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Finland’s Independence . . . and ours
Dec 6th, 2017 by Dr Karma

It’s Finnish Independence Day! In fact, it’s the 100th anniversary.

Happy Anniversary, Finland!

On this day in 1917, Finland broke free from Russia. Historically, Finland had to break free a lot–its neighbors didn’t respect it, but the Finn’s sisu (a uniquely Finnish characteristic involving perseverance and stubbornness and quiet resolve) has freed it time and again and kept its culture and language unique.

(Independence did not, by the way, stop Russia from re-invading during WWII. And for some reason, the Finns had to pay a war debt for defending their own country. Apparently, since the allies won, and since Russia was an ally, the Finns were supposed to just say, “sure, c’mon in, the sauna is all warmed up for you.”)

When I was in Finland several years ago, I spotted this painting in the national museum:

I was drawn to it immediately.

“Yeah, girl! Protect that book!”

Of course, I discovered it wasn’t just celebrating bibliophilia.

The woman is the maiden of Finland, defending the rule of law against the Russian eagle.

As we celebrate Finnish independence today, let’s all take a moment to consider the sad fact that we need a picture just like this, with the Statue of Liberty instead. Or Mueller. Or a donkey.

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A lack of empathy
Oct 7th, 2013 by Dr Karma

Usually, I can understand why the other side is doing what it’s doing, even if I don’t agree.

I understand that pro-lifers put the life of a fetus above everything else, even above the fact that the outlawing of abortion has historically been correlated with higher rates of abortion. I don’t think most pro-lifers are evil (the ones who would murder for it are)–I just wish they would put their energy into assuring that women have access to good birth control and sex education and that the babies who are born are born with good health care etc., since I find it SO problematic when lifers are fine with letting babies, but not fetuses, die.

I get the fiscal libertarian view, which is: “this is my money, don’t touch it. You and your child can go die in that ditch, there, no–that’s my ditch–THAT ditch over there–the one off my property.” I do think it’s evil, but I get it.

I get why the Republican leadership are against Obamacare. It’s because they’re on the side of business. They want the insurance company to have the freedom to spend as much of their profit on their shareholders and paperwork as they want (Obama wants them to use it on patients). They want the insurance company to have the freedom to not insure me, to turn me down for procedures, to drop me when I get too expensive. They tell me they don’t want the government to get between me and my doctor–that’s the insurance company’s job!!! I get it.

But I don’t get the shut down.

The law passed.

We elected the guy. Twice.

When W got elected the second time (the first time, really), he said he had a mandate and that he was going to use it.

Republicans ignored the law and the mandate and sued, and the Supreme Court said sorry, and so here we are.

I’m trying to imagine applying this logic to my life. There’s A bill I don’t want to pay. So I don’t pay any of them. And I tell the people I owe money to that it’s what they want and that it’s for their own good. It’s for their freedom!

I think I’d get locked up. I would at least get sued and kicked out of my house and a bunch of my shit would stop working. Republicans are half complaining that national parks are closed and half crowing that only the national parks are closed (not true–lots of things are affected–but they haven’t decided on just one message here).

And I can’t get my head around it. When I hear people say we need to find a compromise with these people, I scream, “No, we don’t!” or “What compromise?”

And this is how America becomes divided.

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