28 November 2008
Does that make me a scholar? They say:
"Studies Jackson's conversion to Christianity and how it affected his relationship with Southern blacks, how his conversion was encouraged by Southern slaves, and how he ministered to them."
That is, perhaps, the most concise, most accurate description I've heard to date. Thank you Scholar's Bookshelf.
Thank you Mr. Hawkins for a most precise description of the cancer of political correctness; a favorite target of mine here at the OVB. If you doubt what Mr. Hawkins says, try challenging modernity's view of Civil War "memory" (more aptly described as Civil War "forgetfulness").
By challenging PC orthodoxy, you will immediately subject yourself to ad hominem attacks from those whose agenda is driven by positive peer review and the need to be invited to the right conferences, seminars, etc. Of course, this is painting with a wide brush, I readily acknowledge that and realize there are exceptions, but overall, this is the current state of things.
Read the rest of Mr. Hawkins's piece here.
(Hat tip to reader Doug Hill.)
"There should be a class taught in school and this is the text. Too many children do not have a positive role model to teach these maxims. I personally like: 'The education of a man or woman is never completed until they die.' ~ Lee writing to son Custis, 5 December 1860."
Now in its 4th printing, this book was a Conservative Book Club selection. Purchase The Maxims of Robert E. Lee for Young Gentlemen here.
"A fine gift for a teenage son. Lee's words are in such contrast to today's selfishness and immorality." ~ Charley Reese
"The sayings and writings attributed to Lee or quoted by him are...useful and valuable...The book is nicely done." ~ The Civil War Courier, October 2005.
"Richard G. Williams, Jr. offers a sublime figure as counterpoint to the hedonistic 'heroes' of the instant gratification set...all ages will benefit from these selections...a wonderful self-help book of sorts...this reviewer applauds his efforts to bring to the vanguard a true, timeless role model." ~ Blue & Gray Magazine, Summer 2005.
"Must reading for all fathers and sons." ~ Conservative Book Club
"Inspiring and full of anecdotes and quotes, some long forgotten, that will guide men of all ages towards the lost are of being a gentleman."
~ Joseph Farah, WorldNetDaily.com
(A more detailed post on gift-giving suggestions will be coming soon. Buying from my suggested list will help you to avoid this madness.)
27 November 2008
25 November 2008
Most families have their holiday traditions and, of course, our family is no different. Most of my family will be gathering at our Shenandoah Valley home Thanksgiving evening. We will eat (and eat), talk, laugh, give thanks to God, and pray for one another. May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving and may you all take the time to thank your Creator for His blessings upon your life.
22 November 2008
19 November 2008
While I agree that an interpretative plaque is appropriate, I believe there was reasonable concern that the American Civil War Center would display the piece in a denigrating "circus" setting rather than use it as a teaching tool for serious discussion about the full scope of slave relations in the South - from the cruelest imaginable to the one represented by the Davis family and Jim Limber. There was no reason for the statue to be purposely misinterpreted as representative of the institution of slavey as a whole, (that notion is utterly ridiculous) nor should the statue be used to make the false claim that most Southerners want to cover up or dismiss the evils of slavery. That too is utterly ridiculous. I think John Coski's piece, which appeared in the Museum of the Confederacy's magazine's winter quarter issue, does one of the best jobs of explaining the Limber/Davis story and relationship.
If the statue had been placed at Tredegar and if the proposed interpretative plaque should have include a detailed explanation of Davis's views on race, as some have suggested, then why isn't there an interpretative plaque for the Lincoln statue detailing his views on race? Why isn't there a call for one? Would it have anything at all to do with political correctness? Would it have anything to do with an agenda? Or is it simply due to an unconscious and culturally ingrained set of assumptions (many false) about Lincoln, the Civil War, and the South? Just posing the questions.
And, unlike much of academia, we welcome input from all perspectives here. Just be civil and no potty-mouths allowed.
18 November 2008
There is just something very troubling about that moment to me--even beyond the fact he was President of the United States. I just can't stomach watching it. I cannot imagine the horror Kennedy's wife must have felt, as well as those close by. I somehow feel as if I'm being disrespectful or "reliving" something very painful if I watch that moment. Anyone else feel that way?
17 November 2008
And neither are academics. Some folks will never learn.
Murdoch makes some very salient points and ones which all who disseminate information ignore at their own peril. Many of his observations and criticisms would apply equally to academia. For example:
"A recent American study reported that many editors and reporters simply do not trust their readers to make good decisions. Let's be clear about what this means. This is a polite way of saying that these editors and reporters think their readers are too stupid to think for themselves."
The parallel between the "establishment" of higher learning and the mainstream media is somewhat striking, though nothing new. Others (including yours truly) have made note of this condescension before. But Murdoch is a bullhorn when speaking, so folks tend to pay a little more attention to his proclamations.
There will ultimately be one of two reactions to this landscape:
One: the establishment will humble themselves, face reality, wise up, adapt, and compete honestly.
Two: They will attempt to shut down other means of information that do not fit their template. This will come about by attempts to marginalize and silence those outside the establishment, i.e. bloggers, non-academics, alternate news sources, talk-radio, etc, etc.
Also, since both academia and the mainstream media are connected at the hip to various government agencies (Big Brother), they will also use the power of the government to these ends. There's already indications that this is underway. I would call to your attention my previous post regarding John Hopkins' decision to no longer allow the SCV access--after 20 years of doing so-- to any of their facilities simply because they are a "Confederate" organization; even though these events have included other patriotic organizations as well, such as the Sons of Union Veterans. As I suspected, none of my readers who are part of academia see anything wrong with that, or at least they aren't willing to say so. Gotta keep those speaking invitations coming I suppose. Of course, I wasn't surprised.
I believe option #2 above will be the choice of most. After all, many of those to whom Murdoch directed his criticism (as well as those in academia), have been raised in an era of a dumbed-down, statist dominated educational system and, as statists (whether consciously or not), they don't understand the dynamics of liberty and freedom. Though they may see initial success in their efforts, history proves that their efforts will utlimately fail. I hope I live to see it.
God has certainly allowed us to live in interesting times.
14 November 2008
I received this notice last night:
The Maryland Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Col. Harry W. Gilmor Camp #1388, Sons of Confederate Veterans sponsor an annual General Lee and General Jackson Birthday Ceremony each year in January on the Saturday nearest to the birthdays of Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Over the years, the ceremony has included participants from numerous hereditary, historical , military and patriotic organizations including the: Baltimore Civil War Roundtable, the Virginia Military Institute Alumni , the Virginians of Maryland, the Sons of Union Veterans, the Friends of President Street Station, the Army of Northern Virginia, Confederate Military Forces and a number of independent Confederate and Federal reenactment units.
Every year since 1988, the Johns Hopkins University has rented the Clipper Room in Shriver Hall, or on several occasions another facility, to the Son of Confederate Veterans to hold our post ceremony social gathering. However this year is different. The John Hopkins University has refused to rent the Clipper Room, or any other facility, to our organization. The sole reason given, per a Johns Hopkins representative, was that we are a "Confederate" organization. Make no mistake about it, we were not denied because the facility was unavailable, or for any other legitimate reason, we were denied because of who we are. In addition, the Hopkins representative stated that this ruling came directly from the President of the Johns Hopkins University, Mr. William Brody.
The Colonel Harry W. Gilmor Camp has had an excellent on-going relationship with the Johns Hopkins, Office of Scheduling for over 20 years. There has been absolutely no problem over this long period of time. We have always been good citizens toward Hopkins. We have paid our rent on time, we have always left the facility neat and clean, and there has never been any disturbance of any kind. A letter was written on September 22, 2008 outlining our long history with the University and appealing this unwarranted decision. By letter of October 14, 2008 from President Brody's Office, we were again denied.
Because of this unfortunate situation, I must advise the SCV and UDC membership and the public at large that, should you decide to join us for the January 17, 2009 ceremony, you must understand that there will be no post event refreshments; and more importantly, no rest room facilities available before or after the ceremony. In addition, the ceremony may be substantially shorter than in previous years.
We are very sorry to report this to you, but feel that we must be candid with all that have supported us over the years. I can assure you that regardless of the number of participants and people attending, and regardless of this unjust action by Hopkins against our Confederate Heritage, the General Lee and General Jackson Birthday Ceremony will be held on Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. at the Lee and Jackson double equestrian monument in Wymn Park.
If you would like to contact President Brody to express your thoughts on this decision, his address is:
Mr. William R. Brody, President
The Johns Hopkins University Office of the President
242 Garland Hall 3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore MD 21218
Phone - Office of the President: 410-516-4351
You may also contact him at his e mail address : firstname.lastname@example.org
G. Elliott Cummings, Adjutant - Col. Harry W. Gilmor Camp #1388
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Just more of that imaginary PC bias on campus I suppose. Will academics who ostensibly support free speech, free expression, equal access, etc, etc speak out in defense of the SCV and these other patriotic organizations? This would be a perfect opportunity for those who say they support such ideals to prove it.
**Update: Says one defender of John Hopkins:
"This story has nothing to do with attacking Confederate heritage or the suppression of ideas."
No, of course not. Just keep repeating that to yourselves Comrades.
*An anonymous (afraid to let me know their name) person pointed out my misspelling of "John" Hopkins. Correction duly noted. However, I was unable to post this person's comment due to it being totally uncivil, ignorant, and terribly uniformed. Suggestion: If you're going to attempt to post such comments, at least have the guts to state your name.
12 November 2008
Why is Confederate CW art (especially depictions of Christianity) so often the subject of Civil War historical artists?
Because it has a market. It really is that simple.
Why don't we as often see Union soldiers depicted in prayer or other Christian images associated with the Union?
Because it doesn't have a market. It really is that simple.
Why doesn't it have a market?
Could it have anything to do with reality and the historical record? Yes. Many of the mockers have obviously spent little time studying the theological and cultural differences between the South and North leading up to the Civil War and many of those differences which continue to this day (though some deny the obvious).
The South was, and remains, more religious than the North. That's not a judgmental statement, just an observation. Don't make the issue over CW art more complicated than it is. It's really not difficult to explain. Of course, the reasons for this are more complicated than what can be addressed in a blog post.
"Top fundraisers and other well-connected supporters will serve in an advisory capacity before the Democrat takes office on Jan. 20. Five of the 12 members of Obama's transition advisory board raised at least $50,000 for his presidential campaign, and eight contributed the maximum individual donation of $4,600. Other transition team members include a partner in a lobbying firm and two executives of financial companies whose employees were among his biggest donors."
Ya gotta just shake your head and smile, don't you?
Complete story here.
Ecstatic and red all over.
I suppose Ahmadinejad was just kidding about wiping Israel off the map.
Did they or didn't they?
Castro praises Obama, insults McCain, but claims he's neutral. Yeah, right.
Farrakhan gets in on the act too.
Anyone besides me detect a trend here? Despite what all Obama's fawning, starry-eyed followers are blathering, things aren't really all sunshine, lollipops, and kisses; are they? I'm sorry, but this is really creepy.
President-elect Obama may want to distance himself from these America-hating factions.
We shall see.
11 November 2008
Not only is the book very informative and a fascinating read, it has a beautifully designed hardcover with a very attractive hard slipcase as well. Loaded with illustrations, photos, fold out maps, inserts, and an interactive CD, this would make a great gift for anyone interested in the history of exploration. I love the title's reference to "heroic exploits" and this book is the type any man (or boy) would want to sit up with late at night, next to a roaring fire with a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate and relive the compelling stories recounted by the author. With an "Indiana Jones" feel and look to it, adventure and discoveries practically leap from every page. I think it would appeal especially to a teen-age boy interested in the subject of exploration and adventure, though it is certainly worthy of older readers as well.
"Throughout the book, more than 30 rare and newly reproduced removable documents put history directly into readers’ hands: Hernán Cortés’s hand-drawn map of Tenochtitlan, David Livingstone’s watercolor of Victoria Falls, a dinner menu featuring Ernest Shackleton’s sketch of his planned trip to Antarctica, and many more. A wealth of photographs, maps, artifacts, and portraits enhance Beau Riffenburgh’s fascinating text as it covers the exploration of all seven continents. Sidebars delve into everything from navigational instruments to terminology to biographies. The book’s organization invites readers to "dip in" to any page and find a fascinating story, or read from start to finish. With a handsome slipcase and more than 200 color photographs packed into 80 pages, Exploration Experience engages both the eye and the mind. An exploration in itself, this lavish book creates a unique history adventure for both armchair and "on-the-ground" explorers of every age." ~ Amazon
If you're looking for something truly unique to give as a gift this year and want to give something that will be treasured for a lifetime, then this book should be high atop your list.
Well . . . not so much. It's likely Mr. Obama's recent high level security briefings have caused a sobering epiphany for the senator.
It's amazing how quickly reality changes the hype. The left will likely see more disappointments in the coming days. As I said before, the fawning, pop-culture media hype we've seen over the past two years is simply not sustainable in the real world. Slogans, chants, and dreams of Camelot are ok for children's fairy tales and '60's retreads, but adults have to deal with reality in a dangerous world.
Another tip o' the hat to Southern Appeal.
Many of these same bloggers don't understand why Southerners often feel defensive about their history and culture. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
10 November 2008
And he invokes the name of Lincoln to promote his idiotic scare tactics (while he uses $30,000 worth of electricity a year).
What a hypocritical Chicken Little drama queen. For a good laugh, click here.
As the Sesquicentennial is beginning to gear up in a lot of ways, I suspect the blogosphere will play an ever-growing role in the commemoration. I'm excited to be able to play a small part and look forward to the debates, discussions, and the sharing of information from the perspective of a Virginia traditionalist - no matter how "out of vogue" that becomes.
Also, after several false starts, I'm finally settling down to wrap up one book I've been working on and to begin another. Thanks to all the new readers who are visiting on a regular basis and to those who have shared their thoughts. As always, I welcome your comments.
08 November 2008
I'm currently in the process of writing the rules and guidelines for submissions and assembling a panel of judges . Thus far, I've recruited a private University English professor, a public high school history teacher and author, and a military historian/author who also works as a museum curator. I will also be serving as one of the judges and I am awaiting the reply of one more person.
The objective of the scholarship program is to acquaint young people with the history of the War Between the States during the Sesquicentennial of the conflict. A more detailed and official announcement will be made some time before year's end.
07 November 2008
One such blogger (he would want me to mention his name and provide a link) recently took such a cheap shot at James I. Robertson, Jr. - a historian who has won every major award given in the field of Civil War history. I know of nothing in the field of CW history that this "critic" has accomplished, other than what he posts in the tiny universe of CW blogging. Am I missing something?
"The Confederate Newspaper Project is the result of my research into the journalistic accounts of the common Confederate soldiers and their own recollections of the war as published in Southern newspapers. This was born out of my ongoing plans to publish these accounts into a series of books, divided into volumes categorized by county or region of a state." ~ Keith Jones
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
10 am - Stonewall Jackson Cemetery - Memorial Service and Tribute at the grave of Stonewall Jackson including special comments, music, and wreath laying ceremony. If you wish to place a wreath at the general's grave please RSVP before the ceremony.
Book Signing - Dr. Michael R. Bradley, will be signing copies of his book It Happened in the Civil War in the Lee Chapel Museum gift shop beginning at around 10 am.
11 am - Parade through downtown Lexington leaving from Jackson's grave and proceeding to the parade ground at the Virginia Military Institute. Reenactment and heritage groups are encouraged to participate.
Noon - Lee Chapel - Memorial Service in honor of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson inside the beautiful Victorian chapel at Washington and Lee University. Lee Chapel was constructed under the direction of Robert E. Lee and his son, Custis. Lee Chapel contains the burial spot of the Lee family.
Guest Speaker: Michael R. Bradley, Ph.D. Author of It Happened in the Civil War and other works.
(Note: No reenactment weapons are allowed on the Washington & Lee campus or in Lee Chapel)
1:30 pm - Luncheon (Tickets required). Our luncheon will be held at the historic Col Alto Estate and hotel at 601 E. Washington Street. Come enjoy great food and socialize with old friends and make new acquaintences. Please make your reservations by January 12th using our downloadable pdf form from our event website or simply send us a list of attendees and your choice(s) of entree along with your payment. Price $20 per person.
Choice of entree either Marinated Flank Steak or Chicken Florentine. Each entree includes a vegetable medley, mashed potato, salad, bread, desert, tea/coffee/water.
Send your check or money order made payable to:
The Stonewall Brigade
PO Box 466
Lexington, VA 24450
For further information please contact via:
06 November 2008
I just discovered an excellent website for those interested in the history and culture of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. You'll find articles and links pertaining to the Valley's unique way of life; including a weekly "radio" program, video clips from our local PBS affiliate's very popular "Roadtrip to History" series, and links and articles about the Civil War here in the Valley. Too much other stuff to describe. I highly recommend!!! Click here to visit.
There we have it folks. They're not even attempting to hide it any longer. So I suppose if the Fairness Doctrine is going to be applied to talk radio, it will also apply to "journalists", "news" shows, and the internet. Its going to be an interesting 4 years.
"Obama, who won the US presidential election Tuesday, said during his campaign that China's huge trade surplus with the United States was related to its manipulation of its currency. In a letter to the US National Council of Textile Organisations published last month, Obama called for China to change its foreign exchange policies to rely less on exports and more on domestic demand for growth."
*I've been criticized in recent months due to the increase in my political posts. First of all, nothing personal, but if you don't like that, don't visit. Secondly, read my header and the "about me" tag line. That's what this blog is about. No secret. Yes, the majority of my published writing is about the Civil War, a.k.a, War Between the States, a.k.a, The War for Southern Independence, etc., but the subject of my posts here range from family events, to cultural and political issues, to local history, to book comments as well. I have a lot of interests.
That being said, my posts in the coming days will be less about current politics and more about history. I do have one very long post I'm working on that will focus on the recent campaign and academic historians. I'm waiting first to see what an Obama administration looks like and what his first priorities and initiatives will be, so that might be a while coming. As we enter the holiday season, I tend to become more reflective and "home and family focused." That will also be evident in my posts in the coming weeks. Thanks to all the new readers I'm getting comments from and the increase in traffic I'm seeing.
05 November 2008
I first voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980. I recall similar adjectives being used with his victory that we're now seeing used to describe Obama's. But this too will pass. Unless Obama is a magician, the honeymoon will be short lived. Our problems are much worse than they were in 1980 and reality has a way of smacking us in the face. The pop-culture hype we've seen this election cycle cannot be maintained, even with a fawning press.
The country remains deeply divided: politically, socially, morally, and philosophically. I do not believe Obama will be able to unite us. I am convinced Obama is a socialist demagogue. His voting record, statements, associations, and alliances speak for themselves. Perhaps I'll be proven wrong. Perhaps Obama will moderate once in office and he is faced with the monumental task of running a country so deeply divided. Perhaps he will ignore the voices and influences of the radical leftist extremists with whom he has surrounded himself for more than 20 years. But I am *not hopeful.
I do, however, take comfort in knowing who is really in charge.
"The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will." ~ Proverbs 21:6
I also commit myself to praying for President-elect Obama. My prayer is that he looks to his Creator for wisdom and guidance and that God will grant him the wisdom and courage to lead our Nation in a way that pleases Him.
*Update: Obama has tapped strident hyper-partisan Rahm Emmanuel as his Chief of Staff. The night after Bill Clinton was elected, "Emanuel was so angry at the president's enemies that he stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign, grabbed a steak knife and began rattling off a list of betrayers, shouting 'Dead! ... Dead! ... Dead!' and plunging the knife into the table after every name." And Paul Begala describes Emanuel's aggressive style as a "cross between a hemorrhoid and a toothache."
So much for uniting the country.
04 November 2008
03 November 2008
Though this piece is 6 years old, I posted the excerpt and the link since references to the "Lost Cause " are a common theme on many Civil War blogs. Wilson writes a rather convincing rebuttal to Nolan's (and others) perspective on the war.
**In celebration of political correctness, no comments disagreeing with Wilson's perspective will be posted.
**Just kidding. ;)
I want to thank the many folks that have prayed for my daughter through this time, especially our church and the SCV's Chaplains Corps. Of course, we are most thankful to our gracious God for his care, mercy, and love.
"But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them." ~ Psalms 103:17-18
01 November 2008
~ Alphonse Vinh