6-11-2004 5 months?

The president resisted Soviet expansion and pressed down on Soviet weakness at every point until the day came when communism began to collapse beneath the combined weight of these pressures and its own failures. And when a man of goodwill did emerge from the ruins, President Reagan stepped forward to shake his hand and to offer sincere cooperation.--Margaret Thatcher

I find it extremely refreshing to revisit recent history rather than have some hopelessly tainted pundit rewriting it for me. When Mikhail Gorbachev finally did tear down that infamous wall, millions upon millions upon millions of long-suppressed people got their very first taste of freedom. And freedom is what this country is all about. We're free to do as we wish day after day, and thanks to Reagan's staunch belief that freedom is a yearning in every heart that can never be squelched; freedom was delivered to most of Eastern Europe and beyond.

It's very easy to become jaded and blinded by the nonstop rancor that politics produces on a daily basis, but every once in a while a great man, a true visionary in this case, accomplishes great things. And if delivering, literally, millions of people from their long-stifening communist shackles does not resonate with you as being a great act, nothing ever will. Reagan's obvious legacy needs no further clarification from anyone at any television network.

Mister Gorbachev. Tear down this wall.

Ethel! Darling! You're back! Thank goodness. Some of us here in cyberland were getting worried about you. The hot rumor was that you had an affair with John Kerry once upon a time, the press recently caught on, and Ted Kennedy ordered the waffler to commit yet another heinous atrocity. He does have plenty of experience at such things. So he says.

Radiohead? Thank God for methadone clinics, heyna?. "I'm a creep. I'm a weirdo. What the hell am I doing here? I don't belong here" Hmmm. I can see why you'd get into that. More bilge escaping from the liberal id. Sonic Youth? Didn't they apply for Medicare by now? Sh*t, Babs, you don't need to print any tabs to play that bunk. Three deformed fingers and three root 6 bar chords played on three rusty Fender Silver Bullets will suffice to cover that noise. Throw in a distorted arpeggio or two, a fifth of vodka, and you can go sonic too. Harmonics this ain't. Babs, you're a few chords short of the once secret Carlos Santana variations on the most basic Latin chord progressions. Next you'll be hailing Hazel O'Connor as being cutting-edge (Google time). Confessed liberals rock??? Oh, that's right. I forgot about ABBA.

Hey! Ronald Reagan died. I'll bet you're happy. Yippie! Let's grab a few interns and a box of cigars. Better yet, let's take those very same interns for a plunge off of a smallish bridge somewhere and then stumble away as they drown. Degenerates and wackos, wasn't it?

I really don't care...

...what anyone employed by the City of Wilkes-Barre has to say on the matter of police horses. In my estimation, we don't need another one. For that matter, we don't need the two that we have now. And it's debatable as to whether we even need one.

It was duly noted that the downtown merchants like having them on patrol. The thing is, when I frequently cross paths with them, they aren't patrolling near as much as they are standing at attention for the latest equestrian fan that happened to wander upon them. Suppose that we had four bike units positioned in the downtown. Would anyone dare to say they were effective deterrents to crime if the officers manning them spent most of their time answering questions about their shiny new bikes?

Some say the horse units are highly visible. So? So what? So the numbskulls of the world will do a quick U-turn when they spot them so quickly and easily. Conversely, bike patrols are akin to U-boats always lurking dangerously nearby, but always just out of sight. You never know when or where they might pop up. If we're truly committed to "psych-ops," policing that seeks to keep the criminals off guard, then it's high time that we replace the horses with either cruisers (if we can come up with some scratch) or inexpensive, yet state-of-the-art bicycles.

That's enough editorializing for one day.


...it's not as if I didn't warn you short-sighted folks that equate repeating the latest thing Ted Kennedy belched with having some real insight into the latest goings-on. I warned ya. I f**kin' warned ya.

This isn't '69. This isn't some groovy time revisited for the folks that once prayed at the altar of some smokeable herb while they were being incrementally indoctrinated by the less than good folks that erected the Berlin Wall. Being a vocal anti-whatever protestor, or mistakenly thinking that by accusing a sitting president of the most unthinkable wrongdoings imaginable somehow proves that you are somewhat patriotic or an objective, progressive thinker has now been to reduced to the level of being useless, clueless and destructive claptrap. Bush lied? Bush lied? Jeez! I'd be seriously annoyed with myself if I was so easily duped. So completely limp-wristed. So oblivious to the obvious.

So what's next on the hapless agenda? Okay, maybe Bush didn't lie afterall, but he would have if he had to? Rather than hating one of our own while we wait for the next car bomb to explode, or the next skyscaper to collapse; maybe some of us should take stock of where we've been as of late, where we're headed, and where the greatest threat to this country really emanates from. Want a hint? It's not from within.

Read it and weep, weens.

UN inspectors: Saddam shipped WMD before war and after

I gotta tell ya, with very few exceptions, the forum page is really beginning to spiral out of control to the point where it may be time to put it out of it's high-tech misery. It's almost getting to the sorry point where I'll have to visit the factually-challenged pages of SAYSO to learn what the more intelligent people (?) have to say, albeit, completely anonymously. There comes a point when dealing with borderline idiocy becomes very close to overbearing. What once was a unique cyber bulletin board I looked forward to visiting daily as we worked so selflessly to right the many wrongs perpetrated upon our struggling city, now I see it as a place where the feeble-minded (Ethel excluded) and gonad-free (Larry excluded) go to shout down the many folks they are apparently afraid to confront in person.

And I'm really starting to wonder about the mental clarity of some of the folks in the fire department that I personally stuck my neck out to defend when they had flourescent targets painted on their foreheads, asses, and everything in between. It was mucho fun when I OPENLY challenged the former mayor, but now some of those very same people challenge me for having championed the new mayor's cause.

They made numerous concessions to the city and then held the moral higher ground immediately afterwards. They did the right thing in a city that could opt for ACT 47 status tonight. They chose to become a part of the solution and prove that not all unions are overly greedy, or self-serving when faced with the reality of the bleakness of our city's tenuous financial situation. They deserved unending praise at that point. And then this f**king 'three men on every engine' arbitration award imbroglio sabotaged the entire works and obviously caused plenty of ill will amongst the rank-and-file.

To blame that entirely on Tom Leighton is a bit disengenuous, don't you think? The union pushed one way, and Leighton pushed the other way. He claims that we can't afford what the union honchos want and now he, and everyone that supported him should come under attack? Think about it.

And consider for a nanosecond what the public is clamoring for in this city. The residents are demanding an increased police presence, while the firemen in this city are demanding an increased fire department presence. I know it's much more complicated than that, but that's how the common folks percieve this mostly stupid situation. If you guys aren't real freakin' careful, you're going to alienate even your most ardent supporters out here in the neatherlands formerly known as viable, bustling neighborhoods. Some of you guys should be considering just how precarious your situation is, rather than spending too much time attacking the folks that support you.

Sorry guys, but if we really, really, really can't afford what you're demanding from the new administration, you are eventually cruisin' for a bruisin' on this one. And quite frankly, I have grown tired of seeing our fire department being bruised. That's why I spoke up in your defense in the first place. Will the saner minds prevail?

Let's cover some of the recent posts on the forum page, shall we?

Guess who's back? -- Ethel's back, 09:07:07 06/12/04 Sat [1]

Ethel glad to see your back....looking forward to more of your posts...

I keep telling her she should start her own website. It really doesn't matter what her particular political persuasion is so long as she's entertaining. Heyna?

Hosedude's for Leighton -- i'm gonna puke, 19:35:32 06/11/04 Fri [1]

Just wondering why anyone didn't have their Hosedude's for Leighton shirts on at the meeting.. oh one more thing,you can stick that softball thing where the sun don't shine...LOL

The mentally incontinent have spoken. Goofball, the election is long since over. Did you where your shirt? Pick on the chicks? Another cojones issue. It's interesting that your post ended with some hoped-for anal penetration.

hey mark -- wondering?, 20:25:40 06/11/04 Fri [1]

I was just wondering,what do you think about the fact about leighton and council,eliminating two engines from service. one of them in your neighborhood. just a friendly reminder to all for safety sake...please make sure your smoke detectors are in proper working order.. they do save lives...
cause,if im not mistaken,according to some published articles,response time could possibly or may be affected by these changes..and that could be a horrible thing...

If you remember correctly, the installation of my 'super-elastic-bubble-plastic' smoke detectors was supervised by none other than our former fire chief. Remember that? Tom Leighton and City Council eliminated 'two engines out of service?' If the arbitration award demanding three dudes on every piece of apparatus did not come down the pike, would those two engines still be in service?

Am I happy about the fact that the "Rain Forest" has been abandoned for the most part? What do you think?

This one is scary:

Reply -- does it really matter, 23:45:09 06/10/04 Thu [1]

Perhaps council better look into a volunteer fire department before settling. More city yards means less property tax for the city. This may be a good in some areas, but not in W-B. Say hello to an extended KOZ. Ah, what's the difference, council gave an entire city block to King's college. Heck the way this city is giving a prime land to non profit organizations, it's better off saying that the non profit organization that gathers the most land, we will change the city name to that institution. Thanks for playing land monoply.

Okay, whatever. See Spot run. See Dick and Jane chase after Spot. See Spot lick his balls.

Q & A -- Taxpayer, 23:29:39 06/10/04 Thu [1]

I've read a post from someone suggesting a radio show or town meeting by Mayor T. Leighton. Mark has never brought this up in any of his daily rants. Considering some of the posts I've read to this point, I'd like to know what is fact and what is fiction. Like if the city is so broke, how can we afford to higher politically connected people while cutting services? Mark, I think a legitimate answer is in order. Or doesn't he respond to this forum?

Listen here light-weight f**kface, answer this!!! Your original, pathetic premise is bogus, and your demand for answers is kinda pussy-whipped, assuming that anyone thinks you're really a newcomer to the endless fray that Wilkes-Barre has become as of late.

Let's cut to the chase here, shall we? Greg Barrouk is an intelligent kid who thoroughly understands the weighty issues we all face and he will bust his ass and then some as Tom Leighton's official executive gopher. Is your kid somehow brighter than him? Mine aren't.

Open and Honest Government -- citypeople, 23:21:00 06/10/04 Thu [1]

Seeing the shenanigans that the mayor has pulled in the last couple of months, is it a good idea to slap your name on anything? No!!! He's been bangin on the firemen. I also hear he's making some changes to the city hall people. I don't think I've heard anything to the contrary, but I'm the firemen didn't hear anything either.

Shenanigans??? Wow! That's a powerful accusation coming from someone who is promoting "Open and Honest" anonymity. Hey! If you're afraid to confront the current powers that be, allow those of us that are not total freaking cowards to do it for you. And don't get depressed. While you may be a puss, understand that not everyone possesses the intestinal fortitude that you lack.

....is it a good idea to slap your name on anything?

It depends on whether you're a pussy, or not.

I agree -- agree, 14:52:31 06/10/04 Thu [1]

I agree, the last minute agenda move is pathetic and is classic McG. Another thing that is interesting is every time he takes something away from the fire dept. he hires someone new, which no matter how is is explained it makes no sense. What kills me is isn't there any other options to look into instead of hammering the fire dept. every other week? Another thing, what is this I hear about a certain council member wanting a volunteer fire dept? They better watch what they wish for because some day it may come back and bite them in the ass.

See Jane chase Spot.

Puzzled -- ??, 12:29:11 06/10/04 Thu [1]

Mark often refers to misguided people as "having blinders on". Can I suggest that the Leighton faithful have blinders on. We are now 5 plus months into a new administration. I thought there were tenants lined up to move into the call center. What's going on with the shapiro land? Planter's Peanut was bought for a mere $1, surely we can sell that for some kind of profit. After the firemen agree to a contract, he hires an assistant to an assistant. He hires 8 dpw workers. Then in a McGroarty-like move, he gets on a council agenda at the last minute, to get council to agree on his restucturing plan for the firemen without any taxpayer input. From the sounds of it, it seems like he is trying to deceive the taxpayers with this restructuring plan. To put the icing on the cake, he raised taxes and fees throughout the city. I don't see open and honest government.

How utterly embarrassing this post must be for the complete imbecile that posted it and regretted then it later on. Some of us should not be posting anything on the interent. 5 months. 5 months? Listen to your pathetic self. 5 months. 5 months?

5 months?

From the e-mail inbox direct from Washington D.C.:

*******Hi Mark Bill XXXXXXX here it's been along time since I sent you any mail. I recently escaped the the valley currently living in Fairfax Va. I went over to Constitution ave. to see the procession along with the hundreds of thousnd that also went. I was also lucky enough to be standing in front of the capital Bldg when they cleared the area for the airplane incident. Well enough of that here are some pics. take a look and post the ones you like, some of them are terrible but what can you do about the other people.*******

Keep up the good work..*******

Dude. Thanks. I closely spied each of the sixty-two pics you sent my way and I found myself wondering why so many young people such as yourself and countless others would bother to attend this old guy's, this former president's rightful sending off into the sweet bye-n-bye.

I won't put any words into your mouth. Send me another e-mail and tell me why you and your friends felt compelled to camp out on that street as long as you did.