SocraticGadfly: 11/7/21 - 11/14/21

November 12, 2021

Jon Gruden suing the NFL for revealing he's Jon Gruden

That's the bottom line on Jon Gruden suing the NFL for releasing selective ones of his racist, homophobic emails.

It's a modern civil-law version of the old story about a kid killing his parents then asking a court to have mercy on him because hes an orphan. 

I don't know what legal grounds Gruden and his attorneys think he have, but we will find out.

It IS true.

Racism? There's the Chucky Gruden emails attacking Colin Kaepernick, with one email saying that a team should "cut the fuck." There's the BS of him attacking Eric Reid as well, and also his bullshit over PEDing.

There's even more racism, when talking about Robert Griffin III still playing, while Tim Tebow isn't. Real answer is that Griff's second-best year was the same as Tebow's best and his third-best year was about as good, or TLDR, Tebow sucked.

This reminds me of those 1940s baseball managers who didn't want a Jackie Robinson or a Satchel Paige, just in the news, on their team because their racism blinded them to his skill.

Homophobic? Gruden coached a gay player, Carl Nassib, who became the first-ever NFL player to come out while still active this summer.

We can all agree that Chucky Gruden is a racist, homophobic, misogynist dumb fuck. Are there others in NFL positions of power? The Shield claims not. Sure. We know Redscum, now WFT, GM Bruce Allen shared Gruden's email about Kaep. But to whom?

And, given this, shouldn't Goodell have released everything? Leave it to Goodell to have fucked this up; the selectiveness of the leaks is going to bite whoever leaked, if it was semi-official.

Coronavirus week 83C: More Orac tribalism

There's plenty to not like about the Great Barrington Declaration. That would include that, arguably, technically, on denotative definition, that it was "eugenics-embracing," yes. But, Orac knows his #BlueAnon readers. I'm assuming, given his past tribalism, that him making that statement, and in the subheader, not body copy, of a post last week about Martin Kulldorff, that he was going for connotative meaning, and he is, of course, wrong. That's not to mention that there was no need to go there, and this was arguably gratuitous. Also, taking Wiki's definition, it arguably isn't even eugenics-embracing from a denotative stance. Great Barrington didn't explicitly claim this would improve the human genome; beyond that, given that the elderly are past reproductive age, unlike 1920s America and Nazi Germany sterilizing or killing the allegedly mentally deficient, that would not be a reproductive-futures difference. Thirdly, Orac knows that immunological resistance is only loosely tied to genetics; epigenetics and environment have a lot to say about disease resistance.

That said, going back to the main point? Again, per Wiki and beyond, connotatively, it's not eugenics-embracing at all.

(And, with that, having him put on blogroll watch list last quarter, he's now moving closer to the exit door.)

November 11, 2021

I'll pass on High Country News' latest invite to twosiderism

High Country News publisher Greg Hanscom has invited me, along with other former as well as current subscribers, via a mass blast email to participate in the latest installment of what will probably be "wrongful wokeness." It's an invite to the latest installation of an online kaffeeklatsch with its editorial staff. Here's the details:

Our next topic is one that has put HCN on the map in a big way in recent years: a deep reckoning with the history of Western lands, and the Indigenous nations from which they were taken. I’ll be talking with Nick Martin, the head of our Indigenous Affairs Desk, whose recent essay about the ancient footprints discovered in White Sands National Park cast the story in a much different light than we saw in other news outlets, and intern Brian Oaster, who has reported on the nomination of the first Native official to be head of the National Park Service.

My response?

At the same time, will you also report on how American Indian tribes were never "always there"?

Example: The Sioux were only moving west of the Missouri in any numbers at the same time Lewis and Clark were moving up.

Example 2: The Navajo did not enter the Southwest until only about a century or so before Coronado.

Example 3: The Apache also didn't arrive in the Southwest until about the same time, pushed out of Texas by the Comanche, who in turn were moving from elsewhere.

None of this is to excuse Anglo treaty-breaking. None of this is to say that being "woke" is necessarily bad.

It IS, though, to say that: A. Being uninformedly woke and B. Being tribalist (pun not intended) or twosiderist is not good either.

And, if you click that tag of "wrongful wokeness," you'll find plenty of previous HCN examples.

November 10, 2021

Coronavirus Week 83B: New fears in China and more

Xi Jinping has NOT "crushed COVID" if Chinese residents are being encouraged to stock up on bottled water and other staples just in case there's another COVID lockdown.

Zhang Zhan, a Chinese journalist who reported on the truth of Xi Jinping Thought's early response to COVID was convicted and imprisoned in December. She's now on a hunger strike and reportedly close to death, even with forced feedings.  

Your questions on Biden's vaccine OR regular testing mandate answered here. Don't forget that that mandate is an either-or, contra COVID obstructionists of both left and right.

COVID will eventually become endemic. But when? And, more importantly, with breakthrough infections and plateauing vaccination rates, how do we get there? How do we hasten getting there? The Atlantic discusses the issues.

In my contribution to this week's Texas Progressives roundup, I looked at the latest claims of a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

I'll bet Donald Trump wishes he had thought of this as a way to gut the Deep State. Thousands of intelligence agents are reportedly threatening to quit over Biden's vaccine mandate. Good! Let them quit! The NSA will be less able to unlawfully spy on America. The CIA will be less able to lie us into wars. Besides, it's needed. The link reports that some intelligence agencies were at no more than 80 percent vaccinated, and a few smaller ones at just 60 percent. That fact alone casts doubt on their "intelligence." The story goes on to note that Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) says that Team Biden should give more religious and other exemptions. Wrong, starting from the fact that all major world religions, and all major religious groups within US Christianity, including Stewart's Planet Kolob Mormons, support vaccination.

The Biden Admin has cancelled a vax-manufacture contract with Emergent BioSolutions. Good.

Coronavirus Week 83A: The vax mandate is out

President Biden's Occupational Safety and Health Administration released its vaccine mandate at the end of last week, as many people obviously know.

First, let's note it isn't actually a "vaccine mandate," even though many in the mainstream media call it that.

Companies EITHER require the shot OR require employee tests once a week. The former is easier, so, barring antivaxxer CEOs etc., companies will head that way.

Second, the burden is split between employers and workers. Workers get paid time off to get the shot, but, if it's no longer free? They have to pay for it (unless, as NPR notes, they are unionized and this becomes a matter for collective bargaining.)

Third, if you are in health care, it IS a mandate. No weekly testing option.

Fourth? Starts into effect early next year.

That said, as another NPR piece notes, for biz that aren't federal contractors, who are the subject of a mandate or test rule already released (ie, three big airlines headquartered in Texas), this is largely a self-enforcement deal. OSHA, which does, by many consumer and labor advocate activists, a skimpy job with what's already under its remit, doesn't have the staff to go checking on your local widgets manufacturer or telephone call center of more than 100 employees. That said, employees narcing on co-workers or bosses, per the piece? Quite possible. But, how will OSHA be set up to accept such complaints, protect employee privacy, then follow through.

And, of course, it's in court already and the Fifth Circuit, of course, has put it on hold. I think it's on solid legal ground in theory, but who knows in reality? Fourteen months ago, I would have been more confident, but with Barrett now on the Supreme Court, that changes everything on a lot of related issues. Remember that before she came on board, the Supremes originally said states could close churches. Then, with a different law, and her there, it flipped.

November 09, 2021

Climate issues in the news: Fracking and Alaska's oil decline, hydrogen economy, transnational water

Fracking has changed the face of oil so much that Alaska is now only No. 4 in oil production and within a year or so will likely fall behind California and/or Colorado and out of the top 5. For people like Scott Santens, the guru of libertarian-type basic income programs, who like to tout Alaska's Permanent Fund as a good example of Basic Income, no, even setting aside climate change, this shows all the problems with the Permanent Fund.

Be skeptical about the "hydrogen economy" as part of the answer to climate change. Here's why.

New Mexico's serious effort to rein in methane emissions, though, SHOULD be nationalized and globalized. 

As Texas and New Mexico continue to differ on whether groundwater reservoirs and riverine water should be counted as one bucket or not, and Texas argues with both it and old Mexico over water delivery issues, High Country News has info on the first-ever mapping of all US-Mexico joint aquifers. Currently, the two nations have no covenants or agreements on the regulation of jointly held groundwater, making this important for the future.

Texas Progressives talk this and that

Lots to talk about on various issues, so let's dig in!

State

Texas Monthly discusses what all is behind all the recent American and Southwest flight cancellations. Job loss, pre-vax mandate, is a fair chunk of it. Southwest's workforce is down 10 percent pre-pandemic and American's is off 20 percent. BUT? The Monthly ignores United. Per what I've read elsewhere, Southwest, at least, seems to have a just-in-time crew scheduling software, like the just-in-time scheduling managers that have employees not wanting to go back to restaurants and retail stores.

Off the Kuff discussed the first two gubernatorial polls of the fall.

Not so fast on that one Beto-Abbott poll, the first of Kuff's two links. The Trib has another, discussed in that second link, showing Strangeabbott with a comfortable lead. It also shows a lot of people distrust Matt McConaughey. It also shows that, within Rethuglicans, Strange has little to fear from Don Huffines, Allen West or the two of them combined, even. West is, interestingly, ahead of Huffines, with nearly double his support. Guess the wingnut-squared types recognize Huffines as "all hat no cattle" on claiming to be an outsider. Kenny Boy Paxton has little to fear from Pee Bush, too. Pee is well ahead of other challengers in the AG race. On the Dem side, R.F. O'Rourke well outpaces none of the above; nunya leads the Lite Guv and AG races.

That said, Pee Bush also continues to face flack over Alamo issues. Not noted in that piece is that, in the light of a new book by Chris Tomlinson et al, Lite Gov Danny Goeb felt the need to name a special Alamo protection commission. Among its members is Bush's predecessor, pistol-packing Jerry Patterson.  

DosCentavos recaps the 2021 local election results.

The federal Department of Justice is suing Texas over its special session SB1, the one that lead Dems in the Texas Lege to temporarily flee, but doing nothing else. This might have a chance. The suit is targeted and selective, and focuses on how certain provisions in the bill would affect the elderly and disabled. They arguably affect minorities, too, but in a post-Holder world, that's a tough angle to win.

CD Hooks takes a look at the one state lege special election, and Virginia and New Jersey, on what they might portend for Texas next year.

Another Texas death penalty case is in the news.

About 100 people a year die in Texas jails. Many of these were preventable, often easily preventable. The Observer takes a look, a deep look, including at the lack of enforcement when problems are found.

The Railroad Commission doesn't even make a pretense of being ethical.

The now illegal-in-Texas (under arguably dubious grounds by DSHS) delta-8 is being replaced by delta-9. 

Margaret Spellings and Tim Kopra call for a Lone Star space plan.

The Bloggess talks about depression and smiling.

Therese Odell brings you the best food TV episodes that feature Houston cuisine.

Angela Wilkins explains the health care inequity problem. Lisa Gray writes about the AstroWorld tragedy.

National and world

Hillary Clinton apparently Russiagated herself. One of Christopher Steele's flunkies has been indicted by the FBI, and among Danchenko's contacts and sources was Charles Dolan Jr., an old Friend of Bill. He appears not to have any direct tie, though. Danchenko is the main problem, or co-main problem along with FBI sloppiness, per National Review. The second sloppiness is the likes of Steele relying on a guy like this.

Red states have started criminalizing and prosecuting miscarriages.

Take a deep dive on "separation payments" and Status Quo Joe's fuzzy-headedness on the issue, whether another sign of aging-related mental health issues, ConservaDem political scrambling, or a mix of both.

A Sinclair reporter, whether honestly or via a slip, spills the beans and admits, re the Virginia election, that critical race theory is NOT taught in schools there.

The truth about Abiy Ahmed, a Nobel Peace Prize winner far worse than Dear Leader Obama, and arguably the worst and most megalomaniac since Kissinger.

Zhang Zhan, a Chinese journalist who reported on the truth of Xi Jinping Thought's early response to COVID was convicted and imprisoned in December. She's now on a hunger strike and reportedly close to death, even with forced feedings.  

Latest estimates are that Brexit will cost the UK 4 percent of GNP.

 

November 08, 2021

Top blogging for October

As is normal, not all posts were written in the past month; it's just the 10 most popular.

No. 1? My takedown of Bill Nye along with Ken Ham. An oldie but still a goodie.

No. 2? My longer take on St. Louis Cardinals president John Mozeliak firing Mike Shildt; my original shorter take is No. 10.

No. 3 in a baseball-heavy and sports-heavy month? My insistence that Shohei Ohtani is not Babe Ruth.

No. 4? My take on how COVID obstructionist John Ioannides got that way.

Fifth? My callout of Southwest's pilots, which, in an update, I noted may not be entirely a COVID flu walkout.

No. 6? My preview of the LA Lakers in particular and the NBA West in general, and a look at how much LeBron James may wear out.

No. 7? Don't read Adam Tooze.

No. 8? My callout of Kyrie Irving, and somewhat, of Colin Kaepernick.

No. 9? More on how Ohtani's season is special, or not.

We already have national health care, sort of

Quartz recently noted that half of Merikans rely on one form or another of gummint health care aid, be it Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP, and VA and Tricare for veterans. And, that doesn't count the partial assistance of ObummerCare.

But, the righteous wingers consider Medicaid for slackers. Medicare, per people in the past telling the gummint to "keep your hands off my Medicare" is considered an entitlement, not in the technical sense, but in the Trumpacolypse entitled Karens and Kens sense. O'bummercare is, well, you know, socialism on the cheap if not the road to the hell of Medicaid.

The VA, well, that's for our veterans! Nothing too good, except when it's converted to VA  HMOs, which is what Tricare is.

Oh, the Quartzite guy forgets about Indian Health Service, as well as not counting Dear Leader Care.

Count the IHS, and Dear Leader's Keep Your Doctor at 25 cents on the dollar, and we probably have 60 percent of Merika on the gummint health dole.

But, it's fragmented as hell.

Ain't that Merika, the home of the free? Sing it, Boss Bruce!

Damn, we could do this all for so much better.

If you've ever been on worker's comp, you know how easily national health care could work.