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PUC Chair resigns

The body count increases.

The chairwoman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the agency that regulates the state’s electric, telecommunication, and water and sewer utilities, resigned Monday, according to a resignation letter provided to the Texas Tribune.

The Gov. Greg Abbott-appointed commission came under public criticism in the aftermath of Texas’ power crisis that left millions of people in the dark for days and claimed the lives of dozens.

On Monday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called for PUC chairwoman DeAnn Walker and Electric Reliability Council of Texas CEO Bill Magness to resign.

[…]

Lawmakers began to call on the commissioners to resign Thursday after hearing testimony from Walker, who took little responsibility for the crisis during the house and senate committee hearings on the power outages. Rep. Jared Patterson, R-Frisco, wrote on Twitter that he has “zero confidence” in her after the Thursday hearings and that she “must” resign.

Walker came under fire during questioning for not doing more to prevent the crisis from occurring. Lawmakers probed how much information she had on whether the state’s power system could withstand winter storms, and questioned why she didn’t raise concerns about the possibility of outages sooner.

Walker, during her testimony to lawmakers last week, largely deflected blame to ERCOT and Magness, who testified in front of state senators on Thursday before Walker did.

“You know, there’s a lot of things Bill said about our authority over them that I simply disagree that that’s how it’s actually playing out in real life,” Walker told lawmakers.

But lawmakers countered that she leads the regulatory agency with the oversight of the power sector: “When you say you don’t have authority,” said state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, “I’ve got you down as a pretty powerful person.”

Walker said the commission has “not been given legal authority by the Legislature to require winter weatherization,” a primary concern after the power crisis was precipitated by power plants tripping offline. Many power generators are not built to withstand extreme cold weather temperatures in Texas.

Walker deflected blame to ERCOT, the entity her agency oversees, and added of winterization: “It costs a lot of money.”

In her resignation letter to Gov. Abbott, Walker said she was resigning because she believed it to be in the best interest of the state. She also pushed back on criticisms that she did not take responsibility for the outages.

“I testified last Thursday in the Senate and House and accepted my role in the situation,” Walker wrote.

She went on to call on others, including the Railroad Commission, ERCOT, the Legislature, gas companies, electric generators and other industry players to “come forward” to acknowledge how their actions contributed to the power crisis — all of them, she wrote, “had responsibility to foresee what could have happened and failed to take the necessary steps for the past 10 years to address issues that each of them could have addressed.”

See here for why we all needed more focus on the PUC and its all-Greg-Abbott-appointed board. I didn’t write about Walker’s testimony before the Senate, but the reaction was swift and unsurprising. I’m not going to defend De Ann Walker, but all this is a little precious given the warning the state got 10 years ago and the Legisnature’s steadfast refusal to take any action in response. It’s right for the Lege to call out ERCOT and the PUC and hold them accountable for their failures, but who’s going to do the same to the Lege and Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick and the Railroad Commission? That’s on us, and if we’re not still paying attention next year when we get the chance to exert that authority, we’ll let them get away with it again. The Chron has more.

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53 Comments

  1. Kabuki theater until we get legislation with teeth. After all, Goeb, who led the charge in calling for Walker’s resignation, was a Senate Legiscritter in 2011 when toothless legislation was passed.

  2. David Fagan says:

    Lawyers’ mouths are watering with anticipation. These actions will tie this issue up in court so long that you should go out and buy a back up generator for the next time this happens. Because, after the court and legislation and more court and more legislation, by the time it gets around to funding and actual construction, the winterization project would still take even longer.

    No matter if it’s Republicans or Democrats or Libertarians or Greens.

  3. Manny says:

    David, an article that I think you may enjoy, regarding getting rid of the two-party system;

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/03/01/break-up-two-party-system/

  4. David Fagan says:

    I’m not subscribed, what’s the brief run down?

  5. Jason Hochman says:

    There needs to be some of the blame placed on the climate change panic crowd, who created the notion that there would never be cold weather again, that winter time is just not like it used to be, with the climate change there is no more winter, etc. Of course the politicians and executives, who aren’t very smart, just bought into this claptrap and why waste time and money preparing for a winter that they never believed would happen again, it was simply a memory from the 1900s back when there were seasons.

  6. Jason? ALL LIES.

    Climate change modeling has included noting the polar vortex could act just like this.

    Again, Jason? You’re a liar.

  7. Jason Hochman says:

    No, not a liar. I hear people all the time saying it is never cold anymore. There is a difference between lying and making a statement about what I’ve heard many people say. I guess the subtlety escapes the hive mind and the cultists.

  8. Manny says:

    Jason, like must Trump if not all Trump cultists, you lie all the time. I hear people say that Jasons are bots. Therefore, all Jasons are bots. That is the logic that you are applying to justify your lie(s).

  9. Lobo says:

    WHAT ROLE FOR ANECDOTAL UNSOURCED HEARSAY?

    Re: “about what I’ve heard many people say.”

    The problem with that is that it’s hearsay; that we don’t know who said it (people? what people?), and that we don’t trust you because we already know that you have very strong opinions on the subject, and not an open mind. You surely can do better, Mr. Hochman.

    Whether lying is involved or not, how can such second-hand anecdotes constitute evidence — or a fair representation of what climate science has to say on the matter, not to mention a claim that climate scientist have failed to say anything on it?

    People say the darndest things all the time. And I am using that as a euphemism.

  10. Bill Daniels says:

    Regarding the ‘climate change’ narrative, surely we can all agree that it’s changed over time.

    I remember in the 70’s the environmentalists were telling all of us about the new global ice age.

    Then along came Al Gore and his wagging finger (and fleet of private jets and yacht) to tell us that no, it was global warming…..the polar bears were going to die off because all the ice was going to melt.

    Now we’ve changed once again to “well, anything odd weather related is the result of man made climate change.”

    The one obvious truth here is, it isn’t so much about the facts as it is the politicization. Look at the”‘Paris Accords.” The US and Europe are expected to commit financial hari kari while the world’s biggest polluters, China, India, and the like, get to keep on polluting the planet at will, no change, no problems. Not only that, the US and Europe are expected to transfer their wealth to other nations to ‘fight’ climate change. How the F does shutting down coal plants in the US, only to have China open up new ones, do anything to save the planet? It doesn’t! Once we understand that the real goal isn’t saving the planet, but in weakening and destabilizing the West, it all makes sense. And of course, China just sits back and enjoys their investment in Joe Chi Minh and his family paying dividends.

    The climate change narrative is just another Marxist plot to subvert the US.

  11. Flypusher says:

    To paraphrase the late Carl Sagan, our society is in the precarious position of depending more and more on science and technology, but we have so many people with no clue about science.

    I realize that scientists are prone to speak in jargon, and the math can get complicated, but we really should try more to explain things in terms laypeople can relate to. So let’s give it a try with carbon.

    I find it helpful to think of carbon (in its various forms) as similar to wealth (in its various forms). Carbon cycles in and out of the air, water, earth, and living things. Likewise money, and other things of value, move around in the economy, and change hands.

    Now consider the concepts of “on the books” and “off the books”. For example, the CO2 you’re breathing out now is “on the books”. It’s been in circulation, it’s accounted for. That why when the climate deniers think they have this mic drop moment with “Well, stop breathing”, they’re really showing themselves to be ignorant and silly. Your exhale isn’t increasing the net carbon in active circulation. The same goes for termite mounds, which in my experience are a favorite talking point of climate change deniers.

    Now we come to off the books. Let’s say the legend of El Dorado is real, and I discover it -millions of tons of gold that has been forgotten and out of circulation for centuries. Does anybody think that I could dump even a fraction of that into the economy without causing major shock waves? Fossil fuels are the same thing for carbon circulation. All that carbon has been off the books for tens of millions of years. The notion that you can just put it all back into the carbon ledger and it’s going to be no big deal is an astounding example of wishful thinking and just plain ignorant.

  12. Flypusher says:

    The laws of physics don’t give a damn about your politics or your economic systems or who’s a hypocrite or not. You cannot use legal double speak to sue your way out of them. Putting more carbon into circulation will yield the predicted result, and no gaslighting of yours will prevent it.

  13. Bill Daniels says:

    Fly,

    Why is it only evil when the US and Europe circulate their off the books carbon? Why do China, India, and others get a free pass to circulate THEIR carbon? This is where your whole narrative falls apart. US carbon….BAD. China carbon…..OK. And speaking about El Dorado, the closest you have come is the US opens Ft. Knox and starts distributing US gold reserves to other countries across the world, including China, in our quest to save the planet. All you did was make the US poorer, and saddle our great grandchildren with more debt.

  14. Lobo says:

    Re: “shutting down coal plants in the US”

    Bill: One of the industry guys at the Lege hearing last week testified that the coal-fired plants weren’t economically viable compared to the gas-fired ones, ie, not cost-competitive (rather than the closure being the result of environmental rules).

    Another problem is that such plants are old and take a long time to fire them up (even when freezing is not a problem). Modern gas-fired plants, by contrast, can get online in an hour if I recall testimony from the hearings correctly, and that hour could be bridged with batteries (which supposedly can hold charge long enough to provide stand-by supply for a short time-period even if they can’t do much to address a prolonged energy crunch). Such batteries could be fed by wind or solar, or any other source.

    I am not an expert of these things, so feel free to correct me with sources, should I be mistaken about the relative performance profiles of different types of power plants.

    So, the success formula here would seem to consist in power generators diversifying their fleets by energy source/technology, with beneficial effects for the market and reliability as a whole.

    I don’t believe everything the corporate head honchos told the Lege – and I did not see any one of them being put under oath either — but the above-quoted rationale for shutting down coal plants sounds plausible b/c gas is (was) cheap until it came to market failure and profiteering, and can be moved around more easily than coal. Gas could also be stored (in underground salt domes, which we are blessed to have in our area and – in smaller quantities — on-site at power plants) to manage the scarcity that led to price jumps from $3 to hundreds of dollars in the spot market during the arctic storm. On-site storage would provide a buffer in a supply crunch. Discontinuation of interruptable gas supply contracts might also help.

    Note that the increased demand caused by the arctic cold spell could have been met if the existing power plants had performed properly (or that the shortfall would have been much smaller, thus allowing for demand-reduction to be effected through short-term rolling outages). It wasn’t a question of the infrastructure/capital investment not being in place. Rather, it was largely a failure of the installed capacity to perform under conditions of stress (and perhaps some bad behavior in the gas market, such as diverting flows and manipulating the price, or exporting it after Abbott had prohibited it). Some power generators claimed that they didn’t have gas to run some plant(s), but it is not clear how widespread the problems was. We probably won’t know for a while.

    In a somewhat circular chicken-egg dance, gas companies blamed power companies and power companies blamed gas companies.

    If natural gas didn’t save us — of which we have so much in Texas — how would coal? — I’d say we have to look elsewhere for answers.

  15. Flypusher says:

    China and India don’t get a pass. The effects of climate change, if the trajectory continues, will hit them first and worst. Nature doesn’t care who increases the carbon. Nature isn’t going to wait on humans to get their acts together.

    Ever heard of the wet bulb index? It’s a measure of heat and humidity, but the number of interest here is 95 degrees Celsius. That’s the limit that the human body can take. Go above that, and even the fittest and healthiest humans will die in a few hours. Our bodies can’t cool themselves under those conditions- we evolved in cooler drier climates. We’ve been flirting with that danger zone in the MidEast and in India. You want to invoke poverty for our descendants? How much can you imagine there will be if some of the most densely populated places on Earth become uninhabitable? The Southern US could be affected too.

  16. Flypusher says:

    “ This is where your whole narrative falls apart. US carbon….BAD. China carbon…..ok”

    I almost forget to comment on this bit of gross intellectual dishonesty. I made no distinctions about where the carbon comes from because Nature makes no distinction. Shame on you for lying like that Bill. You don’t get to put words into other people’s mouths.

  17. Bill Daniels says:

    “China and India don’t get a pass.”

    They got a complete pass from the Paris Climate Accords. How much money is China tasked to pay other countries this year, based on the agreement? Nothing sound about right? How many coal plants and factories is China tasked with shutting down this year, based on the agreement? I mean, what is the exact number of plants and factories they will have to shut down? None sound about right?

    Compare and contrast with the sacrifices we will make by Uncle Joe’s hand now that he’s re-entered the deal. My neighbor’s 5th grader could have made a much better deal than the one Obama/Biden made.

    Wolf,

    You’re right about the economics of coal vs. gas, thanks to fracking, but let’s not forget the actual truth, the ultimate goal of the left:

    “If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them,” Obama said, responding to a question about his cap-and-trade plan. He later added, “Under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

  18. Flypusher says:

    “ They got a complete pass from the Paris Climate Accords. How much money is China tasked to pay other countries this year, based on the agreement? “

    More intellectual dishonesty. I am talking SCIENCE. You are talking POLITICS. While both are entwined in the issue they are not the same. I am stating the problem, and the problem is there whether you think the Paris Accords are a good idea or you don’t. The laws of physics rule whether you trust China or you don’t. The laws of physics don’t care about what you think is fair or unfair. If a critical mass of humans can’t grok this, Nature will take us out too.

  19. Bill Daniels says:

    Fly,

    OK, let’s look at science. We work hard to clean our air, yet every year, Saharan dust storms send shit into our air right here in Houston. Every year, the smoke from Mexican farmers burning their fields comes right here to Houston. If crippling the economy is the way to save the planet from climate change, then why aren’t you demanding that EVERY country on the planet cripple their economy in the same way, at the same time?

    You want the inconvenient truth? Here’s the inconvenient truth:

    A critical mass of governments do NOT grok this. China, India, and other developing countries aren’t going to willingly go back to the dark ages, aren’t willingly going to slit their own economic throats for your great “we’re all in this together” plan. They don’t grok. They aren’t going to grok. You can’t get a critical mass of the world’s governments to grok.

    So you’ve already failed, stop trying to punish me because you can’t get the Third World to go along with your science. What you’re doing is Quixote-like tilting at windmills.

    Say you and I are in a boat, and there’s a hole on each side of the boat. You plug the hole in your side, and feverishly tell me I need to plug the hole in my side or we’ll sink. Well, I just don’t give a shit whether we sink or not, so I don’t plug the hole on my side.

    This is where you are at. China, India, and the rest of the world have no interest in plugging their hole, aren’t going to do it, so no matter how completely you seal the hole on the US side….it doesn’t matter! It won’t be enough to save the boat! You wasted time and money fixing a hole, and in the end, the boat still sinks. Or it doesn’t, if it turns out that the weather really isn’t impacted by what we do here.

  20. brad says:

    I just hope the Republican leadership of Texas can catch the Antifa rioters that caused this problem to begin with.

  21. Lobo says:

    SHOULD WE THROUGH THE LEAK-LOVERS FROM NOAH’S ARC ?

    Bill: Your boat analogy is dubious (even though, concededly, a variant of it is a classic theme in game theory and related dilemma-resolution theorizing).

    With your boat and the 2 leaks, it’s a dichotomous proposition: sink or swim. Unless you go make to mass dino extinction caused by global darkening from the meteor that hit in the Carribbean (or thereabouts) and caused a massive eruption from down below the Earth’s crust, the effects we are anticipating will not end all of humanity in one fell swoop. Therefore, their reasoning by analogy, which is no substitute for a valid argument, is not even useful heuristically/pedagogically.

    Additionally, even if your analogy were warranted, the water the comes in through your hole could be removed by the boat-mate that’s more concerned about you-both’s survival. As I understand it, water pumps are standard for that purpose. And a plastic bucket for fish could be repurposed in the case of a small watercraft.

    On the merits, the global climate change is gradual — rather than precipitous/dichotomous as in “sink of swim” — and some reduction of aggregate amount of harmful emissions is not dependent upon reduction by all in proportion, or whatever, though that may be preferable. Again, as pointed out by our contemporary Socratic fly and/or fly-pusher (not sure if they are alter egos) the latter is a political issue — and collection action problem of global scale — while the underlying problem (as distinguished from the remedy/solution) has its own nature/physics-driven dynamic.

  22. Lobo says:

    MEA CULPA.

    Okay, okay, so Lobo needs be *thrown* from the leaky boat or get some copy-editing help pronto to more effectively refute *your* *sink-or-swim* reasoning by dubious analogy. *Going back* to the dino extinction … there may be a few more typos. — Apologies.

  23. C.L. says:

    Chicken shit narcissism. That’s what I call it. “I’m not going to do what I can do to slow down the climate change problem because….what about those guys over there who aren’t doing what you’re asking of me ?” As an FYI, it’s a toss up as to what’s worse for the environment – burning coal or the tar sands bitumen (not) flowing in Keystone XL.

    Jason, I don’t know if you’re willfully ignorant or just uninformed – it may be both. Also, it appears you’ve fallen into the ‘climate change ain’t real ’cause it just snowed in Houston’ Fox News wormhole. Climate and weather are two different things. Perhaps you should return to your missives re: masks, “I see people wearing them but folks are still dying of COVID, ergo masks don’t do anything.”

  24. Flypusher says:

    All you are doing Bill is trying out a different shade of lipstick on your pig of a rebuttal. You’re still trying to refute science with politics. That doesn’t work.

    I have stated that the laws of physics say that adding to the carbon in circulation will cause changes to the climate. You counter with multiple statements that enough political will to respond is lacking, so therefore what I have said is false. I happen to agree that the necessary political will is currently lacking, but that still doesn’t falsify my statement. You respond to an argument about science with science, or you lose.

    Your mentality is like someone, who upon encountering a tiger, closes your eyes on the assumption that if you can’t see the tiger, then the tiger can’t see you.

    Also, I am not Socratic gadfly. I only maintain one online identity. Don’t have time for any more.

  25. Bill Daniels says:

    Off topic, but Kuff, we really need a thread about Abbott ending the mask mandates and occupancy restrictions. Sly is having a presser right now about it, and he’s barely keeping it together.

    Cry it out, Sly!

  26. Jason Hochman says:

    Let me just clarify this here: I am not suggesting that climate change is or is not real, that humans are/are not involved in it, that there is/is not an upcoming ice age, that the carbon in the soil should/should not remain in the soil, or any such thing.

    What my post said, or at least intended to say is that there are many media outlets that go crazy every time there is a summer hurricane due to heat, a wildfire due to drought, and make sure to note every record high, hottest year on record. and the like. Do you not hear this on the news?

    There are also many folks, whether in person, online, or elsewhere, who always remark on how hot it is, how summers are hotter than ever, and how we hardly have winter anymore. Do you not know anyone who says such things?

    The people in charge are not very smart. Abbott is not that smart. Biden even less so. Rick Perry not brilliant. Former Pres. Trump, loud, but not that smart. Many in government are lawyers. The job of a lawyer is to obfuscate. Ever ask a lawyer what time it is? I bet he told you how to build a watch.

    In spite of lack of intelligence the people in charge are in love with the power and the attention. Many have a diminished sense of self worth, which can only be ameliorated with the adulation of a political party. When they hear all of the talk about hot, and never cold, they of course neglect potential cold weather.

    The record low in Houston is in single digits. Two degrees? Or five? Around there. It can and does get cold in the winter, whether or not there is climate change, whether or not climate change causes it, we know it will occasionally get cold in winter and it should be simple to have utilities that withstand cold weather.

    I am much more progressive than anyone here. I travel mostly by a foot powered bicycle or on foot! Anyone posting here probably drives a gas vehicle much more than I do.

    Years ago, I worked in a jail and I was so progressive, that I said we needed to have a family jail. I suggested that anyone using bad language, or going shirtless in a cell block be sent to the state prison for safe keeping. I wanted us to round up the spouses, parents, kids, and other family of the inmates, and bring them into the jail to stay. Years before the uproar over separating families! I had this plan. But I was ridiculed.

    Nowadays progressives are all about hate, censorship, rage. They can only attack everyone who doesn’t fit the exact hive mindset. They can only label everything as disinformation and censor it. Even President Trump lost all of his my space, You Tube, Facebook, match.com, tik tok, bumble, Twitter, Insta Snap, Snap A Tweet, Snap a Gram, and every other kind of account. He was able to get on Parlor, and then they found that it was hosted by Amazon, and that got shut down, too. I heard today that they even cancelled Dr. Seuss.

  27. Flypusher says:

    Yes lots of media outlets overhype the weather. That’s why Space City Weather is my go to source. If they say something bad’s coming, I check the supplies/emergency plans. The TV guys and gals are good for current radar.

    Also I’m betting the irony of you complaining about hype and hysteria while also repeating the absurdity of Dr. Seuss being cancelled (spoiler alert- he wasn’t) completely escapes you.

  28. Manny says:

    Scaring people attract an audience: nothing new there, Jason.

    So your lies should not be “attacked” because it offends Jason, is that what you are stating, Jason?

    They have not canceled Dr. Seuss, and you can even read Tarzan books, Jason. That was another lie about canceling Dr. Seuss by Jason.

    Bill: As to Abbott doing what he did, he is being political, trying to take care of the fascist flank.

  29. Bill Daniels says:

    Manny, you’re batting 1 outta 2 here.

    Some Dr. Suess books will no longer be printed, because they’re now no longer part of our country’s shared, cherished heritage, but offensive symbols of hate, or something:

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/02/us/dr-seuss-books-cease-publication-trnd/index.html

    I do agree with you that Abbott’s ending of the mask mandate and other restrictions is entirely politically motivated, to deflect from the blackout we encountered week before last. It’s a time honored strategy, which is why Cuomo in NY is being pound me too’d to deflect from his (and the other D governors’) mass murder of nursing home residents. Distraction.

  30. David Fagan says:

    Texas Governor Stupid Ass

  31. Manny says:

    Bill, Jason stated, “I heard today that they even cancelled Dr. Seuss.”

    Some books will no longer be printed because, drum roll;

    “In a statement on Tuesday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises said that it had decided last year to end publication and licensing of the books by Theodor Seuss Geisel.”

    Some of the images that Suess published;

    https://images.app.goo.gl/8zKbfw4X9p9f88VJ9

  32. Manny says:

    David, while I reserve the right to continue my criticism of the fascist party, I do agree with you that we should do away with the two-party system.

  33. Flypusher says:

    Taking a book out of print is no where near close to banning or cancelling. Nobody is declaring the existing copies illegal. No one will forcibly confiscate your old copy of “If I Ran the Zoo” and burn it. It is possible for you to ever be honest about anything?

  34. Jason Hochman says:

    There you go again. Flypusher, and Manny, here is another example of how the new so-called progressives are tyrants in sheep clothing. I wrote “I heard that they even cancelled Dr. Seuss.”

    I never said that your copies will be taken and burned up. I said that I “heard” the statement. NO lie, I heard that. I didn’t say that I had “validated” the claim, nor did I give a definition of what “cancelled” meant.

    But the progressives and their progress of hatred, censorship, and tight control rush to call everything “disinformation” and use their wealth to censor anything that they do not approve. There you go.

  35. Flypusher says:

    Well Jason, if you’re going to repeat Fox New’s hysterical nonsense, and not offer your own definition of “cancelled”, we really can’t be blamed for assuming you agree with their take, especially since you are on record here for saying batshit crazy things like masks increasing the murder rate and the media conspiring with the police to kill a few Black people to pump up the news cycle.

    “I heard” and “people are saying” are just rhetorical fig leaves to try to duck responsibility for spreading falsehoods. You fool no one.

  36. Bill Daniels says:

    Fly,

    Dr. Suess was cancelled in the same way Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben were cancelled. Sure, no one is forcing their way into private homes to seize your syrup and rice, but you can’t buy any more of it. No new printings of several of the Suess books will be available, not because they failed to sell, or be desired by new buyers who want their kids to have the same kind of wholesome childhood experiences they themselves had, but because the Suess folks were afraid of being terrorized in the literal sense by the woke mob, the mob that lionizes dead felons and literally mostly peacefully burns down buildings and kills people.

    This is a main strategy of Marxism…..remove our shared heritage, and replace it with the state. It’s demoralization of the people, just like emasculating Mr. Potato Head and warning people about the evil that is…..The Muppets.

    The sad thing, Fly, is that you revel in all of this, the destruction of YOUR heritage as an American. The even more sad thing is, you’re so invested in this type of crap that you can’t jump off the train now, no matter how much more outrageous things get. You have to ride it all the way to the destruction of your country, which, I guess, is more preferable to you than admitting you’ve made a mistake and trying to fight FOR your country.

  37. Lobo says:

    BOOK BANNING AND BURNING – WHO’S INTO IT?

    How is the decision of a private-sector publisher/owner of the copyright or licensee to cease publishing a book censorship?

    Aren’t tens of thousands of books likewise “out of print” but still available on amazon and used-book stores or at least in libraries?

    Regarding the recurring fascism theme (also belabored on the contemporaneous mask-order thread), the fascists did indeed engage in book burning.

    To wit or “lookie” (as Bill would say):

    “Beginning on May 10, 1933, Nazi-dominated student groups carried out public burnings of books they claimed were “un-German.” The book burnings took place in 34 university towns and cities. Works of prominent Jewish, liberal, and leftist writers ended up in the bonfires. The book burnings stood as a powerful symbol of Nazi intolerance and censorship.”

    Source: https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/book-burning

  38. Bill Daniels says:

    “How is the decision of a private-sector publisher/owner of the copyright or licensee to cease publishing a book censorship?”

    How?

    A: Coercion! If you don’t bow to the woke mob, somethin’ bad might happen to you. In this case, the Dr. Suess folks evidently hope that self sacrificing 7 tomes will satiate the pitchfork and torch wielding mob to bypass them on their way to destroying the next American cultural icon.

    Do you think every German who flew the Nazi flag was down with the cause? Probably not. I suspect many of them did it out of fear, hoping that the jackboots would skip their house when terrorizing the public into submission. This is Dr. Suess flying the woke flag, hoping to avoid having their house burned down.

    But this isn’t Nazism, this is Marxism…..both bad in their own ways. This is just a continuation of tearing down statues and renaming streets and schools. This is renaming Saigon as Ho Chi Minh city. It’s demoralization of the public.

  39. Flypusher says:

    There you go again Bill, putting words into other people’s mouths. You accuse me of reveling in the destruction of my American heritage. Prove, you liar. Find an actual quote from something that posted here that supports that claim.

  40. Bill Daniels says:

    Does anyone remember the ending of the movie, A Few Good Men? The newly convicted corporal is trying to explain to his friend what they did wrong by simply following the order to give the Code Red beating to the weak Marine.

    The corporal, at the end, realized, too late, that he was supposed to fight FOR those who could not fight for themselves. He was supposed to fight FOR Willie Santiago. We are supposed to fight FOR Dr. Suess.

  41. Flypusher says:

    Also I actually watched one of the controversial Muppet episodes this week, so nothing’s been banned there, nor was I reveling in anything other than nostalgia. I watched the Steve Martin one, so a brief joke about the Chinese language being gibberish, and a bit heavy handed one about an Italian human cannonball act. The disclaimer is basically saying Hey, this show is from the 70s, and some of the jokes haven’t aged well. Hardly the great purge of America heritage you righties have taken to screaming about because you don’t want to address actual tangible issues.

    Also you can still buy Mr. PotatoHead and Mrs. PotatoHead. The only thing changed is the overall brand name.

  42. Bill Daniels says:

    Fly,

    The fact that you are OK with Dr. Suess ceasing printing of books to placate the woke mob is de facto evidence of you reveling in the destruction of your American heritage. The fact that you aren’t joining me and others loudly saying, “This shit is wrong!” is de facto proof of what I have accused you of.

    Res ipsa loquitur, Fly. You’re pissed off at me for calling you out, yet serenely calm seeing yet another American icon fly the white flag of surrender. Again, ending the printing of these books was NOT a business decision. If no one was buying them and they stopped printing them, hey, sad, but OK. People WERE buying them, and now they can’t, because of the very ideology YOU support! Take ownership, Fly.

  43. Flypusher says:

    Dr. Seuss isn’t going anywhere. All you have is culture war nonsense.

    As for things to fight for, I choose to fight for making it easier to vote, for better access to healthcare, for accountability in government, for science.

  44. Flypusher says:

    This type is economic pressure happens all the time, from both sides, yet this is the one that upsets you. It’s called the free market.

    Personally I hope the Seuss estate finds a way to update the books. There’s no good reason for young children to see unflattering stereotypes of Asian and Black people, is there? I also want the originals kept for historical purposes. When the kids are older they be a good time capsule into the mentality of those times.

    No surprise that you can’t/ won’t produce any quotes to back up your accusations. Your reputation is a liar and a coward is well earned.

  45. Bill Daniels says:

    “Personally I hope the Seuss estate finds a way to update the books.”

    Maybe they could hire Winston Smith for the job. That’s exactly what he did, at the Ministry of Truth……literally changing and erasing history. 1984 was written as a cautionary tale, Fly, not an instruction manual.

    Why would I even need to quote you to prove anything, Fly? Anyone reading your comments just in this one thread, without knowing any other thing about you, can see that you avidly support the cultural Marxism that culminated in the discontinuing of the seven Seuss books. And when called out on it, you double down, now you “hope they can be updated (AKA sanitized).” Pathetic.

  46. Bill Daniels says:

    “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been re-written, every picture has been re-painted, every statue and street and building has been re-named, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

    ~ George Orwell “1984”

  47. Flypusher says:

    You choice of priorities is so gobsmackingly stupid I wonder how people like you function. Let’s compare. Here’s what concerns you (as a big threat to the American way of life):

    1) 6 Dr. Seuss books (out of dozens) are going out of print. Plenty of copies are still out there (and are increasing in value).

    2) 6 episodes of the Muppets (out of dozens) have a brief disclaimer about a few jokes that aged poorly. You are still able to watch them.

    3) Some companies have changed brand names.

    Now 3 things that concern me (as threats to the American way of life):

    1) Just 2 weeks ago we had a weather catastrophe that killed people, damaged property, and may have come close to shutting down the whole grid (you know, the original topic of this post). Much of this was preventable and GOP politicians are showing too many signs of learning the wrong lessons.

    2) The pandemic hasn’t gone away, and we have a Governor making decisions based on politics, not science.

    3) We had a streak of 160 years of peaceful power transfer broken because your lying crybaby sore loser of a leader refused to accept the results of a fair election (even though every traditional indicator said that he would lose), fed his people a pack of lies, and urged them to attack Congress. Then GOPers (who were in actual danger had the mob caught any of them), engage in the Orwellian process of demanding that we deny the evidence of our own eyes and ears.

    According to you, I am a Marxist because I don’t think that your culture war bullshit is worth all this wailing and gnashing of teeth. Your fallacies of distraction fool no one. We have real problems in this country, like the things I listed, and more. That’s what I’m going to be concerned about, the real and tangible things that actually impact people’s quality of life.

    Also claiming that an updated version of a book existing alongside the original is Orwellian is false because Winston Smith would destroy the origin as part of his job. I advocated no such thing. And that is the last thing I have to say about your hysterical culture war distractions. Your quality of life would be better served arguing for better infrastructure.

  48. Flypusher says:

    Which exactly what the GOP is doing right now in response to the insurrection at the Capitol.

  49. Lobo says:

    SOME DOKTOR SÜSS !

    Bill: Whatever one may think of his literary output and sundry accomplishments, your cherished American idol – Dr. Seuss – was an academic imposter. According to reputable sources, he earned no doctoral degree – pediatric or otherwise.

    Sigmund Freud, who also wrote a lot of phantastic (not to mention phallistic) fantasy stuff and commanded a wide following in the US (arguably to the point of icon/idol status), at least was medically degreed.

    Geisel left Oxford without earning a degree and returned to the United States in February 1927. Dartmouth, were he had been a Prohibition-era gin-drinker, later gave him an honorary doctoral degree (in 1956), after many years of him having sported an academic title he had not earned. And whether that was “just” in conjunction with a “pen name” and therefore somehow excusable, is debatable. Seuss was his Mother Henrietta’s maiden surname (“née Seuss”).

    Source: Wiki, which also says that “his books have topped many bestseller lists, sold over 600 million copies, and been translated into more than 20 languages.” Seems like an ample stock for the next few generations, some perhaps even of auction-grade value as collector’s items.

    Disclosure: I am partial to Mister (non-Doc) Rogers, of Neighborhood fame. He made it a point to talk slowly to aid comprehension. The Count, Earnie, and the Cookie Monster are my friends.

    Ignoramus Disclaimer:

    To be frank, I didn’t read up on the current “cancel culture” controversy regarding Geisel. Not sure it’s worthwhile with all the pandemic, arctic vortex, energy and other crisis stuff going on. So perhaps the above point regarding misrepresentation of academic credentials has already been made. Geisel started it while an undergrad, no less. Duh! — Shouldn’t that have earned him at least posthumous — or perhaps posthumorist — condemnation?

    How does such dishonesty set a good example for the captive and impressionable Cat-in-Red-Hat audience?

  50. Bill Daniels says:

    Fly,

    I’ve cornered you on your anti-American, pro Marxist attitudes, and now you desperately want to change the subject, to talk about something else, because I’ve embarrassed you, I guess. Maybe you pictured trying to argue your anti-Dr. Seuss position to your parents or grandparents, and envisioned them saying the same thing I am saying to you now? Maybe you’re at the point where the woke left has gone too far, but you’re in too deep so you, like those frightened Germans, feel the need to fly the woke flag out of fear of becoming the next target? The second one is, or should be, a very real concern for you, because the left is coming for White people, straight White men first. They’re coming for your culture, and then they’re coming for you, and you’re desperately hoping they’ll be satisfied just coming after people like me who oppose all this nonsense.

    Pro-tip: They won’t. Every time they get another win, they’re emboldened to go further. Martin Niemöller had thoughts on this subject.

    Wolf,

    I give you credit for your erudite dissertation to belittle and besmirch Dr. Seuss, to go along with the outrage mob. I trust that next, you’ll be going after Dr. J, the basketball star, for not being a real doctor. Might want to get hit pieces ready, too, on Doc Rivers, another not-a-real-doctor b-baller, and Doc Severinsen, Johnny Carson’s band leader. Shit, what will people think when they find out the creator of Dr Pepper was a pharmacist, not an actual medical doctor? The horror. The horror.

    While you’re at it, tell us all about ‘Dr. Jill’ Biden’s medical specialty, LOL!

    I would suggest that fitting karmic justice for both of you is that the Grinch visits your houses and steals y’alls Christma…..er, um, Winter holiday gifts, from under your respective trees.