SocraticGadfly: 6/21/20 - 6/28/20

June 26, 2020

Sleepy Joe vs Trumpty Dumpty in Texass, Floriduh
and Black Detroit (and likely other Black areas)

Large chunks of Black America, especially younger voters, have ZERO enthusiasm for Status Quo / Sleepy Joe. Can you blame them? As a White third-party voter, I can't. (As a for-now Green, I'd like to see them consider their options more, but right now, I'm not sure what options to offer them, per my "for-now.")

But, the largely White protestors at the Capitol Hill Organized Protest overseeing the Seattle Autonomous Zone do. After four shootings in the allegedly self-policed neighborhood, they were told by organizers to go home and continue the revolution by voting Biden. (That said, the organizer delivering the message is Black.)

That said, even Faux shows Sleepy within a point of Trumpty Dumpty here in Texass. Trump's margin is bigger, though, when adjusted for the expected lack of Hispanic voter turnout. Will Bob on a Knob O'Rourke help that? See above about Detroit. Every four years, of course, we hear "this is the year." And it isn't.

Besides, more and more Hispanics are becoming evangelical Protestant (like Rafael Edward Cruz's daddy) and thus less and less of a guarantee for Democrats. Pew Research looked at this as late as early last year. And I had a bigger picture piece on Texas Democrats and Hispanic presumptions a few years ago.

Other big takeaway? Faux elsewhere says Trump is down 9 in Florida. That's a biggie.

Five Thirty Eight says things could shift, but notes Status Quo for Sleeping has the biggest prez polling lead at this point since the Slickster in 1996. But Big Bill wasn't content and still signed off on "welfare reform" two months later.

June 25, 2020

Texas Progressives talk police and race, again

This week, and probably for the last week (I hope, for now), the Texas Progressives weekly roundup is again being split into two parts in this corner.

This is the racial matters, police brutality, Lost Cause and more half.

Let's start with a long read about Martin Luther King "vs" Malcolm X — and James Baldwin. Baldwin saw more militant younger blacks deserting King for not doing more, and even halfway liberal whites saying we've done enough, as early as 1961. Three months after King was killed, Baldwin's words to a white Esquire interview about rioting, that
"It is not for us to cool it."
Still ring true.

It's also possible, per the piece, that King was put off by Baldwin's being gay. Within black evangelical churches today, there's still a lot of repressing on this issue.  Anyway, the excerpt is from a new book about Baldwin, coming out this month.

The desire by some liberals, white or otherwise, and some leftists, also white or otherwise, to perform "cancel culture" on identity politics — liberals normally because "we're moving beyond that," or "we're post-racial," or "we don't want to lose too much of white America," and leftists normally because "all issues of race (gender / sexual orientation etc.) ultimately reduce to class" — is just wrong. America has always had identity politics. It's just an issue of who's identifying themselves and how, who is wanting to move on, who actually has moved on and pulled the ladders up (Irish-Americans vs blacks, anybody?) and who's in full-on active opposition.

With those longer introductions, let's jump in.

BIG stuff from the media punditry world. Long-time conservative columnist Mona Charen says that George Floyd's killing has convinced her that that Black Lives Matter complaints are highly justified. (Now, if only long-term Zionist Charen would say the same about Palestinian lives.)

Juneteenth, Mexican village style.

Protests in support of George Floyd, against Confederate monuments and more, are hitting more small towns. So are counterprotestors, with two arrested in Pilot Point (site of a 1922 lynching), or threats, in Lockhart (spurred by a rant by a deputy constable from a neighboring county).

The Texas Rangers baseball team is being urged to rename itself. Why? The racism and general brutality of the Texas Rangers police force in much to most of its history. Here's my review of "Cult of Glory," the great new book about that history.

More and more UT students want the university to dump "The Eyes of Texas" as the school song. Here's why. And, ol ball coach Tom Herman is down with Longhorn football players being part of the protest.

Reminding readers that American Indians have an even higher per-capita death by cop rate than blacks, some librulz (and of course all the wingnuts) wonder why statues of President Grant have gotten toppled. American Indians know why.

At the Observer, DaLyah Jones talks about Black Lives Matter and protests in Deep East Texas. (I personally define Tyler as the "gateway" to the region, near the northwest corner. It runs basically from near Tyler to the Louisiana line, with Shreveport kind of an extension. I-20 is pretty much the northern edge; places like Jefferson might be in East Texas, but not Deep East Texas. U.S. 59 is the heartland of the region, followed by U.S. 96.)

Grits for Breakfast imagines a "George Floyd Act" for Texas.

Within all of this, just as violence and destructiveness at protests do no good, neither do Social Justice Warriors wanting to claim that every suicide by a black man "must be" a lynching. Occam's Razor plus national suicide statistics refute such claims.

Algorithms are often loaded with bias. Here's a curated reading list.

The Texas Signal enjoys the spectacle of Ted Cruz whining about Sesame Street.

June 24, 2020

Green Party: Howie Hawkins clinches and the haters are hating

Just after Jesse Ventura crapped on the Green Party — and surely timed for that effect — Howie Hawkins clinched the Green Party presidential nomination.

And the hating, lying and conspiracy thinking erupted.

If not Jesse-stanners, it was Dario Hunter-stanners, claiming Howie has run a corrupt campaign.

Er, no! If anybody's run a corrupt campaign, it was Dario, for his part in tweaking the certified candidates issue, then lying to Ian Schlakman about it.

Then there are the people who drink the Kool-Aid of Aaron Maté, Matt Taibbi, Max Blumenthal and others on Russia issues, and call Howie a Russiagater. In reality, I don't entirely agree with him, but I think he's fairly nuanced. And, per that link and many others, the conspiracy theorists ignore that RNC as well as DNC computers were hacked.

I'm not linking to any of the official Green Party Facebook threads. I don't want to give these people more airplay, nor do I want to indulge conspiracy thinking in general. (Many of the Howie-haters, besides disliking his stance on Russia, are conspiracy theorists in general, especially horseshoe theory coronavirus conspiracy theorists. I've also run into, and blocked, more than one chemtrails person.) Besides, I'm tired of the censorship levels there.

Then there were the lies, claiming Howie hadn't clinched. In reality? He had, per the official GP list of accredited delegate numbers. With nuttery like this, many Greens ARE like Libertarians. Disorganized as hell. The actual accredited number was 350 as of last week and he had more than half of that. Period and end of story.

On the third hand? Issues of favoritism DID pop up last year. Is that "corruption"? I think not. But ... it was bad optics.

On the fourth hand, for various reasons, I may not vote Green this year. (Down, Democrats. Not you either.) I think the crack-up Mark Lause wrote about, and I blogged about off his post, four years ago, is near.

Speaking of? Even though he has lost, and even though the Lavender Caucus, along with Michigan, put Howie over the top, a group of Dario-stanners is continuing to meddle. And tell lies about the Georgia Green Party on trans rights, claiming that an olive branch was extended to Georgia Greens and they wouldn't dialogue. Given that Dario was at the Georgia GP convention, and saw its woman sex-workers' rights plank passed, and raised no objection at the time, this is the rankest of hypocrisy.

June 23, 2020

Texas progressives round up various coronavirus and other issues

I am continuing to keep remnant coronavirus news within the main umbrella of the Texas Progressives roundup while, at least for now, splitting out police and race news.

That doesn't mean that there isn't coronavirus news of some sort to talk about, of course, so as with last week's roundup, there will be subsections.

Texas schools

As a member of the media myself, I know that there's lots of uncertainty and fair chunks of fear about coronavirus and the start of the 2020-21 school year at many metro urban and suburban school districts. Even out in the hinterlands, there's worry. At the same time, there's worry about state financing for schools, especially in light of the second year of effect of last year's House Bill 3, combined with COVID hits on the state budget. And, since much state funding is based on average daily student attendance, these two issues connect. The Trib has more.

Texas coronavirus

SocraticGadfly says that (complete with quote-Photoshopping) Gov. Strangeabbott has coronavirus blood on his hands.

Off the Kuff enjoys a bit of schadenfreude at the expense of the terrible people at Empower Texans.

Jeff Balke fears a sports pandemic within the current pandemic.

Robert Rivard salutes Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff for successfully calling Greg Abbott's bluff on face masks.


The Observer has a roundup of news of the weird.


DosCentavos puts the SCOTUS DACA decision into perspective.

The Dallas Observer reports on the celebrations by immigration activists over the SCOTUS ruling on DACA.

Dreamers may have been temporarily let off the hook by the Supreme Court last week, but a lawsuit by Kenny Boy Paxton working its way through the federal courts could make that temporary indeed.


Howie Hawkins clinched the Green Party nomination, as made clear by actual accredited delegate count. Unfortunately, the official Facebook group posted, and has kept up, a fake news post by someone who's either a general Howie hater or a Dario stanner. And, as for the fake news poster, even if there are going to wind up being a few more accredited delegates, there's no way there's 402 at end. There's also no way Howie doesn't win.

Jesse Ventura, abetted by Gnu Media conspiracy theorist Primo Nutbar, publicly crapped on the Green Party. Primo did this, I have no doubt, in part because he's a Howie hater. Speaking of the GP official Facebook group? It's moderated, and the first time I posted, they just trashed it rather than post it. I reposted, and have tagged a (former?) admin and all listed moderators (Sunday night) when I reposted it in comments. I'm tired of the censorship, and per other comments by Starlene Rankin, the (former?) admin, a certain amount of anti-Howie may be an issue there too.

Boston Review offers a left-liberal perspective on how Gorsuch's opinion in the LGBT discrimination case was quasi-radical in some ways.

Stat News, the go-to site for details on coronavirus (and many other medical issues) says Trump's delays cost "70-99 percent of its Covid-19 deaths."

Juanita basks in Trump's latest egotistical tirade.

June 22, 2020

I couldn't do it, High Country News

Your refusal to apologize for the absolute dreck guest piece from Melanin Base Camp, combined with you disallowing letters to the editor because it was an online-only piece, still sticks in my craw too much.

So, a year of digital-only access for $12? Yes, cheap. But ... can't do it.

That's not the only unapologized error. Getting cap-and-trade on climate change confused with a carbon tax is sad. It was one of several errors at around the same time late last year that went both unacknowledged and uncorrected. That was followed this year by a puff piece about incremental steps being taken on climate change (even if unmeasured and unmeasurable) can win the battle.

More recently than that? Willful hypocrisy about throwing black Cherokees under the bus of non-acknowledgement. And, "noble savage" and "environmental wisdom of the elders" legends here.

All of this comes from guest pieces. Put a bookmark there. That second link also has what I see as multiple ethical problems with winners from last year's photo contest.

Hey, on a piece by a freelancer recently, I did get acknowledgement they'd look at a possible error on what I KNOW FROM MY OWN MEDIA EXPERIENCE is an error.

Maybe, if you offer this special again in the fall, and you've fessed up to something, I'll sign up again.

Until then, no.

And, I know I don't like admitting all of my newspaper mistakes. (And some smaller ones, I don't do so in print, maybe.) That said, issues like climate change? Western economics? These aren't small ones.

Maybe we should get High Country News to have Melanin Base Camp write about the black Cherokees!

As I said at the one link, I recognize it's not love-hate, but it IS a love-frustration relationship with HCN. Until that changes ....