1-1-2006 Big Brother or: How Dubya, Skrep and Leighton are restricting our freedoms

We are also going to install cameras for public safety in our neighborhood parks and in our downtown.--Tom Leighton, from his "I believe" speech of 6-9-2005.

This issue of Big Brother being turned loose on an unknowing American public is fascinating spectacle to watch. The folks leaning towards the left are all crying foul, dredging up conspiracy theories at a rate-per-minute heretofore unimagined and tossing around that "I" word--impeachment--faster than an inept local public defender can accuse his client's accusers of racial profiling.

The way it seems to me, some of us are jockeying to score some political points, while the common hardscrabble folks are mostly scratching their heads and saying a collective 'So what?' You wanna spy on terrorists and those who would associate with such terrorists? Well, dag flammit, git to woik, you Fedrule gumshoes. Just stay the hell offa my spread.

Unless your bestest buddy in the world is renting a timeshare in Tora Bora's shadow, I'm thinking you can dial away on your phone with nary a concern about your sacred privacy. How many of your relatives are currently attending college in Pakistan, or...say, Afghanistan? Are you purchasing cartons of tax-free cigarettes from a Tehran-based web site? Have you an electronic pen pal managing any Poppy fields? I don't get all the hoopla steeped in hysterics. You wanna feed my thoughts through an Echelon software filter? Knock yourselves out. I sincerely do not care. I got more important stuff to conspire about like how I'm gonna sneak a few more CD purchases past Wifey.

I know that the Democrats think that if they continue to beat up on Dubya for another year or so, they are sure to replace him with Queen Hillary. Even if Iraq begins to stabilize during this new year of our's, that by no means would bring an end to the struggle against those who would love to shred your kids with some high-velocity screws and ball bearings at the local mall. When we next vote for a president, this country will still be on a war footing, whether the limp-wristers wanna believe it or not. Not only that, but Iran's new "leader" is just begging for some airstrikes being delivered to his soil judging by his inflammatory tone. Like it or not, until those fascists sporting the holy books get put in their places--six feet under--we aren't gonna be enjoying any peace dividends anytime soon. There's the way things ought to be, and then there's the way it is.

And despite the thorough savaging Dubya has been treated to by his rabid political opponents, I fail to see why they should be brimming with confidence whereas recapturing the white house is concerned. Assuming that we're still on a war footing as the next presidential election campaign overheats, the Democrats are still going to have to overcome the well-deserved perception that they are weak on national defense. And as far as I'm concerned, ever since the M1A1s first rolled into Iraq with their high-velocity guns a blazin', they have done nothing but reinforce that perception that they should not be entrusted with our national defense while hostilies are still the order of the day. What have they done?

They announced to the world that we don't know how to properly manage a war we're clearly winning. They announced to the world that our unclean motives should not be trusted. They accused our troops of torturing captured combatants after it was disclosed that some naked Twister was going on in one Iraqi prison. I don't know about you, but when it comes to being tortured, I'd prefer the naked Twister gig to the decapitation game. I'm silly that like. But I wasn't always this way.

They accused our soldiers detaining terrorists at Gitmo of atrocities approaching that of the Nazis during their holocaust tour of Europe. None of which panned out. Their last presidential hopeful, John Kerry, accused our troops of terrorizing Iraqi women and children in the middle of the night. They accused Dubya of allowing 911 to happen rather than stopping it. As the KIAs kept coming back to Dover, they literally became that Paper Tiger that our opponents have accused us of being by demanding that we figure out how to cut-and-run from Iraq instead of finishing what we started there. An exit strategy you say? Yeah! There's no quicker way of losing a war than quitting. Bush said: Stay the course. The Dems said: When can we quit? Spin it any way you want, but the Dems went casualty-averse Paper Tigers on us. Just like Osama said we would.

They allowed a half-wit like Cindy Sheehan to become their anti-war poster girl, while Middle America found her self-aggrandizing antics to be highly offensive. Why is it that she found herself all alone at her overly-publicized book signing non-event? They mourn the loss of each and every soldier Dubya ordered to their deaths, but seem to have forgotten all about the 3,000 or so people Osama ordered to their deaths. 3,000 people, I might add, that we couldn't find enough of to properly bury.

Consider the vaccuous words of Kevin Lynn, WILK's leading terrorist appeaser and Bush-basher extraordinaire:

Itís ironic that between 9/12/2001 and the end of that horrible year more people actually died on our highways than died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Don't try to give me any bullspit about taking things out of context, that is a stand-alone statement no matter what point he was trying, but failing to make. For Kev, the death of one soldier in Iraq is too much for him to bare, but the 9/11 massacre was no worse than trying to get to Duluth by tommorrow night. Is cretinous a word? If not, it damn-well should be.

And for that weak-on-national-defense crowd currently planning Queen Hillary's coronation, they fail to realize that she's in a bit of a pickel with a large segment of her base. She's positioned herself as being a hawk on defense issues, including the war in Iraq. But the overzealous goon squad that is the MoveOn.org segment of the party that Howard Dean energized are hopping mad at her for not demanding that we cut-and-run from the War on Terror, like, yesterday. Stating that you support a war, but don't agree with the way it's being waged cannot be confused with being a centrist's position. She's got a problem, and she had better figure out how to lie her way out of that one.

And what of Howard Dean himself? Who was it that decided he should be the mouthpiece of the entire party? By direct comparison, he makes those murderous martyrs seem tame, if not reasonable. Sorry, kiddies. But this guy is little more than a loose cannon that should be summarily dispatched back to making maple syrup, or whatever it is that the 300 or so folks do up there in Vermont. His vitriolic rhetoric is matched only by his ability to deliver primal screams on demand. He's a nutjob. And you put him in charge? Where the hell was Ed Mitchell when that highly dubious decision was made?

Bush is spying on me? Listen to the hoi polloi tell it here. Ready? Good!

If I happen to make a call to Bahrain, or Basra, by all means, please listen in and make absolutely sure I'm not conspiring to kill 3,000 more innocent Americans. The folks in Las Vegas, or Wilkes-Barre will have no clue, but at least they are being protected from a critical mass event coming to town in the foreseeable future. If the American version of Big Brother shakes you to your core, just imagine what the Taliban's version of Big Brother might be like.

As for those Democrats--those Paper Tigers gnashing their teeth and wringing their white-knuckled hands--Mogadishu was just too much for them to be able to handle, and they gave the order to swiftly cut-and-run away. 18 KIAs and the U.S. military was reduced to being a bunch of fleeing fother-muckers. And as a direct result of that order to run away from a fight, Osama's legend has been growing ever since.

Every now and again, that big stick of ours needs to be swung. But generally speaking, only one of our political parties has the stomach for swinging it. There's hawks. And then there's doves clamoring for an exit strategy that would ensure a resounding defeat.

Whatever. I gotta give my sister a call on my encrypted cell phone. Some of you folks ought to listen to yourselves. Our enemies listen, and they are laughing at you.

Sez me.

All of which leads me back to Rob Neyhard's having substituted for Sue Henry on WILK last week. Even more Big Brother bullspit.

When Rob was inviting the listeners to fully skewer Wilkes-Barre's thoroughly bruised nuts, some goober professing to be a resident of Wilkes-Barre called and made a smart-alec reference to Tom Leighton's plan to install video surveillance cameras in our downtown, and at our grafitti-spoiled playgrounds. Say it ain't so, Mr. Mayor! Say it ain't so! He's a gonna spy on us, too? What about our living, breathing constitutional rights? What if my Fruit of the Looms get to creeping up my ass? I can't make a much-needed adjustment for fear of being laughed at by the Wilkes-Barre Security Administration spooks glued to their security monitors? No privacy at all? Big Brother Tom is watching my every move?

Talk about your hysterical and laughable bullsh*t!

So, according to "Bob from Wilkes-Barre," positioning a security camera at a newly-remodeled playground is proof that mostly nefarious undertakings are afoot, and we should be outraged. Okaaaaaay! But after the city rebuilds a playground and it comes up looking like an international grafitti competition went down there, then what? Does Bob call Rob and whine on cue about not having enough cops on the payroll? Earth to fu>king Bob! Earth to dipsh*t Bob! Cameras are much, much cheaper than cops! I think we covered this yesterday. We'd all like to see more cops on the city payroll. The only problem is, we can't afford too many more right now. But we don't want the mayor's secret police watching our comings and goings on video while the rodents are trying to wreck themselves on the new jungle gym? You figure this guy out.

As if charges of the city playing Big Brother wasn't silly enough, Bob then went on the charge that our county government is secretly spying on us, too. Are you sh*ttin' me? Skrep and VonderTodd are watching me when I'm all alone? Yikes! I hope that tape doesn't find it's way to some porno web site, or a Playtime Boutique. Luzerne County is spying on me? When I run into Skrep again, I'm gonna lay a can of whoop-ass on him! He's no match for me and he knows it! What? You say he's bumped heads with the likes of Reggie White and Jevon Kearse in the NFL trenches? Yeah? So what? He ain't ready for any of what I'm gonna throw at him. This spying bit has the adrenaline pump going haywire. Maybe not.

So let's get down to brass tacks as they relate to Bob's claim that the county is spying on all of us unknowing sprats, shall we? He cited Service Electric's channel 077 as proof of said spying. Oh my God! Sorry, sorry. Oh my Goodness! Looky here. The county has 8 cameras positioned all over the immediate area and they are watching our every move. I'm shocked. I'm well beyond numb. I'm outraged. I'm thinking of becoming a rent-a-mob protester. I'm going to bloody my fist right here in the adobe. What has Dubya done to me? What has Dubya done with my rights? See where all of this Big Brother stuff can lead to?

Now, let's rejoin reality, okay?

Those eight cameras that we know of were deployed by the County's Emergency Management Agency as a way of monitoring road and river conditions when Tom Clark gets to warning us of impending doom by way of crunchy water falling from the skies above. In actuality, if you bothered to hook up with channel 77 and watch the live video feeds, you'd plainly see that only a complete mental incontinent could possibly construe them to be conspiratorial in nature. If that's spying, then maybe Skrep has mistakenly based this entire network on something he read in a dimestore comic book. The only other place I know of where these live images are being displayed in real time is in the boiler room of the county's 911 facility. Catch that? In the boiler room, I said.

So where do all these groundless charges of spying deliver us to?

Dubya will do whatever it takes to protect American citizens from another attack anywhere near the scale of the last one.

Tom Leighton will spend whatever is required to restore our long-neglected playgrounds, but he also seeks to protect those investments.

Leighton also believes that video surveillance in our downtown can only enhance our policing capabilities, and as evidenced by the London terrorist bombings, he is absolutely, undeniably, one-hundred percent correct.

Oh, and, our county government takes it emergency management responsibilities very seriously.

Whatever. I gotta give my sister a call on my encrypted cell phone. Some of you folks ought to listen to yourselves. Our enemies listen, and they are laughing at you.

Sez me.

I tuned into that ESPN broadcast wherein the New York Football Giants would take on the Raiders and Kerry Collins. Needless to say, I was filled with much trepidation as the opening kickoff went sailing downfield. If your pass rush can force Collins to take even a half-step in any direction other than the one he sought, he's a mediocre quarterback. But when he's protected, he can slice and dice any defense with his spot-on accurate passes. And being that the Jints have already lost three starting linebackers and two of their replacements; I was really worried about how much payback Collins might be able to deliver to the franchise that cut him loose in favor of Eli Manning. Kerry Collins will find his way back to the Super Bowl if he finds himself max-protected again. He really is that good when not forced to go mobile. Who was it that led the Jints to a Super Bowl five years ago? Yup. One Kerry Collins. No matter what his football future might have in stake for him...I wish him well.

Despite the terribly depleted linebacking corps, and playing without an injured Jeremy Shockey, the Jints found a way to win this one and in the process, won the NFC East. I'm thrilled. But I'm not stupid.

As far as I'm concerned, this year's version of the New York Giants is in need of some draft help that they haven't had since the draft day trade that brought Eli to NYC. But...if they draft well during the off-season, I'm thinking the talented nucleus that is in place, plus some help via the draft will have me reserving a humungous TV at Rent-a-Center come next January. I think we're a player or two away from greatness, and I had such a feeling twice before when Big Blue went and won itself two Super Bowls.

We may not get there this year, but I wouldn't bet too much money against us next year.

And how 'bout Tiki Barber? Check his stats.


I was surprised to learn both Gage and Taylor knew that last night was New Year's Eve. And they stated that they wanted to ring in the new year. Wifey and I were both skeptical whereas their stamina was concerned, but we told them they could stay up as long as they wished. So, they played and played and played...and Taylor begged to be put to bed around 9:30. No surprise there. So, after she crashed in a major way, we waited for Gage to run out of steam. And for the first time ever, he got caught up in the violence that the NFL offers us and seemed to be chugging along towards midnight. He done good. That is, until 2005 had about fifteen minutes left to give.

Just when the time had arrived to grab some shoes and coats, Gage wanted nothing more than a pillow. We kept prodding him on with the latest on the countdown. 8 minutes! 4 minutes! At 2 minutes he stood up and allowed grandma to ready him for his very first ringing in of the new year. I'm not really sure that he knew what the heck this was all about, but he marched on out there with his bell and river horn and had at it. Three...two...one...raise hell! And raise hell he did. Fact is, he's got a great teacher in those respects. He seemed to be amazed by the folks down on the corner that were making much more noise than we could have hoped to short of employing some constricted gun powder devices.

So we blew our river horns, banged our bells and yelled niceties to Anne across the street a ways who was doing likewise. And five minutes into this new year of ours, Gage Andrew was tucked into his weekend bed and snoring away. But whether he knows it or not, this new year will be the year by which he'll find himself being entrusted to a kindergarten teacher. I think he's gonna love it. I'd be shocked if he managed a single tear on his first day of school.

If nothing else, I think his Pop Pop has taught him that adventures into the unknown are a really good thing. Well, at the very least, he's enjoyed much of what I've managed to expose him to. The thing is, much to my dismay, he might already be growing beyond my reach. There does come that point when teachers seem totally relevant, parents seem like annoyances, and grandparents appear way too old to be taken seriously anymore.

No biggie. As things pertain to my amazing grandrodents, I'll grow old gracefully. As for the rest of you, I'll cut you no such slack.

But, you knew as much. Right?

Happy New Year!

Then again, we'll just see who Gage calls upon when he wants to drive a baseball with authority off of a batting tee. We shall see. Bat speed! Bat speed! Bat speed! Boy!!!

Who knows? Stay tuned on all of that Little League stuff.

I'm done. Sorry to have bored you.