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“I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom, and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building… the NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default… they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behavior […]

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Greg and guest host Chad Benson appreciate New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang being the only one to admit that mentally ill people committing violent acts are a problem for the city and that residents have the right to not be assaulted. They also cringe as Iran prepares to install a new president who is already under U.S. sanctions for leading the mass execution of political prisoners in the 1980s. And they react to Sen. Ted Cruz saying that he hopes actor Matthew McConnaughey does not run for governor in Texas because he would be a very formidable candidate.

 

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The United States militia is enshrined in the Second Amendment of the Constitution. And while the militia movement of today is widely known, its history – and the history of independent Constitutional militias stretching back to the dawn of the republic – is far less well known. Why does this matter nowadays? Because understanding the […]

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Of course you’ve heard the name “George Soros,” often invoked as a sort of folk demon on the American and international right, it’s likely that you have some vague notion of why you think he’s a bad guy, or maybe you think the whole thing is a bunch of hype. However, if you’re a freedom […]

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Magna Carta Day: The Forgotten History of Magna Carta Day and What It Commemorates

 

June 15th is Magna Carta Day. While this doesn’t have the same cachet as Memorial Day or the Fourth of July, the history of the Magna Carta is arguably far more important. A number of the rights codified in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights find their origins in the Magna Carta. The charter was drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury as a way to settle tensions between the King of England and some of his barons.

The Magna Carta is the foundation of the Western conception of individual liberties, particularly in the Anglosphere. It is also one of the most mythologized documents in history. Still, many today are unaware of its actual content and the historical context in which it was drafted.

The Origins of the Magna Carta

While much of the historical context is complex, the main point is this: Under the rule of King John in the 13th century, several barons were unhappy with the nebulous nature of rule and administration. The Magna Carta was an attempt to codify the procedures by which the King ruled over his subjects, in particular the barons. The “Great Charter” was renewed by subsequent kings, though under parliamentary rule, much of its main provisions were slowly stripped away.

My Grandfather and the Fort Snelling Bridge

 

This is one of many stories told by my dad many years after his father passed away in the mid-’60s. I was in 3rd grade when he died, so my memories of him are that of a child.  This is a story that I have been unable to confirm but which I am confident my dad believed was true.  You be the judge.  I have tried to fill in some historical details.  It’s a fun story.

Fort Snelling Bridge (MN5) 1909

Greg and guest host Rob Long celebrate a federal court in Louisiana ending President Biden’s oil and gas lease ban on federal land. They also cringe as the Biden administration considers lifting sanctions on top Iranian institutions which finance terrorism. Lastly, they roll their eyes at California Gov. Gavin Newsom for failing to relinquish his state of emergency powers despite COVID-19 numbers being at all time lows in his state.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and guest co-host Kerry McDonald talk with Paul Reid, co-author, with William Manchester, of the New York Times best-selling biography of Winston Churchill, The Last Lion: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965.

Reid shares how he was enlisted to complete William Manchester’s biographical trilogy on the greatest political figure of the 20th century, which became a best-seller. They discuss Churchill’s remarkable foresight about the dangers of Nazi Germany in the 1930s, his courageous World War II leadership, and what students should know about his central role in the Allies’ defeat of Hitler, as well as big-picture lessons on statesmanship during times of crisis. They review the significance of Churchill’s famous “Iron Curtain” speech, delivered in Missouri 75 years ago, a seminal Cold War event warning about communist totalitarianism. Reid offers insights on Churchill’s liberal arts education and grounding in classical history, which informed his actions as well as his 43 book-length works and extraordinary speeches. He also sheds light on the more private side of this great figure, who was an ambitious, driven workaholic, yet also charismatic, playful, and artistic. The interview concludes with a reading from Reid’s Churchill biography.

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Flag Day was once called the “runty stepchild among American national holidays” by the New York Times. While it may not be the grandest of our country’s celebrations, it’s impossible to talk about Flag Day without briefly discussing why Old Glory was originally created, and what it means today. We may know the flag as a […]

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Greg and guest host Rob Long discuss CNN calling VP Kamala Harris “cringeworthy” for her terrible answers on when she will visit the border, a possible nuclear disaster unfolding in China, and a New York Times article claiming Tom Hanks is “not racist” but must be “anti-racist.”

A Famous German Scientist and His British Fans

 

Albert Einstein was one of the twentieth century’s great men, vying with Winston Churchill for the title of “Man of the Century.” In addition to relativity, he was an accomplished musician and a noted pacifist. He was an Anglophile. He was also an assassin’s target in the 1930s.

“Einstein on the Run: How Britain Saved the World’s Greatest Scientist,” by Andrew Robinson tells two tales. It explores the admiration Einstein and Great Britain mutually shared. It shows how the British offered Einstein sanctuary at the scientist’s moment of greatest peril.

The book is also a biography of Einstein, but it is a focused biography. It recounts his life in the context of his relation with Britain. It shows how British physicists, most notably Sir Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell, shaped Einstein’s scientific studies, and fostered an admiration for British scientists.

Jim and Greg discuss Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s comments attacking fellow Democrats for condemning fellow “Squad” member Ilhan Omar, another interview where Vice President Kamala Harris badly dodges questions on visiting the border, and the unwelcome return of CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

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That has not happened, yet. The first testable act in the Latin American Studies course I am taking is a map quiz. I consider it time well spent, learning the capital of Guerrero is Chilpancingo. All the years my eyes just skated over that. ¡Nunca jamás! The second testable act is a two-page paper on […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they discuss Senate Republicans’ refusal to raise taxes to pay for Biden’s proposed infrastructure bill, the results of the Virginia Democratic primary, and a new study showing the unlikeliness of bipartisan friendships.

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The new Mozart bio, Mozart: The Reign of Love, by Jan Swafford, is on sale on Kindle and Nook for $1.99. From the Introduction. “Picasso said: ‘Art is a lie that makes us realize truth . . . The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.’ “Shakespeare wrote: ‘The truest […]

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Join Jim & Greg as they discuss the unanimous Supreme Court ruling that illegal immigrants can’t obtain green cards. They also marvel at the Guatemalan president blaming the Biden administration for the border crisis and give credit to Vice President Kamala Harris for finally telling Central Americans not to come to our border. But when will she go to the border herself? Finally, they clink glasses to a new poll showing New York City voters want more police on the streets.

 

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome Sen. Joe Manchin definitively opposing the Democrats’ sweeping elections bill and get a kick out of the left losing its mind over it. They also shudder as Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm publicly admits that ransomware hackers are capable of shutting down our power grids. And they laugh as CNN’s Brian Stelter starts his interview of White Press Secretary Jen Psaki with the softest of possible softball questions.

S.B. Fuller: The Forgotten History of a Legendary Black American Entrepreneur

 

In the days before President Lyndon Baines Johnson, black Republicans were a thing. And chief among them was Samuel B. Fuller. Fuller was a black American entrepreneur in the mid-Century United States. More than just an entrepreneur, he also gave back to the black community by providing both inspirational speeches as well as nuts-and-bolts training at a time when entrepreneurially minded black Americans had precious few options for either. Some entrepreneurs trained or inspired by Fuller include John H. Johnson of Johnson Publishing and George Ellis Johnson of Johnson Products.

To say that Fuller came from “humble beginnings” is a bit of an understatement. He was born into a family of Louisiana sharecroppers who were so poor that he had to drop out of school to work in the sixth grade. But he also displayed an entrepreneurial spirit from a very young age. The young Master Fuller was going door to door selling products at the age of nine.

A Tale of a Real Shooting Railroad War

 

Railroad rivalries played a significant role in nineteenth-century US history. No rivalry was as intense or bitter as the one between the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe, and the Denver and Rio Grande railroads.  At times it erupted into actual gunfire.

“From the River to the Sea: The Untold Story of the Railroad War That Made the West,” by John Sedgwick tells the stories of their battles. The stakes were high. The winner could gain access to the Pacific. Could, rather than would because other railroads sought to block the winner from advancing.

Sedgwick frames the story as a personal duel between two individuals: General William J. Palmer and William Barstow Strong. Palmer, a Civil War hero, had relocated to Colorado to build the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. Strong was the corporate-minded manager of the Santa Fe. Both men had a vision of driving a railroad to the Rio Grande River and from there west to the Pacific Ocean.