2-25-2007 Rutabagas for brains

I‘m reading here that Michael Jackson is resurrecting the Jackson 5 and a tour is being planned. Just when a spectacular public suicide was appealing to me, I have a reason to go on living.

This one ought to get the religious folks hyperventilating in unison. James Cameron, filmmaker extraordinaire, claims he has found Jesus’ burial tomb and has produced a documentary about it. He not only claims this tomb contained the remains of Jesus, it also held the remain of Jesus’ son Joseph. Hold on to your hats, kiddies.


On the blogfront.

I was visiting Gort 42 last night, when I learned that the good ole Nord End has itself yet another political blogger. I was disappointed to see a moniker from an old Woody Allen movie rather than someone’s real name attached to it, but such is the nature of political blogging these days.

Now, if I was a local politician, or a local political player of any sort, I’d have some serious reservations about all of that. Why is it that area residents fear their elected representatives, or those aspiring to be elected representatives? Why is it that those speaking out on local politics feel the need to keep their identities a secret?

I can tell you why. It’s because intimidation, threats of violence, threats of legal action and outright vindictiveness can find it’s way to said political bloggers faster than Kevin Lynn can spew unwarranted vitriolic insults. Trust me, I speak from experience.

Personally speaking, a good guide to a political player’s overall character is their very reaction to criticism posted on the internet. The cretins typically get in your face, want to shout and bump chests, or start leveling threats of legal action. The people who are above reproach will enter into a dialogue with you after you get to questioning whatever aspect of their performance you have a problem with. It’s fairly easy to determine which type you’re dealing with by how they carry themselves.

I’ve been threatened with legal action over a picture I took of a business. I’ve been threatened with legal action because a college student never even heard of a thesaurus. Imagine that. I’ve been threatened with legal action over trespassing issues (pictures again). I was threatened with legal action after posting a document that was part of the public record, albeit, a little-known public document. I ended up in a bit of a shouting match after posting another public record document that probably should have been delved into by one of our two newspapers on the eve of a primary election. And that’s always bugged me.

If John Doe announces his intention to run for a public office, the newspapers will give John a 5-paragraph story, wash their hands of the guy and watch as the election plays itself out. But what of his history, his skeletons, or his criminal record? Should the newspapers do a precursory investigation of John’s sordid past, or should they end their involvement after the brief published introduction? Why should a lowly blogger have to dig into his past and publish the fact that maybe he ought not be voted for? Why does the blogger have to paint a target on his own back, when the newspapers have a gaggle of attorneys on the payroll? Exactly who’s job is it to provide some background on the people that want our votes?

Here’s another constant. The theory goes like this: no one man could publish as much content as I do without tons of help, and a few captured ears of importance. One by one, all of my neighbors have been mistakenly accused of being my “mole.” And our former mayor heatedly accused one of them eye-to-eye. One moron even said on the internet that Kathy Kane and I are like blood brothers. I saw her at the Ramada recently, told her of that off-base quip and she chuckled even harder than I did when I first heard it. We did talk, but 90% of that conversing was about my kids, two of which she taught in grade school. What’s the latest excrement? Oh, yeah, I have Bill Vinsko’s ear, or some such scatterbrained nonsense. I met the guy one time, had a great conversation with the guy and now we’re partners in crime? Idiots all.

Anyway, we’ve got us another local political blogger up here in the Nord End. He’s already gone on the record as saying one of our District E council candidates scares him, so unless he’s up for serious some return fire, he had better stick with the Woody Allen-inspired alias.

Welcome to the asylum. Your fellow madmen will not be held responsible for any lost or damaged egos.

Luzerne County: Where Blogs Go To Die

How ‘bout, Luzerne County: Where bloggers try not to get run over, beat up or sued?

If you skipped that link to the Riverfront Project video, do yourself a favor and watch it. It really gives us a great idea of what we can expect in the months ahead…an amazing new downtown amenity. Despite what the howling activists will tell you--that every expenditure is an expense--this project is proof positive that sound investments in our future can and do happen.

Yesterday I mentioned that disc I was promised but failed to receive. Lo-and-behold, the riverfront disc, plus a another disc, “The Curtain Rises on Northampton & Main,” showed up in my real life mailbox last night. Thanks, Tom. You didn’t need to make a special trip, but I’m glad that you did.

After watching both presentations, I got to making my own theater slideshow, which is as close as you’re ever going to get to a behind the scenes look at the year-plus worth of construction and rehabbing that went into that enormous project. Very many of the pictures involved were taken from within the theater complex as it was being built. The time frame is probably about 18 months. Do it.

Kickstart my City

Motley Crue, baby!!!

Another council hopeful has thrown his hat into the ring. Joe Daniel has stepped to the plate in District D, which encompasses Parsons, East End and the Coal Street area at the Heights’ edge. If memory serves, he ran in 2003, but I can’t recall how he fared in that losing cause.

Daniel announces candidacy for W-B council

The latest from District D:

D Bill Barrett

D Mike McGinley

D Tim Anderson

D Joe Daniel

Surprisingly enough, even with this voting by neighborhoods gimmick in place, the Republicans are as aplenty as snow storms in July. So after the general election passes with nary a Republican claiming any elected office, what will the next referendum gambit be? I mean, they can’t make claim to a spoke, so they keep redesigning the wheel.

I fail to understand why every self-appointed activist this side of Kirby Park have interjected themselves into the downtown Business Improvement District debate. That is, it’s really up to the downtown property owners to decide, isn’t it?

Improvement district likely to receive OK

Luzerne County Green Party co-chairman Carl Romanelli Jr. presented a resolution to city council Thursday opposing the business improvement district. But since he is not a property owner in the district, his resolution was not counted as a formal objection, according to city clerk Jim Ryan.

Romanelli calls the business improvement “an expensive duplication of services.” Taxes are already paid to the city for security, he said. The Diamond City Partnership already provides beautification services. The Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry is “perfectly capable to market and push the progress in town,” Romanelli said.

“Talk about parochialism. In the business improvement district, what they’re doing is ensuring there is a district that gets preferential treatment,” Romanelli said. “It’s the whole city we’re supposed to be working towards. We don’t want the business improvement district to be at the peril of the neighborhoods.”

Romanelli says city council rushed through a public hearing on the business improvement district in December. At that hearing, each person was given only five minutes to speak since council had a special meeting scheduled after the public hearing.

“We’re losing the opportunity to debate as a city how we manage the funds we have to provide services that citizens and business people deserve to have,” Romanelli said. “It has been my experience that any time you have an opinion different from that of the city leaders, you’re cut out. You’re harassed. You’re shouted at. They don’t listen.”

With all do respect to Carl and his tireless efforts, the reason the dozen or so “activists” are so often met with scorn is because they do little more than take a contrary position to every single thing that is ever proposed…period!

Pick one and do some internet searching. What you’ll learn is that they opposed whatever it was that was proposed by any elected city or county leader and at every juncture. Pick a project, any project. Be they theater complexes, riverfront projects, new streetlights, intermodel complexes, new housing developments, an increased payroll tax to hire new police officers, etc., etc., etc., frickin’ etc., every self-aggrandizing activist, without exception, has stepped to the podium in opposition.

If you bothered to watch the riverfront video, you know that the finished product is going to be an amazing new amenity that was probably long overdue. And what did the activists have to say about that? Oh my God, they’re cutting down the trees! Now, with unmitigated illogic such as that as their only guide, why shouldn’t they be laughed out of city hall? Jeez, they’re probably lucky they’re not being pelted with chestnuts for being so predictably negative and so predictably lame.

Four short years ago the high and mighty “critics” were bemoaning the sad state of affairs in the downtown. And now that things are coming around in the downtown, they bemoan a perceived lack of attention to the neighborhoods. They whined about the devastating effects of reverse-gentrification, and now they attack the CAT unit and the renter’s ordinance. They wanted the aged housing stock addressed, and now that it is being addressed, they cite that as an ongoing problem, too. They screamed bloody murder when we had more gun-toting criminals than cops, but as soon as the city started hiring cops, the newly created priority was hiring firemen and rebuilding dilapidated lean-tos. If an elected official says tomato, they say rutabaga and claim that is proof of corruption and, or negligence. They were frothing at the mouth when the city did not publish a calendar for one calendar year, then accused the mayor of shameless self-promotion when the publishing of the calendars was resumed. Tomato? Rutabaga? All they know is, let’s call the whole thing off.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, our unconversant raconteurs have never seen a single project, concept, tax plan, ordinance or viewpoint they did like. Not even once.

They are predictably negative. They are destructively counterintuitive. They are obviously simple-minded. And they are frighteningly shortsighted. But they sure get a rush of blood to just south of the belt when they see their names in the newspaper.

My grandpa once told me that no matter how long and hard we may try, we’ll never be able to convince the jackasses that they are just that--jackasses.

So, you fancy yourself as a headline-grabbing activist? Okay, this is all that you need to remember. If it’s proposed, it sucks.


Knock yourself out.

I swear, if the Knox Mine hole reopened itself today, the county would try to reseal it by dumping train cars loaded with cash into it.

Flood protection authority approves $6 million budget

WILKES-BARRE — The Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority on Tuesday approved a $6 million budget that includes another $250,000 to study a proposed inflatable dam.

Another $250,000 to study the proposed inflatable dam?

Um, why not earmark $250,000 to study why it’s not in the county’s best interest to push bad ideas to the point of absolute absurdity? The proposed dam has more opponents than the world has species of ants. The proposed dam has less proponents than the totality of Africa has domed stadiums. Yet, we need to study the dam some more?

My grandpa once told me that no matter how long and hard we may try, we’ll never be able to convince the jackasses that they are just that--jackasses.

At the risk of sounding like Nancy Kman having one of her blogging fits…study this!!!

Cripes almighty!

From the e-mail inbox Mark:

Regarding concerns about the sexual offenders residency ordinance, a state association representing townships has opined that nothing in state law permits the regulation of residency for any person, sexual offender or not, and they have recommended against enacting such ordinances.


That’s the first I’ve heard of that, but it doesn’t surprise me. As I’ve said before, if a guy goes to prison, serves out his sentence and is subsequently released, where is it written that he has not yet paid his debt to society? Where is it written that he should be further punished upon his release? Harassed, if you will.

And if the rate of recidivism is as high as they’re telling us, why are they being released in the first place? If committing homicides was unavoidable addictive, would the murderers be set free? If they cannot be rehabilitated, then why are they running loose amongst us?

All I know is, if any pervert ever touches any of my offspring’s offspring, they had better incarcerate me until after that scumbag is convicted by a jury of his peers and incarcerated himself.

There’s justice, and then there’s doing what obviously needs to be done.

Sez me.

I have to go. Kevin Harvick and the good ole boys are about ready to start their engines.