8-28-2005 You can fight City Hall (every four years)

I must be hallucinating when I hear them comparing Iraq with Vietnam, when the only reasonable comparison is that in both wars the work of relentless antiwar protestors has been our enemies' best (probably only) chance of defeating us.--David Limbaugh

A while back it became obvious to me that I had had it up to here with converting the Rock Stomper from a bicycle made for one to a bike made for three every weekend. So, I decided that I needed to acquire a second mountain bike for my riding purposes, and rig the Stomper for the kiddie-styled bikeabouts.

I've seen what About Town Bicycles, Sickler's, Main Bike World and B&B Bike has to offer. Basically, many, many amazing bicycles that cost a helluva lot of money. The prices were important because I had to grab myself a kick-ass bike that would make me happy, but at the same time, not piss off wifey to the absolute max. You know how that sh*t goes. No expense is too high when it's for wifey, the kids, or the grandkids. But if the high ticket items are for the hubby and the hubby alone, well, that's a problem. In conclusion, I needed the most bang I could get for my buck. And I did so with flying colors.

I bought myself a Hummer. A Hummer bicycle, that is. It was developed by Montague Military Technologies for the U.S. military and has been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. It's attached to paratroopers, Navy Seals, Special Forces and those black-ops boys right before they jump out of perfectly good airplanes.

It's got a few unique things going for it such as a lightweight aluminum frame made from some of the same alloys our fighter aircraft are constructed with. It's got disc brakes, which eliminates brake fade in the wettest of the wet conditions. It's built for stealth and it makes nary a freaking sound while rolling along at high speeds. Oh yeah, and it emits no radar signature, which will come in handy here in Wilkes-Barre. (?) But the neatest feature is that with the twist of one quick-release thingy, the bike folds in half and can be tossed into a car trunk.

So, during the week, I'm quick as a cat and stealthy. And on the weekends, I'm still rolling along on the Stomper and Gage's trail bike. I swear, if we add one more attachment to that elongated bike, the state will require a CDL just to ride it. They'll be waving us into the PENNDOT weigh stations soon enough.

I wanna be an airborne ranger...

I snagged this--more from the wonderful world of cycling--from WebMD:

Studies Link Bike Seats, Erectile Dysfunction

Sunday, August 28, 2005
Miranda Hitti

Erectile dysfunction and bicycling are the topics of three new studies in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

The studies show that when erectile dysfunction is related to bicycling, it's linked to pressure on the perineum (the area between the anus and scrotum where nerves and arteries pass). The pressure, which comes from sitting on a bicycle seat with a nose extension, restricts blood flow to the penis, write the researchers.

But many men who bicycle will never have that problem, according to an editorial in the journal.

Two of the studies were done at the Institute for Sexual Medicine at the urology department of Boston University's medical school. The third study came from researchers in Italy.

Now, how in the hell could that be when I've been babysitting for a quarter century already?

It's like I always say, a recent study has concluded that recent studies are complete bullsh*t.

Sez me.

I would think that if you understood what communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees that we would someday become communist.--Jane Fonda, July 1972

We're certainly working on it.

Let us dispel with this silly and suddenly popular notion that you can't fight city hall. The newspapers have alluded to it. Some residents are saying it. The usual activist suspects have glommed onto it as their latest catchphrase. And the very worst of the upstart local bloggers are repeating it. You can't fight city hall? Bullspit! Sure you can.

Follow me here. That ridiculous notion is flapdoodle of the tallest order. The thing is, no job, not one job at city hall is a safe job. Every one of our elected officials remain employed only if we say so. And their immediate underlings will remain gainfully employed in the public sector only if the elected folks can muster enough votes to remain employed themselves. If a mayor appoints you to the position of the Supreme Executive Field Marshal and then gets swept out of office, you may want to start perusing the classified section. And if any elected official happens to be a buffoon, we can fire them without ever issuing to them a single warning report in triplicate.

Every once in a while, we engage in these well-orchestrated events most plain folks would refer to as elections. It's too tough for the Democrats in Ohio or Florida to get their simple minds around, but it seems to work just fine everywhere else it's been tried. I'm not saying the folks in this area are mental, or political heavyweights, I'm just saying that we don't throw the "D" word--disenfranchisement--around every time we lose a hotly-contested election. No, no, in this city, we throw the "R" word--Referendum--around every time we hear something we don't like coming from the elected few. When one new spoke in the wheel has us upset, we wanna re-invent the entire wheel. Now, I ask you: How f**king smart is that?

Basically, we're listening to a disaffected, sometimes, a vindictive few with less than plainly stated objectives. Think about it, where do all of our referendum iniatives come from? Dunno? Okay, I'll tell you. All of the efforts to turn our local system of government on it's pointy little head have come from three groups: The Wilkes-Barre Taxpayer's Association, The Luzerne County Public Forum, and the Luzerne County Green Party. Basically, when it comes to identifying the barely employed policy wonks, the publicity whores, the usual ringleaders of these intertwined cabals, we're talking about all of about a dozen people.

They fan out, sieze on any issue they can, and then work to get the hoi polloi all aroused and ready to hang all of the people that the suddenly outraged hoi polloi elected all by themselves. Consider the ringleaders of the firehouse brigade. We had Denise Carey, Walter Griffith and Christine Katsock all worked up over a firehouse that was closed up there on the hill a ways. Carey definately had a dog in that well-publicized hunt. I mean, if she went out front and tripped over something, she'd probably bump her head off of the side of the shuttered firehouse. If anyone, she was justified in fighting to protect her neighborhood. But then we have the other two ringleaders. One has the border of Plains in her back yard, and when the other weed-whacks the back fence, he's probably in Hanover Township. Yeah, yeah, I've heard their vapid argument. The Heights closing affects us all. There's an argument only an activist/candidate would make. As if the Northeast Station's closing had any impact on faraway friggin' Willow Street.

For Carey, this brouhaha was about public safety in her neighborhood. But for the other two, it was more about building name recognition well in advance of the next election cycle. Fact is, The Wilkes-Barre Taxpayers Association, and The Luzerne County Public Forum is code for hopeful and oft-resentful Republican candidates for office. Who's kidding who? These people have more Xeroxed petition forms that I have CDs. And if you know anything about me, that's really saying something. Their stated missions have less to do with protecting the taxpayers than they do getting themselves elected. They hoodwink the grumblers residing among us, and the next thing you know, a wider movement is borne to scratch from the charter some aspect of our city's government. It's a devisive, needless and potentially destructive undertaking, and it serves no real purpose when you consider the abject vulnerability of anyone currently tabbed as being a politician.

If you've become a vocal malcontent for whatever reason, you need not retool our system of government. You need to concentrate your efforts on affecting the outcome of the voting. You see, even in a one party county, the system still works the way it was originally intended to work. The problem is, the listless republican party in this county is about as effective at winning elections as procreating with a rubber doll is. Under the current system, they are to local politics what the Kansas City Royals are to baseball--the hopeless doormats. And as a result of their obvious ineptitude, they try to introduce the designated hitter rule to our system of government every time they can. In a nutshell, they suck.

You can't fight city hall? Sure you can if you're committed to doing so. Rather than tinkering with the system every three and a half weeks, refocus your efforts on getting out the vote, and affecting the eventual outcome of the voting.

Here's a couple of quotes from yesterdays' Citizen's Voice:

The only voice we have is in the voting booth.

John Q. Public doesn't have the funds to petition government.--Candidate, er, activist Walter Griffith

The only voice we have is in the voting booth? Is he missing something important? Most of the people currently living on this spinning ball of ours are denied that most basic of rights. Many of which would probably fight and die for that basic right. He said it, not me. In the professional activist's mind, the right to vote is not enough.

And that "John Q. Public" silliness is exactly that...silliness. If that petition drive was managed correctly, it would have been very hard for the city to challenge the results of it in court. The city will not challenege such an attempt when the city honchos know they haven't a leg to stand on in court. Let's be honest, shall we? We had the very best of the local activists over-seeing the latest attempts at revolution and they funked it all up. Be honest for once. Y'all dropped the ball once again. So, what else is new when the blind are leading the blind?

The message sent by Judge Conahan is that if you dissent against established power, expect to be destroyed.

Further, citizens continue to feel they have no access to justice on political matters in Luzerne County.--Carl Romanelli, co-chair of the Luzerne County Green Party.

I've known Carl since the early seventies, and he's a really nice guy. But, here we go with the melodramatic hysterics again.


No, Carl, you will have a tough time of it in any court when you show up there totally ill-prepared and displaying what the judge construes to be frivolous antics after he's been forced to digest a 150-page court brief for nothing.

Justice? Ah, come on, Carl! Not justice again. That's goobletygook Green Party speak. We demand justice! Justice! Justice for all!

Ya f**k with the bull, you get the horns.

Here's some feedback to a post at the Save My City amateur-fest:

Anonymous said...

So, the Democrats have successfully squashed another attempt at giving the public any say in what happens in this hell hole of a city. I'm not surprised. The last thing the party wants is for the public to have any power over them! They're more than content to keep you begging for scraps.

I applaud the hard work and effort your people put into the Referendum question and the re-opening of your fire station. But I think it was doomed from the begining since the power brokers knew in advance that you wouldn't have the cash or legal savy to mount any real fight against them. Face it, you're out gunned and under funded.

So you won't be able to put a question on the ballot. What can you do? Well, the city government has the power to put a question before the voters! Why not ask them to do it? Kathy Kane keeps saying she's on your side, but wouldn't sign your pettion and never went to any of your meetings. Here's her chance to put up or shut up! I'm sure Coucilman McCarthy would second a motion to let the voters decide the fate of your fire house. Just don't ask him to be the author. The other Council memebers would shoot it down just because he proposed it. They really are a bunch of petty, cheesey bastards.

There you go! One more way to keep the fire burning (no pun intended). That'll show you who's really on your side!

Are you listening Kathy? Here's your re-election "edge" after the redistricting! Why not take Marty's jewels out of your purse and drop them in your shorts? Or is loyalty to the party more important than honest representation?

10:55 AM

Catch that?

So, the Democrats have successfully squashed another attempt at giving the public any say in what happens in this hell hole of a city. I'm not surprised. The last thing the party wants is for the public to have any power over them! They're more than content to keep you begging for scraps.

There's that victimhood, power-to-the-people mindset again. The Republicans, the Greens and the Pan-Sexual Peace Party cannot win at the polls in this city, so they try to subvert the system, and then whine about it when they fail. Actually, the public has the utmost in power over the well-entrenched Democrats. They have the power to fire them. But the inept Republicans can't convince the public to do as much.

Although, the remainder of that post does throw down quite the challenge to the two council folk living up there in the thinnest of Wilkes-Barre's air. Not bad at all.

Maybe pressure should have been brought to bare on those two council folks rather than crawling into bed with the usual activis suspects and their latest attempts at petitioning.

That feedback was posted in response to the very latest from Wilkes-Barre's hotchpotch of utter nonsense--Save My City.

Here's the latest mind-bogglingly mindless pundritry:

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Say uncle!

Well what did we learn in the last week, let us review. We learned that the city will punish you badly for exercising your rights or activism. We also learned that we must start saving our pocket change for the Bicentennial black tie ball. However what we did not learn is how the city will be made safer, but wait, the news is not all bad, there will be a crackdown on prostitution in South Wilkes-Barre, that is a step in the right direction.

It seems that the majority of decisions made in the city are shots from the hip or are they? Did the mayor wake up one morning and say, ya know I don't like that red canopy anymore, or maybe if we sell the fire apparatus then we will not need anymore fire stations. It appears that there is no grand plan for this city, it is more like let's make it up as we go, whoa, wait a minute there was the "I believe speech", enough said. Okay, before you get your underwear in a knot, the L&I building was a new project. For all of its faults, at least with the previous administration you knew that things were on the drawing board, and yes some of those projects are in progress now and others may never happen, "progress as promised."

The citizens of this city desperately want to believe, but believe in what?

Please, I implore you. Feel pity for this chronically apocalyptic dolt.

Did the mayor wake up one morning and say, ya know I don't like that red canopy anymore, or maybe if we sell the fire apparatus then we will not need anymore fire stations.

No, one of those urban planner experts over at the Chamber was the one who worked to convince everyone that the canopy needed to go. Nice try and all. Idiot.

...or maybe if we sell the fire apparatus then we will not need anymore fire stations.

Grow up, dickweed!

For all of its faults, at least with the previous administration you knew that things were on the drawing board???

Yeah, and not one of them made it from the Etch-a-Sketch planning phase to becoming a reality. What a stupid f**king thing to say. Truth be told, most of those aforementioned projects never actually made it to a drawing board. Fact is, the great perponderance of those projects were drawn-up on 3X5 cards, or loose-leaf notebook paper. That is an undeniable fact.

Ever hear about the contractor that was charged with moving the cable lines at the old Holeplex site and could not get a set of blueprints for the job? No? It seems that our Holeplex-in-Chief provided them with a drawing he scribbled on a sheet of notebook paper. True story. They packed-up their gear, drove away and the cable lines were never moved one inch. Is that any way to run a city? Is that any way to build a theater?

If your goal is to belittle Tom Leighton's performance by comparing it to Tom McGroarty's beyond inept performance; you might want to consider getting out of the Blogosphere and writing for Archie comics.

We learned that the city will punish you badly for exercising your rights or activism.

Ahem! Since when is Judge Conahan employed by The City of Wilkes-Barre?

Again, ya f**k with the bull, you get the horns.

From the e-mail inbox I agree with you on your assessment of Pat Robertson, I could care less about him, but at the same time I would kill Chavez if I could. The man is dangerous and is a bigger threat then El Presidente Castro. And he is not a president he is a dictator. I would say the Venezuelan elections is somewhere between the corruption of Tammany Hall or Present Day Philly and the threats Sadam's reelections.

He also using oil money to help Castro stay in power and to spread communism in other countries. It would also not surprise me if Chavez's communism is just a front to help Islama Fascist get a footing in the West. He is also trying to extend his sphere of influence upwards through Central America. Vicente Fox may be a jerk and just ignoring the problems of illegal immigration and drug running but Hugo embraces drug growing and smuggling across Latin America.

Separate issue

I am split over the $11,000 question. On One hand The people in the heights are acting like they should have extra fire protection rights similar to how Gays want extra rights. On the other Hand I really hate this Judge, he is the one who thinks useless interns are worth the same as Sheriff's Deputies.

Unfortunately this makes the mayor look bad because it seems like the Establishment is going to bat for him. Don't get me Wrong I Believe The mayor and JJ Murphy are above and better then the Establishment, but they do back him and drag him down. I think the Mayor must find a way to dump Skrep-N-Todd, this moron judge, Ed "small time" Mitchell , and their fearless leader pulling the strings, Frank "Toys R Us" Crossin. I think he can win with out them, because of enough common sense republicans like myself who would switch parties to vote for him the primary. I would prefer if no Republicans run and just stay out and we could write him in for the GOP nod as an Insurance policy.

well have a good week

Trust me, if Chavez took a hollow point through the eye, I'd have an excuse to throw another a keggar.

I took exception to the way that "unbiased" media of ours tried to taint everyone not currently promoting the killing of unborn children with Robertson's remarks. After watching a bit of CNN, you'd come away believing that Pat Robertson was Dubya's official spokesperson.

And Fidel Castro? He rules over a backward serfdom of a landfill continually clamoring for reconditioned brake pads for '56 Chevys. 'Nuf said.

Look, I'm not gonna get bogged down with who's connected to who across the county. And I don't know very much about any of our county judges. Fact is, I make it a habit to not be dragged before any of them. But, we all agree that voters have very short memories, and in the next breath, we know that judges are elected to ten year terms. With all of that said, barring a major scandal, it's as if winning that first election go-round amounts to a lifetime appointment for our judges. That particular system seems as if it needs to be tweaked a bit.

I'm sure there are those who will blame the 'Establishment' (whatever that is) over what happened to Denise Carey. And some are already blaming Tom Leighton as if it was his decision. And we've also got some untruths being circulated out there by the folks closest to the truth. The "big fix" conspiracy theory goes as follows: How could Conahan pick that $11,000 figure right off the top of his head very spur of the moment like? He must have been conspiring with his city brothers in the 'Establishment' and had that figure ready to levy. The sad fact is, during the pre-court briefs in Conahan's office, the city folks had made mention of the overtime costs they had incurred as the result of the ill-prepared petition drive.

If you ask me, Tom Leighton and J.J. Murphy have been hitting it by the numbers, which is exactly what we need. To go and paint them as uncaring, unfeeling evil-doers over that sh*thole of a firehouse is reprehensible on the part of the folks that fought to save it. They both put their pants on one leg at a time and they have a job to do. They cut the grass, beat the pooch, yell at the kids and scream at the TV screen on Sunday afternoons, just as we all do. I mean, face it, nobody's perfect. They are Eagles fans. But they're not monsters no matter what any mentally incontinent blogger has to say.

Try this one on for size. If I had a dollar for every time someone said this administration doesn't care a lick about public safety, I'd have enough money to buy all of Detroit and all of it's surrounding suburbs. But while our nation is sending our armed forces into harm's way, who is it that volunteers his time for Search & Rescue mission duties out of Langley Air Force base on occasion? Well, that would be J.J. Murphy. He cares not? Think again.

They can say what they want about the $11,000, but iffin' you're willing to go to court willy nilly style, you're setting yourself for a big fall.

Sez f**king me.

Looks kinda wet, don't it?

From the e-mail inbox Iraq critics are blowing in the wind

Cal Thomas

August 25, 2005

The following lyrics should be sung to the tune of "Blowin' in the Wind."

How many times can this nation draw down,
When faced with a difficult war?
Haven't we seen what retreat has produced,
Whenever we've tried it before?

With polls showing a decline in public support for the effort to establish stability and self-determination in Iraq, aging hippies from the '60s and their anti-all-war progeny have surfaced and are picketing and singing their protest songs at President Bush's ranch and at venues where he speaks.

What do those favoring a pullout of American troops from Iraq think would happen if the president followed their advice? Do they seriously believe the United States would be safer and no longer a target of fanatical religious extremists, who believe it is their mandate from heaven to forcibly wipeout out all things Western, secular, Jewish and Christian? If they believe peace would then be given a chance, they are naive at best, and idiots at worst.

Since the American Revolution, there have been those among us who, when faced with tyranny, preferred accommodation to confrontation. There were many at our founding who wished to remain under British rule and accept whatever benefits they believed came from such a relationship. They chose not to fight in the revolution, but were happy to accept the results of independence produced by those who did.

During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln received advice to give in to the Southern rebellion. If he had done so, the Union would have divided and history changed forever.

In the last century, both world wars had opponents who preferred either not to be involved, or to "settle" with the tyrants seeking to subjugate Europe and America to their totalitarian rule.

Recent history - from Vietnam, to Lebanon, to Mogadishu - has shown that quitting before the job is done means more, not less, trouble for the United States and for those it promised to help. Those retreats emboldened the likes of Osama bin Laden, who has stated that America does not have the stomach for protracted warfare. Why shouldn't he believe that when he has witnessed examples of the U.S. choosing to cut and run, not stand and fight?

This war and its peace is America's to win or lose. If the U.S. withdraws before Iraq is ready to stand alone, the effort will have been wasted and we will invite more war. Our enemies cannot be pacified by outreach programs. They won't be mollified by allowing them to build mosques and schools among us that preach and teach sedition. Their religion does not reflect diversity and tolerance of other faiths - political or doctrinal - in any nation where the most radical strain dominates.

Pulling out of Iraq before the job is done is not an option. Victory is our only option. In his address before the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Utah on Monday, President Bush correctly said, "They have a strategy, and part of that strategy is they're trying to shake our will" and "a policy of retreat and isolation will not bring us safety. The only way to defend our citizens where we live is to go after the terrorists where they live."

Why is this difficult for the president's opponents to understand? There is no going back. We would not be "safer" (whatever that means) had the president chosen not to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein. Do the 8 million people who, as the president said, "defied the car bombers and killers and voted in free elections" deserve to be abandoned at this crucial moment? Only if America's word means nothing and the blood of our brave volunteer soldiers is without value.

It took the United States from 1776 to 1789 to compose and ratify a Constitution and form a new government. There were intense debates over the role of religion, federalism, states' rights and many other issues. These were not unlike some of the subjects being debated now among Iraqis.

The president has repeatedly stated his objective in Iraq and in the wider war against terrorists. What is the objective of his critics and what is their forecast of what would occur following a precipitous U.S. withdrawal? They have an obligation to tell us, unless they are just blowing in the wind.

Here's one NOT from the drawing board of the previous administration.

Drawing board?

I'll see ya out there somewhere.