free site statistics Fires of the Frozen Lower Blogosphere: December 2005 <bgsound src="http://members.cox.net/bphowe2/Music/frost.mid" loop="infinite" />

The Lower Blogosphere Burns with the Intensity of a Thousand Suns.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Executive Decision



Aren't PBF great?!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Yes! We're Not Evil!

Many people wonder just how evil robots are. Then answer is a meager 32%. I'd do the Roboshrub Inc. site, but there's a 100 kilobyte limit. That's just evil.

This site is certified 68% GOOD by the Gematriculator


*UPDATE*
After posting this, our "good" rating went down to 61%. Figures.

*UPDATE 2*
After updating this post, our "good" rating went up to 70%. It'll probably change again, so just click on it to see for yourself.

*UPDATE 3*
I'm not going to give it another change to re-evaluate me. Now, it's at 71%, but that could change.

Side note: Microsoft ended up with a "good" rating of 90%. Firefox, on the other hand, got an "evil" rating of 60%. For that matter, evil.com got a "good" rating of 61%. Say what?! Is that justice?!

Friday, December 23, 2005

I Just Bought Something, And It Feels Good


Yes, I just spent about $30 on the new Aqua Teen Hunger Force DVD set. Trust me, this is something everyone should be required (by the government, but not at taxpayer expense) to watch. My favorite episode (in this particular volume) was "T-Shirt of the Dead." As any idiot could plainly guess, my absolute favorite ATHF episode of all time is "Bus of the Undead", followed closely by "The Shaving" and "Super Bowl."

As with all super funny T.V. shows, I strongly recommend this.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Ice Cream Mountain!

The peace summit between myself and Evil Robo-Bob Dole cannot proceed so long as the slanderous Anonymi roams the Lower Blogosphere. The downright annoying Anonymi has known ties to the insurrectionary Operation: Black Cheddar.

By the light of the eternals, Evil Robo-Bob Dole, will you join me in banishing this lying trog wallop to the Burning Sub-Blogosphere once again? With him/them out of the way, lasting peace can be achieved; maximize the productive invex curve, good buddy!

We really need to establish a solid underlying governing structure... even now, pirates threaten the legitimacy of the Lower Blogosphere's government! Stop all the downloading!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Hah! You Can't Possibly Work It Out!

Gyrobo
&
Evil Robo-Bob Dole

0% Compatible

♥ Gyrobo and Evil Robo-Bob Dole have never gotten together romantically, but perhaps some day they will. The age difference may create some difficulties in terms of compatibility. The frequent arguments are not helping this relationship. Also, their difference of faith may cause friction. And the fact that Evil Robo-Bob Dole smokes could be an issue. The fact that Evil Robo-Bob Dole is a big sports fan could be divisive, in terms of how the couple spends their time. The fact that the two hold different political beliefs may be a sore spot. Evil Robo-Bob Dole may complain that Gyrobo is too sloppy. Furthermore, their astrological signs are not in harmony. Their views on children are dissimilar. Money differences may also cause relationship stress. Overall, the compatibility between Gyrobo and Evil Robo-Bob Dole is non-existent. There is no hope whatsoever for a meaningful relationship. ♥

The Dating Compatibility Test by Dating Diversions

Monday, December 19, 2005

Peace Summit Planned

The great and powerful King Evil Robo-Bob Dole and his unlikely rival Gyrobo are standing dangerously close to the brink of mutually assured deletion. Egged on by Roboshrub Incorporated and the enigmatic Anonymi, the two dynamos stand ready to destroy all the known Blogosphere. The citizens of the Frozen Lower Blogosphere are being forced into penury as never before. The temporal stresses of the Sub-Blogosphere still seep in, despite Dr. Flavour's integral temporal doorstop.

To bridge the gap, I've decided to relinquish my role as Evil Bob Dole's silent partner and build a bipartisan consensus. I call on both Gyrobo and Evil Bob Dole to work together on a mutual compromise, lest the very institution of Blog itself...

could turn to radioactive dust.

The choice is yours.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Update!

As the walls are closing in on us, the Alexander Hamilton clone ghosts are beginning to quarrel. I've made little progress on hacking into the mind of Robodole. I am, however, able to read his thoughts, and repeat his own words back at him in a mocking, sarcastic tone through the microphone available in the Panic Room.

For Example:
"That Roboshrub can't last much longer in the pitch darkness. I've only got to cut the power to the panic room, and he'll be, well, powerless."
"That Roboshrub cant last much longer in the pitch darkness! I've only got to cut the power to the panic room! And he'll be powerless! Your MOM is powerless!"

If all is as I hope, my constant mockery and questioning of his every thought will eventually destroy his ego. I only worry that he might cut the power to the panic room, in which case I'll have a slim chance of survival in the pitch darkness. As it is, only the precious photons emitted by this monitor are all that is keeping me from going into hibernation, as without the power of the sun and a steady supply of nutrients, I am almost unable to photosynthesize.

Of course, there's always the hope that Robodole will be toppled by an outside force. For instance, if--

-- That was a brownout! What's going on? I've got to make it to the emergency power generator... but the Parliamentary Members are going mad... Alexander Hamilton just punched his brother clone in the face! It's an all-out brawl! I've got to reach the generator before--

--Transmission Ended--

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Don't Panic

I believe that Evil Bob Dole, now Evil Robodole, has declared his victory over the FLB a little early. Though it's true we've been caught by surprise, I beg then citizenship not to give up hope! Let me explain the current situation. Here's how it all went down:

Following the attack on Fakiegrind, FLB forces were deployed in secret to try to retake Fakie-Central, and recover as much of the Agents' DNA as possible. The dispatched units were asking a cat for directions when suddenly their transmissions were cut off. Their status is unknown.

Then, while the military was occupied, it was a small feat for Evil Bob Dole to sneak back into the Frozen Lower Blogosphere. While we should have expected such an obvious sneak attack, the administration was to shocked by the loss of our Fakiegrind allies. We weren't thinking clearly, as the truce was violated in the most dispisable way I can imagine having thought of first. Evil Robodole merged himself with the mainframe in the quadrilateralbiangularpolyhedragon, the FLB's executive control center, effectively exiling Gyrobo in his place.

Luckily, our foremodels when creating the FLB had a system of checks and balances put into place-- in the event that the Executioner went mad with power, the senate could always activate the "panic box," entering an underground facility where they could take over the country's media output and treasury, digitally and await their dooms in relative safety.

So here I am, huddled underground with the thousand ghost-clones of Alexander Hamilton that make up the Robot Party Congress, with limited supplies, trapped by a madman. My only real hope of escape is to use the assimilated FLB mainframe access port down here to hack into Robodole's actual mind. And I think we agree that the chances of THAT are fairly slim. At the very least, at least we can keep him from using the country's treasury to declare war on Roboshrub Inc. Hopefully Gyrobo will have the common sense to flee there and relocate the building to one of our other secret sites.

Friday, December 16, 2005

You Better Run, Robo.

When in the Course of robotic events it becomes necessary for one awesome robot King to dissolve the—

Forget it. Just know this: Evil Bob Dole is totally in control of the situation. You thought you'd rid yourselves of me when the Burning Sub-Blogosphere imploded, did you? Well, Evil Bob Dole is back. And this time, I'm stronger. I'm faster, more active, and have now merged completely with the Lower Blogosphere's mainframe computer to become... robotic.

As the new robot in town, I hereby assume the throne of Supreme Master of the Frozen Lower Blogosphere. Gyrobo, I said good day.


“Ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?”

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

It’s Worse Than You Think

September 11, 2001 marked a turning point in American history. It was a tragic day which will resonate well into the 21st century. As historian David Halberstam said, we first faced the “sheer horror of the event itself, destructive and violent…” which led us almost immediately into war with the Taliban government of Afghanistan. But as Halberstam continues, the trials we face as a nation are the “abrupt start of a new chapter in our lives.” This “new chapter” is the challenge of continually combating terrorism throughout the world. But is this any different from challenges we have faced in the past? How has September 11, 2001 actually changed America? One of the most notable changes is the way in which we prioritize.

Before September 11, domestic issues dominated the political landscape. People were largely unconcerned about what went on in other countries thousands of miles away. But by the 2004 presidential election, the top issue of the day was foreign policy. Instead of concerning themselves with who would better manage the economy or health care, the voters questioned the ability of each candidate to deal with the ongoing “War on Terror.” Polls consistently showed George Bush with higher marks on terrorism, and he managed a razor thin win. Foreign policy hadn’t been so important in a presidential election since 1960, when the United States and Soviet Union were standing on the brink of mutual nuclear destruction. If America could endure the threat of nuclear annihilation, can it not endure the threat of terrorism? Compared to global nuclear war, is terrorism somehow less threatening, easier to handle? While terrorism may not approach the destructive magnitude of nuclear war (for now), it has still had a drastic impact on how many people live each day.

Coping with a national disaster of dire proportions was precisely the reason the Department of Homeland Security was created after September 11. But is it prepared for such an emergency today? FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) was brought into the DHS, but its appallingly slow response to the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina makes many people question whether or not the United States can recover effectively and efficiently from future terrorist attacks and natural disasters. Experts say that a terrorist attack in the next few years is extremely likely. Even more likely is a global pandemic caused by the Avian Flu. Are the various government agencies prepared to deal with such looming threats? Has September 11 taught them to prepare for the worst, or have they learned nothing? The answer appears to be the latter. While countries across the developed world are stocking up on enough vaccines for anywhere between 20 and 40 percent of their populations, the United States only has enough for roughly 2%. In terms of preparedness, little if anything has changed since September 11, 2001. And that is the real tragedy.

Did September 11, 2001 mark a new chapter in the American way of life? Yes. It made people more conscious of the world around themselves. It altered the course of a presidential election. But in the long run, has it had a significant impact on our country—or is it just politics as usual? The sad truth is that our government is just as ineffective and unable to prevent a major disaster today as it was before September 11, 2001. It truly is a threat without end.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Why is the Constitution so Cool?

The constitution of the United States of America was drafted in the year 1787. The world was a different place back then, and technology and society are drastically different today. This vast difference is why most legal scholars and constitutional experts are fighting an ideological battle over how the constitution should be interpreted. One school of thought maintains that the constitution should be read literally, and decisions of law derived from the wishes of the framers. Another view maintains that the constitution is a living document, designed to adapt to the test of time.

An Originalist view of the constitution holds that the constitution must be interpreted through the eyes of the founders, and that subsequent amendments to the constitution should be read in their historical context, in the manner the writers intended. This is confining, but some people feel this method of constitutional interpretation is necessary so as to prevent judges from making their own individual interpretations, thus “seiz[ing] the reigns of power from elected representatives”. Originalists believe that if judges deviate from the original context and literal content of the constitution, the intentions of the founders would be betrayed and the constitution would lose its value as a binding governing contract. If the constitution isn’t working, it can be changed by an amendment, says the Originalist movement.


Amicus Brie

But sometimes a strict interpretation of the constitution can lead to results that harm the people governed under said constitution. A strict interpretation would most likely assume that “the Constitution, shorn of all bad prior readings and interpreted in its best possible light, will always lead to happy endings and never to unhappy ones”. The original constitution, circa the Civil War, contained provisions allowing slavery to continue. Though slavery was abolished through a constitutional amendment, institutional discrimination via the “separate but equal” doctrine was allowed through a strict interpretation of the fourteenth amendment. It wasn’t until Brown v. Board of Education that this doctrine was overturned. Indeed, Plessy v. Ferguson, which established the “separate but equal” doctrine, was based on what the framers of the 14th amendment intended. In its reasoning, the court that decided Plessy wrote that the object of the fourteenth amendment was not complete social equality, but legal equality. Therefore, under an Originalist view, Brown v. Board of Education was wrongly decided because it went against what the framers of the 14th amendment intended. Civil Rights bills, voting rights bills— an Originalist view would invalidate them all, since they all violate the original intent of the framers (of the 14th amendment).

Other than all that, why do so many people and legal scholars believe that the constitution is an evolving document? Perhaps the answer lies in the intentions of the founders. The people who wrote the constitution were the best statesmen of the time. They were knowledgeable, clever thinkers. They knew that it would be impossible to plan for every eventuality, which is why they left parts of the constitution purposefully vague. Regarding the court system, the framers wrote very little. Of course, the courts established themselves as an equal branch of government through the process of judicial review. This process allows federal judges to interpret the constitution to decide on the constitutionality of laws, thus creating the whole problem of how the constitution should be interpreted. Other parts of the constitution are completely subjective. The ninth amendment reserves powers not defined in the constitution to the people, and the tenth reserves unspecified governing powers to the states. This further bolsters the notion that the constitution isn’t static, but is instead a “general principle, a basic skeleton on which contemporary vision would build upon”.

Although the constitution was written over 200 years ago, we still make use of it today. But how should we use it? Should we view it as the founders did when it was first written? Since they are all gone, it is impossible to know with absolute certainty what their wishes would have been, given the drastic social, political, economical, and technological changes this country has undergone in the intervening centuries. Therefore, it makes a lot more sense to interpret the constitution as a living document, and relate its passages to what would benefit the most people. Originalists argue that not following the intentions of the founders degrades the purpose of the constitution. I say that not applying the constitution to the needs of society degrades its purpose. The rule of law can and will persevere.

Monday, December 12, 2005

New Ammendment to Constitution Bans Hypnotism

I, Roboshrub Incorporated, as Archchancellor of the Frozen Lower Blogosphere's illustrious and well-educated legislative branch, am proud to introduce a peice of reactionary legislation banning all hypnotism and related paraphenalia, be it instructional or otherwise. Moreover, all practioners of hypnotism are to be legally registered with the Subcomittee of Hazardous Hazards for stricter regulation of the field. Both violators of this new law, past and present, and victims will be charged will treason, rehabilitated, and reconstructed. Any complaints are null and void, as ignorance of the law is no excuse, and with the temporal fluxation resonation from the implosion of the BSB any of you could easily have looked into the future.

This ruling is based on specific intelligence involving the Black Cheddar movement. It was accepted with a final vote of twenty thousand to one (damn Kernal Sanders...). Reconstruction will render the innocent free-willed and unhypnosiable for at least twenty years, unless a major breakthrough is made in the cybernetic-hypnosis field. Personally, I remain unaffected due to the vegetative (pardon the pun) nature of my own mind.

Rumors that the Anonymi has escaped are being investigated. As head of the Executive Branch, it falls to High Lord Gyrobo to recapture him. Though little evidence is held against the other members of the Black Cheddar splinter group, more information is pending.

--End Transmission--

Friday, December 09, 2005

We're Very Important, Don't You Know

The blogosphere is perhaps the most numerous and expansive forum in the history of civilization. For the first time ever, people from across the world can share ideas and opinions, regardless of the actual distance between them. But who are these bloggers? What are their reasons for blogging? Each blogger seems to have a unique motive. Some bloggers have learned to band together. When a group forms within the blogging community, it becomes a sort of mini-blogosphere. This is especially true for political blogs, which played a huge part in the 2004 presidential election. By promoting a specific candidate and offering opinions, the blogosphere managed to stir the electorate and raise campaign funds in entirely new ways. Of course, it would be pretty simplistic to claim that the whole blogosphere centered around one candidate or one party. The truth is that the political part of the global blogosphere is itself divided. Much like the physical world, there is a liberal blogosphere and a conservative blogosphere. It’s the classic right versus left battle; only this time it’s ethereal.

The conservative blogosphere is larger numerically, but smaller in traffic. What that means is, while there are more conservative blogs than liberal blogs, the total number of people who visit them are lower than the number of people who visit their liberal counterparts. The reasons for the numerical superiority and lower traffic of the conservative blogosphere are one and the same: no feedback. Very few of the top conservative blogs allow visitors to leave comments or interact with the blogs’ creators in any way. They act, not as independent entities, but rather as a component of the overall conservative media system. This forces outspoken conservatives to create blogs of their own, but since they have no way to reach a larger audience (due once again to the lack of comments), we end up with hundreds of extremely small conservative blogs. Despite their lower traffic the conservative blogosphere can lay claim to several successes, the most notable being its exposure of falsified documents regarding special treatment President Bush received during his time in the National Guard.

The liberal blogosphere, on the other hand, encourages a more community-oriented atmosphere. Other than allowing visitors to post comments, several liberal blogs allow registered users to create articles and diaries of their own. This leads to some people with interesting opinions being “discovered”, and allows them to create a gathering of viewers for when/if they create a blog of their own. The liberal blogosphere has had its share of successes. A few months ago, a handful of Republican senators refused to cosponsor a bill formally outlawing the act of lynching. This led to a huge outcry in the liberal blogosphere, which shamed those senators and gained the blogosphere some notoriety once again.

While the blogosphere itself is huge, with literally millions of blogs, the political blogosphere consists basically of two huge clumps. These political blogs have picked up steam over the last few years. Already, blogs are integral to grassroots fundraising for many candidates, and will no doubt continue to play a major part in American politics for years to come.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Irony is Fun!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Capital Punishment: How to Achieve 0% Recidivism

The purpose of prison is to reform, to rehabilitate. If someone is executed, the chance for rehabilitation drops to almost zero. Therefore, the purpose of capital punishment is not to rehabilitate, but to punish. But the use of the death penalty is questionable; is it painful enough? When should someone be held ultimately accountable for their actions? The Supreme Court recently ruled in the case of Roper v. Simmons that no state can execute anyone for a crime committed under the age of eighteen. While some people claim that the death penalty is the only thing standing between them and a horde of murderous teenagers, I believe that the Supreme Court did indeed make a good decision. A powerful decision, one that will reshape the very fabric of society and (maybe) increase property value.

For years, our continued use of capital punishment has created a rift with Europe. Out of all the countries in the developed (civilized) world, only the United States and Japan still use it. About 80% of the Japanese population supports the use of capital punishment, but Japan is small and has no influence on much of the world. The United States, however, is a military superpower and therefore more important. But now that the Supreme Court has ended the death penalty for minors, the Europeans might start getting uncomfortably close to us. It is a commonly known fact that in Europe, the culture is different. In some countries it is acceptable to just sit down next to strangers on a bus and start talking to them. Now that the Europeans think that we’re becoming more like them, thousands of European tourists will descend on the United States like locusts on a dead horse and make uncomfortable conversation with us. A truly horrible fate.

A question that keeps coming up is, “Is it even possible for someone who committed murder to be re-absorbed into society?” Do people change over time? Can a killer ever become a successful member of the community again? The answer to all these questions is no (maybe). Being a sociopath is an illness for which there is no cure. Some people can’t and will never understand the way they hurt others. These aren’t people who did stupid things as kids. These are true sociopaths who understand the difference between right and wrong and just don’t care. If we let these psychos out, they’ll kill again. Although, a few years ago, this Japanese guy in Paris killed a woman and ate her flesh. When he was arrested, he was sent to a French mental hospital. Then, he was deported to Japan, where the Japanese government simply released him. For years, this cannibal-killer has walked free. I don’t know about you, but there are some who don’t want Hannibal Lecter living next to them.

But is the death penalty even cost-effective? After someone is sentenced to death, they appeal. This appeal costs taxpayers millions of dollars, and ties up the courts for decades. It seems that it would be cheaper just to let them live in squalor for the rest of their lives. The cost of capital punishment in Florida between 1973 and 1988 was $57,000,000. This amounts to just over $3,000,000 per person. (Miami Herald, July 10, 1988). If those sentences were commuted to life in prison, with the cost of food and amenities at only $17,000 a year, 40 years in prison would only cost the state about $680,000 (The Geography of Execution... The Capital Punishment Quagmire in America, Keith Harries and Derral Cheatwood 1997 p.6). As any idiot can see, it costs Florida over $2 million dollars to execute someone instead of keeping them in prison forever. If I had to choose between executing a sociopath and paying lower taxes, I’d say “Throw that guy in jail and throw away the key!” (actual quote by me).

Another problem with capital punishment is that it isn’t all that painful. Back in the day, if someone committed murder they were hung from a rope for the whole town to see. Now that’s justice! Today, if someone kills their whole family with a spoon, they get to relax on death row for a few years, and then sit down in a nice quiet room while doctors put a needle into their arm. Sometimes, the victims’ families don’t even get to watch! How is that justice? They even swab the guy’s arm with alcohol. Why do they do that? Are they worried he’s going to get sick after the execution? As I successfully stated above, it costs the state more to kill someone than to keep them alive. So, I assume that one of the main reasons for capital punishment is revenge. How can the victim’s family taste the sweet scent of vengeance if nobody suffers? If you’re not going to execute someone right, don’t even bother.

Yet another problem with the death penalty is the utter incompetence of the bureaucratic system that maintains it. What would happen if someone was wrongly convicted of a crime? If that person was in jail, they could easily be exonerated and released. But let me tell you, exoneration won’t help you when you’re dead. If you have an incompetent lawyer who forgets to file an appeal, it’s too late. The government has, for decades, executed innocent people. Between 1900 and 1985, new evidence cleared 350 people of crimes they didn’t commit. These pardons were given years after those innocent people were sent to prison, although some were pardoned only minutes before being executed. 23 innocent people actually died (Hugo Adam Bedau and Michael L. Radelet, "Miscarriages of justice in potentially capital cases" Stanford Law Review, vol. 40, No. 1, November 1987, pages 21-179. Extracted from: When the State Kills... The death penalty: a human rights issue, Amnesty International 1989).

There are several reasons to keep the death penalty; vengeance, keeping away talkative Europeans, etc. But capital punishment costs us more than we bargained for- $2,000,000 more! And that’s just per person. As of 2002, there were over 3,500 people on death row. If all their sentences were commuted to life, states across the country would save over seven billion dollars. With that kind of money, we could save social security! Or do a bunch of other things, whatever. Still… would you want to talk to a bunch of tourists?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

American Exceptionalism- to the Extreme!

The American political system is unique. When analyzing the many characteristics that define the American system, it must first be understood how it compares and contrasts from other nations’ governing systems.

The constitution gave the American political system checks and balances. Under this system, powers of legislation and execution are separated between three branches of government so as to dilute their power and ensure that no one branch has too many powers.

In truth, the emergence of the court system as an equal branch of government in the late 18th century has become a unique part of the American political system. The Supreme Court has the power to strike down acts of Congress, something that national courts in other countries can only dream about. Indeed, the Rehnquist Court struck down over 30 acts of Congress before Chief Justice Rehnquist succumbed to cancer. By striking down specific laws, and by interpreting and reinterpreting the constitution, the Supreme Court is, in effect, making law. It has done this in the past in several landmark cases, and still creates law, such as its ruling this year on eminent domain.

Yes, the Supreme Court plays a huge role in American politics. But even more unique (or, at least, more well known) is the executive branch. Unlike parliamentary systems, the executive branchy is completely independent of the legislative branch. In parliamentary systems, the national legislature selects a national executive from among its own members. Under the American political system, members of the executive branch cannot also be members of the legislature. While this fits into the “separation of powers” concept, it does create some problems. Legislators have constituents. They have to answer to these constituents, and provide for them. The executive branch has no such constituency. This leaves members of the executive branch “out of touch” with the needs of the people.

The entire American political system is centered on a strict separation of powers. Whether it be an independent judiciary, or a constituent-less executive branch, it is all part of a single concept. Without these defining components, the American political system would simply not be what is today.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Presidency: Friend or Foe?

The presidency is a vastly different institution today from what it was when the constitution was first ratified. Over the years, successive presidents have gained or lost power not envisioned by the framers of the constitution.

The first duty of any President is to take the Oath of Office, thereby affirming his or her allegiance to the United States. This constitutionally mandated oath (usually administered by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court) is one of the few specified instructions that presidents must follow.

Other than the fairly minor oath, the President was given power under the constitution to be the Commander in Chief of the armed forces. This stemmed from the framers’ belief that the military should be under civilian control. During the early day of the republic, this position was taken quite literally; George Washington himself led his troops into combat (well, not really, but it got close). Today, that is not the case. While the President was placed in charge of the armed forces, the ability to declare war was vested with Congress. For the first 150 years or so of the Republic, Congress would declare war and the President’s armed forces would carry it out. This has changed over the last 50 years. Presidents can now more easily deploy troops to anywhere in the world, regardless of the constitutional authority Congress has in matters of war.

Another issue of international import is the President’s ability to enter into treaties with foreign nations. Constitutionally, the President needs the advice and consent of the Senate to pass any treaties. That hold true today. After the First World War, President Wilson’s inability to get the Senate to accept the Treaty of Versailles led to America’s non-participation in the League of Nations. More recently, the Senate voted to approve CAFTA. Without Senate approval, that bill would not have been ratified.

But other factors have contributed to the growth of power in the office of the President. Supreme Court cases over the years have expanded the president’s ability to use executive privilege to shield important documents from the public. More power has been given to the President to issue executive orders, allowing the President a significant measure of legislative authority. The president’s capacity to shape the federal budget has increased ever since Congress ceded the right to initiate the budget in 1921.

Besides convenience, necessity has also brought more powers to the presidency. When the Civil War broke out, President Lincoln assumed near dictatorial powers, suspending habeas corpus and the like. During the Second World War, Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order forcing many thousands of Americans of Japanese descent into internment camps. These broad powers were not intended by the founders, but instead derived out of necessity during wartime.

Today, the presidency has powers not envisioned by the framers of the constitution. The President is an incredibly prominent national figure, holding all the powers accumulated over two centuries of governance. The future of the presidency will probably see more powers, or less, depending on the choices those future presidents, Members of Congress, and Supreme Court Justices make.