Good news from South Carolina [UPDATED]

Featured image As John has noted, the Confederate battle flag is under fire in South Carolina. Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Tim Scott, and Gov. Nikki Haley — Republicans all — have called for it to be removed from the state capitol grounds in Columbia, South Carolina. I agree that it’s time to take the flag down. Not because its presence caused Dylann Roof to kill blacks. It didn’t. Not because removing the »

Confederate Battle Flag, RIP

Featured image In the wake of Dylann Roof’s murders, an anti-Confederate flag campaign is in full swing. The Stars and Bars–which I believe was not the official flag of the Confederacy, but rather the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia–can’t actually be banned, of course. So the focus is on not flying it at public locations. And on accusatory questions directed at Republican presidential candidates. I don’t know how many »

Donald Kagan reflects

Featured image Yale history/classics professor Donald Kagan is a great old-fashioned scholar and teacher. The author of a classic four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War, he has written many other books of distinction including Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy and On the Origins of War: And the Preservation of Peace. Professor Kagan retired from his position at Yale in 2013. He gave his last lecture to a packed auditorium. »

On the money

Featured image The U.S. Treasury Department has decided that “a woman” will appear on the redesigned ten dollar bill. The image of Alexander Hamilton, who basically created our nation’s financial system, presently graces the ten note. It looks like he will either appear on the reverse side of the bill or find a home on a separate series of tenners. Which woman will supplant Hamilton? Treasury Secretary Jack Lew doesn’t know. He »

Allen Weinstein, RIP

Featured image One of the things Hugh Hewitt likes to do when he has a liberal journalist or thinker on his radio show—especially a younger one—is to ask first, “Do you think Alger Hiss was a Soviet spy?” He does this for two reasons. First, to test historical literacy. It is amazing how many young liberals know nothing of the Hiss case, and as such this question is a good proxy for »

Happy Birthday, Magna Carta

Featured image Today is the 800th anniversary of the signing of the first Magna Carta.  There was more than one “Magna Carta” from those olden times, with later versions being perhaps more legally significant—I once got to see an original King Edward Magna Carta owned privately by a collector in Australia—but the first one was the most politically important. To contemporary readers, there are some odd parts to the first Magna Carta, »

The ordeal of Omaha Beach

Featured image Seventy-one years ago today our fellow Americans and their allies stormed the beaches of Normandy to vanquish the Nazis’ supposed thousand-year regime. In his D-Day message to the troops, General Eisenhower declared: “We accept nothing less than full victory!” The landing was necessary if the war was to be won. In 1984 President Reagan called it “a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.” Yet success was far from inevitable. Eisenhower »

Scholars protest college board’s leftist spin on American history

Featured image Last summer I wrote about the the College Board’s new AP U.S. History (APUSH) framework and explained how it mandates a left-wing narrative for the teaching of American history to our top high school students. The teaching of American history is ground zero in the left’s battle to indoctrinate students. The new AP U.S. History framework is the left’s ultimate weapon in this battle. Now 55 leading American history scholars »

“But spare your country’s flag”

Featured image The replica of Barbara Fritchie’s house in Frederick, Maryland is just 45 minutes from mine. Yet I had never visited it until this weekend. If you’re in the area, it’s worth the trip. Fritchie’s story is well known, I think, to anyone who attended school in my era. I suspect, however, that students of more recent vintage know nothing about it. Stories of patriotism are so passe. In 1862, Confederate »

A conversation with Fred Barnes

Featured image In the latest of the Conversations with Bill Kristol, Bill sits down with his colleague Fred Barnes to review the highlights of his career covering politics in Washington, D.C. The conversation is posted and broken into chapters here. Via @KristolConvos, Bill alerts us to the fact that Fred gives a nice shout-out to Power Line in chapter 4 (at 1:22:00). Coincidentally, we’re observing the thirteenth anniversary of our life online »

America’s honor

Featured image In observance of Memorial Day 2007 the Wall Street Journal published a characteristically brilliant column by Peter Collier to mark the occasion. The column remains accessible online here. I don’t think we’ll read or hear anything more thoughtful or appropriate to the occasion today. Here it is: Once we knew who and what to honor on Memorial Day: those who had given all their tomorrows, as was said of the »

The Republican Ascendancy, Quantified

Featured image At Real Clear Politics, Sean Trende and David Byler explicate their index of party strength. To compute their index, Trend and Byler calculate five components, which they weight equally: Our index is the sum of five parts: presidential performance, House performance, Senate performance, gubernatorial performance and state legislative performance. The first is measured by the party’s performance in the previous presidential popular vote (NB: In this, and all other measurements, »

The Lusitania at 100

Featured image Today marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania, one of the markers on the way to U.S. entry into World War I. George Will wrote about it the other day in his column, coming close but not quite embracing some of the old rumors and conspiracy charges that the British wanted the Lusitania sunk in hopes of getting the U.S. off the sidelines: It is commonly but »

Abandoning Vietnam

Featured image PBS’s American Experience series broadcast Rory Kennedy’s documentary film “Last Days in Vietnam” on April 28. You can watch the entire film online at the link; clips and other resources are accessible here. PBS has posted 17 clips from the film on YouTube here. I would post the whole thing here if I could, but I don’t think I can. Prefaced by a 30-second message, the opening of the film »

The End in Vietnam, 40 Years On

Featured image There are surprisingly few recollections under way today of the final ignominious chapter of our Vietnam agony, when the U.S. was chased out of Saigon.  I wonder if there isn’t a larger subtext here.  We not only seem to be re-running the 1960s at home right now (Ferguson, Baltimore, etc), but we seem to be trying to re-run 1970s foreign policy too, with American retreat leading to chaos, instability, and »

Gallipoli, 100 Years On

Featured image Today marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Gallipoli campaign—ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand, since they provided the bulk of the troops for this ill-fated venture that became known as “Churchill’s Folly.”  Anyone who has seen the early Mel Gibson film, Gallipoli, will know that the operation ended up with the same kind of trench warfare and appalling slaughter that characterized the Western Front.  The British »

Give Obama the Hook

Featured image I made the horrid mistake of channel-surfing to C-SPAN Senate coverage a couple days ago just in time to catch Sen. Babs “Don’t-Call-Me-Ma’am” Boxer bloviating about some public letter by “very smart people” backing up Obama’s Iran negotiations. Just then the batteries on my remote conked out, and I had to get up and walk over to the TV to change the channel, just like our great grandparents had to »