Podcast 29 (repost): Museum Talk with Karen Louvar


Karen Louvar works at Stratford Hall, but she is a proud native of Huntington, West Virginia, who came to the Northern Neck via Kentucky and Arkansas. Although Karen never worked in a coal mine or played in a bluegrass band, she and Colin talk about her southern upbringing, why she became interested in history, and their shared memories of Little Rock.

Note: this podcast originally aired 2016 November 1.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Podcast 59: My Vinyl Collection


Part one of Colin’s tour through his vinyl collection gives him the opportunity to discuss his eclectic taste in music. It also gives him to do “both halves” of his Ginger Baker impersonation. Plus, Jack Davis draws a Johnny Cash cover! Colin defends prog and shows he knows next to nothing about Delaney and Bonnie! It’s another solo podcast with Amerikan Rambler!

Listen to the podcast here:  http://amerikanrambler.libsyn.com/episode-59-my-vinyl-collection-a-g




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Podcast 58: Allen Gulezo


Allen Guelzo is a three time winner of the prestigious Lincoln Prize and a professor of the Civil War era at Gettysburg College. But as he tells Colin, he began as a scholar of colonial religion and philosophy. In their talk, they discuss religion, Abraham Lincoln, and Robert E. Lee (about whom Dr. Guelzo is writing a much anticipated biography). Colin also asks about Dr. Guelzo’s appearance on The Daily Show during the 2008 presidential campaign.

You can help out the Amerikan Rambler podcast by donating money at https://www.patreon.com/amerikanrambler


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Podcast 57: John J. Hennessy


John J. Hennessy is an author and historian who has dedicated his career to the National Park Service. He is now chief historian at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. He sat down with Colin for a talk at Chatham, a colonial mansion that overlooks the historic city of Fredericksburg. John discusses how he got involved in the NPS, his books on the battles of First and Second Bull Run, and how historians navigate the sometimes choppy political waters surrounding history.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Support Amerikan Rambler at patreon.com


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Podcast 56: North Carolina



After a 4th of July visit to North Carolina, Colin discusses being a “beach guy,” a visit to a record store in Wilmington, and the logic behind people who fly both Confederate and United States flags. He concludes with a meditation of the meaning of patriotism in American politics today. You can listen to the podcast here.

Support the podcast by donating money through patreon.com at this link.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Podcast 55: Dr. Michael Caires

san fran

A California native, Mike Caires got his Ph.D. in history at the University of Virginia, where he studied under Gary Gallagher. For the past year, he worked at the American Civil War Museum in downtown Richmond. Mike has a book coming out next year on the economics of the Civil War. He and Colin discuss everything from ska music to the class divide in America, the continued importance of the Four Freedoms, and the perils and pleasures of grad school.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Modest Proposal: Why We Need to Split Up the United States



Let’s face it, the country is just too darn big. Once again, a presidential election has shown that the country votes on regional lines. The Northeast, Mid West, and West Coast go Democratic. The rest of the country goes Republican. Enough already. We get it.

So, what I am proposing is a breaking up of the country. A Balkanization if you will. Sure, this will cause problems, but in the end, it will be worth it. Here, roughly, is what I propose.

Nation 1. The Confederate States of America. This will consist of most of the old Confederacy, with the exception of Virginia. Unlike the CSA of 1861-1865, however, MO, KY, and WV will also be part of the new CSA, which will consist of 13 states altogether, which will assure that any dirt eating, slack jawed shit kicker with a Rebel flag on his truck will not have to buy a new one online.

Rationale: The South seceded too early in its history. Even though slavery was abolished more than 150 years ago, the South continues to be slow (mentally, physically, and socially) and a drag on the progress of the rest of the country. Thus, I say: let the South go. Let it get what it has always wanted to be: a 24 hour a day self parody.

Wither South Carolina? Well, someone once said that it is too small to be a republic and too large for an insane asylum. South Carolina needs the rest of the deep south to survive. And whatever happens, Charleston will probably be left standing.

Under this scheme, however, Austin, Texas, will have the option of applying for a Vatican-type, micro-state status.

Nation 2. Alaska. Will be sold to Russia for $20 million. If there is a living descendant of William Seward, he/she will be there to cut the ribbon. Fun fact: if you get that joke, you are too smart to live in Alaska. Funner fact: Sarah Palin will be appointed to run Alaska under the direction of Vladimir Putin.

Rationale: Russia is a land of cold places. Alaska is also a land of cold places and thus will be a nice fit. And really, we got it from Russia anyway. Now Sarah Palin can truly say she sees Russia from her house.

Nation 3. Hawaii. Hawaii will revert to being an independent kingdom. It will have a constitutional monarchy with a mostly ceremonial queen.

Rationale: Hawaii is thousands of miles from California. It’s just too damn far away from the lower 48. It started out as a kingdom anyway. Maybe that was the way to go.

Nation 4. The People’s Republic of the West Coast. Will consist of CA, WA, and OR.

Rationale: California has the sixth largest economy in the world. It can afford to pay its own way. It is also the most populous state and the third biggest behind Alaska and Texas in geographical size. With its wine, film and tech industry, and Mediterranean climate, California is truly the Golden State. Why force it to drag around the other 49? And in order to solidify its place in the world, California will share the coastal bounty with Oregon and Washington.

Nation 5. Trump World. This will include ID, UT, WY, ND, SD, KS, MT, and NE.

Rationale. Donald Trump needs something bigger than his ego: his own kingdom, over which he can rule as the bumbling, stumbling, incompetent and reckless mad sultan that he is. However, it would prove unwise to let him control too many people in an area that anyone actually wants to live in. Thankfully for him, there are enough people in the country who prefer to be lorded over by an unhinged and capricious amateur. Vive le Trump World!

The rest of the English speaking world, let alone North America, has little use for these shitty states. So, let them be the plaything of the world’s worst human being for the rest of his days.

Trump World will be something like Westworld (Anthony Hopkins or Yul Brynner version, take your pick), only not as fun. All the bullets will be real, and, it being a Right to Work country, no one ever has the time or money to take a vacation.

Nation 6. Oklahoma. Oklahoma will have the option of joining the CSA or Trump World.

Rationale: Let’s face it, Oklahoma is stuck in the middle. It’s too far from either Mexico or Canada to be part of either. And none of the other nations in this scheme probably want it. New Yorkers probably don’t even know where it is. Thus, let it flounder on its own for a while as it alternatively bakes in the summer and freezes in the winter, while fracking induced earthquakes cause its oil towers and shaky barns to topple onto buxom teenagers attending Christian rock concerts in an exurb of Tulsa.

Oklahoma might come to its senses if forced to pay for itself. But really, who cares? Its opioid epidemic alone will probably render it a failed state soon enough.

Nation 7. Northern Mexico. New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada.

Rationale: These were stolen from Mexico in the 1840s to get us more arid cotton land for slavery. Time to admit that that was a mistake.

Nation 8. Colorado.

Rationale: Colorado is an island of political blue in a sea of red. And for that, we are both sorry and thankful. It is an odd place. The kind of state where you can get a job, nice benefits, an easy commute, legal weed, and you lose weight without even trying. In other words, it’s unlike just about everywhere else in the country. With its white capped mountains craft beer brewing hipsters and skiing-obsessed WASPs, the place has become mythical in the eyes of progressive Americans. Things might be tough for the independent republic of Colorado, landlocked as it is, but if it runs into trouble other states might run to its aid, Berlin Air Life-style.

Nation 9. Rustlandia. Will consist of IL, MN, WI, IN, OH, and PA

Rationale: Is it fair to lump the agricultural states of Minnesota and Wisconsin with the post-industrial wastelands of Ohio and Pennsylvania? Of course not. But so it goes in the arbitrary boundary drawing that is the modern nation state. Illinois might also not want to be a part of this, given that it has one world class city, Chicago, which might make it unhappy with this arrangement. Ah well, let is secede. The more the merrier, right?

PA could have had the option of joining the Great Northeast, but having voted for Trump in 2016, it has been rendered an apostate.

Nation 10. The Greater Northeast. New England and NY, NJ, DE, D.C., and MD.

Rationale: Like the People’s Republic of the West Coast, the greater Northeast will be fine on its own. No doubt. The GN has the U.S.’s largest city, New York, the best baseball teams, most of the good ethnic food, and all the good delis. Not to mention the Seven Sisters and the Ivy Leagues (with the exception of Penn, forced to flounder in Rustlandia), the best stand-up comedy, the financial centers of the West, and Broadway musicals. Yes, it will be cold in the winter and hot in the summer in the GN, but at least it is close to having something like real healthcare, renewable energy, and high speed rail.

The Northeast invented secession during the War of 1812. But like the South’s efforts at breaking away from the Union, it happened too early. Time to rethink that decision.

And last but not least, there is:

Nation 11. Virginia. Most people might not know this, but Virginia’s number one export is arrogance. As William Byrd II once said, in the beginning “everything was Virginia.” The West Coast might have the tech, but Virginia has the history. It was the scene of the first permanent English colony. The place where the English surrendered during the Revolution. The home of the first U.S. president and the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence. It was the site of the first major Civil War battle. And so on.

And yet, Virginia was slow to secession. It voted for Hillary in 2016 and Obama twice. It is too north to be a cotton state and too south to be progressive. As it is, it is a place where too fat/too skinny people with snake flags share neighborhoods with $5 coffee drinking beardos with a bad tattoo habit.

Four of the first five presidents were from Virginia. Hence the “Virginia Dynasty.” But there hasn’t been a president from Virginia in a long time. Time for that to change. And from this point on, they all will be from Virginia.

Virginia is roughly the size of Cuba, but has 3 million fewer people. Even so, it is far wealthier. It has beaches, mountains and everything in between. Big cities, small towns, and historical markers galore. Ample space for everyone. So, let’s get some delicious Stonewall Jackson table wine and toast the Republic of Virginia!


There are many things a rational person can abide. But President Trump backed by a Republican Congress? Let the guns of Sumter fire anew!





Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment