Voices | Dec. 10-17

2021 ballons
Image: Jan Antonin Kolar

The SHOUT Out:

New Year’s Eve is fast approaching.

Your turn: Amid the city’s shutdown, how do you plan to celebrate? At home? Headed to a place outside of the city?

Send your responses to voices@philadelphiaweekly.com.

Six-foot rule ignored at museum 

Would you be interested in letting the public know that the Philadelphia Museum of Art does not enforce the six-foot rule? I am a patron and I see that when bags and pocketbooks are inspected that the people and the guards stand extremely close. The guards and I want the guidelines adhered to – a six-foot table would help, but alas, only a wooden stool has been placed near the guards. It is not adequate. 

Also, outside, the restrooms on the first floor (called ground floor) there are no signs telling people how many are allowed in at a time. Please investigate the matters I have outlined for you. I have written letter after letter to Director Rub to no avail. 

Honestly, I am 78 years of age and I have worn protest signs inside PMA about this important safety issue and I am prepared to be arrested over this. The leaders of the PMA are defiant and they threaten and disrespect public safety. The visitors and the staff, guards, etc. are in great risk of contracting the COVID virus. Please help! 

Mina Smith-Segal | Philadelphia 

Make Lincoln Drive safe again

Here is a proposal to make Lincoln Drive safe again, as yet another section of the weekly wrecked guardrails are being repaired. There are about 21 dings and bings to those steel rails even after some of the same sections have been repaired, yet again.

Who recalls that car that went airborne over the guardrail, landed and spun around facing front back to the Drive? The tales of wreckage are in the guardrails; one, two or three every weekend. That curve, “The Thelma and Louise Curve,” with the plastic orange barriers, gets hit so often, why repair it anymore?

We might be able to make Lincoln Drive safer with a simple traffic experiment. The dangerous section is only seven-tenths of a mile long, just downstream from Rittenhouse Street until it widens out again at “BJ Turn” as we head into town.

Let us experiment for several months by making that dangerous short section into one lane each way, with a wider lane by making the two very narrow lanes into one wide enough lane to help drivers make those tight curves. Bells Mill Drive, Gypsy Lane and others in the Park are one lane roads. Let us see if one lane traffic for that section improves our safety on Lincoln Drive. 

To summarize: Two lanes both ways along the Drive until the light at Rittenhouse Street, slow down to one lane each way for only seven-tenths of a mile on the twisty turny bit, and go back to two lanes when it widens and straightens out past the stone bridge on the right.

Worth trying as an experiment to improve safety?

Gardner A. Cadwalader | Philadelphia

Digging the new PW

I just want to thank Jenny DeHuff for having the courage to change up the content of PW a little bit and to give a voice to those of us who have been ignored and marginalized by the Inquirer and Daily News. It’s a pleasure reading the work of Jenny and Paul Davis. Keep up the good work. 

Donovan Farr | Philadelphia

Image: Giorgio Trovato

The Contradiction of AOC selling $58 ‘Tax the Rich’ sweatshirts 

Democratic-socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has rolled out new products in her boutique online store supposedly dedicated to racial and economic justice. This website includes tees and other items slogans “Drink Water and Don’t be Racist,” “Cancel Student Debt,” and others. 

Most notably, though, the store includes a ‘Tax the Rich’ sweatshirt that will run your card up $58. The material is Made in the USA – which is surely wonderous considering the congresswoman’s ardent stance against basically anything involving “America First.” 

The sweatshirt priced the highest, actually, is the unisex “Social, Economic, and Racial Justice” sweatshirt – at $65. It is even “Union Printed.” Unfortunately, though, this item is sold out. Sorry to rain on your parade. 

If you order the wrong item or are dissatisfied – the website does not accept returns or exchanges. If you are overseas, you will be unable to obtain any products from the store, an interesting stance considering leftist xenophobic accusations toward the right.

Jokes aside, this is all to comment on the pure ridiculousness of AOC’s store. For an espoused socialist who wishes to redistribute all wealth in this country and dismantle capitalism, it is beyond ironic for her to be charging such expensive prices for self-promotional purposes. The $58 “Tax the Rich” sweatshirt could only have been devised as a joke, it seems.

AOC makes a congressional annual salary of $174,000, not barring media appearances and, of course, her online store. The contradiction here could not be more real. We the taxpayers are funding her in Congress, and technically, to even be able to have the outlet to charge people for posh clothing. But no matter, here she is, charging $58 for a “Tax the Rich” sweatshirt. Let’s be honest here. What sort of demographic do you think is fleshing out $50-plus for any sweatshirt? 

The ironies run deep through this entire website. There is only one system that could possibly allow such a forum to exist. Capitalism. The system she wishes to tear down. Through free markets, AOC is able to sell her goods and services. She is able to promote these lavish products – virtue-signaling in her undeniable comfort in a civilized society. 

In February 2019, the American Action Forum found that Cortez’s beloved “Green New Deal” would cost between $51 – $93 trillion in the next 10 years. Even more insane is that the non-partisan group found a potential cost of $600,000 per American household. AOC may want to “Tax the Rich,” but her policies supporting such a proposal would tax all of the American people to such a radical measure. 

One might assume that the congresswoman’s boutique provides donations to charity, or another organization dedicated to fighting income inequality. Actually, just the opposite. All contributions go to the Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez re-election fund. And since the purchases are legally campaign contributions – you cannot be an illegal alien to participate. Considering her take on immigration, this is, you know…interesting?

The shop also sells $27 coffee mugs, $24 campaign posters, $10 button sets, and $27 tote bags. Federalist Senior Editor Chris Bedford tweeted a picture of the “Green New Deal” hoodie. “There is no end to the ironies in the @AOC store #GreenNewDeal,” he wrote.

Author Ryan Girdusky also sounded off, tweeting, “AOC has a store where she’s selling shirts…otherwise known as capitalism.”

According to AOC herself, preorders are now available for her apparel. Go get yourself a commie tee made on the back of capitalism today!

Gabe Kaminsky is a writer whose work has appeared in The American Conservative, RealClearPolitics, The Washington Examiner, The Washington Times, and elsewhere. He is a Philadelphia native and student at the University of Pittsburgh, and can be reached at gkaminskycontact@gmail.com.

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