WUI (Writing under the influence)
Somebody once said we are all Americans, sometimes born in the wrong places.
On a warm autumn day in 1986, while enjoying beer with my college buddies,
I decided to join my new homeland.
I've come to appreciate the ideals that helped create this great country.
Liberalism, political-correctness, multiculturalism and moral equivalence
are destroying it.
This old house
American wine better than French.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
My mother-in-law left today. She was, as always, a great help. To honor her we decided to baptize Veronika right away. Our parish was very accommodating but the baptism had to take place on a weekday because the weekends were already booked. No problem. We invited a few good friends to a dinner after the church ceremony. I had asked my mother-in-law to "show Americans how frutti di mare are cooked" and she decided to prepare la Paella. It may be a Spanish dish originally but Oregon should adopt as its own: all the ingredients can be found here and Californian rice is just right. A (close) recipe can be found here.
The good news is that like Polish bigos one can experiment. BTW, my wife cooks the best bigos but don't tell my mom.
Paella: a perfect Oregon dish. It tasted even better than it looks. There was so much of it I had it two days in a row for lunch at work.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Our daughter was born in Providence St. Vincent Medical Center
. This was the first time we chose a hospital where abortions are not provided. It's much farther from our house than the hospital
where our older daughter was born 3 years ago but longer trips were worth the cleaner conscience. Although this is hard anyway knowing that the Washington County subsidizes abortions with my taxes.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Nadzieja stands for hope
I chose my children's middle names. Karol for the first Pope, Stanislaw for one of my grandfathers, Jadwiga for a Polish queen. I chose Nadzieja after Bush's reelection because I thought there was hope for a better future. After the election of cardinal Ratzinger, there is more hope. Hope that certain values stay constant. That there is only one truth and that it will survive future generations no matter how decadent they might be. Hope that moral relativism is out and moral straightness is in.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Even Poles can be wrong
Zbigniew Brzezinski was one of the very few bright spots in Carter's pathetic administration (considering Carter's record, anybody with room-temperature IQ would have done just fine) but he has been rather annoying with his recent "analysis" of our efforts in Iraq.
Victor Davis Hanson whose tireless defense of president Bush's doctrine I greatly admire wrote this about Brzezinski in his last piece
Zbigniew Brzezinski feared that we could not do what we are in fact presently doing in Iraq: "I do not think we can stay in Iraq in the fashion were in now... If it cannot be changed drastically, it should be terminated." He added ominously that it would take 500,000 troops, $500 billion, and resumption of the military draft to achieve security in Iraq. Did he mean Iraq needed more American troops than did the defense of Europe in the Cold War?
What's worse for Brzezinski is that Hanson compares him to Albright and Scowcroft. That's got to hurt!
Speaking of Clinton. Some still think that he was not only the greatest president on the 20th century but the only one
. On the other hand, who can blame her
for forgetting (or wanting to forget) that Carter was ever a president. That makes it at least two Poles who are wrong.
Only losers like Europe
An argument can be made that the European economic system is better than the American one but only if you are a loser who can't or don't want to take care of yourself. If, on the other hand, you have a scintilla of aspiration to do slightly better than your parents, the US is the place for you.
When I left Poland I left communism. But from what I hear today from my parents I would not want to live there even today. First, communists are still in power. Second, Poland is now part of the EU (I hope not for much longer given that either France, Holland or England is about to vote 'No' on the EU constitution.)This piece
in NYT makes a couple of excellent points backed by some research that if you like being rewarded for hard work, Europe in general and the Scandinavia in particular, are not places where you want to be.
This paragraph is the most telling:
"Even as the Scandinavian establishment peddles this dubious line [that people here are incomparably affluent, with all their needs met by an efficient welfare state], it serves up a picture of the United States as a nation divided, inequitably, among robber barons and wage slaves, not to mention armies of the homeless and unemployed. It does this to keep people believing that their social welfare system, financed by lofty income taxes, provides far more in the way of economic protections and amenities than the American system. Protections, yes -but some Norwegians might question the part about amenities."
This reminds me so much of the communists propaganda we got in Poland when the stores were empty and a news man on TV told us that we just had a record year in all kinds of economic and agricultural categories. When people finally realized that something smelled bad, the same TV news man would blame the US for our problem. I remember stories about the US being even guilty of poor potato crops
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Veronika Nadzieja (Hope) was born around 11pm PDT on 4/13 at 4.2 kg and 51 cm. The bidet in the new bathroom will be ready when my wife comes from the hospital. Pictures of both to follow.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
B for the birth of my 4th one and B for the bathroom.
My wife is in the hospital with her parents. I'm at home working on the bathroom and blogging. If there is any way to connect to the Internet I may do a live blogging of the big event. Would that be the first? Maybe not but most definitely the craziest.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
I would be willing to pay more to use highways
if mass transit users paid the real cost of their fares.
that Poland is going through difficult times. The unemployment is high and corruption rampant. What she doesn't say is that communists are still in power hence the corruption. But there is hope. My father tells me that their days are numbered and they will be voted out come next election.
Socialism through health care?
One sure way to government-run health care is ruining the private one with unreasonable and unattainable regulations
. The irony is that no government-run health care will ever live up to the same regulations without ruining the economy. But maybe that's the idea.
Monday, April 04, 2005
The Pope and me
By now, everything, good and bad, has been said about the Pope. I have nothing to add except for a short personal note.
I'm here because of him. During my second year at the Technical University of Gdansk I decided to leave the country. As a college student, I needed a permission of the department dean to get my passport. I told the dean I was going to Rome to see the Pope. The trip coincided with the spring break so the dean agreed. I left on February 19, 1987 and I've been enjoying my new freedoms ever since.
When our first son was born on October 5, 1998, the Pope was visiting the East Coast. In the hospital, when filling various forms out, in the space reserved for the middle name I wrote KAROL
Needless to say, my son is very proud of his middle name.
Friday, April 01, 2005
War protesters, like most lefties, rely on misery
Only 4 days left to the silent war protest
that will take place on the campus of Pacific University here in Forest Grove. Two years after the war started, with democracy taking root everywhere in the Middle East, what are they protesting against? Two years ago it might have made sense (it didn't, of course) but today? But these protesters are not alone. They can be found everywhere. But who are they? Rod Thomson of Herald Tribune visited a war protest rally and provides some answers
Faith Fippinger, the famous human shield in Iraq and all-around professional protester, was one of the speakers. She spoke of the "genocide of people" in Iraq by the United States, of "media lies and warmongering compliance," of "outrageous election fraud" and said it is time to "hold George W. Bush and his cadre of criminals responsible," calling him a "war criminal." The last lines got the biggest applause.
Other protesters I talked to said the war was all about the control of oil, and that the U.S. government practices terrorism on its own people by intimidating free speech. Any shot at Bush was well received.
The signs were telling: "Impeach Bush." "Troops are dying because Bush is lying." "Negotiate, don't bomb." (That having worked so well for Neville Chamberlain.)
There is irony here. These are many of the same people who, while decrying the death of 1,500 U.S. military personnel, fully support the deaths of more than 40 million babies in this country in the past 32 years, tens of thousands in the most gruesome of ways, in the name of "choice."
These are many of the same people who support Terri Schiavo's being starved to death, despite no evidence that the woman would have wanted that and despite the ongoing dispute as to her true medical condition.
But they oppose the U.S. military being used to free a country from a Hitler-like dictator, a military action that has triggered monumental events of hope in the most volatile region of the world.
In other words, while preaching peace, many are willing to err on the side of death consistently [...]"
So they really oppose is freedom and democracy because they know that they also bring prosperity and without misery they are without power.
Quote of the day
"If George W. Bush were to discover a cure for cancer,his critics would denounce him for having done it unilaterally, without adequate consultation, with a crude disregard for the sensibilities of others. He pursued his goal obstinately, they would say, without filtering his thoughts through the medical research establishment. And he didn't share his research with competing labs and thus caused resentment among other scientists who didn't have the resources or the bold--perhaps even somewhat reckless--instincts to pursue the task as he did. And he completely ignored the World Health Organization, showing his contempt for international institutions. Anyway, a cure for cancer is all fine and nice, but what about aids?"
-- Martin Peretz
, The NewRepublic Online, 03/31/2005