Gods, Generals, and Shelby Foote

It’s the birthday of American novelist and historian Shelby Foote

(books by this author), born in Greenville, Mississippi (1916). He had already published several novels, including Tournament (1949), Follow Me Down (1950), and Love in a Dry Season (1951), when in 1952, an editor asked Foote if he would try writing a narrative history of the Civil War. Foote said he thought it would take about four years, but it wound up taking two decades, and the result was three volumes, more than 1.6 million words and almost 3,000 pages long when published. Foote later compared the project to swallowing a cannonball.

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betweenthecovers.com

Near the end of the third volume, Foote wrote a letter to his best friend, the novelist Walker Percy: “Dear Walker, I killed Lincoln last week. Saturday, at noon. While I was doing it — he had his chest arched up holding his last breath to let it out — some […] doctor came to the door with volumes 1 and 2 under his arm, wanting me to autograph them for his son for Christmas. I was in such a state of shock, I not only let him in, I even signed the […] books, a thing I seldom do. Then I turned back and killed [Lincoln] and had Stanton say, ‘Now he belongs to the ages.’ A strange feeling though. I have another seventy-odd pages to go, and I have a feeling it’ll be like Hamlet with Hamlet left out.”

Shelby Foote was one of the only writers so old-fashioned that he wrote all his books with an antique pen that had to be dipped in ink after every three or four words.

https://gardenandgun.com/articles/shelby-footes-war-story/

The last novel he published was September, September (1978). Foote spent the final 25 years of his life working on an epic novel about Mississippi, called Two Gates to the City. It remained unfinished when he died in 2006. Shelby Foote said, “A writer’s like anybody else except when he’s writing.”
https://www.garrisonkeillor.com/radio/twa-the-writers-almanac-for-november-17-2021/

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https://thefederalist.com/2017/11/02/shelby-footes-civil-war-history-defends-america-insatiable-haters-like-ta-nehisi-coates/

John Daniel Davidson wrote: “Foote is, of course, the author of his own celebrated Civil War masterpiece, a three-volume narrative history of the war, each about a thousand pages long, that stands as a triumph of American history and literature.” (https://thefederalist.com/2017/11/02/shelby-footes-civil-war-history-defends-america-insatiable-haters-like-ta-nehisi-coates/)

Over the decades I have recommended, and will continue to recommend anyone interested in what I have come to think of as the “War of Northern Aggression” begin their journey toward understanding by reading the the Civil War trilogy by Mr. Foote. For some readers, maybe most, the three books will be all you need to know about the conflict. For others the books will set the stage for all the other books to come, because they are magnificently written by one of the best writer’s produced by America.

When it comes to Shelby Foote historians have had a field day. An example would be: Shelby Foote Was Wrong! By Dick Crews of the The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable, Copyright © 2014. (https://www.clevelandcivilwarroundtable.com/shelby-foote-was-wrong/)

This elicited the response: A Rebuttal to “Shelby Foote Was Wrong!” By Greg Biggs, President, Clarksville TN CWRT of The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable, Copyright © 2014. (https://www.clevelandcivilwarroundtable.com/a-rebuttal-to-shelby-foote-was-wrong/)

It has been my experience that one cannot discuss the Civil War (about which Shelby Foote famously said, “There was nothing civil about that war.”) objectively because after over a century and a half passions still run deep. Then there is the fact that most Americans know very little about the War of Northern Aggression. If one becomes interested enough to read further than what is taught in school then you will usually read a hagiography. For instance, during a Civil War Roundtable discussion in Louisville, Kentucky, at a Barnes & Noble Bookstore after this book had been published, and read:

https://booklife-resized.s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/e4114aed9739662641bca1f535e72cab-w204@1x.jpg
Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln! America’s Second Gay …
queerreader.com

I discussed some of what was included and one older, unfortunate Lincoln apologist stood up with a red face and fire in his eyes, said, “HOW DARE YOU!” before falling onto the floor. He was taken to the hospital as soon as an ambulance arrived. We later learned he survived…

Kentucky was a conflicted state before, during, and after the War of Northern Aggression. During the WONA Lincoln famously said, probably to anyone who listened

https://xpertchesslessons.files.wordpress.com/2021/11/0b653-ihopetohavegodonmyside2cbutimusthavekentucky-abrahamlincoln.png

My knowledge of Kentucky stems from time spent in Louisville. I recall having lunch at a Greek restaurant on Bardstown Road when there was some kind of uproar. An older couple took exception to the “CSA” belt buckle worn by the waitress. They left without leaving a tip. We talked briefly and I learned her name while leaving a generous tip, for which she thanked me profusely. A few days later I was at Highland Coffee, where Chess players met weekly, sitting outside talking with others, and I mentioned the scene at the Greek place. As we talked about the Civil War and how conflicted was Louisville (and Kentucky in general) a young man at the next table stood up, looked down at me, and said, “That ‘attractive young lady,’ as you put it, is my sister. Here’s the deal, mister, we won; you lost; GET…OV..VER…IT!” Then he walked away into the sunset, just like a movie…

‘Cross the Green Mountain
Written by: Bob Dylan

I crossed the green mountain, I slept by the stream

Heaven blazin’ in my head, I dreamt a monstrous dream

Something came up out of the sea

Swept through the land of the rich and the free

I look into the eyes of my merciful friend

And then I ask myself, is this the end?

Memories linger, sad yet sweet

And I think of the souls in heaven who will meet

Altars are burning with flames falling wide

The foe has crossed over from the other side

They tip their caps from the top of the hill

You can feel them come, more brave blood to spill

Along the dim Atlantic line

The ravaged land lies for miles behind

The light’s comin’ forward and the streets are broad

All must yield to the avenging God

The world is old, the world is gray

Lessons of life can’t be learned in a day

I watch and I wait and I listen while I stand

To the music that comes from a far better land

Close the eyes of our Captain, peace may he know

His long night is done, the great leader is laid low

He was ready to fall, he was quick to defend

Killed outright he was by his own men

It’s the last day’s last hour of the last happy year

I feel that the unknown world is so near

Pride will vanish and glory will rot

But virtue lives and cannot be forgot

The bells of evening have rung

There’s blasphemy on every tongue

Let them say that I walked in fair nature’s light

And that I was loyal to truth and to right

Serve God and be cheerful, look upward beyond

Beyond the darkness that masks the surprises of dawn

In the deep green grasses of the blood stained wood

They never dreamed of surrendering. They fell where they stood

Stars fell over Alabama, I saw each star

You’re walkin’ in dreams whoever you are

Chilled are the skies, keen is the frost

The ground’s froze hard and the morning is lost

A letter to mother came today

Gunshot wound to the breast is what it did say

But he’ll be better soon he’s in a hospital bed

But he’ll never be better, he’s already dead

I’m ten miles outside the city and I’m lifted away

In an ancient light that is not of day

They were calm, they were blunt, we knew ’em all too well

We loved each other more than we ever dared to tell

Copyright

© 2002 by Special Rider Music

Eyeball To Eyeball

On October 27th, 1962, “The U.S. side had just received two conflicting messages from Moscow about how to resolve the crisis, and did not know which one to accept. Ultimately, President Kennedy decided to respond only to the first one, with the most favorable terms for our side, namely: removal of all the missiles and nuclear weapons in exchange for a no-invasion pledge and (eventual) removal from Turkey ) the USSR’s immediate neighbor) of the 15 U.S. IRBMs stationed there. But communications were very slow on both sides, and no response had been received from the USSR by late Saturday night.”

“President Kennedy decided…” When what has become known as the “911” crisis occurred and POTUS George Dubya Bush

George W. Bush | A Brief History of Presidential Profanity ...
George W. Bush | A Brief History of Presidential Profanity …
rollingstone.com

infamously said, “I am the decider,” chills ran up and down my spine. It has never been explained how a group of rag-headed Muslims could thwart the defenses of the United States of America and allegedly bring down several massive steel beamed buildings with a couple of airplanes…Dubya wanted to be the commissioner of Major League Baseball but lost out to Bud Selig,

Bud Selig's Net Worth in 2020 | Wealthy Gorilla
Bud Selig’s Net Worth in 2020 | Wealthy Gorilla
wealthygorilla.com

the man who is responsible for the 1994 strike and the later ‘Ragin ‘Roids era., and the man who enriched himself and his family at the expense of the great game of Baseball.

POTUS John F. Kennedy made many decisions during the Cuban Missile Crisis and evidently all of them were good because you are here to read these words. If the leaders of the powerful military had made the decisions there would be no humans left alive on the planet because, “…the most dangerous miscalculation of all was everyone’s ignorance of (in 1962) of the concept of “nuclear winter,” what most scientists now acknowledge would be the inevitable result of a full scale nuclear exchange on the earth’s climate. A hypothesis first introduced in the early 1980s, nuclear winter posits that even a limited nuclear conflict (and certainly a large one) would so befoul the earth’s atmosphere with smoke and dust from the massive firestorms around cities produced by strategic nuclear weapons, that the result would be cataclysmic climate change – a significant reduction in the amount of sunlight reaching the earth’s surface, and a reduction lowering of the earth’s temperature for years – causing loss of most plant life in the absence of sunlight, the resulting failure of agriculture, and the collapse of the food chain. Without even considering the inevitable and poisonous results of nuclear fallout on animal life, the sure result of nuclear winter alone would have been mass starvation.” (pg. 117)

“Initial reactions by virtually everyone (except Adlai Stevenson) were that a massive air strike would be necessary to destroy the Soviet missiles…” (pg. 101) Only three people in the United States government were against blasting the hell outta the Russians. Fortunately, one of those people was the President of the United States. The other two were his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, and UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson. Those three gentlemen were all that stood between the human race and oblivion.

“We avoided nuclear war in 1962 only because the 35th President of the United States possessed a farsighted view of the global chessboard in the Cold War, rather than a myopic one; and because JFK believed “a primary responsibility of a President – indeed, the primary responsibility of a President” (as McNamara said in the documentary The Fog of War was “to keep the nation out of war, if at all possible.” [This is one of the principal differences between President John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and both Bush presidents; and is one of the reason JFK’s approval rating is now at an astounding 85% in the minds of the American people.]”

How close were we humans to oblivion when JFK and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev were “eyeball to eyeball”?

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“First, there was considerable harassment by the U.S. Navy of the 4 Soviet diesel-electric submarines escorting several of the Soviet ships. Unknown to President Kennedy or to anyone else on the U.S. side that day, on one of these subs, the Captain – stressed out by a multi-hour barrage of under water explosive charges from U.S. Navy ships above, designed to get him to the surface and give away his position – ordered the one torpedo he had onboard with a nuclear warhead – a relatively small 10 kiloton device – to be loaded into its torpedo tube; he then gave the order to fire the torpedo at the harassing U.S. Navy ships on the surface. Only the bold refusal of the political commissar on this submarine to confirm the order to fire [the Soviets had a two-man consent system in place] prevented the launching of this nuclear torpedo against U.S. warships. If this device ( or any other nuclear device) had been required to retaliate with nuclear weapons against the forces of the Soviet Union, somewhere and in some way – and “the balloon would have gone up.” (pg 106)

“Second, as revealed by Richard Rhodes in Dark Sun,

DARK SUN The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb | Richard Rhodes ...

at the height of the crisis, according to a retired SAC wing commander, SAC airborne alert bombers deliberately flew past their turnaround points [popularly known as “Fail Safe” points, after the 1964 film of the same name] toward Soviet airspace, an unambiguous threat which Soviet radar operators would certainly have recognized and reported. “I know what my target was,” the SAC general adds: “Leningrad.” The bombers turned around only when the Soviet freighters carrying missiles to Cuba stopped dead in the Atlantic. No SAC wing commander would have performed this action on his own authority, since it risked nuclear war. This order could only have come from the head of SAC, General Thomas Power – a man considered a “sadist” by Curtis LeMay himself, and considered unstable by others who worked under him.”

President Kennedy (left) speaks with General Curtis LeMay (centre) and General Thomas S. Power (right). LeMay famously told him: ¿You're in a pretty bad fix, Mr President¿
President Kennedy (left) speaks with General Curtis LeMay (centre) and General Thomas S. Power (right).https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2207946/Revealed-JFKs-stabbing-generals-mocked-President-battled-avoid-regarded-trigger-happy-Americans-lost-Berlin.html

General Curtis LeMay saying General Thomas Power was a “sadist” is like the kettle calling the pot black. During “JFK’s Meeting With the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Friday, November 19th, 1962” (pg.119) the following exchange took place between the POTUS and the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, General Curtis Emerson LeMay.

General LeMay: …And you [addressing President Kennedy] have made some pretty strong statements…that we would take action against offensive weapons. I think that a blockade and political talk would be considered by a lot of our friends and neutrals as being a pretty weak response to this. And I’m sure a lot of our own citizens would feel that way, too. In other words, you’re in a pretty bad fix at the present time.

President Kennedy: What did you say?

General LeMay: You’re in a pretty bad fix.

President Kennedy: You’re in there with me. [An outburst of forced laughter can be heard in the background] Personally.

(Note; LeMay’s presumption in lecturing the President on domeastic and international political considerations – and in such a gloating manner – is stunning, even 51 years later.] (pg 130)

Who was General Curtis LeMay?

General LeMay is to the immediate right of President John F. Kennedy

After retiring from the Air Force in 1965, LeMay agreed to serve as Democratic Governor George Wallace’s running mate in the 1968 United States presidential election.
For the 1968 presidential election, LeMay originally supported former Republican Vice President Richard Nixon; he turned down two requests by former Alabama Governor George Wallace

A Confrontation for Integration at the University of Alabama

to join his newly formed American Independent Party, that year, on the grounds that a third-party candidacy might hurt Nixon’s chances at the polls. (By coincidence, Wallace had served as a sergeant in a unit commanded by LeMay during World War II before LeMay had Wallace transferred to the 477th Bombardment Group.)
Subsequently LeMay, while being fully aware of Wallace’s segregationist platform, decided to throw his support to Wallace and eventually became Wallace’s running mate.[52]
Wallace’s staff began to consider LeMay to be “politically tone-deaf” and the former Air Force General did nothing to diminish the perception of extremism that some American voters had of the Wallace-LeMay ticket.[55]
The “bomb them back to the stone age” comment received significant publicity but LeMay disclaimed the comment, saying in a later interview: “I never said we should bomb them back to the Stone Age. I said we had the capability to do it”.[50][51]
The Wallace-LeMay AIP ticket received 13.5% of the popular vote, higher than most third party candidacies in the US, and carried five states for a total of 46 electoral votes.[56]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtis_LeMay#Vice_presidential_candidacy,_1968

From page 121 of JFK’s War it is written, “I have already written much, in the previous essays in this book, about General Curtis LeMay, the Air Force Chief of Staff. Dino Brugioni wrote that LeMay “was characterized by one observer as always interjecting himself into situations ‘like a rogue elephant barging our of the forest.” Brugioni wrote in Eyeball to Eyeball “Petulant and often childish when he didn’t get his way, LeMay would light a cigar and blow smoke in the direction of anyone challenging his position.” LeMay, a combat aviator, was uneasy in Washington. Brugioni continued: :He saw himself as an outsider, yet continually prided himself as the only authority on warfare available to the JCS. Most of all, he felt that the Joint Chiefs of Staff dallied over vital decisions and were not responsive.” General Taylor told Brugioni that “as a bomber commander there was none finer….But a good bomber commander doesn’t automatically make a good Chief of Staff, and appointing Curtis LeMay as Chief of Staff of the Air Force was a big mistake…LeMay would ‘jam that damn cigar in his mouth and place a chip on his shoulder and parade through the Pentagon looking for a fight.”

Third, concurrent with the implementation of the naval quarantine that morning, on October 24th, General Thomas Power, LeMay’s hand-picked head of the Strategic Air Command, on his own authority, placed all of SAC (all Air Force nuclear bombers and all of our ICBMs) at DEFCON-2. This was only one step away from nuclear war, and he did this without consulting President Kennedy or obtaining his permission. General Power – apparently intent not only upon frightening the Soviet Union into submission, but perhaps equally desirous of stimulating a Soviet response that might have given him an excuse to launch a pre-emptive nuclear attack – sent out not only the usual unencrypted SAC telegram to all units, but ALSO sent a follow-on, plain-English voice transmission (both surely monitored by the USSR) announcing the upgrade in posture to DEFCON-2, which dramatically began, “This is General Power…”

There is another paragraph here but because this is a blog post it must be skipped. Please read the book!

“President Kennedy was furious, for Powers’ actions could have signaled to the USSR that the U.S. was about to launch the long-dreaded first-strike on the USSR; if they had been so persuaded, JFK knew that the Soviets themselves might have pre-emptied what they thought was coming with their own first-strike on the United States.. or they might have reacted precipitately in Berlin. Fortunately, instead, the Soviet Union grounded its own long-range bomber force throughout the remainder of the Cuban Missile Crisis to ensure that they did not give the U.S. an excuse for a pre-emptive first-strike.”

From what you have read of what I have written certainly you can understand why it is a miracle you are reading these words. As the two nuclear armed nations stood “eyeball to eyeball” any of a number of things could have happened to precipitate a full scale nuclear war. For example, “Furthermore, on October 27th, Soviet missile troops, egged-on by their Cuban comrades and unable to reach their commander for instructions, decided on their own authority to launch SA-2 missiles and shoot down an American U-2 surveillance flight. this was supposed to trigger automatic retaliatory airstrikes by the U.S. side the next day, but JFK refused to do, fearing that the chain of escalation, the inevitable strike-counterstrike syndrome, would lead to nuclear conflict. His refusal to launch the previously agreed-upon retaliatory strike greatly angered the Pentagon.”

“On this same day another American U-2 which was aloft near Siberia, sampling the atmosphere for any evidence of Soviet nuclear testing, got lost and strayed into Soviet airspace, triggering an attempt by several Soviet fighter planes to shoot him down. He eventually made it home to Alaska safely, but JFK and his advisors feared that the Soviets interpret this incursion of their airspace as the prelude to a U.S. nuclear strike.”

October 28th: “The thirteen days of the Cuban Missile Crisis came to an end on Sunday, with the public and private assurances of Moscow that the nuclear missiles and their warheads would all be withdrawn from Cuba, in exchange for a no-invasion pledge.”

The powerful military men did not care for JFK for many reasons, one of which was that they were trained to fight and make war. To some powerful military men the problem was with civilian control of the government. To them JFK was a failed PT Boat commander, the only Captain of a PT Boat to have had his ship hit and destroyed by a much larger vessel. Some laughed at the story written about JFK being a “hero” by swimming to shore with a wounded sailor attached to his back. JFK had a bad back that had put him into the hospital on many occasions, and myriad other heath problems that should have kept him out of the service, but his father, the former bootlegger turned Ambassador managed to get his son into the Navy even though there was no way he could ever pass physical exam. The hero was his older brother, Joe,

Joe Kennedy historybyzim.com

who volunteered for a suicide mission and unsurprisingly, died. Joe was to become a politician; Jack wanted to be a writer.

During the course of my life there has been a concerted effort by those responsible for the death of JFK to malign and disparage his name and reputation. The media has done a hatchet job on JFK for decades. They have their reasons. Still, the fact remains that you are here reading these words only because of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who may have had a weak body, but fortunately for us, he had an extremely strong mind. JFK is the best and brightest POTUS in the history of the United States of America. Everyone alive should thank their lucky stars that JFK was sitting in the Oval Office during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Over the course of my life I have read an astounding number of books on the assassination of JFK. A friend, a Democrat and very much a part of the establishment, would smirk at my spending so much time reading so many books about the subject. As far as Mike was concerned it happened just like the government said. On one visit I was surprised to see this book on the shelf in the library:

Best evidence book david lifton - dobraemerytura.org

It was the only JFK book I had ever seen in his house. He refused to discuss it and we never, ever spoke of the assassination again.

When reading the very first book about the assassination of JFK there was only one question on my mind. Why was JFK killed? The answer is contained in the book upon which these two posts are based.
If you have any interest in why a POTUS was so brutally slain in the company of HIS WIFE, (Mob hits do not take place around family; there is a reason), then I urge you to read the book and EVERYTHING Douglas P. Horne has written. There was a driving force behind the cold blooded murder of the President of the United States of America that irrevocably altered the course of world affairs. Those responsible for the coup d’état on November 23, 1963 have thus far gotten away with murder, but those of us who have devoted so much time to reading about one of the most, if not the worst moments in our history know there was a driving force behind the brutal, cold blooded MURDER MOST FOUL of POTUS John F. Kennedy that day. If you have limited time, then please read the last volume of the five volume set and you, too, will know who was that driving force:

French President Charles de Gaulle

The Devil’s Chessboard: The JFK Assassination Plot Mirrored in 1961 France. Kennedy’s Show of Support for Charles de Gaulle https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-devils-chessboard-the-jfk-assassination-plot-mirrored-in-1961-france-kennedys-show-of-support-for-charles-de-gaulle/5483850

had some strong words about the assassination of JFK. It is in my memory that he said something about, “His security was compromised.” The best evidence of that fact can be found in this book:

https://vincepalamara.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/a5577-51aanpn07ul.jpg

The Missiles of October

Fifty nine years ago today President of the United States John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev

https://i2.wp.com/i.bullfax.com/imgs/1f4b8ca7c311ba41e7b28592f3c1a2628dae991d.jpg
Fidel Castro and Nikita Khrushchev bullfax.com

were “eyeball to eyeball” over the missiles earlier placed in Cuba by the Soviet leader. “This was the day recalled by almost everyone in ExComm as “doomsday Saturday,” and seemed to all involved to be the immediate prelude to a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union.” That, and much of what follows was taken from the magnificent book:

https://pixhost.icu/avaxhome/20/46/00884620.jpg

It begins: October 14th, 1962: A U-2 flight over Cuba photographs many of the 36 MRBMs and their mobile launchers at multiple sites.

October 15th: The CIA’s National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) in Washington, D.C. develops the film and interprets the images; this is the day that the missiles were discovered.

October 16th: President Kennedy is informed, and the Cuban Missile Crisis, as it is defined by historians, begins; this is the first day of thee harrowing “thirteen days,” to use Robert F. Kennedy’s terminology from his book about the event.

October 18th: President Kennedy kept a long-standing date with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko and Soviet Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Dobrynin in the White House. At that meeting, Gromyko lied to JFK and denied that any offensive weapons wee being placed in Cuba. The public still did not know about the missiles, and the Soviets still did not know that we knew.

October 19th: President Kennedy met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a body to receive their advice, and was severely pressured to adopt massive air strikes and a full invasion as his response the the Missile Crisis. The Chiefs unanimously pressured JFK to bomb and then invade Cuba, and Air Force Chief of Staff LeMay’s exchange with JFK was unusually blunt, rude, and provocative. [Specifics to come later in this essay.]

October 20th-22nd: It had proven difficult, but by Saturday, October 20th, after four days of back and forth in multiple meetings every day, Bobby Kennedy had built a narrow consensus within ExComm for a blockade as an initial response to the crisis, with an air strike and invasion a future options, or course, if a blockade did not work.

JFK met with the hastily recalled Congressional leadership early on the evening of Monday, October 22nd. It was a stormy session, with most of the leadership declaring they were against the blockade option and in favor of military action. President Kennedy then gave his nationally televised address that evening,

and the Cuban Missile Crisis then moved into its public phase, (lasting from October 23 through 28th). In his speech, JFK announced the blockade option (a “quarantine” of any offensive weapons headed to Cuba, since a blockade was technically an act of war), and threatened that the launch of any nuclear missile from Cuba against any nation in the western Hemisphere would result in a full-scale nuclear attack upon the Soviet Union by the United States. President Kennedy also moved the American armed forces from DEFCON-5 to DEFCON-3 just prior to the speech. (Defense condition 5 was peacetime deployment, and at the other extreme on that scales of readiness, defense condition 1 was “nuclear war.”)

October 23rd: The United States successfully engineered a 19-0 vote in favor of the Cuban blockade option by the Organization of American States (with Cuba abstaining).

October 24th: On this day the naval “quarantine” of Cuba was initiated.

Let us pause for a brief break in the action for personal recollections. This writer was in the seventh grade having turned twelve at the end of August, just before school began after Labor Day.

The earliest memory I have of my father, a deeply religious man, is of being in church and looking up at him holding a Bible in his hand while singing this song:

There was a gentleman in the neighborhood who had a small barber shop located in his back yard, which is where my hair was cut for many years. Like most of the men in the neighborhood he had served in the military during World War II. Some of the men would come there to talk and smoke cigarettes, and to get away from the wife for a time. I recall being there with my father during the Cuban Missile Crisis when he was asked if he thought it a good idea for me to be listening to their conversation. “The boy has got to grow up some day. Might as well be now,” replied my father. All the men were Republicans and Baptists and loathed and detested JFK. Those men were what became known as “Goldwater Republicans.” They did not care for change and especially when it came from a Yankee, Catholic, POTUS. They hated Communists and were ready for war at any cost. My father was a radioman with the Navy during “The Big One” and must have been very good at what he did because he was assigned to the Pacific Task Force and was in many, if not all of the major battles about which movies have been made. After the war he had what has come to be known as PTSD. Sloppy Floyd Bailey, who proudly called himself an old “Jarhead,” made fun of my father, saying he had “spastic colon disease.” My father never talked about the war until we were watching the Braves play in the World Series and the flood gates opened wide; did they ever…My father was opposed to war, especially nuclear war, because he had experienced enough of it to last a lifetime. The men at the Barber Shop were full of bluster, but I could sense they were scared and afraid of what the future might bring. They attempted to act like macho men around the other men but when I overheard some of them at the Boys Club they were filled with a palpable fear of the future. My father told me to say nothing about what I had heard to the other members of our family. Other members of the family, aunts,uncles and cousins, would come over and sit around the kitchen table drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes while talking in hushed tones so my sisters and I could not hear them. It did not work. Everyone was on edge; you could feel the vibes. At school we were told to not discuss anything about what we had seen and heard about the “Crisis.” This was while being made to prepare for War by learning how to “Duck and Cover.”

Everyone old enough to be aware was on edge, and even those too young to understand knew something was happening even if they did not know what it was, Mr. Jones.

It was around this time that something major happened that altered the course of my life, and I have always wondered what, if any, part the Cuban Missile Crisis played in how my life developed…

October 25th: On Thursday, U.N. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson debated the ill-informed and hung-out-to-dry Soviet Ambassador Zorin on television at the televised U.N. Security Council meeting over the missiles in Cuba. Confronted with Soviet denials and stonewalling, Stevenson and his team produced for public consumption undeniable evidence of the Soviet missiles in Cuba on several large photographic briefing boards prepared for this purpose by the CIA’s NPIC in Washington, D.C.

October 26th: As a symbolic act meant purely to demonstrate that the U.S. blockade had teeth, on Friday, October 26th the U.S. Navy stopped and boarded a harmless Soviet-chartered Lebanese freighter manned by a Greek crew, which was known to be carrying innocuous cargo. The blockade had accomplished its goal of preventing the introduction of any more offensive weapons into Cuba, and stopping this ship was intended as proof that America was not afraid to stop ships n the high seas.

New york daily cover October 1962

Unfortunately, this was also the date that ExComm informed JFK that the MRBMs in Cuba were probably now operational. (This was a remarkably accurate estimate; the Soviet Commander in Cuba confirmed readiness to fire the 36 MRBMs the next day, on October 27th, by cable.)

Low-level reconnaissance flights, which had been taking place twice per day since Tuesday, were accelerated to once every two hours on Friday to increase the psychological pressure on the Soviet Union, and to provide as much up-to-date information as possible to Ex Comm and the U.S. military. On this date Castro ordered his anti-aircraft gunners to begin firing on all low-flying U.S. aircraft.

On this date, we now know, the Soviet missile commander, General Prilyev, moved the nuclear warheads for his 35 MRBMs (in their mobile vans) from the nuclear bunker sites (under construction), to the field sites where the mobile launchers and the missiles were located.

October 27th: This was the day recalled by almost everyone in ExComm as “doomsday Saturday,” and seemed to all involved to be the immediate prelude to a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union.

End Part One

Just Like Bob Dylan’s, Bill Kirchen’s, and Dr. Zwig’s Blues

Decades ago a Gentleman by the name of Jim made a cassette tape for me which contained songs he thought I might like, and did it ever! I played that tape as much as if not more than any other tape I ever owned. After it broke I was in a state of shock for more than a little while…A lady friend thought I was making a mountain out of a molehill. “It was just a tape,” she said. “Woman,” I began, “you saying that tape was ‘just a tape’ is akin to my saying ‘Your daughter is just a girl'”! I will never forget the look on her face…

That tape had become a part of me. I may have had the last music box that contained a cassette player. In addition, the box had a CD player, but it is, like the tape, gone with the wind…Every song on the tape was excellent, like the following song heard for the first time:

But there was one song that completely blew me away, a song with which I was unfamiliar. It is quite a departure from the version with which I was familiar:

The song immediately went to the top of the list of all-time Bob Dylan covers, and was the main reason the tape came undone.

This is mentioned because a live version was discovered and it reminded me of the aforementioned cassette tape put together by Gentleman Jim.

Tom Thumb Blues / Bill Kirchen / 3-28-13
This could be one of the best versions of this song I have ever seen.Bill Kirchen is a big Bob Dylan fan and I think any fan of either performer would agree that this video will raise the hair on the back of your neck make you quit your job and get on tour !
This is from the Turning Point in Piermont NY a great place to see a show.
March 28, 2013 look for Bill in your neck of the woods http://www.billkirchen.com for details

But wait, there’s MORE!

Bill Kirchen – Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
Southland Ballroom
Raleigh, NC
12-16-14

That’s not all, folks! While putting this post together I found another version by another artist with whom I was unfamiliar and the video you are about to see and hear has been seen and heard by almost THREE AND A HALF MILLION VIEWERS!

Dr. Zwig – Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues (Official Live Music Video)
3,464,188 views
Feb 2, 2016
Dr. Zwig
65.4K subscribers
“Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” official live music video by Dr. Zwig. From the new album, ‘Live at the Wiltern Theatre’, featuring Adam and his band rocking out to a capacity crowd in Los Angeles! Recorded and produced by Grammy winner David Bianco. https://goo.gl/zH3BNd
Stream / Buy:
Apple Music / iTunes: https://goo.gl/ehL28c
Spotify: https://goo.gl/ZmLo4A
Google Play: https://goo.gl/yiNfk2
Amazon: https://goo.gl/BCT8mR
CD: https://goo.gl/5K665q
Vinyl: https://goo.gl/TgkG3L
“He not busy being born is busy dying” – Bob Dylan
What do you think of this quote? He has said a lot of interesting things, so much so, that Adam decided to put Dylan’s “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” into his set at the Wiltern Theatre, and Adam’s version of the song became a Top Ten hit on the Adult Contemporary radio charts.
Please comment and share on YouTube if you like the tune!

Dedicated to Gentleman Jim Kraft

Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues

Written by: Bob Dylan

When you’re lost in the rain in Juarez
And it’s Eastertime too
And your gravity fails
And negativity don’t pull you through
Don’t put on any airs
When you’re down on Rue Morgue Avenue
They got some hungry women there
And they really make a mess outta you

Now if you see Saint Annie
Please tell her thanks a lot
I cannot move
My fingers are all in a knot
I don’t have the strength
To get up and take another shot
And my best friend, my doctor
Won’t even say what it is I’ve got

Sweet Melinda
The peasants call her the goddess of gloom
She speaks good English
And she invites you up into her room
And you’re so kind
And careful not to go to her too soon
And she takes your voice
And leaves you howling at the moon

Up on Housing Project Hill
It’s either fortune or fame
You must pick up one or the other
Though neither of them are to be what they claim
If you’re lookin’ to get silly
You better go back to from where you came
Because the cops don’t need you
And man they expect the same

Now all the authorities
They just stand around and boast
How they blackmailed the sergeant-at-arms
Into leaving his post
And picking up Angel who
Just arrived here from the coast
Who looked so fine at first
But left looking just like a ghost

I started out on burgundy
But soon hit the harder stuff
Everybody said they’d stand behind me
When the game got rough
But the joke was on me
There was nobody even there to call my bluff
I’m going back to New York City
I do believe I’ve had enough

Copyright © 1965 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1993 by Special Rider Music

Jim Kraft The Pub Snellville 2014
The Pub In Snellville Open Mic takes place every Wednesday from 8-11pm. Address: 3902 Hwy. 78 West, Snellville, GA Please see http://www.pauldouglasmusic.com for more information

Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy Makes Outstanding Move!

The following notice is on the website of the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy:

NOTICE: Per yesterday’s CDC announcement and rise of COVID cases, this event will now require masks in the tournament hall. (https://www.charlottechesscenter.org/norm)
Unfortunately it is not shown on the main page, but can be located at the GM/IM NORM INVITATIONAL- SUMMER page after clicking on “events” at the home page. Nevertheless, I applaud those enlightened people at the CCCSA for making such an OUTSTANDING MOVE, on the Chessboard of life.

The Great State of North Carolina is one of the Southern states. It, along with the Great State of Georgia, my home state, are also considered to be part of the “Southeast.” After checking the latest Covid statistics I learned that Georgia is tenth in the USA with nine deaths per day on a seven day moving average (https://usafacts.org/visualizations/coronavirus-covid-19-spread-map/). North Carolina is right below, tied with Arizona with a seven day moving average of eight deaths. When it comes to cases North Carolina is seventh, showing 1926. Georgia is tenth with 1675 cases on a seven day moving average. When it comes to total cases thus far in the pandemic, NC is eighth in the nation with 1,041,620; Georgia is eleventh with a total of 926,707 cases. Unfortunately for my state, 21,654 have died of the virus, which is eight in the nation, compared with the 13,606 humans who have died, ranking NC fourteenth in the country.

When it comes to illness and death being ranked in, or near the top ten is not good. It is a fact that Republican states lead the USA in both cases and deaths. Our country at this time needs to become more UNITED and less STATE. It is extremely difficult to go against the grain and buck the norm, especially in the South. Unfortunately, what should be a normal and natural thing that has been done at the CCCSA could be condemned by some members of the community. I commend FM Peter Giannatos,

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/charlottefive/c5-people/79y0eb/picture236129123/alternates/LANDSCAPE_1140/Chess%20Center%204
Master level chess player operates Charlotte’s first …
charlotteobserver.com

the Executive Director and Founder, and Grant Oen,

https://xpertchesslessons.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/bbb6b-15178224_10210634834642421_3844215551247095300_n.jpg
Charlotte Chess Center Blog: Meet CCCSA Blog Contributor …
charlottechesscenter.blogspot.com

the Assistant Director/Events Manager, of the CCCSA, and everyone at the CCCSA for taking a stand for We The People!

I do this because just a few days ago I watched a man in a hospital bed, with hoses attached to his nose and other places, who had Covid, but was still defiant, claiming he had a “right” to not take the possibly life saving vaccine if he did not want to take it, even if it killed him. He was a “good ol’ boy” from the South, and did not want anyone telling him what to do. The interviewer asked the man if he thought he had a duty to his fellow humans to take the vaccine in order to not give the virus to anyone. “Hell no!” he replied. “We’re all in this alone.”

The following day there was another gentleman on the television all hooked up to tubes in a hospital bed, and he was being interviewed. He was from Arizona, and did not have any particular reason for not taking the possibly life saving vaccine, but said, “Sure wished I had.” The interviewer asked, “Why didn’t you take it?” He said, “I dunno…didn’t have any reason for not taking it, I guess. I mean, it’s like getting the virus was like what was happening to other people, not to me.”

I know people like both of these two individuals. They are both playing Russian roulette with their lives, and the LIVES OF THOSE WITH WHOM THEY COME IN CONTACT! Both are members of the Chess community. With one old, ornery, and cantankerously recalcitrant Chess coach almost everyone with whom he comes in contact has been vaccinated, yet he refuses to take the vaccine, so its not like there is peer pressure for him to not take the shot. The other is a Grandmaster who writes a blog replete with anti-vax madness. He has obviously become a strident right (wrong) winger as he has aged. Many people fear the government. While running for the office of POTUS the former actor Ronald Reagan said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” The line elicited a big laugh, and has been repeated endlessly by Republicans running for office ever since. It is, arguably, the most famous thing the man said during his entire life that was not a line from a movie.

It caused me to think, “Why would anyone in their right mind say such a thing if he wants to lead the government?” Think about it…The thought that followed was a line from a Bob Dylan song: “Don’t follow leaders, watch the parking meters.” (https://www.bobdylan.com/songs/subterranean-homesick-blues/)

If—
Rudyard Kipling – 1865-1936

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run—
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
https://poets.org/poem/if

Bob Dylan Has His First No. 1 Song On Any Billboard Charts

Bob Dylan Has His First No. 1 Song On Any Billboard Charts – No, Really

By Bruce Haring

April 9, 2020 9:03pm

https://pmcdeadline2.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/rexfeatures_6261732a.jpg?w=681&h=383&crop=1

He’s survived punk, disco, a deep dive into religion, the rise of boy bands and electronica, Soy Bomb and going electric. Now, 78-year-old Bob Dylan has again shown the young kids how it’s done, scoring his first No. 1 on any Billboard chart with his 17-minute song, “Murder Most Foul.”

As hard as it is to believe, the Voice of a Generation never had a No. 1 on the Billboard charts under his own name. This time, in the increasingly fractured chart world, his musical examination of the JFK murder tops the Rock Digital Song Sales category, selling 10,000 downloads.

Dylan has hits he has written rise to No.1. His “Blowin’ in the Wind” was taken to No. 1 in 1963 by Peter, Paul and Mary, and the Byrds’ scored the top slot with his “Mr. Tambourine Man” in 1965. As strange as it seems, such classics as “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” were caught short of the fence, stopping at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Lay Lady Lay” hit No. 7 in 1969.

Dylan remains a road warhorse, doing more than 60 dates per year after years of doing more than 100 per year on his Never-Ending Tour.

Bob Dylan Has His First No. 1 Song On Any Billboard Charts – No, Really

Black Op Radio.com (https://blackopradio.com/)

devoted an entire two hour program, which aired April 2, 2020, to Dylan’s new song. Bill Kelly, Dave Ratcliffe, and the irrepressible Jim DiEugenio, were exuberantly interviewed by the host, Canadian Len Osanic. While listening one can click on the numerous links which will direct a reader to numerous websites, such as
Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs at Dealey Plaza. The articles to which you will be linked provide many other links, to which much time has been devoted recently by this writer. (https://blackopradio.com/archives2020.html)

A good starting point is this excellent article from which excerpts are taken.

Beyond JFK: 20 Historical References in Bob Dylan’s ‘Murder Most Foul’

The 17-minute epic touches upon obscure Civil War ballads, classic movies, and even songs by the Who, the Animals, and Billy Joel

By Andy Greene

Bob Dylan fans woke up this morning to the stunning news that the songwriter had released a 17-minute epic titled “Murder Most Foul.” “Greetings to my fans and followers, with gratitude for all your support and loyalty over the years,” Dylan wrote. “This is an unreleased song we recorded a while back that you might find interesting. Stay safe, stay observant, and may God be with you.”

It’s his first original song since 2012’s Tempest, though he has released three albums of cover songs associated with Frank Sinatra since then. The closest analogue to “Murder Most Foul” in Dylan’s vast catalog is Tempest’s title track, a 14-minute song about the Titanic.

Murder Most Foul” centers around another historic tragedy: the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It’s packed with references only JFK buffs will likely recognize, like the “triple underpass” near Dealey Plaza, the removal of his brain during the autopsy, and the “three bums comin’ all dressed in rags” captured on the Zapruder film that conspiracy theorists have been obsessing over for decades. Clearly, Dylan has spent a lot of time reading books and watching documentaries about this.

As the song goes on, however, it veers away from JFK and touches upon several other historic events of the era. It’s sort of like Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” mashed up with the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil.” Dylan fans will be picking this one apart for years, but here are 20 non-JFK references in the song.

Beyond JFK: 20 Historical References in Bob Dylan’s ‘Murder Most Foul’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mississippi Republican Governor States Wrongs

The following post is NOT the one intended for today, which concerned the Royal Game, and it will follow later this evening. Recently the AW has been spending time reading Chess magazines and replaying games at a feverish rate in an attempt to get away from all of the bad news, especially that emanating from Washington, D. C. In the coming daze the intention is to post several items of interest before devoting all, or at least most, of my time writing about Chess. That is, unless the lunatic F.I.P. at the White House does something even more stupid than the damage already done to We The People. The following article was read only late last night. Let me say that “timing is everything” and this was certainly NOT the time for this from yet another Republican FOOL IN POWER! I am all for “Heritage, not hate,” because as Edmund Burke said, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Although unfortunate, slavery is part of the history of the USA, both north and South, because the northern people of the time, in their wisdom, brought Africans in slavery to this country. For the record, the South was against bringing Africans to this country. At a time when this country needs to come together as ONE PEOPLE here is yet another idiotic Republican seeking to divide We The People.

Mississippi Governor Declares ‘Confederate Heritage Month’ During Coronavirus Pandemic

Republican Tate Reeves has a long history of ties to pro-Confederate groups.

By Amanda Terkel

In the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) has taken the time to declare April “Confederate Heritage Month.”

The proclamation came two days after Reeves changed his position and issued a statewide ordering shutting down nonessential businesses and ordering residents to stay home, according to the Jackson Free Press.

Reeves’ proclamation says April is the month when, in 1861, “the American Civil War began between the Confederate and Union armies, reportedly the costliest and deadliest war ever fought on American soil.”

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves took time out of his coronavirus response to honor the Confederacy.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves took time out of his coronavirus response to honor the Confederacy.

In 2016, then-Gov. Phil Bryant (R) signed a similar proclamation, although that one placed responsibility for the Civil War squarely on the shoulders of the Confederacy: “April is the month when the Confederate states began and ended a four-year struggle.” Reeves’ proclamation, as the Jackson Free Press noted, seems to spread the blame around.

Reeves faced significant criticism for being slow to issue a stay-at-home order for his state. And when he did so, his order was less strict than what some mayors had already done, allowing churches, as well as restaurants with 10 or fewer people, to stay open as “essential” businesses. He also took a shot at “liberal jurisdictions” that were shutting down more businesses.

In a follow-up order, Reeves closed down restaurants as well, restricting them to drive-through, curbside pickup and delivery.

Reeves did not return a request for comment on his Confederate history proclamation.

Reeves has long had ties to pro-Confederate organizations. In 2013, as lieutenant governor, Reeves spoke at an event for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a neo-Confederate organization that claims the Civil War was not about slavery.

Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) spoke at a Sons of Confederate Veterans event in 2013.

And as HuffPost reported last year, Reeves was a member of Kappa Alpha Order at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, a college fraternity that was known for pro-Confederate displays and run-ins with black students ― which became an issue in his gubernatorial run.

The fraternity looks to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee as its spiritual leader. A 1993 yearbook listed Reeves as a freshman that year, and he was featured as a Kappa Alpha member starting in the 1994 yearbook.

On Oct. 8, 1994, members of Kappa Alpha and another fraternity “donned Afro wigs and tied large Confederate flags around their necks,” according to an article in The Clarion-Ledger at the time. Some of them were also reportedly in blackface. The fraternity brothers “got into a shouting match” over the incident with some black students.

In 1995, the Kappa Alpha yearbook page showed a group of students standing with a Confederate flag in military attire. It’s not clear if Reeves was in the photo, although he was also pictured as a member of the fraternity that year.

“As a quick Google search will show, Lt. Gov. Reeves was a member of Kappa Alpha Order. Like every other college student, he did attend costume formals and other parties, and across America, Kappa Alpha’s costume formal is traditionally called Old South in honor of the Civil War veteran who founded the fraternity in the 1800s,” Reeves’ spokeswoman said in 2019, in response to the controversy.

“I condemn racism because that’s the way I was raised,” Reeves added at the time, “and I will tell you that’s the way I have governed as lieutenant governor.”

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tate-reeves-confederate-mississippi_n_5e8b3d5cc5b6cbaf282cf2e3

Mississippi

Written by: Bob Dylan

Every step of the way we walk the line

Your days are numbered, so are mine

Time is pilin’ up, we struggle and we scrape

We’re all boxed in, nowhere to escape

City’s just a jungle, more games to play

Trapped in the heart of it, trying to get away

I was raised in the country, I been workin’ in the town

I been in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down

Got nothing for you, I had nothing before

Don’t even have anything for myself anymore

Sky full of fire, pain pourin’ down

Nothing you can sell me, I’ll see you around

All my powers of expression and thoughts so sublime

Could never do you justice in reason or rhyme

Only one thing I did wrong

Stayed in Mississippi a day too long

Well, the devil’s in the alley, mule’s in the stall

Say anything you wanna, I have heard it all

I was thinkin’ about the things that Rosie said

I was dreaming I was sleeping in Rosie’s bed

Walking through the leaves, falling from the trees

Feeling like a stranger nobody sees

So many things that we never will undo

I know you’re sorry, I’m sorry too

Some people will offer you their hand and some won’t

Last night I knew you, tonight I don’t

I need somethin’ strong to distract my mind

I’m gonna look at you ‘til my eyes go blind

Well I got here following the southern star

I crossed that river just to be where you are

Only one thing I did wrong

Stayed in Mississippi a day too long

Well my ship’s been split to splinters and it’s sinking fast

I’m drownin’ in the poison, got no future, got no past

But my heart is not weary, it’s light and it’s free

I’ve got nothin’ but affection for all those who’ve sailed with me

Everybody movin’ if they ain’t already there

Everybody got to move somewhere

Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow

Things should start to get interesting right about now

My clothes are wet, tight on my skin

Not as tight as the corner that I painted myself in

I know that fortune is waitin’ to be kind

So give me your hand and say you’ll be mine

Well, the emptiness is endless, cold as the clay

You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way

Only one thing I did wrong

Stayed in Mississippi a day too long

Copyright

© 1996 by Special Rider Music

Mississippi

General States Rights Gist

One of the things most liked about writing a blog is the people met via the internet. There are many “followers” of the AW, and I check out all of them. An example would be the blog, Amanda Likes To Travel (http://amandalikestotravel.com/). I have lived vicariously through the written words of Amanda, because I, too, liked to travel. Amanda has not written lately and I can only hope it is because Amanda, like most of us, has hunkered down during the COVID-19 crisis. Maybe Amanda will consider temporarily changing the blog to, “Hunkering down with Amanda.”

Sometimes emails are received from readers, which means being in contact with people all over the world because of writing the AW. Recently an email was received from a young lady who lives in one of the northern states. She wrote, “Since you live and write about the south, I want to know about states rights.” She had noticed a map showing the states who had yet to impose restrictions for the people of that particular state, most being in the South.

How to answer such a question in a blog post?

From the book, The Day Dixie Died,

https://images.macmillan.com/folio-assets/macmillan_us_frontbookcovers_350W/9781429945752.jpg

by Gary Ecelbarger:

“The elation of the conquerors disintegrated, for the Ohioans had then exposed themselves to a counterpunch. That left hook came in the form of Georgia and South Carolina infantry. Those were the four regiments commanded by a man with the most unique birth name in the war-Brigadier General States Rights Gist, who was born during South Carolina’s nullification crisis of 1832. Gist’s father named him as a symbol of the state’s resolve, one that was enacted twenty-eight years later when South Carolina became the first of eleven Southern states to seceded from the United States. General Gist was an experienced, brave, and resilient commander. The day before the battle, Gist was struck in the back by an enemy bullet, a glancing shot that hit him close to his spine, but did not lodge within him. The general shrugged it off; a surgeon dressed the wound, and he was back in the saddle almost immediately.”

The United States is a collection of fifty sovereign states. The first state, Delaware, was ratified on December 7, 1787. The Great State of Georgia was the fourth state to ratify, doing so on January 2, 1788. My home state was the first Southern state. The Great State of South Carolina, the eighth state to ratify on May 23, 1788, was the second Southern state. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_date_of_admission_to_the_Union)

In addition, this is also found at Wikipedia:

A state of the United States is one of the 50 constituent entities that shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Americans are citizens of both the federal republic and of the state in which they reside, due to the shared sovereignty between each state and the federal government.[1] Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

States are the primary subdivisions of the United States. They possess all powers not granted to the federal government, nor prohibited to them by the United States Constitution. In general, state governments have the power to regulate issues of local concern, such as: regulating intrastate commerce, running elections, creating local governments, public school policy, and non-federal road construction and maintenance. Each state has its own constitution grounded in republican principles, and government consisting of executive, legislative, and judicial branches. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_date_of_admission_to_the_Union)

That is pretty cut and dry, is it not? Still…The fact is that the South was much more prosperous than the north prior to the war because cotton was king.

“In 1860, 5 of the 10 wealthiest states in the US are slave states; 6 of the top 10 in per capita wealth; calculated just by white population, 8 of 10. The single wealthiest county per capita was Adams County, Mississippi. As a separate nation in 1860, the South by itself would have been the world’s 4th wealthiest, ahead of everyone in Europe but England. Italy did not enjoy an equivalent level of per capita wealth until after WWII; the South’s per capita growth rate was 1.7%, 1840-60, 1/3 higher than the North’s and among the greatest in history.

from Walter Johnson, “King Cotton’s Long Shadow,” NY Times (4/30/13):

… In his Second Inaugural Address, Lincoln said he feared God would will the war to continue “until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword.” This reckoning of the value of slaves in blood and treasure raises an important, though too frequently overlooked, question. What was the role of slavery in American economic development?

The most familiar answer to that question is: not much. By most accounts, the triumph of freedom and the birth of capitalism are seen as the same thing. The victory of the North over the South in the Civil War represents the victory of capitalism over slavery, of the future over the past, of the factory over the plantation. In actual fact, however, in the years before the Civil War, there was no capitalism without slavery. The two were, in many ways, one and the same.” (http://inside.sfuhs.org/dept/history/US_History_reader/Chapter5/southernecon.html)

The people of the northern states wanted more Southern money and enacted the Morrill Tariff (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morrill_Tariff) in order to obtain more money, which caused the South to rebel.

Charles Dickens,

https://www.dickensfellowship.org/sites/default/files/images/young-charles-dickens.jpg

from his journal, All the Year Round, observed, “The last grievance of the South was the Morrill tariff, passed as an election bribe to the State of Pennsylvania, imposing, among other things, a duty of no less than fifty per cent on the importation of pig iron, in which that State is especially interested.” (https://medium.com/@jonathanusa/everything-you-know-about-the-civil-war-is-wrong-9e94f0118269)

English author Charles Dickens said: “The Northern onslaught against Southern slavery is a specious piece of humbug designed to mask their desire for the economic control of the Southern states.” Southern states contributed approximately 70 percent of the government revenue. (https://www.delmarvanow.com/story/opinion/columnists/2017/06/17/civil-war-confederacy-monuments-history/102845176/)

A terrible war was fought over control of wealth. The northern people won the war and got the wealth. They could have done anything they wanted, like building schools for the freed slaves in order to educate them and “bring them up to speed.” The victors could have rebuilt the South. Instead they left the South alone, possibly fearing the Southern people would again secede. That was not going to happen because the Southern people were completely devastated. It would be many generations before the South could even consider doing anything with the yankee boot on their necks. General Robert E. Lee

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said to former Governor of Texas, Fletcher Stockdale, in 1870:  “Governor, if I had forseen the use those people designed to make use of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox; no, sir, not by me. Had I forseen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in my right hand.” That sword had previously belonged to George Washington, the Father of our country. The Federal gov’mint let the Southerners do its thing while turning a blind eye to segregation for a century, until one man, the outspoken Dr. Martin Luther King,

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led his people in the streets, demanding equality.

Just so you will know exactly how I feel about the past of my South a story  will related from my youth.  Members of our extended family in the house and the television was on and it showed black people marching right there in downtown Atlanta. The usual Southern things could be heard, such as, “They oughta be put in jail,” and “They oughta be sent back to where they came from.” I cringed upon hearing one family member say, “They oughta be LYNCHED!”

The room became deathly quiet when I said, “I dunno…if I had dark skin I would be right out there marching with them.”

After being told by my Mother to “Go outside,” I did just that. On the way out I heard one say, “Mary, your boy ain’t right.”

Mother responded, “Michael has a mind of his own.”

Is Magnus Carlsen Infected With The Trumpitis Virus?

I have spent an inordinate amount of time reading several articles concerning the “postponement” of the 2020 Candidates Chess tournament, and every reply. The articles, Carlsen, Dvorkovich & Kramnik on ending the Candidates (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/carlsen-dvorkovich-kramnik-on-ending-the-candidates), and Azerbaijan National Team Writes Open Letter Regarding Radjabov, Candidates (https://www.chess.com/news/view/azerbaijan-team-open-letter-fide-radjabov), resonated deeply. In addition, an excellent article at Chessbase, Cancelled: When the war put a stop to top chess events (https://en.chessbase.com/post/cancelled-when-the-war-cut-top-events-short) was read, but does not figure into this post. It does, though, give some perspective on the situation in which Chess languishes.

Magnus Carlsen

https://cdn.chess24.com/Npdpj-ZGRImCRhHCxUpzFQ/original/magnus-carlsen-live.jpg

is the World Chess Co-Champion of Classical Chess, by his own admission. Magnus was unable to win even one classical game in the last match for the the World Human Chess Championship with Fabiano Caruana.

https://specials-images.forbesimg.com/imageserve/1073923720/960x0.jpg?cropX1=0&cropX2=4928&cropY1=41&cropY2=2813

https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmith/2019/08/16/fabiano-caruana-americas-top-chess-star-on-the-need-for-corporate-sponsors-and-a-potential-championship-rematch-with-magnus-carlsen/#7b3accfa268d

He was able to beat Sergey Karjakin

IMG_4080_by Maria Emelianova.JPG

only once in the previous match. He did, though, also lose one game. Magnus is considered World Human Chess Champion only because he happens to be better at playing ‘hurry up and get it over’ Chess.

Mr. Carlsen is proof positive that Chess does not make one “smart.” From the Chess24 article:

Carlsen on Kramnik (and Lawrence’s) suggestion to give Radjabov a 2022 wild card

“This is just my opinion. I think if he had wanted to play the tournament he would have played it.”

Lawrence: You think he didn’t want to play it, not related to the crisis?

“I think it’s partly but not fully. That is just my opinion. I think he was very happy to win the World Cup but he didn’t particularly fancy playing the Candidates, which I can understand. It’s an ordeal, and he had a rough time the last time [in the 2013 London Candidates Radjabov lost 7 games and finished last, 2 points behind the next player]. Obviously the corona situation gave his already I would think pre-existing opinion that he didn’t particularly want to play a lot of substance, that now he had a legitimate reason not to play. I’m not saying that his reason was not legitimate, I’m just saying that all the other guys did play and I’m sure they had concerns as well. That is just my take.

You can see that with Maxime, for instance. He stepped in on short notice and he’s not been one of the guys who’s complained at all about the situation. He’s just happy to be there, he wants to play and all of that stuff about it being a difficult situation and so on – yeah, of course it’s a difficult situation, of course it’s not the best atmosphere for a chess tournament, but you chose to be there, and so if you choose to be there then you play, you do your job and you have to trust the authorities there to make the decisions – FIDE, the Russian government and so on. As long as they feel that it’s safe to hold the tournament then you’re holding it.

Obviously the situation we have now is not ideal, but I think giving Radjabov the wild card for 2022 – that I would find just ridiculous. You could make the case that he should actually play in this one now that it’s been postponed and the situation is different. I don’t feel that way, I don’t know the law, I don’t know what is supposed to happen there, but to me it doesn’t feel justified that he should play even if it resumes, but I would understand it. But 2022… no!”

Evidently the World Co-Chess Champ of Classical Chess is a mind reader. Mr. Carlsen mentions a bad tournament by Mr. Radjabov SEVEN YEARS AGO! AS we go through life we change. An example would be the article, How your personality changes as you age, in which we find, “Our personalities were long thought to be fixed by the time we reach our 30s, but the latest research suggests they change throughout our lives.” (https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200313-how-your-personality-changes-as-you-age)

Teimour Radjabov

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https://www.chess.com/news/view/teimour-radjabov-interview-fide-candidates-chess

is a different person than he was in 2013. Could it be that Magnus, after playing over the recent games of Mr. Radjabov would prefer to NOT have to face Mr. Radjabov? Magnus Carlsen is twenty nine years of age and in Chess terms getting a little long in the tooth.

Consider this reply by KoustavChatterjee1:

“It’s amazing how arrogant some chess players are. They still say that Rajdabov withdrawing was because he was afraid of playing in the Candidates, even though there’s so much evidence to the contrary (him hiring seconds, the amount of prep etc).

Rajdabov is completely validated in his decision to withdraw from the event, as health and safety matters way more than chess. The players who went and played, didn’t do anything brave. They were just thinking about their careers and acting as professionals. Rajdabov sacrificed one of the best opportunities of his career for the greater good.

This thread is a perfect example as to how playing chess doesn’t correlate with being generally smart – proven by the World champ, and multiple people who commented here – who don’t realize that a tournament (no matter how important) is not worth the potential risks that a deadly pandemic entails.” (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/carlsen-dvorkovich-kramnik-on-ending-the-candidates)

Then there is this from BabarBouzouardo:

“Carlsen speaking of Radjabov: “That is just my opinion. I think he was very happy to win the World Cup, but he didn’t particularly fancy playing the Candidates, which I can understand. It’s an ordeal, and he had a rough time the last time [in the 2013 London Candidates Radjabov lost 7 games and finished last, 2 points behind the next player]. Obviously the corona situation gave his already I would think pre-existing opinion that he didn’t particularly want to play a lot of substance, that now he had a legitimate reason not to play.” … Bravo chess genius, you figured out everything about all subjects! Indeed you are a genius …! At first, Carlsen looked polite, respectful and rather kind. It was the time when, as a teenager, he was accompanied to chess tournaments by his father. He then gradually became a young man and his father was no longer in the picture; at this point you could see a change in his character. He became more and more provocative, aggressive. Now that he has become world champion and is on the threshold of the 30 year age group, he clearly got a swollen head/ego and he has become an arrogant character full of himself. Is Carlsen infected with the Trumpitis virus? … Or, is he just a chess genius and simply an idiot? … Carlsen can now, disrespect competitors and fart higher than his ass as long as he is champion and get away with it, and with no consequences! But even the great Kasparov had to give way to a younger player by the age of 37 and even retire at 40! …. So what could an idiotic Carlen do, he who has not learned a thing, or known something, about reality and life. Once his chess lights will dim out, what will he do and how will he live in society? … I guess in contempt and bitterness!” (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/carlsen-dvorkovich-kramnik-on-ending-the-candidates)

I have been amazed at some of the things heard and read. WAKE UP PEOPLE! COVID-19 is not simply going to blow away with the wind. Things will most definitely NOT return to normal, whatever your interpretation of what is ‘normal’. For example:

Scientists warn we may need to live with social distancing for a year or more

Researchers say we face a horrible choice: practice social distancing for months or a year, or let hundreds of thousands die.
By Brian Resnick@B_resnickbrian@vox.com Mar 17, 2020, 12:00pm EDT
https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2020/3/17/21181694/coronavirus-covid-19-lockdowns-end-how-long-months-years

Or this:

“Americans need to prepare for the possibility of COVID-19 coming back as a seasonal illness,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a White House press briefing on Wednesday.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said there have been cases in Africa and the Southern Hemisphere, which is approaching colder seasons.

“If they have a substantial outbreak, it will be inevitable that we’ll get a cycle around the second time,” he said.”

Read more here: https://www.sacbee.com/news/coronavirus/article241513906.html#storylink=cpy

People in the Chess world need to understand that, in the immortal words of Bob Dylan:

In a fight between life and death Chess becomes irrelevant.

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