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sean mcdaniel

sam, the only thing i've ever slammed you about is the hypocrisy of working for a university that contributes little to the city and county tax coffers...and that exploits and abuses its non-profit tax advantages in ways that give local corporations, developers, and sports teams wet dreams and small businesses and land owners nightmares.

seriously, take a look around at how pitt and upmc have destroyed oakland as a neighborhood...derelict landloads and shabby student rental properties...dirty streets and high crime rates...impossible rents that local residents and businesses struggle to pay before giving up...the disappearance of landmarks such as the syria mosque (thanks to the political shenanigans and secrecy of UPMC) and those mom and pop that you love that got swallowed up by starbucks, panera and quizno's.

maybe pitt doesn't have to rely on eminent domain to get the property it wants...because it doesn't have to. who in the city, county or state wants to stand in the way of the 800-pound economic gorilla in the community? by the way, the university has tried to use eminent domain many times (sometimes successfully), but the locals fought hard and won a few times. still, in the end, pitt usually gets what it wants.and as the number of permanent residents continues to decline, pitt will have an easier time steamrolling through the neighborhood.

so does that mean i'm anti-pitt? not at all. i'm glad it's here. but tell me something, how have the people of oakland benefited from pitt...other than maybe those who work there — and since the permanent population of central oakland is miniscule, that's not many? do they get into events at the petersen cheaper? do they get tuition breaks? did they get a shopping district that's little more than a suburban strip mall for older teens these days (of course, unless every little old italian lady is wearing the new balance shoes she bought next to panera on her way to jo mama's for dinner). pitt has turned oakland into the type of neighborhood you hate. a declining residential area with no real business district or amenities for the locals and far too many cars. it's just a place where most of the people just show up for work or school each day and then head home to the suburbs or real neighborhoods like regent square or bloomfield. and it's the home for a monolithic presence that benefits from significant government tax breaks. and you know it. even the O is dying in the face of the chain restaurants (and the anti-smoking/food nazis you rant about).

what you'll hear me bitch about is people who bitch about others getting breaks and then mention nothing about the big-time advantages of the corporations they work for and benefit from.

(and yeah, if pitt isn't a corporation these days, what is it? how many corporate heads in this town make more than nordenberg...and what area company employs more people? and to think, pitt does all that without really generating the type of income or revenue other companies must rely on to stay in business. when pitt needs more money...it just hikes tutition another 8 percent each year or asks the state for more. and do i ever hear you mention that, in comparison, pitt costs far more for in-state residents than similar schools in other states charge for their homebred students? why is that, sam? do you know? yes, i know pitt is merely state related. but why does it cost so much in comparison? since it gets so many breaks, shouldn't it return the favor in some way?)

so... should we continue to give pitt breaks because it's a huge economic engine for the region? hell yeah, and exactly for that reason...but within reason...and that's my point about all subsidies. within reason. i feel the same way about PNC...even though it is a money-making proposition.

as for my purity...what a laugh. my clients include chevron and some other "evil" corporations (but not halliburton or wal-mart, even i have my standards). but i'm not bitching about the price of gas...but i do think it's ridiculous to hear people driving SUVs from cranberry to their job at pitt complain about how much they spend to fill their tanks each week. as if they can't figure out why. just like you can't admit that oakland really isn't anything more than an educational RIDC park in the city. sure, it has a library and a museum and a ...uh...uh...damn...oh yeah, a pretty carousel!

(about the big oil client, i stopped driving to work years ago when i worked downtown and didn't like paying $3 a day for parking. and when i got fed up with crowded buses...that's when i started biking...for reasons of economy and convenience. do i think the price of gas is ridiculously high, not really. do i think that oil company profits are obscenely high? not really? do i think that tom hanks doesn't deserve $25 million a movie, not really! do i think it's ridiculous for you to tilt at the subsidy windmill when the middle east is ready to explode...well sort of...but not too much since i'm constantly adding fuel to the fire. but we're all kind of ridiculous for playing this silly parlor game that accomplishes nothing. we should all just have beers at that great little neighborhood bar that used to be on the corner of bouquet street when i used to go to games at forbes field.)

as for the qualifications of the grad student teacher versus the full blown professor, as a rule, i'll take the guy with the experience...whether it's in a classroom or the OR. and so would you...at least if your kids' future education or health was concerned, in either case. and sure, there's always an exception.

as for my kids making decisions...do they really have a choice? do they know who's a grad student? and whatever the case, all i do is pay the tuition. i don't pick the classes for them. but you know as well as i do, that the most complaints you'll see online at rate my professor are for grad students or the assoc. profs. and you'll hear those same complaints out loud in the student union...if you're brave enough to listen.

sam, you're really gonna go crazy if you keep paying so much attention to everything.

sean mcdaniel


may i make a modest proposal?

block me from your blog!

i spend too much time here...

because i find you irresistably annoying and amusing.


Amos the Poker Cat

Oh, ye, of little strength, block thyself.

Seriously, I should thank Sean for typing in only lower case. It makes recognizing his posts easy, so I can just scroll down past yet another 1000 word rant.

I guess brevity really is the soul of wit.

sean mcdaniel

Hey Amos, you still think that the terrorists aren't coming after us in the U.S.?

Been watching the news about the terrorists in the UK? Sounds as though that Bush plan of taking the fight to them isn't quite working the way you think it is?

You think the Bush administration won't find an Iran link here, so that they can take the fight to them...in yet another country?

Hey, I just discovered that my fingers can reach those shift keys!

Amos the Poker Cat

Rats, someone needs to hide your shift key. Well, at less you limited yourself to less than you usually kilo-word rant. We fight them where we find them. Of course, you would just withdraw from the world.

sean mcdaniel

Amos sez (referring to terrorists)
"We fight them where we find them."

Damn, well, we're finding them everywhere these days, my friend. Looks like GW is on the right track...except for that bit in today's PG that he wanted to divert $6 million from beefing up security measures to detect, surprise, liquid explosives in favor of more protection of government buildings here in the states. Sounds like a stupid move in light of this week's events...unless he knows something about attacks on government buildings here that we don't know...which would mean the terrorists are here. But that couldn't be...we took the fight to them in Iraq and Afganistan...so they wouldn't bring it to us.

Sometimes, a country might need to withdraw from the world...instead of meddling so damn much in the affairs of other nations.

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