JFK Plaza aka Love Park in Philadelphia

In 1965, a plaza was constructed in downtown Philadelphia across from city hall, atop an underground parking garage. It was dedicated to President John F. Kennedy in 1967.

In 1969 a single spout fountain was added which, at times, has the water dyed to commemorate or note certain events, such as pink for breast cancer awareness, generally in October.

For the United States Bicentenniel in 1976 Robert Indiana created the Love sculpture. It was removed for a time in 1978 but placed permanently in the plaza after numerous complaints that it should return and remain.

For approximately two decades the plaza was a popular skateboarding location, due to its large granite surfaces and curved steps, but the mayor banned the activity in 2002, as well as changing the landscape to the locale by adding plants and grass, among other items considered barriers, making boarding less attractive.

Love Park attracts scores of thousands of visitors every year and offers an excellent photo opportunity, especially when the fountain is spewing colored water.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Politicians: Listen to that Famous Kennedy Line – Ask Not …

Though John Fitzgerald Kennedy did not spend a long time in the White House he did accomplish some very meaningful actions while he occupied the nation’s top seat.

The Bay of Pigs, though possibly viewed by some as a fiasco, was handled well, and the Cuban Missile Crisis was an exceptionally tough time for any political figure where success was ultimately accomplished, while his work fowarding civil rights positively changed the course of the nation.

When looking at JFK’s political career one of the most meaningful points he ever expressed, and was evident in various of his actions while he served, was during his innaugural address.

Towards the end of that speech he stated, And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.

Unfortunately, most politicians lean exactly the opposite of President Kennedy. It certainly appears that they are trying to figure out how the United States can do more, provide more, hand out more, to fellow Americans. Much of this is, more than likely, done to garner votes for their always-upcoming re-election.

Regardless, each piece of legislation the nation’s elected officials vote into existence that, basically, provides either something for nothing or continually expands the public sector by increasing its size and scope with added personnel and payroll (as well as health and retirement benefits) primarily results in more and more financial burden for Main Street USA and a growing federal budget deficit.

Case in point, is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) which poured billions of dollars into public works through the public sector, with no meaningful statistics to show.

Had that money been channeled into the private sector through bidding contracts that would be awarded to companies there may have been some positive change that could be measured. And this would have been acccomplished with less cost to American taxpayers.

The economy cannot be fixed by increasing the size of the public sector. If, and when, politicans learn this simple truth the country will begin to better itself.

It is not the government’s job, nor purpose as outlined in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, to have become an overly massive bureaucracy that ends up taxing it’s citizens to death in the attempt to cover all the costs necessary to pay for immediate, and future, costs of their myriad programs.

And though JFK was human and had his share of flaws, as pointed out by the 2011 The Kennedys six-hour mini-series, he did have a fairly good idea of the activities and actions that government should and should not be doing or areas where government should or should not become involved.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Politics 2012 – Is there a good presidential candidate ?

Unfortunately, for decades, Main Street USA has allowed politicians to bathe in their own self-proclaimed glory and have not demanded that they rein in their own lavish salaries, expenses and excesses and actually “work for the people.”

Politicians take credit for things they really did not accomplish and they blame others for their own faults and shortcomings.

It is very difficult, today, to distinguish between the art of politics and the art of deception, art of mis-direction, or sleight of hand. With large PR machines operating, most (if not all) politicians do not utter a word to their target public that has not been polled, i.e., that those people being addressed want to hear.

One party accuses Wall Street for all of America’s woes and miseries (while taking their money for their own campaigns), meanwhile trying to add jobs that will, in reality, only add to the budget deficit.

Another party doesn’t want to raise taxes on the wealthy, meaning that the burden of funding runaway spending by all parties entrenched in Capitol Hill falls, again, upon the middle class.

Both parties continue to append thousands of pieces of pork annually to legislation, adding countless billions to the statospheric national debt.

Add to the scenario that elected officals probably spend half of their time while in office campaigning for their next term.

How is it that politicians who “feel your pain” have no pain of their own to feel? Theirs is a “job” that offers incredible wages, benefits, pensions, spending accounts and more. Have any of them actually slashed their own budgets during this economy? Have they ever even thought about doing so?

 

Looking to the 2012 presidential election, there is no “good” candidate from any party. And there is really no “lesser of two evils” to choose between.

Exactly what, then, does a voter do?

Hope and pray that, by some chance, a candidate emerges who does not add jobs to the public sector as the “solution” to unemployment (while increasing the private sector’s burden), who knows that balancing a budget requires cutting certain “entitlement” programs, who will flatly deny approving legislation with even one earmark added, who knows that wealthy individuals do not pay an equivalent share of taxes compared to their actual cash income, who understands that increasing the size of government does not make it run more efficiently, who knows with certainty that forcing citizens to purchase healthcare is unconstitutional and not governed by interstate commerce, who will actually make the public sector transparent and accountable, and who knows they are in office only to serve those who elected them, not any special interest.

Then, and only then, will Amercians be able to say that they have found a person who truly deserves to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

As well, only then could the person being sworn in to the nation’s highest office honestly state the oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Over For Now.

Main Street One

The Washington DC Finger Pointing Game Does Not Produce Viable Results

Finger-pointing, which the White House and Congress seem to enjoy, especially concerning spending or budget cuts, does not show Americans any form of responsibility or concern for Main Street USA.

It is a childish activity that does not result in any viable product. Ever.

The only end products of this adolescent behavior are minutes of airtime or inches of press and seeing themselves on prime time.

Politicians of all sizes, shapes and political affiliations are too much engaged in the blame game.

Few are willing to cut spending, especially in areas where the federal government should not be allocating dollars in the first place or to make cuts in their own backyard.

Not to mention the full elimination of earmarks. Each citizen should not have to contribute to an individual community walking path or the like that is attached to a piece of legislation to buy a vote.

Congress and the White House should lead by example.

Each member must begin making cuts in their own house. They have far too many benefits, expense accounts, overseas trips, staff and perks that are paid by taxpayers.

That is where representatives of the people should have started if they were truly serious about handling an economy that the Congressional Budget Office reports faces a $1.5 trillion budget deficit for 2011.

If the newly elected members of Congress (Nov 2010) really believed in cutting the size and shape of government they would have done so when they assumed office and slashed their own individual office budgets (pay freezes, hiring freezes, cuting perks, cutting travel expenses, eliminating waste, etc.).

That would be leading by example.

That would be the only valid time the president, a member of the Senate or House of Representatives could point fingers, telling their colleagues that they must do the same.

Those who occupy seats on Capitol Hill are not some sacred anointed masters. They are elected officials who are servants of the people, though it appears that none truly remember this, if they knew it in the first place.

Servants of the people.

Perhaps each and every one of them should intently and earnestly study the writings of our Founding Fathers and learn what it means to serve.

Over For Now.

Main Street One