Thursday, August 03, 2006

BillyBytes, the Lehigh Valley's First Blogger, in Fight For His Life

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingYesterday, Billy Givens sent me an email about the latest post on his blog, warning "You can continue to run from these posts, but you can't hide. Billy Bytes will find you, for sure, and bite you in the ass."

That's Billy.

I love this lanky Alabama transplant, not so much for his views, but the way he expresses them.

Not everyone shares this view. One commenter to this blog had me rolling on the floor with this remark - "Billy Givens is a TROLL who waits for pre-pubescent girls to proclaim their love for you so that he can take advantage of them."

In truth, Billy's our grandaddy - the man who started it all. Long before the Internet or blogs became popular, he was distributing a newsletter on the "stage of Easton," jabbing away at mayors, schoolboards, governors and mainstream media. The Express Times and The Morning Call became The Excess Times and Morning Call Girl.

In addition to his newsletter, Billy used a bullhorn at Easton's centre circle and the courthouse stoop. And as we became more familiar with the Internet, Billy started the Lehigh Valley' first blog, BillyBytes, and was kind enough to publish essays from me and others with unusual points of view.

He's no essayist in the traditional sense. The truth and libel laws? Irrelevant. But his words paint pictures.

I've heard that instead of taking "chunks out of those who hold themselves up as models of probity," Billy's in a different kind of battle these days - a fight for his life. I hope he cheats the devil. If anyone can do it, he can.

I thought I'd leave you with a paragraph from one of his essays.

On December 18, 2001, in his last act as president of Northampton County Council, Wayne Grube and his fellow rat pack gnawed a hole in the wall connecting council chambers and Community and Economic Development Chief Vincent Dominach’s conference room. Through this hole, the rat pack rolled Michael Solomon’s $111 million wheel of cheese, reeking of Limburger, from council chambers into the conference room. Solomon fancied limburger because it comes from Belgium, home of the company that insures his $111 million wheel of cheese, at a premium cost to Northampton County taxpayers of an unauthorized $880,000. This room is the nest of the Northampton County General Purpose Authority (GPA). There, on December 19, the GPA rats, led by County Executive Glenn Reibman, gnawed and pawed at Solomon’s wheel of cheese. They broke it into pieces of varying size, suitable for distribution to their fellow scavengers in corporate Northampton County; e.g., bankrupt Bethlehem Steel’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman, Robert S. “Steve” Miller. The GPA gave Miller a $13.1 million piece of Solomon’s Limburger wheel. In its rush to adjourn, the council rats failed to authorize the $880,000 insurance expense, taxpayer money the GPA rats have spent in rank violation of Pennsylvania’s Municipality Authorities Act of 1941 as amended.

Truth? Maybe. Maybe not. Art? Definitely.

6 comments:

Chris Casey said...

May God bless Billy and be with him in his fight.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, Chris,

Thanks for your kind words.

Bernie, the representive excerpt you chose from the www.billybytes.com website, "Northampton County Rats Feast on Taxpayers' Cheese," was published January 3, 2002.

It related to the MOAB, not the military's Massive Ordinance Air Blast weapon, but Northampton County's Mother Of All Bonds, the 2001 $111 million IOU until the year 2031 (at which time the county, if the Easton parking garage provides a clue, will roll this debt over for another 20 years, as PA's Municpality Authorities Act of 1945 As Amended unfortunately allows.

Easton Mayor Tom Goldsmith, parking authority, and city council approved this rollover when the 1972-incurred debt was within two years of a "mortgage burning."

Thus the parking garage, which I subsequently learned is structurally dangerous, became the refinancing vehicle for a $6 million bond Easton desperately needed to buy pencils and paper clips and other non-durable goods not normally financed by capital improvement general-obligation bonds.

Please consider posting, or at least publish samples of, a related article posted on my website, "Bond Blues - They Took the Money and Ran," published December 21, 2001, having to do with the county's $2000 $113 million bond, and authored by our friend Joe DeRaymond.

I think readers would find Joe's article informative and instructive.

Easton, Northampton County, so-called Lehigh Valley (which the "Lehigh Valley" Economic Development Corporation has now expanded to include all of New Jersey) and Pennsylvania's state and federal representatives have sold the commonwealth's taxpayers into economic bondage.

Today in a political opinion piece published in The Morning Call, G. Terry Madonna writes that to beat Ed Rendell, Lynn Swann needs a bad economy and a scandal.

Swann already has both: a commonwealth economy that can't support public education but must rely on outsiders like Sheldon Adelson who builds private chabads like the three in Las Vegas and the one in Monroe County's Pocono Mountains with the illusion of financing public education with casino gambling proceeds from an industry controlled by the Mob.

The second perquisite Swann has is an opponent who refuses to recognize the claims of the Delaware Indians to the 315 acres in Forks Township stolen from it in the notorious Walking Purchase of 1737.

Rendell is a hypocrit since he recently remarked publicly, regarding the immigration issue, that for any who want to bitch about illegal immigrants to remember the native-Americans like the Delawares and the Lenni Lenape that we screwed.

I never doubted for a moment that I could muster the 67,077 votes needed to get on the ballot as an independent candidate challengning Ed Rendell, or that I could defeat him on the economic and moral issues.

Lynn Swann can do the same.

As for me, again I thank you and Chris for your encouraging thoughts, words, and prayers, and those of others who wish me the best in this battle I now face with cancer.

LVDem said...

stay rowdy Billy. When that stops we'll know the world isn't right.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Billy, Just pretend those cancer cells are public officials and they'll be gone in no time. Take care.

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

First time I met Billy was the Candle Peace vigil in Center Square the Sunday before THe Neo-clown invasion of Iraq.

My then Girlfriend and I put it together VERY last minute and got around 80 participants.

We even had a pic on the cover of the Express the next day (with Angel I think)

I loved Billys energy, and doubt he will lose this battle as well.

GO BILLY!

SPIKE

Bernie O'Hare said...

I was there meself. I think I lit three fingers that night.

Billy's a good man.