Commenter Archive

AvatarComments by Roland Dodds*

On “Confronting the Radicalism of Young Men Online

I was probably one of those that thought there was something interesting about the altright and worth talking about. I even cheered along with them as Trump decimated other Republicans in the primary. It was something to see the entire cover of the RNC (small government, family values, etc) crushed beneath a monstrous man.

I thought Trump would be the death of the Republican Party, and oh boy, was I wrong as hell. It makes my previous enjoyment in watching him beat the Republican establishment even more sad and misguided.

On “Criminally Stupid Comes to the Border

This is a pretty terrifying development.

On “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Muthana?

This is exactly it. I follow a number of the rebel/militia groups in Syria/Iraq on Twitter, and they don't hide the fact that they want retribution and these women are surely in serious danger now that the Caliphate has crumbled.


Yep. This is basically my opinion was well.

On “An Ordinary Anniversary

This is a great idea. Although I wasn't on board with OT for some time after its inception, I was on one of Erik's earlier websites before his change of heart politically. I think I was first pulled into OT in a spat with Freddie about intervention.

I look forward to seeing some of its founders and big names return for this celebration!

In addition, if anyone is interested in doing a live event in the Bay Area, I would be more than happy to set something up. Getting to meet other OT contributors at one of the past summer events was an awesome experience, and while I can't put on quite the same performance, I would definitely make sure we could have a meal and drink in the greater SF region.

On “Two Reviews Of “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse”

I was fine and my kids were too young to care about any of that stuff. They just wanted to see Spidermen/women do things. I have a pretty close relationship with my father, so it didn't hit home all that much.

Here was my daughter after the movie; she still talks about it. Interestngly enough, she wants to be Spiderman even though there were female versions of the character on screen. When we play, I have to be Spider Gwen.

We loved #SpiderVerse so much, we went and saw it again.— Roland Von Doom (@RolandDodds) December 27, 2018


I loved this movie, but more importantly, my daughters did. I have serious superhero movie fatigue, but diving so deep into the silly and fun aspects of Spider-Man, while also bringing in some of the newer versions of the character, was a real pleasure.

On “On a Year Commuting by Train and Bike

On a side note, we need to get the OT Bay Area crew together sometime once that Larkspur-SMART connection is operational. There are a lot of nice brew-pubs right there in downtown San Rafael.


Before I got my road bike (the one pictured above) I considered an electric bike. It just seemed like I would need to drop at least 2 grand for a decent one and I wasn't ready to put that kind of money down. I am glad I didn't as I realized I could do without the extra assistance.

Having said that, I might get one some day if I can no longer physically handle the hills.


On a working day, its about 24 miles total by bike and about 70 by train.


I wear cycling clothes, but change into a dress shirt and tie when I get to work. I find I don't need to shower on my morning leg of the ride as I don't perspire at 6 AM that much.

There is no way I would wear my work clothes for these rides.


True about the weather in certain spots. I imagine my general point still stands about the need for better public transport even in the icy north, but using a bike year round probably wouldn't work (hell, I didn't ride at all in December because of a little rain).

On “Morning Ed: Family

I think that is it. I feel more conservative in temperament now that I have kids but I would never vote for a Republican for any reason.

On “Insider Baseball : Cal Ed and California Politics Edition

Well done Patrick. I can't say I have digested everything here yet, but as a teacher and parent in California, this is a valuable breakdown (I also happen to be a union negotiator). Please keep these types of in-depth reports coming!

On “Droning the Libs

This wins the internet.

On “Anthony Bourdain Dead at 61

Gutted. Very sad news. Bourdain made a big impact on how I see the world.

On “America, the Awesome

Have you considered Pyongyang? It doesn't meet any of your criteria, but you could surely come out with a book deal if you lived there a year.

On “Public Education in the United States, Part I

@mike-dwyer "I have long-advocated for a national curriculum, with lots of flexibility built in for local educators to tailor subjects for a local audience. The problem, of course, is that we would also need to complete revamp the way education funding is done"

Agreed. I think that most schools do this very thing in history. We don't teach every single thing mentioned on the larger Common Core framework in depth, but the big things (like the Constitution in 8th grade and how our government works) really needs to be a requirement in every classroom. The rest should be up to local districts.


Well said Michele. I am also a teacher and have dealt with similar concerns in my 10 years on the job. Thankfully, I have never been in a situation like you describe. I am actually a bit shocked by the behavior of the teachers mobilizing students the way they did and then shamming teachers who didn't actively recruit. I have never seen anything like that first hand, and I teach in the Bay Area.

While I recognize education is never value-neutral and will always result in some folk criticising any perceived attempt at "indoctrinating" children, it is in public education's best interest to simply let students organize themselves to address problems they see in our society. We can teach them how to do that through the lens of historical analysis, but it will almost surely be better for the students if they take on activism without being conducted by their teachers.

On “The Company We All Keep

I hear you, and I recognize that this is an odd argument for me to make considering my background. I first got into blogging in 2004/2005 to criticise the ways totalitarian leftwing groups were operating in existing political movements. I said at the time that it was a duty of mainstream antiwar/left wing orgs to disassociate themselves from groups like the RCP and not make excuses for militants like Hamas. I write for Harry's Place which has made a name for itself for calling out those types of tendencies on the left in British politics. (Many commentators are discussing the Corbyn/antisemitism stuff right now, arguing Corbyn has not done enough to address the problem. I happen to think Corbyn is moving in the right direction and saying the right things, but that is another discussion).

And while it is what-about-ism, I think the black community does have ground to stand on when they are asked to attack NoI while alt-right figures and ideas go without mention in conservative white society. Obviously, there will be those that say you must reject all these forces equally, which is a position I can get behind. I simply think that an understanding of why these groups/figures/ideas gain traction gets lost in a politics of constant condemnation without reflection.

On “I saw my daughter’s first school play, and it was awful.

Expect more in your future for the next decade of your life!

I had a terrible youth play experience last week as well. I invited a local Shakespeare company to our school to perform. They are a reputable group; an institution in this area. We knew this was their youth wing, but we didn't expect them to be 12-13-year-olds. They insisted on not using microphones.

While they gave passionate performances (you could see that all the children performing wanted to be there) it was an indecipherable performance. Not only was it impossible to hear them, they were too young to understand the finer aspects of acting and Shakespeare and thus it appeared to be one child running through their lines quickly with another child then going through their lines. The student audience was baffled for an hour and a half.

It was the worst thing I have ever subjected my students to.

*Comment archive for non-registered commenters assembled by email address as provided.