Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Climate change quickly destroying our nation and planet


The latest installment of the National Climate Assessment was issued on Black Friday. The dire report, which is described as “ominous,” may have been issued intentionally on Black Friday since it paints a black picture of our future and is full of “information that every human needs.”

There were 13 federal agencies backing the document’s dire claims which, “come frequently into conflict with the aims of the administration that released it.” “Whereas the Trump administration has sought to loosen restrictions on car emissions the report warns that vehicles are contributing to unhealthy ozone levels that affect nearly a third of Americans.”

According to one analysis the report contains “three most chilling conclusions.”

1. Extreme hot weather is getting more common, and cold weather more rare.

2. Climate change has doubled the devastation from wildfires in the Southwest.

3. Rising sea levels will necessitate migrations, and coastal cities aren’t doing enough.”

Frustration is mounting for those of us who are concerned by these scientific conclusions. Yes, we are thinking about our own immediate health and other environmental concerns, but we are also especially thinking of the effects on our children and grandchildren along with the effects on all other Americans.

Please continue to include updates in the paper on these reports of our deteriorating environment and what we can do as concerned citizens to urge, even require, our government to do the right things to help slow down global climate change which is now quickly destroying our nation and our planet.

William C. Edwards

The people run the country, not the president of the United States


Please, everybody, can we stop repeating that Donald Trump “runs the country.”

It’s really starting to grate on me.

I remember that sentence getting under my skin back when it was Barack Obama “runs the country.” But It seems like I hear it every day now. Even the conservative constitutionalist Mark Levin recently admonished one of Trumps detractors to layoff the President because “He’s got a country to run.” A variant of this error was Trump, himself, telling us how much better thing are since “I took over the economy.” It shouldn’t matter what side of the aisle you’re on, this kind of language isn’t just sloppy — It represents a real danger to a free society.

The Constitution doesn’t empower the President to “run the country,” or “take over the economy.” Give him his due; The president is the chief executive of the federal government. But the government is not the country. In a free nation, the people run the country.

We run the country, and the economy, with our every deed and dealing. Those in government are merely our representatives, our servants, who are supposed to protect our rights, particularly our right to conduct our own affairs without coercion. The government merely legislates and enforces the “rules of the road” for that purpose, and it does so only under our authority.

Probably the worst of these infractions is the constant application of the title “commander in chief” without the “of the armed forces” part. Many of us have consented to having a commander in chief by joining the armed forces for a period of time. We sacrifice a good deal of our freedom specifically so we will never have to submit to a commander in chief again. The armed forces are a centrally-directed entity. The president can correctly be said to “run the armed forces” since the chain of command puts the ultimate responsibility for them on him.

But I’m a free man now, and I no longer take orders in my daily life.

Centrally directed countries and economies do exist, and have existed for a long time. It is probably correct to say that the presidents of Venezuela, Russia, China, and North Korea do run their countries, and that, for the most part, the people in those countries have accepted their rulers.

World War II and the Cold War were ultimately battles of freedom versus central direction (fascism and communism respectfully.) Those systems provided a sharp contrast to our system of human freedom and free enterprise. That contrast made it easy to choose freedom. But with time, contrast fades. Few people alive today can remember both events.

If you believe the reports, Kids aren’t doing a good job of learning history, or the schools are doing a poor job of teaching it. Young people are “buying in” on socialism (central direction) even after the most recent example of its failure in Venezuela, and we old people can’t figure why. Maybe we can’t do anything about it, but we can, at the very least, watch our language.

We think in words. Sloppy language leads to sloppy thought. Sloppy thought is hard to defend. We weaken the argument for a free society the instant we adopt the language of central direction.

John Olsen