John Caldwell Calhoun (1782-1850), Yale Class of 1804, 7th Vice President of the United States 1825-1832.
At the time, in the early 1930s, when Yale was creating the first ten residential colleges, John C. Calhoun was regarded as an inevitable choice for one of their names. Calhoun was only too obviously the single most illustrious statesman and political philosopher to have graduated from Yale.
Eighty-odd years ago, the political conflicts of the 19th century, the contest between Federalism and the Rights of the States, Secession and the American Civil War were viewed dispassionately as past history. Yale President James Rowland Angell was born in Vermont. Neither he not the members of the Yale Corporation of that time are likely to have agreed in the least with John Calhoun on Nullification, Secession, or the benevolence of Slavery, but they all properly regarded those matters as settled and the battles and controversies surrounding them as mere history, unconnected practically or emotionally to their own time.
Naming a Yale residential college for Calhoun simply accorded with a general American recognition of Calhoun as one of the most influential thinkers and most important statesmen in American history. As Richard Hofstader acknowledged, Calhoun was “probably the last American statesman to do any primary political thinking.”
Naming a residential college for John C. Calhoun obviously did not imply that the generally-New-England-bred authorities of that Connecticut University had suddenly converted into Confederate sympathisers. It merely signified their recognition of the accomplishments, personal stature, and historical importance of one of Yale’s most famous graduates. Doubtless, it was also intended, in a minor way, to recognize the national character of the modern university by honoring the champion of the (defeated) Southern section.
It appears, now, that the 21st Century Yale under a newer and more cosmopolitan leadership is about to reverse President Angell’s decision and to reject 80+ years of Yale history by removing the name of John C. Calhoun and renaming his residential college.
President Peter Salovey, last Saturday, welcomed the entering freshman class and announced an “open conversation” on renaming Calhoun College.
We all know what that means. Yale will accede to the loudest, shrillest, most emotionalist, and most radical voices. There will be a narrative about the injured feelings, the wounded sensitivities, of 21st Century African American students. Rational observations will be shouted down, and with complete pomposity and sanctimony President Salovey will express regret, but explain the vital necessity of bowing to contemporary political correctness. Calhoun will be out. His (previously vandalized) stained glass window pulled out and replaced. His name chiseled out of the Gothic sandstone. And you can bet that the college will be renamed, specifically in order to rub it in, for some personage of color, somebody like the world-famous Edward Bouchet, Yale Class of 1874, the first African American to graduate from Yale.
Last Saturday, the left-wing British Guardian launched a full-scale marginalizing and discrediting attack on William C. Bradford, an assistant law professor teaching at the US Military Academy at West Point.
The attack on Bradford was occasioned by his publication of an academic paper last April which made a couple of colorful and controversial proposals.
An assistant professor in the law department of the US military academy at West Point has argued that legal scholars critical of the war on terrorism represent a “treasonous” fifth column that should be attacked as enemy combatants.
In a lengthy academic paper, the professor, William C Bradford, proposes to threaten “Islamic holy sites” as part of a war against undifferentiated Islamic radicalism. That war ought to be prosecuted vigorously, he wrote, “even if it means great destruction, innumerable enemy casualties, and civilian collateral damage”.
Other “lawful targets” for the US military in its war on terrorism, Bradford argues, include “law school facilities, scholars’ home offices and media outlets where they give interviews” – all civilian areas, but places where a “causal connection between the content disseminated and Islamist crimes incited” exist.
“Shocking and extreme as this option might seem, [dissenting] scholars, and the law schools that employ them, are – at least in theory – targetable so long as attacks are proportional, distinguish noncombatants from combatants, employ nonprohibited weapons, and contribute to the defeat of Islamism,” Bradford wrote. …
[A] clique of about forty” scholars, Bradford writes, have “converted the US legal academy into a cohort whose vituperative pronouncements on the illegality of the US resort to force and subsequent conduct in the war against Islamism” represent a “super-weapon that supports Islamist military operations” aimed at “American political will” to fight. They are supported by “compliant journalists” marked by “defeatism, instinctive antipathy to war, and empathy for American adversaries”, but Bradford considers the lawyers a greater threat.
The offending legal scholars “effectively tilt the battlefield against US forces [and] contribute to timorousness and lethargy in US military commanders”, he writes. They are among several “useful idiots” who “separate Islam from Islamists by attributing to the former principles in common with the West, including ‘justice and progress’ and ‘the dignity of all human beings’”. …
The West Point faculty member urges the US to wage “total war” on “Islamism”, using “conventional and nuclear force and [psychological operations]”, in order to “leave them prepared to coexist with the West or be utterly eradicated”. He suggests in a footnote that “threatening Islamic holy sites might create deterrence, discredit Islamism, and falsify the assumption that decadence renders Western restraint inevitable”.
The Guardian’s hatchet job appeared on Saturday, and the next day Bradford was being bundled out the door of West Point, whose representatives were busily disavowing ever having known him.
Yesterday, the Guardian was gloating and finishing up a thorough job of carpet-bombing the heretic’s reputation.
‘Dr William Bradford resigned on Sunday,’ army lieutenant colonel Christopher Kasker, a West Point spokesman, told the Guardian on Monday. Bradford had taught five lessons for cadets in a common-core law course, from 17 to 27 August.
We are given to understand that Bradford is, naturally, some kind of complete crackpot and congenital liar. Bradford, you see, is alleged to have exaggerated his academical positions (never a problem in the case of University of Chicago Law Professor Barack Obama) and –with no actual proof– his military service.
We have gotten used to reading about these little-kid-expelled-from-school-for-possession-of-a-pocket-knife happening in the suburbs of New England or California, but in Pennsylvania?
Recently a ten-year-old female violinist was expelled from the toney Valley School of Ligonier because the young musician was found to be using a Swiss Army Knife to remove broken strings from her violin bow.
Her parents consequently attempted to enroll her in the public school for their local district, but found her admission jeopardized by the report of her expulsion for “bringing weapons onto school property” from the young lady’s previous school.
All this nincompoopery is connected, in Pennsylvania, to a Safe School Act (passed in 1995, and amended in 1997 and subsequently added to) which in the case of a student expelled due to a weapon or drugs being brought on to school property, obligates other schools to apply the same expulsion. The parents are suing on the basis that these zero tolerance policies have inflicted on their daughter a “defamatory stigma.”
This Life magazine photo, taken at Loiano, Italy in April 1945, is a closeup by internationally-famous photographer Margaret Bourke-White of the plexiglass grip of Lieutenant John Ernser’s .45 pistol containing a photo of his girlfriend. Ernser, age 26, was commanding an infantry platoon engaged in attacking fortified German positions.
The availability of acrylic plexiglass from the canopies of crashed or shot-down aircraft during WWII led to a common practice by American troops of replacing the original standard-issue grips on pistols or fighting knives with clear plexiglass replacements over photographs.
If you were not killing an enemy soldier with the modified weapon, you could stare at the image of your girlfriend and dream of home.
Below is a captured German trench knife (from my own collection) which has had its blade chromed and which has a girlfriend photo on one side, and two male photos on the other side.
The Muslim Issue quotes a Swedish review of Hungarian 2002 Nobel Prize for Literature winner Imre Kertesz’s new book (not yet available in English):
“Europe will soon go under because of its former liberalism that has proved childish and suicidal. Europe has produced Hitler, and after Hitler the continent stands there with no arguments: the doors are wide open for Islam, they no longer dare talk about race and religion while Islam only knows the language of hatred against alien races and religions,” writes Kertész in his book. …
“I should say a few words about politics too … Then I would talk about how Muslims are flooding, occupying, in clear verbs, destroying Europe, and how Europe relates to this, the suicidal liberalism and the stupid democracy … It always ends the same way: civilization reaches a certain stage of maturation where it is not only able to defend itself, but where it is in a seemingly incomprehensible worship of their own enemy.”
What actually exists are 1:24 models of the car made by the Franklin Mint, by one account, from drawings found in a barn on the remote Central Pennsylvania estate of Guy de LaRouche.
The legend says that the Duesenberg Coupe Simone was created by the coachbuilding firm Emmet-Armand on the Duesenberg Type J frame in response to a special order from French cosmetics magnate Guy (or Gui) de LaRouche (or LaRoche). The coupe took three years to build and was finished after the bankruptcy of Cord and the end of Duesenberg production. The Coupe Simone was named for LaRouche’s lover and was intended to be a gift to her. It was sent to France for LaRouche’s approval, before it was to be exhibited at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, but disappeared as the result of a love triangle and the outbreak of the Second World War. The Coupe Simone was either destroyed during the war, or remains forgotten today, rusting away, in a barn somewhere in rural France.
An alternative story contends that plans for the car were drawn up in the 1930s, but the car was never built, and only the Franklin Mint models made from drawing re-discovered decades later were ever actually built.
Another version contends that neither car nor drawings nor French cosmetics king ever actually existed, and the model car was invented in the late 1990s by a couple of Franklin Mint designers, who made up a romantic story to explain the Art Deco automobile they had imagined.
Brooch with Heracles knot and butterfly pendant, 300-100 B.C. Gold, Almandine, Emerald, Glass. Greece. Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Cologne. (Photo: Martin Kilmas.)
The marriage-knot or knot of Hercules, a strong knot created by two intertwined ropes, originated as a healing charm in ancient Egypt, but is best known for its use in ancient Greece and Rome as a protective amulet, most notably as a wedding symbol, incorporated into the protective girdles worn by brides, which were ceremonially untied by the new groom. This custom is the likely origin of the phrase “tying the knot.”
According to Roman lore, the knot symbolized the legendary fertility of the God Herakles; it probably relates to the legendary Girdle of Artemis captured from the Amazon Queen Hippolyta. In this, the marriage-knot was probably a representation of the virginity of the bride.
The butterfly symbolizes the Greek princess Psyche, whose beauty was such as to provoke the envy and wrath of Aphrodite. The goddess’s revenge was foiled, however, when her son Eros fell in love with Psyche, and after various difficulties, persuaded the gods to make her immortal and thus his equal. Eros then married Psyche and the couple were bonded together eternally in passionate union.
This remarkable object was clearly made as a wedding present for a bride.