I am embarrassed that I haven’t watched Lincoln before. I mean, this cast. My God, this cast. Possibly my favorite part? None of these people are deifying Abraham Lincoln. They yell at him, oppose them, Secretary Edwin Stanton even yells “No! Not another one of your stories!” This is now one of my favorite Spielberg movies.
This 19th Century recurve composite bow is fairly obviously enchanted, given that it’s made out of American chestnut while still looking brand-new. Well, brand-new and archaic, at the same time; it’s a hand-tooled, wood-and-sinew affair with about a hundred pounds of draw weight and featuring a single white crystal inset just above the grip. The string was originally gut, but apparently could be ( and was ) replaced safely without breaking the Bow’s enchantment.
Background: As all of you know, it’s not a true critical Obama speech without at least one howler of a historical error in it somewhere, and last Thursday’s was a beauty of one: did you know Lincoln founded the Republican party? Of course you didn’t know that: after all, you’re almost certainly better-versed in actual American history than the Harvard-educated n-dimensional genius who is currently President. And, no, this wasn’t the speechwriter’s fault this time: that Lincoln bit wasn’t in the original. Hence the kerfluffle: as The American Thinker noted, PBS used the original embargoed speech transcript, while the New York Times used the actual speech itself to generate its transcript. All of which is not really all that newsworthy… except that apparently people are trying to point this little detail out to PBS, and PBS is refusing to either change its transcript to reflect objective reality, or even publish the calls for correction.
Assuming this is true… oh, my. Screening comments. Tsk, tsk, tsk… what’s that? “You do that all the time, Moe?” Well, yes. Cheerfully, in fact. But that’s because I know how to do it properly. Direct-to-spam protocols for querulous whines, bitter profanity, and inchoate-rage-presented-as-dispassionate-truth-telling is one thing; but, really. I watched the speech. Here, you can watch the relevant part of the speech, too:
PBS mucked up. There’s actually nothing really wrong with providing a copy of an embargoed speech the moment it’s no longer embargoed; and a simple Update: the transcript has been corrected to reflect changes made to it in the delivery would have been a reasonable thing to do. All that they’re doing with this strategy is to take partial ownership of President Obama’s ignorant gaffe.
A little fight between the bloggers of the Volokh Conspiracy and John Fabian Witt of Slate over what’s ostensibly about Lincoln and the laws of war, but is actually about Obama and Bush. Starts with Witt’s post here, Eric Posner’s indulgent, hair-tousling response here, Witt’s somewhat ungracious counter-response here, and ends with Ilya Solmin’s transfixing Witt on a metal spike and leaving him for the ravens here. Moral of the story: when you see the historians snicker about your religious beliefs… just smile, nod, and keep moving.