Just Who Won the Civil War, Anyhow?

Last summer, waiting to visit the submarine Growler at the Intrepid museum on the Hudson River, I watched a video on the development of the submarine. Included was discussion of Confederate submarines during the Civil War with a reference to one of the developers as a "patriot." I thought that odd: where else would someone in open … Continue reading Just Who Won the Civil War, Anyhow?

"The Help"

Growing up in and out of the south during the 1950s and 1960s, I was extremely attuned to the disparity between the lives of whites and blacks.  Everyone was.  Even though my Quaker family supported the Civil Rights movement without question, we still lived in what were, to all intents and purposes, segregated neighborhoods (in … Continue reading "The Help"

Too Sensitive to Smears?

My growing sensitivity over disparagements of my Appalachian (Scots-Irish) background may be making me a bit more sensitive to insults to other groups—to an extent I had not realized. And, perhaps, too much so. Perhaps it is due to my anger at the assumption that West Virginians (inbred hillbillies, doncha know) voted overwhelmingly for Clinton … Continue reading Too Sensitive to Smears?

Answering the Obama Challenge

My reaction, on reading Barack Obama’s Philadelphia speech yesterday, was that he has offered us and our presidential candidates the chance to raise the level of debate in America to a level not reached for more than thirty years. This morning, The New York Times, in an editorial, agrees: “We can’t know how effective Mr. … Continue reading Answering the Obama Challenge