Tag Archives: Philippines

The Covid -19 Pandemic: The Crisis that Comes Late in Life

Today Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards meets Washington with President Donald Trump to discuss Louisiana’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a time to remember that the crisis affecting my life is a crisis affecting the whole country and the whole world. But I am not a public official and do not exercise much leadership these days. So for me the struggle of this era is a personal struggle.

It would be nice to say that this current crisis makes me feel how little my own suffering is compared to other suffering. It would make me more likable to say that normal times seem much better compared to this crisis. However, none of that is true.  My general state of alienation has not changed for the better. I still long for a different vision of the future than is available. The struggles of many people and myself going back over a period however many years one chooses to look at and going on into the present has been marked at least by as many defeats as setbacks and victories. I think had more of the battles fought been won then the world would be in better shape right now.

This pandemic is something that comes after a long series of crises that I have known in my life and that life has gotten me to a certain place that is not any other place. I am where I am and am doing what I am doing.  What stage of life one is in depends on what life has brought the individual in question in previous decades or years. Over all this is the stage of life of trying to make a settlement with the past. Setting records straight and putting things in order. This is a period for setting up the exit. I know that for most world leaders my age is in their past but they have had very different lives.  Much of my life is a nightmare beyond my ability to ever transcend  in the remaining years of a lifespan.

While the Confederate heritage has gone from being very controversial to being more or less  universally maligned across the country. General Alfred Mouton’s death in the last major confederate battlefield victory. The Battle of Sabine Crossroads or the Battle of Mansfield was long after the high water mark of Gettysburg but although doom hung all about it was in victory that the old veteran of many  struggles who was not yet an old man gave his life. As fates go in the real and troubled world it is not such a bad fate.



This may well be the beginning of the end for me even if I get through the economic crisis and the infection crisis  more or less unscathed. But I can say that while it has been a battle so far it has not been an all out defeat. I was able to send a second donation through Family Missions  Company and my family there to a friend in the Philippines who is not only trying to help feed her village but trying to keep spirits up during the crisis.   The pictures below are just some of those that she sent me.  Giving children treats may not appeal to most agencies but I know such things can make a positive difference  in morale.The truth is that there are different ways in which each of us fight the battles of life. For me this struggle with the Coronavirus Pandemic is just another struggle and conflict on the road of life.

To simply remain engaged in the struggle is a kind of victory. Whether one is fighting for a truly lost cause or as part of a revolution not to be victorious until much later after very great cost there will be times on the route when the only thing to be said in favor of the campaign is that one gave battle to one’s enemy. Simply keeping an army in the field has to be enough.

The struggle of life is going on and has gone on for a good while but I am engaged both in my own personal struggle and in the larger struggle as well. Battle is of course a metaphor. But the metaphor is a compelling one in this case for me. I have hit some setbacks. My effort to publish one of my books has hit a big snag and that may be yet another obstacle I cannot overcome. I have had some health issues. My extensive repairs on the very old car I drive may still not be enough to have it in truly good shape when the time comes to press forward again.

I have managed to consolidate my finances but not enough feel secure in these trying times. I am grateful to have a good home where I can rest up and recharge my batteries. But I am also feeling the cost of being a late middle aged guy living alone in a crisis. I try to be really careful but I am not laboratory careful. I have tried to help my Parish (like a County) to achieve its good record with the virus so far. But I know that in the long run things are likely to get worse here before they get better and in the end I am likely to catch the virus. My mind, soul and body are taking their licks and even if I win this battle I am still facing the outcome of many years of coming up short. But to be in the struggle is a kind of victory.


Faith Camp, Bukidnon Youth Conference and the Future

Faith Camp is a one week long camp held for middle school aged students based somewhere in Vermilion Parish. There are currently two such camps held each year. While the kids are the focus it is an event that involves people of all ages. For many who participate in its various aspects it is both an optimistic and fun experience and a deeply spiritual one. The Catholic faith is celebrated in a context which is fairly complete and brings the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the experience of church into the lives of these young people in a complete way.

The last two weeks  before this posting there has been ongoing the 20th year of continuous Faith Camps. This ministry was founded by my sister Susanna whom I saw at Faith Camp last night. At the time she founded she and were regular prayer partners and she was in the area and living at Big Woods during the summer after having started her studies at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. It was a fairly small camp that year but I was deeply impressed with it and shared with her my own memories of a live-in conference  in Bukidnon when she was a child as one of my better memories and so the two things were linked in my mind at the inception although there was not much of a causal link.  Susanna wasalso a small child when the Bukidnon Youth Conference was going on around and near her in various manifestations in Malaybalay, Bukidnon on the southern island of Mindanao in the Republic of the Philippines. I haven’t been back since the 1980s but it was a time which I have always felt had a big influence on the rest of my life and other lives in the family. Many members of my family have played key roles in the success of the camp over the decades. This year a middle school aged child of one of the campers at the second camp was a camper at Faith Camp.


 This year my sister Sarah’s eldest daughter Alyse is the coordinator of Faith Camp as she was last year. This is one of the blog posts that I write that is not primarily driven by the news. It is more driven by  a series of important experiences, recollections  and feelings which resonate in my life. This is one of those posts which combines both some vivid recollection and some fading memories: But the hope one felt at key times continues. The possibility of really putting together a history of those years is a daunting and not a very promising prospect. But the prospect of trying to recapture some of the spirit of those times seems a worthy aspiration as it will help me to convey some thoughts about the current times and some of the times in between now and then. I went from New Zealand to the Philippines with my birth family when I was seventeen and arrived there around Christmas. The bottom right hand picture below is of the Maranatha Youth Group in St. Pius X Church Parish in Titahi Bay which I left behind there on those cool windswept coasts. We passed through Australia on the way there.The top set of damaged images are from my time in the Philippines as is my better picture of myself leading my sisters on the carabao. The bottom right hand corner isa picture of the wall of my Household at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.


 We were in the Philippines for a couple of years (or so I remember without checking) and Simon was born with difficulties associated with Prader-Willi Syndrome. That was also at Christmas and was at the time of my Bukidnon Youth Conference which is the real subject of part at least of this post. Due to Simon’s condition we came back to the United States. While there I completed my Freshman Year at USL — now the University of Louisiana  — in one semester and in the preceding summer worked in some college and youth ministries in the church. Then we all returned to the Philippines and I renewed my ministry for a while and in the summer just after my brother Joseph was born and having overstayed my visa in a tense time in a country on edge and with a gift of a large and dangerous looking tribal sword I flew back alone to the United States.The picctures I took there for various reasons have not much been digitzed and the ones that were have not al made it into part of the cloud I can access. But the memories that I have of the Philippines are indeed plentiful and meaningful. Many of them were pleasant enough. Although the images in the pair below do not show the day to day life there as I justified that life they do show some of the rewards of the experience. Visiting the sick westerners in trouble, prison ministry, speaking to dozens of groups and working with college ministries all filled most of my days. But the Bukidnon Youth Conference was perhaps the  peak of my ministry there.  Being a 52 year old, divorced, childless near indigent was not the future among many possible futures which I saw as most likely in those days. But the journey since has certainly been a complicated on and rich too in color and texture and that sense of richness makes me feel like an expert on almost everything on some days. While that is not fair to much of anything neither or the days entirely fair when I feel that my onIy efforts to communicate come from having little else to do that is fulfilling and that I only ever feel that I  am well qualified to be a sage because I appear not to be qualified for anything else. My life has not been laser focused in a single direction and my time in the Philippines was not either. I like Faith Camp and I liked the Bukidnon Youth Conference in part because they touched many aspects of life from the arts to sport to socializing over dinner. This reminds me of one of my first Facebook notes when I wrote about  some of the extracurricular activities and hobbies that have enriched my life  and divided them into the big three categories of Faith, Science and Sports which I  chose to denominate as easy issues for that early Facebook note. These Easy Issues are not to be confused with the Easy Essays written by Peter Maurin of the Catholic Worker Movement. His essays were easy,  because he easily guided the reader through the complexities of political philosophy to a simple and cohesive approach which would provide the framework fo the movement he and Dorthy Day were founding. In my Facebook the subjects are easy because of my tremendous insights into the very narrow experience I had in each of those fields — I did not concern myself with the larger picture. There was some tongue in cheek in the use of there terms and words but Faith Camp and the Bukidnon Youth Conference were also founded to give young people a real body of experience that they could claim as their own. A small window of controlled positive experience from ehich to see the world.

During those years when ministry was part of my life I did a lot of work preparing to work . One thing  or another or many things must be left out including almost all my regular Catholic  school time but I now note  the religious education I received. Some I received within the context of the schools mentioned. However, I also took a set of remote preparation confirmation classes in the Diocese of Lafayette within the Come Lord Jesus Program and the brief imediate preparation course at a Parish in the Archdiocese of Wellington, New Zealand. I was confirmed by a cardinal. In the Diocese of Lafayette I also completed instruction in and was commissioned for Evangelism as a Lay Evangelist of my native dicoese. This was also where after college I was certified as a catechist. Beyond those things, I completed the Life in the Spirit Seminar, the Cursillo de Cristiandad (en Ingles), a basic Lector’s training, Prayer Group Leaders Training Course, a salvation history micro course and stdied as a journalist the English translation of the Prelature of Bukidnon’s Alagad course which was a successful lay leadership course. I also read and discussed the Documents of the Second Vatican Council many times and in many contexts. Susanna who founded Faith Camp completed here degree in theology while continuing to build up this ministry. The two things have in common that they communicate to the kids from a depp and well laid foundation.

Like a lot of activity among Christians it is designed to provide an opportunity for a personal spiritual experience. The importance of personal spiritual experience in America is more evident than in some countries. One of the reasons for that comes from a man who was not a Christian but had a profound influence on the Christian and other populations of these United States at a critical time — the Revolution. Thomas Paine, one of the great thinkers of the American revolution basically stated that one of the profound problems with revelation as a basis for any law or covenant is that as soon as it is written down or described rather than existing as a perceived miracle or apparition or Messianic epiphany it becomes mere tradition. Three things can be said about that idea that miracles and revelation become traditions:

1. It is somewhat true and worth keeping in mind.
2. If God, the universe, the gods and Divine Wisdom were communicating with humanity they might not excuse people who said “Well, I needed that direct Apparition your Highness — didn’t get it so it’s your fault not mine.”
3.In places and times such as existed in the Charismatic renewal there was a renewal within the person which was seen to confirm the written Word and the received tradition. It is out of that third connection with the renewal of the background music and lifestyle of our family that the Bukidnon Youth Conference (BYC) and twenty years of Faith Camps have come. The Bukidnon Conference was less part of the Charismatic Renewal than was some of my work in those days and the current Faith Camps only remind one of the renewal. But the tradition is there.

St. Augustine is credited with two sayings that mean a lot to me as far as faith goes. One is “Seek not to understand that you may believe. Seek rather to believe that you may understand.” That saying is not perfect and is easily misconstrued but it remains profoundly true and truly profound.The second saying I will allow to explain itself and to be interpreted without me. St Augustine wrote “The best and the worst men in the world live in monasteries.” The idea that these young people come together to find understanding and to explore a fully lay spirituality does not mean that none will later become monks, priests, scientists or theologians some do and those around usually rejoice.  But the experience is of a different focus of informing a growing faith and living for Christ in the world.

That Filipino journey  in which the Bukidnon YouthBconference was born was one  which only temporarily ended just after the conference itself. But after returning with them from my time at USL and in this region I did not stay but went to enroll at the school where Susanna was studying when Faith Camp was founded.  I returned a bit early and went to live that summer with my paternal grandparents in a larger than most two storey house beside a park. That  is where I lived in that intervening summer have lived at other times and is also where I am living  now as I type this but I have only been here for a few months this go round. Then I enrolled as a sophomore at the Franciscan University. The summer after my sophomore year I returned to the Philippines to visit and overstayed my visa yet again by only a few days and flew home alone. I left school in mid semester for complicated reasons including some to do with problems in the Philippines related to those whom I had invited into the region to help me with the Youth Conference and  shortly after leaving school I met my parents returning to Abbeville where I currently reside. All of that was along time ago and I took a break to do some more ministry and other things before enrolling again at USL and finishing my degree there. Thousands of picture taken during those and subsequent years are unavailable to me here and now on this blog. But the family on the bottom left hand of the set below are the son of Abbeville friends and his wife who have been FMC missionaries where we once served for more than a few years now. The picture on the bottom right hand corner shows my brother Simon and my parents at an FMC Donors Dinner. He clearly survived the ordeals surrounding his birth as did we all.


Of the  actual BYC as an event I have no photos to share and never had many photos. Indeed of the conference itself very little documentation was made and far less survives. But there are a few things and here are a pair of snippets of that time. The newsletter Resounding Praise which defined so much of our communication with the rest of the world had a feature on the conference. This gathering so distant in time and space is still near to my memory and sensibility. The sense and vision behind the conference was one of bringing young Catholics and some not sure they were Catholics together to celebrate the gospel and to deal with the real challenges not only of their personal lives but of Islamist and Communist pressures from groups which in several cases were profoundly hostile to their Catholic Christian commitments.  There was also a real openness to finding what could be improved in the generally pro-American, Catholic, free market synthesis that informed the conference. There was not a tone of xenophobia or paranoia but of relatively optimistic participation in the world as it was  for young Catholic Christians. There is something in Faith Camp’s tradition that has always reminded me of that event.



There are bigger events in the world than Faith Camp or the Bukidnon Youth Conference but bigness is not everything. Nonetheless as America approaches it participation with other countries in the Rio Olympic Games I am reminded that the New testament is full of references to Olympic events. Paul wrote of racing, boxing, archery and of the disciplines of training as well as the glories of victory in those ancient games. For those going to the Olympics who are Christians while they should respect the games and the diversity there it can be both a mission and a spiritual experience in Christ.

A few years ago London prepared to see the wedding take place in Westminster Abbey there was a lot of suffering and pain in the world. Truthfully, there is almost always a lot of suffering and pain in the world.  Whatever their role may be in adding to the sum of distress in the world, the British royals do quite a bit to lessen the sum of woe and that was not the less true in a year when they were planning a royal wedding . That  set of outreaches to those in need is an effort that  is well documented. Prince Charles, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall and Prince William (the bridegroom this weekend) all have long supported a variety of charities benefiting humans, animals, ecosystems and cultural groups in distress.Prince Charles has a substantial income as Duke of Cornwall and donates a great deal of the income to charities in such a way that it leverages and is leveraged by other charitable donations. While it may well be that not a direct penny of that family’s efforts and gifts will go to help those hurt by the tornadoes whch ripped through the South last night it is also true that they are part of a philanthropic community around the world in which helping is informally circulated almost everywhere. Two babies (at least) ago the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth celebrated on the 29th of April 2011 The wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. This expensive and extravagant occasion was also a Christian ritual and gathering and an expression of faith. The scene was truly extraordinary and the elegant venue and the well prepared  liturgy and preaching were all rather impressive even for those who are not so easily impressed.  The sermon of the Anglican Bishop of London is one which I have found to be a worthy sermon to address our times:

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day it is today. Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves.

Many are full of fear for the future of the prospects of our world but the message of the celebrations in this country and far beyond its shores is the right one – this is a joyful day!

It is good that people in every continent are able to share in these celebrations because this is, as every wedding day should be, a day of hope.

In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and the groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future.



The future does flow through families and gathering and weddings and the like. Churches and other communities have an obligation, it seems to me to prepare young people to be conduits of the grace of God and the hope of the future into new generations. They need to be prepared for the task. All married couples, all celibates and many other classes of not mutually exclusive kinds of people have to be educated in that complete humanity. For Faith Camp that is a Catholic Christian experience An I like that best but it also speaks to those not with us in that community. I am not a young optimist and my own view of life can be pretty bleak often enough. But while  I am sorry that when caught up in nearly apocalyptic events I often already have declared myself to have been involved in a number of calamities — sorry but not very repentant. these conferences and other things have not made me boldly cheerful in that sense. But each Faith Camp and its predecessor to my view  have in fact reminded me that how one engages with life may change over the years  but faith filled engagement  and courage remain necessary.  I know that I  was at one time more fully engaged in meeting the world and the changes going on around me with gusto and energy than I am now. I beilieve that some of those now enthused will persevere in doing good but will not have the same zest when they are my age as they do now.  The world is no stranger to my dire assessments and prognostications regarding my own life and future but the truth is I am still in the fight for the same causes and so are some of those who fought with me under that old distant BYC banner. So also is Susanna and her early team.

Faith Camp prayer - 8   But there is a time and a place for looking back on all that has happened in ones life and that place is this blog. The time is spread out over many posts and pages. The truth is that I was not always quite so late middle aged, directionless and chronically despondent as I am now.  There were times when I aspired to other and more things in daily life than a differing serving of a perpetual mix of the routine, the impossible and the trivial. I was working hard at BYC but perhaps nobody got more out of it than I. I rejoice in the legacy I see although nobody else may see it the same way exactly.

The outgrowth of my various involvements and labors over the years are not all that easy to track, however there has been an institution which has grown out of all that activity in one sense or another and which is also dear to my heart for various reasons…  My brother John Paul was the head coordinator longer than anyone else so far I believe. It is also interesting that this year’s head coordinator Alyse Spiehler has a brother who although he only went to the first camp and was abroad on his birthday during the second camp has celebrated his birthday at Faith Camp several years and probably will again. In fact all of my sibling except Simon and my deceased half brother have served ads head coordinators or coordinators although I never have. I did of course at BYC which I consider to be an ancestor of Faith Camp. The family tie is a real one with my family but there are many other family ties as well. This does not make the focus more narrow and our family does not embody any analogous local set of privileges to those that shaped the hosting of the large wedding in London mentioned before. But the family story is part of the Faith Camp story.


That is, with everything else already mentioned and many other things not mentioned here  — the ongoing work of Faith Camp. That is the distant legacy of the BYC. And in some way it is the universal call of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are called to be the Body of Christ as Church and to celebrate the mystery of the fullness of life Christ came to offer and assure. All of that is part of the Faith Camp Story.

faith camp week 2, 2016 - 4 faith camp week 2, 2016 - 2 faith camp week 2, 2016 - 1

New Horizons and Some Signs

This post comes at a time when a lot is going on in the world including the mourning in South Korea over the hundreds of youths drowned on a ferry that went down in the Yellow Sea. I used to look out at the Yellow Sea daily where I lived and worked and my sympathy and empathy are with those people. There is some insight into the depth of this tragedy here. However, I have not mentioned that tragedy before this post in this blog. President Obama will be heading to Asia soon to shore up relations with our treaty partners Japan and South Korea.  those are in North East Asia as is Taiwan. I lived in China and in our other treaty partner in the region — the Philippines. But I have not spent much time in Japan and have never been to Taiwan or South Korea. All of us  who are well informed of my generation see a connection between World War II in the Pacific and the Korean War and then the Vietnam War. As tensions occur in the entire Asian region we must remember the tragedy  of huge and sustained wars in Asia. we must grieve for our world neighbors in South Korea and still remember what it  has been like to losemany ships of young people.

Where the Bohai Sea meets the Yellow Sea and  China looks out to Korea.

Where the Bohai Sea meets the Yellow Sea and China looks out to Korea.

I do pray for those involved in that tragedy in a world of so much tragedy. The Malaysian Airlines disaster is yet another tragedy, But the crises brewing in Ukraine and nearby lands may be far greater still. As I look at these events I am also remembering the  events of 150 years ago known as the American Civil War. Several of my posts have mentioned anniversaries of that war. But it is certainly not the only war whose anniversaries are remembered.

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.

So many leaders on both sides of the war had been formed in some way by the American – Mexican War and the Confederacy had George Washington on its seal who had been formed in his life and skills in what Americans call the French and Indian War before leading the Continental regulars and colonial militias in the American Revolution and War of Independence.  Struggle does not seem to end and so one struggle prepares its survivors for the next.  That is not all their is to human history and experience but the theme of constant and evolving struggle certainly is a major theme of human experience.

From each crisis and tragedy of the human past we can learn a few things. I think we are obliged to try.  I certainly am formed of all the experiences of my personal history. I am not sure what life may have in store for me but I am sure it will be connected to the rest of my life so far.

Not a very flattering image. A selfie taken a few nights ago.

Not a very flattering image. A selfie taken a few nights ago.

The centennial commemoration of the First World War is starting up around the world. It will continue for the next few years. Some called that war “The War to end all wars”. It certainly did not end all wars and Adolph Hitler was one of the people most affected by the  trials of that war but millions of other would join him in quickly imagining that another war must follow in many of the same lands to resolve issues  that had emerged before, during and after World War One — The Great War. Some call the war that followed The Big One. Most call it the Second World War. I have been writing about the struggle with Islamist terror almost continuously since 2001. I have been caught up in that struggle in a number of ways.

The world is a complicated place and so are the lives of many of us who live in this strange world. This post is going to be largely about what may be on the horizon or just over the horizon of the future. But it is also about how I come to see it in a particular way. I have a picture below of myself with my ex-wife more than  twenty years ago and think of all the seasons that have passed since then for me. I wonder what if any future crises my life has prepared me to face.



It is still the start of the long Catholic Easter Season which goes until Pentecost Sunday. Easter Tuesday, the day after the day that follows what much of the world calls Easter  was a special day for the family.  Easter Monday I bought my Louisiana resident basic fishing license and Louisiana resident saltwater license to go crabbing on the Rockefeller Refuge tomorrow. Crabbing with a string or a small drop net requires no license unless one is on a refuge or wildlife management area. I posted on Facebook that night that I would be going with the family tomorrow and be back online by Tuesday evening. It was later Tuesday evening when I posted on the subject. But my post which is largely subsumed into this one reported good outcomes not mixed with any tragedy.

We had a good time at Rockefeller Refuge. I caught four small crabs. We brought back enough all together from those who also caught (some much more than I ) for me to purge and boil them and everyone had one eating size crab and then I made a stew of the small crabs. I snapped a few pics about nothing in particular although there were particularly nice birds and fish and the crabs and people. (4 photos)

Frank Wynerth Summers III's photo.
Frank Wynerth Summers III's photo.
Frank Wynerth Summers III's photo.
Frank Wynerth Summers III's photo.
 Clearly my life is not caught up in long hours spent in the halls of power. One of the themes of Easter is baptism and evangelism and I have a political view of how things play out on those themes. I do rejoice that Obama talks about Jesus as a Christian would and seems to be a Christian although his father was Muslim. I value his affinity for Islam as a Christian if that is in fact real, Such connections are important to reaching out to evangelize in Muslim countries  and to protecting Christians there. In addition I have real reticence to denying what God may be doing in Barack Hussein Obama’s heart. Had he remained a Senator those themes might have remained my dominant themes. However, in the case of Obama I feel we must consider the possibility of him being a Muslim and a liar as some have accused him of being  even as we have him as our Head of State and US executive.
Russia is squaring off with us in quite few places. You can read about the situation developing in Russia here. Obama is more or less holding his lines in the Russian Crisis. America is meanwhile under strain. The US Supreme Court has recently dealt a blow to the affirmative action which helped to create the environment in which President Obama matured as a human being. You can find one account of the new Supreme Court opinion and analysis of its impact  here.
Nationalism rises in many places in the world, Financial problems abound. Men like Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Henry VIII and Washington may all seem very different from one another but all were empowered by crises.  There are many emerging crises just now and those crisis will call forth those who can exploit them.
Hitler rose to power in the Weimar Republic and Mao rose to power in the Chinese  Republic founded by Sun Yat Sen. Those men like Napoleon had the luxury of hitting a new regime still finding its way. Nonetheless each of these men came to power by remaining involved and exercising force in the milieu in which they existed. Putin remembers fondly the Soviet Union and the Communist revolution that replaced the Tsarist Empire directly and slaughtered the Imperial family. Soviet founders paid more for power than many have paid. Russia is often willing to pay a great deal to protect vital interests and that may be important to remember.
In my own life I have written some model constitutions  and done some politicking too. I look out on a future which will be problematic. I see challenges and roots of conflict.  I see lots of reasons to be concerned but I do not believe that we are without hope. One institution for peace is one among many which exist around the world and is a big party I have attended many times.  You can learn about that  institution of soft peace policy here.
Right now I ave little specific to write about or do about many of the challenges facing America and the world. I am almost fifty years old and obscure. My vision for my country is pretty peaceable and moderate for one which still constitutes a a radical proposal. I am tired as I often am and so bring this to post with a few corrections to be made later and a few aspects to be polished. But as I look out at the world I do not feel less inclined to propose that America needs some serious reforms. I will continue to work towards some of those reforms.
In some ways the great hurdle is inside oneself. At some point I have decided that i will work for relatively radical change. That closes many doors as well as opening a few. I have never sought more trouble for my country. Hitler for example labored to bring down the Weimar Republic for decades. Napoleon is famous for firing canons on the crowds running the reign of terror which preceded him in France’s revolutionary journey. But mild as I am I remain alarmed and radical. A bit old and quiet these days, I am more than ever aware of the future which will demand some radical change or other. I still seek more peace and harmony than many other emerging radicals will. The changes I propose remain more respectful of the present institutional climate.