24 Jun 2015

Put Out More Confederate Flags!

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ConradWiseChapmanFlagofSumt
Detail, Conrad Wise Chapman, The Flag of Sumter, Oct 20 1863

We live in a contemptibly stupid society in a loathsome time in which bigoted morons and moon-maddened fanatics occupy the most prominent and influential establishment positions in the land and get to call the shots nearly all the time concerning our laws, institutions, history, and culture.

Americans have been living under a Second Reconstruction regime for roughly 50 years now. The first Reconstruction affected only the states which had seceded, been defeated in the war, and were under military occupation, and lasted only 12 years. The Second Reconstruction has been national in scope, has already lasted five decades, and shows no signs of ever coming to an end. No Knights of the White Camelia are coming riding to the rescue as they did at the end of D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation (1915). (How’s that for an un-PC reference?)

The national establishment has been taken over by radicals and fanatics whose opinions and philosophies are typically somewhere to the left of those of Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, and Benjamin Butler.

Currently, pretty much the entire national media, all of the left and quite a number of Quislings on the right, are busy mau-mau’ing the public display of the Confederate flag and are even demanding the removal and/or replacement of public monuments to Southern military leaders and statesmen. The Southern Confederacy, and all its heroes and leaders, must be ostracized for the crimes of Racism and a belief in White Supremacy.

Of course, by contemporary standards, everyone alive in 1860 and 1865 and not as fanatically Afrophiliac as Thaddeus Stevens, was a “Racist” and a “White Supremacist.” The list of guilty parties can hardly be held to be restricted to members of the Confederate Government, like Jefferson Davis, or generals in the Confederate Army, like Nathan Bedford Forest. Ulysses Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Abraham Lincoln himself were all, by current standards, indisputably racist believers in the intellectual and cultural inferiority of the Negro race and –worse, yet!– White Supremacists bent upon a vision of a future United States comprised of an overwhelmingly white population of European descent and governed by white men.

Be sure to send the bulldozers over to the Lincoln Memorial, as soon as they finish crushing the statue of former Secretary of War Jefferson Davis.

This little exercise in sarcasm is intended to be funny, but it really is not a joking matter. Rush Limbaugh and some other commentators have already warned that, if the radical left is permitted to succeed in defining the Confederate Flag as a hateful emblem of Slavery, Racism, and White Supremacy and get it pulled down from every public display and banned like the swastika in post-WWII Germany, they are next going to come after one more American historical icon after another. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were slave-owners! Get their names and faces off our currency and out of our public buildings. The American Flag flew over a once White Supremacist and Segregated America. Looking at the Stars-and-Stripes snapping in the breeze is bound to be painful to Ta-Nehisi Coates as a reminder of the days when Slavery even flourished in Northern states. We need to tear that flag down as well, and adopt the Gay Rainbow Banner as our national colors.

We’ve obviously reached a point where we need to draw the line and say: Enough! The Civil War ended 150 years ago. Segregation ended more than 50 years ago, and we’ve had 50 years since of Affirmative Action, Federal supervision of Americans’ hearts and minds, national grovelling to victim groups, self-hatred, and reverse racism. Enough. The Civil Rights era should be declared over and the era of Political Correctness and of National Rule by Rancid Radicals should be over, too.

There were, all rational adults should recognize, complexities in the politics of the 19th century. There was more than one possible legitimate point of view on how, when, and by whom slavery ought to be ended. Slavery was not somehow mystically forgivable when practiced before 1783 in Massachusetts, before 1841 in New York, or before 1848 in Connecticut, but a crime against Humanity when practiced in South Carolina or Alabama in 1861.

Secession was undoubtedly constitutionally problematic, but it is necessary to reflect that when sectional passions were uncontrollably inflamed, and overwhelming majorities of state conventions and votes in state-wide referenda confirmed that political course, the best, the most intelligent, the most honorable and patriotic men of Southern states, many of whom had always opposed secession, accepted the decision of the citizens of their own states and supported the cause of Southern Independence.

The preservation of the Union by forcible conquest and armed invasion of fraternal states was, I think it is very easy to argue, rather more problematic legally and constitutionally even than secession. Several former presidents, including two Northerners (Pierce & Buchanan), opposed and condemned Abraham Lincoln’s decision to wage war on fraternal states, and one former president (John Tyler) actually served in the Congress of the Confederacy.

It is simply not the case that the sectional conflicts leading to Civil War are reducible simply to being for or against Slavery. And the generation of Americans residing in Southern states in 1861 were not personally responsible for institutions and economic circumstances inherited over the course of two centuries.

History, Fate, and God (if you believe in God) decided against the cause of Southern Independence. The South was conquered and forcibly reunified, but Abraham Lincoln, and Grant and Sherman, his leading generals, all believed in generosity on the part of the victor toward the vanquished. The country was successfully reunited, within the lifetimes of many men who served in the Confederate Army, precisely because Northerners rejected the policies of the Northern radicals, allowed Reconstruction to be ended, and in general took the position that Southerners had fought gallantly and honorably, if perhaps misguidedly, and treated their former adversaries with affection and respect. There is a touching film clip of a 1913 (50th Anniversy) reunion at Gettysburg. Old men who decades earlier had faced each other as enemies met this time as friends, and as aged Confederates limpingly tried reenacting a portion of Pickett’s Charge, their former adversaries stood atop Cemetery Ridge cheering for them.

The American left is utterly and completely intoxicated with the pleasures of racial politics and is carried away with its success in obtaining any and all demands it cares to make after applying the moral jiu-jitsu of pointing to some pitiable victim. It’s long past time to declare the Civil Rights Movement and politics of the 1960s over and done with. We need to tell the leftists and their craven conformist establishment allies we’ve had enough and we are putting out more Confederate flags.

24 Jun 2015

James Salter, 1925 – 2015

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JamesSalter

James Salter, West Point graduate, fighter pilot, novelist, film director, lady killer, and mountain climber, died last Friday suddenly at his local gymnasium in Sag Harbor, Long Island at the age of 90.

Salter never attracted a mass audience and consequently never wound up included in last century’s list of “great American writers”, but sophisticated readers did read him with deep respect and always kind of wondered exactly why that was the case. I suppose the combination of Salter’s hyper-masculine point of view and the gem-like perfection and careful stoical restraint of his prose style somehow failed to capture the attention of the popular culture in our hyper-democratic age. Salter’s perspective reeked of elitism, and he never trafficked at all in conventional archetypes.

I expect he would have enjoyed more money and larger public recognition, but Salter never took any of the conventional writer’s shortcuts to obtain them. He never manufactured a public persona (like Papa Hemingway) nor even a specifically recognizable genre of writing of his own. Each of Salter’s novels is very different from the others. There is a kind of stubborn authenticity about Salter.

His 1998 autobiography, Burning the Days, struck a sudden bell in the consciousness of the establishment media. From being an author lucky to be favored with a quick one-column review in the rear pages, Salter suddenly became, in his latter years, “the best writer you’ve never read.” I expect he smiled ironically at that line.

23 Jun 2015

My First Reaction

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OldRebel2

My initial reaction to the demands of the radical left, the professional race baiters, and conservative and Republican sell-outs like Spengler, Max Boot, Victor Davis Hanson, Nikki Haley, Lindsey Graham, Jeb Bush, and Mitt Romney that the Confederate flag be declared politically incorrect, banned from public display, and consigned to ignominious oblivion as a nasty symbol of improper attitudes and opinions is to reaffirm my recent local loyalty to the Commonwealth of Virginia (where I hunted and resided for several years until quite recently), to tell the lot of those Yankee bigots and Holier-Than-Thous to get stuffed, and to post good old Major Innes Randolph’s irredentist ditty:


Oh, I’m a good old Rebel, now that’s just what I am;
For this “Fair Land of Freedom” I do not give a damn!
I’m glad I fit against it, I only wish we’d won,
And I don’t want no pardon for anything I done.

I hates the Constitution, this “Great Republic,” too!
I hates the Freedman’s Bureau and uniforms of blue!
I hates the nasty eagle with all its brags and fuss,
And lyin’, thievin’ Yankees, I hates ’em wuss and wuss!

I hates the Yankee nation and everything they do,
I hates the Declaration of Independence, too!
I hates the “Glorious Union” — ’tis dripping with our blood,
I hates their striped banner, I fit it all I could.

I followed old Marse Robert for four years, near about,
Got wounded in three places, and starved at Point Lookout.
I cotched the “roomatism” a’campin’ in the snow,
I killed a chance o’ Yankees, I’d like to kill some mo’!

Three hundred thousand Yankees is stiff in Southern dust!
We got three hundred thousand before they conquered us.
They died of Southern fever and Southern steel and shot,
I wish we’d got three million instead of what we got.

I can’t take up my musket and fight ’em now no more,
But I ain’t a’gonna love ’em, now that’s for sartain sure!
I do not want no pardon for what I was and am,
I won’t be reconstructed, and I do not care a damn!

How’s that for politically incorrect?

23 Jun 2015

Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle

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Biddle
Col. Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle, hand-to-hand combat expert, 1943. Known for ordering trainee Marines to attempt to kill him with bayonets, and disarming them all.

23 Jun 2015

Three Guys Go Into a Bar…

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22 Jun 2015

Interesting Fake

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A Khyber Pass Martini action pistol.

Lot 5278 came with a custom holster, and was sold in a lot of three handguns, along with a British Webley & Scott Mark V Double Action Revolver with Holster and a Japanese Type 26 Double Action Revolver for $977.50.

22 Jun 2015

Tweet of the Day

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Tweet88

Hat tip to Walter Olson.

22 Jun 2015

Truth in Advertising

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TilasTacos

21 Jun 2015

The Culture Today

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NightWatch

20 Jun 2015

The Wisdom of Salon

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Tweet87

19 Jun 2015

New Ten Dollar Bill Coming in 2020

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JennerTenner

Obama Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew announced on Tuesday that in order “to honor our past and express our values” in 2020 in the course of celebrating the 19th Amendment (which gave women the right to vote) the Treasury Department is planning to demote Alexander Hamilton to a bit part on the ten dollar bill he has occupied for many years, replacing his central portrait with the image of some woman.

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Well, if Jack Lew really wants to know exactly which values Americans really desire to express, Twitter makes it perfectly clear that Irony and Sarcasm come at the top of the list. The winner is none other than Caitlyn Jenner.

19 Jun 2015

Tweet of the Day

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Tweet86

18 Jun 2015

Trump Announces

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Overcomb

P.J. O’Rourke contemplates Donald Trump’s announcement of his candidacy for the presidency with warm approval.

I, personally, support his candidacy. “Democracy,” said H. L. Mencken, “is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” …

Many a candidate for president has fibbed on the subject of his or her economic circumstances—William Henry “born in a log cabin” Harrison and Hillary “dead broke” Clinton. But Trump will be the first candidate to—like the American legend that he is—tell tall tales about all the money he’s got. Trump is a financial Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed, and Davey Crockett rolled into one, according to Trump.

If Trump’s critics don’t think this is typical of modern Americans, they haven’t looked at our online dating profiles.

Also typical of modern Americans is Trump’s bad taste. True, he doesn’t dress the way the rest of us do—like a nine-year-old in twee T-shirt, bulbous shorts, boob shoes, and league-skunked sports team cap. And Trump doesn’t weigh 300 pounds or have multiple piercings or visible ink. He puts his own individual stamp on gaucherie. And we like it. We’re a country that cherishes being individuals as much as we cherish being gauche.

Trump’s suits have a cut and sheen as if they came from the trunk sale of a visiting Bombay tailor staying in a cheap hotel in Trump’s native Queens and taking a nip between fittings. Trump wears neckties in Outer Borough colors. And, Donald, the end of your necktie belongs up around your belt buckle, not between your knees and your nuts. Trump’s haircut makes Kim Jong Un laugh.

Americans appreciate bad taste or America wouldn’t look the way America does. And the way America looks is due, in no small part, to buildings Trump built.

Read the whole thing.

17 Jun 2015

What’s Really Behind Sweet Briar’s Closing

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School of Athens thinks it can explain why Sweet Briar’s Board of Directors voted to close the college.

The decision by the Board of Directors to immediately close Sweet Briar College despite the college still having approximately $90 million dollars in the endowment and a positive asset to debt ratio seems simply bizarre. While the historic college might be losing a little money during the economic downturn, the endowment is designed to keep things going during the lean years and seems to have ample funds. Yet the swift decision to immediately close and the secrecy surrounding the Board’s processes seem odd to say the least, especially considering that the money to save the school appears to be available with the website savingsweetbriar.com already raising over $16 million with simple social media networking. …

We are hearing from a source in position to know that this beautiful land is the reason that Sweet Briar is closing. Because there is a buyer ready to move quickly and quietly to purchase the whole lot, historic buildings and all. This buyer has the immense economic power and major influence to keep the related decisions silent, immediate, and final. Who? Well, it has a lot to do with a similar land deal of about 3,000 acres that got scuttled about twenty years ago. According to our source, the reason Sweet Briar is closing is to make way for:

DisneyAmerica

In 1994, Disney was all set to close on 2,000 acres in Haymarket in as the core to its envisioned 3,000-acre Disney America in Prince William County. That deal was scuttled, but Disney is on the record as keeping its plans alive to set Disney America in Virginia. Riley over at Virginia Virtucon was openly calling for Disney to revive its Disney America design in the Williamsburg area a few years ago. Many in Virginia consider the protests and objections that forced Disney to shut down its plans 20 years ago a big mistake. Our source has informed us that Disney is ready to rectify that mistake, and now wants the 3,250 acres that Sweet Briar sits on to bring Disney America back to life and back to Virginia. That kind of potential investment causes things to develop both quickly and quietly, and Disney is no wilting flower when it comes to political muscle.

The immediate and irrevocable action in shutting down makes sense, because Disney does not want a repeat of the protests related to the sale of historical land that killed the project in 1994. Instead, if the college is already closed and shuttered, Disney can come in like a hero and rescue Amherst County from the economic disaster that closing Sweet Briar would otherwise lead to.

Read the whole thing.

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Sweet Briar officials promptly denied the story, but School of Athens remained sticking to its guns.

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