4-13-2006 Kill the birds

Hooboy! The city’s latest version (I lost count) of the redistricting apportionment committee has recommended a district map after only five meetings.

This is the redistricting scenario they will present to council later this month:

Sure as hell beats the striped districts the last meeting of the volunteer minds came up with. Someone referred to the striped districts as gerrymandering a while back. But when a person in Barney Farms is in the same voting district as a person from Pine Ridge, that’s more like jerk-offmandering than anything else. That plan made about as much sense as trying to lose weight by ordering diet sprinkles on a sundae, I tell you.

But be reminded, there are those who claim that by voting by districts, we’ll be pitted against each other whereas infrastructure improvements and suchlike are concerned. That argument is certainly not without merit when you consider the recent selfish antics of some of the folks in the Heights. Flatlanders be damned! They want what they want and they‘ll rewire wristwatches to get it..

I like the idea of voting by neighborhoods solely because it’ll present me with candidates from my own neck of the woods, whom I should have a decent idea about whether they should be elected or not. I know my neighborhood, and I can easily differentiate between the pretenders in need of free health insurance and the folks totally worthy of my vote. As far as council hopefuls from the remaining neighborhoods are concerned, it’s a heckuva lot harder to get any good info on them short of anecdotal evidence, rumors and whatever mucky muck may slither down the grapevine. You want me to base my vote on that?

Then we have to consider the reaction of the taxpayer “activists” who are all useless contrarians through-and-through. They recoiled in horror at the mere mention of striped districts, so I figure they’ll have to think really, really hard on why voting by contiguous neighborhoods is also a bad idea. What these folks lack in mental acuity, they more than make up for in volume units. The activist platform can be summed up as follows: Cut taxes and increase city services. Like I said, they’re dumber than your average grub dying from exposure to Diazinon.

Follow their illogic for one moment. On a personal note, does cutting your income and increasing your spending sound like a plan? Is that the most doable approach to local governing? Oops, I forgot. They want the elected to take a major pay cut. Okay, in a city with a $35 million budget, that’s akin to cutting your income, increasing your spending and telling the kids that they’ll have to get by with a reduced weekly allowance. I think the constant drumbeat of the perpetually contrarian “activists” proves that the effects of urban flight on IQ distribution have been very unkind to this city of ours. They are the devoted paramours of the idiotic and the unchecked idiocy they typically spew. Whatever, kiddies. Delusional self-importance does that to even the best of them. Or something.

So, them’s my thoughts on the proposed voting districts. Just pass them into law already and let’s await the big election showdown when council will be reduced by two. I may have consumed too much metal-flake enamel way back when the step-dad was racing at the Danbury fairgrounds on weekends, but them’s my thoughts.

Yes indeedy.

I ain‘t never heard of the following media blog before, but just when I thought I’d heard myself called just about everything, this dude came up with a new one:

Wilkes-Barre's blogger-in-chief checks in with his two cents on…

Northeast PA media news and gossip

The “blogger-in-chief?”

I volunteered. Well, in a small way. Microscopic, in fact.

From The Times Leader:

W-B seeks statewide cleanup volunteers

WILKES-BARRE – The winter clouds have cleared and sun – at least recently – is shining on the Wyoming Valley.

It’s time for a little spring cleaning.

Mayor Tom Leighton is calling for residents to participate in this year’s Great Pennsylvania Cleanup. On April 22, the city will participate in the cleanup’s main event, Let’s Pick it Up PA Day.

The city is looking for volunteers to help tidy up locations like the River Common, Kirby Park and Coal Street Park.

Speaking Tuesday, Leighton asked residents to pitch in by cleaning the tree lawns and roadways in front of their properties. He also asked residents to give a hand to older residents who may want to participate but may be unable to clean their yards. As a new element to the cleanup, which the city participated in last year, block captains will be designated who will be responsible for coordinating the cleanup within their neighborhoods.

The city is asking volunteers to provide their own equipment, although garbage bags, vests, gloves and a limited supply of rakes and brooms will be distributed as part of the program sponsored by the state Department of Transportation.

In addition to the free supplies distributed by PennDOT, members of the Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association are offering free landfill space to dispose of nonrecyclable waste collected during the cleanup.

The thing to make note of again is that whatever we manage to sweep, rake or scrape up--we, as a city, are being offered free landfill space. So, if there’s something on your street or in your neighborhood that’s been bugging you, call Ron Trimble at 208-4246, get a few volunteers together and remove it from the landscape. Or, if you’d rather assist a larger group in a park or something, came on board.

Two years ago, volunteers from my company, a city firefighter and a lady from Wyoming Street cleaned up that overgrown median strip on Penn Avenue behind St. Nick’s. Three years ago, my office closed for an entire day and my co-workers and I took on the totality of Kirby Park in advance of the 4th of July festivities. We removed truckload after truckload of debris from the park, so you can make a difference

I have to work a half-day on Let’s Pick it Up PA Day, so I volunteered to sweep my entire street and some of Penn Avenue at Butler Street where all of the storm sewers get blown away when the sky gets to freaking out on us. Who knows, wifey might even give me a hand. Last year, in addition to what I’ll be doing this year, my neighbors and I removed the garage that was illegally dumped up at the top of our street and pruned the hell out of the trees so as to make that spot less attractive to illegal dumpers. Pricks. Then city employees showed up a day or so later and hauled it all away.

There are those who will tell you that we pay taxes and shouldn’t have to volunteer our time to keep the city clean. I don’t understand that mindset, but I’ll resist the sudden urge to piss them off, too. Do what y’all gotta do. I’ll be trying to make some small difference.

Join me.

We could drink afterwards.

I cannot believe all of the eruptions of outrage coming from people who are opposed to the emergence of windmills in this area. It leaves me feeling somewhat stupefied on most days.

There was a letter published in the Citizens’ Voice yesterday from one of those "Save Our Watershed" environmental stalwarts titled Builders of wind turbines underestimate disruption. Now, excuse me for being completely incapable of transcending the maturity level of those who would eat their own snots, but the arguments against the construction of windmills are all complete bullsh*t. Sez me.

I don’t care who studies exotic grass species, migratory birds, or the organic effects of one compound versus another on fish urine. Or even who has an MD in front of their names. The oft-repeated and mostly inane arguments against windmills make me wanna take your average environmental and pitch him into the machine that produces asphalt. Now that’s progress.

Deforestation? You’re joshing me, right? When forests are being clear-cut for the purposes of building ridiculously large homes, nobody says a freaking word. When mansions get built but a few yards away from reservoirs, the environmentalists must be out eyeballing rare snails and considering how acid rain might ruin their annual mating rituals. Pennsylvania keeps spending more and more on these Growing Greener projects, but all I ever see is trees being removed where big box stores are soon to be constructed. I see strip malls, housing developments, new sewers, newly-built roads and paved parking lots popping up all over the place. Oh, and dams proposed for polluted rivers. Where are the vocal protectors of nature when all of this is going on?

As far back as I can remember, these sorts of people have been incrementally “educating” us whereas protecting Mother Earth is concerned. Actually, they’ve been hammering on us and, quite frankly, there are those days when I’d like to take a hammer to the lot of them. More freaks in need of a serious hobby. Anywho, they’ve been warning us about the detrimental effects of burning fossil fuels. They have been telling us for decades that nuclear power plants would be the death of us all. We can’t burn coal. We can’t burn the local papers in the rusty old drum out back. We can’t drill for oil. We can’t refine it. And we should feel guilty for even needing or wanting it.

They’ve also been telling us for decades that we need to develop alternative energies and once-and-for-all change our gluttonous American ways. They put a flower in their hair and preached to us about how we needed to harness the Earth’s energies that are always in abundant supply and would never damage our pristine world. We need to harness the Sun, the water and the wind, they said. But what they neglected to tell us is that we not allowed to harness the Earth’s energies anywhere near their back yards. No, no, no. Put those windmills over by the public housing projects filled with blacks, or down by the white trash in Wilkes-Barre, but not on my beautiful mountain. Alternative energies are most preferred, but put them someplace else, if anywhere at all. Does anybody want to help me pitch these idiots into the asphalt machine?

The gigantic wind turbines will kill birds? So does my truck when it’s whistling down the highway. Should we ban trucks, too? Birds attack my windows on occasion. Should they be removed? Giant chucks of ice will fly off of the humongous turbines when it gets too cold for Tom Clark’s tastes? So…stay the fu>k away from them. You know, like how you’re supposed to stay away from railroad tracks, inlets to sewage treatment plants and anything else known to snuff the life out of adventurers. And airplane propellers, too. The developers will create access roads through the wilderness? Yeah? And? And that’s worse than the road to the private hunting cabin, how? That’s worse than some successful medical practitioner needing a plot the size of The Ponderosa to raise his two spoiled brats, how? That’s significantly worse than the many access roads to the far-flung radio, television, cell phone and microwave towers in what way?

Some of these enviro-freaks need to make up their frickin’ minds already. What’s it gonna be? Should we be supporting windmill farms, or should I call my local congressman and tell him I want two more nuclear reactors added to the local PP&L facility? If we all go solar down here in the valley, are you sprawl dorks on the mountains gonna seek an injunction due to the blinding reflection emanating from our rooftops? Make up your minds. Do you want to keep screaming profanities at bicycle riders because you cannot share the roads? If so, I could easily fire up the truck and burn some more fossil fuels?

In my mind, the folks in the more bucolic areas screaming the loudest about saving our habitat are all so full of it, they are energy sources unto themselves. It takes some serious clear-cutting to make a bucolic village, oh, but that’s not damaging the migratory tracts of the rare Thai Squirrel, is it? Nah. Removing a forest so Junior and his effeminate little friends can practice their soccer “skills” ain’t gonna bother the deer none. Nah. The mansions on the hills overlooking the Ice Ponds? No biggie. The chipmunks never even showed up at the zoning hearing. Those country folk sure know what’s good and what ain’t whereas the removal of pristine acreages are concerned. And being in the knowing of so much environmental genius, they know that windmills will spoil the land, pollute the ponds and make the forests far less safe for ATV riding.

And while they continue to hug the trees they have no need to kill just yet, and speak out of both sides of their mouths on environmental issues as they pertain to their particular wants or needs, I will continue to see them as fringe lunatics forever relegated to bringing up the rear of enlightened thought. And they’re funny-looking, too.

Bring on the windmills.

Kill the birds.

You know, if I keep going at this pig-ignorant rate, I won’t even be safe in the fargin’ forests. Ah, whatever. They won’t kill me. They’d be too afraid my rotting corpse would pollute a nearby wetland, or something just as equally mental.

Hey, what’s a gallon of gas going for now, $2.75 a gallon? Hee hee hee! I’ll be on the Hummer dark and early, as per usual. As of today, April 13, I have spent $20 on gasoline during 2006. There is no better alternative form of energy for the purposes of commuting to work than your legs.

Sez me.