28 October 2016

Update On the Smithsonian's Discrimination

More blacks are speaking out about the Smithsonian Institute's discriminating against conservative African-Americans:
“This is not about race; it’s about rewriting history and burying the truth about black success,” Peterson said. “White liberals are allowed to discriminate against black conservatives and diminish their accomplishments.”

“The people in charge of the museum are not interested in portraying history accurately,” he said. “They only care about advancing a liberal Democratic political agenda that reinforces the lie that black Americans cannot succeed without government programs.”

Of course, this type of PC shenanigans coming from the Smithsonian aren't new. The following is from the New York Times, 9/30/94:
After months of criticism by veterans groups and members of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution has agreed to make major changes in its planned exhibit of the airplane that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
The exhibit featuring the B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, will no longer include a long section on the postwar nuclear race that veterans groups and members of Congress had criticized. The critics said that the discussion did not belong in the exhibit and was part of a politically loaded message that the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan began a dark chapter in human history.
PC deniers are flat-earthers. But we know it's not really about history, it's about advancing their agenda. 

The Atheist Delusion

As a former agnostic/Darwinist, I found this film quite compelling and the thought processes of many of the interviewees eerily familiar. Applying logic (along with some humility) strips all falsehoods from our minds.
Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth. ~ Arthur Conan Doyle
"He's not used to being the object of laughter" - LOL, applicable in so many venues these days, especially academia. Get used to it. Filed under "wandering thoughts" . . .

20 October 2016

PC Deniers are Flat-Earthers: Part 7

The politically correct atmosphere in academia not only stifles intellectual freedom, free speech and thought, but it even stifles laughing. One interesting angle expressed in the PJ Media video below:

Question: "Are these kids actually offended or are they just parrots echoing what their profs are telling them?"

Answer: "Oh, this is ALL the social justice, commie, progressive professors using these kids as little mouthpieces."

I'm thinking about going back to college just so I can get kicked out.

18 October 2016

PC Deniers Are Flat-Earthers: Part 6

Breidenbaugh Hall at Gettysburg College
The latest installment of Political Correctness for the Flat Earth Society comes from Gettysburg College. And it's a doozy. 

From The College Fix:
Gettysburg College freshman James Goodman began his first moments of higher education by being lectured by campus leaders about “toxic masculinity,” he tells The College Fix in an interview. Students who “identify as male” were shown a docudrama film about masculinity. The film, titled “The Mask You Live In,” was part of the lessons warning students that the notion of masculinity comes with harmful side effects, he said. According to the trailer of the film, it teaches that the “three most destructive words” a boy can hear growing up is “be a man.” Experts quoted therein also suggest that violent outbursts are prompted by masculinity pressures because “respect is linked to violence.” . . . “The entire movie and lesson made it seem like masculinity was an unacceptable human trait. That it’s something males should avoid. It was completely pointless. It did nothing to help anyone. I got absolutely nothing out of the experience, other than a headache,” Goodman said to The College Fix.
And you gotta love this:
“We are in a culture that doesn’t value caring,” the “The Mask You Live In” trailer warns, noting American society pushes a “hyper-masculine narrative.”
Question - doesn't that cannon on the campus of Gettysburg College play into the “hyper-masculine narrative”? Shouldn't that cannon be removed to a museum where it can be "properly interpreted" by "objective, professional" historians; hopefully those who've not been poisoned by America's destructive "hyper-masculine narrative."

And maybe they should drop the name "Gettysburg" altogether as that very name could require a trigger (no pun intended) warning since it conjures up images of violence, guns and a militaristic culture and America's “hyper-masculine narrative.”

I'm sure glad that political correctness is just a myth and that academia isn't rife with a PC culture that seeks to indoctrinate students, aren't you? 

And we're supposed to trust these folks to interpret history for us? LOL.

16 October 2016

New Smithsonian Institute Museum Discriminates Against Justice Clarence Thomas

Update: The Smithsonian has responded (kinda) to the criticism:
“There are many compelling personal stories about African Americans who have become successful in various fields, and, obviously, Associate Justice Thomas is one of them,” St. Thomas said in an email. “However, we cannot tell every story in our inaugural exhibitions.
But they did tell Anita Hill's story. I could buy their excuse (maybe) were it not for that little factoid.
 From The Hill:
according to a recent news report, the museum somehow has room for just a glancing negative reference to Clarence Thomas, the only black justice currently sitting on the United States Supreme Court, and only the second to ever do so. This is a shocking slight that the museum must redress.
The slight is especially glaring because this month marks the 25th anniversary of his arrival on the Supreme Court. . . . Unfortunately, by ignoring the contributions of Justice Thomas, the National Museum of African American History and Culture implies that there’s no room for a black man who dares to challenge conventional wisdom of the Left. It also ensures that visitors will learn nothing about one of our nation’s most significant jurists.
From National Review:
What is the Smithsonian Institution? It is a depository of national treasures and a national treasure in and of itself. It is the world’s largest system of museums — 19 museums, nine research centers, 138 million items in the archive, etc. . . . It is also corrupt. . . . The Smithsonian has opened a new National Museum of African American History and Culture, a long overdue addition to its offerings. And in this version of African-American history and culture, black conservatives do not exist. Specifically, the life and career of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas have been — forgive the term — whitewashed from the record.
While many leftist historians moral reformers and other elitist academic types often bemoan how others politicize history, it is rather apparent they are simply projecting their own "profession's" mishandling of the facts in order to advance their own agenda.  

“The worst I have been treated was by northern liberal elites. The absolute worst I have ever been treated. The worst things that have been done to me, the worst things that have been said about me, [were] by northern liberal elites, not by the people of Savannah, Georgia.” ~ Justice Clarence Thomas

Readers may profit from this related post about Justice Thomas and one of his observations about the grievance industry that seems to have overtaken much of academia.

14 October 2016

Some Writing Updates . . .

I've received a tentative nod that a piece I wrote some time ago will be published in a popular WBTS magazine. I'll elaborate once I know the publication date. I've also been gathering research material for 3 essays that will be published for the Essential Civil War Curriculum and I've now completed gathering the initial research material for my next book and have actually begun writing the introduction, along with the first chapter. I've not queried a publisher yet, but I do have several in mind. And, as if that's not enough, I've been contacted by a well-known WBTS/NPS museum about a very unique item in my personal collection that they are interested in.

At 58 years of age, I still have (including the current project), at least a half dozen book ideas I'd like to complete before the Lord calls me home. I need to get busy . . . 

12 October 2016

Essential Civil War Emerges

Emerging Civil War has, once again, given a great plug to Virginia Tech's Center for Civil War Studies Essential Civil War Curriculum website. The Emerging Civil War post notes that the ECWC site is, "an online body of Civil War-related, educational literature and images, intended to provide the public with a “core body of knowledge.”

Read the complete post here

You can read the essays I've written for ECWC here, here and here.

06 October 2016

The 2016 Battle of Cedar Creek Reenactment and My Son

Hot Shoeing a Cedar Creek mount, 2016.
Battle of Cedar Creek Reenactment 2008. Image source.
Yesterday, I had the privilege to ride along with my son who is a professional farrier. Zach is considered to be one of the best farriers in the Shenandoah Valley. No brag, just fact. 

The first barn we visited in Rockbridge County (VA) happened to be owned by a retired military veteran and his wife. They are both Civil War reenactors with a Virginia unit. The horse shown in the first image is in the process of being hot shod by my son. That horse is one of two that this couple owns that will be participating in the 2016 Battle of Cedar Creek reenactment this October 15th and 16th.

04 October 2016

Relic Hunting Post #145 - Learning From Relics

Non-ferrous items recovered, including a Union soldier's Eagle I button.
Some interesting iron items also recovered from the site.

There is a site that I've been relic hunting on here in the Shenandoah Valley for several years now. The site has an interesting, but little known history. As a matter of fact, I would venture to say that I'm likely the only person alive who knows the location's complete (well, mostly complete) history.

I stumbled on the site quite by accident. I have a business relationship with the farmer who owns the land and he was kind enough to give me unlimited access to explore the property. My initial interest came about because there was a large Confederate winter camp across the road from this location. I do not (yet) have permission to access that property. However, there is a very bold spring located on the property I do have permission to be on so I surmised that this was possibly a source of water for the camp or, at a minimum, a picket post where horses and soldiers would water.

Also on this site was, for certain, one colonial home. The current owner razed it a number of years ago. However, due to the relics I've found there, I believe there was likely one other home that pre-dated the one razed.

My initial exploration of the spring area yielded nothing. I was both surprised and disappointed. Next, I explored the old home site which was closer to the road and above the spring. The only thing of interest I found there was a colonial era brass key used to lock ale and wine kegs. But I began to consider a piece of high ground behind the spring that included a grove of locust trees. High ground + water source typically equals human activity for those interested in relic hunting and/or archeology.

My assumptions were correct. From that high ground I've dug a number of Tombac buttons, a couple of colonial coins and some colonial era broken buckle frames. Nothing of any real monetary value, but a treasure trove to someone who's interested in history.

In the 1800's, this piece of property came to be owned by a Confederate veteran who had been a Captain in a Virginia unit. After the war, he started a small manufacturing facility there, as well as continuing to farm the property. This information came from an old map of the area, as well as some online research. (I'm being a bit vague as I need to keep the location of this property secret for the property owner's sake.)

The location of the manufacturing facility was on another piece of high ground a few hundred yards from the well. At that location, I've recovered a Civil War era coin, part of an iron bell, iron tools and several pieces of 19th century costume jewelry and pottery. It was this area that I recently returned to so I could try out a new metal detector. 

I dug a piece of harmonica reed right off, but then the finds went dry. As I was about to give up and call it a day, I decided to try an area next to the fence. I immediately recovered a small, Tombac button. Then, within a couple of minutes and just two feet away, I found the Eagle I button also shown in the first image above. That find is interesting for several reasons. First, as already mentioned, this property was owned by a Confederate officer at the time that button was most likely lost. One would think a CSA button would be more likely to turn up. But Federal uniform buttons are not uncommon to find on Confederate related sites either. There are a couple of reasons for that. First of all, Confederate soldiers often used Union buttons when necessary, given the realities of supply issues in the Southern army.

Was the button a souvenir or, perhaps, an improvisation used during the WBTS and later lost by the Confederate Captain? Perhaps it was it lost by a former Union soldier who was a customer of the business or, maybe an employee? 

Of course, it is impossible to know for sure, but the discovery does make for interesting contemplation. I will continue to research and explore this site as long as I can. The complete history is quite interesting and, perhaps, one day, I'll write something providing more detail. For now, the history is between me, the farmer and the Captain.

24 September 2016

PC Deniers Are Flat-Earthers: Part 6

A college in New Jersey has deemed a student-sponsored "American BBQ" event "offensive" because the students used an "I Want You" image of Uncle Sam to promote their event. (You'll probably feel compelled to read that again, but don't waste your time. You read it correctly the first time.)

The college administrative snowflakes said this imagery was "too militaristic and not inclusive of the entire student population."
. . . they had been using the famous ‘I want you’ image of Uncle Sam in several posters around campus to get the word out about the event, and the administration thought that these posters were too militaristic and not inclusive of the entire student population.” . . . the Uncle Sam flyers in question said simply, “We want you...to come to our BBQ.”
I suppose they could have used a smiley face image instead but then, I suppose, that would have offended sad people. While many folks in academia continue to have, in the words of Professor Gordon S. Wood, their "incestuous conversations", a growing number of people  are simply laughing at them. You just can't make this stuff up.

23 September 2016

Emerging Civil War & Essential Civil War Curriculum

I've written for both of these sites and it's nice to see ECW give a plug for Virginia Tech's Essential Civil War Curriculum in their latest newsletter:

22 September 2016

PC Deniers Are Flat-Earthers: Part 5

Professor Daniel Jacobson, who teaches philosophy at the University of Michigan, has written an excellent essay at the Cato Institute's website about the attack on free speech on American college campuses. While Jacobson does not specifically mention the term "political correctness" it is, of course, part of the tactic limiting free speech. 

A few of the money quotes from Jacobson's piece:
Many academics now consider freedom of speech just another American eccentricity, like guns and religion. What they call free speech fundamentalism is misguided at best, in their view, and an embarrassment before our more sophisticated European counterparts.
And . . .
In considering this phenomenon, note that academia is now overwhelmingly dominated by progressives and other leftists, many of whom are not only skeptical of freedom of speech but intolerant of dissenting opinion.
And . . .
Academic freedom, too, is now championed primarily as a matter of guild privilege, in defense of an activist pedagogy that promotes political orthodoxy and does not shrink from stifling dissent.
And . . .
The great irony at the heart of the current attack on freedom of speech in academia is that the antagonists of free speech claim to be defending the victimized when, in fact, they are the oppressors.  
And . . .
What is more, such intolerance creates an incentive for hypersensitivity, since it empowers campus activists—again exclusively leftist activists—to suppress dissent. . . . This movement encourages the cultivation of intellectual vices that are antithetical to an intellectually diverse society by granting power to the thin-skinned and the hotheaded—or at any rate to those most ready to claim injury or to threaten violence. And it does so subversively, by pretending to enforce norms of civility and tolerance, while doing violence to the classically liberal ideals of a freethinking and intellectually diverse university.
[All emphasis mine.]

A devastating knockout punch to the flat-earthers.

Read the rest here.

21 September 2016

Should Public School Teachers Do This? - Part 2

Story here.

As an aside, have you noticed that all the CW bloggers who are so critical about any display of the Confederate flag, never make even the weakest criticism of the desecration of the flag that was carried into battle by Union soldiers? Isn't that amazing? And isn't it rather telling? I've told you over and over again that Confederate iconography was simply the low hanging fruit. The SJW's aren't anywhere near finished.

15 September 2016

Trump & Old White Men

Off topic a bit, but not too much. If you read Civil War & History blogs, you've invariably noticed that many of the comments in the posts quickly devolve into Trump bashing and "old white men" being the source of all evil on the planet. The hate directed at this demo is palpable on these blogs. With that in mind, I came across a piece today which discusses how an LA Times reporter was "stunned by the diversity of volunteers who are committed to seeing him win the Golden State and the presidency."
“It was as if the whole thing had been staged, in Cambodia Town, no less, to belie the notion that Trump’s appeal is largely limited to older white males,” the Times‘s Steve Lopez wrote.
And this:
Gary Fultheim, the Jewish man who is also part-owner of the building that Trump’s HQ is located in, reportedly said one of the main reasons he is voting Trump for president is because he believes Trump will do a better job of protecting Israel from Iran than the Democrats will.

The "protecting Israel" comment is interesting to note; particularly when you understand the growing anti-semitism in academia and the intellectual support it's getting in a growing number of American universities and colleges. I find that trend deplorable, don't you?

08 September 2016

PC Deniers Are Flat-Earthers: Part 4

The University of Iowa could become the first school in the state to add a bachelor’s program in social justice to its list of degrees, provided its Board of Regents approves the motion.

Of course SJW and PC are related. But I would disagree with the author. I don't believe PC has peaked. 

06 September 2016

PC Deniers Are Flat-Earthers: Part 3

Lead off to the latest on political correctness and free speech suppression in academia:
In the midst of national debates concerning free speech on college campuses, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has opted to clamp down on students who challenge the reigning orthodoxy regarding manmade global warming. . .  . “We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change, nor will the ‘other side’ of the climate change debate be taught or discussed in this course,” the professors said in their letter obtained by The College Fix.
Yes, challenging the "reigning orthodoxy" has always been suppressed by the intolerant and powerful. Can't have too much free thought goin' 'round these days, don't ya know. And suppressing the "other side" is, more often than not, due to the fact that the "orthodoxy" is unable to stand up to scrutiny. In other words, they can't defend their position.

And how about this:
The professors, backed by University Communications Director Tom Hutton, said that the ban on debate even extends to discussion among students in the online forums.
Wow. And yet we still have deniers.

Story source

And how about this little gem from Clark College in Worcester, Mass:
And don’t say “you guys.” It could be interpreted as leaving out women, said Ms. Marlowe, who realized it was offensive only when someone confronted her for saying it during a presentation.
Full disclosure: I don't like "you guys" either, though it usually comes out like, "you gieez." Reminds me too much of New Jersey. Anyway, I scold my grandchildren for saying "you guys." We prefer "y'all." It's a rule in my household. Besides sounding more melodious, it also saves time. It's also more inclusive. I suggest colleges and universities make the term "y'all" mandatory so as not to offend anyone.

And PC can be rather costly:
In August, the University of Wisconsin system, which includes the Madison flagship and 25 other campuses, said it would ask the State Legislature for $6 million in funding to improve what it called the “university experience” for students. The request includes money for Fluent, a program described as a system wide cultural training for faculty and staff members and students. But that budget request has provoked controversy. “If only the taxpayers and tuition-paying families had a safe space that might protect them from wasteful UW System spending on political correctness,” 
Wouldn't you love to see a breakdown of how that $6 million would actually be spent? LOL.