Wednesday, January 31, 2007

At an ordinary train station on an ordinary Mondy night

This is a story from an ordinary woman on an ordinary event taking place on an ordinary Monday evening. From Basilisken via Hodja.

Judging from her picture, Basilisken is an ordinary woman in her prime, just an another ordinary Danish woman on her way home - and then showing a great deal of heroism. I have tried my best not only to translate it but also to capture some of the atmosphere of her story:
Wanted to take the local train on Hellerup [suburb of Copenhagen, ed.] Monday January 29 around ten PM. Passing five immigrant boys in the tunnel. They are shaking hands goodbye, the elder telling the youngest to take care. The three youngest starts to run, yelling they are about to miss the train. They must've missed it for they are sitting on a bench as I pass them [on the platform]. There is no one else present but us. I then feel two showers on my face, I'm thinking it cannot be possible they are spitting at me, but my doubts immediately disappears as they are having a barrel of laughs. I turn towards them and ask what they are doing. The oldest are sitting in the middle, and with a big grin he says nothing is going on. Something must have fallen from the roof, happens all the time - while the two youngest boys gleefully spits right in my face. I ask what their problem is and they spit again. I the lash out at one of them, he runs to the other side of me and kicks at my behind.
She returns to the tunnel and tries to call the police, but cannot get through. At this time she thinks the train must have pulled up at the platform, and she figures she will be safe on the train as there will be staff on-board.
As I am sitting down (at a distance) I see the boys rolling some newspapers into sticks and approach an elderly man who is sitting alone. Along with me, a young man (his name was "B" I'm later told) reacts. "B" very firmly grabs hold at the boys and get them to sit down. "Get my bag," he says; in his bag is his badge. The conductor is coming from the other end of the train, "B" tells me to ask him if he has called the police. Yes he has, as the boys have spend their idle time breaking windows. While "B" is searching their pockets (someone will be happy to get his mobile phone back) he tells me that they are three brothers, well known to the police and that they are frequently arrested, not only for mugging people, but also constantly stealing, break in and entering and vandalizing. Shortly thereafter four police officers enters. "Ah, them again". Only at this point does the boys stop their pleas that they have done nothing. Finally the train can depart. It is very unpleasant to sit in the train with a face full of spit. "B" says he will file a report, but that it won't do any good. The boys are all under 15, and the community and social workers aren't doing anything. Yesterday, when the boys where searched they had firearms. Whoops, I could have been shot.
A fellow passenger tells me: Don't be so negative.
Don't be so negative! Don't be so negative?? What the moron means is: don't be a racist. Well, he wasn't the one being spat in the face, now was he... perhaps next time it's his turn. Let's see how negative he will get when some juvenile punk kicks him in the arse.

Perhaps he will react in some extra-ordinary way like the brave basilisken. Then again, prolly not.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Editorial on Gore: A great man

This is really just an update on my last post.

Jyllands-Posten prints an editorial today titled "A great man" on Al Gore's refusal to be interviewed by Bjørn Lomborg and Flemming Rose, the culture editor of Jyllands-Posten. As usual, the link is in Danish, translation mine:
Al Gore is a great man. In fact, so great he came very close to become President of the United States of America.

He would then literally have ruled over life and death of individuals and nations and he would have had the largest military with the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world at his disposal.

One would expect a certain amount of courage, strength and personal style. It is therefore fantastic to find that this great man doesn't dare to meet with a Danish statistician and therefore not a culture editor on a Danish paper.

It is fantastic that a Danish statistician can seem so terrifying to a man supposedly qualified to be president of the USA.

The explanation is of course that Gore is no more a fool than the next guy. He probably knows deep inside that his claims about the miserable state of the planet is thinly based, and that a meeting with Bjørn Lomborg would be a mental striptease. His nonsense work and exaggerated terror-scenarios would be ripped apart without mercy.

Apparently Bjørn Lomborg is so frightening that Al Gore didn't even dare to meet with a culture editor who had met Lomborg. Perhaps the statistician would have provided the editor with some annoying questions.

It can hardly be anymore pathetic than this.
Lomborg and Rose yesterday published an article in Wall Street Journal on the matter, however I can't find a link to it.

Update: The WSJ article is for subscribers only, however a PDF of the Lomborg/Rose piece can be found here. It's well worth reading.

(Via Tim Blair and Junk Science.)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Al Gore refuses to meet Bjorn Lomborg

First of all my apologies for the quiet around here lately.

Anyway, the Danish Paper Jyllands-Posten reports that Former Vice President Al Gore who is spending a couple of days in Denmark on his seemingly endless Inconvenient Truth-Tour, Still won't debate with Bjørn Lomborg, who has criticized Gore for dealing with on subject in an alarmist way. (Gore's visit immediately triggered the Gore Effect, making an unusually mild Danish winter into a typical one with around-zero temperatures, chilling rain and hail and a freezing storm smashing into northern Europe.)

But back to the issue at hand. From Jyllands-Posten: (link in Danish, translation mine):

Bjørn Lomborg, together with Jyllands-Postens culture editor Flemming Rose [the man who got the idea and together with chief-editor Carsten Juste decided to publish the Motoons] were supposed to have interviewed Al Gore on Thursday. However, though his agent Wylie Agency in London, Al Gore announced Wednesday that the presence of Bjørn Lomborg was unwanted.

"This is not the first time this has happened. Several people have tried unsuccessfully to set a dialog-meeting between the two of us. It is deeply troublesome that he doesn't dare to be challanged and only want to speak to his followers", says Bjørn Lomborg.


The agent and Flemming Rose subsequently agreed that the interview would be done by Rose alone and that the subject would be the book and the movie.

However, an hour later Flemming Rose received an e-mail from the agent with the wording:

"We regret to announce that we have to cancel the interview."

No reason was giving but when the editor contacted the agent by phone, the agent said the cancellation was due to the fact that Lomborg had even been part of the process.

According to Bjørn Lomborg he's willing to debate Al Gore on global heating any time and anywhere.

So after more than a thousand lectures on "an inconvenient truth" Gore still won't meet an inconvenient opponent. Guess it must be easier to be a politician with that attitude.