7.86 inches

Then the whole 'Mission Accomplished' thing?  The mission was to get rid of Saddam Hussein.  Mission Accomplished.  But ... the President never said "mission accomplished."  I'm sure that disappoints the bedwetters, but he never said it.  What they're referring to was a banner hung up by the Navy, not the president or his staff.--Neal Boortz

But that doesn't stop the motivated legion of apparent numbskulls from writing letters to the editors of our local papers mistakenly mocking Bush for supposedly having uttered those words and then pointing out how many of our soldiers have fallen since he supposedly uttered them.

My point? Bush lied.

The most frequently repeated charge leveled against Bush by the form letter writers to the newspapers is that Bush lied about the necessity to invade Iraq.

If they had even a gram of objectiveness within their thick skulls, they'd quickly realize how stupid that baseless accusation sounds. With the intense media scrutiny being what it is for any Republican office holder, how could a Republican president tell a whopper of a lie that enormous in scope and expect to get away with telling it for very long? Think about it. Go ahead, try it. It won't hurt.

Bush made a bold decision based on the intelligence data he was privy to.

My point? Bush lied.

And then there's this judge who interceded on behalf of the Associated Press giving the Pentagon one week to cough up all of Bush's National Guard records, or else. Bush signed Form 180 a long, long, long time ago which authorized the release of all of his miitary records. He basically waived his right to any privacy as it might relate to his military days. Still, the "objective" press relentlessly pursues yet another smoking gun lead, while the all too numerous conspiracy theorists spin further and further away from reality.

Then there's the other side of the Vietnam redux fence. Tons of really legitimate questions about John Kerry's frequent boasts of Vietnam derring-do have been raised, but the press seems completely disinterested in investigating those fair questions. How could a guy win a Purple Heart seemingly every nine hours without ever missing any trigger time at all for medical attention? What did the field medics do? Kiss his boo-boos?

There are other meritorious questions that have been raised about Kerry's oft-repeated but hotly disputed tales from the river, but you get my point. John Kerry has refused to sign a Form 180, yet he claims that all of his military records are available for viewing at his campaign web site. A claim that the U.S. military itself has already publicly debunked. Ouch!

Why hasn't the Associated Press approached a judge about turning the Pentagon upside down until all of John Kerry's military records come wafting down to the ground? Where is Dan Rather's usual pithy blather while getting to the thirty year-old truth is rumored to be so damned important? Oh, silly me. The Freedom of Information Act, when invoked by the "objective" press, is not bloody likely to produce many amateurish forgeries.

Bush signed Form 180. Kerry steadfastly refuses to do so to this very day.

My point? Bush lied.

Every single morning, those factually-challenged "Bush lied" letters purported to be from informed voters (?) appear in both of our local newspapers. And every single morning, after reading the same tired talking points worded a different way, I wonder if these people still have too much red dye in their diets. I seem to recall that the federal government long ago banned the use of certain cancer-causing red dyes in our foodstuffs, but maybe Bush, Cheney and Halliburton have together conspired to repeal that ban by issuing a top secret executive order.

My point? Bush lied.

See how easy that was? Bush lied. Again, Bush lied. Repeat that over and over and over again. And before very long...you'll believe it too.

Iffin' you're especially dimwitted and easily led.

Agnes ain't got nuthin'...

..on Ivan.

All safe? Why, sure we are. Exceptin' for them mostly good folks in Brookside, we don't do much roaring water here in the nordern extremes of this city. Well, we did get about twenty gallons of water in the basement, which is the most I've ever gazed upon, but it's not like my ancient Tom Leighton-Mayor sign floated away into the Chesapeake Bay.

Speaking of Leighton, he appeared on the Sue Henry Show this morning and after listening to him tell it; it sounds like he handled things very well this past weekend. Hey! At least he didn't try to hold back the flood waters with a forklift, or anything. What a difference eight years makes, heyna? Picture McFlood this past weekend:

"J.J.! Call Stewart Air Force Base and have them launch the Alert-5! Get the emergency command trailer! Get the Radio Shack truck! Get somebody up to WPUU and have them tell the residents to run like hell! Launch the hovercraft! Whadda ya' mean it's still out of service? The check f**king bounced? SSSSSSShhh! Don't tell those council bastards. Okay, forget the hover. Call the garage and get me a forklift, pronto! What? That's broken too? Repair calls are COD only? F**k!!! Where's those f**king sandbags? How can you fight the flood without f**king sandbags? All right. You! Jump in that loader and build a dike across Barney Street with the clutter piles. You! Call Januzzis and have them deliver 50 pizzas to the command bunker. What? They know I'm f**king good for it! Tell 'em I'll take it from the theater funds! Al? Al? Where the f**k is..."

By the way, I tried to tune in to WPUU (Stinky 1610) on Saturday morning and I could not locate the signal to save my three-legged newt's life. Oh, well. Maybe next disaster.

Sue Henry asked Leighton about his past experience with dealing with floods and he calmly replied: "Well, this was my first flood as mayor, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express Friday night."

I had work in the morning, so I turned in at 12:30 am Saturday morning. But not before telling wifey that I would have stayed up all night and ventured out on the Stomper if I had been off in the morning. After watching the rain pour down for hours on end, I kinda figured the sh*t was due to hit the fan sometime during the overnight. And hit it did. When I awoke at 5:00 am, I switched on the desktop scanner and the radio traffic was already heavy. County EMA, hose dudes, copper dudes, even the mayor himself. I decided to drive the truck to work so as not to drown on my way, and major streets were being closed all over the city. Kidder, Blackman, Coal and the Boulevard. It was nuts.

Due to a sudden change of plans once at work, I ended up spending three hours in Mountaintop. It was nuts up there too. Going up Route 309 was akin to driving the length of a raging brook, sans the crayfish. And all of the water rushing underfoot was headed straight for Wilkes-Barre. Gulp. As if we needed more at that point.

I finished up on the mountain at 11:OO am and the rain had pretty much peetered out. Although, it was as if a cyclone had hit up there. The winds were gusting like all hell. I pushed some dummy's imported car from the middle of a flooded intersection after it stalled in deep water. What part of "Don't drive your car through flash floods" is so impossible to understand? I swear, the next time I turn on the video advertising box and hear of some "poor" woman who was swept away and drowned in her Ford Dorkus, I'm gonna burst out laughing. Freakin' dunce!

I hit the adobe at noon, threw on a pair of shorts and headed out for a tour on the Stomper. I heard the EMA folks talking about an expected river crest of approximately 35-36 feet or thereabouts, so I knew that the barriers were going to be erected at the bridge. I watched that operation for a spell and then headed due south towards the Barney Street area. It was about what I expected. Flooded streets, stranded cars (more freakin' dunces), cops, firemen, national guard types, media folks, all sorts of curious onlookers and some seriously screwed up traffic. In all honesty, it'd probably be much more exciting to watch two ninety-five year-olds duke it out over some babe in her eighties. But what do I know? I'm rude.

After a full circle of that area, I headed home to beat the grandkids for the rest of the day. At 8:30 pm, I headed out on the Stomper again. I swung through the Square only to find some lunatic barking all sorts of nasty language my way. Got me! Maybe he was ganged-raped as a boy by a slew of drunken Schwinn 10-speeds. I politely suggested that he engage in a very specfic homosexual activity and he flew into a further form of dementia. I was very pleased with that development and pedaled onward. On most days, I am easily amused.

The bridge was now completely barricaded as the river approached 34.5 feet. Two sheriffs manned that spot. We shared a few words and I wandered back towards South Wilkes-Barre. It was quiet and the water had receded quite a bit. Excepting for some copper dudes and national guard troops keeping an eye on things, it was dead. I headed for fire headquarters to catch the scoop on the crazy night before.

Without going into great detail, let's just say they had themselves one whopper of a shift. And I understand how interesting it can be to back large vehicles down tight streets while relying on side mirrors only in a torrential downpour. Your visibility can be severely limited. Ask the dude who owns the Castle Inn in Dallas about that. I was caught behind that place once in a storm so severe that my mirrors were useless and I was forced to back out relying only on my best guess. As you might have suspected, my best guess was off a tad. Well, a bit more than a tad. Not to worry though, Bevaco gladly replaced the side steps that previous to that day, led to the restaurant's second floor. Oops! Bummer. The dreaded "cost of doing business" again.

Talk about freakin' digressing.

Anymuck, the hose dudes had their hands full as did plenty of other city employees and residents that night, and nobody got hurt, or worse. And that's about all we can ask for when raging torrents come a calling. In the grand scheme of things, the little-used sh*t in your basement doesn't mean a damn thing compared to the safety of your family and such. Sure, it must totally suck to lose thirty years worth of neatly displayed Playboy Magazines, but whatcha gonna do? Why anguish over pretty places you'll never get to visit anyway?

After following the action on the scanner, surveying the scene for myself, listening to the hose dudes exploits and then listening to the mayor's blow-by-blow accounts on WILK; it sounds as if things went about as well as we could have hoped for under the rather wet circumstances. Try as he might, Ivan did not destroy all of Wilkes-Barre. But judging by the river's eventual crest level, he came closer than we could have imagined possible.

And me? I got some more exercise, some really cool pics and a new double CD at Joe Nardones. Ain't no hurricane gonna wreak havoc with my usual routine. I live in the normally hurricane-proof Nord End. The folks residing in the vicinity of the often water-swollen Solomon Creek should consider joining me up here.

Funny though, I wandered out early for a Nord End walkabout on Sunday morning, and there was nary a hint that anything of note had recently transpired in good ole Wilkes-Barre. It was more of the same old/same old. Mexicans kids lighting fire cracker after fire cracker. Pit bulls out for a stroll all by their lonesome. And cars flying by at 50 miles per hour.

Your typical Sunday morning.

Sector Dude...

...I gotta weigh in on these CAFE standards.

They wouldn't mean a thing if folks would significantly shorten the commute to work, or consider an alternative to their expensive automobiles.

Here's my program:


3,000 miles on the Stomper
$0 spent on bike repairs
$17 spent on gasoline


2,632 miles on the Stomper (so far)
$1.06 spent on bike repairs (one specialized bolt)
$32 dollars spent on gasoline

My program may be a bit too extreme for most folks, but it sure works for me.

Plus, no money spent on Atkins diets, lo-cal or lo-fat products. No need to read the list of ingredients, the calories, or the grams of fat listed on the labels. No expensive diet fads. No "tummy buster" workout machine rip-offs. And no belts that could wrap around the Earth's equator once or twice.

How about this scenario. How much sense does it make to get up in the morning, drive to the expensive local gym for a workout, drive back home, take a shower and then head off to work, all the while carping about the higher prices of gasoline?

And most folks think I'm whacked? Au contraire. Right back at 'em. I think the every day habits of the normal folks are even more whacky. They waste some of every thing they pay so dearly to consume, bitch about the high cost of doing so, and then spend even more money to attempt to ward off the inescapable weight gain that most will surely endure. And I'm whacked?

Forget this Friday's on Franklin...

...hobbknobbing. If you wanna piece of the real action, check out the 'Bustin' a Cap on Butler' that goes on after dark on Butler Street virtally every night of the week. Do any of these barely under control hordes of kids have parents? I know the cops are stretched kinda thin these days, but this open air crudefest needs to reigned in and then some.

Avoid that area after dark unless you are carrying an equilizer of sorts on your person.

How 'bout them Giants?

They sure surprised the hell out of me after last week's humiliating debacle in Philthy-Dumpia. But...my son said all week long, with confidence, that they would defeat Joe Gibbs' Washington Redscums. Go figure. If Kurt Warner keeps playing the way he's playing, he has a legitimate shot at the Campbell's Soup Hall of Fame. We shall see.

Next up: The Cleveland Brownies.

Gotta go. I wanna watch the Philthy-dumpia/Mini-sota game. The big question is which linebacker posing as a quarterback will pile up the most rushing yards. Oh, and which Eagle will deliver the most crushing late hit. Hmmm.

Check this e-mail:

*******Happy Birthday Mark!

We hope you have a great day.

From your friends at WILK*******

At least somebody still loves, er, tolerates me.