Steven Spielberg´s "Lincoln" has been a box-office hit and nominated for 12 Academy Awards, including best picture, best director and best actor for Daniel Day-Lewis, who portrayed our 16th president. I haven´t seen the movie; therefore, this column is not about the movie but about a man deified by many. (snip) In an 1858 letter, Lincoln said, "I have declared a thousand times, and now repeat that, in my opinion neither the General Government, nor any other power outside of the slave states, can constitutionally or rightfully interfere with slaves or slavery where it already exists."
I haven´t seen the movie either. I don´t how (or why) people sit through such pop culture offerings.
The facts about Lincoln´s position on slavery and "the negro question" are well documented and not in dispute among those familiar with them.
1. Lincoln was an old-style Henry Clay Whig who never wavered in his conviction that slavery was morally wrong; 2. He was not an Abolitionist; 3. He believed slavery was doomed and would die a natural death if left alone; 4. He did not regard blacks as the intellectual equals of whites and did not think the races could live harmoniously together when blacks were free; 5. He struggled mightily to promote compensated emancipation and voluntary colonization of freed blacks; 6. The Emancipation Proclamation was a war time measure that also was the result of increasing pressure by Northern radicals and Abolitionists who were pressing ahead with Congressional confiscation acts with or without Lincoln´s blessings.
Naturally the complexity of the Civil War, North-South politics, slavery, Abolitionism etc. have been reduced to comic book cut outs for popular entertainment and public consumption.
Current fads prevail. I read somewhere that Mary Lincoln, who was detested by almost everyone who dealt with her, and who became manifestly insane after Lincoln´s death, is represented in the movie as a valiant heroine of some sort.
I haven´t see this movie. I have hesitated because I learned it was written by Tony Kushner, a gay playwright who wrote the truly awful play, Angels in America. I´d be interested in the take of those who have seen it.
Lincoln acted out of political expediency with no thought as to the eventual consequences. He freed the slaves, if the North won the war. As it turned out, the North did eventually win, and the slaves were free. Free to do what? That´s where Lincoln failed so miserably. Had he lived he might have figured something out, but he never took into account that he might not live long enough to do something. Like any politician he thought he was invincible and immortal. He died and the slaves were left with nothing to do. Some made it, most never really did, and their offspring are in even worse shape today.
One of America´s "Giants of The 19th Century," and the Republican POTUS multitudes, throughout America and world, feel is our nation´s "Greatest of All-Time," in a "nutshell."
-Lost job 1832 -Defeated for Legislative 1832 -Failed in business 1833 -Elected to Legislative 1834 -Sweetheart died 1835 -Had nervous breakdown 1836 -Defeated for Speaker 1838 -Defeated for nomination for Congress 1843 -Elected to Congress 1846 -Lost renomination 1848 -Rejected for land officer 1849 -Defeated for Senate 1854 -Defeated for nomination for Vice-President 1856 -Again defeated for Senate 1858 -Elected PRESIDENT 1860
The recent Lincoln-adoration craze is being fueled by the Obamaites, whose own idol claims legitimacy as the successor of Lincoln. Well, Mr. President, you are no Lincoln. Mr. Lincoln was not a traitor to his country nor its ideals. His attitude toward slavery was a moral choice tempered by pragmatism. And while he may have been driven, in part, by personal ambition, he nevertheless was not a godless dictator wannabe, like you.
What does Obama have in common with Lincoln? That both lived in Illinois for a time (but were not born there)? Obama can´t even claim any heritage from Lincoln´s presidency. He isn´t descended from slaves. Not all black people were enslaved in the US--only those bought from African slave traders, and their descendants. His Kenyan ancestors--from East Africa, nowhere near the slave trading region, would not have been slaves, even if they had lived in the US. Lincoln dealt with a divided country--North vs. South. Obama has created a divided country--black vs. white, rich vs. everyone else, women vs. white men, Democrats vs. Republicans, gays vs. Christians, the government vs. Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.
"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" is probably more factually accurate then Spielberg´s "Lincoln".
I don´t know about this Fallon guy who´s mentioned in the article, but I do know that Thomas DiLorenzo´s work regarding Lincoln has been largely discredited, as it is full of misquotes, false statements, misrepresentations, and omissions.
The Lincoln haters are pretty strange if you ask me. I imagine they´re mostly jealous Democrats, Southerners who still have an ax to grind, or over-the-top Libertarians who don´t know history.
I love Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell. Love. Them. And thanks to Mr. W. for highlighting this:
The Emancipation Proclamation was not a universal declaration. It detailed where slaves were freed, only in those states "in rebellion against the United States." Slaves remained slaves in states not in rebellion — such as Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware.
Speaking as someone who actually saw the movie, I thought it was history as a writer with liberal 21st Century sensibilities would write it. That being said, Daniel Day-Lewis deserves the Oscar for his acting. I expect that the film will receive many awards because Obama´s people are trying to portray him as Lincoln II and to hype the movie is to exalt Obama´s hyper-inflated evaluation of himself.
Thank you #11. I was going to say the same thing. It pains me to see Williams, whom I greatly admire, believe the revisionist junk of the discredited Di Lorenzo. Lincoln had his faults as we all do, but a lot of the junk that´s being floated around lately is just revisionist lies and a lot was taken out of context. I don´t care how accurate the movie is. It´s Hollywood. I also don´t care if Obama aligns himself with Lincoln. He did the same with Reagan. It doesn´t change history. Finally, there are no proven differences in intellect based on race. We are individuals...both dumb & smart. When comparing blacks in the U.S. & S. Africa, remember that both kept blacks down & ignorant for most of history. The Dems are especially to blame (slavery, segreggation, KKK, etc.) and, even after the Civil Rights Act, the Dems intentionally destroyed inner city schools to keep people uneducated. Still, how many whites compare with Thomas Sowell, Dr. Ben Carson, Condi Rice & Justice Clarence Thomas?
#8, it wasn´t Lincoln´s war. The South started it. Not only did they want to pull out of the union because they wanted to keep slavery, but they fired upon Fort Sumter and killed a lot of people. It was actually the war of Southern Aggression.
You just can’t please the apple-knockers, soreheads and doom-criers. Everyone who ever sat in a long line back in the 1970s, waiting for an hour or two to get a few gallons of gasoline, often entertained himself with a fantasy of big oil strikes to put the Saudi princes in their place, preferably on a planet in an obscure universe far, far away. Now, through the innovation of modern technology, we have that strike — not only oil, but something better, because it’s cheaper, cleaner and there’s lots of it. The Saudi princes are looking for a place to run.
Barack Obama is bored. You can see it in his demeanor and in his face, the way anticipation becomes melancholy. Most of all you can hear it in his voice when he steps up to make the speech that once sent audiences into frenzy. He’s mailing it in (with postage due). Being a messiah, a rock star, the Pied Piper of Hamelin, is of course hard work. Maybe we should cut the guy a break. You can’t be Mick Jagger or Kanye West every day.
It takes a fair bit of gall to accuse the media of lying about a sex scandal. It takes even more gall to then admit to the sex scandal, resign, claim you´ve redeemed yourself and decide to run again. And it takes the most gall to do all of those things, even as you´re engaged in a continuation of that sex scandal. But when your name is Anthony Weiner, gall is your middle name. Or perhaps Danger is. Weiner resigned from Congress in June 2011, but only after claiming that Andrew Breitbart had fabricated photos of his scantily clad body.
Atheism is in decline worldwide, with the number of atheists falling from 4.5% of the world’s population in 1970 to 2.0% in 2010 and projected to drop to 1.8% by 2020, according to a new report by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass. In its report, Christianity in its Global Context, 1970-2020: Society, Religion, and Mission, researchers analyzed data on church membership and activities from thousands of Christian denominations and other religions worldwide, presenting that data from 1970 and 2010 for a 40-year comparison and,
"The First Black President ... Spoke First as a Black American," ran the banner headline of Sunday´s Washington Post. But why, when the fires of anger over the Zimmerman verdict were dying down, did he go into that pressroom and stir them up? "A week of protests outside the White House, pressure building on him inside the White House, pushed him to that podium," said Tavis Smiley on "Meet the Press." Black leaders demanded Obama come out of hiding and stand in solidarity with the aggrieved and outraged. Belatedly and meekly, Obama complied. "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago," said Obama.
Dr. Cornel West on Monday said President Barack Obama “has very little moral authority” to speak about the Trayvon Martin case, because the president is “a global George Zimmerman” for trying to “rationalize the killing of innocent children” in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. “I think we have to acknowledge that President Obama has very little moral authority at this point, because we know anybody who tries to rationalize the killing of innocent peoples, a criminal—George Zimmerman is a criminal—but President Obama is a global George Zimmerman,
Here´s the speech about the George Zimmerman verdict President Obama should have given. My fellow Americans: I am your humble servant. You have entrusted me with the tremendous honor and responsibility to serve you as president. I am not president of black America, Hispanic America or white America. I am not president of liberal America or conservative America. I am president of the United States of America. Regrettably, as a nation, we have become divided. I confess that I have contributed to this division. For this failure in leadership, I ask your forgiveness.
Police Capt. Louis Renault, played by Claude Rains in the 1942 movie "Casablanca," in the wake of the shooting of a Nazi officer, ordered his men to "round up the usual suspects." Was Renault engaging in some sort of profiling? He may have been, but what is profiling? Let´s look at it. We can think of profiling as a method to economize on information costs by using easily observed physical characteristics as a proxy or a guess for some other characteristic more difficult or costlier to observe. For example, say you seek to hire people to manually unload trucks
Someone knocked on the door at city hall in Detroit last week and there stood the repo man, coming to take possession of the city. Everyone who has ever bought a car knows you have to keep up the payments. Miss three or four and the car, with all its bells and whistles, is gone. Detroit has built a lot of cars and so should have known better, but it had ignored the frantic calls. There’s not a lot to repossess in Detroit, a city that nobody wants. Detroit isn’t the first city in America to suffer the stigma
In his essay "Trouble in Paradise," in the July 18, 2013 issue of the London Review of Books, Slavoj Žižek explains that recent protests around the world are actually all about resistance to a common villain. This villain is not Lord Voldemort. Or even Obamacare. It is "global capitalism." Žižek takes a few moments to acknowledge that, well, yes, um, protests in Brazil, Turkey, Greece, Europe and the Middle East (not to mention the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which he holds to be a precursor) have each had their distinguishing characteristics.
A new survey finds that 42 percent of Americans say capitalism isn´t working well, and they complain about the encouragement of greed, the lack of equal opportunity and the creation of poverty and lasting inequality. The survey illustrates the country´s deep polarization. In a positive finding for Democrats who favor a strong government role in society, most Americans say government should do more to reduce inequality. But Republicans who want to limit government will find encouragement in that most Americans don´t have confidence in government´s ability to function effectively. Fifty-four percent of Americans think capitalism is working well, the survey says,
Zaatari, Jordan — Angry Syrian refugees confronted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday with demands for the United States and the international community to do more to help opponents of President Bashar Assad´s regime, venting frustration at perceived inaction on their behalf. Visiting the sprawling Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan near the Syrian border, Kerry met six representatives of its 115,000-strong population, all of whom appealed to him for the U.S. and its allies to create no-fly zones and set up safe zones inside Syria to prevent the Assad regime from inflicting additional destruction.
Colin Powell has admitted to exchanging ´very personal´ emails with a Romanian diplomat but denies having an affair with the much younger woman after a hacker threatened to release their intimate messages. The 76-year-old retired general told the Smoking Gun that he met Corina Cretu, 45, roughly 10 years ago when she was working as an assistant to the president of Romania. She is now a member of the European Parliament. ´After I left the Department of State in January 2005 we stayed in touch via email,´ he told TSG.
CNN has uncovered exclusive new information about what is allegedly happening at the CIA, in the wake of the deadly Benghazi terror attack. Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the assault by armed militants last September 11 in eastern Libya. Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret. CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy
The United States will temporarily shut down its embassies and consulates around the world Sunday, including those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt, as a precautionary measure, the State Department said Thursday. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf did not say how long the international installations would stay closed -- only that the decision was taken “out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting.” Sunday is a normal workday in many Arab and Middle Eastern countries. Embassies in Europe and Latin America would be shuttered that day anyway.
In preparation for the release of Oscar-bait film The Butler, Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, and director Lee Daniels (Precious) sat down with Parade magazine. The film chronicles a butler (Whitaker) who works in the White House through seven administrations. Winfrey plays the butler’s wife. In the interview, Winfrey explained her sadness that so few Americans know about the history of the civil rights movement: “They don’t know diddly-squat. Diddly-squat.” She then said of the historic use of the n-word, “I always think of the millions of people who heard that as their last
American scientists claim the planet is undergoing one of the largest changes in climate in the past 65 million years. Climatologists at Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment have warned the likely rate of change over the next century will be at least 10 times quicker than any climate shift since the dinosaurs became extinct. If the trend continues at its current rapid pace, it will place significant stress on terrestrial ecosystems around the world, and many species will need to make behavioral, evolutionary or geographic adaptations to survive, they said.
About 400 area retail and fast-food workers, together with colleagues nationally, participated in a strike Thursday to demand raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. “If not $15, then something. I mean give us something. I work 36 hours a week and barely make enough to pay my rent, gas bill, light bill. It gets to the point where I barely have enough for lunch sometimes,” said Angel Richardson, 21, who works at McDonald’s. “I’m five months pregnant, what am I going to do in four months? I hope something changes.” The minimum wage is $7.25 nationally and $8.25
[Video] Ouch. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie turned down an offer by Sen. Rand Paul to join him for a beer and bury the hatchet in their ongoing -- and very public -- feud. "I´m running for re-election in New Jersey. I don´t really have time for that at the moment," Christie said in an interview on a local radio station. The New Jersey governor said if he finds himself in Washington, "I´ll certainly look him up." But he added: "I don´t suspect I´ll be there anytime soon. I´ve got work to do here."
Oprah Winfrey said Americans by and large know “diddly-squat” about the history of the civil rights movement. The talk show queen and media mogul made her comments during the promotion of her new film, “The Butler,” about a black man who serves in that capacity through seven administrations at the White House. “They don’t know diddly-squat,” she said in a recent interview with Parade magazine. “Diddly-squat.” Ms. Winfrey also said that when she hears the N-word, she thinks of the “millions of people who heard that as their last word as they were hanging from a tree.”
The administration has popped the bubble of hope some small business had that switching to part-time staff would let them escape the high costs of Obamacare. The Small Business Administration on Thursday created a website to explain to businesses that the government will simply tally up the number of part-time employees firms have to determine if enough hours have been worked to essentially create a "full-time equivalent." Some smaller businesses had thought that if they could get under the 50 full-time employee cap that activates Obamacare by cutting full-time workers and hiring more part-time workers they would escape
Government workers in the city of Seattle have been advised that the terms "citizen" and "brown bag" are potentially offensive and may no longer be used in official documents and discussions. KOMO-TV reports that the city´s Office of Civil Rights instructed city workers in a recent internal memo to avoid using the words because some may find them offensive. "Luckily, we´ve got options," Elliott Bronstein of the Office for Civil Rights wrote in the memo obtained by the station. "For ´citizens,´ how about ´residents?´"
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) suggested on Friday morning that the tea party movement is comprised of the same types of people who fought against the civil rights movement during the 1960s. Speaking with the Daily Beast, Rangel said of the movement: “It is the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police. They didn’t care about how they looked. He added that the tea party movement can be defeated similar to how the civil rights movement eradicated Jim Crow mentality: “It was just fierce indifference to human life that caused
The nation´s most active death penalty state is running out of its execution drug. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Thursday that its remaining supply of phenobarbital expires in September and that no alternatives have been found. It wasn´t immediately clear whether two executions scheduled for next month would be delayed. The state has already executed 11 death-row inmates this year, and at least seven more have execution dates in coming months. "We will be unable to use our current supply of phenobarbital after it expires," agency spokesman Jason Clark said. "We are exploring all options at this time."