SocraticGadfly

June 14, 2021

More on the idea of the Mavericks replacing Rick Carlisle

Despite a great effort by Luka Doncic in Game 7, the Dallas Mavericks lost Game 7 to the Clippers and have another first-round playoff exit.

So, what's needed to upgrade?

To go beyond my original post about this, of a week ago? Probably head coach Rick Carlisle.

First, there's signs that the "Franchise" has friction, and probably increasing friction, with Carlisle. This Red Satan piece by Tim MacMahon, formerly of the Dallas Snooze and knowing the Mavs, has details.

First, part two? This is a players' league, more than the NFL or MLB. Aaron Rodgers, no matter how much he wants out of Green Bay and no matter how much he thinks Matt LeFleur made a dumb play call in last year's playoffs, isn't getting management to can his coach. Or his GM. In baseball, yeah, the Rockies GM resigned, but that was six months after trading Nolan Arenado. And Bud Black is still there in the dugout, whether or not he bears any blame for the Rockies slump last year, or 2019.

The NBA? Ever since Magic Johnson got Paul Westhead fired, a year-plus removed from an NBA title, different story to some degree. Especially on free agency. LeBron James wouldn't have finalized The Decision to be Miami if Pat Riley ain't there. That's of course the Riles who replaced Westhead in Westwood.

Back to the Mavs.

First, while Kristaps Porzingis is a fine 2A player, would he a be a full No. 2 on an elite team? Probably not, and that's putting it mildly. He's NOT "The Unicorn." To put it another way, when your coach is praising your "floor spacing," that's a tell. 

In addition, ESPN points out what many Mavs fans know. His injury history has cut his mobility and made him a liability on D.

Tim Hardaway Jr.? A probable keeper, and per many Mavs fans, the actual better piece of the Zinger trade.

But, no real No. 2.

Can you get a more well rounded additional No. 3 in the free agent market?

Like a Will Barton? Or Paul Millsap? A full season of Aaron Gordon with the Nuggets means one or both of them are expendable. (Barton has a player option.)

Now, does Luka plus three or more No. 3 options, BY ITSELF, put this team over at least the first-round top, and preferably, at least a real chance of getting over the conference semis top?

I doubt it.

Most other names on this free agent list likely aren't happening. And, that sets aside fans wondering how well Cuban and Donnie Nelson are as free agent whisperers. (Frankly, they still strike me as being used as rich stalking horses by agents and little more.) 

It also sets aside whether or not Rick Carlisle, 2011 ring aside, is the best man to be leading the Mavs in the future. Let's ask it more.

At ESPN, Bobby Marks was handing out receipts on Twitter:
That's why people like me are questioning.

Sadly, the Cuban sandwich has already said "he stays."
 
And, he's wrong. The Hawks, dead in the water a few months ago, replaced Lloyd Pierce with Nate McMillan midseason — and they're not only in the playoffs, they're still playing.

Or, here's another name, a gent who knows the Mavs, is still semi-friendly with Cuban at least, and who removed himself from TrailBlazers consideration so as not to appear the pet (or a possible tampering investigation focus) of Damian Lillard.

I'm talking Jason Kidd, of course.

IMO, as far as who is realistically on the market, if Cuban swallowed his pride, he's the best realistic option. He WOULD be a change. And, he might get even more out of Luka that Carlisle probably never will. Kidd himself wasn't fast, but he was sneaky fast and had his own change of pace skills.

Donnie Nelson? Not great as a GM, but, in many ways, we know who the real GM is. And, contra the header, he's not selling.
 
==
 
Update: Per the Athletic, and a Dallas Snooze story with the Cuban Sandwich's reaction, why does Cuban have a former pro gambler as his analytics guy? Surely he could have hired someone both better, and with less of an "optics" problem, than Haralabos Voulgaris. 

Oh, and to be snarky, is Porzingis a "non-fungible token"?

June 11, 2021

Sorry, I can't sign that: Avoiding both horns of a twosiderism faux-dilemma within the Green Party

As the likely deaccreditation of the Georgia Green Party draws nearer, a number of its members and supporters, mainly members of the Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus, have now launched an Emergency Committee to Save the Green Party, complete with seeking signatures.

They won't get mine.

The main reason?

I've said repeatedly that people like the Party's National Lavender Caucus, not people like me, conflate sex and gender, and this is why I use the word "transsexual," which is not pejorative when describing sexual changes or transitions. I have said that they, instead, are the conflators.

The Emergency Committee, on the other hand? Appears to ignore the idea of sexual transitioning, period. And, I can't and won't sign off on that, either.

It's part of a growing number of issues that I see as problematic on the "other" side of an issue where, more and more, I can't be on either side.

Bad sex essentialism, problem 1

A related problematic example?

I've seen people like this say "you're not a woman if you don't menstruate." In addition to being an attack on transsexuals, it's also fallacious within a poor version of sex essentialism.

So, female marathoners aren't women? Female survivors of Auschwitz, Dachau and other camps weren't women? 

"But that's temporary!"

OK, then females with hysterectomies aren't women? Post-menopausal females aren't women?

Fetal development, problem 2

Beyond that, it ignores the fraughtness of sexual gestation and development of fetuses, which I've written about, in one of my all-time top 10 blog posts, about how conjoined twins, and even more, teratomas and chimeras, show just how fraught in non-sexual ways human reproduction is. Given that "sexual nonalignment" happens for reasons similar to gay-lesbian orientation starting in utero, it appears to aspire to a Platonic ideal of what the male and female sexes are. Regular readers here, and even more of my philosophy blog, should know I hate at least the worst parts of Platonic idealism at least half as much as I hate twosiderism and tribalism.

Related? While deploring sexual reassignment surgery for minors, it simply ignores adult sexual reassignment surgery. And, ignores that willing, informed, self-knowledgable adults would go through not only the psychological pain of gays and lesbians when they "come out" but the physical pains of transition surgery. On this count, lesbian women of a GCRF pitch who ignore the reality of transsexualism are puzzling at least. 

Or narrow-minded. Or something. The idea that willing, informed, self-knowledgable adults would undergo surgical procedures to "escape the patriarchy" if they're men transitioning to women is, at a minimum, narrow-minded. Trying to twist GCRF thoughts into explaining women surgically transitioning into men is even more warped. And?

Conspiracy thinking, problem 3

And? Then there's this dive into conspiracy thinking:

We suspect that this bizarre trend, with its links to powerful billionaires and Big Pharma, is part of a corporate driven neo-COINTELPRO operation specifically designed, as it was in the sixties and seventies, to disrupt even our Green Party’s relatively weak challenge to the corporate agenda killing our democracy and our planet. We do not make this accusation against any individual, but rather gender ideology itself. Whether or not government forces are directly involved in sowing these divisions, the impact on our Party is just as deadly.

Nope. Can't do that. I have noted myself that big corporations have been willing to follow in the train of "trans awareness" for marketing $$, but this is over the top. That said, it's NOT that surprising for the statement to BE over the top like this, to be honest. (I can't say more, and as needed elsewhere, will note that again.)

It also ignores that many rich philanthropists see evidence that transsexuals have faced an inordinately high level of abuse and want to rectify that.

(This sets aside other, non-GCRF conspiracy thinking, like the claim that expelling Alaska Greens, and threatening the same to Rhode Island before it voluntarily left the GP, for totally reasonable causes — not supporting the 2020 presidential nominee — were in reality a setting up of dominoes with an ultimate focus on the Georgia GP.)


In bed with wingnuts and possible antisemitism, problem 4

AND, there remains the issue that too, too many of the backers of DnE, and now this, are too willing to jump into bed with rank wingnuts — many of whom, if men, will remain sexist on women's issues and above all on reproductive choice issues.

Worse yet, some of the anti-transgender writers, even if not wingnuts themselves, will willingly write for wingnut magazines and websites. The much-touted Jennifer Bilek has written for sites like The Federalist? Result? She gets approvingly cited in openly racialist places like The National Vanguard, being cited because she allegedly gives credence to trans activitism being a Jewish plot. And, I googled, and see that her alleged antisemitism has been heavily discussed. See here and here. Let's put it this way: Bilek seems to walk, talk and quack that way; given who she's written for, I'm not inclined to be more charitable than that.

I disagree that gender critical radical feminism as a whole is antisemitic. That said, I wonder if Jewish supporters of the GaGP know much about some of the "supporters" their leaders invoke. And, for those who know complaints about Bilek, where are the disavowals.

As I have said before, sometimes, the enemy of my enemy is not only not a friend, they're not even a temporary ally. They're just the enemy of my enemy, period. I've mentioned this before. I've mentioned that Glenn Greenwald is not a leftist, too. Crickets, by and large. (I can't say more.)

And, in addition, claims have been raised by some trans activists and some of their supporters about how far to the right some of the DnE Caucus leaders may be. I also can't accept the sex essentialism described above.

In addition, some of the GCRF types within Dialogue not Expulsion may want to take this movement in an explicitly GCRF direction. Nope. Sign me off, not on, with that as well.

Handwaving, problem 5

Also, some of them, and Bilek, just like some of the Jesse Ventura cultists, spout this "neither left nor right" stance. Again, with your allies (not mine), that's NOT true. They're wingnut rightists. Also, I moved beyond the Democratic Party in part seeing the Greens as a left party. And, I think both you and the Jesse cultists know that you're palling around with wingnuts, in this case, or libertarian-conservative types with them, and so this "neither left nor right" is a form of handwaving.

Twosiderism, problem 6

It's the twosiderism behind all of this that leads to bad logic, that presents its side as the only possible option to the other side and more. Within that, with some, this same twosiderism leads to specifically antiempirical stances in some cases and bad Platonic philosophy in others.

So, no, can't sign. Won't sign. Will start further dissociating myself. I think I'm not alone in this stance, but that's all I can say.

At the same time, trans activists, remember that I've already said many of you don't even know the standards for when to use puberty blockers on minors, per places like the Mayo Clinic. Some of you probably don't care. And, some of you, like the person named Margaret Elisabeth, not only probably don't care, but the issue isn't important to them except as a tool. 

Your own twosiderism leads to bad logic, to bad philosophy in the case of willful linguistic conflations and demarcation problems, and your own antiempirical stances. Speaking of?

Related to the Mayo Clinic's counseling guidelines to go with prescribing puberty blockers, usually honored in the breach? This Catholic high school student who FINALLY, 63 years late, got his varsity letter jacket. Openly gay. But, among Tom Ammiano's first reactions to his sexual orientation difference was to?  

Put on a dress. Thank doorknob nobody could give him puberty blockers, let alone suggest a knife, decades ago. 

That said, some studies have shown that the majority to great majority of kids like Tom, if treated with "watchful waiting," grow up to be gay or lesbian adults of the same sex as which they were born with.

Finally, I think both "side A" and "side B" are both not fully honest in their desire for dialogue, or "dialogue," only on their own terms. In short, many members of both team A and B look like they've got winner-take-all stances.

While there are some DnE supporters (or former supporters? including if I'm officially becoming "former" and beyond that, I can't say more) who aren't winner-take-all people, I don't see anybody in the Lavender Caucus presenting that way.

Final note? I've mentioned this, before, too, but in the early 2000s, the Dallas Morning News ran a "where are they now" piece about Dallas-area civil rights activists of the 1960s and 1970s. If I remember rightly, about half had dropped out of politics, at least electoral politics. That's basically where I'm at. I know both duopoly parties like that; many of those activists hadn't considered the GP, I'm sure, but, I've been becoming more and more detached in some ways for five years.

No, final final note: Many of the things that the Emergency Committee wants, such as more emphasis on the "Ten Key Values," ignore that, as reported here (and I think mentioned by one of their people) the Ten Ken Values were drafted as guidelines only, AND, as I and others have noted, too much emphasis on decentralization has led to many of the GP's problems. It's arguable that the Green Party has needed rescuing from disorganization and AccommoGreens since 2004.

June 10, 2021

Texas Progressives: End of Lege session and more

Let's dig right in to this week's roundup.

General Texas

DeSmog Blog reports that cleaning up methane flaring and pipeline leaks in the Permian is, in terms of climate change, "low hanging fruit."

Despite national and state opposition from both sides of the duopoly, the fight for Palestinian rights, lives and statehood is here in Texas.
 
The Lege

House Dems' walkout also killed SB 14, at least for now, which combines Texas Rethuglicans' two wet dreams — suppressing local government autonomy and also killing anything that smacks of empowering labor. (It was also another bill that illustrates how much of a ConservaDem state Sen. Eddie Lucio is.)

Off the Kuff did his precinct analysis thing on State House districts.
 
Robert Rivard gives the voter suppression bill the scorn it deserves.
 
Campaigns

Pee Bush's Trumpy butt-kissing lips against yet-unconvicted con artist Ken Paxton in an AG primary! Have fun with that one, Rethuglicans.

And, nutbar of various types Allen West has resigned as Texas GOP chair ... to possibly run for something. INTEResting that it's not a definite run for something and not necessarily a statewide race. He dropped a hint about eyeing Strangeabbott's seat even though the Dreamy Don Huffines (think about it) is already in, Jeebus Shot Sid Miller has dropped hints, and Trump has endorsed Abbott. (Unfortunately for Dreamy Don, he had originally been planning on running as "the Trump guy," Texas Monthly notes, also describing him as a Ron Paul-tard and more.) The Trib, per the graf above, notes that Pee has left the land commish position open, and that West also has crossed swords with Lite Guv Danny Goeb. Was he pushed out for attending the QAnon confab?

Robert Francis O'Rourke is on a "voting rights listening tour," which many are saying is a secret start to a gubernatorial campaign. Given that Beto the firebrand flamed out early in the 2020 prez run, will good old Beto Bob the ConservaDem come back?

Texana and regional

Southwest Airlines launched 50 years ago. A Texas Monthly longform has the details. That said, while Southwest has ditched the hot pants and go-go boots for flight attendants, what it hasn't been able to ditch is various discrimination claims by passengers. Here's the latest.
 
D Magazine was first to report on Lake Highlands High School valedictorian Paxton Smith and her amazing pro-reproductive rights graduation speech. 
 
Joel Montfort tells you about the Pride-themed cookies of Confections Bakery in Lufkin.
 
Mandy Giles celebrates Pride with a hope for more inclusion and love within the church. (I grew up hearing "love the sinner, hate the sin, too. A seminary prof, conservative wing of Lutheranism, said that was BS too. That said, contra Ms. Giles, I know that a literalist reading of the bible shows it IS anti-gay; the Tanakh and Paul vocally so, and Jesus by silence. I know. So, liberal Xns, that's why I'm not one of you; I don't take any of your scripture's metaphysical claims for real, either.)
 
Irene Vazquez profiles Dee Dee Watters and her work carrying on the legacy of Monica Roberts.
 
Odus Evbagharu explains his candidacy for Harris County Democratic Party Chair.

National

SocraticGadfly looked at the Fauci emails, and the twosiderism and tribalism by the two most vocal of the more than two sides that exist on the emails in particular and Fauci’s performance the last 18 months in general.

Hucksterman Central continues to wash its/his hands of kowtowing to wingnuts, including pre-Jan. 6 runups.

BlueAnon surely continues to celebrate Obamacare and Biden's around-the-edges expansion and propping it up. The reality? It still sucks (even as Daily Poster head Sirota remains a Dem).

Turnabout is fair play: Feds threaten to sue state.

June 09, 2021

A Black Sunriser learning half the truth about Sunrise Movement

David Bruce Collins retweeted a tweet by Alex O'Keefe of Sunrise Movement talking about how it's still too White as well as too classist and neoliberal.'

Gee, what a shock. 

DBC already knows the truth has been out there for years, as he's seen before this blog post I sent to him, Alex and Sunrise. 

Note I said half the truth. Per that blog post, part of a series telling the truth about Sunrise, it's always been, in essence, the youth wing of Gang Green mega-environmental group Sierra Club, with all that implies. And, that implies it NOT being "scrappy" at one time.

And, Mr. O'Keefe, on classism, may be wanting to partially have it both ways? Calling yourself "Fred Hampton if he went to the Hamptons" is .... "interesting."

It's also naive and misinformed in other ways.

One, O'Keefe seems to have zero consciousness of the theft of the Green New Deal.

Two, in his piece, he touts the Indigenous Deb Haaland as Interior Secretary. That would be the Haaland going along with Status Quo Joe and ignoring Indigenous-led protests against an Embridge pipeline, protestors including former Ralph Nader non-Democrat running mate Winona LaDuke. Protestors buzzed by a Border Patrol helicopter.

Finally, as for O'Keefe's earlier letter being ignored? If you do leave and start a new movement, are you going to tie it to the duopoly as well?

Glenn Greenwald really met David Miranda on a Brazilian beach?

That's the story that Glennwald always tells, amirite?

That's what Wiki says on Miranda's page, also claiming that Glenn said they moved in together just a week after meeting. Color me skeptical.

But, per this great new website that's tracking Glenn's Internet presence, how do we know that Glenn and David didn't actually meet at some online, or in-person, meet-up for pornography directors and producers?

Per a subpage on that site, Master Notions, with links to Twitter threads like this, the "official Greenwald story" is almost surely wrong.

Glenn's background in the porn world, as noted as the site, is pretty well known. I was unaware of David's alleged background before this. (I say "alleged" just in case it's a different D. Miranda, but ...  also per that subpage, see this Twitter thread.)

Also exposed there? Glenn's claim that he stopped "producing blue" in 2004 would appear questionable.

But, what do you expect from a seeming serial liar who still lies about his support for the Iraq War (documented), and who can never admit a mistake even while actual journalists he shit-storms and backstabs correct their mistakes regularly?

Maybe then, per another link off that Master Notions, maybe you should expect the defender of Matt Hale to dress in Nazi sink for sexual perversion?

Per a main piece, that shit-storming and backstabbing comes from a Daily Beast piece written after Ken Silverstein started his multivolume takedown of Glennwald.

Some of it's in a WaPost piece that focuses on Glenn's lying about the Intercept.

Speaking of, the last piece in that series is now up. It's where the other links come from.

And, also speaking of? On Twitter about two weeks ago, I wondered if Glenn had made Brazil his semi-permanent domicile not because of gay marriage (which has been constitutionally approved here in the USofA since Obergefell anyway (now six years old and only two years later than Brazil's legalization), but because of some of his well-known previous tax issues in the US.

NOW, I wonder if, since his "producer timeline" looks hinky, if maybe, while not producing anything, he's got a backdoor ownership stake in something along with Miranda. (Of note, and showing its limitations with modern news and politics, which I've long known? Wiki doesn't mention anything about porn producing on either Glennwald's or Miranda's pages.) Anyway, tax issues and pornography production aren't mutually exclusive anyway.

Bookmark that link up top!

Some part of me feels kind of naive for not questioning this part of the Gospel according to Glenn earlier, but better late than never, amirite? I got more than halfway sucked in by Sully's nuttery on Trigg Palin, but escaped. I got a third of so of the way sucked in by two of the "stenos," Mark Ames and Yasha Levine, on some of their Russia stuff, but moved on. Maybe one-quarter of the way, if that, by Aaron Maté, and not at all by Max Blumenthal. The stenos all combined led me to wonder, with Assange's own gaslighting, "just maybe those emails were stolen," though never believing there was a conspiracy to kill Seth Rich for that. At the same time, kind of like Lincoln, I'm dogged once I start unraveling that skein of yarn. And, I'll gladly thank those higher up the Glenn Greenwald investigations food chain. And again, Twitter for things like this comes off as far more fun than Hucksterman.

Sidebar, just for the hell of it: Per this Out story, Greenwald, who one would think would be all about "personal responsibility," comes off as a titty-baby corporation suer while still at Wachtell.

I wish I knew his reaction to all of this, but:

 


Per others on those links above, I have no issues with pornography. It's with the serial lying and the framing that's behind it.

One final thought.

We all know the old cliché about not trusting some people when they tell you it's daytime outside, but instead going to the window and opening the curtains.

With people like Glenn, I've long had a "meta" version of that, or a version on steroids of that.

With people like them, I don't go to the window to open the curtains or blinds. Instead, I go to the door and walk outside, on the chance they've painted a picture of the sun on the windows.
 
Note: I of course blocked Glenn back. Not out of pettiness, but related to that same trust issue.

June 08, 2021

Coronavirus week 61: Odds and ends and Rebekah Jones

Those OSHA workplace safety standards for COVID that Biden said would happen? Between CDC dropping most mask rules and OSHA slow-walking hearings, they ain't happening. So, when another pandemic comes, our "heroic" grocery store workers will again be SOL.

Fired Florida Department of Health spox and data guru Rebekah Jones misinterpreted fluctuating data to come to some of her more conspiratorial ideas. Yes, she was in kind of a bad spot, but she then chose to run with it; the Herald piece is a bit turd-polishing. Even more on her nuttery, including COVID conspiracy theories here, including the idea that it almost certainly backfired and actually helped DeSantis. And yes, Florida remains below the US average in death rate; in fact, it's almost 10 percent below the U.S. average, lower than here in Tex-ass and about the same as Ohio. Another #BlueAnon backfire. (And, as of late Monday afternoon, on Twitter, some #BlueAnon were supporting her in the face of a Twitter suspension for high-level spamming.)

Methodist Hospital Houston employees are suing over a COVID vaccine mandate. (OF COURSE Jared Woodfill is their lawyer.) They've got no chance of winning. First, the hospital already has an influenza vaccine mandate. "Goes to precedent, your honor." Second, the EEOC has already ruled that employers can require this vaccine, and has made similar rulings on other vaccines. Third, Jared Woodfill is their lawyer! Skeptical Raptor, with guest poster Dorit Reuss goes further into "they've got no chance," including posting the complaint, which is full of crazy.

Naomi Wolf, antivaxxer nutbar de luxe, now things mRNA from vaccines can get into our water and sewer systems and ????  what??? become "The mRNA from the Black Lagoon"? She's now been suspended from Twitter for something related to her nuttery.