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.

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Hundreds and thousands of refugees flood Europe from the so called third world countries. Some of these people come to seek better income and are not refugees as those who come from countries where there is a war going on. But we no longer speak of war, because conflict seems like a better description of the situation in countries like for example Afghanishtan.

Many of the people who come to Europe are young men. Instead of fighting for one or a nother faction or a cause in their homecountries these young men have chosen to flee the conflict area and leave their families behind. Why? Because they are the ones who can leave, are most likely drafted to to this or that militia to fight for a cause they do not even recognize, or support. In Europe our wars both against other Europeans and the rest of the world have been fought with countless young men who did not have a clue about the cause and were drafted to do the fighting. Sometimes some of them even thought they had a notion of the cause they were fighting for. Most often those causes were quite abstract, like a “Fatherland”, or the “King and country”, or even “The Empire”. If a cause can not raise enough people to fight for it, is it a good enough cause to fight and die for? If it can rally masses to the banner, does that make it a good cause to die for?

Europe seems to be divided, or perhaps even a bit schitzofrenic about how the refugees should be met. Some fear the outsider, or simply have suspicions based on the culture and religion of the newcomers. Some see them as a representation of the faceless threat that the modern times, cultural changes, or even globalization represent. Some view them as humans in need of help, or see their desperation when they brave the Mediterranean with tiny, but very full boats. Most recognize these people as the victims of human traficking.

The European countries try to limit the amount of refugees coming in to satisfy their voters who fear the change the refugees represent. Be that change the fear for increased amount of terrorism, something strange called “Islamization”, or even the amount of cheap labour. In reality, countries like for example my native Finland has an actual problem in how our population is growing older and older.  What terrorism we have had has been domestic and not motivated by extreme Islam. Some of the political violence one could call terrorism in Finland has been motivated by racism and the fear of the outsider. Some of it seems to be a direct result of some populist politicians riding on the fear of the change and of the outsider.

We have a refugee crisis going on. The crisis is not that there are many people coming to our countries. It is a crisis to the people who need to leave their homes and seek new fortunes elswhere. It is a crisis to families, who spend a lot of money to send their young men away from all sorts of militia draft systems just because that is the one person who can leave and they can afford to send to the perillous journey. A crisis to families who pack their few belongings to move to a foreign country, a destination they often know almost next to nothing about just to get away from the war – sorry, conflict. A crisis to thousands of people who get abused and robbed to get to Europe. A very real crisis to thousands of people who have already drowned and drown on their way. A humanitarian crisis to untold thousands who end up in refugee camps mostly at the outskirts of Europe.

The populists of Europe are against specifically Islamic refugees. This should reveal their game to everyone. As if Islam was somehow more intolerant religion than Christianity. It is not. In Europe Christianity has simply been pacified by secularism. The people who come may have their own problems, but it is childish to think we can recognize their specific problems when they come. The terror attack in Manchester a couple of days ago, was committed by an Islamist radical. The previous terror attack in Manchester was made by a Christian extremist. It was made in 1994 by the IRA. Both attacks were motivated, by politics and were done by emotionally unstable people. Let us face it, sane people do not engage in terror attacks. Do they? Not even when they commit such by the commands of some military organization and not even when they use a bomber to deliver the bomb, instead of blowing themselves up with a suitcase bomb.

Finally, I have to say, that the idea of “Islamization” is ridiculous. It is only a threat if the society to wich the Islamic people come to join is not a truly secular. If religion holds any political power and people are segragated according to their superstitions, only then many Islamic people may hold political power in a democracy. Secularism is the cure to extremist religiously motivated violence, not some other religion, as we have so often throughout history witnessed, the most peacefull religions, like for example Buddhism can be distorted to be used as motivation to violence. The extremist Islamist terrorist has exactly the same motives as the neo-nazi. The neo-nazi may even be totally non-religious, but has a similar misunderstanding of reality as that of a Theist extremist. Their common motive is to create division and conflict between cultures, because they can not stand pluralism. They have difficulty to stomach other people not living up to their standards, even when the other people are not stepping on their individual rights. Should we ever again yield to the demands of such lunatics?

Apparently, President Trump expressed his admiration to President Putin, in a Fox News interview by Bill O’Reilly. To wich somewhat awstruck Mr. O’Reilly replied, that he views Putin as a sort of murderer. President Trump defended President Putin by pointing out, that the US is not totally alien to similar methods of violence. This roused a form of denialism in many more or less patriotic US citizens. For example, Michael McFaul a former ambassador to Moscow, now a professor at Stanford University said in public, that: “Mr. President, our soldiers dont carpet bomb cities. We dont assassinate government critics.”

Yet, in defence of President Trump, I have to point out that the Professor and former diplomat McFaul is incredibly ignorant of the reality in the world, even though I commend him for his conviction to ethics as such. The US is not at all known for not carpet bombing cities. Ask the dead in Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo, Pjongjang, or a number of other cities and rural areas (because people who get carpet bombed in their homes in the countryside are just as dead as the ones who got carpet bombed in a city). Neither is the US especially admired around the globe for not assasinating their political opponents. If this comes as a news flash to you, please find out about President Allende, Ernesto “Che”Guevara, or any of the victims – killed, assasinated, murdered or tortured – of regressive governments around the globe the US has supported and keeps supporting, unless the people have not overthrown them. This support is freely given to governments, that in return the help to exploit their own nations for the benefit of “US interrests”. Well, that is US based corporate capitalists. Not unlike the owners of companies like Halliburton, wich was heavily involved in the previous Republican government.

Aiheeseen liittyvä kuva

Russian soldiers do not engage in assasinations of government critics, than the US soldiers do. Both of these empires have mercenary forces for anything, that might come as a bit of a problem, if these actions were ever to rise to general public awareness. And the ridiculous thing is, that everybody knows this, exept for some reason this professor from Stanford University.

Bill O’Reilly may, or may not be shocked by what President Trump said, but he is actually just reaping what he himself and his “news” channel have been sowing – a climate of ignorance, fear, anger and hatered and an admiration of regressive, conservative, hard line authoritarianism, capitalist greed, tribal moralism and resolving problems through violence. Those are the “traditional” values O’Reilly, Trump, Putin, Al Assad, the ISIS, Al Qaida and so many other “strong” authoritarian demagogues and leaders have shared throughout history. Why? To satisfy their own hollow and meaningless lives they have offered millions of people to the warmachine and murder. What have they given to us other than suffering? War, famon and pestilence are their allies.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle pjongjang bombed

Parliamentary elections are getting close here in Finland. The True Finns party has now made a suggestion through their “think tank”, that immigration to Finland should be restricted according to nationality of the immigrants. They have calculated what they think are the expences of different nationalities as groups moving in. Not surprisingly, in their calculations Germans prospered in Finland while Somalis caused expenses to the state.

The German immigrant may or may not come to Finland because of open and tolerant society, but certainly it is more likely, that she/he is of the age group that goes straight into work. As the German comes from a society whith high education rates, it is only natural that she/he is more likelier to move here only after recieving a job from here. The person immigrating from Irak, Syria, or for example Somalia (the only true libertarian society on earth) is much more likely coming here as the child, or grandmother, and when one is running from war and chaos, securing a job in the peacefull country one is running to, is not the first issue at hand, even though it was among the very first things. It is precisely this kind of prejudice, that this mindfart of the True Finns “think” tank has released, why the Somali finds it harder to get a job in Finland.

The cost-benefit calculation is frankly quite impossible to reach. One can make all sorts of evaluations about what a single immigrant costs when that person enters the society, but the long term analysis is much more difficult. However, it is the long term analysis that we need to look at, if we are to make any judgement on the issue. Had I heard this news flash yesterday, I would surely have taken it as the April Fools day joke.

Do the True Finns “think” tank and party leadership expect their voters and supporters to be this stupid and ignorant, or is it a mutually agreed racist agenda, that they are trying to convey hidden in plain sight? It would not be the first time that some of their more extreme flank has come out of the closet with, after wich their leader Timo Soini has had to come out his and make amendments proclaiming their party non-racistic. Why is it, that no other party in Finland has had to make any proclamations about not being racistic? I find it funny, that he, the leader of this party – that has so many of it leading figures fighting against any priviledges, or even rights, to minorities – Mr. Soini is the member of one of the most minute religious minority groups in Finland by being a Catholic. I wonder if he ever feels like he is being afflicted by some form of Stockholm syndrome… On the other hand there is this unifying thing, that if one is a racist, one represents such a small minority, that they need to hide their agenda from the public view.

Finland actually does require immigration and it is not even primarily the sort, that just now boosts our economy at the very moment. Of course that is good too, but our main problem is, that we Finns almost doubled our number after WWII and our birth rates have been declining ever since. We have an effective pension, system that secures some sort of safety even for the most poorest of elderly people, but it costs, because we are having the ratio of old people in comparrison to the young all upside down. The big families moving in from the developing countries and from war zones are the major relief to this problem. But it is not going to work, if the kids are going to be ostracised in schools for their nationality. Reports, such as this are only going to make the problems of different cultures colliding worse and I do wonder if the True Finns are too stupid to understand as much, or is it their precise goal. To make their predictions about immigrants from poorer countries becoming a problem in our society come true. Just to get to say they were right, even if anyone with a half a brain, should be able to see what may cause such a disparity?

There are plenty of even highly educated unemployed people in Finland at the moment. Plenty of busses are driven by engineers, technicians and even doctors, just because their nationality happens to be Somali, and the bigot employers can see it from their face. Our main concern is not to get the sort of immigrants who would fill up a job here, but quite the opposite. We need the kids who are young enough to benefit from our high standards of education and we need them to fit in to the social society, not to feel like outsiders. So, that when they grow up, they want to participate in this society, pay taxes and take care of our ever growing number of elderly wether those are more or less true Finns, Germans, or Somali. And I suspect the True Finns party leaders know this. If they do, for their actions and releasing such hatefull suggestions as the one about restricting immigration according to nationalities, there exists only one explanation. Hidden racism. Not hidden very well, but at least an attempt to hide it has been made to hide it. No wonder, that when they say the words “political correctness”, it seems like some sort of curse word for them.

I guess it has not accorded to the “think” tank of the True Finns, that the division to nationalities is totally arbitrary. That it does not tell anything of the individual immigrant. Should a Kurdish kid who has a job waiting him at the local pizzeria in Helsinki kept by his cousins, be more wellcome to Finland, than the Estonian grandpa who has no job, but has family ties in Finland? According to this ridiculous division by nationalities however, if the Kurds cost too much in general and Estonians less, then the grandpa gets to move while the Kurdish kid does not.

It seems like this division to nationalities is an attempt to provide the immigration officials with some sort of x-ray vision to evaluate wether the individual immigrant is going to be a productive member of the society or not. But reality simply does not work like that, exept in the minds of racists, who think criminal behaviour is somehow connected to the perpelexion of people. It is not. Even if we could divide the representatives of some nationalities to be more likely to be costly to the society than some others, that does not hold true according to individuals. The German individual is just as likely to become a burden to the society as the Somali individual. Only people who themselves incorporate the worst stereotypics connected to their own nationalities would prefer a culture in wich we are treated according to our nationality rather than as individuals.

Why should we choose to restrict immigration according to nationalities? Why not according to gender? I bet all the bought wives from Thailand for the less racistic supporters of the True Finns party would look like not very cost effective to the society at their arrival? What about according to age? Because it is the age of the immigrant, that makes a lot more difference between their immidiate cost effectiveness, than their nationality. Right? The suggestion to start dividing immigration according to the imagined cost effectiveness of the nationalities of the immigrants is stupid, bigoted, racists and against a free and open society.

I must say, that even I feel a bit ashamed for them. Not for Somalis, or for Germans, for that matter, but for the True Finns party. I thought that they could not come up with anything more embarrising than the English version of their party name, wich should have by all accounts, been translated more accurately as “Basic Finns”. The name True Finns actually revealed what they think about themselves and other Finns. That there are some who are more Finns than others with the same nationality. Similarly this new suggestion of theirs moves the goal posts of political discussion away from the reality and towards la-la-land, and the gloomy ghost of thirties. This is a very disturbing direction.

Why did they not suggest, that the immigrants should be cost evaluated according to their skin colour while they were at it? It is just as arbitrary as dividing people according to nationalities. Because of the political correctness they so much hate? I bet one could make up all sorts of statistics in wich white people from the rich west look better, than all the other people from the exploited developing countries. What would that have proven other, than that when society has money and is in peace, it does not produce the same kind of problems as it does when it is at war and people need to escape the war, or sheer powerty? But it seems our western society also produces problems, as the “True Finns” and other racist movements are out there to muddy the waters from discussing the actual social and political issues, and have brought up this nonsense to the fore…