7-1-2007 Nothing is what I want

“I’m a firm believer that something is better than nothing.”--Steve Corbett on legislating, 6/27/07

I took me a vacation of sorts this past week. Instead of blogging, I sat on the porch with a few beers and a police scanner and just kind of watched the world go by. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is probably a world beyond repair, but we’ll leave that subject to the experts on fixing most everything, the droll leftists.

I also spend a goodly amount of time listening to Steve Corbett’s hysterical claptrap on WILK and have decided I cannot do it anymore. I cannot endure anymore of his incessant rambling and promises to save the world. I cannot. All because of this freaking recent bar shooting, he actually said that Wilkes-Barre needs to change it’s system of government because our strong mayoral form of governing just isn’t getting it done. Meaning, if the mayor of this city continues to refuse to return any of Corbett’s countless calls (as he has for six months now) Steve is going to badmouth him every chance he gets. It’s a form of radio extortion. Either call the show every single time the great Corbett comes a calling, or have your name, your reputation and your city verbally tarnished by the radio version of Underdog, sans the cape.

I think what Corbett wants is another Legion of Doom down here in Wilkes-Barre whereby he and it’s inarticulate purveyors of everything worth knowing and bloviating about can babble together happily ever after. Closely following Scranton’s embarrassing example, they can get together on the airwaves every night spewing vile invective, making inflammatory accusations and targeting anyone they wish without even a shred of proof. And then afterwards they can all congratulate each other for being the sterling examples of activism that they all mistakenly consider themselves to be. Yep, everyone unzips themselves, exposes their horribly mutated members and the great Corbett is the pivot man that makes it all possible. Thereby, those that should never be elevated are in fact elevated and Voila!…The Legion of Dolts’ Wilkes-Barre chapter is borne.

The only thing is, I steadfastly refuse to participate from this day forward. If what I want to hear is idiocy droning on and on for hours at a time, I’ll stick to the police scanner.

Speaking of the police, being that the great Corbett has decided to trash everyone in Wilkes-Barre as a result of an unfortunate bar incident, I think our police department needs to know what he thinks of their contribution to the urban cause.

And I quote: “It’s not just the number of cops, it’s the quality of cops.”--The Great One, 6/27/07

Typical talk radio cheap shot. Face-to-face, he’ll process his undying love to police officers. Oh, but when an incident makes it above the fold on Page 1, well, then he’s off to the cheap shots right quick. So, according to Corbett, the issue is the quality of our police department. He has brought their professionalism under question, and I truly hope he fully understands what it means to bring a motor vehicle to a complete stop. Because it’s not a smart thing to bite the hand that tickets you.

Know this. When the police are forced to act very decisively, there are those who will immediately second-guess whatever course of action they settled upon in that life-and-death fleeting nanosecond. And while that is patently unfair and misleading, it does get the phone lines lighting up right quick at the local talk radio outlet.

So when Steve or Kevin predictably get to suggesting that the local police have somehow failed in their ongoing quest to protect us from the miscreants, refer to this ages old line:

You can bullsh*t the fans but you can’t bullsh*t the players.

‘Nuf said on that.

As far as his “..something is better than nothing” mealy-mouthed quote goes, I’m into Zen legislation for the most part. Take this ridiculous federal immigration bill that went down in flames last week. If legalizing 12-20 million illegal aliens is better than nothing, if sending an inviting signal that our borders are just figments of our imagination and open to countless millions more, then I vote Zen. Because if this is the best “something” they can do, then nothing is what I want.

Sorry kiddies, but I’m not real big on mediocrity passing as some sort of ersatz progress. Then again, this is what that generation gave us. Well-intentioned fixes that made worst that which was intended to be fixed. In a way, it’s not really their fault when you consider that LSD melts in your mind, not in your hand. You know, if you can remember the ‘60s, you weren’t there. How about, reality is a crutch for people who can’t handle drugs?

Yet, these are the very same people telling me I can no longer smoke a cigarette, eat trans fats or drink fermented weeds until I fall over. Why? Because they know better than us. And being that they’re old and increasingly troubled by their own mortality, that which they once enjoyed in gross excess is no longer available to the rest of us. They have spoken. They have assumed control. They are know-it-all socialists. They demonize as if by rote. They are strict adherents to the mob rule by political correctness manifesto. They are the worst kind of well-meaning crypto-misanthropes. To thumbnail the lot of them, they are hypocrites.

Sez me.

Everyone entrusted with a microphone at WILK has at one time or another told us how completely hard talk radio is to make happen seamlessly. And I’ll not take issue with any of that. Imagine yourself being stuck in a chair right in front of a microphone and then having Nancy Kman say “I’ll be back for you in four hours. Have fun.”

Does “gulp” suddenly come to mind?

Live from WILK…it’s the Joe Blow show!

Joe: Hi…um…Joe here. So…did you guys, um…did you guys see the paper today? I did. And…well…I think it’s a shame what’s going on…um…Bosco? Where’s that sneeze button again? I gotta….ACHEW!!!

Damn! Do we have tissues here at WILK? I…uh…I just hocked one up on the monitor. Sh*t. Oops. Is sh*t one of those “7 words” no-nos? Sorry. Hey, at least…I mean, it’s not as bad as fu>k, right?

Nancy: (bursting into the control room) Bosco, cut to a commercial! Cut to a commercial!

Happy are the people in a Shorten Home, a…

With that said and not contested in any way, what they are telling us is we’re stuck with the same half dozen or so talk celebrities forever more. Steve Corbett is a bombastic sort, a braggart who huffs and puffs and blows nothing of note down? Well, he’s the best they could get. Is Kevin Lynn uniquely brilliant in that he is so consistently wrong on every possible topic? Hey, at least there’s no dead air, other than that which escapes from his pie hole. What do you want from us? They don’t exactly grow talk show hosts on vines, you know?

Yeah, we can tell.

Instead of Mansions & Estates, that sorry drivel where the host of the show rails against everyone he’s ever done business with (or to), perhaps WILK could groom some local talent by devoting an hour or two every weekend to rank amateurs. A kind of public access affair. You know, a vehicle by which the next Wayne’s World could emerge.

Party time! Excellent!

Yeah, Sunday afternoons could offer a varied lineup of local activists with thoroughly dulled political axes in hand, political raconteurs du jour, elite tow truck paramilitaries, local Republicans (all 12 of them), blogging devotees, recently retired and gentlemanly council folk, hemp herders (frustrated Greens) and ignominious rabble of all shapes, sizes and persuasions. Sounds like a heap of good fun to me.

It’d sure beat listening to some disgruntled builder bitching about everyone he’s ever met. It’d sure beat listening to some paid program claptrap wherein eating garlic extracts or some rare beet root from New Zealand will extend our lives by fifty years. And it’d even beat listening to the aging socialists like Kevin and Steve tell us why they are perpetrating their new-&-improved versions of the Volstead Act on the rest of us, their self-imposed feel-good, do-gooder constructs by which we must now conduct ourselves.

Come on, Nancy. What do you say? Wouldn’t that count for some community service credits when the broadcasting license comes up for renewal? If it’ll help, I’ll volunteer to do the “Zen with Mark Show.” That’s the show where I try to convince people that not only is nothing better than something when our legislators so rarely get together, I’ll explore all it’s Zen-like fractional divisions thereof. In short, nothing is what I want. Fact is, as it pertains to government, all too often, nothing is exactly what I get for that oft-increasing portion of my paycheck that is taken away from me.

Now, doesn’t that sound exciting?

If not, I could do a show about how I was the first juvenile in the history of the United States to undergo shock treatments. It’s a very disturbing, but compelling story. You think the health care industry in this country is a complete mess as we speak? Try shock therapy after having been misdiagnosed with tuberculosis. True story.

Not only that, I’ll likewise volunteer to do the show with those oft-mentioned fermented weeds planted firmly in hand. Although, as an unpaid subcontractor, I am not suggesting that Entercom should have to supply said weeds. I’ll supply the fermented weeds, you supply the microphone. It’s easy.

I eagerly await your affirmative response.

Check out this e-mail I received from none other than the Governor of Pennsylvania.

He’s funny.

From the e-mail inbox Electric Rate Hikes Threaten Pennsylvania’s Future Growth

Pennsylvania must act now to address soaring electricity costs before they threaten our continued economic growth. Rate caps imposed under Pennsylvania’s deregulation of the power industry 11 years ago are now beginning to expire statewide.

The impact already is being felt. In the southwestern region, some businesses have seen a more than 70-percent hike in electric rates, and many households have seen energy bills skyrocket by more than 30-percent. In the northeastern region, a school district in Pike County watched its electric bills soar by 130-percent overnight.

If your rates haven't skyrocketed yet, brace yourself: whopping increases are on the way. In less than three years, rate caps in every part of the state will expire. That’s why we have to act now.

To help consumers and protect our economy, I’ve proposed an "Energy Independence Strategy" that is aimed at cutting electric costs by $1 billion a year. Specifically, the Energy Independence Strategy would:

Direct utilities to provide their customers with "least cost service." Presently, utilities can charge whatever the market will bear. Under my plan, utilities will have to do some work for their customers — shopping around and finding the best deal on electricity for their customer's benefit.
Direct utilities to invest in cost effective conservation first, instead of saddling customers with the huge cost of new cross-state transmission lines to meet growing demand or before more expensive "peak power" is pulled from the grid.
Provide every consumer with a "smart meter" and the option to participate in a "time-of-use rate" so ratepayers can avoid consuming electricity during periods of peak demand.
Provide rebates for the purchase of energy efficient appliances to cut energy bills.
Provide rebates of up to 50 percent for families and businesses who want to use solar power.

At a time when Americans are working hard to reduce our reliance on foreign sources of energy, Pennsylvania can do its part by adopting my Energy Independence Strategy.


That’s all well and good, but it’s the longish version of ‘you people are screwed, so don‘t say I didn‘t warn you.’ And screwed we are. A “smart meter?” Yeah, and LSD can make you fly.

This is what I’ve been privy to ever since I graduated from Matchboxes to Marcia Brady. We can’t build oil refineries, we can’t drill for oil or natural gas, we can’t build nuclear power plants, we can’t burn coal, we can‘t afford to go solar, we will not stand for a single windmill being erected anywhere near our homes or our suddenly precious sparrows, but…but, we outright demand affordable, renewable energy. That’s the long and short of our energy idiocy.

Now, if we weren’t so susceptible to abject idiocy as policy, we’d have us a nuclear power plant on practically every corner. If we weren’t so collectively damned stupid, we’d be paying significantly more for imported super balls than we are electricity. If we weren’t so easily led by the professional protest crowd so heavily armed with their junk science and their incessant scaremongering, we wouldn’t be rushing off to replace our traditional light bulbs with some newfangled version.

If we all want affordable energy, we’re not going to get it by installing smart meters, brewing billions of gallons of moonshine sans the alcohol, or driving cars made out of balsa and recycled Tic Tac packages. Y’all can keep pitching your pennies into the well and wishing, but it ain’t gonna happen.

As for me, I say we build new nuclear power plants. I say we invest in the power grid so that the transmission of electricity goes off without a hitch. I say we do away with grants for “artists” that submerge crucifixes in urine and award grants to average folks who want to go solar. I say no more grants for those who study snails to the point of absurdity and award grants to those who want to use the roaring brook out back to generate some electricity of their own. And I say that anyone who opposes even a single windmill being built in close proximity to them be stuffed into a fragile-looking glider and launched directly at that windmill just as soon as it gets to spinning.

Enough already.

Enough with the stupidity in a world where being dependent upon others for life-sustaining energies perverts our foreign policy, and threatens our sovereignty. Enough. We either produce the energy or we don’t. And if we don’t, our standard of living is going to slide dramatically and soon.

You tell me. What would you rather? A nuclear power plant down the road a ways? Or would you prefer to take on another part-time job just to pay off the second mortgage you were forced to take due to the rising cost of practically everything after the cost of energy trickles down to you? Which is it already? The smart meter? Or the windmill? Perpetual economic subservience? Or energy independence? I’d really like to know.

All I know is, needing it, but resisting building it is inordinately imbecilic. And you can slice and dice this most pressing of issues any which way by politicizing it. But I’m here to tell you that continued mental obtusity on our part is not going to pay the bills.

Bring on those spent fuel rods, baby. Count me in. I'm not into gas-powered 'puters.

I ran into a reporter from the Citizens’ Voice some days back, and he asked me if yet another Voice reporter had contacted me about some “profile” piece she was interested in doing on me. I told him she had not. Funny thing was, he smiled and said something about not doing what the Times Leader did, i.e., the ‘blogging in his boxer shorts’ bit.

Cracked me up.

Despite all that I am, and all that I am not, I guess I will forever be known as the guy who allegedly blogs in his underwear.

Somethin’ like that.

I bought wifey a brand new bicycle yesterday. Her first such new bicycle since the black ‘n’ white days when she sported pigtails and striped pants. Needless to say, we are headed out.