Stocks and News
Home | Week in Review Process | Terms of Use | About UsContact Us
   Articles Go Fund Me All-Species List Hot Spots Go Fund Me
Week in Review   |  Bar Chat    |  Hot Spots    |   Dr. Bortrum    |   Wall St. History
Stock and News: Hot Spots
  Search Our Archives: 
 

 

Hot Spots

http://www.gofundme.com/s3h2w8

AddThis Feed Button
   

12/19/2002

Vaclav Havel

[Hott Spotts will return Jan. 9]

Some of you know that one of the defining moments in my life
was a trip I took to Eastern Europe in 1973 when I was just 15
years old. One of the stops was in Prague to visit my uncle
where we went to his home, an eye-opening experience. Let’s
just say I came to appreciate the perils of totalitarianism at an
early age.

And lately, as time has passed I have come to appreciate the
greatness of Czech President Vaclav Havel, an amazing leader
who has also been a stalwart ally of the United States in the war
on terror. This is my Christmas present to you. It’s also
probably a last break before the world really heats up further in
2003.

---

It was deep in the darkness of the Brezhnev era that a Czech
playwright, Vaclav Havel, helped found a dissident group,
Charter 77, named for a declaration of human rights.
Czechoslovakia had previously had a brief flirtation with reform
under Party chief Alexander Dubcek, the Prague Spring of 1968,
but that was crushed (as Dubcek himself was demoted to forestry
inspector).

But by 1989 the darkness across the entire region was beginning
to lift and days after the fall of the Berlin Wall in November,
students in Prague staged a demonstration in honor of a student
who had been executed by the Nazis 50 years earlier. They
ignored the censors and called for academic freedom and
government respect for human rights. As the crowd marched
into St. Wenceslas Square, however, some of the riot police
began beating the students, outraging both workers and
employers who joined the protest. Luckily, no one was killed.

A general strike was called for to begin 10 days later and the
nation prepared for a bloody repression. But behind the scene in
Moscow, Party Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev was urging
restraint. Over the next two days “Civic Forum,” an offshoot of
Charter 77 consisting of students, dissidents, and the popular
playwright, Vaclav Havel, pressed its demands, including the
resignation of Communist officials responsible for the police
attack two days earlier, the release of political prisoners, and the
resignation of Communist leaders responsible for the Soviet
invasion in 1968.

Here was Havel, who had been imprisoned numerous times over
the years, including once in 1979 when he had chosen to spend
time in jail rather than leave the country, suddenly at the
forefront of political change.

As the protests grew, with some crowds numbering 300,000, the
Communist Central Committee narrowly voted against using the
army to put down the uprising. Gorbachev concurred and then
on November 28, Civic Forum demanded the formation of a new
government, at which point the Communists gave in. It was
bloodless, the “Velvet Revolution,” and by December 29 the new
Federal Assembly had unanimously elected Vaclav Havel
president.

Havel has been branded in some circles as being too liberal or
utopian in his thinking. Personally, I couldn’t disagree more.
This man is a treasure. Don’t be misled by some of his more
pacifist comments. The man “gets it,” as his recent support of
the U.S. has proved.

---

Havel Address to a Joint Session of Congress, Feb. 21, 1990

My advisors have advised me, on this important occasion, to
speak in Czech. I don’t know why. Perhaps they wanted you to
enjoy the sweet sounds of my mother tongue.

The last time they arrested me, on October 27 of last year, I
didn’t know whether it was for two days or two years.

Exactly one month later, when the rock musician Michael Kocab
told me that I would probably be proposed as a presidential
candidate, I thought it was one of his usual jokes.

On the 10th of December 1989, when my actor friend Jiri
Bartoska, in the name of the Civic Forum, nominated me as a
candidate for the office of President of the Republic, I thought it
was out of the question that the parliament we had inherited from
the previous regime would elect me.

Twelve days later, when I was unanimously elected President of
my country, I had no idea that in two months I would be
speaking in front of this famous and powerful assembly, and that
what I say would be heard by millions of people who have never
heard of me and that hundreds of politicians and political
scientists would study every word I say.

When they arrested me on October 27, I was living in a country
ruled by the most conservative Communist government in
Europe, and our society slumbered beneath the pall of a
totalitarian system. Today, less than four months later, I am
speaking to you as the representative of a country that has set out
on the road to democracy, a country where there is complete
freedom of speech, which is getting ready for free elections, and
which wants to create a prosperous market economy and its own
foreign policy.

It is all very strange indeed

What does all this mean for the world in the long run?
Obviously a number of things. This is, I am firmly convinced, an
historically irreversible process, and as a result Europe will begin
again to seek its own identity without being compelled to be a
divided armory any longer. Perhaps this will create the hope that
sooner or later your boys will no longer have to stand on guard
for freedom in Europe, or come to our rescue, because the most
important thing: the main thing is, it seems to me, that these
revolutionary changes will enable us to escape from the rather
antiquated straitjacket of this bipolar view of the world, and to
enter at last into an era of multipolarity. That is, into an era in
which all of us – large and small, former slaves and former
masters – will be able to create what your great President Lincoln
called “the family of man.” Can you imagine what a relief this
would be to that part of the world which for some reason is
called the Third World, even though it is the largest?

It is not true that the Czech writer Vaclav Havel wishes to
dissolve the Warsaw Pact tomorrow and then NATO the day
after that, as some eager nationalists have written. Vaclav Havel
merely thinks what he has already said here, that for another 100
years, American soldiers shouldn’t have to be separated from
their mothers just because Europe is incapable of being a
guarantee of world peace, which it ought to be, in order to make
some amends, at least for having given the world two world
wars. Sooner or later Europe must recover and come into its
own, and decide for itself how many of whose soldiers it needs
so that its own security, and all the wider implications of that
security, may radiate peace into the whole world. Vaclav Havel
cannot make decisions about things it is not proper for him to
decide. He is merely putting in a good word for genuine peace,
and for achieving it quickly

I have already said this in our parliament, and I would like to
repeat it here, in this Congress, which is architecturally far more
attractive: for many years, Czechoslovakia – as someone’s
meaningless satellite – has refused to face up honestly to its co-
responsibility for the world. It has a lot to make up for. If I
dwell on this and so many important things here, it is only
because I feel – along with my fellow citizens – a sense of
culpability for our former responsible passivity, and a rather
ordinary sense of indebtedness

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve only been president for two months
and I haven’t attended any schools for presidents. My only
school was life itself. Therefore I don’t want to burden you any
longer with my political thoughts, but instead I will move on to
an area that is more familiar to me, to what I would call the
philosophical aspect of those changes that still concern everyone,
although they are taking place in our corner of the world

The communist type of totalitarian system has left both our
nations, Czechs and Slovaks – as it has all the nations of the
Soviet Union and the other countries the Soviet Union
subjugated in its time – a legacy of countless dead, an infinite
spectrum of human suffering, profound economic decline, and
above all enormous human humiliation. It has brought us horrors
that fortunately you have not known.

At the same time, however it has given us something positive:
a special capacity to look, from time to time, somewhat further
than someone who has not undergone this bitter experience. A
person who cannot move and live a somewhat normal life
because he is pinned under a boulder has more time to think
about his hopes than someone who is not trapped in this way.

What I am trying to say is this: we must all learn many things
from you, from how to educate our offspring, how to elect our
representatives, all the way to how to organize our economic life
so that it will lead to prosperity and not to poverty. But it doesn’t
have to be merely assistance from the well-educated, the
powerful and the wealthy to someone who has nothing and
therefore has nothing to offer in return.

We too can offer something to you: our experience and the
knowledge that has come from it

For this reason, the salvation of this human world lies nowhere
else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in
human meekness and in human responsibility.

Without a global revolution in the sphere of human
consciousness, nothing will change for the better in the sphere of
our Being as humans, and the catastrophe towards which this
world is headed, whether it be ecological, social, demographic or
a general breakdown of civilization, will be unavoidable. If we
are no longer threatened by world war, or by the danger that the
absurd mountains of accumulated nuclear weapons might blow
up the world, this does not mean that we have definitively won.
We are in fact far from definitive victory.

We are still a long way from that “family of man:” in fact, we
seem to be receding from the ideal rather than drawing closer to
it. Interests of all kinds: personal, selfish, state, national, group
and, if you like, company interests still considerably outweigh
genuinely common and global interests. We are still under the
sway of the destructive and vain belief that man is the pinnacle
of creation, and not just a part of it, and that therefore everything
is permitted. There are still many who say they are concerned
not for themselves, but for the cause, while they are
demonstrably out for themselves and not for the cause at all. We
are still destroying the planet that was entrusted to us, and its
environment. We still close our eyes to the growing social,
ethnic and cultural conflicts in the world. From time to time we
say that the anonymous megamachinery we have created for
ourselves no longer serves us, but rather has enslaved us, yet we
still fail to do anything about it.

In other words, we still don’t know how to put morality ahead of
politics, science and economics. We are still incapable of
understanding that the only genuine backbone of all our actions –
if they are to be moral – is responsibility. Responsibility to
something higher than my family, my country, my firm, my
success. Responsibility to the order of Being, where all our
authority is indelibly recorded and where, and only where, they
will be properly judged

If the hope of the world lies in human consciousness, then it is
obvious that intellectuals cannot go on forever avoiding their
share of responsibility for the world and hiding their distaste for
politics under an alleged need to be independent.

It is easy to have independence in your program and then leave
others to carry that program out. If everyone thought that way
pretty soon no one would be independent.

I think that you Americans should understand this way of
thinking. Wasn’t it the best minds of your country, people you
could call intellectuals, who wrote your famous Declaration of
Independence, your Bill of Human Rights and your Constitution
and who – above all – took upon themselves the practical
responsibility for putting them into practice? The worker from
Branik in Prague that your President referred to in his State of
the Union message this year is far from being the only person in
Czechoslovakia, let alone in the world, to be inspired by those
great documents. They inspire us all. They inspire us despite the
fact that they are over two hundred years old. They inspire us to
be citizens.

[Speaking English] When Thomas Jefferson wrote that
“Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just
Powers from the Consent of the Governed,” it was a simple and
important act of the human spirit. What gave meaning to the act,
however, was the fact that the author backed it up with his life.
It was not just his words, it was his deeds as well.

I will end where I began: history has accelerated. I believe that
once again, it will be the human mind that will notice this
acceleration, give it a name, and transform those words into
deeds.

Thank you.

---

Havel September 11, 2001

Dear Fellow Citizens,

I believe that all of us, you as well as myself, are shattered by the
events in the United States of America today. On behalf of our
country, on behalf of all of our citizens, I would like to express
our deepest sympathy to all victims and to their surviving
families, and I would like to assure the American people that we
are on their side and that we are ready to assist them in any way
within our power. I understand this as an attack against human
freedom, as an attack against democracy, and I consider this to
be a tremendous warning to civilization which challenges us to
mobilize, supremely, our sense of responsibility for this world.
Fanatics and madmen cannot be allowed to hold all of us as their
hostage.

---

Havel Speech in New York on September 20, 2002

[Excerpt]

As I grow older, as I mature and gain in experience and reason, I
am gradually realizing, to the fullest possible formulate three of
my old certainties, or rather my old observations, that my sojourn
in the world of high politics has only confirmed:

1) If humanity is to survive and avoid new catastrophes, then
the global political order has to be accompanied by a sincere and
mutual respect among the various spheres of civilization, culture,
nations or continents, and by their honest effort to seek and find
those values or basic moral imperatives that they have in
common, and to build them into the foundations of their co-
existence in this globally connected world.

2) Evil must be confronted in its womb and, if it can’t be done
otherwise, then it has to be dealt with by the use of force. If the
immensely smart and expensive modern weaponry must be used,
let it be used in such a way that does not harm civilian
populations. If this is not possible, then the billions spent on
those weapons will be wasted.

3) If we examine all the problems facing the world today, be
they economic, social, ecological, or general problems of
civilization, we will always – whether we want to or not – come
up against the problem of whether a course of action is decent or
not, or whether, from the long-term planetary point of view, it is
responsible. The moral order and its sources, human rights and
the sources of people’s right to human rights, human
responsibility and its origins, human conscience and the
penetrating view of that from which nothing can be hidden with a
curtain of noble words – these are, in my deepest convictions and
in all my experience, the most important political themes of our
time.



Sources: “A History of Modern Europe” John Merriman;
“Europe: A History” Norman Davies; “The World’s Greatest
Speeches” edited by Lewis Copeland, Lawrence W. Lamm and
Stephen J. McKenna.
-----

Due to the holidays, Hott Spotts will return on January 9th.

Brian Trumbore



AddThis Feed Button

 

-12/19/2002-      
Web Epoch NJ Web Design  |  (c) Copyright 2016 StocksandNews.com, LLC.

Hot Spots

12/19/2002

Vaclav Havel

[Hott Spotts will return Jan. 9]

Some of you know that one of the defining moments in my life
was a trip I took to Eastern Europe in 1973 when I was just 15
years old. One of the stops was in Prague to visit my uncle
where we went to his home, an eye-opening experience. Let’s
just say I came to appreciate the perils of totalitarianism at an
early age.

And lately, as time has passed I have come to appreciate the
greatness of Czech President Vaclav Havel, an amazing leader
who has also been a stalwart ally of the United States in the war
on terror. This is my Christmas present to you. It’s also
probably a last break before the world really heats up further in
2003.

---

It was deep in the darkness of the Brezhnev era that a Czech
playwright, Vaclav Havel, helped found a dissident group,
Charter 77, named for a declaration of human rights.
Czechoslovakia had previously had a brief flirtation with reform
under Party chief Alexander Dubcek, the Prague Spring of 1968,
but that was crushed (as Dubcek himself was demoted to forestry
inspector).

But by 1989 the darkness across the entire region was beginning
to lift and days after the fall of the Berlin Wall in November,
students in Prague staged a demonstration in honor of a student
who had been executed by the Nazis 50 years earlier. They
ignored the censors and called for academic freedom and
government respect for human rights. As the crowd marched
into St. Wenceslas Square, however, some of the riot police
began beating the students, outraging both workers and
employers who joined the protest. Luckily, no one was killed.

A general strike was called for to begin 10 days later and the
nation prepared for a bloody repression. But behind the scene in
Moscow, Party Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev was urging
restraint. Over the next two days “Civic Forum,” an offshoot of
Charter 77 consisting of students, dissidents, and the popular
playwright, Vaclav Havel, pressed its demands, including the
resignation of Communist officials responsible for the police
attack two days earlier, the release of political prisoners, and the
resignation of Communist leaders responsible for the Soviet
invasion in 1968.

Here was Havel, who had been imprisoned numerous times over
the years, including once in 1979 when he had chosen to spend
time in jail rather than leave the country, suddenly at the
forefront of political change.

As the protests grew, with some crowds numbering 300,000, the
Communist Central Committee narrowly voted against using the
army to put down the uprising. Gorbachev concurred and then
on November 28, Civic Forum demanded the formation of a new
government, at which point the Communists gave in. It was
bloodless, the “Velvet Revolution,” and by December 29 the new
Federal Assembly had unanimously elected Vaclav Havel
president.

Havel has been branded in some circles as being too liberal or
utopian in his thinking. Personally, I couldn’t disagree more.
This man is a treasure. Don’t be misled by some of his more
pacifist comments. The man “gets it,” as his recent support of
the U.S. has proved.

---

Havel Address to a Joint Session of Congress, Feb. 21, 1990

My advisors have advised me, on this important occasion, to
speak in Czech. I don’t know why. Perhaps they wanted you to
enjoy the sweet sounds of my mother tongue.

The last time they arrested me, on October 27 of last year, I
didn’t know whether it was for two days or two years.

Exactly one month later, when the rock musician Michael Kocab
told me that I would probably be proposed as a presidential
candidate, I thought it was one of his usual jokes.

On the 10th of December 1989, when my actor friend Jiri
Bartoska, in the name of the Civic Forum, nominated me as a
candidate for the office of President of the Republic, I thought it
was out of the question that the parliament we had inherited from
the previous regime would elect me.

Twelve days later, when I was unanimously elected President of
my country, I had no idea that in two months I would be
speaking in front of this famous and powerful assembly, and that
what I say would be heard by millions of people who have never
heard of me and that hundreds of politicians and political
scientists would study every word I say.

When they arrested me on October 27, I was living in a country
ruled by the most conservative Communist government in
Europe, and our society slumbered beneath the pall of a
totalitarian system. Today, less than four months later, I am
speaking to you as the representative of a country that has set out
on the road to democracy, a country where there is complete
freedom of speech, which is getting ready for free elections, and
which wants to create a prosperous market economy and its own
foreign policy.

It is all very strange indeed

What does all this mean for the world in the long run?
Obviously a number of things. This is, I am firmly convinced, an
historically irreversible process, and as a result Europe will begin
again to seek its own identity without being compelled to be a
divided armory any longer. Perhaps this will create the hope that
sooner or later your boys will no longer have to stand on guard
for freedom in Europe, or come to our rescue, because the most
important thing: the main thing is, it seems to me, that these
revolutionary changes will enable us to escape from the rather
antiquated straitjacket of this bipolar view of the world, and to
enter at last into an era of multipolarity. That is, into an era in
which all of us – large and small, former slaves and former
masters – will be able to create what your great President Lincoln
called “the family of man.” Can you imagine what a relief this
would be to that part of the world which for some reason is
called the Third World, even though it is the largest?

It is not true that the Czech writer Vaclav Havel wishes to
dissolve the Warsaw Pact tomorrow and then NATO the day
after that, as some eager nationalists have written. Vaclav Havel
merely thinks what he has already said here, that for another 100
years, American soldiers shouldn’t have to be separated from
their mothers just because Europe is incapable of being a
guarantee of world peace, which it ought to be, in order to make
some amends, at least for having given the world two world
wars. Sooner or later Europe must recover and come into its
own, and decide for itself how many of whose soldiers it needs
so that its own security, and all the wider implications of that
security, may radiate peace into the whole world. Vaclav Havel
cannot make decisions about things it is not proper for him to
decide. He is merely putting in a good word for genuine peace,
and for achieving it quickly

I have already said this in our parliament, and I would like to
repeat it here, in this Congress, which is architecturally far more
attractive: for many years, Czechoslovakia – as someone’s
meaningless satellite – has refused to face up honestly to its co-
responsibility for the world. It has a lot to make up for. If I
dwell on this and so many important things here, it is only
because I feel – along with my fellow citizens – a sense of
culpability for our former responsible passivity, and a rather
ordinary sense of indebtedness

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve only been president for two months
and I haven’t attended any schools for presidents. My only
school was life itself. Therefore I don’t want to burden you any
longer with my political thoughts, but instead I will move on to
an area that is more familiar to me, to what I would call the
philosophical aspect of those changes that still concern everyone,
although they are taking place in our corner of the world

The communist type of totalitarian system has left both our
nations, Czechs and Slovaks – as it has all the nations of the
Soviet Union and the other countries the Soviet Union
subjugated in its time – a legacy of countless dead, an infinite
spectrum of human suffering, profound economic decline, and
above all enormous human humiliation. It has brought us horrors
that fortunately you have not known.

At the same time, however it has given us something positive:
a special capacity to look, from time to time, somewhat further
than someone who has not undergone this bitter experience. A
person who cannot move and live a somewhat normal life
because he is pinned under a boulder has more time to think
about his hopes than someone who is not trapped in this way.

What I am trying to say is this: we must all learn many things
from you, from how to educate our offspring, how to elect our
representatives, all the way to how to organize our economic life
so that it will lead to prosperity and not to poverty. But it doesn’t
have to be merely assistance from the well-educated, the
powerful and the wealthy to someone who has nothing and
therefore has nothing to offer in return.

We too can offer something to you: our experience and the
knowledge that has come from it

For this reason, the salvation of this human world lies nowhere
else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in
human meekness and in human responsibility.

Without a global revolution in the sphere of human
consciousness, nothing will change for the better in the sphere of
our Being as humans, and the catastrophe towards which this
world is headed, whether it be ecological, social, demographic or
a general breakdown of civilization, will be unavoidable. If we
are no longer threatened by world war, or by the danger that the
absurd mountains of accumulated nuclear weapons might blow
up the world, this does not mean that we have definitively won.
We are in fact far from definitive victory.

We are still a long way from that “family of man:” in fact, we
seem to be receding from the ideal rather than drawing closer to
it. Interests of all kinds: personal, selfish, state, national, group
and, if you like, company interests still considerably outweigh
genuinely common and global interests. We are still under the
sway of the destructive and vain belief that man is the pinnacle
of creation, and not just a part of it, and that therefore everything
is permitted. There are still many who say they are concerned
not for themselves, but for the cause, while they are
demonstrably out for themselves and not for the cause at all. We
are still destroying the planet that was entrusted to us, and its
environment. We still close our eyes to the growing social,
ethnic and cultural conflicts in the world. From time to time we
say that the anonymous megamachinery we have created for
ourselves no longer serves us, but rather has enslaved us, yet we
still fail to do anything about it.

In other words, we still don’t know how to put morality ahead of
politics, science and economics. We are still incapable of
understanding that the only genuine backbone of all our actions –
if they are to be moral – is responsibility. Responsibility to
something higher than my family, my country, my firm, my
success. Responsibility to the order of Being, where all our
authority is indelibly recorded and where, and only where, they
will be properly judged

If the hope of the world lies in human consciousness, then it is
obvious that intellectuals cannot go on forever avoiding their
share of responsibility for the world and hiding their distaste for
politics under an alleged need to be independent.

It is easy to have independence in your program and then leave
others to carry that program out. If everyone thought that way
pretty soon no one would be independent.

I think that you Americans should understand this way of
thinking. Wasn’t it the best minds of your country, people you
could call intellectuals, who wrote your famous Declaration of
Independence, your Bill of Human Rights and your Constitution
and who – above all – took upon themselves the practical
responsibility for putting them into practice? The worker from
Branik in Prague that your President referred to in his State of
the Union message this year is far from being the only person in
Czechoslovakia, let alone in the world, to be inspired by those
great documents. They inspire us all. They inspire us despite the
fact that they are over two hundred years old. They inspire us to
be citizens.

[Speaking English] When Thomas Jefferson wrote that
“Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just
Powers from the Consent of the Governed,” it was a simple and
important act of the human spirit. What gave meaning to the act,
however, was the fact that the author backed it up with his life.
It was not just his words, it was his deeds as well.

I will end where I began: history has accelerated. I believe that
once again, it will be the human mind that will notice this
acceleration, give it a name, and transform those words into
deeds.

Thank you.

---

Havel September 11, 2001

Dear Fellow Citizens,

I believe that all of us, you as well as myself, are shattered by the
events in the United States of America today. On behalf of our
country, on behalf of all of our citizens, I would like to express
our deepest sympathy to all victims and to their surviving
families, and I would like to assure the American people that we
are on their side and that we are ready to assist them in any way
within our power. I understand this as an attack against human
freedom, as an attack against democracy, and I consider this to
be a tremendous warning to civilization which challenges us to
mobilize, supremely, our sense of responsibility for this world.
Fanatics and madmen cannot be allowed to hold all of us as their
hostage.

---

Havel Speech in New York on September 20, 2002

[Excerpt]

As I grow older, as I mature and gain in experience and reason, I
am gradually realizing, to the fullest possible formulate three of
my old certainties, or rather my old observations, that my sojourn
in the world of high politics has only confirmed:

1) If humanity is to survive and avoid new catastrophes, then
the global political order has to be accompanied by a sincere and
mutual respect among the various spheres of civilization, culture,
nations or continents, and by their honest effort to seek and find
those values or basic moral imperatives that they have in
common, and to build them into the foundations of their co-
existence in this globally connected world.

2) Evil must be confronted in its womb and, if it can’t be done
otherwise, then it has to be dealt with by the use of force. If the
immensely smart and expensive modern weaponry must be used,
let it be used in such a way that does not harm civilian
populations. If this is not possible, then the billions spent on
those weapons will be wasted.

3) If we examine all the problems facing the world today, be
they economic, social, ecological, or general problems of
civilization, we will always – whether we want to or not – come
up against the problem of whether a course of action is decent or
not, or whether, from the long-term planetary point of view, it is
responsible. The moral order and its sources, human rights and
the sources of people’s right to human rights, human
responsibility and its origins, human conscience and the
penetrating view of that from which nothing can be hidden with a
curtain of noble words – these are, in my deepest convictions and
in all my experience, the most important political themes of our
time.



Sources: “A History of Modern Europe” John Merriman;
“Europe: A History” Norman Davies; “The World’s Greatest
Speeches” edited by Lewis Copeland, Lawrence W. Lamm and
Stephen J. McKenna.
-----

Due to the holidays, Hott Spotts will return on January 9th.

Brian Trumbore