Final Word from Friday, June 26, 2009

PM Jan Fischer told HN that he was surprised at the lack of outrage when his cabinet was anonymously referred to by someone from ODS as a "Jewish-Bolshevik-Freedom Union" group. It's true that some people in and around his cabinet have origins or backgrounds in Judaism, Soviet-trained Communism and the nearly-defunct Freedom Union party, but it was the implied anti-Semitism that boiled his blood. One of Fischer's chief objectives as PM is to combat extremism. There are some extremists and racists, of course, but most Czechs don't care if someone is a Serb, Turk, Catholic, Muhammadan, anarchist or Young Czech progressive, to paraphrase "Švejk," as long as these people don't exercise exclusive or discriminatory policies of their own. If a new guard takes over at the government headquarters and surrounds itself with its long-time friends, no matter what their persuasion, it's understandably going to make other people feel left out. It merely ingrains the belief that the halls of power are a good ol' boys club.[Czech Republic Communist Party Good Soldier Svejk Jaroslav Hašek old]

Glossary of difficult words

government of friends - although most new Czech cabinet members were strangers to each other, some of them have employed friends as advisers or underlings;

outrage - a strong reaction of anger, shock or indignation;

defunct - no longer existing or functioning;

to make someone's blood boil - to make someone angry;

Young Czech - member of the Young Czech, or National Liberal Party, founded in 1874;

Švejk - from the book, "The Good Soldier Svejk";

persuasion - a belief or set of beliefs, esp. religious or political;

to ingrain - to firmly fix or establish;

good ol' boys club - informal social, legal, religious, political or business association or network.


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