1-10-2004 Land acquisition?

"Nothing is going to hurt this country - not bioweapons, not a nuclear weapon, not a terrorist strike - there is nothing that can hurt us if we stay united and move together and have a vision for moving to the future the right way.--Presidential pretender, Wesley Clark

I dare ya' to stick your tongue on a flag pole today.

What a way to start the day. Another letter to the editors of the Voice. Let's see here, the public is "uniformed," "they lied about why they invaded Iraq," they "are oil men," and they are wrong to call our enemies in the Middle East evil. Help me out here. If fomenting hatred and encouraging suicide attacks against innocent civilians isn't evil, then what the hell is it? What should we call the ghouls that hope to one day release radiation in large cities? Freedom fighters?

And this business of "they lied" coming from average folks that are not privy to the latest intelligence gathering is getting a bit annoying already. Gee, where'd we get an idea like that? From Ted Kennedy? Peter Jennings? Hitlery Clintonista? Aaron Brown? Those folks would never distort the facts, or leave us hanging on their latest speculation, but somehow, Colin Powell, Condalezza Rice, and Donald Rumsfeld only speak with forked-tongues. The "I hate Bushies" rarely make sense anymore. He stole the election, everything he does is wrong, everything he says is a lie, and worst of all, he's an oil man.

Let's cover that. In makes no difference what state any president hails from. Oil greases the entire world's economy, so as soon as any new president parks his bottom in that chair in the oval office; he becomes an oil man. Let's be serious. Anything that seriously threatens the world's oil supply will draw an immediate response from the man sitting in that chair, unless he's willing to sit idly by and watch a worldwide recession, or possibly even a depression commence. Every U.S. president is an oil man. It comes with the job.

Bush told us he was going to wage an unconventional war on terrorism to try to prevent any future 9/11 attacks, we loved him and his approval ratings soared. That's when the politicos hoping to replace him started repeating the charge that he was a liar and the eager conspiracy theorists out here in the wastelands started believing it and repeating it. Fine. We're all entitled to our opinions. Let's revisit that wishy-washy quote from Wesley Clark:

Nothing is going to hurt this country - not bioweapons, not a nuclear weapon, not a terrorist strike - there is nothing that can hurt us if we stay united and move together and have a vision for moving to the future the right way.

What the heck does that goobletygook mean? ...if we stay united and move together and have a vision for moving to the future the right way. Yowza! I feel safer already. I would suggest to the Bush bashers that they be careful what they wish for while everyone with a holy axe to grind and access to an once of radioactive isotopes is trying to introduce them into an American city near you. If we replace Bush with someone that doesn't have the stomach for war while war has been declared on us, 9/11 could easily be relegated to second place on the list of devastating terror attacks perpetrated against this country. For the foreseeable future the driving issue will likely not be the economy, but national security and foreign policy. Be careful what you wish for.

This is getting silly. We all know what happened in Somalia a few years ago after that incident was immortalized by the movie "Black Hawk Down." I turned the 'puter on yesterday and the AOL news ticker read "Black Hawk Down." Ditto the front page of the Voice: "Black Hawk Down." Newsmax.com:"Black Hawk Down." Many other news sites had stories with a sub-head that read: "Black Hawk Down." This has been going on since the first Black Hawk went down in Iraq. It's getting old, people. In the future, how about "UH-60 downed by Russian SA-7?" I don't know. It's buggin' me. Sorry.

"Proud To Be"

I was surprised, but thrilled to read that those goofy patriotic banners are coming down. The burned-out bulbs were never replaced and they are so weather beaten they've become embarrassing. Even when they were first erected, I thought they were stupid. Proud to be? What kind of horses ass slogan is that? The other thing that bothered me was that we purchased them in the first place. After the 9/11 attacks, you couldn't walk five feet without passing 10 American flags in this city. They were hanging from porch rails, they were taped in windows, they were flying from car antennas, and magnetic flags were affixed to every third passing car. Despite being totally awash in red, white, and blue; somebody felt that Wilkes-Barre needed to spend tens of thousands of dollars to display it's patriotic spirit. It was a waste of money. I think that erecting one really impressive banner on the Square would have been enough of a display, but what do I know? What I do know is that I'm proud to be able to say that I backed the right mayoral candidate. One week is not enough time to build a legacy, but our mayor is off to a great start.

Don't give me any guff about being negative, or sowing the seeds of discontent by posting this e-mail. This is not only a city employee expressing his point of view, it's an interesting insight as to what some of our employees face on a daily basis.


now that we have a new administration in W-B, we're finally learning the depths of the damage caused by boy-wonder Tom McG. And as the financial atrocities are being tallied our own city council is taking the predictable route and blaming employee benefits as the single biggest burden on the tax payer and the city's budget. More sound bytes will follow as the months roll on.

As you know, I'm a fireman with the city. I've spent the last XX years on the ambulance by choice. Nobody's holding a gun to my head or forcing me to stay there because I lack seniority. I could have bid a cushier job 100 times over.

So why am I telling you this? Exposure. As an ambulance person I'm constantly exposed to a variety of life threatening diseases. Hepatitis, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, influenza, etc., etc., etc.. Nobody ever thinks they will contract any of these horrible illnesses but the truth is that we do. And, with the continuous de-evolution of the valley population more and more of my contemporaries are becoming infected with some of the worst diseases known to man. Most commonly, hepatitis. On my own department there are personnel who know they are infected. There may be others who aren't yet aware that they are. The surrounding communities are troubled with the same problem.

The trouble is that it's nearly impossible to prove that you were infected on the job. The new privacy laws make it even more difficult. It's not like falling off of a ladder and breaking your leg. Or having a heart attack while schlepping hose to the fourth floor of a hi-rise. The hard truth is that it may take months or even years before symptoms are manifest. Then the individual is faced with the high cost of treatment and medication. Usually forever.

But less significant illnesses are more common. The flu, common colds, skin rashes, pink eye, mono, strep throat, and others are traded between patient and personnel. And although common, they still require treatment and medication. So as you can see I'm adamantly opposed to any further cost sharing increases to the labor force be it police, fire, or sanitation workers because of the afore mentioned conditions. We already have co-pays for prescriptions, office visits, procedures, and limits.

If Ms. Kane and the city council want to reduce costs to the tax payer they should turn their attention inward. Stop accepting the cash buy out for not taking city sponsored health care. Ms. Kane, Mr. McGinley, and others are already getting health care coverage at tax payer expense. Why should they be paid for not taking an un-needed health care coverage policy? Stop giving cash buy outs to former city employees such as former Mayor Lee Namey. And after exhausting the wasteful spending on politicos then turn your attention the the labor force. It not only makes sense, it's the right thing to do. But we are talking about politicians…

XXXX XXXXX********

I heard a commotion on my front porch this morning, bolted to the window and saw what looked like Bobby Brady's stunt double running away. I banged on the window, he glanced back at me, but jumped into his vehicle and sped away. Then it hit me as to who it was. It was SNAKE. He's certifiably crazy and has the paperwork to back-up that claim. And he brought me a surprise.

Mine! All mine!

Say it ain't so, Jasper. Say it ain't so. If a person's only claim to fame was that they singlehandedly destroyed a Third Class City in Pennsylvania, then why would PENNDOT, an agency of the State of Pennsylvania, be interested in employing that person as a "land acquisition" specialist?????? Why would our state be interested in hiring such a person? Say it ain't so.

Whatever. If he f**ks things up even worse than they are now, we can increase the cigarette taxes to pay for it. And I'm accused of not knowing how government works???

I'm gonna go watch the Panthers. This year's biggest underdog.