Dumb discourse …

I am using the free wifi at our airport…the plane that was supposed to get us to Dallas-Fort worth by 7:20 isn’t schedule to depart until 7:40 or so.

Oh well…

That traps me in the airport with the cell phone brigade and right now some woman is jabbering and shaking so hard she is turning red in the face….” …she said that….”

The internet: you can turn off or scroll past. Airports with no cell phone free areas: captive. I do have in ear plugs…

But I found some amusing pranks:

But there is another kind of banality that is more harmful to us. Have you ever wondered why the political dialogue is so stilted and filled with cliches? My guess: anyone who speaks with even a tiny bit of nuance is hung out to dry, even by one’s potential political allies.

Example: Senator James Webb said this (re: the “confederate flag” controversy)


He is catching fire for this statement and I am not talking about rational push-back.

Think of it this way: IF the “confederate flag” were only the flag of a former failed state (good source here), well, that would be one thing. Yes, it was a long time ago and many of our ancestors (mine included) did some truly horrible things. There were a lot of otherwise honorable people who simply didn’t know any better and weren’t visionary enough to overcome their cultural environment.

My beef is that the current “confederate flag” (battle flag of Tennessee..and a square version was used by the Northern Virginia army) is used now-a-days as a result of a push-back against the beginning of the civil rights era in the United States:

The rebel flag’s resurgence came long after the Civil War
After the Civil War ended, the battle flag turned up here and there only occasionally — at events to commemorate fallen soldiers.

So, when did the flag explode into prominence? It was during the struggle for civil rights for black Americans, in the middle of the 20th century.

The first burst may have been in 1948. South Carolina politician Strom Thurmond ran for president under the newly founded States Rights Democratic Party, also known as the Dixiecrats. The party’s purpose was clear: “We stand for the segregation of the races,” said Article 4 of its platform.

Why the Confederate flag still flies

At campaign stops, fans greeted Thurmond with American flags, state flags — and Confederate battle flags.

But desegregation progressed.

As it passed milestones like the Supreme Court ruling on Brown vs. Board of Education, which gave black American children access to all schools, the Confederate battle flag popped up more and more.

The one in South Carolina flew since 1962; it was first put up in 1961 as part of the 100 year anniversary of the start of the Civil War.

Senator Webb, though he is too conservative for my tastes, raises some worthy points. But nuance and thoughtfulness doesn’t play well in American politics, especially when the message is “don’t demonize people who aren’t like you.”

That, sadly, is bipartisan.


June 24, 2015 - Posted by | political/social, social/political, travel | , ,


  1. I hope the flag comments don’t hurt Sen. Webb, as I am supporting him for president. He doesn’t seem to be owned by Wall Street and seems to have a good grasp of foreign policy. Having literary talent and a Navy Cross don’t hurt either. I can think of no candidate from either party who either one of those.

    Comment by Lee White | July 3, 2015 | Reply

    • Hi Lee! I see Sen. Webb as more of a potential VP candidate. He is a bit too conservative for my tastes, but I like and respect him a great deal.

      Comment by blueollie | July 3, 2015 | Reply

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