Why are you here?


If you landed here because you were looking for a Russian troll farm, you are free to leave.

The rest of you know my name from the Daily News and the (cough) Inquirer, where I worked for 47 years before leaving “voluntarily” last Friday, with a farewell column that announced the birth of this website.

To distinguish it from the Old Column, a friend suggested that I write here in haiku, but limericks are more my style.

So now you know I will use humor. It might be a bit edgy sometime. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

I would prefer starting this adventure with something torn from the headlines, but I feel I have to show you a road map, so you know what to expect.

Courtesy Visit Philly

StuBykofsky.com is open to ideas from the Right (wing nut) and the Left (loon). My intent is to explore serious subjects — politics, reparations, socialism, Medicare for all, free higher education, illegal immigration, culture, bad behavior, good deeds, Beyonce, and space aliens, if we can find any. It also will be silly sometime.

I expect this venture will develop a life of its own. I suspect it will be a hybrid — part column, part diary, part Facebook post. We will find out together.

I am a centrist, sometimes leaning left, sometimes leaning right. I believe in the rule of law as protection against anarchy and chaos. I also believe facts matter.

I also believe The Middle is where people meet to get things done. That’s what we (meaning me) at StuBykofsky.com believe. I know the extremes draw more attention, but they are destructive.

Compromise to me = common sense, whether in a government or a marriage. Self-indulgent ideologues don’t believe in compromise because they think the morality of their cause demands purity and excludes “settling.” I think that is one reason our national government is gridlocked.

I believe, in essence, America is a good country with some bad people and some bad patches in its past and present. If you believe America is a bad country, you won’t be happy here.

If you need trigger warnings, a safe space, or a puppy to pet when you see an idea you don’t like, leave now. Straight talk overrules delicate feelings.

This column will be Philacentric, but with a world view. The PC police have been handcuffed. The language may sometimes be rough, but we are all adults. I am the benevolent gatekeeper of The Middle.

There’s nothing in the middle of the road, said Texas Democrat Jim Hightower, but a yellow stripe and dead armadillos.

That’s a funny line, but is it true?  Let’s road test it on politics.

As of June, when Gallup asked Americans about their party affiliation, it found 27% said they were Democrats, 26% claimed to be Republicans and — approaching a majority — 46% chose to be independents.

Those figures suggest the emergence of a third political party is possible, but I don’t want to get over my skis. The bulk of Americans are middlist, which is a word I thought I invented, but someone beat me to the punch.

In terms of my home ground, it means purple Pennsylvania is more in tune with America than is deep blue Philadelphia.

I am an enrolled Democrat (I have to be in Philadelphia, where the primary determines the winner almost always) who has voted for some Republicans — Arlen Specter, Thacher Longstreth, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush (once) and maybe some others. I vote for the person — not the party, not the gender, not the skin color, not the religion, not the astrological sign, not the age, not the spirit animal.

I vote for the person who I think will be best for America, not necessarily best for me. Voting only for who is best for you is entirely understandable, but self-centered.

“Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans,” said political commentator Milton Himmelfarb, about his (and my) people. It was a comment on the Jewish commitment to liberalism, which thrives even as American Jews uncouple from their religious roots.

Jews are the only people I know who put the interests of other minority groups above their own.

Is that harsh?

It is an opinion and that’s what you will see here, but opinion standing on a platform of fact. I won’t always be right, but I will always try to get it right — and to  correct it when I am wrong.

And so the adventure begins.

82 thoughts on “Why are you here?”

  1. Good to see you’re still at it, Stu. I don’t always agree with you, but I always like and respect you. This new adventure should be fun.

    1. Good to know there is someplace where we can get truth instead of bias reporting. I ‘m not sure of this but in my opinion anyone that reads that fish wrapper of a paper is getting only what the elitists want us to read and I for one am sick of it as is Network news and other media platforms. I think the whole thing is unconscionable and further distorts what is really the problem that our do nothing Congress has been getting away with it for too many years. But how to stop it? Any views acceptable.

      1. Glad to know your ideas are being shared, good humor is always the best way, even with the old fashioned “Good Humor” truck that used to ring the bell to announce the arrival of the ice cream truck in my neighborhood. We all came streaming after dinner for a treat! Let’s gather in good humor! Sandy now in Hatfield

  2. I always thought your columns were punchy and to the point. I hope that will continue. I sometimes disagreed and I am sure that will continue. Common sense gun reform (that doesn’t tie the hands of the police) is one of my main issues and I think the toll of deadly shootings in Philadelphia is horrifying and a real blight on the record of the Mayor. These deaths, often anonymous, dehumanize all of us.

    1. I will bet you 95+ Percent of the shootings are by illegal guns. Make possession an automatic 5 years. The problem is not people with permits.
      This is a good topic for later on.

      1. Since they don’t manufacture them in basements, I wonder where they get them.
        (I haven’t seen any reports of 10 million guns being stolen)

  3. Always provocative Stu.
    Glad to see you around.

    Can you elucidate on what preciicipated this abrupt change?

    I welcome you being unleashed for sure, but something must have happened!

    I wish you even greater success!

  4. Glad to see that you’ll still be writing, discussing, inspiring people to think and consider opinions beyond their own tiny world! So – some topics: (1) (National topic) What is your opinion of Joe Biden’s healthcare proposal? (2) (State topic) Some states provide free tuition to their own public universities for children who spent time in the foster care system. Pennsylvania only recently decided to allow that for those who were in foster care at age 14 or older. So, literally, a child could have nearly the entire first 12 years of their life, being bounced around from foster home to foster home as a ward of the state of Pennsylvania, then finally be adopted at age 12 or 13… and there will be no extra help for them to attend college, and of course, no one would have been putting aside money for the child to be able to attend college prior to their adoption being finalized. What is your thought on this? Do you feel that children who went through the foster care system are not being given the support they may need to attend college? Or do you feel that if someone adopts a child from the foster care system when that child is 10-11-12-13 years old – that it’s up to the adoptive parent to find a way to make up for a decade or more of missed college-savings opportunities?

  5. I am very upset over your whole situation, my dad was made to “retire” too, after 22 years at the DN, and my husband was laid off from LM after 31 years. Only job he ever had out of the Navy.

  6. Stu, are you going to automatically remove content that might possibly disagree with you or hurt others feelings like your former employer?

    Like you, I recently left a career job after 45 years. I used that as an opportunity to escape the nonsense in Philadelphia and South Jersey. I’m sure you’ll enjoy yourself more than you could have imagined and I bet you’ll be better off financially when the day comes where the Inky closes shop.

      1. So, you’ll remove attacks using “fake news” ? I bet someone else wishes he could do the same.

        Is Fat Head still OK?

  7. Stu, I only comment when I have a strong opinion about or a reaction to the topic being discussed. Just wanted you to know that I have followed you home.
    I look forward to chiming in from time to time. Good luck.

  8. I’m looking forward to your continuing work as I’ve enjoyed your past commentary. However, you short-changed Harriet. You can have an opinion without having an in-depth background.. I’m not pro free college for all but she raises an interesting thought line that is relevant to today’s politics …if you’re looking for material.

  9. Well Stu, you seem to be a yellow mustard guy. When I’m eating hot dogs and getting things done, I’ll be back for the yellow mustard. When I’m looking for Grey Poupon I’ll go visit George Will.

    Also, I hope a paywall never comes between us, as it has with Krugman and Seib. As my Italian grandmother used to say, “They are dead to me now.”

  10. Good to see the gloves are off Stu! Best of luck and looking forward to reading some “common sense” from a fellow centrist. Good luck!

  11. Wonderful. Watching (reading), and learning, from 37-yo Filipino living in the Philippines who thinks USA is a great capitalist and entrepreneurial country and is best for the world if left that way.

  12. Stu,
    Sorry to miss the Friday… whatever. We were out of town (O-H-I-O). Hope you enjoyed your retirement weekend.

  13. STU
    Read your last Inq article, thanks for the reply. Late getting to your 1st post, gonna catch up though, now that I’ve dropped all but Sunday delivery. Again, good luck!!
    Tom Wetten

  14. Looking forward to sticking around and enjoying the breath of fresh air common sense will be…….From a registered Republican in the ‘burbs, but every time I take one of those cute little political quizes that are supposed to show how I lean, I come out smack in the center! Good luck with the new blog. I plan to stick around too!

  15. I’m here because I remember seeing your face in the Daily News as a child and when I was finally old enough to drink at 13,I started understanding you.

  16. Good wishes on your new blog!!

    As expected, I agree with about 95% of your first blog post. After all, we are pretty much identical demographic twins. Having given up Facebook for Lent (or was it a Passover), I miss learning about your life and exchanging comments on your posts. Have you fully recovered from your orthopedic travails?

    As a Jewish Republican living in Philadelphia, I am frequently asked “why” in between unfriendly sneers. I usually respond by asking what Philadelphia has in common with North Korea? (Each is ruled by corrupt single party systems).

    Wishing you only success!!

    Lee Herman

  17. I’ve enjoyed your writing, every time I visit your wonderful city and picked up a paper.
    Might disagree a bit more then agree, but.there is common ground.
    Wishing you the best on your new venture.

  18. I’ll tell you why I’m here: I live about 3000 miles away and with apologies, I never heard of you until I read about the kerfuffle at your retirement party — what a trainwreck that was! If it hadn’t happened though, I wouldn’t have learned you exist, read some of your stuff, and decided I’d enjoy having your site in my bookmarks. Looking forward to making it a regular stop. 😉

  19. Welcome Stu. So good to have you still out there with the “real” news. I have read your column for many years. I look forward to reading your stories for many more. Good luck in all your endeavors. Be safe.

    Yo Pallie,
    We’re down here at Rehoboth Beach. I’m not missing the inky . That just leaves our buddy Dominic and Christine to lend some common sense and insight to the masses. But on second thought, the masses don’t appreciate the work of you three

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