Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Presumptuous Blogging: Things you should (Or shouldn't) read. (08/09/2017)

Yesterday ESPN changed ESPNU to ESPN 8 "The Ocho" 13 years too late.

And I missed it.

If Patrick Wants to Demonize Cities, Should he Enjoy their Amenities? Lisa Falkenberg. ($$$) - Where the former teen columnists makes a juvenile argument against Dan "The Man Who Would be King" Patrick.

I'm no fan of Patrick, but criticism such as this just isn't helpful.  It's clear here that Patrick's criticism is leveled solidly at the Democratic ruling classes of big cities, not the people that live in them.  Flip this around a bit and you'll see how stupid this argument is: "If Lisa Falkenberg wants to Demonize Trump's America, should she be allowed to live in it?"  These are arguments that children, not serious political thinkers, make.

Houston Should Make Batteries to Continue as Global Energy Capitol. Chris Tomlinson. ($$$) - It's a blessing that these are hidden behind the paywall, because there is some dodgy logic here.

With each column he writes it becomes pretty obvious that Austin-based Chris Tomlinson is not really a "business columnist", in fact he doesn't really "get" business at all.  He especially doesn't understand the energy industry and shouldn't really write about it.  1950's style manufacturing of batteries is NOT going to keep Houston at the cutting edge of energy. Nor is the oil and gas industry all that likely to go away even IF the personal transportation fleet moves to electrical.  Petroleum, lest we forget, is necessary for plastics manufacturing and natural gas, lest we forget, is key to cheap energy production.  Houston's going to be just fine.

Sylvester Turner's Salary far Exceeds Mayoral Colleagues. Charles Blain, Empower Texans. - It's GOOD to be in Houston's ruling class.

Turner, a career back-bench legislator in State politics, waited his whole life to become Mayor of Houston and his limitations are on increasing display.  Cronyism, fealty to long-time political patrons and a dearth of actual ideas are defining his administration.

Fit Mom Maria Kang criticizes plus-size model Tess Holiday on body positivity. Yahoo! - Ugly people bickering with uglier people.

We often make the mistake of judging beauty based solely on physical appearance. What we often forget is that one's attitude, and how we generally treat people is a better indicator.  From this perspective this spat is a bunch of ugly people screaming at one another for attention.  We should not give it to them. (In fact, I will not mention them again, only to point this out).  In fact, It's high-time we stop paying attention to ANYONE who is famous simply for being famous. (Good bye Kardashians, and anyone whose career is "Instagram Model")

Scientists fear Trump will dismiss blunt Climate Change Report. Lisa Friedman, NY Times - WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!

The problem with the entire climate change 'movement' is that they don't actually have any workable ideas how to 'fix' an intractable issue, they just want taxes, more money for 'research' and lump-sum cash payments to Al Gore's investment group.  My novel idea is this:  Instead of trying to figure out how to "prevent" something over which we likely have negligible control we had damn-sure better start figuring out how to DEAL with the problem.  I'll say it again: Pollution is a good place to start, because I'm more worried about it than I am Climate Change.

Lena Dunham and Google Demonstrate why our Free Speech Culture is Slipping Away. David French. National Review. - Except that neither of these issues really involves free speech.

"Congress shall make no law". Notice that it didn't say "Google" or "Very bad people who are famous for writing a television show of dubious quality".  What speech private companies choose to police from their employees is NOT a free speech issue. Lena Dunham making up a story about two American Airlines employees having a transphobic talk (as people do) and reporting it to their employer is NOT a free speech issue. Do I agree with Google or Dunham?  Of course not. Google is a damn menace and Dunham is an ugly (see above) mean-spirited liar.

and finally.....

Tillerson: Trump's 'tough talk' aims to send a message to North Korea. Doina Chiacu, US News & World Report - Fighting back against Un.

For some reason (my theory, they're functional idiots) many Democrats in elected positions have suddenly discovered the North Korea issue and are trying to erase 50 some-odd years of erratic behavior to make it seem as if Trump is the root cause of all this.  Lest we forget, Obama speant 8 years ignoring the issue and the US has been overall clueless how to deal with the world's premier "rogue state" since the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement.  Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it and all of that jazz.  We are truly governed by the least among us and I'm afraid it's going to jump up and bite us in the ass.

Then again, we get the government we deserve....

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Presumptuous Blogging (Things you should, or shouldn't read) 08/01/2017

It's been almost eight months since I've taken a deep-dive into the media of the moment. Given the amount of mis-information that's floating around right now I think it's time to, once again, cut through the clutter.

Big Oil, Houston Execs, Urge Governor to Flush Bathroom Bill. Mike Ward et al. HoustonChronicle ($$$) - This is your almost daily reminder that the TLSPM HATES Big Oil and Big Business, unless they don't.

The fact is that the debate around the so-called "bathroom bill" has become an unhealthy obsession for many. Not only are Patrick's Potty Principles probably unneeded, but they're being actively argued against by the 'other side' in dishonest terms.  I'm not a fan of the bill but I don't think it's necessarily a 'hate bill' either.  People who say that are just as silly as the people pushing the bill as some milestone of public safety.  A more sober analysis would suggest to let the bill die and allow the free market to work it out. Already there are some companies choosing to allow anyone to choose any bathroom they wish with mixed results.

What if the South had won the Civil War? USA Today - This would be the only way the South could rise again.  On television.

This is a story that I would like to be told.  I think it would be interesting and thought-provoking. Unfortunately I'm worried that both American Society and the American Ruling Class are not mature enough to have it told to them.  We already live in a world where people look to entertainers for political guidance, a move that is as stupid as many of the actors themselves.  We have a long history in this World of confusing the ability to play a role with actual subject knowledge. 

Why I will not become a Democrat. Chris Ladd, Forbes - A good piece that outlines pretty much everything wrong with the Democratic Party.

I'm not a historic fan of Ladd, who spent most of his time railing on Republicans BEFORE they went off the rails and only seems somewhat reasonable now when they've actually gone off the rails in a wave of populism and authoritarian leanings.  That said, I agree with him on two points: 1. A thinking conservative cannot, in good conscious, follow THIS GOP. 2. A thinking conservative cannot, under any circumstances, align themselves with a Democratic Party who, in many ways, is even worse.  I'm unsure where the safe landing zone is however.  So for now I'm nothing more than a non-voting observer.

Top Venezuelan Opposition Leaders Taken Into Custody Amid Fears of Wider Crackdowns. Anthony Faiola, Washington Post - This is what REAL Authoritarianism looks like.

I posted, much earlier in the year, that the USA was an authoritarian country, by that I meant that what the citizenry really wants is to have their ideals forced on others.  What we're seeing in Venezuela is real, jack-boot authoritarianism of the type the courtesan class in America only imagines for itself.  The next time you hear a functional-idiot politician screaming about American authoritarianism from the Trump administration show them this and send them back to their room.

Defund Planned Parenthood? Texas Shows What Happens. Vernon Loeb, HoustonChronicle ($$$) - That's all well and good except that the article doesn't make the case Loeb thinks it does.

All Loeb demonstrates is that Planned Parenthood is hurt when they lose Federal Funding. The "other" clinics that closed were not affected by that in the slightest, and it's disingenuous to suggest that a non-PP clinic closing is any kind of a direct result of a PP defunding.  The idea that "what's bad for PP is bad for Texas" is a tenuous theory with no evidence that has been solidly swallowed by the TLSPM.  In that vein, you have to give Cecile Richards some credit. She's successfully leveraged the outsized myth of her Mother in the minds of the TLSPM to convince them to accept her side of the story without question.

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and the Paid Pakistani IT scammers. Andrew C. McCarthy - What should be a HUGE political scandal, but isn't.

This feels like a big deal.  And it encompasses many Democratic Senators and Representatives, all who paid out-sized salaries to these people who were possibly funneling the money to anti-US interests in Pakistan, and possibly stealing US secrets to boot.  Not-amazingly, the media has gone silent on this. While the Washington Post likes to tell you that "Democracy Dies in Darkness" they've made it pretty clear that there's only one type of Democracy that they're worried about killing off. Also, in a sane world Wasserman-Schultz wouldn't be able to win an election for dog-catcher.

Metro re-thinking shared rail lanes downtown. Dug Begley, ($$$) - You might be about to lose even MORE traffic lanes in Downtown Houston.

On another note, it appears that Houston has officially ceded all of it's transportation planning to Metro board member Christof Spieler. This is the man that is responsible for the terrible "reimagining' of bus service that has deprived many who were transit dependent of bus service in lieu of making Metro a ride-share service for the upper-middle class. The simple fact is that Metro Houston is NOT working, MetroRail is suffering, ridership is down and now the agency claims they want to bring the same level of service to the suburbs.  Generally I approve of 'outside-in' transit service but I think new leadership is needed at this organization desperately before they mess that up as well.

And finally..... - Current Lead: 16 games.

While I'm worried about the pitching of the Astros I'm not as concerned, as some, about their inability to land a front-line starter at the trade deadline.  I saw a graphic last night that the team was 7-7 over their last 14 games. In my mind the goal for the team should be to get the damn roster healthy.  The best "additions" to the Astros right now would be a healthy Carlos Correa, a healthy Lance McCullers, and a healthy and dealing Dallas Keuchel.  I still think the Astros have the best lineup in the major leagues. I think they will go far in the playoffs if the pitching staff they have can round into good health by the playoffs.