Monday, February 25, 2008

President for a day: A QOD response


First – thanks to Ric for a great post and consideration.


I have posted below the full text of article II of the US Constitution so that bloggers know exactly what their responsibilities are as 'President for a Day.'


I have often noted that some Americans, confuse the terms and titles of the President. They may call him the President; they may also call him commander-in-chief. Both terms are correct but are wholly dependent upon the determination by congress. Please note carefully that our Constitution provides absolutely NO powers, lest they be granted by congress, or are co-equal with the advice and CONSENT of Congress.


In modern history dating back to the Truman and Eisenhower era, and throughout the cold war, Presidents have increasingly laid claim to almost extra constitutional authority for the title of Commander-in-chief. A number of legal findings and Supreme Court decisions have also served the functional purpose of blurring the lines of Presidential Authority and Congressional Powers.


We must also place on the table the fact that our Constitution has provided for the ability and the process for amendment.


We do not select the electors for the Electoral College, to vote into office a Dictator, "The DECIDER", or Supreme Leader. The Constitution states plainly that we elect the Executive. So before all of you would be Presidential Bloggers continue too far down the path of 'omnipotent one' keep these facts in mind.


Myths and Presidential Politics

A favorite political game occurs every 4 years. One candidate or another says that they will do this or that, the opponent rails against such policies and promises that he or she would do that and this instead. Partisans from both sides rally behind the ideological wrestling match that often resembles s the WWF championship match. Cheers, boos, catcalls and rallies for the candidates reinforce the circus atmosphere. Complete with body slams, neck holds and below the belt slugs – the show continues all the way to Election Day.

Then – on taking office in January – the new President raises his or her right hand and promises to uphold the office, defend the Constitution and...So help me god. They walk into the office – "on day one" - and reality comes home to roost. They are not the GREAT DECIDER, they are not puppet masters for some economic revolution, and they are not much more than the chief Executive. Oh for certain they send budgets to congress, they appoint cabinet members, ambassadors and judges – but they must ask nicely, otherwise you and I through our Congressmen and Senators may not approve the Presidents Plans.


In fact they may reject the Presidents Platform and appointments – and that is it – done. The President of course may veto any bill that is sent to him by congress. They on the other hand get a "do-over." With a 2/3 majority they can override a Presidential veto and the measure becomes law. So now we have a clearer picture of being president for a day, and the meaning of the rule of law, Constitutional Government, and the powers enumerated to government and to the people. Let's look at some issues and solution s and responsibilities.


Foreign Policy:

I must admit that foreign affairs interest me more than domestic policy relative to the office of President simply because it is here that a President may have the greatest effect, for better or for worse. This is especially true with respect to international relations as the president appoints ambassadors and with leadership sets the tone for America's dealings with other nations.

Too much hot air and bloviating blog space has been wasted slamming the current administrations foreign policy. An equal amount of blind faith flag waving and opining about h evils of liberalism has been offered in copious amounts as a counter balance.


GulfScotsman: President for a day

Step 1 – Strategic assessment: A space shuttle view of the world.

First thing that I notice is that this planet is fairly large and the vast majority of it is "blue." Vast oceans surround continents separated by thousand sand thousands of miles.


I do not see any people from up here. Only one or two signs of human activity can be seen during daylight. Cities at night appear expansive, but few and far between.

Thus as I land back in the united States on The North American Continent I come to this realization – The only way threats may reach our country are by air, by sea or across our two major land borders. I have at my disposal if called upon to assume the role of commander –in-chief, the undisputed control of the skies with our superior air forces, and I have the world most powerful Navy.

Step 2 – Strategic Objectives: Secure our borders – secure space.

  1. Borders

Back here on earth I realize that you can walk down to our southern border and see people. Just simple folks in migration. I reflect on our history as a nation of immigrants, and the generations before us who built this nation. I see in the faces of today s immigrants – the future greatness of our country. I also see and exposed flank for drug lords, violent criminals, and terrorists.

Now interestingly enough one of the only man made features visible from space is the Great Wall of China. Built to protect the Middle Kingdom from the invading hordes, it served that purpose, but what is also important is that it did NOT isolate China. The wealth of a nation is based upon trade and good relations with other lands and peoples. And certainly China prospered.

The policy then would be to construct a physical barrier to control movements and secure our nation from criminal or terrorist threats. This would also serve to slow the mass of immigration allowing for increased but secure assimilation of migrant peoples to contribute to our nation and its future.

I would ask congress for funding to build a border security fence with both physical construction materials as well as using technological methods.



  1. Secure Space

Ballistic missile technology and proliferation coupled with the development of nuclear weapons is the next significant policy challenge.

Once the stuff of "Star Wars" hyperbole, endless handwringing by naysayers and a political football, strategic defense against ballistic missiles must become a reality.

Policy: Seek funding and develop a land, sea and air based missile defense system for targeted application. We are not going to stop 300 missiles from Russia – that is not the point. The point is to so significantly erode the confidence of any rouge power to effectively be able to attack the United States – that they would not. The absolute imperative of a Strategic Defense is to prevent the need to use force, by preventing potential adversaries from achieving a first strike success. The ultimate cost of an effective missle defense system is vastly lower both in terms of national treasure, but also in the blood of our young men and women.        




"Walk softly but carry a big stick"

I assume the role of President secure with this knowledge: WE are a continent apart – we have secured our borders – we have secured the heavens. We own the skies and open waters. I have over 5000 of the most destructive weapons ever built by man at my command. I have the most technologically capable military, and the largest economy on the face of the globe. I am quite secure in the knowledge that the people of the Unites States are a peaceful and patient lot of human beings. I have nothing to fear – but fear itself.

Let us now then sit down with both friend and foe alike at the table of diplomacy – let us play our hands.

Many cultures on earth derive the legitimacy for life itself, from the respect shown for family or the tribe. Above hatred, and above fear – they place honor first.


Dialog is not appeasement. Allowing for honor and showing respect for other nations and cultures is not an act of cowardice. A leader of a nation comes to the table with a hand of cards – since both we, and they are fully understand g of the Royal Flush that we hold – there is no need for false bravado, thumping our chests, or lifting our leg.



Unless a nation is engaged in acts of war against us, unless they are under a declaration of war by congress, unless they have refused to talk with us – It is both the responsibly and the duty of the President to engage in dialog for the hope of peace.

There are three strategic partners that together with eth Unites States form the basis for global stability – Our allies in Europe, Russia and China. These geopolitical players constitute the only possibility of an existential threat to our nation, should our relationships fail. Europe because of its historic instability, Russia because of their nuclear arsenal, ad China by the sea mass of human population that could be place under arms. All other foreign policy consideration must be formulated in the context of these overarching relationships.


Military Power:

Prudence mandates that while we continue to foster these strategic friendships, that we also position our nation in this process in a position of absolute not only as a matter of our own national security – but as deterrence to the adversarial forces in other nations from seeking advantage internally or externally.

Central to this foreign policy position is a superior conventional force. Our large ground capability and our logistics command structure to move it anywhere in the world - coupled with our ownership of the seas and sky – are the STRATEGIC mandates any President must keep in mind.



Reposition our strategic land forces – gearing them toward large strategic defense capability. This means rebuilding a much larger army and Marine Corps on the order of 250,000 additional troops. Enhance small tactical capabilities with advance d Special Forces and technology to fight asymmetrical threats – symmetrically.


Disengage from the failed policy initiatives of occupation and nation building. Discontinue all Strategic Arms sales to foreign powers. Today's ally may b tomorrows enemy where unstable elements abound. Propping up regimes – either friend or foe - with military hardware is a false panacea and breeds the worst kind of threat potential in the future. Concurrently go on a global arms buy back spree. Give us your tired and worn out weapons – wand we will give you CASH.


I am sorry that this has been somewhat long winded. And I have no illusions about changing the mind of many bloviating bloggers with delusions of sainthood. I do challenge those who rarely formulate an original complete sentence to at least read with some consideration, my opining as – 'President for a day.'


Thursday, February 21, 2008

US embassy in Belgrade attacked



US embassy in Belgrade attacked

Police were not guarding the embassy at the time

Several hundred protesters have attacked and broken into the US embassy in the Serbian capital Belgrade, setting fire to part of it.

The embassy was closed and unprotected at the time. Reports say the Croatian embassy was also attacked.

The incidents came as at least 150,000 people rallied in protest at Kosovo's declaration of independence.

Protesters with flags and flares filled the main square. PM Vojislav Kostunica said Kosovo would always be Serbian.

Earlier, on Serbia's de facto border with Kosovo, Serb army reservists attacked Kosovan police with stones and set fire to tyres.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A little something about “Words”

As a writer and a poet I must admit that I am a little biased when it comes to those little strokes of the pen on the parchment. And yes when lifted from the pages with eloquence and oratory justice - that I am in fact moved with some degree of satisfaction.

How boring indeed, the simple rolling up of sleeves, the routine of pitching the bales of hay in endless toil and labor for meager wages. The common man at night, lighting the bedside stand may in fact pick up the "Good Book." Therein he may read of The Word become flesh. Or perhaps he may frolic in a novel to chase away the doldrums of simplicity and escape in a world beyond his own.

No great act in history where men together raised a higher standard came about without inspired leadership extolling the common man to reach beyond his own station in life. And no greater example of this is there than the teachings of the great masters of the world's religions, or the foundational documents – words crafted on the pages of history – that founded a nation called America.

It is with some irony that we now have politicians, the supreme champions among us who bloviate and opine endlessly in speeches of things oratory and such, actually critical of the skills of rhetoric. When can you remember a politician who did criticize an opponent for simply speaking? How does one in fact delineate the differences of political ideas – without words? Does not the articulation of solutions necessitate the use of words? Do you not need to cajole, persuade and rationalize those solutions so as to move men to act? My God – isn't that the whole point of politics?

We may find that in times when words themselves are the issue, that it is desperation to either dismiss them, or to challenge them with demagoguery and distortion. And so we witness words as weapons, to attempt to derail the articulation of higher notions such as cooperation, communication, consultation and hope.

But alas, the common man is not deceived by the forked tongue, or the tongue in cheek. A simple honest man knows the difference between a breath of fresh air, and a windbag. After so many politicians lying, cheating, exaggerating and creating the illusion of ordination – with just words – it is refreshing to listen to oratory that lifts the common man from his station in life, if just for a season.

Now, words without action are fleeting. They are lost in time, like tears in rain (yes I did borrow that from Blade Runner). But inspirations of words that lift the soul require action on our part. It is in fact the hearer, the one who listens that is charged with the necessity of action. We the people in order to form a more perfect union must ordain and establish a new political dialog. One that allows for both the left and right, and the broad middle of America to come together to find the solutions as a nation to the challenges of our time. And so these simple words on the page written by a simple man are an outstretched hand. Come let us talk with one another, let us share our words, and let us accomplish great things.