Tag: History

This week The Learning Curve podcast marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day with guest host Dr. Jay Greene of the Heritage Foundation and Laurence Rees, a former head of BBC TV History Programmes; founder, writer, and producer of the award-winning WW2History.com; and author of The Holocaust: A New History. Mr. Rees sheds light on the historical context of Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, including the rise of the cultural and political conditions that led to the Holocaust. Rees discusses how the Nazis promulgated their anti-Semitic ideology and laws, and underscores the criminal realities of the Auschwitz concentration and death camp, as well as the Holocaust’s six million Jewish victims. Rees also talks about the fragility of both human life and political and cultural institutions. Mr. Rees closes the interview with a reading from his book on the Holocaust.


Author Troy Senik joins Brian Anderson to discuss his new book, A Man of Iron: The Turbulent Life and Improbable Presidency of Grover Cleveland.

Find the transcript of this conversation and more at City Journal.

Why Americans Honor the Queen


As expected, Americans are expressing their deep sense of loss for Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, as well as sending our good wishes (regardless of how we felt about his politics) for the ascendance of Prince Charles as King Charles III. But I couldn’t help feeling that our participation and engagement with all these traditions, history, and formality were somehow different this time around. In the past, we have been intrigued and excited about events in the United Kingdom, ranging from the blessings of weddings, to the tragedy of Diana’s death and the controversy over misguided royals. With the loss of the Queen, however, I believe our reaction reveals a deep sense of loss, not only for the Queen, but for the losses we ourselves have sustained over the last several years in our own country.

Think about it. We have had people determined to destroy the historic symbols of our country, whether they have characterized us as racists while disregarding our determination to transcend our commitment to slavery. The Constitution, monuments, statues, and schools that represented our admiration for, and commitment to, the founding of our country have been desecrated and condemned. Our strength and power, which have always been important forces for the world, have been weakened and disregarded. We no longer have a history to be proud of, a tradition of freedom to celebrate, and a foundation to point to; these have all been criticized and downgraded in the eyes of the political Left. And we watch, perhaps with envy, the love and affection the people of the U.K. have for their departed Queen and their country.

Quote of the Day: Longevity


“If you’re starting a new job today and intend to match Queen Elizabeth’s work longevity you’ll have to keep working there through April 11, 2093.” – Keith Olbermann

Yes, I am quoting Keith Olbermann. On Ricochet. But sometimes even the worst man in the world has a valid point, one worth hearing. Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then. This is one such time.

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“These things were not done in a corner.” All of Christianity rests on real, space-time events. Historical documentation shows the Christian message to be reliable, verifiable. CLICK: https://bit.ly/3zz3amu [Three, 3-minute vids w/ pdf] As I have told students for years, “If you question a document’s historicity, you begin to question its authenticity, and ultimately, its […]

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30 June 2022 Editor’s Note: The Supremes are at it again. The last of their decisions for this term will curb the power of regulatory agencies as “unconstitutional.” There may be another one on the “Remain in Mexico” policy later this morning. This will provoke more discussion atop the decisions on the 1st, 2nd, 4th, […]

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Weekend Wandering: The Sword of St. Michael


I have decided to try writing a post that will appear on weekends to provide an escape from the 24-hour news cycle. I call it the WOW factor (Wonks-Outrage-Woke). I hope the reader will find these stories as interesting as I do. Web surfing has its share of shoals but there are some waves worth riding.

There are seven monasteries that are called the “Sacred Line”. From the coast of Ireland to Israel, a distance of 2,500 miles, they are in a straight line. A straight line and all of them are aligned with the Northern Hemisphere Summer Solstice.

The First Attempted Assassination of a US Supreme Court Justice


Justice Stephen J. Field, 1875.

Is the recent aborted assassination attempt of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh by an individual upset with the leak of a draft Supreme Court decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade the first such attempt in US history? Searching around, it turns out that the answer to that question is no. There has been at least one other attempt on the life of a sitting Supreme Court Justice. In that case, however, the attempt had nothing to do with either the politics or the judicial philosophy of the justice. This, despite the fact that the assassin was a well-known politician and jurist.

The Boundary Between East and West?


What is the dividing line between East and West? Where does the Western World end and the Orient begin?

“Adriatic: A Concert of Civilizations at the End of the Modern Age,” by Robert D. Kaplan, asserts the Adriatic Sea forms the dividing line. Kaplan explores the role played by the Adriatic from ancient times through the present day, examining its role as an interface between east and west.

“Adriatic” is part travelogue, part history, and part personal reminisce. Starting in Rimini, Italy, Kaplan takes readers around the Adriatic, working his way around the coast to Corfu in Greece. He stops at Ravenna, Venice, Trieste, two cities in Slovenia, four cities in Croatia, two each in Montenegro and Albania, before arriving at Corfu.

Ignoring the Rules 2.0


We just moved.  I’m in a new neighborhood, a new town, same state – thank God (for Gov. DeSantis).  It’s a 55+ community because me, my husband and our cat are over 55.  He picked the community – when we cashed out in spades selling our old house, and our real estate agent told us about our current town.  We like it here, but it’s been less than two weeks.  There’s construction – because half the country is moving to Florida –  and older folks.

I have nothing against grey hair and golf carts.  Personally, I like Ultress and Preference by L’Oréal – it does wonders, but that’s just me. The next-door neighbor brought us a triple chocolate cake.  He has brown hair and two adorable pooches. They gave us a snapshot of the nearby neighbors and I was impressed.

They seem to jump in and do projects – scarfing up free lumber from the dumpsters and building things as needed, including a ramp for a disabled neighbor and insulating garages from the Florida heat.  Older people know how to build things and how to budget.  They bike, kayak, walk, and hike, we noticed. The amenities center had a lively water volleyball game taking place when I visited, an outdoor painting class, and bocce ball and tennis games in action.

The Oldest Language Art Examined


Poetry is the oldest of the language arts. It predated literacy. Its cadence, rhythm, and rhyme allowed complex things to be remembered.  When literacy emerged, the earliest literature recorded was poetry.  Today prose has displaced poetry from primacy, yet poems remain important.

“A Little History of Poetry,” by John Carey is exactly what its title promises – a short history of poetry, written for a general audience.

Carey starts at the beginning. He opens the book with a discussion of the oldest recorded poem, “The Epic of Gilgamesh.” Written over 4,000 years ago it was preserved on clay tablets. He ends it with poets of the 21st century, many as unknown to today’s general public as Gilgamesh. Along the way and in between he makes a brief stop examining virtually every type of poetry and their poets.

Our Real Russia Problem


Steven Hayward, writing over at Power Line, offers a concise, incisive explanation of our real Russia problem. A month ago, I wrote about Vladimir Putin’s vision of history and argued that he is not properly understood when we sling terms around like “thug.” Instead, I argued that we can only really understand Putin and his Russia properly if we understand him to be in the long line of Russian tzars (czars). I consider myself in good company with Steven Hayward extending the point to our chattering and governing elite.

As I wrote:

‘US History Can Be Fun’: How I Learned to Stop Boredom and Love the Past


Raised the son of a social studies teacher who farmed in his spare time, I disliked both laboring in the fields and studying history. Nothing could be drier than the San Joaquin Valley in the summer, except the textbooks that I later learned were written by students of the scholars under whose names they appeared. Some academician garnered some coin through the surely resentful labor of his or her teaching assistants. Sludge by drudges with grudges, I figure.

Then, somewhere in elementary school, Corinne Forsee appeared. That is to say, my dad let me read his copy of Corinne’s U.S. History Can Be Fun. Corinne was a teacher at Clinton High School in Clinton, IA. Corinne apparently had mercy on her poor charges, and, reckoning that if a teacher can’t stomach a textbook it is likely her pupils can’t either, assembled 231 pages (246 with index) of quirky, sometimes humorous, sometimes trivial information about our nation’s history. J. Weston Walch (which to this day produces educational resources) published the book in 1956.

Silent No More


If you were beaten and bullied as a child, if you lived for nine years in constant fear of being tortured or killed, if you and your family fled your home, losing everything, and were forced to live in a tent, would you call yourself ‘lucky’?

I used to be somewhat ambivalent about the “celebration” of Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27; in one sense, I felt it was important to remind the world that six million Jews and six million other folks were killed by the Nazis and their enablers. The phrase, “Never Forget” is embedded in my psyche. On the other hand, I wonder if this particular memorial day serves as a devastating reminder to many people—survivors and their families–who want to forget that horrific time. And ironically, I also wonder if it is an irritant to those people who experience resentment or even hatred toward the Jews, exacerbating their negative perspective.

Still, Abraham Pizam is the man described at the beginning of this post by a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel. Today he is the founding dean of UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management. He survived the Holocaust and gave a presentation at the January 27 event about his own experience. It was the first time he had spoken publicly about the Holocaust. Here’s a report on part of what he shared:

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“Don’t You Want to be on The Right Side of History?!” Such a warning is given to anyone who would dare stand in the way of current cultural narratives. The story being told could be political, sexual, racial, or social. But be assured, whatever the objective, some group thinks they know what is best now, […]

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Come Thou Long Expected Jesus


We do it once a year. Decorations go up. Trees are sold. Families gather. Schools close. Carols are sung. Gifts are given. Christmas is a season that sparks great joy. Each person, each group may celebrate the season for different reasons, but our Hebraic-Christian view of Christmas looks in two directions.

Initially, we look back at all the First Testament prophets who looked ahead. Hundreds of prophecies anticipating a prophet, a priest, a king, a messiah, a savior, were all fulfilled at Jesus’ birth. Additionally, we look ahead with the First and Second Testament prophets and apostles to the promise of a renovated world; a world where suffering and sin will cease, a world where Jesus rules eternally.

Both the history and the hope of Jesus’ first and second arrivals is well summarized by Charles Wesley’s hymn “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.” I believe the hymn expresses our earnest hope based on the facts of history: the surety of Jesus and His soon return.