Tag Archives: History

The Partisan Press

There is nothing particularly dangerous in Donald Trump’s hatred of the media… Presidents have always disliked and distrusted hostile press coverage.  What separates Trump’s rhetoric from his predecessors is his insistence that the free press is a threat to the American people.

No, Mr. President, the press is not an enemy of the people… nor should they be in the business of supporting your agenda(whatever that may be.)  You are free to criticize the press at your convenience, but you can never limit it in the name of the People.

Jefferson had a contentious relationship with poor press coverage… and experienced plenty of “fake news” during his presidency.  Despite his frustration, Jefferson never doubted the necessity of a free press; he trusted that the American people would be able to sort through the vitriol and nonsense to find the truth.

“And were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.”

 

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Most Duplicitous Sort

Neo-secessionists are all around us… and free speech gives them a cozy blanket of protection.  Rick Perry insinuating Texas could secede rather than adhere to the federal healthcare law, Todd Palin belonging to a political association advocating Alaskan secession, and Sharron Angle talking about ‘second amendment remedies’ to handle disputes with federal authorities are all examples of dangerous secessionist rhetoric permeating through modern discourse.  The media focuses our attention at Civil War reenactors and pick-up trucks with Confederate flags flying on them.  But public figures are influenced as well, by academics who struggle to perpetuate a most dangerous brand of revisionism.  Thomas DiLorenzo is a pseudo-academic trying desperately to justify secession and rewrite American History.

Just an ugly truck

DiLorenzo wants to deconstruct Lincoln’s legacy… and in doing so, change long-held beliefs about secession.  DiLorenzo deemphasizes slavery in his arguments despite the fact that none of the Confederate leaders he idolizes were willing to do so.  Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Confederacy, described the purpose for creating the Confederate government, “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”    States rights is one of the greatest fallacies ever hoisted upon the American public…there was one right, the right to own people as property (arguing about tariffs displays ignorance, for the Constitution is clear on that.)  By arguing that secession was just and Lincoln destroyed the country with the war (“paragon of wickedness, a man secretly intent on destroying states’ rights” ), DiLorenzo displays his dubious scholarship in the name of stain upon our national character.  He is far more dangerous than any red-neck flying the Stars and Bars.

When the research isn’t there, just make stuff up

On the anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination… America needs to relegate charlatans like Thomas DiLorenzo to the distant fringe.  The Civil War was caused by slavery.  Lincoln saw the truth by his second term,  “Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”   The terrible price our country paid had to be for something higher than a discredited political ideology like secession.  DiLorenzo and his ilk will never accept this reality.  He will continue to use his credentials as an academic to provide a veil of legitimacy to his duplicitous message.

“I hold that in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual.”

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Justice

Martin Luther King’s words ring as true today as they did in 1963… justice is relevant and must never be taken for granted.

Battling the "tranquilizing drug of gradualism"

Battling the “tranquilizing drug of gradualism”

“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.”  We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

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On Loss

The grieving optimist- Jefferson lost nearly everyone dear to him…. so he could relate grief to his dear friend, John Adams upon hearing of the death of Abigail.  Relating grief is not the same as understanding it, however…..

 

“Tried myself in the school of affliction, by the loss of every form of connection which can rive the human heart, I know well, and feel what you have lost, what you have suffered, are suffering, and have yet to endure. The same trials have taught me that for ills so immeasurable, time and silence are the only medi­cine….although mingling sincerely my tears with yours, will I say a word more where words are vain, but that it is of some comfort to us both, that the term is not very distant, at which we are to deposit in the same cerement, our sorrows and suffering bodies, and to ascend in essence to an ecstatic meeting with the friends we have loved and lost, and whom we shall still love and never lose again.”

 

” I have often wondered for what good end the sensations of Grief could be intended.”

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On Grief

Even the eternal optimist within… Thomas Jefferson was dragged down to earth by loss.  Behind the iconic image was a man who loved deeply and lost nearly everyone dear to him.  Despite the pain, Jefferson remained optimistic, immersing himself in books and his correspondence.  He told his friend John Adams;

“You ask if I would agree to live my 70. or rather 73. years over again?  To which I say Yea.  I think with you that it is a good world on the whole, that it has been framed on a principle of benevolence, and more pleasure than pain dealt out to us.”

Tugging at his enlightened nature… was the depression that followed the loss of his loved ones.  Jefferson pondered the concept of grief to Adams;

“I have often wondered for what good end the sensations of Grief could be intended.  All our other passions, within proper bounds, have a useful object.”

Jefferson outlived his wife and all but one… of their children.  The thought of living out his days alone terrified him;

“This morning between 8 & 9. a clock my dear daughter Maria Eppes died…. My evening prospects now hang on the slender thread of a single life. Perhaps I may be destined to see even this last chord of parental affection broken!”

Sadness and reflections....

Sadness and reflections….

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Facts in Five

Stephen Decatur edition…

  • British Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson declared Decatur’s mission to burn the USS Philadelphia in Tripoli harbor, “The most bold and daring act of the age…”
  • Decatur commanded some of America’s greatest warships including: USS United States, USS President, and USS Constitution
  • He was the youngest man to reach the rank of Captain in the history of the US Navy
  • Decatur dictated favorable treaties with all the Barbary states in 1815- including reimbursements for lost cargo during the War of 1812
  • When the Dey of Algiers demanded gunpowder as a gift during negotiations, Decatur resounded that, “you must expect to receive {cannon} balls with it!”
Most bold and daring

Most bold and daring

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History Wishes for the New Year

Every generation feels an impact on the historic…

  • We stop destroying history and refocus our energy on studying it
  • Americans start listening to true Civil War historians like James McPherson, Noah Trudeau, Wayne Motts, and Stephen Sears
  • That historical hacks like Don Lemon, Jamelle Bouie, Ilya Somin, Yoni Applebaum, and everyone at MSNBC stop talking about historical revisionism
  • Seeing rational minds put an end to the scourge of American iconoclasm
  • American society rediscovers the indispensable examples set by George Washington
  • Americans accept the fact that if Jefferson is right, America is right
  • Real efforts are made to protect historical homes, sites, and monuments
  • No  “Grant!”  the musical
  • “Hamilton!” fans actually read a few of the Federalist Papers
  • Donald Trump donates all of his paychecks to battlefield preservation (the first one was greatly appreciated)
  • The Confederate flag remains legal
  • Ne0-Nazis and white supremacists fade to obscurity
  • Living history continues to educate the public
  • The Eisenhower Memorial is finished on the National Mall
  • Steven Spielberg makes an authentic Civil War film as a companion to “Lincoln”
  • PBS brings back “Mercy Street”
  • The History Channel schedules more programs about history
  • Customers of Ancestry.com realize that they are actually Americans first…
  • We all stop learning history through memes

Just like ISIS

It already was, Donnie

 

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