Thursday, August 31, 2006

Come Back Soon Marky

I miss reading about whatever is on Mark's mind. I know he's probably on one of his frequent globe-trotting ventures, one of the virtues of having a sugar Momma (HA!) but as a friend and a fan of his frenziness, I hope to read some more soon.

TL

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Good bye Nyla

Sunnyhill-Dot-OrgNyla Schwartz died suddenly. I've come to hear that she passed while being driven home by her daughter from a hospital. She was feeling ill that day. Went to the hospital and was then returning home.

How sad and tragic.

Libertarian Certified for November Ballot - 8/15/2006

Libertarian Certified for November Ballot - 8/15/2006 'Voters of all political persuasions are dissatisfied with the old status-quo parties. People like choices. They are eager to see candidates from challenger parties like the Libertarians on the ballot and most importantly, in office.' said Babb at a recent press conference. 'Clearly the Republicans have let down those interested
in fiscal restraint and the Democrats have clearly failed to protect our civil liberties. Libertarian is the only choice for voters interested in protecting private property and individual freedom.
Way to go Candidate Babb!

I love to bike. We need to use more bikes. The city can do much more in this area. But, let's do it right

From Dan Sullivan:
The City Planning Department is proposing a really bad bicycle lane through Bloomfield and down to the Strip District along Liberty Avenue. It will make bicycling along that route far more hazardous. Basically, roadside bike lanes make bicyclists *feel* safer while actually making them feel less safe. The project is supported by Bike Pittsburgh, based on "conventional wisdom."

I have written a flyer about the dangers of roadside bicycle lanes at:

http://pair.com/pimann/bikelanes.pdf


There are very good links on the back of the flyer. One of them, "American Bicycle Politics," shows how bike lanes serve the agendas of various interest groups without actually serving the interests of bicycle safety. It is a good analysis study of how pressure groups cause political bureaucracies to screw things up.

Below is Bike Pittsburgh's announcement about the presentation:

On 9 Aug 2006 at 15:02, Bike Pittsburgh wrote:

Action Alert: August 19th - Liberty Avenue Bike Lane Public Meeting!

Bike Pittsburgh needs you to show up and voice your support for a brand new bike facility that will be painted on Liberty Ave. in the heart of Bloomfield! The city is planning on using a combination of bike lanes and shared lane markings from Ligonier St. to Baum Blvd. in both directions. We have been working with City Planning on this
project for almost a year, and we're very close to seeing this happen, but they first want to inform the Bloomfield community on what they plan to do. Since there is a very real possibility that people will show up who do not ride bikes and might be against the project, there needs to be overwhelming support and presence from the bicycling community (especially from those of you who live in and around
Bloomfield).

We don't want to intimidate anyone, but we want to make sure that we are noticed and that we are going to stand behind the city's decision to go forward with this project.This is a huge step in a positive direction for Pittsburgh. If you're a bicyclist and want to see this particular project as well as future bike lane projects happen, show up! Come to this event, learn about the project, stand united, and show how many people in the city want safer bike facilities!

Try your best to bike to the event, but if you must drive please don't park in the garage. It is needed for patient visitation.

Saturday, August 19, 2006, 2:00 pm at West Penn Hospital on Liberty Ave. in
Bloomfield, Wintergarden Auditorium (entrance off of Friendship Ave.) Hosted by: Pittsburgh Department of City Planning

This is typical. The city's planning office is now on year 15 of their 2 year plan.

Deputy mayor walks Oakland, talks O'Connor line

Deputy mayor walks Oakland, talks O'Connor line And while the boyish Mr. Zober may have lacked the mayor's distinctive white hair and his natural exuberance, he flashed the same let's-get-it-done attitude, telling public works and building inspection officials to cite property owners or landlords where he found overflowing garbage, broken sidewalks or other code violations.
Why in the world does the Deputy Mayor need to tell anyone to tell public works employees and city building inspectors to cite property owners with overlowing garbage?????

These duties is part of their regular jobs that should be done on their own without the need of a 'green light' from the mayor's administration.

Does the manager of a fast food joint tell the guy on the grill when it is okay to flip each of the burgers that are to be cooked? What if a spill happens -- is there a chain of command to get the floor behind the counter 'redded up?'

No.

You just do it.

Zober should be there -- taking notes -- and giving termination papers to employees that have not done their jobs.

But, our city workers are conditioned to act only on orders from the Mayor's office.

The mayor wants the credit. The mayor wants the power. When people call the mayor -- the mayor wants to see that the work gets done so the mayor gets a friend and a re-election supporter.

That's crap. That's why we have crap that flows up and down our streets -- especially in Oakland where there are a lot of people who don't vote.

Don't give Oakland the services that it needs or be quick with the citations -- because you'll not win friends and nobody that matters cares anyway.

This is just another flavor in the corruption elements.

Great management and a great mayor would be able to empower the employees to do their jobs in an ethical and ambitious way -- without fear, without backlashes, without the need of decisions as to whos garbage can sit for another five days and whos garbage must get hauled away right away.

I'm glad Zober is walking the streets. I'm glad he is out and about. Please, don't rush to fix things with band-aids. Rather, fix the roots of the problems.

Fontana opponent quits Senate race

WRONG on the SECOND POINT -- and the P-G's Barnes didn't do a direct quote.
Fontana opponent quits Senate race: "Reached in Pittsburgh after the hearing, Mr. Fontana said his opponent 'obviously didn't want the judge to go through those signatures. He knew a lot of them were wrong, otherwise he would have gone through them.'

Mr. Fontana also said it appeared that a lot of the signatures on the petitions had been signed by the same person."
There is NO WAY that "a lot of the signatures on the petitions" had been signed by the same person." No way, no how, no sir.

A lot of the signers to the petition were "out of the district" because all the petition signers were offering their name up for a dual purpose -- and all of the signers were then (because of the dual purpose) were only requried to be of Allegheny County. The 42nd district is a sub-set of Allegheny County, as is the city of Pittsburgh.

For everyone's information, the 42nd disrict spans about one third of the city of Pittsburgh and about one-third of Allegheny County. The 42nd includes parts of South Side, Brentwood, but not Mt. Oliver, Brookline, but not Carrick, Baldwin Boro, but not Baldwin Township, the Bluff, but not The Hill, The Strip District, but not Lawrencevill nor Polish Hill, the lower west part of the North Side but not the east, Doormont, but not Mt. Lebo, and parts west to McKees Rocks, home to Catherine Baker Knoll and only Democracts and Montour School District, but not Moon's.

The top of all of "MY" nomination papers had "Russ Diamond" candidate for governor. This wasn't really about "Mark Rauterkus" as much as it was about putting up an alternative to Rendell and Swann -- as well as State Senate.

The intention was to cast a 'wide net' with the gathering of signatures. The signatures that were alleged to be 'wrong' were not wrong at all when you look at the complete purpose of the nomination papers for being an independent for a political body -- which I was.

This summer's petition exercise on my part made for a classic "double edge sword." With one signature, citizens were able to help me if and when they were proven to reside in the 42nd district. However, the other edge was also in play and the signature would have counted if and when the counting began for INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE for GOVERNOR.

My signatures, all of them, 85 pages, were turned into the Board of Elections, days in advance of the deadline of August 1.

My signatures were turned into the state days before RUSS DIAMOND ended his effort to get onto the ballot by raising 68,000 signatures. Meanwhile, the nearly 1,000 valid signatures I delivered to that cause were already delivered to the state and delivered by the citizens.

Parable with the excercise of a 'double edge sword' also has point. The point is most important and I told that to the reporter, Tom Barnes, of the Post-Gazette, after the hearing and before the hearing and to others at the P-G newsroom, Sunday, and Monday. Mr. O'Toole, where are you -- vacation???? ---- ????

Jon Delano, KDKA TV, is on vacation this week. He was interested in the 'point.'

Wayne Fontana, knocked me out of the race. However, his political career might have been mortally wounded -- like he fell on the point of the sword.

The fax number of the Senate office of the 42nd District -- and the description of the office title, much more than just the 717-fax number, were clearly visible on the top of the papers that were delivered to me by hand delivery from a constible (which was after the court ordered summons deadline on noon on Friday).

That needs some explanation.

The ballot challenge paperwork that came from an attorney in central PA on behalf of a petitioner, Daniel J. O'Shea of Allegheny County (Scott Township), Wayne's long-time friend and campaign Treasurer and member of the Dem Committee -- also seems to have passed through and been crafted by or in part my state senator's office.

This fax time stamp was at 3 pm on a MONDAY -- in business time.

This fax time stamp from the PA Senate 42nd District office comes on paperwork that makes a chain that ended with me and my removal from the ballot.

This was a political hit job. In my opinion, and in the opinion of many others, including the judge at the hearing, this type of work is not permitted to be done within the realm of the official state office. He showed interest in this fact but said it was for another day -- not for counting signatures.

So, he let me put MY copy of the ballot challenge into the official public record. My copy of the challenge was DIFFERNT and UNLIKE the one that they served to the court. Someone there screwed up.

What landed before me had evidence of their slime and political corruption -- much like what put Jeff Habay, former state rep, in a jail cell.

You NEVER EVER DO political work, and this is of the highest order political work, to squash democracy on official papers served to a citizen activist for tampering with an election, from within the OFFICE of the people.

I felt as if I was challenged by O'Shea (the petitioner), the attorney, and the office of the 42nd District --- and now in the P-G by the Senator himself.

No where and at no time was there even a hint that a lot of the signatures on the petitions had been signed by the same person.

And just to be totally honest, in one instance, one guy happened to sign the petition twice -- in different settings and days (if not weeks) apart.

Wayne Fontana is, as the P-G reports, virtually assured to be elected to a 4-year term after winning a rigged election on November 7 because I pulled off the ballot -- but Wayne Fontana is also virtually assured to come up before charges with the STATE ETHICS BOARD in these matters.

Keep talking Wayne -- the file gets thicker.

Yesterday, I asked the court to put Wayne Fontana's name on the official challenge as a co-petitioner along with his buddy O'Shea. Fontana was not in the courtroom in Harrisburg, nor was his buddy. They stood behind their hired attorney. They both had a 'failure to appear.'

By the way, I've been trying to reach Mr. Fontana for days. He hasn't called me back.

More soon.

(click comments to get the entire PG story)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Final press release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Libertarian Party of Pittsburgh

contacts: Harold Kyriazi: 412-478-4012 (cell); htk@pitt.edu

David Posipanka: 412-983-5451 (cell); 412-464-0660 (home)

Pittsburgh, PA -- August 15, 2006

The Libertarian Party of Pittsburgh is sad to announce that one of its most popular and energetic candidates, David Posipanka of Homestead, has been forced to withdraw from his race for State Representative in the 35th district.

After having laboriously gone door-to-door in various Mon Valley neighborhoods to collect 446 signatures from residents in order to get his name on the November ballot, a legal challenge to his candidacy was brought by two White Oak residents who are neighbors of the two-time incumbent Democrat, Marc Gergely. Additionally, the lawyer who drew up the legal papers is a childhood friend of Mr. Gergely's, and it seems likely that either Mr. Gergely's campaign or the local Democratic Party Committee is paying for the legal challenge, which sought to invalidate many of the
signatures on Mr. Posipanka's nomination papers.

The challenge to Posipanka's nomination papers, which had been accepted by the State Elections Bureau on August 1st, was filed on August 8th, and Posipanka was served with court papers the evening of August 10th by a local constable. Local Libertarian Party database manager and Posipanka campaign advisor, Harold Kyriazi, estimated from careful database work, that Posipanka would fall about 40 signatures shy if he sought to fight the court challenge, because about 110 of the signatures seemed to be from residents who aren't registered to vote.

Not wishing to travel all the way to Harrisburg on a workday for what would almost certainly be a losing effort, Posipanka decided to submit to the request of Gergely's lawyer friend, who brought a withdrawal form to Posipanka's house the day after "informing him" about the possibility of punitive legal fees if the case went to court.

Said Posipanka, "I don't blame anyone for using any and all legal means at their disposal to win, but I'm a little surprised that Mr. Gergely feels threatened by me, seeing as how I only got 9% of the vote in my previous race against him. I guess it's the fear of the current 'Throw the bums out' voter sentiment, after the illegal pay grab fiasco from last year. Frankly, though, I'm a little disappointed in him, for not wanting to engage in a healthy exchange of ideas for the fall election. Having only one candidate on the ballot is something we associate more with dictatorships than with America."

Major party candidates need only collect 300 signatures during the weeks before the Spring Primary, whereas minor party candidates need to solicit either 300 or 2% of that district's previous election's highest winning vote total, whichever is higher. This means that in some cases, a minor party candidate needs to collect almost 600 signatures while major party candidates need only 300. For statewide offices the situation is infinitely worse: this year, any minor party candidate for Governor or U.S. Senate needed 67,000 valid signatures, while major party candidates needed only
2,000.

"These sorts of shenanigans are not only unfair, but a direct violation of the Pennsylvania constitution, which stipulates that 'elections shall be free and qual,' said local party chair Dave Powell, from Morningside. "In my book, 7,000 does not equal 2,000. And, if minor party candidates for the state house needed only the 300 signatures needed by major party candidates, David Posipanka would still be on this year's ballot."

"It is our hope that the people of Pennsylvania will get behind a bill we've tried all year to have introduced in the state legislature, that will rectify the situation. It's called the Voter's Choice Act," said local LP secretary, Henry Haller, of Shadyside. "This proposed legislation is the result of the efforts of a group called the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition, which has representatives not only from the Libertarian Party, but the Green, Constitution, Reform, and Socialist parties, and even the decidedly non-libertarian Prohibition Party, among others. It seeks to implement in Pennsylvania the same simple and fair ballot access standards used in neighboring Delaware."

More about the VCA may be found at:
http://www.paballotaccess.org/voters_choice_act.html.

The LP of Pittsburgh represents the approximately 2,800 registered
Libertarians in Allegheny County. It maintains a website at www.lppgh.org,
and may be contacted there, or by phone at 412-904-2976.

S. Side independent drops state Senate bid

S. Side independent drops state Senate bid S. Side independent drops state Senate bid

Tuesday, August 15, 2006
By Tom Barnes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

HARRISBURG -- South Side activist Mark Rauterkus withdrew today from the race for state Senate in the 42nd District.

His decision leaves first-term Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Brookline, as the sole candidate in the Nov. 7 race.

Mr. Rauterkus told Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini he wanted to withdraw, just before the judge began going through 967 petitions signatures Mr. Rauterkus had submitted in an effort to get on the ballot.

Dan O'Shea, Mr. Fontana's campaign treasurer, had challenged over 500 of the signatures, mostly on the basis that the signers didn't live in the 42nd District. If true, that would invalidate the signatures and leave Mr. Rauterkus short of the 500 valid signatures he needed, the judge said.
Dan O'Shea didn't even show up for the court hearing. The challenge had O'Shea as the one who made the petition to scratch me from the ballot. However, if that challenge came from O'Shea or his attorney or else the office of the PA Senate 42 remains to discovered in certainty.

I asked the court to include Wayne Fontana as a co-petitioner on the challenge. Stay tuned....

I'm off the ballot

Come November 7, 2006, in the general election for PA Senate, 42nd district, my name, Mark Rauterkus, Independent, will NOT appear. Stay tuned. More news shortly.

We just returned from Harrisburg, safe and sound.

4 withdraw from state House races at deadline

4 withdraw from state House races at deadline


Slate so far has:

Governor
Ed Rendell, Democrat, Philadelphia
Lynn Swann, Republican, Sewickley Heights

Lt. Governor
Catherine Baker Knoll, Democrat, McKees Rocks
Jim Matthews, Republican, Montgomery County

U.S. Senate
Bob Casey Jr., Democrat, Scranton
Rick Santorum, Republican, Penn Hills
Carl Romanelli, Green, Wilkes-Barre

U.S. House

District 3
Steven Porter, Democrat, Erie County
Phil English, Republican, Erie
Timothy Hagberg, Constitution, Warren County

District 4
Jason Altmire, Democrat, McCandless
Melissa A. Hart, Republican, Bradford Woods

District 9
Tony Barr, Democrat, Blair County
Bill Shuster, Republican, Blair County

District 12
John P. Murtha, Democrat, Johnstown
Diana Irey, Republican, Carroll Township

District 14
Mike Doyle, Democrat, Forest Hills
Titus North, Green, Squirrel Hill

District 18
Chad Kluko, Democrat, Monroeville
Tim Murphy, Republican, Upper St. Clair

State Senate

District 32
Richard A. Kasunic, Democrat, Dunbar
Ronald L. Gallo, Republican, Connellsville

District 38
Jim Ferlo, Democrat, Highland Park
Joseph Murphy, Constitution, Oakmont

District 40
Jane Orie, Republican, McCandless
Christopher M. Graham, Constitution, Butler

District 42
Wayne Fontana, Democrat, Brookline
Mark Rauterkus, Independent, South Side

District 46
J. Barry Stout, Democrat, Bentleyville

State House

District 10
Jaret Gibbons, Democrat, Ellwood City
Chuck Morse, Republican, Slippery Rock

District 11
Bill Neel, Democrat, Butler
Brian Ellis, Republican, Butler

District 12
Daryl Metcalfe, Republican, Cranberry
Ronald E. Smith, Constitution, Butler

District 14
Mike Veon, Democrat, Beaver Falls
Jim Marshall, Republican, Big Beaver

District 15
Vince Biancucci, Democrat, Aliquippa
Todd Hockenberry, Republican, Beaver

District 16
Sean Ramaley, Democrat, Economy

District 19
Jake Wheatley, Democrat, Hill District

District 20
Don Walko, Democrat, North Side
Bill Stalter, Republican, Reserve
Jim Barr, Constitution, West View

District 21
Lisa Bennington, Democrat, Pittsburgh

District 22
Chelsa Wagner, Democrat, Beechview
Michael Diven, Republican, Brookline

District 23
Dan Frankel, Democrat, Squirrel Hill

District 24
Joseph Preston Jr., Democrat, East Liberty
Todd Elliott Koger, no party, Wilkinsburg

District 25
Joseph F. Markosek, Democrat, Monroeville
Ed Nicholson, Republican, Monroeville

District 27
Tom Petrone, Democrat, Crafton Heights
Bill Ogden, Republican, Crafton

District 28
John Henry, Democrat, Richland
Mike Turzai, Republican, Bradford Woods

District 30
Shawn T. Flaherty, Democrat
Randy Vulakovich, Republican, Shaler

District 32
Anthony M. DeLuca, Democrat, Penn Hills

District 33
Frank Dermody, Democrat, Oakmont
Eileen Watt, Republican, Cheswick

District 34
Paul Costa, Democrat, Wilkins

District 35
Marc Gergely, Democrat, White Oak

District 36
Harry Readshaw, Democrat, Carrick

District 38
Bill Kortz, Democrat, Dravosburg
Daniel J. Davis, Republican, West Mifflin

District 39
David Levdansky, Democrat, Forward

District 40
John Maher, Republican, Upper St. Clair

District 42
Matthew Smith, Democrat, Mt. Lebanon
Mark Harris, Republican, Mt. Lebanon

District 44
Ray Uhric, Democrat, Moon
Mark Mustio, Republican, Moon

District 45
Nick Kotik, Democrat, Robinson

District 46
Jesse White, Democrat, Cecil
Paul Snatchko, Republican, McDonald

District 48
Timothy Solobay, Democrat, Canonsburg
Demo Agoris, Libertarian, Houston

District 49
Peter Daley, Democrat, California
Edward S. Angell, Republican, Carroll Township

District 50
Bill DeWeese, Democrat, Waynesburg
Greg Hopkins, Republican, Morris Township

District 51
Tim Mahoney, Democrat, South Union
John Mikita, Republican, Uniontown

District 52
Deberah Kula, Democrat, North Union
William R. Earnesty, Republican, Dunbar

District 54
John Pallone, Democrat, New Kensington
Scott Witon, Republican, New Kensington

District 55
Joseph Petrarca, Democrat, Vandergrift

District 56
James Casorio Jr., Democrat, Irwin
Joel Reiter, Republican, North Huntingdon
Brian S. Blasko, Go Steelers, North Huntingdon

District 57
Tom Tangretti, Democrat, Hempfield
Steve Schaefer, Republican, Greensburg

District 58
Ted Harhai, Democrat, Monessen
Pete McConnell, Republican, Rostraver

District 59
Jess Stairs, Republican, Mount Pleasant

District 60
Jeff Pyle, Republican, Ford City.

Greens' Senate nominee wants state to ease ballot-access rule

PennLive.com: NewsFlash - Greens' Senate nominee wants state to ease ballot-access rule

Monday, August 14, 2006

We all loose when democracy gets ignored and votes have NOT choices on election day


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Libertarian Party of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA -- August 15, 2006

The Libertarian Party of Pittsburgh is sad to announce that one of its most popular and energetic candidates, David Posipanka of Homestead, has been forced to withdraw from his race for State Representative in the 35th district. After having laboriously gone door-to-door in various Mon Valley neighborhoods to collect 446 signatures from residents in order to get his name on the November ballot, the two-time Democrat incumbent, Marc Gergely, hired a lawyer to seek to invalidate many of those signatures, and bring Posipanka's signature total below the required 370.

The resulting legal challenge to Posipanka's nomination papers, which had been accepted by the State Elections Bureau on August 1st, was filed on August 8th, and Posipanka was served with court papers the evening of August 10th by a local constable. Local Libertarian Party database manager and Posipanka campaign advisor, Harold Kyriazi, estimates that Posipanka would fall about 40 signatures shy if he sought to fight the court challenge.

Not wishing to travel all the way to Harrisburg on a workday for what would likely be a losing effort, Posipanka decided to submit to the request of Gergely's lawyer, who brought a withdrawal form to Posipanka's house the day after "informing him" about the possibility of punitive legal fees if the case went to court.

Said Posipanka, "I don't blame anyone for using any and all legal means at their disposal to win, but I'm a little surprised that Mr. Gergely feels threatened by me, seeing as how I only got 9% of the vote in my previous race against him. I guess it's the fear of the current 'Throw the bums out' voter sentiment, after the illegal pay grab fiasco from last year. Frankly, though, I'm a little disappointed in him, for not wanting to engage in a healthy exchange of ideas for the fall election. Having only one candidate on the ballot is something we associate more with dictatorships than with America."

Major party candidates need only collect 300 signatures during the weeks before the Spring Primary, whereas minor party candidates need to solicit either 300 or 2% of the previous winner's vote total, whichever is higher. This means that in some cases, a minor party candidate needs to collect almost 600 signatures where major party candidates need only 300. For statewide offices the situation is infinitely worse: this year, any minor party candidate for governor or U.S. Senate needed 67,000 valid signatures, while major party candidates needed only 2,000.

"This sort of shenanigans is not only unfair, but a direct violation of the Pennsylvania constitution, which stipulates that 'elections shall be free and equal,' said local party chair Dave Powell, from Morningside. "In my book, 67,000 does not equal 2,000. And, if minor party candidates for the state house needed only the 300 signatures needed by major party candidates, Dave Posipanka would still be on this year's ballot."

"It is our hope that the people of Pennsylvania will get behind a bill we've tried all year to have introduced in the state legislature, that will rectify the situation. It's called the Voter's Choice Act," said local LP secretary, Henry Haller, of Shadyside. "This proposed legislation is the result of the efforts of a group called the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition, which has representatives from not only the Libertarian Party, but the Green, Constitution, Reform, and Socialist parties, and even the decidedly non-libertarian Prohibition Party, among others. It seeks to implement in Pennsylvania the same simple and fair ballot access standards used in neighboring Delaware."

More about the VCA may be found at: http://www.paballotaccess.org/voters_choice_act.html.

I'm scripting some important statements for court at 1:30 on Wednesday

Try this on for size.

Pennsylvania courts misinterpret "qualified elector" to mean "registered voter" even though it is statutorily defined elsewhere to mean citizens over the age of 18.

See page 15 of the Voters Choice Act white paper.

http://www.paballotaccess.org/Voters%20Choice%20Act%20White%20Paper.pdf

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Statement of Michael Morrill Concerning the PA Green Collaboration with the Santorum Campaign - 8/11/2006

Some excellent food for thought from a past citizen candidate.
Statement of Michael Morrill Concerning the PA Green Collaboration with the Santorum Campaign - 8/11/2006 First, let me state unequivocally that I have not asked Carl Romanelli to resign from the US Senate race. While I am profoundly disappointed in his recent choices, I do not think it is my business to ask Carl to withdraw. The decision about whether to stay in the race is solely Carl’s and should be based on whether his sense of morality and ethics will allow him to continue the race in good conscience.

Second, I also want to register my absolute outrage at Pennsylvania’s egregious ballot access requirements. There is no justification whatsoever for asking independent candidates and emerging parties to gather more than 30 times more signatures than the two old parties. Requiring that many signatures is merely an attempt to keep people with different ideas off the ballot. Unfortunately, it is a successful strategy as evidenced by the inability of third parties and independents to gain any statewide ballot positions this year.

For Immediate Release: Chelsa Wagner to run in Brookline Breeze - 8/11/2006

For Immediate Release: Chelsa Wagner to run in Brookline Breeze - 8/11/2006 Chelsa Wagner to Run in Brookline Breeze
I tripped up on a PRESS RELEASE opportunity. (PUN intended.)

Ferlo's presence looming larger at city hall

Poor, poor Jim Ferlo. He says he doesn't have anything.
Ferlo's presence looming larger at city hall 'I have no personal agenda. I don't have friends or relatives looking for a job. I have no business ventures in the city of Pittsburgh. Maybe that's why it's so good to work with me, because I don't have anything,' he said.
On a certain level, I agree with the "island-type nature" of Jim Ferlo, PA Senator. Jim is free to do what he wishes with one rather large weight of obligation around his neck that is failed to be mentioned.

Jim Ferlo is a die-hard Democrat. The loyalty there can not be overlooked. He is with a single vision in party politics.

That is where Jim Ferlo and I part as people who both are able to crow about NOT needing to kiss butt to any special interest groups. I can -- and do -- fly freely among all party types: left, right and center. Jim Ferlo's wing outreaches only to the left.

I admire Jim Ferlo for many reasons and deeds. He'll talk to me when I bump into him in the hallways of life and pull a button-hole move to keep him within conversation's reaches. In some instances, we'll be at odds, politically.

Putting Jim Ferlo onto the URA Board was a wonderful move by Bob O'Connor. I said that the at City Council the first time I spoke after that news was announced. It makes for a dramatic shift in direction away from the failures of Tom Murphy.

I hope Jim Ferlo's status among URA projects increases greatly. Perhaps iut isn't best to have him as the 'chair' of that organization. The time sink for that duty is sure to be great. However, I'd love to see him be able to pull all the wires he wants in dealings with the URA, its projects, vision, mission, budget, priorities and people.

I would love the opportunity to work hard next to Jim Ferlo in the future. We'd tackle healthcare and come up with some excellent solutions and see that they were launched for the benefit of all of Pennsylvania.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Who is counting votes N@

Jeff M. Brindle, candidate in the November 2006 general election for PA House in another part of the state reported on an email list this interesting fact from the spring primary, 2006.
The Chester County Department of Voter Services lists a total of 143 Democratic write-ins and 272 Republican write-ins for Representative in the General Assembly in the 26th District. The Pennsylvania Department of State on the other hand certified that there were 0 write-ins by Democrats and 0 write-ins by Republicans. You gota love our democracy where very vote counts.

I don't know how many were for Tom Powell (whom based on the yard signs I saw outside the polling place I was at tried a write-in campaign) and myself whom also encouraged voters to write my name in. Guess we never will...

Brookline Breeze -- our time: 38-minutes

Grant, 8, and I ran the Brookline Breeze together -- painfully mostly. He wants to go too fast and then too slow. Pace is an important concept to learn.

He did fly at the finish. I had a hard time keeping up with him.

This was Grant's first 5K.

A handful of kid runners were very impressive.

Next year Grant wants to do the 1-mile fun run.

But, we need to do a better job with 'self-talk' and 'programming.' There are certain words that I don't want to hear -- ever. Not as a coach. Not as a parent. Not on the stage of sports -- such as -- 'i can't.' My teams had this drilled into them, and it works: ONLY positive talk.

Fun event. Beautiful day. And, we got a door prize -- and urban hike from Adventure Outdoors.

Next up, 2 pm birthday party for a classmate. Plus, the Western Pa Linux User Group annual picnic. (wPLUG.org) Then 7 pm to North Hills Library for storytelling event.

ASCA Online - Your Coaching Resource

John Leonard, the Exec. Director of the American Swim Coaches Assn., offers up a rant about "Sport Politicians."
ASCAOnline - Your Coaching Resource

Friday, August 11, 2006

Water Polo Clinic in Crafton -- a smashing success

Today we played our fifth and final day of a one week water polo clinic at Crafton Swim Pool. We gathered from 9:30 to 11:30 am from Monday to Friday.

All in all, we had 20 people play. One was Coach Mike, the head swim coach. So, I didn't charge him the $5 fee. We collected a total $95 -- enough to pay for the lifeguards.

The last day was the lightest in terms of participation. But throughout the week, most of the kids came most of the days.

In the final day, we did a lot of game playing. But with 5 on 6, I opted to use the shallow water course, with a few interesting twists to the rules. Being the coach, offfical and league czar, -- I could do whatever I felt was best.

No goalies were played. People had to match-up on defense and could not just hand at the goal's mouth. Plus, offense could not cherry pick. If a soft shot or close shot hit the water -- I'd call, "GOALIE COVERAGE," and the defense would get the ball there to play on. So, for shots to score a goal, they had to be legit shots, not too long and not too close either.

The goals were attached to the base of the lifeguard stands. The goals were plywood, 1 foot tall and about 4 foot wide. The sat in the gutter, so a ball could not float into the wood goal, but had to be tossed. Hitting the wood was a goal. If the ball hitt the guard chair and bounce back into the water, the play continued as if the goalie made a blocked shot or the shot went off of the cross-bar.

Using the bottom was okay -- but springing off the bottom to make a play was not okay and resulted in a turnover (loss of possession). Funny thing -- Erik, 11, got out of the water after the final game and had blood dripping from both of his big toes. He had worn off the skin on the bottom of his feet under his big toes playing the game and gripping the bottom of the pool.

The game (white vs. purple) saw a 4 goal comeback and a double-overtime. It was exciting. Kids from HS age to age 7 were playing, boys and girls. After the game -- we went to the deep end (except Erik, who we discovered had some feet to dry) and held a round of shoot-outs, 1-on-1, penalty style shooter vs a goalie.

Today was the first day we used the shallow end of the pool. The kids were good at reading open spaces, using one hand, playing defense in good positions, not sinking the ball, and passing to get a good shot at the goal.

The first activity for today's practice was a 3 on 1, counter attack, square out drill. The 3 start at the wall, out of the water, and one holds the ball like a QB and tosses to one of the two others who are breaking in a counter attack and do 'square outs.' The offense tried to complete two good square out patterns. Two guys played fulltime defense, switching turns.

It was a successful week. Polo is good as it teaches players how to 'read' -- how to 'hustle' -- and how to make good decisions. It is a teamwork game and that is lost on those who only do 'competitive swimming.' Sure, I know and understand that swimming is a team sport. Swimming is a great team sport, but playing water polo puts new team dynamics into the game on a moment by moment basis.

Next year, I hope to do a water polo clinic with 50 or 60 or 70 kids for 2 or more weeks.

To make the clinic and team a really fun experience, the participation numbers are needed in the program. I felt that 20 allowed for a critical mass. But we were short with subs, line shifts, quality match-ups, goalie play and some other experiences. I'm not sure I could coach 60 in one practice -- but that is another problem.

Politics are Local, Loyalty is Personal

Politics are Local, Loyalty is Personal Politics are Local, Loyalty is Personal

Most people in and around Pittsburgh are aware that Mayor Bob O'Connor fired three people from his team: city Solicitor Susan Malie, his chief of staff, and his finance director. Such a change in top-level political players would be unusual under any circumstances, but given that the mayor is currently undergoing difficult cancer treatment this announcement was quite a shock for most people. Why did he do it? The answers aren't very comforting.
Opinions surface from another blog.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Save Rutgers Swimming

Save Rutgers Swimming Background Information on the Decision to Eliminate
Men’s Swimming and Diving at Rutgers University

On July 14th, 2006, the Rutgers University Board of Governors announced that the university will be eliminating men's swimming and diving after the 2006-07 season. The decision came in the wake of $52.4 million in spending cuts to programs, staff and services that will affect virtually all academic and administrative operations at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
New Jersey has gambling. Gambling didn't turn out to be the saving element for NJ did it?

Pitt hosts Rutgers at Heinz Field this fall for football. Perhaps we should get a big group of swimmers from the Pittsburgh area to go there and protest the loss of the swim program?

Meeting with Mr. Roosevelt, Super of Pgh Public Schools -- slated for August 22

It seems that Mr. Roosevelt's secretary confirmed a scheduled meeting for 6:30 P.M., Tuesday, August 22, 2006, at Frick Middle School in Oakland.

Parents of students in INTERNATIONAL STUDIES classrooms are urged to come to the meeting. The hope is to bring as many interested people as possible. It is very important that we show the administration that the parents are very active in supporting the international studies program.

Many of our group are going to be out of town on that date. I won't be there as I'll be in Canada with my sons at a swim and sports camp. So, those who are here in Pittsburgh need to go so as to make a good showing.

Some parents, organized by Amy Moore, might meet in advance of that meeting to to formulate and agenda and/or questions.

The INTERNATIONAL Studies Program includes the Foreign Language ELEMENTARY SCHOOL MAGNETS. My kids, for example, have been in a Spanish Language class since grade K, at Phillips Elem on the South Side. Others schools have French, German and other language specializations.

One point of concern with the new administration is the fact that they are "NEW" and don't know the legacy of the programs and how they have been such a success throughou the past decade(s). But, these schools and the programs are not rock solid. A slack principal and/or slack support can kill a quality school in a year or two -- as was the case with the East Hills School. People pulled their kids out when the program at the school lost its rigor.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Some guys give "INDEPENDENT" status a bad reputation

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Home Sen. Joe Lieberman filed to run for re-election in November as an independent, saying Wednesday it would be 'irresponsible and inconsistent with my principles' to quit. But Democratic leaders in Washington rallied around the man who beat him for the nomination, Ned Lamont.
Leiberman isn't an INDEPENDENT. He should run as the JOE Leiberman Party, not with an "I" next to his name. (snicker on the word play)

I'm now an INDEPENDENT.

Perhaps Joe should be of the wild card party. In *nix speak, that could be with a * next to his party designation.

Furthermore, if he wins -- then what? Does he go right back to being an D?

In PA, we've got a no two bites from the same apple rule. So, Joe would be out of luck.

But in PA, we'd have held our primary in May -- not August. I sorta like the late PRIMARY concept.

Rant at Pittsblog comments about the 'creative class' thread

Here are some comments I just inserted over in Pittsblog's blog.

Woops. This thread skipped along. As to the call way at the top...

"To thrive, one needs to stay?"

"Please elaborate."

My performance metric is about getting the region "to thrive." (or to thrive again) I don't want Lycos just to have a consumer brand buzz darling. I want to have a region that thrives -- and that might include the potential of a number of Fortune 500 companies -- and many other start-ups, etc.

To thrive, we can't be a revolving door. The region can't really deliver prosperity if it only does 'tech development' and not marketing, or finance, or whatever.

The region can't hitch a wagon to only healthcare, or only education, or only NIH research.

A jungle has diversity, rich eco density -- like a rain forest, right. We have to take care of all age groups, all income levels, all classes (or have none), and all neighborhoods -- so opportunity can ooze from every imagination and performer.

So, to elaborate on my shorthanded statement above, ... For the region to thrive, the economy (business environment) has to have all the bases covered. We need assets in all the realms within our reach. In sports speak, the team that we field as a region needs to have players for all the roles and all the necessary positions.

By the way, the STEELERS have done okay without the need to ever field a cheerleading squad. Cheerleaders are not necessary for a winning team.

Meanwhile, doctors need nurses, administrators, rehab specialists, facilities and patients -- plus a marketplace that pays its bills on time and doesn't cost an arm nor a leg for malpractice insurance.

The Steelers can't carry six QBs and say screw the defensive linemen positions.

I'm saying, I have an appreciation for the diversity of work that needs to be accomplished -- and -- we all have to be part of the puzzle in all sorts of roles. And, a region that puts everyone into the game in helpful ways -- call that bench strength. That's the ticket for the region to thrive in the long run.

Or, put another way, ONE key player isn't going to make or break a region.

In the huddles of life, we all can't be the one calling the plays.

So, when you are "more creative" you'd be able to be a change agent and slip into other roles -- wear different hats at different times or in different situations. Fine. Slash and #86 were exciting to watch. But, the roots of the problem for our region resides within in our lack of depth in the farm system -- HOME GROWN. We don't have diversity of strengths as an asset. (i.e., I agree the region is really thin in terms of senior, middle management who can lead risk-content-creative ventures N@.

Signal Item - Focus -- Our Water Polo Clinic gets ink in newspaper

Signal Item - Focus Water polo adds diversity to aquatics program
By Becky Hershberger, Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Swimmers heading to Crafton pool this week can take part in a newly offered water polo clinic.

The program began Monday and runs through Friday, Aug. 11, rain

or shine.

Open to girls, boys and adults alike, program director Mark Rauterkus hopes to attract athletes from the ball sports such as baseball, football and basketball -- goalie sports such as lacrosse, soccer and hockey -- not to mention swimming.

'Water polo adds a lot of diversity to our aquatics program,' he says.

'The kids love it -- they love throwing around the ball.'

Rauterkus, currently an assistant coach with the Crafton Crocodiles, has been coaching at Carlynton Swim Club in the winter.

In prior years he has worked with Green tree's swim team, and formerly coached water polo at Fox Chapel swimming at Plum.

'I'm excited to organize and coach water polo and for the opportunity to extend the swim season for this extra week as a pilot program. Many of the kids have been dedicated and devoted swimmers on the team this summer,' he says.

'Water polo gives another experience to make friends and build conditioning in a fun, vibrant, structured setting.

'Nearly everyone is a rookie in the clinic. Everyone will improve, learn and gain a respect for this Olympic sport.'

The clinic is geared toward novice players and Rauterkus is offering plenty of instruction including drills, skill development, conditioning, game situations and tactics.

The popular Olympic sport has made headlines lately since Slippery Rock University officials cut the school's women's water polo and swim teams -- among other sports -- to save money in January.

A judge later reinstated both last month since officials did not consider compliance with Title IX, a law requiring federally-funded schools to provide equal sports opportunities for men and women.

'A point of interest is that it's being talked about and it's a women's and girls' sport too,' Rauterkus says.

'It's not just a guy thing.'

For more information about the water polo clinic, contact Mark Rauterkus at 412-298-3432 or via e-mail at Mark@Rauterkus.com.

No advance registration is necessary. The cost is $5 for the week, or for one visit.

Registration forms are available at the pool or the day of practices.

Swimmers should be able to swim four-lengths of the swimming pool in less than three minutes, (two with their head up and two with the head under).

Cool Job posting for anyone looking

National Fatherhood Initiative Job Description

Position: Healthcare Program Specialist (HPS)

Status: Exempt

Hours: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM; with occasional evenings and weekends

Travel: Variable; might average 20 – 30% of time

Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Telecommute)

General Description: Under the supervision of the Director of Healthcare Programming, the Healthcare Program Specialist (HPS) will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Pittsburgh Daddy Pack™ Project. This responsibility will include assisting the Director in providing training programs and technical assistance services to agencies, funders and community leaders to make the project a success. The HPS may, from time to time, be involved in NFI’s work on a national level (see Secondary Responsibilities below).

Primary Responsibilities (Pittsburgh and Surrounding Area):

* Implement and manage the Pittsburgh Daddy Pack™ (DP) Project following the guidelines set forth in the final proposal.
* Manage the Pittsburgh DP Project budget.
* Work closely with Director of Evaluation to provide necessary evaluation data generated by the Pittsburgh DP Project.
* Deliver bi-weekly reports to the Director on the progress of the project against the project plan for the Pittsburgh DP Project.
* Conduct Doctor Dad™ training institutes associated with the Pittsburgh DP Project*. Work with the Director and other NFI staff and new contacts to develop a calendar of training dates.
* Write call reports (i.e., summaries) of key meetings and phone calls, conferences and other events associated with the Pittsburgh DP Project and submit them to the Director, NFI senior management and other staff whose work is affected by the outcome of those events.
* Track the provision of technical assistance associated with the Pittsburgh DP Project and deliver a monthly report to the Director.

Secondary Responsibilities (National Level):

* Promote and sell NFI’s healthcare products and services.
* Deliver a bi-weekly Product Promotion report to the Director that includes contact information (e.g., name of potential customer, phone number, etc.) and the results of contacts made against this responsibility.
* Assist the Director in developing and executing an annual tactical plan for healthcare programming that is consistent with NFI’s overall strategic plan.

* When necessary, assist appropriate NFI staff who coordinates the marketing and logistics (e.g., securing training locations and registering participants) of Doctor Dad™ training institutes.
* Assist the director in identifying and developing tactical alliances related to healthcare programming. The primary purpose of these alliances is to increase the distribution of healthcare products and services. This responsibility requires the ability to effectively deliver NFI’s standard presentation on NFI and the Healthcare Programming standard presentation.
* Participate in exhibiting and presenting opportunities as they arise.
* Prepare training institute and technical assistance contracts and quotes for review by the Director.
* Assist NFI development staff in grant proposal preparation for funding sources for healthcare programming. When necessary, provide development staff with content for proposals.
* Assist in acquiring evaluation data on the products and services within healthcare programming.
* Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Requirements:

* Passionate about fatherhood and related issues
* Excellent training and facilitation skills
* Excellent verbal and written communication skills
* Comfort with and ability to sell products and services
* 2 to 3 years experience managing large-scale service-delivery projects
* Proficient use of computer software applications, especially Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint
* Outstanding customer relations and organizational skills
* Bachelors Degree

Preferred Qualifications (not required):

* Degreed medical professional (e.g., RN, LPN, NP, PA, MD and DO)
* Sales background, especially in the healthcare field
* In-depth knowledge of the fatherhood movement and field
* Grant writing experience
* Experience in public speaking
* Bilingual (English and Spanish)

*Training institutes are NFI’s “train the facilitator” events. NFI does not conduct workshops for fathers.

US Senator and Author to visit South Side Bookstore

Senator BYRON DORGAN signs book: Take This Job and Ship It

Wednesday, August 9 at 7:00 pm

How Corporate Greed and Brain-Dead Politics Are Selling Out America
One of the most vocal Democrats in the Senate passionately argues that free trade is not free, and that outsourcing, offshoring, and greedy mega-corporations are destroying America's economy.
Joseph-Beth

CollegeSwimming.com's Phil Whitten takes a bold approach -- proactive too!

CollegeSwimming.com According to Whitten more than 60 college swim teams have been eliminated since 1991, 'ostensibly for budgetary or Title IX reasons.' He is calling for college coaches at all levels to apply to serve on the four task forces and an additional three dozen committees to be announced in the near future. The committees are:

1. SOS - Save Our Sport, booklet revision committee;
2. Crisis Team;
3. Opportunity Team;
4. Prospecting Team

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

AMS Bulletin Board

AMS Bulletin Board8/5/06


Water Polo Clinic

Play and learn water polo with a week long clinic at Crafton Swim Pool in Crafton Park on Steuben Street.
August 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11, 2006, (Monday to Friday) from 9:30 am to 11:30 am.

Cost is $5. Register at the door your first practice, rest of the week is without charge.
Condition while you learn skills, drills, strategy and tactics of this great Olympic sport -- and make new friends.

Coach Mark Rauterkus, Mark@Rauterkus.com, 412-298-3432

PACleanSweep Sheds Corporate Bureaucracy

Lebanon County Judge Samuel Kline granted a motion to dissolve the non-profit corporation known as PACleanSweep, Inc. Five members of the corporation’s Board of Directors filed the motion after months of deadlocks within the organization regarding how to follow up the group’s success over the last year.

“This is not the end of the movement,” said Russ Diamond, PACleanSweep founder, “rather this is simply an adjustment in the way the group operates. The corporate structure that we set up last year, while well-intentioned, significantly hampered the effort to compete in the fast-paced political realm.”

Diamond, one of the petitioners, intends to continue maintaining the PACleanSweep.com website, which was established before any corporate structure was put in place.

Bucks County attorney Lawrence Otter was appointed Receiver by the court to wind up the now-defunct corporation’s affairs and liquidate its assets.

PACleanSweep raised nearly 100 candidates to run in the 2006 primary election in its effort to change the face of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly. Thirtyfive of those candidates won their primary race with seven of those victories coming at the expense of incumbents.

The group was also instrumental in the first-ever non-retention of a state Supreme Court Justice when Russell Nigro lost his seat last November.

“We did well over the last year, and that’s something to be proud of. But true reform is not a once-and-done thing. We’ve only gotten lip service and reform-lite so far as a result of the public outrage over the pay raise. The people of Pennsylvania need to maintain their focus on everything that’s wrong in Harrisburg and continue to keep the pressure on elected officials;” concluded Diamond.

PACleanSweep is a non-partisan effort dedicated to defeating incumbent elected officials in Pennsylvania and replacing them with true public servants. For more information, visit http://www.PACleanSweep.com.

Pittsburgh's Future

Pittsburgh's Future We need simpler government, not necessarily smaller government. The complexity and inefficiency caused by having so many different governmental entities, each with its own rules and procedures, can deter growth in other sectors, particularly manufacturing.
Why? Why everywhere too.

The suggestions take big leaps. So, we don't need smaller government. Big government is okay. But it needs to be simple. Simple as in duhh simple. As in stupid simple? As in basic simple?

Why is the manufacturing sector so hitched to simple government? Energy? Labor law? Recycling? Product liability? Banking? Talented workforce? Tarrifs?

The double talk and spin seems obvious at that sight and with those articles.

Pittsburgh's Future & manufacturing

Pittsburgh's Future We need to have a competitive business climate in order to retain and grow the high-wage manufacturing jobs that contribute so much to regional income. High-tech manufacturing is particularly important, because its jobs pay high wages and are less likely to be outsourced to other regions.
Why in the world are high-tech manufacturing jobs less likely to be outsourced to other regions? That makes little sense to me.

Monday, August 07, 2006

BUCK$ FOR BLOG: SOFTBANK PUTS $5M IN HUFF POST By TIM ARANGO - New York Post Online Edition: Business

Content is king, so the saying goes. Here in Pittsburgh, our old-style of operations said that coal is king. Coal, as in other carbon-based products.
BUCK$ FOR BLOG: SOFTBANK PUTS $5M IN HUFF POST By TIM ARANGO - New York Post Online Edition: Business August 7, 2006 -- A group led by venture capital firm Softbank is investing $5 million in the Huffington Post, an online news site and political blog owned by the pundit Arianna Huffington, The Post has learned.

In addition to Softbank, venture capitalist Alan Patricof is also investing in the site, as well as some of the initial investors. Huffington and former Time Warner executive Ken Lerer founded the site.

The investment comes amid a surge in interest in content on the Internet among big media firms. Venture capital firms, meanwhile, have typically focused on technology companies but now are increasingly looking at investing in Internet content.

Water Polo Clinic begins this morning

All are invited. See the other blog post for the details.

Today, Grant also has a softball playoff game at Ormsby Park.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Transcript of Mr. Martin's talk in Harrisburg on August 1 -- deadline for 3rd party candidates to file for general election ballot

It is an honor to be here, but I wish it were under different circumstances.

We are gathered here to witness the end of an era -It is time to eulogize the Citizen Statesman, for the Citizen statesman is dead. Murdered by career politicians determined to stay in power, murdered by career politicians determined to rule, not govern.

Why do I feel the need deliver such a eulogy? Is it just because ballot access is not happening for me, Tom Martin, Libertarian Candidate for US Senate nominated by a recognized political party? Or is it a much larger problem for all citizens because the system has been re-arranged so that the career politicians have our elections rigged so they only face each other in their ongoing dance of power.

The state constitutions promises "Elections shall be free and equal." We must ask, "When?"

Statutory law has been arranged so that state wide candidates challenging the incumbent parties need more than 67,070 signatures where the incumbents need only two thousand. Only Politicians and lawyers think that 67 = 2. Offices are such as US Congress typically represents 5% of the states population yet challengers are not much better off, they still need at least twice as many signatures as the incumbent candidates running for state wide office.

I stand here with members of other parties, Constitution, Green, Socialist and Independents who also suffering the same political fate and I know of many other who did not even try because the barriers have been risen so high, Its not just me, we the people are being denied ballot access in the land of the free. The Citizen Statesman is being exterminated from the political arena.

So who are these Citizen Statesman?

The citizen Statesman is the concept that the common man has a direct and fundamental impact on how the state governs on a daily basis. The citizen Statesman is a cross section from all walks of life - people who come to Harrisburg or Washington bringing their life experience, knowledge, and wisdom to spend a few years in service to the country, the state, the constitution and their fellow man then to return to their daily lives.

The Career politicians are different creatures. They have many faces such as Dictators, Kings, Princes, and Aristocracies. All with a variety of excuses to rule. Career politicians have a life-time job servicing the public. Today, we the people face yet another angle of the power game. And, it really should not be any surprise. Thomas Jefferson warned us, "I hope we shall... Crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of the country."

The entrenched political parties are such corporations. Tools for career politicians, they are legal fictions that have been violating the public trust for their own advancement.

The career politicians are always quick to play political theater. They pay lip service to the rights and freedoms of the citizens - just as long as when the citizens exercise of their rights won’t get in the careerist way.

The career politicians are quick to point out how generous they have been with the tax payer’s money - just as long as they don’t have to mention the fact that money was extorted and borrowed from other hard working citizens. The career politicians are quick to point out how they helped some one who was a victim of one of their numerous bad laws. It is easy to be liberal with some one else’s rights and money.

As rationalizations for miss deeds, today’s career politicians can easily claim massive public support from them selves and their reign, and it is no surprise because annually they are the gate keepers of thousands of billions of our tax payer dollars confiscated and borrowed from we the people.

But apparently that is not enough for their power lust. They have scrubbed opposition candidates like Ralph Nader from the ballot.

At the highest levels these career politicians have no qualms about squashing the the right of the American people to an informed vote. During the last presidential election, the same day two American soldier’s died for Iraq's democracy, the career politicians President Bush and Senator Kerry had Libertarian Presidential candidate, Michael Badnarik, and Green presidential candidate, David Cobb, arrested rather then debated just to deny the citizens an informed vote.

Why is their democracy so important - and ours is not?

The career politicians are so imbedded in government they have made government a tool for advancing their own self interest. They have done many things to protect them selves from the people - but controlling who runs against them in the elections is the most devious and egregious wrong for it requires violating the public trust about clean elections.

Where are the career politicians when it comes to protecting the fundamental rights of the American citizen? After all, protecting the elections of 'We the People,' not their life time grip on power is their explicit and sacred duty that they accepted when they swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.

Who is trying to protect our republic?

I am, Tom Martin nominated Libertarian candidate for US Senate. I am very honored to stand with other citizen statesmen who are also fighting for our republic.

They are other people who have placed their life, reputation and honor on the line:

Russ Diamond, Independent for Governor,

Hagan Smith, nominate, Constitutional Party, candidate for Governor,

Marakay Rogers, Green Party, candidate for Governor,

Jeff Brindel, Socialist, state representative candidate, 26th district,

Jim Babb, Libertarian, state representative candidate, 157th district.

We are but a few of what America needs many of, a dying breed, the Citizen States Men, the kind of people that our country was founded by and for.

Is our state free enough that the citizens will be allowed to vote for us?

What we are doing today is asking not for any special favor, but we are demanding that the Constitution actually be followed. It is my hope that I am wrong that the citizen statesman is not dead. That here in Pennsylvania, in America, that "Elections Shall be free and equal," and we won’t have to ask, "When?"

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Great Balls On Fire -- the B sample comes in same as before

The confirmed test sets off what could now be months of appeals and arguments by Landis, who claims the positive finding was due to naturally high testosterone levels. He has repeatedly declared his innocence and vowed to fight the allegations -- and did so again Saturday.

"I have never taken any banned substance, including testosterone," Landis said in a statement. "I was the strongest man at the Tour de France, and that is why I am the champion.

"I will fight these charges with the same determination and intensity that I bring to my training and racing. It is now my goal to clear my name and restore what I worked so hard to achieve."

Friday, August 04, 2006

Phonak rider, PA guy, to have "B-Day" at 5 am Saturday

PARIS (AP) -- It's B-Day for Floyd Landis.

The Tour de France winner will find out at 5 a.m. EDT Saturday whether his backup "B" sample tested positive for doping -- a result that could cost the American cyclist the title and lead to a two-year ban.
I'm blogging this late, might as well stay up to get the results in real time. But, that won't be good for my haul the next day as we need to cover more than 500 miles for 2 days for our return home.

Visit with bikers

Monday, August 7, 2006, at 6:30 pm at the Friends Meeting House, 4836 Ellsworth Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15213.


Nearly 20 people are riding their bikes across the country with Bike Aid, a project of Global Exchange, a national human rights, environmental and economic justice organization (http://www.globalexchange.org/getInvolved/bikeaid/). They have been meeting with communities across the country to talk about peace and counter-recruitment as well as empowerment of marginalized communities. The riders have also participated in service projects along the way and will be volunteering at Healcrest Urban Farm in Garfield when they arrive Monday afternoon.


Brian Stagno, a local activist and member of PUSH, Bike Pittsburgh and the Thomas Merton Center is one of the riders. Please come and give them a warm welcome to Pittsburgh.

www.globalexchange.org/getInvolved/bikeaid/

New PA Industry -- Ballot Challenges

Qualifying for the ballot in Pennsylvania has essentially become a crap shoot. Armed with the right legal team, selective precedent and the prevailing whims of the courts, any candidate could be successfully disqualified from participating.
See the press release from Russ Diamond on PoliticsPA.com.

Swann on Diamond

The following statement was released by Republican gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann:

"Just yesterday, Russ Diamond's campaign announced it had fallen short of the equisite number of signatures required to appear on the ballot this November as a candidate for Governor. Mr. Diamond should be commended for lighting a spark behind a grassroots movement for meaningful reform in Harrisburg and throughout state overnment. From Day One of my candidacy for Governor, I have made change and reform the centerpiece of our campaign. To those voters who supported Mr. Diamond's ampaign, I say this: as the next Governor of Pennsylvania, I will work tirelessly to make government more responsive and more accountable to the people it serves. I will continue to ask for your support as the only candidate for reform in Pennsylvania. This November, I ask that you stand with me."

CMU and Government Contract work

Head scratching from Information Week with a Pittsburgh connection. http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2006/08/a_sweltering_su.html
Qualifications? The Homeland Security Department may routinely flunk government security audits, but it didn't feel the need to insist on any stinking technical qualifications for the man who has been serving as the acting director of its National Cyber Security Division for the past 21 months. A widely picked up AP story headlined "Deal For Cybersecurity Chief Questioned" leaves you wondering how the government can be paying $577,000 over a two-year period to an attorney who has no formal technical background in computer security. By comparison, according to AP, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff earns just $175,000 a year.

As it turns out, this is attorney Donald Purdy Jr.'s second national security posting. He was previously a White House cybersecurity adviser, which is interesting considering he's not a security expert. He's actually an employee of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, which worked out a two-year loan deal to the government, technically in exchange for agreeing to pick up his annual salary. But the school has gotten an even bigger payoff--literally. So far this year, the National Cyber Security Division has paid out $19 million--or according to AP, a fifth of its budget--in contract work to the school.

Purdy the lawyer says he doesn't involve himself in discussions about business dealings between the department he's running and the school that technically employs him. Some members of Congress are objecting on multiple levels. Meanwhile, Chertoff last year created a position of DHS assistant secretary over cybersecurity, but has yet to fill the post. Perhaps he's holding out for another attorney.