3-30-2004 Ebenezer Curbside Church

It's hard to straighten out everything that went bad in eight years in two or three months.--City Councilman Phil Latinski

Or, in other words, remain calm, kiddies. Hang in there.

So, Condaleeza Rice will appear before the 11/4/04 Commission afterall. I'm sorry. I meant to say the 9/11 Commission. I realize that as a hatemongering, child-starving Republican, she's fair game. They could pin her down and skin her alive and Kevin Lynn would cite her blood-curdling srceams as proof of her guilt. (?) Nancy Kman let the cat out of the bag this morning when she said, "It's not what they have to say. It's the way they say it." Rutro! Condi is a liar. Guilty as charged as evidenced by her twice having repositioned her butt while under direct questioning. And her eyelashes were off kilter. And she swallowed hard twice. Was she sweating? I think so. Off with her bosses head!

I hope they at least allow her to wear some head gear. She won't see any softballs lobbed at her. She'll be getting a steady diet of high, inside heat. Richard Clarke's handling was akin to a home run derby contest. "We're not throwing them too hard, are we sir?" Condi's appearance will be more like Pedro Martinez pitching to Roger Clemens.

Initially Condi rejected testifying in public, arguing that she was prevented by executive privilege from revealing confidential conversations. She later clarified that she wanted to testify, but couldn't because of the president's concerns that her testimony would violate the separation of powers.

But...she's a Republican. And it's an election year. Screw ethics! We demand that she testify in public and under oath. Nothing less should be allowed. We're talking terrorism here, folks.

Again, she's Republican, much like her boss.

Take a gander at this snippet from a WorldNetDaily piece:

Posted: March 30, 2004 1:00 a.m. Eastern

2004 WorldNetDaily.com

In 1999, former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke used the same claim National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice is now using now to avoid testifying before a federal panel.

Clarke was scheduled to appear before the Senate Special Committee on the Y2K computer scare on July 29, 1999, but the Clinton White House would not allow it, citing a breach of separation between congress and the executive.

Committee Chairman Robert Bennett, R-Utah, said in a transcript posted by FreeRepublic.com that Clarke canceled the appearance because National Security Council members, who are not confirmed by Congress, cannot testify before Congress.

Now, if we employ Kevin Lynn's forensic political analysis, Clarke must have had something to hide. "The lie?" Nope. We're talking the Clinton camp here. Separation of Powers was perfectly legitimate in that terrorist related case. It's not what they won't say. It's the way they won't say it. (?)

Condi will be held to a higher standard, but as I stated yesterday, none of this will amount to spit. It's election year nonsense and nothing more. Kev & Nancy sure got sucked into it though.

I was thrilled to see the following headline in the Voice today: Wilkes-Barre ends clutter cleanup

Well, it's about goll dern time. I hated those clutter debacles and I hope they go the way of the McKookoo bird mayor forever. For starters, the overall condition of the city has steadily deteriorated while our DPW guys were working serious overtime hours to drag broken microwaves and twenty year-old VCRs around. I'd rather see them fixing something or sweeping something. Secondly, ever single time another clutter campaign was about to commence, I'd just cringe while passing piles of debris all day long. What an unsightly program that amounted to. I hated that aspect of it. Then, the folks without even a modicum of pride would show up and start digging through the piles, scattering them further and further during the awful process. I was embarrassed for them and had to head in the house, rather than watch them rummage through obvious trash. It got to the point where I didn't want to sit on the porch. The vultures would flock and if I stayed out there, they'd start hitting me with less than intelligent questions like, "Does this work?" Argh! "Sure. It works great. That's why she threw it away, you f**king mental midget!" One evening, while I was head-banging with my headphones on, some lady actually gestured to me to help her carry something to her overly bondoed pick-up truck. Guess which finger I treated her to. Sorry, kiddies, but the clutter cleanups were the absolute freakin' pits in my special mind. Interpret "special" any which way you like.

I do have a question though. If our mayor decided to switch from 3M memo pads to Office Max memo pads, would the local press types call Christine Katsock for her reaction to that decision too? Do they have her set-up on speed dial for Cripes sake? I don't give a f**k what she thinks about most things, and I find it difficult to believe that many other residents do either.

Here we go. From today's Voice story:

Christine Katsock, president of the Wilkes-Barre Area Taxpayers Association, who ran unsuccessfully against Leighton in the mayoral race, believes Saturday's cleanup was an example of reduction of services.

Residents are paying higher taxes, but were asked to clean themselves when the city should provide these services, she noted.

"My concern is all through his campaign, he (Leighton) said he would not reduce services. I feel this is a reduction in services," Katsock said.

Katsock also said she was disappointed the clutter cleanup program would be eliminated. Leighton said in his mayoral campaign he would not get rid of the clutter cleanup program, she noted.

"That was a major source of income for the city," Katsock said. "That is another cut in service. That is a campaign promise that he is fallen back on."

Katsock noted city residents formerly turned to city calendars to find the dates when their recyclables and newspapers would be picked up.

Leighton has done away with city calendars as well. As a result, Katsock noted there has been confusion from residents about when these pick-ups are scheduled.

A reduction in services? The clutter cleanups? Let's be f**king serious here, shall we? That was McGroarty's overtime-for-votes trade-off that in large part helped to facilitate our financial meltdown. A major source of income for the city? Says who? Mcgroarty's favorite auditors; Scribble, Erase, and Fudge? If it's such a major source of income for the city, why in the hell is Leighton discontinuing the program? Think about it, Christine. Think.

Then there's the stupid calendars. McG introduced those in 2000? Or was it 2001? I don't know and I really don't care. How did we manage to send our garbage off to the dump before the stupid calendars were introduced? How? How the hell did we get by without them? I still have the last three, and for the most part, they were completely gawdy reelection posters. Was the revamped curbside pick-up schedule not published in both local papers? Where's the problem, folks? Where's the problem, Christine? Wifey cut those schedules out of the papers and prompty stuck 'em on the fridge. You could accuse her of having a superior intellect to Christine and her followers that pray at the curbside, but I happen to know better than that. She just happens to be one of those folks that can function without the government taking care of her every need down to the very last detail. She doesn't need to be spoon fed and looked after nonstop. The schedule was published and she has it. Do we really need a f**king calendar to make it to our next birthday? If you do need the calendar to survive, I'll make you a copy of wifey's cut-out curbside schedule for a mere $2.95. More helpless morons!

And Christine, the apparent Pastor of the Ebenezer Curbside Church believes Saturday's cleanup was an example of reduction of services.

Au contraire! Our streets have not seen hide, nor hair of a street sweeper for the better part of two years now and they sure as hell look it. Once mothballed, the street sweepers are now back in action, but in all honesty, they are simply not capable of removing two years worth of built up sludge mixed with debris without wearing them out right quick. We don't have enough DPW manpower to sweep every inch of our streets right now, so I'd like to hear Christine's brilliant solution to the long-overlooked problem. Yeah, we know. Daily staff meetings.

I've heard the argument from a few city residents that folks paying such high taxes shouldn't have to sweep the twenty linear feet in front of their homes and quite frankly, most of them are in need of some serious exercise, if not a thirty day fast. So don't. Why imperil that 42 inch waist? Just sit there and stare at your curbline and continue to grumble about the calendars. Me? I'll continue to sweep those streets until the silt is reduced to managable levels for our street sweepers. Ya' wanna know what else? I'll continue to feel good about having done so afterwards.

We may be broke right now and the mayor's having encouraged the residents to sweep a few feet can easily be twisted into some sort of negative thing, but I don't see it that way. I see it as a chance for Wilkes-Barre residents to get involved to some minor degree and help to change their city's battered image. I see it as an opportunity for the residents to get out there and take some pride in their community again. I see it as an impetus by which some of us that were bordering on despair just a few months ago can be motivated to believe in our city again. You can make a difference. I can. You can. But together, we can do much more, much faster than previously believed. The question is, will we?

"That is a campaign promise that he is fallen back on."

If I remember correctly, Tom Leighton told us all along that he can't do it all by his lonesome. The "it" he referred to was saving Wilkes-Barre. Is anybody interested in speeding the recovery?

I am.

Also from today's Voice:

More than 125 tons of trash, put out during the weekend cleanup campaign, were hauled away from curbs in front of Wilkes-Barre residents' homes Monday.

A total of 33 public works employees went out at 4 a.m. Monday and picked up trash in half the city by the afternoon, said city dispatcher Ron Romanelli.

Romanelli expects all the trash will be removed from city residents' curbs by Tuesday.

The project was the initiative of Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton, who called upon residents to clean the tree lawns and roadways in front of their homes Saturday and deposit debris in garbage bags by Monday.

On Monday, Leighton said the neighborhood clean-up program was a success.

"I think the residents' participation was great," Leighton commented. "It just shows people are interested in helping the city move forward in a positive manner."

See that? Not all of us sat on our fat asses bitching about calendars and recyclables. Some of us got involved. Quite a few, it seems.

125 tons worth? WOO HOO!

Don't forget about this snippet from that Voice story:

Leighton's cleanup efforts coincide with a state initiative to be launched in April by Gov. Ed Rendell.

The state program, The Great Pennsylvania Cleanup, urges organizations, individuals, schools, business and governments to participate in a statewide clean-up on the state's roadways, parks, riverbanks and open spaces on April 24.

Organizations and individuals interested in this program can contact Wilkes-Barre at 821-111, Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry at 823-2101 or visit the state's Web site at www.dep.state.pa.us/earthdaycentral/04.

I'll see ya' out there.

I think my boss is starting to like me. Who knows, maybe he's losin' it. First, he provided me with a brand spanking new Chevy S-10. This from the guy that said, "You don't need a pretty truck to do the dirty work." Okay. I follow that logic. Then, he decides to completely refurbish my bigger rig inside and out. All of a sudden, out of the blue, the guy with the spider webs in his moustache, the dried-on mud up to his knees, and the concrete dust clogging his nostrils is riding in style. Termite season is suddenly upon us and I might actually enjoy this go-round.


By the way, if you happen to see this rig parked at a home near yours for any length of time...start worrying. And saving.

I've got grilled cheeses and Cheap Trick on the menu right now.

Over and out.