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