10-3-2005 Just say no to the Army

I apprehend no danger to our country from a foreign foe . . . Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence, I must confess that I do apprehend some danger. I fear that they may place too implicit a confidence in their public servants, and fail properly to scrutinize their conduct; that in this way they may be made the dupes of designing men, and become the instruments of their own undoing. Make them intelligent, and they will be vigilant; give them the means of detecting the wrong, and they will apply the remedy.--Daniel Webster, June 1, 1834

Just in case you're not familiar with Daniel Webster, he invented Fuzzy Dice.

Ramadan begins Tuesday, October 4th and ends November 2nd. Hang on to your body parts, kiddies. This has the potential to be a really wild one.

I got me a sneak peek at the final design plans for the riverfront remodeling project set to get underway next Spring. Those plans still have to withstand the public comment meetings and such, but for all intents and purposes, what I spied today will be built on Wilkes-Barre's shores starting early next year. And I gotta tell ya, unless you're a hopelessly negative spud, you're gonna be amazed by the sight of what is yet to come. In a nutshell, it is gonna be a big draw. They are not merely punching a couple of portals through the dike and paving the top of the dike. No, this project is quite extensive, and it'll be totally unique to all of NEPA.

I have felt all along that this project was a great idea, but after seeing the plans for it, I wanna hit the fast-forward button and get on with it already. Just you wait and see.

I'm sure the big guns want to throw a press conference when they finally bestow all of the details upon you, but I have to provide y'all with at least a hint of what lies ahead. Imagine a massive circular courtyard with steps rising from both sides and leading to the top of the dike where a footbridge will re-connect the dike over the portal cut right through it. And imagine paved trails, lighting, seating, water fountains, etc., etc., etc.. That would be what is tentatively being called Millenium Circle. Trust me, unless you're still looking backwards and dwelling on some negative you've invested all of your political capital in, you are going to love it. Just you wait and see.

Just when we thought it was safe to keep on bashing Wilkes-Barre, somebody or other went and saw fit to re-making it in less than four years.

Ya gotta believe...

Lemme 'splain where I'm at with Wilkes-Barre's version of the f>cking Salvation Army. Basically, the following article published in the Voice a few days back infuriated me to no end:

The Citizens Voice

Accused killer was enrolled in Salvation Army rehab program

By Robert Kalinowski, Staff Writer 09/30/2005

The suspect in last week's murder at a Plains Township motel had been enrolled in The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center program in Wilkes-Barre within the last year, police said and court records show.

Jose L. Cruz, 51, apparently entered the program and hid out at the Hazle Street shelter after assaulting a woman following a botched drug deal in June 2004 in West Pittston, said borough police Officer Kenneth Burkhardt.

"We picked him up on a warrant. We got him at The Salvation Army," Burkhardt said. "We got a tip he was staying there."

Cruz pleaded guilty to simple assault on Dec. 7 and was sentenced to six months probation dependent on completing The Salvation Army program, according to Luzerne County Court records.

Salvation Army officials wouldn't confirm Thursday that Cruz was ever a client; therefore, so it's unknown when he began and if he completed the six-month program designed to help addicts recover.

Cruz, who allegedly stabbed 57-year-old Richard Feiner to death last Thursday at the Melody Motel in a robbery for crack, is the second former client of the Wilkes-Barre facility to be charged in a drug-related killing in less than two months.

Brian K. Jones, 35, was charged with slaying 87-year-old Mary Leo in her South Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, apartment on Aug. 2 to get money to buy crack.

The Atlantic City, N.J., native said he entered the program in September 2004, a few months after completing a 10-year sentence in New Jersey state prison for attempted murder. He said he quit after four months.

Jones is facing trial in Luzerne County Court on charges of criminal homicide, robbery, burglary and theft. He's jailed in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility without bail.

Cruz is charged with criminal homicide, robbery, theft and receiving stolen property. He's locked up at the county prison without bail waiting an Oct. 6 preliminary hearing.

Police arrested Cruz on Wednesday.

Investigators say a female acquaintance who accompanied him to the planned robbery linked him to the crime.

Feiner died from numerous puncture wounds inside room 5 of the state Route 115 motel, police say.

The woman said she saw Cruz toss the apparent murder weapon - a letter opener - out of a window of the getaway car. He threatened her not to talk to anyone before they went to Cruz's Exeter home to smoke the stolen crack, police said.

It's unknown what brought Cruz to the area from Brooklyn, N.Y., or how long he's been here.

Capt. Charles Foster, The Salvation Army supervisor who handled media calls when Jones was arrested, was unavailable Thursday.

Jerry Balara, a Salvation Army manager who works at the agency's Hanover Township thrift store, said he doubts anyone would be able to comment on Cruz's arrest.

"By policy, The Salvation Army can't confirm or deny a resident," he said. "I'd like to speak with you, but I hope you understand that is the policy."

Foster, who took over supervision of the program in February - prior to the arrival of Jones and Cruz - and other Salvation Army officials promised to re-evaluate their admission policies in the wake of Jones' arrest.

Because he doesn't work in the residential side of the operation, Balara said he couldn't say if any changes have been made.

Salvation Army officials wouldn't confirm Thursday that Cruz was ever a client; therefore, so it's unknown when he began and if he completed the six-month program designed to help addicts recover.

Jerry Balara, a Salvation Army manager who works at the agency's Hanover Township thrift store, said he doubts anyone would be able to comment on Cruz's arrest.

"By policy, The Salvation Army can't confirm or deny a resident," he said. "I'd like to speak with you, but I hope you understand that is the policy."

Allow me to prefice what I am about to let loose with by stating that I've always thought very kindly towards the folks at the local Salvation Army. Fact is, thirty-some-odd years ago, those people helped my mom many times over while she struggled to feed, cloth and house three kids without having as much as two plug nickels to rub together. And over the years, I've donated much to that particular Army. I know what their help meant to us, so I figured that by donating what I could, I was helping them to help people much like my wayward family so long ago. What the f>ck do I know, right?

The sad fact is, when the officials at the local Salvation Army refuse to violate their confidentiality policies while their out-of-town, out-of-control "residents" have taken to murdering the locals, I'm saying the boycott is on. I will donate all that I have to al Queda before I'll ever even consider giving that do-gooder outfit another penny of mine. They can stick to their confidentiality guns, but they'll be doing so without any further monies of mine.

This is twice now that the folks that came here to partake of their programs went and killed someone because of drugs, and their doctor-patient relationship approach to folks with long criminal records that cleverly sidesteps any accountability ain't gonna cut it anymore. They can ring all the bells they want as Christmas fast approaches, but they won't be taking in any donations from me. And I'll burn my cast-offs rather than seeing them sold in any thrift stores.

As a matter of fact, this entire community should stop donating money to that outfit until they close that Adult Rehab idiot magnet on Hazel Street. There's no shortage of phoney do-gooders willing to warehouse all types of criminals all for the purposes of attaining foundation grants and keeping themselves employed. If the local Salvation Army was forced to abandon their idiot magnet, the idiots could find another shelter to hide out in somewhere else. The short-sighted do-gooders in Williamsport will gladly take them.

I understand their confidentiality policy just fine, and I wish that those of you that bother to read this would adopt my painfully simple policy. Until that idiot magnet in our community goes bye-bye, so goes any further donations from me.

Just say no to the Army.

Just say no.

Besides, they could just as easily open a shelter for the multitudes of shell-shocked Phillies fans.

If you want the textual version of that telling photo, click on this link to The American Check-Up blog, scroll down just a tad and read the post titled 2 Storms (Author: Art Trevathan, OH). Awesome.

I found this at Boortz.com:

At their rally on the Mall, the American Legion distributed copies of the following statement made by a surgeon, Col. Brett Wyrick who is in Iraq. The physician wrote:

I wish there was not a war, and I wish our young people did not have to fight and die. But I cannot wish away evil men like bin Laden and al-Zarqawi. These men are not wayward children who have gone astray; they are not great men who are simply misunderstood. They are cold-blooded killers and they will kill you, me and everyone we love and hold dear if we do not kill them first.

"You cannot reason with these people. You cannot negotiate with them. And this war will not be over until they are dead. That is the ugly, awful and brutal truth. The last thing we need here in Iraq is an exit strategy or some damn timetable for withdrawal. Thank God there was no timetable for withdrawal after the Battle of the Bulge or Iwo Jima. Thank God there was no exit strategy at Valley Forge. Freedom is not easy, and it comes with a terrible price.

Damn straight!

From the e-mail inbox OK, Mark, "Last Call". I should have said "Rep.", for Representative, instead of "Cong." for Congressman. Properly, or correctly if you will, all Senators and Representatives are Members of Congress, or Congressmen (excuse me Congress-persons- must be politically correct y'know!) but somewhere along the way, the senior house (the House created the Senate as a legislative body) members were identified as Congressman, and the junior (or Lower House, as it was originally called) Members were called Senators. Confused enough for one day? CYA!

Nah, nah, nah! You mis-understood my zaniness. I couldn't believe that someone actually typed "CONG" and sent it along to me only because I've been continually deluged with requests to explain where I got a whacky screen name like "Zorcong" from.

I always spin the same gory yarn about being shot all to sh*t by the Vietcong in a tiny hamlet in the Mekong Delta known as Zorcong. I tell it real good, you know? And I've got some really cool scars to back-up my claims of wild derring-do in the jungles that I have never personally visited. The AK round through the right knee. (An old would requiring some serious surgery) The shrapnel stuck in the upper arm. (A chain link fence top right through the bicep) The shrapnel in the face. (I had an enormously huge mole removed) The bayonet into the lower leg. (Some black kid in Ansonia, CT slashed me with a switchblade, circa 1971) And when they get to feeling all horror show like, I tell them during what year I was born and tell them to do the math. When the choppers were ferrying the last of the Americans out of Saigon, I was probably sleeping through a detention study hall in Coughlin's auditorium. Or, more likely, being paddled by Mr. Sallitt. But, I do tell it real good like. Real horrow show stuff.

We lost a lot of good Zippos in that 'vil.

Reminds me of what usually happens when people find out that my eldest daughter's name is Peace Cour. They almost always let out with: "What, were you a hippie?" Um, do the freakin' math, dummy. Do I look old enuf to have been running around wired and naked at Woodstock? During the 'Summer of Love,' I was, like, a Cub Scout or something. Square knots still suck. Besides, how could anyone who absolutely detests communism ever have been a commie-luvin' hippie in the first place?

Peace, man.

'Bout f>cking time. Enuf with the 'spensive gas-guzzling status symbols already. Time to drive an automobile again.

Yahoo! News


Analyst Jesse Toprak of consumer research firm Edmunds.com said the U.S. automakers' sales decline were not surprising because of the "pay back" effect following their strong performance earlier in the summer and low inventory levels, which have affected availability on some model lines.

"The summer clearance we usually see in September occurred in July and August this year," Toprak said.

Exceptionally strong sales in any one month can weigh on near-term future demand, commonly referred to as the "pull-ahead" or "payback" effect.

Nissan's sales in September jumped 16 percent, meanwhile, and Toyota's sales were up 10 percent. Rival Honda saw its sales increase about 12 percent.

Sales of large gas-guzzling SUVs for GM and Ford declined significantly last month as U.S. gasoline prices soared well over $3 a gallon in many parts of the country.

"There is legitimate pressure on some utility categories and I would describe those as the traditional truck-based utilities," GM's Ballew said.

SUV and truck sales at GM were off 30 percent. Sales of its large Chevrolet Suburban SUV were down nearly 57 percent.

Sales of traditional SUVs at Ford were off 51 percent compared with last September. Sales of Ford's large Expedition SUV fell 60 percent, while its mid-size Explorer was down 58 percent. Its F-Series pickup trucks were down 30 percent.

Edmunds.com's Toprak said he expected sales of large SUVs from U.S. automakers to fall further this year.

Oh, and bicycles sales are up 16%.

Gotta raise him right

Who's playing on Monday Night Football tonight? Ah, no matter. I'm as good as already there.