Category Archives: Sweden

Looking at 2016: the Next Phase

The elections at the end of President Barack Hussein Obama’s second term are likely to be very significant. Yet, that is not provable in the same way as one can prove rainfall or other natural occurrences after the fact. We also know that elections are held when the person’s term has not yet happened. The incumbents are running on a record but still one does not know what the term will be like and it is not so clear how much one’s vote will impact the outcome.  However Democrats, Republicans and lots of groups and organizations are very concerned about and aware of the elections. So we who live in this system and this country look at the days ahead and those remaining until the next election and we presume that we will follow it with interest and be involved in some way.  Not every one votes. Entire communities, religious groups, classes of felons and expatriots without real poll access really never can or do vote. Others do not start thinking about this so early and in fact this year we have governors and senators and all of the House of Representatives being elected. In my state all to these three important offices will be on the ballot.  We also have lots of other elections and votes before the presidential election.

Many of our most important issues and best stories are related to these other elections.  I probably will write about them. Yet I will choose to write about the presidential elections in this blog.

The amount of spectacularly impressive and heavily reported crime in the United States is definitely up since Obama has been elected. Fort Hood One and Two, The Navy Yard, the Aurora, Colorado movie theater, Sandy Hook, the Boston Marathon, the Sikh Temple, Oikos University, the Carson City IHOP, the North Carolina Nursing Home,  the Congressman Gabby Giffords shooting and many other events form a fabric together in a society long troubled by mass killings I have  proposed a new approach under a changed legal system.  that recognizes this crisis. But I also have an axiom I will bring to bear as I decide how to vote:

Pro- crime Legislation exists although it is not announced as such.

1. Where there is an established conflict between the law-abiding and criminals outlawing anything used in that conflict is a great benefit to the criminals.

Violent crime and other forms of homicide affect all of our lives and not just our votes. All of us have to deal with them and not only vote about them. But I will want all officials and the President to be thinking in ways I can respect about our problems. Because as hard as these problems are to solve we have to face them bravely and those in office who do not face problems like the many acts of mass violence all over the country may prevent others from reacting to these problems. that brings me to another principle which applies in other areas of politics as well.

The Dog in the Manger Fable Applied …

2. The one who takes responsibility and protects his office but does not fulfill his responsibilities very well often makes the problems he was supposed to solve much worse than if nobody was responsible.

American and other citizens of countries which vote do not just sit around and wait for elections. Life is pretty fully absorbing  most of the time. This post is about politics. It is about what is going on in my mind as I look at the next presidential election.  It is about region and regions play a big role in presidential elections. It is about healthcare and that has played a big role recently and will for a while longer. It is about voting behavior.  It is a post about my life and how I look through this life of good and bad at the next election for president.  I have far more than enough to do without looking at future politics and in many ways should not take the time and energy. So if I am so far from fully engaged now and yet not doing what I need to do why am I thinking of elections in November of a future year?

Well elections are not the whole solution to any problem I am concerned about but they are part of what I can do to address those problems.  It is worthwhile to be voting and electioneering along with many other activities. I have a political principle related to that as well.

A Map is a Map …

3. Having a simplistic model of a complex situation is often helpful. Acting as though the simple model is the complex situation is often evil.

The truth is that even in politics there are many things I do and others do besides vote that have some political impact. Town hall meetings, correspondence and this blog are all ways I reach out to make a difference. But I do vote a lot although I missed the most recent library tax vote in Vermilion Parish despite my strong interest in that institution. May is a very busy time and there are elections nearby but not for me and when I checked the online official calendar for my precinct on May first I found no scheduled elections this month and was a bit disappointed. But despite my interest in small and local elections we all know what the big elections are in our current system and the next one is getting nearer in time.  America is in the process of building up a number of new tensions in anticipation of the 2016 election. The future of this set of contests which decide the occupant of the White House is seriously important to us and the world but it is also a focal point for a vast variety of trivial inquiries. But if as I have already written I believe that I really I have far more than enough to do without looking at future politics and believe that in many ways  such concerns distract me from all the things I have to do why am I posting this? If I am so far from fully engaged now and yet not doing what I need to do why am I thinking of elections in November of a future year?

Prisons are full of those who believe they are innocent….

4. Just because you do not believe in evil does not mean you are not evil.

I do not expect the next President of the United States to agree with everything I think is important in terms of policy. Oddly enough I find it very important that he or she can evaluate themselves in some sense more real and meaningful than by whether or not they feel good about themselves and their pals and followers like them. Such integrity can be costly but it is important as well.

It is hard to know how things will play out exactly in terms of what is remembered and what is not. Who will remember what about a given presidency.  I am not glad to have been involved in  the period of time  of this presidential administration in the way I have but certainly I have almost no connection to the administration itself. But I wrote about President Obama as recently as the Ukraine Crisis, not only once although he was not the central topic of my blog posts on that subject  his administration was highly relevant to my discussions of the subject. That foreign policy crisis is far from over now. I have a principle that I will hold in mind when voting in the next big election.  A principle related to foreign policy:

Lazy governments want to resolve conflict. A good one wants to make peace.

5.Conflict resolution and peacemaking are not the same thing.   Survival of all ecosystems including human ones and the balance of civilizations depends largely on unresolved conflicts.

I have written a lot about foreign policy and geo-politics in this blog. that subject is important to me. I have also written about other aspects of the Obama Presidential Administration here in this blog. Some of those posts date from early on in his years in the White House. Some are related to other foreign policy crises that have come up. I have commented on appointments and other matters that were made relevant for relatively trivial reasons. In addition I spent a lot of space and time and energy covering the BP-Macondo Oil Leak  and sometime I discussed his response and my comments on him and his choices which are mostly negative elsewhere were often favorable in this context  though some were disparaging, the links here would put you in among the many varied posts for trying to figure out what I was writing about then. I also wrote about race in America in ways responsive to the facts of Obama’s administration.

The Peter Principle is it…

6. Very often in many civilizations important decisions are made by those certain to do the worst possible job.

 But most of my blog posts have not been much related to the Presidency. A large exception is that the Obama administration has drawn me into writing a set of model constitutions.  That is a bridge crossed and burnt behind me. Whatever the next administration is like I will forever be someone who honestly and seriously proposed changing the system a great deal. Of course the political system, my politics and all things political do not cover all aspects of my life or anyone’s life.

This is being written in May when my nephew Oliver has a birthday, My brother Joseph turns 30, my sister Sarah has a birthday, some of my family  have anniversaries and most of all my niece and godchild Anika graduates from high school. Coming up soon is the ordination of my second cousin Charles William Massey to the permanent diaconate. With all of those distractions and my father’s current ill-health  and many recent surgeries and medical procedures I am busily engaged in many things that ought perhaps to take all my attention off of politics. While healthcare has been a big political issue lately it is not  only issue. Sickness, health and medicine  are very much issues in my daily life in recent months. Mostly this is through my father’s experience.  Family which is tied to love, sex, marriage, relationships and the like has a lot do with defining and shaping human life. I care about that and it affects my voting. I have a principle I keep in mind:


A star quarterback is not also coach, referee and commissioner…

 7. Beautiful young women of all types play a very important role in any healthy human culture but are not supposed to invent and police the entire role they play all by themselves.

Going back in time through April my father’s health has formed the content of my status updates on  Facebook. I reproduce a few here:  May 1 I wrote: Dad went to sleep here last night and woke up here this morning. He walked a bit around the property looking at blackberry bushes to assess the ripeness of the berries. He is not doing great but seems better.  April 30 I wrote: I just spoke to my mother. Sarah was with them, they have been discharged and on working their way homeward. April 29 I wrote: I stopped by the hospital and dropped off some things for my mother and father. I also prayed with Dad and told him I cared. I am off schedule right now and trying to feel my way through the day. This goes on for a long time as the main or a principal theme of my Facebook timeline: April 27 Dad is spending the night in the hospital tonight. They are treating him for symptoms of blood loss.  This was a readmission after he had already come home from the last of quite a few different surgeries and procedures. Thus on April 24: My father is home. He is not exactly well but hopefully is recovering. I am off to run some errands and to drop a boiler, spices and a tank of propane off with my sister Susanna and her hubbie Mike and their family. Having done some cleanup this morning and returned another tank unused I am finishing up the holiday weekend. We had all gone crabbing at Rockefeller Refuge on a day when Dad was most recovered from one recent surgery and going in for another one.  So, I could not even get set up for Obamacare before the deadline and my life is largely interrupted by other people’s healthcare and medical needs but although I am alienated from DC and its solutions and protests I am thinking about them. Why  if I am so far from fully engaged now and yet not doing what I need to do  then one asks why am I thinking of elections in November of a future year?

I have a foreign policy principle that I also apply to the politics of healthcare. I hope there will be some good  recognition of the principle in the next reace for the White House:

Never use a hammer to kill the mosquito on your friends forehead  and never seek to be seen as the cowardly bully … 

8. Maximum concentration of force is always bad policy. One want to use exactly the smallest force in any war which will achieve all desired objectives. The secret is not to have so many ideas based on false optimism and bad applications when estimating what is needed.

This week has already been a double feast week. Mom made the Mexican chicken tacos for lunch we seldom eat anymore in honor of the  Cinco de Mayo and after numerous failed collaborations to achieve the goal she bought and treated the rest of us to boiled crawfish on the weekend of the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival yesterday to raise funds for the speech team at the school where my niece and godchild Anika  attends which is Abbeville High School. Both the crawfish and the tacos were very good. I have had the chance to think about education and opportunity and family and foreign relations with many of America’s most significant foreign partners including Mexico.

In this region a good number of us eat frozen crawfish tails all through the year and  eat boiled crawfish throughout an ever expanding season. But this first weekend in May is a special time for crawfish among other things. In any given year for those in the region or who could get here the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival and VC-Carmel May Festival in Abbeville are held on the first weekend in May, which was this past weekend. Both different and both worth attending. I will not be getting to either one I suppose. I have been to the May Festival more often to support two local Catholic schools and associates of various kinds who go there but I would have to say the BBCF is one of the premiere product-related festivals in the state and the country. King Crawfish is a good documentary for people from far away to access all that BBCF celebrates. This link is for the school I attended for the longest time in my life although not by as large a margin as some former classmates who were quicker through undergraduate and stayed all nine available years at MCES or those who just did those nine years and high school.  The May Festival as far as I know has had crwfish for sale as well as other items like steak and burgers for most of the most recent decades. As I wrote earlier,  I enjoyed some crawfish to benefit the Abbeville High Speech team and Anika’s trip to two national league championships (CFL and NFL) but once again did not get to promote the sale in advance as I was not sure about the time and location etc. The last few weeks and the next few weeks are certainly challenging in unusual ways and yet many Americans equally busy or busier are starting to think of politics.

Alongside school fundraiser and church sponsored events the festivals are important to all aspects of society in this state and region. On the last evening of April I was involved in buying flowers, dressing up and  listening to Anika and the AHS speech team. I attended Anika Claire’s final speech team performance in the Abbeville High School auditorium and also the rest of the Speech Team extravaganza. I also saw the distribution of recognition and other things. I was very pleased to be there and happy with all she has accomplished.  This month already crammed with distractions also had Star Wars Day on the Fourth of May. “May the Fourth be with you!” and the same day was Audrey Hepburn’s 85th birthday. Audrey Hepburn what a movie star she was.An old acquaintance and former colleague, supervisor and  urged the greatness of her comeback movie as Robin Hood’s (Sean Connery’s) lost love in Robin and Marian. Personally, I missed that film and do not doubt that it was very good. But I know  “Gigi“, “Roman Holiday“, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s“, “Funny Face“, “The Nun’s Story“, “Sabrina“, “Wait Until Dark“, “My Fair Lady“, “War and Peace” and “Charade” are well worth watching largely because of stellar performances by this actress. In addition she has the distinction of  being discovered by a novelist when this young Belgian girl was selected to play the title role  Gigi in the film adaptation of the novella of the same name by a  Francophone female writer. She was to become deeply attached to America and Hollywood.



But from the French speaking Hepburn to the  next day flips the table on French connections in my calendar. Surely almost no Americans are unaware of the historic significance of the Mexican victory over the French forces at the Third Battle of Puebla in 1862 where French Empire acted with the support and authority of the Spanish and British and the Tripartite Alliance formed by these powers. Zaragoza’s Republican army defeated a larger European invasion force despite the economic crisis, civil war and fiscal problems that encouraged the enemy to invade in the first place.Oh wait a minute — some Americans might be fuzzy about a few details. I spent some time in Puebla which is most famous in Mexico for having 365 churches where one could go to mass at a different church each day of the year. It is a pretty place with good food music and scenery.
This holiday is barely celebrated in most of Mexico except in bars that cater to Americans and more generally in or around Pueblo itself and in a few other circles. Mexico had achieved independence long before the battle remembered today but was possibly going to lose it in one of many wars in the history of our southern neighbor. It makes virtually no sense that we remember this day so much in the USA except for reasons I will not get into. However, If I had the chance to eat lots of Mexican food and drink a few to many margaritas on any Fifth of May  I suppose I would. Feliz Cinco de Mayo . . . All of this seems like a lot doesn’t it? There are a lot days in my life worth marking that are not election days at all. I have a political principle related to those facts that will be on my mind when I vote in the nest election.  It is a foreign policy principle but it also has applications for politics itself and has to do with remembering who and what people are:

Those who always speak  in serious absolutes seldom say worthwhile things …

 9. If war is not a game then do not expect anyone to win, don’t expect time out, rule discussions or referees. If war is not a game it is just slaughter and it is hard to understand what that really means — but I do.

Of course my life is not only celebrations and calendar based events even this month. I work a great deal many days to keep this house and make this yard presentable and functional. Work outside is harder when I do in the mild drought we are having than it would be with more rain. Sometimes this dry weather which diminishes what I would do means that I am here at home half glad that the lack of rain served as an excuse not to do things I had planned to do after some small rain first predicted for a recent day and the previous night. I often turn to blogging, may wide reading and correspondence. But my life is neither very lucrative or satisfying and I often  hope to end my evening in the same slower than usual pattern occasioned by the forced semi-idleness brought my the dry weather and the lack of resilience it brings to soils and plants.

I also have spent a lot of time with small children and I keep thinking about them and those who care for them. I also take care of horses in the winter as well as the lawn and garden. All of these things matter to me and I have a political principle related to these connections that I will bring to the polls in 2016:

 “Let the little children come unto me. For of such is the Kingdom of God…”

 10.  Many people do not ever want to be reasonable — not ever. However, none of those people are children.

 So far I do not know who will be running and I will have a lot more to say over time. But this is my first look in this blog at the 2016 elections. So if I am so far from fully engaged now and yet not doing what I need to do why am I thinking of elections in November of a future year?

Maybe because there is a lot on my mind to consider and I want to see that it all forms part of the process for me at least.


BP-Transocean Macondo Oil Leak Disaster Anniversary

It is time to remeber that the oil disaster in the Gulf occurred almost a year ago. There are old problems syill being made worse. There are new problems still being identified. There are people sick and suffering. There are wildlife populations and habitats under stress. There are industries and employers in severe distress. There is a great deal we do not know. There is a great deal we are not ever likely to know.

Here are some links to things I wrote about the story:








These are just a few of the many things that I have written. IF THE LINKS DO NOT WORK WHEN YOU CLICK ON THEM COPY THEM INTO YOUR BROWSER.

It is nota time for summing up all these matters and I doubt that this will be my las t note on this profile which touches on the subject. However, it is a time to to spend alittle while looking at where we are now. That means remebering where we have benn as well. That is the purpose of today’s note

What about BP? More thoughts on the midterm election…

I would like to think that the election results last night had to do with Sarah Palin and the ruralists reasserting their fair share of a national consensus…

1. BUT, was a lot of it about money supporting an injured oil and gas former governor who  was simply pushed forward by  a BP  orchestrated cartel?

I would like to believe that Main Street and Wall Street interests here in America formed part of the coalition which fought for our national growth…

2.BUT, was part of it the fact that British creditors hold so much paper that they could exercise subtle pressures to make people stop the administration that chewed out the centerpiece of their economic all-stars — BP? 

I would like to see that Rand Paul and Rubio and Haley and Cantor show a real ripening of American diversity into the political process…

3. But, how much of their limited government philosophy is a desire to abdicate cultural maturity to the Brits again because of BP’s threatened status in the public eye recently?

I personally have set out many reasons why BP and the oil industry have got to be protected from the ravening and nationalizing interest I myself opposed in this process….

4. But has BP orchestrated a bought and paid for coalition of GOP oil-friendly officials and legislators who will let them continue to really fail in every honest measure and tell themself how successful they are?

I would like to think that the organization that pulled this off was homegrown and shows that America’s business lobby has not decayed as much as so many measures suggest about our management….

5. BUT, how much of this machine was made in the UNited Kingdom and not the USA?

For me every day is more or less a bad day. I will try to see the good and hope for the best.  But I still think we are in a self-destructive cycle. I am hopeful that the many good things, ideas and people in this country will find a way forward in this society.  However, I am not pleased that Obama’s administration handled the details the way they did with BP and left such a clear occasion for them to retaliate and find sympathy. I am sure nobody in the White House was ever more peeved with BP than I was. But I fancy that my own enraged and wounded approach was always more tempered with reason and civility. Those are qualities the British establishment sees in itself but rarely can be honestly said to have possessed. Keep your eyes out and find some descendant of Paul Revere because the British are always coming, have always been coming and always will be coming.

The 2010 Nobel Prize Season: Just a Quick Note

This year Liu XiaoBo has won the Nobel peace Prize  for his work for human rights in China. He was the leader of the movement for democracy which culminated in the Tiananmen or “heaven’s gate” Square demonstrations and the crackdown which followed, The Iconic image of a single young man, probably a student standing before a tank was our record of these events for many people. They also created a statue of liberty.

The discovery and development of graphene by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov is one of the best choices for the nobel prize in physics in my lifetime. Although it does seem lie a chemistry prize doesn’t it? Graphene is tow dimensional material only an atom thought that could remake the space industries if given a chance.  It actually contributes to civilization’s advance I think.

The nobel Prize for literature is awarded to  Mario Vargas Llosa. He seems pretty accessible to me and I have not read him so I will try to read him soon.

I hope that Liu Xiaobo’s wife is right that somehow this award can lead to a kind of cooperation and reassessment of Liu Xiaobo by the Communist Party of China and society in China. His weakness as an activist is that he really only asked firmly for change. I share the CPC’s distrust for the Nobel committee and their intentions. However, even an enemy can speak part of the truth. Now that they have charted a different course let me add my small voice and suggest this, let Liu Xiaobo take his prize money and if he will agree let him put some into securities for his family and rent a modest house in Macao or Hong Kong. Let the rest go into a fund matched by the party and set Liu Xiaobo on the board with progressive members selected by Premiere Hu. Let this board and fund provide opportunities for students at China’s colleges to serve rotating elected posts from Student unions in both provincial councils and the Party Plenum as well as the Congress of People’s Deputies. He has been disciplined and is not a threat to China even in his intention. Join with him and these Norse outsiders, take the path to democracy within your party structure a few steps farther and institutionalize it. Balance the ying and the yang, keep on the long march to full international respect.  Your regime has named me a foreign expert and so I add my little voice as a foreigner. Make this an opportunity and show that as well as firmness you can find creative and compassionate ways to exercise leadership. 

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.

South Louisiana Blues

In my last post I blogged on the anniversaries of the 9-11 attacks and the Battle of Antietam/Sharpsburg. But before we even get to those we have the anniversary of  Hurricane Katrina which I remember both as all Americans do and as a Louisiana native does. For me it falls into an arrangement with the memory of our devastating follow-up hurricane here in the western part of coastal Louisiana — Rita.

We face the uncertainty of this BP Oil Leak and we still deal with all the storm damage which is as bad as it is in part because of damage to the coast caused by other bad behavior from oil companies. Thank God we are struggling with all this because it proves we are not dead. There is a lot of sadness in the story of so much of the world. I think sadness is actually an important part of humanity and human life. However, we are really having our share here. We have known numerous very rough storms, the 9-11 attacks and the levee collapse that made Katrina what it became. Now we are dealing with the largest ecological disaster in our country’s history.

It is not that things cannot get worse. They can get a lot worse and very possible they will get a lot worse. There are some improvements in New Orleans since Katrina. Before Katrina seventy percent of New Orleans Schools were failing  now sixty percent are passing and only forty percent are failing. There is the Musicians Village put together by Harry Connick Jr. and the Marsalis family as well as their backers. There is the movement back of some celebrities and environmental lobbies who are investing talent and interest in rebuilding the city and the region.

I was partly inspired to write this post by shows I have seen on LPB lately as well as by Anderson Cooper’s show emphasizing the anniversary of Katrina. However, we face as many reminders of all of these crises as anyone would like pay attention to today and any day here on the coast..  

The story goes on but there is a lot of sadness in the story. Maybe the time to write some more music about all of this is very much here.

September 11 and September 17 Anniversaries Approach

The three days on which  the Americans lost the most lives to violence on a single day were quite different and each adds complexity in attempting to describe them. If one says Americans that is sort of ambiguous and if one says citizens of the United States that leaves out many of the dead Americans.  Of the three bloodiest days one was in December –that is December 7 and the bombing of Pearl Harbor in World War II. The other two bloodiest days were in September. The lesser in blood is the one sharper in our own minds in which many alive today lost loved ones. But the bloodiest of all was September 17, 1862 and the Battle of Antietam or of Sharpsburg as most Southerners call the same combat event. This was something many of us were aware of as we watched 9-11 unfold. At first we thought the number of those killed might surpass the 23,000 killed that day in the War Between the States on that series of Maryland fields and hills. We now seem to all agree the numbers fell far short of that. I wish to extend my condolences however to anyone reading this who lost a loved one or several in the 2001 event which makes it impossible to compare to events outside living memory.

Today, we are also seeing Ken Feinberg head up the BP funded compensation fund to try to make whole those injured by the Gulf of Mexico Macondo oil leak.  Surely connections  and comparison will be made with the 9-11 crisis and his role in guiding the compensation fund that dealt with those tragic events. We will see how those energies play out as we watch this new thing develop.

One notable thing is that we have never had a half Japanese President of the United States and LBJ as a son of the States in the former Confederacy was brought in by assassination and only after one hundred years. However in this case we have not even passed a decade and we have a President who is the son of a Moslem foreigner. I really believe this is enough to show that our country is almost entirely dead and almost entirely insane from a sociopolitical point of view. I really do not think much else matter after we have elected President Obama. Our policies, votes and laws are all silly papers in my view. I do not act as this suggests but it is still my conviction.

A Tiny BP-Macondo Leak Round-up

1. BP has brought a suit and is acting as a complaining witness for prosecution against two fisherman who it claims reported false fishing and related expenses and incomes on claim forms. I will try to follow that till later as it becomes clearer.

2.Ken Feinberg’s settlement fund like all before it and like almost all settlement funds requires those taking the money to promise not to sue and to give up the rights to sue. It appears that some people have felt misled in this process.

3. BP claims that there is not much leakage to speak of and will wait to put the relief well in place untill after Labor Day.

4. Despite these first three points and others I could mention but won’t it appears the wheels have not yet come off of this process and that is a good thing.

5. The moratorium continues to stir emotions we hope it is also producing excellent research and change for the better. There is no doubt it has a high expense side does it yield  a good profitable outcome?

Anniversary: This Blog One Year Old

Well folks, this blog is one year old on August 18, 2010 .  That is in itself some kind of achievement. However, it also possible to see some progress compared to the cold start of a year ago.  I am not sure where exactly I am going to do this year but I have had the chance to get some things done this year.  To see the conveniently provided WordPress starting mark for this blog you may go to this link.


I have come closest to ordinary journalism in covering the BP Transocean rig explosion and the BP-Macondo Oil Leak as ongoing stories. Though I did so in my own way of optimizing how a  blog of this personal nature might best cover a story. Of course there was advocacy in this coverage as well.

I also had a bit  of regular journalistic coverage in dealing with the Healthcare Reform Bill, NASA’s moon missions searching for water and the death of some children recently. In addition to that I have done some obituaries in the style of my own blog. These have been occasioned by the death of Bobby Charles Guidry, William Charles Summers, Revis Sirmon and Ardley Hebert since this blog began. There has also been a retrospective obituary on my grandmother Beverlee Hollier Gremillion who died two months before this blog began.

I have also set up over fifty permanent pages. These pages deal with my life and themes that interest me. It is also true that many of the posts are truly personal in nature and deal with the mundane events of my life.

Quite a few categories get left out even if I mention space and Christianity and history in this sentence. I have various features and pages to help readers sort out what else is going on in this blog. However, the great risk and commitment of the blog is that here I advocate for royalist political change in America and draw upon Acadian royalist traditions as the principal source for this change.

Well, whoever you are I hope you read and return to read again…

BP has announced cementing in the Macondo well

BP has announced it has cemented in the Macondo well from above.  It claims it will still seal things off from the bottom through the relief well. This is good news. Let us see what happens next.