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The spiritual heirs of the Polish Communist Party


WielkiPolak 58 | 1,024
27 Mar 2012 #61
It's frightening that there is still an opinion in Poland that if you are patriotic you are some sort of right wing racist. What is happening in Poland. It is starting to be like Britain where people are afraid to say anything in case they get branded a racist.
jon357 67 | 16,653
27 Mar 2012 #62
It's frightening that there is still an opinion in Poland that if you are patriotic you are some sort of right wing racist

I don't think there is such an opinion. There is however no shortage of right-wing racists, especially out in the sticks.
pawian 178 | 15,558
27 Mar 2012 #63
It's frightening that there is still an opinion in Poland that if you are patriotic you are some sort of right wing racist.

If you mean aggressive loudmouth patriots, then yes.
boletus 30 | 1,366
27 Mar 2012 #64
"Nikt mnie nie przekona, że białe jest białe i czarne jest czarne" - J. Kaczyński
Translation: You seem to be confused, DE.

He did not commit prosecutable slander by any sane definition of the term slander.

If the matter is brought to the civil action, the civil court neither prosecutes nor convicts anyone. In this particular case (an action for infringement of personal rights) the court delivers a judgment adjudicating a possible reparation for the violation of personal rights or awards amount of money for a social purpose (Art. 448 Civil Code). Once again, we are not talking here about criminal law and about punishment for a crime, but about civil law and judgment on reparation.

infor.pl/dziennik-ustaw,rok,1964,nr,16,poz,93,ujednolicony,ustawa-kodeks-cywilny.html (Art 23, 24 and 448)

Recall the concept of personal rights. They are made up not only of your good name and dignity, but also your health, freedom and inviolability of your home. If the Polish Police beat you up and lock you in the basement they not only violate the criminal law, but they also infringe on your personal rights. You obviously understand why the injured parties (not the victims of crime - this would be matter of criminal law) are demanding such enormous compensations (not convictions) from the police when they make mistake and harm them?

Rymkiewicz was NOT accused of slander from the Art 212 of Criminal Code (Penal Code), although such action could have been considered. He was sued in a civil court. He was not prosecuted of any crime in a penal court. He was sued in the civil court for the infringement of personal rights, according to the Articles 23 and 24 of Civil Law. NOT the Art. 212 of Penal Code! See the difference?

So Rymkiewicz was not penalized by anyone. Penalizing is a declaration of some act as a criminal offence. Alternatively, it is tightening of some penalty. Penalty, do you understand it? The judgment then is about penalty, not reparation. In atonement, on the other hand, nothing is being penalized, but the court rules (IT DOES NOT CONDEMN) whether or not personal rights have been violated, and if yes - whether or not there are important reasons to order some compensation for the damages suffered. Or to order some payment for a charity. Here nobody was being prosecuted, nobody was punished. So once again: prosecution => criminal trial => conviction => penalty. None of this here.

==============

More details follow, if you need more explanation:

According to the position of the Supreme Court's offensive speech against a third party violates their personal rights and can not be tolerated, especially when expressed in public.

The personal rights, including the honour, dignity, state of feelings or good name are under protection of civil law. However, this does not mean that such person will win a case initiated by them, although he has much easier task due to the will of the legislature, which has introduced the presumption of illegality, and also the principle that the defendant, taken to court for infringement of personal rights, is required to demonstrate the existence of circumstances justifying this action, thus excluding the unlawfulness.

Examples of circumstances that could justify his action could be:

+ An action in the public interest (although it should be remembered that speaking untruth can not be considered an action in the public interest),
+ An action in defence of the defendant rights,
+ A dissemination of truthful information in public interest (He who acts in the name of public interest and disseminates accurate information, is not responsible for the violation of personal rights of others).

However, acting under the influence of emotions is not the circumstance excluding unlawfulness.

Any act contrary to legal standards, and even the law and order or the principles of social coexistence should be regarded as unlawful.
A person whose personal interests were infringed or only threatened by an unlawful act, are entitled to both non-pecuniary and pecuniary claims, namely:

+ Defendant is to cease and desist from the offensive action
+ Defendant is to take all possible means deemed to remove the effects of his violations of protection of plaintiff's personal rights,
+ Defendant is to pay a monetary compensation or an appropriate payment to the designated charity.

A court deciding the case has to determined first:
+ Has the defendant ever violated the plaintiff's personal interests and what specific interests have been infringed, or at least threatened, then:
+ Was the defendant's opinion, about the plaintiff, true; was his conduct unlawful and whether his opinion was offensive from point of view of the average man (and not just from the standpoint of the plaintiff).

"Whether in a particular case we can speak of an infringement of personal rights, can not be decided on subjective feelings of the victim, because the decisive factor here is the reaction of the society. Also, this definition requires concretizations, of what kind of reaction one would expect fromfair, reasonable thinking people." (a claim the Supreme Court judgment of 15 September 2005, ref. Act II, CK 82/2005).

OP Ironside 50 | 11,142
27 Mar 2012 #65
According to the position of the Supreme Court's offensive speech against a third party violates their personal rights and can not be tolerated, especially when expressed in public.

Thats bolox and you know it ! If that have been vigorously prosecuted editors of GW wouldn't be able to publish anything except for commercials .

The question remains what is offensive and what is an opinion in political debate.
boletus 30 | 1,366
27 Mar 2012 #66
The question remains what is offensive and what is an opinion in political debate.

You are so proud how freedom of expression works so beautifully in The Land of Freedom. But yet people win there their defamation suits, even though:

Defamation law in the United States is much less plaintiff-friendly than its counterparts in European and the Commonwealth countries, due to the enforcement of the First Amendment. In the United States, a comprehensive discussion of what is and is not libel or slander is difficult, because the definition differs between different states, and under federal law.

/wiki/United_States_defamation_law

Now, here is something quite fresh from USA: Rush Limbaugh contra Sandra Fluke controversy,
/wiki/Rush_Limbaugh_-_Sandra_Fluke_controversy
which started on February 29, 2012.

The Rush Limbaugh - Sandra Fluke controversy began on February 29, 2012, when, over three days, American conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh made a series of derogatory remarks about Georgetown University Law Center law student Sandra Fluke, suggesting that comments she made during her speech to House Democrats in support of a private insurance mandate for contraceptives made her a "slut" or "prostitute".

Apparently, he stands protected by the freedom of speech. But he will apparently pay a lot for his big mouth: he has already lost quite a lot of advertisements. But here is something more, she is suing him of the defamation:


Max Kennerly, a lawyer with The Beasley Firm in Center City, thinks Fluke "definitely" has a defamation case against Limbaugh if she chooses to pursue it.
Limbaugh could argue that he was simply rendering an opinion protected by the First Amendment or, alternatively, that the statements would be seen as so outlandish that nobody would believe they were true.
But Kennerly said Limbaugh's comments that Fluke was a "slut" and "prostitute" "embedded false statements of fact," were thus defamatory and that a judge might allow a jury to decide the case.

litigationandtrial.com/2012/03/articles/attorney/defamation-2/sandra-fluke-limbaugh-defamation
OP Ironside 50 | 11,142
27 Mar 2012 #67
You are so proud how freedom of expression works so beautifully

The fact remains that Rymkiewicz's words for everybody who is not biased or partisan are not slanderous but only an opinion in the political debate.
pawian 178 | 15,558
27 Mar 2012 #68
The fact remains that Rymkiewicz's words for everybody who is not biased or partisan are not slanderous

First of all, Rymkiewicz is biased himself.

Secondly, his words sound unbiased only to his kin - aggressive patriots who woke up after communism collapsed because earlier they had been busy making careers in the communist state!

only an opinion in the political debate.

You can`t say everything in a public debate. There are still limits. Lying is punishable.

Imagine GW accused Rymkiewicz of szmalcownictwo during WW2 - that he gave away Jews to Nazi Germans and took money for it. If GW editors weren`t able to prove it, they would have to pay a large amount of money in compensation after a lost lawsuit.

Rymkiewicz did sth like that when he accused GW of various dirty things.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
27 Mar 2012 #69
Rymkiewicz was NOT accused of slander from the Art 212 of Criminal Code (Penal Code), although such action could have been considered. He was sued in a civil court. He was not prosecuted of any crime in a penal court.

Good, I am glad that the poet was not convicted of slander in a criminal court. Another poster's claim that he is liable to do jail time if he doesn't apologize must be untrue then.

He was sued in the civil court for the infringement of personal rights, according to the Articles 23 and 24 of Civil Law.

The personal rights of the editors of this newspaper were not infringed upon when the poet said that in his opinion they hate Christianity and Poland. The freedom to express one's belief that someone hates something is a part of freedom of speech.

Rush Limbaugh contra Sandra Fluke controversy

Limbaugh’s comments that Fluke was a “slut” and “prostitute”

Limbaugh's case is different than Rymkiewicz's. Limbaugh, in claiming that Sandra Fluke was a prostitute, made a remark that can actually be objectively proven to be defammatory if Ms. Fluke has never accepted money for the performance of a sexual act. Rymkiewicz claimed that based on the stories and editorials of a newspaper its editors hate Poland and Christianity, and in so doing he has given an opinion that cannot proven to be defammatory because what constitutes hating Poland and Chistianity is a subjective judgement. Accusations of hatred are different than accusations of prostitution.
boletus 30 | 1,366
28 Mar 2012 #70
The following appeared today in "Gazeta Polska", # 13, March 28, 2012, gazetapolska.pl/16434-oswiadczenie-jaroslawa-marka-rymkiewicza

Declaration by Jaroslaw Marek Rymkiewicz

In the statement which I gave in "Gazeta Polska" (in article "Memory as the cross - it will not disappear" on August 11, 2010) I formulated untrue, offensive allegations and suggestions against "Gazeta Wyborcza" - and thus its publisher Agora SA, based in Warsaw. I admit that there is no factual basis for such statement and it could expose the Agora SA to adverse consequences in the course of its publishing activities - in particular the loss of its good name, credibility, reputation and confidence necessary to conduct such activities.

I apologize to Agora SA, publisher of "Gazeta Wyborcza" for the distribution of that statement - hurting its reputation and credibility in public perception.

I am filing this declaration as a result of the lost lawsuit.

The composition of the Court of Appeal:
Irena Piotrowska, Chairwoman
Aldona Wapińska, Judge rapporteur
Lidia Sularzycka, Member of the bench
OP Ironside 50 | 11,142
28 Mar 2012 #71
The following appeared today

Did they publish names of the judges as well ?
Alligator - | 261
28 Mar 2012 #72
The following appeared today in "Gazeta Polska"

After he published his apologies, he had an interview with Tomasz Sakiewicz (in Gazeta Polska Codziennie). He said:
"Perhaps such an apology have any meaning to the court- I don't know. For me this apology have no meaning." (...) "In Poland we don't have any trockists and luksemburgists, and therefore GW have no reading public."

Sigh... this guy will never learn....

sofijufka: Freedom of speech depends of who is speaking.

Request seconded, Ms journalist.

The personal rights of the editors of this newspaper were not infringed upon when the poet said that in his opinion they hate Christianity and Poland. The freedom to express one's belief that someone hates something is a part of freedom of speech.

His statement that journalists and editors of GW "hate Poland, Poles and Christianity" was only a part of longer and more visious speech he gave in front of Presidential Palace and the cross that was erected there by scouts after Smoleńsk crash. At the time of his speech there were many people there, taking part in manifestations against taking cross out of there. His speech was then widely reported in Poland in Tv and newspapers. He also said that journalists and editors of GW were educated and brought up to hate Poland and Cross, that they are spiritual heirs of KPP and supproters of luxemburgism and by that adversaries of Polish independence and fifth column of communists (and by that Russians).

I know that such statements in any other country have no meaning and probably would be treated with indiference. The problem is that he did not say that in USA, but in Poland. Both these countries and nations have complete different history, experience and its own share of sensitive issues. In Poland such sensitive issues are for example: communism and independence.

Poland for the last three hundred years was fighting for its independence, so people here are highly sensitive when it comes to everything that could undermine it. Be it European Union, NATO, or the undercover communists, Jews or whatever someone will come up with to gain support, publicity and applause.

Another thing are people who belonged to and supported communism. The disscussion about screening procedure (lustracja) in Poland was never really carried out. There were some attempts, but they were either too lenient or to harsh. It left the feeling in public that there is some kind of undercover communist organisation, fifth column, who try to undermine Polish state and independence. This and many others conspiration theories are thriving and providing easy explanation to every difficulty Poland have.

There are many people ( whos political affiliation I'm not going to write here, but I'm sure you are bright enough to figure out) who try to take advantage of that and use this as political leverage. It only brings unnecessary conflicts, that have nothing to do with reality. This is often referred as "wojna polsko-polska"- polish-polish war and this description is not far from reality. Both participants of this conflict are using every method to discredit opponent, to destroy him, so as oyu can see polish politic is not about compromise but about completly destrpoying oppnent. The problem is that non of them is able to secure majority in Parliament, what makes almost impossible to carry out reforms.

Ok, enough of rumbling ;)
The Rymkiewicz speech was part of this war and he is not only a poet but also a public person, journalist of GW opponent newspaper. HHis words could have big impact on GW (also financial one). If Gw decided to fight with his lies, I don't blame them.

The same methods are used by GW opponents, when they write something untrue or slanderous.
The public debate is not supressed by defamation law, it only make it more civil.

You do not grasp the Polish spirit and Polish culture, you are spiritual alien !

I decided today to become a true Pole, who could understand Polish spirit and culture. But I need guidance, because there are things that I can't fully grasp. So, I hope that you and Des will help me.

So, can we use defamation law, or not?

WhyMedSchool: I can't believe she was fined as this seems a pretty blatant disregard for freedom of speech, not to mention that she's also correct.

I admit that I have my malady. People with whom I consulted my problem, said that it is Concience-Logic Syndrome. For example, when I saw both these statements I thought that it is logicaly impossible to stand by both these statements and the Concience part of my syndrome sended me a signal that this is hypocrisy.

So, Ironside I need help. How you manage to preach both at the same time. I suppose you don't have Concience-Logic Syndrome, but what would you advise to person who have such malady.

I heard that there is a pill, the pill of Murti-Bing, and if you take it, you can get rid of Concience-Logic Syndrome. I was wondering if you Des have such a pill. I'm not asking you because some villains on PF wrote that you are addicted to drugs.This was a lie, slunder, and they were rightfully suspanded. I'm fully supporting you and in such instances you should not hesitate and report such derogatory posts. Oh, no, but what abiut freedom of speech? Oh no, again, Concience-Logic Syndrome!!!

You see, my problem is complicated, I can't afford Murti-Bing pill, because it is not refunded by NFZ. So would help me? Would you tell me how it is possible to preach one and do another? How one can rid of Concience and Logic Syndrome?

Teachers, please help!!!
Varsovian 92 | 634
28 Mar 2012 #73
Des Essientes - you've really earned my respect by your intelligent arguments and persistence. The PO activists who moderate this forum can afford to be persistent, as it is their job to post. It's interesting how weakly they argue and how quick they are to argue against freedom of speech. It's also slightly bizarre for individuals like Pawian to start insulting me for living the life of Riley in 1980s Communist Poland. He can't possibly think that I'm not Polish and yet have been present at an anti-Communist demo at Warsaw University in 1988. It might also surprise him to know that I was part of a letter-writing campaign on behalf of Michnik. Amneswty International - I think it was the Diss group. Instead Pawian made no bones about thinking me hypocritical scum. Jon, meanwhile, tends to view people living out of town as right-wing racists.

So, folks, there we have it. Freedom of speech sucks, get used to it. And anybody who argues for freedom of speech is a right-wing loon worthy of insults chosen at random.
jon357 67 | 16,653
28 Mar 2012 #74
Freedom of speech depends on good manners and clear parameters to be effective. It's an age-old paradox that to have true freedom there have to be boundaries. One of the clearest of those boundaries is accusing someone of a crime without offering concrete proof. In this case that boundary was crossed.
boletus 30 | 1,366
28 Mar 2012 #75
Freedom of speech depends on good manners and clear parameters to be effective.

You are absolutely right.

When this discussion started some time ago I was about to congratulate you all here for the civility in here. Unfortunately, people take things too personally, and they soon get into each other nerves - regretting it later, perhaps. Evidently, the nature does not like emptiness and creates new irritants out of the blue, in place of the ones temporarily suspended.

The level of public discussion in Polish political life worries me very much. "Buraki" are everywhere, including politics. The amount of lawsuits for infringement on the personal rights is still growing. Who is next? Miller vs. Palikot? I understand that the common people are getting angry and impatient too, but the general display of lack of culture is still depressing. Wałęsa being once again harassed by screamers in "Bolek" masks, effigies of Donald Tusk, coffins with his image delivered to his office. Classy...

But at least "freedom of expression" works full blast, and people can do even stupider thinks - like running the Kaczyński's version of Kabuki Theatre in European Parliament in Brussels, with the main actors: Marta Kaczyńska; Jarosław Kaczyński (via video link) and Antoni Macierewicz alongside Prof. Wiesław Binienda and Dr. Kazimierz Nowaczyk, a civil engineer and physicist working in the USA.

[I am confident that if you sued me for the "kabuki" I would win,
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabuki

I just want to clarify one thing more.

The personal rights of the editors of this newspaper were not infringed upon when the poet said that in his opinion they hate Christianity and Poland. The freedom to express one's belief that someone hates something is a part of freedom of speech.

Not under the Polish civil law. That was exactly described in the second part of my post #66. But let me try again.

Say, I am a bar owner. You run your local community paper. One day you assert in your paper that I hate Irish Catholic people. I summon you first to publicly apologize and optionally compensate me for your wrongdoing. You refuse. I sue you. Now the burden is on you to prove in court my Irish-Catholic-hating attitude.

Let say you failed to do so, for whatever reason: Maybe you just took it out of thin air, out of spite? Or maybe I was actually bad-mouthing the Irish Catholics one day, but you were so drunk that you pushed the wrong button on your tape recorder and erased everything?

You see, it does not matter whether you were actually right or wrong with your accusation, you just could not provide any proof for that. Therefore, your action would be considered unlawful, and they would kick your ass. Delicately.

Firstly, you would have to publicly apologize to me, very likely in your own newspaper and some others too. Secondly, the court could order you to pay some money to some charity. What's more, if my lawyer demonstrated in the court that in that period of time, when you had been spreading your lies about me, I had lost 50% of the business to my competitor, or that I have to move out of the district to avoid harassments - and therefore lose some money - you would have to pay some monetary compensation to me. Simple as that.
OP Ironside 50 | 11,142
28 Mar 2012 #76
Request seconded, Ms journalist.

You just showed you true colors A. You doing it all the time and yet you view yourself or you want to be viewed by others as somebody impartial.

Let make it clear once and for all, you are partisan of political clique, biased to the core - end off!

Ok, enough of rumbling ;)

Yes I agree that little speech you have written there means nothing, it just noise, a waste of typing power.

HHis words could have big impact on GW (also financial one)

That statement is provable and you could be brought to court if you lie, I'm sure that is the only reason you used the word "could"! As you know that Rymkiewicz's words had no impact at all on GW neither financial nor moral.

said that it is Concience-Logic Syndrome.

No it is a left bolox syndrome!

So, can we use defamation law, or not?

I have already explained my stance and the fact that there is no contradiction. Predictably you choose to ignore my explanation and quote once again my posts because you have nothing else to support your logical fallacy. I'm sure that you will bring it few more times. Good luck.

Bashing the Bible is not a political debate and serve no other purpose but bashing for a sake of bashing,hence should be punishable by the law.

On the other hand Rymkiewicz's words were a part of public, political debate in which GW takes active part for years and what more it was an opinion, hence the law should keep away.

One of the clearest of those boundaries is accusing someone of a crime without offering concrete proof. In this case that boundary was crossed.

What crime editors of GW have been accused, pry tell !

Say, I am a bar owner. You run your local community paper. One day you assert in your paper that I hate Irish Catholic people. I summon you first to publicly apologize and optionally compensate me for your wrongdoing. You refuse. I sue you. Now the burden is on you to prove in court my Irish-Catholic-hating attitude.

Say that story has nothing to do with the case we discus. Firstly it was newspaper that somebody expressed opinion about!Secondly business wasn't some bar but political publishing of politically controversial opinions. One would expect that such newspaper would be first to defend freedom of speech in political debate, soon that ruling could be used against them with impunity and if then they will scream murder I will laugh!

Not under the Polish civil law.

Lets agree for the sake of an argument that you are right about that. You would agree with me that the law should apply equally to everyone.?

Well, it isn't happening because GW many times published articles which in the light of the case were slanderous and should be punished by the law.

Anyway I still think that for the sake of freedom of speech such ruling shouldn't have happened.
pawian 178 | 15,558
28 Mar 2012 #77
I know that such statements in any other country have no meaning and probably would be treated with indiference. The problem is that he did not say that in USA, but in Poland.

A very important remark. Exactly, the American context of such cases is different than the Polish one. Dess, don`t be so narrow-minded, show more reason.

But you won`t.

The PO activists who moderate this forum can afford to be persistent, as it is their job to post. It's interesting how weakly they argue and how quick they are to argue against freedom of speech.

Come on.... that is so pathetic that I am gonna cry.

It's also slightly bizarre for individuals like Pawian to start insulting me

If I had really insulted you, I would have been banned and my post would have landed in the bin. Nothing like that happened.

But at least "freedom of expression" works full blast, and people can do even stupider thinks

And if they sued me for calling them maniacs, I would win too, after bringing to court today`s revelations from Brussels.

My God, don`t they realise they are obsessed?

Say, I am a bar owner. You run your local community paper. One day you assert in your paper that I hate Irish Catholic people. I summon you first to publicly apologize and optionally compensate me for your wrongdoing. You refuse. I sue you. Now the burden is on you to prove in court my Irish-Catholic-hating attitude.

Bol, it is all useless. The addressees of your explanations reject reason and have only one answer:

Des Essientes - you've really earned my respect by your intelligent arguments and persistence.

Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
29 Mar 2012 #78
According to boletus, in post #72, Rymkiewicz was sued for statements made in the Gazeta Polska newspaper article:

"Memory as the cross - it will not disappear" on August 11, 2010

Perhaps the content of speech he gave was identical to that of the article, or perhaps not. It would greatly serve this thread if we could have an English translation, or a link to one, of the Gazeta Polska article in question.

His speech was then widely reported in Poland in Tv and newspapers. He also said that journalists and editors of GW were educated and brought up to hate Poland and Cross, that they are spiritual heirs of KPP and supproters of luxemburgism and by that adversaries of Polish independence and fifth column of Communists (and by that Russians).

Assuming that the speech's content was indeed the same as the article's then we see that he did indeed make a claims that can be objectively verified. These are that the editors of GW support the political theories of Rosa Luxemburg, that they are actively opposed to Polish independence, and that they are a fifth column of Communists. Communist parties are currently illegal in Poland and so saying that the editors of GW are actual Communists, rather than just "spiritual heirs" of communism, is accusing them of membership in a criminal organization. So too calling them a "fifth column" working to end Polish independence is an accusation of the crime of treason. If these criminal accusations are indeed contained in the article in question then the editors of GW did indeed have a legitimately provable case of defamation against Rymkiewicz, but if the article merely called them haters of Poland, and Christianity, and "spiritual heirs" of Communism, rather than actual Communists, then he was still within the bounds of editorial press freedom that should not be abridged.

The problem is that he did not say that in USA, but in Poland.

Indeed it is not surprising to see that in Poland accusations of hatred against the country are taken very seriously because Poland has had a rough time over the last 200+ years. In the USA, a country free from foreign oppression for the last 200 years, accusations of "hatred against America" are thrown back and forth between ideological opponents quite often and no one takes them very seriously, or sues for defamation, when they are made. Another important difference is that in the USA no political parties are outlawed, but in Poland, if I am not mistaken, both the Communist party as well as the Nazi party are illegal, and I understand why the staff of GW, being a paper of the Left side of the political spectrum, takes umbrage at being called the spiritual heirs of an outlawed party, and I see how this lawsuit may be seen as an attempt by them to level the playing field of ideological rhetoric between themselves and representatives of the political Right in Poland, but this leveling is doomed not to succeed completely, because the Left in Poland has its extreme end outlawed while the Right does not. The Polish Left cannot very well call the Right in Poland the "spiritual heirs" of the outlawed Nazi party because that party was essentially one of anti-Polish German reactionary nationalism. Polish Communism is illegal in Poland but Polish reactionary nationalism is not illegal and this lawsuit will not change this fact, and, as Alligator points out, accusations of fifth column communism are taken quite seriously in Poland because there were, until relatively recently, many Polish members of the Communist party and:

The disscussion about screening procedure (lustracja) in Poland was never really carried out. There were some attempts, but they were either too lenient or to harsh. It left the feeling in public that there is some kind of undercover communist organisation, fifth column, who try to undermine Polish state and independence.

Indeed, if one looks at the first page of this thread the initial posts were not about the proper parameters of freedom of speech, but rather about whether, or not, the editor in chief of GW is a crypto-Communist whose anti-Communist credentials are a ruse. The problem for GW is that, although they won this lawsuit, and the poet published his court ordered mea culpa, it is likely that very few people who believe in a fifth column Communist conspiracy in Poland are likely to be convinced that such a conspiracy does not exist, or that the staff of GW is not part of such a conspiracy, just because a judge forced Rymkiewicz to write that "there is no factual basis" for believing the statements he'd made in the 2010 newspaper article. Conspiracy theorists are not known for trusting judgments handed down by governmental judiciaries. This decision will not change that, and more than likely it will only make such theorists believe that the judge is yet another member of this fifth column, thus furthering the paranoia and animosity on the Polish political scene. It will merely make the critics of one newspaper more circumspect about what they say regarding it, since it has been undoubtedly proven that it has the financial resources to pay lawyers to mount successful lawsuits against those who'd dare impugn its affection for Poland and Christianity.

I heard that there is a pill, the pill of Murti-Bing, and if you take it, you can get rid of Concience-Logic Syndrome. I was wondering if you Des have such a pill.

No Alligator I do not have such a pill, but I do have a borrowed copy of Witkiewicz's Insatiability and I must point out to you that in the novel this pill was passed out, gratis, by agents of the Chinese Communists, to the people of Poland, in order to make them not care about the impending Chinese Communist take-over of Poland, and so, although I do love reading a reference to this rich and thought provoking work of literature, I must point out to you that people, who believe in a Communist conspiracy to take away Poland's independence, could also reference this pill and claim that your being fine with a successful lawsuit stifling the speech of a poet/journalist, who warns of a Communist conspiracy to take away Poland's independence, proves that you have already ingested said pill. I myself do not think you are on the Murti-Bing, but you must realize that stifling the editorial freedom of a newspaper writer is more akin to the Communist way of regulating the press than is allowing said writer to express his opinion of another newspaper freely.

Say, I am a bar owner. You run your local community paper. One day you assert in your paper that I hate Irish Catholic people.

when you had been spreading your lies about me, I had lost 50% of the business to my competitor, or that I have to move out of the district to avoid harassments

Alright Boletus let's say that Rymkiewicz's statement that "GW hates Poland" did indeed cause the paper to lose money, and, since this purported hatred could not be adequately proven in court, the ordered retraction and fine were just. What is to stop GW, or any other paper, from mounting a lawsuit over a statement like "GW advocates governmental policies that are bad for Poland"? Such an editorial statement could indeed cause GW to lose money, and such an editorial statement may not be deemed truthful by the judge presiding over the lawsuit, and thus it too would have to be retracted, and its maker fined, and you have thereby stifled legitimate political debate in Poland, because it may harm a newspaper's bottom-line, and that is extremely stupid and dangerous for Polish democracy, which, like any other democracy, thrives on the free exchange of ideas.

Finally, since Alligator brought up the Murti-Bing pill I cannot refrain from quoting a bit of Sienkiewicz's preface to Insatiability for reasons that will be readily apparent. Sienkiewicz is herein speaking about the hostile review of his previous novel, A Farewell To Autumnby a newspaper critic named Emile Breiter

Thus the average reader may be lead to think (and Mr. Breiter is relying on this in order to harass me and damage my reputation) that I am relating facts taken from my own life, about which he (Mr. Breiter) presumes to have some inside information--namely, that I was once raped by a certain count while under the influence of cocaine, that I was kept by a certain rich Jewess in Ceylon, that I once gave cocaine to a she-bear in the Tatra Mountains, etc.

Witkiewicz goes on to claim that these accusations have hurt his portraiture business because "Mothers are reluctant to have portraits made of their daughters by my firm. . . ." Now one can see that Breiter's accusations against Witkiewicz would be possible to prove, or disprove, in a civil court because they relate specific incidents and not, as in the case of Rymkiewic's accussations of hatred by GW, emotional attitudes, but did Witkiewicz take Breiter to court? No, he refuted Breiter in print and that is what GW should have done in the case of Rymkiewicz. By instead suing him in court GW has set a precedent that may end up limiting editorial press freedom in the Republic of Poland and thus harming the Republic of Poland by limiting the free expression of ideas therein.
Alligator - | 261
29 Mar 2012 #79
Right in Poland, but this leveling is doomed not to succeed completely, because the Left in Poland has its extreme end outlawed while the Right does not

The funny thing in this situation is that both Left and Right have the same extreme and outlawed.
The best example is Rymkiewicz.
One of the arguments he brought in court against GW journalists is that some of their parents belonged to Communist Part and because of such education they are consciously or subconsciously hostile to Poland and Poles. The problem is: Rymkiewicz parents also belonged to Communist Party, so does he know what he is saying by that? He is consciously or subconsciously hostile to Poland?

but it's getting better. Rymkiewicz himself belonged to Union of Polish Youth (Związek Młodzieży Polskiej). Moreover he was an active member of ZMP. He defended then the achievements of UB - Urzedu Bezpieczeństwa (Security Department operating from 1945 to 1954, in another words stalinist bloody police). In one of the articles he attacked "intellectual jackals" who betrayed communism and try to create "myth of bloody Security Department).

In 1964 some Polish intellectuals wrote "Letter 34" - the first public protest against censorship. Rymkiewicz didn't take part in this, instead he signed "Letter 600" - a responce and protest against "Letter 34" inspired by Gomułka. Jadwiga Staniszkis said in an interview for "Europe" in 2009: "I remember Rymkiewicz from the 70s as a frequenter of the cultural establishment in costume lover of the classics: disciplined, cool and silent. Then, when you could have this impulse or even a shy ethical protest against the system, in Rymkiewiczu there was no sign of despair, no such impulses. (...)"

He became part of opposition when it was difficult to find someone in Poland who wasn't.
Now he is right-wing supporter and ideologue. He was opportunist and he still is.
His life-history is not so different from history of many. Everyone lived under the same communist rule, everyone had some kind of connection with communists. Both left and right side of political spectrum had more or less the same experience during communism.

Another thing is ideology. Both parties have or tries to have it's roots in interwar period. So if you want to look for ideology to which right in Poland is reffering to you should read about Narodowa Demokracja (endecja) and Piłsudski during his authoritarian times (sanacja). Left is reffering to PPS - Polska Partia Socjalistyczna (Polish Socialist Party). Note that PPS was rather different from other, foreign socialist parties at that time. They main objective was independence of Poland, so they were some kind of patriotic, socialist party.

By instead suing him in court GW has set a precedent that may end up limiting editorial press freedom in the Republic of Poland and thus harming the Republic of Poland by limiting the free expression of ideas therein.

This is not a first time when press is suing because of defamation, so there is no precedent. This law exist almost since the beginning of IIIRP and was used many times. I don't think it is bad law, because the quality of public debate in Poland is still low.I think that culture of public debate will increase by the time, but now we still need defamation law.

If you compare situation and debate from the beginning of IIIRP with that of now there is a big positive quality change. Although hearing what some politicians are saying everyday you might not believe me, but at the beginning it was much, much worse. I cant even find words to describe the situation then, it was misery. If you compare newspapers content from that time with now you will see the difference. So there is progress. Maybe someday we will no longer need defamation law, but for that to happen more people need to create skill and culture in debate and know boundaries

Freedom of speech depends on good manners and clear parameters to be effective. It's an age-old paradox that to have true freedom there have to be boundaries.

Not as an answer to you but to somebody who is reading this thread.

Predictably you choose to ignore my explanation

When you finally decide with whom you are talking let me know and then maybe I will disscuss with you.
boletus 30 | 1,366
29 Mar 2012 #80
OK, I am glad you are willing to accept the logic of this piece of Polish law. The next two points to discuss would deal with implementation of such law.

1. Is the Polish judicially system fair or crooked, is it independent or corrupted, and therefore could it be trusted in cases like this?

I do not have any opinion here. I do not live in Poland. I hope there are reasonable assumptions that the system can be trusted, at least statistically. But I hear from time to time about some occasional awkwardness of the prosecutor's office, so - by extension - one could expect similar awkwardness in courts of justice. I would not expect deliberate wrong doing and bribery at this level, but people are people...

2. Does this law apply equally to everyone?

This question is politically loaded and it is hard to answer, unless many such cases are revised and compared within the period of 12 years or so - to cover various ruling parties. It is mind boggling, how many such cases there are - coming from the left, right and centre; from politicos, business and sport people and from starlets. For what I saw, not all plaintiffs were the winners. If you do not believe me try googling: przeprosiny sąd. Here comes the lot of answers, as they appear, unsorted: Wyszkowski-Wałęsa, Pitera-PiS, Wprost-Rywin, Polskapresse-Radwańska, Kobylański-Sikorski, PiS-Platforma, Rzeczpospolita-gays, Socha-Dowgiałło, Warot-Szymocha, Radio Zet-Kaczyński, Krasowski-Michnik, Lis-Ziobro, Czarnecki-Wałęsa, Sybilski-Doda...

Shall I go on? If you really care, go an analyze the cases and then truthfully and honestly answer the question: are the civil law and its courts impartial in Poland, or not?

What is to stop GW, or any other paper, from mounting a lawsuit over a statement like "GW advocates governmental policies that are bad for Poland"?

Nothing. But more than likely this will never happen. After all, not all GW editors are stupid and they have some common sense, do you agree? :-) Besides, it is up to a court to decide, whether or not the case will be processed or thrown out of court ("Don't waste our time"). Frivolity could be one of the reasons for that, but I am just guessing here.

I am not going into the discussion whether such law is good for Poland or not. Nothing you or I can do here, DE. Apparently it works reasonably well, as described at the end of the Aligator's message #81.

The rest of my response will be in the next message, after appropriate time delay.

did Witkiewicz take Breiter to court? No, he refuted Breiter in print and that is what GW should have done in the case of Rymkiewicz.

It may work sometimes, until one side looses patience or gets really mad. As an example, apparently Lech Wałęsa has had enough of this yapping around him, so he does not hesitate to start finger pointing at Rydzyk as the the source of his latest harassments.

You seem to be putting the writers and poets on the pedestal and expect them to behave normally, rationally and honestly, and being able to solve all their disputes in print? Well, I can supply you with many examples, describing how bad the artists' world can be - with typical authors' vices there: jealousy, corruption, denunciation and first of all - lust for fame. Here is an example of just one little, poisonous missive launched by one known novelist over 100 years ago.

This gentleman, who writes novels in English - popular and splendidly profitable, almost gave me a nervous attack. I felt, reading about him, such a slippery and distasteful thing raising up my throat. How come! So the creativity is also ready to join the "exodus" (...) Creative ability is the crown of the plant, the top of the tower, the heart of the nation's heart. And this flower, this peak and this heart he takes away from his nation and gives it to Anglo-Saxons, who do not even miss the proverbial bird's milk, because they just pay the higher price for it. One can hardly think about it - without shame (...) Not a single Polish teenager will ever shed an altruistic tear over the novels of Mr. Konrad Korzeniowski, nor she will ever undertake any noble decision because of him.

- Eliza Orzeszkowa, according to Michał Komar, Bestiariusz codzienny

So wrote Eliza Orzeszkowa in her article about J. Conrad. Well, Conrad did not respond to her, but he felt her accusations painfully, as he demonstrated later in his letter to Edward Garnett in Jan 20, 1900. And she was the main reason why the big portion of the next generations of Poles looked upon him as a traitor:

Conrad renounced his homeland, native language, even the name. And for anyone who puts these very issues on top of his moral code, Conrad is forever buried.

Writers and poets will do anything for fame. With fame comes an illusion of power and a sense of a mission. Mickiewicz the poet had become Mickiewicz the prophet at some time. Rymkiewicz the poet wants to become Rymkiewicz the bard, the righteous one.

Adam Szostkiewicz, a commentator of "Polityka",
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Szostkiewicz
wrote this on his blog almost two years ago:
I own almost all the Rymkiewicz's books, both prose and verse. I value highly the ones that he wrote before becoming a bard. (...) If he wants to be the Kaczyński's bard - this is his right. And it is my right to complain here that I have lost my favourite Polish writer.

-Adam Szostkiewicz, Polityka,
szostkiewicz.blog.polityka.pl/2010/07/16/bic-innowiercow-czyli-wieszcz-rymkiewicz

So he is disappointed in Rymkiewicz the bard. I am disappointed in him as a poet of later years. I am really surprised, because all I used to read about him were mostly accolades: of his prose, his essays, his plays, his style, his penmanship, his poetry. But somehow all of this escapes me now after reading few of his poems, from the collection "Sunset at Milanówek", for which he received a literary award Nike in 2003 (whose sponsor is "Gazeta Wyborcza", by the way). I also read his (in)famous last year poem "Do Jarosława Kaczyńskiego".

All I saw was the verse-mongering of trivial "Częstochowa rhymes" - as they are called in Polish. I could go on in details, but I will only direct you to the definitions of such rhymes, and in particular to "exact rhymes" and "grammatical rhymes":

Częstochowa rhymes
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rym_częstochowski

and various cases of banal poetry
czytowszystko.blogspot.ca/2010/02/poezja-rym-czestochowski.html

(both in Polish).

And here are some examples of the exact, grammatical rhymes taken from the Rymkiewicz's verses I mentioned: światu-bratu, umierać-wybierać, ciało-działo, patosu-losu, jedzą-powiedzą, żyją-myją, wyrywają-poznają, piszą-slyszą, kwiatki-zagadki, jedne-biedne, wapnieje-dnieje, urzeczawia-ustawia, gnije-pije. They are trivial, uninteresting, they should be avoided - as any young poet is usually being advised upon. The reason for it is that Polish, as an inflected language - in which word endings depend on a person, case, time, mode, etc. - has a lot of matching words that are in the same case, time, etc. Yet our "great poet" uses them in abundance: a verb matching another verb with the same person and time; a noun matching another noun with the same case, etc.

It's not only that: Rymkiewicz's rhymes, which I quoted, are quite empty, they do not indicate any meaning by themselves, they are almost randomly chosen. One has a feeling that the author just drags and forces the remaining words of the line to match - with great difficulty - the rhymes he found first. Nothing spontaneous here.

The good example, how the rhymes can be used are these collected rhymes from the four stanzas of a certain poem, whose owner was so ashamed of its content later in life, but who was so proud of its form:

... A B A B
... dziejów-maszynistom-powieją-iskrom
... mrozu-trwali-rozum-Stalin
... lotne-konnicy-samotny-Carycyn
... columny-gradem-dumnym-Stalingradem

These are not the exact rhymes, neither they are the grammatical ones. And you can almost guess what this poem was about by examining its rhymes alone. Yes, you guessed it: Władysław Broniewski, "Słowo o Stalinie" (A word about Stalin)

You draw your own conclusion. I am not trying to denigrate Rymkiewicz. This is only my private opinion, which is not listened to anyway, and I am not an expert. But I have the right to my opinion (FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, remember?) and my opinion is: his late poetry sucks. But I must add that some of his earlier poetry, the one without rhymes, is quite good.

I think Rymkiewicz should stay away from politics and happily enjoy the fruits of his hard work of younger days. Yet he wants to be a prophet. He divides people into good Poles and bad Poles, he creates crazy theories of a new Patriotic Religion. The greatness in one discipline does not give you a free pass to another one. You might be a great chemist but your relativity theory will still suck (we had one such case described on this forum). You might be a great poet but you might be stupid. Wait, wait - I found something along these lines, here you go:

If he only had more oil in the head! How limited this man has been; you could only talk to him about mice, witches, various eccentricities - and about poetry, and then it was the delight. The pure rage seizes me when I recall that one can be a great poet and a very stupid man at the same time. Annoying, but true. He was great and stupid- so wrote about Julian Tuwim his former friend Kazimierz Wierzyński.

I really do not know Ryczkiewicz's real motivations, but here are the thoughts of Jarosław Abramow Newerly from his "Granica Sokoła" where he tried to figure out what was the driving force behind the collaboration of many writers and poets, including Broniewski, with the ruling regime:

There is only one answer. Lust. A terrible lust for fame - without limits, inhuman. This lust devours us all - supported by author's hungry arrogance. We look for it as a kite looks forward for rain. We dry out without it. It is more important to us than the daily bread, and often - than our integrity. We are ready to lose our virtues - just to possess it. In life. In life still, of course. We are like children. We are great gluttons. Addicted.
OP Ironside 50 | 11,142
29 Mar 2012 #81
Perhaps the content of speech he gave was identical to that of the article, or perhaps not. It would greatly serve this thread if we could have an English translation, or a link to one, of the Gazeta Polska article in question.

He went to court because of the interview he given to the Gazeta Polska.
Specifically for his words:

Poles, standing in front of it (ie Cross), say they want to remain Poles. Those words awake such rage, such anger, such hatred in many- for example in the editors of "Gazeta Wyborcza" who expect Poles to cease to be Poles. "

The poet added that the editors of "GW" are "the spiritual heirs of the Polish Communist Party." According to him, "parents or grandparents, many of them were members of this organization, which was contaminated with the spirit of" luksemburgizmu "and thus founded on hatred of Poland and Polish people. These editors were brought up in that way that they have to live in hatred of the Polish cross. I think that these people are worthy of compassion - Polish Catholics should pray for them. "

Later he explained that by editors he meant those who "founded" GW. Mainly those pulling the strings.

GW is not only newspaper it is an institution with many tentacles in many state institutions, government, courts and such.GW is highly political and influential voice in Poland supporting by the way current government.

Owner of GW, Agora one of the biggest media company in Poland with Adam Michink pulling strings, and about him and his cronies Rymkiewicz ( originally Szulc) was talking.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agora_SA
There is no right - left political scenery in Poland, there is opposition and pro-government camp with Michnik supporting government.
His ambition is to heavy influence political life in Poland. There would be nothing wrong with it but he cannot stand opposition or opponents of his visions.

Many time hes newspaper was publishing articles much worse that anything Rymkiewicz said or insinuated If you want I will find them for you.
Lately he is trying to shut any critics of his up by suing them.

uch an editorial statement could indeed cause GW to lose money

Indeed but he is aiming at domination and is not interested in the free exchange of ideas.

When you finally decide with whom you are talking let me know and then maybe I will disscuss with you.

I think that I don't want to talk to you but I reserve the right to comment on the most outrageous of your lies.
pawian 178 | 15,558
29 Mar 2012 #82
He became part of opposition when it was difficult to find someone in Poland who wasn't.

The guy is so hopeless that I am really amazed we are spending so much time in this thread. :):):)

However, we are probably driven by the need to entertain ourselves with certain suppositions posted here:
OP Ironside 50 | 11,142
29 Mar 2012 #83
re the civil law and its courts impartial in Poland, or not?

I think not.

You draw your own conclusion. I am not trying to denigrate Rymkiewicz.

You are mising the point of this thread. It is not about Rymkiewicz it could be as well XYZ who expressed those opinions. It is about limits of the freedom of speech in Poland and if the court ruling rendered all the political debate impossible.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
30 Mar 2012 #84
You seem to be putting the writers and poets on the pedestal and expect them to behave normally, rationally and honestly, and being able to solve all their disputes in print?

I certainly had no intention of giving anyone that impression. I cited Witkiewicz's preface to Insatiability to provide an example of how I think GW should have acted in response to Rymkiewicz's remarks. I do not know what the Second's Republic's laws regarding defamation were like, but assuming that they resembled the Third's, then I suspect that Witkiewicz would have had no qualms about launching a lawsuit to recover damages from his critics. However, the fact that Witkiewicz was, according to the sources that I have read, rather impoverished would have made it very unlikely that he would have used his limited means to hire lawyers and mount such a lawsuit, and this fact cuts to the heart of a glaring problem with this Polish method of regulating freedom of the press via civil suits. It ensures that the rich will be able to defame the poor, without much fear of being forced to make amends for the damage they've caused, while the poor will write and speak in fear of being taken to court and being made even poorer. I am sure it is not lost on you that GW is the best selling newspaper in Poland and Rymkiewicz is a septuagenarian poet who will probably be dead soon. Who is the bully in this case? In my opinion both parties in this lawsuit look rather bad. Rymkiewicz for the maliciously hyperbolic claims he made about GW's editors and GW for being litigious and disingenuous about the financial harm one old man's remarks have caused it.

Well, I can supply you with many examples, describing how bad the artists' world can be - with typical authors' vices there: jealousy, corruption, denunciation and first of all - lust for fame.

I would be a fool to dispute the fact that many of the best Polish writers have had great moral failings. In my perusal of Polish literature no other work has given me as much pleasure as the memoirs of Jan Chryzostom Pasek. He is, perhaps, a raconteur without equal in all of Polish letters, but, in the course of his life, he did many obnoxious things amongst which were the filings of myriad lawsuits against his neighbors. Perhaps being overly quarrelsome and litigious is an essential part of Polishness. This lamentable aspect of Polish culture was hilariously satirized in Chapter 60 of Sienkiewicz's With Fire and Sword, a book that admirably tries to capture the feel of Pasek's Sarmatian style, in which Pan Jan's servant, Zjendjan, withholds vital information about the whereabouts of his master's abducted fiancée until he is finished telling the knights the ridiculous story of his family's ongoing dispute with their neighbors over the fruit of a pear tree on the border between their properties.

If as, Alligator suggests, lawsuits are really the best way to keep Poland's vitriolic rhetorical battles in the press under some semblance of reasonable propriety, then so be it, but that doesn't mean that one has to like it, and one shouldn't. If someone calls you a "hater" in the press you should respond in the press. Going to court over such a statement is, in my opinion, lamentably petty.

(FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, remember?) and my opinion is: his late poetry sucks.

Remember? Of course I remember boletus. I am arguing on this thread that everyone in Poland should be fee to give their opinions regarding the merits of Rymkiewicz's poetry, as well as their opinions about how the editors of GW really feel about Poland and Christianity, even if those opinions end up costing the poet, or the paper, money. Freedom of expression should not be tied to anyone's purse strings.
sofijufka 2 | 191
30 Mar 2012 #85
sofijufka: I'm a journalist

I dare to remain doubtful about this revelation. :):):):)

why? And why is this "revelation"?
pawian 178 | 15,558
30 Mar 2012 #86
Never mind.

So, let it be that you are a journalist and not a miner. :):):):)

It means I am gradually withdrawing from this thread.
OP Ironside 50 | 11,142
31 Mar 2012 #87
As you should havening nothing to say on the subject.
pawian 178 | 15,558
2 Apr 2012 #88
Yes, I admit that my unrefined opinions were overshadowed by extremely intelligent and up-to-point remarks of Alligator and Boletus. Their comments here are simply exemplary. :):):)

And me? I am just a little boy from Poland.

And everything what I can say is one thing again: Rymkiewicz is a disgusting opportunistic azhole.
pawian 178 | 15,558
6 Jun 2021 #89
It is about limits of the freedom of speech in Poland

This freedom of speech which is gradually suppressed by PIS nowadays? E.g. they send police and prosecutors against guys who spspeak badly about their Duda. They prefer to forget that when PiS was the opposition, they brutally attacked other Presidents.
OP Ironside 50 | 11,142
6 Jun 2021 #90
This freedom of speech which is gradually suppressed by PIS nowadays?

Oh stop your lies and crying.


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