So the time is here for some tough choices that a lot of you aren't going to like - cutting or doing away with social spending. A new word will be introduced to America - "work" and "responsibility for one's actions," and it's about time.
A message to the following on your Dec. 29 opinion pages: columnists Molly Ivins and Linda Wright Moore; Sylvia Lee Metzler (Guest Opinion); cartoonists Steve Benson, Herblock and Jim Berry:
Get with it. Your time has passed. Newt is in charge.
JOHN P. SALVATO SR.
PRAISE FOR OUR MUMMERS COVERAGE; BOOS FOR MAYOR AND MARKET STREET
Congratulations again to Daily News staff writers Frank Dougherty, Ron Goldwyn and Ed Barkowitz for their excellent in-depth coverage of the 1995 Mummers' Parade.
Along with my two sons, brothers and brother-in-law, all veteran Mummers fans, I found the pre-parade insert a fantastic guide to getting around the new route on Market Street. I felt there was no way the People Paper could top last year's pre- and post-parade coverage, but the Daily News reigns again. (Are you listening, Inky?)
I wish I could say the same for the television coverage. It was a pitiful performance, to say the least. The picture was lost on three occasions during the ever-popular string band time slot, and the on-air talent during the same period was shameful.
I just wanted to thank you for nothing. You ruined the Mummers Parade and don't even realize you did anything wrong. You just had to dig up Broad Street so you could have the Avenue of the Arts, but don't you realize the Mummers Parade is art? The men and women work their butts off for one special day of the year.
You said it would bring more people, but when I was walking up Market Street, I could count the people on one hand, and at City Hall, so many people were smashed together you couldn't have a good time. This year for you was all about bringing tourists in to see this spectacular event, but what about the people who support this organization - Philadelphians?
The Mummers were better off on Broad Street. I know and realize Market Street is a shorter route, and more souvenirs are sold, but I miss the traditional walk down the roads. I've seen almost all of the parades since I was very little. If you bring the parade back to Broad Street, more people will probably see it.
Yo, Ed, keep your nose out of everybody's business. Let the Mummers march on Broad Street.
You may be America's mayor but not Philadelphia's choice next time.
JAMES W. MERK
The one Mummers Parade incident that bothers me most is what happened to the Froggy Carr New Year's Band.
I understand Mayor Rendell wanted to restrain the drinking, but why is it that Froggy Carr was at 8th and Market streets when the police confiscated their U-Haul truck at 5th and Market, taking 72 cases of beer and 15 cases of sodas (for the 100 children marching with the brigade) and more than 200 sandwiches.
If the city was trying to make a point to Philadelphians, why not take the alcohol from all the brigades, as well as the bystanders? This was unnecessary, and the force used should be investigated.
Of all the years I have been a spectator at Mummers Parades, never before have I witnessed the disrespect shown to South Philadelphians by our mayor and the Police Department.
It's obvious that there's no place like Broad Street for the Mummers to march. I'm sure Mayor Rendell will never be forgotten for the faux pas.
However, I'd like to voice my displeasure over the Froggy Carr club, demeaning the image of Duke the Dalmatian. It was a good idea, I suppose, to honor Duke by saluting him, but it backfired, because instead of a dignified, somber note (which obviously would have been out of the question here), a gang of 300 guys prancing around, hollering about the beer that was confiscated and the captain who was detained, didn't do any honor to the dog. I doubt if anyone watching the parade even knew, or cared, about Duke.
To Stu Bykofsky goes a tip of the hat for marching with these "clowns." I hope Duke's memory was not forgotten in this revelry. It just was not the proper place.
CLEAN BUT CRUEL
Elaine Kaler (Dec. 19 letter in defense of Hegins, the Pennsylvania town known for its annual recreational pigeon slaughter):
You say Hegins streets are clean, and the crime rate low. I can't see how that excuses cruelty to animals. Having clean, crime-free streets does not require cruelty.
I grew up in farmland in Europe. On Sundays we regularly took walks through the vegetable and grain fields. Those farmers had pigeon coops on long poles in their meadows, and we were often invited to see the swallow nests in the rafters of the farmhouses, which were perfectly clean without pigeon droppings. Pigeons are "filthy" only when humans take their natural habitat away and they are forced to live in cities on ledges.
I prefer Philly to Hegins because we have many persons of goodwill trying to better the living conditions of children and animals, and I value their company. Wouldn't Hegins be just as clean and crime-free without the annual bloodbath?
THE WHALE AND WHITEWATER
The lost whale reminds me of Bill Clinton. Each is weighed by the ton, and seems to be moving in circles without a clue. Perhaps someone should show the whale a "recent poll," and then he will move in the right direction!
By the way, I hope the Penn's Landing whale is saved. The Arkansas whale? Let him swim in Whitewater.
'FOR A LIVE PERSON . . .'
I am all for modern technology, but enough is enough! It annoys me to call a doctor, business, etc., only to get a machine telling me to push button 1, 2 or 3 for this or that, only to find there's no number to push for the question or business that I called about. You need a breathing, live person with a pulse to talk to.
Just how far is "pushbutton talking" going with this?
CUNNINGHAM A SCAPEGOAT
Philadelphia has not won a sports championship since the 1983 76ers. Philadelphia teams are perennial losers because most of Philadelphia's sports franchises do not pay the money for the quality players it takes to win championships. Criticizing the players only shows envy.
Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham knows the saying "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown." True, the most versatile athlete in the National Football League deserves criticism, but racism is also a factor. He is a scapegoat.
From cotton field to football field, African-Americans still are measured by double standards - always having to prove themselves by working twice as hard as their white counterparts. Whites do not like to believe African- Americans possess any intellectual ability, only physical prowess. This plantation mentality is probably why there are so many white owners in professional sports.
For the Eagles to win, keep Randall Cunningham and deal with the real issues instead of pointing the finger of blame.
STUART M. BURGH JR.