5-9-2005 Intemperate musings

The man's father is a wonderful human being. I think this guy is a loser. I think President Bush is doing a bad job.--Nevada Senator Harry Reid

It seems that Truck 6 is on the eBay selling block. $8,000? That's it? Amazing. These vehicles are so expensive to acquire, but when put out of commission, they turn out to be less valuable than my Bazooka comics collection. Whatever, man.


(???) Who wrote that? One of our taxpayer activists?

Funny, I thought we retired Truck 6 because we acquired Ladder 1 at a cost of $450,000, or somewhere thereabouts.

Ladder 1

Who knows.

Having a smoking section in a restaurant is about as effective as having a pee section in a swimming pool.--Belinda, Neal Boortz' on air sidekick

Welcome to the Coal Street pool. Party of four? Peeing, or non-peeing?

This is a f>cking hoot. I snagged this scattershot diatribe from BarbaraStreisand.com. You know, she ought to stick to making sh*tty movies and covering other artists songs.

A Country Controlled by Fear ...Barbra Streisand Posted on April 28, 2005

America was profoundly changed after the September 11 attacks. We went from a country motivated by hope to a country controlled by fear. For the last several years, feeling neither safe nor secure, Americans have lived in extreme anxiety of another impending terrorist attack. I think that as a result, most Americans sought out their faith and reaffirmed their conviction in God. President Bush and the Religious Right's greatest political weapon has been perpetuating fear. Because of the heightened climate of anxiety coupled with religious fervor, they have been successful in stripping Americans of their personal freedoms, suppressing dissent and winning elections based on moral values. I also think the unfathomable fear of being a victim of another terrorist attack has allowed for the crumbling of the wall between church and state, which is a vital part of our historical, legal and political heritage. By allowing personal religious beliefs to infiltrate our political framework, we have enabled this administration to wage a war on women's reproductive rights, squelch scientific advancement, take away our freedom of speech and fill important positions within government and possibly the nation's highest courts with religious extremists. We must not let fear cripple our democracy.

Bush's actions to manipulate the country using fear remind me of Franklin D. Roosevelt's brilliant quote "there is nothing to fear but fear itself." The Bush administration, capitalizing on the horror of 9/11, had the perfect opportunity to wage a war under false pretenses and four years after 9/11, get away with failing to properly secure our borders, ports, airplanes and nuclear power plants. I have written before how this administration could have and should have prevented 9/11 by not ignoring all the threats we were given, or even by beefing up airline cockpit doors. The U.S. continues to be isolated from the international community and thousands of young American soldiers have senselessly been killed and injured. Despite all of the Administration's mistakes and shortcomings, Bush was re-elected by the American people (regardless of the many accounts of possible voter fraud). People are unable to recognize they are being manipulated when they are paralyzed by fear because their government is constantly reminding them of an impending terrorist attack. During the 2004 election, every time John Kerry's poll numbers elevated, the government announced a new terror alert and people were once again forced to face the orange color code. The administration has spent more time trying to keep the people frightened, rather than focusing on securing our country. Only last week were lighters banned from airplanes, yet it has been a full 3 * years since "Richard Reed" tried to light his shoe bomb on fire with a match, while aboard an American Airlines flight to Miami. Even though lighters are now banned, matches are still permissible on airplanes. This is merely one example among many of how slow the Bush administration has reacted when presented with an opportunity to make Americans more secure. President Bush continues to maintain that he is doing everything in his power to make America safer. Thus far most of the country continues to accept this fallacy. Bush's actions remind me of Herman Goering's quote during the Nuremberg Trials, where he stated: "...it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders...all you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism..."

And there it is. How utterly imbecilic and completely predictable. You're either a democrat...or you're a Nazi. And they wonder why their party is in decline. Ooops! I shouldn't have typed that. Know what that means? I'm a Nazi, too!!!

Your identification papers, please.

I spent a couple of hours reading the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions web site last night.

As we already know, this is the outfit that wants to save alcoholic folks from their dastardly ways by opening a mission right next to a pizza shop that stocks copious amounts of take-out beers. That oughta work, no? Who knows, maybe that's a part of the ten-step program to sobriety. To always have Utica Club forty-ouncers within arms reach. No one would ever give into the temptation that would never be out of sight, yeah?

Check out the list of accomplishments from that web site:

Introducing the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions

Rescue missions comprise the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, formerly the International Union of Gospel Missions (IUGM), which was founded in 1913. As measured by annual revenue, the 294 Association member RESCUE missions would be the sixth largest nonprofit organization in the United States.

RESCUE missions provide emergency food and shelter, youth and family services, rehabilitation programs for the addicted, education and job training programs and assistance to the elderly poor and at-risk youth.

While the Great Thanksgiving Banquet is the largest coordinated single event of the year, it’s just one day of the year. In 2001, RESCUE missions:

·Served 33 million meals (the approximate population of California).

·Distributed more than 24 million pieces of clothing.

·Provided 12 million nights of lodging.

·Graduated more than 12,000 homeless men and women into productive living.

·Provided more than 155,000 medical and dental services for the poor.

·Provided more than 210,000 families with 735,000 items of furniture.

·Provided services and residential care to more than 40,000 homeless mentally ill.

·Conducted more than 720,000 counseling sessions.

·Welcomed 220,000 volunteers.

Is it me, or is this nothing more than a duplication of services that are heretofore readily available in this city? This outfit will be providing little more than competition to the existing charitable outfits already dotting much of our city's landscape. They say competition makes us sharper, but not while we're trying to change the unfair perception many of our neighboring communities have of this city as being home to a collection of drooling and snarling losers.

Consider this snippet from the Heidi Ruckno penned Voice story Shelter for homeless proposal hit by Wilkes-Barre residents

As word spread, the proposed shelter became the dominant topic of neighborhood conversation, the couple said, and residents plan to voice their disapproval at the zoning hearing.

Joining them will be Vince Kabacinski, executive director of VISION!, which helps house area homeless in rotating shelters. Like Luongo, he is concerned because he knows very little about the ministry.

Kabacinski feels there are more than enough services available for the homeless. He wonders if another shelter can offer anything that isn't being offered elsewhere.
"Is this going to be a different version of soup and salvation?" he asked. "Is this going to be a place where we're going to wind up with people coming in from different areas?"

He wonders if another shelter can offer anything that isn't being offered elsewhere.

Well, duh. It's a duplication of services, and the out-of-state ministry folks seek to help the less fortunate smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood that has had it's share of lawlessness of late.

To put it very bluntly, Vince from VISION! will fight against the zoning variances only as a completely self-centered act. He simply doesn't want to share his piece of the local donations pie. His outfit is the charitable version of McDonalds as compared to the invading charitable Hardees. But this isn't about generating sales. This is all about securing donations and, or grants to continue one's own employment as a "selfless" do-gooder.

Somebody ought to tell those zoning board folks to spend one week camped out across the street from the soup kitchen. And at the conclusion of said week, they should be asked one painfully simple question. Ready?

Would you want that sitting directly across the street from your home?

I know I wouldn't.

Give this PA DEP press release a read. I know it can't happen to you, but read it anyway.

Department of Environmental Protection
Northeast Regional Office
2 Public Square
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711-0790


Mark Carmon Phone: 570-826-2511
Ron Ruman
Phone: 717-787-1323


WILKES-BARRE: In response to recent heavy rains, treatments to control large populations of mosquito larvae will be conducted in Luzerne County, where sampling has shown increased levels of mosquito production involving species that potentially can carry the West Nile virus, Environmental Protection Northeast Regional Director Michael Bedrin said.

Weather conditions permitting, treatment operations will be conducted during daylight hours on Tuesday, April 19 along the Susquehanna River in Plymouth, Kingston and Exeter townships and West Wyoming and Plymouth boroughs. Treatment operations should end by dusk that day.

Helicopter Applicators Inc. of Gettysburg, Adams County, will conduct aerial treatment operations using a Bell 206 helicopter. The company will use Bti, a naturally occurring bacteria that kills mosquito larvae but is safe for people, pets and plants, at a rate of 5 pounds per acre.

“DEP and its county partners have been working hard on an aggressive mosquito surveillance and control program to help us contain the virus in Pennsylvania,” Bedrin said. “The department has learned a great deal from its five years of running the West Nile Virus Control Program, making us one of the national leaders in efforts to control virus-carrying mosquitoes. These years of experience are helping us target resources more efficiently and ensure an even greater effectiveness of our field programs.”

Luzerne County’s Environmental Special Projects division has been monitoring mosquito-production locations and will continue to conduct larviciding activities throughout the county while monitoring adult populations in areas of concern. Adult mosquito control is used only in limited situations where larval controls are unable to prevent adult populations that put the public at risk for transmission of the virus.

Certain species of mosquitoes carry West Nile virus, which, when transmitted to people, can cause West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all residents of areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of getting West Nile encephalitis; people over 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease.

Last year, 15 cases of human West Nile virus were detected in Pennsylvania, resulting in two fatalities.

There are things every individual can do around the home to help eliminate mosquito-production areas. Some of these tips include:

· Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers that have collected on property.

· Pay attention to discarded tires. Stagnant water in tires is where most mosquito production occurs.

· Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors.

· Have clogged roof gutters cleaned every year, particularly if leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug up the drains. Roof gutters can produce millions of mosquitoes each season.

· Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use. Stagnant water in a wading pool becomes a place for mosquitoes to live.

· Turn over wheelbarrows and don’t let water stagnate in birdbaths. Both provide production habitats for domestic mosquitoes.

· Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens can become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate.

· Clean and chlorinate swimming pools not in use. A swimming pool left untended by a family on vacation for a month can produce enough mosquitoes to result in neighborhood-wide complaints. Mosquitoes may even live in the water that collects on pool covers.

· Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property. Mosquitoes may inhabit any puddle that lasts for more than four days.

More information on West Nile virus is available at www.dep.state.pa.us, Keyword: “DEP West Nile.”

Basically, a mosquito bite can literally kill you, or a member of your family. It may sound far-fetched, but it's really that simple. I'm not overly worried about dying, but I don't want to leave this awesome party of ours because of any freakin' mosquito.

To protect yourself, you need to eliminate any, that's any, standing water on your property on a regular basis. If it's as small as a Coke bottle cap, make sure you dump the standing water out of it once a week. It takes about ten days for mosquito larvae to develop into piercing/sucking adults. So dump the bird bath water every weekend, and you're not going to be breeding any mosquitoes in that thingie. Old tires? Get rid of them. Anything that sits idle for any length of time and collects water...turn it upside down. The Tonka dump truck sitting in the corner of the yard? Throw it in the basement, or turn it upside down. No standing water anywhere, got it?

And another thing. I keep reading about all of these newer, safer alternatives to using DEET on your skin for the purpose of repelling mosquitoes. Ever since the book Silent Spring was published, we've been brainwashed into believing that pesticides are a bad thing. Consider this. Malaria was just about non-existant on this planet until the use of DDT was banned. Now, Malaria is on the march again and millions upon millions of people have died from Malaria since the use of DDT was banned. If the chemicals don't kill you, (kidding) the mosquitoes certainly will.

Those of you who happen to know me well know that I spent a lot of my professional time crawling around in bushes, shrubs and all sorts of other needless vegetation in close proximity to most homes. And being that skeeters are very weak fliers, they tend to rest on all of that sort of vegetation. And then I come along and get 'em all stirred up and ready to suck some blood. But they never, ever touch me. Why? Because of "OFF! Deep Woods," that's why. DEET, baby. That's the ticket. It contains 23.80 percent active ingredient all of which is DEET.

You can dick around with lemons, moth ball extracts, Avon products or some special recipe that Aunt Zelma cooked up out back near the manure piles all you want. But I'm here to tell you that DEET will keep those skeeters off yer peeters. Trust me. We've all got enough to deal with without having a fargin' mosquito land us in some emergency room not yet on diversion.

This has been a somewhat off-kilter public safety announcement from the staff and management of Wilkes-Barre Online.

All freakin' one of us.

Since Ambrose Meletsky leveled the baseless charge that our mayor only serves our downtown, I thought we should do a little blast from the past. Check the date of this Voice story:

The Citizens Voice

Leighton's plan for W-B focuses on 4 elements

By:James Conmy 10/05/2003

Tom Leighton is convinced he is the right man for the job.

The three-term councilman has a plan to turn Wilkes-Barre around and wants to institute that plan as the city's next mayor. Leighton, a Democrat, is up against Republican Christine Katsock on Nov. 4. But Leighton is more concerned with ensuring city residents know his goals and the key components of his campaign platform rather than his opponent.

His campaign focuses on cleanliness and safety, downtown revitalization and a more efficient and financially sound government. "We have a development plan in place, which will move the downtown forward and then trickle into the neighborhoods," emphasized Leighton. "The first thing we're going to do is find a tenant for the call center and bring good jobs back to the downtown."

He also pledged to build a movie theater on Northampton Street and put a new development where the infamous "hole in the ground" on South Washington Street currently sits. Leighton said even if the city begins to revitalize the downtown, its long-term success depends on one thing - safety.

"There will be increased police visibility in Wilkes-Barre," the candidate assured. "Our residents will know our police officers and our police officers will know our residents. The department will have more interaction with the community to help better protect them." Leighton said if a resident gives the department a tip about possible drug activity in a neighborhood, there will be routine patrols and follow ups until the problem is gone.

Police will also be throughout the downtown on foot and bike patrols making sure the streets are safe, he added.

Leighton said he will partner with organizations like the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry to recruit solid businesses and corporations to the city. He believes that initiative will provide good paying jobs and subsequently, a demand for family housing.

"I want to take large single family homes that have been neglected or turned into multi-unit apartment buildings and renovate them back to family residences," Leighton said. "There are beautiful homes on streets like South Franklin and Ross that can be restored."

Part of the neighborhood Leighton is targeting has a reputation for being a hot-bed of drug activity. He thinks his vision for the police department will get drug dealers off the streets and "make it safe again for people who want to sit on their front porches." "Drugs will be a top priority of my administration," Leighton offered. "Let me reiterate, police will be positioned until the problems are eliminated."

The candidate admitted the city has several financial problems. He said the first step to solving the fiscal dilemma is a solid budget with realistic revenue and expense projections. "We need to aggressively collect overdue fees and taxes," he noted. "But more importantly, we have to make the city a great place to live for working families. Those families will help restore our tax base." Leighton promised a more efficient city as well. He plans to use strong department heads to hold-the-line on expenses and maximize services.

"I will surround myself with experienced and dedicated people who will work hard for the city and do their jobs well everyday," he said. "There will be some mistakes, everyone is human, me included, so when mistakes are made they will be handled in a professional manner, out in the open.

"They will not be swept under the rug or kept from the residents," Leighton added.

The candidate stressed he is a life-long resident of the city and is raising his family in Wilkes-Barre. He hopes the residents will recognize his commitment and dedication and make him their next mayor. "They can expect leadership, professionalism and integrity in city hall."


... cleanliness and safety, downtown revitalization and a more efficient and financially sound government.

And it takes time, kiddies. It takes time. Oh, and lots and lots of money.

"But more importantly, we have to make the city a great place to live for working families. Those families will help restore our tax base."

Or, in other words, no homeless missions on Park Avenue. Heyna?

Thought for today: The crux of the bell curve is the ampersand.

Gotta go. Def Leppard is calling to me.