2-9-2008 17?

I thought about firing up this word processor some days ago, but I quickly changed my mind. I was going to start that descent into textual madness with this: Jints 17-Patriots 14. Like, ‘nuf said, no?

Since the biggest upset in Super Bowl history, I’ve been sitting here watching ESPN and NFL films one after the other. I guess I just didn’t want this week and the accompanying warm glow to end. In fact, I haven’t felt this jazzed since the Jints won their first ever Super Bowl appearance following the ‘86 season.

I’ve made the charge that Tom Brady was getting noticeably cocky as the Pats’ winning streak grew, but practically everyone dismissed that by saying he was the greatest quarterback to have ever played the game. Yeah, the greatest quarterback to have played without having to wash his uniform for any entire season, I replied. And I think his besides-himself response to Plaxico’s prediction that the Jints would win the big game by a final score of 23-17 proves as much. The first word out of his mouth was “17”?

Let’s paraphrase, shall we?

17? Do you losers really believe you can hold the mighty Patriots and myself, Jesus H. Brady, the most masterful of NFL quarterbacks ever to breathe, to a meager 17 points? You fools? You nincompoops. You losers. Apologize now, kiss my blessed feet, and maybe…maybe I’ll give you an autographed picture of my super model of a girlfriend at a reduced price.

Jints 17-Patriots 14.

For the first time in his NFL career, Tom Brady got the snot beat out of him. Hell, I think he left the stadium, found himself a Wawa and bought his very first tube of Ben-Gay. I think he finally discovered pain relievers. And for the first time his season, his uniform needed a good washing. And for the first time this season, despite what an NFL writer called “his swagger and his cock-sure smirks,” he went home the loser.

See? There is a God. Or, at least, some sort of underling…a football god, perhaps.

And the ultimate one-game taskmaster, Bill Belichick, had no answer for what the Jints brought to the game. He could not counteract what their game plan was built upon. He had no answer for desire.

Man, I’m suddenly getting a hankering for watching some more NFL Films produced highlights, but I’ll try to control myself.

My sister called from Florida just as the deflated Patriots were heading to the locker room and said something about how my brother was smiling down at us from heaven. Funny, this was the first time I watched the Jints in the big game without Ray sitting by my side. And that fact was not lost on me as I watched the 10-hour or so pre-game show. And that fact reoccurred to me as I reveled my way through the glorious post-game festivities. But I have to admit, once the pads got to poppin’, I didn’t think of him during the game. No, the emotions that usually overwhelm me while taking in my weekly dose of barely controlled violence saw to that. Sorry, Ray.

One of the girls at work said I take this “football stuff” way too seriously. Typical chick. While that’s true, I make no apologies for being passionate about something that I truly love. I spent my formative years in the long shadow of the New York Football Giants, and no matter where I go or what I endeavor to do, I will always bleed Giants’ blue.

Being that it’s Black History month, I’m amazed that nary a mention was made of a black general manager, Jerry Reese, steering his team to an NFL title for the very first time. And a first-year GM no less. I previously mentioned the fact that 8 rookies were making significant contributions during the Jints’ month-long playoff adventure. Well, guess who drafted the lot of them?

Anyway, Super Bowl week has officially concluded.


It sure didn‘t take long, did it?

No sooner did Lou Barletta announce his intention to oppose Paul Kanjorski did the allegations of campaign financial wrongdoing suddenly appear.

Be afraid, Uncle Paul. Be very afraid.

And in anticipation of Barletta’s expected entry into the political fray, the regretfully embarrassing scare mongering started all over again. “Psst…senior citizens…they are going to take your social security check away.” Um, again?

Be afraid, Uncle Paul. Be very afraid.

And before Barletta could even climb down from the podium, the hopelessly partisan bloggers were repeating the asinine assertion that Rick Santorum told Lou Barletta to make an issue of illegal immigration so that it would benefit Santorum‘s chances of being reelected. You know the old adage about what happens when you repeat a lie often enough, right?

Be afraid, Uncle Paul. Be very afraid.

It’s obvious that Paul Kanjorski feels vulnerable, and this is not going to be an issue-oriented campaign on his part. Let’s see, he’s holding sway over a democrat-heavy district, he has political consultant extraordinaire Ed Mitchell on the payroll, his district was gerrymandered so as to maintain his strangle lock over his district, and he’s got a war chest larger than the national debt of Trinidad. So, why the dirty campaigning before the campaign even got underway?

Be afraid, Uncle Paul. Be very afraid.

I was in Hazleton earlier this week and I was picking up bits and pieces of what Barletta was saying to Sue Henry on her radio show, when I found myself exiting a property on Oak Street, which sits right behind city hall. And being the impulsive bugger that I am, I marched right up to hizzoner’s second-floor office, gave my business card to the nice lady in the outer office and told her to tell Mr. Barletta that he has a campaign volunteer in the Nord End of Wilkes-Barre.

It’s time for Mr. Kanjorski to take his debatable dam, his water-jet farce, his enriched relatives, his regional junk yard center, his well-worn scare tactics, his tired partisan hornswoggle and his massive, unearned ego and go home to Nanticoke. Vaya a casa, Uncle Paul.

The Earth Conservancy is wonderful and all, reclaiming far-flung coal-scarred lands. But should that be our top priority while our neighborhoods are in dire need of a reclaiming?

Methinks not.

Be afraid, Uncle Paul. Be very afraid.

After reading the story listed below, I got to wondering if the Billy Barty of Luzerne County politics, Minority Commissioner Steve Urban, can get along with anyone other than Tim Grier?

What gives with this smarmy, little politician?

Leighton misleads, Urban says

Leighton made the assertion in a letter to Diaz, Urban said. That letter was the subject of at least two published reports.

The letter says approximately $5 million of the Grier-challenged bond has been “designated to fund projects critical to Wilkes-Barre’s revitalization.”

“These initiatives include the renovation of Coal Street Park into a premier recreational facility, the citywide surveillance camera initiative, the intermodal transportation facility and the redevelopment of both the bank building on Public Square and land along South River Street,” Leighton wrote.

Leighton further wrote: “Should this funding be denied to Luzerne County, my administration will be forced to halt these plans at a tremendous cost to the city of Wilkes-Barre.”

Urban said Grier is not holding up the intermodal, the bank building redevelopment or South River Street neighborhood housing projects.

“If anything, the mayor is holding up the projects because he had this commitment since December 2006 and hasn’t drawn down the money,” Urban said.

Urban also questioned Leighton’s citation of Coal Street and surveillance cameras because commissioners never discussed or voted to fund them, and they are not listed in any bond documents.

“I have no idea where he comes up with these things. He never came to the Board of Commissioners and asked for money for Coal Street,” Urban said, spelling out the word board for emphasis.

The story continues…

Contacted Thursday, Leighton said he should not have used the word “designated” because he had no board commitment.

He said the city will be seeking $5 million in bond funding for all the projects listed in his letter.

“Designated maybe might have been the wrong word, but I’m confident that once the county sees these projects and what they will do for Luzerne County and all of Northeastern Pennsylvania, I think they will be impressed,” Leighton said.

Uh, is there a cogent point buried in there somewhere? The wrong word--designated--was mistakenly used? Or is it just more of the same old nonsense wherein Steve Urban cannot resist his tired, well-chronicled habit of publicly trashing the mayor of the county seat, Luzerne County’s largest metropolis? What gives with this insignificant curmudgeon?

Is this a healthy relationship? Is this what we really need from one of our three county commissioners, the non-stop partisan rancor? Billy…er, Steve, the election is long over and the Republican challenger--your wife--lost. Put an end to the campaigning, will you?

If this guy spent more time on county business and less time on spiriting documents to agenda-driven activists, maybe we could move forward as a county. If this guy spent more time on county business and less time constantly politicking on behalf of his ineffectual political party, maybe we could move forward as a county. If this guy spent more time on county business and far less time biting Tom Leighton’s ankles, maybe we could move forward as a county.

And if this wasn’t wired enough for you, Urban appeared on Steve Corbett’s jumbled scream fest last night and got to trashing a new business that is yet to open in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Yep, true, I taped it. He is openly worried about the new Hardware Bar, which is currently being built on South Main Street. Yes, he said there are a lot of fathers and mothers worried about their daughters being “groped” and “something happening to her” with the opening of this newest of the new downtown businesses.

And that is utter nonsense. It’s pure hogwash at it’s worst, and typical Steve Urban negativism at it’s best. A county commissioner is worried about a new business coming to the downtown? Utter bilge, that is. It’s absolutely worthless politicking, the usual from this pretender to the throne. I get the distinct impression that Steve “Dr. No” Urban would like to see Wilkes-Barre fail at everything it tries so that one day a Republican could be swept into power at City Hall. I honestly believe that given his strictly partisan approach to his “job,” he would much prefer to have a decimated city so long as his party rules it.

Here’s one for you to ponder. Going back to the visioning meetings the Chamber put on years ago, countless hundreds of people have gotten involved to one extant or another, or in one project or another trying to make both this city and this county a better place in which to live and to do business.

There have been meetings, both public and private. There have been planning sessions. There have been studies commissioned and feasibility studies done. We’ve had politicians, urban planners, engineers, public safety professionals, average citizens, paid consultants and volunteers wracking their brains for the cures to the ails that most urban centers suffer from. Literally thousands upon thousands of hours have been spent by countless individuals all for the purposes of making this place a better place.

Now I ask you, what has Steve Urban done for Luzerne County and Wilkes-Barre? Other than continually voting no to everything and trashing nearly everyone he encounters, what effort has he made? What has he done? Um, I’ll venture a guess. Nothing? Truth is, he has had little or no involvement in anything other than voting no, or voicing his negative opinions on practically everything. But what has he done on his own to make this county shine again? No question mark this time, he has done nothing. He is a do-nothing clone of a commissioner, with his only meaningful contribution being the trashing of nearly everyone he encounters. He is a political animal, a bridge-burner and little else.

Remember, this is the same guy that voted “no” to both the theater and the riverfront projects.

Need I say more?

I was surprised to see that the Web site of my most recent antagonist, David Foglietta, has suddenly disappeared from the electronic landscape. I’m not sure what happened there. Perhaps it’s all a part of his soon-to-come legal brouhaha with WILK radio. Or maybe somebody flagged it as being inappropriate, being that he often wrote about sexual fantasies and the like. You got me.

Honestly, I hope the deletion was of his own choosing, since I once had my rights to free speech trampled upon immediately after those attacks on the Twin Towers came about.

Imagine that. I object to your thoughts, so I have made sure you can no longer express them. Totalitarianism borne of a liberal arts college education. Or even worse yet, a thoroughly vapid thought process so often enunciated by the use of the sissified phrase “I am offended.”

Anyway, before the lights went out on that site, I received the following from our aforementioned Scranton writer:

From the e-mail inbox Marc: High Five on the Giants!

It's always refreshing to splash agog in your venom about me on this page. I've been neglected for so long that I make the French Lieutenant's Woman look like Queen For A Day! And you sign your name, to boot! (But must you print all my letters in pink? What the is that? Can't you control your color palettes? I know you think I'm gay, but, dang it, enough is enough).

Twenty years in this business and all I ever get on occasion (very rare) are the anonymous drippings of insignificant fools, much like the nameless bottom feeders that you allow to drop those pathetic little stinky turds on a daily basis. Lately the CSs are giving me a good thrashing. If somebody sent me garbage like that about you, without signing, it would never see the light of day. It's not fair. I don't allow anonymous posts. I therefore get almost no feedback. But I understand. You'd get absolutely no chatter on your page too if the gutless wonders had to identify themselves. I sense that you must have a covert loathing and hatred of these spineless MFs....That piece of shit, the Times Leader, still permits the Anonymae to drop their bilious little bombs ad libitum, ditto the Voice(less). They used to have a whole page devoted to this covert libel and slander. Even the scrofulous Scranton Times discontinued that crap years ago. Everybody signs now. I have to give them credit for that.....A few items for you:

You said that I can't "cover my checks" with my "big flabby ass" or something like that. (You seem to be preoccupied with my ass). Oh, you never bounced a check? C'mon, get real. And why does my anatomy always have to get in the mix here. I'm not that dang fat! I like to eat, so what? What are we here for anyway? To be unassailable Slim Jims, waiting for the Rapture?

No matter how flabby my ass, friend, it is irrefutably true that there is a Platonic Pure Form of it afloat in the metaphysical ooze, in that Dimension beyond sight and sound, of which I dare not speak no further. Which was ardently believed by venerable and ancient sources.

Anyway, if God wanted us to be skinny, He would never have created squid, spaghetti & meatballs, prime rib dripping with Bordelaise sauce, sausage omelettes, chuck roast - oozing oily Contadina sweat - bacon & tomato sandwiches, lafayettes, krullers, sugar donuts, Boston Creams, provolone, butt capicola....

I...I can't go on!

But really, going by that football stadium picture (Or is that your late brother again?), you're a big bleeping slob too, Marc. And there's nothing wrong with that. But how can you even screw with a big belly like that? Assuming, of course, that you're still copulating, at the advanced age of 26. I.....I have a big belly too, but it's no impediment for me when Venus calls. I make up for it with my large dominant member, which never fails to navigate the Great Salt Seas, with brio and hot passion. When I make love it's like a symphony by Beethoven, the only difference is that I last longer. For instance (a little known fact ), Beethoven's 5th symphony is in two movements and goes for about 30 minutes or more. I go in three or four movements, a total of about 90 minutes (sometimes only two movements and about 40 minutes, if the girl is between 12 and 14). The sequence is as follows (and don't forget, I reached 65 years of age on Feb 3, Super Bowl Sunday):

(1) Adagio, progressing to a mild cantabile, with a gradual building up tension, like the first part of Thus Spake Zarathustra, only better, followed by,

(2) The Capriccio, a sudden burst of violent energy; the woman's eyeballs nearly explode in their orbits....Her armpits begin to ooze like angry whitewater; the belly vibrates arpeggio, in demisemiquaver rhythm; she screams - fortissimo! - a full two octaves above her normal screech.... if she survives this (I always check for vital signs) we proceed to,

(3) A short Intermezzo, during which we read selected passages from Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Emerson, Dr. Phil, Oprah; Popcorn, lots of it... And Chicken Kickers from Domino's.....

(4) Finally, The Tout Ensemble, The Ineffable Release....It's like Chopin, on steroids....And then The Requiem: we lay back and watch WNEP's weather channel on Comcast 243....DEF

Okay, I’ll bite. Why the heck not?

Again, no one posts on this site anonymously. No one. And it doesn’t matter to me if you don not know who those emails hailed from. I know.

As for the picture you mentioned, once again you’re picking on my recently deceased “fat” brother. Trust me, you’re lucky he’s gone.

Anyway, if God wanted us to be skinny, He would never have created squid, spaghetti & meatballs, prime rib dripping with Bordelaise sauce, sausage omelettes, chuck roast - oozing oily Contadina sweat - bacon & tomato sandwiches, lafayettes, krullers, sugar donuts, Boston Creams, provolone, butt capicola.…

Hey…we actually agree on something! Damn straight. Delicacies for sure. Although, it’s really kind of lame to blame one’s enlarged rump on God, don’t you think?

No matter the delicacies, I prefer being lean-and-mean only because I prefer being able to act like a kid at 49, rather than as an old man at 49. I love playing sports, riding bikes, paddling kayaks and generally carrying on as if I’m exactly one-third my real age. Besides, if I skimp on the calories that accompany the tantalizing foodstuffs, that’s more calories I can devote to beer. Priorities, man. Priorities. Grow up, you might say? Not on your life.

Sex? Um, yeah, I do like it. And I’m every old-fashioned in that I only cavort about naked and suchlike with women. Actually, with only one woman. I’m very limited like that, but fulfilled nonetheless.

Well, there it is, what could be the very last installment of David versus Goliath.

Sumthin’ like that.

There’s another new business slated to open on South Main Street opposite the former Bilo. Yep, “Crown Fried Chicken” is on it’s way to Wilkes-Barre, and I sincerely hope that our peewee commissioner can find a way to refrain from trashing it before it opens for business. Think about it. Waitresses might get their butts pinched. And no mother or father would want to see that sort of thing going on in Wilkes-Barre.

Another “no” vote, I suppose.

From the e-mail inbox I was on Wiki-pedia and clicked on a citation for a story about Jason Honeywell, the KSS member (supposed member if you talk to KSS) who stabbed two people outside of the Cafe Metropolis. So far I like your website and that you care about Wilkes-Barre enough to have it. I'm glad to see your concern has been made mention of in the papers.

Why I am writing you today is because of that Jason Honeywell ordeal. I was wondering if you have any more information off hand on the matter before I get off my butt this week and figure out where this guy is through the officail channels which I am not soo familiar with. Is he still in prison?

I used to go to the cafe metropolis when I was a teen and I think that oddly enough, a late hours club which caters to youths actually kept alot of them away from booze, sex, and drugs which are more prevalent in teh kids who stay couped up in someones house with night-shift workign parents out of hte public eye. I never got myself into any trouble there in the years I went.

After I left the service (regular army, 4 years) I of course felt too old dto go back there but from time to time I'd think of it as a nostalgic part ofmy teen years. I met a girl there I dated for 8 years and always saw it as a safe place so obviously I was taken aback when I heard that nazi's stabbed two people there. I never saw a punch thrown there before that.

Because of the incident I became interested in researching KSS (Keystone state skinheads) for my journalism classes at LCCC. I'm currently an XXXXX at the XXXXXXX but my interest in KSS stems from my schoolwork.

I have made contact with a member and met with him on one occasion for an extensive interview last october. But enough background on me, you look pretty busy with this site so I wont take up too much of your time.

I just wanted to know if you are aware of the KSS in wilkes-barre (I can id two members but they have never been very upfront with me when i've approached them) and I wanted to know if you have any info about jason honeywell. I'd like to see if he'd be willing to interview with someone who is more familiar with neo nazi's that conventional popular news sources.

For your information I am not in any way associated with hate. I see the arrival of neo nazis in teh same way that I see the arrival of crime from NYC. Unwanted additions to our otherwise wonderful valley.

I'm glad to see that you have a bit of the reporting bug in you. More citizens need to turn off the tube and see whats happening out there.

Until later- XXXXXX

All that I know about skinheads in Wilkes-Barre I learned from their Web sites immediately following the stabbing incident. Funny thing was, at the time, I was roundly criticized for saying that no teenager of mine would have been allowed to partake of what that club offered. Rightly or wrongly, I ruled over my kids with an iron fist, and I offer no apologies for that.

Their dress was approved of by me. No baggy pants, no piercing, no tattoos, no purplish hair, basically, nothing that could make a job interview go badly. I gave them a chance to succeed. I did. And if we mistakenly think we’re going to one day become corporate CEOs while looking like sideshow freaks, we are doomed to being disappointed.

I rarely, if ever, encounter anyone that looks like a skinhead in these parts. Although, I’m sure there must be a few lurking out there. I do see quite a few Goth kids.

The problem with hate groups is that they slink back into this isolated world of theirs which only reconfirms their deepest suspicions about other peoples. It’s like a support group for the dimwitted. If all that they ever encounter are completely likeminded people, they never do learn firsthand that diversity isn’t really a dirty word after all. Or, as I like to say: assholes come in every shape, every size and every color. And as we’ve seen the world over, warring tribes do not a nation make. I wish more of us would catch onto that.

Stay in touch.

By the way, I do not hate Tom Brady. Well, not anymore.

Coming very soon: My Caddyshack moment.

‘Til next time.