30 September 2013

Are Middle Schoolers Being Subjected to 1940's Germany Style Propaganda?

Some think so . . .


Just more anecdotal evidence, nothing to see here, move along.

29 September 2013

Is America Exceptional & Western Culture Superior To All Others?

Dr. Walter Williams answers the question (and academic elites are not pleased):
King John Signing the Magna Carta
Western values are superior to all others. Why? The greatest achievement of the West was the concept of individual rights. The Western transition from barbarism to civility didn't happen overnight. It emerged feebly — mainly in England, starting with the Magna Carta of 1215 — and took centuries to get where it is today.
One need not be a Westerner to hold Western values. A person can be Chinese, Japanese, Jewish, African or Arab and hold Western values. It's no accident that Western values of reason and individual rights have produced unprecedented health, life expectancy, wealth and comfort for the ordinary person.

Western values are under ruthless attack by the academic elite on college campuses across America. They want to *replace personal liberty with government control and replace equality before the law with entitlement.
He nails it. More here

*That explains much of the "enemy of American Exceptionalism" attitude you see expressed by so many academic historians and their minions.

Is College Becoming Worthless?

Google thinks so.
Google is increasingly hiring candidates who have no formal education, to the extent that you now see teams at the Chocolate Factory where 14 per cent of the team members have no college background.
Certainly arguable and not applicable in all fields. But even if a degree still has some real value, is the current process in obtaining (in most cases) sustainable? Charles Hugh-Smith thinks not.

Higher education is a self-serving cartel that is failing students, the economy and the nation. That which is unaffordable is unsustainable and will go away. The current system of higher education is profoundly unaffordable: it exists on an immoral foundation of student debt--$560 billion of which is Federal. Enormous expansions of student debt are required to keep the current system of higher education afloat.
Hugh-Smith's hypothesis is  quite fascinating. And, as I've pointed out before, if you want to point fingers at the dismal state of America's citizenry and their academic standing and, especially their knowledge of American history, the blame lies squarely with academia:
Since the higher education cartel is the sole provider of accreditation (college diplomas), it is unaccountable for its failure to prepare its customers (students) for productive employment in the emerging economy. If a diploma is portrayed as essential, students must pay the cartel even if the cartel’s product (education) is ineffective and obsolete. (Emphasis mine.)
And from another insider, Dr. Walter Williams highlights additional reasons that a college degree's value has become, in practical terms, "diminished":
At many universities, part of the freshman orientation includes what’s called the “tunnel of oppression.” They are taught the evils of “white privilege” and how they are part of a “rape culture.” Sometimes they are forced to discuss their sexual identities with complete strangers. The New York Post story said: “DePauw is no rare case. At least 96 colleges across the country have run similar ‘tunnel of oppression’ programs in the last few years.”
Of course, Williams just scratches the surface, but self-aggrandizing academics should be concerned - most have their head in the sand. Some are in denial about this whole situation, others are aware but are complicit and lying about it. The laws of economics and common sense are working against them.

There is an increasing amount of information coming out on this topic and I'll be posting more about it soon.

22 September 2013

Academia Is Terrified

According to one of their own:
. . . the internet has made it possible for people to educate themselves, independently or in groups large and small, on an unprecedented scale. Startup companies, sometimes unaccredited, are entering the education space as never before. 

. . . in many cases a shorter, more specialized – not to mention cheaper – curriculum is vastly superior to the bloated, politically correct, and increasingly irrelevant program offered by many of the prestige institutions.
More here. Isn't it wonderful?

21 September 2013

Front Porch Pickin' #33 - Shenandoah Valley Boys Make Good

I haven't posted one of my cultural treats lately, so I thought this would be a good time. Old Crow Medicine Show was recently invited to become members of the Grand Ole Opry - quite an honor. The band originated in Harrisonburg, Virginia. As always, get your culture here.

And, as some of my ancestors were Blue Ridge Mountain bootleggers, I offer the following:

Pound Sand

Don't you just love those who have absolutely no ancestral connection to Civil War soldiers patronizing those who do by telling us how we should remember and commemorate their bravery and sacrifice?

My response: Go away.

Addendum: This effort to "help us with our memory" also often comes from those who have made no effort to hide their anti-*Confederate bias. Quite frankly, I'm not interested in your advice on how I should, or should not, remember and commemorate my ancestors' service.

*While I was thinking particularly of my Confederate ancestors when I posted this, the same could apply to those with Union ancestors. 

More Peace & Love From Academia

University Professor hopes for the murder of NRA children.


20 September 2013

Another College Restricts Free Speech

Free speech must be "approved" by academia and you have to fill out an application and present a student ID. He couldn't even pass out a copy of the U.S. Constitution on Constitution Day. Wow.

18 September 2013

Steven Woodworth At The National Civil War Chaplains Museum

Below are a couple of great videos produced by the National Civil War Chaplains Museum at Liberty University in Lynchburg. Professor Roger Schultz, who is Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Liberty, interviews Dr. Steven Woodworth in the first video about faith and Christianity in the Civil War. In the second video, Woodworth continues with a discussion about revival in Civil War camps.

I was at the banquet for Liberty's annual Civil War seminar last Friday evening. Rod Gragg delivered the keynote on the topic of Gettysburg. I have some video recorded at the banquet that I'll post soon, along with some comments.

16 September 2013

Misleading History In Public Schools

Just the latest example. Let's see if the progressive history bloggers will jump on this one. Don't hold your breath.

"The incorrect description of 'the right to keep and bear arms in a state militia' above makes one’s right dependent upon’s one’s membership in a state militia. The founders believed, to quote William Blackstone, that the right to keep and bear arms was an individual right ‘auxiliary to the natural right of resistance and self-preservation." ~ David Corbin, PhD, Professor of Politics at Kings College in New York

And the Supreme Court affirmed that interpretation in Heller in 2008. It appears that the authors do have a particular agenda regarding American history. Surprise, surprise. Of course, as long as the agenda tilts left, then that's just fine and dandy, isn't it?

15 September 2013

After The Civil War - Rebuilding & Reconciliation

As I continue work on my next book, The Battle of Waynesboro, I recently came across a very interesting Confederate Veteran reunion pamphlet. It was the 50th reunion of Company E, 1st Va. Cavalry. This unit was originally mustered in at Waynesoboro, Virginia on 19 April 1861 and called themselves the "Valley Rangers." The reunion was held in Waynesboro. In reading the pamphlet, I took special notice of a few lines. In walking home from Appomattox, several soldiers had stopped and were sharing a meal and discussing the future. A few indicated they were going West. As explained in the pamphlet, one retorted:
"Well, boys, you can go west if you want to, but I'm going home and put out a crop and if the Yankees fool with me any more, I'll whip them again" or like another old rebel who said, "Well, I killed as many of them as they did of me and I'm going home and go to work."

The Confederate Soldier stepped from the trenches into the furrow.
And this:
Once more, thank God, we are a united country, with no North and no South, and with uncovered heads we all salute the stars and stripes.
There's more, much more. But that will do for now.

14 September 2013

Ron Paul Clarifies The Proper Definition Of American Exceptionalism

As this link points out:
. . . real American exceptionalism, rooted in a patriotism that seeks not to force our way of life on others at the barrel of a gun, but rather to do our best, acknowledge and work on our shortcomings, and endeavor to set an example of the kind of peace and prosperity that can be achieved in a free society that respects individual liberty.

13 September 2013

What Is American Exceptionalism?

Now that former KGB thug Vladimir Putin has officially joined the ranks of the "enemies of American Exceptionalism", I thought it would be a good time to revisit what AE means to me and many others. It does not mean a love of government, or a neocon/progressive vision  America acting as the global policeman and forcing our will and values on other nations (we can't), or that we are better in every way (though in many we are) than the rest of the world. 

So, the best way for me to state my position is to simply feature an essay I posted before. This will, at least to some degree, offer some clarity to my own views and what I think of some of AE's enemies:

"American exceptionalism is, among other things, the result of a difficult rigor: the use of individual initiative as the engine of development within a society that strives to ensure individual freedom through the rule of law. Over time a society like this will become great. This is how—despite all our flagrant shortcomings and self-betrayals—America evolved into an exceptional nation." ~ Shelby Steele

A number of Civil War & History bloggers, academics, and "me too, me too" types have jumped on the "enemy of American Exceptionalism" bandwagon. Why? It's chic, hip, cool, sophisticated. You know, it's rad man. It's also the current ruling political philosophy in that cesspool we call Washington D.C. It gets you better gigs, it makes one look better (so they think) in the eyes of the world (like I care),  and it also gets you noticed - an important thing for the insecure and self-absorbed (most politicians). And, of course, its also misguided and embarrassingly non-thinking.

But anti-American Exceptionalism is in all reality little more than the regurgitated and warmed over (like vomit) "anti-establishment" mindset of the '60's. It's lipstick on the pig. Think of it as the "sanitized" version of "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western culture's got to go!"

Many members of the mob to which I refer, embrace a school of thought that Shelby Steele recently wrote about in the Wall Street Journal. As Steele points out, many opponents of AE seem to be suffering from some type of guilt over America's unique greatness and, while facts make it impossible for these folks to actually deny America's greatness, enemies of AE believe America's greatness is due, not to the Blessings of God nor a superior national virtue, culture, and form of government - all which have historically promoted individual liberty, entrepreneurship, and a standard of living envied by the world - but, rather, we are great due to our history of oppression - in other words, we cheated to attain our greatness. Steele gets inside the minds of the anti-AE crowd:

". . . America's exceptional status in the world follows from a bargain with the devil—an indulgence in militarism, racism, sexism, corporate greed, and environmental disregard as the means to a broad economic, military, and even cultural supremacy in the world. And therefore America's greatness is as much the fruit of evil as of a devotion to freedom." (Emphasis mine.)

This shallow, simpleton attitude is consistent among leftists and moderns who, while decrying the "cult of the Founding Fathers" are, themselves, entrapped in the "cult of self". They believe they are superior to any generation to come before them, i.e. "we are the ones we've been waiting for." (How's that for being detached from reality?) It is this narcissistic, self-aggrandizing attitude which is the bane of modern American culture. We see it everywhere: the typical modern - self-absorbed, self-congratulating, conceited; yet unappreciative of the sacrifices, sweat equity, and accomplishments of those who've gone before them - unless it serves their own selfish purposes. This attitude is why these folks roll their eyes and sneer at "heritage history" - they think its demeaning (they're insecure). These mosquito-like critics come off as petulant, spoiled, ungrateful, bratty little children who need their butts spanked. Most of those who criticize the Founders (and those who draw inspiration from them) in this vein, could not hold a candle to their accomplishments. 

These small men sit in ergonomic chairs at their cushioned keyboards in air-conditioned offices with every modern convenience at their beck and call and critique a generation of men who were truly well-educated and well-read; self-made giants who were, in every sense of the concept, renaissance men. Men who could farm, write brilliant treatises on government, history, and philosophy, lead men into battle, track a deer for miles, kill it with a black powder rifle, field dress it, and carry it home for their evening meal. Men who carved a nation out of a raw wilderness and founded the greatest republic in the history of the world. Men who risked their personal fortunes, liberty, and lives so that they could pass on a great republic to future generations. In comparison, most of their soft, flabby, lazy, critics would starve to death if Wal-Mart closed for a week. They can't think, write or speak without a computer or a teleprompter. They can't build an argument, much less a nation. Their writing often consists of cutting and pasting words from the templates of their ruling class masters; hoping someone will notice and invite them to some stuffy academic AE bash-fest seminar where the greatest challenge of the day will be to stay awake.

Steele includes this line in his piece which cuts like a knife in dissecting what so many academics and their groupies believe:

"So in liberal quarters today—where historical shames are made to define the present—these values are seen as little more than the cynical remnants of a bygone era."

That is a brilliant line. "Historical shames are made to define the present" - presentism used in a morality play to demean American heroes and America's founding principles; in order, of course, to elevate one's self (more insecurity). Do you not see that mindset, that bent, in so many academic blogs related to American history? And "remnants of a bygone era" - ah yes, out with the old, in with the new! We're so much hipper today, don't you know? These intellectual fads are like Botox for the brain - and just as phony. These pseudo-intellectuals inject these silly, faddish notions into their minds in hopes it will make them appear smarter, hipper, and "sound younger" than the "cynical remnants of a bygone era." Every time I hear this anti-AE claptrap, I get this picture in my mind of a 60 year-old, pubescent, pot-bellied, playboy wanna-be trolling the local mall trying to impress a woman young enough to be his daughter. Give it up. The more "hip and modern" they attempt to appear, the more ridiculous they look and sound. Neither the anti-AE crowd nor the mall troller are very convincing.

Since many of these folks are apparently ashamed of their own history, they relieve their group-imposed guilt by bashing the Founding Fathers - disassociation (more insecurity). What a cheap, lazy, self-centered way to interpret history. Of course, it is always easier to bring a superior down to your level than strive to reach one which is your superior. It is easier, in Steele's words, to "make a virtue of decline" than it is to be exceptional.

Steele's piece is both broader and more focused than what I've touched on. I would recommend readers take the time to read the article here.