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It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to retire our beloved Forum Detroit. It has served the Polonia Detroit for over 10 years, and was a source of joy for many. However, after many months of inactivity, the time has come to bid it farewell.
Deepest and warmest thanks to all those who contributed to Forum discussions over the years, either by sharing their thoughts or reading those of others. Your presence and participation served as a building block of this online polish community.
Cegiełka na temat "umbrelli"...
The PAC and Smolensk: A waste of time
Does the Polish American Congress really have nothing better to do than issue idiotic resolutions like the one below? This resolution, passed at the recent convention of the PAC's national directors in Chicago, shows how utterly out of touch and irrational the current leadership of the PAC is. Not only do they insist on meddling in the internal affairs of Poland, they don't even believe that Poland is a sovereign country. Worse, they have, in effect, turned the PAC into the American arm of Poland's PiS party, which is led by clowns such as Kaczynski and Macierewicz.
The people who wasted everyone's time putting together this silly resolution obviously don't know anything about aircraft, air crash investigation, crew procedures, military protocol or any other relevant subjects. Nor do they want to know, because all they care about is interfering in Polish politics. Here's a news flash for them (and for intelligent members of Polonia) about the Smoleńsk tragedy:
There is no "truth" to be found. The overwhelming majority of qualified experts (which does not include paid pseudo-experts like Wiesław Binienda) know what the causes of the crash were. Certainly, the Russians bore some responsibility, but the crash was primarily the fault of the Polish crew. Anyone familiar with aviation (and clearly nobody in the PAC is) almost immediately recognized the Smoleńsk crash as a textbook example of what legitimate crash investigators around the world call "controlled flight into terrain" (CFIT). A likely contributing factor may have been what is known among experts as "power distance," a cultural phenomenon measured by the so-called "power distance index" (PDI). Anyone interested in those topics can easily look them up. (Naturally, the kinds of people who drafted this resolution can't be bothered to do that.)
There is no evidence of any kind of conspiracy, accident-site "executions" by Russians, or any other such nonsensical inventions. It was a tragic accident. Period. End of story.
Only idiots still believe otherwise---the same kinds of idiots as those that believe the world is ruled by space aliens, that Obama is a Muslim and that the American moon landing was a hoax.
Furthermore, the U.S. government has no interest in "investigating" the Smolensk crash or, indeed, any authority to do so. If the brilliant people who drafted and signed this resolution really think any rational member of Congress will take it seriously, they're living in an alternate world where pigs fly and the moon is made of cheese.
If the PAC is ever again to become a relevant, influential organization that truly represents Polish Americans, it cannot afford to engage in farcical activities like this, which not only reek of political partisanship but that expose the PAC to ridicule---as this resolution does.
Resolution #2: Congressional Hearings on the Smolensk Disaster
Whereas, on April 10th, 2010, the Polish Air Force One, carrying the President of Poland Lech
Kaczyński and 95 other distinguished high-ranking officials, including the entire Central
Command of the Polish Armed Forces, members of the Sejm and state administration, clergy
and families of the Katyń victims, crashed at the Severnyl Airfield in Smolensk, Russia, killing all
96 people on board, and
Whereas, the Polish Government led by Prime Minister Donald Tusk acted to the detriment of
Poland’s vital national interest by allowing to conduct the investigation of the crash by the
authorities of the Russian Federation, under Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention, improperly
treating Polish Air Force One as a civilian aircraft, thereby depriving the Polish side of any
enforcement, oversight and appeal mechanisms, and
Whereas, the Russian investigation produced a report (“MAK Report”) that contains blatant
inconsistencies and misrepresentations while demonstrating disregard for
facts, data and laws of physics, from which it arrives at dubious conclusions, and
Whereas, the lack of professionalism and poor quality of the Russian investigation has been
proven by numerous mistakes in the identification of the victims’ bodies transferred to Poland
for burial, and
Whereas, the authorities of the Russian Federation endlessly delay, without good cause,
transferring to Poland the wreckage of the aircraft and all pertinent evidence, such as flight data
recorders and electronic equipment, while mishandling and even purposely destroying the direct
Whereas, the Polish authorities accepted the MAK Report without due care, and followed up
with their own report (Miller Commission Report) which rubberstamps the MAK Report, and
Whereas, the Polish Government continues to ignore scientific evidence produced by the
Parliamentary Committee for the investigation of the Smolensk Crash led by Minister Antoni
Macierewicz in cooperation with independent experts from all over the world and investigative
journalists, while harassing and even defaming them instead,
Therefore, the Polish American Congress Council of National Directors, assembled in Chicago,
Illinois on October 17-18, 2014, resolved that:
1. After four years of investigations and implausible explanations of the causes of the
crash, it becomes unlikely that the Governments of the Russian Federation and of the
Republic of Poland will ever conduct a professional investigation based on
contemporary international standards of aircraft crash investigation that would
produce trustworthy and verifiable results;
2. We are hereby requesting that the Congress of the United States of America convene
an inquiry and Congressional Hearings to find the truth about the Smolensk Disaster;
3. We are calling on all of North American Polonia to let their Congressional and
Parliamentary Representatives in Washington and Ottawa know that their Polish
constituents want them to find the truth about the Smolensk Disaster, and persuade
them to convene Inquiry and Congressional Hearings in the Smolensk Disaster case;
4. We hereby direct the PAC President to take the lead in this effort by writing to
Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the United States Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, to initiate the hearings.
Frances X. Gates, Chairman
Rezolucja #1 jest równie idiotyczna. Pokazuje słabość Frank Spuli, który bał się przeciwstawić grupie oszołomów (w tym naszych lokalnych), którym marzy się wojna z Rosją.
Niemcy z drugiej strony wykazali trzeźwość i nie dali się wplątać w pobrzękiwanie mieczykiem. Pewnie pamiętają jeszcze ostatnią wojnę i manto jakie dostali.
Proponuje wszystkim "sokołom", którzy chcą spuścić manto Rosjanom aby udali się na wschodnią Ukrainę. Jest tam duża szansa na bezpośredni kontakt
Resolution #1: The Security of the Republic of Poland
Whereas, the Russian aggression of Ukraine, annexation of Crimea and threats from Putin’s Kremlin against the Republic of Poland demonstrate that the current policies of Russian President Putin and the insurgent Russian imperialism become a real and imminent threat to world peace, stability in Eastern and Central Europe and particularly to the existence of the Republic of Poland as a free country, and
Whereas, the Republic of Poland is a member of the NATO alliance, and
Whereas, NATO alliance has no workable contingency plans to effectively aid Poland against
an aggression from the East, and
Whereas, Polish President Bronisław Komorowski appealed to the NATO members, particularly Germany, to assist Poland in the extreme necessity of possible Russian military aggression, and
Whereas, Germany refused to participate in creating any NATO military bases on Polish territory, and
Whereas, on September 30, 2014 the German press released information, according to which the German Armed Forces are disorganized and lacking the necessary equipment for sustaining efforts per President Komorowski’s request,
Therefore, the National Directors of the Polish American Congress assembled in Chicago on October 17-18, 2014, express their deep concern about the security of Poland. In our opinion it is necessary to establish United States Armed Forces bases on Polish territory. National Directors of PAC appeal to United States Authorities to establish a strong bilateral treaty between the USA and Poland, similar to the accords between the USA and some other countries. We request U. S. President Barack Obama to act on this issue without delay.
Therefore, the Conference of National Directors resolved to authorize the President of the Polish American congress to take immediate action to establish direct contacts with appropriate US Authorities to that end.
Frances X. Gates, Chairman
This letter appeared in the Detroit Free Press soon after the tragic plane crash near Smolensk. It is important to remember that already at that time---in fact, within mere hours of the news reports---idiots in Poland and America were screaming about "murder," crazy "conspiracies," etc. They, of course, instantly "knew" the "truth" and had already reached a conclusion.
Today, more than 10 years later, many of the same idiots (we all know at least a few of them) are still demanding "The Truth." In that light, it's interesting that the national directors of the Polish American Congress recently passed a silly resolution demanding that the U.S. government "investigate" the crash.
Letter to the Editor, Detroit Free Press, April 12, 2010
The plane crash in Smolensk, Russia, that took the lives of Poland's top leaders was not merely another of many such catastrophes, all of them tragic in obvious ways ("Memorial trip brings tragedy: Crash kills Polish leaders marking 1940 massacre," April 11).
For the Polish nation, for people of Polish descent around the world, and for anyone who understands the history of Russia's criminal and oppressive relations with Poland and other nations, the significance of last week's crash goes far beyond the obvious. They see a painful irony: In April, 1940, the Russians murdered, in the forests near Katyn, at least 22,000 Polish officers and intellectuals. Exactly 70 years later, leaders, officers and intellectuals of today's Poland died in the same forests while on a mission to commemorate those long-dead victims of Russian perfidy.
Predictable conspiracy theories aside, there seems to be no indication, so far, that the plane crash had been engineered by anyone, including the Russians. However, it is worth noting that, even now, the Russians (including the current prime minister, and ex-KGB officer, Vladimir Putin) resist admitting the full truth about their monstrous crimes at Katyn---and about other crimes committed by their predecessors against the Polish nation. After all, approximately 150,000 other Poles--men, women and children---died or were killed in the Soviet Union during World War II.
It doesn't take a wild imagination to see that the Russians would prefer that the world not be reminded of their brutal past. If there is a positive aspect to the latest tragedy, then, it lies in the fact that, since April 10, 2010, the story of Katyn, and of the Russians' guilt, has been elevated to international attention in ways that the Russians had not anticipated.
Letter in a local Polish paper, April 4, 2012. Naturally, the fools who still believe in stupid conspiracy theories won't understand it.
Some of them, I'm sure, will insist that I'm part of the conspiracy. (Note the links at the bottom.)
'Smoleńsk,' two years later: Lingering questions but no evidence of evil plots
By Andrew Ladak
April 10 marks the sad second anniversary of the crash near Smoleńsk, Russia, that killed 96 Polish dignitaries, including then-president Lech Kaczyński and high-ranking government and military officials. The crash was a national tragedy but Poland and its government continued to function and, after an appropriate period of national mourning, life returned more or less to normal. Unfortunately, "normal" in Poland has come to include bitter, politically driven public brawling—much of it over invented controversies that wouldn't even be issues in most other countries—that is dividing the country and hurting its image. The "Smoleńsk controversy," with its widespread but mostly spurious allegations of conspiracies and cover-ups, is a disturbing example of such controversies.
The "controversy" feeds on a medley of conspiracy theories, unfounded claims and partisan beliefs propounded by certain political factions in Poland (and by their sympathizers in Polonia; hence, this article) with the objective of "proving" their favorite conclusion: that the Smoleńsk "murders" were planned and carried out by the current Polish government, or by the Russians or (preferably) by both. It's revealing that such claims began popping up literally within hours of the crash. Since then they've multiplied and grown increasingly fanciful—though, again, mostly in particular political circles; e.g.: the crash was obviously an assassination, engineered by President Kaczynski's enemies in collaboration with the Russians (making Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his co-conspirators mass murderers); the Russians deliberately generated fog over the airport to disorient the Polish crew; immediately after the crash, Russian secret police roamed the site shooting survivors (proof, I guess, of the conspiracy).
A particularly amusing "theory" posits that the Polish plane didn't crash at Smoleńsk, as evidenced by the alleged absence of major aircraft sections at the staged crash site. Variants of this theory assert that the plane disintegrated in the air (suggesting, I suppose, a bomb or an anti-aircraft missile—or perhaps just a few missing screws) or that the "real" presidential plane crashed elsewhere and the one at Smoleńsk was an empty "fake."
All those claims are patently absurd. To my knowledge, there isn't a shred of credible evidence to support any of them. Although it would take a book to speculate about the motives and mindsets behind them, most of the conspiracy mongers seem driven by some mix of obsession, paranoia and political extremism. Also worth considering is the "conspiracy mindset," a documented phenomenon that has entertained us with crazy theories about the U.S. (or Israeli) government's complicity in the 9/11 attacks, President Obama's fake birth certificate, UFO cover-ups, etc. The Smoleńsk theorizers appear unwilling to concede that airplanes occasionally crash for reasons unrelated to plots and conspiracies.
Before I summarize the known facts about the Smoleńsk crash, let me explain Occam's razor, a principle often invoked by scientists, researchers and investigators. Essentially, Occam's razor states that, for a puzzling phenomenon or event, the simplest explanation consistent with observed facts is most likely the correct explanation. Applying that logic in this case leads to the most plausible explanation: The crash was the culmination of a series of decisions and factors, none of them individually extraordinary, that had nothing to do with evil plots or nefarious schemes. Put another way, there are no reasons to look for alternate, more complex and improbable explanations.
On to the facts...
Airplane crashes do happen. Even airplanes carrying presidents, generals and dignitaries have been known to crash. The overwhelming majority of such crashes are not the result of intentional actions or dark plots.
Its political significance aside, the Smoleńsk crash was a fairly typical aviation catastrophe, as the history of such accidents shows. Most crashes can be traced to a chain of decisions, actions and mechanical factors that, individually or even in combination with one or two others, might not have been catastrophic. All together, however, they compounded each other until their collective effects became insurmountable and led, unavoidably, to disaster. If there was a conspiracy in the Smoleńsk crash, it was the "conspiracy" of many undirected occurrences—a coincidental chain characteristic of most airplane catastrophes.
The decisions and events that led to the crash were influenced by other factors common in many circumstances: poor planning, communication failures, insufficient crew preparation, deficient training, poor judgment, a confusing chain of command and inoperative or inappropriate equipment. All the evidence suggests that blame for the crash lies with both the Russians and the Poles. The only arguably legitimate debate is about the proportion of blame borne by each side, but that's a debate unlikely to be resolved to everyone's satisfaction.
Speaking of blame, it's important for Poles to understand a few troubling indicators about the crew's actions and decisions. Among the most serious is evidence pointing to the unauthorized presence of at least one, possibly two, general officers in the cockpit during the landing approach. During critical points in a flight, only the pilot and his crew belong in the cockpit. If, as seems likely, Gen. Błasik, the commander of Polish air forces, and/or Gen. Buk, commander of ground forces, were in the cockpit, the pilot and aircraft commander, Capt. Protasiuk, failed to exercise proper command authority and good judgment.
According to international air traffic agreements (in this case, Annex 13 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation), the primary responsibility for investigating aviation accidents lies with the country on whose territory the accident occurs. Understandably, crashes of military aircraft may involve different rules, but whatever the circumstances, the authority of the sovereign state on whose territory a plane crashes (in this case, Russia) takes precedence. All of this is academic, however, because in this instance Poland and Russia agreed to abide by Annex 13. (Suggestions that Poland was somehow coerced into agreeing, that the agreement is proof of collusion, etc. are just more nutty conspiracy theories.)
Some questions about the flight and its final phase remain and may never be answered, but they appear to be of little material significance and are likely irrelevant to the final conclusions. That's true in most air crash investigations, so in that respect, too, the Smoleńsk crash was not unusual.
Finally, there are no compelling grounds for other countries, including the U.S., to get involved in the investigation. "Smoleńsk" is strictly a matter to be resolved between two sovereign countries: Poland and Russia. (On this point, those that insist Poland is not sovereign may benefit from professional intervention.)
In summary, political and symbolic meanings notwithstanding, the Smoleńsk crash was, in most respects, a typical example of such catastrophes. It has been adequately investigated, and while some questions remain, the factors that led to the crash are well understood and perfectly plausible. Simply put (and consistent with Occam's razor), no sound reasons exist to look for (let alone invent) alternate or extraordinary explanations.
Yet there are some who, for political or personal reasons, stubbornly reject the obvious. Among them are folks that see sinister conspiracies behind everything they don't like or understand—including a lot of things the rest of us have no problem with. For dealing with such people, I recommend two other well-established axioms: extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof; and the burden of proving a claim lies with the claimant. Thus, those that continue to insist the Smoleńsk crash was part of a massive conspiracy involving one or more of "the usual suspects" are obligated to present conclusive proof of their claims. So far, we have seen no such proof, and I predict that we never will.
Note: For two objective and reasonable perspectives on the crash, I refer readers to the following websites: www.popularmechanics.com/technology/avi … rash-Error and www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproach … ensk-crash
Another letter to a local newspaper, Czas Polski, April 5, 2013. Naturally, the fools who still believe in stupid conspiracy theories won't understand it. (Some of them, I'm sure, will insist that I'm involved in the "conspiracy.")
Letter to the Editor
Smoleńsk: Time to move on
April 10 marks three years since the air crash near Smoleńsk, Russia, that killed the president of Poland and 95 other Polish dignitaries, officials and military officers. In most countries such a monumentally tragic event, with all of its symbolic and real-world consequences, would pass into history as a sad but uncontroversial memory shared equally by all the people. Most nations, after an appropriate but limited period of collective mourning, would get over it and move on.
But Poland, as we've learned, isn't one of those countries, and its people, or at least a significant number of them, are either unable or unwilling to move on. Instead, aroused and deceived by cynical, self-serving politicians and their often extremist allies, some Poles have exploited the Smoleńsk tragedy as a political tool, a wedge to divide the country (and, even more absurdly, to divide Polish communities beyond Poland) in a relentless campaign to discredit, and preferably bring down, the present Polish government.
I know that some people reading this will angrily dispute my claim. Some of them, in their anger and their contempt for anyone with the courage and intelligence to disagree with them, may attack me, publicly or in private. I don't care. I have facts and reason on my side and I am able and willing to view the entire ugly Smoleńsk controversy objectively--something most of them either cannot or will not do.
The known facts, briefly, are these: On April 10, 2010, a TU-154 belonging to the Polish government crashed while attempting to land, under extremely adverse conditions, at a primitive airfield near Smoleńsk, Russia, killing everyone on board. The crash and its likely causes were thoroughly investigated, in accordance with universally accepted principles, by both Russian and Polish experts. The factors, direct and contributory, that led to the crash have been identified and adequately explained. Together, they describe a catastrophe that, aside from its admittedly extraordinary symbolic and political significance, was a textbook example of what is known in aviation as controlled flight into terrain (CFIT). Not surprisingly, the decisions, actions and events (on both the Polish and the Russian side) that culminated in the crash comprised what is also a very familiar list to experienced investigators: human error; poor judgment; spatial disorientation; faulty or improperly used equipment; and, of course, awful weather. Possible additional factors included insufficient crew training, ineffective communication and the pilot’s failure to exercise proper command authority (specifically by improperly permitting a high-ranking but unauthorized officer to be in the cockpit during the final approach).
The investigators' conclusions are credible, supported by evidence and consistent with aviation statistics, which show that human error explains about 80 percent of all aircraft crashes and that CFIT accounts for approximately 40 percent of airliner crashes. As with other crashes, some questions remain about the Smoleńsk crash, but they are of little material significance and their solutions would be unlikely to alter the overall conclusions.
Here it must be noted that other explanations for the crash, including wildly varying speculations about conspiracies and assassination plots, were effectively ruled out as either highly improbable or totally absurd. None of them, in any case, are supported by any credible evidence.
In summary, the causes of the Smoleńsk tragedy have been established beyond reasonable--emphasis on reasonable--doubt. There are no objective reasons to invent or look for extraordinary, highly improbable alternative explanations. Conspiracy theories are amusing (consider all the "theories" about UFO cover-ups, faked moon landings, Obama birth certificates, etc.), but after three years of obsessing over the "Smoleńsk murders," it's time for Poles--in Poland and elsewhere--to move on to more serious matters.
The Honorable John A. Boehner
Speaker of the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
May 23, 2012
Re: H. CON. RES.44 -- Calling for an independent international investigation of the April 10, 2010, plane crash that killed President of Poland Lech Kaczynski and 95 other individuals.
Dear Mr. Speaker:
I respectfully urge you and your colleagues to vote against H. CON. RES. 44.
The April 10, 2010 crash of a Polish government airplane at Smolensk, Russia, which took the lives of then-Polish president Kaczynski and other Polish dignitaries, was unquestionably a tragedy for the Polish nation. However, thorough and proper investigation by qualified authorities in both Russia and Poland has determined, beyond reasonable doubt, the causes of the crash. Those causes are plausible and perfectly understandable to pilots, technical experts and others familiar with aviation and the history of aircraft accidents.
Equally important, there is absolutely no evidence of conspiracies or malicious intent connected with the Smolensk crash, and no reason to even posit, let alone seek to "prove," improbable alternative explanations.
Unfortunately, the Smolensk tragedy is being cynically exploited for purely political purposes by competing parties within Poland, but primarily by one political party that is determined to bring down, at almost any cost, the legitimately elected government of Poland, a staunch ally of the U.S.
Today's Poland is a democratic and sovereign nation. The Smolensk issue, although needlessly contentious and divisive within Poland, is a purely internal matter that only Poles and their government can resolve. As an American citizen and former U.S. Army officer who is also an active lifelong member of the Polish American community (and, being fully fluent in the Polish language, well-informed on all aspects of the controversy), I believe that any involvement by the U.S. in this matter will only lend unwarranted support to politically partisan and, frankly, irrational conspiracy theories being promoted by a biased minority within Poland and, sadly, within the Polish American community. More important, it may harm U.S.-Polish relations by, in effect, undermining the credibility and authority of the Polish government.
For all those reasons, but especially the last one, I ask you and your esteemed colleagues to reject H. CON. RES. 44.
Dziękuję serdecznie p. Andrzejowi Ładakowi za udostępnienie powyższych artykułów i korespondencji.
Dzięki Bogu, że wśród Polonii mamy ludzi rozsądnych.
Lustration Clears Official of NY Polish American Congress
W artykule czytamy:
The dishonest charges were made in an anonymous letter to the PAC’s National President, Frank Spula, in Chicago. Mr. Spula considered it an awkward attempt to smear the leadership of one of his organization’s most successful divisions and dismissed it entirely.
Nie mogę zrozumieć jednego, Franek zajął się anonimem ale nawet nie raczył odpowiedzieć na List Otwarty podpisany przez A. Ładaka, ten w którym padło 10 zasadnych pytan o przekonania i sympatie ówczesnego prezesa "pacmi"?
Może w pojęciu Franka anonimy są bardziej wiarygodne???
Może Franek powinien wyhodować parę większych "cojones", bo zanim się obejrzy, zostanie przez "wajsa" zastąpiony.
"Wajs" objawił ostatnio publicznie , że wie lepiej jak statek zwany "Pireneja" przez mielizny przeprowadzić.
Hej, za ponad dwieście patoli amerykańskich grajcarów, ja też mógłbym udawać "skippera".
Czy taką lustracje jak w NY można by zaaranżować w miejscowym kółku?
Czy wystarczyłby zwykły anonim?
Czy taką lustracje jak w NY można by zaaranżować w miejscowym kółku?
Pozytywny wynik IPN-owskiej lustracji vice-dyrektora oddziału nowojorskiego rozpętał prawdziwą burzę pomiędzy dyrektorami krajowymi.
Okazuje się, że "pozytywny wynik" lustracji IPN nie jest stu-procentowym dowodem na to, że dana osoba nie współpracowała z "ubecją".
O metodach lustracji stosowanych przez IPN, ich nieskuteczności, o odnowionym zapale lustracyjnym (pierwszy raz lustracja wszystkich dyrektorów krajowych i stanowych była proponowana na zjeździe w roku 2008 w Phoenix, Arizona) i próbie powrotu do McCarthyism'u przez lokalnego "patriotę", aka "polowania na czarownice", który sam lustracji się nie poddał, już wkrótce...
"Lustration" clears PAC VP. What about Nazi-lovers, white-supremacists and former Communist army officers?
Lustration Clears Official of NY Polish American Congress
Vice President Szczepan Janeczko (seated left) shows Grazyna Michalski, Treasurer of the Downstate N.Y. Division of the Polish American Congress, a letter from Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance clearing him of false accusations.
http://www.poland.us/strona,20,18641,0, … gress.html
Interesting. So the PAC is eager to investigate and "clear" a VP in New York. But apparently the PAC has no problem with the president of another state division who supported Nazis and white supremacists.
Also, is the PAC investigating other officials who came to America in the 1970s under suspicious circumstances, including one who openly bragged about being an officer in Poland's Communist army?