Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Too late for prevention?

It's fire prevention week. But it might be too late to prevent all the fires already blazing at the local, state and national levels.

Too late for prevention?


(A brief conversation twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a/k/a BE)

JB: Yo, boss, ya know it's Fire Prevention Week, which means free resources for families and teachers at

BE: Hey, that's great. Families and teachers these days sure can use free resources.

JB: I don't know. Seems to me there are too many fires already blazing to really be prevented.

BE: Oh, I see, you're thinking of the burning rubble of Democracy down in Washington, eh?

JB: Well, the shutdown rages on and I don't see any firewall going up.

BE: And what about the self-immolating reelection campaign of our governor in Harrisburg?

JB: Any time he gets a slight respite from flame-throwing Democrats, he douses himself with own words and then lights a match.

BE: Yeah, I know that brother-sister marriage thing sounded bad. But maybe he was merely promoting Philaedelphia. You know, the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.

JB: Speaking of Philadelphia, what about the future of Philly schools, set aflame by lack of resources, unproductive union talks and new, declining test score results suggesting all the pupils' books already have been burned?

BE: Got admit that's a case of ongoing, uncontained conflagration.

JB: Then, as always, there's the Pennsylvania Legislature.

BE: Now there's a group that could benefit from having a little fire lit under it.

JB: Maybe not. It already manages to burn up tax dollars.

BE: What's to be done?

JB: Well, the theme of Fire Prevention Week is "Prevent Kitchen Fires."

BE: Are you suggesting that since our leaders in D.C., Harrisburg and Philly haven't prevented fires that they...

JB: Yep. They should all get out of the kitchen.

Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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