Final Word from Thursday, December 17, 2009

Strikes and other forms of protest are clear signs across the globe that the economic crisis is taking its toll on the populace. Extreme cases of frustration - a military-base massacre in Texas, a flying statue in Italy, a bank holdup in Prague 4 - are depicted as the insanities of lone individuals, but they can also be seen as statistical outliers that will gradually come to fall within the general trend. At the current rate, civil unrest will inevitably increase, and it's only a matter of what sets it off and to what extent it becomes violent. Czech politicians and employers have been relatively successful at appeasing the masses by throwing money at them and making short-term promises. Yet the country is closer than ever in 20 years to reaching the point where it all snaps. If the ruling elite realize this in time and manage the process, it can lead to a healthy national reawakening. Time is running out for a leader to step forward.[Czech Republic Komerční banka Fort Hood Silvio Berlusconi]

Glossary of difficult words

reawakening - a period or state of reemergence or revival (we do not mean to compare this directly to the Czech National Revival of the 18th and 19th century);

to take its toll on - to have an adverse effect, esp. so as to cause damage or suffering;

populace - the people living in a given area; the public;

insanity - madness, lunacy;

outlier - a data point on a graph that is very much larger or smaller than the next-nearest data point;

to appease - to pacify or satisfy someone by giving in to his or her demands;

to snap - to suddenly break out of control.

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