SocraticGadfly: 7/26/20 - 8/2/20

August 01, 2020

Garrett Foster vs Daniel Perry ("versus" Idries Shah)

Garrett Foster's death remains under investigation, with many activist Austinites having increasing concerns about Police Chief Brian Manley. Whether the (until last night) publicly unidentified driver was legally acting in self-defense or not, Foster's packing an AK-47 itself still doesn't sit well with me, and the fact that he approached the driver, even if he had the gun pointed down, sits less well yet. This is clearly an Idries Shah issue:

Sorry, Austinite activists, but I can't and won't just jump on your side. The third side is gun safety, gun control and gun violence, and there's fourth and fifth and more sides beyond that, certainly. I immediately see Manley and his oversight of APD as the fourth, and ConservaDem (and departing) Travis County DA Margaret Moore as the fifth, per Texas Monthly.

The shooter has now been identified, starting with a statement by his lawyer last  Friday. Daniel Perry is an active duty staff sergeant with 1st Cav at Fort Hood. He was driving for Uber or something, or so it is claimed. That said, did he use that as a pretense to literally crash the rally? And, the guilty flee when no man pursueth, says Proverbs, and Perry has scrubbed his Twitter, and presumably other social media as well. (But, at places like this, you can find plenty of his background.)

On the third hand of the first two sides? (Idries, again!) Perry's lawyer claims he has witnesses who say Foster had his gun raised. If true, even if Perry drove past barricades and into a crowd, Perry can then make a self-defense argument. (Whether it will fly or not, and also whether his case carries over until José Garza replaces Moore in January, all remain to be seen.)

July 31, 2020

Dear Rhode Island Greens: Disband!
Dear GP National: Why haven't you booted them?

Officially asking Howie Hawkins not to run, NOT because you're Howie-haters, but because you don't want ANY GP Prez candidate on the ballot, because, in a state Hillary Clinton won by 15 percentage points in 2016, you want to make sure Trump loses?


Risible even from a state party that, according to the GP national elections database, has run NOBODY for a single office in the past decade. (I've been told via Twitter the party has one downballot candidate this year. Might want to let the national folks know. You could maybe also put a "candidates" link on your website. I clicked "Greens in Action," thinking I'd find something there. Nope.)

BUT! On another webpage? I found out it HAS officially endorsed a Dem before.

It's possible a state like Wyoming hasn't done that either. But, Rhode Island tilts much further left, and second, within the past decade, I believe the Wyoming GP HAS run at least one non-presidential candidate.

This, even more than the Ohio GP for years being the grifting kingdom of Bob Fitrakis, is the problem with many state GPs in a nutshell.

And, it's a problem with the national GP, when a state party openly goes duopoly-stanning. This would never happen in the Libertarian Party, to the degree my eyes and ears are open to its doings.

Sadly, the national convention did nothing about this, even though the tweet was made, and the plan adopted, in May, well before the national convention.

But, it DID have serious background noise before the convention about expelling the Green Party, over a plank in this year's party platform that most people protesting it have likely not even read and that one former party presidential candidate heard adopted without in-person dissent.

But, we can't have the Georgia GP coming even close to a gender-critical feminist take on some issues.

BUT, we can have the Rhode Island GP saying "vote Biden" while neither the party steering committee nor Howie Hawkins talks about doing anything.

Bunch of fricking AccommoGreens, and not just at the RI party level. I think Howie himself has an AccommoGreen bone or two too many, and the way he treated the SPUSA nomination as a token or whatever he said about it makes me think that even more.

July 30, 2020

John Nichols licks Biden's "green" taint, finds it tasty

The Nation's John Nichols, who has never missed a chance to diss the Green Party through silence, and is another reason I wouldn't pay a plugged nickel to subscribe to that rag, is at it again, claiming that Sleepy Joe Biden (Dopey Joe? Grumpy Joe?), by presenting an alleged environmental plan, has opened himself to being pushed from the left.

Bullshit, as I told him in a trio of Tweets, which I shall post and further explicate.

Start here:
And, yes, Nichols should know that. Places even less librul (it's NOT leftist) than Nichols' rag reported the "no fracking." It was all over Twitter within hours after Biden releasing it.

Please, John.

That said, I take one thing back.

Your lie about what this plan is DID get the Green Party in the story.
Julian Brave NoiseCat, the director of Green New Deal Strategy for the research group Data for Progress, suggested that “Biden’s clean energy and environmental justice plans are, in my view, a Green New Deal in all but name.” Green Party presidential nominee Howie Hawkins disagreed, arguing that “Biden is nowhere close to the GND. Besides having a timeline for emissions more than 20 years slower, he leaves out the other half, which is an economic bill of rights—guaranteed jobs, single payer healthcare, housing, etc.”
John doesn't openly agree with Julian the RabidDemCat, but I know where his sympathy lies.

That's because John says it himself:
That movement is what matters.
On to tweet 2:
And, that too is very true, and Nichols also knows that.

Beyond that, Gang Green enviros aren't into pushing from the left anyway. And, per the origin of the term, AND the laughs it drew from more activist groups, Nichols knows THAT as well.

And, on to Tweet 3:
None of this surprises me about Nichols. Per the "butt-hurt" above, he's gotten butt-hurt when I've called him on his anti-Green bona fides before.

In addition, John, RabidDemCat and others know the Paris Accords are toothless Jell-O. Related? Yale Climate Connections estimates that Dear Leader vastly underpriced the "social cost" of carbon emissions.

Texas progressives look at political mythmaking,
plus cop reform, race and more

Lots of stuff to dig into on this week's Roundup, of local and regional, state and national level news. Bad cops, dumb protests and counterprotests, and more are all here.

With that, let's get right to it, starting at the local level:


SocraticGadfly has non-RIP sayonaras for two Dallas notables. First, he waves at faded Dallas media legend Jim Schutze, COVID-canned by the Dallas Observer a while back. Second, he says don't let the door hit you on the way out to John Wiley Price elections hack Toni Pippins-Poole.

The Denton County Jail is a COVID cesspool.


Hank Gilbert, the Dem challenging Louie Gohmert, aka Gohmert Pyle, says a campaign staffer was assaulted by counterprotestors in Tyler. He also charges cops did nothing to protect protestors or try to maintain advance control of the scene. And, Gohmert Pyle, the Maskless Man, has now "got it," and may have infected Bill Barr too.

Bernard and Audre Rapoport would turn over in their graves if they could, and if alive, Bernard would likely make one of his phone calls to the Observer, this one for kissing MJ Hegar's ass.

CD Hooks gives a blow-by-blow account of the clusterfuck of the Texas GOP's online convention. At the Trib, Patrick Svitek has a still-serious but less snarky take.

Off the Kuff has (you guessed it) another Presidential poll to dissect.

Houston Press's Jef Rouner is not only an idiot on the sincerity and depth of conviction of people voting third party, but also on his claim the Tea Party was some sort of a third party, rather than more aggressive Young Guns within Obama-fueled mainstream Republicanism. As I ask aloud about mainstream national newspaper columnists — people get paid to write this?

Prison mental health problems in the time of COVID are real enough for a dead body to remain in a lockdown cell three days.

DosCentavos had another slow week, but he'll get back on it this week. He did tell us about the the latest 2020 campaign tune by Chicano music legend Johnny Hernandez.


Dan Solomon at Texas Monthly fellates HEB less than a month after fellating oil frackers, for which I took him to the woodshed. Worse, this is largely a rewrite of a story from 2-3 months ago, raising journalistic ethics questions, which TM has had to face before in recent years. (I called out Texas Monthly on both grounds by Twitter, in separate tweets; no response.)

Vanilla Ice, originally from the not-so-gangsta Carrollton, is hitting up Big D soon.

White cultural appropriation is still real.

National-racial justice

It was narrowly avoided over the weekend, but we're eventually going to have two militias shoot each other. Welcome to Amerika, land of the allegedly free and home of the Second Amendment.

Scratch the above. We've now had it in Austin and Garrett Foster is dead. Yes, he may have had a legal right to an AK-47, and he may have pointed it downward. But, he was still walking toward someone with it in hand when he was shot. You know what? I don't want to support protestors bringing guns like that or AR-15s to protests. Period.

Two-thirds of Americans say they support the ongoing racial justice protests. How much of that is real, versus how much is virtue signaling, Whiggish progress-based naivete or similar?

A group of mathematicians is formally boycotting predictive policing and the departments who use it.


John Roberts ruled correctly again on state church attendance restrictions. I repeatedly tweeted about the anti-Romans 13 sinful rebel megachurch pastors, from an old blog post.

The National Park Service is going to get a lot of repairs backlog funded — by Big Oil. Per discussion on HCN's Facebook page, especially against an apologetic Biden-stanner, this is not good. The general optics aren't good, and, contra him, it in all likelihood WILL lead the NPS to push for more. Remember, it's part of the Department of the Interior, which includes the Bureau of Land Management, aka the other BLM, whose mantra under Obama as well as Bush 43 and Trump was "drill, baby, drill."


Berniebros are going to challenge the DNC if its platform doesn't have Medicare for All. And, it doesn't! And, it was CRUSHINGLY defeated.

The Dems' platform also rejects any conditions on aid to Israel. That one was crushed badly as well.

Bernie will surely continue to sheepdog. (A Berner who was a recent gatecrasher of the GP's Facebook group, and who had created a "Bern"-themed suggestion for a new party logo, got butthurt when I mentioned that.) DNC ConservaDems will see the platform vote numbers and write off rebellion risks.

Dan Froomkin takes the NYT to the woodshed for its coverage of AOC vs Ted Yoho.

Jacobin calls Stacy Abrams the new Beto O'Rourke, and no, Beto-stanners, not a compliment.

House Democrats (remember, the majority party) love a bloated Defense budget.

Support for racial justice protests: virtue signaling?

A new Gallup poll says two-thirds of Americans support the racial justice protests. A slight majority of all Americans said they have had their views changed. (That's good news IF they needed changing, but sad news THAT they did.) Almost three-quarters of Asian-Americans said this, perhaps influenced by Trump and other white wingnuts talking about "Kung flu" and other stupidities. "Only 36 percent" of Republicans said they had their minds changed either a lot (14%) or little (22%), also glass half full/half empty news. Asians have participated in protests as much as Blacks, while Hispanics have only participated a little more than Whites.

On the other hand, per Atlantic, a lot of this self-confessed mind-changing may be some mix of social conformity and virtue signaling. Jennifer Richeson says the thought that we're continuing to move forward is like riding a "Whiggish elevator." White non-wingnuts get to feel good about themselves, while Blacks in the protest get some new theoretical bit of hope to grasp. In turn, maybe that's part of why Hispanics haven't jumped in more.

I'm not saying it's all guaranteed to be virtue signaling about America, the land of progress, or naivete on similar grounds. Let's hope a fair chunk is real. And that the support is based on hope that turns out to be real.

July 29, 2020

Bad cops I have known

The worst? I just saw the tip of the iceberg.

Hobbs, NM police chief Tony Knott, a native son, was fired as chief just five years after getting the job. It was presumably over using city records against a court special master after the city was already facing legal troubles for alleged racial harassment after trouble at a Hobbs football game in 1996.

But, there's this.

And this.

And this, indirectly.

I had become editor of a weekly paper there shortly after Knott was named chief.

About three months later, at a civic event, he said "You checked out OK" or something similar.

Turns out he'd called the police chief in the town of my previous paper and done a chief-to-chief background check. Bad enough 20-plus years ago; disgusting and appalling in light of cops shooting at media today.

He had other bad cops on the force besides the ones mentioned a couple of times.

No. 2 would be a now-former Falls County, Texas, constable, Richard Aleman. He hired as a deputy constable a cop who not once, but twice, in neighboring counties shot people while on the job. No-billed in both cases due to DAs who cite qualified immunity to get a grand jury to no-bill, rather than indict, a ham sandwich.

And, he was Hispanic, which on paper should have made him more sensitive to such issues, but didn't. I don't know if this was why he was voted out of office, wholly or in part, but he needed to be gone.

I also knew many other bad cops in Falls County, Texas.

Current Lott chief Hamilton, who five years ago had the brilliant idea of getting a drug dog in a town of less than 1,000 (but with a 3-cop force) and doing rent-a-dog to other jurisdictions making drug-related traffic stops or holds. Less than a month later, SCOTUS said you can't be detained indefinitely on a traffic stop without probable cause. I have little doubt Chief Hamilton was hoping for a cut of asset seizure forfeiture money because of his dog doing the work.

Former Rosebud chief Quincy Lee, arrested for indecency with a child.

Late Marlin police chief Darrell Allen, killed while doing off-duty security work, also allegedly was "off duty" when on duty; I was told (albeit by the Hispanic constable above) that he had a key to a room at one of Marlin's hotels, kept reserved for him for any daytime "assignations." That said, other people besides said constable had heard of this claim.

A successor of his, Nathan Sodek, who committed suicide when faced with a sexual assault investigation. I knew him as a Rosebud cop.

A then-captain on Marlin PD, Hector Gonzalez, arrested for sexual assault for, like Sodek, extorting an arrestee.

Sodek was white. Gonzalez Hispanic. The other three were/are black.

Notice the abuse of power with all of them, outside of racial issues. Notice that, except Hamilton with his drug dog, it was sex-related abuse of power in all cases.

A lot of troubled small towns take who they can as a chief. Even if the chief isn't crap, he (or occasionally she, mayhaps) scrambles for who they can find on officers. (I haven't listed all the bad cops in Marlin, or from what I can remember, bad cop instances in Hobbs.)

Small counties can have politicized sheriff's elections. I had forgotten all about bad cop by election, Falls County Sheriff Ricky Scaman — who was a bad cop before that as a TABC agent. I was refreshed on remembering that by doing a blog search for old posts that included the odious Ty Clevenger.

Update, Sept. 27: Scaman was arrested last week on an UNshocking sexual assault charge. He's also been sued twice over sexual harassment. Showing the incestuousness of Falls County politics, both DA Jody Gilliam, loathsome in other ways herself, and 82nd District Court Judge Rusty Russ, recused themselves from the criminal case on conflicts of interest. Yeah, something like this is often a pro forma. But, sometimes, it's more than that.

I haven't even toughed school district police departments and chiefs, either. Many of them are a license for grifting by the chief, who may do other work while being a school district chief cop.

July 28, 2020

Texas Progressives, coronavirus week 18

This week is shorter than the past few since I renewed splitting coronavirus news off the rest of the Roundup, but, with the US passing 150,000 deaths, Texas past 5,000, and with 600 new deaths due to a change in counting method, and the rolling average of daily death rates UNflattened for four weeks in a row now, it still needs to be kept separate, as things will likely get worse before getting better.

We still don't know exactly how much a role asymptomatic carriers play in spreading coronavirus contagion, and that issue is still being worked out. National Geographic has more.

What's missing right now, in addition to not enough coronavirus testing to keep up with the spread rate, is not enough rapid enough testing to know about asymptomatic or presymptomatic positives before they spread. And, that's true in states red and blue alike.

In addition, we are learning there are superspreader individuals, as well as superspreader locations, like churches.

Speaking of, per Derek Thompson at Atlantic, let's stop the hygiene theater. Reasonable handwashing, yes. But hourly sterilization of schools and other spots? No. Theaters and churches, with large numbers of people in confined spaces and stale AC, should be closed period, per Derek. Other places should be at least severely restricted until fall and you stop running the damned AC. And yes, megachurch Karens, you're part of the problem.

Contra Donald Trump, only 22 percent of Americans think schools should reopen with little to no adjustments. It remains a minority, but jumps to 43 percent, among Republicans. Sadly, the polling doesn't have a breakdown between parents of K-12 kids versus others.

Meanwhile, kids have already gotten coronavirus at Texas summer camps, and at least one is doing its best/worst to avoid talking specifics.

Good Twitter thread here from a store clerk about enforcing masks.

My piece on how I was ready to start boycotting Winco if it didn't get serious about masks.

The rebellious Karens at Protestant megachurches are at it again.

July 27, 2020

Third quarter blogroll updates: Bye to Jacobin, among others

I'd kept Down with Tyranny on my blogroll for several years. As a Green for prez, and a Dem for Senate, etc., when no Green alternative was available, it wasn't tremendously further to the right than me. It was, though, further to the right than others in its general neck of the woods, including being a 2020 Senate race Beto-stanner. It's also been somewhat of a sucker for grifting by some organized leftish Democrat pressure groups such as Justice Dems. But it was generally a useful "bookmark" for what mainstream Berners think.

But it crossed a bridge when it ran pieces by Chemtrails Bob Fitrakis two days in a row. He's also known here as Fake Green Party Ohio fiefdom Bob Fitrakis and other things. He's an Ohio 2004 recount conspiracy theorist (another parting of the waters with Brains there), along with being a chemtrails guy; info on both at that link.

Per this link of mine, Mark Lause has laid the lumber on Ohio as having one of the most "papery" of Green Party orgs of any state. And, before he finally quit, quit the Green shell game and the AccommoGreen pose and apparently took up his Dem blue true colors, he ran that shell fiefdom.

So, you're gone. I disconnect from conspiracy theorists in general. As of the time I started this, DWT just went to my links list. But it may be gone, period.

Beyond the above, it's tribalist blather. Take a recent post on the ongoing Libyan Civil War. Ignores that Dear Leader was the prez who ordered the bombing. In its sub-Dem tribalism, it ignores that Bernie was OK with that.


Jacobin is getting closer to being there. It's hugely uneven and unfocused editorially, running from Russian Revolution stanning in November 1917 to being conventional Bernie DSA Roses in current domestic politics without ever mentioning third parties. Biggest part of that nuttery is editor Bhaskar Sunkata saying he was going to vote for Howie (which presumed Howie would get the GP nomination) while rejecting any idea of boosting the Green Party.

As I Tweeted back then:
I stand by that. Even as I also stand by saying that the Green Party, and its usefulness as a third party of the left, have probably peaked.

I've also gotten into argument with Jacobin's Branko Marcetic over whether or not Evo Morales committed a semi-coup. He did, you and other non-skeptical lefties. As with others of his ilk on this issue, I said I'm willing to say what happened to him in his semi-coup election was a coup IF you will admit that what he did was a semi-coup. He refused.

And, this past week, Jacobin went too far. At least three encomia to the recently passed Michael Brooks, none of them mentioning he was a Green-disser, and having nothing about the passing a month ago of an actual Socialist, 2016 SPUSA presidential candidate Mimi Soltysik. Per Sunkata, Jacobin can blather about "socialism" all the time elsewhere, but when it turns its focus back to American politics, nothing further left than DSA Roseys is allowed. Bye, Jacobin.


Carl Beijer, whom I should have dropped long ago, is now gone. When alleged former Green Party campaigner started not only stanning for the Dems but lecturing Greens about stuff related to the Green New Deal, he should have been gone. Now that "he" has changed platforms, and I realized that's why I hadn't gotten any recent feeds, and that his new site is a group blog, pass. And, he's apparently been doing group writing for some time. Roger Bellin, one of the persons allegedly associated with the account, is a DSA Rosey. The "he" creator is Berner Jacob Fawcett, with a protected Twitter account. I highly doubt he, Fawcett "Beijer," was ever the Green he pretended to be.


Added: Wall Street on Parade. A great look at the lunacy and grift of the street itself, the Fed, and duopoly politicians.

Added: Encylopedia of American Loons. It adds entries about twice a week and is on the T's, so will probably be done this year. Maybe it will recycle or start anew after that.

Added: Yale Climate Connections. Good before, and now the home of the former Category 6 commentary from Weather Underground.

Added: Capital and Main. It's "Democratic," but challenges ConservaDems, and in ways, and on specific ConservaDem persons (Cal gov Gavin Newsom on coronavirus) that Down with Tyrrany was suckers about. That said, even at the sub-presidential level, I doubt it would tout a third-party candidate.

July 26, 2020

Sinful anti-Romans 13 megachurches keep it up in California

California authorities have reportedly turned off power at Grace Community Church after its pastor,
sinful anti-Romans 13 rebel John MacArthur, decided he and the church would refuse to abide by Gov. Gavin Newsom's latest orders closing indoor worship. I tweeted to Newsom that he needed to start making some arrests. (This isn't the only church defying the order, just the most prominent.) Sorry for linking to wingnuts at the second link, but the "do not follow" command ensures no clicks.

Newsom has not closed churches, period, just indoor worship. This is stricter than his previous 25 percent ruling, which passed constitutional muster; an even stricter standard in Nevada also got the SCOTUS OK last week, on a tougher case.

On this issue, Roberts is clearly the court equivalent of a never Trumper.

Given that Newsom's being sued again, this will be back in court soon enough. That said, Roberts has indicated his willingness to defer to state executive authority. And, since Newsom cites specific scientific facts, such as confined, choir-type singing being a major coronavirus spreader, there's a good chance Newsom wins again.

As for the bible rebels? At the first link, I noted this IS about power and authority — but not for either Christ OR Caesar; rather, it's for megachurch pastors.

Besides, the MORMONS said months ago (via the church-owned Deseret News) that you Protestant megachurch pastors and members, all of Karens, were wrong.

And, of course, all the Karens mention protests, which aren't indoors, and otherwise have a "law and order for thee but not for me" stance.