Tag: History

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John Marshall is one of the most consequential figures in the history of the United States, yet too little is known about him. In John Marshall : The Man Who Made The Supreme Court, journalist and author Richard Brookhiser seeks to help us know more about this man. In life Marshall was an unimposing character. Early […]

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Popular histories of the fall of the Roman Republic are not in short supply. There are excellent entries in this crowded field. One can look to Tom Holland’s Rubicon or the recent New York Times bestseller The Storm Before the Storm by popular podcaster Mike Duncan. Into this crowded field we have Mortal Republic by Edward J. Watts. Dr. Watts is […]

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The Vatican broke with tradition this year and had a manger scene built entirely out of sand. It is reported that the sand sculpture took 720 tons of sand from a nearby town called Jesolo, a popular beach resort in Venice, for the project. I didn’t know the sinking Venice could spare any sand. The […]

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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn at 100

 

Arrested three months before the defeat of Hitler’s Germany, his first reaction was like that of the millions he would later write about: “Me? What for?” A decorated captain of an artillery battery that had fought its way deep into East Prussia, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was at the time a committed Marxist-Leninist. He even fantasized he was being whisked to a meeting with Stalin. In fact, military censors had read his letter exchanges with a boyhood friend, also in the army, in which they criticized Stalin (“the mustachioed one”) for having deviated from the path laid down by Lenin.

It was more than enough to earn Solzhenitsyn a sentence of eight years imprisonment in the labor camps, to be followed by “perpetual exile.” He served all eight years in various camps, plus three years exiled to distant Kazakhstan, where he worked as a teacher of high school mathematics before his sentence was annulled in 1956 in the wake of Khrushchev’s “de-Stalinization.”

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This Week’s Book Review: The Story of Greece and Rome

 

Modern western civilization sits atop a foundation built by the ancient Greeks and Romans. How much do you know of these civilizations? “The Story of Greece and Rome,” by Tony Spawforth offers a short, one-volume introduction to ancient Greece and Rome.

Spawforth starts at the beginning and carries the story to the present. He opens at the dawn of Greek history, and shows the influence these civilizations continue to have today.

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It Ain’t Necessarily So: Midterm Results and Meaning

 

Two days after Election Day 2018, I wrote House Call: By the Numbers. In it, I laid out what was already known, as a matter of wins and losses, as to the House and the Senate. I laid out those indisputable facts with upper and lower bounds for the final results, based on the races that were not yet unequivocally won. Little, in the way of facts, has changed since that posting, and we will not have more indisputable facts until the beginning of December.

Naturally, we all want to roll out our own political points, and can find facts to support our polemics. As Ricochet member @iwe laid out in Making Sense of Anything:

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Review: They Shall Not Grow Old

 

In the 1950 and 60s the Imperial War Museum and the BBC recorded oral histories of ordinary Tommies and their experiences in the Great War from 1914-18. From enlistment to training, to the horrors of the mud, the blood, the gas, the stench and the filth of the trenches, and the somewhat hollow homecoming, their stories are both riveting and revolting.

To bring these these stories to life, New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson combines their voices with film from the IWM vaults, much of it never seen before. His techniques are both a marvel and at times questionable. When much of the footage was originally shot the frame rate of hand-cranked film was somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 to 16 frames per second instead of the now standard 24 FPS. To compensate, computer software was utilized to create interpolated frames. It smooths out the action and removes the herky-jerky style we have come to expect of motion pictures from the silent era but it means that for every minute of real film on screen there are about 20 seconds of computer created imagery. To top that off all of the film shot in France has been colorized and for theater audiences, some of it stereoscoped into 3D. I viewed the film as it was presented on the BBC on Armistice Day and the re-translation back to 2D is unsettling at times.

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November 7: National Day for the Victims of Communism

 

On 7 November 2018, Americans dug through election results, slung and deflected stones, and fretted over the future of our country, or not. Almost all of us, including the White House press scrum, failed to note the day’s solemn and deadly significance. But, President Trump did not forget, and he had something to say, worth our reading.

Presidential Message on the National Day for the Victims of Communism
Issued on: November 7, 2018

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House Call: By the Numbers

 

https://www.realpeopletalkingpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/U.S.-CAPITAL-BUILDING-3.jpgWhat is the real final Democrat count in the House of Representatives? None of the presentations, of election information, make the House situation obvious. They could all use a remedial course in the visual presentation of quantitative information. The RealClearPolitics elections House results page is about the best, but allow me to make the situation really clear, laying out the numbers and then giving the historical context.

Running the Numbers:

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The aftermath of this midterm election has reenergized the perennial “straight ticket” versus “vote for the candidate, not the party” dispute. Some argue that President Trump, apparently uniquely among modern presidents, must be kept in check. Others argue that the Democrat Party has encouraged and condoned political violence and assaults on the fabric of our Constitution, […]

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The overcast sky rested heavily on the landscape on the day we visited Valley Forge. Few people were there on that day, as if they were avoiding a reminder of the chilly autumn season that lay ahead and the brutal memories long past. An admirer of General George Washington during the Revolutionary War, I wanted […]

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S.O.B.

 

Order and Laughter

101 years ago today, my father, Eaton Jackson Bowers, III, known to all as “Jack,” was born. A walking bundle of contradictions, he crackled and sparked with energy like a severed high voltage wire, and had only two speeds: high and asleep. Always impatient but ever dutiful, he loved to travel, but hated change. He dressed impeccably, practiced straight-laced Victorian manners, and kept all his things orderly and polished to perfection. Outwardly he was the grand Southern Gentleman, charming, hospitable and openhanded.

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On Household Relations and the Natural Order of Things

 

There have been a number of posts on Ricochet lately, and many more over time, about relations and dynamics between the sexes, the state of Western Civilization and the role of men and women in it, and how soon the handcart we’re all bouncing around in will reach the gates of Hell (not long) because we’re going about everything so completely wrong nowadays.

I’m not going to try to solve all those problems in this little story. I’m simply going to give you a glimpse of what two people did in their own lives to try to manage the order of household relations, and why, and how it’s worked out for us.

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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.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review here on the following Sunday. Book Review ‘Battle of the Brazos’ a fascinating sports and mystery story By […]

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I have some thoughts on the subject over at The Weekly Standard….   More

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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.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review here on the following Sunday. Book Review ‘The Woolly West’ examines sheep industry in storied region By MARK […]

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I think I heard the start of this with today’s substitute for Rush on his show so I hope whoever listened for more details can fill them in. Somewhere in the northeast, it was discovered (?) that a group of history teachers were in email contact about making a “pact” to HIDE their liberal progressive […]

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The other day I came across an interesting video at the YouTube page of a fellow called Guy Jones. His page is composed mainly of footage from numerous early newsreels. The video that caught my attention and which is posted below is of Opening Day of the 1931 major league baseball season at Yankee Stadium. […]

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George Orwell Has Moved to Cleveland. (Or Is It Common Sense?)

 

Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped.”

 – George Orwell (1984)

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People wonder all the time why various groups of people do better than other groups of people economically. Some people say its climate. Other people says its religion or ethnic group but those variables fail in explaining economic success. Flat out. It happens to all of us. But before I get into my reasons for […]

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