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
The Editorial Board should have no opinion

Jul 11, 2020

The WSJ Editorial Board expressed its opinion about the case of Michael Flynn. It does not matter what they said; in my book, the Editorial Board should have no opinion on any topic. Editorial boards’ job is not to lecture, but to facilitate views from individuals who can present valid arguments. The Editorial Board's job at the WSJ is to guarantee to me, a subscriber, that the different opinions presented are fact-checked. I pay a subscription for the WSJ because I do not have the time nor the means to fact-check whatever is written and posted on the internet. I do not pay for the subscription to be brainwashed by whatever the self-anointed authority of the Editorial Board believes is right. I can make my judgment based on the facts and their interpretation by other individuals.

PREVIOUS COMMENTS
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.
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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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Alienation of the nation and Peggy Noonan in particular

In her column, “The Big Alienation” Peggy Noonan is trying to convince us that the nation is alienated from its government. As a pivotal argument, Ms. Noonan brings the uncontrolled mess on our nearly 2000 miles long border with Mexico; most Americans want this border secured, the government promises to do so, but does not do enough to make it happen.

Disassociation between the claimed goal and actual actions is obvious; hence, maybe the term alienation is proper for the occasion. However, how one can be alienated from his or her government?

On the WSJ website, hundreds of people commented on this dilemma. The overwhelming majority mindlessly agreed with Ms. Noonan, “that nothing can or should be done, no new federal law passed, until the border itself is secure.” As it often happens, the word of wisdom did not come from a mob praising Ms. Noonan but from a lonely critical comment by Martha Bromberg who does not feel alienated because, as she wrote “I am my government. I am an American citizen blessed with a democratic representative government, and any failure on my part to assume responsibility for my government is just that, a failure.”

In opposition to the majority of Americans, Ms. Bromberg takes responsibility for the actions of her government. If she asked her government to do something that the government failed to do, she allows herself a thought that she might ask her government to do something unachievable.

This takes us to the fundamental question of what we want our government to do. Ms. Noonan complains that she and the rest of Americans are confused by two stark and utterly conflicting messages coming from Washington: “We control everything” and “You are on your own.” Politicians always say whatever people want to hear; hence, it is irrelevant what Washington is selling, it is important what Americans are buying. The very first citizens of the U.S. had no dilemma here; they wanted to pursue happiness on their own, with as little control from Washington as possible. Issues such as health care and immigration testify that today the majority of Americans sign-up for the “we control everything; you just follow the rules,” option.

Each of these two options has its consequences. Americans left on their own, within the about first hundred years of the Republic, built the richest and most powerful country on Earth. Unlike most Americans, growing up in then socialistic Poland, I experienced first hand a political system built solely on the concept, “we control everything; you just follow the rules.” I can testify that in many everyday situations, this system provided much more convenience and comfort than the “you are on your own” concept, still practiced at least to some degree, here. However, the “we control everything” system, by curbing the most entrepreneurial individuals, proved unable to provide even basic food and living necessities; before bankrupting all together.

Most of Americans and Peggy Noonan in particular, know this in abstraction but are incapable to connect this knowledge to their own experiences. They are confused by the overwhelming litany of problems that we face, but they are alienated from the political concepts that made America rich and powerful in the very first place. They do not understand how the free market system made America rich and powerful. They see the wealth of the nation as a God given blessing, lasting as long as Americans would praise God everyday. They do not understand what brought the Soviet system to bankruptcy. They want the goods that the “you are on your own” system can provide, and they expect security and comfort offered by the “we are in control” approach. Unfortunately, these two systems are mutually excluding.

When we assume that Americans, and Peggy Noonan in particular, are alienated from the very ideas that made America great in the first place, all the blocks in the picture of chaos that Ms. Noonan draws in her column fall into their places, and the questions she raises, find simple answers.

In particular, Ms. Noonan complains that “while the Democrats worry about the prospects of the Democrats and the Republicans about well-being of the Republicans, who worries about America?” And, she answers that “No one. Which American people have noticed?” Who worried about America when it was growing to become the world’s greatest superpower? No one in particular, but Americans did not notice that as they were busy working on their own prosperity. The greatness of America arrived from the concept that individuals given freedom to pursue their dreams on their own would create a rich and powerful country. What Ms. Noonan did not say, but what observant readers could conclude, is that now Americans are not so eager to provide for themselves, but expect that the government would secure them access to the wealth accumulated so far.

This is how we have arrived to the border issue. Every year, hundreds of thousands of foreigners cross our borders illegally or overstay visitor’s visas. Why? Because there is work for them here, however Americans told their government not to allow foreigners come and work here. Seeing foreigners sneaking in anyhow, Americans asked their government to exercise more strength in preventing this. And, their government did it. When this still has been not working, Americans, and Peggy Noonan in particular, ask for even more determination in executing policies that have been permanently failing for about the last forty years.

Americans fear competition from foreigners and want the splendid isolation back, as many of them are undereducated, overpaid, and not capable to compete on the worldwide labor market. It is beyond the comprehension of the majority of Americans, and Peggy Noonan in particular, that in the era of affordable transportation and communication, the only choice that we have is between letting foreigners come and work here, pay taxes here, and buy cars and houses here; or having jobs that they do go to other countries. When asking to secure borders, Americans ask their government to choke the economy, but economy does want to give up. There is no alienation between Americans and their government. Americans and Peggy Noonan are alienated from facts and logic. They do not realize, that securing the borders as they envision it, could be possible only in the Soviet style political system. As it is unlikely that they would support turning the U.S. into a police state, they ask their government to do what they on the other hand would never accept.

As America became a powerful nation, there were multiple temptations, abilities, ignorance, and arrogance to give government this strength in order to resolve some problems for Americans, so they would not have it so hard doing this on their own. Prohibition comes to mind as an example when Americans were guided by an illusion that their government could resolve for them a problem that they should deal with themselves. Our immigration law, banning foreigners from coming freely to work in the U.S. is another example. Most Americans and Peggy Noonan in particular, ask their government to secure the border before reforming immigration system. The wisdom of this proposition, is as if during Prohibition, someone would agree that Prohibition should be revoked, but just after the government stops all illegal alcohol production and trafficking.

The same as it was in the case of Prohibition, the simplest and only way to eliminate the mess on our borders is by revoking our current immigration law and allowing everyone who can find work here to come and do it legally.

A version of this text was published by Huffington Post

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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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