Monthly Archives: September 2020

Can Experts Be Stupidly Wrong?

(September 30, 2020)  Although academic professors are sometimes brilliant, they can be stupidly wrong. This is particularly so when they think alike and censor contrary opinions, as is common on today’s college campus. According to Richard Rhodes’ The Making of the Atomic Bomb, theoretical physicists from that era had IQs that clustered around 170, yet they persistently missed a fundamental scientific breakthrough until someone outside the mainstream revealed the truth.

Albert Einstein

During the 1930s physicists were discovering atomic structure by bombarding samples of a variety of elements with neutrons. They used neutrons because the particle has no electric charge and can therefore penetrate into the positively charged nucleus of a target sample. Much of the effort focused on injecting neutrons into heavy elements such as Uranium to try and create new elements not existing in nature. That would eventually be accomplished for such elements as Plutonium, which is a key component for atomic and hydrogen bombs as well as nuclear power plants.

Since 1930s-era experimentalists were expecting such bombardments to create heavier elements they sometimes got results they could not understand. Late in 1938, for example, two German scientists were shooting neutrons into Radium to see what new elements they could produce. To their surprise they did not create any new elements but concluded that they had created another isotope (version) of Radium. They were puzzled that the new isotope behaved chemically almost exactly like Barium, which is not a heavier element but a much lighter one.

One of the scientists wrote his aunt who was a German physicist refugee in Sweden. She was underemployed and bored. Since she was detached and idled enough to think originally, she replied to her nephew’s letter by suggesting that the neutrons had split the Radium atom instead of transmuting it into a heavier element. The so-called new Radium isotope behaved chemically like Barium because it was Barium.  The Eureka moment prompted fresh experimentation with Uranium that suggested nuclear fission could be harnessed to create atomic bombs.

In order to enable President Franklin Roosevelt to appreciate the discovery, two American experimenters met with Albert Einstein at his Long Island summer cottage in order to persuade him to write a letter to the President. Einstein was aware of the riddle concerning neutron bombardment’s failure to sometimes yield heavier elements. Like nearly all physicists, he failed to consider that neutrons might split the targeted atoms. When his visitors explained fission, Einstein admitted, “I never thought of that!” With their aid Einstein composed and sent a letter to Roosevelt that inaugurated America’s nuclear age—but that’s another story, and a good one.

America’s Civil War and Reconstitution-era historians are heading down the same fruitless path as her nuclear scientists were during the 1930s.  They are obsessed with increasingly contrived or phony so-called research to confirm their prejudiced expectations justifying condemnation of Confederates and most white Southerners. It leaves them blind to virtues that should be cherished. Worse, the academy vigorously censors minority opinions, notwithstanding that free speech should be one of an American’s most cherished constitutional rights.

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Readers can order signed copies of my new book, Causes of the Civil War, for $25. They may be purchased with credit card, PayPal, or check. If you’d like a copy email me: phil_leigh(AT)me.com. I will pay for shipping. Please provide your postal address. Unsigned copies are available at Amazon for $22.

The Republican Party could have stopped the spread of slavery peacefully by endorsing Popular Sovereignty during the 1860 presidential election. After Kansas used it to reject slavery in an 1858 local-option vote, nearly everyone realized that the doctrine would quarantine slavery in the South. If Popular Sovereignty could not make a slave state out of Kansas, it could not do it in any of the remaining 1860 Federal territories. Republicans rejected the doctrine simply to survive as an independent Party because both of Lincoln’s chief opposing presidential candidates supported it. Beyond what Poplar Sovereignty would have gained, the Republican Party’s blanket ban on slavery in the territories added nothing except to inflame the sectional passions that led to civil war. Even academic historians such as James Oakes conclude that if slavery had been peacefully restricted to the South, it would eventually have died. There was no need for Civil War but for the Republican Party’s self-preservation instinct.

Visit my Amazon Author Page to see the rest of my books.

True Reason for Confederate Memorials

(September 29, 2020) The six minute video below summarizes the real reason for Confederate monuments.

 

 

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My new book, Causes of the Civil Warwill be available to the public in a month but blog readers can order a copy now. Signed copies are $25 and unsigned copies are $22. They may be purchased with credit card, PayPal, or check. If you’d like a copy email me: phil_leigh(AT)me.com.* I will pay for shipping. Please provide your postal address.

The Republican Party could have stopped the spread of slavery peacefully by endorsing Popular Sovereignty during the 1860 presidential election. After Kansas used it to reject slavery in an 1858 local-option vote, nearly everyone realized that the doctrine would quarantine slavery in the South. If Popular Sovereignty could not make a slave state out of Kansas, it could not do it in any of the remaining 1860 Federal territories. Republicans rejected the doctrine simply to survive as an independent Party because both of Lincoln’s opposing presidential candidates supported it. Beyond what Poplar Sovereignty would have gained, the Republican Party’s blanket ban on slavery in the territories added nothing except to inflame the sectional passions that led to civil war.

The presently dominant narrative about Civil War causes is the work of historians obsessed with today’s social activism instead of original historical analysis. They point to the 13th, 14th and 15th postbellum amendments as proof that the North was fighting to provide an honorable freedom for slaves but deny that the increase in tariffs from 19% before the war before to an average of 45% for fifty years thereafter reflected any Northern war aim. They hold Southern secession responsible for the war but fail to teach that the Northeastern states threatened to secede five times between 1789 and 1850. They also decline to note that Southern secession need not have led to war. Southerners had no purpose to overthrow the Washington government, they merely wanted a government of their own. Northerners could have evacuated Fort Sumter and let the seven cotton states depart in peace thereby avoiding war with an 11-sate Confederacy. Finally, modern historians normally focus on the reasons the cotton states seceded instead of examining why Northerners chose to militarily coerce them back into the Union thereby inaugurating civil war.

Although the new book is not yet available at Amazon, visit my Amazon Author Page to see the rest of my books.

Intensified Censure of Confederate Memorials

(September 28, 2020) Today Outside Magazine’s editorial director, Alex Heard, wrote an article titled “The problem with Confederate statues on U.S. Public Lands.” Chief among Heard’s arguments is an allegation that the memorials were erected primarily to commemorate Lost Cause “propaganda.” Like the typical modern historian he ignores the fact that most of the monuments were erected between 1900 and 1920 for two obvious reasons.

First, the old soldiers were dying and their survivors wanted to pay tribute to them before they were gone. A soldier who was twenty-two at the end of the Civil War was 57 in 1900 and 77 in 1920.  Moreover, the war’s semi-centennial extended from 1911 to 1915 when the typical surviving soldier was in his late sixties or early seventies. Few people today understand how traumatic the war was on the South. Soldier deaths alone totaled six-percent of the Confederacy’s white population. If America’s current 330 million population were to experience the same loss ratio in a modern war soldier deaths would total nearly 20 million, which is fifty times our losses in Word War II. It is also more than three times the people killed in the Holocaust and about equal to the Soviet losses in WW-II.

The second reason the South erected most of their monuments between 1900 and 1920 is because her people were bankrupt after the Civil War. Even as late as 1900 the South’s per capita income was only half of the national average. As the graph above illustrates, even though both North and South had erected a comparable number of monuments by 1920, nearly all of the Confederate ones were put up between 1900 and 1920. Note, however, the new statues for both North and South surged between 1911 and 1915 because that was the semi-centennial.

Ironically, Heard earned his English degree from Vanderbilt University, which has strong ties to the Confederacy. Eight years after the Civil War ended, Commodore Vanderbilt’s Alabama-born second wife helped persuade him to donate one million dollars to the school for “strengthening the ties which should exist between all sections of our common country.” Six years earlier the Commodore was among several prominent Northerners who posted bail for the prison release of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Many ex-Confederates and their descendants were among Vanderbilt University’s graduates and donors. Without them the school would not command the respect that it presently holds. They gave generously for the benefit of future generations for which they merit gratitude not condemnation.

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My new book, Causes of the Civil Warwill be available to the public in a month but blog readers can order a copy now. Signed copies are $25 and unsigned copies are $22. They may be purchased with credit card, PayPal, or check. If you’d like a copy email me: phil_leigh(AT)me.com.* I will pay for shipping. Please provide your postal address.

The Republican Party could have stopped the spread of slavery peacefully by endorsing Popular Sovereignty during the 1860 presidential election. After Kansas used it to reject slavery in an 1858 local-option vote, nearly everyone realized that the doctrine would quarantine slavery in the South. If Popular Sovereignty could not make a slave state out of Kansas, it could not do it in any of the remaining 1860 Federal territories. Republicans rejected the doctrine simply to survive as an independent Party because both of Lincoln’s opposing presidential candidates supported it. Beyond what Poplar Sovereignty would have gained, the Republican Party’s blanket ban on slavery in the territories added nothing except to inflame the sectional passions that led to civil war.

The presently dominant narrative about Civil War causes is the work of historians obsessed with today’s social activism instead of original historical analysis. They point to the 13th, 14th and 15th postbellum amendments as proof that the North was fighting to provide an honorable freedom for slaves but deny that the increase in tariffs from 19% before the war before to an average of 45% for fifty years thereafter reflected any Northern war aim. They hold Southern secession responsible for the war but fail to teach that the Northeastern states threatened to secede five times between 1789 and 1850. They also decline to note that Southern secession need not have led to war. Southerners had no purpose to overthrow the Washington government, they merely wanted a government of their own. Northerners could have evacuated Fort Sumter and let the seven cotton states depart in peace thereby avoiding war with an 11-sate Confederacy. Finally, modern historians normally focus on the reasons the cotton states seceded instead of examining why Northerners chose to militarily coerce them back into the Union thereby inaugurating civil war.

Although the new book is not yet available at Amazon, visit my Amazon Author Page to see the rest of my books.

South did not have enough money to pay for statues until after 1900.

ditorial suggesting that Confederate memorials should be removed from National Battlefield Parks as well as Arlington National Cemetery.

New Book: Causes of the Civil War

(September 25, 2020) My new book, Causes of the Civil Warwill be available to the public in a month but blog readers can order a copy now. Signed copies are $25 and unsigned copies are $22. They may be purchased with credit card, PayPal, or check. If you’d like a copy email me: phil_leigh(at)me.com.* I will pay for shipping. Please provide your postal address.

*(at) = @

The Republican Party could have stopped the spread of slavery peacefully by endorsing Popular Sovereignty during the 1860 presidential election. After Kansas used it to reject slavery in an 1858 local-option vote, nearly everyone realized that the doctrine would quarantine slavery in the South. If Popular Sovereignty could not make a slave state out of Kansas, it could not do it in any of the remaining 1860 Federal territories. Republicans rejected the doctrine simply to survive as an independent Party because both of Lincoln’s opposing presidential candidates supported it. Beyond what Poplar Sovereignty would have gained, the Republican Party’s blanket ban on slavery in the territories added nothing except to inflame the sectional passions that led to civil war.

The presently dominant narrative about Civil War causes is the work of historians obsessed with today’s social activism instead of original historical analysis. They point to the 13th, 14th and 15th postbellum amendments as proof that the North was fighting to provide an honorable freedom for slaves but deny that the increase in tariffs from 19% before the war before to an average of 45% for fifty years thereafter reflected any Northern war aim. They hold Southern secession responsible for the war but fail to teach that the Northeastern states threatened to secede five times between 1789 and 1850. They also decline to note that Southern secession need not have led to war. Southerners had no purpose to overthrow the Washington government, they merely wanted a government of their own. Northerners could have evacuated Fort Sumter and let the seven cotton states depart in peace thereby avoiding war with an 11-sate Confederacy. Finally, modern historians normally focus on the reasons the cotton states seceded instead of examining why Northerners chose to militarily coerce them back into the Union thereby inaugurating civil war.

Although the new book is not yet available at Amazon, visit my Amazon Author Page to see the rest of my books.

Defund American Battlefield Trust

(September 24, 2020) If you would like Confederate memorials to remain on National Battlefield Parks, you may wish to stop donating to the American Battlefield Trust (formerly Civil War Trust). Although the Trust uses donations to acquire land for the parks, they have declined to take a stand on House Bill 7608 (now in the Senate) which requires that all Confederate memorials and markers be removed from all parks. If you honor your Confederate ancestors be aware that the Trust wants your money but they don’t give a damn about your ancestors.

Three years ago the Trust surveyed subscribers to their Hallowed Ground magazine and learned that 97% wanted Confederate statutes to remain on National Battlefield Parks. Almost 85% did not want Confederate monuments removed other locations, although 50% would support adding interpretive plaques “if needed” while 33% felt the statues should remain without any changes. Over 90% endorsed a statement that Robert E. Lee is “worthy  of respect today” whereas only 9% endorsed a statement that Lee is unworthy “of respect in society today.”

Defund American Battlefield Trust

Significantly, nearly two-thirds of the respondents were descended from Union soldiers. In fact, only 22% were from the former Confederate states. Nonetheless, the Trust ignored the survey results. They did not even issue a press release. Their silence was just one more green light from a so called respectable historical organization that acquiesced to the mob destruction of Confederate memorials.

Make no mistake, those with Confederate ancestors can only conclude that the American Battlefield Trust is an enemy. If the Trust had reflected the attitudes of Hallowed Ground readers during the last three years their prestigious support may well have saved some statues, perhaps many. Instead they appeased Political Correctness thereby underscoring the ancient wisdom, “Courage is the rarest of virtues.”

If you are a donor, don’t let the ABT urinate on your boots and call it rain. Write or phone their Chief Policy Officer (James Campi) at: jcampi@battlefields.org or 202-367-1861 x7205.

Mr. James Campi
Chief Policy and Communications Officer
American Battlefield Trust

Dear Mr. Campi

Given that ABT does not oppose H.R. – 7608 that will remove all Confederate memorials and markers from National Battlefield Parks, why should anyone respecting their Confederate ancestors donate to your organization?

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Was President Grant really a Civil Rights leader? He supported black suffrage because it gave him the votes his Party temporarily needed. Despite being a war hero, Grant only won a minority of America’s white vote when he was first elected President in 1868. He abandon Southern black voters in 1875. Learn more in Ulysses Grant’s Failed Presidency,

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Learn more about my books at  My Amazon Author Page.

The Confederacy at Flood Tide by Philip Leigh
Trading With the Enemy by Philip Leigh
Lee’s Lost Dispatch & Other Civil War Controversies by Philip Leigh
Southern Reconstruction by Philip Leigh
U. S. Grant’s Failed Presidency by Philip Leigh

NY Times Columnist Sides With Slaveholders

(September 22, 2020) In today’s newspaper, New York Times editorialist Jamelle Bouie writes, “The Supreme Court, was never meant to be the only arbiter of the meaning of the Constitution.”

Antebellum Southerns agreed with him. That’s an important reason why Confederate leaders never formed a Supreme Court even though they were authorized to do so. Over the preceding seventy years they, their parents and grandparents, had watched as the U.S. Supreme Court tended to make rulings, and assume jurisdiction in cases, that strengthened and enlarged the Federal Government’s power. As a component of that Government they realized that it had a natural tendency to increase its power and influence. Along with some of the best informed founders of the 1789 Federal Union, however, they believed that the Supreme Court was only intended to be the final authority on matters pertaining to the powers specifically enumerated in the U.S. Constitution. None of the three Federal branches—President, Congress and Judiciary—was intended to have final authority over the rights reserved for the states.

NYT Columnist Jamelle Bouie

When President John Adams (1797-1801) constrained free speech with his 1798 Sedition Act and later (as a Lame Duck President) stacked the entire judiciary with lifetime appointments of pro-New England judges, future President James Madison voiced his objection. Madison, who had authored most of the U.S. Constitution only a decade earlier, denied that “the Federal judiciary” was the ultimate judge of constitutional law on matters pertaining to the rights of the states:

“However true . . . it may be that the [Federal] judicial department is . . . to decide the last resort, this resort must necessarily be deemed the last [only] in relation to the authorities of the other departments of the [Federal] government; not in relation to the rights of the parties [people of the states] . . . to the constitutional compact, from which [all Federal departments] . . . hold their delegated trusts.”

Upon entering office in 1801 President Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) agreed with Madison. He complained that outgoing President Adams had “retired into the judiciary as a stronghold” from which “all the works of republicanism are to be beaten down and erased. By a fraudulent use of the Constitution which has made judges irremovable they [Adams’s Federalist Party] have multiplied useless judges merely to strengthen their phalanx.”

Unlike Presidents Madison and Jefferson, however, Jamelle Bouie regards a Republican-majority Supreme Court as “a partisan ideological foe” that must be brought to heel so that Democrats can build an increasingly powerful central government. Should Democrats win the presidency and the Senate this year he urges that the Party stack the Supreme Court with new members that will do the Party’s bidding. Although he quotes Lincoln on the sanctity of majority rule “held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations,” Bouie’s plan would weaken minority protections. Unlike Lincoln, Bouie seems focused upon simple majority rule, which would disable the constitution to protect freedom of speech, the right to bear arms or any constitutional right opposed by a simple majority. 

Perhaps Bouie should ponder the warnings of antebellum South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun

“No government based on the naked principle that the majority ought to govern . . . ever preserved its liberty for even a single generation. The history of all has been the same: injustice, violence and anarchy, succeeded by government of one or a few . . . An unchecked majority is a despotism—and government is free . . . in proportion to the number . . . of checks by which its powers are controlled.”

Although his Yale alma mater has dishonored him, the warning above has never been more applicable than today.

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Was President Grant really a Civil Rights leader? He supported black suffrage because it gave him the votes his Party temporarily needed. Despite being a war hero, Grant only won a minority of America’s white vote when he was first elected President in 1868. He abandon Southern black voters in 1875. Learn more in Ulysses Grant’s Failed Presidency,

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Learn more about my books at  My Amazon Author Page.

The Confederacy at Flood Tide by Philip Leigh
Trading With the Enemy by Philip Leigh
Lee’s Lost Dispatch & Other Civil War Controversies by Philip Leigh
Southern Reconstruction by Philip Leigh
U. S. Grant’s Failed Presidency by Philip Leigh