Tag: American history

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Radio Liberty does an excellent daily program called Весь эфир, which covers a variety of contemporary and historical topics, political and in the arts. Today they posted a very interesting podcast from 20 years ago about William F. Buckley Jr., discussing his ideas, legacy, and life with a variety of American and Russian thinkers (as […]

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History Matters: Riots on Familiar Ground

 

Two older veterans’ remarks pointed to the late 1960s being repeated on the same ground. The forces involved may well have changed, and that may matter a great deal. What has not changed is the physical geography, apparently. We should pay attention to both the forces and the ground if we are to begin to truly understand and so have a chance at preserving our constitutional republic. This is a national problem. It is made worse by local bad governance and leadership, but there is a much larger and persistent problem of national-level entities seeking to influence politics through violence and the threat of violence.

I had just completed reviewing the books for my local veterans’ organization post. I exchanged greetings with two older veterans sitting at the bar, with the cable news showing Saturday morning’s ugly light in Minneapolis. “Protests,” said the screen. “It is not a protest if you throw rocks or Molotov cocktails,” I remarked.

The first veteran said he grew up in that city and his father had been shot as a police officer in the 1968 riots in the same area. This time, he noted, he was hearing that the people in the streets were mostly outsiders, not from the local community or state. At that, the other veteran spoke up. His father was also a police officer, and had also been shot, but survived, in Detroit in 1969.

ACF Founders #4: An Independent Empire

 

Friends, here’s my conversation with Michael Kochin about how to run a modern empire. His new book, An Independent Empire: Diplomacy & War in The Making of The United States, covers the American Revolution and the task of dominating the continent in the face of Indian tribes and European powers. We talk about the conflicts between means and ends in the early administrations, the rise and fall of the Federalist party, then the Republican party, the original parties in government in America, and the ways in which practical men like James Monroe might make better presidents than studious lawyers like James Madison, or the different kinds of Founders.

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I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday. Book Review ‘Houdini’ reveals escape artist’s secret ambitions By MARK LARDAS Preview Open

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Book Review: ‘Last Train’ Details Fascination with Railroads

 

Railroading was the great romantic adventure of the 19th century. By the 20th, although every boy seemed to go through a phase where railroading was mesmerizing, trains soon lost their place to aircraft, automobiles and spacecraft. Yet some boys kept their enchantment with railroads, and railroads remain a critical artery to our 21st-century economy.

“Last Train to Texas: My Personal Railroad Odyssey,” by Fred W. Frailey, illustrates both. Frailey was obsessed with railroads as a child and maintains that interest to this day.

He turned his obsession into a career, without ever working for a railroad, transforming a journalism career into one focusing on railroading. He documented the modern railroad industry’s impact on the nation over the last half-century in the business press and Trains magazine.

New Online Course on US History from Hillsdale

 

As I know many of our colleagues are devotees of that premier institution of higher education Hillsdale College, and in the probably unlikely event that those of us who love that College and everything it stands for may not already know this, I would like to share the good news that it is now offering a new course, based on Wilfred McKay’s new text, on the actual, not the product of Marxists like Howard Zinn, history of  America.

Here is the course description:

Podcast: Colored Patriots of the American Revolution

 

I’ve been kicking around the idea of doing a podcast for some time now and I’ve finally got around to doing it. Apropos of Black History Month, I’m going back through a book I read years ago by William C. Nell called Colored Patriots of the American Revolution.

Nell is basically the reason we’re familiar with Crispus Attucks. He and several others asked the Massachusetts legislature to erect a monument to Attucks as an honor to the first martyr of the Revolution. The committee handling the petition said someone else, a boy, had died earlier so their claim wasn’t valid.

At this point, the mid-18th century, the story about Attucks had been nearly forgotten. Nell began an intensive research effort to interview survivors and relatives to compile a record of these black patriots for posterity. His book is the product of that research.

Impeachment as Congressional Contempt of the Constitution

 

The Framers did not intend the impeachment power to give Congress supremacy, in the form of being able to harass and paralyze the Courts or the president over policy differences, let alone raw political will. Nevertheless, Congress has acted, almost from the beginning, with selective contempt for the Constitution, both legislatively and in its employment of the impeachment power. There is really nothing new under the sun, including what the current majority party in the House of Representatives is doing…and it is still contemptuous of the Constitution.

Take a step back from the current tempest in the Congressional teapot and consider the facts laid out in 1992 by Chief Justice William Rehnquist in Grand Inquests: the Historic Impeachments of Justice Samuel Chase and President Andrew Johnson. The Chief Justice published this very approachable book the year that William Jefferson Clinton beat President Bush the First. Taking his book as a guide to the subject and the actors, some focused searching on the internet yields plenty of historical data and documents. Consider just the first major impeachment, along with a prelude, at the dawn of the 19th Century.

As soon as two parties formed and fought for the presidency, upon President Washington declining to run for a third term, they set about violating the Constitution with the Alien and Sedition Acts, outlawing political speech that the party in power disliked. In that context, with factions at each other’s throats, Congress impeached, tried, and removed a federal judge, then targeted a Supreme Court justice, Samuel Chase.

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“Is the country more divided than ever,” asks a poll today (December 7th) on Laura Ingraham’s LifeZette website. During the House Judiciary Committee hearings on the impeachment of Donald Trump this week, the estimable law professor, Jonathan Turley, delivered one of the more notable if humorous lines of an otherwise forgettable event: “I get it. […]

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Don’t Know Much About History: Veterans Day Edition

 

This is page one of the “Intermediate Level U.S. History since 1900” workbook, used to prepare for the citizenship exam. What, if anything, do you think current 8th-12th graders and college students would put down in each block, before peeking or asking Siri or Alexa? If you let either of those spirits into your home, what do they say about these wars?

Citizenship Study Guide page

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I heard a story about something called “Deep Equity” and decided to research. I have a couple of pet peeves. They involve the hearts and minds of children. My peeves extend to drag queens in full regalia reading to children at libraries. I’m ok with anyone reading. I love books. I loved story time as […]

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In the Newsmaker Interview, Cara talks with Wilfred McClay, University of Oklahoma Professor and author of Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story, a new high school history textbook that seeks to provide an account of this nation’s rich and complex story that puts it in proper perspective, and that is both honest and inspiring.

Stories of the Week: Are retirement benefits that are crowding out spending on current teachers’ priorities a “hidden driver” of union strikes like the one announced last week in Chicago? In California, there’s a rise in “due process” settlements in legal battles over access to special education services – but who benefits?  In Rhode Island, Providence’s Mayor plans to allow a charter school network to open one additional school, but then to ask the state to limit the expansion of all other charters in that beleaguered school district.

Losing the ‘Narrative’ Narrative?

 

Foucault mis readerIn the process of critically assessing the New York Times’ “1619 Project,” an author at The Spectator managed to misread Foucault. Please hang in there! I promise this is worth your while. I offer some helpful context for the “1619 Project,” and show that it is very vulnerable to attack from a post-modern icon. You need not trot out conservative arguments that fall on deaf ears. You can turn Foucault on the New York Times.

John Hinderaker, of Power Line Blog, offered a commonsense analysis of the NYT “racism” narrative:

A normal person might wonder why the Democratic Party, in the person of the New York Times, is so obsessed with slavery, which was abolished 154 years ago. Isn’t it time to move on? Forty or fifty years ago, that is what just about everyone thought. But the Times, on behalf of the Democratic Party, is trying to stir up race hatred. Democrats think racial hostility is essential to defeating President Trump in 2020–their paramount goal, next to which everything else is an afterthought. They face a problem, in that Trump has been the best president for blacks, certainly since Reagan, maybe forever. So, they say, let’s focus on 1619. And then go out and vote for Democrats, the party of slavery and Jim Crow.

Leftist History over American Herstory

 

Just where does an American-based corporation and their rich, male, former jock, brand representative get off imposing history over the narrative of a woman? I had thought we were past powerful privileged men silencing, dismissing, and trivializing herstory. Yet here we are, with another patriarchal pack mansplaining a woman’s original work. The corporate leadership of Nike, following the lead of Colin Kaepernick, have branded Betsy Ross’s original flag design a white supremacist symbol.

Leftist propaganda organs have amplified this slander, claiming white supremacist groups use the original flag design to signify rejecting the post-Civil War constitutional amendments. The left’s real objection, of course, is to the actual history, the Declaration of Independence that they despise, assigning to it the same strained and stained meaning claimed by the black-robed bigot, Chief (In)Justice Taney in the fraudulent Dred Scott decision. Instead of supporting herstory, and taking back a woman’s original creative work from some knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers, the leftist elite privileged this attack on women, thus banishing a woman’s art as shameful.

All people of good will should push back, rejecting such a shameful assault on a woman’s work and her important place in America’s story. Reject Nike’s leftist hate. True history must include her story. Fly the Betsy Ross flag with pride, as President Obama did at both of his inaugural ceremonies, as did his predecessors and successor. See the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. See, also, the New York Times on President Obama’s 2013 inauguration:

Johns Hopkins’s Blooming Ideas

 

http://welcometobaltimorehon.com/images/johnshopkins.jpgJohns Hopkins was born on this day, May 19, 1795. A Marylander, his Quaker parents lived out their religious beliefs by freeing their slaves. This cost them greatly and led them to put their son into their tobacco fields at age 12, ending his formal education. Yet, Johns Hopkins not only overcame the economic disadvantages imposed on him by his parents, but also overcame the natural human impulse to hate the “other,” the people with darker skin who society and his personal experience would tell him to blame. From a poor start in his parents’ tobacco fields, after transplantation to the merchantile field, Johns Hopkins blossomed into a business leader, then grew other businesses through investment, finally creating seedbeds from which amazing new ideas bloomed.

Johns Hopkins started life with a very unusual first name. As Johns Hopkins Medicine explains:

Johns Hopkins’ peculiar first name was simply a family affair; it had been his great-grandmother’s maiden name.

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[T]he great Ulysses—the Yankee Generalissimo, surnamed Grant—has expressed his intention of dining in Vicksburg on Saturday next, and celebrating the 4th of July by a grand dinner and so forth. When asked if he would invite Gen. Jo Johnston to join he said. ‘No! for fear there will be a row at the table.’ Ulysses […]

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I commend to your attention this article by Jaspreet Singh Boparai, which appeared in the web-zine Quillette on March 10. It looks back on a forgotten episode in modern history, but one that reverberates to this day. “The French Genocide That Has Been Air-Brushed From History” Preview Open

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