Nine Critical Questions About The Independence Hall Social Justice Warrior Park Ranger Tour Guide

Philadephia-Independence_Hall_Panorama

Conservative columnist and former Justice Department attorney J. Christian Adams reported that Holly Holst, a federal employee of the National Park Service, took visitors on a guided tour of Independence Hall, during which she informed them that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were the product of “class elites who were just out to protect their privileged status.”

[UPDATE: Adams corrected his original report, which misidentified the ranger involved as Mary A. Hogan. Ethics Alarms has corrected it s original post accordingly. I apologize to Hogan and my readers.]

Adams writes that several attendees of her tour group on Monday told him that Holst repeatedly denigrated the Founders.  She claimed that  “the Founders knew that when they left this room, what they had written wouldn’t matter very much, ” and also told them that the “most important part of the Constitution written at Independence Hall was the ability to change it.”

Exemplifying her historical expertise was Holst’s alleged statement that King George III paid more attention to Parliament than the colonists “because they were right there and could remove him from office.”

Assuming that this is accurate information about Holst and her tour–remember that Adams is a passionate and often angry anti-Obama conservative—I have the following questions.

By the way, if the story above is accurate, my head has asked permission to do its best imitation of Krakatoa.

Questions:

1. Does anyone vet what tour guides say? I know there is hardly any oversight of any agency under Obama and that rogues and incompetents run wild, but I just assumed guided tours of iconic American landmarks would not be subject to eccentric variations like this, or distortion by political agendas.

2. How does a some one like Holst get fired? Surely this is a firing offense. Please, someone tell me that it is a firing offense.

3. Did anyone in the tour group challenge Hogan’s ideologically warped  and factually untrue bile? If ever there was an example where the duty to confront called, this was it.

4. If no one did challenge her and object,why? Would it be because their own grasp of basic American history was so weak that they couldn’t confidently or effectively do so?

5. How many federal employees like this are there? Shouldn’t there be..fewer?

6. Who does Holly Holst think she is? Let me rephrase that. Who the hell does she think she is? She isn’t some guest scholar or historian recruited to give his own personal analysis of the nation’s founding. She is a Park Ranger, and her job is to relate the historical facts that make Independence Hall an American landmark, not the Howard Zinn-Noam Chomsky anti-Founder spin crammed into her ears by some tenured relic of the Sixties. She is also an American citizen who thrives under the protection of the rights that the Founders risked their lives to establish. She should have some respect.

8. How long before even Democrats who are beholden to their teachers union masters have to concede that the U.S. education system is in ruins, that the schools and universities are turning out useless and biased products like Hogan, and that this must be addressed at very least by ripping anti-American propaganda out of the curriculum?

9. Say what you will about Texas, but if an Alamo tour guide spit out this kind of hateful guck about Travis and the rest, I estimate that it would take about 90 minutes to have her boxed and shipped to a Dairy Queen in New Haven.

10. Can the United States of American fight off and survive this kind of intentional, self-inflicted cultural and spiritual rot?

I’m beginning to wonder.

 

78 thoughts on “Nine Critical Questions About The Independence Hall Social Justice Warrior Park Ranger Tour Guide

  1. Jack,
    I agree with everything you wrote. I do have one qualifier to add to the following, however:

    “… not the Howard Zinn-Noam Chomsky anti-Founder spin crammed into her ears by some tenured relic of the Sixties.”

    As opposed to the watered-down, overly-simplistic and idealistic tours that were provided before? Her perspective is as warped as her understanding of history but, as someone whose visited Independence Hall a dozen or so times, the “history” lesson given there before was little better than the “George Washington never told a lie” fodder they used to try and sell in Kindergarten.

    The National Park Service is a lot of things, but historically accurate is seldom, if ever, one of them.

    • Yup. And I don’t disagree with your characterization. It’s a place that exists to celebrate the founding of the nation, not to criticize it or expose its controversies and flaws.

  2. “9. Say what you will about Texas, but if an Alamo tour guide spit out this kind of hateful guck about Travis and the rest, I estimate that it would take about 90 minutes to have her boxed and shipped to a Dairy Queen in New Haven.”

    If it took 90 minutes, I would be seriously surprised. The Daughters Of The Texas Revolution operates the Alamo, and I would be expecting her to be interrupted in mid-spiel. It is not only hateful, but it is factually inaccurate.

    • I was just thinking the same thing. I’ve been to the Alamo. They take it very seriously. 90 minutes is generous.

      • Absolutely! I grew up in the same city and still try to get there once a year or so. Yeah, we take it very seriously. I’d give her 90 seconds, if that.

  3. If she was at the Alamo and started dissing Travis, Crockett and the rest probably she would wind in a box never to work anyplace or do anything ever again.

  4. Look, let’s be real honest…the Founding Fathers did not trust…well, US. The American public. Certainly not enough to allow us to pick who was going to lead this Nation via the Presidency. There are several examples of this distrust. For one thing, they obviously did NOT envision universal suffrage. At best, they wanted the vote limited to land owners. The second clue comes in the form of the Electoral College. There is no way to guarantee that the Electors will vote for the person who won the most votes in their particular state, and, as nearly as I can tell, no penalty if they do not. I would also point out that changing the Constitution is NOT given to the populace as a whole, but rather to the various State Legislatures or to the Congress of the United States. The only real right we, as citizens, are given is to petition for the redress of grievances and to gather in groups, presumably to protest governmental decisions. This seemed to work during the 60’s and 70’s, as a small, vocal minority, in protests, managed to cost us an already-won military victory in Viet Nam. Thank Henry Kissinger for that, as well as a Democratic Congress.

    After watching Watter’s World on Fox (yes, I know it is HEAVILY edited), I am becoming convinced that there are people who should NOT be allowed to vote. Equally, I am becoming convinced that the Ultra-Liberal Robert Anson Heinlein had the right of it when he postulated a requirement for citizenship (he postulated military service, but I am told he simply wanted some sort of requirement…not necessarily that). Granting a right to people who cannot (or WILL not) comprehend the responsibility that goes with that right seems to me to be the height of irresponsibility and is clearly unethical. Especially when granting that right is for no other reason than insuring a political party’s continued rule…or survival.

    Clearly, this Ranger’s lack of knowledge of history should disqualify her from voting, or holding her job. Her obvious lack of knowledge is compounded by an apparent lack of ability to separate her belief system from the requirements of her job. I am reminded of the County Clerk in Kansas (?) who believed that her religious convictions trumped her job duties. Neither should have held the job in the first place, nor should they keep it after such a blatant display of unethical behavior.

    • “There is no way to guarantee that the Electors will vote for the person who won the most votes in their particular state, and, as nearly as I can tell, no penalty if they do not.”

      Faithless elector laws.

      Which I’m pretty sure I disagree with.

    • Huh, RAH has not been considered a liberal within his field for a very long time, if ever. While later works took advantage of Stranger and liberal sexual combinations, his cleaving to self-sufficiency, industry, anti-group-think, conservative child rearing, and achievement is far more conservative, leaning towards libertarian. Valentine Smith was a breakout for hippies, but even RAH didn’t grok how the culture change was accelerating faster than tech. Don’t mistake his advocating continual self-improvement and space with woo-woo progressive, He is notorious for failing at most characters who weren’t protestant white males, making what were once bestsellers nearly unreadable because they reflect attitudes almost no one holds 40 years later. (his Grumbles from the Grave includes much personal materials so you don’t have to guess from his fiction). He was already falling behind his field because he wasn’t adapting for his last several years..It doesn’t make his brilliance any less if I can’t stand how he wrote supporting characters as mostly tropes.

  5. Exemplifying her historical expertise was Hogan’s alleged statement that King George III paid more attention to Parliament than the colonists “because they were right there and could remove him from office.”

    As Parliament did in 1645, with the English Civil War.

    They were “on the spot”, so able to stage a revolution and remove the King. Oh, and the King’s head.

    Violence turned out to have disadvantages, so the Glorious Revolution in 1688 when they got rid of James II and installed a replacement monarch was nearly bloodless. Afterwards they passed a Bill of Rights in 1689. Amongst its provisions:

    1. That the pretended power of suspending of laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, without consent of Parliament, is illegal.

    2. That the pretended power of dispensing with laws, or the execution of laws by regal authority, as it hath been assumed and exercised of late, is illegal.

    3. That the commission for erecting the late Court of Commissioners for Ecclesiastical causes, and all other commissions and courts of like nature, are illegal and pernicious.

    4. That levying money for or to the use of the Crown, by pretence of prerogative, without grant of Parliament, for longer time or in other manner than the same is or shall be granted, is illegal.

    5. That it is the right of the subjects to petition the King, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal.

    6. That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of Parliament, is against law.

    7. That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions, and as allowed by law.

    8. That election of members of Parliament ought to be free.

    9. That the freedom of speech, and debates or proceedings in Parliament, ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament.

    10. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed; nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

    11. That jurors ought to be duly impanelled and returned, and jurors which pass upon men in trials for high treason ought to be freeholders.

    12. That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction, are illegal and void.

    13. And that for redress of all grievances, and for the amending, strengthening, and preserving of laws, Parliaments ought to be held frequently.

    7, 9 and 10 in particular might seem familiar.

    • I would say, zoebrain, that ALL of them together strike a familiar chord. What’s more, if the Brits had kept it up, we would be the American part of the U.K. now. See if they’d only followed their Bill of Rights the way we follow our Consti…oh. well. As Emily Litella put it so succinctly: “never mind”

      • See if they’d only followed their Bill of Rights the way we follow our Consti…oh. well. As Emily Litella put it so succinctly: “never mind”

        That very thought had occurred to me too.

        12. That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction, are illegal and void.

        Civil Forfeiture, anyone?

    • The point is that King George was in no danger of being overthrown, and absent a revolution, which didn’t turn out that well, the British system had and has no means of deposing a King. Her statement was historical and moronic.

      • But as long as humans are capable of violence and are willing to use that violence to further their ends, then EVERY system has a means to depose rulers, whether or not it is formally defined.

        Some systems, however, like ours, are intelligent enough to recognize that we’d prefer to depose awful rulers peaceably…so we did delineate means to do so that avoided violence unless it became the only option.

        • Remember who had to give approval of the law enacting the regency?

          Here’s a hint: the approval was called “Royal Assent”.

          Sorry, but a system in which the one being replaced requires approval of the one being replaced doesn’t count as a “method of deposing”…

          Though parliament did affix the King’s seal to later similar legislation, what amounts to colossal forgery still is not a legally enshrined “means of deposing”

          But good spin nonetheless.

      • The point is that King George was in no danger of being overthrown

        The Tories in England didn’t think that. With firebrands like Thomas Paine at first safely tucked away in the remote colonies, then on the other side of the channel, who could blame them? Hobbes and Locke had been dead for over half a century, but the two contending philosophies were in violent confrontation.

        And after 1789, the danger was real. By 1799, not so much, the side-effects were too obvious. “We don’t want to go there…”

  6. he informed them that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were the product of “class elites who were just out to protect their privileged status.”

    I’d remove the word “just”. That was an objective, but by no means the only one, or even the most important one. I’d agree with dragin_dragon’s assessment there.

    This was not a Jacquerie. The only large-scale wealth redistribution was that the losers, the Tories, lost all they owned and fled to Canada or elesewhere. Contrast with the rather more savage Revolution in France a few years later.

      • Concur, with one quibble.

        Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?
        Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
        Harrington, 1512.

        Or if you’re of a classical frame of mind, Senaca’s
        PROSPERVM AC FELIX SCELVS VIRTVS VOCATVR

        Successful and fortunate crime is called virtue.

        Treacherous? No. Revolting? Yes. 🙂

  7. “1. Why is a Park Service tour guide making $95,000 a year, especially an incompetent, anti-American tour guide?”

    I had to stop reading for a few minutes at this point. Shake my head, then just remember…yes, we are so stupid as to tolerate a Congress that enacts this…

    “2. Does anyone vet what tour guides say? I know there is hardly any oversight of any agency under Obama and that rogues and incompetents run wild, but I just assumed guided tours of iconic American landmarks would not be subject to eccentric variations like this, or distortion by political agendas.”

    I’m sure, once upon a time, they were vetted. Of course, once upon a time, people could be trusted not to allow their ideology (let alone an America-hating Left-wing, but I repeat myself, ideology).

    “3. How does a some one like Hogan get fired? Surely this is a firing offense. Please, someone tell me that it is a firing offense.”

    By saying something politically incorrect. Which she hasn’t done yet.

    “4. Did anyone in the tour group challenge Hogan’s ideologically warped and factually untrue bile? If ever there was an example where the duty to confront called, this was it.”

    I wish…

    “5. If no one did challenge her and object,why? Would it be because their own grasp of basic American history was so weak that they couldn’t confidently or effectively do so?”

    Because left-wingers educators in this country don’t like teaching American history or American philosophy…because God knows then there wouldn’t be so much blue on the electoral maps…

    “6. How many federal employees like this are there? Shouldn’t there be..fewer?”

    Yes…there should be way fewer federal employees.

    “7. Who does Mary Hogan think she is? Let me rephrase that. Who the hell does she think she is? She isn’t some guest scholar or historian recruited to give his own personal analysis of the nation’s founding. She is a Park Ranger, and her job is to relate the historical facts that make Independence Hall an American landmark, not the Howard Zinn-Noam Chomsky anti-Founder spin crammed into her ears by some tenured relic of the Sixties. She is also an American citizen who thrives under the protection of the rights that the Founders risked their lives to establish. She should have some respect.”

    They don’t have respect. They only have hate.

    “8. How long before even Democrats who are beholden to their teachers union masters have to concede that the U.S. education system is in ruins, that the schools and universities are turning out useless and biased products like Hogan, and that this must be addressed at very least by ripping anti-American propaganda out of the curriculum?”

    They don’t think it’s in ruins. The fact that people like Hogan think like she does is precisely why they think the education system is fine or if anything needs MORE education along those lines…

    “9. Say what you will about Texas, but if an Alamo tour guide spit out this kind of hateful guck about Travis and the rest, I estimate that it would take about 90 minutes to have her boxed and shipped to a Dairy Queen in New Haven.”

    It would take less time to get her to the San Antonio river…which is only dredged once every decade or so…

    “10. Can the United States of American fight off and survive this kind of intentional, self-inflicted cultural and spiritual rot?”

    No it cannot. And that’s the design.

  8. I’m sure, once upon a time, they were vetted. Of course, once upon a time, people could be trusted not to allow their ideology (let alone an America-hating Left-wing, but I repeat myself, ideology).

    Utter bullshit.

        • By the by, who does control civic education in this country…?

          You’d be a liar if you said predominantly historically-traditional American philosophies or world-views…

          • State and local authorities at least for public schools and they still get to set certain requirements that apply to private school students as well.

            As I recall, back in the long long ago during the first Bush administration, we had to pass a test on the US and state constitutions in order to graduate 8’th grade and the history taught was an overly broad and sometimes inaccurate overview, long enough that I don’t remember the specific inaccuracies but not so bad chopping down the cherry tree. Then high school (Clinton 42’s first term) was two semesters of very general non-western world history, one semester of western Rome to renaissance, Crusades were mentioned, Moorish invasions of Iberia were not, Two of US history that stopped around World War One with another required constitution test and a senior year elective, that could be history, AP US and AP Euro were offered but I chose AP economics so I can’t say anything about what was covered.

            First semester in college there was another Constitution test requirement. The class only used history as context for amendments, and major Supreme Court cases that altered how government operates. Less of legislature legislates, executive executes simplicity and more of how legislators legislate and how executives execute and how they’ve gotten that way.

            I don’t know how what you call traditional philosophies fit into all of that, certainly we were taught about prevailing attitudes (sometimes even accurately) for the times we studied.

            • “State and local authorities at least for public schools”

              No need to address the rest as it all supports your initial simplistic dodge.

              Congrats, you’ve identified the physical entities who legally control educational agenda.

              Who actually fills the boards that make those decisions though? Who actually prepares the material? Who actually teaches the material?

              What worldview do those people primarily espouse.

              Here’s a hint…it’s the color of Left…if you drop it on the floor it sounds like Left…if you licked it, it would taste like Left…

              can you guess?

              • Yes it must be the left controlling all those school boards, It explains all that intelligent design crap dropped into science classes, oh wait.

                • Uh huh…just because some religious legislators are able to foist their notions into the curricula doesn’t change what is obvious to *honest* people about who is in control of the educational agenda in this country.

                  Exceptions don’t change the obvious.

                  • Both ends stick their planks in when they get an effective control. But implementation and removal are asymmetric at all levels, leaving a patchwork for all schools.

  9. 9. Say what you will about Texas, but if an Alamo tour guide spit out this kind of hateful guck about Travis and the rest, I estimate that it would take about 90 minutes to have her boxed and shipped to a Dairy Queen in New Haven.

    Gods forbid anyone dare speak against a bunch of people fighting a rebellion to retain slavery when Mexico had come very close to abolishing it (Texas being the main holdout).

    • Oddly enough, ignorance of early Texas history doesn’t make your comment less forgivable.

      Do bother to review about the previous half-century of Texas history (that is prior to 1836) and you’ll note there was very active separatist sentiment in Texas…even before the dirty gringos and their slaves showed up…often times flaring into open rebellion.

      All squashed of course…Texas at the time didn’t have a population large enough to resist the Centralist government in Mexico City, until the dirty gringos and their slaves showed up…

    • Ignorant comment. And, of course, one that misses the ethical, historical and spiritual significance of the Alamo by about a hundred miles.

      It’s easy to ban things, good and bad, in a dictatorship, you see. The funny part about banning slavery in a dictatorship like Mexico is that nobody’s free anyway.

      The Alamo is about a group of vastly outnumbered men, including several who were justly famous, courageously and selflessly giving up their lives for a cause they believed in. if you can’t see what’s important about that, and worthy of honor and respect, I feel sorry for you.

      • It’s honestly the exact narrative left-wingers like to propagandize…

        A rag-tag group of multi-ethnic non-professionals piecing together a hopeless defense in the face of a uniformed mass of orders-following and orders-compelling soldiers…

      • Of course, valkygrrl’s comment glosses over the fact that MOST Texans were hesitant about the Revolution…they took their oaths to Mexico quite seriously. Many opposed the Revolution. But eventually they recognized that an oath to government that was effectively replaced by a tyrant does not carry over as an oath to the replacing tyrant.

        If we believed valkygrrl’s poorly skewed view (thank you anti-American education system…I don’t even fully blame her) you’d think Texans immediately loaded their rifles and fixed bayonets as soon as the first Mexican legislator whispered about no-slaves…

      • Jack,
        ‘The Alamo is about a group of vastly outnumbered men, including several who were justly famous, courageously and selflessly giving up their lives for a cause they believed in. if you can’t see what’s important about that, and worthy of honor and respect, I feel sorry for you.”

        That’s how some might categorize the 9/11 hijackers too. I’m NOT comparing the two, only stating that “giving up their lives for a cause they believed in” isn’t necessarily something worthy of admiration. Lots of people have sacrificed themselves for lots of causes and I’d venture to say, in all of history, only about a handful were worth a damn.

        As for the Texas Revolution, it has less to do with freedom from oppression or the fight against a dictatorship, so much as it dealt with land and those who owned it begrudging the taxes they were being asked to pay. Freedom. liberty, and all the rest is what usually ends up getting written down, but self-important self-interest was the real battle cry.

        • What it actually had to do with was separating ourselves from a tyrant who had vacated a Constitution passed democratically in 1824 and who had declared himself ‘President for life’. Just an FYI, few, if any, of the boys who fought at either the Alamo or at San Jacinto were land-owners. That is why Texas, the Republic, paid them in land for their military service.

        • “That’s how some might categorize the 9/11 hijackers too. I’m NOT comparing the two, only stating that “giving up their lives for a cause they believed in” isn’t necessarily something worthy of admiration. Lots of people have sacrificed themselves for lots of causes and I’d venture to say, in all of history, only about a handful were worth a damn.”

          Nonsense…you ARE comparing the two.

          But, I don’t think it’s necessary however to include obvious distinctions involving “mode of going about giving up their lives”. Such as the Alamo defenders didn’t take thousands of innocent lives unwillingly with them in their venture…

  10. I’d say most government employees are as close to socialists as you’ll find anywhere in the American work force. Just keep your head down, get promoted as far as you can without every rocking the boat, work you hours, take your vacations, and get as large a pension as you can as soon as you can. Uncle Sam will take care of the rest.

  11. She got two things right. Yes they were class elites and yes knew that the constitution could be changed but that’s about it.

    $95,000 a year is not that much money but its way too much to pay a tour guide. With modern technology a self guided tour using an app could allow a much more balanced and accurate presentation to be had.

  12. I read these posts and, once again, I am thoroughly confused. I will ask for some clarification and I doubt it will come. What EXACTLY do ‘conservatives’ (a vague and almost useless term) want? What EXACTLY is their position? To be a ‘conservative’ of this sort seems, from my reading, to be a selection of arbitrary values (or interpretations of political events) which are to be ‘respected’ with no critical analysis. Should you perform ‘critical analysis’ and should you suggest an alternate interpretation, you will be accused of allowing your ‘ideology’ enter in and cloud your vision. But this implies correct vision, and someone has to define that.

    The US waged a war against a group of southern states which toppled and ground into the dust a general system which, in my own view, more accurately represented and would likely have continued the original ‘conservatism’ of the Founders. All these structures were challenged and overturned. But ‘conservatism’ is holding to certain views and principles which should not be challenged.

    If I could be made to understand what precisely is being defended and what attitude is suggested that I take it would be clearer.

    The whole issue here – please correct me if I am wrong – is precisely that the country (the people in the country, either the former disenfranchized or the new comers who have no good reason at all to respect or even to understand ‘ancient’ American institutions, and then certainly there is the college-educated crowd with its various ‘ideologies’) clamors for democracy, which means precisely the possibility of democratic populism. Once you allow in this populus, and once you give them the power to act up, act up they do. Their interpretations are then thumbings of the nose at the forced interpetations you want them to hold to.

    To actually become a ‘conservative’ means to become a reactionary conservative, and means to define a platform that ideologically is capable of turning against all the motion of the present, and turning back the clock (so to speak). It means putting people – including people of color as the euphamism goes – back in their place and reestablishing strict and clear hierarchies. It means giving privelage to privelage and of course defining/redefining privelage as a power to define and to control.

    The ‘conservatives’ I notice sounding off are right-of-center liberals whose bullets are paper bullets. Its all ‘pop’ and there is no blood.

    Power is the basic issue here, and to have and use power is an act of self-identification and assertion of power in the strict sense.

    • “To actually become a ‘conservative’ means to become a reactionary conservative, and means to define a platform that ideologically is capable of turning against all the motion of the present, and turning back the clock (so to speak). It means putting people – including people of color as the euphemism goes – back in their place and reestablishing strict and clear hierarchies. It means giving privilege to privilege and of course defining/redefining privelage as a power to define and to control.”

      1. Read some Edmund Burke.
      2. What does this comment have to do with the post? A tour guide hijacked what was supposed to be a historical overview to press her own political beliefs, and to misinform tourists while trashing the people the landmark exists to honor. What does that have to do with conservatism? The key words are fairness, honesty, responsibility, competence, and respect.

      3. A majority of the Founders were opposed to slavery, and their place on the ideological scale can only be determined by reference to the culture, traditions and times in which they lived. Since their actions were unprecedented and radical,a strong argument could be made that none of them were conservative.

      4. The terms “conservative” and “liberal” have only relative meaning. JFK was a liberal in his time. By the standard of today’s progressives, he was a right wing extremist.

      • 1) Will do. (Yet I have read some Russell Kirk and Richard Weaver. And we have quite a selection of these including ‘The Conservative Mind’ by R. Kirk).

        2) My comments have really only to do with my own processes in relation to posts, and ultimately with the question of ethics. Without embarrassment I can say I am possibly totally confused as to what ‘ethics’ means when it comes to the higher and more important questions. For example, you imply that this tour guide is injecting her ideology and ‘beliefs’, and I might well agree with you, but that is not the point: All of the basic questions are being questioned. The fundamental understandings of all things, in all areas, from politics to sexuality, are being questioned. It is ‘questioning’ that is going on. But you seem to imply that when such questioning, or the result of it: forming an opinion or a belief occurs, but which you don’t yourself believe in, that something wrong has been done. I may agree with you! But I do not understand what your criteria for analysis are.

        What if it turns out, as it may, that a general consensus arises which then described your views/beliefs about this and many other issues as ‘hijacking’ the True Narrative? (The New Narrative being the popular narrative, and the one in the mouth of the Tour Guide).

        There has to be some BASE for ideation to rest on, and for ethical decisions. One has to define a base and defend it philosophically. The Present is utterly confused because THE BASES ARE NOT AGREED ON.

        3) The Founders and the post-Founders, especially Lincoln, had serious arguments against slavery. But Jefferson and Lincoln both held the view that the two races should not and could not exist together under the same government. ‘Nature, habit, opinion has drawn indelible lines of distinction between them. It is still in our power to direct the process of emancipation peacably and in such slow degree that the evil will wear off insensibly, and their place be pari passau filled up by White laborers. If on the contrary it is left to force itself on, human Nature must shudder at rhe prospect held up’. (Jefferson). I don’t need to bring in Lincoln quotes: absolute and total statements of pur, unadulterated and philosophically-supported racism.

        Yes, the understructure of this mode of thought – recognizing, understanding, appreciating difference and hierarchy – is certainly conservative and Burkean. That is my point: to become a conservative is to avoid the ‘excluded middle’ of wishy-washy platforms and define a hard and harsh political program which turns radically against the assumptions, and some say false-understandings, of our present.

        How shall these things be thought through? In relation to what established moral system?

        In my view, conservatism must become reactionary conservatism and the ideological platform must be defined and established. As I keep saying, because it appears true to me, these are issues and questions of POWER.

        4) If liberal and conservative, with the passing of time, have lost their meaning, this supports my view: ‘Conservatism’ is no longer defined, and it is certainly not presented, and the so-called conservative position is empty of content, having become little more than the right-leaning side of ideological liberalism (radical liberalism inflected with, as Comrade Humble might say, Marxian ideology).

        Conservatism is ‘radical to the present’ and cannot be defined nor talked about.

        • Part I:

          “For example, you imply that this tour guide is injecting her ideology and ‘beliefs’, and I might well agree with you, but that is not the point: All of the basic questions are being questioned. The fundamental understandings of all things, in all areas, from politics to sexuality, are being questioned. It is ‘questioning’ that is going on. But you seem to imply that when such questioning, or the result of it: forming an opinion or a belief occurs, but which you don’t yourself believe in, that something wrong has been done. I may agree with you! But I do not understand what your criteria for analysis are.”

          I don’t understand your tense here. “Are being questioned”—where, when and by whom? This isn’t the issue: she is a tour guide: she can question all she wants, but her job is not to question them in THIS role, before THIS audience, HERE….even if she were qualified to do so, which from her comments we know she is not. What’s hard to understand about that?

          • ‘Are being questioned’: the culture is questioning them. A discourse is developing which disrespects and devalues these Founders and sees them quite differently than you wish to. That is occurring in the universities and among people generally.

            I am not noticing this because I agree with them. I am noticing it because I seek a way to counter their views.

            Nothing is hard to understand in your view. I understand. But there are issues and questions that rise up around it. That have meaning and importance that can be discussed.

              • According to you. It is just as possible to say that ‘An official tour is exactly the time and place to put forward challeging or oppositional points of view’.

                I AM NOT PROPOSING THIS IS THE CORRECT OR THE BEST THING TO DO.

                You make the mistake of associating my belief or understandings with one I present.

                I desire to establish a political platform, a social platform, and idea platform, that can successfully counter the present platforms. And to do this has to be done philosophically and in sound argument.

                All you are doing is stating a preference.

                • There’s a reason that the 6th Floor Museum ONLY teaches the official history, and not any of the plethora of theories and narratives derived from amateur to semi-professional analysis to straight up fantasies. The official history is what has been accepted by the *elected* representatives.

                  That doesn’t make it illegal or improper for anyone on the side to theorize or question the official line or even to seek to change the official line. But as long as one line is the official line (and it is based on trust that due diligence and solid research has gone into that official line), then deviation from that line WHILE IN THE DUTY TO TEACH THAT LINE, is a breach of trust, abuse of power, and violation of responsibility and spreading misinformation.

                  Same thing here.

                  The official line, and culturally valid, is that the Founding Fathers declared independence with the goal of creating a community with the philosophy described in the Declaration of Independence. It isn’t the accepted line that the Founders were only out to perpetuate slavery and their own comfortable position in society. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with having an “official” line on this… so long as everyone else is free to disagree, question, and debate, until someday the official view is changed. And pray God it isn’t.

            • If one is going to question them, one has to use facts, not constructs, nuance, not false pronouncements, and perspective. Otherwise the questions are garbage in, garbage out, and not worthy of attention or hearing. I know well the techniques of re-constructing the past around a desired future, the Big Lies, and the sliming of history and heroes using standards of the present against those who didn’t have the benefit of them. They are destructive techniques, if too often effective.

              • You imply a solid base for correct ideation. Thus, you supposrt my point: you have to have established it, and you have to be able to articulate it.

                But, the articulation of a conservative platform, that is, of these Founders, is not so simple given the FACT that they were not egalitarians, and here I refer to the racial issue. They were ‘race realists’ and their ideas on race would be – are and must be – considered racist and evil. If they got it worng there, it stands to reason that they might have got it wrong in other areas.

                But their positions were excessively reasoned. And to point out the foundational race-realism in their views, and their declarations that two radically different people will be unsuccessful in living together under the same government, stands as their declared fact: the fruit of their reasoning.

          • Part 2. “There has to be some BASE for ideation to rest on, and for ethical decisions. One has to define a base and defend it philosophically. The Present is utterly confused because THE BASES ARE NOT AGREED ON.”

            Sure they are. The objective is to make society function so as many people as possible can be happy, free and productive, and that they can live together to maximize their effectiveness through cooperation. Experience has taught, and continues to teach, us systems, values and techniques that accomplish this, and various ways of analyzing the conflicts that will arise between competing values. None of these work all the time: none have, and none will. It may be frustrating that we can’t ‘agree’ on a perfect formula, but then, one doesn’t exist. there are basic principles and values, and like LEGOS, you need to learn how to assemble them as the problem demands. The objective in broad terms is clear; the solution, since it must always evolve and there is always more data coming, will never be certain.Today’s best practice may be idiotic and ineffective tomorrow. Writer/ theologian/scientist/ethicist Michael Shermer wrote that a society agrees on what’s right and wrong about 97% of the time, and fights over the remaining three %. That’s seems right—and people who obsess about the 3% think things are in more turmoil than they are.

            • Sorry, what you have written here stands in bold contradiction to what I have gleaned out of both Kirk and Weaver (but it is not that I do not understand what you have written).

              You are defining a progressivist ideology, and not as I see it a conservative one.

              I understand the statement: ‘The objective is to make society function so as many as possible can be happy, free and productive’ (etc.) and I respect you for holding this view. But I see it as wrongly stated. You have to have arrived at a really complex inner position (speaking of the people who came up with the ‘life, liberty, pursuit of happiness’ credo) to have been able to make the proposition. If you do not have a person who is responsible enough, and prepared enough (essentially it is spiritual, inner work), the statement becomes an invitation to license.

              Thus: a philosophical pre-definition is crucial, and again the very PERSON who will enjoy these liberties and the opportunity to live in freedom, must be created first.

              That is philosophical, intellectual, cultural and spiritual work: and the conservatism I understand is consructed ideologically on that.

              The PROBLEM is that ideas and ideology have become like a disparate LEGO set: take this, attach it here, then put it together with someone else’s LEGO attainment.

              Honestly, you seem to define a position that is contrary to the conservative ideology of the Founders.

          • Fundamental beliefs and understandings ‘are being questioned’: politics, economics, sexuality, gender, eveything.

            A platform, which at one time might have been understood (in a metaphysical sense) as the logical understructure of the reality we exist in, is being questioned. There is an ‘acid’ brought to bear against established understandings that corrodes and melts them.

            That is what I mean.

  13. I am so sick of the denigration of the Founders. If it weren’t for this mini-Renaissance in the New World we’d be part of the British Commonwealth now, or a bunch of above-the-equator banana republics. Of course they were the elite: in that century, who else could read, think, analyze, and create? It is pure chaos theory that this group decided for various reasons to emigrate to the Colonies. We should be thankful for them and realize that they also men of their times. (Too bad about Abigail Adams — she was smarter than all of them but born waaay too soon…)

    Re the National Park Service: If they are supposed to do more than protect national parks and landmarks — that is — educate, then they’d better be trained — and correctly. Of course, why they should be expected to be any less biased than the teachers and professors filling students’ heads full of disinformation and ideology? As Lenin said (famously): “Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”

    For the 3,245th time: we are doomed.

  14. and also told them that the “most important part of the Constitution written at Independence Hall was the ability to change it.”

    This part doesn’t seem at all controversial to me. Certainly the amendment process is of utmost importance to the Constitution, and most high-profile Supreme Court cases we have today deal with interpretations of the amendments, not the main text.

    The rest sounds inappropriate, but I’m not ready to condemn this woman based on second-hand retellings of things she might have said.

    • 1. I began with the qualification that “Assuming that this is accurate information about Hogan and her tour–remember that Adams is a passionate and often angry anti-Obama conservative—I have the following questions.”

      2. “The MOST important part”? There is no historical support for that position. “Most”? The Founders made it quite difficult to amend the document, since an easily changeable Constitution could not be the foundation of a stable government. That comment is one from someone who is eager to censor speech, restrict religion, and eliminate restraints on government power.

      • To get the Constitution ratified,the ability to amend it was considered the most important part. Proponents of the Constitution touted this feature, and promised that the first thing they were going to do to it was change it, which they did (I.e. The Bill of Rights). The Constitution would not have been ratified without this, so yes it was important.

        I don’t see much controversy behind her statements. Presumably she was talking to other adults about history, not spinning fairy tales to small children, as whoever wrote this article desperately seems to want. The founders bickered and squabbled, fiercely protective of their interests, thus the lengthy compromises evident throughout the document. They weren’t angels or statues, but real men, with real flaws who somehow managed, against all odds, to cobble together a functioning government that lasted nearly a hundred years before getting seriously challenged. They have kids books out there if someone needed a simple version that they don’t have to think about so much.

        • On its face, the statement that the procedural matter of being able to amend a document is “the most important part” is ridiculous and misleading. The most important part of any governing document is its substance, of course. Articles of incorporation can be changed; by-laws can be changed, but nobody makes a document just to change it. You don’t see what’s controversial in minimizing the importance and central role of the Constitution?

          Perhaps the statement was just clumsy phrasing. The Bill of Rights wasn’t in effect until 1791, but the fact that the rights would be was part of the deal, without which the Constitution wouldn’t have been ratified at all. The most important part of the Constitution was that it would ensure basic rights, and that presumably that protection, once established, would NOT change.

          It’s a bizarre and misleading interpretation to describe the agreement to immediately amend the Constitution to add individual rights as showing that “the Founders believed that the most important thing about the document was that it could be changed.” It was this specific change that was the documents make-or-break feature, and the individual rights that are “the most important part.” The reported statement is either an intentional deceit and distortion, or an ignorant one. The statement that the most important part to the founders of the Constitution was its protection of individual rights properly frames the importance of the document and the centrality of individual rights to the nation, its history and its culture. Her statement minimizes the document and ignores the rights it protects, and, critics correctly assume, do so to advance the position the extreme progressive antipathy to limited government, free speech and gun rights.

  15. the new comers who have no good reason at all to respect or even to understand ‘ancient’ American institutions,

    Aliza, you are wrong on both counts. I have worked with, taught and trained hundreds of immigrants coming from most of the world. As a group, the studying they did and oath of allegiance they swore to the USA was not only thoroughly learned (and refreshingly lacking in propaganda from left, right or center), but better respected by far than those of most Americans. Up until recently when the Naturalization process has slowed dramatically, it took a minimum of five years after getting a Green Card before they could apply for citizenship. They begin studying as soon as possible, squeezing night classes in after long workdays, plowing through the kind of Civics course material that is no longer taught in the public schools in both history and government, “ancient” and modern. They read slowly, absorbed everything, asked intelligent questions, and gave thoughtful answers — faulty pronunciation, grammar, syntax and spelling notwithstanding. They knew what they had come from and what they owed to this country and they set out to pay it back.

    What the “new comers” do NOT understand and NOT respect was that they couldn’t turn to an “average” American for explanations or answers to most of the study questions, and young students seemed to know nothing at all except a few names — while they had arrived with a solid background in the histories and governments of their former homelands and could compare them with the Civics they were learning. That’s more than most American high school students can do with finding a “then” in American history to compare to a “now.” They actually became excited by the smallest local election. And I imagine that most of them could give you a good answer about what Conservatives are because that’s what they are … at least until the next generation Americans become just as dis-educated, cynical, and celebrity-worshipping as their contemporaries.

    • Hello there. Thanks for the comment.

      In what capacity do you train them? Are you a teacher of civics working in the immigration system?

      I assume this is the case. Is it a fact that all immigrants will go through the same program? Has this been institutionalized?

      Have you been doing this for a long while? If so, has the process of passing the civics classes gotten easier or more difficult?

      In your experience, and broken down by percentage, what quantity of immigrants come from Europe? And what from the so-called ‘third world’?

      Do you support or favor immigration? Do you support and favor immigration from everywhere/anywhere? (I ask because I read people who are not in favor of too much immigration from areas not in Europe. I.e. not white, and they see this as a problem).

      Is it required to immigrate to have English proficiency?

      Let me assume that the official immigration education is more comprehensive than I thought and that they get well trained-up in civics. What would be your feelings about a rather large number of people, Mexicans and Central Americans mostly, who enter illegally and of course have no civics training at all.

  16. I just had to correct this. J. Christian Adams, whom I noted was a dicey source, had the wrong ranger, and she wasn’t making that huge salary.. I have made the appropriate corrections, and will not be using Mr. Adams as a source again.

    I would be thanking a commenter for alerting me to this, but he insulted me in his very first sentence in his very first post, and that gets you banned every time.

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