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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.”    

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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.

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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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The climate is changing for… capitalism

Photo by author.

Several weeks have passed since the worldwide youth climate strike on September 20, 2019, but I still cannot get over my experience at the rally in Chicago. Not because I share the agenda of the participants. It is exactly the opposite, as I expressed before; I am more concerned about the politics of climate change than the climate change itself. In this sense, the picture above unintentionally explains my presence there.

Driving to the event, I listened to the live report on WBEZ, a Chicago public radio station, with Jerome McDonnell as the host. Enthusiastic about the event, he interviewed a few teenagers. Despite their young ages his interlocutors had already mastered climate change bunkum. Community dialogue, environmental justice, legislative actions, green industrial revolution and climate justice are just examples of lofty-sounding phrases they used in their political canvassing. At their age I had similar tendencies in my writing, but my literature teacher crossed out with a red pen all the instances of frothiness. Times have changed; their teachers brought them to the rally. Instead of learning in school, they were teaching the rest of us that learning is not needed, as the pictures below document.

Photos by author.

When I was at Greta Thunberg’s age, I read somewhere a sarcastic comment that the peak of the development of a human mind must be somewhere between the age of five and 18, because at five a young person has all the questions but at 18 has all the answers. This comment was on the margin of the youth revolts that shook the United States and many other Western countries in 1960s. For me, personally, it was a reminder that before me, for thousands of years, people have been resolving problems like ours. Knowledge of these previous experiences should be the prerequisite to any intelligent conversation about challenges we face.

This is not the way youngsters in the rally saw it. In their view adults do not listen to the educated; hence, education is not needed, as – in times of science and technology revolutionizing every aspect of our lives – politics are still conducted by yelling and arms wrenching, exactly as it was done by our Stone Age ancestors. The picture below perfectly reflects this trend in the climate change debate.

Photo by author.

This young lady has not learned yet that educated people listen to others, both more and less educated, but they question what they hear, exactly because they are educated. She does not know yet that science is not a religion; that people can have legitimate reasons for difference of opinions. Speaking with uppish self-confidence, she probably had not heard about an ancient philosopher humbly noticing “I know that I know nothing.” She has not spent enough time in school yet to learn that she can enjoy all the wonders of our civilization only because every single advancement happened thanks to someone challenging those claiming to be more knowledgeable. It sounds comic when a high school student calls “uneducated” people such as Prof. Ivar Giaever, a Nobel laureate in physics. It is not laughable, however, when this approach is taken seriously and might shape our future.

It is natural for young people to challenge the establishment. One can do it the way Steve Jobs did it, by working hard to prove the establishment wrong; to do something others “knew” could not be done. The alternative is in applying political pressure on the establishment to do something for us without us doing any actual work. The picture below tells us the kind of thinking behind the worldwide climate strike on September 20.

Photo by author.

From conversations that Jerome McDonnell had on his radio program with rally organizers, we know what kind of system change is on the minds of people behind this movement.

Kyra Woods from the Sierra Club was talking enthusiastically about the holistic approach they take to “catalyze municipal actions to transition our energy economy.” They “envision a 100% clean, renewable energy economy in cities.” They “ask municipalities large and small to be behind this effort.” All of this sounds lofty and noble. But for an educated person, it sounds dangerous because it means rejection of the fundamental principle of the American political system that individuals, not government, run the economy. Kyra Woods does not work on better technologies for solar panels that would make it profitable to use them. She does not appeal to her fellow citizens to buy hybrid cars because they use about half of gas comparing to conventional ones. She and her colleagues from the Sierra Club arbitrarily decided that their goal for 2020-2035 is to have all buildings powered by 100% clean energy, and by 2040, maybe even earlier, to have electric buses. This political agenda is in complete abstraction from economic reality, because we should take “planet over profit.” Jerome McDonnell spotted a banner claiming this, but I could not find it to take a picture of it.

Kyla Johnson from People’s Lobby, one of the rally organizers, was more direct in explaining to WBEZ listeners that they “are attacking things such as the climate crisis from different angles but always trying to get to the root causes, like capitalism, corporate greed and fossil fuel industries.” For her group climate change politics “is an opportunity for so many generations to recognize how long we have prioritized profit over the well-being of our communities.” There were signs expressing this line of thinking.

Photos by author.

Jerome McDonnell from WBEZ was swallowing this socialistic propaganda without hesitation. In another instance he nodded to the comment that “the burden of the climate change trauma will be carried by people from marginalized communities.” Young activists might not know yet, but he should know that for the poor it never rains, it pours. Hence, the solution is not in institutionalized charity, in taxing the rich so government can help the poor. The solution is in advancing the economy so there would be fewer of the poor.

Half a century ago, most people in China had not much better lives than their neighbors in North Korea. About 40 years ago, China adopted a purely capitalistic, profit-oriented economic model, lifting out of poverty about one billion people. Before that, capitalism brought prosperity in Europe and in North America. Would not it be logical to ask young people advocating against capitalism if they know any other way to create a prosperous society that worked before.

Enamored with socialistic ideas, the WBEZ reporter could not acknowledge that chasing profit is the engine powering progress of our civilization. Hence, he could not afford even a tiny dose of skepticism when talking with the rally participants and organizers. I would let it slide, if not that this is just one example of how the climate change issue is presented on all WBEZ programs. On another prime-time political program, “1A,” a few months ago Joshua Johnson asked for alternative opinions on climate change. I emailed him some, but did not even receive an acknowledgment, and did not hear any alternative voices on his program.

Intending a different meaning, the sign below confirms that the whole hoopla about climate is just in order to obtain a political change.

Photo by author.

On the streets people can express their disapproval for the status quo. Actual changes happen when people sit at the table. Politics is the art of compromise. It takes time and experience to realize that. It takes a dose of reality to recognize that whatever we might want to do, we need money. Without profit there is no money to do anything. It takes some maturity to accept that when chasing profit, not all succeed to the same degree. It requires some understanding of human behavior in order to know that we destroy the very mechanism propelling our progress if we empower government to take profit from those who are more successful in order to satisfy the aspirations of the less fortunate. Lastly, the challenges of global warming, despite being different than our ancestors had dealt with, are not the first serious challenges humanity has faced.

After the fuss on the streets, young people can make change by deepening their knowledge of climate change, including learning the arguments of people with opposing views. In our polarized reality, the greatest opportunity for young people is in freeing themselves from the biases of the adults. With this approach, which is natural for youngsters, distrust of the establishment can be an asset. As happened many times before, addressing a major challenge can become a hallmark of this generation. Sadly, this is not what I see happening; I see youngsters manipulated by the establishment.

In the atmosphere of the rally I sensed similarities to the youth revolt of the 1960s, memorialized in the slogan “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” Today, this age seems to have been lowered, as Jerome McDonnell spoke loftily that “young people speak with the moral authority,” seconded by Kyla Johnson that they have a “new moral vision.” A few old folks I spoke with at the rally told me to listen to the voice of the young. The truth is that they are still childishly naïve and not educated, just as we all were at their age. After all, most of them have not yet graduated from high school.

Inadvertently, Jerome McDonnell turned the very idea of this rally into its caricature when he talked sincerely with a 9-year-old boy holding a sign that read “climate change is bad.” I can accept that a 16-year-old might have their own opinion on the matter, regardless how naïve or uneducated it might

Adults manipulate kids into politics kids cannot understand. Photo by author.

be. A 9-year-old can only repeat what he has been indoctrinated with. In this respect, it is a good sign that climate change alarmists needed to bring children to their rally; it means that adults are not buying it. We can only hope that maturing youngsters will become more skeptical too.

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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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