Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Partisan project - essay - clincher. Is this something to hang your hat upon?

partisan project "... the best secret in Pittsburgh? Simple. You matter here."

One would matter more in Somerset.
My matter around my waist would be less if I lived in Southern California and was able to take runs on the beach.
How about we use our grey matter more here in Pittsburgh than elsewhere. There is a double meaning to the "grey" -- being old and grey, like the silver fox. Or, grey matter as in the jello-like organ that fits between one's ears.
That "grey matter" connection plays well with the theme song, "Think again."

But, let's quibble with the notion that one really does matter in Pittsburgh. I always use the example of four years ago in the Dem primary for mayor when there were more than a dozen debates between Bob O'C and Tom Murphy. There were plenty of times when the other three on the ballot -- Leroy, Josh and Earl -- didn't get to debate. They didn't have a seat at the table. They didn't debate.

This time, in 2005, the UJF holds a debate, as does the PDP (Pgh Downtown Partnership) and TV 4 (WTAE) -- and the others in the race don't matter. Only the front runners matter.

I think it is a noble idea to say everyone matters. But with contract patronage, with insider deals, with instutional bias -- it just doesn't ring true to me.

We could and should be a place where everyone does matter. I like that concept. But people are put onto the Citizens Police Review Board -- and they don't show up for meetings. They are on the board to NOT count and to discount the voice of others who care.

The citizens voted against funding for the stadiums. We said, despite large advertising money from the corporate types, that we didn't want to raise money from taxes to pay for two new stadiums and a convention center. We considered it. We voted. We won. But the new stadiums were shoved down our throats. It doesn't taste good.

The voters approved the county charter and then twice stood up for a twist in the rules that make county council members RESIGN from their seats on the county charter as soon as they become a candidate for another office. Well, when candidates announce, campaign, put in for endorsements, get voted upo for endorsements and obtain ballot status -- but STILL DON'T RESIGN -- we've got another problem. The powerful say that the citizens rules don't matter. (I'm speaking directly about Wayne Fontana's late resignation from county council.)

Do our kids matter when the mayor can just pull the plug on all the rec centers and swim pools?

Do the area fitness runners matter when the Great Race is squashed just to make a crisis reach the suburbanites to kick up dust in Harrisburg? The Marathon didn't matter and we have a marathon runner in the Mayor's office.

When we hire a TOP LIBRARIAN and the qualifications deem it necessary to have a LIBRARIAN in that post -- does it matter? Pick someone else, not qualified, but have the clout to overrule the rules.

The elected leaders don't even matter when we have two sets of overlords running this town with Act 47 and the I.C.A.

Do transit riders matter when all night and weekend service was to STOP and fares increase?

Do taxpayers matter when the assessments climb through the roof without rhyme and without reason? The folly in the system, and those that cause it, are saying to people -- this is your tough luck.

I wish everyone mattered here. Some matter more than others.

When you rob Peter to pay Paul, creat a TIF, (or call it what you wish). Then Matt, Mark, Luke and John see the poor stewardship. They hold back. They leave when they can. They vote with their feet. TIF today, KOZ (Keystone Opportunity Zone), or abatement, or Homestead exemption, or 1-2-3-4 caps, -- whatever. It is corporate welfare. It means we flounder.

If everyone mattered, there would NOT be so many blasted incentives to open or keep a business here -- as that takes from one and gives to another. Government can't create jobs in an efficient way. Government that tries to be real estate agents force the developers to be the elected ones. Things are all twisted. Our democracy is frail.

We even have troubled instances of making sure everyone matters when it is time to vote. A Democratic Party vote gets all the committee people to vote -- even the dozen who died last year. That's a great way to say EVERYONE MATTERS HERE.
And I don’t mean to exclude anyone, but I think the young people of Pittsburgh best know what I mean.

I think that the young people have a grip. I think that the young people know a thing or two. However, the young people don't know best. Don't fool yourself. Do inject, entertain, engage, criticize, run spell checkers, and ponder in public. But don't claim the brass ring for the youthful. This isn't Madison Ave where hippsters rule.

Young people have a lot to learn. Some lessons come the day you hold your baby in your arms. Other lessons come on the first day of school for your oldest kid. More know best insights come as you attend some funerals, as you dance a weddings of your buddies kid, or as you are a fulltime caregiver for someone you really don't know well now -- young or old -- family or otherwise.

That buzz about the local music scene is worthy -- but fleeting.
"... that mysterious himp that always keeps getting in the way...

Perhaps that hump is bi-modal and comes like a two humped camel. One hump could be seen when you look in the mirror and notice the ego that stares back. We are always our worst enemy. The troubles from within are much worse than those from elsewhere. That is always a given, for us all. We got to get out of our own way.

In swimming, we teach and coach how to be "streamlined."

Put in another sports and kid's example -- consider a tricycle -- or big wheel. When you are whipping downhill, you take your feet off of the pedals. There are times to get into a tuck and glide and hold form. There are other times to struggle like hell.

The experienced, artful, gifted ones are able to realize when it is time to pedal and when its time to coast and get in the draft of others.

The other hump -- I agree -- has much to do with local and state government.

I'm not too sure what you mean by the push down and pop up effect. Okay with the image of the pop up, push down effect. I get that concept. For me, and for this race for PA Senate, there is now a lot of mailers hitting the street between the old party candidates. Both are attacking. The Dems mailed a hit on the Republican candidate. The Republicans hit upon the Dem candidate. These guys, like me, are popping up. And, boy, they are getting cracked for doing so.

I, however, am a bit insulated. I've not been "attacked" in a mean spirited way -- yet. Perhaps because I'm a Libertarian. Perhaps because I'm not a threat. Perhaps because I'm such an island in terms of my life's position? I don't care to figure out why -- but do intend to bask in the community among neighbors and NOT be fearful nor intimidated.

It is great that Murphy's not running. He is part of the "old guard" of sorts. But, this race in 2005 is NOT our last best chance to strike. This is a great chance to strike, no doubt, but the end of the world isn't just around the corner. We're at the brink. It is grave, serious, and the worst is yet to come. But, the opportunities for betterment are plentyful. Great opportunities are going to be presented for decades to come.

We need to do the struggle -- but -- this isn't the last great stuggle. No way. We have to learn, grow, fight hard, and live to fight again another day.

Finally, on your finally point, the web site should be made more fresh and up to date. NUKE the part about going to the D's side as that date has passed. And, I don't feel that you need to look to the history of the past 70 years and be so beholden to it if you are really about voting for someone. We should strive to make history, not be slaves of it. That 70-years Dem rule stuff is a cut right out of the old school thinking that you hate so much in your rant.

Do the right thing for the city -- by walking the talk. Everyone matters. Republicans and Indies and Libertarians matter.

Nice rant. Keep it up. See ya around town.

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