Citizens for Clueless Charlatans

I would like to say something ... to men who were in Vietnam, who I hurt, or whose pain I caused to deepen because of things that I said or did. I was trying to help end the killing and the war, but there were times when I was thoughtless and careless about it and I'm ... very sorry that I hurt them. And I want to apologize to them and their families.--Hanoi Jane Fonda, 1988

Next up to 'fess up?

I really hate to run the risk of being tagged as obnoxious again, but I just can't seem to help myself as of late. Screw it. Here goes.

I read the execrable letter to the editors of the Voice sent along by the ubiquitous Ambrose Meletsky and Charles Urban that was intended to suggest that Tom Leighton hasn't done jack sh*t to improve our situation here in Wilkes-Barre.

Their's is a tiresome message that never fluctuates no matter who happens to be banging the gavel at any given time. If apoplectic firebrands appeal to you, these are the taxpayer watchdogs for you. If persistent political graffitists somehow deserve credit, these two are the ultimate gadflies for you. To put it quite bluntly, these perpetual malcontents and the stealthy folks they run with are beginning to seriously annoy me. I will not hack on them for being syntactically challenged, because as a puncuationally challenged American, I know how completely frustrating appearing stupid very publicly can be.

Let's get something perfectly straight, shall we? I am not Tom Leighton's biggest apologist, nor shall I ever be. If he mucks up royally, I will be among the first to publicly say so. But what the usual suspects apparently fail to realize is that we've got to lay the foundation before we can start slapping the concrete on any bricks. Heyna?

Yeah, Charles. Yeah, Ambrose. We've still got holes in some of our streets. And we've still got some storm sewers slowly making their way to China. We've still got some killer weeds here and there, KOZ zones, high taxes and a ton of tax-exempt properties to contend with. Most of us that reside here were already painfully aware of the blatantly obvious, so what is your fu*king point already? This mayor sucks, too? This mayor sucks, the mayor before him sucked and the mayor before him sucked? You publicity whores really know how to stay on message for years on end. If abject negativity was a tradeable commodity, you watchdog folks would own all of Wilkes-Barre, bedraggled as it is.

Tom Leighton has had eight short months at the helm of this city and you'd have to be snorting copious amounts of cheap hair spray threw a toilet paper roll to have missed the fact that he's spent the majority of his time in office laying the foundation for a confluence of positive projects yet to come. They say patience is a virtue, and if that's entirely true, the folks currently making most of the useless political noise lack some serious virtue.

There is nothing like breathing dirty air on a windy day.

Listen to your pathetic selves. Tom Leighton made our air dirty and he won't do a freakin' thing about the winds.

We have reached the apogee of stupidity in this town.

The all intrusive negative mindset...

...is apparently here to stay. From the forum page:

Kielbasi Festival -- OZ, 21:15:21 08/26/04 Thu [1]

Hats off to the city of Plymouth. That small town on the west side seems to have more going on than the city of W-B! I think just on that small little main drag there they have more succesful establishments than W-B entire Downtown

Granted, the folks in Plymouth have done some nice things with their smallish main drag, but maybe we need to take the blinders off when we take the next jaundiced look at our own city.

What? The Farmer's Market counts for absolutely nothing? I blew through the Square on Thursday afternoon and the regular event was obviously well attended.

And wasn't the 5th annual Rib Fest held there yesterday as part of the larger United Way Family Fest? Ever partake of the Fine Arts Fiesta? Whadda bout the 4th of July fireworks which are paid for by Wilkes-Barre and not Plymouth. And, just in case you were off orbiting a distant dying sun, there was this one event staged recently by The City of Wilkes-Barre that included approximately 4,000 American flags or somewhere thereabouts. The new-and-improved St. Patrick's Day parade, maybe? The rapidly approaching event on a closed Public Square for the 5 nearby colleges? "Wingin' it in Wilkes-Barre" perhaps.

I hate to break it to some of you always negative types, but there are plenty of great events staged right here in good ole Wilkes-Barre, which only proves that not all of us are completely down on our own community. Some still take pride in their struggling city and plug away, despite the negativity that pervades practically everything that some see, say, and do. Silly sods, heyna?

So Plymouth held their inaugural Kielbasi festival. Good. Wonderful. More power to 'em. I honestly wish them nothing but continued success. But to say that Plymouth has more going on than Wilkes-Barre is nothing less than total hogwash. Admit it.

I, of course, do not consume the rotting inerds of dead animals, so you probably won't catch me at the KielbasiFest unless they take a page from Pittston and stage an all-out Kielbasi fight. Heck, I'd even plunk down a few buckolas to take in that event.

One other note. It takes a helluva lot more effort, vision, money and cooperation to revitalize a downtown the size of Wilkes-Barre's versus what it takes to revitalize a downtown Plymouth, or a downtown Luzerne. Admit it.

I'm no urban planner, but I probably should be. Clean, neat, safe and green. That's a great start. Oh, and Alien V on the silver screen.

Remember the lengthy laundry list of great things about to happen for own long dormant downtown? And the Guv is set to hit town on Tuesday with another over-sized check in tow. And Uncle Paul just delivered some Washington-styled pork for the city. Can anyone see what is about to happen here? Or am I the lone overly optimistic fool that still remains in these troubled parts?

I read a recent column by the Times Leader's Casey Jones where he wrote that Leighton has us stumbling in the right direction. I was aghast when I read that. Stumbling? Here's a local writer who missed the great majority of the cataclysmic McG years. Stumbling? If what Leighton & Co. has accomplished this year could be called anything remotely close to stumbling, I'd love to send Casey back in time to the year 1996 A.D. and have him cover the Great Stumble Storm that was to follow. But, alas, negativity sells and the folks at the Leader seem to be quite adept at keeping the hoi polloi at a negative fever pitch as it pertains to our area and our newly elected leaders.

Stumbling? Make sure you remind Casey about that less than two-fisted (or hard-hitting for those of you with the much over-priced college degrees) column when he stumbles on down to the Percyplex for an afternoon matinee.

I feel a call to SAYSO comin' on:

Heyna, or no? Why can't dat Barrouk & dat Leighton bring some kielbasi to Wilkes-Barre? Plymouth has kielbasi. Plymouth is a lot gooder dan Wilkes-Barre. Maybe dem dere richies in Barney Farms don't like kielbasi anymore. Dey only eat fishie eggs from Norway bought wit taxpayer dollahs. Norway is even furder away dan Centralia. Dem is mah fargin' dollahs and no sumbitchin' baby-kissa is goin' fetch 'em away from me so long as I still got mah trusty 12-guage. 'Sides, fishie eggs is goll dern gross. What kinda side-windin', ankle-grabbin' goll dern pansy would wanna go and eat dat manure? Holy jumpin' orangutan farts! Worse dan dem dam homasexualists, or dose blackies down da block a spell. Mind ya'll, I reckon I dun hate anyone so long as they do as Ma and I do. Ya know, shootin' squirrels, drinkin' from the still and treatin' da younguns to a half-naked thrill or two behind da tool shed when no one is lookin'. I wouldn't vote for dat Barrouk again if you promised to clean my whole coal bin wit yer fargin' tongue. I'll betcha dat dere Walter likes a nice slab of kielbasi now and again. Hows about anudder petition to get us some kielbasi on da Square and do away with Kathy Kane's pay, too? I miss my cludder cleanups. Ya know, I reckon Wilkes-Barre just plum chews the ass out of a dead raccoon dese days.

The much bally-hooed average voter has spoken.

Let's see here...

...according to the Voice, Drug busts in city rise 153 percent. I'm sure that counts for nothing amongst the folks that bitch about the crime rate so often. All of the cops sit around and eat donuts, or some such sh*t, I'm sure. If I were to venture a less than educated guess as so many of my fellow residents seem so prone to doing, I'd say Kielbasi-stuffed eclairs for the most part.

To admit that the cops are doing a bang-bang job of late really smacks of being overtly positive and maybe even somewhat appreciative. And we wouldn't want that, would we? Or would we?

We recently recieved the keys...

...to our newest firetruck. Yup. Ladder 1 will replace our tired and limping Truck 6. It was built in Pennsylvania by American LaFrance at a cost of $566,000, $450,000 of which came from the feds, and the rest coming from our OCD funds. It's got a 100 foot ariel platform, an engine powerful enough to turn some heads at the annual Plymouth Township Mud Bog, nuclear-powered air horns...sorry 'bout that...kielbasi-powered air horns (you'll see) and get this...full-court basketball is a distinct possibility within it's cavernous cab. Shirts or skins?

In any other local municipality, this would be hailed as extremely good news. But, this is Wilkes-Barre.

What? No more clutter cleanups?

Wilkes-Barre has it's..

...very own PAC? A Political Action Committee right here in Kielbasi-less-ville? The Citizens for Charter Change founded by Walter L. Griffith, Jr. has risen from the ashes of his previous, completely disasterous foray into the less than insightful world of governing for the dummies, by the dummies.

This is so pathetic. I guess somebody has to appeal to the lowest common denominator to get themselves noticed. Are you on a fixed income? Are you tired of high taxes and no clutter cleanups? Are the mortgages in Barney Farms well beyond your reach? Would you like more than anything else to stick it to someone who earns more money than you? Well, Hells Bells! Walter seeks your money and your support.

Make checks payable to:

Citizens for Charter Change
P.O. Box 222
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702

The C.C.C.? Yikes! What in the muck is that? The Citizens for Clueless Charlatans? This guy can't even put together a half-decent acronym. You wanna put him in charge?

As-fu*king-is. I'd send a generous check to Osama Bin Laden before I'd ever consider sending this failed politico my aging pet rock. Sh*t. If this guy doesn't get what he wants, namely a seat on council, he is apparently prepared to stalk whomever until the Sun finally implodes upon itself to get it.

There's an agenda going on here and it is not healthy. If one can't get themselves elected to anything of note, should they then be allowed to rule by referendum, or political tomfoolery? Which part of the program is it that continues to escape this guy? For him, it seems that being hit on the head by a voting booth imparts very little understanding of voting booths.

What-freaking-ever. Apparently, there is much more work afoot. And I am on it.