rush vault

We might be seeing another collection of essays along the lines of Far and Away, whch came out in 2011, from Neil. In his latest blog post, in which he ponders the two opposing sides of his personality, he says the time seems right to collect his latest essays into a book.

“I’m thinking it’s time to publish another collection of stories. . . . Maybe Far and Near: On Days Like These. The cover image in my mind is [the] North Yorkshire one [used in his 2014 Bubba calendar], so that NP_Calendar2014Coverwould work. (One thing I loved right away about the title “On Days Like These” is that it works for every image, and every day!) Then a variety of scenic photos on the back, as in Far and Away, to suggest the extent of the settings within. I would like to collect one more story, maybe…

View original post 811 more words

FracTad's Fractopia

With Valentine’s Day coming soon, here’s a quick tutorial on how you can create a heart-shaped fractal using the open-source program Apophysis (download it for free here).

1. After opening Apophysis, click on the Transform Editor button:

Transform Editor

In the Transform Editor, click on the New Blank Flame button:

Blank Flame

The Transform Editor window should look like this:

Editor Window

That red triangle you see is called a transform, and we can create all kinds of different effects by changing the values of the Variations. The window in the upper right lets us see a preview of our fractal.

2. In the Variation pane, set the linear value to 0 and the blur value to 0.5. The color of your fractal in the preview window may be different than the one below, and that is fine:


3. Add another transform on top of Transform 1 by clicking the “Adds a new triangle”…

View original post 444 more words

H301, Founding of the American Republic: Syllabus, 2014

Syllabus, H301: Founding of the American Republic

Spring 2014

Instructor: Brad Birzer


Office: Delp 403; Office hours: TBA

Classes Meet: Lane 333, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 10-10:50AM

A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defense against foreign danger, have always been the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. . . . armies kept up under the pretext of defending have enslaved the people.–James Madison, June 29, 1787, debate at the Constitutional Convention, Philadelphia.

Required Readings

  • Edmund Morgan, Birth of the Republic (3d or 4th edition is fine—kindle or tangible)
  • Multiple Documents: You can most of the documents, in several formats, at the Online Library of Liberty (
  • Handouts, timelines, quotes, and misc. items.
  • Notices, additional documents, etc. for class at:  See below for list of documents to use.


  • Semester-long Research Paper: 30%
  • Midterm Examination: 30%
  • Final Examination: 40%

Research Paper

Worth 30% of your grade, your research paper can cover any topic—biography, expedition, settlement, military battle or campaign, Congress, administration, idea(s), debate, etc.—between 1754 and 1807.  Final paper, due to me no later than April 4, 2014, 5pm.  The paper should be 10-12 pages in normal 12-point font (Cambria, Times, etc.), double spaced, footnoted, and with 1 inches margins on the top, bottom, and sides.  For footnote format, please use either Turabian or Chicago Manual of Style formats.  I encourage you to own a (real; tangible—not just e-version) of a good dictionary and thesaurus.  As to computer programs/apps, I suggest Endnote as the best for bibliographical reference and formatting, and Scrivener as the best writing program.  Our library possesses excellent primary document collections, on the shelves as well as online.  While I do not mind you using secondary sources, I would encourage you strongly to use as many primary sources as possible.  Frankly, it is very difficult to find satisfactory secondary sources on almost any aspect of the founding, as almost every author comes at the topic with some agenda.  Every writer (especially American writers)—left, right, above, below, next to—desires to co-opt and use the founders for personal goals.  Hence, the desire to teach and learn almost exclusively from primary documents.

Laptops and other electronic note taking devices

You’re more than welcome to use a laptop or equivalent to take notes during class.  Please, however, do not turn on the wireless or anything to connect to the world outside of this classroom!  Thank you.

Documents to read before midterm: 

  • John Adams, Dissertation on Feudal and Canon Law
  • Cato’s Letters: 15, 17, 18, 25, 27, 31, 35, 42, 59, 62, 66, 84, 94, 106, 114, 115
  • Thomas Gordon, “A Discourse of Standing Armies”
  • Demophilus, “The Genuine Principles of the Ancient Saxon, or English Constitution”
  • Addison, Cato: A Tragedy
  • Hamilton, “Remarks on the Quebec Bill”
  • Dickinson, Letters from a Pennsylvania Farmer: 1, 3, 8-10, 12
  • Edmund Burke, “Speech on American Taxation”
  • Edmund Burke, “Speech on Conciliation with the Colonies”
  • Samuel Sherwood, “The Church’s Flight into the Wilderness”
  • CX Letters (will be emailed to you)
  • Articles of Confederation
  • Declaration of Independence (Jefferson’s version; will be emailed to you)

Documents to read before the final:

  • George Washington, “Circular to the States” (1783)
  • Northwest Ordinance, Articles 1-6
  • Farrand, ed., Records of the Federal Convention: May 29-June 8, June 18, June 26, June 28-29, July 26, August 7-9, August 13-14, August 21-22, August 30-31, September 17
  • Federalist Papers: 1, 10, 39, 45-51, 63, 70, 78, 84-85
  • Anti-Federalist Papers:
  • James Wilson, “Speech to the Pennsylvania Convention” (December 1787)
  • John Dickinson as “Fabius,” letters 10-3
  • Noah Webster, “A Citizen of America”
  • Tench Coxe, “An American Citizen”
  • James Wilson, “Of the Law of Nature”
  • James Wilson, “Of the Natural Rights of Individuals”
  • Burke, “Reflections on the Revolution in France,” pp. 87-176
  • Burke, “Further Reflections on the Revolution in France,” (1791), pp. 75-124, 160-201
  • George Washington, First Inaugural Address
  • George Washington, “To the Hebrew Congregation in Newport”
  • George Washington, “To the Roman Catholics”
  • George Washington, Farewell Address

Dates of the Semester

1.  January 15-17

2.  January 20-24

3.  January 27-31

4.  February 3-7

5.  February 10-14

6.  February 17-21

7.  February 24-28; Midterm: Feb. 28

8.  March 3-7 (Vernal Frolick Break—March 7-16)

9.  March 17-21

10.  March 24-28

11.  March 31-April 4 (Research Paper due—April 4, 5pm)

12.  April 7-11

13.  April 14-18 (April 18 (noon)-April 21: Easter Break)

14.  April 22-25

15.  April 28-29

Russell Kirk: To What Truths

rak academic freedom cover

To what truths, then, ought the Academy to be dedicated?  To the proposition that the end of education is the elevation of reason of the human person, for the human person’s own sake.  To the proposition that the higher imagination is better than the sensate triumph.  To the proposition that the fear of God, and not the mastery over man and nature, is the object of learning.  To the proposition that equality is worth more than quantity.  To the proposition that justice takes precedence over power.  To the proposition that order is more lovable than egoism.  To the proposition that to believe all things, if the choice must be made, is nobler than to doubt all things.  To the proposition that honor outweighs success.  To the proposition that tolerance is wiser than ideology.  To the proposition, Socratic and Christian, that the unexamined life is not worth living.  If the Academy holds by these propositions, not all the force of Caesar can break down its walls; but if the Academy is bent upon sneering at everything in heaven and earth, or upon reforming itself after the model of the market-place, not all the eloquence of the prophets can save it.

Source: Russell Kirk, Academic Freedom: An Essay in Definition (Chicago, IL: Regnery, 1955): 190-191.

Schedule: First Week of Classes

Date: August 25, 2013

Dear Students,

With apologies, I will be out of town today (August 25) through Friday (August 30) afternoon. I’m traveling on college business, just in case you thought I might be AWOL. So. . . .

If you’re taking me for H104 (Heritage), you will still be meeting on Wednesday, August 28 (Feast of St. Augustine) in the assigned classroom. My wife, Dr. Dedra Birzer, will hand out the books and the syllabus. And, she’ll smile and say brilliant things.

If you’re taking me for H495, Christian Humanism, we’ll meet for the very first time, Monday, September 2, normal time, normal place. Please have finished CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ by our first class meeting.

Should you need anything immediately, the ubercool Delp Hall Tzarina, Denise Nivison, can get a hold of me.

Thanks and God bless,
Brad Birzer

University Bookman, Winter 1984 (Full)

The Winter 1984 edition of Russell Kirk’s journal, The University Bookman.  This appears to be a double issue, complete with two poems, a discussion of the Socratic method of teaching, and several interesting book reviews.  Enjoy.

ub Winter 1984

University Bookman, Spring 1966 (full issue)

And, the latest scan of the University Bookman, founded and edited (until his death in 1994) by Russell Kirk.

Highlights of this issue: the mixed blessing of the AAUP; the meaning of fiction, and the “Unweaned Colossus.”


ub spring 1966 full

%d bloggers like this: