Thursday, September 27, 2007

Have You Tried "Birth of America"

I haven't tried this game yet, but it looks really neat. Follow the link above for information on how to order the game.

In the meantime, you can read more information on the game here, courtesy of Strategy First. And there are some reviews of the game here, courtesy of

Michael Medved on American Slavery

Very good article from nationally syndicated columnist Michael Medved on some of the misconceptions surrounding America's culpability with slavery. It's long, but definitely worth your time.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

American Conquest: PC Game Review

Several years ago, I bought, played, and reviewed CDV's American Conquest, a PC game that spans the settlement and colonization of North America as well as the founding of the United States.

You can read my 2003 review of the game here.

Though the graphics are a bit dated, the game is still a lot of fun. American Conquest plays much like Microsoft's Age of Empires. You grow your own food, chop down trees, mine for raw materials (i.e., gold, stone), and produce peasants and soldiers.

You can group your forces into formations, so long as you have the requisite units, which at a minimum include an officer and usually a standard-bearer. In many cases, a drummer is also needed. In addition to formation, unit morale, positioning (i.e., flanking) and equipment play a role in how effective one force may be over another. You can even garrison your troops inside of buildings - and not just forts. Houses, storehouses, and blacksmith shops can provide some of your troops protection as they fire out through windows and doors at the approaching enemy.

I won't repeat everything that I wrote in the original review. Suffice it to say, the game is a blast. And now you should be able to find it in the bargain section of most software stores and even some major chain stores. I saw it recently at Wal-Mart for $9.99. At that price, don't hesitate. Get it and play it. If you like real-time strategy, you'll enjoy American Conquest.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

No Genocide in Early America

Michael Medved is right. There was absolutely no systematic policy on the part of British colonists and/or early US settlers that resembled genocide against the native inhabitants of the New World.

It's a shame that there's so much rage and emotion on matters regarding race relations that this point can't be made without resulting in savage rebukes from those offended. Yet the truth remains. There was no systematic genocide on the part of white settlers or colonists in early American history.

There WERE incidents of savage brutality, to be sure. Indeed, greed, corruption, tragedy, and violence are fair descriptions which can be associated with the settlement and growth of white populations in North America during the 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s. However, to use the term "genocide" is to overstate the case. What's more, it ignores atrocities committed by the native inhabitants against white settlers.

To read more on this issue, see Michael Medved's op-ed.

Monday, September 17, 2007

It's Constitution Day

Happy Constitution Day! On this day in 1787, the Constitutional Convention authorized and submitted to the states its handiwork - the document that would become the Constitution of the United States.

Here is an article I wrote about this last year.

You can also follow this link for information on this important anniversary from the National Constitution Center.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

John Adams Coming to HBO March 2008

Tom Hanks' Playtone production company is teaming with HBO to bring to the small screen an epic miniseries on the life of John Adams, the second President of the United States. The miniseries is inspired by and based on David McCullough's Pulitzer winning and bestselling John Adams biography.

I don't subscribe to HBO, but I may have to temporarily get a subscription to watch this miniseries.

Be sure to follow this link and click to watch the video trailer. Awesome! I can't wait.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Poll on the Founders and Christianity

According to a poll conducted by the First Amendment Center, sixty-five percent (65%) of Americans believe that the nation's founders intended the U.S. to be a "Christian nation." And fifty-five percent (55%) believe that the Constitution establishes a Christian nation.

The U.S. Constitution of course does NOT establish the United States as a "Christian" nation. In fact, the Constitution and its amendments very clearly separate the institutions of Church and State.

Nevertheless, the poll respondents ARE correct that the Founding Fathers hoped and expected that the population of the US would remain predominantly Christian, thus fixing the cultural character of the nation.

Follow the link and read more about this interesting poll.

Monday, September 10, 2007

George Washington vs. Current Washington

Marvin Olasky has written a great op-ed on the differences between George Washington and secularists in modern-day Washington (the city that bears his name) over the issue of religion in public life.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Alan Axelrod Studies Washington's Trial by Fire

There's a book on the market (which I just bought) that takes a look at George Washington's "trial by fire" learning experience in the French and Indian War. Interestingly, the book focuses on Washington's life up until his humiliating defeat at Fort Necessity. It then only briefly mentions his redemptive heroism at Braddock's defeat.

While I've only skimmed the book, I can say that I'm looking forward to delving into it more deeply. This really was a pivotal time for George Washington. A great leader learns more from failure than success. And Washington's "blooding" at the "Great Meadows" certainly was a learning experience for him.