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Tag: arty

on fundamentalism

Politicians have a tendency to jump on bandwagons. After Theo Van
Gogh was murdered by a Dutch-Maroccan there has been a unanimous outcry
to tackle 'Muslim Fundamentalists' both in the Netherlands and
Belgium. The Belgian interior minister came on television assuring the
public that he will shut down all fundamentalist internet sites…
His teenage children should tell him some basic facts of life.
Belgium all politicians stumble over each other to convince us how tough
they will act against extremism (they mean of course Islamic
fundamentalism), well let us see what they will do now with the extreme
right party 'Vlaams Blok' which was convicted today (in appeal)
for racism! Nothing of course, we can all easily see fundamentalism in
other people but rarely in ourselves.
It is not a big secret that
I admire Jeanette Winterson, but rarely did I agree more with one of her
montly columns than her november column. Just one paragraph :

There is very little difference between Islamic Fundamentalism and
Christian Fundamentalism. Both groups will use holy text to justify
their murders and their misogyny. Both groups believe that they are
right and that everyone else is wrong. Both groups are anti-science,
both prefer faith over facts. Ironically, both are united against the
values of liberal Western culture.

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sanglier (end)

It is always rewarding to prepare a success guaranteed meal for a
large group, so we invited all people present at LeTravers at the
moment (12) for a sanglier-party on wednesday-evening.

that there is so much reason to party given the outcome of the
US-elections. It is an insult to the rest of the world that a creature
who should be handed over and convicted by the International Criminal
Court for starting an illegal war can get himself re-elected. The
arrogance of an empire in decline…

It was another dry
but heavily clouded day and I spend most of it inside cooking. Perhaps
the last chance for cycling because today (thursday) it is raining
continuously. At the moment there is even thurder and lightning which
can be fairly impressive in mountanous regions. When it comes a bit
nearer all electricity will shut itself off automatically. Even with
this kind of weather the hunters go about their bizness, I just saw
one of them running with his gun on the road below (just 10 meters

On a day like today there's not much to do but to sit by the
fireplace and read. I finished “Antwerp” by Nicholas
Royle. The book contains plenty of very detailed information on
Antwerp streets, building etc. which is all the more surprising as teh
author lives in Manchester. In the opening chapters he mentions two
watertowers near a railroad-bridge that I must have passed a 100 times
without noticing and only saw after reading the book… For these
details I did like the book, but I didn't get into the main plot
of the story much, so I'll give it a – in the sidebar when I get
back. At the moment I'm reading PD James' “The Murder
Room” which seems to take forever to get to the strating point
of the story, but who cares with this weather ?

But back to preparing sanglier and a few modifications to the
recipe I posted before. This time I marinated the meat for 24 hrs. in
half water/half wine, onions, garlic, carrots and herbs (oregano and
thyme). Afterwards I dried the meat and collected the juice and
vegetables in a saucepan and let it cook for 10 minutes and pulled the
mixer through it. Then I baked the wild boar in butter and garlic
until all pieces were nicely brown, poured red wine on it and the
mixed marinade. Then I let it stew for 2.5 hrs and 15 minutes before
serving I added mushrooms and a bit later some cream. The only thing I
regretted afterwards was overdoing the cream a bit, but nobody else
seemed to mind this too much.

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groen moet!

One week to go before the regional and European elections and tension is rising. For me there are two crucial questions : will a racist party get more than 20% of the votes? and will the green party get over the electoral threshold of 5%? If you are not Flemish both probably require some explanation.

A month ago, the extreme right party ‘Vlaams Blok’ was convicted in court for racism and discrimination. They can still participate in the elections because they appealed and Belgian courts are extremely slow. Many people think that this conviction only applies to the party and not to people voting for it. To me, anyone still voting for a party convicted for racism says “I don’t care about society, values and the law!”

Sadly, I wouldn’t be surprised if more than 20% of the electorate will broadcast that message next week. But let us remain optimistic and look at the Vlaams Blog weblogs and their posters ridiculing the Vlaams Blok propaganda.

Then there is the Flemish green party groen!.

Usually they got between 5% and 8% of the votes with one exception in 1999 when they obtained 11%. In 1999 they went into government and among major environmental accomplishments they also voted silly laws such as introducing an electoral threshold of 5%. In last year’s elections they were the first party to be hurt by this when they dived under 4% and had not a single member of parliament left.

I have voted green at every election with one exception : early 80ties the Americans wanted to install cruise missiles in Belgium and with my twenties-naivety I thought to be able to avoid this by casting a strategic (socialist) vote. A traumatic experience because soon afterwards the missiles were flown in…

To me this partly explains the reluctance of groen! to form an alliance with the socialist party as (sadly enough) groen! is run by people of my generation (or older).

Still, in the long run there is no alternative but to form one progressive green-red party. So, I hope that, whatever happens, after the elections competent youngsters such as Tinne Van der Straeten and Els Keytsman will take control of the green party and find equally driven people in the socialist party (not entirely trivial as they seem to specialize in babes whose major accomplishment is the introduction of the sleeveless shirt ministerial look).

In case you wonder : I will vote Tinne Van der Straeten for Europe and Lieve Stallaert for the Flemish

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still have an original iMac (Bondi Blue). It runs at 233 MHz,
has 192Mb RAM and a hard-disk of 4Gb, so is pretty outdated. Still, when
Mac OSX was introduced I had a hard time installing extra RAM in it (for
this model you have to take it apart disconnecting all sorts of cables)
so it would be a shame if this oldest member of the family is left out
of the network. The problem is that it has an Ethernet card but no
possibility to include an Airport-Card… So I bought a D-Link Wireless USB adapter and was told that installation would be
plug-and-play : just connect it to the USB-port, open up the
Applications/Utilities/Airport Setup Assistant and everything
would rum smoothly. Hahah! When I started the Assistant it was clever
enough to detect that no Airport-Card was installed and refused further
action. But, there is a CD in the package so I did install the driver
which really adds a new icon Wireless Adaptor to the System
. Clicking it gave the sobering message No Wireless
Device Attached
and I couldnt press the Scan button for detection of
possible networks. But disconnecting the D-Link a number of times and
pressing it very hard eventually I got a wireless icon in the toolbar
but still it couldnt give me a signal strength of available networks.
But that might be right as the ABS is protected both by WEP and by
MAC-access. So, I added the MAC-address of the D-Link to the list in the
Access Control pane of the Airport Admin Utility which
also gives a way to get at the Hex-equivalent of the WEP-key : click on
the Password icon. So, i manually created in the Wireless
Adaptor-preferences a network with the correct name, WEP-key equivalent
and so on and thought that would do it. But no, now I did get a signal
strength but it showed that I was not connected and that the WEP-key was
incorrect. On the other hand, no complaints were listed when i tried to
access the ABS as Peer-to-peer but this created all other sorts
of problems as I could detect with iStumbler so I quickly removed
this option and got to bed.

This morning I realized
that I still have the old Graphite Airport Base Station lying
idle so I connected it with a patch cable to the Router, reconfigured it
without WEP-protection and without Access Control and instructed
BondiBlue to connect to this new network, which it immediately managed
to do but it took a few restarts and time to get it onto Internet and
connected to other computers on this second network. So, now I will
increase security on this new network and see where it fails. First, add
Access Control by including the MAC Address of the D-Link and other
computers, reconfigure the ABS and the BondiBlue is still on the
network! Next, WEP : in the Apple documentation it is mentioned to take
a passphrase of exactly 5 symbols to ‘increase compatibility with
third-party products’. Let’s try ab;12, change in the
Wireless Adaptor-Prefrences the properties of the network by
choosing Enable WEP 40 Bits ASCII (5 characters) and give the key
ab;12 and sure enough : everything works! So the problem was that
our regular network is WEP-protected by a longer passphrase and D-Link
could not handle the HEX-equivalent 10 digit number. A final attempt :
in the D-Link documentation a solution is offered by giving the ABS a
10-digit Hex together with a starting $-sign so let’s try
$4bb2603b52 on the ABS and 4bb2603b52 in the properties of
the D-Link preferences : success!

However, if I try
any of these two methods on the Airport Extreme base-station,
none of this works! If it were not for the USB-network printer on the
extreme ABS I would just replace it again with the Graphite. Still, I’m
fed up with it for today, BondiBlue is online but via Graphite and all
other computers can communicate with it when they change stations.

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