A Jew in Pittsburgh retires, but being Jewish he wants to stay busy and keep doing good works, as Jews are prone to do — for better or worse. So the retired Pittsburgh Jew starts cleaning up litter. His efforts lead him to establish a highly efficient, citywide, citizen-based, volunteer litter-removal program. Then, one day in September of last year, the Jew gets a call from the State Department.

The stunned Pittsburgh retiree, at a loss for why he would be hearing from the State Department, is told the following (as he related it to me):

“We have learned about the success you and your city have had in reducing litter and hope to include Pittsburgh as one of four locations in the U.S for filming,” wrote a state department officer. The subject of a follow-up letter after an initial phone call was: November visit by Kosovo TV crew to film anti-littering efforts in Pittsburgh.

In the State Department’s tireless efforts to fix Kosovo’s image, if not its terrorist nature, here Foggy Bottom is trying help Kosovo at least look like a state.

The November visit didn’t materialize, since the other three cities to be visited by the Kosovo film crew weren’t ready, so the documentary film shoot is now scheduled for April. Here is this week’s article about the development, from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “City litter crusader chosen to teach Kosovo some lessons

The waves that Shadyside resident Boris Weinstein has made with his Citizens Against Litter campaign have reached the U.S. State Department.

From stewarding his own neighborhood’s cleanup, Mr. Weinstein has built a “redd-up” network that the State Department chose among four across the country to feature in a film. The purpose is to raise public consciousness among the people of Kosovo, said Jay Richter, a TV production officer with the State Department.

A film crew from a Pristina station will film in Pittsburgh during the April 17-21 cleanup. Mr. Weinstein has 80 city neighborhoods committed so far, plus 63 boroughs and townships in Allegheny and Beaver counties.

The other cities on the film crew’s itinerary are Portland, Ore., Austin, Texas, and the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., area.

Mr. Richter said the State Department brings TV crews — generally public-funded ones — from developing countries to film on topics of concern.

“Kosovo is almost a country,” he said. It is part of Serbia. Both were part of the former Yugoslavia.

Mr. Richter said State Department officers in Kosovo have been appalled by the proclivities the residents there have for littering their streets and dumping garbage in the open.

“There was a feeling that if they could do something as basic as getting people to start taking care of the environment, that would help spur other initiatives that would start to bring their society back,” he said.

Fighting in the region in the 1990s destroyed municipal systems, he said.

“There was so much destruction to the fabric of society. Some people take care of things; not everything is a disaster,” Mr. Richter said. “But from what I’ve been told, there’s not a lot of motivation.

“People sometimes dump their trash on a yard of an abandoned house.” [And on unabandoned church grounds and Christian cemeteries!]

As he was researching anti-litter campaigns on the Internet, he said, “Boris and Citizens Against Litter popped up. I have yet to find any other example that’s so well organized and motivated.” He said the initial plan was to come last fall, but that “Mr. Weinstein’s Citizens were the only ones who were ready” and the crew needed more cities.

That the State Department took notice, said Mr. Weinstein [who also chairs the Clean Pittsburgh Commission], “obviously I’m thrilled, probably as much for the city as anyone. I just think it’s a tremendous compliment to us all.”

It is, and Mr. Weinstein should be proud. At the same time, I’m not thrilled about the Muslim-favoring, Jew-killing State Department calling on a Jew to help with their Islamic Frankenstein’s monster. One hopes that one of the lessons the film crew will get from the Pittsburgh volunteer group is that Christian cemeteries and churches aren’t trash cans.

Mr. Weinstein describes his mission thus:

The premise was: Start small. If a program such as this can be successful in one neighborhood, it can be replicated. From a simple, unselfish idea: “People who care must pick up for people who don’t”, has grown into the mission of my little group…To inspire people throughout the city and region to collect litter and connect neighborhoods.

About people who care versus those who don’t, below is a paragraph from an International Herald Tribune article, which shows excuses being given for the litter rather than solutions — via the usual, fix-all serum (independence) that the Kosovo-Albanian leadership likes to point to every time evidence is given that the province meets not a single standard for self-determination:

Kosovo’s argument that it cannot clear the litter and fix the roads without independence is nonsense. It is, in essence, facing the choice of whether it wants to resemble the bloodied Palestinian territories or glittering Taiwan.

I mentioned the litter problem in a previous post titled “Bush Didn’t Inhale“, and recall this travel article telling you not to be put off by Pristina’s “muddy trash-strewn streets.” This DVD series of eight short documentaries shows how Serbian church grounds and cemeteries are used as dumping grounds.