Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Užijte si skládání putzlete a mějte krásné Díkůvzdání ať už ho slavíte či ne.

Click to Mix and Solve

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tak jsem konečně dostal všechny svoje uniformy a tak vám tu mohu nabídnou obrázek jak vypadá student, v tomto případě já, v Hudson County Community College obor kulinářské umění. Podotýkám, že jsem je nedostal, ale zakoupil, jenže jsem na ně čekal víc než dva měsíce. Mám teď taky na pár dní odpočinek od školy, protože den Díkůvzdání je ve čtvrtek a tak nemáme školu. Od vaření si ale moc neodpočinu, protože jako správný student kulinářství budu vařit večeři na Díkůvzdání. Oproti loňsku, kdy jsme byli s Jessem sami, letos máme hostů požehnaně. Celkem by nás mělo být sedm určitě a možná až devět. A to už je něco krků nasytit. Nic přehnaně komplikované dělat ale nebudu, protože k tomu nemám jednak prostory na vaření a pak ani na skladování. Takže bude jako obvykle krocan, kterého i letos Jesse dostal v práci, pak šunka, hovězí polévka s játrovými knedlíčky, pro maminku krémová houbová polévka a asi nějaká zapečená zelenina, bramborová kaše, zelenina, domácí rohlíky, jablečný a brusinkový koláč a možná ještě něco navíc. Docela dost práce, ale mám už dnes volno a tak začínám s předstihem. Tak hurá do toho.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Cause and effect essay

What can we still consider as freedom of speech and what is already encouragement to hatred? The line between these is very, very thin and it differs country by country. What is o.k. in America it is not in most European countries. A Neo-Nazi group in the Czech Republic has announced protest against "participation of the Czech Army in the Iraq war". Nothing is wrong about that and the group has definitely the right to express its opinion. That is democracy. What is wrong about that is that the demonstration is going to take place on the anniversary of Kristalnacht and the group plans to go through the Jewish neighborhood in Prague. The right reason for their march can be hidden, but the timing and place make the protest very suspicious. The demonstration has nothing to do with the Iraq war, but antisemitism. Therefore, the city of Prague and its authorities banned the demonstration, however the court revoked the decision. Then the authorities banned it again and now the march is banned. Nevertheless, the Neo- Nazi group plans to march anyway. Because of that, the Jewish community organizes people to stand up the group and defend the neighborhood even with their bodies. Leftist groups, that are anti-fascist, also plan to challenge the Neo-Nazis. Tomorrow is going to be very nasty at the Old Town in Prague.

As a coincidence, I wrote the following essay a few weeks ago as my response to the following: "Write a cause - and - effect essay explaining how derogatory terms applied to particular groups of people make it possible for others to ignore, dislike, or even mistreat them." We all should aware what can happen when hatred is fuelled by those terms!

Words are very powerful and hurtful tools. When they are artfully used, they are even more powerful than acts are themselves. People have been aware of this fact probably since the development of the first language, and derogatory words have been around since. It does not matter if they are based on religion, nationality, color of skin and/or sexual orientation because these terms have only one goal, and it is to hurt and humiliate. Moreover, the effect of them also creates hatred, mistreatment, loss of dignity and personality and, unfortunately, even death. Just the word “Jew”, the word that describes a member of a religion or ethnicity, can be used and was abused as a derogatory term. Sadly, it also can be said about other groups, such as the gay and lesbian minority or the Roma ethnicity that are targets of such bias, too.

A horrendous example of the effect of how powerful words can be was Nazi Germany propaganda in the 1930s and afterwards. The people behind the propaganda masterly used the Jewish community in Germany for creation of extreme nationalism by blaming them for the loss of World War I, economic misfortune and, eventually, of everything that went wrong in the country and when they needed to find a scapegoat. They intensified hysteria against Jews by picturing them as dirty, greedy and stinky inferior people who wanted to destroy the German nation. Many antisemitic laws were implemented to Germany jurisdiction in the early 1930s, among them the one that was used to justify expulsion of thousands of Jews of Polish origin from Germany to Poland where they were gathered in camps under inhuman conditions. As a result of this mistreatment, a young Jewish man, whose family was expelled to Poland, shot a secretary of the German Embassy in Paris who later died. Consequently, the Nazi regime used this unfortunate act as an excuse to start terror against Jews in Germany. The night of the terror is called Kristalnacht. Many Jewish synagogues and chapels were burnt down and many Jewish stores and companies were plundered. Repression against Jews got worse and worse. They had to wear an armband with the Star of David, they were forced to leave their homes and possessions and moved to ghettos. The conditions at the ghettos were the cause of death of many people or loss of their dignity. In 1942, the Nazi regime came up with “the final solution concept” and concentration camps were used to annihilate nearly all of the Jewish population on the German occupied territories. As a result of this concept, about six million Jews died in the gas chambers of the concentration camps. This genocide started out in the wake of hatred fueled by derogatory words toward one ethnic group.

As a matter of fact, antisemitism was not a matter only in Nazi Germany, but also it played its sad role in Czechoslovakia in the early 1950s. As a part of the fight for power and fear of Stalin, then leadership of the Communist party of Czechoslovakia fabricated a monstrous process with its own party members. Because it was looking for a scapegoat, Jewish descent functioned again as the main part in this process. Fourteen members of the Communist party leadership, among them the General Secretary of the party, the highest rank in the leadership, were charged with Zionist conspiracy, espionage, treason and sabotage for the purpose of destroying the so-called democratic regime in former Czechoslovakia. Eleven out of fourteen of them were of Jewish descent, not a coincidence, and the regime used that in the charges. These eleven were Rudolf Slansky, the General Secretary of the Communist party, Bedrich Geminder, former head of International Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist party, Ludvik Frejka, former chief of the Economic Department of the Presidential Chancery, Bedrich Reicin, former undersecretary of the National Security Department, Artur London, former undersecretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Vavro Hajdu, former undersecretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Eugen Lobl, former undersecretary of the Department of Commerce, Rudolf Margolius, former undersecretary of the Department of Commerce, Otto Fischl, former undersecretary of the Treasury Department, Otto Sling, former chief secretary of the Regional Committee of the Communist party in Brno and Andre Simone, former editor of Rude Pravo. It did not matter whether or not they were guilty, their descent was important. Subsequently, antisemitism grew in shocking numbers and people manipulated by propaganda demanded the capital punishment for all of them. In the end of this charade, only three people were sentenced to life in prison, the rest got the capital punishment. The process was the worst account of the propagandistic usage of a derogatory word in the history of my country.

Another group against which slurs and derogatory terms are used is the gay and lesbian minority. How many times do we hear these words and how often? They are used not only against the minority group itself, but also they are very often used in regular conversation to ridicule the other person without any connection to real sexuality of that person. Fear of unknown, unwillingness to understand and accept difference, and ignorance are mainly the cause. There is one particularly vulnerable group inside the minority and that is a group of teenagers and young people. The consequences of these slurs for them can go from just hiding their real feelings, being confused of their own sexuality or pretending to be somebody else to as far as suicide. For example, a teenage boy who lives somewhere in Wyoming and does not have many chances to come across the other people who are the same is exposed to everyday remarks and derogatory terms of homosexuality from his peers, parents, and neighbors. Now, he's confused because of what he feels and what he hears. In a while, he starts to question himself and it makes him feel less valuable than other people. In a good scenario, he tries to find any help available to him or he runs away from the family to a big city to comfort himself by the city's anonymity and bigger chances to find someone who has the same problem. Nonetheless, life in a big city is not easy especially for a teenager. He has to take care of himself, but that can bring him to more problems, such as crime, drugs, prostitution. In a worse scenario, he unsuccessfully tries to fight back his feelings and put up with the contrast between them and what he hears about them and he can end up dead one day. In both scenarios, his life is affected by the prejudice caused by powerful words.

Derogatory terms are, unfortunately, an integral part of everyday language. They are used to show our dislike with a person or ideas he or she represents. They are also used to show speaker's superior feelings. When they are used excessively against any group of people based on its ethnicity, work and citizenship status and/or religion, they can have disastrous consequences. Our own history and lives are full of examples of such consequences. Unless we stop using them, there is always going to be hatred, humiliation or loss of lives.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Včera se v amerických mediích objevila jedna docela šokojucí zpráva, kterou jsem zatím v českém internetovém tisku nenašel. Ta zpráva je tedy šokem alespoň pro mě a jedná se o Yahoo portál. Jde o to, že čínský student vyjadřoval svoji podporu studentské vzpouře z náměstí Tien An Men z roku 1989 při příležitosti jejího výročí na portálu Yahoo, který má i svoji verzi v čínštině. Jenže toto téma je, jak už to v komunistických zemích bývá, v Číně přísně zakázáno. A tak čínské úřady dumaly, jak se dostat onomu studentíkovi na kobylku a na řešení přišly. Zeptaly se Yahoo a ten jim velice ochotně vyhověl a vlastně studenta udal. Dal úřadům jeho jméno a emailovou adresu a ty pak studenta zatkly. Dnes sedí ve vězení. Studentova matka žaluje Yahoo a protože by se mohlo jednat i o americký federální zločin, Yahoo je dnes vyšetřován senátní komisí amerického kongresu. Kam až americké firmy zajdou, jak daleko, ve snaze mít co největší zisky a nerozlobit si nikoho, v tomto případě režim, který se o nějaká práva občanů nemůže starat míň. Když to Yahoo udělal v případě Číňana, pak to udělá v případě kohokoliv. Američana, Čecha, Ukrajince, Kanaďana atd. Amerika se proměnila ve společnost nadnárodních obřích korporací bez jakýchkoliv skrupulí. Je to ostuda demokracie. Exituje ještě vůbec?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Election Day

Jestli si někdo v Česku stěžuje, že se volí příliš často, tak asi neví o americkém systému. Tady se volí totiž každý rok. Ať už je to volba starosty města, šerifa, místního zastupitelstva, státního zastupitelstva či guvernéra až po federální kongresové a prezidentské volby volí se každý rok. Proto je tento den označen v kalendáři. Děcka ve veřejných základních školách mají volno. Někdy se volí do něčeho co mi ani nejde do hlavy. Letos je to volba do státního zastupitelstva a tady se rozhoduje zda New Jersey zastupitelství zůstane v rukou Demokratů či Republikáni převezmou otěže. Nicméně, tento den za rok se bude rozhodovat o nástupci Mr. B. Ať už to bude Demokrat nebo Republikánec, nikdo ze současných kandidátů na obou stranách není takový idiot jako současný obyvatel Bílého domu. Jako ukázku jeho brilientnosti uvádím pár jeho citací během jeho prezidentsví, která jsem vybral z nástěnného kalendáře pro rok 2007, který jsme dostali k vánocům od Alexe, Jesseho bratrance. Kalendář je vlastně oficiální odpočítávání dnů Mr. B., která mu zůstávají pro jeho působení v úřadu. Citáty jsem nepřekládal, protože by ztratily půvab a pravda je, že ani někdy nepotřebují být přeloženy.
"I'm the commander - see, I don't need to explain - I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president."

4.ledna 2002 při příležitosti představení jeho guvernátorského portrétu, Bush příhlížejícím poděkoval následovně:
"Thank you for taking time out of your day to come and witness my hanging."

4.února 2005 Bush mluvil s matkou tří dětí z Omahy, Nebraska:
"You work three jobs?...Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that."

24.února 2001 ve rozhlasovém projevu:
"My plan reduces the national debt, and fast. So fast....that economists worry that we're going to run out of debt to retire."

25.února 2000 na CBS:
"The Bob Jones policy on interracial dating...I spoke out against interracial dating. I support the policy of interracial dating."

"We need an energy bill that encourages consumption."

24.dubna 2001 rozhovor v denníku the Washington Post, hovořil o Kyotském protokolu:
"First, we would not accept a treaty that would not have been ratified, nor a treaty that I thought made sense for the country."

"I'm also not very analytical. You know I don't spend a lot of time thinking about myself, about why I do things."

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of lot easier, just so long I'm the dictator."

24.září 2001 během tiskové konference s premiérem Kanady Bush triumfálně oznámil:
"Border relations between Canada and Mexico have never been better."

"I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe - I believe what I believe is right."

18.října 2004 během projevu v Marlton, New Jersey Bush řekl:
"September the fourth, 2001, I stood in the ruins of the Twin Towers. It's a day I will never forget."

21.listopadu 2002 komentuje svoje setkání s Kancléřem Shroederem takto:
"I had a cordial meeting at the meeting last night. We greeted each other cordially."

10 prosince 2001 během tradičního židovského svátku rozsvícení menory říká:
"I coudn't imagine somebody like Osama bin Laden understanding the joy of Hanukkah."

18.prosince 2002 při projevu ve Washington, D.C.:
"I think the American people - I hope the American - I don't think, let me - hope the American people trust me."