Monday, February 28, 2011

Sen. Orie Takes Hits As Trial Advances: With Friend (And A Neutral) Like This, Who Needs Prosecutors?

Sen. Jane Clare Orie took a couple of hits as her politically tainted (but seemingly justified) trial approached the conclusion of testimony today.

First, Judge Jeffrey Manning made what appeared to be a bad call in denying jurors the opportunity to see the mocking depiction of Sen. Orie (right, centered between non-mocking characters) that had been posted in the persecutors' prosecutors' offices. Depriving a citizen of the opportunity to question prosecutors' conduct seems inappropriate, particularly in a criminal prosecution that already reeks of politics.

Second, defense attorney William Costopolous presented as character witnesses state troopers association president Bruce Edwards and InsolvenCity firefighters union leader Joe King -- two guys whose demonstrated standards would seem to incline them to vouch for Charlie Manson and Jeffrey Dahmer (had they paid union dues).

Prosecutors, judge, defense attorney -- that's a one-two-three punch from which Sen. Orie might find it difficult to recover.

Gates: The People Who Decided To Invade And Attempt To Occupy Iraq And Afghanistan Were Nuts

Anyone who claims to be serious about cutting federal budget deficits but does not advocate (1) expediting diminution of the failed American expedition to Iraq and Afghanistan and (2) preventing conservatives from regaining control of the national levers concerning foreign affairs and military action should have his head examined.

Just ask Robert Gates (right, signaling the number of wars won by the United States during the most recent 70 years), the United States Secretary of Defense, a lifelong Republican and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Speaking of head examinations, might one of the reasons the United States has been getting its tail kicked involve the ugly, un-American views of substandard generals?

Infinonytune: The Cover Of The Rolling Stone, Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show
Infinonytune: Us And Them, Pink Floyd

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Reading: The Distinguished Edition

Parenthood: A conservative approach to distinguishing babies from bathwater.

Groundwater: Could Tom Corbett distinguish bathwater from poison if the Marcellus Shale Coalition permitted him to try?

Airwaves: Distinguishing public interest from private profit.

Sister Paulette Honeygosky: A distinguished life.

Foreign affairs: Distinguishing failure (Iraq) from success (Egypt).

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Infindorsement: InsolvenCity Council District 1

Darlene Harris has blossomed as an InsolvenCity councilor, in part consequent to happenstance, in part consequent to outrunning reasonable expectations. The result is a straightforward, independent public servant who appears to recognize, and overcome, her limitations. Her independence is precisely the reason she has unexpectedly become the mayor's main target for elimination from council.

Mrs. Harris (left) embodies old school Pittsburgh -- literally. A lifelong North Sider trained as a dental assistant, a churchgoing mother and wife of a union laborer, she entered the public arena to oppose certain elements of change in Pittsburgh's public schools, which where being compelled to change by declining enrollments in a declining city. She was a straight-ahead combatant, before and after joining the school board, who succeeded in modifying the district's transition, sometimes in ways the district could absorb sensibly.

It was reasonable to refrain from expecting much when Mrs. Harris was elected to her council position. She had aligned with the ossified elements of the city's Democratic machine. She lacked the resume suited for tackling the public policy problems of a deteriorating and stubborn InsolvenCity.

After a few years as a head-down, block-and-tackle councilor, Mrs. Harris made a striking end run to the council presidency, patiently transforming her vote into a path to the presidency after Rev. Ricky Burgess (carrying the ball for the mayor) and Bill Peduto each faltered just short of the goal. The degree to which Mrs. Harris foresaw or arranged her ascension is a point for interesting debate along Grant Street.

The established interests in Pittsburgh politics -- the List-Makers, the mayor -- expected to tolerate Mrs. Harris' presidency: How far would a Len Bodack soldier wander from the ranks? But the improbable coalition of progressives and Mrs. Harris stuck together long enough to sink the Not-So-Great Pittsburgh Parking Garage Sale, and with it millions of dollars in commissions, placement agent fees, law firm invoices and prospective revenue streams.

Mrs. Harris has, remarkably, become the mayor's top target. Ahead of Bruce Kraus, whose mere existence bothers the Ravenstahl camp, even before he illuminates and fights the deadly but profitable cesspool created by South Side saloons. Ahead of Patrick Dowd, who not so long ago was standing on street corners (right), yelling about the mayor's corruption and failures.

Beyond schoolyard taunts, Mrs. Harris is challenged by two pursuers of the Democratic endorsement.

Vince Pallus (left) brings a career-and-education resume fit for class recording secretary. He pledges to correct "poor decisions;" we are willing to wager, however, that Mr. Pallus could not identify, let alone analyze, Pittsburgh's public policy issues with a pistol at his forehead. He did, however, attend North Catholic with Luke Ravenstahl.

Bobby Wilson (right), the other challenger, is a twenty-something son of a Democratic committee member; like Adam Ravenstahl, he has been an "analyst" on UPMC's payroll. He also has a Facebook page. His political affiliations have yet to be publicly identified.

Kevin Quigley, an aggressive mayoral ally from the Public Works Department -- the Harvard-Kennedy School of Government for one traditional element of Pittsburgh politics -- is a North Side ward chair, rustling committee votes in an effort to deny Mrs. Harris the Democratic endorsement. In a district that elected Adam Ravenstahl to the Pennsylania General Assembly, no unqualified, underaged, politically connected candidate can be dismissed. But the Ravenstahl forces appear to have been hobbled by a late start -- they apparently switched from Kraus and Dowd to Harris because of a late-breaking perception she was more vulnerable -- and Pallus and Wilson are weak even by North Side standards. Even without the party endorsement, Mrs. Harris seems positioned for reelection.

Darlene Harris deserves another term as InsolvenCity's District 1 councilor. She takes the Infindorsement into the primary.

Infindorsement: Darlene Harris
Infinonytune: North Country Girl, Pete Townshend

Where Was Julian Assange When We Needed Him (Even More Than We Need Him Now)?

The United States government's biggest mistake of the past half-century might have been avoided by sending WikiLeaker Julian Assange to Iraq in 2003, because that apparently would have stopped George W. Bush from going there.

Infinonytune: Fortunate Son, John Fogerty

Friday, February 25, 2011

It Is Time To Recall Wisconsin's Scott Walker (And We Do Not Mean Another Punking Call)

New Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is not only half-educated; he also is a vividly (and hilariously) confirmed half-wit and a half-democrat (in that his conception of democracy appears to involve voting rights for just half of Wisconsin legislators, the Republican half).

If we are fortunate, Gov. Walker will emulate another half-educated, half-wit Tea Partier, Sarah Palin, and be a half-term governor. Walker might not quit on his constituents, as Palin did, so Wisconsin should play it safe, and recall him.

Infinonytune: Call Me, Blondie

InsolvenCity Anthem: Party All The Time

There are several sound reasons to disfavor Gavin Robb's (left) candidacy for District 3's seat among InsolvenCity Councilors, and we intend to catalog them soon, but a switch in party registration is not among them.

Infinonytune: Party All The Time, Eddie Murphy and Rick James

In Some Circumstances, "Protect And Serve" Means A Reassignment To The Records Room

Yesterday's news indicates we can rule out the prospect that Pennsylvania state trooper Samuel J. Nassan III is the unluckiest guy on earth.

Gov. Corbett should ask the Marcellus Shale Coalition for permission to publish, a public service of the Commonwealth, a daily schedule for trooper Nassan, enabling citizens to adjust the degree to which they are willing to press their luck.

Society grants police officers benefit of the doubt, as it should, and that presumption is powerful. When several officers swear, for example, that a vehicle turned around and threatened them in a tunnel (just before police killed an unarmed man), even an anonymously mailed videotape that triggers mathematical calculations and scientific analysis revealing a coordinated lie might not be enough to precipitate justice.

Good officers deserve and need that presumption of credibility. Some officers, however, recognize and abuse that license. For that reason, when an officer experiences an extraordinary string of inexplicably unfortunate events in which citizens are battered or shot or killed, a sensible society would switch the presumption, and find that officer a comfortable chair and quiet assignment in a records room.

Infinonytune: King Of Pain, The Police

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Treat Yourself To The Substantially Better Than Middling Ballad Of Curtis Mitchell (1959-2010)

The Radical Middleman is deftly deconstructing (and consequently damning) the abitrator and paramedic who failed Curtis Mitchell. Our regret for refraining from analyzing the arbitration report by now is ceding to enjoyment of the Middleman's work.

Infinonytune: Ball Of Confusion, The Temptations

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Wages Of A Mercenary Are . . . Who Cares?

The United States government has disclosed that the "diplomat" whose release from a Pakistani prison it has demanded is a CIA "security" employee.

And a former mercenary.

The United States government is probably right to worry that a former mercenary -- who shot two Pakistani civilians to death, after which a third Pakistani civilian was run over and killed by Americans speeding to the death scene to recover the trigger-happy (at least 10 bullets) shooter -- might be in jeopardy while in Pakistani custody (right). Some locals find it difficult to accept that the lawless mercenaries shooting up their streets (and, often, their family members and friends) should be greeted as liberators.

The United States government is probably wrong, however, if it expects reasonable people to worry much about its former mercenary, or to credit claims of "diplomatic immunity." For a mercenary, the plus side includes adventure, great pay and the opportunity to shoot civilians without consequences. The negative side is winding up in one of the prisons in which your amoral colleagues once tortured the locals.

Infinonytune: Rock The Casbah, The Clash

Monday, February 21, 2011

Three's A Charm For Today's Yesteryear's GOP

As yet another half-educated Tea Party favorite drags public policy and discourse to a juvenile level, this time in Wisconsin, the three-legged stool of today's Republican Party becomes more clearly evident:
(1) It is good that the people who would have stood with Frick at Homestead finally feel free to express that position in public. This is a useful exercise every century or so.

(2) It also is good that people who believe -- usually consequent to superstition -- that the majority of their countrymen are cold-blooded murderers are pressing their point, demanding special treatment indulging their countermajority positions. Many of these citizens also demonstrate their self-proclaimed love of liberty by asking the government to imprison citizens for smoking marijuana. And bigots are at their best when openly celebrating the Confederacy or pushing for government discrimination against gays.

(3) We should not disregard the people who cheerlead -- often as chickenhawks -- for military action regardless of consequences to our soldiers or innocent civilians (to a point at which attacking the wrong country is deemed irrelevant), so long as it makes them feel better. These citizens also tend to demonstrate their devotion to limited government by applauding torture, government surveillance, official secrecy and the like.
Economic conservatives, who favor elite corporate interests at the expense of the middle class. Social conservatives, who wish to impose a knuckledraggers' nanny state. Militarist conservatives, who squander our blood, treasure, principles and prestige eagerly and counterproductively. The three-pointed dunce cap worn proudly by today's Republican Party.

Infinonytune: Black And White, Three Dog Night

Broader Questions Are Presented In The Bloody, Battered, Lethal Wake Of Trooper Samuel Nassan

Evidence indicates at least one of these points is true:
(1) Pennsylvania State Trooper Samuel J. Nassan III (right) is one of the unluckiest persons in the world, involved in a string of remarkable coincidences trailing back to an elementary school playground and culminating with a series of dead or injured citizens who crossed his policing path.

(2) Pennsylvania State Troopers Association President Bruce A. Edwards is a two-bit whore, willing to say or write anything for a price.
If unions representing local police officers, paramedics, firefighters and state troopers continue to defend with mindless uniformity the inexplicably violent, irresponsible and obnoxious conduct of their members, those unions seem destined to lose public support. Why those unions would follow such a risky course when government budgets and pension plans are stressed is difficult to understand. Most public employees serve the public well; why do their unions seem to perform so poorly?

Infinonytune: Don't Stand So Close To Me, The Police

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Reading: All-America Edition

The Military-Industrial Complex: America's small-government, freedom-loving fiscal conservatism in action.

America: America the Ignorant (and Ignoranter).

America: America the Self-Correcting.

America: America the Improved.

Texas: America's Outhouse.

The American Revolution: Apt inspiration for Libya, Bahrain, Algeria, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia.

East Liberty: America the Tasteful.

Infinonytune: America, David Bowie
Infinonytune: This Is Not America, David Bowie
Infinonytune: Sister Golden Hair, America

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Awkwardly Arranged, Inconveniently Illuminated, And Unusually Ungrammatical Life Of Joanna Doven

WTAE's Jim Parsons observes that the junior varsity tryout for mayoral mouthpiece in InsolvenCity continues, by quoting Joanna Doven:
"Are you a City resident that [sic] is disgusted with the actions of some Council Members? Make sure you fan Vince Pallus for Pittsburgh City Council, running against Darlene Harris...he's a good guy and will work hard for the people of Pittsburgh, not to just to get [sic] his own road paved!"
Another usage tip for Ms. Doven (right): It's a "Facebook glitch" when Facebook makes a mistake; when the Facebook user makes the mistake, that's operator error.

Joanna Doven: Quite an operator. (To be fair, she and her colleagues in the Ravenstahl administration might be preoccupied by pondering whether the murderous situation involving the South Side Intoxication District constitutes a crisis yet. Here's a two-word head start: Lexa Cleland (left).)

Perhaps the city solicitor might prepare an advisory memorandum using the "City of Pittsburgh Official Facebook Page Sure Loves It Some Pallus" example concerning improper use of public resources with respect to social media, and present it to mayoral staffers in a crowded theatre?

Infinonytune: Fire, The Pointer Sisters
Infinonytune: Burning Down The House, Talking Heads
Infinonytune: Things We Said Today, The Beatles

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mission Accomplisheder, Continued

What's worse, a lying hack or the losers who cynically and foolishly use those lies to advance their discredited ideology?

On second thought, why rank them? They're all disgusting, morally bankrupt true believers who inflicted needless misery on millions of people for the sake of fairy tales. The more that is revealed about the invasion and attempted occupation of Iraq, the worse it gets for the warmongers, profiteers, chickenhawks and mercenaries.

The Swiss apparently know how to operate a moral compass in this type of situation better than do many other countries; perhaps it's the experience with complex army knives?

Infinonytune: Liar, Rollins Band

So Far, Governor Tom Corbett's Regulatory Oversight Resembles Attorney General Tom Corbett's Prosecutions: Partisan and Political

If Tom Corbett were to fire every state regulator who refrains, for political reasons, from enforcing laws and protecting the public, no one whose duties include policing Marcellus shalers in Pennsylvania can expect to last a week.

But the relevant state employees should relax, because it is likely Gov. Corbett's axe was swung in an abortion-specific (make that anti-abortion-specific) direction . . . for political reasons.

Infinonytune: The Punk And The Godfather, Pete Townshend (early version)

Ill-Advised Jumping To Unexpected Conclusions

When Mama was attempting to make an important point -- by asking "and if your friend Joey jumped off a bridge, would you jump off the bridge, too? -- one little boy (who become a Cranberry police officer) apparently wasn't paying attention, perhaps because he was too busy watching Starsky and Hutch.

(A different report is hazier concerning the 'officer jumps from bridge" point.)

Infinonytune: Jump, David Lee Roth (ill-advised Jump version)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday Reading: Late Edition

First Dates: One question (perhaps the only question): Do you like beer?

Great Humans: We humbly present a giant (worth reading if half of it is true; it appears all or most is accurate).

Republican Party: Bigots v. Libertarians no longer a battle; it's war.

The Intertubes: No such thing as a simple question search.

Laws Of Nations: Conservatives hyperventilate against foreign law for political gain, but they'll invoke Sharia law, if necessary, when their dime's on the line (to avoid accountability for electrocuting an American soldier, no less).

Luzerne County Might Be Even Closer Than Somerset County, If You Know The Angle To Follow

If the Post-Gazette assignment desk ever encounters a newsday during which a $70 set of goggles does not go missing in Somerset County, this canned story might merit more examination.

Who knows? It might even produce a local angle.

(The Tribune-Review's failure to follow this story, like just about every story one could associate with InsolvenCity's mayor, is baffling. The Trib is customarily willing to fabricate material to disparage Democrats -- or anyone else left of the nuttiest Tea Partier -- yet it disregards real RedState meat.)

Was There Ever A Better Steeler Than John Nisby?

Obituaries indicate that John Nisby was one of the best men to wear a Steelers uniform.

He was a first-team all-pro guard, too.

(Odd that has withdrawn the Nisby story it published earlier today.)

Infinonytune: Pride (In The Name Of Love), U2

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Post-Gazette Doubles Down On Coverage Of Hundred-Dollar Heists In The Laurel Highlands

Today's self-proclaimed "great newspaper" features two mentions of petty larceny -- reports from a hamlet at least a 90-minute drive from the newspaper's hometown -- on its home page.

One such use of front-page Sunday real estate, reproduced in its inexplicable entirety:
More thefts probed at Seven Springs
Police said a snowboard and goggles, collectively valued at $730, were taken on Friday.
We tried mockery. Next step is inquiry: Unless the snowboard belonged to Fred Frank (bonus coverage!), the goggles were Clementine's and the theft occurred at the mountain chalet of the lovely Norah Lawlor and the dashing Jeffrey Bradford, how can this Somerset County pilfery fetish be explained?

(Be careful, Post-Gazetteers: Use a non-P-G e-mail account for correspondence)

Infinonytune: Conquering Fools, O.A.R. (Of A Revolution)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chuck Tanner: A Smooth-Sailing And Successful Skipper For Pittsburgh When Pirates Were Giants

Before Pittsburgh was InsolvenCity, before juveniles led city government, before Kevin McClatchy and Tom Murphy hijacked the Pittsburgh National League Baseball Club and pawned it to a paltry crew of scurvious bandits, the Pirates were a glorious franchise, a community treasure worthy of support through thick and thin.

Chuck Tanner was a substantial element of the glory. Tanner turned the first pitch he saw as a big-league batter into a home run, and maintained a championship standard throughout the next half-century without compromising his character. Smooth sailing, skipper.

Infinonytune: Forever Young/Some Guys Have All The Luck, Rod Stewart

The Post-Gazette Looks Pretty Good In A Toga

The Post-Gazette's increasing (although gradual) emulation of Infinonymous generates surprisingly conflicting thoughts. Any report that provides an unvarnished swipe at InsolvenCity corruption coupled with an invocation of Animal House wisdom, however, is welcome.

Knowledge is, as Mr. Faber observed, good. But an unleashed P-G (far right, next to Infinonymous) can't be good for Luke, Charlie, Big Stevie, Johnny, Eddie, Little Stevie, Billy and all of the other guys over at Omega House (including their spring pledge class, George and Mark Patrick).

A special Valentine's Infinonytune from Delta House, for our new soulmates on the Boulevard: Hey Paula, Paul and Paula

Friday, February 11, 2011

Republican Field For County Executive Nomination Apparently Will Be Larger Than Democratic Field

Activity at the Board of Elections counter earlier today indicates that the race for the Republican nomination for Allegheny County executive should be spirited. At-large Republican council member Charles McCullough reportedly obtained nominating petitions, indicating a run from the outside (Jim Roddey would never provide to Mr. McCullough even the illusory or uncertain funding assurances on which Patricia Weaver appears to be relying, although it is not certain Ms. Weaver will genuinely benefit from an inside position).

Infinonytune: Let 'em In/The Long And Winding Road, Paul McCartney

Forget The Calendar: It's The 4th Of July In Egypt

Within hours of defying Egypt's citizenry and taunting President Obama with sneering rhetoric, former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak has cut and run.

For Egypt's courageous protesters, this constitutes a deserved victory. May Egypt's next chapters be so successful.

For Pres. Obama, Mubarak's flight invokes the bin Laden-Bush Doctrine (if you outlast the punk who issued hollow threats while pursuing a flawed and amoral strategy, you win) and vindicates his response.

By exposing the people willing to attempt to preserve stability and low fuel prices on the oppressed backs of tens of millions of people, this exercise performed a useful service.

Next step: Disgorgement of the tens of billions of dollars looted by Mubarak.

UPDATE: Swiss officials have reportedly frozen Mubarak assets.

Infinonytune: Dancing In The Street, Martha and the Vandellas

Making Past Transgressions Evaporate--That's What Friends Are For At InsolvenCity's Water Authority

If you ever -- after being caught standing over the mutilated corpse of your enemy, holding the bloody knife you used in an ambush recorded by a couple of surveillance cameras -- hear your defense lawyer ask, 'What in the hell do you expect me to do?,' the correct response:

'Just get Scott Kunka and Dan Deasy on my jury, and everything will work out fine.'

Infinonytune: That's What Friends Are For, Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross

Thursday, February 10, 2011

This Week's Unmasking Of A Conservative Hypocrite

At his Congressional office, Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.)(left), was a by-the-book social conservative -- anti-abortion, anti-gay, drug warrior, "traditional" marriage and all of the nanny-state trappings -- with wife and child. By night, however, Lee fantasized about being a divorced, younger lobbyist, a "fit, fun classy guy" (right).
Lee's hypocrisy, coupled with stupidity, has positioned him to realize his fantasy. He took a major step toward divorce by using his real name and real-life e-mail account while trolling for tarts on Craiglist (after, reportedly, partying with female lobbyists to the point of receiving a warning from Speaker John Boehner). His resignation from the House Of Representatives is standard preparation for lobbying.

The 'fit, fun and classy' part seems a little dicier -- although by the standards of middle-aged female social conservatives, Chris Lee might be quite the catch.

Infinonytune: Love The One You're With, Stephen Stills

Isn't There A Stainless Steel Table Somewhere With Hosni Mubarak's Toe Tag On It By Now?

The progressive patriots of Egypt are welcoming physicians and lawyers (left) to their streets; torture-wielding tyrant Hosni Mubarak's allies respond by threatening violence (although it seems unlikely that, as a general proposition, Egypt's military would attack civilians on Mubarak's order).

Would someone help Mr. Mubarak get to the morgue?

UPDATE: Americans sent billions in weaponry to Egypt; you would think there would be at least one bullet with Mubarak's name on it lying around somewhere.

Infinonytune: Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk, Pink Floyd
Infinonytune: Your Time Has Come, Audioslave

Monday, February 7, 2011

Some Commenters Deserved Better From Us

Some comments offered during November, December and January were -- inadvertently -- not published until this morning. Those correspondents deserved better, and deserve an explanation.

Comments concerning vintage InfiPosts (the aging period is a week or 10 days or something similar, established by off-the-shelf software) are moderated. The reason: We want to read those comments, and are disinclined to comb the archives periodically to find them. An alert that "this proposed comment requires moderation" is therefore handy.

So far, memory indicates, rejected comments have uniformly involved tattoo promotions, tattoo removal promotions and sketchy offers for prescription medications whose promoters have managed to transform government-mandated health warnings ("if you can't tame it within four hours . . .") into their best sales pitch.

This morning, however, we noticed for the first time a "Spam" folder. A millisecond later, we noticed that it held contents. Most of the contents constituted spam of predictable nature, but others were legitimate comments that had languished for days, weeks, or months.

The explanation: We erred because didn't know what we were (or weren't) doing.

We intend to avoid recurrence of this problem. We apologize to correspondents we disserved and to readers denied (until this morning) some of the site's better content.

Infinonytune: I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, U2

Saturday, February 5, 2011

It Has Become Time For Hosni Mubarak To Die

Friday, labeled the "day of departure" by the Egyptians striving to reclaim their country, has ended, as has the period of fair warning for those who have operated Egypt's corrupt, brutal, three-decade dictatorship. Hosni Mubarak can not die fast enough. The riches he, his family and his associates have assembled from his despotism can not be seized fast enough. His regime's participants can not be removed from Egypt's public life fast enough. Egypt's revolution can not succeed fast enough.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Dennis Roddy's New Tack Might Not Change Bearing

The provocative inferences occasioned by a Parisian dot collection should be recognized as part of a broader mosaic, Dennis Roddy's decades of valuable journalism. (Someone claiming to be Dennis Roddy aptly indicates that some of those dots are imperfectly placed, although this does not defuse the inferences because even those dots do not appear to have been mislabeled.)

It is difficult to envision what Mr. Roddy will be expected to contribute to the Corbett administration (because we are confident he has not been engaged for truth-telling), but it is easy to wish Mr. Roddy well. And if Gov. Corbett eventually regrets the decision to invite Mr. Roddy inside the sausage-making operation, that would vindicate a pleasant hunch about Mr. Roddy.

UPDATE: Dennis Roddy's final words on a newspaper owner's dime intensify that hunch. No Republican should ever trust a reporter who isn't aiming to bank a million.

UPPERDATE:This (which, Sunday deadlines being what they are, likely was written before the newsroom letter) intensifies the hunch that Tom Corbett is a fool because Dennis Roddy is not.

Infinonytune: A Pirate Looks At 40, Jimmy Buffett

Shahira Amin

Many journalists are demonstrating the nobility of their profession in Egypt, but symbols are important, and Shahira Amin is a shining example of courage, integrity and optimism in a context that needs plenty of each.

Infinonytune: The Times They Are A-Changing, Bob Dylan

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Roddy Leaves P-G, But We'll Always Have Paris

Signor Ferrari has engaged his prodigious dot-connector again, addressing Dennis Roddy's departure from the Post-Gazette. In this illuminating dispatch from Rick's Place, the demonstrated skill exhilarates the nervous system, but the result is a depressant for the heart. Something like shotgunning a pair of Four Lokos.

Infinonytune: Connection, Keith Richards and the X-Pensive Winos

With Egypt's Streets Resembling Pitt Campus During G20, Mubarak Must Go, Alive Or Dead

It appears Egyptian despot Hosni Mubarak has begun to emulate InsolvenCity authorities during the G20 Siege at Pitt's campus, sending armed goons to assault innocent civilians on public streets.

(Can you guess which police state is depicted at right?)

This development clarifies the need to enforce the Friday deadline for Mubarak's departure from Egypt. If President Mubarak doesn't leave by Friday, it will become reasonable for Egyptians to conclude his dictatorship by death.

For anyone whose analysis of the Egyptian revolt is complicated by thoughts of the Suez Canal, Israel, inexpensive oil, religious preference, or ostensible regional stability: If any of those points genuinely relies on the brutal, decades-long oppression of 80 million people, it isn't worth the cost.

The Egyptian protesters have displayed unearned respect and fondness for the United States while attempting to depose the tyrant Americans enabled to oppress them. The Egyptian military has demonstrated remarkable integrity and courage by refraining from attacking the Egyptian people. It is time for the American government to repay those courtesies by refraining from offering Mr. Mubarak any assistance other than prompt passage to asylum.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Time For InsolvenCity FOP To Cancel That APB On R2Dew2 (The Mountain Dew Container With Legs)?

One of the Slagger's commenters points to a fine Rustbelt Radio report (from Pittsburgh Indy Media) concerning the unhinged, and apparently unsupervised, elements of Pittsburgh's Fraternal Order of Police that have misappropriated the public law enforcement authority of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police to conduct a lawless, private vendetta -- with badges and guns.

The relevant report begins at the 28-minute mark. It includes ACLU legal director Vic Walczak's observations concerning the propriety of arranging resumption of federal oversight of the Pittsburgh Bureau of police. It also makes a strong case that Mr. Walczak should avoid walking alone in the City of Pittsburgh anytime soon with an invisible bottle of Mountain Dew -- or one that has legs (like R2Dew2, right) and can therefore walk away.

To the extent anyone with lawful authority to supervise or investigate rogue police conduct in the City of Pittsburgh cares to begin doing his job, here are a couple of starting points:

Did the police officers FOP representatives who sought the warrant consult Diane Berman or Daniel Koniechka (the assistant district attorneys who reportedly would have handled such a warrant application in normal circumstances)? If not, why not, and at whose direction? (Hint: The answers, and perhaps some explanations, are available for the asking from officers in a couple of zones.)

How did this particular warrant application come before notorious rubber stamp district justice James Hanley?

It's probably time for city police to cancel that all-points-bulletin on R2Dew2, by the way; he's never going to be found.

Fox Newsroom, By The Numbers: You Decide

Given the positioning of Fox News with respect to the Republican Party, it seems fitting that the numerical designation for the Fox Newsroom's politics-related e-mail list is 69.

Infinonytune: Louie Louie, The Kingsmen (watch at your own risk)

Super Bowl Story: Steelers, Cowboys, 49ers, And Packers Have Nothing On Tom Henschel

A report of Tom Henschel's 45-year winning streak might be the best Super Bowl story so far.

Breaking News: A Few Eggs Could Be Scrambled At Tonight's County Council Meeting

A top-of-the-morning development: This evening's Allegheny County Council meeting could be exceptionally eventful, especially if today's preparatory jockeying continues the oscillation ascribed to yesterday's sessions. The Post-Gazette might even think about peeling someone off that Somerset County larceny beat, just for this one night. Sure, that could mean missing an aggravated goggle-napping or playing catch-up on misdemeanor firewood pilferage, but in this case the sacrifice should be worthwhile.