ssǝɹddns ɹou ɹɐǝɟ ɹǝɥʇıǝu plnoʍ ʎʇǝıɔos ǝǝɹɟ ʎlnɹʇ ɐ ʇɐɥʇ ƃuıʇnɔolɯnɔɹıɔ suıɐʇuoɔ ǝʇıs sıɥʇ



Friday, June 29, 2012

Help!

I ain't never seen an entire state burn.

Wildfires, or something more sinister? You got me as well as you've got most federal agencies, because we refuse to protect our once-sovereign borders.

For lack of facts, in the end, they'll blame it all on some nameless, faceless, imaginery smoker.

Later

From the email inbox: Laureen Cummings

** For Immediate Release – Laureen Cummings responds to Obamacare Ruling **

Today, the American people and the Tea Party can claim a victory with the Supreme Court’s narrowing of the powers of the commerce clause and calling out Obamacare for what it really is: yet another tax.

In recognizing the individual mandate as a tax, the Supreme Court has clarified to the American people that the Obama Administration has no problem in further punishing Americans with yet another massive tax burden, even in the midst of what President Obama claims to be the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression.

This decision will reawaken the electorate and those Americans who not only want government out of their lives, but also, who refuse to give the IRS even more power than it already has. This decision is a rallying cry to elect those of us who will repeal this law and reform our Byzantine tax code.




The U-word

I've read just about everything I could find about this so-called '"affordable" health care' governmental overreach and largesse, and for the very first time, I am quite anxious about our future.

What the Supreme Court ruled today is that uncertainty will continue to reign, while optimism continues to wane. Insurers, employers and states now have more unanswered questions than they had yesterday, while what the Democrats promise about the future of health care and it's cost to us stands in stark contrast with what the many bean counters--government and otherwise--are telling us we can expect to pony up.

How am I supposed to see a government takeover of the health care industry as a good thing while practically everything the goverment creates or directly involves itself in gets bogged down in regulatory excess, mucked up by bureaucratic red tape and eventually spent into insolvency? And how am I supposed to be optimistic when my gross pay rises while my net pay shrinks?

And getting back to the dreaded and stifling U-word--uncertainty--how are businesses supposed to go forward and create jobs with that word hanging over their logos, and with today's decision only adding to the uncertainty?

Jobs? GDP growth? A hustling and bustling economy?

Don't celebrate too long, because you can kiss all of that goodbye.

What the court said to us today is that if what we truly want is a vibrant economy and a good life, the mystery man, the self-impressed community organizer has to go on November the 6th.

The U-word.

Political last rites.

Later

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mike Trout

You are going to be hearing that name over and over in the coming days and months.



Reminds me of Mickey Mantle, one of my boyhood heroes.

Luckily for me, I was gutsy enough to snag this 20-year-old for my fantasy baseball team.

Later

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Brits eyeball NEPA (In advance of the coming frack storm)

Scary.

If nothing else, watch the last two minutes during which the nasty chemicals are listed.



Not sure what else needs to be said when the British are fearful of what's going on in our backyards.

Later

@Leroy Township: April, 20, 2011

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Cawley: "Pennsylvanians should be prepared because gas drilling is here to stay."

Prepared? Prepared for what?



Once is an accident. Twice suggests that a geological trend may be lurking underfoot.

But what do I know?

Later



@ Leroy Township

Developing...


Leroy Township Methane Migration from Morgan Myers on Vimeo.


Later

Welcome to Gasland!

A few years ago, a very learned man said the following to me: "This is gonna get ugly."

As a result, I did some exhaustive research which culminated in a 2008 post of mine titled Frickin' Frackin'. 

And now, it's getting ugly.

Independent study finds significant fault line methane leaks near PA natural gas operations
A water and methane geyser, bubbling water, and mud volcanoes have Pennsylvania shale-field residents scared and demanding answers.
Answers? How do we get answers when the initial response of the gas company is to post guards limiting access to the area?

Welcome to Gasland!

Later

PA Outdoor LIfe

Out-of-doors, as in, no AC.

Not for everybody.


Later

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Marketing entitlements

While it's appauling to know that the government is spending millions upon millions to market entitlements, I also understand that some people just flat-out need help.

Great points made by both sides during a spirited debate...



During a period of entrenched economic stagnation such as this one, any serious dip in welfare spending will precede a corresponding rise in crime rates. That's that. It is what it is.

All that typed, back when my continued existance was paid-in-full by the taxpayers, I wanted anything but such a degrading existance. These days, welfare has become a way of life for far, far, far too many people.

The fix? Less regulation, less taxation, less cash-for-votes, sustained GDP growth and a roaring economy.

You know, a Republican.

Later

Fast and furiously suspect

A few more months. Hang in there.

Eric Holder…”We must brainwash people in to thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”



Barry Obama…keep guns out of the hands of criminals? Uh, are Mexican drug cartels employing any criminals of late?



Whatever!

Soon-to-be breaking news: Romney wins Arizona, too.

Later

Monday, June 25, 2012

AMD: 2007 style

To get a much closer look at Acid Mine Drainage, watch this video thingie I put together at the conclusion of the 2007 Wyoming Valley RiverFest paddle.

After we clear the two bridges at Pittston, it flows forth. And then some. And pay particular attention to the expanding discoloration of the river as we pass by Forty Fort, while looking east towards the iron-laden but compromised settling pond.



Pictures don't lie.

We've got some work to do.

Later

Plains settling pond

Since it came up in the comment section of a recent post, the environmental problem tabbed Abandoned Mine Drainage or Acid Mine Drainage is not specific to the Lackawanna River.

This Google Earth overview of a settling pond located directly across the Susquehanna River from the Forty Fort Cemetery proves that it is still an ongoing concern right here in the Wyoming Valley.

These settling ponds, some of which are now commercially viable, are constructed so that the sulfuric iron oxide escaping from the shuttered coal mines can settle to the bottom of the pond, rather than leaching into our waterways. And as you can see below, this particular settling pond is not stopping the exodus of iron into the river. I've seen it close up. Actually, I"ve paddled right through it.

In addition to the orangey staining of bridges and shoreline stones, acid mine drainage, unless filtered by alkalines, is toxic to aquatic life.


I think most of us living here in Happy Culm Valley believe that the absolute worst the coal mining era has left us are a few piles of culm, battered breaker remains and the stories of the numerous underground disasters. But as this Google satellite photo clearly illustrates, there's still a lot more going on than meets the eye.

And please be mindful of the fact that this iron sludge in it's many forms can and does find it's way into the water acquifers more often than not. The anthracite industry in the Wyoming Valley came to a complete halt when the Knox Mine flooded in 1959. But the environmental degredation continues to this very day. And in this case---just out of sight and out of mind.

Later




Sunday, June 24, 2012

Failing railroad bridge

The Exeter to Duryea (?) D&L bridge as of yesterday...



The same bridge in a picture taken during last year's RiverFest paddle...



It seems to a lose a foundation stone or two every year, but it's obvious the '11 flooding wreaked some havoc on it.

And when it collapses (sooner rather than later), who's responsibility is it to remove it from the river bed?

Later




River pics

Some pics from yesterday...








'Til next time...when we trek back to Dinosaur Island.

Later

Congress: Life After Clemens

“This is a collision sport, not a contact sport.”---Kay Stephenson, Former NFL coach

Now that the out-of-control Fedrule Govmint has lost the protracted War on Roger Clemens, there are persistent rumblings that it might set it’s sights on the National Football League.

In case you’re not up on the latest, it has been reported that some players in the NFL hit other players while guided by malicious intent. Yes, apparently some of these players are downright mean, with some even accepting cash bounties for injuring opposing players. Imagine that.

If I remember correctly, as youths we were taught to explode through the ball, to explode through the tackle. Making contact was not enough to ensure a tackle, a fumble or a totally disrupted play. Rather, violent contact was preferred, encouraged and coached. Weight plus velocity? Impact. Big hit. And if the recipient of that impact could not immediately rise to his feet, high-fives all around.

Apparently, some of the people who comprise our overreaching Nanny State were shocked and stunned and saddened to learn that playing organized football can be dangerous. Does anybody remember playing tackle football on the asphalt, yes, I said on the asphalt at the then new Coal Street Park circa 1973? I do. Definitely not smart, but definitely not for the feint of heart. Real manly stuff. Foolhardy toughness. Machismo on steroids. You’re either in, or you’re a pussy and you know it.

Suppose Congress makes it illegal to injure for bounty pay. Then what? Well, then the men who get their rocks off by delivering ultra violence to others will simply do it for free. And since the NFL itself is investigating the “Bounty Gate” allegations and suspending players, coaches and general managers alike, then why should Congress divert from it’s principal responsibility of spending the country into bankruptcy and foreign servitude?

And what of their misplaced priorities? They will order our soldiers to lay down their lives for foreigners that detest our interloping, but they will not stand for our gladiators laying down a vicious hit.

Assuming most of unemployed America can still afford a scaled-back cable bill, I can absolutely guarantee that diehard NFL fans will not tune in on Sundays to watch 22 Jolly Green Giants being courteous to each other. They want the roving, menacing hunter/killers. They want not the metrosexuals.

Sorry, but Soccer just ain’t gonna cut it.



Gotta have some LT when violence is the subject. Fast-forward to 8:05.



Later

Saturday, June 23, 2012

RiverFest 2012

I thoroughly enjoyed yet another watery sojourn on the Susquehanna River earlier today, my tenth such adventure since an unlikely, since a previously unimaginable friendship was formed by way of all of this newfangled back-and-forth via electronic pulse.

Some of those who follow my exploits and the like have asked me what could be so exciting or so interesting about paddling the same stretches of the same river over and over. And my response has always been that the river levels, the height of the water varies so rapidly and so wildly, every trip reveals something new, or hides from view something old. No matter the height of the river, at least for me, it’s an exploration of sorts every time out.

In past years, Kayak Dude and I would paddle the many miles and lament, sometimes anguish over the lasting environmental scars that the Wyoming Valley has had to bare for the leading role it played in the fueling of the American industrial revolution. All for slave wages, mind you. And in my tortured mind, if reparations are ever to be paid to any group no matter their perceived grievance, the first checks issued from the treasury should come to this area for the purposes of environmental remediation.

The plain fact is, we are the descendants of the people who powered this nation for 150 years. We are the descendants of the people who’s blood, sweat, tears and deaths made this continent of ours into an industrial juggernaut the likes of which the world had never seen. And now, all these years later, we nervously and respectably paddle over their watery graves and wonder aloud yet again about why one of the many and varied unwanted byproducts of their direct labors---Acid Mine Drainage---must continue completely unabated in perpetuity.


The government can give freebies to able-bodied young people, but it can’t address that orangey staining that suggests to all possible onlookers that it cares not about our river and it’s tributaries. Our government can send grain to Somalia, condoms to Timbuktu, armed drones to Chicago, much-needed corn to gas tanks and our best and brightest and bravest to the Vietnam War sequel going on in Afghanistan, but it can’t cough up enough funding to correct our Combined Sewage Outflow (CSO) nightmare that delivers raw sewage directly to our children mindlessly playing at the lowest level of Wilkes-Barre’s riverfront.

Amazingly enough, our recently deposed 13-term congressman wanted to erect a dam smack dab in the middle of the 444-mile-long river at it’s most degraded, it’s most damaged, it’s most environmentally-challenged point.

Those of you who know me know full-well that I’m no tree-hugger. But as I have repeatedly paddled past the ages-old wrongs that really need to me made right, I have also wondered about the completely misplaced priorities and ill-conceived and ill-advised misadventures of our duly elected and unduly appointed official hacks.

We can’t fix all that ails Afghanistan, Somalia or Timbuktu. But, given a serious course correction, we could fix most of which ails the meandering Susquehanna River at the Wyoming Valley. More broadly stated, we could fix most of which ails America, if and when we demand as much. More wasteful overseas debacles, or an enhanced quality of life right here in our backyards? You make the call.

So, while I wonder aloud in the electronic ether about why we can’t correct our past environmental blunderings, in lieu of that aforementioned and deadly serious course correction, our own descendants will one day be saddled with the further environmental plundering and blundering that is hydro-fracturing.

KD, thanks again.

Later

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Not a snowball in sight

The power of the Internet!

I attached a picture of my beautiful daughter taken on her wedding day to the top of my Web oasis and the anonymous pussies have at it. According to those who snipe from the relative comfort of the nowhere that they infest, she's ugly.

Yeah, and electing hapless Barry was a good idea.

110 degrees in the shade. 

Not a snowball in sight.

That's what it felt like out there today. My one-time termite sidekick said as much while sweating profusely, uh, while sweating profusely in the shade.




Plus, we had this here problem.

We needed to dig down deep enough by which we could drill laterally through the footer of a slab-on-grade structure. But 48 inches later, we were still far from exposing the footer. And the massive amounts of piled soil we had displaced were threatening to frustrate the two of us in the form of landslides. Er, displaced soilslides. Something or other.

And while the many voices emanating from the air-conditioned studios of the local talk radio station whined on cue about the big bad heat wave, there we were digging our version of the North China Causeway.

What you should glean from this?

Some of us are far physically tougher and more tough-minded than the vast majority of the whiners that seek disability benefits after typing words for a career, or claiming entitlement rights after a single embellished slip story, fall tale or bald-faced lie. That you should never underestimate the power of Gatorade. And that air-conditioning has made complete sophistry of the vast majority of the former hunter/killers---man.

More tommorrow.

Gatorate and a defiant attitude, that is.

Later

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bump in the road

If this one doesn't put a lump in your throat, you are a partisan hack unwilling to admit to having been duped by the mystery man.

Later

Tip of the Week

While Pentagon officials are planning what they call “Libya Light,” a NATO-enforced no-fly zone over Syria, the Russians are now shipping reinforcements in the form of special forces and military tonnage to their naval base at Tartus, Syria.

Meanwhile, Putin has made it evidently clear to Barry that Russia has drawn a line in the sand around their staunch ally that Barry ought tippy-toe over.

And what better way to reinforce that line in the sand? How about if the Russian submarine operating out of Tartus fires a nuclear-capable Bulava missile over Israel?

Seriously, Barry shouldn’t be playing in the same league as the big boys.

Markie's Tip of the Week: Your basement can only protect you from nuclear fallout if the basement windows are covered by at least two feet of soil. Prop wooden planks against the windows on the exterior and pile the soil against the planks.

That's what they used to teach boy scouts in Connecticut, home to the world's largest nuclear submarine base.

Later

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Wedding outtakes

Rodents at Stroudsmorr...

Later

Occupy Unmasked

Democrats endorse and encourage lawlessness, violence and anarchy.

Order the DVD

Later

Dynamo speech

Sarah Palin's keynote address to a convention of conservative bloggers in Las Vegas.

Conservative bloggers? Wow! I had no idea.

I know, I know. You've been trained to puke as if by rote at the very mention of her foul name. I know.

But she nails the media for supporting rather than vetting the mystery man with the blank resume and the redacted past. She nails it!

Later

Friday, June 15, 2012

Oz: "I know everything. And you don't."

The Great Oz has spoken.

A few more months.

But until then: Catch, register as a Democrat, release.

Later

Flashback: 1980

I first spied this video playing on a wall-mounted television (monitor?) in the Gallery of Sound store in the Wyoming Valley Mall.

It was wierd. It was different. It was fresh. It wasn't ABC's In Concert. It wasn't Don Kirschner's Rock Concert. It was much unlike Midnight Special. It was this, this, wait for it--this video thingie. It was as if these guys were mugging for the cameras on purpose, by design...on cue.

And I thought to myself, boy, I could do this all day long.

And some months later (not many), on my daughter's second birthday, MTV was launched.

Later

Links

Since the repeated misdeeds at the hands of law enforcement officials in Old Forge exploded into the news of late, this new site might be worth checking in on.

Old Forge Tribune

And this site, promising revolutionary engineering in the form of passenger cars is wildly interesting.

Vision Motor Cars

Still more senseless black-on-black crime in the city. This time a shooting at the OKT. But fret not. A non-profit outfit is said to be on the way.

Not sure I’ve got anything more to comment on today. Still trying to shake-off the goose bumps from yesterday’s events.

Later

Ebon (EBGB) got married

Long, busy but delightful day today.

As of today, both of my daughters are spoken for. Yes, Ebon, er, for the first time in the electronic ether...Mrs. Fornwalt tied the knot.

And the Stroudsmorr Country Inn? Man, if you're wedding-planning, do not overlook this place.

Bucolic, rustic and mountainous facilities. The food was absolutely top-freaking-notch. The mountaintop, open-air chapel is way cool. And if you could clone that overly attentive and thoroughly professional waitstaff, you could very easily die a multi-millionaire.

G'nite

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

UCube

So this is what it‘s come to in this country---the organized unemployed.

Union of Unemployed (UCubed) Activists

Check this laughable swill. Don Rickles has got nothing on this madcap chickie.

Later

Intemperate stuff

Do you ever tire of running across this sort of sludge?

In a new global survey released on Wednesday, approval of President Barack Obama's policies has declined significantly since he first took office. Overall confidence in Obama and attitudes toward the US have slipped modestly as a consequence. By several measures some of the greatest slippage has occurred in Germany, especially with regard to America's image and Obama's foreign policies. After more than three years in office, Germans are disappointed in the US president's unilateralism; his use of force, particularly drone strikes; his inaction with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian situation and his lack of effort in curbing climate change.

Why is it I never see the polling data of what Americans think of the rest of the world? Why can’t they poll me?

Germany? Oh, I think it’s alright, definitely a country I hope never to have the misfortune of visiting, with the only real glaring negative being that it’s above sea level.

What do I think of the performance of Germany’s elected leaders?

I don’t. Can I go now?

$600 to have your car towed from the scene of an motor vehicle accident in Wilkes-Barre?

Boy, you have to do a lot of twisting and finagling to justify that one. Or shall we say, prevaricating. I was towed after a wreck in 2004, but the insurance company paid for every last cent of all of that debacle.

And since I do not park illegally, I’ve never had to squabble or haggle with any hostile towers, save for one time over my sister-in-law‘s car that was being “stored“ since she was short on cash.

Interestingly enough, last I knew, a ride in a city ambulance will set you back in excess of $600. And I’m assuming that many city residents are not aware of that since they routinely call for ambulances over dubious injuries and minor maladies.

If it were up to me, I’d bring in Falzone’s to handle the city’s towing. Real professional outfit there. Problem is, there is a Barney Farms tie-in. So if you bring in the big, professional towing outfit, the same half dozen or so activist/candidates will sprint to the newspapers with cries of cronyism. See, in Wilkes-Barre, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

So perhaps we should switch back to the tower who hooks state police cruisers.

I’m not really sure why everyone seems to have their panties all in a bunch over this proposed plan to lease the city’s parking assets.

I’ll admit to being surprised when the news first broke, but sans any concrete details, I figured we’d find out what the scoop was when the time came.

But, of course, since the right-to-know rebels have adopted a scorched earth policy, all proposals are seen as yet another opportunity to send the elected and the appointed off to the hoosegow. Man, it irritates them to no end that the Luzerne County corruption scandal did not jump containment and burn right through city hall.

Oh, and I know, J.J. Murphy is being paid consultancy fees that seem outrageous to the hoi polloi. Wasteful spending, cronyism, I’ve seen and heard it all.

Yet, I drove by the Nord End playground earlier today and saw six summer hires sitting on their asses with nary a child in sight. Not a one. So it goes to follow that since some wasteful spending goes unnoticed while other wasteful spending gets the right-to-know rebels to freaking out, I’m left to assume that the issue with J.J. Murphy is of a personal nature.

$20 million for our parking assets? Honestly, I just don’t see it happening. And if it doesn’t materialize, well, then they’ll just have to keep hating on J.J. Murphy.

You know, more accusatory and libelous vitriol.

Later

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Barry versus Putin?

This one is fast-approaching a flashpoint.

US: Russia sending Syria attack helicopters

While Russia’s combat capabilities have seriously eroded since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the export versions of the Mi-24 attack helicopters are still affectionately known as “flying tanks.” The Russians are not forward-deploying these flying tanks to deliver humanitarian supplies.

Now take a look at this…

I really hope that this Israeli-gathered intel proves to be wrong, because the home of the Russian Black Sea Fleet just happens to be located at Tartus, Syria on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Tartus is home to nuclear-armed warships, as well as Russia’s only remaining aircraft carrier which was sent there in direct response to Barry‘s not-so-veiled hints of further military meddling in the accelerant-soaked tinderbox that is the Middle East.

Now, I know that Barry Oblahblah has gone mostly unchallenged over his unflappable support of and direct illegal involvement with this so-called Arab Spring charade, but playing brinkmanship with the Russians has led many a self-impressed purveyor of military muscle down the road to ruin.

Allah Akbar!

Watch this video in which supposed Syrian freedom fighters shout the now familiar call for world dominance over and over again after the implosion of a Russian BMP-3.

I know the recent and politically purposeful national security leaks were meant to put Commander Barry on the same stage as Rambo, but in this suddenly fast-developing scenario, this is an ill-fated drone we really don’t want to launch.

The Russians have a well-deserved inferiority complex, an infuriating stain upon their national psyche. But they are tenacious when challenged. And as recently as today, they have drawn a very pronounced line in the sand whereas the future of their longtime middle eastern ally is concerned.

Barry versus Putin?

Even Democrats know the inexperienced pretender ought not go there.

Later

Dunce, ain't I?

After giggling through a particularly caustic email sent my way by someone purporting to be a public school teacher, I have a question in response.

Where is it written that a problem can be solved only after a decades-long infusion of unthinkable, unspeakable amounts of money?

If children are not being properly educated, deflecting even more money into the union coffers in perpetuity will correct that?

While I may be a dunce, spare me.

The way it’s always been presented to me, the public school teachers during my formative years were unjustly underpaid. Remarkably, I am a voracious reader, a somewhat capable writer and my math skills are second only to elite mathematicians.

If underpaid teachers can be equated with sub-par educating, explain to me how (on a disbelieving dare) I once drew a map of the entire world and forgetfully excluded only two countries?

How to calculate the square footage of a circular structure? Yep, those grossly uncompensated teachers of my day taught me that ancient trick.

Why did the long-haired kid hopelessly addicted to Les Pauls, Strats, distortion pedals and Marshall crates come to appreciate the undeniable genius of Beethoven? Mr. Umla gets the sole credit for that previously unthinkable development.

With that typed, my revolving-door of a parent pool contributed nothing more than reading my report cards and dispensing punishment when applicable.

Years later, I’d attend those annoying parent-teacher conferences only to be told by much higher compensated teachers that any and all educational deficiencies and shortcomings on the part of my children were attributable to a lack of parental involvement.

So, when teachers were poor, kids learned things in bunches. But now that the teachers have become very, very well-compensated, the kids learn less and less, the parents are at fault and the only way to get the kids learning again is by way of long-barreled gun with the words “collective bargaining” stamped on it?

But I’m a “dunce” and I “don’t get it?”

Sure I do. I get it. And that’s why the email came my way.

From each according to their proven abilities in the profitable private sector to each according to their insatiable needs in the red ink-spewing Sargasso Sea that is the public sector.

Dunce, ain’t I?

Buh-bye

Ramming speed!!!

In a laughable effort to defend the supreme leader of the steadfast economic malaise, Bolshevist economist Paul Krugman is repeating the cadaver of an argument that a lack of “public sector job growth” is holding back the economy.

Public sector job growth? Are these flailing buffoons serious?

Since when is an economy’s feeble pulse measured by the growth or contraction of the government?

More stimulus? Really? More government employees? Like, more debt?

Austerity is holding our economy back? Or, is the harsh reality emanating from D.C. holding our local economies back?

The Fed is being bullied into inaction? And, by Rick Perry?

Three and one-half years in, and all they’ve got is “The Republicans did it?“

This is what you get when you elect a mystery man with a threadbare resume who is beholding to the so-called economic know-it-alls from academia--The Keynesian Castroites.

Yeah, the Keynesians who all split just as soon as they realized that their white paper theories led to an economy in which the gainfully employed private sector workers are seen as lucky or more fortunate than others. In their demented world, you are lucky to still have a job. But we need more unionized public sector employees?

According to the latest polls, about half of the respondents are leaning towards voting for four more years of this utter dementia posing as leadership. Remember that video of the Susquehanna River whirlpooling it’s way into the Knox Mine? That’s what four more years of inexperience, incompetence and excuses will lead us to.

Ramming speed!!!

Later

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tolerance

Remember, no matter what, as evil Americans all, we must be tolerant to the point of being subserviant. Opposing viewpoints do matter.

Later

Freedom

Back in 1980 Ronald Reagan asked Americans the question that ensured Jimmy Carter was a one-term president: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Asked the same question in last month’s Washington Post–ABC News poll, just 16 percent of Americans said they are.---Niall Ferguson, Newsweek

“The private sector is doing fine.”---Barry Obama, June 8, 2012

See you...in November!

I just added this Antonello guy to my oft-contradictory list of NEPA links.

Those of you who know me understand that I absolutely loathe 99.9% of the usually clueless and laughably self-righteous protestors accomplishing nothing more than adding to the overtime costs of the cities they decide to pollute by their very presence.

And on most days, nothing gives me more pleasure than watching Internet videos of lines of embattled police officers physically beating the last cocaine-encrusted snot out of the protestors gone violent, destructive or completely lame-brained.

Plus, when the massed slackers are going on about killing the “one percent,” promoting “critical thinking” or how the world would be instantly covered in candy and cookies and tacos and edible toys if only pot were legalized, I always have this burning yearning to be deputized and handed a lead-lined wooden club.

But, in the case of this Antonello guy, how am I supposed to dislike a guy who relentlessly barnstorms for freedom from an increasingly tyrannical and overreaching government spidering it’s way into every facet of everyday Amerikan life?

Freedom.

I got no argument against that.

Later

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Video Flapdoodle: Earl

Earl Slick.

His stage name says it all. This guy is as slick as they come.

Later

Video Flapdoodle: Mick

Without Mick Ronson (guitar, keyboards and orchestral arrangements), David Bowie ends up writing jingles for Saturday morning kiddie shows.

Live at the Marquee Club, 1973...

Next up: Backup vocals and lead guitar. A couple of these licks, riffs and solos are enough to make one want to take guitar lessons. Well, that is, that was back when young people wanted to master something more complicated than a cell phone.

Bitchin'!

Friday, June 8, 2012

French Kiss

Bob Welch shot himself in the chest. He was 66.

Over the many years, there were certain vinyl records of mine that had to be replaced due to excessive overuse. “Ziggy Stardust” instantly comes to mind. “Freak Out” and “We’re Only In It For The Money” by the Mothers of Invention. Practically anything with Jimmy Page flailing away on it. Mick Taylor-era Rolling Stones. And somehow, “French Kiss” by Bob Welch.

Somehow, as in, it’s not a classic in the standard sense. But it’s very well-produced with good riffs and big hooks. A bit too pop for my tastes, but I never got tired of spinning that album.

I’m not sure what makes somebody take a gun to themselves. Perhaps I’ll find out some day.

Anyway, it first occurred to me that a girl named Ebon and not Ebony would be cool while listening to the following song released in 1978. Five years later, I had me a daughter named Ebon.

On a related note, one of those aforementioned Mothers albums also led to Peace Cour, my other daughter. You don't want to know about my son.

Watch the video. It'll do you some good to see a piece of vinyl spinning again. Outstanding sound quality, best I've heard on a YouTube video…

Gone. Not forgotten.

Later

Coughlin @ White House

Coach Tom Coughlin and his world champion New York Football Giants made the obligatory trip to the White House today.

Personally, I never understood why pro sports champions bothered with this White House tomfoolery, but that's neither here nor there.

Anywho, judging by this shortest of short clips, sounds like Coach Coughlin has a future in talk radio.

Later

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Defiance in the face of crisis

No crowing.

Just a link.

Dems Can’t Make it Without Government Worker Unions

"We aren't going to go away. We're not going to pull a blanket over our head and pee in our pajamas."
---Marty Beil, executive director of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, talking to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about the loss of the power to strike and force state workers to pay dues.

Um, with the statewide union membership dropping faster than Barry O's internal polling numbers, yeah, you will eventually pee in your p-jays. But, thanks for providing some much-needed comic relief.

Should have stuck with Hillary.

Later

Imagine there's no make-believe, it's easy if you try

Joe Biden gave a commencement speech to the graduating seniors of a high school in Florida this past Monday.

Some excerpts…

That’s my simple advice to you today: Imagine. Imagine the progress you will see and achieve in your lifetime. Imagine the breakthroughs that are on the horizon and just beyond it…”

So far, so good. A little too John Lennon for my tastes, but what the heck.

Then the leftist in him kicks in and the make-believe follows…

“Imagine putting a roof of solar shingles on your house that will cost no more than today’s ordinary shingles…Imagine a world in which hunger is vanquished by crops that don’t depend on the soil, water or fertilizer, or pesticides to thrive…Imagine a world in which nations no longer depend on nuclear weapons for their defense.”

Afraid, we should be.

Yeah, kiddies…imagine. Imagine that. While the U.S. and the Euro-nanny teeter on the edge of the financial abyss, imagine how frightening it is to have “leaders” still dreaming of the long and forever-elusive Utopian world.

While millions upon millions of Americans have foreclosure notices in lieu of jobs, imagine what could be (Wink, wink) even though you‘ll never, ever find gainful employment in this prolonged economic quagmire driven by wild-eyed idealism run completely amok.

I have to tell you, President Mitt is starting to look pretty effing good at this point. Real effing good.

Five months to go. In my opinion, the rout is on!

Can't wait.

Later

Just in case...

Z-Max.

Nope, not a gag. Real ammo. Zombie ammo--Zombie Max!

When Fireman Dan stocks up on Z-Max zombie ammo, I'm gonna have to start hanging out with him before the virus spreads into the general population en masse.

Later

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

D-Day: Barry too busy to remember...again!

The face, er, the many faces of the then enemy.

Sad.

Later

Remonstrance sans the paper

In direct response to this post at Gort42, I must respond by stating that the affixation of a Drudge-like headline to a link is hardly “crowing” or “celebrating.”

That FDR reference of mine was a very timely reminder that even the much-ballyhooed patron saint of the Democratic Party staunchly opposed the unionization of government employees.

With that typed, the intent of this circumlocution is not to disparage Gort, or to pick a public fight with him. He’s a pro-union guy, and that’s fine. I am not a pro-union guy. And last I checked, that’s still fine for the time being. While I honestly dig the guy, politically speaking, he's just not my cup of brew.

As far as his “What Have Unions Done for America” list is concerned, that’s all well and good and wonderful. But it’s all become a bit dated, so, yes, it’s taken for granted. So, do I also have to be forever remindful of the caveman who first harnessed fire? Fact is, the Breaker Boy era has long since passed, and the public sector unions of today exist only to further enrich the public sector unions of today.

Having once been a trucker jockeying for docks at warehouses in three states, I can tell you that the definition of slow-motion is a unionized warehouse. Conversely, the definition of efficiency on steroids is a non-union warehouse. And a painfully slow warehouse makes it harder to deliver goods to market in a timely manner. In other words, it makes them more expensive to the consumer.

Also, the non-union warehouses are not the warehouses being shuttered while the accompanying jobs are transferred off to Mexico or some detainee camp on a Pacific atoll somewhere. But enough with real world experience, which usually comes across as Pig Martian to the slovenly who need the protection of a union.

The Democrat and union-engineered Wisconsin recall vote was more about protecting the power of public sector unions than that of their counterparts in the public sector. Let's be honest. It was an attempt to ensure that public sector unions remain the runaway vehicle by which the few--by law--can fleece the many, slowly but surely bankrupt said governments and school districts and lessen our quality of life in general. That’s what the pro-union folks were on about in Wisconsin last night.

What does it say about the sad state of the Democratic Party when it’s biggest, it’s most prized and it’s most protected constituency group is it’s unionized government workers? That relationship has become incestuous, it produces red-headed offspring in the form of wasteful largesse and demands that all of those not invited to the familial financial orgy pay for it all.

And what does the tired “What Have Unions Done for America” argument have to do with being a unionized government employee in 2012? Seen any unionized government employees working up a few blisters of late? Seen any teachers toweling sweat from their brows? What a vapid and banal argument for the continued fleecing of the taxpayers!

Just a few years ago, before we changed mayors here in Wilkes-Barre, a politically-connected high school dropout stumbling along in slow-motion behind a rusted, beaten garbage packer was entitled to 21 sick days per year, and a guaranteed taxpayer-provided retirement package after only twenty years of “service.” That, my friends, is what only public sector unions can make possible: the further fleecing of taxpayers.

Meanwhile, out here in the still profitable public sector, the last of the few remaining alpha males and tough-minded women drive what little is left of the U.S. economy in the face of ridiculously excessive government regulation, severely inflated variable costs due to governmental policy incompetence and having to do more with less because of the still exploding governmental largesse painting everything with that stifling broad brush of uncertainty.

So, while it may take a while, thanks to last night’s political shot heard ‘round the country fired from Wisconsin, it seems that what both the Dems and the union brethren told us was impossible--fiscal sanity and economic fairness--are both finally within our long-outreaching grasp.

I see the events of last night as a statement of remonstrance sans the paper.

Later

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

FDR nods in agreement

From Forbes.com…

Governor Walker's Victory Spells Doom For Public Sector Unions

Public sector unions have reached their high water mark. Let the cleanup begin as the red ink recedes.

Despite a last-minute smear campaign accusing Scott Walker of fathering an illegitimate love child, the governor’s recall election victory sends a clear message that should resonate around the nation: The fiscal cancer devouring state budgets has a cure, and he has found it. The costly defeat for the entrenched union interests that tried to oust Walker in retribution for challenging their power was marked by President Obama’s refusal to lend his weight to the campaign for fear of being stained by defeat. We’ll see how well this strategy of opportunistic detachment serves in the fall as Obama reaches out to unions for support.

Later

4 stars

Movies 14, here I come!

Review: ‘Prometheus’

“Prometheus” can’t compare to the originality of “Alien,” but the latter can’t compare to the depth of “Prometheus.” If you avoid knee-jerking and really deconstruct the essence of this film, you may find yourself steeped in a philosophical debate about religion, politics and accountability. “Prometheus” doesn’t set out to answer questions about creation. It poses questions instead, delivers a brilliant metaphor or two and thoroughly immerses us in a 3D sci-fi aesthetic so realistic you may be compelled to don a space suit while watching the movie.

By the way, this movie was directed by Ridley Scott. If you find that name unfamiliar, stick to The Housewives of Incest County or some such equally inane slop.

Later

Monday, June 4, 2012

Don't shoot me, I'm only the kazoo player

Now that the local Young Dems, the local GOP chairman and the local blog-o-rama have all commented on the “election” of former KSS member Steve Smith, I must indulge.

Firstly, the guy basically elected himself with one vote. So I fail to see how this reflects on the local GOP in any way save for apathy, which seems to infect people of all persuasions and political stripes.

Secondly, I bristled when I read the needless comments emanating from the Young Dem kid, because, quite frankly, the local Democrats have personified corruption, graft, greed, cronyism and nepotism in this county of late. But, nice try.

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, since some of the local bloggers and the like have had all sorts of, ahem, interesting things to say about our newly elected representative, Steve Smith, I’m assuming they’d prefer that I not invite him to the next BlogFest soiree.

You know, when that electronic façade of invulnerability is suddenly stripped away, sometimes the tough talking run smack dab into the genuinely rough-and-tumble. And I'd hate to have to watch someone wet themselves.

I’m just sayin’.

Later

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Keystone United on WYOU

Just for the fun of it...Part 2 of a 3-part series.

Meet your Republican committee person...

Could have been worse. It could have been me.

Later

New 9/11 video

This never before seen...well, you'll see.

Dubya did it!

Later

Friday, June 1, 2012

WV Timeline

When were sewers first proposed here in Wilkes-Barre?

When did cobblestone streets first appear in the city?

Visit the Wyoming Valley History Timeline courtesy of Wilkes University.

KD, when did Chief Muckamucka emerge?

Later

Bridges to nowhere

In a politically-correct world, this one goes untouched by white folks.

But it’s such a complete farce, somebody has got to touch upon it.

Ideas abound at Building Bridges meeting

"I hear it all the time, 'I'm going to get out of the city. The city's in trouble. Things aren't the way they used to be.' And we can cut and run to the Back Mountain, we can cut and run to Mountain Top, or we can choose to stay and fight. That's the choice I've made. That is a choice that I think collectively we have made - or you would not be here tonight."

While it’s not entirely clear which of the two presiding clerics the preceding quote should be attributed to, it is evidently clear that he inadvertently described what is known to demographers as “white flight.” That is, the out-migration of white folks from urban centers to the more bucolic suburban areas.

Therein should be the starting point of the people looking to build bridges to wherever it is or whatever it is they hope to arrive at.

Put as bluntly as possible, as the demographics of this once Lilly white city began to appreciably and noticeably change, the disturbing emergence of now nearly epidemic black-on-black crime shot through the roof and has longtime city residents grousing about the good old days.

I read both of our two daily newspapers every each and every morning. And so do most of the folks that drop by this site from time to time. And the seemingly non-stop reporting of high-profile crimes committed by one particular demographic group are there for all to search, peruse and draw conclusions from.

What is needed to build anything upon is less self-sympathetic hand-wringing and more painfully honest introspection. That’s your cornerstone of your yearned-for rebuilt community foundation. Hiring more police officers and having seminars with elected officials will do far, far less than some long overdue self-policing would.

But what do I know? I’m just some aging white boy who remembers the days when people were not gunned down with sickening regularity in Wilkes-Barre as well as Luzerne County.

Building bridges atop faulty premises?

Yeah, bridges to nowhere.

Later