New Rammstein music video

There is a new Rammstein music video out

Content warning: violence, religious imagery

Usually I have some understanding of the underlying messages of Rammstein videos, but in this case, I am at a loss.

Fred Brooks (1931-2022)

I just learned that Fred Brooks has passed away.

If you are outside software development, it is unlikely that you have ever heard about him, but inside the field, he was a giant. He is not known as much for his technical achievements, though they were impressive, as his seminal work “The Mythical Man-Month“, first published in 1975, in which he made remarkable claims like “[a]dding manpower to a late software project makes it later”. It is also famous for expressing the concept that if it takes a pregnant person 9 months to give birth to a baby, adding 8 more people, won’t change the period of time to one month – thus addressing the concept of man-months as a concept, showing why it is nonsense in some situations.

The Mythical Man-Month is still a book that I recommend to people working in software development (I’d suggest getting the 20 year edition from 1995, which has 4 extra chapters).

Support the women of Iran

On 16 September 2022, 22 year old Jina Mahsa Amini was killed by the morality police in Tehran, Iran leading to widespread protests and fights in Iran. Among the people protesting and fighting are the women, and the minorities, like the Kurds – a minority which Jina Mahsa Amini belonged to – but the protests/fights are widespread, and international organizations say there is protests in at least 16 of Iran’s 31 provinces, and that at least 50 people has been killed during the protests. Iranian media say that at least 35 people have been killed.

This is hardly the first time that there have been widespread protests in Iran, but this is larger than anything we have seen since 2009. As NY Times writes:

The largest anti-government protests in Iran since 2009 gathered strength on Saturday, spreading to as many as 80 cities, even as the authorities escalated a crackdown that has reportedly killed dozens of people and brought the arrests of prominent activists and journalists, according to rights groups and news media reports.

What is noteworthy about these protests, is that they are not limited to one group or location, but that they are widespread, and have even spread to religious and conservative cities like Mashhad and Qom. This means that the protests are taking a much wider hold than most of the former protests.

In other words, there is currently something major happening in Iran, and it is important that those of us living outside Iran, keep our eyes on the developments, and support the protesters. We need to keep a spotlight on the atrocities committed by the Iranian regime, and put as much pressure on them as we can. If you can, ask your politicians to speak out, participate in demonstrations, and support the protesters on social media.

A note about the name of the young woman, Jina Mahsa Amini. She is often referred to as just “Mahsa Amini”, but that is hiding her Kurdish heritage. Jina is her Kurdish name, which the Iranian government wouldn’t let her use. Thank you to Jino Victoria Doabi for explaining this. Jino is a friend of mine, who is a powerhouse in keeping Danes informed about what is happening in Iran, and explaining the background. Jino is a Kurd from Iran who came to Denmark when she was five, and who grew up in the same places as Jina Mahsa Amini. If you understand Danish, I highly recommend following Jino on Twitter and Instagram.

Dansk Regnbueråd is a front for Dansk Folkeparti

A bit of internal Danish politics. As in most of the world, there is a movement towards greater awareness of the diversity of people, genders and gender identities. Like many other places, this is being met by a harsh “anti-woke” pushback, especially targeted towards transgender and non-binary people. In Denmark, this is very much led by the far-right xenophobic and bigoted party Dansk Folkeparti (Danish Peoples’ Parti), perhaps in an attempt to become more relevant in a time, where they are bleeding members (and even members of parliament) to other far-right parties.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of people don’t want to ally themselves with Dansk Folkeparti, even though they are happy to attack “wokism” (a non-existing ideology, which more or less corresponds to being a decent human being) and trans-people.

Luckily, for these people, there is now a new “LGBT” organization, Dansk Regnbueråd (Danish Rainbow Council), which fights on the “anti-woke” side, claiming that there are only two genders etc. It is even being led by a trans-person, Marcus Dib Jensen, who is now the press’ go-to person when looking for a contrary view in the LGBTQ+ community. Interestingly enough, while the press always seems to remember to explain that he has fought for the right-winged voices in the LGBTQ+ community, they tend to leave out that he has a YouTube channel and Instagram account both named “The Offensive Tranny”.

When presenting the organization, Dansk Regnbueråd, the press describes it in a way, which makes it sound like it is center-right, and only has been created in order to allow people on that part of the political spectrum to push back on the left-winged ideology in those circles. What they don’t mention, is the fact that Dansk Regnbueråd isn’t center-right, but rather extremely right-winged, and just another front for Dansk Folkeparti. This is a tactic that is taken pretty much out of the playbook of the right-winged politicians in the US – create a “moderate” organization to help spread your bigotry.

This might seem like a bold claim by me, but it is backed up by simple facts.

In Denmark, nearly all organizations have to register in CVR, which is the central register of companies and organizations in Denmark. This is also the case for Dansk Regnbueråd, whose entry can be found here.

In the following, I have shared screen shots from public websites, and all the information I share, is publicly available.

Data on Dansk Regnbueråd

CVR data on Dansk Regnbueråd

If you look at the data registered about Dansk Regnbueråd, you can see that it is represented by Marcus Dib Jensen, as mentioned above, but that it uses a mail address from a different person ,as the organization’s email address. This email address belongs to Ivan Hemmingsen, who happens to be the head of the Copenhagen chapter of Dansk Folkeparti

Ivan Hemmingsen

Contact information of Ivan Hemmingsen, head of the Copenhagen chapter of Dansk Folkeparti

Don’t mind the weird misspelling in his last name – that is probably a c&p error from his email address.

But Ivan Hemmingsen is not just the head of the Copenhagen chapter of Dansk Folkeparti, he actually works for the parti in its administration.

Administration of Dansk Folkeparti

Information of who works in the administration of Dansk Folkeparti

I have cut the list of people work in the administration of Dansk Folkeparti off just after Ivan’s entry.

When you look at the address of the organization, it is the address of Lars Vestergaard, who just happens to be a candidate in Copenhagen for the parliament for Dansk Folkeparti.

Profile of Lars Vestergaard

Lars Vestergaard, a candidate for the Danish parliament for Dansk Folkeparti

I should point out that when looking at their Instagram accounts, it looks like Ivan Hemmingsen and Lars Vestergaard forms a couple, so it might also be the home address of Ivan Hemmingsen, and thus Lars Vestergaard might not be involved in the organization at all. Still, no matter whether Lars Vestergaard is involved or not, it is clear that Dansk Regnbueråd is heavily connected to Dansk Folkeparti, and that every time someone uses them as a source, they are really using Dansk Folkeparti as a source.

RIP Uffe Ellemann-Jensen (1941-2022)

Former Danish Foreign Minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen has died, 80 years old. He was an often controversial foreign minister for Denmark in the period 1982-1993, serving during some of the most important years of post-war European history. Back when he was a minister, he changed the Danish foreign policy from being nationalistic, or at most Nordic, to be European and international, and by doing that, he helped shape not only Danish foreign policy ever since, but even the path of Europe.

As a foreign minister he often split the nation – a lot of people, especially on the political left, found him arrogant and even undemocratic, while for many other people, he was the very picture of a statesman, making such that Denmark punched way above its weight in international matters. During the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the fall of the Berlin wall, Ellemann-Jensen led the Nordic countries in playing a key role in recognizing the emerging Eastern countries, and he ensured that Denmark was among first countries in the world to re-start diplomatic relationships with the Baltic countries in 1991, helping speeding up the process of the world recognizing them as independent countries. To read more about the role of Denmark regarding the freedom of the Baltic countries, I recommend reading The Role of Denmark in the Renewal of Latvian Independence (pdf), which is on the website of the Latvian embassy in Denmark, or Danish Support for the Baltic Struggle for Independence 1988-1991: A Hawk-Dove Domestic Confrontation (pdf), which also explains the pressure Ellemann-Jensen faced in Danish politics.

I think it is fairly safe to say that history has shown Ellemann-Jensen to be right, and that very few politicians would today try to roll back the changes he brought to Danish foreign policy. Denmark still punches above its weight, and Denmark is still explicitly pro-EU and pro-NATO.

After the Social Democratic government took over in 1993, he became leader of the opposition, and continued to be so, until 1998, which his side lost by one mandate – he needed just 85 more votes. Thus he is often referred to as the best Danish Prime Minister we never had. After that he retired from politics, but not from the occasional political opinion. In his post-politics years, he became a strong voice against the increasingly xenophobic Danish refugee and immigration policy, and until the end, he was as strong voice in support of Ukraine against the Russian invasion.

Goodbye Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, thank you for everything you have done, not only for Denmark, but also for Europe and globally

A Danish yes to more EU

Denmark has been part of the EU since the EU was created out of the EC, but it has never been a full-blown member. Rather, Denmark has held some opt-outs since joining the EU. This was because the Danish citizens rejected joining the EU in full in 1992, but accepted a watered down membership in 1993 (interestingly enough, the last election I couldn’t vote at, and the first I could vote at, respectively). Ever since then, there have been attempts at getting rid of the opts-outs, but every time the Danes rejected this  – that is, until yesterday, where there was a national referendum on the Danish opt-out on defense, where the Danes voted yes.

This will allow Denmark to participate in EU missions and to use the resources of the EU. This is a historical development, as it is the first time since joining, that Denmark moves closer to the EU.

The abolishment of the defense opt-out was endorse by most major parties in the Danish parliament, with two far-right and one far-left parties being against. But even among the far-left party’s voters, there was some support for the idea.

Unsurprisingly, those of us that supports stronger ties to the EU are very happy with the results.

Unrelated, yet somewhat related, I just want to mention that while I was at a referendum-day party with the political party I am active in, we had some rather prominent gate-crashers, as five ministers from the government, including the Danish Prime Minister, dropped by for a short period to celebrate a together with us. This was pretty interesting, since my political party, is not the government party. This was a good gesture, showing that the fight for overturning the opt-out was a common cause among the parties.

Also, it is great to live in a country where it is actually possible for the PM and 4 of her minister, to drop by a party more or less unannounced (I am sure some people heard about it before it happened). There was not security screening of people beforehand, and while there obviously were security along, it was not particularly noticeable. And even before the PM and her crowd showed up, there were several members of parliament (members of my political party) at the event.

Get well Marcus Ranum

Marcus Ranum is offline due to a health issue – he has written about it on his blog. I wish him a speedy recovery.


Even though the hospital visit seems to have futile, I am glad that Marcus Ranum didn’t ignore the symptoms, but instead got medical attention.

This hits rather close to home, as one of my close friends is currently in hospital due to a blood clot in his brain. He fortunately recognized the symptoms, and called an ambulance, which took him to the hospital straight away. Now, he is recovering, but he will have to relearn some motor skills. If he hadn’t recognized the symptoms and called the ambulance, the outcome would have been completely different.

A bit of humor

A rather brutal review of an Australian Netflix reality show which I had never heard about, but which I definitely will avoid at all cost

Knowing your limits

Yesterday, I feel down a hole of watching clips from past episodes of Masterchef Canada. I like the Canadian version of the show, because the people in it are truly skilled, and the judges are not assholes (unlike the US version). While watching those clips, I came across this clip

The setting is that contestants are split into two teams, who have to make the food for the customers at one of the judge’s restaurants.

The video is focused on the eventual winner of that season of Masterchef Canada, Beccy Stables, but I wanted to share the clip not because of her performance, which was outstanding, but because of the great example of the team captain, Kaegan Donnelly. He realized that he was out of his dept, and instead of trying to cling on to this position, he stepped aside, and let Beccy Stables take over the role, allowing their team to win.

I have worked with many great people over the years, and this is one of the rare skills that set them aside – the ability to look beyond their ego, realize what is needed while knowing their limits, and then step aside, and let other do the job.