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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Should Americans Apologize to Britons for 1776?

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Recently I post my texts on Medium as well. Recognizing the popularity of this emerging forum, I wrote a polemic with the text posted there.

Mike Meyer presents an apocalyptic vision of the United States collapsing. He blames the unnamed oligarchs “driven by greed,” generic “incompetent management and unbound greed in deformed capitalism,” undefined “neoliberal economy,” and “incompetence and insanity” without telling us who is incompetent and insane, and why. Remarkably, he sees the reasons for this collapse outside of his powers and responsibilities. This spirit is exactly the opposite of what the revolution of 1776 was all about.

In 1776 Americans concluded that “all Men are created equal.” Today, when this sounds banal and obvious, we do not realize the gravity of this statement. It went against the established consensus that social structures had been given by superior powers and that people should live their lives in whatever social class they had been born into. The same Americans who dared to challenge the world by saying that “all Men are created equal” needed about 100 years to live fully by this idea themselves – until 1865, when they abolished slavery. They needed an additional 100 years to give people of all races and religions the same right to immigrate to America. The racial restrictions to our immigration laws were removed in 1965.

Hence, when we see the problems of today, as Mr. Meyer is pointing out, the most important thing is not that we have problems; the most important is what we do about them. Often, when reading texts criticizing the problems of American society, I get an impression that critics yearn for a society that is living in a blissful harmony, where everything is almost perfect. I have bad news to all looking for a social equilibrium – perfection is in heaven; one needs to die first before getting there. On our earthly plane, suffering and sweaty work are our destiny.

The hopelessness of the fatalist transpiring from the text of Mike Meyer is simply immoral. The moral imperative is to conduct our lives in a way that we make the world around us slightly better the day we die than it was the day we were born. Mike Meyer does not see our problems as challenges inspiring him to do something to better the world around him. He sees them as “the massive March 11 tsunamis in Japan.” For him, the world around him is run by magically superior forces that we, humble humans, cannot do anything about. He ends his text with some sort of generic revolutionary invocation, asking people for unspecified action but warning that “Compromise is surrender to these people.” He means those unnamed oligarchs. It sounds like a veiled call for an unspecified revolution.

Sadly, in his irrationality of a catastrophist, Mr. Meyer writes about real problems. Something went wrong in our lovely United States of America. In 1776 Americans were given liberty to pursue their happiness any way they pleased. They did, and in the process, they built the greatest nation in human history. What happened, and why today do we have a “deformed capitalism” as Mike Meyer calls it? Capitalism as we know it did not exist in 1776; the term was coined about 80 years later. But the ideas of personal liberties, freedom to conduct economic activities, had been crucial to the success of capitalism in the United States. In this sense, capitalism in the United States was the best realization of the ideas of free men pursuing their way to happiness.

Technicians dealing with complicated devices have a saying that when everything seems to fail, read the manual. When the problems around us seem to be overwhelming us, looking back at the Declaration of Independence, at the Constitution and at the writings of the Federalists should be the first step. Each generation needs to do that, in order to understand how the very ideas that define the nation apply to us here and now.

We still celebrate the Fourth of July, but many, Mike Meyer among them, do not look at the ideas of 1776 in order to understand what went wrong, and whether these ideas are still valid for us today. It did not occur to him to seek a solution to our problems by learning and understanding the basic concepts that are the foundation of our nation. I doubt that he is in favor of sending a letter to Queen Elizabeth II with apologies for what our ancestors did to King George III, but his condemnation of the United States and his refusal to reach to the ideas of 1776 mean that the logical step is to apologize to Britons for 1776, and all of these capitalistic problems originating from there.

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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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