SocraticGadfly: 6/16/24 - 6/23/24

June 22, 2024

RIP Rory

I agree with Golf Mag's rhetorical (or so it seems to me) question and expected answer.

Yes, this was Rory's worst majors loss ever (well, with hindsight, No. 2 outside of his Masters meltdown of 13 years ago.)

Second, per its description, yes, his pace, despite all his talk otherwise, seems to be a problem. It was for the King as well. Besides Palmer's risk-taking, which McIlroy mainly avoided this past week, he too had a rapid pace of play.

To put it another way? Both of Rory's late missed putts were shorter than the one Bryson made.

As for the future?

I think Rory remains snake-bitten at Augusta. He might pull out one more PGA title. The US Open will remain out of reach until he slows himself. The Open? Like the PGA, maybe one more.

So, bet on 5, hold on 6 and bet against the career Grand Slam.

June 21, 2024

Did Peter and Paul get offed internally, by internecine Christian disputes?

Kind of going down the Jesus mythicism route, a Chrissy Hansen appears to be doing Candida Moss (with whom I agree on martyrdoms) on steroids, and claim that 1 Clement talks about internecine Christian battles leading to both Peter and Paul being killed by Christian subgroups.

I think the 1 Clement idea is very interesting, and she even has a video about it. I even think it's plausible. I don't know that it's probable. I'm not saying it's IMprobable, but the OP on this post, talking about it, does raise issues. I've noted elsewhere that I reject traditional dating of 1 Clement, which may be 130-140 CE, so her interpretation, and that of David Eastman to the same end, may be iffy there, too. Eastman offers no suggested date for 1 Clement and appears to accept Tacitus, a very likely interpolation, at face value on Neronian persecution. This started my debate with Ms. Hansen which I have eventually ended. (Also at r/AcademicBiblical, ex-Mormon plumps for a conventional date. Shock, though he does admit the dating I note above, too.)

She also is .... interesting elsewhere. She apparently thinks Shushama Malik is the real deal. I don't. See here for her take. Elsewhere, she gets puffed by KamilGregor, who I don't think a lot of, but, he notes she has NO academic biblical background. See here for publishing CV. Great.

Chrissy Hansen is an example of an independent researcher with no formal degree in Biblical studies and she currently has eight(!) academic publications in Biblical studies listed as forthcoming. In 2022 alone, she managed to publish six journal articles (and in good journals, too).

OK? Not OK. Gregor doesn't disclose that he's a co-author with her at least once. And, given that at least one of the journals is specifically geared to contributions from people with no academic biblical background, how peer-reviewed are they? (One does name Shaye Cohen on the editorial board, but he's one of more than a dozen.) In addition, most are semiannual if not annual. In other words, backwaters. And, as I've written many many pieces about r/AcademicBiblical at my critical thinking blog, "shock me."

As for Malik? Here you go.

The Nero-Antichrist: Founding and Fashioning a Paradigm (Classics after Antiquity)

The Nero-Antichrist: Founding and Fashioning a Paradigm by Shushma Malik
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

A simplistic view of a book that in all likelihood had multiple layers of composition. Assuming an earlier core that was written at the time of Nero, later Christians could have adopted this at the time of Domitian, which is when Nero Redivivus rumors arose.

The author is also illiterate in terms of proper biblical criticism. The word and concept "antichrist" are nowhere mentioned in Revelation. Only the "beast." The word "antichrist," representing a totally different concept, is only in two of John's epistles. And, neither one of those is "the man of lawlessness," found only in 2 Thessalonians. See here for much more detailed discussion.

Beyond my review of Malik, see comments in this archived r/AcademicBiblical thread. 

Academic siloing is sometimes bad, but often good. Shushma Malik is a classicist, not a scholar of biblical interpretation.

And, Chrissy Hansen is neither.

And, she definitely is NOT a "scholar," despite her own claims

Here's a list of the only scholars (and myself) I know who notably interact with Carrier's work

You're not a scholar. I have an undergrad degree in classical languages, which includes biblical as well as classical Greek, and also read biblical Hebrew at that level, and have a graduate theological degree. You're not a scholar, and that's even shown at r/AcademicBiblical, because you have no "flair." See more below.

Next, back to that CV page:

I professionally focus on Creative Writing outside of NT studies. I am currently applying for an MA in Creative Writing, and I hope to eventually teach it. I have edited for creative literature journals and magazines in the past, and I named the “Outstanding SVSU Graduate in Creative Writing” for my work (both in and out of classrooms).

Also, per it, there IS no "Canadian-American Theological Society." There is a CAT Association. Its website is a WordPress blog. I'm sorry, it now says elsewhere on teh Google that it is a society. Big whoop. And, asking people to "advertise with us" on a subvertical? Places like the Society for Biblical Literature never do that.

Back to the not a scholar? S/he (stand by) has no current graduate degree in ANYthing:

I professionally focus on Creative Writing outside of NT studies. I am currently applying for an MA in Creative Writing, and I hope to eventually teach it. I have edited for creative literature journals and magazines in the past, and I named the “Outstanding SVSU Graduate in Creative Writing” for my work (both in and out of classrooms).

And I wasted time arguing with this person. Oh, and shut up.

Carrier? Low-hanging fruit to go after him. No bona fides there. Trying to apply critical thinking while being a polytheist? (Person self-identifies as "pagan," and was from some sort of Methodist or similar background.) "Know thyself" honesty but no critical thinking bona fides.

And, a sidebar .... in the "despite her own claims," the person (not a scholar!) listed is Christopher, not ... Crissy. I'll let you watch the video about 1 Clement. Per many commenters, it's overly long, and presumably fluffed and padded. And, the paganism goes with transgenderism, I guess. No, this person is NOT transsexual, and sex is not gender, and I don't give a fuck what you say, I have Ph.D. biologists and actual critical thinking in my side.

My only question is whether or not to block said person (that's MY pronominal combination) on Reddit.


Note: Political-related issues aside, this is an early version of what expanded into a three-part critique over at my critical thinking site. Part 1 is here.

Science news roundup: RNA, Darwin vs Spencer, more

Very insightful longform piece by Philip Ball, talking about the latest of what we know about "noncoding RNA" being another mechanism of gene control, along with epigenetic tags, and more. This includes microRNA and long-noncodingRNA, among other things, in what is looking more and more like an "RNA revolution."

There's still a LOT to learn, and still lots of pushback against envelope-pushers, but it's all interesting.


Have we been viewing Darwin too much through the filter of Herbert Spencer? This piece, worth a read just for its posited talking point — how the world of humans will, or will not fully, survive a pending climate catastrophe, says yes:

Darwin told us in 1859 that what we had been doing for the last 10,000 or so years was not going to work. But people didn’t want to hear that message. So along came a sociologist who said, “It’s OK; I can fix Darwinism.” This guy’s name was Herbert Spencer, and he said, “I can fix Darwinism. We’ll just call it natural selection, but instead of survival of what’s-good-enough-to-survive-in-the-future, we’re going to call it survival of the fittest, and it’s whatever is best now.” Herbert Spencer was instrumental in convincing most biologists to change their perspective from “evolution is long-term survival” to “evolution is short-term adaptation.” And that was consistent with the notion of maximizing short term profits economically, maximizing your chances of being reelected, maximizing the collection plate every Sunday in the churches, and people were quite happy with this.

Food for thought. As is the next paragraph, which explains why philosopher of science Dan Brooks says we need to get rid of that filter:

Well, fast-forward and how’s that working out? Not very well. And it turns out that Spencer’s ideas were not, in fact, consistent with Darwin’s ideas. They represented a major change in perspective. What Sal and I suggest is that if we go back to Darwin’s original message, we not only find an explanation for why we’re in this problem, but, interestingly enough, it also gives us some insights into the kinds of behavioral changes we might want to undertake if we want to survive.

More food for thought. Brooks uses the term "bottleneck," saying Homo sapiens will survive, but in a way similar indeed to the "bottleneck" that early modern Homo sapiens hit before "out of Africa" became permanent.


Did humans kill off Neanderthals in part with herpes viruses and other viruses? Versions of herpes virus, adenovirus (colds) and papilloma virus were recently found and sequenced in a Neanderthal bone set dated at 50,000 years ago. The "viral death" theory had already been around; this ramps it up.


I knew Lord Kelvin for the Kelvin temperature scale and absolute zero, as well as for his classical physics mis-guess on the age of the Earth. (That said, as radioactivity became known, he adjusted his dating and paid off a bet to Lord Rayleigh, but remained a theistic evolutionist with emphasis on the theistic.) Per this piece, I did not know he was involved with the laying of the transatlantic cable and inventor of a mechanical tide calculator and a number of other maritime instruments and tools.

June 20, 2024

Is Long COVID really THAT bad? Set Lynn Parramore's grift aside

In a story sure to warm the cockles of People's CDC types, this interview claims it is.

Problem? If not entirely, to some degree, it comes off as throwing shit against the wall.

Specifically, blaming the uptick in car crashes on long COVID, rather than the pandemic increasing people's driving recklessness without a later decrease, yet more larger pickups and SUVs on the road, etc. In other words, like other pieces by the People's CDC and fellow travelers, no nuance.

Other problems abound. The interviewee, Philip Alvelda, has a "Dr." in front of his name, but he ain't an MD. Nor is his PhD in virology or similar. He does have two, but one is electrical engineering and the other computer science.

Likewise, interviewer Lynn Parramore has a doctorate, but in her case, the subject isn't even disclosed. Guessing, by the rest of her bio, though, that if not in semiotics (the study of signs and significations in languages) it's somewhere else in literary theory.

The website? Well, "economics" is the main part of the URL! Not "medicine." And, per its "about,"

We are economists and thinkers from a range of disciplines who challenge conventional wisdom and advance ideas to better serve society.

Uhh, yeah.

So, no, contra one other Tweeter on Sunday, this is not a "must" for all mass media to be covering.

And, any site that has both Naomi Oreskes and Jonathan Haidt featured up front will be "interesting." That said, in a lot of cases, sites like this just get some academic's research assistant to grok, give the boss a 30-second nutgraf, and get them to sign off their name. I highly doubt the site's 1,655 (and counting?) experts really, for the most part, have the time to give it the time of day. In addition, in some cases, such sites may try to act like interviewing gatekeepers.

And, Parramore couldn't find a single expert on the medical and epidemiological issues among those 1,655? Interesting, it's not her first long COVID article for the site. Three guesses as to the interviewee in the previous one and the first two don't count. I officially call shenanigans.

Meanwhile, it's probably time to post the Worldometers link again and remind open-minded people there is no new surge.

Did Bibi not take an Israeli history class in high school?

I mean, his blanket refusal to negotiate period with Hamas is, beyond being genocidal and warmongering.

It's also plain stupid.

And full of crap.

Per the rhetorical question in the header, James Dorsey gets at the details.

He mentions, as have other news and opinion outlets, Netanyahu's statement that no, Israel won't "occupy" Gaza in nine months or so (his projected date for the end of the war), won't get involved in guerilla warfare, etc.

He then mention's Bib's oft-stated plan to have some Palestinian administer Gaza after those nine months or whatever.


What fucking planet do you live on?

Even more likely than the likelihood of Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy being assassinated if he actually tried to implement the Minsk Accords (in 2019, let alone today), any Palestinian who volunteered to run Israel's toxic inferno in Gaza would be a walking dead man.

And, per the high school history class part of the rhetorical question?

It was long after he graduated high school, of course, but ...


I mean, as The Times of Israel reported just after Oct. 7, 2023, Bibi was involved personally with puffing up Hamas as a counterweight to the Palestinian Authority. This idea has that stupidity written all over it.

But, that's not new. At the Intercept, Mehdi Hasan has the full backstory in a 2018 story:

“When I look back at the chain of events, I think we made a mistake,” David Hacham, a former Arab affairs expert in the Israeli military who was based in Gaza in the 1980s, later remarked. “But at the time, nobody thought about the possible results.”

"They never do, do they?" Hasan himself said right after that as the last sentence of the story. 

I think there's one other issue. I don't know what the Israeli Hebrew phrase is for "Irish Alzheimer's," but Bibi makes #GenocideJoe look like a piker on that.

June 19, 2024

Israel-related international news roundup

Next up for Israel's genocide-glinting eyes? Trying to take out Hezbullah in Lebanon. French President Macron wants a peaceful (or more peaceful, we should say) alternative, but Israel refuses. The fact that it's Yoav Gallant making that rejection means he will NOT follow Benny Gantz out of Bibi's Cabinet. And, #GenocideJoe, if he does anything, will blabber about another red line that he will then let Bibi break without consequence.

Meanwhile, Bibi has dissolved his war cabinet after Gantz and two observer-level allies walked out. NBC, showing how bad the MSM is on Israel-Palestine issues, called Gantz a "centrist" in its cabinet story.

British PM Rishi Sunak and his Tories face "extinction," according to British polls. Sadly, Labour is led by Keir Starmer, known as Der Starmer in these parts for his support of Zio-fascism.

Apple hates Palestinians and it starts with CEO Tim Cook.

About that pending new 'Liberal Party'

I had originally scheduled this as the next presidential news roundup, but with all the focus on one potential new political party, shifted to it being just about that.

Via Independent Political Report, a "Liberal Party," long rumored, the work of Ye Olde Tyme Libertarians fed up with the Mises Mice, will officially meet in Houston in December. Per links off that link, this has roots going back to 2022, when the NM LP disaffiliated from LP National, which in turn disaffiliated it back.

As for the logo? Not sure why on a bison. Hope of resurgence? Or is that an already-extinct aurochs? More on the party here.

More related background, vis-a-vis this year's election cycle, can be seen in my update from two weeks ago.

George Phillies has more at Third Party Watch, which directly ties to my update of June 6. He notes that Liberal Party organizers at first thought the nomination of Chase Oliver, a non-Mouse, was bad for the movement. But, LP chair Angela McAwful giving him only a conditional endorsement in "blue" states (interesting for a third-party leader to fall into duopoly-speak), and the Montana LP saying we won't back him, gives them new light. 

There is funniness at that link, too. Some of the Liberal Party's would-be organizers claim that Mice shadowed them last month at the LP national convention. IMO, paranoia is second to a fondness for lawsuits as a requirement to be a good Libertarian. And, near the end of that Phillies piece, within the current LP at least, at least some are loading up their lawsuit guns further.

As for the name? Yes, as made explicit at 3PW, it's an appeal to the classical liberal tradition. Well, in the US, to the degree that had any footage, it died with the old Whig Party. In Europe, which is what the "classical liberal" appeal often looks to, William Gladstone died well over a century ago and the Liberal Party died a flat 100 years ago, notwithstanding its anemic LDP successor, as I told IPR.

In the US? The Whig Party died before the Civil War and anyway, since it favored a high protective tariff, wasn't really classical liberal in any case.

Back to that name, and three other problems with it.

First, being "classical liberals" doesn't guarantee a party free of bigotry. Look at "classical liberal" racist Andrew Sullivan.

Second, whether party founders are more elitist, more effitist or a mix of both, I don't know. They are something in that ballpark, though, and this is where branding and perceptions will hurt them. The Mice will play off that to look like "blue collar libertarians," I'm sure.

Third, IPR comment nutter "Nuña" gets the idea but thinks that both the LP and the Liberals are quasi-leftist. He gets FAR MORE nutter on Ballot-Access's posting of IPR's link. So do others, like Pig Farmer, sometimes halfway reasonable there, getting nostalgic for Lester Maddox.

I am curious how Texas Libertarians respond to this.

Given this news release during the LP National Convention strongly opposing Trump being there (don't forget McAwful lives right here in Tex-ass), I would say the Texas LP will at least kick the tires on the Liberal Party.

June 18, 2024

Noam Chomsky, tribalism, social media herd behavior, friendship and self-owns

Well, it looks very much like Noam Chomsky is not dead yet.

And, per all the things in the header above after his name, that's what happened.

A herd of Twitter blue check types, many rushing to show just how close they are to Noam Chomsky, rushed to get pieces out online before somebody else did, as proof of closeness.

And then had it blow up in their faces. (I bit a degree myself, after I saw enough of these claims, but by the time Wiki had posted a "cautionary note" at the top of Chomsky's page, I was already pulling back, as I'd not seen an official newspaper-type obituary. And, to be honest, the reason I bit was because I was posting a "takedown" obit and didn't want to get lost in the blizzard of hagiography before it was too late. And, I've reposted that actual takedown to a date ahead [hopefully I will remember to push it back again if needed] and already added yet more information to it.)

And, the "blow up in their faces" is made more schadenfreud-ic (I'll invent that) by Glennwald, the odious and oily Glenn Greenwald, presumably obsequious enough to Chomsky to suck him in, was one of the first pushbacks against the largely leftist contingent of eulogizers. Posted at r/Chomsky, in case Glennwald has you blocked like me. (On the r/Chomsky subreddit, there was a fair chunk of comments about how he, Chomsky, not Greenwald, was always good about defending right-wing authoritarians. I think that overstates the case, but isn't necessarily totally off the mark on reality, and certainly not on the empirical basis of such perceptions.)

Oh, reminder for people at r/Chomsky and elsewhere? Glenn ain't a leftist, but in Brazil, he and David Miranda are/were not only economic elite 1 percenters, they're almost surely real elite 0.1 percenters. And, yes, Glennwald's fanbois will try to spin that one, too.

It's kind of sad on two counts. First, of course, the "sadly" of Chomsky and Greenwald cozying up, surely enhanced or exacerbated by his second wife, Valeria Wasserman, getting him to move to Brazil after their 2014 marriage. Indeed, after he was "stable" after his 2023 massive stroke, as soon as possible, she got him moved back out of US medical care. So, that Glenn-Noam "coziness" only increased, AFAIK, after he moved to Brazil and his second marriage.

Sidebar: Is Wasserman acting like Clarke Abbey to Ed Abbey, a "gatekeeper" to his legacy (and possible bucks off that)?

So, do NOT "bring out your dead" if they're still alive.

Sad on the other part is people like former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis rushing to publish encomia online as if to prove that they were in Chomsky's inner circle and ..

If anything, prove they were not.

And, while Varoufakis might himself try to run and hide on Twitter, the Wayback Machine makes sure his New Statesman piece is still there for all of us to see. Will Jacobin and others also have been captured? We shall see. I left up my original "I bit," along with most of the content, and added a NOT in front of the header and moved on. Jacobin appears to have edited its original, but did it do so soon enough?

Worse? This gives the Glennwalds of the world and, even more, their fanbois, another cudgel of "fake news" to swing. They're already doing it.

And, per paragraph No. 4 above? When Chomsky actually dies, we'll probably, to riff on The Holy Grail, get a non-ironic Brave Sir Noam, a la Brave Sir Robin but meant seriously.)

And, the Varoufakises and Jacobin publishers of the world probably still won't peek behind the curtain. Just as nobody who was responsible for claiming, then spreading the claim, of Chomsky's death is going to fess up. Professional leftism is incestuous.

NOT so #RIP on Noam Chomsky the duopolist, backdoor Zionist and dated intellectual

This isn't going to be as fierce of a takedown obit as I did on Ruth Bader Ginsburg, aka the Notorious RBG, aka here, the Neoliberal RBG, a few years ago. (And, yes, as of 3 p.m. CDT here in the USofA, he may be, per Monty Python, "not quite dead" yet. But, re the stroke that hit him last year? If he's speechless and communicative only by body gestures, to go "meta" on linguistics issues, there's no way of knowing how much of the world he understands anyway. And, to go quantum-meta, maybe whether he's dead or not depends on who's observing. Schrödinger's Chomsky, anybody?)

But, per the header, and, on the idea that he is dead, there's that issue staring us in the face. And, the two others that I added to the original.

Update, 4:10 p.m. CDT:

Noam appears quite alive, even if, per his stroke, how "alive" is he? (Is his second wife acting like Clarke Abbey to Ed Abbey, a legacy-protector, and legacy-hawker, as much as anything? And, sadly, one of the early push-backs on the "he's dead" came from Glennwald; the sadly is the degree to which Chomsky cozied up to Greenwald, which only increased, AFAIK, after he moved to Brazil and his second marriage.

So, do NOT "bring out your dead" if they're still alive.

Anyway, he's still, dead, alive or undead, a duopolist and a backdoor Zionist.

And, we now have the issue of egg on your face, tribalism, and questions of who's a Chomsky insider these days and who's not. I tackle all of that.

Noam shoved it in the political public intellectuals' faces four years ago when he cosigned a public letter telling Green Party presidential nominee Howie Hawkins to "run a safe states strategy." Hawkins told him, Barbara Ehrenreich (a Maoist duopolist!) and others, politely, to STFU, after first critiquing their errors and bad assumptions. I doubled down on the STFU and the critique of the thought behind it. 

Worse? None of these duopoly sheepdoggers offered Hawkins any quid pro quo.

But, that was nothing new for Noam, who, to be honest, was a hypocrite. I mean, you have to be, to offer near-blanket condemnations of US foreign policy under presidents of both duopoly parties, rightful condemnations of human rights violations and more, and then go sheepdogging, even as a Hillbot in 2016, and then getting somewhat self-righteous after 2016 election day. Chomsky refused to look at Democrats' Overton-window shifting, which, on foreign policy, has seen the chickens come home to roost with #GenocideJoe after Oct. 7, 2023. (It may have been in part due to health issues, but Chomsky seeing the chickens come home to roost himself had been pretty quiet in the past 8 months.)

That said, even in 2012, he couldn't bring himself to talk about third-party candidates. But, he did like Democrat in DSA Rosey clothes Bernie Sanders.


Speaking of? Noam has been chickenshit on BDS, as Mondoweiss details. Refusing to support the Right of Return is chickenshit 101, and yes, it's backdoor Zionism. (And, in turn, it probably ties back to his duopoly sheepdogging.) Beyond that, the idea that Israel breaks international law on other issues anyway, so, we are asking for something that won't happen anyway, is Zionism 202. Imagine if, on the United States, somebody had told that to Chomsky as justification for not pushing for UN resolutions about the US.

Here's the nutgraf, down at the bottom, of that piece:

But perhaps Professor Chomsky’s strangest statement of all, a rather terrifying statement on the face of it, is that “There is no reason to expect Israel to accept a Palestinian population it does not want.” There you have it, all condensed into one sentence, an admission that Israel is a racially predicated state and that the rights of the Palestinians themselves must remain subservient to it. There is no reason to expect a settler nation to accept the people whose land it took. Everything is framed in terms of what Israel wants, or what Israel will or will not agree to. Is this the same Noam Chomsky whose Manufacturing Consent and Fateful Triangle sit on my bookshelf?

That's Noam Chomsky, folks. (Per the first segment, above, let's not forget that St. Bernard of Sanders is also anti-BDS. No wonder Chomsky puffed him as a smokescreen to hide the fact that he was at bottom line still a duopoly guy.)

I had glanced at that Mondoweiss piece a few years back, when trying to run to ground just how much off the wall (I knew they were at least somewhat off the wall) Margaret Kimberly's claims about Chomsky were. (His death will probably bring some more of that out of the woodwork.) But, I looked at it in more depth today when I saw Chomsky trending on Twitter and the first claims that he had passed away. Noam really does not look very good in that piece, even with his "nuances."

Side note: Per his Wiki bio, in the late 1930s, he considered moving to a kibbutz in then-Mandatory Palestine. And, a newspaper in Brazil, where he moved to a few years ago, says he did live on a kibbutz in 1953. So, his later "backdoor Zionism" was of a piece. (And, we can't even blame Leon Uris' "Exodus," or the movie, which I do blame in part, and semi-seriously, for Biden's stance.)

And, people on the r/Chomsky subreddit didn't like me calling him a backdoor Zionist.

Is it any wonder he was a duopoly sheepdogger?

Interesting side note: In an old interview with Al Jazeera, Chomsky notes that Israeli leaders, including Bibi, would usually ultimately, at least on the surface, fall in line when a US president staked out a certain stance. That stopped with Obama, he says. But, Chomsky doesn't seem to ponder the likely Israeli racism behind that.


Dated intellectual?

Yes, part 1 ties with the above. Here's a brief rundown of his other foreign policy pulled-punch stances.

But, we've already covered that.

Sidebar: He came off as clueless (and in hindsight, was he having mental problems?) when he suggested, three months after Putin's invasion of Ukraine, that Trump would be a great peace negotiator.


Let's look at part 2. He was also a dated intellectual on linguistics. The brain is not massively modular, and that was known long ago. But, as far as I know, Chomsky never updated his theories of language and linguistics, but just moved on. The idea of a universal grammar was also put on at least somewhat tentative grounds.

He also, as I note there, got lucky to attack behaviorism publicly on the issue of language development just as it was already caving in. And, by presenting his thoughts as what seemed to be the only option?

Chomsky also was ...

A duopolist on theories of language. No wonder he moved on.

In reality, many of his ideas have been out of date, or at least partially out of date, for 30 years or more. If behavioralism overstate external influences on language development, his quasi-Ev Psych ideas (it's why people like Steve Pinker ran with his "massive modularity" ideas about the brain) understated said influences, and understated both how classical neo-Darwinian evolution could produce gradual, graduated language development, especially in conjunction with cultural evolution.

Beyond that? Carl Zimmer reports that new research indicates language evolved primarily for communication, and NOT for thinking. Fun sidebar? This is another overturning of Chomsky's claims about language. (I can't say "research," since Chomsky did basically none.) Also, this would tie in with people like Michael Corballis stressing cultural evolution's role in the development of language.



So, non-rhetorically like Marc Antony, I came to bury Chomsky, not to praise him.

And, I have saved an even broader version of this in the hopper, post-dated enough that I can pull out out of storage for when he actually dies, when "the icy hand of death" grips him.

Texas Progressives talk abortion, elections, more

So, alt-white wingnuts, the True Texas Project, schedule conference for next month in Cowtown, at city-owned Botanic Gardens. Multiple speakers say they were unaware of full agenda and other speakers, including the alt-whites. They cancel. Organizers pull the plug, even while the Botanic Garden says we won't host this racialist dreck. Then? TTP lawyers approach City of Fort Worth, which says "it's back on." That said, the people claiming they were unaware? Like Todd Bensman at the Center for Immigration Studies, which itself has a racist and eugenicist past? Not buying it.

Off the Kuff reminds you that your school district's budget crunch is Greg Abbott's fault

SocraticGadfly talks about Mark Lee Dickson's abortion sanctuary city lies and grift

Stace, offers his memories of Tejano Pioneer Johnny Canales, who passed away last week.

If there were a hell, Paul Pressler would have headed straight to it with his death last week. Sadly, there isn't, and still-living Southern Baptist enablers of him won't go there either.

Gilberto Hinojosa, skipper of the SS Texas Dem Minnow, has plenty of clueless Gilligans with him if party leaders think they can flip the state House over school vouchers. Reason No. 944 Texas Dems have remained in a statewide majority for more than 25 years and counting.

Who might buy Infowars now that Alex Jones is being forced to sell? No. 1 on the list of possibles Dan Solomon considers is a rich nutbar like Elmo Musk. Would Musk do it himself? Roger Stone says he's trying to put together a consortium. Other possibilities are more off the wall.

What is there to say about the Supreme Court calling unconstitutional the ATF action banning bump stocks even though even the NRA liked it at the time?

Well, there's the Supreme Court decision essentially letting Team Biden lie to Ill Eagles about court dates.

Eric Johnson doubles down on being a junior wingnut, all while refusing to talk about his city of Dallas losing population.

Neil at Houston Democracy Project said it is a given Houston’s many license plate monitor cameras will be used for repression in an each-day more conceivable authoritarian situation. (Yeah, not that likely, no matter what the ACLU says; at least that one wasn't as stupid as last week.)

 The Bloggess has another Laura Perea update.  

In the Pink would have had some good questions for Martha-Ann Alito, too. 

 Texas 2036 answers your questions about our electric grid. Sort of. Nuclear's not an answer, and small nuclear even less so. Plus, any article that fails to mention Tex-ass was once part of the national grid, fails to suggest that now, and fails to talk about why it's not so is a fail.

The Fort Worth Report eulogizes legendary Fort Worth ISD coach Robert Hughes, the winningest coach in U.S. high school boys basketball history. 

Scott Braddock congratulates Dan Patrick and Ken Paxton for handing Donald Trump "one of the most embarrassing losses of his political career". 

The new CityCast Austin podcast talks to Shanisha Johnson, the public relations and volunteer coordinator for Central Texas Juneteenth, and to Evil MoPac about Cybertrucks.

June 17, 2024

Recent SCOTUS updates vs BlueAnon

Our newest Supreme Court justice got a bit of hagiography treatment last week.

As pictured at left, the details of that photo will be explained near the bottom.

All nine justices, essentially, threw the National Labor Relations Board under the bus in its attempt to intervene to block the firing of Starbucks employees by trying to obtain an injunction against that.

Yes, all nine. Apparently, BlueAnon reading comprehension isn't perfect:

"JACKSON, J., filed an opinion concurring in part, dissenting in part, and concurring in the judgment."

"Concurring in the judgment" is pretty clear by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Look, if you want to save face by calling it 8-0-1 because she would have used a different "fork" in the process, OK, I'll give you that. But, 8-1, it was NOT. As I told one person on Twitter, she may be the best current justice, but, as a non-duopoly leftist, I don't have to put her on a pedestal.

And, I quote from her CONCURRENCE:

I agree with the majority that nothing in the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) clearly strips courts of their equitable discretion to determine whether to issue a so-called §10(j) injunction. And I concur in the conclusion that we should vacate and remand for the Sixth Circuit to reevaluate this case under our traditional four-factor test for assessing requests for preliminary injunctions. But I cannot join the majority in ignoring the choices Congress has made in the NLRA about how courts should exercise their discretion in light of the National Labor Relations Board’s authority over labor disputes.

Seems pretty clear here, namely, that she's disagreeing about that "fork" in how the court got to this point, contra the BlueAnon who called me obtuse. Mark Joseph Stern at Slate and others also called it 8-1 and are also wrong. Shock me. 

To put it another way? I'm not a lawyer, but I am a journalist and I know how to read English.

Not being an open BlueAnon, Ronald Mann at SCOTUSBlog knows how to read. And, his last graf, quoting from her, actually shows how she punted:

Jackson joined her colleagues in the decision to send the case back to the lower court for reevaluation under the four-factor test. But she differed on the court’s conclusion about the likelihood-of-success factor. Thomas’s opinion, she wrote, ignored Congress’s “clear and comprehensive” directives in the NLRA on how courts should exercise discretion when it comes to the NLRB’s authority over labor disputes. “Unfortunately,” she wrote, “today’s decision appears to be another installment in a series of labor cases in which this Court has failed ‘to heed Congress’s intent.’” And in what may come to ring like a theme for the term, Jackson closed by saying, “I am loath to bless this aggrandizement of judicial power where Congress has so plainly limited the discretion of the courts, and where it so clearly intends for the expert agency it has created to make the primary determinations.”

You may be "loath to agree," but .... YOU DID!

"Law Dork" Chris Geidner also got it wrong at Substack. When I restacked his piece with a note, he didn't like being called a "BlueAnon" and responded. I replied that, regardless of his real or coy denials of being a BlueAnon, he still got it wrong.

I quote from him:

In Starbucks v. McKinney, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson continued her role from last term of eagerly being the sole justice standing up forcefully in protection of labor rights.
Last term, she issued a solo dissent about the essential nature of “the right to strike.”
This term, on Thursday, she issued a solo partial dissent...

Geidner didn't get it AS wrong as Stern, but "solo partial dissent" is still not right, in my book. Per that big pull quote, if she really thought the wrong "fork" was being used on review, and on how that affected the likelihood of success, she would have done a full dissent. PBS, after all, notes that the ruling "tightened the standards." They weren't alone. CNN's header said "makes it harder." LA Times: "Limits power to protect ..."

(Update: Steve Vladeck [shock] also got it wrong.)

Again, if Jackson REALLY had a problem, she would have done a FULL dissent. Period.

Side note: I am also of raised eyebrows over the "KBJ" meme on Twitter. I know where that's coming from; it's a riff on the overrated, BlueAnon cult legend Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Barf me.

And, in celebration of this? The mugshot up top? Via one of those free "morpher" websites, it's KBJ morphed into RBG. Notoriously morphed.


The mifepristone ruling? Was it simply a dodge to rule unanimously (against Matthew Kacsmaryk) on the standing issue, as Slate (and likely other BlueAnon outfits) claim? I think not. I think that the nine will smack the Fifth Circuit or whomever even harder if they don't toss the state AGs' parallel action on standing grounds as well. Tis true that Kavanaugh, in his opinion for everybody but the concurring Thomas, did leave some doors open. But, even with that, he only left the door open for challenges to the FDA's second, and expanded, 2021 approval beyond the original 2016 approval.

That said, we once again have Slate saying, but, but. That's for political campaigning, advertising or other dinero and eyeball reasons. Don't be fooled.


In the "even a blind hog occasionally finds an acorn" moment, Larry Tribe, he of 2A flip-flopping, thinks the egregious fees justices are taking for things like foreign travel leaves them open to removal from office on "good behavior" grounds.

But, he ignores one problem. Outside of impeachment, the Constitution specifies no other mechanism for removal enforcement.