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October 2008

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October 28, 2008

If meteorologically-challenged Philadelphia is a bad scene with its summer heat and humidity, the cold and rain as the Phillies attempt to win the professional baseball championship has been near disaster. Is this any way to play a World Series? You bet your last Louisville Slugger it is not. It's not fair not only to the home team but even more so to the Tampa Bay team which defied baseball logic this season to be required to play in conditions that even football devotees would find appalling. While the extended playoffs arrangement has served to heighten the baseball experience in the final month of the regular season, it has pushed the games too deep into autumn to enable the World Series to be a true determinant of the true champion. The powers that be must decide whether added fan interest and the revenue that generates justify carrying regular-season play past mid-September at the latest. Beyond that we have inexcusable willingness to defy the elements and play until the wee hours in atrocious conditions. We can only conclude that greed is on its way to overcoming the most venerable of all sports traditions.



October 24, 2008

Aside to John McCain: We have met the big spenders and they am us. A gal has to look good on the campaign trail, but a $150,000 wardrobe stretches things a bit, don't you think? With a foundering economy, a couple of wars a long way from resolution and no lack of needs related to health care, energy, education, climate change and other important matters, the extravagance of the Republican National Committee isn't an issue that ought to turn an election. But Sarah Palin is. From the start, your choice of a vice presidential candidate appeared to have been more gimmick than substance. Now that a series of revelations about the way she's operated as Alaska's governor brings into question not only her qualifications to fill the second highest executive position in the nation's government -- the proverbial heartbeat away -- but also her personal leadership qualities. This late in the campaign, your asking her to step aside probably would do little to change the result of the election, but would demonstrate that you do, indeed, place the welfare of the country at the head of your priorities.



October 21, 2008

The credit crisis and state of the economy have pushed Iraq off the front page, but there's still a war going on and American troops are still dying in that war. It began, you'll remember, to get rid of the threat of weapons of mass destruction, which, it turned out, didn't exist. Then it morphed into a commitment to protect Iraqis as they brought about a democracy. Now that there is a semblance of democracy in Baghdad -- at least there's an elected government -- the Iraqis are showing something well short of enthusiasm about 'inviting' the U.S. military to remain in their country after the end of the year and their leading political bloc is insisting that we get out by 2011. It makes one wonder. If they don't want us there and we -- at least the majority of us -- don't want to be there, it's certainly time to pull out post-haste and let them stew in their own juice. Why extend what history already is sure to label our nation's biggest and most costly blunder?


October 19, 2008

You'd be hard put to not be caught up in the enthusiasm at P.S. the other evening. A building rededication could easily have rivaled in dullness the endless stream of public ribbon-cuttings. We kept thinking that this one, however, was on the order of what used to follow a Dynamiter victory over the Red Devils from the other side of the Brandywine in one of those long-ago Thanksgiving Day classics. Someone had the good sense to turn the kids loose and, as often happens when you do, they came through magnificently. For nearly three quarters of a century, P.S. has not only been a north Wilmington landmark, but an integral part of the city's life. Brought up to date to serve a slightly older group of youngsters as a middle school beginning next year, the place retains much of what brought that about -- not just in physical appearance but in a spirit appreciated by many, whether or not they attended classes there.

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