laupäev, mai 19, 2007

The Urve Palo Fan Club

Is it just me, or has Rahvastikuminister Urve Palo been getting attention in recent weeks that isn't exactly commensurate with the amount of media attention given to other newly sworn in ministers? I am still waiting for ten hours in the life of Helir-Valdor Seeder.

46 kommentaari:

Lea ütles ...

but she's so much more beautiful than he his. and we still are proud of the "estonian beauty", aren't we. or is it out of fashion by now?

martintg ütles ...

Kristiina Ojuland has a similar effect, a real hottie.

Kristjan ütles ...

I disagree. Kristina Ojuland is a pointless babe who should be kept as far away from the affairs of state as possible. ;-)

Palo, on the other hand, is a "good egg". :-)

Seeder is a good one, also. It's probably just that matters of integration have been far more prominent in recent times than matters of agriculture - that's why noone cares about young Helir-Valdor. :-P

somebody ütles ...

All the ministers are being interviewed at Reporteritund

http://www.vikerraadio.ee/index.php?lang=est&main_id=922

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

What about Signe Ratso? Once I've met her, member of a delegation of otherwise grey Estonian male politicians and 'businessmen', she was outstanding.

tambourine man ütles ...

Please somebody reply to Mark Ames to what he has written here. http://www.exile.ru/2007-May-18/burn_baltics_burn.html

martintg ütles ...

Mark Ames is a long time supporter of Eduard Limonov and his National Bolshevik Party, nobody takes him seriously.

martintg ütles ...

p.s. the following article, titled "The Jews: Where Are They Now?" confirms Mark Ames is also an anti-semite:
http://www.exile.ru/2007-May-18/feature_story.html

Giustino ütles ...

Urve just looks like your average woman from Haapsalu. Don't they all look like that there?

Giustino ütles ...

Ames writes:

Given the choice between walking upright like the Westerners they claim to be, or behaving like knuckle-dragging monkeys, the Estonians and Latvians chose old-style European village fascism. And for that, I believe they should be booted out of NATO and the keys to their borders handed back to Russia to do with as they please.

Here Ames subconsciously backs the USSR's actions in the Baltics choosing the old "they're subhuman, therefore they are not deserving of empathy or respect" route in his argument.

Next Ames writes:

For the past decade or so, I've been waiting for the Baltics to get a little come-uppance. Partly out of affinity with the Russians, and partly because of the Baltic people's vile record in WW II towards Jews and Slavs, a record shameful even by Europe-of-the-40s standards.

He continues his neo-Soviet deconstruction of the Baltic right to exist.

And then he writes:

In the summer of 2004, as the U.S.-trained Georgian army tried to take back the breakaway ethnic enclave of South Ossetia by force, Cottrell published an article in Transitions Online titled, "Time to challenge Russia." It is one of the most shameless examples in dehumanization-propaganda imaginable, recalling the sort of genocidal British rhetoric used to deny the grievances of the Kikuyu in Kenya, the Irish, and any other people who didn't accept their role as grateful subjects:

In the end it comes down to whom you support and have an affinity for. Arguments can be crafted in this or that way. At its heart, the anti-Estonian argument basically denies the existence of Estonian national self interest.
Quite obviously I accept Estonian national self interest and support it.

Furthermore, I reject the idea that Russia -- as proven by its miniscule investment in Estonia to date -- has any real legitimate interest in this country. I believe that Russian interest in Estonia is led along by what are essentially lingering colonial whinyness of an empire in a long decline.

As an American you can find Britons today that similarly whinge about the American's decision to divorce the British government from its politics. And that was 231 years ago.

These people are whiners gentlemen. What do you do? Do you continue to indulge them in every moment of victimization, or do you simply move forward?

And considering that World War II was 62 years ago, and that I am an adult raising a new generation to whom that conflict is not holy but rather history, I don't think Ames efforts to deconstruct Baltic national interest (they sided with the Nazis, they are subhuman village fascists, they need to be 'civilized' by Russian genocide) will hold much water. I can't honestly imagine walking around in 2020 listening to the same old tired 1950s Stalinist history routine.

But what we need to do as adults is nip it in the bud, use logic, and wade in and takeoever whenever people like Ames attempt to prolong what are essentially boring arguments.

Carlito ütles ...

Giustino said...
Ames writes:

Nice job on your counterpoints but don't expect a response from Ames anytime soon (Note: Ames' eXile website allows for no feedback or rebuttal).

Any American of a certain age can recognize the pedigree of this type of Gonzo journalism: Hunter Thompson, Abbie Hoffman, Lester Bangs etc.- which originated in the counter-cultural haze of sex, drugs and rock and roll America in the 60's & 70's.

Ames who, unsurprisingly, hails from Berkeley, Ca (according to his bio-the offspring of a couple of hippie parents) is not interested in objective dialogue or analysis. The goal here is strictly shock-value and self-aggrandizement. His is a tired act on this side of the pond but perhaps it seems fresh to those in remoter outposts who are either too young or too ahistorical in their knowledge of culture and politics.

Kristopher ütles ...

Ames may represent a cell within a subculture, but IN GENERAL there is nothing wrong with our counterculture... there's some fondness for Castro from back in the day, but Russia is too dour and square ... and there's no mojitos.

How about that very anticommercial Bay Area band -- about as far into the countercultural ether as you can get -- which sponsored Lithuanian basketball in the 1990s?

Giustino ütles ...

How about that very anticommercial Bay Area band -- about as far into the countercultural ether as you can get -- which sponsored Lithuanian basketball in the 1990s?

Those Lithuanian basketball shirts were popular at my school in '92. But I think, moreover, that illustrates the kind of attitude we should have and why Ames' attitude is wrong. The Deads' actions were helpful and positive. Ames article is neither.

So I think that ultimately there's no reason to debate Ames. As I pointed out, his argument negates itself. He dehumanizes Estonians and Latvians, aned then criticizes the British press for dehumanizing South Ossetians.

That's some rhetorical oops.

Estonia in World Media (Rus) ütles ...

Hm.

Guistino, I suggest you also comment on editorial opinion from Junge Welt (edition of German Marxist Youth), which similarly to the Exile condemned Estonia. And there are couple of Havanna papers too, demanding attention.
And there are opinions on rus.delfi.ee, not even mentioning Muhosransk News Agency's skillful disposure of Estonian fascism, which, no doubt we avoid in our blogs because of shame.

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

What do you mean with Estonia facism?
The prewar movement, the collaboration. Do you mean people like Larka, who was in opposition to Päts, do you mean collaboration with the Nazis?

Giustino ütles ...

What do you mean with Estonia facism? The prewar movement, the collaboration. Do you mean people like Larka, who was in opposition to Päts, do you mean collaboration with the Nazis?

As far as I can tell, according to the Nashi handbook, anybody and anything is fascist if it in any way opposes expansionist Russian nationalism. It's just a word that symbolizes enemy and cloaks it in the mystique of the ancient struggle of WWII as envisioned by Soviet historical revisionists in the 1950s and 1960s.

It has nothing to do with Benito Mussolini. 17-year-old Nashis don't need to think that much. Nashi was formed to support the Kremlin, whatever it says. Joining Nashi is, in essence, giving yourself a political lobotomy.

Scott ütles ...

Back on topic:

Personally, I would hit Urve like the fist of an angry god. ;-)

space_maze ütles ...

The concept of "Estonian fascism" just cracks me up.

The term "fascism" comes from fasces.

Take a bundle of rods .. each one, on its own, is weak and breakable. But tie them together, and the bundle will be a mighty weapon. Stremgth in Unity.

Yeah, that'll work with Estonians. The Estonia in which no single government coaltion has lasted its term. The Estonia with the highest dicorvrce rate in the European Union. The Estonia in which you're instantly adored, as a foreigner, for not being Estonian. "Eestlase kõige parem söök on teine eestlane" Estonians. The Estonians that hate eachother so much that they can't even form families?

How're you going to make fasces if you can't even tie two rods together?

space_maze ütles ...

I guess she hasn't been getting *THAT* much attention though, considering that this page is now the second hit one gets on her in google .. :-)

Though she is definitely damned fine-looking for a minister. If I should be glad or sad about the fact that we have no such ministers here is up to you ;-)

Agu-Enrik Ubailves ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
tambourine man ütles ...

Space-maze is right on.

We, Estonians are really hard to organize around any one big idea. Be it communism, fascism or vegan lifestyle or whatnot.

The only thing that truly matters to us is that other Estonian is doing worse than ourselves.

Nothing else lifts our self worth more than seeing some evidence of that.

"Keeping up with the Joneses" is an alien concept to us. For us it's more like, "bring the Juhan down" kind of thing. Much easier to do too, as it does not require any effort of self improvement.

I do not know if there is any other nation on earth where the members of the same community would be so totally allergic toward each other.

I guess that's why we tend to get teary eyed and melancholic when we manage to sing together en masse.

There is no Estonian unity or idea or goal or dream or -ism or anything.

The funny thing is that the closest to the truth russians ever get calling us names is with 'pidarasy'.

McMad ütles ...

tambourine man zei...

The only thing that truly matters to us is that other Estonian is doing worse than ourselves.

Many Estonians think that that kind of attitude is typically Estonian, it's not. You can see exactly the same kind of sentiment in the Netherlands. In fact i'm quite sure its more or less universal. The neighbor MUST have it worse that you :D

McMad ütles ...

btw, Newsweek has a rather good article on Nashi: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18753946/site/newsweek/

Giustino ütles ...

There is no Estonian unity or idea or goal or dream or -ism or anything.

I think most Estonians are nationalists at heart. They cry when they hear the national anthem being sung well. I can't say the same about the Star Spangled Banner. In fact, when I compare the US and Estonia, I find the US' path to independence more convoluted.

In the US we really should have paid those taxes that led to the revolution. And it wasn't really a normal thing for the colonies to have representation. There were other British areas that also didn't have MPs. What happened is that a big shit storm developed and then a few events pushed us over the edge.

In Estonia, they had a national awakening and obviously didn't like the Russification campaigns of the tsars. So when 1918 came, they chose independence and an Estonian linguistic future over Russification and communism. Not a hard choice to make.

tambourine man ütles ...

If I were to hedge my bets on the future of the world history, how should I view this little bronze brouhaha? In 15 to 50 years from now, was it nothing or was it an early indication of major geopolitical forces on the move? (think Samuel P. Huntington)

Think energy shortage. Think that Russia has alienated everybody and stands completely alone. Ripe for picking. Good for being pushed over like a mumbling drunk lost in his own paranoia. Think of China's growing energy and land needs. Think of NATO enlargement.

My crystal ball tells me that the tide is rising for the major world war in our lifetime.


There will be some odd alliances made like during WWII between the japs and the germans. Putin's front will consist of troops from Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, Jordan, Liberia, Iran and other such smelly unmentionables.

Next steps? Watch out for developments such as muslim countries and russians starting to build military alliances.

Once that happens, I'll double my bets.

Well, if all goes well, I'd bet that there shall be some changes in effect. Communism and wahhabism will be banned. Oil cartels will be demolished and new ones created. China shall administer entire Siberia, Japan shall get back Kuril islands. The state of Alaska shall include Kamtchtka.

And so it goes.

Where would that leave Estonia and Estonians?

Not to worry. We'd still be doing our sauna thing. So none of that really matters. It'll be just another reason to brag behind a beer kapp: "Ma ju rääkisin."

Giustino ütles ...

My crystal ball tells me that the tide is rising for the major world war in our lifetime.

Things tend to happen in cycles of 70-80 years. Ie: we're due. I thought we'd all gotten smarter, but then there's Nashi, crying about how their commisar in Estonia, Mark Siryk, is actually being treated as an adult and held responsible for his actions.

The one guy I like these days is Jüri Pihl. That is one man I would not like to piss off.

Giustino ütles ...

If I were to hedge my bets on the future of the world history, how should I view this little bronze brouhaha? In 15 to 50 years from now, was it nothing or was it an early indication of major geopolitical forces on the move? (think Samuel P. Huntington)

Internally it's been a watershed moment.

Before guys like Zarenkov were an annoyance. Now Kapo is exposing their under the table dealings with the Russian foreign ministry.

Before Nashi was an annoyance -- now Newsweek and Time are running stories about the Putin youth that creep everybody out.

And I think it has been positive for the society domestically. After watching the Duma delegation sniffing around the BS, it reinforced the commitment to being part of the West on the part of Estonians.

The EU and NATO showed themselves to have value. Estonia's Nordic ties allowed it to thumb its nose at any talk of Russian sanctions. And indeed it was Matti Vanhanen who set the international response in motion, saying correctly that it was an Estonian internal affair and the Estonians should handle it -- which they did.

As for some in Estonia's Russian community it too has positive impact. They are now politically awakened, if they were sleeping before. They are blaming it all in Ansip. This is good. It is good that they blame a politician. So when they vote next time, perhaps they'll choose someone else. It's good for them to be engaged and vote.

They just have to figure out what they want and measure it against the reality of a future in Estonia. I hope some real community leaders can come from this, because I am really tired of listening to Klenski, like he matters.

{PS, he doesn't matter because nobody votes for him, not just becausr it's my opinion).

space_maze ütles ...

My crystal ball tells me that the tide is rising for the major world war in our lifetime.

I'm not generally a fan of "history repeats itself", as no two situations are ever identical - not that I am denying that war and conflict will always be with us.

HOWEVER, modern Russia is giving me highly creepy flashbacks to Germany in the early 30s. No, I don't think Putin is the new Hitler, I don't think we're heading towards a genocide on Estonians, but the psychology seems so similar.

Russia's "wounded spirit" much reminds me of the "wounded spirit" Germany had int he 30s that turned it into one of the meanest bad-ass states the world has ever seen.

The collapse of the Soviet Union is to Russia like World War I was to Germany, in a way. After the collapse of their glorious empire, the citizens of the empire, after briefly giving this democracy thingy a chance, fall back to being pre-occupied with the past, and fall back to missing their "glory days". Yeltsin's Russia was as much a failure as the Weimar republic was.

Not having anyone to blame for their crappy situation than themselves, the citizens of our Empire find convenient little groups of people that have been fairing a lot better than they have been to blame. Little groups not actually capable of defending themselves against this kind of nonsense.

This might sound over-dramatic, but it is all bloody creepy.

tambourine man ütles ...

Talking about getting goosebumps.

I'm telling you - it is all going down by the book.

If the world events were an action movie made after the "Clash of the Civilizations" by Huntington, I'd say right now it is a good time to hurry and get your popcorn so that you'd be back by the time when the whole shit breaks loose. The best scenes are just ahead and if you are into films about mindless violence, human suffering and hearbreaking tragedy on a massive scale, you do not want to miss this for a thing.

Did you see these nashis march and heil Putin? Oooh, boy! Then you know what's coming next.

Whoohaw!

WWII was a childs play in comparison what's to come.


(Gleefully rubbing my palms.)

martintg ütles ...

space_maze said...
HOWEVER, modern Russia is giving me highly creepy flashbacks to Germany in the early 30s. No, I don't think Putin is the new Hitler, I don't think we're heading towards a genocide on Estonians, but the psychology seems so similar.

Russia's "wounded spirit" much reminds me of the "wounded spirit" Germany had int he 30s that turned it into one of the meanest bad-ass states the world has ever seen.

The collapse of the Soviet Union is to Russia like World War I was to Germany, in a way. After the collapse of their glorious empire, the citizens of the empire, after briefly giving this democracy thingy a chance, fall back to being pre-occupied with the past, and fall back to missing their "glory days". Yeltsin's Russia was as much a failure as the Weimar republic was.


I don't think you can compare Russia today with Germany of the '30s. Don't forget that some of the root causes of Nazism was the defeat of Germany in WWI, the crushing reparations imposed on Germany by the WWI victors and the Great Depression of the 1920s. Russia today is swimming in petro-dollars.

Sure the collapse of the SU may have been the greatest geo-political tragedy of the 20th Century to Putin, and there are some spooky aspects like the nashists, but there is no comparison in the political landscape that enabled the Nazis to rise to power in Germany. WW2 in many respects was a continuation of WW1.

The real challange for the future is the rise of China, and if there was to be any conflict, it would be in that region.

Giustino ütles ...

Don't forget that some of the root causes of Nazism was the defeat of Germany in WWI, the crushing reparations imposed on Germany by the WWI victors and the Great Depression of the 1920s. Russia today is swimming in petro-dollars.

The Nazi ideology (of colonizing its colonies in the East, like Latvia) dates back to the days before World War I, when the neocons of the day were meeting and trying to imagine a "German" century.

The Russian ideology I think goes back to the 1870s-80s, during the rein of Alexander II and the rise of Pan-Slavicism. Before that, Estonia was part of the Russian Empire for ~150 years, but all administration was done in German.

All of these nutty ideas date back to the 19th century.

plasma-jack ütles ...

And indeed it was Matti Vanhanen who set the international response in motion, saying correctly that it was an Estonian internal affair and the Estonians should handle it -- which they did.

As I understand, part of the Finnish public even criticized this statement - because it was too soft, not supportive enough.

As for WWIII topic, I like it very much, but you haven't mentioned a very important factor - a religious fanatic in the White House doing almost everything in his power to unleash the Armageddon in our lifetime. Hasn't done Iran, yet - when he does, we're done too around here.

Giustino ütles ...

As I understand, part of the Finnish public even criticized this statement - because it was too soft, not supportive enough.

But Kanerva had to put up with a 'stern letter' from Lavrov. It's not easy sticking up for Estonia, you know.

Scott ütles ...

Yes, Plasma-Jack. Methodists are well-known religious fanatics trying to bring on Armageddon.

Giustino: "neocons of the day" caused WW1? To paraphrase one of my favorite movies, "I don't think that word means what you think it means."

Giustino ütles ...

"neocons of the day" caused WW1? To paraphrase one of my favorite movies, "I don't think that word means what you think it means."

Scott, we don't really need to pry apart the tenets of neoconservatism and then compare them to the European nationalist expansionists of the early 20th century, do we?

Let me just be wrong and you be right, so I can go do my "real" job. :)

plasma-jack ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
plasma-jack ütles ...

don't want to insult anybody, but a statesmen who claims to be influenced by divine intervention sounds scary enough to me. Bush's views to sex, alcohol, evolution and other rights and wrongs could probably be easily sold to Saudi Arabia, but not to me.

Giustino ütles ...

It's not Bush's policies. It's that nervous laugh with which he concludes each sentence.

'Yo Blair ... heh heh heh ... did you like the sweater? ... heh heh heh ...'

plasma-jack ütles ...

I mean, the main problem is that the guy is not very well connected to reality. Look what happened to Iraq despite him BELIEVING otherwise.
It seems that he's now believing that if he invades Iran, Iraqi situation would "stabilize". A guy who firmly believes that God is always on his side is bound to make mistakes.

martintg ütles ...

Giustino said...
The Nazi ideology (of colonizing its colonies in the East, like Latvia) dates back to the days before World War I, when the neocons of the day were meeting and trying to imagine a "German" century.


The ideology of colonialism wasn't unique to Germany or Russia. Most European countries practiced it at some time. The USA and Australia are products of that ideology. Heck, even the Duchy of Courland had a colonies in Africa and the Americas, see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courland_colonization

However there is no doubt Hilter rose to power on the back of a unique historical combination of the Dolchstoßlegende caused by Germany's WW1 defeat, the humiliating terms of Treaty of Versailles perceived as unjust by many Germans and the dire economic conditions due to a combination of crushing reparations and the Great Depression, which Hitler pinned upon the Jews.

Scott ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Scott ütles ...

plasma-jack said…

don't want to insult anybody, but a statesmen who claims to be influenced by divine intervention sounds scary enough to me. Bush's views to sex, alcohol, evolution and other rights and wrongs could probably be easily sold to Saudi Arabia, but not to me.


Hey, you can insult me! I'm a big boy.

What irked me about your comment is that you talk in broad stereotypes that are repeated Ad nauseam in the European press. Bush bible-thumper, Armageddon, blah, blah ...

The comments comparing his beliefs to those preferred by Saudi Arabia are another example. You seem to claim to know what he thinks on these issues. Well, I submit you don't:

Bush has said many times that he is a Christian, believes in the power of prayer and considers himself a "lowly sinner." But White House aides said they do not know whether the president believes that: the Bible is without error; the theory of evolution is true; homosexuality is a sinful choice; only Christians will go to heaven; support for Israel is a biblical imperative; or the war in Iraq is part of God's plan.

Post article

And if the Washington Post says the White House staffers don't know what he thinks on these issues, I submit that you don't have any special insights, either.

Does Bush believe that he's influenced by God? Yeah. Is he more overt about it than most U.S. presidents? Definitely.

But stereotyping someone as "scary" or trying to bring on "Armageddon" because they are a person of faith does a disservice to the real scary religious leaders, like Ahmadinejad, who might be trying to do just that.

It's lazy thinking.

Giustino ütles ...

But stereotyping someone as "scary" or trying to bring on "Armageddon" because they are a person of faith does a disservice to the real scary religious leaders, like Ahmadinejad, who might be trying to do just that.

It's lazy thinking.


For the secular, even ideas like being a "lowly sinner" seem foreign. I don't really believe in the idea of "sin" either. In my world you make mistakes, or do bad things, but they don't warrant the use of the religious lexicon.

It's not Bush's relationship with God, it's his constituency's, and that's where secular people in the US really get freaked out.

It's not Bush's adolescent "yo Blair" behavior. It's those interviews with people in Utah that tell the reporter that they support Bush because "he is a man of God with a good heart."

Why, it's like being transplanted back to Plimoth Plantation. And you hear that stuff across the country, in Kansas and Colorado and even places like Pennsylvania. "Bush is a man of faith who trusts in God" -- he may have cynically danced with the Christian right, but I don't like the idea that they were, at least up until his approval rating became mired at 30-40 percent in 2005, pulling some of the strings in his presidency.

You bring up Ahmadinejad, that's a good example, Scott. Ahmadinejad is pretty nuts, if you read his letters to Bush. But does that mean we should launch some sort of attack on Iran because he is nuts? No. Why? Because Iran is a huge country filled with people that like to burn Danish flags and we can't even get of Iraq so how and why would we implicate ourself in the future of Iran?

Logic says 'no', but Christian right would say, 'but he's evil' and well, you can't argue with that argument because the because he's evil argument lies outside the box of democratic dialogue.

And that's why religion scares secular voters in the US and Europe because they find they can't reason with the because he's evil crowd. They live in a world full of dogma. Pronouncements are made, missions are devised, no matter how futile or suicidal.

And all the while the rest of us quietly pay our taxes.

plasma-jack ütles ...

couldn't formulate my feelings better.

By the way - Ahmadinejad surely is a religious guy, but overall civil liberties are in WAY better situation in Iran than in "not-so-evil" Saudi Arabia. They even have women in parliament.

Scott ütles ...
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Scott ütles ...
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