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THE RIGHT TO GRIPE

I had to do it! I had to create a blog so you and I could gripe about all of "The Crap" that we encounter everyday in our lives. Believe me, there is plenty! You can now come to this blog to Gripe because you have the right to do so. Over time, we will Gripe about topics ranging from sports to politics to just about all of the garbage that happens around us. When you Gripe, you can add your name or not. It's your right! You can vent any way you want. Use foul language if you are angry enough to and if you are offended, just Gripe It! Hell, we have been banned from Facebook twice! You can Gripe about people, places and things. The only thing I ask is if you are going to Gripe about someone and you use their name, make sure you have the facts straight or say it's your opinion. Otherwise they will sue your and my ass off! It's your RIGHT TO GRIPE! You can respond to one of our Gripes or you can lay down your own Gripe. It's easy. To post your own Gripe just email it to therighttogripe@hotmail.com and we will get it on. You can also post a Gripe on our Facebook page. Just search The Right To Gripe. If you don't want to write it down, just click on one of the boxes below each Gripe to give your opinion. You can also become an official "Griper". All you need to do is "Sign Up" and create an account. IT'S FREE! So, don't sit back and take it, just GRIPE IT!







Sunday, July 29, 2012

The 2012 Olympic Games - History And The Opening Ceremonies

Every four years, one of the greatest sporting spectacles on planet Earth is held.  An event that unites most of the world to compete in peace and harmony even when wars scar the landscape.  The Olympic Games which were established by the Greeks in and around 776 BC have brought the world together for centuries.  According to legend, it was Heracles who first called the Games "Olympic" and established the custom of holding them every four years.  The Ancient Games featured running events, a pentathlon (consisting of a jumping event, discus and javelin throws, a foot race, and wrestling), boxing, wrestling, pankration (a mix of boxing and wrestling) and equestrian events. Tradition has it that Coroebus, a cook from the city of Elis, was the first Olympic champion.  Go figure, a cook was the first Olympic Champion.  The Games have been held every 4 years with little interruption.  There is a long, long history to the Olympic Games which is much too long to go into here.  Go to Wikipedia for a boat load of Olympic history. 

The 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin were the first Games to be broadcast on television, though only to local audiences.  These were the famous games when Jesse Owens defeated the Nazi runners which infuriated Adolf Hitler.  The 1956 Winter Olympics were the first internationally televised Olympic Games and the following Winter Games had their broadcasting rights sold for the first time to specialized television broadcasting networks when CBS paid $394,000 for the American rights and the EBU, European Broadcasting Union allocated $660,000.  In the following decades the Olympics became one of the ideological fronts of the Cold War. Superpowers jockeyed for political supremacy, and the IOC wanted to take advantage of this heightened interest via the broadcast medium. The sale of broadcast rights enabled the IOC to increase the exposure of the Olympic Games, thereby generating more interest, which in turn created more appeal to advertisers time on television. This cycle allowed the IOC to charge ever-increasing fees for those rights.  For example, CBS paid $375 million for the rights of the 1998 Nagano Games, while NBC spent $3.5 billion for the broadcast rights of all the Olympic Games from 2000 to 2012.

With the innovation of television and networks paying billions of dollars to broadcast the games, the host cities now feel obligated to put on a spectacle like non other for the Opening Ceremonies.  This past Friday, my wife and I rested back into our recliners to watch the show that London, England had put together, a show that cost several million dollars to produce.  We love watching the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games as well as many of the events.  After about 30 minutes into the Opening Ceremonies, we looked at each other and said, "Are You Freakin' Kidding Me"?  What the hell were all those people coming out of the grassy hill?  They were like fire ants pouring out of their ant hill.  At one point I thought the entire population of London was going to come out of that thing.  Then the kicker to what I saw of the ceremonies was the enormous baby doll lying in a bed.  It was creepy and I didn't get it?  I thought it was going to come alive like the giant Stay Puff Man.   Both of us thought the Ceremonies were boring and dull, just like the British themselves.  Only the stinking British could use their health care system as a highlight to their storied history.  Maybe they should have brought Jack The Ripper in to kill some prostitutes.  That would have held my attention.  Let me just say neither one of us made it through to the end because boredom won the battle and sleep set in.  The next day I sat down and thought I would give it another shot since I dozed off the night before.  Again I sat down in the recliner and hit play on the DVR and guess what?  I did not make it through again!  I saw the freaky big baby and then fell asleep in almost the exact same spot.  In fact, I happened to see the kids light the Olympic Flame on a replay during a swimming event.  Being a traditionalist, I was disappointed to see that the Limey Bastards did not use and actual cauldron to house the flame.  They came up with these weird fangled pod things that rose like alien seed pods in the wind.   I still haven't seen Sir Paul McCartney sing at the end.  To sum it up, the Opening Ceremonies rated about a 3 out of 10 on the R2G satisfaction scale.  Let's hope the rest of the games don't rate as low.       

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Penn State - Paterno Family, Shut Up!

The family of Joe "Big Nose" Paterno released a statement yesterday shortly after the NCAA dropped the hammer on Penn State for their role in the Jerry Scumdusky child molestation case.  One of the blows that they dealt stripped Penn State and Paterno of about 110 wins from 1998 to the end of his reign.  In a statement they said,  "Sexual abuse is reprehensible, especially when it involves children, and no one starting with Joe Paterno condones or minimizes it. The horrific acts committed by Jerry Sandusky shock the conscience of every decent human being. How Sandusky was able to get away with his crimes for so long has yet to be fully understood, despite the claims and assertions of the Freeh report.  The release of the Freeh report has triggered an avalanche of vitriol, condemnation and posthumous punishment on Joe Paterno. The NCAA has now become the latest party to accept the report as the final word on the Sandusky scandal. The sanctions announced by the NCAA today defame the legacy and contributions of a great coach and educator without any input from our family or those who knew him best.  The family disagrees with the NCAA's decision to base their penalties, which included voiding 14 seasons of victories for the football team, on the substance of a recent report by former FBI director Louis Freeh".

First off let me say this, "Shut the hell up you naive morons".  Louis Freeh, who by the way was hired by the university to conduct this report had no vested interest in altering or eliminating any evidence in his investigation into this case.  He was the director of the FBI for God's sake!  His team was hired to dig up the facts, nothing more or nothing less.  As for the their comment on how was Scumdusky able to get away with it for so long, wake up you idiots!  He got away with it because the President, Athletic Director and Paterno himself allowed it.  They gave him access to the entire campus even after he was let go from the program.  That's how.  For the Paterno family to still think that "Big Nose" Joe was not at the heart of this cover up is simply delusional.  In their statement, they claim the report and the sanctions handed down by the NCAA "defame the legacy and contributions" of JoePa to the university.  No, I think he took care of that himself when he did not go to the authorities to blow the whistle on "The Sandman".  This family is still trying to hang onto a dream.  To the Paterno Family, who I feel very sad for, I have to say "Shut Up You Freakin' Morons".  You are embarrassing yourselves with these idiotic press releases.    

Monday, July 23, 2012

Penn State - The Hammer Drops

At about 9:00 am this morning, the NCAA swung its mighty hammer and bludgeoned the Penn State football program with unprecedented sanctions.  The announcement which was made by NCAA president Mark Emmert shocked the sports world because the sanctions were so severe.  Here is a listing of each sanction and my opinion on each.

1. A $60 million fine, with the money going to an endowment to benefit the welfare of children.  I could not agree more with this one.  This money will go to good use to raise the awareness of child abuse including sexual abuse.

2.  A reduction in the maximum allowance of scholarships offered to incoming players from 25 to 15 a year for the next four years.  This is a big blow to the PSU football recruiting program.  This will water down the talent that the Nittany Lions are allowed to bring into the college.  I'm not sure about the validity of this penalty since it only hurts the current coach and his players.

3.  Any entering or returning player is free to transfer without restriction (such as sitting out one season). Others can maintain their scholarship at Penn State and choose not to play.  This penalty does soften the blow to Penn State's current players if they chose to leave the program.  I would be shocked to see an exodus of any type and believe that this will strengthen the bond between the current team.  If you have to have sanction 2 then you have to have this one.

4.  A five-year probationary period and the hiring of an academic monitor of the NCAA's choosing and so forth.  You have not heard too much about this one, but it makes sense to me.  This program has fallen so far, so quickly that it will need to be monitored for at least 5 years.  You can't lay the hammer down on a program and then forget about them.

5.  Finally, The vacating of all victories from 1998-2011, which strips Paterno of his title as the winningest coach in college football history (now Grambling's Eddie Robinson) and Division I-A (now Bobby Bowden). Paterno, for the record, loses 111 wins and now ranks 12th with 298.  At first I thought this ruling was totally wrong.  Why strip Paterno of all his wins?  Joe and his team won those games on the field, not back in the showers.  I thought that the molesting of young boys by Jerry Scumdusky had nothing to do with the teams play on the field or did it?  I went under the hood and after further review I think this is somewhat justifiable.  I use the word somewhat.  Stay with me now!  If "Big Nose" Paterno and the other idiots at Penn State had turned Scumdusky in right from the start, he would have been fired, tried and convicted of his crimes.  Scumdusky was one of the best defensive coordinators in college football and the creator of Linebacker U.  Without him, would PSU have won all of those games?  They may have won most, but in my opinion not all therefore gaining advantage which is against NCAA rules.  Also, if someone other than "Big Nose" Joe turned Scumdusky in, would JoePa have survived to save his job?  He was in charge and he dropped the ball.  Hypothetically, he could have been canned therefore resulting in a new coach and possibly less wins.  Its all hypothetical of course.  I am somewhat torn on this one for sure.  I guess the NCAA just couldn't have him on top as the winningest coach of all time.

There you have it.. Overall, the sanctions are fairly just and deserving of a school that lost total control of what was going on with their football program.  Surprisingly, Penn State will not appeal the sanctions. School president Rodney Erickson signed a consent agreement with the NCAA and "accepts the penalties."  I guess he is in no position to debate what has happened.  Now it is time for all the Penn State fans to accept their fate and move forward.  It is not the end of the program, but a road bump to what we all hope are better days ahead.    

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Penn State - Here Comes The Hammer

Just a few minutes ago, Penn State removed the statue of Joe "Big Nose" Paterno from outside it's football stadium and hauled it to an undisclosed and secure location.  In about one hour, the jackhammers had loosened the 900 pound statue and then a forklift wrestled it from its resting spot.  As a sparse crowd gathered to watch a chant of "We Are, Penn State" filled the air as the statue disappeared from sight.  It will be interesting to see what happens when the students come back to campus to start the fall semester.  In a statement, PSU President Rodney Erickson announced, "I now believe that, contrary to is original intention, Coach Paterno's statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our university and beyond," Erickson said in his 592-word statement. "For that reason, I have decided that it is in the best interest of our university and public safety to remove the statue and store it in a secure location."  He also announced that Joe Paterno's name will stay on the library.  He said, "The library remains a tribute to Joe and Sue Paterno's commitment to Penn State's student body and academic success," Erickson said, "and it highlights the positive impacts Coach Paterno had on the university. Thus I feel strongly that the library's name should remain unchanged." 

On a another related story, the NCAA will announce "corrective and punitive measures" for Penn State on Monday morning, it said in a statement, with CBS News reporting the penalties to be "unprecedented," affecting the football program and the school.  NCAA president Mark Emmert will reveal the sanctions Monday at 9 a.m. ET in Indianapolis at the organization's headquarters, the news release said.
"I've never seen anything like it," CBSNews.com reported an unnamed source as saying Sunday morning.  It appears that the NCAA IS going to slam the sledge hammer down onto the heads of Penn State.  If the sanctions are unprecedented it will most likely include the dreaded "Death Penalty" which includes the suspension of football for a year or more.  This may be the end of Nittany Lion football as we know it.  Next on the agenda will be the Big 10 and their decision to toss Penn State out of the conference.  I would guess that this decision will come shortly after the NCAA decision on Monday.
   

Friday, July 20, 2012

Penn State - Paterno Racking Up Losses

In life, Joe "Big Nose" Paterno won more football games than any other coach in NCAA college football history.  He built a historic football program at Penn state University built on hard work, loyalty and honor.  He always made sure 85% or more of his players graduated and earned a college degree.  Over his many years, he placed a boat load of players in the NFL who went on to have long careers.  During his life, JoePa racked up a boat load of wins in more than just football.  However, since his death, "Big Nose" Joe has been on the losing end of almost everything his name is connected with.  Since his death from lung cancer he has racked up more losses than he had in his final season coaching the Nittany Lions football team.

It appears now that many of the organizations that had the Paterno name attached to them are rushing the QB to sack his name.  Paternoville, a tent city outside Beaver Stadium where students camp out for prime football tickets, was scrapped this week in favor of Nittanyville.  Nike took Paterno's name off a child care center on its corporate campus the day the Freeh report was released.  The halo that had floated above Paterno's head in a State College mural was also removed by the artist, who added a blue ribbon in support of child abuse awareness.  This is just a start to what may be a losing season for the former coach.  Still to come are match ups with the Board of Trustees concerning the statue, the Paterno name on the library and the ruling of the NCAA.  It looks like it will be a rebuilding decade for the PSU football program.

Penn State - Should It Stay Or Should It Go

Statue of Joe Paterno
The talk around town these days always seems to gravitate to the statue of Joe "Big Nose" Paterno.  Should it stay or should it go you may be asked?  Of course everyone has their opinion and the people of NEPA are not afraid to give theirs.  The die hard fans of Penn State say keep it up along with a We Are Penn State chant while Nittany Lion haters are quick to say rip it down.  So what will officials out in Beaver County do about this statue?  For now, the PSU Board of Trustees have voted to keep the statue right where it is for now, but may vote again next week on it's final fate.  Students at PSU say they will defend the statue to the end.  Even the sculptor has weighed in with his opinion.  Angelo Di Maria, the creator of the 9,000 pound life size statue of JoePa thinks that everyone should wait to see what everyone thinks 6 months to a year from now.  "All the focus is on the statue right now, but horrible crimes were committed," Di Maria said. "Let's move on away from Joe Paterno. He's gone, he's passed on."  The fact is the Penn State Board Of Trustees has a big decision to make and no matter how they vote, it is going to anger a very large group of people.
    
The Opinion Of R2G
 So, what should they do with the statue of Joe "Big Nose" Paterno?  Well I for one say rip that piece of junk right out of the ground and haul it to the nearest dump.  Every time I see a picture of "Big Nose" Joe and those ugly glasses I think of Jerry Scumdusky and his back door antics around the campus.  I think of how Paterno knew about what was going on and hid the facts from the authorities which allowed more children to be molested.  I see JoePa holding up that number one sign which to me now represents the start of his counting the victims of "The Sandman".  I see "Big Nose" saying I'm number one and no one can touch me.  I rule this program and what I say goes here in Beaver Valley.  I see a man that over a span of many years did some wonderful things for the students and the university, but fumbled the football of life when it counted the most.  In my opinion, the university will remove the statue from in front of the football stadium and relocate it to another spot on campus.  I just can't fathom them leaving it right where it pollutes the public now.   

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Penn State- The Death Penalty

There are lots of things in the wind concerning the state of the Penn State football program.  The NCAA has asked PSU officials  to respond quickly to several questions regarding their "Institutional Control" over the football program from about 1998 to present.  It appears the the university had no control over Joe Paterno and their program especially when it came to player and coach discipline.  On a PBS talk show hosted by Travis Smiley, NCAA President Mark Emmert said, "I've never seen anything as egregious as this in terms of just overall conduct and behavior inside a university and hope never to see it again. What the appropriate penalties are, if there are determinations of violations, we'll have to decide. We'll hold in abeyance all of those decisions until we've actually decided what we want to do with the actual charges should there be any. And I don't want to take anything off the table."  He also noted that this is much more than just a football scandal which leads you to believe that the NCAA may drop the hammer on not just the football program, but the entire school. 

So, what exactly is the "Death Penalty"?  Back in 1987, the NCAA found that Southern Methodist University had made under the table payments from the 1970's right through to 1886.  The violations were so wide spread that the NCAA suspended the SMU football program for the entire 1987 season.  That means no games, no recruiting and no money.  It is a death blow to a major college football program.  SMU opted to sit out the 1988 season because they felt that they could not field a viable team.
  Over the next 20 years, SMU would only have one winning season and did not make a bowl game until 2009.  This has been the only time in history the NCAA suspended a team for an entire season.

Also, The Chronicle For Higher Education reports that an unidentified Big Ten "leader" said the conference could revoke Penn State's membership in the wake of the child sex abuse scandal that has shaken the football program. Currently, the Big Ten's 12-member Council of Presidents and Chancellors must approve any decision to suspend or expel one of the league’s schools.  The Chronicle also reported that the Big 10 has no plan in place should the NCAA deal the "Death Penalty" to the Penn State football program.  It is hard to believe that they do not have a plan in place should the hammer come down in Beaver Valley.  Does this mean that they know something that we don't?  Could it be that PSU will not be dealt the mortal blow?

The question here is should Penn State be dealt this "Death Penalty"?  Many people think that the current student athletes should not be punished for the mistakes of others in the past.  This argument does have some validity, however if we all thought this way no punishments would be handed down.  I think it is time the NCAA grew a set and drop the hammer on Penn State.  Big Nose Paterno ran this football program like the secret society of the Free Masons.  He knew about what Scumdusky was doing to those young boys and decided to turn his head for the sake of the program.  It appears that he also convinced the college officials to turn their heads as well.  This "locker room" mentality has led to what may be the end of what JoePa cherished the most.  I would say he committed the ultimate Paternover in the end zone of life.     

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Guest Gripe - The Olympic Outfits

One of our long time Gripers checked in with this Gripe on the U.S. Olympians Clothing.

My friends...my 1st GRIPE in a LONG time,but 1 THAT MUST be MADE...JUST found out that our Olympic teams ENTIRE outfit for the Opening Ceremony was MADE in...GUESS WHERE??THIS is OUTRAGEOUS...I'm ACRIMONIOUS!!!I say BURN them ALL & RUSH thru NEW 1's MADE in the USA,like the REST of our TEAM!!

Penn State - The Freeh Report

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh
This week, the hammer came down yet again on the head of Penn State University.  The PSU Board of Trustee's paid millions of dollars to have former FBI Director Louis Freeh to investigate into exactly what was happening since the mid 1990's with Jerry "The Sandman" Sandusky and the rest of the people allegedly involved with the cover up of the rape of several children.  What the Board got was a 267 page kick in the teeth.  What he uncovered was that Joe Paterno and other top Penn State officials hushed up child sex abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky more than a decade ago for fear of bad publicity, allowing Sandusky to prey on other youngsters, according to a scathing internal report issued Thursday on the scandal.  Freeh reported, "Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State," said Louis Freeh, the former director of the FBI who was hired by university trustees to look into what has become one of sports' biggest scandals. "The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized."  Freeh called the officials' disregard for child victims "callous and shocking."  "In order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at the university -- Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley -- repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse," the report said.
Paterno "was an integral part of this active decision to conceal,"  Freeh said at a news conference.

Scumdusky and Big Nose Paterno
Now, for all of you Penn State fans that are still screaming that Big Nose Paterno got hosed when they sent him packing, read this.  Asked directly if Paterno's firing last fall was justified, Freeh answered, "Yes."  It appears that several high ranking PSU officials including Paterno knew about what Sandusky was doing to the young boys and decided to turn a blind eye to it in fear of the bad publicity it may bring to the school.  It also appears that "Big Nose Joe" was the lead character in covering up all of the horrors.   Spanier, Schultz and Curley drew up a plan that called for reporting Sandusky to the state Department of Child Welfare. But Curley later said in an email that he changed his mind about the plan "after giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe."  This to me stinks of Paterno pressuring Sapnier to not report it to authorities.  Also, these PSU officials allowed Scumdusky to retire in 1999 not in disgrace, but with an unprecedented $168,000 retirement package and a full reign to the campus which allowed him to groom more victims over the next several years.

Actual hand written letter.
I could go on and on and on about these horrors which were uncovered by the Freeh Report.  The sad fact is Joe Paterno was a cover-up specialist.  He was a low life scum bag who wielded a mighty wand of power over Penn State University and he used it for his own gain.  He was the mastermind of what is the biggest cover up of a crime in college history.  For all of you "Big Nose Joe" fans all I have to say is wake up and smell the coffee.  This includes Paterno's son Jay who said,  "They took some of the facts that they had and where they didn't have facts to support some of the conclusions, they came to what they call reasonable conclusions. There's some things here that still have to be resolved with sworn testimony, which is a much higher bar and a much higher burden of proof than an investigation like this".  ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME!  He could only hope that this thing does not go to sworn testimony because if it does, they may end up digging up his old man's rotting carcass and putting "IT" on trial along with all of the others.  They should also take a bull dozier and rip that idiotic statue of Paterno right out of the ground.  It now represents a total failure of a human being.  Every time people see that statue they will think, "Boy did he screw up"!  I know all of you PSU fans will respond with, "But he did so many good things in his life".  Yes, he did but the fact remains that this one atrocious failure will mark his legacy forever.        
      
 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ca-No Royal Treatment

On Monday night, Kansas City Royals fans showed us just how frustrated they are.  During the Home Run Derby, they booed Yankee's 2nd baseman and American League HR Derby Captain Robinson Cano because he did not pick Royal Billy Butler to participate in the event.  It was upsetting to see and hear the folks from KC boo who may be the best 2nd baseman in the game just because he omitted Butler from the lineup.  They also cheered when Cano would get an out during the contest which highly upset his father who was pitching to him for the second straight year.  Frankly, Billy Boo Butler didn't belong in the contest.  As of the All Star break, Butler has hit 16 home runs compared to Cano's picks of Jose Batista (27 HR's), Mark Trumbo (22 HR's) and Price Fielder (15 HR's).  In fact Cano himself, last years Home Run Derby Champ has hit 20 so far this year.  You may be able to make a case for Butler instead of Fielder, but it won't stand up since Price won the event.  Cano picked a team that he thought had a chance to win the whole thing and Butler did not fit into the mix.  In fact, Cano's three picks finished 1, 2 and 3 in the Derby.  It appears that he chose wisely.

I think one of the major issues here is that fans of the KC Royals are just totally frustrated with their franchise.  The Royals just plain SUCK!  Since the last time they won the World Series in 1985, the Royals overall record has been 1907 wins and 2400 losses.  Between 2002 and 2006, they lost 489 games and had an average winning percentage of only .396.  They have been the door mat of the American League for many years now and their fans cannot take much more.  In fact, the KC fans hate the Yankees and Robinson Cano was the lightning rod for their venom.  Back in the late 70's and early 80's, the Evil Empire knocked the Royals out of the playoffs numerous times.  During the same span of time that the Royals were losing at an incredible clip, the Yankees had 2495 wins and lost 1890.  A total opposite image of the hapless Royals.

What really bothered me the most about the Home Run Derby was that Billy Butler, who was on the field, never stood up to ask the fans to stop booing.  A true class act would have gotten up and gestured for the fans to stop.  For this one day, he and Cano were teammates with a common goal, to defeat the National League.  This alone showed that Billy Bob Butler is a gutless sack of crap, another reason he did not belong in the HR Derby.  I would suspect that this show of low brow fan mentality will not go unnoticed by the Yankees and their fans when they play the Royals in the future.  As we all know, New York fans can show a lowness of class lower than anyone else.  My guess will be that they will boo Billy Butler and chant ROB-IN-SON.                 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fuel Gate 2012

I have given this Wilkes-Barre fuel thing a name and it is Fuel Gate 2012.  It appears that the City of Wilkes-Barre is in deep you know what because of this missing fuel issue.  The state Department of Revenue has now asked the city to turn over their documentation because they cannot account for about 18,000 gallons of fuel.  City residents Karen Ceppa Hirko and Bob Kadluboski asked the Department of Revenue to investigate this mess after The Times Leader broke the story.  Now first off, never trust a woman with three names.  They are very dangerous.  Secondly, doesn't it figure that this moron Kadluboski would be in this mix.  The self proclaimed towing watch dog has also filed a complaint with the county District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis to investigate Mayor Leighton and other unknown city officials for allegedly stealing fuel.  On Thursday, the state DEA filed a notice of violation against the city for failing to keep records relating to leak tests of the tanks and pipes located at the city DPW.  It is a state mandate that all entities that get tax free fuel are required to maintain documents that show the fuel was used for official purposes only.  If the records are not kept, the fuel would be considered used for non official business and the state could seek to recoup these taxes at 31.2 cents per gallon for regular fuel and 38.1 cents for diesel..  If you do the math, the city would have to pay $3201.12 in taxes for the regular fuel and $2903.22 for the diesel.  That's a total of $6104.34.  Also, the state was asked by Karen Ceppa Hirko to investigate how the city spends it's state Liquid Fuel Funds.  These funds are provided to municipality's through the taxation of fuels throughout the state.  I can tell you that if Wilkes-Barre lost or had to pay back this Liquid Fuel Funds they would be in "Big Trouble In Little China"!

My take on Fuel Gate is that this fuel was used for non official business by several people in city government including the mayor.  If this is true, they should all be brought up on legal chargers, tried for theft of city property and booted fro their positions if found guilty.  My guess is that this theft has been going on for a long time.  These people think that because they are elected or work for the local governments they can do anything they want.  The fact is they are stealing from "We The People" and we are not going to take this anymore.  It's time for these political jug heads to be held accountable to the people who rely on them to govern their city, state and federal governments.  Things have gotten out of control and it's time for us to reel our government back in.  It will be like reeling in a blue whale, but if enough people help, even a blue whale can be brought in.  I for one am sick and tired of these people picking my pocket for more tax money and then spending my hard earned dollars on themselves.  Maybe we should start loping of a hand or two when they get it caught in the cookie jar.   

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th Of July

On this day, we celebrate our nations independence.  The day we officially became a nation, no more British, no more taxation without representation, no more king or queen to tell us what to do.  As I sit here listening to Don McLean's American Pie, I can't help but to think about our troops all around the world.  I especially think about one soldier who spent a year in Iraq where she sustained a back injury in the line of duty.  This soldier since returning home has gotten nothing but a run around from the V.A. in treating this injury.  While performing her duties, she herniated a disc and also sustained 2 bulging disc's in her lower vertebrae.  The V.A. doctors have delayed for almost 2 years now in any type of permanent treatment to relieve the pain and numbness that radiates down her legs.  These pin heads have given her pain killers and muscle relaxers, but like myself she does not really want to be doped up all day and night.  The doctors have prescribed multiple rounds of physical therapy which has not relieved any of the pain.  It would appear that the next logical step would be surgery.  Believe me I know, I went through this entire process with bulging disc's in my back.  However, the brain surgeons up at the V.A. will not take the next step to prescribe surgery stating that she is "too young".  WHAT!  WHAT!  ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME!  To young?  I never heard of anything so ridiculous!  This former soldier is in her late 20's is in my opinion a perfect candidate for spinal surgery.  Why would you wait until you are older and less likely to recover correctly.  Young people are stronger and more apt to fully recover from this type of surgery.  Why the doctors at the V.A. won't take this next step is beyond me.

After hearing about how this soldier is being treated I just wonder if all our other injured troops are being given the run around on treatment?  My guess would be YES!  These people in most cases volunteer to serve our great nation by putting their lives on the line in some god forsaken country overseas.  The least out government can do is properly treat them for any injuries they get while serving.  Instead, it appears that they get nothing but the run around and they deserve better.  For this particular soldier I say lets get the surgery scheduled so she can get back to leading a normal life.  Stop screwing around with pain killers and muscle relaxers.  Being all hopped up on this crap is no way to live.  Believe me I know.  I went through it.  I also know what this soldier is going through because I speak with her almost every day.  She is my daughter.  She volunteered to go to Iraq and for that I give her all of the credit in the world.  So on this 4th of July, don't just think about fire works and patriotic songs.  Think about our troops overseas as well as our troops who are now home.  Think of the troops who put their lives on the line for our freedom.  Think about the founding fathers and the patriots who also volunteered to fight the tyranny of the British.  If they didn't take up arms to rebel, we would not be celebrating our independence today.    

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Who Has Gas?

WB DPW Gas Pumps
It was reported this week that the city of Wilkes-Barre is missing 17,880 gallons of fuel.  Someone or a few some one's have absconded 7,600 gallons of diesel fuel and 10, 260 gallons of regular petrol.  Based on the average price of fuel here on the East Coast, the total dollar amount of fuel pilfered is around $61,620.  No wonder the city is broke!  Now call me cynical, but didn't the city have any type of system in place to keep track of their fuel?  The answer is they do, but no one is following the procedure!  Neither Mayor Tom Leighton or DPW head Ken Pahler have filled out the log that indicates how much fuel they are taking.  Of course, this does not surprise me on bit.  In the story published in The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre officials were startled to find out about the missing fuel.  Startled!  Startled!  ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME!  Why would they be surprised since the top dogs of the city are not adhering to the tracking system that is in place.  The mayor and other city officials tap the city gas station when the use their cars for official city business.  My guess is they are tapping it for more than that.

WB Mayor Tom Lehighton
If you have ever driven by the city DPW on North Pennsylvania, you will rarely see any life there, especially by the wide open gas pumps.  In fact, there is a sign posted by the pumps that says Self Service.  So, who is stealing the fuel?  My guess would be just about everyone that works for the Wilkes-Barre DPW.  It might even be people pulling in off of the street to fill up.  As you all know, I am a fan of Mayor Leighton but c'mon Tom, follow the rules.  You are supposed to rule the city by example and just taking the gas without logging it in is wrong.  If it wasn't for The Times Leader, this theft would have continued to go on unnoticed.  When the TL notified city officials, they said that they would have to investigate further and then take corrective action.  I wonder if the corrective action will include filing theft charges against themselves.  This is just another example of the type of "free and easy" government that we have around here.