The LuLac Edition #440, March 14th, 2008
PHOTO INDEX: OUR 1968 LOGO, SENATOR EUGENE McCARTHY (CIRCA 1968) AND POPE BENEDICT XVITH.
THE NEW SINS
It's been about 1500 years since the subject of that which renders the souls of sinners to a fiery eternity was last visited upon by Pope Gregory I. This week, the Vatican released something of an update to the seven deadly sins; The Seven Social Sins:
1. Bioethical' violations such as birth control.
2. Morally dubious'' experiments such as stem cell research.
3. Drug abuse.
4. Polluting the environment.
5. Contributing to widening divide between rich and poor.
6. Excessive wealth.
7. Creating poverty.
On the first two, I disagree with my man confident that I won’t be banished to eternal damnation. Number 3, I really don’t care about. If someone is dumb enough to get hooked on drugs, so be it. Maybe I’m being a tad judgmental here because I have battled my adversity without pain killers but abusing drugs like alcohol is a choice. Now there are some who are predetermined to abuse, that’s hard for them but if someone wants to go through life stoned, hey, not my problem.
On the last four, I agree 100%. They kind of interconnect. Polluters don’t care about the welfare of people. China is a toxic waste dump in terms of clean air but by God they produce goods cheaply. This enables the rich to get richer, the poor to get poorer. Excessive wealth is obscene. How rich is too rich? By so many corporate executives taking tons of money, they have in effect created poverty. Remember Enron? How about all those workers who lost their pensions? They aren’t middle class now. I’m getting the opportunity to see Benedict at Yankee Stadium in April. If I get close enough (not!!!) I’ll pepper him with a few questions on his new 7 deadly sins. Maybe even slip him a copy of “The Rules Of Life”.
$34.00 AN HOUR? I'M IN!
The Wilkes Barre police department used part of a more than $200,000 community policing grant to pay an employee $34.68 an hour, including benefits. The loot was used to pay him to answer phones at the police station, according to grant documents.
The money paid to Thomas Flannery is among several expenditures made from a 2007 federal Community Development Block Grant that are being questioned by a former city official.
Former community Development Direcrtor Jim Hayward is asking why the money was paid to Thomas Flannery. Hayward said he’s not convinced all expenditures from the grant qualified saying they are not part of normal police duties.
The issue has taken on special importance, Hayward said, in light of Mayor Tom Leighton’s recent decision to no longer send an officer to the Crime Watch meetings.
On Thursday night after the WB council meeting Bill Barrett said there was a “disconnect” between the crime watch the police. No police officers will attend the crime watch meetings until Council and the volunteers have more discussions.
Officials used part of the police grant to partially fund Flannery’s position, a part of the salary of Capt. Tom Unvarsky, and the salaries of two officers who patrol the downtown Business Improvement District.
Hayward said he also can’t see how the city justifies using grant money to pay part of the Business District offices salaries, given that property owners in the BID district pay additional taxes to the city to fund extra services, including police protection. Police Chief Gerry Dessoye defended the expenditures. On the BID district, Dessoye said the BID program pays for 80 hours of police work. Any hours over that are paid by the city. The BID district is classified as low to moderate income, therefore it qualifies for the grant money. He also noted the two officers work citywide, not just in the downtown. Hayward said he thinks that money could be better spent on developing other programs that more fully involve residents, especially the city’s Crime Watch groups.
OBAMA’S PREACHER MAN!
Barak Obama is not responsible for the comments made by his pastor. The pastor has been making comments that some feel are inflammatory and Obama has distanced himself from them. Obama does have a pastor in a Christian church which could derail the whispering campaign that he’s really a muslim. But he should not be responsible for what his pastor says any more than I am responsible for the actions and comments of Bishop Martino. Non issues like this take away from the dialogue the candidates are supposed to discussing. Let’s quit the over analysis of people connected to the candidates and concentrate on what they are going to do to fix this country. Next, they’ll be coming after Hillary’s, Barack’s and McCain’s dry cleaners to get a whiff of controversy.
BARACK ON THE WAY!
He’s on the way to the Northeast and he’s campaigning hard amidst rumors that his campaign is ignoring the importance of the Keystone State. With Governor Ed “harrumphing” that the Obama forces are not taking his state seriously, Obama’s people are saying it would be pure folly to ignore the diverse state. In Wilkes Barre an Obama office has opened up and you can bet those people aren’t taking things for granted. Obama will be speaking to the Society of Irish women Monday night at the Radison. This group, instead of whining about not being invited to the men’s St. Patrick’s Day function has their own event. Jeez, can anyone name the speaker the boys are going to have at their shindig?
A judge removed the name of Frank Shimkus off the ballot. The judge sided with former Scranton City Council Chairman Kevin Murphy who said Shimkus did not live at the Hhouse listed on his nominating petition. Murphy is a candidate for Shimkus’ seat and was defeated by the former TV news anchor in the 2006 Democratic primary. Now this might only be a temporary setback for Shimkus. As we all know, Robert Cordaro got himself nominated for Commissioner but that was with the help of the easy to use touch screen ballots. A write in effort, where people have to write a name might be more complicated. Sometimes arcane rules like this violate the will of the people. If Shimkus were running for Congress, it wouldn’t matter where he lived. This will be interesting to see how this one plays out.
Disclaimer: Kevin Murphy and I worked at Cable Rep Advertising from 1999 to 2000.
President Bush called the conflict in Iraq "romantic" for the troops there. Bush in a conference call made the point that the troops were fighting for a stated goal, and he said that the quest was romantic in the way a soldier goes off to war to fight for freedom. Spoken like a guy who hid out in Texas drinking beer during the Vietnam War. I'm sure the men and women who got their limbs blown off because they didn't have the proper body armor find their rehabilitation and prosthetics "romantic". For the first time in my life I must say this about my President, "What an idiot!"
An eventful week forty years ago. On March 12th, Eugene McCarthy stunned President Johnson by garnering 42% of the vote against the incumbent. McCarthy was a two term Minnesota Senator who took up New York Congressman Allard Lowenstein’s plea to have a candidate run against Johnson. Even though Johnson won the primary and the delegates, the news rocked the Democratic party to its foundation. Here is a link to a wonderful article about Eugene McCarthy.
Forty years ago this week on March 16th, New York Senator Robert Kennedy “reassessed” his position and announced his candidacy in Washington D.C. The New Hampshire primary at that time was the very first in the nation. Yep, March 12th! This year it was Jan. 7th and almost happened before Christmas because of the “me too” nonsense of state party officials……..In Pennsylvania, Democratic party officials were stunned by the New Hampshire developments. Kennedy’s late entrance into the race prohibited him from getting on the Pennsylvania ballot and Vice President Humphrey was still weighing his options. So in terms of Presidential politics, Eugene McCarthy would be the only candidate on the ballot for the top spot……Meantime statewide, incumbent anti war Senator Joseph Clark was being challenged in the primary for U.S. Senator by Representative John Dent……On the county level, controversy erupted over a dinner courthouse Democrats wanted to have. County solicitor James L. Brown challenged plans for the $25.00 a plate fundraiser…..”Project Expansion”, the fundraiser of the Scranton diocese designed to build more schools and churches (this was forty years ago mind you) hit its goal of 8 million dollars….in Wilkes Barre City final interviews were conducted for the new position of “City Manager”…..in Pittston at St. John the Baptist Grade School, January report cards were issued and it appeared like everyone was slated to graduate and the number 1 song in the nation and in LuLac land this week forty years ago was “The Unicorn Song” by the Irish Rovers coinciding with St. Patrick’s Day. From You Tube: