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Total number of comments: 17 (since 2013-12-14 18:46:52)

Dan Gronlie

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  • Meryl Streep calls out Trump: Having Bully-in-Chief Coarsens whole Culture
    • Please do not include me in the 'we' who are 'hapless onlookers.' Look - you can choose to be one, by limiting your concern to online laments. However, a great many of us will be fighting, bringing dark things into the light, putting ourselves directly in the path of the worst of it, when we must.

    • Did you listen to her damn statement? Read the text version that Professor Cole provided?

      If you find that disingenuous, you are utterly unable to discern human sincerity. And, failing that, have missed a powerful, beautifully made point.

      Please, also tell me what Meryl Streep finds so 'terrible' about more jobs in the United States??? I'm pretty sure she would be way more in favor of it than Donald Trump is.

  • Top Five ways Jesus was not White
    • Thank you, Professor Cole. I abhor being called 'white' because my relative recent ancestors were mostly Scandinavian. It's not some odd kind of self-loathing - it's just that I've never been able to identify any aspect of myself that would properly, objectively be described as white (is there an internal organ somewhere that's actually white? Doubt it - and as for the most important organ in every living human without a tumorous growth, it's the same proportion of gray and almost-white in everyone.) In the same sense, I've never seen a 'black' person. Well, maybe once or twice while growing up on a farm that would have been an appropriate description for someone who was in the wrong spot when a tractor's oil was being changed or who had just finished extracting a stuck tractor from a very muddy point in a field. But only very temporarily...

      Being somehow 'color-coded' has never made the least bit of sense to me. Such a system of distinction isn't a natural one. It's purely social, using hyperbolic interpretations of skin pigmentation as reference points to justify otherwise arbitrary social stratification.

      I fully agree with your assessments and wish a species that could invent something so remarkable as the Internet, the means by which this sort of communication is possible, possessed similar competency concerning evaluating the nature of its members' actual differences and similarities.

  • Sorry, Garrison Keillor: Keith Ellison for President could have beaten Trump, and still Can
    • I agree entirely with your comments :-). The DNC chair has a lot of media time, and Ellison's media presence is exceptional.

    • Ellison's not 'too nice.' He's developed a first-rate method of facing opponents calmly while skillfully directing conversations in a manner of his choosing. I've seen him pull off some media wins that I had not imagined would have been possible until I witnessed them...

    • No, I think you are missing a great deal in your analysis. If you are faced with a bigoted bully, there are two reasonable responses.
      The first is to back away, try to hide, try not to get the bully's attention. And it's a guaranteed way to fail, to lose, to appear weak and powerless.
      The second way to deal with a bigoted bully is to stand firmly and squarely in his way, directly challenging every act of bigotry and bullying. And there is no better way to do that than to publicly stand with people who are smart, skilled people who have the very characteristics the bully is most bigoted against.
      If 'fear of Islamists' sells papers, and the President is the fearmonger-in-chief, how do you present a viable opposition to him if you're willing to use words to challenge his bigotry, but not back people who inherently are opposed to it?

    • I'm sorry, but in this particular situation, I have to agree with Mr. Cole and disagree with you. Audacity is what drove Donald Trump's success. In his case, he was simply the biggest bastard among a bunch of right-wing talking-points stooges who were so accustomed to blaming the country's problems on others that they were unequipped to handle Trump's direct, personal attacks.
      On the other hand, Bernie Sanders nearly unseated an extremely well-entrenched, well-financed, well-connected, establishment-backed, extremely ambitious political operative, with nothing more than the audacity of straight talk and a history of integrity.
      Now, if the Democratic party is going to do its job, which, frankly, will be to prevent a Trump administration from leaving the country in ruins, well, hopefully we've learned enough about audacity to recognize the value of a sharp, progressive, effective leader who also happens to be both African American and a Muslim. At a time when the President-elect became so by harnessing and aggravating American bigotry, having someone like Ellison willing to serve as DNC chair is an opportunity we miss out on at our peril.

  • The Reich Strikes Back? Neo-Nazis Call for a Boycott of New Star Wars Movie
    • lol - that's kind of a catchy phrase you made there. It's got fairly broad application - 'who really wants to play Twister with a neo-Nazi anyway?' or 'who really wants to read 'There's a Wocket in My Pocket!' with a neo-Nazi anyway?'
      Really, the experience of pretty much anything a person wants or needs to do is enhanced by the absence of a neo-Nazi :-)

    • The real shame of it is that he will forever be associated with the 'rebellion' period, and all recollection of his brilliant revitalization of the Tatooine Tango will be lost, in time, like tears in the rain. In a galaxy far, far away.

    • Yeah, actually I wasn't interested in seeing it at all - (I saw the first 3 in theaters as a kid at their releases, and had pretty much given up on the efforts of Lucas and Disney to spin more story out of a quite comfortably complete story already). But, hell, if American Nazi punks are whining about it, sell me a ticket right now!
      No joke - a Nazi call for 'boycott' was perfect marketing for me... Couldn't ask for better publicity.

  • No, America, it wasn't Russia: You did it to Yourself
    • Dr. Cole, I recall vividly the moment when I heard Sec. Clinton's 'basket of deplorables' comment.' My first thought was 'she just lost.' And I think it's true. She wasn't a great candidate to begin with, but, in that moment she demonstrated her elitist attitudes - who talks like that, anyway? - and provided Trump supporters with a group identity that they would embrace, in a way that Trump himself had failed to do.
      I agree with your assessment in its entirety, with one caveat: Hillary Clinton could not have been a worse candidate to face Donald Trump, and I believe that just about any other typical or even atypical(Bernie Sanders) Democratic candidate would have soundly beaten Trump. His voters were so at ease knowing that they were being conned and even embracing the scam because Clinton was simply unable to demonstrate just how ugly the scam was.
      The reason? Her candidacy was a kind of scam as well, and those who were on the fence until late in the game found Trump's less degrading. Absurd, in any other context, but both parties turned the election into a train wreck in their own ways...

  • Donald "Dr. Strangelove" Trump and some of the Times We almost had a Nuclear War
    • Yeah, I was floored by Juan's statement about remakes and the film's status as 'languish(ing) in black and white.'

      Remaking Dr. Strangelove? In color, no less? Yikes - that would be ghastly. The film was deliberately made in black and white. On the other hand, imagine 'Lawrence of Arabia' (released two years earlier) had been filmed in black and white. The colors of the desert, the robes worn by Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, and Peter O'Toole, the... well, anyway...

      Not with Juan at all on this one...

  • On the Fourth of July: None of us has Inalienable Rights if American Muslims don't
    • No, he's not just talk. I left a planned long weekend visit with my family early on Sunday afternoon while just barely containing my dismay and rage at my father's recital of bigoted statements drawn directly from the Trump playbook. Don't know whether I'm welcome back in the future or if I want to be. Although my father has always been a 'soft' bigot to a degree, now that Donald Trump has opened the floodgates of public discourse in favor of bigotry and racism to the worst extent in decades, my father, who hasn't a single reason in the universe to speak ill against any person based on ethnic heritage or skin color, is casually spouting filth. Donald Trump is a dangerously ignorant, rotten, utterly selfish con man whose current presence on one of the largest bully pulpits in the world has the potential to pollute American 'civil' discourse for decades, or worse.

      As to the 'doers,' the constant vitriol flowing from the Trump campaign provides them perfect cover. My father STILL buys the BS that Iraq was part of 'they' (apparently anyone with an Arabic-sounding name) who were behind the 9/11 attacks. Trump's absurd, convoluted and self-contradictory dialogue is generating a thick cloud of smoke which repels truth and reason, and welcomes dissembling and the blaming of everything that might be not awesome about the United States on groups of people identifiable solely by ethnic background as poorly indicated via skin pigmentation or (the current target of opportunity - in so many more ways than one) names that sound sort of Arabic... It's the crowning achievement of organized, motivated ignorance.
      If I ever meet the prick, I will simply call him out as a man to defend what he has said against me, an unarmed man, but with honor. President or not. That's what he merits for pushing utter filth into my family. And - Juan or other moderator - I'm not advocating anything other than appropriately demanding that a man stand behind hateful rhetoric in a manner that it is entirely consistent with American principles of responsibility for one's own conduct. Of course he would ditch such a challenge, and if he didn't, he'd live through it, but he'd get a taste of the meaning of responsibility. His rhetoric may have cracked my extended family in half for an indefinite period of time, and that finally made the devolvement of the state of the 2016 national elections into the farce it has become very, very personal.

  • Will Brexit Help the Palestinian Cause in the EU?
    • Um... If Juan's 'views' don't necessarily reflect Informed Comment's editorial policy, what does?

      Sorry, just a bit confused about that one... I have been visiting Informed Comment for years, almost exclusively because of the value of his views...

  • Photo of the Day: Was St. Nicholas "White"?
    • I'm 43 and grew up in North Dakota, about as 'white' a state as exists in the US. I have reached that point at which I no longer can accept the legitimacy of such categorization of Americans as white, black, African-American, Asian-American, etc. Unless one is an American citizen with additional national citizenships, it makes no sense whatsoever to me to define individuals as '-American.' Additionally, all members of homo sapiens are genetically compatible with each other for purposes of procreation, so it is utterly illogical to define 'races' of human beings, as it merely describes very, very slight genetic differences which have developed as a result of periods in which people procreated in a somewhat isolated fashion in a particular area for a significant period of time. Most of these traits, after a few generations of procreation among human beings of different ancestral geographic origins, become visually undetectable, or blended into a different, interesting genetic makeup that can not be said to be 'racial' in the modern sense of the word. Americans live in the most ethnically diverse country in the world - why have we not reached the point where we can simply refer to 'racial' differences, which after all, are only based on appearance, as what they are - 'light/dark/moderate' skin tone, etc. When I mention 'dark skin tone' to family or friends, most look at me and say 'black, right?' I respond - 'no, I've never seen a black person in my life - I've seen a few white people, they're called albinos and it's rather unfortunate condition, but I've never seen a black person. I've seen people with all sorts of brown-ish hues of skin, and people with pink-ish hues of skin, and, of course, orange-ish tan, kind of khaki-ish tan, and a lot of other colors. I describe human beings with various skin tones as well as hair colors and attributes as People. I don't know any other way to think.' Some call me naive, some just smirk, and some pause a moment or two and give the matter some thought.

  • Top Ten Problems in South Carolina Lindsey Graham should worry more about than Benghazi
    • I think that the points raised by Juan should answer your question. The fact of the matter is that some parts of our country are populated inordinately by people with lower education levels, on average, than others, and have a greater rate of general violence than most of the country. South Carolina is one such place.

      What sort of person do such regions send to office, then?

  • Karl Rove's Regret (Jamiol Cartoon)
    • Unfortunately, although the cartoon is gratifying, it's not accurate at all. All that money serves to keep the most visible of our potentially progressive leaders away from the progressive stances that may be necessary to maintain a healthy republic. The money and the ads they buy promises progressives that, should they push just a little bit too far away from 'the middle,' they will be vigorously attacked as radicals. And it will cost them, dearly. It's astounding that a vulture capitalist, who would not reveal his tax returns, and who declared, in a frank moment, utter disdain for about half of the American people, essentially those who did not start out in life with considerable trust funds backing up their get-richer-at-any-cost business endeavors, came very close to becoming the President of the United States. Now, as a result, 'the new normal' in political dialogue includes massively overfunding the already bloated military establishment, ostracizing the poor to middle class as self-designated 'victims' ungratefully living off of the good graces of the rich, and the slow strangling of the civilian federal government through under-taxation. Mr. Rove knows fully well that he has earned his keep.

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