It’s 4:17 AM. Sleep has never come easily. I reach for one of the books I delve into for relaxation—non-fiction always. Facts, nothing but facts are my preference; well-reasoned opinions I have in abundance. I get to “Civil War America, 1850-1870,” in Paul Johnson’s A History of the American People. Facts? Perhaps in the strictest sense of the word: timeline, dates, etc. Otherwise, the section is simplistic and biased. To wit, Lincoln was as pure as the driven snow (his wife thought otherwise, describing him as a good-for-nothing lay about around the home). Southern secession was undemocratic and nonsensical. Jefferson Davis was an imbecile. The dispute between North and South was purely about slavery, no more; the South being steeped in that Original Sin, but not the North.
“If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!” The Ghostbuster of this dross is my friend, historian Clyde Wilson. In “Derailment of Civil War History,” Prof. Wilson muses about the rigidity of “fixed and eternal dogmas in the interpretation of the past”:
… the Civil War sesquicentennial has received slight public interest and produced little in the way of new knowledge and perspective. This is true despite the fact that the great war of 1861—1865, with its prelude and sequel, arguably remains the most significant (as well as the most interesting) part of American history. Is it possible that this lack has something to do with the now official and pervasive dogma that the Civil War was “about slavery” and “caused by slavery”? Any challenge to this understanding is, in the Marxist language now prevalent in American academic discourse, condemned as “revisionism,” no longer a good thing but defined as the conniving of evilly-motivated people to challenge the party line established by the all-wise experts. There has even been created a whole literature dismissing dissidents as deluded victims of a “Lost Cause Myth.” Gary Gallagher, one of the celebrity historians of present Civil War historianship, describes such people as suffering from a mental “syndrome.” 
But, in fact, it is impossible to find any qualified historian of the first half of the 20th century who accepted the current party line of “slavery and nothing but slavery” in regard to the Civil War. This current dogma is nothing more than a replay of the early partisan presentation of the war as a morality play about the suppression of slavery and treason by the forces of righteousness. A little Marxist class conflict and racial vengeance has been mixed in to update the tale. Responsible historians before the present era realized that no large human event can be understood in such a trivial way, and that “about” and “caused by” are deceptive terms when applied to great happenings. Historians of the not-too-distant past realized that their proper task was to go beyond the claims of partisans. In pursuit of such a mission, a large literature was created treating the Civil War as a thing of great complexity and moral ambiguity. This great scholarly achievement has been washed down the Memory Hole. Thus the study of history is no longer a matter of cumulative knowledge. To control understanding of the past has always been an objective of power-seekers. We live in a time when such control flourishes.
MORE of Prof. Wilson’s intellectual sanity.
The very definition of a Not-In-My-Back-Yard (NIMBI) liberal is Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who said a resounding no to housing central American illegal desperadoes in his state.
At the same time, sleazemeister O’Malley scolded the White House for a belated proposal, made only due to public pressure, “to give new legal authorities to the Department of Homeland Security to expedite the deportation of the unaccompanied minors and their families.”
Migrants from Central America and other non-contiguous nations are granted special legal protections that allow them to plead their case to an immigration court, under a 2008 law designed to prevent human trafficking. (CNN)
“’We are not a country that should turn children away and send them back to certain death,’ O’Malley said last week at a National Governors Association meeting in Nashville.”
A scum bag and a liar. “No proof has been advanced for the claim that, all of a sudden, things in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have worsened. The fact that Central American minors are arriving, hat-in-hand,” is [advanced as the only] proof that their homes have become uninhabitable. (“Desperately Seeking Desperadoes in Diapers”)
I’m having a hard time following the logic of the article, “Who Started ‘the Cycle of Violence’ in Palestine?”, in which Israel is blamed for the renewed hostilities between it and the Palestinians of the Gaza strip.
As circuitous as it is curious, the case woven in “Who Started ‘the Cycle of Violence’ in Palestine?” seems to hang on the claim that “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet lied to the Israeli and international public by pretending not to know that the [3 kidnapped Israeli] boys were almost certainly [already] dead,” and that “although the Israeli government knew the three boys were almost certainly dead, they initiated what they dubbed ‘Operation Brother’s Keeper.’ Thousands of IDF soldiers combed the West Bank, ostensibly searching for the kidnapped boys.”
OK. Let’s assume that indeed, as author Justin Raimondo asserts, “the Israeli political class exhibits a malevolence unique among nations.” Isn’t that perspective beside the point here? Didn’t the latest conflagration in fact begin with the kidnapping and killing of the three Israeli teenagers? What am I missing?
Germany’s first victory this week is to have threatened to expel the top CIA official from the country. Via DER SPIEGEL:
Initially, there had been talk of a formal expulsion of the CIA employee, who is officially accredited as the so-called chief of station and is responsible for the US intelligence service’s activities in Germany. A short time later, the government backpedalled and said it had only recommended that he leave. Although it cannot be compared with a formal explusion, it remains an unfriendly gesture.
On a diplomatic level, it is no less than an earthquake and represents a measure that until Thursday would have only been implemented against pariah states like North Korea or Iran. It also underscores just how deep tensions have grown between Berlin and Washington over the spying affair. … there was absolutely no talk of any apology from Washington.
One US official dismissed the threat of expulsion of a top CIA official from Germany as a “childish” reaction on behalf of the Germans. Natürlich. When a European superpower refuses to be spied upon by Uncle Sam, they’re deemed to be acting out like kids.
An excellent account of the latest developments is here.
Germany’s second big win in short succession was a 1:0 victory over Argentina, in the game that earned the Germans the 2014 World Cup in football.
Ann Coulter should be pleased that the interminable tournament has finally concluded.
You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who will commiserate with your loss or dub it “dangerous and bad for the morale”—a risk to your family—in the event that you get the pink slip while serving nobly in the private economy, supplying fellow Americans with the services and products they need and desire.
On the other hand, the Pentagon “shrinks” the largest military in the world a smidgen—and the military-industrial-complex’s spokespeople fly into a rage.
Said Major Gen. Robert Scales: “It puts the soldier, the soldier’s family and the men under his command at risk.”
Seconded Sen. James Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee:
Once again [President Obama] is putting domestic politics ahead of the security of our nation. The Army captains and majors receiving pink slips while on the battlefield is just the latest example. My heart goes out to these men and women who are risking their lives and making great sacrifices, yet are now being told they are being separated from the Army and will have no job when they return home to their families.
Why should Army captains and majors be spared unemployment, a reality that faces American working in the market economy?
Militarism gone mad.
Apples and oranges. The article “Break the Immigration Impasse,” as Mark Levin pointed out today, has absolutely nothing to do with the deluge of Central-American dependents across the Southern US border. Written by three business men who’re worth many billions—SHELDON G. ADELSON, WARREN E. BUFFETT and BILL GATES—the editorial dwells on skilled immigration. The new arrivals, for whom the welcome-mat is being rolled out, are unskilled. To switch the three amigos’ words around, they’ll “make hefty withdrawals from the economy, not deposits.”
Aside from conflating their wishes with “the nation’s interests,” the three billionaires manage also to cram the short op-ed with misconceptions (or lies).
There is no limit to the number of geniuses American companies can import through the open-ended O-1 visa program, which allows unlimited access to individuals with unique abilities. I imagine that a graduate student with unique abilities can apply for an 0-1 visa.
Levin is absolutely correct. These ponces have written an op-ed in a paper no real American will even read, purporting to know what’s good for the same folks and their families. Does Gates send his kids to the overflowing and backward public schools? Do bully boy Buffett’s grandchildren mix with yours at the local community college? Do ADELSON, BUFFETT and GATES live in third-world east Los Angeles?