Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, July 13, 2014

Longyearbyen, Norway -- As governor of Norway's northernmost territory, Odd Olsen Ingero commands a police force with just six officers and a single detention cell for an area twice the size of New Jersey. Even that is overkill: Nobody has been locked up here in the capital of Svalbard since last summer. And that was for just two days. It is not just that there are not many people -- fewer than 3,000 are officially registered as residents -- or that what are elsewhere run-of-the-mill crimes like car theft are an exotic and very risky business in a place where there are no roads out of town to escape on.

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The key to Svalbard's status as probably Europe's closest thing to a crime-free society, according to the governor, is that unemployment is in effect illegal. "If you don't have a job, you can't live here," Ingero said, noting that the jobless are swiftly deported. Retirees are sent away, too, unless they can prove they have sufficient means to support themselves.

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FTA: Eirik Palm, editor of the Norwegian-language local newspaper, Svalbardposten, said he could not remember when he last ran a major crime story. "I think someone stole alcohol from a bar once," he said, flicking through back issues of his newspaper. "But we have other stories like people falling into glaciers or getting attacked by polar bears."

Polar bears feature regularly on the front page in connection with attacks, along with melting glaciers and scientific research projects. At an inquest in London last week about a student at Eton who was mauled to death near Longyearbyen in 2011, survivors of the school trip told of a horrific nighttime attack by a starving bear.

Gun ownership is widespread, not because anyone worries about fending off a mugger or a knife-wielding coal miner, but because polar bears present a real danger. The police enforce a rule that anybody moving outside the city limits of Longyearbyen must carry a weapon and know how to use it. The British school group had a rifle, but the weapon, fitted with an elaborate safety system, failed to fire.

Of course, as we all know, guns are to blame for killings, not culture, so one can expect nothing but a killing field bereft of life by sometime tomorrow with this kind of mandatory gun ownership.

#1 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-07-13 05:22 PM | Reply | Flag:

It is not just that there are not many people -- fewer than 3,000 are officially registered as residents -- or that what are elsewhere run-of-the-mill crimes like car theft are an exotic and very risky business in a place where there are no roads out of town to escape on.
POSTED BY RCADE

So you can't get there from here?

#2 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-07-13 06:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

Mandatory gun ownership? Illegal to be unemployed? Nanci Pelosi, Diane Fienstein and other far leftists would have heart attacks if they ever stepped foot in place.

#3 | Posted by aescal at 2014-07-13 07:40 PM | Reply | Flag:

Yeah my friends from Romania used to tell me great stories how it was illegal not to have a job,it was part of showing your papers

#4 | Posted by bruceaz at 2014-07-13 07:48 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

If you live in a community you should serve it...be it USA or Norway. Our foolish inept politicians could do much to involve our society in "volunteer" jobs that benefit and make communities better places to live. They were handing out taxpayer dollars for doing nothing for years.

Most politicians serve their own ilk and their lobbyists and cronies instead of serving society. That's why they do nothing to make us a better nation such as organizing national volunteerism that aging boomers would love to be a part of and serve. These fools from Obama down have no clue how to make a nation stronger and more cohesive, because it isn't in their partisan interest.

#5 | Posted by Robson at 2014-07-13 08:18 PM | Reply | Flag:

such as organizing national volunteerism that aging boomers would love to be a part of and serve.

So Obama's stopping you?

#6 | Posted by bruceaz at 2014-07-13 08:29 PM | Reply | Flag:

Considering how easy it is to die in Northern Most Norway a steady source of income is required to survive.

#7 | Posted by Tor at 2014-07-13 10:50 PM | Reply | Flag:

#6 This is not about Obama except for the fact that even in the height of the great recession no effort was made to organize volunteer opportunities that would provide both ease for effective volunteerism and match up volunteer desires with jobs.

There is a huge pool in the country that would be willing to help and serve communities and country if only it had some help with organization and logistics.

#8 | Posted by Robson at 2014-07-13 11:12 PM | Reply | Flag:

#8 Aren't churches able to organize volunteers to serve communities? How about habitat for humanity? Sounds like you are blaming Obama for your own inability to find a volunteer organization to your liking. Maybe if you spend less time whining on the internet you would make yourself useful. I am use Amnesty International could use your help writing letters to the Zionists, although lately it seems Israel prefers killing innocents to locking them up.

#9 | Posted by bored at 2014-07-14 12:01 AM | Reply | Flag:

The gun toting Teahadists would hate it, as they would have to get a job, and not hang out at the Bundy like ranch.

#10 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2014-07-14 12:35 AM | Reply | Flag:

Yeah my friends from Romania used to tell me great stories how it was illegal not to have a job,it was part of showing your papers

#4 | POSTED BY BRUCEAZ

Bruce, in all my near 15 years living in a small town 30 minutes from Madrid, dominated by Romanian immigrants, I have never heard of what you write. As the Spanish economy went down the toilet, many Romanians went back to the country, only to find things worse there and return to the depression that is thwarting Spain. Romania's unemployment rate, less than 8%, would be Spanish government's dream.

#11 | Posted by CrisisStills at 2014-07-14 07:36 AM | Reply | Flag:

Bruce, in all my near 15 years living in a small town 30 minutes from Madrid, dominated by Romanian immigrants, I have never heard of what you write.

#11 | POSTED BY CRISISSTILLS AT 2014-07-14 07:36 AM | FLAG:

It was Soviet Union era. They "had no unemployment". I've been told this by people who live there today and want communism to come back (it's viewed as less corrupt than what they have now). The SU managed to (on paper) wipe out unemployment by simply making "idleness" (unemployment) illegal and forcing companies to have expansive payrolls they didn't need.

#12 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2014-07-14 08:02 AM | Reply | Flag:

Let's all sign along:
"And when I get the paper
I read it through and through
And my girl never fails to say
If there is any work for me,
And when I go back to the house
I hear the woman's mouth
Preaching and a crying,
Tell me that I'm lying 'bout a job
That I never could find.
Sha na na na, sha na na na na,
Sha na na na, sha na na na na,
Sha na na na, sha na na na na,
Sha na na na, sha na na na na,
Yip yip yip yip yip yip yip yip
Mum mum mum mum mum mum
Get a job"
-The Silhouettes, reprised by the GOP tax moochers...

#13 | Posted by catdog at 2014-07-14 08:10 AM | Reply | Flag:

Why would a completely unsunstainable model be impressive to anyone? On a larger scale there is always unemployment among people who want to be working. "Send the unemployed somewhere else" only works on a small scale in a sparsely populated area. Full employment decreases the crime rate but we're also talking about ridiculously low population density and no cops. The most common crime is probably domestic abuse and most of them probably aren't reported because who is going to call the cops on an abusive spouse when the cops are an hour away....

Interesting story but irrelevant example for most communities.

#14 | Posted by sully at 2014-07-14 09:19 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

I was in Tokyo a few years back. In the business district of Hiroshima they had over a hundred senior citizen gentlemen in modified police uniform at pedestrian intersections on every block conducting foot traffic. Basically it seemed like made-up work for the elderly unemployed so that they could honorably serve the community and earn the pensions the government was giving them. I did not see a single one who looked disgruntled or annoyed to be out there.

#15 | Posted by moder8 at 2014-07-14 11:36 AM | Reply | Flag:

If you live in a community you should serve it...be it USA or Norway.
#5 | POSTED BY ROBSON AT 2014-07-13 08:18 PM | FLAG:

Objectivists and Libertarians do not believe that.

#16 | Posted by ichiro at 2014-07-14 01:46 PM | Reply | Flag:

f you live in a community you should serve it...be it USA or Norway.
#5 | POSTED BY ROBSON AT 2014-07-13 08:18 PM | FLAG:

Objectivists and Libertarians do not believe that.

#16 | Posted by ichiro at 2014-07-14 01:46 PM | Reply | Flag:

Obviously you don't understand libertarianism, liberty must earned and maintained, that is done through work

#17 | Posted by danv at 2014-07-14 07:02 PM | Reply | Flag:

#9 Not everyone is a member of a church or organized religion. Those that are not such a member may still be interested in certain volunteer opportunities that are helpful to society as a whole.

My point is not political and neither should volunteering be partisan or religious. It needs to be made easy, with options and provide recognition to those who do serve.. There may business interests that would oppose a society that volunteers to help others.

#18 | Posted by robson at 2014-07-15 02:13 PM | Reply | Flag:

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