Democratic Socialists?

Why is the title “Democratic Socialists” so puzzling? Presumably the word democratic is meant to reassure voters that these socialists are different from others in that they support the use of elections to determine who leads the country. Since socialism is antithetical to human nature, a socialist of any sort is unlikely to be picked to lead the USA.
If though, by some chance, a “Democratic Socialist” were to win the presidency and start raising taxes, confiscating personal property, restricting speech and assembly, nationalizing essential businesses, etc., he or she would then be faced with the challenge of getting reelected. Uh oh.
Other socialists, when faced with this challenge, have found their support for free open elections slipping. If Democratic Socialists wanted to stay in power they would probably show the same reverence for free elections as Hugo Chavez and Nicholas Maduro did in Venezuela, or the same respect for free elections as Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, and Xi Jinping have in their socialist countries. 
Even a democratic socialist could probably engineer a phony election. Let’s not get sucked into believing that there’s anything democratic about socialism.

Dwight Boud

Caravans Aimed at Border + Cloward-Piven

In the 1960’s two radical college professors, under the influence of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” promulgated a plan that came to be known as the Cloward-Piven strategy. The basic idea was that, to bring down the enemy, i.e. the government, radicals should “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” Doing that would overburden the bureaucracy and lead to the collapse of the government.
What we see at our southern border is a large-scale application of the Cloward-Piven strategy. “Pueblo sin Fronteras” and whoever else is organizing the “caravans” that move northward through Central America and Mexico are striving to overburden our system. If the migrations were spontaneous movements of people to escape persecution in their home countries, they would be strung out over time and distance. They would arrive individually or in small manageable groups. But knowing that people have a legal right to claim asylum and to have a hearing, community organizers create caravans of thousands of people who arrive all together.
What is needed at the border ports of entry is enhanced infrastructure and procedures to meet this increased demand. In addition everything possible should be done to stem the flow of caravans enroute. Things should be done to make life difficult for “Pueblo Sin Fronteras” and other organizers. Mexico has taken some steps to make it easier for migrants to stay in Mexico and should be encouraged to do more. Someone has even advised making Mexico itself the wall.
We are under attack, and the weapons being used are thousands of exploited people aimed at our borders.

Dwight Boud

Divided Nation

“You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about”, Hillary Clinton on CNN

“We are five days away from fundamentally transforming” America. – Barack Obama

In the 1950’s, when I was a teenager, the big threat to the country and to the rest of the western world was the USSR, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. We had learned how Communists had infiltrated trade unions, Hollywood, college faculties, government agencies, and who knew what all else. We learned about Eugene V Debs. We learned about Gus Hall. We learned how socialism was viewed as a necessary step on the way to communism. We learned about red spies, fellow travelers, and “useful idiots.” Those of us who took this threat seriously were charged with looking for communists under every bed. We learned about Rudolph Abel, hollow coins, microfiche, dead drops, the Rosenbergs, and Alger Hiss, etc.

In those days, if one were accused of being a communist or communist sympathizer, he/she typically would deny it. In defense of themselves, academics would make sophistic distinctions between being a communist and being a presumably more benign “Marxist.” It was, however, all part of a clandestine campaign to weaken and undermine the USA.

Recently leftwing activists, so-called “progressives,” have become more willing to identify with that effort. Some Democrat candidates run openly as Socialists. When Barack Obama announced that “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming” America,” the cat was out of the bag. The fox was in the henhouse, and those people whom we had long suspected of being part of the campaign to bring down America were, at long last, out in the open.

When Hillary Clinton, in her youth a Saul Alinsky adherent, says “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about,” it resonates just as well as a reason to oppose liberalism, and not necessarily in civil terms. Today’s leftists personify the Socialists who have for decades espoused policies to destroy what we stand for and what we care about. Our divided country is not simply fighting over the lack of civility in political discourse, it’s engaged in a civil war (no pun intended) over “what we stand for and what we care about.” Neither side is poised to surrender.

© Dwight Boud, 2018

Censure Maxine Waters

Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) took the same oath that everyone takes who embarks on service to the country to support and defend the Constitution. In her recent outburst against any and all members of the President’s cabinet, she departed from the spirit of that oath.

Waters, whether knowingly or in ignorance, was following advice from revolutionary community organizer Saul Alinsky to never let a crisis go to waste. The crisis in this case was the taking into protective custody of innocent children from parents who subjected them to harm by illegally bringing them across our southern border. She decided that that program presented an opportunity for her to rail against anyone who works for the federal administration. She urged her leftist followers to confront cabinet members wherever they found them, in restaurants, theaters, gas stations, etc., to create a crowd and to tell those members that they are not welcome anywhere. This is to urge the creation of a volatile situation that could easily result in physical harm to participants.

The preamble to the Constitution is where the intent of that document is set forth, and prominent among its intentions is to insure domestic tranquility. Obviously Mrs. Waters’ intent was to do anything but that.

Of course, she is not alone. There is plenty of shouting and condemnation on all sides of the political spectrum none of which creates domestic tranquility. We, however, are not all members of the House of Representatives. From those leaders we should expect adherence to a high standard of civil discourse. In this instance, a House Resolution of Censure against Mrs. Waters is the least we should expect.

Dwight Boud

Monuments Suggestion

Before someone tears down the Jefferson Memorial, let me suggest a way out of this memorials controversy in which the nation is embroiled. First. for example, let’s recognize that Jefferson did much to help establish our country. In addition to writing the Declaration of Independence and serving as our third President , he did things like establishing the University of Virginia and donating hundreds of books to reestablish the library of congress after the British burned Washington in the War of 1812. As a Virginia plantation owner, though, he also owned people who had been enslaved.

Those enslaved people worked the land that provided Jefferson the wherewithal to go to Philadelphia as a member of the Virginia delegation to the Continental Congress. He was away from home for quite a while, but didn’t need to worry about his financial security. His lands were still producing because of the hardworking people farming his land while he was away.

With this in mind, the Jefferson Memorial, among others, is simply incomplete. What is lacking is a statue showing these enslaved people accompanied by acknowledgment of their role in making it possible for Jefferson to contribute to the country’s founding. If there’s no practical way to alter the memorial, then those people should have their own prominent memorial.

The same situation applies as well to George Washington whose security owed much to the enslaved people who worked his land during his prolonged absence to lead the war effort and to serve as President.

So rather than shrouding memorials or tearing them down, let’s complete them and add acknowledgment of the contributions of all our forebears.

Alinsky at work in D.C.

What is going on in Washington, D.C. these days smacks of a couple of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.” Alinsky, for those unfamiliar with him, is considered the “father of community organizing.” His “rules” are meant to guide radicals in their efforts to bring down organizations including the government.

The proliferation of anonymous allegations against President Trump’s administration seems to follow Rules #4 and #8.

RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.

The “rule” at play here is the belief that all allegations should be investigated so that we can “get to the bottom” of what is alleged. The more allegations that are made, the more the government gets bogged down in trying to investigate them. Sound familiar?

RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.

This, of course, could apply to a football game as well as to radical tactics. Notice, though, that as soon as one allegation starts to be investigated, another slightly different one pops up on the anti-president side of the issue. The point is to keep allegations coming to derail the administration’s agenda.

Two prominent Alinsky acolytes are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Saul would be so proud.

Hibiscus Time (a poem)

Hibiscus Time

Hibiscus unfurls to show her face
Radiating red and gold across our yard,
The news is shared first thing –
“Did you see the flower today?”

Hibiscus is a lively one
Lifting spirits, soothing hearts,
Sharing beauty only nature could devise,
Companion for a day.

Should you return next sunrise
(Not likely in the scheme of things,)
You’ll find she’s furled herself in muted hues
And fallen gently to the ground.

There were no prayers or eulogies
That’s just the way it is.
Fleeting, one day with us,
Next day gone.

A lifetime’s somewhat like that,
Though, for most, a longer stay.
We face the sun, we welcome rain,
We find a place wherein to thrive.

If we knew we had Hibiscus time,
Expressions like “I love you,”
Would not be left unsaid before they
Twist and fall to Earth.

Dwight Boud
© 2016

My Email to the President

Date: June 17, 2016

To: The President of the United States
The White House
Washington, DC

cc: To whomever else it may concern

From: Dwight Boud
Barnegat, NJ

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.

Donald’s Domain

Trump Domain

My Disturbing Gun Dream

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

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