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 Grovenet Wal*Mart Visiting Poland American wine better than French.

Monday, October 23, 2006



I just left this comment to Daniel's post about tax measures.
As long as ideas like parks for dogs are under consideration, I'm not voting affirmative for _ANY_ tax increases.


Where are those unemployed?

When I went to Poland last May, I talked about Polish unemployment figures with some friends. All agreed that those numbers are bogus. This article now confirms they were right.

Polish employers having trouble finding workers

Warsaw, Poland October 23, 2006

The Polish unemployment rate stands at 15.3%, but companies are having trouble finding qualified personnel for open positions.

The Ministry of Labor estimates that there are 1.5 mln people working in the grey economy, but this is probably a major understatement of the actual number. Furthermore, the Ministry's official estimate of the number of people who have left to find work in other EU countries stands at 660 thousand.

Meanwhile, the economy is growing at a 5% rate and employers are having trouble finding people to work. The construction sector has been hit hardest - both for companies taking on large projects like roadlaying and for homeowners who are having trouble finding work crews for home repairs and remodeling.

The health care sector has also been hit hard. Doctors and nurses have moved abroad to find better pay. Before Poland joined the EU, there were about 250 thousand registered nurses in Poland, now there are 164 thousand.

Nurses, who work under difficult circumstances were being paid an average of about PLN 800 per month in gross wages just three years ago. Since it is nearly impossible to subsist on that pay, many left the country. Now minimum wages for nurses are moving towards PLN 1,900 monthly.

Poland's labor laws and ridiculously high payroll taxes act as a disincentive to hire, but with the economy expanding companies are being forced to offer higher wages.


Why American children (from public schools) can't write?

Maybe because their teachers can't either.
"What you have is a generation of teachers from the early to mid-'70s who don't know grammar, who never learned it," said Benjamin, an author of the national council's publication. "We have armies of teachers, elementary teachers and English teachers, who don't have the language to talk about language. It's kind of their dirty little secret."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006



I like the current government in Poland mostly because the media, academia and other Polish liberals hate it. It reminds me a lot of the situation here in the US. In fact, when I went to Poland last May when the new coalition was being formed and could not believe that I was witnessing the same "Bush bashing" on Polish airways I was used to in the US.

However, knowing that the current coalition is composed of very populist parties, characterized by the west as far-right, even though they are only far-right as far as the social issues are concerned, makes easier to comprehend the following headline:
Poland's deputy education minister called for the influential evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin not to be taught

I send my children to a Catholic school because I want to avoid the secular indoctrination but I expect that, in addition to all the religious stuff, they are also taught whatever the science can come up even if it's not perfect.


"Hollywood has made no thrilling movie about the Hungarian Revolution, and most Americans know nothing of it."

I wonder why. Maybe McCarthy was right after all. I was born in 1965 and Poland never had it so bad as Hungary. But this story, nevertheless, brings bad memories. After all, my father remembered most of it.
Fifty years ago, Csaba Hegyvary crawled inside Stalin's head. The statue of the Marxist czar had stood in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, until Oct. 23, 1956. Insurrectionists had cut it off at the knees, decapitated it and rudely dragged the huge bronze head down Ulloi Avenue and deposited it in front of the National Theater.

Hegyvary, then 19, had grown up in a Stalinist state.

"You simply cannot imagine the enormous web and cloud of lies I grew up with," he recalls. "We had to worship the leaders. At the movies when they showed Stalin, we had to stand up and sing songs to him."

When he heard that Stalin's head was in the street, he went to get a piece of it. "I did get a piece of it," he says. But soldiers at the state radio station started shooting at him, which is why he crawled inside Stalin's metal cranium.


Wall is a wall?

Many years ago, I went to visit my uncle who lived in West Berlin. I took a train from Gdansk to East Berlin with the intention of passing the East-West Germany border by foot. I took advantage of the opportunity and spent some time sightseeing in East Berlin including visiting a few bars. I met a girl. We had a good time. We talked, had a few beers. Then, I had to go. She saw me off as far as she was allowed to go. I was only going a few miles from that point but for her it seemed like half the world. Why? There was a wall between her and other Germans -- maybe even her family -- she couldn't cross. That wall kept her in.

Now, Gorbachev has the audacity to compare that wall to the wall we want to build on our southern border. I'm pretty sure than anybody in the US will be free to cross the wall that hopefully will protect our country from unwelcomed guests as much as I was free to cross the Berlin wall back in 1986.

Our wall will keep people out and not in. As James Taranto said today:
Prisons and houses are not the same thing, even though they too both have walls.


Monday, October 16, 2006


Illegal immigration is a lose-lose proposition

There is a lot of discussion on who causes global warming and whether illegal immigration is beneficial to our economy. On the first subject, some new experiments and simple observations cast even more doubts on the so called scientific consensus that human cause global warming. On the second subject, it seems that a new consensus is developing.

Andrew Sum, the director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University and Paul Harrington its associate director conclude that their research shows that illegal immigration, unlike the legal immigration, has a big negative impact on the US economy.

Illegal immigration has also contributed to the growth of off-the-books jobs and the breakdown of American labor laws. Over the past five years, only one of every five additional workers in private-sector jobs in the United States has ended up on the formal payrolls of national private-sector employers, where payroll and income taxes are withheld and workers are protected by laws regarding workers' safety, health, and wages.

A number of employers and consumers gain from the hiring of illegal immigrants. Illegal immigration makes home remodeling, lawn care, housecleaning, child care, and other household services cheaper for more affluent homeowners. Some firms in construction, low-wage manufacturing, and the hospitality industry avoid immigration laws, wage and hour laws, and safety and health regulations to reduce labor costs and raise profits. Yet, these gains come at a price: declining employment and wage opportunities for some of our most vulnerable workers, denying them an opportunity to improve their long-run economic prospects.
So it's clear that illegal immigration is not good for Americans. Ironically, some people in Mexico, the biggest "exporter" of illegal immigrants, think it is not good for Mexico either.
But that makeshift policy that emptied rural Mexican towns and drained brains is beginning to reach its limit.

Mexico's Central Bank Gov. Guillermo Ortiz touched on this recently when in Dallas he declared support for a border fence, warning that no nation can afford to lose its human capital indefinitely.

The problem goes much deeper than that.

Once again, the Central Bank of Mexico is on top of this, well ahead of the rest of the Mexican government.

In a 2005 study, that bank found a negative link between development and remittances -- the more remittances, the less overall development. The bank even went so far as to suggest poverty was caused by the dependency, not the other way around.

Because most cash sent back is used for consumption, and not investment, it gives only a short-term boost to GDP.
So what's the solution?
Last year, northern states like Nuevo Leon and others created 1 million new jobs. In the north, there's no remittance dependency, no lack of jobs, no emigration problem and no prospect of revolts.

Mexico can't get better until people can find better jobs locally than they can abroad. But remittances create a vicious cycle that makes that impossible.

Sending its best, most entrepreneurial workers abroad won't work. Only economic growth will do it. Get going, Mexico.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


20 years ago...

...Reagan walked out from the Reykjavik summit with Gorbachev. A few short years later, Poland was freed from Soviet opression. Reagan won the cold war.
Looking at this picture makes me think Poland could have looked like this had Reagan been more like Carter, like today's Democrats.


If there is nothing wrong with you...

...you will very likely be a republican.


Note to self: double alcohol intake and start smoking cigars

From TwinCities Pioneer Press:
George Spears lived a healthy lifestyle and loved to run, so it came as a shock to his family when the 49-year-old Minneapolis man collapsed during the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday and died at Hennepin County Medical Center of an apparent heart attack.

"He never smoked and never drank in his life," said his son Chester. "He was always a healthy guy."


Buy Danish

From left-wing Guardian:
While Danish milk products were dumped in the Middle East, fervent rightwing Americans started buying Bang & Olufsen stereos and Lego. In the first quarter of this year Denmark's exports to the US soared 17%. The British writer Christopher Hitchens organised a buy-Danish campaign. Among the thousands of emails sent to Rose was one from an American soldier serving in Iraq. "He told me he was sitting in Iraq, watching a game of football and drinking a can of Carlsberg," Rose said.
You mean this Carlsberg?


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