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Culture Briefs

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Black vs. brown

"In the rarefied world of national politics (and in America's even more other-worldly universities) blacks and Latinos tend to be lumped together in what Nicolas Vaca, a California lawyer, calls a 'presumed alliance.' Last month, Barack Obama ... assured a Hispanic conference that such a bond existed. ... On the streets of America's cities, however, rather less lofty attitudes are apparent.

" 'We're being overrun,' says Ted Hayes of Choose Black America, which has led anti-immigration marches in south-central Los Angeles. 'The companeros have taken all the housing. If you don't speak Spanish, they turn you down for jobs. Our children are jumped upon in the schools. They are trying to drive us out.' ...

"Last year [a poll by Pew Research] found that one-third of blacks believe immigrants take jobs from Americans — more than any other group. ... One survey of Durham, N.C., found that 59 percent of Latinos believed few or almost no blacks were hard-working, and a similar proportion reckoned few or almost none could be trusted."

From "Where black and brown collide," in the Aug. 2 issue of the Economist

CAIR's wrath

"It is one of the oddities of American politics that the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) can describe itself as a 'civil-liberties group' while crusading to crush the free-speech rights of its critics. But that's exactly what happened [last month] when CAIR deployed its legal arsenal in a bid to stop author Robert Spencer from speaking at a conference of the Young America's Foundation (YAF). ...

"CAIR threatened to 'pursue every appropriate legal remedy' if Spencer were not immediately silenced. ... The moral of the story: If CAIR disagrees with what you have to say, it'll fight furiously to deny your right to say it. To heck with civil liberties. ...

"Other recipients of CAIR's wrath have included scholar Daniel Pipes, conservative columnist Cal Thomas, talk radio host Michael Graham, venerable news pundit Paul Harvey, National Review magazine, Fox's '24,' and Andrew Whitehead, the proprietor of the Web site Anti-CAIR. ... Whitehead's dogged criticism of the organization got him slapped with a defamation suit. When CAIR's suit was decisively dismissed last year, the victory ... had a certain David-vs.-Goliath resonance."

Jacob Laksin and Jamie Glazov, writing on "CAIR vs. Robert Spencer," Thursday in Front Page Magazine at www.frontpagemag.com

Thinking man

"A true intellectual conveys to the public new ideas on a wide range of subjects, unearthing these notions long before most people do. That is the essence of Nobel laureate Friedrich von Hayek's definition of an intellectual. In his 1949 University of Chicago Law Review essay 'The Intellectuals and Socialism,' Hayek also underlined that for better or worse, intellectuals are more important than most people think. After all, they shape public opinion.

"Austrian economist Hayek was one of Ronald Reagan's favorite thinkers. And Reagan, by Hayek's definition, was an intellectual. Reagan the intellectual? The book 'Reagan, In His Own Hand' (2001) answers that question. This volume ... contains 259 essays Reagan wrote in his own hand, mainly scripts for his five-minute, five-day-a-week syndicated radio broadcasts in the late 1970s. They are awe-inspiring in their breadth of subject matter. And they laid out the philosophical framework for his presidency. ...

"No wonder Reagan always appeared to be relaxed and in control. He had thought things through."

Steve H. Hanke, writing on "Reflections on Reagan the Intellectual," in the August issue of Globe Asia