3-30-2003 Snow About

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.--George S. Patton

Who ordered snow on a Sunday? No Bike About.

So, Wilkes-Barre finally has an emergency plan to implement in the event that some sort of calamity befalls upon the city. Itís nearly two years overdue, but itís re-election time and now itís suddenly important that we be protected against natural disasters or acts of terrorism. Eighteen months have passed since America was attacked and promised many more attacks and during all that time as the war on terrorism waged worldwide-Wilkes-Barre apparently lapsed behind in yet another key function. Gee, Iím shocked.

Hereís a snippet of the Leader story that re-visits yet another mayoral fib:

The plan was due in May 2001. In July 2002, shortly after receiving $165,093 in state grant money to bolster emergency preparedness, the mayor said the plan was very close to completion.

The Leader story highlights the basics of the plan with this being the first point:

The mayor is the primary supervisor of all four phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

Well thereís a shock, heyna? If a deadly chemical agent is released by a terror nut, the mayor wants to be in charge of the emergency response! I feel safer already. Just picture that scene.

Command 100: Jay, Jay! Iím on my way! What the hell happened?

Chiefie: Weíre not sure. It might be a terrorist attack! Weíve got people down all over the place and they are suffering severe respiratory distress and foaming at the mouth. Iíve got eight firefighters down! Where the hell did you store those chemical suits?

Command 100: Fuji! Fuji! Get up to East Station and dig out those chemical suits. Theyíre on the second floor behind the Easter decorations. Let me know if any of those bastards are sleeping on duty. Jay! I notified the county EMA and they said to stand down until they arrive on scene.

Chiefie: 10-4!

Command 100: Al, tell the guys to park the dump trucks painted in the high school colors across the street from the scene so that they are in full view for the television cameras. Also, tell the guys to rev the engines if those meanies from WBRE try to interview me. I donít want the guys taking any chances, so tell them to keep their windows rolled up. Commmand 100 to 331, I want the entrances to the square blocked off with Emergency Management cars and not police cars-that would look better on television.

331: Mayor, two of them have flat tires.

Command 100: F&@#! Alright, then use some of the larger city vehicles, but make sure they have my name painted on them. Command 100 to F-8, Get that F-250 parked in the middle of the square-thatíll impress the seniors! County, replace Engine 3 with Engine 5. Engine 3 doesnít have my name on it. Al, 21 Shannon and tell her to issue an immediate press release advising city residents that the situation is under control, but have Dean whisk my family out of the city. Also, tell Shannon to mention that city council is directly responsible for this event taking place-not me. I know! Tell Ďem council delayed the implementation of my emergency preparedness plan. Yeah! Thatíll fool the seniors. Command 100 to 512, I want the newer Impalas to respond to the scene, not the junkers. Jay, donít you go talking to the press. I want all of the face time!

Chiefie: 10-4! Mayor, I think you and I should don chemical suits. That would give the impression that we were actively involved at the scene.

Command 100: Good thinking! Remember, if you do talk to the press, this is a proactive rather than a reactive response. Voters might actually believe that!

Cheifie: 10-4!

Iíve got the best possible plan to save Wilkes-Barre from disaster: Vote for Tom Leighton!

The plan was due in May 2001. In July 2002, shortly after receiving $165,093 in state grant money to bolster emergency preparedness, the mayor said the plan was very close to completion.

Mini Bumble Ball

If you have small kids, drive to Wal-Mart and purchase a Mini-Bumble Ball. This thing vibrates and bounces all over the place, but the real fun begins when a toddler picks it up. Gage shakes uncontrollably from head to toe when he holds it and gets the biggest kick out of it. Itís funny as hell. If the mini version can cause such violent tremors, what the heck would the larger version do?

Whatís up with the mayorís new spin about his failed Holeplex project? He told the Voice that city council, led by Leighton, pulled the plug on his plan. Thatís a stretch! Thatís re-writing city history! Thatís a lie! The guy was down on South Washington Street personally supervising the construction of his Holeplex when it was stopped by a court injunction after Humford Equities filed suit claiming that the barely-planned Holeplex was encroaching on their property. The owners of the Provincial Towers building also filed suit against the city to halt construction.

The Engineer-in-Chief is playing an unwise game here. Heís counting on that age-old belief that the voting public has a very short memory, but that expensive blunder we call the Holeplex was a very, very, very high profile blunder. Does he really believe that city residents donít remember why the project didnít get past the footer stage? Heís hoping that if he tells that lie often enough, weíll believe it. Iíve got an important newsflash for him. Everyone in this region of the state that can see or read knows why the Holeplex project crashed with a mighty and sickening thud. He, thatís HE mucked it up! Thatís what the average bloke is saying from Centermoreland all the way to Hazleton. If lying to the general public is the game plan, at least try to be clever about it.

Check this quote offered up by the mayor from the Voice story:

If Tom Leighton wasnít running for mayor none of this would have happened.

If he thinks that bald-faced lies on a such a grand scale are going to resonate out here in the wastelands, heís seriously miscalculating.

Oh my goodness! I just received a Yahoo! greeting card congratulating us on the birth of the amazing granddaughter, Taylor Kate from a copper dude. Thatís a first! Thanks dude! Remember, come next March Iíll be able to post the names of city employees on the site without fear of getting them reprimanded or fired on trumped-up nonsense. The repressive regime will be history and open and honest government will have arrived in Wilkes-Barre! Anyway, thanks again dude and stay safe out there.

Why is the press seemingly freaking out about the alleged mistakes in prosecuting the Iraqi campaign? This is the way I see it. Weíve surrounded the major cities and are reducing the Iraqi military capability every hour. Yeah, theyíve adopted some under-handed techniques and war crimes seem to be their game plan that is resulting in coalition and civilian deaths. Is that a surprise? Is it? The oil fields, which were supposed to be blazing away have been secured. The port cities and oil terminals have been secured. Basically, the infra-structure of the country remains intact so that the long-suffering Iraqi people will not be living in a totally destroyed country when this conflict ends. The Iraqi leadership is trumpeting that 350 civilians have been killed by our forces, but weíve delivered over 10,000 missiles and bombs on selected targets. Over 10,000 bombs and over 200,000 troops have resulted in 350 civilian deaths? It sounds to me as if the Iraqi people have more to fear from their own government than they have to fear from our military.

Some are saying that weíve over-extended our supply lines. Others are saying we didnít send enough troops to get the job done. Donald Rumsfeld has come under fire for micro-managing this campaign from some of the ďunnamedĒ brass at the pentagon. Everyone seems to be suggesting that if we invade Baghdad and have to conduct urban warfare, weíre headed for a quagmire that will fill thousands of body bags bought and paid for by the American taxpayers. Everyone that is except the people that do their homework. Do a bit of research folks. Youíve got a computer. Baghdad is known for itís lavish, ultra-wide boulevards and actually has few narrow streets. It has very few tall buildings which would limit Iraqi sniper fire. It also has miles upon miles of irrigation ditches (itís in the middle of a desert) which would come in handy for invading forces with total supremacy from the air. It has a long-suppressed and sometimes tortured population that is ripe for revolt once the Baath Party loyalists that will kill them if they even smile at an American soldier begin to lose their iron-fisted grip on the city.

My point is, Saddam has visions of Mogadishu dancing in his head, but if you were forced to conduct urban warfare in a large, modern city you couldnít ask for a better city than Baghdad to conduct it in. You can go to war with a solid plan, but the battle plan always changes very, very quickly after you determine the reaction of your enemy. You adapt, you improvise, you overcome. Thatís where weíre at right now.

We have 500 pound bombs that contain nothing but concrete, which will be dropped on buildings containing hostile forces. We have laser-guided bombs that can count how many floors of a building they have penetrated and explode on the appropriate floor necessary to wipe-out pockets of enemy fire and minimize collateral damage. Since the now famous Somali ďdisasterĒ that resulted in the deaths of 18 Americans that were denied the armor support they requested by Billy Bob Clinton and an estimated 1,000 deaths to hostile forces, the U.S. military has been training full-time for future urban assaults if they one day needed to be prosecuted.

Donít buy into all of this gloom and doom that the press are so quick to report. Saddam, if heís even alive, is surrounded as are his partners in crime. The command and control of the Iraqi military is all but destroyed. Weíre going to eliminate his Baath Party murderers that reign fear over the population of the cities house by house and then youíll see the Iraqi civilians waving American and British flags as they collect food and water and Hershey bars from their liberators.

Our troops may yet come under chemical attacks, which would be an un-wanted, but totally expected development, but it will only result in the prolonging of the conflict. The end result, no matter what Saddam and his close circle of loonies do, will be the disarming of a country that supports barbaric, terrorist acts.

Despite all of the rancor and division that this conflict has caused across the globe and in our own country, the world will be a safer place after this operation has ended. I firmly believe that. Yes, weíre going to see plenty more disturbing images from Iraq and weíre going to be saddened with each and every body bag that is returned to Dover, but if you remember correctly, our country roundly and collectively cheered after the 911 attacks when our President promised us that he was gonnaí ďSmoke Ďem out, get Ďem running and kill Ďem.Ē

He promised. We cheered and waved our flags.

Now is not the time for wimped-out hand-wringing or second-guessing. Now is the time that we all support our President and more importantly, totally support our troops and their valiant and selfless efforts under some extremely difficult and even more dangerous circumstances. I am not a resident of The United Nations and I really donĎt give a flying farg what the French government thinks. Fuqez-vous, non? I reside in America and Iím thrilled that after ten years of semen-stained dresses and seriously damaging tomfoolery, we finally have a President that will defend this country against external attacks be they diplomatic or terroristic.

I am an overly-opinionated, but well-read sort. Heyna? And a patriot!



Stay the course. They need to know that we completely support them while they confront the worst that the world has to offer.

Prayers should be at the top of our things to do list.