We aren’t human when we’re like this

Pandemic

Yesterday (Sunday), the wind was blowing fiercely, but as I was driving around, the temperature was up to 79° F, which is awfully warm, even after a ridiculously mild winter.

I noticed that traffic seemed a bit heavier and that more people were out on the streets socializing despite Tom Wolf’s order.[1] It led me to doubt how long that order can really hold, especially with uncertainty about how long, really, all this is going to last.

So today, Bill Peduto’s office announced new measures affecting recreation in Pittsburgh.[2] And sadly but unsurprisingly, Wolf today extended the “stay at home” order, now covering 26 counties including Allegheny and all the counties surrounding it, through at least April 30.[3]

It’s all certainly terrifying. I stopped in to Giant Eagle today to buy some frozen entrees and as I went to pay, I had to wait behind a line while the cashier finished with the previous customer and until she motioned me forward. There was a plastic barrier set up to try to limit transmission and the little credit card machine had been moved to the left of that barrier to extend the distance between customers and the cashier. They don’t let you use reusable bags anymore and there remains one point of vulnerability as the cashier hands you your bags and the receipt with her gloved hand.

And indeed, there is certainly another side to the story as work stoppages by workers concerned about their health at Amazon, Instacart, and Whole Foods show.[4] This is the fearful side of the balance.

On one side, you have a question: If I didn’t do the crime, why am I doing the time, especially on an indefinite[5] sentence? On the other, this is a truly terrifying virus that could kill millions.[6]

I still have no idea how all this plays out.

Megan Guza, “Gov. Wolf closes Pa. schools and businesses indefinitely, extends stay-at-home order,” TribLive, March 30, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/gov-wolf-closes-pa-schools-and-businesses-indefinitely-extends-stay-at-home-order/

Kara Seymour, “PA Coronavirus: Stay-At-Home Extended, Schools Shut Indefinitely,” Patch, March 30, 2020, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/h2eya/pa-stay-at-home-extended-schools-closed-indefinitely

Mike Snider, “Work strikes at Amazon, Instacart and Whole Foods show essential workers’ safety concerns,” USA Today, March 30, 2020, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2020/03/30/coronavirus-safety-drives-strikes-amazon-instacart-and-whole-foods/5086135002/

WTAE, “City of Pittsburgh announces new social distancing restrictions,” March 30, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/pittsburgh-new-social-distancing-restrictions-coronavirus/31978041


  1. [1]WTAE, “Stay-at-home order to begin tonight for several Pa. counties, including Allegheny,” March 23, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/stay-at-home-order-to-begin-tonight-for-several-pa-counties-including-allegheny/31900786
  2. [2]WTAE, “City of Pittsburgh announces new social distancing restrictions,” March 30, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/pittsburgh-new-social-distancing-restrictions-coronavirus/31978041
  3. [3]Megan Guza, “Gov. Wolf closes Pa. schools and businesses indefinitely, extends stay-at-home order,” TribLive, March 30, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/gov-wolf-closes-pa-schools-and-businesses-indefinitely-extends-stay-at-home-order/; Kara Seymour, “PA Coronavirus: Stay-At-Home Extended, Schools Shut Indefinitely,” Patch, March 30, 2020, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/h2eya/pa-stay-at-home-extended-schools-closed-indefinitely
  4. [4]Mike Snider, “Work strikes at Amazon, Instacart and Whole Foods show essential workers’ safety concerns,” USA Today, March 30, 2020, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2020/03/30/coronavirus-safety-drives-strikes-amazon-instacart-and-whole-foods/5086135002/
  5. [5]Megan Guza, “Gov. Wolf closes Pa. schools and businesses indefinitely, extends stay-at-home order,” TribLive, March 30, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/gov-wolf-closes-pa-schools-and-businesses-indefinitely-extends-stay-at-home-order/
  6. [6]Ed Yong, “How the Pandemic Will End,” Atlantic, March 25, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/03/how-will-coronavirus-end/608719/

Such a surprise: Joe Biden is a rapist

Joe Biden

So I’ve been seeing tweets about this and finally chased down a story:

A former aide [Tara Reade] to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said this week that he sexually assaulted her in 1993, her most detailed account to date of his alleged inappropriate behavior.[1]

It should say something about power over others that it so often expresses itself in the form of rape and sexual assault, that is, the very way that vegetarian ecofeminism predicts.[2] At the same time, we should note that the entire presumption of an authoritarian system of social organization is that a centralized authority is necessary to protect us from each other, as if that centralized authority would be more moral than any of us. Methinks we’ve been conned.

I have previously characterized Joe Biden as a touchy feely misogynist racist.[3] This background should make clear that rape would not be out of character for Biden any more than it was for Bill Clinton.[4] And the lack of attention paid to these allegations,[5] which I shall presume to be true, is yet another example of the morality of polarization.[6] And oh yeah, tell me how I’m supposed to choose between rapists in November.

Alanna Vagianos, “Joe Biden Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Senate Aide In 1993,” HuffPost, March 29, 2020, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/joe-biden-sexual-assault-tara-reade_n_5e7e69c8c5b6256a7a2a88f2


Elon Musk

It appears that Elon Musk has at least partly kept his word.[7] I have updated my blog post accordingly.

Steve Hanley, “Tesla Cuts Jobs In Nevada, Sends Ventilators To New York,” Clean Technica, March 29, 2020, https://cleantechnica.com/2020/03/29/tesla-cuts-jobs-in-nevada-sends-ventilators-to-new-york/


  1. [1]Alanna Vagianos, “Joe Biden Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Senate Aide In 1993,” HuffPost, March 29, 2020, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/joe-biden-sexual-assault-tara-reade_n_5e7e69c8c5b6256a7a2a88f2
  2. [2]Greta Gaard, “Vegetarian Ecofeminism: A Review Essay,” Frontiers 23, no. 3 (2002): 117-146.
  3. [3]Mark Z. Barabak, “Seven takeaways from Democratic debate Night 2: Sparks from Biden and Harris, honesty from Buttigieg,” Los Angeles Times, June 27, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-2020-democratic-debate-miami-takeaways-20190627-story.html; David Benfell, “Joe Biden blows his #MeToo moment,” Not Housebroken, April 5, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/04/05/joe-biden-blows-his-metoo-moment/; Stephen Collinson, “Joe Biden gets in his own way on race,” CNN, June 20, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/20/politics/joe-biden-race-2020-election/index.html; Stephen Collinson, “Joe Biden throws own campaign into turmoil after Harris attacks his record on race,” CNN, June 28, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/28/politics/first-democratic-debate-night-2-analysis/index.html; Scott Detrow, “Democrats Blast Biden For Recalling ‘Civil’ Relationship With Segregationists,” CNN, June 19, 2019, https://www.npr.org/2019/06/19/734103488/democrats-blast-biden-for-recalling-civil-relationship-with-segregationists; Maeve Reston, “Harris’ attack on Joe Biden steals spotlight at Democratic primary debate,” CNN, June 28, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/27/politics/democratic-primary-debate-night-two-joe-biden-bernie-sanders-kamala-harris/index.html; Brett Samuels, “Biden: ‘I’m not sorry for anything that I have ever done,’” Hill, April 5, 2019, https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/437582-biden-im-not-sorry-for-anything-that-i-have-ever-done; Greg Sargent, “Joe Biden is badly undermining his ability to challenge Trump,” Washington Post, June 20, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/06/20/joe-biden-is-badly-undermining-his-case-against-trump/; Elise Viebeck, “Joe Biden was in charge of the Anita Hill hearing. Even he says it wasn’t fair,” Washington Post, April 26, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/joe-biden-was-in-charge-of-the-anita-hill-hearing-even-he-says-it-wasnt-fair/2019/04/26/a9a6f384-6500-11e9-82ba-fcfeff232e8f_story.html; Matt Viser and Sean Sullivan, “Biden faces backlash over comments about the ‘civility’ of his past work with racist senators,” Washington Post, June 19, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-faces-backlash-over-comments-about-the-civility-of-his-past-work-with-racist-senators/2019/06/19/c0375d2a-92a8-11e9-b58a-a6a9afaa0e3e_story.html
  4. [4]David Benfell, “Yes, Hillary Clinton must answer for Bill Clinton’s sexual assaults,” Not Housebroken, October 10, 2016, https://disunitedstates.org/2016/10/10/yes-hillary-clinton-must-answer-for-bill-clintons-sexual-assaults/
  5. [5]Alanna Vagianos, “Joe Biden Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Senate Aide In 1993,” HuffPost, March 29, 2020, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/joe-biden-sexual-assault-tara-reade_n_5e7e69c8c5b6256a7a2a88f2
  6. [6]David Benfell, “The morality of polarization,” Not Housebroken, September 21, 2018, https://disunitedstates.org/2018/09/21/the-morality-of-polarization/; David Benfell, “The theory of the morality of polarization,” Not Housebroken, December 23, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/12/23/the-theory-of-the-morality-of-polarization/
  7. [7]Sydney Brownstone and Brendan Kiley, “50,000 N95 masks delivered to UW researcher’s home thanks to Elon Musk, Tesla,” Seattle Times, March 22, 2020, https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/truckload-of-50000-n95-masks-headed-to-uw-researchers-home-thanks-to-elon-musk-tesla/; Steve Hanley, “Tesla Cuts Jobs In Nevada, Sends Ventilators To New York,” Clean Technica, March 29, 2020, https://cleantechnica.com/2020/03/29/tesla-cuts-jobs-in-nevada-sends-ventilators-to-new-york/; Zachary Shahan, “Elon Musk: Should Have 1000 Ventilators Next Week, + 250,000 N95 Masks For Hospitals Tomorrow,” CleanTechnica, March 21, 2020, https://cleantechnica.com/2020/03/21/elon-musk-should-have-1000-ventilators-next-week-250k-n95-masks-for-hospitals-tomorrow-cleantechnica-exclusive/