Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg's lobbying for Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton's U.S. Senate seat is another case of entitlement based on pedigree. Name recognition, in the era of diminished attention spans and the shorter news cycle, has become a valued political asset. It is disturbing that the driving force behind the American Revolution, ruling power by virtue of bloodline, is becoming more prevalent in present-day politics. It's not a partisan trend. For every Kennedy and Roosevelt there's an equally entitled Bush or Rockefeller dynasty ready to anoint their next political entrant. That we are more likely to ascribe qualities of competence and trustworthiness to untested individuals with "royal" political ancestry is a frighteningly regressive trend.
While reading the newspaper today, this line came to mind: "We are poor little sheep who have lost our way." The failure of the SEC to catch the largest Ponzi scheme of all time. The failure of will to raise gas taxes. The sins of the automakers and of not going green. Manipulating language and religion. The governor of Illinois. All have one common thread. No one wants to take responsibility. There has been a worldwide failure of citizenship. Today's sheep want to eat the grass without producing any wool.
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Mayor Nutter would like to get a bailout for Philadelphia's financial problems from U.S. taxpayers. What's abominable is that for everyone like me, who have suffered a 40 percent hit in IRA/401K retirement "nest eggs," is that his agenda includes a bailout of the city's pension funds. With whom should I negotiate for help so I can retire?
George W. Baker
Guns and militias
The Second Amendment says: "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." If this article of the Bill of Rights is the basis of all the gun purchases in the United States, then it seems to me all gun owners should be enrolled in "a well-regulated militia." Registering gun ownership should automatically enroll the owner in the National Guard or some other state militia.
John F. Currie
My most vivid memory of ex-76ers coach Maurice Cheeks has nothing to do with wins or losses, points or rebounds. Several years ago, a young girl was singing the National Anthem at the start of the game. Before she got halfway through, she apparently forgot the words and looked like she was about to implode in tears. All of a sudden, standing next to her was Mo Cheeks, arm on her shoulders, guiding her through the remainder of the song, and an embarrassing moment of her young life. Not to introduce any racial aspect to this, but the picture of this imposing black man, with a comforting arm around this young white girl, barely taller than his waist, was one of the finest moments in Philadelphia sports history. I only wish I had the picture.
VA drug charge
A letter writer, in comparing Wal-Mart's $10, 90-day prescriptions with the Veteran's Administrations $24 charge ("Wal-Mart vs. VA," Wednesday), forgets something that makes the comparison unfair. VA charges the same for all drugs, whether they are generic or not. Wal-Mart only charges $10 for a selected group of drugs. Wal-Mart can offset the lack of profit, or even take a loss, by charging much more for many other drugs. VA does not do this. Also, anyone with VA coverage is free to purchase at Wal-Mart or one of their competitors if they offer a better price than the VA.
Edwin C. Tyrrell, Jr.
Given that thousands of admiring Mummers' fans will be lining the parade route, how about off-duty police and firefighters volunteer to walk the side lines and urge people to contribute to defray the costs of the parade? Firefighters have used this system for years, asking drivers to put money in a firefighter's boot. More than $100,000 easily could be raised if coordinated properly. Area residents and out-of-town tourists would, I assume, support such a great tradition.
Harry Jay Katz