Category Archive 'Denmark'
23 Feb 2017

Denmark Paid Welfare Benefits to ISIS Fighters

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84% of Denmark’s welfare recipients are of non-Western origin. (17 Mar 2016)

New York Times:

The Danish government has been inadvertently paying benefits to citizens fighting for the Islamic State in Syria, Danish officials said Tuesday, as outrage grows that militants are manipulating the country’s generous welfare system.

About 145 Danes have traveled to Syria or Iraq to fight for militant groups since 2012, according to the Danish security and intelligence services.

Officials said this week that they had identified a number of Danish citizens who, while receiving government disability pensions, had traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

“It is a huge scandal that we are paying out money from the welfare funds in Denmark to people who are going to Syria and elsewhere in the world to undermine democracy that we have been fighting for for hundreds of years,” the country’s minister of labor, Troels Lund Poulsen, said.

Last year, the news media reported that more than two dozen Danish citizens receiving unemployment benefits had traveled to Syria to fight for ISIS, even though the law requires recipients to live in Denmark.

Read the whole thing.

25 Jan 2017

Viking Ax Found in Danish Tomb

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Vintage News:

Inside an ancient Viking “death house,” a type of large tomb, Danish archaeologists recently made several important discoveries. The tomb, measuring 13 feet by 42 feet, was first unearthed in 2012 during a construction project in Denmark’s southwestern Hårup region.

Archaeologists have been studying the tomb ever since – burial sites are currently the only way archaeologists can study Viking history since remains of Viking settlements have yet to be excavated.

Constructed circa 950 AD, the “death house” contains three separate graves. Inside two of the graves, researchers found the remains of a male and female “power couple” likely of high birth or strong community influence. However, lead archaeologist Kirsten Nellemann Nielsen of the Silkeborg Museum in Denmark, cannot say for sure whether the “power couple” is a brother and sister or husband and wife. Clothing items found with the remains show that the man and woman were nobility.

The female’s clothing had silver threads in it, and she was buried with a key, which was a Viking status symbol.

The male remains found in the main tomb yielded an amazing discovery – one of the largest Viking axes found to date. The extremely heavy, giant ax could have been used in combat, but it would have taken two hands to fight with it. Experts believe it was probably used to terrify Viking enemies. As Nielsen explains, “People across Europe feared this type of ax, which at the time was known as the Dane Axe – something like the ‘machine gun’ of the Viking Age.” The ax did not have many decorative markings, which also suggests it was used in battle. The man it was buried with was probably quite strong to wield the ax successfully. The fact that he was buried with the ax and nothing else leads researchers to conclude that he identified himself solely as a strong and competent warrior.

12 Jan 2017

“Like Candles and Warm Socks? You Nasty Racist!”

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Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells
And schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver-white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

“You dirty racist!”

Do you like warm fires, candles, generalized coziness, intimate gatherings with family and friends, even pumpkin lattes and warm socks? Beware! you are guilty of fondness for Hygge, a Danish kind of reactionary thinking that Slate deplores.

Christina Cauterucci last Fall, in response to last years publication of several books on Hygge, mocked the hankering for candles, doubted that Hygge was even achievable for American residents of “drafty apartment[s] with no fireplace, no grandma, nothing but sweatsocks, and an understuffed sofa,” and described Hygge as essentially a yearning for a return to the uterus. She didn’t come right out and say so but, back in the uterus, there are no bearded Muslim refugees looking to cut your throat, shoot you full of holes, or blow you up.

More recently, Alex Robert Ross identified the sinister connection between a liking for candles and warm socks and Racism and Populist Xenophobia.

This all makes sense. A collective craving for childlike comforts in response to social trauma is a psychoanalytic classic. It was Carl Jung who wrote in The Practice of Psychotherapy, “The patient’s regressive tendency[…] is not just relapse into infantilism, but an attempt to get at something necessary[…] the universal feeling of childhood innocence, the sense of security, or protection, or reciprocated love, of trust.” He was a half-sentence away from extolling the virtues of homemade yogurt, eye contact with close family, and a deep, abiding hygge.

Hygge’s turning inward against the world outside comes with a more sinister edge, however. As Charlotte Higgins pointed out in her deep dive for the Guardian last month, hygge’s ties to the far-right in Denmark are remarkably strong. Pia Kjærsgaard, the leader of the right-wing, anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party, has publicly extolled the virtues of the lifestyle, insisting that her office remain cozy and hyggelig at all times. Denmark’s welfare state and reputation for tolerance may be admired by progressives in the U.K. and U.S., but, as Higgins points out, the country’s love of hyggefied thatched cottages with closed doors suggests a conservative undercurrent. “Anything that threatens that safe community, including alien values and ideologies, cannot be tolerated,” she writes.

The journalist and author Michael Booth had the same sensation when he moved from England to Denmark. “Hygge can seem like self-administered social gagging, characterized more by a self-satisfied sense of its own exclusivity than notions of shared conviviality,” he wrote in The Almost Nearly Perfect People: The Truth About the Nordic Miracle. Bloom says that it falls in line with a “postcolonial drawbridge theory—the ‘What was lost without [will be found within]’ way of valuing what little cultural and economic capital Denmark had left after the loss of its empire.”

Indeed, Denmark has been struggling with its colonial legacy lately; a rise in the number of refugees over the past two years has uncovered the limits of Denmark’s famously progressive outlook. The government can now seize any item worth more than $1,450 from a refugee in order to pay for their sustenance and upkeep in the country. And after slashing refugee benefits last year, the government advertised the news in Lebanese newspapers, just to be sure that the country didn’t seem quite so attractive to newcomers. The far right Danskernes Parti, or “Danes’ Party,” handed out ‘Asylum Spray’ in the port town of Haderslev in September. Pepper spray being illegal, they filled the cans with hairspray instead, but the message remained hideously clear. “We wanted to figure out a way for Danish people, in particular women, to protect themselves,” party leader Daniel Carlsen said. “In the short run we want to provide solutions to make life better and safer for the Danish people.”

If his words sounded a little hyggelig, it’s no coincidence. Poured into hygge’s candlelit sweetness, like a cloying cream filling, are inevitable and explicit cases of xenophobia and racism. In their recent study of online communities in Denmark, Ahmad Beltagui and Thomas Schmidt explored the hygge of the closed chat room. In one instance, this sense of community was fostered with “what one [user] referred to as a ‘‘little Hyggelig racist joke’.” This online interaction had an unsavory conclusion: “The rapid escalation saw the opponent being addressed in upper case text and accused of both not speaking Danish and being homosexual.” Though such bullying, the researchers write, would not ordinarily be particularly hyggelig, the abuse came “from a user with the word Hygge in their username.” With racist, homophobic abuse online being a cornerstone of right-wing populism today, this little hyggelig anecdote should raise doubts about just how apolitical hygge can claim to be.

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Here’s that Nationalist Julie Andrews:

26 Apr 2015

Danish Man Kills Himself After the State Euthanizes His Dog

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danzanto
The late Dan and Zanto

Opposing Views passes along a story that makes your blood boil.

A man in Denmark was so devastated when authorities seized and euthanized his dog that he took his own life.

Dan, whose last name has not been disclosed, was 27 years old.

Dan was given just eight days to prove that his dog Zanto was not one of the breeds banned in Denmark, and under Danish law, the burden to prove dog breed is placed upon owners. When he was unable to do so, authorities removed Zanto and arranged for him to be killed. Soon after Zanto was taken, Dan was reported to have overdosed on pain medication.

His dog, Zanto, had been euthanized in adherence with Denmark’s Breed Specific Legislation on Pit Bulls. Danish legislation titled the “Dog Act” also dictates that police are required to euthanize dogs that “savage” a person or another dog, but Zanto hadn’t attacked anyone. He was simply considered an illegal breed.

The Dog Act bans the ownership and breeding of 13 breeds of dogs, including the Pitt Bull Terrier, Kangal, South Russian Shepherd Dog and American Bulldog. Some breeds have been illegal since 1991, but legislation in 2010 brought the number to 13.

20 Jul 2014

New Research on Danish Bog Bodies

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TollandMan
Tolland Man

New research on Danish bog bodies from National Geographic.

[O]ngoing research is uncovering an entirely new dimension: When alive, these people of the bog may have instead been special members of their villages, which in the early Iron Age were loosely scattered across Denmark.

New chemical analyses applied to two of the Danish bog bodies, Huldremose Woman and Haraldskær Woman, show that they had traveled long distances before their deaths. What’s more, some of their clothing had been made in foreign lands and was more elaborate than previously thought. …

The research revealed that Huldremose Woman’s body contained strontium atoms from locales outside Denmark—showing she had traveled abroad before she ended up in the bog.

Another study published in 2009 by Mannering revealed that Huldremose Woman’s woolen garments—turned brown by the bog—were originally blue and red: Dyed clothing is a sign of wealth, she says. Mannering and colleagues also found a ridge in Huldremose Woman’s finger that may have indicated it once bore a gold ring before it disintegrated in the bog.

19 Oct 2013

Christopher Walken: World’s Most Sinister Tailor

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Walken appears in four of these collected here.

12 Sep 2013

Nordic Cuisine

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Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

10 May 2012

Flash Mob on Copenhagen Metro

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Hat tip to Advice Goddess.

24 Mar 2012

Danish Television Punches Obama Above Its Weight

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It turns out that small countries pay attention to what insincere US presidents say about other US allied countries and themselves.

Hat tip to Peter Somerville.

29 Sep 2010

SAS Adopts Exclusively Muslim Menu on Flights

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The road from political correctness to dhimmitude is proving very short.

The Copenhagen Post:

SAS flight passengers might soon only have a menu made entirely from Halal food to choose from on all flights in the near future.

Gate Gourmet, the food unit of Gategroup which supplies food for the pan-Scandinavian airline, told the Financial Times they have plans to switch all production to halal methods of food preparation.

Halal foods include certain meats, but no pork, and the animal is slaughtered in a specific method.

Guy Dubois, the CEO of Swiss-based Gategroup, told the newspaper that it is considering the move to save costs, as all of the production is streamlined, and the menu is agreeable to all passengers.

23 Aug 2010

2010 Danish Rabbit Hopping Championships

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An international sport I had not known existed.

3:41 video

It doesn’t look as if you lose many points for a refusal.

Via David Wagner and Leah Libresco.

24 Jun 2010

Topless Valkyrie Advertisement

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Bruce Kesler, at Maggie’s Farm, links a 2:45 highly amusing ad

Just across Germany’s northern-most border with Denmark you’ll find an incredible superstore called Fleggaard. There, you can buy everything you need – tubs of gummi bears, cases of wine, industrial strength dishwashing soap – at prices 30% cheaper than you’ll find in Denmark . It is Denmark’s Costco, packaged as a German loophole. This is their advertisement! The 100+ women do stunts in the air – while free-falling – holding hands to spell out “Half-off on Dishwasher at Fleggaard.” You’d be hard-pressed to find a man in Denmark who hasn’t seen and fallen in love with that commercial.

02 Jan 2010

Danish Police Shoot Somali Trying to Kill Danish Cartoonist

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The Telegraph reports that an attempt on the life of Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard was narrowly prevented.

As usual, when innocent lives are threatened by criminal violence, police response is minutes away.

Danish police have shot a Somali man linked to al-Qaida who tried to enter the home of an artist who drew controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

The man, 28, who was armed with an axe and a knife, went to the home of Kurt Westergaard at 10pm local time on Friday, police said.

Police shot him in the leg and arm and he was arrested. The man, who is expected to recover, was later charged with two counts of attempted murder.

Mr Westergaard, 74, was commissioned by the Jyllands-Posten newspaper to produce caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed five years ago, including one which depicted the Prophet with a bomb in his turban.

He has received several death threats since the cartoon was published, but had spoken recently about trying to live as normal a life as possible at his home in Viby near the western city of Aarhus.

Mr Westergaard was there with a five-year-old granddaughter when the attacker tried to get in.

“I locked myself in our safe room. He tried to smash the entrance door with an axe,” he said.

He said that the assailant shouted “revenge” and “blood” as he tried to enter the bathroom where Mr Westergaard and the child had sought shelter.

“My grandchild did fine,” he said. “It was scary. It was close. Really close. But we did it.”

Officers arrived two minutes later and tried to arrest the assailant, who wielded an axe at a police officer. One officer then shot the man in a knee and a hand, authorities said. Nielsen said the suspect was admitted to hospital but his life was not in danger.

05 Dec 2009

Danish Parliament Speaker: “Gullible Politicians Turning Climate Theories Into Facts”

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Thor Pedersen

Just in time for the Copenhagen Climate Summit, the liberal Speaker of Denmark’s Parliament has given an interview to the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) expressing some very refreshing skepticism.

Politiken.DK:

The Speaker of the Danish Parliament has issued a damning criticism of the climate debate, saying politicians gullibly turn theories into facts.

As the world prepares to converge on Copenhagen for the COP15 Climate Summit, Denmark’s Speaker of Parliament has expressed serious doubts as to the way in which the climate debate has developed.

“The problem is that lots of people go around saying that the climate change we see is a result of human activity. That is a very dangerous claim,” Parliamentary Speaker and former Finance Minister Thor Pedersen (Lib) tells DR.

“Unfortunately I seem to experience that scientists say: ‘We have a theory’ – then that crosses the road to the politicians who say: ‘We know’. Who can be bothered to hear a scientist who says ‘I have a theory’ when politicians go around saying ‘I know’” Thor Pedersen says.

Speaker Thor Pedersen (Lib) “Scientists say: ‘We have a theory’ – then that crosses the road to the politicians who say: ‘We know’”

Thor Pedersen adds that the temperature has not risen in the past decade.

“I’m not saying that in the decade that the temperature has fallen or stagnated is enough to evaluate developments. But one should only say what one knows,” the Speaker adds.

“You should say that although we believed in our models, that the temperature would rise from 1998 to 2008, we have to admit that it has not risen. We cannot explain why it has not risen, but we believe we still have a problem. I’m just asking that people say what they actually know.”

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