7-9-2005 Go Lady Grenadiers!!!

These people were bent on our destruction [before] September 11 ... we had not had a war in Iraq at that time. ... It's clear that there is a breeding ground of radical Islamic extremism that predates anything the U.S. has done. If you believe that Iraq is a breeding ground, then we should do everything we can to further the process of democracy and stability in Iraq.--Senator John McCain

The dimwitted Myrmidons of Death press onward.

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate, may peace be upon the cheerful one and the dauntless fighter, Prophet Muhammad, God's peace be upon him.

O nation of Islam and nation of Arabism: Rejoice for it is time to take revenge from the British Zionist Crusader government in retaliation for the massacres Britain is committing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The heroic mujahidin have carried out a blessed raid in London. Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern and western quarters.

We have repeatedly warned the British government and people. We have fulfilled our promise and carried out our blessed military raid in Britain after our mujahidin exerted strenuous efforts over a long period of time to ensure the success of the raid.

We continue to warn the governments of Denmark and Italy and all the Crusader governments that they will be punished in the same way if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. He who warns is excused.

God says: "(O ye who believe!) If ye will aid (the cause of) Allah, He will aid you, and plant your feet firmly. "

The Secret Organization Group of al-Qaida of Jihad Organization in Europe (Jama'at al-Tanzim al-Sirri, Tanzim Qa'idat al-Jihad fi Urupa)

It did not shock me in the least to click on the radio and hear both Nancy & Kevin from WILK trying to piece together the best of the sketchy reports coming in from London. And it in no way surprised me to learn that London was targeted for a bit of terrorism. Being that Tony Blair has solidly supported Dubya's initiatives in Iraq, you had to figure that the kooks with the plastic explosives and too much time on their hands were just chomping at the bit to kill some innocent Britons. That they did.

I was going to turn on the word processor yesterday and weigh in on the latest atrocities perpertrated against innocent humanfolk, but I decided against typing anything in anger. Basically, I was seething much like I was on 9/11, and after the Spaniard's 3/11, but I didn't want to "offend" anyone's paper-thin, politically correct sensibilities. On September 14, 2001, I wrote something to the effect of, If they hate us, let's hate 'em back. And if they kill us, let's kill 'em back. Sounded kind of logical to me being that war had been declared on us in glowing terms.

What followed was my entire site was deleted by it's host company after someone who had a Muslim friend complained about my "hateful" tirade. I don't want to get any of those supposedly progressive-thinking appeasers all worked up into a lather, and unless I'm woefully mis-informed, I doubt that anything I have to say is likely to result in the local mosque being fire-bombed. But when you get punched in the face you have to either punch back harder, or do nothing and get used to being punched in the face on a regular basis. As for myself, I prefer the counter-punch response.

On the national level, the democrats should be ashamed of themselves after insinuating that the invasion of Iraq was the root of all the evil that found it's way to downtown London. To me, these clueless partisans sound like a bunch of hand-wringing battered women. If we don't do or say anything to make them mad, they'll stop hitting us. Trust me, my mom and I spent a dozen years thinking exactly like that. And we got the snot beaten out of us until she finally wised-up and sued for a divorce. If, as a nation, we get completely deluded and denuded by that sort of sissified mentality, we're inviting even more attacks.

Actually, I'm not entirely sure who pisses me off the most. The insidious vermin who choose to be the executioners of whomever they see fit, or the folks that lack the gonads necessary to wage a war that none of us wanted, none of us expected and not many of us can even understand in scope. The enemy has promised to charge the hill and capture our flag. What should we do in response? Should we defend the flag at all costs? Or should we turn and sprint down the other side of the bluff? Then again, it seems as if too many of us would prefer to burn our offensive flag and apologize for being who we are as a culture. Well, right before our heads got lopped off.

No biggie, right? A bunch of Londoners got mutilated and such. All that's left to do now is to figure out how it's all Dubya's fault.

Don't worry. Ted Kennedy will 'splain it to us.

The Brits will likely step up their counter-terrorism efforts, and remain defiant in the face of these attacks. But I can't help to think about what would happen if Lady Thatcher was still calling the shots in England. In all likelihood, the carriers H.M.S. Ark Royal and H.M.S. Illustrious would be en route to the waters off Pakistan. And those tribal areas on the Pakistani side of the Afghan border that Bush can't touch due to the precarious nature of the Pakistani president's standing would find themselves getting flattened right quick. She knew how to counterpunch. (see Falkland Islands)

To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.--Margaret Thatcher

First it was New York. Then Madrid. And now London.


By the way, with the Brits having confiscated two unexploded bombs, it won't be long before we read of arrests, and, or a big shootout. The tag ends embedded in all explosives are very, very traceable and will provide intelligence on type and manufacture.

Here's a couple of blurbs from Save My City, the web site introduced by the Heights folks who are demanding faster fire protection and faster emercency medical services than the rest of the city currently recieves.

This is short-sighted, if not ridiculous in nature:

The Times Leader reported today that the police force has added an 11th new police officer, Yuannis George Polemitis Jr. He was hired to replace a retiring officer. Does any of this remind you of the situation with the fire department? At the start of 2005, the city had budgeted for 82 firefighters, three have since retired and now there are only 79 because of attrition. The mayor could have hired more but he said no.

Um...that would be because the entire city (save a teeny, tiny section of the Heights) is clamoring for an increased police presence all across this city. With all due respect to our professional fire department, they cannot change the city's unfortunate image as being the Dodge City of Luzerne County. Stop someone who resides on South River Street and ask them if we need to hire more firemen, or more police officers. Try the same thing on Madison Street. Sambourne Street, perhaps. How 'bout Park Avenue? What do the folks residing near those areas want? More firemen? Or more cops?

We already know what they want. But don't tell that to the folks from the tavern. They have their own increasingly vindictive agenda. They are demanding two minute response times for emergency services which is absolutely unheard of throughout the remainder of the civilized world. To put it rather bluntly, they're not up on the latest current events as they pertain to the finances of the city. And no matter how many fire-related sites they link to from their content-starved web site, they're still dead wrong.

If Tom Leighton had opted to go the Act 47 route, we'd most likely have two firehouses, a scrapped contract and even less firefighters than we have at the present time. But, instead, we'll have three, two of which will be upgraded while the third will be brand spanking new. Plus, we have $50 million devoted to the fire department over the next five years, which includes outlays for some much, much-needed brand new apparatus. But...the Heights will no longer enjoy better protection than the rest of the city can expect.

And yet, these very same folks are the ones carrying the petitions designed to introduce "initiative and referendum" to Wilkes-Barre, which amounts to little more than the allowing the hoi polloi that do not understand the important issues at hand to decide the future of the city. What is it that the folks in the Heights got right?

More bilge from the hilltopper's webmaster:

Today the city of Wilkes-Barre has the form of government known as strong mayor. In a nutshell this means that the mayor basically has final say on anything that happens (government-wise) in this city, this could include hiring or firing, and what firehouses to close. The city council has very little control in this form of government, therefore the mayor can become a "loose cannon" or worse a tyrant. I am still trying to figure out exactly were our mayor sits on this scale, but I think I know.

The citizens of this city have the opportunity to have their voices heard, by signing the petition to amend the City charter, if we get enough signatures we all win, if not the "house" (mayor) wins, it's up to you!

This is short-sighted weak-mindedness that promises only diminishing returns with the passage of time.

If it were up to myself, I'd do away with the city council in it's entirety, and give the mayor free reign over 100% of all aspects of city business. What would follow would be less politics, less finger pointing and no infighting at all. If the city sucked, the mayor would be toast on election day. Conversely, if the city was improving by great leaps and bounds, the mayor would recieve all of the credit and most of the votes cast.

This 'initiative and referendum' push is much to do about nothing. If a given mayor can't take care of business, we need to dispatch his ass come election day. There are checks and balances in place as things currently stand. Consider the former mayor's demise. His performance was inept beyond belief, and we quickly sent him begging to Raphael Musto for a state job.

What the folks in the Heights are currently pitching would remove leadership from the equation. What they want is to have the folks that cannot differentiate between an unneeded expense and a much-needed investment calling the shots. What they want is mob rule. What they want is revenge. Just as the city is clawing it's way back from the edge of the precipice, what they want is to take way too many steps back towards it. Basically, all they want is to stick it to Tom Leighton whichever way possible. As far as the future of this city is concerned, they are a most dangerous lot and they need to be treated as such.

A new business?

More from Wilkes-Barre's newest web locale:

Anonymous said...
I agree the fireworks at Kirby were as exciting as watching grass grow. Did we hire a new company? Or perhaps we couldn't have too many boom-booms because we have less Fire Protection!
Thanks Mayor

Ginny said...
We always watch the fireworks from our upstairs sunporch. We watched this year and then sat and waited for 5 minute for the finale. It never came! We thought maybe the technician lighting them off got hurt or something.
The neighbors had better displays!
I guess we shouldn't be surprised though...He hyped this up, just like the infamous "I Believe" stunt.

And there you have it, kiddies. An ancient firehouse was closed, and that has now devolved into meaning that whatever Tom Leighton does sucks. The fireworks were just fine. Remember, I was there, no? Maybe those Heights folks should stop hovering over their scanners waiting for an I-told-you-so catastrophe and start enjoying life again in a rapidly improving city.

And consider what prompted the latest negative post from the Height's non-negotiable webmaster: The city hired it's 11th new cop during Fiscal '05. And to hear the folks from the Heights spin it--that's bad news???

A meager dose of sangfroid would have bestowed upon these people the legitimacy that they believe they have already earned, but, alas, they are but hopelessly misinformed fools being repeatedly egged on by the hopelessly misinformed "activists" hoping to one day attain an elected position in this city our ours.


After spending the last 18 months analyzing all of the Cityˇ¦s Departments and at the request of my respected colleagues at City Council, I have come here today to announce my plan to commit in excess of $50 million dollars to the Wilkes-Barre Fire Department over the next 5 years. This $50 plus million fiscal spending plan for the fire department that not only affects the City in 2005, but reaches all the way to 2010.

Fire protection has been my administration's #1 expenditure, representing 27% of the annual operations budget, excluding debt. We will remain focused on the five-year expenditure recovery plan and at NO TIME will we jeopardize the safety of our residents while maintaining the fiscal integrity of this City.

A part of this comprehensive fire plan is the construction of a new firehouse here at Hollenback park. By doing so, the entire City of Wilkes-Barre will be better protected because of more centrally located fire houses and far superior equipment.

In turn, both the citizens of our City and the fire personnel that protect us will be safer and better equipped.

In conjunction with this exciting announcement, I have authorized Fire Chief Jacob Lisman to draw up specifications to replace 3 fire engines and 2 ambulances. Two of the three fire engines that will be replaced are 27 and 20 years old, respectively, and will be sold. The other fire engine, which is 13 years old, will be transferred to reserved status. In doing so, I am committed to providing the best, state of the art equipment to ensure the safety of the men who put their lives on the line everyday.

My administration will NEVER jeopardize the safety of the citizens of the City of Wilkes-Barre.

An ABC News segment that aired this Monday, June 6, 2005, noted that the national response time goal for fire departments is to respond within 6 minutes, 90% of the time. This report stated that only 35% of the nationˇ¦s fire departments, both professional and volunteer, meet that goal.

I am proud to confirm that not only does the Wilkes-Barre Fire Department meet that goal, but exceeds this mark- EVERY TIME. Nationally, this response time is getting worse, however, by purchasing new fire equipment, Wilkes-Barreˇ¦s can only get better.

In order to finance these new improvements, the City of Wilkes-Barre has decided to close the Heights fire station, located on East Northampton Street. The current condition of the building is no longer safe for fire personnel or suitable for equipment that is in service. It must be noted that this is another difficult decision that must be made as a result of the years of neglect that preceded my administration.

Ultimately, I am confident that this decision will positively affect the safety and security of the entire City of Wilkes-Barre.

What should be a godsend in a city known for going backwards at the speed of sound, this $50 million committment to the fire department has been summarily dismissed out of hand as falling well short of what is needed by the self-serving folks in the Heights. Basically, nothing will quiet them short of the two-minute response times they are demanding. In other words, they are living in the much more financially robust past, while our cash-strapped city continues to move forward without them.

You tell me, man. Do we need more firemen? Or do we need more cops?

I'm all ears.

Oh, and, just in case you happened to miss it...

The City of Wilkes-Barre recently received an Audit Report from the Auditor General’s Office of its 2003 Liquid Fuels Tax. This audit found that the City’s former administration violated the Third Class City Code, resulting in a reimbursement of $232,603.93. The City of Wilkes-Barre will be forced to repay this sum to its Liquid Fuels Account.

“I was disappointed to learn about the audit finding, however, it will be repaid. This is just another obstacle we must overcome as we continue to move the City forward,” said Mayor Thomas M. Leighton.

For more information, please contact Chief Finance Officer John Koval at 408.0912.

Nah, no progress going on here. Do we remember when that other mayor promised to replace the bridges and such, and stop the flooding of Solomon Creek every single time it rains an inch or so?

Well...it's happening.

Bridge replacement

From the e-mail inbox Mark

I'll bite.

At what city high school will your kid be coaching at? Thats assuming that you're not goofing off on us again. I know you too well.

Withhold my name

Good question. We'll get to that in a second.

My daughters were off on another one of their scrapbooking adventures last night. At some point, I was presented with a piece of paper on which Peace Rebecca had written her name for the very first time on 9/13/83. It was written with a red crayon, but it was well done. Unbeknownst to me, wifey had saved that scrap of paper all these years.

As Larry would say, "That's neat."

But, when I happened to flip that rather large piece of paper over, I was floored by what my eyes were staring at. A "pink" placemat from way back in the days when Franklin's Family Restauarants ruled over the local eatery scene. Christ! I haven't laid eyes on one of those in...well, twenty years.

Makes me wanna punch out yet another drunk and then wait for Lance Novak, Benny Victor and Jim Wardle to show up and cart them away to jail. Ah...the good old days.

Strawberry Pie!

Peace brought this clipping to me thinking that it had something to do with city politics. Trust me, when this picture first appeared in the newspapers, the very last thing I cared about was local politics. So why did I bother to save it? Fact is, my son's Little League coach is in the lower, right corner, that's why. Don Flynn...in the flesh.

Anyway, I recognize six of the people that posed for the cameras that day. But, take a gander that skinny nerd in the back row!!! Jesus!!! You people actually thought that that was a natural born leader? What the fu>k were you all thinking way back when? Say what you will about me, but I'm not nearly as gullible as so many of you obviously were.

The things you see when you don't have a sling-shot!

As far as Ebon... er, Coach Cour is concerned, consider the following excerpt from a letter she recieved:

Dear Ms. Cour:

The Board of School Directors of the Wilkes-Barre Area School District, in a special meeting on June 2X, 2005, appointed you to the position listed below for the sport season and will be continued on a season-to-season basis unless the post is declared vacant by the Board of School Directors:

Girls Volleyball - Head Coach at G.A.R. High School

On Monday, she is scheduled to meet with the athletic director at G.A.R., and then later on with Jeff Namey. In all honesty, I can't remember her being so completely excited other than when she was ten years old and tripled off of one hulking Paul Jefferson, while he was one-hitting the Mayflower Tigers. (She missed a home run by about six inches)

Trust me, she absolutely loves volleyball and I think the only reason she even considered going to college was so that she could continue playing that sport. Even though she cannot go onto that floor at G.A.R. as a player, I know that sooner or later, she'll find herself a group of girls that will be impressed by her unbridled passion for the game. And at that point, anything is possible.

As her novelty volleyball T-shirt begs, "Got balls?"

She certainly does. And she's a chick, no less. It might take a while, but this is gonna be fun. Being a "Cough" and all, I never thought I'd find myself rooting for any of those other city high schools. But right about now I'm thinking, "Go Lady Grenadiers!!!"

Dig it up--slam it down!!!

This is gonna be fun.

Sez me.

Hey! At least she's not wearing spikes these days. She can't hurt anyone anymore.


Go Lady Grenadiers!!!