Polish Man Awakens From Nineteen Year Coma

Reuters reports on a Polish man who awoke from a coma and found a change for the better:

A 65-year-old railwayman who fell into a coma following an accident in communist Poland regained consciousness 19 years later to find democracy and a market economy, Polish media reported on Saturday…

“When I went into a coma there was only tea and vinegar in the shops, meat was rationed and huge petrol lines were everywhere,” Grzebski told TVN24, describing his recollections of the communist system’s economic collapse.

“Now I see people on the streets with cell phones and there are so many goods in the shops it makes my head spin.”

Now envision a man awakening from a coma in the United States last year. He would see a government which has taken on many of the features of Poland and the Soviet Union of that era. He’d see greater centralization of control unter a dishonest leader, the free market system replaced by one of corporate welfare and collusion with government, a foreign policy which seriously harms the country, and even a news outfit which looks incredibly like Pravda. If the Republicans were able to remain in power, in another nineteen years we might be difficult to distinguish from Poland of nineteen years ago.

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  1. 1
    daveinboca says:

    Yeah, “there was only tea and vinegar in the shops, meat was rationed and huge petrol queues were everywhere” sounds like the normal situation in a workers’ paradise. Just let the victims of academicide weave their magic nostrums in the USA with a John-Boy Edwards or Algorhythm tax-the-air-we-breathe as POTUS===or even the Hilarious Socialist===and we can all reverse history and be back in the happy past when Uncle Joe was our pal.

    That’s the ticket. More big government!

  2. 2
    sharon says:

    Imagine if his spouse were Michael Schiavo.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:


    Big government? Sure, you could mention Edwards, but if you really want big government you need to look at the Republicans. Despite their rhetoric, its been the Republicans which have both brought us big governement, and a government which is more intrusive in our lives.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:


    Now, that is one specious argument. The guy in Poland did not show the evidence of brain death which was present in the Schiavo case.

    Now do you propose that we have the government intrude in every medical decision of this type–as well as in so many ohter areas of our lives as supported by the authoritarian right?

  5. 5
    Jay Diamond says:

    Dear Dave in Boca (and everyone),

    We have rationing in the West too, only here, things are rationed on the basis of having the cash to pay for them.

    When meat is subsidized by the government so that the price you pay is between one tenth and one twentieth of what the “market price” would be, then the lines and shortages don’t carry the same connotation, do they ?

    But of course, right-wing media never bother to provide this background.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    I’d agree with Dave in Bocca (something I don’t think I ever said before) on opposing the economic system in Poland 19 years ago. I wouldn’t consider our system to have anything approaching rationing as they had there, but neither would I go along with Dave’s absurd comparisons between economic policies of Democrats and the socialist system.

    Dave’s attacks on the Democrats are especially absurd considering the collusion between big business and government, which is quite contrary to the principles of the free market, which is promoted by the Republicans. When you get past the rhetoric and look at reality, Republicans are far closer to socialists in thier economic policies than the Democrats are. To be more precise, the economic policies being adopted by the right are been called National Socialist in the past, as well as other names with a far worse connotation.

  7. 7
    sharon says:

    Specifically, I was talking about the way the wife never gave up hope on her spouse or went to live (and sleep) with another person. You can argue that Michael Schiavo “knew” Terri was brain dead and therefore nothing would help. On the other hand, he had some serious conflicts of interests at work in determining her care or execution.

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:


    I think this is largely a matter of how we view “coma.” I assume you are not in the medical profession, and to you seeing the words “coma” in both the Schiavo case and the current case suggests both patients were in comparable situations. To me, the two are vastly different situations and to make judgements about one based upon the other is nonsense.

    To me, whether or not the issues raised about Michael Schiavo are true were irrelevant. The correct medical course to take was to discontinue life support. Legally and ethically we would have been obligated to continue life support without receiving consent from the husband to discontinue life support. Having consent from the husband, life support should have been discontinued without needless interference from the government.

    Conservatives cry “socialized medicine,” but in the real world it is the Republicans, not the Democrats, who use big government to control health care decisions.

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