10-25-2008 G.A.R.F.

My youngest, my baby turns 25 today.

Happy birthday, Ebon.

Before too, too long, sheíll be off to East Stroudsburg University for some more of that overrated educating stuff that everybody thinks is so damned important.

And being thatís sheís going to be moving on, Thursday night she concluded her four-year stint as the G.A.R. girls volleyball coach. A stint, by the way, that she put her heart, soul, money, blood, sweat and tears into. I donít know that sheíll be voted into any Wyoming Valley coaching hall of fame or not. But if the voting was based on desire and determination, sheíd probably have an outside shot at it.

When she first applied to the school district for a coaching position, there were two vacancies. One at Coughlin, and the other at G.A.R. I told her to apply for the Coughlin job being that the enrollment is larger, and because, in my opinion, sheíd be dealing with kids and parents alike from a discernibly higher social and economic strata. And if youíve ever had to hire, fire, train and develop teenagers for a living, you already know the kids from the more stable, the more well-heeled two-parent households are much easier to manage and develop. In other words, with the vastly different demographics being what they are, in my mind and based on many, many years worth of experience, Coughlin would have been the better choice.

Despite my persistent urgings to the contrary, she applied for the position at G.A.R. and she was awarded the job. And as a result, sheís had many highs and many lows along the way. And the thing she took the most pride in was the slow but steady improvement of her teamÖher girls.

So, on Thursday night, with her run at G.A.R. coming to itís close, with Senior Night gifts being passed out, with one more game to go, and with all of the heart, soul, money, blood, sweat and tears she invested, and with a few bonds she really didnít want to let go of, she was still somewhat torn by her decision to move on.

And when it was all over, when it was all said and done, when the last of the hugs and kisses were spent, she went out to the parking lot to find her car covered in feces and eggs.

And based on what sheís been through during these past four years, Iím thinking that if the player or players responsible for this were to be caught, their ineffectual ďparentsĒ would rush to defend them.

Anyway, as far as Iím concerned, from here forward itís G.A.R.F.: Garbage, ashes, rubbish and feces.

New and not so improved, perhaps. But exactly what it always was. The aged repository/depository of Wilkes-Barreís equivalent of trailer park escapees.

She's seen the surveillance video. And whether or not to involve the police department is still up in the air.

No, Iím not mad. Honestly, I feel bad for the few girls that actually went and applied themselves. The few girls with the self-discipline, with the real Ďtough loveí parents, the girls that wanted to and did excel.

If only they had gone to Coughlin. Or Meyers. Or Bishop Redeemer. Or an intermediate school. Anywhere but G.A.R.F.

Sez me.

I arrived at a long-time customerís home the other morning only to learn that he was killed only hours before by a hit-and-run driver. Why his wife didnít cancel this appointment Iíll never know, but Iím left to suppose that she was too completely shell-shocked to think too much past the life-altering event that had just transpired.

As for her husband, you couldnít ask to meet a nicer, gentler man. A man who was always nice to me, despite the fact that his home seemed to be a termite magnet under constant assault.

Iím know not why the kid that struck and killed him felt the need to flee the scene, but I know darn well why the incident ever happened in the first place--excessive speed. It was undeniably the direct result of carelessness and discourteousness. Carelessness and discourteousness because, by recklessly speeding through a well-populated neighborhood, you are being careless and discourteous to all of those that live there. You are putting their lives at risk.

But, with speed limits being the most ignored of laws since prohibition, Iím sure more needless and tragic deaths are sure to follow.

Whoa, a playground. Pedal to the metal, baby!

From the e-mail inbox Mark
As the knower of Wilkes-Barre in and out, what do you make of this back pay the fire department is getting?


You know, Iím not really sure. The way I read it, it goes all the way back to when former mayor Tom McGroarty gave the police department raises when the parking enforcement duties were stripped from them and given to the newly created civilian parking enforcement division.

He created that civilian force rather than hiring more police officers as a way of controlling costs. But, in effect, he was taking work away from the rank-and-file unionized police officers, so they wanted to be compensated for the loss of potential work and the like. Hence, the raises.

The part that threw me for a loop was the part about the fire department honchos claiming they didnít know about any of this raise business until well after the fact. Huh? I knew about it at the time, but the fire department didnít know about it? What? Say again.

The end result was an arbitration ruling awarding the firefighters back pay that may approach $1,000,000. And with the economy tanking at a record clip, with costs escalating across the board, and with a budget to balance, it seems Mayor Tom Leighton is none too pleased with the arbitration ruling and itís harmful effect on that projected budget. Temper, temper. The thing is, if youíre the guy trying to balance the rapidly disappearing beans, whatís to like?

I declined to publish a rather caustic and mean-spirited email I received that openly questioned the motives of the fire departmentís union boss, because, quite frankly, as I said, this one escapes even me. The e-mailer chalked it up to sour grapes and vindictiveness on his part. You got me on all of that.

Be it the fire department, or the always generous rubber stamp arbitrators, I think the only thing anyone is provably guilty of at this point is very, very bad timing. And no matter what anyone wants to say to the opposite, itís patently obvious that the arbitration award resulted in much larger than previously anticipated tax and fee increases. The union honcho can say whatever he wants, but that $1,000,000 has to come from somewhere. And with the cityís coffers far, far less than flushed with cash, thatís where we come in.

They won it, now we have to pay for it.

From the e-mail inbox Hey Mark,
I have some more questions for you again, sorry, but I need verification on some things, And since I can't trust any of the hogwash coming from the media outlets, I figured once again that I'd contact the person who has his shit together in the political sense, You.

Now, on the Radio Media side, I will listen to a little Sue Henry, and that's that for local talk.

National Radio, I listen to Rush, don't always agree with his over-inflated egotistical views, but you can pick facts up from him.

I listen to O'Reilly, but I can only take about a half an hour of him. He's too ignorant in my book. But he makes good points sometimes.

Then there's Michael Savage. I usually listen to him at lunch time in my car while I'm at work.

Mostly I listen to him just for kicks, when he gets mad, you'd swear he's going to take a Grand-Mal Seizure in the DJ booth.

TV- I'm usually too busy watching History, Nat Geo, Discovery, et al, - to even bother with the drivel spewing network stations anymore. And from midnight til' dawn is reserved for Adult Swim on Cartoon Network.

Anyway it's more like Two questions, and here goes:

1) Why did Colin Powell start backing Obama this late in the race?

2) Is Obama indeed a Marxist in his political views, or is that a propaganda move by the Republicans.

We are indeed in for a change, but for better or worse?

Keep it real, Brother!


Talk radio, here goes.

I, too, listen to Sue Henry each and every day. Sheís kind of an oddity as far as talk radio goes. Sheís as overly opinionated as the next person, but never mean or short with anyone.

On a personal note, I have told her that some of the most entertaining moments I have heard on her show is when she borders on loosing her cool with a caller. The point being, if you can get Sue Henry to the point of sounding loud, short or even mean, you have to be a serious asshole.

Sue can be summed up as follows: Good people.

I listen to Rush everyday. Sure, thereís the titanic ideological bent, but you cannot deny that his show is informative, and quite often funny as all hell. For me, Rush is like the Matt Drudge of talk radio, in that, he points you in the right direction whereas breaking and consequential news is concerned. And the parodies are usually classics at first listen.

The can hate him all they like, but thereís no denying that he is good at what he does.

Bill OíReilly. Urgh! Itís apparent that heís well-informed and has a firm grasp of the issues. But thereís one tiny problem. The guy irks me to no end. He just does. He annoys me. And Iím not even sure why.

If heís babbling away on my imported radio, itís because Iím too completely tired to turn the radio off and head off to bed.

I listen to Michael Savage very, very infrequently. But when I do, I do so so as to giggle myself silly. Nobody rants and raves quite like Savage. Heís a hoot. And by admitting as much, Iím quite certain I will be hated by even more of those limp-wrested, give-me-free-stuff democrats so hell-bent on judging and/or silencing everyone except themselves.

The video advertising box? Wow!

Okay, I watch the New York Football Giants. I watch some WNEP and WBRE news, but not much. I absolutely love that total geek show, Big Bang Theory. The guy that plays Sheldon is amazing in his total nerddom.

Two and a Half Men is beyond awesome. Sexist as all hell, so Iím quite certain I will be hated by even more of those limp-wrested, give-me-free-stuff democrats so hell-bent on judging and/or silencing everyone except themselves. Steve Rodham-Corbett--NEPAís premiere feminist--must really hate that show.

1) Why did Colin Powell start backing Obama this late in the race?

2) Is Obama indeed a Marxist in his political views, or is that a propaganda move by the Republicans.

Iím not sure about Powellís intentions, nor do I care.

Colin Powell is an interesting case. Remember, he was dead-set against the 1991 military brouhaha when we successfully endeavored to kick the invading Iraqis out of Kuwait. And in my estimation, that was a serious, serious strategic blunder on his part. And that shouldnít be understated. He was as completely wrong as wrong can get.

With that said, as a career soldier, he was probably right when he advised against tangling with the then worldís 4th largest military. As a career soldier, he knows what the great majority of the elected politicians cannot fully know: That war should be the very last resort. That wars can and do destroy the lives of even the people that survive aforesaid wars.

Heís an admirable man who served his country well beyond what could have been reasonably expected of him.

Spread the wealth? Case closed. Guilty as charged.

Economically speaking, this socialist guy takes being clueless to previously unimagined heights.

Hereís something I grabbed from the internet yesterday:

The resulting credit crunch is hitting Main Street harder than ever before. The country is headed for recession; the only question is: Just how low can the markets and economy go?

It could be a lot lower - it all depends on the policies of the next president.

And, as it looks increasingly likely that Obama will be that man, the markets are casting a vote of "no confidence."

To be fair, McCain hardly instills confidence among the Wall Streeters I speak to. Why has his campaign spent the last week focusing on Obama's friendship with former terrorist William Ayers - when it should be hitting Obama's blind loyalty to policies that bring together the worst elements of Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter?

Recently, Obama said he wants to expedite loans to small businesses, so he seems to have a clue that they produce much of the country's job growth. Yet his income-tax hike on upper brackets will hit vast numbers of small businesses - they'd face the highest rates they've seen in decades.

Overall, his plan includes some of the most lethal tax increases imaginable, including a jump in the capital-gains rate. He'd expand government spending massively, with everything from new public-works projects to increases in foreign aid to a surge in Afghanistan - plus hand out a token $500 welfare check that he calls a tax cut to everyone else.


ďÖblind loyalty to policies that bring together the worst elements of Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter.Ē

This is coming from an economic insider. Are you getting scared yet?

And you really have to wonder about a guy who is promising tax cuts to 94% of Americans when less than 70% of Americans are actually paying taxes.

Are the markets really casting a vote of "no confidence?" Sure they are, as am I.

Dig this. My wife has not worked for over seven years. Honestly, we thought sheíd never have to work again. Retired, if you will. But as the polling data has started to tip in Obamaís favor, we are preparing ourselves for the possible nightmare scenario, which would be an Obama presidency.

Come Monday morning, she has a job interview. Yep, weíre bracing ourselves against the upcoming storm of socialism and the rampant raping of wallets.

Change may indeed be on itís way. But the thing is, weíre not going to like it, lest be able to afford it.

Hope that helps.

From the e-mail inbox Mark:

I totally agree with you about Steve Corbett [WILK] being a closet candy ass. I have talked to many martial arts teachers. They all agree that a true warrior would NEVER brag like that. Like a WWF wrestler.

If you're not looking for the obvious deception, like most of us usually aren't, it is easy to think that all the uproar, the sound and the fury, comes from a superabundance of animal spirits, precisely what he wants you to think. But the constant intimidation, in Corbett's case, I have concluded, has to be rooted in fear. What really consummate martial arts expert do you know that brags like that? I know of none.

Another giveaway is that he defies all the rules of etiquette and honor of that venerable craft, for which he apparently doesn't give a hoot. He flip flops on almost all issues and changes loyalty to candidates almost on a daily basis when they fail to stroke his fragile, apparently feminine ego. Just like a woman. I take that back. Woman are usually more loyal to a cause than him......

The maniacal display of hyper-masculinity and bravado usually means that if you scratch the surface you find a little girlie man. I think that even K. Lynn could stand toe to toe with him in a fight.

He lies almost every time he opens his mouth too. For instance, about his alleged Irish roots, which we hear about to no end. He's no more Irish than my grandmother. I have researched his name at ancestor.com. and found, to my surprise, that the name, Corbett, is definitely of ENGLISH origin:

"English (Shropshire; of Norman origin): nickname meaning ʽlittle crowʼ, ʽravenʼ, from Anglo-Norman French, Middle English corbet, a diminutive of corb, alluding probably to someone with dark hair or a dark complexion. The name was taken from Shropshire to Scotland in the 12th century and to northern Ireland in the 17th century, and thence to North America by one group of bearers of the name."

source: http://www.ancestry.com/facts/Corbett+-name-meaning.ashx

see also: http://www.searchforancestors.com/surnames/origin/c/corbett.php:

"Corbett Surname Origin....(French-Latin) the Raven [Old French corbet = corbel (French corbeau), with diminutive suffix, Latin corvus, a raven].....Source: Surnames of the United Kingdom, A Concise Etymological Dictionary; Henry Harrison; Vol.1 & 2.; The Eaton Press, 190 Ebury Street, London, S.W; 1912."

(Some Corbett families moved to Ireland in the 17 century; but NOT necessarily those of Stevie's clan).

Corbett is, then, a ....limey?? The point is that Corbett is NOT Irish.

Add to this the fact that he himself said his mother is of German heritage. Whence therefore comes the Irishness? Nah. A figment of his imagination. He is some sort of nebulous Anglo-Saxon at best, who probably shares a few gonads with berserkers from the Rhineland or Bavaria or maybe Essex (In which case he might be a Jew!...Essex, cognate with Isaac). I sent him an e-mail on the subject. he ignored it......

But remember, even a she-wolf can do lots of damage. Caution.


First, the karate thing.

Letís go back to those days when I had to confront the idiots who tried to split without paying for their checks, the idiots who were too drunk to realize pummeling their girlfriends was not cool, the weekend escapees from the veteranís hospital, the fools who thought vandalism was fun and the rest of the worst of what humanity has to offer.

When confronting these people on the side of the store in the dark, just as soon as they got to babbling about their karate skills, I knew I was good to go. Meaning, if things went the way of violence, I was going to have way, way, way more fun than would they. Meaning, they mistakenly thought the mere mention of karate would get us mere mortal men to backing off.


Some of these guys actually knew a thing or two about basic karate skills. Ooh, a leg sweep. Nice try and all. Gee, that stung my ankle for a second or two. Now letís try us a near lethal dose of, where the head goes the body follows. And let us use your head for the purposes of this nasty experiment. No, no safety glasses need be worn for this experiment, as I will likely shatter them.

Now, thereís aggressive approaches and defensive postures. And Iíve always likened fisticuffs and such to two guys armed with loaded handguns. If weíre both armed and ready to go, why should I wait and take the second shot? Funk that. Letís rock!

With all of that aside, when some cornered guy says he knows karate, what heís subliminally stating to you is that the very last thing he wants to do is fight. And with that, you immediately make his head go where you want his body to follow. Namely, straight down. And when heís staring up at you in stunned silence from the tarmac below, you then taunt him and his ďkarateĒ wherewithal. Oh, and you tell him not to get up until the cops arrive. Or else.

Whatever. Iíve got a black belt, too.

But mine came from K-Mart.

The Irish thing. Iím not sure what to make of the constant mentioning of it. Iím Irish! Iím Irish! Iím Irish! Iím Irish! Iím Irish! Dude, do you honestly believe that any one of us gives a fu>k?

Pipe down already.

Iím French! I have French roots. Iím so frickiní proud of my French heritage. My ancestors invented heavy sauces.

Who gives a flying fu>k?

Certainly not moi.

Itís funny how Rodham-Corbett constantly chastises us silly, ignorant folks for pointing out the differences between people and groups, yet he spends every waken moment telling us how he stands out from the rest of us.

Irish? English? Rodham-Corbett, nobody cares except you.

Gee whiz, Iím Irish. And we Irish folk drink too much as if by rote.


Just what America needs, yet another jerk off hung up on the needless and unproductive hyphens.


Speaking of the Irish genius, he was bitching on the radio about a letter to the editor published by the Times Leader that was critical of him and his obvious greatness.

WILK listener objects to show hostís Ďrhetoricí

I often hear WILK talk radio host Steve Corbett refer to himself as a ďmember of the press.Ē Yet, on Oct. 3, he stated, ďdonít think for one second that I am not supposed to take sides.Ē

What kind of journalistic standard is that? Quit hiding behind a veneer of neutrality, and openly state what you constantly imply. I not only find this insulting, but cheap.

Corbett is, of course, an anti-Obama zealot. Let me make clear that there is nothing innately wrong with this position. Many in the electorate are, and that is fine. It only becomes problematic when he claims to be objective while simultaneously praising and promoting Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. John McCain.

Although he refuses to officially endorse a candidate, his use of rhetoric does the job well enough for him.

In addition, I find it hard to believe that his presidential choice would conflict with the larger context of WILKís program schedule. Consider the following: Corbettís show airs at 3 p.m. Ė right between the kings of conservative talk radio: Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and Bill OíReilly. This suggests, at least to me, that objectivity and neutrality are not a priority for WILK. Therefore, Corbettís views on the presidency are only one piece of much larger, more disturbing picture.

Finally, I often come away from Corbettís cacophonous rants feeling nauseated. He erroneously believes that he is somehow contributing to the greater public good.

I do not doubt the sincerity of his beliefs; however, I wonder, how does one-sided arrogance contribute to anything but self-gratification and a distorted worldview?

Corbettís indignation is rooted in his righteous sense of moral superiority over his callers. This is painfully apparent when a dissenting caller is cut off or hung-up on. Callers who agree with him do not necessarily receive the same treatment. Yet I suppose that this is to be expected. For better or worse, it is his world and his realm at WILK.

Call if you dare.

Now, the letter doesnít really matter, as itís just a case of a guy who objects to anyone making sophistry of his newfound leftist idol, Barack Obama. And as we all know, the left-leaning are not tolerant of consenting opinions. Not at all.

Fairness Doctrine, anyone?

The part of this that cracked me up was how Rodham-Corbett characterized the letter on his flailing radio show.

He said: ďItís inaccurate. Itís untrue. And it should not have been in the newspaper.Ē

Wow. Pretty thin-skinned, if you ask me. Hell, I get worse than that in the e-mail inbox and on a frequent basis. Grow up, Karate Senior.

Letís see here. He said: ďItís inaccurate. Itís untrue. And it should not have been in the newspaper.Ē

Hey, thatís just like when Rodham-Corbett said Mayor Tom Leightonís ďlife is an illusion.Ē

Hey, dummy. Thatís inaccurate. Thatís untrue. And it should not have been on my fu>king imported radio. Your usual oratorical tomfoolery bordering on the banal is no better and no more accurate than that which you now reserve the right to bitch about. You are, you have become that which you portend to dislike: A factually threadbare assassin.

Sez me.

Wax on, wax off.