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, HoustonChronicle.com ($$$) - 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.
http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/astros/article/Astros-down-Rays-as-early-lead-holds-up-11722095.php - 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.