Pittsburgh’s ‘bump’

Pandemic

The New York Times has noticed Allegheny County’s spike in COVID-19 cases:[1]

“I knew we would have a bump,” said [Pittsburgh] Mayor Bill Peduto, a Democrat. “The question is whether or not it would exceed the numbers that we had seen earlier. It not only exceeded them it doubled and I think tripled them. It wasn’t supposed to do that.”[2]

At the very end of the article, there’s a bit of discussion around the terminology “green phase,”[3] the nomenclature adopted by Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf, and the phase under which restaurants and bars were allowed to open for indoor service:[4]

“To anybody from a 2-year-old to a 100-year-old, ‘green’ means go,” Ms. [Bethany] Hallam said “We went to green and everybody went wild.”

“The world is not green,” she said, “until we have a cure or a vaccine.”[5]

I’ve heard something like this from my passengers. But at this point, I just think people are being psychopaths.[6] Because my observation isn’t so much like a light switch between “yellow” and “green” phase, but rather a gradual diminution of people’s compliance that I saw as traffic steadily increased, people started gathering more and more, and as I wondered how sustainable this lockdown was.

This is not about people misinterpreting the signal. It’s about people using any excuse, really any rationalization, they can find to flout the rules, entirely regardless of the fact that they’re killing people, entirely regardless of the fact that they’re being psychopaths.

As a way of exploring this, suppose I put to you the following question: Would you go to a bar if to do so would kill one or more people?

Your answer would likely be a resounding no. You might even question whether I was a psychopath for entertaining this as an ethical question.

But people in Allegheny County have been going to bars and socializing, defying social distancing requirements and face mask requirements,[7] in full knowledge that to do so will kill people. They are even competing to catch COVID-19.[8] They are pursuing their own ends without regard even to grievous consequences.[9] This is far beyond “selfish,” and to call this anything less than “psychopathy” is to drain the latter word of any meaning.

Campbell Robertson and Sarah Mervosh, “Pittsburgh Seemed Like a Virus Success Story. Now Cases Are Surging,” New York Times, July 13, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/12/us/coronavirus-pittsburgh-pennsylvania.html


China

Possibly because of my own experience with bullying by my father, my schoolmates, capitalism,[10] and, oh yes, the police,[11] including both physical and structural violence, I’m not even a little bit opposed to the U.S. decision to official reject China’s claims in the South China Sea.[12] I don’t expect China to respond well to this. But then, China seems not to respond well to any message it doesn’t like. And I remember all too well that conceding to bullies does not make them stop. I just don’t know what a coherent response to China’s bullying, in the South China Sea, in Xinjiang, in Tibet, in Hong Kong, possibly with countries it shares borders with (I think India is not the only country here), and probably in other places I either don’t remember or don’t know about, would be. But I do see, quite clearly, that it is a bully, um, just like a few other powerful countries.

Chun Han Wong, “U.S. Rejects Most Chinese Maritime Claims in South China Sea,” Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-set-to-reject-certain-chinese-maritime-claims-in-south-china-sea-11594661229


  1. [1]Campbell Robertson and Sarah Mervosh, “Pittsburgh Seemed Like a Virus Success Story. Now Cases Are Surging,” New York Times, July 13, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/12/us/coronavirus-pittsburgh-pennsylvania.html
  2. [2]Campbell Robertson and Sarah Mervosh, “Pittsburgh Seemed Like a Virus Success Story. Now Cases Are Surging,” New York Times, July 13, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/12/us/coronavirus-pittsburgh-pennsylvania.html
  3. [3]Campbell Robertson and Sarah Mervosh, “Pittsburgh Seemed Like a Virus Success Story. Now Cases Are Surging,” New York Times, July 13, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/12/us/coronavirus-pittsburgh-pennsylvania.html
  4. [4]Jamie Martines, “Gov. Wolf to move Allegheny, Westmoreland, other counties to green phase,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 29, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/regional/gov-wolf-to-move-allegheny-westmoreland-other-counties-to-green-phase/; WPXI, “16 more Pa. counties going green next Friday, Gov. Wolf says,” May 29, 2020, https://www.wpxi.com/news/top-stories/9-local-counties-move-into-green-phase-next-week/SVG7FMAIZ5AX3CXJMNXJBQR234/
  5. [5]Campbell Robertson and Sarah Mervosh, “Pittsburgh Seemed Like a Virus Success Story. Now Cases Are Surging,” New York Times, July 13, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/12/us/coronavirus-pittsburgh-pennsylvania.html
  6. [6]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 13, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/07/05/the-expendable-worker/
  7. [7]Samson X. Horne, “Allegheny County reports 90 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily total for county,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 27, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-reports-highest-daily-total-of-coronavirus-cases-at-90/; Samson X. Horne, “Allegheny County reports 215 new coronavirus cases, 1 new death,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 11, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-reports-215-new-coronavirus-cases-1-new-death/; Madasyn Lee, “Allegheny County exceeds highest coronavirus case total with 96 new cases,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 28, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-exceeds-highest-coronavirus-case-total-with-96-new-cases/; Madasyn Lee, “Allegheny County reports 158 new coronavirus cases, 12 hospitalizations,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 9, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-reports-158-new-coronavirus-cases-12-hospitalizations/; KDKA, “‘For The First Time…Allegheny Co. Led The State In The Number Of New COVID-19 Cases’: Allegheny Co. Officials Ban On-Site Consumption Of Alcohol At Local Bars,” June 28, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/28/allegheny-co-highest-case-numbers-bans-on-site-drinking/; KDKA, “Allegheny Co. Health Officials: Spike In New Coronavirus Cases Linked To Bars, Not Protests,” June 29, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/29/spike-in-coronavirus-cases-linked-to-bars-not-protests/; Campbell Robertson and Sarah Mervosh, “Pittsburgh Seemed Like a Virus Success Story. Now Cases Are Surging,” New York Times, July 13, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/12/us/coronavirus-pittsburgh-pennsylvania.html; 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/; John Shumway, “‘People Don’t Care’: Recent Jump In Allegheny County Coronavirus Cases Linked To People In Their 20s, 30s,” KDKA, June 23, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/23/jump-in-allegheny-county-coronavirus-cases-linked-to-young-people/; Maria Simbra, “‘It’s Negligence’: Young People Hosting Coronavirus Parties, Betting On Who Gets Infected First,” KDKA, July 3, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/07/03/coronavirus-parties-young-people/; Teghan Simonton, “61 new coronavirus cases reported in Allegheny County, highest in 2 months,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 26, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/61-new-cases-of-coronavirus-reported-in-allegheny-county-2-deaths/; Teghan Simonton, “83 new cases of coronavirus in Allegheny County, no new deaths,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 29, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/83-new-cases-of-coronavirus-in-allegheny-county-no-new-deaths/; Teghan Simonton, “Allegheny County tops 230 new coronavirus cases,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 2, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-tops-230-new-coronavirus-cases-no-deaths/; Megan Tomasic, “505 new coronavirus cases, 3 deaths reported in Pa.,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 28, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/505-new-coronavirus-cases-3-deaths-reported-in-pa/; WTAE, “Masks are now mandatory in all public spaces in Pennsylvania,” July 1, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/masks-are-now-mandatory-in-all-public-spaces-in-pennsylvania/33026253; 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
  8. [8]Maria Simbra, “‘It’s Negligence’: Young People Hosting Coronavirus Parties, Betting On Who Gets Infected First,” KDKA, July 3, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/07/03/coronavirus-parties-young-people/
  9. [9]Kara Mayer Robinson, “Sociopath vs. Psychopath: What’s the Difference?” WebMD, 2014, https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/sociopath-psychopath-difference
  10. [10]David Benfell, “About my job hunt,” Not Housebroken, n.d., https://disunitedstates.org/about-my-job-hunt/
  11. [11]David Benfell, “To a Pennsylvania House Minority Leader: When cops profile you, they don’t actually need an offense,” Not Housebroken, January 16, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/01/16/to-a-pennsylvania-house-minority-leader-when-cops-profile-you-they-dont-actually-need-an-offense/
  12. [12]Chun Han Wong, “U.S. Rejects Most Chinese Maritime Claims in South China Sea,” Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-set-to-reject-certain-chinese-maritime-claims-in-south-china-sea-11594661229

Poor, poor, spoiled-rotten babies

Updates

  1. Originally published, June 20, 10:34 pm.
  2. June 21, 4:23 am:
    • It appears there was a campaign on TikTok to reserve tickets for Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa that would never be used. The campaign, reported by CNN in a story that appears to be several days older than the dateline (judging from the URL, it would have been June 16), was not expected to succeed as it is routine that many more “RSVP” for these events than can actually attend and the rallies usually fill arenas anyway.[1] I do not and suspect I will never have the pieces put together to say that this campaign was indeed the cause of Trump’s disappointment[2] but the TikTok users, joined by Korean pop music fans, are claiming success.[3]
  3. June 21, 10:25 am:
  4. June 21, 2:53 pm:
    • Yashar Ali has what I think is a very useful analysis of Donald Trump’s rally failure,[4] which I have included in an update to my new blog entry (from the 10:25 am update).

Police

Atlanta police have responded to a murder charge against the officer who killed Rayshard Brooks with various labor actions, including a sick-out and refusals to leave their precincts.[5] This underscores a point I have previously made that police refuse accountability and so cannot be trusted with weapons.[6] I would say now that they cannot be trusted with authority over others, period.

We can now identify four essential features of policing as currently practiced:

  1. A unique license to use even lethal force against other human beings;
  2. the use of this license to enforce laws passed by mostly wealthy white men against other human beings;[7]
  3. a nearly-unanimous refusal of accountability for the use of this force;[8]
  4. and that this license colors any other tactics police may use, effectively reducing them to the potential for even lethal force.

In sum, all this amounts to is a response to so-called ‘disorder’ (as understood by mostly wealthy white men[9]) with effectively unregulated violence in which the perpetrators, both at the legislative and enforcement levels, generally refuse to recognize there is a problem.

I have updated a recent blog post accordingly and, as well, to account for Zak Cheney-Rice’s article,[10] which I had not seen before writing that post.

Will Pavia, “Atlanta police stage sick leave protest over murder charge,” Times, June 19, 2020, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/angry-police-in-sick-leave-protest-over-murder-charge-trf6btshv

Zak Cheney-Rice, “Why Police Abolition Is a Useful Framework — Even for Skeptics,” New York, June 15, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/06/police-abolitionist-lessons-for-america.html


Pennsylvania

KDKA, “Report: Pennsylvania’s State Economy Has Some Of The Most Racial Inequality In The Country,” June 17, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/17/pennsylvania-economy-racial-inequality/


Donald Trump

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

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

Aruna Viswanatha, “Judge Denies Justice Department Request to Immediately Block Bolton Book,” Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-denies-justice-department-request-to-block-bolton-book-11592663539

Yashar Ali, [Twitter thread], Twitter Thread App, June 21, 2020, https://threadreaderapp.com/embed/1274547228619636738.html

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

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/


  1. [1]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
  2. [2]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
  3. [3]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
  4. [4]Yashar Ali, [Twitter thread], Twitter Thread App, June 21, 2020, https://threadreaderapp.com/embed/1274547228619636738.html
  5. [5]Will Pavia, “Atlanta police stage sick leave protest over murder charge,” Times, June 19, 2020, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/angry-police-in-sick-leave-protest-over-murder-charge-trf6btshv
  6. [6]David Benfell, “Time to take the guns away,” Not Housebroken, January 6, 2015, https://disunitedstates.org/2015/01/04/time-to-take-the-guns-away/
  7. [7]Herbert J. Gans, The War Against The Poor: The Underclass And Antipoverty Policy (New York: Basic, 1995); Jeffrey Reiman, The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison, 7th ed. (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2004).
  8. [8]David Benfell, “Time to take the guns away,” Not Housebroken, January 6, 2015, https://disunitedstates.org/2015/01/04/time-to-take-the-guns-away/; Zak Cheney-Rice, “Why Police Abolition Is a Useful Framework — Even for Skeptics,” New York, June 15, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/06/police-abolitionist-lessons-for-america.html; Will Pavia, “Atlanta police stage sick leave protest over murder charge,” Times, June 19, 2020, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/angry-police-in-sick-leave-protest-over-murder-charge-trf6btshv
  9. [9]David Benfell, “A constitutional oligarchy: Deconstructing Federalist No. 10,” Not Housebroken, June 7, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/04/22/a-constitutional-oligarchy-deconstructing-federalist-no-10/
  10. [10]Zak Cheney-Rice, “Why Police Abolition Is a Useful Framework — Even for Skeptics,” New York, June 15, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/06/police-abolitionist-lessons-for-america.html

Kente cloth was the wrong cloth to wear

George Floyd

There is a new blog post entitled, “They should have ‘simply worn red.’

Nana Efua Mumford, “Democratic leaders’ kneeling was fine. The kente cloth was not,” Washington Post, June 11, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/06/11/educate-yourself-before-you-wear-kente/

Maritza Perez, “The Congressional Police Reform Bill Fails to Meet the Moment,” Common Dreams, June 12, 2020, https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/12/congressional-police-reform-bill-fails-meet-moment


Pittsburgh

One longstanding issue has been that police have increasingly been dealing with social problems, such as drug addiction, homelessness, and poverty. They have one approach, which is pretty much to treat everything and everybody as criminal or as potentially criminal. But it’s completely the wrong approach for many issues, especially where mental health is involved.

Bill Peduto is backing a measure that would enable the police to step back from at least some of these issues so people who are really victims can actually get help rather than ending up in the slammer.[1] It’s a good move.

Andy Sheehan, “Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto Proposes Creation Of New Office That Would ‘Allow Public Safety To Step Back’ And Get People Longer-Term Help,” KDKA, June 12, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/12/pittsburgh-office-of-community-health-and-safety/


  1. [1]Andy Sheehan, “Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto Proposes Creation Of New Office That Would ‘Allow Public Safety To Step Back’ And Get People Longer-Term Help,” KDKA, June 12, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/12/pittsburgh-office-of-community-health-and-safety/

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

Spring doesn’t much retard COVID-19 transmission. Summer is another question.

Pandemic

Mount Auburn’s press release is on a peer-reviewed, published study. Basically, they found that the effects of warmer temperatures, between 52° F and 70° F, were limited in reducing transmission of the novel coronavirus. Their data for temperatures over 70° F is limited, so we still don’t know much about what summer will do to the pandemic in much of the country.[1]

Mount Auburn Hospital, “Warmer Temperatures Slow COVID-19 Transmission, but Not by Much,” June 1, 2020, https://www.mountauburnhospital.org/about-us/press-room/2020/press-release-warmer-temperatures-slow-covid-19-transmission-but/


George Floyd

There is a new blog post entitled, “On sending in the troops.”

Matt Zapotosky, “Trump threatens military action to quell protests, and the law would let him do it,” Washington Post, June 1, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/can-trump-use-military-to-stop-protests-insurrection-act/2020/06/01/c3724380-a46b-11ea-b473-04905b1af82b_story.html


  1. [1]Mount Auburn Hospital, “Warmer Temperatures Slow COVID-19 Transmission, but Not by Much,” June 1, 2020, https://www.mountauburnhospital.org/about-us/press-room/2020/press-release-warmer-temperatures-slow-covid-19-transmission-but/

In Amerikkka, no form of Black protest is acceptable

George Floyd

IMG_20200531_131906
Fig. 1. Photograph by author, May 31, 2020.

In a recent post, I highlight the question of a friend helping a friend guard his Metro PCS store which is, in essence, how should Blacks protest when peaceful protest fails?[1] I don’t think he’s going to like Kellie Carter Jackson’s answer. But I’ll bet you he acknowledges its truth. In short, the answer is that no form of Black protest is acceptable in Amerikkka.[2] As James Downie noted,

When mostly white protesters openly carrying assault rifles tried to shut down the Michigan state legislature, police didn’t fire rubber bullets or drive cars into demonstrators. But when mostly nonwhite protesters marched, that restraint was nowhere to be seen.[3]

Kellie Carter Jackson, “The Double Standard of the American Riot,” Atlantic, June 1, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/06/riots-are-american-way-george-floyd-protests/612466/


  1. [1]David Benfell, “What are ‘proper directions’ for protest when peaceful protest is for naught?” Not Housebroken, June 1, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/05/29/what-are-proper-directions-for-protest-when-peaceful-protest-is-for-naught/
  2. [2]Kellie Carter Jackson, “The Double Standard of the American Riot,” Atlantic, June 1, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/06/riots-are-american-way-george-floyd-protests/612466/
  3. [3]James Downie, “Time to toss the ‘bad apples’ excuse,” Washington Post, May 31, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/05/31/time-toss-bad-apples-excuse/

When authorities refuse to do what is blindingly obvious they should do, when they refuse to respond to nonviolent protest, what are folks supposed to do?

George Floyd

And they do so even when it was blindingly obvious that something else was needed:

This formulation is showing up a lot in my Twitter feed:

They’ve got the receipts. Meanwhile,

I don’t know how true that is—it certainly is possible, especially in Pittsburgh—but those arguing for nonviolence still need to answer a question.

Dillon Carr and Natasha Lindstrom, “George Floyd protests in Pittsburgh: Curfew in effect; protesters turn violent; police cars torched,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 30, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/protests-underway-in-downtown-pittsburgh/

KDKA, “Pittsburgh Public Safety Has Declared ‘Unlawful Assembly’ Downtown, Urging Businesses To Close, Residents To Stay Home,” May 30, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/05/30/protest-shuts-down-streets-downtown/


Calling for peace when the cops are still murdering people

Institutional racism

There is a new blog post entitled, “What are ‘proper directions’ for protest when peaceful protest is for naught?

Associated Press, “Officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck arrested on murder charge,” Los Angeles Times, May 29, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-05-29/minnesota-george-floyd-officer-arrested

Holly Bailey et al., “Chaotic Minneapolis protests spread amid emotional calls for justice, peace, Washington Post, May 29, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/05/29/chaotic-minneapolis-protests-spread-amid-emotional-calls-justice-peace/


Pittsburgh

U.S. Steel’s response is that this is old news.[1]

WTAE, “Allegheny Co. Health Department announces fines against U.S. Steel for violations at Clairton Coke Works,” May 28, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/allegheny-co-health-department-announces-fines-against-us-steel-for-violations-at-clairton-coke-works/32702736


Pandemic

Allegheny County goes to “green” phase on June 5.[2]

Jamie Martines, “Gov. Wolf to move Allegheny, Westmoreland, other counties to green phase,” TribLive, May 29, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/regional/gov-wolf-to-move-allegheny-westmoreland-other-counties-to-green-phase/


  1. [1]WTAE, “Allegheny Co. Health Department announces fines against U.S. Steel for violations at Clairton Coke Works,” May 28, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/allegheny-co-health-department-announces-fines-against-us-steel-for-violations-at-clairton-coke-works/32702736
  2. [2]Jamie Martines, “Gov. Wolf to move Allegheny, Westmoreland, other counties to green phase,” TribLive, May 29, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/regional/gov-wolf-to-move-allegheny-westmoreland-other-counties-to-green-phase/

Just another ‘few bad apples’ killing yet another Black man

Institutional racism

Mayor Jacob Frey’s tweet is, yet again, the “a few bad apples” response to yet another incident where a white cop kills a Black man. We are long past the point here where racist cops can be dismissed as “a few bad apples.” There are simply too many of these incidents to be so lightly dismissed. But to do so evades the culpability of the entire chain of command in creating, tolerating, and sustaining a situation where these incidents occur.[1]

Remember always, when somebody utters the “law and order” canard, to ask, whose law? Whose order?

Elie Mystal, “There’s Only One Possible Conclusion: White America Likes Its Killer Cops,” Nation, May 27, 2020, https://www.thenation.com/article/society/white-america-cops/


Recession

Tony Romm, “Americans have filed more than 40 million jobless claims in past 10 weeks, as another 2.1 million filed for benefits last week,” Washington Post, May 28, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/28/unemployment-claims-coronavirus/


  1. [1]Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect (New York: Random House, 2008).

Elon Musk, our rich white knight in shining armor

Elon Musk

There is a new blog post entitled, “Elon Musk, groan, again.”

Tim Higgins, “Elon Musk’s Defiance in the Time of Coronavirus,” Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musks-defiance-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-11584733458

Jack Morse, “Ventilator manufacturers aren’t impressed by Elon Musk’s offer,” Mashable, March 21, 2020, https://mashable.com/article/experts-doubt-tesla-elon-musk-manufacture-ventilators/

Zachary Shahan, “Elon Musk: Should Have 1000 Ventilators Next Week, + 250,000 N95 Masks For Hospitals Tomorrow,” CleanTechnica, March 21, 2020, https://cleantechnica.com/2020/03/21/elon-musk-should-have-1000-ventilators-next-week-250k-n95-masks-for-hospitals-tomorrow-cleantechnica-exclusive/


Coronavirus

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice is looking for power to, among other things, abrogate habeas corpus.[1] Just so we know where their priorities lie.

Betsy Woodruff Swan, “DOJ seeks new emergency powers amid coronavirus pandemic,” Politico, March 21, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/21/doj-coronavirus-emergency-powers-140023


  1. [1]Betsy Woodruff Swan, “DOJ seeks new emergency powers amid coronavirus pandemic,” Politico, March 21, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/21/doj-coronavirus-emergency-powers-140023