Opinions need not be feared nor suppressed.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Video Flapdoodle: Red Asphalt III

If you attended those Driver's Ed classes in high school back in the 1970s, you know what those scare flicks were all about.

We'd watch the raw videos shot at the scenes of horrendous car wrecks, and then try not to wretch in front of our classmates. Well, some would try not to wretch.

Some would bury their faces in their hands. Some would retreat to the nearest trash can for a robust puking event. Some others, mostly girls, would wince and sob and whatnot. And at the conclusion of said films, most of the kids wobbling away swore to Allah that they would never, ever operate a motor vehicle.

But there were those of us that would laugh, whistle, applaud and then get put in our places by the thoroughly annoyed, always menacing teachers.

But teach, the dude had a freakin' pipe stickin' right through the center of his chest and he wasn't even dead yet. Awesome!

Needless to say, we were supposed to be scared straight. Nobody told us we were not supposed to be wildly entertained.

Personally, being on welfare at the time and trapped in public housing, I figured that none of this would ever pertain to me simply because the thought of one day owning a vehicle was akin to science fiction. It was kind of like this: Hand-me-downs, rummage sales, oatmeal, hoddogs, powdered milk, government surplus cheese and a new Buick. Pick the one that doesn't fit.

Anyway, if drinking and driving or texting and driving seems to float your ill-fated boat, take a gander at this...

Ah, brings back many fond memories.


Little Lorraine

Whatever you do, don't tell this guy--Tom Woods--that he sounds like a former Wilkes-Barre city councilman who shall go nameless for the purposes of this exercise.

I once did. And he was none too pleased about it..

Anyway, Tom Woods is the man. All these years later, and he's still relevant.

Relevance, something so fleeting, most of us cannot even comprehend the concept.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

3 bucks

A bargain...

bumper sticker image

Intemperate musings

I knew this was coming.

And if you pay even scant attention to all things Scranton, you knew it was coming, too.

Scranton to lay off 13 police officers, eight firefighters

Yet, the on-air talent at WILK spares no opportunity to unmercifully bash Wilkes-Barre and it’s leadership.
The long-distressed city, with the illusive mayor, the inept council and the estimated $350-400 million in outstanding debts gets a pass day-in and day-out.

It’s perplexing, I tell you.

Get this, I am now a card-carrying member of Google+.

I’ve spent perhaps an hour goofing around with it. But even with such a limited tour of the available facilities, it’s blatantly obvious to me that without some significant upgrades Facebook is destined to follow MySpace into the dustbin of electronic irrelevance.

I’m just saying.

Only in Wilkes-Barre

Only in Wilkes-Barre do the residents and the self-aggrandizing, half-wit activists react negatively and viscerally to the construction of high-profile projects. Name a project that has been completed during the recent past, and then think back to all of the hootin’ and hollerin’ that went on during the construction phases of the various projects.

Currently, we have the residents of Coal Street supposedly being blindsided by the reduced availability of parking when the monstrous project is completed next year.

I dunno, maybe I read too much, but I knew what the project entailed. And I don’t live or park anywhere near Coal Street. Yet, I’m to believe that no one that resides along that huge tract of land had a clue. I’m not sure I’m buying that spiel.

Either way, the project has to be modified so as to accommodate the parking needs of the nearby residents. In retail, nobody opens a small business without enough available parking to be had. And in a residential setting, not a soul would purchase a home if they had to trek a thousand yards to “their” parking spot. Something needs to happen there.

Oh, and it reaffirms my faith in something or other to see that the people who turned Luzerne County into the corruption center of the known universe now want to make with the good citizen bit.

Disgraced Clerk of Courts Lashes Out on WBRE

What’s next? Former judges awaiting sentencing showing up at city council meetings and filibustering about the towing contracts past and present?

Spare me!

"From each according to their ability, to each according to their need."

Is it just me, or does that carved-in-stone Communist mantra (cleverly reworded) seem to be the biggest single argument against austerity moves or a balanced budget amendment?

Sure seems like it to me.

Do we really want to live in a country bankrupted by the faulty premise that the Fedrule Govmint owns the product of your labor and can do with it what it damn well pleases?

Seriously! Nothing can be cut, nothing can be scaled back except NASA and the military? That is as big a prevarication as it is complete sophistry of thought.

And new revenue streams? Cut me a freaking break!

Whenever a career politician of any stripe starts going on about needing new revenue streams, what they are telling you is that they can not or will not manage or govern effectively or efficiently. They are the Andrea True's of the flailing system...More, More, More! 

What they are saying is that they haphazardly tapped out all of the credit cards and they want new ones. Only, they want the newer ones to have no credit limits.

If it’s time for the last of the remaining folks with the abilities to ‘eat their peas,’ then it’s also time that those growing hordes with the needs do likewise. As in, with one bold stroke of the overpriced pen, an across-the-board spending cut.

Try this on for size…

We have empty LCTA buses whizzing along in virtually every direction. Meanwhile, we have even more Federally-provided “assisted ride” vans filled to the brim with passengers needing to go here, there and everywhere.

In effect, the Feds are subsidizing the undoing of the heavily subsidized public transportation programs.

And don't give me any rotgut about the needs of the handicapped. Fact is, the LCTA buses are much more accessible to the handicapped than are the smallish assisted needs vans.

Must be me, right?


P.S.--I relent. I’ll take the pink tie over the molested ice cream cone.

“I did not have sex with that Dilly Bar.”

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Job Czar: China, here we come!

Just in case you missed it, General Electric is set to invest $2 billion in China as it transfers it's health division out of Wisconsin and directly to China to tap into "emerging markets."

General Electric's Chief Executive, Jeffrey Immelt, is Oblahblah's go-to Czar for...ready? Job creation!

You know, that General Electric! The GE that earned $14.2 billion in profits (not sales) last year, but paid no income taxes on that handsome profit.

No! No, I'm not making this up.

And Immelt is the very same jobs creation czar who recently criticized his fellow entrepreneurs for blaming the government for the weak economy and barked that those business folk should start hiring.
Now, to the shell-shocked lefties who cannot bring themselves to admit that Oblahblah is absolutely clueless, instead sticking with the well-worn "I'm disappointed" malarkey, here's the scoop: you elected a flailing charlatan who is in far over his swollen head.
So all of Oblahblah economic adviser's fresh from academia have jumped the listing ship. And now Mr. GE goes and makes him look like a horse's ass. We "turned the corner" quite a ways back. We were not impressed by last year's jobless "Summer of Recovery." So what's this? The Summer of Oblahblah's Austere Discontent?
And now Oblahblah cannot face a teleprompter without railing against corporate tax loopholes. Meanwhile, his job czar, who's outfit knows the tax loopholes as well as any corporation, chose to invest a couple of billion in another country. Go figure.
According to the CBO, in 2006, the debt ceiling was $8.2 trillion. Today, it stands at 14.4 trillion. And very soon it will be increased to only Allah knows what. And with that said, the pretend president demands new revenue streams to be squandered away as he wishes.
If no patriot from the Democrat Party steps forward and mounts a primary challenge to the clueless wonder, then our future as a solvent, sovereign nation lies with a Republican challenger.
We've got one last chance.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Are you ready for some...

Anybody getting sick of this debt ceiling debacle yet? I know I am.

Earlier today a customer told me that what this country needs is a balanced budget amendment. Can't say I disagree. Although, in Oblahblah's case, a budget would be a start. Any effing budget would make for a great starting point.

Hmm. How to save money?

Pull out Afghanistan and Iraq. Yemen, too.

14 aircraft carriers? For what? How about if we go with ten. Perhaps eight and mothball the rest.

By executive fiat, eliminate the Department of Education. Met many young people lately? Doesn't seem to be much education going on.

Welfare reform. Here's the new criteria: Two arms, two legs, two eyes and a slightly functioning brain? Nope! Go dig a ditch. Flip a burger. Flip a ditch. Just get out.

Social Security reform. Now let me get this straight, you're disabled because you cannot stay sober longer than an hour an a half? Nope! Go live under a bridge.

How about redundancies? EPA, DEP, DER, did I forget any? It's like Luzerne County. See any overlap whereas the Emergency Management Agency and the Flood Protection Authority are concerned?

Ah, who gives a flying funk anyway? Certainly not those hucksters we elected. For them, it's all about appearances and their reelection triangulating.

As for me, it's time for some NFL football. The Blue Wall, the New York Football Giants. Thank goodness these folks understood the true meaning of compromise.

And with that comes some CBS Sports-hosted Fantasy Football. Only this year, I am the commissioner of the league. I've got franchise players to tabulate, keeper players to designate and a looming draft day to prepare for. Better than sex. Sez me.

And so, the Pogrom Sonics are back!

Screw Washington D.C.!!!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Skrapits made me do it: Part II

Thanks entirely to Citizen’s Voice reporter Elizabeth Skrapits, I have been looking high and low on a very limited basis for all memorable things associated with Sandy Beach (Harveys Lake) back before the advent of most of which gives us fleeting joy these days.

X-box? Internet? High-falootin’ 6-G phones? Sure, that’s exciting and all. But for me, none of that will ever rival the wonderment that was being a youth caught in the right place, at the right time and with the right elders.

All of this needless circumlocution is a follow-up to this previous post of mine…

Don’t blame me. Blame her. She’s the one who insists on making people such as myself remember what once was, and what can never be again. Anyway, as part of that previous posting, I wrote the following…
Ben and his wife Barbara were tight with my grandparents. To this day, I don't know how or why, but they were and that resulted in Ben being like another grandfather to me.
That would be Ben Rood, the guy who once owned everything opposite Sandy Beach at Harveys Lake. Anyway, here’s what Elizabeth managed to force me to eke out of my many memories of those fun-filled days.

Ben (my other grandfather) and his wife Barbara had a daughter named after her mother. And Barbara (the daughter) had a husband, or a fiancee or a boyfriend (I cannot remember which), Ray, that had just returned stateside from the jungles of Vietnam. I’m not entirely sure of the time frame, but it had to be during the summer of 1969, possibly 1970.

As a little kid raised on both the black-and-white movies in which Americans valiantly fought off the invading Japanese hordes, and later news blurbs from the front lines of Vietnam, I was excitedly gushing at the thought of meeting one of which I considered to be America’s unsung heroes.

Ray, our returning Vet, was engaging, he was appreciative of my enthusiasm and still, he was somewhat forlorn. I could see it. I could sense that he was happy, but not really at peace. In retrospect, it’s obvious to me that he put in his 365 days, he was happy to be back and that he would never wear the uniform of any country again. He was done.

And as a result, he showered me with riches from his suitcases. Medals. Service bars. Military garb. And military-issued trinkets that stayed with me until the tumultuous divorce in 1971.

I never saw Ray after that day. And I never forgot being in what I considered to be his long shadow.

Enter Ben Rood, my “other grandfather.”

I figure Ben knew I was absolutely captivated by the medals, the service bars and all of that which were given to me by a returning veteran. And I was. It was then that I decided that I had to one day insert myself into those jungles and have at them, and I was telling as much to anyone who would hear me. Something, in fact, that distracted me all through my high school days. My mindset was, good grades are cool and all, but what’s the point when all that I really needed going forward was a true aim.

Anyway, I can only speculate that Ben wanted to short-circuit those thoughts of rushing off wild-eyed and adrenaline-fueled to some remote part of the globe still undiscovered by most Americans.

So he presented me with yet another “medal,” a hat pin, as he told it, that his grandfather had worn during the height of the Civil War. I cannot recall any of the many details he told me that day, except for the fact that the hat pin was worn by his grandfather during the Civil War, and that not many of the boys and men that marched off to that bloody war ever saw their homes again.

And with that, the first tinge of doubt settled in. As in, do I really want to go off to some faraway mosquito-ruled land and dodge tracer rounds? Why, sure I do! Uh, maybe. Er, maybe not so much. Okay, culinary studies at L.C.C.C. will do very nicely, grandma.

I know Ben Rood had a brother named Vernon. I do not recall his father’s name, nor do I remember the name of the man--his grandfather--who’s Civil War hat pin I am still in possession of.

Yet, somehow, oddly enough, I will never forget Ben Rood’s grandfather.

In conclusion, Skrapits made me do it.


Zach Attack: 8-years-old

So I survived the Great Heat Storm of 2011, only to find myself sitting in direct sunlight at a folding table in my son's back yard yesterday. Sitting with a well-guarded twelve-pack, I was.

We came together to celebrate Zach's arrival at the eighth anniversary of his birth.

Raise 'em right, no?
As you can discern from the cake, Zach is being raised to eschew those overpaid, overrated mercenaries from Philthydumpia. In addition to the most wonderful of cakes, he also received an Atlanta Braves ball cap. And he couldn't have been happier being that he is being prepped to burst onto the Little League scene in 2012, much like his father and his aunt did back in the day.  

I know, I know. Spare me the emails. I know we're supposed to limit his athletic pursuits to the fast-imploding world's lame game of choice...soccer. But, we can afford more than one ball and a grassy knoll, so save that sleep-inducing soccer gibberish for the emaciated kids in Somalia.

In fact, not only can we afford more than one ball, my biggest present to Zach was a scaled-down basketball hoop. Actually, I envision not only Zach becoming quite adept at basketball, but both of his cantankerous brothers, too. Say what you want about the many Cours that have been inflicted upon the world by none other than me, but not a single one of us is lacking in any way for any God-given physical abilities.

You want to take us on at wiffleball?

Yeah! That's what I thought, champ!

Jeremy has the soft touch
Again, I survived the Great Heat Storm of 2011, only to find myself eating more heat all day long on my day off. Thing is, I'd eat most anything if it would guarantee the happiness of my grandchildren.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tales from the left

Etch 'em on stone tablets...

Abortion: If the right-wing crazies would sign-off on the abortion of the great majority of pregnancies, then they wouldn’t have to starve near as many children. Population control, yo?

Homosexuality: AIDS research aside, the hateful right refuses to admit that homosexuality is natural, healthy and preferable. Population control, get it?

National defense: Despite what the evil Neocons will tell you, the continual procurement of expensive weapons platforms are limiting the development of bigger and better entitlement programs for the able-bodied.

Stimulus II, III, IV & V: There is no quicker way of revitalizing our moribund economy than by funneling trillions of make-believe dollars to faithful Democrat core groups such as collective-bargaining units.

Faith: A strong belief in God and a definitive set of rules causes those hayseeds on the right to be too judgmental. Therefore, the 'eradication of church by state' must be enforced at every turn.

Family values: Since parents are incapable of parenting, the State shall usurp all parental responsibilities from here forth.

Regulations: According a 3rd Circuit judge, the Constitution of the United States of Amerika clearly reads that your right to freedom can be nullified in the name of behavior modification.

Green economy: If the Republicans weren’t in bed with Big Oil, we’d all be building moonlight-powered thingamabobs by now.

Free speech/political correctness: Note: It isn’t what it is, it is what we say it is as decreed by us, the easily-led.

Smoking: It is not unfair to single out one group for higher rates of taxation by the almighty confiscators of all known monies.

Health: McDonald’s is killing Amerika. Happy Meals are immoral. Now eat your bean curd and be happy. You have been warned.

Illegal drugs: Legalize all illicit drugs, and tax the dickens out of them. Unintended consequences? Like what, all of the lawsuits that will surely follow the predictable uptick in vehicular deaths? Toke up, right-winger. Dude, man, chill out.

Policing: We unequivocally support our brave police officers until the Rodney Kings of the world go off half-cocked.

Welfare reform: If we do as the Republicans demand and reform this bottomless pit, how will the poorest of Americans be able to afford the 100-inch plasma televisions from Rent-a-Center?

Politics: The political rhetoric coming from the right is harming Amerika, those mean-spirited, baby-starving, homophobes!

Civic duty: Why, NASCAR and the NFL have induced an apathetic coma to come over the populace. The distracting allegiance to sports teams or entire sporting leagues should be reduced by way of incremental mocking, unless, of course, the populace finally relents and embraces soccer.

America and it’s time-honored traditions: See civic duty.

Sez me.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Would you take a bullet for...

We’ve seen this many times before, when someone bursts onto the scene spewing incendiary accusations and calling people libelous names. And then the obligatory next move seems to be squatting a spot on the Internet so as to further accuse and drop even bigger bombs.

Kudos to Internet Hose Dude for the link.

The link: NEW!! DESSOYE MUST RESIGN (by Mark Robbins)

The excerpt (sort of):
July 20, 2011
Letter: Wilkes-Barre Police Chief Dessoye

Obviously, I cannot speak for Chief Dessoye.

But I can share the following with Mr. Robbins, the guy who parks illegal vehicles illegally in Wilkes-Barre.

Chief Dessoye has been shot while serving the residents of Wilkes-Barre. Chief Dessoye once had his leg broken while serving the residents of Wilkes-Barre. And Chief Dessoye was forced to shoot and kill a man while serving the residents of Wilkes-Barre.

Mr. Robbins, I know you were embarrassed when it came to light that you operate unregistered vehicles lacking timely inspections on the streets of Wilkes-Barre.

But the documented fact is, Chief Dessoye previously took a bullet, and he took it while protecting the residents of this city. And your low-brow caped crusader act is boorish, ill-advised and flat-out ignorant. Face facts, you’re no Steve Flood, even on your best of days when your vehicles are legal.

So go and get your car registered, get it inspected, and leave the closest thing to a hero that Wilkes-Barre has alone.

Would you take a bullet for…?

How unfortunate.

As I have been known to say, idiocy begets more idiocy.

And while it's sad to watch, it is fun to follow it through to it's inevitable implosion. Tim Grier, anyone?


Thursday, July 21, 2011

100 degrees or bust!

Well? Did we hit 100 degrees or not?

I sure hope so.

I listened to WILK all day today, and caller after caller after caller complained about the fact that the Mercury was fast approaching it's dizzying apogee, but they were all calling from the relative comfort and safety of their air-conditioned homes.

I can't feature that: bitching about something you're not participating in anyway. In fact, some parts of the country are enjoying rolling blackouts, with still other parts having been warned that blackouts are possible. So, apparently, the multitudes of folks with access to cooled air aren't sweltering all that much.

But you know how it works. They bitch when it's hot. They bitch when it's not. Basically, they just bitch a helluva lot.

Personally, I don't see what all of the convoluted fuss is about. The EMA folks, with nothing better to do while excitedly waiting for a disaster to get after, issued warning after warning about what to do, what not to do, where to do it and where not to. Meanwhile, a mocking WNEP meteorologist issued a "Squint Index" in response to the forecast of brilliantly sunny skies. 'Bout time somebody made some sense.

As for myself, yes, I work predominantly outdoors. And when the Mercury goes the way of a low altitude Earth orbit, I do notice. And that's about all I do.

No AC in the truck. No change in apparel. No girlie sunscreen. No goofy-looking head gear. No change to UV-20 eye wear. Pretty much, no nuthin'.

Save for the larger cooler, more ice and the bigger cache of Gatorade, weather is weather, work is work, and I ain't got an interest in being worked into a frenzied panic all of the time.

It was freaking hot today. Real hot. Big whoop!

Sam's Club gives up a case of Gatorade for $12.88 a case. There you go. That's all you need, and all you need to know.

I was working outside all day Wednesday. I was toiling away outside all day today. And I'll be banging away outdoors all day tomorrow. And when Saturday arrives, I'll be itching to fire up one of the mountain bikes and go. Thing is, the weather doesn't mean much to me, nor does it affect my plans very often.

And as far as I'm concerned, I'm just doing what I always did. When I was a kid, I yearned for Summer and the adventures it typically brought along with it. And now that I'm a wrinkling Walter Brennan lookalike, I still yearn for Summer and the adventures it typically brings along with it.

I guess I'm just a really old looking kid at heart. And I'm wondering when the rest of the kids on the block decided to make like old folks ruled by their perceived vulnerabilities. Ah, I figure it doesn't matter none too much.

As for tomorrow, I say, "100 degrees or bust!" I want my "I was there" sense of accomplishment when we set a new record. Bring it on!

Somebody has got to keep the wheels of commerce slowly rolling while damn near all of Amerika prays to the almighty central air unit.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The end, our only friend...

Rejecting the dogma of the Naked Communists?

Say it ain't so, heartland.

To be perfectly frank, I'm surprised it took this long.

Excerpt #1:
What the American people are about to demonstrate in 2012 is that the heartland's vision of a booming economy restoring America's traditional world-leading prosperity and superpower might is shared by far more citizens than you might think, and that the long outdated socialist vision of the "progressive" American Left, for whom that traditional American prosperity and superpower status is a moral embarrassment, is fading into oblivion.

Excerpt #2:

President Obama has displayed perverse misleadership on the most obvious threat to the nation: the overwhelming swirl of federal spending, deficits, and debt. With over a hundred trillion in unfunded entitlement liabilities, he still forces Obamacare through Congress, with the adoption of new entitlements and further expansion of existing ones.
Senate Democrat majority lawbreakers failed to adopt a budget or even appropriations bills for this fiscal year, or the last. In the spring, as authorization for continued federal spending ran out, President Obama threatened to cut off paychecks for families of American servicemen on the battlefield and veto Republican bills to extend their funding unless Republicans agreed to finance his ongoing wild spending spree.
Now he holds debt limit "talks" in the White House where he offers $2 billion in spending cuts -- which amounts to 1 cent for every 20 dollars of federal spending this year. He demands further tax increases to continue funding his spending spree. If Republicans don't give him what he wants, he threatens American seniors with a cutoff of their Social Security checks, falsely claiming a lack of funds.
Forget Bush.

Obama did it.

And now he's pretending to be the only adult in the room. A room he will not occupy for too much longer.

Got any new mean-spirited Sarah Palin jokes to share?


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It might be 'food, water and ammo' time

Do you get the feeling that we, Americans, are screwed when this sophistry somehow passes as leadership?

Rangel says cutting government spending will hurt African-Americans

The ultra disturbing, but predictable excerpt (and easy-to-read, I might add):

"And so many African-Americans, for reasons that I do not have to go into, have sought public service as a way of life because of the security that's involved in it," Rangel said on the House floor. "And so, when we talk about cutting the budget and cutting the services that are provided, we're talking about a larger number of minorities that would be losing their jobs as a result of budget cutting."
So now we have another hollow argument against downsizing the unsustainable juggernaut that is the Fedrule Govmint: It would disproportionately hurt minorities.

Yeah, and the women and children argument against the overdue austerity can't be very far behind.

In my mind, Rangel dissed his own people. Because the dirty little secret is that government is, and probably always was a safe haven for the marginally employable.

Hey Junior, what do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a paper pusher for the U.S. Department of Paper Clips & Erasers.


On payday, start making with the survival supplies. Because with "leaders" such as these, the inevitable economic shock will come.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Reading assignment for the tone deaf

Some necessary reading for Democrats...

From The Weekly Standard.com: Dissembler in Chief

An excerpt:
Then, in a comment that some might not characterize as “restrained,” he added, “You know, Malia and Sasha generally finish their homework a day ahead of time. Malia is 13; Sasha is 10.”
Yet Obama hasn’t followed his daughters’ fine example. He has yet to submit a single debt ceiling proposal to Congress for a vote. Likewise, he has yet to submit a budget to Congress that would cut federal spending by so much as $1. He did submit a budget (defeated in the Senate 97 to 0) earlier this year that he described as reducing deficits by “roughly $1 trillion.” But the CBO scored it and said it would increase deficits by $2.8 trillion—and that’s even compared to current law, which would already lead to $6.7 trillion in new deficits.
This next excerpt exposes the profligate spender-in-chief:
As for Obama’s balanced approach,” according to White House figures, the highest percentage of the gross domestic product that Americans have ever paid in taxes is 20.9 percent, at the height of World War II. Obama’s budget calls for spending an average of 24 percent over ten years—a tally that, pre-Obama, we last hit during that same war. So Obama’s idea of a “balanced approach” involves spending at the highest rate since World War II and taxing at the highest rate in American history. Meanwhile, Obama wants a debt ceiling increase of at least $2.4 trillion, the staggering amount of money that we’d need to borrow to get us through his reelection bid.
Sorry, leftist kiddies.

But the idiot bastard son has got to go and soon.


How's that Henny Boon? Better?

Corbett: Oh-for-3 in W-B mayoral race

As was promised by WILK’s Steve Corbett this past Thursday, supposedly, listeners of the show were to learn sometime this afternoon whether or not Wilkes-Barre’s Charlotte Raup would wage a write-in campaign against Mayor Tom Leighton this fall.

The only problem being that Andrew Staub of the Citizens’ Voice and the City Watch blog had previously reported that Mrs. Raup would not wage a write-in challenge, instead throwing her full help and support to Leighton's Republican challenger Lisa Cope.


So, when Charlotte Raup called Corbett just a while ago and repeated as much, he playfully shrieked, “Ah! Next caller!”

Again, oh.

So, in less than a week, Wilkes-Barre's remote kingmaker Corbett literally begged three residents of Wilkes-Barre to wage that self-aggrandizing write-in campaign of his, only to be frustrated at every turn.

Now here’s the truly scary stuff.

Corbett fancies himself as Lisa Cope’s political guru, her consultant extraordinaire. You know the deal, how he always has to find a way to insert himself into the story, insert himself into the news.

The problem is, every time he pushes and pokes and prods her, she does herself damage. Yet, after talking to her just this afternoon, he bellowed, “Oh, I feel like Ed Mitchell!” after unilaterally coining her campaign slogan as being “Take it to Tommy.”

Ed Mitchell, huh?

Try this damaging exchange…

Corbett: “Would you appoint Charlotte Raup as police chief?”

Cope: “I’d have to consider it.”

Need I say more?

Now it's my turn to play political consultant.

Lisa, if you really want to pull off the massive upset later this year, never, ever call Corbett again. That's all I got. And for starters, that's really all you need.


Friday, July 15, 2011

VACA outtake

Miniature golf at Rich's fun center in Wyoming. Or whatever it's called these days.

Or as Peace calls it...Putt Putt.

Zach & Taylor
I love Zach's T-shirt: This is my dress shirt.


RiverFest outtake

A view of the North Street Bridge protest (Yeah, I'm from W-B), as seen by the paddlers passing underneath.

L to R: 3 protesters, Zach, MC & KD

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Raup to announce on Monday

Just minutes ago, WILK's Steve Corbett asked Charlotte Raup if she is considering waging a write-in campaign for Wilkes-Barre mayor. She replied, "I really am considering it."

After a few minutes of appointing himself her campaign manager, after a few minutes of imploring her to do so, this exchange followed...

Corbett: "When will you know?"

Raup: "Two days. Give us two days."

Corbett: "We'll give you 'til Monday."

So, after Corbett's two previous mayoral endorsements that went out earlier this week, one to Bob Kadluboski (which was later rescinded) and another to Jack Smith, Corbett has now latched onto Charlotte Raup.

So, if she too decides against initiating a write-in campaign, who's next on Corbett's mayoral merry-go-round of madness? 


Talisman Energy gives Fracosaurus pink slip

From FOX News.com...

Go ahead, get it over with.

BOO!!! HISS!!!

Energy Company Abandons 24-Page Coloring Book on Fracking Featuring 'Friendly Fracosaurus

The hard-to-read excerpt: R.I.P. Talisman Terry.
The "friendly Fracosaurus" featured in a 24-page coloring book by Talisman Energy that explained the controversial process of extracting gas from rock formations will no longer be distributed by the company, a spokeswoman told FoxNews.com.

Terry Talisman
Hi boys & girls! Want a free yo-yo?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Scofflaw alleges corruption in W-B

Before we get into this, I want to point out that even though I’ve been a licensed driver in Pennsylvania for 35 years, I’ve never once had my car towed. And shock of shocks, not even in Wilkes-Barre.

Thing is, it’s very easy to avoid having your vehicle towed. Not by Ed Soltis. Not by Bob Kadluboski. And not by Leo Glodzik. It's real easy to avoid. Too easy. All that you have to do is follow the rules. It’s simple. And I like simplicity.

Apparently, the most very basic of rules are not simple enough for some of those folks from sleepy Forty Fort. Well, too much to ask of one.

City tower’s conduct blasted

Selected excerpts from the Times Leader…

WILKES-BARRE – Allegations of bribes and kickbacks filled council chambers Tuesday as Forty Fort resident Mark Robbins questioned the city’s contract with LAG. Towing.

“I speak to you today about the hundreds of poor people who have lost their cars due to the city’s allowance of predatory pricing with LAG Towing and Leo Glodzik,” Robbins told council during his five-minute presentation. “Based on public information, the mayor and the city are profiting off the backs of the poorest, most vulnerable and most defenseless citizens. It is obvious that something is amiss.”

Robbins said his car was towed by LAG on June 1, and he contends that the city tower damaged the steering on his vehicle. Robbins claimed Glodzik was “in my face,” prompting him to call 911 for help. Robbins alleged city police officers arrived and held a “powwow” with Glodzik before talking to him and then treated him in a disrespectful manner.

“He was protected like a band of goons would protect a rogue dictator,” he said. “The cops yelled, swore, and showed complete disdain for me. They tried to intimidate me into oblivion. It felt like Rodney King without the clubs. They were bating me to lose my temper. It was obvious they wanted an excuse to put me in jail.”

“Mr. Robbins obviously wasn’t satisfied with the responses the officers gave him,” Dessoye said. “But if they were acting inappropriate, why would they call their supervisor – Sgt. William Harden – to come to the scene?”

Robbins said he took a polygraph test to document his account of the incident. He said he passed with an average certainty of 99.2 percent.

In my opinion, this is fairly easy to follow.

The tower, the patrolmen, the supervising sergeant, the police chief, and the mayor are all corrupt and dishonest and suspect, not the complainant. Everybody is to blame, but not him.

An illegally parked vehicle with an expired inspection sticker and an expired registration suggests to me that while Mr. Robbins may be well-spoken, he does not take care of business, nor does he pay attention to detail. And as for the vehicle being so blatantly illegal, perhaps he ought not be wasting money on polygraph tests. Get the illegal thing fixed and make it legal!!!

And that latter part makes me wonder about his true motivations. Or should I say, who in Wilkes-Barre might have helped put him up to this during the height of the anti-Leighton October Surprise onslaught?

I'm allowed to wonder.

And I really take serious, serious exception with anyone claiming that our police officers are far less than professional. Fact is, I know that not to be true.

Just three weeks ago, my grandsons and I had a downtown run-in with Sgt. William Harden. At first, I had no idea what he was going on about, and his next move seemed a bit excessive to me. In hindsight, I think he thought I was initially ignoring his commands.

But once he explained what was up, and after Zach was scared straight, Sgt. Harden was amiable and told us to “have a nice day.” Case closed. Point made. No biggie.

Although, if I were like most of the brain-dead folks out there, I would have taken immediate exception to him singling out the “poorest, most vulnerable and most defenseless citizens,” people like my ‘innocent’ little grandson.

In conclusion, I would have to smugly suggest to Mr. Robbins that he stop bringing his illegal jalopies into Wilkes-Barre, that he stop parking illegally in Wilkes-Barre and that he stop making scenes when called out on his laundry list of illegalities.

And then we have the question of anger management?


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sandy Beach 1972

I finally got around to looking for some pics from the old days at Sandy Beach, Harveys Lake.

I have pictures stashed all over the place, not necessarily in scrapbooks and filed under no system at all. Plus, I called my Uncle John about said pictures, and I'm expecting quite a haul when he gets it in gear.

This first picture was taken on the side of Ben Rood's home. Looking through those trees, you can see the structure that contained the upstairs dance hall, a bathhouse, the pinball hall, a snack bar and storage space for rental boats. To the right behind the telephone pole is the edge of the cafeteria/bingo hall building.

By 1972, the kiddie rides were gone, which would have been dead center in the middle had they still been there when this picture was taken. And directly behind that fencing across the street was the edge of the drive-in movie area.

Grandma, Sue, Mom & Ray
 Obviously, this next picture was taken right on the white imported sands of the beach.

Grandpop, Sue, Mom & Ray
 In the background, looking towards Sandy Bottom, you can see what was left of the boating docks in 1972, which looked a little worse for wear. At one time, it seemed as if those docks stretched on forever.

Anyway, when I find more you'll be the first to know.


Know what Amerika needs?

Amerika needs...

Barack Obama is a Bad Man.

And according to unconfirmed reports emanating out of Wilkes-Barre, we may have breaking news that Mayor Tom Leighton beats his puppy.

Film at 11.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Crunching the numbers since January 2009

I don't think I've ever linked to Politics in NEPA before, but I suppose there's a first time for everything.

Who is that guy anyway?

Some stats from that site.

Since January 2009, when the self-styled messiah was inaugurated...

Unemployment has risen by 25%.

The nation's debt has increased by 35%.

The price of a gallon of gas has exploded by 104%.

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics & The Department of Energy.

If that's not troubling enough, milk prices are setting new record highs, along with near record highs for corn, wheat, soybean, coffee and other must-have staples.

All of which can be tied to our purposely devalued dollar, which also directly led to the explosion of gasoline prices in the U.S. Speculators, my ass.

Worldwide, food prices are at an all-time high, and corresponding protests and riots, if not fledgling  insurgencies will likely result.

But getting back to a 308 million-strong Amerika...

25 million are unemployed

15 million are collecting disability

43 million are collecting food stamps.

8 million are receiving W.I.C. (women, Infants & Children) food vouchers.

And the growing legions of of under-employed are beyond calculable.

Meanwhile, our pretend president has the EPA restricting the production of electricity at nearly every turn as part of the Growing Greener scam. And as was promised during his campaign, a V.A.T. (Value-added-tax) will eventually be attached to the use of any and all energies as a way of punishing average Americans into embracing the vacuous Green agenda against their will.

And the knee-jerk oil drilling moratorium? How telling.

Now, if that's a passing report card by any severe stretch of the imagination, then I'm here to tell you that the Great Depression II awaits you as early as January 2013.

I know, I know. Bush did it.

Fact is, these hard-core Democrats have gone all pathological on us.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tim Mullen press release

Tired of the Republicans and Democrats fiddling the same tablature while Culm County burns?

You know, there are alternatives out there.

Help is needed.

Help is needed. Tim Mullen is just a few signatures shy of meeting the minimum threshold to get on the ballot.

Tim Mullen is running for Luzerne County Council. He believes the county needs an independent Libertarian on the Council to help stomp out all the corruption. We have seen a lot of corruption lately, with the FBI searching into nearly every elected official. As we all know, not all the corruption as been found in Luzerne County. Director of Elections, Leonard Piazza has force Tim Mullen to throw out 500 of his signatures for County Council. This is not the fault of Tim doing something wrong, Piazza forgot to certify the Libertarian Party as a Minor Political Party when he certified the Republicans and Democrats. Tim himself received enough votes last year to have the Libertarian Party of Luzerne County to be classified as a Minor Political Party. Piazza didn't certify the Libertarian Party in December with the Democrats and Republican Parties, but after being asked over and over, Piazza finally certified the Libertarian Party as a Minor Political Party at the end of May. Tim needs your signature to get on the ballot.

Tim Mullen has been busy collecting those signatures all over again. He currently has 870 signature but needs a few more. The minimum needed is of 995 signatures to get on the ballot. By throwing out Tim's pervious signatures, Leonard Piazza basically forced Tim Mullen to collect 1500 minimum.

Tim Mullen needs your help, if you have not signed his petition yet, i need you to do so. Tim needs to have over 995 valid signatures by August 1st. This Thursday July 14th, Tim Mullen will be having a signature gathering at Grotto's Pizza in Edwardsville @ 7pm (Route 11, Gateway Plaza). Your one signature, and hopefully your families signatures, will go a long way for Tim to achieve his goal of 995. Tim currently has 870 valid signatures, he just needs a few more and needs you help.

This is also when the Campaign for Liberty meeting is taking place. NEPA Liberty

Tim Mullen highly respects the Campaign for Liberty, him being a member of it for the 3 years. You are welcome to stay for the meeting, they usually have good topics about our Freedoms and Liberties. It is also common to have candidates for various offices speaking at the meeting.

Thursday July 14

@ 7pm

Grotto's Pizza in Edwardsville (on Route 11 in the Gateway Plaza)

Thank you very much, your one signature will mean the world to Tim Mullen.
In Liberty,

Michael Anderson

Campaign Manager

P.S. Remember to vote for Tim Mullen on November 8th, 2011.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Return to Dinosaur Island

I don't know much about the early, the middle or the latter stages of the Jurassic geological period. Sorry, but stratigraphy is not exactly my laced cup of tea.

But over a gallon of moonshine and case or two of Reingold chasers, Uncle Jiggy once told me of the Muckassic period. See, he was once run over by a runaway John Deere up on the fire road and as a result couldn't pronounce his words none too good. And what he sweared to to his dying day was that this island in question was home to "a whole bunch of muckin' man-eating dinosaurs that damn near took muckin' Herbie Hooper's good arm clean off." Hence, the Muckassic period.

Since everyone else declined our invites after learning of our planned upon destination, the expedition was reduced to Kayak Dude, Zach and myself. While Zach was still claiming that he didn't believe we'd be eaten alive, both Kayak Dude and myself put ashore heavily armed.

We put in at the little-used riverfront park at Pittston. And I have to say, between the rampant vandalism and the obvious lack of necessary upkeep, it would be a serious stretch to call this locale an amenity for the residents. Typical federally subsidized project: If you build it, we can't afford to maintain it.

And as is almost always the case, the water quality at Pittston is the very worst that the entire Wyoming Valley has to offer.

The gooey waters off Pittston
Now, I ask you, if there are no T-Mucks and no Muckasaurus' running loose in the dense forbidding forests of Dinosaur Island, then why do the authorities forbid us to even park our boats on it's shores?

Enter at your own risk?
Me, I wasn't scared. I had the 16-shot auto-loading clip giving me a capacity of about 90 rounds without having to manually reload. Well, that's assuming that a Crosman air-soft gun capable of 300-feet-per-second could take down a 2-ton rampaging dinosaur. And if not, I'm certain I can outrun both Kayak Dude and Zach. So if I were to paddle back all alone, I'd make up this story about how the both of them abandoned me only to face the monsters alone. Freakin' wimps!

Or as Uncle Jiggy would say, god damn commies!

Symphonic TV with a built-in VCR
Still, even though Zach claimed he wasn't concerned for our safety in the least, he had an itchy trigger finger just as soon as we beached the boat and set out on foot. Check your fire, boy! Check your fire! We got innocent paddlers in there! 

Relax! It's a bullfrog!
I found a couple of trees that had huge gouges taken out of them. And after I measured the bite radius of those gouges, I decided to keep the lid on what I had found. There was no need to alarm my fellow paddlers who were happily committed to acquisition of washed-away oddities, recently exposed Indian artifacts and  time-sanded stones containing fossils.

Nothing like a bag of glass and rocks
Since we were well into our three-hour tour in lieu of foodstuffs, KD whipped up a healthy lunch comprised of crayfish and fresh water mussels. Not exactly culled from the official PETA menu, but it worked. If only we could have snagged that bullfrog and gone full-flown surf n' turf.

Yum! Save me a claw

My biggest fear was that we'd head back to the boat at some point only to have found it bitten in half. But in that event, I had fire (My Zippo), we had knives and we had our cunning and our survival instincts. And if any of those had failed us, we could simply wait until the river gets really, really low in August, lay in wait for adventurous tweeners making the low-water trek to the island and go the way of cannibals. Dibs on the fat kid!

Besides, back in the forest away I came upon a washed away shingled roof, which would have made for a great start on a shelter. Our new home.

But unlike the great explorers that preceded us, we wanted to get on home before we got in big, big trouble with the chicks in our lives.

So we paddled back upstream to Pittston, avoided the goo slick clinging to the shoreline, humped the U.S.S. Dude all the way up to Kennedy Boulevard, and then made reverent noises about having escaped with our lives.

And after such a life-altering experience, we secured the boat and the gear and we headed straight to the nearby Burger King for some kiddie chow. Whew!

111 years later
 On the way home, we pulled over at Port Blanchard and took numerous pictures shot from numerous angles of the recently detonated east side of the 8th Street bridge. While I hated driving over that bridge while hoping incompetent motorists would not sideswipe my vehicles, I found it kind of sad to see something that was a part of the local landscape for so, so long to be lying there in pieces; soon never to be seen again. I guess it was shovel-ready.

So, as much as it may distress you, I survived my second foray onto Dinosaur Island.

And I want to thank KD for driving two hours with his boat in tow just so he could make like a little kid with a little kid and his little kid of a grandfather. We, males, are hard-wired by nature. We are inherently hunters and gatherers, but most importantly...we are explorers.

And it is for that latter reason that our exploration of space should not have been all but deep-sixed in favor of providing safety nets for the able-bodied.

Dude, Medusa Island awaits.

Many thanks.


Debunking the bunk

Just before 3 PM yesterday, Steve Corbett’s voice boomed over the airwaves as he invited listeners to tune into his fast-approaching show and listen to the “next mayor of Wilkes-Barre.”

I’ve replaced his show with sports radio and AOR of late, but with that lead-in you know I had to resist changing the channel.

Anyway, Corbett was doing his absolute level best to motivate tower Bob Kadluboski into initiating a fall write-in campaign for mayor. He claims that “Bob Kadluboski is a one-man Tea Party,” and that he’s “got a chance.”

My immediate thought was that a hastily-undertaken write-in campaign by Kadluboski would result in siphoning votes away from Lisa Cope, Mayor Tom Leighton’s Republican challenger.

But then my mind drifted back to Ed Soltis, the Wilkes-Barre police officer who specialized in parking enforcement for what seemed like an eternity.

Once upon a time, Soltis ran for mayor. But that was after he had delivered parking tickets to a few generations of Wilkes-Barre residents. So, as a result, I had him listed in the “fat chance” category.

But with Kadluboski you’ve got the mother of all force multipliers. No, he didn’t ticket a couple of generations, he towed their vehicles away. And his act is not exactly what you’d call people centered.

In other words, the “fat chance” principle clearly applies in this case. But, hey, it’s still a free country for a little while yet. Go for it.

Corbett couldn’t repeat enough his burning desire that Mayor Tom Leighton be replaced.

And you know why all of the recent uproar. Because of temporary summer jobs some of Leighton’s immediate family members were hired to. Fair enough. Whatever.

But after Corbett claimed that former mayor “Tom McGroarty would beat Leighton” if he were to run this fall, he also went on to say, “McGroarty’s heart was in the right place.”

Remembering history back (Mad Max beyond Thunder Dome)...

Ex-mayor's brother sues W-B over firing: Gerard R. McGroarty says dismissal was retaliation for supporting his brother, Tom.

The Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, PA)
December 28, 2005
Byline: Terrie Morgan-Besecker, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Times Leader

Dec. 28--WILKES-BARRE -- The brother of former Mayor Tom McGroarty has filed a federal lawsuit against the city and current Mayor Tom Leighton, alleging Leighton fired him from his position as director of parks and recreation because he supported his sibling in his failed re-election bid. The suit, filed Tuesday by attorney Kimberly Borland, says Gerard R. McGroarty performed in a professional, competent manner in the position, which he held from 1996 to 2004. He was fired on Jan. 4, 2004, shortly after Leighton took office. The suit alleges Leighton retaliated against McGroarty because he had …

And then...

Times Leader
February 21, 2009

Federal court upholds McGroarty’s firing

The Supreme Court protects the ability of elected leaders to implement policy, citing, “When a mayor creates a new department and names his brother to a leadership role in it, the next mayor should be able to fire the brother. The former mayor created the impression of nepotism.”

So, right here in Wilkes-Barre, home of the summer jobs fiasco, the former mayor hired his brother to lucrative managerial position.

Different mayor, different standards.

Another clear example of why I listen to 102.3 The Mountain in the afternoon.

One more thing: If we file a complaint with those ethics folks from the state, can we be reimbursed for that?


Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Hayna 500

The City of Wilkes-Barre has an anti-cruising ordinance on the books, which forbids folks from driving around in circles all night long.

I don’t remember when it was first enacted. How it worked was the city posted the anti-cruising signs at key spots in the downtown. And if the police observed you driving past the same sign a number (I think 10) of times, they’d pull you over. Some of them are still posted.

And you can thank this guy, Steve, for the circumlocution that I am about to inflict upon you.


Hayna 500...I recently discovered what was once called the "Hayna 500". Interesting stuff. For the uneducated (or those from north/east of Avoca), this was a cruising circuit in and around Wilkes-Barre and Kingston. Actually I just think the term "Hayna 500" is funny. Kudos to Ms Rivers for that one.

I think the circuit changed from group to group. I always thought of the West Side as being boring, except for when we headed over to Dairy Queen looking for West Side kids in need of a trouncing.

Stop ‘n’ Go was always there, in which you could fill up on fast food for as little as your pocket change. How much was a burger, anyways? Like, fifteen cents or something?

Guys & Dolls basement pool hall was awesome. But you’d be banned for life if you acted out.

The game room in the rear of the old Perkins was a destination. It’s Ollie’s restaurant these days.

As for cruising Public Square, it was never, ever boring. There was always something going on. Kids with acoustic guitars in the middle. Kids smoking grass in the middle. Girls cruising and flirting but usually little else.

Fisticuffs were frequently engaged in. Very much so. I had a friend who was like 110% Native American and looked every bit the part. And when some guy from Kings College called him Geronimo followed by a giggle, that so-called Injun’ punched three of his car’s windows out before he could get it rolling.

There were plenty of muscle cars to be had. I recall some guy having a green Plymouth Superbird, the car Richard Petty raced at Daytona. That motor would cause the freaking ground to shake. And the brake stands were to die for.

My buddy once raced his ‘67 Chevelle SS flat-out straight up Main Street on a dare. 3...2...1...Woo-hoo! Wheel-hopping, baby! If any car had passed through that intersection at Union Street…

As a matter of fact, some of us were known to go to the top of the central parking garage and do donuts up there on the roof. But, with one slip of the wheel or loss of traction came the concrete walls. Cool as all get-out.

Crazy Kevin, Carrot Top's dead ringer of a look-alike was always on hand and doing something insane until the cops would shoo him along. I was told they threw him in a police cruiser one night, drove him to Stroudsburg and told him to get out. Craziest sumbitch I ever came across. The dude scared me. And most others.

There were a few kids from Coughlin that used to drive around looking to “broom” black people. True story. They would speed up, get closer to the curb line, hang out of the car as far as possible and BANG!…down went the black people. I’m just saying.

One daring kid I knew from Coughlin rendezvoused with a prostitute one night. A black prostitute with a huge fro. After she rendered agreed-to oral services, he refused to pay up so she drove her metallic hair pic right through his cheek. Dumbest thing being, they said she was not quite all there and only charged two bucks. Got me, man. Seemed like a bargain to me.

One night we got into a scrap with a carload of preppie-looking guys sporting L.C.C.C t-shirts. They started it, and they kept talking crap to us like we were scared little junior high kids or something. But they had never met Glen, my trusty sidekick. My psychotic sidekick, but my sidekick just the same. After he made the biggest of the group cry inside of 10 seconds, it was all downhill for them.

Good ole Glen. He once planned to take a claw hammer to a state trooper through the t-roof. Luckily for him, I was there to stop him that night. We no longer run together. Beaten to death, he was.

My specialty was waiting for the windiest of nights and dumping a box of laundry detergent into the fountain in the middle of Public Square. And then we’d just sit back and let nature work it’s magic. This used to perturb the beat cops to no end.

You know, perhaps one of these nights we should visit that fountain in front of the Frontier Building. Um, well, somebody should. Not me.

Near as I can remember, the Bicentennial Building was brand spanking new (1975?) when one night some lunatic raced his car right through the center of the square, got bounced and tossed senseless, lost control and drove his car right into the building.

When the cops handcuffed him, they grew every annoyed with the lot of us clapping in appreciation of such an amazing and entertaining undertaking. As Glen was known to say, “Fu>kin’ A, man!”

Lastly, one night while we admiring our laundry detergent handiwork, some guy from Provincial Towers invited the lot of us up to his apartment. His was a straight-up business arrangement. He’d supply us teenagers with all the alcohol we wanted if we’d merely allow him to molest us one-by-one.

I’ll never forget the entire crew just turning their heads and glancing back at Glen. Yeah, looking back at Glen, as in, let the beatings begin!

Anyway, if you’re interested in entering the Hayna 500, I’d have to admit that some of us kind of ruined it for the future generations.


Hayna, hayna.
Hayna, hayna
I'm from Wilkes-Bare


Leighton press release

Breaking news from the Times Leader: Leighton‘s relatives resign from city internships

11:52 AM

By Andrew M. Seder
Times Leader Staff Writer

The City of Wilkes-Barre has issued a release announcing that Brian, Lauren, and Courtney Leighton have resigned from their summer employment effective today.

The hiring of the three have come under scrutiny by media organizations and the public.

Mayor Tom Leighton, in the release, said, “I feel it is necessary to address recent media reports concerning the hiring of my relatives for summer employment with the city. This is a program that is an important asset to the community. Our summer employees and interns perform a great public service to the people of Wilkes-Barre and gain valuable work experience that in many cases has inspired these workers to remain public servants beyond school both here and in other communities. It is this opportunity that drove members of my family to seek employment with the city for the summer. Not to exploit the people of Wilkes-Barre but to serve them.”

He went on to say, "I want to state here and now that I have not violated my oath of office. I have always run an honest government and will continue to do so. Given the developments of the last few days, speaking with residents, and most importantly, consulting my family, to avoid the appearance of impropriety, all family members employed by the city have agreed to resign their position with the city effective immediately.”

“I feel that there are important issues that the city faces and this should not become an issue that consumes the city conversation. I do not take these matters lightly but I firmly believe that I acted in good faith. I am going to get back to work for the people of Wilkes-Barre as I have been every day,” said Leighton.


Summer hires: Old news is hardly breaking news

This one should be fun to watch. Especially with this fomenting controversy over the mayor’s kid being hired to a temporary summer job.

City Watch

Welcome to CityWatch, a real-time look at the news and events affecting life in Wilkes-Barre City, from potholes and politics to crime and corruption. Check in multiple times a day and join the conversation. Share your concerns and we'll help find solutions. This is our city. This is our blog.

It’s written by Citizens’ Voice reporter, Andrew Staub, who I believe is the City Beat reporter.

As for the hiring brouhaha, a couple of points. Let’s do this instead of trading any additional hostile electronic pulses.

First of all, these temporary summer jobs have been filled by many a recognizable surname for as long as anyone can remember. This is in no way news. At least, not to the people who pay even a modicum of attention.

Does that bother me? Yes, it does. Always did. As a matter of fact, I asked a long, long time ago, during a previous mayor‘s tenure--in print--why more of these summer jobs couldn’t be offered to kids living on welfare in subsidized housing. But that mayor told the press that anyone could sit in their parent’s basement and type whatever they wanted on the Internet…he didn’t care.

Having once been one of those kids with limited options, I've always been partial to giving those sorts of kids another option.

I tried.

If Tom Leighton did in fact violate some state ethics rule, well, then I suppose he’ll have to reimburse the taxpayers for whatever his daughter earned by dumping some quarters out of the coin jug. Whatever that figure might amount to, I seriously doubt that the recouping of said monies will result in any impromptu paving projects.

And if those in the know knew this was common practice in Wilkes-Barre (as well as every other local municipality) for as long as they knew, why now? Well, because there’s a general election coming due.

Plus, I’m wondering where the massive outcry and the mad dash to the state’s ethic commission was when the previous mayor’s first official act in 1996 was the hiring of his brother as the parks director. I know I pointed it out at the time--in print. Meanwhile, the docile electorate made nary a whimper.

I tried.

Anyway, however this thing shakes out, it’s kind of old news to me, as well as to the folks trying to pull a premature October Surprise.

Am I condoning anything? Nope.

But with that said, I’m also chuckling at all of the feigned outrage.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

VACA: Back to Dinosaur Island

They tell me that in the next couple of days, we're loading up and going back...back to Dinosaur Island!

(Key the dramatic music.)

Pic by Kayak Dude
 Actually, we're going island hopping. Exploring. Exploring the Susquehanna River without having to stick with a group or play by the rules of any event organizers. In other words, this is gonna be cool. Way cool.

Rather than sitting around and griping about temporary summer jobs, I'll be out there somewhere enjoying the summer. Imagine that? A blogger getting out and about. Actually doing something. Go figure.

By the way, if I never post again, you can safely assume that I've gone the way of a bowel movement. And a rather large one at that.

A Twitter town hall meeting?

Boy, if George W. Bush had done such a dumb thing...

Then again, Bush had critics whereas this pretend president has only legions of apologists. Legions upon legions, that is.

Still, Twitter?

How presidential.

And this debt ceiling showdown, what gives already?

Here's the scoop.

The Naked Communists, excuse me, the gift-giving Democrats want permission to spend even more money we haven't printed or borrowed just yet. And they also want to create greater revenue streams to piss away by way of increased taxation.

And, in a nutshell, all of this is necessary so as to not have to reduce the size of the government.

So, in effect, the government would continue to gobble up what little remains of the private sector so that it can redistribute some small percentage of the ill begotten funds as a way of stimulating the private sector? That's the plan. No, I'm not making it up, man.

Why do we even bother?

We ought to change our party affiliation, sit at home, enjoy the very best that the multitudinous amounts of safety nets have to offer, drink a ton, sprinkle generous amounts of bath salts on our microwaved brownies and smoke an awful lot of medicinal marijuana. Why fight it anymore?

Become a card-carrying Democrat.

Er, a ward of the growing, a ward of the menacing state.