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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You named her WHAT?

In Denmark you cannot name your children anything you want. Well, you can, but the government will reject the birth paperwork if the name is too exotic or silly.
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Ghost Ship


Apparently a Russian shipping company went out of business or something, while a ship, The Alexa, was out at sea. The crew ran out of supplies and fuel in Iceland, but someone there gave them enough supplies to get back to Europe. They made it to the channel between Denmark and Sweden, put out the anchor, and abandoned ship. That was on July 13th, and it’s been there ever since. The Danish government has put a lien on the ship to insure that the shipping company pay the crew before they can reclaim the ship. General consensus is that it’ll be a twelve to eighteen months before the ship gets hauled off, but a recent storm moved the ship about 800 meters! (That’s half a mile!)

It’s a huge ship, which looms quite impressively even at a good distance.

Danish Dentistry

new_home_smile.jpgBefore I left the US, I read that to the rest of the world, Americans are “obsessed with dental hygiene”. I guess that’s true, given the amount of purely cosmetic work Americans have done. Some of it is really foolhardy. So, I was curious about what the Dentists are like here and…I’ve certainly had the chance to find out.
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How, from where we started, did it come to this?

Ever since 9/11, the neo-cons have tried everything they can to convince everyone that “Islamic Fascists” are the new Nazis — a global threat that every effort must be made to stop. Anyone that disagrees is either naive, or a terrorist sympathizer, or simply a terrorist. Up until now, unfortunately, this tactic has worked, even though it shouldn’t have. There are so many problems with their arguments, many of which have been well documented at this stage. But there’s one point that I haven’t heard anyone else make.

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Parental Figures Visit

Mom and Dad were just here for two weeks. It was really fun to show them around and hear their impressions of where I’ve been living. My apartment is plenty big enough, so we weren’t crowded, and we had enough time to see and do quite a bit despite the fact that I really couldn’t take much time off work.


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More bank strangeness

It wasn’t easy, but I eventually got a “Dankort”, and have been a happy card user ever since. You can use it virtually anywhere (if they don’t take Dankort, then they don’t take plastic at all), and it’s nice to have a log of my purchases. I have no idea where my money went during the cash-phase of my residency in Denmark.

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Sometimes not far enough…

I took a three week vacation to the US in July to see my family. I had a fantastic time, but coming back was rough. There are several reasons for this. One is that three weeks is long enough that it’s almost not a vacation but a temporary relocation. It was weird to leave New Mexico, and weird to come back to Denmark. I wasn’t sure I’d remember how to navigate the Danish transit system or what the PIN is for my Danish ATM card.
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A few oddities…

Apparently bikes fall or are thrown into the canals all the time. Once a year, the police fish them out, notify owners (each Danish bike has a sort of VIN number), and put the unclaimed up for auction. Here’s what a fairly new bike looks at the bottom of the canal, along with a close-up:

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I’m told that if the police ever have reason to pull you over on your bike (no lights after dark, for example) the first thing they’ll do is check a national list of stolen bikes. Bike theft is a problem — my friends had two of their bikes stolen this weekend.
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Sorry, I don’t know Danish

That’s the phrase that I said to people when I first moved here and they’d just spoken to me in Danish. Since then I’ve learned that all I really need to say is “I’m sorry.” In either case the effect is the same — they switch over to English, and we can converse just fine.

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