3-24-2006 The "No Whispering" Poll

You just knew that if the Scientology issue was going to make it into the local newspapers, it would be The Times Leader that delivered it. Kudos to the staff and management.

Meanwhile, the ass-kissers of elected local Democrats, The Citizens’ Voice, unbelievably treated us to an editorial titled as such: Election bureau saves $3 million grant That editorial was so much rubbish, it deserves neither to be reprinted in part of even to be linked to.

I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to surmise that if the Leader goes tits-up, the only alternative to the Voice’ one-party only antics will be the internet. If the Leader becomes extinct, expect to see a definitive increase in blogging in this county. We may become a one-paper town, but it won’t be reduced to only one voice.

Back to that laughable editorial.

Saved? How’s that again? They just about lost the $3 million Fedrule Help America Vote Act stipend due to their own procrastination, but the spin is that they saved the $3 million. If you’re buying that load of spoiled baloney, you probably also believe that the local print news will be fair and balanced if the Leader meets with it’s demise anytime soon.

From The Times Leader:

Scientology question surfaces in 121st poll

Let’s get one thing straight right now. Scientology has about as much to do with religion as playing “quarters” does. You’re talking about a “religion” that has actively engaged in a war of words with a freaking popular television cartoon series. When was the last time you saw a Pope take on a war with an animated cartoon of any stripe? The Scientologists are so thin-skinned and defensive because they don’t want their questionable business and “religious” practices held to any scrutiny at all. They are to openness what kerosene is to firefighting. They all but invite the non-stop controversy and rumor-mongering they so richly deserve.

Enough with the new-age quackery.

This righteous flapdoodle I read in the Leader story had me rolling my eyes much like only Marty Feldman could:

O’Donnell said the focus should be on how he would perform as a state representative.

“If this election becomes a referendum on someone’s religious beliefs, and not a complete and intelligent discussion on the future of our area, we will perish as a region,” O’Donnell said.

There’s clearly a “whisper campaign of intolerance” moving through the political race, he said.

“These kinds of whisper campaigns reek of trouble in that they’re a precursor to religious persecution,” O’Donnell said. “We can’t be a community that whispers.”

Say what? “…we will perish as a region.” (?) Um, last time I checked, this one-party county of ours came damn close to perishing due to the decades-old lack of “intelligent discussion” while all of that straight party ticket voting was going on. Spare me the polished-sounding campaign psychobabble at this late date. Sorry, but all of my closest friends already moved out of this area in search of meaningful jobs.

A “whisper campaign of intolerance?” Intolerance? I like that. I do. Very, very smooth. If some aspect of what makes him what he is comes into question, well, that’s suddenly labeled “intolerance.” Now, if we got to picking on any of his other opponents, I figure that’d be just fine with him. Be intolerant of Ed Pashinski, or Jim Hayward, but be tolerant whereas the highly dubious links to Scientology are concerned. Got it. Another reason not to vote for you.

We can’t be a community that whispers.” He’s joking, right? Right? Does he have any clue as to what the downtrodden hoi polloi think of most of the folks in cahoots with this county’s Democrat-owned oligarchy? He’s joking, right? Do you high-falootin’ fancy-assed folks have any idea what the younger folks think of the recognizable names (family or otherwise) in this county that typically pander to family, friends, fellow Democrats and senior citizens, while the rest can toil away in their abject nothingness and fight for the scraps?

Whispers? If the Democrats in this county thought county first and not party first, this county would not have become the asshole of the state trying to claw it’s way back to respectability. Remember, this is the area that freaked out when Olive Garden came to town. This is the town that discovered AHL hockey decades after the remainder of the country happened to. This is an area where covering piles of coal refuse with grass seed guarantees the local Congressman a job for life. This is the city where the politicos tell us we’ll enjoy recreating in pooled sewage. Sad, backwards, well behind the times, but true.

You want to here some interesting whispers? Stop polling the aged and reliable registered Democrats in this hack-kneed county and start compiling some exit polling data as our best and brightest--our youngest--continue to file out of the county in search of rewarding careers. Whispers? You haven’t heard the half of it!

Thanks for the insulting, er, infuriating lecture about politically correct tolerance and all, but how about participating in the following poll. Try as we may, we just can’t determine which of the three candidates bankrolled this poll. Darn it. It’s simply too tough for us dumb-asses out here in the wastelands to figure out.

The “No Whispering” Poll:

Kevin McEthnic: He once minded his Ps & Qs so well, he started a dust-up in public with a man short enough to be denied access to the Super Duper Looper. Not only that, but an informed Wyoming County minister claims that many of his former employees have drank the blood of sacrificed virgins on a regular basis. He parts his hair all wrong, he regularly refuses to help little old ladies across busy streets and it is rumored he is the offspring of radiated newts.

Would you vote for him?

Stanley Shiznitski: Not only did he lead the notorious polka/punk band “The Dead Pierogies,” he has what would become a second income if he were to be elected to the big state house. He has been spotted on numerous occasions eating deep-fried kielbasa while wearing high-waters at local church bazaars and once uttered the horrendously ethnic phrase “Heyna, or no?” in public. Rumor has it that, if elected, he will introduce legislation to designate “pigs in the blanket” the official state entrée.

Would you vote for him?

Arthur J. Pedigree: Arthur is a man of vision, of man of pure intentions, a philanthropist and community volunteer of unheard of proportions, a man of decisive action whereas the good of the people is concerned, and if that’s not enough--he‘s got that surname you all recognize. He is successful, smart, handsome, reverent, thrifty, he once bowled seven 300 games in a single series, he single-handedly saved 13 one-legged ferrets from a partially collapsed burning building and he simply adores children, puppies, kittens, baseball, apple pie, America and your favorite team.

Would you vote for him?

You tell me. If presented with such a poll, who might you suspect was behind such a poll? It’s too tough for me. I’m but a simple, intolerant peon of a man of limited means and limited intelligence. If it were up to intolerant whisperers such as me, this whole dang utopian county of ours would be sure to perish.

Thanks for that lecture. I’m much better now and sure to take in the next big Tom Cruise flop at the box office. South Park totally sucks. And that little bastard Kenny needs to be reprogrammed. Or, should I say, helped?

Kielbasa anyone?

Holy jumpin‘ full-of-sh*t candidates! You know, many, many times in the past I’ve had way too much fun at Noxen’s expense. Whether the ball-busting was derived from my experiences at Torchie’s back in the day, delivering to the snack bar of the big Rattlesnake Roundup, snapping a photo of the timeless town post office and wondering why such a lost waypoint of a place should even have a post office, or announcing that Noxen’s biggest employer was it’s, then, new mini-market--I’ve been a bad, bad internet boy.

Earlier today I came to learn that not only does Noxen have a Web site of it‘s own, that site links to this site. Do you think I should delete the archives before those folks up north a ways get a hankering for laying an unmerciful beating on me?

Please! Have mercy, y’all. I never tipped a single cow.

I swear to L. Ron!

Noxen, Pennsylvania

For all of you folks of Irish descent, you need to take a look at the following blog. The author just returned from a trip to Ireland and has much to say about it and many cool pics to share.

Another Monkey

From the e-mail inbox Hi Mark.

I've been away from your site for a while. But the recent rash of fires told me that something controversial would surely end up as a post that might be worth reading. As an insider I am privy to the truth of the goings on surrounding the Welles street fire but the totalitarianism of our local government will not allow me to discuss it.

As you know, I am great friends with the Careys. So my opinion of their doggedness regarding East Station is moot. Still, I am perplexed by your comment: "What I got to wondering about is how many times do you have to bang that steel plate in your head off the curb before you get the first inkling that it's not only a waste of time, but utterly counterproductive". I see no counter productivity here. Yes, the Leighton administration was successful in quashing their movement. But I doubt their fight is over. Time will tell.

I popped over to the SAVE MY CITY blog from a link in one of your posts. I didn't know that thing was still active. I thought that when the nord'ender crew bailed out of of the firehouse movement the site died. I was surprised to see a whole new bunch of posts and one in particular caught my attention. In the post, a disgruntled writer is giving a history lesson to another disgruntled writer. Which got me thinking about your post and the quote above. How many times do you have to bang your head? I don't know. But I know that George Washington lost nearly every battle of the revolution (some historians say he lost them all) and yet here we are today. Since it's history lesson day I'll leave you with this quote from Thomas Jefferson: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed with the blood of patriots from time to time". Long live those who have the balls to stand up against the machine, whether they win or lose.


Dude, that first paragraph…totalitarianism? If you’re going to throw that out there, then you must embellish upon it. C’mon, man.

I found it kind of interesting to learn that one of the victims of the fire claims he owns nothing more than a couple of cell phones and feels that our elected folk should have trouble sleeping at night because of that. At the risk of adding to the waiting line of folks that wish they could beat up on me, did this guy ever think of insuring his property? If he’s reduced to living in his cell phone’s case, I’m assuming he wasn’t properly insured. And if that’s truly the case, he really comes off sounding like a hapless fool for daring to blame his shortcomings on others.

The way I see it, if he was properly insured, he’d be thanking his lucky stars that his entire family survived totally unscathed, because the insurance company would be replacing the lost do-dads and whatnot. If the do-dads and such are not going to be replaced by the insurance companies, as with everything else in the Heights these days, I guess that’s Tom Leighton’s fault, too.

As you know, I am great friends with the Careys. So my opinion of their doggedness regarding East Station is moot. Still, I am perplexed by your comment: "What I got to wondering about is how many times do you have to bang that steel plate in your head off the curb before you get the first inkling that it's not only a waste of time, but utterly counterproductive". I see no counter productivity here. Yes, the Leighton administration was successful in quashing their movement. But I doubt their fight is over. Time will tell.

Is it not obvious that he’s not going to throw what he originally called “good money after bad” whereas that ancient firehouse is concerned? He’s got a $50 million plan for the fire department and it does not include the last of the firehouses that horses used to call home. You know the Careys, and I do not. And while their cause may have been noble at one time, it has now poisoned the attitudes of much of the folks up on the hill. With every passing structure fire, the ludicrous claims--the lies--grow increasingly absurd. Remember, a woman was quoted by the local press as saying that it took the fire department all of 30 minutes to arrive at the Welles Street fire. Dude, that’s an out-and-out lie and everyone in the Heights knows as much. If the Careys are proud of the fact that they were instrumental in setting all of that trumped-up hysteria in motion, more power to ‘em. If it were me, I’d be quickly disassociating myself from the whole fu>ked-up misinformation program.

I, too, doubt that their fight is over. Fact is, they’ve got some significant court costs hanging in the balance, so what option do they have other than to fight on and hope for the best. I honestly wish that they hadn’t started all of this half thought-out referendum nonsense, but they did. And I think it’s a bit melodramatic to talk of how “…the Leighton administration was successful in quashing their movement.” If you want to talk about what quashed their movement, you need to start by talking about Jamie Lake. During this entire drawn-out firehouse brouhaha, his is a name that is central to the “quashing” issue, but never mentioned.

If I lived up there, I’d be distancing myself from structure fires and those who profess to know how best to approach fighting them. We started with lies in the 7 minute range. Then somebody torched the same Empire Street house a second time the same night and hoped for some real controversy. It didn’t work. Then it was dubious claims of 10 minute responses. Next it was fifteen minutes. During this most recent fire on the hill, we had laughable guesstimates ranging from 20 minutes to 30 minutes. Time will tell? I sure as hell hope not. If we have many more structure fires up there, the residents of the Heights may become the laughing stock of the entire city.

Consider Mr. Cell Phone. People at the scene have him guzzling beers while his home went up in smoke. Then, he’s on camera and off on an accusatory tangent. Was he even sober when the news crews arrived on scene? Was he completely sober when he opted for the ridiculous theatrics for the cameras at the council meeting? I have to tell you, in my opinion, the Heights folks have not been doing themselves proud lately. Nope. Quite the contrary. Straight up, If I told you I called for an ambulance and it took thirty minutes to arrive, you’d be wondering about what became of my last, scant trace of sanity. If I happened to delve into the realm of impossibilities, you’d be laughing out loud. With that said, why is the sublime so acceptable when it’s emanating from the Heights on a very, very consistent basis?

The resurrection of “Save My City?” Was that not entirely predictable? These folks had their twelve toes crossed hoping for some weird happening to pounce upon for political points, and thankfully for them, something bad happened. That’s what the “movement” has been reduced to: hoping for the worst to happen. It’s a crying shame the entire block didn’t burn to the ground when you consider that the “movement” only thrives when the unthinkable comes down.

What’s next? Are we shooting for claims of a 40-minute response time? How ‘bout an hour? What the fu>k. The media will report any lie no matter how preposterous it is, so when the “movement” huddles together again to throw darts at the mayor’s picture, that should be an agenda item. What say y’all? Should we shoot for 90 minutes, or is there a threshold we dare not cross? Why not sabotage? Nothing seems to be off-limits these days.

When I think of a nasty structure fire, I picture family members hugging, sobbing and consoling each other. But from the Heights, I’m getting images of people boozing and working themselves into a hateful frenzy. And who was it that set all of that in motion? Who is responsible for tarnishing the image of the folks on the hill? Who founded the “movement?” I’m telling you, this is getting really, really, really stupid.

The history lesson was appreciated, but it’s ground I’ve covered already. Trust me, there aren’t any patriots involved in this firehouse imbroglio. What there are is plenty of folks who would like to see themselves as patriots, but the way I see it, patriotism has to have some grounding in the truth. And as long as the “patriots” stick with dispensing untruths, the tree of liberty leans further and further away from them. And when they cross that 40-minute threshold, it’ll likely topple over.

Long live those who have the balls to stand up against the machine, whether they win or lose.

I hear that. But to make that heady stand, a bit more than balls is required. Call me silly if you must, but I’m thinking that honesty and integrity need to be included in the mix.

I gotta go.