Anarchism rules (ha ha), according to the Department of Justice, threatening federal funding for some cities

Pittsburgh

One of the things I have missed most since finishing my Ph.D. is the sort of conversation that can only occur among individuals with high levels of conversation and I had previously observed that the more educated places around Pittsburgh are the very places I cannot afford to live. This has now been confirmed.[1]

Ethan Lott, “See which ZIP codes in Pittsburgh metro are the most educated,” Pittsburgh Business Times, September 21, 2020, https://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/news/2020/09/21/which-zip-codes-in-pittsburgh-tops-in-education.html


Protests

WVIT, “DOJ Designates NYC, Portland, Seattle as ‘Anarchist’ Jurisdictions,” September 21, 2020, https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/national-international/doj-designates-new-york-city-as-an-anarchist-jurisdiction/2335378/


Horse race

There is a new blog post entitled, “On ‘vote shaming.’


  1. [1]Ethan Lott, “See which ZIP codes in Pittsburgh metro are the most educated,” Pittsburgh Business Times, September 21, 2020, https://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/news/2020/09/21/which-zip-codes-in-pittsburgh-tops-in-education.html

Nancy Pelosi seeks to persuade us all that the neoliberal (Democratic) party is indeed complicit with the Republicans

Supreme Court

CNN is reporting that “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said she would not leverage a government shut down in order to slow down Republicans’ push to fill the Supreme Court vacancy following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” She thinks the way for people to stop Republicans from confirming a new justice is to vote but “pressed again on what Democrats may do, the House speaker said: ‘We have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now.’”[1] This is not a way to refute my claim of neoliberal complicity with the Republicans[2] who are rushing to replace Ginsburg[3] following her demise a mere two days ago [September 18].[4] I have previously commented on Republican hypocrisy in doing so.[5]

Nicky Robertson, “Pelosi says she will not leverage government shutdown to avoid Senate vote on court seat,” CNN, September 20, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/20/politics/pelosi-government-shutdown-supreme-court-seat/index.html


Um….

So this is not the way I would promote veganism (as if a blood meal was vegan) but, via SMBC Comics on Facebook,


  1. [1]Nicky Robertson, “Pelosi says she will not leverage government shutdown to avoid Senate vote on court seat,” CNN, September 20, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/20/politics/pelosi-government-shutdown-supreme-court-seat/index.html
  2. [2]David Benfell, “Voting for complicity,” Not Housebroken, September 20, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/09/20/voting-for-complicity/
  3. [3]Clare Foran, Manu Raju, and Ted Barrett, “McConnell vows Trump’s nominee to replace Ginsburg will get Senate vote, setting up historic fight,” CNN, September 19, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/18/politics/congress-fight-rgb-seat/index.html
  4. [4]Robert Barnes and Michael A. Fletcher, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court justice and legal pioneer for gender equality, dies at 87,” Washington Post, September 18, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/ruth-bader-ginsburg-dies/2020/09/18/3cedc314-fa08-11ea-a275-1a2c2d36e1f1_story.html
  5. [5]David Benfell, “Take those Amerikkkan flag pins off your lapels,” Not Housebroken, September 19, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/09/19/take-those-amerikkkan-flag-pins-off-your-lapels/

Postal Service shit hits the fan

Updates

  1. Originally published, September 17, 2020 at 11:10 pm.
  2. September 18, 7:44 am:
    • I have received a generous offer for new hosting. It will still be WordPress but without the WordPress.com cruft that might well be at the root of my problems. If you see this update without a further update indicating completion, you are still seeing the WordPress.com version of The Irregular Bullshit. This transition will take a bit of time including the site move itself and time for DNS propagation. I will not be making further updates until this is complete.
  3. September 19, 7:48 am:
    • Pretty sure we got some steps in the wrong order. Fortunately, this guy seems to know his way around a database. Which is sure as hell something I never learned.
  4. September 19, 8:57 am:
    • It all seems to be right now. I have stories to archive, so look for a new issue soon.

Housekeeping

As previously announced, the Not Housebroken and Irregular Bullshit sites may be going down permanently. My patience with changes WordPress.com has made is blown. The deadlines to either find new hosting or shut down the sites or for WordPress.com to take corrective action will be based on the expiration of the plan I am running them under. For each site, these are:

  1. Not Housebroken – July 3, 2021
  2. Irregular Bullshit – November 19, 2020

As a practical matter, I will need to act prior to these dates. Should I fail to find an adequate solution, my plan is to convert Not Housebroken to book in PDF format which I can make public from my Google Drive. Because I’ve been using The Irregular Bullshit to archive stories, I can convert it to a book in PDF format and store it on Google Drive, but I probably cannot make it public without infringing copyrights and that’s a battle I just don’t need.

Unless WordPress.com makes changes to restore functionality to something tolerable before I find a suitable alternative or I feel I can wait no longer, I will be removing my content from their site. I do not intend to let them derive advertising revenue from it. I will be considering further what changes I may want to make in the meantime: It’s possible I will move some pages from The Irregular Bullshit to Not Housebroken as there is some stuff there that can and should be kept public.


U.S. Postal Service

Jacob Bogage, “DeJoy’s Postal Service policies delayed 7 percent of nation’s first-class mail, Senate Democrat’s report says,” Washington Post, September 16, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/09/16/dejoy-usps-delays-senate-report/

Elise Viebeck and Jacob Bogage, “Federal judge temporarily blocks USPS operational changes amid concerns about mail slowdowns, election,” Washington Post, September 17, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal-judge-issues-temporary-injunction-against-usps-operational-changes-amid-concerns-about-mail-slowdowns/2020/09/17/34fb85a0-f91e-11ea-a275-1a2c2d36e1f1_story.html


Sally makes landfall

Updates

  1. Originally published, September 16, 2020, 8:25 am.
  2. September 27, 9:38 am:

Sally

Sally appears to have come ashore in Alabama near the Florida border (figure 1).

Fig. 1. 72-hour gif of satellite imagery for the Eastern U.S. and Gulf of Mexico, September 16, 8:01 am.


A note for the U.S. Postal Service

A couple years ago, I took a trip down to the Los Angeles area to be trained for my ill-fated stint with the U.S. Census Bureau.

I lost my identification at the front desk of the hotel. No credit or debit cards were involved; I kept those separately.

When I returned to the San Francisco Bay Area, I did all the appropriate stuff, moved on, and mostly forgot about it.

Today’s been one of those days. I should be out working already but there was an oil change and two grocery deliveries to deal with. At the end of it, I bought gas, got the car washed, and stopped by my mailbox to pick up some packages that had arrived yesterday.

I knew about four of them; in fact, there were six, including one from my old mailbox in Sebastopol (they forward my mail to me weekly). The latter included an envelope from the U.S. Postal Service marked, “Found Loose.”

I opened it and found the old identification wallet I’d lost in Los Angeles. The identification mostly—not entirely—had been superseded, first by replacement documents, and second, when I moved to Pittsburgh. But there is the sentimental value of that wallet.

A little over twenty years ago, I started working for Linuxcare as a contractor. Eventually they hired me on as an employee. This is the one real job I’ve ever had my life. It actually began to pay me what, for San Francisco even at that time, was a livable salary. But when they hired me, they gave me a few things—“tchotchke” in industry parlance. The tee shirt has long since worn out and disappeared. But this wallet I used for identification, embossed with “Linuxcare,” was the one I had lost in Los Angeles.

I don’t know precisely where that wallet has been all this time. I assume a mailbox someplace. But I also have to wonder what would have happened to it had it been turned into what neoliberals want to replace the Postal Service with, an outfit like FedEx or the United Parcel Service.

The Postal Service returned it to me. I doubt those other outfits would have.

So a note of appreciation is in order here for the Postal Service and whoever dropped that wallet in some Postal Service receptacle somewhere. Thanks!

Trumpsters are jackasses, redux, plus the November scenario

In case you missed it, there were several updates to yesterday’s issue, including many that are unrelated to the Walbridge Fire.


Trumpsters

Trumpsters aren’t just sinking each other’s boats: Speaking of a capsized neighbor’s boat, which had been docked in River Falls, Wisconsin, at the time, Keith Smith said, “Boaters all know they’re responsible for their waves, but nobody cared. They just kept going and going and hooting and hollering.”[1] I swear, these are the same motherfuckers I see driving gigantic pickup trucks around Pittsburgh.

Matt Stieb, “Boats Keep Sinking at the Trump Boat Parades,” New York, September 7, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/09/boats-keep-sinking-and-capsizing-at-the-trump-boat-parades.html


Horse race

The picture of how November plays out, assuming Donald Trump is defeated, is beginning to come together. If a poll sponsored by a company founded by Michael Bloomberg is correct, Trump will appear to have won on election night, but only until a record number[2] of mailed-in ballots get counted.[3] Trump, whose lackey has been making the Postal Service worse,[4] will, of course, allege fraud,[5] giving Republicans the opening they need to challenge the composition of electoral college delegations, leading to a nightmare scenario described by the Transition Integrity Project.[6]

The caveat here has to be that the poll likely has a low response rate,[7] which means it cannot be trusted because the methodology is profoundly flawed.

Henry Zeffman, “President Trump might appear to have won at first on election night, Democrat poll warns,” Times, September 9, 2020, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/president-trump-might-appear-to-have-won-at-first-on-election-night-democrat-poll-warns-2rv66dqxm


  1. [1]Keith Smith, quoted in Matt Stieb, “Boats Keep Sinking at the Trump Boat Parades,” New York, September 7, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/09/boats-keep-sinking-and-capsizing-at-the-trump-boat-parades.html
  2. [2]Henry Zeffman, “Flood of postal votes threatens US election chaos,” Times, July 20, 2020, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/flood-of-postal-votes-threatens-us-presidential-election-chaos-bzdvfb65h
  3. [3]Henry Zeffman, “President Trump might appear to have won at first on election night, Democrat poll warns,” Times, September 9, 2020, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/president-trump-might-appear-to-have-won-at-first-on-election-night-democrat-poll-warns-2rv66dqxm
  4. [4]Erin Cox et al., “Postal Service warns 46 states their voters could be disenfranchised by delayed mail-in ballots,” Washington Post, August 14, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/usps-states-delayed-mail-in-ballots/2020/08/14/64bf3c3c-dcc7-11ea-8051-d5f887d73381_story.html; Jessica Dean, Jessica Schneider, and Caroline Kelly, “Postal Service says it has ‘ample capacity’ to handle election after Trump casts doubt,” CNN, August 3, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/03/politics/postal-service-ample-capacity-election-trump/index.html; 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; 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; 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; Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Jacob Bogage, “Postal Service backlog sparks worries that ballot delivery could be delayed in November,” Washington Post, July 30, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/postal-service-backlog-sparks-worries-that-ballot-delivery-could-be-delayed-in-november/2020/07/30/cb19f1f4-d1d0-11ea-8d32-1ebf4e9d8e0d_story.html; Veronica Stracqualursi and Jessica Dean, “New postal policies that are slowing service may affect 2020 mail-in voting, union leader says,” CNN, July 31, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/31/politics/usps-mail-in-voting-2020-election/index.html; 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]Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey, and Ashley Parker, “Tracing Trump’s Postal Service obsession — from ‘loser’ to ‘scam’ to ‘rigged election,’” Washington Post, August 15, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-post-office-mail-vote/2020/08/15/27a2ffd4-de5f-11ea-809e-b8be57ba616e_story.html
  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/; Rosa Brooks, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Washington Post, September 3, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/09/03/trump-stay-in-office/; Chris Cillizza, “What happens if Donald Trump refuses to admit he lost in 2020?” CNN, May 6, 2019, https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/05/06/politics/donald-trump-2020-election/index.html; Democracy Now!, “What If Trump Refuses to Accept a Biden Victory? A Look at How Electoral Chaos Could Divide Nation,” August 3, 2020, https://www.democracynow.org/2020/8/3/nils_gilman_2020_election_scenarios; Amy Gardner, Josh Dawsey, and John Wagner, “Trump encounters broad pushback to his suggestion to delay the Nov. 3 election,” Washington Post, July 30, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-floats-idea-of-delaying-the-november-election-as-he-ramps-up-attacks-on-voting-by-mail/2020/07/30/15fe7ac6-d264-11ea-9038-af089b63ac21_story.html; Eric Lach, “What Happens if Donald Trump Fights the Election Results?” New Yorker, August 21, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/news/campaign-chronicles/what-happens-if-donald-trump-fights-the-election-results; Peter Nicholas, “Trump Could Still Break Democracy’s Biggest Norm,” Atlantic, June 16, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/06/when-does-trump-leave-white-house/613060/; Douglas Perry, “How impeachment could lead to insurrection or even Dems backing Donald Trump,” Oregonian, May 17, 2019, https://www.oregonlive.com/today/2017/09/impeachment_is_coming_how_it_c.html; 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]Courtney Kennedy and Hannah Hartig, “Response rates in telephone surveys have resumed their decline,” Pew Research Center, February 27, 2019, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/02/27/response-rates-in-telephone-surveys-have-resumed-their-decline/

Walbridge Fire is back?

Updates

  1. Originally published, September 8, 2020, at 10:16 am.

  2. September 8, 2020, 10:52 pm:

    • Because my mother lives near the Walbridge Fire, I was discussing her situation with a friend via SMS. My friend finds the intensity of these fires surprising but is further irritated with our delusional raging narcissist-in-chief for denying climate change.

      The trouble always with this sort of talk is that Donald Trump is more a symptom of the problem than the problem itself. I explained (typos and capitalization failures are due to voice dictation):

      I think people often fail to understand why I oppose Joe Biden, a neoliberal, as vociferously as I do Donald Trump. But this is the very sort of neoliberal failure that enables the Republicans and an authoritarian populist backlash. It’s a huge—I think the largest—part of the story of why Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 and why Biden may well lose in 2020.

    • In broad strokes—I haven’t looked into the details—Uber is matching[1] Lyft’s earlier pledge that all ridesharing vehicles would be electric by 2030.[2]

      The way things are going,[3] I might well still be driving for Uber and Lyft in 2030—I’ll be 71 years old at that point, but I have no hope of retirement.

    • Meanwhile, both Uber and Lyft have now poured over $180 million dollars into their campaign for California’s Proposition 22, which would undo AB 5 and its mandate that drivers be treated as employees rather than continuing to misclassify them as “independent contractors.”[4]

    • I just updated my Pixel 4 XL to Android 11. I’d seen that accessing the screenshot function would be different and I was completely failing to understand how to do this. The secret is the open apps button—that’s the square button at bottom right. Tap it and towards the bottom of the screen, there are two options: Screenshot and Select. I haven’t tried it, but the latter apparently allows you to select the area covered by your screenshot. You can also get a screenshot by holding down the power and volume down buttons simultaneously but I’m really lousy at pushing two buttons simultaneously.

    • On a brighter note, the evacuation orders and warnings have been lifted for some areas threatened by the Walbridge Fire (figure 2).


Walbridge Fire

So it’s been a couple weeks since I last paid serious attention to the Walbridge Fire. The notifications on my phone have indicated a protracted diminishing of evacuation orders to evacuation warnings to less than that. It wasn’t quite an all-clear, but even with the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office announcing a new evacuation order for an area southwest of Healdsburg this morning (figure 1), the fire had seemed mostly out.

Fig. 1. Screenshot of Sonoma County Fire Incident Map, as of September 8, 2020, at 3:33 am EDT (12:33 am PDT).

The order covers some rugged terrain, but terrain that’s a lot more accessible than a lot that’s burned—you can see the perimeter as a line in red (figure 1). I gather it’s been really hot in California and I saw red flag warnings go up for the weekend, so I guess this isn’t really a surprise.

Fig. 2. Screenshot of Sonoma County Fire Incident Map, as of September 8, 2020, at 10:44 pm EDT (7:44 pm PDT).


Donald Trump

There is a new blog post entitled, “Bloody November.”

Rosa Brooks, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Washington Post, September 3, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/09/03/trump-stay-in-office/


Ridesharing

Andrew J. Hawkins, “Uber pledges to shift to ‘100 percent’ electric vehicles by 2030,” Verge, September 8, 2020, https://www.theverge.com/2020/9/8/21427196/uber-promise-100-percent-electric-vehicle-ev-2030

Michael Hiltzik, “Uber and Lyft just made their campaign to keep exploiting workers the costliest in history,” Los Angeles Times, September 8, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-09-08/uber-lyft-most-expensive-initiative


  1. [1]Andrew J. Hawkins, “Uber pledges to shift to ‘100 percent’ electric vehicles by 2030,” Verge, September 8, 2020, https://www.theverge.com/2020/9/8/21427196/uber-promise-100-percent-electric-vehicle-ev-2030
  2. [2]Andrew J. Hawkins, “Lyft vows ‘100 percent’ of its vehicles will be electric by 2030,” Verge, June 17, 2020, https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/17/21294040/lyft-electric-vehicle-ev-100-percent-2030
  3. [3]David Benfell, “About my job hunt,” Not Housebroken, n.d., https://disunitedstates.org/about-my-job-hunt/
  4. [4]Michael Hiltzik, “Uber and Lyft just made their campaign to keep exploiting workers the costliest in history,” Los Angeles Times, September 8, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-09-08/uber-lyft-most-expensive-initiative

Trumpster stupidity officially confirmed

Trumpsters

The local sheriff’s department has now officially confirmed that the boats were sunk or swamped on Lake Travis by fellow Trumpsters’ wakes.[1] Which is to say, they were indeed driving their boats like the idiots I see driving pickup trucks in Pittsburgh.

Paul P. Murphy, “The wake of other boats in a pro-Trump parade in Texas caused 5 boats to sink, sheriff’s office says,” CNN, September 7, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/07/us/trump-boat-parade-sink-trnd/index.html


  1. [1]Paul P. Murphy, “The wake of other boats in a pro-Trump parade in Texas caused 5 boats to sink, sheriff’s office says,” CNN, September 7, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/07/us/trump-boat-parade-sink-trnd/index.html