Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Comments before city council

Statement before Pittsburgh's City Council
My name is Mark Rauterkus. My family and I reside at 108 South 12th Street on the South Side. My home on the internet is at Please check my blog frequently. My email address is simple:
A supporter of mine emailed me with tragic news while my family and I were in Hong Kong for two weeks in early October. That's how I learned of the death of your son, Sala. I want you to know that we all payed. We were not able to attend the funeral – but my heart breaks too with all of this violence and shooting. You know I've got two sons. I think that must be one of the worst fears in life.

Welcome back to council. Count me and my family as one of the many who really care.

The other night's meeting about gun violence that was organized by Ms. Carlisle is another that I did not attend – but was there in spirit. I did listen to the proceedings the next day on the internet at the Post-Gazette site. The PG gets a welcome nod in its recording of the meeting. Well done, by in large.

My brief hope and observation goes to the matter of guns. Our Second Amendment and the US Constitution – as well as the PA Constitution still matter. I wish the Constitution had more weight – but this is American. That meeting was NOT a beginning. We are with this legacy of rights and guns are here. It is my hope that we don't start to bark up the wrong tree and get into an impossible situation where advancements can not be made.

We can't ban guns from the streets of Pittsburgh and expect that legislation to hold up, be enforced, and really work. Let's not fool ourselves. Nor, try to fool the public.

Even the weed and seed program, something I respect, is like two legs of a chair. That formula, with two prongs, isn't going to be the entirety and be expected to stand up to make a platform for prosperity and wonderful places for raising our children. Weed and Seed needs a third leg to work. If you just weed and seed, weed and seed, -- who is going to harvest? We are going into Thanksgiving season. The fruits of the seeds don't just plop onto you tables to feed ourselves.

I worry about that third leg, most of all. I think that is the missing part in our government. You can't (as government officials) manage how one should flourish. But, you can, and you have, managed to mess up the capacity for allowing others to flourish.

You can crack the back of freedom, pathways to prosperity, and kill the harvest.

You can let the field turn to seed – prevent the harvest – and be rotten by blocking and bumbling and taxing and subsidizing and sustaining the floundering ways.

That's scary. And the fact of the matter is that some around here (Mayor's office mainly) just don't get it.

Halloween, -- a scary time of year. I want everyone to come to my hose for trick-or-treat. I've got CDs as our treat.

This is like 'candy for the mind.' You'll be able to play this on a CD and hear music and a message from myself. Plus, put the CD into your computer and get A free-and-open software package that is now at version 2.0.

Furthermore, if you'd like to give-away these treats to those that come to your house – or your circle of friends – that can be arranged.

We've never given out candy at our house for Halloween.

You can give out CDs – and they'll only cost you fifty-cents each. Or, come to the house with your spindle of blank CDs and we'll burn them for you while we have a cup of tea.

I live at 108 South 12th Street, South Side. You can place an order by sending me an email: Give me your phone # and I'll get back to you right away.

Voters: Please vote “NO” on the retention vote for the PA SUPREME COURT. Retention votes are being called for because the bench played an important role in getting the pay raise. And, the bench ignored the fact that the raise (unvouchered expenses) is unconstitional. The raise is not legal in terms of the PA Constitution. But the judges wanted to get a part of the pay-raise cash grab.

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