30 April 2012

How Many Objective Historians Will Point This Out?

None. (They're too busy chasing "neo-Confederates" and our slave-owning Founding fathers.)

The lefty historians in academia and the blogosphere love to mock, laugh, and roll their eyes when someone suggests that Barack Obama is either a Marxist or a socialist. But I'm beginning to detect some nervousness in their laughter. 

From a Washington Times article titled, New Obama slogan has long ties to Marxism, socialism:

The Obama campaign apparently didn't look backwards into history when selecting its new campaign slogan, "Forward" — a word with a long and rich association with European Marxism . . . Conservative critics of the Obama administration have noted numerous ties to radicalism and socialists throughout Mr. Obama's history, from his first political campaign being launched from the living room of two former Weather Underground members, to appointing as green jobs czar Van Jones, a self-described communist.

"Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

This is just becoming way too easy. Read the piece here.

28 April 2012

Are Academics Smarter Than The Rest Of Us?

They constantly suggest that they are. They love to remind us all that their approach to history and society is more "sophisticated" and that their "credentials" make them "experts." Too bad they're always having head on collisions with reality.

A number of academic historians (and bloggers) got all giggly over Barack Obama's campaign in 2008 - to the point of silliness. Now they stare in silent bewilderment that their big government utopia has escaped them and, along with their savior, let them down yet again. Reality trumps all the social and economic theories they've discussed in the faculty lounge - sounding so convincing to each other and so idiotic to to the rest of us. Case in point (among scores):

Government has become its own worst enemy when it comes to the economy, with public spending putting a damper on growth that otherwise continues at a steady if unspectacular pace . . . "Contrary to what passes as conventional wisdom, the main drag is coming from the government itself."
More here.

Historian Paul Johnson said it best:

I think I detect today a certain public skepticism when intellectuals stand up to preach to us, a growing tendency among ordinary people to dispute the right of academics, writers and philosophers, eminent though they may be, to tell us how to behave and conduct our affairs. The belief seems to be spreading that intellectuals are no wiser as mentors, or worthier as exemplars, than the witch doctors or priests of old. I share that skepticism. A dozen people picked at random on the street are at least as likely to offer sensible views on moral and political matters as a cross-section of the intelligentsia. But I would go further. One of the principal lessons of our tragic century, which has seen so many millions of innocent lives sacrificed in schemes to improve the lot of humanity, is – beware of intellectuals. Nor merely should they be kept well away from the levers of power, they should also be objects of particular suspicion when they seek to offer collective advice. Beware committees, conferences and leagues of intellectuals. Distrust public statements issued from their serried ranks. Discount their verdicts on political leaders and important events. For intellectuals, far from being highly individualistic and non-conformist people, follow certain regular patterns of behavior.  Taken as a group, they are often ultra-conformist within the circles formed by those whose approval they seek and value. That is what makes them, en masse, so dangerous, for it enables them to create climates of opinion and prevailing orthodoxies, which themselves often generate irrational and destructive courses of action.

And one should look at their analysis of history with the same skepticism to which Johnson refers. It's often as flawed as their juvenile-like view of politics, ideology, and human nature. If they can't even get recent history analyzed and applied correctly, why should one trust them on things which happened over 100 years ago? 

So much of what Johnson notes is so obvious and demonstrated on a daily basis on so many Civil War and history related blogs. They are, for the most part, simple-minded conformists seeking the approval of their masters while promoting left-wing ideology through their interpretation and analysis of history - "canting ideologues" as Eugene Genovese has so aptly dubbed them. But that's ok. The profession they pervert will one day judge them for what they are and what they've done. 

Liberal Bias Starts In High School Economics Textbooks

A high school senior says so:

This economics book is only a microcosm of the indoctrination children are receiving in today’s public schools, as unionized teachers push a liberal-leaning agenda. Many textbooks fail to present students with both sides of an issue. Students are being pushed toward an education that demonizes free enterprise while advocating top-down government, deficit spending and class warfare. The continuation of this propaganda will create a youth so misinformed and clueless that they will have no choice but to turn to the government. And that is exactly what the liberals want.

And that's just in economics. Even in my senior government class in 1976, my teacher told the class that communism was the purest and best form of government.

27 April 2012

Academia Is Becoming A Cult

Excerpts from an interesting article at American Thinker . . .

I greatly overestimated the extent to which people's hearts can override indoctrination.

And . . .

In the process of becoming a doctoral candidate my bubble was burst and I began to realize that the relational framework in which I lived in was not enough and I have begun to take responsibility for the political consequences and social implications of my own thoughts and actions.

Quite revealing. Perhaps it will help expose the flat-earthers among us.

26 April 2012

Snake Oil Salesmen

There are so many leftist ideologues posing as historians today that it's difficult to keep up with all of their propaganda. 

This is known among those willing to open their eyes, even many respected historians on the "inside" have admitted that "American history has largely become a plaything for canting ideologues."

Many of these canting ideologues are ostensibly combating the "myth" that America was founded on Christian principles. It would be hilarious if it weren't so dangerous. One pseudo-historian recently suggested that David Barton was going to be "destroyed". [Update - the word "destroyed" was replaced with "discredited" after this post.] Sounds violent to me - where's the mantra of acceptance and tolerance? Of course, we know that only applies to kooks on the left - but I digress.

If  you want the truth, simply do your own research, read the founding documents, and the writings of the Founders themselves. Stroll through the monuments in Washington DC and the halls of Congress and be overwhelmed at the Biblical references. To believe these leftists, you'd have to think David Barton or Jerry Falwell themselves chiseled those in stone. Read the in depth material located at the Library of Congress website. Decide for yourself. Don't let these pretend historians and over-educated ideologues get by with their lies.

Here's an excerpt from the Library of Congress' exhibit, Religion and the Founding of the American Republic:

"It is no exaggeration to say that on Sundays in Washington during the administrations of Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) and of James Madison (1809-1817) the state became the church. Within a year of his inauguration, Jefferson began attending church services in the House of Representatives. Madison followed Jefferson's example, although unlike Jefferson, who rode on horseback to church in the Capitol, Madison came in a coach and four. Worship services in the House--a practice that continued until after the Civil War--were acceptable to Jefferson because they were nondiscriminatory and voluntary. Preachers of every Protestant denomination appeared. (Catholic priests began officiating in 1826.) As early as January 1806 a female evangelist, Dorothy Ripley, delivered a camp meeting-style exhortation in the House to Jefferson, Vice President Aaron Burr, and a "crowded audience." Throughout his administration Jefferson permitted church services in executive branch buildings. The Gospel was also preached in the Supreme Court chambers." (Emphasis mine). Source ~ The State Becomes the Church

Despite what these deceivers proclaim, it is not the right which primarily twists history in order to advance their political agenda, it is the left. Facts are stubborn things.

Constructing America's Failure

This is devastating. All brought to you by the experts and smartest among us.

25 April 2012

Civil War Chaplains Museum Acquires Rare Journal


“This artifact will assist us in creating a world-class museum here on the Liberty campus,” said Kenny Rowlette, Assistant Professor of English and Director of the National Civil War Chaplains Museum and Director of Liberty’s Summer Academic Programs. “Liberty is becoming known more and more as a center for the study of religion during the Civil War.”

More here

Upcoming post: Why I Won't Be Renewing My Subscription To North & South Magazine

24 April 2012

Modern Tea Party = Founding Principles

"Today's Tea Party activists are motivated by the same ideological desires as our nation's Founding Fathers . . ." Of course, we already knew that, didn't we?

20 April 2012

Burke Knew What Genovese Experienced

". . . 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.)

"For Smith and Burke the greatest threat to liberty, justice, and order came from those who would soon be known as ideologues. Probably influenced by Burke, as Otteson has argued, Smith fought vehemently against the 'Man of System,' the close-minded and cocksure would-be tyrant, petty bureaucrat, or public-school administrator." ~ From the Celtic Mind at The American Conservative

19 April 2012

Dr. Tom Landess - R.I.P.

I was  unaware that Tom Landess passed away this past January. A true Southern scholar and member of a dying breed, he will be sorely missed. 
The South, let it be said, is a very unique culture and self conscious of itself as different from other parts of the country.  Though defeated in war and dominated for many years by fools, buffoons, corrupt politicians and later, bankers, Southern scholarship particularly in Literary Criticism and Literature was “world class.”  

The rest of this fitting and informative tribute can be read here at the Yorktown Patriot.

And, from the Washington Times:

America lost an unsung hero on Jan. 8 with the passing of Thomas H. Landess. To say that Tom was an accomplished Southern academic would be like saying that Robert H. Goddard was a guy who liked to tinker with rockets . . . Over the years, he tried, gloriously and at least somewhat successfully, to get Yankee friends like me to acknowledge the Southern side of the War Between the States . . .

Read the rest of that tribute here and an obituary here and another tribute here.

17 April 2012

Finally, Diversity Of Opinion Regarding The WBTS

*Update - Kevin responds here. Of course, he misses the whole point - or chose to ignore it since he didn't quite know how to respond. He does insinuate in one of his follow up comments that I'm not qualified to criticize academia because I don't know anything about it. So, since I'm not part of academia, I can't observe and form opinions, based on facts and empirical evidence? That's quite an interesting position to take. Logic would then dictate that Kevin will no longer be able to observe, post, and comment on organizations like the UDC (I don't think he qualifies for membership), nor the SCV (I don't think he qualifies for membership), nor living in the South (since he doesn't), nor any aspect of Southern heritage (since he has none). Unless, of course, there is one standard of posting and commenting for him and a different one for everyone else.

Moreover, he calls my frequent references to academia "tired." If that's true, why does my hit count from .edu IP addresses always go up when I comment on that topic?
(End of update.)

Among academic historians. 

*Kevin Levin believes the Confederacy was the forerunner to the Soviet Union. They loved centralization of power.

David Blight believes the Confederacy was the forerunner to the modern Tea Party. They hated centralization of power.

A rather adaptable bunch, ain't they?

Of course, Kevin seems to forget this was a war-time government fighting what they viewed as an invasion. The CSA never knew anything other than a war footing. The war drove every decision and there is no other time nor circumstance with which to compare. That tends to skew any discussion or comparison regarding centralization of power in the Confederate States.

The Problem With Academic Historians

And why I don't trust many of them . . .

". . . for all its faults, this country has more to be proud of and less to be ashamed of than any other nation on the face of the globe. I did not set out to prove that proposition; my instincts and my research led me to it, and I have *little patience for those who say otherwise.
      Toward the end of the nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth, the writing of history in America became the almost exclusive domain of academicians, with unforeseen consequences. Academic historians wrote monographs on esoteric and **insufferably dull subjects not for an interested public but for an elite of eggheads. They came increasingly to believe that historians must justify their existence by pointing their research and writing toward the furtherance of present public-policy agenda that they regard as desirable, and to insist that historians can behave no other way. That conviction led them to view the past in terms of struggle between good people, whose goals squared with what they regarded as desirable, and bad people, whose goals did not." ~ Forrest McDonald (From the foreword of Recovering the Past: a historians memoir)

* Nor do I. As I grow older, it is becoming more and more difficult to suffer fools.

** As I (and others) have noted here before.

16 April 2012

Britian's Greatest Foe

Was a Virginian:

The Brits give props

You Better Line Up

“Remember, the last time all of us got lined up together, we were lined up by two guys – Hitler and Stalin. If there’s an alternative point of view, don’t wet your pants. … Suck it up and say, ‘Hey, there’s room for everything.’ “ ~ Roger Ailes, Fox News Chairman and CEO at a recent lecture at UNC/Chapel Hill

And remember, institutional academia wants us all to "line up" [intellectually] regarding historical interpretation. Again, just read their history related blogs and see how much diversity in viewpoint and perspective you see. Zip, nadda, zero.

"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." ~ General George S. Patton

15 April 2012

Why Does Academia Hate American Culture?

From a recent piece at the American Thinker . . .

The left [which includes institutional academia, most of the media, and the rest of the ruling class elite] seems to be in love with preserving every culture in the world but our own. Prominent elements of the cultural left love to preoccupy themselves with remote peoples [as well as political systems like socialism and communism] in distant places like Papua New Guinea and the deepest recesses of the Amazon rainforest.
And  . . .

. . . the left assumes that all of our institutions are dangerous.  Leftists view republican government as a threat; they see it as destructive.  So they counter it by using the state to engulf the order of things.  According to their thinking, the danger, then, would melt away.
This is why so many academic historians and leftist history bloggers ("Canting ideologues" as Eugene Genovese has labeled them) publicly endorsed Barack Obama 4 years ago. (Strange, they don't seem to be quite as vocal about their support this time around.) This is also why they claim the mantle of "enemy of American Exceptionalism" which traditionally exemplified rugged individualism, liberty and limited government. They think we need their control, guidance and wisdom - hence more bureaucracy and statism - run by them, of course.

More here.

14 April 2012

Front Porch Pickin' #21 - Cherish The Music

In this edition of our Front Porch Pickin' posts, we're featuring a video produced by Ole Miss. “Cherish the Music,” features M.B. Green, a custom instrument maker and musician from Louin, Mississippi. A fascinating piece of history, Americana and Southern culture. As always in our FPP posts, we endeavor to bring you the very best in Southern Appalachia, Bluegrass, Folk, and Gospel music . . . get your culture here.

I Bought Some History . . .

A 1966 Ford F100 Long Bed, 352 V8, 3 on the tree. Let the restoration begin . . .

13 April 2012

Even More Reasons To Homeschool Your Child

Please, you academic geniuses who read this blog, go ahead and convince me the inmates aren't running the asylum.

“I said, ‘Thank you,’ after she got done,” Blackmon told the station. “I went to hug her, then she just snatched me up by the arm and drug me to the other teacher and said that I needed to be written up, and that something serious had happened.
Blackmon’s parents have filed a police report against the teacher and the school after a mark was left on the boy’s arm from where the teacher grabbed him. (Story here.)

All from a kid's natural desire to show gratitude. Good grief. Isn't NC the same state where the government food police stole a kid's lunch because it was not "approved"? When I was in grade school, the teacher would have accepted the hug. Police would never have been involved. The kids would have had to stay after school a couple of days. Not a big deal. Oh, but we did have that subversive book in class - the Bible. And we prayed before lunch. At least we don't have that problem today, right?

11 April 2012

Leftists Are Weaklings

According to a new academic study. Perfect. I couldn't make this stuff up.

From The Telegraph . . .

Strong men more likely to vote Conservative

Come to think of it, it sure does fit with the leftists I know. Weak in mind too. ;o)

Next Up - More Spring Reading

 ". . . distaste for the revisionism of the New Left historians who depict the American story as an epic of oppression. The norm is to write for one's fellow historians, he says, but that seems to me to be wrong-headed and to result in stultifying reading. I have chosen, instead, to write for that elusive critter called the general reader, or, more precisely, for the vast number of people who genuinely love history for its own sake--which, as will become evident, I regard as eliminating a sizable majority of professional historians." ~ Amazon.com (Emphasis mine.)

From the front flap of the book:

"Renowned for his sly wit and iconoclasm, he is also a conservative in a mostly liberal profession, a man who believes [as do I] that his discipline has been subverted by those who serve public policy agendas." (Emphasis mine.)

McDonald's book has been out since 2004, but I've never read it, though its been on my "gotta get to" list for some time. It does sound quite delicious! That excerpt from Amazon sounds like something I could have written. I guess McDonald would also be considered one who manufactures "strawmen" leftist historians in academia. Though the book is eight years old, based on what I've read about it, its even more relevant today. I'll be doing a full review once I've finished reading it.

And for sheer enjoyment and entertainment . . .

"RELIC HUNTER takes the reader into Virginia's woods and fields. Searching for the many long forgotten Civil War Camps and Battle Sites. This is a unique and fully photo illustrated book." ~ Amazon

10 April 2012

Academics Are Non-Thinkers - Conformity Is Easier

"The leaders of the left sitting in think-tanks, government offices, newsrooms, and faculty lounges, regaling each other demonstrating who may be the smartest in the room, are essentially incapable of initiating an original political thought or *having any independence of mind.  In the realm of political theory, the only accepted and promulgated ideology is of an all-powerful central government controlling the day-to-day lives of all Americans -- no opposing views, historical facts, or reality are allowed to intrude on these bastions of conformity."

More here at the American Thinker.

*The same is true in the world of Civil War history - just read the various academic CW blogs and see how much diversity of opinion and thought exists. Practically none. As I've said before, you read one, you've pretty much read them all. There are a few exceptions, but not many. It's rather incestuous - and the long term results of the incestuous thinking are very similar to the real thing.

09 April 2012

Yes, Lee Surrendered . . .

But despite their best efforts Lee remains, in popular memory, the Christian warrior, the noble gentleman who put duty and honor before personal gain. He remains the icon of American honor and self-sacrifice. This is why moderns so despise Lee. He overcomes their petty criticisms and juvenile presentism. He towers above them. And, of course, paintings featuring Lee far outsell any of Grant the drunk who, by the way, also carries the distinction of leading the most corrupt administration in American history. What a guy.

Actually, he ended up a rather pitiful figure, succumbing to throat cancer - most likely due to alcohol and tobacco abuse - two vices Lee disdained. Pity the poor fans of Grant, a man who will never rise to the level of Lee nor garner the same level of admiration. How sad. It's not supposed to be that way for the victors. And,  of course, we know which part of the country won the culture war.

So, enjoy the victory. But I believe I detect some envy among certain "scholars" of the WBTS and Grant fans. Hey, Grant won. Celebrate and get over it.

The Southern Gentleman Is An Exclusive Club

"The belt of earth corresponding to the South makes Moses one of the first Southern gentlemen. It takes in Greece, and gives us Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Caesar, Virgil, and Dante. Englishmen, because of the southern gulf stream, are only Southerners at long distance." ~ Walter B. Hill

It takes more than self-proclamation to be considered a legitimate Southerner; and even more to be considered a Southern gentleman.

Political Correctness Is A Myth

In the minds of many in academia. Why? Complicity or ignorance?

08 April 2012

The Center Of History - Resurrection Day

"The current year is 2012. This is 2,012 years not from Caesar, Buddha, or Mohammed, but from the birth of Jesus Christ. Dan Flynn notes that "[t]he attempt to replace Anno Domini (AD) and BC (Before Christ) with BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) is yet another exercise in futility. Doesn't this Common Era, after all, begin with the life of Christ?"

"The impact of Christ's resurrection can be seen in institutions and nations -- virtually every facet of life, as I said earlier -- but I think it is most noticeable in the lives of individuals. We may measure our years from His birth, but our hope is in His resurrection."

More here on the historic Christ.

Metal Detecting Post #73 - My Favorite Yankees

Great video produced by New England relic hunter, Bill Ladd. And me takes a dig (pun intended) at American Digger in the end of the video.

07 April 2012

Good Question

A Reminder For Our Arrogant Age

"It’s very easy to stand on the mountaintop as an historian or biographer and find fault with people for why they did this or didn’t do that, because we’re not involved in it, we’re not inside it, we’re not confronting what we don’t know – as everyone who preceded us always was." ~ David McCullough

05 April 2012

Metal Detecting Post #72 - Brandy Station Recoveries

An interesting video from fellow relic hunter, Tony Stevenson. Be sure and read his accompanying blog post here.

04 April 2012

What Caused The WBTS Takes Longer Than 2 Minutes

Unless you're scholarship is shallow and narrow or unless you're a social scientist instead of a historian:

In recent years some historians have attempted to solve the problem of historical causation with the analytical tools of modern social scientists. ~ Kenneth Stamp

And for those more interested in serious analysis than soundbites:

A focus on slavery also explains little about the divisions within the North and the South. It assumes unity in each of these regions when in fact there was fragmentation . . . There is no question that some individuals in the South felt that Lincoln's election posed a mortal threat to slavery, but more did not . . . In sum, the current emphasis on slavery as the cause of the Civil War is fraught with problems. It does not clarify the sequence of events, the divisions within the sections, or the policies and actions of the Republican Party. It is these problems that a new interpretation must address . . . It argues that more than any other reason, the evolution of the Northern and Southern economies explains the Civil War. ~ Marc Egnal (Emphasis mine.)

Metal Detecting Post #71 - The Battle Of New Market

Relic hunting in the Shenandoah Valley - and a ghost story. BTW, if all goes as planned, I'll be relic hunting on a historic piece of property tomorrow or Friday. I'll report back should anything interesting turn up.

03 April 2012

Academia - A "Tribal Moral Community"

In other words, "group-think" - and that would be leftist group-think. From no less than the New Republic:

My point was not that discrimination causes the underrepresentation. My point was that there is an underrepresentation of conservatives for many legitimate reasons, but once the percentage of conservatives drops below a certain threshhold (5%?), a tribal moral community forms, and it is only at that point that discrimination becomes a serious force, which discourages the occasional conservative (or liberal Christian, or just centrist non-liberal) who would like to join the field.
So, do you really trust those people to interpret history for you? More here

That comment and article dovetails nicely with an email I just received from an equaintance:

Regrettably, there "ain’t" many “sane historians,” in Academia, and I do mean "ain’t." I’m one of the few . . . "Hillbillies" with a Doctorate from an Ivy League school. A rare breed indeed . . .

I still continue to teach the "Civil War" and American History in general, on a regular basis . . . (for over 20 years). I have to literally, "re-educate" the students and tell them the "other side" of the story their textbooks, and other professors NEVER tell them. Most of them have no problems. I just teach them the truth and let them always know, if they want documentation for anything I say, to let me know and I’ll give them all they want.
So, go ahead, keep denying it. That just makes you all the more irrelevant to everyone - except those within your small, tribal (group-think) community.

Announcement From American Digger Magazine

To which I subscribe . . .

"After much deliberation, we have decided to drop American Digger’ Magazine’s association with Rick Savage, who until this month wrote our Savage Facts column. The parting was amicable, and we appreciate his work on his column and past promotions of the magazine . We won’t lie, our dropping his association was in great part because of the controversy his TV show has created, and the confusion that American Digger Magazine had anything more than a passing association with the Spike TV series which shares our name. Please, if you enjoy or have enjoyed American Digger Magazine in the past, continue to do so, because we will not change our format: i.e., A good digging magazine for those more concerned with historical values than market values.

"We wish those connected with the show well, but had to further make a distinction between the magazine and show. We hope this helps clear things up."

Butch Holcombe, Publisher

And to that I say, "AMEN!"


02 April 2012

Metal Detecting Post #70 - Sabot Recovery

Long time friend and relic hunting partner, Doug Hill, met up with me in Culpeper County (on private property near Brandy Station) week before last to dig Civil War relics for three days. Doug made some great finds, including a US belt plate. (More on that in an upcoming video). But his best find of the hunt was a very rare Dyer canister sabot. Not sure about the details, he contacted noted author and CW artillery expert, Pete George for help with identification. Mr. George responded with the following:

I should begin by stating that Dyer's Canister is quite a rare version of canister. Jine, on a strict "number of specimens known" scale of rarity, your 3" Dyer Canister sabot was one of the very rarest items found at the DIV hunt ...even more rare than some of the Confederate buttons and buckles found at that hunt. The "Field-recovered" evidence indicates Dyer Canister ammo was used almost only by the Army of the Potomac, and only in the first 24 months following the Battle of Manassas (July 1861). The overwhelming majority of fired Dyer Canister sabots and slugs have come from 1862-to-mid-1863 battle sites in Virginia. In my 34 years of living in Virginia and digging for artillery projectiles at many dozens of major and minor Virginia battlesites, I've found only one Dyer Canister sabot. It was at the May 1863 battle of Salem Church, which part of the Chancellorsville Campaign. That was also the only place I've dug any Dyer Canister "slugs." Apparently, Dyer Canister was gradually superceded by the arrival of Hotchkiss Canister, which first shows up in mid-1862 sites, and remained in widespread use through the end of the war. Regards, Pete

Congratulations Doug on a great recovery and on saving that very rare piece of history!