10-12-2005 Weird scenes from the coal mines re-visited


An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.--John Marshall

SO!!! Some mental incontinent took a decent shot at torching the theater complex, or parts thereof. Nice. Very, f>cking nice.

The Citizens Voice

Quick action saves downtown project

Lighted bottle of gas was thrown into Main Street building

By James Conmy and Tim Gulla
Staff Writers

An arsonist's Molotov cocktail jeopardized a major downtown revitalization project late Sunday, leaving developers indebted to Wilkes-Barre City's emergency responders for their quick action.

The fire inside the first floor of 70 S. Main St. charred the wooden ceiling supports, indicating it could have spread if not contained quickly. The building is part of a $30 million project that includes a 14-screen movie theater complex, 30,000 square feet of retail space and 28 loft-style homes.

The potentially devastating fire was deliberately set. "We have a witness that saw someone throw a lit bottle of suspected gas into the building," said Bill Sharksnas, city fire inspector. "If that went undetected, it could have been a nightmare."

Wilkes-Barre City police spent Monday conducting interviews. No name or description of possible suspects has been released.

"It could have been a catastrophic event if not for the quick work of the Wilkes-Barre Fire Department," said Fred Lohman, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry. A chamber subsidiary is developing the project, which includes $10 million in public financing.

The fire was reported at 10:50 p.m. Sunday and extinguished by 11:28 p.m., according to Assistant Fire Chief Bruce Reilly. Eleven firefighters and a paramedic responded. No one was injured.

Damage at the site was minimal, said project manager Mike Hogan from Sordoni Construction. Construction materials, not the structures, sustained the worst damage, Sharksnas said.

A structural engineer brought in Monday to inspect the damage found nothing of consequence. There will be no construction delays, Hogan said.

"I was pretty angry about it," conceded chamber president Steve Barrouk, who was called to the scene late Sunday. "It was purely an act of vandalism.

The vandalism is prompting increased security at the site. An overnight guard was posted Monday.

I saw that Times Leader editorial today:

"How did you feel...Angry, we bet. We did, too."

How'd I feel? Let's put it this way, you do not wanna know how many new expletives I invented during my oratorial response to that most assinine news.

Again, from the Voice:

The potentially devastating fire was deliberately set. "We have a witness that saw someone throw a lit bottle of suspected gas into the building," said Bill Sharksnas, city fire inspector.

I'll tell ya, I'll cough up anything for an arrest in this case. I wanna know who the very loose cannon is, and you have to know that this was most likely not the work of your garden variety street urchin. No, no, no, I'd bet on someone higher on the food chain with some sort of axe to grind. In a nutshell, we've got one sick f>cker running loose in this city, and if pressed to speculate, I'd bet their name is readily recognizable. I could be off-base, but that's how I feel.

And trust me, this sort of act would not be out of character for some of those among us, and I'd really love to go into detail. Sadly, I cannot. If only you really knew what goes on around here. If only you knew who could have been arrested, but wasn't. Not everyone seeking publicity in this city is on the up-and-up. There's a couple of real sick f>ckers running loose in this city.

They'll trip themselves up real good like one of these days. And won't I just love every minute of it.

Won't I.


From the e-mail inbox Hi Mark. Seem's I touched a nerve. Not my intent. Sorry if it seemed so. Your reference to Cong. Mike Kirwan brought back some fond memories of how one learns how government is supposed to operate. Mike was a good friend of mine (I might have even seen him guiding you through the Capitol but didnt know who you were), and Cong. Dan Flood brought him to Wilkes-Barre several times for the St. Patrick's Day parade and festivities. They were great friends, and Dan introduced me to him back in the 60's. By the way, Dan never smoked cigars as long as I knew him, and he was "family". His Maternal Grand Father was Daniel J. McCarthy, a judge (I believe) out of Freeland/Hazelton, and my Grand Fathers brother, from what Dan used to tell me when he called me "Cousin Jimmy". Dan smoked cigarettes, out of a long cigarette holder (like his idol FDR), which he quit smoking when it started to affect his stentorian tones during his floor speaches. Dan's the one who got me involved in politics when I first came "home", suggesting I run for Council (Catherine, his wife, said I should run for Congress- but thats another funny story). As to Mrs. Carey, as noted- she, and her husband Tom, are friends of mine...and I did warn her several times of the company she was keeping. But her heart was in re-opening the Heights Fire House (a misnomer in that it served over one half of Wilkes-Barre), and she was taking all the help she could get. I too have been led down the primrose path several times in my career(s), but sometimes you have to make a mistake to learn who's the good guys and who's the baddies. As to who else is in support of Mrs. Carey, I understand the ACLU (not one of my favorites) and the League of Women's Voters of Pennsylvania have expressed an interest. I hope they do take a role. I'm not going to get into a spitting contest with you, point-by-point, but suffice it to say- we shall see what happens through the judicial process. Incidentally, we do not live in a "Democracy", we live in a "Republic", and, as the sages have said...In a Democracy, the people make the laws- In a Republic, we elect people to make the laws for us...and hope for the best. Sometimes- we (the voters) screw up...and have to wait four years to correct our mistakes. Thats a loooong time to wait (see "Initiative and Referendum"). In regard to persons who may have been "swayed, influenced, or intimidated" by those in high positions to back away from the petition drive, I have been informed of two...but they "don't want to get involved" any further. It is my earnest hope that some others, less nervous, will come forward in candor and name names. But I'm not holding my breath...but I'm in the phone book if anyone is willing to speak on the record. Incidentally, I missed the last Council meeting because I took my wife on vacation to Virginia Beach for the Shriners convention (I'm Irem's/Shriners Hospitals for Children local publicity man) for her birthday, which was Sept. 9th (and no, I won't say how old...I'm not that brave either)...but you will hear my voice at the next meeting. Concerning your reference to we "hilltoppers", I was born and raised on Scott Street in East End (Mom was a Metzger), spent most of my summers on Old River Road (Gramma McCarthy's) in South Wilkes-Barre (they had a "beach" and pool- known as Miner Park, East End didn't), and, while my Dad was a "star" on local radio-TV for 55 years, I started life driving a meat truck for Pennsylvania Provisions of Penna. Ave. and as an clean-up boy/usher at the Comerford Theater, long before I went to work at CBS in D. C., so you can call me a true "Wilkes-Barrean", and, when I speak, I speak as one concerned with all of our beloved City, and one who has tried to represent eveyone in it because I've walked a mile in their shoes. Which includes Mrs. Carey, and, yes, even some of those who have a "private agenda" (I believe you refer to them as "crazies"...but they have rights to representation too, I grudgingly admit). This is getting too long, so I'll sign off now...respecting your right to your opinion and your right to speak out. Isn't this the greatest "Democracy", er- "Republic", in the world! Where even the Carey's have Constitutional rights and guarantee's! Oh, by the way, as to my "liberal" leanings(?). I was the National Security Director for Catholic War Veterans, U.S.A., and recieved both a "Freedoms Foundation" George Washington Medal, and the "Vigilant Patriots" award from the "All-American Conference to Combat Communism"! Not exactly Jane Fonda's/Michael Moore's bed-fellow, wouldn't you admit? Oh yes, signed...Jim McCarthy, "elder" statesman/Councilman.

Hi Mark. Seem's I touched a nerve. Not my intent. Sorry if it seemed so. Your reference to Cong. Mike Kirwan brought back some fond memories of how one learns how government is supposed to operate. Mike was a good friend of mine (I might have even seen him guiding you through the Capitol but didnt know who you were), and Cong. Dan Flood brought him to Wilkes-Barre several times for the St. Patrick's Day parade and festivities. They were great friends, and Dan introduced me to him back in the 60's. By the way, Dan never smoked cigars as long as I knew him, and he was "family". His Maternal Grand Father was Daniel J. McCarthy, a judge (I believe) out of Freeland/Hazelton, and my Grand Fathers brother, from what Dan used to tell me when he called me "Cousin Jimmy". Dan smoked cigarettes, out of a long cigarette holder (like his idol FDR), which he quit smoking when it started to affect his stentorian tones during his floor speaches. Dan's the one who got me involved in politics when I first came "home", suggesting I run for Council (Catherine, his wife, said I should run for Congress- but thats another funny story).

Touch a nerve? No, not really. It seems as if we chewed some of the same dirt, but the only thing is, I was kind of vertically-challenged during those days. I still have those tour booklets from D.C., which are now, like, forty years-old. And the pics...you should see the pics. My grandpop was retired railroad meaning free train rides, and "Uncle" Mike would buy him and the grandma tickets to some big high-falootin' D.C. events. They'd be at a rummage sale in the local church basement one day, and hangin' with world leaders the very next. It sure was a much simpler time. These days, my grandpop would probably pop-up on a terrorist watch list and end up in a holding cell for hours on end. I've been back there since those black-and-white days, but it doesn't seem near as hospitable anymore. No cigars? Got me, but I remember cigars. Maybe they were odd-looking cigarette holders given to him by the Congolese prime minister. Who knows.

As to Mrs. Carey, as noted- she, and her husband Tom, are friends of mine...and I did warn her several times of the company she was keeping. But her heart was in re-opening the Heights Fire House (a misnomer in that it served over one half of Wilkes-Barre), and she was taking all the help she could get. I too have been led down the primrose path several times in my career(s), but sometimes you have to make a mistake to learn who's the good guys and who's the baddies. As to who else is in support of Mrs. Carey, I understand the ACLU (not one of my favorites) and the League of Women's Voters of Pennsylvania have expressed an interest. I hope they do take a role. I'm not going to get into a spitting contest with you, point-by-point, but suffice it to say- we shall see what happens through the judicial process.

But I so like internet spittin' contests. Darn it. At this point, it seems as if she needs as much help as she can get. Well, that is, to counteract the obvious lack of good advice she received pursuant to her afforts at activism. I hope she wins on appeal. I really do. But rather than directing too much ire towards anyone at city hall, I'd be most pissed at the "professional" activists that set me on that expensive road to legal proceeding after legal proceeding all by my lonesome. And I still want to know who's less than bright idea it was to try to re-invent the entire wheel and hamstring any future elected officials in direct response to the actions of the current bunch.

Basically, misguided attempts at Initiative and Referendum can be inflicted upon us without much effort at all, and that frightens me much more than any out-of-control mayor who got a bit too big for his ever-widening britches.

Incidentally, we do not live in a "Democracy", we live in a "Republic", and, as the sages have said...In a Democracy, the people make the laws- In a Republic, we elect people to make the laws for us...and hope for the best. Sometimes- we (the voters) screw up...and have to wait four years to correct our mistakes. Thats a loooong time to wait (see "Initiative and Referendum"). In regard to persons who may have been "swayed, influenced, or intimidated" by those in high positions to back away from the petition drive, I have been informed of two...but they "don't want to get involved" any further. It is my earnest hope that some others, less nervous, will come forward in candor and name names. But I'm not holding my breath...but I'm in the phone book if anyone is willing to speak on the record. Incidentally, I missed the last Council meeting because I took my wife on vacation to Virginia Beach for the Shriners convention (I'm Irem's/Shriners Hospitals for Children local publicity man) for her birthday, which was Sept. 9th (and no, I won't say how old...I'm not that brave either)...but you will hear my voice at the next meeting.

Four years is a long time. I follow that. But, for a resident such as myself who's watched his city go downhill for a quarter of a century now, four year cycles do not scare me in the least. And as far as people being "swayed, influenced, or intimidated" goes, if they really do exist, but won't step forward and speak the truth, well, then shame on them. Why throw the claim out there in the first place if you're not willing to do the right thing? If they can't back-up the charges they are sorta, kinda semi-leveling, I must immediately dismiss them out of hand, as should everyone else.

I know of one who was swayed, but his original position was based on half-thruths and non-truths he was told about SAFER grants and response times to non-incidents in the Heights. And in that sad respect, he was "swayed" in the wrong direction by the activists in the first place. Swayed? Influenced? Sounds like local politics to me, unless you recently lost a protracted battle with city hall. Then those words invite completely new meanings complete with deliberately dastardly sounding undertones. And "intimidated?" Sorry, but I'm not bying into that claptrap no matter who's telling the tale. I'm just not.

Concerning your reference to we "hilltoppers", I was born and raised on Scott Street in East End (Mom was a Metzger), spent most of my summers on Old River Road (Gramma McCarthy's) in South Wilkes-Barre (they had a "beach" and pool- known as Miner Park, East End didn't), and, while my Dad was a "star" on local radio-TV for 55 years, I started life driving a meat truck for Pennsylvania Provisions of Penna. Ave. and as an clean-up boy/usher at the Comerford Theater, long before I went to work at CBS in D. C., so you can call me a true "Wilkes-Barrean", and, when I speak, I speak as one concerned with all of our beloved City, and one who has tried to represent eveyone in it because I've walked a mile in their shoes. Which includes Mrs. Carey, and, yes, even some of those who have a "private agenda" (I believe you refer to them as "crazies"...but they have rights to representation too, I grudgingly admit). This is getting too long, so I'll sign off now...respecting your right to your opinion and your right to speak out. Isn't this the greatest "Democracy", er- "Republic", in the world! Where even the Carey's have Constitutional rights and guarantee's! Oh, by the way, as to my "liberal" leanings(?). I was the National Security Director for Catholic War Veterans, U.S.A., and recieved both a "Freedoms Foundation" George Washington Medal, and the "Vigilant Patriots" award from the "All-American Conference to Combat Communism"! Not exactly Jane Fonda's/Michael Moore's bed-fellow, wouldn't you admit? Oh yes, signed...Jim McCarthy, "elder" statesman/Councilman.

Liberal? Huh? When did I call you a liberal? I don't remember that, but if I did call you such a foul, foul thing, you have every right to beat me about the head and face. I mean that. No one should have to suffer that ultimate indignity unless they do the drive-time show on WILK.

Democracy...republic, what's the difference? As long as I'm residing within the borders of this special country, I know I'm where everyone else should what to be and I will do what little I can to preserve such a truly unique and wonderful place. While people are running amok and whining about the fringe rights they seek to squeeze out of our next to defunct Constitution, I'm totally at ease with the rights that were afforded to me. I'm an American, and I love it here. And I ain't even remotely interested in as much as visiting any of those other f>cked-up countries that nibble at our ankles.

Oh, so you wanna go accolades on me. Okay, let's do it.

I was an A & B student until my step-dad took to playing real-life Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robots with me. I won the award for having the best printing skills (with a pencil) in the 4th grade at St. John's. I had the highest average in the Coughlin High Bowling League two years running, and had high average, high score, and high series during my senior year. At 16 years-old, I threw a 707 series in a state-wide junior bowling tournament and finished 112th (?). I have a National Honor Society certificate with my, that's, my name on it, although, Robert Davies did rip it off and fill it out for me. His idea, not mine. I was a member of the Circle K club in college, but all we ever did was drink and (censored). I volunteered my own time for years at WVIA, but when not answering phones, all we ever did was drink and (censored) in the parking lot.

Wait. I got it! I am the only resident of this city that ever had his free smoke detectors installation supervised by the, then, sitting fire chief. BANG!!!

Top that!!! I'm somebody!!!

Um...well, you can kind of scratch that last one. That would fall under the heading of "intimidation." Nevermind.

Oh yes, signed...Mark Cour, "elder" internet madman.

Stay in touch.


From the e-mail inbox To all:

The Baltimore District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has posted a public notice on their website regarding the Proposed Inflatable Dam on the Susquehanna River near Wilkes-Barre, PA. There is a 60 day public comment period which ends December 10, 2005.

The notice can be viewed at www.nab.usace.army.mil

I've included some text from the 9.8MB document itself, which provides the instructions for requesting a public hearing. Please note: It appears the request must be sent in writing via snail mail and, in addition, must outline the reasons you are requesting the public hearing. Please see the text below highlighted in red.

"The evaluation of the impact of this project on the public interest will include application of the guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under authority of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Any person who has an interest which may be adversely affected by the issuance of this permit may request a public hearing. The request, which must be in writing, must be received by the District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, State College Field Office, 1631 South Atherton Street, State College, PA 16801, within the comment period as specified above to receive consideration. Also it must clearly set forth the interest which may be adversely affected by this activity and the manner in which the interest may be adversely affected."

Please consider sending a written request as soon as possible to the address underlined above. Also, please forward this e-mail to anyone who may be willing to join us in requesting a public hearing.

Thanks for your help.

Regards,

DXX WXXXXXXX (Kayak Dude)

We're two years away from having an amazing facility where our now barren riverfront lies. The question is, while trying to enjoy that which awaits us during our future recreating, do we want sewage and acid mine run-off dammed and waiting for us when we arrive?

Do it. Make a public comment.

If you need help, I can steer you to it.


From the e-mail inbox Isn't this amazing?

TAXES

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
Capital Gains Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Court Fines (indirect taxes)
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel permit tax
Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon)
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax Interest expense (tax on the money)
Inventory tax IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Local Income Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Septic Permit Tax
Service Charge Taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Taxes (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Road Toll Booth Taxes
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone federal excise tax
Telephone federal universal service fee tax
Telephone federal, state and local surcharge taxes
Telephone minimum usage surcharge tax
Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax
Telephone state and local tax
Telephone usage charge tax
Toll Bridge Taxes
Toll Tunnel Taxes
Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)
Trailer Registration Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

COMMENTS:

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago and our nation was the most prosperous in the world, had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What the hell happened?

How 'bout a really good starting point?

Try Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Alrighty then. I posted the following bilge the other night and invited y'all to guess as to who had had another Vietnam flashback. Well, nobody got it right. And, no, it wasn't Charlie Weiss.

The thing that struck me about this twittering on about nothing as if it amounted to insightful commentary, is how f>cking consistent the weak-kneed, drugged-out, left-leaning sixties survivors are. Fact is, to listen to them prattle on and on about 'Nam, you'd swear they'd actually been there.

I've spoken to many a 'Nam vet over the years and for the most part they grumble a bit about their war years and not much else. So, in effect, the folks that never experienced a single moment of combat in any jungle whine on cue about it the most. Yup. People like Kevin Lynn (Oops!) go on and on about how Vietnam was some sort of life-changing experience for them, while my buddy Ray who did three full tours "in the sh*t" simply says, "F>ck it. I did my time," when asked about his trigger time. And dig this, Ray was drafted into that conflict.

There goes Pvt. Lynn again:

DYING IN VAIN

13 more American soldiers died in the last four days. When do we start counting? At what point do we start saying to ourselves "everyone who dies in Iraq after this point, died in vain." Died in vain. Itís the rallying cry I remember with embarrassment from the Viet Nam War. Itís the rallying cry I used myself until 1970. I said thatís why we had to stay in ĎNam stopping the spread of communism, because if we didnít all the soldiers who had already died would have died in vain. Lyndon Johnson said we had to stay the course back in 1967; George Bush said the same thing this year. History shows that by early í68 Johnson realized the war was lost, and proved it when he announced he wouldnít seek another term. But it took 3 more presidents and 7 more years to get us out, by then tens of thousands more Americans had died, and the communists took over anyway. How many Americans died in vain? Since the commies were there before we arrived in ĎNam, and were willing to spend the 15 years it took to force us out, then nothing really changed, did it? So, how many Americans died in vain? Itís the same question we face in Iraq. How many Americans will die in vain? When do you start counting? People like me who opposed the whole trumped up invasion thing believe that every dead American died in vain. But many people think it was a good idea to get Saddam out of power, and believe it was worth some casualties. Others believe itís a noble goal to bring democracy to the Middle East, and think thatís worth some casualties too. Well, weíre racing towards 2,000 dead Americans in Iraq; we should pass the mark before Halloween. Thatís when Iím going to start counting each casualty as someone who died in vain. I believe itís more than fair, especially since there were fewer than 200 dead back when the president declared "mission accomplished." Iraq is headed toward civil war. Whether they sign a constitution or not, the country will disintegrate as soon as weíre not there to prop it up. The internal signs look terrible. The Defense Department admits the number of trained Iraqi battalions has declined in recent months from three down to just one. And yet leaders of both parties say we canít just leave. Why not? Because it might look bad? Because if we leave itíll look like we donít care about the Iraqis? How many American lives is appearance worth? We went in false, we went in alone, and we went in light. Now weíre trying to back out and call it democracy. It was much the same in ĎNam. Iím surprised so many have forgotten. Iraq is not going to end well, no matter when it falls apart. If we leave now, the civil war starts sooner. If we stay on, it starts later and more Americans die in the interim. Either way itís our fault. The only question we have to ask ourselves is, how many more Americans have to die to make it look like weíre doing the right thing? Because make no mistake. When our leaders continue to wage a war they know we arenít going to win, every single person who dies; dies in vain.

From Kev's fellow frustrated commies at The New York Times:

The warning, from Ayman al-Zawahiri to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was spelled out in a 6,000-word letter, dated early in July, that was obtained by American forces conducting counterterrorism operations in Iraq, the official said in a briefing.

It includes a four-stage battle plan, beginning with the American military's expulsion, followed by the establishment of a militant Islamic caliphate across Iraq before moving to Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. The final step would be a battle against Israel.

Wowie zowie! Part one on the way to turning the world into an Islamist Caliphate almost completely by force would be getting U.S. forces out of Iraq. Is Kevin sleeping with the murderous enemy? Is he a useful dupe? Or is he merely an aging hippie-dippy anti-American in a golf shirt?

It's kinda funny. They call the WWII generation America's Greatest generation, which is perfectly fine with me. But it seems to me that they would have never earned that lofty praise if Kev and his whiney week-kneed generation were born just a few years earlier. Imagine Kevin in 1944.

How many more have to die in vain in the Pacific, Western Europe and in Italy? How many more? We can't bring democracy to Germany, or Japan.

"The only question we have to ask ourselves is, how many more Americans have to die to make it look like weíre doing the right thing? Because make no mistake. When our leaders continue to wage a war they know we arenít going to win, every single person who dies; dies in vain."

Spoken like a true 60s non-combatant college boy.

Add him to the list of folks who's parents probably should have never met.

Bow tie daddy dontcha blow your top
Everything's under control
Bow tie daddy dontcha blow your top
'Cause you think you're gettin' too old
Don't try to do no thinkin'
Just go on with your drinkin'
Just have your fun, you old son of a gun
Then drive home in your Lincoln

--Francis Zincent Zappa

I'm gone.

CYA

IF YOU BURN IT...THEY WON'T COME.

YOU ASSMUNCH SOCKCUCKER!!!


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