Monthly Archives: May 2011

Thoughts on Princeton professor Cornel West and his egregious attack on the president. Does the intellectual really have any ideas?

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

First, the facts.

Just the other day, April 11, 2011, Princeton professor of African-American studies and religion Cornel West managed, in one fast-moving interview with the political blog Truthdig to

* make a series of outrageous, unsubstantiated remarks about his now former friend Barrack Obama, president of these United States,

* act like anything besides the Ivy League social scientist and truth seeker he claims and is supposed to be,

* show that just because you have a fancy title at a fancy institution doesn’t necessarily mean you’re any better informed than the guys on the street who mouth off without one scintilla of fact,

* prove conclusively that West has aged from being an enfant terrible to being a thin-skinned cry baby, petulant, spoiled, coddled, and an embarrassment to himself and the great institution which, in getting West, clearly got a pig in a poke and may well wonder why they didn’t scrutinize longer and better and what it says about their selection process.

Because he is a professionally angry black man, he must always have a Cause (and because causes need to be photogenic and a fountainhead of publicity), these days West has massaged himself into advocate of the poor, clothing himself in moral hauteur and cheap outrage. Yes, when he sees himself in the mirror (no doubt frequently) he sees — vox populi, and very much, vox dei.

Yes, to listen to West, he’s morphed into a protege of Emma Lazarus, maybe la Lazarus herself whose iconic words (written 1883) grace the Statue of Liberty…

“Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free the wretched refuse of your teeming shore send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me”.

West seems to think and certainly acts as if that last word, “me”, meant him, their self-appointed, self-aggrandizing, tenacious (for now), unyielding (until something better comes along) but never get your hands dirty advocate, thank you very much.

Well-known 18th century British author Dr. Samuel Johnson one April day in 1775, pronounced in his magisterial fashion that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Boswell hurriedly wrote it down. I’ll update that aphorism here and now for West’s benefit: “the poor are the last refuge of the demagogue”. ( Remember born-again populist Al Gore and that other glib Southern boy who belatedly discovered the poor, former North Carolina senator John Edwards? Gore ditched his populist mode in favor of things green; Edwards is seeking a berth as a Trappist monk… or any locale that makes women difficult to access while keeping a photograph of wronged ex-wife Elizabeth always at hand.)

It was in this mode of unassailable moral superiority, as one of America’s overfed collegiate intellectuals, and a pampered black intellectual at that, that Cornel West mounted his high horse… and made one thing shockingly clear: the intellectual has no ideas, just pettiness, bile, self- pity, and now a social calendar which will no longer feature cozy chats with the president chez 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Oh, my!

“Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.” Euripedes. (485-406 bc)

One may imagine West’s state before this now infamous interview. Like a colossus he strode forward, resolute, confident, his mere name a progressive statement, and much beloved too, of callow undergraduates. He would take his bro’ Barrack to task in no uncertain terms and so reframe the whole debate on the poor… and keep the president where West wanted him, under his thumb, to be let loose only at the professor’s dictate and whim and following a long course of Professor West’s approved bromides and idiosyncracies. The gods had, as usual, done their work well…

This then is what esteemed Professor West outrageously said, each word an arrow into himself and any claim he could make, not just to truth, but to common sense and common civility.

Obama is a “black mascot of Wall Street oligarchy and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats”. There was more of this red meat, much more:

“I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men… It’s understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. He is just as human as I am, but that is his cultural formation.”

And still more…

Obama, he said, is “most comfortable with upper middle-class and Jewish men who consider themselves very smart, very savvy and very effective in getting what they want.”

Then, after much more of the same, a glimmer of why this is all happening now: our pampered house intellectual has been disrespected:

“I couldn’t get a ticket (to the inauguration) with my mother and my brother. I said this is very strange. We drive into the hotel and the guy who picks up my bags from the hotel has a ticket to the inauguration… We had to watch the thing in the hotel.”

Of course, lese majeste’, not what the majestic West is accustomed to and perhaps the reason for his astonishing words and equally astonishing foolishness. Political sage Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) knew that if you intend to kill the king, make sure you do not just wound the king, for then of a certainty, the king will kill — you!

This is why, so long as former buddy Barck Obama, remains president, Cornel West will learn why Machiavelli, long dead, is smarter than West, long on words and short on sense. For West is now not only intellectually irrelevant but a dead man, too, by his own hand.

One who no doubt saw this coming is Larry Summers. When he was president of Harvard, he had a celebrated run-in with West, (then on the Harvard faculty) whose friendships and professional relationships are prone to fray as folks come to know the man. Summers, a man of brilliance with his own propensities for self-destruction, rebuked West in 2000 for missing classes and other misdemeanors. But his major criticism was just: West needed to do a major book in keeping with his rank, giving tv talk shows and other trivial pursuits a pass, to concentrate on the really important.

Diva that he is, at this revolting development, West complained high and low; he ranted, he raved, he took umbrage, he played for sympathy. And in due course, he took his leave of Harvard where, to his surprise, a great research institution demanded — great research, not trite opinions masquerading as undisputed fact.

To the surprise of cognoscenti of such games, Princeton University took West; no doubt they needed his brand of glib inconsequence. Or maybe it’s just, as Cambridge folks suspected, that Princeton is a backwater, out of touch with neo-realities. West, from his new tenured perch, did what West always does… he lashed out at Harvard… the hand that had fed him so well for so long. Such ingratitude being one of the things he does best, as in due course Princeton will no doubt discover.

In any event, this tempest in a tea-cup proved at least one thing: Cornel West is irrelevant as he has been for a long time. The black community has grown up; they wanted — and got — a president. Such men as West, with only rants and cants became, at the inauguration he wasn’t invited to attend, obsolete in an instant. For all his high titles and purported intelligence, it took him a while to figure that out. I suspect he knows it now.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Dr. Lant is also a historian and author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Easy Video Suite ->

Republican faithful near despair at their plethora of ho-hum candidates who have underwhelmed America. It’s time to prune to get serious!

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Many years ago Nancy Saunders, one of England’s celebrated gardeners, informed me in no uncertain terms of one of the essential conditions for horticultural success: prune, prune, ruthlessly prune. Find the little buds and, ruthlessly, cut them off, focusing on just one bud, the bud you have selected for greatness. A house full of gardening awards great and small, local and international, testified to the lady’s insights and no-nonsense approach to a stunning garden and a reputation as diva, sorceress, sculpter of beauty, impatient with anything other than the eye-catching and important.

The Grand Old Party could learn a lot from Ms. Saunders and her stringent regimen for success.

Politically alert Americans, particularly Republicans, have watched with growing dismay, chagrin and (let’s be honest) complete fascination as the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Reagan, titans all, revered by the nation, has become the Pee Wee league of presidential candidates — and this despite stunning electoral success in 2010 and a Democratic incumbent who has failed, so far, to gain the affection of the nation and portray himself as more than the necessary evil.

In fact, there has never been (since its founding in 1856) so many GOP candidates for president with at least some (no matter how attenuated) claim to plausibility. Even in the days of brokered conventions with “favorite son” candidates given nomination just to impress the folks in Paducah, such lavish numbers were rare indeed.

Surely, the GOP should be glad that it has so many potential presidents at hand, but if you recall Nancy Saunder’s stern admonition about how to produce gorgeous flowers — prune, prune, prune — you get the message that too many candidates produces weakness, not strength and is a sign that the party that believes America is safe when and only when it governs has lost its way, becoming rivulets, not the great river it has so often been.

This situation has produced torpor, procrastination, and a growing sense that the GOP is not up to the necessities for governing a great land beset by high and serious problems, and economic muddle.

The biggest most Republican donors are, in unprecedented numbers, sitting on the sideline, listless, uninspired, concerned. Fully 45 percent of Republican voters (as per a May, 2011 Associated Press poll) are dissatisfied with their presidential candidates, a figure that is growing, not diminishing.

Democrats, of course, are not-so-secretly thrilled by a scenario which already shows them far ahead in fund raising; (President Obama has made it clear he’ll raise a billion dollars or more to keep the White House as his house), with GOP fissures now causing some of the donkey ilk to speak, not too loudly just now, of land slides and electoral college pulverization. Early days to be sure… but the possible is there, oh yes it is. It is unseemly for Democrats to be so exultant so early… but they are.

For Republicans to counter this political “Happy Days”, they must Saunderize, at once, with a will, ruthlessly… for a chance to produce a winning candidate. Humbly, since no one of significance in the Grand Old Party has stepped forward with garden shears and elimination list, I present myself accordingly. Without any expectation of power, privilege, patronage, or even gratitude, I am here to save the party, its chances for victory, and its (as yet) not obvious presidential candidate.

In the next few minutes, I intend, with a few deft moves, to change all that.

These Republican candidates (declared or still ruminating) are a bad joke:

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

Ron Paul, Congressman from Texas.

Michelle Bachmann, Congresswomen from Minnesota.

Rick Santorum, former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.

Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City.

Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska.

Buddy Roemer, former Governor of Louisiana.

Herman Cain, Godfather’s Pizza executive and Georgia talk show host. (An expert on three cheeses, but anything else?)

The unanswerable reasons for eliminating this drab, unappealing crew of Tweedle Dees and Tweedle Dumbs? Not one of them alone, or all of them together, have one ounce of charisma and the kind of fundamental popular appeal a winning presidential candidate must have. None is even remotely a household name (or done the exceptional to deserve it); some are so threadbare (Santorum) that they didn’t merely retire from public office; they were booted out by local voters presumably the most knowledgeable about them.

In short, these are the Morgan Memorial, the Salvation Army candidates, colorless, spent, yawn making, infuriating… their highest potential service to the party to be placed as vice president on a sure-to-lose ticket.

Nice guys… too early.

Tim Pawlenty, former Governor of Minnesota.

Bruce Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico.

Jon Huntsman, former Governor of Utah. These three have legs… but they are too short and undeveloped just now for the Oval Office. They should be planning to emerge, not now, but as the most beautiful, fascinating candidates of 2016. Needless to say, each will disagree vehemently with my patriotic assessment and so, like Pawlenty, build candidacies on the irrelevant details of personal resume. (“I was born in the meat packing town of South St. Paul; my father was a truck driver.”) Stop it, stop it at once!

Some who were in or contemplating, now (gratefully) out.

Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi.

Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas.

Donald Trump, billionaire enfant terrible.

John Thune, U.S. Senator from South Dakota.

Mitch Daniels, Governor of Indiana.

We owe them profuse thanks and appreciation for reading the tea-leaves early and right; no one wanted them for any reason and certainly not for president.

What’s left? Just one.

Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, though capable of denying it, stiff, austere, little loved, policy wonk, 100% committed to becoming president, doing whatever he must.

Romney may very well be the eventual nominee, but he must learn how to rouse America and make us not only think well of ourselves… but do well, too, a surgent nation again.

No one from this huge field of candidates has been able to do this and make themselves seem the inevitable resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And that’s why Republicans of every stripe are becoming increasingly desperate, tossing even more names in the hat. They should instead solve the problem as Nancy Saunders would: prune, prune, prune. Then focus on turning the last bud into something glorious, historic, larger-than-life. For whatever pygmy we select today… by election day 2012 that candidate will have been massaged into history, person of legend, colossus. Let’s hope by then he or she is ready for what we insist they be…….

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc. , providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Dr. Lant is also a historian and author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Info Cash ->

‘For misery, oh, oh, Cherchez la femme’. That’s what Dominique Strauss-Kahn,France’s prospective next president, did. See what happened next… ou la la!

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s note: Back in 1977 a group lavishly named Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, recorded a peppy little number called “Cherchez la femme”. Its lilt and lyrics are perfect accompaniment to this article. You can find it in any search engine. Then sit back and enjoy a story you’ll find yourself shaking your head about… as you tap your toes to the music, ready to jump up and dance…

Dans la nuit…

As a acute student of French history and politics, no doubt Dominique Strauss- Kahn (universally known in France as “DSK” for his initials knows the anecdote about Philippe, Duc d’Orleans, Regent of France (1715-1723). His mother, the dowager duchess, exasperated by his mind-blowing promiscuity (prodigious even by ancien regime standards) asked him why…. His shoulder-shrugging response? “Dans la nuit touts les chats son gris.” (“In the night, all cats are gray”).

Now DSK has given the French such a rollicking sexual scandal it’s outraged even the most insouciant Parisian boulevadier… affronted by the crudity of the alleged event and the charges, appalling to the most style-conscious people on earth. After all, as Professor Henry Higgins noted in “My Fair Lady” “The French don’t care what you do, as long as you pronounce it correctly.” It seems, judging from the outrage throughout France this week, that in fact there are limits and enough is enough even in the land of ou la la. Here are the facts…

May 14, 2011 Dominique Strauss-Kahn, leader of the International Monetary Fund, was just inches away from becoming president of France, with every public opinion poll showing him trouncing little loved incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy and taking up residence in the Elysee Palace. What happened that night has changed everything — for himself, for France, and for Europe.

Since the event in question took place in Manhattan (doesn’t everything?) it seems appropriate to quote some lyrics from local lad Stephen Sondheim written for “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum” .(1966).

“Everybody ought to have a maid. Everybody ought to have a working girl. Everybody ought to have a lurking girl… Everybody ought to have a menial consistently congenial.”

DSK took the suggestion literally… though Sondheim no doubt meant “a” maid, not “the” maid, a nuance perhaps lost in translation. And Sondheim most assuredly did not mean the 32 year-old chamber maid (from Senegal) who was fluffing DSK’s pillows in the luxury Sofitel hotel. Close to Times Square (always the epicenter of sexual squalor and never-tell-your-wife adventures), the cost of this eye-popping suite was either $1300 per night or $3000 per night, both figures reported by Associated Press. What matter? It had more amenities than Hotel 6 and perhaps the pampered and deferred to DSK thought the maid merely one of them… Moreover, when she declined his advances, he may have thought that was part of the service for stimulating a tired 62-year-old to improved performance. He lunged… she resisted… he lunged again. Kinky.

What happened in that luxury suite is (for the moment) only surely known to just the 2 people who were there. However, the maid (who had worked to the hotel’s satisfaction for three years), immediately went to the management to report the incident. She may have told DSK as much… and there was perhaps something in her eyes and manner that suggested she would do so indeed.

In any event, DSK decamped (without even stuffing his travel bag with either the high class toilette amenities beloved of hotel guests or his cell phone, which helped track him down) … racing to the airport for a flight to Paris… and the usual limelight and deference. The doors were being closed when…

… New York law enforcement officials entered the plane, arresting DSK, and charging him (just 4 hours after the incident was reported) with a criminal sex act, attempted rape, and unlawful imprisonment. Then they returned him to the city where, in the police lineup (so unchic) the maid selected him as her attacker, the man from whom she had to break free and escape. It was sordid… it was outrageous… and it broke the code of “do it if you must, but never, ever get caught”, something every successful politician with a roving eye needs to remember…. particularly Dominique Strauss-Kahn, whose relations with women were frequent, flagrant, and always feckless.

In 2007, for instance, Tristane Banon, a French journalist and writer, accused DSK of attempting to rape her in 2002, but she did not press charges. In 2008, an independent investigator was appointed following allegations he had had an affair with a married subordinate, Piroska Nagy. She was later made redundant and DSK helped her get another job. DSK issued a public apology for the affair. Le Journal du Dimanche dubbed him “le grand seducteur” (the Great Seducer). It was a sobriquet of distinction, not obloquy, perhaps more useful with voters than his Legion d’Honneur.

Perhaps more importantly, DSK’s employer, the International Monetary Fund’s board found that his relationship with Nagy was “consensual”, doing nothing more than calling his actions “regrettable” and saying they “reflected a serious error of judgement.” DSK (this mere hand slapping suggested) was too intelligent, too well connected, too valuable to lose for mere sexual peccadillos.

However, when the current allegations surfaced, the IMF acted at once and decisively, appointing an acting leader, distancing themselves from their man-of-the-hour only hours before. They knew the charges were serious… and high speed exoneration wasn’t going to happen. After all, DSK stood accused of jumping out of the bathroom, naked, jarring but hugely appreciated (I’m told) from an aging lothario. The alleged victim, unimpressed, had tried to fight him off as he dragged her into the salle de bain and humiliation.

All this, and the rest, outraged his IMF colleagues… as it outraged the French nation, used to sexual scandals in the highest places, but drawing the line at such behavior with servants.

As the news reached Paris, the talk was wild, often bawdy, and, given the national character, conspiratorial. What’s more, given the fact he’s Jewish, there were echoes of the nation’s most corrosive scandal, the 19th century Dreyfus Affair when the right-wing went out of its way to cover themselves for incompetence by destroying an innocent (Jewish) army officer. Why had two right-wing media sources been the first to release the news; how had they known so fast? DSK, his loyal adherents asserted, was framed. Maybe so. It will all come out in the wash in what promises to be one of the most lurid of trials, one every exultant conservative and every disgruntled,chagrined French socialist will scrutinize with care, the nation having lost a president but gained a steamy reality show.

Whilst he’s being held at Rikers Island prison in protective custody (being deemed a flight risk), DSK has time to work on his very expensive defence and connive at his release. Maybe the music and words of “Cherchez La Femme” will cheer him…. but I doubt it:

“This man has learned his lesson, oh hey Now he’s alone He’s got no woman and no home. For misery, oh, oh Cherchez la femme.”

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. He is also a historian and author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Commission Commando ->

Thoughts on the historic visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland, May 17, 2011. We salute the lady and her courage.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Let’s not delude ourselves. The Queen’s visit to Ireland is not only a political statement of the first magnitude. It is also an act of great personal courage for which the 85-year-old sovereign deserves the highest praise.

There are at this very moment people in Ireland who have determined that the British monarch die in Ireland in the most violent and heinous way.

Item: On Easter Monday 2011, a representative of the splinter sectarian group called the Real IRA appeared in a video statement wearing a balaclava and military clothing and referred to the visit (which begins May 17, 2011) as “the upcoming insult” and the government invitation as “unrepresentative” of the wishes of the Irish people.

He said, “The Queen of England is wanted for war crimes in Ireland and not wanted on Irish soil. We will do our best to ensure she and the gombeen class that act as her cheerleaders get that message.” (“gombeen” means corrupt.)

This statement also included a threat to kill more Northern Irish police officers just weeks after the murder of Catholic police officer Ronan Kerr in Omagh.

Item: The republican group Eirigi (Rise Up) has placed a countdown timer on its web site, calling for the Queen’s visit to be met with “widespread opposition and protest”. The group is asking those against the visit to occupy the Garden of Remembrance, a memorial park in Dublin dedicated to those who fought for Irish freedom, which is part of the Queen’s official itinerary.

She will also go to Croke Park Stadium, the headquarters of Ireland’s two national sports, Gaelic football and hurling. It is the site of one of the bloodiest days of the War of Independence, infamous as “Bloody Sunday” , November 21, 1920; 14 civilians were killed by British forces retaliating for the killing of British undercover agents earlier in the day. In a land where symbolism is potent and sharply etched it takes just a little to imagine some terrorist or other planning for the death strike at this place.

The Irish authorities are taking these and the hundreds of other threats and maledictions with the greatest possible care and concern. This visit is now Ireland’s biggest (and most costly) security event. Up to 10,000 police and military personnel will be deployed at a cost of some $42 million. “Safety first” was British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin’s slogan; it would be apt, too, for Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny. As for where the Irish government (mired in debt) will find the money to pay these costs that is quite a different matter…

But this very practical question is of minor interest to Irish President Mary McAleese who was insistent that this visit occur… and occur during her presidency. McAleese, like so many of the Irish, has been directly and personally touched by what locals, with stunning understatement, call “The Troubles”. She grew up in Northern Ireland during some of its worst days. Her brother was nearly beaten to death for the crime of being Roman Catholic. She is feisty and unapologetic about why this visit is so important at this time:

“It would be the culmination, a celebration, of the efforts that both countries have put into bringing peace.” Peace… so desirable, so elusive… now with the Queen’s visit officially at hand. I wonder if McAleese knows this famous speech by the Duke of Burgundy in Shakespeare’s “Henry V”?

“That face to face, and royal eye to eye, You have congreeted, let it not disgrace me If I demand before this royal view, What rub or impediment there is, Why that the naked, poor, and mangled Peace, Dear nurse of arts, plenties, and joyful births, Should not in this best garden of the world, Our fertile France, put up her lovely visage? Alas! she hath from France too long been chased….”

Change the single word “France” to “Ireland” and you have the very reason why McAleese has been so exigent on this subject. She and millions of storm-touched Irish wish in the catch-phrase of this moment, to “move on”. They want peace and its bounties, not the traditional delights of murdering innocent people because they choose to address God the Father in their own way. For generations people worldwide looked at Ireland and its unending, always bloody, always painful troubles and wondered why a nation of culture, civilization, hospitality and charm could still be chained to the blood sport of human murder… At last the overwhelming majority of the Irish, both northern and southern, too, have arrived at this point as the rationale for mayhem and murder has lost its persuasiveness. But not for all…

… which is why the visit of Elizabeth of England is so important and why this Queen of England can justifiably lay claim to one of the greatest speeches of her predecessor. Here is what Elizabeth I said as the galleons of the Dons of Spain moved on England in the Great Armada of 1588:

“We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourselves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you that I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear, I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects; and therefore I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved in the midst and heat of the battle to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust. I know I have but the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too”.

And so she does…

For, you see, Queen Elizabeth II has been profoundly and personally touched by the sea of Irish troubles. In 1979, the Irish Republican Army planted a bomb that killed, in his boat, the Queen’s cousin Lord Mountbatten of Burma, a distinguished theatre commander of World War II. Mountbatten was killed instantly along with his daughter’s mother-in-law Lady Brabourne, his 14-year-old grandson, and a local boy, age 15, who was piloting the boat. Prince Charles wept that day for the death of his mentor… and the good people of two nations wept with him. Thus have sovereigns and princes been afflicted along with the rest, so desiring peace as fervently.

Never forget, there is danger in this visit. There are those who prefer the grisly past. And they will move mountains, or at least attempt to, to wreak havoc and dismay. That is why in Dublin today, specialists will complete their second or third reconnaissance of the city’s sewers and all such places where bombs and other devices of death and disfigurement could be planted. Over these her majesty will travel starting tomorrow in Dublin. Thus does a queen do her duty… and demonstrate the valor which has always been one of her sterling qualities, doing the job no one does better. God Save The Queen.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc. , providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Dr. Lant is also a world recognized historian, an expert on the British Royal Family and author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Work From NO Home System ->

Sir William Walton and the sound of royalty.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s note. To get the most from this article, you will need to listen to three royal fanfares by Sir William Walton, the individual most responsible for the distinctive, rich, soaring sound that epitomizes, defines and glorifies the Windsor dynasty.These fanfares include

1) “Crown Imperial March”. 2) The incidental music for Sir Laurence Olivier’s 1944 production of “Henry V”. 3) “Orb and Sceptre March”.

You will find them in any search engine.

Image is everything.

Consider the singular problem of royalty, especially the most important royalty — sovereign emperors, kings, queens and queen consorts. They do not like us too close to their overpowering presence… but they certainly want to put their stamp on us and leave an indelible impression of grandeur, awe, majesty.

Towards this end, everything their subjects will see (and be able to be influenced and impressed by) is subjected to the most intense scrutiny and consideration. Everything must serve the greater end of the dynasty; the end being just how they are perceived by their subjects… so that the dynasty (with its mountain of anachronistic privileges) is preserved, protected, defended; the better to ensure these near immortals remain “long to reign over us”.

Amongst the most important aspects of how royalty presents itself to you so that they may rise higher and you make the necessary (and heartfelt) obeisance is the music used to suit their never-ending purpose; the music that dazzles the ear at the same time their clothes, jewels, uniforms, decorations and all the other accouterments dazzle the eye. Of these subjects, the things to capture the eye are by far more discussed than the music that accompanies royalty upon every significant occasion of their lives.

At the April, 2011 marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the major coverage went to two particular items: the bride’s gown and the two kisses the newly married couple made from the balcony at Buckingham Palace. By comparison a tiny percentage of mention went to the carefully chosen music, including Sir William Walton’s celebrated “Crown Imperial March”. Yes, here is where you heard that stirring fanfare first; although as it surrounded their royal highnesses, wafting them forward on a cloud of acoustic incense… you were paying attention to how the bride and groom looked and how they carried themselves leaving Westminster Abbey. The music was definitely secondary.

You knew the tableaux and its moving figures were perfect; you hardly gave a thought to the essential contribution of the fanfare, much less of Sir William Walton, its composer. Thus, the music does its essential work; moving you, influencing you, directing you where the dynasty wants your thoughts to be at that moment.

About Sir William Walton, (March 1902-March, 1983).

Walton was born into a musical family in Oldham, Lancashire. At age 16 he became an undergraduate at prestigious Christ Church at Oxford University. It was said at the time that he was the youngest undergraduate since King Henry VIII. His musical talents were quickly recognized and encouraged, particularly by the eccentric, talented, well-placed Sitwell family, Sir Sacheverell and his (distinctly odd) sister Edith. He lived with them for many years, while they “finished” their eager protege for the world. With Edith providing the lyrics, Walton composed the music for his first great success, Facade (1923). It established him as a member of the musical avant garde. But this designation (so pleasing to a young man with his way to make) proved short- lived and erroneous.

Walton’s strengths (and they were considerable) were not in inventing new forms, living on the cutting edge. No, indeed, he was no innovator… he was a traditionalist producing the incidental music for two great institutions — the British monarchy and Britain’s cinema. Such a role provided his numerous critics with what they needed to write him off as a “serious” composer… and made Walton wince, despite his celebrity and world-wide renown. It is often thus with those who are gifted in ways other than they planned or wanted… The coronation of 1937.

Walton was a painfully slow, plodding composer; composition came neither fluently nor with celerity. His works were relatively few, with long gaps between. Nonetheless, despite the nagging criticism of “modernists” who saw Walton as a renegade, his progress was inexorable. In due course he came to the notice of the British royal family, which took serious note of the “Walton” sound… soon to be the Windsor sound — exalted, elevated, often electrifying. The Windsors, having congratulated themselves on surviving the First World War (unlike all three imperial dynasties of Russia, Austria, Germany), soon had need of these very traits. The abdication of Edward VIII and the scandal which shook the monarchy to its foundation made them desperate to reassure the nation of their worthiness. And so Walton got the call of a lifetime, being asked to provide the entry music for Queen Mary, George V’s regal consort, the pillar of the dynasty.

Queens dowager didn’t attend coronations, but Queen Mary knew her presence would reassure the nation… and she wanted something dazzling to confirm her undeniable royalty. Walton gave her, and the world, his “Crown Imperial March”. (1937). The Windsors knew at once they had the sound they — and their challenged empire — needed… and the man who could produce it for them. It was a great gift in one of the worst years in British royal history… and they took Walton to their hearts as he, like his music, soared…

“Henry V” and Queen Elizabeth II’s 1953 coronation.

Walton was now the “go to” man when you wanted music that made showy outward display carried by the imperative commands of trumpets. Walton’s music made you sit up, take notice, and transcend yourself and your little cares. It was bombastic, a shade vulgar, but packed with the vitality and the testosterone the dynasty and the nation needed.

Of his many compositions exhibiting these grandiose traits, two more deserve mention: the film score for Sir Laurence Olivier’s 1944 production of Shakespeare’s “Henry V” and Walton’s “Orb and Sceptre March” for the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Walton, in his way, was as much a pillar of the monarchy and Britain herself as Queen Mary. He lifted people up when they needed it (World War II) and when a wounded nation faced post-war austerity. His music showed you why “this band of brothers” (in “Henry V”) was victorious despite great odds against them… and why the Phoenix of England would rise again with the coronation of the new, young sovereign. It is no wonder a grateful monarch gave him knightly honors and the most prestigious Order of Merit. Thus was recognized and rewarded the grandeur of Sir William Walton who made the dynasty itself and all its princes grander still.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses.
Dr. Lant is also a Royal Historian and author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out e Master Classes ->

And she asked me ‘Was I a good mother… ?’ Mothers Day, Sunday May 8, 2011

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Today is Mother’s Day in the United States. It occurred just the other day in England… and will occur around the globe at various times all year long as millions of people make a point of honoring mother and making this day special for her. Those of us whose mother has passed on will take time this day for remembrance… turning this into a day of bittersweet joy and sorrow. There will be tears… but there will be smiles, too, as we recall every aspect of Mom with all the memories we cherish so. Yes, there most assuredly will be smiles, too… for Mom, even if gone, still has the power to lighten our lives and soothe us, just as she did so often once upon a time…

Anna Jarvis and the creation of Mother’s Day, 1914.

There have, of course, been mothers’ days as long as there have been mothers. Kind-hearted fathers and grateful children undoubtedly saw to that… but one woman wanted more for mothers than a casual, occasional compliment. Her name was Anna Jarvis and she is the reason you are dropping by your mom’s today, your arms full of spring flowers and a myriad of affectionate tokens.

Anna Jarvis was born May 1, 1864 in Webster, Taylor County, West Virginia. She was the ninth of eleven children born to Ann Marie and Granville Jarvis. From childhood Anna idolized her mother, and she often heard her say that she hoped someone one day would establish a memorial for all mothers, living and dead.

Anna always recalled one particular incident that drove home her mother’s unceasing message. This incident occurred during a class prayer given by Mrs. Jarvis in Anna’s receptive presence. Mrs. Jarvis’ lesson was on “Mothers of the Bible”. She closed the lesson with the prayer “I hope that someone, sometime will found a memorial mothers day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life. She is entitled to it.”

Anna was just 12 years old… and not only did she never forget; she dedicated her life to achieving her mother’s desire. We can now see the contours of this story. Mrs. Jarvis, kept perpetually pregnant, laboring under a mountain of never- ending work, with a husband who never understood all she did and how much he relied upon her… and a daughter completely receptive to her mother’s urgent plea for recognition, assistance, and above all else — love. Mrs. Ann Marie Jarvis poured it all into her daughter’s dutiful ears… and whatever her resentments, disappointments and moments of chagrin… here at least she was abundantly rewarded. Her darling Anna saw to that…

After her mother’s death on May 9, 1905, Anna, now living with siblings Claude and Lillie, began her life’s work, to create a day that would fulfill her mother’s fervid desire. Fueled by love and the image of her overworked, under loved (but never by Anna) mother… Anna put her active pen to paper, determined to achieve her goal of establishing a nationwide observance of Mother’s Day. Nothing was going to stop her, and so from love came the focused, unceasing activity that moves mountains. She bombarded hundreds of legislators, executives, and businessmen on both state and national levels.

Everyone was polite, muttering general words of support… but, despite her efforts and her skills as a notable and motivating speaker, Anna Jarvis was making no progress. Then one of the greatest marketers in history, John Wanamaker, merchant prince, entrepreneur, philanthropist heard Anna and saw at once that her idea was good for Wanmaker’s, good for business, good for America, and good for mothers everywhere. It was a win-win situation all round…

With the inventive genius, power, influence and energy of John Wanamaker (1838-1922) behind her, Anna Jarvis and her idea moved onwards and upwards at incredible speed. On May 10, 1908 15,000 folks eager to Honor Thy Mother showed up at Wanamaker’s Store Auditorium in Philadelphia to hear Anna Jarvis speak. 10,000 of them had to be turned away for lack of room… It was a magnificent event… thereafter success followed success, Wanamaker saw to that; he was a dynamo of a man, success his birthright.

By 1909, 45 states, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico observed Mother’s Day. People by the millions wore the white and red carnations the movement had adopted as a visible means of showing that the wearer loved Mother and supported the cause. President Wilson proclaimed the first national Mother’s Day in 1914. Everyone was happy now; a great goal had been achieved… everyone, that is, but Anna Jarvis.

Every time a florist sold a bouquet… every time a husband hard-pressed for time and with worries of his own bought a card… every time anyone made a buck off her Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis winced. And so as the number of participants grew into the millions, Jarvis who should have been the happiest of all became the most miserable. This isn’t at all what she had in mind for mothers… or the memory of her mother.

So began the sad decline of Anna Jarvis, the woman who now proceeded to burn every bridge and sunder her intimate connection to Mother’s Day until with the death of her sister, she was entirely alone… having nothing but memories and the assurance of her mother’s love. And so she went on, bitter, alone, forgotten, neglected until at last she died, November 24, 1948, her mother’s zealous defender until the end…

… but too much so. I like to think that Anna’s mother would have been glad for the card (even if store-bought), for the flowers (even if not picked from your own garden), and the candy you didn’t have time or talent to make… because each is a token of a love which cannot be celebrated too often… the love of mother. And so if your mother is alive today, do something, anything, indicating you care.

And as you are lavishing these gifts on your one and only mother, give a thought to Anna Jarvis and her troubled spirit. She is the reason you have the happy task of turning this otherwise ordinary day into the reassurance your mother requires that yes, resoundingly yes, she was and yet is a good mother, the best of all whatever her faults or limitations. All she really needs is to hear you say so….

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Dr. Lant is also the author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Shoe-In Money ->

For my nephew Kyle Patrick Burleson, now B.A. and for all the graduates of the class of 2011, well meant advice and counsel.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Dear Kyle,

Without even a by-your-leave I am taking upon myself one of the most pleasant duties of aging: advising others how to live a better life than one has had oneself. Such advice giving may be a form of expiation for sins we were strenuously urged (by our self-selected guides) not to commit… but did, along with many other happy paths to perdition we found all by ourselves and enjoyed immensely.

First of all, please accept my apology for not attending this important event in your young life. The truth is, travel, which was once my unadulterated joy, is no longer such a pleasure. I am too old to relish the employees of Homeland Security asking me to divest myself of my clothes in the interest of American security. I appreciate their zealousness in pursuit of terrorists, but I look what I am: a well-heeled gentleman of refined taste, without a balaclava or hand grenade to my name. Homeland Security no doubt sees the obvious as the perfect cover for conspiracy.

In any event, my physical presence will not be present at your Commencement, and I regret this, especially the moment when your university president, or comparable big-wig, declares (as they do at Harvard) that you are now a member of the company of educated men and women. That is a magnificent achievement and deserves to be noted by all who love and care about you. With the great world growing increasingly uneducated… and with such standards upon which we prided ourselves… now reckoned elitist and archaic, I want you to know that entry into that company is and always will be one of the chiefest achievements of your life, no matter how long you live and what you achieve hereafter. You belong amongst these people and they will constitute the pool from which you draw your friends, your professional colleagues, the woman you eventually marry and, of course, your relations. You understand these people; they understand you and these things become more and more valuable as time goes on.

Know thyself, the complete self.

You have just completed a term of years in which you had ample time for the study of yourself; who you are, where you come from, where you wish to go and why.. Now, upon what is aptly termed commencement, this study will accelerate and will never conclude. However, to know yourself, you must know the people from which you came and who created you, a mosaic of them and their far-flung lives.

Amongst your relations, you number the most important Chief Justice of the United States, John Marshall; also Harold Macmillan, Earl of Stockton, sometime Prime Minister of England. You are also the scion of cosmopolitan European aristocrats; indeed in the fullness of time, you will become a prince with an ancient title and a host of other titles of nobility. Your history is also replete with clergymen, pioneers, educators, business people, and many who arduously tilled the soil and planted carefully and well.

I tell you these things because in this day and age it is unfashionable to speak of the manifold genetic strands that produced — you. Our day and age celebrates the so-called common man. But we, Burlesons, Burgesses, MacMillans, Lants, Lauings and all the rest believed in constantly striving to go beyond, well beyond, the common; the better to achieve unstinted excellence. You are the product of excellence; we all hope and know that you will give us more of it…and so instruct your children to come in how to achieve it, too.

Now some practical advice.

You are a sensible fellow, good looking, intelligent, agile. This is all to the good. But these suggestions will enhance these attributes.

1) Be friendlier, more affable, the exemplar of the best of manners.

You are of a withdrawn disposition, tending to keep your counsel. This is admirable, but it is insufficient for living well amongst the other members of our species. Many of these people have not had your many advantages; they therefore look to you for the words and gestures of welcome and hospitality, commonly called manners, which make living amongst humans as pleasant as our species of carnivores and raptors allows.

You have come from leaders; leadership is in your blood. In no way does such leadership manifest itself better than with superior manners, for what are such manners after all than kindness and making others feel always comfortable around you, no matter what the matter at hand.

Good manners do not mean that you necessarily agree with people, but it means you respect them and wish to learn, sincerely, their dispositions and points of view. Good manners are the emoluments by which civilized people ease the lives of those they encounter and so ease their own lives.

2) Thank the people who help you, never forget their services and affection.

You are an able young man, able to do many things for yourself… but never all. Every person of insight and intelligence comes, inevitably, to agree with British poet John Donne (1572-1621) that “no man is an island unto himself”. You are the product of a variable army of good, decent, hard-working people who gave of themselves to shape you and make you the man you are today. These people deserve and should be amply given acknowledgement, recognition, thanks and, above all else, kindness. This is your responsibility now and for the rest of your life. Never wait for these people to contact you… contact them and be lavish in your expressions of thanks, for they have all worked to a single purpose, to craft, mold and improve. Your graduation makes it clear they succeeded.

3) Never forget, always remember, and always honor family.

This is a world where we are all vulnerable, endangered. Thus we must always consider how to preserve ourselves and flourish. In this equation there is one variable that never varies; the fundamental importance of family, the people who are of you, for you, by you. In this regard I have a paradox for your consideration. Now that you have graduated leave home as soon as possible, the better to come to know, understand and appreciate your immediate family as well as members of its branches.

The longer you stay at home, the longer you will be treated as an adolescent, not a man. Clashes under such circumstances are inevitable and will both pain and exasperate everyone. My cordial advice therefore, transforming Horace Greeley’s famous exhortation, “Go anywhere, young man, go anywhere.” Distance will not only make the heart grow fonder; it will enable you to see all the principals, in a new, more humane light, and so move into a more productive and affectionate phase with all.

One last request: communicate better and oftener with your scribbling Uncle Jeffrey. He always means you well and understands the importance of tangible affection. A small congratulatory check is herewith enclosed. Uncles understand the importance of providing funds towards the noble objective of more profound communications and understanding.

Remember this, thy college graduation day.

Do not miss a single part of the ceremony; take photos liberally; see the scene as it is, a pageant celebrating you and your classmates all over this land beset by high challenges and often enfeebled visions. We need you, all of you. And so if this day, a la Winston Churchill, is not yet the beginning of the end; it is most assuredly the end of the beginning… and is replete with hope, sorely needed, its limited supply now to be rectified by you, all of you.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc. , providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses.
Dr. Lant is also the author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Info Cash ->

Osama bin Laden has been killed and we say Hallelujah

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

I am not a violent man but I have waited, with all Americans, for the violent end to one man of consummate evil, Osama bin Laden… and now — at long last — his end has come and my heart beats quicker and in gratitude to the people who have done this worthy deed and rid the world of the man whose face was the face of death.

The facts.

For years, the CIA had been monitoring an al-Qaida courier. They knew he was important because detainees told investigators he was profoundly trusted by bin Laden and might very well be living with bin Laden. Last August, as a result of monitoring this courier, intelligence officials got a break. The courier arrived at a highly fortified compound nestled in an affluent neighborhood of an affluent Pakistani town two hours outside Islamabad.

Everything about this compound suggested some nefarious purpose. It was surrounded by walls as high as 18 feet, topped with barbed wire. Two security posts were the only way in. A third-floor terrace was shielded by a seven-foot privacy wall. No phone lines or Internet cables ran to the property. The residents burned their garbage rather than put it out for collection. Intelligence officials came to believe that this highly distinctive compound was built about 5 years ago at a cost of about one million dollars for a person of consequence in al-Qaida.. The question now was who that person of consequence might be.

Increasingly, after innumerable reviews of the compound and everything known about it, intelligence officials came to believe that the compound was bin Laden’s… but for this most important of covert operations there could not be any error of any kind. Americans, they knew, had to have success, total success from this mission… and that’s precisely what these officials aimed to give an aggrieved, long-suffering, and patient nation.

And so they did their important work, their painstaking work, their essential work so that when they did what they must do they would be completely successful, and Osama bin Laden would not escape yet again.

Absolute certainty required.

By mid-February, intelligence from multiple sources was clear enough to enable President Obama to “pursue an aggressive course of action.” During the next two and a half months, Obama led five meetings of the National Security Council focused solely on whether bin Laden was in that compound and, if so, how to get him.

Everyone was agreed from the President on down: this time there must be complete success…

And so, first of all, just who had access to this growing body of intelligence was drastically limited. Our closest allies — Britain, Canada, Australia, etc. — are ordinarily in the loop… but not this time. Too, the United States does not normally carry out ground operations inside Pakistan without collaboration from Pakistani intelligence. But this was the ultimate covert operation and what was “normal” in such matters was not good enough.

There had to be total success; everything had to be done right… the first time.

April 29, 2011. The President approved the operation to kill Osama bin Laden and the countdown to vengeance began.

For this most important of missions, Obama went with real people instead of our sophisticated Predator drones. President Obama entrusted the honor of America to some of America’s finest, the elite Navy SEAL Team Six under the command of CIA Director Leon Panetta. The names of team members have not (so far) been released… but they have well and truly earned the gratitude of the nation.

A fiery end, a bullet to the head.

In the dead of night, helicopters descended out of darkness to deliver Armageddon. One can imagine the event.

The inhabitants of the compound would have awakened, drowsy and disoriented, to their worst nightmare. Coming for them, every one of them, were the deliverers of promised retribution… the representatives of a great nation delivering at last what every citizen of that nation wanted: Revenge! Retaliation! Justice!

Unimaginable horror scarred the night skies as, one by one, the representatives of al-Qaida fell… the courier who lead the CIA to this place… bin Laden’s brother… his son… and the man of practised and unfathomable evil Osama bin Laden himself… one blessed bullet into the brain that brought so much undeserved pain to so many.

This was the man whose hatred created, on the fateful day of September 11, profound misery; a man who turned happy children from happy homes into orphans… a wicked man who tore wives from husbands and husbands from wives… a man who turned doting grandparents into crazed people mad with despair… asking a single question over and over again: “Why?” What had so many innocent people done to deserve so much….

And so, even as the Twin Towers fell, even as a great nation reeled and wept… the sentiment took root that the perpetrator of this great evil must be found and punished.

And that day of righteous punishment came — May 1, 2011.

Buried according to Islamic practice and tradition.

The bodies of Osama’s victims were buried in the burning debris of the once majestic towers, the very symbols of our greatest city. The bravest of the brave found these bodies and gave them the most reverential burials. We gave the remains of bin Laden the same high respect… burying him with decency and full honors, so that no one could say we treated him with the deep contempt with which he treated us. Here, as so often, we rose above… to behave with the deep decency which is the core of who we are.

An incident, not the end.

I am not, as I said, a violent man; I often wonder why we humans seem to need, even crave, so much of it. But of this I am sure: the total eradication of this man was needed, warranted, and beneficial. His misguided followers, now disoriented and dismayed, will turn the man into a martyr, but they will be wrong to do so. His twisted perspective hurts them, too, and can deliver nothing more than more infernos and more pain.

That is why we must continue to be vigilant. One bullet is not the end… but that bullet surely marks the end of the chapter which began September 11, 2001.

It is a beautiful day here in Cambridge, Massachusetts… the kind of day that makes one glad to be alive. I intend to go, in a minute, into the sparkling air and the brilliant sunshine… to say a little prayer for the victims, our honored dead… and hope their spirits may now rest more easily, abiding forever in the Peace of God they came to know too soon.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is the author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer