Archive | June 2013

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Constitution of the Confederate States of America

The Constitution of the United States of America has served as a model for many subsequent constitutions including the Confederate States of America.  To read the average constitutional scholar you would assume that the United States document dealt almost exclusively with the rights of individuals and the power of the government to regulate the states […]

“Readers will find Brownlow unique, above all, but as entertaining as he is sometimes thrillingly loathsome, full of great energy and rhetorical skill and rambunctiousness in the tradition of the tall tale vernacular writers of the time.”—David Madden, Director of the United States Civil War Center

He was a failed Methodist minister [apparently a little too much fire and brimstone (slander and libel anyway) for even a circuit rider] and a carpenter, not a trained journalist, by trade. He was just a big pro-slavery gas-bag who was able to sell enough advertising to get by because his paper got read, even […]

The philosophical study of nature rises above the requirements of mere delineation, and does not consist in the sterile accumulation of isolated facts. The active and inquiring spirit of man may therefore be occasionally permitted to escape from the present into the domain of the past, to conjecture that which cannot yet be clearly determined, and thus to revel amid the ancient and ever-recurring myths of geology… Baron Alexander von Humboldt

In the nineteenth century the so-called nature writers like Thoreau were not much more than a bunch of navel gazers and unfortunately the Rousseauean child-of-nature clap trap infected much of what they – and their successors – did. At the same time there were serious problems with the settlement of the country – problems that […]

A group of oaks . . . I remember as especially suggestive: five stooping silhouettes in line against the horizon, like fleeing women with streaming garments and wind-blown hair,—bowing grievously and thrusting out arms desperately northward as to save themselves from falling. And they are being pursued indeed;—for the sea is devouring the land… Lafcadio Hearn, Chita: A Memory of Last Island

The barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico have been submerged on a regular basis since time immemorial – after all they started out as sandbars – and to prevent this the only solution is a grade raising such as was completed in Galveston after the 1900 Storm. The Storm of 1856 that struck a […]