Then he appeals our paltry binding arbitration award, despite not appealing the one for the police.
Finally, he lobbies former Gov. Ed Rendell to shoot down a cancer presumption bill that would protect firefighters from certain cancers that studies have shown we are more prone to.
I would hate to see what he would do to us if he didn't admire and respect us.
Bike lanes are not necessarily safe
While I am pleased that The Inquirer supports more bicycling in the city, I do question its support for more bike lanes. Studies have shown that bike lanes generally provide little or no safety benefits when compared to the same street without a stripe, and that they often lead riders into unsafe situations. If the city really wants to make cycling safer, it should better enforce the traffic laws. Speeding, running red lights, and DUI kill people.
Barnes relocation ethical, practical
Michael Smerconish's column on the relocation of the Barnes Foundation collection ignores two key issues, which ethically and practically fully warrant the relocation.
First, under Lincoln University and Richard Glanton's management, the Barnes Foundation was run into the ground financially. Much of the funds raised from the Barnes Collection album and the travelling Barnes Collection show went to Lincoln University, to foundation salaries, and to unnecessary legal fees, leaving insufficient funds to operate the foundation and protect its immensely valuable collection. Partial liquidation to raise funds was no answer.
Second, the foundation, created by the Barnes Trust, not the will, received substantial initial and annual tax benefits. The public has a stake in seeing that these tax advantages, which private individuals do not have, are used in the public interest. Pennsylvania's attorney general has twice had to take steps to ensure that the public had sufficient access to the collection. Because of those tax advantages, this is not a private matter, but a public matter.
I would hope Smerconish would in the future consider factors such as these. After all, basing one's judgment on a docudrama, rather than the many extensive court records, seems unproductive.
Beware the phantom blame game
The article on Thursday reporting that trial lawyers oppose changes in Pennsylvania's "joint and several liability" rule ("Pa. House nears vote on lawsuit rule" ) told only part of the story. We oppose the change because it would permit irresponsible people to rig the justice system and avoid accountability for their actions. Consider the "phantom blame game."
This happens when a drunk driver blames someone else for an accident even if that someone is not in the case. The "phantom defendant" could be another driver, the car manufacturer, or anyone else the drunk driver decides to tell the jury about.
If a jury splits the blame between the drunk driver and the phantom defendant, the driver avoids 50 percent of the blame. And the victim loses full recovery.
Changing the joint-and-several rule will permit just this kind of manipulation of the justice system, enabling wrongdoers to avoid accountability for their actions, and will place additional burdens on an already over-stretched - and taxpayer-funded - social welfare system.
Kenneth M. Rothweiler
In praise of Philly's sandwich prowess
With great joy did I read (and reread) Arthur Caplan's glee-filled letter on Thursday extolling Philadelphia's sandwich prowess ("Best sandwiches ever are here in Philadelphia"). Hip, hip, hooray for the scrumptious sandwiches that keep us all going, and kudos to Caplan for helping us count our blessings.
Vieira demonstrates she's not a journalist
David Hiltbrand's paean to Meredith Vieira on Saturday ("Vieira lets her smarts do the bargaining") for her self-promoting interview with Donald Trump underscores that interviewers like Vieira aren't real journalists. Hiltbrand noted that Vieira didn't "bother to point out how wrong" Trump was to claim that his Celebrity Apprentice
is NBC's biggest hit, but concluded she was just using the interview to "bolster her worth" with NBC. Who cares? When it comes to Trump, why isn't there a firewall between NBC's entertainment and news divisions? Are NBC reporters looking into Trump's wild birther claims? And why did NBC take longer than other news outlets to report GE's zero federal tax bill?
Martha M. Jablow