30 November 2012

Who Was Really In America First?

As a very amateur local archeologist, I spend quite a lot of time roaming the woods and fields of Old Virginia as I explore and relic hunt. I often come across unusual objects and sites. But, thus far, I've never seen anything like what's presented in the video below. 

Quite *fascinating . . . 

*I do not agree with all his political statements and conclusions, though there is an element of truth in some of those as well, but that's for another time. I posted this solely for the archeological content.

29 November 2012

Academia: More Flagrant Hypocrisy

More of that durn persistent "anecdotal evidence" about the left-wing radicalism that defines 21st academia in America:

Butler University. Where white means bad, male means bad, heterosexual means bad, American means bad. And the University saw that it was good.

This is almost parallel universe stuff but, actually, it's worse. It's hate-inspired. It's the very worst type of ugly prejudices academia ostensibly opposes. Hypocrites. Of course we know, based on academics that *used to come here and deny this, that a professor's political views rarely influence teaching. Liars.

More here.

*I'd love for an academic to come here and defend this, but they won't. I think they finally realized the empirical evidence revealed them for what they are. Once again, these folks don't live up to their own standards.

Direct Hit On The Nail Head

Just a couple of excerpts:

academia, numerous think-tanks, so-called non-government organizations, and lobbyists who fasten onto those in the administration and Congress for employment, grants, favorable legislation and ego-gratification;  
And . . .

The United States finds itself in a circumstance once thought unthinkable. An ill-educated and near morally bankrupt society increasingly made up of those dependent on government combined with a governing class whose primary interest is themselves. The nation cannot, therefore, make any meaningful course correction unless and until the people finally understand they have been lied to and conned by the current establishment.  That will, in all likelihood, not occur until America faces imminent collapse and the citizenry turns on those who brought the nation to its knees.

At which time, they'll find someone to blame other than themselves. More here at the American Thinker.
The United States finds itself in a circumstance once thought unthinkable. An ill-educated and near morally bankrupt society increasingly made up of those dependent on government combined with a governing class whose primary interest is themselves. The nation cannot, therefore, make any meaningful course correction unless and until the people finally understand they have been lied to and conned by the current establishment.  That will, in all likelihood, not occur until America faces imminent collapse and the citizenry turns on those who brought the nation to its knees.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/11/the_governing_class_and_the_decline_of_america.html#ixzz2Dcl8xef7

academia, numerous think-tanks, so-called non-government organizations, and lobbyists who fasten onto those in the administration and Congress for employment, grants, favorable legislation and ego-gratification;  

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/11/the_governing_class_and_the_decline_of_america.html#ixzz2Dckp9sqg

28 November 2012

YouTube Milestone!

Today I hit a 100 subscribers to my YouTube Relic Hunting channel! Whooppee.

Transform Education - Just A Mouse Click Away

I enjoy keeping up with learning (vs. "education") trends. Since my wife and I were involved in the early pioneer stages of homeschooling here in Virginia and since all 15 (soon to be 16, Lord willin') of my grandchildren are being homeschooled to one degree or another,  learning is very important to me.

The following is a great idea - as long as homeschooling parents would be allowed to compete in the All-Star educator competition. Anyone have a problem with that? You shouldn't. My wife and I, along with all my children, are entitled to be considered "educators" every bit as much as someone teaching at the high school level and in possession of a Master's degree in education. We've got the successful track record to prove it.

It’s an idea so simple and so transformational it’s stunning it hasn’t already been implemented nationally.

Here it is: film America’s greatest K-12 teachers delivering their lessons and put them online in a one-stop shop website for students, parents, and young teachers to watch and learn from for free.
Imagine the possibilities and benefits. 

More here.

27 November 2012

Preview To My Review Of The Lost Gold Of The Republic

Back in September, I noted what was on my nightstand for reading. Lost Gold of the Republic was on top of the stack. Well, I finished the book a few weeks ago and have been wanting to put up a full review, but just haven't taken the time. I hope to finally post that review by week's end. In the meantime, I would suggest readers and lovers of history and adventure read this piece about the book's central character, Greg Stemm. After becoming familiar with Stemm through the book and the Discovery Channel's Treasure Quest program, I've come to be a great admirer. Philosophically, Stemm and I have a lot in common. I'll talk more about that in the book review. Here's a couple of excerpts from the bio piece about Stemm:

A fusion of Jacques Cousteau, Ernest Hemingway and Donald Trump, the 52-year-old is Chairman of Odyssey Marine Exploration (OME), which specialises in finding treasure-laden wrecks. Stemm has the precise handshake and manners of a Southern gentleman, but when we meet in London he is itching to get back to his diesel-smelling dive ship Odyssey Explorer in Cornwall, and what he calls “mucking about on the ocean”. And while he denies being a bounty hunter, he admits having no problem “marrying archaeology with a business model”.

Ah, yes, "mucking around" - one of my favorite pass times - although I do most of my mucking on dry ground.

And . . .

“The deal is this,” he tells me. “We pay for all the exploration and recovery costs, conservation and publication and then 80 per cent of the value of everything we find up to $45 million comes to Odyssey, then it’s 50-50 up to $500 million then 60 per cent in favour of the British Government above that. If they want the entire collection, then they write us a cheque. It’s a very good model. It’s not unlike if you find something with a metal detector in your backyard.” [Definitely another reason to admire Mr. Stemm.]

Stay tuned for the book review.

25 November 2012

A Civil War Ballad ~ "Josephine"

Many modern "Civil War ballads" fail to depict many of the realities of the WBTS. This one does not.

23 November 2012

Academia: Thanksgiving Equals White Supremism And Our Founders Were Nazis

Despite our Nation's national sins (all nations have them, you know), the Founding Fathers planted the seed of liberty in our founding documents and principles which enabled the United States to become the freest and greatest nation on earth. Yet academia's systemic hatred for America's cultural traditions and her Judeo-Christian heritage is reaching a fevered pitch. The volume in the echo chamber created by academia, big government, and the mainstream media grows with each election cycle and each major holiday. As many Americans tend to view these opinions as alien caricatures of values which they hold dear, the kooks on the left become more and more frenzied in their effort to "fundamentally transform" America. Case in point: A recent link on the Drudge Report led to a link about an article by a professor at the University of Texas.

In this piece, the author states:

Thanksgiving is the day when the dominant white culture (and, sadly, most of the rest of the non-white but non-indigenous population) celebrates the beginning of a genocide that was, in fact, blessed by the men we hold up as our heroic founding fathers.
And further writes:

How does a country deal with the fact that some of its most revered historical figures had certain moral values and political views virtually identical to Nazis?

Of course, such shallow analysis and views aren't all that new. Most of us realize that such views are the offspring of 1960's radicalism. Many of those radicals now hold positions of power in academia, government and the media and their worldview is dominant - at least within those institutions. But what's troubling is that this mindset is being foisted upon the minds of America's youth - at all levels of our educational system and often without the knowledge of parents. For example, it was recently reported that some Texas schools are teaching students that the Boston Tea Party was an "act of terrorism." 

News report: New Act of Terrorism
A local militia, believed to be a terrorist organization, attacked the property of private citizens today at our nation’s busiest port. Although no one was injured in the attack, a large quantity of merchandise, considered to be valuable to its owners and loathsome to the perpetrators, was destroyed. The terrorists, dressed in disguise and apparently intoxicated, were able to escape into the night with the help of local citizens who harbor these fugitives and conceal their identities from the authorities. It is believed that the terrorist attack was a response to the policies enacted by the occupying country’s government. Even stronger policies are anticipated by the local citizens.

The article also notes:

Several parents from different locations in Texas have independently confirmed that parents are not permitted to access the lessons being taught in the classrooms. There is a “Parent’s Portal” available online, but the content differs greatly from the lesson plans we have seen.

Like the academics that used to come here and challenge my assertion that America's educational institutions are promoting a far-left agenda - when they thought they would be able to do so without losing the argument. These "educators" have to hide and lie about what they're doing so that parents won't complain and interrupt their little social engineering plans. Giving the benefit of the doubt, I suppose some of the deniers are just ignorant instead of complicit. But regardless, do not ever forget, what's going on in American education is not really history, it is sociology - more specifically, social engineering to the detriment of our founding principles. 

As a writer at the American Thinker pointed out:

Government monopoly of public education has facilitated a cultural shift since the era of the Great Society. Schools teach students to feign rational approaches to problem solving and filter decisions through emotions. How does it make you feel implementing your solution? Public education rewards effort over results, because it is not fair that students have different skills or abilities -- it's not your grades that count but how you feel about your attempts to pursue them! History is no longer about facts but is taught from an emotional perspective. America enslaved Africans to farm land stolen from the indigenous people. You shouldn't feel good about that nor should you be proud to be American.
Of course, we know this worldview isn't only being promoted through the teaching of colonial American history. Readers of this blog also know that this perspective permeates modern Civil War historiography as well. It is a common thread among the court historians. 
And we know the "Nazi" charge is becoming all the rage with many of these folks. The other day, I came across a very salient comment in a review about Professor David Blight's Civil War focused, Race and Reunion:

The reason to read this book is to understand how many in the academic world always look for the worst in American society. In many ways it is not about the history of the reunion of the North and South after the Civil War. It is a deep seated view that America is permanently tainted by racism and other deep flaws of character. Unfortunately, many have taken this book as a "bible" of sorts to interpret the Civil War and the brave men both North and South who fought it and then tried to make America whole again.

That reviewer, quite succinctly, reveals an important fact about much of what you read on the various Civil War and history blogs and about this whole topic.

Academics love to put many of us who hold to traditionalist views under the microscope; peering at us, examining our "antiquated" views, psycho-analyzing us, and poking us like lab rats. What most of them fail to realize, however, it that we've turned the microscope around and are examining their views. And we don't like what we see.

In the short run, traditionalists may lose this struggle - if we haven't already. Fortunately, truth will always prevail - sooner or later and often with great pain - but it will prevail. What many of these progressive historians will one day realize about history and experience is that history gives the test first, then the lesson. I suspect we will see a lot of fails.

22 November 2012

O Give Thanks

For our religious heritage . . .  

Civilization is a social contract in which the participants must agree on the terms of an orderly existence.  Those terms involve moral obligations consistent with the dominant culture.  History teaches us that great civilizations are conquered from within, perhaps because, in their striving for greatness, they neglect and abandon the principles that built their success.  Those principles are usually grounded in religion.  Before there were laws in books, there was religion in the hearts and minds of people struggling to carve a decent life out of a cruel and brutish landscape . . . We have been systematically conditioned to tolerate behavior that once would have elicited gasps from even the most seasoned exhibitionists.  It appears that we have lost our ability to be shocked.  Nevertheless, in the face of all this evidence that we are in desperate need of a spiritual Renaissance, those who strive for a rebirth of values are pejoratively referred to as members of the "religious right."  In other words, if you want a return to the days when twelve-year-olds were not having sex with their teachers, child molesters weren't soliciting children on the internet (NAMBLA), and murders didn't occur in multiples, you must be some sort of extremist.
Well, if being an extremist means having faith in a higher power and clinging to a values-based moral code, it's a label we should wear proudly.  It was worn by our ancestors when they celebrated the first Thanksgiving in the New World.

I'm with our ancestors. More here at the American Thinker.

20 November 2012

Not Everyone Loves Spielberg's Lincoln

Yes, I know, much of academia and big government (ruling class elites) types have been French kissing the new Lincoln movie. However, some of us still have our feet on the ground:

For all of the talented artists and craftspeople in front of and behind the camera, and for all of the wrongheaded decisions that were made bringing the project to fruition, "Lincoln" is easily the year's most disappointing film, a downright abysmal charade that manages to paint an uninformative, grade school-level portrait of the 16th President of the United States while casting a light of idolatry on the man, complexity and tough realism be damned.  

And that's the kind part of the review. But, certainly, grade school-level describes much of academia, so I suppose it all makes perfect sense. Read the complete review here.

19 November 2012

Where Are Our Statesmen?

Our political ruling elites have slowly, over time, morphed into wanna-be celebrities. From Obama's obnoxious, effete caricature-like appearance on "The View", to his "slow-jamming" the news, he's degraded the Office of the President to a barely juvenile level. Not to be outdone, the Republicans are jumping on the bandwagon. The bloated (I'll bet he's sad over Twinkies liquidating) New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie recently appeared on SNL. So, while citizens of his state continue to suffer terrible consequences due to Hurricane Sandy, fatty yucks it up on SNL. Where are our statesmen?

Maybe Christie could take a break from doing his own one-man non-stop comedy show to hand out some survival kits.

I recall Christie stating he didn't have time to campaign with Mitt Romney, due to Sandy's devastation. But he has time for an appearance on SNL? More here

Metal Detecting Post #90 - Southerners Invade The North

Also, in an upcoming post about my yankee ancestor, B.F. Williams, I'll reveal some amazing news I discovered recently about my ancestor and Confederate General William Mahone.

17 November 2012

16 November 2012

Secularist Progressives & Traditional America

From the "famed" Lincoln biographer . . . O'Reilly cuts to the chase:

The Oppressors Hate Monuments

Everywhere you look today, whether it's in the South, or in Egypt, the left and other oppressors of free speech wants to tear down or remove monuments. Amazing.

‘Destroy the idols,’ Egyptian jihadist calls for removal of Sphinx, Pyramids

Story here

Reminds me of this story:

In May, the court ruled that Vanderbilt could not remove the chiseled name unless it reimbursed the UDC with today’s equivalent of the $50,000 the organization raised during the Great Depression for the dormitory, which was built in 1935.

Birds of a feather . . .

Denying The Truth Makes You Look Real Stupid

Any regular reader of this blog knows I frequently write posts about academia's (and the education establishment in general) love affair with Marxist ideology.  This is certainly germane to the focus of this blog on our nation's history - and who's teaching it. Academics and educators used to come here and challenge me on that assertion. Not so much any more. I guess they finally realized the empirical evidence ("anecdotal" in their words), had become just too much to argue against and retain any semblance of credibility.

In any event, here's yet more "anecdotal" evidence of the hold radicalism now has on our educational institutions. Expect more complicity from the sheep.

This Saturday, the Midwest Marxist Conference was held at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. The event was teeming with teachers who spoke about the new found bond between the radical socialists and their Teachers Union. The all-day event, which collected money to support Chicago Socialists and featured a communist bookstore, provided students on-campus along with the radical left community to plan the next phase in their activism.

Details here.

14 November 2012

Who Wants Secession?

Red vs. Blue 2012
Professor Brooks Simpson recently pointed out all the recent calls for secession. Kevin Levin also chimed in.  So did other CW bloggers. Of course, all those now calling for secession are, ostensibly, on the right and upset over Obama's victory. I suppose Kevin, Professor Simpson, and the others missed the reaction when Bush won:

"The modern secessionist movement however has been a mostly left-wing phenomenon."

I don't seem to recall the same type of mocking posts when it was the left calling for secession. Ah yes, apolitical objectivity from the pros.

Kevin Levin thinks this is all "cute." Recent polling data suggests he might want to take a closer look:

According to a Zogby poll conducted in July [2008], more than 20% of U.S. adults -- one in five, about the same number of American Colonists who supported revolt against England in 1775 -- agreed that "any state or region has the right to peaceably secede from the United States and become an independent republic.

(See the related LA Times Op-ed piece here.)

Here are some additional findings from the poll itself:

The level of support for the right of secession was consistent in every region in the country, though the percentage was slightly higher in the South (26%) and the East (24%). The figures were also consistent for every age group, but backing was strongest among younger adults, as 40% among those age 18 to 24 and 24% among those age 25 to 34 agreed states and regions have secession rights.

And . . .

Broken down by race, the highest percentage agreeing with the right to secede was among Hispanics (43%) and African-Americans (40%).

Hmmm . . . according to this poll, the young, Hispanics, and African-Americans figure more prominently in secession sentiments. The left now claims these are all their constituencies. Does this mean Democrats support secession more so than Republicans?

It would appear so. As a matter of fact, the polling confirms:

Politically, liberal thinkers were much more likely to favor the right to secession for states and regions . . .
So, the recent "uptick in rhetoric secession" is not really all that recent. We heard the same rhetoric from the left in 2000 (twelve years ago) and 2004 (eight years ago). For example:

These sentiments were so pronounced that they migrated into the mainstream. Speaking on ‘The McLaughlin Group’ the weekend after George W. Bush’s victory, panelist Lawrence O’Donnell, a former Democratic Senate staffer, noted that blue states subsidize the red ones with their tax dollars, and said, ‘The big problem the country now has, which is going to produce a serious discussion of secession over the next 20 years, is that the segment of the country that pays for the federal government is now being governed by the people who don’t pay for the federal government.’ A shocked Tony Blankley asked him, ‘Are you calling for civil war?’ To which O’Donnell replied, ‘You can secede without firing a shot.” (This quote is from Salon Magazine, 16 November 2004.)

Also, Bob Beckel, who was at the time, a Senior political analyst for Fox News and who has also worked as a Democratic Party strategist and consultant, made the following comments after the 2004 election:

"I think now that slavery is taken care of, I’m for letting the South form its own nation. Really, I think they ought to have their own confederacy,’"Mr. Beckel said on the "Fox and Friends” program.” (This quote is from the Washington Times, 9 November 2004)

And then there was the "Let's Ditch Dixie" piece that appeared in Slate Magazine after the 2000 election. That piece included these comments:

The United States doesn't have to refight the Civil War to set matters right. Rather, North and South should simply follow the example of the Czech Republic and Slovakia: Shake hands, says it's been real, and go their separate ways. And if the South isn't inclined to leave anytime soon, then we should show them the door by seceding unilaterally.

And . . .

Economically and socially, secession will be painless for the North. The South is a gangrenous limb that should have been lopped off decades ago. (How nice. Shows what many elites really think about Southerners, doesn't it?)

The author of the Slate piece was Mark Strauss, not someone who could be easily dismissed as some left-wing, hack-blogger. (Left-wing, yes. Hack, no.) He's a journalist and senior editor at Smithsonian Magazine and has written for a number of other left-leaning publications including The Washington Post and The New Republic.

And regarding whether or not secessionist rhetoric is patriotic or not, perhaps one should ask the White House:

Freehawaii.org notes that, "In 1993 the 103rd Congress unanimously signed into Public Law the Apology Bill. America publicly admitted to illegally overthrowing its ally and trading partner the Sovereign Kingdom of Hawaii and falsely imprisoning the beloved Queen Liliuokalani. Since then, America, has done everything it can to avoid the consequences of this Bill. The inevitable result will be the restoration of a sovereign Hawaii."

The official 2008 (Don't know about 2012) Democratic platform (which President Obama supported) reads:

"We support the efforts for self-determination and sovereignty of native Hawaiians, consistent with principles enumerated in the Apology Resolution and the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act."

"Self-determination?" Sounds like secession to me. So, Levin's man supports this. I guess it's ok if his side supports secession.
I suppose Levin, Simpson, et al failed to do the proper research on this topic before they posted their recent comments. I'm glad I could help them all out.

But in all seriousness, we should not be so fast to take these flirtations with secession (whether they come from the right or the left) so lightly. Take a look at recent world history - the Mideast, Europe, the old Soviet Union, etc, etc. Nations and empires have, throughout history, gone through tumultuous events which often lead to division and new orders - even new nations. The country is now more divided culturally and ideologically than any of us can recall. I refer to this division as Mayberry vs. South Park. Though both of these cultural icons are fictional, they do reflect a certain mindset and cultural outlook. There are now well-defined opposing visions of how America should function going forward in terms of culture and governance. Tongue-in-cheek, maybe it's just  me, but I'd rather live in Mayberry than South Park.

Though I'm certainly not advocating anything in regards to secession, we are navigating unchartered territory culturally, economically, and geo-politically. We would be both foolish and arrogant to think the United States is not subject to similar shakeups as we saw in the old Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and are now seeing in the Middle East. 

And despite what some commenters are saying on blogs - secession and revolution would be, particularly in our day, fundamentally the same. None other than Robert E. Lee recognized that in 1860:

As an American citizen, I take great pride in my country, her prosperity and her institutions, and would defend any State if her rights were invaded. But I can anticipate no greater calamity for the country than the dissolution of the Union. It would be an accumulation of all the evils we complain of, and I am willing to sacrifice everything but honor for its preservation. I hope, therefore, that all constitutional means will be exhausted before there is a resort to force. Secession is nothing but revolution.

Hopefully, history will not repeat.

13 November 2012

"Not All Yankees Were Bad" - How My Yankee Ancestor Helped Defeat Confederate General William Mahone

B.F. Williams, on the far right ;o) - Click image to enlarge

Follow up to this previous post . . . the following is an excerpt from this source:

Not all Yankees who came South after the war seeking their fortune were bad. In 1876 B. F. Williams settled in Nottoway from Pennsylvania, and, unlike most northerners, he seems to have had the welfare of the State of his adoption at heart. He soon took an interest in local politics and was elected to the State Senate on the Republican ticket from Nottoway.
     In 1881 came the Readjuster campaign, resulting in the election of their candidate, William E. Cameron, for Governor. The leader of this movement, General William Mahone, sought to build up a vast patronage that could be used to put Virginia under his party's control, but to do this he had to control the legislature. He sought to bind all the Readjusters to support the decision of the Readjusters' caucus.
     In the House Mahone had a majority and could carry out his plan. In the Senate, however, there were four who refused to sign the pledge to enter the caucus or to accept its decisions. These men were Samuel H. Newberry, of Bland; Peyton G. Hale, of Grayson; A. M. Lybrook. of Patrick, and B. F. Williams, of Nottoway. Parson Massey, having turned against Mahone on account of his failure to receive the appointment of Auditor of Public Accounts, aligned himself with these four Senators.
     On the vote of these men the fate of the State depended. If they stood with Mahone, Virginia would be looted, and if they rebelled, the State would be saved. So much depended on their vote that these Senators came to be known as the "Big Four". Every conceivable pressure was brought to bear by the Mahone faction to have them vote with the Readjusters.
     When Mahone's patronage bills came up, the four, with Parson Massey courageously voted with the Democrats against the Readjusters which gave the Democrats a majority of six.
     It was almost as narrow an escape as Virgina had in 1869 when the Republican Carpetbaggers and Scallawags sought to create a Republican Solid South, and by their infamies made it solidly Democratic. The State of Virginia has recognized the valuable services of these men and a portrait of the "Big Four", with Parson Massey, painted by the Richmond artist, Silvette, has been hung on the walls of the Senate Chamber of the State Capitol.

The last I heard, the portrait had suffered some water damage prior to the renovations at the Capitol building in Richmond and was being restored. I need to follow up to see what the status is. 

Here's another excerpt from a piece about the Big Four and their portrait:

At one point, Massey had a falling out with Gen. William Mahone, who had assumed control of the Readjusters, and was a U.S. senator. Although Mahone wanted to control state politics from Washington, D.C., Massey had other ideas.

Four senators were not bound to Mahone. Sens. Samuel H. Newberry and Peyton G. Hale were Democrats; Sens. A.M. Lybrook and B.F. Willams were Republicans. They're the ones in the picture. (Lybrook is identified in another text as Samuel E. Lybrock.)

As Massey writes: "By voting with the anti-Mahoneites of the Senate, these four could defeat any bill by a majority of one. These men became so conspicuous, and their votes were so important, that they were termed The Big Four."
More to come about my great-great grandfather in future posts.

10 November 2012

American Civil War Center President's Disappointing Remarks

A C-Span clip that made it on a couple of blogs features American Civil War Center President Christy Coleman responding to a question from someone in a recent seminar audience. The question was: "Should we still associate racism with Confederate culture?" Of course, the question itself assumes a certain premise which is a bit more complicated than it was framed, but that's for another day. I watched the clip several times to make sure I wasn't missing something or misreading Ms. Coleman's response. I don't think I am. Watch it here and judge for yourself. Feel free to correct me if you think I'm wrong.

Ms. Coleman's response seemed a bit strange to me, as if she had been channeling persons who had experienced living in the South during the Civil War, when the question actually pertained to a modern context and mindset. She seemed to travel back and forth through time in her response, interpreting - in her own way - both 1860's Confederates and those today who, in her words, embrace a "Confederate mindset." What is that supposed to mean? Again, as someone who is the direct descendant of three Confederate soldiers, her remarks struck me as a bit strange and condescending. 

But then she revealed her true perspectives and how she views some of the potential constituents and patrons of the institution she heads. She referred to honoring one's Confederate heritage as "foolishness." Of course, that earned a cute little chuckle from the rest of the academics on the panel - yes, let's all have a guffaw at "Billy-Bob." Very classy.

Then, after belittling that particular demographic, she attempts to play the peace-maker and says she's willing to "acknowledge that" as long as that group doesn't dismiss the role and function of "our folks."

Personally, I've never dismissed the role of African-Americans in building our great Nation and have been critical of those who do, yet I also embrace and honor my Confederate heritage:

Yet some voices defending Southern heritage are just as shrill and dishonoring to the worthy heritage of black Americans, each side shouting so loudly that they cannot hear the other. Both sides would be well advised to remember the apostle Paul’s admonition to “speak the truth in love.” More desirous of being right than being righteous, some defenders of Southern culture and heritage have done more harm than good to their cause. (Stonewall Jackson - The Black Man's Friend, page 21.)

Moreover, I've initiated, helped to fund, and co-authored the text for two Virginia historical highway markers. Both of those markers pertained to what I viewed as an overlooked aspect of African-American heritage and history here in Virginia. (See here and here.) The marker for the Lexington African-American cemetery was funded primarily (95%) by SCV members. I also served as a conduit to see that the Reverend John Jasper received a prominent display at the National Civil War Chaplains Museum in Lynchburg, as Jasper preached to wounded Confederates at Chimborazo during the War Between the States.

I honestly do not understand how Ms. Coleman thinks she's going to find some middle ground and agreement by first insulting the group she's ostensibly reaching out to and attempting to "explain." Certainly putting Confederate heritage under a microscope, poking it like a lab rat, and referring to those who identify with that heritage as "Billy-Bob" doesn't engender dialogue and trust. 

Ms. Coleman seemed, for a brief moment or two, to actually have been on the verge of a reasonable response and perspective but, again, her true feelings came out and were quite disappointing - particularly when you consider she heads a museum which receives my Federal tax dollars and, I assume, would appreciate my patronage.

Instead, she unnecessarily took the opportunity to intentionally insult a rather broad demographic and Civil War constituency. Again, that is quite disappointing. And you wonder why I don't attend these Confederate bash-fests? As I've pointed out before, the greatest intellectual challenge at most academic Civil War seminars is staying awake.

Happy 237th To The U.S. Marine Corps!

(And, memo to President Obama - the "p" in Corps is silent.)

I hope this will be a historic day in other ways as well as I'm headed to some private property close to the Chancellorsville Battlefield to do some relic hunting. I, along with a good friend, will be scouting out an area that has some remaining earthworks. 

And, in a related story . . . 

In 1921 the U.S. Marine Corps conducted training maneuvers on farms adjacent to Ellwood. The legendary and eccentric commander of this force was General Smedley Butler. According to the then owner of Ellwood, Butler dismissed the notion of Jackson's arm being buried there and ordered a squad of Marines to dig beneath the Smith marker to prove that nothing was there. Much to his astonishment, they unearthed the arm. Butler had it reburied and ordered a bronze plaque cemented to the top of the stone.

Since General Butler confirmed the presence of the arm, it has remained undisturbed. Each year thousands of people visit Ellwood. Most come specifically to see the cemetery and to pay their respects to the general whose severed limb now lies beneath Ellwood's soil.

Don't worry, we won't be digging anywhere near Jackson's arm.

09 November 2012

The Most Important Advance In Education Technology In 200 Years

Education is about to change dramatically, says Anant Agarwal, who heads edX, a $60 million MIT-Harvard effort to stream a college education over the Web, free, with plans to teach a billion students, Technology Review reports.
This revolution is going to put a lot of academics in "big education" in the unemployment lines:

At edX, Agarwal says, the same three-person team of a professor plus assistants that used to teach analog circuit design to 400 students at MIT now handles 10,000 online and could take a hundred times more.

Now, if we could just make sure we included some wisdom and common sense with this technological advance, I'd be more optimistic about our future.

More here.

08 November 2012

Metal Detecting Post #89 ~ Return to Hallowed Ground

As Hurricane Sandy was approaching Virginia, I returned to a battlefield on private property here in Virginia where one of my Confederate ancestors was wounded. Here's part one of that adventure . . .

07 November 2012

Bad Decisions End In A Bad Way

Just received this email from a friend who is an astute historian and true renaissance man. He also works in Washington. This reflects much of what I was feeling this morning:

It is a glorious day The Lord has given us.

This morning I extend an honest “Thank you” to the American electorate, for they provided a snapshot of themselves with unusual clarity.  Six weeks ago I declared that the election was not a choice between two candidates as much as it was a verdict on us as a nation, and with near ubiquity and persuasive forcefulness that verdict has been rendered.  From coast to coast the electorate chose debauchery and an expanding welfare state.  (they may not have thought that was what they were voting for, but make no mistake...)  While it was not the outcome I preferred, it is a fundamentally important data point; we now know where we live, and the character of a majority of the people living around us.  For that straightforward clarity we must be profoundly thankful, as it focuses and guides our planning for the future.

From this day forward our tasks are to get our own hearts, minds, lives and households in order, and to derive a strategic vision and devise tactics for dealing with a now unrestrained Leviathan.  Let us continue to uphold each other in every respect, making sure we remove ourselves from the damage caused by the flying debris of the inevitably collapsing welfare state.  Our realm may be visited by Divine Providence, but nevertheless it remains a rational universe -- bad decisions will result in destructive outcomes.  I celebrate the coming maelstrom, for it confirms the rational nature of the Cosmos.

Lady Thatcher was entirely correct when she stated that the problem with collectivism is that eventually it runs out of other peoples’ money to spend.  During that untenable time The Collective becomes increasingly desperate and ruthless, searching for resources wherever it can find them it order to feed itself and its dependents.  Stay out of its way to the degree possible, and contribute to its demise whenever possible.  It is the only hope for laying the foundation for America 2.0.  America 1.0 is but a distant wreck receding in the rear view mirror.


While the ruling class elites in academia, the media, and government revel in their victory, we may fearfully trust in a Divine Providence and know, with confidence, what history teaches us about Nations who have taken this course. The future is not bright for those who embrace the ideology that won last night. That is not to be taken as any kind of threat, it is simply the verdict of history.

More to come . . . 


The best summation of the election results I've read thus far:
At the end of the day, we’ve had a half-century of cultural decline in this country since the early 1960′s. You cannot endure a half-century of cultural decline without paying the price in leadership . . .This country needs to take a hard look in the mirror. We’re teaching our children values our grandparents can’t even fathom, we’re abandoning what made us great and we are knowingly watching our country decline.

More here. Hat tip to reader Doug Hill.

06 November 2012

Biblical Numerology

If Romney wins the election, that will make him the 45th President of the United States. Obama was, of course, the 44th. For those who believe the Bible, here is the spiritual meaning of those numbers according to biblical numerology:

44 - Suffering
45 - Victory over the Stronghold


Academia: Lockstep & Groupthink

You’ll love this. The Daily Princetonian reports that 157 members of Princeton University’s faculty or staff have donated to the two presidential candidates. One hundred fifty-five donated to Obama; two donated to Romney. The two who donated to Romney were a visiting lecturer in engineering and a janitor. (More here.)
Let's see . . . the two individuals who reject Obama's collectivism are:

  1. A person who works for a living.
  2. A person who knows how things work.

Makes perfect sense, doesn't it? Meanwhile, the theorists live on in their fantasy utopia. Amazing.

05 November 2012

Religious Liberty Has Already Been "Re-examined"

By the Library of Congress. Once more, history blogger Michael Aubrecht goes out of his way to display his "progressive" and "enlightened" views on American history and, once again, gets it wrong. Michael writes:

Next month I will be reviewing a new PBS documentary that explores the faith of the Founding Fathers and the path to religious liberty in America (*note the use of the word ‘religious’ and NOT exclusively Christian).

Note Michael's note. This ridiculous notion continues to be spouted by Progressives because orthodox Christianity undermines their ideology, thus they must discredit the notion that America was founded on Christian principles. It other words, their agenda drives them. I suggest before they go much further, they might want to rent some sand blasters and head to Washington D.C. But, in the meantime, consider what the Library of Congress pointed out in their excellent online resource:

The religion of the new American republic was evangelicalism, which, between 1800 and the Civil War, was the "grand absorbing theme" of American religious life. During some years in the first half of the nineteenth century, revivals (through which evangelicalism found expression) occurred so often that religious publications that specialized in tracking them lost count. In 1827, for example, one journal exulted that "revivals, we rejoice to say, are becoming too numerous in our country to admit of being generally mentioned in our Record." During the years between the inaugurations of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, historians see "evangelicalism emerging as a kind of national church or national religion." The leaders and ordinary members of the "evangelical empire" of the nineteenth century were American patriots who subscribed to the views of the Founders that religion was a "necessary spring" for republican government; they believed, as a preacher in 1826 asserted, that there was "an association between Religion and Patriotism." Converting their fellow citizens to Christianity was, for them, an act that simultaneously saved souls and saved the republic.  [All emphasis mine.]

Facts are stubborn things. It's just so easy to follow the facts Michael. You can convene all the "experts" you want and fill the airwaves and blogosphere with as many idiotic explanations as you want, but our Founding is what it is. Don't be afraid, embrace the truth. It will set you free.


Will History Repeat? Reagan 2.0?

Anyone with even the slightest political memory (and who is old enough) can't help but see the eerie similarities between this election and the one of 1980. From gas prices to the economy to the Middle East to a totally inept (or intentionally destructive) President, it's surreal.

But history does often repeat itself and some are seeing a possible Reaganesque legacy in Romney. We shall see . . .

Call him Reagan 2.0.  By the end of the week, a thankful nation will settle down to anticipate the hope and change that will accrue from the presidency of a Ronald Reagan for a new generation: Mitt Romney.

And . . .

Robert McFarlane, a national security adviser for President Reagan, identifies three qualities that set Reagan apart: a "rock-solid commitment to American values," "integrity and political courage," and "the ability to inspire confidence."  Reagan 2.0 surpasses 1.0 in all of these areas: Romney displays a commitment in both personal and public life to Judeo-Christian values -- Reagan's personal life was, at times, problematic; his campaign and lifestyle are living testament to a relentless commitment to Christian service and an ordinarily exceptional America that has gone out of vogue since the Reagan presidency; and he displays the sunny confidence of what the Las Vegas Review-Journal call a "moral, capable and responsible man."  He combines Reagan's leadership skills with shrewd management capabilities and Reagan's disposition with the savvy of someone who has devoted his life to making dysfunctional organizations work -- for everyone, not just for those who think that hell is meatloaf and ketchup.

More here at the American Thinker.