SocraticGadfly: 3/7/21 - 3/14/21

March 13, 2021

Anti-mask COVID denialist Karen in Galveston (and also apparent Jan. 6 sedition backer)

So, just a day or so after Strangeabbott ends the mask mandate, we get THIS in Galveston.

A senior citizen, and White, 65-year-old Terry White, says she can't drive her big RV through bank drive-through, so comes inside, maskless.

Calls masks a "diaper" and claims that a disease that has killed more than 45,000 Texans and nearly 550,000 Americans doesn't exist.

Claims private property, as in the bank, is actually public property. (Let's all go crash in Terry White's "public property" RV!)

Refuses to leave, even when a cop is on the scene, and eventually gets arrested for criminal trespass and thank doorknob the resisting arrest charge was tacked on.

Doubles down on this and more in a Fox station interview afterward.

(Update: Wright was later arrested a second time for pulling the same shit a few days later at a Texas City Home Depot. Serious question: If she does this a third time, can she be charged with organized criminal activity?)

Bank offered her a mask but she refused it.

She doubles down on the "public property" angle by claiming her civil rights were violated.

She says if the bank teller had just been faster, she would have been done and out.

She says she was "pulling" an RV. Whether RV or fifth wheel, that meant it was hitched. She either could .have dropped hitch or never hooked up.

Beyond that, she says she was withdrawing all her money from the bank, but doesn't say it was because of their mask policy. So, lemme see, 65, White, likely snowbirding in Tex-ass for winter/early spring and rich-ish enough to be towing an RV with a big truck? (The arresting cop saying she was going to get a ticket for endangering her dog inside the vehicle, and that she didn't know Galveston had a "Nazi" law like that, plus an accent that sounds Ohio-ish backs me up on this.) No sympathy.


Update: I've now listened to the 13 minutes of bullshit on Fox Houston. Here's excerpts.

Interviewer: "With everything you went through, wouldn't it have been easier to put a mask on?"

Her: "This whole pandemic thing is a joke."

Interviewer: "You don't believe it's real?"

Her: "No, I do not believe it's real. ... If you guys would do your research."

She also apparently is a believer in the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine or similar, with her claim next that "One year ago ... Houston doctors ... came out and said ... we have a cure. Everybody we've given this to, it works."

(Yep, at about 11:15, she mentions HCQ.)

Next: "I think it's the flu. ... I had it, last January, before it was 'the COVID.'" Complete with air quotes.

Yeah, the pandemic that's killed 10 times as many people in a year as the flu does is just the flu. And, that's all just 7 minutes in.

If by "last January," she meant this year, or maybe even if she meant 2020, she probably DID have it if she was "really sick for three weeks." She then says "I haven't worn a mask the whole time I've been in Texas." Great. She apparently had COVID and was infecting others. You've got blood on your hands.

Next on the video, the interviewer explains that private biz can enforce mask rules.

Her: "It's not like I'm going in there shopping." More privilege. 

He again gets back to the bank policy at the end, and the police intervention, and?

Her: "I was already in there."

That HCQ mention near the end of the video also leads to a question of logic, which of course is generally lacking among conspiracy theorists.

How does one BOTH believe that COVID is not real AND that hydroxychloroquine is a cure?

Bonus: She's apparently a big enough MAGA to support sedition, as she talks about the "Congress rally" and it's clear she means Jan. 6, and of that, she claims: "Now there's a cover-up."

Her own words, contra one winger-type Republican who responded to me on Facebook. No "media exaggeration."


And, it's all bullshit. 

White probably supports "Law and Order," but only when applied to others. Indeed, this pseudo-woke person claimed "police brutality," too. So, a hypocrite as well. Definitely a hypocrite now that we see she's a sedition supporter.

And a liar on that, also. She's claiming that Galveston PD told her it was a private security guy at the bank. The Fox interviewer contradicts her.

Meanwhile, the wingnuts are rallying to her defense, including ignoring her hypocrisy. 

Let's see what "law and order" Stangeabbott and Goeb, that is Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick, have to say.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevado, speaking from the mainland, has already nailed it: "Please do not put police officers in this predicament."

I already looked for a Facebook page, and don't see that she has one; at a minimum, one didn't pop up quickly. I was going to see just how big of a wingnut she is.


Sidebar note: While Galveston Karen may be a MAGA, there are PLENTY of COVID denialists on the left of the spectrum. And, while she may support insurrection, there's a certain chunk of Greens (not sure if they would call themselves "leftist" or not) who, while (presumably) not supportive of the insurrection, HAVE called it a "psyops." And, as I've blogged about that, there are plenty of other Greens afraid of facing that issue.

Sidebar 2: White is from Grants Pass, Oregon. There's plenty of nutbars there. If a State of Jefferson were ever formed, it would be about in the center of it.

March 12, 2021

Yet more thoughts on the future of the Green Party

Per my postcapitalism not anticapitalism "personal election post-mortem" piece, I'm currently an "independent leftist" not a Green. I had indicated already in September that this was becoming the case.

For the 2022 partisan midterms and the 2024 general, Greens have to recapture my vote.

I didn't vote for Howie Hawkins because of two basic things, as noted above in more detail:

The national party presidential support committee ignoring my request for the "letter of interest" submitted on behalf of Jesse Ventura;

Howie drinking the Xi Jinping Thought Kool-Aid apparently poured in his glass by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. (To be honest, I don't know how much Howie was guzzling on his own without their prodding. Maybe he was pushed; maybe he pushed THEM for all I know.)

On the former, why punish Howie? Well, he is the party standard-bearer, first. Second, he, as that, could have gotten that letter released already, one would think.

Now, looking ahead to 2021?

I have seen one thing I have wanted to see relative to the national party, and that's what it would do to Rhode Island and Alaska. The former withdrew from the national party rather than be de-accredited. The other tried to fight the hammer and got crushed.

The other is what the national accreditation committee does, or not, to the Georgia party over its 2020 platform, sex workers' rights, and "trans activists" blowing a coordinated gasket over that. (Hawkins, as titular leader, said last summer that he opposed decertification at the time, but otherwise, basically supported the trans activist stance.) Will Alaska be monkey-wrenched or dominoed against Georgia by trans activists?

Sadly, at the same time, a group of Greens who are resisting trans activist attacks on Georgia have at least some members who refuse to see Alaska in its own right. One person says he's not seen de-accreditation motions made in many years. Yeah? Have you seen state parties refuse to accept the national nominee before in all those years?

And, why did whichever GP Facebook group moderator who did it block my post about RI Greens? The censorship there continues.

I also want to see if the party gets serious about some reorganization issues.

One in particular.

Here's a great 2007 piece from Joshua Frank on what he called DemoGreens and what I've called AccommoGreens. Agree on both that issue and the "consensus"-related problems. The "AccommoGreens" issue hasn't totally gone away. The "consensus" one, with related offshoots since this time, has arguably mushroomed. The late Bruce Dixon had some thoughts on special caucuses and "Insta-Greens" as part of those related offshoots. Per Frank, the Green Party hasn't ended, but ... it needs further overhaul, arguably. 

I blogged about both Frank's and Dixon's thoughts about Cobb, "consensus," and Insta-Greens before, back in 2017.

Also remember that Green Party thought leaders continue to practice censorship on social media, and as part of that censorship, don't want to know what percentage of members think the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection was "really" a psyops.

I also offer some more general thoughts in my first post at Independent Political Report, which has since had a follow-up, with comments by Fernando showing he's willing to drink trans activist Kool-Aid. (That's not to say I agree with everything said by every defender of the Georgia Green Party. Far from it. That's also despite Fernando's mischaracterizations. And, "shock me," but Fernando is now becoming disenchanted with the Movement for a People's Party because of Jimmy Dore. Given how much he was trying to peddle the MPP Kool-Aid just a few weeks ago, this one is actually laughable.)

Meanwhile, here's some truth about what bigotry can be from feminist activist Thistle Pettersen. And here's Ann Menasche's letter to the GP's Accreditation Committee.

Ann raises several good points, including that the Lavender Caucus is arguably misinterpreting the Supreme Court's Bostock decision.

And, why does the LC have three of its members on the committee to work on annual national meeting details?

March 11, 2021

Texas Progressives look at energy kabuki theater, redistricting, Abbot pandering

I pulled out my original section on energy kabuki theater as it was long enough for a separate blog post.

Here you go. Read and get mad. If you're a Dem, and your legiscritter doesn't act as needed, and on the RRC as well as PUC and ERCOT, get them primaried!

With that ...

On to other items in a fun Roundup with a few surprises.


SocraticGadfly looks at the Census delay and wonders if that will make redistricting even harder and more of a fistfight in a Lege special session, including the possibility of internecine Republican fights as well as R-D battles.

Abbott pandering watch

Abbott's masklessness order, along with his blaming Ill Eagles later, is just another move in his pander watch. I keep the odds of him being primaried from the right next year at about 50 percent. Question is, by who?

This social media bill drafted by Bryan Hughes and enthusiastically backed by Strangeabbott is of course unconstitutional. Facebook and Twitter are private actors. As Abbott is required by law to swear to protect the Constitution of the US, it would be "fun" to see Biden try to remove him ... or, to give teeth to James Wilson's worries, criminalize the bill requiring such oath-swearing.

Strangeabbott has also backed an anti-riot bill similar to those making the rounds in other wingnut-led states. The 2019 Lege passed a "pipelines not people" bill similar to that of the Cajun Coneheads to the east.

John Coby is mad about the damage Republican political leaders have done to Texas' reputation. (With this, is John defending a Democratic version of Texas Exceptionalism?)

Therese Odell vents some fury at Greg Abbott.

Other Texas politics

David Beard takes a deeper look at the TDP 2020 autopsy report.

Charles Miller appraises the new federal Medicaid proposal, which could mean $3 billion more for Texas.

Other stuff

Planned Parenthood is back in Lubbock. Good.

Californication DOES happen in some not -so-good ways in Texas. Like natural-gas utilities in Austin, as per PG&E in California, battling regulation.

The "eyes who really care about Texas" are on rich racist tea-sippers. They're also on privilege-pandering administrators. As Jemele Hill notes (and she did a great thing leaving ESPN), this is nothing but conservative cancel culture. And the song DOES have a racist background. Grits offers a solution.

What will Alamo Drafthouse look like as it emerges from bankruptcy?

The DMA has a new Frida Kahlo exhibit. Learn more here.


A new political action group wants to push left — in May's nonpartisan local elections.

A Dallas police officer is under investigation for allegedly being involved with murdering two murder witnesses.

Jim Schutze was national on CBS This Morning, even though he's been AWOL from D Mag for a month and counting now, and D Mag has said nothing about his change in status.

Cooke County Attorney Ed Zielinski may not fully grasp the First Amendment.


The Supremes have scheduled a conference on the Libertarian-Green lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Biden's executive order on voting is nice. Well, no, it's "nice," because it's kabuki theater.


Not all Israeli leadership, including not all Israeli military leadership, at least in the retired wing, either oppose the Iran deal or like everything about modern Israel. Remember, frank talk about Israel and Palestine is more likely in Tel Aviv or even West Jerusalem than in New York or Washington.

March 10, 2021

A few tech world notes

The information keeps coming in about how Hucksterman Central enables far-right thought.

Don't believe Google's lies about how it's getting out of the tracking business. If anything, it's leveraging its advantages to try to expand its lead in the tracking business with new forms of tracking.

How much should accountants worry about AI bots replacing them? At big accountancy firms, or major corporations, maybe as much as paralegals and corporate law grunts have already had to start worrying.

March 09, 2021

COVID Week 48: Birth dearth, Texas mask-off and more

• LEDE: The CDC has updated some of its guidance, mainly relaxing what it says the fully vaccinated can do.

• I know I was nowhere near alone in joking a year ago about how there would be a birth explosion early this year with high schools closing and hormone-laden kids having much more free time on their hands. Well, while we don't know about high school kids, we do know that overall, whether because bars and other adult hook-up sites also closed, or more possibly increased unemployment and economic uncertainty, or what, that demographic researchers predict we'll have a 300,000 baby birth dearth.

• New COVID variants continue to pop up. (More reason Strangeabbott was engaged in so-called "Neanderthal thinking.")

Stat looks at the short-, medium-, and long-term future of the virus. Nickel version is that Stat expects it to ultimately become a flu-like endemic disease, but says the road there will be bumpy in both short and medium terms.

The medium-term issue has three elements. One is how quickly new variants evolve. The second is, as with seasonal flu vaccines, how well new vaccines track the variants. The third is, how many people get them?

Long-term? Does it become like the flu, or like the cold?

• Skeptical Raptor explains the working details of adenovirus vaccines, which are currently the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZenica ones.

• Florida Man and Trump Mini-Me Ron DeSantis has the state's top two elected Dems asking for an FBI investigation of vaccine distribution.

• The Raptor also reports that the FDA has told Mercola to shut up on peddling fake COVID relief.

• I wondered why Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan was trending on Twitter last week. Orac explains. To me, it's like he's a White man as Detroit mayor wanting to make sure he's all in on "protecting Black Detroit." That said, he's scientifically illiterate and should just STFU. Worse, Orac notes that he was formerly CEO of Detroit Medical Center, a position where he theoretically should have learned to ask questions from medical staff before making pronouncements.

Orac adds that many Catholics are bitching about the J&J vaccine for another reason: fetal stem cells. The hierarchy is trying to thread a moral needle. Shock me that the bishop of Tyler (yes, our Tex-ass Tyler) says to hell with moral needles and says this is "EVIL."

• Is WHO covering for China? Is Biden concerned about that, or is he in part covering for WHO? It's kind of confusing, but read on.

• The Chronic chronicles Legiscritters' reactions to Strangeabbott's masklessness order.

• The Trib notes that most larger cities will still require masks in municipal buildings. Smaller towns, from what I see, are following Strangeabbott. Many villages and hamlets never required them in the first place.

• Strangeabbott blamed Biden on Ill Eagles and COVID.

• Yours truly ripped HEB a new one on going maskless. It eventually caved, thanks to people like me.

HEB PR is still not good. I missed the "require," which is in the presser, and saw only the later "expect," and Tweeted HEB and D Mag. Motivated reasoning got the best of me. Glad HEB caved in to pressure.

To add to this story, and also contra a hint in HEB PR, retailers can require (there's that word!) customers use either pickup or delivery services before letting them in without masks due to alleged medical reasons. Claims that the antimaskers have to be admitted cuz HIPAA are lies.

• Isobella Harkrider documents the COVID variants now in Texas.

• Will Trumplanders in Texas and elsewhere actually get vaccinated?

• The Dallas Observer plays sucker to Strangeabbott when it talks about a "lockdown." We never had one.

• Restaurants don't like the maskless mandate.

• The Texas court system will go semi-full speed ahead. Were I a potential juror in an in-person trial? I'd cite "medical condition" to get out!

• A Williamson County hospital hosted a 24-hour "vax-a-thon." Great idea.

March 08, 2021

Winter storm kabuki theater under the Pink Dome

You know what I'm talking about.

ERCOT CEO Bill Magness getting fired by his board and PUC Chairwoman DeAnn Walker resigning under pressure? It's all kabuki theater, Danny Goeb, for two reasons:
1. None of you talked about the Railroad Commission, in spite of those natural gas lines freezing up. I know, they're all elected, but still ...
2. We haven't seen a bill yet, especially not a bill that mandates weatherization requirements for ALL THREE agencies.

Until then? Kabuki theater, and we dive into the Roundup, starting in that area.

More here at the Trib on how the RRC, and oil and gas companies it regulates, have dodged the eye of Danny Goeb, Strangeabbott and the GOP for what's surely deliberate reasons, but have also seemingly flown under the radar of most Dems. The three commissioners may be elected, but ... their scope of duties and required duties can still be controlled by legislation. (In the story, an O&G lawyer argues the RRC has the power to require weatherization right now. But, until it's forced to, it won't. C'mon.)

The real problem at the PUC, as Justin Miller notes, is one that plagues many federal regulatory agencies as well: the revolving door. At least on paper, the feds have addressed this with "time-out windows" of two years or more. Until the Lege does that, too, it's still kabuki theater. And, Miller helpfully reminds us that the PUC also regulates water and telecommunications. Follow the links inside that piece; and, if you're a Republican reading this, not just Dem or beyond, demand action from YOUR Legiscritter.

Meanwhile, ERCOT's focus on a supply market rather than a capacity market, has left it more than a bit light in the financial loafers. Will We the Consumer take the hit? Of course. This is Tex-ass.

And, reminder: Until more Dems get serious about the RRC ... until more Dems get serious about ConservaDems involvement in the root of the problem ... until more Dems get serious about the Texas equivalent of needing to restore the original Glass-Steagall ...

(This is important because national neoliberal Dems have fought against a straight reimposition of Glass-Steagall, and because in Texas, too many ConservaDems believe in a version of Texas exceptionalism.)

Things won't really change.