1-3-2007 To blog, or not to blog...

Ranting bloggers may be anonymous or they may give their name, but try and get them into a serious discussion and they’ll either hem and haw their way out of it..or just plain ignore you.--Nancy Kman of WILK fame, from her November, 2005 “Blog this!” Web tirade.

No more frickin’ holidays. No more turkey, no more pies, no more gifts and no more of that relatively inexpensive red beer from Pottsville. This sucks.

Although, between Thanksgiving, Christmas and the big New Year’s Eve bash at my son’s modest adobe, I managed to gain a whopping 10 pounds. Count ‘em, a whole 10 pounds. Not to worry, though. I can drop pounds so fast, you’d swear I was once a dedicated wrestler. The plan is to pretty much goof off for much of January and then train like a champion throughout all of February. Two-a-day exercise sessions, some weight training, a caloric reduction and miles upon miles on the bike. And when I go back to work in March, I’ll look like Rocky Balboa’s thinner brother.


I‘ve heard rumors to the contrary, but I was fully expecting to read the following news blurb.

One hopeful in, another out for commissioner

Wilkes-Barre City Councilwoman Kathy Kane said Tuesday that her name won’t appear on the commissioner ballot because she plans to run for council re-election. Only five council members will be elected this year, two fewer than the seven on the current board. Voters approved a reduction in the size of city council and the election of council members by district instead of at-large.

“I’m going to give it my best and continue with what I think I’ve been doing pretty well with the city,” said Kane, a Democrat. “I have some unfinished business and I want to continue with that.”

That’s perfectly fine with me. But, she resides in one of those other four voting districts that I no longer care about. We’re voting by districts now, so it’s Nord End or nothing! To hell with those places, send the money up here or else.

Yes, the inept Republicans/activists got exactly what they wanted by way of referendum: A divided city and divided loyalties. Not that it benefit’s the city, it clearly does not. They are hoping it’ll benefit themselves come election night and it’s going to be thoroughly enjoyable to listen to their bit-lip concession speeches long before 11 PM. They put their needs before the needs of the city, I am using a vacation day for the day after the election and I am going to party while they go down in flames.

Join me on election night.

Lager, or no?

Since the word “blog“ first joined the lexicon, bloggers have been repeatedly belittled by politicians and journalists alike. We’ve been called the Pajama Media by the mainstream media. And very many of us have been accused of being irresponsible, reckless and dangerously slanderous. Personally, I’ve been called every conceivable less than flattering name and have been threatened with all sorts of unpleasant things. And a member of our local media even accused me--in print--of blogging in my underwear.

When I first encountered that word--blog--I had no clue what it meant and proceeded to read the article about the upstart world of blogging and what have you. And I remember thinking “Hey! That’s what I do.” Well, kind of. Now it seems as if damn near everybody is doing it since the Web site building tools have been simplified to the point where proper HTML coding and such is no longer a part of the equation. Hence, the term I once coined, “Blogging for Dummies.”

My intent was not to disparage anyone. I was merely pointing out that the proliferation of blogs was in very large part due to the rapidly increasingly ease of use. People have been forever asking me how I find the time to blog as often as I do. I just do, but it used to be much more time-consuming than it is now. If a working knowledge of HTML and Java scripts was absolutely necessary to blogging, how would you find the time to not only blog, but find the time to learn all of that coding stuff?

Anyway, I ran across the following blog at the Times Leader Web site earlier today.

Kris Wernosky: Blogging in D.C.

And the thing I got to wondering about was why the media is so quick to disparage bloggers practically every chance they get, and then turn to blogging as another outlet for themselves? If blogging is so completely lame as we‘ve been told ad nauseum, why is it so attractive to the members of the accepted media that previously mocked it? “Blog this!” they mockingly snarled at us from the pages of their blogs. Does that make any sense?

Do they think they do it better than we do? Do they think their journalistic credentials outstrip anything we’ve got to offer? Do they think they could match the traffic some of our sites produce? I seriously doubt they could match the traffic some of us generate because the one thing almost all blogs written by the local media lack is strong opinions. No talk of sex, religion, politics or sports with anything other than a very vanilla approach. With Kevin Lynn and Nancy Kman as the obvious exceptions, I’d go as far to say that if anything that appears on these media blogs upsets you, you are too completely thin-skinned to even go on living. Time to blow that pilot light out and insert fat head.

I’m not picking on anyone in particular. And I’m not busting on Kris Wernosky. I don’t even know the guy. I’m sure he’s a huggable guy, i.e., a Giants fan. Hell, I’d probably give him my daughter’s hand without too much of a fight, if he came here bearing gifts that included fermented hops and barley. I just want to know why the media so loves to blog after telling us for years that blogging is a less than reputable endeavor. That’s all.

Y’ger needs to know. Is my chosen medium the medium of worthless dipsh*ts, or not?

Ah, to blog, or not to blog...

If reality is truly participatory and none of us are observers in that reality, why is it that my new shrink thinks she's the only one participating, if not, the only one observing? I mean, if bloggers are some sort of retarded subculture worthy only of scorn emanating from the psychocultural warriors that abruptly hang up on those that dare to disagree with their utter brillance by autopoesis, then I'm here to tell you that I'd prefer being labeled a bitter, lonely transient to being one of those more intelligent folks given to bouts of anaphylactic shock whenever their abject superiority is brought into question. Then again, they're probably but the next on-air mini-stroke away from themselves being reduced to a lonely, bitter life of blogging in the darkest corner of the basement. And remember, they needed to spend years in those expensive halls of higher learning just to be able to one day clearly express their mostly dubious opinions. Some of us can do likewise despite having spurned that expensive and mostly needless indoctrination.

Yours truly, December 1, 2005

From the e-mail inbox Good morning, You disappoint me by inferring that the Democrats are somehow responsible for the chaos in Iraq. No, my friend, we Republicans must accept the blame for this. We know now that Bush overruled senior military advisers to embark on the worst- planned expedition in our history.We overturned a petty tyrant who, because he feared Muslims extremists, might have been useful to us in the war on terrorism. Our invasion has strengthened Iran's position and has turned the entire 1.5 billion Muslims against us. We must now admit our mistake and find someway find a way to salvage some national honor and get the hell out!

Happy New Year

Responsible? Right! If the government portrayed a united front, displayed a dogged determination to press on and destroy our enemies despite the costs, the insurgents would have long ago become dispirited and significantly lessened their nefarious activities. Those, elected or otherwise, who railed against our country, who railed against our president and who railed against the war that supposedly couldn’t be won, as they said, gave our enemies hope that only furthered their once retreating resolve. For the purposes of regaining the political majority, the Democrats gave them a reason to press on despite the heavy odds stacked against them. Damn straight, they did.

The worst-planned expedition in our history? The occupation of 25 million people for over three years with less than 3,000 killed in action? Before we rolled the M1/A1s in there, the pundits would have told us that was virtually impossible. If told we’d be embroiled in this conflict for three long years, the casualty estimates would have likely been ten times that amount.

What those begging for our immediate “redeployment,“ our surrender are doing is proving Osama to be correct when he said our country was a Paper Tiger. No matter how we once came to deploy our troops to Somalia, by running away after only 18 combat deaths we were sending a very encouraging signal to our enemies that came back to haunt us less than a decade later. We have been under direct attack since the 1993 Twin Towers bombing, but after finally lashing back at those calling for our destruction (Saddam included), all we seem capable of is demanding the head of our commander-in-chief on a platter and counting the days until we can finally run away from what we started and sending that wrong message all over again.

How could Saddam have been useful to us in the war on terror when he was openly subsidizing the families of Palestinian suicide bombers? He feared Muslim extremists? Perhaps. But he had this nasty habit of putting in mass graves those he feared. And he would have necessitated the creation of even more mass graves had it not been for the “No-fly zones” protecting the southernmost and northernmost regions of his own country. We protected his own people from his murderous ways, but he might have been useful to us? Sorry, but I don’t see it that way.

Iran’s position hasn’t been strengthened in the least. Their oil supplies are in serious decline, as are their revenues. Their recent elections prove the population is solidly against this dangerous confrontation with the west their new leader has embarked upon. His political support at home is now gone wobbly at best. All we need to do is to keep squeezing them with sanctions until their very, very secularized young people topple the current government by whatever means necessary. Inside of Iran’s theocracy-by-force is a much more secularized country just begging to break out of it‘s shackles. The nuclear angle is scary, but patience is required as Iran relates to our foreign policy decisions.

The 1.5 billion Muslims are against us? Are you sure it’s just us the radicalized Muslims are against? I see people being slaughtered in the name of religion the entire world over. Pick a country, and you’ll find needless deaths coming about to further the religious cause, whatever it is. To deny the current clash of civilizations that began long before George W. Bush ever took office is to deny that we need to rise up right now and meet head-on what is a historic challenge to what free people everywhere have come to expect and enjoy.

We’re either in agreement that wars are sometimes unavoidable and need to be won, or we publicly whine for an exit strategy and give our declared enemies the necessary will to fight on. You know, it pains me that the United States sounds like a bunch of pampered pussies when brazenly challenged. And I go back to this: Would we be in either Iraq or Afghanistan if the Twin Towers were still standing?

Answer me that.

From the e-mail inbox Hey Mark,

Happy New Year. I just have to know something with the pic of your kids and the WB sign. Where is that left hand coming from? When I was in my carefree days at King's, we had a slogan for that sign called the "shocker". 2 in the pink, 1 in the stink. Get it? I died laughing when I saw that hand.

Good luck against those dreaded Iggles this weekend! My Jets have their hands full against the Pats and their homeless impersonator coach.

- Jersey Dude

P.S. Sorry I never was able to release that topless picture, as the offender would have cut off my twig and berries if she ever found out it was slathered all over the Internet.

Okay. I went back and looked at the picture. The middle hand is my son’s. The right hand is my daughter’s. The left hand, I’m being told by Wifey, belongs to a sex-crazed girl that ran into the kitchen chanting that pink/stink thing you mentioned, right after we took that series of pictures. So, she perverted the intended message. The twisted fingers went from meaning “Wilkes-Barre” to “2 in the pink, 1 in the stink in Wilkes-Barre?” There ought to be a law against nymphomaniacs, unless, of course, I one day end up being single again.

The Giants? Ah, they need to be put out of their misery already. This season has been one of the most confusing that I can remember. How can the strict disciplinarian of a coach usher in an era completely devoid of discipline? I tell ya, it’s enough to make me do away with all accepted standards of sporting excellence and start watching those inexplicably boring soccer snoozefests. Or…the Jets.

Twig and berries? Whoa! My advancing age must be showing. Tell me, is there a hand gesture for that one, too?

Stay in touch.

From the e-mail inbox Dear Wilkes-Barre OnLine

I know how much you love Kevin Lynn, did you happen to hear him this morning. In the 8 o'clock hour he was talking about the war in Iraq and made an incredulous statement. He said that he and Nancy had been against our going in from the start. Nancy has always made clear that she believed the intel about the weapons of mass destruction and was supportive of President Bush in the beginning. Now I know Kevin has always been opposed to our going to Iraq, but know he has dragged Nancy into the mix, the best part though was that Nancy made no effort to correct him during his rant. It looks like a little revisionist history is taking shape.

It might be fun to keep a blog about the misstatements, inaccuracies and petty jealousies of Kevin Lynn, however, I don't type fast enough to keep up.


Wilkes-Barre Online? Why so formal? The staff and management here calls me Mark.

You are 100% correct. Nancy has always maintained that she originally supported the invasion, but like the talking points she so sheepishly subscribes to, she later changed her tune when politics became vastly more important to the Democrats than the epic struggle currently at hand.

In fact, with the world becoming such an unstable, almost inhospitable place at an accelerated rate, the Democrats are slapping themselves on the backs for promising a minimum wage increase, lower drug costs, a re-re-recommitment to education and countless inquisitions during their first 100 hours after assuming control. How completely clueless are they? They look inward to solve our oft-fixed non-problems while our greatest challenges can be seen by only an outward-looking gaze.

So, Nancy and Kevin are changing their story? Figures. Truth be told, I tuned into WILK at exactly 9:10 this morning, so there’s your first clue as to how much I value the suddenly conjoined opinions of those who purposely remain on the periphery of honest, meaningful public debate. Yep, I missed the big lie, and I’m thrilled to be able to say as much. I’ll stick with Sue Henry, a good person through-and-through.

You’re a slow typist? Oh, come on. Buy yourself a Radio Shack micro-recorder and start blogging. Everybody is doing it.

But, I think we already covered that.

Okay. How’s this picture? Is this one safe for work? Can Grandma and the in-laws handle this one? Or is it a clue as to what goes on when perverted people get to being perverted?

Marque & Ebon