Europe must not fall into Putin and Xi’s trap and withdraw criticism of the war against Ukraine

Russia uses what-about-ism as an excuse for violations of UN rules of war.

The media in the USA, Denmark, and on BBC report that today is the 20 year anniversary for America invading Iraq on false grounds and without a UN mandate.

No, there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and yes, the war was terrible and had devastating consequences – for the people of Iraq and to a large extent for Europe.

The US went into Iraq without the approval of the Security Council – so did Putin when he invaded the Crimean peninsula and later Ukraine. Russia´s justification goes like this: the West does not obey by the rules that they claim everyone else must follow for world order.

Still, Europe must not fall into Putin and Xi’s trap and withdraw dritizism.

In the United States, we are seeing cracks within the Republican wing. Certain politicians, including the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, who also has presidential ambitions, are agitating for the United States not to be involved in conflicts outside the country’s borders. The well-known policy of isolationism is alive and well.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Putin is happy to letting the discussion in America unfolds, the agenda fits perfectly with his discourse. We seem to be perfectly capable in the West to get lost in domestic political arguments about the war and completely miss the bigger picture of why or why not to get involved. If the political fractions in America keep quarreling, plays perfectly into his hand – without much effort, America helps him get his work done.

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, said in early March on his trip to India that if the United States has the right to invade a country, why doesn’t Russia? In one sentence he argued that the West has no right to have a position on the war in Ukraine and is even partly to blame for it given past actions. According to the UN charter, neither the war in Iraq nor in Ukraine was legal – but that does not mean that Russia can justify the war in Ukraine with the US invasion of Iraq 20 years ago.

Totalitarian countries that are ideologically far from the West’s standards when it comes to democracy and human rights have found a rhetorical argument that we must be careful not to accept. Arguments and excuses that actions can be justified based on similar actions done in the past.

It’s like talking to a child who has gotten into a fight at school. “He started it,” says the kid, and thus says that his actions are justified. But it’s not what most of us teach our children – so why do we accept the rhetorical manipulation when it comes from grown-up politicians?

I am terrified of what will come out of the meeting between Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi. China could have cancelled the meeting after the ICC announced that Putin is a wanted war criminal as a response to the thousands of children who have been abducted and taken across the border from Ukraine to Russia. Putin is now wanted for human rights violations in 123 countries.

If Xi doesn’t touch the wrong doorknob, fall out of a window, or eat something poisonous, we’ll see him and Putin on a press conference announcing to the world they have agreed on new trade deals. Trade deals which – as now – means that the “goods” they trade can be taken apart and used in Russia’s warfare against Ukraine. Time will tell, how we in the West reacts to this – and the future will later judge those reactions.

Europa må ikke falde i Putin og Xis fælde og trække følehornene til sig

Rusland bruger whataboutism som undskyldning for brud på FN’s regler om krigsførelse.

Læs hele bloggen her:

Trump releases single with January 6. insurrectionists

With “Justice for All” Trump makes populist stunt.

Trump released a new version of the US national anthem on Friday. Branding and self-promotion are his hallmarks, but the fact that the single contains an attack on democracy and the judiciary is a matter that is lost in the single’s roaring ending: »U-S-A!, U-S-A!, U-S-A !« writes Desiree Ohrbeck.

They are standing under a huge American flag, slightly overwhelmed by the situation, sharing a microphone. Three girls, about eight years old with small, high-pitched voices. Out of tune, they sing the American national anthem – I’ve never understood why the country chose lyrics and a tune so difficult to sing along to. Meanwhile, parents raise from their seats, remove caps and hats and place a hand over their hearts.

I associate the American national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”, with sporting events. At my children’s neighborhood swim team, the youngest swimmers take turns at home meet to sing before the competition. For me, the most beautiful version is Whitney Houston’s interpretation at the Super Bowl in 1991.

“Trump has repeatedly expressed support for the convicted rioters and has promised to overturn their convictions if he is elected the next president of the United States.

Much different is the disturbing emotions I am left with when listening to the single Trump released on Friday. If you click on the single, the video consists of a dark, still image of the American flag. Deep male voices roar-sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The choir is made up of prisoners, convicted after the attempted coup on January 6, 2020, and the profits goes to the prisoners’ families.

A few seconds into the single, Donald Trump’s characteristic voice is heard reciting “The Pledge of Allegiance.” All students, from Kindergarten through High School recite The Pledge of Allegiance every morning with one hand over their heart as they pledge allegiance to the American flag and America.

It is an honor to be invited to the school superintendent’s office to recite “The Pledge” for the whole school. The ritual represents a loyalty oath and an expression of pride in living in the United States.

Mixing the American National Anthem with the patriotic “Pledge of Allegiance” is a genius move. You have to hand it to him, Trump, that he knows how to play his cards to maximum effect. If one has aspirations towards populist national conservatism of the patriotic, not fact-based kind, it strikes a chord with those who think that convicted “freedom fighters” have not been treated with fairness in the justice system. Branding and self-promotion are Trump’s hallmarks. That there is an underlying, decidedly dangerous attack on democracy and the judiciary is a matter that is lost in the single’s roaring ending: “U-S-A!, U-S-A!, U-S-A!”

The single is called “Justice for All,” and is performed by the J6 Prison choir Choir. Trump has repeatedly expressed support for the convicted rioters and has promised to overturn their convictions if he is elected the next president of the United States.

In collaboration with the ultra-right and conspiracy theorists, Trump is the banner-bearer of a trend that views the convictions of the January 6, 2020 attempted coup on Congress as politically motivated and as an orchestrated persecution and an attack by the state on constitutional supporters.

Two minutes and twenty seconds. That’s how long the single is. After this, what does it feel like for parents and sports fans at thousands of sporting events across the country when the national anthem is sung by ordinary democratic-minded Americans who love their country? Will they see themselves as chess pieces in a game they have no desire to play in? I wonder if this summer, as I stand cheering on the side of the pool, ready with my camera, as my kids compete against a neighborhood swim team, I will be able to not let it affect me that yet another unifying American icon has fallen into the hands of those who would rather divide the country than unite it?

Trump udgiver single i samarbejde med fængslede kupmagere

Med singlen “Justice for All” har Trump lavet endnu et populistisk stunt.

Læs hele bloggen her:

Is H.C. Andersen and his fairytales the next to be cancelled?

To become wiser and change the future, we must dare to face the past without censoring it.

Artiklens øverste billede

Regularly, literary writers have their texts dragged through the woke movement´s machinery. This time, the British writer Roald Dahl was the target, but when will it be Denmark´s national icon, HC Andersen? Drawing: Rasmus Sand Høyer

My son and I are reading “HC Andersen’s Fairy Tales & Histories + Complete collection prefaced by Johannes Møllehave” from 2000. The goal is to work through the book this year. We read a few pages every day and talk about the stories and about Danish words he doesn’t know, such as mill wheel, horse carriage, galoshes and wadsack. It is an excellent way to expand his Danish language skills and for his cultural understanding not to mention the quality time I get with him. We just finished “The Little Mermaid,” which my son dryly noted was “very different from Disney’s version.”

My kids loved reading Roald Dahl’s books when they were younger. The British author with Norwegian heritage is best known for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” but published a total of 49 books for both children and adults. My daughter especially loved “The BFG.” Roald Dahl was anti-Semitic, racist, and a misogynist – traits I actively teach my children are unacceptable.

The way Roald Dahl described gender and obesity tells us something about him and his time that we can learn from today when talking to our children about how to treat each other.

There has recently been an enormous public backlash after Puffin, the children´s imprint of Penguin Random House, publisher of Roald Dahl’s books, announced that they would change the author’s language to make the books more inclusive. The publishing house hired the consulting agency Inclusive Minds, and it was decided that words like “fat” and “ugly” were to disappear, and content that had to do with gender, race, ethnicity, mental health, appearance, and weight would change. “Words mean something,” the publishing house wrote. “The fantastic world of Roald Dahl can transport you to different worlds and introduce you to the most wonderful characters. The books were written many years ago, and we regularly edit the language to ensure that it can be enjoyed by as many people as possible.’

The outcry was substantial – from literary figures such as Salman Rushdie, from the British royal house, and from freedom of expression groups, such as PEN America. So loudly did people protest, that the publisher pulled back and announced that the books would be available both in their edited editions and in their original form. The censorship controversy hits directly into a groping zeitgeist, where the fear of stepping on someone’s toes risks introducing self-censorship and compromise freedom of expression.

Where do we draw the line if we start canceling books and make them unavailable? Censoring or making things disappear because times have changed is a dangerous direction. Shouldn’t large parts of the Bible then be cancelled as well? How do you accept the art of the past when it is based on views we have moved away from? How do we make room for literature written in another time when the content holds viewpoints, we now find inappropriate?

We are finding ourselves in a time of change. Most of us can remember a world that looked somewhat different from the global society we live in today and this forces us to grabble with this topic.

That reality is, that we must find a way where diversity is embraced and where it is simultaneously ok that literature does not satisfy all viewpoints, skin colors, religions, or body sizes. Because if we start introducing censorship, if we start regulating what our kids and youth have access to – then we are moving frighteningly close to totalitarian societies we pride ourselves of being far removed from.

Should Salman Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses” disappear, should books written with a British imperialist worldview? The balance is difficult – because what kind of literature is ok today if we simultaneously advocate freedom of expression and the importance of learning from the past as we move forward?

I don’t like seeing women depicted as cashiers if they could be research scientists or CEOs, as they now are in the edited Roald Dahl work, or to see someone being called “enormously fat.” The way Roald Dahl described gender and obesity says something about him and his time that we can learn from today when we talk to our children about how to treat each other and how a short time ago people looked at and mocked women and minorities. But the reactions to changing “mother” and “father” to “family” and the elimination of “girls and boys” to “children” and that phrases like “beautiful light skin” has been changed to “beautiful smooth skin,” shows that the woke movement is not backed by the general population.

When HC Andersen wrote “The Little Mermaid,” Denmark looked different. Denmark was a homogenous country, a country where Muslim headscarves, dark skin, and a diverse cultural population were not a natural part of the cityscape. If you wanted to experience the big world, you had to do like Andersen and go outside the country’s borders by horse-drawn carriage. The ideal of beauty was fair skin, blue eyes and blond hair.

And it is that reality, Andersen writes his stories from. Not the global world that surrounds us today. Therefore, the little mermaid is “the most beautiful of them all, her skin was as clear and bright as a rose petal, her eyes as blue as the deepest lake.”

Is this problematic? Is it something that should be cancelled the next time HC Andersen’s collected works are republished? No, because if we erase the past, we erase the possibility of conversations with our children about where we come from, what beauty is, how people before us were viewed. And we delete the possibility of taking a stand and making conscious choices based on a reflection on the world in which we find ourselves.

Hvornår begynder de at rette i H.C. Andersens eventyr?

For at blive klogere og ændre fremtiden er vi nødt til at turde se fortiden i øjnene uden at censurere den.

Læs hele bloggen her:

I don’t care if the gunman was bullied as a kid, hates people of color, women, gays, or had a tough childhood

Never before have we soon that many mass shootings in such a short timespan in the United States. The number one cause of death for children and youth in the United States is gun violence.

“This is the second mass shooting I have lived through,” said a female student in an interview with CNN on Monday after a shooting at Michigan State University. Since Columbine in 1999, 300,000 students have been in school during a school shooting. 90% of teenagers killed are girls. Every single number is a human being who either died or experienced the consequences of America’s insane gun access. It’s gut-wrenching in a way that makes the reality I live in almost unbearable.

I can’t write this column accurately and fast enough before another mass shooting is reported.

Never before has the United States experienced so many shootings in such a short time. 71 mass shootings according to the Gun Violence Archive – in six weeks. The definition of a mass shooting is four or more dead or injured, not including the perpetrator. America is experiencing an epidemic, but politicians are not acting. Meanwhile, children and young people grow up with drills to increase their chances of survival if they experience a school shooting. 4.6 million American children live in a home with a loaded gun that is not in a secured, locked cabinet. It’s crazy, it’s sick, and it’s the primary reason I can’t fully embrace the country I call home.

After the Covid 19 pandemic, which kept many children and young people home for more than a year, the number of shootings increased. In 2021 alone, there were 250 shootings in and around schools, four of which fell under the category of mass shootings. Last year there were more than 300 shootings on school grounds. The worst school shooting occurred in Texas, where 22 were killed and 17 injured. Shots are fired at basketball games, in school cafeterias, in classrooms and in school parking lots. Each death often represents a child.

It’s absolutely insane! A shooting at a school should send the whole community into a frenzy, make people take to the streets by the millions, make everyone write their representatives to force the politicians to do something. Society should reach a stand still until something was done to make it safe to send the most vulnerable, our children and young students, to school.

I can’t write this column accurately and fast enough before another mass shooting is reported. Today is February 18th and there have already been 17 mass shootings – this month! On television, at municipal meetings, in public hearings, parents stand with a picture of their child and account one heartbreaking story after another – and describe who their beautiful child who is no longer in this world because of guns. The attitudes around gun laws have become so polarized that you are put in an extreme box on one or the other side of the political spectrum when you speak out.

I refuse to become numb, I refuse to shrug. I refuse to accept the how some Americans insist on their beloved second amendment. We are at a stage where we only hear about shootings in the news if they take place at a school, university, or is racially or religiously motivated. When something is sick and heartbreaking, it doesn’t become any less unfathomable due to its number. I choose to hold on to that, even if it tears my soul to pieces.

I don’t really care if the perpetrator was bullied as a kid, hates people of color, women, gays, or had a tough childhood. When you live in a country where there is virtually free access to guns that fire 30 rounds per second, you get a society like America. Denmark and Europe would look like the USA if they had the same attitude towards guns as we have here.

One thing is how traumatizing it is for children and young people and the rest of society to have to navigate a world where the risk of being in public must be constantly considered. It’s another thing to experience and survive a mass shooting. I think about how they experience the psychological toll, the inability to focus, having your childhood upended instantly, and losing faith that the adults will look after you. It is unbearable to think that someone puts the right to bear arms above the well-being of our children and their right to live a life of safety and security.

The United States is the only Western, democratic country that has mass shootings as an epidemic scale problem. Every day, 12 children in the United States die as a result of gun violence, 32 are shot or injured. There is no reason to believe that Americans are more violent, mentally ill, or stand out significantly from an ordinary Dane. But the easy access to guns, meant for warfare, makes the outpouring of hatred, anger and destruction is so much more deadly.

Jeg er fløjtende ligeglad med, om gerningsmanden er blevet mobbet som barn, hader sorte, kvinder, homoseksuelle eller har siddet skævt på potten

Aldrig før har der været så mange masseskyderier på så få uger i USA. Den største årsag til børns og unges død i USA er våben.

Læs hele bloggen her:

The spy balloon was a gift to Biden

Is Biden looking out for the American population or is the country headed for an escalating crisis with China?

“SHOOT THE BALLOON DOWN” Trump wrote in his usual shouting capitals on Friday on his new social media platform Truth Social. By that time, days before, Joe Biden had already given orders to the US Air Force to shoot down the balloon when there was no danger of destruction or loss of life.

“By ordering the spy balloon shot down, Biden appeared strong—the opposite of weak and indecisive. To the individual American, it is important to have a sense of living in a country where the president has his or her safety at heart.

It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it is apparently not uncommon for both the US and China to spy in each other’s airspace with giant balloons – they have been doing that since the Cold War. As a side note, another spy balloon is hovering over South America right now.

The spy balloon is the size of three school buses and can be seen with the naked eye. People in the United States are following the development and the news are updating us on the latest developments live with input from various professionals. China is furious. Maybe they thought they could talk their way out of having their balloon shot down and keep their military secrets. But when that didn’t work out, the rhetoric became frighteningly hostile.

On Fox News they talk about a declaration of war and a threat from China, on CNN the tone is turned down a few decimals. However, all news media have cleared the surface in trying to understand what is unfolding before our eyes. It is not often that the population is united on the same topic.

In many ways, the shooting is a gift to the Democratic President of the United States, Joe Biden. The Democrats are usually accused by Republicans for not prioritizing the defense of the United States, for being too “weak” to use one of Donald Trump’s preferred words. Contrary to this sentiment, Biden showed an ability to analyze the situation from various angels before making a decision, that he can keep the cards close to his chest, and with a calm hand on the stearin wheel look protect the Americans – in contrast to Trump, who as usual screams his impulses into the airwaves without consideration for human life or the country’s security.

By ordering the spy balloon shot down, Biden appeared strong—the opposite of weak and indecisive. To the individual American, it is important to have a sense of living in a country where their president has his or her safety at heart.

This crisis highlights two competing ideologies. The American identity rests on an idea that they stand for democratic values and the freedom of the individual, that they enjoy international security and capitalist freedom due to a strong military and an economy based on a free market – they see themselves in direct opposition to anti-democratic, Communist China, which repeatedly violates human rights.

This is a fast-moving story. Right now, the navy and the coast guard are collecting wreckage from the sea. Afterwards, the parts will be shipped to an FBI lab so that they can learn as much as possible about the Chinese’s spy skills and equipment.

The American population is worried. China has a huge population from which they can draw from when sending their men and women to war, they have huge amounts of military equipment, and they have imperialist dreams – just look at their incursions into Africa, the fake islands they are building, and their position on Taiwan. Maybe this play into their provocative behavior towards America. Maybe they ‘just’ made a massive mistake. Or perhaps, the balloon’s presence above a strategically important military base was carefully timed to coincide with Antony Blinken´s scheduled trip to China.

The United States had no other choice than to shoot down the spy balloon – to send a signal domestically to the American population and internationally to – China and others who might want to enter American airspace without permission.

The idea of an escalated crisis between the US and China is nerve wracking. Personally, I hope the whole ordeal will turn out to just be hot air…

Spionballon er en gave til Biden

Passer Biden på amerikanerne eller er landet på vej ud i en eskalerende krise med Kina?

Læs hele bloggen her:

Denmark is funding anti-democratic organizations and religious groups

Freedom of expression should never be up for discussion – but government funding should.

A burnt Koran in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm. BBC News is showing the extreme right politician Rasmus Paludan on my screen. He couldn’t have timed his happening better. We have seen the play before, now follows an international crisis. The Turkish president Erdogan has already announced that he will be voting no to granting Sweden a NATO membership.

“Finally, we are even, Ritt!” was the title of a bar happening on the extreme left. Recently deceased Ritt Bjerregaard was Mayor of Copenhagen when the police cleared young squatters from a house because the municipality sold the property. The bar event prompted a storm of protests. The Youth Center where the bar event took place receives 2 million Danish Croner in public subsidy each year and some voices want that funding stopped.

“If you take away the financial support for political parties, you risk an American-like system. Trust me, you don´t want the political arena in Denmark to become like the USA, where politics is permeated by economic interests.

Distasteful and reprehensible – is a label fitting for both Rasmus Paludan’s and The Youth Center´s happenings. But they are both legal. And they both receive state funded support.

You can have more than one thought in your head at the same time in this debate. The subsidizes come from the same place, regardless of whether it is a budget in Copenhagen or state-funded support for political parties, associations, organizations, and religious movements.

We must never erode the rights we enjoy in a free democracy where we have freedom of speech. Period. However, this does not mean that we should aid movements whose aim it is to destroy the fantastic democracy Denmark is.

It makes no sense to support religious communities, organizations, and associations that has as a core value to overthrow democracy. To name a few, extreme right- and left-wing groups that work towards a revolution and want to take the fight to the streets, Jehovah’s Witnesses, who do not believe in democracy, but theocracy which also seem to be the attitude towards democracy some Muslim circles. The list goes on and on. Unfortunately.

So, what about the political parties who do not believe that democracy is the right form of government, parties running for parliament? Do we want to keep aiding them with subsidizes? Both the extreme left and right have groups fighting for a system that is not a democracy. If these political parties are eligible to run, they have met the democratic rules enabling them to work within the framework we have set for the democratic process. These parties should be supported financially, as is the case in today’s Denmark – because the foundation for society is based on the individual citizen’s experience of participating actively as part of our democracy.

If you take away the financial support for political parties, you risk an American-like system. Trust me, you don´t want the political arena in Denmark to become like the USA, where politics is permeated by economic interests. The question then is whether changes should be made to the requirements for running as a party. The more diverse the population in Denmark becomes, the greater the risk of seeing parties running, that do not want to continue the welfare and democratic model, generations before us have built is This topic is a discussion for another day.

We must be vigilant about the values and rights we pride ourselves on, especially when they are tested. We can do this by letting people enjoy basic rights to believe, speak, and think freely – but we do not have to make it easier for them to spew their venom by financially aiding them to practice their anti-democratic views.

Hypocrisy is never pretty. Apparently the hurt is greater when a newly deceased well-known Social Democrat is under fire than when a relatively new religion is mocked. However, one of the things that makes a democracy differ from totalitarian regimes is accepting positions that are not represented by the incumbents and to know that people with far-out opinions have the right to and can express their point of view.

The discussion is not about freedom of speech. In Denmark, and other democratic countries, citizens have the right to oppose political and religious ideas. You can demonstrate, you can be provocative, you can burn the Koran, you can draw Jesus Christ with an enormous erect penis, and you can mock a recently deceased politician, like Ritt Bjerregaard.

How about instead of financially supporting forces that aim to overthrow democracy, we redirect the support to groups and initiatives that work to support democratic values?

Zelenskyy gave the speech of his life in Congress: We want one thing for Christmas – victory

Zelenskyy is rhetorically strong – but is the US willing to donate more funds?

“Your money is not charity, it is an investment in global security,” said the President of Ukraine in his speech to the US Congress.

Judging by the breaking news live streaming on CNN, journalists coverage, politicians’ buzzing anticipation in Congress, as well as President Joe Biden they are all fully aware of the important crossroads the Western world is facing.

In general, there has been support across the political isle in the United States. But some sent a clear message through their absence. Some Republicans chose to stay away, and that is not necessarily good for Ukraine’s resistance nor for Europe’s security. Even if we don’t want to think about it, we may be facing World War III and a battle for Western ideals of freedom.

“The Ukrainian president painted a picture of roaring bombings every day for months, blood, freezing temperatures, death, and destruction. But he also painted a picture of a population that is strong and fights for its freedom with the same perseverance Americans showed when they fought Nazism in Europe.

America is Ukraine’s most important ally. Of course, President Zelenskyy is well aware of that. He is also aware that some resistance have begun to show on the Republican side of the political spectrum when it comes to allocating military funding and aid to Ukraine.

The American population is regularly impressed by Zelenskyy´s quoting of former presidents such as Kennedy and Washington in his speeches. Yesterday, was no exception, when he quoted Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The Ukrainian president painted a picture of roaring bombing every day for months, blood, freezing temperatures, death and destruction. But he also painted a picture of a population that is strong and fights for freedom with the same perseerance Americans had when they fought Nazism in Europe.

It may have been the most important speech he has ever given—perhaps even the most important speech he will ever give. He balanced between being grateful to the American people while asking for more guns, ammunition, planes, and tanks. The US has given 1.8 trillion dollars so far. That’s 12 zeros, but that’s not enough.

Zelenskyy made it clear that he is not asking for American soldiers on the ground. Ukrainian soldiers will fight against its attackers itself – but they need more military material.

For me, the strongest message was that we must stand together and fight for freedom, for democracy, for the freedom of the mind – against terrorism and put in what is required in the fight for freedom. PUT-IN, as Zelenskyy said. He definetely did not sound like a man who is ready to sit down at the negotiating table – he is anything but a shadow president, as the MAGA-republicans call him.

The world will be a better place if Ukraine wins – now and in the future. Ukraine’s fight inspires the whole world, and standing together, globally we must fight to protect freedom and international laws, was the message. This war determines and defines the world that future generations will live in. The countries of the world are too interconnected and dependent on each other for a war like this – he stated as the applause resounded.

Standing up for freedom, investing in democracy by helping Ukraine should be on every freedom-loving, democratic country´s Christmas list.

Slava Ukraine!

Zelenskyj holdt sit livs vigtigste tale i USA: Vi ønsker os én ting til jul – sejr

Zelenskyj er en stærk retoriker – men er USA villig til at donere flere midler?

Læs hele bloggen her:

Will Danish public schools be the next ideological battleground?

In the US, worried parents are taking over school boards. Could the same happen in Denmark?

It is a good thing, students learn about their country’s less beautiful areas of history. It is a good thing, attention is being targeted on oppressed groups, minorities, and vulnerable populations. It is part of a student’s school education to learn that life and history are nuanced and that all groups in society are not always treated equal – only by learning about the past can we look forward and try not to repeat the sins of the past and maybe even contribute to making the world a better place.

But it is problematic when the scales tip and focus is only on the sins of the white man and a country’s violation of fundamental humanity. A clear-eyed approach in dealing with multiple elements of the past should include teaching both the oppression of Native Americans and the ancestors of African Americans and the incredible progress that American history offers.

“The Danish public schools have an enormous responsibility for graduating democratically minded citizens who will take part in the Danish society – in a country that is held together, primarily because its so homogeneousity.

Not many places in the US are like that. Where I live, the school children know about countless Indian tribes, but hardly know why they celebrate Thanksgiving . And that’s problematic, because if we don’t know our own history, how can we relate to it? How, then, do we create a generation of citizens without guilt and shame, but with a nuanced awareness of the past, to gain the courage to go out into life uniting, side by side, with young people from other nationalities, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds to make life and society a better place?

Having an informed opinion about statues that symbolize oppression, books in school libraries that preach that a family consists of a father and a mother and a couple of blond kids – in a world that is constantly changing, is forming an opinion to a version of life, that is not one-eyed.

But when the attitude to what a family looks like is rooted in antiquated religious notions with Stone Age views, the Geist, many parents have when it comes to their children’s schooling, can be dangerous.

In the US, we see this especially clearly in rightwinged Christian circles, who try to get certain books banned from school libraries. This is particularly the case with books that have sexual scenes, or books with themes of homosexuality or other LGBTQIA+-community-related themes. Librarians and teachers live a life in fear these days – is school board members find they have exposed their kids to content that goes against their Christian beliefs they highjack the boards and change curriculum and library content according to their beliefs.

The school boards have great power in American schools and are elected for an entire school district, not to an individual school as is the case in Denmark. In America, you have to be an American citizen to run for the school board, in Denmark you just need to be a parent at the school to run. Fortunately, the structure of school boards in Denmark is different, otherwise that would be the blow and decline for a homogeneous Danish society.

The Danish public schools have an enormous responsibility for graduating democratically minded citizens who will take part in Danish society – in a country that is held together, primarily because of its homogeneousity. The Danish democracy is beautiful and works well, and fortunately the school board model also bears its mark.

Still, the individual schools will be challenged and tried in the future. There will be forces trying to shape the public schools in a direction that has a strong focus on religiously based values. Hopefully the implementation or imprinting of various radical teachings will not be able to take over or infiltrate the individual public school. Danish democracy is strong and, in contrast to the USA, the focus is on community and shared basic values, that might be the saving grace for the Danish public schools – and for Denmark.

Bliver folkeskolen den næste ideologiske kampplads?

I USA overtager rabiate elementer skolebestyrelser. Kan det samme ske i Danmark?

Læs hele bloggen her:

Trump is running for president – but the train wreck that we know seems to be out of steam…

Not even Trump seems to believe in his own victory in the upcoming presidential election

It was expected – in my case, feared. But there was not fanfare, escalators, white dress suits, and roaring shouts of jubilation, like we saw it last time. Even Trump was a toned-down version of himself when he from his Mar-a-Lago golf resort announced his candidacy for the next US presidential election.

And so, the circus begins. We are still waiting for the result to find out if it will be the Democrats or the Republicans who will have the majority in the House of Representatives, but the presidential election has apparently started, too, all though the election is not until two years from now.

A while back, we talked to the kids about our future here in the US. We told them that if the Americans elect Trump again, then our time in the USA is over – we simply cannot go through the drama and the high blood pressure again. Maybe I will be moving, but I doubt it.

Perhaps Trump’s relatively calm behavior was strategic, perhaps he meant to appear as dialed down as possible as a reaction to his shrill MAGA candidates that were massively rejected by voters. Maybe that’s why he didn´t spew his hatred and false accusations at us. Maybe he’s depressed that his candidates in the US midterm elections were rejected. Maybe deep down he doesn’t want to announce his candidacy but does it hoping the multiple lawsuits, facing him for his financial blunders, will disappear.

When Trump announced his candidacy, he followed his script, which is unusual for him. He spoke in a low and slow tone and read his speech from cover to cover. It was a bizarre experience, since we are used to seeing his wild gestures, angry outbursts and tirades of nonsense blabber.

One thing, however, was as it usually is – his falsehoods and his conspiracy theories – about the mid-term election results, oil prices, and about the environment.

The news ankers were puzzled. Who is the Donald Trump we saw on our screens tonight? Why did he appear so different?

How will the Republican leadership respond? During the last week, several prominent members of the party have aired thoughts that it is time for a new direction for the party, a direction away from Trump and his political followers. This sentiment echoes the voters in the midterm elections.

Tonight, I am looking forward. I am exhilarated about the midterm elections – Americans showed the world they value their democracy and that what they want are politicians who work together and implement legislation for the benefit of the people.

So, I look forward to the future. Because with the Trump I saw tonight and the election results last week – I don’t think I’ll have to start packing any moving boxes. Maybe we don’t need to fear that Americans will re-elect Trump. But you never know – you should never underestimate neither Donald Trump nor the American people.


Så kører Trump-toget igen – men slet ikke med samme damp som sidst…

Ikke engang Trump ser ud til at tro på sin egen sejr ved det kommende præsidentvalg

Læs hele bloggen her:

Midterm election: Thank you to the women who voted for democracy and women´s rights

Shocking developments in the votes in the US midterm elections. American women have had enough!

“What are you most worried about? – inflation?” I asked my American friend on the phone last night.

»I don’t give a shit about inflation, if they take away my God damn rights as a human being!,« she replied, finishing her sentence by saying that she had done her part by voting, but that her mental health could not handle watching the midterm election results on live tv.

My friend is not the only one who has had enough. One state after another proved that last night. The news anchors watching the numbers come in couldn´t believe their eyes.

Traditionally, the party that has a president in the White House loses seats in Congress in the midterm elections. In addition, Biden has lower voter approval than many of his Democratic presidential predecessors. All the odds were against the Democratic Party – yet the votes show a clear trend: Americans, especially American women, do not want crazy Trump supporters representing them, they do not want to be deprived of democratic rights, and they do not want the right to choose over their own bodies taken away. Do never underestimate the power of women.

“Maybe America’s future isn’t as bleak, as I feared?

But the Republican party, that strategically and in historically large numbers put African-Americans and women on the ballot, to bring voters to think that the party does not exclusively consists of white men, did – underestimate women in America.

Also, Republicans thought they had a winning hand in Donald Trump, who has been touring and spewing his hate speech in important swing states. It turns out, though, voters don’t want more insane, boastful Trumpers in Congress – they want sensible politicians, they want cooperation – and they want democracy. I wonder if Trump will run for president after this?

Perhaps the Americans have also had enough of intimidation and violence. If there is one thing one should never do, it is telling an American what to do. Americans value their individual rights, and gun carrying, militia-clad men at the polls and violence against elected politicians’ family members may have proven too much for those who normally do not vote during the midterm elections.

It will take some time before we have a final election result. And during that period, conspiracy theories will start to simmer because Republicans will repeatedly cry out their never ending nonsense about voter fraud. Each state has carefully planned how to deal with a situation of potential riots in the streets.

Yesterday, I asked my 85-year-old neighbor Pat what she thought about the midterm elections. Whether she was nervous, even worried about democracy? “I have a different perspective, I’ve seen and experienced a lot, I’m not nervous,” she said.

And sweet Pat seems to be right. Maybe America’s future isn’t as bleak as I feared?


Midtvejsvalg i USA: Tak til kvinderne, der stemte for demokrati og for retten til abort

Chokerende udvikling i stemmerne ved det amerikanske midtvejsvalg. Måske har mange amerikanere alligevel fået nok?

Læs hele bloggen her: