8-18-2005 Step one?

What part of the horse was Madonna riding when she got hurt?--Rush Limbaugh

I guess we'll never know.

I knew this was coming. I'll tell you why just a bit later. First, revisit this Times Leader story:

Posted on Wed, Aug. 17, 2005

Wilkes-Barre fighting firehouse activists’ petition

Group headed by resident Denise Carey seeks to amend the city’s home-rule charter.

By JON FOX jfox@leader.net

WILKES-BARRE – City attorneys are asking the Luzerne County Board of Elections to toss out a petition filed by activists fighting to reopen the closed East Northampton Street firehouse.

The petition filed last week by Denise Carey and her “Citizens for Safety” group is an effort to amend the city’s home-rule charter to allow issue-specific initiatives and referendums to be placed on the ballot.

The proposed amendment is the first step in forcing the city to reopen the firehouse in the Heights neighborhood, closed since the beginning of the year, Carey said.

If the proposed amendment reaches the November ballot and is approved, Carey’s hope is that residents could then place a referendum to reopen the Heights firehouse on the ballot in time for the May 2006 primary.

But city attorneys contend the petition filed by Carey’s group violates the state’s constitution and that many of the signatures were obtained under false pretenses.

“The constitution of Pennsylvania says if there is a state law governing a specific issue across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania then you cannot include it or change it as part of your home rule charter,” said Bill Vinsko, city attorney.

The group’s petition, if accepted, would place “specific requirements” on the election board in a way that would violate state law, he said.

“If council passes an ordinance and for whatever reason someone doesn’t like it and they get a certain number of signatures, they can make council reconsider the ordinance or put it on a ballot to have it repealed,” Vinsko said.

The city’s second objection focuses on the way the group solicited signatures.

“They told everybody that this was a petition to reopen the Heights firehouse,” Vinsko said. “It doesn’t have anything to do with the Heights at all.”

The group, he said, is seeking to “substantially change the government of Wilkes-Barre. That’s not a problem but it has to be done legally.”

Based on a review of the petition’s 1,350 signatures, Vinsko estimates 1,000 are valid. Of those 1,000, seven residents have signed affidavits stating they were unaware of what they were signing, and he suspects more people may feel that way.

The city is also asking the group to pay attorney’s fees and expenses as the legal process moves forward.

“I think they need to get a life,” Carey said Tuesday when informed of the city’s legal action.

Carey, who has been one of the most vocal opponents of the city’s closing of the station in the hilly neighborhood, contends the reopening is vital for the residents’ safety.

Residents, she said, knew what they were signing.

“We told them that it was to get an initiative and a referendum on the ballot as step one to reopen the Heights firehouse,” she said.

Within 10 days of Tuesday’s filing, the court must schedule a hearing date, and Carey is ready to take the fight as far as necessary.

“We’ll go if that’s what needs to happen, and we’re not going to stop until people get the rights they deserve,” she said.

I think they need to get a life. (???)

Yeah, right! Look who's talking! It's not enough for some people to hold elections every four years. No, some people can't take no for an answer. Instead, they demand special elections between elections, and referendum questions nearly every time those green machines captured from the Roman Empire are dispersed throughout the county. Get a life?

And you gotta love Katsock's act. She can't get herself elected to anything. And God knows she tries every election go-round. Yet, she has the nerve to try to run the place by petitioning the average Joes--the hardscrabble common folk who could really care less about the issues--in between those mounting election losses. She's lost at the polls every time she's tried, but she still wants to rule over those who were rightfully elected. For a chick, she's sure got a pair.

That reminds me, how's that redistricting thing going?

Here's the scoop girls. You pushed. The city pushed back. What the hell did you expect? What's with the childish comments? I didn't read where Vinsko said someone should get a life. Although, I'd have to agree with him if he had. Are they supposed to just sit back and allow a few people motivated by personal vendettas to run the show? Petitions? Initiative & Referendum? What you seek is to have the people that barely pay attention to important details dictating the city's future. I don't care how you manage to slice your bullsh*t. When we slap it between two slices of bread, it's still bullsh*t. You people started something you couldn't finish and now it's become a whole other thing. A potentially destructive thing.

Beware the activists. Their's is an existance that feeds upon the ignorance of others.

Let's revisit that "get a life" quip, shall we? I snagged the following from the most factually-bankrupt and content-starved web site currenting taking up space on the internet. You know, that Save My City blog.

Anonymous said...

To all readers,

The city of W-B has filed a suit against our petition. They have made outrageous and disgusting allogations and threats against me, Christine, and everyone who gathered signatures. They plan on not only getting the petition kicked out, but to sue for court costs along with other threats. I'm sure this comes as no surprise, but these people are the most vial and ill-willed individuals I have ever encountered in my life. I even under-estimated them. Right now, we'll go on the advise of our attorney. We'll fully discuss our options at next Friday's meeting. We need as many people as we can get at this meeting. Its all or nothing now.

Please come to the meeting, Friday, August 26 at the Primitive Methodist Church on S. Sherman St. W-B 7pm.
We need to be together on this.

6:45 PM

No foolin'? Allegations and threats were made against anyone and everyone connected to all of this vengeful tomfoolery? And there were other threats made by the most vile and ill-willed people this side of Pakistan? Wow! Who are they? What threats did they make? And why didn't you mention these threats when the reporters from both of the newspapers came a callin'?

Ahhhhhhhh, nevermind. I know.

What'll ya have? Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam Spam, bullsh*t and Spam?


Here's the color-coded chart that was prepared for the last council meeting. It was prepared using the official 911 records, and three 911 supervisors also made an appearance at that meeting. That's probably why the contentious issue of the departure and arrival times of the fire department for that N. Empire Street fire suddenly went mute. Basically, the hose dudes arrived on scene lickity-split.

Much noise was made by the Rabble Rouser-in-Chief about how she had obtained a copy of the 911 call log for that particular incident. The fact is, those official call logs are not public record. In other words, somebody had better be careful about what they hand out to the overzealous folks looking to make trouble were none exists. It might come back and bite them on the you-know-what.

Three minutes!!!

For a larger, easier to read pic click on the link below.

N.Empire Fire 911 Chart

What's wrong with this picture?

Any idea?
Photo courtesy of an Anonymous Charlatan

Back to the Leader story we go.

The petition filed last week by Denise Carey and her “Citizens for Safety” group is an effort to amend the city’s home-rule charter to allow issue-specific initiatives and referendums to be placed on the ballot.

Okay, now, take another look at that picture.

That, at the very least, was why I knew a court challenge was coming from the city. That banner is a deception bordering on an outright misrepresentation of the entire petition drive effort.

Residents, she said, knew what they were signing.

“We told them that it was to get an initiative and a referendum on the ballot as step one to reopen the Heights firehouse,” she (Carey) said.

Sorry, girls. But unless the judge has an empty flask or two in tow, your efforts are in big, big trouble. No matter what you may, or may not have told each and every person that sauntered up to that table, you were asking those folks to sign a piece of paper to amend the city’s home-rule charter to allow issue-specific initiatives and referendums to be placed on the ballot.

But with that amateurish banner hanging behind y'all, folks were most likely attracted to your table by the thought that they would be saving fire protection--saving firehouses--by signing your petitions. Admit it, you suckered them in. There will not be a referendum question on any upcoming ballot about saving fire protection. If it were to come to pass, what they signed would allow for a referendum question concerning the slicing and dicing of the city's charter. It's a blatant case of false advertising.

Sorry, but a specific referendum question is a specific referendum question. And nowhere on any of the green voting machines would the words, step one appear.

To The Citizen's Voice we go:

In a specific incident, the objection claims the group attempted to "lure and induce" residents to sign at the July 8 Farmers Market "under misleading, if not outright false pretenses" while collecting signatures near a sign that read "WB Residents Sign Here For Our Fire Protection."

If this was an episode of the Gong Show, we'd be covering our ears right about now. And I knew it the very day I first laid eyes on that banner picture on that piss-poor website.

This is exactly why I'd vote for a Tom Leighton over a Christine Katsock. This is why I'd vote for Kathy Kane or Shirley Vita-bossa-nova before I'd ever pull a lever for Walter Griffith. The activists running wild among us all portend to be the utmost experts on damn near everything. All told, they can't even get the activism part of the equation right. So, should I vote to put these people in charge of anything more important than a church organ? I think not.

Nice try and all.

Now stick to something you're actually good at.

From the e-mail inbox To all:

There is an important public meeting scheduled for Thursday, 8/18/05 at the East Mountain Inn in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

On the agenda; plans for future water use in the upper Susquehanna watershed. The preliminary priorities are detailed below.

If you want more detailed info, DEP's website is http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/watermgt/wc/act220/default.htm

If anyone is planning to attend, please let me know.



That would be Kayak Dude.

By the way, I saw that letter printed in the Voice that came from some honcho at the World Hovercraft Organization. Who? (get it?) Anyway, his letter made every possible argument for keeping our smallish hovercraft in service. I'm not going to take issue with his letter, but I'll allow you to ponder the following two facts.

The weight capacity of our hovercraft is 600 pounds.

The weight capacity of Kayak Dude's kayak is 750 pounds.

You tell me.

The Times Leader continues to do everything within it's power to paint Wilkes-Barre as the new Dodge City, sans the sheriff.

Almost, not quite knife fight

Oh my God!!! A knife fight? What the muck is going on in this city?

Wait a second.

...had knives in their possession, but neither used them during the scuffle.

How is a knife fight a knife fight without a knife? I'm assuming that they both had two hands in their possession. Maybe it was just your garden variety fist fight. Judging from the picture, it seems like they both have two feet. Maybe it was a kick-boxing fight. Whatever.

Negativity sells, and whatever bleeds leads. So, from here on out, in Wilkes-Barre, any fight anywhere near a knife is a knife fight come deadline time. Gotcha.

Lately, I've come to expect two things from the Times Leader every morning: A sports section...and a story or editorial that sullies the reputation of our city's current Chief of Police. What happened that night above the hoddog shop was a horrow show for sure. But let's not over-react. No matter how consistently the Times Leader bangs away on our police chief over police reports or whatnot, that does not mean he's not committed to the tasks at hand, and that doesn't mean that the morale of the police force has not risen under his leadership.

Our city's top cop is capable and knowledgeable no matter what some new publisher just in from Philthydumpia thinks will halt the long, steady decline in subscribership. Negativity sells? We shall see.

We'll have 9 new cops going solo next week. Yup. Their training is near complete and 9 new cops will be hitting the streets. A tenth one who happens to be injured will follow them soon enough. And an eleventh new officer is away at the academy, or wherever it is that they send them these days.

The crime in this city is being addressed.

Oh, yeah. Who collected the big reward money in the murder case? No one? It wasn't needed? The cops handled things correctly and an arrest followed soon afterwards?

I could have told you that's how things would work out, but too many of you were frantically retreating to the panic rooms.

Support your police department, kiddies. They are the only thing standing between you and the bad guys.

From the e-mail inbox A man was sitting on the edge of the bed, observing his wife turning back and forth, looking at herself in the mirror. Since her birthday was not far off he asked what she'd like to have for her Birthday. "I'd like to be six again," she replied, still looking in the mirror.

On the morning of her Birthday, he arose early, made her a nice big bowl of Lucky Charms, and then took her to Six Flags theme park. What a day! He put her on every ride in the park; the Death Slide, the Wall of Fear, the Screaming Monster Roller Coaster, everything there was. Five hour later they staggered out of the theme park. Her head was reeling and her stomach felt upside down.

He then took her to a McDonald's where he ordered her a Happy Meal with extra fries and a chocolate shake. Then it was off to a movie, popcorn, a soda pop, and her favorite candy, M&M's. What a fabulous adventure! Finally she wobbled home with her husband and collapsed into bed exhausted.

He leaned over his wife with a big smile and lovingly asked, "Well Dear, what was it like being six again??"

Her eyes slowly opened and her expression suddenly changed, "I meant my dress size."

The moral of the story: Even when a man is listening, he is gonna get it wrong.

Made for Air America

Rich Lowry

August 16, 2005

How long can it be until Cindy Sheehan gets her own show on the left-wing radio network Air America? The mother of a 24-year-old killed in Iraq, who has camped out in Crawford, Texas, demanding a meeting with President Bush, has made herself the mouthpiece not of those many Americans skeptical about a war that has proven far more difficult than advertised, but of howling-at-the-moon, bile-spewing Bush haters.

Bush has always been lucky in his opposition, whether it be Al Gore or John Kerry and the Hollywood stars and MoveOn.org activists who surrounded him. Sheehan seemed an exception. She's a mother whose loss gives her the moral standing to question the war. Her request seems eminently reasonable — a mere meeting with the man who sent her son to war. But Bush is proving fortunate again, and no evil machinations by Karl Rove have been necessary. Sheehan has discredited herself.

She has charged that Bush — "that lying bastard," "that maniac" — killed her son. This is unforgivably sloppy moral reasoning. An Iraq insurgent killed her son (some outrage directed toward that killer would seem appropriate, but apparently Sheehan can't muster it). The Iraq war was congressionally authorized by bipartisan majorities. If Bush killed her son, so did Kerry, who voted to authorize the war. If supporting the war is tantamount to murder, someone should arrest Sen. Joe Biden for vocally supporting our continued presence in Iraq.

Maybe Sheehan's accusation is just the sloppy rhetoric of a grieving mom? No, she means it. On a July 12 posting on the left-wing website DailyKos.com, Sheehan raved that she was undertaking her protest "for all our brave souls (American or Iraqi) who have been murdered by the Bush crime family. I told my Congressman that he needs to speak out against the lies and murder." This is paranoia reminiscent of the Clinton-murdered-people charges of loony right-wingers during the 1990s. Except those people never got media attention, unless it was to discredit them.

In a conference call with antiwar bloggers last week, Sheehan said that without the Internet America "would already be a fascist state." She maintained that "the mainstream media is a propaganda tool for the government." And she referred to last year's presidential election as "the election, quote-unquote, that happened in November." Nothing would help Sheehan's cause more than an extended bout of dignified silence, of which she seems incapable.

As for her request for a meeting with Bush, it is a sham. She says she wants to ask Bush why her son had to die. But she already knows, or thinks she knows. She said in a recent speech, directed at Bush: "You tell me the truth. You tell me that my son died for oil. You tell me that my son died to make your friends rich. You tell me my son died to spread the cancer of Pax Americana, imperialism in the Middle East."

Sheehan already met with Bush once before. The request for a second meeting seems mostly about publicity. It's the basis for her presence at Crawford that has drawn so many cameras. She obviously doesn't seek comfort from Bush, nor can she tell him anything that he can't already read in the press about how she thinks he should be "tried on war crimes and go to jail."

In the end, it isn't that Bush is lucky in his opponents so much that his opposition is poisoned by its own noxious passions. It's not an accident that the antiwar movement throws up leaders like Michael Moore, the dishonest filmmaker, and Cindy Sheehan. They reflect its own inability to distinguish between legitimate criticisms of the war and unhinged but emotionally self-satisfying attacks that will turn off most Americans. At a difficult phase in Iraq, it is especially important that the nation have a responsible, constructive opposition. Cindy Sheehan demonstrates that the Left is still incapable of providing one.

Coming Soon: Stanley Kubrick's Billy Bad Ass

I gotta tell ya, based on what I've seen of late, I think I'm the only person in this entire county that forces his family members aged 12-and-under to wear a bike helmet. These days, when I see a little kid wearing a bike helmet while out and about pedaliing away on their bike, it immediately strikes me as an oddity. What good are laws if nobody obeys them? And what good are laws if nobody enforces them? Funny, suddenly speed limits come to mind. Whatever.

Stay focused.