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Finland for Thought » 2008 » 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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28.5.2008

Backing up your DVD’s is now illegal in Finland

Tags: Everything — Author: @ 9:58 am

Ughh…what’s next, the state will lock up people for removing the “Do Not Remove Your Mattress Tag Under Penalty of Law” tags? The copyright and movie industry lobby must be strong in Finland

The production and dissemination of computer software that can circumvent the copy protection of DVD movies is illegal, according to a ruling by the Helsinki Court of Appeals. With its decision, the court overturned an acquittal handed down by a lower court in the so-called CSS case.

Facing charges were two copyright activists, who set up a computer programme which makes it possible to circumvent the CSS copy protection on DVD recordings.

[...]The defence maintained that the purpose of the software was to make it possible to watch DVDs on computers using the Linux operating system, and that it was of no help in copying discs.

According to the second activist, Mikko Rauhala, the central issue surrounding the decision of the Court of Appeals is not one of copyrights. In his view, the key matter is the protection of the interests of manufacturers of DVD players.

[...]Because of the minor nature of the offence, the court did not hand down a punishment, noting that at the time of the act, there were numerous similar programmes available for the same purpose. The court also took into consideration the fact that the activists reported on themselves to the police. Rauhala says that he hopes to appeal their conviction to the Supreme Court.

27.5.2008

Congressman Bob Barr wins Libertarian Party Presidential Nomination

Tags: Everything — Author: @ 11:59 am

I probably could have fixed this blog alot quicker if my eyes weren’t glued to C-SPAN (U.S.’s version of YLE, sorta) all weekend. They showed extensive live coverage of the 2008 Libertarian National Convention in Denver, Colorado – and after the event, no one on this earth should be happier than Barack Obama…

The highlight of the event is the nomination of the President. I was rooting for former Alaskan Senator Mike Gravel (who ran for the Democratic nomination), he wound up taking 4th place (and officially announcing his retirement from politics minutes after losing) with the win going to former Republican Congressman Bob Barr of Georgia.

Barr had left the Republican Party two years ago for the Libertarian Party. It took six ballots before he was nominated – he defeated author and longtime libertarian activist, Dr. Mary Ruwart. Barr’s running mate will be the third place finisher, Wayne Allen Root, a businessman from Nevada.

Bob Barr is a four term congressman has the experience to run a successful campaign, and his millionaire running mate should be able to help fund it – A rare combination in the Libertarian Party, experience and wealth.

The duo represent the LP’s right-leaning faction and should prove to be a serious thorn in the side of John McCain. November’s general election is bound to be very close and mark my words, Barr/Root will wind up spoiling it for John McCain, just as Ralph Nader did for Al Gore in 2000 and Ross Perot did two terms prior.

However some feel the future of the Libertarian Party could be in jeopardy as the “purist” faction is quite unhappy with Bob Barr’s not-so-libertarian votes in the past, such as his support for the Patriot Act (which he now renounces). Many LP members feel that right-wingers (AKA pissed off Republicans) are slowly taking over the party. Others (like me) feel the LP should be more of a “big tent” party encompassing right-leaning libertarians, left-leaning libertarians (like me), and purists.

Dr. Mary Ruwart (author of bestseller “Healing Our World“) was the favorite amongst the libertarian purists, but the LP members are simply tired of supporting candidates with no money, experience, or chance or winning. The big question for Barr now is, can he tap into Ron Paul’s energetic base?

I’ve been eligible to vote during the past two presidential elections and each time I chose the Libertarian candidate, but probably not this year, I think I’ll be checking off Obama’s name on my absentee ballot.

26.5.2008

Where’s my free healthcare?

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 10:49 pm

So a few months ago, a big chunk of hair fell out of the back of my head and hadn’t immediately grown back. It looks ridiculous and is quite embarrassing. My dermatologist said it was due to stress (best friend dying + lawsuit + Nokia will do that to you) prescribed me some pills to make it grow back – the price of those pills, 197 euros ($301 US) for a 3-month prescription! The doctor said it could take up to a year to grow back.

So where’s my free healthcare!? KELA (state-run healthcare insurance) pays for NONE of this! One of the problems with socialized medicine I guess, they take your money to pay for healthcare but don’t give it back to you if they feel your condition is not important enough. Fortunately I can (barely) afford this medicine, Finland’s poor would just go around looking like freaks I guess.

Here’s another funny thing about KELA – I lost my wallet not too long ago and have yet to get my KELA card (credit cards came within days, state-issued cards take weeks). You’d think that the pharmacist could just find my name in the computer, but they can’t – Even my local video rental can do that!

Back online!! …kinda

Tags: Everything — Author: @ 2:43 am

Hi all! Sorry for all the downtime. This blog has had four years worth of security holes in it, I finally took an entire weekend to patch them all up.

But we’re back online now, well sorta. I’m missing the past few months of data, I’ll have that back online soon enough.

Thanks for hanging in there while I cleaned house!

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