Plague-spreading truck drivers deserve harsher penalties

Erie

I’ve refined my decision-making process a bit here.


COVID-19 Pandemic

Doctors and charlatans

I would advocate not only the jail terms and fines that may now be levied against these asshole truck drivers,[1] but that the penalty should include solitary confinement for the duration of the jail terms and forcible vaccination on the simple grounds that what they are claiming is a “right” to spread potentially lethal disease. This absolutely must not be tolerated and must be absolutely repudiated on no uncertain terms.

What appalls me is that the move by some politicians to begin relaxing pandemic restrictions[2] will appear to be capitulation to these assholes

Laura J. Nelson, “Online pastors, form letters: The cottage industry helping workers avoid vaccine mandates,” Los Angeles Times, February 6, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-02-06/requests-religious-exemptions-covid-19-vaccine-letters

Anthony Faiola, “Canada’s Trumpian trucker protests show the global radicalization of anti-vaxxers,” Washington Post, February 8, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/02/08/trucker-freedom-convoy-radicalization-global/

Renatta Signorini, “Hospital leaders hopeful as covid cases decline, staffing remains an issue,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 9, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/hospital-leaders-hopeful-as-covid-cases-decline-but-staffing-remains-an-issue/

British Broadcasting Corporation, “Covid: Trucker protests may hit Super Bowl, US security agency says,” February 10, 2022, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-60338090

Leyland Cecco, “Protesters defy order to clear bridge connecting Canada and US,” Guardian, February 11, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/12/protesters-defy-order-to-clear-bridge-connecting-canada-and-us

Amanda Coletta et al., “Police prepare to clear ‘Freedom Convoy’ protesters on Ontario border bridge. Tear gas used on Champs-Élysées crowd,” Washington Post, February 12, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/02/12/canada-ottawa-trucker-protest-freedom-convoy/

Miguel Marquez, Jason Hanna, and Kim Berryman, “Canadian police begin attempt to clear protesters blocking Ambassador Bridge to US,” Cable News Network, February 12, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/12/americas/canada-truckers-protests-covid-saturday/index.html


Pittsburgh

Infrastructure

An accelerated inspection in the wake of the Fern Hollow bridge collapse led to an accelerated closure. Deterioration is being blamed on winter.[3] Versailles Avenue is navigationally significant in McKeesport for a bunch of reasons, but this bridge is a bit out of the way; I didn’t cross it very often at all. But if you live in the area, I can see where this is gonna suck.

WTAE, “Versailles Avenue Bridge in McKeesport closed following inspection,” February 11, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/mckeesport-versailles-avenue-bridge-closed-inspection/39047296


Ukraine

Talk about laying on the bullshit. And I don’t mean the U.S.:

Russia has pushed back fiercely against the warnings by the Biden administration that Moscow is on the verge of attack, accusing the West of hysteria and spreading disinformation even as Russian forces continue to hold major exercises near Kyiv’s borders.

However, Russia confirmed media reports Saturday that it was pulling its own diplomatic staff from Ukraine, citing “possible provocations by the Kyiv regime and third countries.” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the move was in response to other governments’ deciding to draw down their diplomatic corps and urging their citizens to leave.

“We conclude that our American and British colleagues apparently know about some military actions being prepared in Ukraine,” she said, according to a statement by the ministry.[4]

This feeds the allegation that Russia is planning a false flag attack:[5]

The U.S. assessment that Putin is likely to launch an attack is based partly on new intelligence that Russia is planning to conduct a false-flag operation to create a pretext for invading Ukraine, according to multiple officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss administration deliberations.

The precise date and nature of the alleged Russian operation was unclear. U.S. officials had earlier accused Russia of planning to stage and film a fake attack by Ukrainian military forces on Russia as a pretext for invasion.[6]

There is, of course, still no evidence (it’s “classified”) for the allegation[7] but I just really can’t buy Russia’s “innocent” bullshit. This crisis is of Russia’s making.[8] End of fucking story.

Steve Hendrix, Amy Cheng, and Missy Ryan, “U.S. orders most embassy staffers in Kyiv to leave Ukraine amid fears Russia will invade soon,” Washington Post, February 12, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/02/12/ukraine-russia-putin-biden-belarus/


  1. [1]Leyland Cecco, “Protesters defy order to clear bridge connecting Canada and US,” Guardian, February 11, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/12/protesters-defy-order-to-clear-bridge-connecting-canada-and-us; Amanda Coletta et al., “Police prepare to clear ‘Freedom Convoy’ protesters on Ontario border bridge. Tear gas used on Champs-Élysées crowd,” Washington Post, February 12, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/02/12/canada-ottawa-trucker-protest-freedom-convoy/; Miguel Marquez, Jason Hanna, and Kim Berryman, “Canadian police begin attempt to clear protesters blocking Ambassador Bridge to US,” Cable News Network, February 12, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/12/americas/canada-truckers-protests-covid-saturday/index.html
  2. [2]Leyland Cecco, “Protesters defy order to clear bridge connecting Canada and US,” Guardian, February 11, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/12/protesters-defy-order-to-clear-bridge-connecting-canada-and-us
  3. [3]WTAE, “Versailles Avenue Bridge in McKeesport closed following inspection,” February 11, 2022, https://www.wtae.com/article/mckeesport-versailles-avenue-bridge-closed-inspection/39047296
  4. [4]Steve Hendrix, Amy Cheng, and Missy Ryan, “U.S. orders most embassy staffers in Kyiv to leave Ukraine amid fears Russia will invade soon,” Washington Post, February 12, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/02/12/ukraine-russia-putin-biden-belarus/
  5. [5]Steve Hendrix, Amy Cheng, and Missy Ryan, “U.S. orders most embassy staffers in Kyiv to leave Ukraine amid fears Russia will invade soon,” Washington Post, February 12, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/02/12/ukraine-russia-putin-biden-belarus/; Aamer Madhani, Lorne Cook, and Suzan Fraser, “U.S. says new intel shows Russia plotting false-flag attack,” Los Angeles Times, February 3, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2022-02-03/russian-troop-buildup-belarus-raises-fears-ukraine
  6. [6]Steve Hendrix, Amy Cheng, and Missy Ryan, “U.S. orders most embassy staffers in Kyiv to leave Ukraine amid fears Russia will invade soon,” Washington Post, February 12, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/02/12/ukraine-russia-putin-biden-belarus/
  7. [7]Jon Allsop, “Cutting through the fog of war,” Columbia Journalism Review, February 7, 2022, https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/psaki_price_isis_russia_media.php
  8. [8]Anne Applebaum, “The U.S. Is Naive About Russia. Ukraine Can’t Afford to Be,” Atlantic, January 3, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/ukraine-russia-kyiv-putin-bluff/621145/

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