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Doug Gray

Bloomington, MN
Commenter for
2 years 50 weeks

Recent Comments

I read Louis D. Johnston (and Ed Lotterman in the Pi Press) even when the headline is something like this one. Is there no hope for me?

Posted on 08/14/14 at 12:20 pm in response to No evidence or consensus about best way to brush teeth, study finds

...to the official opening of the summer silly season. Next: no consensus on whether to blow your nose or sniff and swallow.

Posted on 06/26/14 at 09:55 pm in response to New Dakota War history looks at the quiet heroics of Bishop Whipple

Whatever Bishop Whipple's probably significant influence on Lincoln's reducing the numbers hung in Mankato -- and let us not forget Shakopee and Medicine Bottle, kidnapped from Canada and hung the next year -- his driving force was to preserve the Union, not necessarily to treat Indians more humanely.

He once said if he could accomplish that by freeing all the salves, he would do that; if he could accomplish it by freeing no slaves, he would do that; and if he could accomplish that by...

Posted on 06/27/14 at 03:24 pm in response to New Dakota War history looks at the quiet heroics of Bishop Whipple

Though there probably wasn't a tribunal at the time to bring such charges to, it's worthwhile to note that one of the reasons advanced after the Civil War for not simply exterminating all the Indians was that it would cause European nations to see the U.S. as uncivilized.

Article 7.

In order to insure the civilization of the Indians entering into this treaty, the necessity of education is admitted, especially of such of them as are or may be settled on said agricultural reservations, and they therefore pledge themselves to compel their children, male and female, between the ages of six and sixteen years, to attend school; and it is hereby made the duty of the agent for said Indians to see that this stipulation is strictly complied with; and the United...

It was a State Department security officer who taught me about handguns when I was posted overseas. This is what I remember of his lessons, which I have taken to heart.

A handgun is a tool for destroying human life at close range. It is useless for any other purpose. Merely having one means nothing and does nothing. Do not have one in your home or on your person unless you are fully prepared to use it to kill another human being who you are looking in the eyes. Do not buy one unless...

Posted on 06/03/14 at 10:10 am in response to U.S. role in the world: Neocons want more muscle than Obama Doctrine

The neocons should have had their day. Any defense of their wooly-headed ideas about what America's role in the world needs to be should be required to be accompanied by an explanation of how, exactly, America or the world is better off today than they were before the neocons started a war of choice in Iraq.

One would think that someone who's studied history would have a better appreciation of the lessons, if not of Vietnam and Iraq, then of Sun Tzu, Jomini and Clausewitz. But then...

Posted on 06/03/14 at 12:31 pm in response to U.S. role in the world: Neocons want more muscle than Obama Doctrine

``In principle it would be quite simple to waste the surplus labour of the world by building temples and pyramids, by digging holes and filling them up again, or even by producing vast quantities of goods and then setting fire to them. But this would provide only the economic and not the emotional basis for a hierarchical society. What is concerned here is not the morale of masses, whose attitude is unimportant so long as they are kept steadily at work, but the morale of the Party itself....

Posted on 06/03/14 at 12:31 pm in response to U.S. role in the world: Neocons want more muscle than Obama Doctrine

I, too, have emotional memories of the Cold War. But pride is not one of them.

While we can certainly acknowledge that, in the long history of conflict between Europeans and Indians in this hemisphere, there is brutality enough to go around, we also need to acknowledge that the majority of the brutality, not to mention the callous dehumanization and disrespect inherent in what has come to be called ethnic cleansing, has been perpetrated against Indians by Europeans.

The settlers, largely innocent, who were killed and brutalized in the early days of the 1862...