Secrets of State

Visions of Tomorrow
May 2007

National War Powers Commission, Checkpoint Charlie Memorial, Jewish Film Festival...

Carroll Leggett and Peter Eichenberger


RALEIGH’S JEFFRIES TO CO-DIRECT NATIONAL WAR POWERS COMMISSION

Raleigh-born University of Virginia School of Law Dean John C. Jeffries Jr. has been named co-director of the National War Powers Commission, a private bipartisan panel led by former Secretaries of State James A. Baker III and Warren Christopher. Formed by the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, the Commission will examine how the Constitution allocates the powers of beginning, conducting and ending war.

According to Jeffries, a graduate of Raleigh’s Broughton High School, Yale University and the UVA School of Law where he serves as dean: “The credit for securing their leadership and for organizing an impressive array of talent to serve with them goes to Miller Center Director and former Virginia Governor Jerry Baliles. I hope our efforts will justify the extraordinary human resources devoted to this topic.”

Jeffries, along with Co-Director W. Taylor Reveley III, dean and John Stewart Bryan Professor of Jurisprudence at the William & Mary School of Law, will lend their legal expertise to help guide the conversation of the Commission.

“Few matters are more important to our nation than how we make decisions of war and peace,” Baliles said. “But war powers questions have bedeviled a host of presidents, members of Congress and judges for more than 200 years. With its wide-ranging experience, this Commission is uniquely qualified to attempt to provide insights into how best to resolve these difficult questions.”

Commission Co-Chairs Baker and Christopher have worked with Baliles to assemble Commission members: Slade Gorton, former US senator from Washington; Lee H. Hamilton, former member of Congress from Indiana; Carla A. Hills, former US trade representative; John O. Marsh Jr., former secretary of the Army; Edwin Meese, III, former US attorney general; Abner J. Mikva, former chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; J. Paul Reason, former commander in chief of the US Atlantic Fleet; Brent Scowcroft, former national security adviser; Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University; and Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution.

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will serve as the Commission’s historical adviser. John T. Casteen III, president of the University of Virginia, and David W. Leebron, president of Rice University, will serve as ex officio members.

The panel convened its first meeting April 3-4.

The Commission’s staff director is Andrew J. Dubill ’01, a graduate of Princeton University and Virginia Law, who left the private practice of law to join the Commission.

The James A. Baker III Institute of Public Policy at Rice University, the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, Stanford Law School, the University of Virginia School of Law, and the William & Mary School of Law will serve as partnering institutions. The Miller Center has convened nine national commissions during the past quarter century, including the Commission on Federal Election Reform in 2001, co-chaired by Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford.

CHECKPOINT CHARLIE MEMORIAL


Checkpoint Charlie resonates as a symbol of the Cold War, and retired Col. Vern Pike of Pinehurst, who served with the 278th Military Police Company from 1959-1963, is not pleased that the famous passage from West to East Berlin is being exploited by actors dressed in US, East German and Soviet uniforms who charge tourists to be photographed at the site.

Pike, who wants to make Checkpoint Charlie a memorial to MPs who served at the site, as well as victims of communism, has received a letter from the President of the Berlin Senate promising to end, “cheap theatrical displays that many consider disparaging and disrespectful.”

JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL RETURNS TO CARY

In a joint production by the Raleigh-Cary and Durham-Chapel Hill Jewish Federations, the 2007 Triangle Jewish Film Festival will take place June 10 at Galaxy Cinema in Cary. The full-day festival will present multiple screenings of six documentary and feature films, including Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner by Academy Award-winner Freida Mock, and the highly acclaimed The Ritchie Boys and Little Heroes.

The North Carolina Museum of Art partnered with the festival for the 2007 Festival Kick-off in February by showing the award-winning documentary Toots along with a tour of the Museum’s newly renovated Judaic Art Gallery.

Individual festival tickets are $8 and day passes are $25. For advance tickets, film synopses and screening times, visit www.trianglejewishfilmfestival.org or www.mygalaxycinema.com.

GO TO THE DEVIL & SHAKE YOURSELF

It’s an unlikely name for a CD, but then the fellows who recorded it are an unlikely lot themselves. The members of the Carolina Fife & Drum Corps of the 26th North Carolina Regiment Civil War re-enactors all have day jobs, but when they come together for weekend gigs at battle commemorations, living history encampments and ceremonies up and down the East Coast, they are consummate musicians. This diverse group of Tar Heels, including Holly Springs mail carrier Tommy White, who plays the snare drum, has carved out a niche for themselves in the music world.

Go to the Devil & Shake Yourself, titled after a popular fife and drum tune, was recorded outdoors — as the music was originally performed — in a clearing deep in the North Carolina mountains. You may hear a bird singing or a cricket chirping in the background. It’s the authentic battlefield music that started and ended the days of a soldier, inspired them as they went into battle, and even provided field commands during the Revolutionary War and the War Between the States. According to lead drummer Noah Raper, a recent Duke grad and now a Fellow with the research organization MDC in Chapel Hill, the CD contains a number of tunes never previously recorded. It’s a collector’s item. Available online through Amazon or at www.fifedrum.org/ncfieldmusic.

—Carroll Leggett

TAMMY LYNN TOAST HONORS FOUR RESTAURANTS

The 22nd annual A Toast to the Triangle, held April 1 to support the Tammy Lynn Center Memorial Foundation, featured 40 area restaurants, caterers, wine merchants and specialty beer firms. Guest attendance for this year’s event topped 1350, with projected income expected to exceed $169,700. Money raised by the event will benefit the Tammy Lynn Center’s community-based supervised living, Early Childhood Intervention, Day Services (non-ICF/MR) and Respite Care programs. The Toast is primarily organized and run by a group of more than 40 volunteers.

Judges honored four restaurants with “2007 Best in Show” food category awards:

Best Entrée: Án, Cary

Best Appetizer: The Weathervane, Chapel Hill

Best Presentation: Án, Cary

Best Dessert: Angus Barn, Raleigh

Best Visual Theme: Án, Cary

People’s Choice Award: Yancey’s, Raleigh

To learn more about Tammy Lynn, go to www.metronc.com and click on the February 2007 issue.

BIOFUEL RESEARCH HAS PROMISE

While the Washington DC players do the chicken strut over biofuel, some news: Biofuel is not news. Henry Ford manufactured a Model T that ran on ethanol. Dr. Rudolf Diesel designed his engine to run on vegetable fuel.

“Biofuel takes more energy to make than you get out of it,” goes the mantra. Not so fast. That assumption is based on producing something instead of using something that already exists. Michael Briggs, a faculty member at the University of New Hampshire, in a 2004 paper, wrote that the abundant lipid oils in algae could be a partial solution to help drive America to oil independence.

Now, Aquaflow Bionomic of Marlborough, New Zealand, has taken research by Briggs and others to make millions of liters of fuel per year, as well as clean water — from sewage. “Unfortunately, since the government isn’t putting any funding into this area of research, progress is going slowly,” Briggs wrote in a recent e-mail, citing the Department of Energy’s “Aquatic Species Program,” defunded in President Bill Clinton’s second term.

The green slime despised by almost everyone could well be a solution to other sorts of messes here at home by cleaning up hog poop before it fouls waters, as well as creating badly needed jobs in Eastern North Carolina.

—Peter Eichenberger