2-20-2004 Put on some gloves or put a cork in it...


Well my daughters have been hard at work each night in their St. Jude's Mathathon math books and both are just about done. And for those who have sent in donations, thank-you so much. It means all the more, especially since a good friend of mine at work just let me know her 16-year-old daughter has pre-cancer cells in her uterus. Say a prayer for Katie folks.

Monday night I started a new men's Bible Study that I was invited to by a friend of mine that is a minister. He said it was different from most studies. I had been to some in the past and I have to say the average age was about 60, and time was spent reading each other verses and then having some discussion. What I found was a room full of about 30-35 guys with an average age of probably less than 40. There were 20 year olds and one or two 60 year olds. They were from all walks of life. Several of them had lost their jobs around 1998 and 99, but they all were better off now, with new jobs and three had started their own businesses and were making more money than ever before. One man had not led a good life-drugs, alcohol, broken relationships, no job and has completely turned his life around. Several were going through difficult problems or had tough decisions to make.

But the thing I noticed was how open they were with one another, how willing they were to help, and how upbeat and positive they were about their lives, their families and their work. It was amazing. I came out of their so energized. I sat right across from two Vietnam Vets-both great men. And there wasn't a liberal among them. It was so strange to hear their outlook and views on our country and our President, rather than the doom and gloom coming out of the left camp. I have to say, these are the kind of guys I like to be around. When you feel better leaving somewhere or someone, than you did when you arrived, you know it's good. Oh yeah, and we did read some scripture and then had lengthy discussions about what we read and how it was relevant to TODAY.

Here we go. This from the Leader: "Luzerne County Commissioner Chairman Greg Skrepenak says the minority commissioner set him up by planting his girlfriend in the audience to pepper him with questions during Wednesday's commissioner meeting. Minority Commissioner Stephen A. Urban says he had no idea Linda Stets would attend, nor did he ask her to speak. Urban added he wouldn't stop Stets from talking because it's America - just as he said he wouldn't challenge the right of Skrepenak's cousin, Clerk of Courts Bob Reilly, from criticizing him at meetings. Urban and Reilly mixed it up in a noisy exchange at the same Board of Commissioners meeting. Skrepenak says Urban and Stets are hypocritical when they question him about hiring his close friend, Sam Hyder, as deputy prison warden-particularly in light of Urban's recent vote to appoint Stets to the Luzerne County Community College Board of Trustees. "What's good for the goose obviously in her mind is not good for the gander. He can appoint a friend but I can't? It's good for him but not me?" Skrepenak said. "I want people to know I believe it was a setup and I was attacked and that the whole thing was orchestrated." Tell you what, right now it appears that Skrep needs to come clean and the Urban needs to move to South Dakota. I am so tired of him pointing fingers, playing the victim, and doing absolutely nothing productive, including VOTING. Right now I am frustrated with both of them, more so with Urban, and I'm a Conservative. Steve, how about trying to do your job. For years you have been the minority and you are still the minority. For years you have told us there's nothing you can do because you are the minority. If that is your attitude, then why not just quit and let someone else give it a shot-like perhaps someone that has some IDEAS and CONTRIBUTES rather than just complains. You are starting to sound like McG.

Then we move to this, also from the Leader: "WILKES-BARRE - State records show a business owned by Luzerne County Commissioner Greg Skrepenak pays rent to a realty company run by newly hired Deputy Warden Sam Hyder, contradicting Skrepenak's statements that he has no business relationship with Hyder.
Skrepenak has a 50 percent interest in Big Daddy's Day Care, a Nanticoke child-care facility that rents space from H&J Realty LLC. Records from the state's Corporation Bureau list Hyder as president of the realty company. The record was last updated May 5, 2000. In the past several weeks, Skrepenak has acknowledged Hyder is a close personal friend, but he has repeatedly denied he has any business ties with him.
Told of the corporate records, Skrepenak on Thursday pleaded ignorance, saying he has little direct dealings with the day care center and did not know Hyder was associated with the realty company that receives rent from the day-care center. "My capacity with the day care was more of an investor. It's run by my partner. He does all the bills and operates it," Skrepenak said. "It's like buying stock. You look every now and then to see if it is making money."

Okay, okay. It's out. He was more or less forced to come clean, but to play ignorant here is not the thing. Perhaps he didn't know, perhaps he did. It really doesn't matter, because people's perception is what will be their reality. But what I see happening again is petty infighting, finger pointing, and lots of whining. Hey, guys-SHUT UP and DO YOUR JOBS. This city is on the verge of a comeback. We got good news up in Mt Top, business interest downtown, street sweepers out, a new fire chief that is the real deal, folks not afraid to talk in the courthouse for the first time in years. Get over the crap and get on with it; otherwise this is one person who will be investing much more time and energy in Home Rule-even with its faults. And from the sounds of it on the radio, I'm not the only one.

National stuff, how about this: "WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 - One of Howard Dean's most powerful labor supporters, Gerald W. McEntee, said on Thursday that he had decided that Dr. Dean was "nuts" shortly before he withdrew his support for Dr. Dean's candidacy and begged him to quit the race to avoid a humiliating defeat.

Mr. McEntee, the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, defended his decision to abandon the campaign, saying he told Dr. Dean that he did not want to spend another $1 million of his union's money "in order to get him a couple of extra points in Wisconsin."

"I have to vent," Mr. McEntee, the often blunt leader of the nation's largest public service union, said in a leisurely interview in his office here. "I think he's nuts." (Why give him money then, in the first place.)

First of all I think it is a complete travesty that the unions just dump all their money into the coffers of the DNC, especially since there are many, many Republican union members-I work with many of them. But until these guys actually stand up and grow a set of ba!!s, that is where their union dues will keep going. Second, once again we see the blatant hypocrisy of the unions, especially the AFL/CIO and Teamsters for supporting the pro-Nafta liberals, including one Bubba Clinton. And don't tell me I'm clueless on this, I worked out of Local 91, International Union of Elevator Constructors. I was there. I heard the speeches. I have confronted many liberal union guys with the following: You are a hunter, fisherman, outdoorsman, how do you support the anti-gun, environmental wacko party? Are your taxes too high or too low? The answer is always too high. Well than why do you support the party that supports bigger and bigger government, more programs, and more spending-even going so far as to say they will raise taxes? Are you pro-life or pro-abortion? Many, many of these guys are Christians and are pro-life, so why do they support the pro-abortion party? Many of them drive SUVs and pickup trucks, so why support the anti-SUV party? Many of them are veterans. Why support the anti-military party? The party that actually did cut the dollar amount spent by our military-real cuts, not the fake cuts liberals are always screaming about (they call a 3% increase a cut when they are looking for 4%-school lunch program ring a bell?). And on and on it goes. And the reply I always get is, "The Democrats are for the working man." My reply is always the same, "What proof of that do you have, especially if you think your taxes are too high?" I have never gotten a reply here. I mean, before Clinton took office, the union guys were jumping up and down crying for American jobs, high paying jobs, job security. Clinton supports and passes Nafta, and after eight years in office, the union guys were jumping up and down with Gore (loser) saying American jobs, high paying jobs, job security. What changed?

I am not saying the Republicans are perfect either, not by any stretch of the imagination. I think Bush is spending far too much, even though our debt ratio is 4.5%, far less than the 25-33% ratios used to buy a house (not even a historic high). I don't agree with his illegal alien stand either. But most Republicans I know believe in family values, believe in accepting different life-styles, but in keeping marriage adult male-female, believe in God, support our military, like to drive whatever car they like, big or small, work for, dare I say, a big business (oh, the horror), are pro-life, pay their taxes, while supporting lower taxes, and rather than TALKING about the poor or the homeless or sleeping on a storm grate, they actually go and serve and help these people. Funny thing is that most Democrats I know also fit into these beliefs.

Idiot of the month, just has to be the new liberal media whore, Diane Sawyer, for her absolutely ridiculous questioning of Mel Gibson, who repeatedly b!tch-slaped her with his straight ahead, bluntly honest answers and left her time and time again looking like a deer caught in the headlights. It was as if she couldn't believe that Mel could actually believe what he believes. A successful, good-looking, Hollywood movie star, father and husband, that is a Christian? How can that be? You're supposed to be an overweight, gray-haired, Bible thumper, with a confederate flag and gun rack in the back window of your old Ford. She even tried to get him on comments his father made. I guess Mel can't be his own man because of his father? Strange. I guess her beliefs exactly mirror her father's? My father is a Democrat and an Eagle's fan, so I should be too? This is the same old tired argument the liberal media makes. Well, it happened in the past so it must be okay now. Your father/mother/brother/sister/aunt said this in the past, it must be true for you too. Get a grip Diane.

Keep the Faith.
Private Sector Dude.