He yearns for mild gun-control reforms
The mass shooting in Colorado should motivate our legislators to come together and make sensible reforms to our gun laws. Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen.
I predict gun-control advocates will make reasonable proposals like an assault weapons ban and a “one handgun purchase per month” law. But then they’ll overreach and advance unwise laws that do nothing but inhibit law-abiding gun owners from protecting themselves — for instance, designating so many so-called “gun-free zones” that legally carrying a concealed weapon becomes impracticable.
On the other side, the gun lobby and the politicians beholden to them will refuse to budge on anything. The mildest reforms will be decried as an assault on fundamental liberty — as if the right to buy 30-round magazines for Glocks belongs on the list of unalienable rights endowed by our creator.
Debate will be filled with the same tired bumper-sticker logic and nothing will change. This process will repeat itself after the next massacre and the next one after that.
Of course, I hope I’m wrong. I want to see someone step up and say, “I can work with you on no assault weapons and one handgun a month; but now we need to get something done about concealed carry reciprocity.”
I yearn for compromise and reforms that hamper madmen and strengthen the citizens to stand up against them. I yearn for politicians who are reasonable enough to make it happen.
Smile, you’re on Voter ID
I don’t know why Voter ID is such a problem. You need identification at banks, medical offices, even for some businesses that make service calls.
I am a senior citizen in advanced years and had no problem obtaining an I.D. at the PennDOT office on the 900 block of Levick St. It didn’t take very long, but of course, someone had to take me there.
A depressing scene on Red Lion Road
On Red Lion Road across from Sandmeyer Lane, no one is taking care of the medians all along Red Lion Road. I e-mailed Councilman Brian O’Neill but nothing was done. Some of these weeds are over 5 feet tall.
I live off of Red Lion Road and have to travel this road several times a day. It’s depressing. Traveling from Lower Moreland to Philadelphia via Red Lion Road, you instantly know when you have reached the city line because it looks like crap.
Baseball’s a young man’s game
Our “Boys of Summer” are not boys any longer; Utley and Howard, although aging and physically ailing, are two of the highest paid players in Major League Baseball, and the manager has been getting senior citizen discounts for quite a few years.
The team seems not able to get on base, without which, you cannot get on the board.
Could the problem be lack of good leadership? Lack of motivation? Forgetting basic fundamentals of the game? Or all of the above? Charlie seems to be able to explain what the problem was, during interviews after games lost, but not able to address shortcomings during practices, before the games. Someone needs to step up and fix these problems.
Ruben Amaro needs to take stock of himself and the team in general before he finds himself looking at a lot of empty seats at Citizens Bank Park and fans start clamoring for his head.
A “manager” is not a “spectator,” and when a reliever, with the bases loaded, walks in a run, the manager needs to get off his duff and take him out. Old Charlie let Bastardo continue with exactly this situation and watched him give up a grand slam home run to the catcher, putting the game out of reach in the eighth inning — another in a long line of monumental blunders.
Willie Mays put it in very simple terms when asked how he does it. He said, “When they pitch it, I hit it and when they hit it, I catch it.”
Elementary terms could also be applied here. For instance, the team should be priority and winning the goal, not whether or not Utley returns or Howard’s leg can bear weight. They are history. Let’s get on with the game.
We need a manager like Joe Girardi in New York. He’s young, he’s hip and he knows how to motivate his players and remind them of fundamentals.
Wake up, Ruben. Get rid of the old debris and clean up your house, while you still have a house.
Sanctions not the complete answer
While the sanctions imposed on Penn State will go a long way to start the healing process, I believe it would be better to do something constructive to Penn State rather than fine the university $60 million and “erase” the football team’s wins.
If the NCAA was to require the university to open a medical college whose graduates would then go on to heal thousands throughout the world, that might make more sense than punishing students and alumni for the misfeasance and malfeasance of the top administrators, who certainly should have known better than to sweep the whole matter under the rug and allow these crimes to continue for years.
The players, former players whose athletic records have vanished, and the students and alumni who deeply love “Dear Old State” should not be lumped in with the president, athletic director and head coach who covered up these crimes.
Obama vs. Osama
So, to Ron Kall of Bustleton, it’s clear that “our present administration is committed to helping further Islamic jihad in America.” (Still waiting for an answer, July 25 Letters to the Editor). Tell that to Osama bin Laden. Tell it to Anwar al-Awlaki.
Mr. Kall’s mind is made up, and apparently no possible evidence to the contrary — it doesn’t matter how many terrorists, pirates and kidnappers President Obama has whacked — can change it.
Howard J. Wilk
Voter ID law is partisan politics at its worst
By Ed Neilson
Let’s cut through all of the nonsense about discouraging election fraud. Pennsylvania’s new Voter ID law is a partisan-inspired attempt to suppress the Democratic vote.
Don’t believe me? Just ask Mike Turzai. At a recent Republican State Committee meeting, Turzai, Pennsylvania’s Republican House leader, publicly admitted that the voter identification efforts are meant to suppress Democratic votes in the November general election.
“We are focused on making sure that we meet our obligations that we’ve talked about for years,” said Turzai. “Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation — abortion facility regulations — in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
I, at least, give my Republican colleague credit for being honest — to a fault. Fortunately, this laughingly obvious, partisan law that was fabricated to disenfranchise Democratic voters is now being challenged in Commonwealth Court.
Numerous studies have shown that voter identification efforts disproportionately affect low-income voters and people of color, a typically Democratic demographic. Despite insistence by Republicans that the efforts are needed to prevent misconduct on Election Day, voter fraud is more myth than reality.
Regardless, the voter I.D. battle is on, not only in Pennsylvania but in many states across the nation. Recently, Philadelphia’s city commissioners presented findings of improper casting of votes at multiple polling places, due to confusion over which machine voters entered to cast their vote.
With multiple voting machines in the same room positioned just a few feet apart, in a room most likely staffed by just three people, it’s entirely possible that some voters entered the wrong voting machine. That’s not voter fraud; it’s a case of poor management and inefficient training of the poll workers.
Unfortunately, the Philadelphia commissioners’ questionable findings triggered a response from the chairman of the State Government Committee in the House, Republican state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, who essentially spread word throughout the commonwealth that the Democratic stronghold of Philadelphia harbors nothing but election cheats. That’s particularly amusing, coming as it did from the man who helped co-author the Voter ID law that seeks to disenfranchise Democratic voters.
It’s a sad reality that fraud is committed more and more frequently by those who were elected to enact and uphold the law of the land. There is a “gallows humor” joke floating around the floor of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that the state should construct a new prison for senators, state representatives, mayors, city council members and judges. It’s really just a grim reminder that all elected officials must set aside party politics and start practicing people politics.
This Voter ID law is a farce and the state Republican Party has admitted it. Most of the people who will run afoul of the state’s new voter ID law requirements — provided it’s not overturned — include the poor, people of color and the elderly.
Our senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to being turned away on Election Day. It’s been estimated that one-quarter of Philadelphia’s eligible voters age 80 or older don’t have the identification required for them to vote under the terms of the new Voter ID law. Among those ages 65 to 79, nearly 20 percent don’t have the right I.D. to vote. Recent divorcees and some recently married individuals also will not qualify to vote, due to the difficulties in obtaining new I.D. by November in order to be in compliance with the new state regulations.
Proper identification is needed in most everything we do in today’s world. Presenting identification is viewed as a reasonable procedure in most civilized societies. However, the Corbett administration has failed to properly prepare the public for such a sweeping change in the election process and needs to better inform the electorate of these reforms prior to enacting them. Every day, there are more questions about the fairness of the new Voter ID law.
Here’s hoping Commonwealth Court gets those answers, ensures fairness, and protects all American citizens’ fundamental right to vote.
Ed Neilson, a Democrat, represents the 169th Legislative District.
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