December 6, 2015 |
Thanks to a Drexel University professor, Matthew Broderick is helping out Philly-area dogs without even coming to the region. Broderick is the star of Sylvia , playing on Broadway at the Cort Theatre, about the intense bond between a man and his dog (who happens to be played by a woman). Since its opening in October, the show has worked with animal welfare organizations, holding benefit performances and donating proceeds. On Dec. 8, proceeds will go to People + Animals = Companions Together (PACT)
August 20, 2014
ISSUE | SCHOOL FUNDING Soaking the poor Has no one noticed that city leaders' proposed cigarette tax to finance the schools is a tax on the working-class and poor people of Philadelphia? Even if the rich smoked at the same rate as the poor, there are a lot fewer rich people. Also, the rich can more easily buy cigarettes outside the city. Therefore, the cigarette-tax burden falls disproportionately on the poor. If the city wanted to finance the schools with a sin levy that taxes the rich more fairly, it could do so with a by-the-drink tax on alcoholic beverages.
July 18, 2014 |
IF YOU FOUND Thomas Piketty's inequality best-seller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century a bit too wonky, consider seeing "The Purge: Anarchy. " In this quickie sequel to the offbeat 2013 horror hit, a 1 percenter resembling Ann Romney presides over a gathering of rich people who watch fellow swells hunting unarmed members of the middle and lower classes. The rich people carry fancy fowling pieces and wear Wellington boots as they try to flush a covey of middle-class people, sort of like Dick Cheney going after pet quail on a game preserve that's more of a free-range zoo for the doomed.
July 15, 2014 |
IT IS SO obvious that it does not need to be said. But the nature of the job requires that we say something about this team, so let's get on with it. In wrapping up the unofficial first half of the season with a 10-3 loss to the Nationals, the Phillies offered a tidy summation of their year to date. They are not particularly good at scoring runs, nor are they particularly good at preventing them. In baseball, that is a bad combination. After it was over, a dejected Ryne Sandberg tried to focus on the positive things that he sees from his team heading into the All-Star Break.
September 30, 2013 |
It's the rich versus the handicapped. Guess who's winning. Bingo. I read it in the paper. The first incident I read about took place in Newport, R.I., where there are stately mansions owned by families like the Vanderbilts, who got here a long time before the Scottolines. The Vanderbilts came over on the Mayflower, in contrast to my ancestors, who took the bus. With about 10 transfers. Anyway, according to the news story, lots of tourists go see the mansions in Newport, so many that somebody proposed to build a visitor center with handicapped-accessible ramps and bathrooms.
March 20, 2013
ATTENTION, Philadelphia-area school kids: Forget all the things you have learned in school about the First Amendment. This past week in Philadelphia we have learned some new ways of understanding freedom of speech. Mayor Nutter, labor union leaders and other public figures gave you some great examples to follow. Kids, the labor leaders and their followers have a dispute with the mayor over how much they should be paid for their jobs. Because of this, they feel that the First Amendment allows them to shout and use whistles to drown out the mayor's annual budget speech to all the citizens of Philadelphia from the chambers of Philadelphia City Council.
January 23, 2013 |
WAR HAS AGAIN broken out on Twitter. In a battle that could send Bieber Fever spreading through the Little Monsters, the fans of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga are at odds as to who now has the most Twitter followers. Entertainmentwise.com, who counted each follower by hand, reported Monday that Bieber had pulled 1,000 ahead of Gaga. The latest count had Bieber at 33,307,144, Gaga at 33,306,429 and the possibility that there's any real hope for society at zero. * Speaking of the Beebs, and we are oh-so-proud to be part of the 33 million who are, the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Justin is not too happy about the involvement of his mom, Pattie Mallette, in the anti-abortion film "Crescendo.
December 11, 2012
I HAND THE newsstand guy $10 for a pack of gum a couple of weeks ago, and he says, "Want to play the Powerball? It's over $500 million. " I never buy lottery tickets. I don't understand what "box it" means, let alone the side games. I don't have a series of "lucky numbers," except the nine numbers on my Social Security check. That's my personal lottery, and I "win" every month. When friends play the Powerball, I tell them, "My chances of winning are the same as yours, and I didn't even buy a ticket.
July 13, 2012 |
Government needs to do less President Obama wants to rescind the Bush tax cuts, arguing that the wealthy ought to contribute more ("Obama: End tax cuts for wealthy," Tuesday). Republicans counter that increasing taxes on the rich will drain resources that would have been used to create jobs. These economic arguments overlook the fundamental moral issue at stake. Government is force: We are legally obligated to pay taxes. I suspect that very few Americans would be prepared to knock on a rich man's door, put a gun to his head, and demand that he provide for their needs.
February 5, 2012 |
Pop quiz! Identify these political heavy hitters: Edward Conrad, Robert Mercer, John Paulson, Bob Perry, Julian Robertson, Paul Singer, Sheldon Adelson. Give up? They're very rich people who have inaugurated a brand new era of politics in America, the Daddy Warbucks era. Their lavish donations have been directly responsible for the unprecedented glut of toxic TV attack ads that have debased the Republican presidential race, most recently in Florida. The first six donors (all of whom are investment bankers and hedge fund executives, with the exception of home builder Perry)