With no further ado
As promised, this week's column on rats.
Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at www.twitter.com/brianhickey Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/people/brianhickey/. Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court: divorcecourting.blogspot.com.
As promised, this week's column on rats.
It sounds like Brian Hickey is full of hate and anger right now [Philly Blunt, “Lethal Rejection,” May 18, 2006]. There are a lot of people like that, unfortunately, who can’t really “see” straight. Killing anybody, police officer or not, is horrible. Taking any life is horrible by anybody. We are not put on this earth to kill. Mr. Hickey needs to calm down and read the reality of it all.
Traffic stops as a measure to control guns in the city is at most a half-measure [Philly Blunt, “Stops, or They’ll Shoot,” Brian Hickey, May 25, 2006]. Think how many gun-packing punks are still too young to drive. We need even stronger measures. Sadly, politics will prevent any meaningful solutions.
Ever wanted to know just how criminally degenerate you really are? Well, this link just in from my pal in Hotlanta, the Hon. Rev. E.B. Webb, will help you figure it out. If you don't see me for the next 28 years, you'll know why.
So I got all hippied up the other day. Bunch of Dead was on. What can I say? But wanted to do some sort of global warming story so my paper's really good movie critic Sam Adams had interviewed Algore (like it as one word). Perfect timing. So, here's my part of the cover package from this week's paper, and then my column. I really wanted to work the South Carolina incident into this, and the Avalon-SIC raceway too, but couldn't find a way.
For anybody who's interested, I'll be appearing on UPN 57's "Speak Up" program at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. I'm on the segment after Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson and District Attorney Lynne Abraham talking about the Rob Pierson homicide in Fairmount.
This week's column proposes a new way to deal with Philly's gun problem ... as in, John Law can learn something from his DUI-enforcement brethern ... I'll post early this afternoon.
"Like you, I believe the murder of Officer Gary Skerski was a real tragedy. It saddens me, just like every murder does. What also saddens and sickens me is the way you exploited his death and used it as a platform for advocating the death penalty in your article "Leathal Rejection" which appeared in the City Paper this week. Shame on you. Your use of emotionalism in the article typifies the only tactic those who support the death penalty have left to latch on to. After all, it is irrefutable that the capital punishment system is discriminatory, does not deter crime, and legitimizes an irreversible act of state violence. Indeed, the death penalty is a system that is crumbling under its own moral weight, and one day will collapse completely.The bottom line is an execution cannot logically be used to condemn a killing. Does the person who murdered Officer Gary Skerski deserve to spend his life in jail? Yes. Absolutely. But killing someone to show that killing people is wrong leaves this society, already entrenched in a culture of violence, in an even deeper quandary." (this one came from a fella whose name is all over Amnesty International anti-death-penalty sites yet, if he's the same guy, opted not to include that in the letter)
This is in answer to your editorial on the death penalty. The alternative to the death penalty is not "living on your block", but life in prison without parole - a sentence that could hardly be called soft on crime. It is also important to note that an IQ in the 50's means mental redardation, and the supreme court has ruled that executing people with mental retardation is unconstitutional.
In response to the editorial by Brian Hickey entitled: " Lethal Rejection" I want simply to distinguish between fact and rhetoric.
Fortunately our country was founded on, and still attempts to preserve, fundamental principles of equal justice for all and equal protection under the law. We have a justice system which often operates in ways that disappoint and frustrate, but the underlying principles are sound.
Laws are in place precisely so that emotions do not replace good judment and reason in the meting out of punishment. Mr. Hickey resorts to inflammatory and defamatory language to argue justice in a case where most Americans would agree that the victim was tragically and undeservedly slain. He uses perjorative words to describe the killer at least 7 times (soulless scumbag, yellow-eyed cop-killer, monster, etc.) while suggesting a "shoot-first" response would be appropriate. He then scoffs at the Supreme Court's ruling in 2003 that the execution of the mentally retarded (not "mentally impaired" as used by Mr. Hickey) is unconstitutional and questions whether we would want such murderers living on our block, an invented outcome as the alternative to a Death Penalty sentence is life in prison WITHOUT PAROLE. While Mr. Hickey appears to dismiss the finding, well documented in Pennsylvania, that blacks are disproportionally sentenced to die, I applaud the attempt to make our justice system live up to its promise of "equal justice for all."
Also, Philadelphia Will Do, Philadelphia Weekly's outsourced blog, kindly (albeit sarcastically) mentioned my piece on Friday.
(hippie photo taken from the University of Michigan Web site)
Word's coming in that Philly Police have arrested a North Philly man for the murder of police Officer Skerski. More details when they come in, but for now, I'm going to withhold the name.
A spokesperson just confirmed that someone is custody, and shots may have been fired, but they wouldn't confirm whether the person arrested was responsible for the cop killing.
Channel 3's reporting that the suspect was shot in the leg when confronted at 19th and Chew streets in Olney … apparently Channel 6 had cameras nearby and got footage of the man moments after he was shot .
Philly.com is running with the fact that it was Skerski's killer and tipsters had led investigators to serve searc h warrants looking for him today. They say he's wanted for other crimes in California.
Word's coming in around 2:45 p.m. that police have arrested a North Philly man in connection with Officer Skerski's murder. I'll share more details when I get them.
Here's a link to more information on the Skerski murder from the Philly PD Web site and I figured out how to get that new sketch going ...
I wanted to post the new color composite up that the cops just put out, but I couldn't figure out how to take a photo out of a word file and save it as an image ... so if somebody has an idea, email me ... Anyway, tomorrow's column about a cop getting killed.
Back when everybody was up in arms about a company from Dubai taking over some U.S. ports, I spent a little time down at the docks in Philly.
You may be asking yourself who's this guy with the really long
April 13-19, 2006
April 27-May 3, 2006
Sorry folks, it's been a while since I thought to log in and put the column up, what with the City Paper launching its new blog this week.