January 09, 2016

The #Cardinals take three called strikes on outfield help

Denard Span: Sadly,
not a Cardinal
After their failure (maybe not bad) to resign Jason Wayward, papered over by inking a contract with a B-grade John Lackey in Mike Leake, I was afraid that "that was all" from John Mozeliak, while hoping it might not be.

One player I was eyeing, who can play either center or right, was Washington outfielder Denard Span. Given last year's injury history, I figured he might be relatively cheap, but at the same time, noted his rehab was reportedly going well.

I figured he could either play center with Randal Grichuk in right, or the two would flop, with Stephen Piscotty serving as fourth OF plus 1B platoon with Matt Adams. If his defense continued to decline, he could have been slid over to left after the 2017 or 2018 departure of Matt Holliday.

Well, Span WAS relatively cheap. For the Giants. Just $31M guaranteed over three years, with $5M in incentives and a fourth option year at $12M.

And, Mo refused to meet or beat that? Fuck em. Apparently, per Span himself, it was the length, him noting that the Giants gave him the third guaranteed year. That said, the Cards, if they were interested in him at all, weren't the only team to want to only give him one year. His agent, Scott Boras, said 11 teams offered just the 1-year pillow.

If the Cards fall behind the Cubs, let alone the Pirates, I will hammer them hard on social media.

The first called strike was on mishandling Wayward pre-trade, up to his walking. Mo clearly, whether rightly or wrongly in his actual worth, but quite wrongly in his trade worth, misvalued Shelby Miller as well as not getting more of a semi-commitment from Wayward about staying on. I'd love to cut out last year's trade and have Ender Inciarte patrolling center in Busch.

The second was Mo saying no "dynamic deals."

The third was now proving it. And, as a small bit of additional insult to injury, Mo missed out on picking up outfielder Ben Revere from Toronto for whatever St. Louis' equivalent of Drew Storen would have been. (Not Trevor Rosenthal, but maybe Jordan Walden plus some other part.) Yes, he might not be any better than Peter Bourjos, but he's always been healthy, and arguably has a better arm. And, I'm speaking a bit in frustration over Mo not landing Span, I'll admit.

That said, Bernie Miklasz, moved from the Post-Dispatch to ESPN Radio, very much agrees that the Cards need OF help.

Besides Holliday's age, he notes Grichuk has a history of injuries, that we still have a small sample size with Piscotty, that Tommy Pham will be 28, and that Brandon Moss may well NOT be part of the answer at 1B.

Some Cards fans may engage in handwaving, or think that span is over the hill. Erm, wrong.

First, the Giants normally are pretty smart in the free-agent market.

Second, per a video clip Span posted on Twitter, his rehab seems to be going quite nicely. And, pre-injury, even with a bit of defensive slip in 2014, Span was a three-WAR player. The Cards don't have proven outfielders who are better than that.

Brass tacks? If a team, now specifically the Giants, gets 80 percent of 2014-era Span, that's a 2.5 WAR player, at $12M a year if he hits his performance incentives. I'd buy.

And, the Cards do not have four proven outfielders who are better than that. Grichuk is not proven. Piscotty certainly isn't, and may be playing 1B more than OF this year anyway, if both Moss and Adams spit the bit. Pham? See Bernie's cautionary note about not drinking the Kool-Aid on him. From last year? That leaves Matt Holliday. His last full year, in 2014? 3.3 WAR. I think we'll see him at 2.5 WAR this year.

So, the Cards have ONE, not four, OFs known to be equal to the likely 2016 Span, and none better.

As for commenters mentioning Gerardo Parra? He wants a three-year deal. If you'd give him one, but wouldn't want to give Span one, I've got beachfront property in Wyoming to sell you.

And, the Rockies must be wanting for beachfront property in Wyoming. They're actually paying almost as much for Parra than the Giants paid as a base contract for Span. And, except for what looks more and more like a fluke year in 2013, Parra simply isn't the same player.

January 08, 2016

#BundyEroticFanFic between Ammon and Potus at #BrokebackOregon

Yeah, I heard about the first hashtag and its background; the second is, as far as I know, my original. Look, folks, a Tweet just don't cut it. You need the full story.

And, I've got it.

#Bundyeroticfanfic (For background, SCENE 1-SCENE 3 headers are clickable links.)


"I showed Obama my heart, and this
is what he did to it!" Ammon Bundy
“But, he promised to arrest me,” Ammon Bundy half-shouted, half-pouted to everyone and nobody at the same time, in a frigid, cold room at Malheur.* “Doesn’t Obama know how hot testosterone-fueled rage makes me? Besides, if he’s spying on me, he knows I told my wife I like handcuffs.”

Suddenly, Ammon’s cell phone rings, vibrating firmly in his tight jeans pocket.’’

“Goddamit, who is this calling me right now?”

“Chill, Ammon, it’s Potus Bear.”

“C’mon, I’m tired, I’m cold, I’m lonely and I’m horny. When are you going to crash in on me, with your big guns, and lock me up tight and hard?”

“Not yet. Hillary is triangulating again. It’s that time of the political calendar. I promised I wouldn’t do anything to upset her rhythm.”

“You’re putting her ahead of me? You have no Constitutional right!”

“I’m sorry, but Hillary —"”

“But I'm so cold, Barry!”

“Look, Ammi, I know. You just have to trust me.”

Ammon grew rigid, then went limp, in the frigid room at Malheur, finally letting out a soft moan before hanging up.

“Was it good for you?” Hillary Clinton asked at the White House, leaning over Barack Obama’s shoulder while nuzzling on the edge of his ear.

“You know it, baby. I love screwing with guys like that.”

“By ‘screwing with guys like that,’ do you mean … ?”

“Sorry, baby; some things even the NSA doesn’t know.”

“What about Snowden” she asked, running a finger through his hair.

“Do NOT try to connect me to him. Period!"

* Editor's note on the story line:
“Malheur” is the patois metis French word for “Cowboying on the down low.”


“I got cows that are scattered and lost,” LaVoy Finicum said.

“Look, I’m really, really, missing the iron-tight embrace of Obama. Nobody cares if your fucking cows are lost or lonely.”

“But, that’s it! They’re my fucking cows, and they’re lonely, and so am I.”

“I’ve heard about your type,” Booda Bear said.

“What do you mean, ‘my type’?”

“Cow-fuckers. Like goat-fuckers, only more desperate.”

“What are you talking about?”

“You know what I’m talking about. You get cold, lonely, anxious and scared, on a cold winter night riding range in the High Desert. Your wife’s far away, and she’d give you the cold shoulder anyway, because you smell like cow. So, you do what comes natural for a man in the saddle.”

“You take that back!”

“Don’t worry, LaVoy. Your secret’s safe with me.”



“Where’s Booda Bear?”

“I don’t know,” Ammon told his brother, Ryan.

“Man, we gotta find him!”

“Why?”

“Listen to what he just heard from all of us. Maybe Alex Jones is right, and there’s a false flag, and Booda planted his false flag right in this tight hole in the middle of us.”

“Alex Jones, Alex Jones! You talk about him too much. Maybe HE’S the false flag, with the way he calls everything else a false flag. You just want him to call you, like Obama called me. In the same way.”

“You take that back!”

“Make me!”

Suddenly, Ryan leaps across the room at Ammon, tackles him, and takes him to the floor. After a few minutes of wrestling, Ryan, hot and sweaty, pins Ammon to the floor.

“This is just like when we were kids.”

“Did you ever think it would come to this?”

“You know Ammon, especially from this position, you look kind of cute. Is that what you’re hoping Obama sees in you?”

“Once you go black, Ryan, you just never go back.”

“Tell that to LaVoy, why don’tcha. I heard he’s buying black Angus.”


What happened to Booda Bear? ….

“Damn, how could Booda do this to us?” Cai Irvin asked the question while trying to choke down tears. “I feel jilted. This is like finding out there’s no Santa Claus.”

“Maybe he felt jilted, too,” Jon Ritzheimer said. “Did he ever know you loved him? Did he ever feel your love?”

“You know I told him we were incompatible. Stop throwing that in my face. It’s not my fault.”

“Well, you could have let him down easier. Next thing you know, he’ll show up on Alex Jones, and that will get Ryan twice as mad and three times as jealous as before.”

SCENE 5?


Stay tuned …

Meanwhile, here's my serious take on what's happened so far.

First (and follow-up) thoughts on the Oregon standoff

Update, Jan. 26: Ammon Bundy and seven other Ammonites have reportedly been arrestedwith one dead after exchange of gunfire with federal and state officials.

This happened on the way to a community meeting in John Day, in another county, where, per this piece, the sheriff there is apparently a Posse Comitatus type guy.

The fact the "jamokes" were apparently either dumb enough, or arrogant enough, to try to, or think they could, drive 100 miles from Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to John Day, and hope they'd go scot-free, speaks volumes all by itself.

For a much more complete summary of my thoughts since the arrests and LaVoy Finicum's shooting, go here.

From what I'm reading about supporters of Dwight and Steven Hammond, and others in their train, including Cliven Bundy relatives, taking over a portion of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, the answers seem relatively simple on keeping this from turning into a David Koresh-type situation, per what I'm reading from that linked Post piece and elsewhere.

A few notes about the Oregon situation.

(Note: For #BrokebackOregon or #BundyEroticFanFic, see Update 3A. Or go to a new blog post with some quite purplish, and turgid, prose.)

1. It is stupid, this event, but, if our US gummint has brains, can be solved easily enough, assuming no employees are being held. Or, if it had cojones, which Dear Leader obviously does not. (My thoughts on Week 2 of "intelligence held hostage" are here. Maybe Preznit Kumbaya is once again thinking his mellifluous voice will win over all.)

You keep the area of the refuge that's occupied, and even more any building, surrounded and you cut off the water supply and the electricity to the building. Since it appears the occupiers are focused on the entrance building/visitor center, per the Oregonian, this should be easy enough. Given that it got down to 10 degrees Sunday night, cut off the power, and they'll be cold enough, soon enough. And, while they may have brought food, you cut off the water, and all they'll have otherwise is bits of powdery high-desert snow, and that outside the building.

(I've been halfway near that area, to the Klamath NWR. Unless the Hammond supporters and Bundys are true outdoorsmen, killing heat and water at the refuge will smoke them out quickly. But the feds have to do this ASAP, not dilly dally.)

And, no, this shouldn't be that hard. Men like the U.S. Marshals have individual marshals trained for stuff like this.

2. Yes, members of the Bundy family are involved. However, they're not the prime movers, nor do the prime movers want them there, from some reports. So, you play the old "divide-and-conquer" rule. Tell people who are only supporters of the Hammonds that minimal charges are possible if they'll come out now. As for Ammon Bundy or others? No deals.

The fact that other self-identified militia leaders oppose the occupation show that if this is handled tactfully, this will work. (Yet more on the relative lack of support here.)

It's also clear, despite wingnuts among Harney County ranchers asking for more people to "stand up," per the Oregonian (and which aren't YOU out at the refuge freezing YOUR tuchis, you "stand up" folks), that, per the WaPost piece, the county sheriff supports the rule of law. Funny how wingnuts use that phrase selectively.

3. To some liberal people throwing around the word "treason," stop. If you want to claim to be part of the reality-based community, please start by looking up the constitutional definition.

The only crimes seemingly committed so far as (using state of Texas terms; translate into federal equivalent) A. Failure to appear, in the case of the two Hammonds themselves, and even that is true only if they've already ignored a summons; B. Trespassing, unlawful occupation of a building, or similar; C. Interference with a peace officer IF a peace officer attempts to perform lawful duties and is hindered.

That said, per note 1, if any of these folks try to stay warm by lighting office furniture on fire, well, then you've got new arson charges.

And, given that they don't have much in the way of food immediately in hand, and it got down to 10 degrees Sunday night, this will work.

4. The federal judge who originally missentenced the Hammonds needs official federal judiciary sanctioning. If there's a mandatory minimum on arson, that was either a rookie error or a deliberate clusterfuck. Whatever U.S. district attorney's office didn't notice this sooner also deserves a hand slap.

5. Even Ted Cruz is calling out the occupiers. (And the Hammonds are turning themselves in, meaning yet more reason for the Bundy-connected numbnuts to do so.)

Unfortunately, by the Bureau of Land Management and Dear Leader not having adequate cojones vis-a-vis Cliven Bundy (shock me) it encouraged something like this to happen. I don't need the WaPost to give me official MSM confirmation of this, though it does. And I am "shocked" that the Southern Poverty Law Center is part of worrying about this. Has there been a single extremist or quasi-extremist group it hasn't liked to vilify for fundraising purposes?

A former BLM head admits that, going back a full decade, his agency was too timid with the Bundys. Flip side is that today's BLM has a hang 'em high mentality.

High Country News, which is on the ground out there, has a much better insight on Bundy.

So, after the Malheur situation is cleaned up, Obama and the BLM need to find some balls.

Update: Libertarian mag Reason seems to like red herrings, claiming that liberals do not want this settled peacefully. And lest the likes of Robby Soave pull out a few firebrand Tweets, please. You know that's not representative.

What we want is this thing to be settled peacefully, if possible, but with the rule of law enforced, no matter what. You libertarians claim to support the rule of law, don't you? After all, the Hammonds (who do plan to surrender) have 30 years of anti-government animus, put into words, and 20 years put into action.

Plus, as High Country News shares at that link, Hammonds supporters, and even more Bundy ones, have engaged in death threats in Burns. An op-ed by HCN's publisher tells even more about how this is nothing new.

Update 2: Some people, whether identified as skeptical liberals/left-liberals like me, triangulators, or political curmudgeons, scoff at "liberals" for calling the Hammonds and Bundys terrorists. Doug Henwood even says:

There are several responses to this, some in general, some specifically to the likes of Henwood.

The first is that there are degrees of terror. For example, in Texas, there's a "terroristic threat" statute, which Wiki notes has a federal counterpart. In Texas, it can be a low-level felony, but is usually an upper-level misdemeanor offense. In federal law, which has a narrower definition of the offense, it's a mid-level felony.

I'm not calling the Bundys and the Hammonds the same level of terrorist as ISIS. Are they terrorists of some sort, though? Yes.

Second, per Henwood's cracking wise on Twitter. I quoted Idries Shah to him, in brief. The fuller quote:

“To 'see both sides' of a problem is the surest way to prevent its complete solution. Because there are always more than two sides.”
The third, or more, sides of this is that defining an offense as terroristic is not necessarily "hegemonic." Terroristic threats, and actions, are made against individuals, like employees of the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

If calling the use of the word "terrorist" as "hegemonic," in fact, I could double down on Henwood and call the entire federal and state law codes, or the whole idea of the "rule of law" as being "hegemonic," out of either an anarcho-libertarian mindset or some twisted, quasi-SJW vein. Doug's just being curmudgeonly, rather than being a good skeptical left-liberal on this one.

Now, on the first fork of that, he's prolly venturing close to the territory of some readers of Reason, if not the mag itself.

And, he's doubled down on that, on Wednesday retweeting an L.A. Times guest column from another Reason writer.

And, in the Twitter fallout, I for the first time have learned why other people left-of-center get frustrated with Henwood at times. See below.

Update 2a: Hey, Doug? Ammon Bundy is now comparing himself and his movement to Rosa Parks. Even were there no degrees of terrorist activity and criminality, he deserves every ounce of mocking he and they get.

Update 3: Dear Leader is reportedly growing a pair, according to the Guardian. However, he's apparently not taking HGH, because it's going to take six more days until the power is cut off, as well as phone service. (I presume cellphones will be jammed, along with cutting the landline.) And, no word about cutting water, assuming there's a line to the building.

Update 3a: If members of the AA-level militia are leaving the NWR to go to a motel, Obama will apparently never have balls, if the place isn't blockaded. And, none of them will be arrested for trespassing, I'm sure. And, yes, even if the Bundys are chickenshit enough to have women and kids there, people still need to be arrested. Failure to do this is what got us here in the first place. And, leaving for a motel? Crying over learning there's no Santa in the AA militia? You deserve the homoerotic Twitter fan fiction. (Far be it from me to throw Rosa Parks' name under the bus, so to speak. The president's name, or image? That could be another story.)

"Barack Obama, beneath his cool, seemingly rigid exterior, lusted for scruffy men in cowboy hats, longing to softly comfort, nourish and stimulate them as they cried over losing their belief in Militia Santa."

Or another, with connection to the surely lovable Brokeback Oregon's missing security honcho, Booda Bear.

"Ammon Bundy missed his true Buddha, Booda Bear. Booda's admonition to love himself first did no good on a cold night full of tension. Ammon missed Booda's wisdom, and his transcendental warmth."

MUCH more like that in this new blog post.

Update 4: The numbnuts are already talking about going home "when the community is strong enough," because they've got "cows that are scattered." Yeah, right. Let's hope Dear Leader doesn't lose his balls in a side pocket and still arrests people. Odds of that happening are unlikely, though.

Per update 2, in response to one of Henwood's tweets, I called Obama ball-less, or similar, back in 2014. He then said I was pulling a Munich. To which, I asked if he didn't smack down Amy Fried a week ago for making claims similar to what he had just done, over Hillary Clinton's most recent triangulation.

Update 5: If anybody besides the federal government has claim to the land, it's the Burns-Paiute Tribe. The American Indians are also telling Group Bundy to leave. And, per Group Bundy talking about states taking over federal land, there's no way in hell the state of Oregon would give the same cheap grazing, cheap predator control and more to them that they get from the feds. The Bundy kids are probably too stupid to know that, but Sagebrush Rebellion leaders do. "State control" is just a stalking horse for privatization.

As for ranchers complaints that they get more in services from the state when grazing state-owned land? Fine, tell your Congresscritter to support better federal service — in exchange for paying the same, much higher, grazing fees that you do on state land.

Update 6: Who's "to blame"? Besides Dear Leader having no balls, the key person in a lot of this is BushCo Interior Secretary Gale Norton, former lackey of the Mountain States Legal Foundation, key factotum for the so-called "Wise Use" movement that succeeded the Sagebrush Rebellion.

January 06, 2016

A real #libertarian enters the Prez race in Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson in his 2012 presidential run. AP file photto.
Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson has announced he will repeat his 2012 Libertarian Party run for president.

Unlike Rand Paul or daddy Ron, who are more Christian rightists than anything else, covered with a selective dollop of anti-Federal Reserve goldbug thoughts, Gary Johnson's the real deal.

The first newspaper where I was an editor, a weekly, was in New Mexico, when he was governor. He is a straight shooter, too.

He vetoed a bill the NM Lege passed that, in its original form, had been pushed for by his wife. The original core of the bill hadn't changed that much, but, it had been "Christmas treed" enough, among other things, that he couldn't support it.

He's less of a warhawk than Bernie Sanders, let alone Hillary Clinton, on the Democratic side, too.

He's even more honest and realistic than either of them, or the Paul family, about the War on Drugs, too.

That said, I get that Faux News is necessary for some publicity, but it hates real libertarians.

And, he's real enough to pal around with the libertards at places like Reason.

Per his Wiki page, he loves school vouchers, wants to make Medicare a block grant for states, and while not as much a goldbug as the Pauls, wants to abolish the Fed. At the same time, he, as a true libertarian, is pro-choice and pro-gay rights, including gay marriage, and has been for years. And, as Joe Monahan notes, he has a reputation of never running a negative political ad.

And, that leads to my poll at right.

My personal thought is that I would at least consider voting for Johnson over Clinton if I had no Green Party option, yes. It's not likely, because even the Pauls haven't talked about making Medicare, in addition to Medicaid, and possibly even Social Security, a state-run block grant program. If he were just half as nutbar fiscally as he's actually shown, I'd consider it more.

Update, per comments:

That said, per Brains' first comment, I'd missed Johnson on the burqa. I agree that's anti-free speech, which is weird in general for a libertarian, especially given the religious connections. (Given what I know about Johnson, and how he has laughed at the idea of "anchor babies," I don't think it's racist, though.) Have to disagree with the second portion of that blog. I said so on there, and that the author was taking Johnson's email comment out of context. He disagrees, but I stand by that.

I think his view of free speech, per his blog, means that he sincerely thinks calling something "offensive" is anti-free speech. That's of course utter nonsense, as I also said on the link Brains provided. Mr. Saturn ignored that, leaving me to think he truly drinks that portion of the Libertarian Kool-Aid.

It's no skin off my back within Libertarian Party circles. I'm not one and never will be, and also love to see Libertarians, as well as tea partiers, devour their own in ways that belie how Democrats, let alone real liberals, allegedly do.

But, when a person like that  tries to impose his definition of free speech outside that circle? Nope. I call Wittgensteinian bullshit on a made-up language game.

Anyway, the header was comparing Johnson to the Pauls. There may be candidates even more Libertarian than him. We may even, once again (please? please?) get a Libertarian presidential candidate who doesn't even have a driver's license.

January 05, 2016

This time, Dear Leader really, without #hypocrisy means it on #guncontrol

Can't you tell, by the "emotional urgency" that has entered the mellifluous voice of President Barack Obama, that this time, he really means it about gun control?

(Reposted since I couldn't spell "hypocrisy" right.)

Sure.

Like when it took him six years to name a permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. (That counts holdover vacancy time from the Bush Administration, tis true. And, yes, the Senate obstructed many nominees, but as Pro Publica notes, Obama was also slower than his predecessors at making nominations.)

Like when he agreed to let loaded guns back in our national parks. (Just in time for the neoliberal-driven centennial of the Park Service.)

Like his administration's slothful lack of action on the Oregon standoff, and caving into old man Bundy in 2014.

Yeah, so I really feel the sincerity. And the urgency. The urgency that led to a relative lack of arrests on gun-purchase laws, even if the Department of Justice was short on DAs and ADAs. Fine. Stop prosecuting drug crimes.

Obama never made an "Eppur si muove" comment after the Supreme Court gutted gun control on Heller, never said that he still stood by the Second Amendment being a corporate, not an individual right. (Only about 10 percent of Americans owned their own individual guns in 1775.)

#NewAge, meet #NewAtheism: Acharya S. proof that Jesus mythicism doesn't involve critical thinking

D.M. Murdock, aka Acharya S., was a leader of the modern revival of Jesus mythicism. More specifically, she was a leader of the nonsense revival of what started, 125 years ago, as somewhat more academically respectable speculation on the possible nonexistence not only of a historic Jesus, but also of a historic Buddha and a historic Zoroaster.

I have myself noted that I don't totally oppose a broader version of such mythicism as long as, if it doesn't have actual academic grounding, it's not peddling pseudoacademic nonsense. I've also long said that I oppose Jesus mythicism, which I also in this case call Jesus denialism, when it's a fringe idea entertained in support of broader New Atheist, or Gnu Atheist, issues.

That's wrong for multiple reasons.
  1. Potential academic issues should not be driven by such blatant bias;
  2. Atheism as a philosophical issue by no means stands or falls on the existence or nonexistence of Yeshua bar Yusuf;
  3. Belief that it does shows GnuAtheism to be:
  • Western-centric and thus culturally driven
  • Anti-theistic, not just atheistic
  • And, per Camus in "The Rebel," "needing" Christianity in some warped way.
That said, Acharya was an original peddler of this nonsense; I say it via Gnu Atheist thought leader P.Z. Myers favorably touting it. She has no bachelor's level degree in religion, let alone a graduate degree. As Murdock's Wiki page notes, she is 10 times more credulous a peddler of bad puns than was the Yahwist section author of the Torah.

Her listing of her academic background on her website seems precisely done to cover actual thinness. Take being a "trench master" on an archaeology dig. Nice, yes, but, unless at a major new dig, it's more grunt work than intellectual work. (As a kid, I watched my dad assist as a certified amateur archaeologist at a couple of Anazasi digs, so this observation isn't out of life.) Plus, note that this work is all at classical sites. No Biblical archaeology from you!

And, the wrongness about the Priapus statue is only the tip of the iceberg. Here's a laundry list of other howlers of hers.

Some denialists like to bash her, but Robert Price (himself teaching at a "New Thought" seminary, although appearing to be an atheist, but maybe he's not?) and Robert Eisenman are among those who give her touts on her website.

And, it's also not mean-spirited to call a cock-and-bull story a cock-and-bull story.

However, she's never struck me as a Gnu Atheist, and with a recent rebrowsing of information about her, doesn't strike me now as ANY type of atheist. Rather, with her now having just died, and ironically, on Jesus Day/Mithras Day, Dec. 25, 2015, by the types of sites that pay encomia to her, she and her astro-solarism Jesus myth, that Jesus was "stolen" from Egyptian solar beliefs and more, she seems at least quite congenial to certain types of New Ageism, if not a New Ager herself.

Her death from cancer reflects the tenuousness of the U.S. health care system, from what I've read about her passing. At the same time, from what I've parsed together, it reflects the fact that she, too, had no full-time position or job, and no regular, steady, income stream, because mythicism of the Denialist Four Horseman is so outside academia that nobody claiming to be an academic mythicist can actually get a regular job teaching it.

Ironically, for someone claiming to be rigorously academic, she went down the alternative treatments road for her cancer, too. And, then tried to blame medicine ("conventional medicine" is simply called "medicine" at my site, folks) for her liver failure rather than accepting a rapid metastasis of her breast cancer.

The first of those two links illustrates what I said in the paragraph above that about the health care system here, as far as costs she was facing. That said, this:
I immediately started what turns out to be a ketogenic, anti-cancer diet, supplemented with known cancer-fighting substances as curcumin and many others, including mushrooms and ginger
Is pure nonsense.

No wonder she got defensive:
Do NOT let anyone go about writing stupid blogs saying that “alternative medicine” killed me. That would be yet more inaccurate propaganda.
It maybe didn't hasten your death, but it didn't slow it down, of that I'm sure. 

Madam, you would have been better off coming to the point of "acceptance," much sooner, enrolling in hospice care, then finding a doctor ready to prescribe you a morphine overdose. Having taught a college class on death and dying issues as an adjunct instructor, I have some background in this, and if she had financial issues, I know that even Medicaid will pay for some hospice services. And, having taught that class in Michigan during Jack Kevorkian's first trial, I'm experienced at what doctors more ethical to patients, and more subtle than Kevorkian and his grandstanding, can and will do.

I halfway wonder if, between lack of reasonable health insurance from not having a job other than being self-employed as publisher at her personal vanity publishing house, and perhaps a bit of New Agey belief (or more than a bit), she didn't try to self-treat the cancer before going to a doctor in the first place.

Intuitively, she strikes me as one of those late-Victorian proto-New Agers who dabbled in things like Theosophy. And, this is why she deliberately veiled her past history as much as possible, I'm sure — trying to build a late-Victorian type romance around her life.

As noted above, many sites mourning her are NOT "freethought" or "Gnu Atheist" sites. They're New Agers to the max. And these tributes didn't happen overnight. It's modern Sethian gnosticism, or Aquarian Christianity, or something along those lines, these sites promote and that Murdcck was, at a minimum, sympatico with. It's funny, as well as sad, but it's totally unsurprising, since in addition to not being a critical thinker in general, I never got the indication she was an atheist of any sort.

It's also funny, and also sad in other ways, that Gnu Atheists would tout the ramblings of such a .... deluded and self-inflated person as alleged academic proof that Jesus of Nazareth never existed. But, that too is unsurprising.

As for friends of hers saying "speak no ill of the dead," I'll do that as soon as you stop speaking pablum of the dead. I blogged myself, with a link to Glenn Greenwald, about Chris Hitchens' death, noting how he'd turned into an anti-humanist, Islamophobe, warhawk.

Meanwhile, back to the strangeness of Gnu Atheists and Jesus denialists. Murdock's fellow denialist horseman Robert M. Price's teaching at a New Thought seminary, in the same vein, apparently isn't by accident either. Given that, per Wiki, he calls himself a "Christian atheist," let's just be honest and call him a New Ager. If atheism in a broader sense means "no metaphysical beliefs of any sort," then Gnu Atheists have latched on to him for strange reasons. Certainly for uncritical and unskeptical ones.

For more on the academic shortcomings of Murdock, Price, Richard Carrier and other denialists, go here, including my deconstruction of Carrier's false claims of scholarship, my thought on why Price is teaching at a New Age/New Thought seminary, and more.

January 04, 2016

TX Progressives talk top Texans, Hillary triangulation, climate change, more

The Texas Progressive Alliance understands the difference between thugs and patriots — and protesters and terrorists — in bringing you this week's blog post roundup.
Off the Kuff published an exit interview with outgoing Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

Socratic Gadfly says he sees pandering and triangulation behind Hillary Clinton's splitting with President Obama over details of a possible finding of genocide against ISIS.

Libby Shaw, contributing to Daily Kos, believes the time is long overdue to hold our elected officials accountable for their abject failure to address climate change in the state. The Texas Blues: Living in a state run by Republican climate denying ghouls.

Texas Republicans continue their war on women and girls. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme has had enough of their misogyny.

PDiddie at Brains and Eggs did the picking for the Texans of the Year, and the come-from-behind winners were the Couches, Ethan and Tonya.

TXsharon at BlueDaze reveals the Denton power plant shell game.

McBlogger has a macro-view on the price of oil for 2016.

Dos Centavos listed his top ten posts of 2015, and the Lewisville Texan Journal had the top three stories they reported on last year.

Neil at All People Have Value suggested that we should engage in open carry of our best impulses in the new year ahead.  APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

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More great blog posts from around Texas!

Grits for Breakfast sees a divided Court of Criminal Appeals in flux.

Andrea Grimes finds Donald Trump's fascism refreshing.

Prairie Weather shows us where to look for conservatism in America.

Juanita Jean wants to see the little creamery from Brenham in prison.

Isiah Carey talks about the future of two old golf courses in Houston, one of which will become a botanic garden.

Woods at Strength in Numbers had guest poster Tonya Pinkins ask the question: who wins and who loses when white creatives tell black stories?

jobsanger advances resident Obama's forthcoming executive action on gun safety.

Trail Blazers recounted Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's interview on 'Meet the Press' last Sunday morning, where he indicated that concerns over Texas' new open carry law was "propaganda".

Moni at Transgriot instruct Houston black trans men to step up and lead in 2016.

Somervell County Salon sees a few things in 2016 that have not changed since 2015.