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Finland for Thought » 2006 » May | 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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31.5.2006

Kill 23 people with a truck – get 3 months probation. Drive 23km over the limit – get 30 000 fine.

Tags: Uncategorized — Author:   @ 11:29 am

I don’t know if the “system works” or not. Basically the truck driver got surprised by black ice, but they can’t sue the government for bad road maintenance now can they?

The Konginkangas traffic accident of spring 2004 (yeah, fast courts) verdict came out today. The truck driver was sentenced for ‘reckless driving’ and ‘causing death’; the truck company was fined 10 000 for ‘safety violations’. The court threw out any compensation claims by the families.

On mulla kuormaa aina tonneittain ja tiukka vastuu aina aikatauluistain,
myös yöllä kello käy ja määränpää ei näy kun ajan vain,yölinjallain
On mutka pimeässä aina arvoitus ja linjan pelastaa vain vaaran aavistus
Ja usein kiitotie niin liukas lie kun ajan vain,yölinjallain

30.5.2006

Fine, I’ll admit it, European beer tastes better

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 6:00 pm

It kills me to admit this but, European beer tastes better. I just arrived in the states two days ago, been away from the states for three years, one of the first things I wanted to do was enjoy some of my old favorite beers. Now they’re my “ex-favorite” beers.

Within the past three years in Finland, I have really come to love the Belgian and British ales, and have been dying to know how they compare to the ales back in the states. In fact, and I’m dead serious when I say this, I’ve had dreams where I realize I’m back in the state sand I immediately head to the liquor or grocery store for my favorite drinks and food (and in those dreams I never find what I’m looking for). Pathetic, I know.

Europeans love to diss American beer, but most have only tried Budweiser or Miller or some other watered-down cheap beer. But surely our microbrews can compete?!? Sadly, no. Everything tastes watered down to the stuff I’ve been drinking in European. I hate Koff but compared to Miller Light, Koff wins. However, maybe it’s just as well for overweight Americans to be drinking light beer instead of the heavy European stuff?

Flat tax advocate murdered

Tags: Uncategorized — Author:   @ 12:49 pm

Professor Kari S. Tikka 61, a professor at the Department of Public Law of the University of Helsinki and a well-known Finnish tax expert, was found dead in his apartment on Friday. More in HS (For people not familiar with Helsinki, yes, DTM is a gay nightclub, nothing extraordinary about the venue, it is very popular.)

It is noteworthy to point out that it is very rare for a high profile society figure being murdered in Finland – last political assassination was in 1922 when the Minister of the Interior Heikki Ritavuori was shot on his doorstep. The police have not made statements, other than that they have arrested a 19 and 23 year old men that were recognized from surveillance camera pictures, and it seems the motive of the homicide was robbery rather than anything to do with prof. Tikka’s profession, as it also was speculated.
Now as prof. Tikka was not only an advocate of the flat tax system, but generally the highest expert authority on taxation in general I think the effect of loosing such an authority is a big setback. You can’t find as a professional person for the flat tax debates.

29.5.2006

Porvoo Cathedral ARSON

Tags: Uncategorized — Author:   @ 12:54 pm

porvoo

So anyone having their wedding planned there, change of venue…

The fire brigade managed to contain the fire, so only the outer roof and “attic” burned, the vaulted inner cieling remained intact and the interior didn’t receive total damage. The chandeliers have crashed to the floor, and there is doubt of the condition of the organs that may hav been damaged in the heat, but as the fire brigade removed artefacts from the church and used as little water as they could to avoid water damage.
Initial police statement at 10 am was that “the fire started externally”.

Porvoo Cathedral dates from the 13th century and was completed to its current form in the 1400′s and refurbished in the 1730′s. A landmark of the City, the cathedral stands on a hilltop overlooking one of the few remaining old “wooden cities” of Finland.

The Archbishop and the city fathers are already planning on the restoration, after all the church has burned 1508, 1571, 1590 and 1708 as well as bombed in 1941, so there is no excuse of not restoring it promptly.
29.06.06 14:42 Update: The Porvoo police have released a statement, that after interviewing witnesses and physical evidence they are investigating the fire as an arson. (Or as the PC term these days goes, aggravated causing of damage). The police are frustrated as their ‘usual suspect’, the disturbed young man who started 14 fires in Porvoo 2004-2005 is in jail even the flower-hatted aunties let him out to barbecue a few trash cans in between…

30.06.06 10:15 Update: The Porvoo police have arrested “more than one person” for interrogations in connection with the fire.

31.06.06 17:30 Update: Police have arrested three people, a woman and two men, aged between 18 and 20 for the intentional fire that severely damaged Porvoo’s Cathedral. They gave themselves up to the police on Monday evening. The three have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated arson. All were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crime but police have no additional data as to their motive. A decision on their imprisonment will be made on Thursday.
The parishes of Helsinki and Espoo have both upgraded security at churches and cemeteries, especially at night. The move reflects a growing fear of similar arson attacks and increased vandalism to graveyards.

27.5.2006

Which is worse?

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 9:57 am

Which is worse? Publishing a picture of Mohammed in the tabloids or publishing a picture of Tomi Putaansuu (AKA Mr. Lordi of Lordi) with his mask off? :-)

anteeksi_tarja_halonen.jpg

Why Finns binge drink

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 9:09 am

As discussed in a post below, the French seem to be able to handle their alcohol while some Finns go on a binge and head out in public to cause trouble. It’s only a small percentage of Finns who do this, but all it takes is one drunk assshole in the evening to piss off hundreds of people. And in line with typical leftist thinking, the state treats us as if we’re all drunk assholes but putting a hefty tax on alcohol to try and curb drinking. Head downtown to any Finnish city and you’ll plainly see their efforts have been futile.

So why does this small minority of Finns get plastered and cause trouble downtown while this behavior in France and the U.S. is much less? I think I have a possible answer – During my very first week in Finland in 2002, I witnessed a drunk man at the bus station in Tapiola slowly pull down his pants and take a shit on the pavement in front of dozens of bystanders. I was in shock, and angry. I was eagerly waiting for some concerned citizens to take action and beat the shit out of him whoop his ass. Of course, this didn’t happen, people stood there in disgust and obediently waited for their bus. This angered me even more.

In Baltimore, it doesn’t matter how drunk you were, no one would be crazy enough to shit at the bus station, citizens take enormous pride in their neighborhoods and wouldn’t allow this to happen. I’d suspect a similar thing would happen in Nice, France. However, there’s a lot of drug dealing going on Baltimore city streets while citizens are “allowing” it to happen – but you’d be more crazy to mess some drug dealer on the street than to take a dump on your own block. So basically, no one is dumb enough to get that wasted because you’ll quickly find yourself in the hospital. Oh there’s certainly binge drinking in Baltimore, but people just keep it inside their homes and if they do go out, it seems as if they’re more inclined to keep to themselves.

Helsinki is statstically a *much* safer city than Baltimore, you can pass out at the bus station and in the morning you’ll still find your wallet. You can lurk around harrassing women all night and never find a bruise on your body. You can take shits at bus stations, and have no fear that anyone will even scold you. So people do these things cause they know they can get away with it, the citizens won’t do anything to prevent this and we all know the cops don’t have the resources to handle every single drunk.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying things are handled better in Baltimore. Not by any means. I’m just saying that’s how things are. I think Finns get wasted and cause trouble because they know they can get away with it, they’ll wake up in the morning with nothing worse than a nasty hangover. I think if the Finns took more responsibility in their own neighborhoods, we’d see that minority of nuisances crowding our streets shrink even further.

Ever seen anyone over the age of 18 working at McDonald’s in Finland?

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 7:44 am

I worked very late last night at the office and picked up McDonald’s on the way home. Have any of you ever seen anyone over the age of 18 working at McDonald’s in Finland? I’m dead serious. I feel like asking those kids where their babysitter is.

But it doesn’t matter, the service at fast food joints in Finland is amazing, you always get some young, friendly, energetic teenager, who may not exactly love their job but take pride in their position and work very hard at it. Meanwhile in the U.S., your average employee is typically some pissed off punk pothead., some beat-looking single mother, or that late 30′s child-porn watching pervert guy with the twenty year-old thick glasses and “assistant manager” badge on his uniform who is clearly getting his revenge on this cruel world by bossing the pothead and single mom around in front of the customers.

So I was wondering, why does McDonald’s U.S. have to take any bum off the street while McDonald’s Finland can sort through hundreds of resumes and handpick the most enthusiastic university-bound youngster with the highest grade-point average? Cause as I teenager in the U.S., I’d honestly never have taken a position at McDonald’s, I could always find a better job – but in Finland, with it’s very high youth unemployment at 21.6% (even higher than France!), maybe I’d have to take a job at McDonald’s, maybe I’d have to compete with my peers for that job?

Is working at McDonald’s in Finland kinda olympic gymnastics where at age 19 you’re already too old, there’s so many unemployed hard-working youth out there that some 30-something single mother ca’nt compete? But maybe she doesn’t need to bother to compete, the welfare is so good here in Finland.

26.5.2006

New Ovi & 6d online

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 6:33 pm

This news is a bit old but everyone’s favorite e-zine, “The Ovi“, released this month’s issue – their topic this issue, “promises”. Also, everyone’s favorite magazine to complain about, “6-Degrees“, released their latest issue. Here’s another funny excerpt

During the 1960s and 1970s, SKP (the Communist Party of Finland) was the third largest Communist Party in Europe, after those of France and Italy. SKP had about 50,000 card-carrying members, while SKDL, the electoral alliance that comprised the Communists and everyone left of the Social Democrats, pulled in about one fifth of the popular vote.

To the casual observer of today’s neoliberal Finnish politics, there is virtually no trace of this radical past.

LOL! The European left’s constant labeling of everything as “neoliberal” is just as comical as the American right’s accusations of “communism” to anything left of center.

Norwegians can be lazy because of the welfare

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 6:14 pm

Picked up Maxim magazine on my flight home last night, in it was article on Norwegian model Monica Hansen, here’s a funny excerpt…

Maxim: You grew up in Norway and now live in Los Angeles. Do you find American fellas more aggressive than your countrymen?

Monica: Norwegians can be lazy because of the welfare. I find Americans hard working. I think American men are more masculine and European men are more metropolitan.

IT Company in Espoo looking for English speaker

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 2:21 pm

My good friends at Idean Research in Espoo (in Otaniemi) are looking for “an IT expert for a System Administrator role” with 1-2 years experience and they’re very open to having an English speaker. I work with this company on a regular basis and they’re a great bunch of people, it would be an excellent place to work. If you’re interested, please contact Wendy Furst…

Wendy Furst
User Experience Specialist
Tekniikantie 12, FI-02150 Espoo
E-mail: wendy.furst >>AT>> ideanresearch.com

http://www.ideanresearch.com

25.5.2006

If France’s liberal policy on alcohol would be applied in Finland

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 7:58 am

Maybe someone can help me understand this – Here in France, bottled water costs more than a bottle of merlot. Alcohol can be found at every corner shop, beer, wine, and hard liquor. People are consuming alcohol throughout the entire day. Yet, in three days I haven’t seen one noticeable drunk person. No drunk hooligans disturbing the peace. Not one bum passed out in the park or street. No one pissing in the alley, no smell of urine. The local youth seemed to somehow be able to enjoy themselves outdoors without getting wasted.

Ask any welfare statist and they’d tell you that if France’s liberal policy on alcohol would be applied in Finland, all hell would break loose, we’d see even more bums in the downtown, more disruption on the streets, and rivers of piss winding through the sidewalks. So what gives? Why can the French act mature with alcohol but we in Finland can’t? Why can the French government treat their citizens like adults while the Finnish government needs to treat everyone like children?

22.5.2006

My first day ever in Europe

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 9:10 pm

Sorry for the light blogging lately, I’ve been very busy launching the redesigned S60.com and new S60 Blogs themes and new bi-monthly S60 podcast debuts later this week. I’m away on business this week then next week I head back to the states – First time I’ve been “home” in three years!! I’m not sure if anyone will be interested or not, but I hope to be blogging reguarly while I’m back in Baltimore and plan to share my thoughts on the U.S. after I’ve been away for three years.

So expect some light blogging over the next five weeks from me, but Monsieur Finnpundit and Monsieur Hank have generously offered to share their wisdom with you while I’m away. So many many many thanks in advance to those guys for helping me out while I’m busy!!

So today is my first day ever in Europe. I’m in Nice, France attending the S0 Summit then off to Monaco for some F1. Here in France (my first time in France) I finally feel like I’m visiting Europe. Tiny zig-zag streets, outdoor cafes, people singing while they ride their bicycles, topless beaches, litte family run markets, the smell of cigarettes virtually everywhere, funky sunglasses, cute but shoddy-looking apartments…these are things that all ignorant Americans like myself expect in every European city – whether it be Stockholm, Helsinki, Nice, a random big city in Armenia (I’m too lazy to Google it), or Jerusalem.

People say the French are rude, but I have yet to experience this. I picked up some 2 euro wine from the corner market along with a bag of chips, while placing the items in a bag (wow! the clerk put my items in a bag for me!). struggling in English the woman behind the counter said, “be careful so chips don’t get hurt” [by the glass bottles of wine]. How so very nice of her!! Maybe that’s how this city got its name.

s60_review_6.jpg

21.5.2006

Finland wins Eurovision!!!!!!

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 1:00 am

Hell has frozen over… (highest Eurovision score of all time!! Watch Lordi at Eurovision on YouTube)

lordi_wins_eurovision.jpg
Hat Tip to Anonymous for the pic and M for the YouTube link!

19.5.2006

Picture of the Day

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 11:38 pm

waiting_for_halonen.jpg
Photo from Riemurasia

Quote of the Day

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 11:34 pm

Quotes like these from the welfare state remind me of the Christians who cry, “How could God let this happen!?!”…

“I don’t understand. If we live in a welfare state with the most competitive economy in the world, then how come the queues for food aid are getting longer and longer?” asks Liisa Aalto, managing director of the Espoo-based Manna-Apu (Manna-Aid) organisation.

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