30 June 2011

Michelle Bachmann Doesn't Have A Clue

Yesterday, Tea Party favorite Michelle Bachmann, told a potential voter that the media just wants to see:

". . .  two girls come together and have a mud wrestling fight, and I am not going to give that to them." 

Is she crazy, or what?! Does she really think President Obama is going to mud wrestle her? Good grief.

29 June 2011

Trashing The Founders

"Here's my hypothesis about people who use slavery to trash the Founders: They have contempt for our constitutional guarantees of liberty. Slavery is merely a convenient moral posturing tool as they try to reduce respect for our Constitution." ~ Dr. Walter Williams

28 June 2011

The CSA Siezes Castle Pickney Again - Well, Sorta

The first time the Confederates siezed it by military force. This time, their descendants are paying $10 for it. (I hope they use 2 Five's).

Castle Pinckney in Charleston Harbor was the first Union fortification seized by Confederate forces on the eve of the Civil War. And now there's hope that the Sons of Confederate Veterans will reclaim and preserve the crumbling, historic structure. The State Ports Authority board on Tuesday agreed to give what remains of the round, brick fortress to the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1269, for a token payment of $10.
"Our ultimate aim is to preserve this facility in a respectful and dignified way, to provide a visible link to the past for future generations in the Charleston area," Snow said. "The fort is a part of our Lowcountry heritage and will be honored as such by the Fort Sumter Camp of the SCV."

The SCV continues its heritage and tradition of preserving the rich history of the Confederate South. More here.

27 June 2011

Follow Up To Rural Is Better For The Brain

The great divide . . .

". . . Louv argues that the Baby Boomer generation, those born between 1946 and 1964, “may constitute the last generation of Americans to share an intimate, familial attachment to land and water.” Even if Baby Boomers didn’t grow up on a ranch or a farm themselves, they often had a grandparent who had a piece of land, a place that could go visit and get a taste of the wild.

The Art of Manliness recently posted a piece that dovetails quite nicely with my recent link to some research which confirms what most know instinctively - living in the country, or rural areas, is much better for your health - both physical and mental. It also connects to what I've written before about "a sense of place" (which some academics mocked - probably because they don't understand the concept). These facts have all kinds of implications and, as I already noted, explain a whole lot of American society's ills, as well as how our Nation has divided, historically, along the rural/urban line. As part of the baby-boomer generation, I found the article quite interesting and have, in recent days, contemplated much of what the article brings to light. The piece opens all kinds of avenues for further discussion: history, politics, health, faith, etc. I'll likely have more to say about all this later. Read the piece here

25 June 2011

The Tea Party & The Wisdom Of Our Founders

"Scorn directed at Tea Party groups for their interest in our Founders is out of step with respected philosophy and science.  American grassroots organizations are headed in the right direction for the right reasons using the right methods.  The Elites are out of step . . . The Tea Party Movement is driven by Americans' instinctive belief in the power of common sense, the power of civil dialogue, and the wisdom of our Founders.  The Movement intends to move America back to the best it ever was and then make it better.  It has the tools.  None of it is untested theory.  All of it is based on science, i.e., observations and careful reasoning."

24 June 2011

Big Education & Big Publishing - Their Days Are Numbered

I posted some comments the other day about the eventual demise of large, institutional, brick and mortar universities. Technology is making this possible. The world's libraries are available to anyone in the most remote parts of the world who owns a $250 laptop and a $40 a month air card. As further evidence as to how the internet, technology, and free markets have revolutionized education and, by association, the world of publishing, I would direct you to this article:

An entrepreneur has turned the writing world upside down by becoming the first author to sell more than a million electronic books without a publishing deal. 

How? Ebooks. Now, ebooks aren't for everyone. I've never read one. I prefer to hold the book in my hand. Old school, admittedly, but I believe there will be a market for printed books for many years to come. However, for sheer economic reasons, the ebook is here to stay and makes reading more available to more people. One of the reasons I like this piece, and what it means, is due to the fact it is but one more piece of evidence of how an "amateur" can run circles around the self-proclaimed "experts" - all the while the "experts" don't have a clue, yet continue to talk to themselves about how smart they are. Reminds me so much of the Civil War blogosphere. Read the article here.

The Tea Party Produces Courage

Metal Detecting Post #39 - Ancient Greek Coin In Virginia!

One of my e-quaintances, a young man and fellow SCV member/relic hunter who goes by the screen name of "Sentinel", recently found this coin in eastern Virginia while using a metal detector and hunting for Civil War relics. Amazing.

Ptolemy V, Epiphanes - King of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt 204-180 B.C.
Bronze 26mm (18.15 grams) Struck circa 193-180 B.C.
Reference: Sear 7879; Svoronos 1233; B.M.C. 6.93,67-8
Head of Cleopatra I, as Isis right; hair in formal curls
and wreathed with corn.
Eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open.

23 June 2011

Rural Is Better For The Brain

Wow. This explains a whole lot of things.

Photo by Richard G. Williams, Jr.

Scientists have confirmed what every urbanite has long suspected – life in the city is more stressful. Researchers have shown that the parts of the brain dealing with stress and emotion are affected by living among the crowds. The findings help shed light on why those who are born and raised in urban areas are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and schizophrenia than those brought up in the countryside.

More here.

More For Less

"Thirty years from now the big university campuses will be relics. Universities won't survive. It's as large a change as when we first got the printed book. Do you realize that the cost of higher education has risen as fast as the cost of health care? . . . Such totally uncontrollable expenditures, without any visible improvement in either the content or the quality of education, means that the system is rapidly becoming untenable. Higher education is in deep crisis. . . . Already we are beginning to deliver more lectures and classes off campus via satellite or two-way video at a fraction of the cost. The college won't survive as a residential institution. Today's buildings are hopelessly unsuited and totally unneeded." (Robert Lenzner and Stephen S. Johnson, "Seeing things as they really are," Forbes, March 10, 1997)

22 June 2011

Grandpa Campout 2011

(Click to enlarge)
Last Friday night and Saturday, my wife and I hosted our annual "Grandpa Campout." Each year we have as many of our grandchildren as can attend, stay at our home. This is typically done around Father's Day. We have a bonfire, cookout, homemade ice-cream (this year with our own homegrown, freshly-picked raspberries), enjoy games (this year shooting each other with bow and arrows), fireworks, and then camp out on our porch after watching a movie under the stars. I try to pick one that teaches some positive values. This year, we all watched the old Disney version of Swiss Family Robinson. It was a great and memory making time! This is a photo of me, along with 10 of my 15 grandchildren. I also regaled them all with stories of Indians and arrowheads, David and Goliath, and Yankees and Rebels - as much to my enjoyment as theirs. I suppose, after telling and hearing stories like that, a group of academics will want to psycho-analyze all of us. ;o)

21 June 2011

McCullough On Higher Learning - "It's Shocking"

Yeah, I know. I've been saying the same thing for quite some time now.

America's historian, David McCullough, recently revealed his thoughts on the current state of America's "esteemed institutions of higher learning" in an interview with the Wall Street Journal:

'We're raising young people who are, by and large, historically illiterate," David McCullough tells me on a recent afternoon in a quiet meeting room at the Boston Public Library. Having lectured at more than 100 colleges and universities over the past 25 years, he says, "I know how much these young people—even at the most esteemed institutions of higher learning—don't know." Slowly, he shakes his head in dismay. "It's shocking."

Of course, McCullough is no right-wing pundit simply railing against the ruling elite. He's a respected, Pulitzer prize winning (twice) historian in his own right. His concerns and warnings should be given serious consideration by all of us, particularly those in academia who claim to love their craft; yet who would normally be among the first to poo-poo most of McCullough's concerns. Let me take just a moment to highlight some of the points raised in the WSJ piece:

McCullough makes this observation:

"History is often taught in categories—women's history, African American history, environmental history—so that many of the students have no sense of chronology. They have no idea what followed what."
As a fellow history blogger and a Civil War historian confided in me some time ago, it is difficult for historians to get advanced degrees in military history by focusing on battles and leaders. Much of the subject matter in the field has been exhausted. Thus, they now focus more on the "social aspect" of history - class, "gender" issues, race, etc. Case in point - read these recent posts (here and here) at Civil War Memory and see how the comments immediately gravitated to discussions on the abuses of "white men in power", race, sexuality, and discrimination against women. First, those commenting come off sounding like lab technicians examining something they don't quite understand (a different perspective and memory of the antebellum South) under a microscope. But put them under the microscope and examine their comments and thought processes as they discuss the topic and you'll kinda get an idea of what McCullough is talking about. Academic historians tend to gravitate to these issues because that's what their classes and professors focused on. They seem predisposed to head in that direction.

McCullough also brings up a point discussed often here - but, again, poo-pooed by complicit (and deceitful) academics:

What's more, many textbooks have become "so politically correct as to be comic. Very minor characters that are currently fashionable are given considerable space, whereas people of major consequence farther back"—such as, say, Thomas Edison—"are given very little space or none at all."
One well known Civil War blogger went so far once in dismissing PC concerns as to say he didn't even know what political correctness meant. Really? 

Again, McCullough raises a point I've raised as well:

"And they're so badly written. They're boring! Historians are never required to write for people other than historians."
You can read the complete WSJ piece here. You might also be interested in this recent post on the same subject matter.

20 June 2011

Global Citizenship or American Exceptionalism?

CITIZENSHIP, n. The state of being vested with the rights and privileges of a citizen. (From Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary.)

There is no ruling/governing "global" authority that vests one with "rights and privileges." Thus, the concept of being a "global citizen" is meaningless. Just more leftist, utopian, feel-good, "let's all hold hands and sing Kumbaya" gobbledygook. You are either the citizen of a particular sovereign nation/state or you're not. It's that simple.

Words mean things. Try putting "global" in the citizenship blank on a passport application and see what that gets you. I'll give you a hint - it won't get you a passport. Nations (most of them anyway), want to know where you come from. Utopia is not a nation any more than "global" is. "We are the world" is for make believe.

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one 
~ John Lennon

I think I'll pass.

**Update: You're welcome Michael. Actually, this was written before I read your post. Our hero, Stonewall Jackson, would refer to the timing as Divine Providence. ;o)


We Must Set Aside Old Myths

"Setting myths aside, a review of the Civil War era strongly suggests that economics, not a moral crusade, brought on the war and shaped its aftermath. More specifically, an examination of this period indicates that the evolution of the Northern and Southern economies was the most important factor producing the conflict . . . Now more than ever we must set aside old myths. Economics more than high moral concerns produced the Civil War." ~ Professor Marc Egnal

15 June 2011

Peeking Inside The Ivory Tower

I've been criticized here on a number of occasions by other bloggers for my frequent criticism of academia. One infamous CW blogger claimed I had no right to criticize since I was an "outsider." This same blogger often criticizes the Sons of Confederate Veterans, though he is an outsider to that organization. The same can be said of those who criticize the Tea Party - they're outsiders. I suppose being an outsider in these cases are ok. What's good for the goose . . . ?

In any event, one insider has given us some reason why those on the inside of academia don't like scrutiny and criticism. Academic insider, Dr. Ronald L. Trowbridge, who is a former vice president of Hillsdale College, posted a rather scathing indictment of certain academics today at BigGovernment.com. Trowbridge's comments center around a battle raging in Texas over more transparency regarding colleges and universities, as well as a recent study on the productivity (accountability) of faculty. Here are a few choice excerpts from Trowbridge's piece:

  • A firestorm now rages in Texas over transparency and accountability in higher education. Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Public Policy Foundation have encouraged regents to peek inside the ivory towers, and the universities are responding. History argues that we must peek.
  • “Four-year graduation rates at Texas institutions of higher education currently average just 28.6 percent.”
  • “academic presses now publish books selling fewer than 300 copies,” and he quotes a humanities editor as saying that “the demands of productivity are leading to the production of much more nonsense.”
  • The Economist reports that “senior professors in Ivy League universities now get sabbaticals every third year rather than every seventh. This year, 20 of Harvard’s history professors will be on leave.” Perhaps one reason universities may not want regents to peek inside the ivory tower is that it’s somewhat empty . . .
You can read the complete piece here.

I Am Not A Citizen Of The World

Apolitical history blogger Michael Aubrecht, marches on with his rants against the right while he continues to ignore the socialists currently in charge. See here and here. Quite amazing to watch.

It will be interesting to read Michael's "citizen of the world" post. After previously claiming the Founders were socialists and progressives, I think he's now suggesting that he's going to assign the "citizen of the world" title to them as well. That particular subject will also be addressed in an upcoming post here as it relates to our history and academic historians.

How Are The Education Experts Doing?

No so hot:

The results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress revealed that U.S. schoolchildren have made little progress since 2006 in their understanding of key historical themes, including the basic principles of democracy and America's role in the world.
"the basic principles of democracy and America's role in the world?" Gee, that kinda sounds like American Exceptionalism, doesn't it? As you'll see in an upcoming post, the "experts" are anything but. Story here.

Perhaps educating children is best left to the amateurs:

Homeschool student achievement test scores are exceptionally high. The mean scores for every subtest (which are at least the 80th percentile) are well above those of public school students.

14 June 2011

Metal Detecting Post #38 - What We Walk Over

My metal detecting and relic research partner, Doug Hill, recently did some detecting along the South River near my hometown of Waynesboro, Virginia. Doug actually hunted in the river and didn't find much besides modern trash. However, the gentleman accompanying him that day did find something. His cohort stayed on the sandy bank of the river and found this button. It dates to the 17th century! According to one source, this button is a copper alloy and "post medieval." Given the city's history and founding, finding this button in that area is not all that surprising when you think about it. But the fact it's survived over 300 years and has been lying just beneath the surface is, in my mind, quite fascinating. Thanks Doug for passing this along. When this posts I will, Lord willin', be swinging a metal detector at some remote and historic location here in the Shenandoah Valley. Maybe, just maybe, I'll find something as interesting as this button.

The Stonewall Brigade Band & Flag Day

Presenting the Flags

Last night, at Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton, our family continued a summer kick-off tradition by attending the Stonewall Brigade Band's annual Flag Day concert. On hand as a speaker last night was a representative of the Wounded Warrior Project. As usual, the band did a great job and our family enjoyed a relaxing summer evening featuring patriotic themes and a wonderful affirmation of American Exceptionalism. The Color Guard even presented the Gadsden Flag. Stonewall would be proud. ;o)
Granddaughters Dancing & Catching Lightning Bugs

13 June 2011

Taking Academia To Task

John Kelly took academia to task last September at the American Thinker. He echoed what I've postulated here a number of times:

"Webster's  provides a definition of academic as 'merely theoretical; having no direct practical application.'  Since there are few social or economic theories that have proven as unworkable and impractical as leftist-collectivism, it is fitting that it is currently academia's most widely ascribed-to theory." 

Which should call into question just about everything else they teach.

And . . 

"It is doubtful that history's great movers could have included leaders like our modern academics. Teaching has been long regarded as secondary in importance to actually doing."

Of course, one can't do, until one knows how. And one must be taught to know how, though one can be self-taught. He's a bit tough on the teaching profession there, but I think you get his point.

And . . .

"The academic credential itself has come to overshadow experience, individual merit, and character as a prerequisite to success.  While the academic vision once saw the university as a fountainhead of scholastic truth, it now sees itself as the force of human correction." 

Truth if I ever heard it spoken.

And . . .

"Academia is the foster parent of the entire Woodstock generation, culturally orphaned from their WW II fighting parents whose shoes they never could fill." 

Low whistle . . . I do agree with that statement, generally speaking. This generation is most definitely not made of the same stuff as was the WWII generation.

And . . . 

"Academia, via government, has become so aggrandized that it assumes the right to direct all human arguments. Citizens are to become the obedient students of a more knowing and politically correct class of elites."

Oh yes, that is most definitely true as illustrated with the criticism of the Tea Party.

You can read the piece here.

10 June 2011

Where's The Outrage?

I began posting and commenting about the Tea Party back in 2009 - long before the Johnny-Come-Lately critics trying to get noticed. I immediately recognized this movement for what it is - a truly spontaneous, citizen oriented, bottoms-up, grassroots political movement founded on America's history and greatest traditions. Though these amateurs and non-academics sometimes get their history confused, they, in the words of Professor Gordon S. Wood know more than what many give them credit for:

"The Tea Partiers are certainly not scholars, but their emotional instincts about the Revolution they are trying to remember on behalf of their cause may be more accurate than [Jill] Lepore is willing to grant." (Lepore has written an unfavorable book about the TP)

The critics either don't get this or lie about the TP. Many of these critics are "historians" so, yes, this is germane to my blog. The TP has been falsely accused of spitting on members of Congress, using racial slurs, and fomenting violence. The same critics who spread these lies conveniently ignore all the violence and bigotry taking place on the left (the recent Wisconsin protests come immediately to mind).

One of the politicians who has tapped into the TP energy in a positive way is Sarah Palin. She is a favorite target of these leftist hypocrites. They hate her. One of them recently suggested he'd like to see her assassinated - even making a joke about the Kennedy assassination. Have you heard any of these critics express any outrage? No. Why? We know why, don't we?

Somethin' I Saw Today - Post #4

Generally, the huckleberries in the foothills of the Blue Ridge don't ripen until July. However, I have one bush growing behind my garden shed that gets full sunlight all day. With (until recently) the abundance of rain, the sunlight combined to force this little harvest early. I picked these last evening. Sweet and delicious.

09 June 2011

Slavery Was Not The Cause - According To Sherman

"I am now satisfied that Slavery is not the Cause but the pretext, and that when these important defections take place, what will be the new Combinations?" ~ General William Tecumseh Sherman

Anti-American Exceptionalism

What it's really all about and why history matters:

". . . the doctrine that America, as the lone Western superpower, represented the evil nature of colonialism and capitalism's exploitation of the masses -- whether there was any truth in this assertion or that the United States was guilty of these sins was irrelevant.  The material and military success of America and the West could only have come about from expropriating the wealth and labor of the peoples of the world . . . However to the Marxist mindset of the radical left, only they, utilizing the vehicle of a massive central government, could control mankind's nature and create a fair society.  It is the ideal philosophy for those who, so enamored with themselves, can wallow in their self-importance and rule with a heavy hand the same masses they claim to protect.  Under no circumstances, therefore, can these revolutionaries defend or profess admiration for their country; instead they must not only transform the United States into a villain, but destroy any vestiges of its accomplishments in order to permanently retain control over the populace and exact revenge for the alleged transgressions of the West."

08 June 2011

A Brief Review Of True Grit - The Remake

What can I say? It has everything: Scripture quoting, an old gospel hymn as the musical score and played beautifully on the piano, one character who is a Texas Ranger and veteran from the Army of Northern Virginia, another who is a U.S. Marshal and who rode with Quantrill (both portrayed as heroes!), hangings, dialogue that sounds like it's being read from a WBTS soldier's letter, a burial in a Confederate cemetery, and lots of bad men gettin' shot dead. For me, it's made to order. Best film I've seen in years.

In a word two words - see it.

07 June 2011

On Politics & History

I've noted this before, but some folks still don't seem to get it;
soooo . . . 

This blog is about what interests me in the realm of history, culture, and faith - as I make clear at the bottom of the blog page, as well as in my header. No secrets, no "hidden" agenda. Yes, the primary focus is history and, more specifically, history related to the WBTS. But, unlike other history related blogs, I don't pretend that I don't have a particular perspective or worldview. I make my perspective and worldview abundantly clear. I want readers to know. Evidently, there are some who think that's a mistake. That's fine, but I prefer honesty and openness to feigning complete objectivity and neutrality.

Moreover, there are historians and bloggers who seem to believe that history and politics are unrelated. Absurd. History is, in great part, the story of political struggles and how we interpret and analyze those struggles and, more importantly, what we might learn from those struggles. To believe that those individuals who are most passionate about the topic of history, are not also passionate about politics and political struggles, defies logic and common sense. Frankly, it strains one's credibility.

Evidence abounds that those historians and bloggers who proclaim the loudest that they have no particular objective in approaching history (or criticize others for that same offense) are typically the ones whose agenda is most obvious. I touched on that point in this earlier post.

Now, to be clear, there are some bloggers and some historians that really try to remain as apolitical as possible, but if you'll go deeper into their postings and follow the comment strings, their perspective will manifest itself. Do I have a problem with that? No. My problem is with those who arrogantly and hypocritically claim to be "above it all" and accuse others of what they themselves are guilty. I'm preparing a couple of posts which will make this even clearer. I've promised these posts for quite some time, but they always seem to get put on the back burner. Stay tuned.

06 June 2011

FDR's D-Day Prayer - 6 June 1944

Did Paul Revere Warn The British?

Sarah Palin said he did. So does the Los-Angelas Times.

Their headline:

You know how Sarah Palin said Paul Revere warned the British? Well, he did. Now, who looks stupid?

And an excerpt:

"That the Republican non-candidate, in fact, knew more about the actual facts of Revere's midnight ride than all those idiots unknowingly revealing their own ignorance by laughing at her faux faux pas? How secretly embarrassing this must be, to be forced to face that you're dumber than the reputed dummy."

Complete story here.

And this:

"Boston University history professor Brendan McConville said, 'Basically when Paul Revere was stopped by the British, he did say to them, ‘Look, there is a mobilization going on that you’ll be confronting,’ and the British are aware as they’re marching down the countryside, they hear church bells ringing — she was right about that — and warning shots being fired. That’s accurate." ~ From the Boston Herald

And Cornell law professor William Jacobson writes:

". . . Revere did in fact tell the British that the colonial militias, who had been alerted, were waiting for them . . . Palin's short statement on the video was less than clear; that sometimes happens but the part of the statement which has people screaming -- that Revere warned the British that the colonial militias were waiting -- appears to be true."

05 June 2011

Kent Masterson Brown & The Tea Party

Most students of the WBTS are familiar with the work of Kent Masterson Brown. A graduate of Washington & Lee University and a successful attorney, Brown is also an accomplished historian:

Mr. Brown was the creator and first editor of the magazine, The Civil War. He is the author of several books, including, Cushing of Gettysburg: The Story of a Union Artillery Commander, Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1993 (a History Book Club selection and recipient of the Award of Merit from the Wisconsin Historical Society) and The Civil War in Kentucky: Battle for the Bluegrass State, Mason City: Savas, 2000. He reissued and re-illustrated A.D. Kirwan’s Johnny Green of the Orphan Brigade through the University Press of Kentucky in 2002; it was recipient of the Basil W. Duke Award for the best reprint of the year. Mr. Brown’s most recent book, Retreat from Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics and the Pennsylvania Campaign, was released in April of 2005 by the University of North Carolina Press and has received rave reviews. It is a selection of the History Book Club and Military Book Club and has been awarded the 2005 Bachelder-Coddington Award, the 2005 United States Army Historical Foundation Award for Distinguished Writing in History and the 2005 Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. Literary Prize. He has written numerous articles for scholarly historical journals, and regularly leads Civil War battlefield tours. Mr. Brown is a highly-sought-after speaker, and he lectures on Civil War history all across the nation. Twice a year, Mr. Brown conducts walking tours of Civil War battlefields.
I've had the pleasure of hearing him speak several times. His talks are as informative as they are entertaining. Brown has another interesting aspect - he's an avid supporter of the Tea Party. As Michael Aubrecht and I continue to debate his criticisms of the TP, Michael has suggested the TP is made up solely of Bubbas, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Bachmann. Not quite. Take a few minutes and listen to an excerpt from Mr. Brown's speech in Richmond, KY at a Tea Party rally couple of years ago. More on this topic in the days to come.

03 June 2011

Metal Detecting Post #37 - Upcoming Hunts

Just a heads up about some historic sites I'll be hunting in the coming weeks. The summer months are tough on relic hunters - snakes, mosquitos, tall weeds and brush, ticks and the heat - all make an already tough avocation even tougher. But when the fire is in the belly, it must be quenched!

So, here's what's set on the table for the rest of the summer:

  • I just received permission to hunt a 100+ acre farm which dates to the mid-1700's. This farm, located in the Shenandoah Valley, is still owned by descendants who received the original land grant from the King of England. It's history includes both Revolutionary War and War Between the States activity. Confederate soldiers camped on the site and the owner once found a colonial period bayonet on the property. I'm very excited about the potential. I hope to do an initial scan of the property within the next few days.
  • I'm still not finished at Stoney Point (Robert Lewis Dabney's home), but the last time I was by there, they'd not made the first cutting of hay. I'll be back.
  • I recently received permission to hunt another colonial home site. The site is located in the foothills on the western slope of the Blue Ridge mountains with a very old roadbed close by. Neither the home site nor the road show on any maps I've thus far seen. I believe the site to be very old. I've hunted it very briefly once and found some 18th or 19th century pottery pieces. I hope to get back there soon.
  • I'm also in the process of getting permission to hunt near another rather significant battlefield here in the Valley - on private property of course.
All of these hunts will (assuming I find something) include video of live digs and recoveries, as well as identifying the finds. Stay tuned. Its shaping up to be a great summer!

There Is No Left Wing Radicalism In Our Public Schools

Keep saying that over and over and, soon, you will be back in Kansas.

Yearbook causes controversy after it names George W. Bush in list of 'worst people' of all time

(Along with Hitler, Bin Laden, & Charles Manson.)

Well, at least we can thank God Gaia, we don't have prayer and the Bible in public schools anymore. By the way, my file on this subject titled "anecdotal evidence" is full. Anyone got some spare filing space I can borrow?

02 June 2011

Professor Gordon S. Wood & The Tea Party Originals

Wood's remarks reflect a perspective on the modern Tea Party movement much different than the "sameism" which we are subjected to on a daily basis from many of the the cookie-cutter academic historians; as well as those trying to impress them. I don't agree, necessarily, with everything Wood says in this interview, but his remarks are thought provoking and respectful of the Tea Party and their identification (albeit imperfect) with the Founders. Moreover, his remarks regarding one's "political agenda" are refreshingly honest. Listen here.

Confederate Monument Effort At Antietam

Fellow history blogger Scott Manning was kind enough to send me an email informing me of Brian Schoeneman's goal to place a Confederate monument at Antietam. As Scott pointed out, Brian is a candidate for the House of Delegates here in Virginia. Scott recently "took Brian to school" following in "the steps of Robert E. Lee’s Maryland Campaign (1862) and the crucial battles at South Mountain, Harpers Ferry, and Antietam."

You can read Scott's very interesting post about his and Brian's adventure here

Here's an excerpt about Brian's desire to see another Confederate monument at Antietam:

I asked Brian if he was surprised at the lack of Confederate monuments. “Actually, I am. It kinda annoys me. There are about a zillion Union monuments here. Granted, the North took more casualties at Antietam, but they had more guys to lose.” He recalled one of the informational markers he read, “The Army of Northern Virginia lost about a quarter of their strength and the Army of the Potomac lost about an eighth. It was much harder for the South to replace those casualties than it was for the North.” Brian clarified that, if elected, he planned to introduce legislation next year to place a Virginia state monument on the battlefield in commemoration of the sesquicentennial. I pointed out that such a move could backfire if not done properly and he interrupted me, “There’s nothing political about recognizing that folks in the army of the state that I’m from fought here and died here. They deserve to be remembered regardless of what side they fought on and it bothers me there is nothing here, because I know there are plenty at Gettysburg.”

Since this is a Federal, and not a State park, I'm not sure how introducing legislation in the Virginia state legislature would make this happen, other than offering an affirming resolution and offering funding. Regardless, I support Brian's efforts. According to the National Park Service, there are 96 monuments at Antietam, 6 of which are Confederate. That does seem just a bit out of balance, doesn't it?

01 June 2011

Repeating History

"If during Queen Victoria's Jubilee in 1887 had a person suggested that England would become a third-rate nation and later challenged on the high seas by a sixth-rate nation (Argentina), he would have been declared insane. One chief causal factor for the decline of these former great nations is what has been described as 'bread and circuses,' where government spends money for the shallow and immediate wants of the population, and civic virtue all but disappears. For the past half-century, our nation has been doing precisely what brought down other great nations. We might have now reached the point of no return. If so, do we deserve it?" ~ Dr. Walter Williams

The "experts" are calling the Tea Party folks insane today. They're actually much more aware and better at analyzing history than their ill-informed critics.