Smoke skies and moonshine

Posted by Unknown | Posted in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012


The jack-hammering tones of an air gun rattle through the shop just outside my office. Buddy Guy's licks flow from my computer speakers like a fine scotch. I've got a truckload of thoughts rolling down endless expanses of highway carved through my mind. Outside, it's a chilly, wet April day. Smoke-colored skies.

This morning, I woke up and sat down in front of the typer for the first time in what seems like years. The early hours, following what little sleep I seem to find these days, have become a window of inspiration. Words drip onto the page mimicking the coffee pot steaming in the kitchen. Eventually, the page and my cup are full.

I spend a brief time on our second-floor balcony most mornings. Every time I open the door to step out, I'm reminded of the need of a good chair to lounge in and soak up the morning sun while I let my thoughts pour out.

The itch. The need to write has embedded itself within me again. It's not that I was worried about losing it. It seems as though any writer finds themselves less than inspired from time to time. Or maybe we let our thoughts brew like moonshine through a still until they're pure. Whatever the case, the cask is full again.

Soon, I'll spend time wandering through the park in the fading light of dusk. These late-night work hours are coming to an end. I've got more important things to have running through my mind than the constant rattles and blasts of air tools and belching engine brakes.

One thought in particular has been filling me with warmth and peace. Every morning on the balcony, I can still picture her standing beneath the light leaning against the door. Smoke curling from between her lips. The soft look in her eyes and the elegant curve of her smile.

It's a photograph etched in my memory. One that I'm hoping is a glimpse of what lies ahead.

Tonight, I'll turn the key to my tiny pickup and drive forty-five minutes down the line. Step through the door of my apartment, wash the work day away, and find a few moments of relaxation before falling into a dream world.

In the morning, I'll write again.


Lynch mobs and Paddy wagons

Posted by Unknown | Posted in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012


The ignorance of some individuals astounds me. Einstein once said that, "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." I tend to agree with his brash assessment of humanity, for the most part. It's easy to when there are rather shining examples of stupidity all around us today.

Whether it's always been like this, and only recently have we begun to thrust these morons into the spotlight and give them undeserved recognition, or if we are, as a nation, falling backwards in mental evolution is a question for another time.

What has sparked this sudden burst of misanthropic ranting is a letter to the editor of The Times Leader which has called for the repeal of Civil Rights. The writer of this brilliantly moronic letter, one Sean M. Donahue, contends that all crime in Luzerne county stems from "Hispanic migrants from Central and Latin America". He then goes on to propose a solution to the crime problem:

Writer: Repeal civil rights laws

Too many elected officials are too afraid to speak the truth. The people who brought crime to this area are Hispanic migrants from Central and Latin America. The only way to get rid of crime is to get rid of them.
Democracy allows us the use of peaceful means to repeal the civil rights acts so that we can do just that. Instead of talking about it quietly, please sign an application for a petition for initiative to have the revocation of civil rights laws put on the Luzerne County agenda and eventually on a statewide referendum.
....but getting the revocation of civil rights on a statewide referendum will send a necessary and powerful message to both Harrisburg and Washington. 
He then goes on to make a rather appalling presumption:
The population of Hazleton and the Hispanic population cannot meld into one population. I am tired of hearing politicians and loudmouth business leaders say such garbage.
Sean M. Donahue
(Full Text)
It's incredible the level of absolute brainlessness that some individuals feel comfortable in displaying. First off, let me point out something rather perplexing about Mr. Donahue's idea. He says, "Instead of talking about it quietly, please sign an application for a petition...". Mr. Donahue, how much more quiet can you get than signing a slip of paper? You're not talking about anything at all, let alone talking quietly.

Community problems demand community discourse. And it stands to reason, by Mr. Donahue's blatant disregard for upstanding Hispanic members of his community, that he would not have them participate in such discourse. What better way to usher through his ridiculous ideas than to pass around an application to like-minded friends while keeping it on the hush hush.

What further boggles my mind is Mr. Donahue's assumption that repealing Civil Rights laws, ignoring all of the terrible repercussions this would have, could be the only solution to crime in his community. What, if anything, could this possibly accomplish toward his goals of making the community safer? Or, is public safety and crime rate simply the facade to something more basic. Namely, Mr. Donahue's contempt for the Hispanic community.

He contends that the Hispanic population and the Hazleton population cannot meld into one population? As if the two were separate. Mr. Donahue's rhetoric and segregational speech hearkens to the days of lynch mobs and "Paddy" wagons. What more can we expect from someone actively seeking to repeal Civil Rights laws. Shall we throw the Black population under the bus as well, Mr. Donahue? Care for a bit of anti-Semitism?

Only one simple fact needs to be stated here: What this country suffers from is ignorant individuals who seek to "solve" problems with quick-fix schemes without using an ounce of brainpower. It suffers from veiled prejudices, as it always has, and the beat of extremist war drums. Understanding, education, and thought are trampled on as though they are the gravest of sins. We heap attention onto the screaming, brainless mobs and ignore those with true ideas and wisdom.

Mr. Donahue, I urge you to pull your head out of your ass and re-examine your thought process. For the problem you wish to solve is not that of crime but that of multi-culturalism. Yes, there is crime perpetrated by Hispanic individuals within Luzerne county. There are also crimes perpetrated by African Americans, Asians, and your fellow vanilla-white man. Repealing Civil Rights is not the answer and neither are completely baseless, moronic ideas of segregation bolstered by prejudices like you yourself have outlined.

For every Hispanic who has committed a crime within Luzerne county and North East Pennsylvania, there are dozens more who have not. And I can safely say that without one ounce of actual research into crime statistics and population density with Hazleton or its surrounding areas.

For your own sake, Mr. Donahue, and the sake of good, intelligent citizens within the Commonwealth, I ask you to refrain from opening your mouth until you've formed an intelligent idea. This, I'm sure, will guarantee your silence for some time.


Addenda 4-20-2012

Since the initial publishing of this post, I've come across another Sean Donahue rant of lunacy to The Times Leader. In this letter, Mr. Donahue attacks State Rep. Tarah Toohil over her failure to, "eradicate the immigrant and minority populations from Hazleton." In response, Mr. Donahue proposes to run for office on the platform of seceding from the nation if immigrants are not driven out and, amazingly, to instate "neo-Jim Crow" laws to be aggressively enforced.

Here is Mr. Donahue's letter to the editor from March 15th:

State Rep. Tarah Toohil has failed to eradicate the immigrant and minority populations from Hazleton. 
Prior to being elected, Toohil led us to believe that she would be an active champion of driving immigrants out of Hazleton. Since that time, she has done absolutely nothing to attain this goal. Toohil said that she would eliminate food ACCESS cards. Then, she apparently joined with the immigrant population to encourage white senior citizens to use the ACCESS card, too. 
Toohil led us to believe that she would address the issue of anchor babies by preventing them from attaining legal American citizenship but then refused to follow through on that agenda. 
Toohil also led us to believe that she would be a champion of spending cuts but then bragged that the Hazleton Area School District would receive no cuts in state funding, which meant that there would be no decrease in taxes. Toohil claimed that she would create jobs. Yet, all she has done is passively accommodate CAN DO Inc. and the very same employers who are giving jobs to the very same immigrants that the public of Hazleton elected her to get rid of in the first place. 
There is nothing about Toohil that espouses any conservative ideology. Instead, Toohil’s only concern seemingly is Toohil. Toohil is a chameleon. I am not. 
If voters write my name in on both the primary ballot and on the general election ballot for state representative of the 116th District, I will push legislation through the House to secede from the United States unless Congress forces all immigrants who entered the United States within the last three decades, and their children, to leave the country. 
I will demand secession unless the federal government ends all affirmative action programs for minorities, eliminates all forms of welfare for immigrants and adopts neo-Jim Crow laws that are to be aggressively applied to illegal immigrants until such a time that the illegal population can be successfully deported.
Sean M. Donahue
(Link to Letter)

These doors are not automatic

Posted by Unknown | Posted in , , , , , , , , , , , | Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012


"Not I, nor anyone else, can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach. Perhaps you have been on it since you were born,
and did not know. Perhaps it is everywhere--on water and land."


It's incredible how things can fall into place. How, from a seemingly chaotic existence, life unfolds and sets the pieces together. The picture takes form right before your eyes. There are still points to my life that create stress and worry but, as a whole, I'm feeling good. I can finally see the semblance of the picture. The pieces are being set into place.

It's been two months since I've moved to Scranton. I read more. Spend more time with incredible friends. Lose myself in hidden nooks of Nay Aug park. And, finally, inspiration is seeping back into my life. Words once lost have begun to take shape. Spill onto the pages.

The warming days and blazing, brilliant sunsets bring a change too great not to mention. Thoughts are deeper. Increasingly clear. It almost makes the worry of living paycheck to paycheck melt away.

There's renewed happiness in my life. A connection and peace that I believed to be forever broken is being restored. I've actually caught myself smiling more than I've been feeling burdened. Some questions are yet to be answered, but exploring them has become enjoyable.

I know what I want. And I've taken steps to acquire it without hesitation. We've only one chance to make our lives what we want. Many wait for the doors to open and show them the way.

Don't wait.

They never open on their own.