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Tillykke med kvalifikationen, Danmark …

Den bedste måde at fejre fodboldslandsholdets succes på er at blive hjemme.

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Congratulations on qualifying for the soccer World Cup, Denmark …

The best way to celebrate the success is to stay home.

I am proud when Denmark is doing well. When an American audience did their best to shout Rune in the US Open match against the tennis giant Novak Djokovic, I got chills. When Denmark is highlighted for its green initiatives, or when the national soccer team qualifies for the World Cup, I beam with pride.

The problem is that the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be held in the state of Qatar, a dictatorship.

And before you say, “Now let’s just enjoy some draft beer and some ´ball and not mix politics into the picture,” then think about your integrity. It is too easy to abdicate responsibility and focus exclusively on one’s own need for entertainment and overlook the strategic interests one thereby supports.

Denmark is usually quite busy telling the rest of the world how amazing our Danish values ​​are. But is there any substance to that if we do not stand up for them when they matter?

I understand, that the easiest thing would be to abdicate all responsibility and without the slightest distaste enjoy the Danish national sport in front of the screen at home or at the nearest sports bar.

There is a lot in the world I would like to close my eyes to. But now that we know what is going on in the host country, we can not just sweep the conditions off with the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s words: “We must separate foreign policy and soccer. And tonight we celebrate soccer, and we will do the same at the World Cup.”

How can we close your eyes and enjoy the game as the Danish football team run around at a stadium that has claimed the lives of thousands of immigrant workers in the construction process? Can one support an event held in a country that does not hold democratic elections and treats girls and women as inferior, lesser beings?

Well, in a little while there will be a Winter Olympics in Beijing, so should we boycott that one, too? Yes, we have to!

Make no mistake. When we say that sporting events such as the World Cup and the Olympics should not be political, then the regimes where these events are held claim the exact opposite. We allow them to show all their bells and whistles to promote their ideology and worldview as we cawe and submit – how does that make our democratic worldview look?

Telling the world how how amazing our Danish values ​​are comes with a responsibility. Those words mean nothing if we do not stand up for them when it truly matters – even if it means we can not follow our beloved sport.

If we can not stand up for who we are and what we represent for something as simple as a sporting event, then it sounds somewhat hollow when we self-righteously tell countries all over the world that they must stand up for democracy and human rights.

(Partly Google Translate)

Hvorfor accepterer vi pædofili?

Så længe vi accepterer, at religioner foretager selvjustits inden for lukkede døre, kommer børn til at betale prisen for samfundets manglende mod.

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Why don´t we stop pedophiles in religious communities?

If we keep accepting that religious communities deal with pedophiles within their own ranks, children will pay the price for society’s lack of courage.

Children cannot always take care of themselves. They have adults for that job. Or so it should be. The problem is that somethimes, we trust the wrong adults. Children who are exposed to pedophiles pay an outrageously high price for that. All too often, religions and sects function as places where sick souls have free range.

We know this all too well, have heard it so often. Things happen on inside of the confessional booth and behind closed church doors that should never happen between adults and children.

The latest scandal is about the Catholic Church in France, where at least 3,000 Catholic priests from 1950 onward till present day have raped and sexually assaulted more than 10,000 children. The report is based on church, trial and police reports as well as interviews with the victims.

Again and again we hear stories of children who have been sexually exploited. We read the structures that allow the abuse to happen. We know about how religions internally have their own mechanisms to avoid getting into the spotlight of the public eye and the media. And the fact that we know it makes us as a society complicit if we do nothing.

The religious systems protect their own, sometimes reprimanding the perpetrators behind closed doors, other times sending the pedophiles around to new churches where they can abuse new victims. I know this because I have seen it with my own eyes within Jehovah’s Witnesses organization, who keep such cases closed and order the parties involved not to share their experiences with anyone – neither with family and friends within the sect nor with authorities, law enforcement or psychologists outside.

Why do we as a society do nothing? Why do we just watch from the sidelines? Yes, yes, of course we are disgusted by what we read and hear, but then we apparently shrug before moving on to reading the next newspaper article. There is such a huge fear of meddling when it comes to stepping into the holy halls, when it comes to questioning what is going on within various denominations. Why do we have a notion that when something happens within closed religious groups, then we can not touch it?

Only cowards do not dare to react to injustices. Power is closely linked to fear, and the fear that the victims of pedophiles experience both during and after the assaults is reinforced when we as a society maintain taboos. We have a duty to not shy away but face this head on and confront the organizations and structures that repeatedly exploit the leeway of these religions.

Politicians have a responsibility to act and enact harsh legislation in relation to what religious practices look like when it comes to dealing with pedophiles behind their closes doors. But instead, out of fear of not respecting various groups’ religious autonomy and freedoms, they turn their backs and hearts to children’s suffering.

(partly Google Translate)

Tre oplevelser har lært mig, at det ikke er altid nemt at træffe det ansvarlige corona-valg

Hvornår melder man afbud, og hvornår vælger man at tage afsted til et arrangement med en lille tvivl i maven?

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Three recent experiences have taught me that making the responsible corona choice is not always easy

When do you cancel, and when do you choose to go to an event with a little doubt in your stomach?

“I’m calling because your son is not feeling well, so please come and pick him up at your earliest convinience.”

That´s the voicemail I received from my son’s after-school program yesterday.

Things are under control in little Denmark. In fact, the country has lifted all of their Corona restrictions. Throughout the pandemic the country has not seen the dreaded pressure on their healthcare system and the population have a pragmatic approach to getting the vaccines. Unfortunately, this is far from the case in the rest of the world.

When I received the message about my son, I was on my way to an outdoor BBQ event. The event was meant to mark the beginning of our first physical meeting in a year and a half for the members of the Advisory Committee I sit on for the Scandinavian Studies Department at the University of Washington in Seattle. I had been looking forward to the freshly caught Alaska salmon on the grill, a cool glass of wine in my hand, and reuniting and conversing with members who, like me, are passionate about promoting Scandinavia in our northwestern corner of the United States. The event was to be held outdoors and it was a requirement that everyone was vaccinated. 

“You have to pick him up and take him straight to the test site,” I told my husband. “Then I’ll try to find rapid tests in the meantime.”

It quickly turned out to be quite impossible to find rapid tests anywhere. After four attempts a some phone calls, I gave up. My online order will arrive in the mail within the next two days. My son’s Corona test results will arrive within 15-48 hours. There is a lot that is different here compared to Denmark…

Maybe my son is just feeling sick because he has not been near other kids for more than a year and is now picking up bacteria. Maybe it’s just a lot to start in school and institution after staying in a house with his parents for so long without any other social stimulus. Maybe he really will test positive for the Corona virus. Maybe, maybe.

So what does one do? Do you cancel the social event that starts in less than an hour, or do you take the chance and bet that the test will come back negative?

A few weeks ago I gathered up enough courage and booked an appointment with a hairdresser. But not just any hairdresser. I asked my friend – who is a nurse and who is super diligent when it comes to being safe, her level of hygiene, etc. – which hairdresser she goes to. When I arrived, the lady was wearing a mask and was sanitizing the chair after her last costumer. “That´s a good sign,” I thought. We started conversing, as one does and I asked her if she had been vaccinated. “No,” was the answer to my great surprise. And for the time being she did not intend to do so either. “I’m sorry,” I said “I would love to support a self-employed female business owner, but I just do not feel comfortable with this.” In that situation, the choice was not difficult. It’s just hair, I can put it in a bun and almost forget that about my split ends.

Last week I went to have taken blood samples taken. Again, I started conversing the masked and gloved woman I was sharing the room with. While she was getting the needle ready, I asked about her vaccination status. I should not have done that, because while I was sitting there and watching the needle go in, she replied that she was afraid that the vaccine would affect her DNA. She was not vaccinated and did not plan to get the vaccine. I was shocked. Meeting conspiracy theories in a medical clinic in a city where more than 80% are vaccinated, is something I was pretty unprepared for.

I felt like yanking my arm away from her and rushing out of the clinic. But I stayed in my seat. And then I took a deep breath and started talking to her about the misconceptions about the vaccine without giving in to the far out indoctrination it turned out that her boyfriend had fed her. “It can be difficult to make a different choice than your surroundings if it creates conflicts at home and goes against the perception in the social circles one moves in,” I said, and she nodded.

In the state of Idaho, which borders my state of Washington here in the northwestern corner of the United States, they have just announced that, for the first time ever, they are forced to choose which Covid patients they choose to treat. The hospitals have no more capacity. Several patients have already been sent to our state. Healthcare professionals are now forced to choose to help only those citizens who have the greatest chance of survival.

The citizens here in the United States who are hardest hit are the non-vaccinated. The group consists of children under 12, those who for various health reasons can not tolerate being vaccinated and then the last group – namely vaccination opponents. 1 in 500 have died in the US – from a disease that could be prevented with two small jabs in the upper arm.

But the reality is that everyone has to make personal choices every day that weigh risks, pros and cons in their daily lives. In that equation, one can potentially risk taking another another person’s life.

Går danskerne ind for ligestilling? Ikke, hvis man skal tro debatterne om sports-bh’er og barsel

Danskerne går baglæns i ligestillingsdebatten – hvorfor går de ellers ind for, at kvinder skal pakkes ind, og er imod tvungen barsel til mændene?

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Do Danes support equality? Not if one is to believe the debates about sports bras and maternity

The Danes are moving backwards when it comes to the gender equality debate – why else would they they favor women being wrapped up as well as being against forced maternity leave for men?

Let’s start with the fitness center in Odense, which will ban women from training in sports bras. To me, two things are problematic in the gym’s argument for introducing their new rule.

Firstly, the argument for implementing the rule raises several red flags. The rule is introduced because of ‘respect for cultural differences’. We all know what that means. It means that a very specific group of young Muslim men have a problem with being in the immediate vicinity of free women who dress as they please. And no, I am not advocating for girls and women running around schools and workplaces in very short tops. But in a context where you are spending your free time in a place designed for the body to physically work, as is the case in a gym, and the focus is not on intellectual and professional performance, the situation is somewhat different.

If one gives in to the kind of misogyny that the injunction quite obsessively expresses, it opens the gate to an avalanche of restrictions that could be created aiming to make women take up less space in the public sphere.

Secondly, the fitness center operates under SDU (University of Southern Denmark), which only underscores my next and disturbing point. Of all, especially universities, should be aware of what signals they are sending and for what reasons. Maybe they are, but then they are definitely not aiming for a a gender equality mindset the Danes usually pride themselves of.

“But, wait!”, you might be thinking to yourself. Weren´t you the one who said we should not sing that Shu-bi-dua song? No, I have never said what one may and may not do. Contrary, I said that once people are in Denmark, you have to talk to each other in a civil and inclusive manner. That is the exact opposite to what is going on when one is intolerant and promotes inequality between the sexes.

The second debate, which is taking place in the Danish media this week, is about maternity leave. Many Danes are completely up in the red because new rules ensure that the father must take more maternity leave if the mother wants the right to receive maternity leave beyond a certain number of weeks.

There are many aspects at stake in the debate, including some that have to do with the EU. Rainbow families are almost completely left out of the debate as well. And before spoiled Danes, who do not even think of maternity leave as an incredible welfare benefit, start arguing, it should be said that people always have the right to do as they please – but that it then be without the state’s payment.

Seen from the outside, it seems to me quite unreasonable to complain about the generous welfare benefits that a long Danish maternity leave is.

I have countless girlfriends here in the US who, after a few weeks, have had to return to their workplace or have simply been forced to quit their jobs.

For my own part as an employee of the University of Washington, it was stated in my contract that I as an employee would be entitled to what is considered a good scheme here, namely 12 weeks maternity leave.

Neither a short maternity leave nor the choice of women to stay at home benefits family life or the equality of women. Why are the Danes fighting over a rule change that will create better conditions for the well-being of the family and for women’s equality?

In Denmark, it is not a question of depriving anyone of anything, but on the contrary of supporting women’s career opportunities, fathers’ attachment to their child and gender equality in general.

It has always been the case that if women wanted the same rights as men, we would have to twist their arms. Gender equality does not happen by itself, it must unfortunately be introduced by law. This has been the case with the right to vote, the right to abortion, etc., etc., and this is also the case if we are to have a family life where the mother and father in the child’s first months are equal in parental attachment.

Is Denmark really willing to move backwards in relation to women’s equality when it comes to bare belly skin and childbirth?

(partly Google Translate)

Nej, det er ikke uamerikansk at gøre vaccinationer lovpligtige

At tvinge amerikanerne til at blive vaccineret ved lov er temmelig amerikansk – og en patriotisk løsning. I sin tid tvangsvaccinerede George Washington hæren for at redde nationens fremtid.

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No, it is not “un-American” to make Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory – on the contrary, it is American and rather patriotic

George Washington forcibly vaccinated the Army – to save the nation’s future.

If more soldiers died from a preventable disease than from the enemy´s sword and you could save your men from dying by a single shot of vaccine, what would you do as Commander in Chief? – you would of course get your army vaccinated as fast as possible. That’s exactly what George Washington did in his day. I will get back to him.

Recently, the Ohio Republican Jim Jordan stated that it is “un-American” to make Covid vaccinations mandatory. But maybe Jordan should reconsider his words before lecturing poeople on what is American and what is “un-American.”

Before, during, and after the insurrection on January 6, Jim Jordan had several phone calls with Trump. That day, hordes of terrorists attacked the very symbol on  what is American, namely democracy.

In the heated debate in the United States, the reference to “the founding fathers” is always slapped on the table as a debate stopper. In particular, it is Republicans who like to patent what they think these gentlemen would have thought about today’s issues. Currently, they pull out the founding father´s in the debate over Corona vaccinations.

Especially the always high-pitched Republican Jim Jordan has received media attention by saying Biden’s new vaccination mandate is “unamerican.”

But before he and other Republican politicians claim to own the right to know what is and especially is not “American”, they might want to readdress American history before lecturing the rest of us.

And here we return to George Washington, arguably one of the most “American” Americans. Back in his days, Washington soldiers died like flies, 90% of deaths in the army was due to illness. So what does a wise leader do in such circumstances? – he makes sure, of course, that he has people who can fight at his disposal who are not sick or dying. Therefore, in 1777, he mandated mass inoculation requiring all soldiers to be vaccinated for smallpox.

Let’s see Biden’s vaccination mandates rolled out, so society and schools can stay open. That way, we also ensure that school students learn their country’s history so they are able to refute blatant falls statements about our founding fathers and what is “unamerican” and what is in fact pretty patriotic.

(some Google Translate)

Danmark løfter alle Corona-restriktioner, imens USA strammer reglerne

Den danske vaccinations-succeshistorie trækker i dag overskrifter i amerikanske medier.

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Denmark lifts all Corona restrictions, while the US introduces new rules

The Danish vaccination success story makes headlines all over American media today.

Denmark was the first country in Europe to introduce Corona passport. The passports made it possible for Danes to maintain a semi-normal life. During the time passports were required for dining, attending schools, etc. more and more Danes got vaccinated. Thanks to the Danes’ sense of community, all Corona restrictions have now been lifted. On Saturday, a concert will take place in Copenhagen, more than 50,000 people have bought tickets.

Meanwhile, the conditions are, to say the least, somewhat different here in the United States.

I got my Moderna Covid-19 vaccine long before my Danish friends. But then the vaccination misinformation started in this cowboy country, and Denmark has long since overtaken the United States in terms of percentage numbers for how many in the Danish population who has received the vaccine.

Yesterday, we were informed that a family at a middle school here in the area had sent their child to school for five days after learning that child had tested positive without informing the school.

The students have been home from school for 540 days and have just been back for a week. What a mockery of the sacrifices it has cost the children, the families, the teachers and the schools, when they first had to deal with online teaching and now finally – with a sea of ​​restrictions – are back in the classrooms!

Is it any wonder that the country’s second largest school district, located in California, now requires students ages 12 and up to be vaccinated if they want to be allowed to go to school?

Last week, 250,000 American children tested positive. We have gone from being at a level where 10,000 Americans tested positive a day to the figure now being 150,000 every single day. Every day, 1,500 Americans die from Covid-19.

Yet, many ordinary Americans will not take the vaccine. The hospitals are full of them. In several places the morgues have been filled up and refrigerated trucks have been called in. Cancer treatment is paused, non-life-threatening surgeries are postponed. It didn´t have to be like this.

Finally, Uncle Joe responds. He normally chies away from conflict. But not now. No more begging and enticing, no more carrots. Now he swings the whip.

On Thursday, Biden held a press conference, where he said, “What more do you need to know? The vaccinations are free, safe and easy to obtain. They are FDA approved. We have been patient, but our patience is running out.”

Politicians have tried to reach the skeptical vaccine opponents with carrots in the form of cash dollars, free education, beer and hot dogs. It has not worked, now the whip must come out, and it is about time.

If you do not want to be vaccinated for personal reasons, then you can not expect to be able to strut around either at work, in the supermarket or at school and spread your virus.

The grip has been tightened, and Biden now makes it mandatory for all public employees, contractors and health professionals to be vaccinated. In addition, employees of companies with 100 or more employees must be vaccinated or provide a negative Corona test weekly.

But Americans are a stubborn people who cherish their individual freedom as a fundamental principle even in situations where it is headlessly stupid. Even Trump was recently booed when he called on the audience to get vaccinated.

Opposition to the authorities telling people what to do has always been a part of this country. But it is insanity, when people are willing to risk their own and others’ lives for a principle they only understand the seriousness of when they lie in a hospital bed with tubes in their nostrils and gasp for air.

In the meantime, I hope that America turns her attention to tiny Denmark, which seems to have found the balance between respect for the individual’s needs and rights and a responsible health policy – now with freedoms we can only dream of in this Covid restricted freedom-loving country.

(mostly Google Translate)

Drømmer du om at blive dusørjæger – og hader du kvinder – så kig til Texas

Ny lov giver 10.000 dollar i dusør, hvis du melder taxachaufføren eller kæresten, der kører en kvinde til abortklinik.

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Have you always dreamed of becoming a bounty hunter – and do you hate women? – then look to Texas

New law gives $10,000 in bounty if you report the taxi driver or girlfriend driving a woman to an abortion clinic.

Abortions performed with knitting needles, subsequent hemorrhages – desperate women making desperate choices are no longer a thing of the past.

Few women are aware that they are pregnant in week six. For those readers who do not have the pregnancy calculation method present, a woman’s pregnancy is calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period, despite the fact that conception takes place approximately two weeks later. So you usually have no idea that you are pregnant before the following month when you don´t get your period.

In the state of Texas, they have spent many years refining the method of how to make it harder for women to have an abortion. In fact, the state has repeatedly, since the early 1970s, tried to introduce laws to make it as difficult as possible for women to make the choice it seems so many men have such a hard time with.

In the past, the US Supreme Court has blocked abortion measures from being implemented in Texas. But not this time. On the contrary, they have announced today that they will do nothing to prevent the implementation of the state of Texas’ new abortion laws.

Do you remember how many judges Trump got installed in the Supreme Court, and how he quite deliberately went after the right-wing Christians, when he not one, not two, but three times installed abortion opponents such as Amy Coney Barrett in office? We now see the result of that, and the composition of the judges is perhaps an indication of what the women in the southern states have in store when Republican politicians in Texas’ neighboring states take notes while they watch the new legislation and the Supreme Court’s lack of reaction unfold before their and the rest of the country’s eyes.

So, what is the new laws about? In short, it is now illegal to have an abortion after week six. If there is a heart sound, it is not possible to have the operation performed. Neither incest nor rape are legitimate exceptions to the rule.

When wanting to get an abortion, there are all sorts of procedures in place that are deliberately stretched over several days, so the process is pulled as far out and makes the woman feel as much guilt and shame as possible before she gets the procedure performed. Add to that the shouting, screaming and sectarian indoctrinated abortion opponents who form a circle around the clinics and shame the women and clinic staff as they try to reach the entrance.

Where does the bounty hunter principle come in? With the new law, private citizens can file a civil lawsuit if they suspect that someone is helping a woman in the process of having an abortion. As much as $ 10,000, and all legal costs will be paid to you if the accused is found guilty.

If you are a Uber driver who drops off a woman in front of an abortion clinic, you can be prosecuted, because you helped her get there. If you advise pregnant rape victims about their options, you can be prosecuted. If your girlfriend is pregnant and you talk about abortion as an option, you can be prosecuted. The cruelty that turns citizens against each other and the hatred from politicians aimed at their own citizens in need is unbearable.

Yes, some women have the opportunity to go to another state and have their surgery performed, but many do not. Many of the women do not have the resources and try in advance to take care of the children they have, while they have to juggle several jobs to be able to support the family.

Apparently, it is important for some to oppress women and keep them being stuck in a helpless situation and give a potential child a difficult start to life. Their self-righteous insistence on forcing women to have an even harder life by insisting that an unborn life is worth more than one already in the world is so infinitely shameful, reprehensible and heartless.

Where does this hatred come from – and where does it end? Will my own daughter and the daughters of the future grow up in a Western society where men who hate women deprive them of the right to decide over their own bodies?

(mostly Google Translate)

Politikere i USA spiller hasard med børns liv

Klasseværelset er blevet en politisk covid-19-kampplads.

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Politicians in the United States are gambling with the lives of children

The classroom has become a politically covid-19 battleground.

“Excited, nervous, ready!” – my daughter replied when I asked her how she felt. 540 days have passed since she last set foot in her school.

“Excited to come back and see my friends, nervous because I do not know how it will be, and ready to go to school again,” she elaborated as we were on the way to school while listening to the well-oiled K-pop, she thought would get her off in the right mood.

The schools my kids are going back to are significantly different than the ones they left. Masks are required, social distancing is enforced, there are allocated time slots to wash their hands and they are seated in designated places in the lunch room to make contact tracking possible when we get the first back to school corona infection outbreaks.

These measures are not in place in all public schools in America.

The state of Florida was the first to warn that they would withhold financial funds if the public schools required the children to wear masks. Since then, the states of Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah have come up with similar threats.

Need I say these states have a Republican governor? US President Joe Biden has committed to spend federal funds to pay if the governors make do of their threats.

A new low has been reached in the eternal political boxing arena. In this one, they seem to be willing to let children and their families pay the price.

Here in the United States, not all students have their first day of school on the same date. From the schools that have been going on for a few weeks, we know that there have been outbreaks and mass infections. In a classroom with kindergarten students, a teacher took off her mask as she read aloud to the class, while her students sat in a semicircle in front of her. The entire first row was infected with covid-19, even though they all wore masks. This age group has not yet been approved to receive the vaccine. Is it not the responsibility of adults to protect them and their families?

4.8 million children have tested positive in the United States, more than 200,000 alone last week. More than 2,000 children have been admitted to hospitals with covid-19, and many children have also infected their family members.

Quick tests are not widespread here in the US, as they are in Denmark, England and elsewhere in Europe. That is why the consequence of an outbreak becomes so much more serious for the schools here in the USA, because the infection can spread violently before it is discovered – a somewhat different situation than is the case in the Danish classrooms.

My daughter is in 8th grade. At her middle school, grades go from 6th to 8th, and the school has 1,000 students. Every day she has seven periods, and the school day is divided in such a way that after each period she collects her things and goes to her next classroom where a bunch of new students are waiting.

This means that on average in one day, not including her hallway walks to and from her classrooms, and those she is in contact with during her lunch break, she is in contact with at least 210 students daily, since there are at least 30 students in each class. You do not need a big calculator to see where that disaster train is headed.

I anticipate that in a few weeks we will receive an email stating that one of our children has been in close contact with a student who has tested positive. Then I think we will see a school system trying to juggle home and classroom teaching. The result is that not only my children but American children in general are given an unpredictable course of education that has consequences both mentally and academically.

The choice to send our children back to school has not been easy. It has been between whether we should keep them at home and find online education so that they do not become infected, or whether we should send them to school so that they can have a normal everyday life, knowing that they will be infected at some point.

How can schools be safe and secure places for children? Masks and vaccination are the answer. The delta variant is incredibly contagious, much more contagious than previous variants. However, we do not see the same increase in outbreaks where the vaccination rate is high and there is a requirement to wear masks.

Unfortunately, politicians are busy using schools as a venue for a ridiculous discussion that is completely out of proportion with the general advice from health professional expertise. In the fight to get media attention instead of thinking about the children, republican politicians have found a new low. American children will pay a high price for this.

(mostly Google Translate)

Vi skal udbrede kendskabet til danske værdier – så hvorfor vil regeringen lukke en ordning, der gør præcis det?

Kendskabet til dansk sprog, litteratur og samfundsforhold i udlandet er en vigtig værdikamp, som Danmark er ved at tabe.

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It is vital for a small country like Denmark to create awareness of its culture and values – so why would the Danish government shut down a program that does exactly that?

Spreading knowledge of Danish language, literature and society to other countries is an important fight when it comes to the battlefield of values – a fight Denmark is losing.

“Why do you want to study Danish?” I asked the young female student.

“Denmark is known for their equality, and I would like to work with women and children in South America,” was the somewhat surprising answer.

In the six years, I taught as a Visiting Danish Lecturer at the University of Washington in Seattle, I time and again was met with an interest in Danish values, culture and society.

In the Government’s new 2022 Finance Bill, it is stated on page 127 that they want to phase out the Visiting Lecturer Program.

The program is responsible for spreading knowledge of the Danish language, literature and social conditions abroad. 26 Visiting Lecturers work all over the world, from the USA to Hungary, to Russia, Germany, France and China at various prestigious universities in Berkeley, Skt. Petersburg Vienna, Paris and Beijing , where they represent Denmark and spread the knowledge of our small, beautiful country’s language and culture.

It has taken decades to build the relationships and cooperation that Denmark has with foreign universities. In fact, the partnership that started of in 1937 has survived a world war, an oil crisis, the poverty of the eighties, and the differences of changing governments.

The reason is probably quite clear. Denmark needs the world to know us. And the pennies it cost to run the program, just under 9 million Danish crowners a year, we build ourselves a name and reputation in the world that no communications agency could ever create with these important university partners. Other Nordic countries have the same program as well as does the Baltic countries. It is infinitely vitally important for small countries to spread the knowledge of their identity to survive.

Seattle is located 7782 km from Denmark, further than the distance between Copenhagen and Kabul. If there is one thing that should be abundantly clear during these disturbing times, it is that the values ​​we are up against are under pressure and should be fought for.

The Danish government apparently does not think so.

If you turn your gaze from little Denmark and ask people around the world if they know Denmark, you often get an answer about HC Andersen and the little mermaid. If you are lucky, a few are able to say something about Lego or wind turbines. But Denmark is so much more – and the Visiting Lecturers do everything they can in their daily work to make sure that the world knows.

The Visiting Lecturers represent Denmark when they are out serving at various universities in the world. They do not only teach Danish language and literature classes but also social conditions, gender equality and the Danish welfare system. The Visiting Lecturers are the link between Denmark and the country to which they are sent.

If the government terminates the program for what must be considered pennies in the Danish federal annual budget, not much make sense in terms of how important our politicians say the importance of spreading Western values ​are.

The issue is about so much more than the cost of the Visiting Lectureship and the financial budget and bottom line – it’s about exporting our Danish values.

Hvorfor lytter nogle danskere til fladpandet USA-inspireret vaccinemodstand?

Er udokumenterede covid-påstande i højere kurs end sund fornuft og dokumenteret videnskab?

Læs hele bloggen her:

Why do some Danes listen to US-inspired dark web anti-vaxxer conspiracies?

Are undocumented Covid claims considered more valid than common sense proven science?

“Children do not get as sick as adults.”

“Vaccines can affect fertility.”

I have heard such arguments in the Danish vaccination debate.

Covid is going strong – the virus is ever-changing. Now it is no longer primarily the older part of the population that is hard hit.

Here in the United States, hospitals are filling up with children, people in their 20s, 30s, 40s. A friend circulated on Facebook a post from a mother waiting in a parking lot with her cancer-stricken child who could not get help because the beds in the pediatric ward were filled with covid patients.  

Yesterday, a woman here in my state, Washington, died after waiting for a vacancy in the intensive care unit outside her local hospital, another had to wait for six hours for a life-saving operation. A third patient had to be flown to another state because there was no room in the hospitals here. A hospital doctor said in an interview that one should be careful about doing something hasty and dangerous, the hospitals may not be able to accept one if one needs their help.

On my TV screen, two parents are standing next to their son’s hospital bed. The son lies with a mask over his face, which gives him the oxygen he needs so he can breathe. He speaks in shock, clearly having a hard time finding the strength to get the words out.

The journalist asks the parents why they have not received the vaccine.

“We were not sick, so we did not think we needed it,” they reply.

Do people not understand that you get the vaccine so as not to get sick?

It is better to get the vaccines in the Danish arms than it is here. Still, I hear arguments in the debate in Denmark that remind me of the rhetoric of the American vaccine debate. Claims that it is unhealthy for children to wear masks, that it can affect fertility to be vaccinated, that the vaccine is so new that it is not necessary for the healthy to receive the sticks. All without any base in reality, in scientific studies and according to medical knowledge.

Here in the United States, the internet is flooded with articles that go directly against the message that the health authorities are trying to get through. Shortly after hearing the crazy undocumented claims here, I can hear the echo of the completely undocumented allegations circulating in the Danish debate – with the result that fewer people get vaccinated and take the necessary precautions so that we can get ahead of developments and mutations and with the result that the divide in populations grow bigger.

How did we arrive at a place where common sense and documented science are trumped by quack-postulates?

(Google Translate)