Colonial America III (Full Lecture)

Here’s the third lecture of the semester. American Heritage, Spring 2019. This lecture, the third in a continuing set on Colonial America. Mostly a comparison of New England and Virginia, with a brief discussion of Maryland’s attempt at religious freedom.

Geddy Lee Refuses to ‘Live Off the Fumes’ of His Past: Interview

Well, one thing you do learn over time—and especially playing so many different instruments—is that your sound comes from here in your fingertips. [Lee makes a gesture with his hands, like playing bass.] You know, you can put Jaco Pastorius’ bass in your hands and you can make a couple of notes that sort of sound like Jaco, but the longer you play it, the less you will sound like Jaco. Only Jaco sounds like Jaco, and [with] most great players, the same thing is true. And that’s a transportable thing, because it’s your personality coming out with the instrument in your hands. So that’s something that’s been reinforced by this collection for me
— Read on

Say what you want about his voice, Geddy Lee is brimming with talent, energy, and integrity. My hero.

The House of Usher & the House of Poe ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Throughout his 40 tormented years of life, Edgar Allan Poe was widely hailed as a genius for the black brilliance of his art. He is the undisputed master of the macabre and the father of the supernatural and psychological thriller. Conjured over a century ago, Poe’s phantasmagorias remain unparalleled to this day in their rich, velvety, cerebral, and suffocating horror. For any civilized reader, there is no better way to usher in the howling fall than with “The Fall of the House of Usher,” a tale observing its 175th anniversary of publication this September; and there is no better way to encounter the terrors of this tale than with a glimpse of the terrors of its teller.
— Read on

Exploring Dante’s Florence: A City Recalls its Exiled Poet | National Review

So we weren’t just tourists in Florence. We were Dante tourists. We made a point of walking down Via Dante Alighieri. We ate at restaurants with names like Trattoria Pizzeria Dante and Ristorante Dante e Beatrice. We made like geeks when we came across inscriptions of Dante’s words on the sides of buildings. (The Dante Plaques, a booklet by Foresto Niccolai, describes 34 of these inscriptions, mounted around the city in 1907 and still prominent today.) My wife would whip out her phone, open her Kindle app, and look up the reference.
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Cuba, 60 Years On — Misery Is Communism’s Only Real Legacy | Investor’s Business Daily

Today the Revolution continues to be a police state that brutally represses any form of dissidence, and its reforms have yielded nothing but failure. As the well-respected economist Carmelo Mesa-Lago has shown, the private sector represents no more than 7% of GDP. The country is severely undercapitalized (gross capital formation is one half of Latin America’s average); and agricultural and industrial production has shrunk in the last decade. The island’s largest source of foreign exchange continues to be the export of professional services, that grotesque euphemism
— Read on

Understanding Evangelicalism: A Primer

Evangelicalism has played an important role in American society for hundreds of years, and today “evangelicals” remain an influential voting bloc. The term “evangelical” is thrown around a lot in historical scholarship and political rhetoric, but its meaning is less clear than most people imagine. Twenty-first century evangelicalism shares some tenets with evangelicalism of years past, and it has changed in other ways. If we are going to understand evangelicalism’s impact on society and politics, we need to try to understand what exactly it is and where it came from.

I’m not going to get into specific leaders or institutions known for their influence on contemporary evangelicalism. That would require delving into the countless parachurch organizations, leaders, churches, radio stations, colleges, seminaries, etc. Evangelicals are interconnected yet fundamentally decentralized. Thus, it would be very difficult to make sense of that aspect of the movement (if it can even be called a movement) in a blog post. Rather, I’ll speak generally about fundamental beliefs and concepts that broadly describe evangelicals.

D. G. Hart’s Deconstructing Evangelicalism and Mark Noll’s The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind are good places to start if you are interested in this topic and want to know more about contemporary evangelicalism. John Fea recently wrote a book called Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump. This book may shed light upon current trends in evangelicalism, but I haven’t read it, so I can’t say for sure.

Continue reading Understanding Evangelicalism: A Primer

What Anti-Semites and Pro-Abortionists Have in Common ~ The Imaginative Conservative

The Nazis also systematically exterminated children with Down syndrome, regardless of their race. In similar fashion and with the same crassly inhuman spirit, children with Down syndrome are being systematically exterminated in the womb in almost every so-called “developed” nation. In the United States, Planned Parenthood is at the forefront of this genocide.

The government of Iceland even boasted that it had eradicated Down syndrome completely through the simple expedient of exterminating every child who had it. This “final solution” to the problem of Down’s was lauded by the Icelandic government as proof of its progressive credentials
— Read on

Spreading the Good Word of Prog

Tony Rowsick, the host of my favorite music podcast, Prog-Watch, invited me to be a “Guest DJ” on the latest episode (#603). I had a really hard time narrowing my choices down to four songs, but I eventually settled on ones by U.K., Big Big Train (of course!), Sanguine Hum, and Glass Hammer.

You can stream the episode here, or catch it via iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, etc. ( Just search for Prog-Watch)

If you are a lover of prog rock, then you need to subscribe to Prog-Watch. I have discovered more great artists through Tony’s show than any other source. He is also an excellent interviewer of prog’s biggest stars as well as up and coming ones. It comes out weekly, and it is well worth the time spent listening. As Tony would say, “Until next time, be good to each other, and Prog On, my brothers and sisters!”