Ain’t Gonna Work Here No More

Today is my last day at work. 31 years.
40 years later, this slogan is true again:

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

 

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The first and only time I wore my ID.

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The last book I borrowed from the library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My last reading group

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My last look at my office

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Parties and Memories

Farewell Assembly

My standing ovation and the final bow. I can see why acclamation goes to people’s heads..

 

farewell

assembly bow

Retirement school party.

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THE Team..

PRESENTS!!!!

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BEST GIFT. EVER. A year’s pass to the movies!

And……

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$70 for popcorn

AND…

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Best wishes and congratulations from around the world.

AND…..

31 YEARS OF MEMORIES

Wish you all were here…..

 

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FROM THE YEARBOOK, 1988

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OUT IN THE COUNTRY, 1990

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ME AND PAM, 90s

 

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FLOATING DOWN THE WISŁA WITH FLORA, JOYCE, NANCY, KRISTIE AND KAJTEK, 2000s

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COFFEE IN ZAGREB WITH TANJA, 2000s

Triple Dylans

The original, 1967

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At the Revolution exhibit, Victoria and Albert Museum, 2017

dylan v&A

My flat, 1969

dylan fridge

I wish I still had it as it’s worth money! I got it from his album, Greatest Hits.

“Montreal-based art director Martin Dupuis has a compulsive habit of hunting through record shops for 1967 editions of Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits in hopes of finding the graphic design equivalent of a golden ticket–a Milton Glaser-designed first edition poster, copies of which were included in slipcovers when the album was released.”

 

https://www.fastcodesign.com/…/milton-glaser-reveals-how-he…

 

A Campaign of Their Own

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Warsaw is having its annual documentary film festival this week and I went to see a movie about Bernie Sanders’s campaign since I missed it in the first person. Interesting choice as I’m pretty sure most Poles have never heard of him. This is somewhat surprising because Poland never misses a chance to glorify important people with Polish roots. Just goes to show that our “independent” media gets its information from American mainstream media. Certainly, the young ticket taker I talked to didn’t know who he was. But she was around 18 and Polish education “reform” has taken its cues from American education “reform” and getting the same results. As I tried to explain to her, I watched her eyes glaze over and reach for her phone. I know when the conversation is over so I shut up and entered the empty cinema 5 minutes before the start. I was certain I’d have the place to myself and get an exclusive showing. But then people started showing up and there were about 20 of us when the film started. For me, it was an intimate movie, portraying one of the most significant political events in recent memory. This is what democracy looks like. All I had done was read and watch from here and hear reports from my friends especially Jo Heck who saw his campaign close up. While I watched, I experienced the passion, energy, solidarity, enthusiasm, and excitement of people who really wanted a change from business as usual and truly believed in their candidate. When was the last time that happened? RFK? It was easy to imagine myself there.

As for the Poles, it was good for them to see how democracy and elections work in a country they have admired for generations. It was always held up as a model of democracy and something to strive for. I hope they saw this election was no different from the one that put the right wing into power in Poland. That the issues facing the US were the same the Poles faced under Communism and 30 years after capitalism. That people simply have had enough. That choosing candidates to run was no different than what happened under Communism. Most people don’t know but they did hold elections. They were all chosen by the Party and presented to the public as “your candidates”. Look, you have a choice. Just like in the West.

I highly recommend this film.

The film allows for a reevaluation of the United State’s democratic system as well as the failure of the European left to implement its agenda. The U.S. Democratic Party is similar in many ways to the centrist left parties in Europe who are incapable of reform from within, do not have a substantial platform, and systematically lose terrain in every election.

The film also approaches the much larger question of the role of citizens in modern democracy. Is the way in which the U.S. Democratic primaries played out symptomatic of the aging of Europe’s leftist parties? Can a political movement survive the loss of its leader? Are elections an opportunity for veritable democratic participation or blind adherence to a system that gives the illusion of choice?

http://acampaignoftheirown.com/about-2/

Happy Birthday, Karl! Sto Lat!

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On May 5, 1818, in the southern German town of Trier, in the picturesque wine-growing region of the Moselle Valley, Karl Marx was born.

Polish TV had a piece on the news on Marx. It blamed all the ills of the world on him especially Poland because nobody has suffered as much as the Poles, maybe if we buy another $4 billion worth of weapons, we’ll finally get the respect we deserve, that bastard, why does everybody hate us?

 

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Highgate Cemetary, London

 

 

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Moscow. Proletariats of the World, Unite!

 

This is a worthy enterprise, to distinguish Marx himself from the actions of the so-called Marxists (who led an exasperated Marx at one time to say: “I am not a Marxist.”), as well as to keep alive his still-accurate critique of capitalism.

 

http://inthesetimes.com/article/21125/karl_marx_howard_zinn_birthday_capitalism_200?link_id=4&can_id=8051b7bfacb5f2bba219b63c2d8e3248&source=email-the-visa-loophole-that-big-ag-construction-firms-love-to-exploit-how-social-movements-made-the-historic-korean-peace-declaration-possible&email_referrer=email_348431&email_subject=the-visa-loophole-that-big-ag-construction-firms-love-to-exploit-how-social-movements-made-the-historic-korean-peace-declaration-possible

Are You Covered?

They say it cost $8,900 for the royal birth in a fancy, private wing in a private hospital in London. It costs $10,808 for a regular American birth. Here in Poland, we also have private care in addition to free government health care. In fact, we have at least 3 levels of private medical care. A basic level for  lower level employees where you make an appointment and still have to wait in long lines but not years.  A mid range where the line is shorter (usually for management) and one for those who have American insurance where there is a special section with no lines. In fact, there are hardly any people so you are seen immediately. Luckily I have Cigna and am in that top tier although I have never been in this section. I try to stay away from doctors and the few I do see are always in the regular part.

Anyway, I have an ear infection and as usual I find myself in the regular section and there is no one waiting but the doctor comes out and says she is running a bit late. I pick up a pamphlet about giving birth in this hospital. For $2,000 you can buy birth insurance that will cover everything you need, including a private room and post natal care and consultations. If that is not enough for you, you can buy additional services. For $1000 more, you have have an dedicated team of doctors and nurses who will be with you the entire time from labor to birth. After you give birth, for $200 more you can have a personal nurse for 12 hours. For $120, you can have her come to your house. And if you are just too tired to go home yet, unlike Kate, you can stay at the hospital for an extra $300 a day.

As you can see, in Poland you can have Kate’s level of service for under $4,000. Of course, hairstylist and makeup artist are not included, but that can be arranged as well. And this is Poland. In other, poorer E. European countries, private care is modern, excellent and even cheaper.

Which has led Cigna to write this letter:

It has come to our attention that the close proximity to certain sanctioned countries and the low cost of medical treatment in these countries has made this potentially attractive to individuals who are on assignment in certain regions……We will need to determine the length of the trip and whether the care is elective medical treatment. Claims for elective medical treatment must – unfortunately – be denied. It’s important to remember that if emergency or urgent care is needed during a short-term personal or business visit, coverage will be provided. Treatment that is not urgent or emergent, such as preventive care, would be considered elective and is therefore not covered….Additional restrictions are imposed on US persons who travel to Cuba. Coverage will only be permitted for a US person if the travel is authorized by the US government.

So there! Who says medical care isn’t political?

As President and Chief Executive Officer at CIGNA CORP, David M. Cordani made $49 million in compensation.

http://www.courant.com/business/connecticut-insurance/hc-cigna-ceo-pay-20160321-story.html

But one wonders why they sent this letter. Wouldn’t they want to pay for medical care where they  shell out thousands of dollars instead of tens of thousands? Beta blockers, for example cost $4 here while they cost over $10 in the States. An ultra sound is $60 and it’s three times that in America.

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