October 4, 2013
It's hard to imagine, but the Philadelphia Daily News actually overreached more in its editorial against driller XTO Energy ("Drill Seeker," Sept. 13) than Attorney General Kathleen Kane did in her filing against the company. To compare an accidental leak that, according to state and federal regulators, caused no lasting environmental impact to a West Virginia mine explosion that killed 29 workers is absurd. Let's be clear: an accident happened. The company responded immediately and cleaned the site.
September 19, 2013
Elite schools hurt Central High School and Masterman produce elite students year after year, yet now the libraries at both are closed ("Budget crisis shutters libraries at 2 top schools," Sept. 13). Where is the outrage? We cannot allow this to continue. City Council and Mayor Nutter do nothing but argue over which funding plan they should use to provide the School District much-needed cash. Simple solution: Do both. Meanwhile, Tom "The Slasher" Corbett, who masterminded this attack on Pennsylvania public schools, continues to withhold $45 million already dedicated to Philadelphia.
September 15, 2013 |
MT. CARMEL Baptist Church is a West Philadelphia landmark, a place of worship where political heavy hitters come to pray, and a force for social change in its neighborhood and beyond. We talked with the church's pastor, the Rev. Albert F. Campbell, about his congregation's beliefs, its good works, its considerable history and its challenges in the here and now. Who we are: Campbell described Mt. Carmel as a "traditional Baptist church" that has evolved and adapted to the community around it. When Campbell, 81, became pastor 47 years ago, the congregation was made up of neighborhood residents, who'd walk to the church every Sunday with their families, he said.
September 13, 2013
ONCE AGAIN, America's double standard rears its ugly head. All this outrage about Syria's use of chemical weapons, but when the U.S. was spraying Agent Orange all over Vietnam and Cambodia, nothing was said. Where was the outrage then? There are vets still suffering the effects of this defoliant and still being ignored by the VA. How much time and money did the U.S. spend trying to convince the American public that Agent Orange was not the cause of their health problems? Yes, I am now and always have been an Obama supporter, but I cannot go along with this plan to use military strikes against Syria.
September 12, 2013
AS WE ALL try to figure out what's wrong with America, I think we forget what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they created this government. They didn't expect politicians for life with no chance of parole. They didn't expect politicians to spend more time on getting re-elected than they do on the needs of the people. They didn't expect politicians constantly giving themselves pay raises and additional perks that the rest of us don't get. They didn't expect politicians to spend more time on vacation than actually working.
August 14, 2013 |
Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, whose Union army burned its way across Georgia in late 1864, knew how to close a door. No, he said 20 years later, he would not run for president no matter how hard Republicans begged. If a political party nominated him, he would not accept it. If his name made it onto a ballot anyway and he was elected, he would not serve. Ever since, the Shermanesque statement has been the gold standard for disavowing political ambition. Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, however, seems to prefer playing coy. "I love my job as attorney general.
July 31, 2013
THE PASSING OF William Warren Scranton at age 96 on Sunday leaves me awash in memories and thoughts. I met him many times, the last maybe 15 years ago, and always was struck by his graciousness, other-directedness and, that last time, his elegance even in his 80s. I was in Scranton for lunch with his son, former Lt. Gov. William W. Scranton III, many years after I worked on the younger Scranton's 1986 campaign for governor. "Young Bill" and I emerged from a downtown restaurant and saw the former governor walking toward us. As he drew closer he said, "I saw you two and wondered, 'Who's that guy with John Baer?
July 9, 2013 |
Eulogies for William H. Gray III, the minister and former congressman who died last Monday, will pay tribute to his fight against apartheid, his rise to majority whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, his service as head of the United Negro College Fund. But in the Philadelphia political world, Gray may be best memorialized as the pillar of a group of independent black activists who emerged from outside the Democratic Party structure to gain unprecedented power and spawned a generation of political and civic leaders.
July 5, 2013
Emilio Colombo, 93, a stalwart Italian politician who held top government positions for nearly five decades and led his country as prime minister in the early 1970s, died June 24 in Rome. The Italian news agency ANSA reported his death but did not give a cause. He ranked among the most prominent leaders of the Christian Democrats, the party that dominated Italian politics for decades after the fall of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Dubbed the "lay cardinal" for his religious fervor and political savvy, Mr. Colombo was elected to Parliament in his 20s and reportedly was the last surviving member of the constituent assembly that abolished the Italian monarchy after World War II and reframed the nation as a constitutional republic.