SocraticGadfly: 11/12/23 - 11/19/23

November 17, 2023

Man the male as "noble hunter" gets a good further kicking

Evolutionary psychology, or its parent/uncle, sociobiology, among its more sexist tropes, latched on to the idea first seriously propounded 60 years or so ago that males evolved to hunt, women to gather (and breed babies, of course).

Well, we know that's not so much the case with Neanderthal women.

And now? The men evolved to hunt, women to gather, sexist Ev Psych theory about Homo sapiens males and females gets further refutation. Early human hunting, we know, relied in large part on humans' ability to outrun other mammals, not on speed, but on endurance running. And, women are better than men at that. And, ancient fossils, as well as modern cultures such as the Ainu of Japan, show women hunting.

The story gets an extra kudo for this:

Before getting into the evidence, we need to first talk about sex and gender. “Sex” typically refers to biological sex, which can be defined by myriad characteristics such as chromosomes, hormone levels, gonads, external genitalia and secondary sex characteristics. The terms “female” and “male” are often used in relation to biological sex. “Gender” refers to how an individual identifies—woman, man, nonbinary, and so forth. Much of the scientific literature confuses and conflates female/male and woman/man terminology without providing definitions to clarify what it is referring to and why those terms were chosen.

And, I'll break that out into separate blogging.

Per the graphic pictured at left, much of the article addresses the detailed benefits of estrogen for endurance activities in general, including endurance based hunting.

Earlier parts look in more detail at the sexist mindset beyond many claims about man the noble hunter and their times, including ignoring disconfirming studies.

As for today's endurance sport world? "But marathons" is nothing. In ultra-length endurance running, women crush men. Ditto in long-distance swimming.

And, re Neanderthals, per the first link, the evidence shows equality of hunting among them, too. Presumably including cave lions.

November 16, 2023

PRO Gainesville remains guilty on appeal as expected

Having been dumb enough not to accept a presumable plea deal from County Attorney Ed Zielinski on the misdemeanor charge of obstructing a major passageway, the PRO Gainesville leadership trio of Torrey Henderson, Amara Ridge and Justin Thompson got a $2,000 fine and seven days in the county slammer as their penalty upon jury conviction.

Rather than cut their losses, the trio got the ACLU of Texas to help them on appeal. And emphatically lost that appeal today. Will they go to the Court of Criminal Appeals next? Try to bump that to federal court on their First Amendment claim that this is First Amendment protected speech? I was halfway snarking, but with an update, a response to the Register, received uncritically by it, it sounds like I shouldn't have been.

Well, the ACLU of Texas? The ACLU national, which I cited in my first post-arrest discussion of the trio's plight, would also like a word with both you and original county court at law case defense attorney Allison Grinter's understanding of protests and permits.

I quote from the ACLU pamphlet:

You don’t need a permit to march in the streets or on sidewalks, as long as marchers don’t obstruct car or pedestrian traffic. If you don’t have a permit, police officers can ask you to move to the side of a street or sidewalk to let others pass or for safety reasons.

Pretty clear. Note that that applies to ANY street. It applies in spades to a state highway, whatever the state.

That said, why wasn't this dude (I heard it on that video too) charged?

At one point in the video, the cameraman could be heard saying, “[The police] are telling us to get out of the road and we’re not listening. I like it.”

Can't the police finger him? (The state statute for obstruction of a major roadway says "willingly" or "knowingly," and Gainesville's police chief said at the time they didn't think most the rank and file knew the leadership had not gotten a parade permit. BUT? What if the cameraman DID know?)

Meanwhile, why did PRO Gainesville go all the way down to Dallas to land Alison Grinter as their legal beagle, especially if she either doesn't understand the First Amendment or thought she could buffalo the Gainesville yokels with stuff like this:

Dallas attorney Alison Grinter’s defense relied on First Amendment protections and the right to protest. She said she believed the legal system was trying to make a point by having the charge be an obstruction of traffic on a major passageway, when if the charge had been on any other street in the area the charge would have been a ticket for jaywalking at most.

Ms. Grinter, come now. Courts have ruled for hundreds of years that the actions of public protest under freedom of assembly can be regulated by government permit requirements. If PRO Gainesville had asked you to sue the city of Gainesville on its claims of unfair treatment of issuance or denial of permits, that would be another thing.

The only thing I agree with re this actual case is that jail time beyond the fines is overkill. But, 7 days is FAR less than the maximum of 180 days.


Maybe Zielinski offered that in plea talks and you rejected it? Maybe he didn't, either. Grinter Allen (her actual last name, Grinter her maiden, see below) didn't talk to the Groansville folks, but told the Denton Wrecked Chronic, which also reported on the case, that Zielinski was determined to go to trial. Well, he no-commented, since she's appealing. 

(I asked her point-blank on Twitter if Ed offered a plea deal or not. We'll see if I get a response. I also told her in my Tweet thread that I'm a non-duopoly actual leftist.

We'll see if she responds. A year later, she hasn't.)

In their story, Thompson claims the commissioners court was in on the effort to deliberately punish them. Uhh, wrong. They don't micromanage Zielinski.

Thompson also claims that a group of Trumpist MAGAts types were so upset over local coverage they started an alternative newspaper. News to me. Never seen a copy at, say Quick Trip. Seriously, knowing how far right Gainesville tilts? And this isn't publicly circulated?

Thompson also has a different story for the Wrecked Chronic about not hearing the police than he did for the Register, where he said he did, thought the warning was originally for a bicyclist, then realized it wasn't, then told people to get back on the sidewalk.

Texas Progressives talk Israel-Gaza, schools, more

Jill Stein, seeking a third Green Party presidential nominee, calls for an investigation of Bibi Netanyahu's war crimes, and for Joe Biden's abetting them.

One step related to that? The Center for Constitutional Rights is suing Genocide Joe. (Did I give a donation? What do YOU think?)

SocraticGadfly first, for Veterans Day, had an "in memoriam" of Medal of Honor winner Hiroshi Miyamura. He also offered his latest thoughts on Israel-Gaza andZelensky-Ukraine.

Deep East Texas school district is now all-electric on its school bus fleet, except for long-distance trips. Biden does get a kudo for this, and the program needs to be ramped up.

In not-so--good school news, the wingnut University of Austin is seeking student applications.

Any good Tex-ass university like that will need a football coach. I heard Jimbo Fisher is available.

To pander to the Religions Right, Univ. of Austin will also need religious leaders. I heard that Joseph Strickland, former Bishop of Tyler, is available after Pope Francis shit-canned him.

The official state cult of death executed Brent Brewer.

Ukraine did it (but without Zelensky knowing) is the latest theory on the Nord Stream pipeline destruction.

The Great Cajun Turtle Heist shows how endemic the trade in non-exotic, but still illegal, wildlife is in Texas, just like that in exotic wildlife.

Off the Kuff considers the lower than expected turnout in the Houston elections. 

DosCentavos gives his bit of analysis regarding the Houston election results.

Per 1976 Jimmy Carter, Speaker Mike Johnson only needs to have his son monitor his potential porn watching if he's already lusting in his heart.

Yes, but, Jeff St. Clair. One-quarter of what Counterpunch runs is dreck, like the guy who was (is?) your poet laureate. I've sent stuff that you haven't run, both poetry and prose.

I'll go one better than Matthew Hoh. Since US entry into WWI was based on Woodrow Wilson lies and conniving, let's not rename Veterans Day back to Armistice Day, let's get rid of it.

If there's a US problem of the last 30 years, it probably started with Slick Willie.

Neil at the Houston Democracy Project posted about what we must expect of the Democrats we elect with democracy under assault.  

The Eyewall explains what "Superfog" is and why it's happening now in Louisiana.  

Your Local Epidemiologist warns about states withholding vaccine information. 

The Houston Press talks to a former HISD teacher apprentice who called it quits after seeing how HISD is operating now.  

Franklin Strong rounded up the good, the bad, and the so-so of the 2023 school board elections in Texas.  

Law Dork analyzes the Justice Department's response to Alabama's threat to prosecute people in Alabama who help other Alabamans seek an abortion elsewhere.  

Robert Rivard minces no words about Greg Abbott's voucher scam.

I'll take James Hansen over Michael Mann any time as 4C looms

And even more over Katharine Hayhoe.

The last person is not mentioned in a piece by Bob Henson, formerly of Weather Underground, now of Yale Climate Connections, over a battle between Hanson and Mann and others like Hayhoe who I have called "Climate change Obamiacs" in the past and whom, to Henson on Twitter, I called the similar "climate change neoliberals."

The issue, which Henson presents in New York Times style "he said, she said" journalism, is whether Hansen's right that we've permanently popped 1.5C on climate change already. Henson links to a longer piece at Inside Climate News where Hanson spells out his reasoning in detail, which in turn links to an academic study where he is a co-author.. He notes the decrease in aerosols pollution — think phasing out of coal for power plants and also cleaner emissions standards, especially here in the US, for diesel fuel — as a primary reason for his pessimism, and it makes sense.

It's not just the U.S. climate change Obamiacs who get blasted. It's also the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Anybody who knows anything knows that Hanson is right about this as well. The IPCC is deliberately conservative in its assessments as a form of kowtowing to its nation-state masters. It's also bureaucratic enough to be lumbering in gathering and analyzing data, with that kowtowing then getting baked in. And, operating on a four-year assessment cycle, whatever it spits out is behind the curve for that reason alone.

Henson (and his co-author and WU collaborator Jeff Masters) should know this; if not, they're part of the climate change Obamiacs problem.

Hansen was sounding the alarm before this co-authored research paper. Back in May, before the eye-popping summer of 2023, he already said we would hit 2C by 2050. He's right. That draft paper, a preview to the final joint study piece, notes that he had warned about the effect of the decline of sulfur-based aerosols back in 2021. He predicts a climb of 0.3C per decade. Do the math.

That's 4C by 2100. I think he's right.

And, no, Mann, he's NOT "hyperventilating."

“I’m frustrated by the hyperventilating going on over this. It’s frustrating that so many continue to miscommunicate about that and mislead the public as to where we are. The truth is bad enough.”

The truth is a lot worse than you and other climate change Obamiacs want to admit, for whatever reasons you don't want to admit it.

This is nothing new for Mann, who, as shown in 2020, simply doesn't want to accept studies that confront his Goldilocks idea that we have "some" climate change, too much for total comfort, but not enough for real alarm.

We may not need James Kunstler levels of alarm, but we need something halfway close to that level of radicalism.

Besides, even the IPCC which Hansen rightly challenges said last year that, barring strong action, we're facing at least 3C. Not quite Hansen's 4C, but yet.

Remember: The Paris Accords are toothless Jell-O, because Dear Leader Obama and Xi Jinping wanted it that way.

And, per WHY I said Hayhoe was wrong four years ago, as well as how? Mann, as well as her, need to read some David Hume.

Oh, and unless he's had some big new revelation, #BernAnon sheepdogger David Sirota is still a hypocrite on this.

November 15, 2023

The Californication of Tex-ass

The LA Times writes about the Californication of Tex-ass, and how, per the old "wherever you go, there you are" pop psychology adage, they're essentially bringing many of California urbanization's problems with them. Unmentioned? Next will come the "pulling up the ladder after you" stage. (In the Southwest and Mountain West, Californicators can be among leading bitchers about their new digs being Californicated.)

Among the bitching here will probably be that Texans aren't Texan enough.

No, really. Not sure about his 2022 gov run against Strangeabbott, but in his 2018 Senate run against Havana Ted Cruz, R.F. O'Rourke took a majority of native Texan voters. It was non-natives, who are above all Californians, who swung hard to Cruz. (I can't remember if I voted Libertarian or undervoted.)

Next, they'll bitch about all the California problems they brought. Scratch that; many are already bitching about Austin housing prices.

After that? They'll bitch about the weather they were too fucking dumb to research, ignoring that Tex-ass has plenty of humidity in the eastern 1/3 and a fair chunk in the central 1/3. They'll then bitch when their excessive A/C use strains an antiquated power grid that's supposed to represent everything of what's best with Texas

November 14, 2023

I smell a rat: Pat Fallon leaving Congress; or a bigger rat named Dan Patrick

The carpetbagging (you are) CD-4 Texas Congresscritter is not running for re-election.

OK, that of itself no big deal.

But wanting to get back his old Texas Senate District 30 seat?

THAT is a big deal. 

Especially since you've only been in Congress three years and change.

Look, nobody gets tired of Congress that fast. Half the true-blue term limits touters break their pledges, and most who affirm them become DC lobbyists.

Here's why I smell a rat. His explanation:

"At the end of the day, the decision came down to, If we lose Texas, we lose the nation," Fallon said in a brief interview. "It’s just terribly important to ensure that Texas has written a great success story and I want to keep moving that forward."

Yeah, sure. If Tex-ass is about to flip Democrat, you running for Drew Springer's seat ain't changing that.

This is clearly a lie. Now, what's the truth? J6 indictment pending? Trumpies have something on him? Doesn't want to serve with a possible second-term Trump prez?

It's not like he's rescuing SD-30 from RINOs, either. Carrie de Moor had filed to run against Drew, and she's as wingnut as he is, just a more urban one.

EXCEPT FOR one thing. I see NOTHING about vouchers on her issues page. Mystery solved, I think. And, if I'm right, Danny Goeb's going to be out beating the bushes again.

BUT? That scrambling will be increased in difficulty by Dr. Michael Burgess' announcement he wouldn't seek re-election to Congress. His Congressional district has a fair amount of overlap with SD30, and like Pat Fallon's son, lotsa candidates would prefer DC to part-time Austin, part-time Denton, Sherman, north Metroplex or whatever.

I'm sure that GOP inside baseball did not have anybody besides de Moor filing for this race before Springer dropped out, and they weren't sure if they could get somebody knew, and known to the county-level inside baseball people, in the race quickly. So, Patrick begs Fallon. Who has now spit the bit.

That said, on Fallon?

Seriously, from the first time I met the guy, I knew that I wouldn't trust him farther than I could throw him.

OK, we can now call Fallon a flip-flopper. He's running for CD-4 again after all, after his son talked him into staying in Washington.

Update: This gets better each time Fallon opens his yap. He now claims that Speaker of the US House, not the little Pink Dome, Mike Johnson, recruited him to stay by saying he'd personally get more done on his agenda in DC. Really? If true, was Fallon either too much a Dum Fuq to tell Goeb that, or, to riff on Teddy Roosevelt, as spineless as a chocolate eclair to not want to tell Goeb that? And, would Johnson really care that much about a semi-sophomore back bencher, unless he was that worried that Fallon would be replaced by somebody even more wingnut than him?

Update: On the Rethuglican side, here's a list of people who have filed. (It's statewide.) For SD30 it includes a Brent Hagenbuch. He is, or was, Denton County GOP chair. And, part of alleged shenanigans within the party last year. Sadly, Democraps still don't have a Google Docs page like that, at least not one publicly linked, nor do they link to the Secretary of State's webpage for approved candidates above the county level. I lamented this two years ago. Makes it harder to gin up public and media interest. Might be a small factor in why Skipper Gilberto Hinojosa still hasn't brought the SS Texas Democrat into a safe harbor of state control after all these years.

Update 2, Nov. 18: Rural Republican Housecritter David Spiller was one of four rural Rethuglicans to desert his peers on the latest House vote on vouchers, jumping in the Patrick-Abbott back pocket like a good mouse. Remember, if he decides to jump from HD68 to the partially overlapping SD30, you heard it here first.

Democratic Socialists of America imploding

A bunch of DSA oldtimers like Harold Meyerson and Peter Dreier say they're leaving the organization, primarily because it's too strong in support of Hamas, but also because it has other purity tests.

First, the "other purity tests." It's laughable, or a sign of slippage, for an old-time labor reporter and columnist like Harold Meyerson to call criticism of AOC, Cori Bush, et al for signing off on Strikebreaker Joe's anti-union railroad bill a "purity test." If it is, the DSA needs more.

As for everything associated with Israel-Gaza? Click through the links to Tweets, and you'll find that things are more innocuous than the signers claim.

Of course, ALL of DSA is ultimately sheepdoggers. That said, it's become slightly less sheepdogging in recent years.

November 13, 2023

Two-time Green Party retread Jill Stein running again

After Cornel West did his Lucy van Pelt and pulled the football away from the Green Party to run for president as an independent instead, 2012 and 2016 GP presidential nominee and her 2016 Veep, Ajamu Baraka, pledged to beat the bushes for new Green Party prez candidates.

And, the "bush-beating" has yielded?

Two-time retread Stein filing to run again.

A commenter at Independent Political Report, where the commenting system, for me, remains broken, speculated that she's running to pay off the $175K she still owes the Federal Elections Committee. As confirmation, her personal website, which did NOT have the campaign announcement as of yesterday, is soliciting funds for an appeal to the Supreme Court to be heard in November, against that appellate court ruling against her on the debt.

Given that Stein and the party both, as well as West, have not said how much lane-clearing West was promised and why that wasn't enough for him, and given that Stein has had bad optics before, last week, I called the GP Just.Another.Political.Party™. This only adds to that.

RFK Jr. is #GenocideBob and more

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has of course been an antivaxxer of long standing. But, he's far worse than that.

Bob Jr. is also a Cold War 2.0 Cold Warrior, per this Tweet, getting a boner for the project just like his uncles. And, why is an alleged environmentalist so worries about global oil control rather than talking about wind and solar power to boost electric car usage, or transitioning toward walkable cities, etc.?

And, people who follow him on Twitter will also note that this is just the latest version of #GenocideBob wanting to cut blank checks to the ZioNazis running Israel right now. (The likes of Haaretz do yeoman's work exposing them internally, but Israeli voters' preferences, and the manipulations of Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox parties there, make clear that this is an uphill slog.)

That said, Bob Jr. has turned his antivaxxerism into part of a piece on larger racialized tropes. He recently touted Auntie Angie's House, which, reading between the lines of this:

Our mission is to eradicate the Black Maternal Health Crisis through research, advocacy, support, education, and awareness.

Presumably believes in the "abortion is Black genocide" trope.

Given that he's grifted on the actual wrongs of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment to target American Samoa, Somali immigrants in Minneapolis and other people of color with his antivaxxerism, Bob Jr. may actually be a self-gaslighter on the "abortion is Black genocide" issue. As a book I just read notes, in 2021, Bob Jr.'s Children's  Health Defense released the film "Medical Racism: The New Apartheid." Add in that Bob Jr. has buddied up with Tony Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, and there you are. (How he squares this with blank checks for Israel, I don't know.)

As I've noted elsewhere, he's already got pretty high "unfavorables" in early elections polling that includes him, and those unfavorables aren't insignificant among self-alleged independents as well as Rethugs and Democraps. The oil issue only has to further disenchant environmentalists, while the Cold Warriorism undercuts him as an original thinker on foreign policy.