In his farewell address, George Washington warned us about the evils of political parties, claiming that they “distract the public councils “and “agitate the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindle the animosity of one part against another, foment occasionally riot and insurrection.”
By Lloyd Omdahl
By George, we have arrived.
After a couple of years in the presidency, Dwight Eisenhower noted that government was nothing like the army. Let’s hope that Donald Trump soon discovers that neither is government like a family business. “The first family” has taken on a new meaning in this Administration.
•Let’s have a tear for smokers
According to Gallup, 56 percent of smokers feel that they are experiencing discrimination while only 17 percent of the obese feel discriminated against. The difference can be explained very simply: there is no such thing as second-hand obesity.
Gallup also reports that 59 percent of the people think higher insurance premiums would be justified for smokers while only 39 percent felt the obese ought to pay more. More discrimination just because 1,000 North Dakotans die each year from tobacco smoke.
Liberals want to regulate business but not morals; Republicans want to regulate morals but not business. So is the argument about regulation or something else?
We will know that our military leaders regard the North Korea crisis as serious when they start filling the Pentagon basement with crackers and water
•Guns are killing the wrong people
When more people have guns, more people are going to get shot because in a sudden fit of rage guns are handier that ropes, poison and knives. So far, more children (1,300) are killed by guns each year than burglars shot in bedrooms.
The North Dakota law broadening the definition of distracted driving went into effect in July. This is an anti-business move. The billboard people and all of their advertisers depend on driver distraction for their survival. Nevertheless, don’t let the State Patrol catch you reading billboards.
The news media refer to shooting victims as being armless but no one knows who is armless until after the shooting. Somehow we expect the police to have the foreknowledge of God to know whether or not villains are armless. When the police know that everyone has a gun, they don’t have time to second-guess every suspect.
•Littering is now a major crime
The fine for littering North Dakota highways was raised to $500 as of July 1. Comparing that to the fine for speeding, the law provides that you would have to go 197 MPH to incur a fine of $500. So if you have $500 available for a fine, you can throw a pop can out the window or drive 197 MPH. Sounds about right.
If you would like to have a few illegal Iranian artifacts, you can check with the owner of the Hobby Lobby chain who “inadvertently” received 5,500 stolen artifacts, marked up, of course, to cover the $3 million fine levied by the U.S. government. It’s a new theology: “God helps those who help themselves.”
•The Russians are really coming
In the search for 3,000,000 fraudulent votes, a national commission is demanding that states send all of their election information to Washington. The Russians like the idea of getting all of this information centralized, like one-stop shopping.
A few weeks ago, this column predicted that the Russians would not influence our elections very much by hacking the state election systems but would depend on the ignorance of voters by creating fake news on social media in key states. The FBI has now verified widespread Russian fake news in 2016. My life time score for prognosticating now stands at 17 percent.
Lloyd Omdahl is the former Lt. Gov. of North Dakota and college professor. His column can be read all of the state of North Dakota.