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03 June 2011

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bth

For those interested in an excellent book on the immediate time period leading up to April 19, 1775 I highly recommend Fisher's, "Paul Revere's Ride" http://www.amazon.com/Paul-Reveres-David-Hackett-Fischer/dp/0195098315/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1307153760&sr=1-1

I live up here in Bedford which is right between Lexington and Concord and it abuts the Minuteman National Park. The area is almost a must see for those studying American history. It was an extraordinary battle especially when one considers how many militia and minutemen turned out in real and percentage numbers to commit treason to the most power country on earth at the time. One of the surprising things you see are markers for fallen British that were buried on the side of the road or in fields which exist to this day.

Anyway, her stunning willful ignorance while standing in the North End where the North Church and Paul Revere's house still stands and being unable to explain the basic series of events any middle school child in New England knows by heart has doomed any chance whatever she might.

It is one thing to be poorly educated and willing to learn, it is quite another to be willfully ignorant and proud of it.

Roy G

I recall back in the late 90s being warned that the next generation of Republicans after Gingrich were even crazier, and it was true enough, but still i'm surprised at how they can keep getting stupider. It shows the generation gap, in that earlier generations of Republicans actually aspired to being intelligent. I guess that changed with Reagan, and now we're seeing the bastard progeny.

There's a name for this effect, where stupidity enters the arena, and sucks all the air out, driving away the intelligent. Unfortunately, I've forgotten the name, so if anybody knows, please speak up! That's where our political discourse is at these days.

Btw, Col. Lang, regarding your earlier history quiz for Ms. Palin, I think she'd be stumped on 'Who is buried in Grant's Tomb?' unless she was prepped and had it written on her hand.

Adam L Silverman

If there were 144 of them, instead of two, they'd be gross stupidity...

Stanleyhenning@mac.com

It is sad, but I see nothing but ignorance in our entire political system. Both Republicans and Democrats were responsible for the economic disaster following the sub-prime loan fiasco. The Republicans who now attack Obama, were responsible for the nonsense in Iraq and, unfortunately, Obama has carried through on the utter waste in Afghanistan. Where are leaders who care more about our country than to appear supportive of meaningless operations in order to stay in office?

J

Stanley,

Why don't you know, they are all (for the most part) 'empty suits', and those empty suits belong behind federal jail cell bars for their treason against the nation.

Redhand

I keep wondering why Palin isn't laughed off the public stage. The woman is incapable of uttering a single coherent sentence above the "See Spot run" level. And her ignorance is just appalling.

What a grifter.

William R. Cumming

So did the road bound Brits provide the blue prints for USA in Iraq and Afghanistan?

The Twisted Genius

Thanks, bth, for the pointer to Fischer's "Paul Revere's Ride." I just read some of the reviews and will definitely read this book soon. I also recommend "As If An Enemy's Country" by Richard Archer. http://www.amazon.com/As-Enemys-Country-Occupation-Revolution/dp/0195382471/ref=sr_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1302965928&sr=1-15
It covers the British military occupation of Boston from 1768 to 1770 and is a fascinating account of the personalities and events that sowed the seeds of our Revolution. It definitely illustrates the potential for unintended consequences of a military occupation.

bth, I understand your frustration with Palin's historical ignorance. As a fellow New Englander, the excitement, perils and importance of our Revolution were imparted to us early and often. While stationed at Fort Devens, I walked and rode the area around Lexington and Concord often. It is a remarkable place.

If Palin and her ilk want to expropriate the symbols of our Revolution, the least they can do is do our forefathers the honor of learning some facts about their lives and times. Her ignorance is appalling and insulting to their memories.

jon

Anticipating this august event (and showing some class) Boston's Tea Party Museum was struck by lightning and burned to the water several years ago.

Revere's ride was brave and adventurous, but truncated. He was apprehended and detained by the British before he had gone more than a few miles. It was William Dawes who completed a separate route and successfully alerted Colonials to the west. Without the warning, which the British had not anticipated, the excursion would have been a routine roust and round up operation.

This is a simple, powerful story. To see it so grievously mixed up, mangled and misunderstood is breathtaking. I should have popcorn ready when she lays out her economic and foreign policy platform. Unfortunately, as at Lexington and Concord, the fates of nations and lives hang on the decisions made and actions taken.

Townie 76

If she had bothered to read Longfellow's poem Paul Revere's ride, while not historically accurate, would have given her some basic facts and not the dribble she spouted forth. I can still recall the opening lines of that poem,

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

ked

Palin & Bachmann are not stupid, they are anti-Enlightenment, anti-Reason, anti-intellectual, Christianists (politicized, right-wing, extremist evangelicals).

Their world is anchored in the absolutism & certainty that comes from the style of Faith they were indoctrinated in from birth (&/or their personal reborn experience).

They have no respect for the facts (much less the truths) of American history - it is just something else to be shaped in order to accomplish Divine Will. The fun part is wielding freedom & power - it comes along with one's status as the human manifestion of the Will of God. The purpose of prayer is to remind them of their special nature. The Gospel of Wealth enables their materialism. This is why you hear so much about Exceptionalism from them - they are referring to themselves.

You guys & gals REALLY need to spend more time around our fellow citizens of this type to appreciate it isn't a joke - except on us (& the hacks who think they're manipulating them) - if/when they gain more power than they have now.

I view them as anti-American, a clear & present danger to the Republic as our Founders envisioned it, as my forefathers fought for it & as I live it.

Our academia, religous leaders, political culture & media have been cowardly or credulous about American Christianism. Now, THAT's stupid.

charles

Yes, stupid. We need to keep the brilliant minds that we have in office -- the ones who don't understand the mortgage industry they are regulating precipitating the sub-prime meltdown, the ones spending money like drunken sailors who told us that idiot Bush was a spendthrift, the ones who said Guantanamo was going to be closed without a plan to do so, or the ones in '98 who said that Iraq was a clear and present danger ((what was her name again? I think she got a cabinet post because of her "foreign policy experience"), the ones who are so smart they think printing money like there is no tomorrow will actually pull the economy out of the tank, the ones who don't know a pm from a tweet but bloviate about the need for a cyberczar, the ones who think patting down old ladies actually keeps our airplanes safe from terrorists.

Palin and Bachmann and, frankly the rest, may be dumb as posts, but anyone who couldn't see the current group was this dumb before they were elected has little room to talk about intelligence. That's what you get when you choose political correctness over substance. Anti-someone over for-something. When name-calling when there is a disagreement replaces reasoned debate.

arbogast

They re-enact Lexington and Concord every Patriots Day. You have to get up early (I think it's around 6AM), but it well worth it.

"By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee."

Trent

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those spirits dare,
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord Hymn

Mike Rush

Excellent, Col. Lang--

Thanks for your commentary on Palin's most recent insult to history and to those who study and revere it. "Bullshit" and "silly creatures" say it all about her and the other bat-shit crazy one.

bth

Jon, just to correct Paul Revere road from Charleston to Lexington which is around 17 miles or so alerting plenty of places. He was caught as you rightly point out, but it was between Lexington and Concord and so never made it the last couple of miles. But Dawes and also runners made it from Lexington to Bedford (where locals had spotted the British outriders) on over to Concord and beyond. He had a hell of a ride. Also keep in mind he rescued Sam Adams and John Hancock. Not bad for a long night's work.

ex-PFC Chuck

I second what KED said:

"You guys & gals REALLY need to spend more time around our fellow citizens of this type to appreciate it isn't a joke - except on us (& the hacks who think they're manipulating them) - if/when they gain more power than they have now.

"I view them as anti-American, a clear & present danger to the Republic as our Founders envisioned it, as my forefathers fought for it & as I live it.

"Our academia, religous leaders, political culture & media have been cowardly or credulous about American Christianism. Now, THAT's stupid."

Walrus

The masters are constructing a cult of unreason because the ignorant are easily manipulated. The American ruling class has no respect for truth and encourages the media to propagate falsehood.

Palins behavior has yet to be reported in mainstream media as far as I know, nor criticized. This is consistent with promoting unreason.

My, perhaps cynical opinion is that Palin is being financed and supported not as a viable candidate, but as a stalking horse for someone slightly less crazy who will still appear as a moderate by comparison on the convention floor.

As explained by Paxton, Fascism begins as a popular emotional (unreasoning) response to absolute frustration and anger at the imperfections and performance of a Democracy. Some of that anger at so called "representatives" is even visible on this forum.

Further economic damage to people's standards of living in the next Twelve months is certain since neither party is prepared to begin the painful process of reform.

Under such circumstances the election of a President on a platform of unreason and even more disrespect for the rules of law and economics then at present becomes a distinct possibility.

Eg: trashing the Constitution and legal framework = "cutting red tape", "getting tough on un American activities that are dragging this country down". We have not heard this rhetoric since McCarthy have we?

rst

Maybe Berlusconi is on to something....

optimax

Palin visits the Statue of Liberty to deliver another history lesson: "It's a warning to not do what other nations have done wrong<" or some such crap. She may even be dumber than W. Our future is dim.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/01/sarah-palin-nyc_n_869892.html

Patrick Lang

optimax et al

I wonder what she thinks the statue of Liberty might be.

Perhaps she is thinking of the final scene in "Planet of the Apes" with the wreck of the SoL lying on the beach as a result of Man's folly. pl

Fred

optimax,

At least she knew the French gave it to us. No mention of the part about "Give me your tired, your poor...."

I was struck that she was walking around wearing a rather large Star of David. That certainly has some symbolism.

Anna-Marina

Palin was selected by a prominent neocon Bill Kristol for her “virtues” of aggressive ignorance, vanity, and the amazing elasticity of morals when a financial reward can be gained:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2008-10-10/palins-talent-scout/#
The puppeteers sensed a useful puppet.

linda

fred... bet the sod was her none too subtle shoutout to ny jews.

i still don't think she's running for president -- she's too damned lazy; but she is eager to suck up all the $$$ she can before the deadline, along with that press attention she craves. and speaking of cravenly -- look at the faces of the press eagerly gathering around her for words of wisdom. they, too, are loving it. too bad that tornado that hit massachusetts didn't take out a bus or two of that caravan.

William R. Cumming

Palin and Bachmann will NOT self-destruct! They represent the collapse of the Republicans as a party that can govern. Both are darlings of the MSM and non-mainstream media because they are such good stories and sell coverage!

Was it Ben Franklin when asked in 1776 what kind of government the Convention had designed stated "It's a Republic if you can keep it"?

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