I never thought I would find myself defending the rights of the ultra religious conservative right. But here we go. The funny thing is, that I have to take a stand on the issue against themselves.

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Denmark has something against Santa Claus! Denmark has issued a ban on the Burka, Niqab, balaclavas, hoodies and false beards. Yes really – false beards… The purpose of this law is quite ridiculous. They mean to follow the example of France and some other European countries in order to make sure people could not hide their identity by obscuring their faces in public. Why obviously, because typical people to wear false beards like Santa Claus actors, and often the older Muslim women wearing niqab are the real menace to peace and order in public. Are they not?

Hiding one’s identity or face can not be stopped by such nonsensical laws. A person may alter their appearance by so many different methods. Make-up, or a wig may change the face totally, just like sunglasses. Why ban false beards? Why not real beards?

This finally proves how the right wing conservatism is equally stupid all over the world, based on subjective world views resulting in fearmongering and having the ultimate goal of getting to order other people around. Here you must wear a burka because they get to say what you may wear and there you must not wear a burka because the same sort of nincompoops get to say what you may wear. They want to oppress people by ordering them even in as seemingly trivial issues as what clothes to wear. What is wrong whith people who want to decide for other people what to wear?

However, it is not trivial to make such laws, because what you wear is about identity and freedom of expression and usually does not harm anyone else. The niqab may harm the person wearing it emotionally, if she is forced to do so, but a ban on the use of such a garment is just as bad as if you were forced to wear it.

The goal of such a ban has absolutely nothing to do with equality or feminism. If you thought so, you were sadly mislead. This can easily be observed by who expressed their joy about it. It was not the social movements fighting for equality, but all the xenophobes celebrating the idea, that this might somehow turn immigrants from Islamic countries back from Denmark. The very same people who constantly express their misogynism. Because they are affraid of Muslim women!

If the purpose of the Danish government was to fight against terrorism, and specifically Islamically motivated terrorism, they have just failed miserably. Such laws, that are direct attacks on the liberties of Muslims (although I suppose the attack on Santa was a clumsy way to try to hide the agenda) and the freedom to express their faith and/or identity are not only hypocritical, but also very dangerous, as they are the causes that drive Muslims already living or later moving to Denmark into radicalization.

People really need to understand, that religions do not cause political radicalization. The real causes are always political in nature. Religions provide people with identity and sadly also excuses by the imaginary divine authority they represent to put tribal moralism into action and ultimately unethical deeds, such as violence. You may think that Islamist terrorism is the only violence at hand, but you would be wrong. You should take a look at history and what the western nations have been doing in Islamic countries for the past century. Remember though, how the Islamists started out only by issuing orders about who gets to wear and what (especially women).

I am becoming really worried about Europe, as the right wing conservatives, both Islamist extremists and our own political opportunistic populists have caused changes on politics through fearmongering. Our right wing nationalists are handing on a plate again and again reasons to hate the western culture for the Islamist extremists to point out to other Muslims.

I wonder how long will it take for the Europeans to wake up and see how we are increasingly governed by so many people who have totally lost contact with reality and whose actions are motivated by fear and hatred. A niqab may be a tool for oppression, but it is also a strong religious and/or cultural symbol and it is pointles, cruel and barbaric to attack the women wearing them, wether by their own choise or not. What this sort of law can achieve, is only that the woman having to wear one, for any reason, shall find it much harder to go out into the society. It is a law of segregation, not different from the stars of David forced on the Jews during WWII, and it will close the woman into a very small ghetto of her home.

I am now expecting reports from Denmark about the police enforcing the law and fining Santa Claus actors for wearing false beards… Well, at least when the season comes again.

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Many European countries are going to decide in the near future what sort of a new fighter airplane they are going to buy to replace their older models. One of such countries is Finland. Four different planes have been taken into the contest. The Eurofighter Typhoon (Germany/GB), Rafale (France), Gripen E (Sweden), Superhornet (USA) and F-35 (USA). The lobbying is already going on. All sorts of “experts” suddenly want to express their opinion on wich type of plane should replace the 64 Hornet (USA) planes now in use in Finland.

Hardly anyone is asking the more important question of what do we need fighter planes for, or even how many would be “enough”. The notion, that Finland launchess her fighter planes into some decisive battle in the air in case of a Russian invasion (because that is what the people think we need the planes for) is ridiculous. In case of a war with Russia, Finland could make a desperate stand against the overwhelming military might of the Russian army. We have precedences of such. However, air warfare has somewhat changed since we had the last go on that front. Finland simply does not have an airfield, that would be beyond Russian cruise missiles or their bombers. The Finnish airforce making a last ditch attempt against the Russians would end in us losing all planes we sent in one day and, if indeed some of them got back where would they land? On some strip of road specifically built for that purpose? In Sweden? And then what? The Finnish fighter jet would have little effect on Russian air supremacy, but a far less costly option would be to have mobile air-defence missiles. Yes, they would be expensive too, but not remotely as expensive as a single fighter jet and far more effective.

It may be, that Finland could use a set of fighter planes to identify foreign breaches of air-space (and parades) in peace time, but in comparrison to what we need for a plausible indipendent defence military, 64 or even just 60 planes (as the Paris peace treaty 1945 demands) is far too big of an investment. In fact it is a ridiculously massive investment on behalf of the Finnish nation -as it is the single most expensive investment we are going to make yet – to have been discussed so little by anyone else exept the lobbyists for different types of planes and the military, who obviously, want their ego boosters. Alas, it seems impossible for the Finnish officers (even from other branches of defence than the airforce) to recognize, that this investment is futile in regards to Finnish defence. I think I have heard every excuse, and do not bother to comment them much here, but they remind me that denialism is one of the most dangerous forms of “-isms”.

Nothing really sums up the nonsense value of the discussion about this issue, than the fact, that one of the planes offered to us is a prototype, with typical prototype flaws. And indeed our ministry of defence and all the media following the ministry have already decided to use language revealing wich of the different contestants is the favourite of the party, that is going to specify on what terms the choise shall be made. The ministry is calling the project of choosing the winner for a “multi-purpose fighter”. Now, of those on offer there really is only one actual multi-purpose plane, the F-35. And that is also why this plane, that has been in development for ages, is still a prototype. Because it was bogus from the beginning.

The idea, that a single aircraft would serve on almost all possible different roles, has produced a prototype riddled whith problems, because the different roles, or “purposes”, do not go well together. The stealth mode only works a bit, if the payload is hidden within the chasis, when the weapon systems are revealed from within the stealth chasis, the plane does not only loose stealth, but also much of it’s manoverability. The vertical engine configuration hardly works and is of no use to the Finns. The targetting system is crap and fuel consumption is extremely high. Now, this is the most expensive type of plane offered to us and it is the one chosen by a lot of countries. Why?

A visiting researcher for the Institute for Foreign Policy Finland Matti Pesu recently said in public, that now that some countries have joined the program, including other Nordic countries who have opted for F-35, it may influence also Finland in favour of it. Unbelievable! Was he referring to Denmark, since it could not have been Norway, that has been a member of the project from the beginning (and tried to leave it when it started to become too expensive and as it remains a prototype). But Denmark opted to join in already in 2005. Not “now” or even recently. As a result Rafale took out their plane from the competition, as they thought the contest was rigged in favour of the F-35 option. There have been similar allegations by Boeing about the contest in Belgium and both their Super Hornet and Swedish Saab Gripen were taken out of the constest there. But these descisions are not transparent, so we do not know why we as nations buy this expensive junk.

There is big money involved in these purchases – really big in scale of nations even – and any sort of junk seems to make it to the shop. Higher the price, the more lobbying and corruption money involved. The more ridiculous the purchases.

Just befor WWII Finland bought two cruisers. Together they were the most expensive purchase of the state and nation of Finland had ever made. Neither of them got to be used in the war. One was sunk by a mine and the other was hidden only to be handed over to the victorious Soviets after the war. They served no purpose at all. In hindsight, that money could have been used better. Like for example anti-tank guns or artillery ammunition both of wich Finland suffered a sorely felt shortage of.

For once I am in agreement with the member of parliament and former minister Päivi Räsänen of the minute Christian Democratic party of Finland. She as a doctor has expressed in an interview, that Finland needs a law against all sorts of faith healing and such nonsensical and possibly harmfull alternative “medical” treatments, like the anti-vaccine movement.

However, I can not help the irony of the issue, as a while back she defended the right of doctors and nurses to refuse from providing medical treatment, if it was against their personal religious beliefs. I do not know, if anyone has ever asked her, how she feels about this obvious contradiction in her views – and honestly – I do not even care. I doubt that even such an obvious flaw of logic would influence her, or many others who share her indoctrinated religious identity.

It is quite telling and somewhat interresting, how the religious mind works. On one issue they see faith as a virtue, but faith in something else may be seen as what it is, a poor path to anything real. I know, I should be happy, that the Theist at least sometimes is able to recognize the obvious hazards and how poorly faith works in making any conclusions about reality, but I am not. I am appalled how blurred this can be in the mids of otherwise capable individuals.

In the spirit of oncoming Chirstmass:
Kuvahaun tulos haulle mary icon wiki
Mary did you know your baby boy would one day be brutally tortured?
That religious conservatives would demand his death?
That fundamentalists would demand capital punishment on your son?
Mary did you know your son would be executed by an empire?
An empire, that only sought to protect it’s interrests over seas?
Mary did you know your son would condemn the businessmen and what would follow?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of a future troublemaker?
Did you know your baby boy would demand all should sell all of their property?
Mary did you know he would think it impossible for a rich man to enter heaven?
Mary did you know your baby boy would drive pigs off the cliff?
Because he thought they were infested with demons?
Was it you who made him think himself as a son of a god?
Mary did you know your illicit son would become a nazarene?
And what good ever came from nazarenes and other religious fanatics?
Mary did you know, Mary did you know, Mary did you know?

Within the many sects of Christianity there is this ideal of evangelism. Some Christians really do think that they would do you a favour by turning you into a believer.  I find this curious. What are they actually offering and have they thought it through?

The evangelical Christian is offering you a path to salvation. But to a salvation from what? The wrath of their god for not following the will of this god of theirs (given to the humanity in an iron age mythical pamphlet of a particular nation). What is the path? To worship this god and hoping for “Him” to forgive you your transgressions despite this god thinks you are worthy of being tortured for an eternity, or at very least being destroyed while those who worship “Him” may get a second chance and  an eternal afterlife in some sort of bliss. What is wrong with me, for not finding this a moral suggestion at all?

It is evermore difficult because how is one to know what this god of the Christians really considers a transgression. What?  Well, some of these alledged transgressions against the will of this particular deity may, or may not be – depending on the particular sect of Christianity and the mindset of the individual believer one happens to ask – for example male homosexual sex, or according to the Bible eating of pigs, but not for example rape, or childmolestation). Is the entire point to make the rules so ambiguous and hard to know, that they inevitably result into a failure of following them?

This all gets even more complicated and immoral as the religion insists, that you and everything EVERYTHING in the world or even the universe were alledgedly created by this same creator entity, who also knew beforehand how it would all turn out and who now demands you are guilty for not following the guidelines provided in, let us be honest, quite an unreasonable method for most of human kind. Many Christians would like to release their god from any responsibility of human actions by appealing to the concept of free will. Yet, at the same time they are all too happy to declare, that in the alledged afterlife there is no suffering. Is there then no free will either? If it is possible, that there exist free will and at the same time no suffering, then all the suffering in this material universe would be totally pointless, and the creator of such pointless suffering would necessarily be responsible for it.

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One preacher on the street reasoned the notion, that everyone is deserving of helfire for an eternity, to me by claiming that a perfect judge would not be leanient, but just. Then he offered the belief in Jesus as a pathway to salvation. I wondered and still do, how the preacher could think, that his god was at the same time the just and unrelenting judge for transgressions made by humans and mercifull for a select group of people who choose to worship “Him”. What sort of judge would be mercifull and leanient to a group of criminals who worship him? Would we not call such a judge totally immoral and corrupt?

In reality, the entire idea of evangelism is based on a blame-the-victim mentality and tribal moralism in wich the few select see it perfectly moral of their god to cast most of humanity to eternal torture, or if they have even a slight suspicion, that everything is not right with this system, they simply prefer not to think about it. Such segregationist ideals are very harmfull indeed, as they dehumanize the outgroup. People who are not part of the tribe are not really humans to the tribalist, as they are deserving of the eternal punishment, but at the same time the god who is willing to punish the non-believer, the infidel, the heretic, or pagan by inhumane measure. I have even run into Christians who justify this by appealing to might makes right, as if their god had the right to torture “His” creation or set impossible rules simply because he can and he somehow owns all of us sentient beings. This is a dreadfull demonstration of how a religion may twist, corrupt, or simply excuse the most heinous moralism.

The evangelical is often totally unaware of the harm they cause even when they themselves are among the victims of it. This makes the entire idea terribly insidious. They think they are relieving death anxiety, while they are actually causing it by creating this fear of hell. I guess, it is because of the seeming relief they provide, that makes them blind to how such empty threats are typical for a cult to stop people from questioning the unfalsifiable, unverifiable, unverified and unwarranted bold claims about the supernatural, so that they keep in and as a group keep the pyramid scheme going.

I think the entire thing is based on a myth written long before the concept of human rights and holds no truth to it. Most people who believe in it have been taught to do so without question. As have their parents and ancestors for ages from beyond times immemorial before the scientific method or skeptical thinking, let alone natural sciences, were not widely understood. Even today some of them are actually obstructing scientific research and the rest give credence to the wildest superstitious claims, that they themselves do not share, by not opposing them because they share the religious motivation. Putting that aside, one would expect that any myth that people commit themselves with equal fervour would at least be internally consistent. Yet, who is to say a myth needs to be moral?

Steve Bannon promised to support US president Trump after he had resigned from the White House. He went back to Breitbart and now we are told, that Breitbart has been very critical of the latest descisions of the US president and some of his staff. I do not see any controversy here. A critical newsmedia should be critical even about the political leader they otherwise support. Otherwise it stops being critical and becomes just a form of propaganda for the politician. This is a positive sign.

The US president Donald Trump made a comment about the intended demolition of the statue of Confederate general Lee. He defended the statue and asked wich statues are the next to be tumbled. I agree with him. Pulling down statues, even those of people whose values we no longer share is a bit barbaric.

Of course, if a dictator has littered the landscape with enormous statues of himself or symbols of regressive and oppressive regime all over, it is only natural that when such a dictatorship falls, the people vent some of their anger on those statues and that a good number of them do not need to be in the open any more.

I do not think we should hide our past by taking down old statues, even if they represent ideals we no longer share. History should not be re-written as such, but rather that some of those statues should stand in order to remind us how we have been wrong once.

Now, in the US, it seems to me as an outsider, the problem is actually not so much the taking down of such a statue, or pulling the rug over history, as it is the crowd that came to protest the statue being taken down. People organized into paramilitant groups toting automatic guns and waving the Swasticas and the Confederate flags. These people were not there to protest against the cultural barbarism of pulling down an historical monument, but to demonstrate that they dare still openly hold racist values. I guess, it is these groups, and their audacity to publicly demonstrate their ultra-conservative extremist right-wing values really existing, why such a statue as the one representing general Lee was decided to take down at the first place. To make a gesture, that the US society no longer finds racism, or slavery as values to support, or even to flirt with. The fact that there was a counter protest finally made the gestrure. So in order to defend the statue, these right-wing extremists actually made the gesture bigger. It would have been even bigger if the US president had taken a firm stand against the neo-nazies. But he wavored. I guess he felt he had to accomodate for some of his most scared and angry voters.

Now poor president Trump is in dire straits with this. He has pulled much of his most loyal support from such extremist groups and even more from large amounts of individuals who may not be members of any of these groups, but symphatize with them, and share their concern of the world changing around them. Many of his supporters may not be open racists, but feel anguished about being monitored by demands of political correctness and not really knowing how to behave, when their former inhereted values no longer seem to be seen as valid by the ever changing society around them. Having a cultural heritage of already a bit old fashioned set of values, that as so many ancient cultural traditions are more based on arbitrary authoritarian dictates, than the ability to reason what is actually good and what is poor behaviour, these people have elected a president who seems to fit the picture of an authoritarian, white, strong, conservative male, who in addition speaks in simple phrases, rather than using complex political jargon. The thing is, that one of the many misconceptions of these sorts of voters of the president, is that they think they represent the majority and that the not only have the democratic majority, but the right of might of the majority and indeed even the right of might of their god, who no doubt agrees with them about all the moral issues. Yet, that is not how reality works and this means they are in for a nasty ride in the future and that they may get even more desperate, if this president fails to provide them the imaginary golden age of the past, they think existed when they were kids.

What options does president Trump have? He tries to provide a picture where he has not abandoned this large support group of ignorant and possibly desperate people. He has the advantage, that they often are limited in their cognitive abilities to analyze reality, so he – knowing his own crowd – may be able to numb them down with his message, that the “other side” was just as much to blame as the right-wing conservative extremists who demonstrated waving open the flags of Nazi-regime and those of the slave-owning Confederate magnates. The main question is what other side? Should we not stand against nazies? What follows, if we do not? I truly hope, that not even president Trump would really want that as in his own family there are people who would be among the first victims of such extremist right-wing conservatives would reach the sort of authoritarian absolute political power they expect him to weild, now that he is the elected president.

Ultimately, just as the ultra-conservatively motivated right-wing extremist Islamist terrorist is good at igniting the fear and hatred of the ultra-conservatively motivated Western right-wing extremist to demands of segregation and even violence (wich I might add is the goal of the Islamist terrorist), both are good at slowly waking up the great majority of the modern people, who just want to live their lives in peace, that at least some of the values they may share with these conservatively motivated right-wing extremists may indeed be bunk.

It may be slow progress, that no longer do we need to only argue with religious conservatives, that there are atheists even among conservatives, that liberal values like freedom of speech is defended as a conservative value, while it has not been that for a very long period of time, and in most extremely conservative and authoritarian cultures it is not valued even today and that some regressive extremist conservative political movements are infact led by women, but I call it progress never the less. Now there are even homosexual advocates of the right-wing conservative extremist values. Women and homosexuals have thus emancipated within the conservative culture up to a point even though opposing such emancipation used to be and still is, so very centrall to so many extremist conservatives of the right-wing tradition. Now, even a political leader who obviously is trying to fill in the leadership model of an authoritarian strong-man such as Donald Trump is critizised by his own supporters, like the Breitbart, who otherwise have had a tendency to spout out all manner of authoritarian propaganda in his defence. The world is turning and it changes. Let us hope it changes fast enough in comparrison to how fast we are detereorating it around us.

Of late, there have been some terrorist attacks with a car to a crowd. This seems like a new threat to ordinary people living ordinary lives. Yet, it is obviously also an indication, that the terrorists are running out of breath. While a man setting a bomb and shooting several people with a gun may kill dozens and dozens of people, the driver of even a lorry, or a truck may expect only few dead. Do they no longer have access to explosives and guns?

The thing is, that even with such innovative new methods, the terrorists may indeed kill some people and get media coverage for their cause. They may even be able to keep up their agenda of spreading fear and hatred, but in reality much of such attacks are damped into the reality of how little terrorists in reality are able to kill, let us say, in comparrison to car accidents. The deliberate attacks with a car do not even peak out from the graphs of car related deaths. It is a sign of weakness and nothing else. We as societies have already accepted that car-related accidents are a regrettable, but somehow a necessary sacrifice of lives. Is terrorism falling into that same gategory? It would mean it looses it’s actual point.

A drunk driver killing innocent bystanders is just as guilty of killing those people as the terrorist is. The fact, that the drunk driver had their judgement impeded by alcohol does not make it any less their fault, that they deliberately took a car and the risk that other people might get killed out of their carelesness, than the disturbed individual, whose judgement is obviously impeded by a religious, or a political agenda (or most often both), not to see that killing bystanders is not beneficial to their religion, nor their political agenda. Otherwise we could argue, that a drunkard who shot some people as a whim took them, is somehow less guilty of the action and harm caused, than a terrorist who deliberately tried to murder people who they did not know any better, than the drunkard.

Most terror attacks with a car have been done by extremist Islamists. There are however a couple of very similar attacks done by their sworn enemies the anti-Islamic, “immigration critical” xenophobes. I think it is important to notice, that though these groups present themselves as enemies, they also share a notable value base. While most “immigration critical” people do not run around killing people, neither do most Muslims. Hence, as there are other motivators for a person to drive a car into a crowd of people, than just Islam, or a critical attitude towards immigration, in order to see where such loathsome behaviour stems from, we need to look at what connects the people who are ready to do something like this. Both the Islamists and the neo-nazies of the right-wing anti-islamists represent the shared values of conservatism, authoritarianism, xenophobia, cultural segragation and might-makes-right sort of fascism and often enough populistic fear and hatred of the “other”, homophobia, and they do not appriciate women having equal rights, even though they sometimes use women as means to an end. Today, some of these conservative groups even have women leaders, even though in the end most of them expect women in general to be subject to men. It is from their ranks that the most weirdest and widespread of conspiracy theories come from, like the Climate Change Denialism for example.

The conservative extremists also share actual enemies, that they bitterly hate, who do not share their values, that is the left-wing in general, humanists, feminists, liberals, tolerant people who want to protect the nature and all manner of “Social Justice Warriors” who demand equal rights and protection of minorities from open hatred. It seems, that the conservative extremists feel that demands of social justice threaten their priviledged positions, they think they are entiteled to by feats of being born into the right country,  right family, right colour of skin etc. etc. They would like you to think, that there is a cultural war between the western societies and those with Islamic heritage, but the real cultural war is about values.

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Khaki shorts anyone? Well, just take a torch. Nobody thinks you have any idols among the enemies of humanity. Do they?

There is no doubt, that the extremist conservatives, be they the Islamists, the neo-nazies, the KKK, or for example Anders Breivik, believe they are acting on the good side. What remains as your and my responsibility is to evaluate, analyze, and decide wether they were right or not. I think, them sharing this value base I described abowe tells tons about wether it is factually harmfull to general human wellbeing, if we are to use that as a measure for what is right or wrong. Otherwise we could simply retort to arguing whose authority has made the best guesses or has authority over the other authorities, or whose tribal identity requires more recognition, than the rest of us.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle nazi torches

Khaki shorts, anyone? Well, just take a torch, and let’s go beat some minorities, because naturally all the things wrong in our society must be their fault. Right?

On whose side are you on this cultural conflict? Are you with the neo-nazies, Zionists, Islamists, “immigration criticals” and other conservatives, or are you with progressive humanists? I am affraid, that though I would not like to be an extremist, there is no middle ground. By doing nothing you give momentum to the conservatives. That is how the nazies once came to power.