6-20-2007 You reap what you sow

This is rich. Sad, but rich nonetheless. It seems our incendiary agitator extraordinaire, Steve “I am a Mexican” Corbett, is calling for regime change in Wilkes-Barre due to the recent shooting at the White House Cafe.

Here’s an excerpt from his most recent knee-splitting column:

Steve Corbett: Please Save Wilkes-Barre's Neighborhoods

No matter how hard officials work at their public service, however, not enough city officials – including the mayor and police chief – are doing what it takes to save the city from despair and bloodshed.

Maybe the job is simply impossible for them. If so, these alleged public servants should change jobs.

Mayor Tom Leighton might want to lead the career change charge.

First of all, the White House Café has an in-house security set-up that is probably second to none throughout this entire area. In addition, and this might surprise many, it is a really sharp-looking bar on it’s interior. Yet, somehow, some of it’s clientele keep “taking it outside” and letting the lead fly.

I heard one of our Republican council hopefuls on WILK speculating as to the status of the bar’s license, as well as it’s overall condition. At best, he hasn’t been in there in years and is mistakenly assuming that it’s not properly run, or not properly inspected by the city. At worst, he’s mistakenly assuming it’s a complete dive since it attracts a largely black clientele. Either way, he’s wrong, but that’s what Steve Corbett invites: groundless and rampant speculation. And whether it drives ratings or not, unchecked speculation does not, nor will it ever pass as useful public discourse.

As to this ridiculous premise of Steve’s that both the mayor and the city’s top cop are somehow shirking their responsibilities whereas public safety is concerned, I would have to say that’s either a very astute observation, or a completely unfair cheap shot when you consider that Steve has had an entire 6 months in which to come to such a definitive and damming conclusion. I’m of the firm opinion that he knows not of which he spews so easily, but since when has been knowing much of anything been a prerequisite for littering the public airwaves?

And this myopically sophomoric notion that the closing of one bar will make the city even remotely safer is extremely short-sighted in it’s simplicity and clearly suggests that Steve’s seemingly never ending stream of abject stupidity may be multifaceted. If you close that bar with as much security in place as you could ever ask for, the criminal element will simply pick up and find another local watering in which to ply their destructive trade.

I think it’s a done deal that the White House will be padlocked. And, based upon what it’s disgruntled neighbors are saying, that’s certainly not a bad thing. But the long and short of it is, this neighborhood’s gain will amount to another neighborhood’s loss. With the drug trade being what it currently is, this is a zero-sum game. Put the police clampdown on one neighborhood, and the undesirables will eventually pack their crack pipes and move on.

So, to suggest that closing one bar will make a discernable difference in the overall crime statistics is to make complete sophistry of thought. And to lunge towards the microphone while calling for hard-working people’s heads is little more than disingenuous and self-aggrandizing grandstanding for personal gain, i.e., ratings and a following. As far as I’m concerned, Steve Corbett should be ashamed of himself for being so haplessly transparent in these respects. And I think he owes a few good people a few apologies.

Here’s another problem with Steve’s usual shtick, his propensity for elevating those who do not deserve being elevated:

A Republican challenger with little of the established political backing that is usually necessary to win office has stepped into the urban madness with a plan. And her plan makes sense.

Linda Stets could win.

Leighton needs to know that.

The televised film clip of last night’s meeting showed a tense and nervous mayor. He finally seems to realize that people have felt abandoned for too long.

But does he really care?

Stets should step deeply into the debate posed by the increasing gun violence centered around the White House Café on Hazel Avenue. Stets should take it to the streets and call a press conference not only in front of City Hall but in front of the Luzerne County Courthouse as well.

Steve, I think you’ve consumed too much of those cheap, but vastly inferior vegetables stocks imported from Mexico. You know, where they fertilize the crops with affordable human waste. Steve, we’ve heard her vacuous plan. And that threadbare plan could very easily be copied onto the head of a safety pin. But, here you are doing what you always do, elevating those who don’t deserve to be elevated.

Steve, since you’re somewhat dim, I’ll explain it to you. Try to follow along. I’ll go slow.

You see, if Linda Stets were to win in November, Tom Leighton would be the happiest man in Wilkes-Barre. Not right away, mind you. I’m sure he’d be disappointed at being upset, at least, initially. But, after Linda Stets was allowed enough time to implement her plans for the city, the number of “For Sale” signs in this city would increase exponentially. And as we all know, Mayor Tom Leighton is a realtor by trade.

Now, if that’s too much deep for you to comprehend, give me a buzz and I’ll have my 6-year-old grandson explain it to you. Only a tad slower.

Being a recent escapee from Freakifornia, here’s something you couldn’t possibly know. Despite it’s well-deserved reputation, the White House Café actually generates far fewer police calls than do some of our other high-profile idiot magnets. That’s absolutely true, but you’re entitled to stick with your usual debating tactics by saying, “I don’t know about that.

Yes sir, the Leisure Tavern up the street from me generates more lunacy. It’s just that, when the customers at the White House get to settling their differences outside, they typically employ firearms rather than fists or bottles. The difference being, the local drunks at the Leisure are not gun-toting drug dealers, while the shootists that frequent the White House are gun-toting drug dealers. The problem is neither the bar, nor the neighborhood. And to a large degree, the problem is not the gun-toting clientele. The real problem is the insatiable demand for illegal narcotics in this area knows no bounds.

Truth be told, some of the same people that call your station pointing accusatory fingers at local officials partake of illegal narcotics on a very regular basis. THEY are the problem, but demand satisfaction from elected officials? One of your very regular callers lost his city job because of his illegal drug use. Yet, there he is on my radio every other day calling for a bloodless coup in this city. And sadly enough, the morning hosts agree with his every last word. The drug users themselves are demanding a safe environment in which to live their lives and snort their snort. They constitute the demand, and the out-of-state suppliers tend to be armed and tend to use their firearms at even the most miniscule provocation. But when that lead gets to flying as is does every now and again, the blame lies with elected and appointed officials? That’s dishonest, that’s the worst sort of malarkey and that’s exactly what you, Steve, have brought to my airwaves.

Dependence on drugs is responsible for the great majority of all seemingly senseless crime in this area. This city, this area is no different than any other municipality in this respect. You know it, I know it and law enforcement officials know it, too. Yet, no matter what our far-flung police departments attempt as a way of interdicting the nonstop drug flow, there are the WILK callers and hosts in lock-step agreement that the police are profiling, or overreacted, or over-stepped their authority, or what have you. No matter what they do, you and your hysterical ilk jump at the very first chance to criticize them, and, or leave them open to rampant, often accusatory speculation.

When the cops seem slow to act, you demand that heads roll. And when they do act very decisively, you suggest that maybe some heads need to roll. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t, and all for the sake of your precious ratings. I’ll tell you, if I was a WILK talk jock, I’d obey every single traffic law on the books. And even the ones that haven’t even been thunk of yet. Know why? Because WILK has no friends in the local law enforcement industry. Because they know you dump on them at every turn. They know that you leave them open to unfair attacks no matter what the hell they do. They know that yourself, Kevin, Nancy and many of the rest will invite the electronic lynch mob just escaped from the trailer park and all in the name of ratings. You and your sidekicks forever profess an undying love of our local police, but you victimize and exploit them every single time their actions find their way above the fold on Page 1. Yeah, I know. You call that important public discourse. But I call that fanning the flames of discontent where discontent usually need not be.

How do you sleep?

Yesterday, you were getting all teary-eyed on us after learning that 9 firefighters had lost their lives while executing the end-all ultimate in selfless acts: risking their lives to save the lives of trapped civilians. “Heroes,” I think you called them. Oh, but the police are a whole other story. Yeah, your generation just can’t get over it’s overblown suspicion of “The man.” Yeah, the “fuzz,” I think your generation once called them. Oh, and let’s not forget “The pigs.” Civil disobedience, mass protests, question authority, sit-ins; yeah, you folks have viewed the police as an enemy to be trashed ever since Charles Manson took you to the absolute apex of your generation’s madness.

So, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at all that you’re now calling for the head of the local police chief, simply because your generation’s free-wheeling drug culture has gotten so completely out of hand. You folks hated the police from the get-go being that the lot of you were so willing to pick and choose which rules and laws should apply to you. And now that illegal drugs are, literally, destroying our neighborhoods, now the best you’ve got is calling for the head of “The man.”

Sorry, but every day can’t be another Woodstock. Although, it was your generation that advocated an escape to Woodstock every day by way of a hollowed-out vegetable, or a short straw. You wanted drugs, you got them in great supply, and then, becoming overly paranoid, you blamed the entire mess on the CIA. What was it? The CIA brought them in to stifle the blacks? Clueless jackasses! Funny thing was, for the most part, it was the spoiled white kids from suburbia buying and using them. Yep, the worst generation spawned by America’s best generation couldn’t bare to admit that they were the problem.

Your utter disdain for authority was omnipresent. Why? Because an unpopular war was raging on? That's a cop-out. That's a threadbare excuse. That's revisionist, self-serving claptrap. Kids today volunteer in droves for military service. Back in the drug-crazed day, the cowardly kids such as yourselves volunteered to get high, rail against the war on a moment's notice and then spit upon the Agent Orange-soaked returning kids that were drafted to prosecute that war. Your behavior, no matter how you choose to recharacterize it after the fact, was reprehensibly off-base, fatally stupid and well beyond ill-advised. Some of those returning kids, my heroes as a little boy, were my friends, my uncles and my cousins. And they did not deserve even a second of that vile crap they had to endure at your hands.

Now we reap the devastation that you sowed, and you have the temerity, the aging and bloated stones to demand an immediate end to the constant nonsense, the idiocy, the lawlessness, the violence, the bloodletting and the crushing reverse-gentrification? Every step of the tumultuous way, your flower and bead-clad ilk fouled-up practically everything you touched, but now…now, you want to get to the bottom of the problems? Now you want heads to roll? Now you know what you’re talking about? Now you bring us useful public discourse?

All I want to know is, who the fu>k put this total asshole on my fu>king radio?

Who the fu>k is he to suggest that the police, or our elected officials have failed us, when he and his brought on all of this frightening societal decay? Who is he to be so eagerly judgmental, so smugly self-righteous, when his generation’s sole contribution to the cause was the undeniably obvious beginning of the end?

It’s time that all elected officials in this region start taking care of everyone. It’s time they put their own self-interests behind them and replace them with public service that seems to be disappearing.

Ballots can beat bullets. Change can occur. People can take back their city.

Yeah, the aging hippies. Yeah, it’s time for all of us that followed Steve’s fucked-up generation to start taking care of what his hapless lot set in motion so long ago. Yeah, public service. He’s still demanding answers and action, but after 40 long years, you’d think he could take a major hint. You’d think he’d understand that his one chance to save the world ended around the same time his heroes started overdosing en masse. You’d think that a crew that adored Dylan, but openly embraced disco would understand that their collective credibility, their functionality as a movement was buried right next to Pamela Coursen.

You can’t live with them and their unearned arrogance, but we certainly could have lived better lives without them. It seems to me that legalized abortion came about exactly one generation late.

Sez me.

You reap what you sow.