Lincoln Review

Document Sample
Lincoln Review Powered By Docstoc
					                                   Volume 10
                                    Number 3
                                  May-June 2006




                  Lincoln
                  Review
                                                         Letter®
Editor’s Comment
                Rukeyser: Voice for a Brighter Tomorrow
    Our friend Lou Rukeyser died the first day of May from complications related to a
rare multiple myeloma or bone marrow cancer. He was 73 and had not appeared on
television or radio since October 21, 2003. But it may be a long time, indeed, before
anyone matches his accomplishments for he truly was a giant in the field of economic
reporting. America’s thriving investment success in attracting half the adult population of
the nation to own a piece of the market, is, in large part, the result of his work.
    There are several reasons for Lou’s phenomenal domination of a field where few
electronic journalists and market analysts have dared to go.
    He had a great respect for the ever-growing middle class, which had long been ignored
or treated as “country cousins” by Wall Street.
    He had a knack for explaining the stock market, investing and economics in language
everyone could most easily understand.
    He was able to portray and interview the biggest names in stocks, bonds and the world
of finance as accomplished and brainy people who were essentially like all of the rest of
us.
    And Lou was a common sense optimist with a strong enough persona to artfully
employ humor to bring gloomy or haughty guests on his program down a peg or two
when they tended to sally forth on the wings of their own self-importance.
    He was, of course, the man who, in 1970, took an imaginative television idea on
Maryland Public Television (MPT), under the title “Wall Street Week” and made it into
the biggest hit in economic programming and second longest running (“60 Minutes” is
first) TV program in history. Though his early career included Baltimore Evening Sun
assignments to far-flung posts around the world beginning in 1954, my awareness of Lou
began early in 1970 when I heard his commentaries on ABC Radio.
                               (Continued on Page Two)
Page Two                            May-June 2006                              LR Letter

Editor’s Comment
                Rukeyser: Voice for a Brighter Tomorrow
                               (Continued from Page One)
   His views also attracted me in the New York Daily News his message was essentially
conservative, concise and convincing. One day I called him at ABC and invited him to be
one of the speakers in a brand new (and only) lecture bureau based in Washington, D.C.,
established by editor-writer-publisher and public relations specialist Lee Edwards and
myself.
   My pitch: “Hi, I’m Jay Parker with the American Speakers Bureau in Washington. I
like what you say on the radio, so how would you like to make a lot of money?” That got
Lou’s attention and he signed on with ASB, along with Dr. Russell Kirk, Professor
Milton Friedman, journalist Nick Thimmesch and many others.
   When asked how much he thought he was worth, Lou said he didn’t know so I
suggested $250 per engagement at the outset. Within a few years, Lou was requiring
$25,000 per, along with private auto and driver and first-class travel. Furthermore, he did
not want to travel outside the Eastern time zone since, he noted: “I have to be at MPT
every Friday afternoon.
   When the Lincoln Institute was organized in 1978, co-founder Lee Edwards and I set
out to form a national advisory board and contacted a large number of our friends across
the country. I wrote Lou and he accepted with enthusiasm.
   A Year later, my wife, Dolores, and I visited Lou at the MPT Studios in Owings Mills,
MD, on a Friday afternoon. We must have spent two or more hours with him, talking
about the Institute and the rising black conservative movement. He offered to write at
least two columns in the Daily News about the Institute and sought my advice, as well,
about several unrelated items, including who should be the first black and the first female
panelists on Wall Street Week.
   I recommended a black vice president at Chase Manhattan Bank, Wendell Willkie
Gunn, another Lincoln Institute advisory board member and a lady named Julia
Montgomery Walsh. Mrs. Walsh was the first woman to head a stock brokerage firm on
the East Coast. Julia’s husband, Thomas Walsh and I were members of the Kiwanis Club
of Washington, D.C., and Tom was also a past president of the Greater Washington
Board of Trade of which I was also a member. Julia was in line to be president of that
organization as well.
   Lou chose Mrs. Walsh to be monthly panelist on his program but for his first black
panelist he chose Eddie Brown, a key figure at T. Rowe Price since both were situated in
the greater Baltimore area near MPT. Lou didn’t choose Wendell Gunn because he would
have to travel from New York City and might be caught in wintry weather delays.
   Rukeyser and Rush Limbaugh have been generally acknowledged to be masters at
their trade. Lou certainly made the stock market and financial issues respectable,
audience-attracting and profitable just as Rush resurrected and popularized AM and talk
radio programming. In contrast to the cacophony of a current crop of financial analysts
on TV, Lou Rukeyser intelligently educated and entertained America for 32 great years.
LR Letter                           May-June 2006                               Page Three

               Americans Are the World’s Greatest Givers
   What has long been a fair guess has now been confirmed. Despite the mean spirited
U.S. critics at the United Nations and Europeans obsessed with resentment for America
on any subject line, the highly respected “think-tank” – The Hudson Institute – has now
released its 2006 Global Philanthropy Index , confirming that private sector American
institutions and individuals generously contribute to helping the world’s poor at a rate
that far exceeds any government aid anywhere in the world.
   United Nations criticism of U.S. giving in the past has been based solely on federal
government totals with no accounting for that which comes from the private sector. Add
the two together and no other nation or no two countries combined come near, for
example, the 2004 total of $19.7 billion in U.S. government assistance and the $71 billion
in private charity, says the Hudson research.
   What is especially important is the fact that “private sector” charity includes, schools,
churches, businesses, families and foundations – in other words: everyone. This is as it
should be for the Bible certainly makes it clear that charity is virtually the highest
expression of love and certainly a major manifestation of a Christian’s performance.

                        “The Keeper of the Flame”
    One has to be grateful for biographer Henry Mark Holzer for writing an insightful
study of some 300 Supreme Court cases in which Justice Clarence Thomas’ opinions are
the principal focus of consideration. And we are equally appreciative of the fact that the
distinguished scholar, analyst and columnist of the Hoover Institution at Stanford
University in Palo Alto, California, Thomas Sowell, seems to be first on the scene to
review the work.
    As soon as we have the opportunity we’ll read and review the Holzer effort ourselves,
but for now, looking at highlights cited by Sowell, it was of particular interest to see that
a theme ever present in the Justice’s view of things from that august bench is that “it is
not a judge’s job to make social policy – and that much harm can result when they try.”
    Also, “The outcome of constitutional cases ought to rest on firmer ground than the
personal preferences of judges.” Writes Sowell: “That firmer ground is the original
meaning of the law when it was passed. If that meaning needs to be changed then it is up
to elected officials to change it, not judges…. When legislators change a law, that change
is announced, so that everyone knows what is and is not illegal from now on. But when
judges change the law by reinterpreting it, based on the ‘evolving standards’ of a ‘living
constitution,’ nobody knows that they have violated the law until after the fact, when it is
to late.
    In a Texas case, Justice Thomas observed that had he been a legislator in that state he
would have favored the legislation but as a member of the high court he was voting only
on the constitutionality of the act not his preferences as a Justice. In the example
mentioned, he actually did decide that the law being contested was, in fact, constitutional.
    Sowell, like biographer Holzer, is both grateful and admiring of Justice Thomas’
averts or greatly minimizes the “fog of rhetoric” where direct language provides clarity.
Page Four                               May-June 2006                                    LR Letter

                 Are The Persians in a Repeat Performance?
    The repertory Washington, D.C. Shakespeare Theater presented a famous production in April
that the producer rather hoped, we are told, would reflect or encourage anti-Iraq War sentiments
in the audience. For some astute, history-conscious observers, it may, instead, have better
prepared and even justified a possible “first strike,” perhaps by Israel, against Iran’s nuclear
weapons development processing that sorely vexes those who remember or have studied the
account of 1939 Nazi Germany before its invasion of Poland and the start of World War Two.
    A great series of Greek dramatists began with Aeschylus in the Fifth Century B.C. and his
second play was and is one of the greatest of Greek dramas – and, also, one of the few to focus on
and memorialize actual historical events as opposed to describing mythical powers, relationships
and accomplishments of Greek gods and goddesses.
    The April 2006 Aeschylus play in question, “The Persians,” was presented to a jubilantly
victorious society in Athens in 472 B.C., eight years after the mightiest empire of the era – that of
the Persian King Darius and his son, Xerxes – was vanquished by bands of lightly-armed, only
moderately-trained and outnumbered warriors. The first setback came at Athenian-defended
Marathon. A second shock occurred when the Persians were stoutly resisted for three days by just
300 Spartans at the narrow pass of Thermopylae. After Darius died and his son, Xerxes,
regrouped Persian forces and led an estimated million men to finish off upstart Greek city states
and the nascent realms of the Mediterranean world, an unnoticed Greek fleet was cobbled
together, causing the most crushing defeat of all for the Persians at the naval battle of Salamis.
    Defeats such as the above were almost unheard of in ancient pre-Roman or pre-Christian
times. Aeschylus, a veteran of that War employed the unusual technique of having the play be
________________________________________ the reaction of the defeated Persians whose
       LINCOLN REVIEW Letter ®                         agony exacerbates as they face the awful
  is published by The Lincoln Institute       realization that their own arrogance
       for Research and Education®            in reaching far beyond the boundaries
 P.O. Box 254 – 13015 Georgetown Pike         of their empire without sizing up the
     Great Falls, Virginia 22066-2415          people and states they sought to
          A 501c(3) organization.              conquer, bit off more than they could chew.
 The Lincoln Institute was founded in 1978       As Xerxes mother, Queen Atossa, and the
 to promote individual economic indepen-       palace functionaries gather in their capital,
 dence, traditional values, a strong national   Susa to await details of what is already
 defense and limited government.                rumored to be news of a defeat, a mes-
LINCOLN REVIEW & The Lincoln Institute senger arrives to bring “tidings of high
for Research and Education, Inc., are duly      import” and declares to a fearful audience:
registered trademarks                             “Woe to the towns through Asia’s
   J.A. (Jay) Parker, Editor & Publisher                   peopled realms! Woe to the land of
       ASSOCIATE EDITORS                                   Persia, once the port of boundless
         Allan C. Brownfeld                                wealth, how is thy glorious state
John Fulton Lewis     Edward C. Smith                      vanished at once, and all thy spread-
      ISSN Number 0192-5083                                ing honors fallen, lost!”
    Subscription: $12.00 Per Year                        Some serious playgoers can’t help thinking
       PHONE: (703) 759-4278                           an over-zealous Persia (Iran) today tempts a
         www.LincolnReview.com                         similar fate as it threatens Israel and others.
LR Letter                              May-June 2006                                  Page Five

                     Quick Takes on the Passing Parade
    Jean-Francois (Ricard) Revel, the great French conservative thinker and pro-American
among the so-called 40 “immortals” of the Academie Francaise, which protects the purity of the
French language, died April 30, at 82. His last great book (he wrote 30 of them on a wide
assortment of topics) came out in 2002 and attacked, in title and text, the anti-American obsession
that is so pointless yet dominates western European thinking in recent years. In 1997, in
collaboration with his son, Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, he wrote “The Monk and the
Philosopher.” Revel’s true family name was Ricard but for reasons not known, he changed it
many years ago.
    As a scholar and modern version of a true Renaissance Man, Revel used his command of his
language and ideas to fight against European flirtation with communism following World War
Two. In a National Review article in 2000, he lamented: “The totalitarian phenomenon is not to
be understood without making allowance for the thesis that some important part of every society
consists of people who actively want tyranny, either to exercise it themselves or – much more
mysteriously – to submit to it. Democracy will therefore always remain at risk.”
                                          -000-
    Florence Mars, died April 23rd at age 82. Her book, “Witness in Philadelphia” in 1977,
chronicled the arduous effort to register black voters in her hometown of Philadelphia,
Mississippi, in the 1960s that culminated in the disappearance and death of three civil rights
workers in 1964. She was one of a handful of white citizens in the town, under threat of a Ku
Klux Klan reprisal, to help the FBI investigate the crime.
                                           -000-
    Robert Carleson, credited with designing the revamping of California’s public welfare
program during the 1960s’ administration of Governor Ronald Reagan and, in the 1980s, as a
special assistant to President Reagan, developing much of the foundation on which welfare
reform subsequently gained bi-partisan support in the Bush-Clinton-Bush years, died April 21, at
age 75.
                                            -000-
    John Kenneth Galbraith – dying in the last week of April at age 98 - unquestionably had a
long life as an intellectual icon of the liberal political establishment. He was a top Harvard
economist and an advisor to Democratic candidates and nominees for President (Adlai Stevenson
in the 1950s and Eugene McCarthy) and President (John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.
Columnist George Will noted, in his obituary, that Galbraith’s book, “The Affluent Society,” first
out in 1958, “was a milestone on liberalism’s transformation into a doctrine of
condescension…and into a minority persuasion.”
    Galbraith also served as Ambassador to India, a role also filled by another of his liberal
compatriots, Senator Patrick Moynihan of New York. At the end of the 1950s, after their idolized
hero and Democratic Party presidential nominee Stevenson had twice been defeated by Dwight
Eisenhower, the liberal wing of the Party was deeply discouraged and chose to disdain the
“common man” voter who had been the mainstay of Depression resurgence by the Democrats of
the New Deal and Roosevelt era.
                                     -000-
   John Carbaugh, dead at 60 from a brain aneurysm and staph infection, served as a
foreign policy advisor to Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), from 1974-1982. He helped
fashion the anti-communist Cold War strategies that were victorious in the late 1980s.
Page Six                              May-June 2006                                   LR Letter

           Un-studied History: Today’s Borderland Dilemma
                                   by John Fulton Lewis
   Since so many U.S. public schools from the Mid-Atlantic states to California seem reluctant to
offer history and geography as serious subjects for learning any more, younger generations of
Americans often have weak anchors of understanding in the current national debate over what to
do about our nation’s 12-million illegal immigrants already here or how America should stem the
flow and secure its 1,951-mile border with Mexico to shut down the arrival of any more. But
historical ignorance is no excuse for the present array of seemingly disoriented lawmakers who
went to school when those vital subjects were taught, but now flail in search of “quick fix”
solutions to the immigration crisis in time for this fall’s elections.
    Most white Americans today trace their family origins to Europe. An important minority in
Mexico, Central and South America are fully entitled to do the same. They or their ancestors
came from the Iberian Peninsula – Spain and Portugal – since they were the Western world’s first
government-sponsored, trans-ocean explorers and literally “found” the New World.
   When election day 2006 rolls around in the U.S. this fall, it will be, almost to the hour, the
487th anniversary of the first landing of modern era Europeans on what would become the
American side of the Rio Grande River, which would eventually be accepted as the southwestern
border of Texas and the northern boundary of Mexico. These first white men came from their
advanced culture by way of the Spanish colony of Jamaica seventy years before England’s Sir
Francis Drake blew the Spanish Armada out of the water in the vicinity of the English Channel.
   This arrival in the Rio Grande in 1519 followed by 27 years the voyage and “discovery” of our
Hemisphere by Christopher Columbus. This newest band of discoverers was led by Captain
Alonso Alvarez de Pineda who, with some 270 Spanish warriors in four ships of the line, was
rudely discouraged from landing on the Gulf coast of Mexico by another Spaniard named
Hernando Cortez who had some power and fortune-hunting plans of his own and had no tolerance
for competitors in his quest. By 1519, Cortez had already curried the favor of Aztec king
Montezuma and was carefully plotting his own ascension, on behalf of the King of Spain, as
conqueror of the Mexican realm.
    To avoid pointless conflict, Alvarez’ fleet moved northward along Mexico’s Gulf coast and
entered the mouth of the Rio Grande, captaining his ships some miles inland so he could land on
the northeast shoreline where a suitable camp for his men was established and where the vessels
could be careened for repairs while he explored the nearby countryside. He made no formal claim
of Spanish authority upon the site. Thus did a significant force of European adventurers first land
on an uncontested strip if shoreline inland from the seas of the world, north of the natural
northern border of Aztec Mexico.
                                            -000-
   Considering some of the facts of America’s current dilemma in 2006, unlike the ocean-
crossing, human migrations to the shores of the United States, before and since the U.S. became a
nation, those who come from our North American neighbors and major trading partners – Canada
and Mexico – have only to step across a defined and surveyed property line. In crossing oceans,
those who are seeking a new home, a new opportunity and a new life are effectively saying
goodbye to their “roots.” However, in the case of many Mexicans and French Canadians, this
means stepping back into territory their ancestors used to think of as their own before wars and
agreements reached in the 18th and 19th centuries finalized the boundaries of the American
Republic, north and south. And in the process of crossing they remain only a step away from the
soils of their native lands.     (Continued on Page Seven)
LR Letter                            May-June 2006                                Page Seven

          Un-studied History: Today’s Borderland Dilemma
                              (Continued from Page Six)
    Long before white people populated any part of the Americas, north, south or central, the
Aztec and Mayan antecedents of many Mexican families today, sent representatives and traders to
places now called Nevada, Colorado, California, Arizona and New Mexico, in the search for
precious stones - especially the favored turquoise - as well as metals silver and gold.
    In the Atlantic Monthly magazine for May, 2006, from a study by Mark Cooper entitled
“Exodus,” we learn that today’s desperation among impoverished Mexicans - where hope of
change and progress has long since evaporated, thanks to a government mired in nearly a century
of corruption and neglect - makes the lure of freedom and a better life worth any risk.
    Cooper reports that since the going rate per individual, for crossing the border illegally, is
$1,500 – a sum that almost no Mexican illegal migrant to the U.S.A. can afford up front - the so-
called coyote agent contractors, who guide “clients” through the treacherous cross-over, are
providing long-term installment plans so their “clients” can make monthly payments (with
interest) after securing U.S. jobs. Any clients “lost,” because of death or capture, are listed by
coyote contractors as part of the “cost involved in doing dangerous business.”
    An estimated 40,000 “migrants” each month are making the exodus to the promising land of
hope, opportunity and money. Writes Cooper: “When they (migrants) realize that it’s only the
width of a river- or a 12-foot wall, or three strands of cattle wire, or a three-day walk, for that
matter – that separates them from a First World economy and some reasonable chance at a future,
they push north.” Bowden says “the largest cross-border human migration in history” is occurring
because U.S. farm labor wages are 20 times more than in Mexico and American manufacturing
jobs pay over ten times more.
    Fabled agricultural earnings are available to Mexicans because the world’s greatest
agricultural economy – especially as represented by the specialty vegetable and fruit crop states
of California and New Jersey – can’t find U.S. workers willing and able to do the long hours of
field-laboring required in efficient cultivating and harvesting required. Bowden emphasizes that
the only way the U.S. can effectively stem the immigrant tide from Mexico and Central America
for an extended period would be to lower American wages to the level paid in Vietnam! Just
imagine the inducement of a $60 to $70 per day wage picking grapes in California wine country
for a Mexican who presently earns $4 a day in the hot sun of his country’s cornfields.
                                            -000-
    Analyst George Friedman, with a Geopolitical Intelligence Report April 4, 2006, entitled
“Borderlands and Immigrants” says the national policy debate “fails to take fundamental
geopolitical realities into account.”.
    He writes: “The U.S.-Mexican frontier is a borderland. The United States…conquered the
region in the period between the Texan revolution (1835-36) and the Mexican-American war
(1846-48). As a result…the border moved and areas that had been Mexican territory became part
of the United States….The border was a political dividing line but was never a physical division;
the area north of the border retained a certain Mexican presence, while the area south of the
border became heavily influenced by American culture.” Then Friedman adds: “We are in a
period, as happens with borderlands, when major population shifts are under way. This should not
be understood as immigration…in the same sense that we talk about immigration from, say,
Brazil, where the geographical relationship between migrant and home country is ruptured.”
    Friedman contends that borderland immigration must now be treated separately by Congress
and the White House from immigration per se, because the issues involved are very different.
Page Eight                               May-June 2006                                 LR Letter

                         At Gallaudet It’s Déjà vu…Again
     Almost 20 years after the Gallaudet University for the Hearing Impaired student body
protested the selection of a highly esteemed but non-deaf President of the college, by blocking
traffic, entrances to the University and appearances on every television and radio program, then
available to publicity seekers, we are now experiencing a very similar situation…and similar in a
large number of respects. Why?
    Because it reveals again -- especially if the non-deaf public didn’t understand the protest the
first time -- there was and is a cultural debate over what it means to be "deaf enough." This part
should sound familiar with respect to the civil rights movement (1950s through the 1970s) when
certain blacks were accused of not being "black enough."
    I am not only a surviving eyewitness of the first Gallaudet uprising. I was a member of the
Gallaudet Board of Directors at the time. Like the civil rights movement, the "deaf now"
movement, with its factions, has tended to confuse outsiders who were not and are not today,
familiar with the divisions and subtle nuances involved.
    The civil rights movement had its eight prominent national black fraternities and sororities
along with the National Urban League(NUL), National Business League(NBL), National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People(NAACP), Congress On Racial Equality
(CORE), The National Baptist Convention and other black denominational groups. The
movement also had supporters in The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the
Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC}, The Black Panthers and others.
    All of the groups attempted to speak for America's black community and they all wanted to
define the black community according to their agendas. While the black community was faced
with the issues of a color-blind society, economic development, entrepreneurship, political and
academic leadership, there were those who resisted competing in the larger world.
    So it is with the deaf community with the changes caused by technology and science. Radio
star Rush Limbaugh gave prominence to the technology of cochlear implants. This allows the
deaf to join the mainstream community and oddly many in the deaf world do not seem to want to
leave their ghetto of handicap and self-framed sense of victimization. The divisions and
disagreements that result, are fragmenting the deaf community today as they did in the early
1980s.
    Twenty years ago I sensed something was brewing but didn't quite know what it was. I'm a
slow learner!                                                                                JAP

                    Blood Pressure Caused Booker T.’s Death
   After nearly a century of guess work, some of it mean-spirited, the cause of death in 1915 for
the great educator and black civil rights advocate, Booker T. Washington, has been finally
determined. It was, indeed, the result of “racial characteristics” as the doctor who presided at
Booker’s bedside indicated. But it was not because of unsavory interpretations of the euphemism
often intended to besmirch the reputation or moral character of black leaders at the time.
   A “racial characteristic” in medical terminology could be a number of gene-determined health
susceptibilities for black Americans and, as a race, people of African descent are prone to blood
pressure. But in the first half of the 20th Century, sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis
were often listed as a “characteristic” of the black community and some white supremacists and a
few jealous blacks weren’t hesitant to suggest the worst about Washington who taught himself to
read and write and went on to become the first president of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. For
many decades, Tuskegee was America’s most prestigious college for blacks.