SocraticGadfly: 9/11/22 - 9/18/22

September 17, 2022

World progressives news: Apartheid and Lebensraum, climate crisis, King Charles Spaniel

Yes, with Zionist settlements in Palestine, apartheid and Lebensraum are two words that go hand in hand, especially when the Israeli Offense Force, I'm sorry, officially the IDF, goes full Orwell.

Palestinian Hafez Huraini had both his arms broken by Lebensraum-seeking Zionist settlers. Eventually, an ambulance got to him even though the apartheidists had slashed the tires of a previous one.

Then, here's the Orwell part. The IDF arrested Huraini for allegedly injuring a settler. Yes, you read that correct. They refused to let the second Palestinian ambulance do a transport. Instead, an Israeli ambulance took him to a hospital and, after his arms were set, he was arrested.

Lebensraum. Because apartheid by itself is not a strong enough word.


The alarm lights are all blinking red on climate change, per the famous "Bin Laden Set to Strike in US" that My Pet Goat-Fucking President ignored. The big concern, per the United in Science report? Tipping points, something people who know something on this issue have long worried about. Yet, on what the world needs, some country to implement a carbon tax which also allows them to do a carbon tariff, Neoliberal Joe Biden delivers to fossil fuel on the one hand what he partially takes away on the other, COVID Zero (tastes just like original COVID!) Xi Jinping can't get Chinese economic shit together, and the EU? Forget about it.


King Charles Spaniel III gave as many as 100 people in the royal servitude notice of possible shit-canning all while he his ownself was at Mumsy's funeral. And, some Brit cock-ups at UnHerd worry about the UK's democracy with Mumsy gone?

September 16, 2022

'OK Doomer' is not 'OK'; but is Jessica Wildfire a paid influencer? Who knows; she is snide and condescending

See Part 1 for some background to this.

I had seen Jessica Wildfire's Substack several months ago, I think after I first saw her on Medium, and eventually clicked to get it.

A solidly middle-class, maybe even upper middle class, married or partnered woman with, I think, one child or two, per this interview of her, and a GenXer by age, not Millennial, at first appeared to have some smart left-liberal takes on the world. (A Millennial wouldn't pun on Boomers with "OK Doomer.")

Then, I realized otherwise, and her most recent hot take on "we're running out of food" shows why, as her main internal link contradicts herself.

First, per the header, she says you can buy a year's worth of shelf-stable food without panic-buying. She recommends buying from bulk suppliers, along with recommendations that show her socioeconomic level by saying to go buy your own wheat grinder if you're serious about this. (On the socio side of socioeconomic, per Medium, she's a teacher, if she hasn't quit, and not just any teacher; per this piece, she's got a Ph.D.)

Second, if she's referencing places like "Survival Mag" and a website with "prepper" as part of the URL, that also goes to mindset. (Oh, and is she a paid influencer? I dropped a fairly subtle hint to that end in my second comment there. Yeh, she calls herself an "unfluencer" on Twitter, but ... given the amount of hustles she runs, c'mon.)

Third, she said there's reasons to buy from these bulk sites. Why? As I responded:

As for who you're cleaning out? Bulk food sellers have to buy their bulk commodities from the same people as Kroger's one-pound bags. It's just a different middleman. (And, some groceries have bulk food aisles anyway.)

Simple enough, right? 

Now, the biggie. A Mother Jones piece she links undercuts most her panic-mongering, as I noted:

“It’s easy to lose track of the scale of global agriculture,” says Scott Irwin, a widely followed economist and chair of agricultural marketing at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. “It’s just massive, and it’s extremely distributed geographically. If you have a problem in one area, at least historically, that will tend to get offset by better than average growing conditions someplace else.” 
“The fact is,” he adds, “as of today, the world has adequate supplies of grain.” ... 
“A couple of days ago, there were headlines saying South Dakota’s corn crop was unusually low this year—and they have a terrible drought—and that Nebraska was a little below normal,” says Daniel Sumner, an economist and director of the Agricultural Issues Center at the University of California, Davis. “But as of the middle of August, USDA was still projecting a normal national corn and soybean crop in the United States. And that’s because Indiana and Illinois and Iowa had relatively good crops, and are much more important in the national total, than Nebraska or South Dakota would be.” ... 
The challenge for crop experts right now is determining whether droughts and other disturbances—and the crop shortfalls they may cause—add up to a predictable trend. That’s especially important because, while productivity might not look bad overall, there isn’t much surplus grain stock thanks to scattered droughts last year and the supply shock of Ukraine’s breadbasket being temporarily locked out of the global food system.

I also noted that MoJo tends to avoid talking about the Ukraine war, and as generally liberal not leftist doesn't discuss Warmonger Joe refusing to listen to the Goldilocks Three Bears plus Pope Francis on a negotiated peace.

At that point, whether she's addicted to generalized anxiety disorder or what, it's clear that she likes writing this. She DID choose the title of her Substack after all.

Next we note that her claims the world is at all-time lows on grain stores is simply not true. Or to be blunt, a lie. We're at 14-year-lows and on wheat only, per the site she linked.

Beyond that, and not meaning to sound American exceptionalist, WE won't run out of food. Prices may continue to go higher, but "run out" isn't happening.

As for a potential railroad strike meaning "we're all going to run out of electricity"? Tosh. First, the electrical grid has redundancies, unless you're in Tex-ass. Second, we're at the start of fall, where, unless you're a pansy-ass, you don't need heat or air conditioning.

And, if we DID actually run out of electricity? Unless you have an electric car along with a house with solar panels, you're up shit creek, unless your gas station has an electric generator for its gas pumps. Of course, that probably itself would require fossil fuel to run ...  And, your bulk commodities supplier ain't shipping anything to you.

So, add this all up, and yes, I wonder if she is a paid influencer for any prepper sites. That's in part because this isn't new; a week earlier, she claimed that "We're on the brink of worldwide starvation," and yes, that was the actual header, not just body copy.

Also, the subhead on her Substack home page, of "Doomsday Barbie tells it like it is," in addition to being untrue, loudly screams "marketing" at me.

Meanwhile, on her most recent Medium post, she disses preppers and talks about people too poor to afford .... well, too poor to afford stockpiling a year's worth of food at one time, like she recommends on Substack. I noted dissing or cat-clawing of fellow faculty in Part 1. Speaking of, she once had a different Medium site. (She's had one piece from that site picked up by NYU's student blog. See Part one for more details on that.) Per that and the two self-published self-help books she has, she probably figured there was more money in being a doomer than a relationship coach, whether or not she's a paid influencer on top of that. 

Meanwhile, from a site not her own (and it's the only place that gives me a goggling hit for the quote), we have:

“Every day, I carve out time for listening to music alone and reading for a couple of hours. My spouse and I are the same way. We take a couple hours for ourselves that have nothing to do with work in the immediate sense. We go for 30 minute walks, too, either together or on our own, to think and decompress. It’s the cornerstone of stability.”

In other words, you're time-privileged. Unlike the people you diss above.

There's further reason to think that, if not a paid influencer, she's writing her stuff for the money, not the real care. And, that is that she dropped that other Medium site, then switched to her current one, right when COVID took off. Hey, pushing "doom" to late-end Gen Xers? Lots of Medium money in that if you get enough followers.

If she's not a real prepper, she's not being honest about what would be involved with being a real prepper. And, maybe not being fully self-honest.


Thin skinned.

She deleted both my comments and banned me, but responded to one of them. Technically, I think it's not a deletion but that the banning blocked the visibility on one, that she responded to, and deleted the other:

His information is out of date. If you read literally anything else, you'd see that the USDA has already downgraded expectations for wheat and soy.

I noted it was posted just 23 days ago, and was clearly about WHEAT ONLY anyway, not all grains. And, I said, if it was that out of date, then why link to it in the first place. And, the MoJo piece is from earlier this week.

Anyway, she's out of her league elsewhere, like in international affairs. A Medium piece from six months ago on Putin's invasion of Ukraine had her saying she thought Putin would win. What else she said, along with reading between the lines? A generic #TeamBlue claiming that Republicans were all on Putin's payroll. No look at NATO barking at Russia, as Pope Francis said, nor calls for a negotiated peace, made by Francis and the Goldilocks Three Bears. Simplistic tribalism. And, from what goggling tells me, most her takes on the Russia-Ukraine war are about as bad.

I think I'm banned because of not only challenging her, but wondering about her motives, in my second comment, and mentioning "capitalism."

And, I figured, what the hell, in for penny, in for a pound, so I also asked her on Twitter if she was indeed a paid influencer.

Back to the thin-skinned. Blogger doesn't allow for bans, but it does allow for content moderation. And, whenever someone wants to keep repeating the same argument time after time on the same post, and I think I've adequately refuted it and them, I simply tell them in my comment to their last comment, something like, "You've got one more chance; if you can't come up with something new, that's it." 

But, here, with the ban, I wasn't even given a chance to reply. She replied to one of my two original comments, then banned me. In other words, she didn't want an in-depth discussion, as I see it. (I should add that, beyond calling her out on getting these links wrong, I made the observations about MoJo. Seeing that she's knee-jerk #BlueAnon, that may also have pissed her off.

Whether money-making, anxiety-addicted, or a bit of both? It's hard to let go of that, I guess. Factoring in the Medium piece leads me to keep tilted "money," not that the two are mutually exclusive.

Beyond that? The assumptions she makes that can no longer be challenged. The day after writing that column about turkey supply, I got the latest USDA statistical forecast via the Texas Farm Bureau. So, her assumption was not only unwarranted, per the second part of the header, I take it as snide and condescending. Especially since as of Sept. 1, it said corn and beans were both up from last year. Per this plus the presumably willful errors elsewhere, we've got the bulls-eye fallacy or some similar fallacy or fallacies of informal logic in play, obviously.

And, making it more fun is that Substack offers different lengths of bans, and I got the "100 year" ban. Other options are an hour, a day, a week, a month. 


Update, Oct. 14: Since monkeypox as a new plague possibility has fallen through (in Europe, too) she's now pimping Ebola. Twice. (No prepper tools to fight it involved. Yet.)

Update, Oct. 20: She now is strawmanning "mansplaining doomsplaining," all without directly quoting the man/men any man who allegedly said any of this. Sounds like she's worried about her capitalist grift and brand being hurt, like when she blocked me from commenting.

Update, Nov. 2: She has now called out people writing "anti-doomer clickbait," attacking them mainly for their alleged monetization liust. If you read through the piece, it's psychological projection 101 about how and why she writes doomer clickbait. Add in that she's afraid this IS cutting into her own monetization and there  you go.

Update, Nov. 24: She now claims no college prof she knows goes without a second job. She's at a state university and not an adjunct. That said, she DOES use the word "teachers," and as I posted there, and documented here, she's got a history of conflating K-12 teachers and college profs. (She'll probably block me at Medium, too.)

'OK Doomer' Jessica Wildfire not so OK, part 1 — background

I have broken what was originally going to be just one piece about the "OK Doomer" of Substack, Jessica Wildfire / Jessica Lexicus, into two. The background reason is the same; her thin-skinned, IMO, blocking me from commenting on OK Doomer after I basically called out some ... uh, "wrongness" to be charitable, and then didn't like the snide condescension of her reply when banning me. 

I will talk about that in detail in part 2

My goggling (sic, Rainbow Satan, and Duck Duck Go sucks worse by the day) on her background led me to enough thoughts that I realized I needed to split into two. So, here's part 1. 

I had seen Jessica Wildfire's Substack several months ago, I think after I first saw her on Medium, and eventually clicked to get it.

A solidly middle-class, maybe even upper middle class, married or partnered woman with, I think, one child or two, per this interview of her, and a GenXer by age, not Millennial, at first appeared to have some smart left-liberal takes on the world.

Then, I realized otherwise, and her most recent hot take on "we're running out of food" shows why, as her main internal link contradicts herself. (That's what we'll take up in detail in part 2.)

But, let's get to her academic background. I first thought she was a college prof, per the "interview" link, then thought she was a K-12 teacher, probably high school. Yeh, she calls herself an "unfluencer" on Twitter, but ... given the amount of hustles she runs, c'mon. She rants — probably rightly — about the kids of MAGAts in this piece. On the third hand, in that piece, she claims kids are actually bringing guns into her class. For a MAGA-sizes snark? I bigly doubt that.

No, seriously. I quote:

I’m teaching online now, but that can’t last forever. I might get to teach online in the spring, but eventually I’ll get sent back into the classroom, where my state allows them to carry guns. 
Let me repeat that last part. My state allows my anti-masking, anti-vaxxing students to bring guns to class. I’m supposed to evaluate these students and give them grades they might not like.

Really? Name the state. She doesn't, of course. But, she is actually right, contra wingnuts.

Well, wait. No, she's not a "teacher" after all, maybe? But, instead, as I first thought, a professor. See this piece, and I quote:

The shortages have started hitting colleges so hard that, once again, they’re talking about increasing class sizes and upping our loads.

Note the "Our." She goes on to reference "Mr. Holland's Opus," which is of course about college, not K-12.

But, still. What state lets college students bring guns into the classroom? NOT New York State. But, per her MuckRack? Among places where she has written is "NYU Local." Yes, that's a student blog. But, if she went to teach at a red state university? That was a choice. Or, even if it's student run, they post pieces by faculty. (The latest from her is a Medium piece dated last year. BUT, if you notice on a search, you'll see two versions of her name, one with an exclamation point after the first name. See part 2 for more.)

Back to the gunz, though. Whatever state it is, a bit more goggling said it's "somewhere in the Southeast." And, per the gunz? It's most likely Georgia. Note this Wiki piece and per footnote 14, note this from Georgia.

Anyway, I digress. If she's been a professor or instructor for a decade, she's got a husband making money enough to allow her to do that as an adjunct. If not an adjunct?

Well, here in Tex-ass (since it sounds like she's in a red state) an assistant professor on a tenure track does pretty nicely. No, they're not doing "side hustles." If you ARE still an adjunct after 10 years? I feel sorry, but, at the same time, but still holding on to the "Impossible Dream" that you someday won't be an adjunct, you are part of the problem, in that you're enabling Big University to be Big Biz. And, given that she's self-published two books, and has both a Substack and TWO Medium accounts (see more on that in Part Two) that counts as "side hustles." She's an adjunct, and at a decade-plus, enabling the system even as she talks about leaving it.

Nope, not an adjunct after all. In another piece, she talks about chasing tenure. And, the rest of that piece is clearly a tenure-track faculty member's hot takes on other faculty, with a touch of snideness. (See part 2.) OTOH, given the way she conflates stuff, this could be yes another piece where "we" isn't actually what you would think.

Meanwhile, going back to the first teaching piece. "We" do NOT have "superintendents" and "school boards" if we're college folks. "We" do have deans, etc., but ... K-12 teachers don't. Conflating teaching college with teaching K-12 looks deliberate. Willful. Semi-lying. And unsurprising.

As for her college teaching? I first thought maybe marketing or something. Would tie with being an apparent "influencer." Then I thought again about her Twitter "handle," which is "@jessicalexicus." And, the back half of that became light bulb: English and/or creative writing. (That said, marketing communications could certainly be part of that teaching.) Anyway, between that, other biographical tidbits and such, she's upper middle-class on both the socio and the economic halves from what I can tell. The "chasing tenure" piece confirms. She mentions a creative writing teacher in her grad program. The "somewhere in the Southeast" confirmed more. She's an English prof. (The creative writing part? It makes me wonder how much else of her Mediums and Substack is really, ahem, "creative writing.")

And, with that, my goggling is done. (And, it wasn't bad!) Go to Part 2.

September 15, 2022

Russia-Ukraine news week 19: Biden's LNG bailout for EU could backfire, and what about the SPR?

Warmonger Joe, as the European Union fears freezing its gonads off this winter, has talked about a liquified natural gas "bailout" for it. The Financial Times notes that could backfire at home, as quote-tweeted by Mark Ames.

Yes, natural gas prices are a lot cheaper here than there, but they're a lot more expensive here than they were a few years ago.

Now, as I noted in reply to one respondent to Ames, if Biden wants to keep being Warmonger Joe, he'll just wait until after midterm election day to make this start happening.

There's also other "fun issues" noted in that piece. New England states import LNG at ports. They don't want pipelines from Pennsylvania's fracked shale gas, though.

Then, there's the environmental concerns about LNG ports in general. But, see two paragraphs above.

There's yet other issues. It costs money to liquify natural gas for international shipment. Russian gas is a lot cheaper. But, gas, and not just for this reason, is less fungible than oil.

So, some "dood" claiming this:

Got refudiated by me:

And, that's that. 

Actually, not quite that. Since that tweet?

A restart on the Iran nuclear deal looks to be officially on the rocks. That's from the German Foreign Ministry.

UPDATE: Based on the Xi-Putin meeting in Kazakhstan, the New York Slimes alleges, in subhead and in body copy, that Putin's in deep doo-doo with Xi. For "analysis" to back that up, it quotes both a State Department spox AND one of the Nat-Sec Nutsacks™. Who is NOT quoted? Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The Associated Press has a much more balanced take

UPDATE 2: Initial long-range weather forecasts by the National Weather Service say that, into January, most the Sun Belt tier is likely to be warmer than average and most the rest the country is likely to be average, giving Gassy Joe more working space.


Meanwhile, speaking of oil? Warmonger Joe's sales from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve have lowered crude prices, and gas prices with them. But, they haven't lowered oil prices as much as I think he expected, and meanwhile, the Russia-Ukraine War drags on.

So, does he replenish, as he said he would, at $80/bbl? BUT...

Doesn't that take oil back off the world market, therefore raising prices again?

Remember, Mohammad bin Salman already told him that no more Saudi oil was immediately forthcoming, and that in five years, KSA would hit Saudi Peak Oil at just 1 million barrels a day more than now.

So, does Warmonger Joe hope that people have less vacation time planned in winter (drought and heat out west mean less skiing, amirite?) and that he can sneak in some buybacks before March (also hoping that General Winter on the steppes means less fighting)?


Meanwhile, meanwhile, as Ukraine's counterattacks are at least moderately successful, more local-level Russian politicos are calling for Putin to step down.

Coronavirus week 120: Zero COVID and Chinese politics; nasal vaccines and Biden sloth

Contra the Great Barrington folks and other COVID deniers, minimalists and truth-distorters, the US, and most countries in the world, have not had a zero-COVID policy and never had.

China, the land of origin of COVID, possibly through a lab leak (shut up Orac) and, land of early mishandling of COVID, no matter its source, and land of stonewalling the rest of the world on COVID, though, HAS had a zero COVID policy, and still does.

Why? Per this piece, Chinese Communist Party politics.

In other words, Xi Jinping Thought. Angst over COVID would not only be a threat to the party in general, but more specifically, to his plans to be the next Deng or Mao by seeking a third term in office. Since the CCP "can't" admit to the Chinese general public how badly it screwed the pooch or how poor Chinese vaccines are, this is it.

For the Chinese people, and for globalized trade, per the story, there's one hope. The next Chinese Communist Party Congress is next month. It is then that Xi is expected to formally claim a third term as president. After that, with his position theoretically secured for the next five years, might he let his foot off the zero COVID brakes?

Whether he does or does not, the story adds that COVID has not only ramped up the party's surveillance efforts on the Chinese public, it's ramped up its skill, technological and otherwise, in doing so.


Meanwhile, maybe we CAN call what Xi has been doing to the Uyghurs a genocide? Yes, Shanghai was also on true lockdowns, but not for 40 days straight.


Elsewhere in the Atlantic, the same author, Michael Schuman, writes about "Chinese exceptionalism." It's not bad overall,  except for his claim that most Americans have learned the price we pay here for "American exceptionalism." In reality, no such thing has happened. 

It's also good on how, beneath the Potemkin village shell, China is still a developing nation in many ways. Despite the rush of post-COVID emergency hospital building (it's actually not a miracle if you note that the US uses the same prefab tilt walls for rapid building of things like strip malls), China has one-sixth the intensive care capacity and one-fifth the nurses of the US on a per-capita basis.

On vaccines? He notes that China had a manufacturer with a BioNTech license. Beijing wouldn't approve. Also, the Sinovac sucks against Omicron.


India now has a nasal COVID vaccine. It comes from technology licensed in the US. Why don't we have that here? (On the other hand, possible prepper influencer Jessica Wildfire was where I first saw that, and in reality, given the history of nasal flu vaccine attempts in the US, they probably suck.)

Well, we're getting new vaccines, but it appears that you're on your own dime on paying for them, which of course means that under- and uninsured aren't getting them. (Two years from now, though, the Nation will officially, as normal, ignore third-party voting options on the issue of things such as national health care.)

September 14, 2022

Ken Starr dead? Like shooting fish in a barrel, but, while here, I'm firing at both halves of the duopoly

Geez, over the last two weeks, I do a non-takedown but critical obit of Gorbachev, then another one, also non-takedown but critical, over Barbara Ehrenreich, then a takedown of the House of Windsor at the back end of calling out Americans for royal envy paralleling penis envy, over the death of Elizabeth II.

And now, Ken Starr is dead?

A sad embarrassment of riches, and with me having been on press deadline, I didn't have time to jump in the fray.

I sum it up in this Tweet.

To expand on that, I recommend this Twitter thread, and, of course, the Rolling Stone takedown obit above.

Per that thread, beyond what I mention above, Starr defended other statutory rapists besides Epstein.

He helped Mitch the Turtle gut and eviscerate McCain-Feingold.

And, he represents everything wrong with the GOP federal legal and judiciary pipeline. As the account notes, Kirkland and Ellis is a kind of breeding ground. Then, as a forming ground, there's the Federalist Society.

Personally, I lived half an hour from Waco, Texas, when the Baylor shit started going down. I first noted how he was running protection for Art Briles, which itself was crappy enough given the way the Bears had previously coddled former basketball coach Dave Bliss from facing his own improprieties. And, I was still in the area when the Baptist non-dancers finally fired him.

Interestingly, as with Gorbachev, I had no tag for him. And, as there, I'm not adding one.


We're not ending there.

Since I'm on a roll on semi-takedown obits, we're triangulating off Ken Starr to both halves of the duopoly, primarily the left-hand side.

Linda Tripp was a nutter, especially over Vince Foster conspiracy theories. No denial whatsoever here.

But? Contra the likes of Jeff Gerth at the New York Times blathering about Whitewater for years, then later saying "nothing here," there WERE things there. (Gerth, interestingly, blames NYT editors for the inaccuracies in his reporting.)

In terms of William J. Clinton, aka Slick Willie, vis-a-vis Tripp and Monica Lewinsky, there was of course Paula Jones in his past, even though she was in some ways manipulated by the wingnuts whose legal bidding Starr was too willing to do.

And, there was Hillary making a killing on those cattle futures, as part of a general lack of believability, and not too too long after the Slickster complained about his governor's salary. In my mind, there's no doubt she had help of some kind, and probably something that would meet the commodities futures definition of insider trading or the equivalent thereof. 

As for Starr defending Trump during his first impeachment? Doornknob forbid that I sound anything close to Glenn Greenwald, let alone Cucker Tarlson, but, even if Trump was trying to extort information about Hunter Biden from Zelenskyy, it's not like Hunter Biden was Mr. Innocent.

Both the cattle futures (which happened at the same time as the alleged problems and incidents collectively called "Whitewater") and the Ukrainian stiff-arming? Both reflect the duopoly disease of capitalism.

Related? Don't forget, as Twitter won't let you forget, that Epstein the hypercapitalist had plenty of connections in both halves of the duopoly.

Don't forget that NCAA Division I college football at a place like Baylor is ultimately about capitalism. And, don't I know it, from those two blog posts about Starr's time at Baylor. Had Art Briles been 2-10, his ass would have been sacked faster that a Whitewater minute.

Texas Progressives: Guns and Visa, Beto-Bob, more

Elizabeth Warren asked for it, then got called out as "fascist" for the request, but Visa will start tracking gun sales as a particular category. It should make it easier to track down suspicious sales, which was her whole intent. And, since Visa is the biggest, let us hope, per the story, that it indeed pressures MasterCard and Amex to follow.

We'll also see if Second Amendment absolutist Delilah Barrios, running for gov for the Green Party, says anything about this.


Off the Kuff analyzes the latest poll of Texas and Harris County. (Note: See my gov, House and Senate polls at right.)


SocraticGadfly said Beto O'Rourke needs to fire himself as chief campaign strategist.

Related, from Twitter:


I have no idea who Coulda Been Worse is run by. Let's just hope that any new anti-Abbott ads don't engage in child exploitation, unlike Moms Against Greg Abbott. Their first ad is here on Twitter, via Patrick Switek. Not bad, but not great in presentation. The "Coulda Been Worse" needs to be cut in more than just once at the end. A second voice in voiceover, preferably female, should be there.


DPS head Steve McCraw told CNN he'd resign if it was found that his troopers had any culpability in a delayed response to the Uvalde shooting. He's bullshitting, of course, starting with that he'd set his own parameters on "any culpability."


Shock me that two North Texas small-town police chiefs belong(ed?) to Oath Keepers. Of course, they, like others statewide and compadres nationally, have spouted the usual bullshit lines like, "I didn't know who they were," or "they changed their mission" or "someone else signed me up."


Gohmert Pyle reached a new low even for him.


Per this Tweet:

Glenn Hegar reached a new low, even for him.


Danny Goeb is in a pissing match, per his news releases, with the authors of a Texas Monthly semi-gotcha piece that's nonetheless good gotcha. Knowing something about Russell Gold and Dan Soloman's writing for the Monthly (and elsewhere from Gold), I was worried Patrick may be at least half right. I shouldn't have been. An updated version of the article notes Patrick's claims, and does further gotcha on the date of passage of SB 13 vs the date of his BlackRock divestiture. Plus, like Ralph Nader (who I didn't vote for in 2000 cuz I knew this, probably due to Al Gore oppo research) and Jill Stein (who I learned about too late in 2016 cuz Hillary Clinton oppo research forgot to allow for early voting) Patrick and his wife also owned Black Rock mutual funds. (Nader and Stein owned oil and gas, defense and tobacco stocks via mutual funds.)




A restart on the Iran nuclear deal looks to be officially on the rocks. That's from the German Foreign Ministry.

Texas 2036 warns that the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, could happen here.

The Texas Living Waters Project released a study showing how much water we lose in this state due to old infrastructure. Texas Monthly gives a fond final farewell to Paul Burka.

The Texas Signal reports on the first day of school in Uvalde.

The TSTA Blog argues that it's the disrespect for democracy that disqualifies so many Texas Republicans from holding office.

The Dallas Observer notes the Cards Against Humanity protest against anti-abortion laws.

Federal coronavirus bailout money for cities and counties went to ... cops and courts.

September 13, 2022

Top blogging of August

Only listing nine posts this month instead of the usual 10. By the time I had gotten around to this on Sept. 3, my Sept. 2 Barbara Ehrenreich obit had already jumped into the top 10. And, I've been putting back posting this, with plenty of breaking news, the weekly Texas Progressives and other things giving me more than one post a day since then.

No. 1? A long ago piece about felonious Dallas-area "journalism" Walter Mitty imitator Joey Dauben. Trending hard because of Dauben's 2008 electoral observations about then-Ali Akbar, who you know today as Ali Alexander.

No. 2? Week 18 of my Russia-Ukraine war updates, this about the ethical corruption of Ukraine violating Geneva Conventions issues as documented by Amnesty International.

No. 3? Locally, while I have already decided to undervote my local county judge's race.

No. 4 was my RIP for the most nutty Texas Libertarian, and one of the most nutty national ones, on the far side of Dan Behrman. RIP Michael Badnarik.

No. 5? RIP Gorbachev.

No. 6 was about how the FDA recently decided puberty blockers like Lupron needed black box warnings, and even more importantly in a sense, how the mainstream media continues to do a news blackout about this, reinforcing that, to some degree, stereotypes about the MSM, or lamestream media, are true.

No. 7? High Country News not only went woke again, but engaged in a semi self own. (They actually did it twice.)

No. 8 is my longform about the Bureau of Reclamation dropping a semi-hammer (fake hammer might be more accurate yet in hindsight) on the three states of the Lower Colorado River basin, how that might, or might not, stimulate them to get more serious about voluntary agreements, and about how this has broader implications.

No. 9 was my laughingly scornful refutation of some semi-libertarian nutter claiming that child car seats act as a contraceptive.

Interestingly, all but the first were from August, indicating heavy visitation for the month.

Beto bullshit on teacher pay, and Beto the Pander Bear

As the Chronic chronicled last week, among part of Beto-Bob O'Rourke's attempt to get rural Texas votes is straight-up economic pandering.

No shit, sherlock, on the idea that Muleshoe teachers get $16,000 below national average. And? They don't live in New York City, or even in Dallas. Going by cost of living differences, a Muleshoe teacher should make almost $15K less than one in Dallas, if we took the full $15K in difference and applied it to teacher salaries. Even at 50 cents on the dollar, that's still $7.5K. (And, City-Data says that Dallas' cost of living is below the national average, in case you wonder.) The typical Muleshoe teacher knows that $35,000 there, after 7-10 years of teaching, is a shitload of money, relatively speaking — unless they want to go out in the oil patch.

I've called out media bullshit on teacher pay before; this is Beto bullshit.

It's bullshit for other reasons, too. Probably, the majority of teachers there are from that area. They WANT to be there. They're the part of the typical High Plains / Panhandle town that didn't leave. (Muleshoe itself is actually growing in population, largely due to "Uncle Earl" that R.F. now says he cares so much about.) Unlike a teacher in the Metromess, Helltown, the Big A, or maybe even a Waco or Tyler, the typical Muleshoe teacher also, in addition to knowing 35 large is good money there, has not a single activist bone in them, whether about what books are or are not in the city or school district library or other things.

Between this and his backpedaling on other issues from his 2020 prez run, we're clearly in Just.Another.Politician.™ territory. I'm still almost certainly not voting for Green candidate Delilah Barrios, so, that means I'm moving closer to the likelihood of undervoting.

And, since the Dems' Lite Guv candidate, retread Mike Collier, is even more of a Pander Bear to Rethugs than Beto is, forget about that.

Beto has also gone back to being a Pander Bear himself on oil. The facts on the ground, in reality, are that major operators are automating, automating, automating, and increasing the gap between themselves and independents on low overhead. This has nothing to do with renewable electricity, or with lies vs truth on "drill, baby, drill" Joe Biden or other things.

As for climate change backpedaling on the weak-tea Green New Deal that Democraps ripped off from Greens? The latest drought this year, even as Panhandle Texans continue to further deplete the Ogallala, is all real, Beto. But, if you want to be a Pander Bear?

September 12, 2022

A wrap on Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III, and dollar-store British democracy

Last week, I posted what was not so much, or even close to being, a takedown obit on Elizabeth (though it kind of was on the House of Windsor) as it was a takedown of Americans' weird "royals envy," which I called a class-based, or class connected, version of penis envy

Well, beyond that, I had plenty of HIGH grade snark on Twitter. Here's a roundup, starting with snark, then the camel's hump of seriousness and serious takedowns, then back to snark.




And, in response to a clear Twitter troll, and possibly a second account he runs as well responding to him, claiming that Americans are "geographist" (my words) and hate strong British women because they cried over Betty White's death but not the queen's?

(Dood's own Twitter bio shows him from Chicago, anyway, and besides, my original blog post was all about Americans and royals envy, not royals hating.)

Speaking of, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa faced far more colonizing than did Ireland, or the Northern rump. Elizabeth didn't start any of this, and she reigned not ruled, but, given the source of the jewels in her crown and other things, it's fair to say that she stood on the backs, not of giants, but of colonial plunder.


See above about the British Empire, too. Also note this weird tradition with royal beekeepers. Again, if your democracy depends on a royal family, even if it reigns not rules, with such backgrounds, to uphold it? It's not much democracy. And, weirdly, the allegedly outside-the-box Unherd spent both Friday and Saturday email blasts last week with warnings, woe and boo-hooing about the future of British democracy.



That one was a mix of serious and snark, as is the next:

And, with that, it's back to pure snark.




There you go!

New bad logic from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Just when I think AOC can't "do it again," she can indeed.

In a longform GQ interview with Wesley Lowry, she says this about a rape of several years ago that she started discussing after the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection:

Ocasio-Cortez never reported her assault, a choice she knows is familiar for many women and one she said she’d make the same way today. “If the vast majority of sexual assaults happen by a familiar person, the last thing you’re going to want to do is throw someone in jail,” she said. “There is an intersection with the work of abolition and healing and contending with the fact that we as people are capable of doing harm, but we are also capable of healing from harm.”


By that logic, as I told her on Twitter, a child suffering physical abuse at the hand of parents or other family, let alone incest, shouldn't report them because they know their abusers.

I understand women who say they don't report sexual assaults because of the hurdles of reporting, and in many cases, the additional trauma of going through the criminal reporting process, even with support of hospital nursing staff and such. I not only understand, but accept that and even support it. 

But this? No. I "understand" it in the technical sense of knowing what AOC says. Other than that? No.

The next paragraph ain't much better.

Part of that healing, though, is the acknowledgment and accountability that she was denied. “Whatever the given circumstances of a situation, if a person is hurt or harmed it’s important to hold space for it, and it’s very, very, very difficult to hold space for a hurt person when you are the one they are saying hurt them,” she replied when I asked how she’d advise a man in her life to respond were he confronted with an allegation of assault.

Uhh, you chose to let someone else not be accountable. You denied it to yourself.


Meanewhile, neither she nor Lowry as scribe note the Dems' Green New Deal was ripped off from Greens. Don't forget Sunrise Movement's stealth assistance in that. Nor do either of them note all the Big Oil and other loopholes in Biden's Inflation Reduction Act. She also doesn't address what would happen if Nancy Pelosi breaks her pledge to step down as Speaker, should Dems keep control of the House.