Dear readers of Discourse.net,
I would like to thank Michael for inviting me to be a guest. It is an honor. His kind, generous and ridiculously positive introduction is much appreciated. It might have set expectations that will leave most readers surprised, disappointed, even disgusted with my posts. But this will not stop me.
True to this prediction, I will start with a confession. I am Belgian. (1) But do not worry. None of my posts will be about Belgium (except this one, too late now).
Most people think Belgium is pretty insignificant. The Daily show expressed this sentiment in a couple of episodes where John Stewart suddenly screamed that he “hates” Belgium.(2) The irony being that it is absurd to hate Belgium. Why would anyone hate something so small and harmless? (mind you, this is a cunning tactic that has been very effective for us)
To Belgium’s defense, a quick note on one of Belgium’s many wonderful accomplishments [drums rolling]: the Belgian identity card. This prestigious, much lauded project was introduced a few years ago (notice the Microsoft connection).
In fact, I was about to use my very own “electronic-Belgian-ID-card” to file Belgian taxes on line the other day. But I changed my mind upon discovering that I need to buy a card reader for my pc (or wait for a 24 code card to be mailed by snail mail). Also, recollection of the security and privacy issues did not help either. Yesterday, a new report was presented at the e-Identity conference in the Hague further detailing the huge security issues involved. Hey, at least its better for our government to fail than not to try at all. Or is it? Solutions for the card are in the works. So are the invoices by the various e-security companies. This brings me back to filing my taxes.
More about Belgium, European soccer, copyright law & the music industry, taxes and laments on the strong euro in future post.
(1) note by author: country still exists until further notice, June 13 2008.
(2) a link to the clip would of course be more effective but could not locate it on the Web