United States presidential election, 2008: ADL launches discussion guide for John F. Kennedy’s ‘A Nation Of Immigrants’

January 31, 2008
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Press Release
New York, January 31, 2008 – In an effort to broaden understanding of immigration policy among high school students, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) developed a discussion guide to accompany A Nation of Immigrants, President John F. Kennedy’s landmark essay, which has just been reissued with a new introduction by Senator Edward M. Kennedy and foreword by Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. The guide makes available to teachers and educators lessons and ideas that can be implemented in the secondary level classroom, and provides tools to help guide student reading, facilitate discussion and build critical thinking skills.

“This guide is an invaluable teaching tool that will enhance classroom discussion about an important and timely topic,” said Abraham H. Foxman. “It is especially important today, as anti-immigrant, xenophobic sentiments have entered the mainstream discourse“.

“It is critical for our youth to have a thorough understanding of immigration issues and to appreciate the important role immigrants play in our country’s past, present and future.”

When A Nation of Immigrants was first published in 1958, the country was locked in a fierce debate over the direction of our immigration policies. Today, as the issues of immigration and immigrants have taken center stage, the essay is as relevant as when it was written by John Fitzgerald Kennedy 50 years ago at the request of ADL.

That is why the Anti-Defamation League and Harper Perennial are reissuing this landmark essay on the contribution of immigrants to American society. With a new introduction by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, A Nation of Immigrants offers inspiring suggestions for immigration policy and presents a chronology of the main events in the history of immigration in America.

“The reissuing of A Nation of Immigrants on its 50th anniversary is not only commemorative but has great relevance for us today,” Abraham H. Foxman writes in the Foreword to the new edition. “Then, as now, nativism, bigotry and fear of competition from foreign labor were dulling the collective American memory of its own immigrant history and its ideals,” writes Mr. Foxman. “Then, as now, hate groups were beating the drums of anti-foreigner slogans and tried to sway the public and elected officials toward a restrictive immigration policy.”

A Nation of Immigrants was written by Kennedy in 1958 after ADL reached out to the then-junior senator from Massachusetts asking him to highlight the contribution of immigrants at a time when the country was locked in a debate about the direction its policy should take. As the last manuscript President Kennedy ever wrote, the book was first published posthumously.

“The history of this monograph is deeply intertwined with the story of America’s struggle for a fair and compassionate immigration policy,” said Mr. Foxman.

Through ADL’s network of 30 regional offices, there will be a series of local programs and events centered around the release of the new book and the Introduction and Foreword.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who has been at the forefront of calls for meaningful immigration, has described his brother’s essay as a seminal document in the struggle for immigration reform.

“Every time the Senate takes up the issue of immigration reform, I re-read my brother’s book for inspiration,” Senator Kennedy said last year in remarks to ADL’s National Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. “The words he wrote half a century ago ring just as true today.”

In his essay, John F. Kennedy wrote of immigration: “This was the secret of America: a nation of people with the fresh memory of old traditions who dared to explore new frontiers, people eager to build lives for themselves in a spacious society that did not restrict their freedom of choice and action.”


U.S. Federal Reserve writes a new economic script

January 31, 2008

The U.S. Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point yesterday and signaled it may cut rates further if that is necessary to stave off a recession.

The cuts come on the heels of emergency cuts of three-quarters of a point last week and represent a curtailment of the Fed’s “gradualist” policy, in which it had generally sought to make incremental adjustments of one-quarter point at a time.

The Economist deemed the measure “aggressive activism” and says it represents a new policy script for the Federal Reserve.

Asian markets responded tentatively to the rate cut in mixed trading this morning, uncertain whether lower interest rates would be enough to overcome lingering credit problems.

The Boston Globe reports the rate cuts could translate to “lower credit costs for consumers and businesses, relief for homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages, and a better chance to halt the economy’s deterioration.”

But experts say a slew of problems remain and add that rate cuts aren’t a cure-all. One potential problem is inflation, which remains relatively low in the United States but could spike due to a combination of rate cuts, rising energy prices, and the falling dollar.


Oil and U.S. defense policy

January 31, 2008

A new report from the Stanley Foundation, a nonpartisan research institute, examines the role of energy security in U.S. defense policy.

The report argues “the time has already passed when oil was strategically important enough to require individual industrialized nations to be prepared to intervene militarily in oil-producing regions.”

Read full story.


Islam’s Advance

January 31, 2008

PostGlobal (Washington Post & Newsweek) has a series looking at the role Islam plays in global affairs. The first installment examines the Shiite ritual of Ashura, which marks the event that caused the theological split between Sunni and Shiites.

Read full story.


Reforming the Regulation of Financial Services

January 30, 2008
A Luncheon Address by Steve Bartlett, President and CEO of The Financial Services Roundtable

American Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C., January 28, 2008

In November 2007, the Financial Services Roundtable published The Blueprint for U.S. Financial Competitiveness, a report that recommended ways to counteract the gradual decline in U.S. financial services competitiveness because of excessive regulation, litigation risk, and lack of regulatory coordination.

Since then, many financial services organizations have provided comments and recommendations to the U.S. Treasury Department, which is developing its own recommendations for reform.

How closely do the comments of financial institutions and financial services organizations line up with the recommendations of the Financial Services Roundtable? Is there a developing consensus for reform, or are there continuing divisions within the financial services industry?

The Financial Services Roundtable has analyzed the submissions to Treasury and compared them to its own Blueprint. At this luncheon speech, Steve Bartlett, the Roundtable’s President, outlined the conclusions of this study.

Read full story.


30. Januar 1933: Deutschlands Weg in die Katastrophe

January 30, 2008

Am 30. Januar 1933 ernennt Reichspräsident Paul von Hindenburg Adolf Hitler zum Reichskanzler. Damit wird Deutschlands Weg in die Katastrophe besiegelt.

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In der Tageszeitung Die Welt findet Sven Felix Kellerhoff sowohl den Begriff der “Machtergreifung” als auch den Begriff der “Machtübernahme” verfehlt: “Will man verstehen, wie der Absturz Deutschlands in die zwölfjährige braune Barbarei begann, wie innerhalb weniger Monate aus dem kriselnden Rechtsstaat eine populäre Diktatur wurde, muss man das erste Halbjahr 1933 als eine Kombination von ‘Machtübertragung’ und ‘Machteroberung’ verstehen.”

Zum Artikel.


UN Secretary-General backs Rwanda bid to try ICTR suspects

January 30, 2008

The Rwandan newspaper New Times reports that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has thrown his support behind a plan that would allow Rwanda to try genocide suspects from the International Criminal Court for Rwanda, which is based in Arusha, Tanzania.

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