Monday, October 16, 2006

You Should Take Her Picture

From the Philadelphia Daily News:

Welcome to Philadelphia.

Our Daily News features the "reprehensible" behavior of congressmen - but only the behavior of congressmen from far-away states. And even then, it helps that sex is involved and, of course, that the offender is a Republican.

Did I mention yet that we're a smoke-free city? Yep - just sneaked that one in there. Even though no one in City Hall knows what the regulations actually say, or how to enforce them, or even bothered to notify affected business owners. But, yes, we're smoke-free, except for our coming casinos - it'll be OK to smoke there.

Did I mention that many local politicians may be part-owners of these casinos? No matter, minor detail. We've got elections coming up, some important races. We've got some offices that will be filled before the elections, though. Seems that having a spouse, ex-spouse or parent who was a ward leader or elected official is the only requirement for City Council. That might explain the stellar work they do.

And we're concerned about guns here. Not about the repeat offenders who illegally carry them and murder our citizens - we just like to have non-binding resolutions saying that guns are icky and bad. Never mind that at the time this letter is published, we will have buried more than 300 murder victims this year. If only the state legislators would let us make up our own gun laws, these murders would cease, and all the icky guns would go away. Honest.

Oh, and foie gras - we think it's cruel and icky. OK, cruel and yummy, but we think it inconveniences the geese, so we're going to burn up some daylight with another non-binding resolution to protect geese in France while the children of Philadelphia are gunned down. This abysmal excuse for political "leadership" is garbage and Philadelphia deserves better.

Where is the outrage? Mayor Street and every member of City Council should cut out the photo of little Cashae Rivers and should carry it constantly until there is some realistic progress on the city's problems. And take it out of their wallet each time they consider doing something stupid while being paid to serve the citizens. (Laminate the pictures, they'll likely get a lot of use.)

Taking a junket to "research" an issue vital to your constituents? Look at the smiling face of a poor 5-year-old who died the month she started kindergarten. Signing legislation that hurts small business but exempts your own wealthy friends? Take the picture out again. That a 5-year-old anywhere would have the deck so stacked against her by the lifestyle choices of those around her is reprehensible. That her young life would be ended due to a drug feud is unforgivable.

Where's the outrage? Why aren't the media asking our elected officials what their plan is? We deserve better from our officials, from our courts, and from our press.

Tom McCourt, Philadelphia


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