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

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

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

Aren’t you glad somebody’s keeping track of all the shit?

There is a new blog post entitled, “On police.”


Ridesharing

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/


Donald Trump

No one should even want to keep track of all the shit Donald Trump utters. But I guess it’s good someone does.[1] And hell, I might need to find some of this someday.

George T. Conway, III, “I (still) believe the president, and in the president,” Washington Post, August 10, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/08/10/i-still-believe-president-president/


Kamala Harris

Just a reminder.

Marjorie Cohn, “Kamala Harris Has a Distinguished Career of Serving Injustice,” Truthout, July 8, 2019, https://truthout.org/articles/kamala-harris-has-a-distinguished-career-of-serving-injustice/

Emily Cadei and Bryan Anderson, “Fact check: Did Kamala Harris block evidence that would have freed death row inmates?” Sacramento Bee, July 31, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article233375207.html

Shikha Dalmia, “The real reason Kamala Harris is tanking,” Week, November 4, 2019, https://theweek.com/articles/875020/real-reason-kamala-harris-tanking


  1. [1]George T. Conway, III, “I believe the president, and in the president,” Washington Post, February 5, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/05/george-conway-trump-i-believe/; George T. Conway, III, “I (still) believe the president, and in the president,” Washington Post, August 10, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/08/10/i-still-believe-president-president/

New York Attorney General arranges a massive fundraising boost for the National Rifle Association

National Rifle Association

I predict a huge fundraising bonanza for the National Rifle Association. Because, yes, that’s exactly how this works.

As for the lawsuit[1] itself? We’ll see. There’s a gaming aspect to court proceedings that reduces to a contest to see who can get what rules applied that leads me not to trust that even well-founded cases (which it sounds like this is[2]) will prevail. And we haven’t seen the NRA’s defense yet.

Carol D. Leonnig and Tom Hamburger, “New York attorney general seeks to dissolve NRA in suit accusing gun rights group of wide-ranging fraud and self-dealing,” Washington Post, August 6, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/nra-lapierre-ny-attorney-general/2020/08/06/8e389794-d794-11ea-930e-d88518c57dcc_story.html


Ridesharing

Preetika Rana, “Uber Ridership Fails to Recover as Pandemic Drives Another Big Loss,” Wall Street Journal, August 6, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-ridership-fails-to-recover-as-pandemic-drives-another-big-loss-11596744389


  1. [1]Carol D. Leonnig and Tom Hamburger, “New York attorney general seeks to dissolve NRA in suit accusing gun rights group of wide-ranging fraud and self-dealing,” Washington Post, August 6, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/nra-lapierre-ny-attorney-general/2020/08/06/8e389794-d794-11ea-930e-d88518c57dcc_story.html
  2. [2]Carol D. Leonnig and Tom Hamburger, “New York attorney general seeks to dissolve NRA in suit accusing gun rights group of wide-ranging fraud and self-dealing,” Washington Post, August 6, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/nra-lapierre-ny-attorney-general/2020/08/06/8e389794-d794-11ea-930e-d88518c57dcc_story.html

Enough with the warnings

Allegheny County

There is a new blog post entitled, “Regarding the planned ultimatum by southwestern Pennsylvania bar and restaurant owners.”

Tom Wolf has not responded directly, but shortly afterwards, posted,

We have to do everything we can to keep our communities safe and healthy, including wearing a mask and following mitigation orders so our businesses operate safely.

We continue to work closely with commonwealth agencies and local officials to enforce public safety orders.

The following groups are authorized to enforce business closure orders and safety orders to the full extent of the law:

⚖️ Local officials and law enforcement
🚨 @PAStatePolice
🚑 @PAHealthDept
🍽 @PAAgriculture
💼 @PALaborIndustry
🍺 Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

Here’s how Pennsylvanians can report #COVID19 health and safety violations:

📱 Contact your local health department or law enforcement agency.
💻 Fill out this form: on.pa.gov/2A8GlK8
⛑ If in violation of OSHA guidance, file a complaint at OSHA.gov.[1]

I hope that enforcement will be vigorous. Enough with the warnings: These assholes know damned well what they’re doing.


Ridesharing

IMG_20190414_135906
Fig. 1. Photograph by author, April 14, 2019.

For anyone curious, I do not expect to benefit from this lawsuit, which relies on AB 5.[2] Gavin Newsom signed the bill on September 18, 2019; it took effect on January 1, 2020.[3] I left the state on April 14, 2019 (figure 1).

Andrew J. Hawkins, “California labor commissioner sues Uber and Lyft for alleged wage theft,” Verge, August 5, 2020, https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/5/21356096/uber-lyft-california-labor-commissioner-lawsuit-driver-classification


Century III Mall

It’s really quite remarkable: Not far from my apartment is a nearly entirely shuttered shopping mall[4] that apparently was once “the place to go.” There is a neglected roadway, named “Century III Mall,” that is pockmarked with potholes and in fact unfit for traffic: It should be repaired or closed, not simply left to deteriorate as it is.

But to drive down that road is to gaze, carefully, while slowly dodging potholes, to one side and to see relatively modern buildings, certainly more modern than much to be found in surrounding neighborhoods (where many houses are probably something like 80 or 90 years old), left to rot, mostly fenced off. It seems, for now at least, the epitome of abandonment.

I said “nearly entirely shuttered.” One store, even in bankruptcy, remained, JCPenney.[5] Now, it too is closing.[6] It really is bizarre that they clung to this location for so long; I don’t think I ever took anyone there and I doubt I’ve had more than two pickups there.

Jacob Tierney, “Century III Mall’s JCPenney to close,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 5, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/century-iii-malls-jcpenney-to-close/


  1. [1]Tom Wolf, [Twitter thread], Thread Reader App, August 6, 2020, https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1291345691936198657.html
  2. [2]Andrew J. Hawkins, “California labor commissioner sues Uber and Lyft for alleged wage theft,” Verge, August 5, 2020, https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/5/21356096/uber-lyft-california-labor-commissioner-lawsuit-driver-classification
  3. [3]John Myers, Johana Bhuiyan, and Margot Roosevelt, “Newsom signs bill rewriting California employment law, limiting use of independent contractors,” Los Angeles Times, September 18, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-09-18/gavin-newsom-signs-ab5-employees0independent-contractors-california
  4. [4]Sam Bojarski, “Century III Mall boarded up; only JCPenney remains,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 5, 2019, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/century-iii-faces-uncertain-future-with-one-tenant-remaining/
  5. [5]Sam Bojarski, “Century III Mall boarded up; only JCPenney remains,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 5, 2019, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/century-iii-faces-uncertain-future-with-one-tenant-remaining/
  6. [6]Jacob Tierney, “Century III Mall’s JCPenney to close,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 5, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/century-iii-malls-jcpenney-to-close/

Oh, no! It’s a huge drop in capitalist exploitation of workers and the environment!

Gig economy

Stephen Caruso, “How a Supreme Court ruling on an Uber driver could remake Pennsylvania’s gig economy,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, July 29, 2020, https://www.penncapital-star.com/working-the-economy/how-a-supreme-court-ruling-on-an-uber-driver-could-remake-pennsylvanias-gig-economy/


Recession

There is a new blog post entitled, “We need to do everything different.”

Sam Levin, “California landlords are locking out struggling tenants. A ‘tsunami of evictions’ may be next,” Guardian, July 30, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/30/california-covid-19-evictions-landlords-tenants

Rachel Siegel and Andrew Van Dam, “U.S. economy contracted at fastest quarterly rate on record from April to June as coronavirus walloped workers, businesses,” Washington Post, July 30, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/07/30/gdp-q2-coronavirus/


Horse race

Kevin Liptak and Betsy Klein, “Trump floats delaying election despite lack of authority to do so,” CNN, July 30, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/30/politics/trump-delay-election-no-authority/index.html


Pandemic

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/


Gig workers might have rights? In Pennsylvania?

Gig economy

Daniel Wiessner, “Penn. Supreme Court says Uber driver is employee entitled to unemployment benefits,” Westlaw, July 27, 2020, https://today.westlaw.com/Document/I0c1a2c10d05911ea853294a23e704d3f/View/FullText.html


Protests

In general, what can be said of the protests is they are indeed becoming more violent, that Donald Trump is getting his campaign footage,[1] but most people will know that it is Trump who escalated the situation.

A protest in Austin turned fatal on Saturday when a driver navigated his vehicle toward the marchers and fired at 28-year-old protester Garrett Foster, who had brought an assault rifle to a march, police said.

The driver — fired upon by a third armed man at the scene — was not injured, officials said, and police released him while their investigation continued.[2]

Devlin Barrett et al., “More federal agents dispatched to Portland as protests rise in other cities,” Washington Post, July 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/more-federal-agents-dispatched-to-portland-as-protests-rise-in-other-cities/2020/07/27/20a717be-d03c-11ea-8d32-1ebf4e9d8e0d_story.html

Tom Jackman and Carol D. Leonnig, “National Guard officer says police suddenly moved on Lafayette Square protesters, used ‘excessive force’ before Trump visit,” Washington Post, July 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/07/27/national-guard-commander-says-police-suddenly-moved-lafayette-square-protesters-used-excessive-force-clear-path-trump/


  1. [1]Devlin Barrett et al., “More federal agents dispatched to Portland as protests rise in other cities,” Washington Post, July 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/more-federal-agents-dispatched-to-portland-as-protests-rise-in-other-cities/2020/07/27/20a717be-d03c-11ea-8d32-1ebf4e9d8e0d_story.html
  2. [2]Devlin Barrett et al., “More federal agents dispatched to Portland as protests rise in other cities,” Washington Post, July 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/more-federal-agents-dispatched-to-portland-as-protests-rise-in-other-cities/2020/07/27/20a717be-d03c-11ea-8d32-1ebf4e9d8e0d_story.html

Summer in Pittsburgh

Last year, it rained. Oh, how it rained. And thundered and lightninged. It seemed like there were weather warnings nearly every day for a while there. And I never got a chance to see how picturesque Pittsburgh is in the summertime.

But it really is spectacular. And lush with greenery, best enjoyed from the comfort of an air conditioned car. Because it’s fucking hot out there and even when it isn’t hot, it’s humid.


Pandemic

David Fickling argues that abusing workers, a neoliberal imperative, directly supports the contagion.[1]

David Fickling, “The Gig Economy Compromised Our Immune System,” Yahoo!, July 25, 2020, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/gig-economy-compromised-immune-system-000048670.html


  1. [1]David Fickling, “The Gig Economy Compromised Our Immune System,” Yahoo!, July 25, 2020, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/gig-economy-compromised-immune-system-000048670.html