Friday, January 23, 2009

Armstrong: Allentown in Wonderland

Scott Armstrong, who publishes the informative Allentown Commentator, is perhaps the Lehigh Valley's most talented essayist. Instead of the disinformation being spewed from the billowing furnances of Pawlowski's puff blogs, Armstrong deals in reality, as demonstrated by this indictment.

"Lewis Carroll's tale of Alice is not nearly as fanciful as the yarn Ed Pawlowski's is crafting of his role as the mighty savior of Allentown. According to Ed's power point presentation, under his stewardship the crooked has been made straight and the rough places plane.

"Crime is down, the budget is balanced, the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter has aligned with Mars. Ed has steered the stars. This is the dawning of the age of Pawlowski. Reality is no longer what Allentown residents actually experience but is instead what Ed needs it to be to gain another term as mayor. The mayor's fiction is transmitted by a complicit media who dutifully report his every message through unblinking eyes as substantive achievements. Perplexed Allentonians can't understand why their reality stands in stark contrast to the feel good messages of constant improvement. Ed was wise enough to understand he didn't need to make real positive change in the city to be successful; he merely needed to convince the media he was doing a good job. In this effort he has been aided by people of influence who have gotten what they need from the Pawlowski administration. City government has worked quite well for them and they have been happy to repay the favors they have received. Together, the giver, the receivers and the uncritical media have created a sort of parallel universe in Allentown. In their Allentown the bad times are over and the brighter future is just around the corner.

"Truth has clearly taken a back seat to the selfish concerns of Ed Pawlowski and his supporters. The local media's motive for participating in this sham is either mere sloth or political partisanship. I suspect the latter."

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

and yet, with this clear altered reality, the only apparent alternative in the upcoming election will be Tony Philips.

I weep for the city I love.

Anonymous said...

I suspect the former. The simplest explanation - Occam's Razor.


Oh! Doo-dah-day!

Anonymous said...

I strongly disagree with Scott Armstrongs biased and untruthfull essay.

Jack Smith

Anonymous said...

Hey Jack, let me clue you in, old Scotty , Bernie and mikey are the kids in Wonderland. Remember the Lion King, and the "Circle of Life?"
Welcome to the Blog Circle of Hate, O'Hare, Molovinsky, and Armstrong, and don't dare try and question their motives, or your comment will go "POOF!"
It's called Hypocrisy, and for pointing it out, I'll be labeled an apologist. I didn't vote for Pawlowski either, but Phillips is an even bigger loser. It's a no win scenario, and the Three Musketeers in the Circle of Hate have no answers either, but lobbing grenades and sabotaging any real efforts makes them feel better.

Anonymous said...

Scott Armstrong IS a great writer. Whether folks agree or disagree with his opinions, he allows others to voice their views.

Anonymous said...

Armstrong is a cry baby, that is it.

Why doesn't he just move if he thinks things are so bad? Is he some sort of failure or something?

Bernie O'Hare said...

OK, folks. I'll leave these two nasty personal attacks against Armstrong (Anon 7:02 & 8:18) to give you a sample of what he goes thru all the time. I've already deleted two others.

People sure hate to see any criticism of Allentown. The better the criticism is stated, the more hateful they become. Of course, they are always anonymous cowards who lack the courage of their convictions.

I will delete the additional personal attacks that are bound to come from those who don't like it when Scott punctures their world view.

Glenn said...

The greater issue is not about personalities nor persons. It's about 'getting it out there'. Did we see a list of campaign contributors in the paper or elsewhere in the local medias? Did we get the complete information on 'Weed & Seed' inspections? The information Molovinsky's blog provided on our local Heritage Museum's letting go of Frank Whelan [a local expert]? The golf course restaurant implications?

It's not a matter of agreeing with or not agreeing with the viewpoint of information presented as much as actually getting the information other then from the PR releases. While I may not agree wholeheartedly with their opinions on all their views... it's with great appreciation that these folks take the time and effort to dig deep and 'put it out there'.

If not for these local blogs, who other then they, would bring this stuff to light? As far as agenda's... I don't care who you are, everyone has their own perspective. While it's not a perfect, it's the best way I am aware of to keep on top of things. The more perspectives the more information becomes available.

In the nutshell... other then these 'blogs', are there any other watchdogs? The paper? TV? Government press releases? If you know a better way of checking out what's going on.. Please share!

Anonymous said...

Can someone honestly tell me when the mayor has the time to solicit all those campaign contributions? If done on the time he is working for the citizenw, it is not only dishonest, it is illegal. Oh, the power of incumbency.
Say what you will about Tony Phillips, listen to him in the coming months. Just remember it is virtually impossible to get his message out in the Morning Call.
Bob

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

Glenn's response says it all. Something has been lost in this community. Our local newspaper no longer CHOOSES to act as advocate for its citizenry. CHOOSES to abandon it's once noble purpose as citizen watchdog.

I agree, we seem only to receive the daily newsletter of some social group.

I'm thinking the paper's staff and management is totally afraid of aggressive investigation and reporting, given the state of its owner. An owner with little knowledge of, nor concern for the community this publication once served.

We must acknowledge however, the paper's current small staff and the reality some work in fear of being "next to go."

Some sort of alliance has been created among this paper, this city administration, this school district to cooperate and look out for each others interests. That's unfortunate and less transparent every day.

Oh, well. There's always the coupons!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Retired ASD teacher,

It's great to hear from you. Unfortunately, I think what you are saying is correct. it may not be correct just yet, but will be in about 5 years.

Anonymous said...

I love how angry the Pawlowski supporters get over the reasonably presented opinions and observations of an average, run of the mill citizen like Armstrong. With a bit more civility, maybe more people would have the guts to sign their posts as Armstrong does.

I get angry myself when I see Allentown continue to decline, while seeing the Mayor getting ready to collect $120 K per year to promote his political career, make speeches, and have campaign donors pay for his babysitting.

I get even angrier when I see that his campaign is roughly 90% funded by non-residents. This self-serving Mayor reminds me so much of politicians like Blogo and Ed Rendell.

Anonymous said...

I've listened to tony philips. He makes me want to not vote for the first time in my life. I've watched ed pawlowski. He makes me want to pull my hair out.

Not a sock puppet said...

I don't see the personal attacks that Bernie does. What I see is bloggers who are comfortable criticizing, but crine at being scrutinized themselves. I live in the West End, and my neighbors refer to Armstrong as the son of "Doug and Wendy Whiner."
Any comment that doesn't rigidly follow his view is denied publication on the Comment Hater"
It might surprise you to learn many of us agree with him, but neither he nor Tony Phillips are capable of representing our cause.
Honestly, having them speak for the community is like allowing a pre schooler to argue to the Supreme court.
They are immature, ill informed, and overly emotional in their presentation. We are doomed in allentown, unless a messiah rises from within the Democratic party.
I look at it with a grasp of reality. Disagree with me all you want, but I'm not wearing Rose colored to look at either side.

michael molovinsky said...

dear sock puppet, the predecessor to the commentator was called the informer, also managed by armstrong. although he and i fought like cats and dogs over the historic district, he never once deleted one of my comments or anyone else's. you should go back over the velvet rope

michael molovinsky said...

dear blanker and not sock puppet, here's a recipe your wife might enjoy
1. take good blog
2. add husband and hate
3. reduce to troll consistency

Bernie O'Hare said...

Sock Puppet,

My comments policy is to delete anonymous personal attacks, and that invariably happens whenever I post an Armstrong essay.

He is intelligent and writes well. Rather than responding to his arguments on the merits, the cheerleaders try hard to shout him down with personal, and often vulgar, comments. On top of that, Villa will pop on here, a blog he encourages everyone to boycott, and will impersonate or parody other people in trollish behavior.

There are four Villla comments that follow the "not a sock puppet" claim. They will be deleted. For all I know, "not a sock puppet" is Villa, but I'm tired of wasting my weekends to use my sitemeter to confirm it is him.

He can bray and spread disinformation on his own blog, as his grant-seeking Stepford wife cheers him on. The personal attackks will be deleted here.

Disagreement is fine. Tell Scott he's wrong. Tell him why. But calling him a crybaby or impersonating other people is just childish.

Not a sock puppet said...

I am not aligned with any particular group of people in your little kingdom. I am only giving what is my personal view on the many players in the tragedy of Allentown, as played out in cyberspace. You are shouting at each other in a mostly empty theater. It isn't constructive, and when I point out your irrelevance, you try and shoebox me. That is only further evidence of your ignorance of the overall picture.

michael molovinsky said...

by some strange coincidence those commentators deleted here, end up complaining within minutes on the villa blog. the villa's continue to proclaim themselves victims, while their enemies are repeatedly called names through words and links on their moderated blog.

An Exorcist said...

I feel like I should say something, but there's nothing else for me to say. Hopefully, you all know that you have my support and prayers.

Peace be with your spirits, ~~Alex

Bernie O'Hare said...

Not a Sock Puppet,

My comments policy is to delete anonymous personal attacks, and that invariably happens whenever I post an Armstrong essay.

Instead of slamming Armstrong, you slam the irrelevance of this form of media. But you do it as someone familiar with the term "sock puppet." You do it the day after this post was published. You do it on a Saturday ... twice. Your own comments demonstrate that this form of media actually IS relevant, and that's what really bothers you. So you try to marginalize it. Better try harder.

I also find it curious that, immediately after your comments posted, the Villa sock puppets appeared. Hmmmmm.

As someone pretending to be Switzerland, do me a favor and stop distorting my comments policy. I delete personal attacks. And I'll delete anything from Villa.

If you want to read them, go to The Morning Call Readers' Forum or to Villa's blog. They spew their hate at both of those sites and anywhere else they can get away with it. Look for any of a number of names, from Hogan to F. Lee Bailey to Esq. to Foo Foo. Look for them to impersonate other people.

As for me, I've decided to stop even looking at their nonsense. It is wasted energy. Life is too short to have to deal with their sickness. I'll be seeing them in court soon enough. Villa is learning he is not the legal eagle he thought he was.

But I'm sure they'll admit you behind their velvet rope. You can sit around and gaze at Angie's junior high art. Or maybe you can all get together with Chris Casey and he can tell you some of his big far whoppers.


Charge!

An Exorcist said...

To anon of 6:24

It appears that you have been sitting on pins and needles waiting for a rise. But you merely guessed wrong. Bernie is Bernie. And, I'm Alex. Metaphysically, ontologically, spiritually, and precisely. So please don't mince our words. He (Bernie) was talking to you. Just as I (Alex) choose to acknowledge your childish behavior.

"Tho' I've belted you and flayed you, By the livin' Gawd that made you, You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!"

Peace be with you, ~~Alex

Politically Neutral said...

Well I just visited the Villas site. Now I know how they got the interview with hissonor. Something to do with Tobacco enemas I suppose.

Wow Allentown sounds like such a great place to live, according to the self declared King and Queen of Little Apple PR. I must have blinders on or perhaps I am lacking villa colored glasses.

The psycho trolls have been busy too - they have more comments than the New York Times on a big news day. And that piece on Obama. I guess the Messiah has arrived. Do I bow twenty times a day to the West or East to get my mortgage payed?

So I wonder what alcoholic concoction the Villas will have named after them at the Blew Works now that they are VIPs of the Happy Hour crowd.

And with all the criticism and accusations about the Morning Call comments section, I guess they are going to even start their own church - The Church of Current Day Delusional Yuppie Wanna Be's. All baptized in the holy water of Self-Declared Sanctimony. Pope Ed and Bishop Billie presiding.

How do I join the club and become a groupie? I am just dying to learn the fine art of narcissistic self promotion. And besides I really would like to get on the mailing list.

not a sock puppet said...

They weren't kidding about you O'hare, you make many assumptions about people. I don't agree with your tactics, you have good points, as does Armstrong.
My Problem, which I can't seem to get through your thick skull, is that you, Armstrong, and Molovinsky are not decent messengers.

not a sock puppet said...

And talk about attacking people, that diss of the Villas you are allowing is pretty wicked, but when you do it, it is okay.
So much for your higher moral authority.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Looks like "Not a Sock Puppet" is a sock puppet after all. Quelle surprise!

If I did make an assumprion about you, you've just proved me right.

As far as the Villas are concerned, everything I have said about them is factually accurate. Every post they publish degenerates into a rant at DA Jim Martin, The Morning Call, me, Michael Molovinsky, etc., etc. It's getting old and tiresome.

They falsely claim I make threats I've never made. They publish a blog prasing Milk, but simultaneously make homophobic remarks about a supposed homosexual relationship between myself and Michael Molovinsky. They impersonate a Catholic priest who has done nothing to them. They torment a city councilman who went out of his way to try to persuade the MC editor to meet with them. They condemn the hate at The Morning Call Reader Forum, but post their own hateful remarks about other people there, as well as on their own blog.

Villa is in the advertising biz, and tries to use the same deceptive techniques those whores use to spin. He has no interest in truth. He is driven by hatred.

The Villas attempt to destroy this medium as a source of information. If I post factually accurate information that places A-town or the people running it in a bad light, they respond by attacking the messenger instead of the message. They do the same thing to MM, Armstrong and anyone else who tells the truth.

Lest you forget, Villa is a criminal defendant in a harassment prosecution. As hard as he has tried, he is learning that it is not going to go away. He has compounded his troubles by threatening potential witnesses and has even made disrespectful remarks about both the court and the Northampton County DA. I guess they must be corrupt, too. Looks like everyone is evil except him.

And let's be clear about something else. My name is attached to what I am saying. I am not hiding behind "Foo Foo" or "Esq" to say what I say.

You, on the other hand, are an anonymous coward who comes into my house, wearing a mask, to insult me and anyone who is critical of A-town. You've also been factually inaccurate, as MM noted.

But I've noticed that people like you never let the facts get in the way of your opinions.

Finally, you're a liar. You start out by claiming you are not aligned with any particular group in my little kingdom. It is clear now that you are aligned against Armstrong, Molovinsky and me.

In conclusion, you are an anonymous coward. You have your facts wrong. You lie. You fit right in with the Villas. Congratulations.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, you under estimate the sickness of the villa's dishonesty. although the comment about us is untrue, and meant as an insult, please consider that they have been out with my girlfriend and myself a couple times, so their comment is an insult to her in addition to all the other dimensions. angie wrote about a sex toy store, and now they continually hyperlink perverse items to name of another one of their enemies. as i have said before, it's sad that people have hooked their wagon to such a classless act.

Politically Neutral said...

Anon 9:50

Get real. I used to support Villa and openly defended him on a number of occasions.

Now after about three years my conclusion is that whatever negative is said about Villa on this site and others is his own making.

He is self serving and has played the victim role to the hilt. While I may not agree with many of his opponents, I refuse to share the demonic obsession he has in discrediting and threatening them.

He has taken the victim role to such a point that he has, in my opinion, dishonored and exploited the memory of his daughter.

Bill needs to realize he is no more unique then the rest of us. He talks and acts like he is the only one who has ever experienced a tragedy.

The narcissistic focus of the Villas enables them to maintain the delusion there perspective on Allentown is the only one people can have.

It is sad.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:02am said: "Hey Jack, let me clue you in, old Scotty, Bernie and mikey are the kids in Wonderland. Remember the Lion King, and the "Circle of Life?" Welcome to the Blog Circle of Hate, O'Hare, Molovinsky, and Armstrong, and don't dare try and question their motives, or your comment will go "POOF!" It's called Hypocrisy, and for pointing it out, I'll be labeled an apologist. I didn't vote for Pawlowski either, but Phillips is an even bigger loser. It's a no win scenario, and the Three Musketeers in the Circle of Hate have no answers either, but lobbing grenades and sabotaging any real efforts makes them feel better."

Honestly, Gentlemen, you sound to me like a bunch of "whiners" or "school-girls" and you never seem to offer any solutions or remedies to all of the issues and problems that you so easily point out.

Allentown is an easy target for your criticisms. I'm not impressed that you can find so many problems to blog about.

Start talking about solutions and then your blog will have some real value. How are we going to solve these problems?

Your primary "solution" seems to start with getting rid of the current Mayor. So, Tony Phillips is next in line. Is he really going to be able to much more than Pawlowski is doing? Who's after Tony? Michael Molovinski? Take a look for yourself and make your own "informed" decision.

Bottom line... where are the solutions being blogged about?

Whatever happened to, "Be the change that you want to see in the world"?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually,, we've proposed plenty of concrete suggestions for the imprtovement of A-town. I do it with great regularity. You must be missing that.