Shiny Happy People

A little over a month ago Danes voted largely in favor of the status quo. The status quo therefore remains in effect. Good and hard. Thousands of homeowners are struggling to pay bills – banks have never seen anything like itSabina Louise Nesheim, TV2 News, December 5 There’s nothing new about our financial conditions in…

The sweet wine of sour grapes

This post is mostly (but not entirely) about small things. Trivial, even. I subscribe to the “Morning Briefing” email of the New York Times. It hits my inbox at around 7:00 weekday mornings, which I find impressive—that’s 1:00 in the morning, New York time. That’s the only impressive thing about it. Otherwise, its only real…

Darkness Descends

Danish winters are surprisingly mild, weather-wise. I grew up in New York and New England, spent two college years in Pittsburgh, and lived five years in both Chicago and New York City. I know how cruel winter can be. Danish winters aren’t cruel. But they’re dark and they’re gloomy. On days like today, when the…

Big Problems

First things first: I’m not gonna lie to you—that’s what my journal’s for—the American midterms pissed me off.  Conditions could not have been much better for Republicans to take a huge majority in the House and a safe majority in the Senate, thereby putting a brake on the Democrats’ insane agenda.  They did neither.  As…

Not hyperbole: Berlingske hates American conservatives and wants Danes to hate them, too

This morning—not much more than 24 hours before polling places open in America—Berlingske published a signed editorial entitled “Berlingske believes: The USA is in a death-spiral of mistrust.” There’s plenty of empirical data to support that premise.  I touched on a lot of it yesterday and on Friday. Berlingske’s lede states things pretty plainly: The United…

DR: Here’s how to misinterpret America, Americans, and the midterms

AUDIO NOTE: It’s a long post, today, and therefore a long audio. To save myself some time I did most of it in one take. It’s therefore bubbling over with mispronunciations, self-corrections, improvised riffs, and random musings that aren’t found in the text below. So it’s messy but fun. All you lurkers who come around…

Democracy on the ballot?

Joe Biden’s still out there telling Americans that Republicans are a threat to democracy.  President Joe Biden warned in a speech on Wednesday that the country’s democracy was dangerously close to crumbling, painting the closing stretch of the midterm elections in stark terms. “In our bones,” the president declared at one point, “we know democracy is…

Game Over: Danes Vote for the Status Quo

The Danish election was held yesterday. It looks at this point as though for all the drama and intrigue, for all the weirdness and confusion, for all the gains of some parties and all the losses of some others, nothing has actually changed: we’ll still have a red bloc (leftist) government with Mette Frederiksen as…

THE MODERATOR

The rise of the new Moderates (Moderaterne) party in Danish politics is a phenomenon worthy of examination by the citizens of every western republic currently experiencing high polarization—which is probably everywhere. As a public service to all self-governing citizens of the western world, I’ve managed to wrangle an interview with the man behind the movement:…

She said the name of you-know-who, so they had to you-know-what her

A funny thing happened to Pernille Vermund on the way to the Danish election: Facebook blocked her ability to do live streams or to advertize on their platform. Vermund is the party leader for Nye Borgerlige—literally “the New Bourgeois”—one of the right-of-center parties in Denmark that’s spent most of this election cycle in a circling…

The center cannot hold—can it?

The forthcoming Danish election is sucking up most of the oxygen in the Danish press these days, for obvious reasons. I haven’t been giving the election a corresponding level of attention in this blog because first of all this isn’t a blog about Danish politics per se, and secondly because the vast majority of readers…

The High Priests demand more sacrifices

There’s a small but telling news item in DR today: Social Democrats propose CO2 tax on agricultureOlivia High, DR.dk, October 16 “Denmark must be an agricultural country—also in the future. But we have to do it in a different way than we do today. There is the primary and most effective tool we can use,…

The Salonists and the Joes

The fault lines and tectonics responsible for the rattling of western civilization can be seen or described as a right-left conflict, a globalist-localist conflict, or a collectivist-individualist conflict.  Each of those perspectives has its merits and its uses, and at one point or other I’ve used each of them, but none of them seems to…

The Importance of Bearing Swag

DR is taking a long, hard look at election swag. Chewing gum, pens, and roses are important in the election campaignMads Juhl, DR.dk, October 13, 2022 The lede elaborates: “Parliamentary candidates hand out thousands of gifts during the election campaign. And ‘the crap works,’ says the expert.” You can hardly avoid bumping into a parliamentary…

When silver linings are fool’s gold

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called the election on Wednesday. It will be held on the first of November. The first party leader debate was televised the evening of Frederiksen’s announcement: there were fourteen party leaders on stage. Not all of them were ready for prime-time. I was unable to watch the full debate, which ran…

Giorgia on their mind

The hot-take out there in the wake of yesterday’s election in Italy seems to be that Europe is turning to the right. (Sweden did it! Italy did it! My god, it’s a pandemic!) I don’t believe any western European electorate ever really turns to the right: they just sometimes turn away from the left long…

Authentic(ish)!

Mikkel Danielsen tried to explain John Fetterman to Danes in yesterday’s Berlingske. The Democrats’ big hope is a middle-aged man in a hoodie and shorts.Worries are now growing about his conditionMikkel Danielsen, Berlingske.dk, Sept 13 Middle-aged men in hoodies and shorts are something I sometimes encounter Sunday afternoons at the dump. You can probably also…

IT’S THE ENERGY, STUPID

Back in 1992 the communications director of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign, James Carville, set up a sign in the campaign’s Little Rock headquarters to keep everyone on message. Among the three bullet points was one that has since become a political cliché in America: “It’s the economy, stupid.” It says something about the American political…

Hatred as a political principle

In covering Liz Cheney’s entirely predictable defeat in Wyoming’s Republican primary, Berlingske offered a telling headline: She became world famous for hating Trump. Now she has lost.Sara Hodzic, Berlingske.dk, August 17 It’s an accurate headline: Liz Cheney, daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney, did indeed become world famous for hating Trump, and she lost her…

The Continuing Relevance of Sovereignty

Some things are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them.—George Orwell (apocryphal) Sovereignty is irrelevant.—Intellectual The new think pieces are here, the new think pieces are here! American professor: The Danish yes is part of a new world orderSolveig Gram Jensen, Berlingske.dk, Jun 2 Yesterday, as expected, Denmark voted overwhelmingly (roughly 2:1) to drop…