Jon Gosselin eyed to star in kookie "Terminator" knockoff

HOLLYWOOD — Spurred on by the dazzling reviews for the new "Terminator" franchise reboot, a major Hollywood producer is locked in deep negotiations to sign Jon Gosselin to topline a satirical spinoff based on the former reality-TV dad's own wacky experiences, a source close to the project reports.

Gosselin will play a has-been celebrity afflicted with a case of the sads because his bitchy ex-wife is still pimping his eight kids on a cable series, according to a leaked copy of the script. A time machine allows the Jon character to travel back to 2003, where he intends to undergo a vasectomy to prevent his ex from getting preggers and thus avert the reality show from ever launching.

Meanwhile, one of the couple's sextuplets also will journey to the past from a point further in the future to attempt to thwart the Jon character's plan, a plan which if it were successful would negate the tup's own birth.

"Parallel timelines, mutiverses, comedy, pathos, revenge — this story has it all," one insider close to the project gushed.

Veteran director Uwe Boll is rumored to be in line to helm the project.

"While the story dynamics would seem to mirror the relationship between Jon and Kate," Bolls aid, "I really view it as more of a parallel with Ben and Jennifer."

Because the title "The Sperminator" already has been appropriated by a porn film, the working title is "The Artificial Inseminator."

A worldwide summer 2016 release is planned.

New restaurant chain will allow Christian workers to exercise religious freedom without fear of legal backlash

A new Christian-themed restaurant chain will soon launch nationwide that will allow its employees to practice their religious convictions without backlash or penalty.

Called Smite, the family-dining chain will provide detailed instructions on how Bible-worshiping servers and other employees can stay true to their deeply held religious values while still providing quality service to patrons, announced Larry Craig, a former United States senator and president of the new chain funded by Cruisecock Inc., a joint investment by Senator Ted Cruz and the Koch brothers.

"At Smite, employees will not have to fear they will be terminated or face legal action if their beliefs prevent them from fulfilling requests that run counter to the Holy Bible," Craig explained.

For example, if a customer orders lobster, a Christian employee is instructed to respond, "I'm sorry. I can't serve you shellfish today. Might I interest you in unleavened bread instead?"

Similarly, a waitress who notices that a male customer sports a five o'clock shadow can reasonably object that the gentleman is in violation of Leviticus for shaving his whiskers and say, "I'm sorry, I won't be your server today," Craig elaborated.

Craig said there will be no restrictions on questions that employees may pose to patrons in order to determine whether service will violate their religious principles, such as whether a woman did not bleed when she lost her virginity, if a man ever had sex with his daughter-in-law, if the couple has murdered a slave, or whether a man is circumcised.

If a customer orders a cheeseburger, forbidden under some persons' religious liberties because it mixes meat and dairy, servers can recommend the alternate "Santorum," a sandwich consisting of black truffle oil, ground sausage, and frothy corn.

A minister will be on duty at Smite all hours to hear confessions.

Berks County hotly divided over confederate flag, morning paper concludes after talking with three people

In another of its misguided attempts to always play things square down the middle, the morning newspaper located one merchant who wants to fly the rebel flag over Leesport — and sell them to other rubes — and ran the front-page story under the headline "issue divides public."

If there is one issue that is not dividing the public 50-50 this week, nor even 60-40, it is whether the confederate flag should fly over public buildings. Dylann Roof's rampage in the historic Charleston church not only did not spark a race war, it may have been the night they drove old Dixie down.

As for whether dipstick rednecks should be able to buy one to flap over their pickups next to their truck nutz, well, that's an issue for the free market, as it should be, and many flag makers no longer want to offend the significant portion of the population who think the Virginia battle flag is a symbol of treason, bigotry, and hate.

Marty Weinberg, the bald guy who runs the Bald Eagle Flags Company stand at the Leesport Farmer's Market, lamented how the free market is taking away his Stars and Bars:

"American manufacturers are not making them anymore," he said. "It's going to end up being an import item."

Weinberg said his suppliers, one by one, are informing him they are no longer manufacturing Confederate flags...

"I can't believe how they are cowering," Weinberg said. "They're panicking, I don't understand it."

Next thing you know, commie Obamie will be comin' for his weppuns.

There were too other interviewees, along with the Pitbull lookalike, including a "sardonic" shopper who offered "This is America, ain't it?" but apparently did not want his mug plastered in the paper.

As for how the Reading Eagle feels about this divisive issue, here's what the editorial board had to say today on its opinion page:

We cannot help but be excited about the three free concerts that are going to be held in downtown Reading between Aug. 5 and Oct. 24. They are the kind of things that usually are reserved for Philadelphia on Independence Day or some other community many times larger than this city.

Why, yes, that is an "editorial" about how a groovy trio of free concerts will draw thousands to Penn Square. The flap over the flag – "issue divides public" — is an issue for another week because editorials must be written at least one week in advance in order for the editorial board to chew these matters over in its considerable cud.

There is plenty of other good reading on the opinion page today, such as this science from an Upper Tulpehocken reader who said the way geologists date rocks is a lot of baloney:

In one example, rocks known to be less than 100 years old were dated at between 270,000 and 3.9 billion years old.

That letter is "sourced" from a couple of creationist-"scientists," so it passes muster with the Eagle fact-checkers and is not just an instance of a reader talking out his ass.

The paper did offer this online poll question today: Should the Confederate battle flag be removed from the grounds of the South Carolina state Capitol?

A more apt question, of course, would be to ask readers whether anyone should continue to fly the confederate flag if that issue does indeed divide Americans.

Me, I'd like to hold one of those 100-year-old rocks and see if it's still hot.

Reading ranked among best places to live in Pennsylvania...

...but it's Reading Township in Adams County. (Oops.)

The best of the best is State College. But you already knew that. When the kids aren't overturning cars because they are mad about Joe Paterno.

Berks actually does sneak on to the list.

Kutztown at eight.

The Spring Township in the top ten is not ours, but one in Centre County (again), because ours has malls and suburban blight.


Reading Eagle launches exciting initiative to slash city crime to an all-time low

Peter D. Barbey...crime fighter

Peter D. Barbey...crime fighter

From the bowels of the Reading Eagle comes this report about a new strategy, designed to shape public perception about the sad state of our city, where folks are gunned down for refusing to offer a cigarette to a stranger, or lie red and dead within walking distance of the Santander Center and the beautiful soon-to-be Doubletree Hotel across the street.

Henceforth, the morning newspaper will never use the word "city" in a headline atop a crime story about somebody doing something bad.

No more "City man" this or "City teen" that.

Wrong connotation. Bad. Bad.

The Chamber of Commerce does not like that.

Such is the edict from Peter D. Barbey, CEO of the morning newspaper, also known around the newsroom, like a Batman villain, as The Meddler.

The word has gone out to the copy desk.

Obey. Or be fired.

Harry Deitz Jr., the actual editor, will not challenge Barbey's lunacy, because he has no stones.

Albert Boscov is a bossy old crank, Scranton leaders declare

Someone owes Albert Boscov $70,000, and we know who that is. It is a Vaughn D Spencer, the soon-to-be former mayor of Reading. Albert Boscov, being a shrewd businessman, will want that money back. (Unless, of course, a bum debt is better on his tax returns then a contribution to a losing political campaign.) But that shouldn't cloud the mighty judgment of the mite retail giant when it comes to dickering over the fate of one of the Boscov chain's troubled locations up there in Lackawanna County.

Welcome to Steamtown.

Steamtown is just one of many, many shopping mall around the nation hurting for tenants. Scranton city council hopes to turn things around and is hunting for new ideas to make Steamtown viable again  — everything from converting the building into a Reading Terminal-style market to creating a “mixed-use lifestyle center” with lofts, retail storefronts, restaurants and offices. Or maybe transforming  the mall into a casino or converting it into a skating rink.

Trouble is, grumpy old Al Boscov holds sway over what can be done to turn things around. The mall’s lease agreement with Boscov’s Department Store allows the anchor tenant to veto significant changes.

Councilman Pat Rogan is pissed:

“I was very upset to read an article in the newspaper featuring Al Boscov talking about the mall. Mr. Boscov criticized and even poked fun at many of the great ideas that have been put forward by the residents of Scranton to rehab that building. Obviously, the current formula that Mr. Boscov has a leading role in didn’t work. I was just at the mall last Tuesday, and it is a ghost town.”

Council President Bob McGoff poured some sweet-and-sour sauce over Albie's "obstinacy to change":

“I believe that Mr. Boscov is a great businessman. However, I don’t think Mr. Boscov has been very good for the city of Scranton. I think as the mall goes to auction — and it would appear that Mr. Boscov is doing everything he can to purchase the mall — he needs to be willing to consider options. ... We cannot persist in the mall structure as it is.”

Sir Albert called those who want to repurpose the mall "cranks." He said he might be open to different uses for Steamtown's second floor, but “we can’t do anything now because we don’t own it.”

Vaughn, pay up.  Albert Boscov needs the cash.

Deal inked for film version of Harry Deitz's runaway best-seller "The Editor's Notebook"

Laurence R. Harvey as Harry Deitz

Laurence R. Harvey as Harry Deitz

Hollywood — and Berks County — are abuzz today with news that Harry Deitz's collection of old columns, "The Editor's Notebook" has been optioned by a top production company and will be made into a major motion picture.

Harry Dean Stanton as Harry Deitz Sr.

Harry Dean Stanton as Harry Deitz Sr.

"We are tremendously excited to acquire this hot property," said Menahem Globus of the recently reborn Cannon Group. "This will certainly be one of the hot family movies for Christmas 2016."

There was no word on much Cannon paid to option Deitz's volume, but it is believed to run well into two figures.

Gilbert Gottfried as Peter Barbey

Gilbert Gottfried as Peter Barbey

The script will unfold in anthology form with Deitz reading six columns to his grandchildren, each of which will be dramatized. The stories will include the hunt for the ultimate flamingo lawn decoration, the lack of civility on Berks County roads and sidewalks, a typical Sunday morning at church, and Deitz obsessing over how everyone in the community is jealous of his stature as editor. A different director will helm each of the segments.

John Waters as Bill Flippin

John Waters as Bill Flippin

First to sign on in the cast is Laurence R. Harvey as Deitz. Harvey is currently starring in the new horror flick "The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence)."

"Harvey will bring a distinct magnetism to the part," Globus said.

Others in line for key roles include Harry Dean Stanton as Harry Deitz Sr.

"He definitely wants to do it," Stanton's agent said, "If he doesn't die first."

Reading Eagle CEO Peter Barbey will reportedly be portrayed by Gilbert Gottfried, and director John Waters — lured by the vast presence of flamingos — is line to both direct that episode and co-star as publisher Bill Flippin.

Albert Boscov will executive produce and reportedly make an appearance as Santa Claus during a dream sequence.

Copies of "The Editor's Notebook" were flying off the shelf with today's news.