THE GREATER DEPRESSION CHRONICLES: Small Potatoes and Wings on Mars...

Small Potatoes...

Small Potatoes...

As I write this, I believe the President is on TV pleading with Americans to support the stimulus package. The House approved $819 billion. The Senate is wrangling over $780 billion. Let's just call it $800 billion. It's a nice, fat, easy to remember number.

And it's small potatoes.

You read that right...SMALL POTATOES.

Between the TARP program, a mess of tax cuts and the money the Democrats and Republicans in Congress are fighting over right now...all of which were subject to their votes...we're looking at about $1.7 trillion dollars.

And it's still SMALL POTATOES. Just like our elected representatives.

You see, the most powerful entities in America right now are not our duly elected members of Congress or our recently inaugurated President. These are small potato folks arm-wrestling over a plate of likewise small potatoes.

Real power lies in the purse, and if you're looking for the real power in America right now you've got to turn your head away from the President and Congress and give the nod to the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the FDIC. These are the folks grilling steaks (or cooking our gooses, if you'd rather) while our elected representative fight over the scrawny little tubers.

I'm NOT Lollygagging...

LOLLYGAG (as per the definition at " waste time in trifling or aimless activity; fool around."

Well, that's not what I'm doing folks. I'm on a bit of a demanding schedule lately (...and hey...that's NOT a complaint...I'm thankful to be working this hard when so many Americans are getting pink slips).

I am deep into writing the next segment of NCD, and I've had to do a lot of interesting research for this segment. I think it will pay off.

There are blog posts to come, and (eventually) the next segment of NCD....just hang in there!

My parting thought...I heard on one of the Cable News channels that President Obama is "...growing frustrated with Congress."

What popped into my mind immediately was a priceless quote from the epic comedy Airplane: " the hand's on the other foot."

Welcome to Washington, Mr. President.

* * *

SHUT IT DOWN! The Most Dangerous Court in America....

Shut it Down!!!
Shut it Down!!!

This is a post about justice, not politics.

It is important to note the distinction, because I try to avoid inflicting my own political beliefs upon anyone who visits this site.

This is a post about a direct attack upon personal liberty by the Luzerne County Courts. It is an unfolding tale of greed, unparalleled corruption and the willful violation of the civil rights of American citizens for personal gain by a dysfunctional and dangerous court.

I am not overstating anything here. This story is news worldwide. You can read about this in Taiwan, Australia and Great Britain. It is a story that Hank Grezlak, Editor-in-Chief of The Legal Intelligencer, has been told by lawyers is "...the worst thing they've ever heard regarding a judge."

American citizens, juveniles from Luzerne County, were allegedly put in a detention center for money. To line the pockets of a judge. It is also alleged this happened in many cases without legal representation for these juveniles. It is also alleged juveniles were incarcerated against the recommendations of the Parole Board.

Beyond these horrors, there are rumors of alleged case-fixing being investigated in Luzerne County.



The score is tied in the 2009 Luzerne County Tournament of Impalement, a fascinating and painful local war between the sexes.

As you may recall, the women's team took a 1-0 lead when a lady in Wyoming skewered her boyfriend with a meat thermometer.

The men's team responded in Nanticoke Wednesday night when a fellow used his wife for a dartboard after an argument over loud music.

So there you have it folks...the 2009 tournament is all tied up in what looks to be a very competitive year. In the case of a tie at year-end, the victor will be chosen based on creativity and style points. So far this season, the meat thermometer gets the edge there.

We'll keep you posted...and sorry, folks...conventional knife wounds are not considered eligible for the Tournament, so put down those Ginsu knives! (Yup, we're making the rules up as we go along!)

Watch the local papers for the next match ...
Watch the local papers for the next match ...

* * *


Not your average brew...
Not your average cup of Joe...

First, let me start on an optimistic note. Yes, these are difficult times. They're going to get a lot tougher before they get better. But I agree with Warren Buffet. While he believes we are facing an "economic Pearl Harbor" he also says, "'s never paid to bet against America."

Folks, I'll say it again...God Bless Warren Buffet. We've been blessed for many decades. We've had recessions, some ugly. What we're in the early stages of is something far more serious. Saying that, however, I think the long view has to be that we will get through this...just not as quickly as some would have us believe. We keep hearing about "second-half" recoveries. There will be...but in the second half of the next decade.

* * *

I believe the government is lying to us.

Not, perhaps, intentionally, but lying through omission. The bank bailouts and TARP programs were created and rammed through in an atmosphere of fear. The Gubbermint simply didn't tell us they were clueless on how to deal with this mess. They figured the best way to avert Apocalypse was to throw as much of our tax money as possible down a bottomless rathole and pray it somehow stopped the hemorrhaging.

You will read one day that there was an atmosphere of raw fear...panic, if you Washington last fall. That big sack of fear was used as a weapon to extract bailout funds from our wallets for this generation and the next...and possibly beyond.

How bad was the fear-mongering?

No Cognitive Defect - Part X

No Cognitive Defect - Part X

By James M. O'Meara, © 2009

(Need to catch up on NCD,? Just click here!)

Anita's pills...

Wilson brought Anita a small stack of saltine crackers and a glass of ginger ale. Not much of a meal, but he'd insisted on it. He went back upstairs with a plastic bag to get all the medicines from the pouch in her suitcase.

"There's a schedule with each med listed," she'd told him. "Just make sure every medicine on the schedule is in the pouch. They should be, but if something's missing it might be somewhere else in the suitcase, or maybe even on the nightstand or in the bathroom. I can be a slob. Evan says I leave a trail of medicine wherever I go, and if he needs to find me he just follows the pill bottles. Make sure it's all in the pouch so you don't have to keep going up and down the steps on medicine hunts."

He hoped she'd eat while he was upstairs; he didn't want her taking pills on an empty stomach. He opened her suitcase and tried to unzip the medicine pouch. The damned zipper stuck. He cussed once, loudly, and Anita shouted out: "Are you okay?"

"Zipper's stuck," he shouted back.

"Ouch!" she exclaimed. "That happened to Evan once!"

He shook his head and sighed. Well, that was really a lot more information than he needed.

"I might have a tube of antibiotic ointment in my pouch. Just…well, you can keep the tube, Wilson."

Coffee and Static Cling...

I just read an article that claims seven cups of coffee a day may lead to hallucinations.

Baloney. I drink about 30 cups, and as best as I can tell there are no side effects side effects side effects side effects side effects side effects side effects.

I am the Kaiser. Bow before me.

...there's a nun wearing spandex hiding under my bed. I hear her chanting. No wait, it's not chanting. She's singing the Barney theme.

And...hey...when did the sky turn orange?

Be back cup's empty. I need a java refill...

* * *

I seem to have a lot of wardrobe issues. At least once a month I leave the house with something out of kilter. Unmatched socks. Somehow missing a belt loop when feeding the belt around my waist. Skipping a button putting on a shirt. Any given day there's about a 1-in-5 chance I've botched the basic human skill of just getting myself dressed in the morning.

I once walked around the office for several hours wearing a V-neck sweater backwards. Not inside out. Backwards. The V-neck was centered between my shoulder blades and pointing straight down at my butt (where, apparently, my brain resides in the morning). A friend pulled me in her office and let me know, or I'd have walked around like that all day.

Northeastern Pennsylvania: Land of the Bizarre??

This guy's done...

This guy's done!

I love the local news lately. We're making national headlines for all kinds of weird things up here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

I thought nothing would top the story about a guy living undetected in an attic in Plains Township, my hometown. He helped himself to moolah, clothes, laptops and an IPod while he lived in secret above the unsuspecting heads of the home's owners.

You've got to admit, on the bizzaro scale, that's about a 9.9

Today, another attack of Wyoming Valley Wacky...a woman across the river in Wyoming allegedly tried to skewer her boyfriend with a meat thermometer.

My guess is they were arguing, and this was her unique way of telling him he was done.

What is it with women and kitchen utensils?

In 1994 Lorena Bobbit sent cold chills down every man's spine when she Ginsu'd her husband's groin in perhaps America's most famous domestic horror story (at least from a guy's point of view).

Now they're coming at us with meat thermometers.

Fiction Update ....

I have two more segments of No Cognitive Defect to post, and then I'm taking a break. I've hit a point where I'm starting to slog through it and struggle a bit, and that means I've got to let it percolate a little. That approach worked out pretty well the last time I took a short hiatus from NCD. By the time I started posting it again, I had three segments in the can, one underway, and a head full of ideas.

This shouldn't be a very long break because I know where things are going with the story. I just need to shift gears for a bit and work on a few other things. It should give me a fresh perspective when I start writing NCD again. In the meantime, from a fiction perspective I'll be returning to From the Sky. I'll also do some submitting and queries to editors (the "business" end of writing). I also have an interesting piece from my brother Tony which I plan to post. I've got plenty to keep me busy.

As to's been different writing a novel versus the short stories I'm used to working on. By the time I post a short story at this site they're fairly polished, and maybe just one or two re-writes short of "submission quality." With NCD, my first true novel, it's reading more like a first draft. I think it is because I'm covering so much ground. I have to keep moving things forward or I'll get bogged down in the details and abandon it. I'm starting to understand why authors "finish" a novel, then start all over with the first of heaven knows how many re-writes. The devil's not in the's in the rewrites!

So, yes, a break on NCD is looming, but it will be a short one. I'll try to keep you all entertained with some other material in the meantime.

* * *


Here's a newsflash, kids:

The Bank of England slashed its benchmark interest rate to 1.5%. That's the lowest it's ever been.

That's saying something folks; they've been around since 1694.

I think Joe Paterno got a loan there on opening day.

* * *

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