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.

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.

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The book that its intended readers would prefer had never been written

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Books by philosophy professors seldom draw much attention. But, boy, it is the opposite when the book is from Professor Jason D. Hill at DePaul University in Chicago. It is an intellectual provocation.

Vivid readers lament that very few books have original ideas. Even those that do, often contain one puffed-up thought worthy of an essay. It is not the case in Professor Hill’s writings. With every paragraph, he thrusts up challenging ideas, urging the reader to pause and reexamine what we have considered the irrefutable truth.

There is an issue with Professor Hill’s book because he does not write about ancient philosophical dilemmas but about racism in the United States today. He does not mince his words, demystifying almost everything most Americans read and hear in the mainstream media. The title asks: “What Do White Americans Owe Black People?” One may guess the answer, but the intellectual delight is in the journey through 256 pages.

In discussions about racism, the differences of opinions often align with the race of the debater. Black people usually insist that a white person cannot grasp the racism they experience. Professor Hill wrote about racism not as a black person but as a person. He has achieved what so many say is unattainable; he has ascended above the pettiness of human prejudices. In the book, he rejects the ongoing mantra in the American media that because of underlying racism, blacks face more hardship in their advancement than penurious whites or immigrants from impoverished countries. For him, people are defined by their achievements, not by the flaws of others, racial intolerances among them.

One can perceive this book as a treatise about our civilization’s progress using the example of slavery. There was no evil intention of white men in enslaving Africans. At that time, various forms of enslavement were the norm. Able persons always used the powers of their minds, their arms, and their money to subdue nature. Uncivilized people living in harmony with nature were part of nature.

Today, we often hear romanticized versions of primitive cultures living in a divine unity with nature. But behind that blissfulness was the merciless surrender to the forces of nature. Civilization started with people becoming masters of nature. In the beginning, only the affluent were the masters exploring others. With literacy in Western Europe, people were reaching self-awareness in medieval times and demanding equal rights. It took some time for enslaved blacks to realize that they were equally human as their white masters. As awful as it was, it was their path of joining the civilization.

Reading that rationale as a Pole who grew up in a racially monolithic country, I found a connection. The roots of the Western European civilization fall 5,000 years back into the Mediterranean cultures. Poland, as a nation, emerged about 1,000 years ago. Primitive tribes living in the marshlands organized to fend off the Germans’ expansion. There was no written language and only rudimentary technology compared to what the Germans had already learned from the Romans. For the first 500 years, Latin was the official language, and German was the language of trade. Then, Poles realized they were not geese and had their own language, as one of the first Polish poets phrased it. The first Polish language drama was written about 2,000 years after Sophocles wrote “Antigone.” And it was not about Poland but the Trojan War in Greek mythology.

As one might guess, there were attempts to romanticize prehistoric times in Poland. Fortunately, they came late, when Poland already had a well-established identity. No one negates today that Poland rose from the tradition of ancient Greek and Roman cultures by following the technological advancements of Germany. I presume that a few hundred years down the road, blacks will not glamorize their ancient African past but will be proud of their contribution to the civilization they adopted.

The original sin of the United States is in excluding the slaves from the fundamental principle that “all men are created equal.” Professor Hill accepts that it was pragmatic politics; the vote of the Southern states was needed to form the union. In defense of the Founding Fathers, he points out that there was no need to change the Constitution to end slavery. Also, the same Constitution sufficed to outlaw all forms of racial discrimination in the 1960s.

Professor Hill, in his youth, immigrated to the United States from Jamaica. On several occasions, he circles back to the freedoms that the American political system provides. As an immigrant myself, I see many Americans do not value the liberties that were given to them; immigrants are more appreciative. I sensed that tone in the book as well. The primary message is that so much focus on racism comes when all institutional forms of racism are long gone. To overcome any real or perceived racial harms, one should take advantage of the opportunities that the United States offers. The author never says it, but his life attainments and the excellence of his writing send a bold message that if he could succeed, others have no excuse.

A few critical reviewers on Amazon complained they needed to keep a dictionary open to get through the book due to “sophisticated language” and “fancy words.” It could be true that learning 1,000 words would suffice to communicate in English. Mass media outlets blast out messages that a fifth-grader can comprehend. But one needs more than that. For language aficionados, this book is a marvel. Reaching for the dictionary, one can enjoy the subtleties of the message.

I agree with one of the Amazon commentators that this is a “once in a generation” book. One may wonder why it is not all over the media. I got a hint when praising this book in a private chat with a liberally-leaning person. That individual heard about the book, did not read it, and unlikely will. But my rave disheartened that person.

The best answer I received came from a strange, young black man on the internet. Seeing his post about white privilege, I suggested the book to him. He responded that he would not be buying this book even though he enjoys hearing views from opposite sides. He said his priority is to pay for content that reinforces his beliefs, and because the author seems to negate the concerns of millions of people. The millions who should read this book but would prefer that it had never been written.

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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 a 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 have lived in the Chicago area. I went through the hard times typical of many immigrants. Working in the 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 the 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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