Monday, December 22, 2008

Highest Priority

Dear Mr President (elect)

My policy on this public conduit to you will be to deal with a single issue in each of my messages, and to make my comment brief and succinct. And to the extent that I am able, never to engage in partisan rhetoric. You certainly get more of that than you require.

Unlike my two other blogs and my posts elsewhere on the net, in which my articles are sometimes whimsical or even contentious, here I will focus on those things I believe might be easy to lose sight of, amid the trappings and apparent power of your office.

One of the most difficult tasks you will face is to resist the illusion that, because of the immense resources that can be brought to bear by the various agencies at your disposal, the information and advice you are provided is more complete, accurate, straightforward and unambiguous than it actually is.

The clearest historic exammple was the Cuban Missile Crisis, not only the closest the world ever came to total destruction by the hand of man, but where blind luck played as big a part as that of tactics or strategy by two implacable opponents, seriously at ideological odds with one another.

If there is any point in history that would be most advantageous for you to dwell on in detail, this is the one. The evidence is so absolute and overwhelming that sheer luck was decisive in the outcome.

True, we can look at many other points in history in which mistakes, calculated carefully and sometimes with perhaps the best of intentions, brought us to the brink of monumental disaster.

But never before in recorded time has there been such a clear and public example of cataclysmic disaster being very nearly brought about, not only by the two world leaders and their retinue of trusted advisors, but by potential errors of field commanders not in a position to see anything but a fragment of the larger picture. A single commander of a submerged nuclear submarine, unable to surface to see what was happening or get clarification of his course of action, could easily have interpreted the explosions of depth charges around him as nuclear war already having commenced. The very idea of dropping depth charges around an enemy nuclear submarine, particularly one also armed with nuclear missiles, is ill conceived.

The commander of that submarine, or a dozen other anonymous men in other distant points, could very easily have jumped to this world's final conclusion. And it wasn't the skills of the two world leaders alone that averted the disaster. It was sheer dumb luck.
Thank you Mr. President.


Friday, December 19, 2008

A New Routine

My original idea was to simply have the one post and have all the letters in the comment section of that post. But I don't think that the search spiders and such internet information devices are set up to watch blogs in which there are no additions to the posts themselves. And in any case, people who are used to blogs will usually know that to get to the earliest posts, you go to the bottom and work up, or into the archives.

So now I will use the message section as the delivery point of your letters, and transfer the more effective ones into the posted section. This also solves another important quandry. I don't want this to be a contentious exercise, but by the same token, I do not want censorship either, even with me in charge. The best of both worlds is to turn the most worthy comments into posts, yet still leave the dregs back in the eventual pack of less intrinsically useful communications. Hey! I just realized, this is my First Amendment.

Since I too, can occasionally exhibit a certain abrasiveness not appropriate to a direct address to the President, I use other places on the net to test out my remarks before I decide to post something intended as a direct communication. I admit recently saying something disparaging about Putin. However, I did not say it while he was technically the Head of State. Not only that, I made my remarks in Hungarian, which I thought appropriate, in honor ofthe abortive Hungarian rebellion during the Cold War.

Also, since my stroke, my Russian is almost totally useless. In any case, I waited until he became a puppet master instead of Head of State.. Those of you who may have some curiosity about my more abrasive remarks can just Google me and look around.