The holiday season is not only a time of celebration, but of contemplation of things past, present and future. It's crystal clear that in this age of global pandemic, probable climate catastrophe and digitization and artificial intelligence that the world is at a global inflection point.
The choice concerns the fighter plane for Finland's future air defence. I am not competent to assess which criteria are most important in the selection, performance, or finances. Therefore, it is best to abstain, even if the price tag is something that any layperson can have opinions about.
So, it has happened again. Riots in Jerusalem. Random rocket fire and precision bombings, both with civilian casualties. The parties are involved in a spiral of revenge with the goal of exhausting the opponent. The pattern is repeated year after year. The outside world demands a cease fire; mediators sign up. This has been the case throughout my adult life. No lasting peace for Israel, no solution for the stateless Palestinians. Cease fire is fine, but for how long?
Generous social benefits aren’t enough to change the life prospects of kids from low-income families.
Nordic nations are proud of their social policies—justifiably so. As we know, high taxes fund social security, education, disability, housing and unemployment benefits that reduce inequality and increase social mobility.
As a European-American in New York following the news on both sides of the Atlantic, I can readily see the flow of opinion from the US to Europe and the US pressure with regard to Russia and Ukraine. Those who hesitate will soon find themselves in the spotlight of American Media. Combined with political leverage, this seems to be working well.
Finnish Public Service Media has the legal and professional mandate to reflect a diversity of opinions and provide an information platform that is not reflective of a political agenda. This is not happening with the English language Yle platform.
In their reports from the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine until the end of April, 60% of their articles promoted a pro-Nato or pro-military alignment perspective. Conversely, less than 7% could be construed as being anti-Nato or anti-military alignment.
It's deeply unfortunate that even some MPs in the Left Alliance are now publicly advocating Finnish membership of NATO.
An Atlanticist hybrid of US power and British ‘diplomacy’, NATO is a deeply pro-capitalist and imperialist organization. From the start, it has used the ideology of an external enemy – first the USSR, now Russia – to attack and repress socialist ideas and politics at home and in what were once the colonies.
The events in Ukraine have opened a debate in many countries about NATO membership, with Russia already threatening peace in the Baltic region. Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has expressed her intention to hold a referendum on Scotland’s independence by the end of 2023. If she is serious about holding a referendum by then, NATO alignment is something that Scotland must consider carefully over the next year.
Russian invasion of Ukraine shocked Finnish people’s sense of security. Having had their own wars with Russia before, Finns started to picture Russian tanks rolling down the streets in Helsinki. Iodine tablets were sold out from drug stores, queues for passport renewals were prolonged and record number of Finns signed up for military training.
When Elon Musk bought the single largest stake in Twitter, then announced plans to acquire the whole company instead of just accepting a seat on its board, the response varied:
Hosannas from many on the "right" who feel like they don't get a fair shake from Twitter's moderation/ban policies.
As the Finnish Government launches a process to consider the nation's NATO membership, while the frightening news from the war in Ukraine floods the media, all of us living in the country need to stop and think about how we got into this situation and where to turn now.