Tag Archives: History
In a recent discussion with a friend, I mentioned how news pundits constantly use the phrase: “Our country has not been so ideologically divided since the Civil War.”
My friend’s question was “why the Civil War analogy…? The following piece tends to address this question.
Lincoln’s unfinished war rages on, as the neo-Confederacy tries to turn back the clock on women, gays, God and guns
On a repeat viewing of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” over the New Year’s holiday, a scene I had barely noticed the first time jumped out at me. Confederate vice-president Alexander Stephens (played with reptilian gentility by Jackie Earle Haley), in a secret meeting aboard a steamboat with Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward, faces up to the reality that the era of slavery has come to an end. Ratification of the 13th Amendment, Stephens muses, will destroy the basis of the Southern economy and the South’s traditional way of life. “We won’t know ourselves anymore,” he says.
If only it had been so. What an affluent slave owner like Stephens feared most, no doubt, was the utopian vision of “radical Reconstruction” imagined by legendary abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones in the movie), in an earlier conversation with Lincoln in the White House kitchen. Stevens envisioned a future in which all the land and property of the Southern aristocracy would be dispossessed and divided among the emancipated slaves, building a new society of free soil and free labor amid the ruins of tyranny. To put it in contemporary social-studies terms, Stevens hoped that by uprooting and destroying the South’s slave economy, one could also replace its culture.
It didn’t quite work out that way. You can’t boil one of the most tumultuous periods of American history down to one paragraph, but here goes: Lincoln was assassinated by a domestic terrorist and replaced by Andrew Johnson, who was an incompetent hothead and an unapologetic racist. Within a few years the ambitious project of Reconstruction fell victim to a sustained insurgency led by the Ku Klux Klan and similar white militia groups. By the late 1870s white supremacist “Redeemers” controlled most local and state governments in the South, and by the 1890s Southern blacks had been disenfranchised and thrust into subservience positions by Jim Crow laws that were only slightly preferable to slavery.
So even though it’s a truism of American public discourse that the Civil War never ended, it’s also literally true. We’re still reaping the whirlwind from that long-ago conflict, and now we face a new Civil War, one focused on divisive political issues of the 21st century – most notably the rights and liberties of women and LGBT people – but rooted in toxic rhetoric and ideas inherited from the 19th century.
Edit Note: Emphasis are mine
- His Lincoln Moment(s) (nationalreview.com)
- Welcome to the new Civil War (salon.com)
- Lincoln Against the Radicals (jacobinmag.com)
- Myths persist about the Emancipation Proclamation (wtvr.com)
- Civil War Map of D.C. Fortifications (ghostsofdc.org)
- Library of Congress shows diaries from Civil War (sfgate.com)
- Faces of the Civil War (cbsnews.com)
Only Mr. Piperni could have a sense of humor about the Mayan Apocalypse meme.
You can count on survival stores making a killing on sales of generators, ‘survival seeds’ and emergency crank radios. For some, there has never been an apocalyptic prediction they didn’t embrace after watching a ridiculous History Channel special on the latest doomsday scenario. If that’s you, and you want to know what to do after the the gamma ray burst or the displacement of the earth’s crust hits the planet on the 21st, you’d better hurry down to Where To Survive 2012 and read up on how to pack that survival kit. More important, you’ll learn the best place on the planet to survive the Mayan apocalypse.
(Spoiler alert: It’s Turkey. Something about it being free of oceans and volcanoes…and has a high elevation with “friendly native populations” and lots of natural resources and wild animals. Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it?)
The world will not end on 12-21-12.
- 2012 – Re: Nasa releases Mayan apocalypse video 10 days early (disclose.tv)
- Check it out: Mayan expert: Don’t fear 2012 (columbian.com)
- Chinese survival pods to defend against “apocalypse” (seeker401.wordpress.com)
- MAYAN APOCALYPSE: NASA Downplays Hype, but Says Some Truly Worried (foxnews.com)
- Watch: NASA debunks myths of Mayan apocalypse (cbsnews.com)
- Mayan apocalypse: panic spreads as December 21 nears – Telegraph (telegraph.co.uk)
Congratulations Mr. President – Four More Years…
- Congratulations, Mr. President (aphilosopher.wordpress.com)
- Awkward: Geraldo kisses unsuspecting man on live TV (theblaze.com)
- Dear Mr. President: What About Chicago? (thebuzzcincy.com)
- And The Winner Is……. (thedailypingpong.wordpress.com)
- Dear Mr. President: What About Chicago? (woldcnews.com)
I have always said that this is the most important reason to re-elect President Obama…
Shocking! Barack Obama Reveals The American Values That He REALLY Believes In
Next thing you know, he might be accused of being downright patriotic.
This is exciting news.
I’ll admit I’m a NASA fan. I love to view all their Hubble Telescope pictures. I am also a fan of The History Channel’s The Universe. I try to catch every new episode on my DVR.
I don’t expect to be among the very lucky (and rich) passengers on the maiden flight or subsequent flights. I’d prefer to have my feet firmly planted to the ground and enjoy outer space from the comfort of my own backyard and television set…
Within a decade, the FAA is predicting that space tourism will become a billion-dollar industry, according to a Reuters report.
“Based on market studies, we expect to see this type of activity result in a billion-dollar industry within the next 10 years,” George Nield, associate administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST), said in a statement before the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics hearing Tuesday.
There is a handful of companies planning to offer sub-orbital private space flights, most notably Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. Branson announced earlier this week that “Two and a Half Men” television star Ashton Kutcher was the 500th person to sign up for a $200,000 ride aboard Virgin Galactic’s Space Ship Two. According to Discovery News, Virgin Galactic expects to begin flights in 2013.
XCOR Aerospace, a small company based in California’s Mojave Desert, also is already selling seats aboard its winged Lynx suborbital space vehicle. Mike Massee, a spokesperson for XCOR, told The Huffington Post that the company expects to begin testing late this year or in early 2013, and that commercial flights should begin by 2014. Tickets cost $95,000 per flight.
- Ashton Kutcher to Board Virgin Galactic, Launch Into Space (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Space tourism set for lift-off by 2014, FAA says (thestar.com)
- U.S. set to offer ‘space tourism’ by 2014 (vancouversun.com)
- Ashton Kutcher set for space trip aboard Virgin Galactic spaceship (bornrich.com)
- In-orbit refueling tests begin at international Space Station (arstechnica.com)
- This is what your Universe looks like! (scienceblogs.com)
John Boehner has decided to weigh in with his deep thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street protests. He understands. He knows why people are “frustrated.” He knows that people have the right to protest. Oh, and please don’t riot:
Beyond that, I lived through the riots of the Vietnam War … and you can see how some of those activities got out of control. A lot of people lived through the race riots of 1968 that was clearly out of control, and I’m hopeful that these demonstrations will continue to be peaceful.
Well, sure. He understands, don’t riot. Great take-away.
And it’s a shame Boehner isn’t in a position to actually do anything about people’s frustration about jobs and the economy. Oh, wait …
- John Boehner Speaks Out On ‘Occupy’ Protests (huffingtonpost.com)
- Seven Dem congressional cabinet march on Boehner’s office in support of OccupyWallStreet (americablog.com)
- Wall Street Is Taking Brains From Poor Zombies (PHOTOS) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Deductibility of Donations to Occupy Wall Street (taxprof.typepad.com)
- Wow! U S Marine at Occupy Wall Street photo #OWS (themomu.wordpress.com)
- Is NYPD Sending Drunk Homeless People to Occupy Wall Street? [Occupy Wall Street] (gawker.com)