Meanwhile in Cuckooland 68

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It seems that problems with Polish healthcare are finally gone. Jarosław Kaczyński is reported to have some problems with his knee (it was probably injured from writing so many new laws on it). Did he had to wait 3 years for the surgery, as it was common until recently? No, he was admitted to the best hospital very quickly. It’s true, he had to wait few days, just like any other citizen, but it does not mean that doctors left him alone: in such emergencies the army steps in. And soldiers take their duty seriously as well. The crotches, that help him walk for the last few days, were delivered to his doors personally by a general, director of Army’s own Medical Institute! And he can be sure that he will be operated by bravest surgeons of all: after what happened to doctors, who treated Zbigniew Ziobro’s father (they are harassed by prosecutors controlled by him and are forced to fight seemingly never-ending court battle with his family), many would do everything to avoid such a duty…

But perhaps things are changing? Perhaps now, at least in the healthcare, qualifications matter? A young pediatrician, dr Ciemięga, sued TVP’s healthcare expert engineer Jerzy Zięba – a successful charlatan and quack, spreading his pro-epidemic, pseudoscience crap in public TV and radio – after being accused by him of “harming children with vaccines”. Zięba’s remarks were followed by online hate campaigners of his followers. The young doctor established the identity of 9 of those haters and now they will be investigated for hate speech along with their idol. And despite such a blatant attack on TVP expert, there is no sign of dr Ciemięga being arrested for corruption or involved in any other scandal. Progress?

It turns out that the protest of parents of disabled children was also just a misunderstanding. They will get their 500 zł, as they wanted. It is just that they cannot be trusted with money, so they will receive their help in nature or as tax discounts. Apparently, someone in PiS misunderstood and assumed, that it is the parents who have severe mental difficulties, not their kids.

Anyway, the rest of the Poles, especially those on lower income and with the higher number of kids, that happens to correlate with PiS voter’s base, can be trusted in money and enjoy the benefits of PiS’ flagship program of 500 zł per almost every child. And they were able to celebrate it. With both 1st of May, the Worker’s Day, and 3rd of May, the Constitution Day, being national holidays in Poland, with the use of just 3 days from their holiday’ entitlement, Poles can create 9 days long time off work. The whole country halts to a standstill, and everyone goes outside with their BBQ’s. Even church wanted to ensure, that they can completely relax, and therefore bishops issued a dispensation, allowing eating sausages on Friday, which is usually, at least in theory, a fasting day. And if the church is happy to break God’s laws without important reason, would anyone be surprised, that they are ignoring human laws when it suits them?

It seems that GDPR, the new European law on personal data protection, that comes into force on 25th of May, did not made a great impression on the church. They just issued some decrees, from which it becomes pretty clear that they are not willing to give up on any intelligence they’ve gathered about residents of their parishes over the year. GDPR, for example, says, that you got a right to demand institution, that holds information on you, to delete it, and unless they still need them, they have to comply. So the church just announced that they will not delete those data, as even if you are an apostate, there is always a chance, that you come back to the church like the prodigal son, so they need to store that information.

There is one person, that deserves to be forgotten, but so far it seems to be impossible. A recurring character of this column, Bartłomiej Misiewicz, former sidekick of former defense minister Antoni Macierewicz emerged again after one of the right-wing papers accused him of being involved in a corruption scandal. He calls it “a bunch of lies” and threatens legal action. It seems then, that we might be stuck with him for a while.

But what we have off our heads already is that bold project of promoting Poland by sailing a racing yacht around the globe. Polish National Foundation, a state-sponsored organization striving to promote Poland by repeatedly shooting their own foot, announced that they cease cooperation with sailor Mateusz Kusznierewicz. They quote “loss of trust” as the reason, would that be, that he is not as pro-PiS as they thought? Kusznierewicz’s organization, on the other hand, issued a statement blaming Polish National Foundation for breaching the contract. According to them, they got bankrupt, as they worked hard to prepare the yacht for the trip, and the Foundation failed to buy it for them (tells you how little I know about travelling: I was planning to buy a van and then convert it into motorhome, and apparently the professional approach is to do it the other way round).

The government’s attempts to promote Poland seems to fail at every front. Even their own diplomats cannot be trusted. It has emerged that Ministry of Foreign Affairs noticed, that Poland was “slandered” nearly 100 times, yet they tried to use their diplomatic skills instead of reporting the perpetrators to Polish prosecutors as the new controversial law requires them to do. While it shows, that there are still some people with common sense in our diplomatic corps, it can be considered as failure to comply with their obligations, and thus they can be persecuted, as it is not their duty to ponder over if the new law is stupid or not – they just have to observe it.

And then there is that monument thing. Americans do not respect those 22000 Polish prisoners of war murdered by NKVD in Katyń. Jersey City wants to move the monument to another location, as the statue of a man being stabbed in the back with the bayonet is not the best suited for the park on Jersey waterfront, where small children come with their mothers to play. Speaker of Polish Senate intervened and in return was called by Jersey major “a joke, known anti-Semite and Holocaust denier with no credibility”. Apparently, he hasn’t heard that relations between Poland and USA are better than ever… He was quickly put straight by the means of hundreds of abusive messages from angry Polish keyboard warriors… Yeah, that did really well for our PR.

Mariusz Muszyński, illegally elected as a judge of Constitutional Tribunal, is also keen on removing: he wants to remove Citizen Rights Ombudsman from his position. After it has emerged, that the Tribunal’s workflow has been illegally amended in such a way, that this claim would be dealt with by three illegally elected judges, the Ombudsman withdrew his claim. The Tribunal had formally acknowledged it, but “judge” Muszyński filled a dissenting opinion, in which he ranted about why the Ombudsman should be fired. It raised a few brows: in Constitutional Tribunal the judges should be known for their “exceptional legal knowledge”, but ranting about something that Tribunal has no jurisdiction over can be compared to the situation when the newly published legal bill included a recipe for apple cake.

This is not the only unconventional behavior of a right-wing politician recently. During a current affairs show in TVP an idea of including historic hussars, a heavy cavalry unit, as a part of the Army’s Representative Corpse has been discussed. Their legendary uniforms included wings similar to those of angels, and thus this particular formation takes a special place amongst the mythology of Polish nationalism. One of the participants of the discussion, a right-wing MP, went a step further and proposed that “winged hussars” should be introduced back into the Polish army. According to him, this is a “serious conception”, as heavy cavalry could still be an important defensive weapon. As long as they use quad bikes instead of horses, that is. Well, the original hussar’s wings were said to have a mostly psychological impact on the enemy. That can work indeed. I can picture the scene, where modern hussars ride their quad bikes across the battlefield sporting angel wings sticking high above their heads. It is quite likely that the enemy would die of laughter…

If one is not afraid of dying of laughter, one can read an essay by prof. Zybertowicz, advisor of president Duda. According to it, only PiS can save us from “crooked steamroller of demo-liberal convulsions”. This goes in line with earlier book by the professor, in which he warns that “there are running processes, that together are likely to lead to the physical extermination of the human species. This extermination can take different forms – end of the human world we know, that is with human, self-aware being in flesh, that would be replaced by forms less or more susceptible to cyborgization, various conscious hybrid beings (for example human-animal hybrids) or the completely virtual mind”. Apparently only PiS can save us, otherwise, the Polish nation will not only cease to exist, but even the nation-creating tissue will not be able to make another patriotic impulse. I agree with Adam Leszczyński from if prof. Zybertowicz wrote a cyberpunk SF novel, I definitely would like to read it…

But at least prof. Zybertowicz is using complicated language. The PiS controlled state TV seems to be aiming solely at utter morons nowadays, and apparently even Stanisław Piotrowicz, PiS MP admits that. He said, allegedly, during the meeting with his constituents, that “it’s message is offensive to intellect” and even some of PiS voters might find it indigestible, but the aim is to reach as many people as possible. Apparently, PiS heard somewhere, that in democracy three idiots can outvote two geniuses, and they think that this might be the only way for them to stay in power…

For those, who instead of watching TVP would rather listen to something else, the life becomes a bit harder. Of course, nobody tries to take over anti-government media like in Russia or Hungary yet, but a gig of legendary Swedish black metal band Marduk had to be cancelled. Despite objections of the local PiS councilors, the organizers refused to back off, so at night, unknown perpetrators broke into the club and stole a bit of pipe and water meter. Next morning, by a strange coincidence, officers of Sanitary Inspectorate showed at the doors and closed the club due to lack of running water.

The alternative version of the events has been provided by the owner of the building: the club failed to keep the area around the building clean despite many warnings, and therefore their lease was cancelled without the period of notice. The pipe and the meter have been removed, as the building is to be demolished in order to create more parking space for the nearby hotel. It has nothing to do with planned black metal band concert – claims Ewa Stefanowska-Ożóg, representative of the landlords, who also happen to be well known Catholic activist…

But there are still some things that connect people above divisions in Poland. Both Radosław Sikorski of PO and Antoni Macierewicz of PiS want to demolish Warsaw’s iconic Palace of Culture and Science. The difference is, that Antoni Macierewicz wants to replace it. With giant “Column of Glory of the Polish Army topped with the statue of Holy Mary, Hetman of Poland” to celebrate the victory of Polish-Bolshevik war in 1920, that would not be possible without the miraculous involvement of the Mother of God.

It is quite ironic: when Soviets finally took control of Poland, they gave us the palace of CULTURE and SCIENCE. PiS wants to replace it with hollow patriotism and superstition…

This piece was published by Britske Listy
Picture: “Charge of the Hussars” by Stanisław Kaczor-Batowski




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