About Me

Twenty years ago I asked a Tarot card reader what would I be doing when I was 50. She replied, “I see you doing something so wildly creative, it defies a job title.” Only recently did I realize that was a slick way of saying, “I have no idea of what you’ll be doing.” But that prediction kept me charging ahead to the fifties with zeal and anticipation. Now that the future is today, I’m ready for anything!

Making the Best of Two Bad Choices

One of my favorite movies is Glory. It's based on the true story of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, the first all African-American unit to serve in the Civil War. Even though I own a director's cut of Glory, which stars Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington, I watch it whenever it's on TV because I always glean something new from it.

Regiment commander Robert Gould Shaw (Broderick) is the son of wealthy Boston abolitionists. He believes in freedom in theory, but in reality is uncomfortable among his men. How Gould comes to understand, respect and love his men is a compelling component of the story. Gould is determined to show the higher-ups that his men are battle ready, capable of more than digging latrines. The 54th is encouraged when they are assigned to action with another "colored" unit led by Colonel James Montgomery. The action, though, isn't on the battlefield but in a deserted Georgia town, foraging valuables  for a corrupt officer to ship North.

Montgomery sees his untrained soldiers as no more than "little monkey children," and allows the men to pillage freely. When one soldier strikes a white woman, Montgomery shoots him dead. Shaw is aghast. When Montgomery commands Shaw to order the 54th to set fire to the town, Shaw refuses, citing the immorality of the order.

Montgomery tells Shaw he can explain himself when he is court martialed, by which time Shaw's men will be placed under Montgomery's command.

Rather than subject his men to the rule of an irrational tyrant, Shaw dispiritedly obeys the order, and commands the 54th to fire the town.

Here in Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton faced a similar choice: reject the Republican-led budget offer and temporarily shut down state government, or accept the offer and permanently enshrine damaging cuts and divisive social agenda items.

Dayton made the best of two bad decisions. Time will tell how history sees him.

Related Posts:
Titanic and the Economy: We Sink or Swim Together
The Myers-Briggs Minnesota Budget?


  1. Loved the audio book review.. it gave me time to listen to the review and read your posts... can't do only one thing at a time anymore.
    thanks, Lynda

  2. Lynda, I'm glad I was able to help you multitask! :=) There are so many great blogs out there to read, and I really appreciate that you're reading mine. Hearing George's voice reinforces the words about rhythm and language, doesn't it.


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