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The libertarian tradition
By Abdul Turay Published Postimees 30 March 2010


“There is nothing nice about the USA. When you go to hospital you have to pay”

So sang legendary Scottish punk band the Exploited in their seminal track “F**k the USA”

Estonian medical practitioners make the same point albeit rather more tactfully.
“In the US people are not even in the health system, it is not working,” Dr Margus Viigimaa, President of the Centre for Cardiology said.

He goes on to explain that when the health system in Estonia was set up in the 90s they borrowed ideas for Sweden and Britain but not from the United States.

The healthcare debate not only show that Estonia is in many ways a better place to live than the United States. It also shows the people who oppose health care reform, American libertarians, are dangerous not just to Americans but to the Estonia nation. To understand why we have to look at how Americans see themselves and their place in the World.

The passage of the health care bill…
Featured articlesCity under siegeRight is Right?Why I write in EstoniaBrave new EstoniaCancel the debtWho's in charge here How the leader of the opposition can bully the PM.
The man who annoys Estonians: Q and A with Priit Pullerits
Postimees did this in depth interview.
Black men, Estonian women the truth
An opinion piece. The title is self-explanatory.
Pyrrhic Victory
About the recent local elections in Estonia.
The Sexiest man in Estonia
Guess who?
The Playboy bunny and foreign policy
Laar's Dilemma
About the former PM of Estonia.
Cult of Youth
Why Estonia is run by kids
Quiet genius who brought East to the West
How the Koran came to be published in Estonia.
Bigotry and denial
Race relations in the Baltics in particular Lithuania
A hard landing indeed
Let's eat potato peels
Fighting to preserve a Nation's heritage
Brave New Estonia
By Abdul Turay
Published Postimees 21 February 2010

When my editor called me to write a piece about Estonian Independence day my first thought was: “why me?”

I am aware there are a lot of people interested in reading what I have to say about this, that and the other, but surely a big patriotic event like Independence Day is best covered by native writers?

But then I realised, everything that can be written about Estonian Independence Day and the new national awakening Estonia currently is going through has already been exhaustively covered.

I can imagine the words.

“Estonians fought to preserve the nation’s freedom, Estonians must still fight to preserve the nation’s freedom.”

What else is there left to say?

Well actually looking at it from as an outsider there is quite a lot to say. I can say this with authority. Patriots from other countries envy Estonia. This is an exciting time to be alive and be Estonian.

To us outsiders what is going on in Estonia is an heroic human ende…
Cancel the debt
By Abdul Turay
Published Postimees 28 January 2010

I was going to write about something else. In fact I'd already written it and was about to hit the send button, then I read this from American journalist Amy Goodman, who has just come back from Haiti, on her Democracy Now broadcast.

“We sat and watched as doctors came from Denver Children’s Hospital performed this amputation that, in most cases, would have been unnecessary if the patient had received care at the beginning. The number of amputations without anaesthesia—now, let’s remember that it’s not only amputations, but it’s all operations.”

Reading about people getting their arms and legs hacked off without any anaesthetic makes the subtle manoeuvres of Estonian politicians seem kind of trivial.
Estonian politicians are angels compared to another group of people, international bankers.

This destroyed nation owes international banks about a billion U.S. dollars. Most of it to the Inter-American Development Bank, the…
Who's in charge here?
By Abdul Turay
Published Postimees 23 December 2009

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is an eccentric chap. He is from an aristocratic background, earns the equivalent of 2,500,000 kroon a year, is wealthy anyway, but he likes to get about by public transport. As mayor he holds sway over millions of people. He is charge of a budget that runs into billions of pounds, he makes decisions for one of the world's three financial hubs, he's a powerful man.

The mayor of Tallinn you all know. He is runs a city of about 400,000 people with a budget of 700 million kroon. He is by some measure more powerful. In fact even the mayor of a small town like Haapsalu, a man by the name of Urmas Sukles, is more powerful than Boris Johnson. How so? To understand this we have to look at the way local government is run in Estonia

On paper there is nothing usual about local government. By the standards of many countries, Estonia has a remarkably simple system. Many countries…
Pyrrhic victory
By Abdul Turay
Published Postimees 23 October 2009

Tallinn let out a collective howl of anguish this Sunday night. Everybody knew what the results of the local elections would be, yet still people didn't want to believe it was true.

It was a resounding victory, an absolute triumph for the Centre party, or so it seems. They got an absolute majority in Tallinn, 53.5 per cent of the votes, better than last time round.

Overall they did better than even recent polls have predicted. The Centre party won 31.1 percent of the popular vote. If this result was reflected in a general election it would make the Centre Party the large single party in Riigikogu.

At least as far as Tallinn is concerned I was wrong about one thing. Savisaar is not “almost” the champion of the silent majority. He is simply the champion of the silent majority

Tallinn is the big prize and as mayor Edgar Savisaar will continue to be a major player in national affairs. In a highly centralised country like Esto…