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Comment Archives: stories: News+Features

Re: “Silent Vote: Tea-party Congressman Keith Rothfus is seeking a second term, so how come nobody seems to care?

Jason Altmire is the Democrat who could win in this district. (He's already beaten Rothfus.) Too bad the progressives in this district were duped by Critz and Mikus.

Posted by Conservativedemocrat724 on 10/19/2014 at 2:16 PM

Re: “Silent Vote: Tea-party Congressman Keith Rothfus is seeking a second term, so how come nobody seems to care?

"You have to be customer-service-focused." Running for a second term and K R still doesn't understand we are citizens, not customers. He is duplicitous and simplistic enough to pander to an electorate he thinks does not know the difference between civic obligations and bargain hunting.

Posted by Larry Conley on 10/17/2014 at 10:32 AM

Re: “More than 31 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS are not getting adequate treatment

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Posted by Grace Grace on 10/17/2014 at 10:01 AM

Re: “State police documents show intelligence-sharing network between law enforcement and Marcellus Shale drillers

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Brendan Patrick Coyne Browne on 10/16/2014 at 6:00 PM

Re: “Silent Vote: Tea-party Congressman Keith Rothfus is seeking a second term, so how come nobody seems to care?

"I'm a get-off-your-ass-and-work kind of person." And Democrats aren't? Jeez, the electorate gets dumber and dumber all the time. They'll buy any line of BS fed to them.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by ClueBusDriver on 10/15/2014 at 11:36 AM

Re: “Silent Vote: Tea-party Congressman Keith Rothfus is seeking a second term, so how come nobody seems to care?

I've participated in a couple of Rothfus' town hall phone calls... It was like listening to a simpleton - the guy has no grasp of reality. Doesn't believe in science and evidence. Doesn't give a hoot about your average joe like you and me. If you want ignorant kids, your daughters barefoot and pregnant, your family without medical care, and yourself on the bread lines, Keith is the one for you.

8 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Jack Wolf on 10/15/2014 at 8:35 AM

Re: “Former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert on what's wrong with America — and how to fix it

The real question is how the left has lost its way. Lots of things government should give the poor, but can anyone name a real privilege that has been abolished?

Prior to the Woodrow Wilson administration, the progressive movement was based on attacking privileges that caused poverty rather than propping up the poor and accommodating privilege. It fought banking privilege via the Greenback Dollar and land monopoly via a land value tax. It also had a clear sense of what enterprises should be government-owned - basically anything that involved a right-of-way monopoly.

That approach promised to abolish poverty without turning the poor into wards of the state. Socialists hated it, and eventually defeated that agenda and co-opted progressivism. Today, people who call themselves progressives are mostly watered down socialists.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Dan Sullivan on 10/15/2014 at 7:59 AM

Re: “More than 31 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS are not getting adequate treatment

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Posted by Gurcharan Kaur on 10/14/2014 at 3:18 PM

Re: “State police documents show intelligence-sharing network between law enforcement and Marcellus Shale drillers

Why don't these groups have a place at the table with MSOCC? Many crimes, especially environmental crimes, are perpertrated by drillers. They've even killed their own workers by violating federal law. I'm sure these environmentalists would be very helpful to other law enforcement agencies.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by jimmyev on 10/13/2014 at 8:30 PM

Re: “Law School: Federal complaint filed against for-profit ITT Tech

I keep reading about former ITT Tech employees complaining about the loan practices and the opinion that the students had no idea what they were signing. It is pretty arrogant to think that the people who go to this school are a bunch of idiots. IF people want to take out private loans then let them. If the degree does not lead to gainful employment then that is the problem.

What about the people who get degrees in History or philosophy from State schools that extort billions of dollars from taxpayers? Most of these graduates moved back home to mommy and daddy's house to their old room. At least ITT Tech teaches for jobs in demand.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by James Shanbrom on 10/13/2014 at 5:40 AM

Re: “State police documents show intelligence-sharing network between law enforcement and Marcellus Shale drillers

This is not merely about spying, it is about the harassing of activists, and the criminalization of dissent. In a sense this isn't even about fracking--it's about what kind of nation we think we live in, and the one we want to live in. What's painfully clear with respect to MSOCC is that it puts the lie to the claim that the Pennsylvania State Police act to protect the rights and safety of citizens; it does not. Officer Mike Hutson works to protect the prerogatives, public image, and the profit margins of the gas thugs. And that is what they richly deserve to be called. Why? Because they can dispatch an officer paid by the people to the home of an activist in the middle of a snowy day in February WITHOUT ANY WARRANT, and hence NO announced reason for being there. He then makes vague references to "photographs" and "tresspassing," and then to pipe bombs.

There is no other appropriate description for this other than INTIMIDATION.

The fact is that this industry does not want people to SEE what they're doing to our state, our communities, our ecologies--US. Fact is, I have THOUSANDS of pictures of precisely the devastation the industry calls "business as usual." I have a very good camera. I know my rights to be on public roads. I am difficult to scare off even when jackboot security guards hired to keep the people off of public roads make a sincere effort--by calling the state police, having me followed, tapping my phone--and coming to my HOME.

And I have a message for MSOCC: you will NOT intimidate me with your surveillance, your corrupted bought off officers, your efforts to criminalize the exercise of my first amendment rights. In fact, you accomplish nothing here but galvanizing my resolve to organize, to write, and to photograph your debauchery.

I am a CITIZEN. And regardless the fact that this is certainly no democracy, I am going to continue to ACT on the hope that I am wrong.

Wendy Lynne Lee

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Wendy Lynne Lee on 10/10/2014 at 2:00 PM

Re: “State police documents show intelligence-sharing network between law enforcement and Marcellus Shale drillers

So, if I make a comment here, is some little man going to take out a little notebook and keep track?

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jack Wolf on 10/09/2014 at 1:46 PM

Re: “State police documents show intelligence-sharing network between law enforcement and Marcellus Shale drillers

PS. That is Henrietta in my picture, my favorite pig ever! None of this is going to stop me, not one little bit! As a matter of fact, we are holding a border crossing event this Friday, October 10, at the cryogenics plant on 10399 Stateline Road, New Middletown, Ohio 3 pm with the Great March for Climate Action! Please join us! Google global frackdown and enter 16112 for event zipcode.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Maggie Henry on 10/09/2014 at 2:40 AM

Re: “State police documents show intelligence-sharing network between law enforcement and Marcellus Shale drillers

I an aging hippie, a wilting flower child, simply trying to save what my husband's family (and I've) has paid taxes on for 100 years. If trying to save what we have a lifetime of more blood, sweat and tears than most people can even conceive of makes me an ecoterrorist, then I own that proudly. Thank you for this awesome piece of journalism. CityPaper rocks! Hope I can still find copies in the city on Sunday...I need a couple!

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Maggie Henry on 10/09/2014 at 12:59 AM

Re: “Activism: Group hopes to start homeless newspaper in the city

In Seattle selling the homeless paper is both charitable and considered a free speech right, is not licensed nor fined by government. As a free speech right no one can ask a 'vendor to leave a public sidewalk. The only time a vendor may be asked to leave is if they,'ve become a nuisance, publicly intoxicated, or are on private property. Then the paper, Real Change, may chose to terminate the vendor,s privileges.

Posted by jo on 10/07/2014 at 8:49 PM

Re: “Schoolyard Fight: Corbett, Wolf spar over the governor's history of education funding

although i don't like either of them... it was federal funding for education that was cut.. state funding was increased... get your facts right... By not telling the whole truth you are the one destroying our local and state government...

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by PghLibertarian on 10/03/2014 at 4:40 PM

Re: “Tangled Up In Blues

Elijah Wald and I are having a conversation about his Robert Johnson book and his claims in it about where blues music originated (he used _... And The Invention Of The Blues_ in his title, but doesn't understand who invented blues music) on amazon right now. Here is the conversation so far:

Joseph Scott:
The great majority of this book deserves five stars, and one of the main points it makes deserves one star. Wald is interested in Robert Johnson in his '30s context and does a terrific job of describing that context. Wald seems to have far less knowledge of blues music before 1920, and his suggestion that blues music did not arise as folk music goes against a mountain of evidence that it did, including from people who were old enough to observe it doing so such as W.C. Handy. (Of course that idea sounds interesting to any reader who is excited about blues music being demythologized. But it isn't true. Folklorists Howard Odum and E.C. Perrow independently collected black folk songs with the word "blues" in them _years_ before Handy's "Memphis Blues" was published. If song publications anywhere in the South or North and a consensus among Handy's peers don't satisfy you, read e.g. Abbott and Seroff's books and Henry Sampson's comparable book and notice when minor stage performers began taking up "Blues" at all. Peter Muir's book is important for context too.) When I corresponded with Wald about this, he forthrightly admitted that he couldn't defend that idea well. I hope it will be omitted from any future editions of the book.

I would only note that Lynn Abbott (of Abbott and Seroff) read the chapters on pre-blues, contributed to them, and does not share Joseph Scott's opinion of them--which is not to say he agrees with every word, but he does not think there are substantial errors of fact. Whether blues was a form of folk music is a matter of interpretation, not of fact. My interpretation remains the same as in this book, though I thoroughly agree that other interpretations are possible.

Where blues music originated is a factual issue. The New York Times online quotes you as saying in 2004 that "the blues was pop music -- it simply wasn't folk music. It was invented retroactively as black folk music...." That radical statement is simply wrong, and shows ignorance of the research that was done on early blues music during the 90-plus years before it. Howard Odum and E.C. Perrow, working independently of each other, both published black folk songs in the 1910s that were collected before 1910 and were specifically about having the "blues." This book claims on p. 32 that "[m]ost likely" folk artists did not have any more primacy than pop artists. If that's so, then according to you, Elijah, what similarly important role did pop artists most likely play before 1910 in the invention of blues music?

I'm mystified what it is that Lynn Abbott agrees with Elijah Wald about that is supposedly relevant to the critical element of my review. From Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff's "'They Cert'ly Sound Good to Me': Sheet Music, Southern Vaudeville, And The Commercial Ascendancy Of The Blues," emphasis added: "Clearly it was at the insistence of the southern vaudeville audiences that the blues, a previously submerged aspect of African American _folk_ culture, ascended the stage.... When southern vaudevillians embraced _folk-blues_ concoctions in their stage repertory, the audience shouted loud in recognition...." "Blues and other timber hewn from rural southern _folk_ culture had served as [black stage entertainers'] battering ram [into larger theaters]." "... John H. Williams specialized in the comic adaptation of the up-to-date Southern _folk_ idioms from which blues was gleaned." "String Beans, Baby Seals, Johnnie Woods [who is the first person documented singing blues on a stage, in 1910] and Little Henry, Willie and Lulu Too Sweet, Laura Smith -- these were some of the first 'blue diamonds in the rough' [quoting W.C. Handy, who said blues music originated as folk music] to rise above the anonymous street corners, barrelhouses, juke joints, railroad depots, and one-room country shacks of _folk-blues_ literature. They were the fathers and mothers of the blues on the American stage." "The implication is that by 1909 the term blues was known to describe a distinct folk-musical genre...." From Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff's _Ragged But Right: ... The Dark Pathway To Blues And Jazz_: "By mid-decade [of the 1910s], blues singing had begun to make a permanent home in tended minstrelsy [by black performers]. W.C. Handy's early blues publications [which started in 1912]... initiated the trend." "Prof. John Eason's Annex Band [a black band]... may have been the first circus band to include a blues song in its repertoire... [in] 1912...." Where is the evidence that pop music was contributing to blues music during the period 1905-1909? Because 1905-1909, that is the period when Antonio Maggio said he heard a black guitarist on a levee perform an "I Got The Blues" that served as the inspiration for the 12-bar strain in his own published "I Got The Blues," _and_ a black folk song with "blues" in the lyrics was collected that E.C. Perrow reported on in his _Journal Of American Folk-Lore_ article, _and_, independently of Perrow's work, Howard Odum collected more than one black folk song with "blues" in the lyrics (see his "Folk-Song And Folk-Poetry As Found In The Secular Songs Of The Southern Negroes": "I got the blues but too damn mean to cry/I got the blues but too damn mean to cry" in "Look'd Down De Road" and "I got de blues an' can't be satisfied/Brown-skin woman cause of it all/Lawd, Lawd, Lawd" in "Knife-Song"). When that collection of Odum's appeared in book form in 1926, the book said, "[These lyrics] are taken from songs collected in Georgia and Mississippi between 1905 and 1908..." and "There is no doubt that the first songs appearing in print under the name of blues were based directly upon actual songs already current among Negroes."

Posted by Joseph Scott on 10/02/2014 at 1:29 PM

Re: “Swearing

Inspired by Shakespeare invective, says JC, such as, "Beware my sting thou cankerous, clay-brained barnacle." In the 3rd to last line, "stinkers" — by the way (notes Jimmy) — is police jargon for a corpse that's been lost & found floating in the river after maybe days, incredibly bloated, gaseous, ugly beyond words, often pulled out via grappling hook.

Posted by Mike Schneider on 10/01/2014 at 3:10 PM

Re: “Swearing

I remember one night at Hemingway's when Jimmy almost blushed--because a young woman poet had described someone as "dushie."

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Arlene on 09/24/2014 at 11:23 AM

Re: “More than 31 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS are not getting adequate treatment

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