13 June 2019

The Contrarian View - Anyone Can Do History

The Valley of the Shenandoah from my son's front yard.

         . . .

*Above quotes were taken from the book Why Place Matters and a chapter by Joseph A. Amato.

I'm working on a rather lengthy post that will counter some of the nonsense I recently read by an academic historian (of course) suggesting that "professional" historians were on the same plane as lawyers, doctors and engineers. (Eye roll). Some of my contrarian thought will be supported by the works and writings of historian Joseph A. Amato.

A reminder to update/replace this blog link to the new website/blog:


If you want to read the upcoming blog post, you'll need to check back at the new blog in a week or so.

25 April 2019

The Two Percenters

Twitter isn’t real life. In other words, whatever sort of opinions or consensus you see as the mainstream on Twitter does not reflect the actual consensus of normal people who are not cursed with the pathological need to refresh the bird web page all day. . . . A new report from the Pew Research Center seems to, in broad terms, back up the idea that Twitter is not real life in that it does stray from the overall demographic makeup of the United States. . . . Pew’s survey determined that 80 percent of all tweets come from the most active 10 percent of tweeters. Put another way, much of the conversation happening on Twitter comes from about 2 percent of Americans.
Read that again. 2 percent. And, as this piece also points out:
Twitter is not a good place to get a read on popular sentiment about anything really, but it is a great place to get your sentiments echoed and in front of people with large megaphones: politicians, celebrities, cable news hosts.
More here.

17 April 2019

New Website/Blog Update

Just another reminder to visit the new website and blog. Also, at the bottom of each blog post are social media links allowing readers to quickly share with their own family, friends and followers on their social media sites. If you enjoy what you read, I encourage you to share with others as this will help us to grow and spread our mission to,
"explore and celebrate American history, heritage, heroes, relics, adventure and tradition"
We hope the website, along with our products, will continue to offer a refefreshing and positive alternative to the junk history and negativity which seems so prevalent these days.

We are in the process of developing products that will help advance our mission. It's slow going, but progress is being made.

Thanks to all who have subscribed to the site!

11 April 2019

Warm Springs Pools Preservation Update!


Read about the GREAT news here on the new blog.


**Please note, I'm posting less and less here and though this blog will remain "up" for a while, most of my posting will be at the new website. Please visit and subscribe at RelicsandBones.com.**

28 March 2019

Something Else To Upset The Moral Reformer Historian Class

We all know how much the moral reformer historian class despises Ron Maxwell's Gods & Generals. The Civil War's preeminent historian, Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. called the film, the best Civil War film he'd ever seen. But this comment and exercise over at American Battlefield Trust is also likely give them heartburn:

Here's the money quote:

We all know Gods and Generals is the best history movie of all time, or is it? Join us for History Movie Madness, where with your help, we will crown the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or Civil War movie champion! ]Emphasis mine.]
If you want to participate, go here.

26 March 2019

Historians Are Their Own Worst Enemy

“Anti-Trump mob of investigative reporters-cable news hosts, politicians, pundits & academics who campaigned so aggressively to portray @realDonaldTrump as a blackmailed tool of the #KGB #PutinsBitch should have their names inscribed on a monument to bad faith &/or bad reporting.” ~ Geraldo Rivera
Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media.” ~ Matt Taibbi
“It is the nature of every person to error, but only the fool perseveres in error.” ~
Marcus Tullius Cicero
It is the nature of every person to error, but only the fool perseveres in error.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/marcus_tullius_cicero_156305?src=t_foo
It is the nature of every person to error, but only the fool perseveres in error.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/marcus_tullius_cicero_156305?src=t_fool
I can only imagine the gut punch many "mainstream" historians and other "experts" felt Sunday upon learning of the conclusions of Robert Mueller's long anticipated report. It was the EXACT OPPOSITE of what these "experts" had not only predicted, but what they had longed for. So reminiscent of November 2016, isn't it? Fools never learn from their mistakes. Arrogance is a blinding vice.

This is yet one more example why academics, "professional" historians and other so-called "experts" in the media are their own worst enemy. (And yes, I lump these folks together since it is often difficult to tell them apart. Groupthink.) Their rage, arrogance and political biases blind them.

Many of the "professional" historian class are lamenting about how their "profession" is under attack and how they're losing government taxpayer funding (as well they should), blah, blah, blah. Cry me a river. These folks have brought their loss of credibility upon themselves. Their incessant Trump/Republican/conservatism bashing and politicizing of history has exposed them for what they really are: political hacks who insulate themselves from alternative perspectives. They seem to be unaware that many Americans view them as buffoonish cartoon characters, incapable of objectivity and incapable of considering that they could actually be wrong about anything.

The first step in regaining one's credibility is to apologize and admit your foolishness. But they won't do that because they're blinded by their arrogance and belief that they are morally and intellectually superior to anyone with an opposing view. Therefore, they will not regain their credibility.

The second step in regaining your credibility (should they shock us and actually do the first step) is to make some attempt at honesty and objectivity going forward. Of course, they won't do that either for the same reasons stated above. For most of them, the ends justifies the means. Therefore, they will not regain their credibility. They'll move on to the next "crisis" in order to take down Trump, in order to push their agenda, in order to demonize those who disagree with them. They're already doubling down. Just like they did after November 2016. It's an amazing thing to observe and a truly pathetic example of immaturity and intellectual bankruptcy.

But that's the character of fools. They never learn from their mistakes.

The irony in all this - yea, even the poetic justice in all this - is that this arrogance and hubris has likely handed the 2020 election to Trump, just as it did in 2016. 


11 March 2019

An Ode to Jake

We lost our black lab last night, just before midnight. Go to my new blog to read my tribute.

02 March 2019

Battles & Bones News

Several new posts are now up at the new website and blog, including part 2 regarding history and activism. I've also got a post up about my latest article in American Digger Magazine. The piece is about the history of the Minié ball.

I'm also finalizing a few other things in regards to the new website and some branding issues. An announcement about that is forthcoming. This will involve a slight change, but one that will bring some consistency in branding as I transition to the new platform and site and as some new writing opportunities have opened up.

I'm truly excited about this new chapter in my writing and blogging. It's been a long time coming.

21 February 2019

New Website Reminder

Don't forget to check out the new website and blog: BattlesandBones.com.

Be sure and read the latest blog posts which include news about preservation efforts, Stonewall Jackson's resolve, the activist historian and religious liberty.

Part 2 of the activist historian post coming up soon with a few new announcements about the website development and some other projects as well.

Please be sure and subscribe - thanks!

Your humble host

19 February 2019

UPDATE: Fake News & Historians' Folly

UPDATE #3: As most readers probably know, attorneys for Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann filed a lawsuit against the Washington Post yesterday seeking $250 million in compensatory and punitive damages. Here's something that Sandmann's attorney, Lin Wood, added that should have some "respected" historians [sic] concerned:
“Nick Sandmann is 16 years [and] old has 2+ years to identify accusers [and] sue them, no member of [the] mainstream social media mob who attacked him should take comfort from not being sued in initial round of lawsuits which will commence next week. Time is Nick’s friend, not his enemy.”
More than a few "historians" immediately took to Twitter after the initial "news" report to condemn Sandmann as a racist, bigot, etc., etc. They were part of the "social media mob." 

The lawsuit claims that the WAPO “wrongfully targeted and bullied” Sandmann as part of “a modern-day form of McCarthyism.” It could be argued that the Twitter-Historian mob did the same thing.

After the truth came out, I did not see ONE apology for the false charges that came from these same "historians." Were I these "historians", I'd be a little nervous right now. They've made themselves a huge target in defaming a 16 year old kid. They were extremely careless and unprofessional. And they can be sure, screenshots were taken.

These "historians" did not practice due diligence. They did not seek out and examine all the facts objectively. They did rush to emotional judgement based on their political biases and agendas. And yet, these "historians" expect others to believe that they are objective in their profession. Right.

Sleep well for the next two years.

UPDATE #2: From the Wall Street Journal:
Most of those who so eagerly maligned these boys will face no lasting consequences, while the boys themselves will always have to wonder, when they are turned down for a job or a school, whether someone had Googled their name and found only half this story. This is an ugly moment in America, all right, but there are few things uglier than a righteous leftist mob. ~ Wall Street Journal
UPDATE: Looks like the lawsuits are coming. If I were some folks, I'd be nervous. Let the scrubbing begin!
He said that "anyone who doesn't correct and retract" their false smears would be subject to a lawsuit and that updated stories merely indicating "a more complex picture has emerged" would not necessarily be enough. When asked if such stories would count as a retraction, he replied that it "depends.
And, once more, Victor Davis Hanson proves that age and experience bring wisdom and maturity - something the moral reformer class of historians would profit from learning, though I doubt they will. At least not until they grow up.
In the current polarized climate concerning the shutdown, Trump, the media, etc., it would be wise for everyone to take a deep breath and wait at least 24 hours before snap editorializing, in response to the latest sensational morality tale flashing across electronic media. In the present climate, one video (or even three or four videos from different angles and elevations) is not necessarily worth a thousand words. ~ Victor Davis Hanson
End of update.
He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him. ~ Proverbs 18:13
Going forward I've made a commitment to avoid, as much as possible, any politically focused posts. We're so polarized now, and the opposing camps so hardened in their positions, that any civil discourse (especially online) has become all but impossible. But, occasionally, there is an intersection that simply cannot be ignored.

I mentioned to someone this past Friday morning, that the Buzzfeed story about President Trump suborning perjury that posted Thursday evening would, by Tuesday, be proven to be full of holes. I was wrong. The story's credibility was nuked by Friday night. A lead at Breitbart read:
Allies of President Donald Trump are out in full force Friday night, rubbing in the revelation from Special Counsel Robert Mueller that BuzzFeed’s once-thought-to-be-explosive story alleging ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen provided Mueller with evidence that the president instructed him to lie to Congress is false.
Given the reputation of Buzzfeed and the reporters associated with the most recent debacle,  I was not at all surprised. Unfortunately, I was not at all surprised by the comments coming from a number of historians either. Like the breathless talking heads on CNN, MSNBC, NBC, et al, several prominent historians fell all over themselves to begin, once again, discussing Trump's imminent downfall and impeachment. No doubt, many of them closed their eyes Friday night with smiles on their faces confident that their Saturday morning cartoon shows would be interrupted with "breaking news" that impeachment hearings had already been scheduled. 

But, alas, 'twas not to be. Instead, they awoke to the news that none other than Bob Mueller's office had taken the extraordinary step to publicly denounce the Buzzfeed story as "inaccurate." Many of these "objective" experts no doubt almost choked on their granola cereal as they realized that their hopes were, once more, dashed. 

Even the Washington Post was quick to put a stake through the heart of the Buzzfeed story:
Mueller’s denial, according to people familiar with the matter, aims to make clear that none of those statements in the story are accurate.
In other words, Fake News. And the WAPO, acting like an innocent bystander, also pointed out the obvious:
The explicit denial by the special counsel’s office is likely to provide further ammunition to complaints by Trump and his supporters that press coverage of him is unfair and inaccurate.
Ya think?

But I didn't see any retractions or admissions of error by the historians on their blogs, websites or social media accounts. Nothing but crickets. And the embarrassing and emotionally fueled mistakes had only begun. The worse was yet to come.

A group of kids from a Catholic high school were at the March for Life protest on Friday. (As a sidebar, this type of civic-engaging activity is usually celebrated by the MSM and progressive historians when it's for a left-wing cause. But this was a pro-life protest, so . . . ) At the same time, they was another group of protestors shouting vile, racial, bigoted and homophobic slurs at the Catholic group. Several accounts confirm this aspect of the story. The Catholic group was then confronted by a Native-American counter protestor who waded into the middle of their peaceful protest while beating a drum. Ask yourself, how would most objective observers interpret that action?

But the video of the incident that first went viral appears to have been selectively edited to make it look like one of the Catholic high school kids initiated the confrontation and was trying to intimidate the Native-American protestor. Had that actually been the case, then stern criticism would be warranted. However, if you watch the unedited version of the video, you quickly realize that was not at all what happened. One could reasonably come away thinking it was the Native-American who was attempting to intimidate the high school kid.

Within minutes there were slanderous remarks made about the Catholic kids as the edited version of the video went viral; accusing them of being racists and bigots and suggesting they should be expelled and their teacher-chaperones be fired. Some commenters even suggested the kid featured in the video should be punched in the face. Social media at its finest.

Once again, a number of historians started promoting the "edited version" of the incident. Once again, they look like fools. And, once again, crickets.

One can only hope that the historians who are so quick to pass judgement without hearing the whole matter, and without at least confirming the facts first, are more careful when researching, writing and teaching history. But the cynic in me is doubtful.

Carry on.

06 February 2019

Another Perspective on Social Justice

Photo source.
The tomb of Karl Marx at London’s Highgate cemetery has been vandalised in a targeted attack that means the Grade I-listed monument will “never be the same again”. . . . Ian Dungavell, the chief executive of the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust, condemned the attack as “an appalling thing to do” and a “particularly inarticulate form of political comment”, warning that the tomb would be permanently scarred.
'Tis the spirit of the age, no? Reaping the whirlwind

Several "historians" are now openly advocating vandalism and destroying monuments. Based on what some historians have suggested, and since Marx's ideology is arguably responsible for the deaths and suffering of millions, then this act of vandalism is justified. Of course, I don't believe that, but it's only logical and reasonable, assuming one is governed by logic and reason. But, these days, that's a huge assumption.

05 February 2019

The Left Goes Full McCarthy

As I've been saying for years (ad nauseam), that all the Confederate iconography, Dixie, etc. was just the low hanging fruit. The real target of the left is America's founding. That is now abundantly clear. The latest evidence is the attempted public shaming of Gladys Knight for singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl - the National Anthem.

Note the not so subtle threat that "we're coming after your career. We'll do to you what the McCarthyites did to folks in the early 1950's."  

For singing the National Anthem. I told you.

30 January 2019

Higher Education & Male Bovine Feces

Notre Dame Professor Christian Smith has had enough, as he writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Some money quotes:
I have had nearly enough bulls***. The manure has piled up so deep in the hallways, classrooms, and administration buildings of American higher education that I am not sure how much longer I can wade through it and retain my sanity and integrity.

Even worse, the accumulated effects of all the academic BS are contributing to this country’s disastrous political condition and, ultimately, putting at risk the very viability and character of decent civilization.
And . . .
BS is the grossly lopsided political ideology of the faculty of many disciplines, especially in the humanities and social sciences, creating a homogeneity of worldview to which those faculties are themselves oblivious, despite claiming to champion difference, diversity, and tolerance.
And . . .
BS is the ascendant "culture of offense" that shuts down the open exchange of ideas and mutual accountability to reason and argument. It is university leaders’ confused and fearful capitulation to that secular neo-fundamentalist speech-policing.
And . . .
Ideas and their accompanying practices have consequences. What is formed in colleges and universities over decades shows up for better or worse in the character and quality of our public servants, political campaigns, public-policy debates, citizen participation, social capital, media programming, lower school education, consumer preferences, business ethics, entertainments, and much more. [In other words, the blame for much of today's societal ills can be laid at the doorsteps of academia.]
And . . . 
Much of American higher education now embodies the problems it was intended to transcend and transform: unreason, duplicity, refusals of accountability, incapacities to grasp complexity and see the big picture, and resorts to semi-masked forms of coercion.

The most disturbing consequences of this long-term corruption are now playing out in our national political culture and institutions.
Well worth the time to read Professor Smith's complete essay here.

29 January 2019

More Negativity About Twitter

From the Associated Press:
If Twitter is the town square for journalists, some are ready to step away.
That’s happening this week at the online news site Insider — by order of the boss. Reporters have been told to take a week off from tweeting at work and to keep TweetDeck off their computer screens. The idea of disengaging is to kick away a crutch for the journalists and escape from the echo chamber, said Julie Zeveloff West, Insider’s editor-in-chief for the U.S.
Addiction to always-rolling Twitter feeds and the temptation to join in has led to soul-searching in newsrooms. Some of it is inspired by the reaction to the Jan. 19 demonstration in Washington involving students from a Covington, Kentucky, high school, which gained traction as a story primarily because of social media outrage only to become more complicated as different details and perspectives emerged.
A lesson for many, that most will ignore. Their virtue requires it, their rage demands it. And not just journalists.
“The viciousness, toxic partisan anger, intellectual dishonesty, motive-questioning and sexism are at all-time highs, with no end in sight,” she wrote. “It is a place where people who are unquestionably upset about any number of things go to feed their anger, where the underbelly of free speech is at its most bilious. Twitter is now an anger video game for many users.”
Spot. On.