Tag Archives: Philadelphia Inquirer

Concern Over New Philly Newspaper Owners

At an auction conducted on Wednesday, the struggling and increasingly irrelevant Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News as well as their Internet arm “Philly.com” were all purchased by a group of creditors.

The new owners have quickly come under fire from the top politicians at both the Commonwealth and the City levels.

Governor Ed Rendell, the former 2-term Mayor of Philadelphia, voiced his concern that he believed that newspapers should  be owned by people from the area. He further stated “In the end, the newspaper is nothing if not the people who work for it. If you take that away, you take away it’s soul.”

Mayor Michael Nutter, the current Philly head honcho, called on the new owners to make their decisions on how to proceed with the operation of the papers “based on great journalism” rather than being overly concerned with the financial bottom line.

Both of these comments mask the actual concern of these two leading Democratic Party politicians. Their real primary concern is that with new ownership will come a basic change of direction in the editorial content and presentation of the two papers.

For decades, the Philadelphia Inquirer and even more overtly the Daily News have been outwardly liberal in their political and social commentaries and with the vast majority of their political endorsements. It is this liberal ideology as directed by Rendell and Nutter’s Democrats that has demoralized Philly and reduced it to a shell of it’s former greatness.

Rather than using their status as the city and region’s main newspapers and internet presence to call for reform and change to a system that has resulted in massive numbers of citizens and businesses fleeing the city over the last few decades, the two papers have continually backed the status quo.

The newspaper business has been dying all across America for the past couple of decades. This is partly due to the Internet, partly due to 24-hour news, sports, weather, and entertainment television channels. But there is still a niche that properly run newspapers could fill. Unfortunately most have been taken over, as Philly’s papers were, by partisan political shills. As this became more and more obvious, more and more people turned away from regular readership and subscriptions.

The “soul” that Rendell speaks of, those editors, writers, and staffers who put the newspapers out on the streets, and the old ownership that hired them, supported them, and encouraged them to push that liberal agenda and back those Democratic politicians is directly to blame.

Rather than maintaining the former status quo and leaving every worker untouched, and leaving the newspapers to continue their failed direction that has in turn failed the citizens of Philadelphia, the new owners should do exactly the opposite of what Rendell and Nutter are hoping.

If it is determined that Philadelphia needs and has the viability to support two newspapers, which is dubious at best, or if only one should survive, change is absolutely vital. The editorial direction and content of the papers and website in every department needs to reflect a much greater diversity of opinions. Particular attention needs to be paid towards making Philadelphia, other localities, Pennsylvania, and national pols much more accountable.

Ed Rendell and Michael Nutter, as well as a number of individuals who work for both newspapers, and any number of liberal activists all around the Philly region are concerned over the possible direction that the new ownership will take. They should be concerned that their domination of the conversation, one-way in the wrong direction for decades, will cease, and that Philadelphia may indeed see it’s newspapers become what they were meant to be all along, a true watchdog.

City’s Main Problem: Liberals

In the Sunday, February 21st, 2010 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer an article was published at the very top of page two titled “City’s main problem: poverty” written by Karen Heller.

In the article, Heller proceeds to lay every ill that befalls the city of Philadelphia – and that’s plenty of ills – at the very feat of this fearsome monster known as poverty.

The city budget shows 62% of resources go towards fighting crime and social needs? Poverty is the culprit. Michelle Obama visits Philly to campaign against obesity because too many parents shove McDonald’s down their kids throats? Poverty. Teachers are overworked? Poverty. School violence is tolerated? Poverty. Health rate is poor, and kids don’t take education seriously? Poverty.

The problem, not with the city but with Heller’s article, is that she simply cries “poverty” at every opportunity. She makes the typical liberal mistake of failing to see the forest for the trees. The problem is not some general epidemic of poverty. Philadelphia’s problem is an epidemic of liberalism.

That’s right, little kids go without food because of the political philosophy and ideology of liberalism. Little kids get fat in some cases because of the exact same ideology. Kids don’t stay in school, don’t want to stay in school let alone advance further, because of it. Violence is greatly increased because of it, and health problems are magnified because of it.
But where Heller stops, I am going to plow on. She says that poverty is the problem and then makes only a couple of small general comments as to how to deal with the situation. The answer to her view of poverty as the problem is “the city must reduce the poverty rate in order to succeed.”

Fine enough principle on it’s own, one that I won’t argue with. Among the many symptoms of entrenched liberalism is more widespread poverty than needs to exist.

So how to reduce that poverty rate? Her answers are to “attract new residents to revitalize neighborhoods” and “moving families..to self-sufficiency and security.” She also states correctly that Philly needs to address it’s dismal educational system.

What the obviously liberal Heller has written here is what is known as a ‘fluff’ piece. It is full of statements and commentary that will have her co-workers at the Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the single most liberal newspapers in a country full of them, patting her on the back. It will have her friends and family saying things like “right on, Kar, you got that right. Good job!” It will make her feel better.

But it will have done nothing at all to address the problem. That is because the real problem has not even been identified in her piece. The city’s main problem: liberals.

For decades now, liberal Democrats have been increasingly in charge of the city of Philadelphia. The Democratic Party has controlled City Council and the Mayor’s office since the start of the 1950’s.

The Democrats have been the decision makers. Liberals have been the unchallenged and all-powerful ideologues whose programs, ideas, and policies have taken the city in the direction that it has gone – straight down.

Here are just a few of the things that Philadelphia does not need to be doing.

It does not need to spend a dime on a homeless shelter. It does not need to spend a dime on feeding a hungry person. It does not need to indoctrinate students in the classroom in it’s liberal ideology. It does not need to allow students who refuse to behave to continue in school. It does not need to provide free health care to anyone.

Wow, what an uncaring, unfeeling, insensitive, inhuman I must be in order to believe all of those things, right? Wrong, Mr. and Ms. Liberalism.

My belief is not that man must stand by and watch the suffering of the inevitable folks who will fall between the cracks of opportunity do to reasons beyond their control, such as a physical or mental handicap or some sudden disaster. My belief is that it is not the City of Philadelphia’s responsibility to address those issues.

When given the opportunity, mankind will respond charitably to his fellow man. The story has been told of a locality in Texas back in 1887 where a couple of consecutive seasons of drought had left the farmers in bad shape and facing poverty. The local government put out the call to Washington for some emergency subsidies for the farmers.

The plight of the poor farmers was passed by a misty-eyed congress before being vetoed by President Grover Cleveland. In one of the single greatest acts by any President, Cleveland defended his veto in the exact same manner that must be embraced by Philadelphians today.

Let me quote exactly a couple of key paragraphs of his veto speech:

“I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the government, the government should not support the people.”

“The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.”

So President Grover Cleveland literally said what the liberal Democrats of Philadelphia and all over the country have no ability to say. He said what every parent learns is one of the single most valuable words that they must early on begin to say to their children. He said the very thing that many of us need to begin to say to ourselves. He simply said “No“.

But he didn’t just say that “no” to win some political battle, he said that “no” because frankly it was the right thing to say.

What was the result of his decision? Dead farmers? Far from it. As he rightly predicted, the call went out around the nation for private donations to help the farmers. This call resulted in the appropriation of ten times the money that had been requested from congress. And not a dime of forced expense on the general American public, not a single tax levied.

Karen Heller is wrong. She has pointed at a symptom rather than the real problem. The problem is not poverty, it is liberalism.

Philadelphia needs to have the strength to begin finally to say “no” to the Democratic Party as it is now constituted. It needs to begin to say “no” to the nanny state that has led to our inevitable and continued decline.

If we don’t have the strength to say “no”, if leaders do not emerge who will stand up and then be supported in saying that “no”, then Philadelphia will never, ever recover it’s former greatness.

So specific answers start with stopping funding social welfare programs cold. If we are to spend any money on a social program, I would make it on an on-going publicity campaign with billboards, TV and radio ads, all positively encouraging people to make good choices in their lives. Stay in school, turn away from drugs and drink, go to church, become or remain sexually responsible, keep families intact.

I would do whatever is necessary to turn our schools around. That would first happen with security. Difficult decisions need to be made to eliminate the unrepentant criminals who commit assaults, robberies, and drug dealing on our school grounds, no matter their age.

Expulsion for the absolute worst cases. Transfers to disciplinary schools for those who may simply need a period of behavior modification before possibly returning to the general student population.

The second thing that needs to happen is that the curriculum needs to be addressed. Philadelphia school children need to be taught the fundamentals of education as the primary goal of our school.

Math, science, reading, writing, and wait for it – civics. They need to learn and understand America’s historical importance as a nation, the good and the bad, with an emphasis on the incredible good that our nation has done since it’s founding.

Next I would empower teachers to take charge of their classrooms again, having their backs when they need it in controlling the room and maintaining that control. I would also ensure that those teachers are allowed and encouraged to emphasize their role as educators, not social workers and not substitute parents.

At the same time, I would not tolerate the small number of teachers who simply will not or do not enthusiastically do their jobs. Out on their cans, union or no. Take us to court if you must. And if some court returns them to their jobs, we’ll bury them in an office outside the classroom.

Where violence and other crime occurs on the streets, deal with it. Support our law enforcement officers and officials in any way possible. Zero tolerance.

Let’s face it, some sections of the city are simply out of control, and you cannot begin to rebuild them and, as Heller says “attract new residents” without first gaining control and then maintaining it over time.

Arrest criminals, and put them in jail. If they get out and commit further crimes, put them back in for even longer. And keep them in for the length of their sentences.

If we are unwilling to fight this fight on a daily basis, to win this war over time, and spend what it takes to at least keep up with it year after year, then we will lose.

Any alleged ‘war on crime’ or ‘war on drugs’ will never end. But we need to fight it every hour of every day. Just as with the teachers, if some cops don’t know professional limits and abuse their power, out on their cans. The good ones will be happy to see them go.

Finally, emphasize parental and familial responsibility in public. From the stump speeches of politicians to the teaching in our classrooms to our public service announcements and community outreach, strengthening and maintaining our families and the responsibility level of parents has got to become paramount.

You can never force someone to become a good parent. But you can tap them on the shoulder and let them know that it is just as easy to hand their kid a celery stick as it is a cupcake. It is just as far a walk to the supermarket for some soup, vegetables, fruit as it is to McDonald’s for some fries and a Big Mac. Obesity is not the result of poverty in most cases, it is the result of bad decisions.

Those same bad decisions are the reasons for the vast majority of other childhood problems, many of which in a large portion of Philadelphia’s communities lies directly at the feet of non-existent or irresponsible fathers. Many men need to begin to take their familial responsibilities much more seriously.

At the same time, many women need to respect themselves more and develop more of a sense of self-worth. Most of this comes from your own strong family situation. If you don’t have a strong family to learn from personally, you need to find good examples in your community and work from those.

The city needs to find a way to encourage its residents to return to church. Return to the basic values and teachings that God gave all of mankind in the Bible. The long-held liberal notion of a “separation of church and state” is quite simply a crock.

America has shown that it has been our embracing of Judeo-Christian values that has separated us from other nations and governments in history. We need to return to that root strength, not run from it. We need to embrace and advertise that resource, not hold it at arms length.

Liberals will see my ideas resulting in armies of homeless people, drug addicts, and student truants roaming the streets. They will see exploding crime rates adding to the problems of Philadelphia.

This has been the liberal cry for decades. Yet their own answers have proven both soft and ineffective, as anyone with a spine could have predicted. It is time we began to walk a hard, straight line here in Philadelphia.

While we slice social programs and increase law enforcement and quality of life measures, we also need to decrease the Philadelphia tax burden. We need to drastically overhaul Philadelphia’s tax policies with the stated goal of making the City of Philadelphia the single most attractive place in the entire nation for a business to locate itself. We then need to aggressively market that new-found status and begin to bring business, and thus jobs, back into Philadelphia.

Lower taxes and increasing the quality of life here in the city. These are the things that will accomplish what Heller calls for in her piece. They will never, ever be accomplished by appropriating more money from Philadelphia’s already overburdened tax payers, or from the already overburdened Commonwealth, or from the already over-socialized federal government.

The ideas that I have put forward today go far beyond the simplistic approach made by Heller and the Inquirer. There is zero chance that my ideas would ever be supported by Philadelphia’s talking head politicians or it’s liberal media. The only way that such a change would be possible would be for some distinctly charismatic and articulate individual to step forward and lead Philadelphia in this direction.

I guess in short what Philadelphia really needs is an effective alternative to the liberal Democratic Party that has ruled the crumbling roost for this last half century. It needs an effective, strong, alternative, conservative Republican Party to emerge and become a realistic challenger.

That has to start from the grass roots, but it also needs an effective leadership with an uncompromising vision that is a true alternative to the city’s main problem: liberals.

Smerconish begins to show his true stripes

Embed from Getty Images

Smerconish interviewing President Barack Obama

 

An article for the Philadelphia Inquirer, as politically liberal a rag as exists anywhere in America today, titled “Sorry, but for me, the party is over“, written by local quasi-celebrity Michael Smerconish was published in that paper’s Sunday, February 21st edition ‘Currents’ section.

In this article, Smerconish reveals what every true local Philadelphia Republican has known for more than a year.

The man who has billed himself as THE local Republican voice, who glommed onto the popularity of programs such as Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor“, and who attached themselves at the hip to commentators such as Sean Hannity, is in fact not a Republican after all.

The article, which carried a secondary headline where it continued on page C3 titled “Parting ways with the party, after 30 years”, reveals that Smerconish recently had an epiphany of sorts. And he had it while standing in line at, of all places, the DMV.

The Inquirer, of course, then bent over backwards to advertise this alleged political change away from conservatism. But is it really a change at all?

Smerconish goes to get his license renewed and the clerk asks him at one point as to whether he would also like to change his voter registration party affiliation.

Why this is an appropriate question for some clerk at the DMV to be asking in the first place is never revealed, nor ever fully explored by the allegedly dogged journalist.

Smerconish then goes on to reveal that this was his “hallelujah” moment. One can imagine a mystical light shining down on him from above and revealing that he is actually not a Republican, nor is he a Democrat, but instead he is that most cherished of ideals. He is an “Independent” thinker, beholden to no party values! Hallelujah!

He has the clerk switch his voter registration status from ‘Republican’ to ‘Independent’, leaving behind his party of the past three decades. Smerconish writes that in doing so he is better reflecting his personal values. He claims that actually, he is “not sure if I left the Republican Party or the party left me. All I know is that I no longer feel comfortable.”

Now let me state before I go on that I myself have switched my formally registered political affiliation a few times over the years. As I have explained in full detail before here at this blog, during my 20’s in the 1980’s I was a fully-indoctrinated liberal Democrat.

It was at some point during the first Clinton administration where I had my own ‘hallelujah’ moment, realizing that my values and positions had evolved to conservative ones. I made the switch to Republican and have not looked back.

During the time that I was a registered Democrat, however, I switched my party affiliation from Dem to Republican a couple of times. Each time I did so at the request of, and specifically for, my father.

My Dad was involved in the political process and publicly supporting Republican candidates such as John Egan for Mayor of Philadelphia. I would always switch back to Dem following the election cycle, and remained so until making the permanent switch during the mid-90’s.

However, unlike the spineless Smerconish, I did not ever try to paint myself with the brush of mediocrity that is the act of being a registered Independent. Smerconish tries to make himself out to be some sort of victim to the system. “Where political parties used to create coalitions and win elections, now they seek to advance strict ideological agendas.”

Malarkey! Political parties have existed in America since the earliest decades of our founding, particularly in the years following George Washinton’s first Presidency.

From those early parties like the Whigs through to Teddy Roosevelt’s “Bull Moose” Party to today’s liberal-dominated Democrats, political parties have displayed polarizing differences in their platforms and in their personalities.

Smerconish tries to defend his decision by pointing to a handful of examples of party inclusion of disparate ideas and visions. In every party there will always be individuals who are slightly moderated from the main party platform and ideals. But you rarely, if ever, can find a full-on conservative Democrat or a full-on liberal Republican, especially among the politicians.

That may prove Smerconish’s point, that the parties are indeed ideological, but the fact of the matter is that situation has been in existence since those early years of our Founding Fathers. It didn’t suddenly happen in the last election cycle. It didn’t slowly develop in recent decades. Political party ideology has been around forever.

The fact is that Smerconish began broadcasting full-time in the early years of the George W. Bush administration in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He took up the Republican mantle fully, supporting most Bush policies and positions vocally and publicly, including the use of torture on terrorist suspects.

Over the next half-dozen years, Smerconish became a quasi-celebrity, his public conservative positions landing him gigs as a guest host for O’Reilly and Glenn Beck and his largely conservative writings leading to New York Times best-sellers. Smerconish made a lot of money and gained a measure of celebrity in these years thanks to what were perceived to be his intact, well thought-out, mature political and social positions.

But what also was going on is that Smerconish was doing all of this while working at a local Philadelphia radio station. He was not a nationally syndicated host with a vast network of listeners supporting him, he was broadcasting in one of the most liberal cities in America. His stated positions made him a number of political enemies, and shut him out of a number of local sources.

Realizing over time that he was not going to break out nationally as had people like Beck and Hannity, Smerconish saw himself stuck in Philly and treading water. Then suddenly it happened, the savior, Barack Obama, came along with his glib tongue and his two faces.

Smerconish began earlier than most to sense the momentum of the Obama campaign, and the alleged Republican talk radio host did the unthinkable in endorsing Obama for President.

It was in this moment that those of us who had suspected for years that Smerconish was simply a charlatan opportunist, using 9/11 and the Republican Party popularity of the early part of the last decade to his advantage, got our proof of that as fact.

There is no way that anyone who took any time to evaluate a politician’s actual record before endorsing them, as a public personality with a radio talk show in a major market should, could ever find anything other than the facts. Those facts were that simply from his voting record and previous public associations, Barack Obama was one of the most, if not the single most, liberal members of the United States Senate.

Michael Smerconish threw in with Obama because he saw the momentum switch, believed strongly that Obama was going to win, saw that Obama was articulate and intelligent, and further believed that the sun was setting on the ideology of conservatism. Smerconish basically glommed on to the next big thing to maintain his local audience relevancy.

In the beginning it was actually a good thing to say that he was a Republican who was supporting Obama. In that way, Smerconish could actually try to portray himself as not being ideological himself, despite what was out there in the public purvey for the past half dozen or so years.

But as time has gone on, Smerconish has become more and more enamored with the Obama celebrity himself, tossing aside the substance of the issues for increased access to the administration.

Thanks to his position as ‘the Republican talking head who supports Obama’, Smerconish was actually given the first live radio broadcast, interview, and listener question-answer session from inside the White House with the new President in August of 2009.

A man whom I happen to admire, Glenn Beck, has been an outspoken registered Independent for some time now. But with Beck there is a major difference. He legitimately sees and eloquently expresses his own ideology of American exceptionalism, pointing out with detailed precision how leaders of both parties have been led astray by political and social ‘progressivism’ and calling for a return to the Constitutional direction of the Founders.

Whatever their motivations, I still believe that whether it be in Beck’s principled stand against progressives or in Smerconish’s unwillingness to publicly embrace either his change to liberalism or that he has no political backbone, registering as and championing oneself as a registered ‘independent’ is a bit disingenuous.

There is no doubt that Beck’s conservative lean would, for example, find him in the voting booth ever pulling the lever next to the name of any current Democrat, while there are any number of Republicans who share his basic ideals.

In contrasts to Beck’s independence status, Smerconish is simply a fraud. He is an opportunist who now sees his best opportunity at continued celebrity by casting in with Obama and his liberal followers. Smerconish is waiting for this type of characterization. He is waiting for it and expecting it so that he can use it as well. He is waiting for conservatives to let loose on him for his alleged betrayal.

No, this indictment of Michael Smerconish and his allegedly changed political positions and resulting party registration change do not stem from feelings of betrayal. They come from a long-held belief that the man is all about himself, not any true, bedrock values or political positions. He has no political backbone whatsoever, and has only proven his irrelevancy with this registration switch. That is one man’s opinion based on what I have seen and heard.

It is also my opinion that this move to alleged ‘independence’ is only itself a temporary move. Right now, Smerconish senses the unsure direction of the future political winds as Obama’s plans prove to be the socialist failures that many of us predicted.

I predict here that Michael Smerconish’s political independence itself will not last, and that it is only a matter of time, and more security in the direction of those future political winds, before the big ‘R’ is back, or before the big ‘D’ takes a permanent place on his voter registration.

For local Philadelphia morning drive-time radio listeners, you do indeed have a choice. The intelligent, articulate, personable Bill Bennett can be heard by sliding your radio dial over to 990AM weekdays from 6am-9am. There, Bennett’s ‘Morning in America’ program is a part of the “intelligent, conservative talk” that local station WNTP offers each weekday.

The one thing that Bill Bennett will never be accused of by anyone is being spineless, and you won’t ever see him change his political affiliation for career or financial expediency.

The Philadelphia 76ers Are Losers

This afternoon the local NBA team, the Philadelphia 76ers, signalled to their fan base what most already knew, that it is a losing organization with no future whatsoever.

They did so with the signing of former 76ers star Allen Iverson to a contract.

This signing has to rank as one of the single most cynical moves ever foisted by a professional sports organization on its fan base in the long history of this sometimes-great sports town.

Iverson is now 34 years old. That is young by normal standards, but an old man by NBA standards.

Larry Bird retired at age 35 after a couple of seasons battling injuries as mostly a shell of his former greatness. Magic Johnson was driven from the game at age 33 by a combination of his positive testing for HIV and bad knees. Michael Jordan was 36 when he walked away for the 2nd, but not final, time. His final chapter ended at age 40, after mostly limping through parts of three seasons in which he accomplished little.

The point is that the three most important, influential professional basketball players of the last three decades, all winners, were roughly Iverson’s age when they were wrapping up their careers as champions. Iverson, never to be confused with a winner as a professional, is on his last legs.

So the Philadelphia 76ers have signed him for what reason? To build a champion around? To become a mentor for players like Jrue Holiday, who may actually become a legitimate part of the future for this franchise? To teach the younger players the way to win, the right way to play and practice?

Practice? We’re talkin’ about practice, man? Practice?

During his infamous 2002 “practice” tirade, Iverson was asked by a reporter “Is it possible that if you practiced, not you but you would make your teammates better?” 

Iverson’s reply: “How in the hell can I make my teammates better by practicing?” The reporter went on to clarify that perhaps it would help make them play better with him. In other words, they would play better as a team, the way that winning teams play.

To that question, one that basically was asking if Iverson understood that actually showing up and practicing with his teammates would make them all better as a team, he had this to say:

Is my game is going to get worse? I’m asking you, is my game going to get worse? So what about my game? Is my game going to get better because other players are hurt on my team, I mean, do that hurt me? Do you think that hurts me? I’m being honest, people are hurt on my team but do that hurt me?”

Seriously. That was the thought process of a guy who was supposed to be a veteran leader at that point. And that was seven years ago.

It didn’t take long for the Sixers to realize that Allen Iverson had become a cancer. He had always been selfish. Some say all the great ones are a bit selfish, they all want “the rock”, need the ball in their hands at the big moments. But the man known as “A.I.” wanted that ball every trip down court.

Allen Iverson led the NBA in scoring four times. Of course he did, he was taking more shots than anyone else. Iverson had skills, that much is certain.

In being fair, he was the legitimate MVP of the entire NBA for an incredible 2001 season during which he led the 76ers to the NBA Finals before losing to the Lakers. But it was a season that really should never have been. The Sixers had actually traded Iverson in the preseason to Detroit, a deal shot down because another player refused to go in the deal. They were already tired of his antics then.

Iverson and his entourage were continuously getting into trouble at clubs both locally and in Atlantic City. Assaults, gaming table theft, gun possession, drug possession. He cut a rap record in which he included profane anti-homosexual lyrics. He perpetuated everything that is on the negative side of the ledger relating to the hip-hop culture that has steered so many young black Americans into trouble.

The Sixers finally got rid of him, trading him away to Denver. The Nuggets could only bare one full season of Iverson before dealing away at the beginning of last season to the Detroit Pistons. Without A.I., the Nuggets promptly won their division and reached the Western Conference finals. The Pistons had a losing record and were swept out of the first round of the playoffs.

This is what the 76ers just signed. A selfish, ignorant, past-his-prime distraction. They did it for only one cynical reason: they stink, the fans aren’t showing up, and they need to put seats in the stands. They believe that the combination of A.I.’s celebrity status, shadows of that one great 2001 season, and the simple idea of spectacle will bring enough people to the games that the losing won’t hurt so much. At least not in their financial bottom line.

Meanwhile, on the court and in the locker room, the development of the Philadelphia 76ers young players will be stunted. Hopefully they will not be tainted permanently by this experience.

As Bob Ford, a writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer correctly put it, his signing has created a “..sideshow, luring in the curious and the bored and the kind of people who slow to gawk at the wrecks along the highway. He is the bearded lady, the fish boy, the bear who chugs beer from the bottle.”

The Philadelphia 76ers are losers at this point in their franchise history. No, not because of their current 5-13 record that already has the team sitting nine games out in their division, just a quarter of the way into their season. That is the product of having a young team still trying to find the right mix with a relatively new GM and coach.

No, the 76ers are a loser at the organizational level for thinking that this signing of Allen Iverson is in any way a sound transaction. Anyone who pushed for this signing should stick their fingers and their thumb up in the shape of an ‘L’ on their forehead.

Nearly Everybody Reads the Bulletin

In the city of Philadelphia, the Bulletin is back, and just in time to save local newspaper readers from the quagmire of liberal junk for which we had no alternative for years. Actually, the Bulletin has been back since 2004. I had heard something about it, but didn’t know the story and didn’t pay much attention to it. I just figured that someone else was coming out with yet another newspaper. Same old same old. However this all began to change when I attended a Christmas party a few weeks ago. At the party, my wife and I were introduced to some of the party-goers as “the Republicans”, almost as if to say “the vampires.” There was another such couple at the party, and we were naturally introduced, paired up, and left at the dining room table together. It was the wife in this couple who told us that we simply had to try The Bulletin. She stated that it was nothing like the liberal hogwash pushed everyday in repetitive fashion by the Daily News and Inquirer. She said that we would enjoy the fresh, fair, slightly conservative slant in which the news was portrayed, and especially the editorial section. When the woman told us that The Bulletin would deliver to you free for thirty days as a trial offer, I was sold. I made the call during the following week and the deal was that they would indeed deliver to you free for a month. You would be billed during that time in order to continue your subscription. If you didn’t want to continue, you just ignored the bill. It was a deal too good to pass up. The only problem is that The Bulletin has not yet grown in circulation to the point where it has a carrier in every section of our area. The woman at the party said that her Bulletin comes in the morning via the same carrier who delivers her Inquirer. There was no such arrangement in my area of Somerton, and so the paper would be delivered daily with my regular mail. This seemed a bit odd, but it has worked out. The paper does indeed arrive every day with my mail. More importantly, the content is everything that I was told it would be. It is informative, well written, and largely conservative. Back in 2004, investment banker Thomas G. Rice had the great idea that I had thought of for years. A conservative slanted newspaper to counter the overt liberal bias of the current local newspapers. Rice bought the naming rights of the old Evening & Sunday Bulletin from the McLean family and began publishing on November 22nd of that year. With receipt of the new version of The Bulletin daily at my home, much has come full circle. Back in the early-late 1970’s, I was a newspaper delivery boy for the old Bulletin, as well as eventually becoming an assistant branch manager. The old Bulletin was the first company from which I ever received an official paycheck. Now I am back with The Bulletin as a regular subscriber and reader, and I whole-heartedly endorse the paper to anyone out there. The Bulletin presents the news clearly and concisely, fully covering all of the major stories of the day, and does so with that conservative slant that many of us have hungered for years to read. It will take you a week or so to get used to the paper’s format. It does not cover all of the ‘fluff’ of the other papers, but also does not have as much advertising to wade through. I believe that you will find The Bulletin a great addition to your daily newspaper reading, and eventually may find that it is the only paper you want and need. There is no specific weekend edition, publishing from Monday to Friday, so if you like just order the weekend Inquirer and the Bulletin as your daily. You absolutely will not regret it. The news will be much easier to digest. Blood will stop shooting from your eyes when you read these editorials. You will remember what a great newspaper was like. Back in its former heyday when for 76 years it was the largest circulated evening newspaper in the United States, the old saying for the paper was “Nearly Everybody Reads the Bulletin”. The new version of the paper may not have grown to that level yet, but it has the content and the potential. Give it a try, and if you are like me you will find a reason to believe that perhaps the newspaper business is not dying. The Bulletin should be read by nearly everybody, and certainly by anyone who leans to the right-of-center culturally and politically. Just call 215-735-9150 to start your free trial subscription.