22 May 2017

Offending With Flags

I love Mike Rowe's wit and wisdom and read much of what he writes. He posted some comments and observations recently on his Facebook page which I found quite interesting. Here are a couple excerpts.
Consider the Confederate flag. Many people now insist upon removing that flag from the public square, because the sight of it offends them. And yet, many of those calling for its removal are the same people demanding the right to burn The American Flag wherever it suits them. In other words, they want the right to offend, but they can’t bear to be offended.
And . . .
Consider the administrators in public universities. Somehow, they’ve gotten it into their heads that it’s OK for their students to shout down speakers they don’t like. Overnight it seems, the feelings of the students have become more important than the first amendment rights of anyone who disagrees with them.
Of course, the two topics are related. Just some food for thought. You can read his complete post here. Logic and reason vs. emotions and agendas.

19 May 2017

Relic Hunting Post #155 - Lots of Lead: Part III

Third and final video from a relic hunt on a battlefield on private property here in the Shenandoah Valley. 

17 May 2017

Today's Academic Climate

Today’s academic climate might be described as a mixture of infantilism, kindergarten and totalitarianism. The radicals, draft dodgers and hippies of the 1960s who are now college administrators and professors are responsible for today’s academic climate. The infantilism should not be tolerated, but more important for the future of our nation are the totalitarianism and the hate-America lessons being taught at many of the nation’s colleges. ~ Professor Walter Williams

12 May 2017

Relic Hunting Post #153 - Obsession

Courtesy of Relic Record . . .

9 Warning Signs That Your Civil War Relic Collecting Has Become an Obsession. 

Me: #1 and #6.

#1: The walls in your home have become less visible due to all of the Civil War related items you’ve covered them with.

When you first moved into your home, your walls were painted a beautiful neutral satin color. Now curio cabinets, Riker cases, custom built shelving, and monstrous Mort Kunstler paintings depicting the entire Peninsula Campaign cover every square inch. You’re now debating on what to do with the ceiling.

#6: Friends and family who don’t understand your hobby have disappeared. As a result, the increased isolation has caused you to spend even more time immersed in your collection.

Your closest friends and family have abandoned you. No matter how many times you’ve tried to explain that your Civil War artillery collection has been rendered safe, they still consider you a danger to yourself and society… and your dog Stonewall, Bedford, Ulysses, or General Lee.
 My wife would definitely concur.

10 May 2017

New Old Virginia Diggers Intro

The apps and software available to individuals to express themselves, share knowledge and, in other ways, be creative these days is simply amazing. From blogging, to self-publishing to creating video, anyone with basic PC knowledge and an idea can create professionally. I've recently discovered 3 such products:

1. Wondershare's Filmora for video production and editing.
2. Canva for creating everything from logos to social media icons to posters.
3. Ivipid for creating Hollywood like intros for film projects.

Here's my latest attempt at being creative and using some of this software in producing an intro for my relic hunting/history related videos:

09 May 2017

Relic Hunting Post #152 - Lots of Lead: Part I

These recoveries were made last November from a battlefield on private property, with permission here in the Shenandoah Valley. After Microsoft stopped servicing Windows Movie Maker, it took me several months to finally settle on a new video editor - Filmora.   And I LOVE it. I'm still learning all it's functions, but here's the first production using Filmora video editing software. Too bad it doesn't have a spell check function. LOL.

02 May 2017

Bible Reading Not Allowed in College Classroom?

Mark Holden, a 22-year-old history major, tells me he was ordered to leave a lecture hall after his professor objected to him reading the Bible before the start of the class.
Story here, with audio.

01 May 2017

Relic Hunting Post #151 - Liberty in the Shenandoah Valley

I've recently received permission to explore and metal detect several very historic homesites here in the Shenandoah Valley. On one recent quick survey excursion to one of these sites, I was able to make several interesting discoveries. Below is one of them. It's an 1820 Coronet Head Liberty Large Cent. These American copper coins were minted from 1816 to 1839. When I first recovered it, detail was rather sparse and I could not make out a date through the incrustation that had accumulated through the years it had been in the ground. So I boiled it in some hydrogen peroxide and gently worked it with a soft toothbrush. I then applied some coconut oil and Renaissance wax. She finally came to life and revealed her secrets. The site actually predates the mint of the coin. I hope to do a lot of exploration of this site and write a detailed history of the home and its inhabitants at some point in the future.

26 April 2017

Somethin' I Saw Today: April in the Shenandoah

My morning walk was later than ususal this morning. The sun was already high over the Blue Ridge to the east. We've had 5" of rain since Saturday and there's nothing like April in the Valley after a good rain.

"Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice." ~ Psalm 96:12

25 April 2017

Relic Hunting Post #150 - Confederate Trenches

I've not produced a video for some time. Windows Movie Maker is no longer being updated/serviced by Microsoft. My WMM went buggy and I've not settled on a replacement. As basic as WMM was, it served my purposes well. Anyway, I produced this footage with the free Youtube online video editor. The audio's not the best, but for those that are interested in recovering and preserving relics and artifacts. As always, these items were recovered on private property near Petersburg, Virginia (with permission). All finds were properly catalogued and recorded with photographs and location details for posterity. (I'm aware of the misspelling at end of video ;-) I found it after I produced a follow up video.)

22 April 2017

President Buchanan?

Image source

For some fascinating insight into the history and thoughts of one of the most influential political writers and thinkers of the last 50 years, I'd highly recommend a recent piece about Patrick J. Buchanan appearing in Politico Magazine. I've followed Pat closely since the 1980's and his days on Crossfire. I found this excerpt from the Politico piece particularly interesting:
Buchanan has had plenty of titles over the years, from spokesman to candidate, but his favorite is historian. He cherishes history not just for its drama but for the lessons bequeathed and the parallels he can extract: the seductive appeal of populism, the rising tide of nationalism, the similarities between the current president and the two he worked closely alongside. Above all, Buchanan loves history because, in his mind, it contains our civilizational apex; he treasures the past because he is convinced that his beloved country, these United States, will never again approach the particular kind of glory it held for a middle-class family in the postwar years.
You may read the Politico piece here.

21 April 2017

Experts: Wizards of Oz

Victor Davis Hanson expertly (pun intended) points out that the emperor has no clothes. Many of the "Wizards of Smart" (experts) in America today are really the "Wizards of Oz" - all drama and bluster but, in reality, just little, small-minded figures hiding behind a phony curtain of credentials pulling the levers of power with little of any value to show for their efforts.

As one of the favorite clipping services in the blogosphere, I offer the following excerpts from Dr. Hanson's piece for contemplation:
Elitism sometimes seems predicated on being branded with the proper degrees. But when universities embrace a therapeutic curriculum and politically correct indoctrination, how can a costly university degree guarantee knowledge or inductive thinking? [Answer: It can't.]
And . . .
The public no longer believes that privilege and influence should be predicated on titles, brands, and buzz, rather than on demonstrable knowledge and proven character. The idea that brilliance can be manifested in trade skills or retail sales, or courage expressed by dealing with the hardship of factory work, or character found on an Indiana farm, is foreign to the Washington Beltway, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley [and much of academia].
Read more here.

19 April 2017

Relic Hunting Post #149 - Another Artifact Display Ready

These forty pieces of Civil War lead and two shell fragments from Hotchkiss shells are ready to be mounted in a glass shadow box/display case. Almost as much as I love actually researching and recovering historical artifacts here in Virginia, I also love cleaning and displaying them. Displays like the one pictured here make great conversation pieces as well as providing an opportunity to share my passion and knowledge about the items displayed, as well as about history in general. Though it's a good problem to have, with each passing year I'm quickly running out of room to display my finds. I utilize my 2 offices as well as my home's parlor, though my wife is beginning to grumble about that.

Our Long History of Secession

Secesh fever (and nullification) seems to be all the rage these days. I've posted about it several times in recent months. Now comes Dr. Brion McClanahan with a piece detailing America's love affair with nullification and secession.

For example:
The Declaration of Independence is a secession document. The “thirteen united States of America” seceded from the British Empire and became “Free and Independent States” like the “State of Great Britain.”

The Constitution for the United States—the same Union of sovereign States that existed under the Articles of Confederation—allowed the States to secede from the Articles by acceding to the new governing document. This was expressly prohibited by the Articles.
And then . . .
The Hartford Convention of 1815 urged Northern states to nullify laws in support of the War of 1812 (several had already done so in fact but not by legislation) and insisted that if nothing changed they would have to resort to secession. Daniel Webster, the same man who called nullification disunion in 1830, believed in it enough in 1812 that he made several speeches in support of the idea around his home district.
More here.

17 April 2017

On My Nightstand

I started reading this new biography of Lee (written by the former rector of R.E. Lee Memorial Church in Lexington, VA) Saturday evening. Though I've read multiple biographies of Lee (including Freeman's), I must say the first few pages of this one have been quite interesting and informative. I've also been surprised by a few things. From what I've read thus far, the book will not be a favorite of the moral reformer class of historians. I'll have more to say about that when I post a review once I've finished reading the book.