Trusting the untrustworthy (update #6)

Updates

  1. Originally published, May 17, 2021, 9:56 am.

  2. May 17, 2021, 11:05 am:

  3. May 18, 2021, 12:40 pm:

  4. May 18, 2021, 11:32 pm:

    • While there’s certainly cause for alarm about the Supreme Court’s decision to hear a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade,[18] Ed Kilgore is not quite that pessimistic.[19]

      Social conservatives (mostly evangelical Protestants) and traditionalist conservatives (mostly Roman Catholics) will of course be leaning heavily on this one. Indeed, the entire rationalization for their support for a decidedly unchristian Donald Trump is that they believe they are losing the culture war.[20] It’s why they continue to support him even after he lost the election and even after[21] the coup attempt on January 6, 2021.[22] This might be the Court’s final opportunity to overturn Roe and I have to think that’s going to make it hard for Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett to uphold that decision in any way.


    • Fig. 1. Photograph by author, May 20, 2019.

      I was beginning to wonder if the violet and white flowers that seemed so prominent to me the first year I returned to Pittsburgh would return. They have.

    • It looks like my extremely dubious—and that’s being entirely too kind—yard sign survey methodology held up this time:

      State Rep. Ed Gainey defeated Mayor Bill Peduto in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, clearing a path to become Pittsburgh’s first Black mayor and signaling a shift in the city’s politics. 

      There were no candidates for the office on the Republican ballot, though an independent could oppose Gainey in November’s general election. Gainey is the first challenger to unseat an incumbent mayor since 1933.[23]

      Ed Gainey will likely be Pittsburgh’s first Black mayor.[24] It’s about fucking time.

  5. May 19, 2021, 10:56 am:

    • I’m starting to think there just might be hope for Pittsburgh. Not only did Pittsburgh voters indeed vote out a jackass who is a jackass in all the ways that a jackass who has never faced an existential crisis is a jackass,[25] but they approved a charter amendment restricting no-knock raids. Allegheny County voters also approved a proposition limiting the use of solitary confinement.[26]

      All in all, pretty fucking impressive and a rebuke I really wasn’t expecting for all the “back the blue,” “thin blue line,” and “Punisher” sentiment I see around here.

      Next up should be some very badly needed reforms for the notorious Allegheny County Jail.

    • Uber has sent a message to drivers—it says also to riders, but I haven’t seen that one—that it is sticking by its existing mask requirements for now. It’s understandable. As previously noted, there’s simply no way to verify that people are vaccinated which makes it impossible to determine if they should be free to go without masks.[27] But damn, it’s tiresome and my nose has never stopped itching.

      I haven’t driven for Lyft in quite some time now so I don’t know if I would receive a comparable communication from them.

  6. May 19, 2021, 11:42 am:

    • The bad news is that Pittsburgh is in Pennsylvania, whose voters reined in the governor’s emergency powers, which Tom Wolf had used—I felt much too sparingly—to limit the spread of COVID-19.[28]


Pandemic

The latest face mask guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) relies on an “honor system.” The vaccinated may often go without masks. The unvaccinated should still wear them and are trusted to do so.[29]

But the CDC card I received with my vaccination obviously isn’t even meant to resist forgery. And apparently folks are forging such certifications all around the world. The folks producing and carrying these cards, sometimes because they live in places where vaccines remain hard to get, sometimes because they don’t take COVID-19 seriously, are the very people we’re supposed to trust, on the “honor system.”[30] If conservatives are seeking examples of government incompetence, well, here is most definitely one.

Jamie Grierson, “Fake Covid vaccine and test certificate market is growing, researchers say,” Guardian, May 16, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/16/fake-covid-vaccine-and-test-certificate-market-is-growing-researchers-say


Rape

Maryclaire Dale, “‘So I raped you.’ Facebook message renews fight for justice,” Associated Press, May 17, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/education-0dd9b05c9bd3659acb78d79f91a4fef1


Abortion

Ed Kilgore, “Is Roe v. Wade Now Doomed?” New York, May 17, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/05/is-roe-v-wade-now-doomed.html

Nia Prater, “Supreme Court to Hear Case That Threatens Roe v. Wade,” New York, May 17, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/05/supreme-court-to-hear-case-that-threatens-roe-v-wade.html

David G. Savage, “Supreme Court agrees to hear major abortion case challenging Roe vs. Wade,” Los Angeles Times, May 17, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2021-05-17/supreme-court-agrees-to-hear-abortion-case


Labor

Yes, I work well over 55 hours per week, the length of time the World Health Organization now says increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.[31] I have no choice. Lots of other people do and they, likewise, have no choice. But you know, to advocate a living wage is to blaspheme against the great god capitalism.[32]

Josh Eidelson and Benjamin Penn, “Labor, Gig Companies Near Bargaining Deal in N.Y.,” Bloomberg, May 17, 2021, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-05-18/labor-gig-companies-are-said-to-be-near-bargaining-deal-in-n-y

World Health Organization, “Long working hours increasing deaths from heart disease and stroke: WHO, ILO,” May 17, 2021, https://www.who.int/news/item/17-05-2021-long-working-hours-increasing-deaths-from-heart-disease-and-stroke-who-ilo

Sarah Jaffe, “The battle for the future of ‘gig’ work,” Vox, May 18, 2021, https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/22425152/future-of-gig-work-uber-lyft-driving-prop-22


Pittsburgh

Charlie Wolfson, “Gainey topples Peduto in primary, will be Pittsburgh’s first Black mayor barring a November challenge,” Public Source, May 18, 2021, https://www.publicsource.org/gainey-topples-peduto-in-primary-on-course-as-first-black-pittsburgh-mayor/

Associated Press, “Pittsburgh votes out mayor in primary election,” Politico, May 18, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/05/18/pittsburgh-votes-out-mayor-in-primary-election-489542


Pennsylvania

Stephen Caruso and Marley Parish, “In a pandemic rebuke, Pa. voters move to limit Wolf’s emergency powers; approve referenda questions on racial justice and fire depts,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, May 19, 2021, https://www.penncapital-star.com/covid-19/in-a-pandemic-rebuke-pa-voters-move-to-limit-wolfs-emergency-powers-approve-referenda-questions-on-racial-justice-and-volunteer-fire-depts/


  1. [17]Nia Prater, “Supreme Court to Hear Case That Threatens Roe v. Wade,” New York, May 17, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/05/supreme-court-to-hear-case-that-threatens-roe-v-wade.html; David G. Savage, “Supreme Court agrees to hear major abortion case challenging Roe vs. Wade,” Los Angeles Times, May 17, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2021-05-17/supreme-court-agrees-to-hear-abortion-case
  2. [18]Nia Prater, “Supreme Court to Hear Case That Threatens Roe v. Wade,” New York, May 17, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/05/supreme-court-to-hear-case-that-threatens-roe-v-wade.html; David G. Savage, “Supreme Court agrees to hear major abortion case challenging Roe vs. Wade,” Los Angeles Times, May 17, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2021-05-17/supreme-court-agrees-to-hear-abortion-case
  3. [19]Ed Kilgore, “Is Roe v. Wade Now Doomed?” New York, May 17, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/05/is-roe-v-wade-now-doomed.html
  4. [20]Elizabeth Bruenig, “In God’s country,” Washington Post, August 14, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/08/14/evangelicals-view-trump-their-protector-will-they-stand-by-him/; Sarah Jones, “White Evangelicals Made a Deal With the Devil. Now What?” New York, December 6, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/12/white-evangelicals-made-a-deal-with-trump-now-what.html; Peter Wehner, “Evangelicals Made a Bad Bargain With Trump,” Atlantic, October 18, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/10/the-evangelical-movements-bad-bargain/616760/; Julie Zauzmer and Sarah Pulliam Bailey, “After Trump and Moore, some evangelicals are finding their own label too toxic to use,” Washington Post, December 14, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/after-trump-and-moore-some-evangelicals-are-finding-their-own-label-too-toxic-to-use/2017/12/14/b034034c-e020-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html
  5. [21]Rod Dreher, “Eric Metaxas’s American Apocalypse,” American Conservative, December 10, 2020, https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/eric-metaxas-trump-bloodshed-american-apocalypse-live-not-by-lies/; Eliza Griswold, “A Pennsylvania Lawmaker and the Resurgence of Christian Nationalism,” New Yorker, May 9, 2021, https://www.newyorker.com/news/on-religion/a-pennsylvania-lawmaker-and-the-resurgence-of-christian-nationalism
  6. [22]David Benfell, “Riot or insurrection? Lies or madness?” Not Housebroken, January 22, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/01/12/riot-or-insurrection-lies-or-madness/
  7. [23]Charlie Wolfson, “Gainey topples Peduto in primary, will be Pittsburgh’s first Black mayor barring a November challenge,” Public Source, May 18, 2021, https://www.publicsource.org/gainey-topples-peduto-in-primary-on-course-as-first-black-pittsburgh-mayor/
  8. [24]Tom Davidson, “Peduto challenger Ed Gainey: Fewer words, more action needed from next mayor of Pittsburgh,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 22, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/peduto-challenger-ed-gainey-fewer-words-more-action-needed-from-next-mayor-of-pittsburgh/; Chris Potter, “State Rep. Ed Gainey To Challenge Peduto In Mayoral Race,” WESA, January 19, 2021, https://www.wesa.fm/post/state-rep-ed-gainey-challenge-peduto-mayoral-race; Charlie Wolfson, “Gainey topples Peduto in primary, will be Pittsburgh’s first Black mayor barring a November challenge,” Public Source, May 18, 2021, https://www.publicsource.org/gainey-topples-peduto-in-primary-on-course-as-first-black-pittsburgh-mayor/
  9. [25]Associated Press, “Pittsburgh votes out mayor in primary election,” Politico, May 18, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/05/18/pittsburgh-votes-out-mayor-in-primary-election-489542; Charlie Wolfson, “Gainey topples Peduto in primary, will be Pittsburgh’s first Black mayor barring a November challenge,” Public Source, May 18, 2021, https://www.publicsource.org/gainey-topples-peduto-in-primary-on-course-as-first-black-pittsburgh-mayor/
  10. [26]Associated Press, “Pittsburgh votes out mayor in primary election,” Politico, May 18, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/05/18/pittsburgh-votes-out-mayor-in-primary-election-489542
  11. [27]Zeke Miller and Michael Balsamo, “‘Great day for America’: Vaccinated can largely ditch masks,” Associated Press, May 13, 2021, copy in possession of author; Leana S. Wen, “The CDC shouldn’t have removed restrictions without requiring proof of vaccination,” Washington Post, May 13, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/05/13/cdc-mask-rules-vaccination-leana-wen/
  12. [28]Stephen Caruso and Marley Parish, “In a pandemic rebuke, Pa. voters move to limit Wolf’s emergency powers; approve referenda questions on racial justice and fire depts,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, May 19, 2021, https://www.penncapital-star.com/covid-19/in-a-pandemic-rebuke-pa-voters-move-to-limit-wolfs-emergency-powers-approve-referenda-questions-on-racial-justice-and-volunteer-fire-depts/
  13. [29]Zeke Miller and Michael Balsamo, “‘Great day for America’: Vaccinated can largely ditch masks,” Associated Press, May 13, 2021, copy in possession of author; Leana S. Wen, “The CDC shouldn’t have removed restrictions without requiring proof of vaccination,” Washington Post, May 13, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/05/13/cdc-mask-rules-vaccination-leana-wen/
  14. [30]Jamie Grierson, “Fake Covid vaccine and test certificate market is growing, researchers say,” Guardian, May 16, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/16/fake-covid-vaccine-and-test-certificate-market-is-growing-researchers-say
  15. [31]World Health Organization, “Long working hours increasing deaths from heart disease and stroke: WHO, ILO,” May 17, 2021, https://www.who.int/news/item/17-05-2021-long-working-hours-increasing-deaths-from-heart-disease-and-stroke-who-ilo
  16. [32]David Benfell, “The capitalist death cult,” Not Housebroken, March 22, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/03/27/the-capitalist-death-cult/

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