Saturday, March 10, 2007

Time for Polish politicians to take early retirement

A whole generation of Polish politcos – from both sides of the divide – have failed to grasp the meaning of a ‘free and open society.’ It’s time for them to be forced to ‘spend more time with the family’.

The current government’s de-communization zeal is insatiable. All journalists – public or private - born before 1972, must now be vetted for communist era collaboration.

Brilliant idea, isn’t it?

For some time now, the government has been requiring employees of public media - no matter how lowly – to fill in a form (downloaded from the internet) with a few basic personal details, and then send it to be vetted.

Employees wait a few weeks and back comes a little certificate saying that you were not a collaborator, or otherwise. If you don’t get a clean bill of health then you are sacked.

Well, now the government is insisting that private media forces its journalists to go through the same procedure.

Amazingly, blogs appear to also come under this law.

There has been lots of comment on the net about this – of the English articles see here and here.

I cannot think of an example in any other ‘western’ ‘democratic’ country where the government is trying to intrude in the affairs of private media in this way.

Private media are a little upset, unsurprisingly, and are threatening civil revolt against such a totalitarian-flavoured move. The government is threatening fines against private media that do not comply.

The human rights implications of this was noted in the US state department’s annual review of human rights (though just how the present Whitehouse feels qualified to lecture others about human rights is a mystery).

Same but different

It’s sad to have to say that many in the present government are demonstrating the same mentality as those who they so despise – communists. For both, a free and open civil society is seen as a threat to their own survival.

Since 1989 Poland has been blessed (irony, sarcasm) with a generation of politicians, from the left and right, which have not demonstrated an understanding of how modern democracies work.

Much of the left have been prone to seedy corruption, and there has been an ‘old boy network’ that has done nicely from the change from communism to capitalism. They have also been criminally negligent of the public services, managed in the way that they always have been: badly.

On the other side we have a generation of politicians who represent those left behind in the post communist bun fight. But though oppositional, they seem to have internalized far too much of the old regime that they fought against.

And this has led to an inability to take criticism in the media.

There are a few exceptions (which a camel could count on the fingers of one hoof) but for much of the old left and right, coming to terms with basic freedoms and human rights has been difficult and they are stopping Poland maturing into a modern democracy.

What Poland needs is a younger generation of politician who has not been so badly scared, and deformed, by the experience of the People’s Republic of Poland.

So forget vetting private journalists born before 1972.

I propose a new law which says that if you were born before 1972 in Poland then you shouldn’t be allowed to be a politician.

It’s time for the post-communist failures to take their free bus pass.

51 comments:

steppx said...

beat....this administration is simply hysterical.....paranoid and reactionary. We dont need younger politicians per se.....(dont blame this on communism) but simply better politicans. Honest ones for openers (ok, thats an oxymoron.....i admit it)....but MORE honest, lets say.
On the other hand, the twins provide an awful lot of news hour amusement :)

nemeczek said...

IMO being a willing collaborator, spying and reporting on one's colleagues, coworkers, and even family reflects poorly on the person's character and integrity irrespective of whether the perpetrator operates in a non-democratic or democratic society. It is simply taking conformism and self-interest past the puke point. If I am a journalist in a state-owned media outlet, and I know my tainted past will be exposed by the 'lustracja' process (which should have taken place in 1990, but apparently it was not a part of the soft-landing deal the commies agreed to), I would simply move elsewhere where such vetting procedures would not apply. The new regulations close this loophole. Do not get me wrong, I do not want these guys (and gals, I presume) to lose their jobs - I simply want to know if I should respect them. Alternatively, we can assume that ethical whores can indeed turn into angels and let the whole matter rest in peace. You know 'I was young and I needed the money' excuse.

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beatroot said...

The new regulations close this loophole.

Listen, if a journalist moves out of the 'state' sector and into the private then governments lose any control over what happens next. Governments, in free societies, just can't go there.

As to respect and trust of the whores. If they have something on a journo then publish it and then the court of public opinion can decide whether they are trust worthy or not.

That is as far as a government can go in the West. Poland is not RUSSIA. Kaczynski is not Putin.

nemeczek said...

Are we saying that when a journalist moves into a private sector his past indiscretions are nullified by default? Or are we simply agreeing that in the private sector rats should be allowed to flourish? As a journalist, aren't you curious how many of your colleagues were not-so-noble in the past? I would like to believe most of them were a decent bunch but given the outcry it causes I am beginning to wonder... The type of collaboration we are talking about was not illegal (it was, however, immoral), so there is no risk of any prosecution. People should own up to their past - at least that's the theory. And I do not believe a private media outlet would be FORCED by the state to sack a certified collaborator - as you rightly point out, Poland is no Russia, and people can hire an ex-commandant of Treblinka if so they wish. They may, however, cave in under pressure from their readership - I for one would not bother to read editorials spewed up by an immoral pig. Even if it is a common practice in the West.

beatroot said...

I don;t think it matters whether I am curious about the past or not. What matters for Poland is that it learns that there is a distinction between the state sector and the private sector. Governments should have no influence over the latter - that's for the market to decide.

Or normal stuff, in the west. Do you Poles want to join?

Michael Farris said...

Interesting that PiS is using secret police files in much the same way the secret police did - to maximize mutual suspicion and mistrust in Polish society.

Add to that the idea that PiS trusts the accuracy of secret police files much more than probably even the communists did and you approach irony overload.

Michael Farris said...

"Are we saying that when a journalist moves into a private sector his past indiscretions are nullified by default?"

No, we're saying that no government has any business meddling in private media. Employees of private media are not state employees and are not necessarily bound by the same laws of transparency (I often think the ducks don't really understand the whole public/private distinction).

geez said...

Nemeczek: I for one would not bother to read editorials spewed up by an immoral pig. Even if it is a common practice in the West.

^^^^^

And who are these immoral pigs that "westerners" commonly read? Name names please.

nemeczek said...

The 'lustracja' business is all about the past, not about the present. Unlike the former East Germany, Poland kept her secret files secret. As a result, we have not sorted out the mess of our own communist era. Let's just say the government wants to find out who WAS a snitch while working for the state-controlled media. Those who worked for private media pre-1989 (sarcasm, but I could not help it) are exempt - after all, private is sacred, right? What these guys do today, who they work for, is irrelevant. If I commit a murder and then start working for a private company, does it mean I became immune from prosecution? Is this the Western standard, or are you just trying to protect your own? Go through the process, get a clean bill of health, and move on. Those who fail can only blame their handlers for having left the paper trail.

nemeczek said...

Geez:
Relax, it was a mere figure of speech/sarcasm/irony. I was not the one who brought up the elusive 'Western standards' as an argument against 'lustracja'. Therefore, I concluded that 'being an immoral pig' is not such a big deal in the Western media after all. Otherwise, other Western brethrens would have regarded 'lustracja' as an inherently good process. What is wrong with the truth? Is it overrated?

steppx said...

the problem (and this SHOULD be obvious) is that WHO is doing the vetting? I mean you trust the ducks to decide? Thats the problem.... I have a student who's father never did anything, except arouse suspcision in the old communist govt. He was interveiwed a LOT....so now he has a red flag on his jacket......this is what happens. The government is not supposed to decide who is ok and not ok. The people decide that.

jannovak57 said...

Beatroot said: “I cannot think of an example in any other ‘western’ ‘democratic’ country where the government is trying to intrude in the affairs of private media in this way.”

I get the feeling you would probably like to see Poland become more of a liberal democracy like say the UK or Denmark, and that’s a reasonable desire probably shared by many. However you continually ignore the fact that history has not favoured Poland. The western European countries had a period of 60 to 55 years of societal development to bring them to this point in time and Poland has had only 17 years.

I don’t think you fully comprehend the consequences of a nation that lost almost the entirety of its civil society between September of 1939 and 1956 at the hands of the nazis and communists. Societal reconstruction will still likely take decades to complete and lustration is part of that process. There is no future if the past can’t be exercised, sadly everyone who sat at the roundtable in 1989 knew that this issue would come back to haunt them. The responsible decisions were not made in 1989 and now this mess has to be sorted out.

You should reconcile yourself to the fact this is only the start, at some point people are going to start to ask the obvious if the low level rats get flushed out then why are the decision makers of the PRL still off the hook?

jannovak57 said...

steppx said... “The government is not supposed to decide who is ok and not ok.” The people decide that.

That’s astounding; most societies use the judicial branch of government to deter mine guilt or innocence. Any person who finds himself at variance with the vetting results can contest the findings in open court with his own lawyers.

jannovak57 said...

Michael Farris said...” Interesting that PiS is using secret police files in much the same way the secret police did - to maximize mutual suspicion and mistrust in Polish society.”

The mutual suspicion and mistrust in Polish society already exist as a consequence of not coming to terms with the past. Open and complete disclosure of the past to the public is the best way to restore trust in Polish society.

Michael Farris said…” accuracy of secret police files”

If the accuracy of some files is an issue it can be contested in court.

Michael Farris said... “no government has any business meddling in private media”

This statement is twisting the reality of the situation as no one is meddling in the private media, the vetting law deals with an individuals actions prior to 1989 not what they choose to publish. This law has no requirement for any punitive action on the part of the employer.

In some countries hiding from the law in a church is treated as a form of sanctuary and recognized by the authorities. In no known instance is moving from the public to private sector a form of legal sanctuary.

There is one legal issue that the current government has missed in this whole issue and should have attended to first before starting wide area vetting. The should have passed a law that declared the PRL and it’s structures to have been a criminal organizations. Precedence exists with the way the SS and Gestapo were dealt with after WW2.

geez said...

So what's next? Should everyone who voted for Kwasniewski be vetted as well? And then?

jannovak57 said...

geez said... “everyone who voted for Kwasniewski”

In itself vetting has nothing to do with actions that took place after 1989. There are two camps in Poland one says bury the past and one say deal with it. You can’t satisfy both.

Today’s problem stems from the roundtable talks not addressing the issue in a manner that could have put it to rest early on. Refer to the Czech and German experience were dealing early with this yielded some results. Not saying the methods the Czech or Germans used were necessarily perfect but it seems it’s no longer a big issue.

steppx said...

you think, Jannovak, that the twins are open to transparent court proceedings to contest findings?> But beyond that, once you are accused you always carry around this accusation...and BEYOND THAT, where the hell is the crime here>? If people committed crimes...fine.....if the statute of limitations hasnt run out. But you are supporting a police state like process....digging into people's lives to determine if they were *collaberators*....and you better define that term for me. And then tell me where the crime was? you may or may not like association with the communist government....but during that period its hard to know the proper course and judge people on behavior from twenty or thirty years ago. Its absurd. This is a parnoid and hysterical group of witless fools running things....defending them is bizarre and inexplicable.

No, no digging into the past of private citizens, period. Unless there is a criminal accusation./

steppx said...

as a follow up.....lets take my pitiful home country, the USA. Ollie North...convicted felon and traitor....dealer in arms for hostages....is now a commentator on fox news. Should he have been vetted? no ex cons.....??? You see how stupid this gets.

opamp said...

This discussion misses the point.

The rationale for this proposal is the following: the journalists are "publicly trusted persons" (osoby zaufania publicznego) similarly to lawyers, judges, doctors, etc. and like these groups, should be subjected to additional scrutiny.

Therefore, the distinction between the public and private media does not apply: a lawyer for example is obliged to follow the same ethical code regardless of employer, at the risk of having her license revoked. So what is essentially being proposed here, is for the journalists to be "licensed to practice" in pretty much the same way that the lawyers or doctors are.

This, in turn, stems from a (now somewhat outdated) 19th century belief that writers etc. have a big influence over common people (rząd dusz, lit. the rule of [over] souls), as the common people are so stupid that they will believe what they are told in the media. Combine this with a historically bad treatment of Kaczynskis by the journalists and you see clearly where this is heading: all the journos criticizing us are SB agents, and must be exposed, so the people will no longer be corrupted by their venom!.

beatroot said...

the distinction between the public and private media does not apply...

IN which country that would be then? Cuba....Russia....? Oh, you mean Poland...that western democracy....I see...

jannovak57 said...

steppx said... “where the hell is the crime here”

It is incredible that you seem to see no crime in people turning in their neighbour, coworkers or even relatives in some cases to the secret police of a totalitarian state. Their actions resulted in a range of consequences from at the minimum harassment by the authorities to torture and murder.

If you feel this is not a crime, I don’t know what to tell you except that a huge portion of the Polish population, which lived as adults in the PRL, would disagree with you.

As I have pointed out to people on this topic before the Polish people have dealt generously with their tormentor. If you look through the actions of some western countries in similar circumstances this wasn’t the case. I will suggest you look at how France handled things after WW2 i.e. lots of executions.

The evidence is there in the form of documentation and in many cases the court can even summon the SB officer involved to testify. Anyone that disputes the results has his day in court and can even appeal the finding.

It seems a lot better than we got from the SB and their friends.

Anonymous said...

I agree. although I must say that the problem is not just the political elite the 'inteligencja' is just as bad: they are provincial, petty, ignorant, mediocre, close-minded, down-right silly and above all incredibly arrogant. Much of what is written in the right-wing media is delirious fascist rubbish….really: have you seen Rzeczpospolita recently or Dziennik? These people are sick.
Gazeta is undoubtedly the best newspaper in this part of Europe but still they really are unbelievably arrogant….I might be a populist but I really believe that average poles are far less stupid and saner than their political and intellectual elites.

take care.
Z.

jannovak57 said...

anonymous or Z said... “Gazeta is undoubtedly the best newspaper in this part of Europe”
I don’t think that what it’s claim to fame is but rather the number of commie rats on the payroll.

jannovak57 said...

Beatroot said: “A whole generation of Polish politcos – from both sides of the divide – have failed to grasp the meaning of a ‘free and open society.’ ”

It seems more like you failed to understand what it takes to achieve a ‘free and open society.’; one good step is to remove the covert influence of former members of the totalitarian state, which still exercise influence in the political dynamic of the country.

The panicked outcry from some sections of the Polish media only suggest that there is likely a lot of game in the forest for the IPN hunters to expose.

Here is a novel idea for the Polish media to avoid wide scale vetting have the guilty come forward and air the confessions on TV each person giving a small description of their evil deeds followed by an expression of apology and remorse.

And there you go again referencing the “Polish Outlook” as a news source; you’ll have a better chance finding a meaning full news story floating in your toilet bowl.

There’s a term used in Polish society “ a civil death” in reference to those exposed by the vetting process.

For polish patriots under the old regime it was a real death, so you might want to stop the whining.

Anonymous said...

Gawd this is scarey? am in England - my Polish friends told me about this garbage - I didn't think inthis day and age it could be true - pinch me someone, what a sad lot of politicians you have - mind you ours are a bot dodgy too but not as it seems as dodgy as yours:-(

beatroot said...

Jan + one waz to stagger into a democracz is for the entire private media to resist this, en masse...and teach our outdated old fools a lesson on democracz.

opamp said...

@jannovak57:

the Polish people have dealt generously with their tormentor.

But of course! The Round Table deal was struck between the communists and their informants, who formed the so-called licensed opposition (the unlicensed oppositionists were usually jailed and later given one-way passports). The deal was simple: immunity for commies and power for their informants. So nothing bad could happen to the commies and never will.

Kaczynskis are trying to blow up that deal, however they are acting in a completely bad way and will achieve nothing (besides antagonizing everyone). And BR is right on one thing - they have no understanding of democracy.

I will suggest you look at how France handled things after WW2 i.e. lots of executions.

France executed active collaborators, i.e. regime officials. The files of snitches (which is what we are talking about here) remain classified to this day. The reason for that is very simple: no state, democratic or otherwise, can function without secret police and its snitches, so their protection is viewed as paramount.

What we have in Poland is a direct opposite: the regime officials are untouchable and Kaczynskis are after the unimportant snitches.

@anonymous:

Gazeta is undoubtedly the best newspaper in this part of Europe but still they really are unbelievably arrogant….

Gaaaahh... The Round Table deal designated Michnik and his newspaper as the chief moral authority in the country; thus their arrogance. In fact, it can be argued, that most of Polish journalists exhibit sectarian groupthink with Michnik as their guru. And "Dziennik" was created with the specific goal of countering the dominance Michnik's school of thought in this country. So what you are seeing now is a propaganda war between the pro-Michnik and anti-Michnik camps.

And by the way, I'd like you to enumerate the allegedly "fascist" ideas spread by "Dziennik" and "Rzeczpospolita".

(Michnik's role and the nature of the Round Table deal have been extensively documented by Waldemar Łysiak in "Salon" and Rafał A. Ziemkiewicz in "Michnikowszczyzna". Also Kiszczak's memoirs "Generał Kiszczak mówi" provide an interesting view into the details of the transition process; the book is worth having alone for the photos of the Solidarity leadership drinking vodka with the commies).

steppx said...

this is scary.
Ok, first to Jannovak...my favorite proto fascist....um, I know this is hard to grasp...but to have someone tried in an impartial court is the way you prove or disprove guilt. See how this works? Digging into old files to determine things 30 years ago is rather obviously fraught with problems. Now, i wonder if you think the US is at all totalitarian? Given the new loss of habeus corpus...and the constant errosion of civil liberties.....I think its getting close. But are you suggesting that anyone who believed in communism should be prevented from working as a commentator? That is truely orwellian and rather astounding on all levels.

Snitchs are bad....period. Wherever they are. In the US today, a huge percentage of men and women in prison are there due to informants. A corresponding number of lawyers find this disturbing....since police files, and notes on informers are often unreliable. This insistance on the communist collaborators is actually sort of preverse. But i ask again.....what is the criteria you're using? Names in files of a government you dont trust (by your own admission)? See Jann, you tie yourself in logical knots.

Again, this is Orwellina...and since i mentioned ollie north....could you answer that question too> ??!!

Jannovak, your opinions really smack of dementia. A free and open society founded on witch hunts and government vetting of alleged, not proven, crimes of thirty years ago.

I find this almost laughable....except its really more tragic because Im sure there are others out there like you.

steppx said...

another follow up.

Are jann and opamp saying that people who were communists should be prevented from having jobs and earning a living and writing/expressing opinions? Im curious...????????

beatroot said...

the book is worth having alone for the photos of the Solidarity leadership drinking vodka with the commies).

This all goes back to the splits that were there in Solidarnosc ever since the Lenin shipyard strike. Pragmatists (Walesa) Fundamentalists (Gwiazda).

The pragmatists won, of course. Some have never got over it.

But it shows you that all of them have demonstrated similar cluelessness about democracy. Walesa ruled like a little Czar. The commies were the commies. And now the fundamentalists (who stove the hardest to preserve democracy within Solidarity) are similarly as intolerant as the rest.

But there is hope. There is a bunch of civil servants that are just under the present leadership that many think are really good. Those in similar positions under SLD were comically inept, from the old school.

So let the young run Poland. It can’t get any worse.

jannovak57 said...

steppx said... “anyone who believed in communism should be prevented from working as a commentator”

Typical of the confused leftist mind you distort reality at every opportunity. The vetting process in no way effects freedom of the press as it has nothing to do with what is or has been published by the person being vetted. It is therefore not related to freedom of the press. Also this law doesn’t have any thing to do with a persons believes not now or the past 30 years. It deals solely with a person’s action with respect to collaboration with the secret police prior to 1989. There is no penalty associated with this law.

So if say a person was a communist and a journalist expressing opinions at variance with the government they remain completely unaffected by this vetting law.

Also you say proof doesn’t exist and that’s nonsense as there are actual signed documents representing agreements to cooperate with the SB.

jannovak57 said...

opamp said... “But of course! The Round Table deal was struck between the communists and their informants”
This view is without substance at worst they can only be accused of negotiating a bad or incomplete deal. The Kaczynskis are trying to reverse an error made by other people.

opamp said...” France executed active collaborators,
The French executed some 30,000 plus collaborators and imprison many more. All seems a bit harsher than our Polish methods.

opamp said...” files of snitches (which is what we are talking about here) remain classified to this day. The reason for that is very simple: no state, democratic or otherwise, can function without secret police”
No, there was and is a real fear that people could take fragments of information and act on them versus a proper search of the archives before drawing a conclusion. A conclusion, which the vetting law allows a person to challenge in court.

opamp said...” the regime officials are untouchable”
Only for now.

Harry said...

jannovak57 said...

The French executed some 30,000 plus collaborators and imprison many more. All seems a bit harsher than our Polish methods.


Might be best not to actually say anything when you know nothing. Go and look at sources which are not Polish history books written in Moscow and you'll find that the commonly agreed number is actually about 10,000 and of that figure about 9,000 were summary executions carried out by resistance forces rather than executions carried out by the state. Further proof that your number is shite can be found by looking at the work of the Commissions d'�puration. They only handed down 1,500 death sentences and more than 500 of those were commuted to life imprisonment.

Want to compare that with Poland? Let's look at what happened to the French citizens who volunteered for the Waffen SS Charlemagne division, they were almost all given prison sentences or just transferred to the French army. Now let's look at what happened to the ethnic German Polish citizens who were conscripted into the German army: they were by and large stripped of their property and thrown out of Poland.

geez said...

So let the young run Poland. It can’t get any worse.

>^>^>^>^>^>^>

I wouldn't be so sure.

Somehow, I find it very disturbing that so many (so it seems) young pisspot whippersnappers who never got sent to prison or experienced what it was like to take any real risks under "huj w ciemnych okularach" are now so adamant about calling for "justice" against certain leaders in and related to Solidarnosc who not only talked the talk but walked the walk.

I can sympathize and even empathize about vetting the real pricks, but now it's beginning to sound too much like devouring your own, and people to whom you owe your present day freedom.

And don't forget this quote from Kurt Vonnegut Jr.:

"Things can only get unimaginably worse."

opamp said...

Are jann and opamp saying that people who were communists should be prevented from having jobs and earning a living and writing/expressing opinions?

I don't know about Jan, but I am NOT saying anything like that. I have merely explained the Kaczynski's reasoning for vetting journalists, without stating my opinion on the subject.

If you are interested in my opinion: we have freedom of speech, so they can write what they want, period. I would however consider self-vetting a good style. (Note I am talking about snitches. Being a communist is another matter, and the communists were usually stating openly that they are communists, so I have no problem with them).

jannovak57 said...

Harry said: “let's look at what happened to the ethnic German Polish citizens who were conscripted into the German army: they were by and large stripped of their property and thrown out of Poland.”

Can you get anything right when it comes to Eastern Europe? You should tell us where you stand on lustration to keep yourself on topic.

With respect to the German community in Poland when the occupation authorities took hold people were asked to declare themselves as Germans or Poles, which was fairly straightforward. But there are no absolutes so there was a grey zone involving mixed families. Notwithstanding if you met the German criteria and declared yourself German you were now a citizen of the Third Reich with all of the corresponding obligations.

You missed the part were the Soviets send our ethnic German on an all expenses paid trip to the Soviet Union for a few years.

The small detail of being a Polish citizens and switching sides in the middle of a war shouldn’t get anyone too excited, right Harry.

Now when I as a Pole hear of German suffering in WW2 such as ethnic cleansing, murder, rape and confiscation of property it evokes nothing more than a yawn.

From time to time people say the Germans lack a flare for comedy I beg to differ on this point you should check out a new German movie Die Flucht and if you go to Berlin see an exhibit called Forced Paths.

beatroot said...

Geez – of course, culture reproduces itself and doesn’t die out with physical bodies. And we do have All-Polish-Yoof.

But generally, young Poles fit better with the modern world. They have adapted better because they are not burdened by the past so much. They also have much better skills. Young Poles are pretty good. The young managers are as good as in the West – maybe better. My girlfriend is young-ish…(I am gonna get in big trouble for the ‘ish’) and she started out as a marketing person in a small film distributors, with no budget at all. So she learnt a lot of creative tricks. And then she got in a western sized company and could apply all that knowledge - but with a decent budget!

Westerners don’t often have that kind of experience. So the future for Poland is good. It’s only being held back by the dinosaurs and their Jurassic ideologies and mindset.

steppx said...

thanks opmap. I appreciate the clarification.

Jann.....i dont know, you manage to NOT answer most of my questions....but hey, I can understand that. Your truely deeply disorted and myopic vision of polish history is breathtaking.

And again, Im suggesting *signed* documents hardly constitute proof....of anything, really....beyond the fact they were signed. Especially in this context...with a government you distrust. Why do you trust them on this issue? And as ive said, I have students who's family have been involved in what amounts to witch hunts. But the reactionaries like yourself seldom care for such details.

But i give up. One gets, often, what one deserves.

geez said...

And the decent youth will become politically involved? I doubt it. And if they do, they'll become compromised and lose their decency. And the dinosaurs and all the rest of the MFs will stay in power. It's the way of the world.

I'm not suggesting folks who want change should lay down but I don't expect all that much good to flourish in this world. Whereever it's to be found, it's a blessing.

BTW, jannowak, what is your political affilation or leaning?

jannovak57 said...

steppx said... “you manage to NOT answer”
I though I addressed your question 7 posts back from your last post however. In terms of the vetting law there is no restrictions on who can be a journalist or what material they can or cannot publish. I personally believe people associated with the old regime should stay out of the political life of the country including indirect aspects such as journalism.

jannovak57 said...

geez said...” what is your political affilation or leaning”

I would describe myself a social conservative having said that I am pro-choice and believe in the separation of church and state.

In economics I believe in a free market system but restrained by the need for a reasonable social safety net.

In international affairs I take the position Poland should do whatever it takes to insure it’s security by any means fair or foul as it’s situation and history allows for little else.

steppx said...

jann.....you DIDNT answer again...but thats ok. What you said reveals your politics quite clearly.
Im confused.....if the vetting isnt to stop ANYONE from writing...say, in electronic or print media....then what is it doing? people have to wear scarlett letters? I dont follow. If the government determines someone was a collaberator....and that should be clearly defined...then they cant write? So, we are stopping free speech essentially. See jann.....and work with me here...FREE means even people you despise get to express their opinions.

Old commies should stay out of government and shouldnt write. Gee.....what a free society you desire......
amazing.

but look, if you are vetted...which is a grotesque invasion of privacy just for openers....and you are labled a collaberator...then you can still work....thats what you're saying.....or not? See, this is confusing.....you want people vetted but there or isnt a penalty?

Anonymous said...

beatroot: 'There is a bunch of civil servants that are just under the present leadership that many think are really good...'
do you mean people like the spokesperson for the ministry of finances? you know the blond handsome one?
yeah he's hot.
but I wouldn't describe him as 'really good'. aren't you mistaking arrogance and self-centredness with efficiency? being young attactive and blonde is not the same as being a good civil servant. if that was the case then the 'Bel-Ami Boys' would be ruling the world, man. ( and let me tell you its a bloody shame they aren't!)

Harry said...

jannovak57 said...
Can you get anything right when it comes to Eastern Europe? You should tell us where you stand on lustration to keep yourself on topic.
With respect to the German community in Poland when the occupation authorities took hold people were asked to declare themselves as Germans or Poles, which was fairly straightforward. But there are no absolutes so there was a grey zone involving mixed families. Notwithstanding if you met the German criteria and declared yourself German you were now a citizen of the Third Reich with all of the corresponding obligations.
You missed the part were the Soviets send our ethnic German on an all expenses paid trip to the Soviet Union for a few years.
The small detail of being a Polish citizens and switching sides in the middle of a war shouldn’t get anyone too excited, right Harry.
Now when I as a Pole hear of German suffering in WW2 such as ethnic cleansing, murder, rape and confiscation of property it evokes nothing more than a yawn.


So, no comment at all about being called out on your lies again? Just thought that you’d get away with it and can’t believe that somebody would point out that you were lying yet again. Really is quite amazing how you can post such utter rubbish and expect to get away with it. Let’s have a look at the shite you posted above: Volksdeutsche were most certainly not citizens of the Reich. Citizens of the Reich were called Reichsdeutsche. Any children of mixed marriages would be put into category III of the Volksliste (and thus according to General Decree 12/C not able to become German officials). Category IV of the list which you portray as a declaration of being Polish or German was actually for what the Nazis regarded as German renegades: ethnic Germans who worked in a manner hostile to Germany.
The Soviets did indeed send ethnic Germans to the USSR. Poland just locked the ethnic Germans up in concentration camps and then shipped them all to the new Germany. Strangely we only get to hear about the crimes committed by the camp director who was a Jew.
Nice to note that you as a human can do no more than yawn at the thought of other humans being murdered, raped or robbed of everything they own.

As for lustration: I support fair trials for every person against whom there is a reasonable suspicion that he/she committed a crime and the statute of limitations for that crime has not yet expired.

geez said...

jannovak: Thanks for the response. Sounds like you could get a job with Hillary Clinton.

polishpenguin said...

Beat,

Youth can't run the government because they're leaving the country in record numbers. It seems they've had enough of everything.

geez said...

M. Farris wrote: "no government has any business meddling in private media. Employees of private media are not state employees."

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Fair enuff, but in the US, let's say, don't private individuals have access to government-held records to do research (as difficult as it oft proves to obtain materials requested)?

Seems to me that in Poland at present, alternatively, only certain groups are being allowed access (aside from some major slips). So this official arrangement, at least, offers unique protections to individuals who are included in the Secret Police files, if those who have access are fair and honest. Do those of you who object to vetting of journalists or whoever find these committees laden with Kaczynski hacks, simply determined to settle personal scores? Or do the committees actually offer those suspected of collaboration a certain level of protection against quick individual judgements and consequent defamation of character?

geez said...

steppx wrote: "if the vetting isnt to stop ANYONE from writing...say, in electronic or print media....then what is it doing? people have to wear scarlett letters?"

><:><:><:><:><:><:><

I can't say for sure but it seems that what nemeczek and jannovak want is for the collaborators to be outed for what they've done in the past. Nothing more, nothing less. So I guess it would be like invisible scarlett letters.

geez said...

Just saw this on Our Man in Gdansk:

"If you send in a comment to me you will have to sign the declaration too."

opamp said...

Seems to me that in Poland at present, alternatively, only certain groups are being allowed access (aside from some major slips). So this official arrangement, at least, offers unique protections to individuals who are included in the Secret Police files, if those who have access are fair and honest.

Not quite.

You see, the files are NOT classified; they are simply not availabe. They are being made available only to: (1) the people who were invigilated by the communist special services (if decided so by the IPN) and (2) researchers or journalists (if the IPN decides that their request for files is justified). So, in other words, the IPN arbitrarily decides who can see the files and the person who saw the files can disseminate them at will. Which results in the current mess.

There is no due process here, because there is no process at all.