30 September 2008

Marx & Fair Weather Conservatives.

"In his Communist Manifesto, published in 1848, Karl Marx proposed 10 measures to be implemented after the proletariat takes power, with the aim of centralizing all instruments of production in the hands of the state. Proposal Number Five was to bring about the 'centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.' If he were to rise from the dead today, Marx might be delighted to discover that most economists and financial commentators, including many who claim to favour the free market, agree with him." See story here.

I Hope This Helps

Some folks seem to be having a difficult time understanding some Southerners' attachment to the South's Christianity, the War Between the States, and those heroes associated with the Southern Army. Academics like to put Southerners and their culture under a microscope and poke and prod them. They've been doing it for years and most aren't any closer to figuring things out than they were 40 years ago. I actually find it amusing. I've posted on the combined impact of Christianity and the Civil Ware before.

This particular article which originally appeared in Christian History Magazine (A publication I HIGHLY recommend) might help.

(Painting by Dale Gallon.)

29 September 2008

The Ministry of Truth



This gives me the creeps. Couple this with Bush's Patriot Act and we have 1984 on steroids. Ah yes, a "new age is dawning."

A Massive & Historic Oak Tree

2 years ago, I commented on this post about trees I nominated for Virginia Tech's "Remarkable Trees of Virginia Project." I've been told that Jackson's Prayer Oak got mention in the text of the book, but no photo. The massive oak in the Jackson Memorial Cemetery did not even get a mention. However, that historic tree has just been declared the second largest scarlet oak in the state! Check it out here.

BBC - Biased Broadcasting Corporation

This is the primary reason why I declined a request by the BBC for an interview a couple of weeks ago. There was also a time constraint, but the BBC's lack of credibility when it comes to fairness and balance was the main reason. Bottom line: Like most of the mainstream press, I simply don't trust them to be fair, balanced, and to tell the whole truth. The BBC is one of the worst for slanting the news to fit their European/socialist agenda. There was no way I was going to be a party to them belittling and impugning what they view as "backward" small town, rural America. My Mama would slap me.

As I stated in my previous post, they wanted to discuss my views on "faith and values in small town, rural America" and its impact on the presidential election. Since they did this same dog and pony show four years ago, I suspect whatever they ultimately do, it will be more of "red-state hicks" vs. "blue state sophisticates."

28 September 2008

Orthodox Christianity & The Historian

As a result of a discussion I was involved in on Kevin Levin's Civil War Memory Blog, I was asked to define what I meant by the term "orthodox Christianity." I was a little surprised by the question as those tenets are generally well known, at least that was my assumption.

Here's a rather commonly accepted list of the "non-negotiables":

  • The Trinity
  • The deity of Christ
  • The bodily resurrection of Christ
  • The atonement as a result of the life and the death of Christ
  • A need for personal salvation by grace due to man's universal sinfulness as a result of the fall in the Garden of Eden
  • The inerrancy of the Bible
  • God's inspiration of the Bible's authors
  • The virgin birth of Christ
  • The anticipated second coming of Christ

And, to that list, I would add a belief in a literal 6 day creation as laid out in the Book of Genesis. In addition, the person who posed this question, asked another one: "Who killed Jesus?" My answer: We all did with our sins. For it was our sins from which we needed saving and for which Christ hung on the Cross.

And one more point. I do not consider myself a professional historian, in the strictest sense of the term. One definition of being a "professional" in anything is whether or not you get paid for the work. I do. I've written 3 history related books, dozens of history related articles, serve on the board of trustees for a new museum, am involved in a number of historic and preservationist organizations, and have co-produced two history related films. Yet I still consider myself an "amateur historian." I am not credentialed and do not work full time in the field. Perhaps, one day, I, might earn the title by my work alone, as did Shelby Foote. We'll see. I figure I, Lord willin' have about 20 years or so left to prove myself.

That being said, I must add that whatever I (or others) consider my contribution worthy of being called, it is important for me to inject two clarifying terms to my work: "Christian" & "Southern." I write unapologetically from a Southern perspective. I was born in the South, the great-great grandson of three Confederate Veterans. I grew up hearing my father and grandfather (both liberal Kennedy Democrats by the way) tell of the virtues of Lee and Jackson and of the honor of the South's struggle. I grew up playing on the blood-soaked ground that my ancestors defended. My grandfather hung a Confederate battle flag in his home until the day he died, as did my father. My father's home was adorned with images of Lee and Jackson and other Southern heroes. My father was constantly giving me biographies and histories about the WBTS and passed his passion for the study of history to me. It's in me and I cannot, nor do I desire to, get it out.

Dad loved the South. As a child growing up, we never went North for vacation - always South: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, numerous places in Virginia. Dad loved Southern food, especially grits. He once told me as a very young boy that if you did not eat your grits for breakfast in Georgia restaurants, the authorities would put you in jail. I believed him and have loved grits ever since!

I love the South too. I so tire of her being attacked, impugned, ridiculed, stereo-typed and made fun of for the burdens that the whole Nation shares. Her critics are oh so selective. I believe most of them are politically motivated, despising the old-fashioned, conservative values that still permeate the South. So I defend her when the elites (or those who hold kindred views) attack. I don't write to please anyone, except my conscience and my God (and the great cloud of witnesses of which the Book of Hebrews speaks).

Which brings me to the other clarifier: Christian. As a former agnostic, liberal, and Darwinist, I know how the "other side" thinks. I know how they reason. I know how they view the world because I used to view it in the same way. (Very depressing, I might add.) That transformation in my life was dramatic. It was life-changing. My faith impacts everything I do, especially my writing. So just what is a "Christian historian" - professional or amateur? I like the simple definition put forth by Roland A. Wells:

He is a historian who first, accepts "the 'reality' that God exists and that God came among us in the historical person known as Jesus", and, second brings to the study of history a different "angle of vision," which, Wells asserts, allows the believing scholar to ask different questions, to "see what others do not." (From a review of Wells's book: History and the Christian Historian, reviewed by Augustus Cerillo, Jr. of California State University, Long Beach)

So that is my goal, to bring a different "angle of vision" to the study of history: The Christian angle. And though I may not always do that to everyone's satisfaction, that is my goal.

Regarding some of the other questions raised by Mr. Levin - I believe every one of them were addressed head on in my book about Stonewall Jackson and his Sunday school class. No need to re-write my whole book on Kevin's blog. I'm finding the problem with blog discussions are that rarely is anyone moved from their original opinions. Most bloggers are pretty hard-headed and strong willed. It's the nature of the beast, so to speak.

I trust that clarifies some things. Now, you will have to excuse me as it is time for me to go cling to my guns and religion.

Good night.

27 September 2008

Levi Miller

Several weeks ago, I was bidding for a postcard (pictured here) which featured Levi Miller. Miller was an African-American and slave from Rockbridge County, Virginia who served in the 5th Texas Infantry Regiment. He received a full Confederate pension years before the Virginia legislature ever enacted legislation allowing such pensions for black Confederates. See records here.

I set my limit at $55 but was outbid. The winning bid was $98.50 - for a postcard! Anyway, I was in Lexington last week on business and took some time to poke around one of the cemeteries (as I often do) and, while there, snapped this photo of Miller's tombstone.


















**Update: Thanks to fellow CW blogger Robert Moore for pointing out this information about Levi Miller's service in Professor Ervin Jordan's book about black Confederates. Very interesting. Click here. I had read this before, but could not recall where until Robert reminded me.

FYI

Military Ministry

Military Missions

26 September 2008

In Defense of Heritage Tourism

Many professional historians are critical of "heritage tourism." I'm not quite sure why, unless its because they somehow feel left out. Many of them do not consider it "serious" or "sophisticated."

Do those critics really think the masses are going to attend a college level course on history or pick up a 500 page tomb about the War Between the States?

Granted, it's not the same as a university level course, but I strongly disagree that this way of experiencing and learning of our Nation's history is not "serious" or is somehow only for those who I call "T-Shirt" tourists: "Just give me a cool t-shirt, I don't have time to learn anything in depth."

Williamsburg and Jamestown are perfect examples of "heritage tourism." Though I may often find myself in disagreement in how they interpret our Nation's Christian heritage, they provide a valuable service to our citizens and help us see some of what America was like at that point in time.

Apparently, I'm not alone in my opinion as The National Trust for Historic Preservation has a page on their website which promotes this genre of history.

"The National Trust defines cultural heritage tourism as traveling to experience the places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present. It includes cultural, historic and natural resources." I think that definition is perfect. (Emphasis mine) More here.

By the way, my Lexington tour business is called: Virginia Heritage Tours.

Rent Stonewall


For those who would like to see Still Standing The Stonewall Jackson Story, but don't want to drop the $20 to purchase the DVD, you can now rent it at Netflix.

Saint Abraham

Some CW historians & bloggers regularly take pot shots at those who write about the Christian faith of Lee and Jackson, as well as those who hold these men in high esteem as heroes. Others like to label such writers as "lost causers" promoting a "romanticized" version of the Confederacy.

(My previous post on this subject elicited several comments.)

Strangely, those same critics are silent regarding what Dr. Michael R. Bradley has called "the myth of the Holy Cause." I wonder if we'll see the Southern heritage bashers poo-poo the deluge of books about Abraham Lincoln's faith. I won't hold my breath.


Regarding Lincoln, I've recently acquired two books about the 16th President. I hope to read both soon. The first is Stephen B. Oates's With Malice Toward None. The second is Forced Into Glory by Lerone Bennett, Jr. (Please don't anyone suggest Doris Kearns Goodwin's work. Plagiarizers don't interest me.)

It's been a while since I read a biography of Lincoln as I've never really been interested in studying him in depth. (Is that heresy?) But both of these books came highly recommended. We'll see.

24 September 2008

Not Bitter, Blessed

Annual Lee Chapel Program

Each year, Lee Chapel (Lexington, Virginia) hosts a lecture commemorating the Washington College presidency of Robert E. Lee on the anniversary of his death. The 2008 program will be held at Noon on Monday, October 13. Kent Masterson Brown will present his address "Retreat from Gettysburg" in the Chapel auditorium shortly after noon.

More here.

(Mr. Brown will also be speaking at this year's Stephen Dill Lee institute sponsored by the SCV.)

23 September 2008

Joe Biden Needs A History Lesson

"When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed," Biden told Couric. "He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'"

Hey Joe, Herbert Hoover was President in 1929 and there were no televisions.

Good Lord.

Click here.

Follow the Money

Who created the current financial crisis? Click here. And here. I'm open to rebuttals, but with facts, not distractions and ad hominem arguments.

Advice For Gentlemanly Debate

How to argue your political perspectives in a civil and gentlemanly way. Excellent advice for bloggers as well. Click here.

21 September 2008

New Plates


I recently retired my old SCV license plate. No sad good-byes, though. The plate will occupy a hallowed place of honor on my basement office wall (much to my wife's sore displeasure).


I opted for the new Robert E. Lee plate.


So, what do you think?

19 September 2008

History & Politics

I was recently "unlinked" from another history blog due to my "right-wing" slant on history. That's perfectly fine as there are links I refuse to include on my blog due to their "left-wing" slant. My "About Me" description makes no bones as to what this blog is about and the perspective that can be expected. I am an unapologetic Southern writer and I write from a conservative, Christian worldview.

That being said, I found this blog post most interesting and relevant; given this list. More to come on this subject after the election.

18 September 2008

Lipstick On A Pig


Hear what really happens when one attempts to "put lipstick on a pig." I know Mr. Salatin personally. "Swoope" is in the Shenandoah Valley.

17 September 2008

The Civil War Network

Worth a visit and a listen. Click here.

Booklet Finally Available


The booklet I wrote about the Battle of Waynesboro has finally been printed and is on display, along with a Jubal Early pistol, at the Waynesboro Heritage Museum. You can read a pdf version of the booklet here. WHM is giving the booklet away to all who visit either the museum or the Plumb House.

If you're ever in Waynesboro, please take the time to visit these museums. They have some fascinating displays regarding local history.

16 September 2008

The Kooky Left

"The latest 'Real Time with Bill Maher' show erupted into a vicious 4-against-1 bashfest of conservative columnist John Fund and Republicans in general, culminating in one left-leaning guest on the panel calling for all Republicans to be 'jailed.' "

See story here.

15 September 2008

Murder in the Churchyard

"On a Sunday evening in January 1854, while Dr. George Junkin conducted services at nearby Lexington Presbyterian Church, a student attending what is now Washington & Lee Law School, murdered Cadet Thomas Blackburn, a popular VMI First Classman (senior).
Charles Burks Christian was apprehended immediately, still covered with his victim’s blood. By some accounts, only the direct intervention of VMI superintendent, Gen. Francis Henney Smith, and Rev. Junkin's son-in-law, a new professor at the Institute named Thomas Jackson, prevented a lynching. Blackburn was related both to the Washingtons of Mount Vernon, and to Francis Thomas, former Governor of Maryland, ex-husband of Sally McDowell Miller of Col Alto, herself the daughter of a Virginia governor."

"The tragic dispute between the two young men grew out of Charles Christian’s unrequited romantic interest in a beautiful local teenager, Mary Eveyln Anderson, daughter of a Washington College Rector, and a niece of United States Senator Thomas Hart Benton. The savagery of Christian’s fatal attack upon the unarmed cadet stunned the community, and its motive titillated everyone who learned of it." More details here.

(Lexington Presbyterian Church in photo, circa 1896. The structure shown partially to the right of the church is the old "Lecture Room" where Stonewall Jackson conducted his Sunday school for slaves and free blacks. The building was torn down in 1906.)


13 September 2008

Hypocrite

"Journalist" Bill Moyers is concerned about "right-wing" media. I wish he were as concerned about endangering the lives of other motorists.

11 September 2008

Matt Damon Weighs In On Sister Saint Sarah



Brilliant, Matt, brilliant.

For History Junkies

I, along with some other familiar folks, have been listed in an online article titled "100 Awesome Blogs for History Junkies."

Check it out here.

Uh Oh

From yesterday's Los Angelas Times:

"According to a Zogby poll conducted in July, more than 20% of U.S. adults -- one in five, about the same number of American Colonists who supported revolt against England in 1775 -- agreed that "any state or region has the right to peaceably secede from the United States and become an independent republic."

Op-ed piece here.

Here are some additional findings from the poll itself:

"The level of support for the right of secession was consistent in every region in the country, though the percentage was slightly higher in the South (26%) and the East (24%). The figures were also consistent for every age group, but backing was strongest among younger adults, as 40% among those age 18 to 24 and 24% among those age 25 to 34 agreed states and regions have secession rights."

And . . .

"Broken down by race, the highest percentage agreeing with the right to secede was among Hispanics (43%) and African-Americans (40%)."

And . . .

"Politically, liberal thinkers were much more likely to favor the right to secession for states and regions . . ."

I post this because the subject has come up in the current presidential campaign with Sarah Palin being accused of supporting the Alaska Independence Party and Barak Obama supporting Hawaii's right for "self-determination" (secession).

We're living in very strange times.

You can read the details of the poll here.

10 September 2008

New Marker Photo


As promised from my previous post. Click on image to better read the text. Please consider a donation of any amount.






"No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little." ~ Edmund Burke

09 September 2008

Coud It Be Over For Obama?


GALLUP: McCain opens 15-point lead among independents...

(That's an ominous sign)

...Maintains 5-Point Head-to-Head Lead...

Leaps to 20-Point Lead in North Carolina...

It's still too soon to tell, but the trend is not good for "the one."

Robert E. Lee Supports Sister Saint Sarah


"About a year ago I first saw this wonderful woman speak," the veteran of "Lonesome Dove" and the "Godfather" [and Gods and Generals] movies said. "I didn't know who it was. And I said who is this woman? And a year later, I said to myself about three or four weeks ago, why isn't she up for the vice presidency?" ~ Robert Duval (Story here.)

McCain is left-handed, but apparently not all Hollywood types are lefties. Jackson lost his left arm and Lee said in losing Jackson he had lost his "right arm."

Perhaps Sister Saint Sarah is McCain's "right arm."

Yes, I know, pretty lame but I couldn't help to note the "connections." I've been taking a lot of cold medicine lately.

You Want To Talk To Me!?

I have been contacted by the BBC with an interview request regarding "religion in US Society." Specifically, the BBC wants to talk to me about "faith and values in small town, rural America" and its impact on the presidential election.

For those of you who think blogging has little impact, this contact came about due to someone with the BBC finding my blog. They called my commentary interesting. I'll bet.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to make time for them, but I'm fascinated (not flattered) by the fact they want to talk to me as a result of my blog.

We'll see.

**Update: I've decided against granting an interview with the BBC - for 2 reasons which I'll comment on later. I did answer a few questions for about 10 minutes with the gentleman on the phone and referred them to others I believe would fit the bill. I'll also disclose that interesting conversation later.

08 September 2008

Celebratory History

Just a follow up thought on my previous post linking to the American Thinker piece about our "2nd Civil War" . . .

Note this quote from Meyer's piece:

"They (the left) were so distressed by our imperfections that they refused to recognize or celebrate our achievements."

One way this attitude manifests itself in academia is the well-entrenched trend of modern historians to denigrate our Nation's heroes--especially those of the conservative South, i.e. Lee, Jackson, Washington. They attempt to insulate themselves by being critical of what they refer to as a "celebratory approach" to history. It is not (in their view) sophisticated to be patriotic--in the traditional sense--these folks are "global citizens." Old-fashioned Americanism is so "passé" don't you know? They very often overplay their hands--without even knowing it.

Of course, this attitude is pervasive not only in historiography, but also in modern politics as expressed by Andrew McCarthy:

"What most frustrates Americans is that we are a happy, optimistic, can-do people ceaselessly harangued by media solons, delusional academics, post-sovereign Eurocrats, and the Democrats who love them. While we free and feed the world, they can’t tell us enough that we’re racist, imperialist, torturing louts. We know it’s a libel, an endless stream of slander. But we also know it’s an absurd libel. We’re tired of hearing it, but taking it too seriously would give it power it doesn’t deserve." (Emphasis mine.)

Fortunately, there are writers, historians--and yes even bloggers--combating their efforts to distort the truth. Moreover, most of these academics write primarily to impress each other and to receive the accolades of their peers. The "anti-intellectual"--code speak for the "common man"--finds their writing style boring, condescending, and offensive so their impact is probably not as great as they would like to think. That is a good thing.

Our Nation needs heroes. And, despite what some may think, we have plenty of them. Don't be afraid to celebrate them in history even while the delusional academics sneer.

Our 2nd Civil War?

"So great is this gulf between the Traditionalists and the Left-Wing Liberals -- and so irreconcilable are the differences -- that our decades-long political struggle has amounted to a kind of second Civil War. And for several years now, it's been a stalemate. This is why so many elections are so close, why so many Supreme Court decisions are split 5-4, and why we've been unable to act decisively on any of the issues that confront us - the war, the economy, energy, healthcare, border control, immigration, and all the rest."

Read this fascinating and insightful piece at the American Thinker here.

**Update: This "2nd Civil War" is also being waged in modern historiography, though there are those who want us to believe their views are non-political and based on pure, unbiased academic research. Uh huh. See: "Historians for Obama."

And then there is this oh so predictable, quintessential, cliched, canned opinion from the academic left at History News Network:

"The McCain Palin Ticket Appeals to a Powerful Strain of Anti-Intellectualism in American Society"

Fine. Then the Obama-Biden ticket appeals to a "powerful strain of intellectual elitists" in American Society.

Works for me.

06 September 2008

Donation Request

Please Contribute To The Marker Fund

Virginia’s Department of Historical Resources recently approved a historical highway marker which commemorates the original African-American cemetery of Lexington. The text for this long overdue marker reads:

“Near the intersection of Washington and Lewis Streets stood the original burial ground for Lexington’s substantial free-black community and slaves dating to the early 1800s. The majority of the original burials were in unmarked graves and no records were maintained of these burials. The Town of Lexington obtained ownership of the cemetery in 1876 and closed it in 1880 and the persons buried here were purportedly moved to Evergreen Cemetery, although there is little information to document the extent of reburials. In 1946 the Town of Lexington subdivided the old cemetery and houses were built over the burial ground.”

The marker was recently installed by VDOT and is located on the Rt. 11 (South) bypass, just south of the bridge which passes over Rt. 60 in Lexington, Virginia.

The local Stonewall Brigade Camp #1296 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has raised $760 toward this effort. This was done solely through private donations. No local government funds or tax dollars were received for this marker. The total cost of the marker is $1350 leaving a deficit of $590.

The purpose of this post is to ask readers, organizations, and/or businesses who are interested in assisting with this worthy project to contribute funds toward the remaining balance. Any amount is welcome and appreciated. Those wishing to give through the Stonewall Brigade SCV camp may make the check payable to: “Stonewall Brigade Camp #1296/SCV”. The Sons of Confederate Veterans is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.

Donations may also be made payable directly to the foundry that makes Virginia’s historical highway markers: “Sewah Studios, Inc.” Receipts and letters of recognition will be mailed to all those making contributions either way. Any excess monies collected will be donated to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.

Please mail your contributions to:

"Marker Funds"
c/o Richard G. Williams, Jr.
PO Box 752
Stuarts Draft, Virginia 24477 Inquiries or questions: stonewallbook@yahoo.com

(I will post a clearer image some time next week.)


05 September 2008

Is Senator Obama a Secessionist?

Some of the kooky left have been suggesting that Sarah Palin is a secessionist and was once a member of Alaska's Independence Party - a charge that has been refuted. But the kooks have conveniently (as usual) ignored the fact that their candidate supports his home state's right to secede from the Union.

www.Freehawaii.org notes that, "In 1993 the 103rd Congress unanimously signed into Public Law the Apology Bill. America publicly admitted to illegally overthrowing its ally and trading partner the Sovereign Kingdom of Hawaii and falsely imprisoning the beloved Queen Liliuokalani. Since then, America, has done everything it can to avoid the consequences of this Bill. The inevitable result will be the restoration of a sovereign Hawaii."

The official Democratic platform (which Obama supports) reads:

"We support the efforts for self-determination and sovereignty of native Hawaiians, consistent with principles enumerated in the Apology Resolution and the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act."

What an irony. So who is the secessionist in this race?

Why Wasn't Jeff Davis Tried for Treason?

"The Treason Trial of Jefferson Davis": A Panel Discussion
12th Annual Elizabeth Roller Bottimore Lecture

Thursday, September 25, 2008
7:30-9:00 p.m.
Keller Hall Reception Room,
University of Richmond
Free to the public, registration
recommended

In May 1865, the U.S.government indicted Jefferson Davis on the charge of treason. Imprisoned at Fort Monroe, but represented by prominent northern lawyers, the former Confederate president prepared his case; he eagerly anticipated the opportunity to vindicate himself and the nation he led. Instead, the federal government delayed the trial and, early in 1869, quashed the indictment and declined to try Davis. What was the case against Jefferson Davis? What was Davis’ defense strategy? Why did the federal government not pursue the case? [Good question] What was the significance of that decision for Confederate and American history?

The 12th annual Elizabeth Roller Bottimore Lecture, cosponsored by The Museum of the Confederacy and the University of Richmond Department of History, will explore these and related questions. The participants in a panel discussion will be Kent Masterson Brown, a Constitutional lawyer and historian whose many published works include an article on the constitutionality of secession; Clint Johnson, a historian and author of the forthcoming book, Pursuit - The Chase, Capture, Persecution, and Surprising Release of Confederate President Jefferson Davis(June 2008); and Cynthia Nicoletti, a graduate of Harvard Law School and University of Virginia history doctoral student who is completing her dissertation on the Davis case.

(Above announcement is from the Museum of the Confederacy's website.)

04 September 2008

Mama vs. Obama


Could this be the kiss of death for the Obama campaign?

I watched Sister Saint Sarah give her speech last night. Wow. If she is the real deal--and she certainly appears to be--the left could be in very big trouble.

How quickly fortunes can change.

**Update - 9/5/08: "Perhaps most stunning is the fact that Palin’s favorable ratings are now a point higher than either man at the top of the Presidential tickets this year. As of Friday morning, Obama and McCain are each viewed favorably by 57% of voters. Biden is viewed favorably by 48%." Story here.

By the way, Sister Saint Sarah has an 86% approval rating in Alaska. She is the most popular governor in America.

Typical New York Times

The New York Times is seldom right about anything so it's no surprise they have no idea what they're talking about when it comes to the different missions of the Museum of the Confederacy and the American Civil War Center. This piece in the NYT is more of a subtle sneer at the MOC than it is an objective look at the two museums. Get this quote:

"The Museum of the Confederacy may be facing the limitations of that position. Annual attendance, from a 1991 peak of 91,000, has been dropping, to about 48,000 in the last year. Its 1976 building, like the adjacent White House, is also hemmed in by a growing hospital complex. So the institution has put together an ambitious $15 million plan to create a system of four museums in historic Virginia areas, increasing display space for its extensive collection."

Followed by:

"The American Civil War Center, which raised $13.6 million before opening in 2006 to much praise, has fewer apparent problems, though attendance is still low (about 25,000 in the past year). It creates a broader panorama, offering not one perspective but three: those of the Union, the Confederacy and the African-Americans." (Emphasis mine)

So the ACWC has fewer problems than the MOC which translates into about half the attendance of the MOC (?!). Now there's some mainstream media logic for you.

Later on in the piece, the writer opines:

"For greater understanding you must go to the American Civil War Center, [in lieu of the MOC] housed in the historic Tredegar Iron Works that once supplied the Confederacy with much weaponry."

A "greater understanding" of what? The Confederacy? I don't think so. A broader and "more general" look at the war. Yes. This NYT writer fails to grasp--or may have intentionally omitted--the fact that the two institutions have different missions and focus--BY DESIGN!

I don't have the time to go into everything, but there's a lot more wrong with this article and its very uninformed approach, but, again, it's the New York Times. Why would we expect accuracy? You can read it here.


03 September 2008

The Great Divide

"To the sort of people who believe themselves sophisticated citizens of the world and feel a sense of pride at saving the planet by purchasing carbon offsets, a woman who has borne five children is incomprehensible. Add in moose-hunting, a champion snowmobiler husband and a pregnant 17 year old daughter, and the phrases 'white trash' and 'trailer trash' are deployed."

Read this excellent piece on the Sarah Palin phenomenon and why the elitists on the left just don't get it.

Liberty's 2009 CW Seminar - Update


Update: I've just been notified that Ron Maxwell will be speaking at Liberty University's 2009 Civil War seminar. Also, Mr. Ken Elston of Gray Ghost Theatre Co. has been added to the speaker's roster for this seminar. Ken is a Professor of Theatre at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Below is from my previous post on this most interesting topic:

*************************************************************************

Liberty University has announced the subject matter for next year’s 13th annual Civil War seminar. Next year's program is titled The Reel Civil War: The Civil War in Film.

I have been asked to consult on speakers and logistics and am having a great time doing so! We’ve already secured some distinguished speakers:

  • Dr. Bruce Chadwick, (Rutgers University) author of The Reel Civil War: Mythmaking in Amercian Film and a number of other works on the Civil War.
  • Kevin Hershberger of Lionheart Filmworks whose company has produced a number of award winning Civil War films.
  • Katherine Lane Antolini author of Scarlett O'Hara as Confederate Woman: The Evolution of War and Its Representation in Literature and Film.
  • Brian Wills (NC) author of Gone with the glory : the Civil War in cinema, Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865 and other works as well.
  • Paul Ashdown (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) author of A Cold Mountain Companion as well as a number of other Civil War works.

01 September 2008

The Confederacy's Story


"We tell the Confederacy's story in depth. There are very few people who are willing to face the controversies of the Civil War, and we do." ~
S. Waite Rawls, III

See story here.

The Un-Hillary


Guns, babies, and Jesus.

Blessed Be God

Saturday, a week ago, I made an unplanned trip to the northern woods of Maine (which explains the lack of posting recently) - a 17 hour drive. The occasion was the birth of our 12th grandchild, Micah James Nissley, born 19 August, an 11th generation great-grandson of the Reverend Roger Williams. My daughter had an extremely difficult delivery and Micah had to be hospitalized due to jaundice, but all is well now. My wife had flown up the previous week to help with Micah's two year old brother, Jacob, while Mama was in the hospital and recovering at home.

Pictured here are Granny and Micah, weighing in at 7 lbs, 8 oz. (Micah, not Granny).

"Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me." ~ Psalms 66:20