Gun nuttery reigns in Pennsylvania and, therefore, in Pittsburgh

COVID-19 Pandemic

Doctors and charlatans

This morning, I learned[1] that Uber had dropped the mask requirement for riders and drivers[2] in response to a federal court ruling striking down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rule requiring masks on public transportation.[3] I had not learned what Lyft’s response would be, but, quite unsurprisingly, they have also dropped the rule.[4] The front passenger seat has now also been reopened for passenger use on both services.[5]

In response to a question on Twitter,[6] drivers had no say either in the original imposition of these rules or in their withdrawal. The gig economy is a neoliberal’s wet dream. Its very point is an utterly disempowered and desperate work force.

Tierney Sneed, “CDC mask mandate for travelers no longer in effect following judge’s ruling, official says,” CNN, April 18, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/18/politics/cdc-mask-mandate-ruling/index.html

Omar Abdel-Baqui, “Uber Drops Mask Requirement After Judge Voids Public Transportation Mandate,” Wall Street Journal, April 19, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-drops-mask-requirement-after-judge-voids-public-transportation-mandate-11650369863

Sarah Alessandrini, “Uber and Lyft drop mask requirements for drivers, passengers,” CNBC, April 19, 2022, https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/19/uber-drops-mask-requirements-passengers.html

Lyft, “Update to Lyft’s Health Safety Guidelines,” April 19, 2022, https://www.lyft.com/blog/posts/update-to-lyfts-health-safety-guidelines


Student loans

The Biden administration’s latest move on student loan debt barely nibbles around the edges, with fixes to how payments are counted toward eventual forgiveness and an amnesty on previous defaults, removing those defaults from credit records, and allowing borrowers to get back on track with payments.[7] None of what I see described here appears to make any difference in my situation: I have not defaulted and I consolidated my loans, in part to include loans that wouldn’t otherwise be eligible for income-based repayment, into a loan that would be eligible for income-based repayment.

Gabriel T. Rubin, “Biden Aims to Expand Access to Student-Loan Debt Forgiveness for Millions of People,” Wall Street Journal, April 19, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-aims-to-expand-access-to-student-loan-debt-forgiveness-for-millions-of-people-11650391396


Pittsburgh

Unauthorized violence

Pennsylvania courts have struck down Pittsburgh’s attempts to regulate guns[8] in the wake of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting[9] and efforts to pass gun control legislation in the Trumpist state legislature have languished.[10] Now, Pittsburgh politicians want the state legislature to do something, but really, nothing has changed there[11] as instead we get bills to remove requirements for a permit to carry a concealed weapon[12] and allow people to carry weapons during an “emergency.”[13]

Jesse Bunch and Andrew Goldstein, “In the Hill District, residents grapple with recent spike in gun violence,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 16, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2022/04/16/pittsburgh-hill-district-gun-violence-shootings/stories/202204140127

Julia Felton, “Ed Gainey marks 100 days as Pittsburgh’s mayor, learns to ‘fall in love with adversity,’” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 16, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/ed-gainey-marks-100-days-as-pittsburghs-mayor-learns-to-fall-in-love-with-adversity/

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “One man dead after Marshall-Shadeland shooting,” April 16, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2022/04/16/pittsburgh-fatal-shooting-marshall-shadeland-police-mcclure/stories/202204160041

Megan Guza and Ryan Deto, “Multiple shooters suspected in ‘war scene’ that killed 2, injured 8 on Pittsburgh’s North Side,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 17, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/police-11-shot-2-dead-on-pittsburghs-north-side/

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “At least 11 shot, 2 dead in North Side shooting, police say,” April 17, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2022/04/17/pittsburgh-shooting-north-side-east-allegheny-update-public-safety/stories/202204170168

Brian C. Rittmeyer, “Pittsburgh police investigating shootout at South Side Flats clothing store,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 17, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-police-investigating-shootout-at-south-side-flats-clothing-store/

Mick Stinelli, Julian Routh, and Ed Blazina, “North Side residents describe chaos at Airbnb before mass shooting as concerns mount over Pittsburgh gun violence,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 17, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2022/04/17/pittsburgh-mass-shooting-reactions-north-side-residents-east-allegheny-suismon-street-madison-avenue/stories/202204170174

Ed Blazina, “Pittsburgh officials finding that barring parties at Airbnb rentals is a difficult task, despite strict ban,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 18, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2022/04/18/airbnb-east-allegheny-mass-shooting-two-dead-unapproved-party/stories/202204170181

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh City Council looks to regulate Airbnb, other short-term rentals after deadly weekend shooting,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 18, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-city-council-looks-to-regulate-airbnb-other-short-term-rentals-after-deadly-weekend-shooting/

Gillian McGoldrick, “After North Side shooting, Pittsburgh’s lawmakers want action on gun control measures, Airbnb regulations,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 19, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2022/04/19/after-north-side-airbnb-shooting-pittsburgh-s-lawmakers-advocate/stories/202204190103


  1. [1]David Benfell, “The expendable worker,” Not Housebroken, April 19, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/07/05/the-expendable-worker/
  2. [2]Omar Abdel-Baqui, “Uber Drops Mask Requirement After Judge Voids Public Transportation Mandate,” Wall Street Journal, April 19, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-drops-mask-requirement-after-judge-voids-public-transportation-mandate-11650369863; Sarah Alessandrini, “Uber and Lyft drop mask requirements for drivers, passengers,” CNBC, April 19, 2022, https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/19/uber-drops-mask-requirements-passengers.html; Uber, “Our commitment to safety,” April 19, 2022, https://www.uber.com/us/en/safety/?stream=top
  3. [3]Tierney Sneed, “CDC mask mandate for travelers no longer in effect following judge’s ruling, official says,” CNN, April 18, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/18/politics/cdc-mask-mandate-ruling/index.html
  4. [4]Sarah Alessandrini, “Uber and Lyft drop mask requirements for drivers, passengers,” CNBC, April 19, 2022, https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/19/uber-drops-mask-requirements-passengers.html; Lyft, “Update to Lyft’s Health Safety Guidelines,” April 19, 2022, https://www.lyft.com/blog/posts/update-to-lyfts-health-safety-guidelines
  5. [5]Lyft, “Update to Lyft’s Health Safety Guidelines,” April 19, 2022, https://www.lyft.com/blog/posts/update-to-lyfts-health-safety-guidelines; Uber, “Our commitment to safety,” April 19, 2022, https://www.uber.com/us/en/safety/?stream=top
  6. [6]indiacarlessⓋ 🇺🇦 [pseud.], “Shouldn’t the drivers have a say in this?
    @n4rky,” Twitter, April 19, 2022, https://twitter.com/indiacarless/status/1516472267265429513
  7. [7]Gabriel T. Rubin, “Biden Aims to Expand Access to Student-Loan Debt Forgiveness for Millions of People,” Wall Street Journal, April 19, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-aims-to-expand-access-to-student-loan-debt-forgiveness-for-millions-of-people-11650391396
  8. [8]Bob Bauder, “Judge strikes down Pittsburgh’s controversial gun bills,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 29, 2019, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/judge-strikes-down-pittsburghs-controversial-gun-bills/
  9. [9]Campbell Robertson, Christopher Mele, and Sabrina Tavernise, “11 Killed in Synagogue Massacre; Suspect Charged With 29 Counts,” New York Times, October 27, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/27/us/active-shooter-pittsburgh-synagogue-shooting.html
  10. [10]Bob Bauder, “Pittsburgh mayor Peduto, state lawmakers call for vote on Pa. gun bills,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 9, 2019, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/peduto-state-lawmakers-call-for-vote-on-gun-bills/
  11. [11]Gillian McGoldrick, “After North Side shooting, Pittsburgh’s lawmakers want action on gun control measures, Airbnb regulations,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 19, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2022/04/19/after-north-side-airbnb-shooting-pittsburgh-s-lawmakers-advocate/stories/202204190103
  12. [12]Jon Delano, “Lawrence Co. Lawmaker Wants To Abolish Concealed Carry Gun Permits,” KDKA-TV, May 7, 2019, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2019/05/07/aaron-bernstine-abolish-pennsylvania-concealed-carry-law/
  13. [13]Associated Press, “Gov. Tom Wolf Vetoes Bills On Firearms During Emergencies And Gas Drilling Regulation,” KDKA-TV, November 26, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/11/26/wolf-vetoes-three-bills/; Stephen Caruso, “Pro 2nd Amendment lawmakers want to let you carry a gun during an emergency,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, July 7, 2020, https://www.penncapital-star.com/government-politics/pro-2nd-amendment-lawmakers-want-to-let-you-carry-a-gun-during-an-emergency/

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