SEPTA for sale

IMG_4960.JPGToday it was announced that SEPTA’s Market East station would be renamed Jefferson Station in a sponsorship deal with SEPTA and the city of Philadelphia. I didn’t have a problem with this until I read the following line:

In a similar deal in 2010, SEPTA sold the naming rights for Pattison Station on the Broad Street Subway, rechristening it AT&T Station. That five-year deal cost AT&T $5.4 million, of which SEPTA received $3.4 and its advertising agent, New York-based Titan Worldwide, got $2 million.

A 5 year deal? Are you telling me that in 5 years when AT&T is gobbled by the Walmart/Google/Comcast conglomerate that’s sure to happen, we’ll be in for another name change?

In the 20 years that the Susquehanna Bank Center has been in Camden, it has had 2 previous names (I still refer to it as the Tweeter Center by periodically). The Wells Fargo Center is even worse with 4 total names in 18 years (I still miss calling it the FU Center – one of the more unfortunate names in sports history). This seems like a bad idea for transportation centers, where the idea is to be easily found. How easy will it be when the names change every few years? I mean, can Xfinity City Hall be too far behind?

I’m all for SEPTA coming up with creative solutions for funding, especially when you have state leaders that don’t care about public transit. That said, I hope they have the good sense to remember that these names actually do have a purpose, and don’t change them every time they get a high bidder.

Comment: Video Killed Trust in Police Officers

A good article over at Atlantic titled: Video Killed Trust in Police Officers.

“Most police officers are good cops and good people.” I’m tired of that refrain; that is simply not good enough anymore. Flip that around – what they’re really saying is “not all cops are bigoted assholes”.

All police officers need to be good cops and good people. Until that time, you’d be hard pressed to justify not fearing all of them.

Mad World: Newtown, Connecticut

I was going to write about Newtown, Connecticut – but realized that I didn’t have to. Here’s a post that I wrote 5 years ago about the Virginia Tech Massacre, simply replace Virginia Tech with Newtown – and it’s sad that it’s still appropriate.

More to come…

If you needed to be reminded how insanely violent this world has become, a wakeup call was provided this past week. The mass murder that took place at Virginia Tech is senseless but not surprising. In Philadelphia as of last Sunday 114 have been murdered, many of them children, many of them by guns. That’s almost four days of Virginia Tech. In Iraq today 170 people were killed by a suicide bomber. That’s almost 6 days of Virginia Tech. This is a violent world we live in.

 

What’s maddening is the refusal to even address gun laws in this country. The subject was broached on Monday to Shrubya and he dismissed it by saying he supports the 2nd Amendment. Well support of the 4th Amendment hasn’t prevented the Patriot Act. Support of 6th Amendment hasn’t prevented military tribunals in Guantanamo; so why can’t corrections to the 2nd Amendment be discussed? I’m not saying that gun control is the only idea or even the right one. I for one believe that the increase in violence has more to do with the utter lack of disregard people have for their neighbors; guns only provide the opportunity for people to act on that disregard. But there’s got to be some middle ground. But why can’t we even discuss the middle ground? Why is any restriction regarded by the NRA as entirely untenable? Doesn’t the government already police us? I can’t watch nudity and excessive violence on TV no matter what the 1st Amendment says. God forbid a nipple shows up. Then all sorts of hell breaks out and every politician will be introducing a bill to protect our “children”. How about speaking up now and protecting our children against a hail of bullets while trying to learn?

 

Don’t believe that the tragedy in Blacksburg is any different than what is happening in the streets of our large cities. The only difference is that these mothers and fathers have a lot more company in crying over their dead children. It’s just a shame that these children are dying and we won’t do anything out of regard for some words on a piece of centuries old paper.

Your argument against more guns

We’ve all heard the argument that if more people owned guns, then tragedies such as the Newtown massacre wouldn’t happen. Unfortunately for gun nuts, the past few weeks have provided two examples why more guns is a bad idea.

  1. Jovan Belcher kills girlfriend, himself
  2. Father Accidentally Shoots, Kills 7-Year-Old Son Outside Gun Store

By the way, the guns in both of these incidents were legally owned.

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Linsanity: it’s not black & white anymore

In today’s Philadelphia Daily News, journalist Sam Donnellon expressed incredulity that race is a factor in the Jeremy Lin story.

Come on!

Jeremy Lin is the first Asian-American player in the NBA since 1947. It’s a league that is somewhere around 75% African-American and the rest of the league is made up of primarily Europeans. Of course Lin’s race is a factor in the hype. Any other statement is just someone (like Donnellon) attempting to show their open-mindedness through political correctness.

But Lin’s race isn’t the only reason for the talk.

The boy’s got game.  Yes it’s only been 6 games and yes, at some point the league will catch up, but Lin’s start is the best since Lebron James’ start since 2003; you can’t discount that. Scrubs don’t just put on a pair of shorts and score 38 against the Lakers.

New York, New York.  Jeremy Lin plays for the Knicks, who happen to play in New York City and the pseudo New York network ESPN is loving this. If Jeremy Lin were doing this in Milwaukee, it would be news, but #Linsanity wouldn’t be a trending topic. To paraphrase T.O, New York loves them some New York – and since they love it, everyone else has to hear about it.

It wasn’t so long ago that blacks weren’t “equipped” to be quarterbacks, but after a few black QBs had success, this short-sighted belief disappeared. This excitement around Lin is good because it’s always good when someone comes along and opens a door that everyone thought was shut, and no matter why people are paying attention, it’s nice that they are.

Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @iamspencer.

Komen, Planned Parenthood & the power of an angry mob

How great has this week been? When I first heard about the Susan G. Komen Foundation eliminating funding for the breast cancer screening services that Planned Parenthood provides to poor women, I was shocked. I took to my blog, Facebook and Twitter to express my dissatisfaction as did a lot of people. I sent them $50 and others sent them 2,999,950 more. I wouldn’t have been surprised if that was it.

It wasn’t.

Over the next few days, the mob got louder and angrier, and they kept it up. It got so bad, that today Komen apologized and stepped back (albeit a little) from their original plan. It’s a testament to the power of an angry mob.

What amazes me, is that companies and organizations continue to make the same mistake. First there was Lowe’s, then there was SOPA and now the Komen debacle. You’d think they’d learn. The damage to Komen’s brand and reputation may be irreparable. This controversy has forced many people to take a deeper look at them and what was found wasn’t pretty. The founders of Komen have been found to be big GOP donors. They had no issue putting their brand on pink guns,and a new part of their management team is a major anti-abortionist. Many of the supporters they lost this week will not be coming back.

At the end of the proverbial day, I’m happy this happened. Planned Parenthood collected $3 million to help people who need it the most and we know what the Komen Foundation really is. And the internet and social media has become of age as a tool of mass activism.

It’s been a really good week.

Komen vs. Planned Parenthood: Choosing a charity based on politics

Pick a side, everyone else has.

The partisan attitude that has infected our politics and ruined any hope of partnership in Washington has spread throughout the country. There is no better example of this than the fact that I now have to choose my charities based on their politics. This is what the Susan G. Komen’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood means to me. From now on, every time I see a pink ribbon on the back of a car, a pink bat in Major League Baseball, or pink sneakers in the NFL, I’ll see pro-lifers and their rabid attack on women’s health. Judging by the outcry on the internet, I’m not alone.

I’m not sure that the Komen Foundation expected this.

By choosing to side with the right on abortion, they have forced the hands of anyone that is pro-choice.

My simple solution: any charity that is attacked by the right, is now on my list to support. As such, I sent donations last night to Planned Parenthood and National Public Radio.

What about you? What are you going to do?