A Public Source article, reported and photographed by Quinn Glabicki, focuses on Clairton, but many of the problems it documents are not Clairton’s alone. They are endemic throughout the Monongahela River Valley (“Mon Valley”) and even in communities away from it. Read more
There is a classic essay by Gayle Rubin in which she argues that sex is first to be stigmatized. As she proceeds, she ends up defending the National Man-Boy Love Association (yes, really, and yes, this was a thing) at length. According to Wikipedia, this essay is widely considered a foundational essay for the fields of gay and lesbian studies, sexuality studies, and queer theory. Read more
Migration is more or less continuously in the news and that desperate attempts to cross the English Channel from France to the United Kingdom continue even after an incident in which 27 passengers on a flimsy boat drowned should illustrate that people are willing to risk their lives to get into places even when they cannot do so legally or safely. Read more
I’m tired of a lot of things lately. COVID-19 is one. Donald Trump is another.
Judges might have just about had their fill of Trump and his supporters’ 2020 election challenges; we’re starting to see rulings punishing the lawyers. Read more
See updates through November 23, 2021, at end of post.
What we see in the Kyle Rittenhouse exoneration for his killing of two people and the wounding of a third at a Black Lives Matter protest is the natural confluence of multiple related phenomena. The first is in which police operate in the context of a distinctly dubious system of (in)justice, Read more
See updates through November 26, 2021, at end of post.
Ryan Grim reports that, at least in Virginia, Democrats seem to be losing on cultural rather than economic issues, particularly with education. It’s important to note that focus groups, such as the methodology Grim refers to, are not based on representative samples, but given the six or seven percent response rate (possibly less now) on survey research, this is probably at least a more honest methodology. Read more
See update for November 17, 2021, at end of post.
In the last English class I ever took, I had a professor who made a point of confessing that she couldn’t remember all the grammar rules either. She was about to retire—I think she did so following the quarter after I took her class. A point to be taken here is that these rules are arbitrary; what they mostly really amount to is a description of what “looks right” from the peculiar perspective of a someone we only sometimes know. Read more
I picked up a passenger at an Amazon warehouse the other day who told me that there are lots of people with Master’s degrees working there. In general, I’ve heard from a number of passengers that they know underemployed highly educated people. Many have told me that they themselves have had to find work outside the fields for which they were educated. Read more
So the U.S. Department of Justice is suing Uber for charging wheelchair users, who require additional time to get in and out of cars, for wait time, arguing that these charges are discriminatory.
Which means it’s time for me to tell a story about my San Francisco cab driving days. Read more
I realize I’m supposed to interpret this more charitably. But I don’t always do what I’m supposed to do and you know what? I’m still not buying it. Robert Baird’s article leaves me still thinking that having passed the bipartisan infrastructure framework, the so-called progressives in Congress got rolled, that the Build Back Better package, a “social infrastructure” bill, is doomed. I have long been skeptical about its prospects and now progressives have only Joe Biden’s promise as leverage, a promise that binds neither Joe Manchin nor Kyrstin Sinema and which they seem determined to defy. Read more