Civil war novel tremors

Here’s the problem, or one of them.

If one is non-violent and believes as I do that "just war" theory is bullshit, then all wars are wrong.

That includes the exceedingly violent American Civil War, even though it at last adopted the noble cause of ending slavery and starting blacks on the exceedingly long road to equality and respect in US society.

A very worthy cause indeed.

But the novel must have as its premise that the war should never have been fought.

So far, the closest I’ve found to a Martin Luther King or a Daniel Berrigan is William Lloyd Garrison.  Frederick Douglass is next closest.

BTW, it would be interesting to find King’s reflections on the Civil War, if ever he made any of them public.

Who am I, an aging white boy, to say that this war that, by a route fortunate if circuitous freed the slaves, should never have been fought?

I’m a human being, a humane being, who cringes every time the number of casualties for any battle is read off, especially if it’s said that the Union or the Confederacy "won" battle X because their side "only" sustained 5,000 casualties to the other side’s 10,000.

So the novel becomes the presentation of monsters and monstrosities, the total insanity of the South’s racism, a thorough irreality-tunnel about fighting for their liberty to deprive others of liberty; the revered generals who oversaw pillage and slaughter; Lincoln, a man of brilliant words, but as much a tyrant and Constitution-betrayer as any President; Booth of course; and Booth’s self-castrating killer Boston Corbett.

But how to find (decide upon) a way in to all this material???

Aye, there’s the rub.

Robert Devereaux

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Subpoena Dick Cheney

Great blog entry by David Swanson on Smirking Chimp.

Opening paragraphs:

I’ve spoken at impeachment forums, debates, rallies, strategy meetings, and workshops, but tonight’s event in Washington, D.C., will be the first I’ve spoken at since the Vice President’s Chief of Staff was convicted for lying to protect him. So, I’m going in expecting fewer objections and reservations about impeachment. Still, it’s useful to yet again lay out all the familiar ones and why they are more wrong than ever.

I understand that Congressman Henry Waxman may have the prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald testify next week. That’s an excellent start. But if Fitzgerald will not testify voluntarily, he should be subpoenaed, as should Libby, Rove, Armitage, Bartlett, Matalin, Fleischer, and Cheney. Each of these people needs to be put under oath and on camera and questioned.

We know from the Libby trial that they were led by Cheney in a campaign of retribution against Joe Wilson that included telling numerous reporters that Wilson was sent to Niger by his wife Valerie Plame, a CIA operative. Cheney was told by the CIA that Valerie Plame worked as a covert agent in the CIA’s Nonproliferation Division, which is the critical division of the CIA responsible for stopping the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Cheney’s efforts to expose Plame exposed her entire covert network. If Plame’s work had been exposed by a double-agent in our government like Aldrich Ames or Robert Hanssen, that person would be facing prosecution for espionage and treason.

Must get Cheney on trial and out of office pronto!

Robert Devereaux

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Clutter and chaos all about

Today, I get to rail against myself in public.

Sometimes it’s what’s needed.

I’m a being of clutter and chaos, piles of papers and books crowding out my creativity, the will to clear them away so weak.

Seas of material, the easy lure of more stuff coming in, and sufficient money to make it happen.  Ties in to the junk food readily available at my 9-to-5, which combined with a lack of exercise due to chill winds outside and an absolute loathing of "the club," still daunting memories of high school gym class no matter how this stuff is gussied up.

It’s not the image of, by any means, my ideal!

Robert Devereaux

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Isla Mujeres

We’re back, Vicki and I, from a week in Mexico on the island of women or Isla Mujeres.

Oh my, what a delight are those beaches and the people, the seafood and the Hotel Francis Arlene.

Felt like a month of paradise.

There was even the equivalent of a tango floor outside of our room on the rooftop.

It was, at the same time, sobering to see the poverty, not always evident, but on our golf cart trip around the island (5 miles long, half a mile across at the widest), we could see the shanties (or whatever the equivalent is) that the poorest Mexicans live in, set close to absolute mansions owned by rich Americans perhaps.

Then there was a private island called Isla Blanca, which I’ll need to research.  Rich Mexicans there?  Not sure.

We passed it on our snorkeling trip to Isla Contoy with Captain Tony Garcia, perhaps the very best day of our trip.

We’ll be back, though perhaps Loreto will capture our attention next February.

Robert Devereaux

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Argentine tango

Okay, it’s fess-up time:  I am and always have been a physical clutz.

When I was cast as Fagin in Oliver! a ba-zillion years ago at CSU, Chico, I bumped into the choreographer in a CD store (we’d worked together on a previous show, The Ruling Class) and said, "You’re not going to make me dance, are you?"

To which he replied, "Bob, there ain’t that much making in Chico!"

So what am I doing taking tango lessons with Vicki?

Answer:  Finally, at last, getting over my clumsiness about dealing with the physical world, that’s what.

And believe me, it’s a fucking chore!

Comfort zone?  I left that way behind long ago.

And I applaud Vicki’s patience.  This is a dance where the man leads and the woman follows, backwards usually, in high heels.

Good tango dancers make it look easy.  It’s not.  There are all manner of things to remember, leaning forward while being balanced, taking the "frame" while relaxing, how to hold your partner’s hand just so, not to bounce, making snap decisions whereas I really like to stop and ponder my moves.

Pray for poor Robert!

Robert Devereaux

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Today’s antiwar protest

All of you who took the time and paid to get yourselves to Washington, thank you.

You are the true patriots!

Brothers and sisters, I’m with you in spirit.

How refreshing, at last, to see coverage in the corporate media.

We must do all we can to stymie Bush, Cheney, and the whole crooked bunch, and end this occupation now!

Robert Devereaux

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28% pop is too high!

That lying disgrace of a madman, war criminal, sociopath befouled the airwaves once more with his insanity last night.

The state of our union?

Perilous, near-destroyed, with this wangdoodle at the helm and Darth Cheney calling the shots.

Their fall cannot be too precipitous nor too soon.

Robert Devereaux

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William Tecumseh Sherman

Reading about Sherman’s march, among many other Civil War topics.

That man was a madman, as all warmongers are, come right down to it.  And for his divine madness, single of purpose, he gains "fame."

Humankind am one sick motherfuck, ain’t no two ways about it.

Accepting war as normal, and then making moral pronouncements within that warped notion of normal.

It attracts moral monsters–or those soon to become such–who will buy into and reinforce the notion that war is just part of what we do as human beings.  Haul out the jingoism, decide that God is on your side (such did John Brown, such Lincoln), fire up the testosterone of young boys and the peer pressure too, the little girls shaming the boys with dresses, get the churches to go along as most of them always seem to do, and you got yourself a war-gasm.

It’s tough being a sterling optimist sometimes, ya know?

Robert Devereaux

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To our so-called reps in Congress

You were elected to end Bush’s War now!

Here are ways to do it.

So get cracking.  Use the noggin that God gave you.  Topple the little dictator now.

Support the troops.  Bring them home.

Then impeach, remove, indict, imprison.

Let’s not make this difficult, and let’s end the killing now.

Robert Devereaux

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Impeach the motherfucker already!

Folks, this moral monster, this insane fucker of his mother needs to have all of his power tools taken away from him.

He is  blind, deaf, and dumb.

He is a war criminal, incapable of reading the disgrace of the last election.

Oust this anti-American bastard and all of his crew, and begin the moves to send them to The Hague for their trials and subsequent incarceration.

Such madness!

Robert Devereaux

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