October 30, 2008

The devil at the crossroads...

The Congo is bleeding to death... And the world is slowly but finally taking notice of the atrocities, which has been going on for decades...! A country; Where the only safe act for civilians; would be fleeing to the forrest/bush - In the Congo civilization has come full circle; we came down from the trees and now we're going back there... Leaving all the signs of prosperity and evolution behind, i.e. huts, food, pots and pans and all personal belongings, because that will only attract soldiers -Government forces and rebels alike. Soldiers on a rampage, burning, raping, torturing, stealing and murdering everything in their way!! Sexual assault being a key weapon in this monstrous war!

Human Right Watch has reports of soldiers raping girls only 3 years old! HRW actually asked for the arrest of Laurent Nkunda for war crimes and crimes against humanity in 2006! But we are now nearing the end of 2008 and the international community has still not done anything! The 17.000 UN peacekeepers are stretched to a breaking point ... As peacekeepers, they don't stand a chance against the rebel forces.
Some misc. numbers; Some 3.4 million deaths! Approx. 1 million people displaced. Tens of thousands raped. An unknown number of child soldiers.........

If you, like me, don't know the first thing about the Congo situation; Then Tim Butcher's book "Blood River" is a good place to start... And Barbara Kingsolver " The Poisonwood Bible"
There's a million reports and pieces written on DR Congo, some are good, some are outstanding and most are most informative - They're all pretty easy to find on the internet.

(If you can read Danish, you can Tag; DR Congo on my site, and you'll find a post, with a lot more info on the subject- written in spring)

The next President at the Daily show

And this is "The Daily Show" interview with the contender for Heavy Weight Champion of the world of politics; The US presidency..

October 29, 2008

Tragically unHip but Cool!

Now, I'm a victim too, of the Fannie Maes and Freddie Macs of the world... Or more acurate; I'm a victim of the mighty Viking hubris... ; The flight I bought for Amsterdam in Dec., is now only valid for a round trip to NothingButaSaga-land and it's not refundable, thank you!  

In the late 1990's, young Icelandic men, descended in hordes, like their forefathers before them. But this time, the vikings had come as businessmen and they vigorously bought everything they could lay their hands on...
The era of the Geyser economy was in full boost-  In Denmark they bought the oldest and most prestigious department store; Magasin du Nord. And then they noticed the old man Mr. Maersk's ailing airline; They changed the name to Sterling, even though the service was far from it, but it did have the advantage of super low airfares... the only low budget airline in DK. -  So naturally I booked my christmas trip there, when I had decided to see my oldest and dearest child in Amsterdam. Last night, Sterling Airways was the second Icelandic company to go belly up.... ! - And Iceland as a nation, is only a negative answer away, from going bankrupt too...!

When I heard of this, I called my favorite Expat. and while she was mumbling soothing sounds into my ear, I could hear her tapping the keyboard in the background. 

And this is what she found to replace me:
    I'll proudly introduce the next best thing to a visit from home; 
You know the kind; A familiar face, who arrives just around the hollidays, loaded with all the necessities for, say; a real christmas,  all the various goodies, you just can't do without, if you live abroad and wants to recreate the perfect christmas of your childhood... Not that such a thing exist, any where else than in your stressed-out mind, but still... If you, as a Dane, can't bear to see a tree without small redandwhite drums or flags, if you need the cherrysauce or the special fat rice for the christmas pudding, ... or if your kid misses  his favorite Danish magazine/book/DVD/CD/Game...? If you want to give someone, a special Danish Design gift ? then - Ta-da; "Homesick"  
  "Hjemve" is the very site for you... They ship worldwide!

Psst; If you know a Dane, who's far from home, you can give them a gift-card to the site, and earn their eternal gratitude.... Me thinks.

October 23, 2008

The windmills of his mind..

I'd tuned to CNN.. And again I saw John McCain bashing his opponent, re- repeating his punchlines... He does that a lot... It's like, why give up a good line, just because you've used a hundred times before? This time it was the one that goes like this; " If Obama wanted to run against George Bush, he should have run for office, 4 years ago!" and then it was the line about earmarks, going on about telescopes... and the one about socialism, spreading the wealth.... And on it goes...;

He makes me think of Don Quixote; The old warrior stuck in a moment in his past, fighting  a lost cause; The windmills! Unfortunately they are only in his head.. You can even say, that the old Knight, was a kind of "Maverick" in his time... But a true one, as opposed to McCains illusory "Lone rider" And that McCain's dark fiery eyes is betraying his anger,  ambition, power greed, and something as human as
"living up to the old man"... (McCain the father; The admiral, went through the same thing with his dad; John McCain's grandfather; who was a admiral too!) When asked; What do you think of Colin Powells endorsement of Obama? His repeated auto answer is listing the 4 secretaries of State and more than 200 generals and admirals on his side... Kinda like the kid telling you; My dad is bigger than yours...

Then I read an article in Rolling Stone issue 1063, written by Tim Dickinson, a member of the Republican Party and who voted for McCain in 2000 in the California Primary.
And that background article, rattled me... McCain; A man I thought of as; An old warhorse fighting a lost NeoCon cause, going a bit deaf, from too much drumming.....  But, as it turns out, it's his own drum, he's been banging all along while doing the navy-ditty "For the love of the country"!  

The reasons why his own party mates is turning their backs on him, and especially the Republicans in the US Military, who are not as easily fooled by his pilot bravado, as the rest of the nation. All this becomes much more understandable and crystal clear to me, after having read this well researched piece. It's filled with a vast amount of interviews with firsthand sources. This reckless and raging old man is such a fraud... .  

 A man of such mediocrity (He graduated 894 out of 899!!) his only means to rise to power is by nepotism, sucking up and manipulating the media with half truths and whole lies...  Some of the far out  and dishonest statements in the article, is quotes from his autobiography, as tainted as it is, by his selective memory and fact tweaks! 

 McCains erratic, hotheaded and impulsive character, has these very traits in common with my ancient warrior... and then I didn't mention McCains long career in womanizing and that Quixote loved his damsels as well.... But the old Don is basically harmless and John McCain is anything but! If that man comes into power, real power; we'd better run for the hills and start stocking up on food and what else we might need, in order to survive another great war!

 I wouldn't want either
 John McCain the Maverick with a rusty honor
Don Quixote the Knight in rusty armor
 the most powerful warrior in the world -


-This is Don Quixote endorsed by Sancho Panza just like John McCain has been endorsed by Al Qaeda on their website.. (",)
 And McClellan (ex White House Press secretary) has now endorsed Obama - Yet another Republican has crossed over from the "Dark Side" - (",)

But what never ceases to amaze me; Is the fact, that The Leading Nation of the Free World,  apparently hasn't invented a voting process and tools, which works in a infallible manner and without hiccups! The whole process is outrageously time consuming and troublesome......
And then I'm not saying a word about the whole voting system of electoral votes and so on!

October 21, 2008

Smooth operator with a human touch

Ahr, well... The colors of fall is blowing in at full blast and the wind is getting noticeably chillier... Just like the atmosphere at the US elections.
And at full blast is, the all attention consuming US election... The campaigns are firering off the heaviest ammo they can muster and the dirtiest truths, half-truths and right out lies, they can possibly dig up. And all this without coming across like an angry, impulsive wildcard as opposed to a determined, informed pro...Cold or presidential? And so on, and on and on....! "An ugly campaign, is getting harder to do, on account of the internet"- says Huffingtonpost

 Now that Barack Obama is going to Hawaii to visit his sick Granny Toot. Michelle Obama, his very capable wife and selfprofessed "Obama Mama" is going to do the talking for a couple of days...(Can you imagine Cindy McCain do that?) The media speculated on the effect on the swing- voters of this trip, and should his Campaign managers now be nervous?
 For me, this would only take away the last hesitation, if any! This proves that; Obama is, what he say he is; A man concerned  about the soft as well as the hard issues. And thus; All cries of Obama being way too slick, cold and smooth for his own or the nations good... must now be silenced...!

But humans with their emotional likes and dislikes are indeed a fickle affair... 
What it all boils down to is that all of this, is all of it in the eye of the beholder! 
There's no telling what they might do, when the day comes. When Non-Joe the Non-Plumber, stands all by his lonesome in the booth with only his maker as his witness, where he'll put his cross or whatever fantastic system the Americans have dreamed up!  - The first reports of voting machines with a mind of their own, is already coming in - This is promising!

On CNN; I saw a map of the world, decked out like a political map of US. 
In the case of the world having a vote in this election, the map was almost entirely Democratically blue - Georgia and Russia would go to John McCain, though! -( How can your have a running mate; Sarah Palin, who will not give interviews?)

But this brings me back to my old utopian idea of a system for global "voting". A vote that didn't count as a US citizenship vote would or should, but should count never the less, they have super-delegates and electorals in the American elections already. This could be like; An amount of people, picked at random. The number is according to size of the country. Every country in the world is involved. And everyone should have a say/vote.  From Albania to Japan.

America and whoever is running the show is a huge influence on all of our lives - Just throw a sideway glance at the finance rumble!- whether we like or not, and we should therefore have a say in their elections. This would only be fair.... But it will never be.... but still...! 

If you want to play with political maps go to RealClear Politics site, also a great place for any questions, you might have about American Politics... which is a bit mysterious for Europeans as my self. - Oh, and they have authors from both sides - Elephants and Donkeys alike!

The gap is flexible, and it's apparently a uphill battle for McCain, who is loosing Colorado...or rather searching for a trick to win the election without winning Colorado, New Mexico and Iowa.... Good luck on that one! And McCain is currently harping on Obamas inexperience on national security and therefore being a danger to the nation. But I think that Rep. Colin Powells endorsement of Obama, pretty much neutralizes that statement!!  - And Obama is leading with 9 points...
And right now McCain is grabbing on to anything, that comes his way or not, to hook on voters; Like; Obama hanging out with baseball players of different clubs and claiming to be fan of them all, depending of which state he's in, that Obama is a socialist, you name it.. nothing is too small, too petty as not to be thrown in. 
Does being a Vietnam POW, makes you an expert on the matter of all concerning national securities and foreign policies? Or maybe just a expert on being a POW? This is said with the outmost respect to what the man must have endured! 

A Danish taxidriver told me, that he was certain, that Obama will be assasinated, if he makes it to office....; "The Americans will never allow a black man as President" Man, that's a disturbing thought!

 Heard  a Danish reporter (Martin Krasnik ) (danish link) 
say ( yep, yet another danish link -sorry!!); "One of the real problems, is the divided nation. Well, that's not exactly news. Both candidates have shout outs for a united America. But I hadn't thought of the consequences; (but maybe that's just me) And this is, that everyone keeps to their own side of political observation; Only reading/hearing/seeing what their peers has to say, do... etc. And that's how; outrageous, die hard rumors E.g. "Obama is a Muslim" can live a long and undisputed life. 
Each side have their "own" radio/TV personalities, who can pour gasoline on the mythic bonfires to their hearts content... No " Presse etisk råd" (Council of media- ethics) to keep journalists in check here, or keeping the blunt and uninhibited media personalities on the straight and narrow -( Think O'Reilly on Fox) Being objective is not the name of the game ...!! Try and watch something like CNN's "The situation room" Everyone in that studio is biased and openly so...! I have talked to conservative Americans, and they prefer Fox news and thinks of CNN as too biased !! Just to show you, that we tend think that our opponents are the only one who's partial to the facts  
But anyways... I know what Martin Krasnik means, though... As I sometimes have a hard time listening to people of other political observation, than my own... I do tend to either turn them off or turn the page. Because it does have an effect on my blood pressure, when I try to exercise some restraint and sit through an interview with the likes of the danish right-wing politician and extreme patriot; Pia Kjærsgård...( Link in danish) But if I don't pay attention to the people, who is of a different opinion, than my own, then how can I even pretend to be informed...?
 When it comes to; Websites, documentaries, books and news-paper articles etc.etc ; I find, that the Objective author/instigator is a creature in danger of extinction.... 

On that note, I wanted to read a american newspaper and as I still don't have my Mac back from repairs, I thought I'd treat myself to the Sunday edition of "The New York Times" (Talking about keeping to ones own! ) And yes, it is a rare treat, when in Denmark, one has to pay; 80,- Dkr (14,15$) for a copy.... Somehow the slow death of the printed word, doesn't come as a surprise! But at least the Sunday ed. is as abundant in reading matter as the spanish "El Pais" Sunday edition. NYT comes with two glittery magazines, a Book, a Arts& Leisure, a Travel, a Styles, a Week in review, a Sports and a Business supplements.... So there's enough for the rest of the week.... Served up with my latest flame: Ben and Jerry's "Bohemian Raspberry" Now that "Cherry Garcia" is so very hard to find in these parts!  
Ice cream goes really well with Dutch "Stroopwafels", American Politics
 and the oncomming elections, which I find as fascinating as a great J. Le Carré novel....
 (All Stroopwafels is courtesy of Ninon & Simon in Amsterdam)

October 11, 2008

My Friends and Foes!

(This is pinched from the official McCain site!)

So, my friends..!! It has been e few days, since the last debate, my friends! And McCain didn't really win over, any of the undecided voters, my friend. And even though, I jumped off the couch a few times, during the Townhall meeting  debate, my friend! And felt like scuffling around on my sitting room floor, not unlike McCain, who only sat down to make notes, which he did furiously, my friends, rest of the time he was inspecting the outer realms of the studio. There was nothing much to write home about... that night, my friends!
  Apart from the obvious: That just like Mrs Palin, he seems to have some fixed worded phrases, that he'll keep using over and over. And that apparently John McCain has and is the answer to EVERYTHING!  From what to do about the current financial crisis to the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden... According to McCain; Al Qaida HQ is in Iraq... ?! My friends!

 Sarah Palin has just been "unveiled", my friend, as someone keen on exercising and misusing her power- well, my friend, does that come as any surprise ? And do you go "What??"  when she denies the whole thing? It's just the "bad-blood" of a former "Joe six-pack" or maybe a dozen six-packs more likely, according to the Alaskan Gov'ner! I told you she's toxic, my friends! But she makes me smile, especially when she tries to pronounce: "Nuclear" and when she clearly doesn't know the meaning of the words like: "Achilles-heel!
 All that makes me smile in the midst of this global crisis, my Friends!
 Wonder what "Huffington Post" will say... Always amusing to read someone who's informed &  vicious! 

In Denmark, we have this, normally high-quality TV programme, my friends, called "Dr 2 Udland" about international affairs. Somehow, in a mistaken attempt to come across as objective ? They have aired a few stories, shown as to show the audience, how Barrack Obama is no saint (As if anyone would think so? He's a  US politician and that calls for balls, not wings!) But the ignorance of the host (Tine Götche), came blazing through the screen. Hammering away the pre-prepared questions, without really hearing the answers of the person interviewed, who actually said the opposite,  of what the host had already decided was the "truth", my friend!
 The only question left, after seeing these "stories", my friend, is why? And how was that supposed to enlighten any of us?

Next thursday, the last debate, last face off, my friends...!!!  And luckily "That One" will be there too, My friends!

 And then a bit of "Debate" silence before the storm of November 4. - And back on the Campaign track - right or wrong... The millions of $ keeps on rolling and the race keeps on rocking!
 If (or when, it seems! If not the so-called "Bradley effect" sets in or something or other....!!??) Barrack Obama wins the US presidential elections, it'll truly be an historic event, of such staggering proportions that we as, dare I say it, my friends? racial, religiously and politically more sophisticated Europeans cannot even begin to fathom!

Ah... And now North Korea is off the Terrorist supporting countries list... It really does pay to issue threats, even if you adversary is much, much bigger, mightier and more powerful than yourself, as long as what you're offering in return is something they really, really want!
  Give some, my friends and threat some !

( I saw McCains overuse the term"My Friends" at this debate, as a sign of nervousness. Or it could construed as a billionaire intent on being chummy with "Joe the plumber". But the fact remains that; McCain is a rich man, who doesn't know how many houses he owns and flies his private jet well above the poor America, for whom he claims to know well and whom he's been fighting and POW'ed for...)

October 5, 2008

Link to the SNL Palin- Biden Debate!

Here's the link to the full Saturday Night Live's spoof on the Joe Biden Vs Sarah Palin Debate in Missouri :

  Right here!

Sit back and enjoy!
(It helps if you saw the real deal; 
 Mr. Knows-what -he-talks-about Vs Little Miss Airhead !)

October 3, 2008

Little Miss Pipedream

Well, last night 01:00 GMT and 09:00 in HongKong; The Biden Vs Palin show went out into the satellite orbit and touched down, right here in Copenhagen, Denmark at 03:00 am - Had set the alarmclock, as to be in full vigor; with tea and my favorite icecream; Baskin &Robbins' Cookies'n' cream within my reach....

 And what to say? I'm totally and absolutely on my knees with infatuation with CNN's "Prime Toyboy"; Anderson Cooper,  Wolf Blitzer, a horde of analysts, commentators and leading figures in the world of political journalists and speech writers of every observance!  But what really turns me on is; The "Magic Map" - A gigantic touch TV screen, where the "Senior Political analyst" of the hour can throw maps of states, statistical figures, swing-votes, cities, Democrats' Super-delegates, Homepages and what have you around and around...  -and then draw a color-full circle or a line or two to underline a statement made in the heat of the moment or under the influence of outrageous paychecks and the power that comes along with it, almost as an afterthought! - Magic Map is (for me) the definition of a high-tech playmate of the year!

But let the one and only VP debate begin;
 I saw Joe Biden ( Yeahr.. I misspelled his name in the last post!) behave like a true gentleman, actually chocking up (!! - touching the subject of his life as a single parent) when, Mrs Palin, for upteemth time insinuated that he wouldn't know, what an average American, would be talking about at the kitchen table and she would, because she is a Mother! He didn't correct her, when she got names she should know, wrong! He didn't patronize her and for me, his biggest accomplishment of the evening was, that he didn't laugh outright of all the silliness and hot air she vented... He went after her boss instead - Well done, Joe! "Can I call you, Joe?" ( I'm so down to earth, straight forward, folksy and to top things off, I'm a hockey Mum too! You see...!)
Man, did she sound rehearsed, refusing to answer the questions, where she hadn't been coached beforehand. She had two or three sentences, she said again, and again I.e. "The greed and corruption of wall street" "Tap into"..... She said herself; "I have only, what, 5 weeks of this?" When asked if there were any promises, she had to undo, because of the recent financial situation.. And then she wants to take on Washington? - McCain being part of that exact same city and the people running it... 

Maybe she's dreaming of headlines like "Mrs Palin goes to Washington"   
 Or maybe secretly harboring the illusion, that James Stewart's character is  based on a true life story and she gets to reenact it?

- But then again, I don't think for a second, thats she's even half as "naive and sweetly innocent" as she wants us to believe! She must be thankful for the lack of followup questions in last night's debate and she probably, inwardly, thanked her good lord above, when moderator  Gwen Ifill  chose to let Sarah Palin slide off easy and let her "Not answer" with "I'd rather talk about" And what she just loooved to talk about was about: All the oil in the Alaskan ground and all the pipes and millions of barrels of oil (And pork?)  America could "Tap into" there... - No fighting windmills, solar energy or other alternatives for Mrs Palin! She even managed to answer the question of " What is you Achilles heel " with a 3 minute long self-glorification! (Maybe she doesn't know the meaning of the phrase?) Apparently, being a Hockey-mum is her biggest asset on her job application for Vice Presidency of the United States 

 I'm so very surprised, when Rep. commentators afterward tells us, what a fine job  she did; talking "Folksy"! Do they honestly believe that a few "Doggones" and "Darns", is what it takes, when applying for the second most powerful job in the world?
No way, the Americans is gonna buy this toxic, ignorant, one horse town wannabe politician... ?!
            - I said with hope and faith in the Nation of the brave.... But I still won't bet good money on the victory of Obama/ Biden ticket!
 Thankfully the election is not up to vice presidents 
but to;
 Barack Obama and  John McCain 
Their next debate will be on next tuesday!

October 1, 2008

Palin: Okay, I Didn't Quite Say

"We're on the road to nowhere"

Today, I tried to do the impossible; I intended to do my shopping, no list! While listening to the latest Sigur Ros album on my headphones, it can't be done.. The beauty and melancholia of this particular cd, makes it very hard, not to say impossible to concentrate on the task at hand!...

But I'm trying to pass the time... Tomorrow evening is the much awaited debate between VPs Palin and Biden... And I can hardly wait...
 I must admit, I'm like the bystander fascinated by the gruesome scene of a car accident. 
I want to see Palin's political crash, live;
 The whole " Russia Vs Alaska " experience, ( Maybe that's why, The Finns along with I.e. the Bulgarians are such mayor players on the international arena, their proximity to Russia!?) I want to hear her talk herself out of the blatant truth bending; According to her convention speech; Palin "said Thanks, but no thanks" to the "Bridge to nowhere" -But; She did support that infamous pork project in her 2006 run for governor. And even after the Congress had killed the bridge; She derided it's opponents as "Spinmeisters". She reversed her stance a year later, - but kept the money, doling out the 223 million $ in federal funds to other pork projects throughout Alaska...
 And as a mayor she managed to build a hockey- ("oh, I'm just a hockeymum" !!) Arena= Cost ; 15 million $ in a town with a annual 20 million $ budget (!!)- She broke the ground without finalizing the city's (Wasillia) purchase of the land. The resulting legal chaos did cost Wasillia; 1.3 million $ ... Yep," She's all against wasting taxpayers money" ( J. McCain introducing Palin )

 (Alaska ranks number 1 in USA in federal spending per resident, even it's just 18th in federal taxes paid per resident, which again means that all tax paying non Alaskans spend 8.500$ a year on each and every resident of Palin's paradise of self-sufficiency - On top of this; Alaska currently collects the most taxes per resident of any state in the nation!! Oh, did I emphasize that Sarah Palin is a sworn enemy of taxes?)

Ahr... Can't wait to see all those brand new myths come tumbling down in live TV, televised all over the world
 Oh, I almost forgot; What about all the well rehearsed answers, she has dished out during her (obviously!) very few interviews? She must have rehearsed some new ones! 

Her biggest asset has been, that she reminds you of some ones cousin; The "She so normal" factor... well, maybe it'll be her downfall as too; Cause maybe, just maybe.. Americans will be able to recognize her for what she is; A unqualified, religious zealot, a fake Conservative who raised taxes and porked up every earmarked millions, she could get her hands on! 
As some one said; "The scariest thing about Sara Palin isn't how unqualified she is - It's what her candidacy says about America!"

That debate, has the makings of "The all time greatest TV hour"! Won't miss it, for anything!