We Sweden

Another blog at The Local

The unemployment debate continues: The Opposition punches in another hole: “In the Alliance’s Sweden young people suffer from unemployment for longer and longer periods of time”

April 17th, 2014 by Cornelius Hamelberg

Tass News Agency

Swedish news

Radio Sweden

Dagens Nyheter

Svenska Dagbladet.

# Information Clearing

# Real Clear World

Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs

Daily alert

News from Israel


Frontpage Magazine

Is the current Swedish government being accused of doing too little, too late?

The Alliance’s Last Budget ?

Indeed, Neither a borrower nor a lender be

And yet,

You wanna bet ?

These are exciting times! For some people it’s the Pesach season commemorating the liberation from slavery of the Jewish people. As for the descendants of the later day slaves who are currently demanding reparations, they have a right to shout and they should not forget that by the strong arm of the Almighty, when Israel left Egypt, Israel emptied Egypt of all its silver and its gold for having had to toil (rigorously) and sweat all day under the midday sun without getting paid for all their labour. So the people were empowered to take some material reparations with them. Meanwhile African-Americans are still singing this song

For some other people this is the sad season of remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus followed three days later by the joyful, triumphal Easter season of the resurrection and renewal – the beginning of the rites of spring!

For us in Sweden it’s now never a dull moment, we can shake off the sleep & dust from our eyes! There are those among the Christian Democrats who pray, and the opposition sayers of prayers and the Centre Party too must also be praying and in fact are in even greater need of prayers for their own resurrection in the opinion polls and for triumph/ victory (getting more than 5% of the popular vote) and not for annihilation and martyrdom and oblivion after the elections which are only five months away. Five. Like the five books of Moses. The five loaves of bread and two fishes. Excusez-moi – as St Matthew says in his gospel, “out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh!”

Sometimes the heart is heavy – Lisbet’s funeral is on Tuesday, everyday there’s Syria, and in Iraq, al-Qaeda wants to take Baghdad, vote-counting still going on in Afghanistan…

In the politics of Sweden, the issues are many:

There’s schools and education, issues in the Health is wealth Department, Taxation, Defence – and here we have a long history of foreign relations with Russia, there’s even the old Sweden – St. Petersburg relationship but today, 17th April, 2014, it looks like with an activist foreign minister like Carl Bildt Sweden is also increasingly becoming a part of the Baltic League (post- Hanseatic) and will be increasingly drawn into the Ukraine conflict – and- if we are not careful – Russia – might soon start seeing us a part of the Ukraine, the only essential difference between Sweden and Eastern Ukraine being that there is not a large Russian settler community here in Sweden (as there is in the West Bank, otherwise known as Judea and Samaria) and most importantly about Sweden’s defence is the test balloon that those who would like the Kingdom to join NATO are tossing up in the air, about NATO membership for Sweden. So what happened to our neutrality? The wind replies that at least 75% of those declared not clinically insane don’t want us to join NATO! Who knows, depending on the kind of government we get, in time to come there might even be a yes or no referendum about Sweden joining the United Stakes of America (full membership)

The race is on – the Prime Minister threw down the gauntlet when he fired the first shot declaring unemployment the main election issue in this upcoming do-or-die elections. Since then Mr Metal who is also well known as the Chief of Staff/ Commander-in-chief of the opposition has replied with some contempt for the prime minister’s failure to address their everlasting problem with unemployment and comes up with some proposals of his own.

The current Swedish government has yet to tackle the problem of underemployment. They are probably waiting for the next government to do that for them. Well, Where there’s life there’s hope and “Where there’s a will there’s a way” – that’s what the English-speaking people say and the Swenglish-speaking people young and old, say it too (with some hope for the future)

Today, the combined forces of the Social Democrats’ shadow Minister of Finance Magdalena Andersson and their parliamentary group leader the conscientiously eloquent Michael Damberg are pointing an accusing finger at what they see as the government’s prolonged ineptitude when it comes to addressing the problem of escalating youth unemployment, during these past eight years that the Alliance has been in office.

Andersson & Damberg’s pungent debate article:

In the Alliance’s Sweden young people suffer from unemployment for longer and longer periods of time

Report abuse »

Something is going to happen this April

April 15th, 2014 by Cornelius Hamelberg

Russian Newspapers in English

Russian News in English

Tass News Agency

Swedish news

Radio Sweden

Dagens Nyheter

Svenska Dagbladet.

# Information Clearing

# Real Clear World

The hard-hitting Mr. Metal Stefan Löfven strikes back at Fredik Reinfeldt. He says that it’s “a bluff unworthy of a Prime Minister” and that “Reality seems to be increasingly Fredrik Reinfeldt’s worst enemy”

In other words, Mr. Löfven is assuring us of his own sterling Prime Ministerial quality, is assuring us all that as Prime Minister, he would never sink so low and secondly that he himself will always face reality squarely and not deny, distort or become an enemy of reality, since that would not be worthy of him.

If we equate reality with truth, then in these political circumstances Mr. Löfven is perilously close to sounding a little like the South African bulldog, Prosecutor Gerrie Nel, the main difference being that Mr Löfven has not come out outright to accuse our Prime Minister (his prime minister and mine) of lying or of telling the most “transparent calumnies”

It’s easier to go on the attack when you are in the opposition. You can always ask this sitting government “Why is it only now that you are announcing some new measures? What have you been doing all this time? Why haven’t you accomplished any of this during the past eight years?”

It’s not only Prime Minister Reinfeldt’s record that’s on trial; it’s also the Prime Minister’s vision of the still unforeseeable future that Mr. Löfven says is at variance with reality. And so the Empire strikes back: In case you’re thinking “Which Empire” let me put it this way: Sweden’s Social Democracy is an institution, and a very established one at that. They have been Sweden’s government for most of the last century and right up to the first six years of this century, and true, “Power Sweet”, so they have been licking their wounds after the last two election defeats and are determined to displace the Alliance or face the very unpleasant reality of returning to the political wilderness/ the opposition benches for another four years only to watch the Alliance complete the next round of the privatisations that they started eight years ago

The leader of Sweden’s biggest Party, the Social Democrats gives some hitherto unknown facts – here he is in his own words making a strong case for being elected Sweden’s next prime minister in today’s Dagens Nyheter, in his debate article entitled:

A bluff unworthy of a Prime Minister

in which he outlines a programme that should ensure that Sweden will have the lowest unemployment rate in Europe by 2020…

This morning I learned some new facts and also listened to the propaganda aspects to this very informative STV FORUM programme featuring Swedish Russian expert Stig Fredriksson (Part 4) and came to the conclusion that as Kiev, the EU, NATO and the United States and Sweden face and come to terms with the new realities being created on the ground in Ukraine, it seems more than likely that the Swedish Government’s response – joint exercises with NATO etc. – the media discussions about the pros and cons of Sweden joining NATO and – who knows – “a friend in need is a friend indeed” for which reason, in his zeal, activist Carl Bildt who says that he has “ always been proud of his reputation for being anti-Soviet” might even want to dispatch or commit a Swedish battalion or two to help his folks in Kiev …. All this could have an impact on the coming elections. About the prospect of any Swedish military involvement in Ukraine – well it’s easy to begin a war, even one that will make the Balkans look like a picnic.

In my view the Eastern Ukraine should be permitted to hold their referendum and if they want a divorce from the criminals in Kiev, they should be granted one….

Report abuse »

Round two of Fredrik Reinfeldt on the warpath about JOBS – his article in today’s Dagens Nyheter.

April 14th, 2014 by Cornelius Hamelberg

Swedish news

Radio Sweden

Dagens Nyheter

Svenska Dagbladet.

Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs

Daily alert

News from Israel


Frontpage Magazine

Wow! Pesach which commemorates the beginning of Jewish Liberation and Redemption, begins this evening.

Here’s a profoundly interesting article for both the politically mature and the politically immature, by Ambassador Yoram Ettinger and it’s entitled (like the book by Maimonides) A Guide for the Perplexed (A Pesach guide)

I’m saying the following truths irrespective of who wins the next general elections. Fortunately or unfortunately I’m in a great hurry because I have a thousand things to do before this evening sets in – otherwise there are a few more “things” that I would like to say , such as (it’s an old expression in Pidgin English) , “Power sweet” and of course Mr. Reinfeldt has tasted power and the sweetness of power for a total of two terms now, altogether lasting eight years and of course he would like to stay in the saddle for a record-breaking one more term and from the saddle, as PM, continue to direct and steer the ship of state to an even brighter future…

We can rest assured that Sweden’s economy would probably not be in a better shape than it is today if it had been in the hands of anyone other than Anders Borg at the helm of financial affairs the past eight years – years which witnessed economic meltdowns in much of the Western world, starting with that meltdown and those enormous bank bailouts in capitalism’s hub, the United States of America, not to mention the consequent record levels of mass unemployment which still continue to be the order of the day in that country, that and the other meltdowns left Sweden more or less unscathed but left many other economies, such as those of Greece, Spain, Portugal, France and Berlusconi’s Italy, badly wounded and earned Anders Borg the respectful title of “Best Finance Minister in the European Union”.

Of course, there are sceptics and among them optimists who believe that if a constellation of Social Democrats and the Left Party had been sitting in the saddle as the Swedish government for the past eight years they would have done much better for Sweden’s economy and would have probably levelled unemployment to the ground – (ground zero) – something that they have never done before, not even in their/our most prosperous times : When Olof Palme said (and I think that I heard him clearly) – when he said x- y-z plus “men vi måste klara jobben” = “but we’ve got to SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF UNEMPLOYMENT!”, he was being serious about a perennial problem that has always bedevilled Social Democrat governments even in the best of times – and that’s one of the main reasons why Social Democrat coalitions have in the past lost elections to the Conservative Block and that includes Mr Göran Persson’s government which also could not at any time of its duration bring down the unemployment statistics to below six and a half percent of the work force… and that too at a time when the population was several hundred thousand souls less, both indigenous souls and immigrant souls, including the many thousands of refugee souls who have obtained humanitarian asylum these past eight years and after a few years of settling down have been job-hunting, many with and many others without the skills that are employable – and that’s a matter that the Prime Minister made clear some time ago – that among the army of the unemployed there is a sizeable portion that is unemployable and the reason is not because anyone wears hijab or has never previously been to school or cannot speak even rudimentary Swedish, although they too are reflected in the unemployment statistics as an ever growing constant…

From the Wikipedia:

In 1994, the annual shortfall was about 13% of GDP. But after implementing welfare cuts and tax increases, it fell to a projected 2.6% of GDP in 1997, which placed Sweden in a position to qualify for the European Economic and Monetary Union. However, the cost was high: unemployment rose, hovering persistently around 13%, then suddenly fell to about 6.5% the same year. In the 1998 general election, the Social Democrats gained even fewer votes than in the 1991 general election, when they got voted out of office. Persson could remain as Prime Minister with the support of the Green Party and the Left Party.

In the 2002 general election the Social Democrats increased their number of seats in the parliament. After the defeat at the general elections of 17 September 2006, Persson immediately filed a request for resignation, and declared his intentions to resign as party leader after the party congress in March 2007.”

So, if I were to say that the government that would promise to bring down unemployment to the magic number of below five percent, would be ”a liar” (telling a lie) I would probably be reprimanded just as “Mi Lady” that South African judge reprimanded Gerrie Nel for calling Oscar Pistorius “a liar” whilst Pistorius was in the witness box pleading his innocence, and just like the Rev Ian Paisley who was suspended for calling one of his Honourable Friends in the British House of Commons a liar.

Am I accusing past Social Democrat governments of having mismanaged Sweden’s economy? Certainly not. In the past, they have done the best that they can and this time too, they are not promising any miracles.

Here is Prime Minster Reinfeldt in his own words:

80,000 fewer people in work with Löfvens policy

However, in that article Mr Reinfeldt does make a few contentious observations, such as that the Social Democrats have no one to govern with – an observation that promotes an equally credible counter-observation which is, “Who will Mr Reinfeldt have to govern with apart from the Centre Party and the Christian Democrats, if they survive the people’s judgement on 14th September, 2014 ? ”

Report abuse »

Sweden’s Prime Minister hath spoken clearly: Work (employment vs. unemployment) is this elections’ most important issue!

April 12th, 2014 by Cornelius Hamelberg

Swedish news

Radio Sweden

Dagens Nyheter

Svenska Dagbladet.

Fredrik the Great Moderate said it all in Swedish – he could have said it as easily in English, in which language he usually represents us abroad, without causing us any embarrassment – or having to have an interpreter all the time – he speaks great English, as well as Olof Palme who once famously said, “det är inte att vi älskar kärnkraften men vi måste klara jobben!” I hope that I have quoted him correctly (it’s not that we love nuclear power, but we’ve got to SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF UNEMPLOYMENT !” (Maybe more than one way of translating/ interpreting what he said?)

Sir Winston famously said, Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.

The tragedy is that the Syrian rebels are presently making the same prayers and appealing to their weapons suppliers, “Give us the weapons.” They want to “finish” Assad. Assad also wants to finish them. Both sides are praying, “Insha’Allah”

Many are praying for peace and tranquility. It could start with a ceasefire.

From me here, it’s first a little about Sweden, Swenglish and the English Language and then back to what the Prime Minister said.

A little about Randolph Quirk from whom I and I learned a little about tolerance for some of the varieties of English, since a very long time ago.

I’m thinking about him right now because the other day, after exchanging some pleasantries with a stiff upper lip middle-aged Swede, he asked me, “What kind of English do you speak – is it British English or American?” I wish I could have told him, “just pure Ebonics

The line between American and British is being rapidly blurred and not only in the Literature of the written word – there’s a lot of American TV in Sweden and that’s how many people hone their language skills. Sonia Ruseler used to be my favourite CNN news presenter. I like Becky Anderson and Hala Gorani and Isha Sesay too…

British English or American? I think that my Better Half was listening with some expectation perhaps of some repartee from me. There should be no confusion about the matter of “what kind” of English I speak, spoke or spake as in “Then up and spake an eldern knight”

There’s a lot of de-coding to do – there’s some decoding to do when casually an American tourist after a few hours acquaintance leans over and says, “Please look us up when you’re in New York”. Maybe, he doesn’t have to be taken literally…

For me, it mostly depends on who I’m talking to. If I really want to put on airs, I can change gears and not just pronunciation, etiquette and vocabulary.

When I was employed by David Austin (in 1972) to teach advanced conversation at TBV ( mostly to some old ladies) he did say that I had a “British type accent” but didn’t specify whether it was Cockney, RP, or indeed whether it sounded more or sounded less like England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales or from over there in Maine. I may look like I’m from Agadir, but in reality Yours Truly is not from Morocco. ” I may look like Robert Frost but I feel like Jesse James”.There’s also some difference between John Wayne and John Wain.

Fact is I can speak any kind of English you want to hear from me, Swenglish ( I’ve lived in Swenglishland most my life), a little John Cleese, Carl Bildt, Manmohan Singh, Wole Soyinka, and even a little Omid Djalili or Russell Peters who is, is equally funny.

Swedish? I don’t need a dictionary to understand Strindberg, Ekelöf or the Prime Minister.

Our Prime Minister is a brave man and he is no jokester. He has decided to take the bull (Stefan Löfven) by the horns. The bull is not an abbreviation for or to be confused with the all-American expletive which in polite circles is known as “the barnyard epithet“ as pronounced by former US vice president Spiro Agnew. As I was just saying in plain English, and that goes for the kind of English they speak in Australia (Kangaroo land), Canada and New Zealand too – our Prime Minister (your prime minster and mine) like a matador, brave man, has decided to take the bull by the horns – if Mr. Löfven wants to make JOBS the centrepiece of his campaign strategy then Our Fredrik the Great is going to take the fight to him, it’s now Open Season: the battle line has been drawn the war over jobs has been declared now begun, jump-started with this article by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt in the Sabbath edition of Svenska Dagbladet (with the Catholics, it’s all about the dignity of labour, even on the Sabbath it’s laborare est orare!

Prime Minister Reinfeldt in his own words:

WORK is this elections’ most important issue.

You should note that before this declaration of most serious intent the Alliance introduced a new word into the language of Sweden’s political economy: the emphasis is now not on “unemployment” which is more of a negative way of looking at reality, the emphasis is on the positive and the word to be emphasised is not an entirely new word but we will be hearing more and more about it , the word is ARBETSKRAFT fairly mainstream Marxist terminology but perhaps arbetskraft is being used in a slightly different sense by Prime Minister Reinfeldt ?

In English (any kind) it translates as … THE WORKFORCELABOUR

You’ve seen this one before: The fORCE

Are you ready?

The workforce = more qualified teachers, more IT experts, more Swedish medical doctors and we won’t have to import more doctors and other qualified manpower if the Swedish educational system can produce the levels of qualified workforce that we need.

Question on the minds of those most directly affected: Does the Prime Minister have any plans about phasing out or replacing what’s known as “Phase Three”?

At least Mugabe is not saying things about our Sweden.

Not funny: Robert Mugabe’s bribery comment offends Nigeria

It’s about the pot calling the kettle black.

I can think of many things to say but it would be best if I stick to quoting Wole Soyinka, the conscience of Nigeria and this time, I’ll quote him obliquely (these lines are from “The Lion and the Jewel”)

Sidi: “Have you no shame?”
Lakunle: “That is what the stewpot said to the fire, “Have you no shame–at your age, licking my bottom?” But she was tickled just the same.”

I guess that Mr Mugabe is feeling a little irritated by the fact that Brother Obama has invited all of the African heads of a state to a special summit at the White House August 5 – 6 , 2014, nearly all African heads of state have been invited with the exceptions on this list - Omar al Bashir of the Sudan, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, the presidents of Eritrea and Guinea-Bissau, a few others.

At this stage should Brother Obama say, “Ok, Mugabe you’re invited” then Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan might probably respond, “If Mugabe‘s going then I’m not coming!”

Mr Mugabe is not the kind of guy who proffers apologies, but apologies for corruption in Nigeria may be his very special exception.

The Late Prince David Bull and the Professional Seagulls Dance Band of Port Harcourt

Tuba Tuba

Report abuse »

Stockholm, 11.4.2014: Oscar Pistorius in Pretoria

April 11th, 2014 by Cornelius Hamelberg

South African Newspapers


Swedish news

Radio Sweden

Dagens Nyheter

Svenska Dagbladet.

Our Sweden is in the news again (negative news)

Real Clear World


Information Clearing House

Daily alert

“Hang ups, let downs
Bad breaks, setbacks
Natural fact is
Honey, that I can’t pay my taxes” (Inner City Blues)

Marvin was moaning about someplace else other than Anders Borg’s future Sweden…

Right now I’m listening to The Gilbert Holmströms New Quintet’s album “Tiden är Kort” (Time is short) as I write this. Some reviewer should be raving about this album. It’s refreshing – Holmström, Kullhammar, Broo, Zetterberg and Holgersson know what they are doing. The Album sleeve says “All songs by Gilbert Holmström except “Tiden är kort” from “Sions Sånger”. I’m impressed.

Time is indeed short. Time could also be long when you’re in the witness box or “when you’re lost in a dream”.

What happens when you wake up in the morning and your watch says it’s half past three in the afternoon? It’s what happened with me – broad daylight outside my window, didn’t I say goodbye to my Better Half earlier this morning? Yes I did. Time is short or long, but how time flies – first thought was “the candle-lighting time for the Sabbath is 19.36 and before that there’s so much that I have to do such as marinate the salmon…”

I eventually turned on the BBC to watch nothing else but Oscar Pistorius being grilled about his version of events – amnesia or not, as he remembers them. To watch the Pistorius trial, not to check news about what’s happening in dear Sweden, in dear Israel, Mr Bildt and the latest developments in the Ukraine, Ebola in Liberia, the fourth day of voting in Mother India, the world’s most populous democracy, since it seems that worldwide, Oscar Pistorius is the man of the moment.

If it was going to be a trial with the world as jury, I wonder how many of the planet’s six billion people would give him the benefit of the doubt. And if the jury comprised all adult South Africans would he escape life imprisonment? Maybe the gallows? If Reeva were a black and beautiful soul sister, then a racial motive could have been adduced to his pulling the trigger four times, at such close range – a shoot–to-kill in which case he would most certainly be declared “Guilty as hell” by a jury that was three quarters black.

“Guilty as hell !” that’s what a combination of White American friends shouted at me in unison when they popped up from behind the cupboard where they had been hiding waiting for me when I got to work at a certain English Institution in Stockholm, the day after O.J. Simpson was found “ Not Guilty”. About OJ it was a black versus white thing, with most “White” people and the Jews thinking that OJ was “Guilty as hell

I missed the opening of the Pistorius trial, so I don’t know whether or not Mr Pistorius did lay his hand on the Bible to solemnly swear that he would tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help him God. Those of us who are following the trial on TV can’t see him, but I imagine that he must be sweating under his collar, his face sometimes crumpled up flushing red or maybe looking pale, as if he had just seen a ghost, even as he struggles with his memory of the horror. On his Day One in the witness box he was sobbing uncontrollably (unsympathetic sceptics believe this sobbing was because of feelings of remorse or a guilty conscience or deliberately to win some sympathy – a classic case is the child who murders his parents and then starts weeping that he is an orphan and wants people to feel sorry for him)– after his day of sobbing in court his attitude seems to have changed to an attitude of defiance in which he is anticipating and often rejecting what he believes to be “arguments” being constructed by the bulldozer prosecutor Gerrie Nel (bulldozing away Mr Pistorius’ credibility

This morning Mr Nel is in his prime as he grills Pistorius the man with the pistol. Pistorius is grilled for a good hour or so by a very sceptical Gerrie Nel until Mr. Pistorius is on the ropes and on the verge of another emotional breakdown at which point Prosecutor Nel kindly suggests that it’s time for lunch, to give the poor lad a short break and Mi Lady agrees with him that it’s time for a shorty twenty minute break to cool down the temperature a little bit. It’s only when they mention “lunch” that I look at my watch again and observe that it’s still stuck at half past three and it’s then that I realise that my watch had stopped.

Isn’t it amazing that Mr Pistorious has such a good memory for precise details about exactly where everything on the floor was supposed to be, given the general confusion and the kaleidoscope of events that must have been part of the scene immediately after he thought he heard some intruders (aliens from outer space ?) in his bathroom?

Psychologically putting myself in his shoes (it’s called empathy) after asking my Better Half whether she had also heard something like intruders in the bathroom, and after picking up my revolver, the very next thing I would have done would have been to put on my artificial legs – I wouldn’t want to go confronting an armed burglar or burglars out there in the hall, gun in hand and on the ready, but having to be crawling around on my stumps – in such circumstances time is of the essence of course, but I’m sure that I would feel a lot more confident with my artificial limbs on, even if it would take a few extra seconds to get them on to face certain danger – or even have to run.

Some things I still don’t understand : Pistorius says that he left his lady in their bedroom and as he approached the bathroom, gun in hand he was shouting for her to phone the police – – but doesn’t volunteer an explanation why he is not puzzled that His lady does not reply or tell him that she’s doing that (phoning the police) and why there is no dialogue between them – he gives her orders and she says nothing – and another thing – he doesn’t ask of the person or persons in the bathroom, “Who is there?” and that his Lady Reeva – who is there doesn’t tell him – “it’s me your darling Reeva, it’s me in the bathroom, not a thief, nothing to worry about” ….Pistorius insists that he was the person shouting and that he did not hear the voice of a woman or anyone else screaming.

He probably insists on this because he has to deal with the testimony of people who say that they heard a quarrel raging and a woman screaming prior to the shots being fired….

The case is adjourned till Monday. A man (any man) should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. In this case, it would seem that the man is assumed guilty until proven innocent. And the truth shall set you free?

Last question: When Reeva rushed from the bedroom to lock herself up in the toilet, did take a mobile phone with her or didn’t she have time to do that?

Consider these two facebook comments on an Irish Times link :

“Who would wake up, think there is an intruder, then not check to see if their partner was next to them in bed? He said it was too dark to see if she was in bed next to him, now come on, if there is an intruder the first thing you would do is check to see if your girlfriend is beside you to make sure its not her in the bathroom. Piss weak defence.”

“I think he intended to kill her, Who doesn’t first alert their sleeping partner that you feel there is an intruder? Who jumps out of bed, grabs a gun and rushes to a closed door in a bathroom and just shoots at random. What burglar hides in the WC usually a windowless room? Nonsense, it was blind rage.”

By Friday, if not before, many TV viewers will be passing or would have passed their verdicts.

Report abuse »

Just like the story of the tail, so too the tale, is never ending,

April 11th, 2014 by Cornelius Hamelberg

The move should not be underestimated!

Hon. Göran Hägglund has only good news for grandpas, grandmas and pensioners and the good news is that pensioners are going to get a hefty tax reduction!

Jesus saves? For pensioners the good news is that the tax rebate being offered per year would be the equivalent of a whole month’s salary (Did I get him right?) If that’s right I must consider presenting my tentative intention of casting my ballot for Brother Hägglund and his party at the next meeting of the family council…

In the 2006 Elections in Israel the Israeli Pensioners Party, GIL won seven seats in the Knesset!

What does that tell you Watson?

It’s a good motto even for Sweden: Pensioners of Sweden UNITE !
Seek ye your own interest – nobody else is going to seek it for you.

I followed the “parliamentary debate before decision-making” this afternoon and was impressed by our Minister of Health & Social Affairs, the Christian Democrat’s leader, the Hon.Göran Hägglund, I was especially impressed with the clarity and patience with which he addressed one of his foes (political) as he had to repeat himself because she (the antagonist/enemy) asked the very same question one more time – after he had painstakingly given her a fulsome answer the first time. When she asked the same question the second time, I was afraid that Hon. Hägglund was going to be a little impolite and was going to ask her, “Hör du dåligt?” (Are you deaf ?) But he didn’t say that to his Hon. Friend, instead he politely quipped “Thank God the microphone is working!” and then answered her once again. It appears that she was still not satisfied and probably asked him the same question a third time but by that time I had switched to the BBC where Prosecutor Gerrie Nel was grilling Oscar Pistorius – I guess that poor Oscar is going to be deep fried and nailed by Gerrie Nel tomorrow. The problem with the narcissistic and trigger-happy Pistorius is that he now wants everybody to feel sorry for him – heck – so he thought that it was some good –for –nothing jävla svartskalle burglar that had climbed in through the bathroom window and that’s why even before asking wazzup – he fired four shots through the bathroom door?

Why doesn’t he opt to take a lie detector test if he is so cool?

My guess is that Gerrie Nel is the kind of prosecutor that Julian Assange would not like to meet here in Sweden.

I was also incensed to hear (in the course of the aforementioned parliamentary session) someone quoting an offensive remark that was made by a Sweden Democrat politician – the remark – he was talking about “Muslim and other terrorist networks” – as if all Muslim organisations are terrorist organisations…

Since yesterday, today and tomorrow the endless discussions about Mr. Borg’s Election Budget have only just begun. More good news: so it’s going to be more money to education!

What’s the Left going to say about that? I guess they’re going to say “Money can’t buy you love”

Thinking of Putin threatening to turn off the gas.

Thinking of the poem How much?
– by Swedish-American, no, not Carl Bildt but Carl Sandburg

What else to expect from the world of realpolitik? Poetry?

Some refreshing clear talk about Ukraine got me thinking about Carl Bildt, our man in Kiev:

There was probably a time when Russia and the West could have reached a deal on Ukraine, but that time is now past. The train went when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was chased into exile, and a government with a strong element of extreme nationalists formed in Kiev” (Professor Stefan Hedlund writing in SvD on 10.4.2014)

Report abuse »

Mr. Borg’s Election Budget

April 10th, 2014 by Cornelius Hamelberg

Swedish news

Radio Sweden

Dagens Nyheter

Svenska Dagbladet.

On Tuesday the most significant event in the UK was the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins’ visit

Yesterday, the most significant event in Sweden was Finance Minister Anders Borg’s presentation of his much anticipated Election Budget (Spring Fiscal Policy Bill 2014) in the Riksdagen/Parliament

Apparently some of it had been leaked in advance or was so accurately anticipated that it could account for some of the reliable contents of Wednesday’s newspapers.

I was slightly taken aback by this budget, since the handling of the economy is the strongest card that the government can show if they are serious about being re-elected. But in this his sixteenth straight budget presentation Mr. Borg does not add any icing to the cake, and with his two feet firmly planted on mother earth he does not promise a new heaven on Swedish soil – but he does give the impression that because there could be bad times ahead the nation is in need of a strong man (like himself) to take care of the finances

Yesterday’s second big public event was the altercation that took place between Mr. Borg and the Social Democrats’ very sharp shadow finance minister Magdalena Andersson immediately after the news, on STV2

In that short duel, Mr. Borg reminded Ms Andersson that the opposition is not united about how to deal with Sweden’s finances – giving the impression that the Alliance is totally united behind him. I’ve had the impression that the Centre Party has expressed many reservations and in the past few weeks Annie Lööf has been at loggerheads with her finance minister.

Anyway, it ain’t over yet and it won’t be over till it’s over. It’s nothing else but the guillotine and that’s what the opposition has in mind for Mr Borg and his government. In the coming days and weeks, the opposition, the opposition media and the army of the unemployed will be taking out their knives and forks, sharpening their swords and machetes, forceps and pincers to cut Mr Borg and his budget up, make a kebab out of him since to them his budget with miserly side dishes about snuff and tobacco is less than messianic and that’s what they would like him to present to the Swedish electorate : A vision of salvation, prosperity, heaven, a Robin Hood kind of budget after the season of lowering taxes for those who earn the most…

Text TV on the Spring Budget

Other bad news is that the Ukraine crisis can affect the Swedish economy

And a very sobering thought: A friend in need is a friend indeed and that’s one of the reasons why Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt is soon on his way for a four day visit to Ukraine (10th – 13th April) ostensibly to make things better there and not to make things worse for the Swedish economy…

From Stockholm, let’s move to ancestral Vienna…

A really fascinating series (all in English)

Part one

Part two

# Part three

Report abuse »

“Iran is two months away from a nuclear breakout!” says John Kerry

April 9th, 2014 by Cornelius Hamelberg

Cheri Bondowe

Here’s some wonderful stuff about our STOCKHOLM!

Swedish news

Radio Sweden

Dagens Nyheter

Svenska Dagbladet.

News from Israel

Honest Reporting

Israel Commentary

It’s Not Russia That Is Destabilising Ukraine by Russia’s Foreign Minister,

Sergei Lavrov

# Information Clearing

# Real Clear World

Are Iran and the heart of Middle East now on Kerry’s backburner? (Just wondering aloud)

Multikulti Soothsayer

I wrote this a little earlier whilst waiting for an internet connection:

Freedom of speech.

So you guys want to control the whole world, including my little computer? You don’t appreciate these little thoughts? You don’t think that you are being rid-i-cu-lous?

I used to know a very paranoid African-American Brother who thought that the CIA had through a little incision in his brain operated in a little microchip that could monitor any anti-American thoughts that he was thinking, even privately. Emperor Maximilian was his name, Max for short, a conscientious objector, he was one of the hell no, one of the soul brothers who didn’t want to go and do any killing in the killing fields of Vietnam.This was in the early 70s here in Sweden.Don’t know if the state of the art had got that far in science and technology then, but by now that they have so many satellites up there in outer space, who knows, microchip in the brain or no microchip in the brain that could give a ping or two like the missing black box from Malaysian Aircraft of Flight 370, they (the NSA) already have some people under surveillance and some others under remote control. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the Russian foreign minister and President Putin under that kind of control? Medium sized dog‘s tail already under the radar, wherever the brain leads the tail will follow. In that respect when it comes to Brer Bildt, methinks of him as being more Catholic than the Pope, I can even imagine him replacing Kerry as Secretary of State and then we would hear another kind of cowboy talk albeit in Oxfordian Swenglish: “Putin! Can you hear me loud and clear? Get out of Crimea – or ELSE!!!!” And start barking at Kim Jong Un or start baying at the moon. And Iran? Mr. Bildt was there recently, probably on a reconnoitring mission, testing the waters, and the American man’s best friend did not do any barking only some happy-tail-wagging….

In Stockholm at that time, in the conscientious objectors communities there was always some paranoia in the air, everybody saying that Mr Y or Mr W was “the man” (the CIA man, spying on the community). It was like some mental frisking – not whether you were carrying a gun or guns or not but if you were “the man”. Someone even asked me, by way of introduction, first thing, “Hey Cornelius, I hear that you is “the man “. Act just a little different and you is the man. Wear some pimpy kind of clothes, fedora hat and crocodile shoes and carry a walking stick like Cab Calloway and you is probably not “the man”

Around that time, another one – Al Hicks by name, a good brother a cameraman and photographer – he would take pictures of all the jazzmen who were over here to perform and as my occasional visitor Al would drone on and on would go on whining about the dangers of communism until either he or I could fall off into a deep sleep – I would know that he had stopped talking when he started snoring right there in the armchair. Exhausted. My conclusion was and still is that he must have undergone one of those de-programming treatments maybe in the McCarthy era. When US Americans talked about the same treatment with reference to the then Soviet Union, they called it “brainwashing” or indoctrination – one of the evils that was said to be carried on behind the iron curtain.

Brainwashing vs. Can’t strain my brain

The saying is “different strokes for different folks”

Still exercising the freedom to think even preposterous thoughts, here’s a short reflection on the UK submitting some of its legal system to Sharia Law, with regard to Sweden: If at this point the Alliance and the Red –Green Coalition jointly decided to propose adopting Sharia Law as a part of Sweden’s Legal System (good for the economy and for the Muslim vote etc.) then this backlash would be more than probable: Jimmie Åkesson would become the very next Prime Minister of Sweden. Of course, at this stage, the American president who would propose Sharia Law would most probably be assassinated, on the spot.

In Merry Britain Eddy Miliband is carefully weighing the pros and cons, right now as apiring future prime minister of England, Scotland, and Wales he would like to milk Cameron’s Sharia move for all it’s worth by waging a war on the idea of Sharia but for the fear that it could backfire and so he is now debating within himself, the pros and cons, after all everyone is hustling not only Muslim funding but also the Muslim vote and that’s why none of them can afford to be branded as an Islamophobe..

I’m still grammatically aware of the double negatives as in “you won’t hurt me no more “ or “no moe” but I don’t know and I haven’t visited Uncle Sam’s mouthpiece Foreign Affairs or the Council on Foreign Relations or any such propaganda machines for some time now, so from that point of view ignoramus doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Åkesson as Prime Minister would only attract terrorists to conduct their activities in the kingdom….

With all of what was formerly Ukraine in Kerry’s binoculars, it would seem that for the time being, everything else is of secondary importance, but that is not true – it could be true for Carl Bildt but not for John Kerry.

Last night I heard Mr Kerry giving his personal definition of “breakout” – he was talking about Iran possibly going for the bomb and his definition of threshold probably doesn’t rime with the timetable that the Mullahs have in mind. It’s very serious. Here are his exact words

Things that make you go hmmm (the “send the marines” mentality” with the US as Sheriff, fire brigade chief , world military and world police:

“Saddam Hussein, for example, invaded Kuwait; it was the United States that said, No, we are not having countries swallowing each other up. So we reversed that attempt by sending 500,000 troops — parenthetically a feat that we could no longer achieve because of the downsizing in the military — but we enforced that rule” (U.S.: The Great Problem That Needs to be Solved)

Russia: Russian Troop Activities Pose No Threat To U.S., OSCE, Moscow Says

Don Cherry & Organic Music Theatre

Report abuse »


April 8th, 2014 by Cornelius Hamelberg

Ba Pensees

The good news: 93% Swedish schoolchildren happy according to new measurement

Questionable: Sweden Democrats have Nazi roots?

Say it ain’t so

Breaking news: Sweden: This deeply worrying piece of journalism by a young female, blonde, blue-eyed Swede, entitled “Racism is deeply rooted in our culture

Emphasis on deeply.

The degree to which the Sweden Democrats succeed in this coming election will testify to the extent (the depth) to which racism has sunk and taken root in Sweden – despite Bishop Eva Brunne of Stockholm assuring us that Jesus loves all of us, without exception.


Global Research

“War is coming” : Real Clear World

Radio Sweden

News from Israel


Wazzup ?

“Jesus loves me
this I know
for the Bible tells me so “

Why am I thinking about this just now? Because, yesterday at our local grocery store I asked my friend from Morocco whether he was aware that this year the Ramadan Fasting will begin on 28th of June – just a week after midsummer (which means fasting from sunrise to sunset – this coming long hot summer approximately eighteen hours of daily fasting for a whole month.).I told him, “the stomach will go down“, he smiled and replied “and the Iman (faith) will go up!” A few minutes later it occurred to me that he could have interpreted what I said as a subtle discouragement and therefore of ill intent, to undermine his determination to fulfil one of the five pillars of (Sunni) Islam – so I sought him out to reassure him that I had no such intention (in Islam, a man is judged by his intentions). Again he smiled at me and said that he knows that I don’t harbour any evil intentions. He smiled once more and said, “Allah loves us!” I agreed with him, for one of the 99 names of Allah subhan t’ala is al-Wadud (the Loving One)

Love, not hate. I once asked another friend (from the Indian subcontinent), “Aki, why do you sell alcohol when you know that it’s forbidden?” He smiled and answered “ It’s Jihad! It’s to make the Kuffar weak”

When Sharia Law eventually comes to Sweden, he won’t be saying that no more. The only problem is that Sweden is still lagging far behind the UK when it comes to accommodating / incorporating Sharia Law into our legal system. But it’s not as if the UK is the head and Sweden is some kinda tail that is bound to follow without a mind of its own.

Of course, even if they would like to do that it’s very much an inopportune time (six months before “the survival of the fittest” elections) for our governing Alliance to propose any such legislation (even if it’s “good for business” (i.e. doing business with e.g. Iran and the rest of the Muslim world). It’s also an inopportune moment because should the Swedish government follow the Brits in going for Sharia, then there would be a surge of support for the Islamophobic Sweden Democrats – at least in the opinion polls, if not on Election Day.

Things are heating up on the Eastern Front. For the sake of peace and tranquillity perhaps there will be a referendum in Eastern Ukraine, just as there’s going to be a referendum in Scotland.

In the meantime, support for President Putin seems to be evenly divided between Nigel Farage and our own fiery Carl Bildt. It would be interesting to have a debate between these two, preferably in the Stockholm area, a better venue than Moscow, Tallinn or Kiev.

Re – Russian ‘plans for war on Sweden’ cause concern

Could put some people in this kind of panic mode:

“Wanna get married ? Do it now
Tomorrow all activity will cease”

This kind of hysteria could reach fever pitch if not controlled, so, for balance, it’s good to know how what’s happening is being covered by non-Swedish sources, as there’s nothing like ignorance, lack of precise information or a vacuum which always creates the need to be filled up mostly with paranoid speculation. Once upon a time (just a few months ago) Prime Minister Reinfeldt was boasting that “Russia lacks the capacity to attack Sweden.” In no time at all it could soon be a major election issue – especially if there is an escalation of mere rhetoric from Kerry, Kiev, NATO or Moscow.

Russian Newspapers in English

Russian News in English

Tass News Agency

MH370 : Speculation

More speculation

Egypt: Paradoxes never cease! Isn’t it strange that El-Sisi now wants President Morsi tried for precisely those crimes for which Mubarak was jailed and of which he El-Sisi himself is guilty?

Oscar Pistorius in the witness box

Report abuse »

A time for celebration: MOTHER INDIA goes to the polls.

April 7th, 2014 by Cornelius Hamelberg

Jana Gana Mana

A Great Nation

Incontestably, the world’s largest democracy and we wish the people of India the blessings of peace and love, peace and prosperity as the national life continues with the month long elections

The Parliament of India

Indian Media, newspapers

India : The Political Parties

In today’s world, one in every six human beings is Indian….

(Hans Rosling, better known as Guru Hans Rosling on Global Population growth and the greatness of Asia’s future markets when what’s known as the West will be one billion strong, whilst Africa and Asia will be an eight billion strong market)

Once you get anyone started, he/ she could go on all day about the glories of India: the peoples, the beauty, the valiant inquiring and creative spirit from the very dawn of civilisation, the languages, the religions, scriptures, spirituality, philosophers and the philosophies, mathematics, poetry, literatures, the music, dancers and dances , arts, crafts, dramas, architectures, medicine, commerce, science and technology, culinary delights… vegetarians unite…

The immense impact of India and Indian values and culture on the rest of the world, including Western civilisation (thinking of Arthur Schopenhauer for example) and in particular the impact of Mahatma Gandhi and his legacy – the impact of Satyagraha his philosophy of non-violent civil resistance on someone like the Rev Dr. Martin Luther King…

Will be staying close to the BBC when the election results start rolling in…

A little personal : My favourite Indian vocalist : Bhimsen Joshi and my favourite Indian Flautist : Pannalal Ghosh

Tabla players are many and among them there’s the prolific Ustad Zakir Hussain who I have listened to (and enjoyed) most of the time

When it comes to the flute and flautists, there are many among whom Hariprasad Chaurasia has been reigning for as long as I can remember

India - from Coltrane’s “Impressions”

Report abuse »