April 2, 2016
By Kenneth E. Davis The photograph at right shows what the legislative process looked like in 1972. Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy and Republican Sen. Hugh Scott (with a younger me in the second row) testified in support of campaign reform. I was privileged to work for Scott for 10 years as his chief of staff. What has happened to the legislative process? The seeds of rancor were sown about 50 years ago with the civil rights battles in Congress. President Lyndon Johnson did prevail over his former Southern Democratic Senate colleagues with the help of Scott and a number of other moderate Republicans.
March 4, 2016 |
Philadelphia DJs are a wise bunch. They're not just here to amuse you, but to educate and illuminate. Along with Old City's newly opened Scratch Academy Philadelphia , run by local spinner Cosmo Baker and teaching tricks of the DJ trade along with cultural and musical life lessons, comes "Dust + Dignity" at the Painted Bride Art Center . The new show uses 100 album covers and their music to promote dialogue about social justice - and to shake...
August 4, 2015 |
IF POPE FRANCIS is a wrestling fan, you gotta believe he roots for WWE star Titus O'Neil. The pope is a huge advocate for the poor and homeless so he'd no doubt give his blessing to what O'Neil - whose real name is Thaddeus Bullard - did this weekend. That's because O'Neil/Bullard, who played at the University of Florida under Steve Spurrier before going on to a career in the Arena Football League, took homeless people out to dinner not once, but twice. On Friday, he took two homeless people to dinner at the Yardhouse in San Diego and was unhappy with how they were treated.
May 18, 2015 |
FOLLOWING A house fire, a hurricane, a catastrophic train wreck, volunteers and staff from the Red Cross materialize - seemingly out of thin air - to help victims back on their feet. "We address all those human needs that restore your dignity to you," says judge Renee Cardwell Hughes, CEO at the American Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania. Within hours after Tuesday night's Amtrak derailment, her people had manned two help centers for passengers and their worried families, one at 30th Street Station and another at Webster Elementary on Frankford Avenue.
March 22, 2015 |
The day after protesters clashed with police at a community meeting following the announcement that two officers would not be charged in the death of Brandon Tate-Brown, his mother released a statement rejecting "non-peaceful" actions in her son's name. In the statement, released Friday by her lawyer, Tanya Brown-Dickerson called for supporters "who want to protest her son's death at a public event to do so peacefully and to act respectfully toward all public officials and police officers in the process of peacefully protesting.
March 20, 2015
THE IDEA that human beings can be treated like property is not new. It's as old as the Pharaoh using the Israelites as tools to build his pyramids. It's as old as the slaves who were counted as three-fifths of a man by the Supreme Court of this nation. It's as old as the woman who, married to her rapist, could not claim injury because the law said you couldn't be charged with stealing something - a vagina - you already owned. And, to those of us who've been bleeding with righteous anger since that same law made unborn children maternal property in 1973, the insult to human dignity marches on unimpeded.
December 26, 2014
C ONTINUING a tradition, the annual dialogue between God and Your Favorite Columnist. God: I'm a little ticked. YFC: What's got your robe in a bunch? God: That new "Exodus" movie. They got a 10-year-old Brit playing me. I mean, Me. YFC: Others have complained about the casting. All white characters in the Middle East? God: Meh. How're you doing, sonny? YFC: You know by now I don't like being called sonny. Your handle, "I am who I am," that's kind of smug.
December 5, 2014 |
HOW Prane Paciunas must have suffered in the last months of her life. Not just from the pain of deep, maggot-infested bedsores. Not just from the agony of starvation. But from the absolute betrayal of Jean Marie Dombrowski, 48, the woman she'd trusted to care for her. The more I learn about the simple, gracious and dignified life of Paciunas, 89, the more her death breaks my heart. At least she did not succumb in squalor, ignored by the human animals who walked around her as she rotted on a filthy mattress on her living-room floor.
December 3, 2014 |
Barbara Mancini, the Philadelphia nurse prosecuted for handing her 93-year-old dying father his prescription morphine, has quit her job and is devoting herself to advocating for state "Death With Dignity" laws. Mancini, 58, has been traveling the country, telling audiences that she was wrongly prosecuted, that her father's end-of-life wishes were clearly stated and cruelly ignored, and that the hospice involved failed him. She is haunted by what happened to her father and to her. "I'm trying in my mind to make this right for my dad. I'm doing it for him," Mancini said after speaking to 70 senior citizens at the Free Library of Philadelphia branch on Rittenhouse Square.
November 23, 2014 |
Who are the most important chefs in Philly? Some, like Keith Lucas and other cooks in the region's nonprofit kitchens, may not be names you've heard. But for thousands of Philadelphians suffering from AIDS, cancer, cardiac disease, or diabetes, Lucas - and the 15,000 free meals he oversees each week from the Center City kitchen at MANNA - is an essential lifeline to the nourishment and dignity of a proper supper. With 2,000 extra meals for Thanksgiving, Lucas, 53, a Chestnut Hill resident, paused to chat about a career cooking behind the scenes, his star turn on reality TV, and why hospital food is awful.