Discord

Polarization

There is a new blog post entitled, “On the plea for peace.”

Andrea Mazzarino, “War Zone America?” TomDispatch, September 22, 2020, http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176752/tomgram%3A_andrea_mazzarino%2C_%28un%29civil_war/


Allegheny County

Megan Guza, “Allegheny County restaurant task force shuts down 2 repeat offenders for covid-19 violations,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 22, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/allegheny-county-restaurant-task-force-shuts-down-2-repeat-offenders-for-covid-19-violations/


Essential workers

Michael Sainato, “‘I cry before work’: US essential workers burned out amid pandemic,” Guardian, September 23, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/23/us-essential-workers-coronavirus-burnout-stress


Evictions to resume in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

I think I see what Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is doing. He wants an incredibly repugnant state legislature to do its fucking job. One problem is he’s using very vulnerable people, people about to pushed into homelessness because of pandemic-related unemployment, to push his point.[1] Even by the lax standards of political ethics, this is cynical to say the least.

The other problem is that this legislature really is horrible—perhaps to an even greater degree than with Congress, Republicans here, who control both houses, are absolutely in thrall to Donald Trump—and has been specifically horrible on the topic of the pandemic.[2] Even as urgent as this issue is, counting on the legislature to “come to its senses”[3] is folly.

Stephen Caruso, “Gov. Wolf says his executive authority has run out on extending eviction moratorium, perplexing some experts,” Pittsburgh City Paper, August 28, 2020, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/gov-wolf-says-his-executive-authority-has-run-out-on-extending-eviction-moratorium-perplexing-some-experts/Content?oid=17896117


  1. [1]Stephen Caruso, “Gov. Wolf says his executive authority has run out on extending eviction moratorium, perplexing some experts,” Pittsburgh City Paper, August 28, 2020, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/gov-wolf-says-his-executive-authority-has-run-out-on-extending-eviction-moratorium-perplexing-some-experts/Content?oid=17896117
  2. [2]Associated Press, “Pennsylvania GOP seeks to dismantle Wolf’s shutdown,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 9, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/pennsylvania-gop-seeks-to-dismantle-wolfs-shutdown/; Associated Press, “Pennsylvania Republicans Mount New Challenge To Gov. Tom Wolf’s Pandemic Power,” KDKA, July 14, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/07/14/republicans-mount-new-challenge-to-governors-pandemic-power/; Stephen Caruso, “Pa. Lawmaker: It’s not government’s responsibility to ‘try to keep us safe,’” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, August 12, 2020, https://www.penncapital-star.com/covid-19/pa-lawmaker-its-not-governments-responsibility-to-try-to-keep-us-safe/; 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/; Elizabeth Hardison and Stephen Caruso, “Pa. Supreme Court throws out GOP challenge to Wolf’s COVID-19 emergency order,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, July 1, 2020, https://www.penncapital-star.com/covid-19/pa-supreme-court-throws-out-gop-challenge-to-wolfs-covid-19-emergency-order/; Nick Matoney, “‘We can’t do this for another 90 days’: Pa. General Assembly votes to end COVID-19 emergency declaration,” WTAE, June 10, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/we-cant-do-this-for-another-90-days-pa-general-assembly-votes-to-end-covid-19-emergency-declaration/32821325; John L. Micek, “W. Pa. Rep. Metcalfe files impeachment articles to ‘remove dictator Wolf’ over pandemic response,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, June 16, 2020, https://www.penncapital-star.com/blog/w-pa-rep-metcalfe-files-impeachment-articles-to-remove-dictator-wolf-over-pandemic-response/
  3. [3]Moira Donegan, “What does Biden have in common with Trump? Delusional nostalgia,” Guardian, June 21, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/21/joe-biden-trump-sexism-delusional-nostalgia; Matt Ford, “Someone Please Tell Joe Biden That Bipartisanship Is Dead,” New Republic, June 12, 2019, https://newrepublic.com/article/154183/someone-please-tell-joe-biden-bipartisanship-dead; Paul Waldman, “Joe Biden still hasn’t learned the lessons of the Obama presidency,” Washington Post, December 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/12/06/joe-biden-still-hasnt-learned-lessons-obama-presidency/

Organizations for people of color, betraying people of color

Updates

  1. Originally published, August 23, 2020, at 9:38 pm.
  2. August 24, 5:50 am:
    • But for the predicted lightning storms,[1] with matching development now appearing, the Walbridge Fire looks more and more like something in the rear view mirror. I have replaced the screenshot of the Sonoma County Fire Incident Map with one taken at 5:26 am and updated the satellite imagery.
    • Similarly, I have updated the satellite imagery for the eastern U.S. and Gulf of Mexico. Marco appears to be making landfall in the Florida panhandle. Laura is now south of Cuba and looks to me like it could be caught in the same pattern that shifted Marco east. That pattern is itself shifting east so Laura would likely hit further east than Marco.

Ridesharing

It’s a sadly familiar story: Historically, some unions have been co-opted by employers, helping in their own emasculation, while union officials feather their own beds. Only this time, it’s organizations that should advocate for people of color, advocating California’s Proposition 22, arguing that ridesharing provides access to transportation and work for people of color. What they mean is that that work pays an estimated $5.64 per hour in California.[2]

These organizations ought to be ashamed of themselves. But hey, their beds are feathered.

Kim Bojórquez, “Why are Black and Latino advocacy groups backing Uber, Lyft in California labor law fight?” Sacramento Bee, August 23, 2020, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article244812707.html


Walbridge Fire

FireShot Capture 301 - County of Sonoma Fire Incident Map - sonomacounty.maps.arcgis.com.png
Fig. 1. Screenshot of Sonoma County Fire Incident Map, taken by author, August 23, 2020, 9:23 pm.

wus
Fig. 2. 72-hour gif of western U.S. satellite imagery.

The mandatory evacuation zones are beginning to recede a bit as the active fires look sparser (figure 1). Thanks to lightning forecasts, we’re not out of the woods.[3]


Tropical Storms

eusgm.gif
Fig. 3. 72-hour gif of satellite imagery for the Eastern U.S. and Gulf of Mexico.


  1. [1]Michael McGough, “More weekend thunder, lightning in Northern California forecasts stoke wildfire concerns,” Sacramento Bee, August 21, 2020, https://www.sacbee.com/news/weather-news/article245139635.html
  2. [2]Kim Bojórquez, “Why are Black and Latino advocacy groups backing Uber, Lyft in California labor law fight?” Sacramento Bee, August 23, 2020, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article244812707.html
  3. [3]Michael McGough, “More weekend thunder, lightning in Northern California forecasts stoke wildfire concerns,” Sacramento Bee, August 21, 2020, https://www.sacbee.com/news/weather-news/article245139635.html

‘Suspend’ does not mean ‘reverse’ at the U.S. Postal Service

Updates

  1. Originally published, August 21, 2020, 10:05 am.
  2. August 21, 12:07 pm:
    • In a series of tweets (see below), the Pennsylvania attorney general announced his coalition had filed suit to reverse changes at the U.S. Postal Service. This is one of two earlier reported suits.[1]
    • I have just received notice of an expansion of the mandatory evacuation zones in west Sonoma County to include Pocket Canyon. Evacuation warnings have been expanded along Green Valley Road, to both sides of the Russian River west of Laguna Road. And I have a map showing the grids (figure 4, see Walbridge Fire).

Recession

Shame, shame. This speculation lacks support:

The overall number of laid-off American workers collecting unemployment benefits declined last week from 15.5 million to 14.8 million. Many of them probably found jobs. But some may have used up all their benefits, which in most states run out after about six months.[2]

We don’t know how many found jobs and we don’t know how many simply used up their benefits. The claim that “many of them probably found jobs” is unsupported and frames information optimistically without justification for that optimism.

Christopher Rugaber, “Rise in jobless claims reflects still-struggling US economy,” Associated Press, August 20, 2020, copy in possession of author


Postal Service

As at least 21 state attorneys general sued,[3] Postmaster General Louis DeJoy suspended the changes that might interfere with election mail.[4] It is now apparent that “suspend” does not mean “reverse,” as an email has come to light forbidding the reconstruction or reconnection of sorting machines that had already been removed from service.[5]

Kristen Holmes and Paul P. Murphy, “USPS email tells managers not to reconnect sorting machines,” CNN, August 20, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/20/politics/usps-reconnect-sorting-machines/index.html


Tropical storms

car.gif
Fig. 1. Caribbean satellite imagery, compiled by author, as of August 21, 2020, 8:02 am.

For the first time since the Great Depression, it’s possible that two tropical systems could make landfall in the mainland United States at virtually the same time.[6]

This (figure 2) is what they’re showing:
2-cones-tropical-depression-13-tropical-depression-14-same-time-08212020
Fig. 2. Storm track projections from the Weather Channel for Tropical Storm Laura and Tropical Depression Fourteen, August 20, 2020, fair use.[7]
According to the Weather Channel, Laura seems projected to skim a bunch of islands, including Cuba.[8] From what I’ve seen, that won’t affect its strength much. Tropical Depression 13 passes over the Yucatan Peninsula;[9] that might weaken it some, but first, it looks to me like it is actually skirting that peninsula, possibly passing over western Cuba instead (figure 1); and second, it could regain strength or intensify once it hits the Gulf of Mexico.

Also, I’m not sure I buy their timing on Laura. Laura has a much longer distance to traverse than Tropical Depression 13 along their projected tracks and it doesn’t look to me like it’s moving that much faster. I can also see it turning north and east of the U.S. entirely (figure 1).

Either way, and assuming these storms make landfall along the Gulf of Mexico coast, some or all of this seems to me like it could head towards Pittsburgh as it gets caught up in a flow from Louisiana (figure 3):
eusgm.gif
Fig. 3. Eastern U.S. and Gulf of Mexico satellite imagery, compiled by author, as of August 21, 2020, 8:01 am.

If so, a relatively quiet, hot, and rainless summer might be in for a break.

Sean Breslin, “Tropical Storm Laura and Tropical Depression Fourteen: Track the Storms,” Weather Channel, August 20, 2020, https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2020-08-20-tropical-depression-thirteen-fourteen-laura-marco-tracker


Walbridge Fire

user68366-1598024396-media2
Fig. 4. Map from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department showing grids, received August 21, 2020, fair use.
The Sonoma County Fire Incident Map seems to be working again. I have a screenshot (figure 5):
FireShot Capture 280 - County of Sonoma Fire Incident Map - sonomacounty.maps.arcgis.com.png
Fig. 5. Screenshot of the Sonoma County Fire Incident Map, taken on August 21, 2020, at 12:01 pm EDT (9:01 am PDT) by author.

The warning zones are getting close to the Laguna de Santa Rosa. The mandatory evacuation zone now reaches nearly to Forestville.

Mom, stay where you are.


  1. [1]Amy Gardner and Erin Cox, “At least 21 states plan to sue the Postal Service over service delays, threat to election,” Washington Post, August 18, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/at-least-20-states-plan-to-sue-the-us-postal-service-over-service-delays-threat-to-election/2020/08/18/c6ca2dc6-e166-11ea-b69b-64f7b0477ed4_story.html
  2. [2]Christopher Rugaber, “Rise in jobless claims reflects still-struggling US economy,” Associated Press, August 20, 2020, copy in possession of author
  3. [3]Amy Gardner and Erin Cox, “At least 21 states plan to sue the Postal Service over service delays, threat to election,” Washington Post, August 18, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/at-least-20-states-plan-to-sue-the-us-postal-service-over-service-delays-threat-to-election/2020/08/18/c6ca2dc6-e166-11ea-b69b-64f7b0477ed4_story.html
  4. [4]Louis DeJoy, quoted in Paul Ziobro, Natalie Andrews, and Alexa Corse, “Postmaster to Suspend USPS Changes Until After Election,” Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/postmaster-general-dejoy-to-testify-before-senate-panel-friday-11597758378; Paul Ziobro, Natalie Andrews, and Alexa Corse, “Postmaster to Suspend USPS Changes Until After Election,” Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/postmaster-general-dejoy-to-testify-before-senate-panel-friday-11597758378
  5. [5]Kristen Holmes and Paul P. Murphy, “USPS email tells managers not to reconnect sorting machines,” CNN, August 20, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/20/politics/usps-reconnect-sorting-machines/index.html
  6. [6]Sean Breslin, “Tropical Storm Laura and Tropical Depression Fourteen: Track the Storms,” Weather Channel, August 20, 2020, https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2020-08-20-tropical-depression-thirteen-fourteen-laura-marco-tracker
  7. [7]Sean Breslin, “Tropical Storm Laura and Tropical Depression Fourteen: Track the Storms,” Weather Channel, August 20, 2020, https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2020-08-20-tropical-depression-thirteen-fourteen-laura-marco-tracker
  8. [8]Sean Breslin, “Tropical Storm Laura and Tropical Depression Fourteen: Track the Storms,” Weather Channel, August 20, 2020, https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2020-08-20-tropical-depression-thirteen-fourteen-laura-marco-tracker
  9. [9]Sean Breslin, “Tropical Storm Laura and Tropical Depression Fourteen: Track the Storms,” Weather Channel, August 20, 2020, https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2020-08-20-tropical-depression-thirteen-fourteen-laura-marco-tracker

Driver misclassification may continue until the cows come home. If they ever do.

Ridesharing

An appeals court has ruled that Uber and Lyft may continue to misclassify drivers for the time being. But the companies must have a plan to comply within 30 days if their appeal fails and California’s sham Proposition 22 fails to pass.[1] So the bawling, hissy-fit throwing, temper tantrum throwing crybabies got their way. And we know how that turns out.

Lauren Feiner, “Appeals court grants Uber and Lyft a temporary reprieve following threats to shut down in California,” CNBC, August 20, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/20/appeals-court-grants-uber-and-lyft-a-temporary-reprieve-in-case-over-driver-classification.html


  1. [1]Lauren Feiner, “Appeals court grants Uber and Lyft a temporary reprieve following threats to shut down in California,” CNBC, August 20, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/20/appeals-court-grants-uber-and-lyft-a-temporary-reprieve-in-case-over-driver-classification.html

More whiny capitalists

In case you missed it, there is a new blog post from this morning entitled, “Blaming the victims, capitalist-style.”


Labor

Speaking of that blog post . . .

Leila Miller, “Low-wage workers face retaliation for demanding COVID-19 safety measures at work,” Los Angeles Times, August 15, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-08-15/coronavirus-workers-retaliation-claims


Guillotines are seeming rather attractive right now

Updates

  1. Originally published, August 15, 2020, at 9:03 am.
  2. August 15, 10:59 am:

Pittsburgh

The text originally here has been reworked into a new blog entry entitled, “Blaming the victims, capitalist-style.”

I generally oppose violence but my god, with mother-fuckers like these capitalists, and a system that actively enables rather than restrains them, what are you supposed to do?

Nick Matoney, “Restaurant revolution: Some owners in Pennsylvania plan to expand capacity despite mandate,” WTAE, August 14, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/restaurant-revolution-some-owners-in-pennsylvania-plan-to-expand-capacity-despite-mandate/33602662

Teghan Simonton, “Braddock restaurant owner apologizes for comparing Gov. Wolf, Levine to Nazis,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 14, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/braddock-restaurant-owner-apologizes-for-comparing-gov-wolf-levine-to-nazis/


Donald Trump

Salvador Rizzo, “Trump promotes false claim that Harris might not be a natural-born U.S. citizen,” Washington Post, August 13, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/08/13/trump-falsely-claims-harris-might-not-be-us-citizen/


The judge agrees: Uber and Lyft need to grow the fuck up

Ridesharing

It seems that ten days isn’t long enough for the poor babies, Uber and Lyft, to appeal[1] a judge’s preliminary injunction requiring them to comply with California state law and classify drivers as employees rather than as independent contractors[2] and the aforementioned babies, who’ve been throwing a temper tantrum, threatening to hold their breath until they turn blue stop service in California, because they aren’t getting their way,[3] wanted more time to come up with an appeal. The judge told them to grow the fuck up.[4] Okay, maybe not in quite those words:

“I am unconvinced that any extension of the 10-day stay is required,” [San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ethan] Schulman said. “Both applications are denied.” . . .

In [earlier] ordering an injunction, Schulman assailed what he called Uber’s and Lyft’s “prolonged and brazen refusal” to comply with state law.[5]

Damn right. We are, at this point, fully entitled to know just why these companies think they’re so fucking special.

[6]

Postal Service

Amy Gardner, Josh Dawsey, and Paul Kane, “Trump opposes election aid for states and Postal Service bailout, threatening Nov. 3 vote,” Washington Post, August 13, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-mail-voting/2020/08/13/3eb9ac62-dd70-11ea-809e-b8be57ba616e_story.html


  1. [1]Jonathan Stempel, “Judge rejects Uber, Lyft bids to delay California driver injunction,” Yahoo!, August 13, 2020, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/uber-lyft-lose-bid-delay-184959283.html
  2. [2]Therese Poletti, “Uber and Lyft’s ‘day of reckoning’ is finally here,” MarketWatch, August 12, 2020, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/uber-and-lyfts-day-of-reckoning-is-finally-here-2020-08-11; Faiz Siddiqui, “Uber and Lyft must make their drivers in California full employees, judge rules,” Washington Post, August 10, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/08/10/uber-lyft-ab5/
  3. [3]Jessica Bursztynsky and Lauren Feiner, “Lyft may suspend service in California if court requires it to classify drivers as employees,” CNBC, August 12, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/12/lyft-president-says-it-may-have-to-suspend-service-in-california.html; Lauren Feiner, “Uber CEO says its service will probably shut down temporarily in California if it’s forced to classify drivers as employees,” CNBC, August 12, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/12/uber-may-shut-down-temporarily-in-california.html
  4. [4]Jonathan Stempel, “Judge rejects Uber, Lyft bids to delay California driver injunction,” Yahoo!, August 13, 2020, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/uber-lyft-lose-bid-delay-184959283.html
  5. [5]Jonathan Stempel, “Judge rejects Uber, Lyft bids to delay California driver injunction,” Yahoo!, August 13, 2020, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/uber-lyft-lose-bid-delay-184959283.html
  6. [6]Jonathan Stempel, “Judge rejects Uber, Lyft bids to delay California driver injunction,” Yahoo!, August 13, 2020, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/uber-lyft-lose-bid-delay-184959283.html

Time again for Uber and Lyft to grow up

Updates

  1. Originally published, August 12, 2020, at 12:15 pm.
  2. August 12, 8:45 pm:
    • Lyft has joined[1] in Uber’s hissy fit.[2] Y’all will have to forgive me if I am utterly unimpressed.

Ridesharing

I wrote last year that it was “Time for the gig economy to grow up.”[3] Now that a judge has told Uber and Lyft much the same thing, both companies plan to appeal,[4] Uber is throwing a hissy fit.[5] So I’ll say it again: Grow the fuck up.

Jessica Bursztynsky and Lauren Feiner, “Lyft may suspend service in California if court requires it to classify drivers as employees,” CNBC, August 12, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/12/lyft-president-says-it-may-have-to-suspend-service-in-california.html

Lauren Feiner, “Uber CEO says its service will probably shut down temporarily in California if it’s forced to classify drivers as employees,” CNBC, August 12, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/12/uber-may-shut-down-temporarily-in-california.html

Therese Poletti, “Uber and Lyft’s ‘day of reckoning’ is finally here,” MarketWatch, August 12, 2020, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/uber-and-lyfts-day-of-reckoning-is-finally-here-2020-08-11


  1. [1]Jessica Bursztynsky and Lauren Feiner, “Lyft may suspend service in California if court requires it to classify drivers as employees,” CNBC, August 12, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/12/lyft-president-says-it-may-have-to-suspend-service-in-california.html
  2. [2]Lauren Feiner, “Uber CEO says its service will probably shut down temporarily in California if it’s forced to classify drivers as employees,” CNBC, August 12, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/12/uber-may-shut-down-temporarily-in-california.html
  3. [3]David Benfell, “Time for the gig economy to grow up,” Not Housebroken, August 30, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/08/30/time-for-the-gig-economy-to-grow-up/
  4. [4]Therese Poletti, “Uber and Lyft’s ‘day of reckoning’ is finally here,” MarketWatch, August 12, 2020, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/uber-and-lyfts-day-of-reckoning-is-finally-here-2020-08-11; Faiz Siddiqui, “Uber and Lyft must make their drivers in California full employees, judge rules,” Washington Post, August 10, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/08/10/uber-lyft-ab5/
  5. [5]Lauren Feiner, “Uber CEO says its service will probably shut down temporarily in California if it’s forced to classify drivers as employees,” CNBC, August 12, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/12/uber-may-shut-down-temporarily-in-california.html