SocraticGadfly: 7/31/16 - 8/7/16

August 05, 2016

I wish #ImWithJill were physically true at the #GNCinHOU

When I first heard that the Greens were having their national convention in Houston, I circled that on my calendar with definite plans to attend at least the weekend portion. Whether I went as purely a private person or a mix of private and professional I hadn't decided.

Unfortunately, a mix of being short-handed at work and a personal injury has nixed that.

But, you can read my blogging buddy and friend Brains, who is a Houstonian, and is doing social media work for the party at the convention.

Samples of his blog work from this week include:
1. Blue vs. Green with the "Oh the SCOTUS" fear-based rallying cry of Democrats;
2. The latest installation of his "scattershooting donkeys," for Democrats taking fear-based, generally uninformed, potshots at the Green Party and/or presidential nominee Jill Stein;
3. A brief piece on the Greens' upcoming CNN town hall;
4. And a first look in photos at what's happening at the convention.

August 04, 2016

#Clintonistas, Democrats in general, and downballot voting

One of the favorite tropes of the Hillbot crowd is to say the Green Party does nothing but trot out a presidential candidate every four years.

Having voted for Green Party state-level candidates for years, I know that's untrue. Greens even ran a Congressional candidate in West Texas several years ago.

Next, the Clintonistas will shift to how unsuccessful those state and local candidates are.

Well, first of all, you Dems, along with Repugs, have eliminated fusion candidates from more and more states. You've made it deliberately harder for third parties to get state-level ballot access. You've otherwise worked to protect unlevel playing fields and even make them more unlevel.

And that's the polite answer.

The in-your-face answer is tha Dems in Texas have little room to be critical of anybody on downballot races. The GOP has an approximately 2-1 edges in both houses oh the Texas Lege, It has owned all statewide offices for nearly 20 years.

And a fair part of why is that Texas Dems suck at midterm election turnout and Hispanics doubly suck, and no, Battleground Texas won't change this anytime soon. Plus, Dems, a the party of activist federal government, are likely to pay less attention to state-level races than are Republicans.

Beyond that, I've tackled the issue of Hispanic voting in general and in Texas in particular more than once. Their current profiles, especially religious, don't guarantee monolithic or even near-monolithic Democratic loyalty; ditto on the relative importance or not of two hot-button social issues. Meanwhile, BGTX, despite some early boasting, hasn't yet shown real results.

August 02, 2016

TX Progressives tackle youth football, Jill Stein and more

The Texas Progressive Alliance had no trouble hearing what Ghazala Khan had to say as it brings you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff wrote about the latest voting rights lawsuit in the state of Texas.

"The Daily Jackass", a new series beginning at PDiddie's Brains and Eggs, spotlights the unhinged, unsubstantiated rants of hard-boiled Democrats who hold something hostile against Jill Stein and the Green Party.  The fist Jackass featured is Chris Hooks at the Texas Observer.

SocraticGadfly, after defending Donald Trump from conspiratorial accusations of being a Manchurian Candidate, eventually fesses up to being a Manchurian Blogger.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme says kudos to McAllen for policing their police force.  Power requires responsibility and accountability.

Neil at All People Have Value noted that the NFL keeps on lying about how football causes concussions at the youth football level. APHV is part of


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Brantley Hightower considers the evolution of Whataburger's architecture.

The Bloggess explains how Pokemon Go helps her with her anxiety and agoraphobia.

Eileen Smith makes a triumphant return to blogging.

Paradise In Hell is excited by recent archaeological finds at the Alamo.

Anna Dragsbaek objects to "conscientious" vaccine exemptions.

August 01, 2016

Jill Stein straight answers #Hillbot AND realist attacks on vaccines

First, let's get a rhetorical question up front.

Some of Dr. Jill Stein's latest critics on health issues are trying to score partisan political pro-Clinton points first, pro-science points second. Does that describe you? Be honest, whether the "you" is the punditicracy class or John/Jane Doe.

So, to the likes of David Badash, how much are you driven by pro-science concerns in attacks on Stein & how much by fears of Hillary losing? (Jordan Wasserman is a clear Hillbot, so I'm not rhethorically expecting honest from him.)

First, the Green Party, in this year's platform, has moved more mainstream in its stance on "woo"/alt-med issues.


The Green Party supports a wide range of health care services, including conventional medicine, as well as the teaching, funding and practice of complementary, integrative and licensed alternative health care approaches.
Is something that most Dems would wholeheartedly support.

And another blogger notes she opposes homeopathy, and got platform changes there back in 2012. To me, the changes she got the party to make look as much or more like PR than opposition. But, she did something.

BUT now, perhaps a bit late, she's given a bottom-line answer:
Again, it would have been better earlier, but there it is.

For people who will try to nitpick about it being stated in the form of a negative, I A. Consider it stated well enough and B. Will consider further statements against this to be in part, at least, politically driven.

That includes, even, any amateur or professional movement skeptics, like Galen Broaddus, already blocked on Facebook. 

That said, setting aside the label of "antivaxxer," Stein at first again refused to give a simple yes/no answer on the issue of whether or not vaccines cause autism.

As a result, Dan Ariel, the blogger who defended her on homeopathy at the link above, is now, "furious," mad enough to be close to jumping ship. And I'm getting there myself.

The flip side of calling her a panderer is to state that, while she is straddling two horses, she is pulling them closer. 

Let's also note, California's Democratic Party (shock) also supports pseudomedicine:
California Democrats will…support generally accepted holistic healing practices and alternative medicine, particularly those areas licensed by the state such as acupuncture and medical cannabis and utilized to relieve intractable pain without the side effects of conventional controlled drugs.
Acupuncture has no scientific support. 

And Hillary's own medical guru is a celeb doctor who flirts with quack ideas and has also worked with Rick Warren.

And both Clinton and Obama have their own checkered pasts on the vaccines-autism issue.

Is the Green Party anywhere near perfect? No.

I blogged about my reservations about the Green Party's platform in some depth in 2008, and shorter in 2012. I called for a Science and Reason Party a full decade ago.

I've cut it more slack, as a third party in a duopoly-driven system and because no Socialist party has ballot access in Texas.

Otherwise, outside the actual medical issues, the mix of pablum and pandering in Stein's AMA Reddit statement is something I expect from Democrats and Republicans, but definitely don't want in third-party candidates. And some follow-ups have not been  perfect, namely, her lumping of the FDA and CDC.

That said, for any antivaxxers in the Green Party, let us note the recommended US vaccination schedule is not materially different from elsewhere in the developed world.


Update: On the third hand, she believes some sort of woo about wi-fi and health.