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Month: February 2017

Donald Trump’s Pocahontas Problem

Donald Trump’s Pocahontas Problem

It is difficult to keep up with the sheer quantity of daily news generated by the new administration, but I wrote the following piece after Donald Trump, once again, referred to his principal critic, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, as Pocahontas.  The day after this news broke, I asked my students what they thought of it.  These are bright kids, engaged, and they believed quite strongly that Trump’s behavior was inappropriate, and juvenile.  Many of them volunteered that this sort…

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The Winters Doctrine and Dakota Access

The Winters Doctrine and Dakota Access

After class a couple of weeks ago, one of my students asked me why the Winters decision had not played a larger role in the Water Protectors’ efforts to defeat the Dakota Access Pipeline. The students had read Winters v. US (1908) and they had been following closely developments at Standing Rock in their current events reading. I have been teaching college history for a long time, but I am still reminded quite often how much there is that I…

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The Case for Civic Engagement

The Case for Civic Engagement

I published an opinion piece in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle today, “The Case for Civic Education.”  I argued that one possible explanation as to why so many of Donald Trump’s supporters have accepted his trampling upon the Constitution is because too many Americans are unfamiliar with the country’s basic institutions, its history, and what the Constitution says. I believe strongly that historians, and other academics, should engage the public.  We should write in defense of our disciplines.  We should…

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#NoDAPL: Easement Approved

#NoDAPL: Easement Approved

The news is not surprising, but disappointing nonetheless.  Douglas Lamont, the “Senior Official Preforming (sic) the Duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Army” announced that he had called upon the Army Corps of Engineers to end its Environmental Impact Review.  He has asked that his intentions be published in the Federal Register.  The process will move quickly if the Trump Administration has its way, for Lamont told congressional leaders that the Army will “waive its policy to wait 14 days…

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