Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1224, June 30th, 2010

PHOTO INDEX: STEEPLE OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH IN PITTSTON.

TWO YEARS AGO

St. John the Baptist Church had its last Mass and closed its doors.
Less than 16 months later, the Church and its surrounding buildings were leveled to the ground. I have formed a FaceBook group to preserve the heritage and memory.
Here's the link:

http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Yonki/1612355787#!/group.php?gid=112563352124357&ref=mf

The LuLac Edition #1223, June 30h, 2010


PHOTO INDEX: OUR "WRITE ON WEDNESDAY" LOGO, AND BESS AND HARRY TRUMAN ON THE ROAD.

WRITE ON WEDNESDAY

HARRY TRUMAN

My brother in law Kenny Edwards sent me this e mail a few weeks back. It is worth repeating in this very partisan time. Harry Truman left office with a very poor approval rating but history ranks him as one of the near great Presidents. Take a look at this:
Harry Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding our nation's history as any of the other 42 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House. The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Missouri . His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there. When he retired from office in 1952, his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an 'allowance' and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year. After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them. When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, "You don't want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it's not for sale.." Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, "I don't consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise." As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food. Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale. (sic. Illinois ) Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, "My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference! I say dig him up and clone him!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1222, June 29th, 2010


PHOTO INDEX: SURVEY LOGO.

POLL RESULTS

Last week's poll question centered on two important races in Luzerne and Lackawanna County. The Kanjorski/Barletta rematch in the 11th Congressional District and the 22nd Senatorial District. Here are the results:

1. DO YOU THINK CONGRESSMAN KANJORSKI'S DECISION TO NOT HAVE PERSON TO PERSON TOWN HALL MEETINGS HURT HIM OR HELP HIM IN HIS RE-ELECTION BID AGAINST MAYOR LOU BARLETTA?
HURT 78.6%
HELP 21.4%

2. DO YOU THINK THE PERCEPTION THAT SENATOR ROBERT MELLOW HELPED 22ND SENATORIAL DISTRICT NOMINEE JOHN BLAKE HELP OR HURT HIM IN THE NOVEMBER ELECTION AGAINST FRANK SCAVO?
HURT 78.6%
HELP 21.4%

NEW POLL QUESTION

WAS THE SENATE RIGHT IN SHUTTING DOWN THE EXTENSION OF UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS?

Click here to take survey

Monday, June 28, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1221, June 28th, 2010



PHOTO INDEX: OUR "Y" DRIVE LOGO AND CAROLE KING AND JAMES TAYLOR.

THE "Y" DRIVE

LEGENDARY

That word is thrown around way too often these days. But tonight I saw Carole King and James Taylor at the Arena with Mrs. LuLac. I was one of those kids 39 years ago in high school, in the summer of ’71 that bought “Tapestry”. I also bought “Mud Slide Slim”. Those were on LPs. I bought them all on 8 tracks, Cassettes and finally CDs. Their music is timeless. 9,000 of my personal friends were in attendance and the show brought back many emotions and memories for us. Tonight we saw legends. And like the music, that memory will endure.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1220, June 27th, 2010




PHOTO INDEX: CONGRESSMAN PAUL KANJORSKI, LUZERNE COUNTY PROTHONOTARY CAROLEE MEDICO OLENGINSKI AND FORMER DEPUTY CONTROLLER BOB SYPNIEWSKI.

SNIP SNIP

The recent firing of Deputy Pronthonotary Bob Sypniewski points to the insanity that is the Luzerne County Courthouse. If you ever want to escape from the real world, drop in to the building on River Street. In the real world of employment, people are usually given warnings regarding an infraction or a violation of company policy. First there are verbal, then a few written and then termination. Unless the action by the fired employee is so egregious those are the usual steps….in the real world. But the Courthouse is not the real world as we have become painfully aware. Sypniewski was told to take a week’s vacation. He thought everything was fine and was shocked at his termination. Your boss tells you to take a few days off and then you get fired? Sounds like the boss had an agenda already in place. Sounds like the boss didn’t have the courage to face the employee. Sounds like the reforming, crusading boss lost her nerve. I do not know why Sypniewski was fired because it is a personnel issue. But the arbitrary nature of it harkens us back to a pattern of behavior that the Prothonotary exhibited in years past. Those actions brought us Jill Moran. I met Mr. Sypniewski a few times, the most recent in April when he was getting a coffee at the Dunkin’ Donuts. He was wildly enthusiastic about his boss and his job. He was proud to be on the reform side of things. Just having had a baby, he told me that he was proud that her future wouldn’t include questionable policies and decisions of local government. Again, I have no details as to why this happened. Except that it was very sudden. It’s ironic that the newcomer got the boot very quickly while some holdovers are still hanging on. I’ve always felt that Medico Olenginski had the best interests of the people at heart. But the fact that she or any other row officer can dispatch someone without warning (and if there were prior warnings on this I don't know) is not the way private business does things. Actions like this lead me to the conclusion that home rule and a unified policy for personnel can’t come fast enough.

UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSIONS

If you are still unemployed, (and by the grace of God I am not) thanks to the GOP Senators, you’re screwed. These great Americans refused to grant extensions for benefits for the unemployed as well as getting rid of the Cobra stimulus subsidy for health care. The Senators are all of a sudden worried about the burgeoning deficit. They can spend 30 billion on bombs but not money for the unemployed to keep food on the table and pay the rent. What a bunch of heartless phonies. These are the same guys that ran up the deficit sending thousands of young men and women into Iraq for assassination by road side bombs. These are the same guys who gave tax breaks to the rich that drove up the deficit. These are the same guys that enriched multi national companies like Haliburton with our tax dollars. I’m all for saving money but I find it interesting that the GOP wants to save tax money on the backs of the very least among us. There is an urban legend out there that people are enjoying unemployment. The right is saying that the laid off workers are calling it “funemployment”. I never, ever met one person like that in the time I was laid off from BCNEPA. The GOP has done its best to demonize the policies of the Democrats. I’m tired of being civil to these bastards. It is time for people adversely effected by these self righteous Republican scum bags to fight back. All of my life I’ve given votes to members of both parties. I think I’ve mentioned here that I have voted for more Republicans than I have Democrats statewide and even voted for a few Republicans for President. NO MORE!! If the Democrats ran a chimp for Statewide office against a Republican, Zippy would get my vote. I’d really like to vote for Tom Corbett for Governor. But I can’t. Because moderate guys like him and Charlie Christ of Florida have to kiss the butts of the GOP naysayers. Next time you hear of a friend having to pay $500 month for a Cobra plan (and that’s an individual) or going without health care, or next time you hear of someone having no money at all and losing whatever income they had, thank the National GOP. They’re worried about the deficit. They’re worried about our future. Sorry, they are wrong. I don’t want to sound like my buddy Bible Buck from Jenkins Township, but "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:31-46. The party of the Christian Family Values my ass!!! Maybe the national GOP Chairman Michael Steele should put that on the side of his private jet next time he visits a strip club.

KANJORSKI’S COMMENTS

Here’s what he said,
“Because of the longevity of the recession, these are people -- and they are not minorities, and they’re not defective, and they’re not all the things you like to insinuate that these programs are about. These are average, good American people. Most of them have been veterans who served, responsible, have worked all their lives, but they’re not full of money. They live pay check to pay check and they always will because they are in the lower margins of our society.”
Whether we want to admit it or not, minorities and people who have had lesser abilities have been ignored by the Republican party. If not for the courageous actions of moderate Republicans and Liberal Democrats, minorities would still be using separate restrooms in this country. The word “defective” was unfortunate but not far off the mark. Social programs are put in place for people who need help. Take it from me, once you lose your mobility, you do become defective. You’re broken but not a lost cause. Kanjorski is talking about those average Americans who have done the right thing. They’ve never gotten into trouble, always paid their taxes, volunteered to make their community better and kept their neighborhoods clean. They aren’t the druggies coming in from Philadelphia and shacking up with a woman so they could use her Section 8 Housing as a drug base. They aren’t the people renting a place and then skipping town in the middle of the night. These are the forgotten Americans. The Americans that are losing their extended unemployment benefits because through no fault of their own they can’t find work. These are the Americans losing their health care because it costs too much. These are the people that are living on the edge. Invest a little something for a rainy day? These Americans live an economic storm every single day. Kanjorski might have been a tad clumsy in his wording but his heart and actions are in the right place. Kanjorski, by using the word minority pointed out that we are slipping behind for all of our people. The people in the middle. Imagine if you were a minority and had a chance at the economic brass ring and that’s pulled back. Imagine if you worked hard all your life and now can’t even pay the light bill on time. Imagine being told by a Tea Party crowd that “my taxes are being wasted on you. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. This is America”. This is not the America those people Kanjorski talks about invested in through sacrifice and hard work. This is an America of “I got mine”, “you don’t have yours? Screw you”. Instead of jumping on the words “defective”, maybe the GOP so worried about saving money should look in the mirror and realize they are attacking friends, neighbors and most crass of all, voters”. But the GOP nationally as we know it today will surely see the reflection of a penurious Mr. Potter or Scrooge instead of the compassionate person they frequently emulate, Lincoln.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1219, June 26h, 2010

PHOTO INDEX: OUR INTERVIEW LOGO.

INTERVIEW

This week marked the 38th anniversary of the Agnes Flood. I had a conversation with a flood victim who had just graduated high school.
Q: ’72 Grad. Me too.
A: Where?
Q: St. John the Evangelist in Pittston.
A: Huh, Central Catholic.
Q: Both schools, gone.
A: Yeah.
Q: Where we you on June 23rd?
A: I was working at Fowler Dick and Walker for the summer. Then I was going to go to Ithaca for the fall semester.
Q: What was that day like?
A: Well the whole week was really, really wet. It poured rain and that river kept on rising.
Q: Where did you live?
A: Third Avenue.
Q: When did you evacuate?
A: The night before. We went to relatives in Dallas. We thought we were covered because we put everything on the second floor. It didn’t matter.
Q: Was your home wrecked?
A: Completely. I thought my mom was going to die of a broken heart. But she hung in there and we did some rebuilding. My sister and I actually had a hard time selling the property a few years ago when my parents were both gone.
Q: Why?
A: The rebuilding of their lives, their home was a testament to their generation.
Q: After the flood what was your life like?
A: Well I quit the store because I got a job with the contractors cleaning up houses. The money was good but I worked like a dog. I actually went to school for the winter semester. So economically my life was better. My parents were very, very tense. Worried about money. I never saw that before. There was real fear in their lives after the Flood. It changed them.
Q: You like politics, did the flood help shape your political life?
A: Big time. My parents were staunch Democrats but they thought Nixon was the man after he visited. Even during Watergate, they were for him.
Q: And Dan Flood?
A: My dad to the day he died had this old campaign button with a big mustache on it that simply said “Dan”. Never got rid of it.
Q: Best memory of the flood?
A: The way people pulled together. That impressed me because before the flood, our neighborhood was pretty insular. But tragedy is a great equalizer. When my mom and dad passed, even people who had not moved back came to their wakes. On a less serious note, I loved when the Stegmaier Brewery started giving out chilled canned water to flood victims. Maybe it was the fact that it tasted so damn cold and I was so damn hot that summer, I don’t know. But I still think of that every time I see a can of beer.
Q: Worst memory?
A: The smell, the mud, the dirt and my girlfriend dumped me that summer because I just wasn’t around.
Q: Do you regret that? Do you see that as a casualty of the flood?
A: You’re kidding me, right?
Q: Just asking.
A: I think she married a mailman or something.
Q: Well, rain, sleet, and snow and all that stuff.
A: Yeah but not a flood. Not like that one man.
Q: It will live on in everyone’s memory that was involved.
A: It will live on in infamy.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1218, June 24th, 2010




PHOTO INDEX: THE LATE HUGH BEAUMONT WHO PLAYED WARD CLEAVER, A FATHER WILLING TO BE A FATHER BUT STILL ADMIT WHEN HE WAS WRONG. HE DIDN'T GET THAT FROM A DAMN GOVERNMENT WEBSITE. KRISTEN SNOW, MY NEW FAVORITE STATE EMPLOYEE AND OUR 1966 LOGO.

FATHERHOOD.ORG

Puhleeze. I voted for President Obama and think he is doing some pretty good things. I’d like him to go a bit bigger than he has been because I think he has to stop taking half measures. I also think the President has to get control back of the national argument. But Presidencies are sometimes defined by the minutia and the latest thing out is a Father’s Day prime for how men should be fathers. Obama very aware of some issues of fatherhood in the nation among all cultures okayed a pedantic website that instructs men on how to be good dads. If they have no clue when they are brought the living being outside the delivery room, than a website ain’t gonna help them. It amazes me that people will scream about giving condoms to people for safe sex but will think an idea from the government on how to be a good dad, once the horse has swam into the barn is just fine. This website might be Obama’s Cardigan Sweater (Carter) or Ketchup as a vegetable (Reagan) moment.



…AS THE DRIVEN SNOW

I hesitated running this story because my friend Doc Leonardi and I had a discussion about this and we both agreed that (A) most men are dogs and (B) This rumor is nothing more than that and is basically no one’s business. On the other hand the Doctor’s students have stopped reading my blog because they think I censor the thing too much. So I’m just presenting the story as it came from Philadelphia Magazine. That said, women can be attracted to a variety of characteristics that men possess. Brains, power, intellect, money, etc. That makes them infinitely more civilized that us men. Most likely by running this story I’ll forfeit my annual Christmas Card from Big Ed but I got 7 of them already so I’m ahead of the game. And besides, rumors like these are, uh kind of flattering.
The July edition of Philadelphia Magazine is hot off the presses with a story on the long-running rumors about Gov. Rendell and Dr. Kirstin Snow, the director of Commonwealth Media Services who was Miss Pennsylvania in 1994 and Mrs. Pennsylvania in 2005. It's not quite a tell-all, since the only people willing to be interviewed for the record about rumors of an affair were Rendell and Snow. And they both deny it. The three-page article includes a full-page portrait of a smiling Rendell seated with Snow standing behind him, resting her arms on his shoulders. Some key points in the story, which hits newsstands on Friday:
"Absolutely not," Snow said when PhillyMag Features Editor Robert Huber asks if she's having an affair with Rendell. "No way. And if I had a nickel for everybody who told me that, or told me they heard that, I wouldn't have to come to my job."
Snow tells the magazine she is surprised it has taken this long for the rumors to go public and worries about the gossip hurting Rendell's wife, Midge, a federal judge. Snow is clearly surprised when Huber tells her he has heard that Rendell is describing her as the love of his life. Rendell says he values Snow's insight on political issues and her attractiveness helps add some "pizzazz" when he brings her to fund-raisers. He says his recent weight loss -- he's down 60 pounds -- had nothing to do with a new romance. "You know, like a lot of people in politics I get hit on by women all the time," Rendell tells Huber. "There are political groupies just like there are sports groupies. I got hit on when I was 260 every bit as much as when I'm 200." Rendell scoffs at the notion that he would ever use the phrase: The love of my life. He speculates that people probably heard him joking about Snow, saying something like: "Oh yeah, she's great. She's hot as can be, she's the cat's meow."
Rendell has an appreciation for people, women included. When Hillary Clinton came to King's I was trying to get a photo with her and the Governor was trying to help. Even he couldn't break the crowd so the young coed I had prevailed upon to hold my camera took a picture of me and the Governor. After she took the photo, he asked, "Your daughter?" and I said "No". I joked, "Women didn't look like that when I went to King's after she left and he gave me a knowing smile. No matter what is true here, God forbid if you become enthusiastic in your praise over anybody in this world.

MUNDY VS GOLDY

State Rep. Phyllis Mundy on Monday called for a one-year moratorium on new natural gas drilling permits in Pennsylvania. "We are allowing this industry to move ahead too fast," Mundy said. Mundy plans to introduce the moratorium in Harrisburg, She will also champion two other bills protecting drinking water from contamination due to Marcellus Shale gas drilling.
In a press release Mundy’s opponent Bill Goldsworthy accused the representative of trying to have it both ways. Twenty-year State House incumbent Phyllis Mundy is talking out of both sides of her mouth on issues surrounding Marcellus Shale gas exploration and drilling in an effort to help her re-election campaign.
Goldsworthy went on to explain that natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale deposits across Pennsylvania has been occurring for more than 14 years. In fact, there are currently more than 500 wells in the Commonwealth and over 3,100 drilling permits issued by the state Department of Environmental Protection. The fracking process has been used for the last five years. “In her 20 years in office, Ms. Mundy hasn’t said a single word about this issue, other than to want to tax it to pay for more wasteful spending,” said Goldsworthy. “She has never worked to develop a proactive plan to deal with the oversight and environmental issues involved with this issue. Where has she been? She has done nothing.” Goldsworthy sees exploration of the Marcellus Shale natural gas as vital to the economic future of Pennsylvania, but only as long as it is done in an environmentally responsible manner that protects the quality of our drinking water and overall environment. You can bet this will be a bone of contention in this year’s General Election between the two.

JIMBO’S ICE CREAM SOCIAL

121st District Legislative candidate James O’Meara held an ice cream social last night and from what I understand it was a huge success. O’Meara is running an uphill battle against Eddie Day Pashinski but is doing the leg work and making the inroads through the district that has been heavily Democratic for as long as I’ve been alive.

CURLY CREAM

We’re closing in on the fourth of July and one of Luzerne County favorite ice cream haunts Curly Cream Ice Cream is still closed. Usually the eatery opens after Memorial Day with its lead off signature flavor Tangerine/Vanilla Twist. Not yet.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT


1966

French President Charles De Gaulle starts his visit to the
Soviet Union………in Pennsylvania State Secretary John Tabor announces that 19 counties are eligible for Appalachia Funding in cooperation with the Federal Government program. Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties were designated as primary growth areas by the Secretary….in Wilkes Barre Judge Richard Bigelow grants a ruling to Plymouth Borough to require the Pagnotti Coal Enterprises Company to show cause as to why the company should not be held in contempt of court for strip mine violations going back to 1962 and 44 years ago the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “Along Comes Mary” by the Association.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1217, June 23rd, 2010

PHOTO INDEX: "WRITE ON WEDNESDAY" LOGO.

DON'T OVER-REACT

]The recent article in Rolling Stone Magazine on General McChrystal just begs for someone, especially a President to react. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann did a comment last night that asks the President to keep the errant General. I would tend to agree. Here's what Olbermann wrote:
SPECIAL COMMENT
By Keith Olbermann
Finally tonight as promised a Special Comment on the self-destruction of General Stanley McChrystal."We have the highest respect for General McChrystal and honor his brave service and sacrifice to our nation. General McChrystal's comments, as reported in Rolling Stone, are inappropriate and inconsistent with the traditional relationship between Commander-in-Chief and the military."Senators Lindsey Graham, Joe Lieberman, and John McCain. They left out the far greater truth — that the comments are inappropriate and inconsistent with the traditional relationship between military and civilian authority and are thus intolerable.We can honor his service, the way we honor the service of General Curtis LeMay, or the way we honor the service of General Douglas MacArthur — forever blemished, forever compromised, forever instructive that how ever much credit each heroic soldier deserves, he and his comrades are not the masters of this country, but its employees.It is the fundamental tenet on which this nation rests; it is what has kept us from any serious dalliance with a militaristic government in all our long history; it is the simple balanced poetry that has saved us from the threat of military overthrow and dictatorship for 234 years while nearly all the other great nations of the world, from Germany to Japan, have succumbed to it.And what happens next should be no surprise to anybody: General McChrystal will walk into the White House tomorrow and offer his resignation, not just from his leadership position in Afghanistan, but from military service itself.And that, Mr. President, is when you should thank him for that service. And you should thank him for whatever admission he makes about the chain of command. And that is when, Sir —presuming he recognizes his rank stupidity and his erasure of that inviolable line between the military and the civilian — you should say you are heartened that he realizes the depth and breadth of his idiocy.And that is when, Sir, you should take General McChrystal's resignation, and fold it up, and put it in your top drawer, and tell him that that is where it will remain, and that as of now you are not accepting it. Correct.He tenders his resignation. You tell him to get back to Afghanistan because he's not getting out of this morass he helped create, and tell him to make sure we get the surge troops withdrawn on time or faster if he can. And then, Sir, you sit back and watch the political world's collective jaw drop.This would not be mere contrariness, nor even the satisfying destabilization of the entire political climate — although those would be fun, too. Consider the last Administration. Let's look at the list alphabetically.General John Abizaid of CentCom. Expressed public skepticism about the Bush surge in Iraq. Replaced. General George Casey, Iraq. Expressed public skepticism about the Bush surge in Iraq. Replaced. Admiral William Fallon, ex-head of CentCom. Told Esquire Magazine we should not use force against Irahn. Retired by Mr. Bush.Dr. Larry Lindsey, director of the National Economic Council. Told Mr. Rumsfeld estimated that war in Iraq would cost 60 billion dollars. He said, no, $200 billion. Rumsfeld called that "baloney." Lindsey was fired. It was "baloney" — it cost three trillion dollars.General Eric Shinsecki, Army Chief of Staff. Warned that the Rumsfeld troop estimates were disastrously low, hundreds of thousands would be needed for occupation. "Villified, then marginalized" by Bush.
General Anthony Zinni, Marines, Retired, Middle East Envoy. Said that the President had far more pressing foreign policy priorities to face than Iraq, and that the trouble would start in Iraq after the war itself ended. Not reappointed.Remember, this, from the previous President whose empty, but lovely-sounding catchphrase, was 'I listen to the commanders on the ground.' It was true. He did listen. And then he fired all the ones who dared to tell him the truth.It cannot be argued that General McChrystal has said anything as controversial, as jarring, as upsetting to the status quo, as any of the men Bush ignored, and in ignoring, led to the deaths of Americans, and to the wasting of money and international goodwill. McChrystal made, to be blunt about it, a fool out of himself. He called a lot of people names. He has previously been involved in the leak of his own complaints demanding more troops and faster decisions in Afghanistan.And most heinously — and this is the toughest part of this pill to swallow — he was the facilitator in the cover-up of the friendly fire death of Pat Tillman. It is difficult to bypass an opportunity for retribution against such a man. But more opportunities for that will come in time. It is not McChrystal that matters right now. It is doubtful he is an irreplacable general officer. It is doubtful he will influence Afghanistan much one way or the other — that mistake has been made already by this military and this President.

But Mr. President, consider the after-math of McChrystal's resignation or firing. If, in the America of 1951, the dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur, a strutting peacock of a soldier with a corncob pipe and a messianic complex, could turn the politics of the time on its head because Harry Truman had had the temerity to fire him after he said we should use nukes against the Chinese and create an impassible radioactive zone in the Far East.If that happened then what exactly will the ouster of General McChrystal provoke, in our stupid, under-informed, constantly propagandized America of 2010? Who will be the first to identify McChrystal as a martyr to the evil Obama Administration? How many Americans, still looking for a rationalization to justify their rage at a Democratic president, or a black one, or an intelligent one, will have new fuel to feed their blind hatred?Keep him, Mr. President. will not merely neuter the political blowback, you will present a front of force, and calm, and intelligence, and a willingness to, dare I use the phrase Sir — a willingness to listen to the Commanders on the ground, even when they shoot off their big brass-covered bazoos.You can own him, Mr. President, and own the political aftermath, now pregnant with opportunities for your critics. The General can be your voice to speed up the de-escalation. My goodness, he could be your mouthpiece if you suddenly saw the morass for what it is and decided to declare victory and get the hell out now. Who would fight you on that, Sir? You would be the President who defended General McChrystal after he humiliated himself. You would be the leader sensitive to the military, and its needs, and its failures, and its pressures. President Obama has pushed the Abraham Lincoln thing from the day he declared his candidacy. It may serve him well tonight to consider the third of the eight generals Lincoln employed to run the Union Army during the Civil War. After the Antietam disaster, Mr. Lincoln cashiered General McClellan — "Young Napoleon" — and promoted John Pope of Illinois. His advisers were horrified. Pope, as Shelby Foote recalled in Ken Burns's documentary, was a liar and a braggart. Yes, said Lincoln. In fact I knew his family back in Illinois. All the Popes were liars and braggarts. I see no particular reason why a liar and a braggart shouldn't make a good general. Pope did not win the Civil War, but in appointing him, Lincoln made it plain that what he needed from his Generals was usefulness, not etiquette.And which is more useful to this President and this nation right now? A martyred ex-General, around which an irresponsible and potentially dangerous opposition can coalesce? Or a spared and humbled General, surely no worse than any potential replacement, whose retention can recalculate the political formula... without a drop of blood, or a drop of tears, being shed?


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1216, June 22nd, 2010

PHOTO INDEX: SURVEY LOGO.

POLL RESULTS

Here are the poll results of last week's survey on what you as a reader think of The LuLac Political Letter
1. Do you think there is too much pop culture on this political blog?
YES 12.2 %.
NO 85.4%
DK 2.4%.

2. What is your most favorite feature of The LuLac Political Letter?
60% 13 QUESTIONS
40% OUR FEATURE YEAR
12% WRITE N WEDNESDAY.
(Multipiple Responses)

3. What are your thoughts on Comment Moderation?
MODERATE 26.8%
LET IT FLY 39.0%
EDIT OBSCENETIES 36.6

4. How would you rate David Yonki as a writer?
VERY GOOD 60%
OKAY 40%
VERY BAD 0%

5. Do you think the writer/editor of this blog is
DEMOCRAT 73.2%
INDEPENDENT 22.0$
REPUBLICAN 4.9%

6. Does LuLac cover local politics....
FAIRLY 63.4%
WITH A BIAS 36.4%

7. Does LuLac cover both counties equally?
YES 46.3%
NO 39%
DK 14.6%

8. How many years have you been reading the LuLac Political Letter?
Since it began. 24.4%
More than 2 years 68.3%
Less than a year 9.8%

9. How often do you read LuLac?
DAILY 67.5%
ONCE A WEEK 30.0%
EVERY 2 WEEKS 2.5%

10. How would you improve the LuLac Political Letter? What do you want to see as far as content in the LuLac Political Letter?


Get ride of comment moderation. Let us have a free, unfettered voice. Lift the Stalinistic tactics of this site.
different years please, more current.
more videos
more pop cultures
more videos, less history
try to get more local comments.....
more local politics and less national a puff pieces
More local politics
Can not stand the fact that you don't allow open dialogue on your site It is the one thing that is frustating and usually takes me away from it for weeks at a time.
Its infomative as it is
Ditch comment moderation. Is Mr. Yonki a fan of Josef Stalin, because Stalin would be proud of Mr. Yonki's heavy hand.
more local politics
MORE POP CULTURE HISTORY
A little more local politics.

My cousin misses you.
The WB and Luzerne County coverage is more insightful for obvious reasons. Overall I like the direction and respect the author's integrity.
The WB and Luzerne County coverage is more insightful for obvious reasons. Overall I like the direction and respect the author's integrity.
More Town Politics
Analysis of how local corruption influences politics and vice versa, considering both current charges and and longer term implications.
Don't let those with negative attitudes drag you into a funk. Stay above them.
More political commentary. Be more opinionated, more forceful. I like the way you think - let er rip once in a while.
more conservative perspective
The Blog is evolving and reflects Yonki's development as a writer and person.
Slightly better graphic.
David seems to know a lot of former newscasters.It might be interesting to check with them now and then to trade opinions on current events, how things have changed, and what has not.
Keep doing what you are doing, Mr. Yonki.
Maybe a focus on some of the better, lesser known politicians in the region that are doing good work under the radar.
Make sure Dave is never shown in his bathing suit.
More willingness to find some common ground with political ideas and movements with which you don't agree. Knee-jerk doesn't become you.
More surveys.
It looks fine to me as it is.

Get your ass on TV or Radio.
Get rid of comment moderation. There is no place in America for Nazi censorship tactics.
Please continue to add the pop culture flavor to your blog. It gives bland politics LIFE!!!
xxxxxxxoooooooxxxxxooooooooo
I don't think you have enough local politics.
Maybe add a daily countdown of the number of days since the federal corruption scandal broke in Luzerne and lackawanna counties, and offer up a countdown to the state budget deadline, T minue 15 days and counting
Don't know about the LLPL! Would like to see the people of the NE stop electing the same people decade after decade. TERM LIMITS!
less press releases--more writing

You are a damn unamerican liberal leftist socialist who is bringing this country down.
more stuff about that 7th grade girlfriend of yours.
quit whining about your stupid church
more corruption news
he's okay that yonki
Can't think of anything.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1215, June 21st, 2010

PHOTO INDEX: 117TH DISTRICT HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE KAREN BOBACK.

BOBACK TAKES AIM

Belated kudos to State Representastive Karen Boback who recently asked for some brakes to be put on this drilling in and around her district. Boback (R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming) announced her intent to introduce legislation that will provide additional protections for public drinking water supplies, as the natural gas drilling industry continues to grow in Pennsylvania.
“Natural gas drilling has the potential to be the most promising economic boon for our Commonwealth, but we have to proceed with caution and make sure we are putting the health and safety of our citizens first,” said Boback. “I am introducing this legislation to put additional safeguards in place for the drinking water sources we all share and on which we rely. As we have seen from the catastrophe in the Gulf, once an accident occurs, it is difficult to restore our natural resources. I believe the best approach is to proceed with caution.”
Boback’s legislation would require companies seeking drilling permits in close proximity to public drinking water sources to provide the following information to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP):
1. Names of all surface landowners with water supplies within a mile of a proposed well – said landowners will also be notified of proposed drilling.
2. An emergency contingency plan.
3. An analysis of the travel time of a release to the nearest waterway.
4. The zone of influence on groundwater.
In addition, it would require DEP to notify all public water drinking operators within the watershed that a well permit has been submitted and to publish a notice in the PA Bulletin if it believes a proposed well site will have the potential to affect a public water supply. Finally, it would include a prohibition on horizontal drilling beneath any public drinking water source and would increase the buffer between any drill site and public drinking water sources.
“If an accident were to occur that would taint public water supplies, it would have a devastating effect on the lives and health of area residents and on the community itself,” said Boback. “My legislation is another precaution to protect those I serve.” Boback noted that this legislation will be part of a package of bills aimed at increasing the safety of Pennsylvania’s waterways.
Alternative energy is fine. Getting money for your land is fine. But as I stated in an earlier edition, the minerals were under the earth for centuries, what’s a few more months of study to make sure the water well are not contaminated and that these “experts” have a plan.


DEBIT SWIPES


How about the latest thing going on with Debit cards and check cards. Banks actually charge you a swipe fee. Every time you use the card, you are charged a swipe fee. If it were up to the bloated, unethical credit cards companies, they’d put a fee on people taking a breath. Here’s what you do. DON’T USE DEBIT CARDS. DON’T GET THEM FROM YOUR BANK OR CREDIT UNION. AND IF YOU HAVE A CREDIT/DEBIT CARD, ASK THE MERCHANT TO USE CREDIT. I know it is tough to do but I’m not asking anyone to do something I haven’t done. Cut all your uses for monthly credit. Pay it off. Overpay them by a buck if you can and keep the balance there for a year. It’ll drive the bastard pigs crazy seeing that buck sitting in there. Sooner or later they’ll have to have a meeting about your buck. Managers will “tut tut”, supervisors will be given directives to “investigate” why there is no activity. The Marketing people will be charged with analyzing why you aren’t spending anymore. Then they’ll send you that glorious check for your buck. And you’ll know that you made the credit card companies that have been raping middle America actually work for a living. Swipe fee! The Mafia guys on TV had more honor.

LUZERNE COUNTY TAXES

According to the Times Leader this weekend, there are a lot of people in the county who owe back taxes on property. What was surprising to me were the number of people who sold properties but still owed taxes on them. I might be a real dunce who has faithfully paid all my taxes gladly through the years on the theory that taxes are the dues we pay to live in a civil society. But aren't all tax liens supposed to be satisfied before you get to sell it? Just asking.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1214, June 20th, 2010




PHOTO INDEX: MY GODFATHER JOE "LEFTY" PRIBULA AND ME.

THE Y DRIVE

FATHER’S DAY

On Father’s Day sometime Godfathers are forgotten. My nephew Troy never fails to forget contacting me on Dad’s day. Being a Godfather is an honor and responsibility. My Godfather was a major influence in my life. Joe Pribula my mom’s brother had not yet had kids when I was a little boy. He and his wife Jean would come down from Towanda and stay over our house on Friday nights before they met their friends and relatives in the area. My uncle always took the time to play with me. I had this set of building bricks and my buildings were pretty limited. However when Uncle Joe came by we built elaborate split level homes and once even a three car garage. (The guy was an engineer by trade but hey I was 5, I had no idea.) I remember my uncle and I being in the TV room of my house on Sunday November 24th when Jack Ruby shot Lee Oswald. (He had driven us home from church that morning). I still remember him looking at me and saying “Holy blazes did that really just happen?” I remember his outrage at Richard Nixon’s behavior before and after the President resigned. I knew my uncle was a Veteran because for a while he kept some old uniforms in our attic but I never really knew the depth of his service. Up until a few years back he attended reunions of his Army Air Corps group. (He bought his airfare from me when I worked at the pagan on line travel company). I became a Green Bay Packer fan because my uncle would bring me Packer stuff that in the 60s in Towanda, Pennsylvania was almost unheard of. Godparents are supposed to be there when your own parents die or become unable to influence you. I had the best of both worlds with my father Jake (who I have written about here many times) and my Godfather Joe Pribula. He broadened my horizons and like he carefully did with my construction toys, carefully added those real life building blocks that are still with me today.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1213, June 19th, 2010

PHOTO INDEX: OUR INTERVIEW LOGO.

INTERVIEW

The Luzerne County Courthouse decided to get rid of the Crossing Guards on River Street. The Crossings Guards have been a long time institution near the Dome. Various and sundry people have held those jobs through the years, some political appointees, some friends, some who legitimately applied for the position. I talked to a former Crossing Guard who was employed at the Courthouse.
Q: I remember you, do you remember me?
A: Oh yeah. I’m surprised you never wound up working at the Courthouse. I’d see you and your Uncle Timmy (Editor's note: Timmy Pribula, School Director at Wyoming Area and Field Assessor at the Courthouse) all the time crossing the street and at the dinners.
Q: Yeah I was very grateful for my uncle letting me tag along to these political things. Tell me when you went to these “dinners” were you forced to go?

A: No, never. I won’t lie to you it was suggested but I was never strong armed. I did it out of a gratitude for the job. And plus I was a party man going all the way back to Harry Truman.
Q: How many years were you a Crossing Guard?
A: Oh more than ten.
Q: What was your favorite part of it?
A: The people. Seeing them all dressed up for work. I worked in the mines and I had to get used to that.
Q: Worst part of it?
A: The winters. God awful. That little shack only kept you so warm.
Q: You know the Commissioners are getting rid of that service.
A: (Shrugging his shoulders) Same old same old.
Q: What do you mean?
A: Look these guys crossing people aren’t getting top wages. But to save money they are getting rid of the little guys.
Q: That happens all over. They never get rid of the big shots. In the last two jobs I got laid off from they kept the flunkies and the people that had nowhere near the passion I had for the company.
A: Hell no. How much they gonna save by getting rid of those guys? 30 grand tops!
Q: Do you think there will be a safety issue?
A: No (laughing) the paper and Penn Dot say there won’t be. But watch if somebody gets clipped.
Q: Having been there for a few years, but realizing it’s been a while since you worked there, do you think politicians are corrupt?
A: No I don’t. I think that sometimes when they get that office, that power, they have a type of temporary insanity.
Q: Are you saying they become crazy?
A: No not that. It’s like they lose all the common sense they ever learned. Makes you scratch your head.
Q: Any advice to the guys losing their jobs?
A: Enjoy the summer. Then good luck.
Q: Any advice to the people running the Courthouse?
A: Shut it down and start all over.
Q: I said that on TV a few years ago.
A: Well we’re obviously two smart fellas aren’t we?

Friday, June 18, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1212, June 18th, 2010




PHOTO INDEX: RECOVERY ACT LOGO, THE OLD ATWATER KENT AND OUR 1966 LOGO.

BP ON THE SPOT

Okay, tell me why the Republicans in Congress are criticizing the President’s plan to force BP Oil to pay claims on the damage done in the Gulf? President Obama demanded that money be set aside for claims. The company was not putting things in motion quickly and conservatives are screaming that they are ashamed of the administration’s behavior. Ashamed because the Obama people are trying to hold the billion dollar company accountable? A sane member of Congress, Ed Markey responded to the sheer lunacy offered by Representative Barton. Here’s his remarks:


RADIO WRAP

TARONE ON WILK

Hazleton’s own L.A. Tarone has exported his talented broadcasting show to the airwaves of WILK. L.A., the news director of WYLN TV and the host of the weekly Tarone Show does a one hour stint on WILK every Sunday. L.A. is a long time journalist and for many years worked at Hazelton’s Standard Speaker. Tune him in.

JOE PETERS ON THE TALKER

Meanwhile Joe Peters has a weekly show on the Talker, 94.3FM. Peters show can be heard from 10am to 11am. Peters was a frequent guest on WYOU TV Interactive as well as doing a Sunday stint on WILK Radio about a year ago.

RUSH IS BACK

Man oh man, I don’t know what was worse, Rush screaming at the Liberals or telling us about his wedding. Okay, okay I was curious about the details but only Rush could turn his hiring of Elton John into a “them against me” rant. Anyway, I’m thirsting for Rush to get back on his irrational game. I’m really tired of hearing about the new wife, Pumpkin the cat and these animals he has. Love might be deaf, dumb and blind but does it have to be sappy?

SUE, BY GEORGE

Have to compliment my buddy Sue Henry for taking on my old St. John the Baptist classmate George from Exeter this week. George was talking about how evil and immoral all of us liberals are and how we are destroying this country. Sue told him that not all liberals were hellbent on destroying America but George was having none of it. Kind of hard to believe that we went to the same school. In a future edition of LuLac I will outline what liberals did for this country.

MEET AND GREET LOU

Meet and Greet with Lou Barletta
Date: Thursday, June 24, 2010
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: Dooley's Pub
120 Oak Street
Old Forge, PA
Please join us for a Meet and Greet with Lou Barletta.$25 per person. RSVP to Kristin or Katie at (570) 501-8683 kristin@loubarletta.com or katie@loubarletta.com. Please make checks payable to: Lou Barletta for Congress PO Box 128 Hazleton, PA 18201

WHAT THE STIMULUS DOES

Vice President Joe Biden delivered a report, “Summer of Recovery: Project Activity Increases in Summer 2010,” to the President detailing the surge in Recovery Act infrastructure projects that will be underway this summer – and the jobs those projects will create into the fall and through the end of 2010. A copy of the report is available HERE and a copy of the presentation the Vice President will deliver is available HERE.
RECOVERY SUMMER
Fact Sheet
With tens of thousands of projects funded and millions of Americans on the job today thanks to the Recovery Act, it’s easy to assume its impact is behind us - but summer 2010 is actually poised to be the most active Recovery Act season yet, with tens of thousands of projects underway across the country that will help to create jobs for American workers and economic growth for businesses, large and small. With thousands of road, bridge, water and other infrastructure projects breaking ground this summer, the American people will get to see first-hand the Recovery Act dollars being put to work in their communities making long-overdue infrastructure improvements, creating new opportunities for local economic growth and supporting well-paid jobs.
Progress To-Date
The Recovery Act has already begun to put over $620 billion to work and many programs are ahead of schedule.
$223 billion in tax relief has been provided to American families and businesses, including the Making Work Pay tax credit for 95 percent of working families.
227 billion in financial assistance has been obligated or made available to help the hardest-hit through aid like unemployment benefits and Medicaid
$170 billion has been obligated or begun to be put to work on technology, innovation and infrastructure projects.
The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) estimates that the Recovery Act is responsible for between 2.2 and 2.8 million jobs through March of 2010.
This figure is in-line with estimates by independent economists, including those of the non-partisan CBO.
Summer Activity
We are entering “Recovery Summer” and will see the highest levels of Recovery Act project activity yet.
Highway Projects
There will be six times as many highway projects underway in July 2010 as in July 2009 – projects will surge from 1,750 last summer to over 10,700 this summer.
While last summer about 9,185 miles of highway started being improved, this summer 29,244 miles will start being improved – that’s the equivalent of ten cross-country road trips on improved highways.
States across the country will see an increase in highway projects this summer:
Clean and Drinking Water
This summer 2,828 clean and drinking water projects will be underway versus 129 last summer – more than 20 times as many.
States across the country will see an increase in clean and drinking water projects this summer:
Home Weatherization
This summer, 82,000 homes will be weatherized versus 3,000 last summer – 27 times as many homes this summer as last.
States across the country will see an increase in the number of homes weatherized this summer:
National Parks
This July, there will be 799 projects underway at our national parks versus 101 last July – nearly 8 times as many this summer.
This July, there will be 1,711 public lands projects underway versus 106 last July – 16 times as many this summer.
Summer Milestones
Recovery Act projects will achieve several significant milestones this summer.
Today, the President will break ground on the 10,000th Recovery Act road project to get underway.
By the end of June, Recovery Act investments will have built, expanded or renovated over 1,100 community health care centers, providing health care for an additional 2.5 million Americans.
By August, one million more Americans will have smart meters in their homes thanks to the Recovery Act investment in building a smart energy grid.
Also by August, more than 200,000 homeowners will have had their homes weatherized through the Recovery Act, saving them an average of over $400 a year on their energy bills.
By September 30th, 70 percent of Recovery Act funds will have been paid out.
Continued Job Impact
The job impact of the Recovery Act will be continue to climb through the summer and into the fall, eventually hitting the original target of 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010.
According to the Council of Economic Advisers:
June 30, 2009 – 338,000 jobs
September 30, 2009 – 850,000 jobs
December 31, 2009 ­– 1,750,000 jobs
March 30, 2010 – 2,500,000 jobs.
Estimates from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office have thus far have confirmed or exceeded these CEA estimates.
In May, the CBO reported that as many as 2.8 million jobs were created or saved by the Recovery Act through the first quarter of 2010.
Jobs have been reported by recipients in every single Congressional District and U.S. territory. These reports are available at
www.Recovery.gov.

AL GONE WILD??

Al Gore, the former US vice-president, has been accused of having an affair with the ex-wife of comedian Larry David. Laurie David, a prominent climate change campaigner and the former wife of the Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm creator, said a tabloid report that she had an affair with Mr Gore was “completely untrue”. Mr Gore announced two weeks ago that he and his wife Tipper were separating after 40 years of marriage and said no-one else was involved.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT



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YOU SCREAM, I SCREAM

James O'Meara candidate for State Representative invites you to "Dessert Bar Fundraiser" on Thursday, June 24 at 6:00pm. James says, "I hope you can attend the dessert bar (and please bring your appetite!). If you can't attend, please consider doing anything you can to help me make a difference. Volunteer for my campaign. Donate. Help register voters.
Event: Dessert Bar Fundraiser
Start Time: Thursday, June 24 at 6:00pm
End Time: Thursday, June 24 at 8:00pm
Where: Luzerne County GOP Headquarters.
Perhaps James O'Meara will be serving up a few of these cold babies. From 1966: Jan and Dean.

1966

Miranda v. Arizona: The Supreme Court of the United States rules that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them.....The Vatican abolishes the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (index of banned books).....An Air France personnel strike begins.....CIA chief William Raborn resigns; Richard Helms becomes his successor.………n Pennsylvania politics the month of June is quiet. The Democrats try to bind the wounds of a tough primary between the eventual nominee Milton Shapp and Lackawanna County State Senator Robert Casey. In the meantime Lt. Governor Raymond Shafer put together a top notch team to guide the GOP in the Fall Election…..in Wilkes Barre the city Housing Authority offices moves its offices to 44 West Market Street, the site of the Franklin First Federal Savings and Loan Association. The Authority closes its office on Washington Street…..and 44 years ago this week the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was a two sided hit by the Beatles, “Paperback Writer” and “Rain”


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1211, June 16th, 2010

PHOTO INDEX: OUR "WRITE ON WEDNESDAY" LOGO.


REMEMBERING FRANK


If you were around for the great flood of 1972 here in the Wyoming Valley, you knew there were many heroes who got us through the tough days of that disastrous flood. Congressman Dan Flood, State Community Affairs official William Wilcox and various and sundry locals who worked together to get this area back on its feet. The true architect of the success was a Wyoming Valley native Frank Carlucci who later became Secretary of Defense. In our "Write On Wednesday" feature former award winning reporter and broadcast journalist Kevin Jordon writes about Carlucci and how a guy like him is needed in the current mess in the Gulf.

THE POINT MAN

It's hard to imagine any President taking a page out of Richard Nixon's play book, but President Obama should. With the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico getting worse each day, the federal government is widely perceived as doing little, if anything at all to help residents and businesses affected by the catastrophe. This despite the President visiting the Gulf three times since the disastrous explosion of the New Horizon oil rig. After the June 1972 Agnes Flood, President Richard Nixon visited Northeastern Pennsylvania but once. At the time Agnes was the worst natural disaster in American history. Nixon appointed Frank Carlucci, a native of the Wyoming Valley, as his point man for the recovery. His job, ostensibly, was to cut through the red tape and keep the federal effort on track. Politically, Carlucci's mission was to keep any fallout from hurting Nixon's re-election chances in November of that year. Carlucci, who went on to serve as Defense Secretary and National Security Advisor to President Reagan, is widely acclaimed and given high marks for his efforts. President Obama has been criticized for appointing "czars" to oversee specific parts of his agenda. In this instance however the President should do just that. Appoint a federal czar to take command of the disaster. And if you need advice on how to make this work Mr. President, call Frank Carlucci. He can show you how it's done.
Kevin Jordon's blog "This Just In" can be seen at this link:
http://kevinjjordan.blogspot.com/.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1210, June 15th, 2010

PHOTO INDEX: OUR "SURVEY" LOGO.

LULAC SURVEY

We've been at this for four years now and are ready to take another step in our growth. We'd like our LuLac readers to take some time and answer a few questions about our humble little blog site. We just want to see if we are being truly responsive to our readers. Any suggestions you have, fire away. In the future we'll be doing surveys on races in both Luzerne and Lackawanna County.
Click here to take survey
Note: after you hit SUBMIT, close out of survey page. If not, it will lead you to a n ad page for Survey Monkey.com.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1209, June 14th, 2010


PHOTO INDEX: THE FLAG.

FLAG DAY

A bit of flag waving today.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1208, June 13th, 2010


PHOTO INDEX: OUR "13 QUESTIONS" LOGO.

13 QUESTIONS

1.YOU HAVEN’T SAID ANYTHING ABOUT THIS ARIZONA IMMIGRATION BILL. ANY THOUGHTS?

JUMBLED. FIRST OFF I THINK IT IS DEAD WRONG TO ASK ANYONE FOR THEIR “PAPERS” IN A SOCIETY LIKE OURS. IT CREEPS ME OUT. BUT THAT SAID, WE CAN’T IGNORE THE FACT THAT WE ARE BIG FAT TARGETS FOR TERRORISTS. IT IS LUCK, SKILL AND BY THE GRACE OF GOD THAT PLANS HAVE NOT SUCCEEDED. I’M FOR A NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION CARD. I WOULD HAVE NO PROBLEM SHOWING MY ID IF ASKED IF IT WERE TO PROTECT THE GREATER GOOD. I DON’T THINK POLICE PICK ON PEOPLE JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT. THE ONE THING ABOUT THE ARIZONA LAW IS THAT YOU MUST SHOW ID IF STOPPED. I DON’T THINK THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT. BUT CHECKPOINTS FOR IDENTIFICATION IS SOMETHING THAT BOTHERS ME. I’M ALL OVER THE PLACE ON THIS ISSUE AND HAVE MANY, MANY QUESTIONS. BUT I DO KNOW WE HAVE TO WALK A FINE LINE BETWEEN FREEDOM AND ANNIHILATION BY OUR ENEMIES. I’D RATHER ERR ON THE SIDE OF GIVING AN INDIVIDUAL A BAD DAY RATHER THAN SEEING HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE KILLED. THE GREATER GOOD AND ALL THAT.

2.THERE SEEMS TO BE A LULL IN THE ELECTION CYCLE, IS IT ME OR IS THIS A BORING ELECTION IN PENNSYLVANIA?

MID TERMS OFTEN DON’T GENERATE THE EXCITEMENT THAT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS DO. I THINK THINGS WILL HEAT UP BETWEEN PAT TOOMEY AND JOE SESTAK. IF TOOMEY PAINTS SESTAK AS AN ULTRA LIBERAL, HE CAN REPLICATE RICK SANTORUM’S WIN OVER HARRIS WOLFORD IN 1994. I THINK THOUGH THAT SESTAK IS TOUGH AND ORNERY. SO IT MAY NOT WORK. BUT ONCE THE FOURTH OF JULY COMES AND GOES, WATCH FOR A BUILD UP IN INTEREST.

3.WHATEVER HAPPENED TO “GEORGE” MAGAZINE?

I THINK IT STOPPED PUBLISHING AFTER JFK JUNIOR’S DEATH.

4.YOU SEE TO THINK RICK SANTORUM AS A CHANCE TO BE PRESIDENT. WHY?


HE CAN TAP INTO THE FOLLOWING BASES, THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT, CONSERVATIVES, TEA PARTY PEOPLE AS WELL AS DISAFFECTED DEMOCRATS. HE IS ARTICULATE, GIVES A GREAT PRESENTATION AND CAN TAP INTO THE RESENTMENT THE MIDDLE CLASS FEELS. HE HAS TO STAY AWAY FROM SOME STRANGE COMMENTS AND HAS TO MODERATE SOMEWHAT. BUT YES HE HAS A CHANCE.

5.HAVE YOU EVER CHEWED TOBACCO?

GOD NO. AGAIN KIND OF DOVETAILS INTO THE SMOKING THING, TOO MUCH WORK. I USED TO TALK TO AN OLD MAN IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD AND HE WAS CONTANTLY CHEWING. THE SIDEWALK WHERE HE STOOD AND SPIT IS STILL STAINED BROWN.

6. I RECENTLY SAW A PICTURE OF YOUR GAL GEENA DAVIS. SHE LOOKED LIKE A SLOB AND SEEMS TO HAVE CHUNKED UP? ANY COMMENTS?

I’VE ALWAYS BEEN A FACE MAN. SHE STILL LOOKS GOOD.

7.IF YOU HAD TO LIVE IN ANY OTHER HISTORICAL TIMES WOULD YOU?

NOPE. THE THINGS I HAVE SEEN IN MY LIFETIME ARE TRULY AMAZING. THE LUNAR LANDING, THE CULTURAL SHIFTS, THE PROGRESS IN SOCIAL ISSUES AND TECHNOLOGY. WOULDN’T WANT TO BE ANYWHERE ELSE AT ANY OTHER TIME.

8.OKAY, FAVORITE FEMALE MOVIE STARS OF THE 40s?

MY FATHER LOVED ANNE SHERIDAN BUT I’D HAVE TO GO WITH ANNE RUTHERFORD AND JUDY GARLAND WHEN SHE WAS IN HER EARLY TWENTIES.

9.HAVE YOU BOUGHT A KINDLE YET?

NO BUT MRS. LULAC WHO IS USUALLY 15 YEARS AHEAD OF ME IN TECHNOLOGY GOT THE BARNES AND NOBLE ONE ("THE NOOK") THE OTHER DAY.

10. SPEAKING OF BARNES AND NOBLE, WVIA IS HAVE A DAY THERE
ON FRIDAY FEATURING LOCAL AUTHORS. ARE YOU GOING TO BE THERE?

WASN’T ASKED.

11. WHAT FRUSTRATES YOU THE MOST ABOUT LOCAL POLITICS?

I THINK THE FACT THAT PEOPLE JUST DON’T GET THAT ONCE IN A WHILE YOU HAVE TO VOTE SOMEONE OUT. YOU HAVE TO SEND A MESSAGE. THE KEN SMITH ELECTION IN THE 112TH COMES TO MIND. NICE GUY, SMART GUY BUT YOU HAVE TO PAY YOUR TAXES. THAT’S PRETTY BASIC. AND HE WON RE-ELECTION. SO I JUST DON’T KNOW SOMETIMES.

12. HOW’S YOUR NEXT BOOK COMING?

CLOSE. VERY, VERY CLOSE. I HAVE AMBITIONS TO DO TWO MORE. AS WE GET CLOSER TO PUBLICATION YOU’LL HEAR MORE.

13. I REALIZE THAT IN SOMETHINGS YONKI , A GREAT IDEA COMES OUT OF ONE OF YOUR PERPETUAL SNITS ABOUT SOMETHING OR THE OTHER. I LIKE THE “Y’ DRIVE BECAUSE IT GIVES A LITTLE INSIGHT INTO YOUR LIFE WITHOUT THE FACEBOOK DRIBBLE. THE ARTICLE ABOUT YOUR NEPHEW'S WEDDING WAS GREAT. WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DID YOU GIVE TO YOUR NEPHEW ON HIS WEDDING DAY?

I TOLD HE AND HIS BRIDE TO TREAT EACH OTHER RIGHT AND THAT NO PROBLEM IS TOO BIG TO SOLVE OR NO SIN IS UNFORGIVABLE. THE DAY WAS PRETTY EMOTIONAL FOR ME BECAUSE MY SISTER AND HER HUSBAND DID A GREAT JOB RAISING HIM. SO THAT’S WHAT I TOLD HIM ON HIS WEDDING DAY BUT I THINK THE ADVICE I GAVE HIM WHEN HE HIT 21 KIND OF DOVETAILED INTO HIS ULTIMATE CHOICE IN A MATE. AND THAT WAS DON’T MARRY SOMEBODY YOU THINK MIGHT STAB YOU IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. NOT FLOWERY BUT EFFECTIVE I THINK FOR ANY YOUNG MAN STARTING OUT IN HIS 20S.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1207, June 12th, 2010

PHOTO INDEX: OUR INTERVIEW LOGO.

INTERVIEW

This week the World Cup started. I talked to a young man who grew up playing soccer. Now in his late twenties, here’s what he said about the Cup.
Q: You excited about the World Cup?
A: Yeah I’m going to watch it. Soccer is by definition football without the violence. I like the speed and agility of it all.
Q: When you played as a kid in the local leagues what attracted you to the sport?
A: The speed, the action, the fact that I wasn’t going to get pummeled by a guy ten times my size.
Q: Did you ever have an interest in baseball?
A: Not really. My dad would watch the Series and my high school had a really good team but I never got into it.
Q: Why?
A: The speed. It just went on and on. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the strategy, understand the countless debates about who was the best Center Fielder in 1950s New York baseball, Snider, Mantle or Mays. I get all that but baseball to me and my generation is like one big multiple person chess match. You appreciate the nuances but jeez it takes a long time to get from A to B.
Q: Any comments on the recent flap about the No Hitter?
A: You mean the guy on Mother’s Day?
Editor's Note: Oakland A's Dallas Braden Perfect Game May 9th.
Q: No the recent one with the player in Detroit and the botched call.
Editor's Note: Tigers Vs. Indians, June 2nd, 2010.
A: Wasn’t on my radar.
Q: Who are you rooting for in the World Cup?
A: Well being an American the U.S. of course. But other than that I have no vested interest, I just want to see an exciting match. Editor's Note: England 1, U.S. 1. Final.
Q: That’s what people who follow baseball and when the teams they normally root for aren’t in it, that’s what they say.
A: Oh. Some common ground between the Soccer and baseball world.
Q: Some.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1206, June 11th, 2010





















PHOTO INDEX: OUR 1966 LOGO, STRIP MINING IN NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA CIRCA 1960s, CONGRESSMAN JOE SESTAK, CONGRESSMAN PAUL KANJORSKI AND MAYOR OF HAZLETON LOU BARLETTA.

REPEATING HISTORY

Since my auto accident in 1999, I have had to work in a few jobs that I could not foresee. A few of them promised big things when they moved into the area but the payscale never got past $9.00 an hour and there was an incremental attack on the basic items one expected in a job. One place I worked with had no vacation or Sick Time. You had “paid leave”. One Human Resource flunky used to tell us “that we would be wise to manage our sick time”. Yeah, I’ll have that heart attack on the weekend when its convenient for the company. I saw a clear correlation of the way we worked at the start of the 21st century to the way people worked in the early 1900s. Oh the conditions were better but you still were at the will of the company. They could do to you anything they wanted. Like ship your work to India or Canada, change your salary at will, anything. There are very few companies here that pay a living wage. So in effect we haven’t progressed economically since 1900 if you factor in the cost of living. For those of us who have good paying jobs, we are truly thankful. But you wonder why this area of Northeastern Pennsylvania is constantly catching up. Maybe it’s because we are constantly being conned. That brings me to the latest thing happening here, the big debate about drlling. Big oil companies have come into the area and want to get their hands on Marcellius Shale. In typical Pennsylvania fashion, there are no regulations to make certain that this is going to be safe. A few people have gotten money for their land and got checks of various sizes. Why a State Government system couldn’t be set up for equal pricing and distribution is beyond me. People got their money but are getting brown water. Oil companies have provided water buffaloes for people to use. A local utility company was shocked to learn that there was drilling not more than an eighth of a mile near their water table. When a major company is not made aware of stuff like this you know something is very, very wrong. A few points:
1. The drilling should stop now in Pennsylvania until there is a regulatory body that can oversee what these out of towners are doing.
2. A Moratorium on all work should begin.
3. A negotiating body should be set up to see that the state gets its fair share of money.
4. Fines should be levied for all companies destroying water tables.
5. Assets of the companies need to be seized (ie equipment) of any drilling violators.
I’ve not come to this conclusion lightly. The precious commodity has been in the ground for centuries, waiting another year or two to do it right is not going to make the mineral any more valuable. This area has been used and abused by coal barons who used to throw bodies of dead miners on their front porches after they died in the caves. We’ve had governments and local business leaders who have consistently underpaid and undervalued the workforce for generations. We’ve allowed ourselves to be trampled on. In our feature 1966 I tell you about the clean up that was instituted by the Scranton administration of land fills and strip mines. Strip mines were those things coal companies used to create when they needed an easy buck. Take a bite out of the side of a mountain or pile culm on a big bank and let it sit there for all to admire. There is a reason why we are still known as a dusty coal town and most of that has to do with strip mining. It is time to stop being used. It is time to stop being played a fool. It is time to stop being chumps. When I got my driver’s license my father used to prevail on me to take him for a ride out to Falls. There was a huge spring that had the freshest water in the world. He’d fill up plastic jugs and drink his stash, savoring the crisp clean water. He told me that he was going to enjoy this little pleasure for as long as he could because by the time I was an adult people would have to buy their water in bottles. (I think of that every time I pop open an Aquafina). He also told me that if we weren’t careful we’d have brown water to contend with. He was right. And if we don’t get a hold of this drilling issue, we may not have any water at all. Big business under the guise of giving us a better life has undervalued and underpaid Northeastern Pennsylvania. They took away competitive wages, ruined our mountainsides and now are after our water. For greed. With no thought for the future. It’s time to quit being everybody else’s doormat.

SESTAK IN TOWN

U.S. Senatorial candidate Joe Sestak will be in town on Saturday, June 12, 2010.
Time: 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: Kingston Twp Municipal Building
Street: 180 E Center St
City/Town: Kingston, PA

MEET JAMES IN PLAINS!

James O'Meara will be at the Naked Grape campaigning for State Representative in the 121st District. The Grape is located at 15 North River Street (in the Weis Plaza) Plains, PA Tuesday, June 15: 6PM - 8PM. Pizza and Soda Served.
For more info, contact GOP HQ at 570-208-4671 or call Jim at 570-417-9518.

KANJORSKI ON THE GO

Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11), the Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises, was named as a negotiator for the House-Senate conference committee on H.R. 4173, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The conference committee -- with just 16 core House conferees and 12 Senate conferees -- will work to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions of Wall Street reform bills and reach a final agreement on the historic legislation. “I am honored to be appointed to negotiate a final agreement to reform Wall Street,” said Chairman Kanjorski. “This legislation will require the most sweeping changes of the financial services sector since the Great Depression, and it will affect how bankers, stock brokers, insurance agents, financial advisers, and others do their jobs for decades to come. I am confident that we can work together quickly to reach an agreement for the American people on a bill that will reform how Wall Street operates. I am especially committed to working with my Senate colleagues to convince them to agree to keep my amendment to prevent financial firms from becoming ‘too big to fail’ and prevent future bailouts, which was included in the House-passed version of the bill. Now is the time for action, and I have faith that the Congress can rise to the challenge to pass a strong bill that will better protect Americans living and working on Main Street from the excesses engineered by the financial titans of Wall Street, and I am hopeful that we can enact this legislation in a bipartisan way.”
Chairman Kanjorski won appointment to the conference committee because of his past leadership in reforming Wall Street business practices, including drafting about half of the bills folded into the House-passed package and sponsoring the “too big to fail” amendment to empower federal regulators to rein in and dismantle financial firms that are so large, inter-connected, or risky that their collapse would put at risk the entire American economic system. The Kanjorski amendment builds on the legislation’s other reforms aimed at preventing future bailouts of the financial sector.

GOP HEAVY IN DEEP

According to the Times Leader, A federal magistrate arraigned Elizabeth Sichler on charges she allegedly kept payments that were supposed to go to the sellers of property while she was affiliated with Priority Seach Inc., a defunct Kingston title search company. U.S. Magistrate Malachy Mannion released Sichler of Harveys Lake on her own recognizance and ordered her not to discuss the case with anyone, including family members who might be victims. A hearing is set for July 6. Sichler has been associated with many political campaigns involving the local GOP. It is said that she has been one of the unseen powers behind the throne.

LOU WITH YOU

Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta will have a campaign event coming up. It is a BBQ with Lou!
Start Time: Tuesday, June 22 at 6:00pm
End Time: Tuesday, June 22 at 8:00pm
Where: Damon's Grill (tent parking lot)

RENDELL ON PCN

Governor Ed Rendell will take viewers’ calls on the PCN Call-In Program set to air LIVE on Monday, June 14, beginning at 7:00 p.m. The hour-long program will give viewers an opportunity to talk directly to the Governor by dialing toll-free at 1-877-PA6-5001. Governor Rendell has been a frequent visitor to PCN throughout his terms in office

TOO GOOD LOOKING

This week we came across a video sent from our friend Dr. Joe Leonardi about a woman fired because of her good looks. Take a gander at this story:


AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT


1966

On space mission Gemini 9: Gene Cernan completes the second U.S. spacewalk (2 hours, 7 minutes)............Civil rights activist James Meredith is shot while trying to march across Mississippi.......The State Mines Department sets up three area of Luzerne County for clean up and restoration of strip mines in Hazelron, Jeddo Borough and plains,. Governor Scranton directs the department to begin work by late 1967 after land studies are done to restore the land to its former environs. The Scranton administration will continue its plan to rid State counties of the ravages of strip mining…..in Wilkes Barre Unemployment hovers around 8 percent……and 44 years ago this week the number 1 song in LuLac Land was a song written by Paul Simon, “Red Rubber Ball” by the Cyrkle.