Behind the Curtain

Witness as history repeats itself. This is exactly what happened in Poland in 1990. As Parliament holds emotional debates whether or not to keep a crucifix in the Chambers, there was a fire sale going on outside. The cross won after a prolonged fight, (YAY! God has finally won over the godless Commies!) and duly covered by the media. But as the people emerged victorious from the battle, they found the places they had worked in were sold and gone, jobs gone, food prices had risen 100% and their money was worthless. And watched in horror and shock as the streets filled with fancy cars, mansions, homeless people and garbage….

Somebody must have got double cause I ain’t got none…….








Elvis Spotted in Warsaw

So I’m at the demonstration to save Białowieża forest, the last remaining virgin forest in Europe. 19260638_10211478344185976_3845369768027424829_nThe current government is busy cutting it down because it can. My dog runs over to this dog Elvis. Elvis has a Mohawk haircut – a strip of hair running down his back with the sides shaved. The owner says he’s cooler this way – meaning both temperature and attitude. He looks like a famous singer or may actually be that guy. I’m not good at this so don’t ask because I don’t want to look stupid. Famous people walk the streets of Warsaw regularly. Those with talent, that is. Celebrities travel in entourages and limos. So we walk to the demo and continue talking about Elvis, both the dog and the person, which leads to politics and then to music because he is able to identify the obscure song from the 60s that they are playing over the loudspeakers, Wipeout by the Ventures.

By this time, people are walking over to him and shaking his hand and mine (!).   Limelight effect.


I decide he must be this guy so ask and of course he says yes. I tell him I’ve forgotten his name (I’m allowed because he knows I’m American) and he tells me, not offended by my lack of hipness. I ask him how is life in the fast lane and he says not always pleasant.


Finally TV finds him and begins an interview. 19399541_10211478276784291_3931805554346488732_nI take my leave at this point because they are going to march 7 kilometers to the Ministry of the Environment. If it were 1968, I would do it but….. Before I go, I hand him my card because he took a pic of my dog and he says he’ll send it to me.



All because of Elvis…….19420777_10211478344225977_9023193038175341968_n

Back in the USSR

After experiencing living under Communism, it was easy to see the similarities in the US long ago.

“….more than a generation after defeating the Soviet Union in the Cold War, the United States of 2017 seems to be doing its level best to emulate some of the worst aspects of its former foe and once rival superpower.”

Pop quiz. Which country is this?
……deeply authoritarian, a grim surveillance state with an economy dependent on global weapons sales; that it was intent on nuclear domination; that it was imperialist and expansionist; that it persecuted its critics and dissidents; and that it had serious internal problems carefully suppressed in the cause of world mastery, including rampant alcohol and drug abuse, bad health care and declining longevity (notably for men), a poisoned environment, and an extensive prison system featuring gulags. All of this was exacerbated by festering sores overseas, especially a costly and stalemated war in Afghanistan and client-states that absorbed its resources (think: Cuba) while offering little in return.



Say You Want a Revolution?

Lech Wałęsa came to our school and there is no room in the auditorium so it will be live streamed. I think places in the auditorium should be reserved for people who actually know who he is, about 10 of us. Don’t believe me? You’ll be with the majority who are in denial about how few have ever heard of him. Go on, take an informal survey among people younger than 40 and not Polish. Maybe even Polish….18740491_10211193176536963_8103990531944842902_n

Luckily I got a seat and so did not have to stand. I’ve seen him lots of time over the years especially when he was running for President. I like to keep tabs on him. I’m so glad he got all dressed up but then I thought, “Why not? He’s 75.” He and me both like to be comfortable. It started off with our self important director mispronouncing his name. Over and over at least 15 times. One would think on an occasion like this, he would practice or at least put it into his speech phonetically – Va-wen-sa. It’s not even hard as Polish names go. As Wałęsa spoke (sitting down- he’s 75) I realized that I had been taken. By the Polish MSM. I scream about the American MSM but didn’t realize the Polish media was playing me. They hate him, say his time has passed and he has nothing to offer the new Poland. This is some of what he said. “What kind of Poland do we want? Certainly not Communism. But do we want this kind of capitalism? Do we want this kind of democracy?”

“Corporations should own 50% of the company and workers the other 50%. That way they won’t strike needlessly and will feel vested in their jobs and future.”


When asked if he regretted his role he answered very poignantly, “When I left, there was a house full of children. When I came back, there was an elderly woman sitting all alone in an empty house. I missed the most important time of my family’s life.”



He spoke without notes, was extremely charismatic, humble, funny and had lots of stories to tell. I would love to spend an evening with him. He would be a lot of fun.




To match feature Poland-Walesa