Have Prince Andrew’s whopper your way

Jeffrey Epstein


Fig. 1. “Donald Trump with his future wife Melania Knauss, Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at Mar-a-Lago in February 2000.” Photograph credited to Davidoff Studios Photography/Getty Images, February 2000,[1] fair use.

Prince Andrew tells what is plainly and obviously a whopper about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. He refutes himself: If you’re breaking off a friendship, you don’t then stay at their mansion for several days because it’s “convenient.”[2]

Victoria Ward, “Prince Andrew ‘had dinner with Epstein’, court documents claim,” Telegraph, July 21, 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/royal-family/2023/07/21/prince-andrew-staley-epstein-maitlis-newsnight-contact/


Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh

Housing


Fig. 1. Most of the homeless encampments I’ve seen around Pittsburgh have been on the North Side. This one is downtown, right by a Parkway (Interstate 376) onramp. Photograph by author, May 22, 2023.

I don’t quite understand how the numbers usually work out. I see existing subsidized housing that’s pretty densely packed. It’s unattractive. It’s old (the Bedford Dwellings are something like 90 years old[3]). It wasn’t built to last this long and it’s run down. Some of it—a complex on the southern edge of Clairton comes to mind—is in absolutely appalling condition, with blighted units immediately next door to occupied units. It’d have been due for replacement decades ago even with optimum tenants.

The replacement housing that I’ve seen, both in San Francisco and in Pittsburgh, is manifestly less dense, often townhouses for families, raising yet again my question of what happens to displaced people, first while old units are being torn down and new ones built, and afterwards, when there is space for fewer people.

The replacement housing seems more attractive. There are fewer congregations of people socializing, something you generally don’t see very much at all in white neighborhoods, and thus something that I need to be careful in discussing: I’ve said before that Pittsburgh’s Black communities seem especially tight-knit, much more so than those of other races—but given the association between poverty and deviant behavior (criminology-speak for “crime”) with even a mild sprinkling of bigotry, it’s much too easy to assume they’re engaged in illicit behavior. (Another explanation might be that their apartments aren’t adequately air conditioned, so of course they’re outside, and of course there are a lot of them.)

I fear a colonizer’s attitude. I worry that the replacement housing may often be designed more so white people will be less uncomfortable passing through these communities and more for how white people think Black people should live their lives, than for how Black people actually live and want to live their lives. I would be more comfortable if I knew this had been properly studied. I don’t.

It looks like Bedford Dwellings in Pittsburgh’ Hill District will be different. Supposedly the replacement will accommodate twice as many units.[4] The existing complex is already huge:

The [Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh] applied last year for the grant [and won] through Choice Neighborhoods, a program run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, to replace all 411 units of Bedford Dwellings with more than 800 mixed-income units. . . .

The authority must build at least 411 units of deeply affordable housing, around 200 of other income-limited units and around 200 at market rates.[5]

Really my question about displacement remains, because these will be mixed-income units rather than all subsidized, and of course the problem of what to do with the people living in units being demolished is the same.

But the “mixed-income” part also worries me. I understand, all too well, the part about how, oh, you live there, therefore you’re on Section 8, therefore you’re poor, therefore you’re stigmatized. But I also see assimilation, as with repeated U.S. attempts to break up American Indian communities in the hope that if subaltern populations live like prosperous white people, they’ll be treated like prosperous white people, a prosper like prosperous white people: It doesn’t work because it doesn’t respect Indian culture and because there is bigotry that is plainly about skin color.

“Culture,” of course, is a term that’s been put into service as a euphemism for race to justify segregation.[6] But that doesn’t mean that subcultures haven’t formed in racially segregated communities and that these subcultures are undeserving of respect. Communities deserve respect regardless of how they form; they are, after all, what really makes us human. So again, I’m concerned about a colonizer’s attitude running roughshod.

Eric Jankiewicz, “$50 million federal infusion coming to Pittsburgh housing authority’s Hill District revamp,” Public Source, July 21, 2023, https://www.publicsource.org/federal-hud-choice-neighborhoods-grant-pittsburgh-housing-affordable-hill-district/


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Coup attempt


Fig. 1. “Jake Angeli (Qanon Shaman), seen holding a Qanon sign at the intersection of Bell Rd and 75th Ave in Peoria, Arizona, on 2020 October 15.” Photography by TheUnseen011101 [pseud.], October 15, 2020, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Bess Levin is rightly cautious about how Aileen Cannon might handle the classified records trial.[7] After all, in overturning her decision, the appeals court made pretty clear how egregiously wrong her decisions appointing a special master were and the decision was widely regarded as betraying the Trump-appointee’s bias.[8]

I’m wondering if the courts have a means of reining in judges who get too far out of line, as Cannon clearly had, and if so, what sort of leash Cannon might find herself on and how that might affect her decisions.

Holly Bailey, “Trump attorneys again push to block Georgia 2020 election investigation,” Washington Post, July 21, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/07/21/trump-georgia-investigation/

Sadie Gurman, “Judge Sets May 2024 Trial Date for Trump’s Documents Case,” Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-aileen-cannon-sets-may-2024-trial-date-for-trumps-documents-trial-eefddbae

Bess Levin, “That Sound You Hear Is Donald Trump Screaming, Crying, and Throwing Up in a Mar-a-Lago Bathroom,” Vanity Fair, July 21, 2023, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/07/donald-trump-fulton-county-racketeering-documents-trial-date

Hugo Lowell, “Fulton county prosecutors prepare racketeering charges in Trump inquiry,” Guardian, July 21, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jul/21/georgia-trump-charges-fraud-election-2020

Matt Stieb, “Trump May Be on Trial During the 2024 General Election,” New York, July 21, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/07/trump-trial-date-set-by-judge-aileen-cannon.html


  1. [1]Martin Pengelly, “‘She say anything about me?’ Trump raised Ghislaine Maxwell link with aides,” Guardian, October 4, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/oct/04/trump-ghislaine-maxwell-epstein-maggie-haberman-book-confidence-man
  2. [2]Victoria Ward, “Prince Andrew ‘had dinner with Epstein’, court documents claim,” Telegraph, July 21, 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/royal-family/2023/07/21/prince-andrew-staley-epstein-maitlis-newsnight-contact/
  3. [3]Eric Jankiewicz, “$50 million federal infusion coming to Pittsburgh housing authority’s Hill District revamp,” Public Source, July 21, 2023, https://www.publicsource.org/federal-hud-choice-neighborhoods-grant-pittsburgh-housing-affordable-hill-district/
  4. [4]Eric Jankiewicz, “$50 million federal infusion coming to Pittsburgh housing authority’s Hill District revamp,” Public Source, July 21, 2023, https://www.publicsource.org/federal-hud-choice-neighborhoods-grant-pittsburgh-housing-affordable-hill-district/
  5. [5]Eric Jankiewicz, “$50 million federal infusion coming to Pittsburgh housing authority’s Hill District revamp,” Public Source, July 21, 2023, https://www.publicsource.org/federal-hud-choice-neighborhoods-grant-pittsburgh-housing-affordable-hill-district/
  6. [6]I had to remember this when I was preparing for my dissertation and read Richard Weaver, Visions of Order (Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 1995). If you don’t remember it, you might fail to recognize that he indeed means race when he writes “culture,” and that the Supreme Court decision he objects to is almost certainly Brown v. Board of Education, which mandated school desegregation.
  7. [7]Bess Levin, “That Sound You Hear Is Donald Trump Screaming, Crying, and Throwing Up in a Mar-a-Lago Bathroom,” Vanity Fair, July 21, 2023, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/07/donald-trump-fulton-county-racketeering-documents-trial-date
  8. [8]Mariana Alfaro and Eugene Scott, “Judge’s openness to special master for Mar-a-Lago documents raises new questions in criminal probe,” Washington Post, August 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/08/29/special-master-trump-biden-pennsylvania/; Robert Barnes and Perry Stein, “Supreme Court rejects Trump request on Mar-a-Lago documents,” Washington Post, October 13, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/10/13/supreme-court-trump-mar-a-lago-classified-documents/; Devlin Barrett, “Trump’s Mar-a-Lago documents already examined by FBI, Justice Dept. tells judge,” Washington Post, August 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/29/trumpspecial-master-documents/; Devlin Barrett, “Appeals court sides with Justice Department in Mar-a-Lago case,” Washington Post, September 21, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/09/21/mar-a-lago-appeal-court-ruling/; Aaron Blake, “A thorough rebuke of Judge Aileen Cannon’s pro-Trump order,” Washington Post, September 22, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/09/22/thorough-rebuke-judge-aileen-cannons-pro-trump-order/; Jess Bravin and Aruna Viswanatha, “Judge Grants Donald Trump’s Request for Independent Review of Mar-a-Lago Documents,” Wall Street Journal, September 5, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-partly-grants-donald-trumps-request-for-independent-review-of-mar-a-lago-documents-11662395427; Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein, “Trump suffers setback as appeals panel rejects Cannon ruling,” Politico, September 21, 2022, https://www.politico.com/news/2022/09/21/donald-trump-special-master-00058176; Ann E. Marimow and Devlin Barrett, “Judge’s special-master order a test of Trump’s post-White House powers,” Washington Post, September 6, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/09/06/trump-judge-cannon-special-master-order/; Charlie Savage, “‘Deeply Problematic’: Experts Question Judge’s Intervention in Trump Inquiry,” New York Times, September 5, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/05/us/trump-special-master-aileen-cannon.html; Charlie Savage, “U.S. Asks Court to End Special Master Review of Files Seized From Trump,” New York Times, October 17, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/14/us/appeal-special-master-trump.html; Eric Tucker, “Judge grants Trump bid for special master in Mar-a-Lago case,” Los Angeles Times, September 5, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-09-05/judge-grants-trump-bid-for-special-master-in-mar-a-lago-case; Ariane de Vogue and Katelyn Polantz, “Supreme Court rejects former President Donald Trump’s request to intervene in Mar-a-Lago documents fight,” Cable News Network, October 13, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/13/politics/supreme-court-trump-mar-a-lago/index.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.