Latest reader comments

  • Reply to: Wednesday News: Voucher madness continues   6 hours 15 min ago

    Keeping a skeletal military presence there is just begging for an escalation. When we were working hard to contain ISIS, including assisting Kurds in Iraq and Syria, there was some value in our presence. But our recent clashes with Iranian-backed militias (who also fight ISIS) have nullified that aspect.

  • Reply to: Can I see your pee-pee?   1 day 4 hours ago

    They don't know how to build things, they only know how to tear them down. Policies or people, it's all the same to the GOP. And when it pleases 40% (if not higher) of the population to viciously attack a much smaller percent, they can't wait to play that ugly card.

    And they will keep doing it as long as it wins them elections.

  • Reply to: Tuesday Twitter roundup   1 day 6 hours ago

    I was going to say, "Shouldn't that be 'more comfy' instead of comfier?" but I just don't have the energy...

  • Reply to: No refuge: Transgender youth persecuted by their families first   2 days 2 hours ago

    There's a Twitter thread that's essential reading on how the right ramped up attacks on Trans people over the past few years and how it's a central strategy for driving bigots and evangelicals out to vote.

    NC, of course, figures prominently in this strategy, with the big debate about HB2.

    The only thing missing from this timeline is how the Trump campaign tried to use Trans rights as a wedge issue in the gay community - the "Gay for Trump" group, organized by a guy in Greensboro, was specifically bigoted against Trans people.

  • Reply to: Sunday News: From the Editorial pages   3 days 5 hours ago

    I am a firm believer in the value of information; that the more we know, the better we can solve life's myriad problems. But making sure that information is accurate is not always easy, it requires at least a minimum of due diligence in checking sources, preferably multiple, independent, primary sources. Unfortunately, way too many people take the exact opposite route. And of course their conclusions suffer from it.

    I hesitate to bring religion into this discussion, but it is already there anyway, so what the hell: The concept of "faith," or believing in something in the absence of scientific proof, has so permeated evangelical Christian dogma that it dominates their entire outlook on life. They revere Jesus, but it's figures like John the Baptist who strike their fancy. Ragged, unkempt, wandering the wastelands ranting and raving, warning of dire consequences. Or the other John (probably not his real name) who was exiled to the Isle of Patmos because he was (very likely) insane.

    My point is, it's not the scholars, it's not the well-read, it's not the consensus-seekers who should be listened to. It's those on the fringe, who have distanced themselves from critical thinking and social interaction. People like Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and (yes) Donald Trump.

    So, now that we've figured out why they follow such false prophets, we should be able to make progress in reversing that mindset, right? Wrong.

    They may be depriving themselves of accurate information, but they have also become very skilled at avoiding the "introspection" that might have freed them from such ignorance. And one of those skills is the "segue," the fluid move from one debate topic to another, before their painful lack of understanding on the previous topic can be completely exposed.

    But in order to do that they must dominate the conversation, dictate the subject matter being discussed. Now, this might seem to defy logic, that a poorly-informed individual would have the confidence to take charge. But the thing is, they've witnessed it in action for years.

    Fox News hosts have been doing it since the early days. Pose a question to a hostile (Liberal) guest, interrupt said guest halfway through his or her answer, make a personal judgment, throw another question out there, interrupt, judge, change the subject with a new question, interrupt, judge, etc.

    It's a corrupted formula, that any clear-thinking individual would see right through. But it appears to be successful. The rude and disingenuous host appears to win the exchange. And that debate formula has been absorbed by the conservatives who dutifully watch Fox News. They don't just spew the talking points, they play the entire game.

    Don't waste your time by playing along.