Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Put Richard Poplawski On Death Row -- For Life

Richard Poplawski deserves an exceptionally harsh sentence (short of death by government hand).
Post-Gazetteer Sadie Gurman -- who possesses an informed perspective concerning the vivid fallibility of law enforcement agents and methods -- describes a reasonable prospect: life under death row conditions.

Infytune: Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson

Sunday, June 26, 2011

WTAE News Refuses To Learn The Hardway

The leaders of WTAE-TV's newsroom brand themselves unprofessional each time they entrust a police-related editorial assignment to well-known cop succor Ashlie Hardway.

Infytune: I Can't Help Myself, The Four Tops

Margaret Poplawski: Still Not Scum, But Only Because Scum Is Higher On Evolution's Ladder

Two women are attempting to assist Richard Poplawski.

One is Lisa Middleman (left), the trained, dignified, effective professional who is ably performing her assigned duty, which is to try to advance Poplawski's interests by arranging the proper result of Poplawski's trial.

The other is Margaret Poplawski (right), the sputtering, obnoxious, dysfunctional mother who appears to be hell-bent on inclining every sensible observer to wish for Richard Poplawski's execution.

Ms. Poplawski maligns her son's victims; blames a police dispatcher while ignoring her own culpability (for summoning officers without alerting them to her bulletproofed, unhinged, heavily armed son); violates a judicial order concerning entering the courtroom; accuses police of impropriety in handling her son (who appears to be in better hands during custody than he was in her care) -- and then complains of "disrespect." Pittsburgh police officers, to their credit, demonstrated more respect than either Poplawski has earned by refraining from spitting on the Poplawskis in the courthouse.

There likely is little Margaret Poplawski could do to earn our respect short of an elective, unanaesthetized tonguectomy, but we hope a flicker of lucidity enables her to recognize that her son's only hope in this world relies on a stranger while his worst enemy is his mother.

As is customary, we refrain from calling the Poplawskis scum, because that would be unfair to congealed algae.

Infytune: Family Affair, Sly and the Family Stone

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fossil Hunt Created In Seneca Valley?

Seneca Valley school directors have selected a "creation science" advocate -- a leader of the Creation Science Fellowship -- to occupy a vacated school board position. Sensible citizens should monitor the district's approach to science for any sign of, well, evolution.

Infytune: Blinded By The Light, Manfred Mann's Earth Band

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pittsburgh Firefighters Maintain 'Fighter' Designation Even After Their Retirement From The 'Fires' Part

Did anyone expect retirement (at age 39) to prevent guys such as Marc Vrane from contributing to the steady pace at which InsolvenCity firefighters are arrested for violent crimes while inebriated?

To the untrained eye, Mr. Vrane's position -- target of an arrest warrant for attacking paramedics and police officers responding to a reported overdose -- may look troublesome, but the experienced observer understands that this situation is unlikely to be anything firefighters leader Joe King, magistrate Ronald Costa and similarly situated hands (some wearing North Catholic rings?) can not handle.

Infinonymous: Burning Love, Elvis Presley (King's rings version)

The Saga Of James Richard Verone (Who's A Guy Gotta Rob To Get Chemo Around Here?)

One important reason to discount the efforts and assertions of those who decry the Affordable Care Act is that the would-be dismantlers of ObamaCare* neither acknowledge nor address the unsustainable trajectory of the current American health care system.

James Richard Verone (left) recognized the problem, and has attempted to address it.

* Republicans who currently use the term "ObamaCare" in derision seem destined to begin complaining in a few years that Democrats derive unfair political advantage from having Pres. Obama's name attached to a popular program that relies on conservatives' tax dollars, too.

Infytune: Take The Money And Run, Steve Miller Band

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Fitting Tribute To Police Officer Eric Kelly: Correct The Problem That Prevented His Rescue

Pittsburgh police officers could profitably devote a measure of attention, as the trial of Richard Poplawski proceeds, to this point:

Pittsburgh's police bureau has not investigated, identified, or corrected the deficiencies in training, equipment, and/or command execution that prevented rescuers from reaching Eric Kelly as he bled in the middle of a street for the extended period during which his colleagues watched Officer Kelly die.

Officer Kelly deserved better that day. Other officers deserve better today.

Infytune: A Change Is Gonna Come, Billy Preston

Monday, June 20, 2011

Poplawski Trial Revives Bad Memories Of Bad People

As Richard Poplawski's trial -- in which a man who does not deserve to live should nonetheless be spared -- begins, the tragedy responsible for precipitating Infinonymous is recounted:

Infytune: You Know I'm No Good, Amy Winehouse (dysfunction-in-action version)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Who Needs Lucchino Or Cuban (Or Championships) When We Have McClatchy and Nutting (And Failure)?

Pictured at left are Kevin McClatchy and Bob Nutting, the two most recent principal owners of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

When the club was sold in a government-brokered transaction in 1996, then-mayor Tom Murphy steered the deal to newspaper heir McClatchy, stiff-arming Pittsburgh native and seasoned baseball executive Larry Lucchino, who had been asked by major league baseball adminstrators to bid.

When McClatchy ran out of gas, he handed the club to newspaper heir Nutting, ignoring repeated inquiries from Mt. Lebanon native Mark Cuban, who had expressed intense interest in purchasing the Pirates.

While the Pirates have produced two decades of unparalleled, unremitting, heavily subsidized failure, Lucchino (with the Padres and Red Sox) and Cuban (with the Mavericks) have followed different courses.

That's a freshly minted Cuban cigar (right) attached to the most recent recipient of the National Basketball Association's championship trophy.

That's Lucchino (left) holding the Commissioner's Trophy, twice presented to the World Series champion Red Sox during Lucchino's presidency of that club (Lucchino also accompanied the Padres to the World Series a couple of years after being shunned by Pittsburgh).

Infytune: I Wanna Be Sedated, The Ramones

Allegheny County A Stickler For Procedure When It Comes To Treating Sickly Prisoners

Any ambulance chaser considering litigation concerning Allegheny County's treatment of prisoners should be warned: So long as the Onorato administration is in charge, a prisoner requiring medical attention can expect to be treated promptly upon completion of proper procedures, which are (1) publication of a front-page newspaper article and (2) issuance of a judge's order.

Infytune: Doctor My Eyes, Jackson Browne

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Apt Assessment: Post-Gazette Pinpoints Perfect Platform For Onorato's Next Political Campaign

Preparing a statewide political campaign is time-consuming, particularly for a candidate whose recent statewide stumble included losing the county in which he is the current county executive. This explains (but does not excuse) Dan Onorato's inability, as he signals his 2012 campaign for auditor general, to find the time to handle his current responsibilities.

The Post-Gazette therefore performed a schedule-clearing courtesy for Mr. Onorato and his county executive campaign staff this morning by finding a fitting campaign headquarters: 422 Fox Chapel Road (left).

This sumptuous property features new construction of solid stone (left), perfect fortification for a home base located in hostile territory. Its 7,500-square-foot structure offers ample space even for the number of campaign strategists needed to attempt to defend the largest tax increase in Allegheny County history; the immoral and legally ridiculous defense of unconstitutionally inaccurate and regressive property assessments; and (particularly in a Democratic primary) a cultural platform indistinguishable from that of Rick Santorum.

Fox Chapel Road is handy for an Onorato campaign's natural donor base and, as Port Authority transit is dismantled, increasingly inconvenient for those inclined to protest regressive taxes, List-Maker cream-skimming, and inhumane provision of human services.

The only obvious snag would involve cost. The current owner prices the property at $3.8 million -- not unreasonable for an impeccable 10-room home classified in A+ condition and situated on more than two acres along one of the most desirable residential roads in Allegheny County (neighbors include Shadyside Academy's campus and Fox Chapel Golf Club's 163 acres of manicured, gently assessed serenity).

Dan Onorato's county government, however, values (and therefore taxes) the property at 422 Fox Chapel Road -- which includes a 400-bottle wine room, two kitchens (and a kitchenette), honed marble flooring, saltwater pool and guest house -- at $1.12 million. During any haggling, however, the current owner might exhibit some gratitude -- Mr. Onorato's unconstitutionally regressive tax policies have generated substantial tax benefits at 422 Fox Chapel Road; the savings appear to approximate $10,000 annually on county taxes, perhaps another $30,000 on municipal and school taxes each year.

The Onorato-for-auditor general campaign would find, at 422 Fox Chapel Road, the embodiment of Dan Onorato's public life. The icing: For political fundraisers that illegally dodge the drink tax, the property apparently incorporates two wet bars and a draft beer system.

Infytune: Mansion On The Hill, Hank Williams and the Drifting Cowboys

Friday, June 10, 2011

InsolvenCity: A Toddler Leading A Gerontocracy

That Pittsburgh has become InsolvenCity is bad, but not nearly as frightening as this depiction of the periods (represented by presidencies) during which Pittsburgh voters were born:

(We can't couldn't find a City Paper link to Chris Briem's chart -- and, dare we hope, accompanying prose -- but the SlagMan could.)

A toddler leading a Gerontocracy through InsolvenCity. What could go wrong?

Infytune: We All Get Old, Ron Wood

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It Is Time For Rep. Anthony Weiner To Resign

Anthony Weiner would be justified in believing that a sex scandal -- particularly one that (so far) includes no allegations of physical contact -- should not necessarily push a member out of Congress.

Anthony Weiner would be justified in concluding that his transgressions were lesser than those of David Vitter, who has remained in the Senate.

Anthony Weiner should regard as worthless the demands and suggestions of resignation from those who have not advanced similar positions with respect to Sen. Vitter (and others).

Anthony Weiner has been an exceptionally strong member of Congress.

Anthony Weiner should resign.

Infytune: Lies, The Rolling Stones

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fox News Always Goes With The Looker (Unfortunately For Palin, Tina > Sarah)

Sure, we have poked the Post-Gazetteers periodically (although not fanatically; we were silent, for example, when they recently decorated a story about Peabody High graduates with a shout-out to former Pirates pitcher John Tudor, pride of Peabody . . . Massachusetts).

Our jabs at the P-G are (mostly) intended to be good-natured; the Post-Gazette attempts to produce a responsible newspaper.

Our pokes at Fox News, however, are rooted in disdain. That makes this a two-fer:

Fox News Displays Picture Of Tina Fey In News Report On Sarah Palin

Infytune: She's A Beauty, The Tubes (blooper version)
Infytune: She's A Beauty, The Tubes