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, because he did not eat generic cialis). 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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Pennsylvania Voter ID Law: No Motive Justifies This

The following is a comment I made on a friend’s Facebook page. This friend supports the Pennsylvania voter ID law. One of the things she said in support of this law is that it’s not an inconvenience to go get a license, so people should stop being lazy . That line of thinking comes from someone who can’t imagine or can’t remember what it’s like to be poor. Really poor. So poor that a car is a fantasy, and if a car is fantasy, why have a license? And when you’re working two jobs, and taking 3 buses and the train to get to and from, who has the time? It’s not lazy, it’s life. Point is it shouldn’t be that hard to vote.

Anyway – here’s the comment:

The country I grew up in valued the right to vote. It was an important moment in the history of this country when women and then blacks got the right. People died for that right. For the first time in my lifetime, this is an effort to take away that right from some people so that it’s easier for Romney to win. Basically, if you can’t win by the current rules, change the rules.

The reason republicans like the law is because it gives them a better chance to win. This is the same reason I like the second wild card in baseball this year; because it gives the Phillies a better chance to win. But this is not a game. These are our rights that men and women fought and died for.

There was apparently one valid case of voter fraud in PA in history. Does that justify the estimated $11 million dollars that it will cost to put this law in place? Let me put this in perspective: state governments have conducted studies to determine if seatbelts in large school buses would make a difference, the answer was yes they would. So why aren’t there seat-belts on large school buses – because it was determined by a study in Alabama that the $32 million dollars it would cost to install the belts wasn’t worth the one life it would save in that state. So they wouldn’t spend $32 million to save a life, but PA will spend $11 million to stop one case of voter fraud?

The motive behind the law is enough for me to dismiss any perceived benefit. Even if it helped my candidate – I wouldn’t be for it. My rights are worth too much to give them away.

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.