Glem ”hygge” som sællert i udlandet – Danmarks succes er sammenhold

Danmark kan løfte covid-restriktioner, fordi danskerne bakker op om videnskaben.

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Forget “hygge” as international branding – Denmark’s success is “togetherness”

The reason why Denmark can lift covid restrictions is because the population work together and believe in science.

All eyes are again on Denmark.

Yet again, the country is a frontrunner when it comes to handling the Corona virus. The consequences of the Omikron variant was apparently not as dire as the health authorities feared.

Now, some restrictions are lifted. Cultural venues can reopen, children are back in schools, the hospitalizations are at a manageable level.

All of this happened, because the population have done their part. Each individual Dane has made sensible corona choices. The choices may not always have been easy to make, but they have meant that society as a whole is moving towards greater freedom – and that benefits everyone.

In the United States, we see infection rates like never before. Between 700,000 and 1 million. pr. day. Many never become part of the statistics – because they do not want to be registered, or because they cannot get a test until next week due to lack of testing capacity. 150,000 are hospitalized with Covid, the highest number at any time during the pandemic.

The American population is divided. While Biden and his team are trying to appeal to the public to get vaccinated, many people have a skepticism against the state weighing in on their personal lives. In their pursuit of political gain, many Republican state governors strongly oppose health officials’ recommendations.

“I am proud of the way,

Denmark has handled

the last two years.

Politicians react based on

advice from health and science professional,

and everyone has access to vaccines.”

We have been living with Covid for two years now. Every society in the world, every single citizen’s everyday life, every single family has had to deal with the disease and its consequences.

Personally, I am emotionally exhausted. Even though I am in a privileged situation where I and my children have access to vaccines. I’m honestly so tired of how familiar the names Brostrøm and Fauci sound.

The constant announcements from the authorities, new mutations, restrictions, changes in behavior, cancellations of social events, changes in the children’s everyday lives – it all takes my breath away. Add to that a concern for my children’s mental health and their memory of a childhood during a pandemic.

And then there are the concerns for my neighbors, for the people of the world and the societal consequences we see around the world in the form of riots, empty shelves in grocery stores, the exploitation from dark totalitarian powers now that the attention is directed away from their abuses.

I am far from the only one who is exhausted over constantly dealing with topics of illness, fear of death and a fear of political instability. Every day, I hear from friends, neighbors or the media that people suffer from “covid- fatique ” because of the constant worries.

“Do you want to give a lecture about Denmark and hygge,” my former Professor colleague asked when she invited me to come to the University of Washington to give a guest lecturer in the class she was teaching in Scandinavian culture.

“No, I don´t want to do that,” I replied.

“But I would like to talk about what it is that makes the Danish population stand together, how there is a general trust in the authorities, and why the model of society works in a way that makes the country so well-functioning.”

So, I did – and while the students asked me to elaborate on the way the country works, I realized there are things I miss about my old country.

When I see how Denmark has handled the last two years, I am proud. Politicians are reacting based on advice from health and science professionals, and everyone has access to vaccines. Most importantly, the people stand together and support the decisions that are being implemented – even when they do not agree politically.

The rest of the world could learn a lot from that attitude.

Hvem deltog i kupforsøget i USA for et år siden? Et overraskende billede tegner sig

Helt almindelige amerikanere er villige til at ty til vold.

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Who participated in the insurrection a year ago? The answer might surprise you

Ordinary American citizens are willing to resort to violence.

“What the fuck is going on?” Those were the first words I heard when my Danish friend called me on January 6 last year. We were on opposite sides of the globe and were both watching, paralyzed by the images on our TV screens.

The images on the screen showed thousands of aggressive people, many with Trump flags and in military-like attire, hammering at police officers, smashing windows and doors and forcing their way in to the Capitol building, where the crowed went howling and screaming from corridor to corridor to find prominent politicians’ offices. That day, both civilians and police officers lost their lives.

“It will be ok. The American system is strong,” said my former colleague when I spoke to him a few minutes before the conversation with my friend in Denmark. He is an elderly gentleman, and he served at the University of Washington as a professor of history for more than 30 years. I had called him crying, hoping to hear some calming words from this experienced man – I needed him to say that America would be ok after this.

Who went to Washington DC that day when the situation went crazy and people stormed Congress?

Contrary to what one might think, many of the rioters were citizens without extreme right winged leanings. And that fact is scary.

It turns out that those who behaved most violently on January 6, 2020, were not people on the authorities list of threats. Most have never committed a crime before. They were our neighbors, active in their churches – ordinary Americans. In other words, they do not fit the profile of a typical extremist.

But they believed, were completely convinced, that Trump won the presidential election. Their sense of justice had suffered a setback. And so they felt violence was ok.

If ordinary people feel that they have the right to use and react with violent, anti-democratic methods when their sense of justice is violated, then we are potentially facing a huge problem in the future.

Despite the fact that this feeling of injustice and election fraud was rooted in conspiratorial beliefs, the events on that horrible day in January last year, show us that this or a similar attack on our democracy could happen again if an election result goes against some people´s preference.

How long do we have a democracy if various private individuals feel they have a right to violently oppose democracy – even when there is no, as in absolutely none, zip, zero, evidence for their claim of fraudulence?

Since the attack on democracy a year ago, conspiracy theories have not diminished. On various electronic platforms, multiple outrageous conspiracy theories thrives. In these lonely Corona times it might be understandable that some people can fall into a black hole and be trapped and sucked in to such a universe. After all, we all need a sense of community and on a certain level, these groups offer that – however sick they are in their mindsets. But who bears responsibility and who do we hold accountable for the threat to democracy?

In the United States, economic means create power. At the same time, political decision-making processes moves at a snail’s pace. Meanwhile, social platforms are making money, and the conspiracy theories people are willing to believe in are becoming more and more insane.

To put it mildly, it has been an uncommonly ugly sight to see politicians compromise on democratic principles instead of showing the people that they are working to make the democracy they claim to be fighting for stronger and make sure nothing like we saw last year will ever happen again.

Whether it’s a right-wing Trump extremist, a hard-working UPS worker, or a young man looking for an adrenaline rush that took part in the terrorist attack on Congress and US democracy last year, the fact is that they need to be prosecuted – every single one of them.

Because everyone has an individual responsibility, and one should be held accountable for one’s actions – even if one regrets or was caught in the moment and did things one would otherwise never have done.

The investigation process is underway, but it is moving far too slow, and it is important for the surrounding community’s belief in the system to get a feeling that the justice system and democracy work – preferably before the next presidential election.

We cannot forget, however, that the main culprit for the attack on the US election process is Donald Trump – and he must be held responsible for having used ordinary citizens as puppets in his attempt to overthrow democracy in God’s own country.

Danmark bør følge USA og lave en diplomatisk boykot af OL i Kina

Sport og politik har altid været blandet sammen; at påstå det modsatte er et privilegeret og mageligt standpunkt.

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Denmark should follow the United States and make a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics in China

Sports and politics have always been mixed together; to claim the opposite is a privileged and leisurely position.

You are overreacting – that´s never going to happen!

That was the reaction I was met with in Denmark a few years ago. I was on vacation in Denmark and the discussion I was engaging in took place in a Copenhagen kitchen – far from China and the USA. I claimed that China was dangerous and would soon gain economic power to the extend that the world would not dare to go against the country when it violated human rights.

And here we are. The United States and other nations has announced a diplomatic boycot of the country – they will cheer for their athletes but will do so from home. That decission is the right thing to do. I would prefer that the Olympics were not held in China at all, that the whole world would boycott the event. But that is not going to happen, so the next best thing – a diplomatic boycott – is an important strategic signal. For China is not part of the club when it comes to human rights, and Western democracies must dare to say thta out loud.

The United States is signaling that China’s views on human rights and the treatment of its own citizens are unacceptable. America refuses to send an official diplomatic signal that would legitimize the regime. It may result in consequences in relation to trade agreements, environmental negotiations, etc., but it is a question of integrity – and Denmark and Europe aught to stand up for the human rights they claim to fight for.

The sports world is full of corruption. Again and again we learn about shady deals, where huge sums of money change hands, and holding sporting events are dependent on what sums a country is willing to slip into the pockets of a decision maker. That is unfortunately the way things are, and if we are being honest, we know it – even if we would rather close our eyes and comfortably sit back on the sofa in front of the TV screen while watching the athletes.

To claim that sports and politics have nothing to do with each other is a privileged stand point. And what’s more, it’s so unsympathetic and distasteful that I have a hard time finding a vocabulary suitable for the printed press to describe it.

Because if you claim that you “just” want to sit and scroll in front of the screen and enjoy watching your sport without supporting a diplomatic boycott, you are de facto supporting a regime that has millions of human lives on its conscience. People who, for one reason or another, do not agree with the regime – and pay a hefty price for their desire to think, speak, and believe freely. If you do not take a stand, you are essentially contributing and supporting and thus partly responsible.

But if it does not worry you or touch a string in your human right spoiled universe far from a world where athletes disappear and people are sent to labor camps if they do not show the right loyalty to the Chinese government, then just take a bite out of your pizza slice and down it with a sip of microbrew beer while cheering on your Danish homeland.

We have a responsibility, and we can not just turn our backs because it is convenient for us. Denmark has not yet sided with democracy and human rights in the issue of the Olympics in China. Who knows, maybe the country will one of the next few days – but I wonder if the politicians would have given it a second thought at all, had it not been for the United States stand?

Until a decision is made, Denmark signals no hesitation in sending princes, politicians and diplomats to a dictatorship without respect for human life and the rights of the individual.

»Jeg bliver en broccoliborgmester,« siger New Yorks nyvalgte leder

Nye tider i New York varsler måske nye tider i USA.

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“I’m going to be a broccoli mayor,” says New York’s newly elected leader

New times in New York may herald new times in the United States.

“I’m going to be a broccoli mayor,” newly elected Eric Adams, New York’s new mayor, told city citizens. “You´re not going to like it when you eat it, but long term, you’re going to see the benefits of it.”

The newly elected mayor is a good example of what Americans want. And if you look at who Adams is, there is hope for America.

The election across the United States on Tuesday was focused on issues around crime and police work.

Tuesday’s election showed that Americans do not shy away from debating. But ordinary citizens want the police to ensure a safe community. Americans do things their own way and can think for themselves.

Across the United States, mid-leaning police force-supporting politicians won over more extreme candidates. The reason is that the vast majority of Americans want peace, security, and safety on their streets in the city center and in their neighborhoods.

Adams has told the press that when he faces an obstacle or needs to pause and think, he plays Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” Because that’s how he and the United States do things.

New York’s new mayor, Eric Adams, is the American dream. He worked as a dishwasher, had a learning difficulty as a student in grade school, was arrested as a young man and beaten by the police.

The same night the police beat him up, Adams’ life changed. He decided to turn his life around, started going to school at night while working during the day. He became a police officer and for the past +20 years he has focused on becoming the mayor of New York.

Adams is African American. He rose up from a challenged socio economic challenged life and being on the wrong side of the law. As a former police officer, he has spend time on both sides of the interrogation table. He emphasizes that safety and security are the most important parameters for making an urban area thrive. If these fundamental civil rights are not in place, nothing else will work.

As in the rest of the United States, there are plenty of problems to deal with in New York, where violence and shootings and abuse of police force have spiked after the corona pandemic.

Adams and the United States do things their way. And that is sometimes just as healthy as broccoli.