4-24-2003 To sin by silence...

Never forget what a man says to you when he is angry.--Henry Ward Beecher

This afternoon I got to wondering where all the terrorists have been hiding lately. As the U.S. military was pouring into Iraq for months and polishing their bayonets, al Qaeda sent the world a few more dubious messages, purported to be from Osama Bin Buried himself. We were put on notice that if we mucked about with any Muslim nation there would be severe repercussions. We were told there would be hell to pay. As it turns out, a funny thing happened on the way to the Casbah. Nothing. Nothing happened. What the heck happened to the holiest of the holy warriors? They crushed the British invaders a while back. The made mincemeat of the Russian military on their soil. What’s so different about the United States and it’s military? When provoked, we’re the bull. As my next door neighbor used to be so fond of saying “If you mess with the bull, you get the horns.”

When the peaceful loonies flew those planes into our buildings, they completely angered an American President and his resolve has been rock solid ever since that sunny September morning. What they managed to pull off that day was remarkable, but what George W. Bush has managed to pull off since is nothing short of amazing. If you remember correctly, the press was offering us terrorist nightmare scenarios faster than Tom McGroarty can say “It’s all politics.” Yet, during the year and a half since that awful day, the terrorists have been literally running for their lives and many have been incarcerated worldwide. Basically, G W was determined to make sure that 9/11 would never again be played out on his watch. He has succeeded and then some.

I’m not basing that opinion on the fact that a toxic agent never found it’s way to a shopping mall near you, or the fact that the Brooklyn Bridge was never destroyed during rush hour. Those acts could probably be accomplished despite our massive mobilization to prevent such acts. I’m basing that on the fact that the countries that are on the short list of the State Department’s countries sponsoring terrorism list are suddenly interested in an honest dialog with the United States. The phony tough guys of the world are beginning to realize that this President is not a one world government mole as the last one was and they are suddenly less interested in threatening the United States and it’s interests abroad. The Paper Tiger has awoken and with a President who fervorently defends the sovereignty of this country in charge of things, the tyrants of the world are beginning to reevaluate their priorities. For countries such as North Korea, Syria and Iran it is decision time. Should they continue to tempt this bull we Call G W, or should they decide that playing nice in the world community sure beats getting the horns?

Gee, I’m not sure. Maybe we should consult the foreign policy experts, The Dixie Twits. Let’s see here, they repeat four neck chords over and over, sing about drunkards from trailer parks and then expect us to believe that they are the world’s most sought after geopolitical think tank. LOFL! As Frank Zappa once said “Take your medications and your preparations and ram ‘em up your snout!”

Check this out. This is the very first e-mail I have ever received that comments on the numerous quotes I have posted on the site:


I have to say that your opening quote on the page today (4/23/03) was the best one to date. I really do enjoy the quotes. I often wish that I could be so insightful with my thoughts and words. I'm not sure who said it, but this one I have tacked to the cork board.......Power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely. It kind of puts things around here in perspective, now doesn't it? Talk to you later.******

It sure does and Thucydides never envisioned a place called Wilkes-Barre and it’s ruthless dictator.

Here’s one of my favorites. It never really meant much to me until Wilkes-Barre became an intolerable third world country of sorts:

"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men."--Abraham Lincoln

I will admit that I am already completely sickened by this Henry Stubbs trial. Everybody that isn’t deceased knows the scurf is guilty, but we have to endure his attorney badgering our copper dudes and hose dudes over their attire when they entered that horror show of a half double. As long as I live, I will never forget hearing that scanner call. I remember it word for word. I remember hearing the words “cold, blue and stiff” as the paramedics got the call to roll to the scene. The original call was for a thirty-something female. Then 911 updated the first responders, “A child hanged in the basement.“ I stopped what I was doing and I just stared at the scanner. Then I heard the voice of the paramedic at the scene desperately requesting that the police get there ASAP back when we were still suffering through the “Doing more with less“ approach to law enforcement. I have never heard that weird urgency in any scanner voice before or since that call. The voice was that of someone who was struggling with what he was confronted with. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was listening to, but I knew that it was something ghoulish. As it turned out, it was worst than I could have ever imagined.

Check this e-mail from a Wilkes-Barre “Copper Dude.” I wasn’t there that night, but I was horrified by what I heard. He was there:

******Hey Mark, it's been a while since I've written. Things have been crazy here. The main reason for this email really is to vent. I have to say, I've been a cop for over 11 years, I was present on Stark St. the night the bodies were discovered. Words can't describe how I felt. It's one thing when an adult dies, but when it's a 6 year old little girl. Now the papers are going on about the video tape and pictures the jury was shown, it just stirs up some bad memories for me, and I'm sure other officers and medics that were there. I have to say, I'm sitting here a little choked up. I met the husband a few nights after the incident and when I spoke to him to give my condolences, I broke down and cried. I was working at the time but it didn't matter. I think people have this impression about police that we are cold heartless people. The truth of the matter is, police as well as medics and firemen are regular people with an irregular career. We may be desensitized to some point, but we are people like everyone else. I don't think that the press should be so graphic in their reporting about this or any other story of this type. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some type of prude, but they should realize that the victims families will be reading these stories, and I don't think they should have to be reminded of what happened to their loved ones. I can see the reason for the Jury to see the pictures and video, they are the ones that have the job of convicting the accused, but the general public really does not need to know the graphic details.

I can go on and on, but I know you have lots of mail to go through. Thanks for listening. Feel free to post this if you want.

On a lighter note, I have 2 mountain bikes here that I don't use, I thought you may be interested in them. They need a little TLC but are in decent shape. I want to get about $0 for them, maybe a cold beer in the summer. Let me know if you are interested, otherwise I'll just get rid of them. I don't have much time for riding anymore. You have my Email address. I can even deliver them.******

Dude, if I actually saw that little girl hanging from the pipes in that basement, I seriously doubt that I would be interested in responding to many more 911 calls. Just hearing that call on the scanner had me wishing that I could cry. I realize that you boys and girls in polyester blue/black confront the worst that the world has to offer at times and I’m completely appreciative of your efforts. In less than a month, those of you in the less than comfortable attire will have a mayor in waiting that will reject the foolhardy “Doing more with less” approach to law and order and will give those of you on the dangerous and unsettling front lines the resources and the manpower necessary to chase the Henry Stubbs of the world back to from where they came.

I agree. The details in the paper are awful. I can’t even imagine reading that stuff if it applied to my family. I hope that it never does. And, on a lighter note, free mountain bikes? While I’m excited by the very mention of them, I am already wondering if I could turn my back on the most loyal and dependable companion I have ever known excepting wifey-the aging Huffy.

Are the Hoi Polloi pissed? You decide. Another e-mail:

******Hi Mark , How are you? Hope you are all doing good. Well they started milling XXXX Street today. what a bunch of assh*les, I stood out on my crater filled alley and just shook my head at them, I was hoping to see McBast*rd out there, but no luck, I'm sure he'll make his way up here when they pave, I think I will have a little debate with the prick. Once again my blood pressure is up after reading about the administrator wanting names of employees with Leighton signs out, well I got news for the assh*le I not only have one but two outside in front of my house and all the cronies know exactly who lives in this house being though we are the only house on this end of XXXX XXXX (that's why it isn't being paved). At this point I would love for one of them to say or even try to do something, I have PMS and I'm ready to rock and roll lol, well I think I have vented enough sorry about that, are you going to the next Leighton meeting? We plan on going, I missed the last one due to all the running around with the kids so I am looking forward to going there, okay well I'll go for now, take care and have fun with the little ones this weekend, talk to you soon, (name deleted due to the retribution city employees face for fully embracing democracy)******

Another e-mail that states only facts:

****** 1st. Lets Remember that Virgil Argenta's Brother was hired in late December, by the mayor before the DPW contract changed. So he got the better benefits (Hiring him a few days later would have saved the city money).

2nd I remember the mayor saying that a lot of snow means less money to pave streets. I guess that only is for non-election years.

3rd. The ISO is in town. I hope they get him for fraud with this act.

Thanks XXXXXXXXXXX******

You are correct sir. The mayor doesn’t do anything without first considering how it will benefit him in the long run. He hired Dean when hiring new DPW workers made no sense (four days before the new DPW contract kicked in) and he awarded the refueling rights of the embarrassing gas-powered temporary lights in our drowntown to Dean’s brother. Dean’s brother is usually seen at city hall hanging out with Fran, the “special events guru” as she checks her retirement investments online at taxpayer expense. Our next mayor will align himself with the folks that can help to turn Wilkes-Barre around. What a refreshing change that is going to be.

“It’s all politics” is going to soon be replaced by ‘Progress, not politics.’

I gotta go. I’m beat. I’ll leave you with some pics.

The Boulevard Again

Hmmm. We should do that

We can‘t even pave Coal St. correctly

You tell me man!

Sorry, but I have to cut this thing short. Some of us not involved with government actually work hard for a living and I am extremely tired.

Talk to ya’ tomorrow.