Excuses, excuses, excuses

Pittsburgh snow

So they promised the snow plowing response to this storm that hit Sunday afternoon would be better than the season debut.[1] It wasn’t. They said it would be good in time for the Tuesday commute.[2] It wasn’t.

Guess what season it is? It’s Pittsburgh Public Works excuse-making season! Yup, here’s Acting Public Works Director Chris Hornstein: “Despite challenges with equipment, our goal is to have all the streets plowed by tonight.”[3] In case you lost track, this is Tuesday night. They haven’t just blown the morning commute that had been promised after the earlier promise had been broken, but the evening commute as well and we’re still wondering if they’re going to make either Wednesday commute.

For the record, I was in Oakland, near the hospitals, this evening, Tuesday evening. It was clear that even these roads, in this, what should be the highest priority area, where ambulances are bringing in emergency patients all day and all night, had not been plowed. The snow had merely been pulverized into slush by the traffic.

I had a relatively young passenger talking about the situation on Monday with her friend. She said she knows these snow plow operators work long, hard hours in the wee hours of the night. She wants to sympathize, really, she does. “But at the same time,” she continued, “where are you?”

And I’ve just really just completely had it with politicians’ excuses.[4]

Kylie Walker, “Pittsburgh Public Works releases statement in response to snow removal concerns,” WTAE, January 18, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/pittsburgh-public-works-releases-statement-in-response-to-snow-removal-concerns/38803017


Right-wing dictatorship

Theodore Schleifer, “Silicon Valley’s Doomed Pursuit of D.C. Nirvana,” Puck News, January 18, 2022, https://puck.news/silicon-valleys-manchin-sinema-voting-rights-campaign/


Wilkinsburg merger

When the court ordered the Pittsburgh City Council to make a decision within 30 days on whether to submit the Wilkinsburg annexation proposal to Wilkinsburg voters,[5] it left council members feeling the process was rushed.[6]

This isn’t necessarily a permanent ‘no,’ though the group who wants Pittsburgh to annex Wilkinsburg and whose pursuit of that court order now seems to have backfired, would probably have to submit another request to the court for a new order. It’s also going to need to look like Black people are on board with the idea, not just white people, and some folks need to get their numbers—numbers they apparently already should have—in order.[7]

While it’s not an explicit rejection of Rich Fitzgerald’s “trickle-down” argument for a merger,[8] it does sorta kinda sound like the council wants to see some details. Neoliberal bromides clearly ain’t doing it for them.

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh City Council poised to dismiss Wilkinsburg annexation proposal,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 18, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-city-council-poised-to-dismiss-wilkinsburg-annexation-proposal/


Police White supremacist gangs

Pittsburgh recently banned stops for minor traffic violations to reduce interactions between Black people and white supremacist gangsters.[9] Now it might require these gangsters to document their reasons for “stop and frisk,” which most often happens with Black people. There would be exceptions, though,[10] which I would expect the gangsters to fully exploit.

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh City Council considers stop-and-frisk policy for police,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 18, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-city-council-considers-stop-and-frisk-policy-for-police/


COVID-19 Pandemic

(Inter)national

Oh, gee! It’s another sympathize with the anti-vaccination dead article.[11] Fuck that. Fuck it all to hell.[12] These people are preventing the rest of us from getting back to ‘normal’[13] and they blew off any right to sympathy when they chose “Fuck Your Feelings” for a campaign slogan. So, no, absolutely fucking not. No sympathy. Everyone of these mother fuckers who dies is that much less of a burden on the planet.

Travis Caldwell and Deidre McPhillips, “Covid-19 hospitalizations reach record high, HHS data shows,” CNN, January 11, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/11/health/us-coronavirus-tuesday/index.html

Max Hoppenstedt and Jörn Meyn, “Were the Results of a Positive PCR Test Manipulated?” Spiegel, January 11, 2022, https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/novak-djokovic-were-the-results-of-his-positive-pcr-test-manipulated-a-cf3e7344-e98f-4fc3-8bb3-7727d4795e97

Arwa Mahdawi, “Anti-vaxxers are touting another new Covid ‘cure’ – drinking urine. But they are not the only obstacles to ending the pandemic,” Guardian, January 11, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/11/anti-vaxxers-covid-drinking-urine-misinformation

Scott Calvert and Ben Chapman, “Schools See Big Drop in Attendance as Students Stay Away, Citing Covid-19,” Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/schools-see-big-drop-in-attendance-as-students-stay-away-citing-covid-19-11641988802

Kristin Gelineau, “Amid Djokovic backlash, Australia grapples with omicron wave,” Associated Press, January 12, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-novak-djokovic-sports-health-sydney-37b896e43f91a051990606ef7a963a76

Sarah Jones, “We’re Having the Wrong Conversation About School,” New York, January 12, 2022, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/01/were-having-the-wrong-conversation-about-school.html

Jon Pye and Rod McGuirk, “Djokovic: Not isolating after COVID infection was ‘error,’” Associated Press, January 12, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/immigration-coronavirus-pandemic-novak-djokovic-sports-health-591c103de643abc147b0fb7e2703afc2

Hayley Smith, “With hospitals reeling, California tells COVID-positive medical workers to stay on the job,” Los Angeles Times, January 12, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-01-12/california-to-covid-positive-healthcare-workers-keep-working

Lindsey Tanner, “Low COVID-19 vaccination rates in kids ages 5 to 11 called a ‘gut punch,’ WTAE, January 12, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/young-kids-low-covid-19-vaccination-rates-called-gut-punch/38749433

Rosalio Ahumada, “Sheriff to release 203 inmates to halt outbreak as COVID cases quadruple at Sacramento jails,” Sacramento Bee, January 13, 2022, https://www.sacbee.com/news/coronavirus/article257309602.html

Robert Barnes, “Supreme Court blocks Biden’s workplace vaccine rules, allows requirement for health-care workers,” Washington Post, January 13, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-biden-vaccine-rules/2022/01/13/2e6e4b9e-749e-11ec-bc13-18891499c514_story.html

David Ingram, “Quietly and over some objections, a national digital vaccine card has emerged,” NBC News, January 13, 2022, https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/national-covid-vaccine-card-quietly-emerged-rcna11678

Anthony Galloway, “Djokovic heading back into detention, deportation on hold,” Sydney Morning Herald, January 14, 2022, https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/novak-djokovic-s-visa-cancelled-throwing-australian-open-draw-into-chaos-20220113-p59nwe.html

Oliver Laughland, “Southern US hospitals grapple with staff shortages amid record Covid cases,” Guardian, January 14, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/14/southern-us-hospitals-staff-shortages-record-covid-cases

Michael E. Miller, “Novak Djokovic detained again just two days before start of Australian Open,” Washington Post, January 14, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/01/14/novak-djokovic-australia-visa/

Ben Rumsby and Simon Briggs, “Australian Open thrown into chaos as Novak Djokovic faces Sunday court hearing after government cancels visa again,” Telegraph, January 14, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tennis/2022/01/14/novak-djokovic-visa-cancelled-australian-open-covid-unvaccinated/

Paul Karp, “Novak Djokovic leaves Australia after court upholds visa cancellation,” Guardian, January 16, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/jan/16/novak-djokovic-to-be-deported-from-australia-after-losing-appeal-against-visa-cancellation

Michael E. Miller, “Novak Djokovic loses visa challenge, denting hopes of playing in the Australian Open,” Washington Post, January 16, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/01/15/novak-djokovic-australia-visa/

Tumaini Carayol, “Djokovic’s French Open title defence in doubt after Covid pass ruling,” Guardian, January 17, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/jan/17/djokovics-french-open-title-defence-in-doubt-over-covid-pass-ruling

Andrea Stanley, “People Are Hiding That Their Unvaccinated Loved Ones Died of COVID,” Atlantic, January 18, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2022/01/unvaccinated-covid-deaths-secret-grief/621269/


  1. [1]Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh officials say snow response will be better ahead of Sunday storm,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 14, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-officials-say-snow-response-will-be-better-ahead-of-sunday-storm/
  2. [2]Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh officials say they expect to have streets cleared for Tuesday commute,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 17, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-officials-say-they-expect-to-have-streets-cleared-for-tuesday-commute/
  3. [3]Chris Hornstein, quoted in Kylie Walker, “Pittsburgh Public Works releases statement in response to snow removal concerns,” WTAE, January 18, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/pittsburgh-public-works-releases-statement-in-response-to-snow-removal-concerns/38803017
  4. [4]David Benfell, “It is what it is,” Not Housebroken, December 31, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/12/31/it-is-what-it-is/
  5. [5]Megan Guza, “Pittsburgh City Council must vote whether Wilkinsburg annexation will appear on borough’s ballot,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 5, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-city-council-must-vote-whether-wilkinsburg-annexation-will-appear-on-boroughs-ballot/
  6. [6]Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh City Council poised to dismiss Wilkinsburg annexation proposal,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 18, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-city-council-poised-to-dismiss-wilkinsburg-annexation-proposal/
  7. [7]Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh City Council poised to dismiss Wilkinsburg annexation proposal,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 18, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-city-council-poised-to-dismiss-wilkinsburg-annexation-proposal/
  8. [8]Megan Guza, “Pittsburgh City Council must vote whether Wilkinsburg annexation will appear on borough’s ballot,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 5, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-city-council-must-vote-whether-wilkinsburg-annexation-will-appear-on-boroughs-ballot/
  9. [9]Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh bans traffic stops for minor violations,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 28, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-bans-traffic-stops-for-minor-violations/
  10. [10]Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh City Council considers stop-and-frisk policy for police,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 18, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-city-council-considers-stop-and-frisk-policy-for-police/
  11. [11]Andrea Stanley, “People Are Hiding That Their Unvaccinated Loved Ones Died of COVID,” Atlantic, January 18, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2022/01/unvaccinated-covid-deaths-secret-grief/621269/
  12. [12]David Benfell, “What we owe anti-vaxxers in a life-threatening pandemic,” Not Housebroken, December 18, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/09/28/what-we-owe-anti-vaxxers-in-a-life-threatening-pandemic/; David Benfell, “The COVID-19 anti-vaccination double standard,” Not Housebroken, December 19, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/12/19/the-covid-19-anti-vaccination-double-standard/
  13. [13]Elliot Douglas and Rina Goldenberg, “COVID: Germany introduces new measures to curb the pandemic,” Deutschewelle, November 18, 2021, https://www.dw.com/en/covid-germany-introduces-new-measures-to-curb-the-pandemic/a-59852951; Anthony Faiola, “Squeezed by mandates and restrictions, Europe’s anti-vaxxers rebel,” Washington Post, November 22, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2021/11/22/squeezed-by-mandates-restrictions-europes-anti-vaxxers-rebel/; Justin Huggler, “Angela Merkel backs compulsory Covid jabs as Germany agrees de facto lockdown for unvaccinated,” Telegraph, December 2, 2021, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2021/12/02/germany-announce-nationwide-covid-lockdown-unvaccinated/; Samantha Lock, “Austria province to place millions of unvaccinated people in Covid lockdown,” Guardian, November 11, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/12/austria-province-to-place-millions-of-unvaccinated-people-in-covid-lockdown; Bojan Pancevski, “Austria Becomes First in Europe to Impose Vaccine Mandate, Return to Lockdown,” Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/austria-locks-down-imposes-broad-vaccine-mandate-as-covid-19-cases-surge-11637323344

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