2-24-2004 Mr. & Mrs. Kenwood

Chuck E. Cheese's is a children-oriented restaurant, and I don't feel alcohol has a purpose being in their presence.-- Linda Phelan, coordinator of the Luzerne County Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

What a way to start the day? I wander through the Leader and what do my eyes spy? More do-gooder folks creating more controversy where none is needed. I don't feel...blah, blah, blah. Have a beer and a shot and mind your own business, honey. Man! The things that some people worry about is stupifying.

Then I turned on the Sue Henry Show and there it was again. Caller after caller weighing in on the Chuck E. Cheese imbroglio. ARGHHHHHH! Are we all funking nuts? Who gives a flying farg what Chuck E. Cheese serves? The consensus was that serving alcohol at that joint is not necessary? Then where is it necessary to serve alcohol? At Mark II? At Grotto's? You don't take your children in there, do you? Oh, the shame.

A couple of prudes claimed that we shouldn't be drinking in front of our children anyway. Really? There are a few notable exceptions to that high-minded rule. Things like wedding receptions. Sunday NFL broadcasts. Graduation parties. Adult birthday parties. Summer pool parties. Family reunions at the local grove. Church bazaars. Should I go on? It's an acceptable practice to sling back a dozen Ballantine Ales while sunning next to Uncle Hermie's backyard pool, but sipping a glass of wine at Chuck E. Cheese is proof of poor parenting skills. Am I getting this right?

There is another easily recognizable place where it's apparently acceptable to drink in front of the kiddies and it's shadow might even fall upon Chuck E. Cheese on occasion. The arena. Yepper. We take the 'lil ones to the arena, toss a few back, and then hoot and holler every time the team goon draws blood. But Chuck E. Cheese needs to be singled out by the always on parade "save-the-f**king-world" types. And they are waging this campaign with a straight face no less. File that one away in the what-f**king-ever file.

Donations to Drunks Against Mad Mothers (D.A.M.M.)can be sent to P.O. Box 137, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 18702, or Corba's on Penn avenue.

So, then. It seems Dubya has finally taken the gloves off after suffering months of endless abuse from the other side of the political aisle. And he's got a touch of George Burns going on there.

The other party's nomination battle is still playing out. The candidates are an interesting group with diverse opinions. They're for tax cuts and against them. They're for NAFTA and against NAFTA. They're for the Patriot Act and against the Patriot Act. They're in favor of liberating Iraq, and opposed to it. And that's just one senator from Massachusetts.

Damn! Rim shot!!! We might have a capable replacement for David Letterman waiting in the west wing.

Here. I'll do Kerry's predictable response. "I served in Vietnam so I am above scrutiny. How dare anyone question my pariotism. Did I mention that I served in Vietnam?"

Plenty of Americans support how the prez has responded to the threats leveled at us by the terrorists of the world. Others don't. Still others claim they support the troops, but not the war, which makes about as much sense as spending $4 million dollars to erect a hole. We're all entitled to our opinions and regardless of your stance on the current goings-on, I think we all have to agree that our folks in uniform do us proud and are second to none. If you take issue with that claim, you are a strong argument for the continued legalization of abortion.

How did our military come to be the biggest, baddest stick on this entire planet? Good recruiting. Excellent training. Excellent motivation. Excellent tactics. Good intel before the bullets fly. Monsterous personal sacrifices. Love of country. Love of freedom. On and on it goes. But there's one other critical ingredient that makes this recipe so lethal. The best weapons systems that money can provide.

The current administration recently kiboshed the Commanche helicopter because it was an ultra-expensive dog. And it also killed the Crusader artillery program. With war being an increasingly high-tech game, even the Army brass was saying that an artillery upgrade was really not needed. My point is, not every new weapon system that's run up the flag pole should make it to the assembly line at Boeing, Raytheon, or Sikorsky. But it's hard to argue against the superiority of our machines of war. Whether it's an Aegis Class cruiser, an Apache helo, or a Stealth fighter; our weapons of war scare the hell out of those who plot against us.

When our sons and daughters march off to war, they have the best available tools at their disposal. Which brings me to John Kerry's voting record on our nastiest toys. This should be a bit of an eye-opener if you were not aware of it.

These are the programs that John Kerry opposed while serving in the U.S. Senate:

The B-1 bomber.
The B-2 bomber.
The F-15 Eagle tactical fighter
The F-14D Tomcat fighter
The AH-64 Apache Helicopter
The AV-8B Harrier "jump" jet
The Patriot Missile
The Aegis air-defense system
The Trident missile

Kerry also sought to reduce the funding for procurement of the following:

The M1 Abrams tank
The Bradley Fighting Vehicle
The Tomahawk cruise missile
The F-16 Falcon fighter/attack jet

Anybody notice a pattern there? With friends like him, who needs enemies? This should be our Commander-in-Chief? A guy who thinks we can protect ourselves with sticks, stones, and a few surgically placed bad words? If none of those systems were ever built, what the hell would our troops be fighting with? A couple of armor-plated AMC Hornets? The tanks your grampie used during the Battle of the Bulge? Axe handles?

And there's another thing to consider. If we sent our troops off to war without those weapons systems, Arlington would be stocked full by now and looking to expand. A Tomahawk missile guarantees a successful air sortie without putting even one of our folks in danger. And Kerry thought that was a bad idea? The Patriot missile? How many SCUDS did they knock out of the night sky during the first Gulf War? How many innocent Israeli civilians did they save?

I'm not questioning his patriotism, I'm questioning his judgment. He protested the Vietnam war because it was such a complete quagmire, but if he had his way as a member of the Senate, every time we engaged an enemy, our troops would be fighting with less than what they needed and would probably end up facing a quagmire of their own.

Our World War II vets came back proud of what they had accomplished and emboldened by their experience. Our Vietnam vet who points to his service as proof that he can be an effective Commander-in-Chief came back from 'Nam ashamed of his experience and embittered. This guy not only doesn't have the balls to pull the trigger (evidenced by his belief that the terrorist challenge is a law enforcement problem) if and when it becomes necessary, he voted against building any triggers in the first place. You wanna put him in charge?

Oh wait. I forgot. Bush lied. From last night's comments at the Republican Governors' Association meeting:

September the 11, 2001, taught a lesson I have not forgotten.

America must confront threats before they fully materialize. In Iraq, my administration looked at the intelligence and saw a danger. Members of Congress looked at the intelligence, and they saw a danger. The United Nations Security Council looked at the intelligence, and it saw a danger.

The previous administration and Congress looked at the intelligence, and made regime change in Iraq the policy of our country. We all knew Saddam's history well. He waged aggressive wars against neighboring countries, and aspired to dominate the Middle East. He cultivated ties to terrorists. He built weapons of mass destruction. He hid those weapons.

He used chemical weapons against thousands of Iraqis and Iranians. In 2002, the United Nations Security Council yet again demanded a full accounting of Saddam Hussein's weapons programs. As he had for over a decade, Saddam Hussein refused to comply. So we had a choice to make: Either take the word of a madman, or take action to defend America and the world. Faced with that choice, I will defend America every time.

Others would have chosen differently. They now agree that the world is better off with Saddam Hussein out of power; they just didn't support removing Saddam from power.

Maybe they were hoping he'd lose the next Iraqi election.

From the e-mail inbox:

*******I thought I would send you this link since this pertains to fire/Ems right here in Luzerne County. It is a chat board just like the cops board you have on your website

Luzerne County Forum

Take care and keep up the good work on the net

Plymouth Dude*******

Nifty. It's gonna take a while to explore that site. There's plenty to explore. I clicked on the "Fire-Rescue Photos" link and ran across a couple of pics I took at the Toppers fire. Amazing. How the heck did I come to be associated with firefighting? I've never fought a fire and I haven't started one in well over two decades.

A "Dare to Care" update also from the e-mail inbox:

*******Well, the picture of the crapper/camper/garbage trailer got passed around at the Crime Watch meeting tonight. People shook their heads in disbelief at the sight of it. I shook my head because we have to wait another 72 hours to have it removed. Whatever!!! I can live by the rules - if it takes 72 hours, it takes 72 hours just get it the hell out of there!! Should be on its way by Wednesday/Thursday. But where will it go? To Bob the Tower's yard? And how will they tow it? Attach it to Bob's tow truck and haul it up Northampton Street? What I wouldn't give to take a picture of that!!!!!*******

72 hours? At least it's being taken care of. Ya' done good. We need to keep after things. We need to remain vigilant if our neighborhoods are going to become vibrant, flourishing places again.

My program is painfully simple. Not on this funking street! When the newest neighbors moved in, I watched the proceedings very intently only because I was looking for an insight as to what they were all about. I saw nothing even remotely disturbing. On this street, we've got a Crime Watch of one. On your street, there is another who cares. If every street had only one person willing to get involved, the city would be better off. Stay after it.

More from the inbox:

*******Morning Mark,

If Saddam didn't have WMD then what happened to the Kurds BEFORE and AFTER Desert Storm? Everyone forgets that WMD ISN'T JUST NUKES ! He has already used them on his own people and only refrained from using them outside his country because WE would have walked all over his a**, that and if he used them on Israel then Baghdad would be a glow-in-the-dark, also known as a 'self lighting', parking lot.

Have a good one,

Nuke 'em? Hoo hoo! I hear that. While everybody and their mentally incontinent brothers are trying to kill as many Israelis as possible, they had better be careful what they wish for. Two years ago, they took receipt of three German built, diesel-powered subs, and have retro-fitted some missiles just in case somebody needs a knock out blow.

Most folks calling Dubya a liar don't have a clue as to what they're spewing about. I saw the videos of the dead Kurds. I also saw video of the dead Iranians that were killed by Saddam's nerve agents during the Iraq/Iran war (1980-1988) that Saddam launched unprovoked. Let's not forget those SCUDS he launched at Israeli and Saudi population centers for no tactical reason during the first Gulf War. Oh yeah, and he plotted to kill an ex-president of ours. No biggie. It was a republican. Who cares? If I had to venture a guess, I'd bet that the majority of the "I Hate Bushies" don't even know that that war even took place. After he was repulsed by the Iranians, he retooled for three years and then invaded Kuwait.

Saddam's specialty was war, torture, death, and destruction for well over two decades, but thanks to the ill-advised rhetoric coming from the left in this country-Bush is the bad guy.

Imagine having your entire existance completely soured for years on end by a few hanging chads that you yourself sought out. Dummies.

I saw Dubya's press conference today. You know, you can love him, hate him, and you can call him a liar; but never make the mistake of accusing him of flip-flopping on any issue. Right or wrong, he calls 'em the way he sees 'em. It smacks of being confident with one's decisions.

"Today I call upon the Congress to promptly pass and to send to the states from ratification an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and woman as husband and wife."

It's really sad that he even had to call for such an amendment. What is a marriage? A union between a man and a woman, or a union that has no clear cut definition or limits? You know, I was only kidding when I said I'd make love to my stereo if I could, but the way we're headed, my stereo and I might be able to wed and soon.

Mr. & Mrs. Kenwood. Or is it Mr.& Mr.? Ya got me, but she's got some big-assed knobs on her. And we're demanding equal protection under the law. I can't stop thinking of her. I caress her. I flip her switches. I pump her up. I picture her open oriface, that headphone jack, no matter where I'm at or what I'm doing. And she makes love to my ears.

And we wonder why they hate us.