Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Today's Americans stand on the shoulders of those who strove before them, beneficiaries of centuries of ingenuity, sacrifice, intrepidity, investment and effort throughout the world.

For most Americans, Memorial Day is a day of leisure earned by the sacrifice of others.

More than one million persons have accepted active duty in the military service of today's United States of America. All have been volunteers, pushed by patriotism, practicality and perhaps other factors in varying measures.

Millions of others have completed their service. Some enlisted, some were conscripted. Some pursued danger, some had no choice other than to confront it. Some accomplished great missions, some were sent on fools' errands, some were issued immoral orders. Some were required to overcome not only the enemy but also the ignorance and bigotry of their peers or superiors. Nearly all have distinguished themselves, whatever their orders, by simply doing their duty.

Some returned as heroes, some (including heroes) returned to a society that treated them like dirt. Some returned in caskets, some never returned.

More than one million persons have died in the military service of the United States. At a technical level, Memorial Day honors the dead and Veterans Day honors the living. All, however, deserve a moment of reflection, a kind thought, a measure of gratitude on Memorial Day.

Infytune: The Wall, Bruce Springsteen (co-writer: Joe Grushecky)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Reading: Post-Rapture Edition

Mercenaries: Do they deserve to live? Maybe not.

Privacy: Facebook not a fan (Neither is Twitter.)

The Republican Party: Transcending the reality-based world.

Privacy: We will support familial DNA hunts as soon as all elected officials and law enforcement personnel are required to submit samples.

The Cost Of War: With Iraq, it's more than you think.

2030: Why wait when you could read the book?

Infytune: Everyday I Write The Book, Elvis Costello & the Imposters

Friday, May 20, 2011

Infytunes: The Rapture Collection

If a couple of superstition-laced numerological proofs are accurate (this time), and our world is to end tomorrow, May 21, here is this era's going-out-of-business soundtrack (one song for each millennium since the great flood):

The first Infytune for the afterparty, naturally: Won't Get Fooled Again, The Who

Donald Barden's Death Removes First (Or Is It Sixteenth?) Name From The List-Makers' List

So far as we are aware, Don Barden (left) is the first member of the List-Makers' List to depart the list by death.

Official story: "brain cancer." We'll buy that explanation when it is conclusively established that the body was not discovered at an abandoned warehouse in the Strip District.

Infytune: So They Say, Soul Attorneys

Dr. Avila Identifies Two Exceptions To Corbett Administration's Statewide Regulatory Holiday

Tom Corbett's administration is dedicated to avoiding regulation of business (especially the business of Marcellus Shalers), but the Commonwealth's secretary of health appears to be conducting an intensive regulatory crusade focused on . . . eggs.

First, Dr. Eli Avila (right) assured legislators he would personally visit every abortion clinic in Pennsylvania to monitor regulatory compliance.

More recently, and bizarrely, Dr. Avila has devoted remarkable personal attention to the fastidious regulatory oversight of egg-frying practices at a Harrisburg diner.

Lest fear of Dr. Avila's regulatory zeal unnerve the Chamber of Commerce, we note that Dr. Avila is not always so painstaking with respect to regulatory compliance.

UPDATE: OK, so maybe the Corbett administration has two exceptions to its disdain for regulatory scrutiny -- eggs and blogs. Infinonymous has welcomed visitors from at least five Commonwealth of Pennsylvania agencies (two of which we do not recognize; anyone know what "Commonwealth of Pa - Oa / Integrated Network" is?) during the three-hour period since this message was published. Rather than call the Infilawyer, we'll just save our own skin by ratting on someone else . . . Hey! State regulators!! We're not the droids you're looking for. Have you guys noticed what's going on over at Rick's place?

Infytune: Eggs And Sausage, Tom Waits

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Washington County Voters Follow Infindorsement, Bench Melograne -- Steve Toprani Should Be Next

Gary Gilman rode the Infindorsement (everyone not named Melograne had the Infindorsement) to a nomination for Common Pleas judge in Washington County yesterday, and is destined to ride a more specific Infindorsement to victory in the general election.

Gilman defeated Phil Melograne, who had joined the bench with a shady appointment by Ed Rendell and will depart the bench after broadcasting advertisements in which the district attorney, Steve Toprani, asked voters to vote for Melograne because Toprani -- a partisan prosecutor who describes himself as a "political animal" -- had tired of watching judges exercise independent judgment with respect to criminal charges filed by Toprani.

Neither Toprani nor Melograne evinces a proper understanding of the relationship of prosecutor to judge. Voters have demonstrated a sound understanding of the appropriate relationship of Phil Melograne to the Washington County bench, however, and should similarly remove Toprani from office at the next opportunity.

Infytune: Judge Not, Bob Marley

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Preliminary Information Suggests Chuck McCullough Might Have Gotten The Drop On Roddey, Zappala

Two customarily reliable Republican sources -- one on each side of the relevant divide -- indicate that it appears likely someone will be nominated by Republicans to challenge Stephen A. Zappala Jr. in the previously uncontested general election for Allegheny County District Attorney, and that someone appears to be Chuck McCullough (right).

'You have to give them credit for the strategy and for the execution,' said the source who would have preferred that McCullough exit public life, 'because it looks like they pulled it off, and by the time they knew what was up neither Roddey nor Zappala could do anything about it.'

The sole point of information readily available now involves number of write-in votes (rather than the identify of the candidate whose name was written), but every indication points to McCullough.

McCullough also appears to have earned a belated Infindorsement.

UPDATE: Would a McCullough-Zappala campaign influence the propriety of a prosecution of McCullough by Zappala? Could a change-of-prosecutor issue (similar to a change-of-venue issue) be raised by McCullough's defense or by the court?

Infytune: Oh No Not You Again, The Rolling Stones (rehearsal)

Election Day Flashcasting: District Attorneys Gone Wild In Allegheny And Washington Counties

A couple of flashes:

First, it appears Republicans (at least, some Republicans) have a candidate for Allegheny County District Attorney. This should be fascinating from at least two perspectives.

Second, Phil Melograne's current (today) campaign commercial establishes he is unfit for office. Which is not surprising, because Melograne was unfit when he received an oily appointment from Ed Rendell to become a judge of the Washington County Court of Common Pleas. And Steve Toprani, the not-ready-for-prime-time district attorney who stars in Melograne's commercial (as Melograne seeks election for a full term), has demonstrated that he is a poor choice for a prosecutor's position.

We intend to illuminate each of these points after Election Day subsides.

Infytune: What's Your Name?, Lynyrd Skynyrd

Monday, May 16, 2011

Infindorsements: May 2011 Primary Election

Relatively few citizens will vote in this primary election. The over-under on participation by registered voters approximates 25 percent. The Republican and Democratic parties have exercised no quality control with respect to endorsements; party leaders have barely maintained appearances with respect to promoting endorsed candidates.

Is the region's decline -- and InsolvenCity's deterioration in particular -- a cause of these circumstances, or an effect? Or both? We do not know. But we know who should get your votes:

Allegheny County Executive (Democratic): In a race of flawed candidates, Rich Fitzgerald is king, primarily because Mark Flaherty is the List-Makers' lady-in-waiting.

Allegheny County Executive (Republican): Chuck McCullough is the only Republican with a chance to be elected; his prospects depend upon acquittal.

Allegheny County Council (at-large Republican): Ed Kress seems focused on (and could be effective with respect to) local issues. His opponent is running for overheated teapot whistle.

Allegheny County Controller: Valerie McDonald-Roberts and Chelsa Wagner are strong candidates with good records. Vote for one of them.

Allegheny County Court Of Common Pleas: Cast a single vote, for Daniel Konieczka. If you cast a second vote -- which you should not do; it is important to plunk for Konieczka -- choose Alex Bicket or Mike Marmo.

Pittsburgh City Council (District 1): Darlene Harris has earned your vote.

Pittsburgh City Council (District 3): Bruce Kraus deserves re-election.

Pittsburgh City Council (District 5): Corey O'Connor will win. Chris Zurawsky should move to District 9.

Pittsburgh City Council (District 7): Everything about Patrick Dowd is complicated, except his clear superiority in this election.

Pittsburgh City Council (District 9): Chris Zurawsky should move to District 9.

Infytune: The Punk And The Godfather, The Who

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Makin' Bets On Kentucky Derby Day

It's Kentucky Derby day. Could not care less about the horses, but the song is one of the greats (post time: 1:26)!

Infytune: Dead Flowers, The Rolling Stones (best live version; no video)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ricky Loves Lukey, So The List-Makers Love Ricky

The Slaggers report that Rev. Ricky V. Burgess has attracted somewhat surprising support in his bid for re-election in InsolvenCity's ninth council district: Checks from a trio of List-Makers.

(What would be most surprising would be evidence that high-living cream-skimmers such as Charles Zappala, John Verbanac and Bill Lieberman have developed any interest in the well-being of citizens of Homewood, but we are confident that one can be dismissed.)

Somewhat surprising is the appearance of Republican insider Lieberman on an inner-city black Democratic candidate's campaign finance report. More surprising is the discovery of Mr. Verbanac's fingerprints signature on a check donated to any candidate.

The explanation is obvious: Ricky Loves Lukey. And the parking privateers continue to intend hope to ride Lukey and Ricky to a huge payday.

The antidote would be a strong primary challenger to Rev. Burgess, who was denied the Democratic Party endorsement. Instead, however, InsolvenCity's dysfunctional Democratic Party has produced the weak incumbent's prayer -- two relatively lame challengers, to split the anti-incumbent vote. The challengers' campaigns are compounding their original mistake by devoting their time and attention to juvenile carping at one another rather than to developing a credible, effective challenge to Rev. Burgess.

Infytune: I Love Lucy Theme, Desi Arnaz Orchestra

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Stupid Is As The Tea Party Does (Again)

The Tea Party perspective: The death of Osama bin Laden has vindicated Bush-era torture.

Infytune: Tutti Frutti, Little Richard

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Osama Bin Laden Dead: 'Justice Has Been Done'

President Obama's report that Osama bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan by American forces is welcome news. It is inexplicable that this task required nearly a decade to accomplish; shameful and sad that so many mistakes were made and so much needless misery inflicted along the way; odd that it is announced eight years to the day after the declaration of "mission accomplished." Today's message: Justice has been done.