Denmark has stolen children from their foreigner parents

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Denmark at BBC2

Coast visits brand new territory to explore the strong bonds we have with our neighbours across the North Sea in Denmark. The Danes top the polls as the happiest people on Earth and Neil Oliver investigates the uniquely Danish concept of 'hygge', a cosy comfortable feeling almost impossible to translate into any other language. From palatial beach houses that are off limits to foreigners, to Denmark's oldest seaside resort, Neil discovers how their coast keeps the Danes happy.
Nick Crane examines how the Danish made big business out of selling bacon to Britain. Following defeats in the Napoleonic wars and the loss of lucrative farming land the Danes put poor soil to work rearing pork, but why did the British gobble it up?
Alice Roberts sets sail in a full-scale replica of a Viking longship to see how they gave the Norsemen the edge over the English in battle. Alice also discovers how over 8,000 Danish Jews managed to escape the Nazi concentration camps in a flotilla of fishing boats that braved hostile waters to reach the safety of neutral Sweden.
Miranda Krestovnikoff meets some unflappable red deer, who make themselves at home on a windswept shoreline, despite the fact that they share the sand dunes with tanks from the Danish army.
On Heligoland Mark Horton reveals how in 1947 Britain's Royal Navy blew this tiny island apart in the largest non-nuclear explosion the world had ever seen. It's all the more remarkable because Heligoland is an island that used to be British.
Dick Strawbridge gets access to the construction of one of the world's largest offshore wind farms, learning how wind turbine towers are built 10 miles out to sea using technology that may soon transform the British coastline, as offshore wind farms become an increasingly familiar sight.

Source: BBC

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bob Dylan at the National Gallery of Art

Bob Dylan has been a prolific painter and draughtsman since the 1960s. The multi-talented artist has, however, long kept this lesser-known aspect of his work to himself; only over the course of the last three years has he appeared in public as a painter, exhibiting watercolours and drawings. The National Art Gallery’s major autumn exhibition sees Bob Dylan presenting large-scale paintings for the first time ever: The Brazil Series (link in danish), which consists of all-new, never-before-seen works.

While Bob Dylan’s paintings and songs can be said to complement each other on certain points, his visual art should nevertheless be regarded as a fully rounded universe in its own right. If you search the paintings for visual assistance for your interpretations of Dylan’s songs and music, you would seek in vain. Rather, the works seem to spring from a deeply felt need on the artist’s part to express himself in solely visual terms. Or, as Dylan himself emphasised in his dialogue with the Gallery while working on his new paintings: ”If I could have expressed the same in a song, I would have written a song instead”.

Bob Dylan’s visual art is infused with the same constant urge for renewal and innovation that characterises his music. He seems to find no satisfaction in settling on a specific mode of expression once he has followed it through to its logical conclusion; rather, he is constantly experimenting, trying out new artistic devices, approaches, and modes of expression. When the National Gallery of Denmark approached him in the autumn of 2008 he regarded the watercolours and drawings executed by him so far as a closed chapter. The upcoming exhibition at the Gallery thus became the concrete catalyst behind an artistic change of direction and a period of intense work for Bob Dylan. In a new departure, he began working with acrylics and larger formats, and his visual idiom has also taken a new turn. The final result is The Brazil Series, which comprises around 50 paintings.

”I've been to the National Gallery of Denmark and it definitely is an impressive art museum. It was more than a little surprising when I was asked to create works specifically for this museum. It was an honor to be asked and a thrilling challenge. I chose Brazil as a subject, because I have been there many times and I like the atmosphere,” Bob Dylan states.

More at Art Daily

Denmark Is Shrinking Its Social Safety Net

Denmark has long held the title of the best place on earth to be laid off. With an expensive, generous welfare state, and the world’s most lavish unemployment insurance scheme, virtually no one falls through the cracks upon losing a job.
But the government unveiled an unpleasant surprise in June, when it halved the country’s whopping four-year unemployment benefits period to help mend its finances after the financial crisis.
The reason: Danish studies show that the longer a person goes without a job, the harder it is to find work. Many people get a job within the first three months of entering the system, but many more wait until just before benefits expire to take anything available.

In addition to halving the unemployment benefits period, the government is pinning high hopes on job activation programs, one of the three pillars in Denmark’s famed “flexicurity” model. Employers have carte blanche to hire and fire, and in turn, the jobless are guaranteed benefits if they attend retraining and job placement programs tailored to prepare them for work where labor is scarce.

More at The New York Times
Reference: Denmark Starts to Trim Its Admired Safety Net

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Brutal slaughter of pilot whales

More than 200 protected pilot whales were hacked to death with knives and sharpened hooks by fishermen who trapped them in coves on the Faroe Islands.

Pilot whales are classified as "strictly protected" under EU rules.The Faroes are a protectorate of Denmark and Sea Shepherd says the Danes are failing in their obligations by allowing the slaughter to continue.
Locals kill whales for food. A Fisheries Office spokesman said: "We use the most efficient and humane means of killing."
But Campaign Whale director Andy Ottaway said: "This appalling slaughter must end. It's an unfolding tragedy."

Source and photo: The Sun

Reference: Rottin' in Denmark

Danish drivers stumped by secret rules

Danish drivers have protested after Copenhagen ruled that large sections of its traffic rules were secret in defiance of rulings that wardens must explain why they have issued parking tickets.

Traffic wardens in Denmark’s capital have refused to tell parking offenders what rules they broke.
Following numerous complaints from motorists the Danish Broadcasting Corporation requested and received a 110 page document spelling out how traffic wardens should behave and how and when they should issue tickets.
But key sections of the guidance, including the pages concerning the rules setting out the circumstances for issuing tickets, had been blanked out by the Copenhagen parking authority.
Traffic wardens claimed that if drivers became aware of the information they would lose respect for traffic law and probably try to work around the rules.
The parking authority also insisted that it wanted to prevent wardens getting into long or semantic arguments with motorists about the small print of regulation.
Finally, the authorities declared that parking rules were “exempt” from freedom of information laws because “it is necessary for the protection of significant considerations regarding the implementation of public control”.
The “secret” rules are thought to relate to information on recommended observation times for wardens, advice on how to make the judgement for issuing a ticket and the required positions of parked vehicles.
The authorities have ignored a ruling from Hans Gammeltoft Hansen, Denmark’s parliamentary ombudsman, who said the rules “did not justify secrecy”.

Source: The Telegraph


Males Wilt Under Danish Fascism

Denmark rethinks hate crime laws

Aurora borealis in Denmark

Discrimination is OK in Denmark (link in danish)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

World's worst foreign minister

Lene Espersen, Denmark’s deputy prime minister, is under pressure to stand down after a string of gaffes led to her being dubbed the world’s worst foreign minister.
Miss Espersen has missed multiple high-level summits since March, including three meetings with Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, and the Kabul Conference on the future of Afghanistan.
She has missed 13 key meetings in recent years and was this week called the “world’s worst” foreign minister by a German newspaper.
Luck appears to have deserted the 44-year-old mother of two. She missed the Kabul summit because her plane was diverted to Kazakhstan after a rocket attack closed Kabul airport. Uzbekistan then closed its airspace to her flight. She claimed she would speak to the Uzbek ambassador to Copenhagen but that role does not exist.
She once failed to attend a meeting of Arctic countries because she was on an Easter break in Majorca. She has previously defended missing meetings by saying it was typical practice in many cases to send another foreign representative in her place.

Source: The Telegraph
Reference: here (in danish with video)

Jailed in Denmark not guilty

Drug charges dropped against woman who sat 23 months in jail
The Crown Prosecutor’s office will pay a Romanian woman 480,000 kroner in compensation after she spent nearly two years in custody for drug charges that were eventually dropped, according to public broadcaster DR.
In January 2008 the 23-year-old woman was arrested at Copenhagen Airport and charged with smuggling 10 kilograms of heroin. She was found guilty of the charges by a city court, but that verdict was overturned when it was found the judge’s previous position as an airport customs official created a conflict of interest.
A Turkish man was eventually convicted for the crime and the Romanian woman was set free in March.
The Crown Prosecutor accepted the compensation figure of 480,000 kroner which was recommended by the Public Prosecutor’s office based on the woman’s initial demand of 1.3 million kroner.

Source: Copenhagen Post

Tax Evasion

The leader of Denmark's main opposition party says she made a "big and sloppy error" by giving incorrect information to the Danish authorities about her husband, Stephen Kinnock.
Social Democrat leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt was speaking after the Danish tabloid newspaper BT had accused her husband of evading Danish taxes.
Mr Kinnock is the son of Lord Kinnock, the former UK Labour Party leader.
He works and pays tax in Switzerland on a reported income of £110,000.
Mrs Thorning-Schmidt admitted making a mistake over the amount of time her husband had spent in Denmark.
They have their family home in the Danish capital Copenhagen, even though Mr Kinnock works in Switzerland.

Mrs Thorning-Schmidt, who has campaigned for higher taxes for high earners, insists that her husband has resided in Denmark for only 33 weekends per year.
Therefore, she argues, he does not have to pay taxes in Denmark.
But when the couple applied for permission for Mr Kinnock to buy half of their shared home, Mrs Thorning-Schmidt wrote to the authorities that her husband spent "every weekend of the year from Friday through to Monday" in Denmark.
As a non-resident and UK citizen Mr Kinnock would not normally be allowed to buy a property in Denmark.

More at BBC

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Danish plan to cut immigrants' pay

A bitter political row has erupted in Denmark over proposals by a member of the ruling party to slash the minimum wage for immigrant workers by half to help them gain a foothold in the jobs market.
The controversial plan has been put forward by Karsten Lauritzen, the immigration spokesman for Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen's Venstre liberal party, which rules in a coalition with the conservatives.
"Denmark's high minimum wage acts as a barrier which prevents immigrants from getting jobs. If we want to get them out of the ghettos we will have to pay them less," Mr Lauritzen told the Berlingske Tidene newspaper,

Mr Lauritzen has proposed paying immigrant workers around 50 Danish Krone (€6.50) an hour for the first six months, compared to the country's average minimum wage of 100 Krone per hour, arguing that a two-tier wage system would help them into jobs that might then lead to regular employment.
The proposal has been vehemently opposed by Denmark's leftwing parties, but is also causing a ruckus within his own party.
Immigration Minister Birthe Hornbech, a fellow Venstre member, has clashed publicly with Mr Lauritzen, even though he is her department's spokesman. "The idea is disagreeable because it stigmatises immigrants," she said.

Source: The Independent with comments.