Monthly Archives: January 2011

Let freedom ring! A great nation struggles in the streets to be born. Egypt, January, 2011.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

An event of world significance is playing out right this minute in Cairo and throughout the country. A great nation with a legendary, larger-than-life past is fighting to be born, fighting for the rights of oppressed millions, no longer content merely to yearn to be free. They want the real thing… and they want it now.

Feckless adolescents, young men and women without even a prayer for the future, businessmen tired of being shaken down by a voracious regime, women enraged at permanent second-class status, the children of ignorance and irredeemable poverty and political servitude. These are the people who are carrying the revolution on their backs. They have been patient, gullible, long suffering. And now they want revenge… and a better life.

It is dangerous! It is perilous! It is magnificent… and the heart of every freedom loving being on this planet goes out to them. We are watching and applauding, transfixed, as the little people, the common people, so wanting liberty that they risk even the little they have, are carried away by a thrill those accustomed to freedom can only imagine.

Luckily we have William Wordsworth’s celebrated sentiments on the French Revolution to guide us. (The Prelude, published 1798).

Oh! pleasant exercise of hope and joy!… Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven!

And so these young must feel, for it is primarily the young leading the day, exultantly so, in days of animal courage, boldness, high sentiments and — so far — every possibility of hitherto unimaginable success.

These are the heroes of the day… for they have, after some 30 years of ascending tyranny, screamed “basta!” and poured into the streets to demand long delayed personhood and the respect and well-being every person everywhere is entitled to.

These are the days of their lives… and we are proud, so deeply proud, of such a people and of their valiant struggle that rivets our attention and compels our respect.

The facts

Egypt, a name that conjures the greatness of an ancient imperium, is in fact one of the newest nations of our planet. It acquired full sovereignty from the British in only 1952 when the republic was proclaimed.

The current regime of Hosni Mubarak dates from 1981 and the assassination of his Nobel Peace Prize winning predecessor, Anwar Sadat. His is a garden variety tyranny, redeemed from the pedestrian by geography and a long-standing deal with the United States. Mubarak and his regime, for certain gain (and for lack of the resources to wage war again), gave up their losing fight against Israel. Relieved, gratified the United States backed Mubarak for its Mideast strategy. Egypt was the golden lynch pin.

Unfortunately, Mubarak had severe built-in liabilities. Despite being egregious, such liabilities (for the highest reasons of state) had to be winked at. Mubakak knew his worth and exacted far more than his pound of flesh. We might have held our nose… but we remunerated this necessary excrescence, constantly, lavishly.

Instead of getting the reforms Washington wanted, successive presidents merely slapped him on the wrist now and again. This was laughably inadequate and totally ineffectual. His blatant human rights violations knew no end; neither did his abiding contempt for his own people, an affliction to which dictators are prone. Sadly, these violations could, in time, not be argued away.

So long as his complacent American partner and our unceasing bribes were in place Mubarak was fearless and unconcerned. In such a way did he become a standing insult to an aggrieved people from whom he demanded all… while giving them, the heart of the nation… as little as he could. He became a master of bloated exhortation, high-blown rhetoric. Controlling complainers (often in barbarous ways) became the policy of his regime. What did he care? He was Mubarak… and that was gift enough to the people.

But an important thing, a thing that could not be denied was occurring in the homes of Egyptians: more and more of them were being born, faster and faster. All with nothing to lose… and so perfect candidates for a revolution. The revolution truly began in the bedrooms of Egypt and spilled over into the streets, an army of the dispossessed, patient no longer, their future in their own hands. And so they came to challenge the ramshackle regime and to bring it down with their own bare hands and a spirit that Mubarak had neglected to remember of his people. It was there… and it was no longer at his beck and call.

The police, of course, and above all, the army could have, at the start of these insurrectionary days, crushed even the most ardent and dedicated of these young nation makers, but so far — and it is the crucial factor — so far these pets of the regime have failed to fire on the people. For privileged though these supports of the regime are, they, too, can see the writing on the wall and the clear direction of events and History.

So far, the police and army have not fired… rather, they have begun the process that proved key in the signature revolutions of France and Russia: they have begun to fraternize with the revolutionaries. This means everything… and Mubarak is nothing if not a (lazy) student of history. His options? He can now call his army to kill legions of his countrymen, thereby bringing down the universal execration of the world and even of regimes less tolerated than his. Anyway, it may be too late for this.

Or, he can accept the fact that he must go… at which time a shout of joy will punctuate the day. Luckily for Mubarak the days of guillotines and assassination squads for governors as despised and hated as he is are gone. He will fly out of Egypt in style, his ill-got millions stashed away and intact, instead of exiting in a lonely tumbrel ride into eternity through the unbridled hatred of the people he treated so. In short, even in his inevitable end, Mubarak will be a lucky man. The United States will see to that., for he is and has long been our creature, and we will no doubt cherish this expensive souvenir as fitting reminder of our days on the Nile.

As for our brand-new revolutionaries? Today, the y command our full and unqualified admiration. However they need to know that toppling a regime, no matter how entrenched, is the easiest activity of a revolution. Day I after the fall of the Mubarak regime, History will begin evaluating them on what they do next and how they do it and at what costs. It is good to remember this, even as the goal of your life is achieved by your inexperienced hands. Sadly, with the ultimate prize about to be yours, some hubris may enter with the glitter and bliss and the worldwide enthusiasm your deeds engender. Remember Mubarak had his days like this, too.

About The Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Dr. Lant is also the author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer

On black politics and politicians. Thoughts on the convictions offormer Boston city councillor Chuck Turner and former Massachusettsstate senator Dianne Wilkerson.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

January 25, 2011 ought to have been a red letter day in the black community of Boston, Massachusetts. That, after all, is the day former 6 term Boston city councillor Chuck Turner was sentenced to three years in prison for accepting a $1,000 bribe. He’s joined in the pokey by another well- known black politician, Dianne Wilkerson, ex-state senator, representing roughly the same area in the state senate Turner represented in the city council. Wilkerson’s sentence, 3 1/2 years.

Sadly, the black community has not only not been grateful to have such blatant, shameless cons removed from positions of power and authority they occupied… there is strong, residual grumbling that “the man” has clipped the wings of two positively angelic spokespeople for the community. Sure they were guilty… but they were good people who worked for the community; thus all their numerous, documented infractions should and needed to be forgiven.

Let’s see how this ironic development came about; what it tells us about leadership in the black community, and the need to put the race card to bed, as inimical to that community and its members.

Here are the facts:

June 2007. Wilkerson, one of the best known members of the Massachusetts State Senate, is videotaped accepting cash pay-offs, including $1,000 that she stuffed into her bra, in exchange for help with a liquor license and assistance to a developer who wanted to build on state land.

August 3, 2007. Turner is videotaped by an FBI informant accepting a $1,000 bribe also for help getting a liquor license.

October 28, 2008. Wilkerson is arrested on FBI charges of public corruption and accused of eight counts of accepting bribes worth $23,500.

November 21, 2008. Turner is arrested on charges of taking a bribe and then lying to federal agents about it.

Thanks to the videotapes and other corroborating evidence, surely this, of all cases, was open and shut. Think again!

Both Wilkerson and even more so Turner were wise in the ways of provocateurs everywhere. Demagoguery? Distortions? Lies? They were all in a day’s work for this hyper-active duo. Too, they knew one of Adolph Hitler’s most insightful observations: that if you say a thing often, over and over again, that thing, no matter how unsound, untrue, unlikely, becomes the truth.

And so, because the charges were serious, amply documented, and because the FBI was determined that such a culture of crime be rooted out… the matter escalated at once into a food fight that fascinated and repelled a great city.

In short order, both Turner and Wilkerson had turned the matter of their guilt or innocence into nothing less than an assault by every level of authority against their people, black people…. using tactics not unworthy of the Grand Old Army as it waved the bloody shirt in the days of reconstruction.

Was Chuck Turner, born with a sneer on his lips, a torrent of vituperative hate language always at the ready, was Turner to blame? Certainly not.

George W. Bush and his Administration was to blame.

The FBI and law enforcement authorities were to blame.

Mr. and Mrs. White America and all the ships at sea were to blame… anyone and every one but the man actually videotaped taking the piddly amount of one thousand dollars.

Wilkerson went for cheap, too, though she went cheap more often than Turner, a thousand dollars here, a thousand dollars there.

That was fact… but these masters of distortion with graduate degrees in race baiting… sought to manipulate public opinion by first, endlessly harping on all the “good” they had done for the minority neighborhoods which had elected them again and again to their public offices, and second turning the matter of their personal guilt into an episode in the great enduring struggle for civil rights.

Chuck Turner couldn’t conceivably be guilty… because he was on the right side of “We shall overcome”.

Both Turner and Wilkerson littered the landscape with their rallies, their statements, their media appearances… all to persuade the public, not merely gullible but mesmerized by these deft practitioners of mayhem and rage, that they were not merely innocent… they were the very heart and soul of the best of the black tradition. They were being cast down, they said and said again, because they had helped raise up the downtrodden.

It was magnificent, it was riveting, it was one lie after another. But good people of the neighborhoods bought the fiction, embraced the rhetoric, and saw conspiracies where there was in fact nothing more than law enforcements officials doing their job without the support of the people victimized by the accused and blatantly self serving Turner and Wilkerson.

Right up to and including their respective days in court neither Wilkerson nor (even more so) Turner seemed to have any idea that they were misleading, distorting, evading, much less that they had any responsibility for what they had done and which could readily be seen on the incriminating videotapes.

They told their supporters, who were legion, that it was all a misunderstanding, that it was all a conspiracy against them because of their important work. They had been sinned against, no question, but they had never, ever sinned.

These fiery arguments, all froth, no facts, did not work for Wilkerson. She missed the point until the very end, January 6, 2010, when she was well and truly sentenced.

Then came the shrieking, race baiting, responsibility evading Turner… who finally met his match, and more, in U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock.

In his remarks, Woodlock, with cool elegance, never raising his voice, unlike Turner, who always did, hit the nail on the head, saying Turner’s blatant perjury was “surreal”, “ludicrous.” And,most pointedly, that if Turner hadn’t continuously and outrageously lied to the federal authorities he would not have received the sentence of…. three years.

Within moments the egregious Turner was outside the courthouse doing what he does best: spewing poison and malice and, with a touch of his demented genius, making it clear that he expects to become the next civil rights martyr, certain to die (in glory) in the big house, snuffed by “the man”. The gall of the man is unending.

However, in the final analysis, this is not a story about 2 cons from politics. It is, rather, about the people of the neighborhoods, the people who not only elected them again and again… but, more strange to us, continued to applaud the now convicted felons, who had had their day in court…. and lost.

Why had these good people allowed themselves to be so mislead, so abused, so used? Did the need to support the black face so trump all other considerations that any outrage would be tolerated and forgiven, any outrage at all?

So, it seems. Which is why in every black neighborhood in the land, the good people, the hard working people, the Church attending, law abiding people elect and re-elect one scoundrel after another — until finally these fine folks realize the conundrum of their situation and elect good people, not just black people and never, ever black politicians who harp on civil rights to excuse civic wrongs.

About The Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Dr. Lant is also a recognized American and British historian and author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Info Cash ->

‘History is a pack of lies we play on the dead.’ Inconvenient truths the Kennedys cannot abide, wish to control, but cannot.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

“History,” the great French 18th century writer Voltaire wrote, “is a pack of lies we play on the dead.” He should know… he altered history to his satisfaction and purposes often enough.

Now Voltaire has apparently gone to work for the Kennedys. For they, so they think, have a pressing need for someone to help them suppress a bevy of inconvenient facts and protect their carefully honed version of events. History has become, for these Kennedys, not a matter of truth… but a matter of arranging, sorting, suppressing, in so doing transforming history from inconvenient truths to self-satisfied distortions.

That is, you see, what ex-dynasties do… for all such dynasties, late and soon, have inconvenient skeletons in their royal closets… and people being people, it is these skeletons we wish to know about most of all.

The Kennedys are, of course, on the wrong side of this battle of hide and seek. They ought to bite the bullet and release, release, release… and suffer the discomforts (to say no more) that will inevitably follow the publication of this information. Alas, they cannot forget what they insist we all must remember: they were, once upon a time, the vigorous, the glamorous, the prancing, dancing, magnificent, reigning and ruling Kennedys… and so they demand what the rest of us have never known: the privilege of arranging events to their satisfaction by controlling their rich sources of information … sources revealing everything the Kennedys are adamant we will not see for epochs yet to come.

In such a way, do Kennedys alter facts and manufacture better fictions.

This battle, between the truths of history and the suppression of facts, is currently raging at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Dorchester, Massachusetts. There there are 54 crates of records individually sealed and labeled, with contents so hot and juicy even the director of the library is prohibited from taking a peek.

Which is no doubt what he, and certainly what we, are so keen to do.


Here is one reason. The papers are thought to contain the “smoking gun” details on President John’s and Attorney General brother Bobby’s determination to assassinate that pesky perennial irritate Cuba’s Fidel Castro. It was called “Operation Mongoose” and concerns our boys’ inept, ham-fisted attempts to take out Fidel. It was an inglorious, if completely instructive and riveting, opera buffa.

Obsessed with snuffing Fidel, the boys had a field day with James Bond style machinations, every one of which perfectly proved just how unready for prime time these guys really were… as Fidel learned to his complete satisfaction. Tellingly, he is still here, still in power.

The world wants to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth… but the Kennedys respond, “No, no, Nanette.”

But there is more, much more, none of which conduces to the greater glory of our home-grown, increasingly tattered ex-royal family.

The diaries, notes, phone logs, messages, trip files, and other documents of the brothers are a true treasure trove of the raw stuff of History, every page of which the Kennedys are adamant that historians cannot see and which we, the public, must never know.

There are, too, it is thought, in these inconvenient boxes loaded with pure dynamite details on the 1961 Cuban missile crisis, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the trade embargo and more… truths demonstrating how the boys, desperate to prove their machismo, bungled and bungled again… even in their backstairs 1963 attempt to find a peaceful solution, any peaceful solution, to the Cuban situation…. so they could get this most vexing and abashing of subjects off their plate. They failed here, too, but inquiring minds want to know why, want the details and want them now.

The man in the hot seat on this issue of whether such documents should be released…. how many, when, how is Max Kennedy, Robert Kennedy’s ninth child. Matthew Maxwell Taylor Kennedy, a lawyer, was appointed by his mother, Ethel, to take the responsibility and field the untimely, insistent questions.

He waffles, of course. It is inevitable in these circumstances that he does so… for his is a completely unenviable task: to suppress untimely truths… while making historians and the media believe he will, in due course, release the information, oh yes he will.

But we know, don’t we, that that means he is not merely reluctant to release… in his uncensored soul we know he thinks it a Very Bad Idea, bad for the country (he must say)… but worse for the dynasty (which is where his total loyalty lies.)

In an email to the Boston Globe (published January 23, 2011) Max Kennedy had his say:

“There are many requests to see them, and frankly, many of those requests come from people with poorly-conceived projects. It is my responsibility, as custodian of the papers, to grant use responsibly.”

“That does not mean that every book must be cloyingly positive; I do not think that for a moment, and I would be doing a disservice to my father if I acted that way. But I do believe that historians and journalists must do their homework, and observe the correct procedures for seeking permission to consult the papers, and explain their projects.”

This is how the Kennedys and their attorney say “not until hell freezes over, if then.”

The Kennedys vs History

This position, no matter how finely written or how seemingly responsible, even generous is untenable, and surely there are some Kennedys who know it.

You cannot stand before the media and professional historians and journalists and say, “yes, yes, you will get what you want but not yet” when there are important documents at hand, merely because such documents make clear the possible illegalities (what was an Attorney General doing in covert operations to kill a foreign head of state anyway?) and certain poor judgements of esteemed family members.

Just because one is born a Kennedy, doesn’t mean that you secured a pass for life for suppressing embarrassing information of interest to the nation on what these members were actually doing, when, why, and how.

The bar of History summons even you, privileged members of the defunct dynasty, and make what deal with the Devil you will, these facts will out… the sooner the better.

And so I remind you of what you have reminded others: the truth shall set you free. Instead of defending the indefensible, release these papers, all these papers. And in so releasing them release yourself and your family from the terrible burdens of suppression, half truths, prevarications, and distortions.

You now stand uncomfortably against history, for censorship. As Voltaire knew, this is a losing hand. Stop playing tricks on the dead and let them live again through their own communications. Let them have their say, their whole say… it is what they deserve… and what we all deserve, too.

About The Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Dr. Lant is a noted US historian and author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer

‘In short, there’s simply not a more congenial spot….’ The 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, January 20, 1961.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Washington, D.C. loves commemorations, not least because every one who is anyone expects to have one for herself.

Thus, it was inevitable that the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of America’s 35th president should be celebrated with suitable doings and, of course, well honed and well considered words. And so they were.

In the grand rotunda of the Capitol, congressional officials, aides, and Kennedy family members listened in silence to the 14-minute, 1,355 word inaugural address which set the tone for the day and for the just installed administration, Camelot on the Potomac.

One of a handful of justifiably famous and influential presidential speeches.

Like all sentient Americans, I watched the original proceedings closely. I was just about to be 14, but the memories of this event are etched in my mind, whether because I truly recall them… or I have seen the various news clips played over and over again, images which now seem not so much historical, as legendary. Just as the Kennedys, as embodied in the wire-pulling patriarch, Joseph P. Kennedy, who had long schemed for this day, wanted.

The speech itself was a gem… and can and should be ready carefully and recited frequently by all people in politics, government, non profit organizations, the military and for all wanting to know the secret to inciting words to move multitudes. Like it or not (and some did not), the world knew it was hearing a brand new voice.

Every word of this inaugural address reads as if it were written to be chiseled in stone, and so they are a few blocks from me where one of the famous lines after another is found in the most durable of stones, so that sun-bathing students and fatigued tourists (and perhaps others) can be well and truly reminded of this day, this man, these remarks… and of what America then was and can never be again.

But we must not assume, even in this most famous of speeches, that the multitudes and their text-messaging descendents remember these lines well and truly… so I shall take it upon myself to remind my fellow citizens of these; they are but a few of all the verbal diamonds revealed that day.

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

“So let us begin anew — remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”

“All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps on our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.”

“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

The words were few, simple, ample to arrest the attention of the world. It was so very different from the Eisenhower administration and its dowdy, word-challenged leader now departing. That administration, whatever its achievements, suddenly seemed so very dated indeed.

Theodore Sorensen, the necessary craftsman, behind the scenes, his ideas and discretion front and center.

Sorensen (deceased 2010) was just the kind of helper every ambitious individual needs, for he was bright, a man who understood just how great speeches and their important messages must be done… and self-effacing to a degree. He was content to be an unsung part of History… and so he loved and served, never revealing the many shattering confidences he knew… and which went to the grave with him.

Thus, Sorensen proved his allegiance to the Kennedys and their images was always more important than mere historical accuracy. His speech was designed to be Important, Memorable, the stuff of great dreams and greater glories. How pleased Sorensen must have been as he sat and listened, invisible, as his words seized the nation and the world. He was where history was made… for he composed it.

That night another legendary event took place, the new President’s inaugural ball… but the cynosure of every eye was the new, dazzling, alluring 31-year old First Lady, Jacqueline.

She knew a thing or two about style and presentation; so much so that she designed her ball ensemble herself with the help of Bergdorf Goodman’s Ethan Frankau. It was the beginning of the “Jackie Look”…. and it took hold like wild-fire, demanding of women (and their men) glamor, high style, sophistication, everything the Eisenhowers and their worn out officials conspicuously lacked.

And so, as Jack and Jackie made their rounds, ball by ball, as the worst winter in Washington in memory snarled traffic and tempers, the high spirited, triumphant Kennedys came; Camelot on the Potomac was born… and it stuck.

Camelot, of course, was the Broadway musical by Alan Jay Lerner (book and lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music). It was based on one of the loveliest and most compelling of books, “The Once and Future King” by Theodore H. White, who seemed expressly invented for his role in legend making. In 1960 the much lauded musical hit Broadway; January 20, 1961 it hit the world, as this regal figure set up shop in the White House, with her exquisite taste and frosty hauteur.

Now it was 50 years later. Most of the great figures of this day and age are dead; brother-in-law Sargent Shriver leaving the stage aged 95, January 18, 2011, for perhaps the first time gaining a march on his famous relation.

The rest now look aged, infirm, burdened perhaps by their connection to events now fading and imperfectly remembered which have long held them hostage.

These are the Kennedys and perhaps it is significant that on the date of this 50th anniversary there was, for the first time in over 60 years, no Kennedy in the Congress. Boasts were made about how long that unnatural condition for them and for America would last… but it was harsh reality for now, as the New Frontier recedes and the dynasty shows the ravishments of time, which they once assaulted and shaped.

About The Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Dr. Lant is a noted US historian and the author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer

‘With your shield, or on it.’ Why America won’t get and doesn’t really want civic comity and civility.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Imagine, if you will, that you are a candidate for the United States Senate, the most exclusive club on earth.

You have wanted to be a member, you have dreamed of it for your entire life.

You have sacrificed over and over again to get this office of the people’s trust. You have neglected your spouse… your children… because there are only 24 hours a day and something’s got to give. But your dream cannot be compromised… for that is the sine qua non of your entire existence.

You have spent long hours of every day raising the millions of dollars you must have to be competitive.

Now it is just 8 days before the election… and you, the golden boy or girl that you are, you are down by just 4 points in the latest poll.

Your financial backers are telling you they didn’t invest their hard-earned money to cheer an also-ran. They make it clear what they think of such people. You know they are right, for you know America’s Success Mantra.

Respected senior members of your party, some direct from Washington, D.C., have told you that the party’s agenda (by which, of course, they mean, America’s agenda) is on the line. They need your vote, and they need it now. They make it plain that high posts of honor and deference await if you win… but nothing except scorn and execration if you do not.

Good earnest supporters, the people of Main Street, are telling you, like Princess Leia to Obi-wan Kenobi, that “you’re our only hope.” You cannot let these folks down… they would despise you if you did. And they’d be right.

The financial backers demand victory!

The party big-wigs insist on victory!

The people on Main Street tell you their storm-tossed lives depend on victory — on you!

And your handlers, the people you hired at great, almost unimaginable cost (they did, after all, manage to defeat three sitting senators, one thought impregnable in the last election), these handlers are saying… and their reasons are crystal clear… that your opponent’s strongest suit is the integrity with which the voters regard him. Even you, the white hope of the opposition, have a sneaking regard for his old-time morality and squeaky clean service.

But the handlers, your brains trust, is also telling you that after all your opponent is vulnerable. Yes, after all, you are only 4 points behind. They are also telling you with insistence how to eradicate this trifling deficit, grab the seat, and move up to your rightful destiny in the Senate of these United State and in the History of America.

All you have to do is ratchet up the attacks, just another notch or two…. just ratchet up the attack. Insinuate… besmirch…. belittle… distort… demean… degrade…

Then, in the final three days, blanket the airwaves with total, complete, shock and awe belligerence, nothing, absolutely nothing held back, everything on the line, do or die, take no prisoners.

Yes, it will cost millions… yes it will shred the reputation of an opponent whose virtues and service even you can see… but it is what all elements of your campaign want, indeed absolutely insist upon.

“Victory,” Vince Lombardi wrote, “isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”

And so you win your Senate seat… and it is sweet. As sweet as you always knew it would be.

Whereupon the Leader of your party in the Senate comes to visit and remarks, almost as an afterthought, that there’s a certain important vote coming up, next Thursday he thinks it is… and that he is hoping for the favor of your support.

From such a man on such a subject at such a time, such words, almost gentle, are the sternest of commands.You have really not had a chance to read the bill… you know precious little about it, but you have heard whispers that your biggest financial backer is….. opposed to it.

From such a man on such a subject at such a time, such words, not so gentle, are, too, the sternest of commands.

And so, while understanding that no man can serve two masters, you attempt to do just that. Your maiden speech on the issue falls flat. The Leader is not happy. Your financial backer is not happy. Your constituents, too, let you know they are not happy.

And you are the least happy of all. However, you learn and next time you are ready.

You make a calculated decision based on public policy and private gain. You make a deal with the Devil and the Devil tells you to demonize your opponent before your opponent demonizes you.

So you do, with no qualms whatsoever because your opponents on this issue gained a march by demonizing — you.

You learn two sets of words: the words for defending your side. and the ones for stigmatizing opponents. On the one hand is patriotism, what is good for America, lowering taxes, transparency in government, protecting the Middle Class.

On the other are words like disloyal, perfidious, selfish, short- sighted, special interests.

All you have to do is throw these words, and dozens like them, into a hat and pull them out one at a time, and, voila, instant speech.

A quick study, you see early on that the more moderate the speech, the more reasonable the views, the less attention you get… and attention in Washington is how you play the game, increase your visibility, and win the glittering prizes. You get this message Loud and Clear.

And so you up the ante, seeing your opponents no longer as good men and women like you (perhaps blighted by party affiliation) but as minions of an Evil Empire and the darkest of views and aspirations. Moderation doesn’t work and, moreover, it isn’t justified. Your opponents represent Everything Wrong With America. You learn it is your sacred duty to say so, to expose the culprits and Save The Nation and its beseeching members.

And so you do… and as you deliver the red meat, the media delivers you…. to the attention of other media, movers and shakers nationwide, and to the unlimited financial resources of this great nation, a nation yearning for Leadership; now knowing that leader can be — you.

You are ready to answer this clarion call. Thus at last you understand, deep in your soul, the unanswerable validity of ancient Greek historian Plutarch’s telling tale of the Spartan mothers. They said, they meant “Come home with your shield, or on it.” You have heard…. and you are ready. You know just what to do. 31 bullets, 6 tragic deaths in Tucson, Arizona, , innumerable jeremiads and the most profound lamentations right up to the White House won’t change things a whit. We’re all sure of that, right?

About The Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Dr. Lant is also a noted US historican and author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer

‘Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.’ The Queen, (no ) freedom of information, and the Succession

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

It was just the kind of event the Young Royals (Wills, Edward, and soon-to-be Princess Kate) could applaud and approve:

14 stylish students from England’s tony Royal College of Arts donned self-designed matching Kate Middleton engagement outfits (so cute) with accompanying (copies) of the famous engagement ring; the one, you know, the ghost of Diana, Princess of Wales gave Kate the day she took her to her heart.

The pictures in the London papers, instantly beamed worldwide, were quite simply too, too…

This little photo opportunity was everything it should be: engagingly young, peppy, uncontroversial.

Graver matters involving the Royals, especially Her Majesty and the full panoply of lesser majesties were afoot elsewhere.

Freedom from information . January 19, 2011, a brand-new information law went into effect in the United Kingdom. It is best to style it a freedom from information act. Why? Because, quite simply, it exempts Her Majesty, Prince Charles, and Prince William from their kingdom’s liberal freedom of information laws. This means that most of their activities will not be known for years, if ever; until that is long epochs pass after the slowest of bureaucrats can vet, deliberate, deny.

It is thought that the queen herself, known to her near and dear as “Betty Windsor,” hoisted a festive glass (with impressive provenance) to celebrate the event, but we cannot be sure for this royal toast is classified, Top Secret.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Busybodies throughout the realm are, predictably, up at arms after this development which, per usual, treats the Royals as different from you and me. These inquiring minds, after the fashion of English revolutionaries throughout the ages, want to diminish, restrict, even abolish all semblance of royal specialness and privilege. They carry a portable stocks everywhere they go…. just in case an errant prince or erring princess happens by and needs immediate chastisement.

These people, and their number is legion in the increasingly egalitarian Britannia, are asking how such an act of inequality could possible be thought, must less implemented and even dignified as Law.

That’s no poser at all. Cherchez le prince.

It is generally known and even more generally deprecated, that le Prince des Galles, Charles of that name and the Blood Royal, is a man with a bee in his (royal Stuart) tartan bonnet, indeed more than one. This new law will protect him (and the public, too, it’s reckoned) from the never-ending effusions of his majestical pen.

Unhappily, we shall not know for years (if at all) just how insightful his constant jeremiads, commentaries, and elegantly pointed observations really are because they are now and lawfully so verboten to hoi polloi, like you and me.

Fortunately we do have some clues. Charles, to say nothing more, is a veritable whirlwind of activity on matters Green and his innumerable (sometimes distinctly odd) pet projects. Cabinet ministers are inured to powdered flunkies arriving at all hours whispering “From his royal highness, sir….”

Now these ministers are forbidden to publicize or even publicly mention or even acknowledge the existence of such correspondence. Charles’ protective staff is said (unofficially) to be “relieved.”

“The Sovereign is dead, long live her first-born child, King or Queen, whichever applies.”

Monarchies, by definition, are conservative institutions, if not impervious to change then radically opposed to it. “We are already”, they say “the top of the tree; we cannot see a future better for ourselves than the present; so we shall oppose and obstruct the unpromising future. It’s what we do best.”

But Britain, royal realm of many kings, is different from other monarchies. Their sovereigns are no less conservative than the rest… but they have a long proven ability to accept change just in the nick of time. However, they want it to be known that any change, any change at all, is their idea… not Parliament’s.

That is why Her Imperial Majesty is fuming and fretting at Keith Vaz, Labour MP for Leicester East and now royal bete noir.

Vaz has distinguished himself by proposing legislation that would make the first child of the impending marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton heir to the throne, whether boy…. or girl.

Now this — the “Swedish option” so called because it’s the way they do things at the shabby, infra dig Court of Stockholm — this pipsqueek, this legislative non entity, this parliamentary embarrassment (for he has chagrined his colleagues before) — has had the brass, the unmitigated gall to propose a change to the Succession… the very heart of the institution.

So fundamental a change would transform the thousand year old British Monarchy into a genetics contest, rather than the ultimate gift to the most privileged little boy on earth. Thus a (still unconceived) little boy would be transformed from the petted child of fortune… into an also-ran, a situation that causes royal heretics to remind: “So what else is new?” Princesses have known this particular humiliation from Day I.”

Even the suggestion of such legislation makes Betty Windsor fume. She just won’t have it, exhibiting an adamancy worthy of Queen Victoria.

Prime Minister David Cameron to the rescue.

What Mr. Vaz, MP proposes is probably as near to a certainty as these things ever get. But not at his suggestion; his time will never come, though his idea may. The time is not nigh. Not least, Cameron has reminded all that such a fundamental change could not be effected without the full support of the 16 British Commonwealth countries where Queen Elizabeth II is head of state. And there is no chance for this notion there… even if many want it and see the equity of the idea.

For this more than equity is about the entire fate of the monarchy itself, what that monarch can — and more importantly — cannot do. And here the stakes could hardly be higher… which is why Ms. Windsor will dig in on this issue, insisting that this matter for all, for the very fate of the dynasty is a matter primarily and of right — for her and the males of her house. She will win now… but only for now.

Which is why, of an evening, she listens and listens again to Fleetwood Mac and its pounding admonition: “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow. Yesterday’s gone… yesterday’s gone.” Indeed it is.

About The Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Dr. Lant’s is the author of 18 best-selling business books, as well as “Insubstantial Pageant: ceremony and confusion at Queen Victoria’s Court.” Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Info Cash ->

GOP dumps egregious chairman Michael Steele. An open letter to his successor, Reince Priebus.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Dear Sir:

I do not have the honor of knowing you personally, but that won’t stop me from issuing the most candid advice on how to succeed in your brand new job — Chairman of the Republican National Committee, to make your sojourn both pleasant and productive and avoid the pratfalls and gaffes of your predecessor, the bumptious and unlamented Michael Steele.

You were, it seems, a good friend of Mr. Steele but somewhere along the line you decided that his complete misunderstanding of his role at the RNC necessitated his removal. And you decided that no one was better qualified to lead the putsch than — you. No problem. Ambition in Washington, D.C., especially when it involves changing your alliance, is not a sin. Quite the reverse. That you knew when to strike and how is a sign that you are already better qualified for the job than Steele ever was.


Now for the things you must know and do to succeed.

1) Realize that you have the 4th or 5th grandest title in Washington… and are absolutely a person of no significance or public stature whatsoever.

Can you name, say, 6 out of 10 of your predecessors? If you can, no one else is able. Why is that? Because the office is designed to function at the beck and call of the president of the ruling party (Obama)… and with the advice and consent of the last (defeated) presidential candidate (McCain), until such time as the next presidential candidate is well and duly nominated, whereupon he (or she) makes his (or her) choice.

In other words, you are there for a very short time, to keep the office going and to Make No Embarrassing Mistakes.

2) You are a low level bureaucrat without the one essential thing every truly significant person in Washington has: elected office. That is what distinguishes the men… from the chairmen.

Given this fact, no one wants or will even tolerate you taking positions on public issues. You do not have any standing for that. Instead, refer folks to Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner for he is (just now) the highest ranking official in the Republican Party and, as such, is admirably situated for position taking. Indeed, clearing important statements with him seems sensible, CYA.

3) Avoid the media like the plague.

Your predecessor never met a media person or program that he didn’t like. As a result, the number and seriousness of his errors grew calamitous, thereby diminishing the (never great) respect in which he was held and the embarrassments of his colleagues.

You, mild mannered man that you are (as must be the case for one from Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin), should have a plaque made for your desk reading “Chairman Priebus did not return frequent calls from our paper (radio, television, etc.)” It will constantly remind you to shut up and stay out of public view.

4) Bill Clinton, garrulous and diffuse to a degree, was elected President of the United States because his entirely focused staff concocted a very simple way of keeping their candidate on track. When he digressed (often), one held up a sign reading “It’s the economy, stupid!”; the stupid in question being Mr. Clinton. It helped him remember.

A similar sign for you, sir, is in order. Yours should read “it’s about fund raising, stupid!”

As I write, the Republican National Committee is $21 million in debt. State GOP committees are also deep in red ink. This is not an auspicious situation for a party bidding to retake the White House they think of as their own real estate.

Every day, in every way, yes in every waking moment and in your dreams, too, you must have just two words in mind: fund raising.

This, dear sir, is the reason you were elected and what will determine whether you leave office with the blessings and congratulations of your colleagues… or their ample and unyielding execration. It will also determine whether you get a respectable job in the next Republican administration which, I suspect is often on your mind.

5) Keep your expense account to the bare minimum.

Mr. Steele was seduced by the high life of Washington and took to it like a duck to water. Inevitably he was seen dining at the “best restaurants”, where he ate prodigiously and knew his wines well. Nothing but the best for Mr. Steele as his (notably incomplete) expense accounts testify. He reckoned that he, as a Person of Consequence, was entitled.

My advice, sir, is simply this: find a good delicatessen in your neighborhood and learn what an (inexpensive and thoroughly justifiable) gourmet treat tuna on rye (with kosher pickles) can be. And never forget to turn in complete expense accounts, with nothing missing. You are a midwesterner; frugality becomes you.

6) Return all phone calls, except those from the media. (See above.)

Washington is a town perpetually engaged in the most exciting and intricate of games: who is up, who is down, and why.

Avoid this game… for it is all-consuming and insidious.

Players of this game start shedding their civility and good manners as soon as possible. Calls from certain people get returned at once; calls from others, the lesser folk, are never returned.

Dear sir, playing this game is ill-advised and in the poorest of judgements. Treat all with the general courtesy which has always distinguished the citizens of Wisconsin, your home state. All that is except presidential candidates and their staffs, for they must always and forever have their calls returned and wishes granted at once, if not sooner. After all, you need friends in the next GOP administration… and this is a superb way to get them.

Last admonition (for now).

Next year, at a place and time to be announced, your party will engage in the ancient and honorable rite of nominating the person they think most likely to defeat the president and reclaim the glories of the Executive Mansion.

A word in your ear about your role. Even before your candidate is nominated, you will be informed that he (or she) has a new chairman in mind. Be prepared.

And be prepared, too, for the stark reality that a few days later, perhaps a week, no one, absolutely no one, will remember your name, and all the good you’re sure to do in your brand- new office upon which I congratulate you.

About The Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Dr. Lant is also the author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Info Cash ->

‘Everybody must get stoned.’ Public employees now Public Enemy Number 1 as strapped taxpayers erupt!

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Marie Corfield, a New Jersey based art teacher, had her moment with destiny. She had the opportunity to take New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to task… and she took it.

Marie, slowly at first, told Governor Chris about teaching conditions…. about the importance of art classes… and, gathering speed and righteous indignation as she went… let him Have It about teacher salaries and how the State of New Jersey should be helping struggling teachers.

Marie felt good about what she said and awaited compliments from the inevitable YouTube video she made.Yep, there would be compliments, lots of compliments, for sure.

“They’ll stone you when you’re trying to be so good.”

But Marie had forgotten her Bob Dylan. “Everybody Must Get Stoned” (released 1966)… even art teachers with a seemingly unanswerable argument.

Says, Marie: “People I don’t even know are calling me horrible names. The mantra is that the problem is the unions, the unions, the unions.” And Marie is a union gal.

Marie, all innocent and unaware, had kicked a bee-hive…. There would be no compliments of any kind, just an opportunity for enraged taxpayers to vent… at her, beneficiary of the Evil Empire!

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

In the face of a couple of wars, an historic recession and a punk, anaemic recovery, it seems Americans are spending more time emulating Peter Finch’s character in the 1976 film classic “Network”, opening up the sash and screaming to a world entirely ready to hear and attend to this challenging message: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

“They’ll stone you when you’re trying to make a buck.”

The amazing thing is not that Americans are venting; (we’re good at that). These outbursts, after all, go back to the Boston Tea Party of 1773 and, a little later, Shay’s Rebellion of 1787. The amazing thing is who we’re attacking this time: police, fire fighters, teachers — and their unions — the pillars and essential elements of all our communities. These are now The Culprits….as Marie Corfield found out.

Strong union states like California, New York, Michigan, and New Jersey are in the vanguard of crisis, flirting with bankruptcies that would devastate local citizens and imperil the economic recovery.

Why? Because the still very fragile economy cannot sustain the demands of voracious state, city and town budgets; budgets designed for more ample times and for the unions who waxed fat and happy in those good old days and want to keep this ball rolling, even in our leaner times.

Something’s got to give.

Here are the various (union) factions:

There are the stand patters. These are the folks, call them the Ultras, who say: “I earned what I got fair and square. I’m not giving up a dime, no how, no way.” They remember every minute of all the work they ever did and insist, with absolute moral certainty, on getting Everything They’re Entitled To.

Then there are the moderate reformers. They say, “OK, I’ll give up some future goodie, like a cost of living adjustment. In return for this gift of great magnanimity, I want Everything I’ve got now to be confirmed and sacrosanct. Got that, bub? Have a nice day.”

Next come the folks, call them “go-goos” (good government types, liberal to a person). They are ready — even happy — to “give back” salary and benefit packages now clearly unwarranted and unsustainable. They accuse the Ultras of ostrich-like behavior and the most selfish of “apres moi le deluge” attitudes. These folks are Responsible, High Minded, Chablis-drinking, insufferable.

With such factions, each driven by the best of intentions and by high blown rhetorical flourishes that just won’t quit, this promises to be the epic food fight of all times. “They’ll stone you and then say they’re all brave.” Of course.

The stakes couldn’t be higher. The players all want to be considered responsible and civic minded. They all know the value of a good rep.

Equally, all except the go-goos (who are above such petty considerations and wear their give-backs like the Red Badge of Courage) are determined to emerge not only with what they’ve got but what they can finagle, this being the time-honored American way.

Meanwhile the doomsday clock is ticking as the states, their unions, and all the police, fire fighters, and teachers therein move towards MAD, mutually assured destruction, city and town edition.

How did we get to this point anyway? And how do we get out of it, relatively unscathed?

Fred Siegel, a historian at the conservative-leaning Manhattan Institute, has written “New Tammany Hall”, a provocative book on the subject. Here he describes the “incestuous alliance” between public officials and labor.

Says Siegel, “Public unions have had no natural adversary; they give politicians political support and get good contracts back.” Exactly. Prosperity cloaked a jury-rigged system whose inadequacies became glaringly apparent as the economy tanked. Now in the stark wake of the new realities, these inadequacies are blatant.

Taxpayers, more aggrieving than aggrieved, demanded Fast Action, or else. And so, in 2010 alone, 212,000 local government jobs were cut as the public put the unions for police, fire fighters and teachers squarely in their rifle sights. But it wasn’t enough, not nearly enough.

“Everybody must get stoned.”

Benefits are the big issue. For years politicians gave them away lavishly, to garner the votes of these always dependable voters. Now, however, the dependable voters are the taxpayers who are screaming for blood. Since no man, and hardly any woman, can serve two masters, what a revolting development this is!

In due course, taxpayer anger, always undependable and inconstant, will wane. The economy, anaemic now, will improve. The jury-rigged benefit and pension system with many tweaks, some painful, others long overdue, will muddle through. Unions will demand that heads be lopped off those too giddy for give backs. And some will fall, but not many.

As for the rest of us?

“Everybody must get stoned.”

About The Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Dr. Lant is alos the author of 18 best-selling business books and numerous syndicated articles. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer

Fifty years ago January 9, 1961 John F. Kennedy gave his celebrated ‘A City Upon a Hill’ speech.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

It is fitting and proper that we recall the great events of our Republic, events that remind us of where we have been and exhort us to where we are going.

Such an event was President-Elect John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s celebrated speech known as “A City Upon a Hill.”

Kennedy made this speech just days before he assumed his “high and lonely” office in the capital. And, as so often in one of his speeches, there were many elements present, some celestial, others less serious, even puckish, all quintessential Kennedy.

Who was there?

First of all, every politician in politician-filled Massachusetts was present for this speech, which was given in the Victorian ornateness of the House of Representatives in a joint session with the state Senate.

Each and every one of these politicos, each one in his best bib and tucker, came to learn, came to scrutinize, came to imitate, came to see what made this oh-so-favored son of Boston tick. So they could do it, too. This speech, this whole shebang, was an opportunity to learn from the very best, and all were determined to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Who wasn’t there?

Conspicuously absent was the man who, more than anyone other than Kennedy himself, made it all possible. Joseph P. Kennedy it seems did not attend. Already, the Kennedy’s knew, no one more than Joe himself, that he was to be, had to be, the power behind the throne if the new regime was to flourish. His reputation as wire-puller, boot legger, with a whiff of Nazi sympathy made it necessary for him to remain firmly behind the scenes. Joe was ok with this. It was the devil’s deal he made for his son and the glory of Kennedy.

Who wrote the speech?

It seems, though absolute certainty may stay elusive, that Kennedy’s speech writer Theodore Sorensen wrote this speech. If so, it would hardly be surprising. Sorensen had a gift for simple, graceful prose as he had proved in the writing of “Profiles in Courage”. Sorensen was coy throughout his life (he died in 2010) about whether or not he wrote this Pulitzer Prize winning book; (he was constantly, annoyingly asked). He always said no… but the cognoscenti doubted.

Sorensen was the ultimate loyalist; he was accustomed to giving his all… and he wrote prose the President-Elect liked and could deliver with ease, elegance, and persuasion.

Why John Winthrop?

Governnor John Winthrop was a man of parts, a thoughtful man, a man of guts and grace, a man in communion with God who needed all his wits not just for getting his people to the new world of Massachusetts… but making sure they knew what to do when they arrived. It was a matter of urgency and the deepest possible significance.

Towards this end he wrote in 1630 a document which he called “A Model of Christian Charity.” It was in fact a series of admonitions about how citizens of this clean, unblemished new world should behave. And John Winthrop minced no words.

One can picture the scene as Governor Winthrop assembled his flock on the main deck of that little ship of fate and read the portentous words that defined who they were, what they were doing, and why it mattered so. It was a scene of importance and they all knew it; they gave their leader their full attention as he moved to the ringing conclusion he gave them and to the ages to come:

“For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world.”

Governor John Winthrop was determined this should not happen… and John Fitzgerald Kennedy was determined, too, as he plucked this phrase and launched it as a missile into a future as murky,difficult, and grave as Winthrops’s.

And so the President-Elect walked purposefully to the podium, his every move and action the subject of scrutiny and comment.

He was, much of America thought, too young (43), too inexperienced, with a religious affiliation that troubled many and appalled some. He had much to prove… but John F. Kennedy was an historian. He understood History, and on this day he knew he would make it. Thus he began, revealing his vision for the politicians in attendance, the whole of Massachusetts, and for every citizen in the nation he was about to govern.

There were words of pride as when he cited Pericles’ resounding boast to the Athenians: “We do not imitate — for we are a model to others.”

There were his words of inspiration and hope that the “enduring qualities of Massachusetts” as embodied in “the common threads woven by the Pilgrim and the Puritan, the fisherman and the farmer, the Yankee and the immigrant” would truly merge and renew the rich heritage of the Commonwealth, now atrophied and in danger.

There was the famous charge to all the legislators and statesmen before him… and all those who were watching from afar, reminding them all that “For of those to whom much is given, much is required.”

And then, finally, there were the 4 famous questions:

“First were we truly men of courage…

Secondly, were we truly men of judgement….

Third, were we truly men of integrity….

Finally, were we truly men of dedication — with an honor mortgaged to no single individual or group….?”

Humbly, he then asked for God’s help in this undertaking “but aware that on earth His will is worked by men.” Yes, he asked for the help of all “as I embark on this new and solemn journey.”

Then, his words hanging in the air, the applause of his audience rising, he descended from the podium and moved on, setting out upon his voyage; a man aware of the nation’s great trust and his great responsibility.

About The Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Attend Dr. Lant’s live webcast TODAY and receive 50,000 free guaranteed visitors to the website of your choice! Dr. Lant is also the author of 18 best-selling business books and numerous syndicated articles on a variety of topics. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer

For crying out loud. House Speaker John Boehner, tears,and masculinity.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

The advent of a boisterous Republican majority in the U.S House of Representatives should have been the happiest day in the life of Representative John Boehner (R-Ohio). After all, he was elected Speaker, climbing the greasy pole and getting a sumptuous office with all the trimmings. So, what did he do? He cried, copiously.

Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) by contrast remained dry-eyed as Boehner took the Speaker’s gavel from her. Indeed, as she handed over the gavel, she appeared chipper as all get out. Tears were not on her agenda, despite the fact she was giving up a high office she would likely never grace again.

What’s going on here?

It’s all about who can cry, where, how much, how often. In short, we are in the midst of an epic cultural change from the stiff to the quivering upper lip. To provide guidance on this subject I checked Scripture:

John chapter 11 verse 32 -35

Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died (33) When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, (34) and said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.(35) Jesus wept.

That should have ended the debate on men crying, at least for believing Christians (if it was good enough for Jesus….), but most assuredly it did not. That’s because we must understand why Jesus wept and what that suggests about when and about what a man is allowed, by prevailing cultural standards, to cry.

Jesus wept because he loved Lazarus.

Jesus wept because he came too late to save his friend.

Jesus wept because to do anything to help Lazarus now, he would have to use his divine powers, thereby providing a miracle. This deed would completely change his life. He would, through this act and the rising of Lazarus from the dead, transcend from being merely a teacher and healer to his divine status. This would irrevocably change the way his followers. hostile authorities, and people generally perceived and dealt with him. The stakes couldn’t have been higher.

It is little wonder, then, that Jesus wept. And in so doing helped us understand when we men could weep, too.

Masculine tears are permissible at the death of a loved one.

When a man loses his spouse, child, parents or close friend, especially unexpectedly, tragically tears are not only acceptable, their absence would cause remark and adverse comment.

Such tears are rightly regarded as a form of graceful tribute the living pay to the dead… and a form of blessed relief the dead grant the living. Such tears so given touch the heart and enrich the spirit of all who see them. They cannot but be deeply affected and so participate in the event. When a man cries at such a time and in such a way, he never cries alone.

Nor will a man cry alone when he performs a great deed for the benefit of others and is recognized by these others for the deed done for them.

We can imagine, though not prove, the scene following the resurrection of Lazarus. Touched by the son of God, he rises. Awe, wonder descend on the observers. Lazarus, all incredulity and humble gratitude, reaches out and speaks… tears in his eyes and in the eyes of all who saw but cannot yet entirely believe. And here, too, we suppose, Jesus wept, for the joy of the event, for the return of his friend, and despite the troubles for himself he had thereby ensured.

Men may cry when reminiscence occurs.

There will be, when men suffer great loss, constant reminders, bitter sweet and painful. Walking into a room, he may suddenly be seized with a poignant memory about the loved one gone but revived intact and painfully by memory. Not only memories but tears well up. The sharper the memory and reminiscence, the sharper the pain, the more likely the tears, which fall of their own accord as one gives way to loss and remembrance.

Men, in short, may weep at times of great joy and great loss and profound importance. Such events in the life of any of us are rare, consequential, and require the benediction of tears. For such events, tears add a kind of unique beauty and significance.

This is why weeping in other circumstances must be limited, for frequent tears diminish their significance and effect.

Thus, take notice Speaker Boehner.

Whether one shared your politics or not, we understood the tears you shed upon learning you would achieve a lifetime objective, becoming one of America’s leaders at a time of great crisis in the land.

You thought of family, sacrifice, the people who had helped you along the way and the nation you could now greatly serve… you wept tears of great joy. We savored your achievement, grateful to share this moment with you. After all we all have dreams we hope to achieve, share, relish and enrich with tears.

However, Mr. Speaker, a word of caution.

Do not devalue this moment by too frequent tears, as you seem likely to do. Too great frequency of what is manifestly acceptable and desirable on other,greater occasions will change you from an honored person of profound and irresistible emotions and sentiments into nothing less than a sniveler, thus generating great and general contempt and destroying your position, no matter how exalted. Too many tears on too many occasions act as acid, not exaltation.

The great debates on what constitutes acceptable behavior for men will never end, as fashions on this subject wax and wane. But let another politician of lacrimose tendencies, Hubert Humphrey, Senator and sometime Vice President of the United States, have the last word today. Basely and rudely criticized by some for indiscriminate weeping, he at last fashioned the best possible response,

“A man without tears is a man without a heart.”

It is worth remembering.

About The Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Dr. Lant is also the author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Cash Siphon ->