Friday, September 09, 2005


Amazing coverage of Katrina!

This story could not have been reported by any of the major networks. The authenticity that this New Orleans citizen has captured is just one of many positive things with the Internet.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


The debate over Guns

In the wake of the disaster in New Orleans the press has focused on the many armed gangs who loot and hunt down peaceful civilians. Peter Kadhammar in the Swedish press wrote an article on the same issue, to a certain extent from a very European perspective, where he found it hard to understand the importance of guns in a civil society (article in Swedish here: Shoot first - ask questions later). But the article also highlights the importance of guns for the very peaceful civilians Kadhammar is trying to side with. CBS (All Quiet in Big Easy) and NY Times have reported about the same person Kadhammar is discussing in his peace - Mr Montgomery who is running a private shelter and protecting the French Quarter with his shotgun, called Kindness: "If I have to use it, I kill them with kindness."

So, in the discussion over bias in newsreporting, the question is open for interpretation. But it is of course possible to say that guns are important for civilians in situations like this one - where the state's monopoly on violence has broken down. Only the ethnocentric among us would argue that our own little puppet world would handle a situatione like Kathrina better than the havoc that is played out on the streets of New Orleans. And when we realize the universal traits we will also understand the importance of guns - for the sake of peaceful civilians.

Monday, September 05, 2005


How archy is an "arch-conservative"?

Swedish TT (the Swedish version of Associated Press) is a jolly bunch of sweet little name-callers. In their latest report, following the death of Chief Justice Rehnquist, John Roberts is labelled an "arch-conservative" (article in Swedish here). I have just one question - what is an arch-conservative, really? After having spent a little over a decade doing research on political philosophy I have never really encountered the term, other than as a buzz-word. It would be interesting to hear whether the staff at TT really have a definition. Just out of curiosity, I mean. How can I become one? Will I have to beat up my wife with the Bible every night? Or is it enough if I make the kids sing hymnals while I recite Edmund Burke?

Sunday, September 04, 2005


There was a house in New Orleans, part III

I feel like bringing up an old quote from John Cleese's tv-show Fawlty Towers - Don't mention the war! After reading this story, about the German environmental minister, Jürgen Trittin, it is hard not to.


"There was a house in New Orleans", part II

Here's the thing - if no American newspaper wants to publish your article, you're probably not all that important as an American commentator. Something to think about when you're reading Michael Moore's article in the British tabloid paper Daily Mirror.

Not that the Bush-bashing press in northern Europe pays much attention to that.

In the Danish paper Ekstrabladet (in Danish) they run an article about how the rapper Kanye West accused Bush of racism (for not caring about black people in New Orleans) on American TV. (You have to read the full article to find out that the segment with West was actually edited and the slander attack was never really broadcasted...)
And then we have Aftonbladet (in Swedish) which, for the second day in a row, top their headline with Michael Moore lashing out against Bush: "Here Bush is taunted for his incompetence" (a story based on the Daily Mirror article above). has a quite different take on the whole blame-game, but I guess that their reasonable approach to accountability doesn't excite the editors at the European newspapers. At least not when they are not willing to instantly link Bush to any tragedy that appears in the world.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


"There was a house in New Orleans..."

... they called it the Rising Sun...

Think it's not appropriate to make smart headlines about the Katrina disaster in southern U.S.? Well I be damned if Fox News hasn't snuffed the most terrible pun-title for one of their web-segments on the net. In a story covering the shipping of thousands of New Orleans citizens to the Astrodome in Houston, Fox News has the somewhat bad taste of calling this rescue operation "Texas Holds 'Em". Aaaah... witty journalists... what's a few thousand dead people to you when you can make funny puns with your colleagues round the water cooler?

But in Europe the times are definetely not a-changing. Swedish Aftonbladet has a top story in today's issue about the Katrina disaster. Their angle? All the dead people? The relief efforts who are brought in too late? The total lack of law and order? Nope. No such luck. The TOP STORY in the leading Swedish paper is that Michael Moore has lashed out against Bush on his blog, blaming the whole Bush administration for the disaster. Looking at news from both CBS, Fox, NBC and ABC it is hard to even find anything similar to this news capture. Sure, there's lots of photage of people that are angry, desperate and cry out for help. There are a few stories on how poorly the relief efforts are being carried out. But to blame Bush for the disaster? No U.S. station comes even close. There are far too many more substantial stories to be told.
In Europe on the other hand, nothing can be of as great importance as when Michael Moore is outraged - no matter how delusional his outrage is.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


The end of the welfare state

Mauricio Rojas has published a great new book, Sweden after the Swedish model. (It can be downloaded in pdf.)

If the U.S. debate on privatizing Social Security can benefit from knowledge about a country that took the public welfare model to the extreme, then all members of Congress ought to read Rojas' description of a bankrupt welfare system.

depeche mode tour 2005/2006