In a recent “Skeptic’s Collection” column I gave examples of beliefs that represent the principle that “A little learning is a dangerous thing”. The examples I cited were derived from physics, psychology, and literature. But history is no less susceptible to warped beliefs than other disciplines. A recent issue of the Washington Post Magazine contains such an example of warped history. Problem is that the Post writer, while doing a sterling job of debunking the beliefs of lovers of the Confederacy, fails to note that liberals and progressives, in their zeal to repudiate such atavisms, fail equally to take into account their own myopia, and end up with a view of history – Civil War history in particular – that is equally warped, just in the opposite direction.
The article compri
It doesn't happen very often that a mere chance utterance ends up subverting the secrecy surrounding what one would have thought were the most clandestine matters pertaining to the security of the Nation. For example, there was the dropped cigar case, containing Gen. Robert E. Lee's detailed plans for the approaching Battle of Antietam, the sheerly accidental finding of which by a lowly Union Army private fundamentally altered the outcome of the battle, contributing to the Federal victory and thereby convincing President Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. Now we have Kellyanne Conway's ill-advised oh-by-the-way reference to "microwaves" as the medium former President Barack Obama used to spy on the goings-on in Trump Tower during the run-up to the 2016 Election. Since the
The orthodox argument advanced by the National Rifle Association (NRA) senior leadership for the individual ownership of firearms unconnected with military service is that firearms in the hands of private citizens acts as a deterrent to some future tyranny by the Federal government. One would think, then, that Micah Xavier Johnson would by now have been recruited by the NRA as both poster child and martyr. After all, in the wake of the LA and MN shootings of helpless black men by the police – to say nothing of Ferguson and New York City and Baltimore and … -- Johnson’s actions were pristinely and irreproachably consistent with the NRA’s avowed advocacy of armed resistance to a tyrannical government bent on the subjugation of its citizens. Yet – at least, as far as I have been able to