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The fate of freedom in Tibet hinges on transparency and public accountability to Tibetans.

In my analysis, the Fate of Freedom in Tibet hinges on Transparency and Public Accountability to Tibetans. The type of governance in China, India, and the United States is of no consequence if their State Policy is not transparent and is not accountable to Tibetans. On behalf of The Living Tibetan Spirits of Special Frontier Force, I demand a Government Policy that is transparent and is accountable to Tibetans to decide the fate of freedom in Tibet. Hidden Agendas, Covert Actions, and Secret Negotiations will utterly fail to deliver the Blessings of Peace and Justice in Occupied Tibet.

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada


The fate of freedom in Tibet hinges on democracy in China

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The fate of freedom in Tibet hinges on transparency and public accountability to Tibetans.

Tibetan Americans walk in protest to China’s consulate in Los Angeles on Nov. 19, where they held a prayer and candlelight vigil for a 23-year-old Tibetan man named Dopo who self-immolated. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP)

By Carl Gershman

November 28

Carl Gershman is president of the National Endowment for Democracy.

The death last month of Lodi Gyari, who as the Dalai Lama’s special envoy conducted nine rounds of negotiations with Beijing over Tibet’s status, offers an occasion to reflect on the increasingly troubled relationship between the United States and China.

The negotiations conducted by Gyari in 2002 through 2010 were based on the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way Approach, which seeks genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people within the framework of the existing Chinese state and constitution. Earlier in his career, when he was an interpreter for the Tibetan resistance fighters training in the United States and helped found the Tibetan Youth Congress, Gyari was committed to the struggle for Tibetan independence. He never changed his belief that Tibet is “in every sense an occupied nation, brutally occupied.” But he became persuaded that the Dalai Lama’s vision of autonomy offered a nonviolent way to preserve the Tibetan people’s religion, culture, language, and identity. And after conducting exploratory talks in China in the 1980s during the period of reform under Deng Xiaoping and Hu Yaobang, he believed that such an approach was feasible.

But Beijing had no interest in finding a middle ground with the Dalai Lama, and the negotiations were unsuccessful. Beijing actually hardened its position on Tibet. In a speech Gyari gave after the breakdown of the talks, he charged that the regime had increased repression and was seeking the “cultural destruction” of the Tibetan people. China also issued a white paper denouncing the Middle Way and asserting that it wouldn’t resume talks until the Dalai Lama acknowledged that Tibet has been part of China “since antiquity,” a view rejected by all independent scholars. The growing repression, Gyari said, was responsible for “the terrible and tragic wave of self-immolations” by desperate Tibetans, whose resistance was likely to grow.

The bitter disappointment experienced by Gyari parallels the profound disenchantment with China in the United States and other advanced democracies, where policymakers once believed that as China modernized economically it would liberalize internally and become a responsible stakeholder in the rules-based world order.

In fact, exactly the opposite has happened. As China has risen economically, Beijing has become far more repressive, arresting dissidents and independent lawyers, creating mass concentration camps for Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province, and using facial-recognition technology and other digital tools to establish what has ominously been called the “surveillance state.”

Internationally, it has militarized the South China Sea, despite President Xi Jinping’s pledge in the White House Rose Garden in 2015 not to take such action. China’s military buildup has been described in a Pentagon study as “perhaps the most ambitious grand strategy undertaken by a single nation-state in modern times.” It has engaged in “cyber theft on a massive scale,” and through its $1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative, targets more than 60 countries in an effort to advance its economic and military goals, including securing access to strategic ports.

Such threatening behavior has provoked an international backlash that the Economist has called “the starkest reversal in modern geopolitics.” An example of this reversal was the harsh speech given by Vice President Pence last month at the Hudson Institute, which added the charge of meddling in American politics to all the other alarming Chinese actions. Some observers have seen this speech as a portent of a new Cold War. But one shot across the Chinese bow is not a coherent policy response to the greatest international challenge now facing the United States.

Here Gyari’s experience may help point a way forward. While he failed in his negotiations with Beijing, he was immensely successful as the Dalai Lama’s special envoy in Washington, building bipartisan backing for the Tibet Policy Act (2002), which institutionalized support for Tibet in U.S. foreign policy. He had many allies in this effort, but none was more devoted than Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who is the presumptive next House speaker and whose heartfelt statement on the passing of Gyari emphasized that “members of Congress on both sides of the aisle benefitted from Lodi’s insight and wisdom.” She could be an important ally in building bipartisan congressional support for a new China policy.

Two additional elements of such a policy are also tied to Gyari. The first is the importance he attached to the role of India, which has given refuge to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile, and whose free political environment, he said, “has deeply enriched my thinking.” The Trump administration has emphasized the growing strategic partnership with India, which must be a core part of U.S. policy.

The second element is democracy. Gyari, like the Dalai Lama, believed in the paramount importance of democracy for all people, not least for Tibetans and Chinese. Following the Tibet uprising in 2008, Chinese dissident and future Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo wrote, “Democratization for all of China is the necessary condition for any solution, whatever its form, to the Tibet issue.”

The fate of freedom in Tibet depends on transparency and public accountability to Tibetans.




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The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

As my miserable mortal life journey crawls towards its end without giving me any clue about my destination, I can only afford to make a dream trip to Mount Everest. I give my thanks to photographer Bruce Connolly and for sharing with me the story about ‘A Road Trip Across Tibet to Mount Everest’. In my analysis, Mount Everest or Qomolangma is my mighty witness testifying in support of true Tibetan Identity. Mount Everest proclaims that Tibet is never a part of China.


Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada


A road trip across Tibet to Mount Everest

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The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

Lhasa – the start of the road trip in 2000. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

In 2000, Lhasa was a different city in many ways, compared to what it is today. High on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, it was much more isolated back then. Its airport, a roughly 90-minute drive from downtown, was at that time the only one operating across all of Tibet. In earlier years, flying into Lhasa had been restricted to early morning flights from Chengdu in Sichuan. By 2000, however, it was well-served by modern, powerful jet aircraft capable of landings and takeoffs at high altitudes, able to cope with occasionally difficult afternoon weather conditions. In recent years several new airports have also opened across Tibet.

Despite the advances in aviation technology, flying into Tibet was expensive. Before the completion of the Tibet railway in 2006, roads were the only feasible option for most freight and passenger traffic. It amazed me during my time in Lhasa how so much that made my stay both pleasant and comfortable must surely have come up to the city by road. Two main highways served Lhasa at the time. From Golmud to Xining, Highway G109 was a long, lonely journey through an empty upland plateau. The other route, Highway G318, runs 5,476 kilometers from Shanghai’s People’s Square, via Sichuan and southeastern Tibet ultimately to Zhangmu, the border crossing with Nepal. I would leave Lhasa along G318 on a road trip initially to the base of Qomolangma, known in the West as Mount Everest.

I noticed several oxygen bags loaded into what was a comfortable but strong SUV. Lhasa was modern and well-planned, but outside the city, infrastructure such as road quality was quite variable. The physical terrain often proved very challenging for highway construction, even between Lhasa and Xigaze, Tibet’s second city. Geologically, much of the area is still active. Landslides remained a danger during the rainy season.

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

Highway 318 at Tingri. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

Initially, my departure from Lhasa along G318 followed the road that had brought me a few days earlier from the airport. Nearing the Yarlung Tsangpo Bridge, we turned right for Xigaze. Initially, the route followed a wide valley and the river braided into many channels, with sweeping views toward glacial mountain peaks and ridges. Villages sat near intensively cultivated, irrigated farmland. Then it started narrowing, with scenery becoming increasingly breathtaking. Settlements perched on any patches of level terrain available.

The road started along a ledge cut below almost vertical cliffs. High gullies were filled with long fingers of snow. Below the road, sheer drops reached the river that appeared to be cascading around huge rocks. Workers tirelessly cleared fallen boulders from roadside ditches. Flocks of sheep and goats also shared the road space, with drivers carefully edging past. Gradually the valley widened, and the river slowed, allowing flat-bottomed ferry boats to carry villagers across. Both road width and quality improved. Where bridges spanned river junctions, small restaurants and shops had opened, providing supplies for travelers. At intervals, pack horses gathered beside narrow trails leading to seemingly inaccessible villages.

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

Eventually, the valley really did widen and the waters calmed, becoming almost lake-like. A tugboat pulled a pontoon carrying vehicles across to the far shore. Some of the landscape appeared as a small sandy desert with protective trees planted along the highway. I noticed poles being erected to carry electricity to some villages while concrete-lined aqueducts helped irrigate reclaimed land for arable farming.

Rounding a bend, I saw a concentration of modern buildings, some even medium-rise. We arrived at Xigaze, at an altitude of 3,836 meters, the highest city I had ever reached. Since that 2000 road trip, travel to and from Xigaze has greatly improved. Not only has the road been upgraded but the railway has been extended from Lhasa and a modern airport opened. Partly in response to such infrastructure investments, tourism has grown significantly, not just to Xigaze but across much of Tibet.

I stayed at the Xigaze-Shandong Hotel, which then was the city’s tallest building. I discovered at that time a certain arrangement existed, where the more developed parts of China were paired up with areas of Tibet to assist in regional assistance programs such as infrastructure projects. Xigaze had relationships with Shanghai and Shandong, Lhasa with Beijing, and so on.

It was an unexpected joy to find excellent accommodation in what in theory was then a remote location. After a spicy Sichuan-style lunch in the hotel, I spent the afternoon visiting Tashilhunpo Monastery. Founded in 1447, it was the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama — Panchen meaning “great scholar”, the title bestowed on the abbots of Tashilhunpo.

I was spellbound by the magnificence of the monastery as I walked through its halls illuminated by trays of butter lamps. One chapel was home to a 26-meter-high copper image of the Maitreya, or Buddha of the future. Around the walls were around 1,000 gold paintings of the Maitreya.

Within an assembly hall dating from the 15th century, chanting monks sat on carpets while above them long thangka images and colored scarves hung from the ceiling. A large throne in the middle was where the Panchen Lamas once sat.

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

A doorway within Tashilhunpo Monastery Xigaze. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

I wandered the alleys between prayer halls crowded by people chanting, prostrating themselves, walking clockwise along balconies or spinning personal prayer wheels. Some, along with young monks, scooped up chunks of butter from large bowls and smeared it into lamp bowls. The butter produced a distinctive aroma that seemed to permeate everywhere. Above the monastery’s perimeter wall, people quietly followed the Tashilhunpo Kora (pilgrimage).

That evening I tried writing in my diary but found it a challenge because I had experienced so much throughout the day. I did realize that this hotel would offer the last comfortable bed for the next few days, as there were no more cities ahead on this route, with only small trading towns and to look forward to.

Leaving Xigaze early next morning, I saw many people already walking around the monastery. The road was initially unpaved, passing many exposed multicolored rock formations that stood as a testament to the massive tectonic movements that had uplifted the area’s geology. The land became increasingly dry with small patches of cultivation, mostly barley and potatoes, where water could be sourced. Occasionally someone on horseback would tend herds of black-coated yaks.

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

Villages. Photo by Bruce Connolly/

The road would climb up and over several passes usually crowned with prayer flags, such as the 4,500-meter-high Tso-La Pass and the 4,950 meter-high Yulang-La Pass. The visibility was so clear, giving excellent views of distant peaks. At one point I saw the heavy walls of what had been a fort guarding a pass. Descending, lower areas would have limited cultivation, although I did observe groups of farmers scattering seed potatoes onto plowed soil. Ponies pulled wooden carts along the farmers.

Along G318 there also was a regular procession of blue trucks laden with goods, for this road was also the main lifeline to western Tibet.

Some 150 kilometers from Xigaze is Lhaze, a small county whose main street had many small restaurants with name boards in English such as “Chengdu Restaurant”, for it was where G318 to the Nepalese border splits from the highway to western Tibet. Apparently, travelers heading up toward Mount Everest maybe would stay one or two nights, for it was the last real town on the route.

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

Rongphu Monastery at 5030 meters. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

The road climbed again up a narrow valley where herders would camp while tending their yaks. This led up to Gyatso-La Pass, at an altitude of 5,220 meters, one of the highest along the route. Stopping briefly, I thought it was amazing how people gathered around, yet there was no sign of any habitation. The landscape felt like arctic tundra vegetation, and beyond it, I could finally see the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. However, clouds were building up over those peaks for the monsoon would soon push up from the Indian sub-continent. In this area, the road was not surfaced and it was a constant struggle for work crews to keep it open.

When we reached distance marker 5,115, a sign declared we were entering the Mount Everest Protection Area. Scattered trees indicated the approach toward a small village, Tingri, where the main road turned off to Shegar. Notices proclaiming “guesthouse” and restaurant adorned building exteriors signaled the area was used to visitors. I had lunch in a restaurant that amazingly had television, hi-fi, and a fridge! Boys tried to sell fossils dug up locally while people gathered for onward transport by truck or bus.

Soon after the village was the 63-kilometer route leading up to Mount Everest. As we drove gradually higher, I was enthralled with the geology exposed everywhere, often showing bedding planes of the rocks tilted vertically. That gravel road gradually climbed up through a wide valley with an increasing sensation of being on the roof of the world as we reached the 5,120-meter-high summit of Pang-La Pass. Beyond it lay one of the most spectacular views in the world. Along the horizon stood the glacial peaks of the Himalayas, with Mount Everest, or Qomolangma, at the center. It was so stunning I could easily have stayed there all day.

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

















A wide section of Yarlung Tsangpo near Xigaze. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

From the summit, the road descended through a moon-like landscape reaching a small agricultural village, Tashi Dzom. Notices again in English advertised accommodation and dining. Turning right into a broad valley, we encountered a river spreading over a wide terrain of gravel and stones, which was actually meltwater draining off the northern slopes of Mount Everest. Jeeps carrying tourists descended as we headed higher, passing Chodzom, possibly the world’s highest village, again offering a hotel built in a local Tibetan style. The route went up through boulder fields, the descending river now milky white as it carried so much gravel and crushed stones. At an altitude of 5,030 meters sat Rongphu Monastery, the last inhabited building before the base of Mount Everest. I would stay there overnight, but first, the last section of the road had to be skillfully accomplished.

The going was extremely rough, bumping over many rocks and glacial debris while driving through streams. Great mounds of stones and silt had been carried down and deposited by the Rongphu Glacier. Reaching the road’s end, I found myself lacking the energy to manage anything beyond a slow walk up a gravelly hill. There was no vegetation on this stark landscape, but it was very inspiring. My only disappointment was that Everest was wrapped in clouds. It was windy and felt very cold.

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

Across the high, arctic, plateau lands. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

I returned to the guesthouse for a simple meal of egg fried rice and pot noodles, and went to bed, trying to sleep, an almost impossible task. This proved fortuitous. As dawn was breaking I went outside for a glimpse of the grandeur of Mount Everest exposed before me. I sat on a rock trying to take it all in, the world’s highest peak. At last, I had arrived at this breathtaking vista, which I had seen so many times in books from years back. Within 30 minutes the clouds once again enveloped it!

I enjoyed a simple breakfast, and then weathered a bumpy descent as villages such as Chodzom were waking up. I watched people heading out to the fields, some by horseback, and children going to school.

Back over the Pang-La Pass, with its many prayer flags, it felt like time for a memorable look back toward Mount Everest, sadly almost obscured by clouds. Soon we returned back to the G318, stopping for lunch at Tingri before arriving in Xigaze once again. I had accomplished an incredible journey, thanks in part to the amazing skills of my Tibetan driver.

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

Amazing colors of the land alongside the highway. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

Dawn over Mount Everest – thirty minutes later it clouded over. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

End of the road to Everest. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

Glacial meltwater river from Mount Everest. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

Groups of monks at Tashilhunpo Monastery Xigaze. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/ ]

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

Highway 318 to Xigaze along Yarlung Tsangpo River. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

Incredible geological formations alongside road up to Pang-la Pass. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

Pang-la Pass 5120 meters. Looking towards the Himalayan foothills. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

Prayer flags on high passes along the highway. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

Rough driving on G318 and a former fort above the road. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

Villages along the road to Everest. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.

Villages and a mill where there was water. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

The Living Tibetan Spirits Make a Dream Trip to Mount Everest.



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Special Frontier Force remembers the 41st US President George Herbert Walker Bush for he served as the Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency. In President Ford’s final year in office, Bush was appointed director of the Central Intelligence Agency, which was in disarray after years of scandalous revelations. Though he was only there a year, he was credited for restoring the agency’s morale, and he was well thought of by longtime hands. The main building at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va., was renamed in his honor in 1999.


Special Frontier Force deeply mourns the loss of President George H W Bush while acknowledging the role of the US Central Intelligence Agency fostering friendly relationships between the people of the US, India, and Tibet.


Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada






Clipped from:

© Hearst Newspapers

George Herbert Walker Bush, whose lone term as the 41st president of the United States ushered in the final days of the Cold War and perpetuated a family political dynasty that influenced American politics at both the national and state levels for decades, died Friday evening. He was 94.

© AFP, AFP/Getty Images George H.W. Bush is pictured when he was one and a half year old. Born 12 June 1924 in Milton, Massachussetts, George Bush yale graduated with a degree in Economics in 1948, made a fortune drilling oil before entering politics in 1964. (FILM) (Photo credit should read /AFP/Getty Images)

Bush was the last president to have served in the military during World War II and the last whose worldview had been shaped by the imperative to contain Communist expansionism. His experience in international diplomacy served him well as he dealt with the unraveling of the Soviet Union as an oppressive superpower, and later the rise of China as a commercial behemoth and potential partner.

© ASSOCIATED PRESS 1930, George Bush with his sister in 1930. (AP Photo)

As cautious and restrained as he was in foreign matters, Bush had an inclination for personal risk-taking that showed up early in his life, when he became a carrier pilot in the war — one of the most dangerous jobs in the military — and then stuck out on his own at war’s end, eschewing a comfortable job in New York to become an oilman in Texas.

© ASSOCIATED PRESS George H.W. Bush at summer camp in this 1939 photo. (AP Photo)

Likewise, when his interest turned to politics a decade or so later, he was more than willing to give up his executive suite for a chance at public office.

© ASSOCIATED PRESS George Bush, left, with unknown boy, as finalists in the Field Club Jr. Tournament in 1939.

Steeped in noblesse oblige and the importance of public service, Bush always felt the lure of political life. It finally snared him in 1962 when he was chosen to head Houston’s fledgling GOP. He spent the next three decades in the political limelight, enjoying a roller-coaster career that saw more defeats than victories yet improbably landed him in the White House.

© AP George H. W. Bush poses in his baseball uniform as a student at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. Bush was the first baseman on the Yale team that lost to California in the first College World Series in Kalamazoo, Mich. in 1947.

Bush was elected president in 1988 as the successor to Ronald Reagan, a conservative icon whom he ran against and then served as vice president. Unlike Reagan, he was a pragmatic leader guided by moderation, consensus building, and a sense for problem-solving shorn of partisan rhetoric. Like his father, who served in the U.S. Senate, he swore no allegiance to orthodox tenets. That put him at odds with a take-no-prisoners attitude of a new breed of Republicans and helped do in his reelection bid, sending him home to Houston in forced retirement.

© Tom Harvey, Admiral Nimitz Museum One of a series of photos from the George Bush Gallery at the Admiral Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg Texas. Photo shows a young George Bush in the cockpit writing in his logbook during WWII. Former President Bush during his World War II days. For use with FLYBOYS story to run 10-18 in Houston section.

Most of Bush’s political career was spent in appointed jobs, where he demonstrated loyalty and a quick-study competence, rarely making headlines. Expectations were modest when he became president. Many in his party hoped he would simply follow in Reagan’s footsteps. Instead, he quickly distinguished himself as the postwar order began to undergo dramatic changes.

© ROBERT B. STINNETT NATL ARCHIVES, ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK A young George Bush (center), Joe Reichert (L), Leo Nadeau (R) photographed December 31, 1942.

Bush was put to the test shortly after taking office. Surging movements in Eastern Europe saw opportunity to free themselves from the Soviet yoke, thanks in part to the liberalizing influence of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Bush’s measured response allowed events to unfold, including the destruction of the Berlin Wall, without triggering potentially catastrophic responses from Soviet hard-liners.

© Hearst Newspapers George Bush being rescued by the submarine, the U.S.S. Finback, after being shot down while on a bombing run of the Island of Chi Chi Jima on August 2, 1944.

Bush again displayed his diplomatic skills in the summer of 1990 when he coordinated a multinational response to the military invasion of tiny Middle East nation Kuwait by neighboring Iraq and its dictator, Saddam Hussein. The victorious Operation Desert Storm brought high approval ratings that appeared to guarantee a second term.

© Joel Draut, Houston Chronicle 05/06/1979 – George Bush, candidate for the Republican nomination for president, addresses supporters at rally in Sam Houston Park at the start of his Texas campaign tour. Joel Draut / Houston Post

Domestic matters proved a different sort of challenge. Plagued by inherited budget deficits and a Congress under the control of Democrats, Bush was pushed into a tax increase that belied his explicit promise to allow none. He agreed to it because he recognized it was in the country’s best interest, but the political damage was severe. His reelection bid fell short, a failing that haunted him for years. Uncharacteristically, it even caused him to wonder whether history would regard him as a failed president.

© Anonymous, ASSOCIATED PRESS Republican presidential hopefuls Ronald Reagan, left, John Anderson, Howard Baker, Robert Dole Philip Crane who all showed up for a debate that was to be between Ronald Reagan and George Bush Saturday night, February 23, 1980, at Nashua Senior High School in Nashua, N.H.

It has not.

© Anonymous, AP Republican presidential candidates Ronald Reagan, left, and George H.W. Bush, right, greet prior to their Thursday night debate February 28, 1980 on public television.

“I think over the years he fares well,” said presidential historian Henry Brands, the author of seven presidential biographies and a professor at the University of Texas. “If voters have a referendum and they vote you down, that automatically puts you down a rung. It’s unfair. Bush always was rated very highly by historians more than he was by the public. I think that is changing.”

© Anonymous, ASSOCIATED PRESS George Bush peeks around a partition which has a poster of Ronald Reagan, one of his opponents for the Republican party presidential nomination, before he speaks at Columbia, S.C., March 4, 1980.

Bush was born into privilege and reared in the cradle of America’s economic aristocracy, yet from an early age, he refused to ride the coattails of entitlement. Approaching his graduation from Yale University in 1948, he was offered a job at his family’s Wall Street investment firm, close to his native Connecticut. He turned it down. Whatever his destiny, he vowed that it would be fully earned.

© Bob Child, AP George Bush, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, watches as his grandson, George, 4, meets another child at “Bush for President” headquarters,in Hartford, Conn., March 24, 1980.

So began a remarkable journey that would lead him from the elegant estates of New England to the dusty plains of West Texas, to the leafy precincts of Houston’s nicest neighborhoods, to foreign capitals and back to America’s own, into political campaigns at the humblest level and one that ultimately netted him the White House.

© Bill Ingraham, AP Using Independence Hall as a backdrop, Republican presidential hopeful George Bush addresses supporters and newsmen April 9, 1980 in Philadelphia. Bush is seeking votes in the April 22 Pennsylvania primary.

Bush’s long life encompassed the full arc of the 20th century, beginning in an era of steamships and a new ideology called communism, and ending as American spaceships explored distant planets and the hammer-and-sickle was mostly a fading emblem on old flags. He was to be the last president of his generation, which came of age during the Great Depression, participated in a cataclysmic world war, and ushered in unprecedented American power and prosperity.

© Joe Kennedy, MBR On July 14, 1980, the Republican National Convention convened at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Former Gov. Ronald Reagan of California was nominated for president and former congressman George H.W. Bush of Texas for vice president. (Joe Kennedy/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Turning away from the preordained comfortable life, Bush struck out for Texas and found success, first as an independent oilman and later as a young Congressman from Houston. The misfortune of bad timing hurt him at times in his pursuit of higher office, yet a string of high-profile appointed positions reflected the faith others had in his ability and kept alive his dream of fulfilling his father’s prediction that someday he would become president.

© ASSOCIATED PRESS George Bush, foreground, raises his arms as a floor demonstration erupts before speaking to the Republican Convention delegates in Detroit, Mich., Wednesday evening, July 16, 1980. Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan later announced Bush as his running mate.

“The world was fortunate to have his background and instincts at a turning point,” said Robert Gates, who served as Bush’s CIA director and deputy national security adviser. “The collapse and end of the Cold War look sort of pre-ordained in hindsight, but for those who were there, it was not clear how it would happen.”

© ASSOCIATED PRESS Republican vice presidential candidate George Bush reacts to applause from the assembled Republican delegates at the Republican National Convention at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich., Thursday evening, July 17, 1980. Bush was selected by Ronald Reagan as his running mate on Wednesday. (AP Photo)

Gates, who served in eight presidential administrations, suggested that Bush never received the credit he deserved for quietly “greasing the skids” that saw communists slide from power in the Soviet Union.

© David Breslauer, Houston Chronicle PHOTO FILED: GEORGE HW BUSH-GROUP. 07/19/1980 – George Bush, left, returned in triumph to greet his neighbors near his southwest Houston home Saturday after being tapped by Ronald Reagan for the GOP vice presidential nomination. He took time off from having breakfast at his home with Reagan and a joint appearance at a Galleria rally to shake hands with neighbors Walter and Lois Taber and their children, Keith and Tom. David Breslauer / Houston Chronicle

“There is no precedent in all of history for the collapse of a heavily armed empire without a major war,” Gates said. “He was a figure of enormous historical importance.”

© Curtis McGee, Houston Chronicle PHOTO FILED: RONALD REAGAN-HOUSTON VISIT. 07/19/1980 – The GOP nominees – George Bush and Ronald Reagan and their wives, Barbara and Nancy – make their first post-convention appearance at the Houston Galleria shopping mall. (l-r): GOP VP Nominee George H.W. Bush, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, GOP Pres. nominee Ronald Reagan. Curtis McGee / Houston Chronicle HOUCHRON CAPTION (07/20/1980): It was hand-waving and cowboy hats Saturday at the Galleria as the Republican Party nominees made their first post-convention campaign appearance. Ronald Reagan, the GOP standard-bearer, and George Bush of Houston, his running mate, spoke to several thousand at the shopping center. Responding to cheers are, from left, Bush, wife Barbara, Nancy Reagan and Reagan.

Though Bush came to be widely respected by foreign leaders and diplomats, his political profile at home was different. He had long been dogged by assertions that he was a bland and hazy character, aloof and dilettantish. The image baffled him and many who knew him. He was chided for a lack of apparent vision, yet it was not his nature to view himself as a visionary.

© David Breslauer, Houston Chronicle PHOTO FILED: RONALD REAGAN-HOUSTON VISIT. 07/19/1980 – Vice presidential nominee George Bush, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan and GOP presidential nominee Ronald Reagan. The GOP nominees make their first post-convention appearance at the Houston Galleria shopping mall. David Breslauer / Houston Chronicle

“What’s wrong with trying to help people,” he once asked. “What’s wrong with trying to bring peace? What’s wrong with trying to make the world a little better?”

© Wally Fong, ASSOCIATED PRESS Republican presidential candidates Ronald Reagan, left, and George H.W. Bush, right, greet prior to their Thursday night debate February 28, 1980 on public television.

To some, Bush paled in comparison to his strong-willed predecessor in the White House, but he was simply a different breed of politician: a traditional Republican whose belief in limited government was in no way at odds with his view that public service was a calling.

© Jerry Click, Houston Chronicle 11/04/1980 – (L-R) Barbara Bush leads her mother-in-law, Dorothy Walker Bush, and husband, GOP Vice Presidential candidate George Herbert Walker Bush. through a hallway at the Houston Oaks Hotel in Houston. The Bushes gathered with familly and supporters at the hotel to await the 1980 presidential election results. By the end of the evening family and supporters celebrated his election as the next Vice President of the United States. Jerry Click / Houston Post

Reagan’s famous maxim that government was not the solution to a problem but the problem itself was not Bush’s view, which might explain why his single term arguably resulted in more significant legislative achievements than Reagan’s two, among them the Americans with Disabilities Act, a bolstered Clean Air Act, and an increased minimum wage.

© Bill Thompson, Houston Chronicle 11/04/1980 – (L-R) Barbara Bush and husband, George Herbert Walker Bush, celebrate his election as the next Vice President of the United States at the Houston Oaks Hotel in Houston. The Bushes gathered with familly and supporters at the hotel to await the 1980 presidential election results. Bill Thompson / Houston Post HPOST CAPTION (11/05/1980): Bush, wife Barbara celebrate victory at Houston Oaks Hotel

Bush’s career from start to finish, especially as president, was largely free of scandal or great controversy, with one troubling exception — his role as vice president in the Iran-Contra scandal.

© Hearst Newspapers **FILE** U.S. President-elect Ronald Reagan, left, and Vice President-elect George Bush share a laugh during their first news conference in which they announced their transitional team in Los Angeles, Ca., in this Nov. 6, 1980 file photo. Reagan, the cheerful crusader who devoted his presidency to winning the Cold War, trying to scale back government and making people believe it was “morning again in America,” died Saturday, June 5, 2004 after a long twilight struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was93. (AP Photo, file) (AP)

His ethical standards rarely were questioned. His judgment was the product of studied deliberation and ample give-and-take with advisers. He regularly entertained Democratic leaders at the White House and made a great effort to develop personal relationships over drinks and a game of horseshoes, just as he had in the diplomatic world over many years.

© Betty Tichich, Houston Chronicle 11/10/1980 – Vice-President elect George Bush holds a press conference in Houston before leaving for Washington, DC where he will meet with President-elect Ronald Reagan and begin work on the transition. Betty Tichich / Houston Post

“President Bush was inclined to forgive and forget past slights, defeats, and even outrages,” said longtime aide Chase Untermeyer. “Thus did he offer rides to Maine for Senator George Mitchell, make the daughter of Senator Sam Nunn the head of the Points of Light Foundation, and — to clinch the case — become buddies with Bill Clinton.”

© John Everett, Houston Chronicle PHOTO FILED: GEORGE HW BUSH-GROUP. 11/10/1980 – Vice president-elect George Bush wearing a “Luv ya Blue” vest, enjoys a laugh with NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle during Monday night football game between Houston and New England in the Astrodome.

Bush was by nature a practical manager. He believed his job was to get something done, taking incremental steps when big ones were unobtainable. He had no use for those who would sacrifice progress on the altar of philosophical purity, nor did he regard opponents as enemies.

© ASSOCIATED PRESS Vice President Bush and Panamanian leader Manuel Antonio Noriega are seen at Panama City Airport, Dec. 10, 1983, in a photo from Britain’s Thames Television.

He was defeated in an unusual three-way contest with Democrat Clinton and Texas billionaire Ross Perot — a sour coda to a stellar career. Though he had been ambivalent about even running for reelection, the loss would gnaw on him. He believed that he left the job he signed up for unfinished.

© Bob Daugherty, Associated Press Ronald Reagan State of the Union 1984 – VP George HW Bush; Speaker of the House Thomas “Tip” O’Neill

Even years later, Bush recalled the sick feeling he carried inside for having let down the people who believed in him.

© AP Former Chinese Premier and General Secretary of the Communist Party Zhao Ziyang, right, shakes hands with then Vice President George Bush Jan.11,1984, at a reception in Washington.

“That was the sad part for me,” he told an interviewer, “and I felt very strongly about that. I still do.”

© DC, ASSOCIATED PRESS President Ronald Reagan, left, and Vice President George H. Bush don western-style straw hats presented to them by two cheerleaders at an outdoor political rally on Wednesday, July 25, 1984 in Austin, Texas. Houston Oilers? cheerleader Cathy Ludwig, with Reagan, and University of Texas? cheerleader Leslie Scott, with Bush, made the presentation. (AP Photo)

Bush was born on June 12, 1924 in Milton, Mass., to Prescott and Dorothy Bush, the second of five children, four of them boys. His was an idyllic childhood spent among the nation’s economically privileged, with numerous trips to family estates in Maine and South Carolina.

© Barry Thumma, STF President Reagan and Vice President Bush make an appearance on the North Portico of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Sunday, Jan. 20, 1985 after the President was sworn in for his second term. (AP Photo/Barry Thumma)

Although the hardships of the Great Depression did not severely affect the Bushes, his parents tried to stress that good fortune should not be taken for granted, insisting on modesty at all times, along with concern for those going through hard times. Work mattered. Life, they insisted, was no country club affair.

© Neal Ulevich, ASSOCIATED PRESS U.S. Vice President George Bush, accompanied by Chinese Vice Premier Wan Li, reviews a Chinese armed forces honor guard during a ceremony to welcome him to Peking October 13, 1985.

Bush attended Phillips Academy, a famous boarding school in Andover, Mass., where he excelled academically and athletically. He was a favorite of his classmates, often chosen to captain the teams he was on and known to call out bullies who bedeviled the less popular students.

© Ron Heflin, Associated Press George H W Bush NL Baseball 1986

As he grew to adulthood, he slowly soaked up the history of generations of Walkers and Bushes and began to understand the expectations for those of his class and background — a demand for service to the public good largely divorced from personal gain. It made a deep impression on him.

© MARY URECH ROBERTS, Houston Chronicle 10/12/1987 – Vice President George HW Bush officially launched his 1988 presidential campaign in the main ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The announcement party moved from the ballroom to the hotel’s massive lobby where the elevators were decorated with lights spelling out “Bush 88.” Mary Urech Roberts / Houston Chronicle

“Bush was a figure of an older, fading order of American power,” wrote Bush biographer Jon Meacham in “Dynasty and Power,” a 2015 authorized biography. “When his family and … friends looked at him, they saw a man who could have spent his life making and spending money, but who had chosen to obey the biblical injunction, drilled into him by his parents, that to whom much is given much is expected.”

© Scott Applewhite, ASSOCIATED PRESS Vice President George H.W. Bush sits with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, prior to a breakfast at the Soviet Embassy in Washington on Thursday, Dec. 10, 1987. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Bush’s first great test came as his days at Andover were ending, graduating in the face of a world succumbing to a widening war. He might have been able to use connections for a service academy appointment or a plum job that did not place him in harm’s way. Like many of his friends and others of his class, including Joseph and John Kennedy, he chose the opposite path.

© Jerry Click, HP Staff Then Vice President George Bush serves as grand marshal of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo parade in 1988.

Bush enlisted in the U.S. Navy upon finishing high school in 1942 and hoped to become a pilot. He earned his wings and was commissioned an ensign before his 19th birthday. His wartime duty was spent in the Pacific flying a three-man Avenger torpedo bomber.

© Bruce Bennett, Houston Chronicle 03/08/1988 – Celebrating his Super Tuesday election night victory, Vice President George Bush holds up a “Bush ’88, Texas Victory” t-shirt at the Westin Oaks Hotel ballroom in Houston. The shirt was presented to him by GOP state co-chair, Tom Loeffler. His wife, Barbara, stands beside him. Bruce Bennett / Houston Post

Bush piloted 58 combat missions from the carrier USS San Jacinto, but one stood out. During a Sept. 2, 1944, attack on Japanese positions on Chichi-Jima, one of the Bonin Islands, his Avenger was badly hit by flak. He was able to complete the bombing run but ordered the other two crewmen to “hit the silk” as the plane headed toward the water. He did likewise and was able to haul himself into a life raft after popping up from the sea, dazed and out of breath. His crew mates were never found.

© Craig Hartley, Houston Chronicle 06/09/1988 – Vice President George Bush waves to delegates attending the Texas Republican Party convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Behind him are his wife, Barbara Bush, and Texas GOP Chairman George Strake. Craig Hartley / Houston Post

Bush was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, yet never considered himself a war hero despite the efforts of later political advertising. “They wrote it up as heroism,” Bush said late in his life of the paperwork leading to the decoration, “but it wasn’t — it was just doing your job.”

© Scott Applewhite, ASSOCIATED PRESS Vice President George Bush is nuzzled by granddaughter Marshall Bush as she is hold by Laura Bush on Thursday, Aug. 17, 1988 in New Orleans.

In January 1945, while on leave, Bush wed his pre-war fiancee, Barbara Pierce. The two had met at a dance when he was at Phillips and she at a tony boarding school in South Carolina. Her family, like his, came from old money, and among her ancestors were early New England settlers. A distant relative, Franklin Pierce, was the 14th American president.

© Ira Strickstein, Houston Chronicle 09/22/1988 – Pres. Ronald Reagan and Vice Pres. George Bush at the Brown Convention Center at Republican Victory ’88 fund-raiser for Bush’s campaign for US presidency. Ira Strickstein / Houston Post

After the war, Bush and his new wife moved to New Haven, Conn., where he would begin his college education at Yale, the alma mater of his father and four other relatives.

© Eric Gay, ASSOCIATED PRESS Vice President George Bush tosses a football back to members of the traveling press corps after arriving in Houston on Monday, Nov. 7, 1988. Bush, in the last full day of campaigning, returned to Houston where he will vote on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

He graduated in under three years because of an accelerated program offered to veterans eager to make up for lost time. He again excelled at sports and captained the baseball team, for which he played first base. He was just as adept in the classroom, gaining Phi Beta Kappa distinction and an economics degree. Yet, as he acknowledged, what should have been idyllic college years had been altered by the war. The class of 1948 were serious men intent on getting out and getting going.

© Carlos Antonio Rios, Houston Chronicle CONTACT FILED: GEORGE BUSH. 11/09/1988 – Vice President George Bush press conference day after election for President of the United States. HOUCHRON CAPTION (11/05/2000): None (George Bush Mug) HOUCHRON CAPTION (11/05/2000): Then-President-elect George Bush in 1988 HOUSTON CHRONICLE SPECIAL SECTION/TEXAS MAGAZINE: 100 TALL TEXANS.

As graduation approached, Bush balked at an offer to join a prominent investment bank started by his maternal grandfather. To a friend he wrote that it bothered him to take advantage of “the benefits of my social position.”

© Ed Kolenovsky, ASSOCIATED PRESS Vice President George Bush and wife, Barbara, wave to supporters that turned out in Houston, Tex., to hear him announce he was a candidate for the Republican nomination for president of the United States, Oct. 12, 1987.

A close family friend encouraged him to think of the oil business, which would take him to Texas. Oil drilling was as foreign to him as tightrope walking or fashion design, but it appealed to his taste for risk and held the promise of great wealth.

© Herb Swanson, Associated Press George H W Bush 1988 family at Kennebunkport

In the summer of 1948, Bush loaded up his new Studebaker, a graduation gift, and pointed it southwest, ending up in Odessa several days later. Barbara and their new baby, George, flew down after he had found lodging in a weathered duplex, their first Texas home. Their new life began. The family friend had provided an entry-level sales position with an oilfield tool company, the bottom rung on the ladder. It should be noted this was no ordinary friend — Neil Mallon was the head of Dresser Industries, a leading oilfield equipment company.

© Carlos Rosales, Houston Chronicle Vice President George Bush, right, and Indiana Sen. Dan Quayle wave to the crowd after Bush announced Quayle would be his running mate following a riverboat cruise in New Orleans on Aug. 16, 1988.

By 1950, he, Barbara, and their two young children were living in Midland, where he had formed an oil company with a neighbor, John Overbey. Financial backing came from Bush’s father and some of his father’s friends and business contacts.

© Mark Duncan, Associated Press George H W Bush 1988 family at RNC convention

With no geologic or engineering background, Bush learned the business from the ground up, “walking fields, talking to people, and trying to make deals,” Overbey later recalled in an interview. Three years later, he and Overbey joined up with two brothers, Hugh and William Liedtke, to form Zapata Petroleum. An offshore subsidiary was formed a year later.

© Ira Strickstein, Houston Chronicle 08/27/1988 – Republican presidential candidate George Bush shows his Texas stripes, displaying a pair of cowboy boots emblazoned with the state flag during a Republican Victory 88 meeting at Houston’s Stouffer’s Hotel Saturday, Aug. 27, 1988.

Zapata raised more money and gambled on an interest in a field in Coke County that skeptics claimed was played out. One of the brothers, Bill Liedtke, said years later that the young company drilled 130 wells and never had a dry hole. As for politics, there wasn’t much time for it, though Bush did later mention his modest role as a Republican precinct worker. In one particular primary, he later recalled, perhaps apocryphally, only three GOP voters showed up: him, his wife, and a drunken Democrat who wandered into the wrong polling station.

© Richard Carson, © Houston Chronicle Photographer Richard J. Carson recorded the historical significance of Bush’s acceptance speech and the lighter side of the event 11/08/1988 when Barbara Bush puts her hand over her granddaughter’s yawn as George Bush gives a speech.

Bush enjoyed his time in Midland, learning a business, tending to a growing family and making friends who would prove important later. The closeness of the city’s business community was evident when the Bush family’s life was interrupted by tragedy. The second of the children, daughter Robin, was diagnosed with leukemia in 1953, before the disease became largely curable.

© AP ** FILE ** In this Nov. 9, 1988, President-elect George H. W. Bush holds his hands up to acknowledge the crowds applause, and ask them to allow him to continue his speech during his victory rally with grandson, George P. Bush, right, and son, George W. Bush, left, in Houston, Texas. Bush trounced Michael Dukakis 426-111 in the electoral vote, but the popular vote was closer, 53 percent to 46 percent.

His fledgling business career was all but put on hold for more than six months as he, Barbara and Robin made repeated trips to Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Barbara tried to approach their new circumstances with stoic resolve, to the point of booting visitors out of Robin’s hospital room if they cried. Her husband became increasingly emotional and often was the one who had to leave the room. Robin died later in 1953.

© King Chou Wong, Houston Chronicle 11/09/1988 – President-elect George Bush, his wife, Barbara, and his grandchildren, Jenna (left) and Barbara wave to well-wishers before they board a jet at Ellington Field the day after his election victory. At right can be seen a congratulatory sign prepared by the crew. King Chou Wong / Houston Post

“I hadn’t cried at all when Robin was alive, but after she died, I felt I could cry forever,” she recalled in a 1988 interview with Texas Monthly. “George had a much harder time when she was sick. He was just killing himself, while I was very strong. That’s the way a good marriage works. Had I cried a lot, he wouldn’t have. But then things reversed after she died. George seemed to accept it better.”

© Ron Edmonds, Associated Press George HW Bush being sworn in as President of the United States

The Bushes lived in Midland for almost a decade. It was where he made his first real money — his own money — and where he established his image as a true, if transplanted, Texan, one who could down to a bowl of chili at lunch and a chicken-fried steak at dinner, snacking in between on pork rinds. Everyone in town knew George Bush — “Poppy,” his childhood nickname, had been jettisoned along with the Brooks Brothers suits — but isolated West Texas was not where he needed to be.

© J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE, ASSOCIATED PRESS Former President Ronald Reagan, left, his wife Nancy Reagan, new first lady Barbara Bush and her husband President George Bush, right, walk down the Capitol steps after the inaugural ceremony in Washington, D.C., Friday, Jan. 20, 1989. President Bush was sworn in as the nation’s 41st president. The Reagans are heading to an awaiting helicopter to take them to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and onto California. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

A disagreement over the direction of the company led Bush to buy out the other investors in Zapata Offshore in 1959, and he soon moved the company to Houston.

© Hearst Newspapers President and Mrs. Bush walk along Pennsylvania Avenue after the President’s Inauguration on January 20, 1989.

During the early 1960s, Bush began to feel the political itch, or to be more precise, respond to an itch that had been there for years, and waded into a successful race for Harris County GOP Chairman to make sure it did not fall into the hands of perceived extremists in the party’s right wing, many of whom were members of the conspiracy-hawking John Birch Society.

© Hearst Newspapers Barbara Bush had a reputation as a grandmotherly figure when her husband took office in 1989, but she proved that grandmothers can be fashionable in this royal blue gown with velvet bodice, square neck and diagonal dropped waist designed by Arnold Scaasi.

Perhaps because his father had just left the U.S. Senate, Bush then brashly decided to take on incumbent U.S. Sen. Ralph Yarborough in 1964.

© Hulton Archive, Getty Images Portrait of the forty-first president of the United States George Bush, circa 1989.

Though little known outside of Houston and Midland, Bush campaigned vigorously as a different sort of Republican, less in step with the northeastern wing of his father and closer to the politics of Barry Goldwater and George Wallace. He went full-tilt conservative, opposing, among other socially progressive initiatives, the pending Civil Rights Act.

© BARRY THUMMA, ASSOCIATED PRESS Republican National Committee Chairman Lee Atwater, left, attends a meeting with Pres. Bush and Republican congressional leaders at the White House, March 8, 1989.

Yarborough portrayed Bush as an extremist and won easily, gaining 56 percent of the vote as Lyndon Johnson swamped Goldwater in the presidential race.

© Barry Thumma, ASSOCIATED PRESS President George H.W. Bush turns and shakes hand with House Speaker Jim Wright of Texas after he announced in the White House briefing room in Washington, on Friday, March 24, 1989 that he is unveiling a Bipartisan Contra aid plan as the first plank of his emerging foreign policy. Center is Secretary of State James Baker and left is House Minority Leader Robert Michel of Ill.

After his defeat, Bush struggled to reconcile his moderate views with an election that had seen him embrace, however tentatively, an anti-progressive tone and a segregationist posture.

© Ron Edmonds, ASSOCIATED PRESS President George H.W. Bush holds one of first dog Millie’s six puppies for the press on Wednesday, March 29, 1989 at the White House in Washington.

“This mean, humorless philosophy which says everybody should agree on absolutely everything is not good for the Republican Party or our state,” Bush wrote to a friend after the loss. “When the word moderate becomes a dirty word, we have some soul-searching to do.”

© Barry Thumma, AP President George H.W. Bush lets loose of a horseshoe during the dedication of the new horseshoe pit on the White House lawn Saturday April 1, 1989 in Washington. Other people are unidentified.

In November 1966, Bush ran for Congress and won, becoming the first Republican from Houston and the star of the growing Texas GOP. He ended up with a plum appointment to the Ways and Means committee — a party nod to the importance of Texas. His voting record was predictably conservative, though not as hard right as his previous rhetoric suggested, and he ended up voting for the Civil Rights Act, as a result receiving stacks of hate mail and some death threats.


Mike Tolson is a senior Chronicle reporter who specializes in long-term projects. He can be reached by e-mail at








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Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility define the Tibetan Living Experience. Tibetans pray to their Mountains to receive the Blessings for Peace. I am praying to Tibet’s Mountains to give us Justice in addition to Peace.

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada


12 Colorful Paintings of Tibet’s Mountains

The painting – titled “Tangla. The Song about Shambhala” – shows a mythical paradise. Shambhala is believed to be the birthplace of Kalki, the tenth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Clipped from:

From the meandering Brahmaputra River winding its way through the Himalayas to the magnificent vision of the Kangchenjunga melding with the sky above, here are some colorful and dramatic paintings of Tibet’s mountains.

© Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Brahmaputra River is shown flowing through a path between lofty mountain peaks in this painting titled “Brahmaputra.”. (Found in the collection of State Museum of Oriental Art in Moscow, Russia.)

© Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

A painting showing the peaks of the Himalayan ranges. (Found in the collection of State Museum of Oriental Art.)

© Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

A canvas detailing the landscape of Ladakh. (Found in the collection of State Museum of Oriental Art.)

© Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

The painting – titled “Tangla. The Song about Shambhala” – shows a mythical paradise. Shambhala is believed to be the birthplace of Kalki, the tenth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. (Found in the collection of State Museum of Oriental Art.)

© Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

An illustration titled “Flowers of Timur (Victory Lights).” (Found in State Museum of Oriental Art.)

© Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

A 1944 painting by Nicholas Roerich titled “Baralacha.” (From a private collection.)

© Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

A 1924 work titled “Padma Sambhava.” Padmasambhava was an Indian sage who is said to have introduced Tantric Buddhism to Bhutan and Tibet in the eighth century. (Found in the collection of the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York City, New York, U.S.)

© Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

An illustration, titled “Kangchenjunga,” of world’s third highest mountain. (Found in the collection of the International Centre of the Roerichs in Moscow.)

© Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

A mystical painting of the Himalayas dating back to 1943. (Found in the collection of the International Centre of the Roerichs.)

© Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

“The Giant” shows the magnificence of the mountains. (Fond in the collection of State Museum of Oriental Art.)

© Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

An artwork titled “The Silver Kingdom” showing snowy ridges. (Found in the collection of State Museum of Oriental Art.)


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Tibet Separatism is just a Natural Phenomenon.

In my analysis, Tibet Separatism is just a natural phenomenon for it is entirely derived from the actions of various Natural Forces acting over thousands of years to create the separate Tibetan Identity which refuses to merge with identities of other foreign nationalities. Tibetan Identity will always exist as a ‘Separate’ Identity and no man will be able to wipe it out by building roads, bridges, railways, airports to plunder the natural resources of Tibetan Plateau. Tibetan Separatism does not constitute any kind of political activity. In fact, Tibetan Separatism represents the reality of Independence granted by the works of Mother Nature.

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada


Dalai Lama a political exile, engaged in separatist activities: China | world news | Hindustan Times

Clipped from:

China insists Tibet has been part of its territory for centuries, but many Tibetans claim they were essentially independent for most of that time

Press Trust of India


Tibet Separatism is just a Natural Phenomenon.

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama interacts with the leaders of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) at his residence, in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, on October 24. (HT File Photo)

China on Tuesday hit out at the Dalai Lama who is on a visit to Japan, saying that countries should not facilitate the Tibetan spiritual leader’s “separatist activities”.

On the Dalai Lama’s reported comments that China and Tibet should co-exist and prosper together, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said here that the Tibet issue is an internal matter of Beijing.

“As for the Dalai Lama’s speech, it is not up to me to answer this question. I can tell you that the 14th Dalai Lama is a political exile and he is engaged in separatist activities,” he said.

“We hope the relevant parties will not provide facilitation for his separatist activities,” he said.

China insists Tibet has been part of its territory for centuries, but many Tibetans claim they were essentially independent for most of that time. The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 amid an abortive uprising against Chinese rule in his Himalayan homeland.

The Dalai Lama is on a 10-day teaching tour of Japan. China routinely objects to his foreign visits.

First Published: Nov 20, 2018 18:24 IST

Tibet Separatism is just a Natural Phenomenon.


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On Thursday, November 22, 2018, Thanksgiving Day, I want to share my thoughts on the ‘Social’ dimension of man’s existence in the natural world. Man’s mental health and well-being are determined by his ability to formulate harmonious social relations. Man uses food and drink as tools to develop and to sustain his social relationships. But, man’s interconnectedness goes beyond the boundaries of societal relationships.

In my analysis, the singular reality called Man represents a biological or biotic community of independent, individual cells apart from trillions of individual microorganisms that man hosts by providing them food and shelter all the time.

The Tradition of Thanksgiving Day

The tradition of Thanksgiving Day – Man lives by giving Thanks during all days of his life.

In the United States, Thanksgiving is an annual holiday observed on the fourth Thursday of November. It is a day of feasting, and it often serves as a public expression of thanks to God in the form of a prayerful eating of food. It commemorates the Pilgrims’ celebration of the good harvest and a friendly relationship between Plymouth Colonists and Native Americans in 1621. The first national Thanksgiving Day, proclaimed by President George Washington was celebrated on November 26, 1789. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving an annual holiday.


The word “Thanks” is used to acknowledge the feelings of gratitude for a benefit that we have received; grateful acknowledgment of something received by or done for one. Giving thanks is an act that reveals the spiritual nature of a relationship between two or more entities involved in interactions. The term ‘spiritual’ describes the nature of a relationship, partnership, an association, or bonding between two living entities based upon characteristics such as cooperation, mutual assistance, tolerance, sympathy, compassion, voluntary subservience, and functional subordination to provide some benefit to the members of a biotic community participating in the biotic interactions at a given place, and in a given environment. The human organism represents a biotic community of interacting living cells. It is estimated that the human body consists of about 100 trillion cells, and the human body carries about ten times as many bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. These microbes are important to the health of humans. The man has no cortical awareness of the colonization of his body by microbial flora and has no direct awareness of the biotic interactions that take place inside his gut. The biotic interactions between the gut cells of the human body and the bacterial cells have the characteristics of spiritual biotic interactions.

Living cells have a corporeal substance called Protoplasm or Cytoplasm that demonstrates the ability that I choose to describe as Spiritual Biotic Interactions. The Biological Membrane or Cell Membrane separates the cell from its environment and other living cells present in the environment. Cells use unique proteins, biological molecules and receptor sites to recognize the other living cells and use chemical signals to facilitate the interactions. Such interactions between living cells involve cognitive abilities, the characteristics of consciousness or awareness.

The biotic interactions take place at the cellular level and are dependent upon the conscious nature of living cell that gives it the ability to recognize the presence of other living cells in its external environment. The anatomical organ known as the brain does not play any role in these spiritual biotic interactions inside the human gastrointestinal tract. Each time we eat a meal, consume any food or drink, the act of eating gets transformed into ‘Thanksgiving’. The man has no choice and has no control over the beneficial effects his eating contributes to the microbial flora of the gut with whom he had established a mutually beneficial social relationship. Whether he likes it or not, whether he knows it or not, man lives by providing a Thanksgiving meal during all the days of his existence. Each meal functions as a serving of ‘Gratitude’. While his existence is dependent upon Lord God Creator’s Power/Force/Energy known as Mercy, Compassion, Grace, and ‘KRUPA’, the man may or may not publicly express his thanks in acknowledgment of that Compassion. However, man has no escape from the act of giving thanks and living as a Natural Host to trillions of unknown microbes.


The idea of giving thanks to God is associated with the fact of celebrating the success of a bountiful harvest. Man expresses joy and happiness for success in his physical and mental endeavors. The success is often measured by the gain in material prosperity, social position and public acclaim. The desire for success is often driven by ambition, a craving for a desired object called success. It gives the impression that man would be forced to experience pain, misery, sorrow, and despair if he encounters failure in his physical and mental work. I ask readers to examine the reality or the truth that establishes man’s biological existence in the physical world. The man may try his very best to define the purpose of his mortal existence or his Essence in terms of his physical and mental output. Man is conditioned to think that his experience of joy and happiness in life is a simple product of his physical and mental work. In my opinion, man is conditioned by Fear, the fear of failure in his struggle for Existence. When properly examined, it must be recognized that human existence primarily involves what may be called Divine Grace, Mercy, and Compassion or Providence. Human Existence shows the characteristics of a design, or plan to achieve a desired goal or objective. For man need not struggle to keep his existence, there is no need to fear and man has no reason to strive to avoid failure in life. When the expectation about failure is emptied from the mind, man liberates himself from the thoughts of fear. In the absence of fear, and in the absence of the expectation of failure, man finds the experience of a living condition that is characterized by Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility. Without the experience of peace, harmony, and tranquility in the living condition, there will be no true or real joy and happiness in life. The Freedom from Fear, the lack of concern about an outcome that could be called Failure gives the man a true ability to give Thanks to God for His benevolent guidance. Today, in giving Thanks to God, I want to proclaim my Victory over Fear, the Fear of Failure in my life.

I extend my best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving Day to all of my readers.

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,

Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,

M.B.B.S. Class of April 1970.


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I am opposing China’s Belt and Road Initiative as it is not consistent with the plan to secure “Meaningful Autonomy” to resolve ‘The Great Tibet Problem.


Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada






China’s BRI will lead to subjugation of Tibet


Clipped from:

Washington, Nov 18: China’s Belt and Road initiative will lead to colonization, subjugation of Tibet and exploitation of natural resources in the region, the head of the Tibetan Government in exile has said.

Touted as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) focuses on improving connectivity and cooperation among Asian countries, Africa, China and Europe.

Lobsang Sangay

“Tibet is the blueprint of the BRI. Our experience with the road initiative connecting China with Tibet has not been good,” Lobsang Sangay, the president of the Central Tibetan Administration told PTI in an interview during his visit to Washington DC this week.

“One road lead to hundreds of roads in Tibet now, routes, and one railway is leading to three or four railways. One airport led to 30 airports six military airfields. Conveniently, all these roads, railways and airport are connected to haul out natural resources and minerals from Tibet,” he explained.

This, he said, is very damaging to water, air and land of Tibet.

“For us, one road leads to the colonization of the Tibet, one road leads to extraction of all kinds of minerals and natural resources. Hence, for us, the one road leads to net loss,” Sangay said in response to a question.

Making a strong case against China’s ambitions BRI initiatives, Sangay in his interaction with the American leadership told them they need to see what happened with Tibet due to the BRI. He told the American leadership that the world should learn from the Tibetan experience, so they can avoid it.
“That’s my advice,” he said.