6-1-2008 The Power of One

The Times Leader had the story “above the fold” yesterday: Ex-Kanjo ally raps legislator on Fox

Now, before you hopelessly partisan myrmidons go getting yourself all apoplectic and spinning in place, this FOX piece that was to air last night, “Porked: Earmarks for Profit,” hosted by Chris Wallace, focuses on 2 of those evil republicans as well.

Congressional 'earmarks' have become a national scandal – and a national joke: Lawmakers wasting tax dollars on their pet projects, and costing Americans up to $60 billion a year. But this exclusive investigation uncovers more than waste. FOX News exposes lawmakers -- including former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert -- who spent millions of dollars of your money on projects that fattened their personal bank accounts.

I’ve read that many on the local blog circuit have taken to calling Kanjorski’s opponent, Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta, a “one-trick pony,” since his Web site is somewhat lacking in the area of issues. Illegal immigration? Yeah, so what else have you got?

A Web site, I might add, that had a threadbare feel to it in advance of Lou Barletta’s uncontested run in the primary. The point is, I’m sure it’ll be updated as both challenger and incumbent alike claw their way toward November.

Speaking of one-trick ponies, would it be patently unfair to necklace Kanjorski with that same burning Firestone, being that he seems continually preoccupied with funneling federal monies to his underachieving relatives always perched near that oft-producing teat? Yeah, the same congressman who would have been subjected to a House ethics investigation just a few years ago had it not been for a deal being brokered between the Democrats and those evil Republican ogres?

If Barletta is a one-trick pony, I’m thinking Kanjorski is a dual-purpose nag. He’s got two tricks. One is getting himself reelected. And the other is keeping his minions-by-birth awash in our tax dollars.

These two might cancel each other out, but we do have a new local blog to peruse. Well, for a few months, that is.

First, this one appeared out of the electronic morass:


And now this one has popped up:

Kanjorski Must Go

Kanjorski must go.

I freaking hear that.

Drill here? Drill now? Drill where? In Brazil? In Mongolia? Here?!? What sort of herbs are you smoking? This is the United States, champ. We don’t drill here.

Drill here. Drill now. Pay less.

Are these people crazy? Domestic production of crude oil? I could be completely misreading this, but there just has to be some far right-wing conspiracy embedded in their somewhere. Perhaps it’s an attempt to destroy all of the wildlife in these contiguous states of ours. Or, a sinister attempt to maim the rarest of the rare snails, to annihilate the spotted owls with the most beautiful of spots, or to forever eradicate the overabundant fauna out of sheer boredom.

Fact: Oil pipelines kill. Well, in the United States, they do. Nowhere else.

Don’t these crazies know what the left-leaning know? That producing energy, no matter it’s form, is frowned upon, fought against at nearly every turn and can get you hit with immeasurable amounts of paintballs? Seriously now, try putting a windmill on your property, and see what fast develops. Or on a much smaller scale, put an exterior wood-burner on your property and then watch your formerly friendly neighbors go rogue on you at the very next township meeting.

Fact: Windmills and wood-burners kill. Supposedly.

Drill? Energy? This is the United States, man…the suicidal super power. We don’t do energy.

Silly, ignorant fools.

I‘m starting to misbelieve some of what Barack Obama is telling me.

Take this latest yarn of his. I’m paraphrasing here:

According to him, during the waning days of WWII, his second-cousin Rufus single-handedly liberated all of Russia from it’s Nazi occupiers. And he did it despite being unarmed. Years earlier, Obama made the same claim, but said it was his grandmother’s cousin, thrice-removed that liberated isolated pockets of Russia, and this despite her being an avowed racist, but in a harmless way.

After the war, a thoroughly shell-shocked Rufus was virtually unemployable and wandered aimlessly from state to state, eventually settling in Idaho. And he once told a young Barack, that, out of all of the 58 states, Idaho was his favorite.

Barack also claims that he once attended a get-together at Rufus’ remote compound, which was attended by many of Rufus’ Army buddies who did not survive the war. And he claims he acknowledged their sacrifice.

To be perfectly blunt, some of that sounds somewhat fishy to me. It just does. So what’s next? Barack Obama remembers going quail hunting with none other than Dan Quayle? Barack on quail? Or is it, Barack as Quayle?

I dunno.

Source: The Obama Gaffe Machine

I see that the Killer Bees have invaded the area. Well, not really.

Kingston abuzz over honeybee swarm


DeFine said he didn’t want to have the bees killed because he learned the honeybee population is declining, and honeybees pollinate one-third of the world’s plants. Scientists at the Penn State University College of Agricultural Sciences are trying to determine why the nation’s honeybee population is decreasing so rapidly.

“That’s something you don’t want to get rid of,” DeFine said. “If we can save 70,000 honeybees today, that is going to be a step in the right direction to keep the bees going.”

I’m going here because I am both trained and licensed to deal with honeybee swarms in a way that most bees would desperately hope to avoid. I am in no way speaking for my company. I’m just trying to shed some light on the current status of the depleted honeybee ranks, and what can be done to bolster them.

I recently read in a trade magazine that Pennsylvania’s bee population seems to be making a remarkable comeback this year. I’ll not get into the specifics. Needless to say, scientists and pest control operators alike are working on the problem. And even though credible pest control operators can exterminate honeybees, they know it is in no one’s best interest to do so. And since I work for “America’s Finest” pest control company, I can attest to the fact that our local office has made contact with local beekeepers in an effort to help the honeybees replenish their ranks.

As in the case listed above, swarming honeybees on the exterior of structures can be led away to pasture. With that said, if that same honeybee swarm had somehow invaded that structure, a day care center, it’s highly likely that those marauding bees would have to have been dealt with in a whole other, less-friendly manner. Maybe.

My entire point is this, with the honeybee population where it is, all that can be done to save them should be done. And as far as I know, it is being done.

I talked to a sales rep just yesterday, who, rather than make the sale and have us deal with swarming honeybees, he tried to put a potential customer in touch with a local beekeeper. In other words, he was turning his back on a sale. You see, some of us in the pest control industry are trying to do the right thing. And with that said, we do not need anyone interloping at the scene of a honeybee swarm. We don’t need to be threatened with “calling Channel 16.”

We need the bees. And, as it turns out, the bees need responsible, forward-thinking decisions coming from those who are both trained and licensed to exterminate them. So, if a honeybee swarm comes a calling on your property, second-guess any pest control operator who’s only proposed option is the spraying of anything. Whenever possible, save the honeybees.

I’m done.

And, no, I have never hugged a single tree.

That is, not while sober.

This is not about me, so stick with me here.

I’ve been helping to pollute the internet for more than eight years. I’ve been blogging since before the word blogging was even cobbled together from other words. With that said, I was never vain and foolhardy enough to think that I could start a Web site and alter the course of a presidential election. I wasn’t presumptive enough to think that I could change the political landscape in Pennsylvania all by my lonesome. And never did I think I could affect geopolitics. But I truly believed that I could have an impact if I thought small.

Yes, if I stuck with what I knew, my town, I figured I could at least help to educate people about the mundane intricacies that is managing a third-class city. And I hoped to get people thinking about how we could get this city back on it’s feet. And how to study the issues and vote smarter. Basically, I kept it local. I went small on purpose. Small, which is what you ought not do if you hope to attract millions of internet visitors each and every day. So be it.

And somewhere along the oft-meandering trail, I was approached by yet another who felt passionate about his smallish piece of the world. A guy who thought he could make a difference. A guy who kept it small. Another guy who kept it local.

The following was culled from the Spring 2008 Edition of Upstream magazine story…”The Power of One: Paddler Takes a stand for His Hometown River and Wins”

Some call him “Kayak Dude.” Others know him as the “No Dam” man. Nicknames aside, many residents of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania know that Don Williams has been on a mission to stop a proposed inflatable dam on the Susquehanna River. Williams worked with American Rivers to list the Susquehanna in the America’s Most endangered Rivers: 2005 Edition, catapulting this local issue into the national spotlight. His efforts paid off in February of this year, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deflated the proposed inflatable dam project--citing the unacceptable impacts to the river and nearby communities.

Way back in 2001, completely out of the blue, Kayak Dude invited me to get out there on the river and learn something about it. I, like most of you, had spent the entirety of my life occasionally glancing at the river from the middle of a bridge or from the river’s edge. But what Kayak Dude managed to do was to get me to looking back at the valley from the middle of the river, and it definitely changed my perspective. With his timely nudge, I found myself reading what I could find about the damaging effects of dams. Acid mine drainage. Sewage outflows. And storm water management. And it didn’t take too long before I realized that not only could the quality of the Susquehanna River at Wilkes-Barre be significantly improved, it could and should become (with our help and millions of dollars) a tourist magnet it‘s own right.

Because dams degrade free-flowing rivers, because our stretch of river is constantly being fouled by sewage overflows, and because acid mine runoff stains the river‘s banks, it’s obvious that the river at Wilkes-Barre will never be able to regenerate itself unless it remains a free-flowing river. No dam. And so, I was drawn in to a fight that I never wanted, never saw coming; a fight with a congressman that I thought might never end. And, now, it has ended. No dam.

Thanks to the determination of one tireless man who thought small, the Susquehanna River at Wilkes-Barre still has a decent chance of regenerating itself as long as some of us work to undo the century-long wrongs we have inflicted upon it. No small feat. What Don Williams proved is that sometimes going small produces some very big results. And also that “The power of One” need not be so quickly dismissed by our all-knowing politicians.

Thanks, Dude.

And with that said, his story in documentary form.

This was the first time I ever tried converting a DVD file to an AVI file, it sure took me a while, and I’m not entirely satisfied with the results. If I billed him by the hour for this conversion, he’d likely be taking a second job. Any perceived flaws are my fault, and not the fault of the budding filmmaker.


Inflatable Dam Documentary…by Lauren Williams (17:43)

Great job, Lauren.

I’ll see y’all on June 21st at the Wyoming Valley Riverfest.

Did anybody catch the front page of yesterday’s Citizens’ Voice?

You should know the accompanying story by now. A weird one. An assault-rifle sale gone bad (?) resulting in a homicide right next to the Black Diamond Bridge. Nice. Societal decay marches on. And not without us…with us.

So? So what, you might be tempted to ask. So what?

Well, I really hate to be so darned picky, but that is not the Black Diamond Bridge in that front page photo.

Go figure.

From the e-mail inbox Marc: Typical Cour! Right into the attack dog mode. You still don't get the point that I do not disrespect the police......I resent the implication very much.

You're an expert at playing to the gallery. Always looking for applause from your dog breath audience and assorted group of bottom feeders.

Shock treatments? What a vicious thing to say. My sainted mother had them, and believe me, turkey, it's no fun. How she suffered. But she gave us everything, especially her undying love. Why would you poke fun at people who are so dejected and forlorn? You are a despicably immoral person. This will be my last post to you. You are a rotten person. It's what I mean about being adults and not children anymore. But you answered with that silly piece of raucous verse.

Don't talk about Kevin Lynn or Corbett. I never heard Lynn, to his credit, brutalize mentally ill people like you do. I wonder what LuLac thinks about that. I'm sure he would denounce it vehemently. You annihilate people at the merest snowflake of criticism. And brutally too. It's always a case of tremendous overkill with you. There is a law of compensation in this world, pal. You will get yours......And please spare me any additional insults. Just go the fuck away!.....I think suicide is your best option....And somehow I sense that that prospect is not far off. -DEF


Although, if you can’t hang with the big boys, you can’t hang. All of which leads me to a new one I heard via the e-mail inbox. I’ve been called many things over the course of my blogging “career.” Some accurate, some not so accurate. The Rush Limbaugh of Wilkes-Barre. The local Matt Drudge. The guy who blogged his mayor out of office. Oh, and The Blogfather.

Okay, so here’s the latest from a guy who, like I, knows his way around a kitchen. And who also knows how to either motivate cooks, or make them walk out in tears. Ready?

He says I’m the “Chef Ramsey of the local internet.”

So, with that posted, if you can’t stand the heat, stay the fu>k out of the kitchen!!!

And finally…

The Thompson Street Block Party: The Long Version (14:52)

If you don’t invite yourself to this annual soiree, you’re crazier than even me.

2nd Saturday every August.