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Michelle Pilecki
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Entries by Michelle Pilecki

Notre Dame Irish Won't Fight for Singers

(8) Comments | Posted November 11, 2009 | 5:51 PM

The home of the "Fighting Irish," the University of Notre Dame, stood strong against the assorted activists who objected to the school's time-honored tradition of inviting the President of the United States, when that particular president was Barack Obama.

There is no shortage of traditions at the...

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G-20 Diary: Hyperbole All Around

(4) Comments | Posted September 26, 2009 | 4:08 PM

Google "Pittsburgh," "G-20" and "riots" and up pop 2,880 results. Maybe the world media were expecting riots. Maybe a lot in the "news" biz actually wanted riots. One particularly clueless legal observer said the police response was "akin to Kent State." Um, yeah, a lot of

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G-20 Diary: Hitting the Fan

(18) Comments | Posted September 24, 2009 | 6:02 PM

Our neighborhood is well used to the sound of helicopters, with three major hospitals within a mile radius. But that occasional sound is now almost constant -- not with medical 'copters as much as the military, police and "news" variety.

I figured to check out the action by heading downtown,...

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G-20 Diary: Exercising or Exorcising Rights?

(1) Comments | Posted September 22, 2009 | 8:56 PM

Let's start with the disclaimer that I'm not only a card-carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union, but also an active volunteer and board member for my local chapter. And if I seem prejudiced in favor of First Amendment rights, so be it.

The G-20 summit...

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G-20 Diary: My Friendly Neighborhood Anarchists

(9) Comments | Posted September 21, 2009 | 11:35 AM

Organized anarchists? OK, we've heard the joke enough times. But, indeed, the anarchists in my neighborhood -- just about four straight, uphill miles from the site of the G-20 summit meeting -- have set up shop. And they have made many of us nervous.

It's not that our...

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Remembering a Fighter for Freedom

(1) Comments | Posted September 1, 2009 | 8:16 PM

Larry Frankel's passing doesn't seem to have made national news, or even a ripple beyond Pennsylvania, where he served the ACLU for some 16 years. He was still with the ACLU, in the Washington DC office, when he was found dead last Friday, apparently of natural causes while...

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'Steeler Country' Has Not Forgotten

(1) Comments | Posted May 21, 2009 | 7:09 PM

AP coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers' visit to the White House omits five special guests: Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper and officers Edward Dent, Steven Hitchings, Stephen Mescan and Robert Provident. Those four, at risk to their lives, were among the first to arrive on the scene...

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Follow-Up: No US 'Thanksgiving' for Respected Scientist

(0) Comments | Posted November 28, 2008 | 11:24 AM

Can the United States really afford to toss away perfectly good physicists? A few months ago I noted the court battle of Dr. Moniem El-Ganayni, a US citizen for some 20 years and a highly respected nuclear physicist who was active in his local communities, both secular...

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A Hate Crime in My Neighborhood?

(8) Comments | Posted October 24, 2008 | 1:45 PM

Hearing that a volunteer for the McCain campaign had been attacked and mutilated in my Pittsburgh neighborhood -- indeed, at the very ATM I most often use -- filled me with embarrassment for such mistreatment of a visitor and sympathy for the pain of a fellow being. Disbelief...

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The Repubs' War on One Particular Scientist

(41) Comments | Posted June 1, 2008 | 5:50 PM

There's a certain amount of irony in the Washington Post's story about "an expert panel of scientists, and audience members, agree[ing] that the United States is losing stature because of a perceived high-level disdain for science." Perceived? That "perception" is well documented in Chris Mooney's book The Republican...

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WaPo Dodges Giving Credit in Academic Scandal Story

(1) Comments | Posted May 8, 2008 | 1:07 PM

I just love the irony that the story in question is about a university giving credit where it most assuredly was not due. Yes, I know it's not unusual for one of the Big Boys in the national media to pick up a story broken and pursued by a news...

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Yinz All Welcome to Pennsy

(10) Comments | Posted March 6, 2008 | 11:40 AM

It's very nice for Michael Smerconish to offer to act as the Welcome Committee for Pennsylvania, but as a Philadelphian he knows rather little about the area west of the Allegheny Mountains. Only someone from Philly would imagine that we say "younz." We have our own dialect, and...

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Catholic Bishops Decry War, But Media More Interested in Sex Scandal

(6) Comments | Posted November 13, 2007 | 2:44 PM

Most traditional media -- the MSM, corporate media, whatever you want to call them -- don't take religion coverage seriously. Unless there's sex involved of course, or financial finagling. Forget about the deeper discussions of the leaders of the spiritual lives of thousands, even millions of Americans. So the election...

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Olympic Pioneer Faced More Racism at Home in U.S. Than in Nazi Germany

(7) Comments | Posted November 2, 2007 | 12:13 PM

John Woodruff deserves more than a footnote in history as Jesse Owens' teammate at the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany. The tall college freshman, after his amazing win at the Olympics, went on to a life of service, both in the military and in the private...

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Catholic University Forces NPR Station to Refuse Funding From Planned Parenthood

(23) Comments | Posted October 12, 2007 | 6:50 PM

I can't believe I just cancelled my membership to my local NPR station. Not only have I long been a member of WDUQ in Pittsburgh, but also I spent part of my undergraduate career working there while a student at Duquesne University. Yep, I'm hardcore Catholic: RC elementary...

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John Mackey Follows in Footsteps of Andrew Carnegie

(2) Comments | Posted July 12, 2007 | 4:39 PM

What's the big fuss over the Whole Foods CEO badmouthing a company so he could lessen its value before he bought it? It's a tactic well over a century old, e.g. when Carnegie Steel acquired a competitor in 1890.

The Duquesne Works were superior to the Carnegie mills...

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Update on the Mister Rogers Smear

(23) Comments | Posted July 11, 2007 | 10:42 PM

Apparently Fox News also felt compelled (according to Think Progress) to join the Wall Street Journal in blaming the late Fred Rogers for the alleged raging sense of entitlement among young adults today, as I lamented in an earlier post.

Both Fox and the WSJ cited

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Global Climate Change Whacks Local Menu, Cows

(9) Comments | Posted July 11, 2007 | 4:19 PM

I like blueberries. And fresh trout. Oh, and I'm pretty much addicted to milk and other dairy products. Well, all those and more are threatened to suffer and/or disappear from Pennsylvania according to a new peer-reviewed report, Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment, from the Union of Concerned Scientists (short...

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Misunderstanding Mister Rogers

(6) Comments | Posted July 5, 2007 | 4:48 PM

One of the perks of working with the folks around the late Fred Rogers and his Neighborhood was watching the reactions of young adults meeting him for the first time. Whether punkish or preppy, each and every one turned into a delighted four-year-old in the presence of the...

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Who Invests in Terrorism-Sponsoring States?

(4) Comments | Posted June 29, 2007 | 2:36 PM

Without a great deal of MSM notice, the US Security and Exchange Commission earlier this week announced a new tool to help investors find "information directly from company disclosure documents about their business interests in countries the U.S. Secretary of State has designated 'State Sponsors of Terrorism,'" i.e....

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