Happy Birthday, Charlie Darwin!

By Ryan S. Walters

Here is another piece I wrote eight years ago in “celebration” of Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday:

In one of the unique facts of history, two of the most influential men in world history, Abraham Lincoln and Charlesdarwin_zpsa4e7cfce Darwin, were born on the same day, February 12, 1809. Last week marked their 200th anniversary, to which Lincoln has stolen most of the show, but Darwin should have received his due, as Darwinism continues to exact an enormous amount of influence in the world, particularly when the Left needs a club to bash Christianity.

Make no mistake, Darwinism is the Left’s baby. To a liberal it’s akin to religious dogma and must be taught in public schools, while Christians must wage an all-out fight, including court action, to teach creationism. The Left does not want public school students to be free thinkers and decide the matter for themselves, after having been presented both sides of the argument fair and equally. [Read more…]

Darwin and Lincoln: Disastrous Legacies

By Ryan S. Walters

Today marks the 208th birthday for two of history’s most influential people:  Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln.  This is a piece I wrote eight years ago:

This week’s edition of Newsweek has a thought-provoking article on Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin.  Author6a00d8341c046f53ef010537235ef6970b Malcolm Jones points out an interesting historical fact, that both men were born on the same day, February 12, 1809, and both had an extraordinary impact on history.  This celebratory article is likely to be the opening of the literary floodgates, as we get closer to the 200th anniversary of their birth.

Newsweek ponders this question:  Which of the two mattered the most? [Read more…]

Congressional Control of the Court: An Excerpt from The Last Jeffersonian

This is a small section from my book, The Last Jeffersonian, about an episode in 1869-70 when Congress took firm control of the Supreme Court.  Since the Court is now in the news with the passing of Justice Scalia, and there are arguments about Obama’s nomination and the Senate’s decision to take it up or not, I thought this might shed some light on the fact that Congress has a lot of power over the Court and has used it in the past:

The nation’s currency had been backed by gold until the rise of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency in 1861. Though historically known as the gatekeepers of the gold standard, the Republican Party had inflationary ideas during the Civil War that essentially ended gold’s supremacy. In 1862, to help finance the war against the South, as well as their other spending schemes, Republicans, with the urging of Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase, passed the Legal Tender Act, an inflationary plan that allowed for the creation and circulation of a national paper currency, called Greenbacks, that did not have the backing of gold, though the Constitution specifically gives Congress the authority to “coin money,” not to print it. In all, Congress issued more than $450 million in paper dollars during the four-year conflict, producing ample inflation to double the cost of living. The United States had not seen that level of inflation since the days of the American Revolution with the old, worthless Continental dollar.[i]

In 1869, the United States Supreme Court ruled the Legal Tender Act unconstitutional in the case of Hepburn v. Griswold, preventing the issuance of paper dollars. The Chief Justice in that case, who sided with the majority, was none other than former Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase, who had advocated for passage of the law while in Lincoln’s cabinet. The Chase Court’s ruling angered inflationist Republicans in Congress, and they sought to re-order the Court to change the decision. In the late 1860s, in a move to prevent President Andrew Johnson from naming any justices to the Court, Congress, using its constitutional authority, had taken away two seats when they became vacant during Johnson’s tenure, reducing the number of seats to seven. But with Republican Ulysses S. Grant in the White House in 1869, Congress reinstated those seats on the Court to place it back to its present total of nine. President Grant then nominated two new Stalwart Republican justices in 1870, in an effort to “pack it,” and the Court reversed itself that same year, in the case of Knox v. Lee, allowing Congress the authority to issue paper currency.[ii]

[i] Irwin Unger, The Greenback Era: A Social and Political History of American Finance, 1865-1879 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1964), 15-16.

[ii] Kermit L. Hall, ed., The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 685, 498-499; Sidney Ratner, “Was the Supreme Court Packed By President Grant?” Political Science Quarterly (September 1935): 343-358.

An Excerpt from The Last Jeffersonian: The Re-distribution of Wealth Debate in 1894

Since the nation is currently embroiled in talk of socialism and wealth re-distribution, I thought it might be appropriate for me to post an excerpt from my book, The Last Jeffersonian:  Grover Cleveland and the Path to Restoring the Republic.  The issues of socialism and the re-distribution of wealth were also prevalent in Cleveland’s day.

By Ryan S. Walters, Professor of History:

On December 19, 1893, William L. Wilson, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, rolled out a new tariff reform bill, which passed the House of Representatives on February 1, 1894 by a significant margin, 204 to 140. Tariff duties were modestly cut by 15 percent. However, to make up for any projected loss of revenue, the final House version of the bill included a provision for an income tax. The young Democratic congressman from Nebraska, William Jennings Bryan, introduced the tax amendment and vigorously defended it. “There is no more just tax upon the statute books than the income tax,” he told the House.[i] [Read more…]

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Putting the Bombings in Historical Perspective

The Left is still crying on the 70th anniversary, while ignoring Pearl Harbor and a decade of Japanese aggression.

Ryan S. Walters | @ryanswalters73

It’s the same every year but especially true in 2015, in this the seventh decade since the United States dropped the world’s first atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on August 6 and August 9, 1945 respectively.

Thus far we have been treated to the usual litany of old photographs depicting the destruction of both cities, to grainy film of the mushroom cloud. Yearly memorial services and scenes of still-grieving elderly Japanese citizens, mourning the lost, the maimed, the deformed, those sickened with radiation poisoning. And endless speeches by Japanese politicians discussing the on-going problems associated with the “attacks.”

Historians have debated the issue since 1945 – was dropping The Bomb really necessary? Could the war have been won without it? And could it have been won even without the alternative full invasion of the Japanese homeland?

American political pundits and talking heads, residing on the political left, are quick to use the “savagery” as a way to condemn the country and push for the elimination of nuclear weapons, a call made recently by Pope Francis. Professors call for the United States to apologize, while comedians masquerading as newsmen refer to President Truman as a war criminal. [Read more…]

The Supreme Court: Last Among Equals

Ryan S. Walters | @ryanswalters73

With the recent decisions by US Supreme Court, we are once again presented with a constitutional question that has been around as long as the Constitution: Which branch of government rightfully has the exclusive authority to interpret the Constitution and the laws of the United States?

Most contend that the power resides with the Supreme Court, including many conservatives, as a recent exchange between Megyn Kelly and Mike Huckabee will attest.  Kenneth Starr has even referred to the Supreme Court as a “First Among Equals,” and while I have great respect for him, he is simply wrong in this regard. [Read more…]

The Daily Beast Blames Slaveholder Thomas Jefferson for the Confederate Flag, Ignores FDR’s Internment

Ryan S. Walters | @ryanswalters73

In an interestingly dishonest piece in The Daily Beast, writer Nicholas Mills, a professor of American Studies (aka Anti-American Studies), casts blame for the Confederate flag on Thomas Jefferson, even though Mr. Jefferson died in 1826, some 35 years before the war began. He does that by blaming Jefferson for the legacy of slavery, which is what the Confederacy was founded upon you know.

You can read the whole disgusting piece here if you want to and be treated to all Jefferson’s hypocrisies, which silly professors delight in pointing out. I guess we should tear up the Declaration of Independence and destroy Monticello. I’m sure the fanatics would love that.

But I found something at the end of his article very interesting, or should I say a lack of something.  Mills notes that FDR dedicated the Jefferson Memorial in April 1943.  During the ceremony, FDR remarked, “Today in the midst of a great war for freedom, we dedicate a shrine to freedom.”  Of that Mills writes, “Like Lincoln, Roosevelt focused only on the side of Jefferson that inspired him. In the midst of World War II, with D-Day more than a year way, FDR could not be expected to do better. But today we can.”

Yet Mills never bothered to mention that it was FDR who ordered hundreds of thousands of American citizens, of Japanese ancestry (i.e. not white), into concentration camps in January 1942, the year before he dedicated the Jefferson Memorial. So, Professor, where did FDR get his inspiration for the internment camps, from Hitler?

Will the hypocrisy never end?

So I’m awaiting the call from liberals to burn down FDR’s presidential library and bulldoze his monument in DC.  But I won’t hold my breath!