Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Marty Griffin vs. Joseph King.

Now that I've officially returned to my routine schedule, there's likely to be an influx of political stuff on Serendipity once again. I enjoyed having my self-imposed media blackout for a few weeks, but now that I'm back in my vehicle for extended periods of time, being informed is almost unavoidable. Yet I'm still relegated to hack conservative talk radio, as I refuse to pony up for Sirius or some other type of satellite service. I suppose that suits my temperament. Sometimes I enjoy getting riled up over the issues. Whether I've got Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck or Sean Hannity on the national airways, or some of the local dupes from KDKA... I'll always have something to scream about.

So what is it nowadays? I've heard Rush flogging the "life begins at conception" routine, what with Nancy Pelosi citing a centuries-long controversy over abortion within the Roman Catholic Church. But that's as stale as convenience store fare. It's not something that's likely to change in most people's minds. So switching over to AM 1020, I've got Marty Griffin at lunch time. I've already communicated my enmity for this guy. He's one of the most egregious pseudo-populists on the air. His claims to non-partisanship notwithstanding, he consistently advocates for the most conservative suburban politics available. Every time he identifies himself as a native-Pittsburgher (he was born in Shadyside), it makes me want to puke.

His latest anti-city agenda concerns the new collective bargaining agreement for Pittsburgh firefighters. Griffin's got a beef with union president Joseph King over residential requirements for local employees. Apparently to apply for a position in the department, one must be a current city resident in Pittsburgh. Marty Griffin finds this stipulation onerous. He claims that it is an example of the type of "old school" regulation that holds the 'Burgh back. He would like to see out-of-towners have equal access to all city jobs. His current opposition to the application process is merely an incrementalist strategy aimed at eliminating any requirements for city employees to live within the city limits.

This comes as no surprise to anyone who has listened to this idiot for any significant period of time. He's an uncompromising advocate for suburban/exurban sprawl. He chooses to live in Mt. Lebanon so as to escape the problems he has with the inner city. That's fine, but he continues to chime in on urban issues, as if he has any substantial insights grounded in personal experience. The arguments he uses to support his positions confound any reasonable definition of rationality. He's actually claiming that the lack of racial proportionality within the firefighter force is a result of limiting employment to city residents. This flies in the face of common sense, as the number of blacks outside of the city is minimal compared to inside of it.

Griffin goes on to point out that NYC has no residential requirements for its firefighting department. He claims that if that's good enough for the "Big Apple", then it should fit here as well. Meanwhile he conveniently glosses over the fact that firemen in our nation's cultural center generally cannot afford to live in the more desirable parts of the 5 boroughs on their salary. But why let reality get in the way of advocacy? Griffin's suggestions to "improve" this city (which he is constantly trashing) always entail throwing benefits to those who live outside of the city limits. KDKA claims to be the "Voice of Pittsburgh", but then continually hires talking heads from the suburbs/exurbs. They should face a class action suit for willful deception.

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