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Intellectual Honesty 

Last week's story on an open letter from a group of Duke alumni calling out fellow alumni and White House senior adviser Stephen Miller has continued to generate a bunch of feedback. A quick sampling.

"The open letter from three-thousand-plus Duke alumni asks for 'intellectual honesty' yet talks about a Muslim ban," writes Terry Duff of Garner. "Their diverse, multicultural experience failed a basic education of what a ban really is or, more probable, is just plain intellectually dishonest. What a shame that they divide people into many groups based on sex, race, disability, national origin. etc. I write this near the end of Black History Month, and Martin Luther King Jr. would have us see everyone a child of God deserving our love, no divisions, and judge on character alone. It appears Steven Miller is the only diverse voice these Duke alumni ever encountered, which can be traced to the free but fake news press."

"Has anyone noticed it's mostly white men who are supporters of the new regime?" counters Patty Lovejoy. "What's sad is that it's not shocking in the least. Dear white men with ego issues, your fear is embodied in the fact that you are losing power and control over the world—and so is this administration. Their progress has consisted of rolling back protections of human beings and animals; way to go. Please know you are the last generation that supports such evil, and you will perish."

Moving on. Responding to a question posed by last week's Democracy in Crisis—"What if Democrats stopped worrying about rebuilding their party and started to think about defending American institutions?"—rmlucas writes, "But the Democratic Party is an important American institution, with an important role to play in resistance to Trump. And many members of the party are fighting to defend other democratic institutions. It's not either/or."

Commenter PinkDrinks "completely disagrees" with our position that Governor Cooper's proposed HB 2 compromise is a bad deal [Triangulator, February 22]. "Number one: there's nothing 'trans' about increasing penalties on 'bathroom crimes' unless it's already in your head. Number two: a cooling-off period is better than no period at all, which is what we have now. Number three: bigots cannot be 'spanked' into non-bigots by forcing them into accountability for previous actions. Number four: conservatives will continue to whine no matter what. There's so much to gain from the compromise that the article never explores."

Finally, last week's Triangulator entry about the local eighteen-year-old who raised money toward an ad calling out Senator Richard Burr for dodging town halls drew a number of attagirls. "This ad's tongue-in-cheek tone is precisely what is needed here," writes Haditupa. "I'm so peeved I'm sure I wouldn't manage a needed message such as this." "I saw this ad and shared a picture on Facebook, getting positive responses from all over the country," adds Amy Trojanowski. "Thanks for making activism fun again!" Even one of Senator Burr's defenders enjoyed it: "I'm so proud of Senator Burr and Senator Tillis," writes Alberthall. "But that was a clever ad."

Commenter Filippo, meanwhile, took issue with our description of Burr's "oddly thin, almost forced smile" and "sharp blue eyes." "Are the writer's above-quoted comments not ad hominem per the INDY's publishing guidelines? Is there anyone else about whose eyes and lips the writer would decline to comment? I do not see eye-to-eye (Ar! Ar!) with Mr. Burr on his political ideology, but how are his physical characteristics possibly relevant? What would the writer have Mr. Burr do to correct these physical vicissitudes that apparently offend the writer's delicate aesthetic sensibilities—convene a prayer circle and beseech divine Providence for a revelation and miracle to deliver Mr. Burr from what the writer avers ails him? Colored contact lenses and collagen treatments?"

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