Too Many Guns – What’s Wrong with USA?

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On 14 February 2018, Valentine’s Day, a 19-year-old man shot up the hallways and classrooms of his former high school in Parkland, Florida. 17 died and 14 were injured.

Surviving teenagers burst onto the public stage with protest and debate. “I was born into a world where I have never experienced security,” said one of them at a learning session with Donald Trump, “It must never happen again.”

Referring to a football coach who died shielding students, the President replied that he should have had a gun, “It would have stopped it.”

Now, the good guy with the gun is literally you or me.

Read more here about how the United States is locked in a literal death dance powered by a gun culture distorted by partisan politics, a strained interpretation of the right to bear arms and a firearms industry that buys politicians (in Danish).

To find out how the surviving teenagers represent hope for the future, listen to a radio interview of me in Danish on P1 Morgen here. Download the DR Radio app to listen on your mobil or simply click on the link to listen on your computer.

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The United States or the Divided States?

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In these troubled times, does former Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford have a political future in the United States?  I say yes, but conservative Sørine Gotfredsen says no. Feel free to read the debate here (in Danish). For more information about the Ambassador in English, read my article in USA Today here. Gifford is now running for U.S. Congress in Massachusetts’ Third Congressional District. Click on his campaign website here.

Photo by Peter Brinch.

Do you want to learn Danish?

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When I first heard Danish, I was bewitched. It didn’t matter whether I was listening to a conversation at the 7-Eleven, among colleagues at work or while waiting at the doctor’s office. The surround sound of low mumbles and soft purrs was intoxicating.

In my native California, only intimates speak to each other that way. Who wouldn’t want to learn? To me, Danish is a language of love.

But becoming proficient in Danish is like running a marathon while dodging people standing in the way. Learn why here (in Danish).

Photo shot by Penny D. Photo.

Ivanka is close to Donald Trump. But who is she?

The Florida sunshine is so bright at the U.S. President’s winter White House, Mar-a-Largo, that the 16th century Flemish tapestries have faded. In a gilded living room – in a style which some call Louis XIV on acid – a little girl is singing.

Just before the crescendo, U.S. President Donald J. Trump, cocks his head to the right, while Chinese President Xi Jinping leans forward and nods approvingly.

Five-year-old Arabella Trump’s performance in Mandarin of “Jasmine Flower,” went viral. But another exercise in soft diplomacy backfired when Arabella’s mother, Ivanka Trump, praised her father, the U.S. President, as a “champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive” at the W20 Summit in Berlin.  Rather than nod, the audience groaned loudly .

Read entire article here (in Danish).

Gay U.S. ambassador is a reality TV star in Denmark

Ambassador Rufus Gifford is a role model. “One of the biggest struggles you have as a young, gay person is figuring out how to be comfortable in your own skin,” he said. “I mean, you would lie in bed at night when you were 15, 16, 17 years old and just figure out if there was some way to escape your body.” Read his story in USA Today. Gifford is now running for U.S. Congress in Massachusetts’ Third Congressional District. Click on his campaign website here.

Photo by Bjarke Frederiksen. Danish PM  Lars Løkke Rassmussen, Ambassador Rufus Gifford & his husband, Dr. Stephen DeVincent.