Not So Isolated

Friday, December 9th, 2011

It’s the make-or-break EU summit, going on now within the cavernous Justus Lipsius European Council building in the Brussels European Quarter. Will what issues from this conference be enough to save the euro?

The answer to that remains up in the air, as the summit continues into the weekend. What we do already know, however, is that an important split has occurred within the EU, resulting from the failure of German Chancellor Merkel and French President Sarkozy to have accepted by all 27 member-states their proposals for greater national budget control and coordination. Now the action on that front has shifted to the group of 17 member-states who actually use the euro.

The excellent “Charlemagne” commentator from the Economist has already termed this development Europe’s great divorce, in an article (in English, of course) featuring at its head a picture of the defiant-looking British PM David Cameron pointing an aggressive finger towards the camera. And indeed, this one and many other press reports from the summit would have their readers believe that the UK is isolated in its stand of resistance against those “Merkozy” proposals for greater EU power over national budgets. That is certainly also the message from the authoritative German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, where an analytical piece from Michael König is rather dramatically entitled Bulldog Cameron bites the British into isolation.

But such observers should be careful about rushing into any over-hasty conclusions. They should remember that a number of other member-states share an attitude towards the EU rather closer to that of the UK than Germany or France. The Czech Republic, for instance:

iDnes: Klaus a Telička schvalují rozvážnost v Bruselu, ČSSD varuje před izolací: Prezident Václav Klaus označil … http://t.co/Qh043Qmm

@Zpravy

Zpravy


(more…)

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Denmark Looks On In Horror

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Some reactions from the Danish press to the Oslo bombing/Utøya massacre:

  • Here’s your connection between the two episodes: As Jyllands-Posten reports, the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who barely escaped injury in the capital, was scheduled today to be on Utøya to address the young people there at what was after all a summer camp run by the Labor Party, of which Stoltenberg is the head. (That article also has at the top a brief video giving a helicopter-view of the island itself – and of some swimmers desperately trying to get away from it.)
  • Another Danish mainstream paper, Berlingske, wields the obvious parallel: A Norwegian Timothy McVeigh. It quotes a few experts who maintain that the likelihood for violent incidents of this kind should have been apparent from extreme-right literature, imagining future race-wars and the like, that has been circulating in Scandinavia for a while. And it examines the alleged shooter’s social media trail and unearths his self-description as a conservative Christian fed up with the Norwegian Church’s hyper-modernism, wanting it to get “back to basics.” Right, back to Jesus and his disciples, presumably – a notorious gang of killers . . .
  • As for a Christian Danish paper, namely the Kristeligt Dagblad . . . well, they get it wrong. Very wrong. Their on-line article Here is why Norway became a target for terror, datelined today (Saturday, 23 June 2011), goes on and on about why Norway is logically a target for Muslim extremists, even as the caption to the picture up top mentions the arrest of “a 32-year-old strongly nationalistic man.” It’s hardly the only media outlet to fall into this trap – frankly, I was hearing a lot about “Muslim terror” on the BBC World Service during its initial coverage – but that’s no excuse. Don’t be surprised if the article is gone, or at least heavily modified, should you decide to click through to see it.

Finally, back on a somewhat lighter note, Prince was actually supposed to play Oslo today and tomorrow, in concerts that had long been sold out, reports Berlingske. Obviously, those can’t go ahead just now, but these performances are merely postponed, not canceled, and also not by much: just two weeks to 2 & 3 August. The Purple One might well be advised to avoid Controversy and bring along no Chaos & Disorder.

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Latest Danish Super-Bridge

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Denmark (see the adjoining map, click to enlarge) is very much, if not exclusively, an island-nation. And Denmark remains quite prosperous as well, having so far weathered the financial crises and “Great Recession” of the past few years with aplomb. These two facts have combined to produce a wave of bridge-building projects over the past fifteen years or so – after all, if there’s plenty of government money, why not use some of it to ease inter-island communications? First the Danish authorities built the Great Belt Bridge (almost 7 km long) connecting the island of Fyn with that of Sjælland (where Copenhagen is situated) in 1998. (On the map, it’s in the middle, linking up “Nyborg” on the left/West with “Korsør” on the right/East.) Then in 2000 the Øresund Bridge (almost 8km long) was opened connecting Copenhagen with the Swedish mainland city of Malmö.

The next project will be creating a link ultimately to connect Copenhagen with Hamburg, one that crosses that strait you see there at bottom labeled “Fehmarn Bælt” between the Danish Rødby Havn (North) and the German Puttgarden (South). Right now a couple of commercial ferries serve cars, trains, bicycles and pedestrians for crossing that distance of about 18.6km in about 45 minutes. But that is increasingly not good enough for the requirements of 2010, at least in the eyes of the Danish Transport Ministry which has taken over the project’s leadership – supervised, of course, by the Danish legislature, or Folketing. (more…)

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2 Out of 3 Iraqis Intend to Vote

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Don’t look now, but there is another big election coming up in Iraq soon, on Sunday, 7 March to be exact. It’s the second nationwide election for that new democracy since the fall of Saddam Hussein, and of course it will determine whether Nouri al-Maliki gets to stay in charge as premier.

Come to think of it, maybe you did have some inkling that something like that was about to happen, from the recent disputes you may have heard about involving attempts by the current government to disallow certain religious/political groups from standing as candidates. But this article from the Ritzau news agency in the Danish Christian newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad deals instead with the results of a recent poll among eligible Iraqi voters undertaken for the government by the Iraqi National Media Center. A total of 63% across the sample stated to the pollsters that they intended to vote. This compares unfavorably with the 79.6% that we do know turned out to vote at that first free-and-fair national election, back in 2005. The poll’s results broke down further to show that Kurds and Shi’ites revealed themselves to be rather more ready to make it to the polls on 7 March than did Sunnis.

Whoever wrote this brief piece’s headline – whether it was the Ritzau agency or the Kristeligt Dagblad – clearly showed displeasure at this news by making it read “Only two out of three Iraqis want to vote.” But wait: Infoplease tells us that only 56.8% of American voters turned out to the polls even back in November, 2008 to either elect or try to stop Obama as president! In that light, 63% looks pretty good! Then again, you can still understand the tenor of that Danish reporting when you keep in mind that Danish voter participation is always pretty high: this Wikipedia article puts it at usually around 87%.

UPDATE: If you want further confirmation that things are really going rather OK in Iraq, here’s a guest blog-post, in English, on the Foreign Policy site from someone who definitely knows what he’s talking about. Hey, 63% – those Iraqis are simply getting more American every day, that’s all!

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Unsuccessful New Year’s Assault on Danish Cartoonist

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

Somalia_Islamic_Courts_Flag.svgThe US had its failed terror attack on Christmas Day (occuring in the skies around Detroit, if the festive season has kept you from paying attention). Now Denmark has its own such incident, for New Year’s: a Danish-speaking man of Somali origin was shot and arrested yesterday evening as, armed with an axe and a knife, he broke into the house near the city of Aarhus of Kurt Westergaard, one of the Danish cartoonists who, with their drawn interpretations of the prophet Mohammed, raised the ire of the Muslim world starting in late 2005.

Naturally, this is the subject of extensive coverage today in the Danish press. This includes the Danish news agency Ritzau so that, as is usual with a major Danish story, identical articles attributed to that agency make up the core coverage of most on-line papers, supplemented here and there by original in-house reporting. (more…)

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Obama’s Peace Prize: Danish Reaction

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Let’s take a quick look at what they’re saying in the Danish press about the awarding today to President Barack Obama of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize – “Danish” because that is as close as I can come linguistically to the Swedish deliberations behind its awarding (and the Norwegian arrangements for the conferring ceremony on December 10).

– From the Danish Christian newspaper, Kristeligt Dagblad (Obama gives Nobel money to a good cause): Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama intends to give the 10 million Swedish kroner prize-money to a good cause, which he has not yet had time to specifically identify, according to a White House spokesman. He will also travel to Oslo on December 10 to accept the award there; Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg has already discussed this with him. Ah, but you may also be asking: How will this sudden new Scandinavian appointment affect the US president’s involvement at the UN’s climate-change conference in Copenhagen which will be going on at the same time? According to this report, it does not necessarily increase the chances that Obama will actually decide to attend that climate change conference.

(Note: This is a report from the Ritzau news agency, so the identical text appears in several other Danish newspapers as well. But in one of those we get the added detail that the “expert” behind the above calculation that Obama’s appointment in Oslo in December won’t necessary mean he shows up for the climate conference in Copenhagen – which, by the way, I don’t believe for a second – is namely Aarhus University Professor of Contemporary History Thorsten Borring Olesen.)

– The daily Berlingske Tidende offers some commentary in one article (Obama: Both a certain and a controversial choice), but doesn’t bother to credit the journalist(s) involved. Anyway: Awarding the prize to Obama was certain (sikkert): he is popular everywhere on this Earth, the nearest thing to every man’s friend. Awarding the prize to Obama was, however, controversial: Obama has been all about promises so far, not results. Maybe the Nobel committee was impressed with the resolution calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons that he managed to have the UN Security Council pass a few weeks ago while he functioned as its Chairman – on the other hand, in reality none of the nuclear powers, including the US, has done anything to fulfill the promise they made to the rest of the world at the time of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, back in 1968, that they would work to reduce and then eliminiate their nuclear arsenals, in exchange for that rest of the world giving up any idea of developing nuclear weapons of their own. Or perhaps it’s about his efforts to counteract climate change, or to shut Guantánamo – except, again, there actually hasn’t been tangible progress in these areas, either. No, the purposes the Nobel committee had in giving this prize to the President was both to give him “a tremendous moral pat on the shoulder” and to pointedly remind other countries (the exact Danish phrase is “hint with a wagon-pole”) that the American president is going to need some help from them if what he has promised is going to come true – so that that Nobel committee doesn’t find itself embarrassed a few years down the road at what it did today.

– The preeminent Danish opinion weekly, Information hasn’t yet gotten around to providing its own judgment or study of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama. For now, it presents an analysis (again from Ritzau) from Prof. Peter Viggo Jacobsen, of the Copenhagen University Social Sciences Faculty (Obama is a highly surprising choice). Along with about a billion other people around the world, he interprets the prize as being awarded in anticipation of future achievements, not of past accomplishments since “he has not been able yet to carry out anything at all.” Further Jacobsen:

Normally there should be more then words [behind the award]. There should also be some action. And action is what we haven’t seen much of yet. This has to be in anticipation of something later, that the [Nobel] committee believes that he is capable of realizing some of the good intentions he has.

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Further Jibes in the Clinton/North Korea Spat

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made use of her recent visit to the ASEAN conference (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in Phuket, Thailand, to put further pressure on North Korea by basically subjecting them to a bit of ridicule from the podium there. She claimed that “[t]hey have no friends left,” and compared them to an unruly child misbehaving just to attract attention.

Some bloggers dismissed Clinton’s remarks as basically just more “ugly American-ism,” but North Korea came right back with a ridiculing statement of its own. The New York Times has a good account of the exchange, in which that North Korean reply included the rather undiplomatic wisecrack “We cannot but regard Mrs .Clinton as a funny lady as she likes to utter such rhetoric, unaware of the elementary etiquette in the international community. Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping.”

Oooooh – those Korean Commies hit back low! But there’s more, picked up (oddly enough) by the Danish Christian newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad (but sourced to the Danish news agency Ritzau). According to this report, a North Korean spokesman accused Clinton of supplying “a wave of vulgar remarks that are unbecoming for a person in her position . . . her words suggest that she is in no way intelligent.”

Take that, Hillary! I’m sure she can handle it, though; she’s been called worse (including a murderer, back in the previous decade, you might recall). The fact is, this is probably not unbecoming Secretary Clinton, or anyone else serving in her position, because the situation with North Korea unfortunately calls now for getting nasty with that country, without going so far as war. In such situations, the truly skilled diplomat knows how to get properly un-diplomatic. This is by no means ugly-American-type condescension at all.

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Obama’s Church Choice Still Pending

Monday, July 13th, 2009

It’s not quite yet summer vacation-time for President Obama, so the world media’s attention continues to track his activities in detail as he undertakes his trips to Europe and Africa and deals back home with important issues like the economy and health care. Presumably once he does take his family off for a spell at Martha’s Vineyard the press will issue their usual analyses of the deeper implications of where specifically he chooses to stay while there, whom he’ll specifically be spending time with, his choice of pastimes, etc., and then maybe back off and leave him alone for the rest of his visit.

Until then, his actions are out there, free to analyze according to whatever ideological leanings one might hold. Those of the Danish newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad, for example, are clear: Denmark and Christianity (especially the Danish flavor of state-Lutheranism). Obama has had little to do with Denmark lately, but the question of which church he intends to make his and his family’s own during their four-/eight-year stay in Washington is still open, and so it is to this subject that that newspaper’s correspondent Marie Louise Bruun Jørgensen recently turned (Obama considers various churches).

“We are still figuring out how to approach the choice of a church for when we are here in Washington, D.C.” is what Obama said while meeting with Catholic journalists just prior to his overseas trip last week, which of course included an audience with Pope Benedict XVI. (He more-or-less said that: keep in mind that that is my own translation back into English of Obama’s original remarks which were translated into Danish for the KD’s readers.) An early favorite, though, seems to be Evergreen Chapel, which is not in Washington at all but rather in the vicinity of the Camp David presidential retreat, where he was impressed by the the sermon he heard while on a visit there. Of course, Evergreen’s true appeal might lie closer to that characteristic marketing textbooks always define as the most vital for retail success: “Location, location, location!”

This also raises the prospect, however, that the President is contemplating spending most of his free weekends over at that Maryland-mountains retreat. People can evaluate whether that would be a good thing or not – and they will, in print, on the air, etc. – but that is also not yet a firm decision, so that Washington churches are still in the running. “And I believe that we’ll come to a decision in the course of the fall or winter,” Obama further informed the journalists. “Maybe we’ll choose to attend several different churches rather than choose one single one.”

UPDATE: For what it’s worth, Justin Webb is unequivocal on this subject: “THE MAN IS A QUAKER” – he just doesn’t know it yet. Okaaay . . . well, Webb might conceivably know what he is talking about, after all for years he has been “North America editor” for the BBC.

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Does God Hate Women?

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

That’s the title of a book, by Jeremy Stangroom and Ophelia Benson, due to be published this week, in English, by the London-based academic publishing company Continuum. Spoiler alert: the authors conclude that the answer must be “Yes,” since according to their analysis most of the world’s major religions are anti-women.

So far, so provocative, but the explosive element in this mixture – as you might expect – is the inclusion of Islam in this scrutiny. In fact, an examination of Islam’s attitude towards women, and the Prophet Mohammed’s in particular, makes up a large part of the book. This raises the prospect of another worldwide boiling-over of Muslim rage in reaction, such as that which followed the publication in late 2005 of the infamous “Danish cartoons” and the earlier release, in 1988, of The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie. Interestingly, I don’t see any treatment of the new book anywhere in the Danish press – save in an article by Tobias Stern Johansen (New book: Prophet Mohammend was misogynistic) in the Danish Christian newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad.

But yes, even in Johansen’s brief treatment there is plenty of inflammatory material about Islam forthcoming in Stangroom and Benson’s book. It examines especially closely the Prophet’s relations with his third wife, Aisha, who reportedly was only nine years old when they married, and goes on to report modern-day incidents of supposed contempt by Islam towards woman such as the infamous girls’ school fire of 2002 in Saudi Arabia, when the students were not allowed by the religious police to flee a burning building because they could not do so while continuing to keep their entire bodies covered in public, as religious law demands. Johansen’s piece does also include a link to the fuller treatment of the book’s publication in the London Times, including a more-thorough description of how Continuum knows that it is courting the usual threats and danger by publishing it, but is determined to go ahead and do so anyway.

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Aaaaaaaapril Foooooool!

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

It has been a particular challenge going through the Danish press today: they seem especially gripped by (to coin a new term) “April-Fool-itis,” that is, celebrating this April 1 by planting remarkable “news” stories that turn out just to be a joke. Even if one is inclined to look favorably on the practice (e.g. as an amusing change-of-pace from the pedestrian nature of most news during the other 364 days of the year), Danish newspaper practice unfortunately waters it down substantially through the practice of frequently running the same articles from the Danish news-agency Ritzau in several of the papers at the same time. This naturally reduces substantially the amount of truly-original (as opposed to “echoed from Ritzau”) material. (Dutch papers also have this problem, i.e. of too many papers too often publishing the same article, by the way.)

Still, there are a handful of original joke-articles out there. But then the next problem arises, i.e. that the humor is too tied-in to the Danish cultural and/or political context to raise any laughs outside of the country. Anyway, let’s go looking for these jokes-articles and you can decide this for yourself. This exercise will also be valuable as a means to “innoculate” you against these tongue-in-cheek news-tales in case you later run across them within a context elsewhere that presents them to you as real. (more…)

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Denmark: US Now Has Own Cartoon Controversy

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

monkeyYou’ve heard by now of the kerfluffle over the cartoon published earlier this week by the New York Post (reproduced here for your convenience)? Although clearly inspired by the news story of a day before about how police in Connecticut had to shoot down a rampant chimpanzee, some prominent American public figures interpreted it as a reference to President Obama. Al Sharpton (of course) stepped up to call the drawing “troubling at best” and later, at a protest-rally, termed the Post “a racist rag sheet”; famed director Spike Lee announced his own boycott of the paper and called for others to join him.

The Danish press picked up the story as well, or actually their common press agency Ritzau did, since an identically-worded piece ran in Berlingske Tidende and in the religious paper Kristeligt Dagblad. Their take? That the US now has its own cartoon crisis to deal with! That is even in the Berlingske Tidende headline: “USA gets its own cartoon-affair,” and the very first sentences (after the lede) in the common news-piece is “It is not directed against Muslims in this case, but against African-Americans. That is what angry black representatives say about a caricature-drawing that was carried yesterday in the tabloid-paper New York Post.” The article then just goes on first to describe the circumstances of the cartoon’s publication and then to list complaints against it along with an (abbreviated) response from Post editor-in-chief Col Allen. Of course, it’s actually doubtful that those “angry black representatives” really included in their statements any caveat about the cartoon not having anything to do with Muslims.

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No Chicken Little Here

Monday, February 9th, 2009

I’d like to mention today this article I found on-line in the Danish Christian newspaper, Kristeligt Dagblad, entitled While we wait for catastrophe . . .

That’s right, after that attempt to find some humor last time – Somali piracy = “defense of food for Somali children,” ha-ha anybody? – we’re back now to some more doom-and-gloom. But at least this is unexpected and even interesting doom-and-gloom (I hope), for here the presumably Christian staff-writer for the Kristeligt Dagblad, Lars Henriksen, has a little surprise in store for us coming straight out of Heaven: an asteroid!

Yes, adding to everything else we all have to worry about these days, this article discusses the prospect of the Earth being hit by a high-speed humongous rock from space. After all, this has happened before; some scientists now think such an impact, occurring about 65 million years ago, was what wiped out the dinosaurs as well as leaving a crater in Mexico 900 meters deep and 180 kilometers wide. It even happened again a little over 100 years ago, when Siberia was hit in 1908 by a 50-meter-wide asteroid which devastated 2,000 square kilometers of woodland. “Experts” quoted by Henriksen estimate that there is a 10% chance of something like that happening again within this century, and naturally there is no way to ensure that it would again occur in a relatively depopulated area.

But there is also a silver-lining to report here, of a sort, namely that the University of Hawaii put into operation last December a new telescope designed to locate those asteroids in the Earth’s general neighborhood which are greater than a kilometer in diameter. (There are said to be about 1,000 of these; remember the devastation that that mere fifty-meter rock wrought in Siberia.) And it is now building a further three telescopes – cost: $100 million, but these days that doesn’t matter if it creates jobs – which, collectively with that first one, should be able to keep track of all but the very-smallest.

Then the question arises of what do we do if/when these telescopes one day detect some asteroid coming on a collision-course. (more…)

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Black Entropa

Friday, January 16th, 2009

The funniest sort of scandal erupted this past week in Brussels, in connection with the brand-new (and first-time) Czech presidency of the European Union. Have you heard of this? The New York Times has its account here. It had to do with a huge sculpture that the Czech government commissioned for erection at the building that houses the European Council, one that – as you would expect – was supposed to reflect in some way upon on the EU and its member-states. But the Czechs made a key mistake in entrusting the task to the (Czech) artist David Černý. As the sculpture was set up over the weekend, for completion by Monday, it soon became clear that there was something very wrong; by the time the dedication ceremony was supposed to happen on Thursday, yesterday (and it did), controversy was flying thick and fast.

What were the Czech authorities in charge of EU relations thinking? Černý, after all (whose last name simply means “black”), has always been notorious, it’s accurate to say, rather than just “famous” within the Czech cultural world, bursting onto that scene in 1991 by painting the tank constituting a Soviet war-memorial in Prague a shocking pink color in one daring night-time raid. Although he was briefly arrested for that, that pink tank became a metaphor for the wacky, world-turned-upside down ambiance of the Czech Republic, and Prague in particular, in the years immediately after the 1989 “Velvet Revolution.” Barely pausing to catch his breath, Černý went on to produce a series of additional eye-catching works of sculpture, a few of which you can appreciate on his Wikipedia page. Those “tower babies,” for example: you can pick them out crawling all over the gigantic TV tower, itself located in the Prague 3 district, from much of the rest of the city. And that “riding a dead horse” statue is mighty big and impressive in its own right – look for it at the internal shopping-and-movie-theater-area located within the Lucerna building at the corner of Wenceslas Square and Vodičkova Street (a magnificent building once owned by Václav Havel himself, built by his father – also named Václav Havel). (more…)

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Devils! Witches! Ghosts! Oh My!

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

We’re coming fast into the holiday season now, namely to Christmas, that highpoint of the Christian religious year. This is as good a motivation as any for the appearance in the European press of another one of those “check out those Americans and their crazy religious beliefs!” articles, and the Danish press duly delivers one: More believe in angels than in Darwin. This one keys in on a recent poll of 2,126 Americans by Harris Interactive that purports to show that only 47% of those surveyed believe in evolution, while 75% believe in miracles, 71% in angels, 59% in the Devil, 62% in Hell, and so on. That Danish article even has a handy column over on the right side (Hvor mange amerikanere tror på … ? = “How many Americans believe in . . .?”) summarizing the percentage of believers which this poll revealed for a variety of topics (e.g. God, heaven, etc.), although those unfamiliar with Danish will probably prefer to repair to that Harris Interactive webpage where the data is broken down into more extensive tables (e.g. that include “Not sure” responses) and everything is in English.

So this is just another one of those snide columns that let Europeans make fun of their cousins over on the west side of the Atlantic, right? Well, not exactly: those industrious readers who already bothered to click on my link above to the original Danish article will have seen that the publication in question in which it appears is the Kristeligt Dagblad, which is a Danish Christian newspaper. Since this is still European culture we’re talking about here, you would have to assume that a similar poll taken among that newspaper’s readers would show rather more confidence in Darwin’s theory of evolution, and rather less in angels, the virgin birth, witches, etc. Yet also among the subjects raised in that Harris Interactive poll for thumbs-up or thumbs-down were such concepts as God, Jesus as God or the Son of God, and Jesus’ resurrection – notions that after all form the core of the Christian belief that one can assume is shared by the majority of the Kristeligt Dagblad’s readers.

So no, this particular article is not one of those “mock-the-Americans” pieces. It is rather something considerably more ambiguous – and anyone is fully justified if they look at it and then wonder, “Well, what is the difference from the percentages of Kristeligt Dagblad readers who believe in these things?”

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Longest – and Dirtiest? – Campaign Ever

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Tired of all the US election news? (“Obama, McCain, Obama, Palin, William Ayers, Rashid Khalidi . . .” and on and on.) Well, today is the day before Election Day 2008: here at EuroSavant I just can’t stop now – and you can be quite sure that I’ll be monitoring foreign coverage of the results later this week as well. Just be patient, all of this will soon pass . . .

In the meantime, you have the occasional foreign article about the US elections that you rather wish did not have to be there, like what we see today in the main Czech daily Mladá fronta dnes: You’ll be arrested at the polls, leaflets mislead American voters. The lede:

In the last hours before the presidential elections American voters are being flooded with dirty tricks. Misleading e-mails go to Americans, disquieting telephone calls occur, and people find under their doors slanderous pamphlets. Their purpose is to dissuade people from voting, to mislead and confuse them. A part of these tricks this year have a racist flavor due to Barack Obama’s dark skin.

The article (no by-line given) proceeds to give a pretty good list of the various don’t-get-out-the-vote schemes that have been uncovered so far; some of them I hadn’t even heard of yet. (more…)

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