5-27-2006 The Super Bowl of warfare

Believe it or not, the voting districts imbroglio has finally come to an end. City council approved the plan whereby weíll be voting for council folk by neighborhoods, so the five-year question mark brought on by a referendum is no more.

From the Citizensí Voice:

City council OKs voting districts

From the Times Leader:

W-B OKs new voting districts

I snagged the following from the Leader story:

The plan, which splits the city into five neighborhood-based districts, will pit Phil Latinski, Bill Barrett and Mike McGinley against each other in one of the Democratic district primaries next year.

In another Kathy Kane and Jim McCarthy will square off. That is assuming they all decide to run again for another four-year term beginning in 2008.

One of the five districts houses no incumbents, meaning at least one new face will be sitting on the smaller council.

Assuming that all of our current council members seek reelection, thereís going to be some bloodletting coming at those incumbents expense. By the way, the district without an incumbent just happens to be mine--Nord End. Who will fill that vacuum?

Anyway, while this reapportionment battle raged on for five years, the focus has always been on which incumbents would be pitted against one another once the voting districts were finally settled upon. Time and again, weíve heard of the envisioned Kane vs. McCarthy throw down and the Barrett/McGinley/Latinski battle for the northeast quadrant of the city. If nothing else, if they all run again, this should prove to be the most interesting council dust-up ever.

Not only would we have the incumbents fending off the political neophytes and suchwhat, weíd have sitting council persons trying to clearly distinguish their record from that of their fellow seat holders. And it should prove to be quite interesting? Has Kathy Kane done a better job than Jim McCarthy? If so, tell us how. Does one of the Parsons gang stand out head-and-shoulders above the other two? If thatís the case, heís going to have to tell the voters why that is. Who knows? Maybe itíll get downright nasty.

Not only is my opponent soft on crimeÖhe pops Viagra at a rate heretofore unheard of in these parts. And he smells funny, too.

You never know.

While the looming battle royale amongst the incumbents should prove to be interesting, an even more interesting question is where do the ďactivistsĒ who pushed the original voting districts referendum so hard happen to reside? Or in other words, politically speaking, was it in their best interests to split the city into voting districts? Now that things are all shaken down, maybe. Maybe not. I think improving their chances of being elected is really what they were after all along. As far as Iím concerned, the referendum effort was a sham brought on by long-frustrated Republicans in activistsĎ clothing..

Consider my voting district. We donít have s sitting councilman, so the regular ďactivistsĒ up this way that tried and failed to gain a city council seat in the past are probably busily designing their new election yard signs as I type all of this. Rather than having to smear the reputations and intentions of seven entrenched incumbents, Walter Griffith now has only Shirley Vita-chevy-nova to deride for the purposes of his long-stalled ascent to power. If Ed Pashinski wins in November, would a Katsock/Argenta council brouhaha be very far off?

There are other names and other scenarios, but no one knew going in how the voting districts would be drawn in the end, so going into all of that is probably a moot point. The long and short of it is that the folks on the outside always salivating and looking in figured their chances of being elected would increase if we voted by districts, so the only point is that their original intent was to bamboozle the voters to benefit themselves. They could not win playing by the existing rules, so they reinvented the whole damn game.

Mind you, I am not complaining. Iím all good to go. No matter who ends up on the reconfigured council of the near future, there are those of us that will hold their feet to the fire. Actually, itíd probably be a ton of fun to elect ourselves at least one idiot so as to have someone to pick apart for four long years. Those tireless ďactivistsĒ had better think long and hard before they get to seeking the gavel.

It should be interesting.

Sidewalks going in

If I had a Canadian penny for every time Nancy Kman and Chia Kev of WILK fame went spastic over how George W. Bush has supposedly usurped all of our rights, Iíd own WILK, Nancy would be my secretary and good oleí commie Kev would be put out to pasture at the nearest beer garden. You know, his version of dying and going off to Heaven.

Nancy! Whereís my frickiní coffee!?!

Whatís their typical morning rant?

Gee whiz! When we relinquish our freedoms, havenít the terrorists already won?

As if they thunk that one up all on their own. Not! While they chastise those who they perceive to be repeating Republican talking points, their highly predictable morning tirades are comprised of themselves reading the well-worn Democratic talking points. They have become that which they profess to hate the most--rhetoric-spewing partisan puppets. No biggie. Thereís no better way to start oneís day than with a hearty chuckle or two.

According to Osamaís biographer, 44 terrorists were trained and sent to the United States to inflict high casualty attacks upon the lot of us. On the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 of those sleepers were killed along with 3,000 Americans. As the story goes, there are still 25 sleepers laying in wait for their orders to attack to come down the oft-changing grapevine. And if thatís not enough to consider, the bio guy also claims that 3 suitcase nukes are in this country at the present, as well the makings of some dirty bombs. I realize terrorists make outrageous boasts at an amazing rate, but this guyís assertions are really not very far-fetched. In fact, it would not surprise me to learn that what he had to say was spot-on accurate.

With that alarming stuff having been said, could someone please explain to me which of my rights have been taken away by the dreaded Bush administration?

My privacy? I could save the NSA a lot of time and money by scanning my phone records up to this site. You wanna know who I talk to for the purposes of keeping New York City from turning into a glassed-over, radiological parking lot? By all means, have at it. Like I could really care. If keeping tabs on who calls Pakistan and who doesnít could ultimately result in saving a few million American lives, Iím in.

Apparently, Nancy & Kev would clearly prefer playing politics over intercepting the communications of known terrorists, but if 3 nukes go off in American cities, they wonít catch any of the pointed blame sure to come from the hyperventilating left. All that seems to matter to them is that George Bush gets thoroughly bashed on the skull each and every morning. Award-winning radio. (?)

Again, which of my rights were taken away from me? The right to carry oversized scissors onto an airliner? The right to collect bomb-making materials without drawing any interest? The right to call Afghanistan anytime I wish? Donít give me any well-repeated swill about slippery slopes or the plight of the common, murderous criminals locked away down there in Cuba. I wanna know how the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, or the Department of Homeland Security has cramped my style? What was it that I was able to do on September 10, 2001, that I am no longer able to do today? What? Call Kill-em-all-istan?

Somehow, the unthinkable happened and Iíve got me a three-day weekend to enjoy. And what do I picture myself doing? Well, some bike riding, loud music, plenty of beer, a couple of grandrodents, Atlanta Braves baseball, wifey and maybe something spontaneous will present itself. In other words, Iíll be doing pretty much the same things I did before the big, bad Bush got to stealing all of my freedoms. (?)

As for the Dynamic Duo from WILK, I imagine theyíll be doing what they always do, too. Theyíll enjoy their various and sundry freedoms over this long weekend with one eye kept on how theyíre going to decry their loss of freedoms come Tuesday morning.

If oldfangled obfuscation is what builds ratings, these two are at the very top of their timeworn game.

I gotta call my brother.

You guys listening?


From the e-mail inbox hey Mark,

Wilkes Barre will have an awesome celebration with the beach boys. Do you think the mayor might revist the decision to get rid of the mounted unit. I understand that the pennsylvania State Police and luzerne County Sherriff's office will be supplying officers on horse back for this event.

wilkes barre's Horse cops did an excellent job and as I understand it due to construction cost of a stable the Mayor bit the bullet and chose to retire the mounted unit.

habitat for humanity builds house for those in need. I don't klive in Wilkes barre, but I would be pround to donate labor to build a stable to house the horses and see the mounted unit brought back. it takes a big man to reevaluate past decisions, and your mayor could show that he has the go nads to restore the mounted unit. I have talked to many in the construction field and the building at hollenback can be turned into a stable for the horses. there are many like myself that would donate our time and labor to be a small part of the rebuilding of the best hyphenated city in the good old USA.

I think the material could be donated and a work force of laborers would make it a successful project. What are your thoughts.

Being that one police horse was adopted by a city cop and the other was shipped off to Williamsport (I think), it sounds like a done deal to me. Although, our mayor is always receptive to ideas, so send him an electronic pulse at 208-4152. Heís really not nearly as bad as some make him out to be. Make your case.

I have to admit, when I found out that I was about to set off on a three-day Memorial Day weekend, the very last thing that popped into my head was honoring any fallen veterans. Itís easy to forget their sacrifice, but Iím quite sure Iím not the only one prone to forgetting now and again.

Plainly stated, if it wasnít for them, all of this mucky muck we think is so damned important would not be possible. We can posthumously honor them, but we can never personally thank those who paid the ultimate price.

Iím not heading off to put any smallish flags on the graves of veterans. Still, I think itís enough to at least remember those that made all of this opulence we take for granted readily available to us. We need not forget.

The current goings-on in Iraq are certainly polarizing the populace, and we need not forget the fact that every armed conflict weíve ever entered into has gotten some percentage of the population going-off about needless deaths and whatnot. The same was said about WWI, WWII, South Korea, Vietnam, Beirut, and Grenada. Any death coming as the result of any war is no doubt needless, but wars have this nasty habit of breaking out all over the place while we steadfastly maintain that every single one of us occupying this globe wants nothing more than peace. If weíre so completely dedicated to keeping the peace, why is the sale of arms--worldwide--such a lucrative growth industry? The allusive quest for peace is ongoing, while the endless preparations for war continue completely unabated.

I think this is the direct result of the United Nations failing in itís efforts to police the entire world. If the cost of war was just too much for any country to bare, maybe a whole lot more people would avoid it at almost any cost. The one thing that this continuing Iraq conflict has demonstrated for all to see is that the U.N. is the biggest paper tiger going. Passing resolutions without enforcing them discourages nothing. Consider our current immigration problems.

If a powerful multi-national force was assembled, and a new resolution making war totally unattractive was ultimately enforced, tin horn dictators the world over would likely stop rattling imported sabers to pump up nationalistic pride and get to making the lives of their indentured subjects better. The reckless oligarchs would have to reassess things.

Itís frightfully easy to blame Bush for the growing body count in Iraq, but the U.N. allowed Saddam Hussein to threaten, invade, kill and torture whomever he choose to for a quarter century. Remember, he invaded both Kuwait and Iran. And millions of deaths have been attributed to his out-of-control actions. And if the reclusive Osama bin Loonjob was such a growing threat to all of humankind, why didnít the U.N. work well below the radar screen to make him all but disappear? If Somalia was on the verge of famine, why did the U.S. step into the fray, while the entire world sat on itís hands? Why was the Rwandan massacre blamed on the lack of any intervention on our parts? When Yugoslavia devolved into civil war and ethnic cleansing ruled the day, why didnít the Europeans police their own back yard? Why did we have to do it?

The entire world looks to us for leadership (money and lives) when boat-rocking hostilities or unthinkable genocides suddenly present themselves, but where is it written that stamping out costly wars should have to be a reactive rather than a proactive undertaking? Weíre being reminded to the point of absurdity on a daily basis that George Bush is Public Enemy #1 simply because he chose to act unilaterally in an uncertain world, and that he did. History may be kind to him, or it may dictate that he made a huge mistake. Despite what some partisan myrmidon may have you believe, the book is still out on all of that. There is a chapter in history that is yet to be written.

Maybe we should grab Puerto Rico and turn it into a huge stadium where nations at odds with each other would assemble their military wherewithal and settle their differences on the field. The Super Bowl of warfare, if you will. Iím sure the ratings would be stratospheric, and the games would be very entertaining for those of us with a strong stomach.

Whoa!!! Did you see those intestines splatter?

The instant replays ought to be something.

Final score: Iran 37--Iraq 17.

Then the madman on the losing end who started the conflict is told in no uncertain terms by the U.N. that he needs to start looking inward to solve his nations problems rather than outward. And if he violates the terms of the Super Bowl deal, the world will rise up against him and make him wish he was a lowly computer geek toiling away in a mostly nondescript place.

I dunno.

All too often, numerous countries are tossing threats at each other, and the rest of us sit idly by hoping that neither side decides to pull the trigger, or release the launch codes. And if thatís the best we can do whereas preempting needless death and destruction is concerned, you can count on more needless deaths and more smallish flags being needed at grave sites on Memorial Day until the Sun finally runs out of plasma.

Like I said, I dunno.

All I do know is, Iím going to enjoy my expanded weekend, and Iím going to remember those who made this good life possible.

Jeremy at 5 months