4-5-2003 The Great Debate


ďIf Saddam Hussein fails to comply and we fail to act or we take some ambiguous third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to develop his program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of sanctions and ignore the commitments he's made? Well, he will conclude that the international community's lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on doing more to build an arsenal of devastating destruction. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow. The stakes could not be higher. Some way, someday, I guarantee you he'll use the arsenal." --President Bill Clinton in 1998

Maybe your president, certainly not mine though.

Wow! The Great Wilkes-Barre debate? Todayís Voice reported that democratic mayoral candidate Jack Smith challenged both the mayor and Tom Leighton to three public debates at dates and times to be announced. Both responded that theyíd be willing to debate if it was held in an ďappropriate forum.Ē Letís get ready to rumble! Or is it get ready to mudsling?

Hereís a cut from the Voice story:

Leighton and McGroarty both said their campaigns are not going to be negative.

Remember that you read that and watch and see who can deliver on that promise during the next six weeks. Also, remember that stick and stones are useless against the mayor. You want my prediction? The mayor wonít debate anyone. Remember his habit of always avoiding the hot seat when called upon by council or the investigative panel for some straight answers. Do you think heíll allow himself to be debated, possible even grilled in front of an audience? No way! Besides, heís still got a lot of alleys and trails to pave before May 20th. There ainít gonna be no rolling in the hole.

Hereís a fun site, Fu*k Peace. Enjoy.

How about a ton of pics of Taylor Kate, the amazing granddaughter? Is anybody getting sick of my kidís kids yet? Sorry, but this is where the scattered family members come to see the latest Gage Andrew pics. These pics were taken by Scottís lifelong friend Wells, who is a photographer and a volunteer firefighter in New York State.

Check this action. We received a Hallmark card via snail mail yesterday from a city politico congratulating us on the arrival of the new addition to the family. See that. I told yĎall. Not all of the politicos are frightened by the very thought of intense public scrutiny. Thanks dude. That was a nifty surprise.

Any serious video gamers out there? Check all of these cheat codes at Underground Online.

I guess yíall saw the story in the Leader about Blue Cross bringing 100 new jobs to the city and might even reoccupy itís vacant building at 70 N. Main street. Thatís good news for the few remaining drowntown eateries. It might even help the few remaining retail outlets just a wee bit. 100 new jobs in the city is good news, but there was one thing that was unique about this story today. Not a single politician was on hand to claim credit for the new jobs coming to the city. Now thatís news! By November weíll forget that fact and one, maybe even a few of them can take credit for the jobs then. The general public has a short memory, heyna?

An e-mail:

******I apologize to any offended with the inaccuracies in my last email to you. Apparently the police chief was on the scene and from what the copper dudes stated, he seemed to do his job flawlessly. Perhaps Chief George could talk to the fire chief and educate him how to properly manage an incident. Take care.******

Check this one out. The Saddam song.

Hereís the latest from The Crown, the student newspaper at Kings College.

Another e-mail:

******Mark,

things are getting weird in the city's two paper media outlets! I can't help thinking that both papers have some misguided belief that our current mayoral buffoon has some chance of winning the primary next month.

To prove my point, lets look at the big story in the Voice this week. You know, the story that alleges our Council persons are serving on boards and authorities illegally. While they were quick to print the mayors gibberish they failed to mention that it is the mayor himself who appoints the members of these organizations, and he can just as easily remove them. In fact, the mayor himself served in this capacity when he was on the Council. And he weaseled his way on to the pension board. Don't you find it odd that the voice omitted these facts?

Next up, it appears that the Times-Leader has given an unofficial endorsement of our chief goof o' what's in charge. After printing numerous articles of the mishandling of every aspect of city government, they are suddenly having a change of heart? I don't get it. But it sure bothers me. Could it be that the movers and shakers know something that we commoners aren't privy to? All the more reason for "we the people" to get off of our fanny's and into the streets in support of Tom Leighton!

Okay. Yep, I'm a `doom sayer' and I smell a conspiracy in the air every time a politician opens his/her mouth. But don't you agree that something's amiss here?******

First of all, The Times Leader city reporter has been on the disabled list lately. This is his report from his web site:

March 25, 2003
No updates for a while: Your correspondent has been felled by a rock that tried to supplant his left eye during a bicycle ride on Saturday on U.S. Route 11 in Plymouth, Pennsylvania. No permanent harm, the doctors say -- as long as a week-long strict bedrest regimen is observed. That means no reading, no computer, and no (WEB SITE). Instead of sending contributions for the ambulance ride and CAT scan, readers should buy themselves a good $50 pair of riding sunglasses instead and save themselves a series of uncomfortable eye exams followed by a lifetime higher risk of glaucoma.

This dude sure can punctuate! Jesus H. Christ! Everybody rags on me now because I loathe bike helmets, now theyíll be nagging me about wearing goggles and possibly even a dust mask! How about an armored jock? So anyway, the Leader dude is MIA. Recently though, The Times Leader has published a few editorials that were scathing in their criticism of the mayor. The Voice also recently published an editorial that was basically challenging voters not to be stupid enough to re-elect him again. Their Sunday editorialist, Paul Kryszicki (spelling?) wrote a couple of pieces that had to have had the mayor beating his dog in anger after reading them.

As far as the beat reporters go, they donít have the luxury of time in many cases. For instance, after a council meeting runs late they have to get the report to print pretty quick. There have been times when the mayor offered up baseless allegations against others that were reported without much background being done, or counterpoint interviews being done. When the mayor falsely claimed that Jim McCarthy was serving minors at the Tavern on the hill, with a bit of digging, it would have been easy to refute those claims by researching the Tavernís history with the Liquor Control Board.

When he yakked on about a city businessman not being a morale man and having a questionable personal life, it would have been easy to interview those who knew him to see if anyone agreed with the mayorís false charges. Yaí got me, I donít know much about being a newspaper reporter, except that they get all of the foxiest babes and free drinks and such. Dream on boys! But when the mayor starts throwing accusations at whoever gets in his way on any particular day, I would like his statements to be challenged a bit more by our news hounds. How about the rest of Wilkes-Barre? What do you think? Should the press just report his allegations or should they be doing more fact checking whenever possible?

Itís kinda quiet right now, but the election rhetoric and mud-slinging should start swelling to a fever pitch soon enough. Letís just scrutinize how the press reacts to the seven years worth of spin that weíll be treated to and any further baseless charges the mayor casts at his two opponents. Iím guessing that heís zeroing in on one particular candidate-our next mayor.

Youíre right though, lets all get off our duffs and support our next mayor.

TLFM!!!

More mess

Gall dern copper dudes!

We made it. Itís Saturday night! Iím doing some Vapors. Later.

TLFM