Archive

Some legislators recognize the need to get serious in Harrisburg. Just not these two | TribLIVE.com
News

Some legislators recognize the need to get serious in Harrisburg. Just not these two

Two glaring omissions in Pennsylvania law obviously were eating away at a pair of state legislators.

As a result, Rep. John Maher of Upper St. Clair is trying to ensure no one makes a meal from animals that formerly were pets. Meanwhile, Rep. Rick Saccone of Elizabeth Township is attempting to force-feed the nation's motto to public-school students.

Both Republican lawmakers should be applauded for their efforts. Rather than address the same old problems plaguing the state (infrastructure funding, for example), they are taking aim at critical problems their detractors cynically might suggest do not exist.

Maher's bill, which would prohibit the processing and selling of dog and cat meat for human consumption, can't become law quickly enough. Pet lovers across the state should be grateful he perceptibly noticed how common this disgusting practice has become.

I can't tell you how many times I've been repulsed at the supermarket by the sight of puppy patties sitting next to the frozen hamburgers. Equally revolting are the feline franks — some with whiskers protruding from the package — sitting in the same refrigerated case as the all-beef wieners.

You don't have to be at a grocery to have your appetite ambushed in this manner. I've walked out of restaurants when diners at the next table ordered as an entrée portions of a creature that once answered to the name “Tippy.”

Maher's legislation finally would establish clear limits on what can be done with dog and cat flesh. Specifically, if it barks or meows, it would not be available for purchase in 1-pound packages or served with Bernaise sauce.

Saccone's bill would correct what educators near-unanimously haven't agreed is the most significant problem plaguing school districts today: The national motto, “In God We Trust,” isn't prominently displayed in every school building.

Saccone suggested there could be tangible educational benefit to displaying the motto, as students might be prompted to consider its origin. Who knows? They might even be inspired to stop playing Candy Crush on their cellphones long enough to embrace learning.

Before long, peer-reviewed educational journals would be marveling over the proven link between the motto and significantly higher SAT scores in Pennsylvania schools.

The motto measure is Saccone's most legislatively significant action since April. He sponsored a resolution calling for a “National Fast Day” in Pennsylvania to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's proclamation for a national day of “humiliation, fasting and prayer.”

Aren't resolutions like that the reason we send representatives to Harrisburg? If our elected officials don't advise us to masochistically starve ourselves while devoting our time to religious contemplation, who will?

Maher and Saccone's bills are the latest examples of an indisputable truth about state lawmakers.

They can be trusted as much as God — at least when it comes to conceiving utterly useless legislation.

Eric Heyl is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7857 or [email protected].


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.