Many people write or speak to tell us what we should think. Some want to be believed because they are experts, or think they are. Some want to be believed because they claim to speak for us. Some have had revelations. Others want us to trust them because they communicate through prominent media outlets. Many tell us what we should think. I write to encourage my readers to think for themselves. I write to ask you to inquire. Question me. Have fun.

  
Comment of the Day
Immigration comedy

Jan 26, 2015

The Republicans’ challenge to President Obama's executive orders on immigration is simply comic. We have a President who is clearly a socialist. We have a Republican Congress that declares it is for capitalism. However, on the immigration issue, Republicans are for the purely socialist immigration laws we have. At least on this issue, the President recognizes that socialism does not work, and his executive orders bring a more capitalistic approach. In our theoretically capitalistic country we have a socialist as President who acts to strengthen capitalism. At the same time, the pro-capitalistic majority of Congress acts to defend socialism.   

PREVIOUS COMMENTS
Government neutrality
Jan 20, 2015

Faster than government could act, the internet grew up without much regulation. There is a variety of providers, and many opportunities to hook up to free Wi-Fi connections. A recent Wall Street Journal story tells us that even homeless people can be on the internet, if they want to. The FCC ignores this reality and wants to classify internet connectivity as a public utility and apply to it the laws used once to regulate phone monopolies. What else do they want to do above what the market has already accomplished? There is a simple way to temper the zealous FCC bureaucrats: cut their budget in half so they will have no resources to cause any damage. It is high time to start enforcing government neutrality.    

 

More
Terror incident in France
Jan 11, 2015

It looks as though a few losers got their frustrations out. Usually for losers – Boston Marathon bombers are another example – they try to get associated with some radical ideology. The more we are succeeding in the progress of civilization, the more drastic is perceived the hardship of those who cannot keep up with the pace. By the end of the 19th century, the rapid growth of capitalism caused the plague of anarchists. We call them terrorists now. Whatever the name, they are as rats in New York; they always had been, they are still, and they always will be. The only way of eliminating rats in New York completely is by eliminating New York itself. The only way of eliminating terrorism is by going back to caves. Similarly as with rats in New York, we have to do whatever we can to curb terrorism; yet, we have to accept that we will never be able to eradicate it completely.

More
Net neutrality exposed
Jan 16, 2014
Internet service is not much different than other utilities, such as electricity, gas or water. Politicians and commentators focus on the nominal speed offered by ISPs. Comparing to water for example, nominal speed offered is analogous to water pressure. We are charged not for the nominal pressure, but for how much water we consume. The pressure offered is a mere technical consequence of the need to satisfy our demand for the volume of water. Similarly, for the internet service providers the cost of service is related to the volume of data transmitted. In order to have this transmission be useful (for example, being able to watch live TV) certain speed needs to be guaranteed.
    If we want the internet to grow and develop freely, we have to expect that its users are charged based on real cost of the service delivery, not on some political fiction imagined by politicians that do not understand neither technology nor business.
      Net neutrality came into existence due this ignorance of politicians and their eagerness of mingling with things beyond their comprehension. As much as this seems to be a norm, it does not release us from exposing it every time when it occurs.
      More
      Illegal lawyer
      Jan 03, 2014
      The California Supreme Court granted permission to practice law to Mr. Sergio C. Garcia, who formally is an illegal immigrant. This decision created a lot of noise in media. We can only hope that this case will trigger long overdue discussion about legality, I mean constitutionality, of our immigration law as it is now. The case can be made that our current immigration law is unconstitutional, and that this is the beginning and the end of all the problems with immigration we ever had, have now,  and might have in the future. 
      More
      Spherical heaters
      Dec 17, 2013
      The government decided that we should not use old style incandescent bulbs due to their energy inefficiency. Only about 10% of the energy they use goes into light, everything else is heat. Most of us have already gradually switched to new bulbs, luminescent or LED. Do we really need the government to be a busy bee regulating this technological transition? What if some people, regardless of inefficiency, want to keep old bulbs for aesthetic or sentimental reasons? The European Union is ahead of us in this process. When they banned old kind-hearted bulbs, some people still wanted to have them. As there was a market for them in Germany, they were sold not as light bulbs but as spherical heaters. After all, this is what they do the best. The eagerness of bureaucrats never can overcome ingenuity of regular folks.
      More
      Helping Mexico
      Dec 10, 2013
      Some anti-immigration advocates say that the best that the U.S. can do, is help Mexico reform their political system. How can it be done most efficiently? Ironically, by allowing freedom of migration and letting even more Mexicans from poor states, such as Oaxaca, to come and work in the U.S. As soon as they see that the world could be better than it is in their home state, they will do whatever in their power to change it. Their strength and resolve will be reinforced by dollars made in the U.S. The ideas of freedom and democracy still are the strongest assets and attraction of the U.S. The best way to spread them is not by sending American soldiers to implement them somewhere else. It is by allowing others to come and experience them first hand. Those are very contagious ideas.
      More
      More Comments

      Advice to potential Republican presidential candidates

      Dear Potential GOP Presidential Candidate,

      As the lineup is shaping up, it looks like it could be similar to previous elections: There will be a long list of equally unappealing candidates. Some dull person will be selected, having little chance to win against any potential Democratic candidate. It does not have to be this way. If you are thinking about competing for the GOP presidential nomination, here is my unsolicited advice.

      First, you have to answer for yourself why you want to run. Then, you have to say it to Americans in a way in which you can convince them that you are the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan. A hint: It may help if you actually share Reagan’s political views.

      Here might be your biggest problem. Reagan, as a mature politician, was a man with the purpose and the vision. What is yours, besides your desire to become president? Reagan saw politics as an ongoing confrontation of two basic concepts of social order. One is based on limited government, personal liberties and the free market; it is capitalism. The other one is based on an all-embracing government micromanaging the lives of citizens, and taxing them accordingly, in order to be able to do so; it is called socialism. Can you see our problems as the struggle between pro-capitalistic and pro-socialistic political concepts? Can you be as bold as Reagan was and repeat that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Then, can you act on it? Do you have a vision how to solve at least some of our problems by government doing less, not more?

      At this point you are likely finding my advice unpractical, as America has changed, and it would be hard to get enough popular support just by literally following Reagan’s ideas. You are right; Americans got accustomed to all the goodies, guarantees and securities that government provides. For most Americans, Republicans included, this is what America is all about. The bad news for the Republican presidential candidate aspiring to revive the Reagan era is that this candidate needs to give Americans a cold dose of a reality check: He or she needs to tell Americans that if we really want to restore prosperity in America, there is no way to keep all of the entitlements they consider as a given. It is a tough job. Can you do it?

      Can you win today running on Reagan’s platform? It is unlikely, because for too many Americans, Republicans included, it is the government’s job to solve their problems. Do you recognize that the problems that our country is facing in their core originate from the shift from capitalism to socialism? We have so many unresolved issues because so far socialism has not worked anywhere it was tried and it does not work to the extent that it has been implemented in the U.S. In their verbal declarations, Americans in general, and Republicans in particular, are for personal liberties and small government. However, the understanding of the free market is shallow, at best; the government assistance bringing help here and now is valued foremost. This is what Americans care about, Republicans included. 

      Americans still want all of the benefits of the free market and, at the same time, want the government to protect them from all of the negatives, the same way as socialistic governments do. The candidate telling Americans that this is unattainable will undoubtedly lose if this message is spelled out two months before the election. The candidate expressing this message 20 months before the election has a fair shot at winning the argument and then winning the election.

      To achieve this, the presidential candidate needs to be able to overlook the renowned political consultants, who focus on pleasing the views of the public as measured in carefully crafted opinion polls.  The presidential candidate that the country needs should be able to realize that America is in an ongoing crisis exactly because a majority of Americans are wrong in their understanding of our problems. The presidential candidate that our country needs shall be a leader who is brave enough to tell Americans that they are wrong in many of their political views, and is capable of convincing them of his vision. Do you have this understanding of our problems, or are you just one more of the misinformed Americans? Can you bring a vision that can move the country forward, or are you just one more among the millions of Republicans asking for doing, with greater determination, what has not worked so far? 

      There are two issues that are important for the country and for the presidential campaign: immigration and health care.

      On immigration, you have to publicly notice that the failure of the immigration policy is the failure of the big, intrusive government. It is a failure of our almost 100-year-old idea that government should control immigration. You have to declare an openness to explore other theories explaining the immigration crisis we have, and other concepts of resolving it. You do not need to declare your support for the free market-driven immigration policy; you just need to legitimize this option as a valid alternative. This will open the public debate and soon the views of the vicious opponents of immigration will be ridiculed in the eyes of the many now-misinformed citizens. Can you do it? Or are you just one more among the misinformed?

      On health care, the GOP asks for repealing Obamacare. It will not be as easy as it might appear. The Affordable Care Act passed to begin with not because it was good; it passed because the GOP did not offer anything better. Something better would mean deep deregulation of health care as it was before Obamacare came into the picture. The public is not ready to accept that profit-driven doctors, clinics and hospitals can provide better and cheaper health care. You need to show the public that you see how this could work, and you have to assemble experts giving credibility to your vision. Calling for repealing Obamacare will be hollow, and people will not trust you, unless you can present a simple and appealing vision whereby everyone can see how his or her health care would function without it. 

      Dear Potential Candidate, are you ready to go this path? Or do you want to follow the paths of John McCain and Mitt Romney?

      A version of this text was published by Huffington Post

      About me

      I was born in 1951 in Gdansk, Poland.
      Since my high school years, I have interest in politics and love for writing. During my college years, I started writing to student papers and soon became freelance author to major Polish political magazines.

      In 1980 I wrote a book “Czy w Polsce może być lepiej?” (“Could it be better in Poland?” – this book is available only in Polish) analyzing major problems in Poland at the time and outlining possible solutions.

      I was among those Polish political writers who by their writings contributed to the peaceful system transformation that finally took place in 1989. Since 1985, I live in the Chicago area. I went through the hard times typical of many immigrants. Working in service business, I have seen the best and the worst places, I met the poorest and the richest. I have seen and experienced America not known to most of politicians, business people, and other political writers. For eleven years, I ran my own company. Presently, I am an independent consultant.

      My political writing comes out of necessity. I write when I see that the prevailing voices on the political arena are misleading or erroneous. Abstract mathematics and control theory (of complex technological processes) strongly influenced my understanding of social phenomena. In the past, my opponents rebuked my mathematical mind as cold, soulless, and inhuman. On a few occasions I was prized for my engineer’s precision and logic.

      I have a master’s degree in electronic engineering with a specialization in mathematical machines from Politechnika Gdańska (Technical University of Gdansk).

      ... more