Monthly Archives: lokakuu 2016

O’ Connells Conned Us (Into This)

Normaali

Viikko 44



Date
: Oct 25th, 2016
Motion: THW legalise all drugs
Role: Rep. (gov.)


GOVERNMENTAL/ADMINISTRATIVE/POLITICAL REASONS

If rightwing governments want a night-watchman state, they for sure won’t have the resources to run a far-reaching Vice Squad, whose turf and jurisdiction the controlling of drugs would fall to. In that case, they would not have any other option than the legalization of drugs, as they could not enforce their control. Alternatively, they could try to hunt down drug peddlers, manufacturers, users and middlemen, but as the U.S. War on Drugs has so far shown us, whatever gains the Federal Government makes, it comes at a huge social and private cost. Simulataneously, a great deal of the gov’s energy would go towards keeping the status quo rather than making any positive changes for the better in society.

Consequently, drugs should be legalised because fighting against them eats away at so much of our resources

  • (a concrete example:)
  • Prohibition is the obvious Precedent in terms of this kind of pre-emptive legislation.

A further reason to deepen this argument is that,

Drugs were often developed by someone working for govt. institutions. Many drugs saw military or medical use before they ended up on streets to be used by just about anyone. They should be taken over by the govt. again so as not to give away the profit that they generate to misfits, outcasts, profiteers and agents of the grey economy. At first the gov could extend drug use to people whose use is not recreational but rather medical or palliative in nature.

  • (a concrete example:)
  • Albert Hoffman devised LSD in the first half of the 20th century, in November 1938, on the eve of the 2nd World War. It was introduced as a psychiatric drug in 1947. It should still be on that path.

MEDICAL AND NATIONAL HEALTH REASONS

Legalising drugs would reveal to us how big a percentage of the population self-medicate with them. People do not take drugs unless there’s something wrong with them. They take drugs for feelings of agony, alienation, despair, pain and so on. Knowing the full percentage of self-medicators would help us direct national health resources in a better way, since fully healthy people do not crave for Drugs. When heroin was injected into people who do not have a history of drug use or major, obvious problems in life, they did not like what they experienced.

Traditional drugs are relatively harmless. They evaporate from the body in about 6 to 8 hours through the metabolism of the liver. Any recreational use is usually harmless apart from the occasional ”bad trip” that may occur. If people take drugs in the presence of their friends or close friends, all side effects can usually be contained. This applies to such traditional drugs as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, khat, hashis and ecstacy, as long as they come from safe sources.


Arvio: Puhe ottaa kantaa debateissa usein esiintyneeseen aiheeseen, joka kumpuaa esiin kerta toisensa jälkeen varmaankin sen takia, että osanottajat ovat niin nuoria ja liberaaleja ja yleensä huumeisiin kallellaan, heidän tajuamatta niihin liittyviä vakavia elämänhallinnallisia, psykologisia ja taloudellisia implikaatioita. Yhtäältä huumeet pahimmillaan vievät kaiken ja toisaalta täysipainoinen elämä on täysin mahdollista ilman edes niiden mainitsemista. Olen kuitenkin tehnyt tämän puheen ’paholaisen asianajajana’.

There Will Be Terms on Terms

Normaali

Viikko 43


 

Date: Oct 23rd, 2015
Motion
: THB that foreigners need to pay term fees in Finland
Role: MP (gov.)


For a long time, foreigners have been able to study at their chosen university in Finland by just paying the cost of their lodging, food and transportation plus extracurriculars. This needs to stop from this government on. In the following, I’m going to present further reasons and reasoning why is the case societally speaking.

Foreigners who come here practise what you could term  ”educational tourism”. Education is like an administrative Sun that shines here year in and year out, just like the sun may shine for real in those countries whence educational tourists come. Just like real-life tourists, these tourists do not leave after they’re gone more than, (figuratively speaking), dirty sheets, piles of trash and greasy napkins. You don’t remember their faces later on, as you don’t remember those of tourists of the travelling kind. They don’t remember having been here, either, after some time has passed, likely. Finland may linger on in their household or living space as photos in a photo collection.

My biggest reservation against edu-tourism is This: Finns could not go out into the World and expect similar treatment from any quarters, either. If we went outside of the EU without participating in any exchange program set up between two universities decades ago, free tuition would not be possible and accessible. We would need to pay dearly, and so we’ve done, at least in the past when it comes to the record on Finns studying abroad. Even today thousands of Finnish people study abroad in institutions of their choosing, but they pay for their studies out of their own or their parents’ pockets. Many Finnish dreams and careers have been financed and fulfilled in this way. For all that, it has come at a cost, which is a personal cost and a national cost. Often, those who acquire a degree abroad say goodbye to Finland for good and remain beyond its borders for reasons sometimes unknown, which often, yet, revolve around climate, love and work. And, vice versa, this same logic should apply to foreigners studying for a whole degree in Finland.

If semester or term fees were implemented, I’m sure that the numbers of Freeloaders would drop. Educational tourists would go someplace else or stay at home with their moms. Moreover, the quality of those coming in as the quantity dropped would improve. When the ”chaff” was gone, we could see the wheat. The wheat would be foreigners who come to Finland for their love of the country and/or the language (which is an Agglutinative beast, and therefore to the liking of a few with Acquired taste). Students of the Finnish vernacular. Tech-boom enthusiasts. Winter-sport aficionados. Nerds. Geeks. Wonks. Japanese looking for quiet and coniferous trees. Brits looking for thinness on the ground. Introverts with rich parents from India. The odds of these people staying after the completion of their degree would be much higher than the chances of educational tourists staying after the handing down of the diploma. We don’t need thumbs up from just anyone. We need handshakes from Fennophiles; those with a love or like for Finland for its own sake. Money is of immaterial importance here. Love is worth more than a few Ks on the bank account. Grands come and go.

Finland does not need educational tourism. It is paid for by those run-of-the-mill Finns who never venture outside of their native grounds, so in order to get a small dose of an international atmosphere, foreigners are imported instead. It turns out cheap to the foreigners but expensive to the nation. Real Finns inhale their whiff of exotica in going out themselves in all directions from the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.

Say no to Edu-Tourism. Say no to imported foreigners. Say yes to exported natives.


Arvio: Puheessa yritetään kieli keskellä suuta saavuttaa sellainen kultainen keskitie, missä ulkomaalaisia voidaan arvostella mutta niin, että ei varsinaisesti hairahduta rasismin puolelle. Arvostelun kärki on raha-asioissa; ei ulkonäössä, uskonnossa, rodussa tai sukupuolessa. Tällaisenaan puhe valaa uskoa siihen, että voi olla myös Maahanmuuttokritiikkiä pelkän silkan Rasismin ohella. Väitellessä olisi hyvä, jos ulkomaalaisasioissa voitaisiin tehdä ”tiukka” aloite, sillä mikä olisi parempi lähtökohta kiinnostavalle debatille. Mielipiteidenkään ei tarvitse olla tarkasti ottaen omia vaan virikkeitä voi saada tutuilta, kaduilta tai internetistä.

Never Too Late to Stretch One’s Education

Normaali

Viikko 42



Date
: Jul 11th, 2015
Motion
: THB that learning is lifelong
Role: Rep. (gov.)


I want to lecture you on the ways of language learning and language in general. I’ve divided my speech into three parts: syntax, semantics, and their union. I hope that each section contributes a little to your understanding of the subject matter, deviating a little from the conventional view.

SYNTAX
Syntax is like a lattice or a grid or grill that makes up the different pathways of speech. You can avoid certain words or certain parts of the syntax that you are not familiar with, but you cannot avoid syntax altogether, as your flow has to make sense. I draw my example from Swedish, but I’d say that this applies across the board to many more European languages as well.

Your fluency in Swedish is a direct result from how many ”correct choices” you make when you’re formulating your flow as an incessant stream of words. You can make four types of specifically right/wrong choices on a constant basis: the declension (with nouns and adjectives), conjugations (with verbs), determination (with nouns, adjectives and numerals) and prepositions (with any word class). Then there is the shifting word order, but it is less important. If you make correct choices all the time, you could be said to be speak Swedish at an A level. If you make, on the other hand, incorrect choices at every turn, you’d be speaking closer to an F level, or you’d be a ”failure” as a meaningful communicator, no matter how much you would have things to say ultimately. It’s as simple and ruthless as that.

SEMANTICS
Is there a formula for making sense of the lexicon, then? If syntax is like a lattice, then words are the squares that form between the pathway lines of the latticework. They may be ”lit” (if they are familiar words) or ”dark” (if they’re unfamiliar words). If you do not know a certain word, you can always bypass the awkward situation by travelling via the syntax grid to a part of the lexicon that you do know.

Furthermore, you benefit greatly, if you meet four requirements in the mastery of a well-internalized lexicon. You have to know a) Synonyms for the key words that you use a lot, b) Idioms in other people’s speech (that you don’t have to use), c) New, novel words that have come to use very recently and d) Some obsolete words that are no longer in use. If you pass through all of these lexical ”gates” all or most of the time, you can be said to speak a language on an A level.

syntaksi-ja-semantiikka-sov

UNION OF SYNTAX AND SEMANTICS
Language is a funny creature. Knowing it begins at home, schools and university, but once the rudiments or basics of both the lexicon and syntax have been internalised, the process and the product begin to lead a life of their own. When you have the lattice in place with some areas lit vocabulary-wise, you can fill up the rest and repair a possibly (and likely) broken lattice in just being in touch with the literature, people and the press of the said people behind the said language. In knowing a little or downright a lot, you get the rest in place by contact and conscious effort.

In this way, one can never really say that schools failed oneself in terms of language teaching. It was  n e v e r  meant to be comprehensive, even for the straight-A students. The staff tried to teach you, but you just did not make the deposit on your account that’s required for proficiency. You may blame the system and those working within it, yourself or bad luck, but the truth that remains is that not all of linguistic proficiency can ever be taught academically or intramurally, that is, within the walls of a school. The rest has to be learned in comprehensive contact. Learning doesn’t stop at 20. Or 30.

Thank you.


Kesto: 4 min 28 sek
Arvio
: Puhe on omiaan niille, joita kieliasiat kiinnostavat, vaikka kyse ei ole välttämättä edes puolesta luokallisesta ihmisiä. Siinä tulee minuuteilleen riittävästi asiaa, kiva teoria, symmetrinen esittely ja rauhallinen esitystapa. Se ei myöskään voine kilpailla edellisen parivaljakon kanssa samasta substanssista. Viimeiselle puhujalle jää kuitenkin töitä, eikä apuja, jotta hän voi vetää langat yhteen.

Studio Syyria

Normaali

Viikko 41


 

Pistin edellisviikolla viestin debattiohjelmaan, joka tulee kanavalta 5 torstaina kello viittä vaille 8. Keskustelemassa olivat rauhannainen Laura, älymystön presidenttiehdokas Pekka, russologi Hanna ja hyväntekeväisyysjärjestön Andreas. Aiheena oli Syyrian jatkuva ahdinko ja se, kuinka mahdotonta kansakuntaa on auttaa, kun sen laillinen hallitsija ei tunnu haluavan muuta kuin että kokonaiset kaupungit leviävät käsiin kameroiden kuvatessa. Ehkä tästä syystä tämäkään keskustelu ei oikeastaan ollut väittely sanan normaalissa merkityksessä. Oikeassa väittelyssä oltaisiin voitu jopa taittaa peistä al-Assadin hyvyydestä toimissaan (niin että häntä oltaisiin puolustettu ’paholaisen asianajajan’ ominaisuudessa) tai ainakin niiden keinojen hyvyydestä tai huonoudesta, joilla lopettaa konflikti. Illan väittelyssä kaikki tuntuivat olevan Assadin suhteen samalla skandinaavisella, pyörittelen-silmiäni-puolella, ja keinoistakaan ei oltu niinkään erimielisiä kuin enemmänkin neuvottomia, jolloin luonnollista debattia ei synny. Siinä, missä on asioita, joista ”kaikilla on mielipide” (kuten esimerkiksi Yhdysvaltain presidentin persoona), tuntuu Syyrian kriisi olevan yksi niistä asioista, joista ”kenelläkään ei ole mielipidettä”. Enkä ihmettele sitä. Monet tietävät Syyriasta vain sen, että Damaskos on sen pääkaupunki ja että se on osa Lähi-idän epävakaita, häilyväisiä valtioita, nk. Lähi-idän ruutitynnyriä.

Tiedän kuitenkin, että mahdottomatkin debatit ovat mahdollisia, jos joillakuilla osallistujista on vain oma etu tai perheen intressi pelissä tai panoksena, joten Syyriastakin saisi keskustelun aikaiseksi, jos näin olisi. Maaparka on niin lähellä mutta niin Syyriässä (äännä [syrjässä]).

Laittamassani viestissä oli se idea, että meidän kotimainen demokratiamme on niin kovin kohteliasta, oikeusvaltiovetoista sekä synnintuntoista verrattuna Lähi-idän pappisvetoiseen politikointiin tai demoniseen diktatuuriin. Alussa nostin esiin Mona Sahlinin, naapurimaa Ruotsin demaripoliitikon, joka joutui eroamaan ostettuaan veronmaksajien rahoilla itselleen sveitsiläisen suklaapatukan (ja vähän muutakin, yhteensä muutaman tonnin arvosta). Sitten kontrastoin sen al-Assadin meininkiin. Kun mietin, mitä laitan, otin lopulta retorisen deviisini itsellenikin yllätysnimeltä, Ted Cruzilta, joka oli republikaanien ehdokas vielä vuosi sitten USA:n presidenttikisassa. Hän sanoi jossakin vaiheessa suurin piirtein näin, ”en tiedä voiko hiekka hehkua pimeässä, mutta senpä saamme nähdä sitten, kun mattopommitamme niitä alueita, joilla ISIL lymyilee.” Cruzin lausuma on tietenkin arveluttava — epämoraalinen, nationalistinen ja omahyväinen — mutta sen TÄYTYY olla retorisesti tehokas, jos kuitenkin valitsin sen aikapaineessa virkkeeni ponnekaasuksi. Moraalisesti ihminen voi olla mitä tahansa, vaan se ei estä häntä olemasta retorisesti jotakin todella huonon ja todella hyvän väliltä. Ainoa epävarmuuteni liittyy Syyrian teokratian ”syntisyyteen”. Koko konfliktilla ei välttämättä ole mitään tekemistä islamistisen papiston kanssa, vaan se on vain tyyppiesimerkki diktatuurin (= yhden ihmisen, klaanin tai puolueen) sortavista toimenpiteistä siviilejä kohtaan, jonka pontimena on pelkästään raha ja valta eikä mikään ideologia.

Tällaisen tviitin laitoin >>>

kontribuutio-6-10-16

Jos arvioin näin jälkikäteen, minne olisin sijoittunut puoleni suhteen debatissa, sikäli kuin siinä oli puolia, olisin luultavasti istahtanut riikinruotsia ei-natiivina viäntäneen Hannan viereen, jos vetäjä Markus olisi näyttänyt vihreää valoa, sillä hänen sanomisensa olivat jälkikäteen arvioituna niitä, joista sain etäisesti edes vähän otetta. Siinä missä hän puhui tilanteen ulkopoliittisista taustoista vähän varovaisesti (~ gingerly), olisin jatkanut samoja ajatuksia edemmäksi ja ehkä vähän spekuloinutkin asioiden todellisia laitoja.


 

To the Strains of His Master’s Voice

Normaali

Viikko 40


 

Date: Sep 30th, 2016
Motion: THW consider UKK’s legacy taller than his quarter of a century in power
Role: M (gov.)


Finland has been able to produce a generation of able conductors and composers of Classical music in the past quarter of a century, or so it is said and stated, at least domestically. Esa-Pekka Salonen was hired by the L.A. Philharmonic for over a decade, and this occurred probably not without merit or for no reason.

However, the reasons for this upswing or modest artistic renaissance are far more banal and pedestrian than you might think.

This is how it has evolved. Finland is a country of a myriad communities dominated by the Centre Party, which has probably no clear equivalent abroad. Its former name was the Agrarian League, so that hints at its past and present agenda, but no words can begin to exhaust how much and how it has influenced Finnish policy-making and politics during the postwar period. Let’s leave that to Jarmo Korhonen (the erstwhile party secretary, who was fired and who has spent his time since writing revelatory books about the party). The ”hayday” of the party was between 1956 and 1982, when the President’s incumbency was occupied term after term by Urho K. Kekkonen, the longest-serving and most unilateral president we have seen or will ever see. He was a Centrist, and he fostered a generation of future Centrists, some of whom have left their mark, as well, after 1982.

Now, what characterises a small rural community in Finland is an adherence to the Centre Party and a dull environment, where only the bare necessities of communal life are available. These communities recognize the value of culture. Instinctively, they choose the middle ground if the choice is between folk music and popular music. Folk music is too rudimentary and rustic for them while rock music is alien to them, so they opt for Classical music. Classical is enjoyed by the community’s few members of the elite, has clear and finite, almost mathematical rules and can be used for shoring up the image of the countryside.

Then, those who have an inherent aptitude for music, seek out the community’s music school, or, in the best case, Conservatory. When trained from the age of 6 to 18 or 8 to 16, the student will certainly gain enough musical fluency, musical literacy and musical performance potential within the Classical. As years go by, the music class becomes a guarantee against drifting into mischief. Then later, some of these musical hopefuls might apply to the Sibelius or some other academy at the time to leave home and seek out opportunity. Once through the conducting or composing class of a premier academy, which should take from 4 to 8 years to finish depending on the ”extracurriculars”, the original citizen from a Centre-Party-ruled community from the middle of nowhere would be ready to wield the baton in front of other musicians. This doesn’t require genius. It requires certain growing pains, normal ears and normal social competence. If we consider music just another language, speaking that language should not be any kind of ”miracle”.

I claim that the long presidency of famous Centre Partist UKK created the so-called classical-music miracle in Finland. If I’m right, most of the people associated with it abroad and/or domestically should have been born during UKK’s reign that lasted from 1956 to 1982. I say check if it’s true in the case of the person:

  • Esa-Pekka Salonen: check
  • Kaija Saariaho: cross
  • Karita Mattila: check
  • Jukka-Pekka Saraste: check
  • John Storgårds: check
  • Susanna Mälkki: check
  • Sakari Oramo: check
  • Anu Komsi: check
  • Pekka Kuusisto: check
  • Mikko Franck: check

It seems that I got a great many checks, 9 out of 10. I think this goes to prove that ”UKK’s legacy, taller than his quarter of a century in power?” is true.

Thank you.


Puheen kesto: 4 min 44 sek
Arvio: * * * *. Puhe on ihan hyvä, vaikka vähän lyhyt. Ansiokkainta siinä on vahva väite ja lopussa tuleva lista, joka vaikuttaisi puoltavan puheen esittämää kuin paraskin ARGUMENTTI. Huonointa on se, että aloitteen käsittelemää asiaa on ehkä vähän vaikea vastustaa, jolloin pallo on alusta lähtien hallituksen kenttäpuoliskolla jatkuvalla syötöllä. Tälle ei voi nyt mitään. Puhetta on kiva kuunnella ja se vie asiat ”jonnekin muualle” hukkaamatta fokusta, niin kuin kolmannen puolen puheen kuuluu parhaimmillaan tehdä. Siksi neljä tähteä.