Texas Weather Ripoff

First todays weather:

Freezing Austin records biggest 24-hour temperature swing ever: 56-degree drop from 88 to 32

And then this bombshell from the Houston Chronicle. So the Guv funneled billions to the oil and gas (mostly gas) folks as Texans were freezing to death in their homes. And this guy is probably going to be re-elected.

Ex-ERCOT chief says Abbott directed freeze blackouts to stop before decision to run up billions in bills

More First Amendment Attacks in Texas

The far-right, especially in Texas, loves it’s Second Amendment. First Amendment is another story. Top legislatures in the state are setting up a far-right “institute” inside the walls of UT Austin. The goals and descriptions keep shifting, with this yesterday.

“I will not stand by and let looney Marxist UT professors poison the minds of young students with Critical Race Theory,” Patrick wrote on the social media platform Twitter. “We banned it in publicly funded K-12 and we will ban it in publicly funded higher ed. That’s why we created the Liberty Institute at UT.”

Looney indeed. Hey Jay Hartsell, what’s the heck is going on over there?

UT faculty members demand answers after Dan Patrick says Liberty Institute intended to fight critical race theory

Update (2/22/2022):. UT President Jay Hartsell responds. I have to point out this is just days (or was it hours?) after Hartzell went along with this right-wing UT think tank scheme.

UT Austin President Jay Hartzell defends faculty tenure after Lt. Gov. Patrick proposes to end it at all public universities

Blood Meridian

One of my favorite books is Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. This Los Angeles Review of Books article points out something about the west, and Texas in particular that I did not appreciate.

Texas’s true origin story is one of conquest. White settlers arrived in Tejas en masse, often with coffles of slaves, provoking conflicts with Mexico. They fought their war of independence partly because Mexico abolished slavery and the incoming settlers preferred independence or American statehood to Mexican control.

Crossing the Blood Meridian: Cormac McCarthy and American History

Inflation Concerns

There is lots of discussion about “inflation” these days. Inflation here is taken to mean rising prices. Of course, we have seen the prices of lots of things rise at ridiculous amounts over the years. I’m thinking of things like health care and education, which have gone up dramatically compared to people’s average earnings.

The other part of the inflation equation is wages. This leads to the famous Wage Price Spiral. Of course, lots of wages have gone up quite a bit over the years. I’m thinking of CEO wage inflation here. Nobody has been concerned about that.

So to be more specific, the inflation fear being discussed is that the average American workers are going to make more money and this could increase prices for the things they want to buy. The solution? Raise interest rates, put people out of work and make sure wages stop rising. If you want to know why wages in the US, at least at the bottom end, stagnated for the last few decades you have to look no further than this Fed policy, championed by Libertarian stalwarts like Alan Greenspan. Robert Reich explains it better than I can.

The Fed is about to raise interest rates and shaft American workers – again