SocraticGadfly

April 14, 2021

Becoming David Sirota

I blogged earlier this week about my latest quarterly blogroll updates, news, and I threw a sharp elbow at David Sirota with this among the new additions:

The Daily Poster, the latest news-and-opinion site affiliated with David Sirota or vice versa. That said, while it doesn't have a Substack-based URL ... its front page, including with the "no, let me read it first" clickable link, looks EXACTLY like a Substack blog front page. In that case, Sirota is another of the media 1 percenters enhancing his wallet, with others along for the ride. And, if you click through the "About" page, at the bottom, you find out it IS a Substack site. So, it too may be gone in three months, also since I don't think Sirota is necessarily all he cracks himself up to be, starting with the fact he's never dipped a toe outside the duopoly.

And, I knew I had thrown a sharp elbow or four at Sirota before, so I decided to double down and collect them here.

There was this, from the one 2020 Democratic presidential candidate debate, where Sirota couldn't even really defend Bernie the Gun Nut Lite for 24 hours, and then when he DID weigh in on Twitter, it was nothing more than handwaving, and worse, only via a retweet. (See about halfway down the piece.) I included the same material, with a closer focus just on Bernie in that debate, when I blogged about the showdown between Sandernistas and Madcow Maddow.

To give him credit, Sirota was right on wanting Bernie to go negative against Status Quo Joe. (In turn, his failure to do so indicates that Bernie 2016 was motivated in part by some still less than fully clear to people not named Bernie or Jane Sanders animus against the Clintons.)

But, Sirota has other problems. A full decade ago, he was dipping his toes into the SJW world, Major League Baseball umpiring division. Paging Angel Hernandez. Look, I believe that a certain amount of implicit as well as explicit bias is real. BUT! The existence of implicit, as well as explicit, bias has to be confirmed by evidence and, in this case, it wasn't.

And, someone from his team at Substack thinks the DSA Roseys are actual socialists.

Sirota's not all bad. But, he strikes me as a bit of John Nichols mixed with Have Gun, Will Travel as far as not being settled at one place. (And, I'm not sure which of the two that insults more.)
 
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Re Substack and the Daily Poster, add weird tidbits like this. A post about fast-food restaurants and a $15 minimum wage, which it says was co-published with Newsweek (this post), which has a soft paywall that is easily defeated beyond the five-article monthly limit. Just saying ...

April 13, 2021

Coronavirus, week 53: Johnson and Johnson, international news

Breaking, and starting with a look domestically: The federal government is calling for a pause in use of Johnson and Johnson vaccine and plans to do so at any federal vaccine sites. Blood clotting is the concern. Could this all be from mixing with AstraZenica at the Baltimore facility? Who knows. Stay tuned.

International

Many in America like to laugh at British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but is it possible that French President Emmanuel Macron is really more the Donald Trump of Europe on COVID? Well, maybe not. France's death rate may be growing, but it's still well below that of the US, which in turn is below that of Britain. (It's also still lower than Italy.) OTOH, France was showing an alarming new spike this spring.

Meanwhile, the UK and EU look like Dumb and Dumber on vaccine rollout. Remember how, in the wake of the Great Recession, many people who thought the EU would implode due to not having financial integration along with monetary integration thought "this is the moment"? Who'da thunk that the Brusselscrats (even less tasty!) would have fucked this up?

And also meanwhile, on Twitter late last week, the People's Republic of Xi Jinping Thought was peddling the Kool-Aid about Our Glorious Leader's Glorious Vaccines. Here's the reality, though.

America

Back in America? The COVID workplace safety guidelines that Biden wanted OSHA to develop are nearly a month late now, the WSJ reports

Skeptical Raptor explains why he would only get the AstraZenica vaccine as a last resort. And, this is how true science works. Raptor refuses to give false certainty on "don't use it at all," but also refuses to explain away evidence. That said, this is a shift from two weeks prior, where he basically said "don't worry," although by March 30 he had already heightened his caution.

Texas is up to a whole 18 percent vaccination as of last Friday. At that rate, we'll have herd immunity at about the time Strangeabbott is running for guv again, bolstered by vote suppression. It's 45th nationally in that. (Among neighbors, New Mexico is No. 1, Oklahoma 22 and Louisiana 34.)

White evangelicals are the top vaccine-hesitants. Christianity Today claims that vaccine hesitancy is NOT coming from the pulpit. Slacktivist says that's not true.

COVID may be leading Texas into becoming more of a biotech hotspot, if emergency vaccine making becomes a cornerstone.

April 12, 2021

Abandoned oil wells: A growing hazard in NM AND TX

Both New Mexico AND Texas suck at inspecting abandoned oil wells in the Permian. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has done some modest improvements to that into the Land Different, but not a lot. (Lujan Grisham has gotten the state tax code tweaked and other things beyond Gov. Martinez, but on environmental justice, she's still relatively slow See "Richardson, Bill." Better yet: See Gov. Lujan Grisham accept state oil and gas industry award.)

And, we know in the Texas side of the Permian, and presumably in NM, that they're leaking methane. And, possibly, toxins like toluene and benzene. (Beyond these two stories: In both states, and other petroleum-gas heavy states in general, state regulatory agencies' required deposits on wells are a pittance.)

And, many, many more may be abandoned in coming years, as the truth of short-peak, quick-death fracked wells hits home.

Beyond the health hazards of the methane, and even more, the other substances, is the climate change alteration by the methane, much more potent than carbon dioxide over shorter scales of a century or less. On the economic side, this ultimately becomes money out of state taxpayer pockets that can't be used for other things. And, given that state governments won't do any more than a minimalist job, it becomes a blight on communities. It also becomes a recreational blight on federal land, in places where the BLM may not hold feet to the fire much more than state governments.

Time for another quarterly blogroll update

First, what's gone?

Both of these are not for "ideological" reasons but rather, lack of activity ones.

Old friend Shem hasn't blogged in nearly 10 months, so Driven to Abstraction goes to my links list but off my blogroll. (He'd only blogged once in more than six months before that.)

Ken White, aka Popehat, gets his Substack dropped. He only wrote there for two months after abandoning his old website. And, he'd only blogged THERE three-four times in the last year before dropping it.

Added?

Becoming is Superior to Being. A "nice" site, Tumblr-like, but most the Sonoran Desert and other Aridzona pix aren't that good, and the poetry is five times worse than Counterpunch's poet laureate. Plus, he posts 3-4 times a day with stuff that's not that good. Don't be surprised, Kenne, if you're gone again in three more months.

The Daily Poster, the latest news-and-opinion site affiliated with David Sirota or vice versa. That said, while it doesn't have a Substack-based URL ... its front page, including with the "no, let me read it first" clickable link, looks EXACTLY like a Substack blog front page. In that case, Sirota is another of the media 1 percenters enhancing his wallet, with others along for the ride. And, if you click through the "About" page, at the bottom, you find out it IS a Substack site. So, it too may be gone in three months, also since I don't think Sirota is necessarily all he cracks himself up to be, starting with the fact he's never dipped a toe outside the duopoly.

Also added: Capital and Main, which had been Sirota's roost before Daily Poster. It has enough interesting stuff on its own, it's likely to stay.

On watch?

Independent Political Report, even though I've got posting privileges now. William Saturn posting racism and walking, talking and quacking like a racist himself is pushing the limit. (Saturn took a deep dive on the Trump Train on posts and comments there that last month or so before the election, and so, per Bayesian ethics, I'm less and less inclined to be charitable toward him with each new action or statement.) If nothing else, I'll hang until the GP votes on Georgia deaccreditation. (I'm expecting it to happen, but want to wait for the official vote and blog about it there.)

April 09, 2021

Patriotism is the last refuge of a Texas Senate Democrat

Per the old adage that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, on Dan Patrick's Senate Bill 4, the "Star Spangled Fellatio Act," the scoundrel level is almost as high among Senate Democraps as Rethuglicans. Once again, for left-hand duopolists asking why I'm not a Democrap, Royce West (D-Our Man Downtown) saying this would be good for promoting national pride is why.

 Mark Cuban understands this issue 100 times as much as West. And, it's not like West faces any challenge for his state senate seat, and I doubt he has another run for statewide office planned. So, I guess he really believes this shit. Per something I read on Twitter yesterday that many conservatives worry about "too many" liberals in academia because they think they'll practice indoctrination because conservatives would, well, ConservaDems would too. 

What next, ConservaDems saying "My country, right or wrong?"

Kudos to Sarah Eckhardt and Nathan Johnson for voting no. (José Menéndez had an excused absence. We'll see if he says anything in the future.) A smackdown to allegedly more progressive Senatecritters like Donna Campbell and Judith Zaffirini.

I know the quote's background, and per Boswell's original backgrounder to Samuel Johnson's statement, it fits Senate Democraps, the two exceptions above noted, perfectly.

April 08, 2021

Is Glenn Greenwald libertarian-lying about his robbery cause?

Greenwald said earlier this week that he and husband David Miranda had recently been robbed.

He then went on to blame it on coronavirus lockdowns. NOT fair.

Rio de Janeiro is in lockdown but Glennwald and Miranda's palatial home (profiled there in 2014, and complete with security guard, per first link) is in Rio state. That said, it does have an 11 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew. Businesses are allowed to run at 50 percent capacity outside the curfew hours.

Is that a "lockdown"? Not really. It's like many US states were a while back. Restaurants, obviously, among businesses limited to 50 percent, and they and bars would both have to close at 11 p.m. It's been in place since at least March 22. The city has been longer than that.

OTOH, Glennwald's robbery?

March 5. Rio city entered a "control period" two days earlier, per this AP story; Rio state may have been a couple of days earlier. So, no more than a week or so. Not months or whatever.

Unlike Glennwald's ranting hinting in that (shock me) Daily Mail piece, before he went on Swanson Tucker Carlson's show to talk to his good buddy fellow socialist.

No, this may not have been a political target crime. But it wasn't COVID craziness, Glennwald, contra this:
'What is the effect of lockdowns, and quarantines, and isolation, and social distancing?' Greenwald asked. 'Not to make excuses for people to do this, but it drives people to this level of desperation.' … 

'It is really kind of a taboo on being able to weigh those costs. Everyone just said no. The only thing that matters is the coronavirus and stopping it.

First, what's taboo among your ilk and not-so-socialist Swanson Tucker, is saying not everything can be priced in dollars and cents.

Second, to trump your libertarian "open it up" mindset? As I've said before: Dead people don't shop.

Beyond that?

You were almost certainly targeted as a rich stinking capitalist. You were making 500 large or more per year with The Intercept and surely even more at Substack. And, as of 2018 Brazilian congresscritters like Miranda got about $16,500 per month — and in a weirdness of corruption, they and other public servants had a 15-month pay year. Yes. So, Miranda makes another $250K in a country with rampant poverty (Brazil's minimum wage, and that's presuming there's just 12 months in the year for the peons, is just over $200 per month) that you try to avoid by living on rural mountaintop acreage with private security. And, if they were there for an hour, they probably had the two of you targeted as rich stinking capitalists who had things like art and jewelry that are easy to hock.

Go fuck yourself and take your libertarian coronavirus lies with you. And, no, neither you nor Swanson Tucker is a socialist. As for Miranda? He may indeed be in a socialist party, but, he's married to you and cosigns your bullshit until he speaks out.

And, let's not forget that this is a man who still lies about his supporting the Iraq War when it was started.