Friday, August 22, 2003

412-public email blast from August 22, 2003

August 22, 2003

Hi All,

Things are hot in and around Pittsburgh in many ways. This blast points to invites and actions, plus a grand opening party, and three community events on 9-11. Thanks for the consideration and surfing of the various sites. I hope to see you around town in meaningful ways.


Mark Rauterkus

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Impeachment Petition in PDF format (6 kb)

Impeachment ideas:

For the good of Pittsburgh's long-term health, Mayor Murphy needs to resign. With the bailout of the Crossing Guards, two school-issues need attention:

1. The Mayor's office should allow the lighting of the sign at CAPA, the new high school for performance arts. The Mayor finds many ways to suppress news and highlights of the efforts of our kids. Putting a candle under a basket is something that most understand as sinful.

2. The Mayor's Commission on Public Education still hasn't issued its plan, more than a year and a half late. That group needs to go away. The Commission's report should be released directly to a toilet as "pond scum." The process and outcomes are cloaked corruption.

Mayor Murphy is playing a high stakes game of "political chicken" with our children packed into the front seat. We can't tolerate his actions. His moves make dangers that justify the call for impeachment. Mayor Murphy's stay on Grant Street needs to end as he is hurting us all, especially the kids.

Now it is time for the parents, and the regular folks to demand his resignation.

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Keep on eye on the dealings with the "alternative" to the Great Race. Can volunteers coordinate and operate a function to show vitality in the city? The Boston Marathon occurs as an all volunteer endeavor. Will the Mayor's Administration put up road blocks or simply get out of the way?

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Tonight, Friday:

West End Elliott Citizens Council Meeting and Candle Light Vigil on Friday August 22 at 7 pm at the Emmanuel United Methodist Church, intersection of Lorenz and Crucible Streets in Elliott.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss ways to save our Zone Four, and all of the Public Safety Personnel (Crossing Guards, EMT, and Police) and to show City Government our disapproval in a peaceful manner.


Pittsburgh Zone 4 Public Safety Council's Emergency Meeting is at 7 pm on Monday, August 25. The meeting is at St Marks Lutheran Church, 933 Brookline Blvd in Brookline.

The purpose is to discuss the closing of one or more Police Stations, and the Public Safety, Public Works, and Parks & Recreation Personnel layoffs. We hope to develop a plan of action, concerning this matter.

Contact Bob Hillen, 412-571-1126, President of Zone 4 Public Safety Council,

Tuesday: Public Hearing in City Council Chambers at 6 pm on Tuesday, Aug 26, for the closing of police stations due to a petition from the citizens of Pittsburgh. You can go and speak. Or, call Kim in the City Clerk's office in advance to get onto the agenda, 412-255-2138.

Wed: Pgh Public School's board meeting at 7:30 pm. The bailout of 202 crossing guard jobs makes a tax shift away from Mayor Tom Murphy's responsibility. The continuation of this type of leadership means failures. Stand up for the kids. Fight for the kids. Parents and crossing guards need to toss Mayor Murphy out of office.

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Candidate news:

Former Democrat Dan Cohen is running for City Council District 5 seat. The City of Pittsburgh Republican party substituted former Democrat Dan Cohen to run against Doug Shields for the City Council District 5 seat formerly held by Bob O'Connor. Dan Cohen is a real estate agent living in Squirrel Hill who recently changed to the Republican Party over concerns with the City finances, among other things.


Council President, Gene Ricciardi has introducing Shields to protest audiences in council chambers as "Councilman Elect." Woops.

Ricciardi, currently the president of city council, is up for re-election and faces TWO challengers on the ballot. Gene's plans to raise taxes got a "Thanks but no thanks" reply from Mayor Murphy recently. His lifeline to save the jobs of 202 crossing guards by shifting the tax burden to the Pgh Public Schools is a shell game solution.

Another Dem, Len Bodack, now on council filling Jim Ferlo's seat, may have a challenger, (NN), for the election for the 4-year term.

This isn't just outrage about the Mayor's dealings as seven on city council voted for the 2003 budget. Time will tell.

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THREE Special Event(s) are slated for 9-11

A YOUTH Technology Idea Session, #07, is slated for 10-noon on Thursday, Sept. 11 at Wilkinsburg's Hosanna House. http://summit.CLOH.Org.

The Youth Tech discussion is in advance the Warrior Fatherhood event hosted by the National Fatherhood Initiative.


They have a four-day schedule.

An after school event geared to those ages 10 to 30 is slated for 3 pm to 4:30 pm on Thursday, September 11, at Mt. Washington's Duquesne Heights Community Center. We'll have activities and focus on self-expression.

Please save the date and register online for the concert and presentations to begin at 8 pm on Thursday, September 11 at South Side's Club Cafe. http://S6.CLOH.Org

Invited speakers include:

James Roddey, Dan Onorado and Rev. Lynn Brodie. Musical performance by songwriter of the year, Dave Nachmanoff.

Pass out a brochures, please:

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On Sept. 10, UPMC's Eye and Ear Institute is calling for all musicians and music lovers to join their grand opening for the Musician's Hearing Center.

- - -'s motherload of thoughts is open with an outbox archive: outbox:

We can't heal ourselves and soar with "closed door approaches." Rather, in the case of knowledge, more is always more. To divide and scatter is a ploy for those with fleeting power.

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If you are getting multiple copies via various contact points, sorry. Please let me delete duplicates by providing specific email addresses to NUKE. The pending eVote efforts make multiple messages as multiple ballots. This network has more than 5,500 regional readers. To opt out or in (provide awareness to your friends), just email Thanks for your understanding.


Mark Rauterkus


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412-Public-Remarks community news and insights


Thursday, August 21, 2003

City Paper article about kids and protests

News Briefs ARCHIVES, 8/21/2003

So Many Anti-Murphy Protests, So Much Time
Now it's the children's turn


"I'm not personally excited about getting all these jobs back," says Mark Rauterkus about the 731 recent layoffs in the city. "As volunteers, we can do things."

The one-time mayoral candidate and perpetual South Side organizer led two public venting and protest prep sessions last week attended by a total of about 70 city people.

"I think this is huge," Rauterkus says. "You add a whole new layer of citizenship. There are some people who are upset and furious and engaged who haven't been there before. I heard, 'We just need to take our kids out and march them on Grant Street.' And I said, 'Well, we've got to talk about this.'"

While the group chose Aug. 18 at 5 p.m. to let the children lead them to the steps of the City-County Building (see photo), a member of city council President Gene Ricciardi's office pointed out that no one would be there to see them. So the group added Aug. 19 at 10 a.m. so they could take their protest to council.

"So now we've got dueling protests for kids," Rauterkus laments. "It's building [but it's] going all which ways." Massing children just as police and emergency medical personnel have gathered may not be the best protest strategy, he says. "We should have a chalk coloring protest on the steps of the City-County Building. We ought to hang 'Extinction: Murphy' signs on the dinosaurs in town. If Murphy says our kids are human pawns in a game with Harrisburg, we ought to play a game of human chess" with them.

The group's evolving plans for a revived Great Race are meeting with a mixed reaction from city officials and the remaining employees, Rauterkus reports. Unionized and longtime city workers may not relish seeing someone else take over their tasks for free, Rauterkus theorizes: "If volunteers can run the Great Race, why the hell do we need these employees anyway?"

He dismisses the city's worries about liability (private recreation programs have long acquired insurance) and public safety. "We're closing facilities and putting kids out on the streets and then we're taking away police officers," he says.

Rauterkus has long been involved in an effort to reopen the South Side's closed Neville Ice Rink on the South Side, which is city-owned. "I offered years ago to run the Oliver Bath House," he adds. "There's going to be a big struggle and tug of war to allow other entities to use these facilities. We've got to be a little more creative now." He suggests the city partner with local colleges, for instance, whose pools are perhaps little used in the summer. He suggests City Paper print the dos and don'ts for being a volunteer crossing guard -- and print an orange flag for them to cut out. "I would like to see the whole [Urban Redevelopment Authority] office move to Mellon Park and run the tennis bubble," he says.

Evoking the rhetoric of his mayoral campaign, Rauterkus concludes: "Humpty isn't going to look the same. And I don't think re-building and healing can occur with Mayor [Tom] Murphy in office."

Monday, August 11, 2003

Editorial -- I love a challenge

> i think we should stay away from strictly opinion articles. i think getting the editoral collective to agree on any one opinion would be quite a feat
> :).

Hi All,

Okay, I love a challenge. I'll bite.

Editorial theme: The Mayor's Administration needs to resign.

Pittsburgh's healing can not occur until after Tom Murphy and his cronies move themselves to the private sector.

Many in the rank-and-file of both the police and EMS forces are talking of resignation. The Firefighters hold a lynch-pin too. However, this option is only getting mimimal play in the press.

The unions can't back the incumbants any longer. The same-old methods are history. It is going to take all of this city, working together, to make significant changes.

As soon as the upheaval occurs, then folks in Harrisburg will spare some relief for the city's crisis. But, the real cruching is yet to occur. The city leaders on Grant Street have NOT tightened the belt to spending in 2003 as hundreds of thousands in the budget were spent in June on such things as "decorative lighting."

The Tom Murphy ploy for saving $6.5 million on the day he shed a tear and went to the Springstein concert at PNC was just the first drop in the bucket. The necessary amount is $60 million. In 2004 the amount of the gap is $80 million.

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Could I work on an editorial article such as the one hinted above?
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Urgent Meetings & Community Unity & Calling ALL Musicians

> thanks mark.
> i think you should have the names, addresses and phone numbers of all
> Allegheny county state representatives and senators available for those
> attending so that they can write to them urging that the house/senate
> adopt the state budget with provisions that will provide the City with
> additional funds.
> i really think the focus ought to be on our state legislators who have
> taken a backseat position on the city's fiscal problems. i would be more
> than happy to draft a "sample letter" if you like.
> thanks again.
> john burke

Better yet.... Can you draft the letter and then bring 40 copies? Can you get the list of contacts as well?

I'm swimming upstream at the moment and could use the involvement of some others. I'll be sure to give you the floor to make some statements.

But personally, I don't feel that the state should bail out Pittsburgh until AFTER Mayor Tom Murphy and his administration resigns. We can't fix Pittsburgh with him at the helm. Too, too many closed door meetings and lies. His policies are wrongheaded too.

If URA officials came out to the neighborhoods now -- it won't be smooth sailing. In a few more weeks, it will be worse if nothing is done on your part as far as measured responses to grass roots folks.

The URA is going to need to get out of its comfort zone. We'll need to privatize the facilities and you'll need to scrap things and shine a light on other issues that are more essential. When we change directions -- and that might need to occur a number of times -- the URA is going to be nimble or else tossed overboard.

How many properties did the URA purchase around the now closed indoor city ice rink on the South Side behind S.S. Hospital. What ones?

The folks in the URA office are going to need to do more. For example: re-install the brand new bubble at the tennis courts in Mellon Park this October -- and run those courts at a profit. Your desks can shift to the trailer out there.

Re: great article on political courage

Thanks for your note. I forwarded your email to my editors.

You are welcome. But, Brad, you are going to have to take some 'ownership' of this if it is to work.

Jon Delano can't do it. Mr. Scaife can't, nor can Paul O'Neill, IMHO. We need a trusted media voice to come into town on a white horse -- or a pipped pipper -- or an angel -- whatever.

Perhaps a guy such as Mark Single could help and partner with you and State Senator Jane Earll. You three, together with a CMU Professor and myself -- and we've got a full house of LEADERS to CALL for an ALL-SECTOR, Sustainable, SUMMIT about PITTSBURGH.

As per the CMU prof, leave out Richard Florida for now, please. How about Peter Shane? Or, the guy who co-lead the Pgh 21 task force was in my home last week? He was the COO of Heinz. He might be that bench strength we need as a sixth man.

Give Mark Single my cell phone #, 412-298-3432.

Too bad Joe Paterno didn't retire last year. He'd be perfect for fixing Pittsburgh's ills. :)

(but really..... I'm serious.)

I'll leave you alone now -- but look below for my latest EMAIL Blast that went out to 5,000 + contacts.

Dear Lynn -- I'd love to have you speak at a special event on Sept. 11

I'd love for you to come and speak at a special event I'm organizing on Sept. 11. It's a COMMUNITY Unity gathering, with a concert, and with some very important public speakers. It will be put onto TV with PCTV, our community cable access station (not live).

I've invited yourself plus James C. Roddey, the Chief Executive of Allegheny County. Mt. Lebo is in the county -- as Pittsburgh is the city within the county. And, Dan Onorado, presently the County Controller, is invited. Both Roddey and Onorado's folks have expressed an interest in attending and speaking.

I'd love for you to speak for up to 15 minutes. We can talk about the content in a phone conversation if you desire -- but really, that conversation is just as a helper and I'll really want you to be free to say whatever you desire.

The headline entertainment for the night is a musical genius who you will love as well, Dave Nachmanoff, He has attended a few UU events (we meet at SUUSI) and even leads some UU services.

The event is now slated for 8 pm to midnight. I don't know exactly when you'd speak -- but -- I'd love for you to be flexible as both Roddey and Onorado are in a regional race for the county executive office and are very, very, very busy. I want to work around their schedules.

Neither of the elected leaders will use the night as a "campaign event." They are smarter than that. So, it is interesting to see them work with the theme 'community unity.'

If you desire, I'd love for you to ask each of the other speakers one of the five questions that they'll be fielding after their presentation. So, you'll be an integrated part of the overall evening.

By all means, a chace for reflection, story, and spiritual mentions are welcomed.

This overall concept is the first in a series of events that I want to do in our region. Later, we'll stive to get a portion of the sponsorship to be sanctioned by our church -- Sunnyhill -- as well as the other UU churces in the area. I want to have this event so we can talk about doing others with a real-live example. It is my hope that the overall vision of "outreach" and "connections to the greater community in meaningful interaction" can be realized by our faith's leaders.

Recently, I went to a Sunnyhill Faith In Action committee meeting -- I'm a member there --- and asked them to approve a statement of support that "encourages" you to attend this 9-11 event. After some discussion -- everyone there (6?) was in agreement to do so.

I'm sending this note to Karen Z -- a board person for her awareness.

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On another matter, SHIM (South Hills Interfaith Ministry) is hosting an event on 9-11 as well. I think that the invite for you is to go on stage all night but speak only 2 lines and offer a Budhist's perspective. I think others can fill that role that ROLE at SHIM that night. We'll be giving a UU
perspectives (not Budist) with longer exposure (15-min talk, not 2 lines) and critically important guests (County Exec.) and wider reach (TV) happening on the South Side. I also feel strongly that this event can set the stage for many great things yet to come with cooperation among the UUs in the area, a shared coffee house kick-off, a way to reach PIIN folks after their meeting and more.

Sunnyhill folks are NOT on the steering committee for the SHIM event. But, I tried. I wasn't allowed to meet with the SHIM steering committee for their 9-11 event as I asked the exec. director that question directly. I mentioned a willingness to work with him and SHIM in mid-summer phone call as soon as I heard of the SHIM event via the grapevine. SHIM's exec. director didn't even know that the UUCSH was a member of SHIM -- yet alone who was the contact. For this time, I really reached out to SHIM and was denied. It is funny that they would now offer in invite -- as I find that hollow.

Oh well. Sunnyhill should have a spokesperson there, on stage, saying two lines. Dean Hazelton might be perfect for that role.

I am going to send an note to The Drummer about the 9-11 event. I'll make it clear that this is a COMMUNITY UNITY event hosted by Mark Rauterkus. It isn't an event sponsored by UUCSH, nor PIIN, nor the Faith In Action Committee. I'd like it to be such, but perhaps next time. Yet, all of these populations, and many more, can come to this gathering.

Furthermore, it is going to be "newsworthy" to have you attend a central gathering where we can stage a "media event." I would expect, should I get your okay, that I could have the TV stations cover the event for the 5, 6 and 11 pm news on Sept. 11. I have working relationships with many of the news directors and reporters. If I ask them to attend -- because a new minister has moved to town -- I think we can get coverage BEYOND the religious editor(s). However, any other week, the news value is gone. So, as part of the evening, should you desire, I'd be willing to stage a NEWS EVENT.

Case in point: Today's Tribune Review had me as a "newsmaker." That could be done for you too.

Re: Cutbacks will affect all aspects of city life

Nice post Russ.

c) continue to pay employees with little responsibility

Right. It's called "management" and "supervision." There is little of that going on. Performance evaluations. Honesty is nice to have on hand too. Frankly, there is a good deal of dead weight. Furthermore, the system is so ridgid that the deadness can be covered and protected. Plus, there is no sense of ownership so as to be free to fix things and rock the boat a bit.

People who raise issues are tossed out.

I think we need a whistle-blower achievement attitude. We don't need to do silly kickbacks and bonus money to employees who SAVE money -- up to 10% -- as per Gene R's absurd measure (now tabled). But, we need to set new attitudes.

There is a time to make lemon-aid -- so to speak. That time could be now in terms of Recreation and Aquatics. These are areas I LOVE and understand with professional experiences.

The majority of the swim pools are closed and the others may close forever too. However, we can re-open them when we are good and ready and when we have a real viable plan that includes some being privatized, all being overhauled with programming. We have to pull our own weight. But, we can do so, so, so much better than what was being done.

Get this: The AQUATICS TASK FORCE was a JOKE -- like everything else this administration has tried to do and failed, (Fifth & Forbes Downtown Collaborative, etc.)

Frankly a few others are fired up about this. I hope to get others joining in the cause.

Planning meeting: Monday, August 11 at 6 pm.
Community meeting: Tuesday, Aug. 12, at 6:30 pm.
Pittsburgh - PA -- holding a community unity event
Mark Rauterkus

Hi Project Rebirth Staffers,

In Pittsburgh, PA, USA -- I'm hosting a 9-11 special event for "community unity." If you had something that was presentable -- I'd love to have it as part of the showcase we are organizing.

Case in point: Do you have a slide show that could be run from various computers throughout the night?

Do you have any give-a-way info on the project that we could make available?

I'd love to get you some extra exposure -- but we don't have any organizational money for a purchase. But, we'd be happy to solicit for you.

I apologize for the delay in responding to your e-mail!

Thank you very much for your interest in Project Rebirth and thank you for your 9/11 presentation. I hope everything is going well.

Unfortunately, we do not have anything to give you right now. Although we have footage from the rebuilding we are not releasing it in any public capacity for a while, most likely, not until the World Trade Center is rebuilt.

We are in the process of upgrading our website and hope to have a short edited piece of time-lapse footage on the website. The new site is due to launch in early 2004.

I'm sorry I cannot be of further assistance. Thank you, again, for your interest and I wish you success in all your endeavors.

Kind regards,

Croi McNamara Line Producer Project Rebirth Inc.

Great article on political courage

Great article today on the political courage to alleviate the crisis.

Hi Brad,

I'm in the streets. I talk to many and go to lots of meetings. The first thing we need to do in Pittsburgh is rescue the truth. We might need to do a revival of the truth as it has been lost for some years now. But, --- we can't let truth be slashed again and again now that the jobs are being cut as well.

To do this -- truth revival -- we need a lot of heavy lifting in the media as well as in person.

Mostly the PG, but on rare times the Trib too, the real story isn't being told, and it is riddled with holes or fibs. But the call is for HEAVY lifting. This isn't just about great newspaper coverage -- it is much, much more.

If the TRIB's executives and reporters were to take this issue on like a bull by the horns -- I'd be willing to help. Pittsburgh would be much, much better off. And, frankly, it is going to take someone like yourself -- Brad -- to do this. You come into the scene from Harrisburg. You don't have much poitical dead weight around you. You have more of a global view. We need a trusted figure to take on this quagmire for a six-month challenge. And, all the resources of the company would need to enter into the fray -- with a host of other partners.

To start:

We need a week's worth of citizen summits to really vent. We need video cameras. We need lots of coverage every day. We need to get the unions and the rank-and-file there.

Joe King of the Fireman's union is part of the problem. Same too with the FOP brass. A big split in the FOP is present. But mostly, truth is getting hijacked. The citizens don't know 1/10 of what they need to know. And, the citizens are still very aware of what is going on. The citizens are sorta smart and can smell the stench from the Mayor's office.

To continue:

We'd need to have NIGHTLY meetings. We'd go INTO the closed REC Centers around town on a day-by-day basis. We'll need to be engaging, open and tireless.

I would like to partner with you, Brad, and the TRIB so as to hold a business / editorial meeting in Pittsburgh with all of your power brokers.

Pittsburgh has to heal. It's long term health is at the brink. And, we need to take charge and monitor the truth. Lies are not allow. For half-truths to be spoken -- then we need to document them and challenge them. Sadly, the miss-info occurs and occurs and occurs again. Closed door meetings are NOT going to allow for the fixes and the healings.

My vision is for a massive dance with and among the public. All sectors. A real "grass-roots summit." And, it has to go on and on for weeks and months.

If you can get an editorial board meeting and allow me to challenge you all with these ideas for some such venture --- let me know.

Letter to the Wireless Neighborhoods - delivered in person

Wireless Neighborhood Participants and Organizations

Dear Friends of Technology and Neighborhoods,

I'm hosting a few meetings and would love to get your support and help in the promotions.

Monday, August 11, 6 pm, open planning meeting at Armstrong Park on 12th Street, South Side. Bring your own lawn chair.

Tuesday, August 12, 6:30 pm, OPEN Community Meeting at Armstrong Park. Bring your own lawn chair.

Essay contest for 9-11 begins this week. Details to be posted at CLOH.Org

On Thursday, September 11 from 10 to noon, Idea Session 07 concerning the pending YOUTH Technology Summit is slated for the east end in conjunction with a fatherhood event.

A Community Unity event starts at 8 pm on Thursday, September 11 at Club Cafe, 85 South 12th Street. High level offiicals as well as a recent songwriter of the year are expected. See http://S6.CLOH.Org. S6 =3D Sports,

Spirit and Soul Song and Story Summit.

In the months to come, the S6 event series can be constructed to raise money for technology and the co-op. I still want to talk with the finance committee about this.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Cutbacks will affect all aspects of city life

Hi Russ,

> Well Wendell, if you can raise a few million dollars to back my candidacy for mayor of this backward city, I can assure you that MANY things would change around here, all for the better.

But short of those millions, I thikn it'll be the same old sad story around here. :/

I beg to differ. (PUN intended)

You don't need to spend a few million to get a $90+K per year job.

Both Bob O' and Tom M spent about $35 per vote in 2001 -- just in election efforts.

They both spent dearly in terms of stadiums, "neighborhood needs" (WAM, i.e., Walking Around Money), and other city-funded buy-offs for votes as well.

Face it, to get someone to vote for you on election day costs $0. Face it again -- who would vote for someone who leveraged a life's fortune (or many life fortunes) to get a job that pays <$100k?

The next Mayor's race isn't going to be like the last one if I have anything to say about it.

Let's NOT set up a prior assumption that you need a FEW MILLION to run for mayor -- or else it will be the same old story. I have more hope that that and will be even more outspoken when others around here soil our shared well of democracy.

So, do you care to re-state what you think so it can be unraveled in more specific ways?

Another entry into the FAQ of being open

Question: Can we really expect more of them (UUA) than we demand (in terms of openness) of ourselves?

If the ourselves is meant to be me, personally, then I'd say that I demand more openness with myself than I expect from my denomination. But, I'm overboard and an advocate for being more open.

If ourselves is meant to be my local congregation -- then I would say that I demand openness on both fronts equally to the best extent of my power.

Furthermore, I think that the question is a bit of a red herring. Yes, we CAN demand more of our organizations than of our indiduals. A person has rights -- including that of privacy. Meanwhile, an organization, much like a corporation, has no rights unless they are granted from the collective of individuals. I don't put corporations nor organizations onto the same status as an individual human. So, the charter to operate and run the non-profit service organization should be held to a higher level of "openness" than that of an individual. Perhaps it is fair to say that the more the organization is with power in its capacity -- then the more prudent it is to insist upon its openness of operation.