30 April 2009
28 April 2009
I recommend this book mainly to see another side of Lincoln that is largely hid due to what his administration did accomplish. Some of Lincoln's historical warts often get left out in favor of a more pretty appearance in many historical examinations. I think it is important to know historical figures for the real men they were; the good with the bad. This work presents more of the bad than the good of Lincoln in effort to balance out the myths that have persisted since 1865. I encourage you to read Forced Into Glory and decide for yourself.
You can read the rest of the review here. Myths persist everywhere - South and North.
Early 19th century New Englanders had real motives for forgetting their slave history, or, if they recalled it at all, for characterizing it as a brief period of mild servitude. This was partly a Puritan effort to absolve New England's ancestors of their guilt. The cleansing of history had a racist motive as well, denying blacks -- slave or free -- a legitimate place in New England history. But most importantly, the deliberate creation of a "mythology of a free New England" was a crucial event in the history of sectional conflict in America. The North, and New England in particular, sought to demonize the South through its institution of slavery; they did this in part by burying their own histories as slave-owners and slave-importers. At the same time, behind the potent rhetoric of Daniel Webster and others, they enshrined New England values as the essential ones of the Revolution, and the new nation. In so doing, they characterized Southern interests as purely sectional and selfish. In the rhetorical battle, New England backed the South right out of the American mainstream. ~ Douglas Harper
The Savannah speech is a sad affair, not just because of the blunt racism of that one passage -- the racism itself, it ought to be noted, would hardly have offended any white audience in 1861 America, North, South, or West, outside a few abolitionist circles. But sad because it shows a politician who has so twisted himself to try to hold the reins of a revolution that he has got tangled in them and they now rule him. He embraces what he once scorned, and he mocks positions he once held. He has thrown away his ideals, and the "cornerstone" passage, to me, reads so much more accurately as an odd eruption of a warped and very personal ideological struggle . . .
So far from slavery being the cause of secession, the fact is many thinking men in the South knew that secession would be the doom of slavery. Slavery could not be economically viable or legally enforcable where freedom was just a river away. They had pushed the North so hard to enforce the Fugitive Slave Laws for just this reason. Stephens was among those who judged "slavery much more secure in the union than out of it."
21st century morality plays aren't for serious students of the WBTS. As is so often the case with history, the issues involving the Civil War, as well as its participants, are not all black and white. There are multiple shades of gray as imperfect human beings struggled with the moral issues of their times. Then, as today, some were guided by conscience, some by their faith, some by love of home and hearth, some by patriotism, some by fear, some by purely selfish motives; by power, by politics, by greed, by self-righteousness. The war that so deeply divided our Nation in 1861 was complicated by many competing interests. And judging one section over the other for any one of those interests is not in the best interest of pursuing the truth.
To read the full article by historian Douglas Harper quoted in this post, click here.
Another interesting piece in this issue is "The 30 or so Greatest Southern Songs." Is there any doubt as to which song came in #1? Check it out here.
This is a great magazine for those interested in all aspects of Southern culture. You can even watch a "Sweet tea" competition on video at the Y'all website.
**Update: Speaking of Mr. Casteel, the Civil War Preservation Trust features one of his sculptures on the masthead of their web page here.
27 April 2009
26 April 2009
25 April 2009
You can now purchase Elizabeth Brown Pryor's much overrated book on Robert E. Lee: Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters,used for as little as 75 cents on Amazon. You can purchase a brand new copy for $2.00 dollars on Amazon. (As of today).
In comparison, you would pay $4.40 for a used copy of H.W. Crocker, III's Robert E. Lee on Leadership: Executive Lessons in Character, Courage, and Vision. A new copy will cost you $7.50.
Pryor's book was published in 2007, is 688 pages, and has received wide acclaim from academia. It currently ranks #17 on Amazon's list of books about General Lee. The following reviews are posted about Pryor's book on Lee:
“An unorthodox, critical, and engaging biography [that] impressively captures Lee’s character and personality.”
—The Boston Globe
“Pryor moves onto important historical and interpretive terrain with a far more discerning and critical eye than most of her scholarly or popular predecessors.”
—The New Republic (Notice the condescending tone of that review).
Crocker's book has been out since August of 2000 and, as this is being posted, ranks #2 on Amazon's list of books about General Lee.
Here are two samples of Amazon reviews on Crocker's book:
"Harry Crocker has provided a great service by reminding us through this moving and tightly written biography that winning isn't the only thing: faithfulness and honor live in our memories after the guns are silent."
—Marvin Olasky, author of the bestselling Renewing American Compassion and The American Leadership Tradition
"A masterpiece--the best work of its kind I have ever read. Crocker's Lee is a Lee for all leaders to study; and to work, quite deliberately, to emulate."
— Major General Josiah Bunting III, superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute
Kevin, who I would certainly consider a "progressive" historian, calls Pryor's work "a fabulous biography." The marketplace would appear to be in disagreement. Please understand that I'm not necessarily suggesting that the facts presented here always determine the true value and quality of a work; much of that is governed by the individual taste of the reader and subjective preferences. I also realize this is by no means a conclusive, scientific comparison but, I do think it is, in some ways, indicative of longstanding trends in the public's appetite for historically based works. I also think all this raises some interesting questions.
I'd like to pose some of those questions for readers' consideration:
- What does this say about the two books, particularly in regards to Dana Shoaf's recent comments that, "The problem with academic historians is they are not reaching a wide popular audience"? Is that due to the fact academics tend to, in general, be more critical of America's heroic icons and try to "deconstruct" them based on 21st standards of morality and conduct?
- It is, in my mind, quite significant that the marketplace of Amazon's popular audience has deemed Pryor's work to be of such little value in such short time while Crocker's book, which has been out for almost 10 years, outbids the former by a substantial amount. What dynamics are involved?
- It is primarily academia and more "progressive" interests that have lauded Pryor's work while it is "traditionalists", for the most part, who have praised Crocker's work. What does this, coupled with Amazon's ratings and pricing, and Shoaf's comments tell us and reveal about the two books?
24 April 2009
In response to an unprecedented expansion of federal power, citizens have held hundreds of "tea party" rallies around the country, and various states are considering "sovereignty resolutions" invoking the Constitution's Ninth and Tenth Amendments. For example, Michigan's proposal urges "the federal government to halt its practice of imposing mandates upon the states for purposes not enumerated by the Constitution of the United States."
Read the rest of the piece here.
This idea just might head off some nasty business down the road.
23 April 2009
Of particular interest are their shorts of the excellent Roadtrip To History video series. Check it out here. Every day features a new clip. They also offer a daily radio podcast you can listen to on the home page which features attractions, stories, and other topics of interest.
22 April 2009
"Texas Governor Rick Perry's recent defense of the 10th Amendment has unleashed a flood of liberal outrage. To our friends on the left, those who mention the word secession and federal government in the same breath are about as sophisticated as "beady-eyed stump jumpers" to quote from one of Mike Royko's old columns. In other words, only a knuckle-dragging right-wing extremist could find a way to oppose President Obama's benevolent and compassionate autocracy." So says American Thinker contributor, Ed Kaitz, Ph.D.
In recent days, we've seen the predictable hand-wringing and eye-rolling from the "incredulous" left over Perry's defense of the 10th amendment and Texas' alleged right to secede. Some Civil War blogs are also taking Perry to task and mocking him for daring to suggest that the constitutional principle of States' rights has any legitimacy in this federal nannyism, elitist, "we know better than you" age. Perry and his supporters are being accused of anti-Americanism and are being portrayed on some blogs as cartoonish buffoons. Yes, according to some on the left, only wild-eyed, Confederate flag-waving, "neo-Confederate" kooks ever bring up secession and/or the 10th amendment. So let's all have a good laugh and relegate Perry to the kook corner.
Not so fast. As Dr. Kaitz duly notes: "The modern secessionist movement however has been a mostly left-wing phenomenon."
And as I noted on another blog the other day:
I do not think secession is a good idea, -at least no yet - :o) - but I believe its irrefutable that many of the Founding Fathers wanted it to remain an option . . . Furthermore, I remember quite clearly a number of liberal commentators and others suggesting secession was an option after the election of 2004:
“These sentiments were so pronounced that they migrated into the mainstream. Speaking on ‘The McLaughlin Group’ the weekend after George W. Bush’s victory, panelist Lawrence O’Donnell, a former Democratic Senate staffer, noted that blue states subsidize the red ones with their tax dollars, and said, ‘The big problem the country now has, which is going to produce a serious discussion of secession over the next 20 years, is that the segment of the country that pays for the federal government is now being governed by the people who don’t pay for the federal government.’ A shocked Tony Blankley asked him, ‘Are you calling for civil war?’ To which O’Donnell replied, ‘You can secede without firing a shot.’”
The above quote is from Salon Magazine, 16 November 2004
Also, Bob Beckel who was, at the time, a Senior political analyst for Fox News and who has also worked as a Democratic Party strategist and consultant, made the following comments after the 2004 election:
“‘I think now that slavery is taken care of, I’m for letting the South form its own nation. Really, I think they ought to have their own confederacy,’ Mr. Beckel said on the ‘Fox and Friends” program.’”
The above quote is from the Washington Times, 9 November 2004
Are these folks neo-Confederates as well?
And then there was the "Let's Ditch Dixie" piece that appeared in Slate Magazine after the 2000 election. That piece included these comments:
"The United States doesn't have to refight the Civil War to set matters right. Rather, North and South should simply follow the example of the Czech Republic and Slovakia: Shake hands, says it's been real, and go their separate ways. And if the South isn't inclined to leave anytime soon, then we should show them the door by seceding unilaterally."
And . . .
"Economically and socially, secession will be painless for the North. The South is a gangrenous limb that should have been lopped off decades ago." (How nice. Shows what many elites really think about Southerners, doesn't it?)
The author of the Slate piece was Mark Strauss, not someone who could be easily dismissed as some left-wing, hack-blogger. (Left-wing, yes. Hack, no.) He's a journalist and senior editor at Smithsonian Magazine and has written for a number of other left-leaning publications including The Washington Post and The New Republic.
But isn't it interesting that those criticizing Perry conveniently overlook those on the left who make the same secessionist threats when things don't go their way? I find it not only interesting, but quite instructive as well. The left's lack of credibility is always exposed by their double standard on just about every issue they discuss.
Kaitz, in the American Thinker piece, further observes:
"College campuses across America are breeding grounds for secessionists. In all my years in academia I've rarely seen Old Glory displayed proudly in an office or a hallway, but I've seen plenty of images of Che Guevara and Karl Marx. I even had to endure a life size portrait of Mao Tse Tung in a colleague's office for some years during graduate school. It comes as no surprise then that secessionists like Noam Chomsky are the favored speakers at our universities, not patriots like David Horowitz."
Kaitz concludes with these remarks:
"My guess is that if Texas does decide to secede, it will remain more 'American' than the ravaged carcass it will have left behind."
Evidently, the left is not really concerned about secession talk, as long as the political philosophy of those doing the talking is left-wing radicalism; which is where the real kooks are and where real anti-Americanism resides.
(You can read *the whole piece by Dr. Kaitz here. And for some interesting perspectives on secession, search Amazon's site.)
*As always, links to articles and other blogs/sites do not necessarily mean I endorse anything nor everything found there.
In a related matter, a recent Rasmussen poll shows that 51% of the American people view the growing "Tea Party" protests favorably. But those who opine that the modern Tea Parties are only about taxes are either grossly misinformed or dishonest. Also worth noting, Rasmussen says the "political class strongly disagrees" with the Tea Parties. What a surprise. Who is the "political class?" For the most part, elitists who populate government at all levels, Hollywood, and much of academia.
21 April 2009
"The problem with academic historians is they are not reaching a wide popular audience," Shoaf said. He said there is a need for factual, well-researched historical articles that are moderately priced and appeal to the masses. Shoaf said that in his business, people often are reluctant to read social history because they think it is boring. They want articles about battles, but Shoaf said they like social history if they aren’t aware that’s what they are reading." (Emphasis mine.)
"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."
And this from an earlier post about the approach of some academics:
". . . they write (poorly) boring books and commentary that not even Mensa members could make sense of, thinking that using 20 words, when 10 would suffice, makes them sound smarter."
"They've convinced themselves that their "scholarship" and pronouncements are original and that no one else has ever considered their angle. They enviously criticize popular styles of historical narrative (i.e. David McCullough) that far outsells anything they could ever produce. They become especially condescending and emotional when anyone (even credentialed historians) challenges their politically correct orthodoxy. That's when the ad hominen attacks begin - the last refuge of those who can't answer an argument."
"And then they wonder why they have so little influence among the general public and those who study the conflict casually, as a hobby, or as "entertainment" - to use their word. They believe that their "profession" is on the same level as a brain surgeon's and only they have the "sophistication," training, and intelligence to research, read, study and come to conclusions and interpret for the great unwashed masses. "How dare anyone challenge us!" How laughable. (Many of these same elitists do not, themselves, possess advanced degrees in history, but they do subscribe to the orthodoxy. That's what's important.)"
Obviously, my criticism is more damning, but you get the drift. I also heard Bob Krick make similar comments in recent years.
20 April 2009
There's an interesting article in the Washington Compost this morning. Surprisingly, it provides a more balanced view than usual on the teaching of the War Between the States (The piece even uses the "WBTS" term favored in the South.) Here's a quote from the piece which includes a comment from University of Richmond's Ed Ayers:
Ayers said it is time for both sides to face facts.
"We do understand the centrality of race and slavery in all of American history," Ayers said. "But we also understand that the stereotypes about the war are not accurate. The North did not go to war to bring slavery to an end . . . and without slavery there would have been no Confederacy."
I agree but, would hasten to add that, without the North's complicity, there would have been no slavery. And that, my dear friends, is what is so often overlooked (intentionally?) by those who play the morality card and wish to make the Confederacy the great Satan and the North the great Saviour. South bashing is so chic.
Read the complete story here.
19 April 2009
I agree. The Tea Parties are unhealthy for Axelrod's political power.
18 April 2009
(Fits right into the leftist template - evil Europeans and Americans are the root of all evil. If Chavez ever does "lose" an election, he could come to the United States and become a university professor. Perhaps Bill Ayers needs a comrade.)
"Obama also extended a hand to a leader Ronald Reagan spent years trying to drive from power: Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega. The Sandinista president stepped up and introduced himself, U.S. officials reported. Yet soon after, Ortega, who was ousted in 1990 elections that ended Nicaragua's civil war but who was returned to power by voters in 2006, delivered a blistering 50-minute speech that denounced capitalism and U.S. imperialism as the root of much hemispheric mischief. The address even recalled the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, though Ortega said the new U.S. president could not be held to account for that. "I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old," Obama said, to laughter and applause from the other leaders."
Ha-ha. God help us.
17 April 2009
The debate over black Confederate soldiers and servants has been reignited on Kevin Levin's blog. Since he also posted some earlier comments by Professor Carmichael, I thought it would be appropriate to provide some balance and my response (last year), which came by way of invitation from Pete. I also follow up here with a post I wrote in response to Kevin's (as well as others) earlier suggestion that anyone who thought there could be "familial" relations between slaveowners and slaves, was "dangerous." Please don't waste time composing comments that rehash the same old worn-out, cliched arguments or those which parse words, split hairs, or simply serve an agenda. They won't be posted. But if you have something new to add, go ahead.
20 October 2007
“No one can ignore the overwhelming historical evidence of mutual closeness between blacks and whites within the Slave South . . .”
No one except those who have an agenda or who cannot grow beyond their own preconceptions.
Would it be unreasonable to suggest that “mutual closeness” is synonymous with “friend” and “friendship”? No, it would not. As a matter of fact, MS Word lists “closeness” as one of the synonyms for the word “friend.” So does www.synonym.com and further includes the word intimacy. And my electronic version of Meriam-Webster includes this in its definition of “closeness”: intimate, <close friends>
Some ill-considered, ill-informed, and reactionary comments on various blogs, as well as other places, have suggested anyone believing that slaves and slave-masters could be friends is “dangerous.”(?!) Thus implying those who hold such views should be discredited or silenced (Typical of those who say they believe “tolerance” of diverse views is so important.) and charging them unfairly with perpetuating stereotypes that are inaccurate and over-simplified when, in actuality, the exact opposite is true.
Would “dangerous” include Dr. Camichael? Would it include the late Ms. Fox-Genovese? Would it include Professor James I. Robertson, Jr.?
As Professor Robertson wrote in the foreword to my book:
“He became [Stonewall Jackson] a spiritual teacher for scores of slaves and freedmen as well as the best friend many of them ever had.” - Page 12
The following quote is taken from my book, Stonewall Jackson – The Black Man’s Friend:
and . . .
“Such thoughts [of
“Fox-Genovese reminds us that such feelings were expressed in a system that bought and sold African-Americans. Rather than proclaim the universal loyalty of the slave and applaud the tireless benevolence of the master, or condemn all owners as cruel beasts and celebrate every slave as a rebel, the author asks us to put aside simple generalizations and explore the complicated world that masters and slaves built together on their terms, not ours.” I agree. As with so many issues, the truth lies somewhere between the extremes of two views.
These simple generalizations would include, in
But, as Carmichael further acknowledges, Fox-Genovese’s “agrees that the plantations facilitated physical and emotional intimacy between slave and master . . .” (These are
Another quote from my book . . .
“Amy was also purchased before
Of course, as I also point out in my book, not all slave-owners were “benevolent.” Many were cruel, not only in their abusive physical treatment of slaves, but also in a way that I would consider even crueler: the separation and break-up of families. As inhumane as physical abuse is, most physical wounds heal over time, but the emotional wound of unjustly being separated from a child, parent, spouse or other close loved one lingers throughout life. No one outside of that experience can comprehend it.
“Contextualizing these expressions of animosity as well as love and respect are essential if we want to understand the broader patters [sic] of thought and actions in the Old South.”
Once again, I agree wholeheartedly. Interestingly, my book is dedicated, in part, to “all who wish to understand.” Sadly, some prefer their agenda to understanding.
16 April 2009
A note the soldier inscribed in the book reads: "This book was taken from the Military Institute at Lexington Virginia in June 1864 when General Hunter was on his Lynchburg raid. The Institution was burned by the order of Gen. Hunter."
All fines have been waived. I'm a little confused by the story though as the soldier claims he stole it from the "Military Institute" but the article claims it was stolen from Washington College.
(Now, if we could just get them to return all the family silver they stole.)
15 April 2009
(Texas Governor) Perry called his supporters patriots. Later, answering news reporters' questions, Perry suggested Texans might at some point get so fed up they would want to secede from the union, though he said he sees no reason why Texas should do that.
"There's a lot of different scenarios," Perry said. "We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."
He said when Texas entered the union in 1845 it was with the understanding it could pull out. . .
**Update: "Thirty-one percent (31%) of Texas voters say that their state has the right to secede from the United States and form an independent country." Story here.
For Dr. Syn's motivation and political philosophy, pay particular attention to the dialogue which begins at about 5:06 into the video. I remember I was struck by that exchange when I watched the film again several years ago. Very timely, especially in light of the "Tea Party" phenomenon spreading across America. I wonder what Dr. Syn would think of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's efforts to label all who oppose burdensome taxation policies, state-nannyism, and an intrusive federal government as "right-wing extremists." I guess it's the same as "preaching sedition." I would also have to assume that, based on Napolitano's "report" that she is woefully ignorant of our country's history:
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." ~ Thomas Jefferson
I suppose Mr. Jefferson is also a "right-wing extremist." Napolitano has also angered Veterans' groups like the American Legion.
You younger readers (under 45) probably won't recognize this old Disney clip. This comes from a 3 part Disney series (I have all 3 on VHS) titled "The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh." The story centers around a Robin Hood like character who stole from the King (the government) and returned the bootie to the rural farmers, shopkeepers, and peasants in Southern England. You can buy the complete DVD version here. I highly recommend the film series. The Scarecrow was, in his "real life", actually a scholarly priest in rural England who rode out at night in his disguise to defend the locals against an oppressive and corrupt Crown. Dr. Syn (and the Scracecrow) was played by that wonderful British actor, Patrick McGoohan. The film is based on a series of novels written by Russell Thorndike. Here's how one website describes the film series:
"Originally airing in three parts on 'Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color,' this thrilling adventure stars Patrick McGoohan as Dr. Syn, a kindly country vicar in 18th-century England. Only a few know that Syn is also the masked Scarecrow, notorious leader of a band of smugglers, who defends the villagers from unjust taxes and oppression by King George III's men. George Cole, Michael Hordern, Sean Scully also star."
This film, like so many of the old Disney classics, stands in stark contrast to what we're seeing produced today. The film depicts--and promotes--a healthy spirit of rebellion against tyranny, a love of liberty, and values which once united our Nation. It does so with a truly entertaining and quality product. These old Disney films are excellent resources for families. I can remember watching "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" every Sunday night at 7:30 when I was growing up in the '60's. As a young boy who loved adventure stories, it was one of the highlights of my week. As I mentioned in an earlier post about Johnny Tremain, Disney's patriotic themed films are a refreshing break from the Beavis & Butthead, MTV, South Park, "I Hate America" garbage that passes for entertainment (and education) today.
Here's the introductory clip from Disney:
Listen as this idiot reporter, little more than a stenographer for the federal government, mentions the "State of Lincoln." Wow, where was I when that happened? Did I miss something? I gotta get out more. Perhaps it was a Freudian slip?
This woman (who has been convinced that she's a reporter), is obviously not "reporting" anything. She's spinning and advocating for the current administration while she mocks the folks attending this Tea Party rally.
Notice the headline says "CNN Reporter Harassed At Tea Party." Actually, it appeared to me she was the one doing the harassing - continually interrupting the man she was interviewing, mocking comments, etc. And then the moronic comment about Fox News - she's a real professional, ain't she? What an utter buffoon and embarrassment.
(You would think with the unemployment numbers being what they are, CNN could at least find someone who knew what State they were in. Is there any wonder their ratings are in the basement?)
**Update - Recent News Program Ratings:
CNN HEADLINE 909,000
FOXNEWS O'REILLY 3,980,000
FOXNEWS HANNITY 3,239,000
FOXNEWS GRETA 2,947,000
FOXNEWS BECK 2,740,000
FOXNEWS BAIER 2,401,000
FOXNEWS SHEP 2,185,000
COMEDY DAILY SHOW 1,777,000
MSNBC OLBERMANN 1,499,000
COMEDY COLBERT 1,446,000
CNNHN GRACE 1,336,000
CNN KING 1,292,000
MSNBC MADDOW 1,149,000
CNN COOPER 1,021,000
The numbers do not lie, although CNN often does.
**Update - read this excellent piece on the Tea Party coverage here.
As a young boy, I absolutely loved Walt Disney's patriotic themed episodes like Johnny Tremain, Davy Crockett, and Mosby's Marauders. Simple? - Yes. Heroic? - Yes. Accurate? - Somewhat. Entertaining? Very. Patriotic? Very. Worthwhile? Absolutely.
Now, go pay your taxes like good little subjects.
14 April 2009
11 April 2009
"We are actively looking to see what our options are," said Suzette Denslow, the mayor's chief of staff. "We are receptive to the idea and just trying to make sure it works."
Unfortunately, former Mayor Douglas Wilder would not even respond to several of my attempts as to why he'd block me, along with many others, from honoring their ancestor and marking their graves. His administration blocked all attempts by the SCV to install new stones and do what the Virginia General Assembly authorized them to do. Why someone's not sued over the issue is something that puzzles me. Since the legislature has authorized the SCV to maintain the cemetery and since it would save the City of Richmond about $25,000 a year, you would think it would be a no-brainer.
Let's hope common sense and decency in honoring these men's final resting place prevails.
10 April 2009
09 April 2009
"Most students at Furman would be unaware that April is designated as Confederate History Month in many Southern States if Junior Will McNutt had not recently brought it to their attention. This month is officially recognized by the states of Alabama, Florida, Virginia, Mississppi, Texas, and Louisiana. On March 12, 2009, the Georgia State Senate passed a bill declaring April as Confederate Heritage and History Month. While South Carolina has yet to pass such a bill, Monday, May 11 is officially Confederate Memorial Day on the State Holiday Calendar."
Read complete post here.
08 April 2009
"Hearst Corp., owner of the San Francisco Chronicle, has threatened to shut down the paper unless unions agree to major staff cuts and The New York Times Co. has threatened to close the Boston Globe unless unions there do the same."
Shamey, shamey. Story here.
The Market always rules - eventually. The Market does not debate, it just does.
(By the way, just to be clear, I support their right to protect their intellectual property. However, these are the same folks who expect other businesses to bend to union demands. "What's good for the goose . . ." Consistency is the issue here.)
"When all government, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated." ~ Thomas Jefferson
After reading that quote, what did you think of?
*With this quote in mind, I'll be posting some interesting comments on the principle of federalism and state's rights and how it was applied by both the North & South during the time leading up to the WBTS; as well as how important the principle remains to us today.
07 April 2009
06 April 2009
I'm especially interested in part 3:
"A rich agrarian society is torn asunder by the cataclysm of the Civil War. 'The race for the prize is on,' wrote Harper’s Magazine in 1872 as railroads pushed ever further into the mountains. Speculators spread through every timber rich and mineral infused hollow, making deals. The third hour of the series will tell the story of the region as it confronts this strange new industrial age."
For those interested, I'd also recommend:
History Channel: Hillbilly - The Real Story
04 April 2009
This year's CW seminar at Liberty University was truly a delight. As many of you already know, this year's theme was the Civil War in cinema. Over the next few days, I'll be posting some photos and comments about the event which I attended last weekend. This photo is, of course, yours truly with movie producer and director, Ron Maxwell. (Yeah, I know, I should have smiled.) Mr. Maxwell is holding a copy of my most recent book, which I presented to him after a late night chat we shared on Friday after the banquet. Upon returning to the Carter Glass Mansion (where we stayed the whole weekend) Friday evening, my wife and I decided to venture to the kitchen for a snack. There we bumped into Ron and spent some time discussing Gods & Generals and Jim Lewis. Since Lewis' figure was portrayed in Gods & Generals and Ron was interested in Lewis, I gave him a copy of my book, which has a whole chapter on the "mysterious" Jim Lewis.
We also discussed the director's cut of the film, which contains an additional hour and fort-five minutes. In this portion of the film, there is a sub-plot which follows John Wilkes Booth and the assasination of President Lincoln. There is also additional footage showing details of camp life, the Battle of Antietam, and more of the perspectives of African-Americans. Warner Brothers holds the rights to this and has not yet decided when or if it will be released. I mentioned the upcoming Sesquicentennial and Maxwell agreed that would be good timing to release the director's cut. We'll see.
Ron also discussed his desire to find funding for the last film in the CW trilogy: Last Full Measure. One thing that everyone agreed on: the current economic downturn is making it increasingly unlikely for studios and filmmakers to take on CW projects. Hopefully, that will change. However, as Brian Wills noted during his presentation, due to the time involved in making a good CW film, the project would have to start this year in order to be released during the WBTS' 150th. We were also informed by several reliable sources that the much anticipated Manhunt film, starring Harrison Ford, was dead due to costs and concerns over profitability. That's a shame as it looked like it was going to be a fascinating film. Stay tuned, more to come in the days ahead.
Yeah, that's right, a health center - lots of sweating fat people in spandex. Really gross. I don't go in for spandex. When I go to work out, I wear cotton sweats, Nike's, and my CWPT hat. I don't really fit in.
Any way, my first day (a few weeks ago), I was treated to a tour of the facilities - several weight rooms, indoor tennis courts, indoor track, pool, all kinds of treadmills in front of widescreen TV's, biking machines - you get the picture. But the item that finally convinced me this was not going to be so bad after all was the facility's eats area. When I first walked in, I saw pretty much what I had expected: lots of organic-type weirdo stuff, tofu, green teas, energy drinks, protein meals, etc, etc. But then the daily special caught my eye. On a big handwritten sign:
All members receive 10% off our grilled hot dogs!
Yeah, I'm gonna like the health center.
I'll have two with chili, nacho cheese, mustard, onions, and relish. Oh yeah, and a diet coke. And hurry please, I have a date with a treadmill.
02 April 2009
I have to say that graduation is becoming one of my favorite times of year. While I don't always have a ton of kids to give this book to, the ones that get it always appreciate it. Every year I wait, expecting to have someone return the book, or a parent complain about the gift. I've only ever gotten a 'thank you,' or 'This is great; I never knew this stuff about Robert E. Lee.' That last quote is a sad statement in itself, but if his words continue to inspire young men to be their best, it's worth whatever I pay every year.
Thanks for all your hard work. I hope there are others out there that do what I do to help our young men be Godly men. If everyone in any of the Southern organizations would each target a handful of graduating male seniors and give them a copy of this book, what a difference it could make.
P.S. The kids I target are the ones I cross via church and my family's activities with school and such, so they are of various races, and again no one has ever complained. Lee's words transcend race.
(Sometimes I wonder if I'm having an impact. Notes like this make it worthwhile. The note came from a Sunday school teacher.)
"Southern Agrarians proclaimed when I was a child that the southern culture is worth defending; that society is something more than the Gross National Product; that the country lane is healthier than the Long Street; that more wisdom lies in Tradition than in Scientism; that Leviathan is a devourer, not a savior." ~ Russell Kirk
Russell Kirk, the Northern intellectual, on the "problematic" South.
(Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.)
01 April 2009
(I earlier promised some posts on the most recent seminar this past weekend. However, I've been occupied with the exchanges and discussions regarding my last post. Hopefully, I'll be able to post on the Liberty University seminar by the coming weekend. I think readers will find my comments, photos, etc very interesting.)