Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Let's be honest. The MWBT&PC is an opinionated bunch. That's clearly implied in the Brain Trust part of the charter. The question is, are we as good as we think we are?
The Washington Post is hosting an essay competition titled "America's Great Next Pundit" (the title alone shows how desperate they are for new talent). I think this is a great opportunity to get some national exposure for the MWBT&PC. Each member should enter this competition. The WP will start by choosing ten finalists, and clearly, there is a great chance that all of us make it to this next round.
So, the gauntlet is thrown. I challenge each and every one of thee to enter the AGNP competition at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/opinions/pundit-contest/index.html
May the best brain trustee win....
"I've got a new game. Everybody dies." - Jimmy Detillo
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Which victim of the Polish Hill Strangler was most tragic?
Arlene Dunn- 0%
Cheryl Putnam- 14%
Paula Puglusi- 0%
Constance (Connie) Cabrizi- 57%
Kim Lee- 28%
Striking Distance fans have voted! And the overwhelming result (or poll tampering on the part of Pipe von Pipenstein) is that flight attendent and former love interest of Tom Hardy, Constance "Connie" Cabrizi was believed to be the most tragic of the losses incured by the notorious Polish Hill Strangler in the blockbuster action-drama-mystery Striking Distance. Strangely, she only appears twice in the film, once when being pulled from the river, and again in an autographed photo, which is a tad strange because she was a flight attendent. How come none of my flight attendents nor love interests ever get me autographed photos? (Sally Wiggin aside.) The overwhelming support of "Connie" from our voters was likely due to the tearful reaction of our protagonist Tom Hardy. He knew the other girls that he pulled from the icy embrace of Pittsburgh's waterways, yet had the most emotional response toward Constance. She must have meant something special to him. He even called her "Connie."
Not surprisingly Arlene Dunn received no votes. She was an indentified victim of the Polish Hill Strangler's first wave of terror. She did not physically appear in the film, though Sally Wiggin does mention her.
Cheryl Putnam, received a small portion of the vote, most likely due the graphic protrayal of her kidnapping while being taunted by a remote-control Police Car and listening to the 1966 hit "Little Red Riding Hood," by Sam the Sham and the Pharohs. This opening scene fades out as her lifeless body is thrown over damn number 6 on the Allegheny River.
Paula Puglosi received no votes. This is awfully surprising because she is one of the only victims with lines in the film. Struck down by that dastardly TASER after leaving her nursing shift, she never even made it to the Bucco's game.
Kim Lee rightfully received 28% of the vote. Her character was developed to a minor degree, and had some great one-liners ("kinda like when you turn it off;" "Not what you'd expect;" etc.) Her death raises some questions like, did she at one time have a relationship with Hardy? This is much debated amongst Striking Distance Scholars.
Thanks for voting (not poll tampering). A new poll will go up later this week, and suggestions for future polls are appreciated.
"He's putting them in the water so I'll find them! He wants ME to find these girls!"
Monday, August 17, 2009
"...Police Department, zone one, Sergeant Roberts.
The Polish Hill Strangler has claimed a fourth victim.
The nude body of Arlene Dunn was recovered from the Ohio River.
Police had been alerted to the crimes by the killer, who taunts them by playing the song "Little Red Riding Hood".
The police brutality trial of Detective Jimmy Detillo is over.
Detillo was convicted for the beating of Leon Watson. Watson remains in a coma.
The key to the conviction was the testimony of Detillo's partner and cousin Thomas Hardy.
Hardy testified that his partner used unwarranted force..."
by Lord Johnson
"You may work across the river now, but I know where you came from. Remember that!"
"I love the surrounding areas of the city. It's a beautiful part of the world."
"I've had all the obvious stuff like Primanti Brothers and all that stuff, which is disgusting and fun but you never want to do it more than once."
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
CBS is launching a new show set in Pittsburgh this fall called Three Rivers. CBS describes it as
a medical drama that goes inside the emotionally complex lives of organ donors, the recipients and the surgeons at the preeminent transplant hospital in the country where every moment counts. However, dealing with donor families in their darkest hour and managing the fears and concerns of apprehensive recipients takes much more than just a sharp scalpel.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Five city employees were fired this week, even though they performed their jobs well nor did anything wrong on the job. Their only crime was being a criminal.
The Pittsbugh Post-Gazette has been reporting this case for a fortnight, yet has failed to work-up its typical furor over the incident, probably realizing that in some fashion they were the catalyst for the firings of these hard-working city employees.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette made a hullabaloo in Rich Lord’s July 12 article “Pittsburgh’s Public Works lacking discipline consistency” wherein a city employee who was arrested for a drug charge in 2007 was later fired for the Bull-Shit reason that he failed to mark on his city employment application that he was charged with a felony in his youth. They should have just fired him for the drug thing, but there are protocols to deal with, so they used this much easier way: firing him for providing false info on his application. He complained, and rightfully so, that the city was acting inconsistently in firing him, because there were other city employees who were also convicted criminals who failed to 'check the felon box' on their employment applications and were still working for the city.
In the aftermath of the story, other news outlets demanded to see worker lists and background checks. The city and Mayor, in typical reactionary fashion, found six more convicted felons that failed to ‘check the felon box’ on their applications, and were originally all suspended. Five were fired Monday. (See Pittsburgh Dept of Public Works suspends no-tell payrollers, July 14.)
What’s crazy is that these firings come after quotes from city Operations Diretor Art Victor like:
"Certainly the public trust issue is something that we always consider," Mr. Victor said. "But again, you have to balance that against the fact that you can't discriminate against somebody just solely based on their history."
But that’s presicely what they have done, for the sake of consistency. And…
[the city] "can't have a blanket statement or blanket policy that we're not going to hire anybody who has a felony conviction. We would be consigning people to a life sentence for something that they've already paid the price for."
Exactly! As one of the fired workers said,
"My record is clean, even my city record. I've never even been late."
So the real question is…
"When is somebody's debt to society paid?" as asked by Teamsters Local 249 Vice President Joe Rossi, "Where do we draw the line?"
I say we draw the line at removing the “felon box” from city applications. There is a reason former felons don't check the felon box: They don't get hired! A small lie can mean the difference between a potential interview, and your application in the recycling bin. Public works isn’t out there providing child care or even handling money, or other high risk jobs. Public Works trims trees, collects garbage, paints, sweeps streets, drives trucks. These are not jobs that a criminal record should even be considered about. If somebody’s debt to society has been paid, it is our job as a society to help reintegrate them back into life. It’s the most rehabilitative thing we could do. I say re-hire the fired employees, and at a policy level, I say Ban the Box!
"They're gonna throw the book at him, Nick. Your son or not."
~Mr. Gunther, esq.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
So my campaign to bring Pearls Before Swine to the Sunday Comics Page of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper has so far been unsuccessful. We at the Mt. Washington Brain Trust & Pipe Club have long complained about the continued presence of strips such as Mary Worth and Rex Morgan M.D. in the comics page. Meanwhile the humorous and irreverent social commentary on the lives of a Pig, Mouse, Crocodile and ‘Zeeba,’ as scribed by Stephan Pastis, fails to make the Sunday cut.
To quote Harry Liller “I’m amazed at what goes on!”
Mary Worth is boring. And Pearls Before Swine points this out in wonderful fashion in today’s strip [July 21, 2009.] Enjoy. (or click on the comic to have a link to the daily Pearls Before Swine site)
Ha! He puts her in a closet! That mouse is crazy!
So come on Post-Gazette! Drop Mary Worth, and replace it with Pearls Before Swine.
By Lord Johnson
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
There are many great blog posts about the Pittsburgh Police Force and its valiant heroes: Noble men and women who put their lives on the line each and every day defending the innocent, protecting our streets and bringing justice to lawbreakers.
Unfortunately this post is not about one of those.
Below we will look at the complicated character that is Eddie Eiler. (Wow! What a great piece of original Striking Distance art graciously provided by Mario Zucca, who's work can be found at www.mariozucca.com)
Detective Eddie Eiler served the Pittsburgh Police Department for many years eventually rising to the rank of homicide detective. While his early years are shrouded in mystery, it is generally believed that his wife was unfaithful with his one-time partner. His animosity toward one Tom Hardy has lead some to infer that animosity between Eiler and Hardy stems back to an affair between Mrs. Eiler and Mr. Hardy. This is all conjecture and highly refuted by some Striking Distance scholars. Regardless, their antagonistic relationship would only intensify over the years.
The cuckolded Eddie Eiler allowed his bitterness to cloud his judgment regarding Tom Hardy’s actions as an officer years later when Hardy turned in fellow officer Jimmy Detillo. Hardy, bound by the family creed of “loyalty above all else… except honor” felt he had no choice but to testify against his cousin and partner for harshly interrogating a suspect. Indeed, the honorable Judge Helen Kramer would have sentenced Jimmy for conduct unbecoming an officer had he not thrown himself from the Sewickly Bridge.
Eddie Eiler so enraged by the apparent betrayal of a Pittsburgh police officer, took every opportunity to express his displeasure with good Mr. Hardy. His outbursts were frequent, and came in the form of verbal beratings and cheap shot punches at policemen galas. Apparently Eiler valued loyalty above even honor, when it came to the police force.
His final redeeming moment came at the end of the film. He offered himself up as a lamb ready to be sacrificed. But, alas, Tom Hardy is not the forgiving type.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Me: Does this bus stop at the incline?
Crazy Bus Driver (CBD): Does this bus stop at the incline?
Me: Um, yes. The incline?
CBD: Does this bus stop at the incline?!
Me: (puzzled look)
CBD: It stopped there last night didn't it?!
CBD: You asked me the same question last night!
Me: Uh, I didn't take a bus last night. I walked.
CBD: HA! (And not an I'm-being-funny Ha!, it was a yeah-right-you-LIAR HA!)
I'll be honest, it takes a lot to get me stunned. Especially silent and stunned. But in my defense, the guy looked like a loon, and the whole thing was a little surreal. And now that I got over being stunned, I would like to say that I do not pay a million dollars a month (slight exaggeration) to be yelled at by a Crazy Bus Driver! Thank you.
2. On to the rave- no amount of hassle by a crazy bus driver can diminish the joy I experienced today from eating at the Chicken Latino in the Strip District. It was DELICIOUS!!! Soooo delicious. The chicken was fantastic and the sweet fried plantains were out of this world.
With food like that one, this city must truly be the Most Liveable City in the Universe! (Way better than chocolate ice cream.)
By: Lady Rivera