Tag Archives: Her Britannnic Majesty Queen Elizabeth

Sex, Race, Money and the American Experience

While there has been a good bit of conversation about the possibility that Hillary Clinton may become the first woman to assume the Presidency of the United States the United Kingdom has in fact elected a new female Prime Minister, the second in their history. If Hillary Clinton is elected then for at least a little while the two countries would have something more in common than merely female heads of government. She is also the current Home Secretary which is an analogous position to the that of the Secretary of State of the United States.  both she and Hillary Clinton have been the beneficiary of elite educational institutions in their countries. Doubtless one could list many other similarities but in fact the two women strike me as profoundly different people produced in part by profoundly different political systems. The sexual contexts are not so profoundly different but upon looking closer at same sex marriage law in Britain and the USA one finds very different regimes and oppositions, likewise on abortion, sperm banking and literally a host of other issues. Whether it is better or not there is very often a capacity to compromise and reach legislative splitting of the difference in the UK. In addition rule by judicial review is much more limited. For those reasons as well as others May represents a different kind of feminist synthesis that the one Hillary Clinton has long been associated with in this country.


Theresa May is a thoroughgoing enough politician who is committed to the electoral process and aware of it. Theresa May did not become presumptive  Prime Minister in a general election but rather in the election for Conservative Party Leadership when David Cameron stepped down after failing to keep Britain in the European Union. This is not unusual, in the 24 times that the UK has changed Prime Minister in the last century half of those occasions did not involve a general election. The leadership election came about because Cameron had put too much political capital on the BRexit referendum to continue in office when the Leavers defeated him. However, as Britain has recently passed the Fixed Term Parliament Act, this change in leadership is not likely to cause a general election to be held early although it may…  This is something not only unusual but  new for Brits to adjust to, no row of whether or not to have a vote of no confidence is at all assured of amounting to much in the new set of rules.  In the meanwhile the final two people produced by the first rounds of the Conservative Party leadership chase presented the rank and file membership with two candidates to choose from both of whom were female and they have chosen Prime Minister Theresa May. Assuming Royal Assent and Her Majesty asking the woman to take the job as she did for Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher back in the day, then May will take the job in a place in the Queen’s presence sometime after Cameron officially resigns  following tomorrow’s (Wednesday, July 13) Prime Minister’s Questions. A bit of what she says about her own vision of her administration of Her Majesty’s Government can be read here. She appears to be sincere enough about bringing the benefits of her party’s vision for Britain to more people of more modest means. In America there is a lot of discussion about the wage gap between men and women and how it affects families. There is less discussion of increasing morbidity among men, declining employment among men and the myriad of other sexually related disasters afflicting primarily meant in this country — affecting men in distinction to women.  One senses that in Britain they are facing the struggles we face with a feminism that is less anti-mail than our version is in a number of ways. That has to be put into the context of two female prime ministers and the fact that British suffragettes really fought violently to bring about change early in the twentieth century. They of course suffered real violence and the disorder of their movement would make and interesting comparison to the chaos I see in the Black Lives Matter movement — but that is beyond the scope of this post.

I am quite sure that the struggle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for leadership of our country will in part be affected by how Americans believe a man or a woman would respond to the violence, protests, police shooting and racial tensions which shape our experience of city streets and television viewing in these days. Doubtless whatever they do will be shaped in large part by their own experience as the man or the woman that in fact they are. Their views and actions will also be shaped by their experience as Americans. One factor in this Black Lives Matter centered current crisis is that the lens is very much exclusive of sexual assault against women. The lens is not inclusive of black grievances of sexual abuse under slavery, of white womanhood being subject to the attacks of black male sexual predation. The focus is on the protesting of acts of violence by police against black men who in most cases so far have a history of trouble with the law. In the case of a few like Philando Castille the man seemed to be a pillar of the community and not a violent criminal who was armed, did have many run-ins with police and was confused with a robbery suspect. Michael Brown and Alton Sterling seemed to have a number of violent criminal acts in their past. Black reactions to these deaths among the minority who lead Black Lives Matter has tended to be unreasonably indiscriminate at countless levels. the hate filled chants, throwing of blocks, fireworks and Molotov cocktails have added criminal violence to their vision of a policing ethic which would destroy the country in my opinion.   But in all this chaos we have heard no reports of sexual assaults to speak of — why I am not sure. Perhaps there have been very few.  This contrasts with my vivid memory of the Lara Logan assault during the Arab Spring protests. So far now all of this is taking place with a low level of direct connection to sexual  violence at least. Nonethless the connections of racial and sexual politics in this country cannot be entirely severed. Philando Castille looked edgy but was one of the most securely the middle class persons celebrated by Black Lives Matter movement. Most of the victims it celebrates are not financially secure. The Dallas cop killer however was apparently prosperous and was involved in this movement.

Black lives matter

Sometimes it is easy to think of all the reasons why being a  Catholic  are compelling and all the reasons why I am glad to be one. Sometimes it is easy to think of a good number of reasons why I am glad to be an American. Sometimes  not so much is obvious when I try to count the blessings of being a Catholic American. Then there are days when all of the problems and obstacles in my life seem to clearly outweigh any positive and hopeful energies that I might be able to muster.  Yet even on those days it is not impossible to find some cause for rejoicing. I recently read the Papal encyclical which  has the English language title the Joy of Love.   A pdf version should be available here: papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20160319_amoris-laetitia_en

Among Black Americans the marriage rate is low. It’s been shown to correlate to many problems in that section of the American population. The energy behind gay marriage masks the decline of marriage rates as a whole. Marriage plays many important roles in society.  The professional agitators in leadership in many American movements today benefit from the single state of more people who are more attracted to protests.   I’m aware of myself as being single in a way I never saw coming. Many people are single in such ways. The pope is urging the Catholic Church to find ways to make meaningful and personal weddings accessible to young couples in a context which encourages lower cost options. This is addressing the real role cost plays in keeping people from tying the knot. That’s especially true for church weddings. This is kind of a crisis, Pope Francis has addressed among others. I’m not going to quote all of his attempts to set forth a vision for Christian sexual and marital institutions,

Sexual politics is not a simple matter today in America and never has been a simple matter for anyone anywhere. politics has never been a simple matter and human politics never has been a simple matter.  But I think these are more challenging times than most. I think that the Pope has some things to say that many Americans need to hear or read. But I think white Americans are really facing a moment for coming to a sense of sexual clarity and I think that the Pope has something to say to them, to us. The encyclical reminds us all of what a basic sexual ideal for our society or any other might be.

What does the drama of American sexual politics as evinced in the Pulse Nightclub shootings, the debates over same sex marriage and other tensions of our society have to do with the recent encyclical from Pope Francis?  I myself think that the real emphasis we are losing on a livable sexual ideal is something that we need to consider as a great risk. To a remarkable degree sexuality in America in my lifetime has been typified by open conflict between the sexes. A resulting atmosphere of suspicion and distrust has colored relationships between persons most committed to building enduring relationships of trust and love. Approaching members of the opposite sex has seen new challenges emerge.

One group of Americans who have played and continue to play a role in our struggle to understand sexualtity or an informal and unofficial group of women who are the American sex symbols. They are usually not pornographic symbols and are not courtesans by and large. They vary tremendously in what they represent and how they love but they somehow make us aware of both challenges and ideals we face as a nation. at any given time their names and a faces and bodies speak to us of different struggles and hopes we have as sexual beings in this country. It is in their real lives and selves that we are sometimes able to picture what we wish our sexual identity to be and how it relates to womanhood, procreation and love among other things…


The future of this country is nonexistent without families and without a reasonably healthy sexuality. We will not resolve the tensions between blacks and the police or  the tensions that resonate in our political dysfunction without recognizing where we have gotten and where we have come from and without thinking seriously about where we are going as regards the realities of sex, race, money and how those matter to American families. Likewise we will not get anywhere good without seeing all the ways Americans are eager to protect their families however flawed they are and also the real limits of that protection in every case.    I include here a verse from an acrostic love poem that I sent after sending another and receiving no answer.  It’s about flirting on the internet after a fashion. About finding the limits of seeking love without a close personal association in real life.

Now comes the time for a pause in my poetic email,

One thing is sending verse to the love one has at hand.

Too different is this shooting into the dark gaps across the land.

Even the madness of the laws of our time 

That poem is not the issue but what our society believes about sex and how it portrays the appeal of sex is very relevant to what direction we are going in. My life is nobody’s sexual ideal. But my life is lived according to certain sexual ideals.

Ünderworlds of love and sexuality deserve to be remembered but the Pope reminds us of how love makes family and family shapes both society and the Christian faith. Sexuality is to be both ideal and ordinary for people of all races and cultures. That is the Christian vision he invites us to share.


 Jesus himself was born into a modest family that soon had to flee to a foreign land. He visits the home of Peter, whose mother-in-law is ill (cf. Mk 1:30-31) and shows sympathy upon hearing of deaths in the homes of Jairus and Lazarus (cf. Mk 5:22-24, 35-43; Jn 11:1-44). He hears the desperate wailing of the widow of Nain for her dead son (cf. Lk 7:11-15) and heeds the plea of the father of an epileptic child in a small country town (cf. Mk 9:17-27). He goes to the homes of tax collectors like Matthew and Zacchaeus (cf. Mt 9:9-13; Lk 19:1-10), and speaks to sinners like the woman in the house of Simon the Pharisee (cf. Lk 7:36-50). Jesus knows the anxieties and tensions experienced by families and he weaves them into his parables: children who leave home to seek adventure (cf. Lk 15:11-32), or who prove troublesome (Mt 21:28-31) or fall prey to violence (Mk 12:1-9). He is also sensitive to the embarrassment caused by the lack of wine at a wedding feast (Jn 2:1-10), the failure of guests to come to a banquet (Mt 22:1-10), and the anxiety of a poor family over the loss of a coin (Lk 15:8-10).

I end this reflection with another quote from an unsuccessful love poem. I will say that love poems were part of my life when love was more a part of my life– so they have not all been unsuccessful. But perhaps the difference was in the life context. This poem reflects on the changes in situations..

My youth is long behind me, an almost forgotten circumstance today

Young men’s loving words and bold lines are not mine to safely say.

Aside from my own life, I think we have to look at the vision for love in this country, for sex and for sexuality. Where is it heading and where should it be heading?


Royal Visits, Lame Ducks and My Own Advent

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge out and about

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge out and about

Prince William and Princess Catherine are visiting these United States on behalf of the United Kingdom as I type these lines. There is little to do with me in all of this. This blog has of course been a place in which I and my readers have taken an interest the British Royal family and the lives and times of other royal families around the world. In fact there is a great deal to cover in such matters and most of it is not much covered in our news media. To get an idea of the importance of Spanish royalty one can take a long peek here. Feliipe VI  was sworn in as King on June 19, 2014 and the event was duly marked .  His proclamation was also duly celebrated and is visible in large part here. The role of the crowned heads of Europe does not become entirely clear to the average outside in just a few days, months or even years of observation. This all occurs more clearly to one who has watched events unfold over decades. This blog is not mostly about those people but mostly about my own life in much humbler circumstances most of the time.

Just another selfie ...

Just another selfie …

The United States of America is in a phase in its history where it is determining what its image will be in the world and what its future direction will be. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are living symbols and embodiments of the future central and unified meaning and direction of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth which was once the British Empire. Cambridge is a university town where the royal couple who met at St. Andrew’s University have the title of their Ducal deisgnations.


My Tulane sweatshirt hails from the days when I studied there.



But as we face the future as a nation we also face the challenge of integrating our hopes and plans for our country with the necessary commitment we all have to our own families, our own occupations and our own ideals.  In these days Obama must doe the same — he must do both needful things at once. The visit is one of those aspects of this living out of change and continuity..


A picture of my mother which I took at Hub City Diner when we spent much of the day together on Monday December 8th of 2014.


Certainly, the Harlem visit, the basketball game and the first family all brought home the qualities of the Afro-American world order in which we live. Certainly there was a need for something more than mere pain in race relations and their visit is a labor in that particular vineyard in deed. I am already burdened with many other things on my mind and I can’t say that the visit floods me with joy. Whatever one thinks of the final role Prince William is preparing to play he is preparing to play it after his grandmother and father are through with their bit and likely have died. The couple already has a certain aplomb and presence that is based in skill.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge out and about

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge out and about

The questions about continuity are more present in our minds than usual in this lame duck month of Congress and two last years of the Obama Presidency. In my last post I mentioned how Advent celebrates themes that endure across time. That is part of the joy of Christianity. The British royals and other royals represent an in-between  timeframe less than the eternal Kingship of Christ and more than the four years of a US Presidential term.  We can remember this by seeing the current Queen of the UK and other realms with President Eisenhower.

The Current Queen of England and Scotland's United Kingdom with Eisenhower

I don’t think any two constitutional changes are the same. The British Monarchy is not our target here.

So whatever America is doing and will be doing we will likely be dealing with royal heads of state.  I hope that as far as these issues may seem from many daily lives we will take some time look at the future and see what we want it to look like for this country. Asking ourselves if we are where the Founders were hoping to get is part of the process although not the only or most important part.

We have a responsibility to understand the words we use to shape our live and society. This is a picture of the Declarators committee.

We have a responsibility to understand the words we use to shape our live and society. This is a picture of the Declarators committee.

My own political views are viewable in part here, here and here. I am well aware this is a proposal a long way from the mainstream as of yet. But that does not mean I do not take it seriously.


Ten More People to watch from 9/11/2011- 9/11/2021

In this list I have the third installment of my list of people to watch in the  second decade after the 9/11 attacks. This is like all the others somewhat diverse but still somewhat predictable in its preferences and tendencies.  This is the third post in a series. Here is the link to the most recent  post which in turn has links to the two earlier posts:   https://franksummers3ba.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/fifteen-more-people-to-watch-in-9112011-9112021/

1. Gaudencio Borbon Cardinal Rosales is the Cardinal Archbishop of Manila in the Philippines. Manila is the only majority Christian country in  the  historyEast Asia. There was time when there were numerous Christian countries in and around the Byzantine Empire in the Near East part of Asia but most of that legacy has been erased by Islam. The Cardinal Archbishop of Manila is a very important figure in the Roman Catholic Church and in geopolitics.  I met Bishop Rosales when he came down to Malaybalay in the province of Bukidnon   to be installed as the first Ordinary of the Diocese of Bukidnon. His predecessor had been the Bishop of the Prelature of Bukidnon.  Rosales was born in Batangas City in the Province of Batangas. Rosales come from the country’s elite. Not that there is absolute clarity in social rank but his family is near the top. His grandfathers were Julian Rosales, once mayor of the town of Batangas and Pablo Borbon, once a governor of Batangas province. Rosales’ father, Dr. Godofredo Dilay Rosales, was  among the earliest Filipino physicians to complete medical school and residency training entirely in the United States of America. In a country where many became part of the brain drain to go abroad  Dr. Rosales became a balikbayan instead and devoted himself  to practice in Batangas City. Rosales’ mother, Remedios Mayo Borbón, was the first cousin of the great Filipino nationalist, Claro M. Recto.  Gaudencio Rosales matriculated at the San Jose Seminary, and his classmates two other future bishops.  Ordained a priest by Bishop Alejandro Olalia on March 23, 1958, he was then assigned to teach for 11 years in seminary of the Archdiocese of Lipa (which was then merely a diocese). He became an auxillary bishop before in the Manila Archdiocese before I knew him in the eighties. We did get to know eachother pretty well and my parents knew him even better.  Like some on my list he is not a juvenile by any stretch of the term. But he is uniquely qualified and positioned to work and lead with certain challenges and transformations that may occur in the second post 9/11 decade.

2. Queen Sofia of Spain, Su Graciosa Majestad Sofia la Reina Catolica   is well-beloved by many in Spain and a decent number of people in Greece and Denmark. Her reputation and style in these countries in Egypt and in circles beyond these countries have formed  an extensive web of relations and connections which have made it possible for her to promote and embody a vsion of Constitutional Monarchy in Spain which is part of the secularizing and modernist European experience.  Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark was born in Psychiko, Athens, Greece on 2 November 1938.   She is  the eldest child of the King Paul of Greece (1901–1964) and his wife, Queen Frederika (1917–1981), a former princess of Hanover. Queen Sofia is a a royal consort descendant of the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg dynasty and tied to such House and clan structure as it possesses. I would not say she is a member of that dynasty because her royal titles in effect are through her her husband Juan Carlos I (baptized as Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias who is the  monarch regnant and  King of Spain .  He is a true Bourbon (if I were wrting in Spanish I would say the French dynasts of the past were Borbon — I do not split them into two Houses).  She is then in the Spanish Bourbon or Borbon dynasty.  Under  the Spanish Constitution, Title II: the Crown, Article 56, Subsection 1, the Spanish monarch personifies and embodies the  Spanish nation. The crwoned head serves as  a symbol of Spain’s enduring unity and permanence; and as such, the monarch is the commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armed Forces as well as the head-of-state in the monarquia parlamentaria  (parliamentary monarchy). While these constitutional provisions are relatively recent all royalist systems have a tradtional element and the tradition in Spain is for Queens Consort such as Sofia to be relatively powerful and influential. Queen Sofia’s brother is the deposed King Constantine II of Greece and her sister Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark this family’s royal titles are no longer recognized by the Constitution of Greece. While her life included travels and exile which made her more cosmopolitan the family  returned to Greece from a World War II exile in 1946. She also renewed her Tetuonic heritage by studying at the Schloss Salem school. But was fully Greek in many ways before undertaking to become Spanish studying childcare, music and archeology in Athens and representing Greece in sailing at the 1960 Summer Olympics.

3. Oprah Winfrey is best known as host of The Oprah Winfrey Show and director of the associated corporate empire of spin-off shows, a magazine, numerous charities and a complex kind Book Club with both local and national aspects.  The Oprah Winfrey Show entered national syndication in 1986, becoming the highest-rated talk show in television history. In 1988, she established Harpo Studios, and joined predecessors Mary Pickford and Lucille Ball the third woman in American history to own her own studio. The Oprah Winfrey Show has remained the most watched talk show for 23 straight seasons.  Harpo Productions, Inc. which she owns has produced the show which is winding down now but is still seen  by an estimated audience and viewership 42 million a week in the United States in addition to other viewers in 145 countries. Coming from a difficult background which she has admitted involved family based abuse of various kinds and was rooted in a consciousness of the more unpleasant sides of rural African- American experience she  began her broadcasting career at WVOL radio in Nashville while still in high school.  At the age of 19, she was the youngest ever and the first black woman to anchor the news at Nashville’s WTVF-TV. Moving to Baltimore’s WJZ-TV Oprah began to co-anchor the Six O’Clock News and later the local talk show, People Are Talking.   She has made her name and fortune based in Chicago however and did not move their until 1984.  She came there to host WLS-TV’s morning talk show, AM Chicago, which became the number one local talk show beating oput the seemingly invincible Donahue within a month. Less than a year later the show had a one hour fromat  and was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show.  Her path with regards to race, sex (as a practice and a status), social order charity and personal rage and hurt has been a fascinating journey to watch. I think that the United States will either collapse into chaos or will change in some fundamental ways and if it does change Oprah will have a role to play in both midwifing the new consensus and helping to protect and propser the capital of negro American entrepreneurs in an America that may have to choose to become more formaly white supremacist or slip into the ranks of Haiti and Mozambique.  A cuatious and clever person without a husband or children and almost endless energy  she made two moves in 2008, she endorsed Barack Hussein Obama for Presisdent and Oprah and Discovery Communications announced plans to create  “OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network”.” The new multi-platform media venture will be designed to entertain, inform and inspire people to live their best lives. OWN will debut on January 1, 2011, in approximately 80 million homes.

4.  Bill O’Reilly is clearly a product and embodiment of of a New York, Irish Catholic background as is evident to those who follow his career.  Bill O’Reilly born in Manhattan and raised on Long Island. He has a Bachelor’s degree in History from Marist College, along with a Master’s in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University and then returned after a relatively full carreer to earn  another Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  The historic run of The O’Reilly Factor on the FOX News Channel continues. This program has remained the most watched cable news show for 11 straight years. More than 300 newspapers carry his column each week. His website generates hundreds of thousands of dollars annualy for charity. Bill’ O’Reilly’s six non-fiction books are all in print and have sold more than five million copies. Bill  O’Reilly’s differs from Rush Limbaugh and others like Beck in the age at which he came to his role as conservative firebrand, the education he brings to the job and also in the professional  experience which informs his current position. His broadcast career began in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Local reporter and news anchor positions of real basic and not so basic journalistic and broadcasting skills were established in other cities such as Dallas, Boston, and New York.  He achieved a national audience et Bill when he worked at CBS News, ABC News and the first version of Inside Edition.

5.  Julie Ann Yannatta is probably among the  two or three least known persons on this entire list from a global perspective. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Tulane Law School and been admitted to both the New York  and California bars as an attorney.  She lives and is involved in the entertainment industry in Southern California but has traveled to much of the world and lived in several very different parts of it. She is married and has one son.  She has been involved as a director in a secular humanist based open charity called Operation USA  which is 30 years old and in which she has played an important role. She has served as the General Manager of Shangri-La Music which united commercial and humanitarian interests in a recording enterprise.   She is among the founders of a firm called Artists First which enables musicians to use new media to directly market and sell their works  with the benefits of some kind of infrastructure. She was an executive producer for the Instant Karma  music project which was the centerpiece of the Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. She has developed a network of significant relationships which include webs between people in the tradtions of past American Communism’s descendants, Scandinavians, Japanese musicians, feminists, the Democratic Party and    entertainment lawyers. All of this would not be enough to make this list. She is also very pretty. In objective terms she is a beauty with some lines that are preternaturaly perfect but beauty is also a cultural phenomenon. Julie’s appearance is of less cultural significance than it might be because it does not fit any of the major cultural parameters defining great beauty in our time. She is now in her very early forties and is shorter than either standard super models, Victoria’s Secret models and is not quite the  Hawaiian Tropics shape.  Her looks and her carreer together would still not be enough to make this list. Perhaps if I were a better man I would find a way not to include her in it as it may inconvenience her. However she is here because while at Tulane Law School she sort of collided (rather gently and minimally) with a whole web of institutions and people  she could never have anticipated. She became important to a key figure in this world within the world. She has remained significant. She did not handle it all that well in objective terms but she handled it thousands  of time better than could have been expected. It is possible that this will become important in the future.  

6. Vitaly Alexandrovich Lopota   is thePresident of the S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, General Designer, technical manager for flight tests of manned space systems, deputy chairman of the State Commission for flight tests of manned space systems.   Since 1991 he has been the director and chief designer of the Central Research and Development Institute for Robotics and Engineering Cybernetics .  In July of 2007 he  began heading S.P.Korolev RSC Energia in which his contributions and role have almost been too varied and complex to believe and which is  among the most strategically important companies in Russia. His firm is the prime organization in the country for development and operation of manned rocket and space systems as well as leading in the field of  launchers and robotic space systems, and the spin-offs of the current advanced space technologies to the marketplace and civil society in socially useful products.  V.A. Lopota is in many ways a mayor or governor for the  corporation’s community and infrastructure  which includes housing, transit and some security institutions.  RSC Energia is  Russia’s principal corporte player in meeting commitments to the International Space Station (ISS) program.  The ariety and dviersity of these commitments is vast and America is retiring the Shuttle and will be more dependent than ever on the Soyuz and other proven platforms which he has worked with for quite a while.  Energiya has  started on the project of a nuclear-powered space transportation module. The governor aspect of his work is also seen in his service as  the Chairman of the Council of Directors of companies based in Korolev, town of science.  Here this distinguished scientist and engineer  who is V.A. Lopota becomes the politician who  helps to manage urban development,  job creation,  and production facilities improvement issues in the space industry. His space program is not divorced from the need for the  construction of housing and buildings of social significance.  One of the highest priorities for Vitaly Lopota is to preserve and further develop the Korolev’s school of Russian rocket and space science. With his active participation, a full-time post-graduate courses and the council which can confer academic ranks have been re-established at the Company.  . Vitaly Alexandrovich Lopota was born on September 28, 1950, in Grozny.  His first real job was down and dirty stint as a fitter at an oil refinery in Grozny. After completing army service, he studied in Leningrad Polytechnical Institute (known as Leningrad University since 1990) and completed postgraduate studies  there in 1981. V. A. Lopota  rose through the ranks, starting off as a junior research associate, to eventually become a professor, chair a department and to head of an applied research laboratory later known as the Laser Technology Center. Vitaly Alexandrovich Lopota is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Science, Engineering. More than 200 scientific papers have been published and he holds over 50 patents for inventions. He is a member of Council for Science, Technologies and Education at the President of the Russian Federation, a member of the Council of general and chief designers, leading scientists and specialists in high-technology sectors of economy under the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, a member of a number of councils of experts at federal and regional levels, scientific, academic and engineering councils.

7. Amy Grant   and I are not friends  but she is certainly a name I come to on a personal basis here.  She just turned fifty this Thanksgiving Day and still looks great. Her recent book Mosaic has had broad appeal and she is married to one of the most acclaimed Country music artists of all time in Vince Gill. One of her Christmas songs has just been covered by American Idol winner Danny Gokey. But Amy Grant  has been around a good while.  Amy Grant is just a tiny bit older than I am and I have been listening to her music about as long as she has had a record deal. I used to own My Father’s Eyes, Age to Age, Straight Ahead, Unguarded and several other albums in what was never a really large record collection. She is the most successful artist in the history of the genre called Contemporary Christian Music.  She has won several Grammy Awards and a plethora of Dove Awards. She has been part of my life and I have played tracks of her albums at prayer services, lectures and retreats.   I belonged to  (and still do belong to) a college household with a Hebrew name and have often celebrated Christian direct borrowings from the Sabbath Meal and the Pseder Supper. She made her mark with many songs but one of the early big hits was a song with a Hebrew  language lead line. I combined doing ministry and religious communications with involvement in secular media work. While she was a successful phenomenon it is still true that I could often see her working though decisions and difficulties that were the same as mine in that same process. Some challenges were identical, some very close and others just  resonant but it was a real bond. I also went to her concerts a couple of times and I felt I could invite a variety of friends who would not  form a group elsewhere. Although the actual groups were small and kind of unsuccessful the potential seemed to be their. With my own sisters and some other young girls I could use her as a role model for a real young woman struggling to survive and grow in faith and be herself. Amy Grant was part of a soundtrack in my personl life that included Otis Redding, Michael Doucet, Bruce Springsteen, The Bangles, Rush, John Michael Talbot,  the Carpenters, Michel W. Smith,  John Denver, Willie Nelson, George Straight, U2, Rafe Vaughn Williams, Ray Charles, Fats Domino and many other artists when I was young as well as lots of live worship music. However, Amy Grant’s music has more special stories than almost all of the others from the large pop culture world.  I have recently downloaded some of her music and interviews and it makes me remember watching her career progress. She has now been married to Vince Gill for years and I remember when that was topic of conversation as an upcoming event. The most important reason she is on this list is that if America is to become what America must become to survive thenthere must be key figures rooted in Evangelical Protestantism who can communicate with everyone and be forces for the change needed in that community. Amy Grant is well qualified to be such a force and she is not folding  up her life’s work yet.  She has kept working and I have seen some of her stuff on tv and  now can see that she is still working.   I still find the vibe associated with her fascinating. 

8. Ratan N. Tata  is the Chairman of the Board of Tata Motors, Ltd. in Mumbai, India. One of his achievements include designing and developing an indigenous Indian car – Indica – one of the leading products in its category in the car market.The biggest news ever from him is the recent development of  the Nano . ?The “people’s car” as it has been envisioned by Mr Tata was commercially launched in March 2009.  The car is billed as the fuel efficient, low-cost, ecologicaly friendlytransport needed in India and abroad . The Company was also awarded the Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award for the Tata Nano, in the transportation sector. Ratan N. Tata has broad business experience and is also or at least certainly has recently been a Director of Alcoa Inc. based out of New York which was formerly the Aluminum Corporation of America.  He has lived an impressive life and is now 73 years old.  Mr Ratan N Tata returned later in life to the  USA and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School where he built upon  earlier studies. Mr. Tata holds a B.Sc. (Architecture) degree in structural engineering from Cornell University. He joined the Tata Group in 1962. As Chairman of Tata Industries Limited since 1981, he helped transform the company into a strategy think-tank and he and the group became promoters of new  high technology businesses. In 1991, Mr Tata was appointed Chairman of Tata Sons Limited, the holding company of the Tata entities and currently holds the chairmanships of major Tata companies. Under Ratan N. Tata the  Group’s revenues have increased more than ten-fold to annualized revenues of $67.4 billion.  Mr. Tata has been recognized with poeitions of trust and honors by civil society and government in India and has received numeous high honors of varied kinds from institution across the globe.  

9.  Mark Zuckerberg  is the youthful self made billionaire and founder of Facebook who recently has been the subject of the movie The Social Network, almost all of 60 Minutes episode was listed by Barbara Walters as one of the years ten most interesting people.  He has been devoted full-time to his present position at the head of this internet behemoth since at least 2004.  Last year he gave away an enormous amount of money to various charities and especially to support public schools his giving is reported to be about half of his network. Facebook is a social network with about 600 million members.  Mark Zuckerberg is a native of White Plains, New York. His parents are  Karen, a psychiatrist, and Edward Zuckerberg, a dentist. Mark and his three sisters, Randi, Donna, and Arielle were reared in Dobbs Ferry, New York.  Zuckerberg was raised as a relatively observant  Jew, including having had a Bar Mitzvah when he turned 13 and although he has since described himself as an atheist it is unlikely that he rejects the Hebrew ethnic part of his background. Zuckerberg was involved with computing in a fairly sophisticated way even in middle school. His father began his instruction in programming in the 1990s, and then software hired developer David Newman to advance his private technical education  in about 1995. Zuckerberg actually took a graduate course in the subject at Mercy College near his home in the mid-1990s. He complimeted all this study with a variety of personal projects for fun and to meet business needs around him. He did show other interests at Ardsly High School but in his junior year transferring to one of America’s most exclusive schools the Phillips Exeter Academy and it was there his education and life began to become even more focused.  Zuckerberg won prizes in science (math, astronomy and physics) . But according to official records he continued to excel in Classical Studies and could read and write to some degree in English,  French, Hebrew, Latin, and ancient Greek. He was an athlete who became captain of the fencing team.  He was already a commercial success in high school but he chose to go to Harvard and continue his education. There he found even larger success in Facebook and up until now that has largely defined his subsequent activity. He also met his girlfriend Priscilla Chan in college and they are still together. He has been a vocal supports of Barack Obama and is a very strong and hard personality. In the days when people read faces (as recently as the eighties a study was ublished but ignored in a big way) he has many facial characteristics of a general. He may play a vital role if America is to prosper in the coming period of years in which there are so many challenges. 

10. Jean -Cristophe Niel serves and has served as the  Director General of the ASN  which is the French Nuclear Safety Authority since January 15, 2007.  He serves under a small but elite commission appointed by various very high political figures in France. However,  for a man in one of the technical disciplines on this list he is not so old and his experience yields him huge opportunities to develope as a world player.   The ASN is an agency in country which has a limited but serious nuclear military plan and arsenal and sees nuclear power as a vital part of economic strategy both from a point of view of societal development and national autonomy and survival. The Director General of the ASN, under the authority of the President, ASN, organizes and conducts the services of the ASN, composed of central services, as well as eleven territorial delegations. The ASN includes 420 employees in Paris and in the eleven territorial delegations. Its annual budget is approximately 50 million euros, of which 30 million is personnel costs. The ASN benefits from the expertise of the IRSN for an amount of 71 million euros.The ASN is a large organization with regional divisions that  conduct their activities under the authority of the regional representatives appointed by the ASN Chairman but with whom the Director General must interact in a variety of ways to be at all effective.   The divisions perform most of the direct inspections of BNIs, of radioactive material transport and of small-scale nuclear activities and contribute to ASN’s public information role.  ASN comprises the headquarters and 11 regional divisions with responsibility for one or more administrative regions operating in many capacities for emergency management and safety assurance. This organisation enables ASN to perform its regulation duties nationwide as well as in the overseas territories.  I have not found Dr. Niel’s exact age but he graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique (1980) and the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussés (1985), and has a doctorate in Theoretical Physics(University of Paris IV, 1990).  His work experience includes positions as chief engineer of bridges and Chaussés, and posts in the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection.  From 1991 to 1995, at ASN (formerly DSIN) he was in charge of the control of the  fuel cycle, radioactive waste and control facilities. From 1995 to 2005, he held  important functions at the Institute of Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN).  He worked there as head of the department of safety assessment, responsible for managing  majority of experiments and manyother tests requiring expert personnelle conducted by the IRSN for ASN, Jean Niel was director of the strategy, development and external relations.

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.