Bad People With Wrong Thoughts Causing Trouble

Austin Dispatches No. 226 June 22, 2020

e226fig1Fittingly, the Austin Symphony Orchestra canceled this year's Independence Day concert and fireworks. Ostensibly, the symphony did so because of continuing coronavirus concerns.1 But since the local power elite ̶ indeed, Austin's contemporary ethos  ̶  is so increasingly at odds with the Spirit of '76, the ASO might as well dispense with the pretense.2 Incidentally, the Austin Symphony and Austin Opera fired a trombonist for expressing pro-Trump and anti-black protester sentiments on social media, publicly denounced her, and erased evidence of her existence on their Web sites.3

Instead, varieties of statists in a three-way fight for control of Austin provide the fireworks.4 As of this issue, the proletarians (radical protesters) and managerialists (the power elite) have the enforcers (the police) in pincers. The proletarians fight the cops over racially tinged police violence; the City Council votes to cut the Austin Police Department budget, halt hiring new officers, and otherwise assert itself to reverse the APD's gradual trend toward quasi-autonomy.5

The aforementioned varies by detail in other cities in recent weeks.6 Also, speculations abound online as to the ulterior motives behind the factions' actions, whether any given faction is acting of its own volition or being manipulated by other factions or agents provocateurs, and whether the interfactional status or predominance will further shift or stalemate.7

The rest of us face the same fate as the downtown small businesses wrecked and looted by rioters May 30-31.8 So much for police protection. Then again, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the police aren't required to protect you.9 The Statesman has reported another spike in gun sales  ̶  probably just a coincidence.10

Moreover, while these power struggles have unmasked to the inattentive the factions' true nature, they're urging the rest of us to keep wearing masks, as part of a newly extended coronavirus lockdown to mid-August.11 That's practically coterminous with the start of the annual flu season.12

Bear in mind none of the establishment media reports about the resurgence of coronavirus provide details about which subgroups are more at risk, and why exactly Travis County is experiencing a resurgence when we've been under house arrest and socially distant since mid-March.13 According to a June 16 posting at Texas Scorecard, Travis County has 4,464 confirmed coronavirus cases, or three-tenths of 1 percent, among a total population of 1.27 million people. Of those confirmed cases, 106 ended in death.14

e226fig2Arguendo, let's accept the recurring establishment claims  ̶  which change almost daily ̶ that coronavirus physically threatens more of us than the old and the immunocompromised, for whom we should take precautions personally.15 Regardless, even the Chronicle conceded that the protesters and rioters ignored the antivirus measures, which would prove either a) the official response since March was an tyrannical overreaction when coronavirus infections didn't rise, or b) self-righteous, virtue-signaling proletarians, urged on by the likes of the Chronicle, are hypocritically responsible for the continuing pandemic.16 Unfortunately, the media hasn't yet confirmed the latter is the cause of the resurgence, which nevertheless has provided the power elite an excuse to continue isolating and impoverishing us. With a few pen strokes, the power elite has made every little endeavor, interaction and transaction as arduous as transiting in airports since 9/11.

Such efforts would be worse if not for state government's intercession. Since May, the governor has banned Austin and Travis County from enforcing social distancing measures, i.e., using police to arrest people for ignoring their diktats.17 Consequently, Austin mayor's whined and scolded citizens like a Midwestern Scandinavian when he extended our house arrest June 15.18 This is the same mayor who last year publicly whined about legislative proposals to restrict municipalities’ ability to raise property taxes without an OK from the property owners.19 Steve Adler doesn't need a mask. He needs a muzzle.

City Hall further put the onus of enforcement on businesses that've struggled to stay reopened.20 That suggests the managerialists don't expect cooperation from the police they've been attacking, but how exactly will the businesses enforce the lockdown? Them and what police force? Unless the managerialists plan to use the proletarians against dissenters. If so, that takes us into full-fledged anarcho-tyranny, "a system that ignores such basic duties of government as protecting citizens against crime and dotes instead on criminalizing the innocent."21 What happens as a reaction to that is anybody's guess. Furthermore, the businesses risk additional loss from customers who stay away because they don't want to endure the extra inconvenience. Many renowned establishments that helped make Austin distinctive have already closed because of the lockdown.22

The Chronicle almost gets this when it's lamenting the continued lockdown of the music scene.23 But its editorial staff equally cowers at the idea of reopening the restaurants, clubs and bars to the status quo ante conditions that would allow them to actually flourish ̶ a peculiar contradiction, given their decades of extolling the vectors of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.24

The Chronicalistas, and the City bureaucrats handing out emergency stimulus funds (that you paid for, and will continue to, for at least the next 30 years) probably really do think a distinct local culture is created by government direction and funding, rather than the private efforts of disparate people.25 Even if they suspect otherwise, they'd still rather continue their predecessors' practice, since the New Deal, of cementing their power by disbursing federal largesse.26 Expect the creativity to flow into the applications.27

Beyond cultural businesses, the lockdown caused record unemployment in Travis County.28 The local power elite keeps claiming the lockdown is for our health. A German parliamentary coalition of Social Democrats and Greens, what the local power elite would ape if it could, issued a report in 2001 on unemployment's effects on the individual: "Depressive moods, general dissatisfaction with life, fear, helplessness and hopelessness, low self-esteem, resignation bordering on apathy, a low level of activity, social isolation and loneliness represent the most important symptoms." That "physical symptoms manifest themselves only after some time" is not much consolation. "If unemployment means suffering, mass unemployment means suffering on a massive scale."29

Therefore, to improve our health, the best thing the power elite can do is to end the lockdown and all restrictions, so we can return to work. Any reader of Austin Dispatches, though, knows the people who run this county lack such mental suppleness.

Instead, the City Council's quadrupling down, expressing open hostility to motorists by lowering speed limits on major thoroughfares, closing off side streets, and pushing a scheme to tear up downtown and hike property taxes for disease-spreading mass transit.30 Rather than "flattening the curve," they'll just flatten Austin.31 It's dubious whether we or they can recover from such iatrogenic measures.32 In other words, it's us or them. We need regime change.33

On the Metro

June 11: Whilst walking in Round Rock for exercise and exposure to sunlight for Vitamin D3 generation, I witnessed an ice cream truck cruising through the Sam Bass Trails subdivision  ̶  something I thought only still existed as a laggard pop culture trope.34

Neighborhood News

A water valve replacement required shutting off water to half the apartment complex on June 4.35 Repair work to the railroad crossing shut down Gracy Farms Lane to through traffic from June 7-8.

KXAN-TV's traffic Web page recorded a collision at Rutland Drive and Burnet Road on June 8.

Home Archives


1 Barnes, Michael. "4th of July Concert, Fireworks Canceled." AAS 13 Jun. 2020: B1-2.

2 AD No. 144n6 (Aug. 6, 2011).

3 Barnes. "Opera, Symphony Fire Trombonist for Protester Posts." AAS 3 Jun. 2020: B2.

4 Chang, Julie. "Activists Worry Militants Co-Opting Protests." AAS 7 Jun. 2020: A1+; Eisler, Dan. "Re: Austin." E-mail to David Kiser, 3 Jun. 2020; Varieties of Progressivism in America. Ed. Peter Berkowitz. Stanford, Calif.: Hoover Institution Press, 2004.

5 Autullo, Ryan. "Council Sees Rare Unity in Police Rebuke." AAS 10 Jun. 2020: B1+; Autullo. "Cronk to Eliminate 100 Police Positions." AAS 18 Jun. 2020: B1-2; Autullo. "Cronk Sticking With Manley." AAS 19 Jun. 2020: A1+; Autullo. "Cronk Under Fire From Council Over Policing Concerns." AAS 14 Jun. 2020: A1+; Balko, Radley. Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces. PublicAffairs, 2013: 31-32; Hall, Katie. "Austin Police Protest Turns Tense." AAS 21 Jun. 2020: B1+; Hall. "Report: Shootings Lay Bare Police Flaws." AAS 18 Jun. 2020: A1+; Jankowski, Philip. "Council Proposes Slate of Reforms for APD." AAS 9 Jun. 2020: A1+; Moreno-Lozano, Luz. "Officials Delay Ramos Bideo Release." AAS 22 Jun. 2020: B1-2; Sanders, Austin. "Council on APD: Reforms and Budget Cuts Only the First Step." AC 19 Jun. 2020: 10; Sanders. "Hundreds File Complaints Over APD Actions at Protests." AC 19 Jun. 2020: 10-11; Wilson, Mark D. "Budget Deadline Could Slow Police Funding Cuts." AAS 21 Jun. 2020: A1+; Wilson. "Council Members Pledge Not to Take Police Union Donations." AAS 17 Jun. 2020: B1+.

6 Liz Navratel. "A Vow to Abolish the MPD." Minneapolis Star Tribune 8 Jun. 2020: A1+.

7 Bray, Mark. Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook. New York City: Melville House, 2017.

8 Atullo and Hall. "Teens Among Arrestees at Protests." AAS 6 Jun. 2020: B1-2; Choi, Hojun. "Protest Group Once Allied With Manley Now Calls for Him to Quit." AAS 17 Jun. 2020: B2; Lindell, Chuck. "Peaceful Days, Violent Nights." AAS 1 Jun. 2020: A1+; Sechler, Bob. "Another Blow for Downtown Businesses." AAS 2 Jun. 2020: A1+.

9 Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005); DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, 489 U.S. 189 (1989).

10 Wilson. "Gun Sales Skyrocket Amid Panic." AAS 26 Mar. 2020: A1+.

11 Cobler, Nicole. "Mandatory Mask Orders Gain Traction." AAS 19 Jun. 2020: B1+.

12 Ricks, Delthia. 100 Questions & Answers About Influenza. Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2009: 2.

13 AD No. 224n10 (April 13, 2020); Cobler, and Nicole Villalpando. "As Virus Cases Rise, So Does Contingency Planning." AAS 20 Jun. 2020: A1+; Mekelburg, Madlin. "Texas Changes How It Reports Coronavirus Data." AAS 23 May 2020: A1+.

14 Asmussen, Jacob. "Central Texas Officials Upset They Can't Imprison Unmasked Citizens." Texas Scorecard 16 Jun. 2020 <>.

15 AD No. 224n12.

16 Cobler. "Protests Could Add Virus Cases, Officials Say." AAS 2 Jun. 2020: A1+; Jankowski. "Second Wave of Virus Feared." AAS 12 Jun. 2020: A1+; Jones, Kimberley, and Beth Sullivan. "Following Protests, Expect a Jump in COVID-19 Cases." AC 5 Jun. 2020: 14-15.

17 Clark-Madison, Mike. "The Way to Safety." AC 19 Jun. 2020: 6+; Cobler and Lindell. "Dallas Salon Owner Freed From Jail." AAS 8 May 2020: A1+; Garrett, Robert T., and Lavendrick Smith. "Court Order Comes As Abbott Bans Arresting Scofflaws." DMN 8 May 2020: 1A+.

18 Clark-Madison. "Again, We Must Part." AC 19 Jun. 2020: 12; Cobler. "Austin, Travis County Consider Requiring Masks." AAS 18 Jun. 2020: A1+; Jones. "If Dog Rabbit." AC 19 Jun. 2020: 2; Wilson. " 'I Hope Everyone Will Work to Protect One Another.' " AAS 16 Jun. 2020: A1+.

19 AD No. 217n10 (May 25, 2019).

20 Broyles, Addie. "After City Ruling, H-E-B to Require Masks in Stores." AAS 20 Jun. 2020: B5+; Hawkins, Lori. "Austin-Based Chuy's Expects Sales Dip, Furloughs Workers." AAS 22 Apr. 2020: B7+.

21 Raymond, Walter John. Dictionary of Politics: Selected American and Foreign Political and Legal Terms, 7th ed. Lawrenceville, Va.: Brunswick, 1992: 19.

22 Anderson, Will. "And Then There Were None." ABJ 19 Jun. 2020: A3; "Goodbye Shady Grove." AC 15 May 2020: 36; Odam, Matthew. "Iconic Threadgill's Closes for Good." AAS 21 Apr. 2020: B1-2; Odam. "Shady Grove Unplugs." AAS 12 May 2020: A1+; "Notable Restaurant Closings" CIN Apr. 2020, Northwest Austin ed.: 9; "Popular Restaurants Go Under." ABJ 24 Apr. 2020: 9.

23 Rascoe, Rachel. "Austin Music Venues Are Out of Money." AC 44 Jun. 2020: 44; Spearman, Kahron. "Purple Haze." AC 19 Jun. 2020: 22+.

24 The Austin Chronicle Music Anthology. Ed. Austin Powell and Doug Freeman. Austin, Texas: U of Texas P, 2011.

25 AD No. 224n6; Autullo. "Austin City Council Favors Individuals Over Businesses in Coronavirus Aid Spending." AAS 5 Jun. 2020: A1+; Atullo. "Council Starts Channeling Federal Aid." AAS 23 May 2020: B1+; Stith, Deborah Sengupta. "Austin About to Accept Musician Grant Applications." AAS 29 May 2020: B2; Stith. "Fighting to Survive, Austin Music Venues Lobby for Relief." AAS 3 May 2020: D1; Wilson. "City Moves to Help Music Venues." AAS 24 May 2020: B1+; Wilson. "City Taps $1.5M in Emergency Funds." AAS 24 Apr. 2020: B1+.

26 Orum, Anthony M. Power, Money and the People: The Making of Modern Austin. Austin, Texas: Texas Monthly Press, 1987: 138-139.

27 "Man Accused of Defrauding Virus Aid Program." AAS 20 Jun. 2020: B2.

28 Asch, Sarah. "Pandemic Putting Area Renters at Risk." AAS 22 Jun. 2020: A1+; Carlson, Kara. "Ahead of Outbreak, VC Dollars Were Still Flowing Into Austin." AAS 1 May 2020: B6-7; Hawkins. "Austin's Jobless Rate Dips, but Still Near Record High." AAS 20 Jun. 2020: A1+; Sechler. "Area Jobless Rate Hits 12.2%" AAS 23 May 2020: A1+; Sechler. "Austin Economy Shrank at Record Pace Amid Pandemic." AAS 9 Jun. 2020: B5-6; Sechler. "Job Losses on Downward Trend but Still Huge." AAS 8 May 2020: B6-7; Sechler. "Texas Job Losses Continue to Mount Amid Outbreak." AAS 24 Apr. 2020: B6-7; Sechler. "Texas Job Losses Trend Down, but Remain Huge." AAS 12 Jun. 2020: B6-7; Sechler. "Virus Fallout Still Hitting Texas Manufacturers." AAS 27 May 2020: B7-8.

29 Gersemann, Olaf. Cowboy Capitalism: European Myths, American Reality, rev. ed. Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute, 2004: 175.

30 Asch. "Austin Lowering Speed Limits." AAS 20 Jun. 2020: B1+; Salazar, Daniel. "$9B + Rail Proposal Inches Closer to Public Vote." ABJ 19 Jun. 2020: A14.

31 "Sales Tax Woes Become Clearer." ABJ 19 Jun. 2020: A15.

32 Choi. "Experts: Economic Pain Could Linger for Years." AAS 22 May 2020: A1+.

33 AD No. 50n63 (May 14, 2003).

34 Holick, Dr. Michael F. The Vitamin D Solution: A 3-Step Strategy to Cure Our Most Common Health Problem. New York City: Hudson Street Press, 2010; Osborn, Claire. "In Williamson County, Mixed Views on Masks." AAS 21 Jun. 2020: B1-2; Sanders, Austin. "Fast, Easy, Healthy!" AC 29 May 2020: 14.

35 Folio Leasing Team. "Water Valve Replacement." E-mail to tenants, 4 Jun. 2020.