American History

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I tend to focus on areas that are popular misconceptions, and in American History, this is especially easy if they believe most of what they were taught in public school, or in the media.

American History

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As the Jewish Marxist Walter Benjamin said, "History is written by the victor", which is another way of saying, "don't believe what you've been told".

When I hear people talk about the civil war and slavery, it reminds me of a movie, "Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter", because I often feel that's as based on reality as their perceptions are (they were believing what they'd been told). A few facts that escape their version of the telling:

  • The first shots in the civil war were fired over taxes and tariffs (Morrill Tariff), not slavery
  • The Corwin Constitutional Amendment (passed by Congress) offered the South to keep slaves forever, the South declined
  • The South offered to give up slaves if the North let them go, the North declined
  • The 3/5th clause was more limiting slavery than condoning it
  • Lincoln was a racist, not an abolitionist
  • Lincoln violated the Constitution more than any other President
  • Lincoln fought for pride and conquest, the South for freedom and self government: slavery was a catalyst, not the cause
  • And so on.
History is rich and complex, not this shallow flat "good vs. bad" or the North was righteous and the South was evil bullshit. Since I care about the uncomfortable truths, more than the comforting fictions, I often discuss these things. Not to diminish what happened, or deny the points of either side, but by remembering the truth of what really happened (from both sides). Of course, since my family came to America, long after this, I have no dog in the fight, and can look at it more objectively than many. But if we care about learning from history, we first have to give up our comforting fictions (caricatures) and learn what really happened. more...
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Many on the left claim that Citizens United created/invented Corporate Personhood, and that this makes Corporations People, and this new power puts our political system "up for sale". They're frighteningly wrong on all counts, and most are highly resistant to Historical, Legal and Logical facts. But this article does a fly-over of this history of Corporate Personhood, Citizens United, and why I politically distrust anyone that decries the ruling. more...
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A common mistake I've seen businesses repeat, over and over again - or more accurately I've seen many companies do once or twice until they go out of business or the idiots doing it are fired, is to "drive by watching the review mirror".

Instead of analyzing and thinking, learning technology (and markets and customers), they decide, "someone else is doing it, and since it worked for them, it'll work for us".

I want to head-smack them.... and then point out the first rule of Italian racing; "what's behind you, is not important". You're not them, they're not you: different timing, resources, talents, markets, culture, personalities, and so on -- so crushing brilliant new ideas (e.g. my ideas) because that's not what someone else is doing, is just stupid. I have no problems being told "no", if you have an intelligent reason for it, and can back it up. But "that's not what everyone else is doing" is called a bandwagon fallacy, and isn't intelligent or support. So, "everyone else does it that way", makes as much sense to me, as driving while watching all the cars behind you. By the time they slam on their brakes or swerve (and you notice and react), it is already too late. I prefer to keep my eye's on the road, and not try to lead by following. more...
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The "defeated Japan” theory, and the idea that “the U.S. didn’t NEED to drop the bomb” is regularly regurgitated by folks like Oliver Stone (the alternative History professor) in articles repeated as News or History by leftist sources such as the L.A. Times. But those who know anything about the actual history of WWII, know better. This article sources a lot of the real history, instead of the fictitious one run by FakeNews outlets. more...
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FDR is taught as a liberal caricature of a great man and President. But most of the myths around him, are just that: myths. He was a man of some charm, with few strengths and many flaws. He focused power so that he could abuse it, corrupt, vindictive, liar (betrayed most that trusted him). He ignored the Constitution and his oath of office, many of the countries worst shames happened under his watch (and by his hand/guidance). According to those closest to him, he was a lousy diplomat, a poor administrator, not scholarly, nor thoughtful, well read or even bright. He was people smart (manipulator) that enjoyed playing people/groups off of each other. Other than that, he was likable, mercurial, and aloof. more...
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This covers many of the fallacies and bad arguments about the Iraq War. Disagreeing over the cost/benefits of a war is fine, ignoring truths because they get in the way of your agenda is not. more...
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Judge Napolitano offers a refresher (for political history buffs) of the 17th Amendment and some of the unintended consequences of progressivism: like the scope creep of the federal government once we removed the checks and balances that was the 17th. more...