I finally picked up someone at a district court who is not a Black male. This was a young white man with an attitude, leading me to suspect he’s one of the drivers I aim the sign on my back window that says, “Keep Your Testosterone Off My Tail,” at.
“I hate that place,” he said.
“It’s hard to imagine loving it,” I said.
“All they do is fine me,” he said. Which suggests to me that he’s past a normal point where he can mail in a payment and that he’s been in there multiple times. I’m guessing the cops around here know him.
For my part, I’m glad to see any enforcement directed against someone other than Blacks. But obviously, it’s not enough.
I’m sorry but you just can’t tell me this (figure 1) is about hunting and self-defense.
Fig. 1. Tank on permanent display outside the Anthony Arms and Shooting Center in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, a civilian arms dealer. This is directly across the street from the Allegheny County Airport, the predecessor to Pittsburgh International Airport. The bulk, at least, of West Mifflin is in Mon Valley, an area predominantly populated by Blacks, many of whom are poor or working class. The airport and this gun shop are located on high ground which overlooks this valley. Photograph by author, September 26, 2019.
I would highlight the insidious expansion of the term ‘fetus’ to include any product of conception. I understood the term to refer to what an embryo grows into. The Oxford Dictionary of English puts the transition at eight weeks following conception. But bills in Ohio and Pennsylvania are defining it down to the moment of conception. The Ohio bill mandates the reimplantation of the zygote in an ectopic pregnancy—a life-threatening condition—into the uterus. And the Pennsylvania bill attempts to require cremation or burial of remains. All of this is more about being holier-than-thou than it is about what’s even possible.
So I’ve been calling survey methodology bullshit since I learned the response rate had been nine percent, which simply makes survey methodology untenable—I don’t care what they say or how they manage to excuse it.
It turns out, however, I’ve been wrong since the end of February. The response rate is now down to six or seven percent. Supposedly studies confirm that survey research is still useful and predictive. No. Bullshit.
The portion of the population that chooses to respond to surveys is now entirely a self-selecting group. I don’t care how often you roll the die and get seven. You’re still wrong to call this science.
Never mind that I am ethnically British, German, and a little French, or that I have pale skin. Or that my heritage is, regrettably, Christian and, even more regrettably, Mormon. Or that I drive down the roads of the Pittsburgh area with very little fear of police even when I’m on my way to district courts where it seems I only pick up Black men in trouble with their drivers’ licenses. It seems none of that matters.
By the logic that I am denied access to certain resources, like a real fucking job, it seems I’m at least as non-white as Ashkenazi Jews. I’m pretty sure my mother will find this news astonishing.
Or maybe Ashkenazi Jews can stop reifying white supremacist bullshit. For fuck’s sake.
Judge Dennis Montali said Wednesday the principle of inverse condemnation applies to PG&E, rejecting an argument that the utility was attempting to invoke to limit the amount it owes for homes and businesses destroyed by the fires. . . . Under the doctrine of inverse condemnation, PG&E can be held liable for property damage from fires caused by its equipment, even if it wasn’t negligent. . . .
Lawyers for fire victims said the utility was wasting its time attacking inverse condemnation, a legal principle that is rooted in the California constitution. Given the evidence of alleged negligence they have amassed, victims’s lawyers said, inverse condemnation is beside the point when it comes to PG&E.
Having landed hard on my ass in the high tech industry three times now, I wouldn’t be anxious to return even if I felt I could: It is clear to me I would be setting myself up for yet another catastrophe. But when I was being laid off from my last real job, the job I had hoped would lead to a career in systems administration, my supervisors noted I would face age discrimination—I was 41, about to turn 42—as I sought another job. They promised support for my job hunt which never materialized.
Fig. 1. Screenshot of chart in the Wall Street Journal, based on CompTIA data, November 25, 2019, fair use.
The Wall Street Journal sees ageism setting in with high tech at age 45, although a chart within (figure 1) seems to show the information technology industry employing workers at ages 25-54 at above national averages. I was laid off in the dot-com crash, at a time companies were offshoring jobs as fast as they could, and this was one factor in my decision not to pursue a degree in technology when I returned to school.
I’ve previously noted that Whole Foods Market’s selection, especially for vegans, is much more limited here in Pittsburgh than I saw on the west coast. So when I went down on Wednesday to see what I could find, I was really just hoping to find something. I found this (figure 2), with a name too long for me to remember.
In neoliberalism, it is imperative that labor costs be reduced at any cost, in the name of “efficiency,” and that means hiring even idiots overseas when they can be paid a third of what competent workers would cost in the U.S.↩
Computer science is a mathematics degree and accordingly requires advanced mathematics. I hit a brick wall with trigonometry, a level well below what is needed. I have also observed that many in the information technology field hold academic degrees in utter disdain, seeing them as “elitist,” and yes, this is awfully rich, considering that, with their high-flying lifestyles, very well-paid IT workers are responsible for a significant part of California’s transportation and housing crises.↩
Donald Trump signed the bill supporting Hong Kong protesters that had passed both houses of Congress with “veto-proof” majorities, but which he had nonetheless threatened to veto. In a signing statement, Trump threatened to pick and choose which parts of the law he will comply with.
The British general election campaign is proving very, very ugly, pretty much no matter what side you’re on. Among the ugliness is the resurrection of allegations of anti-Semitism against the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn, notably in an op-ed published in the Times.
As near as I can determine, these allegations are utterly unsubstantiated, and likely result from the Labour Party’s occasional sympathy with the Palestinian cause. Honestly, if libel laws in the U.K. weren’t so lax, I’d say there should be some lawsuits. And yeah, Ephraim Mirvis’ op-ed is more of the same fucking bullshit. Read it and see for yourself, because—it’s amazing—this is as much substance as we ever see to these allegations.
I’ve always found it curious that Uber, but not Lyft, occasionally requires me to take a “selfie” to verify my identity. It utterly mismanaged the camera on one of my previous phones, making the selfie very nearly impossible to take. It also seems to require these selfies be taken at the most inopportune moments, especially when lighting conditions are poor, which effectively put me out of business until I could satisfy its demands.
Apparently this still isn’t good enough for London authorities (where Lyft doesn’t operate) and Uber, in an attempt to placate them, says it will “require drivers to look at their smartphone camera and blink, smile and turn their head to verify their identity.”
So it’s not enough I’m having to work seven days a week, trying and failing to keep my head above water. I’ll have to smile for these mother fuckers too? Why not require a cartwheel as well?
Benny Gantz’ concern for avoiding violence at a demonstration for and against Binyamin Netanyahu is touching, in light of the entire Israeli establishment’s lack of such concern for avoiding it against Palestinians.
White House bullshit aside, I am seeing precisely one version of this story and it is consistent in all its particulars. Something is, or at least was, up with Donald Trump’s health that prompted that visit to Walter Reed. I have not archived every source I’ve seen on this topic because, apart from the prospect of a President Mike Pence, I would welcome a massive coronary that hastens Trump’s journey to hell and short of that eventuality, I don’t much give a fuck.
That said, I’m no expert but it seems to me pretty basic in the realm of deception that if you have something to hide, you need a plausible cover story, a story that reasonable people can believe, that doesn’t raise more questions than it answers. Trump and his cronies seem to have missed this part.
And I wrote a new blog entry entitled, “Militia territory.” My mother responded with a bunch of links confirming and expanding many of my worst previously expressed fears and what my passengers have told me about racism in Pittsburgh. These links don’t quite get to the militia issue but they come close, much too close for comfort, and close enough that they lay a groundwork for at least the plausibility of militias in this area, if not their likelihood.
On a more personal note, the Tree of Life Synagogue shooter lived “in a neighborhood dotted with mostly small to medium brick homes, about a 25-minute drive south of Pittsburgh in the suburb of Baldwin Borough,” which is the municipality where I now live. Baldwin is a fairly large place, reaching nearly down to the Monongahela River, with a few apartment buildings so it isn’t necessarily the complex I live in. But the one I live in is probably the largest, so place your bets.
If indeed a race war of the shooting sort breaks out, it very much appears that the part of Pittsburgh I live in could become a combat zone. To my knowledge, however, Blacks are mostly unarmed. I think the gun nuttery I see is largely a white phenomenon. So “war” is probably the wrong word for it. We’ll be looking at a pogrom.
I feel completely helpless to stop it and, after what I saw that one day, I’m pretty sure I can count on the police to stand aside and laugh.
The question, then, is, just how likely is such a scenario?