Tuesday, November 19, 2013

retraction of history

last week, a newspaper in Pennsylvania printed a retraction of an opinion piece, which was written on November 24th, 1863, about a week after President Lincoln delivered the now hallowed Gettysburg Address. this opinion piece called Lincoln's remarks "silly" and essentially not worth the attention of a full review (see image below).


in the retraction last week, the paper suggested the dismissal of the speech by the editorial writer was likely due to partisan opposition to Lincoln. or perhaps he was drunk, they say. in any event, the paper goes on to write that "in the fullness of times" they realize the editorial was wrong, and should be official retracted.

when i heard about this story i laughed a little, because in my presidency course i butted heads with a student recently when i described Obama's 2004 DNC speech (below) as the greatest speech ever.

while i was being somewhat hyperbolic when i said it was the greatest speech ever (and this was clear in my delivery) i did mean to acknowledge the speech as a great one. but my fawning over the speech prompted one of my students to object, and say that he had been reading lincoln's speeches in a course he was currently taking, and Obama's 2004 speech did not compare to Lincolns' speeches, or his general oratory skill. my student was almost offended that i would suggest obama's 2004 speech was better than any of lincoln's.

given the reverence we give the Gettysburg Address today, its hard to believe that anyone could have ever dismissed it. yet im certain that just as criticism follows great presidential speeches today, namely by the opposition party, the same was true in the 1800s. it will be interesting to see how history remembers obama and his speeches, years and years from now.

 in any event, i was reminded of the discussion in my class about speeches after seeing SNL spoof the 1863 editorial criticizing Lincoln's famous address. you just have to watch:

Monday, November 11, 2013



it was so easy and so good. but i like chunky hummus. the stuff you buy in the store almost always is made with peeled chick peas. i like chunky hummus, which is great--that kind of hummus is easier to make.

1 can of chick peas
2 tablespoons of light olive oil
2 teaspoons cummin
1 teaspoon sea salt

blend in a food processor VROOM!! add chick pea water, until consistency desired is reached.