Brussels, Belgium - You have a rush-hour commuter train speeding into the intersection that has an oncoming train coming down the tracks. The commuter train ignores the red light and bam 18 people are killed. Eighty people are injured, some dead and many mutilated bodies lying around the crash site. If anyone wants tort reform and limiting damages it’s the owner of these trains. American consumers have so much in common with the rest of the world. We need only watch the developing countries to see why our business leaders need limits on how we receive compensation for personal injuries. And then if we can watch undeveloped we countries we can see how we will be treated when legal reforms take away the working person’s right to receive compensation.
Belgium covers an area of 11,787 square miles (30,528 sq. km.) and has over 10 million inhabitants. Brussels is 62.2 square miles (161.4 sq. km) (Des Moines is 77.2 sq. miles and Chicago is 234 sq. miles) and is at an elevation of 12 meters or 43 feet above sea level. The population count is just over 1 million people. In Brussels-Capital region there are 19 municipalities. They get on average 32 inches of rain each year and the average temperature is between a low of 44 and a high of 57. In Belgium 57% of the people speak only French, 11% French & non-Dutch, 16% neither French of Dutch and 7% speak only Dutch. Since WWII Brussels has been an important center of international politics.
By way of contrast Iowa covers 56,272 square miles (145,743 sq. km), is 310 miles wide, 199 miles high and has a population of just 3 million people. Its highest point is Hawkeye Point at 1,670 ft. The great State of Illinois covers 57,918 square miles (140,998 sq. km.) is 210 miles wide and 395 miles tall. Its highest point is Charles Mound at 1,235 ft. (377 meters). The population of the state of Illinois is just shy of 13 million people. Even Rhode Island, where I was born, covers 1,545 square miles (4,002 sq. km.), is 37 miles wide, 48 miles tall and has a population of just over 1 million people.
From TBILISI, Georgia to Vancouver, British Columbia – The Olympic luger who died on the luge track in Canada is an example of what is wrong with big money controlling the Olympics along with the athletes’ hopes, dreams and expectations. They make billions and when you consider the big picture the luger’s life was given for what amounts to really nothing. The gold metal is promoted as the best of the best, but as we’ve seen in the past they can’t even test for the use of steroids and get the results in time to deny participation to those who roid-up to win. Think about it. How can we ever know the winner isn’t cheating with steroids? How do you know the guy getting all the instant fame isn’t a cheater? Well, you don’t, but they do. I’ve always felt sorry for the man or woman who places fourth when one or more of those placing above them have cheated. They are really the ones cheated. They work for years to sharpen their athletic skills and at their time to show how hard they have worked they are cheated out of a medal, endorsements and the ultimate opportunity to stand on the winners’ platform.
Nodar Kumaritashvili dead at 21 – died February 12, 2010 – Born November 25, 1988
So here is what I say to the relatives of “Nodar Kumaritashvili, the 21-year-old man who died when he lost control of his sled, flew off the course and slammed into a steel pole at nearly 90 mph.” Sue them, sue the International Olympic Committee, the City of Vancouver and every other organization that inspected and approved the luge design. An idiot could have designed a better track and foreseen this accident happening. They designed a 90-mile-per-hour coffin ride. His death was the result of greed that put aside a faulty design to have the fastest times in the world – the track was designed for speed not the safety of the athletes. Greed to say they had the fastest times because they had the fastest track; not the safest but the fastest. Why the curve allowed a luger to slide off into steel beams is beyond comprehension. The Georgian delegate said it best when he said an athlete’s mistakes shouldn’t get them killed.
I'd better cover the Michigan story tomorrow. Come back then for a surprising new business opening in Michigan. You can thank your Michigan legislature for this development.