29 September 2011

Searching For History, Mystery & Adventure - Join Us

Subscribe here - just click on subscribe and "check" to be notified by email of new videos, or visit our Youtube page for all our video uploads and join us as we research, recover, and record the hidden history of Old Virginia & the American South. Many more adventures from the field - and from my desk - coming soon.

Duck Head, Khakis, & The Civil War

I posted about the resurrection of the Duck Head brand a while back. Here's the video that takes a quick look at the company's history. I'm working on a *couple of articles about the company for publication in some national journals/magazines. More to come on that very soon.

*After my last book, the documentary, and the Washington Times Civil War print column fading away, I've not published nor worked on anything outside of my blog. All of those previous projects were several years ago. I simply did not have the time nor energy. As I write this post, I now have four articles in the hopper, as well as a book. What was I thinking?!

I'm very excited about two of the articles and hope to be able to announce something about one of them next week.

28 September 2011

Russell Kirk On What Defines Conservatism

"Ten Principles of Conservatism"
by Russell Kirk

"First, the conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order. That order is made for man, and man is made for it; human nature is a constant, and moral truths are permanent."

"Second, the conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity", not slavishly, for he recognizes room for improvement in all things human, but humbly, for he recognizes also that wisdom grows slowly through ages, and because he prefers the devil he knows to the devil he doesn't know.

"Third, conservatives believe in what may be called the principle of prescription ["that is, of things established by immemorial usage, so that the mind of man runneth not to the contrary"]. Conservatives sense that modern people are dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, able to see farther than their ancestors only because of the great stature of those who have preceded us in time."

"Fourth, conservatives are guided by their principle of prudence. Burke agrees with Plato that in the statesman, prudence is chief among virtues. Any public measure ought to be judged by its probable long-run consequences, not merely by temporary advantage or popularity" -- or kind intentions.

"Fifth, conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety. They feel affection for the proliferating intricacy of long-established social institutions and modes of life, as distinguished from the narrowing uniformity and deadening egalitarianism of radical systems.... The only true forms of equality are equality at the Last Judgment and equality before a just court of law; all other attempts at leveling must lead, at best, to social stagnation."

"Sixth, conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectibility.... To seek for utopia is to end in disaster.... All that we reasonably can expect is a tolerably ordered, just, and free society, in which some evils, maladjustments, and suffering will continue to lurk. By proper attention and prudent reform, we may preserve and improve this tolerable order.... The ideologues who promise the perfection of man and society have converted a great part of the twentieth-century world into a terrestrial hell."

"Seventh, conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked. Separate property from private possession, and Leviathan becomes master of all."

"Eighth, conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as they oppose involuntary collectivism.... In a genuine community, the decisions most directly affecting the lives of citizens are made locally and voluntarily. Some...are carried out by local political bodies, others by private associations: so long as they are kept local, and are marked by the general agreement of those affected, they constitute healthy community. But when these functions pass by default or usurpation to centralized authority, then community is in serious danger."

"Ninth, the conservative perceives the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions.... A state in which an individual or a small group are able to dominate the wills of their fellows without check is a despotism, whether it is called monarchical or aristocratic or democratic."

"Tenth, the thinking conservative understands that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society.... The conservative knows that any healthy society is influenced by two forces, which Samuel Taylor Coleridge called its Permanence and its Progression.... He thinks that the liberal and the radical, blind to the just claims of Permanence, would endanger the heritage bequeathed to us, in an endeavor to hurry us into some dubious Terrestrial Paradise. The conservative, in short, favors reasoned and temperate progress; he is opposed to the cult of Progress, whose votaries believe that everything new necessarily is superior to everything old."

Kirk's brilliant insight into what it means, philosophically, to be a conservative makes it quite obvious why there can be little compromise with the American left. I started to emphasize a few choice phrases, but found myself wanting to emphasize the whole post. Kirk's words also make it crystal clear why the interpretation of history is so important in influencing one's political views, rather the other way around, as we so often see today. Moreover, his reasoned explanation of conservatism reveals the lack of depth and intellectual honesty among many on the left - in other words, their intellectual bankruptcy demonstrably so evident by simply observing history. You can read the unedited list here. Highly recommended.

27 September 2011

The V.A. Tries To Suppress Christianity - FAILS

Perhaps the Veterans Administration is part of that misinformed, under-educated crowd that doesn't understand America's Judeo-Christian foundation. A group of veterans recently took the V.A. to school to get their mind right:

Last week, the Veteran’s Administration agreed to settle the lawsuit regarding censorship of freedom of speech and freedom of religion at the Houston National Cemetery.
The administration of this cemetery had forbidden "grieving families and volunteer groups to not use the words 'God' or 'Jesus' at any funeral ceremony without . . . prior approval." (I assume Gaia was acceptable. I think they also allowed prayers to Mr. Rogers and the Frog god.)

Sorry, but, as we say here in western Virginia, "that dog won't hunt." The V.A. got their snooty little noses bloodied in a rather stunning fashion. A settlement over a pending lawsuit states:

  • The VA will not interfere with prayers during burial services.
  • The VA will not edit or control the speeches of speakers at ceremonies or events at the cemetery containing religious messages or viewpoints and cannot ban religious words in verbal communications between the volunteers and veteran’s families.
  • The VA will not ban religious speech or words like “God” or “Jesus” in condolence cards or gifts.
  • Payment by the VA of the veterans groups’ $215,000 in legal fees.
  • The VA will have a Bible, Cross and Star of David placed on an open shelf within the Chapel, that will be easily accessible and available for use by families if they so choose.
  • The local members of VFW District 4 and Houston National Memorial Ladies would resign their positions as official VA volunteers. They will be free to provide their own texts of recitations to funeral homes so that veterans’ families can decide if they would like these groups to provide any services at the cemetery.

Slam dunk. Eat that. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Gotta love it when these elitist creeps get their due. Complete story here.

26 September 2011

More On America's Christian Founding

In what are often transparent attempts to serve certain agendas, a number of historians and bloggers have tried to discredit the idea that the American Republic had a Judeo-Christian founding. Denying empirical evidence before their very eyes, creating straw men, and tossing out red herrings, these folks spread misinformation that, thus far, has really failed to gain much traction in the broader culture; though I would have to imagine that the notion is rather popular in many faculty lounges. A reader recently shared a link to an article which very succinctly dissects the straw men and red herrings and balances the whole topic with clarity and facts. Here's a couple of excerpts to whet your appetite:

Did America have a Christian Founding? Two popular answers to this query—“Of course not!” and “Absolutely!”—both distort the Founders’ views. There is in fact a great deal of evidence that America’s Founders were influenced by Christian ideas, and there are many ways in which the Founders’ views might inform contemporary political and legal controversies.

And the author makes the following observation, which is the same conclusion to which I came many years ago:

A final possibility is that the Founders were influenced by Christian ideas. Scholars have spent a great amount of time attempting to discern influence. Book after book has been written about whether the Founders were most influenced by *Lockean liberalism, classical republicanism, the Scottish Enlightenment, etc. I believe that this is the most reasonable way to approach the question “Did America have a Christian Founding?” In doing so, it is important to note that nominal Christians might be influenced by Christian ideas, just as it is possible for an orthodox Christian to be influenced by non-Christian ideas. I believe that an excellent case can be made that Christianity had a profound influence on the Founders.

Of course, this historian's article won't end the debate (and I don't necessarily agree with every point), but hopefully it will enlighten readers and clarify some of the opposing thoughts on the topic. Highly recommended.

*This would also be correctly defined as "classical" liberalism, though some have made the absolutely ridiculous and embarrassingly misinformed comparison to modern liberalism in America; which is better classified as socialism or leftist ideology. 

19 September 2011

Metal Detecting Post #47 - OVD's River Adventure - Part Two

Our latest episode and adventure . . .

Please note that none of our relic hunts are conducted on any protected battlefields nor rivers of any kind. All our digs are legal. OVD adheres to the metal detecting Code of Ethics.

18 September 2011

Diversity In The Confederacy

Jewish Supporters of the Confederacy Abounded:

"They threw their lot in with the Confederacy . . ."

More here in a Richmond Times Dispatch article. (Hat tip to Doug Hill for sending me the link.)

17 September 2011

Honor Never Dies

History is still being uncovered . . .

Heading Back Home: Franklin’s Unknown Soldier
and the Civil War’s Five Bloodiest Hours

“The gravity of the discovery of the remains and the way it captured public interest was a touching moment in time, an overwhelming response from across the nation that brought long-deserved attention to the horrors that this soldier and tens of thousands of others endured here at Franklin,” says Jacobson, who serves as director of operations for the Battle of Franklin Trust. “Brian and Jodi have captured that emotion in the context of history and modern times in a way that I didn’t think possible. The film is spectacular in every way, and not to be missed.”

Showing in Franklin, Tennessee - see more here. Stay tuned for a full review.

Note: I'm working on another one of my own film shorts about some recent discoveries related to the WBTS found while metal detecting and relic hunting. Stay tuned for that as well: River Adventure ~ Part 2

16 September 2011

Front Porch Pickin' #17 - Drivin' Ole Dixie Down

From our Front Porch Pickin' series, OVB strives to bring you the very best in in Southern Appalachian bluegrass, gospel, folk, country, and old-time mountain music. Obviously, this is a bit out of the norm for our Front Porch Pickin' genre, but still germane to the blog. And as always, you can still get your culture here.

"Nothing I have read … has brought home the overwhelming human sense of history that this song does. The only thing I can relate it to at all is The Red Badge of Courage. It's a remarkable song, the rhythmic structure, the voice of Levon and the bass line with the drum accents and then the heavy close harmony of Levon, Richard and Rick in the theme, make it seem impossible that this isn't some traditional material handed down from father to son straight from that winter of 1865 to today. It has that ring of truth and the whole aura of authenticity." ~ The Rolling Stone, October 1969

Ford Understands Ben Franklin's Way To Wealth

Related to my recent post:

15 September 2011

Ben Franklin Responds To The President's Jobs Bill

"I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer . . . In short, you offered a premium for the encouragement of idleness, and you should not now wonder that it has had its effect in the increase of poverty."
~ Benjamin Franklin

Amazing how the best and brightest among us seem to have difficulty learning from history, isn't it? More here at the American Thinker. 

14 September 2011

Higher Education Cashes In On Students

I don't buy all of the doom and gloom regarding the financial predictions at the end of this video (though their scenarios are certainly a possibility), but I believe their assessment of the "college-industrial complex" is, overall, quite accurate. There are better ways.

13 September 2011

Lexington & Rockbridge County Are One

. . . at least when it comes to tourism. I've seen comments on other Civil War blogs and forums suggesting that those Rockbridge County residents who voiced their opinions at the recent Lexington City Council meeting about banning the Confederate flag, should be viewed as "outsiders." That is truly an ignorant statement coming from those who really are outsiders - most who don't live anywhere near the area. 

First of all, the city of Lexington is the County seat of Rockbridge County. There is a definite connection - culturally, socially, and economically. Secondly, part of this whole debate is about tourism. The cities of Lexington and Buena Vista, along with Rockbridge County, all joined together years ago to collaborate in the promotion of tourism through the visitor's center located in Lexington. What city council does when it comes to these types of issues impacts everyone in these localities. 

To suggest that Rockbridge county residents don't have a stake in this and their opinion shouldn't matter is ridiculous - more nonsense from real outsiders, as is the notion that most locals who spoke were in favor of the ordinance. The reports I've read stated the exact opposite. Just more propaganda and misinformation to spin an agenda.

The city of Lexington, in their desire to remain as PC as possible in a city that drips with Confederate nostalgia, was also instrumental in preventing the Museum of the Confederacy from locating there a few years ago (I'd bet they'd like another chance at that decision now). The negative economic impact (jobs, tax revenue) from that short-sighted decision is difficult to fathom. Now they've acted in a way which will, at least to some degree, put more of a damper on an industry already suffering.

Congratulations council. At least you continue to live up to your reputation.

12 September 2011

Making A Virtue Of Decline

"American exceptionalism is, among other things, the result of a difficult rigor: the use of individual initiative as the engine of development within a society that strives to ensure individual freedom through the rule of law. Over time a society like this will become great. This is how—despite all our flagrant shortcomings and self-betrayals—America evolved into an exceptional nation." ~ Shelby Steele

A number of Civil War & History bloggers, academics, and "me too, me too" types have jumped on the "enemy of American Exceptionalism" bandwagon. Why? It's chic, hip, cool, sophisticated. You know, it's rad man. It's also the current ruling political philosophy in that cesspool we call Washington D.C. It gets you better gigs, it makes one look better (so they think) in the eyes of the world (like I care),  and it also gets you noticed - an important thing for the insecure and self-absorbed (most politicians). And, of course, its also misguided and embarrassingly non-thinking.

But anti-American Exceptionalism is in all reality little more than the regurgitated and warmed over (like vomit) "anti-establishment" mindset of the '60's. It's lipstick on the pig. Think of it as the "sanitized" version of "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western culture's got to go!"

Many members of the mob to which I refer, embrace a school of thought that Shelby Steele recently wrote about in the Wall Street Journal. As Steele points out, many opponents of AE seem to be suffering from some type of guilt over America's unique greatness and, while facts make it impossible for these folks to actually deny America's greatness, enemies of AE believe America's greatness is due, not to the Blessings of God nor a superior national virtue, culture, and form of government - all which have historically promoted individual liberty, entrepreneurship, and a standard of living envied by the world - but, rather, we are great due to our history of oppression - in other words, we cheated to attain our greatness. Steele gets inside the minds of the anti-AE crowd:

". . . America's exceptional status in the world follows from a bargain with the devil—an indulgence in militarism, racism, sexism, corporate greed, and environmental disregard as the means to a broad economic, military, and even cultural supremacy in the world. And therefore America's greatness is as much the fruit of evil as of a devotion to freedom." (Emphasis mine.)

This shallow, simpleton attitude is consistent among leftists and moderns who, while decrying the "cult of the Founding Fathers" are, themselves, entrapped in the "cult of self". They believe they are superior to any generation to come before them, i.e. "we are the ones we've been waiting for." (How's that for being detached from reality?) It is this narcissistic, self-aggrandizing attitude which is the bane of modern American culture. We see it everywhere: the typical modern - self-absorbed, self-congratulating, conceited; yet unappreciative of the sacrifices, sweat equity, and accomplishments of those who've gone before them - unless it serves their own selfish purposes. This attitude is why these folks roll their eyes and sneer at "heritage history" - they think its demeaning (they're insecure). These mosquito-like critics come off as petulant, spoiled, ungrateful, bratty little children who need their butts spanked. Most of those who criticize the Founders (and those who draw inspiration from them) in this vein, could not hold a candle to their accomplishments. 

These small men sit in ergonomic chairs at their cushioned keyboards in air-conditioned offices with every modern convenience at their beck and call and critique a generation of men who were truly well-educated and well-read; self-made giants who were, in every sense of the concept, renaissance men. Men who could farm, write brilliant treatises on government, history, and philosophy, lead men into battle, track a deer for miles, kill it with a black powder rifle, field dress it, and carry it home for their evening meal. Men who carved a nation out of a raw wilderness and founded the greatest republic in the history of the world. Men who risked their personal fortunes, liberty, and lives so that they could pass on a great republic to future generations. In comparison, most of their soft, flabby, lazy, critics would starve to death if Wal-Mart closed for a week. They can't think, write or speak without a computer or a teleprompter. They can't build an argument, much less a nation. Their writing often consists of cutting and pasting words from the templates of their ruling class masters; hoping someone will notice and invite them to some stuffy academic AE bash-fest seminar where the greatest challenge of the day will be to stay awake.

Steele includes this line in his piece which cuts like a knife in dissecting what so many academics and their groupies believe:

"So in liberal quarters today—where historical shames are made to define the present—these values are seen as little more than the cynical remnants of a bygone era."

That is a brilliant line. "Historical shames are made to define the present" - presentism used in a morality play to demean American heroes and America's founding principles; in order, of course, to elevate one's self (more insecurity). Do you not see that mindset, that bent, in so many academic blogs related to American history? And "remnants of a bygone era" - ah yes, out with the old, in with the new! We're so much hipper today, don't you know? These intellectual fads are like Botox for the brain - and just as phony. These pseudo-intellectuals inject these silly, faddish notions into their minds in hopes it will make them appear smarter, hipper, and "sound younger" than the "cynical remnants of a bygone era." Every time I hear this anti-AE claptrap, I get this picture in my mind of a 60 year-old, pubescent, pot-bellied, playboy wanna-be trolling the local mall trying to impress a woman young enough to be his daughter. Give it up. The more "hip and modern" they attempt to appear, the more ridiculous they look and sound. Neither the anti-AE crowd nor the mall troller are very convincing.

Since many of these folks are apparently ashamed of their own history, they relieve their group-imposed guilt by bashing the Founding Fathers - disassociation (more insecurity). What a cheap, lazy, self-centered way to interpret history. Of course, it is always easier to bring a superior down to your level than strive to reach one which is your superior. It is easier, in Steele's words, to "make a virtue of decline" than it is to be exceptional.

Steele's piece is both broader and more focused than what I've touched on. I would recommend readers take the time to read the article here.

Metal Detecting Post #46 - Another River Adventure!

This is another great video about freshwater relic hunting with metal detectors. After corresponding with Beau Ouimette (who "stars" in this production), I also recently purchased one of the detectors featured in this video - the Garrett AT Pro. It is what Doug Hill and I used in our recent river adventure and hunt. This is a long video, but quite interesting in my opinion:

AT Gold river hunt with Beau and Dan in Civil War campaign area. Recovery of Spanish real, Confederate Gardner and Enfield bullets, artillery pieces, musket barrel, and more.

09 September 2011

Judah Maccabee Related To William Wallace?

I didn't know that. But, in any event, it appears Mel Gibson is back. After several rather bizarre and drunken meltdowns and personal problems, the legendary actor, director, and producer appears to be on the verge of producing what looks like yet another amazing movie related to history. This follows Gibson's history-related blockbusters, The Passion of the Christ, The Patriot, and Braveheart - all excellent, inspiring movies. This one looks like it has the potential to be every bit as good as Gibson's past work:

"Maccabee teamed with his father and four brothers to lead the Jewish revolt against the Greek-Syrian armies that had conquered Judea in the second century B.C. . . He [Gibson] has long wanted to make this film about heroic Jews, and it was discussed even when he was under fire after his drunken anti-Semitic rant during a 2006 Malibu arrest. Maccabee’s triumph and struggle against tyranny and oppression where people gave their lives so that others would be free to worship is celebrated by Jews all over the world through Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. This subject matter is a decided departure for the filmmaker famous for directing The Passion of the Christ. But in a way the subject matter is in his wheelhouse: Maccabee is a close cousin to William Wallace, leader of the Scottish rebellion against the British in Braveheart, the film that brought Gibson two Oscars: for Best Picture and Best Director."

". . . struggle against tyranny and oppression . . ." Hmmm, sounds like an ancient version of the Tea Party. I wonder who will play the role of the sniping, know-nothing historians and ruling class elites? As this piece notes, this is "an unexpected and intriguing subject." Personally, I can't wait.

08 September 2011

History For Canting Ideologues

". . . in these dreariest of days in Academia . . . American history has largely become a plaything for canting ideologues . . . our times call for a correct ideological line, which at its increasingly popular extreme regards the Old South as a rehearsal for Nazi Germany and calls for the eradication of all traces of the conservative voices that have loomed so large in southern history . . . [There is a] step-by-step domination of departments of history in our southern as well as northern universities by those who regard what Richard Weaver aptly called the Southern Tradition and all its works as an evil past to be exorcised by all means, fair and foul." ~ Eugene D. Genovese (The Southern Front - History and Politics in the Cultural War, page 25.)

Can anyone, with a straight face, argue this isn't fact? Isn't this "exorcism" a common thread which runs through many Civil War blogs, some quite obvious, others more subtle? The Flat-Earthers will continue to deny.

07 September 2011

Lessons For Academia

Attention man-made global warming believers: Please stand over there with the flat-earth folks.

Partisan politics in your field of expertise will eventually catch up with you. Even the National Journal of Science is not immune from the reality of facts.

After 20 years of academic supremacy and hundreds of billions of dollars of costs; the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory seems headed for the dust bin of history. Perhaps the admirable action of the Nature Journal of Science to place scientific integrity above partisan politics will be a valuable lesson for the scientific community in the future.
"Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!" ~ Sir Walter Scott

I (as well as many others) have been pointing out here for months - no years - that man-made global warming was a farce being shoved down our throats by members of the ruling class in academia and government for more of our money and more control over our lives, as well as to somehow bring meaning to their own lives.  

There are those in academia doing the same thing with history and for many of the same reasons. 

And here's yet another example of what happens when an academic realizes that facts do not always fit neatly "into a theory or a data set."

06 September 2011

Metal Detecting Post #45 - River Adventure & Stuff

Recorded on location somewhere in the Southeastern
United States . . .

05 September 2011

Honor , The Civil War, & Its Lessons

One of my most anticipated subscriptions is North South Trader's Civil War magazine. I absolutely love it! It always features great articles about WBTS relics and metal detecting, as well as a good balance on general topics surrounding the war - without the plague of political correctness we often see in many other CW publications. It is a quality and well-respected publication; published right here in Old Virginia. The Publisher's Forum of the magazine features publisher and editor Stephen Sylvia's views on various issues surrounding the study of the Civil War. I always find his views and comments thought provoking. His latest is no exception. Here's an excerpt:

Anyone who believes the war was fought only over money, the inhumanity of human bondage, or the complexities of state vs. federal rights, misses a crucial ingredient. Regardless of the causes of the war, the men who shouldered the burden of war did so, largely, for honor. Honor strikes a primal chord in men's hearts and honor was such a defining element of the war that it continues to strike a primal chord in people around the world a century and a half later . . . We are confronted today with serious problems that seem overwhelming in their scope and complexity, but the solutions have already been written in the blood of our ancestors. We just need to look back to see them.

Since honor is so lacking in our modern culture, it is often misunderstood and overlooked by professional historians. As I once heard James Robertson point out, "Robert E. Lee never existed [in the minds of some] because we don't have a Robert E. Lee today."

It is impossible to understand the WBTS without understanding the concept of honor. It is even less likely one will be able to understand the WBTS without an appreciation for the concept of honor.

All Education Is Self-Education

From A Thomas Jefferson Education . . . the antithesis of the modern education establishment and the statism of academia:

  1. Classics, Not Textbooks
  2. Mentors, Not Professors
  3. Inspire, Not Require
  4. Structure Time, Not Content
  5. Simplicity, Not Complexity
  6. Quality, Not Conformity
  7. You, Not Them

03 September 2011

The Lost Cause Wins In Lexington . . .

. . . . in an ironic, kind of twisted way. Allow me to explain. In 1993, the Sons of Confederate Veterans sued the City of Lexington over the city's banning the display of Confederate flags during a parade and rededication of the Stonewall Jackson statue in the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery (owned by the City of Lexington). The SCV won; quite handily. It was, in street terms, a smackdown. As a matter of fact a FEDERAL judge issued an injunction against the city and awarded the SCV (symbolically) one dollar (not Confederate money, by the way). The court also awarded the plaintiffs $3142.75 for attorney's fees. (That would be taxpayer money, by the way.)

The federal court order and injunction read, in part:

permanent injunction shall be entered under which neither the City of Lexington nor any individual, corporation, association or other person or entity under its supervision or within its control, or the employee(s), officer(s), agent(s), or successor(s) in interest of any such person or entity may deny or abridge the right of the plaintiff organization and its members, and of any other person subject to the jurisdiction or authority of the parties enjoined hereby to wear, carry, display or show, at any government-sponsored or government-controlled place or event which is to any extent given over to private expressive activity, the Confederate flag, or other banners, emblems, icons or visual depictions designed to bring into public notice any logo of "stars and bars" that ever was used as a national or battle flag of the Confederacy." [All emphasis is mine.]

Now, a few observations . . . the federal court made its will quite clear. The City of Lexington was permanently forbidden from preventing the display of the Confederate flag (any of them), on any "government-controlled place."

The ordinance recently passed by the City of Lexington did precisely that very thing - in direct and willful violation of a federal judge's order. Now, certain members of Lexington City Council and government have argued, "Oh, but this ordinance was not specifically targeting the Confederate flag - this applies to all non-governmental flags." That is, shall we say, less than honest. The issue that prompted the ordinance was the display of the Second National Confederate flag during Lee-Jackson Day festivities earlier this year. That is common knowledge. I've been told that even certain members of Lexington city council have admitted that - until they were told to shut up by the city attorney.

While the city's argument may comply with the letter of the law, it does not comply with the spirit of the law. Everyone knows what prompted this ordinance. It's been very public. It's well known. It's been all over the news and hotly debated for weeks. If the City of Lexington persists in that ridiculous argument, they are simply making fools of themselves and revealing that they are willing to lie for their cause. Of course, these are politicians, so that really should come as no surprise. Some may be convinced of the city's argument, but most know better.

Whether or not it will be convincing in a courtroom setting before a federal judge who will, of course, be able to read the standing injunction, is quite another matter.

So why do I say the Lost Cause wins in Lexington? It's simple. Because local authorities are thumbing their noses at the will of the federal government - just like they did in 1861. And, for now, in passing this flag ordinance, the local government has won. Southern states passed ordinances of secession at the beginning of the WBTS - the same way the City of Lexington just passed their ordinance. The City of Lexington "seceded" from the court order, so to speak. Since part of the "cause" of the "Lost Cause" was defying the federal government, one could argue that spirit lives on with the Lexington City Council. Interesting how history often repeats itself, isn't it? 

And, one more thing on this issue. There is a lot of misinformation about this issue coming from the usual sources - certain academic Civil War blogs. So let's correct one particular item regarding the public comments at the council meeting regarding the vote and the "will of the people":

This secession ordinance will not be challenged with armies as was the case in 1861. No, this will be challenged in court of law. I wonder if the same side will win this time?

02 September 2011

Real Men Are Southerners

According to a recent study, the "manliest cities" are located overwhelmingly in the South. As a matter of fact, the top 3 are all quintessential Southern cities - #1- Nashville, #2 - Charlotte, #3 - Oklahoma City (OK, #3 may be a bit more Western than Southern, but it still qualifies)

Even more striking is the fact that out of the top 14 , 9 are Southern towns. Not one from the wimpy northeast. No surprise there. ;o)

More here.

Coming soon - The Lost Cause Wins in Lexington

01 September 2011

"Eminent Scholars" Dispute Jefferson/Hemings Relationship

"In a book due out Thursday, eminent scholars say it’s unlikely that Thomas Jefferson fathered Sally Hemings‘ children, disputing a decade’s worth of conventional wisdom that the author of the Declaration of Independence sired offspring with one of his slaves."

Story here.

George Patton On Reading History

"To be a successful soldier you must know history. Read it objectively–dates and even the minute details of tactics are useless. What you must know is how man reacts. Weapons change but man who uses them changes not at all. To win battles you do not beat weapons–you beat the soul of man of the enemy man. To do that you have to destroy his weapons, but that is only incidental. You must read biography and especially autobiography. If you will do it you will find that war is simple. Decide what will hurt the enemy most within the limits of your capabilities to harm him and then do it. TAKE CALCULATED RISKS. That is quite different from being rash. My personal belief is that if you have a 50% chance take it because the superior fighting qualities of American soldiers lead by me will surely give you the extra 1% necessary."

Obviously, General Patton embraced the exceptionalism of the American soldier. More on that topic coming soon. 

General Patton was the grandson of Confederate Colonel George S. Patton, Jr.