28 October 2012

Our Confederate Military?


**Update:  Kevin Levin points out Sullivan has attempted to clarify his previous statement linked below but, as Kevin points out, only digs in deeper. But, again, David Blight has expressed the same sentiments and he gets a pass. How come?

The battle-hardened veterans of the military favor Mitt Romney over Barack Obama by a huge margin, 66% to 22%, according to an October poll conducted by the Military Times -- and the two issues most important to the voters were the economy and the character of the candidate. 66% of respondents said that either the economy or the character of the candidate was the deciding issue. (Story here.)

While the unhinged left blames Bush the Confederacy for their epic fail of a President, the country seems poised to move on, with the military leading the way. The left continues to believe its own propaganda, i.e. - "Obama may lose because of America's inherent racism." These people are absolutely obsessed with race. It permeates their every thought and waking moment. Their whole worldview is viewed through the prism of race. They  seem to have forsaken the hopes for a "colorblind" society long ago - when they figured out that such a society would not advance their agenda.

As Kevin Levin points out:

According to Andrew Sullivan, the Confederacy lives or at least the racism that pervaded those specific states during the Civil War era and it may decide the 2012 election.  

But it's not just "according to Andrew Sullivan." Kevin forgot to mention one of his favorite historians, Professor David Blight, who has pretty much said the exact same thing:

The conservative movement in America, or at least its most radical wing, seems determined to repeal much of the 20th century and even its constitutional and social roots from the transformative 1860s. The Civil War is not only not over, it can still be lost.
And . . . 


Indeed, yesterday’s secessionists and today’s nullifiers have much in common. Both are distinct minorities who have suddenly seized an inordinate degree of power..
And. . . 

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?

As I've pointed out on scores of occasions, much of modern WBTS historiography is viewed through the worldview of the left, which is why they continue to have so little influence on public opinion regarding the Civil War:

Asked their impression of the main cause of the Civil War, a 48%-plurality of Americans say it was mainly about states' rights. Just 38% say the Civil War was mainly caused by slavery. Another 9% volunteer that it was about both equally. Young people are more likely than older Americans to say that the war's main cause was states' rights -- 60% of those younger than age 30 express this view, the highest percentage of any age group. Those ages 65 and older, by a 50%-to-34% margin, are the most likely to say that slavery rather than states rights was the main cause of the Civil War. Nearly half of whites (48%) say states' rights was the war's main cause, but so do 39% of blacks. (Source: Pew Research, April 8, 2011)

Kevin further observes:

[Sullivan] feeds what I call the “Continued War” narrative that is so popular with the mainstream media.  It’s a reductionist explanation that pits Northerners vs. Southerners and blacks vs. whites. 

But isn't that precisely the same thing Blight is doing? Please, explain any difference. Oh, I know, Blight's an "objective professional." Uh-huh. He is certainly well-respected in academic circles and seen as the model for modern Civil War perspective. So how come Sullivan gets called out and Blight gets a pass?


Moreover, if Obama's problems are about race in the South, then how do you explain Florida Congressman Allen West, one of the most popular political figures in the South and the Tea Party (and a man I'd like to see run for President)? How do you explain South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley? How do you explain Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal? How do you explain South Carolina Congressman Tim Scott, another Tea Party favorite? And how do you explain former Alabama Democrat Congressman Artur Davis who was once an Obama supporter but has switched parties and endorsed Mitt Romney?'s It's easy - it's their conservative principles, not the color of their skin. 

In the left's bubble, Obama's problems certainly couldn't have anything at all to do with the fact that his administration is demonstrably the worst in modern history. Academia's savior is an epic failure, yet they grasp at straws and blame the old Confederacy and racism. They simply can't face the truth that Obama is the god that failed and their progressive ideology had a head-on collision with reality. What insipid little minds inhabit the left. 
 

27 October 2012

For Reflection


"The wider a man's knowledge becomes, the deeper should be his humility; for the more he knows the more he sees of what remains unknown. The wider the diameter of light, the larger the circumference of darkness." ~ Thomas Chalmers

26 October 2012

Old Book Gleanings #2 - The VMI Bullet

(Left click, right click to enlarge)

This is a scan from another old book in my library: The Bullet, which was the handbook given to all Virginia Military Institute freshmen. This one was published in 1933 and the name in the flyleaf is "John Carrico." I thought the prayer was quite interesting. Any recent alumni from the Institute care to comment or might know if that prayer is included in the current handbook? 

Also related, I wrote the following in my book about Stonewall Jackson's black Sunday school class:

Despite the complaints by the Presbyterian townspeople, [Francis] Smith was undeterred. Under his leadership, VMI experienced several religious revivals among the cadets. The two most notable occurred in 1856 (during Jackson’s tenure on campus) and 1869.

During the 1869 revival, cadets would meet in Section Room no. 10 and listen as Commandant Smith led them in prayer and Bible study. Smith’s wife wrote inspirational poetry, and this was distributed among the cadets. Mary Lee was also involved in encouraging the conversion of the student body at VMI. On April 20, 1869, she sent the following correspondence to her friend Mrs. Eleanor Burwell, who was staying with the Smiths at the time:

"It gives me great pleasure, my dear friend, to send you these little tracts. If they pour comfort into one anxious heart, or enlighten one dark soul, they will have fulfilled their mission. I have put my name to some I had time to examine, as it might save you the trouble of doing so. They are all good, I believe. Those of Doddridge I know are, as his work was so useful to me when first my young heart was led to seek my God. I pray that many hearts may be touched now, as well officers as cadets, and that the impression now received, and the interest now felt may be enduring, and bring forth the fruit of righteousness."

25 October 2012

Metal Detecting Post #88 - Ruins and History


Take a journey with me around the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge as we look at some old ruins (including an ancestral homesite), and dig a little history on locations dating to the 1700's.

24 October 2012

You Read It Here First


Back in June, I made this prediction:

Obama will lose both Virginia and North Carolina by more than 10 points. The notion that either state can now be considered "purple" is laughable. The number of "experts" in academia, government, and the media which will see (and are seeing) their credibility ruined will be talked about for years to come.

Now comes this bit of news today:

Facing a Mitt Romney surge in North Carolina polls, Team Obama is poised to pull back forces in the state that hosted the Democratic National Convention and Democratic advisors suggest that Virginia may be next to fall.

More here.

A lot can still happen, but things seem to be hardening for Romney. Though my 10 point prediction may end up a bit over-optimistic, Romney's momentum appears to be unstoppable. We shall see.

23 October 2012

Metal Detecting Post #87 - 1801 Large Cent


I recently received permission to do some relic hunting near an area that was once a large Confederate winter camp. I don't have permission to hunt the actual camp ground, but very near that spot is a bold spring (bold as in 70 gallons per minute). This spring sits on a large tract of land here in the Shenandoah Valley in a rather remote area. The spring house dates to at least the early 1800's - maybe earlier. Anyway, in talking to the landowner, he informed me that a few years ago, he had to do some excavating and fill all around the spring house. Oh well, I thought I'd give it a try anyway and detect as close to that area as possible. The soldiers might have spent quite a bit of time in this location - watering horses, washing items, etc. 

So I walked up a little knoll near the spring and started getting a lot of iron signals from my metal detector, with a sweet tone every now and then. The first good signal was this 1801 Draped Bust, 1/000 Large Cent - my very first one. I also found this other item that I thought was some kind of shield pin, but after doing some research, I believe it's probably a reign end decoration, circa 1860. I also found what is apparently a counter-stamped large cent and and some other iron items. In doing some additional research with old maps, I think I may have stumbled on to an old home site. I only had a couple of hours to hunt the area. The ground was a bit dry, but you can bet once we get some more rain, I'll be checkin' it out some more.


22 October 2012

What I Read Every Morning


I thought this might be of some interest to readers here. This is my reading routine every morning:
  1. The Bible (King James AV 1611, of course. If you have to ask why, you're reading the wrong blog). I normally read the chapter in Proverbs which corresponds with the day's date. I often will read something from the New Testament and/or Psalms as well.
  2. The Drudge Report - this has replaced (become) my morning newspaper. I used to get the Richmond Times Dispatch and liked the emphasis on Virginia, but they took a hard left a few years ago and started regurgitating AP stories. It became worthless dribble which is too expensive to use as toilet paper - not to mention that absorbing the ink was probably not good for my health.
  3. The American Thinker - excellent political and cultural essays with some original thought. Very conservative and traditionalist.
  4. LewRockwell.com - more of number 3 above, except with much more "diversity" of thought, even the leftist variety now and then, hardcore libertarianism and thought provoking - and sometimes a bit weird.
  5. The Art of Manliness - just good old-fashioned man stuff from a youngster who "gets it."
  6. Uncrate - gadgets, gizmos, tools, clothing, and accessories for men. This is where I get my Christmas list to give to my wife and kids. ;o) 
  7. Treasurenet - Love this forum and seeing what folks are recovering and saving out of the ground. Often quite fascinating and educational.
  8. Civil War Memory - Surprised? I like to know what the other side is thinking in regards to historical perspectives. ;o) You can read Kevin's thought provoking blog and skip the rest of the wanna-be's in the Civil War blogosphere who basically parrot what Kevin's writing . . . not much original thinking with that bunch, if you know what I mean. Kevin probably best represents my alter ego as well as modern academic thought/perspectives on history and the War Between the States - much of it wrong. Think of us as Yin and Yang. I'm Yang, Kevin's Yin.

Other items occasionally make the list as well, but this is what I read with general consistency every morning.

21 October 2012

Blessed


Yours truly with my four daughters at #2's recent wedding. I am blessed by God.

20 October 2012

And Why Would I Want To Live Anywhere Else?

Approaching my hometown from the North. Blue Ridge Mountains in the background.
This was the view of Stuarts Draft, Virginia earlier today. It is my "adopted" hometown - quintessential Southern small town. I actually live outside of "town" at the foot of the Blue Ridge. Actually, my hometown is Waynesboro, which is about 9 miles Northeast of Stuarts Draft.

19 October 2012

No Thanks


“(Thanksgiving) is the glorification of an incident in history which has a direct link to the ... poverty and oppression which (Latinos and American Indians) experience today,” Ruiz told The Harvard Crimson in 1998. . .

Oh, brother.

Romney Appears Very Reaganesque - And Funny


Very classy and very Presidential. Though not originally much of a Romney fan, I must admit I was quite impressed.

18 October 2012

Academia Projects It's Own "Isms"


Academia's Savior is quickly descending to the abyss - politically speaking. The Harvard intellectual and former law "professor" represents academia oh so well. This is absolutely  amazing and more proof that academia is projecting when they accuse the right of all the "isms" in their repertoire.



A new study from Washington University in St. Louis finds that under Obama, many black Americans feel less free than whites when it comes to political participation. (More here.)
And . . .

. . . his White House pays women less than men. Worse, The White House has been described as a "hostile workplace," by his own female debate coach -- Anita Dunn, who used to be the White House Communications Director. (More here.)
  
Yes, they are intellectually and morally bankrupt. Frauds. Clouds without rain. All hat and no cattle.  Their walky does not match their talky, which makes perfect sense. Theorizing sounds so erudite in the faculty lounges but, like their economic models, their man-made global warming fairy tales, their Darwinist myths, and their faux moral superiority, the strict schoolmaster of reality and experience dashes their nonsense into pieces and reveals their utter hypocrisy and failed ideology for what it is.


17 October 2012

Allen West's Land Of Dreams Speech


Exceptional. Future President? I hope so.


Homeschoolers Are Radical


In the good sense of the term. Some might even call us counter-revolutionaries. I'm honored to be counted among them. Some may recall how I took one homeschool critic to school (pun intended) and how some of these progressive elites would like to make criminals out of us - since they can't compete, nor control us. Maybe they're just jealous of something they don't really understand. Or maybe they do understand and they are afraid. If they oppose homeschooling, they have good reason to be afraid, as a recent piece at National Review Online points out:

There is exactly one authentically radical social movement of any real significance in the United States, and it is not Occupy, the Tea Party, or the Ron Paul faction. It is homeschoolers, who, by the simple act of instructing their children at home, pose an intellectual, moral, and political challenge to the government-monopoly schools, which are one of our most fundamental institutions and one of our most dysfunctional. Like all radical movements, homeschoolers drive the establishment bats.

Ah, yes, driving the [educational] establishment bats - music to my ears. The NRO piece gets to the crux of the matter:

. . . progressives by their nature do not trust people as individuals and feel that, whether we are applying for a credit card or popping into 7-Eleven for a soft drink, Americans require state-appointed overseers.

And, I would add, interpreting history.The truth is, you don't need a leftist with a Ph.D who is really a sociologist masquerading as a historian to interpret anything for you. (Canting ideologues are a dime a dozen and, when the college tuition bubble bursts, they'll be even cheaper.) If you can read and possess average intelligence, are diligent, and aware of your own biases, you can interpret history just fine. But see, that leaves them without control and the ability to shape and direct. As the writer of this piece points out, that goes against their nature. So, be radical. Tell the bureaucrats and progressives to (fill in the blank).


16 October 2012

Honoring Another Confederate Hero


The story of David O. Dodd is relatively unknown outside of Arkansas, but the teenage spy who chose to hang rather than betray the Confederate cause is a folk hero to many in his home state. Street signs and an elementary school in the state capital have long borne Dodd's name, and admirers gather at his grave each year to pay tribute to Dodd's life and death.

"Everyone wants to remember everything else about the Civil War that was bad," said one of them, W. Danny Honnoll. "We want to remember a man that stood for what he believed in and would not tell on his friends."

Story here. And more here.


On Being American


While some CW bloggers like to use certain black Americans as caricatures because they don't "fit" their interpretative perspective, I think it's more appropriate to celebrate that rich slice of American heritage:


In 1956, my black dad broke the color barrier to become a Baltimore firefighter.  The white firefighters at Engine 6 hated my dad.  Despite horrific conditions, Dad won Firefighter of the Year two times.  Dad won not because of lowered standards, affirmative action, or someone deciding that it was the black guy's turn.  Dad won because he was the best.  That was a time when America celebrated excellence.
More here

13 October 2012

Corruption & Politicizing The Civil War


Reader and world famous balladeer, David Corbett, recently shared this with me:


Federal prosecutors and FBI agents in Washington have launched a new criminal investigation of Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. involving alleged financial improprieties, including possible misuse of funds monitored by Congress, law enforcement sources tell NBC News.
More here.

This reminded me of some more details about Congressman Jackson, brought to us by OVB faithful reader and world renowned Civil War blogger Kevin Levin regarding Jackson's legislation politicizing the WBTS at our Nation's Civil War battlefields and parks. Of course, the Civil War Trust got in line as well. (More on that to come in a later post - that ain't gonna be purty.) As Kevin pointed out in his original post:


Many read the initial bill as falling squarely within Jackson’s own political and social agenda, and his language as emphasized in italics clearly worried many that he was calling for a drastic change and/or supplanting of any discussion of what happened on the battlefield.  His opening remarks at the 2000 Civil War symposium sponsored by the NPS and  held at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. highlights his political agenda and further alienated those that were already feeling defensive.  "Only with the appropriate interpretation of these historical events–of the Civil War–,"argued Jackson, "can those Americans ever arrive at the right to a more perfect union through health care, through education, and through housing."

Is is possible that pols like Jackson often take their cues on politicizing the WBTS from historians like David Blight:

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?

The Civil War is not only not over, it can still be lost. As the sesquicentennial ensues in publishing and conferences and on television and countless websites, one can hope that we will pursue matters of legacy and memory with one eye on the past and the other acutely on the present. 

But just remember - with these folks, it's really not history, it's sociology and politics. They're really no different than the heritage crowd whom they so often impugn - just a different perspective with federal support. Interesting how history repeats (and reveals), isn't it? Let's see - a corrupt congressman from Illinois, doing the old bait and switch routine on the causes of the Civil War - oh, the irony and poetic justice of it all.

Metal Detecting Post #86 - Tips for Using Metal Detectors to Find Civil War Relics in the South


The following is a guest post by Michael Bernzweig

Relic hunting metal detectors are the right equipment for finding such exciting authentic Civil War items as swords, musket balls, buttons, buckles, mini balls, and cannons. Though most detectorists and relic hunters don't sell their finds, relics can be worth a great deal of money, such as Civil War buttons which routinely sell anywhere from under $100 to well over $2,500 plus.  The condition of a piece and the rarity of it both contribute to its monetary value.  For many people, the excitement of uncovering a piece of history – in other words, metal detecting relics – is the prize in itself. Sharing their finds with family and friends is also gratifying. Many relic hunters also put on demonstrations for local schools and civic clubs and also donate finds to local museums.

There are many hunting sites in the south, both public and private, where you can search for Civil War relics.  It’s important to get permission before metal detecting relics on personal property.  Be sure to check with a local expert for advice on the laws in your area. Another important step is to equip yourself with the right tools.

You can probably imagine that many areas ideal for hunting Civil War relics may be well picked over.  The good news is that you can invest in advanced relic hunting metal detectors that will give you an edge in these worked out sties. Equally import is selecting a hand held pinpointing device like the Garrett Pro-Pointer. A pinpointer will let you quickly, carefully and easily recover your finds.  Some top relic metal detectors include the XP DEUS and the Fisher F75 Special Limited Edition metal detector. 

Target recovery can become a troublesome issue, if you don’t have the right tools.  Investing in quality target recovery tools ultimately saves you money, since inexpensive items don’t usually last.  There are three categories of target recovery tools:

•    A knife allows you to cut plugs of dirt speedily and speed up the recovery process.
•    Metal detecting trowels are constructed of hardened stainless steel and are available in different lengths and widths, to suit your needs.
•    Relic Shovels are a tool of choice for many Civil War relic hunters.

The metal detector you choose can also be designed specifically to hunt for relics on particular types of terrain.  In many parts of the southeastern U.S. the ground has heavy mineralization.  If you choose a metal detector with a ground balance, you will be able to filter out the interference caused by the minerals and hone in on what you’re looking for:  Civil war relics!

About the author: Michael Bernzweig manages MetalDetector.com in Southborough, MA. He has written extensively on the subject of metal detecting since the mid 1980’s. He has traveled world-wide in his pursuit of educating, exploring and advising others in the proper use of metal detectors. Outside of the business he enjoys mentoring students, being involved in the community and spending time with his family.


1st image is of the Garrett AT Pro. The AT Pro is an excellent relic machine and waterproof to 10 feet. I own one and, of the four I own, it is my favorite machine. The 2nd image is a silver George Washington button was and found with the XP DEUS wireless metal detector. Michael Bernzweig of MetalDetector.com notes that this is a rare and unusual find that would certainly be the center piece of any relic hunters’ collection.

12 October 2012

Colonel Reb Out, Incest In


Universities and high schools across the United States which have traditionally embraced "Old South" symbolism have come under increasing pressure to discard such "insensitive" symbolism. "Old South" balls featuring men in Confederate uniforms are frowned upon, waving Confederate flags is banned, singing Dixie will land you in a re-education camp, Colonel Reb has been stuffed in a closet, and so it goes.


But it seems that Harvard is quite ok with a dance at the university known as "Incest-Fest."

At least one student at Harvard University is expressing outrage over the name of “Incest-Fest,” a hook-up dance to be held at the university’s famous Kirkland House dormitory this winter. The event, described in the Kirkland House Wikipedia entry, is an annual “debaucherous dance open only to [male and female] members of the house.”

Ah yes, the enlightened among us. Southern imagery is bad, debauchery is good. Mayberry vs. South Park. Thank God David Barton isn't allowed on campus. Academia at it's finest. Morally bankrupt.

More here.


11 October 2012

Metal Detecting Post #84 - Colonial Trade Weight


Earlier this summer, I was doing some relic hunting on a Shenandoah Valley farm that dates to the mid 1740's. I found a heavy disc and, like many other "whatzit" finds, I laid it in the trunk of my car. I cleaned my trunk out the other day and came across it again. I had forgotten all about it. I laid it out on my patio where it stayed for a couple of weeks. This evening, I decided to clean the mud off of it. I was amazed at what was underneath - a British Colonial trade weight, circa 1760~1820. Trade weights were used to obtain precise weight measurements in trade transactions. Here's what one website says about this item.

"This is a bronze weight of the reign of George III . . . Note the relative positions of the marks - the 'dagger', the fancy A, the ewer, and the royal cypher."



The "A" at 9 o'clock is for "avoirdupois." According to Encyclopedia Britannica:

"avoirdupois weight, traditional system of weight in the British Imperial System and the United States Customary System of weights and measures. The name derives ultimately from French avoir de pois (“goods of weight” or “property”). The avoirdupois pound contains 7,000 grains, or 256 drams of 27.344 grains each, or 16 ounces of 437 1/2 grains each. It is used for all products not subject to apothecaries’ weight (for pharmaceutical items) or troy weight (for precious metals). It is equal to about 1.22 apothecaries’ or troy pounds. Since 1959 the avoirdupois pound has been officially defined in most English-speaking countries as 0.45359237 kg."

At 3 o'clock is a crown over a "G" - the royal cypher.
 
At 6 o'clock is a "ewer" - The London Founders' Company mark.

At 12 o'clock is the sword of St Paul - the City of London Guildhall mark.

Is is made of some type of copper alloy (bronze). 

It never ceases to amaze me to think about the history we walk over every day of our lives. 



09 October 2012

Frauds In Academia


They prey on the unsuspecting and sell their "product."

The two disillusioned attorneys were victims of an unfolding education hoax on the middle class that's just as insidious, and nearly as sweeping, as the housing debacle. The ingredients are strikingly similar, too: Misguided easy-money policies that are encouraging the masses to go into debt; a self-serving establishment trading in half-truths that exaggerate the value of its product; plus a Wall Street money machine dabbling in outright fraud as it foists unaffordable debt on the most vulnerable marks.
More here at Forbes.com.

And then there's this:

In other fields, too, it’s not just George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman, Thomas Edison, William Faulkner, Robert Frost—the college-free supermen who used to be cited as the exceptions to the rule of mandatory college.

There are dropout role models everywhere. An exceedingly short list would have to include Julian Assange, Donna Karan, Paul Thomas Anderson, Sean Parker, David Karp, Jane Jacobs, Wolfgang Puck, Kristen Wiig, Doris Lessing, Annie Leibovitz, Steve Martin, William Safire, Maurice Sendak, Ted Turner, J. D. Salinger, Coco Chanel, Warren Buffett, Carla Bruni, Chelsea Handler, David Bowie, Richard Branson, Sergey Brin, Zooey Deschanel, Barry Diller, David Geffen, Whoopi Goldberg, Donald Barthelme, Ellen DeGeneres, David Byrne, Paulo Coelho, Michael Dell, James Cameron, Tyra Banks, Beck, and Woody Allen. [Add Rush Limbaugh and Bill Gates to this list.]
Read more of How to burst the college bubble: Stop pretending your alma mater matters here.
 

05 October 2012

The Passing Of Eugene Genovese


Readers of this blog know of my admiration for the honest writing and work of Eugene Genovese. Many may also know of his recent passing. The best eulogy I've read thus far was written by Professor Paul Gottfried:

"Absent from Genovese’s work is the tiresome moralizing that now characterizes academic historiography. Even in his most radical phase, he wrote admiringly about the antebellum Southern slave-owners, who believed deeply in their right to rule. This doomed class, which would give way in the Civil War to the dominance of the capitalist bourgeoisie and to the victory of free labor, did not lack for courage or manliness, according to Genovese. The planter class however represented the past, one that was destined to fall to the capitalist North, which eventually, Genovese hoped as a Marxist, would be overthrown by world socialism. By the way, Marx and Engels did not exhibit any of the tender feelings for the Southern side that one finds in their onetime follower. They saw the Civil War, like our liberals and neoconservatives, as an unvarnished struggle between Good and Evil."

More here.

04 October 2012

Getting Their Message Out


In recent years, we've seen an increase in the number of articles and blog posts comparing Confederate soldiers to Nazis. It is an intellectually dishonest comparison with ideological and political motivations. Those promoting such an interpretation should be pleased with this bit of news. Evidently they're having some success in getting their message out:

The Confederate Memorial Park near Point Lookout was vandalized last week with a spray-painted swastika on the base of a statue of a Confederate prisoner of war. A noose was placed around the statue’s neck and there was also a racial epithet spray-painted on another section of the memorial. (Story here.)

Beyond the obvious desecration of this memorial, I have a personal connection as my great-great Grandfather, Morris (aka "Maurice") Coffey, was a prisoner at Point Lookout. This is disgusting. Fortunately, many are on to this twisting of history for the sole purpose of dishonoring Confederate soldiers:

Even the venerable Robert E. Lee has taken some vicious hits, as dishonest or misinformed advocates among political interest groups and in academia attempt to twist yesterday’s America into a fantasy that might better serve the political issues of today. The greatest disservice on this count has been the attempt by these revisionist politicians and academics to defame the entire Confederate Army in a move that can only be termed the Nazification of the Confederacy. Often cloaked in the argument over the public display of the Confederate battle flag, the syllogism goes something like this: Slavery is evil. The soldiers of the Confederacy fought for a system that wished to preserve it. Therefore they were evil as well, and any attempt to honor their service is a veiled effort to glorify the cause of slavery. ~ From Born Fighting by Virginia Senator James Webb (Page 208, emphasis mine).

Thus, any attempt to "glorify slavery" should be fought and one would be justified in desecrating monuments honoring Confederate soldiers. So, yes, academia is partly responsible as their Nazi comparisons and constant Confederate bashing encourages this type of thing.

02 October 2012

Historians Anonymous


My, my, my how things have changed.

Then:

Barack Obama has the potential to be that kind of president. He has the varied background of a global citizen: his father was African, his stepfather Indonesian, his mother worked in the civil rights movement, and he spent several years of his childhood overseas. As an adult, he has been a community organizer [Really?], a law professor, and a successful politician - both at the state and national level. These experiences have given him an acute awareness of the inequalities of race and class, while also equipping him to speak beyond them.

Now:
. . . I spoke to one of the historians who attended all three of the dinners. We met in a restaurant where we were unlikely to be seen, and our conversation, which lasted for nearly two hours, was conducted under the condition of anonymity. 

I wanted to know how this liberal historian, who had once drunk the Obama Kool-Aid, matched the president’s promise with his performance. By this time, most of Mr. Obama’s supporters were puzzled by the sense of disconnect between the sharply focused presidential candidate of 2008 and the dazed and confused president of the past three years. The satirical TV show "The Onion News Network" had broadcast a faux story that the real Barack Obama had been kidnapped just hours after the election and replaced by an imposter.

“There’s no doubt that Obama has turned out to be a major enigma and disappointment,” the historian told me. “He waged such a brilliant campaign, first against Hillary Clinton in the primaries, and then against John McCain in the general election. For a long time, I found it hard to understand why he couldn’t translate his political savvy into effective governance . . . Obama might not have the place in history he so eagerly covets. Instead of ranking with FDR and Reagan and other giants, it seems more likely that he will be a case-study in presidential failure like Jimmy Carter."

Now, here's my question. In the first link, historians were proud to endorse Barack Obama in 2008 but now, apparently, there is at least one historian who fears being publicly identified. Does he represent more of this type of fear? Why is this?

A: He's humble and doesn't want all the accolades for his new insight (which many of us had 4 years ago).
B: He's shy and is afraid he'd stutter if interviewed live on camera.
C: He's fearful of reprisals from his, "free-thinking, objective, open-minded, freedom loving" colleagues.

Remember, it's sociology, not history.