John Green’s Crash Course on the Civil War

A couple of colleagues in my history department utilize a few of John Green’s history video series. I never heard of him before this year, but apparently they are very popular with students. His most recent course is on the Civil War. It’s not a complete disaster. In fact, there are aspects of it that I really like. Green read a little David Goldfield and James McPherson and I really like the way he reinforces the causal importance of slavery.

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Jonathan Jarvis Goes To Washington

Jonathan JarvisI looked forward to sharing video of National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis’s testimony in front of a House committee that took place earlier today. Even though I found full coverage of the hearing I decided against linking to it in any way. As you might expect there was very little opportunity for Jarvis to share anything substantive concerning the implementation of park policies and I didn’t see any reason to give these people an additional platform. [click to continue…]

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About that Flag In Front of the White House

Once again, Ta-Nehisi Coates nails it:

It is the wisdom of the crowd that matters. The wisdom that marked Sunday’s crowd was the idea that the president “bows down to Allah” and needs to “put the Qu’ran down.” The wisdom that marked Sunday’s crowd was the notion that Obama was not the president of “the people” but the president of “his people.” The wisdom of Sunday’s crowd held that the police, doing their job, looked “like something out of Kenya.” It’s not so much that a man would fly a Confederate flag, as Jeff Goldberg notes, in front of the home of a black family. It’s that a crowd would allow him the comfort of doing it. [click to continue…]

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I Am a Park Ranger

Tomorrow a House Republicans will have the opportunity to question National Park Service chief Jonathan Jarvis for his handling of a situation that Republicans themselves caused. I trust that Jarvis will stand up for his agency during those few moments where he is allowed to get a word in over the grandstanding and deflection that will most assuredly be on full display.

If mistakes were made than so be it. No doubt the Park Service will examine their policies and try to improve their management during these times of crisis, but I refuse to join the outpouring of vitriol that continues to be directed at some of the most dedicated and passionate federal employees that we have. Update: A few more thoughts to consider.

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All Kinds of Irony

ZZ7870BBEBThis photograph was taken earlier today in front of the White House. It’s a march of supposedly military veterans protesting the closure of the federal government. It was led by Republican Senator Ted Cruz and Sara Palin.

Confederate flag in front of White HouseAnd check out that Confederate flag. What is up with that design?

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