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Finland for Thought » 2006 » April | 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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28.4.2006

Finland buries its nuclear past

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 12:39 pm

Finland could become the first country in the world to entomb its nuclear waste in a designated final resting place, underground, for the price of 3 billion euros – I’m sure the enviornmentalists just love this

An unprepossessing tunnel entrance set in low forest on the western coast of Finland marks the probable final resting place of the country’s most dangerous nuclear waste. While British authorities agonise over what to do with the legacy of half a century of nuclear power, Finland is one of a handful of countries which has embarked on the journey towards a “final” waste solution.

Enter the 6.5m-high, 5m-wide (20ft-high, 16ft-wide) Onkalo tunnel, and you would drive down a spiralling track which will eventually stretch 5km (3miles) through solid rock, reaching a depth of 500m (1,600ft). The first travellers to go down the tunnel will be investigators aiming to demonstrate that the rock is structurally sound enough to proceed with the disposal of spent fuel rods containing plutonium and other unpleasant materials. If they were to turn up a positive result, and if government agencies grant the necessary licences, the first canisters of spent fuel would begin rolling down the tunnel about 15 years from now.

Hat Tip to Chris K.!

New law has done nothing to dampen illegal downloading

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 11:50 am

Surprise, surprise! New Finnish legislation put forth last autumn to stop illegal downloading hasn’t done a damn thing

Over half of all Finnish young people illegally download music, films and games from the internet despite recently tightened copyright laws. According to a survey carried out by the YLE Uutismixi programme, 59% of ninth graders download music from the net without payment. Some 38% download films and TV series. Games are regularly downloaded by 26% of those surveyed.

Cue the violins…

Finnish musicians, game producers and film industry employees lose millions of euros annually due to pirate copying. The survey revealed that tougher legislation outlawing the copying of illegally downloaded material is not having the desired effect.

I love these massive amounts of civil disobedience and lawbreaking. It makes obedient Finland not so obedient anymore, and citizens are more likely to ignore the state’s intrusive and unjust laws in the future.

Finns satisfied with current alcohol policy

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 11:39 am

Only 27% of the Finnish population want a tougher stance on alcohol policy. 61% are satisfied with the current policy while 10% want a more liberal policy. Some other survey statistics

- Over one-half of respondents were content with current pricing policies.
- An overwhelming majority supported current purchasing age limits.
- 93% favoured the retention of the ALKO state monopoly on retail sales of liquor.
- Almost 90% favoured the continued sales of medium-grade beer in retail stores.
- Opinions, though, were divided on the possible sale of wines in stores. The current set-up was favoured by most.
- A clear majority of men and women felt that sales of wines in retail outlets would lead to an increase in overall alcohol consumption.

27.4.2006

Suomen Sisu on Radio Free Finland next week

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 1:38 pm

Sunday May 7th I’ll be joined on Radio Free Finland by Teemu Lahtinen, head of Suomen Sisu, a nationalist organization in Finland. In February of this year, their organization was ordered to take down the infamous cartoons of Mohammed from their website. Three of their members are now under criminal investigation for violating the freedom of worship, the state prosecutor is expected to decide in May whether to prosecute the men.

Teemu will be on the show to discuss the possible court case, freedom of speech in Finland, and the Suomen Sisu organization. A photo, bio, and more details will come closer to the date of the interview.

Suomen Sisu is a modern nationalistic movement, which aims to strenghten healthy national and cultural self-esteem. We want to protect the Finnish environment and way of life, and to actively work against menaces like unlimited immigration.

We believe that every nation and culture has a right to exist and to govern themselves.

There is no conflict between nationalism and internationality. A steadfast identity is not only a major personal resource, but also the key to respecting and understanding other cultures and nations.

Morrissey at this year’s Ruisrock in Turku

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 1:25 pm

Morrissey was just announced for this year’s Ruisrock festival in Turku, July 7-9. Let’s see, Morrissey, Tool, The Cardigans, Nelja Ruusua…all playing on Sunday. I might have to get a ticket!

morrissey_is_getting_old.jpg

26.4.2006

Late Night with Tarja

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 10:22 pm

tarja_eats_latvian_poo.jpg

Paula Lehtomäki fan club

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 10:16 pm

Okay so it turns out that the photo in the previous post was photoshoped, but this isn’t – and does Paul have a bad odor to her or something? Is that what they’re implying with the face masks..?

paul_lehtomaki_is_ugly.jpg

Sign says, Donuts now half price

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:01 pm

finnish_cops_love_donuts.jpg
Hat Tip to FinnFreak for the pic! Click here for the original copy

Do it yourself in Wild West fashion

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 2:00 pm

An interesting story about how the Finnish police failed to take an interest in a crime, the individual took matters into their own hands and got results. A laptop was stolen from an automobile which was then sold on huuto.net (Finnish ebay), the owner won the huuto.net auction and confronted the thief…

The Apple PowerBook computer that had been on floor between the front and back seat was no longer there. Päivärinta marched to the police station and reported the theft. The result was fairly predictable: “I was told that finding the laptop again was pretty unlikely. The police officer basically just shrugged”, recalls Päivärinta of the meeting three weeks ago. After the police comments, he was more or less resigned to the fact that the laptop was a goner and he would never see it or its equally valuable contents again.

[...]The seller wrote that he had acquired the “nearly-new” laptop as a legacy. All of the details of the machine fitted with the one liberated from Päivärinta’s car, including all the comments made by the seller to enquiries from potential buyers. Päivärinta called the police about the suspicious online sale. “I got a reply from the police that could I get back to them a bit later. It was frustrating, because I needed the machine and its contents back, and there it was, kind of on a plate.”

Päivärinta acknowledges that a great deal of police time and energy goes into crimes that are more serious than the property theft of a laptop computer. By the same token, he did feel nevertheless that the police were rather indifferent about pursuing the case. “It occasionally felt as though the only way to get anything done was to do it yourself in Wild West fashion”, he commented.

Are socialists actually socialists at all?

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 12:40 pm

Lots of talk recently about how Finland is a net contributer to the EU, we give more money than we receive. A *lot* of people are upset about this.

If I were to bitch and whine about the fact that I’m a net contributer to the welfare state, all the welfare statists would quickly lash out at me and call me heartless. Yet, when Finland becomes a net contributer to the EU, suddenly all the welfare statists become upset and against this redistribution of wealth.

So I wonder, are these pro-welfare state/anti-EU socialists (like much of SDP and the Left Alliance) actually socialists at all? They support the redistribution of wealth, but only if the wealth is distributed to people of their choosing. If they’re socialists, then I guess I am too! …I distribute my wealth to the people of my choosing, like my friends and family.

Finns in Sweden: “badly educated brawlers”

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 11:58 am

Something like this story has been mentioned before. A few weeks ago when I was in CeBIT, I was talking with an older Swedish man and talked about the Finnish immigrants in his town up north. He used the words, “The Finns worked hard and drank hard“…

Erkki Pulliainen, a Finnish Green League MP, said Tuesday that the Finnish government should ask Sweden to improve the status of the Finnish language in its schools.

Citing a study by Antti Ylikiiskilä, a Finnish lecturer in Swedish at Högskolan Dalarna, a Swedish university, Mr Pulliainen added that Swedish textbooks described Sweden’s Finnish minority as a lot of “badly educated brawlers”. [...]According to Mr Pulliainen, Swedish textbooks give rather superficial, even false, information about Finland.

A representative from the Swedish embassy replied, “We’ll edit those textbooks when Finns stop saying we’re all gay!” ;-0

25.4.2006

Lordi: Not your father’s Finnish Eurovision entry

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 3:19 pm

An article from the Chicago Tribune. With all this pre-Eurovision publicity, we actually have a chance of winning not getting zero points…

First, Finnish religious leaders warned that the Freddy Krueger lookalikes could inspire satanic worship. Then critics called for President Tarja Halonen to use her constitutional powers to veto the band and nominate a traditional Finnish folk singer. Rumors even circulated that Lordi members were agents sent by President Vladimir Putin to destabilize Finland ahead of a Russian coup–an explanation for why they refused to take off their freakish masks in public.

Alex Nieminen, a Finnish ad executive, argues that the band embodies Finnish self-assertion after decades of isolation. “Lordi represents a rebellion by Finns who are saying, `Hey we are not all the Nokia-wielding people the government would like you to think we are,”‘ Nieminen said.

tarja_looks_like_lordi.jpg

Hat Tip to Arhi for the link!

Former Estonian Prime Minister Mart Laar Wins Friedman Prize for Liberty

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 12:00 pm

I wish we had guys like Laar running Finland

The Cato Institute today announced that the recipient of the 2006 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty is Mart Laar, the former prime minister of Estonia and main architect of his country’s remarkable economic transformation into one of the world’s freest and most dynamic economies.

[...]When Laar took the reins of power of the newly independent country in 1992, he was only 32 years old, and Estonia was struggling to heal from the wounds of Soviet occupation. Laar believed that the way to ensure success for Estonia was to cultivate freedom and self-determination. In only two years in office, he negotiated the withdrawal of Russian troops from Estonian soil and introduced the kroon, one of Eastern Europe’s most stable currencies. He also instituted a flat tax rate, a move which has been widely copied—even in Russia. Under Laar, Estonia removed price controls, discounted useless regulations, and saw the largest real per capita income of any of the former Communist states.

Finland sends in the heavy metal mob for its Eurovision challenge

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 11:09 am

“They wield chainsaws on stage, and never perform or give interviews without wearing their rubber fright masks.”

Slot Machine Association Realigning Funding

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 11:07 am

“Groups that may be affected by the new policy are worried that local governments will not be able to afford to replace the funding being withdrawn.”

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