The Grinding of Teeth and Axes

Austin Dispatches No. 239 Dec. 6, 2022 

Since last issue, whatever's good in my life has happened despite the corporatist, managerial-therapeutic, wafare-welfare state, its associates among the local power elite, and their lingering COVIDiacy, or what COVIDiots call "long COVID."1

For example, the Dec. 1 Statesman reports cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), at twice Texas' average, plus flu and coronavirus cases, have swamped Central Texas emergency rooms. Amazingly, the Statesman reports further in the story that people who heeded quacks, isolated, distanced and wore face diapers weakened their immune systems -- just like real medical experts said for years before the pandemic.2 The story even recommends over-the-counter remedies,3 instead of abjectly clamoring for another injection of mRNA drugs, the credibility of which diminishes with each new study,4 and each hectoring official the virus infects, reinfects or kills.5

At best, enduring the anti-pandemic regime has been like reliving the disco craze, with alleged doctor Anthony Fauci as the John Travolta of COVID. Your chances of staying alive -- say "ahh ahh ahh ahh" -- depend on how much you reject his jawboning:6

... [W]hen it was Fauci's turn, right on cue, he immediately played his "there's only anecdotal evidence" card. Just as immediately, I stood up from my backbench chair just behind Vice President Pence and walked straight toward Fauci.

As I approached him, I saw fear in his eyes. I'm sure it crossed his mind that I might physically assault him. Instead, I dumped my large dossier of studies onto the table in front of him and said to Fauci as much as to everyone else in the room -- especially VPOTUS -- "Tony, these are not anecdotes. That's more than fifty scientific studies in support of hydroxy [hydroxycloroquine]. Fifty! So stop spouting your crap about there only being anecdotal evidence because not only is it counterfactual. You are going to kill people just like you did during the AIDS crisis when you refused to approve medicines that everybody but you knew worked."7

The anti-pandemic regime seems to be in the equivalent of late 1979 or early 1980 of the disco craze.8 Fauci displayed frequent memory lapses under oath, like a Mafioso, in a deposition about alleged collusion between government officials and social media executives to censor dissent against the pandemic orthodoxy.9

Meanwhile, His Fraudulency -- the quintessential stereotype of a Northeastern shanty mick: dumb, corrupt, belligerent, resentful, and setting back the race, just when they'd started to live down the Kennedys -- was uncharacteristically in a good mood.10 Furthermore, he may be the only man in America in a good mood about the Nov. 8 election results, whether definitive or pending.11

The much-anticipated "red wave" of Republican sweeps up and down the ballot, for whatever reasons, turned out to mimic the much-anticipated Democratic "blue tide" of 2018.12 Pinkos and enragés spent the prior three months in, not merely a snit, not even a wool-shirted snit, but an unwashed Peruvian hand-knitted wool sweater snit, over the prospect of losing power. Yet even the victors are dissatisfied. For example, re-elected U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-WF-N.Y., blames the New York Democratic Party leadership for its relatively poor overall performance.13

So much dissatisfaction arrives in time for the winter holiday gatherings. As families fracture over politics, they can distract themselves from the shortages of turkey and other food that persist because of supply chain disruptions because of officialdom's anti-pandemic efforts, contrary to best known medical and public policy practices at the time, and continuing exploitation of the crises for ulterior motives.14

Thus, His Fraudulency proclaims nothing will change.15 Certainly, nothing will change for the better for us, as long as he and his ilk remain in power.16 Too many election results are tantamount to voters rewarding public servants who sought re-election or higher office after tyrannizing us.

That includes Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who "... has continued to renew the state disaster declaration he issued in March 2020...."17 The GOP could've run Bud Abbott, dead almost 50 years, and still beat Beto O'Rourke, a.k.a., Beta O'Dork, by a respectable margin.18 O'Dork's campaign repeatedly sent unsolicited text messages to my cell phone. For that alone, he deserved defeat.

Also, shortly before Election Day, a milquetoast Republican for mayor robocalled my landline, with a message making incumbent Steve Adler the whipping boy for all that's wrong with Austin. But this milquetoast should've started her campaign with that message, and escalated from there. She'd've placed better than third.

Two City Council candidates sued Austin on Nov. 21 because they claim "bad advice" from City bureaucrats prevented them from receiving municipal funds for their campaigns.19 Given the COVIDiacy from City Hall, the candidates shouldn't be surprised.

(Whither the Libertarians? None of the candidates' information in the local League of Women Voters guide provided any real inkling of where they stood on the important issues. Then again, the party's been intellectually comatose since the Portland convention. In that time, its members have forgotten much and learned nothing. Just like country club Republicans. No wonder they keep losing.)

Nevertheless, by mid-October, I was able to resume salsa dancing after a 30-month hiatus. I saw enough familiar faces. So far, the problems have been the previous ones of inclement weather, parking, schedules, and turnout.

At the same time, Halloween returned from the dead, after anti-pandemic mentalities succeeded, where Christian fundamentalists could not, in killing the holiday in 2020 and 2021.20 Oct. 31 became just another day. To take car radio selections as an example, the stations played no holiday music. By contrast, early October strolls in Austin and Pflugerville subdivisions revealed many houses already had decorations up, at a level I hadn't seen in several years. Also, FM stations KOOP and KVRX often played suitable tunes from the beginning of the month, until the numerous social choices over Halloween weekend.21

I've emphasize this subject in Austin Dispatches because it's an indicator of other social trends.22 Also, in adulthood, I appreciate Halloween because a) paradoxically, it's one of the year's most sociable occasions, where people normally tense and censorious become relaxed and friendly -- maybe it's all the sugar they consume; and b) the accretions of past pop culture emerge from storage and share equal time with that of the present.

Austin Death Watch

Returning to nightmares, local voters assented to their own dispossession by approving every bond measure on the ballot.23 Even the Statesman's Metro columnist wrote the bond proponents' "math and messaging around these bonds was frustratingly disjointed," so homeowners don't know how much they'll have to pay until they get the bills in 2023.24

Voters in Lago Vista and Manor voted to continue sales tax payments to Capital Metro, so the Austin municipal transit system can gets its hooks into other cities.25 Keep in mind this is the same Cap Metro even the Chronicle acknowledges can't meet its own reliability goals, and also hampered by the anti-pandemic response the local pinkos imposed.26 Meanwhile, Cap Metro issued free bus passes to street bums so they can annoy people around town, not just at street corners.27

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority raised its rates on toll roads.28 A lawsuit plaintiff claims shoddy work by the CTRMA on its U.S. 183 toll roads, damaging nearby private property.29 A new study concludes Interstate 35 through Central Austin has the worst congestion in the state for commercial trucks.30

Similarly, Elon Musk's Boring Co. proposed building a tunnel downtown.31 However, City officials have already been undermining Austin for years.

The Oct. 4 Statesman reports board members of the Austin Transit Partnership, which manages the Project Connect mass transit boondoggle pushed by Adler, are dithering and even blanching at the $90 million budget price tag.32 Construction has yet to start and the latest big civic project is a disaster. We could call it Adler's Folly, but his fingerprints are on so many contenders.

For example, City bureaucrats bureaucratically rejected another one of Adler's schemes meddling in other people's property as having " 'minimal impact' on housing supply but would create 'additional complexity' in Austin's already byzantine land use rules and isn't worth the administrative trouble." Imagine: a policy idea so bad even Austin government employees can't go along with it.33

The Oct. 7 Business Journal reports a new housing study frets house-buying costs "... could threaten Austin's reputation as a livable and vibrant destination."34 Could? Could? The study authors should've read Austin Dispatches. Perhaps then they wouldn't've suggested proposals beloved of the Austin power elite: "updating the land development code to allow denser housing in more places and subsidizing more affordable housing."35 Already, an Arborteum-area brewpub I used to patronize has become the site for welfare apartments.36

Central Texas businesses object to Austin Energy's proposed rate increases.37 The Austin City Council approved the rate anyway. We'll pay another $15 per month for the next three years so the public utility can recover $104 million in payments it made last year.38 Now Austin Energy demands a second rate hike.39

The Austin City Council and Travis County commissioners are squabbling over disbursement of $20 million in pandemic relief money.40 Neither group deserves that money. Regardless, the local power elite must've extracted all the advantage it could from the anti-pandemic efforts, because one of the Statesman's chief propagandists has a safety tip article in the Oct. 14 issue, about the ACL festival, with no mention of coronavirus. Instead, the article covers concerns like cell phone theft and being a dumbass pedestrian around reckless drivers.41

Opioid deaths continue climbing in Travis County, but the news media primly avoids addressing whether despair from the totalitarian anti-pandemic measures, or the local cultural arbiters' favorable attitude toward recreational drug use, is the root cause.42

The Oct. 28 Chronicle includes a feature lamenting the demise of Austin eateries and their respective recipes. True enough, but the same article disingenuously elides the real cause of many eateries' demise, namely, the Austin power elite's intrusive, burdensome policies, up to and including the anti-pandemic measures that drove said eateries out of business, all of which the Chronicle has championed during its existence. In the case of the Holiday House chili cheeseburger, that menu item and restaurant died at the hands of the "animal rights activity/vegan who inherited the property and shut down the restaurant because no business in the West Austin shopping center she owned was allowed to serve any animal products."43 Isn't that always the way with these people.

Despite their credentials from respected schools -- or perhaps because of them -- the people who run Travis County are remarkably dumb. No surprise to anyone who reads Austin Dispatches, but we must repeat this point until we finally replace them, and the thinking they represent. What's more, the local power elite never remembers its recent failures, or the failures of its predecessors.

Bevo and Butt-Heads

Former high school students filed suit against their former theater director for "sexual harassment." The twist? The suit's parties are all women.44 However, the Oct. 4 Statesman coverage lacks the proper salacious tone that might boost that paper's flagging circulation.

Test scores have dropped, partly from the Austin Independent School District's anti-pandemic shutdowns.45 The district still expects voters to approve any and all funding requests, however. Meanwhile, AISD student enrollment continues to drop.46

AISD is stocking up on nasal spray to treat overdoses.47 AISD also plans to make all its buses electric by 2035, even though the technical and financial hurdles render that scheme impractical -- perhaps because it's impractical.48

Media Indigest

The Statesman's executive editor won an award for the newspaper's coverage of some school shooting in Uvalde -- over-coverage is more like it -- almost 200 miles away, closer to the San Antonio Express-News' office, while ignoring, misreporting or downplaying the real stories happening in the Statesman's contiguous coverage area. For that, the executive editor's award should be a swift kick in the ass.49

Business Roundup

Whilst pondering an easy way of cleaning my microwave, I discovered a President Trump microwave cleaner.50 It gives MAGA a new meaning: microwave anti-gunk agenda. Note the Democrats don't inspire anything like this.

An Oregon company plans to relocate its headquarters to Austin. Boy, will they be disappointed.51

A Nov. 20 Statesman feature about the underperforming hemp industry confirms my research a couple of years ago when looking for investment prospects.52 At least it's not electric vehicles.53

Neighborhood News

The body of an old man who wandered away from an assisted living facility turned up near MoPac Expressway and Parmer Lane on Nov. 16.54

The Sep. 23 Business Journal cover story is a perky feature on "Austin's second downtown."55 In reality, economic jitters halted a construction project next to that damned soccer stadium.56

KXAN-TV's traffic Web page reported collisions at Metric Boulevard and Parmer Lane on Sep. 28, at Burnet Road and Rutland Drive on Oct. 17, and at Burnet and Braker Lane on Oct. 27.

Five businesses have opened in the neighborhood.57 A brewery closed on Halloween. The October Community Impact newspaper contains a feature on Garbo's at the Market at Wells Branch shopping plaza.58

A brief power outage struck on Oct. 27. On Oct. 6, I found a penny at my apartment complex.

On the Metro

Sep. 22: Witnessed a near-collision at East Howard Lane and Interstate 35.

Sep. 26: Witnessed a near-collision at the West 35th Street bridge over I-35.

Oct. 2: A smash-up on The Decks snarled northbound I-35 traffic back to Onion Creek.

Oct. 22: I found a penny in the parking lot of the Crockett Center strip mall off Menchaca Road. Later, I saw a deer carcass on the side of northbound MoPac.


Home Archives


1 AD No. 236n45 (June 20, 2022).

2 AD No. 236n5 (June 20, 2022); "Comparative Analysis of Pediatric Respiratory Syncytial Virus Epidemiology and Clinical Severity Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic in British Columbia, Canada." Pediatrics Week 10 Dec. 2022: 52; Glezen, Dr. W. Paul et al. "Risk of Primary Infection and Reinfection With Respiratory Syncytial Virus." American Journal of Diseases of Children Jun. 1986: 543-546; Herby, Jonas, Lars Jonung, and Steve H. Hanke. A Literature Review and Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Lockdowns on COVID-19 Mortality (Studies in Applied Economics No. 200). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise, 2022; Hobart, Pamela. "Closing Schools to Protect Kids Made Them Sick." Reason Feb. 2022: 7; Miller, Ian. Unmasked: The Global Failure of Covid Mask Mandates. New York City: Post Hill Press, 2022; "New COVID-19 Research from University of Missouri Kansas City Outlined (The Changing Epidemiology of the Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic)." Women's Health Weekly 1 Dec. 2022: 409; Zimlich, Rachael. "Examining the Seasonal Shift of RSV: The Jury is Out on Whether Testing or Exposure Better Explains the Unseasonable Surge of Respiratory Syncytial Virus." Contemporary Pediatrics Dec. 2021, pp. 31+.

3 Villalpando, Nicole. " 'A Terrible Year': Austin Area Battling a Rough Cold, Flu and RSV Season." AAS 1 Dec. 2022: 1A+.

4 AD No. 236n5 (June 20, 2022); Fraiman, Joseph et al. "Serious Adverse Events of Special Interest Following mRNA COVID-19 Vaccination in Randomized Trials in Adults." Vaccine 22 Sep. 2022: 5,798-5,805.

5 "CDC Direction Rochelle Walensky Tests Positive for COVID-19." Lewiston (Idaho) Tribune 23 Oct. 2022: A2.

6 Saturday Night Fever. Paramount Pictures/Robert Stigwood, 1977.

7 Navarro, Peter. In Trump Time: A Journal of America's Plague Year. St. Petersburg, Fla.: All Seasons Press, 2021: 90-91.

8  Haden-Guest, Anthony. The Last Party: Studio 54, Disco and the Culture of the Night, rev. ed. New York City: It Books, 2009: Ch. 13.

9 "Dr. Fauci's Deposition a No-Show on State-Run Media." Boston Herald 27 Nov. 2022: 4; Doornbos, Caitlin. "GOP State AGs Grill Fauci." 24 Nov. 2022: 10; Mueller, Joe. "Fauci Defends COVID Communications Day Before Lawsuit Deposition by AGs." Forsythe (Ga.) County News 25 Nov. 2022: 8A.

10 Devine, Miranda. Laptop From Hell: Hunter Biden, Big Tech, and the Dirty Secrets the President Tried to Hide. New York City: Post Hill Press, 2021: Ch. 6; Parnes, Amie, and Alex Gangitano. "Biden's Unexpectedly Good Night." The Hill 10 Nov. 2022: 10; Schweizer, Peter. Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America's Progressive Elite. New York City: HarperCollins Publishers, 2020: Ch. 3; Schweizer, Peter. Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win. New York City: Harper, 2022: Ch. 2; Schweizer, Peter. Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, rev. ed. New York City: Harper, Ch. 4.

11 Autullo, Ryan. "Runoff for Mayor." AAS 10 Nov. 2022: 1A+; Thompson, Ben. "Austin Mayoral Races Heads to Runoff; School Districts See Success." CIN Nov. 2022, Northwest Austin ed.: 26.

12 Asch, Sarah, and Autullo. "2 Incumbents Win; Runoffs in 3 Districts." AAS 10 Nov. 2022: 1-2B; Mellman, Mark. "Why No Red Wave?" The Hill 16 Nov. 2022: 19; Sabur, Rozina. "Republicans Tipped to Benefit From 'Red Wave' in US Midterms." Daily Telegraph 3 Nov. 2022: 12; Seipp, Skye. "Abbott Calls for Look Into Voting in Harris." AAS 15 Nov. 2022: 1B+.

13 Fandos, Nicholas. "One of the Democrats' Own Dissects New York Setbacks." NYT 11 Nov. 2022: A17.

14 Atlas, Dr. Scott W. A Plague Upon Our House: My Fight at the Trump White House to Stop COVID From Destroying America. New York City: Liberatio Protocol, 2021; Wilson, Greg. "Don't Let Food Inflation Gobble Up Your Thanksgiving Plans." AAS 13 Nov. 2022: 2G.

15 United States. Administration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents. 9 Nov. 2022: 4-5.

16 Jacques, Ingrid. "C'mon Man! If the Pandemic Is Over, End the Emergency." USAT 22 Sep. 2022: 7A.

17 Heath, Keri. "Abbott Reiterates Vaccine Policy." AAS 18 Nov. 2022: 3B

18 "Bud Abbott, Straight Man to Lou Costello, Is Dead." NYT 25 Apr. 1974: 42; Griswold, Niki. "Uvalde County Backs Abbott Over O'Rourke." AAS 10 Nov. 2022: 1B+.

19 Asch. "Austin Council Candidates Miss Out on Funds." AAS 22 Nov. 2022: 1A+.

20 Rogers, Nicholas. Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night. New York City: Oxford UP, 2002: 12-13.

21 Eisler, Dan. Letter to David Morris and Debbie Morris, 29 Nov. 2022.

22 AD No. 200n12 (Nov. 6, 2017).

23 Autullo and Asch. "Austin Voters Approve $350M Affordable Housing Bond." AAS 10 Nov. 2022: 6A; Heath. "$2.4 Billion Bond OK'd for Austin Schools." AAS 10 Nov. 2022: 1A+; Menchaca, Megan. "New Trustees Elected to Austin ISD, ACC Board; ACC Passes Bond Package." AAS 10 Nov. 2022: 2B.

24 Grumet, Bridget. "What's Total Cost for New Bonds?" AAS 20 Nov. 2022: 1-2B.

25 Sayers, Justin. "On Track for Big-City Public Transit." ABJ 18 Nov. 2022: 12-14.

26 Graham, Benton. "Cap Metro Wants Its Groove Back." AC 18 Nov. 2022: 20+.

27 Fisher, Lina. "Cap Metro Issues 7,000 Free Passes for the Unhoused." AC 25 Nov. 2022: 20.

28 Dickens, Grace. "Tolls to Rise on Regional Roads." CIN Nov. 2022, Northwest Austin ed.: 11.

29 Asch. "Developer Blames Toll Road Agency for Damage." AAS 4 Oct. 2022: 1-2B.

30 Gore, Hogan. "I-35 Traffic Among the Worst in Texas." AAS 1 Dec. 2022: 1A+.

31 Carlson, Kara. "Boring Co. Mulls Downtown Tunnel." AAS 14 Nov. 2022: 1A+.

32 Asch. "$90 Million Budget Is Sparking Questions and Debate." AAS 4 Oct. 2022: 1A+.

33 Sanders, Austin. "On Compatibility, Staff Tells Adler, Thanks, but No Thanks." AC 4 Nov. 2022: 22.

34 Baird, Cody. "First-Time Homebuyers Face Huge Challenges Here." ABJ 7 Oct. 2022: A3.

35 Baird. "First-Time Homebuyers Face Huge Challenges Here." ABJ 7 Oct. 2022: A3.

36 Christen, Mike. "Brewpub Replaced by Mixed-Income Community." ABJ 25 Nov. 2022: 14.

37 Christen. "Large Electricity Users Rail Against 'Shocking' Price Changes Proposed." ABJ 30 Sep. 2022: A4; Sechler, Bob. "Austin Energy Proposal Sparks Alarm." AAS 3 Oct. 2022: 1A+.

38 Autullo. "Utility Bills to Rise by $15 Monthly." AAS 15 Oct. 2022: 1A+; Christen. "Brace for Bigger Bills." ABJ 21 Oct. 2022: A10; Sanders. "Council Uses Its (Public) Power to Soften AE Rate Hike." AC 21 Oct. 2022: 20; Thompson. "Options Considered Aas Austin Energy Considers Raising Rates." CIN Oct. 2022, Northwest Austin ed.: 15.

39 Fisher. "Power for the People?" AC 25 Nov. 2022: 22+; Grumet. "Softening Another Rate Hike." AAS 27 Nov. 2022: 1B+; Malik, Sumaiya. "Second Rate Hike Ahead for Austin Energy Customers." CIN 19 Nov. 2022, Northwest Austin ed.: 1+.

40 Autullo. "County's Debt Frustrates Austin Officials." AAS 9 Oct. 2022: 1B+.

41 Osbourne, Heather. "Safety First if You're Going to the ACL Fest." AAS 14 Oct. 2022: 1-2B.

42 Hall, Katie. "Travis County Aims to Curb Opioid Deaths." AAS 29 Nov. 2022: 1B+.

43 Fried, Joel, and Melanie Haupt. "Dearly Departed Dishes." AC 28 Oct. 2022: 64-68.

44 Menchaca. "Bowie Theater Director Is Named in Lawsuit." AAS 4 Oct. 2022: 1B+.

45 Heath. "Austin Schools See Limited Declines." AAS 25 Oct. 2022: 1-2B.

46 Heath. "School District Dips 1.2% From 2021." AAS 12 Nov. 2022: 1B+.

47 Heath. "AISD Stocking Up on Narcan Boxes." AAS ; Sprague, Darcy. "District Makes Policy Tweak to Allow Narcan." CIN Nov. 2022, Northwest Austin ed.: 13.

48 Cutshall, Amanda. "Austin ISD to Convert All Buses to Electric by 2035." CIN Nov. 2022, Northwest Austin ed.: 13.

49 "Statesman's Garcia Wins National Editor of Year Award." AAS 22 Oct. 2022: 1B+.

50 Friedrick, Joanne. "Gadgets: Tooling Around." Home Furnishings News Apr. 2019: 65.

51 Baird. "West Coast HQ Moving to Austin to Fuel Growth." ABJ 14 Oct. 2022: 3.

52 Sechler. " 'Growing Pains' or a Flop?" AAS 20 Nov. 2022: 1A+.

53 AD No. 235 (Jan. 22, 2022); AD No. 238 (Sep. 18, 2022).

54 Osbourne. "Body Discovered Possibly Identified." AAS 18 Nov. 2022: 2B.

55 Baird. "Who Controls Austin's Second Downtown?" ABJ 23 Sep. 2022: 14-16+.

56 Baird. "Stadium Tower Construction Halted." ABJ 4 Nov. 2022: A4.

57 "Featured Impact." CIN Nov. 2022, Northwest Austin ed.: 7; "Now Open." CIN Sep. 2022, Northwest Austin ed.: 6-7; "Now Open." CIN Oct. 2022, Northwest Austin ed.: 6; "Now Open." CIN Nov. 2022, Northwest Austin ed.: 6.

58 "Garbo's." CIN Oct. 2022, Northwest Austin ed.: 29.