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Trump as dictator?

I would vote for Donald Trump should he be nominated for President. Something he said recently, however, reminded me of why he is not close to being my first choice. In addressing the gun control issue, he said that “no-gun zones in schools” are “bait.” By which he implied that potential mass shooters are attracted to no-gun zones to gun down innocents. As a counter measure, Trump said that as President, he would do away with “no-gun zones” in schools.

While that sounds like a logical step to discourage potential mass shootings of school students, for me Trump’s statement was chilling. It indicated that he views the Presidency as an office that enables its occupant to decide how local school districts should be governed. Right now, we have a President who regularly “goes around Congress” to achieve his goals. For doing that, Barack Obama is rightly criticized for operating like a dictator. What, then, would be different about Donald Trump’s “going around” local school boards to control how their districts were governed?

I believe that governmental decisions as a rule are best made by the elected officials who are closest to the places and people who will be most affected by their decisions. Trump as President would have to work with members of Congress, state governors and legislators, and the courts among others. I hope he would be willing to accept that, even when they might try to stymie his favorite ideas. I hope, but I don’t know.


Who are the “deniers?”

Pope Cartoon

The AGW Debate’s Not Over

“The arctic ice is melting!” “No it’s not. There’s more arctic ice than ever.” “Polar bears are suffering.” “No they’re not. They are thriving.” Competing claims abound. Are you suffering from climate change whiplash? Small wonder if you are.
Al Gore wants us to believe that the debate (regarding what used to be called anthropogenic- human caused – global warming, AGW) is over. Of course, the mantra has been changed from “global warming” to “climate change.” Some want to bolster this claim by claiming that 97% of scientists believe that the survival of planet earth is threatened by climate change. Yet a growing number of scientists are claiming that there has been no appreciable global temperature increase for at least a dozen years. Al Gore and Barack Obama’s pronouncements not withstanding, it’s clear that the debate is not over.

Typical exchanges can be found here:


or here:”

It seems that one side or the other is either woefully ignorant or is lying. (Dare I suggest that both sides have their share of unprincipled propagandists?) If the climate change claimers are right, it could be suicidal to ignore them. If the so-called “climate deniers” are right, ignoring them could be destructive of entire economies and with them our modern way of life.

Given full-throated claims on both sides (ranging from “We have to save the planet” to “It’s a hoax.”), a sensible conclusion is hard to come by.

One thing we can do is to examine the motives of proponents on both sides. Are climate change claimers acting out of altruistic concern for the survival of their fellow earthlings? Are the “deniers” acting out of selfish desire to protect the carbon-based industries, and let earthlings’ survival, including their own, be damned?

It’s a complicated question that requires more research than I can provide here. A cursory search did reveal that Al Gore’s fee to speak on this topic for 75 mins. is $100,000. plus transportation.

For Ten Facts and Ten Myths On Climate Change go here:

Dwight Boud

Where was the Cliff’s Notes version?

Jonathan Gruber, an MIT Professor, and Kathleen Sebelius, former Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, were both involved in the creation of the so-called “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” AKA “Obamacare.” That act was forced on America like a size 12 foot into a size 9 shoe. It was huge — thousands of pages long — and complex. So long and complicated that legislators had inadequate time to review it before it was “deemed passed.” Gruber and Sebelius have both expressed the view that the American public was too “stupid” or “insurance illiterate” to understand a law like that.

Ouch! Stupid? Really? We weren’t even allowed the five days for public comment that the President had promised for just such cases. I tried ambitiously to read it shortly after it was “passed” (without any Republican votes) and immediately found myself being referred by section and paragraph number to equally involved provisions of Social Security law. I quickly realized that it was a job for lawyers who had a lot more background and time on their hands.

Gruber stated that Obamacare was not transparent and that lack of transparency was a political advantage. Advantage for whom? Certainly not for those of us who had the greatest need to understand it. Gruber just couldn’t resist bragging about how cleverly the whole thing was put together. (I’m more deceptive than you are… nah nah, na, nah nah.)

It seems to me that someone who ostensibly was working on behalf of the American people (Sebelius) and someone who received about $400,000 of our money to help craft the bill (Gruber), should have been trying to make it as transparent and easy to understand as possible. Holding the views they’ve expressed about the (poor dumb ignorant) public, they should have been trying to guarantee that the people most affected by the law could understand it. Where was the Cliff’s Notes version?

The President Shall Take Care…

This is a replay of an earlier post. Still relevant…

Cartoon to UploadU. S. Constitution – Article II, Section 3.

Compromise, compromise…

Compromise, compromise… We keep hearing that Congress and the White House should compromise. Democrats and Republicans in Congress should compromise. They should all compromise, we are told, so that they can “get something done” for the American people. Well, wait a minute.

It’s quite a stretch to maintain that the American people just want congress to “get something done.” The reason the government is divided is largely because the people themselves are divided. Some people apparently want the country to move “forward” to install, implement, and institutionalize a collectivist “progressive” agenda. Other people want to revitalize adherence to the Constitution and to the principles set forth by the country’s founders. The repeated calls for compromise suggest that some people want us to believe that we can have it both ways. We can’t. Not as long as we seek fundamentally different goals.

If we consider the concept of compromise, it’s clear that Compromise A is not the same as Compromise B. Let’s imagine that Party A thinks we should drive from NYC to Boston and Party B wants to drive to Baltimore instead. How do they compromise? Can they agree to go to Syracuse or Buffalo instead? It’s roughly the same distance, would take about the same amount of fuel and time. But what good would it do? No one gets appreciably closer to either Boston or Baltimore. Of course, they could create the illusion of progress by negotiating about what time of day they should hit the road, what type of vehicle they should use, and how fast they should drive, but that would merely forestall a decision on the ultimate destination.

Party A might think it acceptable to agree to drive to New Haven, CT, i.e. part way in the direction of Boston. Conversely, Party B might accept an agreement to drive from NYC to Philadelphia. All of these could be described as compromises, but none settles the fundamental issue. Those who compromise on the final destination may find themselves, at last, in East Podunk, Nowhere or, more likely, right back where they started. Those who negotiate an agreement on how fast to drive are “getting something done,” but nothing useful.

If you want to drive from NYC to Boston, you don’t go by way of Philadelphia. if you want to restore respect for the Rule of Law, you don’t do it by nodding and winking at illegalities. When we hear calls for compromise, realize that compromise for its own sake is not a virtue.

Dwight Boud

Phony “Communities”

As a “loner,” I might be criticized for my suspicion of the word “community.” It comes from Latin and provides the root for numerous other common words. Cómmune as a noun means a group of people living together and sharing possessions and responsibilities. As a verb, commúne can mean to relate to someone or something on a spiritual level as in commune with God or commune with nature. Most, if not all, of us belong to one community or another. Unless we are homesteaders or squatters living alone in the far reaches of a wilderness, we have hometowns that are governed by elected representatives. In ages past, such communities were formed to provide mutual protection from the rogues among us. Since then, our being part of a community makes us “insiders.” It gives us that warm, cozy feeling that comes with belonging. As such I cannot argue that community is not a good thing.

What, then, is my beef with the word community? The word is meant to be a limiter. It limits the members of a group to a feature or set of features that they all hold in common. They all live in the same place, or do the same thing for a living, or pray to the same God, or wear the same clothing (or uniforms), enjoy the same movies, root for the same team, etc. Unfortunately, in modern political discourse, the word has been stretched beyond its legitimate use, and we hear reference to groups that are so diverse that the word community doesn’t fit. Why is that so? Because it’s a way for someone to create an illusion that he/she finds politically advantageous. Its use is designed to suggest that members of a given group form a “community” of people with common interests. Like all illusions, though, it is misleading, an attempt to make it appear that there is a community where one does not exist.

Take, for example, the “Black Community.” This label is used by those who want to create the illusion that all black people share the same goals as, say, Al Sharpton; that somehow Thomas Sowell, Ben Carson, and Condoleeza Rice all have much in common with Trayvon Martin, Tawana Brawley, and Jeremiah Wright. “Hispanic Community” suggests that the Latin Kings are part of the same “community” as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Linda Chavez. And consider one of the most ludicrous constructs ever produced by the mind of man, the “World Community.” Vladimir Putin’s activities in Crimea and the rest of Ukraine, we are told, will cause him to be isolated by the “World Community.” Are we to believe that such a thing actually exists; that China, Cuba, Syria, Israel, Iran, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Belize, Bhutan, Germany, and Brazil will unite in condemnation of Putin’s machinations? Please. Let’s enjoy those legitimate communities to which we belong but not get taken in by those that are fabricated by propagandists or wishful thinkers.

Dwight Boud © 2014