Now that Hillary and Obama have move on to Indiana and no longer love us, what are we going to do? What are we going to write (complain) about?
For starters, letís cover the 11th Congressional race. I know I reacted somewhat badly when I learned that Coulter Jones of the Citizensí Voice suggested that bloggers do little more then publish press releases, but we need to bring to the fore this ersatz press release from the Kayak Dude camp.
It goes as follows:
For the record:
A certain well-established and very closely-monitored website based in northeastern PA has deftly intimated that I may be a candidate for public office.
Iíll make it official here:
I am currently not seeking, nor do I intend to seek, any public office in my current county of residence or in my current Congressional district.
Okay, so heís spurning the will of the people. Heís spurning the two invigorated people who launched his impromptu write-in campaign against a suddenly vulnerable Paul Kanjorski. We can and will respect his decision. So, in effect, my ďVote the BoatĒ campaign slogan I thunk up all by my lonesome will have to go for not. Near as I can tell, Kanjorski lucked out.
You say you want change? You say we need to go in a new direction? Why not elect a River Rat?
I edited your name for fear that people would question your sanity after reading that e-mail. Just in case you missed it, Iím the blogger that everyone loves to hate. And I have to admit, the more they hate me the more I love it.
By the way, your site is not new to me. And well-written, I might add. Now diversify a little bit, and itíll be even better. Give us some more personal stuff. Like loathing the Dallas Cowboys. Or beating on your kid brother just for kicks. Shooting at the neighborís cats out back. Admitting that Steve Corbett sounds like a chick on most days. Empirical stuff like that.
Wait. Scratch that. Thereís no sense in being brutally honest when all it awards you is further e-mail abuse.
Stay in touch.
Some post-primary thoughts of mine.
As always, Sue Henry spearheaded the election night coverage on WILK radio. And as always, she did a swell job. The show was not only cutting-edge informative, it was fun as well. This year her sidekick was none other than Steve Rodham Corbett, who capably knows his way around the local issues, who knows the Whoís Who of NEPAís politics, but who canít stand anyone but himself being the center of attention for more than a nanosecond or so.
And has been the case the past couple of election cycles, Sue invited local political bloggers to call in to the show at predetermined times. And the past few election go-rounds, both The Yonkster and Gort--two local political bloggers extraordinaire--did as they were invited to do. I think she invited me to call in a time or two a while back, but I rarely call radio talk shows, especially when one of the hosts will go well out of their way to demean me. Oh, and Gort egged me on last November while talking to Sue on election night.
I tangled with Rodham Corbett four times when he was polluting the airwaves on Saturdays, and as always, we got into it simply because he will not allow consenting opinions. Likewise, Kevin Viking Obama and I did serious battle three times, and trust me, Kevin is not the great debater he makes himself out to be. When the talk show host is reduced to shouting at the top of his lungs while sticking to his factually vapid argument, the caller has won the day. No, Tom Leighton is not, nor was he ever a contributor to PoliticsPA.com. Nice try, though, Kevin. And, in review, my name is CÖOÖUÖR! Nice try and all. What could he do other than hang up on me?
You want some of this? Yeah, well, I can be just as antagonistic as any aging hippie turned talk show host. Even more so. Bring it!
Anyway, the end-result of all of those calls was the host being appalled by consenting opinions coming from the strong-willed, and then the call being abruptly terminated. Oh, and my laughing at their most feeble of efforts. The way I see it, I have a perfect record opposing these two radio misfits: 7-0.
Back to those aforementioned bloggers. Gort called Rodham Corbettís show on election eve, and Iím of the opinion that he was treated very gruffly and very shortly by the host. The undeniable point being, Rodham Corbett is always openly antagonistic towards those he knows to be bloggers. He blogs and thatís a magical and enriching experience for those of us not really, really, really smart like him. Oh, but when we non-media types do it, when some of us who practically invented the internet medium do it, oh, thatís to be immediately discouraged, mocked or pooh-poohed at every turn. Rodham Corbett seems to be nagged by some sort of insecurity.
So, the polls closed and the phone lines at WILK reopened. And first up from the local blog scene was the Yonkster. This guy either has a full-blown photographic memory, the tiniest of internet-ready palmtops attached to his wrist, or a staff of 30 researchers ala Rush Limbaugh. Iím not sure which. And when it comes to politics at any level, this guy can wax poetic with the very best of them. He really is talented. And as always, he worked his usual punditry magic with Sue and Rodham Corbett that night, and the multitude of praises did rush forth from both of the hosts.
Next up, Gort. Gort called in and Sue was her gracious self. And, far as I can see, you should be gracious to a caller that you invited. Am I wrong?
But there was a slight problem. You see, Gort is solidly behind Barack Obama. And Rodham Corbett has staked his flagging credibility as a political pundit on the flagging candidacy of his namesake--Hilary Rodham Corbett. And since Rodham Corbett was excitedly wishing for a Clinton blowout, he demanded to know from a disbelieving Gort--a lowlife blogger--what the margin of the impending Clinton victory would be. How much would Hillary win by? A number. Give me a number. How much? A number! And at the tail end of the call, he was doing what he almost always does to bloggers--he was shouting at said blogger. He does his level best to discredit them. And he did this to a guy who was invited via e-mail to call the show. Very nice. Very uncouth. Very unprofessional. Although, ďvery unprofessionalĒ very concisely sums up Steve Rodham Corbettís myopically-challenged efforts on the radio. He is to talk radio, what Charles Manson was to normalcy.
So, on election day, I was left to wonder about why the one local poliblogger received nothing but encouragement and praise, while the other received a noticeably hostile and boisterous treatment, and for the second day in a row, no less. Knowing full-well that if I had called in during this time period, Steve Rodham Corbett would have treated me like I treat termites on most days. Well, we would have tried to. It wouldnít take much effort on my part to get him to blowing his top right before he unceremoniously terminated the call. In fact, it never does.
So, whatís the difference? Why the widely varied approach to the invited bloggers?
And then it hit me.
The Yonkster once did local radio, among other journalistic pursuits. So, to Steve Rodham Clinton, heís not a lowly, sh*t-eating blogger. No, heís a former media professional turned blogger. Ah, I see. Professional courtesy is at work here. When the media types invade our turf, the profundities flow forth like 30-second sound bytes from Reverend Wright. But, when we occasionally invade their rapidly shrinking turf, we are merely cretins sitting around in our underwear, and any racist, homophobe, republican or illiterate redneck can do that. Canít that Democrat-controlled Congress of ours legislate these pajama bloggers back to where they rightfully belong--the trailer park? Stay tuned. Soon enough.
So, Corbett writes some stupid blog post about (insert do-gooder banality here) and weíre all captivated by his unrivaled brilliance. At least, thatís what he mistakenly believes. But if some average guy who didnít practically starve to death while toiling away in the ďpressĒ for many a moon writes pretty much the same thing, thatís to be immediately dismissed out of hand as being the ultimate in buffoonery. No credentials, deserved or not. No cred.
Yet, he reminds us at nearly every turn possible that heís a big proponent of free speech. Yeah, and snails run sprints. Yeah, heís a big proponent of free speech, provided that the discourse isnít coming from any lowlife slug who writes on the internet. And heís a big proponent of free speech, provided that the oft-stuttered utterances mirror his own half-witted tomfoolery without the slightest imperfection.
So, why donít they invite me to do local talk radio anymore? And why I did I ignore the invites back when they still bothered to invite me? Because I know that, in their heart of darkened left-leaning hearts, they really donít want me to call in. They donít. And thatís because they donít want to be challenged, they donít want to have to deal with those who could become argumentative, they donít want to be shouted back at, they donít want to be upstaged and they certainly donĎt want to give the mistaken impression that bloggers deserve any credit at all.
In conclusion, when they say it, itís deep. And when we say it, itís deep do-do. Deep, deep do-do, sez the deep do-do do-gooder.
But, as is always the case, they canít hang up on me in this forum.
"If you experience an Obama election/erection lasting more than 4 weeks, seek immediate help!"
Outstanding, man. Had me chuckling out loud, you did. Judging by his nonstop Obama infomercial of a show of late, he needs more than immediate medical help. Perhaps an amputation would make more sense. Yep, they could shave his groin and then remove that one hair that bleeds.
Boy oh boy, he suuuurrrreloves his Obama, doesnít he? It borders on embarrassing at times. Almost homoerotic. Yuk.
Ah, but what should we expect from that generation, always hoping to relive some small aspect of the 60s all over again. Obama as messiah, another RFK. The antiwar undercurrent. The troubling move to recreate the 1968 Democratic convention. Jeez, if only we could plow under a few acres of fertile farmland and attract a bunch of overrated stars to put on a concert, while we get drunk, good and drugged, naked and then roll around in the mud with complete strangers for three days. Yeah, these are the very same people, near grown up now, telling us how the world should be run.
Yes. Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.
Unfortunately, I had to work yesterday. Although, I was done by 1 PM. Truth be told, it absolutely pains me to work on the weekends. I mean, Iím big boy and I understand the necessity of it all. But still, it pains me to no end. Argh!
So, after making my return from Beaver Meadows, Zach and Jeremy and myself climbed aboard the elongated Rock Stomper and we headed for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Kirby Park. Feeling kind of fatigued after babysitting the two of them for a whole day, Wifey chose to sit this one out.
The following headline caught my eye early this morning:
The Voice story goes on to tell us that this yearsí installment of the festival included foodstuffs from The Mount Zion Baptist Church, as well as some Latino dance troupes. And being that the Wilkes-Barre Police Department correctly discourages the riding of bicycles down the length of the crowded main concourse, I missed the ďSouthern-style plattersĒ and the like. Plus, being flanked by two male toddlers, I doubt they would have been captivated by dancing of any sort. So I missed that, too.
Still, I think that Voice story came up just a tad short whereas exploring the expanded diversity of this yearís event is concerned.
I was standing at the booth manned by the local Guardian Angels outfit, which is defiantly a new addition to not only the festival, but the entire area as well. And as I was gabbing away with the local Angel honcho, Scott Koppenhofer, a group of Keystone State Skinheads came sauntering on by. A motley-looking crew for sure. Gangly, scrawny, pierced, heavily-tattooed and ridiculous-looking as well. Kind of like a biker gang that cannot afford the bikes. Like a group that will never rise to the upper ranks of corporate America. Like a group that will never be accused of over-achieving. The good news is, no mater how completely they underperform in life, they can blame their various and sundry many shortcomings on minorities.
Suddenly, I can understand the appeal of these hate groups. Itís not my fault. Itís their fault. Them over there. Get Ďem. Future card-carrying teat state socialists, Iím assuming. Democrats.
Anyway, standing there flanked by Guardian Angels while the purposely scruffy skinheads moseyed on by had the feel of a rumble about ready to break out. Whereís Matt Dillon when you need him? Not that anyone did or said anything to suggest that a rumble was afoot. It just had this weird feeling of two diametrically opposed groups showing their colors right in front of each other. And if, by chance, the fur did get to flying, I would have had the backs of the Angels.
Moreover, these are the same people defacing public property well after dark. Yet, they strut around like Hellís Angels by the light of day. If you were trying to make a case for aggravated assault being not only legal, but completely justified in some isolated cases, these people could be the basis of your legal argument. Whatever. It takes all kinds. Thatís what they told us growing up. It takes all kinds. Yeah, it takes all kinds to thoroughly funk things up. But thatís a whole other sore subject.
Trust me on this one. Itís damn near impossible to teach a four-year-old how to ďskipĒ rocks across the top of a pond. Plus, if I may complain here, Kirby Park is almost completely devoid of throw able rocks. And, boysÖrocks, itís a no-brainer. We need more rocks in that park. I guess Iíll have to take that up with my city council type.
We snagged an iced tea, some chicken fries, traditional French fries. Chilled for a bit and then it was off towards Public Square. All of my grandkids love frolicking away on the square, but for vastly different reasons than those I had for loving the square when I was a little kid. Then again, despite the different retail experience, itís still this hub that lacks not for activity. And they love it. The pedestrian traffic, the bench mongers, the traffic circling around, the pigeons, the cops lurking nearby, the fountain that sometimes doubles as a beach and the light lunches they associate with arriving at the squareís epicenter. It may not be what it once was. But in some respects, it is still exactly what it always has been: this townís center.
Being the typically spoiled American kid that he is, Zach upped and announced that he wanted to go buy some movies. Really? Just like that? And using Pop Popís wallet, I suppose. So, we wandered into Musical Energi is search of monster movies. It took us a while, but we settled on Ďthe rocket ship to another planetí flick. And the Ďthey came here to invade us by using our bodiesí flick. Zach wants monsters, aliens, blood, gore and little else. Twisted little freak. Takes after his grandfather.
So, we saddled up all over again, and then headed north towards the modest adobe. East on Union, north on Washington Street. And as we turned north onto Washington, the scanner lit up with news that an ambulance crew was requesting police assistance with a rowdy male. Not the usual call, mind you.
And as the sirens fired-up and got louder and louder in a big hurry, it also came over the airwaves that the guy in question was headed right for us. And as we passed the former Knellys Market, there he was just up ahead, in the dirt lot where the Kings students park. We stopped at the curb just south of Valley Seafood as he turned onto the sidewalk headed for town, a police car zoomed up from behind him in the lot, a police car turned down Washington headed right for us, and as four kids walking along were within feet of the guy.
The police car stopped right in front of us and blocked the left lane. And the police officer that hopped out started yelling at the guy to stop. He wouldnít. The cop yelled again. The guy ignored him again. And just a soon as the cop caught up with him, he immediately resisted. And just as soon as he resisted, he found himself being brought to the ground face-first through a narrow row of hedges. Ouch. At that moment, one of those four passersby let out with a surprised, disbelieving cry of, ďFu>k.ď
And before I could even blink, the first cop had him pinned, while the second cop was lambasting him with a steel baton. Awesome! At this point, neither Zach, nor Jeremy uttered a sound, as their gazes were totally transfixed on this real-life episode of COPS playing out right in front of them. And the more the guy resisted, the more he got lambasted away on. Until, finally, he was cuffed and totally immobilized.
As the ambulance crew was about to reengage a second time, we repositioned the elongated Rock Stomper across the street so as to not be in the way. And thatís when Zach started babbling about ďbeing a good boyĒ and about not wanting to go to jail. Funny as all hell. All we wanted was a trip to the park, perhaps a hoddog or two, and we got a free jolt of ďScared StraightĒ on the way home. Cool.
The cop that made the tackle was barking at the guy about how none of this was necessary, how he needed to heed to his commands and something about how he canít be misbehaving with kids around. As for me, I donít care if people get hurt, as long as the right people get hurt. And in this case, the right people got hurt. Whatever.
I canít imagine what itís like to be as young as these two boys are and then witness a couple of cops putting it to some guy. But I made them privy to the fact that he got what he wanted. And I made them privy to the fact that bad things can and do happen to people that act badly within armís reach of the police. Zach understood. As per usual, Jeremy grunted.
I missed the original call for the medics, so I have no idea what was wrong with this guy when the entire needless affair first got started. But he was bleeding all over the freaking place, and a fire engine had to be called in to hose away the puddles of blood. Oh, and the call (10-35) for the paddy wagon went out. While some would probably be shocked by witnessing just such an event, Iím a realist, a pragmatist if you will, and see it as little more than free entertainment. And I also see it as proof that with higher municipal taxes comes enhanced vital services.
Nuisance crimes aside, when we need a cop in this town, that cop gets here quickly. And when an unattended to pot of canned raviolis goes rogue and a raging structure fire might be but minutes away, our fire department is on scene within four to five minutes. And while the suburbs may be more bucolic and may offer lower taxes, the response times for emergency services in those communities will never be what they are here in Wilkes-Barre: Outstanding. Never.
So, a guy acts up. A guy resists. And inside two minutes of the original call for help, heís in custody and on his way to the hoosegow. And I ask you, whatís not to like?
And while weíre on the subject of policing, I will be riding along with a member of the Wilkes-Barre Police Department this coming Saturday night. Uh, I hope not to see you out there. So be good little boys and girls (lib talk show hosts).