Drexel Criticized for Noam Chomsky Honor

Noam Chomsky (AP Photo/Nader Daoud)

Noam Chomsky (AP Photo/Nader Daoud)

Drexel University is under continuing criticism from Jewish groups for awarding an honorary degree to left-wing scholar and activist Noam Chomsky during its mid-June graduation ceremonies.

Chomsky, critics say, has been a virulent and unfair critic of Israel.

“Chomsky has seldom missed an opportunity to author a screed against Israel,” Abraham Miller, a senior fellow with the Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought, wrote last week in an essay that has been carried in The Jewish Exponent and the Algemeiner.

Chomsky, 86, a linguist at MIT, is Jewish. His own website features him among “famous Jews who have opposed Israel,” along with this quote: “In the Occupied Territories, what Israel is doing is much worse than apartheid. To call it apartheid is a gift to Israel, at least if by ‘apartheid’ you mean South African-style apartheid. What’s happening in the Occupied Territories is much worse.”

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Wolf Expected to Veto GOP Budget


Gov. Wolf, center, during happier times at the Legislature.

Looks like Harrisburg may blow past Tuesday’s June 30 deadline for a state budget.

The GOP-controlled legislature worked through the weekend with the House passing its own $30.1 budget on Saturday and a Senate committee giving its approval Sunday night. But Gov. Wolf sent signals he would veto the bill, which includes none of his ideas for education funding or taxing the Marcellus shale, two of his big priorities. Read more »

Kane Fires Another Staffer

Kathleen Kane

George Moore told Kathleen Kane she should fire her controversial chief of staff. The chief of staff still has a job. Moore doesn’t.

Moore, a 16-year veteran of state government, was fired Wednesday from his job as Kane’s labor-relations coordinator. He told the Inquirer he believed he’d been terminated because he recommended the firing of Jonathan Duecker after two women reported Duecker had sexually harassed them. Read more »

No More Confederate Flag at Geno’s


Geno's Steaks

Photo | Jeff Fusco

A Confederate flag sticker on a motorcycle displayed at Geno’s Steaks was removed after a customer took his complaint public Monday.

Phil Dahl complained this week to Philly.com about the sticker — on a neon-orange motorcycle built for the shop’s late founder, Joey Vento, displayed across the street from from the steak shop. His complaint came after the Charleston massacre renewed national debate over the flag’s symbolism.

“I’ve walked passed this monstrosity for four years now, and I just can’t believe no one has said anything about it,” Dahl told the website. “Maybe that says something about our own perceptions and blind spots to these sorts of things.”

Geno Vento, Joey’s son and current owner of the shop, on Monday had the sticker scraped from the motorcycle’s battery cover, and the motorcycle rotated 180 degrees.

Geno Vento told Philly.com. “The offending image has been removed from the public view.” Read more »

State May Expand Smoking Ban to All Clubs and Bars



There are still places in Pennsylvania where you can light up a cigarette publicly — but it appears even those few places are about to go away.

The Pennsylvania House is considering a bill that would eliminate most exemptions from the 2008 state law that banned most public smoking. NewsWorks says the new ban would extend to all bars, hotels, and private clubs. There appears to be little opposition to the bill. Read more »

Blackness Isn’t Transferable

Dylann Roof, left. Rachel Dolezal, right. (Dolezal photo: AP)

Dylann Roof, left. Rachel Dolezal, right. (Dolezal photo: AP)

Today marks the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States — the day Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, with the news that slavery ended … some two-and-a-half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had legally, but not actually, freed slaves across the South.

On June 17, 2015, a terrorist named Dylann Roof walked into Charleston, South Carolina’s Emanuel AME Church, and opened fire, killing nine congregants he’d been praying with during the prior hour. Despite the end of the enslavement period and the current state of the Union, a Confederate flag still flies at full mast outside South Carolina’s state house, undisturbed.

All this, after two weeks of talking about an imposter. Read more »

Republicans Gather in Philly, Target Pa. in 2016

republicnan elephntIt’s been a generation since Pennsylvania went Republican in a presidential election, but GOP leaders believe — or say, at any rate — that the Keystone State is still up for grabs in 2016.

That’s why national Republican leaders are meeting in Philadelphia, starting today, for three days, as the party gears up for next year’s presidential run. Read more »

Republican Jumps Into AG’s Race

State Sen. John Rafferty

The first official challenger to Attorney General Kathleen Kane has emerged.

State Senator John Rafferty is expected to announce his candidacy this week. The Republican has represented parts of Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties in Harrisburg since 2003. Read more »

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