22 January 2017

Our Divided Union

Update: and subdivided as well . . . a self-described "lifelong liberal feminist" writing for the New York Times offers evidence that these marches were little more than a partisan "march for women who are anti-Trump" funded by George Soros. Read her piece here.

End of update.

The day after President Trump's historic inaugural where we witnessed the peaceful transition of power, there were protests in many cities across the nation. (I fully support the right of Americans to protest our government, though I may disagree with them.) Below is some video recorded at one of those marches. Interesting signs. We are a deeply divided nation.

20 January 2017

An Historic Day in America

Historic times. Beating all odds and defying all the prognosticators, professional politicians and elites. Amazing.
. . . pledges to put American first in uncompromising first speech as POTUS 45 in a full frontal assault on elites at home and a warning for nation’s rivals abroad. ~ DailyMail.com
Not since 1980 — or perhaps 1932 — has such a political revolution hit the banks of the Potomac River. ~ Breitbart
And I absolutely love this:
The fabulous, entertaining, funny, unpredictable and daring real estate tycoon achieved this historic political realignment using one very simple strategy: attack political correctness and all its vestiges and all its purveyors at every turn. ~ Breitbart
And one more:
It is that very strategic and serious thinking that is absolute kryptonite in the Cathedral of Political Correctness. And it is quintessentially American. Distrust all the “experts.” Question authority. No problem is so complex that it cannot be solved by common sense. ~ The Washington Times
Political Correctness, along with its complicit deniers, "experts" and supporters in academia and the history blogosphere, could be in for a rough 4 years. Let's hope so. It's about time.

Congratulations President Trump.

Post coming this weekend: Getting it Wrong: Historians & President Obama.

18 January 2017

Shelby Steele on American Exceptionalism & Political Correctness

Societies have many of the qualities individuals have. America is a particularly great society. There's been no country like this ever before in all of human history. And all of the sins that America has committed in its past are nothing that's new. Many countries around the world had slavery and so forth. And America is to be honored and complimented for actually facing these problems and dealing with them.. . . the War on Poverty and the Great Society and welfare, these deferential policies that defer to our history of victimization now victimize us more than racism did. I grew up in segregation. I know exactly what it's like. And I had a more positive attitude toward America than many blacks do today who are the beneficiaries of Affirmative Action. I think that deference has become a very corrupting influence on the people that it tries to help. It's honorable that it wants to help these people but they never ask the people to be responsible for their own transformation and uplift and that's the great tragedy of deference and political correctness.. . . Political correctness is now evil and it is what holds minorities down. ~ Shelby Steele

17 January 2017

Trump's Oath & the Lincoln Inaugural Bible

That news will likely infuriate both the neo-Confederates as well as the anti-Confederates. LOL.
“In his first inaugural address, President Lincoln appealed to the ‘better angels of our nature,’” said Presidential Inauguration Committee Chairman Tom Barrack. “As he takes the same oath of office 156 years later, President-elect Trump is humbled to place his hand on Bibles that hold special meaning both to his family and to our country.”
President Obama also took the oath of office on Lincoln's Bible.

Story here.

16 January 2017

A Week of History

I'll have an important post about the last 8 years and the recent election coming Friday, January 20th. It will be quite historic.

12 January 2017

Peter Thiel Backs Secession

Important update: Peter Thiel is reportedly considering a run for Governor of California. And the Politico story did not fail to mention Thiel's position on California secession:
Adding fuel to the speculation: Thiel raised eyebrows this week when he granted a rare interview to the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd. In the interview, he outlined his political worldview and explained his support for Trump.(At one point, Thiel said, perhaps jokingly, that he’d be “fine” with California seceding. “I think it would be good for California, good for the rest of the country. It would help Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign,” he added.) 
"Perhaps jokingly"? Perhaps not.

Story here.

End of update.

Entrepreneur and PayPal founder (and Trump supporter), Peter Thiel, is all "in" for California to go all "out" - out of the Union, that is. A recent "Confirm or Deny" interview with Maureen Dowd in the New York Times revealed this exchange:
Maureen Dowd: California should secede.
Peter Thiel: Confirm. I’d be fine with that. I think it would be good for California, good for the rest of the country. It would help Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign.
I'm not so sure secession would be "good for California" though I am more inclined to accept Thiel's opinion that it would be "good for the rest of the country." Beyond that, this is interesting on a number of levels. For one, Thiel is certainly no "neo-Confederate" as he hails originally from Germany and is considered a Silicon Valley titan. And, of course, California was not part of the old Confederacy. But, at least in the near-term, the likelihood of California seceding from the Union is highly unlikely, barring some unforeseen event. However, in the long-term, I would not rule it out. Let world history be your guide.

11 January 2017

America First Comeback?

Actually, not a comeback. The notion never left the hearts and minds of those of us in the Country Class. But after 8 years of anti-American rhetoric from the Ruling Class, the tables seem to be turning in an ever-growing movement. We'll see how deep it ultimately goes. One indication can be seen in recent developments in corporate America:

". . . nationalist rhetoric and Trump's willingness to use his Twitter account as a cudgel has so rattled some companies that they are putting on hold mergers and acquisitions that may involve significant job cuts or moving production or tax domicile abroad, out of fear that such deals could be seen as "unpatriotic", several top Wall Street bankers said."

More here.

10 January 2017

"Should Historians Speak Out Against Trump?"

Ummm . . . that train's already left the station.

However, the folks over at History News Network are asking the question (again, after the fact), so I thought I'd share this video. Note that no one has or is asking "Should Historians Speak Out Against Clinton?" or "Should Historians Speak Out Against Obama?"

Gee, could it possibly be that Clinton and Obama are liberal Democrats, just like most academic historians? Nah, of course not. Don't be silly.

Seriously though, I must ask, do the historians at HNN really believe that those of us outside the academy who, nonetheless, pay attention to these things, aren't unaware of the rampant leftist bias in academia? That's certainly the way they write. Are they really that detached from reality? I find it amazing that folks as educated as they claim to be can be so ignorant about what's actually going on around them. Absolutely amazing. And you just gotta love the commentary below the video:

"His claims are challenged by historians who believe that they have a moral obligation to engage the public on the issues raised by Trump's candidacy."

A "moral obligation?". Yes indeed, just as Professor Gordon Wood has labeled these folks: "moral reformers"; though it certainly appears their "moral obligations" are rather selective when it comes to politicians. Laughable.

I'm not familiar with the person being interviewed - Stanley Fish - but Wikipedia notes that he's an "American literary theorist, legal scholar, author and public intellectual. He is currently the Floersheimer Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at Yeshiva University's Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City." 

Mr. Fish seems to be channeling historian Paul Johnson who once wrote, "Beware committees, conferences and leagues of intellectuals. Distrust public statements from their serried ranks. Discount their verdicts on political leaders and important events."

He's spot on. And, no, most of don't think historians "should stay in the archives." That's a red herring. Many of us do believe, however, that simply because you have a degree in history, does not make you any more qualified to make political proclamations than anyone else of average intelligence. Moreover, the fact that there's so much leftist bias among academic historians actually makes these folks less credible. That being said, I do believe that Jonathan Zimmerman's comments near the end of the video are well thought out and bring some common sense to the discussion.

07 January 2017

Gelded History

Political Correctness is still alive and well, despite the naysayers. Just when I think it can't get any more ridiculous or funny, it does. Laughing at historians taking some of this stuff serious does provide lots of opportunity to understand and explain their mindset and agenda. From removing flags to removing monuments, the Social Justice Warrior class continues its march to cleanse the American landscape of everything "offensive". Well, not everything. (That one's ok - fits the agenda, don't you know?) History's symbolism isn't the only thing being torn down. The perpetually offended have broadened their sensitivities.

The latest example is the removing of a Kentucky school district mascot - a stallion. No, I'm not kidding.
Superintendent Manny Caulk announced on Tuesday that the high school would get rid of the stallion mascot in favor of a more gender-neutral horse mascot, which he believes will be more appropriate as a symbol for the several female sports teams that Frederick Douglass High School will field.
After reading this story, I was immediately reminded of a C.S. Lewis quote.

"We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful." 

I have a suggestion that might make everyone happy. Keep the stallion, but castrate him. This would make him it gender neutral, right? Make him a gelding for the team mascot.

Go geldings! 

Inspiring, no?

06 January 2017

Academia: "Getting rid of history?"

Not really, just twisting it to fit their agenda.
In a recent interview with Arutz Sheva TV, Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) talked about the left-leaning bias in U.S. academia, saying, the left is trying to “get rid of history.”

“The left is dismantling history and getting rid of philosophy, because that’s the data points for human nature,” Brat said, “and the left would love to be utopian and think we can all just get along if it wasn’t for us capitalists or Christians, right, or other religious groups. They think we’d be in heaven, you know without the bulk of the American people.”
More here.

03 January 2017

Our History of Anti-Elitism

Virginian Patrick Henry going after elites.
I've been dumping on elites (particularly those in academia) on this blog almost from day one. Being "anti-elite" has a long tradition in America, as the elitist New York Times pointed out in a piece today.
The notion that distant elites might be conspiring against the people comes straight from the Founding Fathers, whose Declaration of Independence lamented the “long train of abuses and usurpations” inflicted upon ordinary Americans by an arrogant British king. From there on, United States history might be seen as a repeating cycle of anti-elite revolt. The Jacksonians rebelled against the Founders’ aristocratic pretensions. Northern “free labor” went to war against the oligarchical slavocracy. And the Populist revolts of the late 19th century adapted this story to modern capitalism, with farmers and laborers rebelling against robber barons, bankers, time-management experts and college-educated professionals.
In 2016 we witnessed a seismic shift when it comes to the anti-elitist spirit, i.e. Brexit and Trump. I'm quite proud to be a part of the "anti-elite" revolt. Welcome to the party.

More here.

30 December 2016

Fishburne Military School Honored

News from my home town:
Waynesboro, VA --  Virginia's *oldest and smallest military school for boys has officially been selected to march in the 58th Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, DC. . . . Although this will be the first time Fishburne Military School has marched in a Presidential Inauguration, the school has been no stranger to national spotlight or high-level dignitaries. Founded in 1879, the Fishburne Military School Corps of Cadets has marched in review for President Calvin Coolidge, Virginia Governors Harry Flood Byrd and Gerald Baliles, Secretaries of the Army Generals Geroge C. Marshall and Eric Shinseki.
Fishburne Military has a long history in Waynesboro. I also have some personal ties to the school. It sits on the very battleground that hosted the Battle of Waynesboro in March of 1865. My grandparents' home was just a few blocks away. My oldest son graduated second in his class from Fishburne as well, and went on to serve in the United States Navy.

More here.

*VMI is actually older, founded in 1839. The operative word here is "boys."

29 December 2016

Thomas Sowell Retires

One of my favorite true intellectuals, Dr. Thomas Sowell, recently announced his retirement from writing a syndicated column. With that in mind, I ran across an article this morning which listed several of his best quotes. Here's a sampling:
The black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it has disintegrated in the wake of the liberals’ expansion of the welfare state.
If we are to go by evidence of social retrogression, liberals have wreaked more havoc on blacks than the supposed “legacy of slavery” they talk about.
The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department. [You might ask the same thing about the history department.]
The current hysteria over “fake news” — including hysteria by people who have done more than their own fair share of faking news — shows the continuing efforts of the political left to stifle free speech in the country at large, as they already have on academic campuses.
Dr. Sowell's brilliant and brave honesty will be missed.

26 December 2016

The Winter Patriots

A notice about this film came across my news feed this morning. The timing was, in several ways, quite providential. Of course, it's Christmas time and one of the central events portrayed in the video occurs on Christmas night - Washington's crossing of the Delaware. The timing was providential in another way as well. Though I'm sure some will scoff, I was immediately struck by some of the themes and how they paralleled the recent Presidential election.

"The rebellion seemed doomed. Washington's army, the Americans - the United States - needed a miracle."

Indeed, Washington's army received their miracle in the waning days of 1776; as did we 240 years later in the waning days of 2016.

The  27 minute film produced by Mount Vernon, is very well done and worth the time it takes to watch it.

The film also reminds me that there is a new and "good spirit" of hope in America. I'm looking forward to 2017 with optimism. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.