Archive for ‘History’

November 21, 2012

Lincoln – movie review

by thoughtfulconservative

Lincoln” is not a bio-pic  in the sense that the movie does not follow Lincoln through his life, or even his term as president. It could have easily been name “The Story of the 13th Amendment.”

Yeah, I know. Not as exciting. And again, not completely accurate. The film takes in more than the acts that led to the adoption of that critical amendment.

I admit, when I heard the film was a Stephen Spielberg creation, I was a bit skeptical. But from the credits, the film was based on the book by Doris Kearns GoodwinTeam of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (on my list, but not yet read).

“Lincoln” covers his last four months in office. The Civil War is winding down, although the South is still resisting, the war is still taking thousands of lives.

The first thing I wondered was when did Daniel Day-Lewis get so tall? For some reason it continued to nag me throughout the film.

But Day-Lewis was brilliant in the role of Lincoln. I felt I was watching Lincoln. I don’t want to take anything away from the supporting actors; they were excellent in their roles.  And a lot of familiar faces, Sally Field, of course, David Strathairn, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones, Gregory Itzin, Jackie Earle Haley, Bruce McGill, Tim Blake Nelson, too many to name.

But the film belongs to Day-Lewis. I felt as though I were actually watching Lincoln.

The movie does not paint Lincoln in the noble light that many who are only faintly acquainted with him see him. He is a politician, as any one who has ever risen to the highest office must have been, save, perhaps, Washington.

He used every trick in the book to get the Thirteenth Amendment through the House, ending, according to the movie, by being anything but “Honest Abe.”

The great lesson from the movie is that democracy (or a republic, if you will) is messy and not always a pretty sight.

It’s just a shame it took all those years and hundreds of thousands of lives to just say that all people were equal.

It is highly recommended.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
June 6, 2010

June 6, 1944 Round-up and thoughts

by thoughtfulconservative

The Instapundit linked to this Chicago Tribune article:

“Seated this many years later at Arlington Parkracetrack in Illinois, Dick Duchossois struggles to explain the lingering mix of pride and horror from his service in World War II.”

Cassy Fiano has this at HotAir:

“It was the largest amphibious assault landing of all time. Over 160,000 men stormed the beaches. Many of them were killed before they even reached the shore. We’ll never know the exact number of brave souls lost that day.”

The Other McCain tells us about the boys of Bedford, Va.:

“Bedford’s population in 1944 was about 3,200. Proportionally this community suffered the nation’s severest D-Day losses.”

A lot to see on the Army’s D-Day page.

The Ol’ Broad posts this and quotes:

“It was cold, miserably cold, even though it was June. The water temperature was probably forty-five or fifty degrees. It was up to my shoulders when I went in, and I saw men sinking all about me. I tried to grab a couple, but my job was to get on in and get to the guns.”

Michelle Malkin suggests Google is forgetting something. She has a small round-up of her own.

My friend at Spring City Chronicle has the front page of the Wisconsin State Journal covering the invasion.

Badger Blogger remembers the day also:

66 years ago today, more than 160,000 Allied solders stormed the beaches of Normandy. D-Day, the liberation of Europe had begun. This also included 24,000 men dropped by parachute and gliders. These troops were supported by more than 195,000 sailors on more than 5,000 ships.

One of those 195,000 was a 19 year old from Anderson, IN, who had enlisted the previous September. On LST-374, he no doubt made countless trips with his mates on those first days and weeks. He served as a Seaman first class as part of assault force O-1.

I never got a chance to ask dad much about his experiences while in the Navy. He passed away 36 years ago last month.

May 29, 2010

We Remember

by thoughtfulconservative

Those who currently serve and those who have served. God bless you. Those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, we will never forget.

May 3, 2010

Thirty years?

by thoughtfulconservative

Seemed longer than that…

30 years after the Kent State shootings, the impact in Madison is remembered.

Hearing of the shootings hundreds of miles away, UW-Madison students responded with rallies calling for an end to the Vietnam War. For days in early May 1970, they torched buildings, broke windows and threw rocks at police. Police used tear gas liberally and the governor called for the National Guard to occupy campus.

You knew it, too, right.

No doubt this will be changed soon.

[UPDATE: Yep, they did! Heh. Here’s the tweet that referred to the original headline.]

May 2, 2010

Book review – In Harm’s Way

by thoughtfulconservative

In Harm’s Way (full name: In Harm’s Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors) is Doug Stanton’s telling of the last voyage of the USS Indianapolis and the aftermath of the torpedo hit she took.

Beginning with the suicide of the unjustly condemned captain, the book takes us back to that final voyage; the loading of the atomic bomb and it’s delivery, the return voyage, the torpedoing and sinking, and the stories of the survivors.

It was the stories of the survivors that took up the bulk of the book and was the most riveting.

Of the nearly 1200 men that set sail on the Indianapolis, only 317 survived. Two hundred alone were lost to shark attacks that came at morning and evening. The suffering from the sun, the water and their wounds are unimaginable.

Captain McVay received a court-martial because of the incident. He later committed suicide. His men fought for his conviction to be overturned and, although the Navy exonerated him, his record has not yet been expunged [Ed. Note–As noted by Captain Toti in the comments, this last statement was incorrect. In the “Afterword 2001” Mr. Stanton notes that on July 13, 2001 the court martial was removed from Captain McVay’s record. My apologies for this oversight and my thanks to Mr. Toti for pointing it out.]

April 12, 2010

The Dead Sea Scrolls

by thoughtfulconservative

Recently, I took the tour of The Dead Sea Scrolls at the Milwaukee Public Museum.

Being a Bible geek, I found it utterly fascinating. That ancient writings could survive so long is amazing.

That they would agree so much with manuscripts that date from much later is miraculous.

It’s a tad pricey at $26, but you do get a museum admission also. If you’re a member it’s much cheaper.