Category Archives: France

Clinton’s Campaign: Does She Have Credibility, a Creed and a Contest ?

Will Secretary and Senator and Former First Lady  Hillary Rodham Clinton be the first female President of the United States? It certainly seems likely. Here you can read my first post when she became the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party.  Since the very first version of this post came out the Washington Post has run an article saying that her credibility is damaged, that article is here and it may or may not represent political reality. But the contention made here in all versions of this post so far is that there appears to be a small chance that she will be indicted, arrested and charged in the email scandal or in any matter to do with Benghazi. By small of course I mean that there is not a large chance. There appears to be a miniscule chance that Bernie Sanders will mount a successful revolt or set up a powerful third party challenge which would derail her path to the presidency. There is more or less no realistic chance that she will be stopped from being elected except by the victory of Donald Trump as the Republican Nominee over her as the Democratic Nominee in the general election. Almost no chance is not the same as no chance. Any number of things could happen including death of physical impairment. But the odds seem to be better than fifty percents that she will be the next POTUS. Few people have ever had more relevant work or official experience when approaching the highest office in the land. To be a Senator is a lot, to be Secretary of State is a lot, to be First Lady is a lot — to be all three is a staggering degree of experience. Of course I physically stagger more easily than some more physically gifted readers and so I go to that adjective and the related adverb more readily than they might. But if one does not stagger one at least must take notice of the degree to which she embodies tremendous experience. Compared to her:

  1. Donald Trump has never held elected office,
  2. he has never lived in the White House,
  3. he has never lived in the executive mansion of a State,
  4. he has never held an office appointed by a President,
  5. he has never led a sustained policy discussion as Clinton did with healthcare,
  6. he has never been officially invited to sit at the table to negotiate  a formal treaty on behalf of the United States.
To safeguard liberty we must be able to adapt to the changing times.

To safeguard liberty we must be able to adapt to the changing times.

On the other hand they do have some lack of experience in common:

  1. Neither on has held a major post in a religious institution,
  2. neither has served in the military,
  3. neither has served in the workaday world of the intelligence community,
  4. neither has lived on our borders or in border towns for any length of time,
  5. neither speaks Spanish of French well, official languages of our neighbors,
  6.  neither has lived and worked as a citizen in the way business people, missionaries, journalists and  volunteers do every day across this world as they forge an American identity abroad.

Ambassador Stevens was an unusually high ranking victim of violence abroad. In the last few days other Americans have lost their lives around the world but a glimpse into the kinds of decisions he faced is also a glimpse into kinds of decisions that Americans who believe in what they are doing abroad face every day.  The following excerpt is from the recent report on the Benghazi incident:

While the end of the fiscal year funding deadline was looming, the Diplomatic Security Agent in charge at the Embassy in Tripoli was, nonetheless,
concerned about Stevens’ trip to Benghazi. Although his first planned trip to Benghazi in the beginning of August 2012 had to be canceled because of security,14 Stevens was adamant, however, about going in September.15 The Diplomatic Security Agent testified:
Previous to this—to his decisions to going up there, there was— we would meet weekly to discuss the security situation in Libya.…[
T]here was a specific meeting regarding what was happening in Benghazi. In that meeting, we reviewed incidents and  probable causes, what’s initiating it. And a lot of discussion was that it was the conflict or the incidents up there were, you know, local population against local population and that that they weren’t specifically targeting Americans … up there. I expressed my concerns about the incidents that did involve us. And the basic response was that they … were anomalies.

We all have images of what leadership should look like which are not simple portrayals of reality.

We all have images of what leadership should look like which are not simple portrayals of reality.

Romney was a missionary in France during anti-American times, Bill Clinton visited Russia as a student in the Cold War years and there are other connections to tat least the same world Chris Stevens lived in that can be found in other political lives outside the military but not in the lives of Hillary Clinton or Donald trump so far as I know. Both have traveled a great deal. both have been at some risk but the proportion of risk to resources has never been equal in my opinion to the baseline many Americans abroad have experienced every day all of my life.

The other thing that they have in common is access to fame, fortune, privilege and the people in power. This is not an even contest between the two of them but neither does it really matter who has had more of such opportunity. These opportunities have defined both of their lives for a long time. One big difference of course is that Trump like all previous American Presidents is a man and Clinton is a woman. I visited that in the post where her candidacy was all but assured but I am not going to deal with it much in this post.

There are issues related to Clinton that have very little to do with the fact that she is a woman. Trump recently said he just knew very little about her religion and she responded by declaring her self emphatically enough to be a Methodist. My own take on some of the discussion of Clinton’s religion has been posted in this blog before and can be seen here. Of course there may be more to say as time goes on.  One fact about the election of the first Clinton to the Presidency is that the result was likely determined by the most credible third party candidate in presidential politics in my lifetime — Ross Perot. He made it more than possible for Bill Clinton to defeat George Bush Senior. Thus Clinton did not face the kind of intense contest he would have otherwise.  This kind of splitting is well established in British politics and may have been fostered in some way or another by the Rhodes Scholar, Bill Clinton as the biggest take home lesson from his time in Oxford. Some may see Trump as Ross Perot on steroids. He is the third party candidate who became the  candidate of a major party and the main obstacle to Clinton’s election. that would still be true even if Romney or someone becomes a real third party candidate somehow. So how does trump match Clinton on matters of faith?

To see Clinton’s faith in political terms this season means to examine Donald Trump’s faith as well. He seems to be a person, like Clinton, about whom one could say a great many contradictory things based on pretty good evidence. That is not necessarily because he is deceptive or a hypocrite but may be because of the place he comes from in his life context. Interestingly enough he has made it clear that he supports Christmas as a national holiday and seeks to preserve it. That was the narrow subject of my original blog post about Clinton’s faith and the faith of other candidates.    Christmas was of course never my only interest in the religious identity of candidates. I love Christmas very much and the Christian observance of it by this country is a tradition I think worth striving for and worth some sacrifice. However, it is interesting that the ugliest rumors and suspicions about Donald Trump involve the ways in which he reminds people of the NSDAP or Nazis and the Third Reich. While many Christians nothing like the Hitlerites have rallied around Christmas, there is also no doubt that the Nazis made Christmas and especially the control of Christmas tree sales and early focus of political activity.  In further clarification, it is interesting to note that the list of candidates in the Democrats poll I posted in that article did include Biden but did not include Sanders. Even more interesting is that Trump does not appear among the six Republican candidates who appear in the poll I posted and reviewed in terms of the religion of the candidates. Huckabee was the leader in the poll and he was of course a Baptist minister who claimed the same hometown as President William Jefferson Clinton — Hope, Arkansas. So where does that leave the discussion of religion as I saw it back in 2014? It is not a perfectly relevant post in every way  then.  But here is the principal quotation from that blog post as it pertains to understanding Clinton’s faith in very general political terms. The first paragraph below deals with how Americans likely to vote Republican were thinking about Republican candidates in 2014 and how that related to Christmas and it observance by the Christians of this nation . However the remaining paragraphs  relate to what Clinton’s religious identity is likely to be. It is perhaps best to look at the text:

There is a lot of shaking out to do if these numbers mean any thing before any Republican can claim the nomination.  But it does indicate perhaps the streams of thought that are shaping the country as regards finding a religious root for values expressed by America’s  “right” in politics.

What then about the left? Where does the other side of American  political energy come down on our connecting with the roots of Christianity.  Unlike the possible GOP nominees, Hillary Clinton has tended to tower over her challengers for the 2016 Democratic nomination. Some people are saying that candidates like Elizabeth Warren are poised to show explosive growth but it would take a lot of growth to challenge  Clinton in the primary.

Joe Lieberman who ran with Al Gore was not a Christian but a Jew who seemed to tolerate a good deal of public Christmas. Mitt Romney belonged to what most scholars consider to be a post-Christian religion but it is one that celebrates Christmas as an American holiday and the birth festival of Jesus Christ. Many presidents have been devout Christians: Washington, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, Woodrow Wilson, John Kennedy and half a dozen others are clearly men who in my opinion must be seen as Christians entirely. Whatever they did not achieve of the Christian ideal is not because they did not adhere to that faith and religion. Richard Nixon was reared as a Quaker and (though many American Quakers seem pretty much to be Christians) Quakers as a whole are not a Christian faith but one which grew up among Christians.  It is hard to say what Nixon was when he was President. With men like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and  a few others it hard to say where they stood in terms of religious classification and identity.

So that brings me to Clinton. She is a favorite enemy of the Christian Right and other religious people in American politics and she may well deserve it. She has a background which is mostly verifiable: Clinton was reared a Methodist Protestant Christian, belonged to a Senate Prayer Group and has spoken at Prayer Breakfasts.  Her profile may seem different to American atheists than to most other people. Here is an atheist site evaluating Clinton’s background and religious values.  It is hard to know how  she would deal with Christmas.

I have just finished observing the Independence Day  holiday in a minimal sort of way. It is always a time that I like to think about what it means to be an American and posts about those thoughts can be seen here. But although those ideas have been posted here they have more often been shared in other places and my thoughts about America have been posted here on other holidays. Those holiday thoughts on Memorial Day have been  here and on Veterans day have been here. While I have in common with Clinton and Trump that I have not a day of service in the military in my past it seems to be the military holidays that most inspire my patriotism. My observation of the Independence Day holiday was not entirely minimal by every standard and I did post quite a few notes and the lyrics of the National Anthem on my Facebook profile but minimal my observance  certainly was  in some measures. Neither Trump nor Clinton were very visible in my own perusal of our nation’s birthday. But one of them will likely be the American Head of State by next Independence Day. Unlike Christmas these holidays are not specifically Christian. I am a Christian and for me Christian prayer is part of these national holidays. I am not sure how the faith of either major candidate informs  their celebration of these days.  But faith and the most gung ho kinds of patriotism are linked by many as can be seen at links here and here. What else does  America expect from a leader and does Clinton have it?

Clinton has a lot of government experience, but the range is not infinite. One of the big achievements of this week has been the placement of the Juno observatory in position as a satellite of Jupiter. Some of the reason many people around the world are interested in this project can be gleaned here.  Neither Clinton nor Trump seems to be the kind to play an extraordinary role in blazing a pioneering trail into space.  These kinds of brave explorations may shape the future or not but they do not seem to define the vision of either Clinton or Trump.

One question many people have about religion is whether or not someone who prays for help should be President. Perhaps prayer means one cannot do the job. But some contend Clinton had private emails because she did not want to disclose the degree to which she could not do her job. That story can be seen here. It is to be noted that this not entirely clear story comes from a publication as biased in favor of Clinton and against Trump as one can get. But the point is here only that Buzz Aldrin, a rocket scientist, astronaut and space planner is a noted public prayer promoter in his own life and not being known for religious acts makes nobody a scientist.








Emerging Views: Chapter Eight: Louisiana in the Story

In each of these posts I include a few words before the post itself. But the words are few and the posts have not included any images that were not part of the chapters. But today there are many reasons why in my daily life in May of 2016. I am thinking of American perceptions of Louisiana and of the Cajuns and of Acadiana. All of those are different things. I think of how challenging it would be to teach High School history to people from Louisiana and as a Louisianan knowing the standardized test reward distortions of the truth. I think that is more so for Cajuns than others in the state.

I am happy to reflect on Zachary Richard receiving the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities this year. That is some part of embracing the truth — but it is a little and a little late for me and for many others.

Zachary Richard Acadian humanist rightly honored

Zachary Richard Acadian humanist rightly honored

I also attended the Acadiana Press Club Forum  Yesterday at the Daily Advertiser and was well aware of how much good work is done by many in community organizations, environmental groups, the media, the DOTD and elsewhere across our to improve the quality of our infrastructure and to have an infrastructure that is responsive to environmental and cultural realities.

Toby Takes Charge: DOTD set out state of I-49 Connector plans

Toby Takes Charge: DOTD set out state of I-49 Connector plans

Nonetheless, a lot of sad realities in running the I-49 Connector through the Evangeline Throughway were evident to the people assembled. One has the real sense of a society that is out of touch with this place and its needs and potential. That was the case in the period treated in this text as well. One could see in the meeting that the people of this region remain a treasure even when one has become as down in the mouth about the state of things as I have.

Young but experienced reporter from Abbeville was on the job...  Not sure who she is with these days, I have known her since she was an infant...

Young but experienced reporter from Abbeville was on the job…
Not sure who she is with these days, I have known her since she was an infant…

So the struggle for Louisiana’s past, present and future continues since the days described in this text to the present day.  Here is a pdf version of the text: ChapterEightTheLouisianaintheStory

Here is the text itself:


Chapter Eight:

The Louisiana in the Story


The Confederacy had long ago faded into obscurity as the main focus of attention in American politics in 1943. The fact that a Cajun had led the Louisiana Secession Committee when only a few states had seceded was not on that any students of American history as a whole could be expected to know. However, Cajuns participated in being part of the rural South which was subject to perceptions rooted in their defeat in the Civil War and was also affected by conditions largely created in that war. The South was made out as backward by influential men  like H.L. Mencken and the Cajuns were a more remote and backward part than usual of the rural South. Not everything in that point of view is wrong. Nonetheless,  this is not fair or entirely true. This chapter seeks (not in all ways that could be shown but in a few ways that can be shown here) to show that the range of significance of Cajuns in American life has been deeply askew and is profoundly unsatisfactory. This chapter does not do much directly to rehabilitate Louisiana as a whole as being worthy of more study and teaching. The reason is that in general  this text is devoted to Acadiana and not Louisiana. There will be the odd spillover but this chapter is mostly to show that the Cajuns deserved and deserve serious attention in the way America sees itself.


Writing this text as a Cajun myself and as someone of English descent and many  other identities produces no simple single point of view. Points of view change over time and the points of view which are espoused by the most numerous and most influential portion of historians also changes. A reminder of that is present in Parkman’s massive tome. This example of changing points of view also happens to be relevant to our understanding of the Cajuns and how they came to be who they are and were in 1943.


Hence it happened that the English were for a
time almost as anxious to keep the Acadians in
Acadia as they were forty years later to get them out
of it; nor had the Acadians themselves any inclina-
tion to leave their homes. But the French authori-
ties needed them at Isle Royale, and made every
effort to draw them thither. By the fourteenth article
of the Treaty of Utrecht such of them as might
choose to leave Acadia were free to do so within the
space of a year, carrying with them their personal
effects; while a letter of Queen Anne, addressed to
Nicholson, then governor of Acadia, permitted the
emigrants to sell their lands and houses.

The missionary F^lix Pain had reported, as we
have seen, that they were, in general, disposed to
remain where they were; on which Costebelle, who
now commanded at Louisbourg, sent two officers. La
Ronde Denys and Pensens, with instructions to set
the priests at work to persuade their flocks to move.^
La Ronde Denys and his colleague repaired to
Annapolis, where they promised the inhabitants
vessels for their removal, provisions for a year, and
freedom from all taxation for ten years. Then, hav-
ing been well prepared in advance, the heads of
families were formed in a circle, and in presence of
the English governor, the two French officers, and
the priests Justinien, Bonaventure, and Gaulin, they
all signed, chiefly with crosses, a paper to the effect
that they would live and die subjects of the King of
France.* A few embarked at once for Isle Royale
in the vessel “Marie- Joseph,” and the rest were to
follow within the year.


The exiled Acadians had dealings with the Duke of Nivernais as was shown in the cite from Dudley Leblanc’s book The Acadian Miracle and its attendant source. He was the means of the rescue of those held in Liverpool while he was also negotiating the Treaty of Paris. Thomas Jefferson: Who would preside over the United States as the Louisiana Purchase was negotiated knew the Duke of Nivernais. He was appointed Ambassador to France on March 10, 1785; Presented his credentials to the French Court and was accepted republican credentials and all on: May 17, 1785. The termination of the mission was  September 26, 1789. The Duke of Nivernais meanwhile did not stay forever in England. He did leave London, where he had freed the Liverpool Acadians and negotiated the Treaty of Paris (10 February 1763). From 1787 to 1789 he was a member of the Council of State and dealt with Ambassadors such as Thomas Jefferson. Nivernais was not unsympathetic to Lafayette, Washington and even the more radical Jefferson as is evident from the fact that in time this Duke  chose not to emigrate during the Revolution. He paid for these principles with a great deal of personal loss including the loss of almost  all his money and his liberty too when  he was imprisoned in 1793. While happy endings are few in the Great Upheaval, the Duke of Nivernais at least escaped the guillotine and regained his liberty after the fall of Robespierre. His role and future had he lived longer are not entirely clear but it is clear that he was free and poor when he  died in Paris on 25 February 1798.


Thus there is at most one degree of separation between the most influential leader of the intellectual struggle for American independence and the Acadians.  The irrefutable fact is that he knew Nivernais before the Louisiana Purchase.  The question of whether he knew much before authoring the Declaration is one we will touch on just briefly in this text. It is well known that  Thomas Jefferson was a Francophile. It is known that he took a broad interest in all sorts of people and that among the peoples of the world he most often took a superior interest in Americans on the East Coast of North America, the British, the French and the Hellenes. It might do to include the Romans as well. But the Acadians were the people who most embodied the quality of being French, Americans and part of the British Empire. If he knew them a bit better he might have known that they also embodied some qualities of the Hellenes. He was a man who stayed informed about affairs of his time. Yet our history is written and taught as though he had no awareness of the Acadians. There would seem to be a possibility that he had some sympathy for what had happened to a people who had been scattered throughout the thirteen colonies and whose homes and lives, liberties and pursuits of happiness had been so horribly and almost utterly abrogated. One could examine two passages of the Declaration with that in mind especially.


He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.


For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:


The first of the two passages cited above is of special significance when one considers what his words were later as President when the Acadians were living in Louisiana and he was the President of the United States of America. The Treaty of the Louisiana Purchase is very specific about the naturalization of the same foreigners he might have been writing about  as well as their fellow citizens in Louisiana. Read the words carefully to see what they have to say about Franco-American relations and empathies which were specifically relevant to the people becoming the Cajuns.


Art: III

The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States and admitted as soon as possible according to the principles of the federal Constitution to the enjoyment of all these rights, advantages and immunities of citizens of the United States, and in the meantime they shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property and the Religion which they profess.

It also stand to be stated here that the Louisiana Purchase was an incredibly important event in American history. The transformation of the country by that single act from a coastal to a truly continental power has such vast effects that they can scarcely be overstated in considering anything that follows in the story of the Union. The Cajuns were at the very least living in the  lands of the Louisiana Purchase.


The Acadian struggle is in fact extremely important in one respect.  If the British wronged the Acadians it was a colossal wrong and if the Americans operated in sympathy with them that act of sympathy offsets much of what was less than morally perfect in the Revolution and the War of Independence. The British always from the first moment had an enormous set of incentives to distort and alter the record of events to minimize the importance of the Acadian expulsion in shaping the climate of the times in which they lost much of their American Empire. They have always been devoted to marshalling the intellectual resources behind their military and political maneuverings and interests. They have been extremely successful in doing so. The undermining of the American sense of moral entitlement among revolutionary historians has often been rather extreme. There are exceptions of course but the exceptions only show how clear the trend has been.


To remain anything like the country the Founders hoped for the truth about the Acadians needed to become part of our national history and it never has been. I know that there is very little exploration of how the Acadians might play a role in that period because there is no evidence in most historical inquiries and surveys related to the period. The French call the War of 1812 the Second War of American Independence more often than not.  That has been resisted by Americans but mostly in service to the interest of the Court of St. James.


The Acadian or Cajun role in that war and antecedents and subsequent events related to it has quite a bit of relevance to their relationship with the State of Louisiana for which the film Louisiana Story is named and  in which Harnett Kane wrote the book which most of any single publish source likely formed the perspectives specific to South Louisiana and the Cajuns as they formed their agenda and created their artistic reportage on the region and the people in the postwar era.  


If the Acadians were an autonomous people with a chief recognized in France from at least 800 A.D. and if the British consistently failed to recognize a status that was clearly legally theirs then the Cajuns were entitled to take extraordinary member in their own right against the British. Once they had been dispossessed, had families divided in a manner unusual even among the most despised people of the world and lost about half of the population of their province to the brutalities of exile — once all that had happened there was virtually nothing they could have done which in the view of many would amount to anything worth reckoning at all in the balance if it could harm the British Empire and its principals.  Perhaps one thing they did in that struggle was to influence the Americans in their revolution and War of Independence.


Perhaps they rejoiced as much as almost anyone when the words of the Declaration appeared which removed from their tormentors a piece of land larger than Acadie (although it would take a war won largely with French help to win it).   Read those fairly familiar words from the eyes of those who had lost so very much.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


The other thing which they may have done falls across the line of history into the realm of folklore once again. Perhaps they took the arguably very small act of setting up a relationship with Jean Lafitte and the Baratarian Association specifically to provide for the defense of their interests in the region and of their own lives and liberties from the depredations of the British.  The person who would have been most in charge of this activity would have been Gils Robin. The memories of this period persist across Acadiana.


There is a Jean Louis Robin Canal and a Jean Louis Robin Lake to this day in South Eastern Louisiana. In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina  journalist Ken Wells did a book published in 2008 about the family still building their own boats and navigating the waters of that region. Today they are only partly Cajun culturally and genealogically  and have become part of another cultural fabric beside the homes of their Cajun ancestors. But in his book they remember the ties between the outlying Cajuns of that region  the pirates and privateers of the Barataria Association. Folkloristically, the story would be more or less that the brothers Gils, Martin and Jean Robin would have moved to the region shortly after the Acadians had settled in the Lafourche region relatively nearby. Their small community would have ties to  Attakakpas and Oppelousas Prairies of  Louisiana in the West as well as with Lafourche. Martin Robin who was a godfather to one of the Lafitte children was the grandchild of one of these brothers. Jean Lafitte also had a number of titles he sometimes used that are capable of being given Cajun interpretation unique to it Helllenic Centre Ouest Languedoc vernacular.  But the words have other possible explanations. In addition to the role Lafitte played in the Battle of New Orleans which was crucial in terms of artillery and supply and guides to the waters of the area Cajun units also fought in the area. Future Governor Henry Schuyler Thibodaux was a Lieutenant who saw action there. In addition Cajun or Acadian units served in several parts of the encounter. The service record was perhaps mixed in that battle but while some Acadians may have been farmed out to the other units and deployed some real expertise in throwing up defenses along the wetlands it does seem to be likely that the plurality of Acadians served on the ill-fated West Bank line under David Morgan.  Morgan had put his troops in a more or less indefensible position to support Patterson, the artillerist not from Lafitte’s group. The bad position was exacerbated by the Kentucky riflemen in the unit who were sick exhausted and without Lafitte and others from Louisiana would have been unarmed for all practical purposes. At the moment of the attack all witness blamed the break in the line on the lack of courage not of the Cajuns but the troops from Kentucky. However, a court of inquiry found them also without fault because the position was so ill conceived and because the overall glory of the event was enough to overshadow the failures. Nonetheless men  very likely to biased in favor of the Kentuckians over the men from South Louisiana thought they broke first.  


The most fierce fighters on the American side on that day may well have been the Free Blacks. I did write earlier that no North American Colored officers existed before the Confederates of the Louisiana Native Guard. However, anyone who knows the battle well will remember Major Savary and Lieutenant Listeau were officers of color who fought in the battle. However, it seems very likely that their commissions like many titles of the era were carried over from other service. They held commissions as Spanish troops in Santo Domingo and the US recognized those commissions. This was intended to be temporary. Dominique Youx the Lafitte artillerist who played the most significant role of direct fighting by any Baratarian is of uncertain  (certainly not Cajun) ancestry and became a respectable citizen of Louisiana when others went to galveston for  the chance to continue a disreputable way of life.  He likely had some colored ranking people in his unit but they were not formally commissioned, that leaves Listeau and Savary as exceptions to my statement about the Louisiana Native Guard. The Spanish had a few knowingly and  officially commissioned colored officers in the Caribbean but not in their North American forces. Nonetheless, the victory at New Orleans was the greatest in American history at that time by many measures and Cajuns were there.


The First Battle of Baton Rouge taking West Florida for Spain and weakening the British position against the infant USA was a small but significant battle.  The Cajuns were there. A Cajun General led the action that mattered the most in last major Confederate victory. They had always been citizens with a secure treaty footing since Louisiana entered the union.   Yet the perceptions that abounded in 1943 and still abound today had them as less than a footnote to most of American history and a footnote or two to some of it.


An earlier chapter has already discussed Cajun alienation. The next chapter will deal with Cajun backwardness and poverty to the degree and extent that it did exist in  as honest and direct terms as can be captured in a chapter of a text like this. J.C. Boudreaux’s selection for Louisiana story is mentioned and discussed at some length by Richard Leacock in his correspondence with his wife Happy. He mentions they chose Boudreaux in part because he was dark enough to meet their ideal of a Cajun boy. They also liked his version of the Cajun accent. Physical morphology is very relevant to Cajun identity. In fact there is a sense of a vision of beauty and so forth specific to the ethnicity. But within that context there are many types and the fact is they chose a darker and curlier Cajun than many. Boudreaux’s looks are plenty Cajun but so are some family’s whose faces show a lot of intermarriage with the Norsemen of medieval Normandy.


The point of all this is not really pillory American historians, the British, the documentarians are anyone else. However, it is too show that in my opinion the Cajuns had already been pushed aside, their role in America stolen from them by one force or another and all of this determined what the documentarians would see when they came to postwar Acadiana          


In the study of history there has been a long and in fact continuous struggle over the proper viewpoint  for the historical discipline itself.  Herodotus set forth his motivations and objectives in writing his history and that has been the custom of many historians since that time. It can be argued that it has been an unimportant part of the process to define and redefine this sense of the scholar’s objectives and values since the start of the historical tradition. When this is done it is traditionally done in the introduction and not in the eighth chapter. That tradition also goes back to the very early days of history as a kind of profession or avocation.  



This is the Showing forth of the Inquiry of Herodotus of Halicarnassos, to the end that neither the deeds of men may be forgotten by lapse of time, nor the works great and marvellous, which have been produced some by Hellenes and some by Barbarians, may lose their renown; and especially that the causes may be remembered for which these waged war with one another.


In understanding the history of these documentaries and of postwar Acadiana it is interesting to try to understand their own historical understanding and objectives. It is not possible to fully address this subject without addressing the sense that the documentarians had about Cajun history and what that understanding they had could, should and would mean for the subjects about which this text is written. What is most obvious is that they did not schedule a formal interview with Dudley Leblanc who had published The True Story of the Acadians. They almost certainly did not completely read the text as a group and if some read it or scanned it that was not much reported. Really any sane person knowing most of the facts of their operation would have to take this lack of contact with Dudley Leblanc as very significant. However, when the only historical method employed is to write about what is reported in diaries and letters then one does not inquire into what is omitted and why The history of  the documentarians in the 1930s and into new incarnation under Standard Oil in the 1940s  has often been written without this reverse angle which independently examines the sources which  they were examining. Here the reverse angle is the principal one. The story of the documentarians is secondary in this text to the story of the Cajuns. But it is an important secondary story which is told from a more critical point of view because of the responsible and relatively complete treatment of their subjects in this endeavor.


The Cajuns were of course subject to the same limits of time and resources available to be devoted to the education of the documentarians as anyone else they chose to document. The average inhabitant of the region had no knowledge of their work at all. The documentarians of the era were, as we have already seen, influenced very significantly by the book by Harnett Kane published in 1943. The relationship with Kane and his perceptions were a more favorable than fair representation of the views of Cajuns which had come to characterize the view of the relationship between Cajuns and the State of Louisiana. it also shows a good bit of the view of Cajuns within the State of Louisiana.  



The name of the film is not Cajun although it was released again under that name. The name of the film is Louisiana Story. The original screenplay was called The Christmas Tree. That references the oil industry which was paying for the production but the final product is named after the state. So in this chapter we want to discuss the idea of Cajuns and Acadiana as recorded over the 1943 period and what the period indicated as to the underlying relationship between the people  and culture they recorded. This has been addressed briefly in the other chapters but will be addressed more carefully here.


There is an observed principle in politics that is formulated by some unknown wag as as “if you are not at the table then you are on the table”. in the recording and teaching of American history Cajuns have not been at the table. In addition there was no lack of reasons for them to be misrepresented. The problems were not new in 1943 and have not disappeared since then. Because this book aspires to set out a more comprehensive view of the efforts of various Americans to understand one another than is usually attempted it demands a review of the historical context at many points and this chapter is one of those points.


What is clear about this process of waiting a history is that it remains a humanist far more than a scientific undertaking.  Science has yet to be subjected in my opinion to the fullest and highest form of criticism. It needs and deserves to be evaluated in terms of its general assumptions and the assumptions of specific people and institutions among others criteria. However, in the humanities one expects the writer and scholar to know  the work in a field, to tell the truth about the fact covered and to do some work which adds to the reliable record. Not very many serious people pretend that the context of the times, the needs of society and the grand mentality of the scholar do not affect the final work.


In reaching for the  Louisiana context discussed here there are quite a few things to consider. The chapter which in many ways forms the center of this book focuses mostly on the SONJ photographers and the images they recorded. This is in large part a function of the way that an archive of underutilized images can tell a great deal about a place and a people and how other places and people recorded in the great SONJ project could by inference be more fully evaluated using other images from the collection. The other chapters tend to pay more attention to Louisiana Story and that is in large part because Louisiana Story  and that is not only because the film forms a single and very substantial work to evaluate.  It is because of that surely. But it is also because there is a very definite intended audience and viewership use which forms a sort of fixed point by which and through which the film can be evaluated for the purpose of this film.

The truth is that there was a great deal of the identity of Louisiana which was not favorable to the state as a whole in terms of how it was perceived in America. But the perceptions shared by all were unduly unfavorable to the Cajuns by almost any standard.  The perceptions were largely reinforced by the work done by the documentarians and the legacy of holding down the Cajuns while offering them something in return was continued more than anything else by these visitors from New England. That is not the whole story but it is the story of this chapter.  


************* Appendix to the Chapter********************



The President of the United States of America and the First Consul of the French Republic in the name of the French People desiring to remove all Source of misunderstanding relative to objects of discussion mentioned in the Second and fifth articles of the Convention of the 8th Vendémiaire an 9 (30 September 1800) relative to the rights claimed by the United States in virtue of the Treaty concluded at Madrid the 27 of October 1795, between His Catholic Majesty & the Said United States, & willing to Strengthen the union and friendship which at the time of the Said Convention was happily reestablished between the two nations have respectively named their Plenipotentiaries to wit The President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the Said States; Robert R. Livingston Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States and James Monroe Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy extraordinary of the Said States near the Government of the French Republic; And the First Consul in the name of the French people, Citizen Francis Barbé Marbois Minister of the public treasury who after having respectively exchanged their full powers have agreed to the following Articles.

Article I

Whereas by the Article the third of the Treaty concluded at St Ildefonso the 9th Vendémiaire an 9 (1st October) 1800 between the First Consul of the French Republic and his Catholic Majesty it was agreed as follows.

“His Catholic Majesty promises and engages on his part to cede to the French Republic six months after the full and entire execution of the conditions and Stipulations herein relative to his Royal Highness the Duke of Parma, the Colony or Province of Louisiana with the Same extent that it now has in the hand of Spain, & that it had when France possessed it; and Such as it Should be after the Treaties subsequently entered into between Spain and other States.”

And whereas in pursuance of the Treaty and particularly of the third article the French Republic has an incontestible title to the domain and to the possession of the said Territory–The First Consul of the French Republic desiring to give to the United States a strong proof of his friendship doth hereby cede to the United States in the name of the French Republic for ever and in full Sovereignty the said territory with all its rights and appurtenances as fully and in the Same manner as they have been acquired by the French Republic in virtue of the above mentioned Treaty concluded with his Catholic Majesty.

Art: II

In the cession made by the preceeding article are included the adjacent Islands belonging to Louisiana all public lots and Squares, vacant lands and all public buildings, fortifications, barracks and other edifices which are not private property.–The Archives, papers & documents relative to the domain and Sovereignty of Louisiana and its dependances will be left in the possession of the Commissaries of the United States, and copies will be afterwards given in due form to the Magistrates and Municipal officers of such of the said papers and documents as may be necessary to them.

Art: III

The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States and admitted as soon as possible according to the principles of the federal Constitution to the enjoyment of all these rights, advantages and immunities of citizens of the United States, and in the mean time they shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property and the Religion which they profess.

Art: IV

There Shall be Sent by the Government of France a Commissary to Louisiana to the end that he do every act necessary as well to receive from the Officers of his Catholic Majesty the Said country and its dependances in the name of the French Republic if it has not been already done as to transmit it in the name of the French Republic to the Commissary or agent of the United States.

Art: V

Immediately after the ratification of the present Treaty by the President of the United States and in case that of the first Consul’s shall have been previously obtained, the commissary of the French Republic shall remit all military posts of New Orleans and other parts of the ceded territory to the Commissary or Commissaries named by the President to take possession–the troops whether of France or Spain who may be there shall cease to occupy any military post from the time of taking possession and shall be embarked as soon as possible in the course of three months after the ratification of this treaty.

Art: VI

The United States promise to execute Such treaties and articles as may have been agreed between Spain and the tribes and nations of Indians until by mutual consent of the United States and the said tribes or nations other Suitable articles Shall have been agreed upon.

Art: VII

As it is reciprocally advantageous to the commerce of France and the United States to encourage the communication of both nations for a limited time in the country ceded by the present treaty until general arrangements relative to commerce of both nations may be agreed on; it has been agreed between the contracting parties that the French Ships coming directly from France or any of her colonies loaded only with the produce and manufactures of France or her Said Colonies; and the Ships of Spain coming directly from Spain or any of her colonies loaded only with the produce or manufactures of Spain or her Colonies shall be admitted during the Space of twelve years in the Port of New-Orleans and in all other legal ports-of-entry within the ceded territory in the Same manner as the Ships of the United States coming directly from France or Spain or any of their Colonies without being Subject to any other or greater duty on merchandize or other or greater tonnage than that paid by the citizens of the United States.

During that Space of time above mentioned no other nation Shall have a right to the Same privileges in the Ports of the ceded territory–the twelve years Shall commence three months after the exchange of ratifications if it Shall take place in France or three months after it Shall have been notified at Paris to the French Government if it Shall take place in the United States; It is however well understood that the object of the above article is to favour the manufactures, Commerce, freight and navigation of France and of Spain So far as relates to the importations that the French and Spanish Shall make into the Said Ports of the United States without in any Sort affecting the regulations that the United States may make concerning the exportation of the produce and merchandize of the United States, or any right they may have to make Such regulations.


In future and for ever after the expiration of the twelve years, the Ships of France shall be treated upon the footing of the most favoured nations in the ports above mentioned.

Art: IX

The particular Convention Signed this day by the respective Ministers, having for its object to provide for the payment of debts due to the Citizens of the United States by the French Republic prior to the 30th Sept. 1800 (8th Vendémiaire an 9) is approved and to have its execution in the Same manner as if it had been inserted in this present treaty, and it Shall be ratified in the same form and in the Same time So that the one Shall not be ratified distinct from the other.

Another particular Convention Signed at the Same date as the present treaty relative to a definitive rule between the contracting parties is in the like manner approved and will be ratified in the Same form, and in the Same time and jointly.

Art: X

The present treaty Shall be ratified in good and due form and the ratifications Shall be exchanged in the Space of Six months after the date of the Signature by the Ministers Plenipotentiary or Sooner if possible.

In faith whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have Signed these articles in the French and English languages; declaring nevertheless that the present Treaty was originally agreed to in the French language; and have thereunto affixed their Seals.

Done at Paris the tenth day of Floreal in the eleventh year of the French Republic; and the 30th of April 1803.

Robt R Livingston [seal]

Jas. Monroe [seal]

Barbé Marbois [seal]



Emerging Views Chapter Two

Originally I put this up with no photographs at all now it simply lacks the photographs that matter to the text. I have included a few photos of other kinds here in the introduction to the post that are marginally relevant because pictures after all are what this is about.

download LS 1

This is a glimpse of how the black and white film was presented to the world. The local papers ran black and white promotional and reporting spreads.

Mommee produce cart


This chapter is very much an amputee without its photographs. As I sit here with my chronic foot problems, in my fifties and in decline in so many ways I feel a kindred relationship with the chapter itself.  The place where the rights to the pictures and the finest instances of those images resides is at the Roy Stryker Papers and Collection in the Ekstrom Archives of the University of Louisville which has now largely been renamed the Standard Oil (New Jersey) Collection .  But the chapter such as it is appears below. A pdf version of a draft of this chapter is available EmergingViewsChapterTwoInsidethelenses.


Here we go:

Chapter Two: Inside the Lenses, Cajun People and Material Culture


Section One of Chapter Two:


Because of approximately  twenty photographic plates needing to appear in sufficient size and quality this chapter has the length and the cost to make it in many measures the bulk of the book itself. The photographs are worth it I believe. However, this can distort the reality that  more of the text is about Louisiana Story than about the SONJ project.  In this chapter there is a good bit of Arnold Eagle in evidence and he operated in both worlds. But before dealing with the operations and goings on based in the Nettles I wish to take the reader a few hundred yards down the street that runs alongside St. Mary Magdalene Church and in front of the Nettles. On the grounds of that fairly impressive church is fairly impressive statue which at a smaller church would truly stand out and draw views but as it is it remains only moderately impressive compared to the lofty tower of a church situated on a high pediment..    


In 1939 on the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux, Dudley Leblanc donated a marble statue, granite pedestal and concrete base of a state of the Frenchwoman who had been canonized in 1925. Had St.Therese, or Therese Martin,  lived a long lifespan we would have been  seventy six years old in  1939 and only 52 when she was canonized. Today she is a recognized Doctor of the Church. This honor was bestowed by Pope John Paul II. That honor is difficult for non-Catholics whom I would love to have understand this text to grasp. The Catholic Church considers itself to be about 2000 years old and has alway honored the exceptional among the faithful from the Death of St. Stephen. Churches and monuments in the thousands have been dedicated to this vast industry of veneration. How many canonized Saints there are is something that serious people have killed and  argued over. Being a canonized Saint is a big deal, really big deal and there are lots of them.  There are thirty-three Doctors of the Church. These are a very diverse group each of whom represents in some way a  great segment of the vast and complex Catholic heritage.

One of those  thirty-three very exceptional  names has been added since 1939. One would have to say that in terms of Catholic iconography, doctrine and other measures Dudley Leblanc knew how to pick a winner. One could argue he was only caught up in a popular religious movement but that really is not a sufficient explanation. The Cajuns like Dudley Leblanc had a talent for picking the biggest winner imaginable in the Catholic world although for others who choose not to examine religious history in a serious way this all may seem very irrelevant to American history. Nor was this an obvious bet, she was in her twenties when she died. This may seem irreverent to many but to a certain kind of person her face is very beautiful, She had a kind of wit and verve in her writing which was in stark contrast to some other spiritual writers of importance. Dudley Leblanc saw in her a symbol and a stream of thought  worth supporting.

Dudley Leblanc is not known for his speeches or writing or writing on her behalf although he was a very well known speaker and writer. He is known for his donation of an image. Cajun beauty pageants, the HADACOL medicine shows and various other visual expressions were very important parts of his legacy. The blessing of the fleets, the Courires de Mardi Gras, the fais do-do, the tintamarre and many (but not an unlimited list) of other expressions form part the Cajun visual language and system of expression which form a vital part of the culture the Standard Oil Documentaries came to express for and interpret to America. They liked to think and there is quite a bit of evidence that they were pretty good at this sort of thing.


In addition there were and still are many communal activities that defined the community and shaped Cajun life The SONJ photographers did capture some of these events such as the boucherie, the pirogue races and some from the more deliberately exhibition related categories such as  the blessing of the fleet.  Flaherty, as mentioned earlier in this text, keeps the focus tighter than anything that will allow much of this visual language to seep into his film. This text in many ways attempts  to find an understanding of what happens when various visual languages come together and especially when theses specific languages did come together in this particular instance in mid twentieth century America. It is also a story about and a treatment of how these languages and their audiences did not communicate or converge. It is about what can be learned from the way different communities and segments of society competed for ears and eyeballs in an earlier period in the information age.


This chapter leaves out a,most entirely two forces which shaped the production of film and still photographs in this study. More or less the McIlhenny family and the Standard Oil organization are left out of the discussion except  for being addressed indirectly when the Cajuns or Flaherty and Stryker’s documentarians are dealing or being informed by one or more of these other two factors.the major exception is right in this paragraph, just here: Standard oil defined the total concept of the film from the start with a commission for a particular thing. Going through the primary sources on all this is not so simple and even the Calder-Marshall and Rotha biographies   fail to make  the point clearly in a few words. But the rather excellent essay “Step by Step’ by  Eva Orbanz that appears in Filming Robert Flaherty’s  Louisiana Story has a very succinct summary of what needs to be gotten at here.

On april 3, 1944, Roy Stryker, manager of Public Relations for Standard Oil of New Jersey, invited Robert Flaherty to New York. He had something to discuss with him over a bottle of Jameson’s. Would Flaherty be interested in making  a film about the difficulties and dangers of oil production?    An industrial film that would be interesting enough to show in commercial theaters?

Flaherty was interested.   


The commission was not to make a film about the Cajuns or about Louisiana but about the challenges that Standard Oil faced in its pursuit of its basic industrial position. The challenges faced by the oil industry were to be rendered entertaining and meaningful by Flaherty’s artistry. In terms of knowing where the money came from the Cajuns were just along for the ride. But both the fact that Roy Stryker did the asking and the fact that Flaherty was the one asked do frame that business meeting in rather  definite and telling ways. These were not just any two men. They were not strangers and it was not the first time they had been involved in large projects connected to one another.


This is not a book about Pare Lorentz, the FSA,  the collaboration of Helen Van Dongen  and Flaherty on The Land or Roy Stryker’s direction of much of the vast photographic project of the FSA.  It does not have to be a book about the 1930s to recognize that this was in many ways a rebirth with private funding of a massive publicly funded project from before the World War. But anyone who knows anything about the reputation of reborn or resurrected entities knows that the new is usually quite different from the old.  The FSA and New Deal projects did not just simply pause and then start up. A great deal distinguishes the two project and historians of documentary film  have tended to love the FSA — Pare Lorentz era  and nearly ignore this era with the limited exception of Louisiana Story studied and written about with some apology. However just before the work on this book began in the 1990s there were a few scholars who had begun to build on the tiny beachhead of learned discussion of these images. Some of that work was literally going on and coming out  around me as I was starting to put this together.     


The photographs and the film studied here have a history of their own.  The work of Arthur Calder-Marshall on Flaherty’s film and the by contemporary scholars such as James Curtis and Frank de Caro have shown that these same images can be valued as their own historical entities.  I have benefited from the careful and creative analysis which such scholars have provided.  In these pages I seek to understand the photographs as they relate to a social history of cultural group as it is recorded on film.  Perhaps, this comparative and mutually referential method allows more knowledge of all the evidence.  The weaknesses of the method may be exacerbated by the relative brevity of this work.  However, effort to push the frontiers between detailed photographic analysis and a more traditional approach to social history comes from a conscious conviction that this effort will bear fruit in a better historical understanding.


For the purposes of social and cultural history the photograph offers advantages and disadvantages.  Scholars often write and speak of the majority of past persons as “the inarticulate.”  Ironically, these folks spoke, created, built, planted and did numerous other things which expressed their personality in articles of reality.  Their communication, however, becomes either ephemeral, obscure or unintelligible unless someone records it in a clearer more permanent way.  Because this may not happen and because if it does the sources are often ignored, the folk cultures, the masses, the plain folk and the poor of history emerge through the writings of the elite and through statistical evidence.  Both of those sources depersonalize the subject of study and tend to make social history seem less detailed and accurate than diplomatic or political history.  The photograph reminds the historian that his subjects were living beings, existing in the complex and meaning world of personal experience.  The Cajun raconteur Emanuel Mores died as these photographic projects were completed.  His version of the folktale “The Two Ships” captures the situation of all historian s.  Yet it especially applies to this study.  Moras’s comic tale has been recorded as follows:


A cold wave froze the sea and a captain

    shouted to another that a cold wave had

    frozen the ships.  But he did not answer.

    The other shouted the same thing and did

    not get any answer either.


   It made them angry.  They began quarreling.

    The next day the sun came out, the ice melted,

    they were freed, they sailed and the frozen

    voices began to melt.  The ships had left

    the place, but other ships passes there and

    heard the quarrel, saw no one, heard lots of

    noise, but no one in sight.  The frozen words

    were melting.


Leaving aside the comedy of the metaphor and the humor of the poem,  this metaphor seems apt for trying to create a sense of a largely visual dialog now in the twenty-first century based on pieces of communication revived from  a sleep in various forms of preservation over the years.  The historian must take the frozen words and images which he discovers and try to reconstruct the experience of ships which passed.  In the previous chapter the history of the region and people to which the photographers had come was introduced. However, there was no detailed  description of the kinds of realities a photographer or motion picture cameraman can easily capture in their lense. This chapter has three parts. The first part is what you are reading now. The second part is a description of the Cajun hose and a discussion of how the Cajun house relates to the rest of Cajun culture and the Acadian heritage as it is manifest in Acadian material culture. The third and final part of this book works through the SONJ images selected and demonstrates an approach to using these photographs and photography of this sort as an historical source and document. That third part of this chapter is the part of this study which singularly fulfills or should fulfill the promise made repeatedly to take the images seriously as works of history in their own right.     


Looking for the unique images of Acadiana, photographers reached out, like one of the captains in Moras’s story’, to the Cajuns who were living and active to them but are now  frozen in their frames as far our text is concerned. They were trained, skilled and experienced observers often succeeded  captured persisting material manifestations of Cajun cultural that had become rare in the 1940s. In some cases they preserved the information that had some use in the restoration of traditional skills, in other cases they preserved what may have been the only serious portrayals of a given reality on film. They tended toward the distinct, quaint and old fashioned in their choices of subject. That means they tended to photograph places or people who tended in one way or another to be examples of material cultural persistence. The questions a student of Louisiana’s  Cajuns  will have about material cultural persistence cannot resolve themselves here.  But it is possible this chapter will provide a better basis for asking the right questions.

The other interesting set of questions related to analyzing these images is about what may be learned about how the Cajuns photographed related to their subjects. Merely by existing the photographs demonstrate that the Cajuns and the photographers  had substantial interactions. These are not satellite photographs.The photographs were taken on the ground by people who collected other information not contained on the negative. One must also ask how the Cajuns allowed themselves to be frozen in their encounters with photographers.  Finally, how did each party see their encounter with history — the ships to come.


One factor to be considered in understanding the look of Acadiana as the photographers encountered it is to understand the way peoples and cultures interacted with each other and the built or fabricated landscape. Acadiana had an identity as part of the United States as well as many other sources of its cultural identity. So besides Cajun culture in all its rich complexity and American culture in all its richness and complexity there were many other possible adjectives designating a culture which might be applied to  the people, buildings and physical objects which the  photographers tried to capture on film.


Besides Confederate, Francophone and American connections and empathies there are other ways of looking at patterns of people and cultures that in some way typified the region.  The region has a long tradition of harboring those whom some still call Emigres. Literally, this only means emigrants or people moving out of a country. However, in both Britain and the French colonies it acquired a special meaning as referring to the Bourbon nobility who fled from the guillotines that killed the majority of their population during France’s reign of terror which was in many ways brought on by the American Revolution and the French role in it.The pattern begun in those early days had continued  in the centuries before the SONJ projects and has gone on since those projects ended. These left visual cues that the photographers were poorly prepared to discern but would have shaped some of the lives and communities that they filmed or shot. Before Simone Delery’s book Napoleon’s Soldiers in America was published long after the years in question there was little available to alert people to the presence and contribution of the Napoleonic Officer Corps to Acadiana. The boy in Louisiana Story is named  not only Alexander and Ulysses but Napoleon and that name also is  an apt name for a Cajun boy in its own way.  

In certain circles accessible only to the folklorist in Louisiana Emigres is a designation that has come to mean highly elite populations of Francophone background who fled to Louisiana in organized groups to save their lives and settle. The waves of such refugees are: 1. The Bourbon Nobles fleeing the reign of terror, 2. the planter and merchant elite both creole of color and white race  fleeing Haiti after the slave revolt, 3.the Napoleonic Nobility and officer corps fleeing here after his first and second falls, 4. the small but significant group of French speaking Austrian Jews who came here after the fall of the Hapsburg Empire and 5. the Vietnamese specifically who either were themselves or were attached to the Nguyens who are the Royal Clan of Nguyen of the city of Hue and it family of the Kings and Queens of Indochine. Acadiana politics has also always had a somewhat distinctive quality and these layers of people laid on by migration to the basic population groups that existed before  has contributed to a politics with a kind of heritage of relatively right wing politics has been one stream in the complexity of region that produced four term Democrat Governor Edwin Edwards and the first female to hold the office in Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of New Iberia. Both were elected during a time when the Democrats were clearly to the left of the Republicans in what is basically a two party country. At the time of the SONJ photographs however, there had not been a governor from Acadiana since Governor Alexander Mouton the very Acadian Governor of Louisiana and father of the martyred Hero of Mansfield, General Alfred Mouton. The more recent years had seen a great decline in the prestige of the Cajuns and of the French language and although men like Jimmy Domengeaux and Dudley Leblanc were leading a movement to restore French and the Cajun heritage it was more noted for struggle than memorable victories in those years. This ascendance of English had a strong set of visual elements and manifestations. But most of all, to the degree that advertised products were most often Anglo-American or advertised in English, these picture, unable to capture spoken French, actually Anglicize the realities of their subjects’ lives by showing English words.  The photographers struggled to comprehend persistence and change in Acadiana just as scholars struggle today.  Todd Webb, one of the two Stryker photographers whose work most often appears in these pages, wrote to Roy Stryker the following contrast between Harnett Kane’s book and the realities surveyed.  “I was disappointed in La Fourche, where I went last Saturday and Sunday.”  Webb wrote from his hotel room in Baton Rouge, “I had read Harnett Kane’s  “The Bayous of Louisiana” (sic) and he neglected to say that a highway ran along the Bayou and that houses were really quite some distance away.  The people have turned almost completely away from the Bayou and the highway has taken its place.”  Webb would later discover that La Fourche had became famous as “the world’s longest street” and that in other communities the waterway still held ascendancy over graded right of way.  Kane, eager to see distinctiveness survive, had made La Fourche appear as riverine and unique in structure as it had been years ago. according to Webb. Not every scholar would agree about what Webb found. But we see this more clearly if we remember how he may have hoped for many easily obtained photographs of Cajuns in the town using the Bayous  and instead found cars, trucks, bicycles and wagons on the road did most of the work and achieved most of the connections between the Cajuns in this old Bayou Cajun settlement.


Acadiana during the 1940s offered much appeal to the photographers working there.  “Some day this week we are going to Abbeville to see Flaherty.”  Wrote Webb of the man producing Louisiana Story.  Robert Flaherty, recognized as the father of the documentary film, had received critical attention and some financial wealth for previous portrayals of remote cultures and places.  The man who had directed Nanook of the North, Man of Aran and Moana now brought his gifts to a Cajun subject.  His vision of a pristine culture would influence many.  The excitement of working with Flaherty in later days and Webb’s declaration that “Gross Tete and the Teche are both much better…(because they showed more cultural persistence than Bayou La Fourche)” all show that Webb and his boss never saw themselves as dispassionate scientists.  Yet, all parties to this project had ambivalent feelings about the ways this region differed from others in America. The distinctive appealed to them and made them feel successful. But that is not the same thing as them feeling that it should be preserved. However, from what can be remembered from nearly a quarter of a century ago there were more likely to be hostile statements from these generally Yankee aligned photographers when dealing with signs of the Confederacy and the antebellum South than when dealing with the distinctively Acadian. Todd Webb expressed weariness shooting Natchez which was “a crinoline crypt”. Nothing that strongly negative  was associated with his perceptions of Acadiana. But one must remember that a photographer can have all kinds of biases and a very defined agenda and still a shooter of the quality of any of these people will usually be longing most of all for the great picture most of all.  

The fact that there is no story titled Courir de Mardi Gras in the Roy Stryker SONJ collections is one of the most telling facts in the entire survey of what is and is not included in these photographs. The running on Fat Tuesday is certainly a very photogenic ritual of collection of chickens and other ingredients from members of a Cajun Community , beating the bounds around the physical limits of a community and a mixture of charity and intimidation. The whole rather elaborate ritual is  traditionally run by a ridelle under a captain. Men in masks and colorful costumes collect ingredients for a communal feast centered on chicken gumbo. This is done on the day before Lent begins with Ash Wednesday. Why this is not a major feature of the SONJ projects is open to question. But it is significant that it was absent.


The photograph has as complex a set of biases and insights as any other type of evidence.  Both art and science manifest themselves in the activity of photographers.  This paper has benefited from exposure to the correspondence between Roy Stryker and his photographers.  Stryker, while no photographer himself, loved the vision of the camera.  Stryker wrote the artistic and opinionated Webb encouraging words.  “Dear Todd, You are certainly going after Louisiana….” Wrote the office bound Stryker, wistfully, “Looks like the old Farm Security days:  storefronts, gravestones, interesting faces, etc., etc.  It was a nice set of pictures and I congratulate you.  Keep it up.”   The reader should recognize the living eyes which directed the mechanical ones. These men are deeply bound to their New Deal experience and the thing one often senses is that Standard Oil is subsidizing men and a few women whose hearts are invested in the old New Deal concepts. Neither Standard Oil nor the documentarians had a vision that came primarily from Acadiana or the Cajuns.  A photograph like any article of historical evidence is provided by a “witness” and comes through the filter made up of the witness’s interests, prejudices and medium of record.  Photographs provide access to subjects of various types within the context of a single document.  Careful analysis allows a unique view of gender, environment, popular culture and commerce to speak from the complex and holistic mesh of relationships which existed.


This study assumes that photographs have as significant and verifiable a message to convey to professional historians as any other medium. Text has been the dominant source type and should remain so but photographs matter as well.  It is difficult to determine how technical analysis of camera angles, lighting and other aspects of photography clouds the work.  Among the benefits of photographic sources, the greatest asset consists in their ability to speak to the reader’s imagination and intellect without too much introduction from their scholarly chaperone, the researcher.  However, the reader has no guarantee of any ultimate neutral objectivity on the part of the historian who must select the photographs and arrange them in order.Within the photographs, dress, vernacular architecture, transportation, ritual , and occupation serve as points of departure for scholarly inquiry.  The attempt has not been to support an essay on Acadian heritage and Cajun by looking at the breadth of visual imagery within the context provided  by texts and also try especially hard to seek out signs of persistence and assimilation with the  photographs providing key insights into the postwar period. The writer hopes to reveal in these picture and the study as a whole, the history of a people and region by investigating the information in a limited set of photographic documents as they relate to a limited set of questions of an historical rather than an artistic nature.  This study cares as much or more about the backgrounds of Todd Webb and Arnold Eagle, as a New Englander and an Eastern European immigrant respectively, as about their artistic style and is almost ignorant of the many technical questions about cameras, film and lighting which each of them had to answer every day.  A real effort has been made to understand these photographers and their perceptions and biases as well as all the cultural substance of the Cajuns, of Acadiana  and of whatever else they filmed. The human communication and perceptions and not the techniques of photography form the subject of this study.


The reason for mentioning that there was no folder called Courir de Mardi Gras is  because many photographs in this were taken as part of sets and kept as parts of “stories”, a term with a technical specific meaning here related to the ordinary English meaning .  These sets were centered around “stories” such as “The Pirogue Maker,” “River Story,” or “Scenes along a Bayou.”  This study seeks to recreate some of the feel of those stories even where the photographs have gravitated into very disparate sections of the SONJ files.  Perhaps, the final elements of structure to which this study aspires is a movement from environmental mandates on a human nature shared by all persons in all cultures toward those cultural and individual expressions which might never have happened except for unique Cajun experience.  Sometimes, the economy itself is distinctive and nowhere does culture cease to to shape and impact the relationship between Cajuns and their environment.  The section on architecture and the House in chapter one functions as a bridge between discussion of the functional and the sublime. and also between history and material culture studies. But America is a place where many things are hidden that would be obvious in a country where more people understood hidden hidden cultural realities.  


This study is an attempt to integrate sources and methods which are emerging as increasingly important in the study of history and to apply them to a unique set of historical questions. The most arrogant part of this work, and all good writing has an element of arrogance, is the effort to set a high standard of how historians can use photographic evidence. These questions are largely those on the interdisciplinary edge of history, community-studies, anthropology and cultural geography.  The desire by scholars today to recreate a lived experience of the majority of people in a historical period has inspired a wide range of scholarship of history and related subjects  in France and America particularly.


The study of photographs and sets of photographs allows the historian to determine the type of housing, farming and transportation which untied a recent society in a way not available from the descriptions in wills, building contracts standing structure surveys and the documents generated by agribusiness.  Vernacular architecture alone constitutes a part of cultural experience and articulation unknown to those reading social history until fairly recently.  Clearly photographs facilitate the development of a more ready apprehension of a region’s architectural style and landscape function than prose does.  The editors of Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture were somewhat inspiring to this writer in the early days of this project. I understand in researching the next section of this chapter that it brought out the potential of this quality of photographs and that the  Perspectives journal at the time was nearly as photographic in quality as it is textual.  Photographs also allow the historian to make strong prose arguments about the uniqueness of a style or the economic diversity of a farming community while allowing the reader access to evidence which functions as a counterbalance to the narrow focus of the writer.  Clearly, the historian has an obligation to describe individual photographs within the context of the photographer’s career and other factors not related to the function of the image a historical document or even as historical datum.  The wisdom of this approach and the value of the result are very much open to the question, all that is asked is that the study be evaluated on the basis of what it has set out to do.


Section Two of Chapter Two:


The Stryker photographers’ entire collection did not include much of the relatively few obvious very fine and upscale examples of Cajun architecture which are found near the places they photographed. They certainly did not seek out those which may have lost their distinct visual identity through renovation. Louisiana is a place which has several types of houses within the Creole and Cajun cultural milieu which have a basic modularity. The idea of a modular house in the extreme way in which these houses were modular is that one can start a house with a very modest amount of money and expenditure and live in it have a highly functioning cabin. One can then continue through many stages all the way up to something which can be called a mansion and at all phases have a highly functioning house except for the annoyance directly related to construction of new portions of the building. The system allows for many traits or ideals of the local culture to manifest themselves. There is self sufficiency which does not require a large mortgage, there is attachment to the land as one need not move in order to progress up the scale of financial progress and home value without leaving the same spot. It allowed the family, farm workers (slave or free when both existed) and contract labor to be divided with the home improvements the owners needed in a way which benefitted the builders who had to maintain less permanent labor and the farmer or business owner who might be glad to have work of value to him (or in some cases her) which his employees and dependents could engage in readily when the principal occupation of the establishment was interrupted. This sort of thing happens quite a bit in rural life. Often such an interruption might also involve weather that makes home improvement impossible but there would also be many times when it would be possible to work on the house but not on the normal profit center of the establishment. Thus  in the mindset dsitnctive of the region value could be added even when immediate profits could not be achieved.


After the relative decline of much of the region following both the Civil War and World War One The modular technology common to architecture in the region also had the effect of allowing the owner to disguise the distinct cultural identity of the home by adding what amounted to nondescript or confusing elements to later modules. Thus in time entire groups of houses with  a basic Creole or Acadian identity  were instead sort of odd mainstream American or regional Southern houses.


As stated above, the Stryker photographers’ entire collection  of architectural or architecturally framed images did not include much of the relatively few obvious very fine and upscale examples of Cajun architecture which are found near the places they photographed. The same selective interest also goes for more upscale typically Southern and Creole architecture from the nineteenth century which dots the countryside and clusters in the towns and villages of Acadiana. How such distinctions are made and how various housing types relate to the people living in the towns is a question beyond the scope of this study. But in general the types of houses described above do exist and are not much found in the SONJ photographs.  The interests they followed were not laser focused and narrowly singular either. was in evidence which depicted the economically disadvantaged, the working class, the Acadian, the industrial and the natural —  a house had the best chance of making it on to film if it was a poor or low cost home with a moderate Acadian identity and working class occupants in an industrial or very natural set of environs. Few houses had all those qualities but the trends and tendencies are clearly there. In studying what is on the film there is always a need to remember what is not making it into the lenses. Like all works of human understanding these photographs telescoped reality into a coherent set of themes, concepts and relationships.  To a large degree, the metaphorical ships have left and the words have little context if we do not have someone to tell us they were there. The pictures come from a place and time. WIth the benefit of a broader cultural history that  shows that place and time the photographs have the opportunity to become coherent conversations once again. The historical background provides a kind of map and description such as a good Crime Scene Investigation Unit might compile after a crime has occurred. This at least is a simile and not another metaphor.


During the research for this study a  significant survey of Acadian heritage and pure Cajun houses was undertaken directly by this writer under the direction of Jay Edwards of Louisiana State University, an anthropologist who also directed the Fred Kniffen Laboratory. This project was undertaken in conjunction with his Vernacular Architecture Seminar. The underlying purpose was to get some idea of the prevalence or at least availability of the Cajun House to the photographers in a small area that virtually all of them would have visited more than once. In that project a research was conducted of traditional communities, collections of traditional houses such as exists in Acadian Village in Lafayette. A review of  the Vermilionville living history component of the Jean Lafitte National Park and finally to review folkloristic and historical textual sources and photographs. Unfortunately, the research produced by that last part was lost and the reader will have to rely on the general sense of the sources from which it was drawn as manifest in the bibliography of this text.


After, that research was done a formulaic concept was put forward which allowed for some points in more scientific system as well as an informed judgement  in a more humanist system Using both systems it was arranged for evaluations to be made and credited for  the deviations from the standard to be well understood. This second phase of the project culminated with positing that a classic Cajun house developed which had all or most of a set of easily charted features, including the following:  

  1. A sharply inclined gabled roof.
  2. Construction of cypress walls lined on the inside with a mix of Spanish moss and mud.
  3. The floor is elevated on piers from the ground.
  4. Has galleries in the front and back of the house.
  5. The front and back of the house are on the longer sides of The rectangular structure.
  6. The front gallery runs the full length, or very nearly the full length of the house.
  7. The space above the ceiling is habitable.
  8. The windows have non-louvered shutters
  9. The galleries are beneath the solid wedge of the roof and not beneath an extension of the roof.
  10. There are windows on every side of the house.
  11. The roof is covered with cypress shakes.
  12. The profile includes an acute, an obtuse, and two right angles in its elevation
  13. The walls consist of center-matched or quarter-matched horizontal planks

The third stage of the project was to survey all houses on the road which becomes State St. in Abbeville and record a positive or negative for each characteristic, this survey will extend from the Woodlawn bridge to Henry Louisiana, The other route surveyed will be Hwy. 14-Concorde St.-Charity St. from Kaplan to Erath.  A drive by photographic survey was made first. then an external sampling of measures and more photographs was made of homes scoring at each level range of high medium and  low  However there were entire segments that were not sampled in each category. These samples at all three  levels will provided a little scientific basis for asking how many houses embody enough of these qualities qualities to be a visibly Cajun House..  At least one photograph and the physical location of each house with a score of eight or more positives will be retrieved in this portion of the project. Then a good number of the high scoring sample houses and a few houses in the four to six  points range were entered and thoroughly  examined for construction techniques and the  effects of renovation. The results of all these investigations was preserved and the were recorded and  contrasts between high scoring exteriors and inauthentic construction techniques were noted .


Fourthly, the age, variation, appearance and general feel of the houses with the scores will be contrasted with the model house. it was then evident that the tradition was more varied and vibrant and complex than the model but that the model was nonetheless a very good rubric for having a good investigation and good conversations with owners. Flaws in the set of characteristics and the method as it unfolded were discussed with Doctor Edwards, with owners of the houses and residents and before he dropped out to pursue a related project I discussed these things with the architecture graduate student who was my research partner. Files were developed for  Houses which scored high without seeming Cajun and those scoring low while appearing Cajun will be photographed and discussed.Finally, an effort was made to determine whether certain sets of characteristics appeared together most often and to set up a formula whereby one can analyze the basic frequency of certain characteristics.  

I ended this project with a great deal of confidence that the Cajun House was an important part of the landscape and that it was fair to note that the SONJ photographers had not come to understand the  Cajun House very well.  It seemed that the limits and structural qualities of their project had a great deal to do with why they did see well and missed many opportunities. It was a fair modern American response to ask the question: who decides what a Cajun house is, and what its features distinguish it?


But I was left feeling equally sure that the question could be answered fairly well and that the shallow quality of the architectural awareness I detected in almost every photographer was a real thing to be criticized. That question underlies other questions about Acadiana’s vernacular architecture.  The region is a diverse and complex landscape where the natural, built and near-built environment interact in very close and somewhat subtle ways.  No single simple structural analysis can make sense of all the buildings and builders which have appeared on the scene in this new Acadia.  This chapter discusses a sort of “classic” house.  This typical Cajun house represents a significant number of homes built during those periods of history in which Cajuns developed greatest autonomy and community identity in Louisiana.  This discussion also takes note of the new archaeological evidence for a distinct Acadian architecture prior to the expulsion from Canada’s original Acadia.  The house type defined as Cajun hereis readily recognized locally and has inspired very numerous works of folk art, including paintings, drawings and photographs as well as three dimensional models and toys in a variety of forms.  Furthermore, the house type has commonly served as a symbol for those seeking to promote local “cultural tourism” by outsiders and finally it is a house-form continuously adapted and imitated by Cajuns for their own homes until the time of this writing.


The exact situation in the 1940s was not possible to determine in the time I had but it was possible to see that these photographers and their wealthy patron could have learned a great deal more than they appeared to have actually bothered to learn. The sense this gave me was not that they missed the whole of Acadian architecture but that what they did miss mattered and could be evaluated.


In the environs of Lafayette, Louisiana (the largest city in the prairie region of Acadiana) two collections of historic Acadian or Cajun houses have been established and made open to the public.  The oldest of the two collections is the Acadian Village, operated by the Lafayette Association for Retarded Citizens which was developed in the 1970s.  The six houses appearing in figure “insert info.” vary significantly in age.  The Aurelie Bernard house, formerly of St. Martinville consists of two portions the original built around 1800 and a symmetrical extension sideways added in 1840.  The Thibodeaux house from Breaux Bridge and the Le Blanc house from near Youngsville both date from near the end of the antebellum period.


The fairly broad sampling of prairie Cajun houses at Acadian village constitutes a reasonable representation of what local people see as classic Cajun vernacular architecture.  Many feature predominate in these Acadian Village houses as a group but there is also a gegree of variety in the features of each house.  Significantly, all the Cajun houses at Acadian Village share the following features:


First, all have gabled roofs.

Second, all have an eaveside front.

Third, all have a  basic frontal symmetry with regard to doors and windows.

Fourth, all have a gallery under the eaveside.

Fifth, all are elevated from the ground on piers.

Many other features including the use of cypress in construction appear in all these Acadian Village houses. These houses were not conveniently collected in the 1940s but they were around and people were talking about them.


Those details await further discussion below.  The second collection of houses also serves as a useful reference point from which to evaluate the SONJ photographs and their record of Cajun life.  Vermilionville is a project of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the humanities.


The two Cajun or Acadian homes actually collected from the surrounding area share the five features listed above as common to the Acadian Village homes.  They also share cypress construction and other features not listed above with the Acadian Village homes.

One of the homes brought to Vermilionville belonged to Armand Broussard a wealthy Cajun who belonged to the slaveholding planter class.  the house appears distinctly Cajun despite some ornamentation which may have been Anglo-American and Creole in inspiration. In my view of the visual language of the area it seemed to me that the owner was asserting both ethnic identity and a sense wishing to be part of his region and country in which Cajuns were not the dominant ethnic group.  This Broussard home was built in 1790 and its large area and elegant appearance show that the Cajun style was apt for building homes which were as comfortable as most if not all in the surrounding area.  Another home of comparable elegance at Vermilionville is a hipped roof Creole home brought from the Mississippi River Valley and not to be confused with the local architecture.


The above description of these buildings serve merely to demonstrate in verifiable terms a fact which is difficult to support from written sources but which is readily apparent to a perceptive observer.  That fact is that people in Acadiana share a perception of the Cajun or Acadian house.  In fact Cajun people and their neighbors who wish to be more like them have continued to model their homes on this image throughout this century — before and after the SONJ projects.


Important questions arise concerning the interplay between the geographical and historical reality of Cajun houses, the perception of local people that certain features typified a Cajun house and the attitudes of outside researchers and artists towards the local vernacular architecture.  Over the entire history of Cajun houses to the present a complex system of feedback has occurred in which a tradition developed and was understood.  Artists, builders and consumers reacted to the tradition.  The newer homes within a still definable tradition expressed reaction to previous buildings and the impression those buildings had made on the community.  The cycle would continue as these buildings in turn shaped perceptions and were used as models for further building. Thus in short the process of change after establishment in Louisiana might be described as follows:

A= Acadian building tradition as far as an important symbol of their home in what is now Nova Scotia..

e = The effect of environmentally driven adaptations derived from the Caribbean, Louisiana elsewhere. Dating techniques seem to show that the first homes appear to have largely reflected A but quickly became Ae in reaction to the differences in climate and available building materials. and Visual Rhetoric


Section Three of Chapter Two:

( Note to 2016 review group at LSU the images are not currently available to be seen, Reading the text is not entirely pointless in my opinion or I would not be sending this in to be read)


The last section of this chapter is a careful examination of some of the images themselves.

it is the heart of this study in which after all the background has been established and before a higher criticism has been applied to the methodologies the photographs are allowed to inform those interested in history. That is they both guide a focus of external evidence and allow for purely visual information not otherwise readily available.

Plate one, photographed by Todd Webb in May 1947, displays the complex rural pattern of cultural and technological development in an assimilating Acadiana.  The levees show both persistence and change in farming and in relations between various cultures and the people who lived those cultures.  Acadiana in Nova Scotia made levees to protect their crops from encroaching swamp and sea water.  The later immigrants from Scotland hired Acadians to design and maintain their hydraulic systems.  In plate one, levees remain a daily part of life, but the water management of rice, not corn or other grains, emerge as the problem.  Here flooded and prepared fields await the airplanes which will plant seed in a broadcast method — strangely combining  new technology with the oldest form of sowing grain.

The farmhouse is of a Southern “shotgun” architecture, which in itself may be a primal expression of Louisiana’s vernacular architecture.  The home is a set of rooms, two rooms wide, going back to the kitchen.  A separate roof covers the porch.  A more traditional Cajun home in contrast would have two storeys , the first alone having a ceiling, and the upper floor would extend over the porch.  The Cajun home traditionally had a steeper roof and rested on cypress blocks at 15 points.  While even the home appearing in plate two, differs from the most typical homes, the Acadian home went through an eighteenth century and possibly two nineteenth century shifts in design and could also expand sideways from its original 15 block base.  Cajun architecture remained significantly adaptable throughout the nineteenth century and has enjoyed a miniscule revival in the last two decades.

The following chapter goes into a more careful and detailed study of Cajun vernacular architecture than is possible in this chapter.  There seems to have been a continuous adaptation to outside forces but there is also a sort of geometrical rhetoric of Cajun houses which is evident during the thirties, forties and even at the time of this writing.  This rhetorical system could preserve forms despite changes in materials and technologies.  The photographers seem to have had a fairly good eye for the “traditional Cajun house” in all its permutations.  The silhouette with its gallery cut away into the eaveside of a gabled house and the eaveside gallery fronting an artery  of the village (bayou or street) is the strongest feature of Cajun vernacular architecture.  This silhouette functions as a sculpted shape against the sky which makes a political statement about community an identity.  A statistical sample taken and anlyzed by this writer indicates that many such houses exist even among newly constructed houses today.  The survival of Cajun vernacular architecture indicates the kind of complexity which exists in the collection of photographs and is confirmed by other evidence.  An important hypothesis for this study is that Cajuns adopted their neighbors’ artifacts and values but also propagated their own values and artifacts to their neighbors.  The evidence gathered for this study indicates that a unique cultural region has endured and does not appear to be in danger of dissappearing soon and even communicates more of its music, foodways and ideas than ever before to the larger society. On the other hand the differences between the larger culture and Acadiana as a society are somewhat less dramatic than in the past.

Why the Acadian home has more often vanished than it has been modified becomes a complex problem.  Architects today admit that, in terms of comfort in the elements and function, the Acadian home outperformed most structures available during its decline.  Apparently, the conformity of farmers who wished to have an American home conspired with the diminishing number of builders who possessed the knowledge to construct an Acadian home.  Carl A. Brasseaux’s discussion of housing in The Founding of the New Acadia and Lauren Post’s discussion in Cajun Sketches offer more highly accessible treatments of these issues.  Apparently the house varied in construction and yet remained within distinct parameters of cultural development.  The photographers did not know a great deal about housing or about the different influences which might be displayed.  Todd Webb, who despised ante-bellum mansions, the French quarter and Southern pride also detected a pride by the Cajuns in their  old cypress homes.

Webb’s impression of the people and their relationship to these houses seems richer in prejudice then perception.

“W.B. has lined up an old house for me which I am

     staring on tomorrow.”  He wrote to Stryker, The way

     they cherish these old houses gives me a pain in

     the ass but I think it will be pretty interesting

     to photograph.  The Live Oaks (sic), festooned

     with moss are fascinating and somehow seem to

     be in line with the decadence that I feel in the

     South.  The cypress tree is a wonder, not only in

     growth but in use.  The wood itself is beautiful

     and almost everlasting and it is almost extinct (sic).

     Another American tragedy of which there are

     many in the South.”

The family in the shotgun home pictured here in plate one in 1947, lived near Abbeville.  These farm people likely spoke French and English, canned foods themselves and bought them canned.  Their furnishings may have included Cajun spindle and calfskin chairs purchased nearby, as well as various store-bought and mass produced products.

Plate one is a composite picture of gradual transformation which reflects the relative independence of the Cajun farmer.  Unlike the urban ethnic working for a non-ethnic, the Cajun farmer could adapt gradually to a changing world.  His family would embrace a new product or folkway because they preferred it, or because it more efficient or at least because the old ways had perished for lack of expertise and supply.  The Acadiana region retained a sufficient base of independent producers to account for their relative autonomy as a culture for 200 years.

Harnett Kane called Acadiana a land of “primarily small men and small affairs,” James H. Dorman has written of the prevalence of “ribbon farms,” and few have failed to mention this diffusion of capital.  The “ribbon farm” serves to highlight the importance of community to a society of small land-holders.  “Ribbon farms” is the term which rural sociologists use to describe farms where farmers live near one another, have some centralized services and work small holdings.  Even today many rural Cajuns work for themselves.  Slavery, sharecropping, salaried work, and accumulated wealth have all changes the region. The industry paying for this project also was already having and would continue to have an effect. The income from oil leases and royalties allowed extended families and nuclear families villages and other units of Cajun culture to make better adjustments to the demands of the era and the problems with the limits of the region than if those oil checks had not come in. In folkloristic terms many oil people from outside the region have commented on how the Cajuns were notable for marrying oil money. Because of legal situation that amount to a great deal on wonders if this book will ever be published if one writes that the oil industry also imposed many costs on the Cajuns that were never mitigated or even recognized. This cost however was very real and still goes on and the legacy lawsuits that have recently been the subject of much controversy are only a small part of that picture. But it is also true that oil provided a much appreciated  and  unique support to the economic struggles and plans of the small landholders of the region. The oil industry  came at just the right time to prevent other crises and  to bolster and support a life of  hard work and the productive capital that the typical small farmer or  (more rarely) landowning trapper already had and continued to maintain. Oil was in itself a kind of economic system recreating the main business climate in the region, in it there were many benefits and opportunities and also some very destructive and unpleasant forces. In that way it was not so different than many other economic systems which had existed at various times in the region.  None of those economic systems ever eroded the base of Cajun autonomous small producers so radically that the tradition of independence withered entirely away.  Cajun racism in the past to the degree that it was distinctive in any way from other racism tended to  focus more on two factors. Those factors were the relatively weak honors an African-American genealogy  would bring to a family and therefore a desire to limit mutual filiation. The second factor was keyed to the fact that Blacks, even free people before and after the war, tended to be employed by wealthier people. Thus free black planters had a very important role. Cajuns had always shared employment within classes  or segments and employed some fellow cajuns continually, But working one’s own capital and means of production and doing this as much as possible within a community with a few elite leaders of significant wealth and with communal facilities  remained a persistent ideal over the centuries and regions. Very little racial conflict or violence ever occurred between Cajuns and Black farmers and ranchers who lived in more or less autonomous communities when the Cajuns were relatively stable and at peace. Men who had beliefs and used language no history department at a major university in the United States would be likely to support would beat  and intimidate white men who were or were not Cajuns and engaged in race baiting of the local colored farming communities. However, in crises there was always a sense among everyone in the region that virtually anything might happen. Some of Longfellow’s idea of a people who love peace above all else is true. That is partly because Cajuns fear more than most people what they may become when pressed too hard. Whether true or not the idea of limitless rage as an ethnic quality is very old and widespread.


Farming and Cattle ranching, war and the learned professions are the most amenable ways to advance in Cajun culture across many times in history.   In recent years, trapping continues but has not enjoyed expansion or been able to offer much steady employment, commercial hunting in banned, and barnyard and cottage industries have declined in recent years.  Only the aquaculture and fisheries enable large numbers of small producers to earn a good living without dependence on the employer.  Those same industries employ many people in the processing and marketing end of the industry, proportionately more Blacks, Anglos and Vietnamese than Cajuns.  Where French language and Cajun customs persist most intensely, where the community is less closely tied to the mainstream labor market, more people enjoy the autonomy traditional to Cajun life.


If the farm in plate one also included stock operations the herd would likely have found its way a few miles up the road to the corrals directly behind the men pictured in plate three.  This stockyard sat on the nearby Richard family property on North Henry Road just outside Abbeville.  The local stock traders watch an auction in progress.  Like much of the local economy, stock auctions were managed by a cooperative.  The auctions in this building occurred in a sort of amphitheater where the cattle could be viewed in small lots when driven in from behind the wall against which the boy is seated.  These men look like other stockmen and farmers in other places.  The lack of accouterments of “cowboy” culture (boots, Stetsons, wide belts, etc.) distinguishes them from groups to the West of Acadiana.  However, this serves as an example of visual images with little evidence of cultural autonomy.  Assimilation seems nearly total.

This picture required the photographer to do very little in terms of composition.  The mix of people, all male and all serious captures enough of the mood sought by the photographer conspicuous to his subjects and yet he does not greatly alter their behavior.

One of the traps a scholar can leap into in this type of study concerns the distinction between Southwestern Louisiana’s economic adaptation and Cajun culture, with the grassy prairies here any European group would have raised cattle.  Nonetheless, stock-raising has formed a vital part of the Cajun economy since first settlement.  In the early days, this mobile property was brought and sold in the bordering lands of Mexico, English West Florida and among the Anglo-Americans settling above Acadiana.  This provided some of the needed money for transportation, resettlement and the development of the lands in the area.  Another form of trade which competed with the cattle drive was the water traffic in furs and foodstuffs which once tied together all of Southwestern Louisiana.  To exclude the physical environment from any model of how behaviors developed would miss a great deal.  Yet the interaction between human culture and the environment becomes highly complex in practice.


The farm near Abbeville and the stockmen both exemplify change and assimilation on the prairie.  The life of Cajuns on the prairies of Southwest Louisiana can not easily  distinguish its ways of sustaining prosperity from countless other plains and prairie cultures.  To the degree that the prairie economy was distinctive, such distinctions (flooding fields for rice, crawfish and catfish) drew upon a wetlands tradition.


The photographer took the picture in plate four not because it was typical but because it fulfilled Stryker’s mission of recording that which soon might pass away.  Without human figures, the photo records the garden and the home as a slice of history.  Empty of children and the other active signs of life the picture speaks, appropriately enough, of a past in which such homes as this had dominated their surroundings.  The intensity of economic production which left little room for such luxuries as a front yard reminds one that Acadiana has never experienced the depopulation of the countryside, by migration to the city, which characterized the rest of the nation since the 1880s.  The land grows ever more populous creating pressures for high profit, labor intensive rural industries.  Journalists, scholars, politicians, economists and sociologists tend toward the urbane.  Fewer intellectuals and writers who become well-known write from the prospective of a resident in a small rural community.  Perhaps this has something to do with those who see poverty whenever they see farms.  If a family owns herds, buildings, boats, and tools and a small spread of land but the immediate descendants of that family become debt-encumbered, college-educated condominium dwellers does that constitute upward social mobility?  In most economic and psychic terms it certainly constitutes a fall in fortunes.  Consumerism and prosperity must be distinguished  by a historian seeking to study those who cherish an economy based on subsistence and cooperation.


This small home has more Cajun features than the shotgun home on the Abbeville rice farm in plate one.  The economic conservative living in the home pictured in plate four practiced a mix of commercial cucumber planting and shrimping.  Such a mixed economy had already declined in Grand Isle, most of this shrimper’s neighbors had abandoned cucumbers to invest themselves completely in the increasingly lucrative seafood industry.  This raises certain ecological questions.  The earlier wetlands economy involved such a variety of small scale operations that the region’s natural balance continued. to produce sufficiently for the population.  Once refrigeration and better transportation made more distant markets accessible, certain aspects of the Cajun economy would benefit unequally.  This change did not obliterate distinctive cultural traditions, it could accelerate assimilation and damage the environment.


One also wonders if the shrimper’s wife lost economic status as production moved into the male dominated offshore world.  Did barnyard animals and subsistence gardening diminish as life and work became more specialized?  The answer seems to be that Cajun women experienced role strain and had to adjust in a much shorter period of time to the transition from a world of family economics, to male providence of nearly all wealth and again to a two career or cooperative economy.  It is unlikely that a significant number of most rural wetlands Cajun women ever divorced themselves from income producing activities or lost power and interest in the world outside the home.


The role of women in the economy of Acadiana is tied partly to the role of the family in the economy.  Acadiana in the twentieth century has increasingly moved towards the separation of family life and economic production which typifies the modern, industrial and post-industrial global economy.  Like countless traditional societies, the Cajuns have been forced to adapt to an increasingly market driven economy in which the accumulation of capital and the development of the new technologies has increasingly led to a specialization and concentration on the production of a few goods and services by members of units other than families.


The success of the local culture in maintaining a large economic base tied to its traditional folk activities is remarkable despite the relative decline of such activities.  The home garden and the small barnyard establishment of chickens, and milk cows have fared less well than traditional male activities discussed in detail below.  However, research would need to be done to ascertain how many families remained vital economic units.  There are still farm families where both spouses cooperate on producing a few staples, women who run small businesses with their relatives from their homes and other signs of persisting involvement by some Cajun women in preserving their families’ economic independence from marketing their labor and developing the capital of others.


The role of women in the culture of Acadiana has yet to become the sole focus of a single monograph.  The economic and social development of the region must include women.Cajun society was still in the early Postwar period  patriarchal to the degree which nearly all Western cultures and many others have recognized men’s authority over their family.  Women certainly expected that during their peak childbearing years wives  focused much of their energy on childbearing and child rearing and that men did not


The old woman in plate five had over 100 living descendants and appears in the Stryker collection posed in the same porch and chair beside one of her youngest great grandchildren.  Rural and aged as she was, the photographers must have been as alien to her as she was to them and perhaps they captured this in the way her expression fails to engage the viewer directly.


In the photographs of Acadiana as opposed to other regions, the Stryker photographers have a high incidence of men smiling and relatively expressive of physical affection to their children.  On that basis alone one could not make much of an argument about relationships between family members.  However, it appears that many photographs show men in the region holding their children and smiling among other photographs taken in Acadiana in the earlier part of the twentieth century.  Many also show the serious paternal poses which were typical of the time.  Perhaps Cajun men felt more comfortable expressing physical affection for their children than did some other ethnic groups.


The following picture, plate six simply depicts the pride of a father in his healthy young child.  Cajun culture in prairie and wetlands centered around family life.  Religion, commerce and politics were all shaped by the family.  In politics for example a title of great power before a name was “Cousin,” and in doing business the negotiations between strangers are often preceded by an effort to discover and recognize any familial ties between the parties.  In the pejorative terminology of American mainstream society, nepotism functioned as a central mechanism of Cajun life.  This lifeway allowed the Cajuns to survive.  The keen scientific observer and Spanish governor Antonio de Uloa (much maligned for a passive administration) said of the “Acadianos” in 1766, that they were a “people who live as if they were a single family…; they give each other assistance…as if they were all brothers and sisters, thus making them more desirable as settlers than any other kind of people.”


Despite the remarkable lack of credit and attention given to the people about whom Ulloa wrote it would be difficult to comprehend the draining, dredging, flooding and clearing which the Cajuns had to achieve in order to subsist in what remained a wetlands environment.  Their contribution to the state and the Gulf Coast overshadows that of many better understood groups.


Even in 1992, the folkways of beginning a relationship by seeking to find a kinship tie endures.  Kinship exists in two ways, first there is genetic kinship.  The second type, ritual kinship has been studied in somewhat different forms in the Caribbean, the Philippines and Latin America and will be discussed later in this study.  Third cousins once removed even today may feel significant bonds as “family” which they do not find with non-relatives.  The degree to which they do not find with non-relatives.  The degree to which such values can survive in a society and world which literally worships the individual as the creative source of all that is valuable in life perhaps amazes an observer of twentieth century Cajuns more than anything else.  Families may often be classes by outside “scientists” as codependent, dysfunctional or repressive.  Sometimes they seem appropriately warm and supportive.  However, close extended family ties form a basic element of Cajun culture.


The spirit of extended family loyalties is captures in B.A. Botkin’s A Treasury of Southern Folklore . The details might well represent the perceptions of an entirely candid if effusive observer in a very ordinary situation in Vermilion Parish.  The slightly patronizing tones of the author should not detract from the forceful distinction he made between his and the Cajun’s concept of family.

 “One pitchy black night” writes Irvin S. Cobb

  in the hunting season, five years ago (circa

  1920), we were feeling our way along the bayou

  below Abbeville on our way to the ducking

       grounds.  In a sharp turn our launch went

  hard aground.  The prospect seemed to be that

  we would stay right were we were until morning

  or even later than that….

  There were four of us in the party–three

  outlanders and one native – and inevitably

  the native was a Broussard.  He went aft

  and leaned over the rail and speaking in

  French, he sent his voice out across those

  empty spaces….Promptly out of the void

  came first one answering voice and then

  another and yet a third (The three men freed

  the boat from the mud and refused the narrator’s

  offer to pay)….When navigation had been

  resumed I put a question to the resident:

  “How did you know those chaps were living

  out here in this wilderness?”

  “I didn’t … I took a chance.  I yelled out

  that there was a Broussard in trouble here

  on the mudbank and that if he had any cousins

  around here he’d like them to rally around.

  So they rallied around and rescued us.”


Another form of kinship consists of ritual kinship.  The concept may seem alien to Anglo-Americans, yet it is the nature of relationships between in-laws.  The difference being that, in America another ritual can also bind people in ties of kinship.  Baptism produces a Parrain and a Nanan for the Cajun child.  This relationship has declined in status during the last several decades, yet continues to enjoy significant prestige.  Parrain may translate into “Godfather” but the roles assigned to such figures in Acadiana are far more prestigious and complex than among Anglo-Catholics while less important than in Spanish culture.


Extended family and nuclear family exist within traditional Western European concepts of family.  To this day, a high degree of endogamy (marriage within the overall Cajun culture) and of geographical proximity to one’s relatives combines within a goodly number of family reunions, a high interest in genealogies and a resurgence of regional pride to keep extended family ties alive.  Nonetheless, the educational, economic and legal structures of the United States effectively discourage the intricate mesh of socio-economic collaboration which supported the Cajun extended family for so long.  By the time these photographs were taken, some degree of erosion of extended familial ties was visible.  In the study of kinship, the historian confronts evidence of American forces of assimilation which may in time annihilate Cajun distinctiveness.


Marriage remains the central relationship in Cajun culture.  In the 1940s divorce was nearly unknown and the Alleman’s who appear in plate seven certainly would have defined themselves as life-partners.  Nonetheless, compared to the warm and affectionate pictures of fathers with their children, this image does not reveal great warmth of intimacy.


Arnold Eagle has clearly posed these people and both are looking directly at the camera.  Nonetheless, no evidence exists to suggest that he modified their habitual seating or living arrangement.  In the 1930s collection by Stryker’s F.S,A. Photographers, trappers ‘ camps appear as ruinous, but those did not constitute year-round dwellings.  The Cajun homes if clean, and practical often lack much beauty.  The guns, fireplace, the lamp and the crucifix all serve a practical function (religion would have seemed practical).  The Acadian people’s experience of a demanding environment and unsympathetic government and corporate neighbors as well as limited church activity in the area may have contributed to the strong pragmatic bent of the culture.  A “Down to earth” level of prosperity, safety first farming dwelling and a close relationship with the wilderness characterized the type of lifestyle perceived as sensible.  This did not preclude wage earning, commerce or expensive celebrations but it did preclude spending too much on consumer goods and objets d’art.


Taking a picture of this family and those things which their most casual visitors could see, Eagle uses the bright interior lighting to emphasize the stark simplicity of these people’s lives.  Edbon Alleman’s more central position, in front of the fireplace, and his stern look, crossed legs and hands gripping his rocker as a throne contrast with Mrs. Alleman’s demure gaze, her hands in her lap.  Cajun women have often been seen by outsiders to have forceful and talkative personalities, yet by recent feminist standards it is clear that Mr. Alleman “headed” his home when intrusive outsiders were around.


Cajun families have always possessed guns for hunting and during the French and Indian War, War of 1812 and Civil War they bore their own arms into battle.  The guns may disturb the urban eye of the late twentieth century (they remain ubiquitous among Cajuns).  Most Americans movies and songs made about outsiders in Acadiana such a Southern Comfort, Gator Bait and “The Highway Goes on Forever” portray the Cajuns as extremely violent, no doubt some basis exists for this.  Cajuns have long endured hostility and persecution from powerful outsiders, sometimes these territorial people have added to such conflicts.  Acadians fought the British in Acadia in the late 1750s.  Their descendants opposed outsiders with force between 1850 and 1870.  In more recent times, Cajuns supported and assisted Vietnamese Catholics in their resettlement in Acadiana, but violence punctuated competition over fishing rights.  Vietnamese fisherman were not aware of the orally agreed upon territories of Cajun fishermen.  Overwhelmingly, however, a Cajun home has received les autres with hospitality and coffee, like extended family.


From the marital unit, Cajuns established social, religious and commercial ties to other families.  According to Lauren C. Post, and most other authorities, women controlled many of the chattels which produced cash, especially chicken and milch cows.  They also maintained gardens and spinning wheels well into the first decade of this century.  Men traditionally controlled the land, herds of cattle and hogs which the family brought to market less often but for greater sums.  Adolescent males hunted, fished, did chores and raised their own funds through countless small youth dominated industries (bountying, frogging, etc.).  Cajun youth often provided a significant portion of the meat and fish eaten by the family.  Cajun families swapped woolens and game, cooperated with neighbors in halerie, boucherie, couverage, the planning of the village fais do do, and the normal affairs of business and politics.  Of all the various means for such connections, coffee seems to have been the most common excuse for prolonged interaction.


Here in plate eight, the Allemans entertain in the way one might entertain men who had come to discuss politics or business but whom one knew well.  Notice the relative ease that which these people feel on the porch.  Two men still manifest an awareness of the intrusive camera but one perceives the breezy comfort which the porch both symbolizes and provides.  Eagle has angled this picture in such a way as to capture all three open sides of the porch, the open windows and the open door, the attic vent and the space below the raised house.  by the 1960s, the air conditioner and the television would do much to erode the role of the porch (as throughout the Anglo and African regions of the South), yet,  as late as this writing, Cajun culture is an out-of-doors way of life.  Street dances, festivals, water-sports, hunting, fishing, new technologies in aquaculture and petroleum mining and the other mixes of old and new activities express the connection of the people to the wide and flat openness broken by giant oaks beneath a vast blue or clouded sky.  People did not feel less welcome on the porch.  They only felt cooler in the long, hot and humid months of the summer.


Coffee, in 1945, was not the weak adjunct to hospitality which is found in a jar of freeze-dried granules.  It was a gift.  Acadian coffee remained a source of pride for the people of the region.  Made strong enough that it seemed pure black in a demi-tasse (a very small cup).  Cajuns worked for some time on their coffee, “Ca c’est bon le cafe! ” being a prized compliment.  Most families considered themselves past masters at this art.  The technique of making coffee shows how interaction for centuries with Anglo-American culture (beginning in Nova Scotia) allowed the Cajuns to believe that all Cajuns did certain things better than other peoples.  The Cajuns typically also stereotyped various groups of outsiders based on certain properties. It is very hard to say with certainty how welcome the outsiders with cameras felt in Acadiana. But that will be discussed at some length in another chapter.


Emanuel Moras, the raconteur whose tale appears  earlier in this  chapter, told the following tale:

“There was a fruit peddler who got on

         a steamer to cross the ocean.  The captain

         objected to having him on board because

         he thought the fish would capsize his

         steamer in order to get the fruits, but

         he was assured it would not happen, so

         the peddler was allowed to remain on

         board.  While at sea, the fish got on.

         The captain grabbed the box of oranges

         and threw it overboard when he saw a

         big fish getting on.  The fish swallowed

         the box and a little later came back for

         some more.  This time the captain threw

         the basket of bananas overboard.  The fish

         swallowed it, and returned later.  This time

         they threw the Dago (Italian-American) over-

         The ship reached land safely.  A year later,

         the fisherman caught the fish, cut him open

         without knowing the history of the fish.

         They found the Dago.  He was sitting on a

         box of oranges, selling bananas at the

         same old price, two for a nickel.  He had not

         changed his price.”


Food and drink and economics distinguished the Italian-Americans in Cajun folk imagination and homemade, laboriously prepared and generously shared coffee distinguished the Cajuns in their own minds.


The coffee beans were patiently roasted to “between” medium and dark in a stove-top roaster.  French drip coffee has all but vanished since the sixties, in the 1940s it was made with the kind of concentration evinced by joseph Mouton, a cattle rancher and small-scale meat packer entertained the photographer with a steak dinner and Webb took pictures of most of his daily routine.  The Moutons exemplify a common case in the area, this family held substantial assets in head of cattle, land, equipment and businesses.  Unlike wealthy or substantial persons elsewhere, the Moutons employed little non-family labor.  Their home and dress remain as stark and austere as their neighbors’.  Their manner and porch lack even the simple refinements of the Allemans.


Traditionally, husbands made a family’s very early first pot of coffee.  Wives made the subsequent ones.Mrs. Mouton in plate ten, serves a late morning pot to her husband and one other man in a much more casual way then Mrs. Alleman.  Joseph Mouton would seldom do business at home while Alleman may have been entertaining customers of his pirogue making shop.  Mr. Alleman is pictured in plate  eleven with the tools of his trade and one of his products.  Edbon Alleman’s craft served a vital function in the complex of skills and techniques which allowed the Cajuns to thrive in the wetlands.


Plates twelve through eighteen trace a single material Cajun response to the local environment and the universal human need for transportation.  Arnold Eagle who took these photographs also made a film entitled The Pirogue Maker.  This film shows the grace and skill of the artisan in a way which  the stills do not fully capture. In these images, Arnold Eagle has captured Edbon Alleman’s creation of a pirogue.  The countless shallow channels and lakes which nature has placed in Southwest Louisiana require a flat bottom boat to be conveniently negotiated.  In 1992 many flat-bottom vessels of various sizes are produced and sold in Acadiana.  These modern vessels, fashioned primarily from aluminum, boast speeds and carrying capacity which the traditional pirogue does not.


The Cajun experience included  a full history of exposure to and participation in French maritime culture, numerous voyages during Le Grand Derangement, exposure to and imitation of Micmac birch bark canoes in Nova Scotia and Attakapas dugouts in Louisiana.  Into this rich mix of cultural knowledge came the internal combustion engine and other modernizing technologies.  Cajuns fished, trapped, gathered and farmed in swamps, bayous, marshes, bays and in the open Gulf waters.  The diversity of their needs led to a great deal of variety and creativity in boat design.

Among the other vessels photographed by Stryker’s photographers was the small skiff made to be rowed from a standing position, various v-hulled vessels, the sea going fishing boat known as the Lafitte skiff and the Cajun bateau, which functions as a barge.  Cajun vessels which do not appear in the collection include the compartmentalized water-car or fish car which was towed behind these barges as a series of live wells for bringing his catch to market so that no inland fishery could be truly remote.  The photographs do come at a time when few of the metal boats imitating traditional pirogue and bateau designs had been produced.  Nonetheless it is interesting that these successful innovations eluded the photographers of time.

The simple houseboat, shown in plate 19, allowed some Cajuns to live in whichever part of the wetlands suited their need and inclination at a given time.  The houseboat allows access to vast natural resources without the capital outlay or ecological cost of trying to remove the region from its wild state.  These adaptations not easily modified to accommodate the newer creature comforts disappeared.


The Stryker photographers generally recorded scenes of relaxed domestic life and cheerful faces at work on the houseboat.  The houseboat developed in the Atchafalaya region of Acadiana once the initial attempts at farming the remote islands and cheniers of the swamp had proven unprofitable.  Many swamper families developed the lifestyle of hunter-gatherers and the houseboat allowed the family to stay together instead of remaining at home near a struggling garden and barnyard while the men of the family traveled from one run down camp to another in pursuit of furs, fish, frogs and fowl.


The bayous and channels remain places of work and recreation.  The waters have ceased to serve as homes for families.  During the summers, friends within a town may visit boat-to-boat and from the wharves which form the spine of so many towns.  But the houseboat was an extreme adaptation and its passing into the status of relic and recreational vehicle has real significance as a sign of assimilation.  Determining what it means for a culture  to turn a formerly necessary cultural trait into an aspect of recreation has been a theme in the work of Gaines Foster’s studies of a distinct Southern culture in the United States.  Any keen observer of modern life sees highland games, fencing, track and field, martial arts, competitions, Hawaiian lu’au and surfing realizes that much  of recreation carries over from the past folkways of cultures that attached different significance to these same activities.  In some cases, the activities remain powerful vehicles for transmitting the identity of the culture in which the practice originated, otherwise the activities may simply become absorbed into the subculture of recreation as it exists in a larger and totally alien cultural context.  Many small towns and more “modern” lifestyles could also establsih themselves around water.  Captain Zenon Doucet of the “40 Fathoms” and his crew went after shrimp.  They travelled out into the gulf and carried ice to preserve their catch.  When they returned they sold their catch and lived for a while in the relatively modern town of morgan City, Louisiana.  At times, they would have tenders bring them ice and sell their catch (or more Likely its oldest portion) to the tender to stay out a little longer.  Plates twenty and twenty-one represent a number of photographs in which the Stryker photographers captured some aspect of the shrimping industry.


This lifestyle was much practiced in smaller towns such as Delcambre where these boats are docked.  During hurricanes and storms, the off-season and holidays, shrimpers sometimes worked ashore.  Often they had access to family farms or business where extra help was needed.


The four pictures in plates twenty-two through twenty-five –– a merchant and his son engaging in part time commercial fishing, a fisherman tarring his nets to preserve them in the hot and humid climate, a man shovelling oysters and a man collecting moss to be cured for upholstery — together capture some of the rich diversity of life on the waters and wetlands.  This fabric of work has evolved continuously, the photographers also took pictures of the hoop nets being tarred and of other forms of fishing.  The seafood and fishing industry is not a simple industry in any way.  the earliest recorded example of raising crawfish in artificial ponds is the 1770 account collected in Phillip Pittman’s 1906 study

.  A visitor to the region wrote “The craw-fish abound in this country; they are in every part of the earth…they send to their gardens, where they have a small pond dug for that purpose, and are sure of getting as many as they have occasion for. (34)”  Large scale commercial crawfish production did not develop until the mid twentieth century.  The raising of turtles in the Atchafalaya region and the development of catfish ponds throughout Acadiana has also developed mostly during the twentieth century, both were established when these photographs were taken.  The raising of alligators and redfish have developed in the years since the photographs discussed and the crawfish industry has expanded along with the catfish.  These aquacultural industries have benefitted by individual quick freezing technologies, better grading and packaging technologies and improved communications and transportation.  This industry has continued a long tradition which was much more precarious in the 1940s than it is in the 1990s.

The seafood and fishing industry in Acadiana also includes a complex of extractive freshwater, salt marsh and salt water fisheries.  Each of the species raised as an aquacultural product first became part of the diet through the efforts of extractive fisherman.  The labor and capital invested in the preparation and care of oyster shoals and bed varies from bed to bed.  despite oystering mariculture has never really existed in Acadiana.  The saltwater bays and the Gulf of Mexico have been exploited by extractive fishing alone.  In recent decades the offshore oil production has increased the diversity of employment opportunities in the Gulf.


The freshwater extractive fisheries have long provided the plurality of livelihoods in the Atchafalaya region.  The finest study done of the cultural geography of the Atchfalaya region is Malcom L. Comeaux’s 1972 study Atchafalaya Swamp Life:  Settlement and Folk Occupations.  Comeaux’s study shows the variety and complexity of technologies used to catch fish in the freshwater Atchafalaya Basin.  Comeaux also shows the ways in which the local fisheries fit in with other aspects of the folk economies.  Figure two, taken from Comeaux’s book (page 98), illustrates how these various economic practices fit into the season of the Atchafalaya, how they changed over time and the way in which a single family might be involved in all of the traditional “swamping” activities.


The photographers captured an impressive portion of the richness of the life and work which spread out from the wetlands.  The photographers observed realities such as the collaboration of a father and son and then expressed that reality in their own vocabulary.  The artistry which shows the proud father with his son and their catch as a unit of strength does not come from the people, but rather from the composition and direction of the photographers.  The artist has both father and son facing the camera as one, the fish joining them as a visual baseline and the heads controlled by the heads of the family.  A journalist achieves the same unity by using images, facts and statistics to weave an argument about his or her subject.  here, one rests assured that father and son actually shared and economic interest in the fish, faced customers and suppliers together and functioned under the headship of the father.  The creative and imaginative work of the photographer told “the truth” about what he saw.  Art need not mean “not factual.”  What was the role of imagination and ideals in the somewhat exotic world these people had set out to capture on film?




Carl A. Brasseaux, The Founding of the New Acadia; 11 and 31.

My proposal is to begin with a few paragraphs giving a bibliographic and historiographic summary of the literature and research which has dealt with the Cajun house.  These paragraphs will treat the historical and climactic forces which impacted on its design

See Kniffen’ s treatment of the shotgun house in his essay titled “The Study of Folk Architecture: Geographical Perspectives” which appears in the anthology Cultural Diffusion and Landscapes:  Selections by Fred B. Kniffen; edited by H> Jesse Walker and Randall A. Detro.

Refer to the next chapter of this study,and look at  Louisana’s Remarkable  French Vernacular Architecture by Jay Edwardss

Todd Webb to Roy Stryker, May 9, 1947; Box 1, S.C.S.O.N.J. at E.P.A.

See Post especially Cajun Sketches.  Writer also had considerable personal experience in farmhouses during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In Holtman , See Dorman 90-95.  In Bayous of Louisiana Kane uses this and similar terms often throughout.

The term ribbon farm was first applied by rural sociologists retrospectively studying the manorial and pre-manorial farms of Europe’s past from the vantage point of the nineteenth century.

The original source of this abound.  However, the wirter has excluded Papeles Procedents de Cuba from this bibliography.  For the present see “Allons a la Louisiane”, Brasseaux, Founding of the New Acadia.  See also Post, Cajun Sketches, 39.

See Post, Sketches, 100-103 and 107-109.


Acadiana Profile magazine has done numerous articles on the local economy which indirectly address this set of “women’s issues.”  The local economy today increasingly divides work from the home as is true of much of the world.  Acadiana is rapidly becoming less distinctive regarding these things.

In fact despite the warmth of a few Walker Evans photographs men hugging children is not a common theme in American photography.  The photographs are posed but not therefore insignificant.  The subjects comfort in the situation is significant.

Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Leggio 2585.

Botkin, Southern Folklore, 590.

“Godfather” and “Godmother” the obligations are far more comprehensive than religious ones.

This inspires the comment of everyone writing of Cajuns in Louisiana after 1860.

“Halerie”, hauling wood for buildings; “Boucherie” most festive and ritualized of cooperative events “killing”, butchering and processing and storing a hog or several hogs. “Couverage” roofing and “fais do do” to “make (the babies)sleep” for an outdoor dance for adults, all remain tied to the outdoors.

The social use of the outdoor space in the South generally is a phenomena much remarked upon by northerners before compressed freon and electricity changed the region’s idea of a pleasant summer evening.  Much of cajun life remains tied to the outdoors.

Corinne Saucier’s Folktales, 84.

See Comeaux’s Atchfalaya for discussion of swamping boats and technologies and the function of these in a hunting and gathering lifestyle.  Furthermore this lifestyle was largely commercial and in many ways less subsistence oriented than the more stable life of the smallest prairie farms.

Due to the withdrawal of my colleague Richard Simonton from the project on which we had collaborated and into which I had invested some considerable time, I have decided to ask permission to radically redefine my project in a way which requires little if any scientific and technical expertise,  but which may have some considerable scientific value.

The Last Year of the 9-11 Decade Has Begun

This is the first installment of list of People to Watch in the Second Post 9/11 Decade.  I want to say that in general I do not greatly edit a post and leave it in its original place in the blog. However, this was a jumping off point for a very ambitious project and so it has fallen into a different category of post. The latter parts of the series were first posted much later and had very minor revsions as I am typing this updated introduction in January of 2011. This post has already had some minor edits before tonight and will likely have quite a few more after this. So if you have read this since it was first posted on September 11, 2010. The historian in me is of two minds about this. First, like any historian I revise my writing and there are article versions that precede book versions of histories. However, this is not in any meaningful sense a history whereas by editing this post I am making it less usable and manageable as a typical historical source. I hope you read it anyway and find it useful in mapping out the projections you produce for the future.  The imperfectly kept rule will be that in the biographical sketches under each name the information in the original post will be in ordinary type while later text additions will be in this italic typeface. 

After the initial trauma of the 9-11 experience had grown a bit less raw it became rather a commonplace to assert that America had been forever changed on that day. I became rather a refrain to discuss how life and our history would be marked by that day which split the era into before 9-11 and after 9-11.  Even as I type this American populist conservative  commentator and television host Glen Beck has some sort of 9-12  movement which emphasizes this shift.  The truth is always hard to exactly determine and difficult for people to agree upon entirely. Nonetheless, it is true that we did experience an event of enormous cultural and historical significance on the eleventh day of September 11, 2001.

What will the long-term outcomes likely be?  I am not going to devote most of this post or of my time in these days to really trying to predict a very specific vision of the future.  In this blog I have advocated a certain set of future courses of action and states of being for the United States of America and the world.  However, advocacy and prediction are quite different things. There is little that involves detachment in the former and little that involves committed passion in the latter.

I am entirely engaged in the work of being myself and attempting to live up to my own responsibilities most of the time. That is similar to the lives of most people most of the time. Our responsibilities, aptitudes and abilities vary but  a very large number of us could describe our lives in those terms. What happens to be true is that the world does not wait for us to have our own lives in perfect order before it confronts us with challenges. America and much of its legacy in the world faces such a challenge just now.   

There is no simple solution to all of the problems that we have to solve. But it will simply do little good to pretend that we do not have serious challenges that we must meet.  It helps to know what principles govern human behavior at the individual, family, community , national and global levels. But knowing all the basic principles that will shape the decisions we make and others make will not be enough.  We will need to know many things including players who will be making the decisions and  the reasons that are likely to appeal to them as they make those decisions.  I have left out several people for reasons too complex to summarize here but want to mention some of them by way of showing how incomplete the list is:

Larry Summers, Meg Whitman, Philip Lord Norton, King Juan Carlos, Felipe Calderon, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, Mary Landrieu, Nancy Pelosi, Taylor Swift, Michael Phelps, Drew Brees, Colin Powell , Henry Louis Gates, Arnold Schwartznegger, Nick Clegg, James Carville, Anderson Cooper, Billy Nunguesser  and even me…   

Gearing up for the future of America these are in no particular order a group of people to whom more may be added later:

Dramatis Personae:

1.President Barack  Hussein Obama This President of the United States of America  will continue  to set the tone for much of the American future and its policies for the foreseeable future. We face the future as best we can in a world where the election of Barack Obama has already shown us as profoundly weak in the eyes of so much of the world. Barack Hussein Obama it is to be noted is the descendant of an American mother and has married and had children with an American wife. The mother was white, the wife is black. Obama’s father was an African student and he also had an Indonesian stepfather. In a scoiety where forty-one percent of children are currently born out of wedlock, Schwarzenegger has been Governor of California, Jindal  is currently Governor of Louisiana, Granholme was Governor of Michigan until two weeks ago and tens of millions live here without documents Obama has a strong basic appeal to our society which is committed to its own utter destruction at this time.

2. Josef Ratzinger, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI The second consecutive Patriarch of Rome, Bishop of Rome and Supreme Pontiff and Successor to the Throne of St. Peter who has  not been an Italian and that (without saying the Italians are not agreat people and without saying that Bishops ought mostly to come from their own lands or related lands) is a good thing. It would probably be good if about half of all Popes were Italian  over time but I would not want to see dozens of Popes in a row who were not Italian so everyone must do the best they can. He is a German who fought in the regular nonpolitical  part of the German forces doing his duty in World War II and is a very accomplished scholar. However, the service to any state headed by Adolf Hitler and his lunatics is a blemish on the Papacy. But the Papacy has had many blemishes — nonetheless I do not lay all the blame on him personally but I do hold it against him.   He remembers the insanity of Nazi political religion and although his experience was more ambiguous than he admits he will work to see that the liturgy and practice of the Church draws forth a milieu such as produced Mozart, the Bach family and the Gothic Cathedrals. If he could say anything kind and honest to the Jews in the way of professional advice and have it received he would advise them to invest in their worship and liturgy to reach and surpass the heights of the Temple’s musical past.  

3. Her Britannic Majesty, Elizabeth She has managed to become the Head of State for sixteen countries as they left the Empire as well as head of the Commonwealth. The Crown is more independent of the UK government than it has been in centuries and this gives her bargaining power in that government she would not have otherwise.  Queen Elizabeth of Scotland and of England Second of the Name’s traditional  Christmas Speech this year was perhaps as good as any if not the best she has ever given. She seems to be growing both deeper and more spiritual and nuanced. There is no doubt in my mind that she will continue to be a factor in the world for at least as long as she reigns.

4. HRH Charles Prince of Wales is the Prince of WAles with the most formal education in history. He will not be a pet or showdog for anyone. Much of what he does is decent, admirable and very fine. He deals with issues others fail to see as vital. He can nonetheless be very dangerous to US interests. On the other hand he may help resist greater mutual dangers. As is often found in Kings (which he is not yet) the best and worst of his complex heritage are present together in him.  One of his many new initiatives is accounting for sustainability which is I think in part a response to the BP disaster. I think he is also very involved in the marriage of his son Prince William and trying to make a better and more secure future for both British royalty and the British people.

5. David Cameron A careful and clever young Prime Minister who will not overreach any time soon. He wants to build a Cameronism for the Conservatives  and see them rule the UK but he is in no hurry. Nobody knows what he may be capable of or what his limits are — not even David Cameron.  David Cameron has now formed a coallition government with the Liberal Democrats. He and Nick Clegg have done a very good job of organizing the debate and the reform of parliament in a way which can possibly lay a foundation for a political future that reverses many of the seemingly intractable roots sent into the political ground by the Labour Party in its thirteen years or so in power. He is still feeling his way in these years of Lib-Con coallition and is likely to emerge from the process stronger than ever. With a wife and young children he is clearly a symbol of what long-term political potential could look like.

6. Sarah Palin This former and resigned Alaska governor and Republican Vice Presidential Candidate has made an impact on American politics and raised cultural hopes which are not easy to quantify. She is not perfect but is a powerful living symbol of deep hopes of many people. Sarah Palin has recently had a television reality show called Sarah Palin’s Alaska in which she promotes her state and makes up in some way for walking out of the Governor’s Office. She also has come out with her second book after  the memoir Going Rogue. This second book is America by Heart and has been very successful.  She continues to develop ties with the Tea Party and other aspects of the US electorate and political milieu. 

7. George H. W. Bush This former US President is getting old enough that he may not be with us for long into the coming decade (or he may live well past this final year of the first decade, through the coming decade and into following one) but regardless his influence on the CIA, his heritage in establishing a unique American family expressed of Presidents, Governors and rooted in his father’s senatorial career makes him unique. His work with  Bill Clinton in the field of disaster relief will make the world and the nature aware of his work well into the Obama regime. He is also taking a measurable role as patriarch (in a limited American sense) of the Bush clan. He is mentioned in his son’s new memoir and has appeared on television discussing his exceptional sons, wife, daughters-in-law and grandchildren. He seems to be applying his formidable intellect to the fact that there are systemic problems in the USA which may demand remedies he would not have hoped to see employed during most of his life. 

8. George W. Bush This former President of the United State will continue to have influence both in the Bush family network and in the business community. In time his political legacy will be seen by the  GOP as having been elected twice with significant coattails.  If he lives a long time he will have more of a politico-social life than most imagine now before he leaves the stage. However, he will not be the individual super-producer of work that Jimmy Carter has been. Sincw the first part of this entry was posted this former President Bush has come out with his memoirs Decision Points which has sold very successfully. Dana Perino his former Whte House press secretary has used her television news job to defend his record in subtle by continuous ways. His daughter Barbara Bush has been working on establishing a very successful health and medical charity which givers her occasion to discuss his good deed in AIDS outreach in Africa. His reputation has been rebuilt considerably since he left office amid clouds of critical animosity. 

9. Glen Beck One to watch! It is too early to say what this Mormon populist conservative tv host, commenter and  organizer will really do over the long-term. Beck continues to play a fairly serious game. He is a man of patience and significant internal resources on whom a great deal of the jury of history is not only out but in some cases has not yet even been convened.

10. Hillary Clinton This Secretary of State and former First Lady is a big question mark. She will respond effectively to opportunity. That does not mean the liberal feminist has no ideals but her style is opportunistic. She will do a lot if there are big opportunities in her path and she will do very little (for one of her stature) if there are not good opportunities. Hillary Clinton has begun to pay the full and significant price of being Obama’s secretary of State. On the other hand, she works with her husband and her Senate ties in New York and with leaders around the world. She works and stays with the game and sometimes fails her way to success. She is becoming more impressive and indispensable in American political terms even as she becomes more flawed and marked by faults of various kinds

11. President Nicolas Sarkozy has already sought to strengthen ties with the United States, has entertained the Pope, has married a supermodel the whole world has seen nude and is worth seeing nude, has deported Gypsies and taken action against Moslem corruption of French culture. There is something of La Royaume de La Belle France about him. He needs to hunt and got to Church once in a while in very expensive clothes (seriously)  In doing all these other things so far he has avoided brutality, great scandal and the greater than necessary abuse of human rights. He  will chafe against the European bit distance himsel from the UK when he can in conscience and is the first real chance that French royalist gradualists have had for a negotiation towards their better goals. Sarkozy is farther from being able to adress his principal goals than most world leaders and he is a cautious man as regards policy. Sarkozy has not been able to bridge both the Obama gap and the language gap and forge more ties with the United Statres of America. It seems to be a case where events are pushing him into the European mainstream so far.

 12. Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu ( בִּנְיָמִין “בִּיבִּי” נְתַנְיָהוּ ), also Binyamin Netanyahu) was born on October 21, 1949 and  is the ninth and current Prime Minister of Israel  and importantly Netanyahu is the first and only Israeli prime minister born in Israel after the establishment of the State of Israel. He achieved this distinction with his earlier Prime Ministry but it is still his distinction currently. With strong social and educational ties to America he holds varied roles in the small and complex country at the unique crossroads of the old world simultaneoulsy serving as the Chairman of the Likud Party, as a member of the Knesset, as the Health Minister of Israel, as the Pensioner Affairs Minister of Israel and as the Economic Strategy Minister of Israel. He will surely struggle in the current environment  but if the right changes occur he will lead Israel and the region in capitalizing on this set of changes.  Netanyahu must currently deal with an American regime which is completely antithetical to  a peaceful and secure Israel and where he also lacks a wide variety of good options.  However, as I type this Hezbolla ministers have resigned in Lebanon and there are forces struggling to assert a new order in the Middle East.

13. Bill Gates, William Henry “Bill” Gates III was  born October 28, 1955 and is a great creator and leader who is now largely redefining philanthropy.  He is best known for being long time chairman of  Microsoft, the uniquley important software company he founded in a powerful partnership with Paul Allen. He and his wife Melinda are partners in love and parenthood but their partnership has also been very significant for  the world as they steer and an enormous empire of giving and activism. They are financialy able to do this as Bill Gates  is  ranked among the  richest people in the world  and was ranked as the wealthiest overall from 1995 to 2009, excluding 2008, when he fell to third. During his career at Microsoft, Gates Gates built the giant into an essential part of computing around the world as both CEO and  later chief software archirect, and remains the largest individual shareholder with more than 8 percent of the common stock. Perhaps he may be drawn back into the corporate leadership he knows well and into new forms of social leadership. In the meanwhile he is likely to have a profound impact on America and the world as they find their way forward with Microsoft, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, their cooperation with Warren Buffet and other challenges that come along.  Bill Gates is becoming that kind of litmus test of America’s potential to adapt and survive. He has social moementum which could be harnessed for the good of society by skillfull social change  in America but has long struggled under great suspicions. America does not believe it has to choose between people like Billl Gates and more evil leaders. America believes it does not need leaders. 

14. Steve Jobs will use the Gates retirement to pull ahead. However at the personal level he is a darker figure than he was as a youth. Even as a youth he was no saint. But he is brilliant and a vital national asset like Gate in that way. Apple, the Next flop,  Pixar and more Apple. He is a compelling genius in technology and industry who chose the pirates flag as the icon for Mac development and who instead of a big charity has a liver transplant where someone had to die for him to live. He has ads for Apple that mostly attack PCs and Microsoft’s Windows. He is easily compared to Gates and has always been loved by the cool kids in American society as it is. Steve Jobs cannot be dismissed as someone to watch.  In the layering of this post it happened in 2011 but before Sept. 11 that Jobs took a leave of absnce from Apple indefinitely for health reasons.  

15. Carl Svanberg This Swede Chairman of BP and other corporations is one to watch. Low profile and clever he is not the man to forget.   Svanberg did graduate work  and earned a Master’s degree  in Applied Physics  after a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Scandinavian institutions of quality and honorary doctorates from other institutions.  Svanberg remains a major player in high tech industry in the Norse Lands remaining a well invested director on the board of telecom firm Ericcson where he served as CEO  from April 8 to December 31 of 2009. He is also on the board of several other companies and maintains some of the agressiveness of the ice hockey player he once was. He rubbed several people in Louisiana the wrong way during the BP crisis. 

16. UN Secretary  General Ban Ki-moon,   반기문 (潘基文) This cool professional can think more clearly about the Middle East but his bones and instincts know less than any previous Secretary General. On the other hand this man from East Asia is bringing to 37 years of relevant  service both in Government and on the global stage and having served in Korea as  Director-General of American Affairs he is trying to educate the West about the Far East in his quiet way — Good luck with that!  On 1 January 2007, Ban Ki-moon of the Republic of Korea became the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations .  He was as well as being Director-General of American Affairs, his country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In that Korean ministry he had held  responsibility for a variety of portfolios, including Foreign Policy Adviser to the President, Chief National Security Adviser to the President and Deputy Minister for Policy Planning . As a diplomat he has lived in New Delhi, Washington D.C. and Vienna as well visiting many other places. He is married to his high school sweetheart and they have two children and is believed to be trilingual – French being the third language. He was educated in Korea and a t Harvard in the USA. 

17. Hu JinTao  胡锦涛 is The Premiere in the People’s Republic of China will continue to try to develop the Presidency and Premiere powersharing and to increase the importance of the Congress of People’s deputies if he can. He will try to restore full regularity to the Chinese governments by incorporating Imperial and Confucian elements. He will  reform the Party and execute those who commit crimes which bring the party into ill regard. Minority and foreign relations will be a continuous challenge and he will foster the development of Chinese urban consumer life to make China less dependent on Exports.

18. Timothy Geithner One to watch! He is an opportunist with ideals and may do much or little depending on where money moves relative to him.

19. Al Franken A man to watch. He is clever, rooted, articulate and conscientious. He is also a bitter angry and reckless man. Which guy will show up for the next eleven years? Franken is a comedian who won a bitterly contested recount in his Senatorial election when elected with President Barack Hussein Obama. He has authored books of rather nasty tempered political humor. He is not so far either a substantial statesman nor a total joke in the US Senate.  

20. Barney Frank Money, New England and Homosexuality will increasingly become a portfolio of political expertise and experience for this man. He will grow in stature on these things and lose relevance on others as often happens to older politicians in legislatures. However, he could seize on on some successful other cause and make himself known in other circles. 

21. Vladimir Putin ,Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin  Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин,  will remain Putin while he remains alive. He has many hopes he still cannot really do anything to achieve but he keeps chipping away  at the obstacles. He likes healing and building better but could become a figure of destruction fomenting hate — it just depends on too many factors to sort out here.

22. Bobby Jindal has earned some credibility with Louisiana in the BP crisis but not enough to waste. Look to see him as the Indian-American, Louisiana and Oxford alumni Jindal unless a big chance at being a national Republican Icon is very clear and near.  Bobby Jindal has just come out with a book titled Leadership in Crisis which is part political memoir  and part summary of the BP crisis and part autobiography. I have also met with him briefly since I first published this blog post and we discussed some issues relating to the spill. This was in a public venue in Abbeville’s A.A. Comeaux Recreation Center after a speech and did not get into his secretary’s permanent log. But I thought it was a useful exchange.

23. Bill Richardson will do a variety of things in New Mexico, America and the world. But if constitutional change comes to the USA then expect him to rise to new prominence as a major framer and negotiator for the constitutional rights and role of Aboriginal Americans and their Nations. 

24. Bill Clinton will become a very prominent broker if constitutional change comes and his health holds out. Otherwise expect him to continue to fade away more and more with occasional flashes of influence. Bill Clinton is busy lately. He participated in the 2010 elections which were one of the biggest defeats in the history of the Congressional Democrats. He has worked for Haiti but has seen lots of mediocre and poor results. However, like his wife he is always growing in experience and sophisitication.

25. Osama Bin Laden will become more of an icon as the Obama presidency progresses if his health holds out. His second act will get under way.  Is he a living legend or a dead one? That basic query is the question many can’t help asking and if he is alive what  is he really doing. He may well be behind the rebuilding of his movements in the Arabian Peninsula and Afghanistan.  He is a powerful symbol of what it means to be committed to a cause over a life time. 

What does it mean to pick on a few players in the world and recognize their importance to our future? It does not mean that they are the only participants in the future of our world who will matter.

The British Petroleum Oil Spill and Memorial Day

Memorial Day actually springs from the traditions which came out of the Civil War, War Between the States, War of Northern Aggression, War to Save the Union, War for Southern Independence, Last Stand of Western Civilization or War to Put Down Rebellion– that great cataclysm of bloodshed and destruction which to many Southerners is what one is always presumed to be speaking about when one simply says “The War”. However on this Memorial Day my memory turns to the War Americans call the War of 1812 which gave us our National Anthem and the first complete military victory of the US over the Brits in a major engagement where no foreigners helped. That came in the battle of New Orleans.  Despite Lamar Mackay, Bob Dudley and thousands of US employees and stockholders the odd truth of all this is that the British and their Swiss allies are invading our most precious resources under the leadership of Tony Hayward and under the concealed banner of British Petroleum.  

Scraping oil off beaches


Below we have a map of how the British invaded Baltimore and how Americans sunk their own ships in a line to block access to the harbor. The British were large held at bay by that single maneuver and the heavy artillery from a fortress which was operating under an enormous star-spangled banner which a lawyer saw from a truce ship and about which he wrote the song which became our anthem.  
This Map Shows  how British Besiege and Attack Baltimore in war of 1812
The American gunboats were supported by a line of sunken American ships in lines not shown on that map that were sacrificed by the waterfolk and traders to limit movement of the mighty British fleet as well as by the fort McHenry which fired off huge guns and small ones beneath an enormous starry flag. The battle was watched by a lawyer in a truce fleet and  he wrote our National Anthem from its inspiration.

British invasion and repulsion in the Battle of New Orleans


The round of hostilities between Britain and America which reached such poetic height in Baltimore reached it end in the Battle of New Orleans which was fought very near where the current battle for the survival of the marshes is ongoing. We are facing the invasion of British Petroleum Crude near where Jackson and his army and Lafitte and his navy (injured by a new American attack) drove off some fine units of UK invaders. There in New Orleans they handed the British the first decisive defeat at the hands of an all American force in a major encounter. The Revolution owed much (if not most) of its winning to the Kingdom and Empire of the French but here French and English-speaking Americans drove out the British Empire in blood-soaked victory alone.    

This 2010 battle of Memorial Day  is an epic struggle and the stakes are very great. It is hard for us to win on this side because if there is little damage it will be used as an excuse for future sabotage or carelessness to be more easily permitted. If there is great damage then we live in age when the natural world is already under great strain and we have rich “well-educated” idiots (who had the capacity not to be idiots when they were young) in government and in big business who never think things through as regards the natural world. I hear so many stupid and irrelevant remarks. The damage done in a short period of time can wipe out millions of years of vital continuity and removing the toxins through there being biodegraded later won’t help. The oyster beds of South Louisiana ought to be compared and classed with vineyards of Napa and Sonoma and instead are classed with the sands of the Arabian deserts. It is hard for me to write this through all the pain and depression I am feeling.
I am very careful to use legal materials in this blog but if I have infringed any rights in this post I will worry about it after I see how much of my homeland has survived. This is a struggle  of enormous proportions. The eleven killed in the explosion and the  dozen or so cleaners who have been hospitalized have suffered in a war in which admirals, generals and Guardsmen are also battling. This is really a struggle for what cannot be replaced. 

Local efforts to block oil incursions

I am going to include a few phrase of my own between pictures of the struggle and verses of the National Anthem. Just above you see people drawing a line against the new invasion. Do we doubt they risk their health in this noble struggle? 

 The Star Spangled Banner Lyrics
By Francis Scott Key 1814


Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?




Fishing fleet cleaning or stranded in many places

Like Baltimore and Lafitte’s flotilla it has fallen to small ship and boat owners to bear the brunt of much of this great battle and they do so alongside the Coast Guard and others in their government’s formal service. But is their civilian service much less patriotic? 

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! 

A flotilla of shrimp boats adapted for skimming

This flotilla of shrimp boats sails like the Americans of 1812 and 1814 to save their homes families and country. Already some languish in hospitals. Are they not our heroes too?  

 And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! 

Louisiana National Guard fights a new enemy.

The National Guardsmen know that their world will not recognize this as combat. They will earn no new respect on world battlefields. Yet they risk their health in a beautiful but dangerous coastal wilderness under hot suns in proximity to possible and unmeasured risks of poisoning. The battle for their homeland and can not hurt the liquid at which they throw their human and mortal flesh. Are they not good warriors in this case as well?  

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! 

 I wish everyone a good Memorial Day weekend. I have several friends nobly risking their lives in the two foreign wars we are fighting  and I wish them well.  SD, AD, JS,and JS if you read this know you are not forgotten. But this day my heart is full of pain and also the debt of respect for those who fight with little hope for honor or glory against an invasion so near to so much that I love. 

Note: Throughout the BP Macondo oil leak crisis I was responding day by day to an enormous set of devastating problems for many that I care about deeply or am connected to. While I have made no money on all that work and tried to use my own, open source or public domain materials in every case the stresses were enormous. This particular post has received many views and I have few if any net assets. If it happens that this or any materials used during the crisis are proprietary and used without permission I first apologize and secondly will do in a slow and careful manner whatever I can to make things right. Nonetheless, I am gratified that so many have visited this post over such a long time…

Really Becoming an Empire: Some Aspects of Transforming America. Part Four

This is about the Arcadian-Acadian heritage, people and Tribe. I have mentioned this subject often in this blog.  I recommend that you read the rest of this post first and then come back to the links to other posts in this blog. Here are some of the posts and a page where Acadians or their institutions are  mentioned are represented:






To show how Acadian experience is relevant to the question of how Americans govern themselves and have decided to do so in the past I will quote one of my own post in this blog at length this post in turn has links to longer and very worthy sources that can help one to understand how all of these historical issues are interrelated.

“The first really key point is that the real roots of the American Revolution occurred in a larger colonial context.  I am going to recommend a book that does not declare ( as I do here and now) that the Acadian expulsion (loosely described in Longfellow’s epic poem Evangeline)  were a principal cause of and stimulus to the American revolution.  But it does show the connections of this event to the revolutionary ferment in a broad contest. In this regard I recommend Leach’s book. 

Secondly, I want to show that the destruction of Acadie was a large and significant act. That it had everything to do with creating a British profile and character the Americans could distrust and that in their early history the Acadians had both elements the Americans were eager to restore to their experience of the British Constitution and also the chivalric and aristocratic values which I argue that we need to restore today. In which regard there is a recent book by John Mack Faragher:  to understand the British view of how great and wealthy a land the Acadians had created and how eager they were to have its wealth for themselves.  The Acadian experience is deeply tied to the American experience as a whole.”

However, in this post I cannot really describe the Acadian people or experience. The best I can go is outline their role in the proposed new regime. I will focus on doing as I have done with other parts of the proposed regime.  I will fill out a portion of the Constitution’s demands so that perhaps there can be some light shed on the things they represent. There must be eight hundred forty members of the Acadian Electoral Delegation in the Conclave. I will set out to identify these eight hundred forty and let the rest of the Ethnos Arkadios be seen by that little revelation.


I.  The Acadian Peer- Electors

A. Les Princes de Grand Familles representant pour vie et tout

1. The Second Heir of the Boulet Principality

2.The Second Heir of the Theriot Principality

 3.The Second Heir of the Broussard Principality

4.The Second Heir of the Mouton Principality

5, The Second Heir of the Leblanc Principality

B. Les Presidents Herediteurs  Haute Chefs et Condes de los Acadianos representant

6. The First Heir of The High Boudreaux High Chieftancy

7.The First Heir to the Melancon High Chieftancy

8.The First Heir to the Hebert High Chieftancy

C. Les Chefs Medi Herediteurs des Acadiens

9. Le Chef Medi Boudreaux Bas

10. Le Chef Medi Thibodeaux

11. Le Chef Medi Breaux 

D. Les Chefs Bas Herediteurs des Acadiens

12. Le Chef Prince, Le Roi et Basile

13. Le Chef Fontenot

E. Autre Chefs Herediteurs

14. Le Sous Chef Herediteur Theriot de Bayou Lafourche

15. Le Sous Chef Herediteur Broussard de la Paix Attakapas

F. Institutional Peers

16. Sheriff of Vermilion Parish

17. Head of the Francophone Studies at the Universite des Acadie

18.Head of the Center for Louisiana Studies at the Unversite des Acadiens

19. Head of the English Department at the Universite de Acadiens

20. Highest representative securable by treaty at St. Anne’s University

21.Head of the French Immersion Program  at St. Anne’s University

22. Bishop of  Houma-Thibodeaux

23. Sheriff of Acadia Parish

24, President Elective de la Federation des Comites de Vigilance

25. Superior of the  Sacred Heart Sisters Community of Grand Coteau

II. Bouletherion Delegates

1. First President of the Bouletherion Elected by the Council of Chiefs 

2. Second President of the Bouletherion Elected by the Council of Chiefs

3. President of the Bouletherion appointed by the Basileus  Deceased

4. President of the Ladies Councils in the Bouletherion Elected Thereby.

5. President of the Ladies Councils in the Bouletherion  Appointed by the Basilissa. 

6. Le Chef Guidry Herediteur des Garde de Soir et Noir des Roi et Reine.

III. Les Sous Presidents de Conseil des Armes

1. Le Premiere SousPresident de Conseil des Armes

2. Le Sous President Ouest de Conseil des Armes

3. Le Sous President Est de Conseil des Armes

IV. Le Conseil des Droit

1-3 Les Plus de Toute des Lois

4. The Chaplain

5-9 The Assistant Chaplains

11. The  Chief Genealogist.

V. La  Premiere Maison

1. -10. Highest Ranking Acadian members of the House not Disqualified.

11.-21. Ready list of the Basileus Deceased

22.-32. Ready List of the Basilissa

VI. Chiefs of the Auxiliary Councils

1. Chief of the Metis Auxiliary Council

2. Chief of the Creoles of Coleurs Council

3. Chief of the  Advocate Council High Ranking Acadians without High Last Names.

4. Chief of the Black Race Auxiliary.

5. Chief of the Ethnic Auxiliaries Federation.

6. Chief of the Auxiliary of Royal Descendants.

VII. Delegates of the Revolution and Restoration

1-72 Seventy-Two Delegates of the Congres Mondial

73-144 Seventy-Two Delegates of the Action ‘Cadien

145-217 Seventy-Two Delegates of CODOFIL

VIII. Random Seventy-Twos

First, the Seventy-Two Acadiana Acadians

Second, the Seventy-Two Acadie Acadians

Third, the Seventy-Two Sympathizers of La Rochelle

Fourth, the Seventy-Two Willing Greeks of Arcadia

Fifth, the Seventy-Two UL Alumni

Sixth, the Seventy-Two Alumni of Our Lady Of the Oaks and St. Charles College.

25 +6+3+11+32+6=83

217 + (6 x 72)=649

The remainder of the 840 seats after subtracting 732 is 108. There would be 54 seats on a yearly rotation in a  twelve year cycle of the Couples serving as family and kinship coordinators. There would 27 seats at random from the guards assigned to the late Basileus. There would be 27 seats assigned first to the late Basileus Harem and if he had fewer than 27 consorts to his Roll of Friends not otherwise seated.

Using these terms and names one could search though my blog posts and piece together quite a bit. This is not the last time the tribe will be mentioned but it is where I will stop for now.

Monarchy and Royalist Culture in America: Past, Present and Future/ Part 3.3

This is a very long post.  Part of it was published early by mistake and it will still be tweaked but it does complete my trilogy of posts on a subject I think is relevant and important enough for all this effort. This Post will carry forth the outline from Part 2.1 of this same title using numbers so that they fall into place with the other after this introductory section which is not numbered. For anyone this would have to be an odd exercise writing out a long description of a new regime in this way.  Yet having begun it is fairly rational to continue until it seems that one is nearly or entirely finished with the project. So this post will attempt to discuss in a somewhat helpful way the lifestyle, peopling and style of several key groups, communities and institutions in the proposed new regime.

In the strugggle to maintain this very large republic and its many programs and commitments it seems almost inconceivable to take any time and energy away from that sustained struggle in order to invest any of it into changing the form of government from a republican to a royalist form. It seems even more unlikely that a person seeking to advocate such changes would be doing so from the point of view mostly of seeking good, useful and measured change in the country and society as a whole. Therefore, I feel some obligation to lay out my plans and reasons for them in such a way that it is at least possible that many could understand them and appreciate them.

What then would Court and the Imperial House be like? What ought we to hope that they would be like? How would they function in a reconstitutionalized America?

The model I propose of the Imperial House is more ambitious than modest. It is more extensive than circumscribed. It would require more effort and resources to chabge in and of itself than several other royal possibilities, but it is part of the overall reality of a court that is well positioned to respond to the realties of this society at this time.

C. Culture, Structure and Being of the Imperial House and Household.

The Emperor and the Empress were defined in their own sections in the last post.  There is a very real sense in which, ” These two and no others are the point of all this!” But it is just as true that to the very degree and in the very way in which they are important the Emperor and Empress are important for presiding over and leading not just the formal society of the whole reconstitutionalized United States of America and/or Federal American Empire of the United States but also by presiding over smaller and better defined parts of the whole society. So the Emperor and Empress could not function properly without the House and Household and would in many ways be crippled without their healthy existence and so this posting is attempting to give some special recognition to and description of this entity without by any means exhausting the subject. I return to my point that I am aware that this is a great deal of work for me and some for you which is not likely to have much practical purpose or significance. 

1. In Functional and Spatial Terms

I am going to describe the hypothetical  Imperial House and Household in two sections which have rather long and I think accurate names but if you wish you could think of this section as describing the House and Household as a thing. You could think of the second section as describing the House and Household as human beings.  

a. Role in Politics, Governance and Diplomacy

The Imperial House and Household will be doing things very differently than they have been done and will do things that have not been done in America. it would be one of the challenges facing such a regime to be seen as largely a legitimate part of the governing and directing part of the society. For that would surely be its principal purpose.


Aside from the Imperial Services outlined in the previous post the Grand Royal and Imperial House and Household Assembly has a complicated social  and political structure based on Internal Estates, Orders and Ministries. Each of these is represented in the GRIHHA. The exact manner of their representation being described in the Supreme Charter of the Direct Imperial Government and the Rules of the GRIHHA. Here I will merely list those seated in the GRIHHA all of whom are also part of the life and work of the Unity of Houses.

* Unity Seats include a three year rotation of one third by yearly terms of Acadian Peer Electors and Louisiana Peer Electors. They also include the Vassal Mistresses of Ceremonies in each other court and  the Majordomo di Palazzo for each of the Royal Households. The Unity Seats also include the highest ranking consort from the harem who is under the covenant of each of the Acadian and the Louisiana Titles. Further, the Chaplains, Court Historians and Court Physicians of  each of the royal Titles will be seated in this section.  The Commanders of both the Garde de Roi  and the  Φάλαγγα των Κενταύρων του βασιλιά will be in these seats. The Unity Seats will be one of the three Inner Sections with most of the executive and administrative role.

**The Family Seats these are certain members of the legitimate Imperial Family, the Heirs and the Family Fiefdom. This is the second Inner Section.

*** The Ministerial Seats  consist of the heads of all Imperial Services, the Mistress of Ceremonies, the Most Favored Consorts, The Harem Delegate, the Imperial Majordomo di Palazzo, Imperial Court Physician, Imperial Court Historian Liaison-in Chief to the Direct Imperial Government, Imperial Jester, Imperial Court Musician, Imperial Court Architect, Representative of the Emperor’s Sons and Representative of the Emperor’s Daughters.

**** The Outer Seats include seats for all  those classed as High Ranking members of the Rolls of the Houses and Households, a Rotation of three one year terms for the Middle Ranks of the Rolls, and twenty representatives elected by the Lower Ranks. Anyone seated in an inner section loses their seat in this section.

ii. The Emperor’s Reign as Central Focus 

The main drive of sheduling, planning and budgeting in the Imperial House and Household would be supporting the work and role of governance of the Emperor himself. All things would be structured to support that central function. That includes space and the ordering of family life which will be briefly discussed in this post.

b.The White House, Imperial Fiefdoms and Palaces

One of the differences between the Republic and the Imperial system propsed here is that the facilities in the District of Coloumbia would be greatly in need of change. there would have to be large improvements to the Naval Observatory for it to become the home of the First Executive Vice President.  There would also need to be third major residence for the Deputy Executive Vice President. This official would also become the Grand Ward Chief for one of four Grand Wards in the District of Columbia. That Distrcit will be the smallest and will consist almost entirely of office buildings and residences used by the Federal Ecexcutive Vice Presidency. This will give the Deputy Vice President a more tangible role as well as a seat in the Direct Imperial Governments’  Government  Assembly which he can occupy or delegate to others. 

The White House itself would be rather cramped as an Imperial Palace even with just a small space alotted for ministries and services because of the size of an Imperial House compared to a presidential family. So therefore it would have to be seen as the hub and focus of a larger network of homes, properties and facilities. While  on the one hand Washington DC already has many assets to make it a compelling capital and on ther hand as a federal system our society will never create a perfect super capital in ideals and all the bad things that go with such   an attempt in practice. The Imperial Court would greatly indrease the cultural assets available to the District of Columbia.  This is true even though Louisiana will regain much of the prominence it had prior to the War Between the States. We will still be a hyper multipolar society but if we do this then the pole of Washington and the pole of Louisiana will both gain a great deal. However, that can be in the context of overall growth and development.

To quote myself in a Facebook note I wrote on Western Civilization, “If Greece is utlimately our culture andJesus is ultimately our conscience then what is missing. Neither Jesus nor Greece gave us a capital. Rome is the Capital of Western Civilization. That is actually Rome’s greatest achievement in my view. It is not insignificant. In Rome our center hold in some way none of us really understand but for reasons that fill libraries as well. Only in the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven in Beijing China have I found anything which approaches the feel of Rome. They are very different. Rome is more our cutlural capital even now when we are hardly existing as a unity than Beijing is China’s cultural capital.” Both our revolutionary Founding Fathers and this revolution would seek to emulate much of what was best in Rome. A large part of it would be an effort to have a great and effective capital city.
c. Larger Spheres of Activity

The Ministry of Protocol and the House military forces would be the groups most prominently involved in preparing for the House and its members to interact effectively and proerly with the larger sphere of places, groups and individuals with which they must be involved. That includes the preparation of rooms and the organization of space as well as working with the Peer-Electors in creating suitable spaces for entertaining the Emperor and Empress at regular intervals on the premises of their fiefdoms.  

2. The Imperial House as a Set of Relationships Between People 

One thing which would be open about the transition to the Royalist Empire is that there would be a focus of  activity in the Court. The Court is not so clearly defined as any particular palace, assembly or group. The court would have many aspects and manifestations. However, it would have dangers and advantages distinctly its own which would be recognized by its members and sovereigns. Its influence would be greatly limited compared to some historic courts because of Sovereignty shared with the Constitutional Jurisdictions in federalism and the government shared with the  First Esecutive Vice President. Nonetheless it would not try to limit such influence as did acrue to it. Rather, Influence would be seen as amost preferred way to exercise its role in government. 

 a.  The Imperial House and its structure related to the issues of sexuality and also of women within that sexual context. 

i. The Empress

The Empress has a great deal of autonomy and dignity built into her role and this role involes both copulating with the Emperor and bearing him children. This is potentially a powerful influence which will help to shape relations between the sexes, attitudes toward women and sexuality within the realm.

ii. Other Imperial Consorts

The size and diverisity and constitution of an Arcadian Royal Harem of the Imperial scale would depend on many factors. However,  ideal is that it be large. These women are wives and would be spoken of as such in Court but would be recognized in every way as in a seprate legal and social status from the Empress. Only the in-between Mistress of Ceremonies can bear an Heir for example in the ordinary course of things. Joseph Broussard when he was being prosecuted and attempts were made by the British to discredit him was found to have fathered a son out of wedlock with an Acadian woman, it is known that prominent Acadians in the ?Acadie /Nova Scotia region often had Miq Mac mistresses. Louisiana had a large social and cultural regime powered in no small part by the tradition of Acadian leaders keeping Creole of Color and Houma Indian Mistresses as well as (more discreetly) white mistresses in regularized relationships that could be called junior marriages. The institution is essential to the life of the House thus conceieved and ought not to be hidden or apologized for. Religious problems are the most difficult but the truth is that in all long term successful Christian royal regimes the king is usually a polygamous man.  However, in this world and ytime such athing would have to be mandatory and constitutional for many reasons.

I do not have a relationship with Britney Spears. I am fairly sure no Acadian or other role is deepy involved with her but I chose these three pictures of Ms. Spears.She ispossibly a very stuanch republican. Many female celebrities face tragic fates in the course of things when a late plural marriage to a Kng or Prince could be mutually beneficial. A king with a harem (as Versailles included I assure you and earlier kings more honestly) can sometimes attract a variety of women who have a hard time making a regular marriage work but who have a lot of sexual and persoanlity assets which work better in a royal plural marriage. Whatever the details the pictures here tell a story of their won in the context of other publicly known facts. If one chose to one could see American celebrity culture as another sign of the need that exists for a royalist shift.   

iii. Sexual Philosophy specific to this particular House and this particular Regime

 Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 6:28pm 
In one of Leon Tolstoy’s fantasticaly long and eloquent novels a smart young woman uncomfortable with her own sexual appeal says to another character, who is I believe a very self-assured Russian Prince, who has a discussion simialr to the one in my favoritr novelist of sexual love Jane Austen. Or so I think for I have not checked my sources but sort of remeber the scene in both sets of romances.   “Why do people have balls? Wouldn’t it be much more sensible if people simply spent the evening in conversation?” To which the Prince (or prominent English aristocrat) , who is an acomplished social dancer, replies “Infinitely more sensible and infinitely less like a ball.” A society that lives only in words and conversations does not live at all. Women and the way they appear to men is not primarily a subject to be debated. It is primarily the greatest engine and most pertinent mystery of human personality and society.

Tolstoy was a Christian, a dabbling Freemason, a bit of a socialist and an apologetic royalist. There have been many other humans of great intellect with deities like Pan, Aphrodite, Venus and a hundred others who were much more explicit in declaring the enormous importance of sex and the sexual recognition of women. When the founding fathers discussed the work of building the United States several key leaders including Jefferson wrote that the work of Population was one deserving time attention and resources. The American revolution was largely fought to allow the people of the United State a few centuries to breed and and build families and hope that over that time a better set of technologies would emerge to deal with high population density. Sex, family, courtship, childbirth, marraige and the like are of enormous importance to any sane public policy. All of these things especialy involve women as women.”

I am leaving out chunks and paragraphs here that add to the argument but my whole note is available on this blog.  You can read it any time if you wish. Here is some of my main points about the nature of women.

“First, human females are truly shockingly extraordinary. They are not only very different from men they are different from other female earthlings. Women distinguish our species so enormously that it is simply inevitable magic. The combination of human extreme bipedalism (walking on two feet) and the shape of chidlbearing hips combine with prominent breasts to create a figure which is very extreme sexual dsiplay compared to men’s beards and very little else is so specifically developed as sexual flesh. This is somewhat different from our nearest biological relatives the apes. It is very distinct from the myriad examples of ducks, deer, chickens, lions, turkeys and other well known species where the male expresses the physical “come hither” material in the sexual dialog. In most species there is either no sexual dimorphism meaning there is asexual morphism — meaning males and females look mostly alike OR the male wears the plumage.

Having shown a major difference we are only geeting started. A heathy adult female can have coitus on any day at any period of that day. Most females are penetrable (in species like large animals which penterate) only infrquently and are fertile only on these realtively rare occasions. Healthy adult human females are fertile and infertile every month when they are not pregnant or lactating to supply a dependent nursing heavily. The variations between fertile and infertile periods within the month are not common to the whole species nor linked closely to the weather but vary from woman to woman. Further, there is very little physical difference between fertile and infertile women so that estrus is largely hidden. This is also a very limiting set of sexual characteristics which human famles share with few if any other females on Earth if taken as a whole.

To add another level of complexity to the totality of the factors in the paragraph above the human female fertility cycle matches the length of one of the most obvious cycles on earth that of the moon but is not tied to its periodicity. It generaly runs according to the woman’s own biology but does tie in and sychronize to some degree with women she lives with and is somewhat (but very subtly and eraticaly) related to sexual stimulus from men especialy in very young women.

Additional to all the other differences there is the difference between the baby delivered by a woman and an adult human. That difference is called the “degree of neotony”. Almost no creature has a greater degree of neotony and when one combines this degree of neotony with the degree of involvement and care a young human will generaly accept and seek from its mother this creates a greaer demand and matched capacity for mothering per individual human than almost any other earthly species.

These are actually only a few of the reasons why women are objectively one of the most fascinating and compelling subjects to which one could apply the human mind. I actually believe that one of the greatest windows for insight into the state of well-being, progress and potential of any society is to look at women as women within that society.

Here is a woman functioning in Acadian or Germano-Acadian home ‘s kitchen and living room where she plays a vital role in social and economic development in the family and community. The painting is in turn painted by another woman, my great-great-grandmother Regina Oubre Hollier. Dhe is drawing from childhood memories for the composition.”
Leaving out some comments about sex in our time I come to what I see as especially relevant here. Part of what taking sex seriously means.
“In a royalist or aristocratic high republican or a number of other regimes the family has a stature which can tie together the privacy of sex, affection and home with the qualities of a public institution.The modern era has largely abandoned this whole vast set of institutions and patterns which tie these huge parts of the world together.

The point of all this is not that women should have no meaning or existence outside of their role as sexual coun terparts to men and mothers to children. However, the point is to show thattheir is almost limitless capacity for development and discussion in that aspect both of women and of the idea of women. To know woman one must first renounce that kind of asexual androgyny which has had a great deal of credence and influence in the world of my lifetime. Men and women are profooundly different and that difference is vital, useful and profoundly energizing in a decent and healthy society.

There are many layers of sexual exchange and perception between men and women. The Bible is one of the sources for wisom and the perception of ages regarding the relations of men and women. In the iconic story of Adam and Eve in the Book of Genesis in the Bible Adam is the first man and his words upon seeing the first woman are memorable. As Genesis 2: 22b-25 states:
” When he brought her to the man the man said.
“This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;
This one shall be called “woman” for out of “her man” this one has bee taken.”
That is why a man leaves his mother an father and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.
The man and his wife were naked but they felt no shame.”

The extreme intimacy of the passage is in comparison to the anmials with whom Adam cannot marry or form an intimate partnership. But it remains a very intimate passage. There is almost nothing that has been mor under sustained attack for millenia than this excited, intimate and personal recognition by man of his mate in women. Real moral science ia very demading and elegant pursuit and thus is more often abandoned than pursued. However, real moral science must always take a careful measure of relations between the sexes.

I think it deserves to be said in this context that I believe in a moral struggle as a desirable thing. I find that those who are not struggling have usually settled for something bad. One of the powerful shaping forces of humanity as it is remains the strong belief that anything related to the relational structure of humanity must either be very ancient, fixed and setled or else a really blank slate upon which any given generation can write or draw whatever it wants. For me I think that the entire mystery and meaning of humanity is something quite different. Humans have numerous intrinsic qualities that cannot really be changed much in any generation. Yet one may face the future with confidence when aware of these strictures of the past and present. A generation and an individual can compose any vast number of varied tunes using these notes given by nature. By preserving and fully working the great musical tradition one can even enhance the range and delicacy of notes available to future generations of musicians. Sexuality and the role of women is one of the great musical worlds in which the human race can operate. It is an area where we all practice some form of art whether or not we even acknowledge it.

What evolution, the idea of original sin, reincarnation, eugenics and quite a few other theories about the proper living out of humanity have in common is the idea that we pass on something different to the future based on our actions. Humans may not agree on what the mechanism for passing things on is, nor what ought to be passed on, nor how that which is passed on relates to present behavior. But in many different ways and at many different levels of intensity we remind ourselves and are reminded by those we put in charge of our most serious thinking that we are changing the present of future generations by how we live out our own present here and now.

This is a rather serious business and humans are able to make rather substantial changes in the population in relatively short periods of time. One of the most notable struggles of human race is our struggle to define and make ourselves as a species. That our greatest project is ourselves is a perspective which gives great importance to waman’s involvement in the human adventure. One of the characterisitics of the modern era is that we expect the totality of sexual relations to be easily defined. Consider that terms like: harem, concubine, paramour, mistress, courtesan, sister-wife, rival, Abbess, novice, midwife, maid, lady-in-waiting, placement, princess, Queen, Official Mistress and countless others once denoted roles which were available to women in many cases simultaneously and which in huge numbers of places have all disappeared down to the last one. I write here not so much to change the world but more as any defeated soldier may write when he decides that before his life ends he wants to make really clear how badly he views this new order and the triumph of what he fought against. So for me I see layer upon layer of both personal defeat and the coming to an end of much of what makes the human species human. It goes back to my recurring theme thayt life has mostly been a nightmare.

One thing about sex and womanhood being very near the core of the human moral struggle is that the issues related to womanhood and sexuality are subject to the same regional and epochal variations as are other part of the human moral drama. From my point of view I may say that all humans are severely confused and diseased in their understanding of these things. However, I would not say that they or we all suffer from the same delusion or disease. We may all be in error but we are in distinct errors across the species. A loose translation of the Bible called the Catholic Living Bible translates a passage as follows:
Luke 11: 45-47a
“Sir,” said an expert in religious law who was standing there, ” you insult my profession, too, in what you just said.”
“Yes,” said Jesus, “the same horrors await you! For you crush men beneath impossible religious demands that you yourselves would never think of trying to keep. Woe to you!””

Sex is an area where evil intentions , evil plans and hate often come dressed up as morality. One of the greatest problems humanity faces is the problem of overcoming the advantages acrued by evil in human affairs once evil is recognized as a real thing. I think that for me sex is an aspect of the human condition which accentuates hoew badly flawed our species is and yet, at the same time, is the point of glory at which we can most resemble the species we were once meant to be.”

Leaving out more discussion of current events that helped the argument I resume with my argument itself. I think it is relevant in many ways..

“I do not believe that the story at the begining of the book of Genesis was written by Moses after visiting the origins of the human species in a time machine. I do not believe the writer had a Ph. D. in biology. I do not believe it is a book coded from another book which was largely a straight first hand bio-history of its time — that is what I believe about the Gospels. I am even willing to say that he early stories are myths which is a word that atheistic relativistic scholars love to use for them. However, I do think that they are true stories written to pass on ancient coded trruths and insights which come from miraculousy ancient parts of the human story. Why is so much in the Bible coded?

That is a question for a long an important note on another occasion. In this note we will examine a bit more of Adam and Eve. There are three phases of the sexual relationship betwwen the two. in very general terms I mean for one could argue for a dozen phases.

The first is the phase in Genesis 2: 22-25b which I have already quoted this is the relationship between Man and Woman which God intended as unique to the human species. This really reflected the Image of an ultimate divine nature. The qualities of that relationship are intimacy, passion, empathy, excitement sex, good bodily self-image and fertitlity. It sounds tiring to those of us with enough mileage but otherwise one who can think can see the logic and goodness of it.

To preserve this humanity needed God’s friendship and to avoid eating the fruit of the knowleddge of Good and Evil. The writer here is using code for cannibalism. Yes, that again. The passage says that iti is a tree in the middle of the garden of course humans are in the middle of their own world always. That on the day one eats it humans will die and again if humans are eaten then the human eaten will die. It brings knowledge of Good and Evil and we actually have a lot of data across many centuries and cultures to show that eating human flesh is a passage which brings cunning, insioght and moral guilt into human minds in a unique way whether the society endorses or forbids cannibalism.

The last set of relations is the abusive marrasige and the loss of God’s friendship which define behavior which is in the survivable margin for humans as we currently are. These last two phases of the story are descibed in Genesis Chapter three. We all are still living in the last phase at best from the story’s own point of view.

It goes far beyond my capacity in time and space in tis note to show instances of cultures where men have driven their lands into desert and ruin to make sure that women were sastarving and dispossessed and fit into one of three (to them) acceptable catgories hyper-breeding terrified slaves, spies or religiously deluded cattle reared as food. rthis of course has always included the need to kill and maim some large number of men who cannot overcome (or heroicaly resist overcoming) their lover for mothers, sisters, and female lovers. Some of the time homosexuals have led this misogynistic elte.

Life is often hell and human society often a sewer which exceeds my capcity to espress and usually it involves building things on one of two principles men hating women or women hating children. Often this is dressed up as religion or ideology but it is really about that. This engine allows the most foul and wothless kinds of people to amss almost all available power and resources. It has happened occasionaly since time imemorial.

The sexualy intense path of paradise requires lots of restriction and guidance in the real world. It always has unless you believe we may have had an unfallen Eden somewhere in the pre-historic past. But it is the path which produces real joy and love, wealth, pressure for progress and other necessities. I presume that almost everyone alive today is someone iI would consider fundamantally insane. But I do not take such a dim view of insanity as some do. Homosexuality is a condition of some sons of women which is in my view tolerable when those who are homosexual know it is alimiting thing and have the humility to see it as a speciai status with some rewards and some disease like qualities requiring a routine of self -care, or when they publicly acnkowledge it as a kind of loss in bio-sweepstakes in which they make the best out of a less than first place postion. But when they think as Mr. Hilton does they are evil men encouraging other evil men in a way which opens on to an ininite pool of evil.

Women are tied to certain kinds of inferiority too. the way a man is supposed to feel superior is in the act of achieving coital satisfaction. Unthinkably in allowing the killer and crusher in him to feel fed by her sufferings in pregnancy and child birth and then letting the good and protective part of him make it up to her in other ways. Women are supposed to have a capacity for maistakes as a class which is no the same in men. If women stopped getting pregnant and being a little optimistic about it when everything was bleak and horrible there would never be a brighter tomorrow. What is wrong is that there have for hundreds of centuries been people racing to the bottom giving women less and less of their share for breeding expenses as it were. There is a lot more I could say on this subject. Men have also been maimed and crippled by women in many ways and that is also part of the drama.”

I leave out an ending statement challenging  gynecologists and the Catholic Church to learn to make eachother better not worse. But basiacally this is the argument and the essay. That is my note on what the sexual values are  that might come into play. There is a lot that is in it and a lot that is not.

 iii. Other Sexual Relations and Practices

The Court is not just any place. There is an element of sexual freedom afforded by a Court Physician with a staff, strict rules of propriety and ones own police force which are distinct from the realities elsewhere. If this regime were launched it would be expected that the Court would allow some sexual realities in Court that it seeks to vigorously restrict in the realm. That does not mean there is no enforcement of a sexual code in fact the failure to enforce one is one of the greatest causes for the destruction of  any Court worth having. 

b.The Imperial House and issues of military and martial culture:

Another cultural area is the realtions between the House and Household and the military. This will not always be smooth but the military belonging to the House and the other forces in the reconstitutionalized America will shape the experience of life and community at court. The Court and this new regime will also help the military establishment which curretnly exists to revitalize and improve ties and relations with the society as a whole. Part of this American Revolution would be various ritual and formal tied between the Court and the service academies.  In the midst of all  this one can see how certain ancient traditions within the Acadian culture regarding the Christian faith dominant in our land could be relevant to this renewal of military culture especially as it is studied. In line with that I produce an essay I wrote on Face book over a year ago. 

  • Our Military Will be Brought into a Central Cultural Nexus


” Monday, April 6, 2009 at 11:28am 
Many of my fellow Americans are bearing arms in the service of their country in Afghanistan and Iraq.These are the countries in which the US is more or less officially engaged in a war. We have a large number of people, mostly young men who wear uniforms, follow schedules, bear weapons, drill, fight and kill as well as dying and being wounded in those two distant lands.

Perhaps they know Jesus as the Prince of Peace. I certainly know and honor Christ as the holder of that Title. Many of them are certainly Christians and it is to the Christians who serve in the US military that I primarily address this note. I think war should be avoided whenever it is right and possible to do so. Jesus said “I came that you might have life and have it abundantly”, can it be acceptable to Christian families to have their sons, daughters, wives and husbands far away causing pain and injury to other people?

Smaller numbers of Americans are bearing arms in service of the country which has renewed my passport in Korea, Germany, Japan, Cuba, and on ships and planes around the world. In addition there are farflung bases on quasi-American soil or a least not state soil. Tiny detachments hold a position for our interests in American Samoa and larger ones in Guam. There are bases in very powerful and not so powerful countries with whom we have had historic ties — these range from the United Kingdom to the Federated States of Micronesia. Then we have a fleet of nuclear powered and nuclear armed submarines prowling the oceanic depths. This is an impressive amount of coverage for a nation’s military. I actually find the role of the miitary as an institution very interesting. However it is also true that I am interested in the way our toops are mentally affected by their service. I wish all American military service personnel well as military service personnel. That is a simple postion for me to take. As long as I carry an American passport, have credits with the Social Security Agency and vote in our elections in Louisiana as it now and foreseeably exists — then the USA is the country I support as mine and the very important role of the military in that national team is one I have to root for in their role. Some people in uniform are also brave, honest, decent and patriotic. I like those qualities. However, I do not cheer on our folks in uniform because I think they all have these qualities. Rather, I think otherwise.”

I will leave out some of my favorite stuff from this note that I am quoting and reproducing here. However, although I ahave accepted that this may be the longest post in my life I am trying to keep it a little shorter than it might be. I resume:

“I think that Christianity is entirely relevant to the discussion of war and arms in the United States. I think that Easter week especially is a relevant time to join the two discussions. It may prove to be a very thankless task indeed. I think of my countrymen and women who are coming from the aging congregations of urban Catholic Cathedral parishes, small rural Catholic chapels, incense filled Orthodox churches in ethnic neighborhoods, hardshell Baptist churches on red dirt roads near old sawmills and bait shops, Mega Churches with Protestant preacching and modern audio-visual equipment and the average sized Catholic churches filled with families. I think of young men of 17, 18, 20, 24, 25 and 27 heading off to boot camps, training, transports and war. I think of the secular ideas which guide so much of the military structure and the whispers and influences of men as diverse as George Washington, Hitler, Clausewitz, Mohammed, Mao Zhe Dong, Napoleon, Ghengis Khan, Horatio Nelson, Andrew Jackson and Patton who may influence their thoughts about war. I have nothing against their learning from, and studying either the good men or the bad. However, I am driven against all sane reasoning to put down a few of my own thoughts about Jesus Christ and the Christians view of war and military service.

Jesus’s Apostles had nicknames, given names or nommes de guerr that included: the Rock, Sons of Thunder, the Zealot ( a member of a known military and anti-Roman organization) and were accustomed to life threatening situations. Crucifixion and stoning were among their regular subjects of conversation. Jesus also spoke propheticaly of the coming siege of Jerusalem. Is this post of engaged observation all their Savior has to offer those who serve in the military and honor his name?'”

I related the note to my own life. We will skip that here:

 “Jesus said ” Do you think I have come to bring peace to the Earth? I assure you that I have not come to bring peace but fire and a sword”. Is a sense of social revolution or social consciousness all these young people can bring into the upheaval of armed conflict from the one who is their model of perfection?

My grandfathers both served in the US military. I have a rather complex and rather large warrior heritage. It extends in varied directions. My mother’s father Cecil Bruce Germillion served as a bombadeer instructor in the Army Air Corp. My paternal grandfather served as an officer in the US Navy. He said he commanded a golrified private yacht in the Gulf of Mexico early in the war. Later he was part of the large fleet of vessels headed towrd the invasion of Japan’s home islands when the atomic bomb ended the war. He used to say that although he saw some action in the Pacific his real anxiety was just as great in the Gulf. He said only once but with great passion that while in the Pacific he was well armed and supported in the Gulf he and his next subordinate (perhaps an Ex. O. or a Chief I do not recall) sometimes referred to the yacht secretly as the “USS Sitting Duck” which had to do with his evaluation of the vessel’s capacity to take on a wolfpack of German submarines in full out combat.

When Jesus was criticized for failing to keep some laws of the Sabbath by gleaning grain on that day he defended his behavior by sighting the example of King David who ate the Show bread because David was a king and he and his men were under the duress of warfare. Is Jesus’s example merely that of seeing his ministry in the pattern of military operations in his familial and national history?

I am a child of the sixties. I lived in New york and London in the 1960s and had relatives who were on elite college campuses during the heyday of the Peace Movement and the movement known as the Hippies. I never really felt that wearing black hats made some people bad and wearing white ones made other people good. I do not have the space and presume of the reader’s time enough to really cover the personal aspect fully. I am not a trusting blind supporter of the military or its policies. I would not describe myself that way at all. I am not ashamed of my own lack of courage or experience with conflict or danger. I would not describe myself that way at all.

So I wonder what I might say to those spending Holy Week and Easter in the forward zone or any other zone of the US military. First, I would say that Jesus did have you in his heart as he prayed for you that night in the Garden of Gethsemane becuase you are one of those who has believed. That is a great comfort in many ways. But it is also true that is evidence that God holds you to a personal standard. A Christian cannot believe that our personal lives and consciences disappear entirely into the duties and rights of a military force or a country. God will still hold you accountable for all that you do and become while you are in the services. God will not expect you to behave as if you were not a soldier, sailor, marine or airman but he still sees your heart and weighs your deeds. Of course when Jesus taught us to pray “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” he no doubt included martial trespasses in the economy of God’s mercy. God’s mercy is certainly a very big part of what we celebrate on Holy Week and Easter.

On Palm Sunday we remember Jesus, the Son of David entering the City of David. We remember that the crowds were shouting “Hosana, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Jesus had many who supported him his claims and his ministry.He did not shy away from leadership, rank or office and he was very open and brave.

So far everything I have written in this note is something I can live with and not regret. But now I am going to start the part that I already regret before having written it. In a sense all war is wrong and even military service. I say that as one who believes that in the Holy center of the Universes around the throne of God the angels wear and use weapons and are organized in armies. But ideally and perfectly there would be no war or planning for war. So I am writing this to an audience I want to encourage who at the same time I do not hesitate to say should ideally be doing something else. I look out at the world and the church today and feel that I too must do something immoral and which will stink in my conscience for a long time. I feel that I must reveal the some of secrets of a society which has done great good and kept its secrets since the time of Jesus. I do not see Knightly orders, Popes,their Catholic Majesties of Spain or anyone else standing between me and this day. So I write what is precious to me hoping I am not violating Jesus’s injunction not to throw pearls before swine.

The secrets of our ancient order which I am going to reveal are hidden in the gospels themselves. Are there things hidden in the Gospels? It is a reasonable question.

“The disciples approached him (Jesus) and said, ” Why do you speak to them in parables?”
He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you but to them it has not been granted, To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not even what he has will be taken away. That is why I speak to them in parables, because they “look but do not see and hear but do not isten or understand”.” Matthew 13:10-13 New American Bible.

Jesus was, among all the other things he was, a warrior. He did not do many of the things that leaders who inspire others have done. He did not besiege or sack cities like Mohammed or his own namesake Joshua. He did not burn down the temples of idols like these same men. He did not rejoice in blood and mayhem like Ghengis Khan or the Viking Pagans. Your savior was a warrior who took his joy in weddings, Passover feasts, the Eucharist he was founding, flowers, birds and children. He did not take his joy in the sufferings of others. Our age is very different from the spirit of that secret warrior Jesus but nonetheless in following the warrior’s path you are not straying from the path of Jesus’s own experience.

Josephus either implies or states that during the siege of Jerusalem the Jews turned to cannibalism and ate one another. People eating other people is a huge and undiscussed part of human history and experience. It is one of the most important struggles of human history. Many societies have been proudly and openly cannibalistic. Many people in the world in 2009 are cannibals. Rome was a place where public law and morals condemned cannibalism. It was a place where officials would have been ashamed to admit to having dealings with merchants trafficking in human flesh. I know to my own satisfaction that here were non Jews eating and butchering Jews at that siege. By mentioning cannibalism at all, even blaming it on the Jews, Josephus put his own life at risk. In Rome there were a group of unofficial but sophisticated pirates who participated in the war machine by buying slaves on the cheap after battles and sieges as well as capturing all they could in the invaded country. They killed these people, often with torture and sport and then made sausage or pies out of them mixing the human flesh with pork.They made a very good profit on this in part because they worked the people as slaves before reducing them to food and extorted knowledge about the new lands fallen before the Roman banner. For this purpose they located large herds of swine near the lands to be destroyed in advance. They were wealthy, powerful, cunning, well armed, possessed of assasins corps and called themselves demons. They had a handful of key agents throughout every Roman Imperial governnment. They were an order older than Rome itself and not entirely Roman. There were at least tens of thousands of men at arms at their command both in the Empire and in non Roman lands. These were the enemies Jesus fought with 12 Apostles, 72 zealous highly trained disciples divided into groups of six for each Apostle. Then he had 38 reserve guards. All were also trained in charitable ministry and his preaching this was not a made up addition later on and yet with 133 part-timers(the ten not enumerated are my last nod towards a disappearing tradition) and the women officials and crowds who supported them Jesus opposed one of the most fierce and powerful forces ever to have existed.

The events of Jesus’s war are chronicled in specific events:
Event One:
Matthew 8:22-27 / Mark 4: 35-41
Jesus calms the storm at Sea

Event Two:
Matthew 8:28-34 / Mark 5:1-20
Jesus crosses the sea of Galilee
Demons are confronted
a herd of swine are destroyed
captive freed
Jesus leaves the region with the ones remaining very upset

Event Three:
Matthew 14: 13-21 / Mark 6;34-44
Jesus feeds 5000 people mysteriously
the disciples are instructed to collect all the fragments

Event Four:
Matthew 14:22-33 / Mark 6:45-52
Jesus is seen walking on the water with Peter.

Event Five:
Mark 8:1-10
Jesus feeds 4000 people. Mark makes it clear that these were multiple events.

Event Six:
Matthew 16: 21-23 / Mark 8: 31-33
Jesus begins to predict the Passion and Crucifixion in Jerusalem as inevitably the end of his life.

Jesus and his elite units used to wait for the worst storms on the Sea of Galilee. They crossed the sea in those storms under his fearless leadership. They opened the early pens located by the demons there in anticipation of the Roman destruction of the Jews and they liberated the prisoners. They then drove the pigs from the demons herds into the sea. Jesus was a carpenter and he located wooden buthcering sites at hudden spots in the out in the lake. The crews would remove nets filled with rocks and the rafts would float to the surface. Then his crew would attach inflated pig skins and pig bladders to increase bouyancy. On these non freeboard platforms they would slaughter the pigs and butcher them into boneless slabs of fish shaped meats. They would dump the entrails, guts, bones and heads in the lake. Knowledge of these dumps enbaled him to instruct fisherman as to where to put down their nets to get a great catch. Then they would cover the platforms with nets filled with rocks and arrive at shore near guarded ovens. Reusing fish bones frm each feeding and buying distressed fish from other fishermen with knowledge of where great catches could be found they would take a breading and adhere two pork steaks to the fish skeletons. They mixed these porkfish with regular bread and fish and fed thousands repeatedly. This also attracted donations from those who wanted to contribute something and these resources funded a large ministry of healing and teaching. Jesus constantly taught that eating unclean food (such as pork) did not make someone imoral. Once Peter and Jesus were seen using these platforms it was inevitable that Jesus would be killed. He chose to make this happen in a very specific public way in Jerusalem and create pressures on the demons.

After cleansing the Temple, Jesus managed to give on last speech to a huge crowd before being arrested and killed. He said two things at once. To his disciples he said that he was the living water and if they recognized him and believed in him then he would flow out of their hearts and meet their needs for courage and peace of soul. To the handful of demon spies the same words literaly were: if you recognize me from the stormy waters, I am the water that made your guards thirst no more and living water (blood) flow from their chest.

Jesus was not a great general, he had no palaces, published glories,nor vast armies and suffered more than he made his enemies suffer. He spent time healing, forgiving and seeking peace, he was humble and meek at many times (not always meek and almost never mild) but he was a warrior. In terms only of skill and bravery he was as he was at everyhting– arguably the best there has ever been. Yes, I mean that seriously. Your churches and mine may in the end condemn me for what I write and I think his contribution to war is lost in the mists of time. But your Savior has not left you as orphans in this world of war. There are no simple answers, no excuses, no bloodlust but the Prince of Peace was a man of war and you need not doubt him as you celebrate his legacy in an armed camp.”

c.The connection of the Imperial House and the royal traditions within our history.

There are images and portrayals of royalty and royalism thoughout  much of our society and such episodes in our history. There are also numerous royalist regimes. Not all of our relations and anlses of things would get easier and better. But it seems that America can afford a royalist regime, needs one and so to me it seems the results will be mostly beneficial.  

The King of Hawaii greeting Captain Cook


 Joining history and popular culture with a publi9cly established royalty would meet real needs that people have. Needs that keep expressing themselves whether or not anyone pays attention.

Kimberly Williams with two girls in th movie the Princess Diaries


d. Believing in and Understanding  a Legitimate American Royal Monarchy starting with the Keys of the Line.

While I have not named the five Princes des Grand Familles or the potential Emperor who is operating as a Basileus Arkadios in secret or in some places as what is called a “Wide Open Secret”  there is a great deal that could be learned and understood simply by a solid reading of the best and better books and articles on Acadian history and the Cajun Renaissance going on from about 1960 to the present.  It is a good bet that these six men and others will have a great deal in common with the people described in the most accurate books and articles.  It is also likely that they will have been formed by experiences and cultural influences which the books and articles  decribe. I want to give some idea of who the Basileus Arkadios could be by saying who some of the previous ones have been. This revelation as it were is  called the “keys of the line” or “Les Cles des Nommes des Rois”. If this regime is established it will be the first open reign of a Basileus Arkadios in a long time. However it is acceptable to publish the keys of line of kings stopping short of th living king.

   i. Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil was the third Broussard to hold the title he held it from Acadie in what is now Nova Scotia to the Part of Louisiana that is now Acadiana. Every Basileus was a Broussard until Governor Mouton. Joseph Broussard was both my ancestor and the ancestor of my ex-wife.

ii.Governor Mouton was the only Basileus in the New World to abdicate except to start an interregnum a bit early when cleary dying. He abdicated in favor of General Mouton who died of wounds received in the War Between the States while still a fairly young man. Neither of these two Mouton Kings is my ancestor.

iii.Severin   Leblanc was elected King and the Leblancs were elevated from the highest ranking High Chiefly Clan to the Lowest Princely Clan. In other words they were neighbors in protocol rank and his family’s relative ranking did not change. The line above him was moved below him.  Every king from him to Dudley Leblanc was a Leblanc. I am descended  from Severin but not from Dudley. However, one of Dudley’s daughters was reared by my grandfather Chief Justice Frank W. Summers’s brother Clay and his wife. Dudley was the last king named Leblanc in the line.

This would be a good place to search through this blogs pages and posts if one is really interested. I am not entirely sure what is on this site myself but on my Facebook  profile I have a great deal more information available. Among the thousand books listed on one of the applications there as books I have read there are many books on the subjects related to the line of Acadians and their experience although not written specificaly about the topic of the secret royal line. In addition, I have relevant notes there which do not appear here.   But I do want to try to make clearer the significance of Greek heritage to those who may not have thought much about it.

I want to quote from another part of the same essay where I got my own words about the importance of Rome’s having created a  Capital City for Western Civilization. 

  • “” I suppose that prior to really discussing Western Civilization one ought to define the terms “Western” and “Civilization”. That is certainly how Socrates would have gone about it and he is certainly one of the major fountains of whatever Western Civilization turns out to be. However, there is no group of people here to stand in for the young Athenian aristocrats I would speak with if I were him. Socrates is a major literary figure but was not a writer. His talent was for leading discussions. From his example of course we get the term Socratic method. The socratic method whether written of in upper or lower case letters is still the principal technique in American law schools. I of course attended one such twice.

I have a fondness for Western Civilization. It strikes me as a thing worth learning about and keeping in perspective as one of the biggest and best things humans have done. However, it also strikes me as a flawed thing with many acts of wrongdoing which can be laid at its door. I also think that more than any other people the Chinese have reason to be a little paranoid as to why we have developed such an obsession with the study of Western Civilization under just that exact title. This note will not only deal with Western Civilization.

I think that all of human greatness is a subject and a reality far broader than Western Civilization. In fact I find that Humanity is far more rich and complex a topic than Civilization iself. Civilization is a mode of being ewhich is not an unmitigated good in fact. Civilization is many things but it is always a gamble there is a great deal of gambling in the structure of a real and honest civilization.Civilization causes us to all give up many things we want and could want more. Civilization causes us to feel a need for and consume things we might not otherwise consume.These dissaciations are very costly and there must be off-setting good results to justify them. Many patterns of life are determined by the civilization itself or its large corporate and collective organs. A vital and basicaly good civilization has an element of institutional preservationism, an element of planning some structured sharing. Civilizations without those things soon cease to deserve the designation. These are elements combined with a structure of optimism and gambling that is essential to the civilized stance and point of view.

Those civilizations which do not have an element of gambling in their structure have much greater evil making things go and are in fact not really civilations they are to real civilations what the modern writers following Stoker’s fictional vampire Dracula is to an average human. They keep up the appearances of life but without many of its most vital processes. Dracula is all about death and in the sun he is ashes byt he claims to be immortal and does go in a sort of life for a very long time.

Unless a society is renewed continuously and in a way which is authentic then there is no way it can remain a real civilization indefinitely. I am fully certain that many civilzations are almost entirely dead before the force which actually destroys them appears on site.I have had a feeling much of my life that the civilization into which I was born had huge problems in its inner resources and workings. I have often felt that my life was really a profound hell in many ways. I still often feel that way.

I have written a lot about Jesus in these notes. I have also dealt a great deal with other forms and leaders who were Jews, as he was. Jews have played a large role in Western civiliaztion but (though oddly Jew has come to mean someone who does not follow Jesus and is sure about it ) Jesus is their greatest flowering out into the world and is one of the very tiny number of people bron before 1500 who truly envisaged his legacy as bringing something to all peoples and cultures of which he knew or did not know during his lifetime. He was an outgrowth of Jewishness and its highest expression in that regard. We may turn to this subject again in this note. But to sum up the Jewish thing is too much about just Jews on the one hand and about all humans on the other hand to be the direct foundation and centerpiece of Western Civilization. If one wants to make a silly and ethnocentric error which is the least incorrect then this would be it,”Western Civilization is spelled -G-R-E-E-K”. If one wants to speak of Eastern Civilzation one should know lots about Japan, India and the Eastern part of Arab tradition. But if one wants to make the ethnocentric silly error which is least incorrect then it would be, “Eastern Civilization is spelled -C-H-I-N-A”. Greece and China aren’t even close to the whole story but nonetheless one could never exhaust either of their contributions to Western and Eastern Civilization respectively. They are of course very different countries.

I am proud to say that I speak truly deplorably horrid Greek and surpass it with almost superhuman butchering and botching of Madarin Chinese. I think when one speaks these languages as badly as I do there is a sort of automatic respect which is born within one. I do not write at length in either of these languages. I do write badly at length in quite a few languages. However not in AEllada or Putong Hua.

I think that reading Homer, Plato and Aristotle are essential to being well educated in the lore of Western Civilization I certainly openly advocate such readings. I have occasion to teach a few young boys whatever I wished for a few months full time on several different occasions and I have always set up a schedule of a number of subjects rotating through each week. Typicaly there have been five or so of these subjects but usually on has been the Bible and another has been what I call the Classics which always starts with Homer, Plato and Aristotle and not necessarily in chronological order.

Much like the Bible, Greek thought has been co-opted and sometimes hi-jacked by a variety of people with agendae which were intensely important to them and which were formed largely by reactions to the points of view held and expressed by other people trying to control the discussion of these same writers and ideas. However, the Greek world is truly very vast and very diverse.The Greece of Lykos the Wolf-man king of Arcadia and of Alexander the great are very clearly connected but are vastly different from one another. The Greek civilization of Septuagint and the Ptolemy dynasty are profoundly different again.

I could read and teach only Greek ideas and culture all my life and only that and scarcely mak a good start. However, Homer, Plato and Aristotle are the things I have repeatedly chosen to teach when offered choices. They bring a person into the experience of the great Greek phenomenon of experience.

The New Testament is also written in Greek of course. it is drawn from sources written in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic but all of those ancient books are lost and the texts closest to the best of them are the Gospels in Koine Greek. Christianity is certainly vital to the history of Western Civilization. But Christianity has universal obligations. A good Pope must be especilly loyal to the city of Rome and also have a love for Jerusalem. However, a good Pope must also have some real space in his heart for the good of Beijing, Delhi and Lesotho not only the people who live there but even the pre-Christian cultures that flourished there. To be Vicar of Christ and not a great scandal is to be the vicar of the one who sent the Good News to the ends of the Earth.

The pre- latin people and other Italians, the Celts, The non Hellenic Egyptians, The Ethiopians, the Germans and the Norse each have a substantial history with Greater Greece that predates their own written history outside of Greek history. All of these groups who made a substantial contribution to Western Civilization from the inside were at least a bit Hellenized before they emerged as there own sort of thing. On could describe modern Western Civilization as that cultural system which emerged from:
1.The Hellenization of Ancient Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
2.The Romanization of the Hellenic World.
3.The Christianization of the Roman Empire.
4. The Barbarization of the Christian Roman Empire.
5. The Fashioning of Christendom from the Teuton lands and the crumbling Empire’s pieces.
6.The survival and change of Christendom under the assault of Islam and the Norse raids and settlements.
7. The Renaissance process of remaking Christendom mostly with ancient Hellenic ideas.

The many important things that have happened in Western Civilization since about 1600 AD depend on all of these foundational transformations are react intensely to them. These 4000 years from 2400 BC to 1600 made Western Civilization a definite and real thing which still remains identifiable. Things have gotten better and worse since 1600 in all kinds of ways but much has stayed the same. I do think however that we are in a place where we could lose all that is left of this civilization.

I think that Western Civilization is in serious trouble. Things have gotten bad in ways sufficiently broad and mysterious tro be difficult to detect analyze or appreciate. However, our civilization will have to play some very fine poker or lose it all in my view. I am doing what I am currently able to get done to address that crisis but it certainly is not nearly enough. I know that for me society has always been flunking and yet I see the trend as downward towards worse and worse performacn on the scales I am using to measure with in these matters.”

  • Many people have mattered but none have mattered more than the hellenic peoples in the development of modern Western Civilization.  The Acadians and there royalty provide a vital link top that great source of culture and achievement for America and that link would be secured in the new Empire. 
  • e. Understanding the Acadian Royal Tradition and the people and structure of the Imperial House as Community and Family 

    One truth that will be obvious if it is considered is that any House moving into this role from America would be moving from relative darkness to relative light in many ways. 

    i. What we look like around here 

    Remeber I am descended from many of the local kings and so regardless of anything else looking at my family can give you an idea of what the House might look like. More or less, you can see some of our feature if you try.  

    My father frank Wynerth Summers II catching a fish offshore in his younger years.


    My young father fishing captures his basic looks and some of our relatives attitudes about many things too. He was and is an outdoorsman and many Acadians are that way. In taking my nieces and nephew to ride an elephant they also are building a spirit of adventure and a bond with nature. 

    This is me in the reddish shirt taking my two nieces and a nephew to ride an elephant


     My ex-wife was a Broussard by birth. She could have become a Basilissa under our rules by marrying man who was or could become a Basileus. This is us relaxing at Sea Island Georgia’s Cloisters hotel.  

    My ex-wife Michelle Denise Broussard Summers


    I am a white Anglo-Acadian. Some people are whie and almost pure Acadian others are white Germano-Acadians. It is not to hard if you grow up learning the many fine and also the large distinctions.

    Loraina and Sally (W.G-r. & L.T-t) my student assistants at a tecnical university in China

    I call them Loraina and Sally sometimes. Student Assistants in China.These young ladies were dear friends, assistants and quite attractive. Chinese can hold na outer title and a contract with an Acadian noble in our tradition but not be Basilissa. Nobody half Negro can be a full member of the Tribe when it is duly constituted but can vote and keep some hereditary rights in a differnt waywith other races children of mixed race fall into complicated rules but are more or less members of the tribe.  Perhaps someone who was a fourth Chinese and three Fourths Acadian could be a Basileus but it has not happened.

    Because of the lack of official status for so long we have lost the capacity to make our system fully work.  However,we have our racial protocols and if the new regime were established they would restore themselves in all their complexity. I return to quote again from the same note or essay which I myself wrote and used to illustrate my ideas on the Capital City and on the importance of the Greek heritage of the Arcadians-Acadians. The Ethnos Arkadios is multi racial in the broadest sense of what the Ethnos Arkadios is but its fabric and essence and continuity is a community of white people. People of other races can play important roles and relations can get complex but the white racial identity is near the center of things.

    I discussed the issue of race in the same note on Western Civilization in which I discussed Greece and trhe importance of a capital city. I retrun to quoting that note now: 

    “One quality of Western Civilization is what some friends of mine and I used to call “the unbearable whiteness of being” that was a pun because of a movie called The Unbearable Lightness of Being. White Racism, White Supremacy, White Identity Preference and Snow on All Mountains are actually all distinct politico-social views of whiteness in the history of Western Civilization. There at least two and a half people left alive who can rationaly discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each position and the differences each has with each other position.” later I went on to discuss how this works with the dumbing down of other discussions besides race.

    I discussed in very harsh terms my opinion that Geramny and Austria cannot ever be fully rehabilitated as part of Western Civilization and the World Community until they devote great and known resources to building ups a great Israel. I regar those countries as very second class.

    I discuss this:

    “Having said this do I think the Hapsburg’s empire for so long was one of humanity’s great achievements?
    YES, I do.

    Do I think Charlemagne was deserving to be called at least a Father of Europe?
    Yes, I do.

    Do I think that Goethe, Saint Boniface, Meister Eckhart, Bach, Mozart and Beethoven made stellar contributions to Western Civilization?
    Yes, I do.

    Do I think the Germanic English despite murderous scandals, silliness and stealing credit from other Celtic Brits or socio-morally solvent?
    Yes, not rich but solvent.

    Do I think that the right wing Teuton chauvinistic Austrian Patriot Prince Meternich was a collosus in modern times and a fine Christian?
    Yes I do.

    So how can I justify my point view? Well, if for ten generations one has mixed feeling about hardworking neighbors of moderate talent who have gotten rich partly through hard-work and thrift then one says they are rich. But if one sees two generations sell all the furniture for drugs, burn down the house, beat and chain their daughters as naked prostitutes and paper the town in hot checks then one is entitled to give them a distinct credit rating than before. Money in this metaphor stands for morality. The neighbors stand for Germany and Austria. I refuse, knowing I offend some fine Germans on this list of friends to say I regard those countries as legitimate or their people as having face in Western Civilzation. They are the very, very poor relations of the family for at least as long as I am likely to live. The whites of the South are known for prejudice and holding a dim view of their neighbors both justly and unjustly. I know there are music groups and artists and others who call themselves ” niggers” without offense and I think policing language is doable but very tricky work. But I assure you that on occasion I have used all the contempt any white southerner ever put in any word into my greetings of Germans and Austrians.

    How they can show their faces in the world and do nothing to deserve it as a country makes me sick. These countries are not alone among the guilty but they disgust me.”

    I said that in my view Western Civilization was mostly dead before World War II. Enslaving the many low ranking Nazis and bring them abroad and also settling in German Americans and other German colonials not infected as the elite would have been a better approach.  I also suggested the sales of the property of elite companies and people would have gone half to other restoration of Germany and Austria as client states and half to build a new Israel. Tet I admit the Jews had been corrupted by their history and the Germans had some grievances ( without going into detail): 

    “I do think Germans had some grievances and there are real problems they needed to address and some of them involved a great people dispossessed of their homeland long ago and not by Germans. However, the behavior of the Third Reich is the essence of obscenity The stench of it still clogs up the breathing passages of the world. I can’t take seriously our international system founded on so little punishment of such great offenses. Jews, Poles, Russians and intellectuals have rivers of blood calling for vengeance. We are not a church and I don’t much want to hear about of absurd plattitudes.”

    I contrast the Third Reich’s view with the ancient Greek struggle to understand race. Then I jumped to the Nordic link to the Third Reich which tempers German and Austrian guilt although it remains vast : 

    “So we can tell from a document discussing the fact that Socrates was indeed a white man what race meant in ancient Greece. It continues to men about the same thing to me now. Christianity tempers my views perhaps. The issue of Greece brings us to the Nordic peoples. Western Civilization has tow very distinct historic poles. The diffusion throughout the world has been important but now we are living in what is ultimately a world civilization. When for millenia Western Civilization really was autonomous it had a North Pole which was Scandinavia and a South Pole which was Ethiopia — culturally speaking. Stockholm is founded on a set of rhythyms and patterns that really do not flow from Greece. Ethiopia is also. However, whether they know it or not both have long been inextricably in the orbit of the Hellenic and post-Hellenic world. This is the very real orbit and rim of of culture that delineated the edges of Western Civilization when Eastern Civilization and this civilization had not really merged to create a world civilization.

    I would like to spend more time writing about Ethipoia than I am going to spend. I would like to explore African, Arab and Greek confluence. I would like to talk of ancient mixed race peoples and of the Shebaitic House of Solomon’s role in Judaism and Christianity. However, I will not get to that in any detail in this note. A great deal has been thought and written about how black these people were or were not. But I will turn instead to some of the the whitest people anywhere. I will instead speak of the Norse.

    Hitler divided the Germanic people into Alpine, Nordic, Jewish-influenced and miscellaneous racial types. The ideal he was trying to move towards was the Nordic type. No group takes its hereditary appearance as seriously as the Norse and I have no doubt some of the really evil minds that will never appear in history’s account but which shaped the Third Reich were Norsemen. I truly do believe thatthey are the most geneticaly distinct people in the world all in all. In many ways they resemble the true Mongols of the East but they are also very different. The Scandinavian countries are Norway, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Scotland for people and groups who call it Sutherland. The Scandinavians have almost always been a great race and occasionaly a mighty civilization. They have seldom been a good people all in all and never been a great civilization.

    Scandinavians have visited every part of the world and burnt the records of their travels they reshaped the culture of Ireland, Sicily and Russia. There has never been an historic China or Japan that did not have Scandinavian pirates somewhere in the background. Scandinavians traded in maps and technology in very significant ways and helped many people break out of technological impasses with the help of technology taken from neighbors. The ninth and tenth centuries AD are known as the eras of their journeys. However I am aware of another tradition. Outside of history and archaeology there are tales with the ring of truth of widespread war between Acadians that went on for almost a thousand years. In Acadian lore Scandinavians come from a people in Westernmost China who were isolated and very advanced who traveled for completely unimaginable reasons to rejoin their ancient and primitive related tribes who were almost a forgotten myth and lived in the frozen North. In the travel they passed through ancient Arcadia as slaves, refugees, pirates, princes and wizards for a few generations. It was this reunion which really marks the start of Scandinavian culture. I do not think that Scandinavians share any belief in this tale but it is what I believe.”

    Despite some rather critical remarks the New regime would have on Peer in the Ten of the High Imperial Nobility who would be Chief of at least part of the Scandinavian Settlers of Minnesota and Wisconsin.  In addition One of the  Twenty Peer- Electors of the Kingdom of Louisiana and also another member of the Ten will be  Herzog der Flussesbanken, Chef des Communites de Cote des Alleman. However if you wish to know our views on Acadian appearance you must first know Classical and Arcadian Greek statuary, Byzantine Royal Mosaic portraits. Then for the more Hebrew side of the ideal look at Byzantine images of Jesus Christ. For the darker Central Asian idea of our ideal see the Pompeiian image of Alexander the Great in the vast battle mosaic. This is to skew towards the Norse, Celtic and Germanic marriages in France. But we have no interest in leaving our heritage of physical appearance entirely behind at its Greek roots.  

    Beyond all this I turned to the Celts in my note on Western Civilization. The Celts and the Hebrews are two groups tied to both Acadian and American roots and who are well represented and well challenged under the proposed new regime. Here’s a bit about the Celts:

    “Without discussing the Celts of Vercingetorix’s brave fall, the letter to the Galatians, Brian Boru’s victory over Scandinavian kings and the beauty of their art how can one discuss this civilization. Ancient Greece was largely defined by trade with Celts and war with Persia. However neither St. Columba nor the Irish Republican army will make it into this note. The Celts were a high and splendid Barbarism which Rome broke because unlike the Greeks they made provinces in preference to colonies. Greeks learned to make provinces when Alexander conquered the Persian Empire. But they never really loved to do this. Colonies, Polises and Kingdoms stirred the Greek Soul. Only in the Eastern Roman Empire did Greeks learn to love the system of Empires and provinces. So the Greeks warred with Celts but they always lived together and enriched eachother. The Greek’s resented and opposed Roman influence but could adjust to it more easily than the Celts. That is why one thinks of Ireland and Wales when one says Celts although the culture extended from the British Isles to Turkey”. 

    I am not going blind into the idea of acknowledging the complexity and difficulty of making America authentic. It would be easier to govern if America had only developed into a less complex nation of a hundred million less diverse people. That is the truth. But if we accept the struggle implicit in what we truly are it can assuredly make us great. I have to stop somewhere and I think I will stop here because it is time to stop. I had meant to cover some of the darker problems of the House as it would emerge from the  shadows to full public life. However,  I will do that in a distinct context and at a later date I think.



    Monarchy and Royalist Culture in America: Past, Present and Future/ Part One

    I wish to outline the subject of monarchy and royalism in the United States of America. It has to be a significant part of the total discussion of the changes I am advocating in this long series of posts advocating an American Revolution. This time returning to mixed government from something which is tyrannical derivation of republican democracy whereas before we returned to mixed government from a corrupt royalist monarchy. In both cases seeking an equilibrium of the three forms of good governance which are monarchy, aristocracy and democracy. However, in this case moving from a republican to a royalist context. In a world where very long but entirely simplistic analysis is common we would need a bit of concise but complex analysis.In these brief posts I have tried to provide some of that.  We had a republican mixed government at the federal level with the President as the republican Monarch, the Senate and the Supreme Court  represent the republican Aristocracy and the House of Representatives  comprising the Democracy. That is the ideal government of many old forms of government. The President was elected by electors variously chosen, the Senators were elected by  the States legislatures. We now live in a dictatorship of the masses which is tyranny modified and complicated but still a majority tyranny at heart. The mixed government equilibrium is lost. I have proposed restoring mixed government this time Revolving into a royalist system.

    This is not an easy thing to discuss and in fact is an entirely enticing thing to flee from discussing as rapidly as one possibly can and never look at again.  Yet I feel that I should discuss these issues here. I am afraid some of my dreadful lists may be coming up soon in an effort to address these matters. The changing of a from of government is always difficult and a bit traumatic under any circumstances but is even more difficult if on ie trying to establish a royalist regime like this one in this country. That is because the specifics of this case are altogether very challenging. It is important to make clear that this is not being proposed in abject blindness and disregard as concerns the strong factors related to the frustration of these plans.

    We do have some royalist cultural elements so lets list some of them in no particular order:

    1. Many of the Mardi Gras traditions of the Gulf Coast

    2.The Kingdom of Hawaii and the role of Royal Hawaiian culture

    3.The little known and appreciated but not inconsequential Acadian royal tradition.

    4. The many ties with the Bourbon monarchy and aristocracy in the Revolution and Louisiana.

    5. The heritage of the Napoleonic Empire  and its aristocrats with Louisiana, the Louisiana Purchase and the Confederacy.

    6. The British ,French, Spanish, Dutch and Russian colonial heritage of many and varied regions of the USA.

    7. Mexico’s failed European based  empire launched under Napoleon and ending in the execution of Emperor Maximilian is tied to our history.

    8.Mexico’s Aborignal  American Empire of the Aztecs and the Mayan kingdoms (much less so) have ties towards our land’s populations and history.

    9. The Bible and many of our religions which are influential have a strong royalist component and affect people’s thoughts and lives.

    This is not nearly an exhaustive list. Also if (and that is nearly inevitable) there are some of these models that you particularly despise and reject for some reason  remember that Hitler’s Third Reich, the French Reign of Terror andmore than  half the failed states you ever heard of were republican systems. Yet surely we do not believe that everyone who founds a republic is going to end up where they were in those republics. Our examples given would be the sort of supermarket from which we could shop for precedents and patterns with the greatest legitimacy.

    My posts are being written in a sense of just doing something that cannot be said to make an enormous amount of sense in terms of political logic.  I am doing what seems right more than what seems expedient. That is something many people do, attempt to do or think they are doing. However, when it comes to promoting a royalist revolution in the twenty-first century United States the improbabilities are so great that all other aspects of the quest are overshadowed by the low probability of success.

    What  about the very heart of the matter. If there were an Emperor and Supreme President what would that accomplish and what would that be worth? Well first let’s consider the context of our situation. There are other forces out there seeking to create an empire in this area in the near future.

    The Premiere of Libya addressed the United nations for the first time in many years after President Obama was elected. He also go the terrorist mastermind who took down the flight over Lockerbie Scotland released at about the same time. His speech did not get very good analysis and it got marginal coverage. Libya’s President Qadhafi attempted to simultaneously adopt the President, proclaim him President-for-Life  and President forever of the United States and to collect over seven trillion dollars in reparations. Obama may not have been ready at that time to support the idea of proclaiming himself African Emperor of the USA or even the moderate step proposed by Libya. The folks at Harvard might not like the way it came across, I do not know.  I am sure many honest people could argue that he had been teasing about the Emperor although Qadhafi did seem to suggest the nonroyalist dictatorship known  to have replaced the Republic of Rome before it adopted some royalist traditions as an Empire. Libya was part of the Roman Empire and the Premiere of Libya seemed eager to bring those facts to light. So all other possibilities should be interpreted in the light of the fact there may be real machinations going on to establish an African Emperor of America.  A primary value in making the Arcadian-Acadian Basileus Emperor is that he would take up that space and answer its calls and threats directly.

    I have posted a great deal on royalism and its implications in this blog.  I have posted agreat deal about Acadian and American political, cultural and social traditions as well. Anyone reading this post who is really interested could search the blog and find parts of the subject discussed or ask me a question in the comments and have me direct them to those passages which discuss much of this.

    But Obama is getting rid of our nuclear arsenal wholesale, committing us to use Russian capacity to get to space, spending us into oblivion and doing all he can do to raise every suspicion that he will utterly destroy this country. He is part of a deeply sick and disordered social context. We are running quickly out of time.

    There are differences between dynasty and dynasty, king and king, regime and regime but any royalist monarch has the effect of joining the interest of an entire society into one personal interest. Part of being a royalist monarch is to be selfish and deprive others of certain kinds of selfishness. Commonly under many different religions and cultures a good king will allow individuals in the realm to accumulate power and wealth in many ways but still to be ruthless in denying them the powers and economic opportunities which are most likely to endanger the realm.

    I will go into more details later but the structure of the proposed Royal and Imperial House will be essential to the other aspects of the Empire fitting together properly and the type of monarch here envisioned. However, it will be disturbing to the rest of the society to some substantial degree.  The next post may have to be longer. The point of this first post is simply to show that creating such a regime as I have described more or less right now is not impossible or unthinkable. It would simply have to be done — that is all.

    Positioning America for the Future We Face

    I have listed, described and written about making very significant changes in America. That is what this series of posts is mostly all about.  There is no realistic reason in the world write all these things but some things are worth doing which are not realistic. We have to look around the world and see how America will fit into the future as it ties into the present. How will we find the world no matter what we do? In addition, in the context of my rather extensive and complex model of change and revolution described here how would America interact with the world after having undergone this transformation?

    Anyone who really proposes revolutionary change must propose some things which would not be possible without some kind of revolution. If such a proponent does not then he is really some kind of a looter. The risk of revolution is not worth taking unless the results one needs to achieve are more substantial than can be gotten from ordinary political maneuvering.  I am exhorting America to recommit to a survivable future and one that could lead to what I would consider good places.  The chances of my living to see our society and the world get anything that I would consider a passing grade is almost negligible. However, there is a chance of moving from an almost completely dysfunctional student to one making low D grades and headed towards a B average after some tutoring. That would be a very good result.

    I do not think there have been very many societies in history more intrinsically difficult to set on a sustainable path than the United States. On the other hand, besides sustainability there is another measure of a society’s success and viability. That measure is decency and the quality of progress or “progressiveness”.  I think that America is fairly near the top on that second measure of a society’s greatness. There have been many that were more decent and progressive but most of them were small and unambitious. We are one of the most generally decent and progressive  great societies in history. I say that being well aware of many horrors and inhumanities in our past and present.

    We have to deal with recent geopolitical changes, with the limits of our own society and culture and also with the enduring and endless problems of  both the Earth and the human condition. That is in a sense a struggle that can never be entirely successful. However, it is true that it makes a great deal of difference whether or not one struggles. The mess we will end up with if we struggle well is much better than the mess we will be in if we struggle poorly or not at all.

    If America makes the changes I am suggesting then it will be going down a path which will certainly be lonely at first and may not ever become much less lonely. First of all, many human societies (and most at many times) are fundamentally self-destructive and insane. America will become a society on the path of sanity.  Secondly, America will become even more committed to a moral sensibility. Thirdly, within the context  of sane and avowedly moral societies it will be a modern heir to the traditions of Western civilization in a North American context. Added to all of that, it will remain a great power. We will have to move forward with our own sense of what is real and right. Add to all of that the fact that we have our own dark side which I and others who might become key players would believe we have to deal with and you would surely have a country which nobody can find to be very much like any other country nor any less than a profoundly forward step for this country.

    The science of calculating risk is very old and has been approached by many very clever and some very wise people from countless angles over a very long time. Nonetheless it is a vast distance from being perfectly systematized.  Only in formal games can we even get close to showing what would have happened if a set of complicated human decisions and actions had been substituted for another set of complicated decisions and actions. America is living in a world where many bad things and many good things will come its way regardless of whether or not the changes I suggest are made. There is a whole set of possibilities in which the changes would be attempted but basically fail. Then there are unforeseen changes which could come from anywhere and rewrite the course of future events. We face a great deal of possible tragedy that is hard to exactly predict.

    I have come to writing these posts after a life in which I have done many active and open things  but in which there are many open and active things that I almost never do.  I am committed to writing for a readership with which I have little organized connection.  I respond to comments that sort of come in over the transom. But this is very different from giving speeches in a public square, leading parades, putting pamphlets out or writing newspaper articles. These are all things that I have done in the past. I do very little now compared to what I would ever have believed I would be doing for such a sustained period of time.  But I believe there is much that I must attempt to do before the worst trends become inevitable. What those trends are has been discussed in earlier posts and will be discussed  in later posts more than it is discussed here.

    I personally have had over the years a number of contacts and correspondents both in post-Soviet Russia and in the Soviet Union.  On the other hand I have never been there, do not speak the language and have run into a good number of  Russians in the many places that I have visited and I do not believe our relationship with them is good overall. It has gotten much better but we squandered a very big opportunity during the Gorbachev and Yeltsin eras. I think that even had Putin become the player he has become he would have been a different Putin had we acted differently. However, while I think Putin is a ruthless, homicidal, devious puppet master (who must prove he was innocent of the blood of the ninety-eight Polish leaders recently killed in the aircraft crash) I think he is basically a good man. Yes, I am serious and not sarcastic. He is willing to be a monster to save Russia from complete collapse but he has shown real interest in being something besides a Monster. He promotes the Russian Orthodox Church, tolerates other Christians, limits antisemitism and maintains a quasi-atheistic secularist power bloc in politics. That is a real work of  religious tolerance. He has invested himself in preserving parliament. If he faced a strong and dangerous President here who might exercise the positive pressures he might still be a better man and leader. However, earlier he might have turned out better. Russia is still devoted to Putin mostly because he is still devoted to Russia. That is how things are supposed to be. We are likely to be adversaries over the medium term but I do not believe that was inevitable.  

    Of course one of the things about the system I have outlined (among many things) which is very notable is that  the system is a complex racially aware system and that will certainly complicate many geopolitical relationships.  However our current color blind system and our past of Jim Crow madness complicated foreign relationships as well. I will specifically say that our relationship with India would be among the most problematic.  Indian (not Aboriginal American Indians) would be presumed to be the types of people who live in the Colored Districts of the States or the Mixed Race Districts of the Territories. However, the Racial Codes of each State would need in some way or another to allow Indian families to file a particular form and have it verified that they are consistently and predominantly made up of a lineage of one or more of the following Indian Bloodlines (one form for all admixtures of the three) Moguls, the Old Northeast Asian Colonies of North Indians and Portuguese. Indian families certified as such would be eligible to vote in the North East Asian Districts of the States. America would pursue distinctions like this regardless of how they were received in home countries of populations. Portuguese found to be Portuguese families from India would eligible to choose Northeast Asian or ordinary status. No country will be quite as unique as India but many will have complex issues. 

    Relationships with Britain, France and Spain, Mexico, Holland and Russia will be formalized to include their direct participation with areas they colonized. In the case of France, Britain, Mexico and Spain they should have formal relationships with a Compact each which are recognized by the US and limited by the overall society and yet are really direct to the Compacts. All of this will have a cost. These countries will play to their interests in areas we allow. There will be costs with ties to the constituted, armed and territorial Black community in a society that is formally white supremacist. The costs in money and blood are inevitable. But American institutions which are now not allowed to build our society would be given every help in doing so in the future.

    The new era would be very difficult and would invest in the future. But not acting somewhere in ways akin to this plan will have serious costs as well.  I am urging us to take the medicines we need to take now and be a little but hopeful that things won’t go completely wrong. We could hope a little bit that hard work and courage will lead to a good result.