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Political discussions and other rants about useless things like culture

Discussion in 'Dark Tranquillity' started by Matse, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    The word "America" is used for the US here as well. If someone asks me what the capital of America is I usually reply that America is a continent and thus has no capital. Similar case to England, which is often said when someone means United Kingdom. Or Holland and The Netherlands, for that matter, same case basically.
     
  2. Villain

    Villain Doctor BenQuillity

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  3. rahvin

    rahvin keeper of the flame

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    It does.

    So... the first two are not easily recognizable when it comes to either symbol or caricatural features, which makes me infer they're probably the most popular. :p I'd go with center-right for the one with guy smoking a cigar (you know, corporative power and all) and center-left for the well-dressed ma'm (conservative is possibly different from "absurdly traditionalist and medieval", in your enlightened country). Then I guess you have the eco-friendly party, a couple of neo-communists peace-and-love fellas, monarchy enthusiasts and nazi. Then, among the bottom feeders, well, still more nazis than you can shake a swastika at.

    Now explain.

    edit: I forgot the guy who hates fags, but chances are you can dump him with the other nazis. Gee, you sure like your arian race there in Finland! (then go and dye your hair black).
     
  4. Villain

    Villain Doctor BenQuillity

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    They're pretty much in the order of popularity right now (the top-3 are actually very close to each other, and have been for decades, each gets around 20% of votes in every election with only slight variance). Some of your guesses were correct, but some were a little off, so I'll clarify them all.

    The first eight have seats in the Parliament:

    Top row left: Liberal conservatives, center-right. Basically voted by the rich and those who think they'll be rich one day.

    Top row right: Social democrats, center-left. The picture says it all. Voted by those who don't know who to vote for.

    Second row left: Center, the very. Previously agrarian party, traditionally voted by every farmer and thus ridiculously powerful in countryside. Currently at the center of a relatively minor but unprecedented corruption-scandal in Finnish politics.

    Second row right: The left-wing union, formed by combining smaller communist parties when the Soviet Union collapsed and communism was no longer a viable option. The picture says more than enough. Voted by those stuck in 1970's.

    Third row left: The green league. Voted by idealists, wannabe hippies and eco-terrorists. Some of the smartest politicians in Finland are in their ranks, for what reason I shall never understand, because the majority of the party is so damn far removed from reality.

    Third row right: Christian democrats. Not quite as bonkers as the picture implies (at least publicly). Luckily not very popular. Voted by religious idiots.

    Fourth row left: Swedes. Voted by all those who speak Swedish as their first language. Their only purpose is to keep Swedish language alive in Finland - and to force it down the throat of every Finnish-speaking school-kid.

    Fourth row right: "True Finns", an amalgam of nationalism, populism and anti-EU ideologies. Voted by those who are afraid of immigration from poorer countries.

    The remaining four are not represented in the Parliament (there are actually many more of these tiny parties, but these are probably the funniest):

    Top left: Communists. Those who chose to disbelieve that communism was no longer a viable option when the Soviet Union collapsed. Voted by people still stuck in 1920's and 1930's.

    Top right: An internet-movement, basically an extreme splinter group of "True Finns". Voted by racists and those disappointed in the "system".

    Top left: The islamist party. Formed mainly by converted ethnic Finns who would like to bring sharia-law and other complete lunacy to Finland. Voted, luckily, by nobody.

    Top right: The pirate party. Technology-savvy nerds who don't like the copyright laws. I might actually vote for them.

    -Villain
     
  5. rahvin

    rahvin keeper of the flame

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    Jesus in a wheelchair, you actually have one of those. :zombie:

    Thanks for the explanation. As far as general views are concerned it doesn't look too different from the desolate wasteland that passes as our national panorama here in Italy, but of course the sheer quality of dignity (and lack thereof) and respectability of the people involved makes the two countries not comparable in the slightest. Considering local election day has just come and gone I should probably comment on our fearless leaders, but it's too depressing - and not because I'm some discontent ignoramus either - and I might not make it.
     
  6. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    Dear Italy,

    Letting your corrupt politicians own all of your broadcast media is a stupid idea. And I say that as an American. Have you seen our politicians?

    -Stizzle
     
  7. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    Hehe OK.

    I've noticed that it comes from countries that have very important relations (commercial, political, etc.) with the U.S., such as the U.K. and Canada.

    Hahahaha :lol: .

    Oh you were serious about that o_O . You do have a lot of parties, and a lot with Nazi tendencies. Can you expand on the 'unprecedented corruption' case? Something with banks, I assume. Oh please don't tell me it involves Nokia!!! I do own a Nokia mobile, they're better than Motorola IMO :).

    They do try to do something, e.g. hitting Berlusconi, but unless they kill him nothing'll change.

    It's the same in Venezuela, with Chávez closing down every major opposition network. I wonder for how long things can stay like that there, it's basically become a dictatorship. I just noticed that Cuba and the U.S. aren't in such bad terms (compared to before), and that Venezuela is taking Cuba's place as the continent's dictatorship.

    One may think that most Venezuelans are stupid, but a recent survey said that 60% of the population wants Chávez to step down.

    And I would love some of the Russian laddies here (e.g. Mon Cher Personne) to expand on the recent attacks.
     
  8. rahvin

    rahvin keeper of the flame

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    That's bull. I can't stand the man, of course, but it's a common misinterpretation of foreign journalism that Italy's problems begin and end with him, as if he indeed was a new Mussolini. He'll be gone soon enough, both individually and politically, but the two main issues his government is incarnating will remain - namely, concentration of unconstitutional powers in the hands of a few and total immunity of the ruling class.
    In fact, his antics draw attention away from the problems of this country, which are almost exclusively to be found in the constant negation of the rule of law. But let's talk about how inappropriate Berlusconi is instead, why not.
     
  9. Rusty

    Rusty A-HAHAHA!

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    You don't? :guh:

    I'm currently very depressed about the forthcoming election over here on 6th May. People are generally so politically unaware that a recent poll showed that about two thirds of voters don't know who the leader of the Liberal Democrats is. The Lib Dems are the third biggest party, polling at around 20%. I don't even know how that's possible. Meanwhile, the Conservatives, the current opposition party that is likely to win in May, recently left the centre-right European People's Party in the EU to cozy up with far-right parties from Eastern Europe. And 30% (I think) of the Conservatives' shadow cabinet -- the people who will have the most prominent and important positions in government when they win the election -- recently voted against a gay rights law. And then of course there is the Labour party, who in last 13 years they've been in power have done more to erode civil liberties in this country than any other government before, not to mention that whole illegal war thing they started (and which the Conservatives backed too). Oh and speaking of civil liberties, the Lib Dems recently made a big deal about being opposed to the Digital Economy bill, which included a clause to cut off the internet connection of anyone who infringes copyright online. Labour and the Conservatives wanted to rush through the legislation before parliament dissolves in the run up to the election. So, in the final vote, 47 MPs voted against it... yet the Lib Dems have 63 MPs, and some of those votes came from Labour and the Conservatives, so why only 47 votes against? Oh, right, because 412 MPs didn't even bother to turn up. Makes me glad I'm planning on emigrating. To Australia mind, which isn't exactly much of an improvement politically, but at least down there I'll be warm while I'm being screwed.
     
  10. rahvin

    rahvin keeper of the flame

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    Sometimes I think that when it comes to civil liberties and the stance on the more controversial issues (gay rights vs. traditional families, intellectual property, abortion, the media's freedom of speech, new technology as applied to the food industry and genetics...) things will sort out themselves one way or another, meaning that as custom changes the laws will follow. As a consequence, there is no pressing need to base your decision over who to vote for on their awareness of the incoming change and you mainly ignore the gay-bashing fundamentalists because they're idiots. This leaves economics/welfare/health care/state vs. individual as the only topics to pay attention to when choosing your government.

    Even within the boundaries of first-world countries where democracy is not in any imminent danger (haha :rolleyes:), I wonder if I'm perhaps being too optimistic. Then again, I can't see any obvious fallacy in reasoning that - for instance - the kind of people who frown at gay marriage are mostly old and dumb and scared of anything that's not as they've been taught it should be. It will pass. Won't it?
     
  11. Villain

    Villain Doctor BenQuillity

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    Well, the pictures are obviously caricatures, and only the extremist-wing of "True Finns" have any real nazi tendencies (and the main party tries to distance themselves from the racists in public, but happily takes their votes of course). The religious idiots are probably more like centre-left in all non-religious matters (in all things touching religion they are obviously conservatives in the worst sense of the word - one of them tried to push for ID "science" into Finnish schools long after Americans had figured out ID has nothing to do with real science). Overall, we have a lot more former communists than nazis around in Finnish politics. I'm not sure if that's much better, though...

    The current corruption scandal is about center and center-right politicians taking election-funding from questionable businessmen and giving government funding to questionable organisations, all of which have questionable links to each other (people sitting on several chairs, etc). It's nothing big and the same thing probably happens everywhere, but here in Finland people have been led to believe we are not so corrupt as everyone else, and now it has been revealed these things have been going on for years, probably decades, so media has been all over it for the last couple of months. Nokia is not involved and neither is any international level company for they are smart enough not to get tangled in these kind of petty issues.

    The roots lie somewhere in the rural area politics where it has always been customary to "help" people from the same town or village at the cost of neighboring towns of villages - even if doing so is technically illegal. Through the years this hyväveli ("goodbrother") system has just spread into the highest levels of national politics. That's why the mainly agrarian center party has now been hit the hardest, while only a few members of the center-right liberal conservatives are being accused of corruption, although it is quite obvious both parties have been playing this game for a long time - the businessmen are just better at hiding their wrongdoings than the farmers, and many of the latter think they are being wrongfully accused of corruption for simply following the old political traditions (maan tapa, "way of the country"). They vehemently deny taking or giving any bribes, because their perception of "bribes" is strictly limited to brown envelopes filled with cash. In their mind they've simply made favors for their old friends.

    Plenty of people have been caught lying or "forgetting" things (the Prime Minister included) in the process of this scandal, which has pissed off some people. However, the thing is, when this all began to unravel last summer the media was immediately all over it, and since then the real investigations have been very slow and everyone is already tired of it all. Unless some high-level politicians are eventually found guilty in court and punished (a couple of low-ranking people have already resigned from some meaningless positions, but that seems to be it this far), everyone will forget this whole mess before the next elections.

    -Villain
     
  12. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    +5, Insightful.

    I think a lot of people got caught up on Bush and Karl Rove, and missed the grander changes in American politics because of it. One of the things that troubles me in Italy is the backwards approach to the internet (the Google convictions stand out). That, mixed with ownership of broadcast media, has horrible implications for communication and public information. In America, everyone was so worried about war that a lot of other bad things happened underneath, like the PRO-IP act and the increasing corporatization of political power. We've got a privatized military FFS.

    About the Rule of Law, this is the tiny little democratic value that no one ever thinks of. It's interesting, because it's the only thing that really holds any society together. One general changes his mind about his loyalty and ambition and convinces enough people to back him, you've got a coup. The president decides to expand his powers and no one fights him, it happens. One corrupt police chief violates someone's civil rights, and no one stops him, you might as well be living in anarchy.

    As to your point about things working out: this is true. All the laws in the world will not change the minds of the people. If we ever get truly socialized medicine in America, it will work, and people will love it. No matter how many laws you pass to stop filesharing, the youth of the world will never really understand the importance of paying for bits (though you can convince them to buy quite a lot of other things). Culture will move to have the best technology available and live in the most sensible way possible, and laws will eventually change to respect the culture. Lobbyists can get a lot done in the mean time, which is unfortunate, but at some point, there's no interest in living in the past, no interest in enforcing laws based on it, and no real political gain in legislating against progress.

    One thing I find interesting, in regards to IP issues, is the complete misunderstanding of economics. In a competitive marketplace, prices inevitably shift towards the marginal cost of production. In the case of news, music, and movies, the marginal cost is effectively zero. Fight it all you want, but the iPad and the law will not get people to pay money in the long term for something which is effectively free. People will not buy music if their friends can replicate it for free. This is inevitable; market forces cannot be denied.
     
  13. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    I know I know, I just don't like Berlusconi (who does?). My guess is that Italy hasn't had a decent government since…forever (I'm sure there're exceptions). Italy is a country with an incredibly corrupt government, and the general feeling that I got when I went there was that Italians complain a lot about that, but don't really bother to do anything. (I guess more countries are like that.) But you’re totally right, I shouldn’t have generalised so much, it’s true that Italy’s power is concentrated in a few families, some Italian girl told me that I think. Care to explain more about that?

    Haha I love the last part :) . Yes, the UK is doing quite bad nowadays, I wonder how the new government will try to sort out the economic crisis. Probably by cutting budget of the most important things, such as education and health. And some of the MPs involved in the expenses scandal are going to continue, am I right?

    I’m also the optimistic type and believe it’ll pass, but of course new problems will arise in order to replace the old ones. It’s also a matter of how fast things are sorted out.

    Kiitos! It seems like a typical corruption scandal, but it’s quite surprising to see those things in countries like Finland. There was actually a corruption scandal here in C.R. related to some Finnish items (I’ve totally forgotten which ‘items’), C.R. asked for a monetary pardon and Finland said: ‘Up your ass, kyllä?’ (How would you say the latter in Finnish?)
    I’ve never been to Finland but it does seem like a good country, despite the suicides and car accidents (do you still work with people in order to prevent that?), it’s amazing how you went from an almost totally agrarian country, to one that now has (e.g.) Nokia. Truly, very admirable, to be a ‘laughing stock’ of Europe (amongst other countries), to be one of the most respected. I’m a professor, so I’ll always have an admiration for Finland in that sense; ‘more teachers than soldiers’, right? How much does an university professor earn there?

    I agree that rules are important, some may be stupid, but they can be changed. Rules are what hold society together, whether we like it or not. Just think of what happened in ‘Lord of the Flies’ ;) (I love that book). I always think of what Angela Gossow said in the AE gig in Montréal: ‘Fuck the rules!’ I thought, ‘OK I don’t entirely agree with you’. And then enjoyed the rest of the excellent concert :) .

    What a long post, I had to save it in a .rtf file to not lose everything hehe.
     
  14. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    About the health thing in the US:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    I was busily agreeing with a conservative the other day about the dangers surrounding our ballooning deficit. Our government really needs to cut back on spending. Then, I made the mistake of pointing out that it's not social programs running the country into the ground: it's two wars, fought by private corporations at taxpayer expense, on the other side of the planet. He said:

    "But that's what's keeping us free."

    *facepalm*
     
  16. Naglfar

    Naglfar As Naglfar devours us all

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    Ya. That's been pretty normal view for the last 20-30 years. Especially after the Gulf War. The romanticization of the military has become a problem in the super hyper 24 hour news media era. Many people don't view the military as being a government bureaucracy, even thought it's the largest, wasteful, most expensive and powerful arm of the government.

    I've always been of the opinion that we should cut the military budget in half, and split that half between NASA and our education budget. We'd still have the most expensive military in the world!
     
  17. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    Yes, it's pretty amazing how much money the U.S. government spends on wars. It's a pretty effective way to control people and submit others. I always remember my good friend here at the Uni, he's a U.S. American and, as he says, he was 'in the desert' (i.e. 1st Gulf War). He's a great guy, but he's been totally brainwashed, and does not really have a clue of what is going on. Basically the person you two have been describing.
     
  18. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    I try to avoid describing servicemen as "brainwashed", because we don't really now shit about what he's been through in service of his country. For the whole of human history, it's been men and women like that who have allowed the rest of us to go on living in peace (at least in America; the Europe's had a lot of wars on home turf).

    I understand military spending, but all we really need is to be able to maintain the power balance with Russia and China so that no one gets any big ideas. Wars in the Middle East, however, are complete bullshit. Frankly, they're partially for good causes. Democracy is a pretty groovy form of government, especially when you consider the theocratic totalitarianism it's replacing. At the same time, the growing military-industrial complex means that we're fighting an ever larger part of the war with private armies, creating demand for an industry that we should be trying to stamp out.

    If we could actually work to reduce fraud in health care spending, cut costs on health care through legislation (including providing universal coverage to stop runs on emergency rooms) and cut the defense budget by ending pointless wars, we'd be out of debt in a few years.
     
  19. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    We certainly have no idea what they've been through, but I still think most of them are brainwashed. Indeed, war(s) in the Middle East are rubbish. If the U.S. were to spend a tiny bit of that money on education, they would've (many) less problems.

    The issue that you mentioned of the PMCs (Private Military Companies), is greatly dealt with in Metal Gear Solid 4. (Best game ever.) I think that if you cut the defence budget in half you'd be out of debt within a year :p (perhaps).
     
  20. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    Why NASA? I recently read an article about Mars in National Geographic magazine. The US knows more about the surface of Mars than about the bottom of our very own ocean. And what is the use of knowing all those things actually?
     

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