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In October, 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, it became apparent to President Kennedy that an immediate nuclear response might be required in case of a launch from the island just 90 miles South of Florida. The President and the Defense establishment found that the command and control structure was difficult and convoluted.
The National Command Authority was formed in 1946 with the President at the top. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, a set of procedures and codes became available in a 45-pound briefcase carried within a few feet of the President at all times. It is carried by an officer of one of the services on a rotating basis. It is considered a serious breach of National Security if the President is separated from the football. In 1973, President Nixon presented Soviet Leader Leonid Breshnev with a Cadillac at Camp David. The two leaders took a little ride of the site and Nixon was separated from the nuclear codes for thirty minutes.
Officially known as the Presidential Emergency Satchel, the bag is informally called the Nuclear Football. Using the contents therein, the President has the capability to launch a nuclear strike on an adversary.
Three other individuals have access to a nuclear football including the Vice-President, the Secretary of Defense and the Assistant Secretary of Defense. They are activated in accordance with rules of succession.
Peaceful Transition of Power
The peaceful transition of power from the sitting president to his duly elected successor has been a hallmark of American Democracy. Ever American and every leader in the world will be watching the United States on January 20, 2021 to see if this transition occurs in accordance with our Constitution and our laws.
The only times in our history when this transition has not been peaceful and orderly has been when a president has died in office for any reason.
January 20, 2021, 12:00 Noon
Should Former Vice-President Joe Biden win the election, the term of President Donald Trump will end. This date was established by the Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Some pundits and politicians are worried that President Trump might attempt to disrupt or delay our traditional peaceful transition of power. Should this happen, our country will be thrown into the worst Constitutional Crisis in our history.
On that date and at that time, every American and every world leader will be asking, “Where is the Football?”
I have confidence in the leaders of our country outside of the Oval Office including the Vice-President and the Secretary of Defense that the Nuclear Football will change hands properly to the properly elected President.
If my confidence is not well-founded, the crisis we face will be magnitudes more serious and put America in the deepest National Security Crisis it will ever face.
We are facing a major growing pain in current society. We seem to be unable to deal with issues from the past through the lens of our current societal norms.
In an article from CNN, “Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name has been stripped from a prestigious book award because of racist themes,” we are rejecting the good works of an author because she spoke in the vernacular of her times.
This is a dangerous lesson to teach our children. When I explored my family history, I found that my ancestors were a part of the slave trade one hundred years before the Civil War. I do not suffer guilt for having been a descendent of slave-owners. I celebrate the progress our country has made to improve equality. Our founders acknowledged in 1783 the coming challenges in the Preamble to the Constitution with the words, “in Order to form a more perfect Union”
It is unrealistic to assume that we will ever achieve a perfect union just as it is unrealistic to hold our ancestors to the standards we have already achieved. As a child grows, we make marks on the wall to indicate progress just as we collect the art, history and stories of our past. We should not erase those marks. They are our institutional memory and they remind us not to make the same mistakes. It is a teachable moment to educate young readers that in the past, the process of forming a more perfect union includes remembering that the good people of the past did bad things by todays standards. Not only does a child learn right from wrong, but so does society.
In trying to erase Laura Ingalls Wilder from our institutional memory, should we also erase Walt Disney whose movies and cartoons contained the racist vernacular? Should we erase Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb from the Major League Record book because they never played against African-Americans? Should we erase Abraham Lincoln from our history because he spoke these words in the Stephen Douglas debates, “I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races?”
In order to form a more perfect union, we must look at these events from the past as benchmarks of our progress. We must also realize that the events of today will plant the benchmarks of progress toward our future.
On a related note, we are now going through a transition in the workplace. It is no longer acceptable to treat men and women as other than fair and equal colleagues without regard to gender. As more offenses come to light, we feel free to condemn and reject those who have committed offenses in the past. There should be no statute of limitations for this condemnation of criminal acts from the past. Forgiveness of non-criminal acts should be earned. But we are a forgiving society and there should be a road forward for those whose bad behavior was only in the distant past.
We must keep the marks on the wall that indicate our growth. We must erase the bad behavior in the present. Most importantly, we must keep the memories of the past both good and bad.
I am staying at Extended Stay North which has “Free Wi-Fi” provided by InnFlux. It is a total ripoff. Every one of their competitors provides enough speed to stream video from all of the popular services. Except InnFlux and Extended Stay. They charge a premium for average speed wi-fi. Hulu, Apple Video and youtube will not even stream low quality video over Innflux at Extended Stay. They say they cater to business customers but not if they have to pay a premium for acceptable speed. Don’t stay at Extended Stay if you want acceptable wi-fi.
In the spring of 1970, I was a student at Westerville High School and a cast member of the spring musical under the direction of Ron Nocks. On one Thursday evening rehearsal, I was neither an experienced actor nor a talented one and I was most certainly not able to act as if I was not afraid of heights as I carefully climbed down a naked flight of stairs onto a raked stage wearing a helmet obscuring my vision. Later on, as a teacher, I would have hoped that I could have cared enough to individually help a student through a difficult problem and possibly even help them gain confidence. I know that many of my students would agree that I was that caring teacher. I know that some would not.
That evening, Ron Nocks was not that caring teacher. At the rundown that evening in Room 201 in the presence of the entire cast and crew, he publicly dressed me down for my lack of confidence and my lack of courage. He used his wicked and well-honed sarcasm to embarrass me and make me an outcast among kids who had been my classmates and neighbors since kindergarten. Specifically, he asked me if my toilet was closer to the floor to compensate for my fear of heights.
I was never a victim of sexual abuse by Mr. Nocks or anyone else. I know that most of the students in that room loved and worshipped Mr. Nocks. To a man with the ego and talent such as his, it leads him to appreciate the hero worship among his favorites and sometimes to take advantage of them as he has admitted. It also leads to an arrogance that allows him to verbally abuse the students who were not his favorites. It is this collection and exercise of raw personal power toward subordinates that has become such a difficult issue at present.
I do not desire nor expect an apology. If he is in such a mood, maybe he could join me in apologizing to my students who received some of the same sarcastic treatment because that night in Room 201, he set an example and gave me, a high school junior, permission to act that way to my students in the future. That is the crux of this problem. That is the chain of abuse that goes from generation to generation.
I will never receive justice nor will any other victim of the abuse of power by those with talent and position. But if there is justice to be paid, follow the advice of Coach Hayes and Pay it Forward. Don’t abuse. Don’t accept abuse and don’t tolerate it towards others in your presence or in your organization.
That said, there is a paradox. Before and even after that night, I was a fan of the work of Mr. Nocks and I attended his plays. More specifically, I admired and emulated him as a public address announcer during the morning announcements and I became a very accomplished sports public address announcer in San Diego. That’s the rub. That’s the quandary. That is the love-hate relationship we have in our society with people who have immense talent or power. But, that night, he hurt me.
Retired Teacher and Publisher
Chula Vista, California
officer of the court. n. any person who has an obligation to promote justice and effective operation of the judicial system, including judges, the attorneys who appear in court, bailiffs, clerks and other personnel.
The President of the United States, Donald J. Trump is the appointing officer for all federal judicial vacancies and he is at the top of the chain of command for all military courts. Should the president, as an officer of the court, be obliged ethically and legally to promote justice and effective operation of the judicial system?
Article II, Section 2 says the president “shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.”
Fellow birther Sheriff Joe Arpaio neither accepted or responsibility for his actions nor did he express remorse for his gross disregard for the law that led to his conviction for contempt in the case of his treatment of undocumented individuals in Maricopa County, Arizona. Nonetheless, Donald Trump issued a presidential pardon for his friend and political supporter. Did the president subvert justice and ethically violate his duties as an officer of the court?
On Wednesday, November 1, President Trump was attributed the following quote referring to the judicial proceedings for the New York Terrorist,
“We have to come up with punishment that’s far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now. They’ll go through court for years. At the end, they’ll be — who knows what happens. We need quick justice, and we need strong justice. Much quicker and much stronger than we have right now, because what we have right now is a joke, and it’s a laughing stock. And no wonder so much of this stuff takes place.“
Did the President promote justice and effective operation of the judicial system?
On Friday, the president issued the above tweet. As commander and chief of the armed forces and therefore an officer of the court, did the President promote justice and effective operation of the judicial system? More importantly, did the President prejudice the case and provide Sergeant Bergdahl an avenue for appeal?
The United States Constitution guarantees that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty no matter how despicable the act and no matter how evil the individual. After the above tweet, can Sayfullo Saipov receive a fair trial in our country? Is it possible for this terrorist to appeal any conviction on the basis of the fact that the President of the United prejudiced the jury pool in one single tweet?
Has President Donald J. Trump violated his oath of office to support and defend the constitution by undermining our justice system? Is the president bound by his oath of office to the ethics of an officer of the court in our federal and military court system?
The charge of high crimes and misdemeanors covers allegations of misconduct peculiar to officials, such as perjury of oath, abuse of authority, bribery, intimidation, misuse of assets, failure to supervise, dereliction of duty, unbecoming conduct, and refusal to obey a lawful order.
I believe that Mr. Trump has committed a string of offenses that fall under the category of high crimes and misdemeanors. I believe that the House of Representatives should refer this string of offenses to the Senate in the form of an Article of Impeachment.
Produced and Photographed by Rick Lakin.
Photographed by William Bretthauer
Comparing Obama’s Presidency to Great Athlete Performances
The list of iconic events that have occurred over the last eight years is too long to mention here, but no one can choose one as a signature moment in Barack Obama’s presidency. Many will be forever linked to his legacy.
It’s rare that two individuals can simultaneously have such a profound impact on the course of history by their actions. Think of their greatness being destined to intertwine with one another. After January 20th, the comparisons will begin on the major events of the Obama’s presidency to a great performance by an athlete.
The Stimulus Act
President Obama signed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into effect in 2009. The law was designed to kick-start economic growth during the midst of the nation’s greatest recession since the Great Depression. Weeks after the stimulus was implemented, unemployment claims were down, thus beginning a trend that continued for an amazing 23 straight months and pumped 3.7 newly created private sector jobs into the economy.
LeBron James and Barack Obama have shown an abundance of promise and exhibited a surplus of confidence at the beginning of their careers. However at first, both shied away from their greatness and failed to grasp a leadership role. Too often, frustrated Democrats were disappointed with Obama’s failure to challenge the Republicans on certain issues. When a crisis came up in his first year in office, Obama relied on the help of his Cabinet members and Congress to solve the problem.
Wall Street Reform
After heated negotiations, President Obama gained enough votes to make the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act a law that puts strict regulations against the financial sector after their reckless behavior that caused the Great Recession. Dodd-Frank tightened requirements on the large banking and lending institutions by requiring them to sell derivatives on exchanges or clearinghouses. The law negated the bank’s ability to trade with customer’s money for personal profit.
The actions of a transcendent figure moves very rapidly. We all enjoy watching their career unfold before our eyes, and hopefully to witness some of their crowning achievements in-person. Roger Federer and Barack Obama struggled at first with the expectations placed on them, but once they hit their stride, no one could contain their dominance. Obama didn’t need the assistance from Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid to gain the necessary votes for this legislation to become law.
Auto Industry Bailout
Despite opposition from all sides, President Obama injected $62 billion of federal money into an ailing auto industry to bail them out. In return, the government received an equity stake in each company and the agreement to restructure their management practices.
It will be hard for an individual to duplicate the greatness of Barack Obama and Usain Bolt. Each accomplished their goal without much fanfare, while still maintaining a sense of humor despite being disrespected by their peers. It might take a decade before Obama is applauded for his decision to bailout the auto industry. His critics cannot deny the fact the country’s Big Three Automakers have shown a profit for the first time in two decades.
The Affordable Care Act
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, and this changed the healthcare industry forever. The law gave medical insurance to 32 million citizens that were previously uninsured. Obama accomplished something that past administrations failed to achieve: universal healthcare for all.
The president dodge the opposition much like MVP candidate Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers eluding defenders in the pocket. Obama never became distracted by what was going around him, especially when there was serious doubt if the law would ever get passed. Even after victory, Republicans argued that he didn’t gain a mandate from Americans because Obama took full advantage of a Democratic-controlled Congress.
The Killing of Osama Bin Laden
Osama Bin Laden was the world’s leading terrorist, who was behind the 9/11 attacks. Intelligence information confirmed Bin Laden was hiding out in Pakistan. The president ordered a U.S. Navy Seal team to raid his secret compound and kill him.
Barack Obama and Derek Jeter are the true definition of a leader. Neither ever bragged and often gave credit to others for any achievements accomplished. Each played or governed like a true gentleman by never cheating or trying to gain an unfair advantage on their opponent. Obama praised the Special Forces unit for completing their mission, but also retrieving al-Qaeda documents.
Notice that after I type this, the individual letters stand very still and form words and thoughts. Letters have been doing this for thousands of years. That’s what letters do best. It is not a challenge for letters. They don’t need a videographer to take their picture as they stand still. They don’t need an entire internet to celebrate the fact that they just stand still. That’s what differentiates letters from people.
by Nan Klee
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CHAPTER 1 – PREFLIGHT
They had ordered, rather than requested her presence, then left her waiting in a small anti-chamber for well over an hour. Now slightly miffed, Doctor Samantha Alexander considered leaving for a bite of lunch, when a massive blond jack of a man in a black security uniform opened the tall polysteel door and silently gestured her into the Board of Directors’ chamber. She followed him into the spacious room, feeling an unusual suspicion. The inner chamber felt even more sterile than the majority of the artificial, underground environment in the city of Proteus. Thin sheets of polished gray moon rock decorated the always-present, dull polysteel walls that sealed in the atmosphere. Lighting, as always indirect and psychologically effective, directed Samantha to the long slate-blue table at the other end of the cold room. Seated behind the blue lacquered, crescent-shaped table waited Dreagan Corporation’s Board of Directors, who, along with the colony’s Founder, Doctor Jonathan Dreagan, made up this ruling body of this pseudo-socialistic lunar colony.