31 August 2012

My Article In Western & Eastern Treasures Magazine

*My piece on finding and restoring old axe heads appears in the October issue of Western & Eastern Treasures Magazine. W & ET will eventually make a couple of the articles from this issue available online. If mine is chosen, I'll be sure to provide a link. If not, I'll post a couple of excerpts.

*No, that is not me on the cover.

29 August 2012

The America We Know . . .

Is not the same one Obama and his buddies in academia know. Mia Love hits it out of the park. She hits every quintessential facet of American Exceptionalism and did it with passion and credibility. "It's not just my story, it's our story . . . because we built it." Classic. Remember her name. I believe you'll be hearing it a lot more in the days and years to come.

Perhaps it's a bit too early, but I can envision this lady running for President - and winning. She gets it. She is a darling of the Tea Party. She is also just about everything that elites say Tea Party folks aren't - female, African-American, Haitian immigrant, from the Northeast, a college graduate, and not a Evangelical Protestant (she's Mormon).

That set of facts has got to drive the ruling class elites absolutely insane. How do they attack someone like that? I love this about her too: She asks herself three questions when she approaches any issue, "Is it affordable? Is it sustainable? Is it my job?" Michelle Obama could learn something from Mia. (Memo to Ms. Obama - the only children's lunches you should be concerned with are yours - leave the rest of us alone.)

Though I've never verbalized it quite that way, my approach to business and life is identical.

Let's see if the elites in academia embrace her like they did Obama. Don't hold your breath. She's anathema to their agenda and shatters their narrow-minded, insulated, illogical, bubble-living, out of touch worldview.

28 August 2012

One Of The Missing

Hat tip to A Continuous Lean . . .

"One of the Missing is the late Tony Scott’s first film about a Confederate soldier on a scouting mission during the Civil War. The story was written by Ambrose Bierce (an equally adventurous and talented man) in 1888 and is an incredibly powerful piece of American fiction that led to a stunning (and now, a rather uncomfortable) directorial début by Tony Scott." ~ ACL

I was not familiar with this film, nor the story. Apparently, the film reversed characters from the written story in which the sniper was a yankee facing a Confederate enemy.

27 August 2012

Why Do They Hate The South?

The online version of the WSJ recently (August 10) did a review of “Better Off Without ‘Em, a Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession.” The article reminds me of the golden boys in the Civil War blogosphere and their blind spot when it comes to who is advocating secession and who promotes an "us vs. them" perspective. They're just missing so much. Of course, most mature readers are aware of the agenda-driven analysis being vomited out by academia - let 'em believe their own propaganda; I think a lot of Americans have moved on. But, it's really sociology, not history.

Here's an excerpt from the WSJ piece:

Willie Morris, the longtime editor of Harper's magazine and a native Mississippian, told a story about getting into a cab in New York with the poet James Dickey. The cabbie, recalled Morris, "proceeded to launch into a tirade against our black brethren, and a vicious thing it was, the likes of which I never heard in the Mississippi delta." It was Dickey, a South Carolinian, who spoke up first: "If there's anything I can't stand it's an amateur bigot."

The cabdriver made a whole series of assumptions about the two men, merely from their accents, and Dickey's remark came to mind many times as I read "Better Off Without 'Em," Chuck Thompson's diatribe against the backwardness, reactionary politics and manifold perversity of the American South.
I like how the review ends: 

Yet for all his know-it-all wit, the author is never able to answer some of the most obvious responses to his secessionist argument. Who would serve in the U.S. military, currently constituted disproportionately of Southerners, who fight and die not for the Confederate flag but for the American one? What would be done with Northern enclaves like Chapel Hill and Atlanta? And—as a University of Georgia student asks Mr. Thompson near the end of the book—"If you don't have the South to look down on, who would you look down on?"

I also like P.J. O'Rourke's comment on Amazon

“Thank you for the copy of Better Off Without ‘Em, but I'm afraid it's New York and San Francisco that I think should secede.” ~ P.J. O’Rourke

I agree, but I would have included Boston.

Based on the review, it sounds like the author of Better Off Without 'Em spends a lot of time reading academic Civil War blogs. 

You can read the complete review here.

26 August 2012

Front Porch Pickin' #24

Dedicated to damn yankees everywhere, but particularly the carpetbaggin' variety - as always, get your culture here.

25 August 2012

Lee & The Historians In The Age Of The Anti-Hero

From C-Span:

Robert Krick delivered the dinner address, "Lee and the Historians in the Age of the Anti-Hero," at a symposium marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Robert E. Lee. General Lee has long been one of America's most revered individuals, but opinions are subject to historical revision. Professor Krick addressed questions of whether Lee was a hero whose valor and leadership were surpassed only by his honor and humanity, or whether he was a traitor whose military skill served a bad cause and prolonged an immoral rebellion against his rightful government. Robert Krick is a former historian at Fredericksburg National Battlefield Park. The Stephen D. Lee Institute was established by the Sons of Confederate Veterans in 2005 as a forum for historical scholarship in defense of the Confederacy.

This serves as a follow up post due to some recent comments at Civil War Memory in response to my post here, which included such deep thinking and reflection as this:

Hard to think of being pro-confederacy without being pro-slavery. Is Richard pro-slavery? 
So, this rather curious logic goes something like this: "If you're not anti-Confederate you must be pro-slavery." I suppose, then, that it would follow that if you're not "anti-Obama", you're pro-infanticide.

Of course, *both positions are utterly ridiculous but you'll note that comment went by without any challenges on Levin's blog. That's the mindset there - push the agenda, even at the expense of your own credibility. I'd never let something like that even be posted here, much less let it go without a challenge - it's so intellectually dishonest and fraudulent it discredits the whole discussion - as well as the moderator. But Levin's blog is not about intellectual honesty. His (and that of many of those who comment there) M.O. is to attempt to marginalize any dissent from what they view as historical orthodoxy. But as is typically the case, their passion and arrogance blinds their sensibilities and it is they who end up looking silly, foolish, and intellectually shallow.

You can view the Krick lecture here. It's one of the best you'll ever hear. Krick is not only quite knowledgeable, he is also quite entertaining. Krick has also lamented the "anti-Confederate" perspective among modern historians. Gee, I wonder if he's pro-slavery?

By the way, you may address me as either Judge or Colonel, I have no preference. You'll understand if you watch the video.

*But just for the record, I'll state that I believe slavery is sinful and, no, I'm not pro-slavery [though my wife might argue the point]. I also believe infanticide is sinful, just to be clear - I sure don't want to leave any doubt about that, who knows who might be reading - one of Levin's brilliant followers might misconstrue something. And, not to leave any doubt, I also believe killing puppies by eating them alive is morally wrong. Heck, I don't even eat them dead and cooked.

24 August 2012

Heritage & History

Today I had the privilege of exploring one of the most remote areas in Rockbridge County, Virginia. Guided by an older gentleman who is also a relative, I climbed into his John Deere Gator and went searching for the location of an ancestral home. We found it or, rather, what's left of it. Deep in a hollow in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this tract of land (much of it still owned by descendants) was purchased in 1866 by the widow of one of my Confederate ancestors - Great-Great Grandpa John Meredith Crutchfield. I'm still curious how a Confederate widow was able to make such a purchase so soon after the war. It's quite puzzling to me.

Below are a couple of photographs I took - first of the remaining stone foundation of the home and one of the landscape of the general area. More posts to come on this topic at some point in the future. Here, on the old homesite, a woman descended from Scottish nobility eked out a living and raised five children; the rocky ground of this Blue Ridge mountainside not much unlike the highlands of her home land in Scotland.

23 August 2012

Pro Union, Pro Confederate Bias?

*Update: Kevin responds, kinda. I think he sorta missed my point as he lays out moral arguments for his perspective. That's fine - I actually agree with some of his comments. Regardless, his "anti-Confederacy" sentiments are obvious and I'm not the only one to notice. Readers there and here and many other places have pointed it out - and certainly not all of them are "neo-Confederates" (I already hear that response winding up). 

Moreover, both Robert Krick and James Robertson have made references to the "anti-Confederate" and/or "anti-Southern" perspectives of historians (not Kevin specifically). Nothing new about taking that view. As a matter of fact, it seems to me to be a pretty mainstream/uncontroversial view.

See another response here.

We're told bias among "objective" historians, academics, etc, etc. is largely a myth. Really? So here's a contrast to consider - take a look at the sampling of comments from what many consider a biased, Pro-Union Civil War blogger, Kevin Levin, in regards to a new movie about Lincoln which hasn't even been released yet:

I can’t wait to see it! I love the cast . . . I’m sure the film will have large set-pieces with fine performances.

it’s going to be an important film, if for no other reason than it will likely shape (for better or worse) and entire generation of Americans’ image of the 16th president.

Accurate or not, they provoke discussion in public and in academe.  

I’ve been anticipating this movie for quite some time.

Now, compare them with comments from Kevin's blog regarding Gods and Generals:

I hope Ron Maxwell never has the opportunity to make another movie.

I watched it again the other day and wondered why I ever thought the movie was any good. I think Ron Maxwell joined the SCV and got a blood transfusion from Mort Kuntsler between making “Gettysburg” and “Gods and Saints…oh, I’m sorry, Generals.”

I actually couldn’t watch “Gods and Generals” all the way through because it was so bad, as a movie. Unlike the racist “Birth of a Nation” which was good movie making(for 1916). G and G had appalling politics, and is an utter crapfest.

if any of the students get out of line, you could make them sit and watch the entire God-awful movie and I guarantee they won’t act up anymore.

Please, the film Gods and Generals is incredibly biased towards the Confederacy with no apology given to a movement that wished to destroy a democratic union [actually, it's a constitutional republic, but I won't quibble] and propogate [sic] slavery.

Some will say I'm over sensitive and am reading too much into this. But I don't think so. 

I'll reserve my opinion on the Lincoln film until I actually see it.

22 August 2012

Conservatives Read More Books?

Now this is quite fascinating. As the lefty (and a few on the right as well) historians continue to pile on David Barton, it seems most readers on the left prefer Howard Zinn. Makes perfect sense. One academic historian on Kevin Levin's blog recently lamented how local PBS execs were coming under fire for not airing any of Barton's videos, yet the same historian made no mention that Howard Zinn is perfectly acceptable (see here and here) on PBS. Yes, of course, "right-wing kook historians" are a no-no, but left-wing kook historians are a-ok. No diversity of viewpoints allowed in academia and government subsidized propaganda outlets. Anyone surprised? 

But back to the map. What's this tell us? Perhaps that conservatives are more voracious readers and much better informed than are progressives and lefties?

Here is Amazon's current Election Heat Map for 2012:

Amazon will update this map daily. Be sure and visit the link and see what you can learn. Check out the actual list of books. As I said, it is quite fascinating. Don't know, but if this map is any indication of what could happen politically in November, some folks have to be very worried.

21 August 2012

The Old Confederacy Is More Generous . . .

than yankee land. Of course, we already knew this. Those on the left are always eager to give away money - as long as it's not their own. This is why they get Washington to do it - skimming a tidy little sum off the top while they're at it. It's also why so many academics are leftists - they love government money - grants, tax dollars, etc, etc. Those who are philosophically and politically conservative are much more generous with their own money, as yet another recent study shows:

Red states are more generous than blue states. The eight states where residents gave the highest share of income to charity went for John McCain in 2008. The seven-lowest ranking states supported Barack Obama . . . Religion has a big influence on giving patterns. Regions of the country that are deeply religious are more generous than those that are not. Two of the top nine states—Utah and Idaho—have high numbers of Mormon residents, who have a tradition of tithing at least 10 percent of their income to the church. The remaining states in the top nine are all in the Bible Belt.

This is actually a quite fascinating study, particularly when you consider that many professional historians and academics continue to look forward to the day when the South loses it's cultural uniqueness (and superiority).

The reasons for the discrepancies among states, cities, neighborhoods are rooted in part in each area’s political philosophy about the role of government versus charity.
Isn't that interesting, especially when juxtaposed with Professor David Blight's lament:

Why doesn't the Confederacy just fade away? Is it because we are irresistibly fascinated by catastrophic loss? Or is it something else? Is it because the Confederacy is to this day the greatest conservative resistance to federal authority in American history?

Those with a conservative political philosophy and traditional worldview would rather take care of things themselves, within their communities and churches, instead of having a big bloated federal government do it. 

This, as well as so many other pieces of evidence, shows that the South remains culturally set apart from the rest of the Nation - no matter how hard the Ivory Tower Wizards try to change it. 

Read all about it here and here.

19 August 2012

Opinion On The Confederacy Is Not Monolithic . . .

even among yankees.

We're reminded, ad nauseum, by a number of pro-Union bloggers and historians that the South's views on how the Confederacy and her symbols should be remembered are not monolithic in the South. It's part of the cabal's dream to mold the South into the "sameness" of the rest of the country. They dislike the South's unique regional culture, her symbols and distinctive dialects, and it's instinctive conservatism. It just doesn't fit with their progressive utopian plans for the future. Noted historian David Blight has expressed this frustration with the South, her symbols, and her conservatism:

Why is the Confederacy, a mere four-year experiment in revolution to preserve a slaveholding society, [sic] still so interesting to so many people . . . Why doesn't the Confederacy just fade away? Is it because we are irresistibly fascinated by catastrophic loss? Or is it something else? Is it because the Confederacy is to this day the greatest conservative resistance to federal authority in American history?

But it's not just Southerners who hold divergent views on the Confederacy's legacy, as well as her symbols. Yankees don't always fit the expected mold either. Case in point: I very recently hosted a young couple at my home for supper. (We'll call them Mr. and Mrs. Yank.) These folks are related to me by marriage. The husband is currently enrolled at Regent University and has one year of law school left. He was born and raised in New York. His wife recently passed the bar exam in New York after obtaining her law degree from the University of Virginia. She's originally from South Korea and wants to work in immigration law - her keenest interest is in working in a non-profit combating human trafficking. Her parents are missionaries.

All in all, we had about 8 people gathered around our supper table and I had the opportunity to sit next to Mr. and Mrs. Yank during the meal and we enjoyed a robust conversation about Virginia history and the law (As a former Virginia Magistrate, I was delighted to share some of my knowledge and experiences and they were quite interested in listening.) We discussed the conservative nature of Virginia law and legal customs and the conversation drifted into what Mr. Yank noted as some of the dramatic changes in federal and state relations after 1865 - and, no, we were not focusing on slavery. Naturally, we began discussing the WBTS. In my parlor, I have a number of prints whose subject matter is Civil War related - some portraits of Lee, Jackson, etc. Some of these feature the Confederate flag. Mr. and Mrs. Yank complimented me on my choice of prints during the course of our stimulating and delightful conversation.

One of my other relatives had informed the couple of my passion for relic hunting and metal detecting and they both expressed a desire to come into my basement office to see some of my collection. Of course, I obliged. As I was showing them some of the various items I've found near Virginia battlefields and on Shenandoah Valley farms, we again started discussing the WBTS and Mr. Yank said, as part of that discussion,

my sympathies lie with the political principles for which the Confederacy was fighting.

I was a bit taken aback but as I glanced at his wife, who is not yet an American citizen, she was smiling broadly and nodding approvingly. My assumptions about both of them were duly shattered. It was a wonderful experience.

18 August 2012

So Who's Obsessed With The Confederate Flag?

According to certain bloggers, everyone but them, even though an objectve look at the evidence shows quite the opposite. For example, just search these two academic related history blogs (here and here) using the search phrase "Confederate Flag" and "Confederate Heritage" and see what you get. Quite instructive.

Both Levin and Simpson focus many, if not most, of their posts discussing those who are "obsessed" with the Confederate flag and their Confederate heritage. What, are they envious?

While it's true some folks are obsessed with these topics, I believe it's quite accurate to point out that Levin and Simpson are obsessed with the obsessors.

17 August 2012

Last Private Toll Bridge In The United States

As a follow up to my last post . . . This is a toll bridge between West Virginia and Maryland. It crosses the Potomac river near Oldtown, Maryland - supposedly the last private toll bridge in the United States.

16 August 2012

The Last Poled Ferry In The United States

This is a great little video about the last pole operated ferry in the United States: Hatton Ferry on the James River near Scottsville, Virginia - about an hour from my home. It dates to 1870 and is still in operation. It will ferry your car across the river. Quite interesting. Great tubing, canoeing, and fishing in that area too!

Below is a picture of me, along with three of my four daughters, at the Hatton Ferry in 2003.

14 August 2012

History & Worldviews

A lot of discussion has gone on here about the various ideologies which impact the way a person approaches the study of history. I've been very open about my worldview - I'm not ashamed of it nor do I feel the need to pretend I don't have one as so many others do. I have confidence it my *presuppositions. Others in the blogoshpere either don't have that same confidence or they're ashamed of their worldview, or think they can continue the rather transparent sham that they don't have a worldview which impacts their approach. I'm glad I don't find myself in any of those positions.

With that in mind, I'd recommend readers consider the Hillsdale College lecture on Progressive ideology: “The Progressive Rejection of the Founding” It's free and is part 9 of a 10 part course: Constitution 101. From the lecture's overview:

Progressivism is the belief that America needs to move or “progress” beyond the principles of the American Founding. Organized politically more than a hundred years ago, Progressivism insists upon flexibility in political forms unbound by fixed and universal principles [i.e., **moral relativism]. Progressives hold that human nature is malleable and that society is perfectible [180 from what the Founders believed]. Affirming the inexorable, positive march of history, Progressives see the need for unelected experts who would supervise a vast administration of government.

Progressivism is rooted in the philosophy of European thinkers, most notably the German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel. Progressivism takes its name from a faith in “historical progress.” According to the leading lights of Progressivism, including Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and John Dewey, human nature has evolved beyond the limitations that the Founders identified. Far from fearing man’s capacity for evil, Progressives held that properly enlightened human beings could be entrusted with power and not abuse it.
. . . The Constitution’s arrangement of government, based upon the separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalism, only impeded effective government, according to Progressives. The limited government of the Founding is rejected in favor of a “living Constitution.”

This ideology is diametrically opposed to what the Founders believed and implemented in founding the United States - as imperfect as that founding was, it is far superior to anything Progressivism has ever produced. The notion that the Constitution "only impeded effective government" is precisely what Barack Obama believes and why he rejects our Founding principles and why he promised to "fundamentally transform" the United States. (How's that working out?) 

"It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and the Warren court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can't do to you, it says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn't shifted." ~ Barack Obama

It is also why so many well known academic historians endorsed him, as well as a number of history bloggers. (How's that working out?)

And since so many academic historians (and history bloggers) embrace this dangerous ideology, it's important to understand it so one can understand why these people write and believe what they do. If one understands where they're coming from, it's quite easy to know where they're going - and where they want to take others.

And the very same people who attack historians and writers on the right who ostensibly have a political agenda, have one themselves - only theirs is rooted in history's failures, their opponents in it's success. If you doubt that they're not all reading from the same Progressive script, just read their blogs and writings. Groupthink on steroids. It's stunningly predictable.

The problem a lot of these folks have is that they tend to live in an academic bubble. When you live in a bubble, you make the mistake of thinking everybody thinks the same way you and your associates do - or can be easily convinced to think that way. These people tend to be insulated from reality. This should be quite obvious as they never seem to be able to grasp the fact that their faculty lounge philosophies and worldviews are colossal and demonstrable failures. 

The lecture will be conducted by Ronald J. Pestritto who is the Charles and Lucia Shipley Chair in the American Constitution, Associate Professor of Politics, and Dean of the Graduate School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College. He holds a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from the Claremont Graduate University.

You can view materials and watch the lecture here.

If you just want to watch the video, you can do so below.

*This does not mean I can't learn a new perspective on a particular subject or be swayed toward certain conclusions when presented with objective facts. It does mean that I have a particular worldview which has been shaped by my own study and experiences and that I am confident of the rightness of that worldview; particularly since I was once on the other (dark) side. In other words, been there, done that.

My mind is open, but I do try to keep the filter clean.

**This makes sense as the majority of these folks embrace the same philosophy - moral relativism - in other areas as well, e.g. social issues. 

We're Still Fighting The American Revolution

David Blight believes we're still fighting the American Civil War. Chris Matthews believes we're still fighting the American Revolution. Birds of a feather . . .

Wow, that's a whole lot of shootin' going on at the same time. Blue Coats,  Grey Backs, Red Coats, and Buckskins - this could get confusing. At whom do I shoot? Ah, I know - the Tea Party!

Let's see, I believe I recall a lot of lefty history bloggers lambasting the Tea Party for misusing history for political agendas. And now, the crickets . . .

13 August 2012

Freedom Project Education - The New Paradigm

". . . firmly rooted in Judeo-Christian values . . . A classical education in the tradition of the Founding Fathers . . ."

Experience FPE - Teaser from FreedomProject on Vimeo.

Metal Detecting Post #82 - Underwater Relic Recoveries

Maybe I should take up scuba diving.

11 August 2012

Another Confederate Ancestor

I went to the Crutchfield family reunion today at Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton,Virginia and discovered I have yet another Confederate ancestor. Number four that I know of - another great-great grandfather - Lewis F. Clark who served with the 5th Virginia Infantry. I was quite delighted to find this out as the 5th Virginia was part of the Stonewall Brigade. I'll be exploring his service record more in the coming days and report back anything interesting.

I was also fortunate enough to become reacquainted with one of my Crutchfield relatives. Later this month, we're going to explore an old family homesite in a remote area of Rockbridge County. Only the stones from the old chimney and foundation remain. I'll share what I find.

Learn The History They Didn't Teach You

Would you like to listen to lectures by Professors who hold advanced degrees in history, but aren't infected with the virus of political correctness and promoting leftist ideology and the rest of the garbage currently being pumped out by academia and lefty history bloggers? Well now you can.

The faculty.

10 August 2012

A Man After My Own Heart

"There's a rebel lying deep in my soul. Anytime anybody tells me the trend is such and such, I go the opposite direction. I hate the idea of trends. I hate imitation; I have a reverence for individuality."
~ Clint Eastwood

09 August 2012

Civil War Chaplains Museum In The News

Fellow board member Alan Farley has a piece about the National Civil War Chaplains Museum in the current issue of the  Civil War Courier:

War Between the States Chaplains preformed a myriad of duties for their charges. They preached, acted as personal counselors, teachers, visited the sick, wrote letters, sought supplies, wrote unit histories, and also acted as bulwarks against the usual vices associated with camp life. In a few cases some chaplains also took up arms and joined in the fray of battle. In the words of Dr. James I. Robertson at the Museum’s grand opening; “They had an abiding faith in God’s will. This museum will be a fitting and appropriate memorial to the 3,000 plus men who truly followed St. Paul. They kept the faith, they fought the good fight.”

You can read the rest of the piece here.

08 August 2012

Abortion: the Modern Day Slave Master?

More on abortion and slavery:

“I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper.”  So spoke Abraham Lincoln as he signed the Emancipation Proclamation 150 years ago this year.  At the close of the Civil War a few years after the proclamation was issued, slavery was abolished on American soil.
But the story of the slave does not end there . . .
Our country should continue to take action to help victims of modern day slavery by engaging in the legislative process, supporting involved ministries, working internationally through State Department  advocacy and diplomacy, and certainly through our prayers.  We must not allow abortion to be the modern day slave master.

More here on the left's (including most academic historians) blind spot.

07 August 2012

Abortion & Slavery

This is the elephant in the room currently occupied by social historians - particularly those who specialize in the Civil War:

If there is a modern-day movement that can be compared to the abolitionists, it is the pro-life, anti-abortion advocates on the right who argue that abortion is not just morally wrong from the standpoint of religion, but also a violation of the natural rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
While there is a rational argument to be made that a fertilized egg is not exactly equal to a fully grown adult human life, it is also more than reasonable to state that human life, deserving of all the protections that natural rights should entail, begins well before natural birth takes place. That of course, only applies if one believes in natural rights as the Founding Fathers and abolitionists did.
Just as slaveholders cried foul that their “Southern Rights” had been under assault by “agitators” in the North, pro-abortion advocates on the Left try to shut down debate on the issue and make a national policy out of a practice that many Americans find abhorrent.
Just as Chief Justice Roger Taney tried to inaccurately codify slavery and the principle of inequality between the races in the Constitution in the Dred Scott v. Sanford case, so too have those on the Left tried to twist the meaning of the Constitution in the Griswold v. Connecticut and then the Roe v. Wade cases that created a “right to privacy” and nationalized abortion through the “emanations” and “penumbras” of the Bill of Rights.

The piece also discusses American exceptionalism and the "natural rights" views of the Founders compared to the "positive rights" views of those on the left today. Read more of this interesting article here, at History News Network. Many of today's "objective" historians like to draw comparisons between current conservative movements like the Tea Party and the Confederacy - opposing civil rights, etc, etc, - yet they never seem to note the historical similarities between abortion and slavery. 

Why do you suppose that is? Hmmm . . . I envision a lot of squirming.

05 August 2012

Do You Speak Dixie?

I do. My score was 84%. I'm ashamed I didn't get 100. Take the test here. Share your score in the comments.


04 August 2012

Front Porch Pickin' #23 - Goin' Back To Old Virginia

I've never lived more than 10 miles from the spot I was born in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. My father, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, and great-great grandfathers are all buried within 10 miles of where I was born and where I now live. I've never left, but I love this song. As always, our Front Porch Pickin' series brings you the very best in Southern Appalachian bluegrass, gospel, and traditional music. Get your culture here. Click on the play button below.

Going Back To Old Virginia

Relocating The Rural Bitter Clingers

A couple of years ago, I had a university professor tell me, "We all need to live in town." I was pretty sure I knew what he meant, but did not engage the pony-tailed pontificator--not because I wasn't up to the challenge, I just didn't have the time. He had swallowed the elitist notion that humans need to be corralled, controlled, and conformed in a commune-like environment. Yeah, I know, some of you who claim to be "the smartest among us" are likely rolling your eyes. Others of you know precisely what I'm talking about.

It is the age-old struggle of rural vs. urban values and ways of doing things. Now comes Stanley Kurtz with a book discussing on how and why ruling class elites like those in academia and government plan to accomplish relocating the bitter clingers. I've taken a quote from an article at National Review Online which was adapted from Kurtz's book, Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities:

President Obama is not a fan of America’s suburbs. Indeed, he intends to abolish them. With suburban voters set to be the swing constituency of the 2012 election, the administration’s plans for this segment of the electorate deserve scrutiny. Obama is a longtime supporter of “regionalism,” the idea that the suburbs should be folded into the cities, merging schools, housing, transportation, and above all taxation. To this end, the president has already put programs in place designed to push the country toward a sweeping social transformation in a possible second term. The goal: income equalization via a massive redistribution of suburban tax money to the cities.
If that doesn't sound like a central-planning Marxist, my ancestors weren't mountain moonshiners. It reminds me of the old Soviet regime which tried all kinds of statist-hatched schemes to prop up an immoral, freedom-stifling, rotting system. That didn't work and neither will the bitter-clinger hater's plan work. Many cities rot due to the fact they're run by corrupt, left-wing politicians who keep trying the same failed policies over and over again.

I would encourage readers to take a look at Kurtz's piece. It's quite enlightening - and disturbing.

03 August 2012

Academic Despisers . . .

Are actually anti-intellectuals. In other words, many of them lack a fundamental understanding of America's founding and the legitimacy of its modern application. Others understand it, but despise it. George Will nails them:

Today, many of the tea party’s academic despisers portray it as anti-democratic and anti-intellectual. Actually, it stands, as the forgotten heroes of 1912 did, with Madison, the most intellectually formidable Founder. He created, and the tea party defends, a constitutional architecture that does not thwart democracy but refines it, on the fact that in a republic, which is defined by the principle of representation, the people do not directly decide issues, they decide who will decide. And the things representatives are permitted to decide are strictly circumscribed by constitutional limits on federal power.

It's important to remember that prevailing academic orthodoxy regarding American history and its interpretation, *is as much or more bound up in modern political/culture wars issues as with anything that happened in the 19th and 18th centuries. As Eugene Genovese has pointed out:

. . . 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.)

Professor David Blight is a good example of what Genovese has written. Blight despises conservatism and doesn't even attempt to hide his feelings:

Why doesn't the Confederacy just fade away? Is it because we are irresistibly fascinated by catastrophic loss? Or is it something else? Is it because the Confederacy is to this day the greatest conservative resistance to federal authority in American history? (See more here, here, and here.)
Of course, Genovese isn't the only one who recognizes academia's "correct ideological line".

Historians, like everyone else, have their own political views. But these used to be kept separate from the scholarly role, which was to interpret and explain the past . . . With each passing year, the American historians have become more and more marginalized, and more irrelevant to anyone seeking insight about our nation's past. A few decades ago, the left wing was a small group, welcomed to participate by the mainstream historians in the profession, but unable to impose their will on a majority of sane historians. Today, they control the profession, and their two major associations have become almost indistinguishable from the organizations of the far Left. (History News Network)

Leftists in academia simply despise conservatism and it's philosophical foundations. The Founders, as well as the Confederacy, provide them with (in their minds) a convenient opportunity to perform their exorcist-like "analysis" of our nation's history. But that's ok. More and more people are on to them. They've lost control (if they ever really had it) of the debate.

More of Will's piece here.

* ;o)

02 August 2012

The Trouble With Online Education . . .

Is that it takes power and control away from Big Education and diminishes their ability to indoctrinate - in my most humble opinion. Another view here.

01 August 2012

She Sounds Like Some Modern Historians

I'm sure there are academics listening to this and nodding their heads in smug and assured agreement. From her last comment, it sounds like she's been reading some of David Blight's "analsyis." Where's her tin foil hat?