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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

Wednesday, February 23 2005

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

How far back?

Though we want to get the animosities and polarization that characterized the past year behind us, one of the most extreme examples of such polarizing was reported Tuesday in conjunction with President Bush's visit to the European Parliament in Belgium. A European writer, Paul Belien, reported via the daily Standard that a sticker with a caricature of the President's head superimposed over an American flag has been stuck on urinals all over Belgium: "in the public toilets of Belgian schools, youth clubs, and pubs. They were designed by Laurent Winnock, president of the Young Socialists, the youth branch of Vande Lanotte's Socialist party." Lanotte, Belien reported, is the vice prime minister of Belgium and Winnock, the sticker's designer, is one of his press spokespersons.

Belgian socialists' welcome
stickers, slightly censored.

Belien also reports that although such anti-American sentiments are widespread in Belgium (who'd have guessed?): "Meanwhile, however, a citizen of Ghent, where the stickers had also been distributed, has filed a complaint with the Belgian judiciary.... 'This sticker has nothing to do with freedom of speech,' he says. 'If I go to the gents [room] in the pub nowadays, I am forced to pee on Bush and the American flag because it is impossible to miss this sticker.'"

This report reminded me of one of the most incomprehensible (to me) reactions I saw from a Democratic voter last November. Practically beside herself with rage over the Republican victory, she cried, "how far back has this put the country?" It won't surprise anyone familiar with these ruminations if I say that I, of course, saw the election as putting us back, too: Back a bit from the brink of disaster we had been leaning over. Trying, however, to grasp how she could have come to such a conclusion, I also recalled other left-leaning columnists and commentators railing against the "theocratic" swing of the country's mood as taking us back to the Dark Ages and, in my resolve to assume the best, allowed that she may have been thinking we'd made a step or two back toward, say, 1600.

No, I thought, we've been saved from being propelled back to the debauched decadence of the pre-Christian Roman Empire of Nero and Diocletian, not the Borgia papacies or the courts and executions of the Spanish Inquisition.

More anon.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

A complete index of Jon Kennedy's Jonals for 2001 - 2005

T-shirt imprints

Keep staring....I may do a trick.

We got rid of the kids. The cat was allergic.

Sent by Trudy Myers

Thought for today

As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life—so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls.

M. Cartmill   

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