Cops keep on killing

Those who know me know that it’s exceedingly rare that I call a day a good day. And usually, when I am optimistic, my hopes are cruelly dashed.

We’ll see if that happens again this time.

I contacted a dealer regarding the possibility of ordering the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (that I need because my present car just isn’t tough enough for Pittsburgh roads to the degree that I’m driving them) I mentioned earlier because I know this will need to be ordered in advance and I’m hoping to time delivery for when I’m confident I’ll have a down payment, that is, September. It looks like it will need to be ordered in mid-July but the salesman will keep in touch.

With that off my mind, my thoughts turned uncontrollably to the problem of where to live. I’ve not heard back from the place that was actually on my grandparents’ old street and I’m unhappy with my present complex 1) because I’m reminded I’m poor all the way from my garage to my apartment door, by the upkeep of the grounds and the exterior appearance of the building; 2) because the complex has been making the news lately for actions I rather strongly disapprove of;[1] and 3) because they seem awfully anxious to raise the rent and are accordingly really weird about lease renewal terms. I don’t like it when I feel I’m being played with and this complex is very much making me feel that way.

So I have been thinking about what I really like about southwestern Pennsylvania: the woods. I think I’ve found a place. I’ve begun exploring the possibility of moving in October, after I think I have the new car, which, by the way, will be a lot more useful for moving and even has limited (1,750 pounds) towing capacity. The place would be bigger than what I have now, for about the same amount of money. It would have a balcony. I’m hoping for a top floor apartment (the complex consists of townhouses and two-story buildings, so this shouldn’t be hard) with a balcony facing the woods (that’d be most of them).

It’s in the southeastern corner of Allegheny County. The politics there are not good. As I drove in, I noticed a Betsy Ross flag, a symbol adopted by conservatives to express their disdain for Black Lives Matter, whose activists recall that the flag hearkens to a time of slavery in the U.S., whose founding fathers enabled the continuation of slavery in the Constitution, partly by counting slaves as 3/5ths of a person in the census,[2] partly with the electoral college, and partly with the composition of the U.S. Senate, thereby assuring disproportionate representation for the rural, slaveholding South, now rural, conservative states generally.[3] Yeah, that was, and is, evil.

But progressive areas seem generally more expensive and as an introvert, I rarely interact with neighbors. And though I clearly visited on garbage collection day, the buildings and grounds appear nicely kept. They were retiling a roof on one building.

It seems they pretty much expect to know about upcoming vacancies four months or so in advance. And yes, I am wondering what that means for how much notice they will want to vacate. I’ve gotten on their mailing list.

I still really, really need a real job.[4] But at least for now, I’m feeling like a couple other aspects of my life might be falling into place.


Murderous police

Even as Derek Chauvin was convicted for the killing of George Floyd,[5] police around the country continued killing people.[6] Which shouldn’t surprise anyone.[7]

Alanna Durkin Richer and Lindsay Whitehurst, “1 verdict, then 6 police killings across America in 24 hours,” Associated Press, April 24, 2021, copy in possession of author


Lyft

Uber had previously sold off its self-driving unit to Aurora.[8] Now Lyft has followed suit, selling its self-driving unit to Toyota.[9]

One significant angle to today’s announcement is that Toyota is working with Aurora, the company that bought Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group last year, to develop autonomous taxis.[10]

Igor Bonifacic, “Lyft is selling its self-driving unit to Toyota for $550 million,” Engadget, April 26, 2021, https://www.engadget.com/lyft-sellss-level-5-self-driving-toyota-woven-planet-204353240.html


  1. [1]David Benfell, “Evictions in a pandemic,” Not Housebroken, March 11, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/03/11/evictions-in-a-pandemic/
  2. [2]U.S. Const., Art. I, § 2.
  3. [3]I take this topic up in David Benfell, “Mitigating the democratic deficit in the United States,” Not Housebroken, December 20, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2018/07/15/mitigating-the-democratic-deficit-in-the-united-states/
  4. [4]David Benfell, “About my job hunt,” Not Housebroken, n.d., https://disunitedstates.org/about-my-job-hunt/
  5. [5]Kurtis Lee, “Derek Chauvin is guilty of murdering George Floyd,” Los Angeles Times, April 20, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-04-20/jury-verdict-derek-chauvin-george-floyd-death
  6. [6]Alanna Durkin Richer and Lindsay Whitehurst, “1 verdict, then 6 police killings across America in 24 hours,” Associated Press, April 24, 2021, copy in possession of author
  7. [7]Jeet Heer, “How Not to Mourn George Floyd,” The Time of Monsters, April 21, 2021, https://jeetheer.substack.com/p/how-not-to-mourn-george-floyd; Arelis R. Hernández and Cleve R. Wootson, Jr., “Black Americans are buoyed by Chauvin conviction, but they worry it will blunt pace of reform,” Washington Post, April 20, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/04/20/chauvin-verdict-black-americans/; Jason Johnson, “I'm not happy. I'm not relieved. The verdict is a cultural make-up call. This ruling means it takes a Black man being murdered on TV in front of millions, a years worth of protest and a phalanx of white cops saying "this is wrong" for a black person to get a scintilla of justice,” Twitter, April 20, 2021, >https://twitter.com/DrJasonJohnson/status/1384637989444325378; Raphael Warnock, “Today’s verdict affirming Derek Chauvin’s responsibility for killing George Floyd is the right outcome in this trial, but it is not justice. . . .” Twitter, April 20, 2021, https://twitter.com/SenatorWarnock/status/1384651251061858323
  8. [8]Heather Somerville, “Uber Sells Self-Driving-Car Unit to Autonomous-Driving Startup,” Wall Street Journal, December 7, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-lyft-face-a-no-sharing-economy-11603710180
  9. [9]Igor Bonifacic, “Lyft is selling its self-driving unit to Toyota for $550 million,” Engadget, April 26, 2021, https://www.engadget.com/lyft-sellss-level-5-self-driving-toyota-woven-planet-204353240.html
  10. [10]Igor Bonifacic, “Lyft is selling its self-driving unit to Toyota for $550 million,” Engadget, April 26, 2021, https://www.engadget.com/lyft-sellss-level-5-self-driving-toyota-woven-planet-204353240.html

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