Democracy, Hit or Myth

In a couple of consecutive posts back in the glory days of December 2021 (“Someone Is Blundering” and “No MAGA Country for Smart Men“), I cited excerpts from an Atlantic article by Anne Applebaum. She’s an old school liberal and the Atlantic has become a woke digest, but I thought the article painted a very…

The Wrong Kind of Unity

Berlingske ran an unusually confusing piece yesterday: The Republican Party’s Showdown with its Putin Wing Finally BeginsKristian Mouritzen, Berlingske.dk, Mar 20 Mouritzen’s signed editorial is mostly an expression of his relief that the “moderates” of the Republican and Democratic parties have wrested control of their parties away from the extremists in their midst: the “Putinists”…

The Curious Case of Carlson

“This was the story of Howard Beale,” announces the narrator at the start of the movie Network, “the first known instance of a man who was killed because he had lousy ratings.” Apparently the only thing more dangerous than lousy ratings is excellent ratings. Tucker Carlson is by far the most popular host on American cable…

A Movie We’ve Seen Before

I wrote last week about my reservations about our apparent strategy of winning a war without fighting a war. Today’s Berlingske has an article that’s kind of an update on that theme: Now the West wants to hit Russia on oil and gas: “They have a hard time retaliating”Emil Eller, Berlingske.dk, Mar 9 The article begins…

Mikkel Danielsen Accuses the American Right of “Flirting with Putin”

With everything going on in the world, Berlingske’s leftist lickspittle in America and his editorial handlers have decided it’s never out of tune with the times to sling a little mud at the American right. The stars of the American right wing flirted with Putin—suddenly that got dangerousMikkel Danielsen, Berlingske.dk, Feb 26 Danielsen has been…

Why Are We So Stupid?

There’s no law saying we have to be stupid but apparently no such law is required. We can’t help ourselves. Putin has his hand on the tap, and now Europe is becoming even more dependent on his gasSimon Kruse, Berlingske.dk, Jan 27 For years, European countries have been talking about dependence on Russian gas, and…

Denmark’s Healthy 2020

Have a look at this chart (it’s not important if you can’t read the texts): That’s courtesy of Berlingske, where journliast Philip Sune Dam continues to do yeoman’s work in trying to dig to the heart of Denmark’s actual covid numbers, as distinct from those reported by the government. What you’re looking at is a…

Surfin’ USA

Mads Fuglede is a member of the Danish parliament for the (ostensibly) right-of-center Venstre party. On Sunday he penned an opinion piece for the (ostensibly) right-of-center Berlingske Tidende. In his byline, Berlingske identified him not only as a member of parliament, but also a “U.S. Analyst.” A right-of-center reader of this right-of-center publication might have…

Strange Tango

An editorial in today’s Berlingske, signed by Pierre Collignon, is unusually sensible. Entitled “The west hasn’t lost yet. Let’s wait a little before selling out,” the editorial takes exception to the “realists” and “pragmatists” suggesting that the western powers—the US, the EU, NATO—should promise Russia that Ukraine will never be granted membership in the EU…

Joe Biden’s Assault on Democracy

Let’s play the game by the same set of rules being used by Joe Biden. Any tactic he’s allowed to use, we’re allowed to use. Whatever heights of hyperbole he soars to, we’ll fly right alongside him. Whatever depths of mud and slime he’s willing plumb, we’ll wallow in it. You’ve been warned. Joe Biden…

Journalisming

Ladies and gentleman, the balanced Danish media: Do you remember the pictures? A year ago wild and angry Trump supporters stormed the American capitolAngelica Schou-Petersen, DR.dk, Jan 6 One year after the attack on America’s democracy: what’s happened since the storming of the capitol?Lillian Gjerulf Kretz, DR.dk, Jan 6 Trump’s people have put a large-scale…

On Knowing What We Know We Don’t Know

Writing about temptation, C.S. Lewis observed that “you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down.” Lewis was debunking the stupid but popular notion that good people don’t know…

Misleadership

According to DR, Statens Serum Institut (SSI) has promised “more precise numbers” for corona admissions after the New Year. The added precision will come in the form of a distinction between inpatient admissions of patients due to corona and admissions of patients with corona. “More precise,” in this case, appears to mean “correct.” SSI is…

On Counting

I count things. As stupid as it sounds, counting things has been a big part of every job I’ve had since the early 1990s. That’s more than thirty years of counting for a living. (Or at least a big part of my living.) I’ve counted many different things across a lot of very different industries,…

Gell-Mann Amnesia on Pilestræde

I’ve talked about the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect before (here, for example), but allow me to restate Michael Crichton’s elegant observation so we all have it top of mind: The Gell-Mann Amnesia effect describes the phenomenon of reading an article about a subject you know quite well and realizing it’s got everything wrong—then continuing to read…

Boo Who

Berlingske had a big headline on their website today: “Trump hit a sore spot among his supporters—and was met with boos.” It was the only major American story on the front page so it’s presumably the most notable American story of the moment. And maybe it is. It must be. It starts with Trump and…

A Soldier, a Cougar, and Some Numbers

Soldierly Language DR followed up on yesterday’s widely-run wire story about Swedish conscripts being sent home to recover from “rough treatment” with a little more depth later in the day. It doesn’t really add to or change the original story, or affect my initial reaction, but there was a bit more detail in one respect:…

No MAGA Country for Smart Men

I lived six years of my life in Chicago. I have many friends who still live there. I have some family there. It’s a one-party town. Has been forever. The last Republican mayor of Chicago left office in 1931. There are a few Chicago precincts in which Donald Trump outpolled Joe Biden in 2020—the Dread…

Someone is blundering

Apart from a few articles about the Biden-Putin video conference the other day, most of them pretty matter-of-fact recitations of the White House and Kremlin versions of the conversation, Danish media has been very light on American political news lately. I’ll cut the Danish media some slack on this: there’s enough going on closer to…