No permanent end to terrorism
The goat thing is perhaps a metaphor too far, but I think I get your drift ["Fighting our instincts" Letter from the Editor, Vol. 7 No. 35, September 17 - 23]. As an Irish journalist, I had a similar conversation with a taxi driver in Belfast last Tuesday night. He made the interesting point that the last time the UK helped the US to stand up to terrorism was when American jets used bases in England to bomb Libya in 1986.
The result was the Lockerbie bombing and Colonel Gaddafi's gift of several tons of weapons and (Czechoslovak-made) Semtex to the Provisional IRA. This explosive was used to dramatic effect in massive bombings in London's Bishopsgate and Canary Wharf, and in Manchester city centre. Yes, America is right to strike back against those who initiated the mass murders in New York and Washington. It would, however, be naive to believe that any such military action can bring a permanent end to terrorism.
Perhaps it also suggests that journalists should quit listening to taxi drivers and get out and meet some 'real people'.
Keep up the good work.
Corrupt car cops need to be dealt with
Prime Minister Dzurinda should also declare war on corrupt police officers who investigate car accidents, corrupt doctors who treat patients, and finally corrupt lawyers and judges [Re: "A licence to disregard the laws of the road", Reader Feedback, Vol. 7 No. 35, September 17 - 23].
I almost lost my life on a Slovak road three years ago and since then have totally lost the willpower to fight for my innocence. Although the driver was found guilty of causing the accident she never got the punishment she deserved. And I never got the justice I deserve.
It is a very sad case, but the person who almost killed me through careless driving actually works for the police force herself. The police investigators found her guilty, as there was no doubt about it. The doctors who treated me operated on my arm, unsuccessfully, which resulted in an additional two further operations.
Altogether the recovery took six months. I was then told by a doctor from Slovakia, who has never met me and doesn't know any of my medical history, that my recovery time should have been 10 weeks and that the additional operations I had were in fact just plastic surgery!
Of course by then I had started to receive letters from the judiciary saying that Mrs .... , who almost killed me, was a model employee, who had never had a criminal record, and therefore all she would receive was a warning. I was offered the chance to complain, but no one was interested in anything I had to say. In the end I just gave up because I came to the conclusion that there was no point fighting for justice in Slovakia since such a concept does not exist.
Corruption is eating out the core of our society. Nothing can be achieved without money, and the fact that everyone from doctors to judges can be bought is the saddest thing in Slovak society. Of course, I could try to bribe the officials with even fuller envelopes, but where would it get me? How much does the truth cost?
On top of all this my brother (who was the driver) tried to start a legal battle with "her", but somehow all the paperwork managed to get lost.
Blbosti - a broader meaning
A good and amusing article ["Most un-English: Three Slovak word-concepts" by Matthew J. Reynolds, Vol. 7 No. 35, September 17 - 23] after reading all that is going on in Slovak politics and the world.
A few hints on the fun words like: blbosti - a broad meaning is the fun part of it. It can mean someone's nonsense talk, some objects you carry in your handbag, notes written on paper or recent politics. Choose what you like, anything unimportant, from slightly stupid to incredibly idiotic, small things, garbage, mess or a lack of knowledge, which would be one's blbosť. How about pako, tľk, or vtákovina. Does English have any equivalents for these?