Date: June 17, 2016
To: The President of the United States
The White House
cc: To whomever else it may concern
From: Dwight Boud
Subject: Use of the phrase “Radical Islamic Terrorism”
I believe you are right that the phrase “Radical Islamic Terrorism” is not magic. It’s use by you would not defeat Isis. It would not make Isis less committed. It would not bring us more allies. I agree that our men and women in uniform, and our intelligence and law-enforcement officers know full well who our enemy is. I believe, however, that none of those factors motivates the criticism of your refusal to use the phrase Islamic terrorism.
When our country is attacked, we turn to our President for reassurance and encouragement. We want to know that you, Mr. President, are as angry and resolved to resist as we are. By refusing to speak of Islamic terrorism, you create the impression that you are masking the true identity of the enemy. You appear to be overlooking the fact that enemy fighters are Muslims who come from within the ranks of a broader Muslim population.
Like it or not, Mr. President, In light of your family background, early years in Indonesia, and things like your high praise for the sound of the morning call to prayer, there are many who believe you are a Muslim. Even if you are not a practicing Muslim, you appear to have great affection for Islam. As a politician, you must realize the importance of perception, and the perception that fuels the criticism of your refusal to say “radical Islamic terrorism” is that you are in fact trying to protect the enemy from a true assessment of who they are.
So it is not that many Americans believe the phrase would work magic or would defeat Isis or make them less committed to our destruction. It is all about our perception of our President and our wish to be assured that he actually wants to destroy the perversion of Islam that produces anti-western terrorism.
In my dream, I’m caught in a shootout. (Okay, I watch a lot of TV.) Luckily, I’m not alone. I have a partner. (LL Cool J?) After an exchange of shots, my partner is hit and incapacitated. I get off a few more shots before my weapon clicks. Uh oh, I’m out of ammo. I have cover but it’ll take only a few seconds for my assailants to realize that I’m not firing back. It doesn’t look good for me, but wait! My partner fired only a couple of shots before he got hit, and his weapon is within my reach. I grab it and wait for one of the shooters to poke his head up to see where I am. I take quick aim and pull the trigger but it won’t shoot. Oh no. Don’t tell me. It’s a “smart gun.” It will fire only for my partner! Here, fortunately, is where I usually wake up reflecting on unforeseen consequences.
Be careful what you wish for.
© 2016 by Dwight Boud
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.
“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: http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/antarctic-sea-ice-hits-second-all-time-record-in-a-week/
or here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/”
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: http://www.rense.com/general88/climchn.htm
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?