Although the war was fought to preserve the Union, the salient issue which was dividing the Union was slavery. Without the Thirteenth Amendment, Lincoln and the Union would have a hollow victory. And so, he fought to assure the Amendment’s passage through the House of Representatives, even at the price of compromising on other issues tied to ending the Civil War. He would give in on much, but not on abolishing slavery.
Lincoln as portrayed in the motion picture by Daniel Day-Lewis
The President making a point
Return of the Vargas Girl
For years, the idealized paintings of Alberto Vargas graced (?) the pages of Esquire Magazine and its calendars. They were very popular during the Second World War and through the 1950s. Well, it is more than half a century later and they still are stunning. They are reproduced here purely as items of historical interest. Here is an example. Note the out-of-style hairdo. Otherwise, enjoy.
Professional Football Players
Needless Deaths? Jovan Belcher and Junior Seau
“While I cannot deny that the games on TV are very enjoyable, I really cannot bring myself to root for, or be a fan of, any of the professional football teams. Why? The bottom line is that professional football has crossed the line from being a sport, like basketball or baseball, to what amounts to an exercise in controlled violence. Sure, the players are so highly skilled and such magnificent performers that almost any team can come from behind and win a thrilling victory! That’s why they are fun to watch. But I cannot see why anyone would enthusiastically root for, or be a “loyal” fan of any team made up of overachieving, overweight and overpaid professional athletes whose stock in trade, when you get down to it, is violence. These players are out to win, and to do so, they must physically attack their opponents. They are well versed in precisely how far they can go in hurting an opposing player without incurring a penalty. Life expectancy for retired professional football players is turning out to be diminished and the controlled violence of the sport is the reason.
College football at the BCS level is no different. Teams from major conferences such as the SEC, the Big Ten, the Big Twelve, etc. are really training grounds for the professional teams. Their games are just as violent as those in the professional NFL and that is what the pro scouts look for. The major difference between fans of the pro game and fans of the BCS college game is that the latter have some justification for their enthusiastic support of the sport because they attend or once attended the institution fielding the team. On the other hand, merely residing or coming from the Oakland area, for example, is not a real justification for someone being an avid Raiders fan.
Drop down one level, however, to teams like the Mid America Conference’s University of Toledo and the Sun Belt Conference’s Florida International University. These teams, from which the professional teams will probably draft few if any players, recently met in the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl game, won by FIU, 34 to 31 with a last second field goal. Although the players weren’t at the proficiency level of the pros or the BCS teams, it was by far one of the best games I have ever seen and I found myself rooting for both teams interchangeably, as the lead changed hands repeatedly in the last quarter. I’ll take FIU versus Toledo any time over the New England Patriots versus the Philadelphia Eagles or Oregon’s Webfeet versus Auburn’s Tigers. In fact, other than not being able to view them on TV, even watching a small college like Muhlenberg take on another small school like Franklin and Marshall or Gettysburg can be very enjoyable too, particularly if you don't mind driving to Pennsylvania.”
Football at Susquehanna University
Football at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium
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