14 August 2018

To Be Lettered & Ignorant

Professor Victor Davis Hanson skewers academia:
It is growing harder and harder to equate elite university branding with proof of knowledge. Barack Obama, another Harvard Law graduate, proved this depressing fact a number of times when he asserted that the Maldives were the Falklands, “corpsmen” was pronounced with a hard p, Austrians spoke a language called Austrian, there were 57 states, and Hawaii was in Asia.

Joe Biden, another law-school graduate, once stated that George W. Bush should have addressed the nation on television the way FDR did after the stock crash: “When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television . . .”  Biden apparently forgot that FDR was not president in 1929 and that TVs weren’t introduced to the public until 1939.

The point is not to cite egregious anecdotes but rather to reflect on why Americans have pretty much lost faith in their degreed elite. On most of the major issues of the last 40 years, what we were told by economists, foreign-policy experts, pundits, and the media has proven wrong — and doubly wrong given the emphases placed on such assertions by the supposedly better-educated professional classes.

In truth, elite education has become a cattle brand. It signifies lots of things other than knowledge: for some, politically correct certification; for others, good test scores and grades that got them in; for a few, later entry into the alumni ranks of high business, law, academia, government, and the media. ~ Victor Davis Hanson
More here.

13 August 2018

Back From the North

I just returned from a trip to Canada and New England where I visited family. Of course, I enjoyed my visit but I'm so glad to be back home in Virginia. While in Canada, I did some relic hunting with my grandsons and made some very interesting finds. Relic hunting/metal detecting is an excellent way to teach history to young folks. These boys love it! More to come on that later. A lot going on right now with writing assignments, next book, videos, etc. For now, I share General Lee's sentiments . . .
"I felt so elated when I again found myself within the Confines of the Ancient Dominion, that I nodded to all the old trees as I passed." ~ Robert E. Lee

30 July 2018

The Dean of American Civil War Scholars Takes No Prisoners

Dr. James Robertson gave an interesting talk Saturday at the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation conference which took place at James Madison University. Dr. Robertson represents, in the opinion of many, a balanced view of the American Civil War. One would conclude that his perspective has not been tainted by some of the faddish trends in historiography and he is not part of the group think which seems to be so prominent among many academic historians. Dr. Robertson called the current environment regarding the debate over Civil War monuments, "insanity."

Professor Robertson pulled no punches. He states that future historians may well look back upon this time and label it "the age of idiocy." I highly recommend readers invest the time to watch and listen. It is classic Bud Robertson. Watch here.

Also, I would encourage readers to join and support the preservationist organization that sponsored this event, the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.

27 July 2018

Thought For the Day

Don't be rootless. Think locally, act locally.

24 July 2018

Professor Victor Davis Hanson on "Russianism"

The recent orthodox progressive and Democratic view of Russia — until the appearance of Donald Trump — was largely what it had been throughout the Cold War: one of empathy for Russia and understanding of its dilemmas, and shame over supposed right-wing American paranoia over a bogus “Russian bear.” . . . Progressives need a scapegoat to blame for their disastrous election loss in 2016 and their lack of a persuasive agenda, which, hand-in-glove, turned over the Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court to progressives’ worst nightmare.
More here.

17 July 2018

Historical Hypocrisy

For a hundred years the Kremlin has engaged in misinformation, murder, and mayhem. The Russian word for disinformation is dezinformatsiya. I wrote the foreword to a book on the subject, titled Disinformation, by the highest-ranking Soviet Bloc defector, Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa. Liberals never gave a rip about Russian agitprop; quite the contrary, they dismissed it as paranoia by Red-baiting right-wingers. The Russians orchestrated deliberate “active measures” campaigns against the Reagan administration. And yet, when conservatives called attention to spies, dupes, fellow travelers, and agents of influence, liberals ridiculed them as McCarthyites.

Glad to see that progressives finally care. My response to liberals now seeking my opinion on Russian meddling? You’re too late. ~ Professor Paul Kengor

12 July 2018

Somethin' I Saw Today

The view just about 1/2 mile from my home just after a rather severe thunderstorm yesterday evening. The photo does not do the scene justice.

11 July 2018

On My Nightstand

From what I've read in reviews, Vance's book is a great companion book to Jim Webb's, Born Fighting.

09 July 2018

Stonewall Brigade Band Loses Bob Moody

It was very sad to read about the passing of the leader of the nation's oldest community band, the Stonewall Brigade Band's, Mr. Bob Moody. My family and I have, for many years, enjoyed their summer Monday evening concerts at Gypsy Hill park in Staunton, Virginia. The band and their concerts are a stubborn (and welcome) vestige of small town Southern community events that continue to hang on--often by a thread--in many communities.

Mr. Moody will be missed.

More here.

03 July 2018

Happy Independence Day!

It's comical to watch all the hand-wringing going on in the history blogosphere these days. It's also kinda fun. I choose to celebrate and embrace our glorious--though imperfect--history. We have much to be grateful for. Happy Independence Day!

One of the ways I usually choose to commemorate the day is to watch old films that celebrate American Exceptionalism and our founding. Below is one of my favorites.

01 July 2018

Harvard Recruits Jethro Bodine?

This here piece from the Boston Globe is chocked full of some of them thar ironies:
Lawrence Bacow has a new vision for Harvard University . . . Bacow, who becomes the Ivy League institution’s 29th president this month, is out to shed Harvard’s image as a Northeast enclave for the country’s elite, in the age of President Trump’s muscular populism.
Yeah, good luck with that partner. Wait 'til he starts getting emails from donors. His outreach to "middle America" will likely come to a screeching halt. LOL.

The piece mentions that universities are suffering due to, "suspicions that a degree costs too much and campuses are too liberal." As long as those in academia view these facts as suspicions, the "suffering" will likely continue. The first step to rehabilitation is admitting you have a real problem. 

And this . . .
Part of his outreach will also extend to academics and people across the ideological spectrum, Bacow said, in part because free-speech controversies have roiled US college campuses in recent years, with provocative speakers sparking protests and, on a few occasions, violence.
Again, good luck with that. I think the anti-free speech environment is so ingrained (purposefully) that it will take a lot more financial pain to root it out. A lot more. Proof:
In his interview last week, Bacow declined to weigh in on Harvard’s decision this year to bar students who participate in single-gender clubs from taking on leadership positions and qualifying for prestigious fellowships.
In other words, those who belong to all female or all male clubs aren't (in Harvard's view) worthy of leadership positions. So much for reaching out to "people across the ideological spectrum." LOL.

Frankly, I doubt many will be fooled by this "outreach." This "effort" seems to be more about helping Harvard's image than anything else. Jethro would probably be better off attending his local vocational tech school and gettin' his edgication there. Ironically, even NPR would seem to concede that point.

29 June 2018

Trump Compared to Lincoln?

Dinesh D'souza goes there in his new documentary being produced by Gerald Molen, an Oscar-winning producer of Schindler's List and Jurassic Park.

27 June 2018

1/3 of Americans Fear Another Civil War?

According to Rasmussen Reports:
Thirty-one percent (31%) of Likely U.S. Voters say it’s likely that the United States will experience a second civil war sometime in the next five years, with 11% who say it’s Very Likely.
And this is interesting . . .
But 59% of all voters are concerned that those opposed to President Trump’s policies will resort to violence, with 33% who are Very Concerned.
I don't see that perspective reflected in most media reports though. Interesting, yet very troubling. More here

I certainly pray not. 

And the fact much of the media is so out of touch with most Americans is taking its toll.
Across the board, trust in traditional news outlets continues to sink, with the overwhelming majority of Americans (70%) saying that "traditional major news sources report news they know to be fake, false, or purposely misleading." 
Sadly, that mistrust extends to a number of other American institutions as well. But, this is simply the result of cause and effect. You reap what you sow. I fear it will get worse before it gets better.

06 June 2018

Somethin' I Saw Today - Life in Rural Western Virginia

My view this morning. This is looking east, toward my home which is near the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in these photos. I've never lived more than 10 miles from where I was born here in the Shenandoah Valley. Why would I want to? Bruce Catton said it best:

"There may be a lovelier country somewhere . . . but when the sunlight lies upon it and the wind puts white clouds racing their shadows the Shenandoah Valley is as good as anything America can show." ~ Bruce Catton

05 June 2018

Colonial Offense

I really don't know what to say, other than I told you so . . . 

We, as students of the George Washington University, believe it is of great exigence that the University changes its official mascot. The use of “Colonials,” no matter how innocent the intention, is received as extremely offensive by not only students of the University, but the nation [Really?] and world at large. The historically, negatively-charged figure of Colonials has too deep a connection to colonization and glorifies the act of systemic oppression. Alternative nickname recommendations are “Hippos,” "Revolutionaries", or “Riverhorses.”
Story here

I assume Colonial Williamsburg will soon form a panel and address the question of whether or not they should change their name. 😏