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
More parenting is needed

Aug 01, 2019

Peter Gray in Psychology Today advises for less parenting. The problem is exactly the opposite: There is not enough parenting. In the past, when most of our ancestors lived in self-supporting households, often a farm, out of necessity, children were an integral part of whatever adults needed to do during their daily life, and they learned that way. Now, we do not need to do as much at home. Work is outside the home, food is brought in, heat is turned on and off, and mysteriously magical, colorful screens are the center of most activities. If we leave children free to explore what they find the most attractive, they will play video games. There might be some educational value in it, but one needs to learn much more. Hence, we need more effort in parenting, with parents doing more in the home than is otherwise required, and spending more time with children outside in order to introduce them to the real world. This realization hit home after I witnessed the surprise of a 7-year old seeing apples on my apple tree.

Less fight more work
Jul 30, 2017

The fight over Obamacare repeal is over, at least for now. The GOP can start to work on a new proposal that each of us can look at it, and then compare how my particular health care solution would play in it, as compared to Obamacare. In a television interview, HHS Secretary Tom Price said that Obamacare “may be working for Washington, it may be working for insurance companies, but it’s not working for patients.” Maybe it is time to consider patients’ involvement in the preparation of an Obamacare alternative? It could be that Obamacare repeal failed just because it has been prepared by Washington with consultation from insurance companies. Let us start with addressing 19 health care issues that politicians avoid talking about.

How to pay for the wall?
Apr 04, 2017

If you want to build the wall, pay for it with your own money. How much of your own money are you willing to donate? Trump received 62,979,879 votes. If each of Trump’s supporters voluntarily donates at least $1,000, which corresponds to about $42 per month for the next two years, and if we encourage those who are more affluent to double their donations, then Trump can have on hand about $100 billion, which may suffice for a substantial piece of the wall. Hence, all of you who are talking loudly about spending my money on building this wall, stay away from my wallet, but open your own wallet and send money to the “Build the Wall Fund.” Put your money where your mouth is.

What is wrong with Russia?
Dec 22, 2015

It appears that Russian leaders cannot free themselves from the medieval concept of regional influence, where weaker neighbors were subdued into becoming serf states. Is anyone capable of explaining to them that in these times of a global economy, any influence comes from economic strength? Russia, thanks to its size, natural resources and well-educated labor force, has everything that it takes to maintain a dominant position in the region, just by maintaining free trade with all its neighbors. It can do so without military interventions in Georgia and in Ukraine. Russia has everything that it takes to be a respected wealthier neighbor, to whom everyone in the region would turn for help when needed. Instead, it is a bully and a hooligan. It would take so little to change that. But it is so hard for Russia to do it. 

Closed mind for closed borders
Nov 19, 2015

Known to some as a libertarian, Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. speaks against open borders. His argument is that it is an infraction against private property. He misses the point that most people migrate just because Mr. Rockwell’s neighbors want them on their private property – for picking apples, washing the dishes or writing a computer code. Then, Mr. Rockwell wrongly laments that those foreigners invited by his neighbors violate his private property rights by loitering in the public spaces that he frequents. He wants the government to deny the rights of his neighbors to do on their private property whatever they wish, so he will not need to face immigrants in the public spaces. Mr. Rockwell left the train called “liberty” at the station called “xenophobia.”    

They do not know…
Sep 14, 2015

Mr. Trump says: “A lot of what I’m doing is by instinct.” I prefer that our President would make decisions based on systematic due diligence. The instinct that guides Mr. Trump in his professional life arrives from his vast experience, starting when he was growing up under the mentoring of his successful father, followed by a solid education and years of practice. Mr. Trump's confidence is misguiding, as it gives his supporters the illusion that someone who mastered real estate dealing can be equally skillful as President. It is similar to the illusion surrounding Dr. Carson, that he can be as good a President as he is a brain surgeon. If both gentlemen were humbler, they would realize that they qualify to be President equally as much as Mr. Trump qualifies to conduct brain surgeries and Dr. Carson to run Mr. Trump’s real estate empire. The problem is not that they do not know many things they should; the problem is that they do not realize that.

Freedom cannot be legislated, its restriction can
Mar 31, 2015

Indiana voted in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In his WSJ piece, Gov. Mike Pence claims it was needed to protect the religious freedoms of Hoosiers. Every legislative act by its nature limits someone’s freedom. The only way of increasing freedom is by identifying existing laws that curb personal liberties and then eliminating them.  Hence, if Gov. Pence sees that under some circumstances, the religious freedoms of Hoosiers are not respected, he could correct the situation by eliminating laws causing this problem. We have the Bill of Rights, and it suffices. No “enhancements” are needed.

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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

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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).

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