Lincoln Film: 13th Amendment – Protagonists Debate Slavery and Race Issue

January 24, 2013 Steven Speilberg’s movie Lincoln  portrays the 16th president’s actions to have the Thirteenth Amendment adopted to abolish slavery, end the Civil War, and reunite the country.  Passage of the Amendment required passage in the House of Representatives. What captured my attention pursuant to the Amendment’s passage was focused mainly upon the acrimonious debate between Fernando Wood , Lee Pace acting,Continue reading “Lincoln Film: 13th Amendment – Protagonists Debate Slavery and Race Issue”

Emancipation Proclamation Sesquicentennial – Discussion in the Man Cave

January 3, 2013 New Year Eve Day a StarTribune op-ed was titled: WHEN THE WATCHWORD WAS FREEDOM.   Wallace Alcorn observes: “One hundred and fifty years ago this evening, on New Year’s Eve 1862, thousands of black people across the South Carolina sea islands surrounding Port Royal Sound gathered in their small churches for another Watch Night Service  . .Continue reading “Emancipation Proclamation Sesquicentennial – Discussion in the Man Cave”

Why We Love To Hate Politicians

November 5, 2012 Four days prior to the General Election Dr. Charles (Chuck)  Graham presented a lecture: Why We Love To Hate Politician.  His audience was his fellow Becketwood Cooperative members. Known as Chuck here at Becketwood he is beloved and respected and a  stimulating contributor to Mancave discussion.  With a doctorate in political science he served as an aid to Senator ProxmireContinue reading “Why We Love To Hate Politicians”


June 8, 2011 The 100th  birthdays of Ronald Reagan and Hubert Humphrey occurred early this year.  Rick Perlstein’s  op ed, America’s Forgotten Liberal,  appeared in the NY Times on 5/27/2011.  Humphrey is that forgotten liberal. Perlstein is the author of Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America.  Perlstein opines  that “our current malaise as a nation” is the  result of  Humphrey’s razor-thin defeat andContinue reading “MORE REAGANITE OR MORE HUMPHREYISH ?”

Yankee GI Confronts Jim Crow

October 29,2012 Conversation in the Becketwood Mancave (basement workroom) recently had a Yankee GI veteran describe a confrontation he had  with segregation in the Jim Crow wartime South. A gentleman in his early nineties and a quietly reserved Mancave regular, raised in Minnesota, stated he had virtually no awareness of or  interaction with African-Americans prior to military training in the South during WWII.  He recalls his dismay and lackContinue reading “Yankee GI Confronts Jim Crow”

Memorable Events in my Mother’s Life

September 30, 2012 As family archivist my sister recently placed into my care some of our father’s courtship correspondence with our mother spanning the years 1916 through 1919.  Among the letters was a Chicago Tribune clipping, yellow with age, describing Chicago’s celebration of the Armistice with Germany, November 11, 1918.  After some thought the presenceContinue reading “Memorable Events in my Mother’s Life”

Musing on the Relevance of Truman’s 1948 Electoral Victory

April, 6, 2011 The Republican Party controlled both houses of Congress in 1947-1948.  During the presidential campaign of 1948  – “The Give Em’ Hell Harry” campaign – Truman attacked the 80th. Congress as “The Do Nothing Congress”.  After  14 years out of power The GOP  attempted to undo the New Deal of FDR and the FairContinue reading “Musing on the Relevance of Truman’s 1948 Electoral Victory”

Romney and the 47% Dependency Group and the Entitlement State

September 18, 2012 The liberal magazine Mother Jones divulged today that Romney last May in a mischievous secret video divided the electorate into makers and moochers.  Speaking to wealthy donors he characterized 47%  of the electorate as “dependent on government” and  folks who “believe they are victims”. These are those, Romney continued, “who believe that government hasContinue reading “Romney and the 47% Dependency Group and the Entitlement State”

Art and Culture in Nazi Germany and New Deal America : Contrasting Values/1933-34

September 9, 2012 My current reading includes Richard J. Evans’ The Third Reich in Power  (2005), an account of peacetime Nazi rule  1933-39 emphasizing economic and cultural events.  This work is the second volume in Evan’s magisterial The Third Reich Trilogy (2003 -2008),  a work as one reviewer asserts,  “a masterpiece of historical scholarship”.  The Prologue sets the stage forContinue reading “Art and Culture in Nazi Germany and New Deal America : Contrasting Values/1933-34”

Second Annual Bartling Lecture is Announced: “Does the Freedom to Move Exist?”

August 30, 2012  The Second Annual Bartling Lecture is scheduled at Concordia University in St. Paul October 17th, 11:45-12:45.  This convocation lecture will be  given by Donna Gabbaccia of the  University of Minnesota Department of History.  Among her varied specialties is included US immigration history.  Her impressive resume can be accessed at Professor Cabaccia provides the following descriptionContinue reading “Second Annual Bartling Lecture is Announced: “Does the Freedom to Move Exist?””