9-24-2006 9/11 memorials are like assholes: everybody's got one

I didn‘t want to get dragged into this ridiculous and completely needless 9/11 memorial brouhaha. But since it keeps beckoning me to do so, let’s trudge on.

From the e-mail inbox Mark,

The thing about the 9-11 memorial is there are people who view it as overdone - fine. But, there is a majority of people who are against using taxpayer funds to erect it. These are the same liberals whose tax money funded Clinton's erections.

The people in the Valley hate having tax money spent on pretty much anything. Remember the Arena? No one wanted...they just all wanted tickets. No differently, when it comes, so will the people.

I support a 9-11 memmorial...to many have forgotten.

Rick Tennesen, the american check up

I hear ya. I think much of the recent uproar can be best summed up as the continuing misadventures of those commonly referred to as the negative ninnies. Think about it. Did the general public in this area ever overwhelmingly support any high-profile project or major investment in the area’s future? Not really. The most support any project received was the arena and that came down to a 50-50 vote when put on the ballot as a referendum question. Most of the outcry can probably attributed to the boneheads who yelp very loudly before they think or do even an iota of research. Dodos all.

Plus, you’ve got some petty politics fueling the dissent to some degree. One frequently repeated idea is that the city should dispense with the memorial tomfoolery and reopen the mothballed firehouse in the Heights. And that’s little more than the confused ranting of the dunderheads who cannot fight a battle, lose that spirited battle and then get on with the rest of their lives. No matter where he goes or what he does, there are those who will respond to whatever Tom Leighton has to say and do with “Reopen the firehouse.” They are an embittered bunch and their abject hostility to any proposal other than reopening that firehouse proves as much.

Then we’ve got that group who signed the latest petition, which, in my opinion, come off sounding like a bunch of goofs.

It will destroy the magnificent beauty of the park in all of it’s illustrative majesty.

Yeah, I’m paraphrasing because I can’t remember the whacked-out sounding gibberish I heard on WILK. Let’s just suffice it to say I thought that Saxton guy was going to break down in tears while professing his undying love of green spaces over and over again. As if a 60-foot-wide monument would render Kirby Park unusable or no longer green. If memory serves, the blockheads tried to block the creation of a new green space when King’s College wanted to create that nifty courtyard of theirs on what used to be a part of North Franklin Street.

What this clearly suggests is that any idea, no matter what, is a bad idea. Welcome to Culm County, baby! Home of the mentally incontinent.

As to the charge that the proposed memorial is too grandiose in scope, that is absolute hog swill. Sorry dolts, but one measly hour of research reveals that 9/11 memorials have been put in place from sea to shining sea, and in countries the world over. And get this…some of them are pretty damned big. It must suck to be an ignoramus. Oops. Thinking out loud again. Sorry.

The folks in Bayonne, New Jersey have decided to erect a 911 memorial--Tear of Grief-- which will sit on the city’s waterfront and stand 100-feet high.

In Naperville, Illinois sits a 911 memorial with a 48-foot-long “Wall of Faces” in addition to a landscaped garden, an eternal flame and a flagpole.

Anthony, Kansas has a memorial just a tad smaller in scope than the one envisioned and designed pro bono for Kirby Park.

Green Bay, Wisconsin weighs in with two 30-foot stainless steel towers mounted on a Pentagon base.

Take a stroll through the 911 Memorials List. There are big ones, small ones, short ones and tall ones. The point being, they are all over the freaking landscape. So the grossly mistaken claim emanating from our local lunkheads that 9/11 memorials belong only in New York City, Shanksville or at the Pentagon is useless, uninformed bullspit.

I will say this. After cruising that memorial list for but mere minutes, it seems that Tom Leighton and crew were spot-on correct about one thing. If we build that memorial as it was originally designed, it will be the best of the bunch from what I can determine.

But, he once closed a firehouse, so no matter what he proposes, it must be belittled.

So, to the projects many detractors who were obviously embarrassingly short on facts, you now stand corrected.

You are welcome, Walter.

Living Memorials Project

911 Memorials Slideshow

From the e-mail inbox Mark,

I really enjoy your site. It gives me a chance to catch up on things in the "big" city. I was really pissed off today with the comments about Chief Barrett from "Walter", or whomever that was who sent the email. To take a potshot at Chief Barrett just because he collects a pension from the city is just plain wrong. Chief Barrett served the citizens of Wilkes-Barre in an exemplary fashion during his tenure as one of Wilkes-Barre's finest and continues to serve them as a councilman today.

I worked with Bill when he was just a patrolman and I've known his wife since she was a dispatcher (Remember when Wilkes-Barre did their own dispatching? Ahhh, the good old days). Both Chief Barrett and Mrs. Barrett should be congratulated for staying in Wilkes-Barre and giving back to the community, when lots of other folks were bailing out.

Chief Barrett put in his time, earned his pension and now "Walter" wants to make an issue of it. Let's see him patrol the streets of Wilkes-Barre- day in and day out, rise through the ranks, lead a platoon and ultimately lead the brave men and women of the W-BPD as their Chief. I don't think "Walter" could lead a dying horse to water. And to allow him to disparage a good man like Chief Barrett just beacuse he paid his dues and collects a pension is unconscionable. How can we even think about electing this clown?

Please withhold name/email.

After further review, I’m of the opinion that the e-mail in question did in fact come from none other than Walter since the screen name makes use of the word “baritone.” He’s one of those barbershop quartet types, so it makes sense.

I too find myself disgusted with Walter’s repeated attempts to make villains out of good people. And for his own advancement, no less. To listen to him tell it, you’d think our elected folks have millions upon millions in off-shore accounts, and get together once a month to sacrifice small children and drink their blood.

He was made much noise about the mayor’s salary by contending that his salary is prohibitively high. Thing is, whether people want to believe it or not, there is not a single city employee that works more hours than the mayor himself. And we’re not talking Monday through Friday either. We’re talking 7-days a week. But if we remember correctly, it was Walter that first planted in the minds of city residents the bald-faced lie that we had us a part-time mayor. If the truth is what you seek, you must run screaming from Walter whenever his lips get to flapping.

Let’s review the attack on the Barretts:

“I also wont be collecting a Pension like Bill Barrett collects $50,000.00 a year from the Police Dept plus the salary his wife collects of $45,000.00 makes the Barrett household a City Taxpayer dead weight that must be removed.…”

Bill Barrett earned his pension. Done. BANG!

Bill Barrett collects a salary for serving on city council. He was elected to that position. Done. BANG!

As for his wife and whatever her salary may be, call that cronyism if you must, but I’d bet when she was first hired to dispatch, that position was not highly coveted by too many people, as I have yet to meet a police dispatcher driving a Delorian.

Look, I’ve talked to Mr. Barrett many times. I’ve talked with him on the phone, at official city functions, political events, parades as well as when he and I are toiling away for our current employers. Bluntly put, he’s a good person. He’s smart, measured in his comments and his qualifications are probably second to none here locally. He lives in the city, sits on council and his vast law enforcement experience gives him a unique perspective on where we are as a city and where we need to get to.

And I was all for having a former police chief on council. I want a diverse council with some real world experience. Give me the businessman, the insurance professional, the real estate guy and a former top cop. We don’t need those who have very little experience and know how to draw upon. I don’t want the church organists, the baritones, the slumlords or the mealy-mouthed policy wonks leading this city into battle. I want proven, successful people in those elected positions. People like Bill Barrett. Has Walter ever been to the F.B.I. Academy? No? Maybe Bill Barrett can tell him what it's all about. How’s that saying go? Oh, yeah. I forgot more than you know.

How can we even think about electing this clown?


I’ve been asking that very same question for some time now.

And the obvious answer is, we can’t.

Stay in touch.

From the e-mail inbox Mark:

Kanjo ducking a debate? What's he afraid of? Since his website STILL has the inflatable dam creating a 400 acre MARINA, it certainly could not be out of concern that Dr. Joe Leonardi knows more about that dam than he does. Of course, Kevin would upstage both of them with his vast knowledge on that topic.

From the Congressman's homepage under "Projects": Inflatable Dam -- The inflatable dam is an initiative that Congressman Kanjorski has spearheaded that will enhance the Luzerne County Riverfront. The inflatable dam would create a 400-acre marina that will make boating and fishing possible because it would create a stablized water level. In the case of a flood, the dam could be deflated quickly. Read the executive summary of the Gannett-Fleming Feasibility Study.

See for yourself: http://kanjorski.house.gov/HoR/PA11/Projects/ I ask; How can someone who spearheads a project allow that major error to exist for years?

Dr. Joe Leonardi deserves a debate. Again, what is the Congressman afraid of? How out of touch is he?


The fact that Paul Kanjorski is reluctant to debate Joe Leonardi smacks of arrogance. Paul Kanjorski sees himself as a shoo-in to be reelected, so why should he waste his time by engaging in a debate with some silly little challenger? He has a stranglehold on his gerrymandered district, knows as much and probably gets a kick out of those who stupidly decide to challenge his job-for-life. Silly, silly challengers.

I called Joe Leonardi the other day and asked about yard signs only to be told that funds are in short supply and the yard signs should be coming. Well, if local Republicans receive scant financial support from the Republicans much higher on the political food chain, how the hell is a big upset ever going to come about? The only time the little-known local challenger receives significant support is when the polling data suggests an entrenched incumbent is vulnerable, ala Don Sherwood?

And Kevin, yeah, he read something on the internet and is thoroughly convinced he knows more about what the Susquehanna needs than the folks that paddle her brownish waters. Plus, he’s the registered Republican that loathes all Republicans. So, if Paul Kanjorski says we need to dam the sewage-strewn river, Kevin’s “position” is firmly cemented for him. He’d never cross one of his Democrats. Especially not a local Democrat. He’s a balding lapdog always eager to lick the faces of his masters in the Democratic party. “Arf,” he says.

Anyway, Paul Kanjorski thinks even admitting he has a challenger is beneath him.

It’s a sad state of affairs here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Rosie O‘Donnell is worried about “Radical Christianity?” Anybody want to dispute my oft-repeated claim that the folks leaning left are increasingly apoplectic? Anyone?

Get that bloated girl some rabies shots. If they put a gray burka on her and got her to floating face-down on a large body of water, F/A-18 Hornets would probably start landing on her back.


RUTRO! Jeremy walks!

Go Jints!!!