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Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, 8:53 p.m.

Root conundrum: Now that next month's Super Bowl matchup is set, Steeler Nation finds itself between a record and an animosity — root for the San Francisco 49ers to defeat the dastardly Baltimore Ravens (and thus root for the 49ers to tie Pittsburgh's record six titles) or root for the Ravens (and thus root for a flock of dastardly birds that usually are the necessary object of ire). Swallow hard. Hold your nose. And wish the dirty birds every success.

Jammed brains: In a Friday smearitorial, The Toledo, Ohio, Block Bugler called the National Rifle Association “one of the nation's biggest schoolyard bullies.” It went on to erroneously equate semiautomatic weapons with “machine guns” and claim that there's no constitutional right to possess “large magazines” of ammunition. On Sunday, it claimed the NRA's popularity, now exploding, is “sinking” and said even Nazi wretch Joseph Goebbels “would have spurned” the kind of “propaganda” the NRA has “unleashed.” Sick is one thing. Stupid is another.

South Side solutions: Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl says public safety “blitzes” will continue on the South Side for “as long as it takes” to restore a semblance of order to the increasingly rowdy and ribald behavior. That's all well and good. But the better approach would have been and will be to have an ongoing and consistent police and public safety inspection presence that prevents big messes rather than trying to mop up messes after the fact.

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