Opinions need not be feared nor suppressed.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


You know the deal. It’s like this: Big boy job equals no time for playing on the Internet. Somebody has got to produce. Somebody has got to pay for all of the entitlements.

I’m giving points for creativity on this mischief night report from Wilkes-Barre. Somebody (stupidly) called 911 because his car was covered in Post-It notes. Nice.

I got that beat, though. Many, many moons ago, some of my goons and I covered a Chevy Malibu in strawberry glaze. My idea.

Here’s one for you. A customer told me she wants the Republicans to sweep the Democrats out of office in a big and painful way. But…she wants Paul Kanjorski to win another term. The way she figures it, if Kanjo is surrounded by Republicans, it’ll force him to “get his act together.” Huh?

I’ve been getting hammered with political mailers. And I’ve never gotten so many pre-recorded messages from the candidates via the telephone. But until last night, not a single knock on the door.

This lady came to the door, handed me a Joe Sestak door hanger and asked for my daughter. When told she wasn’t home, the lady then asked me if Ebon intended to vote on Tuesday. I told her I had no idea about that, so she practically begged me to get Ebon to the polls and quipped, “We really need the young people to vote.”

Uh, yeah. Those young, easily-duped folks got burned by the Hope & Change Express, so I kind of doubt that they’ll show up again in large numbers. The old ‘fool me twice‘ thing, I suppose.

After hearing Bill Clinton’s pep rally (WILK) held down there in Nanticoke, I’m left to assume that Paul Kanjorski is vulnerable only to kryptonite.

The Summer of Recovery (?) has now given way to the Winter of Harsh Realities.

The president of the United States made an appearance on Comedy Central. How long before Baroke Oblahblah ups and shouts, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!” Sad.

This past week, I went and signed on for the 21st century. Yep, I went and bought me, not one, but two of those 21 billion jigg-a-watt LCD televisions. And one of them even has a built-in baby-sitter, a DVD player.

So now, when the boys get on grandma’s nerves, I’ll pop in Black Hawk Down and let them take in two hours worth of death and destruction. We wouldn’t want them getting behind the other kids, would we?

Now I’m fixin’ to get me one of those personal computers powerful enough to rig a national election. I dunno. A Diebold with Windows Vista?

I also want a copy of George W. Bush’s book. I’ve read some captivating books over the years. But I never thought I’d be able to read the words of the anti-Christ himself.

My son-in-law, toiling away in his office down Knoxville way, glanced out of his window and spotted a tornado coming his way. Sent me a cool picture, he did.

Anyway, up in these parts, we get rapid-fire weather alerts when two inches of rain might be possible. And if the wind picks up enough to be even mildly annoying, we’re told to think about heading for the sub-basements with emergency kits in hand.

When I asked the son-in-law what he and his coworkers did while the twister was headed their way, he said they mostly stood around and watched it. Must be a southern thing.

Oh, yeah. I ordered myself one of those E-cigs. For those of you not yet hopelessly addicted to cigarettes, that would be an electronic cigarette.

The thing will supposedly look like a Newport, taste like a Newport, deliver nicotine like a Newport, give my fingers something to do like a Newport typically does, but it will not deliver any smoke, tar or any of that other good stuff.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to it’s being delivered.

I must now retreat to the relative safety of my fantasy football underworld. But before I do, know that I will be staying up all night when next we vote. So if any of you politically astute folks want to rap on Tuesday night, give me a shout. And for those of you on the left side of the deepening political divide, I offer a shoulder to cry on.


Monday, October 25, 2010

The continuing Markie Chronicles

My daughter Peace’s tireless forays into genealogy and all of that have been nothing less than astounding. Eye-opening. Revealing.

And all too often, they present even more questions after a few older questions have been answered to some degree. Every time I think she’s unearthed all that could possibly be unearthed--she delivers yet another aged gem.

Know that before she launched into this journey into the nothingness that was my parental historical side of things, I knew my father’s name, his sister’s and his parents names and not much else. Two years ago, I didn’t even know my own father’s birth date.

I knew he was a genius. I knew he was a senior design engineer in aerospace-related stuff and that was about that. For whatever reason, my mother was not very honest with me whereas he was concerned. I’m not sure why, but he was always a closely-guarded secret when the subject came up. And that’s the only thing I hate her for.

Anyway, every time my daughter dredges up some now ancient piece of the puzzle, more and more that I never knew before her most recent discovery is revealed to me, as well as her.

Here’s the latest…

Sarasota Herald Tribune - March 17, 1962

Scheme To Hide 3-Year-Old Backfires On Florida Dad

A Sarasota woman is involved in a complicated scheme to hide a three-year-old boy from his mother and a Florida court.

The woman, Mrs. Jacqueline Andrews of 2051 Ninth St., is aiding her brother, who is the boy’s father, in the scheme. The plan has, in a way, backfired.

The brother is Eugene Cour of Clearwater. According to the Associated Press, Cour himself is now unable to find the boy.

Cour is the senior development engineer at the Minneapolis-Honeywell plant near Clearwater and Friday was in jail. Circuit Judge Charles M. Philips Jr. ordered Cour held until he reveals the whereabouts of his son, Mark.

The story began last summer.

Mrs. Dorothy Cour sued her husband for divorce, charging extreme cruelty. He filed a counter claim, won the divorce and was given custody of their son.

Cour went to Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where Mrs. Cour was living with her parents and got the child.
Mrs. Cour filed a new petition with the court, however, and on Oct. 20 Judge Phillips granted her custody of the child for nine months each year.

A few hours later, Cour and his son disappeared.

Cour was arrested in February in Fort Lauderdale and returned but refused to reveal where his son could be found, and jailed.

Friday, Cour’s attorney, Roland Fox, revealed his dilemma.

Someone else has young Mark, traveling anywhere in the United States or Canada. Cour won’t say who that person is, though there is speculation that it is his wife, Martha, whom he married following the divorce last summer.

Fox said Cour had instructed the custodian to purchase the Chicago Sunday Tribune each week wherever he, or she, might be. He planned to place a classified advertisement in the Sunday Tribune if he wished to contact the custodian.

The ad was to be coded, Fox said, and would notify the custodian to pick up a letter at the general delivery window in the post office in the nearest city with a population of more than 50,000.

Following the recent ruling of the court, Fox said, Cour’s sister - Mrs. Andrews - mailed a letter to every town in the United States and Canada with a population of more than 50,000 - a total of 307 of them.

The letter, part of which was in code, simply set forth what had happened to Cour, Fox said. It didn’t give the custodian any instruction.

“He felt he wasn’t in a position to jeopardize the custodian,” Fox said.

Last Sunday, the coded advertisement ran in the want-ads of the Chicago Tribune. But when Fox picked up a copy of the paper in Clearwater, he found to his dismay that it didn’t contain the classified section. This circulates only in the Chicago metropolitan area, he said.

Arrangements are being made to place a regular display advertisement - coded, of course - in this Sunday’s Tribune. But Fox said they were concerned that the reputation of being a brilliant custodian might miss it.

Why did Cour, who has the man, defy the court?

“It wasn’t a matter of flaunting the law,” said Fox. “He sincerely felt that he was doing what was best for the child.”

Sure, it got a little fuzzy (Bush-speak) there at the end.

Still, though, the latest answers lead to still more perplexing questions. Questions that will probably never be answered in full.

And, yet, they wonder aloud as to why I’m so screwed-up.


Coming soon to Luzerne County: Ugliness

During one of our 2007 paddling adventures, Kayak Dude said it would be like this.

And I quote: “This is gonna get ugly.”

In Dimock Township and the surrounding environs, fracking has pitted neighbor versus neighbor, business owners versus residential property owners, the state versus Cabot Oil and common sense environmentalism versus the intoxicating allure of royalties.

Here in Luzerne County, we’ve got a coalition of Back Mountain residents telling us that while Cabot Oil has made a mess of things up north, they welcome Encana with open arms and prehensile lips because, as they tell it, Encana is a much more responsible company and will get it right.

While they may or may not be correct in making this self-centered assertion, I’m here to tell them that if they leased their lands that bordered mine, I’d be a tad bit more than peeved with them. In fact, if their mad dash to the cash resulted in my having to head out to the water buffalo in the driveway every time I needed a rinsing off, they’d be smart to stay well away from me.

To hear the Cabot Oil apologists ($$$) tell it, naturally occurring methane bubbles up all over the freakin’ place. Not only that, it’s been bubbling up all over the freakin’ place for decades on end.

Really? Try telling that to David Buck of Endless Mountain Outfitters.

Thanks to Kayak Dude, I was at Buck’s spread in Sugar Run back in January of 2006. The weather forecasters said it would top out somewhere near 55 gloriously warm degrees, so KD beckoned me to get on out there and paddle some in January. And paddle we did.

We put in at the boat launch in Wysox, just a stone’s throw from Towanda. And then we paddled through Sugar Run and ended our voyage at Wyalusing. I think it was a thirty mile trip, but I may be remembering it wrong. Not that the estimated mileage matters in the least.

The point being, in those pre-fracking days of 2006, there were no methane bubbles to be found on that northern expanse of the Susquehanna River. None. Nada, Zip.

Oh, but now we do have methane bubbling up all over the freakin’ place on that stretch of the river. And, no, you can’t blame this particular foul-up on Cabot. Likewise, it can’t be blamed on Encana. Nope, up there in Endless Mountain way, we have yet another company fracturing the layers of shale.

The names of the companies do not matter to me as much as the rate of incidents. The percentages, if you will. And so far, we’ve got two companies fracking in two areas separated by many a mile, and those two areas are now bubbling up methane all over the freakin’ place.

But not to worry, though. We have the publicly-uttered assurances of a few Back Mountain residents already on the wet side of a gas company’s bed that Encana will get it right in our county.

Right! I’d sure hate to be them when the methane gets to bubbling just a few miles from here.

If and when the methane starts bubbling up in the Back Mountain, I’m thinking that some ugliness may find it’s way to those who, despite the empirical evidence presented to us thus far, dare to tell us that all will be well during this next fracking go-round.

All I know is, if I were to be reduced to sticking my head under a spigot attached to a water buffalo for a gulp of water only because my neighbor had multitudes of illusive dollar signs wafting before their unfocused eyes, I’d likely be going off my rocker on somebody. And without even the slightest of further provocations.

And there it is. Whatever it is, there it is.

Coming soon to Luzerne County: Ugliness.

And with that, the words of the immortal Francis Vincent Zappa: “There’s more of us ugly mother-fu>kers than you are.”


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Intemperate musings

I ain’t even considered writing as this past week plodded on. No, it’s been hump, hump and hump. Bad today, but good on payday. One of those kind of weeks.

Speaking of money (the root of all Republican evil), they tell me that in 3-5 business days, my total outstanding debt owed to the world will top out at exactly zero dollars and zero cents. Now that’s freedom.

I’m picturing a run-down mobile home, an acre or two, a vicious dog drooling all about, my daddy’s (yes, they tell me I actually had one) shotgun waiting for me on the rickety front stoop and my main squeeze, Opal, rustling up some measly sort of grub over the fire pit. Squirrel loaf or something.

Refrigeration? No need for any of that newfangled convenience nonsense. Out there in the sticks, boy, we’ll drink our domestic agricultural amusement aides piss warm. And don’t come a visiting me, ‘cause I’ll likely tattoo your dead ass with some homemade, hand-packed buckshot.

Nah, maybe I’ll buy me one of those Chevy Volts, a 12-G cell phone, designer sunglasses; I’ll claim to be a trisexual progressive and pretend I’m stylishly important, too.

But I digress.

I reluctantly attended a dress-up Halloween party last night, a party that turned out to be quite a bit of hearty fun. No, I did not don some silly costume imported from China. Not my style, way too expensive and probably a spontaneous combustion risk.

I mainly hovered around the fire we had burning away outside. But when I stepped into the basement bar room, there were those mercenaries from Philthydumpia getting their asses handed to them on the video advertising box. So they way I figured it, this had to be a pretty good weekend for those of you on the entitlement side of the political aisle. It goes as follows…

BIG Baseball from New York got spanked. BIG Baseball Lite from Philthydumpia got put in it’s place. Those upstarts from San Franfreako, the liberal Mecca of this fast-flailing country, are going to the World Series. And…oh, wait. Houston, we have a problem.

The Texas Rangers, the former plaything of George W. Bush are also going to the World Series. Can I get a collective Drat!?

Anyway, we now have something else to hate after BIG (insert profitable enterprise), FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and the witches from the Tea Party.

Have at it, kiddies.

I used a personal day for November 3rd.

For those of you who are on the public dole, those are extra days off that I have earned. Ask your grandfather. He'll 'splain it to you while you're not busy texting.

Anyway, with this upcoming election purported to be so tilted to one side, and with the other side frenetically muddying every opponent in sight, I plan to snag a case of beer and stay up as late as it takes to watch it all unfold right here on this overpriced ‘puter gizmo.

Honestly, this one kind of cracks me up. Well, that is to say, it’ll be amusing if it weren’t for the fact that our country has come completely unglued with no Elmer's in sight.

It’s simple. The Republicans messed up damn near everything. Then the Democrats wrestled away some of the power and helped to make things a tad worse. And then the Democrats took control of the House, the Senate and the White House and took worse to a whole new maddening level.

So now the Republicans want more control so as to make things a little better. But the Democrats say we can’t go back to Republican control or things will get even worse still. Countering that assertion, the Republicans fire back that the Democrats have made things even worse than they did in the first place.

What’s not to like?

The Republicans say we need to reign in out-of-control spending, something that makes me barely mutter the words I freaking hear that. And what better way is there of significantly cutting spending than by ordering an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan?

If those people are staunchly committed to remaining in the 3rd century, who are we to take issue with that? Assign the blame to Bush. Give Obama a demerit or two. Whatever it takes. Just walk away.

Sorry and all, but 9 years of clearing the same mountains and clearing the same tunnels over and over again is the definition of insanity. Meanwhile, American boys and girls are getting chewed up and spit out for nothing. Nothing.

Pull out and let the Black Opts units have at it. Hand it off to the CIA. Fund some sort of rebel alliance when the Taliban regain control. Funnel some chocolate, guns and money in from Screwedupistan. Tell the last G.I. to exit to poison all of the wells on his way out. I dunno. Just walk away already.

And then deny entrance to the U.S. for Pakistani and Afghani nationals. The way I see it, you can’t attack a flight crew with box cutters if you’re on the outside looking in.

Than again, American politicians are not real big on admitting mistakes, so for the immediate future expect the continuing insanity to keep compounding upon the original insanity.

Idiots all.

Anyway, I thought I’d drop in for a spell today. But it’s getting to be time for some National…Football…League.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Home Rule Top Ten

From the email inbox:

Top Ten Reasons to Vote NO to the Luzerne County Home Rule Charter
1. APPOINTED County Manager who is NOT elected by the people. Voters are being asked to vote to give up their right to choose the people who govern them.
2. County Controller’s power to stop payment of unauthorized invoices is ELIMINATED and the Controller’s Solicitor is ELIMINATED.
3. ELEVEN MEMBER County Council is not elected by district which will result in concentration of power in the most populated areas. Small cities, boroughs, and townships will NOT be adequately represented. Also, NO provisions for minority party representation on County Council.
4. County Council term limits create the situation where Council Members in their last term have no reason not to raise Council salary… they have NOTHING TO LOSE. County Council can raise their own pay at any time WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL. Multiply each Council pay raise by 11.
5. County Manager is NOT required to put any contracts UNDER $25,000 out to public bid. The current County purchasing policy requires that ALL CONTRACTS OVER $7,500 be placed out to public bid and be voted on IN PUBLIC. County Manager also has the ability to remove money from any unencumbered budget item without approval of County Council.
6. Although the Government Study Commission claims to promote strong ethics, they appointed themselves to a "TRANSITION TEAM" that empowers them to DRAFT ORDINANCES and SCREEN and RECRUIT the County Manager and ALL key management employees.
7. We have NO IDEA how much this new form of government will cost. Taxpayers will foot the bill no matter the cost and will be told that this is what they asked for.
8. NO PUBLIC VOTE required for MOST CONTRACTS and NO PUBLIC VOTE required for most hiring. The County Manager has supreme power over all operations without any restrictions or oversight and NO ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE TAXPAYERS..
9. Citizens have NO REALISTIC ability to amend the charter. In order to amend the charter, citizens would have to secure almost TEN THOUSAND signatures of registered voters on a petition just to get the question on the ballot. A candidate for Pennsylvania Governor or US Senator is only required to secure 2,000 signatures… STATEWIDE.
10. HOME RULE LAW provides NO RESTRICTION on how much Council can raise taxes despite what voters are being told by supporters of the charter. See 53 Pa.C.S.A. Section 2962(b). See also, Musewicz v. Cordaro, 925 A.2d 172 (2006 Pa.Cmwlth).

And the top reason...the lack of corruption in this county.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Mr. Ide along for the bumpy ride

Uh, the fool is a useful tool?

The link: Taking upbeat look at gas drilling

The excerpt: Lehman Township resident Gary Ide said too much negativity has surrounded the prospect of natural gas drilling in Luzerne County. It prompted him to start a new grassroots organization seeking to put a positive spin on the activity.

Those driving through the Back Mountain lately might have noticed the group’s work already.
Citizens for Cleaner Energy began posting yellow “Welcome EnCana” signs around the Back Mountain about a month ago. The group next plans to distribute “A New Lease on Life” stickers, which might start adorning bumpers throughout the region soon.

Ide said the group seeks to provide unbiased information and combat stereotypes about property owners who have signed leases with natural gas drillers.

Yeah, but when methane starts bubbling up all over the Back Mountain, Mr. Citizens for Gas Royalty Checks will be nowhere to be found.

Stereotypes? Okay, let's do stereotypes.

You leased your land, you want money, so you're betting, no, you're hoping that your mad dash to the natural gas cash won't result in your neighbors getting a bit ticked off when their well waters are deemed to be unusable.

Good luck with that.

If and when something really bad comes about as a result of the soon-to-be accelerated fracking in Luzerne County, Mr. Ide will be the biggest chump this side of Dimmock.

Good luck wth that.


PAWC on fracking

For what it's worth...

Pennsylvania American Water Position on Marcellus Shale Drilling

Pennsylvania American Water understands the significant potential that the Marcellus Shale gas formation represents for the citizens of Pennsylvania. Economic opportunity for communities, well-paying jobs, independence from foreign oil and an affordable energy source are important benefits, and Pennsylvania American Water joins others who want to see gas drilling successfully deliver these benefits. However, the opportunities must be balanced with concern for the environment, especially the state’s drinking water resources.

Therefore, we believe that appropriate protections are necessary, so that gas-drilling companies and associated industries act responsibly and strictly adhere to all federal Environmental Protection Agency and state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulations. Without strict protection and regulatory compliance, water supply and quality could be adversely affected, placing the financial risk and burden on Pennsylvania American Water and its customers for additional measures to address drilling’s effects.

Pennsylvania American Water is committed to providing quality, reliable water service to customers and will do everything in its power to prevent the degradation of our sources of drinking water. On a daily basis, our certified plant operators monitor the raw source water at our treatment facilities. In addition, where drilling is proposed near tributaries that supply our primary water sources, we conduct water sampling on a frequent basis to establish baseline data prior to any drilling activity.

Pennsylvania American Water relies on regulatory agencies, such as the DEP, Delaware River Basin Commission and Susquehanna River Basin Commission, to review permit requests from gas drillers and to properly allocate both surface and groundwater sources to all users within the basin, so that ample quantities of water are available for all users.

Pennsylvania American Water strongly supports the need for greater transparency and information-sharing in regard to Marcellus Shale drilling permits. Current laws and regulations do not provide for water suppliers to be alerted or have the opportunity to provide input during the review of permits in close proximity to our sources of supply. We have publicly supported the need for regulations and/or legislation that notifies and enables water suppliers to express comments and concerns – during the permit review process -- about the potential impact on water sources.

Furthermore, we have met with and provided input to legislators on provisions to help protect drinking water sources. These recommendations include setback requirements, prohibition of drilling under reservoirs, and mandated emergency response and contingency plans in place before drilling occurs. We have also recommended to DEP that water source replacement plans be submitted as part of the permit application process.

In the meantime, we are staying in close communication with DEP personnel and monitoring media reports to understand where drilling might occur in our watersheds. Pennsylvania American Water will continue to work cooperatively with regulatory agencies, legislators and municipalities to ensure that proper safeguards are in place to protect our water resources. Again, Pennsylvania American Water realizes that the Marcellus Shale gas reserves offer significant positive economic potential, but we must strike the right balance by ensuring that this opportunity can be achieved while protecting the environment for the next generation of Pennsylvanians.

Hope for change

I’m not going to tell anyone how to vote in the upcoming elections. I’m fairly certain most of you already have your minds made up on all of that.

Still and all, when one political party holds the White House, the House and the Senate for two years while the country is but one more flamed-out engine from going into a death spiral, and when that party in power tells us that we should fear what the other party has to offer, I’m here to tell you to chortle at the party in power. Uh, right before you vote the condescending lot of them off to the political graveyard.

I was listening to WILK earlier today, and I kept hearing “Big Pharma” over and over again. Big Pharma, yeah, the continuing ill-advised vulcanization through villainization. You see, to hear those envious of wealth generation tell the tale, it’s not the politicians screwing up our country and our lives. No, it’s those BIG outfits that, by the way, employ people, those outfits still paying livable wages. Big Pharma. Big Oil. Big Gas. Big Insurance. And those poisoning us by way of big, big, big, big Big Macs.

Oh, and according to that dimwitted charlatan in the White House, now we’ve got the Big Chamber of Commerce to contend with.

When complete sophistry of thought becomes your oft-repeated talking point, you have relegated yourself to being laughably unintelligible bordering on unimportant.

I work for a big, big outfit. A global outfit. And in return for my superlative efforts on their behalf, they take good care of me. I make a better then decent wage. I have oodles and oodles of good benefits. I like my health care plan. I have a large measure of prestige, being that I’m working for a company that was named “America’s Finest.” Longevity and market share suddenly come to mind. In other words, I’m not hurting for much of anything, which provides a big time hint as to my political party affiliation.

Ever notice how that party affiliation delineation usually breaks down?

Those who want or need a government stipend of some sort go hard left. Those who want or need to succeed all on their own go a decidedly right of center way. Written in stone it is.

But to hear the divisive class warriors frequently spin it, I figure it’s only a matter of time before it becomes obvious that I work for Big Chemical or Big Pesticide. You know, those evil companies that reward people for a job well done. Those private sector moving targets. Those evil companies that regularly meet payrolls every two weeks. Those evil bastards that still provide paychecks.

Remember them? Paychecks? Paychecks rather than unemployment compensation? Paychecks rather than state-supplied Access cards?

What we have at stake come November 2nd is a question of self-determination versus subservience.

Do you want the opportunity to be gainfully employed and enjoy some semblance of self-determination? Or do you want to have to report directly to a government social worker every time your enterprising 16-year-old works even a smidgen of overtime? Do you want to have to report directly to a government social worker every time you need even a suture or two? Do you want to have to appear on bent knee before some hapless jackass like Mayor "Nanny State" Bloomberg if your grandmother’s handed-down, kick-ass recipe calls for more than a teaspoon of salt?

All that the Democrats are offering us is more Big Government. And on their frightfully destructive watch, Big Government has become too intrusive, too expansive, too expensive, too economically retarding and too, too tyrannical.

Anyway, I’m not going to tell anyone how to vote in the upcoming elections.

Hope for change.

Big change.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Charter No schedule

Although I'm leaning decidedly towards voting HELL YES! on this Luzerne County charter question, consider the publishing of the following as a public service of sorts.

Upcoming Events for Luzerne County Home Rule Charter NO Group

Kingston (Oct. 13, 2010) – The Committee for NO to County Home Rule Charter has announced a number of events to inform the public of their position against the recommended Home Rule charter from the Government Study Commission. The below list of events will be held in the weeks leading up to Election Day on November 2nd.

Charter NO public forum on Thursday, October 14th from 7 to 9 p.m. on the second floor of the Black Diamond American Legion located at 386 Wyoming Avenue, Kingston next to Kost Tire.
Charter NO public forum Tuesday, October 19th from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Hazelton City Hall located at 40 North Church Street, Hazelton.

Home Rule charter debate televised on WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania on Thursday, October 21st at 7 p.m. Luzerne County controller Walter Griffith and Luzerne County solicitor Vito DeLuca will be debating supporters of the charter James Haggerty and Rick Morelli who both served on the Government Study Commission.

Public forum Thursday, October 21st from 7 to 9 p.m. at Conyngham Borough municipal building located at 215 Main Street Conyngham. The speaker will be Luzerne County prothonotary Carolee Medico Olenginski. For details call Charmaine Maynard at 570-788-2996.

Public forum sponsored by the South Valley Chamber of Newport Township on Tuesday, October 26th at Luzerne County Community College, Educational Conference Center, 1333 South Prospect Street Nanticoke.

Home Rule charter debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters on Wednesday, October 27th at 7 p.m. on the second floor of the Wilkes University Student Center, 84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre. Luzerne County controller Walter Griffith and Luzerne County solicitor Vito DeLuca will again be debating supporters of the charter James Haggerty and Rick Morelli who both served on the Government Study Commission.
About the Committee for NO to County Home Rule Charter:

The Committee for NO to County Home Rule Charter is a diverse group of concerned citizens consisting of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and representatives from both labor and business who are against the current recommended Home Rule charter for Luzerne County. To learn more about this organization and to make donations, please visit their official website at www.CharterNO.com. For all other information, please contact committee spokesperson Vito DeLuca at 570-574-2180.

For more information on this press release, please contact Dan Salvaterra at 570-822-4300.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Feds have gone to the dogs

According to WILK's Steve Corbett...

Congressman Paul Kanjorski has hired former WILK talk jock Kevin Viking Lynn to fill the role of a "communications assistant," a job that will pay Lynn $50,000 a year, with full federal benefits including health insurance.

Get that? Kevin Lynn, a federal employee? Wow! That's rich.

Seems the government will hire just about anything.

I'm paraphrasing here, but Corbett went on to say he thinks this hiring amounts to Kanjorski admitting to his upcoming election night defeat by passing out yet another political favor to a longtime ally.

Hard to argue with that one.


Friday, October 8, 2010


Do you love the NFL more than this fast-declining life itself?

Or, do you consider yourself to be a divorcee every Sunday afternoon?

Really? Good for you.

Are you capable of having it delivered a bit rude and crude without crying yourself to sleep?

Really? Again, good for you. You're a throwback to a bygone era.

NEPA Fantasy Football


FYI...Charter No

From the email inbox:

Home Rule Charter NO Group Announces Meetings in Dupont and Kingston

Wilkes-Barre (Oct. 7, 2010) – The Committee for NO to County Home Rule Charter has announced two new meetings to be held next week in Dupont and Kingston:

The first meeting will be held on October 12th from 7 to 9 p.m. on the second floor of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4909 located at 401 Main Street in Dupont.

The second meeting will be held on October 14th from 7 to 9 p.m. on the second floor of the Black Diamond American Legion located at 386 Wyoming Avenue, Kingston next to Kost Tire.

Both meetings are open to the public and the committee asks Luzerne County residents to come out and participate.

About the Committee for NO to County Home Rule Charter:

The Committee for NO to County Home Rule Charter is a diverse group of concerned citizens consisting of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and representatives from both labor and business who oppose the current recommended Home Rule charter for Luzerne County. To learn more about this organization and to make donations, please visit their official website at www.CharterNO.com. For all other information, please contact committee spokesperson Vito Deluca at 570-574-2180.

For more information on this press release, please contact Dan Salvaterra at 570-822-4300.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


While the out-migration of our best and brightest--our offspring--continues unabated, the self-serving, conniving folks wholly responsible for that disturbing and tiresome out-migration keep on being out-migrated to prison.

From the Citizen's Voice:

Former W-B School Board member Dunn sentenced to prison

No matter what it costs us to house a federal prisoner these days, consider this financial outlay of ours as money well spent.

Sez me.


Meet the Replacements

From the email inbox:

Join Us
Luzerne County Republicans

Old-Fashioned, Get-Out-The-Vote Rally
Thursday, Oct. 21, 6-9 p.m.
Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Hall, Watson Street, Wilkes-Barre Township
Music, Refreshments. Donation $10

For Our FULL Slate of Candidates

Proven Leaders Committed to Changing the Face of Washington & Harrisburg


TOM CORBETT & JIM CAWLEY, Pa. Governor/Lt. Governor




Please call 570-208-4671 or e-mail events@luzernegop.org to make a reservation.

Follow our updates on http://luzernegop.org/

Paid for by the Luzerne County Republican Committee

Splattering at the polls

Let’s see here, the latest data points out that 41.8 million Americans are collecting some amount of what used to be called food stamps.

And according to White House estimates, that number is expected to rise to 43.3 million by the beginning of the next fiscal year. Uh, that would be now.

Then I read that 9.18 million Americans are collecting some amount of unemployment compensation. And it’s estimated by the government that at least half that many have exhausted their unemployment benefits and are now sh*t out of luck. You know, like, on suicide watch.

But don’t sweat it because your complete slacker of a kid can now remain on your health care plan until the ripe old age of 26. Well, that’s assuming you even have a job or an employer-sponsored health care plan.

And with those horrifying numbers pointing out the stark realities we face as a fast-failing nation, our elected officials have basically convened for a month so as to hit the election trail.
The Republicans are promising some budgetary restraint. And the Democrats have reduced themselves to wall-to-wall mudslinging since they do not want their recent record mentioned, not even for a fleeting instant.

The Republicans are promising better, while the Democrats are calling their opponents witches and whatnot.

The women’s homeless shelter behind this here modest adobe, Ruth’s Place, is expanding so as to be able to accommodate more from the swelling ranks of those made recently homeless. And if this doesn’t beat all, it’s using federal stimulus dollars to do as much.

Speaking of the misapplied stimulus dollars, it’s obvious to even those of us who were smashed in the head one too many times as kids that those mostly wasted dollars created temporary work, not life-sustaining permanent jobs.

My point?

I said a long ways back, in print, that when the tire goes flat, you repair it, not reinvent it.

And this is where Barack and Co. seriously miscalculated. They mistakenly tinkered with damn near everything while incorrectly assuming that the cyclical economy would bounce back all on it’s own. And soon after taking the reigns, members of the president’s cabinet admitted as much, that they thought the economic depression would fade in due time. As in, before the mid-term elections.

Basically, the enormity of their overly ambitious and ill-timed agenda was matched only by their amateurish responses to a growing economic calamity.

While the troubling economic trends some 20 months ago required capable and committed leadership, what we got instead was an overly ambitious far left-of-center agenda that added nothing but uncertainties to the turbulent economic mix. And adding heaps of uncertainty to a free market economy is akin to promoting the chain-smoking of cigarettes as a way of enhancing prepubescent growth.

So here we are less than a month before those aforementioned mid-term elections, and the folks in charge of all three branches of the Fedrule Govmint are hiding in their little hidey holes and churning out press releases warning us of the possibility of witchcraft coming from the right?

This is it? With the country in serious, serious decline, this is all they’ve got…the wall-to-wall mudslinging?

Kiddies, there is a well-deserved political bloodletting afoot.

I’ll see you at the polls. I'll be the one wearing the Tyvex suit. Watch out for the blood splatter.


Captain Cody for Guv

Here she goes "fomenting dissent" all over again.

No, it's not Commander Cody & his Lost Planet Airmen. It's Captain Cody for governor...

Street talk: Activist kicks off write-in campaign for governor

A northeastern Pennsylvania anti-fracking activist who was targeted by anti-terrorism intelligence operatives in a scandal that prompted the state director of Homeland Security to resign has decided to make it easier for Harrisburg to keep track of her.

By joining them.

Virginia Cody has launched a write-in campaign for governor.

Virginia Cody for Governor


Monday, October 4, 2010

All Smiles

The Pittston Dispatch?

What in the hell is that?

October 3
Random news notes
by JACK SMILES - jsmiles@psdispatch.com

Of the 13 municipalities in the Dispatch coverage area only one, Wyoming Borough, is in the 10th congressional district where Republican Tom Marino is running against incumbent Democrat Chris Carney.

I live in Wyoming and to me Tom Marino’s relationship with Lou DeNaples doesn’t matter a whit. I don’t care that he “lied” to Steve “Everything-Is-All-About-Me” Corbett, the radio talk show host who so graciously moved back here from California to enlighten all us coal crackers.
By the way, if it were revealed that the state homeland security department was spying on, say, Tea Party activists or pro-drilling activists instead of anti-drilling activists Corbett would be touting the department director James F. Powers for a medal.

Anyway back to Marino.

What matters is not that he was a reference for DeNaples, what matters is the answer to this question: how will Marino vote if he’s elected to Congress?

If you want to continue the Pelosi-Reed-Obama agenda vote for Carney, if you don’t, vote for Marino. Simple as that.

Corbett’s “Gotcha” set up of Marino on the radio is meaningless.

While Mr. Smiles couldn't be more wrong about Tom Marino's issues if he tried while on steroids, he outright nailed Corbett's constant yearning for attention.

Not nearly as important as, say, scouting for the purposes of winning at fantasy football. Still and all, there it is. Smiles and all.


Mullen endorsements

For Immediate Release—October 4, 2010
Contact: Lou Jasikoff at atiofny@aol.com or Joyce at 570-285-3500


KINSGTON – From the Mullen headquarters at Kingston Corners, the campaign announced today the first of a series of public endorsements showing the broad based support Tim Mullen is getting in his quest to become the first Libertarian elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly. “While the other campaigns begin the usual smear tactics that we are all so accustomed to in local politics, the Tim Mullen Campaign will continue with a positive approach highlighting Tim's service to community and country while pointing to the benefits of electing an independent third party that would put a set of fresh eyes on the doings of the old parties in Harrisburg” said Lou Jasikoff, spokesman for the Mullen campaign.

"If we had more individuals like Tim who are sincere in bringing back democracy to our country we would be again the leading country in the world. Its been my pleasure to know Tim and to support him in his efforts to change the climate in this State. We’ve only just begun. Thank you for all your hard work."—Grace Griffin, President CAPTAXES

"Due to the never ending corruption and stagnant political atmosphere caused by career politicians I am supporting Tim Mullen. Tim will bring a breath of fresh air for the hard working taxpayers of Luzerne County." —John Cordora, 2006 Republican Candidate, 120th District, State of Pennsylvania

"I fully support Tim Mullen for State Representative in the 120th. Tim has lived in the area his entire life; Tim has done three tours in Iraq; he is a Bronze Star recipient and Tim is NOT a career politician! Tim fought for all of us in Iraq and now it's time we fight for Tim Mullen!"--Joyce Dombroski Gebhartdt Republican Committeewoman, 5th District NE PA/ Luzerne County.

“I support Tim Mullen for State Representative because I believe Phyllis Mundy has become too comfortable in her position and that we need new representation in Harrisburg. Tim will bring new insight to property tax relief, strong moral values and he will change the old school mentality of our state and local governments."—Kurt Santayana, Elected Democrat Luzerne Councilman

"I am endorsing Tim because of his Property tax elimination pledge to the people of the 120th. No other candidate will make this pledge"—Michael J. Baloga Republican Wyoming Boro Coucilman

“It is time to put party politics aside for the better good of the community and it is why you see a Tim Mullen sign in my yard. I will be supporting Tim Mullen for State representative come election time this November.”--Jason Tarreto, Democrat Luzerne Councilman

"I've known Tim for 15 years. He is a dedicated nurse. Tim has given freely when in my greatest need. The citizens of Luzerne would be well served by electing a man of his character to represent them in Harrisburg."--Peg Miller, Mother of fallen State Trooper Joshua Miller

Tim Mullen concluded “I want to thank all those that are supporting me both publicly and privately. In the face of political repercussions they are today's true patriots putting party politics aside for the greater good. I welcome and thank each and every one of them"

For more information: Please visit us at

If I could, I'd vote for him.


Katsock vs. Wilkes-Barre Area or: How to rehabilitate your flagging credibility

Breaking news from the Times Leader:

Katsock sues WBA board, says Jodi Dunn contract is void

Wilkes-Barre Area School Board Member Christine Katsock has sued other members of the board in an effort to have the contract of Jodi Dunn, ex-wife of former Board Member Brian Dunn, voided. Katsock contends the contract was never approved by the board and never signed.

Related Documents Katsock lawsuit 10-4-2010

The paperwork filed in the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas notes that Jodi Dunn was first appointed multi-media/safety coordinator “by way of a properly ratified contract” in 2000, but that a second contract on Oct. 18, 2006 ”was never properly signed or dated by the employee or District officials.” It also contends meeting minutes show “no public vote was ever taken by said board and no vote was ever recorded to properly ratify said contract.”

The suit says Katsock showed the contract to Board President Teresa McGuire and members Joseph Moran and James Fisher, and discussed the lack of signatures and vote at a Sept. 13 executive session, asking that it be deemed “void and unenforceable,” but the board refused to take action.

Katsock asks that the contract be declared void and unenforceable and that the board be instructed “to take steps to deem” it as such.

Really, Christine?

Talked to Pizzella lately?

How about if we void the entire Wilkes-Barre Area School Board and put Beavis & Butthead in charge?


Home Rule, Yes?

According to a newly released poll, challenger Tom Marino has a huge edge over incumbent congressman Chris Carney in the 10th Congressional District.

The poll conducted over the weekend by myself showed likely-to-register voters leaning towards Marino 75% to 25%, with the margin of error hovering somewhere in the neighborhood of 100% or so.

6 of the 8 respondents said they would vote for Marino, if they happen to get out of bed on November the 2nd. And being that the United States has all but banned gainful employment, most of these likely-to-register to voters have no reason to climb out of the rack on election day.

Somehow, those Cardiac Kids wearing Atlanta Braves uniforms qualified for the playoffs on the very last day of the season. Bobby Cox lives on to coach for at least a few more days. If you call yourself a baseball fan, you have to admire this guy.

With the key injuries this club has suffered, it’s likely that Bobby Cox never coaches another World Series game. No, it seems those mercenaries from just south of here a ways--the Philthydumpia Yankees--have bought enough high-priced talent to move on.

Regardless, it’s been fun to watch.

“C’mon Chip!”

While I run the risk of disappointing Renita Fennick by saying so, there is no way I can vote for Republican Tom Corbett to be the next governor of this hopelessly flailing state.

I’ve compared the candidates, and I believe Dan Onorato to be the better of the two candidates. I like his track record, I like what he’s been saying, and I feel that his stated goals are more than reasonable, doable if you will. I also think he’d be more adept at creating jobs as well as creating incentives for employers to come here.

And I do not like the fact that Tom Corbett seems to be in the pocket of the energy companies lining up to drill every square foot of our area.

As far as the Home Rule question is concerned, I am going to duct tape over both of my nostrils and vote in the affirmative.

I don’t like having an appointed executive. And I do not trust the entrenched democratic party in this county. So long as they capture the majority of the 11 council seats (or whatever they’re called), the same old party that brought shame and scandal upon this county will be appointing that county executive. And I don’t trust that, nor do I trust anyone involved to do the right thing.

They promise an exhaustive search that will result in the hiring or some uber qualified county manager from the ranks of the proven and successful county managers out there.

But what’s to stop them from claiming they did not like the available choices and hiring some long time party hack? As I said to Sue Henry on her show some weeks back, who’s to say that Bill Brace or Bob Reilly will not end up filling that position?

I know, I know. According to Jim Haggerty and his crew, that could never happen because this document, this new charter promises perfection and Nirvana and goodness and rainbows and chocolate-covered rain and unfettered prosperity for all. To listen to them tell it, even the kids at Fat Camp will immediately drop 50 pounds if this here proposed charter becomes the new modus operandi.

With all of that circumlocution typed, yeah, I’m going to have my nose surgically removed and vote for it. It’s a shame it has to come to this, voting for something you don’t really believe in. But what’s the alternative? Doing as we’ve always done while hoping for better result?
It comes down to this, who or what do I trust less? The new system? Or the entrenched political party that keeps on giving to itself?

Living in this corrupt place, I say we have no choice but to give the new system a whirl.


Wifey and I cycled through the city on Saturday. Interestingly, despite what the terminally negative would have you believe, we saw a cop in the Intermodal complex, another in front of Dunkin Donuts, and yet another walking in the center of Public Square, with his cruiser parked nearby. Oh, and the center city patrol car.

Isn’t it interesting how our police officers are invisible to everyone but me?

I find it amazing to hear people complaining when paving comes to their block? And to have a city councilman chiming in?

It must be me.

I was working on Logan Street this past Friday. And being a one-way alley, that meant I had to wander on down to Coal Street to make my escape.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it announced that Coal Street is being replaced, reworked, redirected and made into something vaguely resembling a causeway? Wasn’t a major hint provided that perhaps we should seek out alternate routes during this extensive construction project?

It was bumper to bumper to freaking bumper in both directions.

Some folks deserve what they get.

I think I’m falling in love with Flo from the Progressive Insurance commercials. Is that bad?

Yeah, I suppose it is. Guys liking girls? What an old-fashioned concept.

Maybe I should call the Geico caveman.