers of modest ability typically have, after three or four decades of diligent savings, seven-figure retirement accounts. (This is one reason why influential Democrats don't care whether Social Security goes bust. They wouldn't dream of depending on it.) Lawyers are the heart and soul of the Democratic Party; public employee unions are more important in some ways, but they are junior partners in the Dems' coalition.

If the Obama administration were to announce an intent to confiscate Americans' retirement savings, the howls that would arise from lawyers (and others, too, of course) would be deafening. I don't think the administration could get away with it. Which doesn't mean they won't try, as the current efforts by the Departments of the Treasury and Labor indicate.

Still, others disagree. Earlier today I learned that a relative on Wall Street has stopped accumulating funds in his retirement accounts precisely because he thinks they may be confiscated by the Obama administration. Instead, he is acquiring untraceable, tangible assets--gold and silver--that the government won't be able to steal without a physical search of his property..."

Over here in the United Socialist Repooplicks of Belgistan we have enough to be wary of, but I think I can manage some li'l advice to Americanos. It's a Flemish saying: "Als de vos de passie preekt, boer pas op je hennen." Translation: "When the fox preaches compassion, farmer watch your hens".

Don't let these crooks and thieves put their claws on your retirement savings. Let them find other ways to fill their bottomless pits.


Sunday, February 21, 2010


We are actually past the birthday party, since DowneastBlog's very first post came up on February 11, 2003, but hey, February ain't over yet. Let it thus be known that this month, DowneastBlog has been around in the blogosphere for seven years.

For those of the readership who joined past 2005 or so, here's a revelation: DowneastBlog is not my project. The blog started in early 03 as an initiative of three Maine people, Tom and Kerry D. and Scott F. In November 2003 Kerry, who had spotted me in the comments sections of several Iraqi blogs, invited me to join. My first post dates from December 22 of 03, a piece about the European Union. I started reluctantly, certainly not suspecting that seven years on I would still be on the team. Well, team. That word has become a bit awkward actually, since unfortunately, both Tom and Kerry disappeared along the road, IIRC somewhere in early 2005. Only Scott's still around, and his last post dates from mid-09 or so. Here's the weird thing: Tom and Kerry must still be paying for DB. Thus, either they have plenty of money so that they can't be bothered by a couple of bucks every year for keeping the thing up... or they still peek in from time to time and approve. Or, both. Whatever. Anyway, as I have repeatedly stated on these pages, if they ever decide to throw me out it's their right: even after seven years and after having become the most, ahem, regular contributor, I still consider myself a guestwriter. However, should they decide to kick me out, or stop with DB altogether, I'd very much appreciate it if they allowed me to save my material first.

That said, I realize full well I may have chased them away - as I have probably chased away a lot of people. I do not bring a happy message, at least not most of the time. Also, the package of the message - writing style, power words - must definitely not be to everyone's liking and is probably one of the reasons, if not the main reason, that our readership is still modest, give and take 70-80 visitors a day.

As long as I can however, I will continue in the same manner. This is how I am, and I'll stick with it. I am a westerner, more precisely a European. Even more precisely a Belgian, and if you got to know even more, a Fleming, i.e. a Dutch-speaking Belgian. I am also a conservative, a small business owner, an engineer by formation, a family man with a married partner and two great kids, and 44 years old. My experiences in life have taught, or rather convinced me, that generally, the best way to cope with the challenges of life for the majority of people is offered by a stout conservative mindset and ditto behaviour. I expressly added the 'for the majority of people' because naturally, if you smoke pot and screw around and beat your parents BUT you're otherwise a genius with, say, rock music, you can obviously still belong to the 'some guys have all the luck' category.

The thing is, most of us do not have the benefit of an exceptional talent that allows us to do a lot of stupid things and still end up with Talking Heads' proverbial beautiful house, and a beautiful wife, and a beautiful car. As for me, I do not have special talents either, or it would have to be a certain stubbornness when faced with challenges.

But even if personally, I would be blessed with some magnificent knack for doing this or that and making big bucks of it, I think I would still be a conservative. Because I would still appreciate the inherent nobleness of working hard, respecting your past, and loving and caring for your family. At the age of 44 I have also seen far too many young people end up in the gutter because, well, precisely because they didn't deem a conservative lifestyle a cool thing. Not only that - having read quite a lot of history, I have become convinced that if enough citizens of any society choose for 'the cooler things', the whole shazam ends up in the gutter. I recall here an anecdote in which a teacher of mine in the fourth year of High School read out some text that seemed to have come straight out a contemporary issue of Kerk en Leven (a Christian conservative magazine, and we're talking 1982 here). The exerpt my teacher was reading out aloud was in essence a rant by some elders on the laziness of slacking youngsters, it boiling down to that they couldn't even be brought to cut off the rope of the noose they were hung with even if someone handed them a knife.

My teacher, a dedicated lefty who, btw and perhaps a bit surprisingly I am still very fond of, then enlightened us as to date and author of that exerpt.

Turned out it was some Greek philosopher 2,200 years or so dead and complaining of the punks and hippies of Ancient Greece. My teacher's intention was clearly to neutralize the conservative talk which was doing the rounds among our parents' generation, who had seen the war and built Belgium back up in the fifties and sixties - I told you he was a lefty.

Toooooooo bad, in retrospect, that I have never been a quick-mouthed smartass, nor, at the time, all too familiar with the story of Greece post Alexander the Great. Because I would then have been able to point out to my teacher that not long after that Greek philosopher, Ancient Greece with its dandy Athenian pederasty was pocketed by the Romans.

To cut a long story short, as far as I am concerned, it's going to be more of the same here in times to come, interspersed with a few bikinis and decent songs to make sure people don't drop dead from boredom. It's going to be MORE of the blessings of unapologetical conservative behaviour, the lovely monocultural society, the enormous achievements of western civilization and christianity, and the genius of the supply side economists. It's also going to be more of the clear and present danger presented by socialism and islamization.

Because being aware of those plagues is a necessity, if you value your life and freedom and the life and freedom of your offspring.

Good night, and thank you for your attention. You can stay tuned if you want.