Grassroots support can be the difference between winning and losing elections. This year Belgium shall have to encounter one of the most important elections in its short history. People shall have to bring out their vote for the way they want to see their country going to be either split in even smaller countries or in federate states or in confederate states.
People should know that even with different states the head of state can be made silent or made useless by those who have the most amount of money or most backing from industrial lobbies, like weapon and tobacco industry.
If they would like to get rid of the King they should know a president could work out more expensive, certainly when every elected president after his terms got a retirement allowance as ex-president. That would work out much more expensive than paying a pro-forma king for his lifetime.
Belgians should better compare other federal states and see how it can work and where they can fail. Germany, Switzerland and the United States of America should come before our eyes.
Lots of people had and do have the American Dream. When you hear people all over the world how many do not want to go living in America. But they still keep to the American Dream of the 18th and 19th century when loads of people gave all their belongings to flee their misery in their homeland (in East Europe) and went to Antwerp to take the Red Star Line. When we look at the old moving pictures and photographs of the millions of hopeful emigrants who came to Antwerp and found there already a luxury they could not believe. Others also saw misery in other quarters of the port-town, or where misused and swindled. So many people where cheated before they went on the ship. Many even did not get so far, because all their belongings were stolen or they became victims of crooks who could find an easy prey in the many immigrants.
Patience was one of the most required requisites to spend tense hours in the Red Star Line buildings on the Rijnkaai, where they were prepared for their overseas voyage. Like always descent, origin of birth but also noble birth or good family was very important to get easily passed the officials who had to decide who could pursue their dream in America or Canada, and who had to stay.
If the walls could speak, we would be amazed at their stories.
None of them could have ever thought the New World would ever try to turn back the clock and come back again to the awful time of division rich and poor and discrimination on believes.
But the citizens of the new generation of the United States decided differently. They got caught in the trap of materialism and egoism again. Many of the Americans have forgotten what their ancestors had left behind, where they were fleeing from and which hopes they had to go to such a far away place, to create a new home in the New World.
Its is unbelievable today that there is also such a difference in the wages as in Europe. It is even worse, with some people only receiving 2 (yes two) dollars or 10 dollars per hour of work, and many having to work long shifts also at night. Lots of costs may be less expensive than in Belgium, though many wages are much much higher than in Belgium and for many Americans one Euro is not much. But for many here it is a lot.
In Belgium as in the United States the slavery is coming up again. I do agree it is an other form than the negro slaves, but it is as worse if not worse than some had in the 19th century. Corruption is winning the game and has received the high times again. In Belgium it has even come so far that crooks are rewarded instead of receiving prison time and a good fine. Ex-prime ministers like Jean-Luc Dehaene who swindled so many people dare to shout at a shareholders meeting to a shareholder who was allowed to speak in other shareholders name, that he should shut up because he was not elected. This proved how far it has gone in the heads of such criminal politicians.
When America is not careful they shall fall in the same trap as Belgium and many other European countries now ran into. We could already see signs of such a deterioration in the situation the American president is pushed in the corner, showing the world he has not much to say any more. The citizens of the United States were lured in a situation where they could not any more choose freely between a government shutdown and healthcare for millions of Americans.
You may wonder how many of those who now live in that previous “country of Freedom and Hope” still can feel that freedom and can find the hope of a good life or a better live. For many it is becoming worse because some conservative people bloc the conservative party (perhaps they better change their name to take away the confusion).
They received what some could say “a once in a lifetime opportunity” having a black president who really seem to loves all people from the country where he wants to have many living together in peace and comfort. But what we see is that those who could make their dream come true, are now afraid others could also make their dream make true and would make them to share their wealth. And that is to much asked. No, they think the country is not big enough for so many to share.
Egoism has taken the heart of most Americans, it seems. You may wonder if they love their co-citizens enough to wish them good health? The father of the nation, president Obama, trying to get Obama care going and other social welfare laws always receives the storm in his face. Not one opportunity is left to attack him not.
We would think when people love their country they would be willing to have the best for all. So you could wonder why so many are against a healthcare system to give the possibility that everybody can be treated and taken care off. How does it come that not enough Americans want to live in a country where everyone pays a fair share and where they work together to put the conditions in place so that the next kid can get ahead, and the kid after that?
Belgians should better learn from such ridicule situations where a president of a state is worked against by those who want to have division and not want to share the cake of well-being with others. We as the Americans should also have learned what Republican victories mean. You just need to read the newspaper to see the extent to which Republican control of the House of Representatives has blocked President Obama’s agenda, slowed their fight for middle class families, and brought dysfunction to Washington.
For those living in the American dream and shouting for a system like in America they better open their eyes, take a good strong coffee, a deep breath and come in the real world of greed and envy.
I would like to invite all the dreamers and all those who love history to visit the Red Star Line Museum, where they can follow the path of the emigrants from their departure in their country of origin, via the long journey and their temporary stay in Antwerp, to the ocean crossing and their arrival in America or Canada.
Two million passengers boarded Red Star Line steamers and crossed the ocean from Antwerp to North America. Their story, that of the shipping company which transported them and that of the city and the harbour from which they left are central elements in the museum’s main exhibition, can not let us be untouched.
More people should look at that era in which the exodus took place, from 1873 to 1934. Many Americans would do better also to come and have a look at that odyssey from the old to the new world. Today Belgium, like many European countries and the United States are confronted with immigration problems. Migration and human mobility have always existed: millions of people all over the world left (and continue to leave) the familiar behind, looking for a new future.
Who has the right to take their dream away to find better pastures?
In the Antwerp story the Red Star Line museum present the city and its harbour, the old and new Eilandje neighbourhood and Antwerp as the last stop (on the way to America).
The space called Belgium today, in history has always been a transit place and a battlefield between many nations. It has often changed names and perhaps could do in the near future again. But before deciding how to divide the nation would the inhabitants not better look at the Belgian component where in the past the emigrants fled poverty or persecution, or were looking for adventure, and boarded the Red Star Line steamers. They were full of hope for a new and better life overseas.
A European context is unique to the history of the Red Star Line. Red Star Line passengers came from all over Europe. Belgian passengers were a minority.
The Red Star Line Museum also tells an American story, in which the ancestors of contemporary Americans play a leading role. It’s about their origin and their destination.
Finally, there is the universal story about dreams of a better life, about saying goodbye, discovering the unknown and the search for a new home.
Let Americans and Belgians understand that they should come to terms by willing all sorts of people to find some green pastures in that place where they now may reside and try to live a good life.
Find also to read:
- Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
- Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #2 Roots of Jewishness
- Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #3 Of the earth or of God
- Right to be in the surroundings
- Giving others the chance our ancestors had
- A small circle taking a nation hostage
- How We Got Here: The Path to America’s 2013 Government Shutdown
- Which back voters in the US wants to see
- Christian values and voting not just a game
- Juncker warns for possible new war
Please do find the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp or on the net:
- The Red Star Line Museum. An eventful journey in the footsteps of the emigrants.
- Red Star Line Museum Antwerp City + > Visits to do: Red Star Line museum
- About the Red Star Line ” Antwerp – New York”
Between 1873 and 1935 the Red Star Line shipping company transported almost three million people from Antwerp to America and Canada. The buildings of the Red Star Line, still exist (although in very bad shape). They are located in Antwerp near the Scheldt (river), from where the ships set off on the transatlantic voyage. It remains a place of remembrance, a “lieu de mémoire” for the millions of emigrants who set out for a new life in the States via Antwerp. In 2010 the foundations of the new Red Star Line museum have started.
According to some figures, 200,575 Belgians immigrated to the United States between 1820 and 1975. The question who was considered to be Belgian before 1831 remains unanswered.
- Video’s and several articles about the Red Star Line can be found in Dossier Rest Star Line
When you come to visit Belgium with the places not to forget: Antwerpen, Brugge, Brussel, Charleroi, Gent, Leuven, Liege, Mons, a.o. and enjoying the Belgian chocolates and some good cuisine.
- Red Star Line Museum – Antwerp, Belgium (blue4viennablog.wordpress.com)
Migration started a long time ago but it is also very actual now. The following pictures give you an impression of migration throughout the years. They were exposed in the museum on screens set up in one big circle. I took the pictures from the screens but the original pictures are not from me. I was allowed by them useum to take pictures.
- Port of Antwerp: maritime traffic of chemical and petroleum products grows by more than 30% (portofantwerp.com)
The port of Antwerp set a new freight record in 2013 and handled a total freight volume of 190.8 million tonnes over the year. The traffic volume in 2013 exceeds that of the record year 2008, and is again higher than just before the international financial crisis.
In the chemicals and petroleum derivatives sectors, Antwerp has gained a significant market share in the liquid bulk sector for north-western European ports. Liquid bulk traffic in Antwerp rose by 31.4%. to 59,493,776 tonnes over the past 12 months.
- Even Belgium Knows Enough To Expel Immigrants Who Don’t Support Themselves (politicaloutcast.com)
I never thought I would wish the United States was more like a European nation—specifically an EU member nation. Usually it is liberals who criticize the U.S. for falling short of enlightened European standards. I can only hope that they look at the example set by Belgium.
So even though they are members of the European Union, the government of Belgium knows better than to advertise welfare benefits to legal immigrants. So we can be sure they would not do anything more for illegal immigrants. It seems that only the U.S. government fails to see the need for this kind of law.
Belgium is the exception, as the rest of Europe’s immigration system is in worse shape than ours. Insofar as political correctness is concerned, for the most part they are eons ahead of us in stupidity. However, we are catching up.
They must have leaders who love their country and the people who built it, where we have politicians willing to sell their soul for campaign money no matter the cost in human suffering for the struggling American families who built this country.
- Historical constitution reforms will create “a new Belgium” (flanderstoday.eu)
The country’s leading politicians met yesterday in the prime minister’s Brussels residence to sign a landmark constitution reform that will fundamentally change the structure of Belgium. Known as the sixth state reform, the document contains 82 new laws approved by all six political parties that form the current coalition government – and Groen, which is in opposition.
The federal government took two years to reach agreement on the wide-reaching changes, which will shift many powers from the federal government to the regions and language communities. Among the many changes in responsibilities are determining child allowances, controlling the job market and running homes for the elderly.
- City of Diamonds – Antwerp, Belgium (travelpod.com)
Antwerp is Europe’s third-largest port and centre for contemporary fashion. Antwerp is known as the “City of Diamonds” for its role as a major cutting and trading centre of the diamond industry.
- Jihadists construct the Atomium bomb: YouTube video threat to Belgium tourist attraction (independent.co.uk)
The video clip posted on the YouTube account of Belgian teenager Brian De Mulder was brief, but the threat to one of Belgium’s biggest tourist attractions was chilling and clear.
Over the black-and-white flag of one of Syria’s Islamist rebel groups, a voice chants: “Bombs are falling. Atomium, I hear a bang. Body parts are everywhere.”
Mr De Mulder, 19, is one of hundreds of Europeans currently in Syria and believed to be fighting alongside the rebel groups trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad.
- Terrorist threat against New Year celebrations in Belgium (emmejihad.wordpress.com)
The author of the message is using a Facebook account with the name ‘Madjlis Shura Muhajirien‘, a reference to the brigade of foreign fighters in Syria that counted several Belgians in it’s ranks before it was integrated in the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Sham’ (ISIS). The Facebook account was started early in 2013 within the entourage of Houssien Elouassaki, the former leader of the Shariah4Belgium movement in the town of Vilvoorde, who reportedly has been killed in Syria since.Recently, that same account was used already two times to send threatening messages towards Belgium. One in October — a video in which a masked Syria fighter fulminated with an Antwerp accent against “the descendants of apes and pigs who fight islam” — and another earlier this month — a nasheed-like audio message in Dutch in which the Belgian Defense Secretary Pieter De Crem was warned for a car bomb and the Atomium in Brussels also was mentioned as a target for a terrorist attack.
- New Years Eve, Antwerp, Belgium (pollyscoffs.wordpress.com)
I’ve never spent NYE out of the UK and I was unsure whether it was this fact that swayed me to go or the opportunity to gorge myself on frites and waffles. Both lived up to expectations so all in all, a successful trip spent with two great Sarahs.NYE was, as you would expect full of fireworks, count downs (two- one for Belgium and one for the UK) and drinks so I won’t bore you with all the details.
- EATS: Fiskebar, Antwerp (instantfashionmix.com)
While in Antwerp last month I visited Fiskebar to sample some of Belgium’s famous seafood. This is a unpretentious fish restaurant which seemed predominantly full of locals.