SocraticGadfly: 2/27/22 - 3/6/22

March 04, 2022

Top blogging of February — Ukraine, Greens, sports

My top piece for February was my overview piece about the history, or non-history in some ways, of Ukraine, Ukraine-Russia relations and more. No. 3 was my connected piece about Ukraine's violation of the Minsk Agreements and related matters. You won't see stuff like that in the mainstream media.

Then, once Putin pivoted from a limited invasion (if that ever was his plan), at No. 6 is my piece about "it" being on, but what is "it"? At No. 9, then, were my musings about what is surely a shifting target, the end game of how this might play out.

No. 2? Takes on new meaning with the MLB season being officially delayed. Pitchers and catchers, including the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina, WON'T be reporting any time soon, contra my wondering.

To skip a post but stay on a semi-theme, sports and politics intersected at No. 5. Spike Lee announced a new ESPN piece about Colin Kaepernick. I posted that I expected Spike would whitewash Kaep peddling Xi Jinping Thought Kool-Aid (by silence) over the Uyghurs.

Back to No. 4. That would be my hot take on Green Party flunky Dave Schwab gloating about the implosion of Movement for a People's Party without looking at the number of Greens who are similar conspiracy theorists on vaccines (or Jan. 6). No. 10 had been written not too long before that, and talked explicitly about many Greens' nuttery on this issues; let's note (including for Brains) that nuttery on the former would seem to include Texas Greens' presumed gubernatorial nominee.

Speaking of? No. 7 was my thoughts on likely politicization of Fauci talking about "endemic COVID."

No. 8? I mocked Sprouts for calling bread a "plant-based food."

March 03, 2022

Coronavirus week 99: Masks down, politics of Rethuglicans AND Democraps up

The CDC and Director Rochelle Walensky, in what was probably in part a political-based decision, instituted a new multi-tiered set of guidelines for masking last week. Dallas County, per the Trib, quickly narrowed its mask mandates and I suspect other larger cities and counties have done similar or will soon. Such guidelines matter nothing out in the boonies, of course. A federal mandate for masking on public transportation remains in effect. It is due to expire March 18 and surely will not be renewed.

Nationally, new cases, though having dropped sharply, are still the highest in a year.

Reaction to the ruling was definitely politicized, starting with Florida Gov. Ron DeSatan's comments at the top link. The NY Post said it meant "no more mask shaming." World Socialists notes a majority of the country still favors masking. More importantly yet for this post? It notes the CDC did a map switcharoo in conjunction with the announcement.

Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, who has been an outspoken proponent of keeping mitigation measures in place to check COVID-19 community transmission, wrote, “I never thought the CDC would gaslight us like this. Dr. Walensky, what are you doing?” He added, “Seriously, the CDC needs to improve its abysmal track record. CDC staffers should honestly oppose the gaslighting nonsense happening from the top right now.” 
The move by the CDC is not so much a surprise as it is audacious. They are flagrantly attempting to pull the wool over the public’s eyes with their sudden change in masking guidelines.

WSWS is right; this is Neoliberal Joe telling the high-risk to go fend for themselves, and largely kneecaps national Dems' past staking out of the high ground on public health (to the degree that Cal Gov. Gavin Newsom, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Austin Mayor Steve Adler and others hadn't already hypocritically kneecapped themselves).

#BlueAnon on Twitter loves to quote-tweet themselves some Dr. Eric. Pretty sure it took a pass this time. 

Anyway, read the whole WSWS piece.


Rick Perry (the former gov, not the primary race namesake this year), COVID air filter huckster.

March 02, 2022

The "trans world" vs Abbott and Paxton

Regular readers know that I differentiate between transgender and transsexual, because they're not the same — and the National Institutes of Health notes sex and gender aren't the same.

Although some of it may be overstated, and the parents of a Main Street child who is either possibly transgender or transsexual aren't usually personally involved with this activism (though they are at times) they can be affected by it.

Hence, in light of my latest post about trans activism this morning, I h ave separated out the ragefest about recent comments by Gov. Abbott and AG Paxton, per items rounded up by Kuff, from the rest of this week's Texas Progressives roundup.

I don't agree with either Abbott or Paxton, but again, there is such a thing as trans activism, I don't believe in lumping transgender and transsexual together, and I don't believe in leading parents astray.

So, that said, here's those separated out items.

The Texas Signal examines Ken Paxton's grotesque crusade against trans (gender? sexual?) kids.

Amber Briggle remembers inviting Ken and Angela Paxton into her home for dinner, so they would meet and get to know her family and transgender son.

Jorgeson Pittman explains why the latest AG opinion against trans (gender? sexual?) kids is just wrong.

The Current advises you to visit You won't be sorry.


So, is the Briggle child transgender, properly speaking, or potentially transsexual? I say "potentially" because many such children grow up to be gay and lesbian, non-intervention adults. Are they already being encouraged to use puberty blockers? If for a transgender not transsexual child, why? If for a possible transsexual child, do they know the Mayo Clinic's protocols for when puberty blockers are indicated or not? Per my piece this morning, do they know of the side effects?  Do the Briggles know any of this themselves?

None of this justifies Abbott and Paxton pandering, which is the main thing they were doing. It certainly doesn't justify the specific claim that child abuse is involved BUT? Everything I've written in the paragraph above and in the intro is true.

I'm not a "twosider" on a number of issues and this is certainly one. Per that Mayo Clinic link, and other items, including their getting details of reproductive biology flat wrong, I'm not a gender-critical radical feminist, and don't agree with them to a fair degree. So, contra The Current, I myself invite you to stop being a twosider. You really won't be sorry.

Yes, there is "trans activism" — the latest

A full 45 percent of sexual identification "detransitionioners" say they didn't get fully informed of the side effects of chemical and/or surgical interventions before they started. That's part of a good long read on the "trans agenda" by Carol Tavris at Skeptic mag.

And, it confirms what I know about what the Mayo Clinic says about puberty blockers and more, and about splits within the movement, as I had already read and blogged.  And, yes, it is a movement, #BlueAnon type identity activists. But again, "dissident" Greens and others, it's no reason to take Tucker Carlson, or the likes of Jennifer Bilek, as allies.

This is also a good time to remind people that sex is not gender.

March 01, 2022

Texas Progressives await primary results, offer thoughts

As we all wait, we'll start with the Trib giving us its latest update on the GOP's primary for the Railroad Commission, which has perhaps passed the AG's and guv's primaries as the nuttiest statewide races. And, call it a stunt or not, but Sarah Stogner's pumpjack dance has brought this race to higher profile, which it needs with Wayne-O Christian being an unethical grifter even by RRC standards. The Observer does just that with a deeper dive.

At the Monthly, CD Hooks has a deep dive on Allen West's seemingly futile run against Strangeabbott, focused on using West to show how "grassroots" doesn't work the way it once did.

Below the statewide level, the 15th Congressional District race, by primary turnout numbers, will probably be a good mark for how well the GOP is going to do this fall in South Texas. It will also be a mark for how conservative Valley Dems want to be.

Through Feb. 23, only 7 percent of registered voters had cast ballots, says the Trib. My county, despite a contested county judge race and a number of wingnuts-squared wanting to dethrone wingnut Michael Burgess, was at just 6 percent and the ice storm scrubbed early voting on Feb. 24.

Off the Kuff has two updates about the vigilante anti-abortion law SB8.

Texas Monthly tries to hold Jerry Jones accountable for the recent scandal involving a Cowboys executive who was caught peeping on the Cheerleaders.

Mike Meltser documents the hearing about Deshaun Watson and when he will be deposed by his accusers. Ken Hoffman looks back on 20+ years of reviewing fast food.


SocraticGadfly wondered about the endgame in Ukraine, with previous detailed backgrounders on broken promises about NATO expansion and all sides violating the Minsk agreements.


Classical music stores aren't thriving, but, if you're ever in Spring, here's where to go.

Louis DeJoy is murdering the environment, and sadly, Dems tweaking USPS' long problems and burdens with prefunding retiree health care is letting him do that. More here. Environmental lawsuits may stop him.

February 28, 2022

Climate change: It's about the overshoot, dummies

Great piece here by "shale oil bear" Art Berman.

Several things of note, in brief, that deserve you looking in detail.

One, he puts climate change in the frame of humans' larger "overshoot" that's leading to the Sixth Great Extinction, has put nearly 8 billion people on our planet at this current time, has crowded the wild-urban interface to help contribute to the rise of COVID, and wildfires threatening people elsewhere and more.

Second? Renewables won't come immediately to the rescue. He notes energy pivots don't happen that fast in general plus, like it or not, renewables are less energy-intense than oil, or even coal. We pivoted from wood to coal, then coal to oil, in part because once we could extract these newer hydrocarbons easily enough, we realized they had a greater energy density than old ones.

Third, as sidebars to one and two? Berman says the global economy could become poorer, not richer, and that "net zero" is itself part of the "overshoot." He needs listening to, because of renewables being less energy dense than oil, if nothing else. Sorry, tech neoliberals, but salvific technologism, as I call it — the tech cavalry riding over the hill to the rescue — doesn't always happen. And, that's why I wondered before, rhetorically, about environmentalists who won't mention the "n-word."