Saturday, February 18, 2012

Frum Forum understands what neo-Confederacy is all about.

Very interesting article at:

More and more people are beginning to grasp what a neo-Confederate historical consciousness is about. The following is from the article:

Now we have fielded a Republican Congress which is determined to burn down the Hamiltonian Republic that has emerged since the war and return to a “simpler” time. Along the way they would damage (or even destroy) the benefits we’ve gained from our reluctant capitalism. If you want to know what a Neo-Confederate political model looks like in a modern country, try to find a good public school for your kids in Mexico.

We may not think that’s what we voted for. No one can say out loud that they are fighting for the Confederate way of life, and some who embrace it may not even recognize it. You can get some hints at what’s going on if you probe Ron Paul’s fans for their thoughts on Lincoln. The weird AM radio and Tea Party rhetoric of fighting “socialism” sounds absurd, but only if you take it literally. We want to relive a fleeting moment of Jeffersonian simplicity.

The rebellion against the Neo-Confederate Revolution must start inside the Republican Party. If we fail to manage the complexity of our age, there are horrors that await. Jefferson’s world is gone, but we can still have a banana republic if we so insist.

Related post.

A Mexican Immigrant's Badge of Honor

Great story at the New York Times at this link.

It is about a Mexican immigrant to the then Arizona territory who was a successful business person and was loyal to the United States of America even though the Confederate sympathizers confiscated all his property when he refused to pledge loyalty to the Confederacy.

I think it will be a great story for Cinco de Mayo.

See my earlier blog on Cinco de Mayo here:

The hysterical stupidity of the Council of Conservative Citizens

I use the term "hysterical stupidity" to mean those who might otherwise have intelligence, are stupid because some hysteria they have over some topic. The hysterical are not thinking.

This comes to mind with a posting on the Council of Conservative Citizens website at

They are upset that it is asserted that Augustus Jackson was the inventor of ice cream as part of African American history month.

I am focusing on this posting since as an engineer and a person who reads about the history of technological innovation I am better qualified to comment on it.

Most importantly, I am focusing on this, since it is simple and straightforward and clearly shows the credibility of postings in general. I am sure that most of the other postings are of the same nature as this posting.

Before I go forward, for those unfamiliar with the history of science and technology, I would like to explain that many technological innovations are not discrete events, but often the accumulation of many incremental changes leading to a working technology. Often the "inventor" is the person who contributes the critical development which led to the technology either being much more affordable or effective or available. Edison made many lightbulbs, but it wasn't until he figured to use a tungsten filament in an inert atmosphere that they really were practical. This was nice, but until someone figured out how to mass produce the delicate glass envelops blowing them from molten glass and systems to handle them without them breaking would light bulbs be practical.

Many people besides the Wright brothers were making flying machines while they were working on theirs. Did the Wright brothers invent the airplane or were they the first ones to figure out that you needed a gasoline engine to supply the power without excessive weight? Many hands go into technological development and there are many inventors.

So back to the stupidity of the post about ice cream.

First as an argument the CofCC says, "The practice of eating chilled desserts containing flavored ice dates back thousands of years to Mesopotamia royalty." Well that is true, I know Roman emperors had flavored ice. However, flavored ice isn't ice cream any more than oil or pitch is gasoline or polyethylene plastic.

Then further is the argument, "A reference book on the English in 1744 states “it is a chilled dessert made from cream, milk, and fruit.” Matching the modern definition of ice cream." Well modern ice cream is a frozen dessert so it doesn't match. Many things are chilled, but that is very different than frozen.

However, doing some research I found that cream and fruit was being frozen back in the 18th century, I didn't find much about the texture or form of this frozen cream.

Further ice cream isn't merely a frozen block of cream. It isn't a popsicle you make in your freezer. It has a very specific texture with air blended in and the components with small crystals. It has added ingredients to ensure it has this texture.

For ice cream to be commonly consumed it would have to have a practical method of manufacture.

It seems that Augustus Jackson was an innovator in the manufacturing process of ice cream.

It turns out that there is no myth that Jackson invented ice cream, it is understood that he developed a critical improvement in its manufacture. So the Council of Conservative Citizens is debunking a myth they made up. Or they searched the Internet to find some confused website which misrepresented Jackson's accomplishment and seized upon it to be aggrieved.

I found that this is the information you generally find on the Internet.

1832 - African-American, Augustus Jackson, is credited for the modern method of manufacturing, (not discovering) ice cream, and the multiple ice cream recipes he developed around 1832. He uniquely used ice mixed with salt to lower and control the temperature of his special mix of ingredients. Unfortunately he never applied for a patent. He left his position as a cook/chef at the White House, moved to Philadelphia and created several popular ice cream flavors and methods of manufacturing ice cream. He distributed it in tin cans to Philadelphia’s many ice cream parlors. Today Jackson is called the "father of ice cream."

Jackson made the manufacture of ice cream practical and isn't called the inventor but the "father of ice cream."

However, the complexity of technological development isn't of interest to the members of the Council of Conservative Citizens, but instead they are hysterical over the idea that their could be any historical claim that would contradict their racism.

Also, revealing the true facts of the history of ice cream wouldn't be of interest, it would just be a reason to look for and seize upon other rationalizations for their hysterical racism.

I had this blog posting when the Council of Conservative Citizens were calling the Carthaginians Greeks in some pompous historical exposition. They edited the posting after my posting.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Cinco de Mayo as an anti-Confederate holiday.

The following video on YouTube is a fascinating lecture by Dr. David Hayes-Bautista of the University of California - Los Angeles about Cinco de Mayo.

Dr. David Hayes-Bautista is the author of "Cinco de Mayo: An American Holiday." As Dr. Hayes-Bautista has explained in journal articles, Cinco de Mayo was started in California during the Civil War as a pro-Union and pro-Mexican Republic holiday. His book is part of a growing transnational view of the Civil War.

The book is going to be released May 2012 and can be pre-ordered online at online book dealers.

Starting this year Cinco de Mayo is going to be redefined as a anti-Confederate holiday.

Dr. Hayes-Bautista is very prominent and influential individual.

Letter from former slave to former master, hilarious must read.

You absolutely must read this letter from a former slave to a former master. The link is here:

This is another link with additional information about the Jourdan family.

The original source of the letter.

This is from a book, "The Freedman's Book," edited by L. Marcia Child and published by Ticknor and Fields, Boston, 1865.

The former master Colonel Anderson is asking for his former slave to come back and work for him saying that he would treat him better than anyone.

Though the reply by the former slave, Jourdan, is written in the most respectful way in a 19th century which had more formalities than we do today, it is a rather stinging criticism of how the former master treated the former slave. The letter is both a very informative description of the issues of slavery and emancipation, yet the writer has a subtle wit and it is riotous fun to read and yet also sad upon reflection.

Some excerpts:

Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Colonel Martin’s to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable.

Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again, and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me that Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance.

Jourdan describes how they are well treated and have a good situation and are respected. The current situation is contrasted to the former situation. He also asks for wages for the many years him and his wife worked for the former slave master. He certainly must have known that he wasn't going to be paid any money for his former exploitation.

Then the letter turns to the rape of former slaves at the Anderson's.

In answering this letter, please state if there would be any safety for my Milly and Jane, who are now grown up, and both good-looking girls. You know how it was with poor Matilda and Catherine. I would rather stay here and starve and die, if it come to that than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters.

Finally it ends with this last sentence.

Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Sons of Confederate Veterans rewrite the Great Hanging in Gainesville

It really is an example of the appalling things that the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) does.

The link to the story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is here:
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