Sunday, May 22, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3215, May 22nd, 2016

I didn’t get a chance to write about this because it’s been a busy week but I can’t let the opportunity pass without making a comment. It appears that there is a group in Scranton who are trying to come up with ways to promote The Electric City. There are focus groups and sessions that suggest Scranton should be a more welcoming place to outsiders. Also the branding experts want Scrantonions to have pride in where they come from.
Obviously this is a new group of eager beavers who think this is a brilliant idea. But these groups and idea factories have been going on for years in LuLac land. There is nothing new here that a few things like good jobs wouldn’t cure.
It is an insult to residents who work here, residents who helped build these communities that we should feel good about why we’re here. For the most part residents here do their best. But with Chambers of Commerce who do very little to make wages grow and residents who are constantly beaten down by the political class, what can you expect?
I used to have a very vulgar girlfriend who was fond of saying “You can’t shine shit”. I don’t think this is a crappy area and believe that most people are caring, compassionate and want the best for their future. But it is a struggle.
There are slobs who don’t care where they dump their garbage, college imports who destroy properties and drink themselves senseless in our neighborhoods and out of town baby daddies who flop with women with pretty low expectations cause problems. These people aren’t going to get, heed or listen to any Marketing Feel Good message.
We need to start cleaning up the messes that would never be tolerated anywhere else.
The Scranton group will do their thing and most likely make a cottage industry out of it where someone will get a job out of it.
But let me just point out one thing. Economically strong areas like Allentown and the entire Lehigh Valley don’t have to tell people how great they are, or how great the residents think their home area is.
By having to say it to someone else over and over again that this is a great place and we are proud, by saying the same thing for decades and generations, you are admitting it is not, nor was it ever true.

Despite our political differences that are vast, I really like Laureen Cummings. As a matter of fact Cummings was a LuLac Woman We Love in 2014. I championed her bid to become the Minority Lackawanna County Commissioner. All that said it is distressing that she took to Social Media to go after transgender people who want to use a bathroom labeled with the sex they identify with. This issue is just another Southern Right wing diversion that is set on dividing this country further.
A few facts.
Transgender folks aren’t pedophiles.
Transgender people can’t be changed with an injection.
The medical community (and increasingly, employers, schools and courts) now recognize that it is essential to the health and well-being of transgender people for them to be able to live in accordance with their internal gender identity in all aspects of life—restroom usage is a necessary part of that experience.
Right to restrooms that match one’s gender identity have also been recognized in the workplace and are actively being asserted in public accommodations. In Iowa, for example, discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity has been prohibited by law since 2007 through the Iowa Civil Rights Act..
The details about whether or not someone has had genital reconstructive surgery, also called sex reassignment surgery (SRS), don’t tell you anything about gender identity or someone’s right to use a certain bathroom—and asking about it is a major invasion of privacy, as it involves personal medical information. It could also be illegal. For instance, if employers were to impose such a “genital standard” for bathroom use, they would need to inquire about the genitals of everyone in that workplace. Imagine the privacy concerns that would raise!
Finally there’s this about possible harassment by a transgender person. There is no evidence that gender-segregated bathrooms are “safer” for cisgender women than unisex bathrooms. And besides, there are laws protecting people from criminal conduct in public restrooms. If anything, a concern for safety weighs in favor of bathroom accessibility. Transgender people face a uniquely high degree of harassment—53% of 6,450 transgender people reported being harassed or disrespected in a place of public accommodation in a recent survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. (Source: Lamboda Legal)
I know Laureen and her staff reads our blog. I hope this helps.
Meanwhile bathrooms are used to for thing and one thing only. There should be no debate about who looks like what and why.
Get in, clean up, get out and move on with your life.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3214, May 19th, 2016


Trump and Kelly. (Photo: People Magazine)
Wow, I wasted an hour of my life the other night to watch that program. There was no new news except for the fact that Kelly had to go to Trump. He was somewhat muted and a little chivalry in him. Well not much. There was no hard hitting news and quite frankly the segment with Robert Shapiro was far more interesting.

Yeah check out these two lady killers! (Photo: Citizen's Voice)
Well my boy Ed stepped in it the other day by telling a reporter that Donald Trump’s comments would not help him with women. Ed ventured on to the reservation in a clumsy way. Rendell said that women who essentially were not perfect tens would defeat Trump. Essentially he said ugly women would defeat the presumptive GOP nominee.
He apologized today and that seemed to be enough for some people. But he added the old “if I offended anyone” line. Hey he offended people. He just should have said, “I’m sorry” and move on.
Look every woman I have ever known, (even the most gorgeous and most soft after ones I had the pleasure to be around) had issues about their looks. I know you most likely can’t understand how a Jennifer Aniston or Julia Roberts might think they are below par. But in some dark recesses they do think that.
In terms of looks, we are all fragile creatures. Some may have great runs for decades and then get slammed with the reality that things have begun to shift. Some just keep plodding along and are mildly surprised that they become cute old men and women. We are all beautiful and we are all in most of our minds not that great too. But along the way we settle in to who we are, use what we have and hopefully live a life well led. When you reach that point, you don’t give a damn about what a shallow insecure egotist like Donald Trump thinks or what a well meaning guy like Ed Rendell meant.
That’s a beauty of its own kind and there’s nothing ugly about it.
Finally my man Ed, ya should’ve called me on this one! I’m in the book!

Bernie Sanders. (Photo AP)
I respect everything Bernie Sanders has done politically this year. Bernie has tapped into a different type of anger just like the GOP’s Donald Trump. Like Trump, Bernie has offered no specifics. Just rhetoric and anger. Plus passion.
But Bernie is hurting the Democratic party. Not a surprise because he is not a Democrat. He’s using the party. Bernie needs to realize he will not win the nomination. The numbers aren’t there.
Even if Hillary Clinton got run over by a train, he’d not be the Democratic nominee. He is not a Democrat.
Bernie has to make a decision. Either
support Clinton and end this when she clinches like she did in 2008 for Mr. Obama. Or;
a. Shit or get off the pot and run on the third party line as a Libertarian or get on the ballots. He has the money to do both.
b. Become a footnote to history like George Wallace, John Anderson or Ralph Nader.
His decision is this: would he be remembered as an agent of change that got some of what he believes in accomplished or a be a spoiler?
History hates spoilers.




This Week on Sunday Magazine
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with James May from PENNDOT about wrong way drivers, and staying safe on the roads during Prom Season.
Frankie also speaks with Cordie Braun about a fundraiser for the Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge, and with Kevin Sickle about a Whiffleball Tournament to raise funds for a good cause.
And Brian Hughes speaks with world renowned investor and author Robert Kiyosaki of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad"
fame about what young people should know about money, and adds insight to the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X & Sports Radio 590, WARM and 6:25am on Magic 93.


This week's guest is Lackawanna County District Attorney Shane Scanlon. Tune in Sunday morning at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on NEPA's Sports Radio-The Game 1400/1440 am and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on 105 The River


Tune in to Sue Henry's "Special Edition" this week as Sue recaps the week's news. Special Edition is heard Saturdays and Sunday on these Entercom stations, WILK FM Saturday at 2pm Sunday at 6 am on Froggy 101 Sunday at 7 am on The Sports Hub 102.3 Sunday at 7 am on K R Z 98.5 Sunday at noon on WILK FM 103.1


Want to hear some great parodies on the news? Tune in to WILK Radio at 6:40 and 8:40 AM on Mondays. As Ralph Cramden used to say, “It’s a laugh riot!”


Tune in Wednesdays on WILK Radio for Karel on the Street. Hear some of the funniest and heartwarming comments on the issues of the day on Webster and Nancy with Karel Zubris.


The Doo-Wop Sock Hop can be heard every Sunday night from 6P to 9P on “105 The River (104.9 FM) Host is the incomparable Bobby V.


Our 1971 logo.

The U.S. Congress formally votes to end funding for the American Supersonic Transport program..The Montreal Canadians win the Stanley Cup in Chicago with a game 7 victory. It was only the second time in Stanley Cup history that the away team won game 7…….in Pennsylvania Senator Hugh Scott says he believes President Nixon is doing all he can to stop the War in Vietnam but the North will not negotiate… Wilkes Barre the Fine Arts Fiesta kicks off and 45 years ago the number one song in LuLac land and America was “Love Her Madly” by The Doors.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3213, May 17th, 2016






Monday, May 16, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3212, May 16th, 2016


A poster sent this to LuLac on Sunday. Here is the opinion:
In an unrelated subject . In the CV n Sat. May 14 there was an article about the County Council "LOOKING INTO" putting a registration fee on ALL county vehicles. WOW what a cash cow that they could milk forever and ever. Also the initial fee of $5.00 would be paid but who says that would be locked in at that rate.
So very sad or elected officials. They cannot budget the monies they have now and they want more to mismanage.
This cannot happen.
Well okay I’m going to be in the minority on this one my friend but I think it’s a good idea. But it has to be implemented the right way. Here’s why I think it’s a good idea.
1. The cost is small and will affect everyone who has a vehicle. That includes people with multiple vehicles and people not paying property taxes. There has to be skin in the game for everyone. Or if you prefer,  pain for everyone.
2. The monies collected should never go in the general fund. They should go into a specific account that pays down the debt.
3. If a business has multiple vehicles they can pay a combined fee. But it has to be fair. The vehicle of the business should not be the vehicle of the owner.
The County has done a good job in reducing the debt so far. But more needs to be done.
And if you could afford more than two cars, you can afford to pay per vehicle.
Plus it will help rid the county of front yard junkyards that aren’t good for anyone.

Trump and The Hooters girls. Hey what guy hasn't done that or wanted to do that. (Photo: Huffington Post)
Here is the New York Times story you all heard about Donald Trump and women. Bottom line he is a boorish character when it comes to women because he could. If he were a Junior Veep, he’d be canned.
There are Trump people who say that Bill Clinton was a predator. And that Hillary Clinton enabled Bill. How did she enable them? Pick out Monica’s blue dress? Trump like Clinton made their own decisions. Wrong ones.
Here's that story:


Now Donald Trump keeps saying he wants to build a wall across the Mexican border to stop the flow of illegal immigration. Never mind that the current President has thrown out nearly a million illegally. Now I realize I’m just a guy who grew up in the Junction section of Pittston who might not understand how this wall thing works. But I must ask the following about the wall.
Who will build the wall?
Will they be union members?
How long will it take to build this wall?
Specifically will it take as long as the remodeling of the Panama Canal did? (Over 13 years).
What will be the cost?
Where do we get the money?
Will Congress appropriate that money?
If private industry builds it, do you mean to say that there will be no government funding?
If private industry fails like the banks, will your administration bail them out?
Or will this be a self funded wall?
How much of a share of my paycheck and Mrs. FB’s check will pay for the wall?
Oh wait, Mexico is paying for the wall.
Another set of questions.
How will we make them pay?
By making them pay, how will this affect the building of engines for Ford 150s in Mexico? (All those truckers need engines, right? No way to get to a rally without a pick up!)
Do we invoice them?
Will they pay with their currency or ours?
Money order?
Will they pay in installments?
Do they take AMEX?
If they refuse to pay how do we enforce collection?
Do we hire the same joker from Scranton who was supposed to take care of the garbage fees?
Will there be uniform building and construction codes or will each state the wall is constructed in enforce their own set of regulations? Bulyah, States rights, henna?
If we go to war because Mexico won’t pay, will we self fund the war?
Or will Mexico pay for the war?
Finally you do know that illegal immigrants come in through Canada, and International Airports. Do we build a wall around them?
NOTE: See previous set of questions.
Just asking.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3211, May 15th, 2016

 Donald Trump (Photo: Fredrick Brown).
Here’s my theory on why Donald Trump will not release his tax returns. I might be wrong but here goes. Trump won’t release them because they will reveal that his wealth is cash poor. If that happens, his vast business empire will suffer. This has to be the reason.
Trump has thumped his chest on his ability to make deals, attract women, raise his children, even reference his manhood which is something we really didn’t need to hear about. Trump the boastful bully would love to tell people how rich he really is. But he won’t.And can't.
If he does, it will reveal a dent in the armor that he most cares about, his wealth. Or the perception of it.

 (Photo: Bad Teacher logo).
The other day in a “13 Questions” e mail a reader asked me when I might stop LuLac. I replied there is a time for everything but what I didn’t say is that LuLac and other blogs could go on forever given the stuff that is in the news on all levels. We here in LuLac land never disappoint with stories of corruption, laziness and stupidity. One was on the front page of The Citizen’s Voice this morning by reporter Michael Buffer.
To recap, a mother in the Wyoming Area School District who has a child with learning disabilities approached the district about help for her daughter. That was in 2014. My mantra about education is that no matter how much money we throw at education (and my Conservative/Libertarian buddy L.A. Tarone says the same thing) education in this state as it stands now will never be fixed until parents get involved. In this case Holly Miller did exactly that. Got involved in the Education of her child. And the response was horrible and shameful.
A so called Educator, Amy Kosco responded to an e mail from the Principal of the school, her boss, when he asked Kosco and other teachers for help “ regarding testing strategies for the girl.” Kosco’s response? The Voice reported Kosco compared making accommodations for a special-needs student to appeasing Adolf Hitler and suggested it “would be nice if we spent this much extra time” on students who are “going to amount to something.” Wow! Not a little judgmental here are we?
Plus bringing old ‘Dolph, who has been dead now for 70 years is stunning to me. But it gives you an insight into the level of historical reference Amy Kosco (did you get that name?) brings to the educational table. Hitler was invading countries and Neville Chamberlain thought by appeasing him he could bring peace. I’m the king of bad analogies but I have to hand this one to Amy Kosco. This was breathtaking in its incredible insensitivity. Ms. Miller’s daughter is not sending people to death camps. She just wants her due as a citizen of the Wyoming Area School District. 
So the comment was ugly and stupid. No one is immune from making them but let’s dig deeper into this. Let examine “would be nice if we spent this much extra time” on students who are “going to amount to something.”
A teacher teaches EVERYBODY in a PUBLIC SCHOOL. IT IS THEIR JOB which they are paid handsomely to do. Does Amy Kosco want to pick and choose? Just give me the brightest, best looking, stylish, smartest, strongest, competent people to teach so I won’t be hassled and need to make that extra effort. So that I can have the strongest class.
Mmmmmm. Someone else in history said and did something similar, right? Discarding the weakest, dispatching the vile to death camps and picking the best looking and strongest?
Maybe that analogy to old ‘Dolph” was not so far off the mark.
Kosco then sent an e mail to her boss implying that he shared the same views. "The situation is a nightmare for you as well, and I’m preaching to the choir, but I needed to vent. I’m just so FRUSTRATED.”.
“Preaching to the choir?” What did she mean by that? It is the role of the administration to direct, not comment. Were there supporting comments before that enabled Kosco to fire away those comments with no fear of retribution?
You know what? If Kosco is FRUSTRATED by this I can only imagine how she could deal with trying to feed and take care of special needs kids full time as parents do every day of their lives. The same parents who by the way ask teachers for help because they think the Educational system is there to help THEIR kid too. Now I'm sure there are parents who might try to game the system but I can't imagine that many.
District Superintendent Janet Serino told Buffer The district does not condone the views expressed in the emails from Kosco and has addressed that matter, Serino said, adding the process involved the district solicitor and president of the teachers union. We had done something about it when it was brought to my attention last October”.
Yep I bet they did and I bet the Union protected Amy Kosco because that’s what they do.
Also included in this story was a quote from Maura McInerney, a senior attorney for the Education Law Center, said "teachers sometimes don’t understand legal mandates regarding students with disabilities and don’t know how to deal with students with special needs.
“Teachers and administrators may not have a full understanding of a disability and how it manifests itself”.
Bullshit. If they don’t know how to deal with Special Needs kids, if they don’t have an understanding about how a disability manifests itself, and if they get FRUSTRATED by doing their job, then maybe they should just do this.
Not that he didn't deserved anything but what he got, but old ‘Dolph didn’t get any pension.
I'm sure this teacher will.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3210, May 14th, 2016

Former Governor Ed Rendell. (Photo: LuLac archives)
Former Democratic National Committee Chairman and our friend, ex-Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, told the media last week that Bernie Sanders and his group of vibrant supporters need to behave at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia Rendell was a Hillary Clinton backer in 2008 as well as this year too. Rendell made the comment on a Philadelphia area radio show called “The Cat’s Roundtable”.
Rendell told host John Catsimatidis “Bernie’s going to have his name placed in nomination. We’re going to have a roll call. There’s going to be a demonstration in support of Bernie. He’s going to lose the roll call. His supporters have to behave and not cause trouble” .
Rendell has seen insurgent candidate’s supporters not unify in enough time to have the election go to another party that doesn’t reflect the closeness of both the Sanders and Clinton philosophy.
Whether the Sanders supporters are smart enough to heed the warning is still open to conjecture.

Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo: LuLac archives)
This week Congressmen Matt Cartwright reintroduced the bipartisanChildren’s Savings Accounts Offer Parents Plenty of Reasons to Understand and Invest in Tuition Yearly (CSA OPPORTUNITY) Act, H.R. 5214, with the support of eight House colleagues.
One well known type of Children’s Savings Account (CSA) is the 529 plan. Created in 1996, 529 Plans allow parents to save money for college while offering both federal and state tax benefits. Unfortunately, money set aside in a 529 Plan counts against the asset limitations set forth in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and the Low Income High Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
This in turn forces families to choose between putting aside money for college and keeping essential benefits.
“College savings accounts alter the aspirations of children by sending a message that they should expect more from their own futures. Yet, when we force parents to choose between saving for college and keeping the lights on, we essentially punish financial responsibly,” said Rep. Cartwright. “We should end this difficult decision for families and provide the opportunity for all families to save for their children’s education.”
Andrea Levere, President of the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), endorsed the legislation. “Parents shouldn’t have to choose between affording basic necessities and saving for their children’s education. Rep. Cartwright has demonstrated exemplary leadership in coming together to introduce a bipartisan bill that will expand opportunity for families throughout the country.”
The CSA OPPORTUNITY Act would exempt 529 Plans from TANF, SSI, and LIHEAP asset limitations. The bill would also exempt non-529 CSAs from TANF, SSI, LIHEAP, and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) asset limitations.
Over 1.3 million American children born each year – and more than half of minority children – are born into families with negligible savings to invest in their futures. Yet research and practice have shown that even a small amount of savings increases the likelihood that a child will attend college. One study showed that children from low or moderate income families who saved between $1 and $500 were three times more likely to attend college and four times more likely to graduate than those without savings.

And Cartwright Hosted Mayors’ Conference

U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright hosted a Mayors’ Conference for mayors and municipal leaders from across northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.
The event, held earlier today provided an opportunity for mayors and municipal leaders to come together and discuss important issues and economic development.
As we all know well, Rep. Cartwright is committed to increasing municipal leaders’ awareness of funding opportunities for economic development and providing opportunities to learn more about best practices from their peers.
Other topics covered were What makes a Strong Town? State and Regional Resources to Address Blight and Federal Resources to Address Blight and Federal Funding Highlights.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3209, May 13th, 2016


Our “13 Questions” logo.

1. You had mentioned that you thought a Clinton/Warren ticket could fly. Do you think Hillary would tolerate another woman in her world?

Yes. I think she feels that to win she needs to be bold. Plus I think Warren would eviscerate Trump as an attack dog. It is curious to me that Warren has been silent in not supporting either Hillary or Bernie and that was a consideration in my prediction.

2. What do you think of Sarah Palin coming after House Speaker Paul Ryan in defense of Donald Trump?

With friends like these who needs enemies. Amazing to me that she thinks that she is still relevant but Trump gave her legitimacy in the primaries. To interfere with Ryan's political life is petty and counterproductive. Typical Palin.

3. What are your thoughts on protestors shutting down rallies and meetings of people thru won't support and agree with?

Rude, self serving, nasty and ignorant. The fact that a vocal minority can disrupt free speech by a candidate is abhorrent. Just because you are loud doesn't mean you are right.

4. Most annoying. Nancy Pilosi or Carly Fiorina?

Neither. How 'bout Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Rachel Maddow?

5. I saw your TV segment on WBRE TV on Political memorabilia. How much of it is valuable?

Value is determined in the eye of the beholder. Most items barely hit fifty bucks. What is valuable in my estimation are photos of people that predate the Internet, obscure politicos. Also signed books by dead Presidents bring a big return.

6. Where did you get your Beatles ties?
I got three at Pomeroy’s at the Midway Shopping Center in Wyoming. “Nowhere Man”, “Come Together” and “Ticket To Ride”. That was in the 90s. The other four, “Yellow Submarine”, “Paperback Writer”, “Birthday” and “All You Need Is Love” I bought on Ebay.

7. Have you thought of doing a “Best Of” edition for LuLac?

I’ve thought about it but I don’t have the resources to do it right. I think the Weekender and Diamond and Electric City do decent jobs in putting together a comprehensive list for the area.

8. It seems you have a great antipathy for The South. Why?

First off I’m afraid the Southern lifestyle is not my culture. I don’t move or think at a snail’s pace. Second, I believe that in many, not all, the Southern lifestyle is still preserved. I think racism there is hidden behind a type of “aw shucks country boy charm”. They still call The Civil War the War of Northern Aggression. Most of the intelligence is imported, not home grown. 
There are great people in the South, well meaning. But from my albeit limited experience and interaction with some folks, I just think they still have a long way to go. When some clung to the notion that flying the Confederate flag was a good thing, well that was telling. The fact that some people in LuLac land were flying that flag and imitating that example was breathtaking to me. 
All I ever needed to know about the Southern "heritage"  came in this great jazz song by Billie Holiday called ”Strange Fruit”. Just saying.

9. Can Donald Trump win the Northeast states in the General?

Anything is possible. Trump can go after the rust belt. His support is loud and crazed. So yeah I think he can try and wrest those electoral votes from the Democrat. I have no faith in the intelligence of some of the voters.

10. Do you ever foresee a day when you might stop writing LuLac?

I have. I think you end something at the right moment. I don’t see that moment yet and I’m grateful for the chance to do this every day. But everything has its end.

11. Any thoughts on those grades the Citizen’s Voice did on the Luzerne County Judges?

Yes. I thought the report was great and should get an award. The grades were based only on 46 responses. But I think they were indicative of what I always felt were the personas and the work habits of the Judges. You observe a lot in a campaign.
As an example, just to pick a few I thought Tina Polachek Gartley was going to be tough, Jennifer Rogers was going to be smart, Bill Amesbury was going to be inclined to give a little leeway in hopes of the criminal being smart enough know they are getting a second chance, Dick Hughes was going to be a star and Mike Vough was going to be damn near perfect. So nothing in the ratings surprised me based on the way they campaigned.

12. White Birch Beer or Red?

Both. Ice cold. Preferably with a Prime Rib from Sitko's in White Haven.

13. Any pre summertime reading yet?

Still trying to get through the summer of 14 books. If I don’t get to them, Mrs. LuLac will donate them to the Friends of the Osterhout Library book sale.