9-6-2006 Connectivity

Get this. For only the second time this year…I commuted to work today by way of a motorized vehicle.

Yup. I suffered a rather nasty calf sprain a few days back that has just refused to go quietly. When I pedaled my way to the top of Hazel Street’s long hill yesterday morning, the damn thing just flexed into a hard ball and burned, burned and burned some more. Sounds like a temporary hydration problem to me. Or, lack of proper hydration. (Note to self: Less beer, more water.) Anyway, I contributed mightily to global warming today and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it.

The following is long overdue, but good news just the same.

CityVest buys 2 buildings

The Corcoran Building has been slipping fast but it’s certainly salvageable. On the other hand, I’m surprised to learn that someone is interested in rehabbing that Mary MacIntosh nightmare of a building. I took me an unapproved tour of that building a couple of summers ago and I didn’t even feel safe from a possible structural collapse while inside of there. Needless to say, it was a very short tour. Three pictures and out. Funk that.

Yet another highly visible property joins the swelling ranks of the recently gentrified. Good news no matter how it’s spun.

How could two reporters attend the very same council meeting and come away with two vastly different reports?

The first is from The Citizens” Voice:

W-B accepts precast concrete bid for intermodal project

I absolutely love the idea of removing the busses from the square. How ‘bout you?

And this is from The Times Leader:

Sex offender law proposed in W-B

It was the 1940s and McCarthy was only 8 to 10 years old. As he left the Miner Park Pool in South Wilkes-Barre, he says a man in his 20s rode by on a bicycle and delivered the offensive proposition.

“I took off running,” McCarthy recalls. “My feet didn’t hit the ground for two blocks.”

Now, McCarthy says another more recent incident involving a sexual predator has fueled him to propose an ordinance. McCarthy said he’d like to see sexual offenders who are registered under Megan’s Law banned from living near schools, parks, playgrounds or anywhere else children congregate.

With no intended disrespect, this is akin to ordering the family cat to live at least 500 feet away from the closest Starlings. They (whoever they are) keep telling me that child molesters cannot be rehabilitated. No way. If that’s the case, what are they doing in my city at all? Why aren’t they being incarcerated forever? Or better still, why aren’t they just locked away with the hopeless imbeciles in the nearest mental hospital?

If they are beyond being cured from that which bedevils them, why are they paroled at all?

And what’s up with legalese such as “…banned from living near schools, parks, playgrounds or anywhere else children congregate?” Is that not a bit too nebulous, too vague? Too open to future, further interpretation? What about LCTA bus stops, corner stores, the mall, Chucky Cheese’s, the Wachovia Arena, or Public Square? Hell, children have been known to congregate at my house, and on a very regular basis.

Sounds to me like the convicted child molester who has previously served his time for his crimes has absolutely no rights at all. Housing discrimination, anyone?

How about if we have the hordes of absentee parents start taking notice of where their effing idiot kids are every once in a while? If you ask me, the city should be handing out free condoms by the gross to everyone under a certain economic threshold. Dirt poor? Ignorant? Here, please don’t reproduce. Don’t create that which you don’t really want.

Of course, you dare not argue against anything purported to be “for the children.” If it’s “for the children,” it will go forward totally devoid of any serious debate about it’s merits, and the actual need for any such legislation. I know, I know: “But if it saves the life of just one child it’s worth it.” Ah…baloney! More feelgood, ill-defined malarkey. Sounds like the same fuzzy illogic I heard when we thought banning bicycles from an urban landscape made some scattershot sort of sense to a scant few.

Want to protect the children? Make them stay in front of the house. Make like you own them. Watch them for crissakes! Be, like…their freaking parents.

As for the child molesters, the first time offenders need not be harangued to death. What they probably need is to be hanged to death. Or something thereabouts.

Sez me.

"If you would like to have good relations with the Iranian nation in the future, bow down before the greatness of the Iranian nation and surrender."--Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, August 15, 2006

And Dubya’s response?

"America will not bow down to tyrants.”

No, I’m not going to make any “Cut ‘n’ Run” jokes at the expense of my friends that lean too far to the left. One, perhaps? Please? Oh, never mind.

Fact is, most problems geopolitical in scope are far being the grasp of your average blogger, as well as America’s foremost expert on all things worth knowing--one Kevin Lynn. Still, every morning he tells us how the world should be run, and how George Bush runs totally against the grain in every respect. It’s like listening to a 9-year-old little leaguer critiquing the managing style of Bobby Cox, as well as every other manager in all of Major League Baseball. It’s comedy gold.

Anyway, I’d like those on both sides of the political aisle to take an interest in the works of Thomas P.M. Barnett. Barnett is not a political pundit. He’s more of a strategic planner and he is sought after by politicians, military planners and CEOs alike. He’s to-the-point, witty and very close to being apolitical.

The guy is spot-on with his no-sh*t assessment of how global connectivity (or a lack thereof) not only leads to conflicts, but sometimes demands them. Again, military planners, politicians and CEOs from major international conglomerates pay to attend his typical 3-hour briefing.

He also provides fascinating insights into why Bush made some of the decisions he did, why he was then forced to act unilaterally and why we now find ourselves bogged down in Iraq. It wasn’t for a lack of invading troops, but a lack of peacekeeping troops. Peacekeeping troops no western country will provide for Iraq, yet practically every other country in need of them.

The following three video segments are all under ten minutes long and should be enough to get you interested in this guy. I read his first book, “The Pentagon’s New Map,” four times. And he even quoted me in his national newsletter. I have yet to grab his second book, “Blueprint For Action.“ But a Barnes & Nobles is scheduled to open in downtown Wilkes-Barre next month, so it’ll be in my grubby hands soon enough.


Thomas P.M. Barnett: Part 1

Thomas P.M. Barnett: Part 2

Thomas P.M. Barnett: Part 3

It‘s volleyball season and Coach Cour is back for more. She had herself a winless first season, but did receive some accolades from some of her opposing coaches. Kinda bucked her spirits up, you know?

I have not seen the team play yet this season, but they tell me recruitment is at an all-time high, so hope for the future is definitely there.

She not only knows the game, she loves the game. Now all she needs to do is to win the confidence of some players that seem to lack confidence in themselves. A win or two might help in those respects.

Happy spiking, girls!

It doesn‘t hurt at all

Gotta run.