Category Archives: Peace Plan in Israel

Presidential Politics and the Current American Mindset

So will the US ban all Muslims from entering the country for a time? Will it seek to get along better with North Korea and not so well with the UK? Will it deport tens of millions of aliens to Mexico by relative force across the country? Do those visions fairly represent Donald Trump?

Will it lie, deny, distort and obfuscate as long and as much as can be imagined when challenged on any wrongdoing in the White House? Will it sing the official praises of those who who sell human body part of members of our species deliberately dismembered? Will it find ways to blame working class white men and unidentified big businesses for larger and larger parts of the country’s problems no matter what the evidence may be? Is that a fair vision of a potential Clinton presidency?

This blog post does not attempt to answer any of those questions.  This post does assert that while I am doing other things I am still committed to the political commentary in this blog. It is a little different than the commentary any where else. It is very much my own.  Some of that commentary begins just now.

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.

It looks like there will be a race for the White House between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. There may be surprises or a third significant candidate but it appears that those two will lead the charge for the major parties in this country. This post is a chance to simply link together a few thoughts and references for this blog which began during the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama. I still have a few more posts in my series Emerging Views but this post is about the developing presidential election and what all of that will mean for this blog and other aspects of life, culture and politics. While this blog is obviously a particularly small voice in the world of news and information it is not clear that America has the kinds of voices today which Time and Newsweek represented in the 1980s and 1990s. Those were far from perfect times and those two famous weeklies were far from perfect media outlets.  Perceptions of bias and the wrong kinds of selectivity were often stated and were justified.  But these news and culture magazines did seem to capture a sense of where American political energy and interest were in a way which no handful of media outlets do today. Rush Limbaugh, the ABC, NBC,Fox, CBS, Yahoo and Google News programs taken together cover a lot waterfront. I am not sure they bring together a sense of the country as those two magazines and handful of their peers once did. I wonder where and how this great debate and discussion will play out.

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.

Before there were blogs forming a blogosphere there were letters to the editor in journals and magazines and I had quite a few published. That includes on published in Time. I recently wrote two long letters to Time although they really do not publish much in that way. Here they are reproduced nearly in entirety. The first discusses the state of political discussion in America from a particular point of view.

 

 Nancy Gibbs and Colleagues

Time Editorial Staff
225 Liberty Street
New York, New York 10281-1008
Ms. Gibbs (not to insult those who actually read this),
I am responding in part to the cover of the May 23 issue on Rana Forohaar’s careful rendering of her book into a lead article on capitalism. There is some alarming material in the article in the sense that it raises concerns that pose a threat to all of us. But the tone is perhaps other than alarmist. The cover was sort of evocative of covers that have appeared over times past with a contemporary take and for whatever mix of nostalgic and critical reasons I liked the cover and its kind of conversational approach to saving the U.S. economy. I also saw much of the same use of concepts of gate-keeping, source identification, making comparisons between varied crises and challenges for perspective and all these little traits reminded me of Time over the decades. But this time my reading was influenced by another experience that I will only mention and leave to any reader’s imagination as to how it influenced my reading of Time. The experience involved an interaction with an institution In some ways not at all like Time, yet both have played a role in the great and American intellectual commons which is distinct from a world or civilization based heritage or any regional or sectional intellectual ferment. That institution is one of the officials in the particular sport of television. I published a review in the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television in the early nineties and since I have no plethora of academic publications that is yet another reason for me to be more interested in the NIelsen process than most. Thus I found it stimulating.  
Just about the time your issue was hitting stands and libraries I had a chance to participate in the Nielsen ratings. It gave me the opportunity to think a bit more clearly about the ways in which all that we know as mass communication is changing and about how our society is changing. I deal a good bit with issues of social change and and communications and I do it in my blog, Facebook profiles and other places which are possessed of much longer comments on these events than you have time to read from an over the portal source. A look at my Twitter feed and profile would quickly tell you two things: I do have some influential followers although the number is small and I just added Time to those I am following as I started typing this email. It is not that I never viewed your tweets — I just don’t remember to add people and institutions to my list.  My Linked In profile which should be available herealso show some other connections. The relatively long and bizarre path through life depicted there is not a fiction, doubtless there are some errors and some of longstanding.But every thing in it is at least close to the truth or has simply evaded my limited attentions as an editor of the profile.
Time has bigger fish to fry than my little corner of the media world. Your recent issue of May 23 seeks to address Capitalism, feminism with Megan Kelly, mental health with Kristen Bell, Jodie Foster discussing the meaning of her movie and how Sadiq Khan hopes to combat extremism. You do this in a way which is fairly coherent, clever and informative and makes someone like me want to write you a letter even though no letters to the editor appeared in the issue about which I write. But it is clear is it not that there are forces almost of the type found in YA literature which challenge Time’s capacity to marshal an argument, stage a debate and aid in the creation and dissolution of any consensus in these United States. Much of this is blamed on Culture Wars by some who keep up with news from the eighties and nineties. However, this year it is notable that energies channeled into supporting Hillary Clinton, Donald trump and Bernie Sanders all find focus in places near your offices in New York City. They really do not seem to be cultures at war. More like a single culture not able to deal well with the people who make up the culture. I on the other hand am one of the real outsiders compared to New York and D.C., Jackson’s demise as a face on currency in favor of a Broadway promotion of Hamilton will hurt tourism associated with the Battle of New Orleans and I will feel it more than most  — although being too disadvantaged to feel it much.   I did live in New York for a year as a child and in a vague and general way I am part of the numerous constellations of enclaves the best of New York journalism used to seek to stay in touch with but I think finds it more difficult to do these days. I believe Time  is bringing to bear a great number of important questions and people are reading Time and yet I am not sure the influence on a national dialog is very great.  The recent past was not perfect but there was a conversation going on about its imperfections when your mentors were young. But the costs are not trivial, I care about fur trappers, cowboys, loggers, oilmen and stevedores. Most of all farmers and fishermen have made up large parts of my life and I consider myself an ardent environmentalist. Likely any relationship with New York journalism would experience plenty of frictions from that area of tension alone.   
The magazine you lead is really defined in part by a set of relationships with Newsweek, Life, Business Week, National Review, U.S. News and World Report and a handful of journals just as much as it is defined by its relationships with readers, advertisers, interviewed talent and newsmakers. It is easy to see that  Life andNewsweek are relatively defunct, National Review is less than it was under the leadership of the late William F. Buckley and the others are struggling at least as much as Time to find their way forward in the current era and into the future.  
I am fifty-one years old and had a letter to the editor appear in Time in the days when voice mail was means of communication that was in vogue. That was sometime around 1993 and I was more optimistic, less bitter and more hopeful of a positive future for myself and the people, communities and values I care about in an emerging American society. I think the tone was perhaps more strident and angry than the tone of this email but I was less alienated. This year is a special year for many observers of and participants in American culture, with its communication focused at actual vocal human beings in attendance at the excited and seemingly burgeoning rallies for Trump and Sanders and the coverage of those events. This makes this political season a year about a different kind of dialog. But this is not coming out of nowhere,Black Lives Matter, Occupy, pro and anti Confederate Flag rallies, Hispanic identity rallies, anti-immigration rallies, the rallies at the Papal visit and with the Pope near the border all form a compelling national dialog. In addition David Duke’s endorsement of Donald Trump reaffirmed that the pure blogosphere ( in which Duke is a player) can make a difference at least for a moment in the news cycle. My own blog is right here. Or you can drag and paste https://franksummers3ba.com/ into your browser. Isn’t it also time to admit that many of the mass shootings are acompanied by political statements which are fairly serious, reasoned attempts by Muslims, White Supremacists, East Asian Americans, military veterans, African Americans and the victims of bullying. They feel alienated and that there is no real recourse in our major social and political process. The  focus on guns and mental illness to the exclusion of everything else these people are expressing is perhaps a real sign of profound bankruptcy as regards our national conversation. I myself would like radical change and I outline it in my blog.  But how change is achieved matters almost as much as what changes one seeks.

 One of the mysterious casualties of Hurricane Katrina and a host of other troubles was the loss of a daily New Orleans newspaper in the Times Picayune. The Advocate from Baton Rouge seeks to make up the slack, but I do not think this will be without some dire consequences down the road.The decline of newspapers has been discussed all my life. I worked for or with and have been published in a variety of papers that there is only  a small chance anyone in the initial review of this letter will know. Among these newspapers are the Abbeville Meridional (principal voice of Vermilion Parish, Louisiana since the 1850s), Gannett’s Daily AdvertiserThe Vermilion ( student paper for UL now then USL)and Bonnes Nouvelles ( the Vermilion Parish edition of a  chain owned by connected members of the Dardeau family). 

My Facebook friends list has the publishers and journalist of many Catholic and also of many regional outlets. The  list also includes the principal editor of the Queer Times and a number of space related blogs. Yet I cannot help but wonder if I am more alienated from the center you represent than ever before. Would it be to risky for Time to interact with me given perhaps some position or other in my blog?  The question is not purely rhetorical. I admit I would still love to have a byline in Time. I do not pretend that I am the only and best qualified person wanting to publish in your pages. I think your recent issue did a credible job. I enjoyed it although less perfectly than in the past and did not read every word. But I do wonder is Time very committed to a sort of national conversation? Committed in the way so many others are to so many other things? If not, then who is?   

— 

Frank W. Summers, III
Frank “Beau” Summers

The next letter I wrote to Time was related to an article I had read in their pages related to the  South China Sea and the brewing tensions there.  It is less to the point of this post than the first but it is not irrelevant:

 

Timelords (is that the correct form of address?),

 
Fiery Cross Reef is vital to Chinese military interests. There artificial island should be expanded with a more naturalistic artificial coastline. We need a very civilized rival somewhere in the world to justify maintaining our investment in traditional military assets. We need traditional military assets to have a long term future. The Philippines and the United States have a vital interest and real claims in the region are indeed held by several powers as described in the article.
 
The total story is a complex one. But where are the calls for the kinds of dispute resolution which the vast and costly international legal system and the United Nations could possibly actually resolve?
 
There are not yet any real bad guys in this story. It may turn out in the long run that a real belligerence must arise in this region. I wish that were less likely than it is… However, if the United Nations, the various systems of mediation and other institutions are worth anything then many people should be calling for them to be fully used here.
 
I also believe artificial islands must become major priorities for many of the world’s great powers. Learning to address the issues related to such projects ought to be both an American and a global priority.
 
Sincerely,
 
Frank Summers
Foreign Expert
People’s Republic of China
2004 to 2005
Students & in English Corner meeting on Campus SDIBT Yantai.

Students & in English Corner meeting on Campus SDIBT Yantai.

America has a lot on its plate right now. It is not mostly China which challenges us in the world. Our policies from Syria, to Iraq, to Israel, to Afghanistan and on to Europe are at least subject to serious question. This blog has been questioning policies throughout the Obama presidency. It has also been the place to put forward some policy proposals — many of them radical which may be up for discussion or may be ignored but are not being deleted from this site.  It has also made many correct predictions and some dire predictions about the possibilities of the Obama Presidency that may not turn out to be the case. While that was always hoped for by me and others around it nonetheless does undermine the credibility of the blog if things do not get significantly worse than they are before January.  My own life in these years has arguably been more and more ineffective with a few bright spots and counter trends not disproving that general direction. But while I  have problems and many others do as well I am not sure mine are the problems that resonate with the electorate per se. At least they are not likely be determinative of the outcome of the election. Yes I need better opportunity and more money but not in the same way as some other people whose needs better represent more voters.

America has many challenges to face and this blog is full of my thoughts bout meeting those challenges. but so far there is little evidence that this blog will be a major factor in shaping the key discussions of these matters at the heart of our political discussion.  I myself am more than a little weary and the worse for wear.  But I began this blog to express a point of view and influence the American mindset and I will continue to try to do that.

The earliest post on this blog was provided by Word Press but I could have deleted it. I am not sure if I edited it at all it appears here. 

It is reproduced here:

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

My next blog post was a kind of manifesto lifted from a series of Facebook notes just a few months earlier in its release on Facebook. You can read it here if so inclined. The idea of a very personal blog with a political view is quite manifest but not so much presidential politics. In fact specific politics as the term is often  are not much in evidence in that post.

The next post, which appears here, lays out some geopolitical ideas, visions and policies. It takes tongue in cheek a limitless ambition and scope as part of the nature of this blog.  I had nothing much to say about presidential politics in the manifesto.

The first post dealing with presidential politics in this blog links here. It was a reposting from a now long neglected or abandoned user blog I had on Politco.

I reproduce the long introductory segment of it here below. I cannot say that none of my views have changed or evolved but many have not:

I feel a certain amount of sympathy for Barack Obama. I choose to start with that line because I consider myself to be one of the people most opposed to Barack Obama within the spectrum of legitimate politics. However, I don’t think that there is any doubt that we have reached the point where Conservatism can be looked at as something which has merited the term “crisis”. America is in a crisis and I believe that it will prove to be a very grave crisis. However, conservatism is in a far greater crisis. For argument’s sake let us say that the terms right and left, Democrat and Republican describe a real political dynamic which matters in this country. I would argue that on the right in this country we have lots of politicians who use the label“conservative” but actually we have a collection of Libertarians, Tax Avoiders,  Moderate Neo-Fascists , Ultra-Reformed  Protestant Theocrats, and Anglophile Antiquarians who collectively squeeze a weak and demoralized conservative group of Americans who hardly matter at all.  Some of these five never discussed groups would be Conservatives if there really was a Conservative Movement for them to be part of , on the other hand many fundamentally despise Conservatism.I voted for George Bush the first time and almost certainly would have voted for him the second time if I could have made it to Beijing’s American Embassy in time to vote. However, I missed that election. I voted for McCain-Palin in the most recent election. I also voted for Mary Landrieu a Democrat this year. Through my life I have voted for a collection of Democrats, Republicans and Independents.  My sympathy for Barack Obama comes into play in this regard. Like Obama (and a lot of other people)  I have had to make the best choices I could at any given time. By the time I was old enough to vote I had forged a lot of bonds and relationships which included fundamentalists, communists in other countries, resentful Moslems, white supremacists, black radicals and lots of other people who don’t fall into the neat safe categories that President mills like mid century Yale Law normally produce in quantity.  If I were to have made a run at the US Presidency there would be people some folks would like as little as I like Rev. Wright and David Ayres. Despite all that colorful background I have lots of self-respect and more oddly yet, I think of myself as an authentic American Conservative. Arguably, I am one of the only American conservatives who could be optimistic about the Obama example. Because if such an oddly positioned person of such a background as Barack Obama can be President of the United States then maybe I could at least get elected parish assessor, city dog-catcher, county councilman, water-district representative or something else somewhere in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Somehow I don’t think Obama’s election signifies anything nearly that hopeful for someone like me.  I am able to accept that there is not likely to be a government paycheck in my future. That is unless you include the kinds of fellowships and part-time job checks form school boards and universities which I have gotten in the past. I don’t hate liberalism but I know that Liberals are more likely to take a political interest in those with odd and quirky backgrounds than conservatives are. I am able to say that I have won a few elections. I won a seat on Dorm Council in College, I was elected as Outstanding Graduate in my department , college and university for that particular commencement exercise at a different school. Then In China  a few years ago I organized elections among my student for various class and subgroup offices. Then there are a couple of elections where I was elected to post that I can’t discuss here by groups that like their privacy.  None of those races seem very much related to the Presidency or even a governorship however. In most of these races my political philosophy was not a central aspect of what people were electing me for or voting against. Many people hold office for other reasons than political philosophy. People vote for friends, members of their race or class, to keep seniority in a legislature or because they are personally opposed to the candidates opposition. But in  the big leagues there are always some questions of political philosophy that become important. I would argue that Conservatism is usually not on the menu.I think that a coherent expression of American Conservative political philosophy would require at least one very long book. If someone hasn’t read any of the books which have helped to from my opinions then an article or two would not make the great sweep of ideas stand clear. Here I am going to do something very different. I am going to propose ten unthinkable planks in a platform in an aggressive conservative movement. I don’t think that conservative means passive. Some of these would even require constitutional amendments. I believe that these planks would probably unpopular and are largely undemanded but that is because Conservatism is largely dead. I think that passing something along these lines would be essential to setting our country on a good conservative path. I believe struggling for something like this would be essential for rebuilding a conservative movement.

What is the mindset or set of mindsets which will shape American destiny in the coming election cycle?  Where are we headed as country?  This blog will still be involved in tracking these questions and any answers that it can find.

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 Danger of Being a Complete Idiot

I have decided that I am personally opposed to be the world being run by complete idiots.  I think that in time there will be a need to decide that merely being a complete idiot is not a sign of a divine right to govern. Being a complete idiot may be  a fine ideal for people at many levels and may feel really wonderful but it is not sufficient to outweigh all other possible human qualities.

We have a society that moves fast and moving fast has become essential to a lot of what we do and who we are. However,  we often move in a lot of ignorance and foolishness. The adjustment to a somewhat more deliberate pace will not be an easy one.

I think that it is somehow important to be able to step out of the ordinary and mundane flow and norm of human life and society.  It is important to be able to see the bigger picture and the connections between the separate pictures which are the worldviews of each society, nation and culture. I think it is good to be able to see the several goods that conflict with the several evils that may accompany a policy decision  and also to see  how those evils conflict with each other and how those goods conflict with each other. I trust the analysis that follows such a  moral parsing  more than one which starts always looking for just the good and the bad of a choice. I trust even less that analysis rooted in the opinion that there is no good or evil.

I like the idea that a school should be a place of learning first for all the students. I do not believe we can eliminate all the rest but I believe that rape, bullying, brutalization, farting, stupidity being propounded pompously and theft should be less important than well-organized lessons, sporting events, school dances, plays, bands, moderate punishments and friendly conversation at the lunch table. I am willing to see the world that I live in clearly but I am not willing to see it as all perfectly good and right.

I think that the main purpose of the world we live in from my point of view is to suck as much as possible. However, I sometimes choose to resist this trend. One thing I hate is that whole trend which has amended the election of any US Senators by the State Legislatures away, made absolute robots of the College of Electors to the point of completely ignoring them except as mathematical factors, diminished the role of the Vice President as President of the Senate, started the rule of saying the United States is a country instead of the United States are a country (to which like others of these rules I adhere), racial policy that says either no colored people can share a conference center with white people anywhere or else blacks have the obligation to overrun every white school and rearrange its curriculum and life. These are just some of the many ways in which the country which is my home has made being a complete idiot the national ideal. I wish it could be changed.

It takes great intelligence and knowledge and some discipline to really follow the beauty pageants system, baseball at each level, the NCAA basketball tournament or a good game of football. It takes great knowledge and intelligence to stay current on what is happening in Country, Cajun, Zydeco, Bluegrass, various regional forms of the Blues, Contemporary Christian, Southern Swing, Motown, Jazz, Broadway Showtunes and movie Soundtracks. It takes great knowledge and skill  to follow and understand the Mercantile Exchange, The New York Stock Exchange, the history of the New Orleans Cotton Exchange, the Urner-Barry Seafood Price Current, the NASDAQ and the Morningstar summary of  mutual funds. Nobody apologizes for any of this difficulty. But I am convinced that in the essence of our polity and commonwealth and in the social mechanics that hold us all together  we face the ideal of the complete idiot gaining ground year by year and generation by generation.  I do not mean democracy.  I really mean the ideal of the complete political idiot. I am not joking. We have not achieved our ideal yet, but that is the ideal to which we are being drawn and towards which we are drawing the world.

I wish we would adopt a different ideal. I fee l that there are real dangers in us all becoming complete idiots in this area of our lives. We will face challenges in the environment, politics, war and diplomacy which a complete idiot is not the best person to address. Sometimes we will need people who are not complete idiots.

Peace, War and the Future in Israel & Elsewhere

I am writing this blog post about the peace process in Israel and the larger issues related to it in so many ways. That topic will be challenging and my little blog post is not likely to be so very influential either. We face many challenges  in the world and I am weary and sometimes weak in the face of the many challenges we face considering the  time that has passed since I have known. I am going to lay out a  plan for Peace in Israel that I do not believe can be implemented right now. All I can really do is say that I will not call something else acceptable right now my self.

I first want to quote from an earlier blog post which in turn reproduced a Facebook Note from my Facebook profile. To see the blog post itself see this link:  https://franksummers3ba.wordpress.com/2009/08/19/novus-ordo-seclorum/  The most pertinent passage appears below.

” I. I suggest that reparations be paid for the Holocaust by many parties which benefitted or inherited from beneficiaries. I suggest that a large part of these funds be paid to purchase the Sinai from Egypt and then a separate portion be set up as a development fund. This fund would also include a fund for concessions to be paid for in which those paying in to the fund would be preferred. This Sinai would be a State of a greater Federal Great Israel. The other States would be the Principal State of the Republic of Israel, the Capital Sate of Jerusalem, and the State of Palestine. The Republic would receive slightly more land than it yielded to form the Capital State of Jerusalem in the from of five state military reservations in the Sinai. Palestine would receive a concession the size of Gaza which would be one of three districts in that federal state. The remainder of Sinai would be composed of several federalized districts and it would form the fourth and last state.”

In time I will return to pursuing this argument  a bit further and explaining and clarifying it a bit. Life is indeed a constant source of interruptions to our hobbies, hopes and avocations. I am going to write a bit about my life and how my life gets in the way of reshaping the world. This will be one of my more rambling and indirect posts I think.

I think Israel is too small even with the occupied territories. My plan does not call for enslaving, deporting or exterminating the Palestinians. However, it is clear to me that I must support the expansion of the State of Israel above all considerations that can be used to distract from it. Further, I must demand reparations for the Holocaust. I do not demand a truly adequate compensation but a very significant gesture. I was thinking in the neighborhood of forty-five billion dollars.

The Holocaust Reparation Fund

I. Amount Collected and Release of Claims

 I would propose collecting a total of forty-five billion dollars for this fund. So that it is a cohesive fund from all sources and that Israel would sign a release saying that all claims of the Hebrew Nation which can be discharges with money related to the Holocaust would be discharged with this payment.

  II. Structure Of Expenditures and Disbursement of Funds

1. Thirteen Billion Dollars would be paid to Egypt  for full and total cession of all lands on the Sinai Peninsula to which it has any claim which are more that fifteen kilometers from the banks of the Suez Canal and are not an effective part of the existing city of Al Qantarah. This would be a permanent and complete cession to the new Federal Great Israel brokered by  a treaty bound current State and Republic of Israel.

2. The Zone along the Canal in Sinai would become a permanent Canal Condominium Territory governed by the Suez Corporate Territorial Government. Egypt would retain twenty of a hundred seats in the upper house of the legislature which would also be  the corporate board and would receive one billion dollars from the Holocaust Reparation Fund for which the new Israeli State of Sinai would receive fifteen of these same hundred states. Egypt would also receive one billion and formal release of all claims resulting from seizure of its rights from GDF Suez which in return would receive twenty seats of these same hundred and the Royal Pretender to throne of Egypt would pay nothing except formal release of all other family claims to the canal but would receive five seats of these same one hundred seats.  Israel would pay one billion dollars to Egypt and would receive for  the New First State of the Republic of Israel  twenty seats and for the Federal Great Israel’s national government twenty seats. Thus 20+ 15+20+5+20+20 = 100. Egypt would retain a share of these assets and gain three billion dollars in cash and release of all competing claims. The lower house of the legislature of the Canal Condominium Territory would be democratic and represent inhabitants of the zone.  The Holocaust Reparation Fund will only be reduced by a billion dollars.

3. One billion would be paid to a fund for Egyptians living in the Sinai to either resettle in Egypt or else accommodate to the new situation taking an oath and signing papers of loyalty to Israel.

5. Five Billion Dollars would be paid to an endowed trust to use only in resettling descendants of the Holocaust within the boundaries of the new Israeli State of Sinai.     

6. Three Billion Dollars would be paid to the Israel general Treasury to develop the basic infrastructure of its new  five military bases in Sinai.

7. Three Billion dollars would be set up as the initial treasury of the new Israeli Capital State of Jerusalem.

8. Three billion would be given to a jointly administered fund for the Palestinian Authority and Israel to develop the third of the three federal districts in the Israeli State of Palestine which will be located in the new lands in the Sinai.

9. One Billion Dollars would be paid to the Palestinian Authority to  develope the initial treasury of the Israeli Federated State of Palestine. Its state legislature will have an upper house with seats by the three great district and a lower house with seats elected in electoral district by population.

10. These initial  thirty  billions will be the unrecoverable portion of the payment. 13+1+1+5+3+3+3+1= 30 billion.

11. The remaining fifteen billion dollars will be kept in an internationally administered trust until exhausted. Its sole use will be to buy goods and services for the development of the Israeli State of Sinai from the donors to the Holocaust Reparation Fund. Only Austrian and German companies and any other not of those countries that contributed to the fund will be eligible vendors.  However, the international board will assure that market prices are charged and that orders are relatively widely distributed among the pool of donors.

III. Skewing the Collection of Reparations

West German Lander should pay a somewhat discounted portion of the totality of the reparations because they have paid early and in a structure as part of the West German government. However they would still pay but Swiss banks, Austrian and Czech governments, the Eastern Lander governments, major corporations and estates of rich individuals would pay. In return for their contributions and disclosure to a Truth and Reconciliation Committee they would also be entitled to a  UN authorized agreement releasing them from criminal and civil claims for genocide and crimes against humanity. Individuals could still complain for murder and other ordinary crimes but all ethnic, racial and war crimes would be settled. Confessions made along with payments would be sealed for a period of twenty years except for a vague sort of eummary which would be published as a book. Payments made by others would vary by degree of guilt off-set by other factors.   It would also be true that individuals claiming benefits under the fund would agree that in the future thay would allow those who paid in to be held free of punitve damages for  holding stolen property and would allow some portion less than a third of recovered property value to go to a structure to compensate partially even parties with guilty title but not direct thieves who have collected stolen assets. In a ddition it would be clear that those clearly not part of the paying pool who paid nothing and were later found implicated directly in harm whether coroporations or governments would never receive any of these benefits. On the other hand even criminal cartels should they come into the structure should still qualify for these specific protections even if they do not receive recognition by the law in any other good way. Despite saying Germany and Austria if by some miracle some Norse governments were to admit principal and activist guilt they could pay into the structure and make the deal as well. If organized crime in Western China were to come forward and admit its active role in the policy then it too would qualify. Forty-Five billion is a minimal amount. In my view Germany ought to be made to feel that they are the guarantor help collect or pay it all despite previous agreements. However, somehow pressure must be exerted to make them work to deliver other guilty parties to pay instead of shielding them. Clearly however Italy, Poland, Vichy France, Spain, Turkey and many other countries cannot be held responsible the moral lines are too unclear in dealing with the Nazi monstrosity. I would be a better broker and proponent of this deal if I was a big bad guy all these scary people feared. However, I am a fairly weak player not likely to live to be an old man whether they do anything or not. But if rage and contempt count for anything then I am a factor to be reckoned with anyway. I can fight a little but I am no anti-Hitler to throw my weight around.

II. Constitution of  the Israeli Federated State of Sinai

1. The Federated State of Sinai should have one of the most complex constitutions of any new polity in the world’s history. People have grown unused to civilization but civilized solutions are often complicated. The Upper House of the State Legislature should itself be federal by Seven Districts and the lower house elected by population.  The Districts themselves will have relatively strong  local near state governments and some of them will also be federal. 

 2. There will be a reservation of five percent of the lands as an Egyptian Ethnarchy of which the Royal Pretender to the Throne of Egypt will be the Head of State and appoint several members of the District Upper House and will have his own Ward of which he is Head of State and populated by Egyptian royalists who wish to live there including up to one-third of the population coming in new from Egypt and the others from  the current population of Sinai and Palestine. The second ward will be the Constitutional Patriarchate of Alexandria and will recognize the Christian Coptic Patriarch of Alexander as Ward Head of State under a Sinai and Israel Constitution . Up to two-thirds of the population can be Christian refugees from Muslim countries so long as one half of them  are from Egypt and the other third must be currently residents from within Israel, Palestine and Sinai. The last ward will be the Sinai Republican Ward made up of old residents of the peninsula and Palestinian and Israeli Arabs wishing to start such a polity.

3.The Second District will consist of ten percent of all lands and be an North  American Jewish Ethnarchy for Hebrews practicing  some form of Judaism and seeking to maintain dual citizenship culture for families who participate in the USA, Mexico and Canada as well as Israel.

4. The Third District will the District of Federated Israeli Military Hinterland Communities and consist of five civilian settlement belts for residents of the Republic of Israel which measure four kilometer wide bands around the five military bases that will be part of the Israeli First State of the Republic of Israel.

5. The Fourth District will be a one hundred Kilometer State Capital District.

6. The Fifth District will be made up of fifty percent of all the lands in the Israeli Federal State of Sinai and will be made be  dedicated to the Right of Return and permanent priority will be given to the resettlement of direct descendants of Holocaust victims currently in Israel and returning from other places.

7. The Sixth and Seventh districts will be equal in size. Together they will occupy all remaining lands which will be substantially less than thirty-five percent but I will not work out the exact numbers.  The Sixth District will be the Federated Christian District  of which the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem will be head of State, appoint members to the District Upper House and be head of State of a Ward under an Israeli and Sinai Constitution.  This District will have another ward of equal size under the Ward Head of State who will be the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.  Each of these district should receive as part of Sinai state territory and as part of their respective ward’s rule a land concession of one square mile each divided between Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth.  The Third Ward will be a Ward for Sinai and Israeli Christians.  The Fourth  Ward will be a Ward for ethnic Palestinian Christians who want to resettle there. The Seventh District should be the Hebrew Royalist District  of the State of Sinai. Here there will be a Ward which is the Barony of Rothschild and two other Baronies. Since I am fantasizing anyway I may as well say that I think the largest ward should be a Duchy and I would name my nominee for founding Duke or Duchess if this ever came close to reality and it was necessary to do so.