Polish Toledo

This blog is associated with www.polishtoledo.com

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Brexit Good for Poland?

Britain leaving the EU has Poland aiming to lure banking and financial services jobs from London because banks will look to ensure unfettered access to the European Union’s single market after Brexit is complete.



Mateusz Morawiecki
Deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is traveled to London this week meeting “dozens” of banks, hedge funds and investment managers to present Poland as an attractive place to set up middle-office, back-office and IT operations.

“It will be certainly a difficult task but we want to show how attractive Warsaw and Poland are,” Morawiecki told Poland's news channel TVN24.

Europe’s established financial hubs like Paris, Dublin and Frankfurt are already eyeing the spoils of the U.K.’s referendum result. Poland isn’t bidding to attract the most lucrative front-line jobs because it’s outside the euro area. Instead, Morawiecki is pushing the benefits of Poland as a location for support staff.

The country has a “fantastic pool of skilled labor,” he said.

The Polish government must still alleviate concerns corporations and some EU members have regarding changes to its constitutional court. The escalating dispute over government interference with the judiciary threatens to impair investment spending and economic development according to Moody’s Investors Service.  Review of the sovereign rating for the eastern European nation will be published by Moody in the near future.

“Investors are currently less concerned about the conflict than they were three or six months ago,” Morawiecki said. “I hope that the analysts will consider our stable financial standing and the improving quality of Poland’s growth.”

Friday, July 08, 2016

Russia is hungry like the bear. It has a voracious appetite that can gobble up provinces and still have enough room in its belly to devour thousands of military defenders without even having to breathe between bites. Obama at the bi-annual meeting of NATO nations held in Warszawa this week indicated that the U.S. would send a measly battalion of around 1,000 troops to Poland as a show of force and to act as a deterrent to the beast of the east.




The announcement follows previous plans NATO established allocating just four new battalions for northeastern Europe, one of which will go to each of the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and one to Poland. The Article 5 commitment to the region is like putting a tiny little Chihuahua on duty to guard the house when a Doberman would be more appropriate.

All this threat and a vast majority of EU nations still do not meet their obligations to spend at least 2% of their GDP on military preparedness.

Remember the good ol' days after the break-up of the Soviet Union and Boris Yeltsin a shit faced harmless fuzz ball that posed no threat to the world?











Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Poland becoming the EU Transportation Hub



Like the ancient "Silk Road" trade route used to bring Chinese silk, pottery and tea to Poland, and Polish amber to China. centuries later, an express freight railway is connecting the two countries. Poland is in a very good geographic position to be the distribution center for Chinese goods bound for European markets.

 See previous post on this subject

Shipping containers in China will soon leave for Europe, covering a distance of six thousand miles until they arrive in Łódź in which has been chosen as the western terminal for the trans-continental trains.

China to Łódź

Chinese President Xi Jinping recently visited Poland and agreed to strengthen ties by tangible achievements of sustainable practical cooperation, including China-Europe freight train service, including joint construction of the "Belt and Road" track project providing a direct connection between the two countries.


Poland is located in the heartland of Europe, with nearly all of the regular China-Europe freight trains going through the country. With its unique location, Poland can play an important role in realizing the Belt and Road Initiative.

We don't want problems

Only 42 out of over 5,300 people who have applied for refugee status in Poland since the beginning of 2016 have been granted that status. Russian nationals who are Chechen in origin, Tajiks and Ukrainians comprised the largest groups of applicants.

In 2015, over 12,000 foreigners applied for international protection in Poland, but only 348 of them were granted refugee status.

A high commission of the UN says Poland was in no way affected by last year’s mass inflow of refugees from North Africa and the Middle East into Europe.

"Poland for Poles - Poles for Poland" 


A majority of Poles are opposed to their country taking in any refugees and Jarosław Kaczyński, the head of Poland’s ruling, conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party said that the country would not accept refugees because they posed a threat to security.

So far there have been no terrorist attacks in Poland or spread of diseases that have been eradicated in the country - unlike what is happening in the United States and European Union.

Poland is a highly homogeneous society of Christians with a very small percentage of minority groups in the population. Historically, Poland has been very receptive of allowing those groups who had been ostracized and persecuted to establish settlements in Poland including Jews expelled from Western European countries or Tartar Muslims who assimilated into the Polish culture. Today, a small but growing number of Vietnamese have migrated to Poland. Each aforementioned minority group has not unsettle the domestic tranquillity of the Polish state.

If Poland stays their course on letting few refuges in compared to other EU countries - It will be an interesting statistical comparison on which countries have social strife versus Poland's relative tranquillity.

Still nobody is posing the question, "Why aren't Muslim refugees taking land routes to other Muslim countries for refuge"? There would certainly be significantly less culture shock.



Saturday, June 04, 2016

Beefing up defenses


Although a militia has already been established by NGOs [Non Government Organizations], Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said, "Poland will shortly start enrolling the first volunteers in a 35,000-member paramilitary force aimed at parrying a perceived threat from Russia".

The force's command structure and senior appointments were decided in April and enrollment of the first members of the territorial defense force will start this coming September.




A look at the Polish militia movement

Unlike the paramilitary militia the territorial defense forces will comprise of civilians who have had military training and like the militia is intended to deter Russia from its expansionist aggression


"The territorial defense force is our response to the threat associated with hybrid warfare," said Grzegorz Kwasniak, in charge with setting up the force, referring to the stealth tactic of infiltration used by Russia in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.



Each of Poland's 16 provinces are expected to have a brigade-level force, and Mazovia - the biggest and most populous region in the centre of the country - will have two. Priority in deployment will be given to eastern provinces - Podlachia, Lublin and Podkarpachie - deemed to be the most exposed to Russian pressure.



Signs of Exit?

Very soon the citizens of the United Kingdom go to the polls to determine if they stay in the EU. Many predict if the Brexit succeeds, it will engender a domino effect all across Europe, as many more countries will begin voting on whether to stay in the EU, or leave. The dynamics at play are reminiscent of Solidarność when the defiant actions of Poles influenced people in other Eastern Block countries to follow their lead in throwing off the shackles of communism.

Second thoughts about membership


If the Brits leave, Poland is the next likely candidate to consider extracting itself from the Union that is a failed,  corrupt, ill conceived, and badly managed mendacious / unaccountable disaster.

Here's the hint of a Polxit: When Poland’s new Prime Minister Beata Szydlo member of Eurosceptic PiS [Law & Justice Party] swept to an election victory last year, one of the first things was removal of the blue European Union flag from the backdrop of her news conferences, leaving only the red and white Polish flag. Moreover, burning of EU flags has become more common at demonstrations in Poland and anti-EU sentiments are stoked by memories of historic foreign intervention by its neighbors.


Now, the mandate proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel for EU members, including Poland, to accept Muslim migrants has galvanized support for Szydlo’s Law and Justice Party’s pledge to defy the quotas.

Friendly and grateful refugees


George Byczynski, head of the British Poles Initiative, a Polish civic group in London said, "At the beginning, there were a lot of voices in Poland in favor of taking refugees from the Middle East”.  But the threat of financial penalties for not doing so changed those attitudes and Poles
suddenly started feeling this is again an authoritarian approach in detrimental to national sovereignty and self determination.

Andriy Korniychuk, an analyst at the Institute of Public Affairs, a research organization in Warsaw, says anti-migrant sentiments helped bring Szydlo to power, and he says the anti-EU wave is showing no signs of slowing.

The Eurosceptic movement is growing according to recent polls, but has not yet reached the level the Brexit campaign has in Britain. The arguments in Poland to leave the EU are more symbolic in regard to the protection of sovereignty than anything else. Pragmatic Poles know Poland is a poster child of European integration due to its being the largest beneficiary of EU aid. The economic benefits may be the main reason the movement has not led to any concrete, significant action for a Polish exit.

But, another variable is at play. The EU has been extremely critical of changes made by the PiS government affecting state run media and the Constitutional Court. The EU made an  unprecedented warning on June 2 to the country’s right-wing government to respect the rule of law, or face punitive measures. The EU  formally warned Poland that it should find a solution to roll back Warsaw’s overhaul of the top Polish court, which critics say endangers its independence. Brussels’ warning is part of a drawn-out procedure which could eventually see Warsaw have its voting rights suspended in the European Council of Ministers, the EU’s most important decision-making body.


Sanctions imposed against Poland could have a pronounced affect that would accelerate Poles to consider getting out from under the thumb of Brussels as it did Moscow 27 years earlier. However, this time there is the cost of ending billions in financial aid.

Hell’s Angels meet in Poland

Many international organizations hold confabs around the world. For instance during the second week in July NATO will hold its 2016 summit at the National Stadium in Warszawa where heads of state and military personnel will gather.

Another group drawing its members from around the world are also meeting in Poland - this weekend.

Hell's Angels meet in Poland July 2016

Poland’s deputy police chief, Inspector Andrzej Szymczyk, reported that thousands of police officers have been assigned to keep tabs on a incredibly large number of Hell's Angels expected to flock to Rynia, Poland [near Warszawa] for an annual international meeting.

Polish authorities have warned they will closely monitor the situation amid fears of a surge of crime and violence during the Hell’s Angels World Run.

The Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club is considered an organized crime syndicate by the American Department of Justice.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pole-arization


Political strife and social polarization is running rampant here, there and everywhere.

As political discourse in America becomes intolerable,  so is the situation in Poland especially following PiS (Law & Justice Party) candidates winning the first clear majority (meaning they have enough seats in parliament - not needing to form a coalition) in the Sejm since the fall of communism along with winning the presidential office.

Most citizens in the north and west of Poland are liberal progressives who are organizing large protest demonstrations against a duly elected government installed under constitutional law.  Most of the citizens in the east and south favor a more traditional conservatism.


Progressive indoctrinated pseudo intellectual protestors
(Government controlled media is not "Free Media") 
The Media Problem

In Poland there still is state run media with a significant reach unlike PBS in America that garners only a small fraction of audience. Both TVP in Poland and PBS in America over time have developed biases toward the left side of the social-political spectrum. In the political scheme of things it is customary for the ruling Party to make adjustments in the management of state owned media by installing new managers aligned in political philosophy. That is probably the strongest argument against any involvement or ownership by government in any media.

Now, that PiS has replaced the heads of state operated media with like-minded individuals as is customary after winning elections, millions of Poles across the country have their panties in a bunch. If the media were strictly in the hands of private owners as it should be in a free, open, capitalistic, free-market society there would be no coercion from elected officials to set an agenda in the editorial content provided by such outlets because they would not exist, thus be under control by politicos.

I'm not saying state ownership of several very powerful media outlets is as damaging to Poland and its citizens as Librium-veto turned out to be in the late 18th century causing the 123 years of partitions. But, I am saying it is pretty damn stupid. You can't be for democracy if you don't fully embrace the free marketplace of ideas, and that means a free marketplace without having a ruling political either left, center or right Party injecting their partisan message into the stream of news, information and editorial thought.

The sign held by the lady above actually should read "Private Ownership of Media = Free People". If these protestors really believed in democracy - the first thing they would do is insure that government had no involvement in the distribution of news, information or propaganda like the communists did for more than 4 decades. 

While they cry democracy is being stamped out - The laws Poland has structured and accepted in forming their Republic have not been violated by PiS at least in the control of state run media.  No law was broken by changing top management at state run media. If the opposite was the case, I'd suggest they get off the streets and into the courtroom to sue for justice.





The Constitutional Court Problem

Now, this problem is truly a sticky wicket.

Today's Polish Constitution (Not the celebrated 3 Maja)


The constitutional crisis was triggered after PiS annulled five appointments to the country’s powerful constitutional tribunal of 15 judges made by parliament led by the previous government controlled by the Civic Platform (PO) Party and coalition partners. While I agree that something is rotten in Denmark regarding the situation, little is heard about the fact that two of the appointments were probably illegal.


The five new judges were barred from taking their posts because President Andrzej Duda also PiS did not accept their oaths of office. Widespread criticism was quick to come from the opposition and legal establishment, who accused the PiS lead government of violating judicial independence.

The constitutional court's critics, however, see the panel as a highly politicized body that struck down  previous Law and Justice-led government’s legislative program when they last held power 8 years ago. They placed the blame for the crisis squarely on the outgoing government, led by PO which, they argued, tried to appoint five judges illegally just before the October parliamentary election to pack the tribunal with opponents of Law and Justice.

Then the tribunal itself ruled the appointment of the two judges replacing those whose terms of office expired in December was unconstitutional, but the other three were appointed legally.

Andrzej Rzepliński
PiS took the position that the tribunal did not have the right to make judgments about the constitutionality of parliamentary appointments and President Duda swore in five judges nominated by the new parliament instead. Tribunal president Andrzej Rzepliński responded by declaring that the five would not participate in its work, although he subsequently allowed two of them to assume their duties.

PiS tried to break this impasse in December.  Parliament amended the constitutional tribunal law to increase the number of judges required to make rulings in the most important cases from nine to thirteen; thereby hoping to oblige Chief Justice Rzepliński to accept the five judges appointed by the new Sejm.

The so-called "repair law" increased the threshold for tribunal rulings to a two-thirds majority, making the votes of these new appointees more significant, and stipulated that cases would be considered in the order they were received rather than at the tribunal’s discretion. The new law would take effect immediately which, the government hoped, would prevent the tribunal from declaring it unconstitutional.

Opponents of PiS strongly voiced these changes would paralyze the constitutional court  making it close to impossible to challenge the PiS initiated legislation. Besides the court crisis  over the tribunal’s membership and competencies, opponents piled on with additional complaints – notably new laws which they claim politicize the civil service and public broadcasting, the expansion of state surveillance, and bringing the public prosecutor’s office back under the control of the justice ministry. The broad base of accusations amounts to an indictment stating PiS is undermining the fundamentals of Polish democracy and the rule of law. As a consequence, thousands of Poles participated in demonstrations organized by the Committee for the Defense of Democracy (KOD), a new anti-government civic movement.
 
KOD demonstrators








Poland has come under strong international criticism over changes to the Constitutional Tribunal and management changes at public broadcasting networks. Critics say both moves undermine the tenets of Western democracy.

If Poland fails to reverse these changes Brussels could move towards the maximum sanction of stripping Warsaw of its voting rights in the European Council, but this is seen as unlikely.

Some EU countries, already annoyed with Poland over its refusal to show greater solidarity in tackling Europe's migration crisis, have threatened to use a looming review of the EU's joint budget to siphon some funds away from Poland.

Others, however, say Brussels should avoid a spat with Poland at a time when the migration crisis is testing EU unity and fueling Euro-skepticism across the continent.

The Euro-skeptic government in Warsaw has so far offered few concessions to Brussels, saying it has a strong electoral mandate to carry out changes it deems necessary. It also says the top court had been too closely influenced by the former centrist, pro-EU government.



The Abortion Problem

When Civic Platform coalition was in power then PM Donald Tusk said, "doctors’ opposition to abortion does not give them the right to refuse to kill a child in the womb, even under Poland's strictest in the EU abortion rules.   ...regardless of what his conscience is telling him, [a doctor] must carry out the law".

While many Poles today are crying that PiS is infringing on democracy and citizens' rights, nobody is mentioning that the former abortion policy violated freedom of religion and conscience of doctors apposed to abortion - forcing them to be murderers.

See previous post on the subject [Click Here]







Friday, May 06, 2016

Great expectations in Poland

Men and women have been surveyed recently to ascertain whether penis size does matter and what the ideal 'length' is but the results may surprise you.

The length and shape of man's member and whether it makes sex better for a woman is an age-old question, but now a new study has found the answer. A recent worldwide survey asked both men and women what they thought the average size of a penis was and what their ideal length would be.

The results were broken down by country and then by gender. Women were also asked how important size was to them.


Poland on top

The study, which was conducted by Dr. Ed, surveyed 1,148 men and 973 women. Everyone who completed the questionnaire was asked to answer questions about sexual health, what they believed to be the average penis size and what they thought was the ideal length.

The UK had much lower expectations compared to other countries around the world. Of the 2,121 respondents Britons were at the bottom of both graphs as they believed the average length of a member to be 4.88 inches, while their ideal length was 5.5 inches.

The people of Poland on the other hand topped the chart as they had the highest expectation for both average and ideal size, answering 6.1 inches and 6.8 inches respectively.

The results of both genders varied quite significantly, with women believing both average and ideal size to be smaller than men.

Gender made a difference to the results of both average size and ideal length, as women expected less for both sections. On average, women thought the average penis length was 5.4 inches, with their ideal size measuring 6.2 inches. But for men, the average size penis was believed to be 5.5 inches and the ideal length came to 6.5 inches.


“When considering notions of an ideal length, it becomes clear that expectations don’t always match up with reality,” the report concluded.

BTW, Poles have the most frequent sex. As reported earlier.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Poland protecting its interests

Prime Minister Beata Szydło visiting in the U.S. this past week at Doylestown, Pennsylvania (known as the American Częstochowa) in the US told about 2,000 members of the Polish diaspora that :  the only reason behind a recent wave of criticism against her ruling Party is that Poland is 'finally beginning to protect its interests.'

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło

The comments from the PM who belongs to the Euro-skeptic PiS Party come ten days after the European Parliament passed a resolution warning that the rule of law, democracy and human rights were endangered in Poland.

The main reason for the trip to the US was to sign the Paris Climate Change Agreement on Friday in New York. In her comments Szydło said her cabinet would continue to protect national interests with determination, stressing that “the Polish nation and state have the right to be treated in the same way as other nations and to put forward their own conditions on a par with others”.

She also spoke about her government’s commitment to foster closer bonds with Polish communities abroad and about her cabinet’s efforts to support Polish families.

The prime minister was given an enthusiastic welcome, with chants of Beata” and ”Polonia kocha polski rząd” (the Polish diaspora loves the Polish government) and bidding farewell with the traditional Polish song ”Sto lat” (May she live 100 years).


The Main Church in Doylestown was dedicated on 16 October 1966 as a votive offering for the millennium of Christianity in Poland, with US President Lyndon Johnson among those attending the ceremony. In 1984 the sanctuary was visited by President Ronald Reagan. Archbishop Karol Wojtyła, future Pope John Paul II, visited the place in 1969 and 1976.

On Saturday Prime Minster Beata Szydło also placed flowers at the Katyń Memorial in Jersey City which is dedicated to Polish officers killed by Stalin’s NKVD police at Katyń Forest in 1940. It is a bronze statue of a Polish soldier, impaled in the back by a Soviet bayoneted rifle.
 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Check the circumcision

When someone sees a man wearing a beard and payots (those curly sideburns) they immediately assume him to be an Orthodox Jew. And, when he leads prayers in Hebrew, people assume he is a Rabbi.

Jacek Niszczota, Fake Rabbi

Jacek Niszczota who for years served as a community rabbi in the Polish town of Poznań was in fact a Polish Catholic and previously  a cook from Ciechanow, a town in north-central Poland.

The impostor presented himself to the community as Yaakav Ben Nistell from Haifa, Israel. His deceit was exposed recently when people in his hometown saw him on television taking part in ecumenical observances with Catholic and Muslim religious leaders. They then informed local journalists about the hoax. But, now he has disappeared into thin air.

The ‘rabbi’ had conducted Jewish related activities for youth in the local community for several years, and took part in ecumenical prayer services with Polish bishops. He also allegedly carried out interfaith meetings with priests and imams.


The Poznań community has posted a warning on its website saying Niszczota "deceived not only the community members but also other people with whom he co-operated on behalf of the Poznan Jewish Community."

As a volunteer, Niszczota who learned Hebrew and Jewish prayers by listening to Israeli radio, was not obliged to prove his identity, and his activities raised no suspicion.

He won the trust of the Jewish community with the good things he was doing: he baked challahs (bread) for Israel Independence Day ceremonies, he helped with maintenance of Jewish cemeteries and he had the right cultural knowledge. He also led prayers and gave lectures on Jewish tradition, that were all correct, and did not protest when people from outside the community occasionally addressed him "rabbi.


Poland's Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich said he met the man a few times and always found him to be "very sweet and smiley."

While it's not good that Niszczota misrepresented himself, the incident is indicative of a growing interest in Poland and in its once-large Jewish community, which was nearly destroyed by Nazi Germany in the Holocaust during WWII.

Who 30 years ago in Poland would have pretended to be a rabbi, to say nothing of 70 years ago?

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Friday, April 22, 2016

No other place better for Jews in EU


Matthew Tymand posted on Breitbart-London : Despite the Western narrative that suggests Polish anti-Semitism is rampant, Poland is one of the best – if not the best – nations in Europe in which to be Jewish today. This is also true for Tartar Muslims as can be seen in this previous post

For hundreds of years while Jews were placed in ghettos or expelled from places like Spain, Italy and other European countries, they found refuge in a pluralistic and welcoming Poland.

Nazi atrocities  killed both 3 million Jews and 3 million Catholic Poles during their brutal occupation of Poland. Many Catholic Poles were executed for harboring and hiding Jews during World War II. Gentiles who hid or saved Jews during World War II from Nazi genocide are recognized by Israel’s Yad Vashem institute as “Righteous Among the Nations”.  More than 6,600 Poles have been honored with the title - outnumbering any other nationality.  See this post on the topic



The author goes on to say: "When looking at contemporary Europe – as now currently dominated by the European Union (EU) leviathan – the most obvious point of distinction as to why being Jewish in Poland is a delight versus say, in France or in Belgium, is that Poland is filled with Poles who have successfully co-existed with Jews for centuries in a commonwealth of openness. This is as opposed to most other EU nations, especially from Germany westward, that have welcomed into their borders a culturally suicidal mass migration of Muslims from third world, theocratic states whose foundational tenet is anti-Semitism....  in a nation of 40 million it is intellectually dishonest and mathematically fraudulent to suggest the numbers prove that systemic and institutionalised anti-Semitism was a policy of Poles; the suggestion that anti-Semitism was always the rule and never the exception is usually being made by those looking to further a political agenda."

Read the entire article: 

Poland Is Now One Of The Best Nations In Which To Be Jewish

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

The night they drove ol' Dixie down

The post-bellum lyrics from the Joan Baez song from the 1960s. Now, it is popular to remove all symbols of the Confederacy from every corner of America.

In Poland, the government plans to demolish about 500 Soviet monuments throughout the country. This is really pissing off the Russians.

Lukasz Kaminsky of the the Institute of National Remembrance - whose institute is responsible for investigating crimes against the Polish nation - said that plans for the demolition of the monuments, would be sent to local authorities in the coming weeks.



 
 
Poland tearing down, removing, demolishing, destroying Russian war monuments on Polish soil. Liberals and progressives have a problem with this. Not so much with symbols of Dixie. The hypocrisy of this and many other stances and beliefs border on mental disease.
 
To be consistent let's destroy every vestige of Roman Imperial dominance including the word Roman from the Holy ____ Catholic Church.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Thou Shall Not Kill (Abort)


Some people see Abortion as a reactive birth control method for folks who can't keep their hormones in control. 

Gun killings can't hold a candle to abortion procedures


The very conservative PiS Party elected last year has induced thousands to protest all over Poland protesting against a call for a complete ban on abortion.  Besides the government  the Church supports the measure as well. There have been reports of people walking out during Mass.

A number of groups have spoken out against a total ban. They cite a fragile compromise on abortion that was reached in Poland 16 years ago. Poland's current abortion laws are among the most stringent in Europe. Even birth control pills were smuggled into the country.

Rafał Grupiński, of the opposition Civic Platform (PO) party, said: "We will defend the compromise that was made in the nineties. Launching another civil war is absurd, even more so because the tide could turn the other way in a couple of years. I am really surprised that the episcopate wants to destroy the fragile balance.”

While PiS, holding a majority in parliament, Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin said that “each MP will vote as their conscience dictates.”

The Polish Episcopate has argued that there cannot be a compromise. Bishops cited the sixth of the Ten Commandments, which states: 'Thou shalt not kill.'

With the birth rate in Poland in serious decline and one of the lowest in the EU perhaps outlawing abortion will reverse the trend and halt the economic and social decay that comes with a dwindling population. 

 PiS in addition is set to give government money to couples for each individual child more than one as a way to induce population growth.



 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Homeward Bound

The deputy Polish prime minister says he would like to see Poles in the UK go back to Poland.

Speaking to BBC Newsnight, Mateusz Morawiecki said it would be "a great day for Poland" if all those living abroad came home.


See story from BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35837447

Not quite older than dirt

In the north of Poland pyramids an incredible 600 years older than those in Egypt have been uncovered. Archaeologists believe they may have been built circa 3000 BC (about the same time as Stonehenge in England). This discover strengthens the case of ancient sites in Europe.

Numbers on scan show pyramid sites


Experts say 7 were found near the village of Słonowice using laser technology. They are several meters in height and made using huge stone blocks. Used as funeral chambers for elders of the Funnel Beaker Culture community, the inner chambers were constructed using wooden logs instead of stones and were hidden under earth in a forested area.

Like the pyramids in Egypt, the structures are heavily influenced by astronomy and are placed along the east-west line, with the entrance to the tomb’s chamber always on the east side.

There may be as much as a dozen more in Dolic and in the Skronie forest near Kołobrzeg.

It is time to challenge what we think we know about ancient history. Mankind's development may be cyclical rather than linear. Perhaps global catastrophes wiped out the progress our ancient ancestors achieved. 
 
And, speaking of pyramids... more from Poland...
 
Polish pyramid cakes not quite so old
Like snowflakes - no two alike







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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Jews need to get a clue


Gentiles who hid or saved Jews during World War II from Nazi genocide are recognized by Israel’s Yad Vashem institute as “Righteous Among the Nations”.  More than 6,600 Poles have been honored with the title - outnumbering any other nationality.

Now, a museum honoring Poles who saved Jews during the Holocaust is about to open in the southeastern village of Markowa, where Nazis killed a family of Poles for harboring Jews.
 

Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma

“A photo covered in drops of the victims’ blood is one of the most moving items that we have at the museum,” its director Mateusz Szpytma told reporters.

On March 24, 1944, the Nazis killed Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma and their six children — aged one to eight - as well as the family of eight Jews that they had harbored for more than a year in Markowa.

The history of the family has become a symbol of the “many heroes who, without weapons, stood up to the Nazi regime,” said Dariusz Stola, director of the Warsaw-based Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

The Ulmas posthumously received the “Righteous Among the Nations” honor.

The idea for the museum was born as a counterweight to revelations made by US historian Jan Gross in 2000. In his book “Neighbors” he revealed that in 1941 several hundred Jews were massacred by their Polish neighbors in the town of Jedwabne.

“We know full well that during the war, people had all sorts of attitudes towards Jews,” said Szpytma, adding that the museum provides that historical context.


Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Not every home in Poland

Zofia Rydet: how one female photographer produced an invaluable record of communist Poland. Her mission was to capture every household. With over 30,000 photos, her recently digitized archive offers a unique reportage of rural life amid modernization, and a portrait of Poland towards the end of communism. She was a Polish photographer, best known for her project "Sociological Record", which aimed to document every household in Poland, but hardly scratched the surface.



 Full story here



My Body - No Choice

LifeNews.com reports that hundreds of pro-abortion advocates marched down the streets of Warsaw to demand that the pro-life country legalize abortions and pay for them, as well.

A potential baby killer?


Radio Poland reports the pro-abortion group organized its demonstration as a counter protest to a pro-life march. The theme of the pro-abortion march was “Abortion in Defense of Life” – a theme that pro-lifers called out as contradictory, according to the report.

Unlike most of Europe, Poland protects unborn babies from abortion in most cases. The country allows abortion in cases of rape or incest, incurable defects or danger to the woman’s life. According to The Daily Mail, pro-abortion protesters said they were concerned that the conservative Law and Justice political party, which currently is in control of the Polish legislature, could toughen these abortion laws.

During the rally, pro-abortion advocates held signs that read “We demand legal, free abortion, free creches and kindergartens.” Reports showed two women dressed as pregnant nuns to mock the Catholic Church’s pro-life position, holding a sign that read, “Our priest ordered us to give birth.”


 If a woman has complete choice of what to do with her body, why do we still prosecute them for putting heron, cocaine or other illicit drugs into it? 

Where have all the milk bars gone?

According to the Telegraph, more than 350 of the 500 milk bars across the country had closed by 2011. Now, Poland’s newly elected Law and Justice Party leveled another challenge for proprietors of the bars, slashing their public funding by 25%.

Typical Milk bar

For those of you who might not have the slightest clue what a milk bar is:  bar mleczny or “milk bar,” is a dying breed of state-subsidized cafeterias, which in the communist era were plentiful across Poland. The name milk bar comes from the inexpensive dairy-based meals that were served in lieu of meat during times of rationing. Milk bars first appeared in the late nineteenth century and and then became emblematic of Poland's communist past.

For incredibility low prices, they offer quick, stick-to-your-rib staples like soups,  stews, and cabbage and root vegetable salads. But these relics of a socialist economic landscape are now in danger of extinction in a more prosperous free market economy where disposable income is spent at trendier eateries. McDonald's or KFC for instance.

Since Poland boasts the most robust economy of the former Soviet Bloc and was the sole EU member state to see economic growth in the heat of the financial crisis in 2009, an onslaught of new, independently owned restaurants and international fast food joints has tilted the scales for restaurants that don't rely on state subsidies offering inexpensive food to wide audiences.

The Ministry of Finance asserts that demand for the bars has not been high enough that cuts in subsidies should not cause alarm. Many Poles take the dramatic reduction as evidence that the milk bar is an endangered species. For patrons of the cafeterias and those who grew up eating there, the end of the milk bars would mean not only the loss of a treasured piece of Polish culture, but also of one of the few places pensioners, university students, and other low-income individuals can still turn for a hot meal.

Milk bars are probably the most egalitarian places in Poland. There is a shared love of pierogi and kotlet schwabowy -Poland's version of Wiener Schnitzel - that brings Poles together from all walks of life. You'll find corporate big-wigs who have a lot of money next to the guy who is homeless, or really, really poor elderly people.

A few protesters and activists are trying to preserve the remaining milk bars. Because everyone has to eat, they are one of the most inclusive places you can imagine. For me, I can appreciate them in a museum way. And, as such Bernie Sanders' supporters should make it a point to visit one. If the Vermont socialist is elected president, soup kitchens will become the new norm in America. I'm just sayin'.



Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Without war



"Nations are not ruined by one act of violence, but gradually and in an almost imperceptible manner by the depreciation of their circulating currency, through excessive quantity."  - Nicolaus Copernicus 1525

"Or, they are overrun by refugees of a different culture." -  Deniusz

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A killer tale

Just when you think horror movies have run out of new twists, we get a killer mermaid movie made in Poland exhibited at Sundance Film Festival. Unlike the famous mermaid of Warsawa - a pair of siren sisters who can ditch their tail get hired to sing at a nightclub and also eat people. Like the Rocky Horror Picture Show, it's a musical with some really great music.

The Lure - A killer tale

Emily Yoshida of The Verge said: it's the first feature from Polish director Agnieszka Smoczyńska, and the fact that it exists at all is inspiring — the fact that it's gorgeous, rendered in lurid neon and dingy Miami Vice pastels, makes it go down even easier.


Wałęsa: a colluder?

Leader of Solidarność
Lech Wałęsa Poland's former Solidarity union leader and first president of the Third Republic will publicly defend himself against allegations that he was in league with the Soviet era communist police.

Marcin Weglinski, a spokesman for the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) , said the debate which was requested by Wałęsa himself will be held on March 16 in Gdańsk. 

At the request of Wałęsa, the institute invited the Nobel Peace laureate's main critics: historians Slawomir Cenckiewicz and Piotr Gontarczyk, as well as far-right filmmaker Grzegorz Braun, who has sought out former Polish secret police (SB) agents. 

Weglinski said the invitees have yet to confirm their participation. 

The IPN, which is in charge of investigating Nazi and communist-era crimes, has also previously accused Wałęsa of SB involvement.

Wałęsa told the institute that he has been steadily smeared in the media for his alleged collaboration with the secret police and wants to clear his name.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Polski Apres-ski

What could be more fun than a corn maze?

Consider getting lost in the cold, with walls of ice so high that you can’t see above them.

 
Amazing Apres-ski


Poles are loving this maze carved out of snow and living their dreams of swanning round an igloo palace (or getting stuck in an industrial freezer). It opened recently in the mountain resort of Zakopane, and offers something a little different to the usual apres-ski (French - referring to any form of entertainment, nightlife or social events that occur specifically at ski resorts).

For something serious: https://polishpoliticsblog.wordpress.com/

Monday, December 14, 2015

Don't text and bike


Bicyclist in Poland broadsides a high-speed train.







Visit Poland - everybody else is

Polish Tourist Organization (POT) statistics show more than 220 million tourists have visited Poland over the past 15 years, with tourism representing over 5% of GDP.




Poland is the 18th most popular tourist destination in the world and the numbers keep increasing as shown by a 4% year over year rise.

The country mostly attracts nationals of neighboring countries, such as Germany, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Slovakia and Belarus. Tourists travelling from further afield are very often from Great Britain and the Netherlands.

Next year, the south-western city of Wrocław may expect a substantial boost in tourism with the launch of the European Capital of Culture (ECC) 2016.

Poland to become EU Transportation Hub

With the help of EU funding Poland is modernizing its roads, railways, airports and seaports to be a “pan-European” transportation hub.

“Poland is a gateway to Europe thanks to its strategic location and developed infrastructure,” Polish Ambassador Krzysztof Ignacy Majka said at an investment seminar titled “Poland as a Pan-European Transportation Hub” convened in Seoul last week.  He went on to say, “We offer optimal conditions for transport to all corners of Europe, being at the crossroads of the East-West corridor connecting the Baltic Sea and the North Sea and the North-South corridor linking the Baltic Sea and the Adriatic Sea.”


Express route to EU from China terminating in Łódź

Poland has focused on its intermodal transport capacities by developing logistics centers. Recently,  transcontinental rail connections from Chengdu China to Łódź and access to the deep-water container terminal at Gdansk Seaport improved. In the past an impediment to transport by rail was caused by the gauge differences in railway tracks among nations. Standardization on speed routes will overcome the impairment.

Joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank spearheaded by China will also aid in the connectivity between Europe and Asia. 

The plan also also initiates numerous projects that would enhance connections between Warsaw and main cities through roads and expressways.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Exorcise This

Today, something new in the field of exorcism was tried in Warszawa, Poland.

About 50 members of the new ruling Party PiS (Law & Justice) brought a priest to a protest against the leading Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza (meaning Electoral Gazette in English) so as to preform a exorcism on the newspaper. 

Protest / Exorcism at Newspaper Headquarters

According to AFP after marching to the publisher denouncing "lies" spewed by the Polish media concerning ultra-right wing policy and appointment changes by Jaroslaw Kaczynski's lead Party  the protesters arrived at the newspaper building with an icon of the Virgin Mary and a sign reading "Rosary crusade for the Motherland". Then the priest recited an exorcism prayer before the newspaper's headquarters.

The protesters were greeted by a flurry of leaflets, which included cartoons defending freedom of speech and a banner hung from the Gazeta Wyborcza building read "Constitution without censorship".

Most Polish media, especially the Gazeta Wyborcza led by former dissident Adam Michnik, a key symbol of free speech in Poland have been critical of  PiS.

The eurosceptic PiS party has plans to overhaul state media and at the moment has replacement of members of  the Constitutional Court in its crosshairs.

Kaczynski lashed out at the country's top court, accusing it of trying to block government policies in an escalating confrontation over which judges can serve on the bench.


Gazeta Wyborcza was first published in 1989, under the rhyming masthead motto, "Nie ma wolności bez Solidarności" ("There's no freedom without Solidarity). Its founding was an outcome of thePolish Round Table Agreement. between the communist government and the Solidarity movement. It was initially owned by Agora SA then American based Cox Communications partially bought the daily. The paper served as the voice of Solidarity during the run-up to free elections held on in June 1989 (hence its title). It was the first legal newspaper published outside the government's control during the communist era. 

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Polish Muslims denounce terror



Muslim Tartars have lived in Poland for more than 400 years and for the most part have not been bothered by prejudicial behavior against them. A small number of other Muslims have established themselves in Poland over the past 60 years. It is estimated about 40,000 live in Poland mostly in the north-east. 
They unlike the Muslim emigrants pouring into Europe the past few years have assimilated into the Polish social structure. Apart from religious freedom, the Tartars were allowed to marry Polish and Ruthenian women of Catholic or Orthodox faith, which is extremely unique. Tartars were also granted representation in Parliament and when entering the military service took their oath from Imams.

Recently a large number of Muslims in Poznań came together to hold a protest march held under the slogan “Muslims against Terrorism and Racism”.
Poles and Tartars together protest terror Photo: PAP
  
“We condemn all forms of terrorism and stand in solidarity with the French nation and all those who fell victim to terrorist attacks around the world,” local imam Youssef Chadid told the peace protesters. Perhaps one day we will see the same in America.

The movement was organized to quell fears of Islamic extremism and violence against the indigenous population.  There had been a rise in racially-motivated crimes in Poznań with  a Syrian national hospitalized after he was beaten in the city center.



 

Shields Up

Anti-ballistic SM-3 missiles that will make up the NATO missile-shield in Poland and the entire Central European region have gone through final testing in Hawaii, It is expected the system will become fully operational by 2018 and based near Redzikowo in the north of Poland.

 
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

 
In September, the Sejm authorized the President to ratify the technical agreement regarding the Redzikowo base with the United States.

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