31 October 2015

Academia: Have a Politically Correct Halloween

Image source.
While silly Civil War bloggers insist that political correctness is a fantasy, the sky falls in around them.
Colleges are hanging flyers around campus with phone numbers of officials that students can call to consult with about whether or not their Halloween costume is perfectly politically correct. “Unsure if your costume might be offensive?” asks a poster that’s been hung around campus at State University of New York at Geneseo. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions.”
Why are so many of the professional historian class in denial about political correctness? Are they unable to admit the reality of PC due to fear of reprisal? 


28 October 2015

More Thought Control in Academia & They Must Have Something to Hide

A Fox News producer [Jesse Waters] was ejected off the Cornell University campus recently after he asked students about an analysis that found 96 percent of its faculty’s political donations have gone to Democrats over past four years.
Oh my, you just can't make this stuff up. "Higher education" - the bastion of free thought and expression. BS. This exchange was particularly enlightening:
Jesse: Do you ever feel the professors are pushing a political agenda here?

Student: I’ve got friends who are liberal arts majors –  they write a paper and they bring up a conservative viewpoint, they won’t get a good grade. If I want an A, I tailor my paper to how the professor leans.
As academics foolishly blame the public's perception of their PC groupthink mentality on "projected fantasies", the evidence that they are the ones living in an artificial fantasy world just keeps piling up. Here's the latest.

Project that.

26 October 2015

Senator John F. Kennedy on Senator John C. Calhoun

John C. Calhoun
For 8 years in the U.S. Senate I have occupied a seat which was once held in the Senate, from Massachusetts, by a distinguished Senator, Senator Daniel Webster. He served in the time before 1850, when the Senate was at its height, and included within its ranks Lewis Cass, Clay, Douglas, Benton, and all the rest. But none of these were considered by Daniel Webster to match the talents and the character of the Senator from South Carolina, John C. Calhoun. They were both born in the same year; Calhoun was a native of Abingdon, S.C. They both went to college in New England, one to Yale and the other to Dartmouth. They had both entered Congress as young men, and they stayed in Congress for 40 years, until they died in 1850, John Calhoun, and in 1852 Senator Daniel Webster. They worked together on foreign relations, the development of the United States, fiscal improvements. Each served in the House as well as in the Senate. Each was Secretary of State. And yet through most of their lives, they also differed on great questions. But to his dying day, Senator Daniel Webster said of John C. Calhoun, "He was much the ablest man I ever knew. He could have demolished Newton, Calvin, or Locke as a logician." He admired above all his powerful mind and his courage.
Sitting as I do in the U.S. Senate, succeeding Senator Webster in succession, I have also admired John C. Calhoun. When I was selected as chairman of a committee to pick five outstanding Senators in the history of this country, John C. Calhoun's name led all the rest, and his painting is now in the Senate reception room. And when I wrote a book about courageous Senators, I mentioned John C. Calhoun. I am not here in South Carolina to make glittering promises or glowing predictions, but to express the hope that in 1960, South Carolina and the Nation will be guided by the spirit of Calhoun and his courage. "I never know what South Carolina thinks of a measure," he once said. "I act to the best of my judgment and according to my conscience. If she approves, well and good. If she does not, and wishes anyone to take my place, I am ready to vacate. We are even."
~ Senator John F. Kennedy, Columbia, South Carolina, 10 October 1960

Unlike today's social justice warriors posing as historians, JFK measured a man against the backdrop of his times rather than the simplistic, agenda-driven standards used by so many modern "historians" and, in his own words, "admired John C. Calhoun." I must wonder, does this make JFK a "neo-Confederate"?

So I posit the question to those "historians" advocating for the renaming of locations, buildings, etc named after Calhoun; or for the removal of monuments honoring Calhoun: Should we also be considering the same removals and renaming for all things related to John F. Kennedy?

24 October 2015

Are Progressives Racist & Violent?

Dr. Ben Carson
Image source.
In an interview on New York City WABC radio’s “Rita Cosby Show” on Thursday, GOP presidential contender Ben Carson explained the threats he has faced during his campaign and how he and his staff have taken “reasonable precautions” to confront those issues.

“I prefer not to talk about security issues, but I have recognized and people have been telling me for many, many months that I’m in great danger because I challenge the secular progressive movement to the very core. And you know, they see me as an existential threat and they know that. But I also believe in the good Lord, and you know, we take reasonable precautions.”

Carson emphasized that he considered the threats to be serious. “I believe the threats are serious,” he continued. “They wouldn’t even be considering this if the threats were not serious.”

23 October 2015

Another Cause For The Activist Historians To Jump On

Thomas Jefferson, aka Beelzebub
Image source.
While the activist historians continue to celebrate victories over the removal of Confederate icons from the public landscape, their foot soldiers have moved on to other targets of America's evilness.
A public statue of Thomas Jefferson on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia has generated intense debate at the school -- and more recently, on social media -- over whether the founding father and third U.S. president deserves to be honored given his known status as a slave owner. . . .The Columbia Missourian reported Wednesday on student reactions to the controversy. "It's offensive to idealize and cherish someone who raped and owned slaves," said one student.
That's right. The author of our our nation's founding document doesn't deserve to be honored and is, according to some, "controversial." College students. Gee, I wonder where they could have gotten such an idea? Just another projected fantasy?

If you believe this is just an outlier protest, you're extremely naive. The drumbeat will go on for years (as it has for Confederate imagery) until inch by inch, the resistance will be worn down and political correctness and presentism will claim yet another victory.



22 October 2015

William C. Davis on Relic Hunters

Excavated Confederate used or manufactured objects are considered rarities. Such items are hard evidence of what material was actually in use on the field. The location of such discoveries can often give real corroboration to documentary evidence of the issue of a specific type of weapon. While Federal laws prohibiting excavation on Federal property are understandable, the loss of historic objects to natural deterioration is not an acceptable solution. This group of objects [above] is an excellent example of the diversity of Confederate arms and equipment carefully documented and preserved by dedicated relic hunters and preservationists. ~ Professor William C. Davis from The Battlefields of the Civil War, page 250, image from page 134.
This is a follow up to my recent post regarding a Smithsonian curator's complimentary comments about relic hunters. With all the negative (and ignorant) comments I've seen on other Civil War blogs about relic hunting, these more thoughtful, objective and honest observations are quite refreshing; particularly since I'm an avid relic hunter and preservationist myself.

And, speaking of "Confederate objects", below is one of my more memorable recoveries - a block A Confederate artillerist button recovered here in the Shenandoah Valley, before I preserved it and after:

Before cleaning and restoration

After cleaning and restoration

21 October 2015

Challenge Mainstream Orthodoxy

Ernest Hemingway, 1935
Note to would be writers, historians and journalists:
“Never mistake motion for action,” Hemingway once said, and that advice is as compelling today as it was in his time. Furiously tapping out Twitter ripostes and predictable opinions from the comfort of their cubicles, most of today’s journalists [and, I would add, historians] are extremely careful to avoid any encounter that might threaten their physical wellbeing or promote an idea that might challenge mainstream orthodoxy. But they shouldn’t be. Because it is only in those encounters that deeper truths—and bravery and self-reliance—can emerge.
Source: Where Have All the Manly Journalists Gone?

I'll venture an answer: They've been emasculated by academia and our feminized culture.  

20 October 2015

For Those Practicing Presentism

(i.e., many Civil War bloggers and historians)

“A mistake constantly made by those who should know better is to judge people of the past by our standards rather than their own. The only way men or women can be judged is against the canvas of their own time.” ~ Louis L'Amour, Education of a Wandering Man

19 October 2015

More Political Censorship/Correctness From Academia

Image source.
A Maryland college student has filed a lawsuit against her community college after school officials denied her request to start a conservative club on campus — a choice that she said infringes on her First Amendment rights.
Opposing ideas and views are so dangerous to those living in a bubble and groupthink environment.

And the deniers will live on in their fantasies.


18 October 2015

Relic Hunting Post #135 - Recent Recoveries During a Busy Time

In the last two weeks I've led a Battle of Waynesboro Tour, interviewed a legendary relic hunter and Civil War artillery authority, spoken to the Roanoke Civil War Roundtable and scouted a Confederate winter camp here in the Valley for relics.

I'm still trying to get some direction for my next book. I've actually started files on four different books, but just can't settle on one. In addition, I've been busy with some magazine articles and research, including several new relic hunting sites which will potentially tie in with one or two of the books I'm thinking about.

Recent relic recoveries from a dug in Confederate winter camp: Civil War cuff button back, eagle button, camp lead and a tent grommet.

16 October 2015

Indoctrination or Education?

Image source.
Common Core backers are sneaking a social and political agenda into nationalized curriculum, say critics, who now have new ammo in a writing lesson plan for teachers that they say gives a slanted perspective of the gun debate.
A study guide dubbed, "The Battle Over Gun Control," authored by KQED, a northern Californian affiliate of National Public Radio, and the nonprofit, taxpayer-subsidized National Writing Project, states that "moderate gun control" measures introduced following the Sandy Hook school massacre were deep-sixed by the "powerful political influence" of the NRA. Second Amendment advocates say the wording, in supplemental material designed to help teachers plan instruction, frames the debate in a one-sided fashion aimed at influencing young minds. . . .“It’s a shift from teaching fact to teaching attitudes, belief and behavior.”
The open-minded and objective know the answer to my question. And while certain educators and academics can whine and complain all they want about "projected fantasies" on this topic, the empirical evidence reveals conclusively who are the ones actually living in a fantasy world of their own making.


15 October 2015

What Does the Smithsonian Think of Relic Hunters?

Professional archaeologists & historians should thank God for relic hunters. A Smithsonian Institute curator pretty much said so in a recent interview:
Without amateur souvenir collectors and relic hunters, the Smithsonian Institution might never have become the renowned network of museums that it is today. “You really can’t have a national museum,” says Bird, “until you have a nation of people collecting things, people who at least have that concept in their head—the collecting ideal. As low-tech and modest as some of these objects may be, they’re stand-ins for this larger purpose of national memory.” So what makes a good souvenir? According to Bird, each one is a “little bit of memory” that’s physically transportable. “Once you have it,” Bird says, “you can figuratively transport yourself back to that moment in time.” ~
Smithsonian curator William L. Bird
We owe so much to those who have gone before us and to those of us who research, recover and restore what those who've gone before us have left behind. We are so much richer for their efforts.

As some academic historians seem to believe they are the guardians of America's history and the only ones "educated enough" to interpret and analyze, so it is with many professional archaeologists. So I find Mr. Bird's admission quite refreshing.

A lot more to come on this soon.

14 October 2015

Dissing the National Anthem

Whether it's social justice warriors posing as historians or leftists in the media, old-fashioned patriotism and love of country is so passé these days. I'm sure these folks would be so much happier in North Korea.

Hundreds of journalists declined to stand during the national anthem at the Democratic debate at the Wynn Las Vegas, with only 20 out of nearly 400 rising from their seats, some recognizable from conservative media outlets.
That is a sickening display of immaturity, arrogance, ignorance and disrespect. Is it any wonder so many people have no trust in these "reporters" whatsoever?


What you see in the video above is, in attitude, very similar to what you witness in the video below, filmed recently at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier:

No doubt, some progressive blogger/faux historian will find "educational value" in such conduct.

13 October 2015

Is This Another Public Education Project?

Back in the summer when we were seeing frequent vandalism of Confederate monuments, one popular Civil War blog featured comments suggesting that perhaps the vandalism was more of a "public education project." In that particular post, there seemed to be a consensus that the vandalism had, in certain cases, "value." The host of this particular blog evidently got some heavy criticism as he later had to walk it back a bit. 

And as I continue to point out, the Confederate symbols are just the low hanging fruit. Such soft attitudes (even if walked back later) toward these criminal acts will only lead to more of the same. Here's the latest example of a "public education project."
a statue of Christopher Columbus in downtown Detroit was vandalized just in time for this year's Columbus Day.
And a statue of Columbus in Byrd Park in Richmond was also recently vandalized.

More here and here.

09 October 2015

Meeting a Legend

Today I had the distinct honor and privilege of meeting and interviewing a relic hunting legend and Civil War artillery expert - Mr. George Whiting of Lexington, Virginia. Mr. Whiting is a courtly Southern gentleman and, at 95 years of age, still very sharp and knowledgeable about Civil War artillery and firearms. As a matter of fact, Mr. Whiting consults regularly with Virginia Military Institute officials regarding their vast collection. He began reading about WBTS artillery and firearms at age 9. And he recalls the days when one could walk over battlefields in Virginia after a heavy rain and eyeball Civil War belt and box plates, as well as Minie balls. He's led an amazing life.

We chatted for over an hour as Mr. Whiting recalled 85 years of reading and studying the Civil War and 70 years of collecting and relic hunting. He's given almost all of his collection away - many of the more valuable items to VMI. I hope to put the details of our conversation into an article for publication soon. Mr. Whiting knew several Confederate Veterans and is an army veteran himself. One of a dying breed for sure. I owe a big thank you to Colonel Keith Gibson of VMI for arranging the meeting and interview.

07 October 2015

Harvard Debate Team - Proud To Be Losers

Image source.
And they lost to a team of prison inmates:
"There are few teams we are prouder of having lost a debate to than the phenomenally intelligent and articulate team we faced this weekend."

06 October 2015

Ivy League Professor Uses Racial Epiteth Against Ben Carson

According to a report from the Washington Examiner, an Ivy League professor has used a racial slur in describing Dr. Ben Carson. Why? Because he doesn't have a problem with folks flying the Confederate Battle flag at Nascar events. 

Will this professor suffer any serious repercussions for the racist remark? I doubt it. (And were this a conservative in academia, you can bet the CW bloggers would be all over it.)

02 October 2015

Relic Hunting Post #133 - Hunting a Union Camp in Culpeper, Virginia

This was an organized relic hunt from last November. During this hunt, I made one of my all time favorite recoveries. And another relic hunter hit solid gold.

01 October 2015