Thursday, June 19, 2008

Polish émigré 5 years since entering U.S., he gets into 7 Ivy Leagues

Polish émigré 5 years since entering U.S., he gets into 7 Ivy Leagues
Polish émigré couldn’t speak English; now he’s admitted to 17 top schools
By Bob Considine contributor
updated 9:05 a.m. ET, Wed., June. 18, 2008
Lukasz Zbylut has taken “the old college try” to a whole new level.

The New York teenager, who emigrated from Poland only five years ago, applied to seven Ivy League schools — and was accepted by every one of them.

Now he’s thrilled to further his education at his “dream school” of choice — Harvard. What, Yale wasn’t good enough for him? How about Princeton?


“I do feel sorry, and I feel awful for turning down such great institutions,” Zbylut told TODAY co-hosts Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira. “But it’s Harvard.”

Among the other schools he declined were Columbia, Dartmouth, Penn, Cornell, Georgetown, Stanford and New York University.

There were 10 other prominent schools that also accepted the ever-smiling 18-year-old. But he knew he could only pick one.

“It’s a great feeling to have,” Zbylut added. “And it’s very exciting — and confusing, to an extent.”

A class act
Lukasz Zbylut (pronounced Loo-KASH Zbeh-LOOT) was in seventh grade when he came to the United States. At that point, he admits, he had only a limited grasp of the English language.

“It’s quite amazing that the first words you learn in any language are the curses,” Zbylut said with a laugh. “It’s ‘thank you’ and the curses. Someone should study that at some point. But I’ve come a long way since then.”

Zbylut said the transition to attending school in the U.S. was “easier than expected.”

“Schools in Poland are very rigorous, as you can imagine,” he said. “When taking my first exam, I was constantly turning to the girl next to me because in Poland, [testing] is very collaborative. Here, it’s the opposite.”

In addition to holding such high grades, Zbylut is co-captain of his school’s United Nations team; founder of its debate team; president of its mock-trial team and editor of the school newspaper. And, just for kicks, he plays soccer.

With such credentials, Lauer asked, why did Zbylut apply to so many schools when he knew he’d be accepted to so many of them?

“That isn’t really true, especially the last decade,” Zbylut explained. “[It’s] very competitive. We’re into the single digits when it comes to acceptance rates.

“I thought of myself as a great candidate, but I was never certain of getting into a single one college.”

Zbylut plans to study politics, law and philosophy at Harvard. But there was one school that actually did turn him down — the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Zbylut said he didn’t mind the snub.

“I really don’t regret it, because I would never be as passionate as a student they potentially could have given the spot to,” he said. “I’m hoping that the spot they gave would have been to someone who is very passionate about politics and everything.”

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Naomi Klein en Argentina 25/04/08- Shocked in Death, Shocked in Life: More than a Taser Story

Naomi Klein en Argentina 25/04/08- Shocked in Death, Shocked in Life: More than a Taser Story
Naomi Klein en Argentina 25/04/08- Cap 1

Naomi Klein en Argentina 25/04/08- Cap 2

Naomi Klein en Argentina 25/04/08- Cap 3

Naomi Klein on the privatization of the state

Milton Friedman Debates Naomi Klein Part 2

Naomi Klein wychowała się w rodzinie silnie zaangażowanej społecznie i politycznie. Jej dziadek działał w ruchu związków zawodowych w wytwórni filmowej Disney. Jej ojciec, Michael Klein, był fizykiem zaangażowanym w protesty społeczne przeciwko wojnie wietnamskiej. Gdy Naomi Klein miała 6 lat, przeprowadził się wraz z rodziną do Kanady, kontynuując działalność społeczną. Jej matka, Bonnie Klein, jest znana głównie jako twórczyni filmu Not a Love Story, będącego krytyką zjawiska pornografii. Jej brat, Seth Klein jest działaczem określanej jako lewicowa organizacji Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Działalność [edytuj]
Kariera dziennikarska Naomi Klein rozpoczęła się od współpracy z gazetą studencką wydawaną na Uniwersytecie Toronto, The Varsity. Po masakrze w Montrealu, gdy szaleniec zabił 14 kobiet, jej poglądy zbliżyły się do feminizmu.

W 2000, po czteroletniej pracy, wydała No Logo, książkę, która jest uznawana za manifest lub wręcz biblię ruchów alterglobalistycznych i antyglobalistycznych. Klein opisuje w książce negatywny wpływ strategii marketingowych zorientowanych na markę wywierany na życie społeczeństw krajów rozwiniętych oraz działania korporacji w krajach biednych, przyczyniające się do ich dalszego zubożenia. Symbolem obu tych zjawisk stała się korporacja Nike.

W 2002 roku wydała książkę Fences and Windows, będącą zbiorem artykułów i wykładów na temat globalizacji, działań międzynarodowych korporacji i organizacji oraz sytuacji w krajach biednych. Jej artykuły ukazywały się lub ukazują na łamach takich czasopism jak The Nation, In These Times, The Globe and Mail, This Magazine oraz The Guardian. Porusza w nich sprawy omawiane w obu książkach, jak również odnosi się do bieżących wydarzeń, np. Wojny w Iraku.

W 2004 roku, wraz z mężem zrealizowała film dokumentalny The Take, pokazujący społeczność pozbawionych pracy robotników przemysłu samochodowego z Argentyny, którzy zajęli zamkniętą fabrykę, domagając się jej ponownego otwarcia i wznowienia produkcji.

Naomi Klein pracowała także jako adiunkt na London School of Economics, obecnie jest współpracownikiem The Nation Institute।
Shocked in Death, Shocked in Life: More than a Taser Story
By Naomi Klein - November 21st, 2007
The world saw a video last week of Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers using a Taser against a Polish man in the Vancouver International Airport in October. The man, Robert Dziekanski, died soon after the attack. In recent days, more details have come out about him. It turns out that the 40-year-old didn't just die after being shocked -- his life was marked by shock as well.Dziekanski was a young adult in 1989, when Poland began a grand experiment called "shock therapy" for the nation. The promise was that if the communist country accepted a series of brutal economic measures, the reward would be a "normal European country" like France or Germany. The pain would be short, the reward great.So Poland's government eliminated price controls overnight, slashed subsidies, privatized industries. But for young workers such as Dziekanski, "normal" never arrived. Today, roughly 40% of young Polish workers are unemployed. Dziekanski was among them. He had worked as a typesetter and a miner, but for the last few years, he had been unemployed and had had run-ins with the law.Like so many Poles of his generation, Dziekanski went looking for work in one of those "normal" countries that Poland was supposed to become but never did. Two million Poles have joined this mass exodus during the last three years alone. Dziekanski's cohorts have gone to work as bartenders in London, doormen in Dublin, plumbers in France. Last month, he chose to follow his mother to British Columbia, Canada, which is in a pre-Olympics construction boom. "After seven years of waiting, [Dziekanski] arrived to his utopia, Vancouver," said the Polish consul general, Maciej Krych. "Ten hours later, he was dead."Much of the outrage sparked by the video, which was made by another passenger at the airport, has focused on the controversial use of Tasers, already implicated in 17 deaths in Canada and many more in the United States. But what happened in Vancouver was about more than a weapon. It was also about an increasingly brutal side of the global economy -- about the reality that many victims of various forms of economic "shock therapy" face at our borders. Rapid economic transformations like Poland's have created enormous wealth -- in new investment opportunities; currency trading; in leaner, meaner companies able to comb the globe for the cheapest location to manufacture. But from Mexico to China to Poland, they also have created tens of millions of discarded people, the people who lose their jobs when factories close or lose their land when export zones open.Understandably, many of these people often choose to move: from countryside to city, from country to country. As Dziekanski appeared to be doing, they go in search of that elusive "normal." But there isn't enough normal to go around, or so we are told. And so, as migrants move, they are often met with other shocks, like a treacherous razor fence or a Taser gun. Canada, which used to be known around the world for its openness to refugees, is militarizing its borders, with lines between immigrant and terrorist blurring fast.Dziekanski's inhuman treatment at the hands of the Canadian police must be seen in this context. The police were called when Dziekanski, lost and disoriented, began shouting in Polish, at one point throwing a chair. Faced with a foreigner like Dziekanski, who spoke no English, why talk when you can shock? It strikes me that the same brutal, short-cut logic guided Poland's economic transition to capitalism: Why take the gradual route, which required debate and consent, when "shock therapy" promised an instant, if painful, cure?I realize that I am talking about very different kinds of shocks here, but they do interconnect in a cycle I call "the shock doctrine." First comes the shock of a national crisis, making countries desperate for any cure and willing to sacrifice democracy in the process. In Poland in 1989, that first shock was the sudden end of communism and the economic meltdown. Then comes the economic shock therapy, the undemocratic process pushed through in the window of crisis that jolts an economy into growth but blasts so many people out of the picture. Then, in far too many cases, there is the third shock, the one that disciplines and deals with the discarded people: the desperate, the migrants, those driven mad by the system.Each shock has the potential to kill, some more suddenly than others. Naomi Klein is the author of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.
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