1-16-2004 Stripes

It is clear the Democrats' liberal wing would like to take the country in the direction of France --- secular, socialistic, economically depressed and defenseless.--From today's Atlanta Constitution Journal's "Vent" column

DAMN! Sure puts our SAYSO callers to shame.

And speaking of SAYSO, I nailed this one. Oil in space! BANG!

And there it is. Right on cue, without even allowing the legal types to sort out the details of our latest debacle, The Wilkes-Barre Taxpayers' Association and Luzerne County Green Party want a special election held as soon as possible to reduce the size of council and elect them by districts. Gee, that was hard to predict. Not!

Slow down, kiddies. You can wait a few weeks and get the same amount of press for yourselves. Although, taking credit for reducing the size of council will look good on your political resumes for the next election go-round. Some folks may claim that they didn't know what they were voting for, but nobody...nobody except the reapportionment committee wanted to see the city striped, in effect, gerrymandered to the point of absurdity. What those of us that supported the 2001 referendum envisioned was more or less voting as a neighborhood, not as a slivered district that runs from Jumper Road to Division Street.

I've heard the arguments against doing so that interestingly enough, come mostly from those holding or seeking a seat on council and I don't care to debate them again. I like the idea of having folks from my neighborhood seeking my district's council seat because I think it would allow voters the opportunity to know who the hell they were voting for. We know the people in our own neighborhoods, and if we don't, some of our neighbors probably do. Joe Blow? Joe Blow is running for council? The guy that was arrested twice for beating his wife? Or, Joe Blow? Now there's an upstanding dude. I'd vote for him. If Nord Enders were running for the Nord End seat, we'd know who the hell we were dealing with.

I know that when I first became interested in how this city was being managed and who was doing it, it was not that easy to glean much information on these people. Other than the political ads every four years, how am I supposed to know about some council dude who resides at the exact opposite end of the city? And what of the newcomers? Who are these people and what are their qualifications? Consider this last election cycle. Our sitting council members ran as a team promising "Cooperation in Government," but if you knew nothing about their backgrounds, they're political ads and yard signs offered nothing in the way of what their accomplishments were, or what job-related skills they possessed.

As recently as 1999, I knew nothing about our council members, except for Jim McCarthy because his tavern has been operating as long as I can remember. Al Boris? Got me. Some older dude. Phil Latinski? He was a principle or something and my mom went to high school with him. Mike McGinley? Who? Tom Leighton? That real estate dude. Then Shirley Vita-prostock-nova ran? Who? Kathy Kane? She's married to the magistrate, right? Tony Thomas? He's that deli guy. Am I suposed to vote responsibilty armed with next to no real knowledge of the candidates? For someone who was guilty of once paying only marginal attention, that's what voting at large meant to me.

But when the reapportionment committee basically resisted the wishes of the majority of the voters and stupidly striped the city, they rescinded 50% of the original intent of the referendum question. Sure, they encouraged people to play stupid and claim they didn't know what they were voting for, but I think we all know better than that. And what are we left with? A striped city that no one voted for, pretender dolts and all. So why are The Wilkes-Barre Taxpayers' Association and Luzerne County Green Party folks now chomping at the bit to move forward as quickly as possible? I feel that they want this matter resolved as soon as possible so that a few of their more vocal members can add it to their political resumes. The folks that voted against voting by districts aren't happy with the end result, and neither are the folks that wanted to vote by districts. It seems that the only folks excited about this latest development are the political challengers getting all of the face time with the press.

Should we reduce the size of council? Probably. Should we vote by districts? That is obviously debatable. Should the city's new voting map resemble a 7 mile long hippie recruitment poster? Even the outsiders looking to become insiders know better than that. Slow the f**k down. Let's not make another mistake in our relentless quest to gain a political office.

And Ambrose Meletsky actually opined that "the council should step aside and not conduct business while awaiting direction from the courts???" That's the first stupid thing I've ever heard him say. Let's see here. No input or feedback from council and a mayor. I thought that's what we just voted against last year!?! He disappoints me. With increasing frequenty, the self-appointed champions of the taxpayers resemble little more than sharks circling a lifeboat. They don't seem to care what or who they attack, as long as they can claim the kill afterwards. Whatever.

If Wilkes-Barre is to thrive one day soon enough, it won't happen because of anything that Carl Romanelli, Ambrose Meletsky, Christine Katsock, or Walter "Oops!" Griffith Jr. do. We elected Tom Leighton and the council folks that promised to cooperate with him and now they need to take care of business. Whether we end up with five people or seven people on council probably doesn't even matter at this point. We all need to consider what's best for the city and it's residents. Lately, the taxpayer watchdogs look more and more like an annoying side-show to me. Their largest contribution to the collective good seems to be their talents for self-promotion.

We're striped, that is unacceptable and the calmer heads need to prevail, not the aggressive wannabes.

GW's former Budget Director, Mitch Daniels appeared on the video advertising box last night and had this to say about Paul O'Neill's charge that GW was detached during staff meetings.

There were three rules when meeting with GW. 1.) Don't be late. 2.) Don't bring your cell phone. 3.) Never bring up a public opinion poll.

He must be lying too. These Nazis obviously stick together.

I know I'm not supposed to lust after others, but I've met quite a few of these ladies in person and I will not apologize for my non-stop fantasizing about being with them.

You know what. Screw Old Forge! The only reason they can make the claim that Old Forge is the "Pizza Capital of the World" is because Kresge's no longer exists. All we had to do to enjoy the best pizza going to was escape from Coughlin and head towards the Square. Yeah, we had to chew some of the same dirt as those prissed-up Hoban kids, but it was worth it. Two cuts for 99 cents. It looked ugly, it but didn't taste ugly. Then, we enjoyed the challenge of trying to sneak back into Coughlin without getting caught. I'm sure the 1,007 administrators the school district employs these days have already drawn up some 'zero tolerance' policy regarding cheap pizza during the school year. Then again, at first glance, a slice of Kresge's pizza could pass as a deadly weapon.

2 for .99

This is important. Carol Mosely Braun conceded in Iowa and urged her supporters to back Howard Dean. The big question is, will all 76 of her supporters follow through and back Dean?

Protesters in Atlanta claimed that GW used the Martin Luther King ceremonies there as a personal photo-op when he showed up and laid a wreath. Imagine if he didn't attend the ceremony at all. Then, he'd be called just another racist. Well? He is a republican, so we already knew that. He's a racist. A sexist. A homophobe. A liar. A cheater. An oil man. He cheats at pitch. And he's a Nazi. Hey! At least the assholes are consistent in their message.

Last night, Enrique Iglesias appeared on Jimmy Kimmel's late night show and Kimmel asked him if he had played any sports in high school. Iglesias claimed to have played soccer in high school. Kimmel shot right back with "I said sports." To that zinger, Iglesias said "Soccer is the most popular sport in the world." Not skipping a beat, Kimmel said " Soccer may be the most popular sport in the world, but in the U.S. it's nonsense." BANG!!!

That'll change though. The next generation seems to love it. 1-0 games that drag on for hours are now somehow enjoyable to America's youth. But as the mom's know, it's safer than football.

The Summer of '72. That's when I started working at Percy's. The next thing that I knew, five years had quickly passed. That place wasn't so much a job, as it was a place to hang with friends. It was quite educational at the same time.

Foods of Distinction

The word is that over 800 people are expected at tomorrow night's inauguration ceremony and that the entire first floor of the Ramada will be utilized to handle the proceedings. I realized this afternoon that I had somehow buried my invitations under the rubble of this landfill that passes as a computer desk. Oh well.

As of 6:30 AM tomorrow morning, I will be off and about on a road trip to Reading. Got a bit of business to attend to.

Hulk Andrew

You don't want none of that!

Yes! Gage wanted to visit headquarters today and see the fire trucks. Yes! Gage cried like a weinie during the entire stay. He does it every time. You tell me.