1-22-2007 Stuff

Who‘s next? Beer drinkers? Big Beer? The current thinking goes something like this: Cigarette smokers are driving up the cost of health care and health insurance. And while that has got to be true, so are the obese, who’s numbers probably dwarf that of the smokers. Those who eschew proper nutrition likewise drive up the cast of health care. Then there’s the folks who consume barely cooked dead animals. Those who drink too much. Those who sniff glue, or crave narcotics, legal or otherwise. Those who could care less about exercising. Those who breathe in paint fumes or concrete dust for lack of a dust mask. So, why are smokers being singled out for financial punishment?

From today’s Times Leader: Should smokers pay more for health insurance?

71% of the poll respondents at the Leader Web site voted, “Yes,” smokers should pay more for health insurance.

Let us examine this perversity of thought. Those who voted in favor of penalizing smokers should have had to answer a follow-up question. Something along the lines of “Why?” Why should smokers have to pay more?

Does anyone honestly believe that charging smokers more will result in a reduction in rates for non-smokers? You’re not all that completely daft, are you? There’s no zero sum game aspect to any of this, wherein, if I pay more, you will be paying less. The only thing that would result by nailing smokers is that the health providers would be taking in more money. Money that will never trickle down to the non-smokers.

You want to know why health insurance is so expensive? And you want to know what can be done about it? Well, the answers lies not with the smokers. The answers lie with your legislators who will lie to you.

"We have to stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society." Hillary Clinton, 1993, while discussing her national health care proposal.

In other words, in her commie-styled utopia smokers have no individual rights, and by incremental extension…no rights to fair and equal taxation. Next up on the agenda: Should smokers pay higher taxes?

Got me. Go ask the dummies.

To the gulag with the lot of them!

Let's Go to the Video: When and Where Did Hillary Tape 'I'm In' Announcement?

I don‘t know why I even bothered to read the following Citizens’ Voice story simply because we already knew what Phil Latinski cited as his reasons for bowing out of the local political scrum.

But I did read it and it got interesting right at the very end.

Latinski says decision not to run based on his family

George considers run for mayor

Former Police Chief Tony George is the first one to announce he is “seriously considering” running for mayor.

George, 55, a Democrat and a non-uniformed school resource officer at Wilkes-Barre Area Vocational-Technical School, charged Mayor Tom Leighton is focusing too much on the downtown and that neighborhoods are being neglected.

While the streets downtown are cleaned, George says he can’t remember the last time a street cleaner was in his neighborhood. He often sees a delay in the collection of cardboard, grass clippings and newspapers.

He worked in the police department through the administrations of four mayors, including the late Walter Lisman and Tom McLaughlin, Lee Namey and Tom McGroarty.

George worked his way up the ranks from patrolman to sergeant to lieutenant to deputy chief and chief.

Many developments which occurred downtown, including the $30 million movie theater and the streetlights, were McGroarty’s ideas, he said.

If anyone wants me to vote for them, that had better have their facts in order. And the certifiable fact of the matter is that the original theater project conceived about a decade ago was the brainchild of the Chamber of Commerce, as was the ill-fated Call Center. But, a certain ex-mayor wrestled away the control and the future of those projects from the Chamber folks. And as a result, we paid over $5 million for a few concrete footers in a muddy hole. The Call Center became an economic albatross. And Wilkes-Barre became a laughing stock almost overnight.

McGroarty’s ideas?

Methinks fu>king not!

From the e-mail inbox Hello Mark: Haven't seen you and Harry debating much lately, so I thought I'd awaken the sleeping tiger in you. I have been greatly dismayed that you haven't weighed in on the running debate on my proposed restrictions on where convicted pedophiles may reside or work in Wilkes-Barre. Something passed by Council's in just about every community surrounding Wilkes-Barre (most of whom called and asked me for copies of my version so they could pass one like it), and 33 (as of today) entire states. I'd like your Nordend opinion, since some of my late Mothers family (Metzger and Robb) came from there and were always involved in politics, peripherally. Now I'm really going to tick you off. I have a video tape showing the benefits around the world of inflatable dams. Everything from fish hatcheries to power generators, all across the world. If you'd like to view it, pop into my Tavern and I'll share it with you...quite fascinating what you can do when you put your mind to it, and benefit people. I've seen some of them in my travels with CBS, and some are really amazing. Now, back to Harry. He's almost finished with his retirement hide-out near Tunkhannock, and the fishing is great...so make sure he invites you up this summer with the clan. Maybe I'll join you..if I can use my golf clubs for bait since my golf game went to heck this year due to a pinched nerve in my spine.

Keep up the good work, some of it drives the "professional" politicians around the bend. Deservidly.


Actually, I did weigh in on it, since I live in the Nord End. And according to the facts I was privy to, the Nord End would be the largest of the would-be enclaves where the perverted freaks of the world would be allowed to reside. I ask you, why should my neighborhood have to be saddled with them? And if the recidivism rate is so high for those who feel the need to abduct, molest and, or murder; why are they on the loose in the first place?

Honestly, I don’t think it really matters where they live. If they want to stalk children, they’ll find a way. And from what I see on a daily basis, there are more absentee parents than attentive parents.

They can’t live within so many feet of a park, but they are still free to visit it? And the same applies to playgrounds, right? Or can we legislate away their right to go where they may? I dunno. I think if they can’t be restricted to living in a prison for something as gross as molesting children, then they ought to be made into eunuchs before being paroled.

I understand that many municipalities have passed similar ordinances, but I never seem to hear anything about what effect they may have had, or not had after the fact. Plenty of communities are banning smoking in public places, but that doesn’t necessarily mean our city should follow suit. Enforcement is another very iffy area. We passed an ordinance by which businesses would be required to remove graffiti from their properties, but less than a block away from city hall graffiti persists, and it hasn’t been removed by the property owner despite being there for months. We don’t have the manpower to be keeping tabs on molesters, do we? Doesn’t seem like it to me.

I think your proposal is well-intentioned, it’s just that I don’t see any practical benefit if it becomes just another ordinance that can‘t be enforced in any practical sense. Like I said, I dunno. Explore that eunuch angle and let me know what you think.

As far as the dam is concerned, plenty of inflatable dams the world over have been presented as to why we need to erect one. But our situation is not one that is mimicked by any other area. Between the acid mine drainage, the storm runoff, the sewage outflows, the Butler Mine Tunnel and the many pipes that emerge from the river’s banks and drain directly into the river--we’ve got more problems packed into one little stretch of river than most communities could ever have.

Here’s another potential problem yet to be considered in any public arena. Up and down the river‘s length, people that reside along the river pile garbage on the banks so that the next big high water event will wash it all downstream. So what happens to the dam’s underpinnings when refrigerators, washing machines and only Allah knows what comes a floating down the river and smashes into them? The dam is made of rubber, no? It sounds to me like it’s sure to be damaged when we get the EMA and PEMA activated again.

Actually, Harry did drop me a line recently, but the contents of which were definitely not for publication. I see fishing much like I see watching ice cubes melt. But, if there’s beer involved, you can count me in.

Stay in touch.

This ain‘t happening, man. This just can’t be happening.

Audio files courtesy of the Times Leader:

Steve Corbett at Entercom?

My main focus is talk radio, WILK, Entercom and whatever I can do to help them grow and help them be this strong voice that talk radio has become in America.--Steve Corbett

Just when we thought it was safe to tune in except during the 6 am to 9 am time slot, all bets are off.

Tell me, can I catch Sue Henry’s show on satellite radio?


Speaking of Sue’s show, what’s up with the “Peaches En Regalia” as bumper music earlier today? Francis Vincent Zappa on WILK? I wouldn’t have thought it possible. How long before we’re treated to some “Broken hearts are for assholes?” Or, why not “Why does it hurt when I pee?” “Suzie Creamcheese,” perhaps?