Tag Archives: Finland

Older Finns Prefer Internet Censorship

An overwhelming majority of Finns, age 55 to 64 are more receptive to the idea of restrictions on Internet free speech than are younger Finns. three out of four in the older group accept some form of restrictions on free speech. Younger men and women are against such restrictions. Most probably, incidents such as the shootings in a Finnish school have made older people aware how the Internet can serve as a means of communication for young people and make them aware of various forms of violence. Many would accept the concept of preventive censorship to prevent certain ideas being presented on the Internet.

One might suspect that older people attribute violence as stemming from Internet and other forms of media which readily project brutality on public media. Younger people know that violence is an individual decision and is not shaped by the Internet or other forms of media.

Finland Rethinking Immigration Needs

Astrid Thors, Finland’s Minister of Immigration, believes there are immigrant needs that must be addressed. Her nation, most probably for the first time in its history, is witnessing a large scale immigration of people from Africa and other parts of the world. She believes there are gaps in services provided immigrants. Immigrants require more information about Finland as a nation and its culture, and the issue of language remains significant in determining success as an immigrant. Finland’s Constitution makes Finnish and Swedish the two national languages because of their historical development.

Minister Thors points out Finnish law does not make immigrants eligible for state supplied education or provide teaching students from the same ethnic group, there must be mixed groups for education. She has received numerous complaints from immigrants about their inability to obtain language education. She expressed concern that Finland has the highest level of unemployed immigrants of any EU nation.

Finland Reflects On Second School Shooting

The Finnish population, the media, and government are still recovering from the shock of a second brutal shooting in a school within a year. The initial question dealt with the identity and reasoning of the person who committed the shooting, and as a more complete picture emerged questions shifted to how the young man gained access to a weapon and how so leisurely wandered into a school. There are now concerns about whether Finland needs stricter gun control laws or should it follow the path of many American schools which have metal detectors. The latest poll reveals most Finns believe they are a peaceful people, but 80% now want restrictions imposed on gun ownership.

A major issue is stems from revelations the shooter was boasting on the Internet and YouTube about his desires to do something. There are reports the police who interviewed him the day before the shooting were ordered to take away his gun, but, for some unknown reason this was not done. Psychologists are discussing ways to identify future killers, but, this appears wishful thinking and not stemming from any grasp of reality.

School bullying is something schools can address. Identifying children who are loners can be done. There is need for more community building within schools in order to develop bonds of relationships between those in the school.

Mystery Of Matti Juhani Saari’s Killing Spree

Those who knew Matti Juhani Saari were shocked at the news he had killed ten students in a school shooting spree. Schoolmates and teachers describe him as sociable and an ordinary student in school. A former classmate who knew him from the beginning of the seventh grade said he was “perhaps quiet but not the solitary type.” There was some indication of a few bullying encounters between Saari and other boys but, for the most part, he had friends and got along in school. Another classmate said “in the ninth grade he started mixing with some rather heavier circles, but I would still have never believed that something like this could happen.”

Teachers report he interacted in class and work well with other students. One said: “he was an average student, whose grades varied from to to five(on a 0 to 5 scale). I thought he was quite a sympathetic type of guy.”

However, he did take part in online chats that discussed American school shootings and Pekka-Eric Auvinen who killed eight Finnish students last year. Investigators found messages in his home that he hated humankind and had been planning the shooting since 2002. His hobbies included computers, the drums, sex, beer, and target practice with his Walther 22 pistol.

Police officials now say they received information last Friday about a possible shooting and they talked with the boy the day before the shooting but no attempt was made to take away his weapon.

The question, as always in these cases, is what was the final reason why he decided to kill. We probably will never know the answer to that question.

Gun Control Controversy Over Finnish School Shootings

A 22 year old man entered a Finnish vocational school and began blasting away until he killed eleven students and wounded several others. He was dressed in black and wore a ski-mask as he walked into the school carrying a large bag. After completing the carnage of death, MattiJuhani Saari shot himself in the head. During the shooting he inadvertently initiated a fire that most probably led to one of the deaths. The day before he opened fire on students, Mr. Saari had been summoned to police headquarters after the police came across a video on the Internet in which he is shown firing a pistol. The gun man proved he had a legal right to the weapon and was allowed to go free.

The shooting is the second in two years in which a gun man entered a high school and killed several students. A special session of Parliament is being called to examine the situation and rethink the need for tighter laws on gun possession. Fortunately, Finland does not have any reference in its Constitution about owning or not owning guns.

Finns Dubious Over NATO Membership

The Georgia war has raised new concerns among Finns as to the desirability of seeking membership in NATO. A basic majority of Finns have opposed membership in NATO for years and only about 20% are for it. The fiasco of Georgia invading South Ossetia and nearly precipitating a war between Western nations and Russia has only furthered the desire of most Finnish people to avoid becoming entangled in an alliance which might inadvertently result in a conflict with its large neighbor to the east. A majority of Finns currently do not regard Russia as a threat, but getting involved in NATO only increases possibilities of turmoil with the Russian bear.

The people of Finland are wise to avoid becoming a member of NATO as long as George Bush is president of the United States. His aggressive actions in building missile bases in Poland have only aggravated the situation and raised fear among Russians.

A Drink Before Dying-Pub For The Elderly!

Tuture Kahkonen is sitting quietly sipping a beer while gazing at pictures on the wall of the pub. Just another normal afternoon in a pub? Not exactly. The pub is located in the Hopearanta service home for the elderly in the Finnish town of Savonlinna. The pub opened in April in a home for the elderly in which the average age is about 84. Marja-Liisa Broms, executive director of the home, got the idea while on a visit to Denmark. Although not all residents enjoy spending time in the pub, several find it a wonderful place for having a chat. Tauno Silvennoeinen says, “when guests come, I like to bring them here.”

The pub serves beer, wines and brandy and the only reason a person might be refused a shot is due to their medication which prevents access to alcohol. The pub remains open until 8:00 p.m. so there are no midnight drunks stumbling out nor is there any need for a “last order” from the house.

This is an excellent idea which other homes for the elderly might investigate.

Immigration In Finland Creates New School Issues

The number of students of immigrant origin is growing at a fast rate in schools located in suburban areas of Helsinki. Next autumn, 50 out of 60 pupils starting the seventh grade at the Mylllypuro comprehensive schools will speak a language other than Finnish as their mother-tongue. There has not been an even distribution of immigrants throughout the Helsinki area creating situations in which certain schools are predominantly immigrant in terms of the student body. During the period 2001 through 2006, Helsinki launched an Urban Project that was funded by the European Union.

According to Anneli Luotonen, principal of the Myullpuro lower secondary school, “the project enabled supervision and monitoring, making it possible to keep the pupils at school.” School social workers helped resolve bullying issues, and dealt with conflict resolution while working to build a sense of solidarity among students coming from differing backgrounds. Money was used to build an Internet cafe and IT courses were even arranged for parents. Naturally, since the project was working, funding was cut off. Why is it when schools finally come up with ideas that work, the funding soon ceases?

Finnish Student Kills At Least Nine

At least eight people were killed in a shooting at a school in Kokela, north of Helsinki. Five boys and two girls were killed along with the school’s head teacher. The shooter, an eighteen year old pupil entered the school armed with a shotgun and after his killing spree, shot himself in the head. Tuomas Hulkkonen, a member of the graduating class knew the shooter since boyhood and claimed the boy in recent days was behaving in a strange manner. He drew many pictures of firearms and when asked about them, insisted he was only joking. Ateacher at the school described the boy as a militant radical who was interested in both extreme left and extreme right wing ideas and had a deep interest in history and philosophy.

There were references on Internet over the past few days about an impending school attack and in one package there is a photograph of a hand gun wearing a tee-shirt with the slogan, “Humanity is Overrated.” There was also an information packet which included a text of about 1,000 words under the title, “Manifesto of a Natural Selector”
“I cannot say that I am of the same race as this miserable, arrogant and selfish human race. No! I have evolved a step higher.” The text ends with: “To each and what they deserve.”

The pattern continues. A loner, an isolate, wandering through school ignored by those in authority and delving into radical forms of thinking. No one is to blame and yet we bear some responsibility for creating schools in which test score rankings are much more important to political leaders than an emphasis on individual attention to children.

Finland’s Warmest Winter Ever!

It is now official, in most parts of Finland, the ongoing winter has een the warmest ever measured since the beginning of regularly recorded readings. According to the Finnish Meterological Institute, the mean temperature from December through February was approximately 1 degree C higher than in the previous recod mild winter of 1924-1925. When comparing the present winter with the average period from 1971-2000, the temperatures were as much as 4 to 6.5 degrees higher. The Meterological Institute believes the record mild winter is a consequence of climate change, and the consistent westerly and southwesterly air flows that Finland has been experiencing. The air flows have, in turn, been affected by the higher than average surface water temperature in the Atlantic Ocean.

There is no doubt Bush “scientists” will have an explanation for the mild Finnish winter that fits with their view of the non-existance of global warming. Undoubtedly, they will blame hot air emanating from Democractic Party candidates as being responsible for the rise in temperatures.