‘Selma’ movie slanders LBJ?

The movie Selma will be released next weekend and is already receiving great acclaim and Oscar buzz for its portrayal of Martin Luther King’s crusade for Civil Rights, centering in the demonstration he organized in Selma, Alabama.

But narratives, even apparently factual movies, like to have a villain, so Selma turns President Lyndon Baines Johnson into King’s nemesis.  But historians are disputing that characterization, pointing out that LBJ was the president who proposed, pushed through, and implemented the Civil Rights laws.  In fact, he even proposed the tactics to sway public opinion that King used in Selma!

[Read more...]

Make your predictions for 2015

Now it’s time for you to make your predictions about what is going to happen in the new year that begins today.  Then, on New Year’s Eve of 2015, we will review them to see who is the most far-sighted prognosticator.

Again, the more specific, out-of-the-blue, and surprising predictions fare best.  The example I keep giving is tODD, who a few years ago predicted the death of North Korea’s dictator , Kim Jong-Il, and the ascension of his unlikely son, Kim Jong-Un.  I don’t believe Kim Jong-Il was even sick at the time of the prediction, so it was quite a stunning guess.  (Then again, no one last year predicted that Kim Jong-Un would be associated with a hack of a major Hollywood studio in a first successful and then unsuccessful attempt to kill a crude comedy about assassinating said dictator.  If anyone had made such a prediction, the trophy would be retired.  Instead, reg won with his prediction that the United States would normalize relations with Cuba, which is plenty specific, out-of-the-blue, and surprising.

See yesterday’s reward post and the New Year’s Day prediction post it links to, to show you what we’re looking for.  Then predict away!

Checking your predictions for 2014

You readers made some pretty good predictions last year.  More than one of you predicted that gasoline prices would drop, that more states would legalize gay marriage and marijuana possession, that the Supreme Court would rule in ways that they did, in fact, rule.  Some mentioned North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, including that he would be assassinated, but that vision must have been of the movie “The Interview.”  With some predictions, to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure if they happened or not!

I invite you to read them over at Your predictions for 2014 and propose your own winners and honorable mentions.

But the winner of this year’s prize for best prognosticator goes to. . . [Read more...]

The funny year in review

One of my long-time customs leading up to New Year’s is to read Dave Barry’s annual year in review.  I like the month-by-month survey of what happened in the previous year.  And that his commentary is hilarious. [Read more...]

Top news stories of 2014

The Associated Press released results of its poll of news directors and editors on what they considered to be the top ten news stories of 2014.   The winner:  The police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and the consequent protests.  This beat out Ebola and the rise of ISIS, which were #2 and #3, respectively.

See the complete list after the jump.  What do YOU consider the biggest story or  most important development of 2014? [Read more...]

Why Christmas is on December 25

Touchstone has reposted its most popular article, the scholarly treatment by historian William J. Tighe from 2003 about why the birth of Jesus is celebrated on December 25.  And, as he definitively shows, it has nothing to do with any pagan festival. [Read more...]


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