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Oprah introduces America to civilized (socialist) Denmark

I stole this video from Lenore Skenazy at Freerangekids.  HER focus was on the fact that two month old twins were allowed to nap in the sunshine. Outside.  Unattended.  And no one called the cops on the parents for child endangerment or neglect.  It turns out the entire country is *full* of parents who leave their adorable blonde babies on the street in their prams for some crazy nut job to snatch away.  And I guess that there are so many of them hanging around that there’s not much temptation anymore.  Most kids do not get stolen.

But I digress.

The real story is that these incredibly beautiful, simplicity loving, high tax paying, Ikea addicts are the happiest people in the world.  They say they are Democrats but Oprah says they’re socialists.  Au Contraire, says the swimsuit model (presumably with a PhD in architecture).  They are merely civilized.  It is civilized to take care of the poor and the old.  It is civilized to spend time with your family and friends.  It is civilized to have fewer things so that you can have more freedom.  What a concept!

Too bad Oprah didn’t do this last year instead of helping to force that Republican lite, corporate loving, uber shmoozer on us for president. I guess it’s possible for even Oprah to get rolled every now and then.

Is she trying to atone or is she trying to get us accustomed to wanting a lot less, now that her White House friend has bungled the recovery?  Who knows?  I wouldn’t mind living a Danish life and I suspect there are a lot of Americans who when faced with another $4000/month mortgage payment on the McMansion while they wait on pins and needles to see if they still have a job, would find a small flat and a resilient social safety net in Copenhagen just charming.  I just hope it isn’t too late for America to get the message.

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120 Responses

  1. OT

    This should be bookmarked and brought out and read everyday.
    Sometimes we need to be reminded of what this country is and those who fought to keep her free and safe.



  2. there is Oprah preying on women again….too bad she doesn’t think one should be president. Oprah just spins her shit the way she wants you to hear it – I am over her.

    • You are so right! Oprah and her ilk need to just go away, spend their millions on the really needy, and do it not for fame but for honest compassion.

    • Oprah is feFANist !

      I won’t ever watch her MAN show again.

  3. I have not watch Oprah in years and was never really a fan.
    I read where things that she praised were not always as they seemed. That tells me either she does not investigate or her staff is over paid before she praised some one or some thing.
    Remember when she gave away the cars to the audience and they had to pay gift taxes? Remember the author who lied.
    Her opinions do not seem to be something to really listen to,as they are not always valid.
    She is a Chicago insider and will always put color before country, therefore not to be trusted.



    • yep – color before anything else – she’s a racists – she’s not comfortable in her own skin – i have NO respect for her

    • I wish someone would put together clips of how many times she has said (paraphrasing) ‘this is the best one ever”. She says it about everything.

      She’s a genius at self promotion and prying on women who believe in her mumble jumble.

      I’ve never liked her. There always seemed to be something undermining about her to me. Funny, I had the same feeling about BO before I knew they were friends. I don’t trust either one.

      • Oprah is like Obama in many ways. I guess this is the socialist part of me but I think there is something wrong with one person having as much money as Oprah (and other A-list celebrities). Oprah might have picked color over gender in the 2008 election but she hasn’t put her money where her mouth is when it comes to helping African-Americans. Yes, she built a school in Africa but she also comes from Chicago where millions of African-Americans live in poverty and violence. It is also a place where Obama neglected to help his people who were freezing in dilapidated housing while he got a deal on his Rezko mansion. Considering that Oprah has enough money to buy several countries, I think she does have the ability and a duty to restructure if not rebuild entire neighborhoods and inner-city schools in Chicago, a city that has given her so many opportunities to make her billions. But I guess race is important only when it comes to hobnobbing with other black millionaires or doing something for the less fortunate only when it is a pr stunt that benefits Oprah and her show. Most of the people in Versailles are the same regardless of their race, gender, or political affiliation. And Oprah may not want to admit it but she is thoroughly a part of the corruption.

        • And the school has had all these sex scandals and everything. I’m sure her intentions are good, but you can’t just plunk down a bunch of money and take off. There are lots of abuses inherent in a boarding school setting, you’ve got to be on the ground making sure everything is all right. If she wasn’t going to be there, the money could probably have been put to better use in a dayschool setting, collaborating with parents and local teachers to provide better resources in a community directed way.

          • Exactly. Oprah isn’t the only rich person guilty of this. Celebrities to think that it is enough to just hand over a boatload of money to fix a problem and that it will absolve themselves of any guilt for living in an unfair society where they own 99% of the riches. This is why I think a lot of the charity celebrities do is a pr stunt and a tax break rather than a commitment to solving social issues and empowering the less fortunate to take control of their lives. Oprah might have had some good intentions but I also think part of it was just to satisfy her ego. People who live in one of the poorest countries in the world don’t need a fancy dormitory and school limited to an exclusive group of students. The money would have been put to better use if it wasn’t spent on materialistic things that have nothing to do with empowering and educating a large part of the population.

          • And the media coverage completely reenforced the ego driven aspect, because it’s so divorced from the actual results. The CNN reporter said she wished she could go to the school! The message is, these girls have no hope and no future, and anything they get, no matter how poorly planned or executed, is better and they should just be grateful and satisfied and uncritical. It’s a copout. Oprah and Madonna and Angelina etc. have so much, and the least they can do if they make a commitment is to honor it to the best of their ability without falling back on the it’s better than nothing defense.

  4. I used to love it when Oprah would have one of her “Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness” new-age-pop-psych(o) shows, and then follow it a few days later with one of her “My Favorite Things” ( To Run Out And Buy!!! ) mass-frenzy-audience shows.
    Apparently, she won’t be doing the “My Favorite Things” show this year. Such a pity. How will I know where to buy my $5000 cashmere jog suit this Xmas?


  5. Civilized. I thought we lived in a country like that…

    You know what is very interesting? Looking at the Twitters on the trending topics. Really gives you an overview…

    Happy POST Thanksgiving, RD & Co.
    Denmark, France — Ireland! They all look good to me….


  6. It was Oprah’s “Favorite Things” show that really turned me off to Oprah along time ago. I got very tired of watching her show everyone all the fabulous things she had and you could too, if only.
    I do not begrudge her that she is a self-made woman though. However, her show, once a forum for good information suddenly became movie star worship central. I’ve never been impressed by Hollywood. Its all marketing and Oprah became a major promoter of stuff ( stuff that cost a whole lot of money ). If you couldn’t afford it – you must be a loser stuff.
    OT but it looks as if Howard Dean is disappointed :
    The link is from Hotair, but the interview is from AirAmerica or something like that.

  7. Can we not turn this into a Let’s Beat Up on Oprah thread? Oprah is not the point. The point is that which we call socialism does not have to be scary. If we can get that through to Americans, maybe they would be willing to give up more for the social safety net in order to get a better quality of life.

    • RD, I understand but my point was that Oprah has been sending VERY mixed messages to women in this country for years regarding what a “better quality of life” is all about.

      • Oprah could probably buy Copehagen, as a must-have favorite thing……giving us “OpraHagen”

  8. Just watched that vid —- her last statement!
    Is she learning?


    Happy. I bet they are! Civilized. I bet they are.

  9. I want to move to Denmark!!!

    Too bad I’m a petite brunette. I probably wouldn’t fit in very well. 😆

    • I’d want to move to Denmark, too, if it weren’t for the polar bears.

      Child of the desert here–anything north of Memphis is the Arctic.

    • I’m a tall redhead. I’d love to live there if for no other reason than the clothes are likely to fit better. There’s nothing worse than being 5’9.5″ tall in a 5’4″ culture. It sucks. Big time.

      • I hear ya, R.D. My daughter is 6′ 1″ and wears a size 12 shoe. Nothing for her at Express, The Gap, American Apparel or any of the places the twenty-somethings frequent. I feel bad for the kid everytime she goes shopping with her friends. She comes back with earrings or accessories and that’s about it.

    • I want to move to Finland-it’s a fabulous place. 😉

  10. I wonder – does Denmark have HUGE bonus payouts and CEO Pay? The country is the size of what? Sounds more like having moral values is key – which NONE of our politicians have. I will accept campaign finance reform – then spends a billion dollars to get elected. I will fight big business — votes on FISA to protect them. Crock of shit – all of it. What’s the welfare system look like in Denmark? Here in San Francisco we pay or drug addicts / homeless twice a month and they can spend the money on whatever they want – and it’s not on housing or proper diet.

    • I work for a French company. A couple of years ago our then CEO, also French, gave a speech where he essentially said, “I make a lot of moonay. I pay a lot of taxes. I am *proud* to pay my taxes. It is a good thing.”

      Several years later, he has been replaced with an Obama loving CEO who’s into trendy crap and business jargon.

      I miss the guy who liked to pay his taxes.

      • I think it would take years and years of trying to change our culture.

        Part of the problem – not everyone is paying taxes – rich or poor. The middle class is paying a lot of taxes.

        The Mrs – her son joined the military in Oct – we did his taxes for him. Not only did he get all his tax money back – we gave him a $250.00 stimulus check. What for? This is the only job he’s ever had.

        I am sick and tired of watching my tax dollars going to pay for “date night” and all the other wasteful crap the Gov’t spends it on.

        • I used to live in Minneapolis which is a high tax place. I never complained about paying my share because the quality of life was so obvious up there. Great parks, good schools, roads taken care of and good public health services. I don’t mind paying taxes when it goes to improving the living standards around my community and not corporate welfare and corrupt politicians.

          • Minnesota in general is a fabulous place to live. Health care, and access to it, is second to none in the country, IMHO.

  11. I hate to say it but in Europe people do tend to leave their kids in a pram outside a shop if they just have to pop in for a moment-not supermarkets but small shops, cafés, and things.

    They do it less now because television has scared people. But if they’re still doing so in Denmark, that just means, that it is a peaceful, civilized society where baby snatching doesn’t happen.

    And where people are less conditioned by what some second rate tv screen writer serves up.

    • Why would you hate to say it? There wasn’t a rash of baby snatching before the news media scared people. Why scare people in the first place? Now, all of those Europeans who might have left their kids outside to sleep while they did their errands are strapped to those kids 24/7, making life a whole lot less convenient without gaining one iota of additional security. It’s fucking stupid.
      I doubt that the pedophiles and baby snatchers are deliberately avoiding Denmark. It’s not like there is a big, invisible electronic fence around the country that selectively lets in only good people with no intent to harm children. It’s that the threat is completely overblown and the Danish appear not to be buying into it. Good for them.

    • Yes, why hate to say it? It used to be Europeans weren’t the only ones to leave their kids outside shops in a pram. Americans once commonly did it too. My mother left me in a pram outside the A&P while she did food shopping inside. All the other mothers left their babies outside in prams too. This was the Bronx, New York in 1953.

  12. vbonnaire, is there a place to see those Twitter trend topics or do you have to join in on twitter. I don’t do that. I’m usually 20 years behind trends.

    • I used to be current with trends but, honestly? I don’t see the need for twitter or facebook. I find them irritating. If other’s like them, great! Tweet away.
      I’m looking forward to Google Wave. Give me interactive.

      • I’m really liking google wave. It’s still a bit fragile, but I like the total interactive nature. It’s snazzy.

        • DandyT — is the google wave like the comments sec of a blog?
          Not clear on what that is RD & Co.

          • It’s sort of like the comments section in that it’s a multi-way conversation. Each conversation is called a wave by the way. Very silly name if you ask me. Anyway, it’s different in that it’s live/real-time. You can watch people typing (and backing up and changing their misspellings, etc.). You can go back and edit your entry anytime. And other entires if permissions are set that way. And you can insert any sort of media. And you are in control of where in the conversation you’re inserting (at any level). So a lot like comments, but live and with mixed media. You can insert interactive programs like flash stuff for things like polls, games, etc. You can insert movies (youtube of course). And the API is open, so lots of people, me included, are developing all sorts of fun add-ons.

        • Hey! How did you get access??? I asked to be able to sample the Wave goods about a month ago and I’m still waiting for the official invite. What’s the deal?

          • Sorry, vanished for a bit. A month isn’t that bad. You’ll get in sooner or later. Not only am I in, but I’m hosting my own wave on my server. It’s looking pretty powerful. It only has basic group chatting/media type functionality which is quite fine, but what’s really nice is it has an API that lets developers add all sorts of fun add-ons. I got access after waiting quite a long time, so just be patient. And remember, it is sill pretty early and buggy, so don’t think you’re missing that much yet.

    • I attached it to the blog, only because I could? So, there are interesting things in there if you search — but the trending topics are what everyone talks about?

      You probably have to join to see?

      I just look and am amazed by well………………

      so much un-civilization ahem…..

      you get a real cross section of Americana in some ways and you can also see how the crowd sort of flocks around certain things?


  13. Two things stood out for me .
    The value put on good education for every single person and little reliance on ” Religion”.

    I’ve traveled Scandinavia a few times and complete strangers invite you to use the couch if you need a place to stay. Complete trust and good fellowship.

    They truly are more civilized than the rest of us.

    • too bad we aren’t more civilized — I am burnt out on helping others when they won’t help you back. We have become a society of sponges – take what you can. I feel after Prop 8 won here in CA — all those years I was helping fight for the rights of others when it came time to help me – they voted against me.

      I went out once on Black Friday with my mom — the behavior was appalling. Even through out the year the rudeness is crazy.

      So yeah – they are truly more civilized than the rest of us.

  14. Until we realize the value of a social contract in a “civilized” society, we’re doomed to implode.

    The fact that the most vulnerable of our society, the elderly, th poor, the handicapped, those suffering from issues of mental health and mental retardation, are usually the ones who have services cut demonstrates how well we have brainwashed our society to believe in individualist aspirations.

  15. BTW RD — just for you. I saw this joke and thought of you immediately. Definitely a joke only a scientist like you can appreciate.

    A virus walks into a bar. The bartender says, “we don’t serve viruses in this bar.” The virus replaces the bartender and says, “Now you do.”

    More from the scientific comedian (several scientific jokes ensue.) I could not understand most, but apparently the audience of scientists did.

  16. Lots to think about with this post…

    Denmark seems to be missing a few things required of a society that creates criminals and malcontents: fear, ignorance, and greed.

    I wonder what the relationship is between the corporations and their politicians over there.

    I wonder if the reason we despise the word socialism is because of the Red Scare generation we had here. We seem to be willing to take care of those less fortunate through our tax deductible charitable contributions. I wonder if we just paid more taxes and let the government care for those in need, would we lose our Heaven-points?

    • The US has been in Red Scare mode since the Russian revolution. McCarthy just capitalized on something that was already current in our public psyche.

      Then came glasnost and the fall of the USSR, and it was supposedly all over. Unfortunately Glen Beck, Pamela Geller, the RNC and their ilk seem to be reviving it rather successfully among gullible rightwinters.

  17. Denmark is not perfect of course. You really only want to be there 6 months of the year with someplace further south to go the rest of the time. And sometimes what the government decides is right for everyone isn’t quite up to snuff. For example, no one in Denmark gets the H1N1 vaccine. Just because. But on the whole, a really fabulous place. It’s very tempting.

    • I had a friend that taught there on a teacher exchange for six months. She loved it. She said that a lot of her students were there because when they get laid off, the government will pay for them to go back to school for two years, all expenses paid.

      • Yes. And while on the dole, you can take your language courses and exams. Which when passed, allows you even more benefits (education and otherwise). A really great place to be if you’re an artist or any profession where work is inconsistent.

    • I read somewhere that there is a strain of H1N1 developing in Norway that is particularly deadly. I wonder if the H1N1 vaccine prohibition has anything to do with the availability of vaccine. Do you know what the logic is? Because Norway is pretty close to Denmark geographically…

    • Danes started H1N1 immunizations at the beginning of November. Aim to immunize 1.1 million at high risk.


      • Ah, that sounds right. What I heard from family was a month or two ago. They had some long delays, like us perhaps, and people were getting restless. Sounds like they figured out supplies.

    • Dandy,

      have you verified that information?

      I now that many pweople in Denmark have refused to receive the vaccine because they simply don’t think the H1N1 flu is that dangerous. That’s a far cry from what you are telling here.

  18. Scandinavia is a pretty place but lets not get carried away! There is a lot of the govt-knows-best mentality. For example in Sweden liquor is only available thru state-owned shops and it is heavily taxed. Kind of takes the fun out of having a civilised glass of shiraz if you choke on the prize for it.

    • Have you ever been to Pennsylvania? They have state liquor stores and the state is funded by sin taxes.
      I am not sure if they still have all the blue laws but they were not pretty



      • I like Pennsylvania’s system and wouldn’t want to see it change. The governor recently expanded the ability to for private sources to sell beer and wine, but liquor remains a state function.

        • i lived in Pa most of my life and my late husband was a bartender for many years.
          I have no problem with the state stores. But some of those blue laws were just silly.
          I am glad they changed some of them.
          I remember when stores or movies did not open until 2Pm on a Sunday. Only clubs like the VFW or American Legion were open on Sunday. New Jersey made a fortune off PA’s blue laws.



      • I live in Pa, We have state stores but the blue laws went away unfortunately. It used to be nice when there was one day a week people weren’t on the highways on their hourly beer run. If you can’t plan ahead for one day of alcohol, you probably have an issue.

    • actually, I lived in Eden MN and that’s how they fund their excellent schools. The only place you can buy liquor in town is the two liquor stores run by the school district. It actually works extremely well and brings a lot of really great money into the schools. I keep trying to advocate a version of that for New Orleans … we could use all that money for kick ass schools instead of the crime families that own a lot of the quarter bars.

      • Germany is apparently funding with its ‘green’ petrol tax the pension deficit….ie if you like to retire in style you’d better blast over the Autobahn! It is a good excuse to be an alcoholic in MN – at least you fund education!

        Does it not somewhere say that taxes should theoretically be connected with the cause they are spend on??

        • They’re like the rehab haven of the north. They spend tons of money on both drug and alcohol treatments. If you get caught with problems for either, they ship you there rather than to jails.

    • Ahhh, sort of like Pennsylvania! It wasn’t that long ago that you couldn’t use a debit card in a State Store in PA. And the one my Uncle Zippy worked in was even more charming. There, all of the wine and liquor was behind the counter. You had to ask the state store guy to get it for you. Think pharmacy. The selection was extremely limited and the employees were not allowed to recommend anything. But wait! It gets better.
      If you want beer, you have to go to yet a different package store. You can’t buy just a six pack. You have to buy a case. If all you want is a six pack to take home, you can get it at a bar only. Limited to two six packs.
      Isn’t that fun? Things have changed over the years. State stores have better selection than they used to but they don’t compare to NJ liquor stores by a long shot. Then again, NJ liquor stores are private. What NJ doesn’t have a lot of is restaurants that have liquor licenses. Most non-chain restaurants do not serve wine, beer or liquor. You have to brown bag your drinks. That means you have to know where the local liquor stores in proximity to the restaurant. Ha-ha! It makes for such spontaneity and entertainment, like a scavenger hunt.
      Cross the border into PA or NY and EVERY restaurant seems to have a liquor license.
      In neither PA or NJ can you buy alcohol in the grocery store. In NJ, certain grocery stores have adjunct liquor stores. Wegmans comes to mind. But in order to buy from them, you must interrupt your shopping trip and ditch your shopping cart to go through the mystical passageway where you will be able to buy the magic stuff and pay for it. Then, you can bring your contraband back into the grocery store and pay for your groceries. Why the state forces us to play this game, I’ll never know. It simply pisses people off and just to get even, I buy an extra bottle of wine that I wouldn’t have bought otherwise. Take THAT, NJ!
      I guess it could be worse though. When my sister lived in Kansas, she had to buy a membership in a private club if she wanted to get a drink in a restaurant. The server would then bring her the cocktail in two parts, the mixer and the liquor separately. The customer was responsible for mixing them. You also bought a bottle, with your name on it, but it stayed behind the bar.
      So, no, Sweden doesn’t sound that bad. If you hanker for a drink, you can always brew the stuff yourself in your own bathtub. Making beer and ale isn’t that hard to do if you want to skirt a tax.

  19. I usually find myself in agreement with RD but I would not want to live in a flat in Copenhagen and pay high taxes for the dubious pleasure of having infinite health care and social services. It’s that small living space that does me in. But I think the bottom line is that we are comparing apples and oranges. Denmark compared to the US or UK or even France has a pretty unified culture—they have broad national unity around a spectrum of ideas.

    I think the big divide here is really not over socialism. It is becoming increasingly about the whole historical debate about government. What I hear today is a big voice of no confidence in government run programs—that they will be boondoggles, corrupt, mismanaged, cost way more than proposed, not deliver what people wanted or hoped for and tied up in bureaucratic red tape by zombie government employees who are overpaid, underworked and get cadillac retirement and health benefits. I am not saying a support that argument but I think that is what a whole big bunch of Americans think. That is why the HC debate has really gone sideways and become so distorted. The single payer, no insurance middleman approach, sounds great to people until they start thinking about political/congressional meddling in the running of it.

    • Have you been to Europe recently? They’ve had immigrants from all over the globe and are much more heterogeneous than they used to be. Also, I’m much more frustrated these days by being serviced by a computer and folks that don’t speak my language that’s rampant in the private sector than any civil servant here in the U.S.

      • I have been to Europe within the last year and absolutely agree about the cultural diversity you will see in places like the UK, France, to a lesser extent I think in Germany. As I stated in my comment—Denmark is more culturally unified than their larger European cousins. And yes there are good, competent public service employees. But the “perception” that continues to grow with government programs is that government is not necessarily effective and efficient. We certainly saw it in the disaster relief in your area; NOLA still does not appear to be a model of government effectiveness. We have a looming crisis in Social Security and Medicare which neither political party appears to have the gravitas or brain power to address. There have been endless comments and posts on this blog about the ineffectiveness of the government response to this fiscal crisis and failure to address jobs adequately. I do not know how anyone could watch the congressional approach to health care, credit card reform or just about anything happening now and be optimistic about government solutions to real problems.

        • Sadly, since 2001 Denmark has been ruled by a regressive centre right government . It has encouraged islamophobia and rolled back green reforms that made Denmark an exemplar in Europe. Of course, even so it is still way to the left of the US. Xenophobia is on the rise in Europe – I include the UK as European, even if Little Brits don’t – and it scares me deeply.

        • I don’t think the incompetence of a particular administration–or even, goddess help us, two administrations in a row–equates to overall government incompetence.

          Social Security and Medicare have been extremely successful. They just need a bit of maintenance to go on being successful. Johnson’s Great Society programs were effective, and so were Big Dawg’s economic policies. It’s kind of like the NRA is fond of saying. Government doesn’t kill people. Corrupt political hacks kill people–sometimes literally, as in the case of NOLA.

        • NOLA has a lot of corrupt politicians that use the system to reward supporters and get rich. Same problem but maybe more widespread. I see the same thing at the state as well as the local level. It’s not the civil servants that come up the ranks, it’s the political appointments. If we took the money out of politics, I would think a lot of that would go away. It seems to be the elected officials that fleece the public and the voters keep inflicting themselves with the same parasites.

          • the original set up of our government on all levels did not include the idea of career politicians. You won’t supposed to make a living at it … you were supposed to be successful at something else and just come and serve a little while and go back to your life.

  20. What I hear today is a big voice of no confidence in government run programs—that they will be boondoggles, corrupt, mismanaged, cost way more than proposed, not deliver what people wanted or hoped for and tied up in bureaucratic red tape by zombie government employees who are overpaid, underworked and get cadillac retirement and health benefits.

    Isn’t it what the “private sector” has done so far and continues to do?

    • The media does a good job creating the opposite perception no?

    • I’ve done operations research consulting for both government and private sectors–including the military. I’d take the government any day over the private sector. None of the employees are loyal to their respective corporations because they realize they’ll be thrown over in a NY minute whereas the government employees have much more pride in their jobs and see the role they play in their civic duty as something to take pride in doing — especially the military but I’ve seen it in both S&L as well as FED civil service people. The senior management of the private sectors see the profits of their companies as their personal perk and bonus pool. The folks that head agencies, again, work their for the pride of doing a civic job.

      I’ve done this since the mid 80s and was trained by W. Edwards Deming. I’ll take the civil servants any day !!!

      • My point is that I think there is a growing number of people who do not share your positive experience with public employees. Our military have definitely honed a widely held perception of competence—but many people would say that NOLA is a prime example of government failure along with both the state and federal response in NOLA to Katrina.

        The “perception” of government failure does not equal “corporate” success. And I think a large population of Americans share your frustration with the outsourced customer service call that does not work. The global corporations and the financial marketeers and federal/state governments are losing in the race to claim acclamation for effectiveness, efficiency and all-around success.

        • the government failure during Katrina was that Rumsfeld refused to deploy the military to help and the Bush administration wanted to weaken a democratic governor and centralize powers to itself and fought for 4 days over it …

          also, they stripped the FEMA of resources and professionals …

          how does that say it’s government incompetence? It’s more like a political agenda ensuring government incompetence for its ideological benefit

          • Katrina was a failure of leadership, not government.

            OTOH – if Katrina had been an Arabian Horse show, Brownie might have done a heckuva job.

        • I think government can run things just fine, but we have the wrong people in government. How we solve that I do not know.

          I am no fan of socialism which is way different that having capitalism with lots of regulations and safe guards. In Denmark among other big brother practices, they decide who can and can not study for certain professions based on how many of those workers they need and your grades in school.

          And all that Ikea ….blech

    • Yes. The private sector clearly led the current economic disaster. But the failure of the private sector does not make the government sector a winner—especially since they appear to have been in it together. They are both to big to succeed.

      • jangles the government worked pretty well under Clinton even with a republican congress. The problem is that the republican party movers and shysters stole the election in 2000 and we got stuck with bush. You should never have a government run by people who hate government. Clinton made some mistakes but mostly the government worked.
        After 8 years of disaster with Bush, we AGAIN had a person take a position he did not win with out cheating and lying. People don’t hi-jack a political office to do good things. They think they are there to do good, but they really aren’t and the first clue is that they do not honor the will or the intelligence of the American people.
        You can’t judge real US government by the psuedo cult presidents of this century.

  21. This is something I found that does show the difference today between reality and fantasy.
    Does Denmark have this problem?



    • You know, the Kennedy Camelot happened in a time when the U.S. had a wonderful economy and was preeminent among the rest of the world in terms of its status and influence.

      State dinners like this don’t sit very well with me when we suffer from a lack of both the things I just mentioned above.

      • There is a serious disconnect between the backtrack bunch and the rest of the country. I really do think that they do not have a clue just how offensive they are to people who work and save and those who have lost everything to backtrack’s friends.
        I can see every republican running for office in 2010 using this video in a campaign.
        Is there no one in the new democratic party that is smart enough to know the damage being done? Or is just the backtrack usual thing I got mine, screw you.



      • Don’t you think this feeds the perception that government is not working for ordinary Americans today?

        • it should feed the perception that politicians (because they rely on so much money and are full time now and most of them are lawyers) act in self interest

          Civil Servants did not cause this

          • You’re so right. That is the distinction that gets lost on so many people. There is a huge difference between the political aspects of government and the public service aspects. Public servants do important work and shouldn’t be scorned.

          • I work much harder for much lower pay as a public university teacher than I ever did for a faceless stockholder … that’s because I’m a taxpayer too and what I do also benefits MY family

        • Perception? Reality.

    • I should have said this was found at Uppity Woman in the comments by Rose.



    • Let them eat cake.

  22. OT
    I just got this in an e-mail
    A blast from the past
    judge rules white Conn firefighters must get promotions.




  23. Danes and Scandinavians in general only converted to Christianity around about the ninth to thirteenth century. They then skirted around the central authority of the Pope and became Lutheran as soon as they could. Iceland was founded by Norse people fleeing Christianity for example.

    Even when Denmark was converted, it remained slow to change and kept many of the old elements.of Norse paganism.
    The first Christian diocese in Denmark was estab in 1104. In 1536 Denmark became officially Lutheran, under the national King or Queen.


    • Another factor in Scandinavian society, I think, is that even while the various countries were organized as monarchies, there was a strong streak of participatory democracy in their operation. Until fairly late in their history, monarchs were elected from among the royal kingroup, not simply acclaimed because they were the former ruler’s eldest surviving son. When Iceland became Christian, it converted through a process of mediation in its assembly–basically, voted itself Christian, with a provision for pagan practice to continue privately for those who didn’t care to accept baptism. The present day custom that bars the King or Queen of Great Britain from entering the House of Commons comes down from the Anglo-Saxon All-Thing, in which a king or chieftain had to be represented by a common-born spokesman. All that got lost in the feudal system.

      • Don’t know how I acquired a new name involuntarily. “Search the Web” is me.

      • Yes, they missed out on a lot of Royal and Papal corruption over the years.

        I doubt if they have the feeling widespread in Italy for example, that corruption is ingrained in history, -that there is nothing new under the sun, -that he who has his hands in dough will inevitably flour his hands.

    • It’s been downhill for all them Skandi nations since they quit going a-raiding.

  24. “Republican lite”


    Obama is [on policy] as right wing as I have ever seen.

    FISA ?

    Expansion of Wars? Obama hasn’t seen a wat he doesn’t like.

    TARP was dead, Obamma revived it

    Obama stimulus was largely tax cuts to the rich.

    Exspanding Blackwater

    Torture? Obama is for it, but will call it something else.

    Imprisonment without trial? Obama is for it, but will call it something else.

    Expanding trade deals that enrich the elite. working it.

    Killing health care reform. Done

    On every issue, Obamma is in the extreme right wing camp.

    There is nothing “lite” about the heavy Right wing Lifting he is doing

  25. and speaking of UNcivilized countries:


    Teenager lashed for wearing knee-length skirt
    ‘She is just a young girl,’ mom says after Sudanese judge imposes sentence

  26. Before the Vikings became civilized, they conquered Europe with SPAM:

  27. Denmark is nice. Charming as hell, clean, well tended, bit too cold for my taste, friendly but insuler, homogeneous, xenophobic, lots of rules, similar big brother gated community feeling you get in Japan. I prefer Holland.

  28. I don’t think Obama is a hard left socialist.

  29. I don’t think he’s a racist.

  30. Not a fan of Oprah but really this idea that she forced a president on us seems to go really far. Maybe I underestimate her power or overestimate us.

    My question would be that if Oprah really did succeed in forcing the republican lite or anything on us do we not have problems that supercede Oprah or even what/who was forced on us and should we not be better served attending preferably to those more serious problems?

    • What Riverdaughter REALLY said was:

      Too bad Oprah didn’t do this last year instead of helping to force that Republican lite, corporate loving, uber shmoozer on us for president.

      Reading is a life skill.

  31. Oprah is easily fooled, the existence of the Dr. Phil show proves that…but is she ‘s still on track to help Barack….This is indeed her trying to get us accustomed to wanting a lot less…that’s always there in Obamaland. Shared burden and all ….just don’t expect those on top to do any sharing. That’s for us peons.

  32. What is the level of sexism there?

    Are women objectified there? What is the status of women and the level of equality for women?

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