Back to school in Pittsburgh

Updates

  1. Originally published, September 14, 2020, at 11:27 am.
  2. September 14, 3:36 pm:
    • A federal judge has ruled that Governor Wolf’s shutdown orders in Pennsylvania were unconstitutional, violating a first amendment right of freedom of assembly.[1] The ruling uses capitalist libertarian logic.
    • I updated the satellite photo for Sally. It appears to me to be continuing to gather strength. If I’m not mistaken, an eye is now discernible.
  3. September 15, 9:15 am:
    • I updated the satellite photo for Sally. It does seem like it’s headed straight for the Mississippi River delta, which includes New Orleans. I’m failing to discern an eye now, but it seems to be taking on more of a classic spiral shape.

Sally


Fig. 1. 72-hour gif of satellite imagery for the eastern U.S. and Gulf of Mexico, September 15, 2020, at 8:01 am EDT.


Higher education

So a bunch of schools ignored the advice that they needed to remain on-line only.[2] It’s pretty rapidly gone wrong, at least at some of the schools that returned to in-person instruction in August, pretty much as had been predicted.[3]

[T]he University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and East Carolina University all moved to remote instruction after just a week of classes. Michigan State University canceled most in-person instruction less than two weeks before the semester began. Many institutions may make similar decisions as the realities of [COVID-19] viral infection collide with their in-person ambitions.[4]

And, of course, that’s gonna cost the universities money but maybe not as much as you might think: In many cases, these reversals occurred too late for students to get their money back. The predictable cynicism ensues but it’s possible hubris and a desperation to maintain enrollment have as much to do with the decisions to resume in-person instruction as greed.[5]

A personal note, here: Even before I had finished my bachelor’s degree (this was late 2005), I was starting to see a lot of hubris on the campus (California State University, East Bay) I attended. Certainly, I see a lot of hubris emanating from Saybrook University now, which having destroyed its human science program, has lost its curricular grounding and—this is painful—seems to be going entirely woo woo.

Hubris is real. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.

I’m seeing a lot of masked students now on the streets of Oakland, a neighborhood in Pittsburgh where (very roughly west to east) Carlow University, University of Pittsburgh (“Pitt”), and Carnegie-Mellon University have their main campuses, side-by-side, and also where University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has three major hospitals. I’m also seeing that at least some K-12 schools are back in session. So far, from the notifications I’ve been getting on my phone, the bump in COVID-19 case counts in Allegheny County has been small. I’m hoping this works out but it’s still awfully early.


The car

So it’s another $1000+ going into my car in an already expensive year. Tires and front rotors, this time. The front end work earlier this year that, with an inspection and engine fan repair, came to around $1900, was due to Pittsburgh road conditions. I only got about 21,000 miles out of this last set of tires, also largely due to Pittsburgh road conditions. I’m cutting the wheel alignment check interval to 90 days (I put on about 63,000 miles per year), but basically, I’m losing my ass here and because so much of it is due to Pittsburgh road conditions, I really can’t blame the car. I can only blame the ridesharing driving. The trouble is that, even with a Ph.D., I have no choice.[6]


Pennsylvania

Paula Reed Ward, “Federal judge rules Gov. Wolf’s shutdown orders were unconstitutional,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 14, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/regional/federal-judge-rules-gov-wolfs-shutdown-orders-were-unconstitutional/


  1. [1]Paula Reed Ward, “Federal judge rules Gov. Wolf’s shutdown orders were unconstitutional,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 14, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/regional/federal-judge-rules-gov-wolfs-shutdown-orders-were-unconstitutional/
  2. [2]Robert Kelchen, “Colleges Aren’t Reopening in the Fall,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 18, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/Colleges-Aren-t-Reopening-in/248803; Vivian S. Lee, Vindell Washington, and Robert M. Califf, “The Bad Science of Reopening,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 28, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/the-bad-science-of-reopening
  3. [3]Tim Elfrink, “‘We’ve got to do better than this’: College students raise alarm by packing bars, avoiding masks,” Washington Post, August 17, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/08/17/alabama-georgia-college-parties-covid/; Lindsay Ellis, “Colleges Hoped for an In-Person Fall. Now the Dream is Crumbling,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 20, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/colleges-hoped-for-an-in-person-fall-now-the-dream-is-crumbling; Notre Dame University, “Notre Dame enacts two weeks of remote instruction,” August 18, 2020, https://news.nd.edu/news/notre-dame-enacts-two-weeks-of-remote-instruction/; Andy Thomason, “After Only One Week, Chapel Hill Abandons In-Person Fall Semester,” Chronicle of Higher Education, August 17, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/after-only-one-week-chapel-hill-abandons-in-person-fall-semester
  4. [4]Eric Kelderman, “Colleges Are Making Late Calls to Shut Campuses. Is It All About the Money?” Chronicle of Higher Education, August 25, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/colleges-are-making-late-calls-to-shut-campuses-is-it-all-about-the-money
  5. [5]Eric Kelderman, “Colleges Are Making Late Calls to Shut Campuses. Is It All About the Money?” Chronicle of Higher Education, August 25, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/colleges-are-making-late-calls-to-shut-campuses-is-it-all-about-the-money
  6. [6]David Benfell, “About my job hunt,” Not Housebroken, n.d., https://disunitedstates.org/about-my-job-hunt/

It’s too wet! It’s too dry! I might never see a proper Fall the way this is going.

Pennsylvania

So it’s been a really dry summer and that might diminish the Fall colors[1] yet again. This after the torrential storms of last year diminished those colors.[2] Now, we’re getting torrential rainfall (figure 1), in part due to Laura, but coming from California, I’m all too well aware that a sudden torrent is no substitute for a steadier pace of lighter rain.ecan.gif

Fig. 1. 72-hour gif of satellite imagery for eastern Canada, as of August 29, 2020, at 4:01 am.

I’m expecting the remnants of the central part of Laura to pass over Pittsburgh today, but there’s been a flow across the northern tier of states that’s also been affecting us—this is probably not quite done yet.


Pandemic

I keep hearing how children can’t transmit the novel coronavirus,[3] mainly from folks with some form of interest in getting them back in school, even as schools themselves have been cautious.[4] It’s pretty clear kids can carry the virus.[5] And older kids might transmit it as much as adults do.[6] But I’m starting to suspect that proper science is not being done here while self-interested folks spin what evidence there is to support their own hopes. Because for all the hue and cry, this should be a lot more clear cut.

What I keep hearing from parents is that kids are notorious “germ factories,” spreading disease to entire families, and no one seems to offer an adequate answer for why it should be any different with the coronavirus.

Jacqueline Howard and Sandee LaMotte, “Kids can carry coronavirus in respiratory tract for weeks, study suggests,” CNN, August 28, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/28/health/kids-covid-19-nose-throat-wellness/index.html


  1. [1]Marcus Schneck, “Fall foliage expert offers bleak outlook for some of Pennsylvania this fall,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, August 28, 2020, https://www.pennlive.com/life/2020/08/fall-foliage-expert-offers-bleak-outlook-for-some-of-pennsylvania-this-fall.html
  2. [2]Mary Ann Thomas, “Leaf peeper season in full swing in the Laurel Highlands; Pittsburgh, Alle-Kiski Valley must wait,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 20, 2019, https://triblive.com/local/valley-news-dispatch/leaf-peeper-season-in-full-swing-in-the-laurel-highlands-pittsburgh-alle-kiski-valley-must-wait/
  3. [3]Benjamin Lee and William V. Raszka, “COVID-19 Transmission and Children: The Child Is Not to Blame,” Pediatrics 146, no. 1 (2020), doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-004879
  4. [4]Justin Lahart, “Kids at Home Could Put the Economy in Detention,” Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/kids-at-home-could-put-the-economy-in-detention-11595583001; Laura Meckler, “With pressure and threats, Trump pushes to fully reopen schools. Schools say: Not so fast,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/trump-schools-cdc-pence/2020/07/08/8a52d400-c14b-11ea-b4f6-cb39cd8940fb_story.html
  5. [5]Jacqueline Howard and Sandee LaMotte, “Kids can carry coronavirus in respiratory tract for weeks, study suggests,” CNN, August 28, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/28/health/kids-covid-19-nose-throat-wellness/index.html; Apoorva Mandavilli, “Children May Carry Coronavirus at High Levels, Study Finds,” New York Times, July 30, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/30/health/coronavirus-children.html
  6. [6]Peter Dockrill, “Older Kids May Transmit COVID-19 as Much as Adults Do, New Evidence Shows,” Science Alert, July 20, 2020, https://www.sciencealert.com/older-children-transmit-covid-19-as-much-as-adults-do-new-evidence-suggests

Reopening schools is asinine

Updates

  1. Originally published, July 31, 2020, 12:31 pm.
  2. July 31, 10:48 pm:
    • I hadn’t realized just how poorly paid restaurant workers are, on a tipped minimum wage. They say they’re bearing the brunt of the reopening[1] and I have to say, a couple times I ate at Burgatory, and I was seated at the bar, immediately across from where a worker washed dishes or prepared drinks. We weren’t even close to being properly socially distanced and it isn’t permitted under the present orders but do I believe the accounts in this story?[2] Hell, yes.

Pandemic

It’s still mostly bars and restaurants where most people are getting infected with the novel coronavirus in Allegheny County, but private parties are increasingly cropping up in contact tracing efforts.[3] From what I can see, driving by, people flatly are not social distancing at these events and are not wearing masks. Period. And hospitalizations, the count of which lags behind that of cases, seem to be spiking.[4]

And as for that insanity about opening schools?[5] Forget it. This is a really, really bad, asinine idea. Because whatever previous research says, you know the research I said to treat with caution,[6] it’s looking more and more like children might be able to spread the novel coronavirus[7] and it’s crucial to remember first, that we aren’t just talking about the kids themselves, but everyone they come into contact with, at home, at school, or anywhere else, inevitably including people who are vulnerable; and second, that if we can’t even get adults to wear masks[8] and socially distance, then we sure as hell aren’t going to be able to get kids to.

Ryan Deto, “Pittsburgh’s restaurant workers say they are bearing all the brunt of the region’s coronavirus spike, but are seeing little benefits,” Pittsburgh City Paper, July 29, 2020, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/pittsburghs-restaurant-workers-say-they-are-bearing-all-the-brunt-of-the-regions-coronavirus-spike-but-are-seeing-little-benefits/Content?oid=17722779

Apoorva Mandavilli, “Children May Carry Coronavirus at High Levels, Study Finds,” New York Times, July 30, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/30/health/coronavirus-children.html

Teghan Simonton, “Allegheny County data shows parties becoming a growing source of coronavirus,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 30, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-data-shows-parties-becoming-a-growing-source-of-coronavirus/


Pennsylvania

Nice to see we have adults in the Pennsylvania legislature.

Megan Guza, “Gov. Wolf, GOP critic spar over social media post parroting health secretary’s LGBQT comments,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 30, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/gov-wolf-gop-critic-spar-over-social-media-post-parroting-health-secretarys-lgbqt-comments/


Recession

Heather Long, “This recession is already deep. If Congress fails to act, a lot of damage could be permanent,” Washington Post, July 30, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/07/30/economists-favor-big-stimulus/


  1. [1]Ryan Deto, “Pittsburgh’s restaurant workers say they are bearing all the brunt of the region’s coronavirus spike, but are seeing little benefits,” Pittsburgh City Paper, July 29, 2020, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/pittsburghs-restaurant-workers-say-they-are-bearing-all-the-brunt-of-the-regions-coronavirus-spike-but-are-seeing-little-benefits/Content?oid=17722779
  2. [2]Ryan Deto, “Pittsburgh’s restaurant workers say they are bearing all the brunt of the region’s coronavirus spike, but are seeing little benefits,” Pittsburgh City Paper, July 29, 2020, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/pittsburghs-restaurant-workers-say-they-are-bearing-all-the-brunt-of-the-regions-coronavirus-spike-but-are-seeing-little-benefits/Content?oid=17722779
  3. [3]Teghan Simonton, “Allegheny County data shows parties becoming a growing source of coronavirus,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 30, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-data-shows-parties-becoming-a-growing-source-of-coronavirus/
  4. [4]Steven Adams, “Allegheny County sets record for new coronavirus hospitalizations; sees triple-digit cases for 8th straight day,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 30, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-sees-triple-digit-coronavirus-growth-for-8th-straight-day-record-hospitalizations/
  5. [5]Justin Lahart, “Kids at Home Could Put the Economy in Detention,” Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/kids-at-home-could-put-the-economy-in-detention-11595583001; Laura Meckler, “With pressure and threats, Trump pushes to fully reopen schools. Schools say: Not so fast,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/trump-schools-cdc-pence/2020/07/08/8a52d400-c14b-11ea-b4f6-cb39cd8940fb_story.html
  6. [6]David Benfell, “Could alternative schools offer an answer?” Not Housebroken, July 24, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/07/24/could-alternative-schools-offer-an-answer/; Peter Dockrill, “Older Kids May Transmit COVID-19 as Much as Adults Do, New Evidence Shows,” Science Alert, July 20, 2020, https://www.sciencealert.com/older-children-transmit-covid-19-as-much-as-adults-do-new-evidence-suggests; Benjamin Lee and William V. Raszka, “COVID-19 Transmission and Children: The Child Is Not to Blame,” Pediatrics 146, no. 1 (2020), doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-004879
  7. [7]Apoorva Mandavilli, “Children May Carry Coronavirus at High Levels, Study Finds,” New York Times, July 30, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/30/health/coronavirus-children.html
  8. [8]Priya Elan, “The data is in: men are too fragile to wear Covid-19 masks. Grow up, guys,” Guardian, July 3, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/03/covid-19-masks-men-masculinity; Marc Fisher, Clarence Williams, and Lori Rozsa, “Will Americans wear masks to prevent coronavirus spread? Politics, history, race and crime factor into tough decision,” Washington Post, April 18, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/coronavirus-masks-america/2020/04/18/bdb16bf2-7a85-11ea-a130-df573469f094_story.html; Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux and Likhitha Butchireddygari, “For Black Americans, Wearing A Mask Comes With Complicated Anxieties,” FiveThirtyEight, June 30, 2020, https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/for-black-americans-wearing-a-mask-comes-with-complicated-anxieties/; Griff Witte, Ariana Eunjung Cha, and Josh Dawsey, “At the heart of dismal U.S. coronavirus response, a fraught relationship with masks,” Washington Post, July 28, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/at-the-heart-of-dismal-us-coronavirus-response-a-fraught-relationship-with-masks/2020/07/28/f47eccd0-cde4-11ea-bc6a-6841b28d9093_story.html

Cold War, again?

China

There is a new blog post entitled, “A new ‘cold war’ with China as an election stunt?” This is the first of two, today.

Guardian, “Mike Pompeo says free world must change China or ‘China will change us,’” July 23, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/24/mike-pompeo-says-free-world-must-change-china-or-china-will-change-us


Education

There is a second new blog post entitled, “Could alternative schools offer an answer?

Justin Lahart, “Kids at Home Could Put the Economy in Detention,” Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/kids-at-home-could-put-the-economy-in-detention-11595583001


Recession

Eli Rosenberg, “‘A Band-Aid on a bullet wound’: Workers are getting laid off anew as PPP runs out,” Washington Post, July 23, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/07/23/ppp-layoffs/


Keeping Donald Trump’s base happy

Updates

  1. Originally published, July 14, 11:10 am.
  2. July 14, 6:42 pm:
    • I guess the folks suing the Trump administration over the rule expelling foreign students whose colleges and universities were going online only due to the pandemic[1] had a stronger case than I realized. They’ve retracted the rule.[2]

      Facing eight federal lawsuits and opposition from hundreds of universities, the Trump administration on Tuesday rescinded a rule that would have required international students to transfer or leave the country if their schools held classes entirely online because of the coronavirus pandemic.[3]

      I have to say, I’m surprised. It seems to me that usually this administration fights harder than this, counting on the Supreme Court to ultimately uphold their policies. Because you know it’s like those rules on a boat I cited in an blog entry last year on Donald Trump’s epistemology.[4]

  3. July 14, 7:41 pm:
    • My desktop was running painfully slowly, it was time to reboot, so I ended the 6:42 pm update early.
    • Massachusetts is suing over Uber and Lyft driver misclassification.[5]
    • I forgot, there’s a new blog post as of about midday entitled, “Tax time.”
    • The earlier problem with a “check hybrid system” indication returned with a vengeance today, killing the engine. Fortunately my passenger was less than a block from where he was going. Also present, a “check VSC system” indication. The car was willing to start again by the time the tow truck driver got there but I had him tow it to the dealer anyway, while I caught an Uber home (tow truck drivers don’t give stranded motorists rides now).
  4. July 15, 5:18 am:
    • The pushback to the policy [expelling foreign students of universities and colleges that go online only in response to the pandemic] from higher education was immediate and fierce. Within 48 hours, Harvard and MIT had sued to stop the policy, and more than 250 other colleges signed onto amicus briefs in support. Still other institutions, including the Johns Hopkins University and all of California’s public colleges, filed lawsuits in their local courts.

      The opposition did not come from higher education alone. Twenty-one states sued. Cities and counties spoke out against the policy, saying the loss of international students would be an enormous hit to their local economies. So, too, did the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, organized labor, and some of the country’s largest tech companies, including Google and Facebook.

      To many, the policy change was seen as part of a Trump-administration effort to force colleges and business to reopen, using international students as pawns. In its court filing in the MIT-Harvard case, the government contested that idea, but during a television interview, Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary of homeland security, acknowledged that a goal of the policy was to “encourage schools to reopen.”[6]

      But higher education still faces a shortage of foreign students, who generally pay higher tuition than U.S. students, exacerbated by Trump administration policies. Students are increasingly going to friendlier countries.[7]

      It’s pretty clear here that the Trump administration was aiming to kill two birds with a single stone: First, the now rescinded policy feeds the xenophobic impulses of Donald Trump’s base, and second, the harm that policy does to institutions and students feeds the anti-intellectual impulses of Trump’s base. The latter impression is reinforced by likely politically-compromised Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance that recommends against testing students for COVID-19 when returning to school this fall.[8] One might indeed infer that the Trump administration is trying first to kick students out of the country where it can, and to kill the students, professors, and their families where it can’t.


Lower education

Donald Trump, we know where you are (figure 1):[9]
109233971_3076439809099698_4184193387854969911_o
Fig. 1. Fowl Language Comic by Brian Gordon, posted on Facebook, July 13, 2020, fair use.


Higher education

Not that I’m really able to keep track of lawsuits against a new Immigration and Customs Enforcement rule expelling foreign students enrolled at on-line only colleges flying all over the place, but the lawsuits I now know about are those by 1) Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, supported by over 200 other schools, and in which a judge will supposedly hear arguments for an injunction today,[10] and 2) by the state of Massachusetts, joined by several other states, including Pennsylvania.[11] With COVID-19 case counts spiking around the country,[12] including places where these institutions are physically located,[13] it has to be even less likely the colleges and universities will reopen for in-person classes.[14] But I guess if it makes Donald Trump’s base happy, that’s all that matters.

Associated Press, “More than 200 schools, 17 states back lawsuits against Trump administration over international student rule,” CNBC, July 13, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/13/more-than-200-schools-17-states-back-lawsuits-against-trump-over-international-student-rule.html

John L. Micek, “Pa.’s Shapiro joins fellow AGs in lawsuit over Trump’s foreign student rule,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, July 13, 2020, https://www.penncapital-star.com/blog/pa-s-shapiro-joins-fellow-ags-in-lawsuit-over-trumps-foreign-student-rule/

Nick Anderson and Susan Svrluga, “Trump administration backs off plan requiring international students to take face-to-face classes,” Washington Post, July 14, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/ice-rule-harvard-international-students-rescinded/2020/07/14/319fdae0-c607-11ea-a99f-3bbdffb1af38_story.html

Collin Binkley, “Trump administration rescinds rule on foreign students,” Associated Press, July 14, 2020, copy in possession of author

Carl T. Bergstrom, “The CDC Is Wrong,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 14, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-CDC-Is-Wrong/249174

Karin Fischer, “U.S. Rescinds Visa Policy That Could Have Forced Colleges to Hold Some Classes in Person,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 14, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/US-Rescinds-Visa-Policy-That/249182


  1. [1]Associated Press, “More than 200 schools, 17 states back lawsuits against Trump administration over international student rule,” CNBC, July 13, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/13/more-than-200-schools-17-states-back-lawsuits-against-trump-over-international-student-rule.html; Associated Press, “More than 200 schools, 17 states back lawsuits against Trump administration over international student rule,” CNBC, July 13, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/13/more-than-200-schools-17-states-back-lawsuits-against-trump-over-international-student-rule.html; Bloomberg, “Harvard and MIT sue ICE to halt new student visa guidelines,” Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-07-08/harvard-and-mit-sue-ice-to-halt-new-student-visa-guidelines; Karin Fischer, “As MIT and Harvard Sue, Colleges Scramble to Respond to New Federal Policy on International Students,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 8, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/As-MITHarvard-Sue/249142; John L. Micek, “Pa.’s Shapiro joins fellow AGs in lawsuit over Trump’s foreign student rule,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, July 13, 2020, https://www.penncapital-star.com/blog/pa-s-shapiro-joins-fellow-ags-in-lawsuit-over-trumps-foreign-student-rule/
  2. [2]Nick Anderson and Susan Svrluga, “Trump administration backs off plan requiring international students to take face-to-face classes,” Washington Post, July 14, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/ice-rule-harvard-international-students-rescinded/2020/07/14/319fdae0-c607-11ea-a99f-3bbdffb1af38_story.html; Collin Binkley, “Trump administration rescinds rule on foreign students,” Associated Press, July 14, 2020, copy in possession of author
  3. [3]Collin Binkley, “Trump administration rescinds rule on foreign students,” Associated Press, July 14, 2020, copy in possession of author
  4. [4]David Benfell, “The captain is always right,” Not Housebroken, September 8, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/09/08/the-captain-is-always-right/
  5. [5]Tina Bellon, “Massachusetts sues Uber, Lyft over driver status as contractors,” Reuters, July 14, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-lawsuit-massachusetts-idUSKCN24F2OX
  6. [6]Karin Fischer, “U.S. Rescinds Visa Policy That Could Have Forced Colleges to Hold Some Classes in Person,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 14, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/US-Rescinds-Visa-Policy-That/249182
  7. [7]Karin Fischer, “U.S. Rescinds Visa Policy That Could Have Forced Colleges to Hold Some Classes in Person,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 14, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/US-Rescinds-Visa-Policy-That/249182
  8. [8]Carl T. Bergstrom, “The CDC Is Wrong,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 14, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-CDC-Is-Wrong/249174
  9. [9]Laura Meckler, “With pressure and threats, Trump pushes to fully reopen schools. Schools say: Not so fast,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/trump-schools-cdc-pence/2020/07/08/8a52d400-c14b-11ea-b4f6-cb39cd8940fb_story.html
  10. [10]Associated Press, “More than 200 schools, 17 states back lawsuits against Trump administration over international student rule,” CNBC, July 13, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/13/more-than-200-schools-17-states-back-lawsuits-against-trump-over-international-student-rule.html; Bloomberg, “Harvard and MIT sue ICE to halt new student visa guidelines,” Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-07-08/harvard-and-mit-sue-ice-to-halt-new-student-visa-guidelines; Karin Fischer, “As MIT and Harvard Sue, Colleges Scramble to Respond to New Federal Policy on International Students,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 8, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/As-MITHarvard-Sue/249142
  11. [11]Associated Press, “More than 200 schools, 17 states back lawsuits against Trump administration over international student rule,” CNBC, July 13, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/13/more-than-200-schools-17-states-back-lawsuits-against-trump-over-international-student-rule.html; John L. Micek, “Pa.’s Shapiro joins fellow AGs in lawsuit over Trump’s foreign student rule,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, July 13, 2020, https://www.penncapital-star.com/blog/pa-s-shapiro-joins-fellow-ags-in-lawsuit-over-trumps-foreign-student-rule/
  12. [12]Agence France-Presse, “Fauci warns U.S. is “knee-deep” in coronavirus first wave,” CBS News, July 7, 2020, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/fauci-warns-us-knee-deep-coronavirus-first-wave/; Talal Ansari, “Texas Governor Rolls Back Reopening as U.S. Virus Cases Hit Record,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-latest-news-06-26-2020-11593159630; CBS News, “U.S. sees another record-breaking day with more than 63,000 coronavirus cases,” July 10, 2020, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-cases-usa-63000-daily-record/; Annie Gowen, Arelis R. Hernández, and Lori Rozsa, “Young people urged to take virus more seriously as pandemic worsens in U.S.,” Washington Post, June 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/young-people-are-driving-a-spike-in-coronavirus-infections-officials-say/2020/06/27/3654638c-b7b4-11ea-a510-55bf26485c93_story.html; Thomas Heath and Hannah Denham, “Dow tumbles 730 points as covid-19 flare-ups force states to push back reopening,” Washington Post, June 26, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/06/26/stocks-markets-today-texas-coronavirus/; Jeet Heer, [Twitter thread], Twitter Thread App, July 9, 2020, https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1281071726596521984.html; Chelsea Janes et al., “Surge in virus hospitalizations strains hospitals in several states,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/surge-in-virus-hospitalizations-strains-hospitals-in-several-states/2020/07/08/12855e5e-c135-11ea-864a-0dd31b9d6917_story.html; Christina Maxouris, “Officials say states like Arizona and Texas reopened too quickly after soaring Covid-19 cases,” CNN, July 6, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/06/health/us-coronavirus-monday/index.html; Toluse Olorunnipa, Josh Dawsey, and Yasmeen Abutaleb, “With Trump leading the way, America’s coronavirus failures exposed by record surge in new infections,” Washington Post, June 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/with-trump-leading-the-way-americas-coronavirus-failures-exposed-by-record-surge-in-new-infections/2020/06/27/bd15aea2-b7c4-11ea-a8da-693df3d7674a_story.html; Lisa Shumaker and Brendan O’Brien, “Record spike in new coronavirus cases reported in six U.S. states as reopening accelerates,” Reuters, June 16, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-idUSKBN23N32O; Meg Wagner et al., “Fauci, Redfield testify on Covid-19 reopening as cases rise,” CNN, June 30, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/webview/politics/live-news/covid-19-school-work-reopening-testimony-06-30-20/h_cc7cf09eae87064e72f75af30984acd3
  13. [13]Audrey Williams June, “Over 450 Colleges Are in Coronavirus Hot Spots,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 9, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/Over-450-Colleges-Are-in/249156
  14. [14]Robert Kelchen, “Colleges Aren’t Reopening in the Fall,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 18, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/Colleges-Aren-t-Reopening-in/248803

We are apparently not yet at a New York City in March level of crisis

Updates

  1. Originally published, 11:25 am.
  2. July 9, 10:39 pm:
    • The Wall Street Journal article on eastern Oklahoma being American Indian land has been updated[1] and the Washington Post also has an account account than the one I saw earlier.[2] The reservation land apparently does not include Tulsa after all, but adjoins it and the ruling applies only to the treaty with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, although treaties with other tribes are similar; these claims could amount to nearly half the land in Oklahoma (figure 3). Also, I had the part about which courts should have had jurisdiction wrong: These proceedings should have occurred in federal courts.[3]
    • The Washington Post story on the Supreme Court’s ruling on financial records has also been updated. It seems the Manhattan prosecutor will not obtain immediate access to Donald Trump’s financial records. A battle in the lower courts likely lies ahead.[4]
    • Matt Ford dismisses fears[5] that Donald Trump might refuse to leave office if he loses the election.[6] Ford relies on state governors and secretaries of state certifying election results[7] where others understand state legislatures as appointing or failing to appoint electoral college delegates.[8] I see a difference here but honestly don’t know how realistic it is or how much it amounts to.
  3. July 9, 11:09 pm:
    • I almost forgot. . . . You remember that sign I described on the outskirts of Duquesne? For the last couple or so weeks, it’s had a new message (figure 1):
      IMG_20200709_185558
      Fig. 1. Photograph by author, July 9, 2020.

      The Republic of China is Taiwan so I think s/he means the People’s Republic of China, that is, mainland China, which has been a state capitalist regime for decades now. Welcome to southwestern Pennsylvania, where batshit crazy is, I guess, the thing to be.

  4. July 10, 5:56 am:
    • Something I apparently missed from the day before (July 8) is that Allegheny County has issued new rules[9] that replace the old rules[10] forbidding indoor service at bars and restaurants. The new rules will be in effect for two weeks and allow outside service at these establishments.[11] A lot of people, myself included, have thought we’re inevitably heading back to Governor Tom Wolf’s yellow phase, but the Allegheny County orders are likely meant to forestall that. The question is whether the case counts will drop. So far, we really can’t say with any conviction that they have (figure 2).[12]

Pandemic

FireShot Capture 206 - Allegheny County reports 158 new coronavirus cases, 12 hospitalizatio_ - triblive.com
Fig. 2. Screenshot taken July 10, 2020 by author of Allegheny County COVID-19 daily case count chart from the Tribune-Review, July 9.[13]

In places where COVID-19 cases are spiking around the U.S., we are apparently not yet[14] at a New York City in March level of crisis.[15] But it’s bad[16] and yet the Trump administration is pressing to fully reopen schools both at the K-12 level[17] and the post-secondary level[18] even as psychopaths already congregate to spread the disease.[19]

1. I try not to be a downer but it’s difficult to view what is happening in the United States as anything other than a massive and unnecessary disaster. The pandemic is spinning out of control as in no other nation on earth & Trump opposes any serious solution.

2. First and foremost there will be a massive human cost of the dead and also (never forget) those scarred for life with chronic conditions. Beyond that, there is no path to real economic recovery unless pandemic brought under control.

3. There’s a global impact as well. Even assuming most other nations get this under control, the fact is the American consumer is the engine that pulls the global economy. There will be no full recovery without USA, meaning a poorer world for years to come.

4. Even if Biden wins in November, he doesn’t assume presidency until January 21, 2021. Will it even be possible to bring things under control by then? And he’ll preside over country with 30-40% population Trumpized, wary of masks, conspiratorial.

5. Maybe someone can talk me out of this but I really don’t see anything but a very rocky road for USA for the foreseeable future.[20]

So, gee, I wonder why this is already not ending well.

While we’re on the topic of things that don’t end well, remember that rally in Tulsa? The one that Donald Trump scheduled despite medical advice to the contrary and that attendees were supposed to sign a waiver against liability for COVID-19 for?[21] The one that filled the arena to less than one-third capacity,[22] a showing that Trump blamed protesters for[23] and social media users claimed credit for[24] but can likely be attributed to Trump’s white supremacist idiocy?[25] Yeah, that one. Well, it “‘likely contributed’ to a dramatic surge in new coronavirus cases, Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart said Wednesday [July 8].”[26]

Chelsea Janes et al., “Surge in virus hospitalizations strains hospitals in several states,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/surge-in-virus-hospitalizations-strains-hospitals-in-several-states/2020/07/08/12855e5e-c135-11ea-864a-0dd31b9d6917_story.html

Laura Meckler, “With pressure and threats, Trump pushes to fully reopen schools. Schools say: Not so fast,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/trump-schools-cdc-pence/2020/07/08/8a52d400-c14b-11ea-b4f6-cb39cd8940fb_story.html

Sean Murphy, “Health official: Trump rally ‘likely’ source of virus surge,” Associated Press, July 8, 2020, copy in possession of author

WTAE, “Allegheny County issues new 2-week order prohibiting indoor dining and alcohol consumption at restaurants and bars,” July 8, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/allegheny-county-issues-new-mitigation-order-covid-19-coronavirus/33249080

Madasyn Lee, “Allegheny County reports 158 new coronavirus cases, 12 hospitalizations,” Tribune-Review, July 9, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-reports-158-new-coronavirus-cases-12-hospitalizations/


Oklahoma

FireShot Capture 203 - Swath of Oklahoma Falls Within Indian Reservation, Supreme Court Rule_ - www.wsj.com
Fig. 3. Screenshot by author of Wall Street Journal map, July 9, 2020, showing Five Nations claims.[27]

Speaking of Tulsa, the Supreme Court upheld Muscogee (Creek) Nation claims to some of the eastern half of Oklahoma, including territory adjoining Tulsa. It only applies to the treaty with the Mucogee, but treaties with the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole tribes are similar. The immediate practical effect is to call into question an awful lot of court proceedings that apparently should have occurred in federal courts.[28] But of course the implications go far beyond that and it’s going to be awfully interesting to see how this plays.

Jess Bravin and Kris Maher, “Swath of Oklahoma Falls Within Indian Reservation, Supreme Court Rules,” Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-indian-lands-include-eastern-oklahoma-supreme-court-rules-11594304003

Ann E. Marimow, “American Indian Lands Include Eastern Oklahoma, Supreme Court Rules,” Washington Post, July 9, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-indian-lands-include-eastern-oklahoma-supreme-court-rules-11594304003


Donald Trump

A Manhattan prosecutor has the right to seek Donald Trump’s financial records for a grand jury investigation and Trump has no right to “presidential immunity” in these cases. Which means they’ll probably be under wraps until after November. But the Supreme Court sent the separation of powers question over congressional subpoenas for the same or similar information back to the lower courts.[29] It’s a defeat for Trump, but a defeat neatly deferred until after the election, and which some will therefore call a victory.

I guess we can look forward to Joe Biden pardoning Trump if indeed Biden wins this November. Because as Barack Obama demonstrated,[30] that’s just how the Democrats roll.[31]

Robert Barnes, “Supreme Court says Manhattan prosecutor may see Trump’s financial records, denies Congress access for now,” Washington Post, July 9, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-trump-tax-returns-financial-records/2020/07/09/8f274352-c1e2-11ea-9fdd-b7ac6b051dc8_story.html


  1. [1]Jess Bravin and Kris Maher, “Swath of Oklahoma Falls Within Indian Reservation, Supreme Court Rules,” Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-indian-lands-include-eastern-oklahoma-supreme-court-rules-11594304003
  2. [2]Ann E. Marimow, “American Indian Lands Include Eastern Oklahoma, Supreme Court Rules,” Washington Post, July 9, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-indian-lands-include-eastern-oklahoma-supreme-court-rules-11594304003
  3. [3]Jess Bravin and Kris Maher, “Swath of Oklahoma Falls Within Indian Reservation, Supreme Court Rules,” Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-indian-lands-include-eastern-oklahoma-supreme-court-rules-11594304003
  4. [4]Robert Barnes, “Supreme Court says Manhattan prosecutor may see Trump’s financial records, denies Congress access for now,” Washington Post, July 9, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-trump-tax-returns-financial-records/2020/07/09/8f274352-c1e2-11ea-9fdd-b7ac6b051dc8_story.html
  5. [5]Matt Ford, “Fear of a Forever-Trump Administration,” New Republic, July 9, 2020, https://newrepublic.com/article/158415/trump-refuses-to-step-down
  6. [6]Max Boot, “What if Trump loses but insists he won?” Washington Post, July 6, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/07/06/what-if-trump-loses-insists-he-won/; Timothy E. Wirth and Tom Rogers, “How Trump Could Lose the Election—And Still Remain President,” Newsweek, July 3, 2020, https://www.newsweek.com/how-trump-could-lose-election-still-remain-president-opinion-1513975
  7. [7]Matt Ford, “Fear of a Forever-Trump Administration,” New Republic, July 9, 2020, https://newrepublic.com/article/158415/trump-refuses-to-step-down
  8. [8]Max Boot, “What if Trump loses but insists he won?” Washington Post, July 6, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/07/06/what-if-trump-loses-insists-he-won/; Timothy E. Wirth and Tom Rogers, “How Trump Could Lose the Election—And Still Remain President,” Newsweek, July 3, 2020, https://www.newsweek.com/how-trump-could-lose-election-still-remain-president-opinion-1513975
  9. [9]WTAE, “Allegheny County issues new 2-week order prohibiting indoor dining and alcohol consumption at restaurants and bars,” July 8, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/allegheny-county-issues-new-mitigation-order-covid-19-coronavirus/33249080
  10. [10]Andy Sheehan, “Allegheny County Closes Bars, Restaurants, Casinos And All Activities That Involve Over 25 People For One Week,” KDKA, July 2, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/07/02/allegheny-county-bar-restaurant-casino-closure/
  11. [11]WTAE, “Allegheny County issues new 2-week order prohibiting indoor dining and alcohol consumption at restaurants and bars,” July 8, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/allegheny-county-issues-new-mitigation-order-covid-19-coronavirus/33249080
  12. [12]Madasyn Lee, “Allegheny County reports 158 new coronavirus cases, 12 hospitalizations,” Tribune-Review, July 9, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-reports-158-new-coronavirus-cases-12-hospitalizations/
  13. [13]Madasyn Lee, “Allegheny County reports 158 new coronavirus cases, 12 hospitalizations,” Tribune-Review, July 9, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-reports-158-new-coronavirus-cases-12-hospitalizations/
  14. [14]Chelsea Janes et al., “Surge in virus hospitalizations strains hospitals in several states,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/surge-in-virus-hospitalizations-strains-hospitals-in-several-states/2020/07/08/12855e5e-c135-11ea-864a-0dd31b9d6917_story.html
  15. [15]Ariana Eunjung Cha et al., “Faced with a crush of patients, besieged NYC hospitals struggle with life-or-death decisions,” Washington Post, March 31, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/31/new-york-city-hospitals-coronavirus/
  16. [16]Chelsea Janes et al., “Surge in virus hospitalizations strains hospitals in several states,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/surge-in-virus-hospitalizations-strains-hospitals-in-several-states/2020/07/08/12855e5e-c135-11ea-864a-0dd31b9d6917_story.html
  17. [17]Laura Meckler, “With pressure and threats, Trump pushes to fully reopen schools. Schools say: Not so fast,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/trump-schools-cdc-pence/2020/07/08/8a52d400-c14b-11ea-b4f6-cb39cd8940fb_story.html
  18. [18]Bloomberg, “Harvard and MIT sue ICE to halt new student visa guidelines,” Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-07-08/harvard-and-mit-sue-ice-to-halt-new-student-visa-guidelines; Karin Fischer, “As MIT and Harvard Sue, Colleges Scramble to Respond to New Federal Policy on International Students,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 8, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/As-MITHarvard-Sue/249142
  19. [19]David Benfell, “The psychopathy of the spike in COVID-19 cases,” Not Housebroken, July 7, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/07/07/the-psychopathy-of-the-spike-in-covid-19-cases/; David Benfell, “The expendable worker,” Not Housebroken, July 8, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/07/05/the-expendable-worker/
  20. [20]Jeet Heer, [Twitter thread], Twitter Thread App, July 9, 2020, https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1281071726596521984.html
  21. [21]Oliver Milman, “Trump campaign asks supporters to sign coronavirus waiver ahead of rally,” Guardian, June 12, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/12/trump-rally-supporters-sign-coronavirus-waiver
  22. [22]Andrew Solender, “Turnout At Trump’s Tulsa Rally Was Just Under 6,200–A Fraction Of The Venue’s 19,200 Capacity,” Forbes, June 21, 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewsolender/2020/06/21/turnout-at-trumps-tulsa-rally-was-just-under-6200a-fraction-of-the-venues-19200-capacity/
  23. [23]Eugene Daniels, “Trump campaign blames protesters for disappointing turnout at Tulsa rally,” Politico, June 20, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/20/trump-rally-tulsa-coronavirus-reset-2020-campaign-330248
  24. [24]Taylor Lorenz, Kellen Browning, and Sheera Frenkel, “TikTok Teens and K-Pop Stans Say They Sank Trump Rally,” New York Times, June 21, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/21/style/tiktok-trump-rally-tulsa.html; Donie O’Sullivan, “TikTok users are trying to troll Trump’s campaign by reserving tickets for Tulsa rally they’ll never use,” CNN, June 20, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/16/politics/tiktok-trump-tulsa-rally-trnd/index.html
  25. [25]Yashar Ali, [Twitter thread], Twitter Thread App, June 21, 2020, https://threadreaderapp.com/embed/1274547228619636738.html; David Benfell, “Donald Trump’s humiliation: A million expected for a 19,000-seat venue; less than 6,200 show up,” Not Housebroken, June 21, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/06/21/donald-trumps-humiliation-a-million-expected-for-a-19000-seat-venue-less-than-6200-show-up/
  26. [26]Sean Murphy, “Health official: Trump rally ‘likely’ source of virus surge,” Associated Press, July 8, 2020, copy in possession of author
  27. [27]Jess Bravin and Kris Maher, “Swath of Oklahoma Falls Within Indian Reservation, Supreme Court Rules,” Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-indian-lands-include-eastern-oklahoma-supreme-court-rules-11594304003
  28. [28]Jess Bravin and Kris Maher, “Swath of Oklahoma Falls Within Indian Reservation, Supreme Court Rules,” Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-indian-lands-include-eastern-oklahoma-supreme-court-rules-11594304003
  29. [29]Robert Barnes, “Supreme Court says Manhattan prosecutor may see Trump’s financial records, denies Congress access for now,” Washington Post, July 9, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-trump-tax-returns-financial-records/2020/07/09/8f274352-c1e2-11ea-9fdd-b7ac6b051dc8_story.html
  30. [30]Glenn Greenwald, “Obama’s justice department grants final immunity to Bush’s CIA torturers,” Guardian, August 31, 2012, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/aug/31/obama-justice-department-immunity-bush-cia-torturer; David Johnston and Charlie Savage, “Obama Reluctant to Look Into Bush Programs,” New York Times, January 11, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/12/us/politics/12inquire.html; Elizabeth Holtzman, “Statutes of Limitations Are Expiring on Some Bush Crimes,” Nation, March 20, 2013, https://www.thenation.com/article/statutes-limitations-are-expiring-some-bush-crimes/
  31. [31]David Benfell, “Bipartisan ‘meritocracy’ and ‘vote Blue no matter who,’” Not Housebroken, February 6, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/02/06/bipartisan-meritocracy-and-vote-blue-no-matter-who/

Yes, it is possible to be safe without the police, at least in some places for a limited time

I’m going ahead and publishing this now. The weather has gotten interesting north of here—apparently a tornado near Beaver Falls—and a severe thunderstorm warning has been posted for at least very close to my area.


George Floyd

With so many examples of how humanity is not ready for anarchism, it’s quite a surprise to read an account of how a community protected itself without the police and without replicating the problems of the police.[1] I don’t know how sustainable this is or how widely applicable, but it’s quite a story and certainly worth looking at.

Meanwhile Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor looks more broadly, both historically and topically, at the issues the U.S. needs to address[2]—and of course, won’t. I had not seen her article when I tweeted my response to Chuck Wendig above, but I think we’re on the same page.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, “How Do We Change America?” New Yorker, June 8, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/how-do-we-change-america

Hahrie Han, “What Happened When the Minneapolis Police Lost Legitimacy?” New York Times, June 10, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/10/opinion/floyd-minneapolis-police-protests.html


  1. [1]Hahrie Han, “What Happened When the Minneapolis Police Lost Legitimacy?” New York Times, June 10, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/10/opinion/floyd-minneapolis-police-protests.html
  2. [2]Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, “How Do We Change America?” New Yorker, June 8, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/how-do-we-change-america

The different ways the pandemic affects education

Education

There is a new blog post entitled, “Keeping the poor, poor, even when they serve their country.”

Jason Togyer, “In towns like McKeesport, the future was already precarious. Then came coronavirus,” Columbia Journalism Review, May 22, 2020, https://www.cjr.org/special_report/year-of-fear-mckeesport-crime-covid-19.php

Greta Anderson, “A One-Day Difference,” Inside Higher Ed, May 27, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/05/27/rules-could-deprive-national-guard-members-fighting-covid-19-education-benefits


Gratuitous guns

I was working in some areas I hadn’t worked in so intensively before today and found three more gratuitous guns. These are farther west, in Ambridge, New Brighton, and Beaver Falls, than others I’d seen in the Pittsburgh area. I had to do some clean-up of the relevant album and re-add all the locations as a single layer to the map because it turns out there’s a limit to how many layers you can add to one of these maps. But they’re all there now.

See Pittsburgh.


The panic sets in

Housekeeping

The Pixel 4 XL has not arrived. I tried calling FedEx to find out what had happened, but in truth, I got very little information beyond that which tracking had offered. That “trailer,” presumably as in a tractor pulling that trailer, that supposedly holds my Pixel 4 XL, had not yet arrived in Pittsburgh.

I knew already that the package had not been checked in to Pittsburgh. So the only news here was that it was being brought here by a tractor-trailer. I was not expecting a mule train. Or maybe some poor schmuck on a bicycle.

It supposedly left Grove City, Ohio, at 1:21 this morning. It’s a three or four hour drive to Pittsburgh. So it has not come directly to Pittsburgh. Which seems more than a little strange.

I’m hoping it will arrive tomorrow, at which point the anticipated communication disruption may yet occur.


Pennsylvania

Today may be a poor example, but lots of things are shutting down all over the country, including in Pittsburgh, and people are definitely hearing about “social distancing” and “self-quarantining.” Business, which I discussed this morning, seemed like it was back to winter.

Governor Tom Wolfe has ordered all schools in Pennsylvania to close for at least ten days. Many are closing for longer.[1] I think it’s going to take longer than this for the pandemic to crest.

2020-Voter-Registration-March
Fig. 1. Map of political polarization in Pennsylvania as of March 2020 by the Penn Capital-Star, fair use. I live in Allegheny County, which appears not merely red (as in a red-blue divide), but maroon, signifying a strong Republican advantage.[2]

Don’t focus too much on that eye-popping Allegheny County number. I imagine that, much like Philly last fall, a periodic update of the voter rolls is responsible for that shift.

Still the Southwest remains a rising red sea for the GOP. Ancestral Democratic counties such Beaver, Fayette and Greene counties continue to bleed away support. Lawrence County will likely be a Republican county by my next update and at this pace Cambria County won’t be too far behind.[3]

As I drive around, mostly in Allegheny County, I see a few yard signs for Bernie Sanders. I see none at all for Joe Biden. I see a lot of yard signs, flags, and bumper stickers for Donald Trump. So that “eye-popping Allegheny County number” may be closer to the truth than Nick Field realizes.

Nick Field, “Voter Registration Update: Pa.’s blue and red divide deepens as April primary approaches,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, March 11, 2020, https://www.penncapital-star.com/government-politics/voter-registration-update-pa-s-blue-and-red-divide-deepens-as-april-primary-approaches-analysis/

Megan Guza And Joanne Klimovich Harrop, “Gov. Tom Wolf orders all Pa. schools shut down for 10 days,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 13, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/western-pa-schools-begin-closing-for-2-weeks-over-coronavirus-fears/

Eric Heyl, “First Western PA Coronavirus Case Confirmed,” Patch, March 13, 2020, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/h1rnv/first-western-pa-coronavirus-case-confirmed


  1. [1]Megan Guza And Joanne Klimovich Harrop, “Gov. Tom Wolf orders all Pa. schools shut down for 10 days,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 13, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/western-pa-schools-begin-closing-for-2-weeks-over-coronavirus-fears/
  2. [2]Nick Field, “Voter Registration Update: Pa.’s blue and red divide deepens as April primary approaches,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, March 11, 2020, https://www.penncapital-star.com/government-politics/voter-registration-update-pa-s-blue-and-red-divide-deepens-as-april-primary-approaches-analysis/
  3. [3]Nick Field, “Voter Registration Update: Pa.’s blue and red divide deepens as April primary approaches,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, March 11, 2020, https://www.penncapital-star.com/government-politics/voter-registration-update-pa-s-blue-and-red-divide-deepens-as-april-primary-approaches-analysis/

No deal

Housekeeping

Just a hint to a U.S. Postal Service carrier and a United Parcel Service carrier out there: You have real jobs, you should be grateful for those jobs, and you should do those jobs.

I am not amused by your excuses.[1]

For everyone else, there is a new Pittsburgh mailing address that should be used for the foreseeable future unless I tell you otherwise; see my contact information page for details.


Brexit

Danielle Sheridan, Tony Diver, and Amy Jones, “Brexit latest news: Deal ‘essentially impossible’ after call between Boris Johnson and Angela Merkel, Number 10 says,” Telegraph, October 8, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/10/08/brexit-latest-news-boris-johnson-no-deal-parliament-prorogation/


Misogyny

Antonia Noori Farzan, “A teenager said there was a rapist at her school. She was suspended for bullying,” Washington Post, October 8, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/10/08/maine-teenager-suspended-rape-warning-high-school/


Kurdistan

Dion Nissenbaum and Gordon Lubold, “Trump’s Call to Leave Syria Draws Fire From GOP Allies,” Wall Street Journalhttps://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-begins-pullback-from-northern-syria-clearing-way-for-turkish-offensive-11570439862


 

  1. [1]David Benfell, “About my job hunt,” Not Housebroken, n.d., https://disunitedstates.org/about-my-job-hunt/