Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Some sense

Belgium's a great place. I'me Welsh, so I'm also supposed to be British, but I spent 35 years of my life in Belgium (more than in any of the other three countires in which I have lived, Wales, England and Spain), so I feel as much Belgian as anything else. I left the country for health reasons and miss its tidiness, its completeness, its pastries…

Belgium has had it rough during the last few months, having been shown to be a spawning ground for terrorists and now, just this week, being itself the target of some major terrorist attacks.

Sadly, the growth of terrorism has been matched by a growth of right-wing tendencies, with foolish non-thinkers jumping onto the easy solutions of "keep out the refugees," "down with Islam," and other nonsensical nationalistic propaganda.

Thank goodness, then, for some good old common sense, as demonstrated by Anwar, a young schoolboy, when he was interviewd at his school gates on the day after the attacks in Brussels for VTM News:

video


Here's a translation:
Reporter: Indeed, the attacks do not represent true Islam, says Anwar.
Anwar: Muslims are not like those that you see; Muslims are people that love peace and not killing.
Reporter: That's an important message.
Anwar: Yes, a very important message. Thank you very much.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

What do you know about the EU?

Soon the UK will hold a referendum to allow its voters to decide whether to stay in the EU.

Bonkers. The average bod has no idea what the EU does, what it has achieved, what its powers are, what its powers most certainly are not, and so on. Most people are swayed only by what they are told by ignorant spouters of nonsense on the television, or by what they read in the gutter press that is so prevalent in the UK, where such intelligent publications as the Sun tell half-truths at best and downright lies at worst.

The Establishment of the UK of course wants the voters to choose to leave the EU: this will provide them with the continued power they seek. What it will not do, is help the ordinary people of the country. But what does the Establishment care for them?

How much do you, dear UK voter, actually know about the EU and how it functions? Very little, I bet.

Well, here's a chance for you to find out a bit more before you go to vote.

The EU has just published a report on its activities in 2015. Do you want to know what the EU achieved in 2015? What progress it made in delivering on its priorities? The measures it took to boost jobs, growth and investment? The part it played in the climate deal achieved in Paris? How it handled the refugee crisis? And how EU citizens benefited from the Union? You can find the answers to all these questions and more in The EU in 2015.

The publication is available in various formats (HTML, PDF, EPUB) for free (a printed version can be purchased) at http://publications.europa.eu/en/web/general-report (It can also be obtained in numerous other languages through the dropdown menu at the top right-hand corner of the page.)

And if you'd like to learn more about the EU, or to find resources for use in presentations, a good place to start is http://europa.eu/publications/index_en.htm (again, information is available in other languages through the dropdoan menu at the top right-hand corner of the page).

Thursday, 3 March 2016

USA

To quote another obnoxious American, "You cannot be serious!"

Still, at least we now know the real meaning of USA:

Unbelievably
Stupid
Americans

To allow a creep like Donald Trump to run in the primaries for the election of the new President of the USA is crazy enough; that such a buffoon, such a mountebank, such an obnoxious, megalomaniacal, clearly prejudiced individual can then actually gain sufficient support to win numerous primaries and to look as if he stands a good chance of becoming the Republican Presidential candidate is just grotesque (as if the Republicans were not already grotesque enough!); it is frightening, not only for the USA (the country and those Unbelievably Stupid Americans), but also for the rest of the world.

Eat your heart out, Dr. Strangelove, for here comes someone far more sinister.