Still alive, bitches!

Posted in Fundamentalism, rant, Religion on May 21, 2011 by SatanicBunny

According to an american engineer and a self-proclaimed evangelist Harold Camping the end of the world was supposed to begin today. Well, surprise surprise it hasn’t and we’re all still here.

I would just like to take this moment to say to mr. Camping: Fuck you and your brainless, baseless and moronic “theology.” These three songs illustrate my feelings perfectly.

“Behead all those who insult our values” – The double-standard of American morality

Posted in Al-qaeda, Fundamentalism, Human rights, Philosophy, Terrorism with tags , , on May 12, 2011 by SatanicBunny

He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster

-Friedrich Nietzsche

Now that some time has passed from the news of Osama’s death and everybody (including yours truly) has had time to think and reflect upon the death of Osama bin Laden it’s time to lay out some of my thoughts about the issue. After a lengthy and a rewarding discussion with one of my most insightful friends regarding the ethical nature of the killing I have two important points regarding his death that I want to make absolutely clear:

1. I am not sad that Osama bin Laden is dead. As I said in my previous post I despised him as human being and I genuinely think the world is a slightly better place without him.

2. If it is true that this was a so-called “kill operation” and that the Americans went in with the intention of killing bin Laden then it is nothing short of murder and I condemn the act.

I think most people will agree with me on the first point, but the 2nd one will surely cause a lot of disagreement. I am an avid supporter of human rights and I agree with the immortal words of George Carlin: “If your rights can be taken away they are not rights they are privileges.” Thus even terrorist leaders have certain basic fundamental rights that should be respected – including the right to live and the right to be trialed for their crimes instead of a summary execution.

I know that Americans have a different approach to human rights since they don’t often see death penalty as a problematic issue. I vehemently oppose the death penalty because I believe that nobody – whether it be a person, a government, a jury or a judge – should have the power to take anyone’s life and that the acceptance of the death penalty undermines the base of all human rights. After all, the right to live is the most fundamental of all human rights and if one believes that it can be taken away by a court then the rest become utterly meaningless.

Fundamentalist islamists

Is this what we're about to become?

But even if we acknowledge the fact that the American approach to death penalty can create a mindset where Osama’s assassination is an acceptable tactic it still remains problematic. Osama was seen by many as the Hitler of the 21st century. He was the personification of evil, the incarnation of anti-western values. One of those anti-western values was disregard for human life, especially the lives of those who did not agree with him. We loathed him for that and now it seems we have dropped down to the level of the man we so hated and we are cheering his death with no interest in how it occurred.

Obama said recently that “Osama got what he deserved – anyone who questions the fact that a mass murderer got what he deserved should get his head checked.” This illustrates perfectly the flaws in American moral landscape and especially in their public ethical discourse. Obama’s statement indicates that Osama “deserved” death.  This has a lot to do with their approach to capital punishment that I talked about before but it also brings up a more important and much more horrific fact that apparently there is a limit on which a human being deserves death without a trial.

The somewhat famous secular Youtuber Pat Condell recently stated that killing Osama wasn’t a crime or unethical because he was “a field commander” of a terrorist group. His stance – and the stance of many others – is the US was effectively in war with Osama/al-Qaeda and thus killing him is just a part of warfare. But that approach also has several problems, the two most important being:

1) In order for the United States to be in war, the constitution requires the congress to officially declare war upon the opposing party. This has not been done (in fact, the US has not conducted a legitimate war since the Second World War).

2) Even if America could be seen as being in war with al-Qaeda, it still does not mean that the troops are authorized to kill unarmed personnel. Willfully depriving a surrendering enemy combatant of a fair trial is a grave breach of the Geneva convention.

So, despite of how satisfied many are to the death of Osama, I must concur that if he was unarmed at the time of the raid then his killing was unjustifiable and should be treated as a crime, because according to western values that the US is so keenly claiming to defend from people like Osama, even criminals and mass-murderers have rights. If we ignore this point the whole moral basis of the western civilization collapses, as rights become a thing that can be easily ignored when needed.

As many critics have pointed out, terrorism is not an enemy. It is a tactic. Because the United States itself has a long record of supporting terrorists and using terrorist tactics, the slogans of today’s war on terrorism merely makes the United States look hypocritical to the rest of the world. A prudent American president would end the present policy of “sustained hysteria” over potential terrorist attacks..treat terrorism as a serious but not a strategic problem, encourage Americans to regain their confidence, and refuse to let al Qaeda keep us in a state of fright.

-William Eldridge Odom, former 3 star general of the US army

…And justice for all?

Posted in Al-qaeda, Conflicts, Terrorism with tags on May 2, 2011 by SatanicBunny

After over ten years of trying it has finally happened: Osama bin Laden – the face of terror for many westerners and the undisputed hide & seek world champion – has been killed by US special forces. This of course is a major success for US military and intelligence because for long it looked as if Osama would stay hidden from the largest war machine in the world forever. The price for his death has been huge: Two wars, two wrecked countries and over 4000 dead coalition soldiers. Osama bin Laden and the “war on terror” he started has cost the US more in military spending than the Soviet Union.

And the fact is that this does not do  as much to stop terrorism as one might think. Bin laden has not been operationaly active for years. He hasn’t done anything except provide moral support and funding. Al-qaeda is a very loose organization, many of its branches being part of “Al-qaeda” in name only and there are many other terror organizations not connected to Al-qaeda. This is a major moral victory but they key word here is moral. The man has become a legend amongts jihadist and he has started a cult following which will not die with him for sure.

So, in light of that realization it is somewhat funny to hear the word “justice” being thrown around in almost every interview and speech in the news. Justice for whom? The friends and relatives of the victims of 9/11? Maybe but it is more just plain old revenge than justice because the problem that caused the 9/11 – fundementalist terrorists – is still there. I do have to congratulate president Obama though because he did in less than 4 years what his predecessor couldn’t do in 8 years.

All this being said the death of Bin Laden is undoubtedly a good thing despite of how much it will actually achieve in terms of defeating terrorism because the man stood against the values and ideals that all rational people hold dear. I am not sad to see him go, quite the contrary; the world is a better place without scumbags like him. Hasta la vista, baby!

Alea iacta est

Posted in Finnish politics, Kokoomus, Liberalism, Parties, Pirate Party, Politics, right-wing conservatism, SDP, True Finns with tags on April 19, 2011 by SatanicBunny

Once again, a new page has been turned in the book of Finnish political history. The reign of the centrist party is now over, and the right is now taking the lead together with the more left leaning social democrats. This type of coalition cabinet is not a new thing here or in European history. But what is new is that now – as predicted beforehand – thanks to the huge success of the right-wing conservatist party True Finns (whose name in my opinion would be more truthfully translated as “basic Finns”) Finland has joined the ever-growing group of European countries (such as Switzerland, the Netherlands, DenmarkSweden and Hungary) in which right-wing nationalism is a significant force in political decision making. These elections have also gained unusually high amounts of international media attention because of their potential implications for the upcoming decision about the loan package to Portugal.

The public seems to be divided in two; the first part rejoicing of the huge success of TF, and the second one being confused and even scared about what this means for the country’s future. I confess that I am in no way a fan of TF or of their values. In fact their leader Timo Soini, a catholic populist armed with a strong set of “home, religion and the fatherland” -values and rhetoric which sounds like something out of the 1930s, is the very opposite of me in pretty much every conceivable manner.  Nevertheless, ridiculing their success or their slogans and values does not help. The fact is that they are now the third largest party in the country with 39 out of the 200 possible seats. And that tells us something: people are frustrated with the current state of affairs. Not just in here but all over Europe. That frustration has been channeled into conservatist parties partly because people tend to long for the bygone times and be lulled into a false sense of nostalgia of how everything was better before the euro or before the EU.

I claim however, that a much more important factor in the success of TF was the fact that for the majority of people they were the only truly different option. This is also a trend that is by no means limited only to Finland: The increased stability and co-operation of the post world wars Europe that the EU has created means that politics has become mundane and uninteresting in this day and age were massive wars, revolutions and uprisings don’t shake the political map of Europe like they used do every so often in previous centuries. All the traditional parties look and feel the same except in name. The biggest disputes are about economic policies and taxation but the people have rarely had much interest in getting excited about such things. Angry and frustrated for sure but the differences tend to be so small that they don’t create enough polarization for people truly to get involved in politics.

Right-wing conservatives have changed this, both in history and now, by being the only group vocal enough and different enough at the same time to provoke people’s interest in politics for the first time in years. For the majority of people there was no equivalent “radical” option in the liberal end of the scale because even the economically liberal biggest party Kokoomus is liberal only in matters of economy and international/EU-politics, they didn’t exactly counter the so-called “traditional” (ie. mostly outdated) values and ideals of cultural protectionism and isolationism that the TF, at least in part, stand for. The Green party tried but they have long since lost their credibility in the eyes of the people and are now seen mostly as treehuggers with lots of idealism but very little or no sense of realism.

The truth is that there was such a party in the elections: The Pirate Party of Finland, whose political ideology originates from Sweden and is still young and taking shape, but they were the best option for those people – such as myself – who were looking for a change forwards instead of a change backwards from the current political apathy and blandness. They got over 15 000 votes which would be enough to get them one seat in the parliament but unfortunately the votes were too scattered among different voting districts and none of the districts got enough votes to get a candidate through. The party is too new and strange yet to attract a lot of older voters. But it is a new force especially in northern and central Europe (PP has candidates in the Swedish national parliament, in the European Parliament and in municipal governments in Germany for example) and I am still pleased with the result, because taking into account the fact that these were the first elections in Finland in which the PP took part, the result is very good. It instantly became the most popular party out of the parties that were left outside of the parliament and polls done before the elections show that the PP has a wide range of supporters in the young people who are currently in high school and not yet allowed to vote.

The result is promising because the next elections will be the municipal elections in two years, and in those the PP has a realistic change of getting candidates through, and in four years in the next nationwide elections most of the young people mentioned above have reached adulthood and are able to vote. The True Finns have shown that they know how to convince the voters, now they must show that they are capable of acting in a way that is in accordance with their conservative values while simultaneously pleasing the two other larger parties and not plunging this country into a dead-end in the politic/economic field of the EU as, for example, sabotaging the Portugal’s loans would do, since EU would most certainly “retaliate” by decreasing the amount of agricultural support funds given to Finland (among other nasty things).

So dear Mr. Soini: Your party broke records in the elections and you have left your name in the history books for sure but I remind you that the elections are now over and the political Olympiad has begun. This means that you have four years of time to please the general public, but it demands actions – rational actions – instead of just rhetoric. I am skeptical of your competence to do this, and we might see new elections sooner if your likely to be formed coalition cabinet cannot form a clear line. That remains to be seen.

So enjoy it for as long as it lasts but don’t forget to keep and eye on the horizon. Black ships are coming, and on those ships are men who – unlike you – think homosexuals are equal people, that  neither racism veiled in the cloak of patriotism nor religion should have anything to do with politics and that censoring the internet is never a good thing. We’ll be landing ashore and confronting you in four years – or sooner if you screw up and manage to break the cabinet – with our eyepatches and liberal values.

So until then my friends and adversaries, I will be following the example of captain Jack Sparrow.

Democracy – it’s a party

Posted in Democracy, Elections, Finnish politics, Politics with tags , on April 12, 2011 by SatanicBunny

Election time is here and the public discourse on all fronts is raging on. There are tons of topics and issues from taxation to immigrants that I could rant about but I’ll leave those for another time. Today, while walking around in the close by city centre I stopped to discuss for a moment with a candidate of the Finnish green party. The discussion was quickly ended however, since a man appeared and started babbling on to the candidate firstly how the right-wing “lunatics” don’t care about the poor and secondly that the system of elections that is in use here in Finland (a form of proportional representation called the D’Hondt method) is undemocratic and that because of it the state of democracy in this country is, according to him, “on par with north Korea.” I’m going to leave the right-wing accusations aside for now and focus on his later claim of the election method being “undemocratic” because I think it’s a topic that pops out fairly regularly and stems from people’s misunderstanding of the existing system.

For those of you who might not know what proportional representation means, the basic principle is as follows: when all votes have been counted the candidate of a party who got the most votes gets the entire sum of the votes as his/her “final vote count” AKA quotient, the one after him gets half of the entire vote count of the party, the third one gets 1/3 and so on. After these numbers have been calculated, seats on the parliament are given out to the candidates based on their quotients. This means that it is entirely possible that a candidate from party A gets fewer votes than a candidate from party B but A gets in and B doesn’t since A’s party got more overall votes. If this truly is the state of democracy in North Korea I have missed a revolution or two. I do of course understand why this bothers some people and why it might seem undemocratic but let’s think for a while what is democracy and how it is affected by the existence of proportional representation.

Democracy is defined as the rule of the people. The people can – in most cases through voting for a candidate – affect who is going to make the laws and thus have a say on the way they want their country to be led. But in order for that to work the people must have a choice. Since the stranger took up the example of North Korea let’s look at it, after all it is officially called “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”.The last parliamentary elections in North Korea were held in 2009. According to the official records nearly everyone (over 99%) voted. That’s because they were forced to. And each district only had one candidate so the results were clear from the get go. Now, anybody over the age of 5 can tell you that if you only have one choice and you are forced to take it, then it’s not really a choice. This is why I’m in favour of the propositional representation: it increases the amount of choices people have by making it feasible to vote even for a new or a relatively unkown candidate without having to fear that your vote will be in vain. After all,  even if your candidate doesn’t get elected, your vote still counts in favour of the party.

This is what people seem to forget year after year. In parliamentary and in regional elections in Finland (and many other countries including all the Scandinavian countries) you are voting primarily for a party so you should select the party first and the candidate afterwards, not the other way around as is the case with a saddening amount of people who haven’t realized the way the system works.

I do have my issues with the system as well: the D’Hondt method slightly favours larger parties over smaller ones. There exists another method of propostional reprsentation quite similar to D’Hondt’s called Sainte-Laguë method which differs from D’Hondt’s in that it attempts to balance the scales and give smaller parties an equal chance to get seats by calculating the quotient of each candidate with a formula of V/S2+1, where V is the entire vote count of the party and S is the number of seats already assigned to the party, initially being zero. Our beloved neighbours the Swedes have used this method for quite some time and I do think we should follow them and change the system, since it would increase political diversity and – in my opinion – better fulfill the ideals of democracy.

Gaddafi jr. warns US of “another Iraq”

Posted in Civil war, Conflicts, International intervention, Politics, Uncategorized with tags , on March 29, 2011 by SatanicBunny

As the conflict in Libya between Libya’s national army and the coalition backed rebels continues the coalition countries are meeitng in a conference in London in which they attempted to discuss ways to resolve the situation. What’s interesting is that neither the official Libyan regime (ie. Gaddafi & sons) or any representatives of the rebels were invited to said conference (although apparently they have previously met with both US and UK representatives).

No clear solution has been presented so far but it would certainly seem that the stalemate will continue until the current regime steps down, however that might take a long time. If Gaddafi doesn’t go to exile there’s a chance that the country will remain split into two for a long time. The US apparently wants Gaddafi arrested and charged, either in Libya’s own court or perhaps in the international criminal court, which is slightly ironic taken as the US has not ratified its membership of the ICC – and neither is Libya.

However likely the most comedic and at the same time sad statement came from Gaddafi’s son, who in an interview to the BCC said something to the effect of “I don’t think the american people want yet another Iraq situation.” I find it hilarious because they have apparently stopped any attempts of defending their position and regime and instead are just trying to say: “you don’t want to eat us, we taste very bad.” Gaddafi himself has been pretty silent, acting like an angty teenager and complaning that  “you western countries just don’t understand me! Why does nobody understand me? Why do I have so so few friends and everybody keeps teasing me? :<”

Meanwhile apparently Gaddafi’s army has achieved some minor victories against the rebels whose “army” at the moment seems – based on the news footage – to consist primarily of groups of people driving around in white sedans with AK-47s – help is certainly needed*.

*UPDATE: In the conference Hillary Clinton said that it is possible that coalition countries could transfer weapons to the rebels at some point, although no such decission has yet been made, she also stated that “it is clear for everyone that Gaddafi has lost the legitimacy to lead.”

Dear christians, this is the 21st century, please wake the fuck up!

Posted in bisexuality, Christianity, Fundamentalism, homosexuality, Human rights, rant, Religion, sex with tags , on March 25, 2011 by SatanicBunny

The fact that I have to write this even though I’m living in a western democracy that has one of the best education systems in the world makes me both very sad and very angry. Tt also serves as proof that you cannot educate people who are willfully ignorant. I’m speaking of course of fundamentalist crackpots opposing homosexuality on religious grounds. It’s been a hot topic here in Finland ever since a tv-discussion in which the leader of the christian democratic party made some openly anti-gay statements. But that’s not why I’m writing this. What sparked my hatred is a campaign arranged by a web magazine called Nuotta. The campaign, led by a guy named Mika Falck, is targeted at young people and according to a radio interview (available here (in Finnish)) of Falck its purpose is to “encourage the young to live fully christian lives.”

The campaign’s goal is to try and discourage sexual experimentation with the same sex, which Falk as a bible-literalist considers to be a sin, and for young people to seek “healing” from such urges through prayer. What they are apparently saying is that most experimentation is a case of situational sexual behavior in which the social environment  and peer-pressure make young people try out sexual acts that they would “normally” not engage in. Not only is this an untestable hypothesis, it’s also completely meaningless. After all, as long as nobody is actually forced to try out anything they do not want to do, where’s the harm in two (or more) mutually consenting people trying out stuff. It might turn out that they don’t like it, but in that case they can just stop doing it. It’s been known for long now that human sexuality is not exactly black and white: it’s possible for people who consider themselves heterosexual to have homosexual fantasies / urges and vice versa. Trying out stuff and finding you don’t like it doesn’t make one gay.

Experimentation is needed. Sexual awakening can – and often is – highly confusing to teenagers regardless of sexual orientation. People can believe what they want and they can even oppose homosexuality in a free society, that’s their call even if it does make them moronic. However, what they should not be allowed to do is use taxpayers’ money – as they did in this case since nuotta is at least in part funded by the Finnish Lutheran church which in turn gets its funding from those taxpayers who are members of the church and via community tax – to spread their message of intolerance and discrimination to teens in a vulnerable state and make it even harder for them to discover their own identity.  What Falk and his ilk are saying is: “We think God created you and is responsible for all the urges and feelings you’re having but he doesn’t want you to follow them.” In the worst case scenario this will lead to people living in constant self-denial thinking there must be something very wrong with them because no matter how much they pray the feelings don’t vanish.

Teens need someone they can talk to about these things. They need information, support and guidance in things related to sex. What they don’t need under any circumstances is some raving idiot armed with bad theology from the middle-ages who is trying to tell them they are abnormal and should be “saved”. They even used the phrase “If a murderer can change his ways why shouldn’t a gay person be able to do the same”, obviously making a comparison between gays and murderers, a statement which they quickly withdrew, saying it had been “misinterpreted” – but I don’t know how that would be possible, since the quote is very clear.

So, Mr. Falck, under the freedom of speech you’re free to express your opinions to the public, and I will defend your right to do so. Also in the name of freedom of speech, here’s what I think of you: You’re a disgusting piece of human being, a waste of sperm, a disgrace not only to my first name but to the society you live in and to the whole of civilization; you’re a remnant of times long gone, a man who shouldn’t be living in this day and age, but you’re not evil or malicious, you’re just incredibly stupid. I do not wish you any harm. Nor do I request you to surrender your faith in god – I know that to be impossible because after that you’d have to think for yourself, a task so daring you’d probably die in the process.  I’m just asking you – in the name of humanity and common good – to stop trying to brainwash teens.

I’m not a believer in any god myself, but I know enough about the bible to know that according to it Jesus never spoke a word about homosexuals or homosexuality. However based on his other teachings here is what I think the big J would think about you:

Jesus’ opinion on anti-gay christians

And this time I would have to agree with him. Fuck you, Mika Falck. FUCK. YOU.

Ps. If you ever happen to read this and want to debate about the subject, brig it on, I promise will shred your so called arguments to pieces.