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 indolence of the political elite (informally) confirmed

Bernie vs. Trump debate was the best hour during Politicon 2019. Photo by author.

I attended Politicon, the Unconventional Political Convention, as they call themselves. It has been organized yearly since 2015 by Simon Sidi, previously known for running rock music concerts. The first four events were held in California, this year Politicon moved to the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 26 and 27, 2019.

I like this kind of political events because in a casual atmosphere sometimes people say more than they would do on an official platform. The informal settings with guests representing the full spectrum of our deeply divided politics, and an equally divided audience of political junkies, is an opportunity to have a peek behind the curtain of politics. Some pundits test the waters for their fringe ideas, signaling upcoming shifts. Sadly, I did not find any of this at Politicon this year; unofficially, the talents, as moderators and guests were called, did not tell us anything new above what a political junkie could find everywhere, without going to Politicon.

The best hour during this year’s Politicon was the mockery of the Trump vs. Bernie debate, which actually never happened but was joyfully presented by comedians Anthony Atamaniuk as Donald Trump and James Adomian as Bernie Sanders. Besides its strictly theatrical value, this debate is the best wrap-up of our current political dilemma, the choice between Donald Trump and the Bernie Sanders kind of Democrats.

Donald Trump seems to be emerging as the Republican candidate, even without much trying. So far, Republicans in five states (Kansas, South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona and Alaska) have cancelled primaries, ensuring that Trump is the only candidate. At Politicon we could hear three currently declared Republican challengers who, despite the above, dauntlessly keep trying: Bill Weld, Mark Sanford and Joe Walsh.

In years 2011-13, Joe Walsh got some name recognition as a persistently uncompromising one-term congressman from Illinois, but he gained popularity as a witty radio talk-show host. His wit shined at Politicon as well, but it could not substitute for his shallow understanding of the crux of our problems. In particular, Walsh enthusiastically supported Trump in 2016, only to turn into an ardent critic two years later. He should be asked what he did not see in Trump in 2016 that became so obvious not much later. He was not challenged that his inability to foresee things that most likely would happen might disqualify him as a presidential candidate.

Mark Sanford was spared the troubling questions as well. He doubted that Trump’s impeachment would work. He was not asked if this opinion comes from his own experience as a former governor of North Carolina who, 10 years ago, barely avoided being impeached. For those who might not remember, Sanford was that politician who in 2009 disappeared for five days without a trace, but journalists found that he was in Buenos Aires with his Argentinian soul mate, as he called her, or his mistress, as media reported. Besides this flap, Sanford has a good reputation for prudence with public finances. He proved that during his eight years as governor of North Carolina, and during 12 years in Congress, six of them after his governorship. With his focus on our overwhelming national debt as the biggest threat to national security, he might be one of the best presidential candidates among all running. However, keeping in mind his Argentinian incident, we should worry that as soon as he might become an important candidate, intelligence services from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea and many other countries will go into overdrive to turn into his next soul mate one of their attractive agents. He should be asked about this concern, but he was not.

No doubt, Bill Weld has a spotless record as a statesman, and a long list of accomplishments as a former governor of Massachusetts, and from his work within the federal administration. His balanced approach to our antagonizing problems would make him the perfect presidential candidate for the 2000 election, but a little anachronistic one for the frustrated seniors and impatient millennials of today. The nation is in much worse shape than it was 20 years ago. Americans feel in their bones that we need some major realignment; Trump perfectly sensed this in 2016 and offered a simplified solution. Weld stated aptly during the debate that we need more grownups in DC. In order to get there, these grownups need to explain in simple terms to irritated Americans how they will work out our unresolved for decades problems such as immigration, health care, education, neglected infrastructure, and overwhelming distrust in government administration at all levels in general. Weld was not grilled on these details, even though he should be.

In other sessions, our for decades not unresolved problems popped up, but listening to politicians and pundits, who constitute our political elite, I could not spot any new ideas, besides those already vainly circulating in public discussions. The immigration crisis took a big part of the conversation of Ann Coulter with David Frum. In her key statement supporting the Trump immigration policy and the wall, Coulter stated that for a long time Americans felt betrayed by politicians who promised to resolve our immigration crisis but never did anything about it. She pointed out that Americans embraced Trump solely for his hard-core approach to immigration, and in exchange look indulgently at other aspects of Trump’s policies and the flaws in his character.

If Frum or Steven Olikara, moderating the debate, had done their homework on our immigration mess, they would know that a majority of Americans are deeply misinformed on immigration, beginning from the proponents of eugenics one century ago to the populists such as the Master of Deception, seconded by pundits such as Coulter today. The immigration policy they want is simply un-American; it contradicts the fundamental American principles, it equals abandoning basic American values, and most of all it is detrimental to the nation’s economy.

Americans felt betrayed because every reasonable politician eventually needs to take reality into account. Hence, politicians try to do the impossible: keep immigrants coming because they are needed for the nation’s well-being but, at the same time, convince their misinformed electorate that they are against immigration. Coulter should be told that her approach to immigration means depriving the most entrepreneurial among us of the labor they need to keep America prosperous, at the cost of using taxpayers’ money to accommodate the laziest among us. It is socialism in its crystalline form. It would be interesting to hear Coulter’s answer, but she was not asked why she supports socialism.

The session about Medicare for All was best summarized by a comment on another forum to the effect that we do not discuss our problems, we talk past each other. On the stage we had: Brianna Gray, the national press secretary for Bernie 2020; Buck Sexton, a right-leaning political commentator; Sally Kohn, a left-leaning political commentator; Professor Jonathan M. Metzl, a scientist specializing in health care and politics; Glenn Jacobs a local politician, mayor of the Knox County in Tennessee, with a keenness for government efficiency; and as the moderator, Bob Cusack, the editor in chief of The Hill, one of the most reputable political publications. In other words, we had in one place people representing all sides of the health care debate. Unfortunately, advocates on every side of the issue have their arguments dismissed by their opponents.
None of them, including the moderator, was able to kick debaters out of their comfort zone, and make them answer to the merit of their opponents’ arguments. In many moments the debate brushed at key issues and it was seeking to corner someone by bringing up one of the 19 health care issues that politicians avoid talking about. It did not happen.

It was one more illustration how our political elite is divided, not only by the difference of opinions but due to simple intellectual indolence, by sticking to the comfort of one’s ideological echo chamber, and by cashing in on having many followers. Sadly, America is so big that many false prophecies can find enough supporters, guaranteeing a comfortable life for the elite. The question not asked by anyone at Politicon is: For how long can this last before hurting the nation irreversibly?

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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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