Category Archives: Politics

Top threat to the US

According to this article, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair (a former navy commander, not an economist) says that the economic crisis outranks terrorism as the biggest threat to the US.

How ironic that — after the endless warnings from Bush administration about terrorism and the urgency to fight it “over there” — that the larger threat would turn out to be not only unrelated, but both domestic and entirely self-inflicted.

So full of doubts

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
  – Bertrand Russell

No Time for Poetry

I just read a good analysis of Obama’s first speech as president called No Time for Poetry. It points out, among other things, that the mess we’re in isn’t due to Bush alone (although he certainly isn’t free from blame.) Many, many people joined in on the spending spree that was powered by a stock and housing boom that now seems completely ludicrous, but at the time seemed merely suspicious. It’s never been more clear that hard times have arrived. And that we haven’t seen the worst of it yet.

It’s certainly striking close to home for me. Lisbeth got laid off last week. She’s on a year of maternity leave and never intended on going back to that job anyway, but nevertheless, it’s scary. It affects both our finances and our psychology. Then a friend of hers lost his job in the publishing industry. And this week Microsoft announced that they will cut 5,000 employees. About 100 of the initial 1400 will be from the Copenhagen office where Lisbeth and I met, and where we still have friends. The specific people that will be jobless are to be announced on Thursday.

My company is suffering as well. There haven’t been any layoffs, but in less than a year we’ve gone from having customers lined up at the door, with projects booked almost year in advance, to being worried about having enough to do for the next three months. Plus several big customers in our London office have gone bankrupt, and so large projects we did for them will never be paid for.

And we haven’t seen the worst yet.

Reagan’s Revenge

Pray for our Republic. She’s being placed in … very greedy hands.

Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, on the bailout

George W. Bush just signed the largest government intervention of the free market since the Great Depression, freeing up the better part of a trillion tax payer dollars for injection into large, private corporations.

I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do. It seems to me that the core problem is people defaulting on their mortgages, and so the way to keep things from getting worse would be to help them stay in their homes. Read More →

The Nobama Machine

My window into American politics in almost exclusively limited to the web, and what I see is depressing. I know that the US is full of smart and reasonable people, but the unreasonable ones are the loudest. The forces of the right are in full swing, trying to tear Obama down. There’s an array of anti-Obama images and cute little memes floating around, but none of them address any issues. Read More →

Crying over taxes, conservative style

Sharing the planet with people that don’t want to pay taxes is like living with roommates that don’t want to pay their share of the rent. It never ceases to amaze me how many cry-babies there are out there that just can’t stand the fact that they’re expected to help pay the bills.

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The price of denial

Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.
- Douglas Adams

Apparently congress just voted to stop replenishing the massive federal petroleum reserve just to save drivers 3 to 5 cents a gallon. And, in a blatant attempt to bribe voters, Hillary and McCain are talking about a “gas-tax holiday” which would temporarily (like 60 days) cut the price by a whopping 18 cents a gallon.

It’s quite a shock, whenever I’m in the US, to spend $60 or $80 to fill up whatever car I’ve borrowed, but we all knew this day was coming. I remember the gas crisis in 1979 well (even though I was just ten). In school they told us that in a few years it would be impossible to buy a car that got less than 100 miles per gallon, and that by the time we were adults, we’d all be driving solar-powered cars.

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Welcome! But don’t take your coat off

There’s an election on Tuesday, and Copenhagen is plastered with campaign posters. Many of these posters are targets of…umm… creative alteration, but none more so than the Dansk Folkeparti posters. In fact it’s rare to see one that hasn’t been somehow abused. Apparently the vandalism is so widespread that the party had to replace most or all of them. If they did, I certainly didn’t notice, probably because the vandals quickly soiled the new ones.


I have mixed feelings about this vandalism. On the one hand there should be freedom of speech, and a party should be able to run for office without having posters that they pay for ruined. On the other hand, it’s pretty funny.

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Dansk Folkeparti

There is an ultra-conservative party in Denmark called Dansk Folkeparti, or “Danish People’s party”. Their primary concern is the Muslim population — mostly focusing on keeping them out. This party was co-founded by Pia Kjærsgaard (that’s her in the poster), who is… notoriously hardcore. Here’s an ad for the party.

Dansk FolkepartiDansk Folkeparti

These are both in Nørreport station. The second has creatively altered by, no doubt, some of the many Danes that are embarrassed by the party. The poster says, “Solidarity – we stand firm for our Danish values”, but the quotes from party members reveal a bit more than just protecting values. In fact several party individuals have been taken to court for making racist comments. Here’s a classic Dansk Folkeparti quote:

“We know the problem lies in those Muslim groups that come from the Middle East, and that other immigrant groups are harmless. So if Denmark shall not lock itself in totally, we have to distinguish between ethnic and religious groups. In fact I mean simply Muslims from all countries and not just in the Middle East.”

There are more quotes here.

There’s also a pretty good description of the Danish immigration issue as seen from an American perspective here. Here’s an excerpt:

“As an American, I tend to look at immigration as a long-term phenomenon. We’ve been through it repeatedly. Danes have not. They’re anxious. DF represents the sharpest and ugliest articulation of their anxieties.”

Things I don’t understand about Bush supporters

I’ve tried, really tried to understand the logic of Bush supporters. It isn’t easy, but I do have friends that support Bush, and we’ve talked about it. Unfortunately I’m still at a loss, so all I can do is catalog the things I don’t understand. I know that the tide has turned (dramatically) but that is mostly due to the war in Iraq. There are so many other things that should bother them about this administration as well. Here’s my list of things I still don’t understand:

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