Often Repeated- Never True

Despite the fraudulent efforts of academic hucksters like… the resoundingly discredited Ward Churchill  – there is still no evidence that the US government ever tried to infect American Indians with smallpox.  As stated in a previous post, the myth of the smallpox blankets stems from a British, not American plan- an unsuccessful plan all-the-same.  Churchill manipulates this myth into his misguided and perverse theory that the United States committed genocide against American Indians.  The core of his argument is the 1837 outbreak among the Mandan tribe near Fort Clark- according to Churchill, the US Army shipped quarantined blankets from St. Louis to Fort Clark and then distributed them to the Mandan.

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Now about that pesky historical evidence-

  • Fort Clark was not a US military post- it was owned and operated by a private fur trading company.
  • There were no US military personnel within 800 miles of Fort Clark in 1837
  • There is no evidence of US Army blankets infected with smallpox at St. Louis(or any post.)
  • None of the witnesses- including an Indian Affairs agent – distributed blankets to the tribe.
  • All of the witnesses record the same event- a Mandan sneaking onto a steamer with sick passengers and stealing a blanket.  Churchill never acknowledges this event despite its prominence in the historical record.
  • Nearly all scholars agree- the 1837 outbreak was likely caused by human-human contact and not airborne transmissions from blankets(there is evidence of Mandans socializing with some of the infected passengers.)
Devaluing the term "genocide" since 1978

Devaluing the term “genocide” since 1978

Hucksters have a story to sell and books to peddle… even if that means falsifying sources, fabricating evidence, and creating historical figures – all to push a political agenda.  There are still academics who defend him and see him as a hero of academic freedom. Protecting free speech and academic freedom is a noble(and necessary) endeavor, but Ward Churchill is a spurious choice for such an important cause.

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Guilt by Association

“You will Do well to try to inoculate the Indians, by means of Blankets, as well as to Try Every other Method, that can Serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race. — I should be very glad [if] your Scheme for Hunting them down by Dogs could take Effect; but England is at too great a Distance to think that at present.”  Lord Jeffrey Amherst to Colonel Henry Bouquet- July 16, 1763. 

Let the Yanks take all the blame...

Let the Yanks take all the blame…

A small passage from an insignificant letter…from the Royal Governor of North America to a soldier under his command during Pontiac’s Rebellion- its ramifications are infamous.  The astoundingly befuddled plans of two British officers(most North Americans had already been exposed) has been inexplicably  linked  to American Indian policy of the late 19th century.  There is not a scrap of evidence that any US officer advocated using biological warfare against any Indian nation; yet, popular sentiment holds it as an indisputable fact.  Our government committed many wrongs in its dealings with American Indians- this is not one of them.

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Farewell to the King

Arnold Palmer rescued golf from cultural oblivion… he took an elitist pursuit unable to capture popular interest, a snobby country club activity with little potential for growth, and carried it on his back to the masses.  Truck drivers, mailmen, and factory workers picked up clubs for the first time to emulate Arnie’s furious slash of a swing and go-for-broke game.  Their wives were drawn to his working class charm and rugged physique.  Palmer cut the perfect figure for golf’s experimental run on television, the working class hero vanquishing the upper class snobs on live broadcasts.  The game could have gone the way of polo or croquet, Palmer’s career saved it.  Golf was lucky…

1929-2016

1929-2016

Millions of adoring fans joined Arnie’s Army… Palmer’s power to reach ordinary Americans led to lucrative endorsements, business ventures, and iconic stature in our culture.  But, he never forgot his fans- signing every autograph, reaching millions more through his charitable work and hospitals.  Modern golfers are multimillionaires with celebrity status, due in large part to Palmer.  His impact on the growth of the game is immeasurable.  How many fathers picked up a club and later taught their sons or grandsons because of him?  Forget the non-alcoholic beverage that bears his name, this is an impact that transcends any one course, record, or signature.

Farewell

Farewell

The 1994 US Open was played at Palmer’s beloved Oakmont Country Club… not far from his home in Latrobe, PA.  It was Arnie’s last US Open(his first was also at Oakmont in 1953.)  There were 159 players from 22 countries represented there; media coverage from every continent(except Antarctica) and a purse of $1.7 million.   Tears welled in Arnie’s eyes as a standing ovation awaited him on the 18th green.  After finishing his final Open putt, amidst a flood of camera flashes and microphones, a young tour pro named Rocco Mediate embraced the King and said what everyone there knew… “All of this is because of you…”

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Movie Review

In the Heart of the Sea- 2015  Dir. by Ron Howard 

 

Somewhere between fact and fiction… resides the story of the whale ship Essex.  Often claimed to be the inspiration behind Melville’s Moby Dick,  the story of the Essex and her crew is the essence of sea fables; a terrible battle with a mythical sea creature, salty determination of the crew, and the unspeakable limits of survival.  Nathaniel Philbrick’s tremendous account, In the Heart of the Sea, separated legend from fact while fairly examining the whaling industry that inspired Melville’s masterpiece.

A hunky Owen Chase

A hunky Owen Chase

Director Ron Howard and writer Charles Leavitt… decided to blur the lines in their cinematic interpretation of Philbrick’s study.  Weaving factual elements of the story with the pursuit of a vengeful sperm whale makes a decent Hollywood adventure, but a poor rendering of the historical record.  Like Melville, Howard cannot seem to divert attention from an abnormally large whale sinking the Essex, choosing to merely highlight the harrowing journey of the men.  Philbrick’s rendering does justice to the crew and their 95 day ordeal, where seven members were cannibalized.   The film depicts the whale stalking the crew as it drifts across the South Pacific, more Melville than history.

You can never go wrong with the source material

You can never go wrong with the source material

The story of whaleship Essex… deserves more than the two hour running time filmmakers grant it.  Nathaniel Philbrick’s study skillfully blends the rich detail, harrowing adventure, and tortured humanity involved in the tragedy.  Ron Howard’s film only scratches the surface of the tragic events, choosing instead to focus far too much energy on a computer generated sperm whale and the hunky leading man.

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1 May – Ponape (Pohnpei) Island was bombarded by the battleships of the 5th Fleet and supported by carrier aircraft. Numerous buildings, the seaplane base and the wharf were destroyed. The Air Force TF-13 hit Woleai and Eauriprik Atolls, all in the Caroline Island group. On New Guinea, 180 B-25s, A-20s and fighters of […]

via May 1944 (1) — Pacific Paratrooper

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Civil War Myths

Emerging Civil War welcomes guest author Michael Aubrecht for Part 2 of his article. (You can find Part 1 here.) It has been disputed for decades whether Union General Abner Doubleday was in fact the “father of the modern game.” Many baseball historians still reject the notion that Doubleday designed the first baseball diamond and […]

via Baseball In The Blue And Gray (Part 2) — Emerging Civil War

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Nothing to Hide

The Lincoln administration arrested 14,401 people… during the Civil War.  Most were never indicted and denied a speedy trial.  Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus in September of 1861 allowed the detentions to happen.  Current Lincoln scholarship trends hold that Lincoln abused civil liberties and that his historical legacy must be drawn into question.  A closer examination of the statistics shows that modern researchers are using them merely for shock value and book sales.  Compared to other Presidents using the same powers- Lincoln’s actions are clearly justified.

Tyrant?

Tyrant?

John Merryman was not an innocent victim… of government tyranny as portrayed by Chief Justice Roger Taney.  Merryman led a detachment of Maryland militiamen in armed resistance to troops in Federal service.  Taney was a partisan Democrat staunchly opposed to Lincoln and supportive of secessionist doctrine.  Ex parte Merryman is not legal precedent at all and cannot be cited as such- it is a political document designed to hinder Lincoln’s attempts to protect Washington and preserve the Union.  It was issued by Taney alone- scholars often make the mistake of assuming that the Supreme Court concurred with the ruling.

 

Lincoln faced no mass opposition to these detentions… there were no mass protests, nor mob violence.  A closer look into the statistics shows that well over 80% of those arrested were:

  • from the Confederacy
  • Agitators in border states
  • Foreign agents supporting the enemy
  • Perpetrators of actual crimes against the Government
Remember Scott vs. Sanford? Didn't think so.

Remember Scott vs. Sanford? Didn’t think so.

Far from indiscriminate arrests, the detentions were almost always a direct result of an attributable illegal act.  Rose Greenhow WAS a spy and did pass secrets to the enemy.  Clement Vallandigham routinely denounced Lincoln on the floor of the House of Representatives and was never arrested for it- but when he publicly incited recruits to desert- he committed sedition and was arrested.

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