Sunday, February 17, 2008

Casino Lover Makes An Ass Out of Herself

In this week’s City Paper, there was a letter by Maggie O’Brien of the community group Fishtown Action, attacking opponents of the SugarHouse Casino as “the hip few” who really don’t know anything about Philadelphia. I do not even know where to begin.

Perhaps I should start with an article in this week’s Philadelphia Weekly, which covers a broad spectrum of opposition to the casinos. Far from the “hip few” O’Brien caricatures, they include people such as Fritz Dietel, who converted an abandoned factory into a home for his family, and Andrea Preis and Joanne Sherman, middle-aged women who, if you look at their pictures, hardly qualify for the fashionable fifth, let alone the hip few. (No offense, ladies…)

O’Brien’s letter is filled with self-delusion regarding the benefits of the proposed casino. As a previous post on this blog mentioned, and as community activist Kathy Dilonardo points out in the PW article, the casinos will not draw money into the local economy; rather, they will drain it from the local entertainment industry.

More importantly, she does not even begin to address the moral issues involved. She hopes for the jobs the casinos would bring, but doesn’t give a thought to the gambling addicts and their families whose lives would be ruined by the presence of the casinos. She is perfectly willing to profit from having a den of vice in her community. Yeah, real good Philly values, Ms. O’Brien.

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