Flag of NorwayA couple of weeks ago I read some posts on the internet complaining about the  Mexican flags that were in evidence in various parts of the U.S. on May 5th, in celebration of Cinquo de Mayo. I perceived these posts as a display of the kind of intolerance which has led to the new immigration law in Arizona. There are voices calling for similar actions in other states now, including Maryland, where I live.

Syttende mai is a celebration very similar to Cinquo de Mayo. Both days are celebrations of the independence of the respective countries following the Napoleonic Wars. On May 17th 1814 Norway’s constitution was signed and Norway was declared to be an independent state. For centuries Norway had shared a king and a government with Demnark. When Denmark chose the losing side in the Napolionic Wars, Norway was stripped from them and given to Sweden, at the treaty if Kiel in January of that same year. The last war, to date, that Sweden ever fought took place that year as Norweay fought to throw off the yoke of Swedish oppression. Well OK that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but we still resent the Swedes. In August the king of Sweden and the Norwegian Storting (Parliament) signed the Convention of Moss, which ended the war, allowing Norway self rule under it’s constitution but keeping Sweden’s nominally in office as King of Norway. This “personal union” between Norway and Sweden remained in force until 1905 when it was declared dissolved by the Storting. They then elected Prince Carl of Denmark to be the King of Norway. Somebody has to be available to give away the Nobel Peace Prize, you know.

Children in a Sytte mai parade

Syttende Mai is celebrated in Norway with children’s parades. In the U.S. it is often celebrated, by Norwegian Americans, with dinner parties where lutefisk is often in evidence. I’d rather go to a parade, myself. There are parades in the upper Midwest, particularly in Stoughton Wisconsin. Nobody seems to complain about all the Norwegian flags on display.

I have never heard anyone object to the flying of a Norwegian flag in this country. I’ve been asked what it was, though.


Carnival of Maryland

The first edition of the newly revived Carnival of Maryland will be posted on this blog on May 30, 2010. Anyone may participate, however I will need to be convinced that your post is about Maryland in some way. Please submit you Maryland related posts at http://blogcarnival.com/bc/submit_1134.html right away!

Maryland State FlagI am going to take over the administration of the moribund Carnival of Maryland; at Blogcarnival.com. As soon as ownership is transferred to me I will post an announcement of the URL for submissions and the date of the first new carnival. It will probably be hosted here.

Posts in the Carnival of Maryland must be on a subject relating to Maryland in some way. Stay tuned and polish up your best Maryland related blog posts for inclusion in the carnival.

Vice President Joe Biden gave a speech this weekend on a US Navy ship. Fortunately the “Mission Accomplished” banner was nowhere to be seen, however in his comments he told a story about something that Admiral Mullen, the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a secret, hush hush meeting with the President. “I can’t tell you the event because it’s classified, but I can tell you what happened,” the V.P. said.

You can’t tell us that it was about the recent pirate hostage rescue, Joe? How come?

I got another one this morning, an email from David Plouffe, Barack Obama’s campaign manager, asking for a donation. Plouffe’s email says that it is to help overcome the negative messages of those defenders of the status quo who are calling for Obama to fail. I guess he means Rush.

Excuse me, but I was under the impression that President Obama had the resources of the entire executive branch of the U.S. government at his disposal. Why does he need another $25 from me? Come 2011, 2012 I will be ready to donate to his reelection campaign, assuming he continues to have policies that I approve of. I’m not donating to operating budget of the White House.

I see, according to the omniscient Wikipedia, that Plouffe does not even have a job with the Obama White Hose. He’s writing a book about the campaign. Do I get a copy of the book for my $25?

Feb. 3rd is the traditional Blogroll Amnesty Day, a day when obscure  blogs all over the world link to other obscure blogs in a vain attempt to lift each other by their collective bootstraps. Blue Gal, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo and Jon Swift have launched the amnesty early, so I’m joining in. This year Skippy has made some new rules, making B.A.D. a kind of voluntary meme, which relieves the real problem of bloated blogrolls, which the original B.A.D, the really bad B.A.D, which Jon Swift will tell you about, happen in the first place.

the basic rule for blogroll amnesty day weekend is simply this: take a moment to write a post linking to (and pointing out to your readers) 5 blogs w/traffic smaller than yours. this inclusive and magnanimous yet easy-to-do gesture will not only expose your readers to new voices and those voices to new readers, it will foster a sense of community, support and all-around kumbaya amongst the progressive infrastructure.

I am trying very hard to follow Skippy’s rule about not making that joke about this blog’s relative level of readership. Meanwhile I am going to introduce you to these five, which may or may not be galactically famous, what do I know?

Siberian Light, The Russian Blog, came to my attention last year, through a post in Windows to Russia. Andy Young lives in Irkutsk, which I always thought was just a spot on the RISK board, and writes about Russia in a fair and balanced way, although I don’t think he ever worked for Fox news.

Idiot’s Guide to Blogging is written by Raivyn who, even though she spells her name funny and is not an Edgar Allen Poe fan to my knowledge, has a lot of good advice for aspiring blog stars. She is also a musician, which is a nice thing to be.

Your Neighborhood Reverend is an impostor! Surely no real man of the cloth would brag about squiring a “traveling bra” around Memphis, showing her the sites.

Linus’s Blanket is not a comic strip. It’s a thoughtful blog filled with book reviews, however the author apparently feels a strange kinship with Linus Van Pelt.

Whitehouse.gov, is a brand new blog, written by some guy named Macon Phillips, which will never get much of a readership until the author adds some LOLcats or something to relieve the dryness, but I’m willing to lend a hand to a beginner. Macon should give that old guy in the sidebar a haircut and a new set of dentures, too, IMHO.

If you would like to join in Blogroll Amnesty Day, just follow the instructions above and drop Jon or Skippy an email at the appropriate address (shown on their blogs.)

Samuel J. “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher is going to war. He will report for conservative website Pajamas TV during a ten day visit to Isreal. Wurzelbacherwants to give Isreal’s “average Joe” a chance to speak out on the war against Hamas.

Well, at least he isn’t going to be a political consultant.  Joe had his 15 minutes of fame. I don’t think he deserves any more.

Editors note: thank you to Brent for the spell check.

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