## Wednesday, May 06, 2015 ... /////

### Marine Le Pen in Prague

Shannon was the first source that told me that Marine Le Pen is just visiting Prague. However, hours later, all the Czech media (surprisingly?) dedicated lots of attention to the guest.

Her Twitter account provides you with many pictures from her visit.

On the Charles Bridge, she didn't wear plastic bags – but she carried them which is almost the same thing (and it's exactly the same word in Czech).

She has made a wish while she touched the statue of John Nepomucký and this wish will come true, unless superstitions are piles of šit that fail to work, of course. ;-)

Well, then she met ex-president Václav Klaus. He mentioned that left-wing politicians would take a selfie but right-wing ones go to the pub to have beer.

Klaus must have missed that all the stories of her guest are carefully covered on Twitter and maybe also Facebook and Instagram. :-) Klaus likes to point out that the Internet and Facebook cripple the physical condition of the users, especially the young generation. I am afraid that Le Pen is rather close to that doomed generation.

She met some political allies from the OKS party – a fragment of (still) somewhat bigger ODS – which is (unfortunately?) a marginal group. And more importantly, she gave a speech in the Czech Parliament against the European Union.

The European Union has turned into a tomb of our hopes.
When she started her talk, a group of Czech leftists has exposed banners saying "Le Pen Go Home" and "You Are Not Welcome Fascist Lady". She's probably used to that. Incidentally, her being moderate led to conflicts with her dad. It may be tough – I would probably support her in that family feud.
The European Union is a project that is dangerous and utopian which was forced upon us – without our consent and against our will – and it has mutated the idea of the European cooperation into the bureaucratic nightmare of federalist character embedded within the ongoing globalization, a nightmare that is the opposite of liberalism.
She has showed quite some knowledge of Czech history and literature. Maybe she had to prepare those comments. The citizens of the EU were compared to the hero of Franz Kafka's novella The Metamorphosis who morphs into a hideous bug.
We have to adapt and spread in the body of the monstrous creature called the European Union. The European Union is an insanity hiding behind the flag of fake democracy and it strips the countries of their sovereignty.
Moreover, the union is led by people who are unable to defend it from the "greatest threat since the Second World War", probably from Islamism. She said that the euro was destroying our (their) economy. She knew some quotes of the first Czechoslovak president, Thomas Garrigue Masaryk, who has said that Europe (and Czechoslovakia) was a lab built on a great cemetery [of the First World War].
Don't allow this lab to be conquered by some wizards' pupils because it's possible for the nations to go along a different path. The path of peace, prosperity, and a better future.
The media, e.g. Czech Public TV, discuss details about her conflict with her dad, a loan from a Russian bank for her party, and other things.

I don't really agree with everything she says, many of her words sound excessive or oversimplified, and so on, but I am still happy that there's enough freedom in the Czech capital – and, to some extent, even in the Czech media – to give room and visibility to such voices because they're needed. Her visit and speech have been covered by 25 stories in major Czech media so far; TRF is the only foreign-language-based outlet where you can hear about those events, however. Yes, I do think that our media are still freer than those in other Western countries.

Upvoted commenters e.g. on center-right iDNES.cz were mostly very supportive of her.

A different political topic: The excerpt from a film above shows the strategy taken by Syriza in Greece – they're threatening the creditors by their own default. ;-) What has worked for the black Gentleman doesn't have to work for others, however.

Zeman vs communist agent "professors"

One more political event. Czech president Zeman refused to appoint three full professors. Jiří Fajt was unacceptable because the national gallery, when he was its boss, forced KB (Commerce Bank) to pay some extra donation to be used for its directory.

Ivan Ošťádal, a physicist of surfaces at my Alma Mater (Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at the Charles University), was rejected by the president due to his contacts with the communist secret police before 1989. Similarly, Jan Eichler, an international political scientist, has worked in propagandist units of the Czechoslovak People's Army before 1989.

Now, all the presidents of the universities are "outraged" and refused to attend the ceremony which was "postponed". The president is in war with the university establishment.

What do I think about it? I may "mostly" feel uncomfortable when politicians intervene into the scholarly life – especially if we talk about scholars who are real experts. But it's obvious that I am a 100% supporter of Zeman in this case – and similar cases that occurred in the past. The political interference is badly needed because the past of these three men serves as a great example of how incredibly f*cked up our Academia is and what kind of people de facto control it.

A simple Google Scholar search shows that the publication-and-citation activity of these candidates is virtually non-existent. But this kind of corrupt communist ex-agents is exactly the type of scum that is "wanted" by the Academia.

I am sure that those people in the Academia who dare to agree with the Czech president are brutally harassed by their lumpencafé environment. Good that I avoided all the temptation to have something to do with the Czech Academia – I would probably have to vomit 24 hours a day.

#### snail feedback (29) :

Great post Lubos ! ;-) Actually "wear" and "carry" is also the same word in French "porter": elle porte une robe, elle porte des sacs en plastique. Anyway she is a cool lady and her dad has become a punk of a sort. I'd like her to win the presidential elections in 2017. It would be very exciting.

It seems odd to an American that the President would be in the business of appointing (or not) college professors, but at least such overt political "interference" with Academia is transparent.

Interesting lesson, Shannon. So the wallet, a portmonka in Czech (from French), is a porter for money. Is "money" expressed by a similar word in French?

Good luck to her. ;-)

Dear Richard, it's a standardized tradition that is not odd at all because the Czech(oslovak) president

1) inherited much of the power from the kings who could do such things

2) has always been expected to be a top (or close) intellectual - not a random politician - who is at least the other scholars' peers (it's been the case of Masaryk, Beneš, Havel, Klaus, and partly Zeman).

I agree that the transparency is what is good about it. There are tons of interference that occurs non-transparently. I could speak about some experience from the first and second hand.

I agree with just about everything Marine Le Pen says. The unelected buggers in Brussels who don't pay tax look down on the rest of us with contempt. Fuck them and their bans on olive, light bulbs, bent bananas, and every little detail of our daily lives.

When politicians speak, Lubos, they are always talking to their own constituency, primarily. If Le Pen’s words seem sometimes excessive or oversimplified it is because she has in mind her own political position in France. Judging by the polls she is just being a good politician. I wish her well.

Le Pen and her party are infested with Jew hatred. However, they are the only party that is talking sensibly about Muslims and immigration.

Here in the US, people who engaged in bombings of institutions are coveted by the academy.

Yes, actually porte-monnaie is a purse (only for women) which means carry-money, and a portefeuille (for men) means carry sheets/papers... hey! just realising now that means men carry the bank notes while women carry the coins ! French women carry the heaviest load for less value. How unfair :-)

A strange interpretation. Your professional analysis of the words makes it clear that women just take all the money away from the money and only leave the bills and other worthless papers and liabilities to them. ;-)

That's why we love you guys so much :-)

Is that true of Marie? I know that her father is antisemitic.

MikeNov, you are misinformed but not surprising. In addition you are islamophobic. I guess you must hate black people too as we see the news everyday from the US huh ? FYI Marine Le Pen's partner, Louis Alliot, has some jewish background so I very much doubt she is anti-Semitic.

Her father is not anti-Semitic nor racist. He is anti-establishment for good reasons.

Lubos, I don't understand you. If they are guilty for something they have done in the past, they should stand trial. If they are not guilty, this shouldn't affect their academic position. Of course, if they are not experts, they shouldn't be promoted.

But if you give president the power to affect academia, then next one will use it in a bad way. So this should be prevented.

It is also similar in science. Some people say that even there is no global warming, we should promote it since precautions will make world a better place (as they believe). I strongly disagree, science should only say what is true or not, regardless or political or ethical consequences/worries. Similarly, politics should never interfere in academia.

Yep, Marine it is. I am glad that I am wrong about Le Pen’s antisemitism. Thanks for the correction, Shannon.
Maybe I will stick to US politics in the future.

There is less racism in the US than is depicted by the media.

You do realize she just claimed the father is not antisemitic?

I know. Same for the FN, Gene. But isn't it fun to use any small pity event and make it a general truth , like viral ? It is exactly what is and has been constantly done to the Front National about their supposed antisemitism.

Jean-marie Le Pen is not anti-Semitic nor racist. He is anti-establishment.

Update: If someone is following this thread, Klaus answered a few questions about his meeting with Le Pen - which was the first one:

http://www.klaus.cz/clanky/3745

He said she was a natural talent, their opinions about the EU were even closer than he had thought. She disappoints him by 1) smoking e-cigarettes which is a "third way" (e-cigarettes are a postmodern leftist invention LOL), and 2) by the inability to find solid allies in other European countries, which is probably due to the uncritical adoption of demonization by others.

Dear John, you may think that what you write is sensible but there are tons of misunderstandings in your comment.

First, it is not illegal to have been an agent of communist secret police. One avoids prison if he did "just" that. We've had a lustration law that shields top politics from such people but even that law is pretty much inconsequential now when Babiš, the billionaire and a former informer of the communist secret police, is the finance minister and the most powerful politician in the country.

It's still immoral to have been an informer or communist propagandist before the fall of communism, and most people arguably agree with that point.

Right, they shouldn't be promoted if they don't have the academic qualities, and that's a part of the reason why Zeman refused to appoint them. These two guys with the communist past were supposed to become full professors for pretty much the same thing that they were doing in communism, and that's just wrong because what they did was wrong.

The president had the possibility to refuse to appoint them and he has used the right. That's what the law says that should happen.

Someone has to decide about such things. You prefer to trust the would-be scholars who are fans of former communist propagandists, informers, and similar extreme trash. I prefer president Zeman to decide about such issues. This is my firm position and it is in no way new.

Back at Harvard, I was shocked by the power of the victimist assholes in the Feminist Whining and Black Whining Departments, among other fucked-up would-be scholarly departments that shouldn't exist at all, and I was grateful for at least the tiny ability of President Summers to bring some meritocracy and common sense back to these dark corners of Harvard.

Presidents Klaus and Zeman simply play an analogous role to that of Summers. Of course, this or future president may also make similar decisions that are wrong. But the point that you completely overlook is that the same is true about the assholes in those fucked-up departments of universities and the academy.

They do wrong decisions all the time, they're corrupt, untransparent, and most of these departments still mentally live in the communist regime. By the required opinions they demand, the omnipotence of the bosses, and almost non-existent scholarly output. You don't care about that, right?

It's nonsense that "politics should never interfere in the Academia". Politics ultimately decides that or whether universities exist, whether they are allowed to give degrees, what disciplines may be funded by the taxpayer - because those *are* funded by the taxpayer. It is complete nonsense to imagine that there are some anointed impartial omniscient folks in the Academia who do the right decisions what to do.

Like most other public sectors, the Academia is full of self-serving people - and whole cliques of people - who do wrong things if they are not verified by someone else. The president is above these folks and has the ability to stop at least the worst excesses, and that's what happened in that case.

Of course Jean-Marie Le Pen is anti-Semitic. He has expressed several times his view that Nazi gas chambers were a "detail" of history.

Dear Lubos, don't get me wrong, I am sad for what you had to bear at Harvard. Also I believe that this decision of Zeeman will be beneficial. The problem is the law which gives president that power. The president shouldn't have power to reject someone. Also, it should be illegal for people in academia to make decisions based on political views. So if some people at harvard told you that they wouldn't hire you if they have known that you were a conservative, they should go to jail.

What you don't see (or don't want to see) is that this kind of power can be extremely dangerous. Countless scholars who opposed to repressing rulership have been punished *legally* in developing or underdeveloped countries. I can give you examples but I am sure similar things happened in communist Czechoslovakia.

Politics should decide what should be done (how the money should be spent etc.), not by who.

Don't think that I am supportive of the leftists in academia. I don't care if someone is leftist, rightists or whatever, as long as he don't let his political views affect his decisions which concerns academia. If he do, he should be expelled.

Dear John, it isn't about me. And Zeman's - and similar - participation in the process isn't in any sense "more political" than the internal university hiring decisions are political.

Zeman's motives were mostly moral in character.

Again, I don't think that the independence of institutions that are funded from outside, or that affect the role of people in whole nations, may be or should be absolute. It just can't work like that. It's like allowing bureaucrats in the tax office to determine their own future and salary.

And again, it's demagogic for you to pretend that Zeman's influence if closer to the totalitarian interference than the university apparatchik's influence.

Most of the ideological abuse of the Academia came from the powerful people *inside*. This was true for communism, it was true for Aryan Physik in Nazism as well, and so on. It's just a foul play for you to pretend that Zeman is "more totalitarian" in this sense than the other people who are normally deciding about such issues - and someone *has* to decide.

I see it a bit differently than do you. In the scheme of the nazi atrocities, which were responsible for the deaths of some 12-15 million civilians, not counting the 20 million or so soviet citizens killed, the method of execution of some of them seems to be a detail.
The fact that hitler and his minions, aided wholeheartedly by the french and others, was able to kill millions of jews is the bigger story.
As for the french, well, many are upset that the french people went out of their way to steal art from jews, and rightfully, perhaps, recall that Mitterrand himself lived in an apartment stolen from jews.
i think "whats the point of killing people if you can't take their stuff"
No that le-pen's dad wasnt antisemitic....

Islamophobic for saying something with which you agree? You don't think LePen's party is the only one speaking reasonably on Muslim immigration?

Can you explain why saying it is a detail is anti-Semitic ? In the face of all the atrocities of WWII (60 millions people died in total in the world), one could say this is unfortunately a detail.

Here is David Cole, a young jew, investigating this particular fact of gaz chambers opposing facts to propaganda.