We need solutions to problems, not officials' tough-guy talk

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For a region that defines itself as populated by “tough guys” — the men and women who supposedly “built America’s infrastructure” — it seems apparent that it’s all just cheap talk, because all I see is a city and state full of cowards.

We have a scared and desperate governor presiding over agencies too frightened to tell the public the truth about environmental dangers that we all know exist.

Meanwhile, our governor and the elected representatives in the Legislature have failed the voters in areas such as: refusal to expand Medicaid; make transparent the damage that oil and gas well fracking has done (and continues to do) to homeowners and taxpayers; go against unions standing in the way of liquor privatization and pension reform; legalize marijuana for medical patients; fix corruption at all state levels including judges with conflicts of interest; and, finally, keep up with modern progress by using the best technology available to overhaul the transportation department and rebuild roads to help bring jobs and manufacturing solutions that would encourage business growth.

Here in the city, we have a whining, complaining president of the Fraternal Order of Police saying (after decades of well-known officer abuse and misconduct) that he sees no problems with how the city keeps its rogue cops in check. Dozens of human rights lawsuits and the obvious disrespect for minorities actually indicate a deeper, more severe problem. It’s about time the district attorney as well as the federal Justice Department stop trying to be political — and do their jobs.

So, Pittsburgh, it’s time for state and local officials to “zip the lip” on the tough-guy rhetoric and do what’s unpopular and unprofitable, forgoing their own interest for the higher good of the people. Patching up a few extra potholes here and there is a cute public gesture, but Pennsylvanians deserve more than the latest “dog and pony show.”


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