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.

PREVIOUS COMMENTS
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.

More
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.

More
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. 

More
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.”    

More
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.

More
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.

More
More Comments

Bill Maher, uncivilized

I do not regularly watch Bill Maher’s show, but when I do, I usually like it. The man is bright, his lines are sharp. He has his ideological leanings, and often I do not agree with him. But I always admire his ability to corner others, respectfully, nevertheless mercilessly. In our politically deeply divided society, I always have seen Bill Maher as one of the pillars of the civilized but pitiless, candid-to-the-bone conversations on controversial issues.

Under the Trump presidency, the political conversations became even more polarizing. Whereas before demagogy and personal attacks occasionally had been tolerated, now in many public discussions they have become a standard. The way our president and top people from his administration talk about immigrants has established a new low in public conversation. Seeing opponents, or those perceived as opponents, as lesser humans than we are, has been accepted by too many.

I was never a fan of John McCain as he had his great moments and not-so-great ones, but, the way that President Trump attacked McCain I found distasteful and uncivilized. By continuing this after McCain died, President Trump broke one of the unwritten canons of civilized people: that we do not personally attack people who cannot defend themselves because they are dead.

Noticeably, this less humane behavior is mostly associated with people representing the so-called right wing of the political spectrum. People on the left present themselves as caring for others. Hate is mostly shown as the specialty of the so-called conservatives. Religious bigots are often pointed out as, paradoxically, being less sensitive than others to other people’s feelings and well-being. I purposely avoid using terms such as “conservative” or “liberal” because I find them not reflecting actual divisions within American society; hence, they’re meaningless.

Unfortunately, this uncivilized Trumpian behavior found a follower in an unexpected place. When covering the death of David Koch, on August 23, 2019, in his weekly show, Bill Maher proved that liberals and atheists can hate as well.

In case there are still people who do not know, David Koch was one of the richest persons in the United States, and together with his surviving brother, Charles Koch, used their wealth to create an extensive network of political influence with the purpose of propagating ideas of the free market. Mr. Maher is entitled to his one-sided interpretation of the political actions taken by the Koch brothers. But a vicious political attack against the dead man is buying into a Trump-style new low in our political discourse.

Climate change was the key point of the 89-second tirade. Mr. Maher blames David Koch for the fires in the Amazon. The line was as impressive as if I had said that Mr. Maher enjoys the present successes of socialism in Venezuela and hopes to live long enough to see it coming here. Except that Mr. Maher can discredit my opinion by replying to it.

Mr. Maher is correct that the Koch brothers spent sizable money to debunk the quasi-religious conviction that we face climate catastrophe caused by humans. I checked for myself. After glaciers disappeared on the northern portion of the continent several thousand years ago, the removed weight of ice has caused the magma to push the land upward. The mantle material under the surrounding regions still keeps moving toward the area that has lifted, resulting in the surrounding land sinking. We are talking of climate change that is a continuance of processes that caused glaciers to disappear thousands of years ago. We did not cause it; we cannot stop it.

Arguing that we should do something about it boils down to advocating for spending money we do not have. Presently, every day we pay more than one billion dollars in interest on the $22 trillion of federal government debt. Doing something about climate change would add anywhere between $10 trillion and $100 trillion to that debt; it depends on who is counting. It would mean that people eager to lend this money would be collecting a few more billions of dollars per day in interest. This would likely not much affect Mr. Maher, who is among the 1% of the richest people. It will make me poorer, together with the rest of the 99% of Americans. Hence, as Mr. Maher says that people who send condolences were owned by David. Koch, I feel as justified to say that Bill Maher spreads climate change fearmongering because he is owned by people eyeing those few additional billion dollars per day in collected interest. One can see that Mr. Maher made a wise choice because people ready to lend trillions of dollars are much richer than the Koch brothers and all their supporters put together.

Closing his Trump-style performance, Mr. Maher said: “I’m glad he’s dead, and I hope the end was painful.” It is noble to enjoy defeating an opponent on an even square by the power of one’s arguments. Taking a pleasure from enjoying someone’s else pain, especially when caused by a terminal illness, is plainly inhumane. Opposing socialism, people such as David Koch – me included – know that socialists always offer sweet promises, but when given the power to deliver them, they can be cruel and heartless. Emboldened by the joy of the death of David Koch, Mr. Maher showed the nasty side of a socialist. By this he validated the lifetime work of David Koch devoted to countering socialism.

I wrote this column with sadness because I like the wit of Bill Maher. He worked about 40 years to build his reputation. It took only 89 seconds of savagery to ruin it once – forever.

Leave a Reply

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