Amnesty International calls Guantanamo a "gulag." Sen. Teddy Kennedy says he cannot condone allegations of near-drowning "as a human being." And Sen. Patrick Leahy calls it "an international embarrassment," as opposed to himself, a "national embarrassment."
On the bright side, at least liberals have finally found a group of people in Cuba whom they think deserve to be rescued.--Ann Coulter
I recently ran across someone who is a devotee of this site and he told me, "You don't post as much as you used to." I'll tell you what I told him, okay?
Dude, it's, like...summer. I got fun stuff to do, yah? I'm not gonna sit here making fun of those financially irresponsible folks in the Heights every freaking day. I just might have to go into that bar someday and I don't want to get tackled from behind by a vicious horde of inebriated soccer moms. It's summer, man. Got stuff I wanna do.
And, on that note, from todays' Citizen's Voice:
Def Leppard provides night of metal memories
By Alexander Choman, Citizens' Voice Music Critic 06/25/2005
Britain's raucous agents of pop-metal, Def Leppard, roared into town Friday evening along with Tesla for a nostalgic 1980s metal trip laden with heavy guitar riffs filled with syrupy power ballads to the delight of the 3,500 ardent fans on hand at Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza.
Playing mostly music by memory rather than promoting a recent CD or project, Def Leppard recycled many of the songs that made them a staple of the FM airwaves in the 1980s. Frontman Joe Elliott belted out the vocal anthems that this fiercely loyal audience came to see.
The predictable riffs carved out by Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell's metal axes were fondly reminiscent of their multi-platinum sales days. With volume levels set at the max all evening, bassist Rick Savage and drummer Rick Allen maintained a rhythm section that amply supported the four part harmonies of some of metal-rock's best known sing-a-longs.
"Have you Ever Needed Someone So Bad?", "Photograph", "Bringin' On The Heartbreak", and, of course, "Pour Some Sugar On Me", each had a supportive chorus of thousands at Wachovia Arena singing along on every word.
Emerging as the frontrunners of the new wave of heavy metal bands from England in the late 1970s, Def Leppard put the emphasis on melody and arrived at the doorstep of MTV when each needed the other. In evidence at Casey Plaza were the cleverly crafted grooves that they tweaked just enough to capture a much wider audience base than some of their heavy metal predecessors.
Def Leppard rides a smooth metallic groove that is just short of anything too hardcore but rocks enough to rouse the savage beast in most that partake in that genre. Elliott led the band slowly but surely through songs Mutt Lange produced to perfection in the studio like High & Dry's "Let It Go" and Hysteria's "Women".
By the time the band shifted comfortably into an arena-size filling version of "Is Anybody Out There?" it was all over. This audience was won over game, set and match. Def Leppard played most of the night in front of projection screen carrying images of the band's earlier days synchronized to run along the real-time performance.
As well, the screen often depicted blurred images, a vintage band cartoon and menageries of colors. Opening band Tesla shared their own brand of cleverly orchestrated pop-metal as the California-based five-some relied heavily on 1989's "Great Radio Controversy" for the heart of their set-list led by their mega-hit "Love Song".
Def Leppard and Tesla's concert Friday was nothing ground-breaking, no great lyrical introspection or technical wizardry. But what it was though, was fun and entertaining. And for the people in attendance at Wachovia Arena, that was enough. Way more than enough.
And I need
And I lust
Yepper. I went to the Walkoverya Arena at Casey Jones Plaza for the fourth time and it was fu>king awesome. It really was. I've passed on a lot of concert events held up there only due to the high ticket prices. But, you know, like so many of us, Def Leppard ain't gettin' any younger, so I figured I had better slap down some plastic and get my ass on up there. Boy! Am I glad I did. There's plumbers, and then there's master plumbers. There's Wilkes-Barre Township cops, and then there's law enforcement professionals. There's rock 'n' roll bands aplenty, and then there's Def Leppard. I'm not an emotional sort. So, if you can get me to hootin', hollarin', singin' and swayin'--you're a professional, world-class rock and roll band.
And there was an added benefit to all of this. I bought two tickets and talked my youngest, Ebon, into attending this high-decibel event by my side. Trust me, she's no rock 'n' roller by any stretch of the imagination. She attends concerts now and again, but nothing like this. On Wednesday, she was up at Montage with her older sister taking in the open air Dave Matthews jive-a-thon. I told her she needed to attend an indoor, high-decibel rock 'n' roll gig put on by qualified professionals. And that she did.
About midway through Tesla's set, I just knew she was thinking about sneaking out of the closest available exit. As a matter of fact, so was I. Tesla came, and, luckily, Tesla went. But as they were saying their goodbyes to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the singer grabbed a microphone and told Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to prepare to get it's ass kicked by Def Leppard. That it did.
Ebon watched studiously as the roadies stripped away Tesla's gear and slowly transformed the stage into Leppard's stage. At some point, I asked her if the stage itself was starting to look more impressive, if not more exciting. She nodded in the affirmative. We snuck out for a quick smoke, drained the urinary tanks and grabbed some liquid refreshments. And after finding our way back to our seats, it didn't take very long for the lights to go dead, the crowd to let out an ear-shattering roar of approval, and then...there they were! They were sharp, they were crystal clear, they were freaking loud and they were larger than life. Ebon stood to view the big leaguers from her expensive perch and never...that's, never sat back down again. Joe Elliott asked Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to "Remember us" after four encores, and as evidenced by the fact that Ebon now owns their newly released greatest hits double-CD, I'm sure she won't forget them.
See that? I'm a good father, afterall. I've gone and broadened my youngest daughter's horizons. Oh, and, permanently damaged her hearing. Remember, if it ain't loud, it ain't worth a fu>k.
Two Def Leppard concert tickets: $109
Two Def Leppard 2005 Tour T-shirts: $56
Three beers and a coke: $18.75
Watching your kid head-bang: Priceless
Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war.--Karl Rove
Let's take a whack at this call center sale, shall we? I believe that nearly every Wilkes-Barre resident that can read past an eight-grade level would probably have to view this sale as being good news for the city. But, as we all know, very many of those living amongst us cannot comprehend much past the less than cerebral, "See Spot run" kiddies books they were weined on.
The press conference announcing the sale was held on Thursday, and by Friday morning, the folks that were confused by, "See Spot run" were quickly on the blower to WILK. And the utterly predictable and completely laughable complaint was that with Wilkes University's purchase of the call center, yet another property in the city will be awarded tax-exempt status. Therein, lies proof that Denise Carey's referendum style of government amounts to little more than putting the mental incontinents in charge of this city's future. They're more than willing to spout off on any given subject without having as much as a clue as to what the fu>k they're babbling on and on about. Kind of like Walter Griffith, only dumber.
But rather than allowing the, "See Spot run" crowd to dominate the topic, let's explore it here.
The former call center, now known as "The University Center on Main," is a K.O.Z. (Keystone Opportunity Zone) property. And unless I'm doling out too much credit here, I think even the Spot fans know what that means. In addition to that K.O.Z. status, the call center was created by use of the T.I.F. (Tax Incremental Financing) program. We could go into the details of that newcomer to the Dick, Jane and Spot crowd, but it'd take way too long. If you're curious, do a Google search. If not, call WILK and tell them what you don't already know. The long and short of it is, even if the city sold that building to MicroSoft, it wasn't going to generate any property taxes until the Tampa Bay T-Ball Rays (T-ball Rays? Credit Sue Henry) finally rose up and won a World Series.
So, let's put an end to anymore clueless talk of losing yet another property to tax-exempt status. Basically, that property was lost to us as soon as it was built by way of it's ridiculously loser-friendly lease. Yeah. Loser-friendly. Right! The employer that couldn't even come remotely close to delivering what it had promised to King Tom McGroarty skipped town, but, in the end, the biggest loser was the City of Wilkes-Barre. But no more. What we have here is a win/win/win situation and, yet, stunningly, the Times Leader chose to report it on Page 6. Figure that one out on a day when the front page was dominated by the headline, "Leighton's Believe it or not." Stoking the fires of discontent, are we? Hmmm?
Anyway, the city will stop bleeding red ink as a result of this sale. That's a big win. The residents will no doubt ultimately benefit, but be warned, you might have to wait more than seven weeks to realize the benefits of this sale. Still, a win nonetheless. And, think about it, Wilkes University is also a very big winner. If I'm running that outfit, I'm thrilled about grabbing that property while knowing that some of the folks that drive my learning facility have been publicly opining that the cramped quarters and such weren't going to cut it for very much longer. Trust me, it's a win for Wilkes University.
And another thing, the residents of Wilkes-Barre should be applauding the folks that manage Wilkes University. They are going to spend $7.9 million to acquire that behemoth. And if that's not enough of a committment to Wilkes-Barre's overall future, they are going to sink another $1.9 into retooling it to fit their needs. If Wilkes-Barre has a better friend, a better partner right now, I'm clueless as to who it might be. And make no mistake about it, Wilkes University keeps all of it's properties in an impeccably attractive condition.
The former call center is no longer a drain on our finances, as well as a drain on our overall morale as a city. And the two biggest, the most painful stains upon our collective psyche, the call center and the holeplex, have now been relegated to that of which remains only in our memories. Good riddance.
And consider that Wilkes is going to relocate their security office into the empty Weed & Seed-funded police substation located in the lower level of the South parking garage. Could that block of South Main Street do with a few more folks sporting badges right about now?
So, to sum all of this up, if the city sold that property to a commercial outfit, no property taxes would have been forthcoming. As the grudging owner of said property, if the city rented, or leased that property, it would have received zero property taxes from the new tenants. But by selling it to Wilkes University, in fact, the city has gained no additional property taxes, but instead, it has gained a partner willing to invest sizable sums of money in the future of this city.
And just in case you might need to press on with this non-factor of a property tax issue, Wilkes University pays more to the city than the total assessed values of their properties currently mandate. And with all of that said, if you must see fit to rail against this sale, don't be surprised if you see Spot run away from you. Even a canine can spot someone with a dog-ugly thought processor.
Face it...deal with it, you malcontents, Mayor Tom went and done real good again. Hey, at least he's consistent. I'm very sorry to have to disappoint you, but this is a great deal for the City of Wilkes-Barre.
From this most sweltering day forward, let it be clearly, clearly understood amongst those of us that toil away in relative obscurity that Wilkes University is a really good neighbor of ours. That is, a good neighbor to the tune of $10 million.
Wilkes University "believes" in the City of Wilkes-Barre.
Silly, aren't they?
How's about this? Another local blogger has emerged! Cool.
Dude, I will check out your blog and then some.
As far as supporting Bush and gettin' after Urban is concerned, I care not for any particular political party. I was a registered republican until I changed my affiliation so that I could vote against Tom McGroarty during the March '03 primaries. And I never got around to switching it back. Why bother? I vote for candidates rather than for parties.
At this point in time, on the national scene, the republican party is a better fit for me, but they are starting to lose me. On the other hand, the democratic party is little more than a loose coalition of lunatic groups, fringe groups, minority groups, the sexually off-the-wall groups, frustrated commies, frustrated socialists and a few powerful unions. The democrats have no cohesive message other than the evil republicans will starve your dog, your children, your grandparents and a few nice young men currently vacationing at Club Guantanamo.
There was a time when I very strongly identified with the republican party. Their's was a message of conservative old-fashioned personal responsibilty, baseball, apple pie and Chevrolets America. These days, I don't know what the fu>k they stand for. They spend like a bunch of drunken democrats. They can't pass gas without first floating a trial balloon in the direction of the most hard-core of the bible thumpers. And if allowing our border policy to remain one that resembles swiss cheese rather than an electrified fence is conservative thinking, maybe I was hatched on planet Zappa.
And if we're all scratching our heads as to why the entire country is suddenly swirling down the drain, look no further than the ultimately destructive "party first/country second" mentality that seemingly has a death-grip on both parties of late. If George Bush proposed the greatest idea ever to be thunk up, the democrats would rail against it. And if some democrat devised the ultimate cure-all for all that ails America, the republicans would dump all over it. Why? Because maintaining party discipline and working for one's own reelection takes precedence over the needs of the country as a whole.
Locally, there are no viable republican candidates. Sure, I liked Harry Haas, but he was swimming against the democrat tide in this one-party county. Steve Urban is a "party first/county second" putz. He proved as much when he endorsed Christine Katsock over Tom Leighton. How smart does he look now? And he proved as much when right before the big Leighton/Katsock vote, he criticized Leighton for not being sensitive to the needs of the handicapped. Only a complete maroon, a complete putz, or a useless party hack maintaining party discipline would have said something so utterly moronic. I will not go into detail, but trust me...he's putzed big time with that ridiculous charge.
In this county, the republicans suck and don't deserve to be elected to any position more noteworthy than that of the septic tank enforcement officer. And the local democrats? Well, look around you and tell me what you see? All...that's all of our cities are trying to recover from decades worth of inattention, short-sightedness and reckless spending brought directly to you by the Luzerne County democrats. And now, one of the commissioners originally thought to be a breath of fresh political air, and who promised to make things right in this county is thinking of jumping ship the very first time a local big whig goes and slaps his D.C. play whore around. Locally, he hasn't delivered dick and yet he thinks he's ready to climb onto the national stage?
Believe me, I could really care less what party anyone happens to be a card-carrying member of. What I truly want to see is nothing but professional, capable and committed people elected in these backward parts. And, no, I did not vote for Skrep. And I certainly did not vote for Steve Urban. But, yes, I did vote for VonderTodd. Then, there's Tom Leighton. I couldn't wait to vote for him and have never once regretted having done so. So, in conclusion, I generally lean towards the republican party, but locally, voted for democrats, and nationally, voted for republicans.
I have been referred to as being an "ultra conservative" on many occasions, but nothing could be further from the truth. What I am is a mish-mash of beliefs instilled in me by an even bigger mish-mash of often conflicting sources. Can you even imagine calling a Zappa Freak an ultra conservative? Talk about totally misreading that which irks you.
And Kevin? Kevin does not hate Rick Santorum. What Kevin hates is any organized religion that happens to be almost U.S.-centric at times. His dad taught him that. He's stated it many times on the radio. His parents wanted him to experience multiple religions and whatnot when he was growing up so that he could later dump on them just like his dad did. Blah, blah, fu>king blah...the Soviet version of The Brady Bunch. This way, when he graduated from the sixth grade and started drinking with his parents, he could bash religion, too! Isn't that just neat? That's what the self-important, enlightened all-knowing types do when they're not reading some anti-American manifesto. They mock the common man and his religious crutch. And Kevin has been forced to turned it into a career. Kevin is living proof that conservatives are generally more at ease with the world around them than the loopy leftist folks of Kevin's scattershot ilk are. And if you're not a pretend sophisticate like him, you're automatically dismissed as being a knuckle-dragger, a drooler, or someone who can't think at all without first listening to Rush Limbaugh.
From a procreation standpoint, Kevin makes about as much sense as the anal sex he gleefully promotes. Somewhere along the line, he confused his large vocabulary with actual smarts. And I really wish he'd cool it with the tennis as real life analogies. Firstly, nobody other than the laughable penny loafer crowd gives a flying farg about anything as completely uninspiring as tennis. And, secondly, tennis is the game that inspired Coleco Pong, heyna? Catch my drift? Tennis is to real life what anal sex is to Middle America. Don't tell Kev, though. He still thinks it's the absolute rage that he once came within a few billion miles of the Super Bowl of that "sport" long before the eventual advent of electricity.
He's a loon. Another loopy leftist. A pretend do-gooder. A tree-hugger so long as tree-hugging remains en vogue. A Utopian Earth stalwart. On that note, did you ever wonder why the folks fighting for the Utopian dream can't even control their own waistlines? They're going to bring tranquility to all of humankind, but they themselves are reduced to wearing triple-Xs so as to hide the rolls upon rolls of flab. Ever wonder about that?
Nah. When Kevin can cure that which ails him, tell him to call me and we'll then set about to bring Zardoz to a community near you.
Much to my dislike, I worked a seven-hour day today. I was working in Nanticoke when I heard a terrible thud. Living where I live, I almost always recognize that metal-against-metal sound that a motor vehicle accident produces. While I figured this sound was the result of some sort of motor vehicle foray gone terribly amiss, it sounded like nothing I had ever heard before back here within the friendly confines of the adobe.
So, my termite sidekick and I turned the corner to investigate just what it was that we had heard, only to see a leather-clad guy sprawled out in the middle of the street with a crumpled sedan stopped just short of his head. And after moving closer to the scene, we noticed that his rather large motorcycle was crunched against the other side of the car. The dude was lying face-down with his arms completely out-stretched on the tarmac. When the severity of the situation suddenly slapped me upside the head, I dialed 911 on my cell phone. I got a busy signal. And I dialed it again. It was busy again. I dialed it again. And again and again, only to hear what was becoming increasingly horrific given the circumstances: a busy tone. And then I heard a stopped passerby telling another sidetracked passerby that she too was getting a busy signal. Turns out, they both had cell phones in their hands.
So I whirled around, stomped a few feet, banged on the drive-thru window of the business I was working at and implored the drive-thru attendant to call 911. She took a fleeting glance towards the street and grabbed a phone connected to a land-line. And within one minute, I could hear the sirens rolling from Nanticoke Fire Headquarters located just up the hill a ways.
Now, people were closing in on the scene and gawking away. I did not want to appear to be quite as ghoulish as the others, so I watched from afar as concerned passersby tried to talk to the sprawled-out dude who appeared to be down for the count. He didn't appear to be responding at all. At least, that's what I saw.
Just seconds beforehand, I was slapping high-fives and talking sh*t only because the expertise that my sidekick and I can bring to bare to any job once thought to be frought with anomolies had won the hot day. We came early, we conquered and we kicked some ass. Expertise breeds confidence and sometimes, unbridled cockiness.
But after having happened upon the upsetting scene that we happened upon, a sickening feeling quickly came over me. It was that same feeling I had when I was reduced to crawling on my hands and knees on the side of my crumpled truck not so many months ago. I was having a flashback of sorts, and I was becoming increasingly annoyed with each passing second. For me, it was almost the same scenario. It was a clear day, a straight stretch of road, and there was no reason for anyone at all to be reduced to ambulance fodder. And yet, there was this guy lying before me with his life forces literally oozing out of the side of his head.
It was upsetting. It was sickening. And as the life flight helicopter passed overhead, I realized that there was nothing anyone could do to change any of it now. What was done was done. Either the surgeons would save this dude from death's grip, or I would read his obituary in the coming days. But still, I harkened back to that sickening and fateful October morning when I was introduced against my will to the very latest high-tech gadgets that modern medicine has to offer.
I harkened back alright, and all that I could come up with was, "Why?" Why do you people have to be so fu>king aggressive when you impose your testosterone-soaked ignition keys on an unsuspecting public? Why? Why was this flattened, bleeding and broken guy lying before me? Why? Because the chickie pulling out of the drive-thru was in a big, big fu>king hurry to get nowhere, that's why! Like I said, it was sickening.
So we finished our assigned duties and contemplated our weekend plans and whatnot, while a friendly dose of air conditioning wafted over us from within the confines of my truck's cab. But still, a large part of me was many, many miles away from Nanticoke. A large part of me was flying to wherever it was that they were flying that broken dude to. I was still quite sickened by seeing what should have never come about in the first place. Aggressiveness behind the wheel of a motor vehicle equals life flights. That's the way I see things.
But I was also left to wonder what might not have happened if this guy was wearing a helmet. For the life of me, I cannot understand why our state legislators have made it legal to operate a motorcycle in this state without first donning any...that's, any protective gear at all. And if they hadn't passed such a ridiculous thing, today's fender-bender might have had much less devastating circumstances for those of us clinging to that mostly hollow and well-manipulated for profit "Harley" false fantasy.
Anywho, I'd like to forget what I encountered earlier today, but I doubt that I ever will.
Go easy out there, girls. The life lost on the tarmac will not be the only life affected when it's all said and done.
Let it rock!
Let it roll!!
Let it go!!!