Saturday, December 5, 2009

TLR: The Speech Writing Project, Part 2

The next Texan in the White House Needs Great Speeches

When I mentioned the importance of good speech writing in our next effort to put at Texan in the White House, I mentioned that our universities could support this effort by promoting promoting presidential rhetoric and oratory.

Besides normal scholarly work, we could look at the example of Jeffrey Hart at Dartmouth University. Besides teaching English Literature, he worked as a speech writer on Ronald Reagan's 1968 run for the Republican nomination. He worked as a White House speech writer for Nixon. Then he returned to Dartmouth.

Jeffrey Hart worked as a book reviewer for Buckley's National Review. Hart helped start the Dartmouth Review.

A great leader needs great speeches to showcase great ideas and affirm great values. We need to develop great speech writers in Texas to help make Texas Ascendant!

Robert Canright

Related posts
TLR and the Speech Writing Project, December 3, 2008

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

TLR: The Heartland Union

We Need Help

If Texas is going to be the engine that pulls America back on track, we cannot do it alone. When I first proposed the Democracy Project I suggested we ally ourselves with the states in the American heartland. We need a good name for this alliance and I now propose the Heartland Union for the name.

If the middle-class is going to survive, then middle-America must organize for self preservation. At some point we will need to win the Presidency. We need to think outside the box and put aside the conventional concept of political parties because neither of the two parties at the national level represents the welfare of the middle-class. I cannot predict whether there will be a new third party or a revolt within an existing party, but we need a change.

Whatever the vehicle to power, we need to borrow some of the thinking the parties use for Presidential elections. It so happens that most of the American heartland corresponds to the red states in an electoral map, as you might find at PoliticalMaps.org.

The States in the Heartland Union

What will the Heartland Union look like? It has to look like a winner, which means 270 electoral votes!

Let's construct a map of the Heartland Union based on electoral votes. The following states have voted in similar fashion in Presidential elections. Below are the state initials and the number of electoral college votes.
ID 4
UT 5
AZ 10
MT 3
WY 3
ND 3
SD 3
NE 5
KS 6
OK 7
TX 34
MO 11
AR 6
LA 9
IN 11
KY 8
TN 11
MS 6
AL 9
WV 5
VA 13
NC 15
SC 8
GA 15
AK 3
The subtotal is 213 in 25 states, but we need 270 electoral votes so we are 57 short.

FL 27
OH 21
Which add up to 48, need 9 more.

Colorado has 9:
CO 9
At this point we have 28 of 50 states.
If we do not get Colorado, then we need 2 of these 3:
NM 5
NV 5
NH 4
If we got all of these states, they add up to 31 states.

I believe if we controlled 34 state legislatures we could force a new Constitutional Convention. This would be leverage. We would need 3 more states to join the Heartland Union, even if they are not contiguous with the rest of the states in this political alliance.

Small states might be easier to work with, so we need to develop good relations with the following small states, all of which have 3 or 4 electoral votes, to develop enough influence to threaten holding a constitutional convention:
DE, VT, RI, HI and ME

Strategies

My thought has been to form a Heartland Union based on shared values. It's also possible to create alliances with states having different values if there are mutual interests. I'll explore this approach later.

Key Concepts

We must recognize that Ohio, Florida, and Colorado are import to include in the Heartland Union, but they flip-flop between red and blue. New Mexico goes blue more often than you might expect. It may be that these states recognize the failings of the Republican Party at the national level and reject that leadership. Texas needs to be the alternative to the RNC (Republican National Committee). Texas needs to represent the interests of middle-America because no one else does.

Robert Canright

The Democracy Project, January 31, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

TBAR: Dallas Morning News and Texas Publishing

What would the Dallas metroplex be like without the Dallas Morning News?

The DMN was founded in 1885 by Alfred Belo. The Dallas Morning News has been around for a long time and it would be sad to see it go. But it could shut down. 105 newspapers have closed in 2009. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer closed after 146 years in print. We cannot take for granted the survival of the DMN.

The Dallas Morning News ran an article on Sunday October 11, 2009: Morning News Tries Premium Value Strategy by Brendan Case. The DMN said it will fight for readership by increasing its news coverage: they are betting on providing quality to maintain readership. A significant number of people from the DMN attended a home owners meeting in Plano to explain their commitment to its readers.

Dallas cannot become a world-class city without a world-class newspaper, so I definitely would like to see a newspaper in Dallas. If the DMN closes, would another newspaper take its place? This is a difficult time for newspapers across America. There is a thought that has plagued me for over a month. I could not figure out how to express this thought, but then a friend put it into words for me.

I was telling a friend that one year ago people protested in front of every Federal Reserve Bank in America, the End the Fed movement, but there was no news coverage in Dallas at all. The Dallas Morning News and TV news were all silent. My friend said, "You know how worried people are about the newspapers closing? Maybe they deserve to close."

What a shocking thought! Then I remembered how terrible the news coverage was during the last presidential election. The reporting was so bad I had to read London newspapers and a German magazine to learn what was going on in America. Maybe newspapers are failing as businesses because they have been failing as newspapers.

If the DMN fails, it will leave void. But we already have a major void in Texas publishing.

Are Newspapers All We Need?

We need more than good newspapers. For Texas to rise to greatness, we need great ideas. I never cared for William F. Buckley or the National Review, but they did make a difference. The New Criterion had some influence as did First Things, Chronicles, and The Public Interest. The Cornell Review and the Dartmouth Review were started by students and have had some influence.

The book of James says the tongue is like a tiny rudder that turns a large ship. Ideas are like tiny rudders that turn society. We cannot have great leaders without great ideas, and we cannot raise Texas to greatness without great leaders. So great ideas can contribute to making Texas a great state.

There are universities in Texas that aspire to become Tier One universities. It really does take more than a research budget to get respect, it takes intellectual firepower. Texas needs magazines with intellectual content, and Texas universities are pools of talent that that can nurture influential magazines. My neighborhood bookstore sells the Yale Economic Review, a student journal. Why can't we have a Texas Economic Review put out by our university students? We have not set that kind of goal for ourselves, but it is time we did.

How can we contribute to the birth of great magazines of thoughtful discourse? We can look forward to them, read them when they are available, and discuss their ideas. An infrastructure of power that lacks ideas is a weak infrastructure.

Robert Canright

Related posts:
The Texas Journalism Project November 27, 2008
The Texas Publishing Project December 14, 2008
Publishing Business Novels February 12, 2009
Texas Tier One University Project, September 19, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Texas Tier One University Project

Texas needs more Tier One universities. We do not compare well against New York and California.

Texas is one of the most populous states in the Union. Here are the top three, compared by Electoral College votes.

California: 55 Electoral votes
Texas: 34 Electoral votes
New York: 31 Electoral votes

New York and California each have more Tier One Universities than Texas. Below is the count, from a report by David Daniel to the Texas State Senate.

California: 9 Tier One universities
Texas: 3 Tier One universities
New York: 7 Tier One universities

Using the electoral votes as a representation of population, I set up and solved these problems with my son: Based on the ratio of electoral votes, and comparing Texas to the number of Tier One universities in California and New York, how many Tier One universities should Texas have?

Compared to California: x/9 = 34/55, which is solved for 5.5 Tier One universities.
Compared to New York: x/7 = 34/31, which is solved for 7.7 Tier One universities.

Texas has 3 Tier One Universities, but we should have between 5 and 8. The DFW area definitely needs a Tier One university for economic and political development. When visiting campuses, I was very impressed with Texas Tech University and was surprised it was not a Tier One university. The State of Texas has recognized a need for more Tier One universities and has a plan to provide more money. There is an excellent article by Holly Hacker in the Dallas Morning News, Friday April 24, 2009: "7 Texas universities hoping to join 'tier one' face long battle." Here is another good article from Lubbock Online: "Tech's tier-one bill not killed by chubbing" by Enrique Rangel, Thursday, May 28, 2009.

But what is a Tier One university? The article by Holly Hacker discusses this, and here is a link to WikiAnswers on "What is a tier one university?" Money is part of the answer, but prestige and influence are the major factors. We should want more Tier One universities in order to generate more wealth and influence for the State of Texas.

I have been parochial in the past, focusing mostly on the need for a Tier One university in the DFW metroplex, but I recognize the importance of adding more than one Tier One school to the existing three. Texas needs to add between 2 and 5 more Tier One schools to lift the total to the range of 5 to 8. This defines a Texas Tier One University Project.

I am happy and encouraged to see the Texas State Legislature has already recognized the importance of having more Tier One Universities in Texas (a link to the legislation is provided in the references). We all need to be supportive of this effort.

From Holly Hacker's article, here is the list of 7 schools considered candidates for Tier One:
  1. The University of North Texas in Denton
  2. UT-Arlington
  3. UT-Dallas
  4. UT-El Paso
  5. UT-San Antonio
  6. The University of Houston
  7. Texas Tech in Lubbock
There might not be enough resources for all 7 schools to become Tier One schools, so remember to support the schools of your choice.

Robert Canright

References

Related posts:
Texas, New York, and Universities Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Texas Needs More Tier 1 Universities Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Why UT Dallas Should Be Tier One Saturday, January 17, 2009

Here is a link to HR 51, session 81(R). The bill was written by RepresentativeDan Branch of Dallas, et al, and sponsored by State Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo).

List of Projects

The Texas Ascendancy Campaign has three major divisions: the Texas Business and Arts Renaissance (TBAR), the Texas Leadership Revolution (TLR), and Education. You can view a high level diagram of the Texas Ascendant Campaign.

Below is a list of the projects comprising the Texas Ascendant Campaign. You can go to the top of the Blogger page, paste in the name of the project, click on the "Search Blog" button, and see all the posts on that project.

A project might contribute to more than one aspect of the Texas Ascendancy Campaign. The Cicero Project, for example, has both political and business interests. The Cicero Project can also be viewed as a part of the Education aspect of the Texas Ascendancy Campaign.

List of Projects
History Project
Cicero Project
Texas Banking and Finance Project
Economics Project
Industrialization Project
Billionaire Project
Trust Texas Project
Texas Journalism Project
Texas Diplomacy Project
Texas Democracy Project
Texas Entrepreneurship Project
Texas Publishing Project
Texas Software Initiative
The Texas Software Product Development Project
Texas Software Reliability Project 
Special Methods Software Project 
Speech Writing Project
DFW University Project
Texas Tier One University Project
Jefferson Project
Classics Project
Classics Animated Project

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Industrialization in Texas: the Italian Model

I first discussed the Texas Industrialization Project back in July. Industrialization is important for Texas because industry provides jobs. Texas needs to plan for economic growth, and if the State of Texas will not do it, then it is up to the cities to do it.

I do not picture Plano, Texas, becoming thick with heavy industry, but it could become part of a web of small scale industries that spans the communities of Frisco, McKinney, Richardson, and Lewisville.

Francis Fukuyama, in Chapter 10 of his book, Trust, describes how central Italy in the 1970's and 1980's exploded economically "with the emergence of networks of small businesses making everything textiles and designer clothes to machine tools and industrial robots." He goes on to say, "Some enthusiasts of small-scale industrialization have argued that the Italian model represents and entirely new paradigm of industrial production, one that can be exported to other countries."

If the Italians can do this, then we can do the same if we have the will-power to do so.

He says, "Italy is the world's third-largest producer of industrial robots, and yet a third of that industry's output is produced by enterprises with fewer than fifty employees." Smaller companies are easier to capitalize, meaning smaller start-up costs.

Smaller costs means the cities and counties could do this kind of industrial planning without waiting for leadership at the state level.

These small companies in Italy could compete internationally because they could respond to changes quickly. They could compete against the giants of world industry because, "they specialized in machine tools, ceramics, apparel, design, and other activities that do not reward large scale."

We have enough talent in North Texas that we can compete internationally. We need to think for ourselves and work for our prosperity if our children are to have a future.

We need an Industrialization Plan and the Italian model could be a part of it.

Robert Canright

Reference:
Trust, The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity, by Francis Fukuyama, New York: The Free Press, 1995

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Trust Texas: Taking a Stand Against Corruption

Establishing a reputation for honesty would improve business opportunities in Texas. I mentioned this in an earlier post in this blog: the Trust Texas Project. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal brings corruption back to the headlines: New Jersey Corruption Bust Had Deep Roots by SUZANNE SATALINE (Aug. 28, 2009). What an embarrassment for New Jersey this event must be. I was happy the scandal was taking place outside of Texas.

Maintaining honesty in politicians has always been a problem. Plato said we would not be free of political corruption unless we were ruled by philosophers, unless we were ruled by people who loved wisdom instead of money. That is a difficult order to meet!

I have suggested in the past that we have our children recite daily the Pledge to Justice in our elementary schools:

The Pledge to Justice
We do not steal, we do not cheat, and we do not hurt other people.
We are people of integrity, competence, and compassion.

Our children's future depends upon a political and economic environment permeated by honesty. We all need to work towards this end for the sake of our children.

Robert Canright

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Production and Prototyping

We are told capitalism brought prosperity to the West. Actually, our prosperity is due to the introduction of mass production, the development of rational management, and funding by capitalism. Read The Wealth of Nations and you'll see Adam Smith explain the benefits of the division of labor for increasing productivity. Capitalism is only a part of the pattern.

If America quits producing goods, our prosperity will diminish. Productivity from the division of labor depends upon mass production to generate large profits. These large profits will disappear if mass production disappears from America.

If some investors want to use cheaper labor over seas, then we need investors who can find an economical reason to produce goods in America with higher labor costs. Let's consider reasons to manufacture in America.

First, consider the myth of cheap labor. When products fail and customers quit buying your product or sue for damages, then the cheap labor turns out not to be so cheap.

When an educated and disciplined work force is needed to produce sophisticated products with hi-tech machinery, then cheaper labor that cannot work the machinery properly. Poor quality labor results in poor quality products and profit loss after the customers discover the drop in quality. In this case, cheap labor is a mirage.

Factories that build the production tools for mass production factories are good candidates for Texas industries. Prototyping products and machine tools is another candidate for Texas industries. Here is an example of a prototyping business in Illinois: GPI Prototype and Manufacturing Services. Any new product developed in America could be produced here in Texas with the view of designing factories that can be built in Texas. If the these new businesses want to expand overseas, then the machine tools should be built in Texas factories.

We must not give up on investing in America. We need to invest in factories in Texas so our children can have a future.

Robert Canright

Monday, July 27, 2009

Industrialization Instead of Economic Development

Texas can define and pursue an industrialization policy to create new jobs. Japan and Korea are both created and executed industrialization plans and both now have world class industries. Texas can do the same.

We must put aside the economic development policies that attempt to lure existing companies to relocate to Texas. Cities in Texas give tax breaks to companies, but do not get the jobs they are promised. Look at Austin. It was left with a partially built building when Intel changed its mind. Richardson still has an empty fab building that Texas Instruments never used. At its worst, economic development by tax incentives loses us money and provides us with empty or unfinished buildings.

At its best, economic development lures companies away from existing locals. No new jobs are created. Existing jobs are shuffled around like peas in a shell game. This kind of job shuffling had contributed to the economic decline of America. There is more focus on moving jobs around than in creating new jobs. Sadly, many jobs are being moved out of America.

Texas needs to study how Japan and Germany grew their industries after World War II. We need to study how Korea became an industrial power. We must study and emulate. Banks played an important part in the industrialization of Japan, Germany, and Korea. We must do the same. The Texas Banking and Finance Project will support the Texas Industrialization Project, which will lead Texas to increased economic growth through increased industrialization.

A strong and prosperous Texas must have jobs for its citizens.

Robert Canright

Here are related posts:
North Texas Industrialization  Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Industrialization in Texas: the Italian Model  Sunday, September 13, 2009

Here are Economic Development websites for
Plano, Texas
Richardson, Texas
The State of Texas

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Amherst Holdings and the Texas Banking Project

The June 11, 2009 Wall Street Journal article "A Daring Trade has Wall Street Seething" by Gregory Zuckerman, Serena Ng, and Liz Rappaport reported how Amherst Holdings of Austin, Texas, made a big score against large banks like J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Texas needs a strong banking sector and the story of Amherst Holdings is an example showing Texas banking can compete. I mentioned in December 6, 2008 that this down-turn is a good time to start investment banks in Texas. In December 24, 2008 I mentioned that Texas is weak in banking and needs to become stronger. The Amherst Holdings deal is a good example of how Texas banking and finance can tackle the big boys in New York.

In February 15, 2009 I mentioned that Texas needs greater strength in accounting and law to support a growing banking industry. In June 9, 2009 I described how Huntsman Corp sued Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank and won over $600 Million. Huntsman is a good example of why we need great lawyers in Texas. Anytime you do business with the big boys in banking and finance you must be ready to go to court.

It is great to see businesses in Texas like Amherst Holdings and Huntsman playing on the big stage. It is important for the state of Texas that they compete and win.


Robert Canright

Here is a followup WSJ article, "Deconstructing That Daring Amherst Trade" and another article at Business Pundit.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

TBAR: Texas, China, & a New Currency, Part 3

The Chinese government is definitely putting an end to the US dollar's reign as the reserve currency for the world. After Bretton Woods, the dollar became the reserve currency for the world. Since all governments hold dollars in their exchange reserves, the dollar became indispensable and governments were stuck with it when the US would run it down. This made it easier to sell debt (US Treasury securities) around the world and run an unbalanced budget. These days are coming to an end.

The New York Times reports on Tuesday, July 7, 2008, in the article, "In Step to Enhance Currency, China Allows Its Use in Some Foreign Payments," by Brad Bradsher, that China is not waiting for a synthetic currency to replace the dollar. The Chinese government is starting to introduce their currency, the renminbi, for foreign trade.

The whole world is concerned that the Federal Reserve Bank is beginning the destruction of the U.S. dollar. To protect the wealth poured into China by American businessmen, the Chinese government must break the world's dependence on the dollar and transfer their wealth into other currencies. This has been discussed in Part 1 of this series of articles. I mentioned in Part 2 of this series of articles that Plano, Texas, should participate in the creation of a new synthetic currency to replace the dollar in international trade.

If Texas participates with China in creating and managing a new reserve currency for the world, Texas will become influential in world finance and increase prosperity in Texas.

Robert Canright

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cicero Project and Huntsman Corp

In January 2009 I said, "Our lawyers here in Texas must be the best in the world in litigation." Now on Wednesday June 24, 2009, the Wall Street Journal reports, in "Huntsman, Banks Settle for $1.7 Billion" by Peter Lattman, that Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank settled the suit brought against them in a Texas state court. They agreed to pay Huntsman Corp., operating out of The Woodlands, $632 Million and extend a $1.1 Billion loan on favorable terms.

This is clear evidence that Texas lawyers must be prepared to litigate against the largest corporations on earth and win.

Texas must operate on the international stage. We cannot be just one more state in a crowd of 50 states. America needs a strong Texas, and for a strong Texas we must have the best lawyers on earth. That is a part of the Cicero Project within the Texas Ascendant Campaign: the best lawyers, but also lawyers with integrity and civic virtue.

Robert Canright

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

TBAR: North Texas Industrialization

I have been thinking hard about how our children can proper in the difficult times ahead. If we Texans think of ourselves as an independent nation, a sovereign state, then we can think about industrial policy.

Consider the United States of America at its inception. It was largely an agricultural economy with some shipping and a little manufacturing. Alexander Hamilton thought America needed an industrial economy to build wealth and power. As Secretary of the Treasury, on December 5, 1791 he submitted to the House of Representatives an article, Report on the Subject of Manufactures, describing the benefits of industrialization and methods to promote it.

If America could consider launching and industrial economy in 1791, Texas can certainly do it in 2009.

The National System of Political Economy by Friedrich List has been studied by Japan and China when they planned to grow their industries. Maybe we Texas should study and apply it.

The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday May 5, 2009, ran an article, "Indian Steel Forges in U.S." by Robert Guy Matthews that describes how the an Indian Company, Wellspun-Gujarat Stahl Rohren opened a $150 Million steel plant in Little Rock Arkansas. Why is that in Little Rock instead of North Texas? Is Arkansas more on-the-ball than Texas? Well, this does show that industrialization is possible in the South.

Trust by Francis Fukuyama describes on pages 102 -104 how central Italy underwent a small scale industrial revolution in the 1970's. It is the American way to copy what works. If the Japanese, Chinese, and Italians have demonstrated how to grow a world class industrial economy, then we should be able to copy them in North Texas.

Developing an industrial economy will be better for Texas than waiting for Washington to fix the economy.

An ascendant Texas will be wealthy Texas.

Robert Canright

Sunday, April 19, 2009

TBAR: Texas, China, & a New Currency, Part 2

I mentioned earlier that Texas is weak in banking and we should build up our banking industry. More recently I mentioned the Chinese desire to have a synthetic currency to replace the dollar in international trade could benefit Texas.

I think the Chinese plan could benefit Plano. A synthetic currency for international trade could be an account containing a mixture of several currencies. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) created something called "special drawing rights," or SDRs, so there is a precedent.

We are talking about nothing more than special ledgers. It is just a way of counting money. It will be electronic and can be done anywhere in the world.

Plano, Texas, could be the world's custodian for this new synthetic currency. Remember, it is just bookkeeping. The advantage for the international community to select Plano for this banking service is that it would place it in the United States, but away from the clutches of the New York banks. Besides breaking with the dollar, you can bet they no longer trust New York bankers nor Washington politicians. America has the rule of law. We have a good computer infrastructure. Texas is centrally placed in the USA, with DFW a major hub.

I do not believe we need heavy weight economists to run the banking service for a new synthetic currency. I think a major selling point would be to provide the best computer hardware, software, and security in the world. We could do that right here in Plano.

This could lead to Plano becoming a world center for banking. Our children need jobs to have a future. Engineering jobs are being sent offshore by Texas Instruments. Money is the future. People used to believe Americans understood finance and economics. Now that New York bankers are discredited we can step forward and say there are Americans in Plano, Texas who know how to manage money.

One businessman told me there are probably laws on the books that would make this difficult to accomplish this international banking operation. I reminded him how Senator Phil Gramm eliminated the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 by passing the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. If it is possible to remove good laws from the books, it is possible to remove laws that stand in our way.

Phil Dyer, a banker, is running for Mayor of Plano. I will forward this idea to him.

We need forward thinking. We need big ideas to give our children a leg up in this competitive world, and I believe Plano can establish a world class banking service with a new synthetic currency.

Plano ought to send a delegation to China soon to begin discussions.

Robert Canright

Sunday, April 12, 2009

TBAR: Texas, China, and a New Currency, Part 1

China has called for a new currency to replace the US Dollar in international trade. The proposal, made by central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan was reported in the Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Zhou's idea is to expand the use of "special drawing rights," or SDRs -- a kind of synthetic currency created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the 1960s. Its value is determined by a basket of major currencies.

The Chinese need to see this done. Clearly, the Federal Reserve, the US Treasury, and Wall Street are in the process of driving down the value of the US Dollar. Americans are stuck with the result, but the Chinese only need international agreement to change international arrangements that make the US Dollar an international reserve. They have to ditch the dollar to maintain their wealth.

This could work to the advantage of Texas.

A synthetic currency is just book keeping and I'll discuss later how Texas could profit by being the international banker for a new synthetic currency.

Robert Canright

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Texas Ascendant Campaign Overview



The Texas Ascendancy Campaign is a vision for a greater Texas.

America is in a severe economic recession at this time because the leadership in Washington and Wall Street has failed.

America needs new leadership and Texas needs to develop that leadership and support that leadership.

Education is the foundation of civilization. By adjusting the education we provide the children of Texas we can develop the leaders America needs.

TBAR: the Texas Business and Arts Renaissance is a plan for the synergistic rise of the arts and business in Texas.

TLR: the Texas Leadership Revolution encourages advancements in leadership driven by a commitment to integrity and competence in all our endeavors. Education supports the development of better leaders by improving the content in the history curriculum, by increasing the number of Tier One universities in Texas, and by strengthening the Economics programs in our universities.

The following are lists of articles in this blog on the three major topics.
Articles on eduction
Articles on the Texas Business and Arts Renaissance (TBAR)
Articles on the Texas Leadership Revolution (TLR)
The articles mention projects within the Texas Ascendant Campaign. Here is a list of projects.

America needs better leaders for a better future and Texas should develop those leaders.

The whole world looks to America for leadership in finances. Everyone believed Americans understood money, but now the Premier of China, Wen Jiabao, has expressed concern in trusting America with money, as reported in the New York Times, Saturday March 14, 2008.

The entire world is crying out for better leadership. Texas must answer the call. The Texas Ascendant Campaign is a plan to provide the leadership the world needs.

If not for America, if not for the world, then at least for the sake of our children's future we must develop a more prosperous, vibrant, and powerful State of Texas.

Robert Canright

TBAR: Summary of Business Articles

TBAR is the Texas Business and Arts Renaissance. Business and the arts are linked in the Texas Ascendant Campaign to emphasize the potential for profit from the arts.

The efforts Texas has put into improving education should bear fruit in business ventures and in artistic endeavors. We will not wait to see what might transpire, we will set goals and work towards creating a Texas renaissance in business and the arts.

Here is a summary of articles to date on business. The plan behind these articles is to do more than make money for Texans, the plan is to help Texas grow in power and influence.  At least for the welfare of our children, we need a healthy economy in Texas.

The Texas Journalism Project, November 27, 2008
Texas, a New Financial Center, December 6, 2008
The Texas Publishing Project, December 14, 2008
The Texas Banking and Finance Project, December 24, 2008
"Atlas Shrugged" and Texas, January 9, 2009
Classics Animated, February 5, 2009 (shared interest with education)
The Billionaire Project and the Texas 4x4, February 7, 2009 (shared interest with education)
The Great City Project, February 9, 2009
Publishing Business Novels, February 12, 2009
Accounting and the Back Office, February 15, 2009
The Economics Project, Economic Warfare and the Texas 4x4, February 18, 2009
The Texas Economics Project, Part 2, February 21, 2009
The Trust Texas Project, February 22, 2009 (shared interest with TLR)
Texas, China, and a New Currency, Part 1 April 12, 2009
Texas, China, & a New Currency, Part 2 April 19, 2009
North Texas Industrialization May 5, 2009
Cicero Project and Huntsman Corp June 28, 2009
Texas, China, & a New Currency, Part 3 July 7, 2009
Amherst Holdings and the Texas Banking Project July 25, 2009
Industrialization Instead of Economic Development July 27, 2009
Production and Prototyping July 28, 2009
Industrialization in Texas: the Italian Model September 13, 2009
Dallas Morning News and Texas Publishing October 27, 2009
Texas and The American Economy January 30, 2010
The Texas Economic Forum January 31, 2010
The Exploitation of Innovation March 13, 2010
A Philosophy of Banking Friday, December 23, 2011
Economic Growth Without Population Increase Sunday, April 8, 2012
Exploitation, Not Innovation  Sunday, August 5, 2012
The Cause of the Crash of 2008 and the New Business Project  Sunday, August 5, 2012
Global Surplus Capital   Thursday, August 9, 2012
Bank in a Box Software Project  Saturday, September 15, 2012
Pitfall in the Path to Unlimited Growth  Sunday, December 2, 2012
The Texas Software Initiative  January 3, 2013
The Texas Software Reliability Project January 3, 2013
The Texas Software Product Development Project January 5, 2013

Remember, TLR = The Texas Leadership Revolution

Robert Canright

Saturday, March 14, 2009

TLR: Summary of Leadership Articles

Here is a summary of the articles posted to this blog on the topic of leadership. TLR stands for the Texas Leadership Revolution.

TLR: the Texas Leadership Revolution,   August 14, 2008
The Texas Democracy Project, December 1, 2008
The Presidency Project & The Speech Writing Project, December 3, 2008
More on the Texas Democracy Project, December 13, 2008
Integrity and Competence, the Cornerstone and Keystone, December 21, 2008
The Texas Diplomacy Project, December 26, 2008
The Cicero Project, January 1, 2009
Why UT Dallas Should Be Tier One, January 17, 2009
The Democracy Project, January 31, 2009
The Trust Texas Project, February 22, 2009
Reconsidering Leadership, February 24, 2009
Trust Texas: Taking a Stand Against Corruption August 27, 2009
The Heartland Union, December 1, 2009
The Speech Writing Project, Part 2, December 5, 2009
The Heartland Union, Part 2 January 3, 2010
Leadership and Morality in Dostoyevsky,   October 22, 2016


Robert Canright

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Re-Digging the Wells, Summary of Education Articles

A premise of the Texas Ascendancy Campaign is that education will be the fountainhead of a Texas Renaissance, yet education in Texas being muddled by our state legislature. We citizens of Texas must be more involved. We parents must take the lead, politicians cannot direct education.

I have proposed some projects to rejuvenate education in the public schools and the universities. Here is a list of articles in this blog relating education to the goal of Texas Ascendant:
History and Leadership, the History Project October 25, 2008
Texas, New York, and Universities October 29, 2008
Texas Needs More Tier 1 Universities November 12, 2008
The Texas Journalism Project November 27, 2008
The Speech Writing Project December 3, 2008
The Cicero Project January 1, 2009
The Jefferson Project January 4, 2009
Why UT Dallas Should Be Tier One January 17, 2009
The Democracy Project January 31, 2009
Classics Animated February 5, 2009
The Billionaire Project and the Texas 4x4 February 7, 2009
The Classics Project February 8, 2009
The Economics Project, Economic Warfare and the Texas 4x4 February 18, 2009
The Texas Economics Project, Part 2 February 21, 2009
Trust Texas: Taking a Stand Against Corruption August 27, 2009
Texas Tier One University Project September 19, 2009
Dallas Morning News and Texas Publishing October 27, 2009
The Speech Writing Project, Part 2 December 5, 2009
The Exploitation of Innovation March 13, 2010
The Texas Software Initiative January 3, 2013
The Texas Software Reliability Project January 3, 2013

Here is a separate blog dealing with education in a more general sense:
Education for the 21st Century

The bureaucrats running the public schools are too slow to change. We cannot wait for them to take action. We must take action by working with our own children now. We can work to take back our schools from self-serving politicians and the entrenched bureaucracy, but that takes time and we cannot put our children's future on hold while we work to change the system.

We must immediately move toward educational excellence within our families while we struggle to improve our schools.

Robert Canright

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

TLR: Reconsidering Leadership

America is in an economic crisis because of the decades long American Leadership Crisis. In mapping out how the Texas Leadership Revolution will lead us out of the American Leadership Crisis, we need to consider some weaknesses in American leadership.

When President George W. Bush recommended one of his lawyers, Harriet Miers, to fill a Supreme Court opening, there was such an outcry over lack of appropriate experience for his candidate that he had to withdraw that candidate. He did not go to Washington with a strong, well rounded team.

When President Barack Obama tried to nominate a Commerce Secretary, he struck out with his first two candidates. He did not go to Washington with a strong, well rounded team.

Too many of our leaders simply do not know enough people who are smart and capable. Our politicians know mostly other politicians and people with money. This lack of knowledge is a weakness in our political leadership class. Moreover, we still cling to the myth of the leader as hero. We do not recognize the dependence modern leaders have upon the technical skills of professionals to formulate and execute policies.

Leadership teams are needed to oversee complex endeavors. Organizing, developing, and working within a leadership team environment is a process American corporations are struggling to master. Political leadership still relies on the antiquated myth of the heroic leader who makes all the decisions as though he were an absolute ruler ordained with special powers.

This is the first leadership issue: the leadership team approach is necessary for the complexities of today's problems, but it is poorly understood while the heroic leader is a lingering myth from the past that continues to fail us.

An unnecessary byproduct of our secular society is the loss of faith in higher truths. Even if someone does not believe in God, a belief in a higher order, a sense that there is something greater than oneself, a sense of a natural law that needs to be understood and followed, helps to suppress hubris and steadies the mind in making decisions. There is an old saying, "Off by an inch at the start, off by a mile at the end." Not believing in a higher truth is being off by at least an inch. This lack of a moral compass eventually leads our leaders to be off by miles.

With no moral compass, some believe in rational self-interest. But that has failed with our banks. Here is famous quote from Alan Greenspan: "Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself especially, are in a state of shock and disbelief." If you have heard Thrasymachus in Plato's Republic, you know that rational self-interest boils down to "steal all you can carry."

This is the second leadership issue: leaders without a belief in a higher truth lose their bearing and run the ship of state into the rocks.

As we move forward through this new millennium, we must find ways to work past these two problems that hinder us in solving the American Leadership Crisis:
1.) The leadership team approach is necessary for the complexities of today's problems, but it is poorly understood while the heroic leader is a lingering myth from the past that continues to fail us.

2.) Leaders without a belief in a higher truth lose their bearing and run the ship of state into the rocks.

There are a number of ways to solve these problems, but we must first recognize these problems before we can solve them.

Robert Canright

Sunday, February 22, 2009

TBAR/TLR: The Trust Texas Project

The Trust Texas Project is a key element within the Texas Banking and Finance Project. Honesty can be a discriminator setting Texas banking apart from NY City banking. Since federal regulators have been derelict in their duties, if Texas banking and securities regulators were rigorous and reliable then we could make Texas a haven for people looking for honest banks and investment firms.

I do not believe Texans are considered any more honest than anyone else, but if we did launch a Trust Texas Project that included strong audits and regulation, then we could point to a Texas system that is more honest than the federal system of regulation. Having Texas impose regulation might be tricky, it might be difficult, it might be limited by existing laws giving preference to the federal government, but that is why have leadership, to address and solve these kind of problems. See [1] below for an example of voluntary self-regulation.

"... one of the most important lessons we can learn from an examination of economic life is that a nation's well-being, as well as its ability to compete, is conditioned by a single, pervasive cultural characteristic: the level of trust inherent in the society." [2]

Yet, we could and should still strive to increase the level of honesty within Texas. Elementary education is the time to stress honesty. If we developed a culture of honesty, then that could be a greater selling point than the culture of secrecy the Swiss bankers have developed.

Robert Canright

[1] The Wall Street Journal, Thursday February 26, 2009, ran an article, "Pair Lived Large on Fraud, U.S. Says," by Steve Stecklow, et al, which gives a good example of voluntary self-regulation. The National Futures Association on Feb. 12 suspended Paul Greenwood and Stephen Walsh, money managers running several financial companies, including WG Trading Investors Co., for failing to cooperate with the NFA and produce books and records for an audit. Shortly after their suspension by the NFA, several investors sued for an asset freeze, the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission then filed civil charges. If you do not have the power to bring charges, you can at least put a spotlight on shady business practices with voluntary self-regulation.

[2] Trust by Francis Fukuyama, The Free Press, 1995, ISBN 0-02-910976-0, page 7.

See also:
Friday, January 30, 2009: Faithfulness and America's Economic Collapse

Remember
TBAR = The Texas Business and Arts Renaissance
TLR = The Texas Leadership Revolution

Saturday, February 21, 2009

TBAR: The Texas Economics Project, Part 2

I have said earlier that our children's survival depends upon Texas becoming a world power. Texas needs a Texas Economics Project to become a world power and give our children a chance for a good life.

Improving the quality and reputation of the Schools of Economics within Texas universities will be an important part of the Texas Economics Project.

Below are a few of the top schools in one ranking of Economics Schools. Notice the ranking of the Economics schools in Texas:
1.) Harvard
2.) U. of Chicago
4.) MIT
9.) Yale
10.) Columbia
16.) London School of Economics
18.) U. of Texas Austin (Texas)
40.) Texas A&M University (Texas)
84.) University of Houston (Texas)
106.) SMU (Texas)
123.) Rice University (Texas)

To be a world power we need to do better. New York City is a world class city and Columbia University, located in New York City, is in the top 10. We need the University of Texas, Austin to be ranked in the top 10. Texas A&M needs to be ranked in the top 20, along side the London School of Economics. The Ph.D. program in Economics at the University of Texas, Dallas, needs to break into the top 100.

Winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics should some day include someone from a Texas university.

We must recognize the paradigm shift:
Economics is the new science. Finance is the new technology.

Robert Canright

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

TBAR: The Economics Project, Economic Warfare and the Texas 4x4

Texas needs an Economics Project to help it become a world power. If Texas is going to be a world class power, we need our own Texas Council of Economic Advisers, after the fashion of the President's Council of Economic Advisers. The economists advising the office of the President of the United States are unreliable, look at what a mess the economy has become. If the federal government cannot protect the American people from economic warfare, then the individual states need to step into the breach and provide the protection the federal government cannot provide.

There is no doubt in my mind that we are in an economic war. Today people think war is always ideologically based, like the Jihadis and the Communists. Historically, massive theft is one of the root causes of war. The Romans would conquer a people for the spoils of war (see book 1 of The Early History of Rome by Livy). Loot has always been one of the benefits of war.

Americans have now suffered the most massive theft in world history. Walter Lippmann referred to the hidden swindles of business as the "invisible environment." We have been warred upon by an invisible enemy. Who paid Bill Clinton, Robert Rubin, and Phil Gramm (the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) to change our laws so we could be robbed more effectively? Whoever was their Financial Puppet Master, pulling their strings, has waged war upon America and the entire world community.

The Financial Puppet Masters are out of control. In their unbridled avarice they have brought the world to the brink of financial collapse. The threat of collapse is serious enough that intelligence agencies are beginning to talk about it, as evidenced in the New York Times article, "Unemployment Surges Around the World, Threatening Stability" by Nelson D. Schwartz, page 1 of the Sunday February 15, 2009 edition:

"Just last week, the new United States director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, told Congress that instability caused by the global economic crisis had become the biggest security threat facing the United States, outpacing terrorism."

Texas must focus on Economics and Finance to survive a difficult future. After the Russians launched Sputnik in 1957, the U.S. government went nuts. We were then in a Space Race and science and technology became important for national defense. The federal government had funded electronics and computers since World War II and the U.S. economy benefited from these industries.

Now the American economy is crippled from our country's ignorance of Finance and Economics. I have seen one Congressman on C-Span say he did not understand economics, so he had to rely on Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson to tell him what to do. For a Congressman to admit unquestioning obedience to a political lackey like Paulson is heinous.

Economics and Finance will be crucial for our nation's survival in the 21st century, as Science was vital in the 20th century. Economics and Finance will replace Science and Technology in importance.

Economics is the new science. Finance is the new technology. The sooner Texas realizes the paradigm shift, the sooner our children will be on track to survival.

Economics is taught in the Social Science department in Plano Senior High School and it is an elective. The Texas 4x4 graduation requirements passed by the Texas State Legislature forces our children to take out-dated course work in Math and Science at the expense of the course work in Economics and Business that is needed for the future. Shooting ourselves in the foot like this is a perfect example of the Leadership Crisis facing all America.

Texas needs to repeal the disastrous 4x4 graduation requirements and allow our students to study Economics and Finance.

For our children's survival Texas needs to become a world power. Texas needs an Economics Project to become a world power and give our children a chance for a good life.

Robert Canright

Here are more articles related to the Texas Ascendant Economics Project:
The Texas Economics Project, Part 2 Saturday, February 21, 2009
See also
The Billionaire Project and the Texas 4x4 Saturday, February 7, 2009
Economic Growth Without Population Increase Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday, February 15, 2009

TBAR: Accounting and the Back Office

America needs better leaders for a better future, and those leaders should come from Texas.

Texas needs to acquire power and money, then become a positive influence in American and World affairs. But great leadership accomplishes little without money and power. I've said Texas needs to become a world financial center that Texas is weak in banking and needs to improve. I have said we need to educate our children so more of them can become billionaires, and we need to educate them about the "invisible environment" Walter Lippmann discussed.

After becoming wealthy, our children need good accounting and good back office support to maintain their wealth. But how can Texas companies trust big accounting companies headquartered in New York City or overseas? The Big Four audit companies are now: (1) Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu of New York City, (2) Ernst & Young of New York City, (3) KPMG of the Netherlands, and (4) PricewaterhouseCoopers of London (formerly Price Waterhouse).

The University of Texas, Austin, McComb School of Business has an accounting program ranked first in the nation. Many major corporations have their headquarters in Texas. It is time the Big Four is again the Big Five with the addition of a major accounting firm headquartered in Texas. The Big Five became the Big Four when Arthur Andersen was shut down for shredding its Enron audit records.

The Texas Accounting Project will develop a big auditing firm headquartered in Texas. As part of TBAR, the Texas Business and Arts Renaissance, the Texas Accounting Project will feature integrity as a key feature. Furthermore, the big firm created out of the Texas Accounting Project will be loyal to the interests and welfare of the people, the businesses, the State of Texas, and those states and businesses allied with the interests of Texas.

The back office is usually thought of as the business operations not seen by customers. This might not typically include the strategic services of financiers and economists, but I'll include them for now. Texas businesses need strategic and tactical services from accounting firms, financiers, lawyers, and economists to survive the economic war-zone. Corporations get bushwhacked, Lehman Brothers for example was stabbed in the back and killed off.

Here's one example of economic warfare. A hypothetical group of New York City investors targets Corporation XYZ, headquartered in Irving, Texas. Part of the group acquires a significant share of the company as another part of the group drives the stock price down. The business group interferes with success of the company by persuading customers to drop business with them. Corporation XYZ gets in a financial bind and another part of the business group offers to loan money to Corporation XYZ, but the contract for the loan is full of booby traps. XYZ accepts the loan, being advised by their New York City lawyers that the dangerous provisions of the contract probably won't happen.

Next, some group members owning shares in the corporation dump their shares. Other members of the group still holding shares sue Corporation XYZ, saying the sudden drop in share value must be due to undisclosed business weaknesses. While XYZ prepares their legal defense, the part of the group that leant money now invokes clauses in the loan contract related to sudden drops in share price and shareholder lawsuits and demands immediate and full payment. Corporation XYZ cannot make the payment and the corporation goes into bankruptcy, where the business group finishes carving up the corporation. This is economic warfare.

Our Texas based corporations need to defend themselves against this kind of scheming and it requires a host of experts. If the experts our corporations depend upon are headquartered in New York City, they might be in league with the New York City schemers and give bad advice.

I have not seen a good expose of this type of business manipulation. The key players have not broken ranks, but there are some books on business plotting I will list below.

In addition to strong accounting services, our corporations need strong back office support from lawyers, economists, bankers, and financiers. In this post I have introduced the Texas Accounting Project. In a previous post I introduced the Cicero Project to develop world class lawyers in Texas. The Back Office Project will be the development of strong back office support from economists and everyone else not covered in the other named projects.

We are in an economic war. We have suffered the sneak attack. It is time to plan our defenses.

We need better leaders for a better future, but we need the financial resources to empower our future leaders and we need to safeguard those financial resources.

Robert Canright


Books
"Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins
"A Game as Old as Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption" by Steven Hiatt (Editor)
"The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve" by G. Edward Griffin

Related Blog Posts
December 6, 2008, "Texas, a New Financial Center"
December 23, 2008, "The Texas Banking and Finance Project"
January 1, 2009, "The Cicero Project"
February 9, 2009, "The Billionaire Project and the Texas 4x4"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

TBAR: Publishing Business Novels

The February 8, 2008 Dallas Morning News, ran an excellent essay in the Points section, "We Need an Intellectual Stimulus Package," by Walton Muyumba. I am so glad Dr. Muyumba is in town and contributing to the intellectual milieu. Dr. Muyumba's essay referred to this article: "Going Boom, The economic collapse points up how little our literary world has to say about social inequality," By Walter Benn Michaels in the February/March 2009 print edition of Book Forum.

Dr. Muyumba's essay shows what a good critic can do: take something not particularly clear, like Michaels' article, and give it meaning. Dr. Muyumba pointed out a disconnection, a missing relationship, between American literature and the American market economy. Dr. Muyumba wrote, "we need our best artists, our most agile arts critics and our arts aficionados to initiate the reinvigoration of American imagination." He would like to see discussions on "how to invent alternative systems of commerce."

Yes! Bringing business into novels, especially with some of the heroes being businessmen, would be a new and positive development. There are certainly negative portrayals of businessmen in Michael Crichton novels like "Prey", "Timeline," and "Airframe," to name only a few.

Positive novels about business still show an unpleasant side to business. The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt starts with a creepy corporate vice-president insulting a plant manager. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand is the ultimate business novel, having business executives like Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart as heroes and business executives like James Taggart and Orren Boyle as villains. Any realistic novel about business has to have businessmen villains, but we have a shortage of novels that include businessmen heroes. In a previous post, "Atlas Shrugged" and Texas, I had suggested that Texas writers and publishers might do well by embracing and promoting a business-hero genre.

In The Texas Publishing Project I suggested publishing will be an important industry for Texas.

Dr. Muyumba is absolutely correct in emphasizing the importance of social criticism and a need for writers to include economics and market forces in their novels.

I look forward to further contributions from Dr. Muyumba and also from Dr. Troy Camplin at the Emerson Institute for Freedom and Culture. The intellectual life in DFW is beginning to percolate!

Robert Canright

See:
December 14, 2008: The Texas Publishing Project
January 9, 2009: "Atlas Shrugged" and Texas

Monday, February 9, 2009

TBAR: the Great City Project

The most important cities are called Global Cities or Alpha Cities. The Wikipedia article on Global Cities lists these American cities as being in the top 30 Global Cities: New York (#1), Los Angeles (#6), Chicago (#8), Washington (#11), San Francisco (#15), and Boston (#29). Notice Dallas is not on the list. Dallas does rank 9th in the world for the number of billionaires. Yet Dallas is not considered an important city.

There is something wrong when Dallas has so much money and has so little influence in the world.

We need to gather our wits and be somebody. We need to think big and plan big things.

What should we do to become a great city? We have already written about projects that can uplift Dallas. There is the Texas Banking and Finance Project. There is the Texas Journalism Project. There is the Texas Publishing Project. There is the Cicero Project to develop world class lawyers. There is the DFW University Project to create a Tier One university in DFW, or perhaps becoming a World Class university is a better goal than becoming a Tier One university.

To this I can add the Iconic City Project. Consider how many movies are filmed in New York City (NYC) and think about all the buildings, bridges, and statues that are instantly recognized as belonging to New York City. NYC is indelibly imprinted on the minds of people around the world through iconic images like the Flatiron Building, the Statue of Liberty, the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, and the statue of Prometheus at Rockefeller Center, to name just a few.

It is surprisingly easy to develop ugly statues. The Denver airport has an ugly horse statue that has drawn thousands of complaints, as described in the Wall Street Journal article, "A Horse of a Different Color Divides Denver" by Stephanie Simon, page one on Saturday February 7, 2009.

The Dallas skyline is distinctive, but there are no inspiring statues in the city. Statues of cattle or horses might be nostalgic, but they are not inspiring. Dallas needs inspiring iconic images. Even the city of Plano could have an iconic image. For example, if Plano took a stance that it aspires to become a great city after the fashion of ancient Athens, then an attractive and impressive statue of Athena could become an iconic image associated with Plano's ambition. This statue of Athena could look something like the statue of Brittania in the National Armada Memorial in Plymouth, England, but the Athena statue would hold a spear instead of a trident. Statues based on the classics are most likely to succeed in being inspirational. Angels are popular for statues. The City of Westminster, England, has the Anteros statue, also called Eros in the Piccadilly Circus. The city of Plano, Texas, tried to give millions of dollars to a land developer for a plain water fountain on private property (taxpayers objected). What great cities do is build an inspiriational statue, an iconic image, on public property.

Texas cannot be a great state without great cities. The DFW metroplex is the fourth largest in America (after New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago), but is considered an unimportant city with no influence. This is intolerable.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to put on our thinking cap and plan for greatness. It is time to roll up our sleeves and make DFW a great urban center with world wide influence.

Robert Canright

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Education: the Classics Project

Why were America's Founding Fathers brilliant and two hundred years later our leaders are duds? How can it be that farmers in the days of horse drawn plows, candle light, and sailing ships were smarter than the best educated Americans in today's world of jet planes, nuclear power, and computers?

The difference must lie within the education our leaders receive and the impact upon decision making due to the educational differences. We must also surmise that some of the advances made in the theory of education that have contributed to our decline must not be real advances, but unrecognized mistakes.

We can see the positive influences on the Founding Fathers by looking at their own words. Federalist papers were signed "Publius", after the Roman Consul Publius Valerius Publicola. So I've started reading Plutarch's depiction of Publicola's life. Anti-Federalist papers were signed "Cato" and "Brutus." Patrick Henry is famous for shouting, "Give me liberty or give me death," but that was a line from the play, "The Cato."

The Founding Fathers were well versed in Roman history. Abraham Lincoln was one of our most capable Presidents. His Gettysberg Address shows he was familiar with the Funeral Oration of Pericles, meaning he had read Thucydides'masterpiece, History of the Peloponnesian War.

So it seems we should study the classics if we want capable leadership. But, why does reading about dead white men help us today? These books lay out the successes and failures of great civilizations. In Plutarch you can learn about greatness by studying Alexander the Great. Livy's History of Early Rome describes the treachery, the murders, of the ruling class of Rome. Cicero, in the last part of On Duties, lays out a catalog of the frauds and swindles the Roman ruling class perpetrated. Even Plato warns how oligarchs use bad loans to swindle people out of their property and their liberty, which is very pertinent to the sub-prime mortgage swindles in contemporary American finance.

If we are going to make Texas Ascendant, I propose a Classics Project to bring the classics back into public education. To rear up great leaders and restore America to greatness, we need to study the greatest leaders and the greatest civilizations in history, we need to study the classics.

Robert Canright

PS: Remember I have degrees in mathematics and engineering. I am not a history grad. I have used my analytical skills from mathematics and engineering to deduce a solution to our leadership problem.