Running to a glorious resurrection takes back the streets of Boston

Boston Strong seemed to risk becoming just a feel-good-about-ourselves marketing slogan.

But Boston Strong was a living, breathing, sweating and running reality today.

A poignant and powerful mass demonstration against those who would sacrifice American lives and defile American institutions with violence.

The Boston Marathon, an annual reverential rite of spring for decades until last year’s two pressure-cooker bombs desecrated its tabernacle with hellish trauma — killing three and injuring 264, underwent an almost religious resurrection the day after Easter.

The volume of the redemption was breathtaking in scope, stoking the power of the resilient American spirit.

Arguably the most pivotal journey in Boston since the midnight ride of Paul Revere.

More than 32,000 people thronged with ghosts and horrid flashbacks crossed the starting line Monday at the Boston Marathon in an awesome in-your-face show of defiance.

It was a day they ran to prove more things transcendent than merely proving to themselves that they could run 26.2 miles in such a marquee event.

They ran, with lungs heaving in search of oxygen and legs threatening to stumble and then crumble, to prove something about their sport, their city and their country.

Many ran to honor the dead and wounded of a year ago. Many runners had the names of the victims scrawled on their bodies or race bib.

They did it all amidst extraordinary security that included a battery of surveillance cameras, more than 90 bomb-sniffing dogs and officers posted on roofs.

And in a finish so inspiring and fitting that it seemed almost scripted, Meb Keflezighi, a 38-year-old U.S. citizen who came to this country from Eritrea as a boy, became the first American in 31 years to win the men’s race.

Keflezighi wrote the names of the three dead on his bib along with that of the MIT police officer who was killed during the manhunt that paralyzed Boston.

Granted, much of the bombing damage inflicted last year will forever follow the victims, shadows growing longer with each setting sun.

But in a broader sense, the Boston Marathon now is no longer a bloody boulevard of broken bodies.

Boston Strong indeed.

Last one to Mars is a rotten asteroid

Remember NASA?

You know, the folks who turned the early astronauts into rock stars back when we thought that Americans soon would be spending more time in space than the folks on Star Trek, Star Wars and The Jetsons.

Then budget cuts essentially grounded NASA’s high profile and in turn America’s fascination with space.

But hold on to your rocket ships.

NASA plans some high-flying projects regarding space exploration — like grabbing an asteroid and throwing it at the moon just for kicks, sending people to Mars where real estate prices are cheaper, and laying the groundwork for permanent human settlements in the solar system so the NFL can expand.

With a lot of road work forthcoming on Berks County bridges and the West Shore Bypass, I can’t wait to either trade in my Lamborghini for one of those flying cars featured on The Jetsons or book a flight to check out Martian chicks.

Supreme Court opens the floodgates on political spending

If you’ve money to burn, don’t turn it into mere ash.

Buy an election or two.

Courtesy of the Supreme Court.

Politics used to be all about hot air.

Granted, there still is plenty of that.

Why do you think we have global warming everywhere but in red states?

But now cold cash is even hotter as a molten political currency.

The Supreme Court opened the door for even more money to be pumped into the political system with its Wednesday ruling on McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, which struck down overall limits on campaign contributions.

The decision means that a single donor will soon be able to contribute millions of hard dollars — in limited contributions — to political parties, candidates and political action committees.

The truly elite donors are poised to be the big winners with the decision, with money giving them the power to set and limit the party agendas.

Candidates for sale. Like meat on the hoof.

The decision, by a 5-to-4 vote along ideological lines, with the court’s more conservative justices in the majority, was a sequel of sorts to Citizens United, the 2010 decision that struck down limits on independent campaign spending by corporations and unions.

But that ruling did nothing to affect the other main form of campaign finance regulation: caps on direct contributions to candidates and political parties.

Wednesday’s decision addressed that second kind of regulation.

It did not affect familiar base limits on contributions from individuals to candidates, currently $2,600 per candidate in primary and general elections.

But it said that overall limits of $48,600 by individuals every two years for contributions to all federal candidates violated the First Amendment, as did separate aggregate limits on contributions to political party committees, currently $74,600.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for four justices in the controlling opinion, said the First Amendment required striking down the limits.

“There is no right in our democracy more basic,” he wrote, “than the right to participate in electing our political leaders.”

Dissenting from the bench, Justice Stephen G. Breyer called the decision a blow to the First Amendment and American democracy.

“If the court in Citizens United opened a door,” he said, “today’s decision may well open a floodgate.”

Amazing how two Supremes could vary so widely on their interpretation of the First Amendment. Didn’t they both go to law school?

Of course, politics usually do color Supreme Court decisions.

It’s as American as apple pie and Obamacare (well, perhaps not).

Whatever happened to tolerating players who are prime performers? The Eagles’ offense a diminished product without Jackson

OK, I get it that DeSean Jackson didn’t fall out of a 1950s episode of Leave It To Beaver or Ozzie and Harriet.

Jackson is not going to be a chaperone for the Vienna Boys Choir. Or be a church deacon.

Still, what kind of football sense did it make for the Eagles to jettison one of the NFL’s most breathtaking playmakers in the prime of his career without any compensation apparently because he rubbed Chip Kelly like sandpaper on his thong?

The Eagles knew about Jackson’s alleged gang connections years ago. The LADPD said the other day that Jackson has never been connected to any gang-related murders.

Aaron Hernandez he ain’t.

Of course, now there are whispers that the Eagles have more dirt on Jackson that they evidently are keeping to themselves. Maybe, maybe so. But rumors are like whiffs of smoke. Intangible until they are cast in concrete.

Those rumors are not scaring away the Redskins or other Jackson suitors now that he has been divested of his fat contract and is a free agent.

Before Jackson’s release, the Birds had trouble trading him because teams and their salary caps couldn’t digest his contract.

For the record, Jackson has never been arrested for anything more serious than marijuana possession and driving with tinted windows and those charges came five years ago and were eventually dropped.

Justin Bieber he ain’t.

Jackson has never tested positive for a banned substance.

What’s the worst thing he did in six years with the Eagles? He was suspended for one game in 2011 for missing a team meeting. They don’t give you the chair for that.

What he has done is make big plays more often than anybody in the history of the franchise, a lethal and proven speed merchant.

Now the Birds likely will have to draft a wideout, but that always is a crap shoot. If potential always translated into performance, Canton would be bursting at the seams.

Meanwhile, the Eagles have to make do with Riley Cooper, who had a couple big games in the middle of last season but was rather mediocre otherwise, and Jeremy Maclin, who doesn’t have game-breaking ability and that was before his ACL popped like a guitar string last summer.

You dug this Grand Canyon hole, Chip Kelly. Hope you have some extra magic tricks up your offensive genius sleeve to overcome Jackson’s loss.

Perhaps Jeff Lurie now will change Philadelphia’s nickname to the Boy Scouts.

If Richard Branson would ever get depressed, he’s insane

I don’t live a bad lifestyle, definitely an upgrade from being a peasant in the Middle Ages or one of the poor blokes who got stuck building the Pyramids without the benefit of sunscreen or Gatorade.

But my life absolutely sucks compared to Sir Richard Branson.

The multimillionaire entrepreneur owns 74-acre Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands where he kiteboards through sparkling Caribbean waters with nubile, nude blonde model Denni Parkinson clinging to his back.

Wonder if Sir Walter Raleigh lived as well?

Possible Nor’easter bomb next week could tear apart the fabric of our souls, not to mention our spines!

We all know only too well that weather predictions, especially those forecasting snow, are about as reliable as the warranty on that junker you purchased at Fast Eddie’s Very Used Cars.

So take it with a grain of salt (and does anybody actually ingest a mere grain of salt?) that we tortured souls in the mid-Atlantic coast could get hit with a Nor’easter bomb late Tuesday night.

We could be buried under an avalanche and buffeted by winds high enough to carve us in half, which would put a definite crimp in our tip-toeing through the tulips on Easter.

Then again, the storm could track east and dump all its misery on the sharks in the Atlantic Ocean.

Whatever the snow outcome, it seems semi-certain that the eastern U.S. will once again be subjected to freezing temperatures next week.

Ain’t global warming a bitch?

The Phillies are bad to the bone

It wasn’t all that long ago when the Phillies won more regularly than the Harlem Globetrotters and the Roman Empire.

But yesterday isn’t today.

And today the Phillies stink worse than a polecat at a fish market.

Speaking of today, the Phillies got clobbered 8-1 by the Braves, falling to 2-9-2 on the spring exhibition circuit.

The Phillies are playing like a bunch of sour lemons in the Grapefruit League.

They can’t hit. They’ve been held to one run or less five times. Going into today’s game they were hitting a collective .194.

It’s so bad that Phillies fans now are cheering hard-hit foul balls.

Not that there has been an abundance of them, what with all the swings and misses providing enough wind power to serve as an alternative energy source.

Phillies hitters don’t need a hitting coach. They need a seeing-eye dog.

The Phils can’t pitch a lick either. They now are scouting junior high teams in search of a fifth starter.

Meanwhile No. 1 starter Cole Hamels has a fatigued left arm, probably from combing his hair.

Their bullpen is so much bullspit.

Suffice it to say their pitching is about as armed as the Venus de Milo.

Their roster is older than Methuselah. Even their bobble heads sit in wheelchairs.

Forget that old adage that hope springs eternal. Hopes of a good Phillies season are dead even before arrival.

It’s only early March and you already can put a toe tag on this Phillies season.