Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Does the "G" in G-20 Stand for "Ghost Town"?

By Pittsburgh Enigma

Pittsburgh will be hosting a G-20 summit this week on Thursday and Friday, but many businesses will be closing for the duration due to fears for the safety of their employees and fears of property damage. As if this should surprise any city officials. London and Seattle certainly come to mind.

Ghost Town

It was announced last week that the entire "Golden Triangle", the central downtown business district, will be closed to vehicular traffic. The only cars allowed to enter will be residents, and they will have to show ID at one of three police checkpoints. So if don't live downtown, forget going to work -- you can't enter the area.

There are seven bridges that provide access to the Golden Triangle. Only two of those bridges will allow traffic into the city. To call this a traffic nightmare would be an understatement. There have already been reports warning that neighborhoods immediately outside the triangle would be crushed with rerouted traffic. So besides the concerns about employee safety and property damage, some business may just not want to deal with the traffic headaches.

Ghost Of Things To Come

I've been collecting some eyebrow-raising G-20 news snippets for the last several weeks from local news outlets:
* Code Pink was given a permit to set up a "tent city" in Point State Park, a highly visible state park located at the confluence of the three rivers within the "Golden Triangle."

* State police have found two 50-gallon drums of urine in an abandoned warehouse along with battery powered "super soakers", which they believed might have been put there by protesters.

* Officials also found material that they thought might be used to construct a "sleeping dragon", which is a technique used by protesters to chain themselves together to make it more difficult to be disbursed by police.

* The local Central Blood Bank has been sending out e-mails asking for increased blood donation prior to the G-20 "in case of an emergency."

* A federal judge ordered the release of up to 1,000 prisoners (non-violent offenders) from the county jail to make room for protesters that may be arrested this week.

* Pittsburgh City Council rejected a safety proposal that would've disallowed protesters from wearing masks to conceal their identity. So if any news footage captures protesters in the act of vandalizing property, we may not be able to identify them.
One can't help reflecting on how interesting it is that half a million conservative protesters can descend on Washington D.C. with no violence, no property damage and no arrests, yet when the left protests in much smaller numbers, it's almost a guarantee that you will have all of these problems.

Some Mysterious and Sudden Cosmetic Improvements

I live in a part of Pittsburgh known as "Mt. Washington", which is located on a high hill directly across the river from the Golden Triangle and affords a spectacular view of the city. This area will therefore be attracting a lot of the dignitaries and journalists this week.

Back in the early summer, before I was consciously thinking about the upcoming G-20, I started noticing a lot of cosmetic improvements on Mt. Washington. First, there was the cutting of the trees to make it easier to see the city. (Yes, we killed a lot of perfectly good trees.) Then there were sidewalk improvements and street light replacements. And then, our perfectly adequate garbage cans disappeared and were replaced with brand spanking new shiny black trash cans with the words "Taking Care of Business," and under that, "Luke Ravenstahl, Mayor." (Keep in mind, we're essentially a bankrupt city, which may be why our young mayor is sometimes referred to as "The Boy Blunder.") Mrs. Enigma and myself thought that maybe young Luke is angling for the job of Obama's garbage czar.

But I digress... next, the access road connecting Mt. Washington to downtown received a shiny new coat of asphalt. Then, scaffolding appeared around the historic incline building to give the old girl a new coat of paint. And a week or two ago, a lot of "Pittsburgh Welcomes the World" banners appeared on all the light posts along Grand View avenue.

If nothing else, at least my neighborhood will have gotten some improvements as a result of the G-20. Oh wait... did I just hear that my property taxes are going up? So much for a free lunch.


Game Master Rob Adams said...

It does not surprise me in the least that the left would cause mayhem and protest as children whereas the right protests peacefully in DC with double or more the numbers.

*L* at "Garbage Czar"

LL said...

The description is one of a POTEMKIN VILLAGE. The city is broke, but we can raise taxes to make things look good.

Now, the question is one of whether the business drawn to your fair city will justify the expense of police overtime, new trash cans, and the whitewash.

But government doesn't look at things that way because it's not THEIR money that they spend. There are times when I might agree that hosting a G-20 and advertising the city might be worth the cost, however, under the blight of the ObamaNation, now isn't that time.

CrispyRice said...

Didn't I hear that both NYC and Chicago turned down the offer to host this thing? I can't imagine why a city would want to deal with this.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

Unknown said...

PittsburghEnigma: Glad to see that we're not the only ones who put on silly shows instead of fixing the city's real problems. This reminds me of the trip Michelle Obama made to San Francisco to turn over some dirt with a shovel for a photo-op about building a new playground in our Bayview section. If she had come alone to that same area, she'd have been mugged, or worse, within five minutes. "Boy Blunder"--hysterical.

AndrewPrice said...

I have to wonder why cities fall for this? What exactly do you get out of hosting something like this, except extra costs and headaches? They're going to shut down business, inconvenience locals, push budgets to the limit, and for what -- some notoriety that really translates into infamy?

StanH said...

Well PE, better you than me brother. Who in their right mind would invite that gaggle of leftist anarchist into their city …oh that’s right they’re liberals. When the G-20 ends you’ll have to give a report on the mayhem or not.

Tennessee Jed said...

Your comment about reflecting on conservative non-violent protestors versus the damage inflicted when the left is protesting says it all. I think the tea party conservatives a good citizens giving their honest voice to policies they don't like. The left usually involves professional agitators or anarchists. Hopefully, it will be finalized when the zoo comes to your fine city in the Keystone state.

Writer X said...

Code Pink will be attending? Cool! At least they will provide the entertainment. And maybe this time they can paint their protest signs without any spelling errors.

Pittsburgh Enigma said...

I just heard today that much of the security costs will be billed to the federal government, so I won't be paying that bill, all of you will! Ahh ha ha ha! :-D

Also, regarding who is here to protest besides Code Pink, it appears that all the lunatic fringe have come. Among them: Act Now to Stop War & End Racism Coalition (ANSWER), Amnesty International, Bail Out the People movement, Green Party, G6 Billion, International Socialist Organization, National Council for Urban Peace and Empowerment, The People's Summit, People United for Single Payer Health Care, People's Voices, Progressive Democrats of America, Students for a Democratic Society, Thomas Merton Center for Peace and Social Justice, Three Rivers' Climate Convergence, Raging Grannies, and the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

BevfromNYC said...

The names of all the groups sound so non-violent and peaceful. I mean, how violent can a group named "Code Pink" be anyway? Pink is such a non-violent color.

Okay, maybe "Raging Grannies" doesn't sound so non-violent, but they're probably the non-violent ones.

Pittsburgh Enigma said...

UPDATE: GreenPeace illegally rappelled from a major bridge to hang a climate change banner. Police stopped them before they were successful on another bridge.

Read about it here.

AndrewPrice said...

How silly. From the sound of things, they could have gotten permits to put up their banner legally. Of course, then you don't get as much attention.

CrispyRice said...

OMG, it gets crazier and crazier. I can't imagine what the next couple days will be like out there! Good luck Enigma!

Pittsburgh Enigma said...

UPDATE: There've been some windows broken at a PNC Bank, a Boston Market and a KFC. This was during an illegal march staged by a group of anarchists. The irony is that these neighborhoods where property damage is occurring are predominantly liberal, so it's like they're attacking their own. Crazy.

One eyewitness was commenting to the media that she was expecting peaceful protests, but nothing violent like this. She was shocked, shocked! Those who fail to learn from history...

I was watching TV coverage on KDKA News, and I found it interesting that the reporter seemed to be going out of his way to point out that the people destroying the property were the anarchists (about 25% of the protesters) and not the other 75% who are very peaceful. Can you imagine if there had been any violence in D.C. at the tea party march? The entire crowd would have been enthusiastically painted by the media as an out of control angry mob bent on hatred and destruction. Am I wrong?

CrispyRice said...

No, you're absolutely right!

And I'm LMAO @ the person who just assumed the protests would be peaceful. I bet this person had never heard of the G-20 before it came to town. >>eyeroll<<

And hey, you guys are the top story on Drudge right now. Gee, Pittsburgh is looking great! I hadn't thought about it before, but after these images, maybe I'll vacation there soon.

AndrewPrice said...

Pitts, Thanks for the update. It looks they're going to be fighting all week in Pittsburgh.

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