I give you my sprig of lilac

This is the day that last week’s Appomattox Anniversary was ignored in favor of, as we shall re-enact the American Passion Play yet again. But let me first show you two drawings and then what I wrote for Lincoln’s 200th Birthday in 2009.

lincoln

Abraham Lincoln died  7:22:10 a.m. on April 15, 1865. He was 56.

And: Continue reading

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Somebody Remembered Appomattox

southern gp

Sure glad the South lost that war.

The New York Times remembers that 150 years ago, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House.

Lee Surrendered, But His Lieutenants Kept Fighting
Elizabeth R. Varon / New York Times

“If the programme which our people saw set on foot at Appomattox Court-House had been carried out … we would have no disturbance in the South,” testified the former Confederate general (and future senator) John Brown Gordon in 1871.

Well and good. The crux of the article is that Southerners almost immediately began reinterpreting (creatively misinterpreting) the terms of the Appomattox surrender in a manner wholly unintended and carried with it the seeds of the entire historical rewrite known as the “Lost Cause” that still holds large pockets of the South in thrall: Continue reading

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The Last Day of Battle

sailors-creek-marker

The Daughters of the Confederacy are hallucinating on that “almost” line.

At the end of the last day that the Army of Northern Virginia would ever fight, Robert E. Lee surveyed the disaster. Of a force of barely 30.000, 8.000 had been lost in a single, disastrous engagement:

Upon seeing the survivors streaming along the road, Lee exclaimed in front of Maj. Gen. William Mahone, “My God, has the army dissolved?” to which General Mahone replied, “No, General, here are troops ready to do their duty.” Touched by the faithful duty of his men, Lee told Mahone, “Yes, there are still some true men left … Will you please keep those people back?” [Wikipedia]

In the end, Robert E. Lee was  betrayed by logistics: at the fall of Richmond, he had requested that rations be sent by rail to Amelia Court House, about thirty miles to the west of the fallen Confederate capital. When the troops reached the Court House rail junction on April 4th, there were supplies waiting, but it was all ordnance. Lots of it, in fact.  Continue reading

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The Original Baghdad Bob 150 Years Ago

baghdadbobBaghdad Bob explains how Saddam Hussein is winning, as US tanks
can be heard on the outskirts of the airport he’s talking to the press from

The Original Baghdad Bob was the Richmond Daily Dispatch, which started the war explaining, on April 1, 1861, that the economic superiority of the South was such that they didn’t even NEED the North, and thence sounded like Rightie bloggers of today: all events are victories for the glorious cause, all failures are either to be spun or barely acknowledged. This is from April 1. Today, April 2, is when the end begins, as Union forces overwhelm Lee’s defensive positions around Richmond. [emphasis added] Continue reading

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An April Fool’s Story

fools-bauble

The fool in question being me.

I had not known until today that former Miss America Mary Ann Mobley had died back on December 9th. And I was immediately reminded of the story of the only connection that she and I ever had.

Back in 1978, I was just starting my second year in Hollywood–an absurd notion that I could be a writer that EVERY adult in my life, save one, my bel0ved Aunt Mary, who passed away nearly a year ago, told me was impossible, ridiculous, idiotic, foolish, absurd and what the hell was I d0ing dropping out of university to pursue this idiotic notion?

Being the person that I am I ignored their sage advice. Continue reading

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An Historical Cycle Ends

springtime-on-europa by Hart WIlliams © 2013

CNN Money, that most astute of websites, tracked down recent blog retiree and superstar Andrew Sullivan, who gave an interview, probably, prefacing the publication of his book, which will keep him in the media crosshairs: Continue reading

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Health Care Five Years Ago Today

denied-env

“Odious” health insurance is now “MODA” as in “MODA Center” where 
the Portland Trailblazers play with other NBA teams when they’re home.

Ted is about to find out that he can’t enroll until next year. Like me.

Ted Cruz to sign up for government health care
Jennifer Jacobs / Des Moines Register

Ted Cruz, one of the loudest critics of Obamacare, will soon be using it for health insurance coverage.  —  “We will presumably go on the exchange and sign up for health care and we’re in the process of transitioning over to do that,” Cruz …

It is an irony of history that five years ago, today, I was writing Speaker Pelosi and President Obama to thank them for ACA and to note that ODS (now MODA) had kicked me off my health insurance for a “pre-existing condition.” (With photos of the actual correspondence.) Continue reading

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