Living Dangerously in Brussels
From the desk of Paul Belien on Wed, 2006-07-05 23:17
Murder and manslaughter in the U.S.: 16,137 cases in 2004 (5.5 per 100,000 inhabitants). Percent change compared to 2003: -2.4
Murder and manslaughter (moord en doodslag) in Belgium: 959 cases in 2004 (9.1 per 100,000 inhabitants). Percent change compared to 2003: +11.12
Submitted by marcfrans on Fri, 2006-07-07 20:56.
1) You misunderstand 'George2'. His point was that "we all do NOT know", or that "it is NOT generally accepted truth etc...". Simply rephrasing your sentence (to make it longer) will not do.
2) I think your "statistical perception" - that killing is more often seen as "justifiable" in the US than in Belgium - is probably correct. That is because 'Belgium' stands at one dogmatic extreme (i.e. killing is there seen as NEVER justifiable, at least today). In the US one does tend to take into account who does the killing and why, i.e. one tries to make a reasoned judgement. And that is precisely why one cannot look to Belgium for stopping genocides, in Africa, Arabia, the Balkans...anywhere, and neither for stopping the next totalitarianism from getting a foothold in Europe.
3) What does "more Europe" mean? If it is true that the increasing crime in Belgium comes from the "East European mafia" then one could just as easily claim that it is precisely "more Europe" that brought the crime in the first place. Or, if most of the crime increase comes from 'foreigners' then one could reasonably argue that is the multi-cul illusions of the ruling 'elites' that have 'caused' (led to) the increase in crime. Crime cannot be tackled by empty slogans and platitudes (like "more Europe"). It can only be tackled by seriousness on the part of government, and a prerequisite for such 'seriousness' is the abandonment of ideological illusions and the willingness to call a spade "a spade" (In Dutch "een kat een kat noemen").
Submitted by JimMtnViewCaUSA on Fri, 2006-07-07 05:16.
sorry, this is off-topic but applies to the point I attempted to make below. statistics lie, and liars use stats selectively, and so on and on. how would one go about comparing US and Belgian murder stats? I don't know, certainly! yet the stats stir a train of thought. they trigger associations and themes....is it possible to admit the possibility that the Euro elites have been able to avoid hard choices for a long time but that time will not last forever?
"We all know ..."
Submitted by George2 on Thu, 2006-07-06 20:16.
I was taught in highschool that any sentence that has these words in it, usually means: "There is no proof for it but ...". With other words, these sentences are to be skipped. Just check out who usually utters these words. You will find out that these are people who believe in dogmas and who have difficulty accepting reality and thus have to distort reality. Then they have to hide behind the words ... "we all know" ... or, "it is commonly known". So, if you want your opinion to be read, avoid these words.
Mr. Vanderheyden, maybe it is time to start digging up "all that I don't want to know but what is really there".
Submitted by peter vanderheyden on Fri, 2006-07-07 12:50.
You’re perhaps right about the “We all know.” It’s a sentence to be avoided. Perhaps I should have written "to my knowledge it's a general accepted truth that killing is far often seen as justifiable in the states then in Belgium.” It makes sentences long and boring, but it’s certainly more accurate. Let’s be honest, shall we. Most of what we think to know is based on a statistical perception. How many people have told us that it is the case? Who told us that it is true, and what is his authority? Even what you are writing about the “we all know” stuff comes from somebody that has told you this in high school. An based on his authority… That doesn't seem a proof to me.
It’s possible that you don’t like my opinion. But try to stick to the opinion, in stat of attacking the person himself.
By the way, why does nobody explain me why Belgium is doing better on almost all the crimes statistics except murder? It obviously isn’t the interpretation of self-defence like I thought before. What is the reason then? I’m still thinking it has something to do with the definition. There are a lot of questions we need to ask. If somebody is wounded, and he dies a few weeks later, are the statistics corrected? Is an accident with a gun seen as manslaughter in Belgium? And so on. Before comparing figures over different countries some research is necessary. It is however certain that the number of murders is increasing in Belgium. I guess some of the increasing violence comes from the east-European Mafia. To defeat them we need… More Europe…
Submitted by marcfrans on Thu, 2006-07-06 16:40.
1) The comment of Mr Vanderheyden illustrates the widespread prejudices that exist, and that in large measure originate in biased mediareporting (which is in turn a measure of ideologically-inspired miseducation of journalists and editors). Perhaps, more immediately, it reflects the widespread circulation given to 1 case of the murder of a foreign (japanese) student on a frontlawn somewhere in a southern US state not so long ago. The biased media reporting continues, as I can see every day on the Standaard website, w.r.t northamerican 'developments'. A good example is how the recent Mexican election results were misreported. In the long run, only the Belgians are the losers from the misinformation they are receiving from their 'elite' media....
2) I think that one cannot make a fair comparison between a small urban area as Belgium and a continent like the USA. A fairer comparison would be between similar-sized urban states, such as for instance Belgium and Maryland. Within the USA itself there are wide variations in crime statistics between different regions of the 'continent'.
Misschien toch eerst het artikel lezen?
Submitted by Dog of Flanders on Thu, 2006-07-06 16:13.
From the linked article:
During 2004, law enforcement agencies provided supplemental data for 666 justifiable homicides. A breakdown of those figures revealed that law enforcement officers justifiably killed 437 felons and private citizens justifiably killed 229 felons. Tables 2.15 and 2.16 provide additional information about justifiable homicides.
Submitted by peter vanderheyden on Thu, 2006-07-06 14:03.
The classification of this offense is based solely on police investigation as opposed to the determination of a court, medical examiner, coroner, jury, or other judicial body. The UCR Program does not include the following situations in this offense classification: deaths caused by negligence, suicide, or accident; justifiable homicides; and attempts to murder or assaults to murder, which are scored as aggravated assaults.
We all know that a homicide is quickly "justifiable" in the states. Coming on somebody's land without invitation is already enough. If we compare the rape rates Belgium seems a lot safer then the states: 25,95 vs 32.2 per 100.0000 inhabitants. Now why do Americans comparatively do more rapes then murders? Unless statistics are biased!
As for 2005, we have a rise in murders for 4.8% in the US...
Pride has no place in this....
Submitted by RoyE on Thu, 2006-07-06 14:31.
"We all know that a homicide is quickly "justifiable" in the states. Coming on somebody's land without invitation is already enough."
The above quote from Mr. Vanderheyden is a good example of both misunderstanding (or is it willfull ignorance) of American law and a tendency towards denial.
US law absolutely does not permit shooting or assaulting someone who trespasses on private land. Breaking into another's home is another matter, in which case it does seem entirely justifiable.
US crime rates have been trending downward, while European rates have been rising in recent years. Apologists for rising crime rates do a disservice to all of Europe. The point is to take note and take the steps necessary to protect the innocent.
murder rate rises in Belgium?
Submitted by JimMtnViewCaUSA on Thu, 2006-07-06 05:59.
It seems to be a given in some circles that the USA is full of ignorant cowboys who will come to no good end. Perhaps that is true.
Another possibility is that Europe has been able to avoid tough decisions for decades through various accidents of history. One is reminded of the hobbit communities of the "Lord of the Rings" who lived in peace for many years and came to assume that it was a natural state of being.