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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How could we end the war in Ukraine tomorrow?

Image by Oleg Mityukhin for Henryk A. Kowalczyk

I am grateful for the photos Oleg took for my readers earlier this morning in Kyiv. The sky was blissful, except for the anti-aircraft rocket trail. Because of these rockets, Oleg’s family stays in the improvised shelter, as shown in the picture below. HA
                  *                                   *                                  *

The simplest way is to dot the i’s and cross the t’s on what officially has been said already. Everyone agrees that by invading Ukraine, Russia, under the leadership of President Putin, broke international laws. With condemnations coming from everywhere, no one has used the right term to describe the situation so far. Putin is a war criminal. As such, he needs to end up in front of the judges at The International Court of Justice in the Hague. We need to say clearly and firmly that this is his only future. In the meantime, as long as he is still in power, we may need to negotiate with him, the same way as we negotiate with a criminal keeping innocent people hostage.

Declaring Putin a war criminal implies that the Russian military is an accomplice in executing the crimes he ordered. Russian marshals and generals need to realize that, ultimately, they will face justice for their roles in the invasion of Ukraine. The field officers, like those who killed Ukrainian soldiers on the Snake Island, need to know that sooner or later they will be found and punished.

Sanctions hurting Russia are not the right solution. It is in the best interest of the world and Russia to keep Russia fully integrated into the global economy. By declaring Putin a war criminal, the Russian political and military elite will have to choose to stay with him or abandon him; the sooner, the better for them. In the ideal scenario, they will arrest him tonight and deliver him to The Hague tomorrow morning.

Why kill the Ukrainian brothers?

Putin is wrong, claiming that Ukrainians and Russian are the same nation. They are brotherly nations, with similar languages and hundreds of years of common history. Even more, there are millions of mixed Ukrainian-Russian families living on both sides of the border. In this fratricidal war, they kill each other. Russian soldiers need to get that message.

Image by Oleg Mityukhin for Henryk A. Kowalczyk

There is no danger to Russia from Ukraine seeking its prosperity independently from Russia. Regardless of choices made by both nations, the best interest for both of them is to work in close economic cooperation.

For Putin, vassal Ukraine is the best for Russia. The opposite is true; Russia can benefit more from cooperating with an independent Ukraine as equal partners.

As Russian soldiers gradually comprehend the absurdity of this war, their willingness to fight it will be diminishing. Hopefully, starting now.

No American soldiers on the ground

It may take awhile for the suggested above options to work. In the meantime, Ukrainians are fighting. President Biden says that American soldiers will not put their feet on the Ukrainian ground.

What about the air? Ukraine is an independent country. What are the rights of Russia to declare the airspace there not accessible for anyone except the Russian military? It is critical for the war progress because Ukraine does not have an air force matching the Russian power. Formally speaking, everybody else has the same right as Russia to declare exclusivity in the Ukrainian airspace.

At the time of this writing, to the surprise of the experts, a few Ukrainian military aircraft were still flying. As soon as the last of them is grounded, NATO can claim the Ukrainian airspace the same as Russia. Then, without putting feet on the ground, it can send guided missiles to shoot down whatever is flying there because it would be only the Russian air force.

It may not be enough to stop the war, but it can help Ukrainians hold their ground a little longer. That extra few days could be all the Russian leaders and soldiers might need to come to their senses as discussed above.

There is no way of avoiding putting feet on the ground

We may expect a guerrilla-style resistance if Russians succeed in occupying Ukraine. As already committed, the West will assist with providing arms and training. A look at the map tells us that arms will need to be smuggled from neighboring Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, or Romania, all NATO members. Training of Ukrainian fighters would likely be provided there as well.

If Ukrainian resistance inflicts any pain to the Russian occupiers, it is not hard to guess that Russia will try to disable the source of that help. In short, it will not take long before the neighboring NATO countries get pulled into the conflict. That will trigger NATO’s Article 5, which requires all members to stand behind the one attacked.

Judging by Putin’s determination, if his compatriots do not deliver him to The Hague, NATO will need to go and get him.

The Kuwait option

In 1990 Saddam Hussein, the president of Iraq, ordered the takeover of neighboring Kuwait. The reasons were similarly bogus like Putin’s today. There were no legal obligations for the United States to free Kuwait. We did it because it was the right thing to protect the world order. The only difference today is that Russia is more powerful and has nukes. If we refrain from giving Russia the same response that Iraq got, it would mean that our international law applies only to petty thugs, not the mafiosi.

The historical moment

We witness a historical moment when one of the world’s superpowers, entrusted with protecting the peace, became a rogue state, breaking the very rules it should safeguard. After World War II, there was an assumption that the winning powers would forever show wisdom and resolve to preserve peace. There were a few moments of doubt, such as the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, but reason prevailed.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine ended that era. We need to implement changes to accommodate the remote possibility that a nuclear superpower might endanger world peace, as Russia has done. Some worry that the imperial aspirations of Xi Jinping, the president of China, may one day threaten peace too. But we do not need to look that far; Donald Trump showed little respect for American laws, and some in his administration worried that he would start an unprovoked war with China.

Our response to Russia today will constitute the precedent for handling these kinds of situations. We need to have a process whereby every war criminal, regardless of how powerful, ends up in front of the judges at The International Court of Justice in the Hague.

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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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