At this point I would rather have a right-wing Christian decide my fate than an ACLU member.--Eleanor Smith, a disabled, self-described liberal agnostic lesbian.
I had me one humdinger of a weekend. As I had previously mentioned, my brother has some serious health issues weighing down upon him. Stay tuned on that continuing saga. And by noon Saturday, I was off to Pottsville to celebrate the granddaughter's second birthday. Two years-old already. Jeez.
And as we all know, it poured cats and dogs all day Saturday. If that didn't make for poor enough visibility on 81, the fog that clung to the ground most of the way down had even the truckers taking it slow. I had two of them tucked in behind me for about thirty miles and I was only going 45 miles per hour. And therein lies a great barometer by which us four-wheelers can easily guage worsening weather and road conditions. If the normally lead-footed eighteen-wheelers are laying off, maybe you had better follow suit. But I digress.
Anyway, we made it in one piece and had ourselves a nifty gathering comprised almost entirely of immediate family. Taylor was gussied up like a girlie, and seemed totally unencumbered by being in the spotlight the entire time. In fact, her vocabulary seems to be growing by huge leaps and bounds of late, so I guess she's finally progressed from the rodent stage to the toddler stage. She's a big girl now. Sort of.
Among other mind-bending birthday goodies, we got her one of those electric-powered Fisher Price ATVs to run into mom's furniture with. And if that wasn't distressing enough for mom, we got Gage the same darn thing with the little boy paint job. Since mom has one of those islands separating the parlor from the kitchen, I figure the two of them can drive in circles all day long, or at least until mom climbs out on the roof and takes a flying leap. That's odd. Some sort of low frequency electro-magnetic pulse must have just bounced off of the steel plate in my head. Suddenly, Dastardly and Muttley came to mind.
Vulture Squad!...Stop the pigeon! Stop the pigeon! Stop that pigeon now!!!
I need a couple dozen pills or something.
Lemme take a stab at getting my deluded mind around this one.
Some guy up Scranton way has owned a radio station for damn near a half century now. And for damn near a half century he was been quietly and secretly molesting numerous underaged boys here, there and seemingly everywhere, including said radio station. It took a while, but some of his past victims finally spoke out, he was arrested, tried and convicted. Some say he could (And should.) be facing life in prison. So far so good.
Enter one of our increasingly invasive governmental entities. The Lackawanna County DA thinks the county should be able to confiscate not only the pervert's radio station, but his braodcasting license as well. Forget the fate of the employee's of that radio station. Forget the fact that the creepy guy was convicted by his peers and is in effect...totally screwed. Forget the fact that he is going to pay for his crimes against humanity. And maybe he could liquidate his assets to defend himself from further charges, pass the profits from that sale to his closest relatives, or simply retain what took him a lifetime to build. None of that matters in a county known more for red ink than it is rusty, old railroad trains. Why not tweak the existing rules, grab someone's assets and hand them over to a county government that'll certainly find some creative way to waste them?
First it was drug dealers. Now it's perverts? Where would a new legal precedent of this nature eventually lead us to? Who's next? Rapists? Purse snatchers that finally took that third strike and now they're out? You may be leaning towards e-mailing me with some "It's for the children" bilge, but I maintain that the DA of that nordern county isn't trying to grab assets because of any children. Simply stated, it's nothing but an illegal money grab. And if it actually came to pass, it'll be listed on the re-election resumes of the DA and the local judge that allowed him to twist the rules. Lookit what I did! Vote for me. I absconded with some guy's business and the cops got new vests at no cost to you! Oh, and the road department got new reflective vests! Whoopee! Ain't I just the cat's meow? (That has no regard at all for the ownership rights of others.)
Life in prison isn't enough of a punishment? Lackawanna County wants more? Well, the sad fact is, they just need the money, so why not steal it from others after finding a way to call it legal? Eminent domain is defined as being : a right of a government to take private property for public use by virtue of the superior dominion of the sovereign power over all lands within its jurisdiction. So what should we call this money grab? Is there a legal term I'm not yet aware of? Eminent cashola, perhaps?
The horrific goings-on at Ruby Ridge, Waco, Texas and Oklahoma City are forever embedded in our brains due to this type of thinking from small minds drunk with power that see absolutely no need for limits to the power of government.
If that McD.A. was my McD.A., I'd be off on another one of my "one-man crusades" to send him back to Anonymityville, or Schmuckster Falls, where he so obviously belongs.
Life in prison isn't enough of a punishment?
Almost six months to the day since my last vigorous bikeabout, I finally rolled the Rock Stomper out of it's hanger yesterday and toured the flood zone that is this valley of ours.
I don't need to tell y'all what I happened upon. From what I saw out there, just about everyone else was doing exactly as I was. I've never seen so many people atop our new-and-improved dikes. And before yesterday, I had never experienced a rubber-necking traffic jam on Barney Street. Whatever. Let's do away with that silly "Valley with a Heart" slogan and adopt "Floods R Us" from here on out. Maybe?
Anyway, it's taken me longer than I ever would have believed possible to get over the effects of that farging needless fender-bender that was inflicted upon me, but I'm suddenly feeling somewhat up to snuff these days. I'm fifteen pounds heavier than I was on that fateful morning, but now that the Stomper has been dusted off, so will the unwanted pounds and very, very quickly. Exercise will do that to ya.
Again, any-freaking-way, the bikeabouts have resumed. I did a quick twelve miles yesterday afternoon and it didn't phase me in the least. And here's the highlight from that bikeabout event.
I was taking some pictures from where the Black Diamond bridge meets Barney Farms. I got to thinking that it'd be cool to take some pics from the middle of the bridge. I asked some guy who had sauntered up the hill from the "Farms" if he had any idea when the next train was due. He didn't know. So I headed out towards the center of the bridge and the same guy said, "I wouldn't if I were you." Yeah, I'm sure. Most people wouldn't do the things that I do. But I do 'em just the same.
I'll admit to not wanting to be caught out there if a fast moving 100-car train happened along way too quickly. At that point I'd have two options available to me. I could haul ass off the bridge on the 3-foot wide catwalk with the broken welds that cause it to unexpectedly dip all too often. Or, I could lean back on those rusted and broken railings and have a freight train whiz past my face. I've experienced the latter a couple of times, and I can't say I liked it too much. And I'd prefer not to race along on aging 3-foot wide catwalks over a swollen river just dying to drown some poor soul.
It was awesome out there. It was louder than I would have believed possible. The on-rushing water being split in two directions by the bridge pylon was almost deafening. Then add to the mix the debris (some of which was rather large) smashing into the pylon at breakneck speeds, and you've got the making of a helluva overwhelming sound. It was cool.
And as I stood out there taking it all in and feeling really good about my not being a pussy, Lt. Olshefski came over the police scanner and made 911 aware of the fact that police headquarters had received a call about somebody being in the middle of the Black Diamond bridge. Oops! He also went on to say that the Wilkes-Barre police would be checking the Wilkes-Barre side of the bridge and he asked 911 to contact the CP Rail police about checking the wooded Edwardsville side of the bridge. Needless to say, the Rock Stomper and I hauled ass across the bridge and NO!, I did not like that catwalk occasionally dropping towards that water rushing by just beneath my feet. I was at the edge of Kirby Park faster than a Wilkes-Barre cop can say, "I need the 'Bus'."
Somebody called the cops on me? Man, that's a first.
I raided the Saturday installment of The Times Leader:
Posted on Sat, Apr. 02, 2005
Wilkes-Barre must find new way to pay for needed services
As Wilkes-Barre taxpayers, we believe we are glad to pay for the protection of police, fire and maintenance of city streets with our property taxes. The question is, how much longer can 48 percent of Wilkes-Barre property owners keep subsidizing 52 percent of tax exempt properties?
Wilkes Barre City is a home ruled city and council can eliminate property tax and put in place a fee on the size and numbers of buildings. At present, Luzerne County is reassessing all properties. The city can request that information at no cost to the taxpayers. All property owners need the protection of fire, police and street maintenance and should not object to paying their fair share.
Ambrose J. Meletsky Wilkes Barre Charles Urban Wilkes Barre
Repeat after me: County seat. County government buidings. Courthouse and peripheral agencies. A college. A university. A big Library. A historical museum. Another museum on the way. Business incubators. Four high schools. The Chamber of Commerce. Public assistance offices. Other assorted relief agencies. A soup kitchen. KOZ zones in a lifeless downtown. There is a f**king reason why we have so many tax-exempt properties. We happen to be the center of the universe in this county. It goes with the territory.
Stupid utterances do not help.
|Wilkes University is interested in the call center. I have a solution for all of Wilkes-Barre’s problems. It would solve everything. The do-nothing mayor resigns and the do-nothing seven on the council resign. Let the president of Wilkes and the president of King’s, be co-managers of the city. They’re taking everything now and the city’s tax base is eroding to nothing. Let them run it, see how they can do.|
The Times Leader has a new top dog and let's pray that he does away with this SAYSO nonsense. E-mail the guy. Pure idiocy offered up by the profoundly ignorant does not amount to a zeitgeist no matter how you prefer to spin it. Allison is gone. It's time for SAYSO to follow her.
Posted on Sat, Apr. 02, 2005
County’s taxpayer activists look to spur involvement through meeting, Web site
Mary Kamp and Christopher Gillis want to help people monitor their government.
By JENNIFER LEARN-ANDES firstname.lastname@example.org
Taxpayers Christopher Gillis and Mary Kamp are moving forward with their promise to create outlets for Luzerne County residents who want to keep a closer eye on county government.
The duo is inviting the public to a meeting at 7 p.m. April 14 at Wilkes University’s Marts Center.
They are seeking residents of different ages and backgrounds who want to work with them, either behind the scene or in leadership roles, to gather feedback on issues and make that feedback known to commissioners.
An address has been set up seeking donations through the Luzerne County Public Forum to create an interactive Web site and, possibly, a newsletter. The address is Public Forum, P.O. Box 2506, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18703.
The Web site would be posted with information about county matters and allow people to state opinions.
The need for more organized taxpayer input was glaring when commissioners voted last year to...
They are "seeking donations???" They want to save the world, but they won't plop down a couple of twenty-dollar bills to make it happen? Put your money where your mouth is.
I wouldn't advise them to hold their breathe while waiting on my check.
Are you one of those mindless myrmidons that marches to whatever orders the enviro-kookballs spew on a daily basis?
Read on. This is a good one from The Seattle Times.
Thursday, March 31, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.
An honest look at the facts surrounding ANWR drilling
By Frank H. Murkowski
Special to The Times
Frank H. Murkowski
For more than a century, the economic vitality of Washington state and Alaska has been intertwined. From the Gold Rush to the oil boom, money and natural resources leaving Alaska have passed through Washington, creating tens of thousands of jobs. Seattle-based companies are key investors in Alaska's multibillion-dollar seafood, shipping, tourism and retail industries.
The benefits to Washington state's economy will continue to grow if Congress approves oil development in a small section of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Washington's five oil refineries process billions of dollars of Alaska crude, supplying consumers throughout the Northwest with energy. Washington alone consumes 18 million gallons of petroleum daily. Apparently, not everyone is traveling to their destinations on bicycles. If Alaska's crude oil were not available, Washington state would be getting its oil supply from Middle Eastern nations in foreign ships with foreign crews, built in foreign shipyards.
More than half of this country's oil comes from foreign sources, particularly OPEC. America needs American oil — to reduce our dependence on the foreign oil that threatens our national security. We must develop energy sources in America, for the American consumer, while safeguarding American security.
Alaska's environmental standards are the highest in the world, and yet Washington Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray — opponents of ANWR drilling — have repeatedly declined my invitations to visit ANWR and see firsthand this area of national importance.
Your senators would have witnessed that Alaska mandates the highest environmental standards in the world. Technological advances in environmentally friendly drilling, developed in Alaska, have been transferred to other locations around the globe, lifting the bar for the entire industry.
Protecting the environment is a global issue, not just an Alaskan issue. Stopping the exploration of ANWR only shifts oil production to other parts of the world where environmental standards are lower.
Advances in directional drilling make the footprint in ANWR extremely small. Use of only 2,000 acres for ANWR development is authorized in the House energy bill, yet ANWR is 19 million acres, about the size of Colorado.
Federal biologists began surveying the Central Arctic caribou herd in 1978, after the Alaska pipeline began operation. Since then, the herd has grown from 5,000 to over 32,000 animals. Alaska has proven it can be responsible; wildlife in ANWR will continue to coexist with cautious oil and gas exploration.
ANWR is not like other federal land. When it became a refuge in 1980, the enormous oil potential in the "1002 area" was already known. This small area of ANWR was given a special designation that allowed for oil drilling with authorization from Congress and the president's signature.
Critics falsely claim ANWR will only produce six months of oil. This incorrectly assumes ANWR would be the only oil field in operation in the world. In fact, ANWR oil will make significant contributions to the nation's energy supply for decades, replacing what we import from Saudi Arabia for the next 20 years. To bring this statistic home, ANWR alone would supply the state of Washington with all of its oil needs for 15 years.
Some estimates use the most pessimistic production figures by counting only 3.5 billion barrels of oil. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates between 12 billion and 32 billion barrels exist in the ANWR "1002 area," of which between 6 billion and 16 billion barrels are recoverable using current technology.
Some say ANWR will take at least seven years to begin production. That delay is because of the comprehensive environmental-impact study necessary to ensure that the environment is protected.
Like all Americans, I support research and technological development in alternative energies so that in the future we can reduce our energy dependence. But we must be realistic — right now the world moves on oil and that will be the case for years to come. Until the arrival of new energy technology, oil from ANWR can significantly help in easing our dependence on foreign imports.
Producing oil in Alaska means high-paying careers for American workers, not foreigners. Companies friendly to our country will profit, rather than governments that would prefer our demise.
We need an honest discussion of the facts and science regarding responsible ANWR oil production and its numerous benefits for America. Please encourage Washington state's two senators to actually visit the North Slope of Alaska and see what they are voting against at the expense of their own state, Alaska and America's national-security interests.
Frank H. Murkowski is the governor of Alaska.
I don't mean to come off as being totally disrespectful to the recently deceased, but both Terri Schiavo and The Pope have passed on to wherever it is that we pass on to. And with that having been said, it's time that we get back to the really big news item still simmering out there.
What did Michael Jackson blow and when did he blow it?
I'll leave you with this:
Nothing says slut like a tattoo on the butt.
GOD! I wish that I could take the credit for that one.