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Other things.

This week in Pittsburgh there were protests following the death of Antwon Rose. The unarmed teenager was shot to death in East Pittsburgh not too far from here. As you might have guessed, police shot him as he was running away.

Now, I’m not going to say Pittsburgh is a perfect place to live when it comes to this kind of thing, though this is the first I’ve heard of it in the 5 years I’ve been back. But I love this city and it’s diversity and it makes me really angry when I detect forces that are trying to drive a wedge between us.

For example, the owners of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette recently fired Rob Rogers, a cartoonist who had been on staff for 25 years. The reason? His cartoons reflected the reality of the Trump years a little too well. The owners withheld the cartoons he drew and told him to make changes. He refused. He was fired.

This is the same paper whose publisher insisted on defending Trump’s comment about “shithole” countries, essentially defending racism. The paper’s staff was horrified. But the owners feel confident that they’ll keep working there because where else are they going to go?

I don’t subscribe.

It’s so out of place in this city. This city went overwhelmingly for Clinton in 2016. We are a spot of bright blue in a sea of red (our blue is spreading since Conor Lamb won). Our city song is “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. You haven’t lived until you hear thousands of people singing it together on a chilly November evening when all the Christmas trees are lighted up.

To think there are newspapers and trigger happy police who are careless enough to bring that all down makes me really angry.

I took the week off because I felt a bit burned out and I have a bit of poison ivy and I’m tired and haven’t had a vacation since 2011. Sometimes, you gotta regroup. But I feel like I also have to be eternally vigilant because it’s my responsibility to keep the place from falling down. I’m sure some of you feel that too. You can’t just throw up your hands and walk away. It’s our collective conscience that keeps us together and focused on all the good things we are. The world is starting to condemn Americans but I refuse to accept guilt by association. The people who are doing this to our country are a minority that just happened to gain power by an electoral fluke. We outnumber them.

Nevertheless, next week is going to be even more eventful than this week when Congress tries to ram through a bill that cuts $1.5 Trillion dollars from Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Congress has to pay for the tax cuts it gave to its donors. It’s going to come out of our deferred benefits that we paid for our entire working lives. The Republicans are determined to cut them.

Oh, yes they would. And if they are hoping for campaign money to run this fall, they’d better vote for it. They’ll just amplify their message about how it’s necessary because of the debt and what “we’re passing on to our children”. Commence the crocodile tears.

It’s just the tip of the iceberg. There will be more government dismantling. It might not affect you now, but it will eventually.

It’s an understatement to say that the Trump voters didn’t know what they were voting for. And as far as I know, Republicans have no qualms about stealing the vote this fall. They’ve done nothing to protect us from Russian meddling. I expect the Supreme Court to give the ok to Texas to keep African Americans and Hispanics from voting next week.

It will be up to us to convince every non voter we know to get registered because their votes really will count this fall. We can’t let them stay home this year. That’s what we have to work on this summer and fall. Focus on that and don’t let the heartache and outrage divert you from that crucial task.

In the meantime, put down your sword and shield this weekend and enjoy that which nature gives you for free and is available to everyone regardless of who they are and how much money they have.

We’ll be needed again soon enough.


I have a full day today. I’m going to see Keith Urban tonight. That’s right, I’m a little bit country. Go figure.


9 Responses

  1. Protests come in all forms. SHUN THEM ALL!

    {Lexington VA is not liberal by any means and it is home to VMI}

    • We are planning to make a day trip of going to this restaurant tomorrow. Encourage others to do so! We would drive around in those parts all the time when we lived in Charlottesville.

    • It is a fucking protest, you fool. That nice restaurant owner may very well feed their delicious food to this fucker if she redeems herself at some point. Instead of analyzing why people are driven to take such actions against these mfers, tweeting this nonsense about who wins or who loses is idiotic.

  2. RD, I feel the same way… that if I look away, I am being delinquent.

  3. Wasn’t that newspaper once owned by Richard Mellon Scaife? He was a prime source of anti Bill Clinton money.

  4. This story made my weekend.

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