See update for August 7, 2021, at end of post.
David Leonhardt complains about the messaging in yesterday’s (July 27, 2021) announcement that people in some areas of the country should resume wearing masks in indoor public places. He’s not wrong; I was wondering if it would apply in Allegheny County. It doesn’t, but if I’m reading a map he included (figure 1) correctly, it does apply, somewhat ironically I might add, to the area where my mother lives. Read more
See updates through August 7, 2021, at end of post.
According to the Washington Post, “Messaging experts counseled for months that blaming unvaccinated Americans would only backfire.” But it’s apparent that it is not my patience alone that has been exhausted: Read more
This ad (figure 1) keeps showing up in, of all places, a Times of Israel newsletter:
Fig. 1. Screenshot taken by author from Times of Israel newsletter on July 24, 2021, fair use.
Has it never occurred to the people who are determined to eviscerate every last pubic hair that they seek to reproduce the appearance of pre-pubescent genitalia? That such a determination is, to me, evidence of pedophilia? Read more
See updates through July 27, 2021, at end of post.
Among my darker thoughts is a wish that COVID-19 would be more efficient at weeding out the evilly stupid. It almost—only almost— is. It really doesn’t work like that, with the as yet mostly unrealized potential for variants that will more readily “break through” vaccinations. But Jesus, I tire of the stupid. Read more
See update for July 25, 2021, at end of post.
To try to make a long story short, driving for Uber and Lyft on Pittsburgh roads destroyed my 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid; maintenance costs had become ludicrous. Uber and Lyft have arrangements with rental car companies such that I could, in theory, rent a car to drive, but rental cars have become hard to get and very expensive. Another issue is that for this kind of work, I really need some options that make the car more resilient to the abuse it must endure, and I put a lot of mileage on, so I’m feeling like a used car (right now, even these are ludicrously expensive) is really an inadequate solution. So I ordered a new car and waited and waited and waited, because a shortage of computer chips has slowed production. That car has finally arrived and I have a temporary vehicle registration from the dealer, which I have submitted to Uber and Lyft so I can resume driving. Read more
There is much in Cornel West’s resignation from faculty at Harvard Divinity School to unpack here:
Perhaps it is that I am old and that my eyes now make reading fine print difficult, so with assistance from Google’s magic, I will render the text from that image: Read more
The explosion in gun nuttery leading up to the 2020 election, in part because conservatives were afraid Joe Biden wouldn’t allow them to, also led to people buying guns because they were afraid of the gun nuts that surrounded them. It’s an example of the very thing anti-gun folks fear: Guns lead to more guns and, inevitably, the violence that accompanies those guns. Read more
Full disclosure: I have hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans, accumulated on my way to my Ph.D., but the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (Pheaa) is not my servicer. My student loan servicer horror story wasn’t really a horror story so much as an absence of communication that convinced me to change servicers as I consolidated all of it into income based repayment and my advice to other borrowers since has been consistently to get out from under Navient. I gather Great Lakes also has its problems, but for the most part, they’ve been much more tolerable.
“No doubt critics will see [the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency] bowing out [from federal student loan servicing] as a positive development,” Justin S. Draeger, president and chief executive of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said in an email. “But with one major servicer exiting, and still no comprehensive plan” from the Education Department “on how they’ll be transitioning millions of borrowers into repayment, let alone a publicly available comprehensive strategy on loan servicing, the task before the Department grows more daunting every day.”
Apparently Pheaa had been the target of numerous complaints, at least some of which apply to the industry as a whole, and is withdrawing due to “the complexity and cost of managing those programs.” Read more
George W. Bush’s “Global War on Terror” is now ending in defeat, unless one regards Iraq, where Iran’s influence seems at least as great as that of the U.S., as “victory,” or one regards Afghanistan, where the Taliban is far from defeated, as “victory.” The U.S. withdrawal from the latter will be complete and the “main British mission” will be out on July 4. Read more
So let’s pick this apart:
In the screenshot that Peter Daou includes in his tweet, Sandy Knauer asserts that she would vote for Joe Biden over Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders even if Biden raped her “in the middle of Fifth Avenue.” Read more