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GlobLog - June 2005
A direct link to each entry is obtained by using the button below the entry.

Tuesday, 28/6/2005:


Even here at a Thai hotel, with no more information about the world than BBC News, I notice some inconsistencies in the universe:

- The new reactionary president of Iran says at his first press conference that he welcomes a critical media. At the same time, the first Iranian journalist starts his question by congratulating the Iranian people for having elected a great new president. (Compare this to the less humiliating way CNN´s correspondent started his question: "Hi.")

- Bob Geldof and Jeffrey Sachs say that most important for Africa right now is that we send more foreign aid to its governments. At the same time, president Mugabe destroys the homes of hundreds of thousands Zimbabweans, and the African Union refuses to criticise Mugabe because they "have more important things to do".

Wednesday, 15/6/2005:


Klas, en uppmärksam läsare, såg om det Aktuelltinslag jag kritiserade, och insåg att jag hade fel. I inledningen av inslaget nämndes faktiskt att Lappalainen var jurist och miljöpartist. Jag ber härmed Aktuellt om ursäkt för mitt slarv.

Tuesday, 14/6/2005:


Today I am leaving Stockholm to go to the south of Sweden, to the west of Sweden, to get married and to go to Thailand. I won’t be back until late July so don’t sit up waiting. I will blog once in a while, but I won’t keep up the normal pace. And I won’t be responding to email, sorry.

Thank you so much for all your kind messages, all your tips, and all your intelligent criticism during this last year. It really encourages me to continue blogging.

By the way, it’s the first time I visit Thailand. This country was only marginally richer than its neighbour Burma/Myanmar after the Second World War. After decades of liberalisation and globalisation in Thailand, and brutal dictatorship and economic isolationism in Myanmar, Thailand is now five times richer than Myanmar, and developed into a democracy.

The annual growth rate 1975-2002 has been 5.2 percent in Thailand. Since 1990, infant mortality per 1 000 live births has been reduced from 34 to 24, and malnutrition has been reduced by almost a third. Absolute poverty has come down from 6 to less than 2 percent. And oh, it’s also supposed to be sunny and beautiful…

Enjoy summer!

PS. Don’t forget that Mattias Svensson’s book on food and politics is essential and entertaining reading this summer.

10:20 - OCH DN OCKSÅ: 

Och nu gör Dagens Nyheter precis samma sak som Aktuellt i sin artikel om diskrimineringsutredningen. Lappalainen är plötsligt inte längre miljöpartistisk politiker och utredningen är inte längre ett miljöpartistiskt beställningsverk. Han är i stället en "svenskamerikan" som av någon anledning har fått i uppgift att göra en förutsättningslös utredning som bara råkar bekräfta regeringens och miljöpartiets problemformuleringar.

Monday, 13/6/2005:


Intressant. Aktuellt lyckades nyss sända ett långt inslag med enmansutredaren Paul Lappalainen - som förklarade att vi behöver massor av statliga ingrepp för att Sverige ska sluta vara rasistiskt - utan att med ett ord antyda att Lappalainen är miljöpartist, och att utredningen kom till genom att miljöpartiet förhandlade sig till den vid uppgörelsen om regeringsunderlaget.


As you know, I have criticised Amnesty for the comparison between Guantanamo and Gulag, and I am happy to see that one week after Amnesty Sweden didn´t want to debate this with me, they posted a repudiation of the comparison on their web site. They write correctly that the comparison could be interpreted as a relativisation of the Soviet genocide, and that it served to discredit criticism of Guantanamo in the US.


Here is some interesting reading for everybody who agrees with Stefan Jonsson that Chavez´ Venezuela is a democratic model: A short summary of the road to authoritarianism, and an interesting blog portal to the latest developments. (Thanks Torbjörn)


In contrast to his political friends at Kulturnytt, Stefan Jonsson at DN Kultur presents arguments for his point of view and opens up for a real debate, for example when he praises Chavez´ authoritarian leadership of Venezuela as a "democratic revolution" (not on the web). That´s good, because then we can pick it apart.

For example, when he says that Chavez has eliminated illiteracy it´s easy to check it against the UN figure - illiteracy is up from 90.9 percent to 92.9 under Chavez.

Read Michael Moynihan picking Jonsson´s piece apart. And don´t miss his question to Jonsson about what he had written, had Chavez been Bush:

"Now imagine the Bush administration—or Bush supporters—firing on and killing scores of Kerry supporters. Or a Bush-friendly police force ´tortur[ing] some protesters…detained during recent anti-government demonstrations.´"

[UPDATE: Of course I mean that literacy is up from 90.9 to 92.9. Sorry! (Thanks Dan)]


Lyssna gärna på Lars Hermanssons recension av Anna Kinberg Batras bok Indien i morgonens Kulturnytt. Att han dömer ut den som "undermålig" och "propaganda" är inte överraskande, det följer mallen för Kulturnytts recensioner av liberal litteratur. Det avslöjande är att han gör det utan att utmana en enda tolkning och utan att argumentera emot en enda faktauppgift. Argumentationen är betydligt mer försåtlig än så.

Hermanssons främsta kritik av denna liberala bok är att den är liberal, att den är emot tullar och regleringar är för honom i sig ett argument för att den är lättviktig och propagandistisk. Och han kritiserar den för att den driver en liberal tes, när den i stället borde ha kompromissat fram sin tes genom att först ta till sig motståndarnas åsikter, det är nämligen det enda intellektuellt hedervärda. Att motståndarna har någon åsikt som Kinberg Batra borde, men har misslyckats med att ta till sig, belägger Hermansson emellertid inte.

Så här ungefär resonerar personer som Hermansson: "Jag öppnade med förväntan denna liberala bok för att se om de hade börjat ge upp sina idéer, men tyvärr visade det sig vara liberalt som vanligt, följaktligen ointressant och antiintellektuellt". Maken till antiintellektualism får man leta efter. Och detta från en person som glassar med hur viktigt det är att ta hänsyn till motståndarens starkaste argument. Yeah right.

När ställde Kulturnytt senast motsvarande krav på Ordfront och Arena, som nämns i recensionen? När kritiserades de för att vara socialister? Och när ställde de senast samma sorts krav på Vandana Shiva, som Hermansson okritiskt tar parti för i slutet av recensionen, som är betydligt mer enkelspårig än Kinberg Batra, med den skillnanden att Shiva inte har statistik som underbygger hennes världsbild. När tyckte Kulturnytt att vänsterförfattare som hon bara kom med "propaganda" för att de inte har anpassat sig till de nyliberala argumenten?

Vi fick just ett övertydligt prov på hur kulturvänstern desperat klamrar sig fast vid sitt problemformuleringsinitiativ när argumenten tryter. Jag förstår att de är deppiga om detta är det bästa de har att komma med.

Sunday, 12/6/2005:


Sometimes people ask me why we all think that everything is getting worse, if that is not the case. UNICEF just gave us a good example of why this is the case. Today is World Day Against Child Labour, and a UNCIEF press release was given a lot of attention around the world. The media reported their figure that 246 million children working. It´s easy to find horrible figures like that in UNCEF´s reports. But it´s very difficult to find historical figures, to see what this means - does it means that things are getting better or worse?

For example, UNICEF does not give us the information that child labour (10-14 years old) in the developing countries decreased from 23 to 12 percent 1980-2000.

It´s understandable, UNICEF and other organisations want to convince us that the situation in their field is horrible as usual, to encourage us to take action against it. But will they really succeed if they never acknowledge that past action has led to real results?

23:15 - TIME TO GO: 

As I´ve explained before, I think that Sweden´s foreign minister Laila Freivalds should resign after her miserable handling of the tsunami disaster - lies, threats and excuses. Now you too can demand her resignation on this site. 717 Swedes have already signed. (Thanks Daniel)


I am in favour of selective debt cancellation. For moral reasons I don´t think that people should be forced to repay the debts that their old oppressors created. But I find the general enthusiasm for the G8´s cancellation, the demands for even more, and pop concerts for more foreign aid, incredibly naive. Their attitude seems to be: "We have failed for 50 years, so let´s try it again, on a bigger scale."

They should read Fredrik Erixon´s excellent new study Aid and development: Will it work this time? (International Policy Network). And if they don´t find the time because they´re out campaigning, at least they should read this article by William Easterly (pdf):

“The mythology of African debt is that huge amounts of money are being sucked out of the continent to go to international creditors. The truth is that much of Africa´s debt has been fictional for a long time. When the debtors had difficulty coming up with the repayments, creditors gave new loans, postponed the repayment of old loans, or forgave the old loans altogether. The G7 has already spent 20 years giving ever more debt relief to Africa at each successive summit. Maybe the best argument for dropping the debt is just to end this charade, freeing up the time of people such as Geldof, G7 politicians and African leaders to concentrate on the real problems of African aid…

We know that aid is ineffective from the record of the $568bn (£313bn) already given in aid to sub-Saharan Africa. This aid was not successful in preventing decades of stagnation… These latest calls for increased aid echo a long tradition that emphasises aid volume as the measure by which we judge success on world poverty. But aid volume measures costs, not benefits. General Motors, which Wall Street has just downgraded to junk-bond status, would not help its case if it cited its high costs of production as an achievement.”

Saturday, 11/6/2005:


Unfortunately, China bows to EU pressure and limits its textile exports until 2008. As I explained on Rapport late last night, the big losers are Europeans. European consumers will not get the price reductions on clothes of 20-30 percent that we expected.

And furthermore, EU loses even more credibility in the trade negotiations. After having waited for ten years for free trade, China has to wait even longer. The chances of a breakthrough at the WTO is further undermined, and European exporters will not get access to important markets.

Won´t this save European textile jobs? No, not at all, instead other developing countries will sell more clothes to Europe, and therefore the restructuring and investments they have to implement to face Chinese competition will be delayed.

Friday, 10/6/2005:

17:10 - ATTAC -65%: 

When Attac Sverige, the Swedish version of the French anti-globalist movement, got started in 2001 they claimed they had about 5 000 members. Mats Johansson has asked how many they are now, and they say that they cannot give an exact figure, because of problems with their registers. But with an unbelievably large interval they claim they still have 1 500 to 2 000 members. Even if that is true it is one of the biggest reductions in membership in a Swedish organisation that I´ve heard of.


Hur svårt är det egentligen att starta företag i Sverige? Hur mycket dokument, blanketter och regler utsätts man för? Missa inte de senaste förvecklingarna i Fredrick Federleys företagarblogg.


Erik Zsiga examines four Swedish public service programs. Do they fulfill the public service criteria? Conclusion:

"The situation is far from satisfying, but not hopeless."


In Expressen today I write about why some established Swedish journalists now attack blogs with full force. I think it´s because of their instinct of self-preseveration. The new technology demolishes the hierarchies in the media, and makes it more important what you write, than where you write it.


Kommer ni ihåg DN Kulturs selektiva citationstecken? I dag svarar redaktionen på Läsarombudsmannens fråga om detta:

"- Varför satte ni en citatrubrik på Evin Rubars inlägg?
- Det var så mycket starka känslor kring det här så vi valde att ta ett citat ur texten, säger Helena Lindblad.
- Men varför gjorde ni inte det när det gällde Ulrika Kärnborgs [båda] inlägg?
- Det råkade bara bli så."


Yesterday Hans Karlsson debated the apology with Merit Wager, who works on helping refugees and who also signed the letter to Latvia. Apparently he had not much more to say than stating again and again that "a lot of right-wing politicians" had signed the letter. Even if that was correct, is that an argument? Would it have been an argument if Merit again and again had said that Karlsson is a social democrat?

Read more on Merit´s blog.

Thursday, 9/6/2005:


This is a fascinating development. Hans Karlsson, minister for empolyment is outraged about our apology in the Latvian daily Diena. He thinks it´s horrible that we say that there was an undertone of xeonphobia in the Swedish trade unions´ hostility to Latvian workers. And he demands an apology from the leaders of the moderate and the center party, since a few politicans from those parties signed the apology!

Let´s see now, Byggnads, the Swedish building worker´s union, ran an expensive campaign comparing foreign workers to prostitutes, and when Latvian workers built a school in Vaxholm the unions started a blockade, attacking cars and supplies, and shouted "Go home! Go home!" to the Latvian workers, and in the end the company was put out of business and the workers lost their jobs.

And we are supposed to apologise???


Here is Byggnad´s campaign image of workers from Eastern Europe:
("Utnyttjad" means abused/exploited)


And speaking of Bush and Andrew Sullivan, don´t miss Sullivan´s article on conservatism of faith vs conservatism of doubt, now on-line. It´s an excellent explanation of how Bush has taken the republican party in the wrong direction.


"Does anyone in America doubt that Kerry has a higher IQ than Bush? I´m sure the candidates´ SATs and college transcripts would put Kerry far ahead."
- Howell Raines, former executive editor of the New York Times, last August. (via Sullivan)

"[N]ewly released records show that... Bush had received a cumulative score of 77 for his first three years at Yale... Kerry, who graduated two years before Bush, got a cumulative 76 for his four years"
- Boston Globe


SAAB gets 750 million SEK from the government to develop a new unmanned fighter plane. Not because the government needs the planes, but because SAAB needs 750 million SEK.


"In America, the first major study of web diaries reveals that they are shaping the political landscape like never before...

´Journalists, activists and political decision-makers have learned to consult political blogs as a guide to what is going on in the rest of the internet,´ the report notes.

Accordingly, for a certain breed of US political animal, blogs now perform the same function as mass market portals do for the rest of us - sifting and disseminating the morass of material on the web and pointing to interesting stories and primary sources elsewhere."

- The Guardian on a new Pew study. By the way, about 6% of U.S. adults have created blogs. (Thanks Erik)

Wednesday, 8/6/2005:


I dag fortsätter Aktuellt att folkbilda med Hans Roslings hjälp. Dagens ämne är jämställdhet.


As I´ve already made clear, I thought that Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith was quite alright - and great compared to the other two prequels. But here is a very good argument that it was completely awful and useless. But I have to warn you about spoilers if you haven´t seen it, because the warnings here are of this sort: "By the way, if you haven´t seen this movie yet, don´t read the previous sentence." (Thanks Jon)


Thanks for all the get well wishes after I hurt my arm. Actually, it turned out that nothing was broken, there was only a small fracture in my left hand. Now I can write with my both hands, and in less than two weeks I should be as good as new.

Here are my favourite hand quotes:

"By directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention."
- Adam Smith

"[I] hate not only the despot, but despotism. For myself, when I feel the hand of power lie heavy on my brow, I care but little to know who oppresses me; and I am not the more disposed to pass beneath the yoke, because it is held out to me by the arms of a million of men."
- Tocqueville

"Those fighting for free enterprise and free competition do not defend the interests of those rich today. They want a free hand left to unknown men who will be the entrepreneurs of tomorrow."
- Ludwig von Mises

”The best helping hand you will ever find is at the end of your own arm.”
- Unknown

By the way, do you need a hand? (Thanks Marko)


He is a leftist, and he thinks that Bush is "a creepy, conscienceless, arrogant, narcissistic, strutting little sociopath" - and he has written a book about why Michael Moore is a dishonest person who fakes the facts to create better stories, and concludes that Moore is very bad for the left. Read Clive Davis´ interesting interview with author Jesse Larner. (via Erixon)

Here is an interesting excerpt, which makes me hopeful about the quality of the intellectual discourse:

"Q: How have your friends on the Left reacted to the details of fabrications, etc, you have listed? Do you now expect to be ´excommunicated´?

A: I must say that this has not at all been my experience. The idea of Moore as the universal darling of the Left is, I think, a product of the right-wing media. There´s been quite a lot of criticism of Moore in the left-wing press--or what passes for it--off the top of my head I can think of pieces in Dissent, The New Republic, Salon, Slate, LA Weekly, Blueprint, Open Democracy, and numerous left-wing blogs.
Believe it or not, there are great numbers of thoughtful [left-] liberals who despise Moore and consider him very bad for the left. Most of my friends are on the Left, and none of them respect him. Well, maybe one or two, with reservations and caveats. Far from ´excommunicating´ me, my friends have encouraged me by saying that what I´m doing is important for the health of the Left, and wished me success."

Shouldn´t someone on the right respond to this intellectual honesty by fact-checking people like Ann Coulter and Bill O´Reilly?


Our apology to the Latvian people in Latvia´s biggest daily is said to have stirred debate in Latvia and the European Parliament. Today it is published in Swedish by Expressen.


To paraphrase Garrison Keillor, I have come to see the relationship between truth in stories about America and Aftonbladet´s cultural pages like the relationship between the color green and the number seven. Occasionally you will see the number seven written in green, but you learn not to expect this.

On this page, Linderborg and Wijk faked the figures to show that Iraqi insurgents are really nice people who have earned our support. And yesterday, Gösta Hultén attacks Sweden for sending troops to Afghanistan as part of a NATO mission that is not authorized by the UN. But, as Otto Praline writes:

"This is an outright lie. UN Security Council resolutions 1386 and 1563 explicitly authorize ISAF [the International Security Assistance Force] under NATO auspices. Why does Mr. Hultén omit this? Is he unaware? Hasn´t taken the time to find out? Or is he so bent on castigating the US any twisted fact or lie will do? A sad indictment for a ´journalist´."

Tuesday, 7/6/2005:


Who said there is no need for labour mobility? To be able to meet the demand for new jobs in IT and business services we actually need up to 120 000 immigrants with European language skills over the next five years - in India! (Thanks David)


Beautiful Atrocities notes that in the future, everyone will be Hitler for 15 minutes. (Thanks Anders)

Monday, 6/6/2005:


Do you want to protect Årrenjarka´s old growth forests? Put your money where you´re mouth is, and let´s buy it. (Thanks Johan)


Många har tipsat mig om Aktuellts inslag om barnadödligheten i Bangladesh med Hans Rosling, professor i internationell hälsa. Det är ett bra tips, Rosling är en lysande folkbildare som gör ett fantastiskt arbete för att skildra den globala utvecklingen. Se inslaget, chatten och särskilt den pedagogiska grafiken, och om du får mersmak, titta här. Och skicka det till alla som fortfarande tror att det var bättre förr.

Mest ironisk är programledarens fråga: "Det du beskriver här är ju en enorm förändring för så stor del av jordens befolkning och så få av oss känner till att detta har skett. Varför vet vi inte om det?"

Hmm, kan det ha något att göra med att media inte har rapporterat om det?

Förresten, Rosling sommarpratar 25 juli.


Today we´re supposed to be proud of being Swedish, because it´s Sweden´s national day. For the moment I am not. Being Swedish is too much connected with antagonism to non-Swedes. The social democratic government tried to erect barriers to the new EU member states. They failed to get a majority in parliament, but when Latvian builders arrived to build us better and cheaper schools, Swedish trade unions - who had compared East European workers to prostitutes in a big and expensive campaign - forced them out with blockades, and forced the Latvian company into bankruptcy.

Had I been Latvian, I would be proud of the country´s amazing comeback as a free and dynamic European country. But being Swedish, I am ashamed of how my country raise new obstacles to countries like Latvia.

In a one-page letter today in Latvia´s biggest daily, Diena, I and 49 other Swedes apologise for the actions of the Swedish government and the trade unions, explain that there are a lot of Swedes who welcome them to Europe and Sweden, and promise to do our best to fight this new protectionism.

Read the letter (pdf)


This is what a Swedish left party seminar about the blogosphere might look like:

- A leftist blogger explains how it all works.

- A leftist media professor explains that the problem is that the blogosphere is dominated by liberals and free-marketeers, and that this will be difficult to change for the left.

- He asserts that these liberals are part of a ”more or less organised campaign”, and are also ”connected to Timbro” (and this is of course assumed to be something suspicious).

- No liberal or free-marketeer is present to respond, which makes it unrepresentative, since they claim that we dominate the blogosphere.

But this is not a left party seminar, this is a report on the Swedish blogosphere from Swedish public service radio’s Vår grundade mening. (Thanks Erika)

(Read Federley´s comment as well.)

Sunday, 5/6/2005:


I am also opposed to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, but I have never understood why those sentiments makes it so difficult for many journalists to report about it in a correct and honest way. In Svenska Dagbladet today, an article by Karin Henriksson claim that a new US military report means "some sort of rehabilitation" for Newsweek, the magazine that reported the false rumour about US guards flushing a copy of the Koran down the toilet. The caption even says that "Newsweek was right about Guantanamo".

The truth is the opposite, the investigation showed that this didn´t happen. The only time someone tried to flush down a copy of the Koran, it was done by one of the detainees. Doesn´t Svenska Dagbladet know that? Or worse - does it?

The reports show that there has been other forms of desecration, for example one of the guards have kicked a copy of the Kuran. It´s important that this and other forms of abuse are investigated and made public, that´s one of the things that separate a democracy from a dictatorship.

But before we come to the conclusion that the US is intent on desecrating Islam, read this description from Michelle Malkin about how the prisoners at Guantanamo are treated.

"Each detainee´s cell has a sink installed low to the ground, ´to make it easier for the detainees to wash their feet´ before Muslim prayer, Saar reports. Detainees get ´two hot halal, or religiously correct, meals´ a day in addition to an MRE (meal ready to eat). Loudspeakers broadcast the Muslims´ call to prayer five times a day.
Every detainee gets a prayer mat, cap and Koran. Every cell has a stenciled arrow pointing toward Mecca."

Three things are especially interesting about this:

- The facts are from a book critical of Guantanamo.

- This is how people who are suspected of planning to kill as many civilians as possible are treated.

- You will never read this in Svenska Dagbladet or any other Swedish paper.


Today in Svenska Dagbladet, the day before Sweden´s national day, I and nine other liberals of different varieties explain why the monarchy should be abolished and Sweden should become a republic.

Interestingly, there is also a similar article in Dagens Nyheter today, but signed by leftists and social democrats. It almost looks like I am part of a bigger conspiracy...


"- Vad innebär det att vara ´svensk´ för dig?
- Att ha liberala och toleranta värden med respekt för den enskilda människan."
Maud Olofsson står för dagens mest orimliga, men mest sympatiska omdefinition. DN, sid 12.

Saturday, 4/6/2005:


9 - the number of years in prison you get if you contemplate running for president against Putin.

14 - the number of years Izvestia got as an independent newspaper, before it is taken over by the Russian state, through the gas giant Gazprom.

5.5 (pdf) - Freedom House´s ranking of Russia´s freedom, from 3.5 in 1995 (1 - most free, 7 least free).

1 - the number of people who still think that Putin is a democrat.


I think I have the world´s best readers. Just as my computer checks my spelling, you check my facts. The moment I write something that looks strange I get emails about the problem. Now it was pointed out to me that my figures on the British vs the Indian economy look strange. The Indian economy does not have to wait until 2020, it is already bigger than the British - about $3 300 billion vs about $1 800.

Yes, but these figures are adjusted for purchasing power, and I was using market exchange rates, and then the Indian economy is much smaller - about $660 billion (but will probably be bigger than $2000 in 2020). But since I normally use purchasing power adjusted figures and think they are more correct, I should of course have pointed that out.

Here is a hopeful, but a bit too optimistic thought experiment from Goldman Sachs.

Friday, 3/6/2005:

15:56 - THE NEW INDIA: 

Now I will go and present Anna Kinberg Batra´s excellent new book Indien - från stackare till stormakt, about an Indian economic miracle in the making.

How do we know that something dramatic has happened in the former British colony? Because Indian investments in the UK are now bigger than UK investments in India. And the old, prestigious British tea company Tetley Tea is now owned by the Indian company Tata Tea. If present growth rates continue, the Indian economy will be bigger than the British economy in 2020.

Thursday, 2/6/2005:


"I dag som då betyder ´politisk´ vänster, ´engagerad´ vänster, ´solidarisk´ vänster likaså, och många andra ord som betecknar inställnignar och aktiviteter som är allmänmänskliga och ovanpolitiska har på vårt språk copyrajtats som vänster...

Men jag är inte vänster. Vare sig i hårdför eller snällistisk tappning. Jag vare sig vill eller kan stiga in i någon av de väldiga nischer som huggits ut i offentligheten av Myrdal, Lidman, Ehnmark, Enquist osv. För mig är den självrefererande, tomt ekande hegemoniska vänsterintellektualismen i vårt land hämmande för debatten, tankefriheten och den enskildes, författare eller ej, uttrycksmöjligheter. Skriver man inte under på en uppsättning identitetsmarkerande ståndpunkter och därmed visar att man hör till riskerar man att göras osynlig."

- Författaren Torbjörn Elensky i DN Kultur, efter att redaktionen frågat vart den "politiska" litteraturen tagit vägen.

00:38 - WHAT I READ: 

I have been challenged by Jonas Morian to respond to five questions about my relationship to books. What a great idea. This is what I have to say:

1. How many books do you own?

About 4 000, I think. And I have room for them only because I can store a lot of them at the office. Probably something like 30 percent is fiction.

2. Latest book purchase?

Christina Hoff Sommers & Sally Satel: One nation under therapy

3. Latest book you read?

Richard Layard: Happiness - the lessons from a new science

4. Five books that has meant a lot to you (which you have read at least three times)

There aren´t that many books that I have read three times, especially when it comes to non-fiction. For example, Geoge H Smith´s Atheism is one of the best books I´ve ever read, but I´ve only read it once. Here are the most important ones among those I´ve read several times:

- Fjodor Dostojevskij: Crime and punishment
- Vilhelm Moberg: Rid i natt!
- Ayn Rand: The Fountainhead
- Ayn Rand: Atlas Shrugged
- Hjalmar Söderberg: Martin Bircks ungdom

5. Five bloggers that I would like to see responding to these questions.

Europea (has responded), Fredrick Federley (has responded), Håkan Jacobson (has responded), Nicklas Lundblad (has responded), P M Nilsson (has responded)

Wednesday, 1/6/2005:


Som DN:s huvudledare noterar möts EU:s justitieministrar i morgon för att tvinga internetoperatörer och teleoperatörer att lagra information om vilka vi ringer, mailar och SMS:ar, när vi gör det, var vi befinner oss och vilka hemsidor vi läser. Det är i alla fall vad bl a den svenska regeringen vill.

Vad kan du göra om du inte vill att staten ska veta att du läste detta på min blogg just i dag? Jo, du kan informera dig om problematiken och protestera mot utvecklingen mot ett övervakningssamhälle på Pär Ströms utmärkta hemsida Stoppa storebror.

Kom ihåg att frågan om huruvida du har rent mjöl i påsen avgörs av hur definitionen av "rent mjöl" förändras, och det avgör staten.


I was supposed to appear in Studio Ett this afternoon to debate Amnesty´s annual report, which singles out Sudan and the US as horrible human rights violators. I happen to agree completely with Washington Post and Anne Applebaum that Amnesty International destroy its credibility completely when it calls the Guantanamo Bay detention facilities the "gulag of our times".

I think that the American way of dealing with war prisoners and terrorist suspects has been wrong and destructive, but to compare it with the Soviet slave system and genocide is a horrible way to offend the memory of the victims, and what words are now left for the slave camps in China and North Korea?

I was planning to give my member card back to Amnesty´s Swedish boss during the radio debate if he stood by the comparison. But the debate is off. Amnesty Sweden did not want to defend the comparison. Very good. For the moment, I´ll keep the card.

11:51 - DAGENS CITAT: 

"Regeringen har förlorat spelet. Ändå fortsätter den att ivrigt hävda monopolistens rätt.

När vanliga medborgare beter sig på det sättet brukar de i Sverige kallas för rättshaverister."

- Peter Wolodarski om apoteksmonopolet.


Sweden is a racist country, according to a new government study of integration led by sociology professor Masoud Kamali. Why does this get a lot of attention today? Let´s not forget that the reason why the former researcher was replaced was that he had been criticised by Kamali for having a rational, empirical perspective, whereas Kamali wanted to state that Sweden is a racist country as a primary fact that does not need to be proven or researched. So it´s both the starting point and the conclusion. A funny postmodern way of doing research.

That´s sad, because it would for example really have been interesting to see some research on the rules and systems that creates lower labour market participation in Sweden than in other similar countries. Is Sweden really much more racist than continental Europe?

Instead, Kamali uses his new position, the study and the tax funds to attack old opponents in the debate, like Mauricio Rojas.


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