Downsizing should be on Council’s agenda
In January we will have six new members on City Council. I hope they do better than the six they are replacing.
First on the agenda should be the elimination of the DROP program.
Second, they should stop using city-owned cars at taxpayers’ expense. Out of 17 Council members, only four use their own cars.
Third on the agenda is that three months vacation with pay is too much for the taxpayers. Two without pay and one with pay is enough. After all, they’re on permanent vacation all year. Now, 17 members have 150 staffers; the one with over 50 is the president of Council. One member has only three. The staff budget is $3.76 million total. Do we need that many staffers? No. Do we need 17 Council members? Of course not.
Last on the agenda is term limits. I have written before that the president of the United States is only allowed two terms, so why should City Council have lifetime jobs? The problem is the voters who continue to vote for the same people every election.
Wise up, you Philly voters. Just because they throw some crumbs in your neighborhood does not give them the right to lifetime membership on Council.
Jerry Foglia Sr.
In memory of Snickers
I would like to ask anybody that if they have any thought about adopting a cat to PLEASE do so. They are a beautiful animal and you will love having one.
I lost my wonderful cat Snickers today as I write this letter. I had 14 wonderful years with him, and if I can encourage one person to bring one home, I will feel something good has come out of it.
Like Northeast cat advocate Gina Denofa says, there is a little one waiting for you that needs you. Thank you, Gina, for all you do for cats, and thank you, Snickers, for all you did for me.
Don’t take your local pharmacy for granted
I am responding to Mr. Howard J. Wilk’s letter in the Nov. 30 edition (Pharmacy bill is bad medicine) opposing HB 511 and SB 201, Access to community pharmacy services.These bills will allow the patient to choose between mail-order house or community pharmacy with the same days’ supply of medication and the co-pay.
Many insurance companies are using mail order because their pharmacy benefits managers (PBM) own the mail-order houses, which is a conflict of interest.
There has not been a legitimate study done to show that mail order is less expensive. In fact, some believe that it is more expensive, because it dispenses more brand-name drugs than community pharmacists. Generic drugs save money.
Receiving large quantities of medication can be wasteful. Physicians often change medication due to side effects and loss of effectiveness. Some patients complain they receive medication on automatic refills even after they have stopped taking it.
Mr. Wilk says he uses his local pharmacy when he is in a hurry or needs to talk to the pharmacists. What will he do when the local pharmacy is gone?
Barry R. Jacobs
Philadelphia Association of Retail Druggists
Holiday stress hits caregivers, too
The holidays are a natural time to enjoy family and get-togethers — sharing festive meals, exchanging gifts and celebrating traditions. But for the 65 million Americans taking care of someone with a life-limiting illness, finding holiday cheer can be difficult.
After months or even years of absorbing a loved one’s pain, the added stress of the holidays can cause the sudden onset of a little-known condition called compassion fatigue. Symptoms include irritability, outbursts of anger, difficulty concentrating and exhaustion. The caregiver feels unappreciated and may even have difficulty caring about others.
Who is most at risk? Often, they’re individuals who are caring for their loved one on their own. They’re devoted individuals who have few interests beyond caregiving. They lack external support.
If you or someone you know is at risk, it’s especially important to take care of yourself now. Set aside a few minutes each day for a quick nap, to write in a journal, or to meditate. Take a walk outside, spend some time with friends and enjoy your hobbies. Most important, surround yourself and your loved one with family.
To make the most of this time and create enduring memories, rest, indulge in your favorite things and let the support of others surround you and your household with humor, comfort and joy.
Crossroads Hospice, Plymouth Meeting
We the people are getting ripped off by the Fed
Recently I received an e-mail letter from my congressional representative, Allyson Schwartz, in response to my attempt to meet with her.
My excitement turned to disgust as I realized this was a form letter expressing her support for the revolt against bank debit card fees.
(My e-mails to her must have gone into the “yelling at the bankers” folder.)
I realize Ms. Schwartz gets a lot of complaints and her staff tries to respond for her, but this is exactly what’s wrong with our Congress. We never get to speak to most of them, face to face. They need to face our anger.
I have never been so upset at government in my life, as I have watched the Federal Reserve under Ben Bernanke loot the savings accounts of honest Americans.
For three years, despite major price hikes in food and energy, he has kept interest rates near zero. For responsible savers, seniors and those trying to plan for retirement, this refusal to put an honest value on the dollar has been a brutal “silent” tax increase.
To date, almost $300 billion in interest on savings and checking accounts, on bonds and bond funds, has been sucked away by the Fed and the banks. This is a crisis for seniors who use interest income to supplement meager Social Security benefits. Pension funds are being weakened as their bond income dwindles. And how do younger people save money, when every dollar put into savings, at the end of the year (after taxes and inflation are considered) is worth about 95 cents? That’s right.
Savers are being punished for saving, while debtors gain, and rich speculators have a feast in cheap money.
Folks, we working stiffs are being robbed! The president claims he wants to tax the rich, while his Fed chairman siphons off money from workers and the media ay next to nothing about this hypocrisy.
Please, Congresswoman Schwartz, stand up for the little guy. Debit card fees are peanuts. Many seniors are losing thousands of dollars a year in interest on their lifetime of savings. Fight the Fed’s ridiculous money policies that steal the savings of working people.
If any readers care about what I say, I urge you to cut out this letter and mail it to your member of Congress.
Hit the road, Barack
First, I am a registered independent and have been all my life. Further, I have missed voting only once in my adult lifetime and could not honestly say if I’ve voted for more Republicans than Democrats or vice versa.
But I do believe this president must go.
His energy policy is anti-American. No drilling in the Gulf of Mexico since the BP leak, which if I remember, happened while he was playing golf in Hawaii. No more drilling in Alaska, off-shore East or West Coast, o pipeline from North Dakota until after the election.
He failed to author a budget for 2009, 2010 and 2011, which is HIS responsibility. He waits for the Republicans, then fails to respond, implying it’s unacceptable.
He appoints a committee of two, one Democrat and one Republican, who agree, and present a compromise, which he rejects. He appoints a second committee of three Democrats and three Republicans and third committee of 12, who cannot agree. He threatens the committees that if they arrive at certain “compromises,” he’ll veto the bill. He implies that it better fit his idea.
Then he blames the Republicans.
His only claim to fame to date is Obamacare, which was passed by questionable practices and now is in court. Twenty-six states want it abolished. That’s a majority, and of the 24 remaining states, not all agree. Their governors may be “for” Obamacare, but not the citizens.
He has tried unsuccessfully a half-dozen times to increase taxes on the “rich” and he has been rebuffed. So he labels Congress as do-nothing.
What if he is re-elected and the makeup of Congress swings more to the conservatives (Republicans) or remains the same? We’ll have four more years of nothing being done and him blaming the “lazy Americans and fat cat bankers.”
Both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton faced difficult economic issues but both learned to rise above politics and to work to the best interest of the country. President Obama makes it clear, it’s his way or the highway.
I believe it’s time to give him a GPS unit and show him the ramp to I-80 — the shortest route to Chicago.
Joseph J. Murray
Roll over, Grover
Republicans must find a way to revoke this insane pledge not to raise taxes, because as it is, only the 1 percent are benefiting from it.
They know this, because most of their campaign funds come from them, i.e., the wealthiest people in the world (foreign and domestic).
Grover Norquist is the master puppeteer, with all these Republican politicians dancing to his tune, leaving the American citizens scratching their heads and wondering how we get out of this $15 trillion debt. God help the next generation and their offspring, because they will inherit this mess.
The Democrats have most certainly exacerbated this mess y contributing to the bailouts of the very scoundrels who caused this downslide in our economy. And just as the Republicans are claiming now, they’re doing it all ldquo;to save us.” If that’s not enough, Obama wants to spend another half-trillion dollars to spur the economy. Is that not additional debt?
The White House also just blew a half-billion of our money on a failed loan to a solar manufacturer, while we have to budget our income to buy groceries. Our government is bankrupting us and these clowns in Congress refuse to increase taxes on the million-dollar-per-year fat cats. The Occupiers have a point, but they should be in Washington D.C.
Bad payday loans
Payday loans in Pennsylvania are supposedly illegal, according to one of my ources at a major bank. So how did an acquaintance of mine, a Pennsylvania resident, obtain several payday loans? If they are illegal to write in Pennsylvania, why aren’t they illegal to obtain y Pennsylvanians? Example: Illegal drugs are both illegal to sell and obtain in Pennsylvania.
One payday loan was for about a week’s time until his payday. The amount of the loan was only $300 and the interest was under $3 but the fees were $135. The amount to be repaid was over $437.
This definitively is a case of exploiting the poor, uneducated, desperate people.
Where are our legislative leaders who have to protect some people from themselves and vultures like these?
Mayer Krain, CPA
The Bible states: If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, it is an abomination; they shall surely be put to death (Leviticus 20:13)
Death is being dealt by God through AIDS, but we need to stop homosexuality from being taught as an alternative lifestyle and same-sex unions and adoptions from corrupting America in the eyes of God.
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