unvarnished

theparisreview:

Is the science fiction writer R. A. Lafferty due for a comeback? “Lafferty’s most accessible and widely read novel, ‘Space Chantey,’ is a psychedelic, Homeric odyssey in which space captain Roadstrum leads an expedition to the pleasure planet Lotophage, where the immortal houri Margaret tells him, very wisely, that ‘there are worse places to live than in tall stories.’”
For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.

Just found this!  Yes, more people need to read R A Lafferty.  His work may not be for everybody, but those of us who love him really love him.  Let us hope more of his books come back into print….

theparisreview:

Is the science fiction writer R. A. Lafferty due for a comeback? “Lafferty’s most accessible and widely read novel, ‘Space Chantey,’ is a psychedelic, Homeric odyssey in which space captain Roadstrum leads an expedition to the pleasure planet Lotophage, where the immortal houri Margaret tells him, very wisely, that ‘there are worse places to live than in tall stories.’”

For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.

Just found this! Yes, more people need to read R A Lafferty. His work may not be for everybody, but those of us who love him really love him. Let us hope more of his books come back into print….

williambdanchou:

Everything I have read about the filming of Texas Rising in Mexico is how “wild west” it’s going to be

I hope this “wild west” is happening during their Texas Rangers portion that I hope is taking place in the 1870s-1880s range, NOT 1830s.

1830s is like Dickensian Texas w/a not-desert because Texas is not all desert, especially in the Anglo colonies — its coastal & green & mossy & fertile

Idk why I am even caring I know its gonna suck ass

Really! It sounds like they will try to tie the Rangers in with the Revolution. From the Handbook of Texas:

During the Texas Revolution they served sparingly as scouts and couriers, then carried out a number of menial tasks. As settlers fled east to escape advancing Mexican armies after the fall of the Alamo on March 6, 1836, the rangers retrieved cattle, convoyed refugees across muddy trails and swollen streams, and destroyed produce or equipment left behind. In fact, during the battle of San Jacinto on April 21, they were on “escort” duty, much to their chagrin.

While parts of Texas do look like Durango, Mexico, those parts had nada to do with the Revolution. Which began in Central Texas & ended on the swampy Gulf Coast. Nothing at all like Durango!

But what can you say about a project featuring “The Yellow Rose of Texas”? The Handbook article is wordy—those ethnomusicologists do go on—but conflating Emily D West with That Song is termed “one of the most enduring and sensational inaccuracies of Texas history.”

Be strong! Texas History is fascinating. What a waste that an expensive production ignores the truth.

Once in power, the Jeffersonians tried mightily to destroy the black republic. In 1805 and 1806, Congress debated an absolute embargo on trade with the island. During this period, Republicans raved about the need to undermine Haiti. Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin believed that any American trade with Haiti was “illicit” and “contrary to the law of nations.” Senator James Jackson of Georgia argued that the black government “must be destroyed.” Virginia Congressman John Wayles Eppes, Jefferson’s son-in-law, denied that Haiti was free and declared that he would “pledge the Treasury of the United States that the Negro government should be destroyed.” By this time, even the French had written off the island. The United States could gain nothing from the embargo, except to harm its own economic interests. Nevertheless, Jefferson insisted on the embargo.

Senator Samuel White, a Federalist from the slave state of Delaware, spoke against the embargo bill, which he called a “disgrace.” White discussed at great length the fact that the Haitian slaves were free under French law and that they were “de facto the governors of the country, and in every respect act as an independent people.” The Senate voted twenty-one to eight in favor of the embargo against Haiti. All the opposition came from Federalists. In the House, Congressman Eppes was so anxious to embargo Haiti that he “violently opposed” a motion to delay consideration of the bill by even a day. On the final vote, almost all of the opponents of the measure were Federalists. Some Southern Federalists, like Joseph Lewis of Virginia, who dared not vote against the measure because they might be labeled as supporters of the Haitian Revolution, managed to be absent and thus avoided the roll call.

In this debate, the Republicans could not countenance the possibility of free black people having their own country and trading with the United States. The Federalists, while certainly not racial egalitarians, were willing to accept the reality of Haiti, recognize the nation, and trade with the black republic. As Michael Zuckerman has observed about Haiti, “In the realm of race, the Federalists clung to the ideological inheritance of the Revolution far more than the Jeffersonians.”

—Paul Finkelman, Slavery and the Founders (via publius-esquire)

South Carolina in the American Revolution: A Summary

  • South Carolina: Finally, Congress has sent us help to fight off the British from our shores. At last there will be liberty in this country and we can break from our oppressors. What can we expect?
  • John Laurens: It’s simple, we just give guns to our black slaves in exchange for their freedom.
  • South Carolina: Hail, Britannia!

Disproportionate representation became the standard explanation for the Federalist loss of executive power in 1800. It was an easy argument to make. For there was little doubt that the three-fifths rule played a decisive role in John Adams’s defeat. Adams’s native Massachusetts had the largest free population in the nation but not the most electoral votes. Thanks to the three-fifths rule, Jefferson’s Virginia had five more electoral votes than the Bay State. Virginia had six “slave” seats, the rest of the South, eight. In New England, Jefferson got trounced and lost the North as a whole by a margin of twenty electoral votes to fifty-six, but in the South he won fifty-three electoral votes to Adams’s nine. In winning nationally by just eight electoral votes, he had the benefit of at least thirteen of the fourteen slave seats; some pundits thought he had all fourteen. In any event, without the so-called slave seats, he would have lost the election and John Adams would have served a second term. Many historians, celebrating the virtues of the master of Monticello, forgot this fact; New England Federalists never did.

—Leonard Richards, The Slave Power: The Free North and Southern Domination (via publius-esquire)

This bears repeating.

I’m currently reading American Sphinx, to get a handle on Jefferson. It’s making me understand him (as much as that is possible) but not making me respect him….

Personally, I would rather we not turn the Founders, ever more distant in the past, into people we bow before, or at least their faces chiseled on the sides of South Dakota mountains, an odd American institution. I think it’s really problematic because it relies upon constructed histories of them that almost inherently have to leave out difficult facts. It also reinforces the narrative that change is primarily created by wealthy white great men, not a theory with which I am particularly comfortable. The left likes to talk about “the people,” we it sure loves our great men. So what is history good for then? I speak for no one but myself, but for this historian, there are very few “lessons” from the past that we can easily learn. Nothing can be understood without the context of the time. What history offers is the understanding of how we got into the situation we are in today, whether positive or negative. For example, we can’t understand Ferguson without understanding the history of slavery, Jim Crow, urban segregation, police violence, etc., both nationally and in the context of the St. Louis area specifically. That’s not a lesson, it’s figuring out the context of what is happening today. It’s the actions of millions of individuals, the ideology of white supremacy as it has developed through time, and the decisions made by municipal, state, and federal governments, not to mention the entire economic context around the disappearance of jobs for the poor, and especially poor people of color. In other words, it’s really hard and certainly not dilutable down to a simple lesson for public consumption.

The Leftist Hamilton? - Lawyers, Guns & Money

On an essay in Jacobin on Alexander Hamilton and climate change.

(via dendroica)

I just finished Stephen F Knott’s Alexander Hamilton & The Persistence of Myth. In which we are told the ways various generations have interpreted the life & work of Hamilton. And how various lies about him have endured. No, he was not a monarchist—since the writer agrees that he wasn’t, why did he bring it up?

In the book we learn how Franklin Roosevelt, descended from Hudson Valley aristocrats, chose to play up Jefferson to woo the Southern Democrats; thus the Monument in Washington. And the long association (now waning) of Jefferson with modern Democrats. Yet FDR (like Lincoln & even Jefferson himself) was glad to use the strong Hamiltonian powers of the executive branch.

The writer is answering a quite interesting article in a Leftist publication. In today’s America, most Republicans consider everybody slightly to their left as dangerous radicals. They call President Obama a “socialist”—when he’s quite moderate. Of course, we know the main problem they see with Obama—a non-white is President! (I’ve witnessed Teabagger meetings here in the most diverse city in the USA—the whiteness is blinding,)

It appears this historian is telling us to forget the Founding Fathers, since we are not equipped to understand them. I think we need to continue studying them & their world—while avoiding shallow sloganeering.

(via dendroica)

guardian:

A specially commissioned map of London charts the city’s buried rivers, tube lines, bunkers, sewers, government tunnels, and other subterranean secrets. 
The map, created by Stephen Walter, is part of an exhibition documenting 500 years of maps of London.

guardian:

A specially commissioned map of London charts the city’s buried rivers, tube lines, bunkers, sewers, government tunnels, and other subterranean secrets

The map, created by Stephen Walter, is part of an exhibition documenting 500 years of maps of London.

(Source: theguardian.com)

smdxn:

Why Liberal Pundits Are Wrong About the Perry Indictment

The big lie in Perry’s PR playbook is to dismiss these charges as a partisan witch hunt… Perry’s indictment has been advanced by Republicans. Recusing herself, [Democratic District Attorney Rosemary] Lehmberg referred [Texans for Public Justice’s] complaint to local Democratic Judge Julie Kocurek. Judge Kocurek also stepped aside, forwarding the matter to a Republican Perry appointee: Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield. Stubblefield assigned the case to Republican Judge Bert Richardson in San Antonio. And Judge Richardson appointed Michael McCrum as special prosecutor.

It’s hard to argue that McCrum has a partisan axe to grind. He served as a federal prosecutor under the first President Bush. The second President Bush later nominated McCrum to be a top federal prosecutor — with the backing of Texas GOP Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn…

smdxn:

Why Liberal Pundits Are Wrong About the Perry Indictment

The big lie in Perry’s PR playbook is to dismiss these charges as a partisan witch hunt… Perry’s indictment has been advanced by Republicans. Recusing herself, [Democratic District Attorney Rosemary] Lehmberg referred [Texans for Public Justice’s] complaint to local Democratic Judge Julie Kocurek. Judge Kocurek also stepped aside, forwarding the matter to a Republican Perry appointee: Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield. Stubblefield assigned the case to Republican Judge Bert Richardson in San Antonio. And Judge Richardson appointed Michael McCrum as special prosecutor.

It’s hard to argue that McCrum has a partisan axe to grind. He served as a federal prosecutor under the first President Bush. The second President Bush later nominated McCrum to be a top federal prosecutor — with the backing of Texas GOP Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn…

quoteallthethings:

99% of failures come from people who make excuses.— George Washington

Nope, wrong!    George Washington Carver probably did say this.  Here’s the longest version I found:
Fear of something is at the root of hate for others, and hate within will eventually destroy the hater. 
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these. 
Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses. 
No exact source was given, so I’ll keep looking….
Note: Every “quote” site that does not give sources is utter balderdash.

quoteallthethings:

99% of failures come from people who make excuses.

— George Washington

Nope, wrong! George Washington Carver probably did say this. Here’s the longest version I found:

Fear of something is at the root of hate for others, and hate within will eventually destroy the hater.

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.

Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.

No exact source was given, so I’ll keep looking….

Note: Every “quote” site that does not give sources is utter balderdash.

Hmmm

alcyonesong:

Is it wrong that I have a crush on a historical figure?  I am reading the book 1776, and I am seriously crushing on George Washington.  Did you know he was 5’9”, he had auburn hair, he loved to horseback ride.  He enjoyed English breakfasts and was a devoted husband and father?  He was soft spoken, well mannered, polite, genuine, and when he did speak he was sincere.   He was also strong and well built but also stubbornly courageous and tenacious.

Ron Chernow’s biography said that Washington was 6’1” tall; some accounts have him taller but that was the figure he sent to his London tailors. He cared about his appearance & would not have lied to them!

And he never had children of his own. Martha brought a son & daughter to the marriage & he was a good father to them. Other young people came under his & Martha’s care at Mount Vernon—& he thought of the young officers on is staff during the Revolution as his “family.” Martha also brought great wealth to their marriage but, by all accounts, it was a happy one.

However, you are not wrong to have a “crush” on Washington. The Chernow book indicates he cut quite a striking figure, although he was truly a steadfast character & invaluable as a military leader & our first president.

Many of us fond of history are willing to endure the errors in AMC’s TURN: Washington’s Spies because of the vigorous & charismatic Washington it shows us….