2-9-2007 The I-Team: Internet Police

WhatĎs up with the ďI-Team?Ē First we had Andy sticking a microphone in the faces of crying perverts right after they were wrestled to the ground by police officers and put in handcuffs. And now heís on the pharmaceutical advertising box warning people about how completely easy it is to access pornography on the internet.

Oh, no! That evil, evil internet and the evil-doers that pervert it.


Personally, I could really care less about pornography. Call me weird if you must, but I think imagining whatís under a tight pair of jeans is probably much more fun than seeing the bared finished product. In addition, imagining what awaits one under those tight jeans is much akin to visiting Bangkok. Iím pretty sure Iíd love to visit Bangkok, but Iím also fairly certain Iíll never get there. So, why even worry about it?

I guess whatís really bugging me is that I am so tired of people demonizing the internet. This is my personal library. This is my grass roots forum. This is where I can bypass the editorial page editors. This is where I can post the latest pictures of the grandkids for Grammy and Grampy from Mountaintop to enjoy. This is where I can earn a degree with a few clicks of a mouse. This is where I can visit the black sand beaches of New Zealand. This is where I can watch the coachís post-game press conferences. This is the place where I can bust your balls. This is the place where you can stomp on my stones. And this is where I can learn how to build a crude nuclear device.

I really hate to have to rain on Andyís personal Jihad, but pornography has always been readily accessible and it always will be. Thanks to an unexpected growth spurt, I was an inch shy of six feet well before my fourteenth birthday. And being so tall at such an early age made it easy for me to see R-rated movies that the shorter kids were denied access to. And it also made it easier to grab a copy of Hustler every now and again. And guess what. Somehow, I never became a serial rapist, a mass murderer or the lowest of the lowbrows--a pedophile. I donít beat women. And I donít disrespect women. I see them as my equal as they are probably just as screwed up as I am.

No, apparently I was wired just as nature had intended. Boy sees nubile girl, boy thinks about going through the procreation motions. Sorry Andy, but thatís been hard-wired into the boys. Well, most of them. Anyway, itís completely normal to want to see the members of the opposite camp disrobed every once in a while. It may be illegal to hunt, and what we gather might be redistributed against our will, but weíve still got a reason to continue continuing on.

If pornography was the absolute worst thing that ever caught my sonís eye, Iíd be feeling pretty good about things. Conversely, if he wasnít fascinated by pictures of scantily-clad women at an early age, Iíd be wondering how nature had managed to imbed such faulty wiring.

Pope Andrew, nice try and all, but you canít save us from ourselves. Us old-fashioned guys like girls. And since those girls are still willing to pose naked while the shutters are firing away like overheating mini-guns, the old-fashioned guys will be ready, willing and able to partake of such an unthinkable sin. But to suggest to your female viewers that something sinister is going on every time we reach for the mouse is far more disgusting than anything Iíve ever laid eyes on.

The I-Team is on my side? Really? And howís that? By planting needless and unwarranted suspicions in my wifeís head? By trying to convince internet-ignorant people that the total irrelevancy that has become your Daddyís traditional broadcast news isnít just that thanks to the vastness of the internet--totally irrelevant?

Thanks a lot, Pope Andrew. Good job.

Yeah, youíre on my side.

The I-Team: Internet police.

Wifey and I had planned to attend the press conference wherein Mayor Tom Leighton would introduce us to our 11 new police officers. Unfortunately we got all caught up in a fascinating two-hour forensic crime show and stayed up way too late. Oh, and donít tell Pope Andrew, but we also consumed enough fermented weeds to make even the self-anointed pope look good.

Eleven new police officers were sworn in at Wilkes-Barre City Hall this morning, raising the total number of officers in the city to 91.

According to Police Chief Gerry Dessoye, it marks the first time in 20 years the city employs more than 90 officers.

A couple of days ago, a local blogger correctly pointed out that the local newspapers often take the credit for reporting what bloggers reported first. This has happened to me countless times in the past, and I was even promised a case of beer for every front page story a Times Leader reporter generated after taking my lead. He never delivered on that promise, and I will stalk him forever, unless a FedEx truck pulls up and the driver starts offloading a pallet of fermented weeds.

Iíve got tons of my drivel archived, but not the stuff I wrote on the original version of my site that was deleted due to a complaint in the days following the attacks of 9/11. Sometime during 2001, I wrote a thingie titled ďNumber CrunchingĒ in which I detailed how many police officers we had on the payroll. But more importantly, I pointed out how few police officers we had available to patrol the streets of this city. Off the top of my pointed head, Iíd have to say we had something like 62 police officers, but only 40 or so tops to patrol the streets 24/7, three shifts a day. Thatís frightening, and the sudden upsurge in violent crime in this city was a direct result of said mismanagement.

I know firsthand from speaking with the man, that after Tom Leighton had won the 2003 primary, shell-shocked residents from every far-flung corner of this city were imploring him to bolster our police presence. There were obviously other concerns on the minds of residents, but putting more boots on the ground--more cops on the streets--seemed to be the overriding request coming from the electorate.

Since taking the keys to city hall, this administration has hired 21 new police officers. It has also disbanded the horse patrols in favor of motorcycles, which provide for a much quicker response. Bicycle patrols are back, although, in a smaller capacity than before. We no longer have four police officers deployed in our four high schools, having cut that deployment back to one. Our city is set to install surveillance cameras throughout the city, and at all of our city-owned parks and playgrounds. And we no longer have police officers responding to potentially violent encounters without backup. Hopefully, there will be no more shattered wrists on Christmas day for lack of available manpower.

Now, you can bitch about closed firehouses if need be. And you can opine away about whatever it is that annoys you about this mayor, or any aspect of his leadership. But in the name of fairness, you would have to admit that Wilkes-Barre is a safer place for having elected Tom Leighton. And with 11 new police officers on the way, the systematic taking back of our streets will only accelerate. Above all else, this is his finest achievement, as nobody is going to deliver much-needed economic investment to a city perceived to be unsafe.

Support your police department, report suspicious activity and thank your lucky stars that the onetime candidate was listening intently when last you filled his ear.

Two platoons of new police officers? Thatís more than I would have dared to hope for.


If you remember correctly, this is exactly why I said Iíd get fired if I ever ran for council and somehow won. A 16-acre eyesore is going to be transformed into a thing of beauty, if the taxing bodies involved decide to work with a willing developer. And what does that news generate?

Why, it generates more abject lunacy.

Is it just me, or do IQs suddenly plunge just as soon as the hoi polloi enters councilís chamber?

Jesus H. Cripes!!!

Okay, so now the Nord End has 5 council hopefuls.

Two more hopefuls announce runs for W-B city council

Mike Merritt, of Wyoming Street, said he will seek the seat for District E.

Ray Arellano, of Blackman Street, will seek the seat for District B.

There are five districts in Wilkes-Barre, and one council member will represent each district, shrinking next yearís council from seven to five.

Merritt, who has been employed by InterMetro Industries for the past 16 years, will seek the Democratic nomination for the incumbent-free District E, which includes the North End, Brookside and parts of Miners Mills, and wards 1, 5 and 6.

Merritt, a graduate of Wilkes College, where he earned a bachelorís degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing, will be vying against three other Democrats, Charlotte Raup, Virgil Argenta and Ron Silkosky, and Republican John Yencha.

This Merritt guy is completely unbeknownst to me. But heís welcomed into the political scrum with open arms.

The thing Iím wondering about is how many candidates will eventually throw their hats into the Nord End ring, and then how few votes itíll actually take to win. If weíve got roughly 8,500 residents in this district, what percentage of those people are registered to vote? And, what percentage of those registered voters will actually show up at the polls on election day? Is a 50% turnout overly optimistic? Will 300, perhaps 200 meager votes capture a seat on city council in a city of 42,000? I donít know about all yíall, but I do find that to be a bit disconcerting.

Whatever. We shall see.

One other thing about the Nord End council race. It has been heavily-rumored here on the dreaded internet that former city administrator, Jim Hayward, would be announcing a run at a council seat. Although, Iím being told that he has engaged in some state-approved work that prohibits him from seeking an elected office. Thatís what Iím hearing.

And get this one. It has also come to my attention that none other than Tim Grier, our now-AWOL activist blogger, picked up not only a packet to run for council, but also a packet to run for mayor from the voter services office. Yet another imaginary epaulet to add to his threadbare resume.

Hey, you voted for equal ballot access cleverly wrapped in another name and you got it.

Now enjoy the circus.

My son-in-law, Scott, has this nifty Personal Data Assistant (PDA), and he has convinced me that I need one.

Since the city is poised to institute this ďwire freeĒ internet service, the time has finally arrived for me to get off of my firm ass, research the latest technologies and buy me one of them newfangled gadgets.

W-B council moves ahead with wireless plan

Basically, with a PDA in hand in a wireless city, I could post on my Web site while sunning myself in the middle of Kirby Park. If Iím out and about and take a dazzling picture of something mind-blowing or some such thing, I could instantly upload it to this site. Or, I could attend a function of some sort, write about it while itís still unfolding and then return to the modest adobe, upload it and Voila!, itís an internet post.

In a nutshell, Wilkes-Barre Online is about ready to go wireless.

You have been warned.

Although, maybe Pope Andrew will condemn the wireless plan since itíll make it much easier to eyeball pornography while Iím standing in line at the bank.

Bank teller: Next.



MC: Whoa! Iím sorry, but I ainít never seen a set of tits like these.

Makes me wanna break out the baby oil.

Iíve received many an accolade during the course of my blogging ďcareer,Ē as well as too-numerous-to-count insults, threats and the like. If I had a dollar for every time Iíve been threatened with lawsuits, Iíd probably buy Mars and ask Pope Andrew to rule over it with an iron fist. No nubile girls, no nudity, no porno, just a wayward flock of sexually-repressed pretend eunuchs sitting around praying and pretending to feel good about their perceived superiority. My bet is that this newly populated planet would be known for a disproportionately high occurrence of people tossing off behind closed air locks. And, in this, it would be nearly indistinguishable from Washington D.C..

Anyways, the way Iíve always looked at blogging was, if youíre not pissing somebody off on a semi-regular basis, you are immaterial. Youíre boring. Iím no doubt an idiot, but judging by what I see going on all around me, idiocy is not yet illegal. In fact, there are those days when I think abject idiocy is being encouraged by those hoping to be the kings and queens of the hapless idiots. So be it. Weíll all get nuked soon enough, so none of this bullspit we deem to be so brutally important really matters anyway.

Whatever, Iíll get to the point already. Yesterday I received, in my opinion, probably the finest compliment that Iíve ever stumbled across. I was told by a person that reads nearly all of our local blogs that while he enjoys all of those blogs, when heís reading them, he knows heís reading somebodyís blog. But when he visits my internet oasis, he feels as if heís reading a legitimate news source. He said my usual scribbling is always backed-up by facts.


Silly little things like facts suck when youíre not the one in possession of them.

As always, sez me.