4-9-2004 Okay, I'll bite

Worst president in history? Come on! The nay-sayers are complaining about how long the war is taking, but...It took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch Davidian compound. That was a 51 day operation.--Unknown, but an outstanding observation nonetheless

I see the Pine Ridge deal finally hit the pages of the local papers. I found out recently that this long dormant project was back on, but these days, you can't expose the mayor's latest goings-on because the deals are always reported to be still in the works. During the past couple of years, it was easy to scoop the papers with the latest news that we were headed backwards. As of late, it's always something like, "Sit on that until the contract is inked. I guess I could be a cretin and report what to expect in the near future, but I wouldn't want to do anything that could jeopardize some fledgling deal that hasn't been finalized. Oh well.

The Pine Ridge development is great news for the city provided that the projected 100 new high-priced homes actually sell. I think they will after the passage of a few months and the continued good news keeps coming Wilkes-Barre's way. It's not just the fact that new income would flow into the city's coffers, it'd be a morale boost of sorts to see the exodus out of the city actually reversed for a fortnight. You gotta say this much for our new mayor, after only a few short months at the helm, he has already managed to replace the near suffocating gloom and doom that was so prevalent among our residents with guarded optimism. Most folks are still clinging to their usual pessimism, and who could blame them for doing so? But at the same time, many are also expressing hope that he can change our sagging fortunes. I'm sure he'll do exactly that.

When I read the details of the projected development of Pine Ridge, I groaned as I pictured another Barney Farms being built. Sure as sh*t, in today's papers, Barney Farms was mentioned. From the Voice:

A realtor by trade, the mayor is confident that there is a market for another development like Barney Farms in the city.

I think he's right, but I'm wondering whether the Pine Ridge section of the city will be designed as if it's actually a part of Wilkes-Barre, or as a semi-gated community that Barney Farms seems to be for so many folks that reside in the decaying neighborhoods that are Wilkes-Barre. Will it be another one road in/one road out separate entity, or will there be more attention paid to integrating it into the surrounding communities? In all honesty, if not, it gives the less-heeled folks the impression that the more well-heeled folks want a certain degree of insulation from the common rabble that comprises the majority of Wilkes-Barre's population.

Me? I really don't give a flying farg. I know the folks that reside in Barney Farms earn more money than I do, but trust me, I do not suffer from any feelings of inferiority when confronted by them. For the most part, they're no different from the folks dealing with the reverse-gentrification that is sucking the life out of most of our neighborhoods. But I am tired of having it pointed out to me that the movers and shakers will not join us in the much older neighborhoods for the most part. We need one Wilkes-Barre, not two.

Like I said, I don't wish to be the cretin that puts any pending deal in jeopardy. But...remember the lady from Bradford County that sought to relocate her specialty Polish bakery to an abandoned property on Hazel Ave., only to be pissed-off to the max by the ex-McMayor? I noticed the sign offering that dump as a KOZ property has been removed from the building recently. And then I was told she is in fact coming to Wilkes-Barre and that it's a done deal. If it's a done deal, I can in no way be construed to be a cretin for having mentioned it. Progress: It's tricky at times. Haluski cookies anyone?

This is nuts. I awoke today to find three e-mails from folks wanting to know why I didn't blast our latest anonymous user of the forum. To be honest, I thought having myself and the Dr. Whos of the world posting tit-for-tat diatribes could get a bit boring. Then again, I guess when someone wants a fight, it's only neighborly to oblige them. One e-mailer asked me if I was losing interest. Another claimed to be shocked that I didn't engage a direct challenge. What the f**k! Clinton did it all the time and Condi ended up on the carpet for it. Yet another stupidly said: "Somebody that deals in facts finally shut you up." RUTRO!

Facts? Okay, I'll bite. By the way, Son-in-law Dude already took the anonymous poster to task on the forum page. Let's do this. ONE MORE TIME! The world according to the anonymous. I will underline my thoughts.

Conservative????? -- Huh??, 23:41:45 04/07/04 Wed [1]


Thanks for justifying the deaths of many Americans for nothing more than a vendetta from a decade ago. Perhaps you can come here and be our new Public Information Officer? A vendetta? Let's see here. We're told we can't raise our voice in anger without permission from the U.N., but if we alone enforce U.N. sanctions for years on end, that later transmutes into a vendetta depending on who the president is, and what ones political persuasion happens to be.

Siaire al crap Sorry, but I'm a stupid and ignorant conservative raised by inbred harlots in a rural trailer park without electricity, running water, or television. I'm limited to English, Ebonics, French and some rudimentary German.

I'm astonished that any Republican can have the "Stay the course" attitude when there are armed forces and American Civilians being treated like Jewish Settlers in the middle of Palestine. There's a dead giveaway. Does that sound like the words of a gung-ho Marine? Wo-ahh!Are you guys really serious? Why are we even there? Oh, that's right, for the ficticious WMD's!? Right. The same one's that were shipped to Syria and Iran on the very same night. Look it up, smart guy. Don't count the mustard gas shells until they fall from the sky. How about this for a reality check, We've had more troops killed since the "Almighty" that conservatives know him as, declared an end of major combat ops. Almighty? How much hateful rhetoric have you swallowed? Reality? For what, "Dad, I got em for you!" Now you mental midgets have got to get your accusations straight already. Was it a war for oil? A vendetta? Or George's stupid son doing what his daddy told him to do? At what cost? Only a couple hundred American boys and girls. Oh, that's right, they were only democratic supporters anyway. Another dead giveaway. Historically, the military votes 2-1 Republican. Why do you think Al Gore wanted the absentee votes cast by the military thrown out during his Florida fiasco? Let's face it, they may've gotten Saddam, but hey what about the reason for even going to the middle east in the first place? I'm not sure. What are the latest talking points? War for oil? No, that didn't stick. A vendetta? Nah, us dummies are smarter than that. Daddy made him do it? Doubtful. Ted Kennedy didn't scream it between sips, so the focus group data probably put the kibosh to that less than factual accusation. Maybe Bush wants to reacquire the Texas Rangers and relocate them to Tikrit. That makes about as much sense as the rest of the useless dribble oozing forth from the socialists in this country. Hey Usama, how is life? I'm guessing that the Republican party still firmly believes that he was really killed in all the bombing runs after 9/11. Nice guess. You guessed wrong, but you should be used to it by now. How about the thought of finishing one war before starting another? Does Afghanistan really qualify as an all out war? NOT! Hmm...can you remember how the Germans were defeated? Wait! Wait! I remember this one. One night while Uncle Jiggy was sodomizing our three-legged cow, he was drunker than sh*t and started telling me about "The Big One." If I remember correctly, the entire German army was overrun by homosexual female lepers trained by the British Gurkhas. I believe they were called the "Cunning Stunts Brigade." I could be wrong, but I believe their moniker was born when General Patton reviewed them and was heard to remark, "What a bunch of stunning c**ts!" For anyone to blast a veteran who served combat takes balls. Are we talking about John Kerry here? The opportunist? The story teller? The Jane Fonda clone? Yepper! I got balls. As for the voting history of the Patriot Act, how about the fact that we were dealing with an emotional time and more importantly, if one congressperson or senator would've voted against the norm it would've been anti-American to do so. The Patriot Act? Where the f**k did that come from? I don't ever recall even mentioning it. While we're at it, what's the big deal? I keep hearing how it's usurping our constitutional rights, but I have yet to hear one report of any American that has lost any of their rights since it's passage. And since we're on the subject of having balls, you seem to be suggesting that no one that voted on that act in fact had any.

All that say our president was justified in sacrificing our men and women in Iraq, I would suggest that you travel to your local recruiter and take up arms. Sorry, Champ. I tried that in '75, but I'm way too old these days. They won't even consider taking me until Bush and his greedy oil buddies kill off all of our active forces for oil, or whatever it is that he's accused of next. You make that long journey to Kuwait. You take a long ride from Kuwait to Iraq. More importantly, you have shots fired at or near you and say to yourself that we're here for a good purpose. Ours is an all volunteer, well trained, and highly motivated force, correct? That's what they tell us. Are you suggesting otherwise? My @ss, you would be wishing that you were home in your snug lifestyle. Hit the gong, right now! BONG! Your snug lifestyle? Does that sound like a Semper Fi Dude talking as he wants us to believe he is, or was, or is that a Class Envy Dude whining out loud? Your snug lifestyle? Another dead giveaway? My SNUG lifestyle is a direct result of my having worked extremely hard for 31 years now. I've earned everything I've ever owned, and never received a handout from anyone since being on my own. And I will not apologize for not having been shot at lately. Some other folks signed up for that duty knowing that is was always a possibility.

I know a little about what the troops are going through. I fully support the men, and women in uniform deal with Iraq aggression on a daily basis.

A lot of us know what our troops are going through. A lot of also feel horrible with the latest reports of U.S. casualties. No one should have to pay that price. And a lot of us fully support them and pray for them on a daily basis. And to say that we believe our president is doing the right thing by confronting terrorists and supportive states head on is by no means flippantly justifying anyone's untimely death. The Jihadists, including Saddam himself, have been wanting a war in the worst way with this country for quite a long time. And now they've got one. Now that it's finally underway, someone has to have the conviction to see it through to it's logical conclusion, and unfortunately, someone has to prosecute it.

That's the way it is. I'm certainly not happy about it. I'd prefer it if all of our troops were bored stiff by training for war and never getting the opportunity to ply their skills. But unless we've all gotten suddenly stupid, war was declared on us in no uncertain terms.

But...I do not respect any pretend warrior, or otherwise than doesn't possess enough testicle matter to sign his name to the sh*t he regurgitated here after listening to Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings for well too long.

RIVERFEST 2004 made the pages of the Voice today. Do you want me to try to talk you into participating yet again? You should at least consider it. For starters, it's a ton of fun. Secondly, while local folks debate the future of our river banks, most of us only know what we see from the river banks. For most, the Susquehanna just passes us by day after day, with nary a thought being given it until it starts rising up those man-made banks of ours. RIVERFEST provides us all an opportunity to get out there on the river and learn a thing or two about it. Not only might you get wet, at the half way point, lunch at Nesbitt Park, all sorts of folks who forgot more about river lore than we'll ever know will be on hand to share their knowledge and their first-hand experiences with that river we all want to see cleaned up sooner rather than later.

And if you're a real trooper not afraid of Ben Gay in the least, taking the entire trip from West Pittston to Plymouth Township will land you at the site of one humdinger of a land borne festival. The canoe and kayak rental prices are more affordable than going to Dunmore to watch a movie in a recliner, and all sorts of folks trained in water rescue will be on hand on the river itself if you end up being that one dork that rolls his boat.

Besides...I'll be there. What more do you need? Well, that's assuming that my usual Captain invites me back once again. Kayak Dude invited me to explore the Susquehanna with him during the 2002 RIVERFEST and it opened my eyes to a lot of things I would have never even thunk of otherwise. The 2003 event was cancelled due to extremely high water levels, so what did Kayak Dude propose to do about it? What the hay? Let's paddle the monster all the way from Tunkhannock to Wilkes-Barre. For him, this was a hop, skip, and his usual jump. For me, it was an adventure into uncharted waters never to be forgotten.

So what do you say? Is $25 too much to ask for an adventure most of us have never experienced? Will I recognize some faces in the middle of the river this year? Or will you be content to wave at us again from the shoreline and the numerous bridges as we cruise on by? Are you content with same old view you've always had? Wanna have oodles of fun and learn a few things at the same time?

RIVERFEST 2004 awaits you.

I am outa here. Gage Andrew and his cousin Mason can't seem to play without the spinning back-kicks and whatnot. Wifey needs some back-up.