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.

More Comments

Can Russians’ seizing of Crimea be legalized?

For a few months, media and politicians in the U.S. and Western Europe were cheering the populous upheaval in Kiev, triggered by the decision of then-President Victor Yanukovich to abandon negotiations about agreement with the EU last November. Even innocent sounding words of moral support were perceived in Moscow as an attempt to change the delicate political balance in the region. Russians worry about Ukraine not only because of their imperial traditions and aspirations, as the West would like to see it, but also because Ukraine, with its territory cutting deep into Russia’s underbelly, and with deep economical connections with Russia, is too large and too close to be ignored in Moscow. To top it off, the Russian navy port in Sevastopol is one of the very few that Russia has, and the only one in this part of the world. When, in Russians’ perspective, things in Kiev went out of control, Moscow decided to take Crimea.

Theoretically, Moscow could achieve the same by playing by the rules. It could provide political support to the ethnic Russians in Crimea, encouraging them to use the Ukrainian legal process to separate themselves from Kiev. This might take months or years, and could give Kiev a chance of luring ethnic Russians back, with the promise of a better economy in Ukraine closer associated with the EU. Russian leaders could not allow themselves this margin of error and went with the policy of the faits accomplish.

This land grab is reminiscent of 1938, and if left unanswered, creates precedence that the international laws so carefully crafted to keep peace in the world after WWII do not always apply. This is too much risk for the worldwide leaders to swallow; sanctions have been imposed, Russian leaders ostracized.  However, Russia is not Cuba; it cannot be kept on the sidelines for long. The world has too much to lose by cutting Russia off; new risks may arise from this as well. Russia can be brought back as an equal and respected partner of the worldwide community only if the West will recognize that the recent change in Kiev shifted political balance in the region, and impeded Russia’s vital security and economic interests. World leaders need to acknowledge that, if wearing Mr. Putin’s shoes, they would try to accomplish the same, but they might do it differently. Hence, condemning the methods used, they need to give Russia and its President a chance to legalize the grab of Crimea.

The simplest would be by brokering the sale of Crimea from Ukraine to Russia. No one seems to question that the Russian majority in Crimea prefers to be in Russia, not in Ukraine. That desire was amplified by nationalistic overtones of the changes in Kiev; hence, for Ukraine, giving up Crimea might be an acceptable price to pay. The deal should be crafted in a way as to give all parties concerned a long-term guarantee of stability. In particular, Russia might pay for Crimea in a form of discounts in Ukrainian payments for natural gas, spanned for the next twenty or thirty years. Brokering the deal, world leaders would assure Russia that Ukraine will not join NATO, and Russia would relinquish any claims to any other parts of Ukrainian territory.

About one thousand years ago, Kievan Rus’ was a cradle of what later became Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. As the most successful, Russians want to own this tradition, and Russian nationalists see Ukraine as a younger sibling, maybe deserving some recognition, but not the status of the independent nation and state. It is time to give up this notion.

The Ukrainian national identity first manifested itself in the 17th century in the revolt against Poles. Ukrainian language could be traced back to the times of Kievan Rus’, but it matured as recently as the 19th century. There were ephemeral attempts of creating an Ukrainian state before, but Ukraine as we know it since 1991 is the first Ukrainian statehood. The word “Ukraine” reaches back to medieval times; and, in both in Russian and Polish it meant literally “on the edge” and was used to describe territories on the boundaries. In the past, Poles have had a hard time in accepting Ukrainians right to self-determination; now, it seems, Russians do.

Ukrainians themselves should see their country what it is and what the name used to say, a land on the boundaries between Russia and the rest of Europe. Ukraine can only prosper by accepting this reality, and becoming a bridge between the two, not a pawn pushed back and forth in the struggle for their political influence. Drafting a contract converting a grab of Crimea into a sale gives an opportunity for reiterating interests of all parties concerned thus forming a treaty resolving the current crisis and outlining the future peaceful cooperation.

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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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