29 September 2014

Camille Paglia Says A Mouthful

Current educational codes, tracking liberal-Left, are perpetuating illusions about sex and gender American history. The basic Leftist premise, descending from Marxism, is that all problems in human life stem from an unjust society and that corrections and fine-tunings of that social mechanism will eventually bring utopia. Progressives have unquestioned faith in the *perfectibility of mankind.

The horrors and atrocities of history have been edited out of primary and secondary education except where they can be blamed on racism, sexism, and imperialism . . . Camille Paglia
Wow. Substituting "American history" for "sex and gender" was my edit, but it is still spot on. More to come on that topic in my next post.

*That view is antithetical to the Founding Fathers who believed man was inherently evil (which is what the Bible teaches) thus their emphasis on limiting powers and distrust over centralization of power, i.e., "...in questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution..." ~ Thomas Jefferson

Moreover, these competing viewpoints are why so many progressive historians seek to discredit our founding principles and the men who established them. The legacy of our founding hinders the agenda of progressives.

27 September 2014

The Burning - 150 Years Ago

Custer's Division Retiring from
Mount Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley,
October 7, 1864, by Alfred Waud,
Library of Congress
Robert Moore posted some interesting comments regarding Phil Sheridan's "burning" of the Shenandoah Valley in the fall of 1864. You can read Robert's post here. My take on The Burning differs somewhat from Robert's and I wrote quite a bit about it in The Battle of Waynesboro. What intrigued me is the fact that Sheridan's activities against civilian targets in 1864 were a warm up (no pun intended) for his war against the Plains Indians:
Sheridan’s tactics in the Shenandoah Valley, with the blessing of Ulysses S. Grant, achieved the desired objectives. Its people were demoralized, and its value as a source of sustenance for Early’s forces (as well as for the rest of the Confederate army) was destroyed. Sheridan was delighted with the results and was convinced that “total war” was a necessary and justified means of combatting an enemy. In later years, he would use the same strategies against the Plains Indians:

Following the tactics he had employed in Virginia, Sheridan sought to strike directly at the material basis of the Plains Indian nations. He believed—correctly, it turned out—that attacking the Indians in their encampments during the winter would give him the element of surprise and take advantage of the scarce forage available for Indian mounts. He was unconcerned about the likelihood of high casualties among noncombatants, once remarking that “If a village is attacked and women and children killed, the responsibility is not with the soldiers but with the people whose crimes necessitated the attack.” (Source.)

25 September 2014

Socialists Don't Like Positive Aspects Of American History

"Theories should be distinguished from fact. Materials should promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights. Materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law. Instructional materials should present positive aspects of the United States and its heritage. Content pertaining to political and social movements in history should present balanced and factual treatment of the positions."
How disgusting. Imagine, teaching "positive aspects of the United States and its heritage" and "Content pertaining to political and social movements in history should present balanced and factual treatment of the positions."

Of course, the "enemies of American Exceptionalism" don't like this either. You just can't make this stuff up.  Birds of a feather . . .

And remember, it's not really about history when it comes to much of the education establishment in America, it's about social justice - even though many of the "enemies" deny it. Uh-huh.

24 September 2014

A Blue Ridge Treasure - Lynn Coffey

Billy & Lynn Coffey
Photo source
I have been wanting to write this post for a very long time. I first met Lynn Coffey in the early 1990's, though I had been a reader of her monthly newspaper, Backroads for over a decade. Lynn's website gives some of this amazing woman's background:
In 1980, when Lynn Coffey moved to the tiny mountain hamlet of Love, Virginia, she realized the Appalachian culture was slowly ebbing away and somehow needed to be preserved. Without any formal training in journalism, Lynn started a newspaper called "Backroads" and began recording oral histories and taking photographs of her elderly neighbors, publishing their stories in the monthly newspaper. For the next twenty-five years (December 1981-December 2006) Lynn roamed the hills and hollers around Love, writing stories that captured the heart and soul of the Appalachian culture, lending dignity and importance to an oft-overlooked and misunderstood people and their rugged way of life. When Backroads ended, the cry of the mountain folks' words, "Don't let our stories die with your retirement," haunted Lynn so she began compiling many of the articles from the former newspaper, putting them in book form.

Lynn's first book, Backroads; Plain Folk & Simple Livin' was published in November of 2009 and was an instant success. One year later, the second volume, Backroads 2; The Road to Chicken Holler came out to the delight of those who enjoyed the first book. The third book in the series, Backroads 3; Faces of Appalachia completes the Backroads trilogy.

In August of 2013 Lynn published her 4th book about the mountain culture called Appalachian Heart, containing the current oral histories of 19 native people still living in the Virginia highlands where the author makes her home. The material is new, fresh and full of rich history taken from those who can remember what life was like before electricity, telephones and indoor plumbing; before technology became a household word. It was a time when survival depended on how well the crops and gardens grew. A time when the labor was hard but brought an inward satisfaction to those living the old way. When the last generation of mountain folk are gone most of the knowledge of the rugged culture that nourished and sustained them will be gone as well. In a few short years reading books like Appalachian Heart and the Backroads books will be the only way people can know about a culture that is almost forgotten.
Lynn Coffey's work is representative, in so many ways, of the rich contribution that many of the unsung "amateur" local historians and chroniclers of American culture make to our unique history - particularly here in the South. While academic historians seem to stumble over each other on a daily basis in an attempt to rewrite and reinterpret our history with some "new" (and most often negative) perspective, local historians plod slowly along, researching, digging, writing, preserving and documenting the history of their local communities and culture. Their approach always seems to be so much more respective of the history they're researching and writing about. The difference in the two approaches is palpable.

With no formal training, Lynn's work telling and writing the stories of the people and culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains is truly amazing. The volume of knowledge she possesses is, quite frankly, staggering. And it came in a way none other can equal - by experiencing it first hand.

Though not originally from the area, Lynn quickly settled in and embraced the culture surrounding her. She is quite a woman. She worked with local craftsman to build her own log cabin on top of Love Mountain from scratch and also took a 1950 Ford Pickup down to its frame and rebuilt it. She also married local preacher and pastor (and cousin to my wife), Billy Coffey who is himself a walking encyclopedia regarding much of Appalachian culture. They make a perfect team.

I recall receiving a phone call from Lynn (Billy and Lynn live only a few miles from my home  - I live at the foot of the Blue Ridge, they live on one of its peaks) shortly after I authored my book about Stonewall Jackson and his black Sunday school class. She was thinking about compiling the best of her newspaper articles into a book, but was having doubts. She also wanted some advice about picking a publisher. I did my very best to encourage her knowing she had the talent, passion and knowledge to produce something truly worthwhile. I was so proud and grateful when she took the time to thank me for my encouragement in her acknowledgements of that first book.

If you're so inclined, take some time to watch the videos below. I promise you'll learn something worthwhile. The first one is an introduction to a documentary about Lynn, the second one is the complete documentary about the woman from Love, Virginia.

22 September 2014

Dedicated To College Idiots Everywhere

I was recently reading one of the "smart" (hosted by an academic) Civil War blogs and came across a comment made by an "educator" (God help us), which suggested that unless you're "college educated" you can't be very smart or "intellectual." The commenter is a classic elitist buffoon, but his view is fairly widespread among the self-assured (though often unaccomplished), "educated" among us. So, for that *idiot, as well as others who assume someone who is "college educated" is also intelligent, wise and correct in all their opinions, I dedicate the following. Welcome to the real world you idiot.

*Unlike the educated buffoon who assumes that only those who are college educated possess knowledge, intelligence and learning, I do not assume that everyone who is college educated is, well, need I say it?

18 September 2014

Wackydemia Continues To Suppress Free Speech

Actually, the "officials" seem to be making a reasonable request in the video. But this casts doubt on their motivation:
Davis and other YAF activists have tabled at this exact location before; the only difference this time was now her organization was highlighting Penn State's ridiculous speech code policies. Davis said, "At Penn State not all free speech is created equal."
Regardless, the whole concept of free speech "zones" is problematic, particularly with an institution that claims to champion free speech and expression. Details here.

More Wackydemia News

Clemson is requiring students and faculty to complete an online course through a third party website that asks invasive questions about sexual history.

16 September 2014

What Would Braveheart Do?

Those who support the removal of historic flags from Lee Chapel have been looking for guidance from their hero by contemplating, "What would Robert E. Lee do?". Pat Buchanan asks the same question about Braveheart and Scotland's flirtation with secession. And that flag is involved again. God does have a sense of humor, does He not?
No matter how the vote turns out on Thursday in Scotland, either for independence or continued union with Britain, the disintegration of the Old Continent appears almost inevitable. Already the British government has conceded that, even if the Scots vote for union, Edinburgh will receive greater powers to rule itself.
More here.

15 September 2014

A 5th Grader Is Smarter Than The Experts

Not difficult to accomplish these days. In one of our local schools, a 5th grade girl was told she could not use ChapStick in class. This rule was established because of the opinion of "experts".
In a statement, the Augusta County Schools superintendent's office said the ChapStick rule was based on input from local health care experts.
I could tell you a story or two about our local health care "experts" - including the 9 doctors who, this past March, told my suddenly blind wife to go home, there was nothing that could be done for her. I ignored their "expert" advice, did my own research and my wife, thanks to prayer and "unrecognized" therapy, now has about 80% of her vision back. But I digress. 

This 5th grader put the experts in their place.
"She said, 'Dad, I want to get rid of this ChapStick ban thing.' I said, 'Okay, you have to speak to your teacher and the principal, who both advised she write a letter to the Augusta County school board," he said.

Following her speech, Grace was cross-examined, her father said -- with one board member asking the girl if using ChapStick at school might be seen as a distraction.

"She said, 'I think it would be more distracting to have bleeding lips while I'm doing my work,'" her father said. "That ended that line of questioning."

12 September 2014

The Lee Chapel Soap Opera Continues

I've expressed both my disappointment in Washington & Lee President Ruscio's capitulation to political correctness with the Lee Chapel flag removal, as well as my appreciation for his defense of Robert E. Lee's legacy, before. But I have to wonder why the "defense" of the capitulation continues if - as those in agreement with that decision claim - the opposition is little more than a vocal minority.

If the opposition and criticism is little more than "yesterday's Lost Causers", then why did W & L feel it necessary to trot out one of General Lee's descendants to defend the removal of the battle flags from the Chapel? That seems rather odd, particularly if the battle is already won and the controversy has died down and a "majority support the decision." The latest move just stirs the pot further and brings it all back in the headlines. Why do that?

This whole debate is quite enlightening. Would Lee have wanted the flags there? Not during his tenure, no. We know Lee was averse to any military display or pageantry during his time at Washington College. Though Lee was proud of his service for the Confederacy, he wanted to move on. But is Lee's position a legitimate defense for removing the flags? No. The remembrance and the Chapel go beyond what Lee's wishes would have been. Do those using what Lee's desires would be really want to use that as a standard for what takes place at Lee Chapel and on campus? I doubt it. Lee wanted the Gospel presented at Lee Chapel. Does the PC crowd advocate that, since "that is what Lee would have wanted?" And I'm quite sure General Lee would not approve of the current dress code at W & L.

You see how selective these folks are in siding with "what Lee would have wanted"? And now, all of a sudden, the PC crowd gives extra weight to someone with a "heritage connection?" Uh-huh. Flip-flop. 

My suspicion is that the move to showcase one of Lee's grandsons applauding the removal of the flags is meant to deflect what may be going on behind the scenes from alumni who are expressing, perhaps strongly, opposition to the removal of the flags. I believe there's a lot more going on here than meets the eye. Of course, all the PC folks in academia who spend the majority of their time talking to themselves are likely unaware of that. I suppose they're also too busy trying to carry out what Robert E. Lee would have wanted.

Maybe they should start wearing bracelets: WWRELD?

11 September 2014

Secession's Making A Comeback - Thanks To Scotland?

Yes, according to the New York Times:
In some cases, the referendum in Scotland is fueling new hopes, however improbable, among separatist fringe groups. When the president of the Texas Nationalist Movement, Daniel Miller, was invited to the University of Stirling in Scotland this year, he said the Scots were paving the way for an independent Texas. In others, the vote is re-energizing debates with considerable geopolitical importance. 
In Taiwan, which China claims as part of its territory even though Taiwan is effectively independent with its own currency, military and democratically elected government, some hope a Scottish “yes” vote could prompt a more careful deliberation over the island’s future.
Wang Dan, a student leader in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, wrote in a recent column for Taiwan’s Apple Daily, “If the Scottish vote succeeds, it will be worth considering by those who advocate deciding Taiwan’s status through a referendum.”
Those "damn Scotsmen" are always just wanting to be left alone:
The first shot fired in the American Wars of Independence is said to have been from a Scottish Doune pistol.

It is thought that as many as twenty one, maybe more, of the men who signed the American Declaration of Independence had Scottish blood. Two of the signatories, John Witherspoon (the only clergyman to sign) and James Wilson were both born in Scotland. Among the signatories who had Scottish forebears were, Thomas Jefferson,Thomas McKean, Francis Lewis, Phillip Livingstone, George Ross and Benjamin Rush.

(Thomas) Woodrow Wilson 1856 - 1924, twenty eighth president of the United States once said - "Every line of strength in American history is a line coloured with Scottish blood."

Kind of makes you proud doesn't it.
Indeed it does, indeed it does.

10 September 2014

Looks Like Another Successful Project By Kent Masterson Brown

Kent Brown is one of my favorite historians. He's a gifted and entertaining speaker. He's done, and is doing, some excellent work both in writing and documentary production. His latest appears to be yet another successful project. Fortunately, Brown is not infected with the PC virus which so many modern academic historians have succumbed to and which make their perspectives and writings so lemming like, so predictable and so conformist. Brown's projects and perspectives are an oasis in a desert of historians who seem to be rushing to see who can go the farthest and the fastest in presenting America as nothing more than an imperialist evil empire. As Stanley Kurtz recently noted: "American exceptionalism is out and America as a self-deluded imperialist power is in." So stale. Yawn.

Here's an introduction to Brown's Witnessing History's latest:

And here's an excerpt from a review of the film:
“Daniel Boone and the Opening of the American West” is destined to be the definitive documentary treatment of the life of Daniel Boone. A running time of 112 minutes allows more depth than you can get out of an hour-long History Channel doc and the Witnessing History production spearheaded by Kent Masterson Brown takes full advantage of the feature-length format to delve deeply into the story of the early settlement of Kentucky. [More here.]
*Update: Kent is sending me a copy of the DVD so I can do a full review.

09 September 2014

Home Education Continues To Grow Exponentially

In North Carolina, the number of homeschoolers has now surpassed the number of students attending private schools. . . . In the Tar Heel state alone, homeschooling has increased by 27 percent over the past two years.
This trend has to drive the control freaks in big education crazy. More here. Be sure and watch the homeschool kid's video. Right funny.

06 September 2014

The Communists Look For Soul Mates In Academia

The FBI says so:
Cuba’s communist-led intelligence services are aggressively recruiting leftist American academics and university professors as spies and influence agents, according to an internal FBI report published this week.
And . . . 
One recruitment method used by the Cubans is to appeal to American leftists’ ideology. “For instance, someone who is allied with communist or leftist ideology may assist the [Cuban intelligence service] because of his/her personal beliefs,” the FBI report, dated Sept. 2, said.
And . . .
Cuban intelligence seeks to plant disinformation or propaganda through its influence agents, and can task recruits to actively disseminate the data. 
 That part should be easy. I think much of academia already has the propaganda angle covered. 

And . . .
"College campuses are seen as fertile ground . . ."
Gee, I wonder why. Must be all that there anecdotal evidence floating around.  Not to worry, the flat-earthers will not deviate from denial. It's easy to deny when you live in a bubble. More here.

01 September 2014

Like So Much Else Of Modernity

Tradition is rejected, garbage takes its place. Our culture is upside down. We know who to thank, don't we?