Wars are seldom tidy, and often the unfinished business from one war provides the spark and tinder for the next. The forts that guarded Charleston Harbor in the latter half of the 19th century were part of a series of coastal defenses planned after the War of 1812 to protect all the principal seaports of the United States. Like most of the system, the forts in Charleston were still unfinished in 1861. Not long after the war with the British, America became preoccupied with battles within, as wars with Indian tribes continued through most of the century.
Junius Morgan was, at best, a third-tier English banker in the 1850s, who was fortunate to have had a hand in a number of lucrative financings, mostly for industries seeking seasonal financing. His conservative nature was partly a cause of his lack of distinction. He’d inherited a substantial sum when his father died and was exceedingly careful when risking any part of it. One of the maxims Junius instilled into his son, John Pierpont Morgan (shown at left), was, “Never under any circumstances do an action which could be called into question if known to the world.”
It is a signal irony that, within days of the apocalyptic earthquake and tsunami that have brought Japan to her knees, archaeologists announced the possible discovery, after millenia of speculation, of the ruins of the legendary lost civilization of Atlantis, buried deep beneath the marshes of the Coto Doñana in southwestern Spain.
When Solomon observed that there’s nothing new under the sun, he might have been speaking of politicians: Most plagiarize from their predecessors. Wage and price controls, blaming the victims rather than the authors of government’s policies, banning pleasures and fun, encouraging “virtues” that advance the State and ridiculing or even outlawing those that don’t — these tactics and more are favorites not only of modern Republicans and Democrats but of certain “Patriots” who seized power during the American Revolution. Indeed, they nearly subverted it: As one critic charged, they “hate Tyranny, but … their meaning is they hate Tyranny when themselves are not the Tyrants.”
On this day 161 years ago, famed orator Daniel Webster delivered one of the most memorable speeches of his remarkable career.
Standing to address the Senate in support of the Compromise of 1850, the congressional effort led by Henry Clay and Stephen Douglas to resolve the issues propelling the United States toward a civil war, Daniel Webster delivered a three-and-a-half hour address wherein he described himself “not as a Massachusetts man, nor as a Northern man but as an American....”
The raging union-led protests in Wisconsin have resulted in many Americans taking a closer, more critical look at labor unions and their political clout and influence in shaping policy. With the ubiquitous announcement from AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka that he is granted an audience at the White House “nearly every day,” the American people have become more skeptical of unions and the role that they play in the political process.
Did the Founding Fathers support the idea of government-run healthcare? The question seems to answer itself. The Founders had just thrown off the shackles of big government, putting in its place a limited federal government with explicitly defined powers, none of which involved medical care.
Prior to serving two non-consecutive terms as President of the United States (#22 from 1885-1889 and #24 from 1893-1897), Grover Cleveland’s reputation for “obstinate honesty” actually served him well in politics.
With all the excitement generated at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), we at The New American thought it would be appropriate to look back at an older and earlier CPAC, when the nation’s highest-rated elected conservative member of Congress addressed the convention. It was on the morning of February 9, 1979, when Congressman Larry McDonald — who was then both a member of the National Council of The John Birch Society and a two-and-one-half term U.S. Representative from the state of Georgia — gave a speech on the threats to and importance of U.S. internal security.
Having grown up during the years following World War II, it never fails to surprise me how little most people who haven’t reached their mid-60s know of that epic conflict, especially the Pacific Theater. During the 1950s, we did not have to be formally taught about World War II — it was a topic in everyone’s home. Every family had a veteran or two or had lost a son. War movies were regular fare at our local theater. The first series I watched on television was the incomparable Victory at Sea. The documentary footage, the music, and the narration — both the script and the delivery by Leonard Graves — penetrated into my heart and soul and have never left. It seemed that a new book on the war came out every week, and newspapers and magazines were full of articles about the war.
General Vang Pao, the heroic anti-communist leader of the Laotian Hmong, was laid to rest early in February during a six-day funeral held by his people in Fresno, California. Mourners from various parts of the United States were joined by some from as far away as Europe to bid farewell to the man who became somewhat of a patriarch of the Hmong people. Vang Pao was 81.