Cardella: Unfinished Business

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The ATV dirt bikes continue to wreak havoc on our streets. Two recent accidents involving the dirt bikes — one resulting in death to a 17-year-old skateboarder — shouldn’t surprise anyone.

The ATV dirt bikes routinely violate traffic laws in South Philly and the rest of the city. Their noise pollution is horrible. And now add the physical danger they pose. City Council acted by increasing fines to $2,000 and confiscating the offending dirt bike. But without a serious effort to enforce the existing laws against racing the dirt bikes, the penalties mean little. The police routinely advise complainants to call 911. But nothing happens other than tying up a 911 operator. The chaos in our streets caused by the dirt bikes is just another symptom of a city that has ceded control to the law breakers … 

In an article in the Review dated May 11, 2022, titled I CHOOSE LIFE, the writer attempts to justify her pro-life position by basing it on “science.” She claims that science has resolved that human life begins at conception. That would be news to scientists. Quoting SLATE Magazine, April 4, 2017, in an article titled WHEN DOES LIFE BEGIN? IT’S NOT SO SIMPLE, “Despite the insistence of anti-abortion activists, the notion that life begins at the bright line of conception is at odds with many ethical traditions. In a number of religions, when an embryo or fetus becomes a person remains a mystery, something that occurs not in a single moment but in a series of moments, none necessarily more important than the next … the medical community tends to agree. Many scientists would say they don’t know when life begins … ” The author leans on a personal anecdote, making it understandable why she “chose life.” However, she makes my case. The key word is “chose.” She had the freedom to make her own decision, not the government. Her “solution” seems to imply that all abortions come about because of unprotected sex. That’s not the case. But it doesn’t help that in the case of the Catholic Church, it frowns on contraception as well, other than the notoriously ineffective rhythm method … 

Catholics fought long and hard to overcome the prejudice against a Catholic being elected to the White House. The anti-Catholic bigotry was expressed by the fear that an American Catholic would be beholden to the pope rather than our Constitution. John F. Kennedy’s impassioned speech on the subject in Houston during his successful run for the presidency in 1960 proved the breakthrough. But in recent years, we’ve seen various bishops try to pressure Catholic political leaders into supporting anti-abortion legislation. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA-Dem) is the latest to be threatened with being denied communion because she is pro-choice. These crude attempts by the clergy are inadvertently raising the old questions about divided loyalty all over again. And that’s a shame … 

In Pennsylvania, Republicans have suddenly discovered the value of mail-in ballots. Neither Dr. Oz nor David McCormick are ready to toss out mail-in ballots. Not with less than 1% of the vote separating each of them in the fight to become the GOP nominee for the Senate … 

I’m suspicious of the timing in the public being informed of John Fetterman’s stroke in his successful run for the Democratic nomination for the Senate in Pennsylvania. It seems that a lot of us went to the polls on election day not knowing Fetterman had been stricken. And the first reports seemed to gloss over the fact that in addition to a pacemaker, Fetterman needed a defibrillator inserted, indicating perhaps a more serious condition than first thought. Maybe it’s just the cynic in me? But I wish Fetterman well in his recuperation … 

Have you noticed that the White House appears to be leaning on Dr. Jha more than Dr. Fauci for public briefings as COVID heats up again? Not to disrespect Fauci, who has been one of the heroes during this never-ending pandemic, but the Right has politicized him to the point where his effectiveness has been damaged as a spokesperson. Republican politicians routinely call for Fauci’s firing. Fauci is protected under civil service. He’s at the point in his career where he has maxed out his federal pension benefits. He doesn’t need this crap. Certainly doesn’t deserve it. But the sad fact is that every utterance he makes these days becomes political fodder through no fault of his own. If I were him, I’d retire and buy a new set of golf clubs. And tell the haters to stick the job where the sun never shines … 

It looks as if our baby formula shortage is finally being resolved. Make no mistake about it. Our own government policies caused the unforgivable shortage. Almost as bad was the tardy response by the Biden administration. The president finally invoked the Defense Production Act and is allowing imports of baby formula from Europe. But he should’ve acted a lot sooner … 

Finally, a Phillies note: Who is the idiot who deemed it necessary to give Bryce Harper the PRP injection at a time when he was carrying the team with a torrid hitting spree? Worse — who told the Phillies he would only miss a game or two? Harper — prior to the injection — had been able to remain in the lineup despite his injured arm because it didn’t affect his hitting. As the designated hitter, he didn’t play in the field, where he would be called upon to throw the ball. They could’ve scheduled the injection for the three day all-star break in July. The organization screwed up. It could mean the difference between making the playoffs or being left out for yet another season.