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Finland for Thought » 2006 » January | Politics, current events, culture - In Finland & the United States | Blog of an American living in Finland

Finland for Thought
             Politics, current events, culture - In Finland & United States

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31.1.2006

Finnish expert expects stir over Prophet Muhammad caricatures to blow over soon

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 4:55 pm

“One has to be careful with where to draw the line when freedom of speech and the freedom to tackle issues that others may hold precious is in question.”

International media follows Finnish elections

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 4:54 pm

“The paper notes that Halonen, who won “only” slightly more than half of the votes, must now show herself to be the “President of the whole nation”.”

Government party groups meet to discuss cooperation after election

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 4:53 pm

“sit down and see if there is anything to clarify in relation to the elections”

President Halonen seeks new second-term role in promoting values

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 4:53 pm

“in her second six-year term she plans to put an emphasis on “values”.”

Spot-checks show a fifth of poultry import shipments contain salmonella

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 4:52 pm

“In the National Food Agency Finland inspections, salmonella was discovered in poultry consignments from Poland, Hungary, France, and Brazil. “

Nordic Leaders Praise Candidates

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 4:51 pm

“praised Niinistö as well for a good campaign, which he said is an inspiration to future Swedish elections.”

Niinistö Will Not Seek Other High-Ranking Posts

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 4:50 pm

“On Monday he said he had no interest in becoming prime minister, for example. “

Identification Experts Return from Thailand

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 4:49 pm

“The tsunami claimed the lives of 179 Finns, five of whom are still unaccounted for.”

Centre Party Secretary to Step Down

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 4:48 pm

“Lankia says he bears the responsibility for the party’s poor electoral showing in recent years.”

Finland for Thought featured on CNN !!

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 4:14 pm

Okay, “featured” on CNN is a bit of a stretch, but this blog and one of our reader’s (Gary) comments were on CNN this morning for about five seconds. Here’s the video clip…

mms://wmscnn.stream.aol.com/cnn/moos/2006/01/31/moos.conan.the.immitator.affl.ws.wmv

Or…

http://www.emailthis.clickability.com/et/emailThis?clickMap=viewThis&etMailToID=1913338093&pt=Y

Many thanks to Väinämöinen and Jeff T. for finding this!!

30.1.2006

Conan: Sauli Niiinistö is like Joseph Stalin

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 10:34 pm

More from Conan, download it here…

http://users.tkk.fi/~ssaarima/c/conan20060127_finlandhistory.avi

Hat Tip to Jarno for the link!

Am I getting phished?

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 5:58 pm

Even the web’s savyiest users are getting “phished” today by scammers. Here’s a questionable e-mail from PayPal, see if you can tell if I’m getting phished or not… (I have not altered this e-mail in any way, except cropping it to fit on the screen)

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And the winner is…mediocracy

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 9:26 am

I guess I should complain like American Democrats do after a close Presidential election and whine that my candidate actually won but – Yesterday the Finnish citizens went to the polls and voted for six more years of mediocracy. Tarja Halonen’s American-style political tactics of not taking a firm stand on virtually every issue won over just over half the voters. The final tally was 51.8% for Halonen, 48.2% for Niinistö – far from the 90%+ approval ratings she received just a few short months ago, and far from the 55% she was polling (according to YLE) yesterday morning. When the pollsters say “plus or minus 3 percentage points”, they should seriously shorten that to “minus 3 percentage points”.

With such a close election as this, Finland could be considered a very much polarized nation. Halonen only gained about 5% from the first round while Niinistö doubled his totals adding 24%. Most of Finland’s political parties stand firmly against their President, and by no means do most the Finnish citizens happily support their President. This country desperately needs change and that’s something Tarja Halonen doesn’t represent.

29.1.2006

Score two points for the Social Democrats

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 12:37 pm
 

I contacted both the Social Democrats and Kokoomus parties for interviews on my Radio Free Finland show – I had hoped each party will select a representative to talk with me about their Presidential candidates. Within two days after sending an e-mail to SDP I got a reply. They had graciously accepted the interview, and put me in touch with Helsinki city council member and close friend of President Halonen, Tarja Kantola (a quite high ranking member in the party). Ms. Kantola agreed to do the interview 1) without seeing any quesitons in advance 2) at 22.00 on a Sunday night, using up her free time 3) even though her English wasn’t exactly fluent. Very brave of her in my opinion.

Kokoomus on the other hand completely ignored all my e-mails. I eventually began contacting specific members in the party, and contacted the Young Kokoomus as well. No response whatsoever. Not even a polite, “Hey, fuck off, we don’t care about you English speakers or your stupid podcast”. That’s fine you don’t want to do an interview with a nobody like myself, but have the decency to hit the “reply” button and write “NO”.

So two points for Finland’s Social Democrats.

UPDATE: Well, scrap this post. I just discovered that Young Kokoomus had e-mailed me this past Friday, a Terhi P. apologized for the delay in response and agreed to an interview, and I’m just reading this three days later. Unfortantely it was a bit late and I was late checking my e-mail. So my apologies to Kokoomusnuoret!!

Biased YLE?

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 12:19 pm
 

Is it just me, or over the past couple months has YLE (Finland’s state owned and operated media) been favoring Halonen’s re-election? YLE’s polls always favor her more than others, she’s received a hell of a lot more election coverage than any other candidate, they’ve used certain words to show her in a more positive light. Or maybe it’s just my not-so-great Finnish language skills, maybe if I would speak fluently I’d find YLE to be unbiased?

I believe this is what happens when you allow politicians to control your media like this. Look, I’ll be honest, if I were a politician and given a responsibility within the state media, I’d try my hardest to influence the country into my political convictions. I’d do it so subtly that the mainstream public would never figure it out. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d do this. You can’t expect these politicians to all of a sudden forget their ideologies and drop their party lines just when they’re involved with YLE.

Some people have said that the left-leaning YLE balances out the other right-leaning media like MTV3 and Nelonen, so Finns get a balanced media if they just flip through a couple channels. Is this how everything works itself out? Finland’s YLE was infamous for being red-leaning in the earlier parts of the 1900′s, is this still how things are run or have things changed?

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