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  Name:
  Gustav
  Location:
  Warsaw, Poland

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A well regulated Militia ...

The Guardian:

Larry Mugrage, a popular hard-working and clever schoolboy, added his name to a high and persistent death toll. A child is killed by a gun every three hours in America. According to the latest statistics, nearly 1,000 children under 19 are shot dead every year. Another 800 use guns to commit suicide, and more than 160 die in firearm accidents.

Forty per cent of American households own guns, but those guns are 22 times more likely to be involved in an accidental shooting, or 11 times more likely to be used in a suicide, than in self-defence. On average, more than 80 Americans are killed by gunfire every day.

...

Mr Martin had every right to his .410 (11mm) bore shotgun. Ohio does not require anyone buying any firearm to have a permit. Nor does the state require gunowners to have a licence, although some inner city municipalities have stricter rules. Most state legislatures considering gun legislation are seeking to relax the remaining controls. Last year, Florida introduced a law giving its citizens the right to "stand their ground" and open fire, even in a public place, if they feel threatened, and the gun lobby is trying to pass a bill in the state that would allow workers to bring guns into their workplace with or without their employer's consent.

Under pressure from the NRA, the Republican-run House of Representatives is investigating the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for "abuse" of its power for cracking down on rural "gun shows" where controls on sales are generally looser.

Larry Mugrage will be mourned in Union Township as another victim of inexplicable rage, but the means used to kill him are unlikely to raise many eyebrows. Controls on shotgun ownership have never really been on the table in the debate, and that has been over for more than a year on the national stage. Mr Martin would have been within his constitutional rights to guard his lawn with an AK-47.


22 Comments:



Anonymous Anonymous said...

The statistics cited by the Guardian are bloated because they count 'children' who are gang members involved in criminal activity as 'children' in the normal sense.

The fact of the matter is (excluding the African American community), your chances of being a homicide victim in the US are about the same as in Germany.

If you are African American, your chance of being a homicide victim is almost an order of magnitude higher.

So the reason that most Americans don't support gun registration and confiscation schemes is that a) many of them (or family or friends)own firearms, with b) little risk from doing so.

http://www.tincher.to/deaths.htm

http://www.tinyvital.com/BlogArchives/000220.html

"Thus if you remove homicides committed by blacks (total: 21862, Blacks:9316), and assume a proportionality between number of offenders and number of offenses, you can extrapolate US homicide offender rate of only 2.6/100,000, lower than Germany (3.27) and France (3.91)."

3/25/2006 06:41:00 AM  


Blogger Gustav said...

Do you have a name, anonymous?

First of all, calling the numbers "bloated" because they involve gang crime and the black community is simply racist. It's very convenient how you sneak your (excluding the black community) into parenthesis like that. A whole social disorder swept under the rug with punctuation. Nice work. BLACK PEOPLE COUNT TOO. Do I understand your attitude correctly to be: "We're not so bad if you don't count the blacks"? Sorry, I'm simply not willing to do that.

If you are African American, your chance of being a homicide victim is almost an order of magnitude higher.

Doesn't that distress you anonymous? Is your solution then to ignore that horrible truth because those people are of a different race (I assume...) than you?

And did you happen to notice how both the perpetrator and victim in this case were white? This is not a problem only of the African-American community.

On gun registration:
I know family and friends who own firearms - and I support gun registration. You're right. Most of those people are very responsible with their guns, which is why they should have absolutley no problem with registering them. Isn't it the conservative argument concerning, for example, wiretapping, that hey, if you're not a terrorist, you have nothing to worry about, so the gov't ought to be able to keep tabs on you? I make a similar argument with firearms. If you're a law abiding citizen, you have nothing to fear from gun registration.

And you were very selective with the quotes you took from that handy little website. Let me take some of the things written there and break them down so that readers here can understand how weak your argument really is.

Here are Interpol 2001 crime statistics (rate per 100,000):

* 4161 - US
* 7736 - Germany
* 6941 - France
* 9927 - England and Wales

Thus the US has a substantially lower crime rate than the major European countries!


Notice that these are crime statistics. Not firearm deaths, not gun-related crime, not even violent crime, but rather simply "crime". It has been well publicized that the crime rate in the US has been going down since the early 90s. These statistics should surprise no one.

It is true that we (USA) have a high murder rate, [How gracious of the author to make this concession!] mostly of criminals killing criminals, [just A TAD flippant, wouldn't you say? Where is the author's evidence for this?] but a distressingly large number of people killing their spouses in anger, [hence the Brady Law, anonymous, but I suppose you don't support that either] and the rate of "stranger killings" is rising. [More or less what we have in the case in the Guardian article - my argument still holds. This is a distressing trend, it is increasing, and action ought to be taken to reduce it.]

Also, our murder rate is high largely due to the multicultural nature of our society. Inner city blacks, members of a distinct subculture, have a vastly higher criminal and victim homicide rate than our society as an average

Gimme a break. Now I'm beginning to believe that this author hasn't been outside of the US ever. Has the author been to Germany or France or the Netherlands - or even Canada for that matter? Lower murder rates in all, but all arguably as multicultural as the US, and all with "distinct [racial] subcultures." Wrong again.

I could hardly bear to read this nonsense any longer, but I came to the paragraph immediately following your citation, and found the crux of the matter:

One might ask why blacks are singled out. The reason is that inner city blacks are not representative of our culture. [I would argue that the cultural problems experienced by innner city blacks is representative of our culture. As I argued above, other countries have large, dissatisfied racial subcultures, and yet ours is far more violent. Why?] The black population is only about 13% of the total, and many blacks do not live in the inner city welfare cultures. Also, dividing the raw numbers into "white", "black" and "other," as was done by the Justice Department, shows that there are more black murderers (9316) than there are white and "other" combined (8346). [Once again is the author suggesting that we should ignore this? Don't you think it's something we ought to correct?] I do not have statistics breaking out homicide by race AND location, [ok...] but since most homicides committed by blacks are done in the inner city, [But you just said... ugh, I'm exasperated] the overall black statistic should be a good proxy.

Many, including myself, blame the high inner city crime rate on several factors:

* Misguided welfare policies, which have helped to create a culture of irresponsibility.
* The ideology of racial separatism (black power, etc.) and its relative, multiculturalism and the cult of victimology.
* Centuries of slavery and oppression, which really only came to an end in the 1960-current time period.
[Notice how this one comes third. By putting welfare first, the author suggests that it's the most important factor - failing to admit that this third reason was the direct cause of his "black power" explanation, which he calls "the culture of racial seperatism." Far as I can remember, racial seperatism is something whites pushed pretty darn hard for - there was that whole segregation thing... As far as welfare is concerned, it's a social expenditure which conservatives often rail against and blame for nearly every ill in society, with little evidence to support their claims. Conservatives don't like paying taxes - even less so when it goes to people of a race which they believe ought to somehow be separated out from the nation's statistics due to thier "distinct subculture".]

That the dramatic increase in the black crime rate came after the rise of the welfare state and the creation of black racial separatism and victimology suggests the causative nature of those factors.

It also came after the dramatic influx of easily available firearms and especially addictive drugs into the African-American inner city community. But your author fails to mention that. Yes yes, it's welfare and the Black Panthers' fault.

Please tell me you're not gullible enough to fall for this claptrap, anonymous.

3/27/2006 11:23:00 AM  


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't fall for all of it, nor did I cite all of it. It was only the statistics that interested me, not the author's or others' inferences based on those statistics.

The article the Guardian implicitly argues that Americans somehow are blind to the danger of firearms, and point is that (if you are not black), firearms related homicides are not more of a problem than homicide is generally in other countries.

In brief, it's not the guns, it's the people who have them that makes the difference.

This explains why there are not more firearms restrictions in the US: a large majority of the population is not threatened by firearms despite their widespread ownership.

QED, the Guardian piece and your statement regarding the "dramatic influx of firearms" are nonsense, because they are simply not as dangerous as you both allege. This si so particularly in light of the fact that firearms in the past were far more widely available in the US to both the black and white populations.

I never stated that I thought that crime in black communities was not a problem, merely that the fact homicide in the black community is such a statistical outlier that it explains (in part) why the remainder of Americans are not tied up in knots about gun control.

Your comments about gun registraton and terror surveillance are simply nonsense. I can't think of a single instance (Australia, the UK, etc.) where registration wasn't after some time followed by confiscation or other restrictions so onerous as to render private gun ownership practically impossible.

To put it bluntly: whether I own or do not own a firearm (as long a I use it legally) is not the state's business.

It is the state's business if I'm ringing my jihadi buddies in Peshawar, however.

As for the social pathologies of the black community in America, the principle problems are that they are denied adequate and humane policing (not the LA paramilitary model they often get), the public schools in inner cities act primarily as jobs programs for the clients of the local political machine instead of vehicles for education, and unskilled black labor has to compete with 12 million unskilled Latino immigrants.

Until the black community stats to hold its local politicians accountable, not much will change, particularly as the immigrant population grows and the relative size of the black population declines.

And try to refrain from calling everyone who disagrees with you 'racist'. You may think you are displaying your moral bona fides with such nonsense, but you are doing a good job of hiding your intelligence.

3/28/2006 08:28:00 AM  


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgive me for my tardy response.

First things first - before you go accusing me of calling "everyone who disagrees with [me] a 'racist'" please read what I've written. A close reading will show that I accused your argument, not you, of being racist. Also, I challenge you to find anywhere on this blog (or on any other for that matter) where I've ever called anyone a racist. Hyperbole is an effective tool anonymous, but only when you've got some evidence to back it up. You're wrong on two counts here.

I didn't fall for all of it, nor did I cite all of it.

That you cited anything on that site leads me to question both your critical thinking and your assumptions.

It was only the statistics that interested me

Really? Then why didn't you link to an international crime statistics site? Also, statistics are never "only statistics". If it was only the statistics you were interested in, I imagine you also would have cited the homicide rate in the US compared to other countries without the race breakdown:

Per 100,000

US: 5.5

Germany: 3.27

France: 3.91

The article the Guardian implicitly argues that Americans somehow are blind to the danger of firearms

I disagree. Seems to me the Guardian article implies rather that Americans simply don't care about the danger of firearms, since despite the high rate of gun violence in the country, laws get looser rather than tighter.


point is that (if you are not black), firearms related homicides are not more of a problem than homicide is generally in other countries.

Despite what race gun violence occurs against most often, it's everybody's problem.

In brief, it's not the guns, it's the people who have them that makes the difference.

What better way to keep them out of the bad guys hands than through gun registration? Obviously, not all gun owners are abiding by the law, since they're letting their guns get into the hands of criminals. Shouldn't there be an easy and efficient way to trace the gun back to the person who gave it to the criminal?

A large majority of the population is not threatened by firearms despite their widespread ownership.

A large majority of the population is not threatened by cars despite their widespread ownership. You still have to register your car and get a license to operate it.

This is so particularly in light of the fact that firearms in the past were far more widely available in the US to both the black and white populations.

Both populations? Surely you jest. Prior to the 1960's whites had plenty of access to guns, but blacks? Hardly. Let's also not forget the increased effectiveness of the firearms as technology advances as well.

such a statistical outlier

Sigh...

That "outlier" will be hitting closer to home as we realize a whole generation is being decimated. People ought to be getting tied up in knots. Also, once again I point out, both the victim and the perpetrator in this case were WHITE. When was the last time you heard of a murder in Germany or France because somebody walked on the wrong lawn? This is a problem for the entire racial spectrum of America.

I can't think of a single instance (Australia, the UK, etc.) where registration wasn't after some time followed by confiscation or other restrictions so onerous as to render private gun ownership practically impossible.

Private gun ownership is still legal and very possible in both countries. In the UK you can't own a handgun and in both countries you need a license to own a gun. I say again: if you want to own a car in the US you must register it - is that now so "onerous" as to render private car ownership impossible? Why should it be different with guns?

To put it bluntly: whether I own or do not own a firearm (as long a I use it legally) is not the state's business. It is the state's business if I'm ringing my jihadi buddies in Peshawar, however.

Bye the same logic who I call, as long as I'm making a legal call (ie not conspiring to commit terrorism), is not the state's business. By your logic it's not the state's business if I'm doing something legally, but only if I'm doing it illegally. The question is: How do you know when somebody's doing something illegal if you don't watch? At least I'm not in favor of setting a CIA agent on you every time you take your shotgun off the wall.

As for the social pathologies of the black community in America, the principle problems are that they are denied adequate and humane policing

Ok...

the public schools in inner cities act primarily as jobs programs for the clients of the local political machine instead of vehicles for education,

Typical conservative prejudices creeping in here. No matter how much you hate teaches unions, inner city teaching jobs are often highly competitive because of their high salaries (as a compensation for the danger factor, I might add). My very prestigious and diverse private high school had a very difficult time achieving diversity in the faculty, due to the much more competitive salaries in inner city public schools. I'll agree that inner city schools are below par, but that's because those schools don't have the resources to support their teachers - in order to make class-sizes smaller, for example.

and unskilled black labor has to compete with 12 million unskilled Latino immigrants.

Then why did we still have these same problems 20 years ago when they didn't have to compete with Latino labor? Latino labor is not the problem. Lack of quality jobs in the inner cities is the problem.

Until the black community stats to hold its local politicians accountable,

Actually I'll agree with you here anonymous - it's not a cureall, but it's one element of the solution. Another might be gun registration, so we could find out where the illegal guns are seeping into the inner cities from (see your "adequate policing" point).

3/30/2006 08:02:00 PM  


Blogger Gustav said...

Don't know why that last one didn't register my login. It was me.

3/31/2006 12:15:00 PM  


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is sa sure sign that at least two people recognize the existance of this site. WHopee-doo.

3/31/2006 01:28:00 PM  


Blogger Gustav said...

So? What's your point?

3/31/2006 01:30:00 PM  


Blogger Redneck Texan said...

Remember when you had so much to say?

4/11/2006 03:26:00 AM  


Blogger Gustav said...

I do, RT. And I owe an explanation to all of my readers (not an apology though - it's not like anybody's paying to read this).

I've just moved into a new apartment - an activity that has taken me several months, due to the fact that in Poland once you buy an apartment, you have to completely furnish it yourself. When I say completely, I mean you're given some walls of concrete and you have to do the rest. Organizing all of that - from the tiles in the bathroom to the drywall to the lighting hanging on the ceiling - has left me with little time to think about anything else.

That "anything else" is mostly taken up by wedding plans for this June :-) (and July - EK and I are organizing two weddings, one here and one in the States).

On top of that, I've joined the American Football team here in Warsaw - the Warsaw Eagles - as a player/coach. That takes up just about all day every Sunday, hence the loss of Sunday Vista Blogging. I've also been drawing up plays and helping to organize practices and team events. I have actually blogged about this experience, though only once, over at p3.

Work has also been a nightmare - with several major events and changes happening there, all of which I was intimately involved with.

Could I have blogged? Yes- I did have the time. There has been plenty to talk about as well - in both American and Polish politics.

Somehow though, with all of this other stuff going on, I lost my enthusiasm for blogging. With so much on my mind, getting into the same frustratingly pointless arguments just didn't have the appeal it once did.

That doesn't mean I've stopped liking to argue though. I will be back blogging.

And soon - since now I'm settling in to the new place (no internet yet though). Remaining organization for the wedding(s) will keep me busy until the end of June - and then there's the honeymoon - so my blogging will remain sporadic until then.

It's been a while since I've been over to Redneck's Revenge as well, as you're probably aware. I don't miss being attacked from all sides, but I miss the passion - and I hope to be back there soon too. I'm not much of an active contributor unfortunately, but I hope to pick that up soon - I promise.

Warsaw Station has a new home and an exhausted conductor but it will be returning with a vengence.

4/11/2006 02:13:00 PM  


Blogger Redneck Texan said...

Well congrats to yourself and EK, no need to apologize for keepin it real.

I am right there with you on the "frustratingly pointless arguments just dodn't have the appeal it once did."

Take care.

Roger

4/13/2006 03:51:00 AM  


Blogger Redneck Texan said...

Well....the Stars are done. Went down without much of a fight.

Its really kind of less stressful when your team gets down 0-3 in a series. It lowers your expectations for game 4. And it was kinda nice to lose the 4th game in overtime, that way after the goal, you don't have to wait till the end if the period.

We need a coach and a goalie....and some heart.

Hey, how bout those Mavs?

5/01/2006 02:25:00 AM  


Blogger Gustav said...

Wings out now too. It happens every year.

You know, I'm willing to believe that time after time, year after year, the Red Wings - often with the best or near-best regular-season record - choke in the playoffs. But if the Flames lose Wednesday then that's seeds 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the West out of the playoffs. What in the hell is the regular season for then?

Seriously, I know that the playoffs are "a different type of hockey" - the unfortunate thing is, it's the boring kind. It's more physical, sure, but it's also messier and uglier. You have fewer of the pretty goals, and more of the lucky ones. Skill and speed don't count for as much as how many goons you've got on your team. It seems to me that in hockey, more lower seeds make it to the higher rounds than in any other major sport (no, I haven't researched that). But whether that's true or not, what is true is that most often the teams that have not invested as much in their players, and which often have smaller media revenues (can you say Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning?), get to later rounds of the playoffs, and the teams that have walked all over the league for 82 games go home in April or early May.

Am I the only one noticing this?

And the NHL wonders why it's not making enough revenue to pay its players appropriate wages.

If the NHL wants to stave off bankruptcy, then it's going to have to tell its referees to call the games in the playoffs as tightly as they do during the regular season. If not, the best teams - those most fun to watch, those who play the best hockey - will continually fall out of the spotlight just when they should be showcased: during the playoffs.

Otherwise, the NHL should shorten the regular season down to 25 or 30 games. That way the teams won't have to battle so hard for seeds which are meaningless anyway. There will be fewer injuries, and you could slice the players' pay by more than half. There would be fewer games to organize, and there would be a higher premium on broadcasting regular-season games, so maybe a national station or two might decide to carry some of them. Most of all, the fans in the biggest hockey towns wouldn't get there hopes so high after their (very expensive) teams dominated in the regular season, just to have them dashed by a team (with as many fans as players) that can clog up the middle of the ice and stuff in scrappy goals.

My only hope of watching any Red Wings' hockey at all this season was if they had made it to the Stanley Cup. Now I have to wait through another summer, and 82 more games, just to see if the best team in the league won't be kicked out of the playoffs in April again because some sentimental referee won't call interference penalties because "the playoffs is a different game..."

It's supposed to be hockey - shouldn't the National Hockey League be playing that all the time?

But for now, I can't wait for another powerhouse Stanley Cup Final.

'Canes - Sharks anybody?

5/02/2006 11:00:00 AM  


Blogger Gustav said...

From Barry Melrose:

Edmonton, meanwhile, wore down Detroit. In the third period Monday night, just like in the rest of the series, the Oilers were more physical. They won the physical battles and the Red Wings couldn't respond to it. The Oilers force you to go nose-to-nose and the Red Wings didn't want to do it for six games, and they didn't want to do it in the third period in Game 6. The bottom line: The Oilers make you work, and if you don't work, they'll beat you.

Barry, the regular season record was 2-2 - all but one decided in extra time. Were they not working then? Funny how the Wings choose to work in the regular season and not in the playoffs isn't it? I guess they just like spending spring with their families.

Like I said - I couldn't watch the games, so maybe the Wings did break down. But all of those top seeds?

P.S. -

Go Pistons

5/02/2006 11:04:00 AM  


Anonymous Chuck said...

The Wings play in the first two periods was wonderful. They played position hockey and forechecked and backchecked well. But, when you have an "old" team and a goalie starting his first playoff series, you see what happens in the third period. Legace let in at least one goal in that period that should never have gone in; the rest of the team seemed out of gas; the forwards stopped forechecking and did no backchecking at all! Furthermore, the third period was a classic example of not playing positional hockey; i.e., you have three Oilers breaking up ice and three Wings backing up in front of them. What happens? TWO players go for the man with the puck thereby leaving the third man uncovered. Guess what happens. Yep. The third man scores easily because he is uncovered. This kind of thing happened alot in the third period. The Oilers would station a man in front of Legace with NO WINGS covering him! This situation occurred continually. In the games the Wings lost, they played like that. It was embarassing to watch. Yes, the Oilers played well and seemed to want it more than the Wings, but the Wings should be embarassed by their bad play. Many of these guys are veterans and know what to expect. So, I don't think you can blame the difference in officiating (which was atrocious, by the way - there is no way Edmonton's third goal should count - there was a high stick that was missed, but not reviewable, but the goal was obviously kicked in on the replay. I think you can directly blame the Wings play in the third period of this game and the other three that they lost.

5/02/2006 10:00:00 PM  


Blogger Gustav said...

Flames out -

Maybe you can't blame the officiating for the wings' loss, but now the top four teams in the West are out.

I ask again:

What do we play 82 games for?

I don't care what it is Chuck, if it doesn't change, we'll be left with boring playoffs for the next few years - until the NHL goes bankrupt.

5/04/2006 10:40:00 AM  


Blogger likwidshoe said...

The history of nations shows us that registration of guns is the first step towards eventual confiscation. Why would America be any different? Furthermore, gun ownership in America is a check against government tyranny. The government doesn't need to know who is armed.

If the commenter above is so concerned about gun statistics, how about checking out the murder rates of Washington D.C. (where it is nearly impossible to get a gun) and Chicago (where handguns are banned yet it is often number one or two in the country for handgun murders)? Selective use of statistics it seems. Statistics showing high murder rates justify gun control but statistics showing increasing murder rates after gun control are "just statistics."

As for the nasty comment that conservatives don't like to pay taxes, "even less so when it goes to people of a race which they believe ought to somehow be separated out from the nation's statistics due to thier 'distinct subculture'" - you just projected your own racism. Congrats. The reality is that conservatives don't like to pay taxes that go towards welfare because it is unethical to forceably take a man's earnings to give to another man who's only virtue is that he needs. It has nothing to do with race. Again, you are projecting your own racism into the debate.

I'll agree that inner city schools are below par, but that's because those schools don't have the resources to support their teachers - in order to make class-sizes smaller, for example.

Typical liberal prejudices creeping in there. The reality is that the inner city schools spend more per pupil than the higher test scores and lower dropout rate outlying areas. Go ahead and check the figures. Again, look up Washington D.C. for a glaring example.

5/05/2006 07:18:00 PM  


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very Important. This is not a joke.
Body: JOIN THE MARCH OF EQUALITY IN WARSAW

The March of Equality will take place on the 10th of June in
Warsaw.

The March of Equality is a political manifestation against
any discrimination of minorities in our society. It is not
only about gay people, but also about the disabled, national
and racial minorities and the rights of women.

The rights of citizens of the European Union are being
trampled by the Polish authorities.

We are fighting for ideas and liberties which are obvious to
the majority of European societies, yet in Poland are still
considered extremist, libertine, perverted etc.

The organizers of the March of Equality have serious reasons
to expect that this year's demonstration will not be
properly protected by the authorities. Year after year,
groups of violent youngsters from right-wing organizations
have been trying to attack the peaceful rallies by throwing
eggs, and even stones or bricks at the protesters. Over the
last two years the mayor of Warsaw, Lech Kaczynski, tried to
use his authority to block the March of Equality. Courts
overruled his decisions. This year, Mr. Kaczynski is no
longer the mayor of Warsaw; he's been elected the president
of Poland.

The process of modernization of our society will take many
years and it is probably impossible to accelerate it. But no
change will ever happen if the public debate fells victim to
political, religious and ideological censorship.

We will execute our civil rights. We will march on the 10th
of June, despite our fear that we will fall victim to
physical violence. The presence of foreign observers will
diminish the threat. It will also have a positive impact on
our society. Poles will realize that the European Union is
not only a sphere of economic liberty but also a
Commonwealth of values. If a society wants to be member of
this Commonwealth, it has to obey its rules. Your presence
at the rally will also demonstrate that the other members of
the EU care about the state of our democracy; that they are
not indifferent towards our problems.

We already know that some MEP's - mostly from the Green
Parties - have openly expressed their support for our
demonstration. Many of them will come to the March.

We hope that this protest will not be treated by the
authorities and public opinion in Poland as an event
organized by the "leftist extremists" as they are being
refered to by the official propaganda. It is very important
to us to underline that our agenda is the mainstream of
European politics, and not extremism. We hope that we will
have a chance to meet and discuss the ways of social
development in our country. We are counting on you!

POLITICAL BACKGROUND

Poland has a new ruling coalition. Six months after last
year's parliamentary and presidential election, three
parties have signed an agreement to rule together. While the
main political power remains in the hands of the Law and
Justice party (PiS), two smaller partners have joined the
government. Both of them received the posts of deputy prime
ministers for their leaders.

The ideology of PiS is right wing, conservative and
nationalist. It won the election thanks to the support of
Radio Maryja, an orthodox-catholic broadcast with strong
influence over frustrated and ill-educated people of rural
Poland. Radio Maryja can be found in annual reports of the
Human Rights Watch as an example of xenophobic and
anti-semitic rhetoric. Aggressive propaganda of RM has led
to public condemnation by the Pope Benedict XVI, but despite
this and many other protests it is still protected by the
political establishment.

PiS would be considered a relic of old-style politics in any
Western-European country, but it is relatively liberal
compared to its two smaller partners.

The League of Polish Families (LPR) is a neo-fascist
movement. Its leaders have often expressed hatred of other
nationalities. Photos have been leaked to the press of their
rallies, where members of the party were using the fascist
salute. Their MEP, Wojciech Wierzejski, is well known for
his violent homophobia. Three days ago, when asked about
next month's March of Equality, he said: "if they [gay
people] decide to come and demonstrate, then they should be
hammered into the ground with baseball bats".

Well, Wierzejski's friend, and leader of LPR, Roman
Giertych, has just been nominated as vice-PM and minister of
education of our country. During a press conference on the
16th of May, he said that he would put an end to the
"promotion of deviation" in Polish schools. Any meetings
between students and activists of the gay movement will be
strictly forbidden.

After Giertych's nomination, a wave of protests swept
through all major Polish cities. Thousands of young people:
high school and university students, parents, alongside with
teachers and intellectuals, took to the streets to show
their opposition to the nomination. Within two days, over 60
000 people signed a letter posted on the Internet demanding
his resignation. In response, Giertych commented that the
protests were organized by left-wing extremists, communists
and the "homosexual lobby". Mr. Wierzejski, again, sent an
official letter to the Minister of Interior, asking him to
investigate the ties between homosexuals, pedophiles and the
drug mafia.

The Self-defense party (Samoobrona) is a political movement
of frustrated farmers. Twelve years ago they started
refusing to pay back their bank loans and their protests
became violent. The charismatic leader of Samoobrona,
Andrzej Lepper, is a cynical political gamester. He is also
a criminal with multiple jail sentences for organizing and
taking part in violent and often bloody riots. Even three
days ago he was sentenced for one and a half years of
probation for throwing public insults at another politician.
He announced that hed appeal to the European Court of
Justice against the Polish state for this sentence. That
means that he will be appealing against himself, since he
just became our deputy PM and head of the Ministry of
Agriculture.

Let's face the facts: Poland is ruled by a coalition of
nationalists, criminals and neo-fascists, unparalleled in
the European Union.

If You have any further questions or remarks, please feel
free to e-mail me at a_lazarkiewicz@mac.com or call me on my
mobile number: (+48)501297344. The Democratic Party of
Poland is not directly involved in organizing the March, but
we are trying our best to support it.

The internet site of the March (with english and german
versions): http://www.paradarownosci.pl
Please, pass this message on to anybody who might be interested.

Antoni Lazarkiewicz,
Partia Demokratyczna (The Democratic Party of Poland),
demokraci.pl

5/23/2006 12:02:00 AM  


Blogger Gustav said...

I'll be there Antoni, as will most of the gang over at p3.

I can't wait.

5/31/2006 10:14:00 PM  


Blogger Warbird said...

How does private gun ownership in Poland compare with that in the USA?

7/08/2006 03:01:00 AM  


Blogger Gustav said...

Welcome Warbird. Sorry I took so long to respone.

Gun ownership is much lower here than in the States, but people do own guns. I'm sure that you have to have a license to own one though. As far as gun violence goes, it's pretty low. Most of the shooting is between the police and various mafia rings - But that hasn't happened for a while.

7/19/2006 02:10:00 PM  


Blogger Gustav said...

I've had to warm up for this one likwidshoe. Sorry for the late response.

The history of nations shows us that registration of guns is the first step towards eventual confiscation.

BS. Poland has gun registration, and yet people are still allowed to possess handguns. Next.

Furthermore, gun ownership in America is a check against government tyranny.

Hardly. If that were so we'd all be allowed to by Apache helicopters, howitzers, and missle launchers. Your automatic weapons aren't going to save you from the US government if it decides it wants to tyrannize you, likwidshoe.

Statistics showing high murder rates justify gun control but statistics showing increasing murder rates after gun control are "just statistics."

So are decreasing murder rates after the introduction of gun control, right? The statistics, as we've gone over exhaustively here, can be manipulated, but why deny the police the right to track down someone who's sold or given a gun to a criminal?

The reality is that conservatives don't like to pay taxes that go towards welfare because it is unethical to forceably take a man's earnings to give to another man who's only virtue is that he needs.

My argument would be that it is unethical for someone to demand for free the public services that they use, and that benefit their society. Looking here you can see that the majority of your tax dollars don't go to people "who's [sic] only virtue is that [they need]" but rather to the Pentagon. Now there's a leech on the taxpayer who could use a diet. In any case, liberals believe that this hypothetical man who has the "virtue" of needing ought to be supported not only for moral reasons, but that because when he can buy products, pay his rent and feed himself, he contributes to the economy. Since the vast majority of people who take out welfare (I assume that's what you're going on about) are only on it temporarily, liberals also view it as a good way to keep people from falling into poverty before they find another job in which they can become productive and contribute to society.

Again, you are projecting your own racism into the debate.

Racism? How? Bias against conservitives yes - fair enough. But that only comes from listening to arguments like yours, seeing how they don't hold water, and only concluding that conservatives can't actually really believe what they're saying. Then, when they come out with reasons to exclude a particular racial group from national statistics because of their "distinct subculture" it's hard NOT to see the racism. So, am I displaying an anti-conservative prejudice? Sure. But this is a liberal blog you've found. So I can hardly understand why it's surprising. How it's racism is beyond me.

The reality is that the inner city schools spend more per pupil

I implied this when I admitted that inner-city teachers get paid more. But they have to be compensated for the risks of the job, which seem to be growing these days, which brings up the fact that inner-city public schools also have more security issues to worry about - another reason for the higher spending. Still, class sizes are huge and most teachers' salaries aren't even keeping up with inflation.

8/07/2006 01:36:00 PM  


Blogger likwidshoe said...

BS. Poland has gun registration, and yet people are still allowed to possess handguns. Next.

The exception proves the rule? Wrong.

Hardly. If that were so we'd all be allowed to by Apache helicopters, howitzers, and missle launchers. Your automatic weapons aren't going to save you from the US government if it decides it wants to tyrannize you, likwidshoe.

Wrong. It will stop the majority of Americans from even thinking about taking up arms against their own.

My argument would be that it is unethical for someone to demand for free the public services that they use, and that benefit their society.

You're deliberately confusing welfare with "public services".

Looking here you can see that the majority of your tax dollars don't go to people "who's [sic] only virtue is that [they need]" but rather to the Pentagon.

Wrong again. 68% for SS+medicare+medicaid+welfare for the 2007 budget.

In any case, liberals believe that this hypothetical man who has the "virtue" of needing ought to be supported not only for moral reasons, but that because when he can buy products, pay his rent and feed himself, he contributes to the economy.

Then give him your money. Don't make that decision for me.

Racism? How? Bias against conservitives yes - fair enough. But that only comes from listening to arguments like yours, seeing how they don't hold water, and only concluding that conservatives can't actually really believe what they're saying. Then, when they come out with reasons to exclude a particular racial group from national statistics because of their "distinct subculture" it's hard NOT to see the racism.

You're just slandering here because your argument is weak.

5/07/2007 08:49:00 PM  

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