Un-fucking-believable. One might suspect that a warming—it got into the 40s on Wednesday—is what Pittsburgh Public Works is really counting on to clear its roads. There was still plenty of snow and slush lining travel lanes and I was frequently driving through it to get out of traffic to pick passengers up yesterday (Thursday). This is from a storm that struck on Sunday. It is now Friday and they’re reportedly still trying to clear it. Read more
See update for January 23, 2022, at end of post.
To say that U.S. intelligence agencies are not especially trustworthy understates the matter considerably. And the news on Ukraine that has lately managed to survive my bullshit filter all originates with those agencies. First, there was the possible false flag operation to justify an invasion reported about a week ago. Now the U.S. is claiming that Russia is recruiting former government officials to give Ukraine a Russian government with a Ukrainian face, to be backed by Russian occupying forces, and has imposed sanctions on those former officials. Both of these allegations seem entirely plausible to me. And I certainly am concerned for Ukraine. But I am deeply unhappy with the sourcing and there is the possibility of a personal vendetta: Read more
At last, somebody, Sarah Jones, points out that if students get sick from the COVID-19 pandemic, they can’t go to school, and if teachers get sick from the pandemic, they can’t teach. This isn’t the teachers’ fault, but they’re the ones being blamed for asking for some precautions. You know, like making masks available, installing HEPA filtering, like switching to virtual schooling temporarily when case counts rise. And they’re the ones whose own wellness seemingly doesn’t matter. This is all brain-dead shit but we just love bashing teachers. Read more
See update for January 14, 2022 at end of post.
Residents in Melbourne, Australia, endured a lot, being in some ways more sensible than most, with a 262-day long lockdown, but now here comes an anti-vaccination, indeed, anti-COVID-19 mitigation, unvaccinated Serbian tennis star who somehow—we don’t know how—gained a medical exemption to COVID-19 vaccination requirements, but apparently with, ahem, misstated polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results, so he can play in a tournament. Initially he was granted a visa, which was revoked at the border upon his arrival, then reinstated by a court on procedural grounds. But it turns out the star wasn’t completely accurate in the paperwork, undermining his visa application and the visa can still be revoked at the ministerial level—subject again to judicial review. Read more
It appears that Ed Gainey and Rich Fitzgerald are sticking to their guns with their invitation to the Republican National Committee to hold its convention in Pittsburgh in 2024. Here’s Gainey:
We understand the concerns that some have expressed. Should the city be selected, we are confident in our ability to ensure successful operations for an event of this size and will engage with the RNC and Visit Pittsburgh in relation to their engagement with the city.
One of the more curious rationalizations for the January 6 coup attempt draws on Thomas Jefferson’s claim that “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” Daniel McCarthy’s article in the Spectator is probably the closest you’ll find to an intellectual rationalization for the coup attempt, but it relies on inaccuracies: Read more
See update for January 18, 2022, at end of post.
I wind up in Wilkinsburg a fair amount, in significant part because poor people in Pittsburgh rely heavily on Uber and Lyft to get around. That probably biases my view of the borough. My last ride of the day yesterday, however, was from one of the more gentrified areas, a white couple going to a bar on the Edgewood side of Regent Square along South Braddock Avenue. Read more
It’s been a while since I’ve written on Russian aggression against Ukraine, My opinion now is as it was then: Ukraine is a sovereign country, entitled to its own foreign policy, and Russia has absolutely no right to dictate how Ukraine will govern itself or choose its alliances. Of course, that didn’t stop Vladimir Putin, whose Russia annexed Crimea and invaded and continues to occupy a piece of southeastern Ukraine. I remain disgusted with those whose sole criterion for supporting a country lies in its antagonism to the United States. Read more