30 June 2010

Do Academic Historians Learn From History?

Some do, some don't.

"The Obama economic team ignored past history."

"The administration's stimulus program has failed. Growth is slow and unemployment remains high. The president, his friends and advisers talk endlessly about the circumstances they inherited as a way of avoiding responsibility for the 18 months for which they are responsible . . . The contrast with President Reagan's anti-recession and pro-growth measures in 1981 is striking. Reagan reduced marginal and corporate tax rates and slowed the growth of non-defense spending. Recovery began about a year later. After 18 months, the economy grew more than 9% and it continued to expand above trend rates."

More here from the WSJ. Progressivism unchecked.

Let's see if they'll admit their mistakes.

29 June 2010

Political Persecution . . .

Of an eleven year-old. In the sixth grade. In a public school. At what point does "anecdotal evidence" become "Hey, we just might have a problem here" ?

"My name is Sam Besserman, I'm eleven years old, I live in Beverly Hills, California, and ever since I can remember I have been subjected to political bias in school. The first time I noticed the bias was actually in preschool,  where the teacher was reading a book about the importance of mothers and the inferiority of fathers. I tried to tell the teacher that dads might be just as important. The teacher responded in a sing-song, "No, listen to me, I'm the teacher." 

And . . . 

"we learned that America was the big, bad exploiter, and the countries my parents grew up believing were evil were not so bad after all. I asked my father about these issues practically every night, and he taught me the meaning of moral relativism. I thought he was being too kind, and I characterized it, instead, as moral inversion."

And . . .

"One day, during a game of dodgeball, the old assistant P.E. teacher yelled to the other students to "Get the Republican, get the Republican!" meaning me. "

And . . .

"The liberal intimidation was getting so commonplace that I became afraid to talk anymore. The last straw came when one of the other social studies teachers told all the students that we would sign a pledge together to reduce our carbon footprints. Naturally, I refused. No one was going to coerce me into signing something I didn't believe."

And . . . 

"My country is undermining itself in its schools. It's teaching boys that they can't even compete with girls. It's teaching those of us who have pride in our country that it is misplaced [anti-American Exceptionalism]. It's teaching nonsense and claiming that it's science. But possibly, even more usefully, I think I have struck comedy gold."

You can read this young man's complete story, in his own words, here at the American Thinker. Ok, let's hear it . . . just more "anecdotal evidence" from an outsider?

28 June 2010

A Historic Decision & A Good One

Today's Supreme Court ruling reaffirming an American citizen's inalienable right to "keep and bear arms" makes for some fascinating reading - both for legal scholars and historians. Here are just a few excerpts from the 214 page ruling:

"Heller makes it clear that this right is “deeply rooted inthis Nation’s history and tradition.” Heller exploredthe right’s origins, noting that the 1689 English Bill of Rights explicitly protected a right to keep arms for self-defense and that by 1765, Blackstone was able to assert that the right to keep and bear arms was “one of the fundamental rights of Englishmen”

And . . .

"Blackstone’s assessment was shared by the Americancolonists. As we noted in Heller, King George III’s attemptto disarm the colonists in the 1760’s and 1770’s “provoked polemical reactions by Americans invoking their rights as Englishmen to keep arms.” (Page 26.)

And . . .
“During the 1788 ratification debates, the fear that the federal government would disarm the people inorder to impose rule through a standing army or selectmilitia was pervasive in Antifederalist rhetoric.” (Page 21.)

And . . . the 2nd amendment is not just for Englishmen:

"The laws of some States formally prohibited African Americans from possessing firearms. For example, a Mississippi law provided that “no freed-man, free negro or mulatto, not in the military service ofthe United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry fire-arms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk or bowieknife." (Page 23.)

I've only perused the ruling, but it is loaded with a wealth of legal reasoning and historical references. You can find the full reading here. Justice Thomas's writings and views regarding this decision are particularly interesting and much closer to "original intent" philosophy.

An early, but good analysis here.

I suppose this is a victory for bitter-clingers everywhere.

SC Leading A Modern "Secession" Movement?

No, not that kind of secession. This kind:

"Could it be that South Carolina is again leading a secession – this time a secession of the main stream of the American people from their establishment political class?" (Source.)

And . . .

"Perhaps nothing better illustrates the historic change brought on in these June elections than the nomination – and all but certain election – of Tim Scott. In the first Congressional District – the very cradle of the Confederacy (a.k.a. the “Fort Sumter” district) – the over 90% white GOP primary runoff voters, elected the black conservative Scott in a 68-32% landslide over the son of South Carolina legend Strom Thurmond who was endorsed by all of the unsuccessful white candidates from the primary including the son of former governor Carroll Campbell. For South Carolina it was truly a “when hell freezes over” moment." (Source.)

25 June 2010

Anecdotal Piece Of Evidence Number 93,826

"We are fighting for the hearts and minds of our children. Against MTV, 'American Idol' and anorexia. We don't need the public-school system to muddy the waters. To plant seeds of doubt."

"Once, schools taught kids to read, write and think. Now, educators use personal bias to preach what to think. The list keeps growing."

Just another piece of anecdotal evidence about the state of public education in the United States.

More here.

Relevant quote:

"For the political Left, there is an especially dark side to the quetion of ideological bias and its attendant contempt for religion. . . Having . . . scoffed at the moral baseline of the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount, we ended a seventy-year experiment with socialism with little more to our credit than tens of millions of corpses." (Emphasis mine) ~ Eugene D. Genovese - The Southern Front - History and Politics in the Cultural War (Page 13.)

23 June 2010

I Fly Both Flags

Based on some recent comments at Civil War Memory, it's clear there are quite a few folks who fail to understand the patriotism of Southerners who, while honoring their Confederate ancestors, still love and remain patriotic in their feelings toward the United States flag and the ideals she is supposed to stand for. This reveals a level of misunderstanding that I was really not all that aware of but, I suppose, should not be surprised by, given today's PC climate and hatred of all things Confederate. One person commented that, "there is a failure to recognize the inherent irony" (in flying both the Confederate battle flag as well as the United States flag).


First of all, how does one ascertain and declare that the persons flying both flags doesn't "recognize the inherent irony?" Did they stop and interview them? I doubt it. No, more than likely they made assumptions based on their misguided, politically correct beliefs about those who display the Confederate battle flag. Again, not surprising, especially coming from those who are from outside the South. 

Displaying both flags is very common, especially among patriotic Southerners. I do it. My father did it. My grandfather did it. I grew up in the Shenandoah Valley, have traveled throughout the South, and have seen both flags displayed together countless times here and all over the South. It is also a fairly common sight in many Southern cemeteries.

Is there irony? Yes, and no. On the surface, yes. But when one understands the deep patriotic sympathies of many Southerners whose ancestors fought for the Confederacy during the WBTS, then the irony becomes, shall we say, "less ironic." There is no more irony in flying both of these American flags than there is in folks who fly the United States flag with the British flag. That, too, is fairly common here in Virginia among those who celebrate their common American and British heritage.

I had three great-great grandfathers who fought for the Confederacy and a grandfather who fought for the U.S. in WWI, and another in WWII. Again, I think what we're seeing revealed in these comments is a fundamental lack of knowledge and misunderstanding regarding the deep patriotism of many Southerners whose ancestors fought for the Confederacy, as well as for the United States in the many wars since 1861.

By the way, if the information and photos in this post challenge your commonly held beliefs, just chalk it us as anecdotal evidence and move along. ;o)

General McChrystal - "Lee Like"?

By sacrificing his career on principle?

"The interview of General McChrystal and his in Rolling Stone was not an accident, it’s a perfect  example of suicide by interview. . . McChrystal’s statements clearly point to the fact that he believes the war cannot be won under the President’s parameters, a tepid escalation to protect the president from his political supports. McChrystal  is clearly frustrated by  Barack Obama and his administration and finds it necessary to protect his men. He finds himself having to take radical steps to protect his troops . . ."

McChrystal's interview in The Rolling Stone (How appropriate) is causing quite a stir.

More here.

There is also some similarities to the folks on the other side of the Potomac:

"But it may actually be more comparable to a more chronic presidential leadership crisis — Abraham Lincoln’s dilemma during the Civil War, when he was forced to repeatedly reshuffle his general staff in the face of vacillating public opinion, insubordination and, above all else, uncertainty about how best to win a bloody war he couldn’t afford to lose."

More here.

22 June 2010

New Civil War Chaplains Museum Video

As one of the trustees for the National Civil War Chaplains Museum, I was involved (behind the scenes) in the initial efforts to produce an introductory video for the museum's website; which is in the process of being updated. Last year, I was sent an uncut edition of Professor James I. Robertson's interview about the work of Chaplains during the WBTS. I also saw an unedited version of the video a few months ago but was unaware the video below had been posted to Youtube. My frequent "historical adversary" ;o) and fellow CW blogger, Kevin Levin, just sent me an email alerting me to the video on Youtube (I must have missed that memo) with the thought I might be interested in posting the video here.  So, a hearty thank you to Kevin. The video is of excellent quality and Bud Robertson's commentary is quite informative. Do visit the museum in Lynchburg if you can. Admission is free and it's right off Route 29.

Love & War

My local SCV camp's most recent meeting featured Rev. Dr. Robert H. Crewdson as our guest speaker. Reverend Crewdson is the author of author of Love and War: A Southern Soldier's Struggle Between Love and Duty. The book is based on love letters sent home by his Confederate ancestor during the WBTS. Reverend Crewdson is a retired Episcopalian minister. He currently serves as the R.E. Lee Memorial Church's Chaplain to students at Washington & Lee University and the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia.

Professor James I. Robertson noted the following about Crewdson's book:

"You can never understand the Civil War until you understand its emotion.  In this collection of Civil War letters from a Confederate soldier to his beloved, one constantly encounters the inner conflicts between love and duty, as well as discipline and homesickness. Thurman speaks for thousands of compatriots who faced America's darkest crisis."


21 June 2010

Post Father's Day - Some Good News

I had wanted to post something about Father's Day this past weekend, but just didn't get around to it. I did, however, host my annual "Grandpa Campout" at my home this past Friday night. I camped out with 9 of my 13 grandchildren, roasted hot dogs, had an epic squirt gun battle (my weapon of choice was the garden hose - I was outnumbered, so I needed the superior firepower), ate homemade ice-cream, told Bible stories, let off some fireworks, and watched an old Disney movie. We had a great time!

Then, last night I watched a fascinating documentary on my local PBS station about men losing their fathers. My Dad died 10 years ago, so I could relate. Neil Chethik hosted the program and you can visit his website here. And then, this morning, I saw this bit of good news regarding fatherhood:

"The majority (71%) of American Adults continue to believe that being a father is one of the most important roles a man can fill in today’s world, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey." Count me in the 71%. Story here.

Glenn Beck's Impact On What America's Reading

FA Hayek's classic The Road to Serfdom typically sells around 7000 copies a year. The year Barack Obama was elected President, it sold 30,000 copies. Recently, Glenn Beck did a program about the warnings contained in Hayek's book. The following week, the book sold 70,000 copies. Yes, you read that right - 70,000 copies in one week.

From the NYT Bestseller Inside the List column:

"After Beck’s program, the book sold about 60,000 to 70,000 copies in one week. This surge came too late to push the book onto this week’s paperback nonfiction list, which records sales until June 12. But stay tuned."


17 June 2010

Worthless Observations From An Outsider & Crazy Dad

Were one to believe Kevin Levin, the observations and opinions of those from "the outside" of the education establishment - a.k.a., "Big Education" - are "worthless" when it comes to criticizing and critiquing the various shortcomings of America's highly politicized, and increasingly indoctrinating, educational system. That's an interesting perspective. I find that opinion particularly arresting since I am a father of 6, grandparent of 13 (soon to be 14, Lord willin'), and a taxpayer. Though I've never worked as a paid educator, I did homeschool 4 of my 6 children, do some private tutoring, coach youth basketball, teach Sunday school, and lead a 4H youth group. So, in a very legitimate sense, I am an "educator." I'm just a volunteer though, I don't get paid for my services. Does that make my contributions, opinions, and observations about education "worthless"? I don't think so. Most parents involved in their community could make the same legitimate claim. So, are parents, grandparents, and taxpayers really "outsiders" when it comes to public (or even private) education? Again, I don't think so. Let's not forget what should be obvious: were it not for parents, schools would be empty and teachers would be unemployed. Parents produce the raw material, so to speak, for what should be the ultimate product: responsible citizens who are productive members of a free society. 

Moreover, were it not for taxpayers (and parents), there would be no funds to build schools and pay teachers. Shouldn't the observations and opinions of those who finance the operations of schools and who send their children to those same schools be valued? I would think so. In the real world, most organizations look upon the views of those whom they ostensibly serve, and who finance their very existance, as very important and worth considering. They take seriously criticisms and critique - as well they should. The concerns of those being served drive the product and services offered - as well they should. Is that not the case in education? Apparently not.

Take the example of the post and the event that led to Levin's comment. Fellow history blogger (and public school teacher), Chris Wehner, posted links and comments about an event to which he received an invitation. According to Chris, his invitation to attend this event came as the result of his being an educator. Chris declined the invite, even though it looks to be quite . . . uh, shall we say . . . interesting? Though Chris declined, would it be safe to assume there are teachers/educators that will attend? I believe that is a reasonable assumption, since they obviously made an apparent, concerted effort to invite many teachers from across the nation and since one of their program tracks includes "Education Organizing, Popular Education."

Would you be concerned if your children's teachers were attending an event that promotes socialism, radical environmentalism, hyper-radical leftist, anti-American, and anti-free market views and philosophies? I think it is safe to assume that the VAST majority of Americans would say yes; regardless of their politics, location, or socioeconomic background.

Think I'm "over-generalizing" or just providing "anecdotal evidence?" Judge for yourself.

First, go to Chris's post and read his examples. Second, go to the event site for yourself and simply browse through the site. Let their own stated goals, programs, and philosophies speak for themselves.

And just to be sure you don't miss this, in exploring the USSF site and event (an event that another blogger described as a “wonderful opportunity”), I came across the “Leftist Lounge” which is affiliated with the USSF and links direct from their main page (Under “fundraising” and “be a sponsor”). Below is a link promoting “artwork” in the “Leftist Lounge” featuring, for example, Marxist & murderer, Che Guevera and a poster with “Free Palestine” on it (I guess Helen Thomas would like that one). Other radical revolutionaries are featured as well, some holding weapons, including Leila Khaled who was into such peaceful “social justice” movements as hijacking airplanes. Another poster features “Commandante Ramona” holding a weapon. One poster features wording which says, “if I become hungry, the usurper’s flesh will be my food.” How wholesome. I thought these folks were all about “non-violence.” Yeah, I want folks attending that event to teach our children. Good Lord. Chilling and disturbing indeed.
Another poster featured in the "Leftist Lounge" at the USSF site has the following wording on it:

America is F****** evil
Israel is F****** evil
Right Wing Evangelical Christians are F****** evil
Christopher Columbus is F****** evil
The Founding Fathers were F****** evil

That's just a sampling. Would anyone like to defend that? You can go to the link above and see it for yourself. No, there's no anti-American, leftist radicalism going on here. These are, of course, just the worthless observations and anecdotal examples from a father, grandfather, and educator who some would label an "outsider." Move along, nothing to see here. Sorry, but this "outsider" does not see this event as a "wonderful opportunity" for anyone, especially educators.

And just how much "anecdotal evidence" does one have to examine before one is convinced of a fact? Below is another anecdotal example about the "social justice movement" and promoting it to Junior High and High School students. By the way, what's the largest labor union in the United States? The National Education Association.

As you will notice, the woman speaking here was, at the time, the Secretary Treasurer of the AFL-CIO. I think most readers are familiar with that union. But what many reading this post may not know is that the NEA has pledged to "work with" the AFL-CIO. 

“NEA shares these values and recognizes the tremendous impact these values will have on our country and our future. That’s why NEA is committed to working collaboratively on quality public education, health care and other critical issues that affect working families. We look forward to working with the AFL-CIO and its leadership team.”

So, let's recap. We have what is, by all appearances, a hyper-radical leftist movement in the United States known as "social justice". We have a high ranking official with the AFL-CIO stating publicly that they intend to promote this movement in our schools. And then we have the Nation's largest union, which just happens to be made up of teachers, pledging to work "collaboratively" with the AFL-CIO on "quality public education."

But not to worry, there is no real evidence this is occurring in our schools. None. There is no agenda. It's all imaginary. This is all just anecdotal evidence from a bunch of crazy, right-wing conspiracy nuts paranoid about nothing. Uh-huh. Call me crazy.

Toy Soldiers Dangerous Because They Have Guns

**Update: "A Rhode Island boy whose school banned a hat he made because the toy soldiers on it carried tiny guns was awarded a medal on Friday for his patriotic efforts." Story here.

No, our public school system is not PC. No, of course not. The continuous, daily drip, drip, drip of examples is nothing more than "over-generalized anecdotal evidence." Uh-huh.

"Christan Morales says her son just wanted to honor American troops when he made a hat decorated with an American flag and small plastic Army figures. But the hat ran afoul of the district's no-weapons policy because the toy soldiers were carrying tiny weapons."

No, this is not a line from a Saturday Night Live comedy skit. Story here. Unbelievable. Have we lost all of our ability to apply common sense?

This story will dovetail nicely with my upcoming post on the current educational "social justice" debate going on in the blogosphere. 

Recommended Blog - What Would The Founders Think?

"This blog is about what we see happening to the US Constitution and our honest attempt to compare and contrast its precepts with what is happening today . . . We are simply concerned citizens who believe that the United States is 'the last best hope of mankind'. We contend that this country is unique and founded on core principles which have yielded the blessings we enjoy today."

I agree. A blog that believes in and promotes American Exceptionalism, how refreshing. 

#1 on Amazon - Books, History, United States, Colonial Period

Sacred Fire

16 June 2010

More Southernern Communities Ignoring The Feds

And breaking the law . . . 

"We made the decision legislatively to break the laws if necessary. We will do whatever it takes to protect our county’s waterways and we’re prepared to go to jail to do it."

Statesmanship and leadership over ineffective, bloated bureaucracies and Washington's detachment. Reality always exposes Utopian theories for what they are - Utopian theories.

A different version of nullification? More here.

15 June 2010

"Since Jefferson & Adams"

"With so many wealthy liberals and Democrats, with Democrats controlling the presidency and Congress, and with Hollywood and New York full of brilliant, [sic] wealthy liberal stars and moguls, why does the right have such a media lead over the left?"

One word answer. Credibility.

More here.

14 June 2010

American Exceptionalism

2 Things America Got Right - Cars and Freedom. Isn't it revealing that the current political class wants to deny us both?

Charge Him With Assault & Battery

The left is having anger issues. This is extremely disturbing. No, Congressman, you DO NOT have a right to know who the student is. You do have a right to ignore him and walk away. The student has a right to ask you questions. You DO NOT have a right to assault him. You committed a criminal act and I hope this student obtains a warrant for your arrest. Should make a fabulous campaign commercial come fall.

This Congressman's tag line on his version of the event, using this video for his campaign commercial:

"Congressman Bob Etheridge - keeping our streets safe from peaceful college students just asking questions. (Honestly, I was just huggin' the boy!)"

Citizenship in action. Gotta love it . . . unless, of course, you're a jackbooted statist.

Front Porch Pickin' #8 - Flag Day 2010

11 June 2010

Big Education Meets Real World

"Dr. Lewis called for refocusing education away from high-stakes testing because of the distorted incentives it introduces for teachers. 'When you add in performance pay and your evaluation could possibly be predicated on how well your kids do testing-wise, it’s just an enormous amount of pressure,' he said." 

Yes, it's called accountability. Teachers who cheat.

Hating Capitalists

This sounds eerily current.

I'd like to hear some comments and thoughts from my academic readers.

Stonewall Country

Wednesday, last week, I had the privilege of speaking to the Stonewall Ruritan Club of McDowell, Virginia. My topic was, appropriately, Stonewall Jackson, his time in Lexington, and his black Sunday school class. There were about 30 folks in attendance which is over 1% of the total population of Highland County. Not bad. As most CW buffs know, McDowell was the site of what is considered the beginning of Jackson's Valley Campaign. Below are some photos I took in and around McDowell last week.

10 June 2010

Why Local Control Trumps The Feds

Warning Label For The U.S. Constitution?

We are living in very weird times.

"A small publishing company is under fire after putting warning labels on copies of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence and other historical documents."

Ya think? Unbelievable. Definitely a "beam me up Scotty" moment, though I'm sure some PC academics would see nothing wrong with this "warning." More here.

The Objectivity Of Academia

Yeah, right.

"These so-called scholars have freely admitted, in their own words, that they intend to 'undermine the credibility and arguments' of those who happen to hold opposing viewpoints to theirs. No unbiased research methodology, no respect for the opinions of others, no intellectual honesty. Just pure propaganda, put to the service of their ideology. That’s not scholarship: it’s naked advocacy."

Just a follow up to my previous post. More here.

09 June 2010

Interesting Post By Michael Hardy

Fellow WBTS blogger and author, Michael Hardy, recently posted some interesting comments on his blog, North Carolina and the Civil War. In his post, "Why Don't They Get It?" - Michael raises some questions about the different "interpretations" of the war and refers to historian Gary Gallagher's 4 distinctions in a recent Civil War Times piece: "the Emancipation Cause, the Lost Cause, the Reconciliation Cause, and the Union Cause."

Michael quotes Gallagher's observation: “the Union Cause is the least appreciated of the four great traditions. It is dismissed as unworthy, of great sacrifice by many historians and is virtually absent in the popular understanding of the war.”

Michael focuses his comments and raises questions, specifically, about the Emancipation Cause vs. the Union Cause and points out that the emancipation of slaves was not foremost in the minds of Union soldiers:

"If emancipation was what the soldiers themselves saw as paramount, would it not have appeared on their monuments?" 

So often we see academics (mostly Northerners) psychoanalyze Confederate monuments. It's interesting to see someone raise similar interpretation and "memory" questions regarding Union monuments.

There's much more to his post and you can read the rest of Michael's comments here.

Congratulations WSVA!

Today, a Shenandoah Valley icon, Radio Station 550 AM WSVA, celebrates its 75th anniversary. I've listened to the station on and off since I was a kid in the '60's. And for many years, it has been my daily routine to tune in early in the morning to get the local weather, news, etc. WSVA was the first radio station to broadcast from the Shenandoah Valley (Harrisonburg, Virginia) and began transmitting on June 9th in 1935, the same year my father was born. At one time, they also had a remote station atop the Stonewall Jackson Hotel in downtown Staunton, Virginia. You can listen to their news/talk format via the web here: www.wsvaonline.com. Despite all the changes since 1935, they have managed to retain much of their local, rural community flavor and are one of the few remaining radio stations in the country to still broadcast live and local programming.

Congratulations to a Shenandoah Valley institution! 

"WSVA will broadcast several special programs throughout the day on June 9th, reflecting on the heritage of the radio station and its 75 years of service to the area."

You can take a virtual tour of the station's interesting history here

(By the way, Grandpa Jones got his start on WSVA.) 

08 June 2010

History Professors Using Your Tax Dollars

To fund their propaganda and indoctrination efforts:

"This is what our higher education system has become – a publicly funded amplifier of progressive ideology."

More here.

07 June 2010

The Deep South - Brazil

This Is A Good Sign

Headline: "Democrats Skip Town Halls to Avoid Voter Rage" (Story here.)

The Sage of Virginia would be pleased:

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." ~ Thomas Jefferson

05 June 2010

Why We Should Study Confederate History

I recently came across a piece at CNN.com by Museum of the Confederacy President & CEO, Waite Rawls, III. He asks some interesting questions in his piece:

"What about the slaves themselves? Why did many take advantage of the first opportunity to escape to freedom while others remained 'loyal' to the South? And what about the 400,000 African-Americans in the South who were free long before Abraham Lincoln came on the scene?"

And . . .

"What about the thousands of immigrants who 'escaped' the wars of Europe yet enlisted in both armies to demonstrate their loyalty to their new country? At the opposite end of the spectrum, what about the Native Americans who had been here long before any Europeans, yet allied with the Confederacy? The last Confederate brigade to surrender was composed entirely of Native Americans and commanded by Brigadier General Stand Watie, a full-blooded Cherokee."

You can read the rest of the piece here.

Subsidizing Failure, Controlling Information

The government, in it's ever constant effort to interfere in the marketplace, micro-manage our lives, and screw things up, wants to tax successful new media outlets in order to subsidize the failing, statist news organizations:

"According to a May 28 draft proposal, the agency thinks government should be at the center of a media overhaul. The bureaucracy sees it as a problem that the Internet has introduced a wealth of information options to consumers . . . The ideas being batted around to save the industry share a common theme: They are designed to empower bureaucrats, not consumers."

More here.

By the way, in a somewhat related thought, I've read a growing number of comments in the blogosphere and on discussion boards that the Confederate government was much more intrusive and centralized than was the Federal government during the WBTS. Does that mean that as our National government has become more and more centralized in recent years that they are becoming more like the Confederacy?

04 June 2010

A Warrior's Heart

"The 1,000th American serviceman killed in Afghanistan was born on the Fourth of July. He died several days before Americans honor fallen troops on Memorial Day . . . 'He said he always wanted to die for his country and be remembered,' said Jesse Leicht, his younger brother. 'He didn't want to die having a heart attack or just being an old man. He wanted to die for something.'"

"He threw away a college ROTC scholarship after just one semester because he feared it would lead away from the front lines. 'His greatest fear was that they would tell him he would have to sit at a desk for the rest of his life,' said Jonathan Leicht, his older brother."

That last statement reminds me of something Stonewall Jackson once said about his service during the Mexican War:

"I was afraid the fire would not be hot enough for me to distinguish myself."

These men are most definitely of a different mettle than most.

More here. 

03 June 2010

Kent Masterson Brown - Retreat From Gettysburg

If you've never had the privilege of hearing Kent Masterson Brown speak, you've missed a treat. I've had that privilege on two occasions (once at a Stephen Dill Lee Institute and once at Liberty University's annual Civil War seminar), and have always found Mr. Brown most informative and entertaining. I recently found a recording of the same talk I heard Brown give a couple of years ago. You can listen to that talk about General Lee and his retreat from Gettysburg here. This presentation was recorded at Lee Chapel in October of 2008.
It's well worth your time.

02 June 2010

Headed West

I'm off to Virginia's Western Highlands for a speaking engagement this evening. I'll post some comments and photos tomorrow.

01 June 2010

More Hypocrisy From The Left

We often hear from the state-controlled media that the "religious right" wants to impose a theocracy on American society through the legislative process. (Actually, it is the left that is imposing their vision of a theocracy on American citizens, but that's another subject.) But we never see that same hand-wringing regarding the religious left. Why? Hypocrisy.

Pelosi’s office did not respond to CNSNews.com’s follow-up questions regarding the speaker’s statement that she seeks to make policy in conformance with the values of the Word made flesh.
The woman is a national embarrassment. More here.