Saturday, October 08, 2005

More on the Anticipated Tot 

I just thought this would be helpful because it's an English language account of the lunacy.

Yes, lunacy:

But the fevered excitement that has infected the normally reticent Danes for their adopted princess and her husband, Crown Prince Frederik, has moved the Government to crack down on effusive behaviour.

The Danish Ministry of Culture has warned revellers against sparking impromptu fires on the ancient beacon mounds used by the Vikings to pass messages.

An official line of 350 "fires of joy", starting from Copenhagen and controlled by several thousand soldiers, will light up the entire nation on news of the royal birth. That delivery could come "in only a few days' time", the Danish Palace said.

Count me among the "normally reticent" that isn't feeling the "fevered excitement." No effusiveness here!


And isn't it typical that the government's prohibiting the lighting of bonfires by anyone but itself? "No spontaneous outbursts of joy, people... we can hand it out much more efficiently from a central location!"

Soccer and a Baby 

The Danish National team plays Greece at eight o'clock tonight in a must-win qualifier for the 2006 World Cup. If they lose it's all over; if they win, they still need to beat Kazakhstan on Wednesday and need Albania to beat (or tie) Turkey.

Meanwhile, the Crown Princess is due more or less any day now. (I should probably add thisroyal-obsessive tabloid onto my list of links, but I can't bring myself to do it.)

Marys fødselslæge, Morten Hedegaard, er med garanti på plads på lyserød stue, før kronprinsessen ankommer for at føde.

Mary's obstetrician, Morten Hedegaard, is guaranteed to be in place in the pink room before the crown princess arrives to give birth.

How can such a guarantee be made? Because the doctor now literally lives at Rigshospitalet, and will remain there until after the royal birth. (Living conditions are a little tight at the hospital, though, so the doctor's wife and kids remain at their home in Aarhus.)

You'd think Denmark would be egalitarian and confident enough to let their crown princess give birth with the best available obstetrician on hand when she goes into labor. That's how the rest of Denmark's women do it, after all. If the royal family can't trust the state-controlled health system, what kind of message are they sending the rest of us?

In any case, it promises to be an interesting week in Denmark...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Muslims Diminish Ethnic Danish Birth Rate? 

That's right. According to Louise Frevert of the Danish Folk Party, there's a kind of "White Dane's Burden" to provide for immigrant Muslims that's so onerous that the strain has actually diminished the capacity of ethnic Danes to reproduce more copiously.

(Ms. Frevert is currently her party's candidate for Mayor of Copenhagen. At least she was...)

Since I don't have enough time to do any translating myself, here are some nuggets from Jyllands Posten:

Last week, Frevert was reported to the police for posting derogatory comments on Muslims on her website. A number of articles stated that young Muslim men, even if they were born in Denmark and spoke Danish, harboured fundamental attitudes that were incompatible with Danish society.

"Whatever happens, they feel it's their right to rape Danish girls and stamp out Danish citizens," the article stated. "Our laws forbid us to kill our enemies in public, so our only remedy is to fill our prisons with these criminals."

The article on Frevert's website went on to recommend that Muslim criminals be sent to prisons in Russia.

In another article, Muslims were compared with cancer cells, which could only be treated with chemotherapy or surgically removed.

Naturally the Danish Folk Party is trying to distance themselves from the remarks, and have promised "an investigation."

I don't know what they're going to investigate: certainly the sentiments expressed could have come from most Folk Party regulars—behind closed doors. Probably the party wants to find out how someone could have been fool enough to actually express in public what most of their members believe in private.

The Danish Folk Party represents the extreme side of Denmark's struggles to reconcile its liberal traditions with the less liberal traditions of its growing immigrant population. They are real struggles, and there are real problems, but this kind of talk is just scary.

"Muslims were compared with cancer cells, which could only be treated with chemotherapy or surgically removed."

Anyone making such blanket comparisons is either too ignorant or too evil to hold any kind of public office.

One of her political opponents in the mayoral race, Lars Rasmussen, correctly observed that "Her comments sound like something she heard from the Nazi Party." That's one of the first times in recent years I've actually seen the Nazi-grenade tossed with any precision. But the horror that ought to be inspired by its very accuracy is diminished by its excessive recent use.

If Rasmussen really wanted to tar Ms. Frevert's character, he would have said her comments sounded like something she heard from Karl Rove. That would have knocked her out Danish political life forever!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Jared Heller Interrogated 

Somehow I missed this story last week: Jared Heller was interrogated by police on Thursday, September 22.

My own translation of the article follows:

American Interrogated in Case of Dismembered Body

An American who's been charged for the macabre March murder of taxi driver Torben Vagn Knudsen in Copenghagen was interrogated in Copenhagen City Court on Thursday [the 22nd].

The 34-year-old Jared Heller had hitherto been closed as an oyster [absolutely silent] but the police now hope to get an explanation so the murder case can be brought before the state's attorney.

The interrogation was held behind closed doors, and the police have no clue as to the whereabouts of his presumed accomplice, a Sudanese called "Jaguar."

The murder of the 41-year-old tax driver excited a lot of interest because his body was dismembered and found in several pieces in inner Copenhagen back around Easter.

I can't find any follow-up to this story, so presumably even if Jared did start talking, the criminal justice system isn't sharing the information with the press.

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