Showing posts from March, 2016

Unpopular Opinions on Revolutionary History: The Easter Rising and the American Revolution

Today is the 100th Easter since the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland, when republican revolutionaries rallied to fight for independence from the British. The actual dates of the rebellion were April 24-29, but Easter's come a bit early this year, and Ireland has chosen to commemorate the centennial now rather than in a month. It's doing so with unprecedented ceremonies, as it should. The Easter Rising was brutally crushed, but it was a critical moment that soon led to the rise of the Sinn Féin republican party, the Irish War of Independence, and ultimately Irish independence in 1921.

On Twitter a few days ago, I noticed people were upset about coverage of this history from RTÉ, Ireland's national broadcaster. I never got the chance to see any video of the coverage in question, but here are some of the relevant tweets:

Not All Native History Is "Ancient"

The Aztec Empire—was it "ancient"?

I hope your answer is no, because no empire formed less than 600 years ago qualifies as an "ancient" one. If it does, I guess we need to start calling Leonardo da Vinci an "ancient" artist and scientist.

(Leonardo's life, by the way, was fully contemporaneous to that of the Aztec Empire, and he died the same year that Cortés landed in Mexico.)

On two occasions this week, I saw the word "ancient" used in reference to indigenous histories that are anything but. The first example was what you just read: I saw someone refer to the Aztecs as "ancient" and it just made my head spin.

Clinton-Obama 2008 vs. Clinton-Sanders 2016: The Map

Many political commentators have made connections between the current Democratic primary and the one in 2008, fought between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. After all, one of the candidates in each race is exactly the same person (even if her political experience and some of her positions have changed in the intervening years).

One thing I haven't seen, however, is a map showing how well Clinton has done compared to her race in 2008, and how well Bernie Sanders has done compared to Barack Obama.

So, I decided to make my own. Here it is:

What If We Let the South Choose the President?

I haven't blogged here at all yet about the 2016 presidential election, but the primaries for both parties are at very important turning points right now, so I thought it was about time.

There are now three candidates left in the race for the Republican nomination—Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich. Trump has a sizable lead, and he most likely will become the Republican candidate. No one really expected that months ago, but his ability to excite voters with his nationalist rhetoric has been pretty powerful.

If you look at the map of the Republican primary so far, you can see the South has gone overwhelmingly for Trump, with the exception of Texas, Ted Cruz's home state. The only way Ted Cruz has a shot is if he wins the majority of the West in the upcoming primaries, and perhaps if Kasich is able to pick up a win or two in the Northeast, cutting Trump's advance. Given the results so far in states as diverse as Massachusetts, Illinois, and Nevada, though, that seems un…