FEAR AND LOATHING (AND LACK OF HISTORY) IN BENTON
After eight years of writing this blog/site and now short of 2680 editions, people still ask me how I can write about something every single day. Truth be told there are days when “I got nuthin”. In the past on days like that I would panic. What if I had a writer’s block that might last a year? What if the LuLac tank was empty?
Experience has taught me that just when “I got nuthin’”, some incredibly ignorant and stunning part of Luzerne or Lackawanna County politics or pop culture will arrive at my keyboard and like Superman save the day.
It happened again last night as I was doing a proposal for my real job, slugging down a Black Cherry Diet Jones Zilch soda with my 15 year old dog snoozing at my feet.
Then like a bolt from the blue comes WBRE’s Eyewitness News at 11 with a story from Anchor/Reporter Sharon Gaeta who visited the sleepy little hollow of Benton. Seems a resident put up a billboard with photos of Russian Dictator Joseph Stalin, that old German rascal ‘Dolph Hitler and our own President Barack Obama. A guy named Gary Mack wanted to make the point that he thinks Mr. Obama is a dictator. I’ve been through Benton and noticed there were satellite dishes on roofs so surely the word must have reached this little hamlet that Barack Obama was elected President not once but twice. But I digress.
Look, in America everyone is entitled to an opinion. And everyone is certainly entitled to be an idiot expressing that opinion. The signs that are on Gary Mack’s properties reflect more on his character than anyone else’s.
What is truly disturbing are some of the comments I heard (then saw, thank God for the magic of a DVD) from a woman who told the news person that “We have to take our country back”. Again, I ask the question, “Taking the country back from exactly what?’ When Gaeta and her videographer traveled from the station in Wilkes Barre to Benton, were they stopped at the border of Kingston and Edwardsville? Was their vehicle inspected and searched? I don’t think so.
Stalin was responsible for the suppression of freedom in Russia. He was so dangerous and onerous a dictator that even subsequent Russian regimes have shunned him. Hitler of course never bothered with the media because he had most of them killed and had his own propaganda machine in full gear. Georgian historian Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev estimated in 1989 that Stalin was responsible for the death of 20 million civilians in addition to 20 million military people. Hitler is a piker with under 8 million deaths attributed to his regime. I’m bringing this to your attention because the billboard asks rhetorically “Is there any difference”?
I’d say yes given who Stalin and Hitler were as leaders. But in this country, in these times, we don’t reference the historical accuracy of even our attacks. And from my perspective that’s a good thing because it only makes those making the comments utterly stupid and ignorant.
A man Gaeta interviewed said that he felt the message was too harsh which gives me solace that there are a few sensible people in Benton. When WBRE’s Sharon Gaeta tried to contact Lou Ward, he was not available for comment. Actually he never showed up for the interview with the WBRE staffer. Probably found out she could read and maybe that threw him. They say Ward has a right to express his opinion. Good. I too do. Turns out Lou Ward is a coward and a bully. Like any good news story, the man and his message (which he did not defend) were exposed.
After that story…..I was off and running, here’s the rest of LuLac.
OUT OF TOWN JASPER PREVAILS
Hit and run victim Meghan Shaungnessey. (Photo:Times Leader).
So out of town Judge Charlie Brown found the daughter of a prominent Luzerne County Attorney “not guilty” in the hit and run death of a pedestrian a few years back. The Judge ruled the defendant not guilty even though she left the scene of an accident, returned 12 hours later and did not offer assistance to the person she hit. When I was involved in a legal civil proceeding a few years back for a motor vehicle accident, I asked my lawyer about the option for a bench trial. And I was told, “Only special cases and special lawyers get bench trials”. Mmmm, if this were you, regular LuLac reader, you think you’d get a bench trial?
Leaving the scene of an accident calls for a 90 day mandatory sentence that a Judge cannot reduce or change. There’s the reason for the verdict. Just my opinion. In the meantime, if you are not happy with this latest manifestation of “Just Us” in Luzerne County, write a letter to the Judicial Conduct Board. The reason? Not following mandatory sentencing guidelines. Oh but wait, you can’t sentence if one finds the person not guilty. Write the Board anyway, they know our corrupt address by heart. Here’s the link:http://judicialconductboardofpa.org/
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
BENGHAZI SUSPECT ARRESTED
Ahmed Abu Khattala. (Photo:CNN.com)
The same incompetent, careless, reckless, unfeeling administration that caused the death of 4 Americans at an American Embassy in Benghazi in 2012 (so say the GOP right wingers), captured a prime suspect in the case. Ansar al-Sharia's commander Ahmed Abu Khattala, was captured Sunday during a joint U.S. military and law enforcement operation, and will face prosecution in the United States. President Obama signed off on the mission last weekend. Uh the same President who tracked down, captured and killed Osama Bin Laden. The criminal is headed toward justice…but not before another 13 subcommittee meetings of caterwauling right wing zealots in Congress who only want to destroy this President and this country. The nuts are even saying the suspect was caught to diffuse and deflect the situation in Iraq. Silly, silly boys.
JUDGE HUGHES SET FOR 4th of JULY MONUMENT CEREMONY
Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge Richard M. Hughes, III, will be the keynote speaker at the 236th anniversary ceremony of the Battle and Massacre of Wyoming, on July 4, at 10 a.m. at the Wyoming Monument National Historic Site, Wyoming Avenue, Wyoming.
THE CORBETT CONUNDRUM
Governor Tom Corbett and his party are really facing some tough questions from voters this fall regarding his fiscal management. Corbett ran in 2010 as the tough fiscal Conservative that was going to right the ship of state in the Commonwealth. With a GOP majority in the House and Senate, Corbett, you’d think would get his way on just about everything. But that didn’t happen with liquor privatization as well as pension reform.
Now as we inch toward the Pennsylvania Budget deadline, Corbett who prided himself on meeting every deadline with a balanced budget just might fall short this year. Plus there is a budget gap in the millions and the Governor who eschewed taxes at every turn just might have to sign a bill crafted by his party’s legislators to raise taxes. In an election year. That’s not good for an incumbent already on thin ice.
ECTV Live Hosts David DeCosmo and Rusty Fender will welcome a representative from the Pennsylvania Fish Commission to the program during the week of June 23rd to discuss the Family Fishing Program which' will be offered at Lackawanna State Park. They'll also be talking about the sport and its attraction throughout the state. ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Ch19 at Noon and Midnight throughout the week.
BOLD GOLD COMMUNITY FORUM
This Week on Sunday Magazine.
An encore of Brian Hughes' interview with Vera & Harry Krewson and Arleen Mudrak, who discuss Myastenia Gravis. June is Myastenia Gravis Awareness Month.On Wednesday June 25th from 11am to 1pm, there will be an MG Information Day at Geisinger Wyoming Valley, Plains.
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Michelle Quinn from HKQ about their annual free bike helmet giveaway for kids at Kirby Park in Wilkes Barre on the Fourth of July.
Brian speaks with Dr. Mailan Han and Scott Cerreta about COPD.An encore of Brian's interview with Terri Stocki from Consumer Credit Counseling Services about their upcoming Home Program.
And Brian speaks with money guru Lynette Cox about the family car budget during the Summer months.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday mornings at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93, and 7am on Good Times Oldies 590, WARM.
SUE HENRY’S SPECIAL EDITION
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!”
KAREL ON THE STREET
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.
Our 1974 logo.
The Brisbane river floods large areas of the Brisbane business district and more than 8,500 homes were flooded in Brisbane and Ipswich…..in the United States people seem to be adjusting to the 55 mph speed limit imposed by the government in reaction to the energy crisis………..in Pennsylvania Governor Milton Shapp keeps lines of communication open with Independent truckers who were plagued by violence earlier in the year in the state……..in Luzerne County Senator Martin L. Murray makes the rounds of high school graduations as well as summer events as he campaigns for another term in the State Senate. Murray has become a confidant of the Shapp administration and forty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was a ballad by Russell Tompkins Junior and the Stylistics called “You Make Me Feel Brand New”.