SocraticGadfly: 1/3/21 - 1/10/21

January 08, 2021

Blogroll updates, start of 2021

• Rall? Finally gone. His excuse-making column for Trump and COVID was one too far. 

Some of the excuses were outright lies, like claiming "Trump hired Fauci." Fauci's been at his national allergies program for more than 30 years, dude. Even if you meant "hired Fauci for your COVID advisory board," well, Trump soon enough afterward sidelined him.

Then noting that "tens of thousands would have died no matter what," even if Trump had followed the same social distancing standards as much as anybody else? Appalling.

Then, the lie that local officials mostly shut down the economy after "Trump got out of the way." Socially, no, Trump did NOT get out of the way. Rall won't even mention the "#Reopen state X" tweets. And, local and state officials didn't all do this. Ron DeSantis. Kristi Noem. Rall knows their names.

And, aside from no national health care, most the crimes DO devolve on Trump, and Trump alone, or Trump plus other MAGAs, and I'm not a Democrat.

I'd kept Rall around for the LOL's for some time. But, he's ultimately, in his own Rall way, an alleged outside the box steno, like Aaron Maté, Max Blumenthal and others.

• Bob Fisk? Gone with his death, of course. I'd heard of "Fiskery" myself 15-plus years ago, but back then, also, even other journos victimized by it said Bob usually got the big picture right. (Apparently, he didn't always do so on Lebanon, though.)



Border/Lines, another left-liberal to leftist foreign police site, on Substack.


On monitoring?

Ballot Access News, while a good site? Under the microscope.

In comments in late November, and I can't remember the exact post, I had a comment about BDS or anti-Zionism or something, and some other commenter accused me of being anti-Semitic.

I then responded three times with my "anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism" line. Later, that post was gone. Can't remember if who I was responding to had his deleted as well.

After that, noticed my comments weren't showing up. So, eventually, I tested with a different handle AND a faked email address from Firefox's "Bloody Vikings" extension. It posted. I then checked with my normal handle, and a different, but real, email. It posted. (I have, for years, to at least slow down spammer email harvesters, used a modified version of my primary email address, with a modification that an actual human would know to edit out.)

So, Richard Winger's email-blocking me. We'll see if he blocks my second real email address eventually.

Update: Turns out that may not have been the case. My original email address, at least on Chrome, seems to be commenting OK now.

Update 2, Jan. 21: Nope, it's now being filtered or something again. Both comments in the screengrab at left used a different email address than my normal one to log in to most commenting systems. So, I'm removing the cross-through I originally had in the "So Richard Winger's email blocking me" paragraph.

You tell me, Richard.

I'll stand by, and folks, get a further update if offered by him in comments, in an email, or just if this goes away again.

OK, it likes my actual email without the "-noaddedspace-" I usually insert in the middle to block email harvesting. I guess that's Akismet, not Richard.

Schneier on Security, who is using some sort of filtering to selectively screen out comments of mine. Not email based, I don't think, unlike BAN; rather, comment nom de plume based, or something similar. Maybe comment based. Repeatedly would not let me comment to call out Seth Rich conspiracy theorists.

Media Myth Alert, which had two previous posts tumbling into Taibbi-Greenwald land, followed by one that was totally irrelevant the day of the insurrection in the U.S. Capitol.

Black Agenda Report, where Danny Haiphong for sure, and to fair degrees Margaret Kimberly and Glen Ford, get worse and worse on drinking the Xi Jinping Kool-Aid. (BAR has slouched ever further toward Gomorrah since the death of Bruce Dixon.)

• If William Saturn is the new owner of Independent Political Report, and he engages in further Trump-slavering, as in this post, it's on high monitoring level. Saturn's nuttery in comments has gotten worse since I posted this, but he's not the new owner and I've been given posting permissions. So, I can't deblogroll myself!

• And, the Adventr photo blog of Colorado Plateau travels, due to a caption in this post. Randy did NOT "capture" a sunstar, he used a lens filter. He does so a lot, to the point of highly overusing what is arguably an outdoors photo shooting cliche.

January 07, 2021

Texas Progressives round up to start 2021, insurrection free

Let's see if 2021 is better than 2020. So far, it's off to a nutty enough start of its own, and that was even before the invasion of the U.S. Capitol, which is going to get a special header.

With that, let's dig into the first Roundup of the new year, starting with yesterday's nuttery.


Start with my post yesterday about Ashli Babbit, who will surely soon be made into a martyr. Then look at what I said about Jonathan Turley, a kinder, gentler Matt Taibbi in his whataboutism. I started the day with looking at Ted Cruz, 2024 Pander Bear.


The Trib gives a redistricting overview, and reminds that this will be the first since the Supreme Court and alleged librul umpire John Roberts junked Voting Rights Act preclearance.

Grits looks at rot in the Austin police academy. 

Dos Centavos is proud to unveil DC'sTop 10 Posts of 2020.

Reform Austin looks ahead to education-related bills in the Legislature.  

Michael Conklin studies the question of whether Dan Patrick owes someone a million bucks for his "voter fraud" reward. 

Eric Berger and Matt Lanza look back at the year in hurricanes.


The Monthly offers up its favorite 2020 photos.

Daniel Vaughn tries the Cornyn brisket recipe so you don't have to.

The Observer offers up its favorite 2020 strange but true.

Texas metro areas

Jeff Balke describes the clash between neighborhood activists and TxDOT over their I-45 expansion plans.

Heywood Sanders advises the city of San Antonio to give up its delusions.


Here's the latest on the Russian hacks and how bad they may be. One note: With the Russians allegedly using servers inside the US, many national security hawks may again raise the cry to let the NSA do more inside the US. There's also the possibility that some of the hacking was by people, not computer networks.

Latinos for Trump was a real thing. Will it last beyond Trump? The New Yorker takes a deep look, and it's one that Democrats (and parties of the actual left) should not ignore.

Just how bad is Facebook for democracy? The New Republic takes a look.

David Bruce Collins wants left civility on Twitter

Finally, for fans of old-school blogging, Vagabond Scholar presents the Jon Swift Roundup for 2020.


A mix of Brexit and COVID snarled the New Year's travel plans of many Brits trying to either return home or go back to the Continent. 

Tesla has plans to open a German factory with dreams of kicking German carmakers' butt. Turns out, they've been hard at work on e-cars and are instead ready to kick Tesla's butt.

Martin Luther was officially excommunicated 500 years ago, Jan. 3. My thoughts.

January 06, 2021

Insurrection. Period and end of story (for Ashli Babbit)

That's a good word for it. Will this affect the future of the GOP? Former WaPost columnist Harold Meyerson, the closest thing to an old labor liberal there before getting canned, says it will. I doubt it, and we've been hearing stuff like that for years, about demographic or other "destiny." Right, Gilberto Hinojosa? Here's my brief take on an attempted twosiderism jujitsu by Jonathan Turley. So far, Ted Cruz, 2024 Pander Bear over the electoral vote confirmation, is unrepentant.

We also know who the #MAGA insurrectionist was who got killed. Per San Diego's KUSI, she is Ashli Babbit. "Babbit," how appropriate of a name; I actually initially read it with a second "t" at the end, as in the Sinclair Lewis novel, which would only have been appropriate. Contra her husband, an insurrectionist is not a "great patriot." Also, if she was still in the Air Force, per this story, whether active duty or reserve, she clearly violated her military oath of service, among other things, and should have already been court-martialed. Contra KUSI, I extend no condolence to her family. Would I extend condolence to Peggy Shippen had Benedict Arnold been captured and hung? Per the last link, I feel condolence for her mother-in-law, but not totally, even there. If she really is that puzzled, she hasn't been paying attention to her daughter-in-law, or to Ashli's husband Aaron calling her a "great patriot" when she's been Trump-drunk months if not years.

All of this is just the surface of the iceberg.

In photos of the insurrectionists, I saw a number of people carrying placards that, at least indirectly, referencing things like Pizzagate. Besides the likes of two-faced, or two-anused, Tucker Carlson who a month ago said Sidney Powell had no evidence and today said it was "not their fault" to the insurrectionists, Pizzagate promoters like Jack Posobiec have blood on their hands, too.

Plus, the insurrectionists contributed to three other deaths inside the Capitol.

And, led to performance theater nutters like this:

What else is there to say? This:

And this at the link. And this link. He's a QAnoner. Hopefully, he loses every gig he has as a voice actor.


Also arguably having blood on their hands? The Capitol Police, who had myriad reasons to be better prepared, and more proactive, than they actually were. Today's performance invites questions of political, racial and class bias.

Just in case you're wondering? The federal criminal definition of sedition very much fits the action of leading actors on Jan. 6, specifically bullet points 2 and 3. This is why, contra the admins of the official Green Party Facebook group and people like Charles Keener here, it's important to know what percentage of self-identified Greens are conspiracy-thinking enough to consider this a "psyops." 

Jonathan Turley, electoral chaos and twosiderism

Everybody knows the story by now: at least one person shot after the Capitol was invaded. Jonathan Turley reminds us that Democrats have indeed challenged state electoral votes before, like a few did on Ohio in 2004. (Fraud claims there were as specious as any made in 2020; Kerry fortunately, unlike Trump, rejected them.) Turley also calls out some of the MSM, including Todd and Tapper by name, for pouring some of their own gasoline on the blaze.

 It's quite possible the mobocracy would have happened anyway. But, why add to its likelihood?

At the same time, Turley is wrong in other ways. None of the previous moves against individual states' electoral votes by Democrats, outside Florida 2000, asked for what Republicans like Ted Cruz have asked for now. Nobody challenging Ohio 2004 made an explicit statement that a new version of an 1876 electoral commission should meet, let alone that it should possibly extend after Inauguration Day.

Turley also ignores that, contra 1876, you did not have a sitting president who ran for re-election awaiting the outcome of a special electoral commission.

And, it goes with Turley's attempts to frame previous Trump statements, like his call to Raffensperger, in the narrowest legal light possible

Turley also ignores that Trump said and did nothing today, while PENCE eventually gave the order to call out the National Guard.

In short, Turley is acting like a milder, legally buttoned up version of Matt Taibbi.

Ted Cruz, electoral college Pander Bear

Let's be honest, folks: That's the only reason Havana Ted Cruz decided to follow Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley today and officially challenge elector slates from several states.

Hawley has the 2024 presidential bug, and Cruz has not fully shaken his 2016 bout with that bacterium. Wisconsin's Ron Johnson is just an idiot, and I'm not sure about some of the other senators, but Cruz has that bug, and since 2016 it's mutated and swapped genes with Trumpism.

Cruz never really was a "principled conservative," but he's now made that clear.

Whether he can actually get the nomination in 2024 remains unclear. If he does, he has Texas' LBJ law to mean he can run for Senator again as well as president.

January 05, 2021

Coronavirus week 39: More lies, more stupidity

I had predicted we'd pass 300K US deaths by the end of the year, months ago. Trump bragged that he was a stable genyus and so the US would never hit 1 million. I underestimated, and Trump may have overestimated, by the time this is all done. 

Yours truly went to Aridzona on a holiday vacation and can report in detail that small and midsized towns there have even more problems with maskless COVIDIOTS than similar-sized places here in Tex-ass. California DOES take it seriously (your author was there for half the trip) and ... has a much lower death toll.

SocraticGadfly discussed ways that President Joe Biden could get a de facto federal mask quasi-mandate.

Off the Kuff observes that the COVID vaccine rollout is pretty bumpy so far. 

• More than "bumpy" is the harassment of Tennessee nurse Tiffany Dover, who fainted after getting the vaccine. (Sidebar: The slime of Facebook is further illustrated, and it's time for me to get back off it for a while.)

• More Chinese coronavirus lies, including those by Winnie the Pooh himself, President Xi Jinping, have been exposed. These are again about covering up/ignoring the early days and weeks in Wuhan, including Xi's own lies about how quickly he intervened. (Next, he'll claim that Uyghurs in Xinjiang invented it and many leftists will lap that up.) China is also carefully guarding the research it conducts in-country.

• Schadenfreude meets stupidity: Just after Strangeabbott said the Texas Capitol would reopen to public visitors cuz, the Lege!, outgoing Speaker Dennis Bonnen had his 2020 end perfectly when he said he and his family had gotten it.

• The Texas Supremes said that Austin couldn't do a California-style lockdown on in-person dining over the New Year's holiday.

• Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo continues to battle COVID and conservatives.

RIP to Congressman-elect Luke Letlow.

• Turns out, per the busted French rave, that many Europeans are like many Americans on coronavirus controls, which British PM Boris Johnson says will get stricter yet in the UK before they relax.

• The 1918-19 pandemic had its own version of "long haulers."

• More on the Wisconsin pharmacist who deliberately ruined the Moderna vaccine. Shorter? He's a nutter. And, his particular nutterness arguably reinforces my claims that horseshoe theory is real, at least on COVID related issues.