Saturday, September 30, 2006

'Katie's Revenge' tattoo by force

When and how do you make something like this right? Never? - Officials:�Inmate got 'Katie's Revenge' tattoo by force - Sep 29, 2006 Two prison guards suspected of supplying the picture were fired for making unauthorized copies of an evidence photo, said Rich Larsen, a spokesman for the Wabash Valley state prison in Carlisle, about 70 miles north of Evansville.
In my opinion, and it is a humble opinion, as one needs to walk softly through a ton of issues and crap, things get better with light, not darkness. Shine a light on it.

The photo came out into the open, and that is good.

Meanwhile, two prison guards suspected of supplying the picture (photo) were fired. That's bad. Suspend pending an investigation. Transfer to another facility, pending an investigation.

When does evidence become open to review by others -- by orders of law?

I worry and wonder about whistleblowers. I wonder if those who we suspect are worthy of job termination.

Or, there is also a bit of doubt that isn't too far from the realm of being. Are we certain that the brutalized act was only among inmates?

Friday, September 29, 2006

Friday night -- football and that

Book signing by South Side resident, Dane Topich, is slated for 7:30 pm on Oct. 5 at Joseph-Beth Booksellers (2705 E. Carson Street).

Lifelong South Sider and local author Dane Topich will be signing copies of his book - Ultimate Pittsburgh Trivia.

In the spirit of local trivia, what Pittsburgh clock is twice the size of London's Big Ben?
Tonight the bridge was packed with folks watching Brashier and Perry battle at South Stadium.

Country Western fans got to hear a free concert in the massive surface parking lot at South Side Works, behind the REI. We were going to try to go. Oh, well. How did it turn out, if you went.

Carlynton had its homecoming game tonight. Lots of high school football action was everywhere -- and the traffic always comes to a grind on these nights.

South Side Sabers play a homecoming game on Saturday at South Vo Tech's stadium

Sabers gather to listen to coach.

Get into some big time little league football if you don't have a date for the Pitt game against Toledo. Check out the South Side Sabers as their teams play on Saturday, September 30. The games occur throughout the day. Our pal, #49, has a game that start sat at 1:30. The action this week is at South Side's Cupples Stadium, next to South Vo Tech, 9th Street and East Carson.

This is the Sabers homecoming and the only game they play in the stadium. His team is 4-1. talks of Annie Nemith Providence College

With no scholarship money and little representation at the Big East championship, Providence swimmers simply compete for the love of the sport. In fact Providence only sent one athlete in Annie Nemeth to the conference championships. The senior to be competed in three events at the meet, including the 200 IM, 100 and 200 breaststroke. Nemeth placed 34th IM with a time of 2:12.07, 33rd in the 100 breast with a time of 1:08.56, and 22nd in the 200 breast with a time of 2:25.42. Not too bad considering she was the lone representative. Nemeth returns this year and looks to be back, but this time to compete for a spot in the finals.
Annie has been a coach and swimmer in our league and team. You go girl! Have a great senior year.

The Pennsylvania Progressive: Ballot Reform

The Pennsylvania Progressive: Ballot Reform Ballot Reform

The Centre Daily Times agrees with us about the undemocratic law barring third party candidates from the ballot. This editorial calls it crazy:

In other words, a third-party candidate who collected more than 58,000 valid signatures still cannot get his name on the ballot to run for statewide office this year in Pennsylvania. That's insane.

While a loyal Democrat I'm also a democrat. I believe in democracy, with all its faults. I believe a candidate who gets 20,000 petition signatures as Russ Diamond did should be on the ballot. A man like Carl Romanelli who has 58,000 valid signatures being thrown off the balot is insane, as the editorial board at the State College paper says.

America: Freedom to Fascism -- and The Guardian

Two new movies are out and are worthy of mentions:
America: Freedom to FascismAMERICA: FREEDOM TO FASCISM ... is the film that F/9-11 aspired to but failed to be.
I never saw the F/9-11 flick. But the Freedom to Fascism one is such a strong Libertarian one that I'll go out of my way to see it -- or even help to insure that it plays somewhere locally. Perhaps we can get that at the South Side Works cinemas.

Another movie just out today is a Coast Guard movie called, The Guardian. The previews of that are very interesting. Given our love of water this is a 'must see' for my sons and I. We are drawn to the macho swimming scenes.

I've read on the net that many of the swimmers used in the movie as extras were recruited from Division I college teams -- Auburn, Alabama, etc.

I don't know if we'll have the time to get to The Guardian this weekend, but I'd love to hear about it from others. My #2 son is only 8 years old and the movie is PG13. Plus, my wife isn't interested in nightmares nor a fear of the water.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Saints and the Superdome - Monday Night Football -- armchair america scores big time on replay

A must read, if you ask me.
Saints and the Superdome Saints and the Superdome

Dave Zirin



GRAND RAPIDS, MN (September 28, 2006) The era of YouTube(TM) and MySpace(TM) meets Minnesota's strong civic tradition of innovation, thanks to a new online debate with the gubernatorial candidates co-sponsored by Blandin Foundation and E-Democracy.Org.

The Minnesota Gubernatorial E-Debate will take place online from Monday, October 9th through Thursday, October 19th. Minnesotans can participate directly in the gubernatorial campaigns by using the Internet - including video, audio, pictures, and plain texts - to submit questions and share their views with candidates and fellow citizens.

The E-Debate is designed to promote and facilitate substantive, interactive, in-depth public discussions of candidate positions and proposals.

All of Minnesota's official gubernatorial candidates appearing on the November ballot formally have confirmed their participation in the debate, including:

* Governor Tim Pawlenty, Republican Party
* Attorney General Mike Hatch, DFL Party
* Peter Hutchinson, Independence Party
* Ken Pentel, Green Party
* Leslie Davis, American Party
* Walt Brown, Quit Raising Taxes Party

The E-Debate, along with E-Democracy's comprehensive non-partisan, comprehensive collection of election links is located online at:

Minnesotans are encouraged to email questions to the candidates via e-mail immediately, or by October 10th for the second round of questions, via:

The candidates have agreed to address four major themes and 10 short answer questions over the two week debate period. Unique to the other debates, a portion of the e-debate will focus on broadband/Internet-related questions.

Along with text responses, candidates have the option to provide their Opening Statement in video via the video sharing service. Candidates also may record their rebuttals into audio podcasts, and also provide links to content related to their answers.

Voters may participate by submitting text questions and by using the new "Voter Voices" section of E-Democracy's web site to share their own video, audio, pictures, blog posts, links, and discussion forum messages across popular online services (for example, for photos, for video, blog posts via the Google blog search, etc. Minnesotans are invited to view an integrated, dynamic presentation of all of this material on a single web page at:

E-Democracy's Board Chair and debate host, Steven Clift, will summarize debate results and responses at a statewide conference, "Next Generation Broadband: Policies, Practices, and People Practices," to be held in Alexandria, Minnesota, October 18-19th. For more information, or to register for the conference, visit, or contact Denise Pfeifer, Minnesota Rural Partners; at , 507-828-5559.

The E-Debate is made possible through the generous support of the Blandin Foundation and its Broadband Initiative.

The Blandin Broadband Initiative is designed to raise awareness about the value of broadband, catalyze broadband use and to encourage public and private investment in rural broadband capacity. It is led by an 18-person strategy board representing private and public sector partners and stakeholders.

Blandin Foundation, Minnesota's largest rural-based private foundation is located in Grand Rapids, MN. Its mission is to strengthen rural Minnesota communities, especially the Grand Rapids area, through grants, leadership development programs and public policy initiatives.

E-Democracy.Org is a non-profit, non-partisan, volunteer-based project whose mission is to expand participation and build stronger democracies and communities through the power of information and communication technologies and strategies.

For more information contact:

Steven Clift
E-Debate Host and Board Chair, E-Democracy.Org

Becky LaPlant
Blandin Foundation

*** Democracies Online Newswire - http://DoWire.Org ***

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

MTV Think News - Contentious Clinton Interview Lights Up Web — But Few Are Talking About Issues

Hide and seek videos at You Tube and with Fox News. Somethings are just too hot for you. Don't touch.
MTV Think News - Contentious Clinton Interview Lights Up Web — But Few Are Talking About Issues The interview was riveting television. But if you were searching YouTube for it after Monday afternoon, good luck. Clips of the contentious back-and-forth were removed from YouTube at Fox News' insistence — and even Fox News' own Web site wasn't providing an unedited version of it online as late as Tuesday morning (September 26), although the full interview was back on the Fox News site by Tuesday afternoon.

So what gives? Why bury an interview that everyone — including nearly every Fox News show that followed — is talking about?

That's what Zach Gates, 21, would like to know. The University of Pittsburgh student and webmaster of the Hanlon's Razor political blog said he got an e-mail on Monday from YouTube informing him that his two-part post of the Clinton/ Wallace interview had been taken down because the site had been informed by Fox News that it was a copyright infringement. Gates, who posted videos from CNN and MSNBC onto YouTube as well as other Fox News shows, speculated that Fox News planned to sell the interview, or buried it because of the 'smackdown' Clinton gave Wallace.

Gates said this is the first time he's seen such a concentrated effort to get a video taken off YouTube. 'If you do a search on YouTube right now you'll find thousands of clips from Fox News that go back months with tens of thousands of views,' he said on Tuesday morning. 'My concern is that by taking down the full interview, you can only see sound bites and talking heads talking about it, without context. So they're deciding without reporting.'
The interview was worthy watching.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Councilman Pushing For More Pittsburgh Recreational Areas - News - Councilman Pushing For More Pittsburgh Recreational Areas Pittsburgh has 26,000 acres of parks and recreation areas, but city councilman Jim Motznik wants more.

Motznik introduced two resolutions in council to add 500 new acres of greenway space to Frick Park, along with other city parks and public areas.

Among the neighborhoods that would have bigger greenways are Oakland, Southside, Hazelwood and Mount Washington.

Motznik said Pittsburghers need more areas for relaxation and family activities.
Jim, our problems are not space nor hardware problems. Rather, we have software and programming problems. That is where the focus should be put.

But, I expect I'm speaking Greek to Jim.

The Forbes Fund special event for nonprofits

An event is cooking for CMU -- and details are in the comments. Oct. 26 at CMU in the afternoon. A seminar and awards event. They do a nice job.

I won't attend as I'm with the kids and coaching.

Titus North for Congress -- He sticks to ballot after a long battle from good-for-nothing un-democratic democrats

Undemocratic democrats aim to kills this nation's democratic legacy and are shameful. We're sending our sons, daughters, husbands, wives and neighbors into harm's way around the world to spread democracy. However, there are too many here at home that just don't get it. They are power hungry and not worthy of serving the public interest.

Titus North, former candidate for Mayor, jumped through hoops all summer to get onto the ballot. Then came the attorneys with more challenges throughout August and September.

Congressman Doyle, I've got a problem with your values. Sure, Doyle backed off. Right. The call down happened weeks to late. The back-down happened after the signature challenge was proven to be bogus and fail. Mr. North was to prevail so Doyle called off the dogs. Jackass, donkey, friend of royalty, enemy of democracy -- all fit to say the least.
Status of the challenges to the petitions of Titus North, Green, for US Congress

August 20, 2006 - 2:00 am

As many of you know, the petitions submitted by Green Party senatorial candidate Carl Romanelli have been challenged by the Democrats. What you may not know is that my petitions were also challenged. I want to make it clear from the start that ALL my petitions were circulated by local Green Party volunteers and not a single one of my signatures was collected by the petitioning firm contracted by Mr. Romanelli. Moreover, the tedious and time-consuming review of my petitions has made it plainly obvious to everyone involved that no fraud was involved in the collection of my signatures and the required number of registered voters in the district signed my petitions. Mike Doyle has been decent enough to pledge that he will not try to disqualify any signatures from registered voters in the district based on technicalities, so my place on the ballot seems assured. Still, the process of inspecting the challenged signatures line by line may take weeks. What this clearly demonstrates is that signature requirements for ballot access are unreasonably high. Thanks to everyone who has helped with the effort of insuring that voters will get a choice this November.

It's final -- Titus North to be on the ballot

September 21, 2006 - 6:27 pm

On September 13 Congressmen Mike Doyle called Titus to tell him that he has instructed Bob Casey's lawyers to withdraw that challenge that had been filed against Titus' nomination petitions. This came following more than four weeks of line-by-line verification of the signatures on the petitions by Titus and his tireless volunteers. The signature review proved that Titus had enough valid signatures to appear on the ballot and that the majority of the signatures challenged by the Democrats were perfectly valid, without even technical errors.
The Titus North site is,

Share you knowledge about the Nov. 7 special election for City Council

We Wiki Wildly

Tell us what you know and put it on the wiki.

Sums up life in PennsHELLvania! Joke...

Have you heard the one about the Senator who dies and then gets to see St. Peter. The Senator is given a choice between heaven and hell...
Click the comments to read the joke.

Pop-Up Playback of video of Jennifer. Endorsement for Mark

Meet Jennifer Madge, a supporter of candidate, Mark Rauterkus.

This is one of the new files recently uploaded at

Spanish Teacher -- not at International Middle School -- come on

This just in.... and edited slightly.
Frick's Middle School (in Pgh Public Schools) hosted its PSCC (Parent School Community Council thingie) extra meeting this morning to discuss the Frick action plan for 2006. Before the meeting began, Mr. Walters (principal) announced that the long term sub in Spanish had been pulled and was being sent to Allderdice High School.

The only justification that I can see to pull a language teacher from Frick to send to another (non-international studies) school is if the teacher is being offered a full time contract as opposed to a long-term sub position. I have called and left messages at both the parent hotline and the World Languages Office (Dr. Thekla Fall) to get some clarification on the situation.

When we met with Mr. Roosevelt (Pgh Public School's Superintendent) and Dr. Spampinato (Academic boss of Pgh Public Schools) in August 2006, we discussed the importance of the administration making a commitment to the international studies schools, especially in the areas of language instruction. Languages are an integral part of the Frick education and it is difficult, if not impossible, to maintain the program if qualified language teachers are being taken away. As of this morning, human relations did not have a qualified replacement.

We need to make our position very clear to the people making personnel decisions. We MUST have QUALIFIED language teachers in the international studies program.

I think we have quite a few action people on this email list who probably have better ideas than I on the action that would be most effective at this point. This is one more opportunity for the International Studies cluster to show its strength and commitment to our program. I will pass along any additional information that I receive.
Outside a school building in China.
SCHOOL INFORMATION NIGHT AT THE JCC IS THIS EVENING FROM 7-9 PM. Each year in the fall, the Jewish Community Center holds an information evening with representatives from the public and private schools in the area. Hopefully, the elementary magnets will be represented.

Allegheny Institute hosts an event on Thursday at PAA

You should try to attend.
Allegheny InstituteConference on Improving The Western Pennsylvania Economy on Thursday September 28th. Panel discussions will address the problems of the state’s pro-union laws, tax problems faced by Pennsylvania’s business, and how business leaders can help advance important initiatives. Speakers will include Pat Toomey from the Club for Growth, national public sector union expert David Denholm, and Jim Roddey, the first elected Chief Executive of Allegheny County. The conference will be held at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association in Oakland from 8:30AM to 12:30PM. For more information please contact us at 412.440.0079.
We've all got to fight against Western PA's Tunnel Vision. These guys at the A.I. do it better than most, if not the best.

Jon Delano hosts a discussion tonight at 9 pm on TalkShoe

Talk Shoe.... or in this photo, it is bike shoe.

I'm enjoying the tech application, Talk Shoe. Tonight Jon Delano hosts his 4th program and conversation there at 9 pm. I'll try to tune in if I can.

Grassroots PA -- new design and greatly improved

Giant Drum at a drum tower in China. A bell tower is nearby in the other direction in the courtyard. Looking at a fancy drum is nothing like hearing it.
I've not been to Grassroots PA . com since mid-August when I pulled myself out of the race for PA Senate, until today.

They did a good overhaul there. Now posts from readers to the blog are permitted, again.

I would like to be put on the blog roll, Chris. Call it Rauterkus, or Mark Rauterkus, or Mark Rauterkus and Running Mates:

And Chris, I'm a little pissed, still, at the lack of any props from you in mid August when I pushed to you some news exclusive on my pending trip to Harrisburg. The papertrail and evidence that goes through my state senator's office concerning my ballot access opportunity should have been put to light in your domain then. Perhaps you were doing the blog overhaul then and had to bench yourself.

GrassrootsPA Judge: Romanelli To Be Thrown Off Ballot. Romanelli Attoney: No Ruling Yet. AND: PA Supreme To Rule On Signature Threshold. ALSO: Santo

GrassrootsPA � Judge: Romanelli To Be Thrown Off Ballot. Romanelli Attoney: No Ruling Yet. AND: PA Supreme To Rule On Signature Threshold. ALSO: Santorum/Romanelli Debate Russ Diamond
Posted Monday, September 25, 2006 at 3:01 pm

If this sticks, there will never be another statewide candidate who is not an R or a D. The Dems have sunk to appalling depths to disenfranchise voters and the clueless and corrupt judiciary is backing them up.
FOLKS, the Ds said he is off the ballot -- and he isn't really off the ballot. The Ds lied, again. Undemocratic Ds suck.

Incumbent Party fixin's (letter to editor by Mark Crowley)

Two party blockheads as shade looms larger.
As a Libertarian Party member, I think the election reform article on the Presidential Funding Act of 2006 ("Incentives can fix campaign financing" by Bill
Bradley and Marty Meehan, Opinion and Commentary, Sept. 24) needs another headline.

Try "The fix is in again."

The Presidential Funding Act of 2006 is the latest protection "fix" for the bipartisan Incumbent Party (i.e., Democrats and Republicans). Prior fixes include:

BiCRA (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act) protects incumbents by limiting free speech before elections. It restricts challenger parties with regulations to which the Incumbent Party is more immune.

Pennsylvania's 2006 ballot-access signature requirements paralyze statewide challenger parties. Compare 67,000 signatures required for third-party challengers to only 2,000 for Incumbent Party candidates.

The Help America Vote Act mal-aligned the election process so even balloted candidates might not be properly counted. What chance do challenger type-ins
(write-ins) have?

Given the direction of the country and that the Incumbent Party has controlled the White House and the Congress for generations, I can see why they need to "fix" it again.

Bloomfield Garfield Crop has a job for Youth Employment Coordinator

See the posting in the comments area if interested.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Lane 9 News Archive: Chinese Diving Coach Threatens to Pull Divers From Country

Where are the divers?
Lane 9 News Archive: Chinese Diving Coach Threatens to Pull Divers From Country Chinese Diving Coach Threatens to Pull Divers From Country -- September 20, 2006

BEIJING, China, September 20. ACCORDING to Reuters reports, Yu Fen, China’s former Olympic diving coach, has threatened to pull her divers from the country due to local policies.

Operating out of Tsinghua University, Yu’s divers are not allowed to compete within the organizational structure of the Chinese national team. Since they do not train in diving exclusively throughout the day due to their studies at the university, Yu’s divers are considered non-specialists. The Chinese sports ministry excluded non-specialists from taking part in major events and Olympic trials.

Due to this policy, Yu has lost some of her students to the sports ministry training program.

In response, Yu is contemplating taking her students to train out of the country.

SOS -- for Rutgers Swimming. Jersey Legislatures get calls Bob Steele, retired men's coach at California State Bakersfield and head of the College Swimming Coaches Assocation of America's Save Our Sport (SOS) committee, has been coordinating efforts to preserve the Rutger's men's swimming program.

Steele is working to contact all of New Jersey’s swimmers (past and present), swim parents, coaches and fans of swimming and eliciting their efforts to contact New Jersey state Legislators. This all-out effort, designed to take the high road, by showing why saving the program is good, not just for the swimmers, but also for the university and the state. Steele is also requesting that Non-Jerseyites, 'help by sending letters to university president and people of influence.

Making the process easier is the organization's website, saverutgersswimming. There volunteers can see how they can help, get links to their New Jersey representatives, and send a letter in your own words.

The site also offers valuable talking points to help supporters as they craft their communications. Supporting Rutgers will help stem the tide of cutting swimming in American universities and colleges and thus provide opportunities for men AND women swimmers to:

* compete in a sport they love
* continue developing as a person and student-athlete
* perhaps receive an athletic scholarship
* contribute to the Rutgers university/community
* become a loyal, giving Rutgers alumnus

Libertarian Party Candidates Honor the Right of Self-Defense

Calls for Annual Tax-Free Week for Firearms-Related Purchases

Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, For Immediate Release, September 25, 2006

Harrisburg, PA – Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (LPPA) candidates in this November’s election today issued a resolution

· supporting the right of self-defense as acknowledged by the Pennsylvania Constitution;

· condemning any who propose to infringe upon this right and thereby violate the Constitution;

· recommending that the state legislature adopt an annual “tax-free week” for firearms-related purchases in honor of our vital right to self-defense.
The candidates’ proposal contrasts with the planned introduction (scheduled for 9/26/2006) of a jumble of misguided gun control bills staged by a vocal minority of state legislators who seem to be unfamiliar with and thus simply afraid of any and all defensive weaponry.

James Babb, State Representative candidate for the 157th District in Montgomery County ( , articulates the Libertarian perspective “Self defense is a basic human right and not a privilege granted by the government.”

Tom Martin, State Senate candidate for the 30th District in Centre County ( notes “Having a tax-free week on firearms-related purchases would be an important demonstration that our freedoms are not supposed to be taxed and regulated. Not only does the first amendment protect one’s right to yell for help, the second amendment protects the means to help defend one’s self.”

Jeremy Levan, State Representative candidate for the 129th District in Berks County ( adds " I think a tax-free week on firearms related sales is a great way to celebrate a right that other countries only wish they had. "

Contact your state legislators and insist that they embrace freedom, support the Libertarian Party tax-free week plan, and reject all legislative efforts to criminalize self-defense.

The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the United States with over 600 officials serving in office throughout the nation. Please visit or for more information on the Libertarian Party.

Going To Jail For Doing Your Job Is Not The American Way Of Justice

Going To Jail For Doing Your Job Is Not The American Way Of Justice If Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada go to jail for doing their job, this will be another black eye in American history and by all accounts, it may be the case. As many already know, Williams and Fairnaru-Wada have done a series of investigative pieces on the BALCO case and thanks to much of their hard work, columnists like myself have been able to expound, enlighten, infuriate and even chastise numerous subjects on this matter.

But what they are known for right now is the fact that their work has gotten rave reviews from common people who are not even sports fans to the President of the United States for the steroids issue. Congress moved on hearings because of their work. And that’s the irony because now the very government that applauded them in 2003 is now trying to put them in jail three years later.

'It's a tragedy that the government seeks to put reporters in jail for doing their job,' said San Francisco Chronicle executive vice president and editor Phil Bronstein after the hearing.
As a candidate, I support(ed) the crafting and enforcement of great 'shield' laws.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

7 pm Meeting on Monday, Sept 25, concerning South Side Bars

With almost 200 liquor licenses in the South Side, many believe that South Side is THE place to visit on weekend nights. But there are also people who live here, and many hope that those visiting recognize that this is a PLACE, not just a party. It is a neighborhood with many taxpaying residents who are entitled to peaceful and quiet enjoyment of their homes, respect for their properties, and understanding from visitors that we call South Side our home.

Due to increased concerns about quality of life issues here in the South Side, South Side Community Council has formed a Bar Task Force. This Task Force is working to actively address serious concerns regarding public safety and liquor license enforcement. Come learn about the recent work by this volunteer group of residents and business owners and how you can help.

Monday, September 25th at 7:00 p.m.

Brashear Center, 2005 Sarah Street

Refreshments will be provided.
Posted on Sept 21. Now for the insights.
Trivia question: Where am I? Who am I?

(Click to read some answers in comments.)

Call to speak to County Council about voting machines

eVote Blog: "ASK Allegheny County to verify the voting software!

Given that our votes are not observable, recountable, or auditable.

Let at least have software verification and parallel testing!

Call County Council: 412 350-6491

Please Sign Up by Monday 5PM to Speak to County Council on Tuesday, September 26th!"
PS: While you are there you might want to ask about the date of the next mayor's election.

AntiRust: Housing Subsidies: But How Will the Fat Cats Survive?

City life...
Great blog talk at Anti Rust. I am NOT in favor of subsidized housing in Downtown. I am in favor of housing, but it needs to be build if there is a demand for it to be built. The subsidization is one sure method of stopping its supply. Downtown housing won't occur in Pittsburgh once it is subsidized. The subsidization is a poison for the marketplace.
AntiRust: Housing Subsidies: But How Will the Fat Cats Survive? Housing Subsidies: But How Will the Fat Cats Survive?

And this post too.... with a classic line in the threaded comments:
AntiRust: Demand for Downtown Housing Explodes: No Word on Fate of Unnecessary Subsidies: 'Pittsburgh is kind of like NY, run by Homer Simpson.'

Saturday, September 23, 2006 - Remembering Mayor Bob O'Connor - Remembering Mayor Bob O'Connor The former council president beat a political newcomer to become Pittsburgh's 58th mayor
KDKA is re-writting history.

In the General Election in 2005, Bob O'Connor beat Joe Weinroth, R. Wienroth had run for City Council four years prior. Weinroth was on the STATE GOP Committee. He had gone to Republican National Conventions. Weinroth wasn't a 'light weight' nor a 'political newcomer.'

Titus North, Green, was also in the race in 2005.

Bob O'Connor (Dem) 40,226 67.1%

Joseph Weinroth (Republican) 16,321 27.2%

Titus North (Green) 2,392 4.0%

David Tessitor (About Open Gov) 625 1.0%

Jay M Ressler (Socialist) 397 0.7%

Totals 59,961

Present candidate for State House, Vote on Nov 7

Bill Ogden is on Crafton Boro Council. Bill is on the ballot for State House.

From Joe Jencks ho...

Clean Sweeper of the Week -- photo from Thailand

Photo of "Clean Sweeper of the Week." This guy works at the Presidential Palace in Bankok, Thailand. He is a real clean sweeper. Thailand is hold a 'coup.' They are not interesed in any lame-duck leadership and will have a trustee take over until the October general election. The trusetee just happens to be a military boss with a nod to the king.

Saturday radio

Russ is on with Ron Morris, 1360 AM. I'm on via

Panel delivers advice to Bayou

Panel delivers advice to Bayou 'One of the most amazing things we found was that, for some reason, in the city's long history, hardly anyone seems to have crossed the bayou' and developed the wetlands and pine savanna on the west side of the waterway that gives the town its name, said Tom Murphy, one of the panelists and a former mayor of Pittsburgh.
So, let's subsidize the bayou. Get a critical mass. Then tax it to the heavens.

Bugs, critters, waste water, and other tidbits like infrastructure won't present a problem when we all 'work together' and use government money.

Public access to the docks land means public subsidization. If private developers were to enter the scene, they'd want to invest private dollars and marketplace forces. You don't want a free-market landscape because only the government officials should wine and dine and pick the developers. That way government corruption and kickbacks are on the backs and in the pockets of the governement officials.

The 'power point' presentations are nothing but hype. I've got some nifty power point presentations to show you of downtown Pittsburgh that never came true.

These types of gigs are right up Tom Murphy's alley. He gets to come in, present without much follow-up, without much advance community discussion, and then leave. Plus, he gets to use soft money to make slide shows.

On page two of the article comes the 'Tom Sawyer attitude' and getting everyone on a committee. Once there is a committee, there won't be any votes. Once everyone is on the list -- the guy who manages the list becomes the czar. His committee model is all about power for the one at the top and no power for the pawns and everyday citizens and committee members.

Accountability and democracy vanishes in the Tom-Murphy world. You don't need democracy because the committee suggested it. And, the committee is all of us. (Yeah, right.) The vision isn't a shared vision, it is his vision. The vision doesn't need to stand up to public comment as all public comment happened with the private developers and the RFPs (Request for Proposals) and the pre-paperwork to qualify as to who can submit a RFP. There will be RFQs too, Requests for Qualifications.

RFQs are gatekeepers to screen out anyone who isn't able to play the 'cronie game' of kickbacks and secrecy.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Some road closings start tonight for Great Race

Tell me why some of the roads need to be closed on Friday at 7 pm for a race that happens on Sunday at 8 am. That is silly.
Image from the new Mark Rauterkus public domain photo album called signs.
The races should be able to happen without such a choke hold on the neighborhoods. If a driver screws up in a race zone, it should be double the fines, such as with a 'construction zone.' Then they can close the road at 6 am and get along just fine.
Some road closings start tonight for Great Race Some road closings will begin tonight in advance of the 29th running of the Richard S. Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race on Sunday morning.

The Finish Line area, located at Penn Avenue and Liberty Avenue between Stanwix Street and Commonwealth Place and Stanwix Street between Penn Avenue and Liberty Avenue, will close at 7 p.m. today and will remain closed until 3 p.m. Sunday.
Better yet, and this was the case with the now defunct Pittsburgh Marathon, don't run the race on the roads. Move a good portion of the race off of the roads, then things go much more smoothly.

The Pittsburgh Marathon was designed to snarl traffic. It needed way to many police officers, on bonus pay. It needed too many road blocks. It was a major road nightmare. Many of the churches had trouble too.

We should hold a marathon in this city -- and not utilize the roads but when necessary. Then use only a bit of the roads so as to night tie up major roads from start to finish.

Run the race down the busway. Run the race on a river path. Run a race in a park. Run a race on Sarah Street -- not East Carson Street. Run a race in an out-and-back fashion too. Or, run the race in loops.

Candidates full of suggestions

Flashback from March, 2006:

The P-G covered the city council race in a news story today (Monday).

A couple of points to note follow:
Candidates for Ricciardi's City Council seat full of suggestions For instance, how about having residents dial 311 to report nonemergency problems that police would handle during lulls in the 911 calls? That idea comes from Mark Rauterkus, a swim coach from the South Side Flats who ran for mayor as a Republican but is now a Libertarian.
It is funny to see the Neville Ice Arena mention as I'll be putting out a press release on that shortly.

The lead about a "lot of interesting ideas" is on target for what I've been trying to bring to the election and campaign. Many of my ideas have even started to take root within the words of the other candidates.

For example, Krane had NOTHING to say about kids until this meeting with the P-G. He was silent on the most pressing topic within the city. Krane woke up on this, finally, and that is always a good thing. But, I think he is still clueless on how to engage kids -- because it isn't about giving the kids $100 check books.

... end snip ...

This is a happy moment -- where the "I told you so" comes true on a POSITIVE side.

Today's P-G (9-22-06) had this bit of insight:
Ravenstahl holds course on city budget
Ravenstahl holds course on city budget The plan includes $120,000 to create a new problem line, similar to the existing 911 emergency phone number, that would be in operation within months.

'Whether it's a pothole that needs patched, whether it's a tree that fell across the road, whether it's a street that needs salted, [residents] can dial 311,' said Mr. Ravenstahl, and the complaint will be routed to the proper department.
Then the next idea is about 'technology' being put in with the building inspectors.

I often hit my head against a wall. I often put out new ideas that don't get picked up after I say them, when it comes to city government especially. However, there are times when things that are blabbed about do get planted, like seeds, and spring to life in other times.

Time does tell.

It is great to see Luke is moving forward on the 311 project. It will be welcomed.

Democracy Rising News

Special report on the PA Court: "YES" to the pay-jacking
DR News - June 28, 2006: "The PA Supreme Court today:

* upheld the way the pay raise was passed;

* declared “unvouchered expenses” to be unconstitutional but allowed lawmakers to keep them – and the higher pensions resulting from them; and

* declared the non-severability clause “unenforceable,” thereby upholding the pay raise for some 1,200 judges throughout the state and local judicial system – including back pay to the date the pay raise was repealed last November.

This is a conspicuously bad decision by a court that has conspicuous contempt for citizens....

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Cyberspace invaders seek votes - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Cyberspace invaders seek votes - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Calling David Conti.... I tried to find your myspace page, to be sure you have had at least ONE friend by now. But, I couldn't locate your page on myspace. You could make me a friend.

Creative uses key to Market Square's appeal

P-G article: Creative uses key to Market Square's appeal
If you really want to be creative as to what happens in other urban park settings, and I think we should, take a look at a slice of video I just uploaded.

They say that Market Square should have ten activites. Well, this could and should be one. Look at the gathering of the people.

It is from People's Park, Chengdu.

Here is another activity that should happen at Market Square, going to the art tykes.

Or, the same video that has been uploaded to Blip.TV, but with a different opening icon/image.

Put in benches in Market Square.

However, the trend has been to take benches away from neighborhoods. They have ordered benches to be removed because people sit on them. People then stay planted for too long. So, they yank the benches. Seniors need benches to sit on an rest while taking walks. Parents and babies and tykes need benches too. These benches in the photo are from Ocean Park in Hong Kong. They are attractive -- yet not so soft for your bottom.

Post newspapers.

Reading the newspapers that are posted in public spaces, like at bus stops, would make for interesting community spaces. Plenty of interactive web based ideas were dished at the Idea Round Up. How about a few simple, carbon based ideas first. If the City Paper or Trib PM came out like this, around town, they'd not need to litter the streets with so much paper.

Peek at my first photo collection, called 'hex'

From hex

Downsize Violence. No Torture

T. E. and Catherine, (my wife).
We were walking out of a soccer match at the stadium in Chengdu, China.

My wife, Catherine, was upset this week. She was upset because of a political matter no less. Understand this fact of life with my wife: Catherine never gets upset on matters of politics. Of course she'd have to be that way as she's married to me. I think you all get the picture. Well, the political frustration comes because the USA's President wants to set a policy to allow torture. This is upsetting.

I seldom mention my wife in this blog. She gets props (posts here) for getting press coverage and showing up in a family photo as we've been out and about. But, all-in-all, this comes as an exception. This one is a biggie -- with her and, of course, with me too.

This organization in DC did a fine job with its email blast on the topic. It is repeated and worthy. Most of all, actions on your part are welcomed.
Human Rights Watch needed a grassroots organization to fight an evil bill in Congress. They called on us. We are happy to oblige, because the evil is great, and requires urgent action from YOU.

The whole world is going insane.

* When someone implies that Islam may be rooted in Violence, Muslims the world over "rebut" this criticism by committing Violence!
* Here at home politicians say the Islamists want to destroy our Freedom and the politicians "rebut" this threat by destroying our Freedom!

The antidote to this insanity is YOU. You must keep your head while others are losing theirs. And you must also be resolute, firm, and direct. Toward that end . . .

We are going to be blunt in this message. We are going to put aside our usual reticence about naming names in order to avoid pointless partisan divisions and offending deeply entrenched loyalties to personalities. The crimes involved are too great. We mus t, like Emile Zola in the Dreyfuss Affair in 19th Century France, stand up, and point, and shout: "I accuse!"

The President of the United States wants to legalize torture. The President wants to create "Star Chamber" courts. These are war crimes. They are crimes against humanity. They are crimes against our heritage and our Constitution. They are being done in your name. And they endanger your future.

President Bush wants legislation that would empower the federal government to . . .

* Arrest non-citizen U.S. residents accused of terrorist involvement as "unlawful enemy combatants."
* Arrest non-citizens for contributing to charities linked to militant groups.
* Charge, try, convict, and punish people based on evidence they have never seen, and cannot rebut. (Such courts are called "Star Chambers," and they are a stain on the history of the human race.)
* Prohibit the accused from challe nging the lawfulness of their detention before an independent court.
* Hold people in military prison for life, without ever telling them the cause of their detention.
* Subject detainees to cruel and unusual punishment.
* Use evidence collected through torture to secure convictions.
* Redefine the War Powers Act to grant torturers "Get Out of Jail Free" cards.

On the Background page for our campaign against this legislation you will find links to letters from two Generals who are former members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They oppose these new federal powers. They know these powers will do nothing to defend us. Instead, these new powers will only endanger us.

* They will create new enemies.
* They will put our troops at increased risk of torture, now and in the future.
* They will stain America's reputation forever.

The reasons for this are perfectly clear . . .

* Information gained throug h torture is useless. Victims of torture will say anything to stop the pain.
* Convictions rendered by "Star Chambers" are baseless. We cannot know who is guilty unless we test the evidence using due process. "Star Chamber" courts will prohibit us from knowing if we have convicted the guilty or the innocent. But . . .
* If we do this, WE will stand convicted in the eyes of the world and of history, and we WILL be guilty.
* And we will move millions who now bear us no ill will into opposition against us.

I could go on -- and on and on and on. But what I've said here should be enough to get you moving (I hope). So I only need to inform you of two more things . . .

First, Congress likes to fight evil with a lesser evil. The lesser evil in this case is a bill from Senators Warner and McCain that would eliminate legalized torture and "Star Chamber" courts, but it would still create special tribunals. We don't ne ed these either. The Geneva Convention, the federal courts, and the Uniform Code of Military justice have served us well in the past against enemies far more terrifying than the Islamic terrorists. But . . .

If the busy-bodies in Congress simply must pass something, they should pass the Warner-McCain bill. Our message to Congress for this campaign is carefully crafted with this in mind.

Second, we need to be bigger. Our government is out of control. We need the size and visibility to wack Congress up side the head with a metaphorical two-by-four whenever necessary. Only you can make this happen by contributing to make it happen.

(Go to their site,, to click and send messages to the Congress.)

Now, go forth and fight evil. If you won't, who will?

Jim Babka, President,
Now what are you waiting for....

5th candidate joins race for mayor's former seat - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

5th candidate joins race for mayor's former seat - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review The Allegheny County Democratic Committee has scheduled a public candidate forum for 7 tonight at Brighton McClure Presbyterian Church, at the corner of Benton and Brighton Avenues on the North Side.

The committee plans to nominate a candidate Saturday.
The deadline for putting in paperwork for getting on the ballot as a Libertarian for the city council special election on Nov 7, 2006, to fill Luke's old seat, is MONDAY.

O'Connor and Motorsports News

Shifting it into high gear.... ... The Internet Source for Motorsports News and Information O’Connor to Grand Marshall 18th Annual Pittsburgher

by Judy Gower, Dow Carnahan

IMPERIAL, Pa. -- The son of late Pittsburgh Mayor Bob O’Connor will be the Grand Marshall at the 18th Annual “Pittsburgher 100” this Saturday, September 23rd at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. This prestigious event is the highest paying race for the World of Outlaws Late Models series in 2006.

The O’Connor name has long been synonymous with stock car racing in Western Pennsylvania. Bob O’Connor’s uncle, Buddy O’Connor, was champion of the Pittsburgh Racing Association in 1954 and 1966, and was honored by the Dapper Dan Club of Pittsburgh those same years. One of the many tracks Buddy O’Connor competed at was the former Heidelberg Raceway. Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, near Imperial, is nearly a mirror image of Heidelberg with the same light standards, grandstands, and press box.

When Bob O’Connor was growing up, he and his family would often attend the area speedways to cheer on his Uncle Buddy. Bob was very instrumental in getting racing memorabilia displayed at the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. Some of those items are from Buddy O’Connor’s racing career.

“Western Pennsylvania lost a great man with Bob O’Connor’s recent passing”, said Miley Motorsports President Red Miley. “We are very pleased that Corey and other members of the O’Connor family can be with us this weekend for our premier event.”

Preliminary events including time trials and heat races are scheduled for Friday night with the “Pittsburgher 100” and other features set for Saturday night. Race time both nights is 7pm. For more information, visit the speedway website – or call (412) 279-RACE.
Then on Sunday, there is "The Great Race."

Prestige, glitter, going fast, awards.

Stephen Pietzak's words against the moving of the FIRST Carnegie Library out of its historic home on the North Side

The resident, Stephen P., speaks from experience in a common-sense desire save a historic building's use in a valued spot in the city. City Council could and should move to tell the URA, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the world, and the North Side that those acts are not going to occur. And, City Council has the power to prevent such a move from happening.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Allegheny Regional Library: The Best Site Is Where It’s Located Now

I’m Steve Pietzak, resident of the South Side Slopes. I was main Reference Librarian at Allegheny Regional Library for 13 years.

Why keep Allegheny Regional Library at its present location?

The present location of the Allegheny Regional is in the heart of the North Side. It is easily accessible by most communities to the North, South, East, and West. The Library is the closest large branch to downtown Pittsburgh. The Allegheny Library is on the way to ANY location on the North Side. It HAS LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

Allegheny Regional Library is the first PUBLICLY SUPPORTED ANDREW CARNEGIE LIBRARY IN THE U.S. Some visitors to the City of Pittsburgh come to see the start of Andrew Carnegie’s Libraries, with more than 2,600 Libraries given to the World by Andrew Carnegie. Any major city would relish the "Cradle of Andrew Carnegie Public Libraries," and preserve, save and enhance this Library as a "Historical Time Marker."

The Allegheny Regional Library was so important to Carnegie that he invited U.S. President Benjamin Harrison, (along with Senators, Congressmen and the Governor) to come and dedicate the Allegheny Library on February 20, 1890.

The Allegheny Library is a very good and sturdy Library Building. The Library was designed and built by Smithmeyer and Pelz, the architects of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. If the Allegheny Branch is considered to be a poor design, then we should also consider abandoning the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., as a poor design.

The $20 Million mentioned as the price of Renovation is a "Rolls Royce" price to pay for renovation. The Carnegie Library Managers should obtain bids from 3 reliable architects to meet the moderate needs of the Library, and not the exquisite ‘Rolls Royce"needs.

Some decisions have to go past the "BUSINESS SENSE," and must take into consideration historical importance, heritage importance, and importance to the community and to the city.

Allegheny Library could be made into a showcase for the City of Pittsburgh. With the New Heinz Field and PNC Park in close proximity to the Allegheny Library—IT MAKES GOOD BUSINESS SENSE AND HISTORICAL SENSE TO TURN THE LIBRARY INTO A SHOWCASE FOR THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH -- To showcase to the World that we care about our History, our Heritage and our Libraries!

The New Proposed Allegheny Library site at 1200 Federal Street will ISOLATE the Library even further than it is now! This new location will NOT BE on the way to anything for most North Siders and it begs SERIOUS SAFETY ISSUES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS.

The Allegheny Library is the last important historical vestige Of "Old Allegheny City" and Pittsburgh—IT IS IMPORTANT TO CONNECT OUR PAST, WITH OUR PRESENT TO OUR FUTURE!

Let future generations say that this was "OUR FINEST HOUR"—to save the "1st Publicly supported Andrew Carnegie Library in the United States" as a Public Library.


Stephen Pietzak
I agree fully with Stephen. The North Side Library should stay in the building it is in presently. They should do a fix-up of the existing site using insurance money. They should NOT move away from the site. And, the URA should NOT sell land for $1 to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for a new location for the North Side Branch.

Glenn A. Walsh presented to City Council too. See and hear his opinions by clicking the YouTube scree below (best viewed at 160x112 resolution).

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

All the images in my blog of Thailand are put into the public domain.

Dudes like this, and this size, might not back down.

Friendly American tourists. And they are friendly to Americans, presently and through history.

Changing of the guard.

Various uniforms and weapons from the ages are on display.

Do you think someone is getting boxed in a corner in Thailand this very moment?

TV trucks would be parked here, if this was the states.

Better view of the guard, on the other side of the moat. Bangkok style. We're all used to security.

This is a moat. The pathway isn't for bikes, but for guards.

These are not parade grounds, but a fleet of tanks could park on the grass if necessary.

Fixing an offering.

He's watching. Don't speed. That circle thing isn't a target.

Details, details, details.

Stone guard in Bangkok's palace.

Changing of the guard, in Bangkok.

The Angry Drunk Bureaucrat smells a budget in the oven

The Angry Drunk Bureaucrat The department of Finance is also estimating revenue from the Casino at 'eleventy zillion, bagillion dollars,' although with a note that they may be overestimating the amount slightly.

Bob's Bean | Engage Pittsburgh

Bob's Bean | Engage Pittsburgh Follow Bob into communities: traveling civic coffee truck and net cafe
Vote for this and give it a "10" -- if you please.
Classroom look.

Two power-hitters in idea generation. C and L.

UnNews:Thailand now 60% "less funny" - Uncyclopedia

Humor me.
UnNews:Thailand now 60% "less funny" - Uncyclopedia BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thailand is now 60% less funny than it was the day before yesterday, according to the Swedish Institute for Rating Amusing Countries. Before the military takeover, the country was given 'Fairly Amusing' status. That has now officially dropped to the level 'Only Makes us Kind of go 'Phnuh...''. The new military leaders have not helped matters by announcing that everyone in the country must now wear a tie, have a haircut and get a proper job. On the other hand, according to SIRAC, Army chief Sargeant Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin has a fairly amusing name, so this might be an optimistic sign.

Picasa 2 Release Notes

Picasa 2 Release Notes Share photos online
Upload photos to Picasa Web Albums for easy sharing on the web. Select the photos you want in Picasa and upload them to the web by clicking the 'Web Album' button. When viewing your friends' albums online, you can even download them right back into Picasa on your own computer.

Political unrest and the role of the artist as activist

CMU's College of Fine Arts email blast has details of an ARTIST TALK with Joyce Kozloff and Ann Messner for Friday, September 22, 5:30 p.m.

Kozloff and Messner will talk about "Disarming Images," political unrest, the role of the artist as activist, and related issues in the gallery. Messner is the creative director of the video, as well as an adjunct at Pratt Institute, and has recently held positions at the Council of Humanities at Princeton University, Amherst College and Harvard University.

All events and exhibitions at the gallery are free and open to the public.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Images of Thailand from our past trip

Masks of wood





Drive Thru in boats

Floating market




Mixing paints

Book ends