Thursday, May 03, 2007

Finland; Oh, Finland!

Well, I just called the Finnish Embassy in Washington, D.C. (1-202-298-5800) to speak about Mikko Ellila - the blogger/writer who is being questioned by local Finnish police for writing the truth about Islam on his blog. This is a real strike in the face of freedom of speech in Finland and it is a mark against the Finnish government. I was lucky on my first call and actually spoke with someone at the Finnish Embassy who was polite and courteous. That person shall remain nameless so as not to get that person in trouble for being decent. That person indicated that did not sound very "Finnish". I agreed. I shared with this person how we in the USA hold Finland in high regard and especially in their support of the freedoms of their people. Later - just now, I called the office of the Deputy Chief of Mission, Ann Lammila (sp) at 1-202-298-5803. The person identified themselves as "Ann", said "Thank you" and hung up on me the second I mentioned the name of Mikko Ellila. Alas, courtesy and diplomatic behavior from one representative from Finland on one hand, and rude behavior out of the office of the second in command at the Finnish Embassy. Too bad really, I was so polite. Maybe now I know that Mikko doesn't stand a chance, not if his hopes rest in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Finnish Embassy. Don't waste your time calling the office of the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Finnish Embassy unless you are one of the "protected" in Finland. We'll see how protected Mikko's freedoms are. Just about as protected as yours and mine unless you are of the "protected" group. And if you are not a practitioner of the "Religion of Peace", your freedoms may be fading fast - so fast that illegal immigrants from Mexico swarming into our nation may look like "saviors".


Blogger Ontario Emperor said...

But are all freedom of speech cases worthy of universal blogosphere praise, and should no freedom of speech case EVER be investigated? As has been noted, the fact that the police are following up on a report may not necessarily indicate the beginning of the Dark Ages, nor should a rude government official (horrors!) indicate that Mikko will end up in a Lapland labor camp.

While on the surface (and I don't read Finnish) it shouldn't be a crime to indiscriminately use the term "fascist," I'm not yet convinced that the world is about to end.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Beach Girl said...

Nor am I, yet if investigated is it a "freedom of speech" case then. We have laws for slander and libel.

On the rude government official - I think she was so flustered that she just didn't want to hear one more word or the name Mikko ever again.

In this case, as I now understand it, the "crime" was publishing government statistics. Now that can be a crime if that bit of information gets out to an unsuspecting public.

Thank you for stopping by.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BeachGirl: I've seen your comment on Mikko's blog "We Americans are just woefully illiterate when it comes to speaking, reading, writing many languages" – It's in Finnish! Finish, being of the Ugro-Finn group of languages is very rare, and without proper incentive (moving to Finland, falling in love with a Finn) , there is little practical value in learning it. Except, perhaps for Professor Tolkien... but he was special :)

What I meant to say is that knowledge of foreign languages is usually borne out of need, and since English is World's second language, there is little actual need for Americans (and English, Australians, Canadians, Kiwis etc.) to master any but their own... however, when necessity arises, I've experienced that you Americans are not any less motivated or capable to overcome any language barriers that might be on your way…

6:58 PM  
Blogger Beach Girl said...

Thank you, 7of3 - I published a comment and I don't know where it went. Will try again later.

8:20 PM  

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