Category Archives: History

Two for Reading

Here are a couple of highly recommended pieces I came across today that you might have missed.

The always spot-on Heather Mac Donald takes a look at the insanity behind the increasing romanticization of the 1992 Los Angeles riots in “Venerating Havoc.” Academia’s support in this evil movement only guarantees that we’ll be cranking out more deluded SJWs in the future. Are there no adults left running our academic institutions?

If Kurt Schlichter isn’t the best columnist out there I don’t know who is. Of course the feeling that he’s channeling me is just a coincidence.

His latest, “100 Days of #TheResistance’s Humiliating Failure” nails it. These “Resistance” people are living in a fantasy land. On my recent business trip I saw two guys wearing drab gray “Resistance”-themed t-shirts. One, at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, was an obvious college kid who had the look of an artsy major with no talent beyond bagging/scamming college girls.

The other, at an early morning layover in Cincinnati (technically northern Kentucky), was a middle-aged man who should have known better though there was the air of beta male about him.

The Might of Idiocy

Here’s a little Thanksgiving untreat — the dumbest story of the year. It is revelatory of how stupid a large portion of America is and how polluted our cultural and educational system has become.

Hilary Duff, a B List actress and singer who had some success as a teen on, I think, the Disney Channel back in the 1990s, went to a Hollywood costume party dressed as a Pilgrim and her boyfriend accompanied her as an Indian.

Admittedly, the saucy outfit wasn’t exactly what real Pilgrim’s would have worn (a bit much leg, ahem), but harmless enough. The Indian outfit was a typical buckskin and feathers outfit, relatively historically accurate. The beard was a bit off since Indians don’t sport beards.

But of course, as with everything under the sun, libtards had to freak out and turn it into an issue. Apparently self-appointed libtard cultural commissars have declared dressing as a Pilgrim and an Indian to be not acceptable. In fact such activity seems to be equated with a major crime.

An example of such idiocy is Hilary Duff And Boyfriend Offend With Racist Pilgrim And Native American Costumes,” from professional clown HuffPo’s Colby Delbyck.

Young master Colby declares these to be “the worst couples costume ever.” I rather doubt that. People have dressed as Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun, as various grotesque diseases, Jack-the-Ripper and victim, etc. Ah, the libtard, everything is such an extreme.

Then Commissar Colby asserts, “cultures are not a costume.” Really? Then what would a costume be? Costumes have long been defined by various cultures. They are often identifiers of particular cultures and subcultures. Colby, were you awake in anthropology class?

Sadly, it is ignorant fools like Colby (named after a cheese, which is a cultural thing, too), who provide cultural material to people. Readers might assume that the writers of such material are somewhat informed but they would be disappointed. Most writer/reporters today are shockingly ignorant of even the basics. But that doesn’t stop them from going into overdrive on almost everything. They seem to try to make up for their ignorance with passion (usually anger).

Colby somehow drags in protests over a pipeline in North Dakota. Like I said, the libtard will politicize everything because in their shallow minds, everything is connected. Halloween Party Costume=Oil Pipeline Protest.

Such mentality used to be recognized as a mental defect, or simply sloppy thinking. Today it is the pure form of libtard intellect.

Amusingly, Colby insists that Hilary and beau have committed “racist” offenses, unaware that Pilgrims aren’t a race. But then “racist” doesn’t mean what it used to, being nothing more than an invective hurled these days wantonly like “dummy.”

As for the legions of people allegedly being offended, I doubt anyone not with a hypersensitive nitro glycerine-level of offense-seeking was remotely moved by these costumes. If anything, I’m offended by the infantilism of people like Colby. Humanity is doomed with folks as moronic as Colby (and so many others whining) proliferating.

I realize that “Pilgrims” have been declared politically incorrect and there’s an attempt to distort their history and expunge them from their important role in American history. That’s very sad and doesn’t say anything positive about the folks doing the purging — including large numbers of supposedly “educated” people and people responsible for educating the next generations.

Needless to say, the average Pilgrim, women and children included, are easily twice the man as people like Colby and the typical Pajama Boy libtard of today. Colby and his ilk would have lasted about 8 seconds in 1620 North America.

Actually he would have never survived the voyage. In fact, he would never have had the intellectual fiber to be the independent thinking, deep believer in God that the Pilgrims were. People like Colby need coddling mother government, fueled by the fruits of people Colby hates, to keep him living in the luxury he so deplores in others.

Furthermore, Colby would not be enjoying the life he leads now were it not for people like the Pilgrims. Ingrate is too weak a word to describe the libtard of today. It is a grain of sand on a vast beach of ingratitude and hypocrisy.

In addition, weak, easily moved minds loathe those who have deep beliefs. The believer is to be mocked by those subsumed in neverending doubt papered over by conceit and arrogance.

But back to the main point. Why can’t people like Colby let others wear what they wish to a harmless costume party? These very same judges eagerly shout down anyone commenting on “slut-wear” sold to children for everyday clothing. “Do not judge!” they intone as they immediately rush to judgment.

Why the constant public trials and the eventual pressure to make Duff grovel like a penitente from the ages of the Spanish Inquisition?

Ah, but that is just the point, it is an inquisition; a modern inquisition, conducted by a religious movement which deludes itself that it is not a religion.

These people are stoking a cultural war.

“Meet You in Hell” by Les Standiford

I’m constantly on the lookout for good business biographies, focused on the prime movers of the American economy — the men who built the modern world.

In that quest I recently finished “Meet You in Hell, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick and the Bitter Partnership That Transformed America.” The title pretty much says what it’s about.

The book isn’t bad but it’s not great either. It does avoid, mostly until page 300 or so, the usual lefty assault on these two great industrialists.

However, it could have been so much more. Instead of attacking them for being tough, calculating wealth and job creators it might have helped if Standiford had bothered to suss out how much the expansion of steel availability, increase in product quality and the subsequent drop in raw steel prices caused an economic explosion the world had never seen before.

Yes, working in an 1890s steel mill was probably pretty miserable but there was a reason people immigrated to America and took such jobs. The alternatives for many to such employment was starvation or working in an equally, if not more, miserable job like mining or lower paying occupations such as agricultural labor. Standiford sometimes gets a little too soft and seems to believe that steel can be produced without all that heat and molten mass.

In addition, I wanted to know more about the business side of things, especially relationships with men such as J.P. Morgan and Andrew Mellon.

The title refers to the acrimonious feelings (mostly on Frick’s side) that came from the breakup of their lucrative partnership. Frick felt Carnegie was duplicitous and had become a hypocrite — happy to enjoy the fruits of his wealth while pretending to be unaware of how they came about.

Around page 300 Standiford finally goes full liberal and whines for 10 pages that neither man paid the workers enough, especially considering how much money both of them made. The book could easily excise those pages and it would like be a smoother read.

Having said that, there was a lot to learn in the book and it was a worthwhile read as far as I was concerned.

“The Medici” by Paul Strathern

I’ve just finished Paul Strathern’s book on the Medici family, “The Medici: Power, Money, and Ambition in the Italian Renaissance.”

I greatly enjoyed it. The folks at Goodreads liked it in the way I did while there’s a small, tough crowd at Barnes & Noble that think it’s too simple.

Admittedly it is not a high-scholar book but to do that with the Medici family, from their humble medieval beginnings to their demise in the early 18th century, would require a voluminous book.

The book therefore, I feel, is a success as a decent meal that can whet the appetite to learn more about select Medici.

This especially helpful in learning about the “Medici Popes,” and the difference between the two Medici queens of France — Catherine and Marie.

Strathern also does a good job in tying the Medici into the times they lived in — the Renaissance, Florence’s turbulent history, the Reformation and the rise of science.

He might spend a little too much time discussing the physical looks and infirmities of the various Medici and, I think, his diversion into a lengthy discussion of Galileo, while interesting and informative, is a distraction.

Having said that, if you’ve heard the name and vaguely know something about Lorenzo the Magnificent but the rest of the family is merely a name, this book would be a recommended read. If you know who the Medici are and can name the Medici Popes (Leo X and Clement VII) then you might pass.

Two interesting things I learned was the Medici roots of opera and that Marie de Medici, as queen of France, should be considered the mother of French cuisine.

Corrections: On page 90 there’s a reference to Muslim armies conquering “Turkey and now threatened Constantinople itself.” The reference should probably be to “Byzantium” rather than “Turkey.”

A correction should be made on page 323 where in a blizzard of Clement VII and Charles V references are made, one is made of Charles VII. That should be Charles V.

American Caesar: Hillary Clinton?

American Caesar” was the nickname given to Gen. Douglas MacArthur by William Manchester in a famous biography of that name. It was written back when “Caesar” was still seen as a compliment, at least to a military man.

I recently saw a comment on a blog that Hillary Clinton needs to win the presidency if only to stay out of jail.

This made me think of the original Caesar.

During Caesar’s time the old Roman republic was riven with corruption (e.g. cronyism and nepotism), high taxes for the people who made money, unending and expanding subsidies for those who didn’t pay taxes, bounteous promises of “free stuff” for the masses, and more, including an early version of lawfare. Sound familiar?

Caesar’s enemies were threatening to try him as soon as they could — he was shielded from prosecution so long as he was consul in Gaul. The charges were questionable and minor, especially for those times. The whole point of the lawfare was to bankrupt and destroy Caesar.

Caesar had a high level of pride and would not brook any threats to himself. So he weighed the republic versus his own security and chose himself. The fall of the Roman republic followed.

While the analogy isn’t perfect, this might be a lesson to consider.

Does anyone doubt that Hillary Clinton would destroy this republic in her ambition for the presidency?

Bill Clinton didn’t have the decency to resign. Why would anyone think Hillary will step aside or step down if elected?

Museum of Neosegregationism

You might have caught the story about Clarence Thomas, a sitting Supreme Court Justice, somehow not being included in any exhibits at the newly-opened National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Oh, no doubt you heard about the museum, the MSM and our cultural leaders couldn’t stop talking about it but the exclusion of Justice Thomas, well, that somehow didn’t make the news.

Surprise!

Not really.

The surprising thing is that so many conservatives thought that a museum created solely for politically correct reasons would actually treat conservatives (especially one as villified as Thomas is) with equality or respect.

Paul Mirengoff’s naive piece in Power Line  is typical of these.

The museum was never going to be anything other than a playpen for leftists; an employment and legitimizing program for left-wing black scholars and their guilt-ridden white sycophants; a tool for grievance- and guilt-mongering; a hive of endless Zinn-like anti-American and racist propaganda.

It’s also part of the continuing decline of the Smithsonian Institution into little more than just another once-great American organization degraded and drafted into service of the left.

Mirengoff, et al, when you set up museums for politically correct reasons, why are you surprised that political correctness reigns?

How could you possibly think that a museum based on skin color and whose design from day one was controlled by liberals and whose raison d’etre followed liberal historical memes was going to be anything less than a liberal hellhole.

Have you been under a rock for the last five decades?

It never ceases to amaze me how some conservatives still don’t understand that we are in a war. It’s like in the movie “United 93,” when it dawns on the FAA’s Ben Sliney that “We’re at war with somebody” as he watches planes smash into buildings. He shut the flight system down until it can be determined who’s attacking.

What’s so hard to understand here?

Like the shockingly underwhelming National Museum of African Art, the National Museum of African American History and Culture was created exclusively for political reasons — to placate or fulfill the demands of the neosegregationist movement. It was never designed for actual real scholarship. There’s already a Smithsonian (National Museum of American History) for that.

When I was a kid we had it beaten into our heads that Plessy v Ferguson, the core of “separate but equal,” was a bad, terrible, horrible, grotesque… decision. Yet somehow we’ve circled back to it and it’s not the white majority of the country dictating the separation of the races.

Our Borg Left

Can there be any doubt that anything that the left touches becomes corrupted.

Here is a story about the nominally nonpartisan Committee to Protect Journalists. Now it has come out with a statement that Donald Trump is an unprecedented threat to press freedom though it insists that it’s not taking sides in the upcoming election. They said that with a straight face.

Seriously.

Admittedly any group of journalists is likely to be left-leaning and it is usually just a matter of time before it removes any pretense and just goes whole-hog into auxiliary service of the Democratic Party.

Interestingly, Hillary Clinton has her own plans to limit press freedoms. She wants to outlaw stories, movies, whatever, that paint politicians in a bad light.

CPJ seems to have missed that. Probably because most of their members decided not to report negative stories about Hillary Clinton.

And then there’s this piece about our wonderful public education system, which was drafted into service of the Democratic Party a long time ago.

I guess the surprising thing about this “letter” drafted by several “Teachers of the Year” is that they hadn’t done this before.

They certainly don’t hold back, pretty much equating Trump with the most heinous villains in history.

They also trot out lots of perfect moppet anecdotes of fear with tots crying on cue, “Mr. Supersmawt teacher, why does that scawwy Donald Twump want to huwt me?”

Our humble teachers are taking this extraordinary step… to save the children (from the Abominable Trumble).

Remember back during the first Clinton interregnum when so much of their calumny (especially at the EPA) was committed “for the children.”

Of course all of this couched in the insufferability that the conceited teaching profession has polished to a high sheen. These people think a lot of themselves and little of anyone who thinks differently (i.e. isn’t a liberal). To think, these people are paid by the taxpayer that these teachers so loathe.

The public education system needs to be torn down, sown with salt and its braying donkey membership put to digging ditches or handing out sippy straws and butt pillows at the old folks home… er… retirement community – actual, productive jobs rather than the well-compensated, publicly-funded liberal propagandameisters that they are now.

I’m not the first to note that the left ruins everything it touches and turns those things into tools of liberal propaganda, coercion, cultural and political warfare. Anything that resists is targeted for destruction.

Like the Borg, you will be assimilated or destroyed. There is no refuge from them.