Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Not All Bloggers are Created Equal

PHOTO -- memorial created in Brussels for Joe Van Holsbeeck

One "advantage" of flying all the time like I do is that I have some down time to read so while flying to Amsterdam yesterday I read this op-ed in the Wall Street Journal:

"The Many Faces of Belgian Fascism" by Bret Stephens (

As a sometime resident of Brussels this column's headline caught my attention especially the statistic cited that Belgium's "per capita murder rate, at 9.1 per 100,000 is nearly twice that of the USA............" Now that is amazing!! Many Europeans I have talked to have the impression that the USA is filled with "Wild West cowboys" walking around with guns (firearms) looking to kill anyone in their paths. Since I have walked in many areas of Brussels I can attest that I have not seen any evidence gun/knife shops but somehow the criminals are getting weapons such as the "two Gypsy youths" who stabbed Joe Van Holsbeeck to death at Brussel's Central Station because they wanted his MP3 player as mentioned by Mr. Stephens. Instead of having the 3 or 4 police guards I see all the time in front of the Belgian Parliament -- guarding what is an empty building most of the time -- perhaps 2 of these guards could be assigned to Central Station which is but a 10 minute walk away. Apparently the safety of parliament members -- keeping them alive to continue taxing citizens -- is more important than commuters on train stations. This fact raises another important point -- Brussels prides itself on hosting "no automobile days" when everyone is encouraged to walk, ride a bicycle, and/or use public transportation to protect Mother Earth. Had Joe Van Holsbeeck driven an evil, gas guzzling SUV instead of waiting for a train he might be alive today.

Mr. Stephens' commentary further highlighted Belgian Senator Jean-Marie Dedecker's comment that "policeman look the other way in order to avoid being accused of racism......." but one blogger --- Paul Belien at the Brussels Journal -- who was not afraid of charges of racism when he called Mr. Van Holsbeeck's killers (the "two Gypsy youths") "predators." Belian's description led the Belgian government's "Center for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism (CEOOR)" to order Belian to remove the commentary from his blog or "face state prosecution.........." given the racist nature of his comments.

Now this is amazing!!

In the so-called "free world of the West" a blogger like Paul Belien can't call two cold-blooded killers "predators" (which is a skin-color neutral term I believe) but the current President of Iran (Blogger-in-Chief) Ahmadinejad can make statements such as:

  • "the so called Jewish Holocaust is a myth........"
  • "the state of Israel should be wiped off the map and moved to Europe if the West wants Israel to exist..............." -- President Ahmadinejad's blog in English

The Belgian government can censor Mr. Belian's use of the word "predator" but no one can touch the President of Iran when he declares the Jewish Holocaust a myth. Clearly Western governments have mis-guided priorities especially since I have seen no evidence that the Brussels Journal is developing a nuclear weapon.

Blog for truth,


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