The Trump Update

If you followed this blog during Bush Junior’s presidency you may remember I was quite hard with my Bush bashing back then. So when this whole Trump fiasco got started I thought about writing stuff. But I thought it’s being covered enough by mainstream media, even in Sweden, so I really don’t need to do it. But after the weekend I think I just have.

What I think is the most annoying thing that as an independant observer from over here everything he does and says is so predictable and easy to see through! For example his fued with the media is him starting campaigning for re-election by trying to make people question the media and the reporting of this presidency! So even if he fuck’s up and don’t manage to do anything he wants to do and sends to country backwards, the people that are supposed to report it aren’t credible if he get’s his way and he’ll be able to fool the voters again! If the people are so gullible than he’s already re-elected! I just don’t get how people can be so gullible to buy into the horseshit he’s selling in the first place!

I mean, there is a guy that grabs women by the pussy, a man with no insight or respect for international politics, who has billions to profit from a presidency, a guy who wants all the power but zero accountability and zero transparency, a guy who thinks everyone should have a gun or even two because that would make everyone safer, a guy who thinks global warming is a hoax because of one chilly day in NY, a guy with hundreds of failed projects in his past (steak anyone?), a clear racist and homophobe.. I mean, I just don’t know where to stop! Any one of these would have failed anyone else running but not him. And unfortunately it’s the exact same thing in Sweden with our “Sweden Democrats” who have one .. “incident” after another that would have been disasterous for any other party. But because they are “outsiders” and “not apart of the establishment” they get away with.

What tha f*ck is wrong with you people? I’m getting upset even thinking about the state of the world in 4 years…

Globalization & The Brexit

So that happened – UK voted for leaving the EU. I, as a swede, shouldn’t bother too much, right? Well I do. A helluvalot!!

It’s not only because half of my family and a few friends are Brits or are currently living & working in the UK, although that’s a very good reason to care. It’s not only because I’m working for a company owned by Brits. No, it’s not that small, narrow minded, shortsighted or personal.

It’s a freaking issue of mankinds survival! Bare with me here!

The fact that we are overspending the resources on this planet isn’t even in question (“Earth Overshoot Day“). That we are poisoning it and overpopulating it like bunnies, those are all facts. So we need to grow as civilized & evolved creatures and let go of the archaic notion of nations, of mankind’s made-up stuff like borders and currency. To realise that when an earthquake hits it doesn’t stop because it crosses a border. When the ocean’s rise it’s not going to stop because this country signed a treaty! When a flood hits it’s not going to care about your economic growth!

We need to grow beyond thinking of “my country” & “my people” (I cringe everytime I hear the words “my people” in The 100 which Clarke says ALOT!). Every leader in the world is protecting their country and their people which noone can blame them for – but is it productive in the long run? I know it sounds like a “Star Trek” sci-fi fantasy but I wish the entire Earth was just one big country, with one currency and one interest – to save the planet, stop hunger, cure diseases and most of all reach for the stars! Because if we stop hunger and cure diseases we will need another planet pretty soon. And none of that is going to happen if people are only interested in looking after their country, their little piece on this Earth. And after the second world war when EU was created it was a good step towards globalization. This was a huge step back and I can only hope it stops with UK because if the EU falls apart there’s no telling how it’ll end up for mankind!

The “Swedish Democrats” issue

The other fallout from the election in Sweden is that the independant party “Sverige Demokraterna” (“Swedish Democrats”) got 13%. They are a party with a very racists heritage. Their representatives, from local politicians to member of parliament are time and time again caught being very racists. Yet they got almost 13% of the votes. That’s 1 in 8 people that voted for them. Now everyone is asking if 13% of the voters are racists, or they voted on them to show discontent at the other established parties, or because they were charmed by their leader Jimmi Åkesson, or what was it. One of the best comments made during the election from the blue party was when Jan Björklund (leader of the blue FP party) said “you can’t simply dismiss their voters as disillusioned idiots or racists – you have to take the debate, you have to listen to them and argue with them and their arguments”. And that was before when we feared they would get over 10% – not when they actually got 13%! Personally I agree with their point that there is a problem that we are accepting too many immigrants compared to what our infrastructure and budget allows. Their opinion is that we should have a much harder policy on accepting immigrants. But one may also see the need to up our infrastructure instead. Start building and expanding!

Because unlike the image they (“SD”) want to project, immigrants don’t come here and just collect welfare. They do contribute alot, there’s no question about that. And the ones that don’t have jobs don’t necessarily don’t want jobs, I think quite the opposite – if given the chance they’d love to bring home the bacon. And that means taxes -> bigger budget for infrastucture.
Because if you think immigrants are only collecting welfare I dare you to run a hospital, the railway, hell even Stockholm without them!

So if the swedish government is guilty of anything it’s not accepting too many, it’s not keeping up with the flow and built the increased infrastructure!

That’s what I think anyway.

The Election

In case you missed it it was election time here in Sweden as is customary every 4th year. I don’t know if it’s a sign that I’m getting old or what, but I’m actually really following this. I say “following” because it’s not really done yet even though the voting is closed!

I have for the third time voted for the environmentalists. There is only one party that puts the environment over economic growth. We have one green party that says they put them on the same priority but as we in the western world should realise by now is that they are unfortunately mutually exclusive. In our global world you can’t produce anything 100% green and be competetive with say the chineese for example. There’s a reason 99% of all Apple products are produced in China. So for me there was really only one choice (or as my favorite saying goes “it’s not a choice, it’s a lack of options” (from “Armageddon”)). And unlike last election it seemed that the red-green block would win this election over the “blue” alliance which they ultimately did. But not by much. Actually they only won with “enough” to outvote them but not “enough” to have a majority on their own. Which has created alot of commotion in all the different parties and blocks trying to for a new alliance led by the reds, instead of the blues, but still consisting of some blues.

For me I want the green enviromental party to get a majority on their own so they don’t have to make compromises at all. But unfortunately we’re not there yet, maybe in the next 4 years the situation is so bad for mother Earth that they actually will get a majority – we don’t know. As one of their leaders said in the campaign which sums up my opinion – “we are the first generation that knows, have the hard facts, that indeed we are destroying the planet, yet we’re doing nothing about it. How can we defend that when our children asks ‘you knew, why didn’t you do anything about it?'”. But I’m not really a big fan of them ending up in a government with the previously mentioned blue-green party (“Centern”) since they’ve dropped the ball so hard on so many things, everything from the SAAB fiasco, the Nuon fuckup and Vattenfall investing in more coal-driven energy in Germany. So not a fan of that.

But the option that unfortunately isn’t too far away is for an extra election to be had when the budget proposals from the different blocks go head to head. If everyone goes 100% with what they are saying today it shouldn’t be a problem. The red-greens will get their budget voted through because they have more votes than they blues. And SD, the block-free “we don’t want no more immigrants but we’re not racists even though most of out representatives are caught again and again posting very racist things on different forums”-party, aren’t going to vote for the blue party since it’s too immigration-friendly. So the red-greens should get their budget through. But there’s still uncertainty in the air and politicians are knows for not keeping what they are saying. Which is actually a good thing that people can change their minds.

We’ll see how it goes later this year.

I started writing about that “not racists, but”-party “Sverige Demokraterna” but it got so long that I’ll save that post for tomorrow…

Election Time

It’s almost election time in Sweden. And the Facebook feed is full of people posting lists and carefully chosen statistics about how bad things will be if you vote this way or how terrible Sweden was when “the other guys” had the power – alot of that shit. And I get annoyed when I see that because when I load Facebook I actually prefer to see lighthearted stuff like baby-pictures or YouTube vids rather than politics. I hope my friends will tone that down so I don’t have to clean my friendslist!

Personally – well things haven’t changed much in the past 8 years. The planet is still in overconsumer mode (guilty!) completely disregarding the fact it can’t take it and mother nature is fighting back constantly yet there’s only one political party that thinks protecting the planet is more important than economic growth. And now that I have a son (that just started wathing a movie about a turtle going from here to there and seeing how humans are destroying the planet) I feel it’s even more important than ever for.

But that’s what I feel. It’s a free country and as long as it doesn’t get any worse I’m not going to force my opinion on anyone.

It’s A Lockdown

So Obama is coming to town this Wednesday. Although our government, and especially Bildt, are very eager to brag about it. But I wonder if they ever stopped and wonder if we, the people, even want that. Because you see, we had Condoleza Rice here about 5 years ago and that was a nightmare for the traffic in the entire Stockholm-region. I was sitting in queues for over an hour in a tunnel because of it. But now it’s the president which means it’s going to be atleast 10 times worse!

Today “they” declared that driving a car on Wednesday and Thursday was the most stupid thing you can imagine because basically the entire region will be shutdown for this. My question is – who’s paying for it? People will either stay home, be in queues for hours or take the trains resulting in overload of the train system with queues there too. Either way, people and companies are going to lose a lot of money and man hours on this. Not to mention taxi- and truck-drivers and everyone else who drives around in Stockholm for a living! It’s going to be total and utter chaos costing companies and people a lot of money. And who okay’s things like this in the first place, or is it just an order from above “make it happen” and we, the foot soldiers, just have to live with the consequences?! I really don’t get it. And it doesn’t help that the traffic system in Stockholm today will literally get shutdown if you cut off the E4, which they are going to do. There aren’t any other roads that can handle the traffic and there is noway to get around Stockholm. So this is going to be chaos. And usually I should be able to work from home – but this week I’m attending a course about EpiServer so I’m definitely going to have to go into the heart of Stockholm both of these days. Wish me luck. 🙂

 

Is Money More Important Than The World

Sorry but I’m about to go very political and existential on your asses so buckle up!

I dunno if you heard, but Greenpeace did a pretty fancy job of taking a swing at Shell during their biggest PR event of the year, the Belgian Grand Prix. If you missed it, here’s the clip.

Also I recently saw the SG1 episode “Fallout” in which a planet with 3 major powers who never can agree on anything is about to blow up. The entire planet, yet they can’t get along even in the face of imminent wipeout. I also remember when the Kyoto Protocol was up for voting the US president said that they couldn’t agree with it because “it would hinder their economic growth”. And a few weeks ago, Vattenfall (the biggest producer of energy in Sweden) went on TV and answered the question “don’t you have a responsibility to invest more in greener energy sources?” with “we also have a responsibility to our shareholders to make a profit”.

Here’s a thought. You know that pandemic people seems to be convinced is coming, that will be majorly contagious and infectious, will kill people without prejudice and threaten mankind’s existence as the dominant species? Well I’m thinking it’s already here and it’s called “greed”.

I’m all for making a profit. But not at the expense of people’s life or the health of the planet! Ever since the industrial revolution we have poisoned this planet more and more and we can try to blame our parents or grandparents for it, but the difference is they probably didn’t know it was causing the damage it was. Well my generation has been brought up knowing we’re destroying the planet. And when people use the excuse of making money to defend the destruction of the planet I get upset- Because we know the effect our way of life is having yet we seem unable – or even worse, unwilling! – to change.

I wish I could make more of a difference, but I’m content with donating money to Greenpeace and voting for the Swedish environment party!

It’s Been 10 Days Dude!

I dunno, not much is happening in my life to report on. I could go on about how I hate the world politicians for being too nice in regards to the current Isreal vs Palestine conflict but that get’s old very quickly, and me going on about it isn’t gonna do jack shit, babies and children are still being bombed and killed. It kinda makes everything else seem small in comparison.

But work is moving along nicely, still learning a lot every day. But I still hate computers – I’m trying to have HTPCs everywhere at home now that the online streaming is becoming a reality, it’s good to have a computer connected to the TVs and projector. But building HTPC’s and trying to make them efficient yet quiet enough is quite challenging, something I found out when watching the latest Batman movie which is almost 3 hours long which really heated that computer up! The latest F1 race from USA was almost ruined because I installed a new quiet CPU cooler on my HTPC that wouldn’t start after putting it back together again. So had to tear it down (my wife said it looked like it had been raped and pillaged) and eventually got it working and now it’s quiet, but still idling at 45 C which is way too much really.

Anyway, other than that, my son Sam is learning the language really really quickly now, every day he’s learning new things and putting words on feelings – “Wall-E is sad”!

Win For Swedish Legal System

If you’re swedish, read this. If you’re not, let me summarize. An expert and translator of Manga (animated stuff from Japan) here in Sweden was caught with some animated magazines and images portraying animated 12-13 year old characters in sexual context. So they raided his home and computer and found alot of it. So he was charged with one of the worst accusations – posession of child pornography. The reason was – this was children in sexual context and it didn’t matter that it was animated and thereby without victim, it was the fact that this guy had these in his possession and, supposedly, enjoyed to look at it. And they didn’t care that this was his job. He was found guilty by the first two courts but today the supreme court acquitted him on the grounds that it was animated and could not be confused with the real thing.

And I gotta give credit to the guy for defending this and taking it all the way. And he didn’t hide away or try to cover himself, he publicly admitted to having these things but didn’t agree it was a crime to have them, if anything they should go after the “twisted mind” (his words) that created them.

Two problems with this story:
1) So the state decided to put a man on trial for what he likes to look at? … I mean I would seriously want to give any person who watch child pornography for enjoyment a good beating and yes it’s illegal, but really, if it gives the state that much power to put a person on trial for what he likes to look at, where could that end?
2) This has set a legal precedent for whoever makes these godforsaken images and films to just add a filter in post production to make it look animated and it’d be completely legal to sell in Sweden! Somewhere someone has to decide what constitutes “animated” and where that line is drawn.

I really hope the lawmakers sit down to go through this decision and comes up with some way to handle this. And all I can say is … Lawmakers, tread carefully!

PLAYING JACK BAUER

So did you hear about the Swedish police and DA playing Jack Bauer last week? The story, as reported by our media, is that some woman claims she overheard a man talking Arabic (which wasn’t her primary language) on his cell phone talking about blowing up a shopping mall in Gothenburg. She reported it to the Swedish police who realized they didn’t have all the time in the world to investigate everything and after getting the logs from the closest cell phone station they narrowed it down to the 4 palistinians. And they were promptly arrested.
That far I can’t really blame them. They couldn’t risk this women being wrong or risk an actual bomb in the most crowded place in Gothenburg. So I totally understand them borrowing the pages from “24” and shooting from the hips. I can actually applaud them for having the balls to make the call. ‘Cause if it had been a real threat and they had hesitated it’d been far worse.

Unfortunately though they weren’t just arrested, the police brutally stormed their houses/apartments with little respect to anything else than getting these guys arrested. And everything after this seems to have been one fuck up after another. After checking one piece of evidence after another they should have realized they fucked up and just dropped it and owed up to it. But here we are a year afterwards and all the so called evidence is just wrong and this woman that reported it have turned out to be far from a reliable witness and so far no one is even close to saying “we were wrong”. And the problem that really bites me is that until someone owes up to the fact that they made a mistake, they (as in our justice system) won’t learn anything from it or change how they work. And that’ll lead to this might actually happen again! Cause the only way to improve something is finding the problem and fixing it. If everyone keeps on saying, and god forbid actually believing, that everything they did was correct, then I’m really kinda worried.

But I can’t say I envy the guy who has to make the call – arrest four people on vague evidence or risk a bomb going off killing countless civilians. When Jack Bauer makes the call he’s the tough guy and it’s entertaining. Difference is, when Jack is wrong, which happens from time to time, he doesn’t go hiding.

WELL THAT WORKED OUT WELL

So the “great” result of the summit about global warming last week was… “keep on going as we’re going right now while we think about it some more, keep on polluting and praying for a technical breakthrough that’ll solve all our problems overnight”. And it took Canada a whole 2 days to say “if the biggest baddies of greenhouse emissions isn’t in, why should we?” which kinda makes sense. But as long as none of the leaders risk losing the next election because they agreed to some ridiculous demand that might help, then I guess all is fine and dandy.

It’s at times like this you want some global rule that no head of state should ever be able to be relected no matter what. ‘Cause that seems to be the only way for them to have balls. And speaking of balls, sweden sent Lena Ek to that summit. Might as well have sent Miss Piggy.

THE ENVIRONMENT AGAIN

Everyone who knows what’s going down in Durban right now raise your hands… anybody? …

Well all the worlds governments ministers in charge of environment are gathering to discuss what we can do about the state of the climate. Last time it was in Copenhagen and the only result of the meeting was all the jetfuel that was burnt up by all the planes there. It’s a bit sad when you have a conference to talk about lowering emissions and in comes a big ass jumbojet to deliver one person…

ANYWAY, I’m far from an expert at economics or the environment, but it seems to me pretty stupid. We have countries that doesn’t wanna be on the same side as other countries for various reasons. And we have some countries that feels that changing their ways will hurt their economy. And we have politicians that doesn’t wanna give in or take a bullet or anything because they wanna be reelected. Meanwhile we have a planet that’s drowning. It won’t be fun in 30-40 years is the sea level rises a few meters flooding the major cities around the world, it won’t even be fun watching those finances and borderes literally washed away.

As for me.. well I’m already taking the train and live in a modern low energy home and leasing a brand new little car that doesn’t consume much gas so I think I’m doing my part atleast.