1-21-2004 $10 million?

America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people.--Dubya, from his State of the Union address

Here! Here! BANG!

Dearest Kofi Annan,
As President of these United States, I am officially requesting the permission of The United Nations to engage the full resources of our military to protect this country from further acts of aggression. I await your timely response.


P.S.--I hope you won't object to our military honing their skills in the interim.

The Democrats may believe that's how we should set about defending our country from threatened further attacks, but I say muck that recipe for disaster.

The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got.--Dubya

This fact seems to have been forgotten by too many of us that seek to debate the merits of going after the terrorists where they hide. Osama bin Loony promised to destroy our country. He didn't threaten to damage our way of life. He promised to end it. BANG! You want some of this? You got it!

As part of the offensive against terror, we are also confronting the regimes that harbor and support terrorists, and could supply them with nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. The United States and our allies are determined: We refuse to live in the shadow of this ultimate danger.--Dubya

The argument that we're damaging our credibility in the eyes of the world by aggressively persuing those who harbor terrorists or their devices of mass death is hogwash. The only alternative to being pro-active while we're being threatened with unspeakable horrors is to twiddle our thumbs and mark the time until an American city finally goes critical mass. Screw that.

For diplomacy to be effective, words must be credible - and no one can now doubt the word of America.--Dubya

In other words, unlike our previous President, he's willing to back up his words with action. What did Bill Clinton do after terrorists tried and failed to topple the Twin Towers in 1993? He took the terrorists to court. What a maroon.

Different threats require different strategies.--Dubya

That's a grown up who understands the complexities of geopolitics talking. Unlike the multitude of folks who call WILK and SAYSO and rant from a position of ignorance. Remember that supposedly damning argument that North Korea posed a bigger threat to us than Iraq, so GW went into Iraq looking for oil and nothing else?

Some critics have said our duties in Iraq must be internationalized. This particular criticism is hard to explain to our partners in Britain, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Italy, Spain, Poland, Denmark, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, the Netherlands, Norway, El Salvador, and the 17 other countries that have committed troops to Iraq.--Dubya

Unilateral anyone?

Yet it is mistaken, and condescending, to assume that whole cultures and great religions are incompatible with liberty and self-government.--Dubya

He nailed it! Those liberal-minded folks among us have openly suggested that democracy could never work in the Middle East. Why might that be? Are those folks inherently inferior to us? Sounds like racism to me.

I gave to you and to all Americans my complete commitment to securing our country and defeating our enemies. And this pledge, given by one, has been kept by many.--Dubya

Originally, he was cheered for promising to protect us from further aggression, but after having done so, he has been portrayed as evil personified by his political opponents and the closeted One World types in this country. "Kept by many" is a reference to our troops deployed abroad and those folks support what has transpired since 9/11. Go figure. Hoo-ah!

Twenty-eight months have passed since September 11th, 2001 - over two years without an attack on American soil - and it is tempting to believe that the danger is behind us. That hope is understandable, comforting - and false.--Dubya

It's hard to imagine, but some folks do seem to have forgotten why he has been so relentless in his pursuit of terrorists while we've been spared further attacks. Because of the ill-advised political rhetoric condemning the War on Terror, the country is polarized and many of it's residents are attacking the motives of our Commander in Chief. It's sad to say, but the only way these people will ever be forced to pull their heads out of their asses is if the horror of 9/11 is repeated.

As far as the domestic agenda's aspects of his speech are concerned, I could kinda care less while the cave dwellars of the world are still trying to settle on a plan for the systematic killing of us all. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are at war and we need to remember that every once in a while. Medicare and Social Security will fall well below the radar screen if our planes, our skyscrapers, our sisters, and our wives start falling from the sky again.

I watched Nancy Pelosi and Tom Daschle present the Democrat response to the President's speech and I thought their rebuttal was weak at best. Pelosi managed to annoy me a couple of times, but, as per usual, Tom Daschle had nothing to say that was worth repeating. He's a spud. Pelosi does have a future in comedy with this one:

Democrats have an unwavering commitment to ensure that America's armed forces remain the best trained, best led, best equipped force for peace the world has ever known. Never before have we been more powerful militarily.

Really? Is that why the Democrats presided over the 50% reduction of our overall military strength during the nineties? Gee Nance, why is it that we cannot rotate our troops in a timely manner these days and some are saying we need to re-introduce the draft? Why is it that the U.S.S. Cole was forced to seek refueling in a hostile port rather than at sea as was standard operating procedure for decades? Why is it that our troops are being killed by road side bombs in alarming numbers? Not enough heavily-armored Humvees. We sent our boys into battle with the thin-skinned versions. Nance, when should expect the next round of base closings? The Democrats gutted our military in favor of some imaginary budget surpluses and now we're forced to defend ourselves with less than we need. What was the Democrat's mindset during the early nineties? No more Soviet Union, no more need for a robust military, right? You's f**ked that up, didn't ya's?

Here's another classic from the queen of comedy:

One-hundred percent of containers coming into our ports or airports must be inspected. Today, only 3 percent are inspected. One-hundred percent of chemical and nuclear plants in the United States must have high levels of security. Today, the Bush administration has tolerated a much lower standard.

Did anybody check the content's of her speech before she stammered away in front of the cameras? Checking every container coming into our numerous ports is virtually impossible. It just is. If that were even attempted, world commerce would come to a near standstill within a couple of weeks. The geiger counters and neutron sniffers installed in all of our ports will have to suffice for now. Enough on that trainee.

Daschle did have one one-liner worth repeating. He's funny.

The president spoke of great goals, and America should never hesitate to push the boundaries of exploration.

Now, which is it knucklehead? Make up your minds! Last week, the Dems were calling for the President's testicles after he suggested that we further explore space, but this week, we should never hesitate to push the boundaries of exploration? Maybe if we explored South Dakota, we'd realize that that state probably shouldn't be sending anyone to Washington D.C.

During GW's speech, the CNN cameras kept finding Ted Kennedy and Hitlery Clintonista and they really came off as acting childishly. Hitlery did everything she could to display her obvious disdain for anything that passed through GW's lips. And Kennedy sat there flapping his enormous jowls back and forth much like a fourth-grader that wants the last word, but can't vocalize it for fear of being paddled. Who votes for these fools? They can't even act civilly, or pretend to be diplomatic when confronted by their political rivals words?

If looks really could kill, the Secret Service would have both our favorite Soviet, Hitlery and the walrus impersonator in custody right now.

I should have never removed my headphones and watched any of this. Wifey was at Bingo, the guitars were wailing away to the tune of 120 decibels, and I stupidly found myself drawn to the video advertising box. Politics.

I wasn't the only one who noticed. From the e-mail inbox:

*******watching State of the Union message:

NBC cameras zoomed in on Sen. Hillary responding to the President's comment that the world is a better place with Saddam in captivity....... the expression on her face (while the Senators and Representatives were engaged in a standing ovation) was the most disgusting, disgraceful, inelegant, unladylike, and arrogant show of pure hatred I have ever seen on a worldwide telecast.

I can only hope somebody preserves that episode on tape to show endlessly when this witch gets off her broom to campaign for the presidency in 2008.*******

A $10 million loan? Whoo-hoo! Holy jumpin' orangutan farts!!! That ought to get the self-appointed taxpayer watchdogs filing into council chambers tomorrow night. $10 million? Jesus! We could badger council all night and get our names in the paper. Hell! We might even grace the television screens of NEPA. I demand answers. What the hell is the mayor thinking?

$10 million in outstanding debts and past due bills. $10 million! How many votes did McGroarty get way back in May? $10 f**king million in outstanding debts and past due bills. That's one helluva debt consolidation loan, kiddies.

I snagged this snippet from the Leader:

"What we're basically doing is cleaning up our bills with 60 to 100 vendors and taking it down to one vendor (PNC Bank)," Koval said.

There's no way we can come up with $14 million this year alone to pay off the previous $4 million TAN and this latest request, so I'm guessing that what Tom Leighton called "restructuring our debts" amounts to taking this TAN and then doing what it takes to spread the $10 million out over a period of time. What other choice do we have? We either clean up our past due mess in one fell swoop, or we continue to plod along with massive overdue debts and an empty wallet. The vocal taxpayer advocates are sure to be crying foul, but this is probably the wisest course of action, if not the only one. We can't fix our city's crumbling infrastructure and we can't clean our city from top to bottom without money and facing lawsuits every fourth day looking to collect on overdue debts.

Instead of badgering council, or cursing the new mayor, what folks should be doing is badgering the last mayor about where the hell all of our money went during his disasterous regime. $10 million? Are we to suppose that malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance do not aptly describe the past eight years? Where did our money go?

Finally, there's the Times Leader story Mayor's plans upset union which reports that the four unions representing the city's employees are not liking the idea of those employees being asked to pay for a portion of their health-care. In all honesty, neither am I, but I can guaranteee those employees that their complaints will fall on mostly deaf ears out here in the private sector. For us, paying a portion our health-care costs is not a new concept. In fact, it's been an accepted 'norm since the day that having sex without a condom finally caught up to me. That's the way things work when you toil away for a profitable enterprise. While our city has never been accused of being a profitable enterprise, it's obvious that it now needs to rethink the way it conducts it's business.

I've read the e-mails from city employees claiming that our elected folks need to look at other cost-cutting options before asking city employees to get by with less, but the fact is, labor costs are always the biggest expenses that aren't fixed and can be adjusted downwards. When a business starts bleeding red ink, labor costs are always the first to be trimmed. And at the risk of becoming Public Enemy #1, I gotta tell ya', Wilkes-Barre's labor costs are way out of whack where health-care costs are concerned. Call me whatever you will, but if you're contributing nothing towards your own health-care costs, you've been enjoying some very liberal benefits, and probably much longer than you should have been. There. I said it. Kill me.

The Leader reported that ...those opting for family coverage would see $210 to $297 withheld from their paychecks each month if, and when city employees started paying for a share of their health-care costs. That's certainly a big hit if you're not accustomed to paying it, but it's a fact of life for those of us that don't fall under the government's umbrella of unrealistic compensation. I myself pay $245.90 each and every month and have been paying for a share of my health-care costs since the day my daughter Peace first showed-up on one of those ultrasound radar arrays. That's the way the real world works, but, unfortunately, our past politicians disregarded the business model that quite often produces a profit. And now, in a city that recently needed $18 million worth of credit just to continue forward, the employees of this city are finally being told the truth of the matter. Their benefits are just a bit too liberal. The hand writing is on the wall.

I'm fairly certain that I'll be killed right after you read this, but something has got to give in this city where finances are concerned. With all of that said, I think the time has also come when the ultra-generous lifetime benefits and ridiculous, if not insulting perks afforded to the elected folks had also better come under serious review. If the employees need to make concessions, then so do the city's paid leaders. To do otherwise, would breed contempt from and lower the morale of city employees at a time when we're asking them to work hard to change this city's sagging fortunes.

Consider our council's compensation while battling with our former mayor. They were paid $1,000 per month for eight years and they told us that they were powerless to control an out-of-control mayor. So why spend those countless thousands upon thousands? If the mayor can do whatever the hell he wants, why pay our council members anything? I'm not hacking their private parts, I'm just pointing out more money not well spent in a system that obviously needs to be retooled. If the lower-paid folks are being asked to contribute their fair share, then the higher-paid folks had better be prepared to follow suit.

I've argued in their defense on occasion. Their jobs are not really part-time jobs when you consider how often they get their ears filled while out and about, or how often their phones ring. But...they do not wrestle with criminals, search for trapped victims in darkened burning structures, and they do not have to hump garbage bags and such seven days a week. While being a city council person (gender neutral) is certainly a noble and time consuming adventure, it can in no way be confused with working for a living. If the folks doing the physical work are being called upon to do what's right, the folks being called upon to bang a gavel need to do the same.

It's been nice knowing those of you that I've been lucky enough to meet. After I get run over, I'm fully expecting to see the offending vehicle be put in reverse and back over my broken body a few times. Please see to it that the Rock Stomper receives a decent burial. #580 would probably like that.

Goodbye cruel world.