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Preview: The Blue Lagoon By Justina Ireland

The Blue Lagoon By Justina Ireland



Observations and musings of Central Pa. news by a Harrisburg resident



Last Build Date: Mon, 06 Aug 2007 20:38:13 UTC

Copyright: Copyright 2015
 



Adventures in Letters to the Editor

Mon, 06 Aug 2007 20:35:17 UTC

2007-08-06T20:38:13Z

I used to be horrified by the Letters to the Editor in the Patriot News. Now I am highly amused. I guess it is true that comedy is just tragedy greatly exaggerated. So now every once in a while I'm going to filter out some of the more amusing letters to the editor and let you read them, since you...

I used to be horrified by the Letters to the Editor in the Patriot News. Now I am highly amused. I guess it is true that comedy is just tragedy greatly exaggerated. So now every once in a while I'm going to filter out some of the more amusing letters to the editor and let you read them, since you have nothing else to do.

Enjoy.

(BTW, all of these are sourced from www.pennlive.com I couldn't make these up)

 


 


Monday, August 06, 2007


Four friends and I went to see the Oyster Mill Playhouse production of Footloose on July 21. The show was well staged and the cast was talented and energetic. However, my friends and I were appalled by some of the vulgarity exhibited in the show.

One friend had brought an adolescent foster child and she left with her at intermission. There was no warning that this production was not family-friendly and many of the cast members are relatively young -- from age 13 up.

Some of us had seen a production of the same show staged by Twin Valley Players just last summer. There was no vulgar gesturing. We assumed that OMP's production would be the same.

I addressed this with the director at intermission and was informed that the director did not see any problem. Unfortunately, most people are so desensitized by the immorality in our television and movies, that it no longer fazes them.

We found it to be offensive, especially for the young teens in the show. We like to support local theater productions, but in the future will be wary of getting more than we bargained for.

-- NANCY MOFFATT, Lower Paxton Twp.


Continue reading the entry...




Sympathy for the Stateworker

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 20:24:01 UTC

2007-07-09T20:31:39Z

I know I am going to get a myriad of evil hate mail for saying this but I'm going to put it out there...I don't feel sorry for the furloughed state workers. Not a bit. Everywhere I went around my office today (since some of the folks who work here are state workers) there was talk of this person getting...

I know I am going to get a myriad of evil hate mail for saying this but I'm going to put it out there...I don't feel sorry for the furloughed state workers.

Not a bit.

Everywhere I went around my office today (since some of the folks who work here are state workers) there was talk of this person getting furloughed and that office being closed. Somehow, I must have missed where this is a statewide tragedy and not just another issue of bad planning at many levels.(image)

Because that is what is at the heart of this...bad planning. Bad planning on the part of politicians, who thought they were going to be able to bully their pet spending bills (or lack thereof) through a bicameral legislature. Lack of planning on the part of the general public, people who knew that they needed to renew their driver's licenses and should have done so weeks ago. And lack of planning on the part of the state workers who live paycheck to paycheck (and ostensibly beyond their means if a couple days of lost pay is going to ruin them financially).

Continue reading...




Great Idea

Tue, 03 Jul 2007 20:56:40 UTC

2007-07-03T20:58:30Z

After a band performing downtown got mugged and pistol whipped on Sunday local rabble rouser and business man Jason Smith came up with this great idea (courtesy of pennlive forums and JerseyMike):

After a band performing downtown got mugged and pistol whipped on Sunday local rabble rouser and business man Jason Smith came up with this great idea (courtesy of pennlive forums and JerseyMike):

Operation: Play It Safe
Proposal to Curb Restaurant Row-Related Crime


Observing that illegal parking, insufficient proactive policing, and inadequate sharing of information with the public has allowed crime to flourish on Restaurant Row, I propose the following six actions.


1. Extend hours of downtown meters to 7PM. Extend hours to include weekends. Use increased revenues for police.


2. Tow illegally parked cars on sidewalks in alleyways on first offense. Create after-hours surcharge for late night towing (Midnight-6 AM)


3. Increase foot patrols on secondary alleyways and main thoroughfares. Consider use of Segways (cheaper than horses, more immediate than cars, pedestrian friendly). This proactive response would work in concert with with car-based, reactive response.


4. Enforce drunk driving laws before somebody gets killed.


5. Place large trash cans on Restaurant Row. Sell advertising on the cans and also use the ad space to promote Operation: Play It Safe (described next).


6. Initiate public information campaign to let public know about trends and how to "Play it Safe" downtown. Encourage use of parking garages, warn of stiff penalties for illegal parking on side-streets, warn of random DUI stops and encourage designated drivers.


Funding for this program could likely be generated from the program itself.


Finally, we must as a city ensure that increased revenues through a thriving downtown find their way to enhance policing city-wide. Said policing to include proactive policing including a network of substations. In this way, investment in downtown will have a positive effect on under-serviced neighborhoods.



The name's kind of lame, personally I'd call it "Operation Don't Be a Drunken Asshole When You Come the HBG and Try to Get Your Swerve On", but that's just me.




Translation, Please?

Tue, 03 Jul 2007 10:54:00 UTC

2007-07-03T10:56:02Z

This morning the P-News posted that the city is filing TWO separate actions to try and find a way to bail ourselves out of this incinerator mess. One by Mayor Reed, another being led by Dan Miller of City Council. Each is a way for the city to try and avoid the inevitable, but I'm pretty sure that Bankruptcy Watch...

This morning the P-News posted that the city is filing TWO separate actions to try and find a way to bail ourselves out of this incinerator mess. One by Mayor Reed, another being led by Dan Miller of City Council.

Each is a way for the city to try and avoid the inevitable, but I'm pretty sure that Bankruptcy Watch 2007 will have it's day. That aside, what were the city's leaders really saying in their quotes in the article?


Mayor Reed

What he said: "I have no prior experience with this...Harrisburg has never needed to apply for such a state grant nor has it asked for state assistance for any deficit in the past. But we have a problem that exceeds our local capacity to deal with."

What he meant: Commerce Bank isn't returning my calls. I was going to file for a couple of loans like I would have done in the past but it looks like City Council isn't biting and the Authority's credit line is all maxed out.

Dan Miller

What he said: "It's about fiscal responsibility. I believe we are in bad shape. In my opinion, Harrisburg is a financially distressed city. We have a tremendous debt burden on top of us. We need a comprehensive plan. We've got to reduce the debt load."

Continue Reading...




Jesus is My Investment Banker

Mon, 02 Jul 2007 13:24:25 UTC

2007-07-02T13:27:57Z

Today the P-News gave us a great editorial stating how it was inevitable that for the incinerator to succeed the City Council and Dauphin County would have to take out more loans. I don't necessarily see how this will lead us to "success" (success being defined as somewhere between breaking even and being a few million in debt) since a...

(image) Today the P-News gave us a great editorial stating how it was inevitable that for the incinerator to succeed the City Council and Dauphin County would have to take out more loans. I don't necessarily see how this will lead us to "success" (success being defined as somewhere between breaking even and being a few million in debt) since a lot of the conditions that need to be met seem a little...optimistic. For example, how many times can you raise trash fees before an already impoverished populace is forced to move further out of the city (or more likely just not pay their city bills)?

Regardless, there is one passage that stuck in my mind, and had me rereading the entire article to be sure I got it right:

The consultant's report was part of an overall review of the incinerator by the Orlando-based ZHA international consulting team, which was recruited by local ministers concerned about the implications of the incinerator debt on Harrisburg's future.

What?!?

Continue reading entry...




Mayor Reed's Legacy

Sun, 01 Jul 2007 14:12:24 UTC

2007-07-01T16:39:31Z

This weekend I found myself in the unenviable position of being in downtown HBG in a completely sober state. Due to my current delicate condition alcohol consumption is not advised and so I went to Stock's to partake in the delightful musical stylings of Oba Oba and the sampling of some iced tea..

This weekend I found myself in the unenviable position of being in downtown HBG in a completely sober state. Due to my current delicate condition alcohol consumption is not advised and so I went to Stock's to partake in the delightful musical stylings of Oba Oba and the sampling of some iced tea..

While out I saw several sets of friends I hadn't hung out with in a while. Of course I was talked into accompanying them as they proceeded to sample the best in beer from HBG's bars and I sampled the best in non-alcoholic fizzy beverages. Ah, you can never have too many Shirley Temples.

Continue reading entry...




And So, It Begins!

Wed, 27 Jun 2007 10:51:04 UTC

2007-06-27T10:53:28Z

Ah, thanks to this great piece by Jersey Mike and this less informative one by John Luciew the people of HBG can determine two things:

Ah, thanks to this great piece by Jersey Mike and this less informative one by John Luciew the people of HBG can determine two things:

One: Matthew Coulter, Randy King's replacement, is either the dumbest man in America or the bravest. Who else would jump into a sea of rapidly mounting debt and try to save a drowning man? This is akin to jumping into a sea of sharks to save a man with arterial bleeding. Not a good idea. Don't know the guy, but does he really think Randy King left after twenty odd years because he wanted to be on the school board? Please.

Two: Bankruptcy is quickly approaching like an Olympic sprinter on crack. Oh yeah. Not only is the Covanta deal that was originally going to cost us ten million, twenty million, thirty million now going to cost us forty-seven million but the Senators franchise, supposedly the only thing in HBG that was making money, has been consistently losing money since day one. Is anyone really surprised? Look at the stadium on a given game night, it's rarely (if ever) full.

So what can City Council learn out of all this mess? To let it go. Let bankruptcy, and eventually receivership , come to HBG. If we file for bankruptcy, so will the county. You will see twenty plus years of dirty dealings and questionable accounting come floating out into the open. And politicans running from HBG as quickly as their little feet can carry them.

BTW, if this tidbit about the clergy is true I have to agree with many of the pennlive posters that the clergy should take their scriptures and butt out. First, churches haven't had the greatest record with fiscal responsibility. Second, everyone knows that faith has no place in government, just like logic has no place in religion.

And remember to check the Bankruptcy Watch page for the latest in the steps to financial ruin.




Too Tired to Be Clever

Tue, 26 Jun 2007 11:26:36 UTC

2007-06-26T11:29:34Z

If you would like to know why, it's fully laid out at my new blog on wordpress: http://dabluelagoon.wordpress.com/ Otherwise, here are some tasty links for you to savor. http://www.pennlive.com/forums/harrisburg/index.ssf?artid=20382 http://jerseymike.org/?p=206 http://www.pennlive.com/forums/harrisburg/?initial=true Enjoy!

If you would like to know why, it's fully laid out at my new blog on wordpress:

http://dabluelagoon.wordpress.com/

Otherwise, here are some tasty links for you to savor.

http://www.pennlive.com/forums/harrisburg/index.ssf?artid=20382

http://jerseymike.org/?p=206

http://www.pennlive.com/forums/harrisburg/?initial=true

Enjoy!




Bankruptcy Watch, 2007!

Fri, 22 Jun 2007 17:06:44 UTC

2007-06-22T19:25:31Z

We've all seen a friend of ours fall into ruin. You know, that guy/gal you used to go the bars with on the weekend. The party girl who could really "handle her liquor". The guy who seemed to have everyone in town's phone number, and could plan a party with a single text message. Maybe you worked with them, maybe...

We've all seen a friend of ours fall into ruin. You know, that guy/gal you used to go the bars with on the weekend. The party girl who could really "handle her liquor". The guy who seemed to have everyone in town's phone number, and could plan a party with a single text message. Maybe you worked with them, maybe you went to school with them. All of a sudden one day security is cleaning out their office because the bottom of the bottle was more interesting than anything else, or they haven't come to classes because they are working double shifts at a strip club and drinking to fill in the time in between. Suddenly you wondered how you missed the signs. The drinking every night of the week. The sex with REALLY ugly guys. The drinking of a beer bottle that had been used as an ashtray. You realize you have just seen someone slide their way to rock bottom. And it's tragic. Sniff.

But when it happens to a city it's just entertaining!

(image) We ain't got no money!

That's why I am officially starting Bankruptcy Watch 2007. C'mon! You know it's coming! So why not sit back and start placing bets on when the city will officially file bankruptcy over the lamprey that is the incinerator (not that I condone gambling, because that is illegal)? Will it be after the court decision for the recount? Will it be before the election in the Fall? Or will it be just in time for Christmas, when we are preoccupied with getting Transformers toys for the ungrateful brats in our lives and our rapidly expanding backsides? Ohhh, I don't know, but the potential is great!

And if we somehow manage to escape bankruptcy this year? Well, there's always 2008!

Since this site has limited capabilities for a ticker, you can track the excitement daily at dabluelagoon.wordpress.com (all right, Jersey, get off my back now!). I'll be posting all of the blogs I post here plus some added content to make the extra mouse click worth your while.

Here's to the city's fall into ruin! I officially announce the start of BW07!

View the ticker here.




Spectacularly Bad Ideas

Thu, 21 Jun 2007 11:26:19 UTC

2007-06-21T12:18:26Z

At what point does a really, really bad idea become a good one? I've been thinking about his for a while now, and it's actually hard to pin point the exact moment where a ridiculously bad idea begins to sound like something good. How does this happen? Is it the use of clever catch phrases? It is the reiteration of... At what point does a really, really bad idea become a good one? I've been thinking about his for a while now, and it's actually hard to pin point the exact moment where a ridiculously bad idea begins to sound like something good. How does this happen? Is it the use of clever catch phrases? It is the reiteration of the little bit of good that might come of something despite all the bad? Or is it just born out of years and years of bad decision making? If I could answer that, I could save the city 220+ million dollars and help them scratch this incinerator retrofit. It looks bleak, but imagine the track team they'll have! And they could change their mascot to the hoodlum! It's over, guys. The incinerator is dead. There is no feasible way to make this retrofit for the retrofit work. What we have here is a very expensive Tower of Babble, and it's in everyone's best interest to just bail out before the thing really comes crashing down. But never fear. I have some other gloriously bad ideas that can potentially make HBG a few bucks here and there (or more realistically lose a few million): 1. Mayor Reed museum. You know it's coming, so why not just get it out of the way? Really, he could dedicate it himself. 2. Pirate Themed Museum/Amusement Park on McCormick Island. You know the island that was for sell up by I-81? Instead of selling it for a few thousand dollars let's sink millions of dollars into it and make it the premier pirate museum/family resort on the East Coast. There children could learn of the derring-do of the Susquehanna pirates, the most bloodthirsty pirates ever to pillage a shallow, inland, mostly impassable river. And city residents could get half off a child's ticket with an adult's paid admission! 3. The Mediocre Museum. Everyone remembers people who were great, but what about the people who fell short of greatness? Who was the runner who lost to Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics? What team almost won the Super Bowl in 1976? Which former vice-presidents ran for president and fell horribly short? Let's have a half hearted look at the people who were just not quite good enough to become memorable. Of course, this museum may or may not be completed. Ever. 4. Tire Recycling Plant. Burning trash is sooooo 1976. These days it's all about recycling. So it would be a great idea if HBG opened a plant to turn old tires into that spongy stuff they put down on newer tracks. Also they could use tires to make shoes and other things...like new tires. Just think of the jobs! 5. John Harris County Prison. Let's face it, most of the kids in HBG will end up in prison at some point in their lives, so why not just cut out the middle man of Cornell Abraxis and just rent space in the high school to the overcrowded Dauphin County Prison? This way kids can graduate high school and start serving their first jail term all in one fell swoop. Not to mention, prisons have better technology and books than most schools these days anyhow. Just imagine as little Jimmy comes home at age eighteen to tell mom "Look, I got my high school diploma and I've been paroled for that armed robbery!" [...]



Even the Titanic Had Issues...

Fri, 15 Jun 2007 11:06:13 UTC

2007-06-15T11:55:06Z

Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Which means, if you make some kind of dumb ass mistake once you are going to be very likely to do the same thing in the future, that is unless you undergo some drastic change. And I mean drastic, like intensive psychotherapy or getting a new degree. Oherwise, stupid is forever.... Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Which means, if you make some kind of dumb ass mistake once you are going to be very likely to do the same thing in the future, that is unless you undergo some drastic change. And I mean drastic, like intensive psychotherapy or getting a new degree. Oherwise, stupid is forever. So why does the quasi-current HBG Authority (wasn't Fred Clark ousted by City Council? So why is he still kicking around? And don't get me started on the whole lawsuit issue) trying to paint a different picture of the incinerator debacle? Sure, attacking the past won't change the present, but it will sure as Hell make sure we don't fall for that crap again. The biggest problem with this article is the fact that the Authority only wants to take part of the blame, if even that. They state that: The only thing those who approved Barlow's plan were missing was a crystal ball. However, the parties who approved the project did not fail -- Barlow failed. It must be recognized that sometimes public projects fail. Unfortunately, that is what happened here. Actually, the only thing that those who approved Barlow's project were missing was a performance bond, a critical piece of any public project. With a performance bond the failure of Barlow would almost be a moot point. It would still mean that the Authority and those involved had made a bad decision in selecting Barlow, but it would take a lot of the sting out of the mistake. At least a few lost millions worth of the sting. More importantly it would have proven that it was not the ineptitude of the Authority and others who approved the project in all its flawed glory, but that everything was done as correctly as possible and the only one to blame truly was Barlow. But as of right now it seems that the more investigation that is done the more it becomes clear that there's enough blame to go around. But hey, let's not start a blame game or start pointing fingers over one little mistake (even though this one little failure has the potential to put the city in bankruptcy for the next twenty years or so). Instead, let's all join hands and look for a solution. Please. You have got to be kidding me. This article only reinforces why HBG residents need to be diligent in seeing that the current incarnation of the HBG Authority disappears and the members elected by City Council are allowed to try their hand at this money thing. After all, what would history look like if those who made the gravest errors never had to take responsibility for their mistakes? Or to even eventually get their comeuppance? Think about it: do you think that if Edward John Smith, the sea captain from the Titanic, had survived he would have gone on to captain another ship? I mean can you imagine that job interview? Would Enron have been accused of making a couple "accounting errors" and have been allowed to keep conducting business as usual? There are consequences for making mistakes. The more public and the more expensive the mistakes you make the less likely people are going to be to forgive them. In politics and the public sector that's the way it should be. [...]



For Those About to Croak...We Salute You!

Wed, 06 Jun 2007 11:01:03 UTC

2007-06-06T16:25:40Z

Have you ever wondered where you go when you die? Sure you have. Have you ever wondered where you should go if you are about to die? Luckily, Kiplinger's Personal Finance has the answer for you. Tampa Bay, Florida or Harrisburg, PA. That's right. Harrisburg is a highly recommended city for those about to die. Apparently Strawberry Square is a...

Have you ever wondered where you go when you die? Sure you have. Have you ever wondered where you should go if you are about to die? Luckily, Kiplinger's Personal Finance has the answer for you.

Tampa Bay, Florida or Harrisburg, PA.

That's right. Harrisburg is a highly recommended city for those about to die.

Apparently Strawberry Square is a great place to sit around and wait for the Grim Reaper.

I guess it's nice for the city to be ranked on a more positive note for a change, but I guess this explains the disparity between those who think mayor Reed is the second coming nd the rest of us, wondering what he's done that's different from any other city mayor.

The article covers not just HBG but the entire metro region. The short blurb features these bits of factiod wisdom:

[?] "Low housing prices more than off set the high property taxes"... if you happen to be retired and your retirement income is tax free.

[?] Strawberry Square is the City's "trendy downtown and office and shopping complex". Someone should tell the bums that.

[?] The region's "strong economy" (read: the fact that eighty percent of people in the area work for the Commonwealth) has created a cultural scene that includes...wait for it...Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts and the National Civil War Museum.

So, this area's noteworthy cultural icons are Whitaker and the National Civil War Museum. That brings everything into perspective. Finally, I realize that the problem doesn't lie with the city. Nope, it's all my fault.

I moved here forty years too early.




Throwing a Tantrum...

Tue, 05 Jun 2007 20:30:50 UTC

2007-06-05T20:36:29Z

Recount! I demand a recount! Okay, how about another election? In keeping with tradition, the Reed Team has decided to follow in a long held Reed tradition and sue when things didn't go their way, this time for an election challenge. Like a kid constantly screaming for a "do-over" the Reed Team won't rest until they are snug on the...

Recount! I demand a recount!

Okay, how about another election?

In keeping with tradition, the Reed Team has decided to follow in a long held Reed tradition and sue when things didn't go their way, this time for an election challenge.

Like a kid constantly screaming for a "do-over" the Reed Team won't rest until they are snug on the Democratic ballot this Fall.

After all kids, if at first you don't succeed, sue, sue, sue!

This reminds me of an episode of the Simpsons where Lisa is upset because another school cheated at a band competition by using glow sticks, a visual aid. The other school wins, and Lisa keeps elevating her complaint to the next level until she is finally awarded the winner plaque by Bill Clinton. After Clinton wins, Marge rolls her eyes and asks Lisa if she is happy. Smiling like a little kid, Lisa says "yes."

Only, the Reed Team's acceleration of this issue shows us something more. First, the Reed Team is scared. They already are on the ballot by winning the Republican nomination, so who cares if the incumbents are on the ballot. That is, if they actually thought they were strong enough candidates to win. This bit of tomfoolery shows that the Reed Team doesn't have enough faith in themselves to win a campaign in their current incarnation. They want, no they NEED, to have only one incumbent on the ballot to ensure that they can win at least two seats.

So who's agenda are they really following?

Also, this gives the voters a taste of things to come. If they can't just sit back and accept things now, what will they be like as council members? Do we have to look forward to a lawsuit every time a council member talks out of turn? We are just now getting rid of Vera White, who wants to make that mistake again?

Hopefully, those who vote in this city will see this political maneuvering for what it is, and will vote accordingly in the Fall.




Guys, Just Admit It...

Fri, 01 Jun 2007 14:39:55 UTC

2007-06-01T20:02:58Z

We suck. We really do. We are the equivalent of the kid in school who gets picked last for everything, even kickball (you have to be really uncoordinated to be bad at kickball). Harrisburg is the city equivalent of the kid with the runny nose, Coke-bottle glasses, and permanent halitosis. We are the kid who counts the lunch lady as... We suck. We really do. We are the equivalent of the kid in school who gets picked last for everything, even kickball (you have to be really uncoordinated to be bad at kickball). Harrisburg is the city equivalent of the kid with the runny nose, Coke-bottle glasses, and permanent halitosis. We are the kid who counts the lunch lady as his only friend. We are in debt, taxes are going up, the incinerator is draining us dry with it's debt payments and our schools are DEAD LAST in educational rankings for the state. We are the Alabama of school districts. Ohmigod, we are the guy who brings his cousin to the prom and tries to play it off like she's really his date. We REALLY need a makeover. The worst thing is no one who has the power to really do anything will admit it. The mayor wants to keep pointing to City Council and say it's their fault. Well, they haven't had enough time to screw things up. Not at this many levels. And they really couldn't do all that much by themselves. Only someone who had their fingers in just about everything could cause ineptitude to be this widespread. After all, City Council doesn't have anything to do with the schools... Today the superintendent of the schools came out and spewed this, completely reinforcing my opinion that everyone appointed by Reed may have been the victim of a common sense lobotomy: "We've seen these kinds of calculations before," he said. "They don't take into account the raw numbers of actual students. You can't average averages. We have no idea how they got their rankings." First of all, this can't be a surprise to the superintendent. Does he spend anytime in the schools? Scores have been substandard for a few years now. But the best line is the fact that he states that "You can't average averages." Well, yeah you can. For example, if I want to figure out what the average income for central PA has been over the past few years I would average the incomes of a hundred people so that I came up with an average income for those people over the past, let's say, three years. Then I average them together. That gives me the average income for central PA for the past three years. I learned that in seventh grade. What are HBG's seventh graders learning? That you can't average averages? No wonder we have so many issues. Sounds like the superintendent has been going to the Mayor Reed school of math (remember the FBI rankings from last Fall?). The superintendent also seems to think that averages don't take into account the raw numbers of students. I'm hoping he means the fact that compared to other school districts HBG has more kids. So? They also have a MUCH larger budget to account for those kids. And let's be honest for a moment. Whether you have 400 kids and 40 don't know what a square is or you have 4000 kids and 400 don't know what a circle is you still have 10% of the kids in your district severely lacking in Geometry skills. Substandard is still substandard. Look guys, HBG is sick of the excuses and the lies. If you are going to suck every last bit of money out of the city's residents at least be honest about it. Tell us you don't care about school academics and taxes and utilities will keep going up. Tell us that a new Senators stadium is more important than increasing the city's property owning population[...]



Banned!

Fri, 25 May 2007 14:34:16 UTC

2007-05-25T15:12:36Z

Every once in a while things that you think had gone the way of the waterfall bangs have a nasty way of popping up in unexpected places. These things (phrases, trends, atrocities) should really be banned, or at least have a strict moratorium placed on them. Here five things I think should be banned effective TODAY: Every once in a while things that you think had gone the way of the waterfall bangs have a nasty way of popping up in unexpected places. These things (phrases, trends, atrocities) should really be banned, or at least have a strict moratorium placed on them. Here five things I think should be banned effective TODAY:I'm not racist! I'm just David Duke! 1. The Term "Reverse Racism": every time I hear this all I can think is the inherent flaw in the phrase. Reverse racism really means the opposite of racism, so wouldn't that mean you really like an entire race of people based on their stereotypes? Sorry folks, if you are black and you hate whites you are a racist. If you are white and you hate blacks you are racist. If you are black and you hate Koreans, you probably live in the inner city. If you are white and you hate Latinos, you're probably just a Republican. Punishment for Use of This Term: A racial sensitivity class taught by the Reverend Al Sharpton and Bill O'Reilly. 2. Elizabeth Hasselbeck: Okay, I don't really watch The View. Like many of those stuck in the middle class I am usually working at that time of day. But occasionally I'll have a day off and I'll catch the estrogen fun fest on accident. But earlier this week I was inundated by various links to a particularly heated argument between Hasselbeck and Rosie O'Donnell. Don't get me wrong, O'Donnell is one of those people who makes us liberals look like a bunch of crazies. But Hasselbeck is just dumb. D.U.M.B. Like a wooden post. Chicky needs to read a book or two (or several hundred). She would fit in great on the Fox News Channel; they don't bother with facts, either. Seriously, how does a stint on Survivor and being married to a third string quarterback qualify you to host a show that is supposed to hinge around intelligent debate? Dammit, bring back Lisa Ling! Punishment for liking Elizabeth Hasselbeck: Being forced to endure 14 hours of The View non-stop. No potty/sanity breaks. 3. Companies Using a Charity to Guilt Me into Buying Their Crap: Who else is tired of being guilted into buying a product? It seems like every time I go to the store now my choices are driven by the charity involved more than the product I wanted. There's the Yoplait Breast Cancer lids in September (I eat way more yogurt in September than any other month), Girl Scout cookies in the Spring (although who am I fooling, I love those Carmel De-Lites) and a whole other host of crap throughout the year. Not only that, now they have this thing when you go to the checkout they try to get you to give a dollar to the charity du jour. Enough already. If I want to give to a charity I will do so in the form of a check right before the end of December, that way I can deduct it on my taxes. If companies really want to give back, do it without the hoopla. Punishment for Being a Guilt Giver: Really participating in a charity, instead of thinking your dollar to Children's Miracle Network is going to get you into Heaven. 4. Midseason replacement Shows: Yup, these are all the shows that television execs knew sucked too bad to warrant their own time slot, so now they will wedge them in between reruns of CSI and Law and Order. There is one about pirates (lame), one about forty year old women versus twenty year old wome[...]