Saturday, May 30, 2020

Modern philosophy and the scholastics

For many years I was intrigued by the thought of Edith Stein. Of course one reason for the curiosity was her conversion from Judaism to Christianity in the times when Jewish thought flourished (take Martin Buber's thought as only one example), the second was her decision to leave her Jewish family and become Catholic nun in a very strict, contemplative order. 
But it was still the most mysterious to me how she, coming from the school of Edmund Husserl, evolved into a domain of neo-scholastics...
To understand this, I started to read her "Finite and Eternal Being"...

See her own, deeply honest admission, made in the introduction to the book:

"This (...) seems especially appropriate in the case of the author of this book: Her philosophical home is the school of Edmund Husserl, and her philosophic mother tongue is the language of the phenomenological thinkers. She therefore uses phenomenology as a starting point to find her way into the majestic temple of scholastic thought."

I'm excited to discover how does she go along that path ...

First discovery is ... of the amazing clarity and objectivity Stein approaches philosophy with a deliberate distancing from faith and religion. The rigor she is applying to that distinction, comes, from St. Thomas Aquinas himself, and from many of thinkers of the "thomistic" tradition, like Jacques Maritain.

When writing about the goals and functions of philosophy she says:

"It is one of the function of philosophy to elucidate the fundamental principles of all the sciences"
However, when she goes into the relation between philosophy and a religious doctrine, she remarks:

"Whatever derives from the synthesis of theological and philosophic truth bears the imprint of this dual source of knowledge, and faith, as we are told, is a "dark light". Faith helps us to understand something, but only in order to point to something that remains for us incomprehensible. Since the ultimate ground of all existence is unfathomable, everything which is seen in this ultimate perspective moves into that "dark light" of faith, and everything intelligible is placed in a setting with an incomprehensible background. That is what Erich Przywara means when he speaks of a reductio ad mysterium."
 The intro, and its chapter "Is there a Christian Philosophy" is an amazing proof of the author intellectual honesty. Now, to the essence ...
....
More to come.
Mirek@Słupsk

Saturday, May 23, 2020

The court is not a premise for rent by politicians

This is Google Translated text of the Supreme Court Judge and the Professor of Jagiellonian University Włodzimierz Wróbel.
The original text is here.

The court is not a premise to rent by politicians. Judge Wróbel's words vibrate like a remorse of those in power... 


My name is Włodzimierz Wróbel, I am a judge in the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court and at the same time I teach criminal law at the Jagiellonian University. We already know that we operate outside the mode, it also turned out today that this mode will end in nothing, which is why the chairman declared that he would not exercise the constitutional competence of the body in which we were and would not vote on the resolution on the performance (as the chairman said), the President of the Republic of Poland, candidates for the first president of the Supreme Court.

If this was a normal procedure in which such candidates were to be selected, then I would probably shudderly tell you about my vision of the Supreme Court, what should be changed, what should be improved, how should it work and probably would not be here in the room or cameras, nor would anyone be interested in it.

I will make this statement a little different. We think that here are the walls in this room, but this room has no walls. Thanks to the decision that we have media access, we have a transparent process, citizens are watching us. I know that my students are also watching me. During the pandemic, instead of normal lectures, we did talk about law and I know that now my seminarians - Andrzej, Kuba, Monika, Mikołaj - listen to this on Facebook. I invite you now to talk about what is happening here.

A tiny constitutional body, one tiny provision

We are in the hall where the general assembly of SN judges is taking place. It's a tiny constitutional body. One small constitution provision. He says that this assembly is to present the president with candidates for the post of head of the main court in this country. Of course, there are many such judgments, we can tell each other that everyone has their own powers, but we know the meaning of the Supreme Court. This is a key position. It can change any judgment of a practically different court.

The head of this court also has a huge position, regardless of how he can organize the work of the Supreme Court, let us remember that he is the head of the State Tribunal, the court that judges the authorities.

A tiny constitutional body, one tiny provision that says that this assembly is to present candidates. The creators of the constitution knew why this provision sounds this way.

Because they knew that every power, no matter what color it is, has a huge snatch to court, because the courts are the only independent, impartial institution that has this power to control. It is to defend the citizen against abuse of this power.

And it is known that there has always been and will be tension between political power and the courts, no matter who rules.

Those who wrote this constitution invented such a mechanism of mutual control, check and balance - say the English. Namely, judges cannot call their own bosses, they must present five candidates, and Mr. President cannot, according to the constitution, simply send to the Supreme Court whom he wants, a politician or a lawyer and make him the head of this institution. You have to get along. You have to communicate.

What is the agreement about? And the fact that the assembly is to present, today the law says, five candidates and from them the president is to choose one and appoint as the first president of the Supreme Court. A simple provision, the act repeats.

Why is this so important? Therefore, that the Supreme Court would not become another political prey, especially when there is increasing social and political tension, such a huge temptation exists to win more independent institutions, to free them, to make them dysfunctional.

Two sentences that shook the judge
So what is happening now, what are we dealing with now? There are two sentences that I am asking you - and I am talking to you, my seminarians, I am talking to you here, I am talking to everyone who listens to me - I was shocked by the two sentences I heard recently.

The first sentence of a prominent politician of the currently ruling party, but it could probably be that of any other politician. He said that in a moment the last bastion will fall, he thought about this event in which we participate, about the general assembly that is to choose the candidates for the first president. Of course, the whole Supreme Court was implicitly implied - this is where the last bastion will fall. But the sentence, which was even more shocking to me, is such a conversation, Mikołaj, remember, you once asked if it is worth being a judge in this country, is there sense? Do you have students, would you like to hear such a sentence from a law student, a young man?

Ladies and gentlemen, what is this gathering for, why are we sitting here, why are we arguing and arguing? That is why we want this bastion to remain as a bastion of justice, and not just become - I don't know - a place to rent by politicians, a caravan where everyone can sit and spend some time. Or in which you can give away elite jobs. That's what this constitutional fuse is for.

The second part of the lecture, the second part of our conversation. A recipe for how such institutions are taken over. This is a very important moment when it is worth talking to lawyers about the legal system, because these independent institutions, such as the court, what is supposed to protect citizens,

that the court was not yours or ours, I go back to that phrase non-stop, only to court was an independent state, no matter what political power in this country is governed.

There will always be tension and there are always ideas on how to appropriate independent institutions. Recipe? You know him very well. What is done first? First, a film is made, judges are turned into beasts, castes, communists, thieves, judges do not have the habit of speaking, they speak with judgments. This situation in which this media attack, a political attack, surprised many. They couldn't say much. Was the justice system functioning well? Sure not. Should that justice just be plowed and say that it doesn't make sense?

Ladies and gentlemen, nothing gives such great satisfaction as the opportunity to unleash authority in the mud. This is a great mechanism. This is the first element.

How is the independent state institution taken over? Procedures are invented, on which politicians mainly influence, political institutions such as the National Court Register are created, which are chosen by politicians themselves, a law is created so that the final decision is always made by a politician and lawyers are often sought, who are often with good will and good will with intention, and often without good will and good intention, they will enter this political plan.

Who will such a president be?
What happens next? We can still see it in this room. We are already beyond any procedure. There is a general assembly, there is a collegiate body, whether someone is being nominated politically who will be the head of this body, after all this is a presidential nomination, you can choose any person. And suddenly it turns out that this constitutional body is not the General Assembly, but the chairman of the proceedings, who decides everything, prejudges everything, says what the law looks like, issues ordinances on how we should discuss whether we will throw into the box or we can verbally ask anyone, we are out of mode.

Finally, it turns out that this procedure is also to end with nothing, it is to be torpedoed, in fact it does not come to what this procedure is to end.

So what happens next? Ladies and gentlemen, this question is the most difficult to answer. I could not explain to you, what I am saying to my seminarians. After all, it is known that nobody will trust such a court, which will be taken over by politicians. He will not be effective, he will not be able to settle disputes, because he will be our court, but not a joint court.

Who will be the president elected in such a procedure?

I do not know, we are still in a phase that has not ended, but from the chairman's statement to this wall, we are heading to this catastrophe, i.e. such an illegal procedure of presenting candidates to the president. Will the president call? I hope not, but maybe he will. And how will it end? Will I be the president of the Supreme Court whom no one will recognize or only a part will recognize? Will I the president of the Supreme Court, who will change any political change, this one, no one, today, tomorrow, in a month, in two years, in three years, in three years, and then another political power will sweep him out again.

We want the first president of the Supreme Court who, when he wonders where he can go abroad, will see only one neighboring country who will be able to accept him?

I don't know, I can't answer the question, what is all this for? Maybe you will be more implied here I am talking to my students.

And the third topic, what are the meetings for, what is really going on here and who is here? Lawyers are sitting in the room. Judges with many years of experience are sitting in the hall. There are academic lecturers and judges in the room who also have such academic experience. There are now citizens outside this room who the police have IDs for. We will leave this room and you judges will have to sit at the judge's table and look into the eyes of citizens who will wonder regardless of your intentions and regardless of your belief in independence, they will wonder whose court you are. And academic lecturers will have a much more difficult role, Professor, because you will have to stand in front of students and tell what happened here.

Mikołaj, don't give up, don't give up being a judge. Don't give up being a lawyer, because it's a profession where you have to fight for others. How? Fight for community, fight for the state.


Sunday, February 02, 2020

The world worlds: Keiji Nishitani deep thought ...


The  world worlds...

Confronted with the thought of Keiji Nishitani, I could not write anything from myself. So I decided to put here some remarkable quotes from his book "Religion and Nothingness", which contrary to the title is not about religion as we used to understand it, rather it is about our universe and being...
« Since olden times, the cognitive power of reason has been called a "natural light." But the real "natural light" is not the light of reason. It is rather, if I may so designate it, the light of each and every thing. What we call the knowing of non-knowing is, as it were, the gathering together and concentration on a single point of the light of all things. Or better still, it is a reverting to the point where things themselves are all gathered into one. All of this goes contrary to our ordinary way of thinking, and, as such, must sound strange. . »
« To say that a thing is not itself means that, while continuing to be itself, it is in the home-ground of everything else. Figuratively speaking, its roots reach across into the ground of all other things and helps to hold them up and keep them standing. »
« To imply that when a thing is on its own home-ground, it must at the same time be on the home-ground of all other things sounds absurd; but in fact it constitutes the "essence" of the existence of things.The being of things in themselves is essentially circuminsessional. This is what we mean by speaking of beings as "being that is in unison with emptiness," and "being on the field of emptiness." For this circuminsessional system is only possible on the field of emptiness of or sunyata. As I have already noted, if the field of sunyata be excluded, for a thing to be on its own home-ground and to be "itself" would be for it not to be in the home-ground of all other things; and, conversely, for it to be on the home-ground of other things would be for it not to be itself. In that case, there would in truth be no way for us to explain the fact that all things "are" in the "world." Only on the field of sunyata, where being is seen as being-sive-nothingness, nothingness-sive-being, is it possible for each to be itself with every other, and so, too, for each not to be itself with every other. »
« Now the circuminsessional system itself, whereby each thing in its being enters into the home-ground of every other thing, is not itself and yet precisely as such (namely, as located on the field of sunyata) never ceases to be itself, is nothing other than the force that links all things together into one. It is the very force that makes the world and lets it be a world. The field of sunyata is a field oj force. The force of the world makes itself manifest in the force of each and every thing in the world. »
 « Even the very tiniest thing, to the extent that it "is," displays in its act of being the whole web of circuminsessional interpenetration that links all things together. In its being, we might say, the world "worlds." »

« For us, this field of emptiness is something we are aware of as an absolute near side. It opens up more to the near side than we, in our ordinary consciousness, take our own self to be. It opens up, so to speak, still closer to us than what we ordinarily think of as ourselves . In other words, by turning from what we ordinarily call "self" to the field of sunyata, we become truly ourselves.»
«All consciousness as such is empty at its very roots: it can only become manifest on the field of emptiness. Consciousness is originally emptiness.»
« The self is not a small, self-centered circle. Together with emptiness it is free of all outer limits . It is, so to speak, something with no circumference whatsoever. This is elemental self-awareness. As a being in unison with emptiness, then, the self is one absolute center, and, to that extent, all things are in the home-ground of the self.»
« We do not simply live in time: we live time. From one moment in time to the next we are making time to be time, we are bringing time to the "fullness of time." That is the sense of what we referred to earlier as "being bottomlessly in time." »
 «The identity of "being" and "knowing" is more primal than traditional metaphysics has taken it to be. »
«To say that each thing is an absolute center means that wherever a thing is, the world worlds. And this, in turn, means that each thing, by being in its own home-ground is in the home-ground of all beings; and, conversely, that in being on the home-ground of all , each is in its own home-ground. »
« Our self in itself is most elementally "middle." It resists all explanation because it is a being in unison with emptiness; because it is a being united with emptiness in a self-awareness according to which emptiness is self; and because, by virtue of that self-awareness, which is nearer to the elemental than anything else, it precedes the world and all things.»
Let me repeat it in an another way: OUR SELF (...) RESISTS ALL EXPLANATION BECAUSE IT IS A BEING IN UNISON WITH EMPTINESS.

« The finitude of human existence is essentially an infinite finitude. »
« In brief, the statement that the finite is finite, while quite valid in terms of conceptual thinking, is in error from an existential standpoint. It misses the essence of finitude, and because it is prehended from a standpoint that does not face up to existential finitude existentially, it fails truly to reveal finitude. »
« interminable finitude »
«When we persist in our pursuit of what is truly true, among the things that are true, the truly true appears in the mode of paradox or absurdity, under conditions ordinarily considered as altogether contradictory to truth. Where ratio is pushed to its true extreme, the "irrational" shows up. Where meaning is pushed to its extreme, "meaninglessness" shows up. And yet what thus appears as paradox, irrationality, or meaninglessness, is truly absolute reality . It is the living vitality of "life" itself. To say here that life as such is meaningless is to say that life is truly living itself »
« It is the point that Meister Eckhart calls Leben obne Warum ("life without a reason why"). It is the same with the claim that paradox is the "truth" and that irrationality is the ratio. »
« It is life in which one whiles away one's time, accepting whatever may come. »
« The beginning of time itself is before all possible pasts. And it is likewise after all possible futures. Past events, no matter how far back they go, and future events, no matter how far ahead they reach, gather together at the home-ground of the beginning of time. Only as such do they come into being one and all. » 
« It is the Existenz of the self that lives in the world-as-time from the very beginning where time comes to the fullness of time and where the world worlds. Existenz in this sense does not differ from its essential time.» 
« At this point intolerance inevitably raises its head. Like the consciousness of being a chosen people that appeared in the religion of Israel, we have here another case of the self-centeredness on a religious dimension which T oynbee was speaking of. »
« Intolerance here is essentially bound up with the fact that faith comes into being here on a personal standpoint: the standpoint of a personal relationship with a personal God. This is so because, in the last analysis , in religion the personal contains some sort of self-centeredness . Consequently, the faith of Christianity could not help setting off antagonisms from time to time between this self-centeredness and the other element of agape, namely, the love of neighbor. »
« The battles for the conquest of heathendom that we see toward the end of the ancient period , throughout the Middle Ages (as in the Crusades, for instance) and the modern era, the persecution of heresy, the Inquisition, the religious wars within the Christian world-all of these and the intolerance displayed, along with the similar phenomena found in Islam, are all but absent in the history of Buddhism. »
« In terms of its genesis, this view of history came about in resistance to the Christian faith and its intolerance. This view of history is based on trust in human reason. This emphasis on reason got its start amidst the bloody struggles within the Christian world, as the will to find a common standpoint apart from dogmatic faith. Hence, this rational standpoint was, in principle, born of a spirit of tolerance. This led, on the one hand, to the efforts of deism to reinterpret the Christian doctrines from a viewpoint of reasonableness. »
Sunyata and time
« A recurrent world process, as a cyclical movement, implies infinity to the extent that it lacks beginning or end. But to the extent that it does arrive at an end, in a sense, by going back to its beginning, its recurrent character signals a finiteness. It thus possesses, as it were, an infinite finitude, or, we might say, a finitude of a higher order. »
« It is in the nature of time and our very existence, so to speak, that from the start both are saddled with an inexhaustible debt. It is in the nature of our existence that we are unable to sustain ourselves except through being engaged without intermission in doing something. Or put the other way around, our life is such that we must work without pause to pay back the debt that lies heavy upon our shoulders . »
« The finite aspect of our life displays its essence as an infinite finitude. (It is here, as noted before, that the original sense of the mythical notion of transmigration is to be seen.) Our existence and time appear to us here as burdens.»
« The term "karma" expresses an awareness of existence that sees being and time as infinite burdens for us and, at the same time, an awareness of the essence of time itself. »
« Time is at all times on the verge of vanishing, and all things show the frailty of being that keeps them ever poised on the brink of collapse. Time and being display a constant pull to nullification from beneath their very ground. That is Impermanence.»
« Here time and nothingness as the nullification of all things signify the freedom and effortless flight of a bird gliding across the sky without a moment's hitch, unburdened. Like the bird that leaves no tracks along the path of its flight, impermanence here means the non-hindrance of being free of the encumbrances of one's past and of restrictions stemming from former lives.»
« Lastly, we said that time only comes about in virtue of having an infinite openness at its bottom. This infinite openness also contains an ambiguity of its own. In a word, it can mean both nihility and sunyata in its original sense.(...). The true Form of time consists in the simultaneous possibility of these opposing meanings. The essential ambiguity in the meaning of time means that time is essentially the field of fundamental conversion, the field of a "change of heart" or metanoia (pravrittivijfliina).»

« But there is more at issue here than mere chronological or vertical relationships. I have brothers , sisters , and relatives , just as my parents and their parents had. (...) My existence stands against the backdrop of such a network of relationships whose beginning and end are beyond comprehension, and comes into being from out of its midst. From this perspective, questions regarding the source of my existence remain ultimately unanswerable.»
« The beginning and end of time in itself lie directly beneath the present, at its home-ground, and it is there that they are to be sought originally.  To look for the home-ground of time (or being) by tracing time interminably backward or pushing it interminably ahead is to fall victim to a sort of optical illusion, a confusion of dimensions. It is an error of orientation in the pursuit of the home-ground.»
« "God is dead" means that all is dead. It means that the elemental ground of all things has turned to nihility , that the being of all things has been nullified from its elemental ground. Their unity and transcendent center lost, with no home-ground to return to, things scatter with the four winds in a time whose boundaries have been wiped away. This nullification of being transforms all things into transitoriness. At the same time, the roothold where the meaning of all existence takes hold is swept away, transforming the whole into a mass of meaninglessness.»
« Doing determines being anew: does being; it becomes being and thereby re-creates being in time. In other words, doing renews and reestablishes being in time.»

« The story is told of St. Francis of Assisi that, when he was about to have an infected eye cauterized, he turned and addressed the cautery:
My Brother Fire, noble and useful among all other creatures, be kindly to me in this hour, because formerly I have loved thee for the love of  Him  who created thee. But I pray our Creator who created us, that He will so temper thy heat that I may be able to sustain it.And with that, he made a sign of the cross over the cauterizing iron.
(...)
We are reminded here of the Japanese saying, "Once you annihilate the mind, even the burning fire is cool." Of course, the fire was hot, and no doubt St. Francis did feel the physical pain . But the fire was not hot at the very point that it was hot, and the pain was not painful in its very painfulness.»
« The same applies to equality. True equality is not simply a matter of an equality of human rights and the ownership of property. (...) True equality, on the contrary, comes about in what we might call the reciprocal interchange of absolute inequality, such that the self and the other stand simultaneously in the position of absolute master and absolute servant with regard to one another. It is an equality in love. Only on the field of emptiness does all of this become possible. Unless the thoughts and deeds of man one and all be located on such a field, the sorts of problems that beset humanity have no chance of ever really being solved. »

This post started during February of 2020 in New York City, ended in June of 2020 in Debina on the coast of Baltic sea in Poland....

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

A politician's book that goes far beyond politics...



During the last holidays of 2nd decade of XXI century I was reading, with bated breath, the book "Sincerely" written by Donald Tusk, who, for the last five years, was the president of the European Council. He was also the prime minister of Poland for seven years - the longest term in free Poland ever. As for now, he is the president of European People's Party (the largest transnational political party).

Let me quote the short note about the book from its publisher (Agora):

"In this extraordinary personal diary, we follow in Tusk’s footsteps from his first to his last day in his role as EC president, we see what has been happening backstage in European politics, and we follow the most dramatic events of the recent past, including the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, the refugee crisis, the murder of the mayor of Gdańsk, Paweł Adamowicz, and the endless Brexit negotiations. Here we will find complex and surprising portraits of the major figures in world politics, from Barack Obama and Angela Merkel to Donald Trump and Boris Johnson.

But "Sincerely" is about far more than what goes on in the corridors of power. Written in a lively, accessible tone, it also expounds Donald Tusk’s political credo, presents his account of the Europe of his dreams – and reveals the bitter disappointment of its present politics."


What I love the book for is its autor's rectitude and simplicity paired with a great passion for better Europe and better Poland. The language of the book is, taken as a piece of literature, not the best, but - that only proves there was no ghost writer behind (as it often happens with politicians), and, in many ways, this special kind of simple language makes it even better.

I wish it was translated to English....

Mirek@Słupsk  


Saturday, December 07, 2019

Holiday of literature!


Olga Tokarczuk - Nobel Prize in Literature



The lecture: Polish, English, Video.




Nobel Prize Banquet Speech:



 (will write more soon)



Saturday, October 26, 2019

Kaczynski has reversed Lenin's paradigm

This text was originally published in Polish under the title "Kaczyński odwrócił paradygmat Lenina", and was translated by Marcin Karpiński.

It is an interview with Prof. Roman Kuźniar.


Until now, a large number of commentators believed that PiS is a party that wants to do well, but maybe the principles they operate on are not good, maybe they can't or err, but all in all they have good intentions.

I think that this is wrong thinking - says prof. Roman Kuźniar, political scientist from the University of Warsaw, diplomat, former adviser to President Bronisław Komorowski. - From the beginning it was obvious that they are dangerously leaning towards Leninist obsession with power. They did not want the normal kind of power that every government needs to convey good politics for the country or for society. They wanted a power that would allow them to remain in charge forever. This it what demolishing the foundations of a democratic state of law was needed for. They want to secure unlimited, unpunished and indefinite power by all possible means - including non-constitutional ones. These are the three attributes of the power they want, he adds. - The Banaś case (curent chairman of Supreme Chamber of Control, involved in the scandal of renting rooms for hours right after taking his office - ed. translator) perfectly reveals the nature and level of this party - no honor, no ethos, no shame. Banaś with his downfall of ethos is emblematic for them, but that's the quintessence of PiS - he emphasizes.



JUSTYNA KOĆ: Turkey and Kurds like two small children - you have to let them fight and then separate - said US President Donald Trump a few days ago. Has the American sandbox not been mistaken for international politics?
PROF. ROMAN KUŹNIAR: Most of his comments, which he shoots like fireworks, regarding the Turkish operation indicate a thorough infantilism of his thinking about the world and international relations. He also testifies to this. Anyway, this should not come as a surprise, because he quickly got used to it. This, of course, may be more difficult for us and this part of Europe to accept - mainly because in Poland most public opinion and the ruling party are enthusiastic about Trump.

THOSE WORDS COMING FROM THE MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT ARE NOT ONLY STUPID, BUT ALSO DANGEROUS. LUCKILY TRUMP IS NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT CONSTITUTES TO OVERALL US VIEW ON THESE MATTERS.

As has been the case many times before, his administration, vice president and ministers are trying somehow to tone down and defend America and the world against his mistakes and the consequences of his statements. However, if you look only at his words, they look ominous to American allies, especially to countries such as Poland.

Should Poland learn lessons from the Kurdish people? This is a picture of how Trump can leave his allies at the mercy of fate?

Of course, this cannot be directly compared, but the logic is the same here: we leave our allies without trying to explain (even falsely) such behavior. Or what's even worse by giving translations that make the hair bristle, e.g. "because it doesn't pay off".

Of course, we are in a better position than Kurds, because we have our own state (which by the way is becoming weaker under the current rule in terms of its defense capabilities, but it is still a state). Today, rather, this is not how countries are attacked, this form of conflict is "out of use" for many reasons. Fortunately, Poland is not only an ally of the United States, but of the North Atlantic Alliance, where there are a number of other states, which means that our security is much higher. There are also various connections with other NATO members.

Unfortunately, it must be mentioned here that Trump has repeatedly criticized the alliance and even considered with his advisers how to lead the United States out of NATO. It's only Congress - the lower and upper house - that issued resolutions urging him to refrain from this kind of thinking. Poland should analyze all this and observe it and not believe that Trump loved Poland especially and we can count on him.

WE CAN'T COUNT ON TRUMP, MORE ON AMERICA. BUT THEREFORE, YOU NEED TO CAREFULLY, CAREFULLY SHAPE SECURITY POLICY AND SEEK SAFETY IN ALLOCATIONS AND COOPERATION THAT IS NOT LIMITED TO STATES.

Poland relies heavily on Trump, as the Polish government and president love the American president. And this policy probably seems to be favored by the public, because during recent the elections the government got another mandate for the next 4 years.

Indeed so, but this time it's much weaker. I would not call it a victory at all, since the conditions of the game were very uneven. Never in the elections since 89 has there been such unequal conditions for campaigning. The opposition "Solidarity" in spring 1989 had better conditions in this respect than today's opposition parties. At least, it was not as defamated and intimidated as compared to what as PiS did to his opponents during it's four years of ruling.

It is true that PiS got an extension of the mandate, but it is also known that it was counting on more. Kaczyński is not stupid, "only" evil (in a political sense) and understands that this mandate is weak - he lost the Senate. Despite such massive measures, from using the taxpayer's money to buy a part of the electorate in a coarse way, Kaczyński understands that there is no such support. He never really had it. It's an electoral system that gave them sole power.

IN PiS, THERE IS NO INTELLECTUAL POTENTIAL TO UNDERSTAND THE ISSUES IN THE FIELD OF INTERNATIONAL POLICY AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS. SECONDLY, I BELIEVE THAT THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT POLAND'S INTEREST. INTERESTS OF AUTHORITIES ARE OVERARCHING TO COUNTRY INTERESTS.

Therefore, we cannot have great expectations regarding foreign policy. Moreover what has happened so far does not even qualify for the academic definition of foreign policy. Maybe there will be at least no continuation - at least not with impetus we had so far - of demolishing the Polish state and its ability to function (also in matters connected with security).

You write in the latest Newsweek that PiS is aware of the damage it is doing to Poland, and despite this awareness they are doing everything to maintain power. These are serious accusations.
From the very beginning I had no doubts about it, although until now, a large number of commentators believed that PiS is a party that wants to do well, but maybe the principles they operate on are not good, maybe they can't or err, but all in all they have good intentions.

I think that this is wrong thinking - says prof. Roman Kuźniar, political scientist from the University of Warsaw, diplomat, former adviser to President Bronisław Komorowski. - From the beginning it was obvious that they are dangerously leaning towards Leninist obsession with power. They did not want the normal kind of power that every government needs to convey good politics for the country, for society. They wanted a power that would allow them to remain in charge forever. This it what demolishing the foundations of a democratic state of law was needed for. They want to secure unlimited, unpunished and indefinite power by all possible means, including non-constitutional. These are the three attributes of the power they want, he adds. - The Banaś case (curent chairman of Supreme Chamber of Control, involved in the scandal of renting rooms for hours right after taking his office - ed. translator) perfectly reveals the nature and level of this party - no honor, no ethos, no shame. Banaś with his downfall of ethos is emblematic for them, but that's the quintessence of PiS - he emphasizes.

YOU CAN SAY THAT KACZYŃSKI REVERSED THE LENIN'S PARADIGM. WHEREAS LENIN NEEDED A FULL AUTHORITY TO BUILD A SPECIFIC SOCIAL SYSTEM, KACZYŃSKI AND HIS PARTY ARE TRYING TO BUILD A SOCIAL SYSTEM IN ORDER TO OBTAIN FULL AUTHORITY. THIS IS VERY DANGEROUS TO POLAND.

Did Marian Banaś really stand up to Kaczyński and return to the chair of the head of the Supreme Chamber of Control (Supreme Audit Office) or is this a theater for the public and everything has been staged?
The latter hypothesis seems more likely. The very case of Banaś reveals perfectly the nature and level of this party - no honor, no ethos, no shame. Banaś with his downfall of ethos is emblematic for them, but that's the quintessence of PiS. Seemingly they are trying to cancel it, but they can't because it is constitutionally irrevocable. They also want to change the constitution so that the nation cannot recall them. It is in the interest of PiS that the trustee and his person remain as the head of the Supreme Audit Office. He has a specific role to play, especially when it comes to controlling power - the Supreme Audit Office should show all iniquities or inefficiencies of power. Someone like Banaś will not properly perform this function in a state that has come under the control and in the service of one party, his party. Of course, I'm not sure if this hypothesis is correct, but taking into account PiS's cunning, I indeed focus on this variant.

What is the significance of recovering of the Senate by the opposition?

PiS still does not lay down their weapons. This is of great psychological significance, because it showed that PiS can be overcome. I do not think that it was possible in the Parliament elections - here I differ from those who thought that it was possible to win these elections. As I said before:

Given this massive scale of lies, bribery and intimidation, it was only possible to achieve a little better result without equal opportunities, but not to win.

Anyway, what we are observing at the moment in the main opposition party shows a certain immaturity. Returning to your questions - if the opposition does not start shooting at each other or kicking on the ankles (and this is likely in Polish conditions) then the Senate can play a very important role, greater than that stated in the constitution. If the Senate remains united, it will be able to stop PiS from various madness and further corruption of the state. It will also force the president to at least explain himself to the public. E.g. from signing of laws in the middle of the night without even reflecting on them.

Who should be the opposition's presidential candidate?

In my opinion, a lot of opposition's people can relatively successfully play the role of president, but not all of them can win elections with someone like Andrzej Duda. I know that what I will say can be perceived as a subjective statement, but I believe that President Komorowski did his duty very well, in spite of him not winning the election for the second time. That's why is why the ability to carry out the duties of the president, like representing the dignity of the Republic of Poland, is something very different than the ability to win the presidential election. Look at the example of Mr. Duda - I must admit that he had a very good campaign and with (what also should be noted) rather poor campaign of his opponent (Komorowski), he won the election. Not long after though - he turned out to be the president, whose littleness and dependence is breathtaking. And I am not talking only about the latest joke the President gave at AGH, but about the fact that he humiliates the dignity of Poland in more serious, constitutional situations. So these are two different things.

THE OPPOSITION SHOULD LOOK FOR A CANDIDATE WHO WILL HAVE THE ABILITY OF BEATING THE CURRENT PRESIDENT, AND LATER THE ABILITY TO PERFORM THE FUNCTION. IN THE OPPOSITION, THERE ARE MANY POLITICIANS WHO ARE MORE THAN COMPETENT FOR THIS FUNCTION. SURE BETTER THAN THE CURRENT PRESIDENT, HOWEVER not everyone has the ability to beat him.

And has Poland matured enough to have a woman president?

This is not the issue. Poland is mature in many aspects. Sometimes some media try to set us up in such a way that we have not matured for something. I don't think this is a gender issue anyway. Poles will accept both - a woman and a man - provided he or she will be good. I wish Poland the best and it indeed does not matter whether it is a woman or a man. It was said once that America was not mature enough to have a black president, then it turned out that the black candidate significantly won the election in a country that still deals with a lot f racial issues. Hillary Clinton did not become president (though it is worth noting that she got significantly more votes from Trump) not because she was a woman, but not a good candidate at that time. It is not a matter of gender or orientation that will determine it, but the candidate's political potential.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Three Pillars of MakoLab - my speech at XXX anniversary of MakoLab creation

This is in Polish and English, intertwined...

Szanowni Państwo, Drodzy Partnerzy, Przyjaciele i Współpracownicy


Jesteśmy razem już od trzydziestu lat. W tym czasie niektórym udaje się wychować całkiem samodzielnych, dorosłych ludzi! To całe pokolenie ukształtowanych jednostek, indywidualności, charakterów, mających za sobą sukcesy i porażki, wzloty i upadki. Nasze dorosłe już dziecko, Makolab, również ma za sobą niezliczone dobre i złe dni, mniejsze i większe wygrane, chwile radości i optymizmu, ale i chwile zwątpienia.
Na szczęście od samego początku istnienia Makolab ma coś, czego niektórzy inni nie mają - solidne podstawy, fundamenty, na których oparliśmy filozofię i kulturę firmy; odnośniki, które pomagają nam kształtować postawy, zdobywać nowe rynki, wdrażać przełomowe rozwiązania i - przede wszystkim - wciąż iść naprzód. Kreować trendy (zamiast jedynie za nimi podążać), otwierać okna (tam, gdzie zastajemy zamknięte drzwi), i łamać zasady (po to, by tworzyć nową i lepszą rzeczywistość).
Jak to osiągnęliśmy? Dzięki wierności trzem filarom, które jak Filary Ziemi Kena Folleta pozwoliły nam nakreślić architekturę świata takim, jakim sami chcemy go widzieć. Zbudowaliśmy Makolab na trzech filarach, tak jak on zbudował swoją epicką powieść o jakże wymownym dla nas tytule.


Dear Guests, Partners, Friends and MakoLab employees,


We have been together for thirty years! During these years some of us succeeded in raising children into quite independent adults - a whole generation of well-formed individuals with their own characters who have experienced successes, failures, highs and lows.
MakoLab, the individual we raised from child to adult, leaves behind an uncountable number of days good and bad, triumphs big and small, moments of doubt and despair, but also moments of joy and optimism.
From the very beginning of its existence, MakoLab has something that most other companies lack – firm fundamental beliefs upon which we have built our philosophy and company culture, points of reference which help us shape our attitudes, conquer new markets, implement new solutions, and – perhaps most important of all - always keep moving forward…
These beliefs help us create new trends (not just follow existing ones), open windows to places which doors are kept closed, and to break rules in order to create new, better realities.
How did we get here? It was all possible because we believe in three basic pillars, which, like in Ken Follet’s novel “Pillars of the Earth”, helped us to sketch the architecture of the world as we wanted to see it. In a similar way to Follet’s epic novel with its meaningful title, we have built MakoLab on three pillars.


Pierwszym z nich jest nieustanna innowacja i poszukiwanie.


Poszukiwanie to dla nas koncepcja o szerokim spektrum. Nie mówimy wyłącznie o badaniach i rozwoju w znaczeniu technologicznym. Poszukujemy także wtedy, gdy zastanawiamy się nad organizacją pracy, urządzeniem biura, nad wszystkim tym, co stanowi codzienność firmy.
Każdy, kto nas zna, wie, że nieustannie szukamy najlepszych rozwiązań i największej efektywności. To oczywiście nie zawsze się udaje. Czasami zapewne nie udaje się wcale, ale naszym wyróżnikiem jest niesamowita motywacja, odważne pomysły i chęć tworzenia. Spoglądamy w gwiazdy, równocześnie mocno stojąc na ziemi. Nie zatrzymujemy się. Wnikliwie analizujemy porażki – patrzymy na błędy z przeszłości, uczymy się na nich, ale wciąż idziemy do przodu.
Innowacja w MakoLab ma też wymiar dosłowny. Nie byłoby nas zapewne w największej firmie samochodowej z Francji, gdybyśmy lata temu nie wymyślili najdziwniejszego systemu CMS, jaki świat widział – systemu, który nie potrzebował Internetu, aby działać. Nie byłoby nas w bankach, jakie pomagają ludziom kupować samochody, gdybyśmy nie stworzyli wizji działania symulacji finansowych. Nie byłoby nas w jednej z najważniejszych firm samochodowych w Niemczech, gdybyśmy nie spróbowali sobie wyobrazić, co może zrobić całkiem realny pojazd mechaniczny, gdy połączymy go ze światem cyfrowym. Nie moglibyśmy tworzyć aplikacji dla lotnictwa, gdybyśmy nie proponowali innowacyjnych rozwiązań.  Nie byłoby nas w wielu amerykańskich firmach, gdybyśmy nie wymyślali rozwiązań, o jakich im się nawet nie śniło. Kreatywność naszych artystów spotykała się z innowacyjnością techniczną naszych programistów w niezliczonych projektach.
Nasze podejście do innowacji widać także tam, gdzie wszyscy innowacji oczekujemy – czyli w naszej działalności R&D. Stworzyliśmy nowy rodzaj Blockchain’a. Zrobiliśmy też pierwsze kroki w kierunku Blockchain’a kwantowego. Jeden z nas zarządza największą i najważniejszą ontologią dla świata finansów, inni budują słowniki dla Komisji Europejskiej, pomagające w zapobieganiu kryzysom finansowym. To globalne sukcesy na miarę największych, międzynarodowych graczy. Dlatego tym bardziej, muszę przyznać, cieszy mnie dzisiejsza uroczystość. Mamy szansę powspominać - z autentycznym niedowierzaniem przyprawiającym o zawrót głowy - to, jak zaczynaliśmy. Te czasy, kiedy drukowaliśmy matryce do produkcji skądinąd profesjonalnych książek i czasopism na byle drukarkach, zupełnie do tego nieprzystosowanych, czy na kalce technicznej, kompletnie się do tego nie nadającej. Czasy kiedy ja, wtedy jeszcze naukowiec, pisałem programy na kartach perforowanych…
Dziś pracujemy nad sztuczną inteligencją, nad samochodami, które za chwilę będą same jeździć. Lada moment będziemy programować komputery kwantowe, które wywrócą świat do góry nogami. Makolab jest i będzie częścią tej nowej, ekscytującej rzeczywistości, bo nasza wyobraźnia i chęć eksploracji nie znają granic.

The first pillar: enduring innovation and research


For us, research is an extensive concept. We do not limit research and development to technology. “Research” includes improving the organization in every way, arranging – and rearranging – our office space and the ways we work. “Research” is everything that informs even the day-to-day existence of MakoLab.
Those who know us know that we endlessly search for the best solutions and maximum efficiency. This, of course, is not always easy to achieve. Sometimes, perhaps, we fail in this, but our strength lies in being driven, having brave ideas, and in an everlasting willingness to create. We look into the stars with our feet firm on the ground. We analyse our failures, examine past mistakes, and thus gain more knowledge and, in turn, move forward.
“Research and Innovation” in MakoLab also have a more literal meaning.
We would not have worked for many years with the largest French car manufacturer, if, long ago, we hadn’t invented the strangest CMS system the world had ever seen: a system which did not need the Internet to operate! We would not be working with banks which help people buy cars, if we had not created a vision for financial simulators at a time when no bank used them. We would not be present at one of the largest German automotive businesses, if we had not imagined what a car could do when we connected it to a grid of data. We would not make apps for connected aircraft if we did not innovate how to make them better and more efficient. We would not be working for many American companies if we could not fulfil their dreams about digital tools. In countless projects like these the creativity of our artists met – and meets – with the technical innovation of our developers.
Our approach to innovation is particularly prominent in the activity we naturally expect to be most innovative in – our R&D efforts. We have created a new kind of Blockchain. We have made the first steps toward Quantum Blockchain. One of our people manages the development of the largest and most important ontologies for the financial industry. Part of our team is building vocabularies for the European Commission with the use of Machine Learning and semantics, with the fundamental goal of preventing any future financial crisis. These global achievements would be a source of pride for the largest international players! All the more reason why I’m full of happiness this evening. We have an incredible chance to reminisce – with a bit disbelief – about our beginnings 30 years ago. The times when we made money on printing offset plates for books and newspapers using primitive printers and plain tracing paper! The years when I, still a young scientist, wrote our software on perforated cards.
Today we work on AI, on cars that will soon drive themselves. In the near future we will program quantum computers which will turn the world upside down.  MakoLab is and will be part of this exciting reality because our imagination and will to explore has no limits.


Drugim ważnym dla nas filarem jest absolutne i radykalne pierwszeństwo klienta.



Od samego początku istnienia MakoLab’u rządzi nami zasada „customer sovereignty” – zwierzchność klienta nad nami. Adam Smith, tworząc podstawy kapitalizmu, pisał „the consumer is king”. Ta reguła, sprawdzona i sprawdzana nadal we wszystkich zdrowych systemach ekonomicznych, jest równie ważna w codziennym funkcjonowaniu Makolabu. Wszystko co robimy, robimy dla naszych klientów.
Tak, wiem co powiecie - to truizmy i slogany. Nieprawda. Pilnujemy tej zasady. Wierzymy w nią, choć czasem to naprawdę bardzo trudne. Powiem wam w sekrecie, że czasem mamy wątpliwości. Czasem nawet oceniamy i marudzimy - ten klient nie wie czego chce, tamten nie rozumie...Każdy kto kiedykolwiek funkcjonował w środowisku biznesowym doskonale wie o czym mówię. Ale my w Makolabie od 30 lat robimy wszystko - czasami (choć na szczęście rzadko) aż do działań na granicy opłacalności – aby nasz klient był zadowolony. Nie, nie zadowolony - zachwycony! Oczarowany! Przekonany do nas i przekonany o wartości tego, co mu dostarczyliśmy. Bo to, co dostarczamy JEST najwyższej jakości.
W zwierzchności klienta kryje się istota kapitalizmu – tego polskiego, który budowaliśmy od 1989 roku, i tego europejskiego, i światowego. Jesteśmy jego częścią choćby poprzez fakt, że 80% obrotu osiągamy zagranicą.


The second important pillar: radical customer sovereignty.


From the dawn of our existence there is a rule that has absolute importance for us – customer sovereignty – the authority of the client over us. Adam Smith, creating the foundations of capitalism, said: “The consumer is king”. That rule has proved to work in all healthy economies and is equally important to us here at MakoLab. Ultimately, everything we do focuses on our clients.
Sure, one could say, “this is simply a catchphrase”. It’s not. We believe in it wholeheartedly – even if, at times, it is very difficult. Just between you and me, I admit that we sometimes have doubts. Sometimes we are judgemental: one client doesn’t really know what he wants, another one doesn’t understand what we do… Those who have been in business long enough know these sentiments well. However, from our beginnings 30 years ago, we in MakoLab have been striving – sometimes dangerously close to the limit of profitability – for our clients’ satisfaction. Wait, did I say satisfaction? No, I meant absolute delight. We want our clients to be overwhelmingly convinced by our talents and certain about the value of our products, because what we deliver must be of the highest quality.
Customer sovereignty lies at the heart of all capitalism – be it global, European, or the Polish capitalism we have been building since 1989. We are part of that global system now, especially given that 80% of our revenue comes from abroad.

Trzeciem filarem na którym oparliśmy filozofię Makolabu jest WOLNOŚĆ.


Ja wiem, że na tego rodzaju uroczystościach wypada przytaczać spektakularne case studies, pokazywać realizacje i mówić o sukcesach. To ważne i motywujące. Ale tak naprawdę Makolab powstał na bazie konkretnej potrzeby - potrzeby wolności, którą odczuwałem dokładnie wtedy, kiedy odczuwała ją cała Polska. W czerwcu 1989 roku, którego rocznicę tak pięknie świętujemy!
Głód wolności był na początku bardzo konkretny i materialny – chodziło o wolność do godnego życia i godnego utrzymania rodziny. Z czasem ta sama potrzeba zdominowała filozofię firmy i pozwoliła jej rozwinąć skrzydła. To wszystko działo się na przestrzeni wielu lat - patrząc z perspektywy czasu właściwie dekad! W 2007 roku aktem wielkiej odwagi i głębokiej wolności była decyzja o wejściu na giełdę – pomimo tego jak niewielką byliśmy wtedy firmą. Nie istniała wówczas jednak żadna inna metoda finansowania rozwoju, która dałaby nam tyle swobody i wolności, ile chcieliśmy mieć.
W 2008 roku z kolei potrzeba wolności przełożyła się we mnie na powierzenie sterów firmy Wojtkowi – po to, abym odzyskał wolność do innowacji i poszukiwań. Właśnie wtedy zaczęliśmy odnosić sukcesy poza granicami Polski i zajęliśmy się protoplastą sztucznej inteligencji, czyli sieciami semantycznymi. Zadebiutowaliśmy w Anglii, we Francji, a wreszcie - za oceanem. 
Zastanawiacie się, co nam dała ta wolność, jaka jest jej wymierna wartość? Odpowiem prostym i bardzo aktualnym przykładem; istniała niedawno wielka pokusa dla udziałowców spółki, aby sprzedać firmę. To etap decydujący dla wielu organizacji biznesowych. My jednak oceniliśmy, że taki krok odebrałby nam wolność, którą tak sobie cenimy. Zamiast tego wprowadziliśmy program akcji pracowniczych, dzięki któremu kilku z Was powiększyło grono współwłaścicieli firmy.
Praktykowanie wolności w warunkach firmowych nie jest proste. Wymaga odwagi i determinacji. Wymaga zaciskania zębów. Trudno czasami tę wolność dostrzec w organizacji mocno hierarchicznej i można powiedzieć – niedemokratycznej. Paradoksalnie jednak my rozumiemy wolność nie jako ucieczkę od czegoś, lecz jako możliwość wyboru. Nie jesteśmy “wolni od” lecz “wolni by móc”...
Czasem zdarza się, że pracownicy odchodzą. To także świetny przykład na to jak Makolab rozumie wolność. Ci, którzy nas zostawiają, podejmują świadomy wybór, ale my dbamy o to, by wszystko działo się w przyjaźni. Chcemy by każdy czuł się wolny w swoich decyzjach, jednocześnie wiedząc, że ma w nich nasze wsparcie. Staramy się rozstawać z ludźmi w taki sposób, by nie stać na drodze do ich wolności i jednocześnie umożliwiać powroty. Mamy dziś na sali wielu byłych pracowników – cieszę się, że jesteście dziś z nami i świętujecie sukces, którego sami byliście ważną częścią.


The third pillar which forms our philosophy: FREEDOM.



I know perfectly well that during ceremonies like this one it is normal - and expected - to show spectacular case studies, point out our greatest achievements and celebrate our successes. All of that  is important and motivating. But… the truth is that MakoLab has been created out of a concrete need: the need for freedom. Together with all other Poles, I felt this deeply in June 1989, the year of freedom and solidarity which we celebrate this year across the country with so much joy and pride.
In the beginning, the desire for freedom was very down to earth – it was all about the freedom to live a dignified life and to provide for our families. Over time, the same desire for freedom dominated the company culture and allowed us to spread our wings.
All that happened over many years, or, to be precise, over decades. Despite the small size of our company at that time, our 2007 IPO was an act of bravery based on that deep sense of freedom. Floating this company on the stock market was the best way to finance company growth and give us even more freedom.
In 2008, it was out of that same desire for freedom that I asked Wojtek to become the new guardian of the MakoLab ‘child’. At the time I was seeking freedom to innovate and to develop new ideas. Shortly after, we started to work on larger projects outside Poland and initiated works on the precursor of Artificial Intelligence and on semantic technologies. We debuted in France, UK and finally in the US.
Do you want to know what that freedom gave us? What was its measurable value? I will tell you this using a simple and very recent example. Not long ago our company shareholders were tempted to sell the company. This is usually a decisive step for many business organizations. However, we realized that such a step would take away the freedom we cherish so much. Instead we initiated an Employee Shareholder Program and now several of our newest shareholders are our employees!
Practising freedom in the company environment is far from trivial. It requires courage and determination. Sometimes it really is a “grin and bear it” way of life. It is difficult to see true freedom in a highly hierarchical and, shall we say, undemocratic environment. Paradoxically perhaps, we understand freedom not as an escape from duties, but as a liberty of choice. We are not “free from” we are “free to”.
It sometimes happens that company employees leave. In this realm we also practice freedom. Those who leave us make a conscious choice, but if that moment comes, we always nurture an atmosphere of friendship. We want all to feel free in their choices and all to feel our support. We strive to part in such a way that those who leave may also feel free to return. We have many former employees of Makolab here – I’m so happy you are with us today and can celebrate the success you were part of.

I hope that our “Pillars of the Earth” – Innovation, Customer Sovereignty, and Freedom – are, and will remain, as close to you all as they are to me.
I wish the same for all of us and for our now 30-year-old grown-up child – MakoLab!

Mam nadzieję, że nasze Filary Ziemi - Innowacja, Pierwszeństwo Klienta i Wolność - są i pozostaną tak samo bliskie Wam, jak i mnie.
Tego życzę sobie, Wam i naszemu dorosłemu dziś dziecku, 30-letniemu Makolabowi!

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Prime Minister Morawiecki, lying and denigrating Polish judges, crossed all boundaries

The author is a lawyer, a co-founder of the initiative # WolneSądy. He is a candidate for the European Parliament from the list of the European Coalition.

The words of Prime Minister Morawiecki comparing Polish judges to Nazi collaborators are shameful and unacceptable. As a lawyer and as a representative of civil society, who for 3.5 has been demanding respect for the rule of law in Poland and is opposed to destroying the independence of the Polish judiciary, I say: enough!

The Polish prime minister goes to the United States and announces publicly that Polish courts are inefficient and corrupt, and the judges of the communist regime that are ruling in them are like collaborators from Vichy who should be rid of. With this comparison, the Prime Minister exceeded all possible limits acceptable even in the most severe political struggle. He insulted the entire judiciary environment. Ten thousand people who constitute the third, constitutionally equal power in Poland.

And as an example of corruption and corruption, there are still a few of the same examples: a stolen drill, pendrive and sausage. To publicize this, state-owned companies have spent millions on campaigns throughout the country. How does this relate to the whole of the judicial environment? To this crowd of people, excellent lawyers who carry out their work diligently on a daily basis? It is pure demagogy and conscious, populist manipulation.

The same applies to the regime, communist past of judges. The average age of Polish judges is 41 years. So they could not have ruled before 1989 for obvious biological reasons. Like 12 or 13-year-olds, they did not actively participate in the underground struggle of the opposition. Anyway, if the authorities really wanted to eliminate from the justice of anyone who in the 1970s or 1980s had even issued one political sentence, a condemning oppositionist, would write such a formulated law. It's easy. But that's not the intention. The intention is only to subordinate courts and make them offices in which obedient judges-officials make decisions in line with the government's expectations.

In the end, the prime minister repeats what we have heard many times: in the European Union they do not know what is happening here, they have no idea about Polish law and the system of justice. Another absurdity. For several years I have had the opportunity to talk, meet and discuss the Polish rule of law with representatives of the EU institutions. I have personally talked with Frans Timmermens and his officials from the Commission personally, I have participated in debates in the Parliament. I stood before the CJEU due to the pre-trial inquiry regarding the National Court Register and the Disciplinary Chamber. So, based on my own experience, I can assess what the prime minister apparently did not notice or what he deliberately misrepresented. The level of professionalism and knowledge of lawyers and EU politicians who take care of Polish matter, I will not mention the competences in this field of the judges of the Tribunal, is the highest possible. Incomparable to legal knowledge presented by some representatives of the government.

Finally, it is necessary to say "enough" to the constant abandonment of the name of the Polish judiciary. The more so because there are legal grounds for this. On December 20, 2017, when taking Poland, for the first time in the history of the Union, the procedure under art. 7 of the EU Treaty, the European Commission, in its recommendations, ordered the rulers in Poland to refrain from actions and public statements that undermine the legitimacy of the administration of justice.

Prime Minister Morawiecki began his office by attacking the Polish judiciary in an article in the Washington Examineer, so as an initiative # FreeWe have protested, publishing a replica in the same newspaper.

Then similar defamations fell from the lips of the prime minister in the European Parliament or in the pages of "Le Figaro", there was an organized crime group, etc. The last American accent Morawiecki finally crossed the limits of any decency. This should be met with joint support from all Polish legal circles.

Google Translate after: http://wyborcza.pl/7,75968,24696006,premier-morawiecki-klamiac-i-oczerniajac-polskich-sedziow.html 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Johann Jakob Balmer

We (physicists) have special place in our minds for Johann Balmer (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Jakob_Balmer). 

I just read a very funny sentence: 

"Balmer, incidentally, wrote only three physics papers in his life. The first two made him immortal; the third was wrong." 

(Abraham Pais, "Inward Bound")

Friday, January 25, 2019

Political pressure on Polish public TV


The text is in Polish. I'm going to make a summary in English for this slide deck.
The PDF (in Polish) is here.