Category Archives: Ukraine

Looking at 2016: the Next Phase

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Dog in the Manger Fable Applied …

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

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

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

A Map is a Map …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Peter Principle is it…

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Strength, Security and the Future

Is the crisis in Ukraine and Crimea largely a show of strength? Who is showing strength to whom? Does Syria matter intensely and greatly in all this are is that just another small piece of a world wide puzzle which is likely never to be completely assembled? Our security in the United States and the security of many others around the world depends on many questions besides these. There are so many reasons to be concerned that I will not discuss in this blog. I just spent much of the week dealing with a death of the grandfather of two of my nieces and a nephew. Another former colleague and friend in a limited sense is in the hospital having lost most of her physical functions in a sudden injury. I never lack for reminders of how fragile human strength is in the individual.  It is far from everlasting in nations and states.

This is the author of this blog. I am standing beside the stone boat in the Summer Palace in Beijing.

This is the author of this blog. I am standing beside the stone boat in the Summer Palace in Beijing.

I am more aware than usual of the limits of my own strength. My father is lying abed with a painful foot and ankle  now and my only living grandfather (or grandparent for that matter) is bedridden and has been for years.  But this post is not about my own struggles with my health or those of my ancestors. This post is more about the strength of the United States of America in 2014. Strength is a fairly broad term to use to describe a set of qualities in a man, community, corporation, athlete or country. The quality of strength desired and measured differs from on type of strong being which is measured to another.

My immediate  family vacationing on False River before my cousin Severin W. Summers III was killed in Afghanistan. That was the site of the last long conversation we had about war, honor and family and peace.

My immediate family vacationing on False River before my cousin Severin W. Summers III was killed in Afghanistan. That was the site of the last long conversation we had about war, honor and family and peace.

It also differs in a variety of ways that depend mostly on who is doing the measuring. What is the truth about American strength right now? What is the truth about other problems we might face? What is the truth about whatever my own views of a way forward might be? These are questions I might try to raise in this blog that relate to more specific questions about our role in Ukraine and Crimea for example.

What can be done to help the Ukrainians who seek to move forward the process of transforming their society into an ever more positive and prosperous regime without creating impossible conditions for Russia? Can America admit that there is questionable legitimacy in the rump parliament and revolution government? Can the US admit Russia cannot place Crimea in such uncertain hands and most Crimeans may well want a Russian Crimea?

Yes secession of Crimea for a real independent Ukraine perhaps more federal than this one could be the answer. They will have to work with Russia on the issue of natural gas pipelines to Europe.  But America needs to protect its borders and solvency as well as to maintain its military heritage. I am not sure how much we can do in Ukraine. We must do something but  be honest with Ukraine that the more they want ties with us the less that can be done for Crimea. Truthfully this applies to the EU and it is the EU more than the USA that Ukraine is now courting.

I have in this blog many proposals to change America. But war with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula is not in any plan I have. I believe there is a role for America. But it is a dangerous game and nobody will come out looking like a superhero. The more Western we make Ukraine the more Russian Crimea must be because at some point we have to stop pretending international law is something we always observe and obey. Because some fairness is necessary.

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

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

This is not an easy time but it is a good time to promise oneself and commit oneself to the cause of a strong secure America with a future. To some degree we all face the facts of living in an age where strength in nuclear warheads deters less than some thought it would. Yet we also face the fact that our country must survive each challenge along the way — even as we seek to reach heights of excellence.

Strength requires wisdom to manage. I myself have both strength and weaknesses and each have caused me their own sets of problems. America has many problems past this one. But this is a serious issue. We are trying to really impose our views on the borders of Russia in a very open and confrontational style. I hope that all of this is being handled well.

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.

Real Politics, the Politics of Reality and Me

It is an interesting time for politics for those who have time and energy to keep up their interest in politics. This may include me sometimes more than others. What could be more compelling than watching the news and expatiating on is implications? Well quite a few things in point of fact. For me just now my father’s cancer has me well distracted from the problems with Obamacare, same sex marriage, the Afghanistan situation, the low rates of labor force participation in the United States, the ongoing BP leak situation, the nightmare of water management in the country, the escalating tensions with Russia (related to Ukraine, Snowden, Syria, the EU, East Asia and other matters), the North Korean missile tests, the downsizing of the U. S. Army and the vast unrest joined to isolated misanthropy which is gripping our country. Yes it is a good time for political speculation but it is not the only thing worth thinking about. In fact it is true that most Americans have little connection to many of these political issues.

My father has received results of a biopsy from an area where he had a previous cancer that there is cancer, that cancer has recurred or that it is present. I am sure Mom will post some news eventually. This afternoon he will meet with an oncologist and Mom will be with him.My father has had at least two full-fledged cancer surgeries and some treatments for each. My grandfather Chief Justice Frank W. Summers, his father died of cancer as did one of his two brothers and the other might well have done so had he not succumbed to other maladies of the same organs in which some have said cancer was starting. Many of our relatives and some of his siblings have had cancer.

My father has been blessed in the years since his first cancer to see his mission company and legacy grow and he is still deeply devoted to following the progress of both. He and my mother have celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. His mother was born in a hospital and he was close to his grandfather who was a physician. I have often heard him express gratitude for the medical and allied treatments and care he has received. For him there is no doubt that his work and family life have been extended by the efforts of his professional care community.

I hope that all will remember him in thoughts and prayers and if you see him or my mother will offer such sympathy and encouragement as you can find to offer. I went with my father to New Orleans several times when he was first sick with prostate cancer and since then my direct involvement has diminished over time. My father has also recently been diagnosed with a different health condition which may complicate all of this. He and Mom may choose to disclose more about all this at different times but those who know me know of his health struggles to some degree and it would not be right for me not mention it and pretend this is in any way my life. Nor is it a secret that he has struggled for a good number of years in the cancer arena with remissions etc. I am attaching a post I put on my blog when he went for the biopsy. The picture doesn’t frame well on FB but is better at the other site.

But although I am not holding a placard nor able to do what I might think fitting the problems with Obamacare but I am aware of the crises people are experiencing. All of the social, constitutional and political issues raised by  same sex marriage and the trigger happy federal courts in this country  are on my mind  — at leas most of the issues are on my mind. I am well aware of all the many blows to morale which are accumulating so that the next 9/11 attack would have vastly more impact on the USA. I am aware of all the obstacles to readiness and  recruiting in a crisis which are accumulating. It is in that context that I view the sense of surrender that can frame the evolving  Afghanistan situation. I am deeply aware of the dangerously the low rates of labor force participation in the United States, the fact that minimum wage and Obamacare and social policy and migration patterns all feed this crisis. I am well aware of ten different trends I regard as potential threats revealed by or evident in the evolution of the ongoing BP leak situation.  The BP mess has me also more aware of the nightmare of water management in the country with issues form Eastern flooding to Western droughts, industrial abuses and the horror of the Bayou Corne/ Assumption Parish Sink Hole and Texas Brine.

I am well aware of the world we live in every day of our lives. I am aware of the North Korean missile tests,and the vast resources connected to that small part of the force they represent. It is a serious concern not in itself but as a symbol rallying many other forces. It concerns me.  So does the sense of strain I detect in many of our institutions and the vast unrest joined to isolated misanthropy which is gripping our country. Sure there are always bad times but they are also always threatening. Once must overcome them to survive.

But all of these real political concerns are not the most important factors we face. I hope to devote a whole post soon to the escalating tensions of the USA with Russia (related to Ukraine, Snowden, Syria, the EU, East Asia and other matters), .It is a reality that we can really mess this up. It is not a joke. There are in fact ten wrong answers for every passable one. Yes it is a good time for political speculation but it is not the only thing worth thinking about. Nor is all speculation created equal. My solutions seem radical to many but they are moderate in my view. We must chart a sound course and do so very soon or there will be bad and serious consequences.  In fact it is true that most Americans have little connection to many of these political issues. But America has the resources to handle its crises — but not the luxury of a huge margin for error.

Again there will be more later. . . I hope.