3-19-2004 Smoke your smoke

If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought her comfort in her old age.--Boston Globe writer Charles Pierce

Rush was talking on his show today about how he had attended the Media Research Center's "DisHonor Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2003." I was intrigued and looked into this shindig when I arrived back here at the adobe. Is that quote not the most gross and disburbing comment you've ever heard that was uttered to prop up a politician? I find it remarkable that anyone could even bring themselves to say such a ridiculous thing. Yikes!

Here's a heads up for ya:

C-SPAN, as part of its "Road to the White House," is broadcasting Sen. Kerry's 1971 testimony before Sen. Fulbright this Sunday night (6:30 & 9:30).

Just as significant, the following Sunday (March 28) they will be showing the 1971 Dick Cavett Show's John Kerry and John O'Neil (anti-war) debate.

This is beyond belief. From NewsMax.com:

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, whose anti-Semitic tirade last year was personally rebuked by President Bush, says he's behind Kerry.

"The war in Iraq has worsened the terrorism problem, he said. I think Kerry would be much more willing to listen to the voices of people and of the rest of the world.

In a virulently anti-Semitic speech last October, the then-prime minister called on Muslims to unite against Jews toward a "final victory," saying that "the Jews rule the world by proxy.

And there it is. John "F-Bomb" Kerry has received another endorsement from those foreign leaders he claimed are backing him. Bummer, non-Dude. Hey! He opened this phony baloney 'Foreigners love me' #10 can of worms. If you ask me, he doesn't appear to be too terribly bright. Well, there it is. A foreigner openly calling for Holocaust II is solidly in Kerry's camp. Hee! Hee! I love it.

I was awake at 5 am today and I worked 'til 3 pm. As you may have already guessed, I also listened to WILK from 5 am 'til 3 pm. The hottest topic on both Nancy & Kev's show and then Sue Henry's show was this big pot ring that got themselves busted. You had to have read about it. Some dorky looking local and his youngish proxies were selling about $1,000,000 worth of pot per year. Not a problem, right? Pot is illegal, they were moving copious amounts of it, and now they face jail time. Sounds like a done deal to me.

But then the phones at WILK began to ring and it has become apparent to this bleedin' wanker that there's a helluva lotta potheads in this area that listen to talk radio. I knew Kurt would call. I just knew it. He was citing obscure statistics that only the owners of head shops could provide to the average stoner. His incessant and overriding theme was, "Beer kills, pot doesn't.' The same old argument from the stoners. Hey Kurt. Is your back aching a bit worse than usual? Do you need to escape the rigors of everyday life for a spell? Are you having trouble coming to grips with the fact that your once sexy wife is starting to resemble your grandmother more and more? Have a freakin' beer! Have 6! Drink an entire case and then stumble off to bed. Nobody cares. It's legal. You can get whacked-out 365 days a year and yet, you'll never have the DEA types putting a single hole in your front door. Isn't that neat?

Caller after caller to WILK argued that pot and pot dealing was no big deal in the grand scheme of things and one guy called and actually started whining about the fate of these poor kids that got busted. Gee whiz, they were simply trying to make a few bucks. And some of them were selling only to feed their own habit. And now they're facing jail time. And what kind of jobs can they get after being branded with a criminal record? Should I care? What is it about laws that people just can't seem to comprehend? If we don't break any...chances are...we're not likely to get arrested any time soon. That's pretty cool. I vote for that.

When a caller started yammering on and on and on about the inherent dangers of the powdered variety drugs vs. the relative manageability of smoking pot, I was reaching for the cell phone. As per usual, being in the belly of a beast of a structure, Sue was not within my reach. Rats!

I kistened to Nancy & Kev and the stoners that called them. And I listened to Sue and the stoners that called her. The concensus was that using or selling pot is no big deal. The district attorney was grandstanding after these arrests were made. And as one caller said, predictably so when we're debating whether to make everything currently illegal legal all of a sudden, "It's a victimless crime." And there we have it. Those "kids" selling pot are not criminals. Not like those real criminals selling the harder drugs.

Now let's explore why I tried, but failed to call Sue this morning. Everyone that works at WILK, and everyone that calls WILK had to have read one, or both of the very same local newspapers that I read each and every day. Let's revisit those newspaper articles that set the entire debate in motion. From today's Voice:

Clayton Knorr, of 1112 Spring Brook Ave., Moosic. He is charged with participating in a corrupt organization, conspiracy to deliver marijuana, delivery of marijuana, possession with intent to deliver marijuana, delivery of LSD, possession with intent to deliver cocaine and intimidation of a witness. He is incarcerated in lieu of $100,000 straight cash bail.

Let's try a snippet from the Leader:

Knorr also was charged with intimidating a witness in the case. Investigators said Knorr threatened Hobson's girlfriend, telling her to have Hobson "keep his ... mouth shut" because Knorr knew where she lived and where her children went to school.

The stoners always make the case for legalizing pot by claiming that pot is not a gateway drug for it's users. That remains to be seen. But in this case, it's obvious that "the kids," or at least one of the kids, started out dealing pot, but ended up branching out just a tad. LSD? Cocaine? Threatening potential witnesses? Are we still going to argue that these were just kids, or that pot is not a gateway drug? It was for Mr. Knoor. It was for the kid dealing pot. If they were willing to break the law whereas pot was concerned, what assurances do we have that they wouldn't break whatever law they felt like? Intimidating a witness? And what, pray tell, might easily follow that? Murder?

Sorry kiddies, but all I heard this morning was an endless parade of callers that obviously love their reefer. And a few talk show hosts that either missed something important while perusing the papers over coffee this morning, or just didn't want to come off as being too judgemental. Remember, if you judge others, you will be judged very harshly. Sue, you know you rank right up there with Deborah Harry in my book, but what the hell happened today?

The drug dealers got busted. So f**king what? I've had a few in my midst lately and I could care less what happens to them in prison, or afterwards for that matter. If something is illegal, let alone a hot button political issue, stay the hell away from it.

Is that so hard to follow? Am I being overly simplistic again?

Do you really want to know what the amazing grandson, Gage Andrew, thought of Tom Leighton's new and improved St. Patty's Day Parade?

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Okay. I'm goofin' on the mayor. Gage did collapse as soon as we got home from the parade, but that was because we skipped his normal nap time to hang out at the parade. The parade was great and the 'lil guy had a blast once the Fruities started flying. The highlight for him was when Ronald McDonald came cruising by on top of a step-van. His hero. Yep, that's right. You heard it right. Gage Andrew is a regular Happy Meals customer and we're not even thinking of suing McDonald's. Wanna know why? Because we get tons of exercise.

Well, I missed the "Project Benchmark" fund-raiser today. I did cruise through the Square around 4 pm and the only visible evidence that anything out of the normal went down there was some dude sitting all alone in his potato pancake wagon.

I expected to see lots of re-constructed benches, but not very many were actually reworked. When I got back to the adobe and gave the 'lil guy a hug, I re-read the "Project Benchmark" story that appeared in the Voice and realized my mistake. Today's event was a "kick off" for the bench project and not what I thought was going to be a bench rebuilding marathon. DOH!

After checking out one of the benches that have been transformed, I couldn't be happier. This is the sort of attention to detail that Wilkes-Barre needs much, much more of. Decay and rot may have been the norm for a while now, but it's not acceptable if we're honestly working to change the negative perceptions that our neighbors have of this city.

Like I said, tiny steps. We've got folks sweeping the sidewalks and gutters. And another bunch planting flowers. And yet another group rebuilding benches. We've got plenty of average folks waiting for J.J.'s signal to pounce on selected locations and mow, prune, sweep, and clear in an effort to make this city shine again.

I'm not putting out the mostly ignored call for even more volunteers, I'm just pointing out that good things, albeit smallish things are already happening in Wilkes-Barre. If enough of us think small and do what we can, Wilkes-Barre's tattered image could change overnight.

Instead of calling SAYSO, adopt the filthy curbline in front of your homestead and keep it spotless. It really doesn't require much effort on our part to help to make a difference, assuming that most folks still want to take some pride in their community. It's supposed to get fairly warm next week and I know there's a storm sewer, or gutter near you that needs a wee bit of attention.

I've got Thompson Street and parts of Penn Avenue and Butler Street covered. That is, as soon as I get that stiff push broom I was promised by a certain politico. Anybody else marking any terrority?

Wilkes-Barre 2003

Old decayed bench

Wilkes-Barre 2004 and beyond

New plastic hybrid thingy bench

I had a great run-in with a yuppie type today. He was ready to chew me alive when he heard that I intend to vote for Dubya later this year. I had him scratching his head twice. LOL. Ready?

Question: So where were are all of the weapons of mass destruction? Huh?

Markie: It's not a question of where they were. It's a question of where they went.


Question: If Bush is so great, why do so many people hate his sorry ass?

Markie: Because self-centered Al Gore decided to contest a very close election that he had obviously lost and after that lengthy, rancorous process had run it's destructive course, he had managed nothing more than energizing his party to seek revenge down the road a ways.


Just in case you missed it, this week is "Weather Emergency Preparedness Week," as stated by those boobs that keep testing their never-activated emergency radio network while I'm trying to listen to Sue Henry sing.

I read yesterday that out of the 280 million or so of us Great Satan types, 200 million are now online. That is incredible. I'd like to eventually see everyone's name and address one day be married to their e-mail addresses. Wouldn't that be something? To be able to sit here and contact anyone, anywhere, and at any time? It's not like it'd be a big problem for anyone. We recieve tons of SPAM everyday. What's one more e-mail from the other side of the country?

To be perfectly honest though, I do have a selfish aim in mind. I have tried to search and utilize the internet to contact my father, but to no avail. I always thought I'd meet him. I always believed that he'd one day get to being curious about whatever became of his son. I thought about that reunion when I was 15 years-old. I thought about it when I was 25. And I thought about it when I was 35. And then the internet came along and I thought that I finally had the tool that could force him to talk to me. And now I'm 45. I'm a firm believer that one can find anything on the internet and yet, the one thing that I've searched for the hardest and the longest remains out of my grasp. Is Eugene Cour really beyond the internet's massive reach? Sure seems like it.

Whatever. I've dealt with 45 years of having a hole where a part of my soul was supposed to be and I haven't murdered anyone yet. I'll make it the rest of the way.

How did I manage that? I'm feeling kinda glum all of a sudden. Time for a major dose of headphones. I'll start with Bowie's, "Station to Station." Carlos Alomar and Earl Slick on some monsterously over-dubbed guitars. Better than sex. "Oh my TVC15. Oh, oh! TVC15."