One quarter of the 21st century will be over in just three years, but old-fashioned demagoguery never seems to fall out of fashion. For an example, look to Republican gubernatorial candidate Lou Barletta. His campaign has sent out press releases warning about planeloads of “illegal immigrants” being flown into airports at Scranton and in the Lehigh Valley. He further asserts the flights are secret and demonstrate “disregard for Pennsylvanians.” Only problem, though, is the flights are not secret, and consist of refugee children being reunited with parents or being placed with sponsors. U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, a Democrat from the Scranton area, pointed out that there is nothing nefarious about such flights and they have been happening through multiple presidential administrations. There’s something about using refugee children as a campaign weapon that is a bit distasteful.

Pittsburgh has not always had the best reputation when it comes to race relations, but it made a historic step forward on Monday with the inauguration of Ed Gainey as the city’s first Black mayor. Pittsburgh has lagged behind other major metropolitan areas on this front, with Los Angeles, Atlanta and Detroit having had their first Black mayors in the 1970s, Chicago and Philadelphia having had their first Black mayors in the 1980s, and New York and Houston, Texas, following in the 1990s. In his inaugural address, Gainey promised that he would work toward increasing economic opportunity and inclusivity within Pittsburgh and make the city more affordable for all residents. Pittsburgh’s success has an impact across the region, so we wish Gainey the best of luck.

Since the violence in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has been reviewing all 2,500 historical markers around the commonwealth to determine if racist or sexist language needs to be removed, or if factual errors need to be corrected or historical context provided. So far, just two markers have been removed, another two have been revised and new text has been ordered for two. According to a story from the Associated Press, one of the markers that was taken down was located in Pittsburgh’s Point State Park and said a battle that occurred there in 1758 “established Anglo-Saxon supremacy in the United States.” Another referred to Continental Army Maj. Gen. Anthony Wayne as an “Indian fighter.” Diane Turner, curator of the Charles C. Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple University in Philadelphia, told the AP, “By being able to tell everybody’s story, it’s good for society as a whole. It’s not to take away from anybody else. Let’s have these stories, because the more truth we have, the better.”

The old adage has it that honesty is the best policy, and that is something that disgraced business superstar Elizabeth Holmes might now be pondering. On Monday, the founder of the now-defunct blood-testing company Theranos was found guilty on four counts of fraud for wringing money out of investors on the strength of claims that were – to put it diplomatically – not entirely accurate. The Stanford University drop-out was able to get almost $1 billion in funding by claiming that a minimally invasive blood test would be able to detect a menu of ailments. But the house of cards she constructed came tumbling down after investigative work by The Wall Street Journal in 2015 found that Theranos was not all it was cracked up to be. Jessica Dickler with CNBC summed it up simply: “Sometimes an investment is too good to be true.”

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