Who’s in Control?
It has been over a week since Warsaw hosted the NATO summit, however, regardless of how successfully the capital of Poland handled the challenge of preparing the event, comments and heated discussions about the nature of current Polish policy continue. Marcin Kierwański, PO (Civic Platform) MP, stated that as long as the Polish government avoids responsibilities for its actions, Poland will not be treated as a partner amongst other democratic countries. What is more, the MP believes that the fact that President Duda’s actions are constantly ‘supervised’ by the leader of PiS (Law and Justice) also affects the image and credibility of Poland. “The joint press conference with Barack Obama demonstrated that President Andrzej Duda is not able to free himself of Jarosław Kaczynski’s influence,” Kierwański continues. The MP reiterated that during the summit, the US President clearly stated that NATO is not just a military alliance, it is also a community with democratic values and Poland needs to share these values, which are the foundation of the organisation. “If Poland is to remain an example of democracy for the rest of the world, there is still more work to be done regarding the impasse surrounding the Polish Constitutional Tribunal,” Obama said. According to Kierwański, Duda is aware that the remarks made by Obama are ultimately true, but he is not able to free himself from Kaczyński. “After being lectured by President Obama, President Duda decided that it is better to remain silent and pretend that everything is fine,” the MP added.
Thaddeus Kosciuszko – US Hero
The presence of Polish people had a positive impact on the history of the US from its very earliest days, at the beginning of the seventeenth century. They arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in 1609 on board the “Mary and Margaret”. In Virginia, Polish craftsmen established a glass factory, the first ever workshop in America. Later in 1619 following a strike, Polish people received the right to vote for colonists not born in Great Britain. Interestingly, in 1370 Poland was the first country in Europe to establish a requirement for taxpayers to agree to taxes being levied. 400 years later, under the banner of “no taxation without representation”, American colonists rebelled against Great Britain. The 1776 Anerican Declaration of Independence was based on the philosophy of John Locke, which was greatly shaped by Locke’s knowledge of the Polish Brothers (Arians); their volume was entitled “Bibliotheca Fratrum Polonorum”. When the Americans formulated their Constitution in 1787 they were acutely aware of the ill effects of foreign influences on the politics of Poland with the election of foreign kings to the throne of Poland. Thus, they highlighted that only those born in the USA can stand for President. The Polish military leader Tadeusz Kościuszko played a key role in the battle for US independence. He was one of only a few foreigners to receive the Cincinnati Medal. Kościuszko studied military engineering in France. After two years in Poland and then France he was convinced by Bejamin Franklin to go to America. There he was made a colonel by a resolution of Congress on 18 October 1776. To this day, Kościuszki is seen as one of the great heroes of US Independence.
Wojciech Modest Amaro, one of the most renowned chefs in Poland, owner of the only Polish restaurant with a prestigious Michelin Star, Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen TV star, will be surely facing his toughest test yet. On 4 June, Poland’s capital, Warsaw, will play host to the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first (partially) free elections in Poland after WWII and decades of communist dominance. Many world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, will visit Poland. Modest Amaro has the honour of preparing a gala dinner for them. “I feel extremely proud and honoured to have the chance to prepare and serve meals to so many illustrious guests who will come to Poland to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary with us. Despite all my years in the profession, I don’t think I’ve ever been so stressed. On top of that, I have to prepare everything according to the strict rules of diplomatic protocol, which is a lot more complicated than most people realise. The dishes that I’ll serve will be quintessentially Polish. I intend to delve into the past and use ingredients that have been long-forgotten by many but will show the richness of our culture and traditions.”
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Orban and Tusk
The presidents of Poland and the USA have invited the leaders of Central and Eastern Europen states to a meeting that will be held in June when Poland will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its first post-war (partially) free elections. Jaromir Sokołowski, a mnister in the Presidential Office responsible for foreign affairs informed the public of the meeting. The presidents of the NATO states Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Croatia all received invitations to the meeting. It will take place in Warsaw on 3 June and will focus on the Ukrainian crisis and Russian aggression towards Ukraine, security in the region, including energy security, as well as preparation for the upcoming NATO summit in Wales.
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A graphic novel illustrated by Anna Wieszczyk, entitled “Interesting Drug”, will be published in the US in May. In the novel, a stranger from the future tells an ordinary man that he will be the one who invents a pill enabling time travel. This becomes an amazing opportunity to change his life and fix his mistakes. However, what if the time traveler is not completely truthful and the consequences of his actions are fatal? The author of the sci-fi thriller is Shaun Manning and it will be published by Boom Studios, well-known for publishing not only horror and sci-fi graphic novels but also Disney and Pixar comics for children. The 120-page book will cost about $25. Wieszczyk is a graduate of graphic design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, Poland. She currently lives and works in Kraków. Even before graduating, she strode onto the US stage when she qualified to the final three of a competition called “Comic Book Challenge”. Several comics and graphic novels with her illustrations have already been published in America. These include: “Hell, Nebraska”, “Godkiller”, “Shift State” and “Lucid”. These books were later republished in compilations. “Lucid”, which was written by Michael McMillian, an actor known for his work in the series “True Blood”, will be adapted into a film. Wieszczyk’s work is available on her deviantart and behance profiles.
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The US ambassador has stressed that the decision to deploy NATO military bases in Poland, which Polish Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak asked about at the end of April in Washington, will probably be taken at the September NATO summit in Newport, Wales. “In fact, this matter will be essential not only for the United States, but also for the whole Alliance. I think that it will be an important topic of discussion during the September summit in the UK,” said the ambassador. He emphasised that in the meantime the United States of America will maintain the additional military forces that recently arrived in Poland for the next few months. “We are going to keep these additional forces in Poland at least until the end of the year and then, after the summit, we will see what the Alliance decides,” he said.
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Kamienie na Szaniec
Robert Gliński’s “Kamienie na Szaniec” has hit US movie theatres and has proved to be a great success. Tickets for the two premier showings sold out immediately and the film itself was met with great applause. “Kamienie na Szaniec” will play in all the major cities in North America. The film has already been screened in Toronto, Calgary and New York. There are planned showings in Washington too. Representatives of the film emphasised that, regardless of its historical message, the film reminds people about the human tragedies caused by war. What was emphasised by both the producers and the director was that the main goal of the film was to “destroy the stereotypes” of historical figures and to “modernise” the plot, in order to make the attitude of the protagonists better understood for today’s young people.
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