New Horizons and Some Signs

This post comes at a time when a lot is going on in the world including the mourning in South Korea over the hundreds of youths drowned on a ferry that went down in the Yellow Sea. I used to look out at the Yellow Sea daily where I lived and worked and my sympathy and empathy are with those people. There is some insight into the depth of this tragedy here. However, I have not mentioned that tragedy before this post in this blog. President Obama will be heading to Asia soon to shore up relations with our treaty partners Japan and South Korea.  those are in North East Asia as is Taiwan. I lived in China and in our other treaty partner in the region — the Philippines. But I have not spent much time in Japan and have never been to Taiwan or South Korea. All of us  who are well informed of my generation see a connection between World War II in the Pacific and the Korean War and then the Vietnam War. As tensions occur in the entire Asian region we must remember the tragedy  of huge and sustained wars in Asia. we must grieve for our world neighbors in South Korea and still remember what it  has been like to losemany ships of young people.

Where the Bohai Sea meets the Yellow Sea and  China looks out to Korea.

Where the Bohai Sea meets the Yellow Sea and China looks out to Korea.

I do pray for those involved in that tragedy in a world of so much tragedy. The Malaysian Airlines disaster is yet another tragedy, But the crises brewing in Ukraine and nearby lands may be far greater still. As I look at these events I am also remembering the  events of 150 years ago known as the American Civil War. Several of my posts have mentioned anniversaries of that war. But it is certainly not the only war whose anniversaries are remembered.

The seal of the Confederacy ties the Lost Cause to the Revolution and the past long before that war.

The seal of the Confederacy ties the Lost Cause to the Revolution and the past long before that war.

So many leaders on both sides of the war had been formed in some way by the American – Mexican War and the Confederacy had George Washington on its seal who had been formed in his life and skills in what Americans call the French and Indian War before leading the Continental regulars and colonial militias in the American Revolution and War of Independence.  Struggle does not seem to end and so one struggle prepares its survivors for the next.  That is not all their is to human history and experience but the theme of constant and evolving struggle certainly is a major theme of human experience.

From each crisis and tragedy of the human past we can learn a few things. I think we are obliged to try.  I certainly am formed of all the experiences of my personal history. I am not sure what life may have in store for me but I am sure it will be connected to the rest of my life so far.

Not a very flattering image. A selfie taken a few nights ago.

Not a very flattering image. A selfie taken a few nights ago.

The centennial commemoration of the First World War is starting up around the world. It will continue for the next few years. Some called that war “The War to end all wars”. It certainly did not end all wars and Adolph Hitler was one of the people most affected by the  trials of that war but millions of other would join him in quickly imagining that another war must follow in many of the same lands to resolve issues  that had emerged before, during and after World War One — The Great War. Some call the war that followed The Big One. Most call it the Second World War. I have been writing about the struggle with Islamist terror almost continuously since 2001. I have been caught up in that struggle in a number of ways.

The world is a complicated place and so are the lives of many of us who live in this strange world. This post is going to be largely about what may be on the horizon or just over the horizon of the future. But it is also about how I come to see it in a particular way. I have a picture below of myself with my ex-wife more than  twenty years ago and think of all the seasons that have passed since then for me. I wonder what if any future crises my life has prepared me to face.

 

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It is still the start of the long Catholic Easter Season which goes until Pentecost Sunday. Easter Tuesday, the day after the day that follows what much of the world calls Easter  was a special day for the family.  Easter Monday I bought my Louisiana resident basic fishing license and Louisiana resident saltwater license to go crabbing on the Rockefeller Refuge tomorrow. Crabbing with a string or a small drop net requires no license unless one is on a refuge or wildlife management area. I posted on Facebook that night that I would be going with the family tomorrow and be back online by Tuesday evening. It was later Tuesday evening when I posted on the subject. But my post which is largely subsumed into this one reported good outcomes not mixed with any tragedy.

We had a good time at Rockefeller Refuge. I caught four small crabs. We brought back enough all together from those who also caught (some much more than I ) for me to purge and boil them and everyone had one eating size crab and then I made a stew of the small crabs. I snapped a few pics about nothing in particular although there were particularly nice birds and fish and the crabs and people. (4 photos)

Frank Wynerth Summers III's photo.
Frank Wynerth Summers III's photo.
Frank Wynerth Summers III's photo.
Frank Wynerth Summers III's photo.
 Clearly my life is not caught up in long hours spent in the halls of power. One of the themes of Easter is baptism and evangelism and I have a political view of how things play out on those themes. I do rejoice that Obama talks about Jesus as a Christian would and seems to be a Christian although his father was Muslim. I value his affinity for Islam as a Christian if that is in fact real, Such connections are important to reaching out to evangelize in Muslim countries  and to protecting Christians there. In addition I have real reticence to denying what God may be doing in Barack Hussein Obama’s heart. Had he remained a Senator those themes might have remained my dominant themes. However, in the case of Obama I feel we must consider the possibility of him being a Muslim and a liar as some have accused him of being  even as we have him as our Head of State and US executive.
Russia is squaring off with us in quite few places. You can read about the situation developing in Russia here. Obama is more or less holding his lines in the Russian Crisis. America is meanwhile under strain. The US Supreme Court has recently dealt a blow to the affirmative action which helped to create the environment in which President Obama matured as a human being. You can find one account of the new Supreme Court opinion and analysis of its impact  here.
Nationalism rises in many places in the world, Financial problems abound. Men like Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Henry VIII and Washington may all seem very different from one another but all were empowered by crises.  There are many emerging crises just now and those crisis will call forth those who can exploit them.
Hitler rose to power in the Weimar Republic and Mao rose to power in the Chinese  Republic founded by Sun Yat Sen. Those men like Napoleon had the luxury of hitting a new regime still finding its way. Nonetheless each of these men came to power by remaining involved and exercising force in the milieu in which they existed. Putin remembers fondly the Soviet Union and the Communist revolution that replaced the Tsarist Empire directly and slaughtered the Imperial family. Soviet founders paid more for power than many have paid. Russia is often willing to pay a great deal to protect vital interests and that may be important to remember.
In my own life I have written some model constitutions  and done some politicking too. I look out on a future which will be problematic. I see challenges and roots of conflict.  I see lots of reasons to be concerned but I do not believe that we are without hope. One institution for peace is one among many which exist around the world and is a big party I have attended many times.  You can learn about that  institution of soft peace policy here.
Right now I ave little specific to write about or do about many of the challenges facing America and the world. I am almost fifty years old and obscure. My vision for my country is pretty peaceable and moderate for one which still constitutes a a radical proposal. I am tired as I often am and so bring this to post with a few corrections to be made later and a few aspects to be polished. But as I look out at the world I do not feel less inclined to propose that America needs some serious reforms. I will continue to work towards some of those reforms.
In some ways the great hurdle is inside oneself. At some point I have decided that i will work for relatively radical change. That closes many doors as well as opening a few. I have never sought more trouble for my country. Hitler for example labored to bring down the Weimar Republic for decades. Napoleon is famous for firing canons on the crowds running the reign of terror which preceded him in France’s revolutionary journey. But mild as I am I remain alarmed and radical. A bit old and quiet these days, I am more than ever aware of the future which will demand some radical change or other. I still seek more peace and harmony than many other emerging radicals will. The changes I propose remain more respectful of the present institutional climate.
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