Saturday, September 08, 2007

A few Polish turkeys vote for Christmas


And so it came to pass…the Polish Parliament votes for an election, probably October 21, just under two years after the last one (photo - Gazeta.pl).

Watching the debate before the dissolution vote Friday night, I couldn’t resist feeling a little teeny weeny bit sorry for some of the members of parliament, as I simultaneously laughed my head off at them.

As the speakers ranted from the rostrum, two were caught getting out little screw drivers and removing the name plates in front of their seats to take home for souvenirs. They knew they wouldn’t be coming back.

“Look, kids, I really was a Member of the Polish Parliament,” they will tell the grandchildren, one day, as they drool into their vodka, the fading memories of one of the weirdest terms of parliament in the history of weird parliaments whizzing round their crazed little brains.

Meanwhile, Jan Rokita – maybe the next prime minister in waiting – from Civic Platform feigned complete disinterest in the whole proceedings by flicking through what looked like an art catalogue.

On the government benches, Jolanta Szczypinska – who has been rumored to be Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s...um...girlfriend...was showing the MPs to the left, right and behind her a text message she had received on her mobile. Maybe it was a photo of Jaroslaw’s cat?

The debate itself was the usual pre-election stuff: the opposition taunting the government, the government trying to find things it was proud of.

Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski only turned up for the vote after the debate - the ruling Law and Justice party left it to their resident pitbull, Jacek Kurski to defend the government’s record.

He listed the government’s...um...achievements...most of which had nothing to do with them: robust economic growth, lowest inflation ever, lowest interest rates, etc….

He also claimed as a success the fact that President Lech Kavzynski had not ‘staggered around drunk’ in front of any memorials – a reference to an incident when the previous president, post-communist Aleksander Kwasniewski, once did appear to have had one (six) too many at a ceremony.

And then they voted. Most of the MPs knew that an election was the only way to resolve what has been two years of political instability. Many must have voted with a heavy heart, as many from the League of Polish Families and Self defense, for instance, will not be coming back.

But as to who will win the election is not clear. Civic Platform are favourites – although two opinion polls have shown a lead – the first time for 9 months - for Law and Justice. The Kaczynskis have around a 25 percent electoral base that no amount of scandal seems to shift.

And the Kaczynski team are amazingly good campaigners. They get dirty, really dirty. Expect all manner of scandals to emerge about other politicians. They are going to dig and dig for dirt. Corruption is going to be their platform, yet again.

So don’t bet against ‘the Ducks’. Many of the scandals over the last two years, and the incompetence and the manipulation and the intrigue, have literally been like water off a duck’s back.

53 comments:

michael farris said...

The Ducks of PiS share something with W of the US; they're far better at campaigning than actually governing (the idea of which bores them silly).

They're process oriented dealers who sabotage any outcome (so they can keep wheeling and dealing which is what they're really interested in).

They've also made it clear that they only will enter into coalitions with parties who they want to destroy from the inside. Any party leader who thinks otherwise is a fool.

I'm assuming they'll scrape a small victory and we'll get more the of the same (deals that are abrogated before the ink is dry) and a serious lack of attention to things that really need to be addressed (like tax structure, enterprise-hobbling bureaucracy, the fact that the ambition of far too many young people is oriented toward leaving Poland altogether, etc etc etc).

PO have some better ideas but are awful campaigners who insist on trying to use logic and reasonable arguments in their campaigns (rather than character assassination which works far better). And there's no indication that they'd be able to actually get much legislation thru.

geez said...

Why doesn't the PO hire an American political consulting firm?

Because the dux will throw that at them, too? Dependence on foreigners, blah-blah, woof-woof.

Seems to me the PO can throw that back at the dux in spades and then some.

beatroot said...

PO have some better ideas but are awful campaigners who insist on trying to use logic and reasonable arguments in their campaigns (rather than character assassination which works far better). ....

Why doesn't the PO hire an American political consulting firm?

Because the dux will throw that at them, too? Dependence on foreigners, blah-blah, woof-woof.


Neh, quack, quack.

Two different studies of American campaigning I have seen showed.

a) As Mike says, getting across a central image, message, is more successful than showering the electorate with policy detail. Ducks understand that, too.

But Geez, another study said that hiring in political campaign firms has been a disaster for the Democrats. These professional campaigners are parashuted in to constituencies to get people to sign up and then bugger off somewhere else to do the same.

The Republicans, on the other hand, understand that local based campaigns on local based issues by local based people works much better.

Ducks understand that too.

So I think the Democrat model is not one that Civic Platform should follow. But, being slightly 'superior' urban types, they are too thick in actual fact to grasp these truths.

I predict a narrow win for Duck and Justice too, but nobody is gonna want to get into bed with them as they have pissed off everyone, right, left and Giertych.

geez said...

Depends on the consulting firm.

TV media backed up by radio is what can change the course of what's already out there. People who can and do read usually have their minds made up well in advance -- and they are not swayed absent a bomb going off.

And it takes years to build up local organization. The impression I get, as a foreigner, is that PO folks are businessmen who are just slumming in poltrix for a coupla years.

And yea, Republicans are better at fearmongering at the local level. But like the dux in terms of campaigning, that's their specialty.

So, it seems to me that if the PO guys don't shoot their wad and go all out soon, they are going to fade into oblivion.

And maybe that's what they deserve.

beatroot said...

It is not that the republican's fear monger, it is that they buold up connections between them and the local communities they are campaigning in.

Democrats hire forms like People's Projest to come in to the area and try and get suppprt.

That is crucial because Democrats have little connection with the communities they are trying to win over. And that one good reason why Republicans can beat Democrats.

geez said...

Well, that certainly is not true in the Northeast or Great Lakes regions. Er, the blue states...

I'd say the main connection that Republicans build up between them and suburban constituencies is fear of Black folk. Or guys in turbans. Or women in hijabs for that matter.

geez said...

Just looking through some of the posts under other headlines...

It's always been amazing to me the disdain young whippersnappers spew towards Michnik.

I'd no doubt be more sympathetic towards the dux if they didn't engender that kind of animus.

It's been commonly said in leftie circles in the US that the corporate rich devour their young; in Poland it seems the young of all classes devour their parents.

Sad spectacle, methinks.

beatroot said...

Yeah, the generation gap is real here. Many of the young have contempt for Michnik etc because they never had to make the decisions he had to and his generation had to.

It is easy to sneer at the compromises post just before and after 1989 if you don't remember those times.

Hindsight is 20-20.

YouNotSneaky! said...

It's not sneering at the compromises and it's not just the young that makes people disgusted by Michnik. Remember that J. Kaczynski was a main supporter of Walesa back in the day (and ol' Lech tried to play him but the duck was a bit too smart for that so he split off eventually) which means that back then he more or less accepted those compromises. It's what came after '89 and the dirty smears that GW would publish back then and the whitewashing of bastards like Jaruzelski and Kiszczak and the insistence that anyone to the right of Michnik was a fascist much much much worse than the post communist (which eventually let the commies get back in power) and the friendship with scumbags like Urban and the patronizing condescending attitude towards anyone who wasn't part of the "salon" and just the general personality of GW and Michnik.

Reread that editorial you linked to earlier. It's a nasty little hatchet job high on hyperbole, vague accusations and completely empty of facts. It illustrates Michnik's style to a t.

jannowak57 said...

It’s not just getting elected, it’s also being tough enough to stay in power. Polish politics is still a street brawlers game. The PO has demonstrated themselves to be ineffective in opposition and poor campaigners. It’s fair to say they would be too weak to survive as a government. Mr. Tusk and company can’t be rescued by foreign helpers at some point he has to demonstrate some political talents.

Geez said..” It's always been amazing to me the disdain young whippersnappers spew towards Michnik.”

Because the closet commie prick deserves it! Michnik and GW is the mouthpiece of the commies (SLD) and he no longer has any credibility.

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

I must say that 'rubicon' editorial was a bit stupid � I have seen some of the henchmen at work up close and it is not pretty: but to even come close to likening it to 48 - 56 is just gormless.

And the Havel comment last week - that the elections should have outside observers (in case Kaczki try and rig it) was.interesting. Where did he get that kind of stuff from? Of course, everyone hinks that he was 'primed' by good friends of his like ...Michnik.

Michnik's comments are damaging because it dilutes the real and genuine criticisms about the Kaczki years. Poland 18 years after Stalinism is not Stalinist. Yes, the present government feel uncomfortable about being criticized, nor do some of the underlings understand free speech. But that is not the same as wanting to being back the gulags.

And Poles can get rid of them, if they so wish in a general election.

It's up to them.

michael farris said...

In the 80's party membership was a sign of personal ambition and not commitment to any special ideology. Educational levels in the party were also generally higher than outside it.

It's hardly suprising that many well educated opponents of the old regime found they had more in common with some party members than the rank-and-file of Solidarity, not known for either ambition or education (considering how important educational level is as a mark of identity in Poland).

It's also not surprising that well-educated ambitious people (like many party members) were better able to negotiate the post communist reality than unskilled or semi-skilled workers.

Rewriting history to turn pretty mundane events into some wide-reaching evil conspiracy is just ... pathetic (and an effective way to get the unskilled and semi-skilled to vote for you, unfortunately).

YouNotSneaky! said...

"Educational levels in the party were also generally higher than outside it."

I'm actually not 100% sure this was true. Look at Kwasniewskis' "degree". And even to the extent it was you should adjust for things like "March Doctorates" and the fact that if one did the right things in the party one could essentially get a degree "for free". So maybe party members had more degrees but I don't know I'd call them "educated". And the PZPR usually relied on the support of the uneducated, anti-intelligentsia and such. Who do you think filled the ranks of ZOMO in the 80's? A good portion of Samoobronna are former members of the PZPR. They, and their electorate, is not exactly what comes to mind when the word "educated" comes up. Also if you look at how voting split in the past elections, the SLD generally, up until the last one, did better with the uneducated voters.

beatroot said...

It's about social class...as I have said. What is interesting, hiwever, is that many in the state sector - and some of the old intellectuals - have seen their social position GO DOWN, and not just up...as Kaczki seem to presume.

And aming those people, the view that capitalism can be rather 'vulgar'.

michael farris said...

"I'm actually not 100% sure this was true."

Neither am I so I'll modify it a little.

1. Many of the better educated former party members and better educated and ambitious anti-communists found they had more in common with each other than with the less educated on 'their' side. I'm no commie sympathizer but I can think of lots of party members I'd sooner hang out with than the Gwiazdas or Walentynowicz.

2. Success or failure in post-communist Poland depended more on a combination of intelligence-education (not always the same thing of course) and ambition than on any conspiracy by an 'układ'.

I absolutely still stand by my last paragraph in that post.

jannowak57 said...

michael farris said... “In the 80's party membership was a sign of personal ambition and not commitment to any special ideology. Educational levels in the party were also generally higher than outside it.”

All this represented was that the party was a magnet to for people willing to profit by betraying Poland for personnel gain making the description criminals and traitors a most appropriate label for those who joined the party.

The educational credentials of the party membership would often not hold up to scrutiny as they were issued without bearing any relationship to academic merit or content of the supposed studies. Handed out like candies to the compliant children.

One has to ask if the most heinous treachery wasn’t that of Michnik and his kind who effectively executed a counter-revolution of sorts by substantively reversing Solidarity’s victory in 89/90 by means of internal subversion during the round table.

Michnik has to go for broke in this fight as he most know if the Pis is victorious in this election his days are numbered. Pathetic attempts to enlist Havel only show signs of utter desperation and weakness.

Whether we label this remaining filth from the days of the PRL “uklad” or call it something else, its destruction is essential for Polish society to progress.

beatroot said...

Jan - why should the future of a newspaper editor be dependant on the result of an election?

Now that really does so totalitarian!

Renegade Eye said...

The campaign truisms of Karl Rove, were good for the short term for the Republicans.

The damage of Bush's governing is so severe, the Iraq War, threats to cut Social Security, corruption etc., that they may disappear politically in a few years.

With the number of Latino immigrants growing, and the GOP base locked into racial politics, there will never again be a Republican president in the US.

The young associate them with hating gays, a value they do not share.

Zebro said...

I hope you're all right that Michnik's "creeping coup" was a step too far. But not all coups are mobilised overnight and announced on TV on December 14th. Not all wars are declared. In conversation with Polish friends I have been struck by how sure they are of PiS's victory. "They have the media" is a typical comment. But they also have the prosecution service.

beatroot said...

One of the complaints of this government is that all tne media are against them...that is why they spent sooo much time with Rydzyk...up until Rydzyk called Mrs Kaczor a witch etc...

geez said...

"Michnik is a commie prick" ? ? ?

Again, the consequent utilization of appelations like this is exactly why I think the Kaczynski government is an bad news for Poland.

All the talk about round table "subversion," "betrayal," etc. sickens me. It is a perverse bizzaro reflection of communist propaganda.

These are truly sad days for Poland.

So I think the "Rubicon" editorial was not at all that far off the mark even if hyperbole was involved.

geez said...

And why were these guys arrested? Simply for "cleansing" purposes? Or to assure that they would not testify to "cleanse" the corruption in the Kaczynski government???

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/100549.html

contains the following:


"Gagged" and "PiS locks up witnesses" screamed Friday's front page headlines, with commentators insisting the Kaczynski government arrested the men in order to prevent them from testifying before parliament regarding allegations that Kaczynski used the secret police and justice ministry in attempts to neutralize political rivals.

geez said...

And here is the "Rubicon" article in English:

http://www.gazetawyborcza.pl/1,82049,4448912.html

geez said...

And BR, seems you were engaging in a bit of hyperbole yourself...

Michnik, at the end of the "Rubicon" article, concludes:

"Of course, Jarosław Kaczyński is not Bolesław Bierut and Ziobro is not Stanisław Radkiewicz, but the Civic Platform MPs should remember about those events when they make their decisions."

beatroot said...

No, Geez...mentioning 1948 for its shock value and then saying "...but of course kaczynski is not Bierut.." won;t wash.If he is not Bierut then why bother dragging up Stalinism in the first place. I would have thought that Michnik of all people can distinguish between then and now.

geez said...

There are some parallels even if the arrests won't lead to a bullet in the back of the head. I initially noted, too, Michnik employed hyberbole. But you made it sound like he didn't see any difference between what happened back then and now. Obviously, he did given his last paragraph in the "Rubicon" editorial.

And talk like:

"Whether we label this remaining filth from the days of the PRL “uklad” or call it something else, its destruction is essential for Polish society to progress."

and...

"Michnik has to go for broke in this fight as he most know if the Pis is victorious in this election his days are numbered."

... well, even if this is not what the Dux are saying, I betcha it's what they're thinking and plotting. So I can understand where Michnik is coming from, especially given all the time he spent in jail under the communists (and then to be called the likes of "commie prick" and worse!).

I fear that it's all too possible to underestimate and pooh-pooh the threat the Dux pose to democratic development in Poland. Democracy is never so ensconced that we don't have to continue to struggle to defend and extend it.

sonia said...

Beatroot,

turkeys vote for Christmas

I never ate turkey for Christmas in Poland. Christmas is vegetarian in Poland - only fish are allowed.

'Carps vote for Christmas' would be more accurate.

Good riddance to Ligia and Samoobrona. They won't be missed.

beatroot said...

You see, it isn’t just Michnik who casually uses these comparisons…quite often I have heard normal people saying..”They are just the same as communists..”

But they are not like communists at all, and say it is a distraction to a proper, intelligent critique of them.

A big problem is that they have been using public institutions for political ends. But this is the Polish system. It leaves public institutions open to this sort of manipulation. Each time there is an election different people move in and out go the previous lot. Poles seem to think this is normal. It is not. They have to change the system completely so a professional civil service develops. My dad was a UK civil servant – and he finished quite high up in it, too. Before the election they would create two different policy enactment portfolios – one for if the Conservatives got in; one for if Labour got it. But my dad and his colleagues stayed in their posts no matter which party won the election..

That way you get professional public servants, not cronies.

So the Ducks did not invent the system, but they maybe could be accused of abusing it.

And let’s look at the consequences of having incompetents and cronies in those posts. 500 meters of highway have been built in two years. 500 meters in a country crying out for decent roads.

So lets start talking about the here and now and stop using words like Stalinist etc. Things have changed.

Sonia - I already have written the Carps vote for Christmas post (see December 2005...:-)

And yes, Lig and samoobrona will bite the dust....ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

michael farris said...

I think the Kaczynski's have imbibed a lot of the communist management style. I'm not talking about Stalinists or the like, but the flawed (but not necessarily very evil) guys who were in charge of local government in the 70's and 80's. That's who most people are referring to with the 'they're just like the commies' talk.

Think Bożena Dykiel in Wyjście Awaryjne, Anioł in Alternatywy 4 or the ex-wife's fiance in Miś (without the humor or offbeat charisma): Puffed up with their own importance, unwilling (and/or unable) to listen to advice or criticism, much less countenance actual dissent and thinking of other people as disposable chess pieces in the ultimate game of achieving more for themselves. That sounds like the Ducks to me.

"I never ate turkey for Christmas in Poland. Christmas is vegetarian in Poland - only fish are allowed"

Actually it's Christmas Eve (Wigilia) that there's no meat. It's okay to eat meat on Christmas Day (though that's not as big a holiday as Christmas Eve is).

And I too would like to see both Samoobrona and LPR out on their asses. I see that LPR is wanting to join up with Korwin-Mikke's laughingstock of a party and someone else, is that Jurek's non-starter?

beatroot said...

Jurek's non starter. Do you remember them? He left PiS in a huff and he has gone out with a puff.

If Korwin Mikke - an anti- statist (with monarchist tendencies) far right clown - accepts the invetation then that will add about 0.1 percent to Giertych's vote.

And Giertych et al are not for low taxes as Mikke is...quite the opposite...so it means that the League of Polish Families have gone back to what they really are: not a party of government, but a party of 'principle' standing on the sidelines, jeering at the mainstream....... a place Mikke has been inhabiting for nearly two decades.

It is where they belong, after all.

jannowak57 said...

beatroot said... “why should the future of a newspaper editor be dependant on the result of an election? Now that really does so totalitarian!”

He’s not a just some newspaper editor rather he’s a propagandist for the remaining forces of the old PRL.

Let’s face Michnik doesn’t comes from a family known for their patriotism, just recently:

“The Institute of Natoinal Rememberance (IPN) will file a motion to court for issuing an arrest warrant for the Stalinist judge Stefan Michnik, brother of famous editor Adam, writes "Zycie Warszawy". In the 1950s, he sentenced at least ten people to death, who were rehabilitated years later. According to "Zycie Warszawy", IPN will apply to the court for the European Arrest Warrant to be issued for Stefan Michnik, who has lived in Sweden since 1969, but still has Polish citizenship. The Institute decided to follow this legal path as it feared that a motion for the extradition of Adam Michnik’s brother would be rejected by Sweden.”……… thenews.pl May 2007

From Michnik’s article ..”Since yesterday, since the arrest of Janusz Kaczmarek, Konrad Kornatowski, and Jaromir Netzel - Poland has become a place where no one can feel safe.”

Reality check: Jarosław Kaczyński remarked… “that it was a routine action of the law enforcement units and giving it any other meaning was totally groundless. Kaczyński stressed that law was in force in today’s Poland. “The fact that somebody is famous, that he plays some political role is totally unimportant for the administration of justice in a lawful state,”

Doesn’t it stand to reason that if you don’t want the cops standing at your door, don’t divulge to your cronies details of a police investigation. When you had a duty to remain silent.

From Michnik’s article .”I don't feel safe myself”

Reality check: An understandable statement from a person that remains the main apologists for the PRL and it remaining personalities.

YouNotSneaky! said...

"And why were these guys arrested? Simply for "cleansing" purposes? Or to assure that they would not testify to "cleanse" the corruption in the Kaczynski government???"

Alright. I'm gonna hafta scream this.
*Clears throat* ghrhgh ghghhr

THE MAIN PERSON MAKING THESE ACCUSATIONS IS ANDRZEJ FREAKIN' LEPPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THE SAME DUDE WHO SAID TALIBAN WAS GROWING ANTHRAX IN SOME PO-DUNK VILLAGE IN SOUTHERN POLAND!!!!!!

Ok I feel better. Now. It seems people like Michnik and others in the opposition have willfully picked up on Mr. Lepper's accusations without any skepticism simply because it gives'em a club to try to beat the ducks with. But the arrestees weren't arrested "to be silenced", they were arrested because they look dirty as hell. Who cares if they were "in opposition"? And when you start repreating stuff that comes out of Lepper's mouth your credibility is gonna take a hit too. Which is why despite the "scandals" (which weren't really scandals) PiS is up in the polls. Because people see through the cynical political opportunism that this is on the part of Michnik, Giertych and company.

Like I said before. Ideologically I'm closest to PO and hope they win this election. But hey, I've got standards and though only a little love for the ducks, this is stuff is bullshit.

YouNotSneaky! said...

"... well, even if this is not what the Dux are saying, I betcha it's what they're thinking and plotting. So I can understand where Michnik is coming from, especially given all the time he spent in jail under the communists (and then to be called the likes of "commie prick" and worse!)."

Michnik was a commie prick. It just so happened that he was a Trostkyite commie prick so the other commie pricks put him in jail. Then he became a democratic-commie then somewhat of a social democrat with a very very soft spot in his heart for ex-commie pricks who paid him homage as a "moral authority" and invited him to his parties.

So calling him a "commie prick" these days is probably inaccurate. But as a general insult it doesn't have to be literal and the connection is obvious. Far far more obvious and accurate than calling Kaczynskis fascists or Stalinists.

YouNotSneaky! said...

Also beatroot is totally correct about the nature of Polish public institutions and what happens every time there's a change in the government. New guys come in, kick out the old civil servants and replace them with their own men and women. The Ducks are no different in this regard then previous governments. But when PiS does it it's a "threat to democracy" but when SLD, PSL, UW, AWSP and yo' mama did it it was business as usual and no one even blinked.

And yes, of course it should be changed, just like the voting system should be changed.

geez said...

You sound lilke a proto-fascist sneaky prick! I'm moving out of this sewer. Bye! You win. Poland becomes Kanal!

beatroot said...

He’s not a just some newspaper editor rather he’s a propagandist for the remaining forces of the old PRL.

Sorry, Jan, but why should a propogandist worry about the result of an election? Don't you think people should publish what they want?

If you do think he should worry about that then I think you have a problem...

Geez....stop being the drama queen.

geez said...

You tolerate too much bullshit, BR.

Sorry, bye.

I'm a drama queen and proud.

YouNotSneaky! said...

Aw jeez.

drama queen said...

Bullshit = (among sooo many other nonsensical ideas) the notion that Michnik takes his cues from Lepper.

YouNotSneaky! said...

Nah, of course he doesn't take his cues from Lepper. He's just willing to use whatever and whoever in order to try and settle his own personal scores. Right now the Ducks are the enemy so Lepper gets the benefit of a doubt.

youverysneakylikethedux said...

Don't let the facts get in the way of your argument, youlittlewhatdid youcallMichnik?.

Last I looked it was the dux who welcomed Lepper into their government. Oh yea, then dumped him when they were no longer willing to use him anymore to settle their own personal scores? Pretty much the same with Rydzik in effect.

Then you charge Michnik for doing what the dux have done. No shame.

Anonymous said...

Re: Beatroot's comments on the contrast between the Civil Service in Poland and Britain. Poland was moving towards a politically independent Civil Service until guess who started undoing the good work? PiS, that's who.

YouNotSneaky! said...

Ay, if you wanna say "The Dux shouldn't have let Lepper into their government" or "The Dux were wrong to cuddle with Lepper", that's fine. In fact I'll cheer you on. But that doesn't mean that the charges being made by Lepper and echoed by Michnik (however indirectly) PRESENTLY have any substance to them. And if it was wrong for them then then it is wrong for him now.

michael farris said...

Why does anyone in the world listen to anything Andrzej Lepper says?

If he said the sun rose in the east this morning I'd want confirmation from a reliable source.

geez said...

"However indirectly"

Well, Sneak, I gotta admit your dancing skills do give me a chuckle at times.

YouNotSneaky! said...

Who else but Lepper has made these accusations? What reliable persona, other than Michnik? The PO has issued some mutterings about how this should be investigated and stuff like that - which given that they're the opposition you'd expect them to try and take some advantage of the situation - but they pretty much stayed clear of this whole mess. Oh wait. Maybe the "demokraci". Like these guys have any credibility left. And I really wish you'd like, actually, you know, say something relevant. Reply, that is. Rather than just making silly little snide remarks. It doesn't reflect well on your position.

geez said...

These accusations have been made in numerous newspapers by different folks across the world.

I don't give a shit who made what accusation or called what into question first.

Now you're conceding that Michnik is a "reliable person"? Well, that's a change so I'm glad that much transformation has been accomlished.

You say the PO are wishy-washy about the whole matter? Surprise!

You call people who put their lives on the line against the communists "commie pricks" and then you say I make snide remarks in response? Well, uh, yea. And charge that I'm an old irrelevant fart? Well, I can live with that, too. Especially since my farts don't stink.

beatroot said...

Michnik was very brave in the 1960s particularly...a very dangerous time to do what he did...respect for that always.

Would we have had the guts?

YouNotSneaky! said...

Yeah but the different folks across the world pretty much all get their information from people from Michnik. Partially it makes sense since these are the folks who are educated, speak languages and have international connections. Unlike PiS supporters. But that doesn't make them right.

I thought about putting quotation marks around reliable above but then just got lazy.

And wait. Where did I say anything about old irrelevant farts.

And sure, Michnik deserves props for KOR, for Solidarity, for a lot of stuff up until, oh about 1989. But you know what they say about power. And anyway. Just because someone can be brave in the face of oppression does not mean they're not a prick. In fact to some extent the two go together. You need a lot of self-confidence, self-righteousness and conviction that you are in the right and those who you are against are in the wrong in order to keep the struggle alive. Unfortunately, after the revolution, these are precisely the qualities. It's actually not just Michnik that has had this problem. Walesa is another. Frasyniuk to a lesser extent. Many other ex-Solidarity folks too.

geez said...

So you're saying that you take back the "commie prick" epithet and that he's just a prick? And that such you put him in the company of the K-skis? Or are they prickless?

Anonymous said...

Hey, cool website man. Wish there was a better format for discussions.

beatroot said...

What better fromat?