April, 2009

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is apparently a neo-Confederate. The Republican governor of Texas evidently believes that the question of the legality of secession was not resolved by either the Civil War, or by the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869), which was argued before the United States Supreme Court in 1869. The Court held in a 5–3 decision that the Constitution did not permit states to secede from the United States, and that the ordinances of secession, and all the acts of the legislatures within seceding states intended to give effect to such ordinances, were “absolutely null”.

Yesterday, Perry said, “There’s a lot of different scenarios. We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.”

Governor Nimrod also said:

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry joined state Rep. Brandon Creighton and sponsors of House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 50 in support of states’ rights under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our state,” Gov. Perry said. “That is why I am here today to express my unwavering support for efforts all across our country to reaffirm the states’ rights affirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I believe that returning to the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and its essential 10th Amendment will free our state from undue regulations, and ultimately strengthen our Union.”

Perry continued: “Millions of Texans are tired of Washington, DC trying to come down here to tell us how to run Texas.”

Anyone who has studied neo-Confederate hooey at all knows that this is a cornerstone of neo-Confederate doctrine.

Perry joins Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who has a well-established track record of spouting neo-Confederate hooey, as leading Texas neo-Confederates. Perry is also this year’s first nominee for neo-Confederate Grand Champion idiot of the year. Congratulations, Governor Perry–keep up the good work. You just might bring the wrath of the entire United States government and military down upon you.

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Earlier today, someone felt compelled to leave me a comment about my anti-neo-Confederate predilection on last night’s post, which was about my second blog, which is about my life-long addiction to Philadelphia’s professional sports teams. What in the world did that have to do with the fact that I feel compelled to fight against neo-Confederate hooey? I simply don’t understand.

Because the comment wasn’t even remotely close to being appropriate to the post, I deleted it. Had it been placed in an appropriate place, I would have permitted it to stand, but it was not even close to being on point to the post where it was left, so I saw no reason to leave it stand.

I have to say that I just don’t understand the motivation of some people and why they feel compelled to do what they do…..

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Tonight, I started a second blog, just for fun. Fear not, it will not detract from this blog, nor will it compete with it.

Those of you who are long-time readers know that I am a Philadelphian by birth, and that I was cursed by being born into a family of Philadelphia sports fans. As I’ve said here more than once, I know pain, and I know suffering. We know all about living with disappointment, and we know to expect to be disappointed. It’s just a fact of life, and it’s an integral part of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

I’ve started a blog called A Philadelphia Phanatic. It can be found here, and will focus upon my addiction to the Phillies, Eagles, and Flyers, and the trials of rooting for those teams from 450 miles away. Check it often. The first post went up tonight.

I’ve added a link to the blog roll.

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I haven’t said anything about this publicly, because I wasn’t sure precisely what I was going to do with it. One thing I’ve learned about myself is that the best way for me to REALLY learn something is to research and write about it. Last year, after leading a tour of the Battles of Kelly’s Ford and Brandy Station for a busload, I realized that I didn’t know Brandy Station quite as well as I wanted. Consequently, I decided to do some more research on Brandy Station and to write about it in more detail than I’ve ever done previously.

My book The Union Cavalry Comes of Age: Hartwood Church to Brandy Station, 1863 contains three chapters, totaling about 21,000 words, on the Battle of Brandy Station. It provided me with a good starting point, so I decided to expand on it and turn it into something more substantial. After several months of work, I’ve now got about 65,000 words on the Battle of Brandy Station. I’ve actually been working on this on and off since September or so, although it hasn’t been much at all recently because of the completion of the baseball project.

The idea is to do something very similar to my book Protecting the Flank: The Battles for Brinkerhoff’s Ridge and East Cavalry Field, Battle of Gettysburg, July 2-3, 1863. That book contains a 65,000 word tactical treatment, lots of maps and illustrations, and a detailed walking/driving tour. Steve Stanley, the superb master cartographer who does the maps for the Civil War Preservation Trust, has, with the blessing of the CWPT, given me permission to use his excellent maps of the battle in the book.

What this project is NOT intended to be is the definitive work on the Battle of Brandy Station. My friend and mentor Clark “Bud” Hall has been working on that for a long time, and what I’m doing is not intended to compete with what Bud’s doing. If anything, I hope that what I’m doing will whet readers’ whistles for Bud’s project, which is nearing conclusion. Indeed, I intend to steer readers to Bud’s book. I’m hoping to donate at a portion of the royalties/proceeds to the Brandy Station Foundation for a fundraiser, and I expect that it will be sold in the BSF’s little gift shop at the Graffiti House so that the BSF can garner the profits from the sales of the book.

Bud’s reviewing the manuscript for me now, and I have yet to put together the tour. I’m planning on doing that this spring when I go to visit Bud in Virginia. Since it’s been so well received with One Continuous Fight: The Retreat from Gettysburg and the Pursuit of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, July 4-14, 1863, I intend to include GPS coordinates in the tour. The problem is that a significant portion of the Brandy Station battlefield remains in private hands and is not generally accessible to the public, which means that I will only be able to include a partial tour.

The thing should be finished in the next couple of months. I need to find a publisher for it. It would be a natural for Ironclad Publishing’s Discovering Civil War America Series, but we’re already backed up by four books, and with the publishing business being the way it is at the moment, it’s going to be quite a while before we could publish it. I also don’t want to use Ironclad as my own vanity press. Consequently, I am looking for a publisher for this work, and I welcome any suggestions that any of you care to make. Please feel free to pass on any suggestions.

In the meantime, I will keep everyone posted as to the progress of the completion of the project and the hunt for a publisher.

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Harry Kalas, the Hall-of-Fame broadcaster whose silvery voice has been the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies since 1971, is gone. From

Phils announcer Harry Kalas dies


Harry Kalas, the Phillies’ Hall of Fame announcer, died at 1:20 p.m. today, the Phillies announced.

Mr. Kalas was 73.

He collapsed in the press box at Nationals Stadium in Washington at about 12:30 p.m. and was rushed to George Washington University Medial Center.

The cause of the death was not announced. Today’s game against the Nationals will be played, but the team will not visit the White House tomorrow.

“We lost Harry today,” David Montgomery, the team president, said. “We lost our voice.”

Mr. Kalas, who was found unconsious, missed most of spring training after undergoing undisclosed surgery in Feburary. That surgery was unrelated to the detached retina that sidelined him for part of last season.

Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) praised Mr. Kalas in a statement.

“As the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies, Harry Kalas was everyone’s friend in this region. His incisive commentaries will be sorely missed.”

Susan Buehler, president of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of NATAS, today issued this statement upon hearing the news.

“The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences sends our heartfelt condolences to Harry’s family, his friends, his colleagues and many generations of fans. In 2002, NATAS bestowed our Chapter’s most prestigious honor – the Governor’s Award honoring his lifetime achievements. He was a beloved and respected broadcaster in the TV industry with a distinguishing voice that will resonate for years to come.”

Mr. Kalas, who turned 73 on March 26, has broadcast Phillies games since 1971. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002 as the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award. He is entering the final season of a 3-year contract that he signed in December 2006.

We’ve lost one of the truly great ones. At least Harry got to call and experience the 2008 World Series victory of the Phillies. Now he will be reunited with his best friend and partner, Richie Ashburn, who left us too soon in 1997. And now Harry’s “outta here”, which was his signature line. Every great broadcaster has one, and that was Harry’s.

And with Harry’s passing, so passed another piece of my childhood. I can never remember a time when Harry wasn’t calling the Phillies, through good times and bad. Jayson Stark got it right when he said earlier today that the thought of listening to a Phillies game without Harry calling it is unimaginable.

Rest in peace, Harry. You will be missed.

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9 Apr 2009, by

Moron Update

Thanks to Charlie Knight for passing this along, from today’s on-line edition of the Hampton Roads Pilot.

Confederate re-enactor pleads not guilty in shooting

The Associated Press
© April 9, 2009

A Confederate re-enactor has pleaded not guilty to reckless handling of a firearm in the accidental shooting of a Union re-enactor during the filming of a Civil War documentary in September.

Joshua Owen Silva of Norfolk appeared in court Wednesday on the misdemeanor charge, which stemmed from the shooting of 72-year-old Thomas Lord Sr. of Suffolk. A June 24 trial date was set, but prosecutors say they hope to reach a plea agreement with Silva before that.

Lord was struck in the right shoulder by a .45-caliber musket ball during the filming of the “Civil War Overland Campaign Web Series Project.” He was treated at a local hospital and released.

The moron won’t even step up to the plate and accept responsibility for his stupid and irresponsible conduct at the reenactment. I hate it that this guy won’t be responsible for what he did.

As Bugs Bunny would say, “what a maroon!”

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2 Apr 2009, by

It’s Done!

As Michael has pointed out, the working draft of the baseball book is finished. We now have a complete draft finished. It’s 385 pages and almost 190,000 words in length. We had a great time putting it together, and now it’s time to find a publisher for it, which we’re getting ready to begin doing. I’m just tickled that it’s finally done.

And it also means that I can get back to my normal routine and resume regular posting about the Civil War.

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