Category Archives: Lords of the Blog

Crimea and the Moment

I certainly think many people are doing the right thing to act early in trying to define the limits of Russian authority over Ukraine as being something that cannot be total. Little is ever gained by mere capitulation or hoping problems will go away.  Many commentators  make some good points about the Syrian crisis and by analogy and inference about other places in the world where Russia can play a role different than almost any other country. I commented on a post by prominent Labor party figure Clive Lord Soley as regards some of those comments he shaped and passed on in The Lords of the Blog. Russia is a striking alternative to the West both because of its view of itself as an alternative to Europe and the USA and also as a society which nonetheless has a history of Christianity, a large white population, huge shared literary and artistic conventions  with the West. There are also not only ties to nearby regimes but the recent memory of leading world Communism with only China coming anywhere close to being a competitor.

I am inclined to want very much to help Western Ukraine to a secure future and see their sense of the need to act. But I would not try to dislodge Russia from the Crimea. I am perhaps more of this view than many in Europe given the relatively recent past Britain joined the Turks in fighting the Crimean War against Russia as I recall. That surely shapes one’s point of view. The Germans followed a man committed to building a new order on a destroyed Russian state more recently still. Hitler mapped that out in Mein Kampf. Whether Napoleon, Hitler or the Turks Crimea is a key to beating down Russia. The time may come when I will wish we had beaten down Russia starting with the Crimea but that is not how I feel just now. Russia plays a key role in geopolitics. No ready substitutes are available and Russia is one of several great super societies.

If the US enter armed conflict with Russia I will mostly try to support my country and remember Russia’s many iniquities while behind the scenes perhaps expressing some other points of view. However, I do not think seizing the Crimea is the right reason to be drawn into conflict with Russia I do not even think it seems all that assertive to everyone. Most people feel the need to defend Ukrainian self determination, in some way — I do as well, and perhaps more than most. Many informed people feel the need to try to support the cultural rights and decent aspirations of Western Ukrainians in the next generation– I do probably pass the average person in desire to do that as well. But if Russia really and truly has no right to hold the Crimea in a friendly position then the world is unrecognizably bizarre.

I am aware that much of human history and current geopolitics seems different from different points of view. But to say Russia must commit suicide is to declare the end of this era in a very real way. In my personal life I have not hidden in the shadows but I do believe there is so much that needs resolving and doing besides war. This blog of mine is full of other priorities which I support and uphold. My life is full of distractions. I suffer from threats to life in my own health and have a friend in the hospital with a cerebral hemorrhage and the grandfather of two of my nieces and one nephew has just died of heart disease today.  My own schedule and the tourist economy of the region are  disrupted by unseasonable ice storms.

Bleak in Acadiana

Bleak in Acadiana

 

trees wrapped in ice in the afternoon in March near Acadiana's coast

trees wrapped in ice in the afternoon in March near Acadiana’s coast

I want to support those who would broker a better deal for Western Ukraine above all. However I also have a full set of distractions to keep me from Russia’s periphery. That is the nature of spheres of influence.

Our ritual foods of Mardi Gras are on my mind more than Borscht

Our ritual foods of Mardi Gras are on my mind more than Borscht

The world has many problems and Crimea is more important to Russia than it is to anyone else except possibly Ukraine. Really losing Crimea mean Russia must fight a major war sooner than later. We may squeeze them out peacefully and humiliate them and in the end it may lead to a post Russian civilization but somewhere before they check out they will fight a big war. A Russian dominated Crimea is essential to peace. I do not believe in peace at any cost. I do not think Russia and the US are pals. I do not believe I am a coward. But Russia has to control or be the largest and accepted foreign influence in Crimea for their to be peace, of that there is no doubt in my mind. So as I sit here trying to manage many other concerns and even to survive myself in the less than perfect health I enjoy I hope for peace in the Crimea.

Of course I live in intolerable situations and perhaps Russia can as well. But it would be intolerable for them to lose Crimea. What will they do if they concede this loss?

It is Mardi Gras. Tomorrow Lent begins and today is the day to celebrate the end of Carnival season

We have no way of knowing whether or not when asked about Russian troops in Ukraine Putin told Western diplomats “Crimea river”, Cry me a river” or none of the above. The Germans took the Crimea from Russia, so did the joint forces of the British, Turkish and French. Could the US do so? Certainly it is possible. with the support of the European Union and others but there is no doubt that those campaigns were fought over a very long time and at a high level of intensity. It is also arguable whether other powers had really achieved a peaceful status in which Russia was not in the end the dominant world power in the Crimea. I hope there will be a good resolution here.

Union and Secession and Identity

Almost nothing is ever permanently resolved in politics. Scotland may soon leave the United Kingdom (it may also not do so) that has been one of the most settled unions in modern and late medieval history .In the South of the United States of America one of the issues one grows up with is what to call the war fought between 1860ish and 1864ish. There is a spectrum of answers: The War of the Rebellion, The Civil War, The War Between the States, The War for Southern Independence and The War of Northern Aggression are the chief choices. I am proud of an in touch with my own Confederate heritage and I seek to honor it in many ways. However, while I seek constitutional change my ancestors were secessionists and I am not I seek to preserve the Union. Secession is not the part of the past I want to make alive today. Scots currently feel it more and more likely that independence is necessary. I commented on “The Lords of the Blog” about this and other issues:

http://lordsoftheblog.net/2014/02/02/leaving-a-union/#comments

“franksummers3ba
10/02/2014 at 3:57 am
Lord Soley,

It would be a tedious process difficult to prove to your readers or yourself to show my family connections over millennia to a sizable number of crucial uniting and dividing number of processes of creating and dissolving unions. I think clearly there can be unintended consequences. While it does not seem likely Europe and a separate UK would go to war in a generation it might happen in bit longer time. Clearly the UK benefits from the ties to the great diversity of human and other resources in Europe and the UK.

Perhaps your compatriots who want to leave wish it for many reasons. However, the chief may be a concern about where this is all headed. Clearly the European Common Market has evolved a great deal and is headed in certain direction. My Acadian ancestors migrated to the New World and abandoned their deep network of roots as an existing society around La Rochelle because the modern era was destroying the union of Languedoc–”Paix(s) des Coutumes” and Languedeouil –”Paix(s) des Lois” which was how they saw France. After much bloodshed it seemed the way to preserve who they were into the future. They and my ancestors who may or may not have been qualified to be in the Cincinnati sought independence from a British Empire which was centralizing after a great victory in the previous world struggle against France. The failed attempt to achieve an independent Confederate States of America attracted my ancestors and their friends because it seemed the only way to preserve a recognizable facsimile of the future they intended when they joined the Union. In my case this theme goes much further back in time.

You are I believe of a party and ideology which seeks broad and global change and adaptation most of all. I do not mean you are always reckless or ill-advised. But if you wish to communicate with those who wish to leave seek to answer how the changes they foresee can be true to the reasons their ancestors in ideas, beliefs and blood agreed to the unions in the first place.

Whether I could have been a great success if I had behaved very differently I do not know. But at nearly fifty I seem to have paid a high cost for certain choices of priority but feel I had little choice. I would imagine the relevant groups you are addressing feel much the same way. For them a real risk of ceasing to be Scot or British is not endurable if they can do anything to stop it.”

Greece is a tiny shadow of what it once was for centuries but it emerged from total eclipse as a political unit. Israel with Hebrew as an official language is another such miracle. The world evolves continually and its maps evolve continuously. I cited the Ukrainian revolution in an earlier status update and wish that nation the best as it struggles forward. The truth is that Western Ukraine has a larger portion of its heritage who are of old Greek diaspora stock from the Byzantine Empire mixed with Slavs than the Eastern Ukraine. But Ukraine’s western people are more likely to be Greek Catholic Uniates with Rome or Roman Catholics while the East is more Orthodox in Union with what is left of Christian Byzantium through Russian Orthodoxy or elsewhere. But they are more Ukrainian than anything else and have a nation together. On my Facebook list I am honored to have had (and still seem to have thought there names do not tag here) some of the leadership of the Sons of Confederate Veterans such as Michael Givens, Chandler Givens, Tom Hiter and Frank Powell III. They have a fraternity which allows differing views on how independence relates to current Confederate heritage and I do not know what their personal view are, but members do support the USA while it endures. The Scots would keep the British Monarch as Queen of Scotland which she already holds as a title.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/26/us-scotland-independence-salmond-idUSBRE9AP0CL20131126

So what would the issues be? Well, here are some raised rather well.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/constitution-committee/news/scottish-independence-lord-hope-and-prof-mclean/

“Likely questions
Areas the Committee are likely to cover with the witnesses include:

What legal principles should govern negotiations for Scottish independence in the event of a “yes” vote?
Is the timetable of independence by March 2016 realistic? What impact will the timing of the UK general election in May 2015 have on this timetable?
What legal measures would be needed to allow negotiations to take place?
Who would negotiate for the remainder of the UK and to whom should they be accountable?
What would happen if the two negotiating teams could not agree on an issue?
What would be the status of the 59 MPs for Scottish constituencies in 2015–16?
What impact would Scottish independence have on the work and membership of the UK Supreme Court?”

I post this rambling discussion to stimulate thought and inform. But not to make too much any single part of it.

Misery: The Reasons to Continue Living a Miserable Life

Sunday September 26, 2010 the New Orleans Saints lost a home game in overtime to their toughest competitors in the NFC South this year  – the Atlanta Falcons. At halftime both teams were tied as well as at the end of regulation play. It was a well-played game with nuns as guest of honor, a huge and emotional  crowd and some really impressive play by so many from Vilma and the defensive squad to Thomas, Henderson, Shockey and Colston — but especially it featured a superb performance by Lance Moore. There was a good performance with Drew Brees but also some interceptions. The notable failure of Hartley on two field goal attempts and having Bush off the field with an injury were the most notable factors contributing to the loss. It was a glorious game hard played between two teams. There was nothing bad about it except the final result but the loss did remind me of the so very many very bad days in the past.  It reminded me just a tiny glimmer of how it felt to root for the local team when things looked so very bad. I expect the Saints to end up being pretty good this season but even if they are not I will be a Saints Fan. That fact reminded me that in many ways I have been very unhappy and displeased  most of my life by so very many things.  I remembered that in some ways the Saints of the worst season match my life more than the Saints of the good seasons or the Saints of last year’s spectacular season.

 I have decided to focus on all that is good about living a horrible  life in this post. Maybe this can be used to discourage a trend of suicide somewhere. Maybe it can be used to make those who do not feel miserable feel better about themselves. I am writing an autobiographical note. Many of my autobiographical writings have  touched on this theme but this is a note focused on one of the themes entirely and directly. This is an effort to look at my life primarily as a prolonged and intense misery.

I think that in all of this story of misery and unhappiness I  will start with my right foot. There is a rather large birthmark on top of it and it tends to varying degrees of swollen, painful and deformed dysfunction. I am more aware of that than usual this week. Sometimes I can participate in many  strenuous activities and it does not bother me much for many months and other times it keeps me in cheap sel applied braces and home therapies for months at a time with seldom any break from these routines — but I am still mobile, ambulatory and active most of every day. I do not remember my birth and so I wonder if I was crushed or injured, if it happened in utero or it was genetic.   I have vague memories related to this injury as a child including the fact that I never had a good foot doctor and also that some adults discussed amputating the foot and how I never recovered respect for most adult opinion after that. Since those days my life has led me to feel that Hell is somehow a very subjective thing and that I was really born into hell in many ways. The world is at least out of sync with what I would call the idea of what is good. Why that may be is a very complicated question if one really tries to answer it adequately.

Now at 46 years of age I  am experiencing some of the signs of aging. Those things do not improve my quality of life.  However, the main thing I remember is how many and varied the bad times have been. How very bad the very bad times have been. It is interesting that I do not feel I have suffered far more than everybody else. In fact I  have known people who were suffering much more than I was when I met them. But things are just so amazingly awful that I have often been caught up in complete amazement at how often multiple very great evils oppose one another and squeeze out almost anything that I could call good. I look back a t times when I helped a child  or an adolescent  pass a difficult course and I feel pretty good about that. I look back at times I dropped off a box of food, a bag of candy or medicines with people who really needed it and I feel good. I look back on bringing people  in jails with limited resources  small bars of soap and  pieces of fruit with satisfaction. I look back on writing about special overlooked stories about interesting people  for newspapers and other publications  and I feel good. But overall I think of how much was always getting so much worse and still is getting so much worse and  how horrible it was to be able to do so little good.

I just feel discouraged, well not just discouraged but I do feel discouraged. I feel so sad for all the bad things that happened to people I knew and cared about but could not really help.I also remember countless good deeds done to me and to others but I  am truly amazed at how many truly horrible things I have witnessed in my life. Literally I do feel that “things have worked out” amazingly badly on this planet. That the human condition is surprisingly horrific. My own life is simply in harmony with this larger trend.  I have sometimes described this to close friends as a sense that one is playing a game for which the winning score is 21 or over but one has a handicapped starting position which make it impossible to get past zero in the number of plays one has available. Thus the most heroic efforts would result in what the fair observer would regard as normal nothing.

I am not coming to this realization from the point of view of someone who is innocent and totally free of any of the evil he sees in the world. It is more probable that I regard myself as an unrealistically tough and resilient player in the dark and seedy games of life. Yet there are a number of things I really do regard as evil even if I have done them and consider them to be things I understand well. Likewise there are people I have cared about and who have mattered to me whom I could not really call “good people”, “true friends”, loyal or anything else along those lines  despite the connection between us. Overall they were in my honest opinion at the very least bad guys or baddies depending on your dialect. But I am not willing either to write off all that was good about them.  Overall, the context was just rotten to the core and they were part of that rotten milieu. However, there was good in them, in us and in the environs.

I have looked hard and listened intently in life. Hope has not been something I have been inspired to see or feel a great deal in the searching I have done. There have been moments of hope but they have been islands in a sea of other things.

All of this makes me conscious of the fact that when good things happened in sports, work, creative or other projects involving me or near me I was happy and enjoyed them, I did live in those movements. Part of that means that I am still living in the moment  of many happy things — one of them is that the New Orleans Saints are a great football team.  I don’t believe there is anything bad about good per se. In other words it is just plain good to see good things happen.  But compared to a lot of Saints fans these days I will be able to handle to lows a bit more easily.

I am afraid there is no limit to how low the lows will go however, this post has not become a list of horrors and evils. Just to list diseases, forms of violence and terrors that have claimed my friends is not enough to make this into that kind of post. I have worked very hard to accomplish very little in the big picture and I will keep trying. “Maybe”, one hopes, “life as a whole will be like being a Saints Fan. That would mean that despite many sad and troubled times of defeat there will come some times of happiness and victory that are so great nobody can question them.” That is a long hypothetical mental quote isn’t it?  If the day of clear joy and goodness does not come there will still be  those things I listed in the beginning that really happened. Those are similar to the better seasons the Saints had in the past before they had these last few great years. It would be nice to be happy but being sane is nice too. To keep on and know things are bad is to recognize that life has value and that if things really ever went well one could appreciate the good times  better than if one had called the bad times good. I really have been and still am enjoying the success of the Saints. I wish I could afford a little more hope but I do enjoy the good moments with family and friends. I do value the good memories even if I think they are atypical.

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman and the Papal Visit

Well, it is done. John Henry Cardinal Newman is Beatified. Across America at universities there are many Newman Clubs where some of the  Catholic student members likely feel more connected to a canonization than they ever expected to and yet they are likely to have known only a very little about his life and record. He is a man who lived for 89 year in a single century. That is much more unusual than living for 89 years and so historians who are drawn to the study of centuries (despite their best efforts not to be) will always be likely to note him as a source in studying the nineteenth century of the Christian era.   He was a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and there are not very many of those. He was the author of a very long memoir called Apologia Pro Vita Sua: The History of My Religious Opinions.  That gives the rest of his writing, speaking and organizing a different shape and flavor for history than the lives of great men who do not write memoirs. He belonged to the Birmingham Oratory and therefore he is likely to be remembered by his community that has preserved his documents and artifacts and remembered the anecdotes of his life. Then, as of a few days ago, a Pope had made a historic journey to his homeland to celebrate his legacy. We now have added to all of this his official elevation to the “honor of the altars” not the “glory of the altars” which is the step of canonization which has not yet been taken.  His chapel will now become an official Catholic Shrine.  I expect the process to canonization will proceed in good order. Attention will show a man who like other saints was faithful to his sense of the life and inspiration of Jesus Christ.

I may or may not do another post on this visit by Pope Benedict XVI and this man who was so compelling a human being in so many ways.  Let us just consider the enormous effect which this visit has had on the Catholic community in Britain. I lived there as a child and found the air of anti-Catholicism thick enough. But for these days there has been a chance for the Roman Catholics there to see a fellow Teuton leading their worship on good terms with the Anglicans and beatifying a great Catholic son of their island.

In my own life it has also been a significant occasion. As an Anglo-Acadian, a former English major and a correspondent with Peers and others at the Westminster Parliament where Benedict XVI just spoke. For me there has not been much of an emotional response to these events but there has been an intellectual recognition that these things do matter.

The only possible victims in this happy event or the devotees of the American saint John Newman who was a multilingual pastor and builder and bishop.  Perhaps his ethnic name of Johannes Naumann or something close to it can be used. However, he was not very well-known anyway. However, he is worth knowing.

The saints meant more to me perhaps when I tried a bit harder to imitate them. However, I still admire what I am less able to imitate.  I do sort of hope this Beatification will move several efforts for peace and reconciliation forward.

One of those rambling posts…

This is a rambling sort of blog post about a bunch of different things that have little in common except that I am interested in them right now.  This is a sort round-up post in the broadest sense. So here comes a numbered list folks….

1.  Despite disavowals  of doing so I have recently posted comments again on the Lords of the Blog and The Norton View in response to some of Lord Philip Norton’s posts on those sites.

2. I missed the New Orleans Saints preseason opener against the Minnesota Vikings without a really good excuse. Although this is only a glorified scrimmage (for the benefit of people who do not know our professional sports culture) it is still a bit shocking.

3. China is officially reported as the world’s second largest economy now. My own time in and involvement with China has a somehow slightly different light cast upon it because of these facts.

4. I bought birthday gifts all recent months but I have bought a birthday gift for my niece whose birthday is August 3rd, my sister whose birthday is August 5th, my sister-in-law whose birthday is August 8th and for each of three nephews who celebrated their birthdays together on the 14th of August. These sorts of calendrical anomalies really remind me of how limited my income is these days — but I did my best and hope it was OK…

5.The BP driller for the crucial relief well is a man named Wright with an impressive record and he feels that this is one of the toughest jobs he has ever done. He is also confident that he will succeed.

6. The name of the giant skimming ship that was sent here and did not work well in choppy seas was A Whale. This name has many associations for anyone here like anyone anywhere else. Acadians and the many other cultural groups have many people who use naturalistic names and appreciate them.  However, it is also eery for Acadians who see them selves as children of the Jonas in some ways as New Englanders relate to the Mayflower.  Jonas is the same personage as Jonah swallowed by (but also arguably saved ) by a whale. Nonetheless, this is not new because almost all sailors who read the Bible use Jonah as an unlucky term and Acadians are fairly unique among Judaeo-Christian seafarers in using or seeing the term distinctly. Neither Jonah nor his shipmates nor his ship were destroyed in the story after all.

7.  I had a very nice niece with one of my nieces today. While at lunch we ran into my ex-wife’s paternal aunt’s husband and his son and two of his grandsons. We  chatted and I introduced everybody. All of this makes me revisit my past which I am always doing anyway.

8. Both of my brothers who are fairly recently married have wives that are expecting and one nears delivery while another is to find out tomorrow if she is expecting twins.  All of this makes me daydream about my future which I am always doing anyway.

9. In the last few days I have bought eggs, bacon, varied canned goods, sodas, some condiments, sliced ham, milk, breakfast cereal, jalapeno and cheese pull bread, frozen fish and varied paper and soap products. In some houses and in this house at other times that would amount to really shopping and stocking up but here and now it amounts to getting oddments necessary to mostly sustain people in using up what we have before it goes bad and postponing the real shopping until such a fairly regular massive undertaking is ready to be undertaken.

10. In life there are different kinds of highs and different kinds of lows. Right now I think I am in the weary not entirely discontent blues.

BP Oil Spill and The Current of Current Events

Since the Oil leak began and the Deep Water Horizon Rig sank at Macondo in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast many things have happened. What I mean is that because of  the oil spill we see a skipper committing suicide, pelicans dying, a response worker dying of complications and no end in sight. But there are  other things that have happened too.

1. Since this mess started the UK elected the first Conservative or Liberal or non Labour coalition government in thirteen years.

2. Since this mess started the USA has won its group in the World Cup tournament for the first time in decades.

3. Since this mess started the longest men’s tennis match ever recorded has been played.

4. Since this mess started Louisiana’s own New Orleans Saints got their world championship rings with the fleur-de-lis on them. 

5. Since this mess started LSU lost its chance for the College World Series which is still going on and is still great baseball.

6. Since this mess started the National Spelling Bee has seen hard competition and has produced a winner.

7. Since this mess started this year’s TONY awards were given out to the exceptional achievers on Broadway by the American Theater Wing.

8.Since this mess started numerous prominent and accomplished people have given speeches at their commencement exercises on college campuses.

9. Since this mess started the US Supreme COurt has issued several opinions which will affect the lives and government of many Americans.

10. Since this mess started the North Koreans and South Koreans have done many things which deserve much attention and can affect the Position of the US in the world.

11. Since this mess started several large budget feature films and clever independent films have come on and off of the screens in most communities in America.

12 Since this mess started the first tropical depression has formed in the Caribbean.

13.Since this mess started the world has kept on spinning.

I hope that Americans and others who know us and do not live on the Gulf Coast or in the lower Mississippi Valley they will be understanding if we who do live here are a bit off. I hope that they will understand if we are a bit out of touch with life and the things we used to take an interest in these days. It is hard to explain if you do not live here what it is like to have this mess going on and on and on and on and on. It sort of reminds you of hell on the discount plan or some slow and horrible wasting disease…. So we may not be up to date on everything else.

The Mental Ferment for Men (and Women) who Might Foment an American Revolution: Part Three

We really are facing a dangerous period of opportunity.  Could there be an American Revolution? If so how could it play out and what might its outcome be? I think that we have reached a point where more than few crises will slip out of control unless they are addressed in the relatively near future.  For me as an individual person the idea of seeking and pushing a particular form of constitutional transformation is well justified.  There is enough desperation in my circumstances and history to make me unquiet for a long period of time.

But Revolution is a strong prescription. There are varied levels of the dreaded opportunity our founding fathers called the “State of Nature”.  Remember they did not seek to overthrow the British government or dissolve their own colonies. They simply sought to exclude the British from the governance of the United States and to transform the quasi-state colonies into states. The Constitution they drafted allowed not only for amendments but also for a constitutional convention which would allow for the most low risk possible way to pass through a grave crisis. This would be sort of skirting along the borders of the dreaded state of nature. I think a serious and honest scholar of the period would have to conclude they would have hoped we would achieve many forms of political development we have avoided before undertaking many things we have undertaken. Now we reach the part of this essay which is the most risky and dangerous for the writer. In describing a proposed revolution one should be able to describe some set of relatively large and even shocking changes desired and possible under the new regime which are not possible under this regime. So, either in this section I will discuss what my ideal new America  would be like in terms of almost all its map and in terms of the Congress of the United States and the Electoral College.

I.  The Map and Congress: First Level of Revolutionary Change

However, I will get to those larger and more distinct looking changes much later than this sentence or paragraph.  I will start with those that most closely flow from my last comment. I will focus on the map and Congress. The new House of Representatives  should be made up of 800 seats and representatives exactly. The number of people in a district in a State would be constitutionally set at the variable A (apportionment number). The non states would have 53 seats not apportioned by population: The District of Columbia would have three such seats, a federation of all lands not in Constitutional Jurisdictions (which is what States, Territories and Possessions would be called together) would have two seats. The allotted State legislature representatives of all the Colored Districts in the States would hold an electoral conference every two years and select three of their own members to serve in the House of Representatives and have authority to expedite an election to fill their State legislative Seats. In addition each of the 14 Territories would have two seats serving the Territory as a whole regardless of population and its apportioned seats. Each  of the 17 Possessions would have one seat representing the Possession as a whole and its apportioned seats. Then all military bases of the United States militaries would be made into districts electing representatives. Military people would have two votes in this way– they would keep their home constitutional jurisdiction vote and gain additional representation in the Congress and Electoral College through their base-district votes. Each Territory district which is apportioned by population would serve 1.5 A people, each Possession district apportioned by population would serve   2 A people and each military jurisdiction.There would be 747 seats apportioned by the new council of Censors — as with the States now none ould include parts of more than one Constitutional Jurisdiction.

B. The United States Senate

After the Addition of the State of Puerto Rico there would be no new States added without a Constitutional amendment. There would also be the one additional Senator for each State elected by the State Legislature and serving a longer term.  That would bring the total number of US Senators to 153. These Senators would serve for all purposes of Law, Procedure, Equity and Normal Business. They would be the only ones allowed to vote when the Senate considered such matters. However, there would be a number of additional members  of high office and some elected by the Censors and Tribunes to serve in a Senatorial Constitutional  Assembly entitled to vote on the amendments to the Constitution. The current Congress of the United States numbers a bit under 550 and the new Congress would number a bit under 1000. This would be more in line with our revolutionary heritage. 

C. The New Constitutional Jurisdictions

The cost in lands would not fall on all States equally to create the new  Constitutional Jurisdictions and the Federal Government would be required to provide some lands of its own to the process.

Territories:

1.The Territoryof the Federated Aboriginal American Nations of the North Eastern States

2.The Territoryof the Federated Aboriginal American Nations of the South Eastern States

3.The Territory of the Federated Aboriginal American Nations of the South Western States

4.The Territory of the Federated Aboriginal American Nations of the North Western States.

5.The Territory of the Kingdom of Hawaii

6.The Territory of American Samoa

7.The Territory of Guam

8.The Territory of the Aleut, Inuit and Eskimo Peoples of Alaska

9.The Territory of Creoles of Color of Louisiana

10.The Territory of the Creoles of Color of Puerto Rico

11.The Territoryof the Creoles of Color of the US Virgin Islands

12.The Federated Territory of the Mestizos of the Western Half of Spanish Borderlands

13.The Federated Territory of the Mestizos Eastern Half of the Spanish Borderlands

14. The Small Federal Territory of  token Micronesian, Filipino Other American Imperial Communities

Thus 28 not-by-population districts in the House.   

Possessions:

1.The Negro and African-American Possession in South Carolina

2.The Negro and African American Possession in Mississippi

3.The Negro and African American Possession in Florida

4.The Negro and African American Possession in Alabama

5.The Negro and African American Possession in Georgia

6.The Negro and African American Possession in Louisiana

7.The Negro and African American Possession in Texas

8.The Negro and African American Possession in Virginia

9.The Negro and African American Possession in Arkansas

10.The Negro and African American Possession in Tennessee

11.The Negro and African American Possession in North Carolina

12.The Negro and African American Possession in the US Virgin Islands

13.The Negro and African American Possession in Puerto Rico

14.The Negro and African American Possession of Federated Districts in Kentucky, Maryland and Oklahoma

15.The Negro and African American Possession of Federated Districts in the Union States of 1864

16.The Negro and African American Possession of Federated Districts of the Pacific States and Territories

17.The Negro and African American Possession of Federated States of the Greater South West

Thus 17 not-by-population districts in the House.

D. The Compact Zones

Each constitutional Jurisdiction shall yield a small zone of land to the direct governance of every compact it belongs to — no Compact Zone will be larger than four square miles and shall vary by the size of the Constitutional Jurisdiction.  There shall be major Compacts and minor compacts. Generally, the Major Compacts will receive larger zones.

The Major Compacts:

1.The Thirteen Colonies Compact

2.The Original Constitution Compact

3.The Compact of the Louisiana Purchase

4.The Compact of the Hartford Convention

5.The Compact of the Spanish Borderlands

6.The Compact of the Confederate States of America

7.The Compact of the Union States of the Civil War

8. The Compact of All Jurisdictions West of the Mississippi

9.The Compact of All Jurisdictions East of the Mississippi

10.The Compact of All States

11.The Compact of All Territories

12.The Compact of All Possessions 

Each Major Compact will receive a rebate of half of one percent of all federal taxes collected in every member jurisdiction as well as a half of one percent of all revenues raised by each jurisdiction. The Major Compacts shall also elect an elector for life who will sit and vote with other electors for the President and be seated in the Compact Council. The Compact Councils shall reserve most of the seats in their lower chamber for those elected from the Compact’s Roll of Kindreds. Every family association must belong to at least two Rolls of Kindreds and should contribute one percent of all its revenues to each Roll of Kindreds it belongs to up to four percent. After that if it elects to belong to more it shall simply divide four percent of its revenues equally among all Rolls. The Upper Chamber will be a Council of Nobles.  The Compacts will have the right to petition both the US Congress and their member legislatures. They shall each maintain a cavalry Honor Guard.

The Minor Compacts

The Minor Compacts will be institutions authorized and chartered by the United States Government to co-ordinate a basic set of long lasting concerns. Like the Major Compacts they will have independent constitutional funding but their governance will just be a set of uniquely chartered institutions not fully part of the federal grand plan for the society. I will not attempt to list them all but will give a few examples: the Compact of Louisiana, The Compact of Hawaii  and The Compact of Puerto Rico.

II. The Electoral College: Second Level of Revolutionary Change

A. The Election of the Chief Executive 

Every four years as today a person would be elected to many of the duties and roles of the current President of the United States. Each Jurisdiction would elect as many electors as it has members of its total Congressional caucus as today.   However, there would also be eighty-two Electors for life from the eighty-two Constitutional Jurisdictions and twelve  Electors for life from the Major Compacts.  These would be of less importance than ninety four new electors added to our five hundred because of the expansion of Congress and thus popularly chosen electors. The Electors for Life shall form a council with the only real direct oversight power over the Censors in drawing up the electoral districts. They shall meet to certify these districts on year before each Presidential Election. No one shall be declared President until the full electoral college shall have voted. Popular electors shall be bound as robots on the first vote but free to change their vote if there is no majority in the Electoral College on the First Ballot.

B. Other Elections

Should there be more than a single National Election ( today we have only the single Presidential and Vice Presidential ticket) then in these new elections the Electors for life would also participate as a primary organ of those elections.

In Part Four of this posting I will discuss the most radical outcomes of the proposed American Revolution. Outcomes more likely to be off-putting than any discussed so far in this essay.

In Time of Lent: A Few Thoughts

This Lent has begun for me with yesterday’s Ash Wednesday mass at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Abbeville. The modified fast and abstinence from meat which the Church still reqires of it adherents where I live combined with the ashes on my forehead and the foreheads of others helped to make the change into this season more palpable and real for me.

I am not going to write much about these things just now. This year has been a rather Lenten year in many ways over the last twelve months. So the sobering feeling is minimized when one was already in a grim mood. The events that made the carnival season a carnival season for me related a great deal to the success of the New Orleans Saints football team. That is not to to say I did not cut and buy king cakes, follow the Mardi Gras events at a distance and remeber previous seasons. But I did less than usual. My usual observances are not among the most extreme or even the large group of moderately active carnival participants. But Lent has come and brings all its associations of spirituality, seafood, a more somber Catholic liturgy and the slipping away of our Southern U.S. winter.  I am really quite ready to think and emote along Lenten lines.

The Crest of the Carmelite Order which operated the Mount Carmel Elementary School I attended.

 As a Catholic Christian my life is marked with moemories of many other Lents. These seasons define my religious identity over time far more than many other more notable and pronounced ceremonies and holidays somehow. 

My brother Simon Peter is confirmed and my sister and Godchild Mary is his sponsor.

 Whether in school, family or parish life — Lent has been important. Not all of my associations and memories are so clearly defined as Catholic experiences as those shown in these three images. But many countless experiences and are so very Catholic.  

My Sophomore Class Award from the Franciscan University of Steubenville

 

So I head into Lent. That is my only comment really in this post. A definitive transition. One thing I like about my religion and faith is that it provides some transitions.

The Saints Win the Super Bowl and Lombardi Trophy

The New Orleans Saints have won the biggest contest in the sport they play. This makes them one in 43 in reaching the Super Bowl and one for one in winning Super Bowl’s played.  The victory in sport will not end all ills and secure all good values but it is a very good day. 

Owner Benson lifts Lombardi Trophy

I have seen that all of us here are affected and are rejoicing. There is goodness in having long endured and seen this achievement. There are many great stories from the season and the game. 

 

Tight End Jeremy Shockey Celebrates the Game’s Highest Achievement

I congratulate all the team and all my fellow fans. It is but another part of our journey towards many good things and out of many bad places. There is hope and joy in this land today.

 

Saints Quarterback Celebrates with his Son After Winning The Super Bowl

It is good for our hearts to see the players and coaches trying to build lives here and help to rebuild a city. They are seeing progress in a region as well.  So do we all. The struggles continue but today is a day to look on the bright side of the situation here and in New Orleans.

Winning the Super Bowl Part Two: The Organizations

The last post I put up was an analysis of the Quarterbacks contending for this championship.  This post relates to the organizations as a whole. Who will prevail and why between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts?

The Saints and the Colts both have defenses whose official ratings are below average. I suppose that to some degree these teams disprove the old adage that “Defense wins championships”.  Of course that is an over simplification. There are a lot of oversimplifications that I will not have time nor energy to decipher in this short analysis. However, since so few people read this blog I suppose you cannot expect much collective bargaining power. I will make a flying passing analysis of the whole organization except the quarterbacks to compliment the first part of my analysis.

2. Comparing the organizations outside of the quarterback position.

I. Lets compare the coaches first. Jim Caldwell is a rookie head coach but has been with the Colts as a coach for eight years. He has the advantage also of having been with Tampa Bay from 93-2000. He should have a great deal of experience with the climate in Florida during this time of year — the human climate as well as the meteorological climate.   Sean Payton did coach at Miami for a year or so but unfortunately it was the wrong Miami — Miami of Ohio. However, when the impressive early season with the Saints in 2006 ended, Payton was chosen the Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, the Maxwell Club,  Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America and The Sporting News. He seems to have just kept improving since then.  I think he is up against formidable competition but if there is ever going to be a price to pay for being a rookie head coach then Payton will exact it from the other Payton’s head coach Caldwell. COACH GAME READINESS: ADVANTAGE SAINTS, SLIGHT.

II. The next thing to compare is the Bench. Here I am including the quarterbacks not included in the first part of this analysis as well as all the rest. The Saints have so much variety and diversity on offense that I think it takes the pressure off of any given payer’s relief and therefore strengthen’s the whole Bench. I do not think that Drew Brees’ loss could have been survived in any earlier game and leave them capable of winning this game. However, with Burnell as field marshall I think the Saints could march in to victory if Brees left after a first half lead. It would be hard for them to out gun the Colts but possible to hang on. I think if Dwight Freeny is only in marginal condition and a couple of key Colts (Manning and somebody else) then it will be very hard for the Colts to win.   Saints fans have to hope for Vilma and some others to have big games on defense but even so they are a very brad team. BENCH: SAINTS ADVANTAGE, MODERATE.

III. Special Teams is another area to compare. The Saints totally surpass the Colts in punt returning. In almost every other area their special teams perform comparably. I think that the Colts plan on punting very little. That means that the advantage is not likely to count for a whole lot. If Hartley cracks under pressure as he might it would be a foreseeable cost of the key player being so inexperienced and this further narrows the gap beyond statistics. SPECIAL TEAMS: ADVANTAGE SAINTS, SLIGHT.

IV. The last category is the Super Bowl Culture. There are many small factors which make up playing in and winning a Super Bowl that are distinct from the other games a team could play. In each and all of those factors the Saints have little to put up except Sean Payton’s stint on the winning Giants team. Shockey knows about getting there but did not play the game for his ring. These advantages are hard to quantify but they are real. SUPER BOWL CULTURE: ADVANTAGE COLTS, LARGE.

I think that both for the game as a whole and for the organization besides the QBs the final result is too close to call. I am pulling for the Saints but am not picking anyone.