Prague Twin

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Czechs to Host Missile Defense System

It seems inevitalbe that the Czechs will host a new missle defense system. The latest evidence that this system is a foregone conclusion came late last week when Alexandr Vondra, the Czech Foreign Minister, voiced his support for the Czech Republic to host a substantial part of the now only conceptual missle defense system.

Details are murkey but it is clear that the Czech Republic stands to gain financially. Why else would the cleary corrupt government openly back the plan while opposition groups protest and collect signatures for a referendum?

There seems to be fairly broad opposition to the plan according to the local paper (I'd link an article, but I don't think you all would get much out of it). However, one can continue to search in vain for that opposition to be echoed by the elected "representatives" here. Money is what motivates these "leaders" to act. Public opinion rates a distant second.

Sound familiar?

16 Comments:

  • Well, it seems quite clear to me that if one is willing to turn a blind eye to the nuclear proliferation of Iran, they should at least understand the necessity of a missile defense system, especially if the host nation is potentially within range of Iranian missiles.

    The Left doesn’t get to have this issue both ways.

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 1:19 AM  

  • It's funny to me that what you site as evidence to prove a "clearly corrupt government" is nothing more than a pole of opinion and having absolutely zero evidence of corruption. And the biggest chuckle comes from this line of your “proof of corruption”

    “The same groups tended to answer yes when asked if they ever gave a bribe”

    Great poll man. Ask the crooks that give the bribes if they think the government on a whole is corrupt.

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 1:31 AM  

  • I'm not turning any blind eye, but I am critical of anyone who thinks that this proliferation can be stopped.

    You think this system is going to be located to here to protect the Czechs? LOL! No, we are the eastern outpost. The system would be located here to protect potential targets further west.

    The Czech Republic has never been a target, but with the missle defense system the potential to become one will increase.

    ****

    They gave a bribe because that is the only way to get things done half the time.

    I've given two since I lived here. One for my business, one for my flat. On both counts it was the only way to get it done.

    So before you get all "I want clear evidence of a scientific poll" on me, try living here for a few years and see for yourself.

    Corruption is rampant in the Czech Republic. You can find that out yourself through a plethora of sources, but cutting to the quick, everyone who lives here knows it.

    I could do a little piece on the outgoing PM Paroubek for example, or his predecesor Stanislav Gross if it would make you feel better.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:18 AM  

  • PT

    Great since you don’t believe that the proliferation can be stopped you should be accepting of a defense system. And inasmuch as a nuclear strike on any part of Western Europe represents a horrible radioactive death for the many citizens of all European nations (just look at what havoc the relatively small event of Chernobyl wreaked) you should be please to know that the defense system is in place as one link in a series of systems designed to protect the whole of Europe.

    So now you are saying your evidence of corruption is: “Because myself and others can bribe some lowly government apparatchiks” that this is evidence of systemic corruption at all levels of a government? Please provide some real evidence before you make such a lofty claim.

    And no, I don’t want you to do a piece on the “out-going” PM, what I want is real evidence of corruption at the higher levels of the current government. The government you charged with corruption. Certainly you can relate to the term “innocent until proven guilty” or are you of the typical leftist mindset that has a Pavlovian reaction to government?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 3:46 PM  

  • Well, no proof yet, but TODAY the PM went under investigation from fraud.

    You can read about it here.

    I think the Prime Minister is high enough to call it systemically fradulent (especiallly when the outgoing PM was essentially the same).

    I don't think you get it Arch, I don't need to prove to you that they are corrupt. It is not a matter of that me and others can bribe officials, but rather that is the only way to get thing done in many cases. Everyone knows this because everyone has to pay.

    A simple example is the system for registering property. You need this done to get a mortgage completed, but it takes up to six months for them to change the damn name on the computer. We paid and got in in two weeks. Had it taken over a month, we would have lost at least half of our $7,500 deposit on our flat, so we really had no choice. The bribe was only about $125 and money well spent.

    Now we have some friends in the same position and they know someone, but apparently when we did it were the "good old days" and now it takes 6 weeks with the bribe and a minimum of 6 months without.

    The numbers are different but it is the same thing for registering a limited liability company. In the states you can get a company practically overnight. In the Czech Rebulic it takes weeks to put together the necessary papers and then it takes months for them to consider your application. Then, they can hold up your application for review without giving a reason. This is usually what happens to foreigners who are foolish enough not to pay the bribe up-front. A couple hundred bucks gets you your license in a matter of days instead of months. No review, no hassles.

    These are just a couple of the most common examples that literally everyone knows about. We could get into the police or the last two PMs or the current one.

    Take your pick and I can run with it. Or, you can take my word for it.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 11:41 PM  

  • I will take your word for it when it comes to the crooked bureaucracy that contaminates all governments to one degree or another, but to claim that this behavior is actually promoted by elected government officials and as such the reason for having the desire to “host” a missile defense system (the logic of which you have yet to refute) without providing proof is distasteful to the intellectual community.

    So tell me again: why is it you don’t want the missile defense system?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 5:42 PM  

  • Never said I didn't want it.

    What I said was that even though most oppose it, the choice has been made and there is nothing that can be done about it because the governement here is corrupt from top to bottom.

    Refute that.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 1:02 AM  

  • By the way, I forgot to mention, it is typical of you to blame the people who are caught up in the system and not the people who created the system in the first place.

    Sure, blame me and my friends for encouraging corruption but don't mention a word about those who not only created the system but who now profit from it. Write it all of to "crooked bureaucracy that contaminates all governments to one degree or another" without understanding just how entrenched the corruption here is.

    Arch, you are the reason that corruption flourishes, because your indignation is reserved for people like me who suffer under the system, and your praise is reserved for those who pilfer and profit from the suffering of all.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 1:11 AM  

  • Who placed blame? Are we feeling guilty?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 5:55 AM  

  • Ask the crooks that give the bribes if they think the government on a whole is corrupt.

    Your words there. So I'm a crook now?

    You placed the blame and no I don't feel guilty at all, just a little miffed that I had to pay the bribe.

    Like I said, instead of blaming the people who corrupted the system and profit from the now corrupt system, you blame the little guy who has no choice.

    Corrupt or not, the missle defense system will go into the Czech Republic for one reason only: Money.

    I hope you can at least see that point.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 9:58 PM  

  • That is an attack on the poll and not an attack on you! So no, I haven’t placed any blame whatsoever.

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 6:37 AM  

  • You called me a crook Arch. I want you to realize that.

    The poll was random, but out of random people you get 50% or more of people who have paid a bribe.

    When are person has to pay a bribe, they are pretty likely to consider the system corrupt.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 3:47 PM  

  • I never called you a crook! Read the post more closely!

    This is what it says:

    And the biggest chuckle comes from this line of your “proof of corruption”

    “The same groups tended to answer yes when asked if they ever gave a bribe”

    Great poll man. Ask the crooks that give the bribes if they think the government on a whole is corrupt.

    I am simply pointing out that the poll respondents are the same ones who give bribes.

    And I want you to realize that. OK?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 3:58 PM  

  • Ask the crooks that give the bribes if they think the government on a whole is corrupt.

    Breaking down this statement logically by it's parts, the poll was conducted mostly on people who are crooks since over half of the respondents had paid a bribe at some point.

    What clasifies these people as crooks is the fact that they have paid a bribe: a criminal offense. There is nothing else in the statement that indicates that these people are to be thus clasified by any other criteria than that they have paid a bribe.

    Evidently, ont thing that clasifies someone as a crook (I'm exprapolating here) is the occurence of them having given a bribe.

    Therefore, all people who pay bribes are crooks. If that is not true, you must provide an alternative criteria for clasifying the people who participated in the poll as crooks. If it is true, then it follows that since I have paid a bribe, therefore I am a crook. Unless you have another criteria for determining that the people who participated in this poll are crooks, this logic is rock solid.

    As an aside, the poll was conducted randomly. They did not concentrate the poll on crooks who had paid a bribe, but in fact, when a random sample of people is taken from the Czech population, about 50% of respondents will have paid a bribe. That sounds about right. About half (or more) of the people I know have paid a bribe of some type at some time.

    As a further aside, they do not link the results of the two groups (those which have paid a bribe and those which consider the government to be corrupt). That is to say that there is no connection between the 50% of people who think corruption is intrinsic and the 50% of people who have paid a bribe. The two groups could be virtually mutualy exclusive (not at all likely), vitually the same people (more likely, but still not very) or a mix of the two (the most likely scenario).

    Despite the fact that I would be a member of both groups, I will say with pride....

    "I am not a crook!"

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 7:15 PM  

  • OK, I see your logic. However it should be noted that you confessed to having given a bribe after I made my statement, so in fact rather than me calling you a crook, it was you who confessed to behavior that I had previously associated with being crooked.

    As to the poll; without knowing the geographic expanse that was covered in the sample (what percent rural, sub-urban or metro) or what age groups, it is still in my opinion potentially severely flawed.

    When I read your last line I could hear my brothers voice!

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 3:39 AM  

  • So now that you see that, you might want to reconsider if all of the Czechs who have paid a bribe are crooks.

    What you don't realize is how institutionalized these types of bribes are. They are part of the system.

    I would distinguish this low level corruption as being seperate from such things as the PM demanding a kickback for a sweatheart privitization deal (for the natural gas delivery no less). Although I would add that both officials are guilty of serious crimes.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:46 PM  

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