History

Backward Causality and the Current Year

One of the best things about getting older is that the “amusement quotient” increases, almost geometrically.

So now the “1900s” is so  long ago that it’s not really relevant to 2017, which presumably sprang sui generis from the Womyn’s Studies department of a $50,000 a year liberal arts college. (more…)

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Civil War 2.0 Will Be Livestreamed

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.

The events of this summer are a taste of what’s to come in the fall, and even more so, November 9, 2016.

Someone is going to win the Presidential election, and regardless of whether it’s Trump or Clinton, the loser’s supporters are going to feel existential angst about America, and their place in it, far beyond the usual.

Pat Buchanan advises us to take a Chill Pill; “For when a real powder keg blew in the ’60s, I was there. And this is not it.” And yet…in “The ’60s” (and the early ’70s, which is when some of the worst SHTF) we had the evening TV news and the papers. The crazy spread slower then. This time, any and every incident is going to be magnified and extremely accelerated. (more…)

America’s Thinning Cohesion

If someone says that America is the one nation based on an idea and not an identity one more time, I swear I’ll…..

Eh, probably complain about it online before moving on to more practical matters. Anyway, here’s my latest Taki’s Mag piece about why Mexican immigrants need to assimilate or go home. An excerpt:

I can’t think of a better example of the “propositional nation” concept so enjoyed by the left. Liberals love to crow about America being an open, welcoming society for all. Mainstream conservatives, who wet the bed over the possibility of being called xenophobic or hateful, have foolishly given in to this abstraction. In a recent address to a group of congressional interns (read: a publicity stunt), Speaker of the House Paul Ryan contended that “America is the only nation founded on an idea—not an identity.”

Not by a mile, Mr. Amnesty.

The late Harvard professor Samuel Huntington has covered this ground before, but let’s recap: America is a country founded by men of English descent, informed by Protestant theology and Enlightenment ethics. The founders didn’t create a country and system of government that was meant for pygmy hut-dwellers. It was made for what John Jay called in Federalist No. 2 “a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs.” These “people” just so happen to be predominantly Anglo-Protestant. Over time, other creeds and ethnicities have adopted, sometimes imperfectly, the American identity, including Germans and Catholics. But we still remain a weird breed compared with, say, the goat-lovers in Syria.

So why is Ramirez so clueless about the historical roots of the country he was born in?

Read the rest here. And please, don’t put guacamole on your burger, unless you truly want to see America die.

America’s first UFO

Apologies for my light posting these last few months, and thanks to all who have kept things going. I aim to pick up the pace a bit in the new year (though if anyone out there would like to take over social media duties drop me a line; I just don’t have the time to promote this blog like it deserves to be). The podcast is coming slowly but well, with the first three or four episodes beginning to take shape, some sources picked, and I’ve even put pen to paper on one of the scripts. Stay tuned.

Also, Ron Fournier’s book Love That Boy is out in April. You dads out there, pick it up, it’s bound to be great. I helped with a little research when it was still in the early stages, and am excited to see what the final product looks like.

But back to Virginia. The lady and I joined my family for a Shakespeare doubleheader at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton last week, and in between we visited two members of the Virginia Antiquarian Booksellers Association. At Barrister’s Books, so named because it’s tucked into the alley behind the downtown courthouse, I picked up a collection of columns by George Holbert Tucker, the longtime Virginiana columnist for the Virginian-Pilot who got his start as an archivist for the WPA. They’re full of strange little details, like the third Earl of Southampton Henry Wriothesley being visited in the Tower of London by his loyal cat, who kept its notorious rats at bay, John Pory’s drinking habits, a congressman’s attempt to repatriate Pocohontas’s remains, and more.

There’s one that probably won’t fit into the podcast’s story, but it’s so good I’ll transcribe it for you here, about the first UFO sighting in British America, on July 25, 1813. Unfortunately the book does not date when the columns were published, but they appeared in the Virginian-Pilot and Ledger-Star. Tucker begins by noting the more recent UFO sightings in 1965-67 before telling the story:

… the 1813 UFO recorded by the Norfolk County man easily matched all of the recent Virginia-oriented ones described in Vallee’s book and elsewhere, plus humorous touches lacking in the others. SO, first a word concerning the man who saw the aerial object and reported it to Thomas Jefferson.

Edward Hansford, the man who reported the UFO in 1813 over what is now Chesapeake, was a member of an old York County family that acquired notoriety in 1676 when one of its members, Major Thomas Hansford, was hanged by Sir William Berkeley for the traitorous role he played in Bacon’s Rebellion.

The later Hansford, a carpenter, was living in Norfolk County during the Revolution, working on forts erected by the Commonwealth. In 1784, he married Ann Kidd in Norfolk County. In 1802, he was appointed harbormaster for the District of Norfolk and Portsmouth.

At the time of the sighting, Hansford operated the Washington Tavern on London Street in Portsmouth, the sign of which depicted the Father of Our Country commanding his troops on one side and planting a field on the other. When Hansford died is not known, but his widow survived until 1832, running a fashionable boarding house on East Main Street in Norfolk where in 1824 she was Lafayette’s hostess.

So much for prologue. The following is the significant excerpt from Hansford’s letter to Jefferson, dated Portsmouth, July 13, 1813, in which he described the strange object that he and a Baltimore citizen named Jon L. Clark witnessed.

“We the subscribers most earnestly solicit, that your honor will give us your opinion on the following extraordinary phenomenon viz.: At (the exact time is omitted in the letter) hour on the night of the 25th instant, we saw int he South a Ball of fire as full as large as the sun at Maridian (sic) which was frequently obscured within the space of ten minutes by a smoke emitted from its own body, but apparently retained its brilliancy, and form during that period, but with apparent agitation. It then assumed the form of a turtle which also appeared to be much agitated and as frequently obscured by a similar smoke. It descended obliquely to the West, and raised again perpendicular to its original hite (sic) which was on or about 75 degrees. It then assumed the shape of a human skeleton which was frequently obscured by a like smoke and as frequently descended and ascended – it then assumed the form of a Scotch Highlander arrayed for battle and extremely agitated, and ultimately passed to the West and disappeared in its own smoke.”

Whether Jefferson answered Hansford’s letter is now unknown, but one thing is certain: The liquor provided by the Washington Tavern must have been pretty potent. Otherwise, how can we account for Hansford’s transformation of what was a legitimate UFO into a human skeleton or a Scotch Highlander?

If Georgio Tsoukalos feels like visiting Southside to explore Virginia’s extraterrestrial connections, I am at his service.

Make America renegade again

 renegade

The book A Renegade History of the United States by Thaddeus Russell, a professor of History and American Studies at Occidental College is maybe inaugurating a new genre in American History. Russell is a maverick historian whose family come from the Trotskyist left and is very interested in libertarianism, however not a libertarian or a socialist but something in between. In a time when political correctness is dominating left-wing activism on campus, these professor tell a tale that is not going to please a lot of liberals. The premise is that renegades made America great. But who are these renegades?

He writes in the book about prostitutes as the pioneer of women’s rights. Now these is not something that contemporary feminists from Gloria Steinem or Lena Dunham are going to agree since they support banning prostitution. But Russell had some strong arguments, prostitutes were among the first American woman’s in achieve economic independence. A lot of the brothels were managed by madams that not only become wealthy but influential in local politics. Prostitution also broke race segregation of the early since most prostitutes didn’t had problems in offer their services to non-white customers and also there were some Asian, Native American and Black prostitutes as well.

There are some interesting things about race relations. He talks about the fascination with black culture and slavery from White Americans as something that goes beyond the puritan ethics of the time. He talk about ethnic groups like Irish, Italian and Jewish and how they became White Americans after being marginalized Europeans. Irish and Italians join the police, the military and became important politicians while Jews were successfully in business and the academia.

But he also has some strong disagreements with mainstream left-wing historians about the Civil Rights leaders because he consider MLK and others were too puritans and on a lot of issues on the side of conservatives. He made a point that is not necessary understood that the radical Black Power movement was crucial for the achievement of Civil Rights since MLK had the leverage to say to the white political class that could choose between non-violent Cristian Afro-Americans or the dangerous black radicalism.

He talks about how the mafia was fundamental for the LGBT movement since a lot of gay bars used to be ruled by the mafia. But also when he talks about the LGBT movement he spoke about how the early leaders of the movement try to present their self as regular Americans and not crazy queers. About how the early LGBT movement there was a desire of acceptation in the society.

There is also a powerful tale about the similarities between the New Deal liberalism, Italian fascism and German Nazism as totalitarian programs. In which popular leaders use centralized government in the name of progress. He talk about the early good relations of these governments and how the World War II wasn’t a fight of ideology but of geographical influence.

By far Russell has write one of the most interesting books on American history of the last years. His book is Michel Foucault meets Howard Zinn. The history of how some times are not virtuous leaders or courageous activists that had made America a better place but the lowlifes that are more interested in their self than the in country whom however by different ways conquest the liberty that today Americans celebrate.