Category Archives: Mr. Adair’s Classroom

“Where do we begin Mr. Adair?”

“At the beginning, ” he said. And throughout the year that I was under his tutelage – he would continue to challenge me to, “Never stop searching for truth.” In this endeavor, we provide – once again – the writings of many writers – many of whom I have known for years – providing historical lessons of import and understanding – little of which is addressed in our “classrooms” today.

We Fought with America in the Vietnam War, but Most Americans Don’t Know About Us

Many know the Vietnam War as one of the bloodiest and most unpopular wars in U.S. history. Some even label it a mistake. During the 1960s, the spread of communism brought fear to the American people. For the U.S. government, communism posed a political threat as the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, and other countries started emerging as “red” states. They were afraid more dominoes would fall, so they placed themselves between them. American representatives were sent to Vietnam and neighboring countries to prevent the spread. This is where the story of my people begins. Continue reading

Constitution Series: Three Things That Make the United States Constitution Unique in World History

Today’s high school students may yawn when they hear teachers describe what a world-changing document the United States Constitution was when it was ratified in 1788 and a new government was formed a year later in 1789.

But a deeper look behind the scenes reveals the three dramatic innovations the Founding Fathers introduced in just 4,400 words that changed the course of history for the better over the next 228 years, not just in the United States of America, but around the word: Continue reading

Is Secession Legal?

Editor’s NOTE: Consider that what you are about to read is a superb historical lesson on the subject of the title, but that it was written nearly eight and a half years ago. Look how far we have come with the arrogance of Governors and mayors all across America. What lies ahead for We the People and our children and grandchildren. What lies ahead for the future and the survival of the united States? … and yet ~ what if…. ~ Ed.

With all fifty states offering petitions to the central government to leave the Union, the legality of secession is now front page news in the United States. Can a state legally secede from the Union? Many, including Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, suggest no. In a 2006 letter, available here, Scalia argued that a the question was not in the realm of legal possibility because 1) the United States would not be party to a lawsuit on the issue 2) the “constitutional” basis of secession had been “resolved by the Civil War,” and 3) there is no right to secede, as the Pledge of Allegiance clearly illustrates through the line “one nation, indivisible.” Continue reading

The Civil War Isn’t Over

150 years after Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Americans are still fighting over the great issues at the heart of the conflict.

April 2015 ~ On this 150th anniversary of the surrender at Appomattox, Americans mark the end of the Civil War. The questions at the heart of the war, though, still occupy the nation, which has never truly gotten over that conflict. The great issues of the war were not resolved on that April morning at Appomattox. In this sense, not only is the Civil War not over; it can still be lost. Continue reading

The Second Amendment – Its Meaning, Purpose, and Scope

The Second Amendment declares that individual citizens have a right to keep and bear arms.

Revolutionary militia fire on the British

That right is not created by the Second Amendment but is recognized to naturally exist independent of the Constitution. The purpose of the Second Amendment is to make clear that the federal government lacks any authority to restrict or infringe that individual right.

The right is not just the right of the individual to own arms that are suitable for hunting, self defense, recreational shooting or collecting – although each of those are within its scope. The Second Amendment, much like the First Amendment, also exists to protect a political right and the political power that was essential to founding of this nation and as indicated in the Declaration of Independence. Continue reading

A Long Farewell: The Southern Valedictories of 1860-1861

This essay was originally published in Southern Partisan Magazine, 1989.

As we conclude bicentennial celebration of the drafting and adoption of the Constitution of the United States, it may be hoped that we have finally arrived at the proper moment for looking back and ap­preciating the importance of those even more heated discussions of the document which occurred in the nation’s capital during what Henry Adams called the “great secession winter” of 1860-1861. Continue reading

The Antifederalists Were Eerily Prophetic

~ Foreword ~
The following is posted in tribute to the wisdom of Neal Ross, Michael Gaddy and Al Benson Jr.. They have seen and written about what many have refused to recognize. ~ Ed.

That “goddamnedpieceofpaper”- again

What the Antifederalists predicted would be the results of the Constitution turned out to be true in most every respect.

Most school kids are left with the impression that the US Constitution was the inevitable follow-up to the Declaration of Independence and the war with King George. What they miss out on is the exciting debate that took place after the war and before the Constitution, a debate that concerned the dangers of creating a federal government at all. Continue reading

Sherman in the Swamp

William Techumseh Sherman, young officer

I would like to add a little footnote to Tom DiLorenzo’s recent treatment of General William Tecumseh Sherman and the Indians. This “footnote” is actually a “prequel” to Sherman’s famous “march” through Georgia and South Carolina, during the late Unpleasantness, and his later Indian-fighting activities after that not very “civil” war. It is my duty as a patriotic Floridian to describe this part of the Sherman saga and, anyway, it helps us better understand his attitude toward warfare.

I refer of course to Sherman’s unhappy days in the subtropics, 1840–1841. Of course putting those days — which added up to just under a year and a half — in context requires me to say a few things about the Second Seminole War (1835–1842). Now, as far back as the American Revolution, American leaders coveted Florida — then under British rule. This was for obvious reasons of political geography. Alas, it was not to be, and the Treaty of Paris (1783), which concluded the Revolutionary War, saw Florida handed back to Spain, after twenty years of British rule. Continue reading

Lincoln: The Scumafied Nation-splitter

Lincoln is portrayed as meek and ineffectual in his prosecution of the war. In a wooded scene Lincoln, here in the character of an Irish sportsman in knee-breeches, discharges his blunderbuss at a small bird “C.S.A.” (Confederate States of America). The bird, perched in a tree at left, is unhurt, but Lincoln falls backward vowing, “Begorra, if ye wor at this end o’ th’ gun, ye wouldn’t flap yer wings that way, ye vill’in!Continue reading

Yeah, this is long, but the bars are closed…

… no concerts going on, and no sports to watch on TV. So you have no excuse to not read something you might learn something from.

I Don’t Know What To Call This Damned Thing (Just Read it Please!!!) ~ Neal

It is sad, (and I was just as guilty of this for a long period of my life), that people exhibit such a lack of interest in the history of their country. This is sad for two reasons; the first being that there is so much to learn from that history, and the second being how relatively easy it is to find that history now that everyone has a portable library in the hand all the time; i.e. their cell phones.

The internet is a vast place, filled with all kinds of things, and without a guide to point you in the right direction it is like walking into a huge library without a librarian, or a card catalogue telling you the location of the book you’re looking for. On top of that, anyone can post anything they want on the internet, (except for death threats or plans to build nuclear weapons), and that gets tossed into the mix; so it’s hard to tell if the information you are getting is accurate or not.

The best way to get at the truth regarding the history of our country, the nature of our Constitution and the men who wrote it, is to go to the horse’s mouth, so to speak; to seek out source documents from the period you are studying. Continue reading

The ‘Civil War’ ~ Medical Care, Battle Wounds, and Disease

The Civil War was fought, claimed the Union army surgeon general, “at the end of the medical Middle Ages.” Little was known about what caused disease, how to stop it from spreading, or how to cure it. Surgical techniques ranged from the barbaric to the barely competent.

A Civil War soldier’s chances of not surviving the war was about one in four. These fallen men were cared for by a woefully underqualifled, understaffed, and undersupplied medical corps. Working against incredible odds, however, the medical corps increased in size, improved its techniques, and gained a greater understanding of medicine and disease every year the war was fought. Continue reading

The Great Webster’s Dictionary Conspiracy

Noah Porter was the editor of the 1864 Webster’s Dictionary. Curiously, he graduated from Yale in 1931 as a member of the infamous Order of the Skull and Bones. After graduation he was a Congregational minister (1836-1846) until becoming a professor of moral philosophy and metaphysics at Yale. He rose to be Yale president in 1871-a post he held until 1886. Porter died in 1891 at age 75 in New Haven, Conn.

In most cases, a dictionary is merely a compendium of word usage. We can expect words like table, chair, glass, tree and beaver-words devoid of political implications-to be defined in keeping with their common usage. However, Joel Rorie, a self-taught lexicographer, has uncovered what can only be described as a dictionary conspiracy. Continue reading

Robert M. T. Hunter, Secretary of State for the Confederacy

On his way down to Montgomery to assume his new role as Secretary of State for the Confederacy in May 1861, Robert Hunter took the opportunity to speak to the crowds at the various train stops; Atlanta was one of them. The Co-Editor of the Southern Confederacy, J. Henly Smith was there to record his comments:

“Our cause, our institutions, our hopes, and our destinies are one. I rejoice to be able today to proclaim to you the union of the South for the sake of the South, and not only for the sake of the South, but for the sake and in the name of liberty – the last refuge of man oppressed, and the hope of the world. I am thoroughly convinced, that, independent of the negro question, we have not left the North any too soon. Compare their Government and its workings, and their institutions with ours! Their ancient safeguards are being trampled underfoot by those now in power; and is done, too, at the behest of their own people. On the other hand, show me a programme or a form of government, which promises more for mankind, or offers greater future security and happiness to the people than the Constitution of the Confederate States! We have everything to hope for and encourage us, in upholding it.
Continue reading

Remember the Alamo… Correctly

To us Texans, the Alamo is a symbol of how we value freedom and liberty. William Travis, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and the other Alamo defenders were heroes because they valued the liberty of their countrymen and land above their own lives.

A famous legend about the Alamo entered Texan folklore a few weeks after the notorious siege. Around April of 1836, Santa Anna was fed up with resistance from freedom fighters. To stomp out this lingering flame, he sent a message to his troops in San Antonio, ordering them to burn the mission to the ground. But when his soldiers approached the Alamo, they met a ghastly surprise. Continue reading

State Compares Alamo Cenotaph to Confederate Monuments

The ghosts of old battles still haunt the Alamo.

An underdog Indian tribe has joined the progeny of warriors in court to fight George P. Bush for the shrine of Texas liberty. The city’s controversial Alamo redesign plan, a mixed bag of ideas that includes moving the cenotaph off the grounds, has been slowed by an unlikely coalition of Native Americans and preservationists held together by a common ancestry of war. Both groups argue that the mission grounds are a graveyard, protected by state law, with the cenotaph acting as a headstone. United in court, they face Mayor Ron Nirenberg, General Land Office Commissioner George P. Bush and the increasingly foreign management of the embattled mission.

For descendants of the Alamo fighters like preservationist Lee Spencer White, the battle is personal. Continue reading

The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890

~ Prologue ~
The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 was the first measure passed by the U.S. Congress to prohibit trusts. It was named for Senator John Sherman of Ohio, who was a chairman of the Senate finance committee and the Secretary of the Treasury under President Hayes. Several states had passed similar laws, but they were limited to intrastate businesses. The Sherman Antitrust Act was based on the constitutional power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce. (For more background, see previous milestone documents: The Constitution of the united States, Gibbons v. Ogden, and the Interstate Commerce Act.) The Sherman Anti-Trust Act passed the Senate by a vote of 51–1 on April 8, 1890, and the House by a unanimous vote of 242–0 on June 20, 1890. President Benjamin Harrison signed the bill into law on July 2, 1890. Continue reading

Restored and Vindicated: The Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1864

1864 Virginia Constitutional Convention

The Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1864, called by the loyal Restored government meeting in Alexandria during the American Civil War (1861–1865), adopted the Constitution of 1864, which finally accomplished a number of changes that reformers had agitated for since at least the 1820s. It abolished slavery, provided a way of funding primary and free schools, and required voting by paper ballot for state officers and members of the General Assembly. It also put an end to longstanding friction over regional differences by recognizing the creation of West Virginia as a separate state. Members of the convention proclaimed the new constitution in effect, rather than submitting it to voters for approval in a popular referendum. Initially only the areas of northern and eastern Virginia then under Union control recognized the authority of the Constitution of 1864, but after the fall of the Confederacy in May 1865 it became effective for all of Virginia and remained in effect until July 1869. Continue reading