Thursday, May 3, 2012

My President

Friday, April 6, 2012


. . .  is the only word I can think of to describe the turn of events in our country. First of all, let me say that I feel our country is prosperous enough to help those in need, and we have a moral obligation to do so. However, this health care issue represents far more than helping those in need. It is a guise for destroying our country-- a ruse which will include others determining the value of any life, be it advanced in age or unborn.  Having said all of this, my "ubelievable"title is best used to describe this man we have in the President's position. He is unbelievable. To supposedly be a Constitutional scholar, he has certainly missed some key lessons. 

In the past day or so, he has been criticized for his intimidating rhetoric toward the Court, specifically suggesting to the justices that the health care bill. as an act of the legislature, reflected the will of the people. As such, the bill should be scrutinized with care not to offend "the people."  Hmmmmm. I wonder what President Obama would say to the Supreme Court of the United States when they heard the cases of Brown, et al  in the 1950s?  Those cases, among the most important in our history, overturned precedent, ignored "the will of the people" and rightly rejected segregation in public schools based on the intent of the "Reconstruction Amendments." 

"Unbelievable" also applies to the fact that the mainstream press refuses to condemn President Obama for anything, this latest outrage included.  Were President Bush to have said anything of the kind, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, et al would have been demanding the House impeach him! 

I have no idea what the Court will do. All eyes have been incorrectly focused on Justice Kennedy. He, like Justice O'Connor has delighted in positioning himself as a swing vote,  The Press sees him as the key to this latest issue.  I think they're wrong. Since the horrendous Westboro decision, I have lost faith in even those who have held more conservative positions: Thomas, Scalia, and CJ Roberts. They seem to be led by agenda that have little to do with Constitutional principles.

These are truly unbelievable times.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Lovely Abigail Adams

This has been a wonderful semester, and I have particularly enjoyed teaching the course on the American Revolution again. In addition to the Middlekauf text, the students had to read either Paul Revere's Ride by David Hackett Fisher or Deareest Friend by Lynne Withey. In this reading, the students had to maintain a book journal--thier own analysis of the material in the book. This assignment is less formal, but more involved than a book review.

Several of the students chose the biography of Abigail Adams, Dearest Friend. I am so pleased by how she (Mrs. Adams) is inspiring  these young people over 200 years after her birth. Feminists have latched on to Mrs. Adams and have attempted to make her an icon for their cause.  She took care of her home and family during her husband's many absences in his service to the young country. She earned the disdain of many of her contemporaries by involving herself in the politics of the day.
Abigail's father was a parson and raised her not only in the nurture of the Scriptures, but in an environment that encouraged "book learning" as well. Her deep love for her husband combined with the natural and nurtured inquisitiveness she possessed together almost seemed to compel her participation in matters outside the then typical sphere of influence of the woman of Colonial America. 

Feminists have seized upon this aspect of Abigail's life, and I think they have misinterpreted her heart's desire.  Scripture tells us that part of Eve's punishent was to desire her husband's place (Genesis 3:16), but that doesn't describe Abigail at all. Her desire was to support her husband--to maintain the home and family as he needed.  He often turned to her for advice and support, respecting her intellect and trusting in her absolute devotion to him.  She was free to speak her mind and disagre with John(which she often did), but she always put his best interest above her own.

Several of the young ladies in the course have spoken with me about this book and the life of our second First Lady. They seem, without exception, to be moved most by her love for God and for her husband. 

I am grateful to be teaching in an atmosphere where we can openly champion these values.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Catherine Drinker Bowen 1897-1973

One of my favorite historians is Mrs. Catherine Drinker Bowen; she penned marvelous biographies as well as an inspiring account of the American Constitutional Convention.  She researched her topics meticulously and passionately, searching for the story amidst facts, the narrative within the details. This year, I used her work, John Adams and the American Revolution to expand my lecture about Adams' role in the defense of the British soldiers following the Boston Massacre.  She took us all back to a Boston hostile to these "redcoats." I read much of her account to the class, and they loved it!

Mrs. Bowen fell under quite a bit of criticism because she did not pursue formal training (college degrees in History).  Yet, she was dedicated to both history and historiography. She knew where her interpretations of events and lives fell within the spectrum of others.  Like Barbara Tuchman and Esther Forbes, she did not pursue "women's history." My advisor, Professor Kermit Hall, gently admonished us that we needed more women historians, not women doing women's History.  He was so right!

As for Mrs. Bowen and her generation,  I want to say that as a student of history independent of a particular graduate program, she was free to really search for History as opposed to a "usable past" to promote a specific agenda.  In her day just as in the current, History represents a field with one of the most liberal and manipulative mindsets.  The recent trend is to tear down those that may have brought some "exceptionalism" to our past (the left does however always seem to give Jefferson a pass, though, despite his slave holdings and despite the fact that he ran and hid when the British came to Virginia!).  This past week, our family went to Barnes and Noble. I was thrilled to see a new biography of Ethan Allen. The review on the back made mention of how this marvelous new biography (I am paraphrasing) told us all of the failings of this once-revered character from the Revolutionary era.  Is that the goal? The goal should be providing an accurate (as much as possible) account of biography, and that might well sling a bit of dirt. However, that goal is a far cry from tearing down to tear down.

I am grateful for my education at UF in the History Department there, but sometimes I think the field is hurt by what and how we're taught--not the facts, but the agenda. Mrs. Bowen and her generation of true historians seem to be lost, relegated to the now-disappearing shelves of library books written before 1990. Barbara, Esther and Catherine all have their places on my shelves, and believe me, no dust is gathering.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The History of Historie

I started blogging some time ago when I saw Miss Linda's beautiful blog, Threads of Loveliness.  At that time she used this beautiful brown and aqua background from Michelle Baird's Shabby Creations. Miss Linda now uses a different background so I am going to honor her and Michelle with this as my new background. Everything old is new again! Thanks, Miss Linda and Michelle for your inspiration and creativity!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Those Were the Days

In graduate school, before Michael and kids, my little Church on Archer Road and the NBA were my world!  I remember trying to get research papers done early in the Fall term to clear my calendar for the beginning of the season.  This marvelous play is my all-time favorite. The Celtics were about to lose the game, their home -court advantage and probably the Eastern Conference Finals--this was the year when they struggled to win out of the Garden. To lose at home in this game would have ensured loss of the play offs and ended hope for a return to the Finals against the Lakers.
But in the last seconds of the game, the Leprechaun made his appearance. Bird stole the ball from a careless in-bound pass from Isaiah.  He threw the ball to the always-ready DJ who in turn made an impossible reverse lay up.  Now this was a game!
In grad school, I would go home when I could to watch the games with Daddy.  He passed away just about two months after Michael and I were married. I stayed a little while with Moma before returning to Statesboro. When I did get home, Michael had connected the cable for me so I could watch the season begin. We could not afford this luxury but he knew what the NBA had meant to me and to my relationship with my Dad.
In 1994, our oldest son made his appearance during the play-off season. As I awaited his arrival in a great deal of discomfort, I was actually able to watch a game being played on a tv in my room. The nurse came in and sweetly but firmly told Michael that it might be a good idea to turn off the tv; he sweetly but just as firmly wouldn't let her do it, and said, "I'm not the one watching it!"

These were Basketbal'ls greatest days: Larry, Kevin, Michael Jordan, Kareem, Dominique, Dr. J and other Titans- they were physical giants with a professional zeal and love for the game that seemed to outweigh their love for money. Where are they today?

LeBron James abandoned the franchise that supported him, all to avoid state income taxes. Sadly,  he is not alone in his avarice.  Today, the  2011/12 season  has been  put on hold so that players can fuss about the salary cap and owners can insist on greater profits. Why don't those people with so much time on their hands protesting Wall Street pay a visit to the homes of LeBron and others on both side of this ridiculous and incredibly poorly-timed lockout?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Our Own History Maker

John Thomas was selected to participate this summer in two different trips, both of which took him to D.C. and beyond.  The second of the two trips was part of the Liberty Education Tour, sponsored by the Reagan Legacy Foundation. Here he is with Michael Reagan. On this tour, he met Steve Hayes and Jonah Goldberg and actually talked to Ann Coulter (yikes! she scares me sometimes).  Dad was able to travel with him on either side of the tour, getting him to D.C. to meet up with the group and then attending his "graduation" from the program in California at the Reagan Library.

I didn't realize how tall John Thomas had grown--he is 3 inches shorter than his brother (who is 6'4). I think he looks pretty snappy in his red tie!