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Dalibor Svoboda

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Everything posted by Dalibor Svoboda

  1. I checked my contribution on Czech women’s history published simultaneously at E-help site and at Education Forum. These two versions differ from each other. The right version is published at Education Forum at http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...opic=4011&st=15 I tried to reprint this version ton E-Help site but didn’t succeed to log in. What is my username? I tried with my first name and then with my both name but a failed several times and gave up.
  2. Andrew Sullivan from British The Sunday Times delivered a week ago in his article She's trying too hard to be a contender an interesting analyze of Hilary Clintons steps towards her nomination for presidential race 2008. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/commo...55E7583,00.html IF there's a certain schizophrenia in the rhetoric of senator Hillary Rodham Clinton these days, it's intentional. There she was last week, at a predominantly black congregation, lambasting Republicans. She lamented that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has been "run like a plantation ... And you know what I am talking about". Republicans as slave holders? Now that's inflammatory. Then only days later we saw the other side of Clinton's split political personality, a neo-conservative one: "I believe that we lost critical time in dealing with Iran because the White House chose to downplay the threats and to outsource the negotiations. I don't believe you face threats like Iran or North Korea by outsourcing it and standing on the sidelines. "Let's be clear about the threat we face. A nuclear Iran is a danger to Israel, to its neighbours and beyond. We cannot and should not -- must not -- permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons." Running to the Left of President George W. Bush and to the Right of him as well is not a feat most politicians are able to pull off. But Clinton has no alternative. And in that lies her dilemma. She has too liberal a past (and reputation) to be the Democratic Right's favoured candidate; and she's become far too conservative in the Senate to win over the Democratic Left. Clinton's straddle between two political identities is, of course, temporarily shrewd. She knows full well that the Democrats' key weakness is the war on terror. They have yet to persuade the public that they can defend the West more effectively than the Republicans. But Andrew Sullivan sees many weaknesses in Hilary Clinton’s personality and political views to be impressed by her. He ends his article with following unusual suggestion: My own hope is that she doesn't run. She doesn't have the instinctive connection with people to be an effective national politician: she's too cold, too calculating, too distant. Her speeches have been getting better but still make Gore seem like a good performer. And a repeat of the acrimonious culture wars of the '90s is about the last thing the US needs. Besides, there is a perfect position for her in American public life, and it's not in the Senate, despite her eminently respectable record there. She belongs on the Supreme Court. She's a lawyer who wants to change the world. That's almost a job description for a liberal justice. But she'll need a Democratic president to put her there. Maybe some of the cash she has been raising will help bring that about. It could fund far worse causes: Hillary's own presidential ambition, for one.
  3. Na naší škole se do nedávna vyučovalo psaní všemi deseti na psacích strojích. Byli to ponejvíce studenti ekonomiky kteří tuhle výuku dostávali. Učitelka, která psaní na stroji učila z naší školy před pár lety odešla a od té doby se tahle znalost na naší škole nevyučuje. Možná se nepokladá za potřebnou? Možná žádný zaměstnavatel školy a školství neupozornil na to, že psaní deseti prsty je důležitá a potřebná znalost, která by se měla i nadále na školách učit a cvičit? Možná je právě tato znalost a dovednost ta, která by se měla učit a cvičit mimo školu, na příklad ve večerních kurzech a pouze pro ty kteří ji potřebují. Asi tak jak se všichni učí ve volném času když si přejí získat řidičský průkaz. Myslím si, že „psaní všemi deseti“ příspěvek vyzvedl na povrch debaty důležitou otázku k čemu je vlastně škola a co by se v ní mělo učit!? Odpověd na ní byl ponejvíce definován dobou v které žijeme.
  4. It’s slightly surprising that Hillary Clinton referred to as a Democratic front-runner for the 2008 presidential election would criticize administrations policy on Iran and it’s nuclear program from the position to the right to Bush’s administration in the article published by The Daily Princetonian at http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/archives/...ews/14290.shtml She is quoted as saying: "We cannot and should not — must not — permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons." "I believe that we lost critical time in dealing with Iran because the White House chose to downplay the threats and to outsource the negotiations." And further down in the article interested reader can find a tough-talking Clinton saying: "We cannot take any option off the table in sending a clear message to the current leadership of Iran that they will not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons." Will voters get two distinctive choices 2008 concerning foreign policy?
  5. Dalibor, No one's encouraging "civil persons to obtain guns and rifles with the argument that this would increase their security". I think you're referring to a debate currently being conducted by the gun lobby within the USA. I believe you completely missed the point of my argument. Arguing that the states with acquired nuclear capability are safer when dealing with the realities of world policy seems to me to be on the same intellectual level as the argument that I will be safer at my home with acquired guns of my own. As far as I know most people would disagree with the arguments about guns at homes but nearly at the same time the same people argue that spreading nuclear weapons (to whoever it could be, even to Iran ) will enhance countries (Irans) security. I find this kind of argumentations incoherent.
  6. It’s highly unlikely that debaters on this thread should publicly encourage civil persons to obtain guns and rifles with the argument that this would increase their security. Than how it comes that this line of arguments is suddenly used for the unruly and undemocratic republic of Iran and its desire to acquire nuclear bombs?
  7. Excerpt from: Minutes from the Gothenburg Meeting E-HELP Gothenburg Meeting – MINUTES by Anders MacGregor-Thunell Gothenburg (Thursday 8/9 to Sunday 11/9, 2005) Czech women and resistance, 1940 – 45 – Oral History ….. Dalibor will be responsible for this theme. He will start a thread on the Forum where we will be able to follow the project through “digital storytelling”. Whoever is interested on doing similar research should get in touch with Dalibor. He will also create a tutorial on how to conduct the digital storytelling. Until today I participated at the Peter Tollmars thread “Using Digital story telling and PowerPoint in History teaching” by a few postings. Because this is not enough according to the Gothenburg Minutes am I opening the thread which I call “Digital storytelling “ with subtitle “History told with the help of pictures”. I myself had so far produce two picture series which are telling the fate of women who did participate in resistance movements. The first story “The attack on SS Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich” deals with the assassination of “Reich Protector” Heydrich in Prague and the Czech women who were involved in this courageous deed. The text of the story is written in English. The second story "Příběhy bezpráví" is 12 mini stories of Czech people, eight men and four women who were persecuted mostly during the fifties when the communist regime started to reshape Czech Republic. The text of the story is in Czech. Both stories are produced in PowerPoint. The most important goal when making these two serials was to give them a dramatic edge not to excel in technical perfections. Right now I’m working with “A history of Czech and Czechoslovakian women during the 19th and 20th centuries.” This picture serial is painting the history of mostly Bohemian women as already told by the lengthy essay published prior Gothenburg meeting. The narrative is planned to be in English. This serial is produced in Windows Movie Maker.
  8. Somehow I like to publish on this thread. Yes, it is a non question basically ….. the election of 2008 is still far away ….. But on the other hand it’s interesting to follow how this possible contest between two bright and politically successful women is commented by others …... In Laura Bush Sees Woman President in Future at: http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/01/13/D8F410V07.html the presidents wife comments on a prospect of female president by words: "I think it will happen probably in the next few terms of the presidency in the United States," And then she adds a few words about Condoleezza Rice too: "I'd love to see her run. She's terrific." Many of such comments are probably made because the TV-show “Commander in Chief” aroused such a great interest in the question of female president. But it is undoubtedly truth that the United States of America right now has two bright female politicians who occupy the opposite sides of the play ground of American political scene.
  9. When Sweden is described by foreign journalist many Swedes doesn´t recognise themselves and their own country in the description. Of course they are proud when the country is praised which it often is. But the nagging, wondering question which often lie in wait is: why do I not recognize myself and my country in this description? Is this article written by Stryker McGuire painting a better picture of Sweden than article written by Polly Toynbee in the Guardian?? There is yet another article in The Guardian which headline reflect Swedish problems: "Europe's leaders look north, but has Sweden really got the best of both worlds?" . Interested persons in this thread can find it at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/eu/story/0,7369,1678192,00.html Europe: Who Hails Sweden? For all the foreign praise it gets, many Swedes focus on the weak points of their model society. By Stryker McGuire Newsweek International Jan. 9, 2006 issue - Sweden is back. Sweden: where high taxes meet economic competitiveness. Sweden: a high-tech nirvana populated by fit armies of Internet explorers and early adapters unafraid of the next new thing. Sweden: cool and cold. In the winter of its discontent, with Germany and France stagnant and Britain heading for choppier waters, Europe is pining for the Swedish model as it did in the 1930s and again in the 1970s. It's Sweden as object of desire: the way forward for European economies seeking to be both socialist and competitive in a free-market world. Think tanks can't write enough about it, media dote on it and politicians pan it for policy gold. A headline not long ago in London's left-wing Guardian newspaper said it all: the most successful society the world has ever known. Swedes have it good, and we want what they have. What Swedes have is impressive. Cradle-to-grave health care. An excellent education system, including some of the best universities in Europe (Lund, Uppsala). One of the world's most competitive economies. The world's highest per capita ownership of second homes and pleasure boats in the world. A country of just 9 million people that has produced a startling number of big industrial brands: Volvo, Scania, Electrolux, Eriksson, IKEA. A privileged country that wears its wealth lightly: when a Ferrari-Maserati dealership opened in Stockholm during the height of the Internet boom, it was shunned by most dot-com millionaires, who stuck to their bicycles. This tolerant, liberal country has adapted well to the twists and turns of globalization. "A small country has to be very open-minded," says Swedish Finance Minister Per Nuder, in typically understated fashion. As models go, Sweden actually has a fair bit of competition, at least along Europe's northern tier. Finland's education system is repeatedly ranked as the best in the world. Denmark gets noticed for giving employers greater flexibility in hiring and firing workers within a generous welfare state. According to a recent report by the World Bank, oil-rich Norway is the most business-friendly country in Europe, thanks to its lack of red tape. Tiny, remote Iceland has one of the highest growth rates in Europe. All in all, Sweden and its Nordic neighbors, Robert Taylor of the London School of Economics wrote in a pamphlet last autumn, are among "the most efficient, affluent and equitable countries in the world." So what's wrong with this picture? An increasing number of Swedes do not recognize the socialist paradise-cum-economic wunderkind of Guardian headlines. The model is showing "visible cracks," says Klas Eklund, the Stockholm-based chief economist of SEB bank. Among them: the lack of incentive to work, resulting in a real unemployment rate roughly three times the official 6.3 percent; the failure to foster entrepreneurship (Swedes are the Europeans least likely to consider starting businesses), and the "total inability to handle the integration of immigrants," who face an unemployment rate one third higher than native Swedes. The disparity is among the widest in Europe. The cracks are starting to cause trouble for the Social Democratic government of Prime Minister Goran Persson, in power since 1994. A new center-right opposition called Alliance, led by the Moderate Party, is pulling ahead in the polls, as elections approach in September. The Moderates' 40-year-old leader, Fredrik Reinfeldt, based his challenge on a simple choice: welfare (the Social Democrats) versus work (the Moderates). "The Social Dem-ocrats put the subsidy system first," says Reinfeldt. "We put work first." As in other European countries, work (or the lack of it) is at the heart of Sweden's present dilemma. Private-sector productivity has grown phenomenally in recent years, behind only South Korea and Ireland. But Sweden's employment profile is decidedly mixed. Lennart Erixon, an economist at Stockholm University, points out that only Turkey has experienced a steeper decline in the rate of work-force participation than Sweden since 1990. Counting the hidden unemployed, including those on disability, paid leaves or "perpetual students" at tuition-free universities, more than 20 percent of the working-age population is out of work, according to some estimates. Social leveling compounds the problem, says Eklund. Sweden has a relatively narrow gap between high and low incomes, because wages are often fixed by union contracts that keep low wages relatively high—and keep many newcomers out of work. Reinfeldt argues, in particular, that the state encourages immigrants not to work with subsidies that exceed the pay in off-the-books jobs for cleaners, handymen or day laborers. He and other critics also say Sweden undermines its competitiveness by allowing entry more readily to refugees than to immigrants with technical skills that the economy needs. Few Swedes would suggest that their welfare state has broken down. Most think it simply needs a tune-up. In an unscientific NEWSWEEK Poll of Swedes in Stockholm and Uppsala, only one—a hardworking, hard-pressed farmer, Jan Tannfors, 55—complained about the system itself. "I don't want to feed so many people in Sweden with my taxes," he said with some asperity. More typical was Pers Karin Skogar, 48, who owns a small interior-design company in Uppsala. She would rather that her company didn't have to subsidize her employees' benefits out of its own coffers, but added, "If we're going to continue to have a welfare state, we're going to have to pay for it." It's hard to argue with a nation that has come so far. In the 19th century, Sweden was one of Europe's poorest countries; Londoners organized charity drives for needy Swedes. Once the country began to industrialize, however, it did so with a vengeance. By 1900 Stockholm boasted more telephones than London or Berlin. Over the decades, as Taylor notes, Swedes achieved "modernization through consensus," constantly reinventing themselves for a changing world. After a severe recession in the early 1990s, political leaders worked with enlightened labor unions to adapt to globalization. They slashed taxes, up to a point. (Though corporate taxes are low, at 28 percent, Swedes still pay the highest income taxes in the world.) They deregulated banking, telecommunications and energy. They granted the central bank independence, and they turned the budget deficit into a surplus. At Stockholm University, Erixon is bemused by the attention lavished on the model he has spent his career studying. In 2004, he was invited to speak at a conference in Bad Mitterndorf, Austria. The attendees were starry-eyed about the Swedish model, "as if they'd seen the northern lights," Erixon recalls. He describes himself as a fan of the Swedish model, but says he felt compelled to lecture the overexcited crowd on its downsides. "I was not invited back," he says with a laugh. But of course he will be, if not to Austria then to some other European nation struggling to keep pace with mounting international competition and keep hold of the good life. Right now the Swedish model, for all its shortcomings and no matter how heavily questioned at home, looks about as good as it gets. © 2006 Newsweek, Inc. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10682390/site/newsweek/
  10. I red only two comments on Pinter´s political views expressed in his Nobel Prize speech both published in two main Swedish morning papers "Dagens Nyheter" and "Svenska Dagbladet". The opinions of both were: embarrassingly infantile. In most of the other comments in Sweden about this years Nobel Prize for literature one can find repeated explanations that Pinter got the prize for his drama not for his political views. It seems that Pinter thinks that it is otherwise. When I discovered that his speech was published at this thread my first thought was that it speaks for itself. No further comments were needed. Nevertheless this morning did I read an article in "The Australian" written by Niall Ferguson. For the sake of widening the debate I choose to reprint it here. Niall Ferguson: Harold Pinter should stick to writing plays 12dec05 'THERE are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false." No, that wasn't US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, half-answering questions in Europe last week about the CIA's alleged prison camps in Poland and Romania and the "extraordinary rendition" of terrorist suspects to countries where they are likely to be tortured. It was actually Harold Pinter, explaining the difference between drama and politics in his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize for Literature. (Melbourne's The Age was so moved by the lecture that it published the speech as the lead piece on its opinion page last Friday.) In the lofty realm of dramatic art, Pinter asserted, there can be nothing so clear-cut as truth. It is, however, a very different matter when it comes to US foreign policy. There, the distinction between true and false is as clear as that between day and night. It's simple. Everything the US says is false and everything its critics say is true. Let me say right away that I am not about to mount a defence of the use of torture on suspected terrorists -- though if anyone could provoke me into doing so, the insufferably vain Pinter is the man. I do not care at all for Pinter's plays; if the Nobel committee wants to boost his bank balance and his ego, then that is its affair. God knows, the latter is big enough. Pinter's account of writing The Homecoming was surely worth a Nobel prize for pomposity: "It's a strange moment, the moment of creating characters who up to that moment have had no existence." Gee, almost like being God, Harold. Leave aside for today the invasion of Iraq, which he denounced in familiar terms. More intriguing was his extended critique of US policy -- and secrecy -- during the Cold War. Here are Pinter's five charges: - The US engaged in "low intensity conflict throughout the world", causing "hundreds of thousands" of deaths. Pinter cites the case of Nicaragua, where American aid helped overthrow the "intelligent, rational and civilised" government of the Sandinistas. - "The US supported and in many cases engendered every right-wing military dictatorship in the world after the end of the Second World War", specifically those in Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Greece, Haiti, Indonesia, Paraguay, The Philippines, Turkey and Uruguay. The deaths of all the people murdered by these regimes were "attributable to American foreign policy". - These "systematic, constant, vicious [and] remorseless" crimes bear comparison with those committed during the Cold War by the Soviet Union (no mention, be it noted, of China, Vietnam or North Korea). - But these crimes "have only been superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged". It is as if "it never happened", thanks to "a highly successful act of hypnosis". - This mass hypnosis has been achieved by repeated use of the phrase "the American people", which "suffocates [the] intelligence and critical faculties" of all Americans, apart from "the 40million people living below the poverty line and the two million ... imprisoned in the vast gulag of prisons which extends across the US". Brings it all flooding back, doesn't it? The demand that the president and his allies be tried as "war criminals". The denunciation of the "infantile insanity" of nuclear weapons. No, don't worry, you haven't stepped into a time machine. It's not the 1970s, and that wasn't Henry Kissinger in drag, it was only Condi Rice. But yes, I am afraid that is still Harold Pinter, spouting the same old anti-American drivel he was spouting 30 years ago. Truth and falsehood are indeed hard to distinguish in Pinter's drama, and his Nobel soliloquy was no exception. First, the true part. Thousands were indeed killed by US-backed dictatorships, especially in Central and South America. What is demonstrably false is that this violence is comparable in scale with that perpetrated by communist regimes at the same time. It is generally agreed that Guatemala was the worst of the US-backed regimes during the Cold War. When the civil war there was finally brought to an end in the 1990s, the total death toll may have been as high as 200,000. But not all these deaths can credibly be blamed on the US. Most of the violence happened long after the 1954 coup, when the regime was far from being under the control of the CIA. By comparison, the lowest estimate for the number of people who were killed on political grounds in the last seven years of Stalin's life is five million, and the camps of the gulag -- which only a fraud or a fool would liken to American prisons today -- kept on killing long after his death. In their new biography, Jung Chang and Jon Halliday reckon Mao Zedong was responsible for anything up to 70 million deaths in China. The number of people killed or starved by the North Korean regime may be in the region of 1.6 million. The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia killed between 1.5 and two million people. For further details, I refer Pinter to The Black Book of Communism, published in 1997. As for the allegation of a conspiracy to hush up American complicity in Cold War human rights violations, he really has to be kidding. You no longer need to rely on articles by Seymour Hersh to know about this stuff. There are easily accessible websites where you can download any number of declassified documents about all the dreaded dictatorships the CIA backed. On the basis of these and other sources, there have been at least five detailed monographs published in the past 10 years on Guatemala alone. Some cover-up. Nobody pretends that the US came through the Cold War with clean hands. But to pretend that its crimes were equivalent to those of its communist opponents -- and that they have been wilfully hushed up -- is fatally to blur the distinction between truth and falsehood. That may be permissible on stage. I am afraid it is quite routine in diplomacy. But it is unacceptable in serious historical discussion. So stick to plays, Harold, and stop torturing history. Even if there was a Nobel prize for it, you wouldn't stand a chance. Because in my profession, unlike yours -- and unlike Condi's, too -- there really are "hard distinctions between what is true and what is false". Niall Ferguson is professor of history at Harvard University. © The Australian http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/commo...%5E7583,00.html
  11. In an interview with US Today Condoleezza Rice denies any further political ambition after her today’s post as Secretary of State. She is quoted as saying "When I go back to Stanford in 3½ years, I can guarantee you I will probably oversee dissertations that look at" what went wrong and right in Iraq. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/20...1-28-rice_x.htm
  12. Asi před čtrnácti dny začaly Lidové Noviny s uveřejnováním článků pod rubrikou "Příběhy bezpráví". http://lidovky.zpravy.cz/ln_bezpravi.asp Dodnes je to jedenáct popisů životů mučených lidí z padesátých let. Lidí, kteří se aktivně zapojili do odboje anebo si pouze svojí činností komunisty znepřátelily. Dnes vzpomíná Miroslav Kácha na svoji odbojovou činnost a trest za ní takhle: "Za těch padesát let se s tím člověk vyrovná. Nejde se v tom pořád jen patlat, život jde dál... ale tu a tam se mi ve snu vrací ty 'nejhezčí' vzpomínky na výslechy a mučení... Vůbec nejošklivější sny jsem měl v prvních letech po návratu. Křičel jsem ze spaní... Některé své trýznitele jsem později potkal. Ani jsem na ně neplivl. Potkal jsem se třeba s majorem Bohatou, který mě měl 'v práci' v Domečku. Prý si mě a nic z toho, co se dělo, nepamatuje. Ve vězení jsem se setkal s prokurátorem Vašem, který má na svědomí taky smrt generála Píky. V kriminále skončil, když si to soudruzi vyřizovali se soudruhy z vlastních řad. Vaš v Leopoldově klečel na zemi a se sepjatýma rukama prosil vězně, aby ho nebili. Ale zastali se ho kněží. A potom generálové, kteří řekli: "Nešpiňte si ruce s tou vší." http://lidovky.zpravy.cz/ln_bezpravi.asp?r...ln_bezpravi_vvr Pod rubrikou "Člověk má povinnost postavit se totalitě" popisuje Hana Truncová-Johnová svoje rozhodnutí takto: "Cítila jsem, že musím něco udělat. Pomáhala jsem lidem přes hranice, opisovala jsem letáky na stroji. Pokud člověk žije v totalitě, má povinnost i právo jednat proti jejím zákonům, …… A já byla z domova vychovaná k pravdě a spravedlnosti. Na riziko jsem nemyslela." http://lidovky.zpravy.cz/ln_bezpravi.asp?r...ln_bezpravi_lvv "Život s cejchem dcery "nepřítele státu" popisuje nespravedlivost spáchanou na Marii Janalíkové a jejích rodičích. "Tatínek byl oblíbený a vážený člověk, veřejně činný a majetný. Což se komunistům nelíbilo. Tušil, že bude zatčen. Vzpomínám na poslední neděli, než otce zatkli. Sestra s bratrem se vrátili z letního tábora. Byli jsme na výletě a otec několikrát opakoval: Buďme šťastni, že jsme všichni pohromadě. Přišli pro něj 31. července 1951." http://lidovky.zpravy.cz/ln_bezpravi.asp?r...ln_bezpravi_hlm Při čtení těchto srdcervoucích příběhů mně již poněkolikráté napadlo jestli tyhle články najdou cestu do školních lavic?
  13. Perhaps this posting will shed more light upon this infected debate about who lied about what …… "Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbours." These words were uttered by President Bill Clinton on Dec. 16, 1998. Was he shamelessly deceiving American people? Was he lying to the American people at that time? "There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years." These words were delivered to the Senate by the vice chairman of the Intelligence committee senator Jay Rockefeller, a democrat from West Virginia on Oct. 10, 2002. Jay Rockefeller. Was Jay Rockefeller lying and shamelessly deceiving American people? Was he indeed a xxxx?? The quoted words did I found at: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05310/600991.stm I hope I’m inside right thread. One never knows … and the results of the mistake can be removal to some other place inside Forum without further notice. I just want to cast some light on the debate “Who’s a xxxx”. And at the same time support Tim’s line that the intelligence about WMD was not as exact as everybody of importance at that time believed that it was. Even very trustworthy people made mistake, which they today do not want to be reminded of.
  14. In the past days Hillary Clinton visited Israel. According to Haaretz News Hillary Clinton expressed her support for the much debated “concrete wall” build between West Bank and Israel: Hillary Clinton is quoted as saying: "This is not against the Palestinian people. … This is against the terrorists. The Palestinian people have to help to prevent terrorism. They have to change the attitudes about terrorism." Furthermore Hillary Clinton is describing Israelis withdrawal from Gaza ordered by Ariel Sharon as ”courageous". Haaretz quote her saying: "That was an incredibly difficult position for him to take, and it caused great distress within the Israeli society. …. But he did it as a means of demonstrating that he is committed to trying to get back into a process." Isn’t this a future president candidate talking? Making visit to one of the “hot spots” in Middle East ……. Showing herself as a tough politician taking more care of the difficult American national security policy where John Kerry failed in his bid to be elected as the president? Trying to give American voters basically the same policy but in democrat party’s package? The whole article is at: http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/644798.html
  15. Tim, I understand that if Condoleezza Rice would choose to stand up for the president in the presidential race of 2008 that this act would have a tremendous impact around and inside black communities throughout United States. But what do you think about her political platform …… what do you think she will fight for and subsequently she will fight against during the primaries and if elected, as the president? Shortly, in what way will her policy differ from the political thinking of Hillary Clinton?
  16. There are a lot of expectations and excitements about next presidential election expressed by the introducer of the book Mrs.President Dick Morris. One of them sound like this: Hillary Clinton does not want any other woman to take what she regards as her just place in history. Yet, ironically, it is Hillary's candidacy that makes Condi's necessary and, therefore, likely. The first woman nominated by the Democrats can only be defeated by the first woman nominated by the Republicans. Were Condi and Hillary to face one another, it would be the next great American presidential race and one of the classic bouts in history: Hector vs Achilles; Wellington vs Bonaparte; Lee vs Grant; Mary, Queen of Scots vs Elizabeth; Ali vs Frasier. And now, Condi vs Hillary. In the article I mentioned and quoted in my first posting Morris wrote: And wouldn't a Condoleezza Rice candidacy change America? The very fact that an African-American woman could actually become President would send a powerful message to every minority child that there is no more ceiling, no more limit for black Americans in elective politics. The sky would now be the limit. And he continues making interesting comparisons between the two “would be” contenders as far as US black community is concerned: Condoleezza Rice can defeat Hillary Rodham Clinton. Were she to run, her candidacy would strike directly at the three pillars of the Democratic party's political base: African-Americans, Hispanics and white women. The Democrats cannot win without fully tapping all three sources of votes. A Hillary Clinton candidacy is particularly strong because of her appeal to all three bastions of Democratic power. Because of her husband's long identification with minority voters, her efforts to court Hispanic voters and her own gender and record of feminism, she stands to cash in on the support of all three groups in a huge way. But Condoleezza Rice, also a woman and an African-American, blocks Hillary's built-in advantages. How would Condi fare among blacks? Would she crack the solid phalanx of African- American support for the Democratic party, something no Republican has done in 50 years? A number of prominent black Democratic politicians think she could. Bill Clinton's former secretary of agriculture, Mike Espy, the first black congressman from Mississippi and a lifelong Democrat, thinks Condi would run well among America's blacks. Espy was one of two African-Americans in Clinton's first cabinet. 'They are two brilliant women,' Espy says, 'evenly matched, both well rounded, both with interests outside politics.' How would the black community vote? 'Their heads would be for Hillary,' Espy predicts, 'but their hearts would be with Condi.' And which would they follow? 'We often are emotional and follow our hearts. We would all like to have parents like Condi's - focused, encouraging, nurturing - and we'd all like to have a daughter like Condi,' Espy says. When I pressed him for a numerical prediction, the former congressman thought for a while and then said: 'My guess is that the race [among African-American voters] would be pretty much even. Hillary may have a bit of an edge because of the hegemony of the Democratic party base, but Condi would run much, much better than any other Republican. My guess would be a 60-40 Hillary margin.' Sixty-40! For a Republican to win four out of 10 black votes would mean a major realignment in American politics. If Rice should realise anything close to such a gain in the African-American vote - and do as well as Bush among the rest of the electorate - she would sweep to an overwhelming victory, a true landslide. Those who shall live will see ………….
  17. Is there already a subtle drive from some journalist from the media to demonize Condoleezza Rice? At least some people suspect that. One of them is Michelle Malkin. who compared two photographs of Rice. The manipulated one was published by US Today. Compare for yourself: http://michellemalkin.com/archives/003780.htm US Today is apologizing for what happened by saying “The photo of Condoleezza Rice that originally accompanied this story was altered in a manner that did not meet USA TODAY's editorial standards. The photo has been replaced by a properly adjusted copy.” at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/20...-congress_x.htm Was this “mistake” accidental? Is the rallying of both sides for 2008 election in progress already? Is this one of the ways it should be done?
  18. What would you like to get from us, teachers not teaching in United Kingdom? Teachers teaching in other languages then English? Teachers using another curriculum than teachers in your country use? Teachers teaching at another level than you teach? Can you find anything specific I could contribute to your share forum?
  19. Comments made by conservative writer Rush Limbaugh in Wall Street Journal about democrats and Hillary Clinton: The real crackup has already occurred--on the left! The Democratic Party has been hijacked by 1960s retreads like Howard Dean; billionaire eccentrics like George Soros; and leftwing computer geeks like Moveon.org. It nominated John Kerry, a notorious Vietnam-era antiwar activist, as its presidential standard-bearer. Its major spokesmen are old extremists like Ted Kennedy and new propagandists like Michael Moore. Its great presidential hope is one of the most divisive figures in U.S. politics, Hillary Clinton. And its favorite son is an impeached, disbarred, held-in-contempt ex-president, Bill Clinton. His article at http://www.opinionjournal.com/ac/?id=110007417 is actually about Republican Party but his description of democrats and Clintons is something I never heard my friends who are democrats to even think. On the contrary they always fiercely attacked Republicans with carefully collected cartoons and jokes they assembled from internet. Sitting together with them and debating current issues was like being moved back to communist Czechoslovakia during my childhood; the political situation was depicted either as white or black …… no compromise or understanding of the republicans was possible. Condoleezza Rice was black bitches to my friends and I still recall their bitterness after the lost election of 2000. The same goes probably for Limbaugh. No understanding, no bridge buildings……. Do these two women have a chance to heal this division which causes so much bitterness?
  20. Nedávno jsem dostal mail od Jirky Janečka z Drnholce. Obsahoval slohovou práci, prý žáka šesté třídy. Líbila se mně. Poprosil jsem Jirku o uveřejnění. Jeho odpovědˇ byla: Ahoj, zverejni ten pribeh, ale pripis k tomu, ze se jedna zatim o anonymniho autora, ze by nas zajimalo, kdo je skutecnym autorem. Z jihu Moravy zdravi jj Slohová práce žáka 6. třídy ZŠ na téma: "Moji rodiče" Rodiče se dělí na dvě části: na matku a otce. Matka se ještě dělí na ženu v domácnosti a v zaměstnání. Doma se matka skládá z manželky, matky, kuchařky, uklízečky, pradleny, nákupčího, účetní, vychovatelky a milenky (to mi napověděla ségra Jana, co chodí do devítky, ale když to maminka slyšela, tak řekla, atˇ to tam nepíšu, že lhát se nemá). Maminka to umí ještě rozvést dál a používá slova jako otrok, služka, děvka pro všechno - myslím si ale, taková slova se do slohu žáka 6. třídy nehodí. Matka sa vyznačuje tím, že se zázračně nachází na více místech najednou, umí najednou myslet na sto věcí a přitom deset věcí najednou dělá. Vidím na vlastní oči, jak po návratu z práce dá vařit vodu na sporák a mezi tím zadělá těsto na nudle. Přitom jí samozřejmě běží pračka, do které neustále chodí vyměnovat prádlo, pro mě vymýšlí věty oznamovací, rozkazovací a tázací a naší Olinku zkouší z malé násobilky. Že přitom přebalí a nakrmí malého Káju, toho si ani nevšimnu. Dvě oči mi na to nestačí!!! Protože když potom zasednu k večeři, je už namletý mák i ořechy, navařené nudle a já mám na kolenou tepláků čerstvě zašité díry. Olinka má umyté vlasy a prádlo visí na balkóně. Zbytečně si mamku prohlížím - fakt má pouze dvě ruce ... a přece, když přijde z práce, má v jedné malou i velkou kabelku, ve druhé má dvě tašky s nákupem a to by mě tedy zajímalo, čím drží Karlíka ve fusaku !!! Otec, ten se neskládá, ani nerozděluje. Nachází se doma, nebo v práci, ale doma ho najdete málokdy. Mimo snídaně a večeře, kdy sedí u stolu v kuchyni, se nachází v obýváku na gauči a bývá zakrytý novinama. Po sobě zanechává vždy ty stejné stopy. Rozevřené a poházené noviny na zemi vedle gauče, všude drobky od toho, jak u toho mlsá, na stole troje brýle, pět ovladačů na spotřební elektroniku, hrnek od kafe, od čaje a sklenici od piva a politý ubrus. Na rozdíl od mamky (i když má taky dvě ruce), přichází domù vždy s prázdnýma rukama, někdy se přihlouple směje a usíná na gauči dřív, než přečte noviny. Jestli umí násobilku to nevím, ale psát asi neumí, protože žákajdu mi ještě nikdy nepodepsal. Ještě jsem ani nestihnul prozkoumat, proč patří do kategorie "rodiče", protože na rodičovském sdružení taky ještě nikdy nebyl. Pan učitel řekl, abychom se při psaní této slohové úlohy zamysleli nad prací svých rodičů. Ve škole přidělují žáka, který řádně nepracuje a neučí se k dobrému a usilovnému žákovi. Myslím si tedy, že při svatbách přidělují chlapy k ženám, aby je něčemu dobrému naučili a měli na ně kladný vliv. Mojí mamince se to zatím nepodařilo..........
  21. In a short space of time many newspapers are engaging themselves in speculations about next presidential election in United States. Most thrilling amongst these qualified guesses is a contest run between two best known and most powerful women (“Forbes magazine recently ranked Condi as number one and Hillary as number 26 in its 2005 list of the most powerful women in the world.”), Hillary Clinton versus Condoleezza “Condi” Rice. Or as today’s article in the Guardian put it: “There is, perhaps, an inevitability to the clash: two highly accomplished women, partisans of opposite parties, media superstars and quintessentially 21st-century female leaders, have risen to the top of American politics. Each is an icon to her supporters and admirers. Two groundbreakers, two pioneers.” The only visible difference between these two possible candidates is their willingness to enter the race. While Hillary Clinton wants to be next president Condoleezza Rice seems to prefer to go back to somehow quieter life far from the spotlights. “Hillary Clinton has always wanted to be the first woman President of the United States. Shortly after her husband's election in 1992, the couple's closest advisers openly discussed plans for her eventual succession after Bill's second term. Things didn't turn out quite that way, but her election to the Senate in 2000 gave her the national platform she needed to launch her new image - the 'Hillary Brand' - and begin her long march back to the White House.” “Condi's dismissals have been more emphatic. During an interview with the Washington Times in March, she said she had no intention of running for President. A denial, but a soft one: 'I have never wanted to run for anything,' Rice said.” Of course it’s more than three years before next presidential election will take place but these three years can give Education Forum chance to discuss and speculate freely on Hillary Clintons and Condoleezza Rice’s abilities or shortcomings. Like the example I choose from the article: “Condi's and Hillary's respective reputations in politics, too, are diametrically opposed. Condoleezza Rice has never been involved in personal or professional wrongdoing; Hillary has been embroiled in scandal after scandal, ever since she entered public life. She has always teetered on the ethical edge.” The quotations are taken from The Guardians review article of the book “Condi vs Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race” and can be found at: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/stor...1592978,00.html
  22. I look once again through your site mrbelshaw.co.uk/shareforum and I like what I saw. There is more pedagogical suggestions and helps that in March. ( Of course you had to create them and it takes time, I know) And they seemed to be downloaded and probably extensively used in British classrooms. Do you get any thoughts or comments from British teachers after they used things from your share forum? And how about yourself? Are you satisfied what you achieved until today?
  23. If time is suitable I will gladly be with you next time ……….. (There are so many threads and postings at the Forum now that it’s quite easy to miss interesting messages …. )
  24. Anglická verze ve které popisuji historii českých žen 19. a 20. století byla uveřejněna začátkem září na Education Forum v sekci Europe's Other Half. Může být nalezena na: http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4011 Otiskuji ji však též zde. Prosím tímto čtenáře se znalostí angličtiny o připomínky. Děkuji. A history of Czech and Czechoslovakian women during the 19th and 20th centuries. 1. The role of women in the Czech national revival and emancipation movement. For Czech people living in the Habsburg Empire in the 19th century there were two main goals: political autonomy for the Czech parts of the Empire, and the adoption of the Czech language. These goals are somewhat obscure today so a short explanation is in order. The official, as well as the everyday language spoken by educated Czech people and Czech entrepreneurs inside the two Czech provinces called Böhmen (Bohemia) and Mähren (Moravia), was German. Germanization started short after the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) and culminated during the first half of the 19th century. A huge proportion of the intellectual elite consisted of a large group of ethnic Germans who had been living in Czech provinces since the 13th century. The nationalist sentiments that swept through Europe in the eighteen-hundreds awaked the Czech people to the discovery and admiration of their Slavic past. While struggling to achieve these goals, the Czechs became more politically conscious. At the same time they discovered that many different political and cultural steps had to be taken along the road in order to achieve the main goals. The deeds and organizational skills of women such as Magdalena Dorotea Rettigová and Anna Náprstková, active during the 1820’s, contributed to a climate that worked towards the nationalist goals. Magdalena Dorotea Rettigová (1786 - 1845) was a practical woman who encouraged young girls to become educated and go into businesses as a means of strengthening Czech patriotism. Only by being educated and having knowledge of Czech history, could such girls, through their future roles as mothers, eventually instill in their children pride and compassion for the Czech people. She promoted this vision indefatigably in her own private school, where girls, mainly from poor backgrounds, could obtain free education. Apart from practical instruction of cooking and household work, knowledge expected of girls at this time, they were also taught the Czech language and urged to read books written by Czech writers. Rettigova herself wrote novels for women and contributed short articles to magazines. A foundation for poor girls in the small town of Litomyšl was established by her and continued its task well to the end of the 19th century. Magadalena Dorotea Rettigová is today mainly known for her legendary cookery book - "A Household Cookery Book or a Treatise on Meat and Fasting Dishes for Bohemian and Moravian Lasses”. This popular book remained for a long time the only cookery book written in the Czech language and is still in print today, thus it has become one of the historical treasures of the Czech people. Historically, Rettigová is described as the First Czech Feminist but it should not be forgotten that her view of emancipation was conservative and tradition bound when compared with later generations of women striving for the same goals. Around 1820, the salon meetings in the Madame Staël spirit, in well-to-do homes became increasingly popular with Czech intellectuals. Many women took part in these gatherings where debates, concerts and theater plays were given. One of these salons inspired the creation of the first schools for girls that was not private. It was called Budec and was set up by Antonie Reissová (1817-1852) (Czech pseudonym Bohuslava Rajská), a teacher by profession. Though the original plans for Budec were somewhat grandiose - the complex of buildings was to include a hospital and shops, the school began its activities in 1844 in a three-flat-apartment building situated in the center of Prague. Some thirty to thirty-five girls between the ages of five to eighteen were given education a few hours every evening. The quality of the teaching was high but financial difficulties forced the school to close down already in 1848. Shortly after the failed uprising in Prague in1848 (this was a revolutionary year throughout Europe), the Czech patriotic women met in order to beg clemency for the imprisoned Czech men. At these meetings the newly established Ladies Society for Women’s Education, inspired by the Budec achievements, founded a new girls’ school under the leadership of Svatava Amerlingová (1812-1887). Although in the beginning, the teaching language used was Czech, repression by the authorities led to its abandonment and eventually bilingual education was offered. Around the same time the founding of the Slavic Women's Society was proposed by Honorata Wišniowská-Zapová (1812-1856), a Polish woman married to the Czech writer Karel Zap. The aim of this society would be the education of girls in the spirit of Czech nationalism. The Society started its educational program in 1855 but was forced to close down soon after because of the death of Wišniowská-Zapová. Anna Naprstková (1788 -1873), a business woman who ran a brewery / distillery and an adjoining inn, the U Halánků, sheltered a growing nationalist movement especially after the revolution year of 1848. Both her sons, Ferdinand and Vojtěch, being outspoken nationalists, were often investigated by police. The younger son, Vojtěch left home in secret for the United States of America where he finished his law studies. When he returned to Prague, after ten years abroad, his public speeches and presentations about activities established by American women created a wave of admiration and raised the conciseness of many who heard him. Around 1864 he organised an exhibition of American sewing machines (until then unknown in Prague) together with demonstrations on how to use them. The exhibition was much visited by women. The American Ladies’ Club or American Club of Bohemian Women (as the Czech name put it “Americký klub dám”), founded by philanthropist Vojtěch Náprstek (1826-1894), which was established 1865 held its first meetings on the premises of “U Halánků”. The club offered lectures, not only on questions of women’s emancipation, but also about other subjects such as astronomy, medicine, biology philosophy, literature, history etc. thus contributing to strengthen women’s will for emancipation. The free lectures were given to ladies only on Sunday mornings; men were allowed to listen to them from the lobby. During the twenty years of these activities almost 27 000 listeners were registered. The members of the American Ladies’ Club could also use Náprstek´s library which contained, besides Czech books, books written in foreign languages. All these activities brought Vojtěch Náprstek the nickname “the women’s advocate”. The American Ladies’ Club inspired the creation of similar clubs in provincial towns too. Although the importance of the club gradually diminished towards the end of century, it continued its activities long into the 20th century. The second half of the 19th century, as it concerned women in the Czech national revival movement, belonged to the writers. Božena Němcová (1820 -1862) was one of the few writers at this time who satisfied the spiritual needs of the Czechs. In her most well-known novel “The Grandmother” (“Babička”), Němcová describes the life of a village in the pre-natal period of modern Czech society. The main character of the novel is the writer’s grandmother, whose aims in life and whose moral values were well defined and taken to heart by the village inhabitants. Through her writing, Božena Němcová provided “fairy tales” for a young Czech urban society searching for new values - tales that indicated the values that they should be true to. Her influence may still be felt today as she is known as “Our lady Božena Němcová” by modern poets. In her novel The First Bohemian Woman (“První Češka”), Karolina Světlá (1830 -1899) described the prejudices held by the large part of Czech society that was not yet in a patriotic frame of mind and that was against the efforts being made to awaken the spirits of Czechs to a more nationalist way of thinking. Světlá, though mainly a poet and writer, was also throughout her active life in the forefront of the intellectual movement in favour of Czech women. In 1870 she was one of the founders of the Czech Women’s Production Association (Ženský výrobní spolek český), which, with the help of donations made by more than two thousands women members and augmented by various grants, supported the Society for the Industrial and Commercial Education of Bohemian Girls founded in 1871. The Society ran practical education courses aimed at spreading knowledge about home industries run by women. After receiving generous grants from the Bohemian Medical Association, the Society founded the first school of nursing in the Habsburg Empire. Another association, “Vesna” with goals similar to the Czech Women’s Production Association was established in Mähren soon afterwards. Eliška Krásnohorská (1847 -1926) is another woman for whom the Czech revival and emancipation of women were important. Writer, poet, journalist, translator and a friend of many important cultural figures in Bohemia at that time, she chided the composer Bedřich Smetana for his faulty use of the Czech language offering him at the same time her own work at librettos for his operas. She subsequently wrote librettos for “Kiss” (Hubička), “The Devil´s Wall”(Čertova stena) and “Secret” (Tajemství), which today are beloved treasures of Czech culture. Eliška Krásnohorská supported and participated actively in the Czech Women’s Production Association and the American Ladies Club. She edited Women’s Letters (Ženské listy) a monthly women’s journal which was affiliated to the Czech Women’s Production Association. This was a radical magazine and dealt with education offered in schools run by Associations. It also printed articles on the situation of women in society. In her booklet, The Women Question, published in 1870, Eliška Krásnohorská put forward the ideas of equal opportunities for women in education, as well as professional and economic life. Despite opposition ("God will punish you for this sin against his eternal law. If we continue corrupting Czech girls, you will be doomed," wrote one of her opponents), she successfully propagated for the creation of the first high school for Czech girls which would enable them to continue with university studies. Her petition, signed by 4,810 people, was handed over to the Reichrat (the Habsburg Empire’s Parliament in Vienna) on March 1890 and the Minerva High School for Girls opened in September 1890 with 51 students. Though the education was excellent, it was not before 1907 that the final exam could be taken in the girls’ school. Up till then, it had to be taken at the nearby boy’s high school. For some years, young women educated at Minerva were not allowed to register for studies at the Habsburg Universities. They could attend the lectures as guests, but were not allowed to sit the exams and subsequently could not obtain a university degree. The only European exception was the University of Zurich. The first Czech lady physician Bohuslava Kecková took her exams there but was not accepted as a member of the medical society when she returned home. It was not until 1897 that women were permitted to attend university in a normal way, first at the faculty of arts and a few years later at the faculty of medicine. The first female Czech-educated physician, Anna Honzáková (1875 -1940) obtained permission to sit her university exams in 1900 after already having attended lectures for five years. Anna Honzáková graduated on the 17th of March 1902 closely watched by proud and cheerful Czech women. 2. The Suffragette movement. During 1990 a split within the vast group of actively engaged women began. The older and more conservative women propagated mainly for education and participation in cultural and enlightening events for women. This group of women expressed their views and debated in magazines such as Women’s Letters and Women’s Horizon. Although the question of women’s suffrage, raised by Vojtěch Náprstek in a speech at the Prague Council in May 1887, was immediately rejected, it continued to draw attention from radical segments of society. The Social Democratic party integrated women’s right to vote into its program of 1897. Also, the first Congress of Czech Women, held in May 1897, appreciative of the good work carried out by the American Ladies’ Club, wanted to bring the women’s suffrage issue to the forefront of the debate. In 1903, the Czech Women´s club (Ženský klubu český), was established by those women who were politically active. Besides lectures, very often delivered by newly graduated Czech women, the Women’s Club also spread information about women’s questions outside the capital. The woman behind the Czech Women´s Club, Františka Plamínková (1875 – 1942), was a former teacher of mathematics and physics. She was also a reporter during the Balkan war of 1912. Františka Plamínková, with the help of the Committee for Women´s Suffrage (Výbor pro volební právo žen) which started its activities around 1905, took part in the struggle for the vote for women. The members of this committee discovered that while women were banned from voting, the law did not expressly ban them from being elected. On the basis of this discovery the writer Božena Vítková-Kunětická, was, in 1912, elected as the first female deputy of the Diet of the Czech Kingdom. Though this was viewed as a great success by Czech women, Vítková-Kunětická was never allowed to take her seat in the assembly. Count Thun, the Governor of the Czech provinces forbade her to do so on the grounds that the election laws were unclear. As in other countries involved in the First World War, women’s capacity for intellectual as well as physical work was well proven when they replaced those men who left to fight. Because of the turmoil of war these abilities were never confirmed in law or in everyday life. 3. The women’s movement in Czechoslovakia. 1918-1938. After the war, the constitution of the newly created Czechoslovak Republic granted women complete and equal political rights. The women’s movement during the long peace period that lasted for twenty years between the wars during which the democratic Republic of Czechoslovakia existed, centred round the Womens National Council, established by Františka Plamínková in 1923. Another prominent woman engaged in the work for the Women’s National Council was Milada Horáková (1901 – 1950) a lawyer in charge of social and women’s issues with the Prague City Council Though the Czechoslovak constitution of 1920 gave Czech women full equality, the laws passed down from the Habsburg Empire still discriminated against women in many sectors such as the labor market. Thus, the prime task of lawyer Milada Horáková, from her position inside the Women’s National Council, was to take care of proposals for new, more modern laws. Another woman who dealt with discrimination of women was Františka Zemínková (1882 – 1962) a member of the Czechoslovak National Socialist Party. The ranks of the party were made up of industrial and farm workers as well as shopkeepers and small entrepreneurs. A large proportion of railway workers and state employees were also members. The party had a good following among teachers and the intelligentsia too. The Czechoslovak National Socialist Party was the only party seriously competing with Social Democrats for workers’ votes. When she was fifteen years old, Františka Zemínková became a member of the party, the same year it was established in 1897. She was one of the co-founders of the Committee for Women´s Suffrage and later, during the First World War, she was co-organizer of the women’s hunger demonstrations throughout the Czech provinces. Immediately after the establishment of the Republic, she became a member of the first Revolutionary National Assembly 1918-1920 and later a MP for the Czechoslovak National Socialist Party in the Czechoslovak parliament from 1920-1939. As a vice chairman of her party and chairman of the women’s section, Františka Zemínková untiringly worked for women’s rights in society. Thus all three argued, fought and formulated proposals and legislation, the goals of which were to improve the every-day-life of women. The celibacy imposed on women teachers was abolished in 1918. The tireless fights for the granting of equal rights for women inside of marriage and in professional life were in many cases successfully and became law. Also the creation of Women’s Homes in Prague-Smíchov for unmarried women and the house Ve Smečkách 26, in Prague built by the Women´s Club Building Society, where activities of the Women´s Club were hosted, are two good examples of these successes. The women´s home was partly financed by funds raised by women themselves and designed without cost by woman architect, Milada Petříková-Pavlíková. The home contained an assembly hall, smaller lecture halls, club rooms, a library, a dining hall and accommodation. The Women´s Club used the opportunities afforded by the many activities practiced there to teach practical democracy through lectures, debates, seminars, concerts and foreign language teaching. These possibilities were also offered to other women’s organisations working inside the republic. All of these women, Plamínková, Zemínková and Milada Horáková also took part in women’s conferences around Europe. Františka Plamínková became vice president of the International Woman’s Council after she twice held a speech on women rights in the League of Nations in Geneva. Valuable supporters for these improvements were Charlotte Garrigue Masaryk(1850-1923), the wife of the first Czechoslovakian president and her daughter Alice Masaryk (1879-1966). Charlotte Garrigue was born In Brooklyn, New York; after marrying University professor Thomas Masaryk in 1878. She rapidly learned the Czech language, studied its associated literature, history and music and became a striking personality in the intellectual life of Prague. The Czech women’s movement at that time attracted her attention and she decided to lend it her support by translating into Czech the book by John Stuart Mill, Subjection of Women. It was only natural that she should influence her husband with the Czech women’s striving for gender equality. Thomas Masaryk admitted at a later occasion that he was “only a peddler” of his wife’s thoughts concerning women’s rights. Charlotte co-authored his book Polygamy and Monogamy, in which he spoke up for women’s equality. During a worker’s demonstration in 1906, Charlotte Garrigue Masaryk made open demands for free and equal suffrage together with a secret ballot. At the outbreak of the great war of 1914, when her husband stayed abroad trying to advance the cause of Czech liberation through the Czechoslovak National Council the Habsburg authorities held the family under close surveillance. The daughter, Alice Masaryk was arrested and sentenced to death on suspicion of her nationalist activities. The sentence was later reduced to twelve years incarceration. Fortunately, through pressure from the American government, Alice Masaryk was released from prison after having served only eight months. Alice was a well educated young woman who attended the Minerva grammar school before taking up studies at the Faculty of Medicine from which she later decided to change to the faculty of Arts. She graduated as a doctor of History in 1903. After Czechoslovakia attained independent, Alice Masaryk was elected as a deputy to the National Assembly. In February 1919 she was one of the founders of the Czechoslovak Red Cross. She remained the chairwomen of this organization for the next twenty years. Alice Masaryk also chaired the Committee of the Worldwide Conference of Social Workers, was involved in the temperance movement, helped establish Mother´s Day in Czechoslovakia and instigated Red Cross Easter Silence in 1926. Of course there have been other types of women, who did not follow the conventions of that time. Throughout their lives, these women established a new set of behavioural rules and new standards for the appearance of women. One such woman was Milena Jesenská (1896-1942). After her studies at Minerva grammar school where she was known as being one of the most highly emancipated girls, Milena began to write and became renowned as a woman journalist writing for one of the major Czech morning papers. Of course Milena did have good support from her aunts. One of them was a translator of English, the other was a novelist called Růžena who even dared to treat the women’s point of view on eroticism in her writing, something that was extremely courageous and outrageous to do at the time. In the twenties, when Milena, together with her friends, swept through the streets of Prague with their hair flying freely, without the habitual corset, dressed in bright-coloured clothes, their legs bare of stockings and their bare feet stuck into comfortable sandals - so clearly influenced by the dancer Isador Ducan they were subjects for gossip. Times were definitely changing however and women such as Milena saw themselves as equals in society with the rights to have and to express their own views as well as to show their unimpeded feelings and spirits. Then there was Eliška Junková (1900 -1994) “the Czech racing queen of the Jazz Age”! Knowledgeable in German, English and French and co-driver with her lover, Vincent “Cenek” Junek, she was known as “smíšek” because of the ever-present smile which graced her lips. She dreamt as young of visiting far-off places but remained instead with her husband to take part in car races. At first they took part in races in Czechoslovakia only but later they competed throughout Europe. In 1923, her husband presented her with a cigar-shaped racing car, an Italian Bugatti Type 30. By 1926 Eliška’s skills as a racing driver had developed to such an extent that she was quite able to compete against the best male drivers in races all over Europe. Her capability of memorizing a course by walking around it before the event turned her technical driving skills into successes. In the Targa Florio race in Sicily, she carefully noted all 1500 bends in the sixty-seven-mile-long course which helped her beat many other drivers. Her greatest success however was winning a trophy at the Nuremberg ring in Germany. In 1928 her husband Cenek was killed in their brand new Bugatti at the German Grand Prix in which he was sharing the driving with Eliska. Devastated by the loss, she gave up racing and sold off all their racing cars. Eliška set out for Ceylon with her new touring car given to her by Ettore Bugatti. 4. The occupation of Czechoslovakia, 1939-1945. In 1938, the Munich Pact signed by France, Great Britain, Italy and Germany gave a vital one third of Czechoslovakia, inhabited mostly by German-speaking Czechs, to Hitler’s Third Reich. At this time Františka Plamínková wrote an open letter to Adolf Hitler in which she used an often quoted phrase, “…with unshaken belief that despite military supremacy the “truth prevails” …..” (“Truth Prevails” has been the motto of the state of Czechoslovakia from its creation in 1918). On the15th of March 1939, the rest of what remained of the Czech parts of Czechoslovakia were incorporated into the Protectorate of Böhmen und Märhren by the occupying German forces. Františka Plamínková was imprisoned immediately after this occupation in March 1939. However, international outcry forced the Germans to release her this time. The first resistance against the occupation was carried out by officers from the disbanded Czech army and the members of the gymnastic movement Sokol, many of whom were women. In May 1942, Reichsprotecter Reinhard Heydrich, was assassinated by Czech commandos sent from Great Britain. During the process of hunting down the hidden parachutes, 1,331 Czechs, among them more than 200 women, were caught and executed. It is appropriate to name at least a few of these women if only to commemorate their memories: Liboslava Fafková (1921-1942), Milada Frantová (1906-1942), Taťána Hladěnová (1920-1942), Věra Junková (1917-1942), Marie Moravcová (1898-1942) and Jindriška Nováková (1928-1942). Among them was also Františka Plamínková who was rearrested and executed by Nazi firing squad in Prague-Kobylisy on 30th of June 1942. Many others were condemned to a life of misery and horror in concentration camps and Nazi prisons. Milada Horáková was one of these unfortunates as was Milena Jesenská who died in Ravensbrück in 1944. 5. The communist took power in Czechoslovakia in February 1948. After the communist takeover on 28th of February 1948 all women’s organization were forbidden or, if suitable, were incorporated into the communist dominated Czechoslovakian Women’s Association (Československý svaz žen). At the same time, all properties owned by women’s organizations were confiscated through the process of nationalisation. Women’s questions were now considered to be solved by a superior Marxist doctrine that made all people, including the two genders, equal. I feel it appropriate that the last words in this resume should go to two women I mentioned previously in this article. Františka Zemínková together with Milada Horáková were arrested by the communist authorities in 1949 and put on trial in 1950. They were unjustly charged with high treason and espionage in one of the so called “communist trials”, with which the Czechoslovak authorities indulged themselves during the 1950’s. Františka Zemínková was sentenced to twenty years imprisonment. She was released from prison by presidential amnesty in 1960 only to die shortly afterwards. Milada Horáková was sentenced to death and hanged immediately after the trial in 1950.
  25. My first impression when listening and watching Sarah and Donald presentation was a kind of joy. To see a pair of teachers teaching in a dedicated and innovative way give one a pleasure …… My second impression and following question is; how could all this playfulness be converted to High School environment where the older teenage students are more demanding and more critical when the intellectual content of teacher’s lessons are measured and valuated by them. I’m most keen on Anders answer, because he teaches at High School like me ……. But if there are any others who do have thoughts about this …… you are welcome.
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