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Old February 5th, 2017, 10:01 PM   #35481
Kpc21
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I read that the government in place in Poland thinks high-school students spend too much time on math and science, and that they need to double the amount of hours devoted to Polish history with emphasis on key national events and heroes and civics. They also want to push voluntary religious education in schools, I read. This is sparking a backlash.
Kind of. Talking about the religious education, there are already voluntary religion lessons in Poland - from 1990.

Usually it used to look so that the students were signed up for the religion classes "by default" and the parents might sign a paper that they don't want their child to attend those classes - but such a system was against the law, against the religious freedom. It started to change only recently, and now most schools organize it in such a way that all the parents must sign a declaration whether they want their child to attend the religion classes or not.

From my experience - in the primary school and gymnasium, 99% of students attended the religion classes, but in the high school (a maths and science oriented one), it was something around 60%. Maybe 70%. The primary school and gymnasium were in a small town, the high school - in a big city.

Those religion classes are in 99% school in the Christian-Catholic religion. There is very few schools offering religion classes for other religions - usually in the areas where other religions are dominant. In a town near me, there is a school where apart from the Christian-Catholic religion classes, also the Mariavite-Catholic religion classes are offered - because there is a mariavite church in this town (apart from the catholic one) and many dwellers are mariavites. But it's a rarity.

Those religion classes are two hours a week.

And yes, they want to introduce more history classes instead of maths and science ones. And they are pushing through an unnecessary educational reform (I told about a few posts before), which will disorganize the operation of schools.

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In one line, in my opinion, this is what happens when groups with ideological dark intentions are let run amok because the population becomes too cynical to care about electoral politics.
You are right.

But I wouldn't say they have dark intentions. They believe they are right and they are doing good things.
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Old February 5th, 2017, 10:15 PM   #35482
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And I've thought our laws are too strict toward pedestrians in SK

So, it is legal to cross a road everywhere. The only provision on this is that if it is possible a pedestrian must use a crossing, an overpass or an underpass. But generally, there is no provision regarding to fine pedestrians by. However, once a pedestrian is ran over outside a pedestrian crossing they are the guilty one. Furthermore, there is no buffer zone at all. Should it be one meter after, the guilty one is a pedestrian. The only line the pedestrians are explicitly expelled from is a railway line, except level crossings (does not apply for trams). We have a special branch of police called the railway police and it is very often to see them at some spots fining the pedestrians serving and protecting.

As for a pedestrian crossing our rules are crazy. A pedestrian has right of way in case they are standing at a pedestrian crossing on a carriageway. To follow this rule a mother with a stroller is supposed to push the stroller to the middle of the nearest lane or walk back . As a driver I always let pedestrians go and sometimes I try to teach other drivers about the existence of a certain crossing I am in a warm car and the pedestrians are waiting on a curb in winter, rain or coldness - the easiest thing I can do for them is to release my throttle and flash my lights.

Anyway, we are, at the ministry, striving for the law amendment to redefine the provision giving the drivers a rule to stop their car in front of a pedestrian crossing in case the pedestrians are standing on the adjacent edge of a road and have clear intention to pass the crossing. There is only one group of people I hate regarding this: so called zebra chatters (and once I tried to give a way to a hooker, she almost took advance of)
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Old February 5th, 2017, 10:19 PM   #35483
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I usually save my opinions for myself in the matter, especially as I'm a transplant and not native here, but this whole issue of monarchies and hereditary dinasties are annoying and outdated, and it has severed any course it might have run in the past.

Some countries took the aftermath of major crises/wars to abolish their monarchies (Italy, Austria), others went back bringing monarchs out of the limbo (Spain).

It just feel instinctively wrong. I think modern/contemporary monarchs kinda know it, as they don't live in the same social bubbles as before, and the whole pageantry surrounding them is just out of place in 2017. Meanwhile, this 'modern attitude' of certain European royals might actually stall the demise of remaining monarchies (I mean, in a peaceful and orderly way that replace kings and queens with elected presidents and separates public holdings of crowns from private property of the families) for the time being.
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Old February 5th, 2017, 10:30 PM   #35484
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I read that the government in place in Poland thinks high-school students spend too much time on math and science, and that they need to double the amount of hours devoted to Polish history with emphasis on key national events and heroes and civics. They also want to push voluntary religious education in schools, I read. This is sparking a backlash.

In one line, in my opinion, this is what happens when groups with ideological dark intentions are let run amok because the population becomes too cynical to care about electoral politics.
It's a bright example of what happen while some groups of people, living with belief about their exclusion, discover their subjectivity.

It's not any accident, it's real vox populi, expressed by disappoint from politics of former pro-European ruling party, that perhaps cared more about general condition of the country and its connections with others than about those so-called excluded people. The truth is that if someone doesn't care about his/her position, then he/she shouldn't expect anything from the state, whatever actually happens in some richer, Western countries. But there is some huge group of people around here who actually do. And the "law and justice" party won, because promised (and what's more terrifying - did!) some further benefits for them, without saying what it would cause for economical state of the country.

So what the one who actually got up from knees would care? Economy? Global politics? Science, especially maths? Just for discover what such a social and particular politics will surely cause? No! The glory for some heroes, wars and another so-called national successes is just a natural path for them; then whatever happens, they might name theirselves as real patriots and wonder about foreign influence into our glorious economy that cause its collapse.

Each one from the outside, being suprised about every single stupid step of current Polish goverment, should take care about one thing: Poland is a very divided country, especially for two parts - people who do care about their own future, their future as both Poles and Europeans and future of the country, as a member of EU, NATO etc. and people who do care just for their so-called pride, not clearly formulated and who expect something from some imagined "them", rather than from theirselves. While some Western nations are rather compatible about future and condition of their countries, Poles are not. Then they should not be seen in categories being used in case of Western nations.
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- Erich dostoł! - i do dziś nie wiesz, czy to krzyczał grenszuc, czy powstaniec.
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Old February 5th, 2017, 10:32 PM   #35485
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The monarchy in the Netherlands is almost entirely ceremonial. The popularity of the royalty has seen its ups and downs, but attempts to abolish the monarchy have never gained much traction.

In recent years, the monarchy has been used as a way to open doors for businesses in foreign countries. There is usually a trade delegation traveling with an official visit to a foreign state. They tend to be more succesful than a trade delegation traveling with a minister.
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Old February 5th, 2017, 10:41 PM   #35486
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I usually save my opinions for myself in the matter, especially as I'm a transplant and not native here, but this whole issue of monarchies and hereditary dinasties are annoying and outdated, and it has severed any course it might have run in the past.

Some countries took the aftermath of major crises/wars to abolish their monarchies (Italy, Austria), others went back bringing monarchs out of the limbo (Spain).

It just feel instinctively wrong. I think modern/contemporary monarchs kinda know it, as they don't live in the same social bubbles as before, and the whole pageantry surrounding them is just out of place in 2017. Meanwhile, this 'modern attitude' of certain European royals might actually stall the demise of remaining monarchies (I mean, in a peaceful and orderly way that replace kings and queens with elected presidents and separates public holdings of crowns from private property of the families) for the time being.
If the monarchy allows democracy and human rights and the monarch is merely a figurehead (like all European monarchies now), what's the problem?
Countries like NL, DK, S, and N rank among the better positions in all statistics concerning human rights, freedom of information, corruption, etc...
In Italy the monarchy had serious responsabilities for having allowed the fascist regime, that's why Italians voted for the republic in 1946.
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old February 5th, 2017, 10:44 PM   #35487
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I think the problem is - where did the monarchy get its wealth from? How can it represent the country and yet be unaccountable to the people?
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Old February 5th, 2017, 10:55 PM   #35488
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As for high school programs: I think they should include more hours of subjects that are more useful in the modern society and job market.
For example, they should teach more IT, foreign languages, and basics of law and economy, that are useful for everybody, and reduce the number of hours of subjects like Latin or philosophy, that are useful only for those wishing continuing their studies in these fields.
In Italy, if someone get a diploma at a scientific/classic/linguistic high school and then enroll a university faculty other than jurisprudence/economics/political science, s/he will arrive at the age of 25 without ever have studied anything related to law or economy.
How can one be a model citizen/worker without an, at least, basic knowledge, of law and economics?
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“The transponder’s personalised signal would be picked up when the car passed through an intersection, and then relayed to a central computer which would calculate the charge according to the intersection and the time of day and add it to the car’s bill” - Nobel Economics Prize winner William Vickrey, proposing a system of electronic tolling for the Washington metropolitan area, 1959
In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old February 5th, 2017, 11:05 PM   #35489
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Quote:
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If the monarchy allows democracy and human rights and the monarch is merely a figurehead (like all European monarchies now), what's the problem?
Countries like NL, DK, S, and N rank among the better positions in all statistics concerning human rights, freedom of information, corruption, etc...
In Italy the monarchy had serious responsabilities for having allowed the fascist regime, that's why Italians voted for the republic in 1946.
I don't think monarchies are objectively making countries economically worse or more corrupt in Europe (Thailand, Swaziland or Buthan would be a different discussion).

Finland, Iceland and Ireland have low corruption, a good provision of human rights, freedom of information etc. - they are republics.

The issue is more about principle. I am against hereditary political power.
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Old February 6th, 2017, 12:02 AM   #35490
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The only line the pedestrians are explicitly expelled from is a railway line, except level crossings (does not apply for trams). We have a special branch of police called the railway police and it is very often to see them at some spots fining the pedestrians serving and protecting.
Well, we have Straż Ochrony Kolei, doing exactly the same

But they are not a part of the police, it's just a separate institution.

No matter if you have 100 m or 2 km to the closest level crossing, they will always fine you for crossing the tracks, even if you maintain all the safety measures possible.

It doesn't mean they don't do anything else, but it seems the security in trains gets improved when the train operator employs an external security company, so they are not helping in that

They are also supposed to fight with people stealing coal from freight wagons or stealing the catenary.

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As for a pedestrian crossing our rules are crazy. A pedestrian has right of way in case they are standing at a pedestrian crossing on a carriageway. To follow this rule a mother with a stroller is supposed to push the stroller to the middle of the nearest lane or walk back .
Our law says that the driver has to give way to a pedestrian who IS on the crossing and the pedestrian is not allowed to enter it in front of an approaching vehicle.

They were trying to change this law (to better for pedestrians) in the previous year or 2 years ago, they were very advanced with that, but it didn't manage to pass through the upper house of our parliament.

From the pedestrian perspective - the way to force the drivers to stop I have worked out is to enter, even with a single foot, just the verge of the carriageway. Nobody will drive you over, but they will have to stop.

Just don't do it in front of a fast approaching car - not to cause an accident because of a car suddenly braking.

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For example, they should teach more IT, foreign languages, and basics of law and economy, that are useful for everybody, and reduce the number of hours of subjects like Latin or philosophy, that are useful only for those wishing continuing their studies in these fields.
Actually, they want to introduce more IT classes too, which were vastly limited by the previous reform.

But the level of IT education in primary schools in Poland was anyway very low, it was often limited to teaching how to draw something (or get a shaded text) in MS Paint and how to make a presentation in PowerPoint which will be full of showy visual and sound effects.

Although, on the other hand, my teacher in the junior high school (gymnasium - as I have said, it's more an extension of primary school) was trying to introduce basics of programming (if I remember well - in Turbo Pascal - a little bit old-fashioned, but it's not bad at all as an introduction to programming) in our class and it didn't meet much interest from the students.

The reason is that if someone is good at IT, he won't work as a teacher, by he will find a much better paid job, so IT at schools was usually taught by teachers having degrees in other fields (like mathematics) and postgraduate courses in IT.

We have also basics of law and economics in high school, but the quality of those classes is often not very high and there is very few classes. When I was in high school, it was one hour a week for only a year for fundamentals of economics (or entrepreneurship, as it was called) and the same for social studies, which included some basics (of the basics) of law.
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Old February 6th, 2017, 12:25 AM   #35491
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Maybe some of you don't know, but here's how almost 300.000 people protesting peacefully together look like:



The picture was taken about 2 hours ago in Bucharest.
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Old February 6th, 2017, 12:46 AM   #35492
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Congratulation to people from Romania that are fighting against the corrupt politicians!
I've read news about these events, and the law that those protesters are criticizing reminds me a lot some laws that Berlusconi passed when he was the PM of Italy, to protect himself and his friends from prosecutions for crimes like corruption, tax evasion, and false accounting. However we never had such protests, we were (and still are...) able only to get angry behind a keyboard.
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“The transponder’s personalised signal would be picked up when the car passed through an intersection, and then relayed to a central computer which would calculate the charge according to the intersection and the time of day and add it to the car’s bill” - Nobel Economics Prize winner William Vickrey, proposing a system of electronic tolling for the Washington metropolitan area, 1959
In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.

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Old February 6th, 2017, 12:51 AM   #35493
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I don't think monarchies are objectively making countries economically worse or more corrupt in Europe (Thailand, Swaziland or Buthan would be a different discussion).

Finland, Iceland and Ireland have low corruption, a good provision of human rights, freedom of information etc. - they are republics.

The issue is more about principle. I am against hereditary political power.
Ireland is impressive. As recently as the 1980s it was among the poorest countries of Europe, now it's a fully developed country, that ranks very good in many fields. Although it was hit quite hard by 2008 financial crisis, it recovered much faster than southern Europe countries.
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“The transponder’s personalised signal would be picked up when the car passed through an intersection, and then relayed to a central computer which would calculate the charge according to the intersection and the time of day and add it to the car’s bill” - Nobel Economics Prize winner William Vickrey, proposing a system of electronic tolling for the Washington metropolitan area, 1959
In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old February 6th, 2017, 01:12 AM   #35494
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Expect such a protest in Warsaw in spring.
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Kiedy padł ten pierwszy strzał, Kosteczku, to wszystko się zaczęło, zaczęli strzelać ci grenszuce, których chłopcy jeszcze nie zdążyli rozbroić, i zaczęli strzelać ci chłopcy, którzy już mieli jakieś karabiny albo nulachty, i posypało się trochę strzałów. Słyszałeś krzyki:
- Erich dostoł! - i do dziś nie wiesz, czy to krzyczał grenszuc, czy powstaniec.
Szczepan Twardoch, „Morfina”, o wybuchu I powstania śląskiego.
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Old February 6th, 2017, 01:25 AM   #35495
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We will see. I think, we have too many people strictly believing in everything the leader of our ruling party says.

And, you may disagree with me, but it seems that apart from the disregard to the fundamental rules of democracy, their way of ruling doesn't seem to be really bad.

Not so bad that it would cause so big protests. Big enough.

But I don't know (nobody knows), we will see how it will be.

In my opinion, what is most likely to destroy this party are internal disputes.
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Old February 6th, 2017, 01:40 AM   #35496
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@Chris_Zwolle: some 3 years ago you told me that when major highway works in Italy were finished (Variante di Valico, BreBeMi, A3), you would seriously consider a summer trip there. Is that in your plans now
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Old February 6th, 2017, 02:01 AM   #35497
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We will see. I think, we have too many people strictly believing in everything the leader of our ruling party says.

And, you may disagree with me, but it seems that apart from the disregard to the fundamental rules of democracy, their way of ruling doesn't seem to be really bad.

Not so bad that it would cause so big protests. Big enough.

But I don't know (nobody knows), we will see how it will be.

In my opinion, what is most likely to destroy this party are internal disputes.
Formerly we would say that each ruling party had its own method of politics: some point of view, outlook possible to describe pretty clearly, ideas for cooperations with other nations and so. Currently everything is subordinate under their particular interests and each one with another outlook is immediately described as not-Pole, traitor and enemy of the whole glorious Poland.

Simply: domestic antagonisms and cheeky movements are now as strong as they had not be in last 27 years. And they should be blamed at all, by their rhetoric from the campany till today.

It's unundestable how I hate each single one who blamed this, but it really happens with no advantages of that state.
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Kiedy padł ten pierwszy strzał, Kosteczku, to wszystko się zaczęło, zaczęli strzelać ci grenszuce, których chłopcy jeszcze nie zdążyli rozbroić, i zaczęli strzelać ci chłopcy, którzy już mieli jakieś karabiny albo nulachty, i posypało się trochę strzałów. Słyszałeś krzyki:
- Erich dostoł! - i do dziś nie wiesz, czy to krzyczał grenszuc, czy powstaniec.
Szczepan Twardoch, „Morfina”, o wybuchu I powstania śląskiego.

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Old February 6th, 2017, 03:17 AM   #35498
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It doesn't happen only in Poland. Look at the protests against Trump in the USA. But in Poland, the strength of those antagonisms is exceptional. Which is sad.

And who is to blame? Nobody is to blame.

I have said:
Quote:
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In my opinion, what is most likely to destroy this party are internal disputes.
There is one more option. If the rule of PiS will cause an economic collapse of the country. But it doesn't look like that. They will make same savings on infrastructural investments and cover with that the increased spendings on the social benefits for big families (so called 500+) or increased retirement age. Is it bad? Is it good? On this forum, we consider it bad because we like infrastructural investments here. But as infrastructural investments bring certain advantages to the country (more investors will want to invest here when the infrastructure is better), the social benefits also bring advantages (more children being born - at least, assuming that it will work, but we will see). Only the increase of the retirement age was a stupid, populist decision. But our generation will have no pensions (or almost no pensions) anyway.

Although in my opinion, they should get somehow punished (by the fate, not by some guys from the EU, because otherwise, it will result in more and more anti-EU views in the society, which is the last thing we need) for what they are doing with the democracy.

The previous ruling party, PO, also wasn't innocent in those terms (the surveillance-gate, tapegate, or however you call the afera podsłuchowa in English, or, actually, what they did with the magazine which published those tapes). And, as a result, they lost the elections. But the support for PiS is still so high that they would become the ruling party now, even though they do what they do...

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Old February 6th, 2017, 07:28 AM   #35499
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Finland, Iceland and Ireland have low corruption, a good provision of human rights, freedom of information etc. - they are republics.
And the kingdoms of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden do not have?
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Old February 6th, 2017, 10:50 AM   #35500
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Changing the topic, how is it with the rights of pedestrians in your countries?

In Poland, it's illegal to cross the street out of a zebra crossing or streets intersection unless it's more than 100 m to the closest one. It's also illegal if there is a tunnel or bridge for the pedestrians across the street, if the street has two carriegeways or there are tram tracks which are not a part of the carriageway.
In Estonia it's basically the same and it is enforced as well. You are most likely given a warning the first time and even the fines aren't that big but it's a matter of principle IMO.

I think this can actually be counter-productive when it comes to the safety of pedestrians. Most of the accidents with pedestrians in the city happen on zebra crossings. I think lots of pedestrians have this false sense of safety when it comes to zebra crossings so they don't pay much attention to traffic whereas if you are crossing the street at a random place you are more likely to be rather careful.

This has also to do with the fact that the vast majority of drivers over here stops in front of the zebra crossing for pedestrians so you aren't perhaps ready as a pedestrian for that tiny minority that doesn't.
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