America, the promised land for all Poles. For more than a century, thousands emigrated from Poland to the U.S. in search of their American dream and sent their hard-earned dollars back home.
The greenback seemed like god. Especially during the second half of the 20th century, one U.S. dollar bought an amazing lot in Poland where the average pay at times was a mere $20 per month.
Two or three decades ago, you could buy an apartment in Warsaw for $5,000 — roughly the amount a Manhattan cleaning lady from Poland can save within several months! (Today, you could buy no more than a square meter for it.)
Landline phones worked in the U.S., while in Poland you had to wait for 20 years to get installed. Cable television gave you dozens of channels to choose from, while in Poland two state-owned channels would only rarely show production from the First World. Blake Carrington even had a mobile phone in his limo! Wow, America was the paradise on earth indeed.
Notwithstanding that in 2010 you can get a mobile phone in Poland within minutes and it costs next to nothing, that there are hundreds of TV channels in Polish, and the U.S. dollar no longer buys all that much, some people still nurture the image of America that they created in their hearts some time during the last century.
Here’s the latest example, from conservative daily Rzeczpospolita, which writes on its blog today:
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Why art thou so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning.
O my God, I cry by day, but thou dost not answer; and by night, but find no rest. Yet thou art holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In thee our fathers trusted; they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
To thee they cried, and were saved; in thee they trusted, and were not disappointed.
But I am a worm, and no man; scorned by men, and despised by the people.
All who see me mock at me, they make mouths at me, they wag their heads; “He committed his cause to the LORD; let him deliver him, let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”
Yet thou art he who took me from the womb; thou didst keep me safe upon my mother’s breasts.
Upon thee was I cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me thou hast been my God.
Be not far from me, for trouble is near and there is none to help.
Many bulls encompass me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me; they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax, it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; thou dost lay me in the dust of death.
Yea, dogs are round about me; a company of evildoers encircle me; they have pierced my hands and feet— I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots.
But thou, O LORD, be not far off! O thou my help, hasten to my aid!
Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog!
Save me from the mouth of the lion, my afflicted soul from the horns of the wild oxen!
I will tell of thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee: You who fear the LORD, praise him!
All you sons of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you sons of Israel!
For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; and he has not hid his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.
From thee comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD!
May your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.
For dominion belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.
Yea, to him shall all the proud of the earth bow down; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and he who cannot keep himself alive.
Posterity shall serve him; men shall tell of the Lord to the coming generation, and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, that he has wrought it.
With all the voices clamoring for our acceptance of alleged apparitions these days, it’s worthwhile listening to the advice given by this esteemed Cardinal on how to carefully and prudently evaluate the claims of the “seers.”
I have studied Mormon theology and history for nearly 25 years now (yes, I know that’s an uncommon hobby for a Catholic), during which time I’ve seen a marked shift in the attitudes of many Mormons toward the moniker “Mormon.”
“[He] is a marvelous actor who elevates every role he plays, whether it’s in Band of Brothers or Desperate Housewives.“So when he was suddenly replaced with David James Elliott 3 days into the filming on ABC’s new series Scoundrels earlier this week, there had to be a story behind the story. The move was officially explained as a casting change. But, in fact, McDonough was sacked because of his refusal to do some heated love scenes with babelicious star (and Botox pitchwoman) Virginia Madsen.The reason?He’s a family man and a Catholic, and he’s always made it clear that he won’t do sex scenes. And ABC knew that. Because he also didn’t get into action with Nicolette Sheridan on the network’sDesperate Housewives when he played her psycho husband during Season 5. And he also didn’t do love scenes with his on-air girlfriend in his previous series, NBC’s Boomtown, or that network’s Medical Investigation.“‘It has cost him jobs, but the man is sticking to his principles,’ a source explained to me. You can’t help but admire McDonough for sticking to his beliefs, even if he’s poised to lose as much as $1 million in paydays…” (continue reading)
THE ANT & THE GRASSHOPPER (TRADITIONAL VERSION)
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.
[MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself.]
* * * * *
THE ANT & THE GRASSHOPPER (MODERN VERSION)
The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.
The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
When winter comes, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving.
CBS, NBC , PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shiv
ering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.
America is stunned by the sharp contrast.
How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?
Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, “It’s Not Easy Being Green . . .”
ACORN stages a demonstration in front of the ant’s house where the news stations film the group singing, “We shall overcome.” Then the Rev. Al Sharpton has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper’s sake.
Dear Leader condemns the ant and blames President Bush, President Reagan, Christopher Columbus, and the Pope for the grasshopper’s plight.
Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to mak
e him pay his fair share.
Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.
The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government Green Czar and given to the grasshopper.
The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn’t maintain it.
The ant has disappeared in the snow, never to be seen again.
The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident, and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the ramshackle, once prosperous and once peaceful, neighborhood.
The entire Nation collapses, dragging the rest of the free world with it.
< span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:'trebuchet ms';">[MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote in 2010 and 2012.]