4.404.;4sar.e4aprok, Elroy Bode’s notebook communist issue was used by corporate money power to defeat the New Deal, of which Maury Maverick was the leading Texas champion. Each issue did its dirty work. Maverick was McCarthyized first in 1936, accused truly of defending the civil rights of communists and falsely of advocating teaching communism in the schools. In 1937, Dies of Lufkin, Tex., founded the House Committee on Un-American Activities over Maverick’s vituperative opposition. I cannot find, in my memory, a more persuasive political statement of the case for civil liberties than this by Maverick, quoted by Henderson: The purpose of freedom of speech; the purpose of freedom of press, is to eliminate violence, destruction and revolution. By the use of freedom, by violent expression, we prevent the violent act. We must not, in our effort to destroy Fascism or Communism, adopt their policy of the elimination of full, free, unhampered expression in every phase of life. Let us have our view of economics, but let us preserve democracy and freedom. But civil liberty, like racial equality, depends, for its defense, on reason, and monopoly power knows that to prevail, it must use emotion. As Maverick’s 1938 campaign opened, San Antonians were told by a visiting author that their congressman was “a Red. He’s Moscow’s pet.” San Antonio police chief Paul Kilday’s brother said the chief was going to run against Maverick “on the issue of Maverick’s communistic affiliations,” and when Paul Kilday announced for Congress, he said his object was “the elimination from Congress of one overwhelmingly shown to be the friend and ally of Communism.” This was false; these were lies. And Kilday won. Maverick’s career was aborted yet again when he was discredited as mayor, and subsequently defeated, by these same forces of big money and what later became known as McCarthyism. Yet he served on through the war, trying, and failing, to get Roosevelt to arrest the fearfully accelerating consolidation of monopoly power under the shelter of the military emergency, and he continued his creative, constructive life, his great good work, until he had no more to give, and died. Page after page, this book is important because the subject is important, and it is pleasurable to read because it is good to look on the life of a great man. I recommend it to everyone who cares about R.D. THE TRUMPET Digest of Independent Liberal, Thought. I year \(12 Goleta, Calif. 93017. El Paso GOAT KILLING When Enselmo the ranchhand.threw the other end of the rope over a liveoak tree the goat gave a long, desperate, strangulated BLUAAAAHHHH, but Enselmo did not even seem to hear it. He went right on stringing the goat up by his hind feet and tying the rope around the trunk of the tree while Grandpa stood beside him, chewing on his tobacco. Then Grandpa got out his pocket knife and after turning to spit to one side and wiping his sleeve along his mouth he placed the tip of the finely whetted blade against the goat’s neck and jabbed it deep and across the throat. When he pulled away the jugular vein gave its first big rush of blood. After the knife blade disappeared into the white taut neck and the cry broke and gurgled away with the splashing of blood to the ground, the four of us waited there in the woodlot beneath the huge oak tree: Enselmo and Grandpa were waiting for the neck to stop draining so they could skin the goat and hang pieces of the carcass in the smokehouse; Zipper the collie was waiting for the hot intestines to be thrown over against the garden fence so he could begin to chew and gnaw and worry them for the rest of the morning. And I was waiting because if was my first goat killing. With his knife hand still held out wide from his side Grandpa chewed fast and methodically on his wad of tobacco, watching the goat empty himself of blood. Finally, when the bleeding had slowed to a steady drip, he and Enselmo went to work. Enselmo began to skin the goat with quick, slashing strokes of his own sharp pocket knife, peeling back the hide and revealing layers of shining, globular fat; and Grandpa, after first dipping his hand in a bucket of water beside the tree, reached into the cavity of the goat and started bringing out the heart, the sweetbreads, the pink spongy lights. With both of them slashing and peeling, it wasn’t long before the goat stopped looking like an animal to me: it seemed more like a piece of stange, muscular sculpture that someone had hung up inside a suit of long-handled underwear. Later in the day I went into the smokehouse and stood beneath the sections of meat. They swung gently, almost contentedly, from the dark rafters, as if already adjusted to their new home. I tried to visualize how they had been early that morning all of them connected inside the hide of the goat, all of them working together so that the goat walked and snorted and bleated with the mysterious fullness of life but I could not. It seemed as if there never had been such a goat; he had merely been a dream. There had always been just these smooth, white-streaked slabs in the smokehouse gloom: silent tombstones of meat. It was as if love had somehow failed to prepare me for life, had made me too innocent, too unsure, too vulnerable to the needs of others … For as a child hadn’t I memorized the Lord’s Prayer and believed in it, unabashed: Hadn’t it asked me to forgive those who had trespassed against the, and even though I did not know of anyone who had done that who had trespassed hadn’t I each night, in the darkness, wiped my slate clean in order to start the next morning with a fresh cheek to turn? By this nightly ritual of forgiveness hadn’t I failed to build up in my backbone the steady deposit of calcium-grudge needed to survive in life? Hadn’t the word love seemed to fit my world almost too well: Love thy neighbor as theyself, the Bible said well, had I any reason not to? Wasn’t love all around me? Who could not love my home, the ranch, the trees, the afternoons? And hadn’t I heard, while I was growing up, why Poor Old So-and-So did the things he did: “… his wife and child burned up in a fire down in Laredo when he was just a young man and that’s why he took to drink”? Wasn’t that why I was in the streets, looking into all the faces rather than trying to shape a specific destiny of my own? Wasn’t I trying to find an answer for all the sad things that seemed to happen in life having learned, as a child, that every man can be “explained”? I wanted to praise God, curse Him bitterly, be immensely glad and cry unceasingly, kiss the air, gnash my teeth, moan, sing, kill myself, live forever. Cross-currents swept through me; I pulsed and flushed with alternate rhythms and bloods. I was like a membrane held against the multitudinous flowings of life. AMONG MY FELLOW MEN It was a curious place to sit, smile, and for a moment find peace. I was seated under the high arc lights on the west side of the downtown El Paso plaza. It was a fall night about nine o’clock and half a dozen subdued old men were scattered along the benches, talking, spitting, watching the casual nighttime traffic. Most of the familiar downtowners were taking the air. The little Kentucky colonel minced by in a worn flannel suit, adjusting his wide-brim hat and absent-mindedly fingering his stained white goatee. His racing form, as usual, was ready to fall from his back pants pocket. The blonde madwoman, in ‘green tights and beaded Indian boots, was striding along toward the train underpass to stand at the railing, to talk into space, to giggle down into the silence of the long tunnel. The small hunchback, in his double-breasted blue suit, his hair parted in the middle, was standing on the corner by the traffic light, December 25, 1970 19 public affairs.
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