Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday: Prospecting

So this is what's going on.


1. The Huddler writes about the Parking for Pensions notion:

The Huddler gives Mayor Luke a big old atta boy! Good stuff. Now we need Harrisburg to fix the law on this one. Mayor’s such as Tom Murphy should not be allowed to give away the house by increasing pension benefits WITHOUT funding them. In addition Pennsylvania has more public employee pensions systems than any other state. With administrative costs doubling and tripling those of most funds. The fat cats are getting rich at the expense of taxpayers, public employees, and retirees. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!!!!! The Mayor has presented an idea here, let’s see where he goes with it?

The anonymous blogger is currently flying a City of Pittsburgh flag, followed by a Republic of Ireland flag, followed by Union Yes banner and finally an iconic Obama portrait with the caption, Progress. If many more like the Huddler are out for justice, the greedy amongst us should be sore afraid.

2. WWVB touched off a storm with this:

Our schools have days when students wear Black And Gold™ and we indoctrinate them so they grow up to be Steelers fans, and - unless they move away to find work - our children grow up to support the taxes, subsidies, and give-aways that our politicians provide to this business. Good little Steelers fans!

Just to be clear, this isn't what the Comet would say.

Yes, most politicians find a way to make good use of the "bread and circuses" aspect of governing, but doesn't mean that Steelers indoctrination at an early age is a bad thing, nor that a lifelong love-affair with a sports franchise is at all bad. It's an entirely healthy and useful instinct which instills solidarity and common purpose, and it can even be used to pass along civic virtues.

The only problems arise in how the teams themselves conduct their business -- and I don't think most Pittsburghers have a problem separating. Most of us hate the Pirates with good cause, are extremely wary about the Steelers as a business entity, and are getting a little bit sick of the Penguins already.

The Pens played on our anxieties excellently -- masterfully! -- to get their 28 acres and exclusive development credits, but on a day-to-day governing basis, I think all these sports teams are paper tigers.

3. Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents wrote a fantastic blog post, and "Franklin King" (among others) wrote a great comment underneath it:

Thanks for reminding us that with civil rights come civil responsibilities. That would include running legal, safe businesses and following the rules when it comes to compliance with local laws and ordinances. We want Allegheny County business owners to play fair when hiring gay people or renting to gay people. Our own businesses have to play fair, too. Equality is not a half-step.

I saw the piece of KDKA last night and my stomach sank. Even if these businessmen were not engaged in illegal activities at their club, it is very discouraging that they used political play to avoid the building inspection. It just reinforces that there's something sordid and naughty about gay sex.

As a white heterosexual male, let me just say that nothing is more gratifying than to hear a member of any minority group step forward and say, "Sometimes, some of us can be a little defensive." Ah, sweetness and peace.

"Henrieta" responding to Franklin's comment on Sue's post:

Such language. Responsibility. Next you'll be asking local gay business owners to demonstrate moral courage.

Let me say another thing. Regardless of what else happens, I think it is important to preserve Club Pittsburgh as a gay and civic amenity. It may be one of the rare and valuable things which makes Pittsburgh qualify as a major cultural center. If they do it in New York and Europe, right?

How can Club Pittsburgh adapt to its civic namesake, and vice-versa? That is an issue for its owners and for our city officials.


  1. Thank you for the props, Bram. The comments on Adam's post are interesting. I don't see the value in debating how safe the sex practices are at a bathhouse if they potentially engage in equally lethal illegal activities. Would Mr. Pettway's death be any more tragic if his condom broke? I don't get that line of reasoning. The hysteria about the AFA is unwarranted precisely because we are doing a good enough job of destroying ourselves from within.

    Perhaps some of this righteous indignation should be held in reserve for the other Mr. Pettways who visit Club Pittsburgh expecting that the owners comply with all local health, safety and zoning regulations. These men are legitimately paying to play and they deserve to do so safely.

    A bowlful of condoms doesn't protect anyone from government corruption.

  2. I really don't get the argument that Pittsburgh's world-class status depends on the local availability of a gay bathhouse. You know, Paris is the dog poop capital of the world, but I'll stand by Pittsburgh's K9 clean-up law, no matter how provincial some elites may find it.

    I'd like to think that Bram is just kidding, but his persistent Club Pittsburgh horn tooting argues otherwise.