Academic freedom, rest in peace

The upshot of my tax situation is that the tax preparation person H&R Block assigned to do my taxes in 2019 and 2020 was a real fuck-up and I now owe hundreds of dollars I did not expect to owe. The person at the local office seems okay but to say I’m upset that this fuck-up happened in the first place would be an understatement.

I wouldn’t object so strenuously but these taxes are due to governments that have not only failed to secure rights under international human rights law, specifically to a decent job,[1] but which enable the multifaceted fraud I participate in for less than poverty wages and under duress[2]—because I can’t find a real job.[3] These governments, which should be protecting me, instead join Uber and Lyft as monsters and bullies, kicking me precisely because I am down.


Voting rights

There is a new blog post entitled, “The death of academic freedom.”

Lindsay Ellis, “After Scathing Criticism, U. of Florida Will Let Professors Testify Against the State,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 5, 2021, https://www.chronicle.com/article/after-scathing-criticism-u-of-florida-will-let-professors-testify-against-the-state

Colleen Flaherty, “Just the End of the Beginning,” Inside Higher Ed, November 8, 2021, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/11/08/uf-says-professors-can-be-paid-experts-theyre-suing-anyway

Academia

Sarah Jones explains that the University of Austin—not to be confused with the University of Texas at Austin—will be a bible college for (capitalist) libertarians.[4]

Sarah Jones, “Who’s Afraid of Higher Education?” New York, November 8, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/bari-weiss-university-of-austin-nothing-new.html


Pennsylvania


That bright red spot in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania? It’s Allegheny County, where I live.


Pandemic

Pennsylvania region

In addition to white supremacist gang resistance to vaccine mandates,[5] it turns out that hundreds of individual Pittsburgh gangsters are considering quitting or retiring. The article cites the vaccine mandate as a factor,[6] but it also strikes me that the possibility the incoming mayor of Pittsburgh, Ed Gainey, who will be the city’s first Black mayor, may impose curbs on their white supremacy[7] may be a factor.

I don’t really know what the situation is with corruption in Pittsburgh. I have heard unseemly things about the relationship between judges and white supremacist gangs.[8] But the utter inadequacy of Pittsburgh’s snow plowing operation suggests to me a form of low-level corruption where too many people have comfortable niches from which they can be extracted only with enormous difficulty—a common complaint about civil service—and so a lot of people who should take action instead turn a blind eye, because it’s just too damned hard to do anything else. My hunch is that this is even more so the case with Pittsburgh white supremacist gangs. Gainey’s promises threaten to upset the gangsters’ apple cart and I’m pretty clear that they won’t like that even one little bit.

Nicole Ford, “Hundreds of Pittsburgh police officers considering retiring, leaving job,” WPXI, November 5, 2021, https://www.wpxi.com/news/local/allegheny-county/hundreds-pittsburgh-police-officers-considering-retiring-leaving-job/WQ2AWSGVMJADBDXFI4DZ4SLO3U/


  1. [1]International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, December 16, 1966, United Nations, General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI), https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/cescr.aspx
  2. [2]David Benfell, “Getting what I deserve,” Not Housebroken, November 1, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/10/31/getting-what-i-deserve/
  3. [3]David Benfell, “About my job hunt,” Not Housebroken, n.d., https://disunitedstates.org/about-my-job-hunt/
  4. [4]Sarah Jones, “Who’s Afraid of Higher Education?” New York, November 8, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/bari-weiss-university-of-austin-nothing-new.html
  5. [5]Sarah Boden, “Experts question the science of police union’s challenge to Allegheny County’s vaccine mandate,” WESA, October 20, 2021, https://www.wesa.fm/health-science-tech/2021-10-20/experts-question-the-science-of-police-unions-challenge-to-allegheny-countys-vaccine-mandate; Megan Guza, “Pittsburgh police union file grievance over covid vaccine mandate,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 5, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-police-union-file-grievance-over-covid-vaccine-mandate/
  6. [6]Nicole Ford, “Hundreds of Pittsburgh police officers considering retiring, leaving job,” WPXI, November 5, 2021, https://www.wpxi.com/news/local/allegheny-county/hundreds-pittsburgh-police-officers-considering-retiring-leaving-job/WQ2AWSGVMJADBDXFI4DZ4SLO3U/
  7. [7]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/; Julia Felton, “Ed Gainey declares historic victory with commanding lead in Pittsburgh mayoral race,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 2, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/gainey-grabs-early-lead-in-pittsburgh-mayoral-race/; Kim Lyons, “A Keystone Election: Meet the 2021 candidates for Pittsburgh mayor,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, April 21, 2021, https://www.penncapital-star.com/government-politics/a-keystone-election-meet-the-2021-candidates-for-pittsburgh-mayor/; 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/; Charlie Wolfson, “Pittsburgh elects its first Black mayor,” Public Source, November 2, 2021, https://www.publicsource.org/gainey-pittsburgh-mayor-announces-victory-moreno/
  8. [8]David Benfell, “Stephen Zappala’s resignation would be nowhere near enough,” Not Housebroken, November 6, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/06/03/stephen-zappalas-resignation-would-be-nowhere-near-enough/

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