Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida, Europe and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura.
Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

More on President Obama's historic trip to Sweden, and sharing some cold hard facts, anecdotes and lessons learned re Sverige; #obamainsweden, @Swedense, @CBildt, @AnnelieGregor, @hannawagenius, @davidlinden1


















Joint statement by Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and President Barack Obama: http://www.regeringen.se/sb/d/16999/a/222806

More official photos! http://www.regeringen.se/sb/d/17736

SVT's photo gallery of Wednesday's events: 
http://www.svt.se/nyheter/varlden/bildextra-obama-i-sverige

SvD's account of Thursday morning's events so far:
http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/live-obama-i-sverige-del-3_8488844.svd











Nima Sanandaji is spot-on in highlighting what so many others ignore, whether consciously or accidentally. There were unique factors present in Sweden that allowed a certain sort of culture and ethos to develop and flourish that were NOT possible in countries where transportation and social mobility was far better and where larger centers of industrialization could lure larger numbers of rural residents.

In rural areas, especially during the many months of very cold weather, you absolutely needed to be able to trust and depend upon your neighbor, even if they were located quite a distance from you. Self-reliance and the bond of community, things so very much absent in current South Florida, with the predictable results we can see all around us:  
Sweden’s phenomenal growth can, besides business friendly policies, has much to do with the country’s unique history. Nordic countries were for a long period dominated by independent farmers who had great incentives to work hard in order to survive in the harsh and cold climate. The populations in these homogenous countries not only adapted very strong ethics relating to work and responsibility, but their culture also became characterized by social cohesion and high levels of trust.
http://www.newgeography.com/content/003909-swedish-lessons-obama

Similarly...





Joel Kotkin correctly identifies another central aspect of what has made Sweden what it is and has made the areas of the U.S. that Swedish emigrants settled in more successful than others: 


Scandinavia's greatest strength may lie in its least political correct asset: its Nordic culture. Scandinavians' traditional interest in education, hard work and good governance serves them well both at home and abroad. It's not socialism that is primarily responsible.
After all, America's Scandinavians, although largely the descendents of poor immigrants also are pretty successful, earning more on average than their counterparts back home. 



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One of the differences I've observed first-hand between American and Swedish women who are interested in politics and foreign policy is that smart, funny and attractive women in Sweden who are interested in those areas aren't as snobbish or smugly elitist as Americans, like to talk more frequently and passionately about big ideas like freedom and liberty and NOT about how they became vegans, don't seek to win arguments based on painting themselves as victims of "society," don't talk incessantly about yoga, pilates or their career, but have no problem in making public their love for the occasional fast food snacks. 
Par exemple, Hanna Wageniushttp://missbesserwisser.blogspot.com/

Nothing to do with Obama visit but I find this CUF video of hers droll and amusing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x5qvssI-IQ&feature=share&list=TLp16zPHqyoo0

Puss och kram på dig!




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http://anneliegregor.wordpress.com/
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For someone like me who is a longtime recycling enthusiast, one of the best things about Sweden is the average person's commitment to keeping the city and nature free of debris. 
You pay a few SEK for products packaged in recyclable plastic or aluminum, like sodas, at both stores and from vendors, but get your money back via self-serve machines when you recycle at stores. 
All of this gives people a real  financial incentive to return items to stores, as well as for others to pick-up any you see lying on roads or in parks and get that money, which is one of the reasons that Stockholm is SO CLEAN!


Though I'm a committed meat-eater, especially when it comes to pizza, this actually looks good enough to try next time I'm in Stockholm, at Kungstensgatan 62.

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Anyone wanting an accurate account of the problem in Sweden of the lack of successful Muslim assimilation in Europe ought to read my post of September 17, 2012 titled, re Fouad Ajami's Washington Post essay: Why is the Muslim world so easily offended?; What Muslim "moderates"?; Målmo as the European canary-in-the-coal-mine doesn't auger well for the success of Muslim "moderates" or assimilation efforts; #MUSLIMRAGE
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/09/re-fouad-ajamis-washington-post-essay.html

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For Sale

Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura.

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. But seldom if ever see...

This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road for others to solve in the future.

I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change in public policy and goivernment engagement. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
Some older elements and building blocks formerly seen at Hallandale Beach Blog, such as photos, graphics and videos have been moved into cold storage. Visit them again or see what you've missed at: http://hallandale-beach-blog.blogspot.com/
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Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)
Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013.Click the photo to see her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.