If you advocate the elimination of candidates from the debates, or if you are hosting a debate that isn't including the four candidates on the ballot, you are both:
-- a baby, and
-- helping to shrink the region deeper into its public-life despair.
Bram is wrong.
News flash: After the election on Nov 6, 2007, life will continue.
Adults have the ability to understand time. The debates are not only about November 6. Great community events and candidate debates are forums for pondering the long life we hope to lead. They are far greater than one vote. After November 6, life will continue and it might even include the arrival of a micro-credit in town, if you believe Mark DeSantis. The downside and downtime of inclusion is nothing next to wearing the shame of a lifetime of being a bigot for a moment.
The candidates on the ballot should be in the debate because the future of the region matters more than the November 6 election. The debates become bigger parts of a greater overall struggle when inclusion occurs. Without inclusion, the debates are just about the election on November 6.
News flash: Four people are on the ballot for mayor.
Not three. Not two. Not five. Just four. Not Jena Six. Four, like the four legs of a chair. A two-legged chair makes for a poor platform for building prosperity. A three-legged chair is a drastic improvement. But a robust economic engine is sure to shake, rattle and roll a great deal. Fortify the foundation by standing upon all the available legs. Every asset must be put into the mission. To choose to knock a leg or two from the chair is to choose to play only a delicate game with feather-like balance that isn't even fun to watch.
News flash: Life isn't fair.
However, the ONE place in life when fairness counts is here. Every person gets one vote. Every vote should count. Elections must be fair. Judges, courts, voting and the democratic process need to be the best place in life where fairness does count. Life isn't fair, except for this one sacred space. We go out of our way to make this ordeal fair. Fairness matters here most of all.
I'd also like to see some fairness in blood tests, SATs, the World Series strike zone and property taxing policies. But, for now, those issues can take a back seat.As life's winds blow into and storm upon the sanctity of what should be "fair" -- it is called "crooked." Bent presentations by limited participation on the debate stage taints what follows, the election. Stop the spread of the slime here.
Corruption in our voting, democracy and public life kills. Wars occur because layers of corruption pile deep. Wars, killings, and other damages happen as other creative, constructive options dissolve.
I'd much rather have Ryan (of the Socialist Workers Party) on stage yammering as opposed to him (or others) hurling bricks and torching police cruisers.
Sunshine is the best disinfectant. And, the limelight from the sunshine has been known to melt those in 'bondage.' But, the bondage may melt too. The perception of "class" might go away, or else be bridged.
I expect Ryan would opt out and won't run for the full duration, as happened in the past with other socialist candidates. He is there to make a point. And, after it is made, life goes on. But, when he is not on the stage, the point (the system is rigged) gets made for him by others.
By excluding the socialist from the debate stage, the socialist point was trumpeted by the "boss class." Insert Forrest Gump saying here.
News flash: Elections are not like the TV show, Elim-a-date. Elections do not unfold like your college choice either.
For example, as you prepare for college, generally, the prospective university student eliminates other options and narrows the search and decision. However, the thinning of the field of options for you has no impact upon the decisions of your peers. Just because you don't want to go to IUP nor PSU does not mean that your buddies won't. If they go there, that's fine.
You are not to choose for others, even as you make up your mind.
Pennsylvania would be a more 'streamlined Commonwealth' if the state just picked ONE university to accredit and fund. Close all the others. They are expensive. NUKE the rest.
Case in point: In New Zealand, they had one engineering university, one medical school, one teachers college. If you went into that field, you went to that campus. Simple. Streamline. Efficient. What if we did the same in Pennsylvania? What if we said that there was only ONE University -- and you had to close down all the others because you didn't think that they were good enough for you and your interests.
I was glad when my best high school friends made choices to go to college in different places. They went to Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. Great, I had new places to visit. Those places were not for me -- but -- I could visit and celebrate the fit they had elsewhere.
Newsflash: This is America!
China is booming with its economy. Perhaps the USA could learn something from China's one party system. Look at the redundancy we could eliminate. Let's get away from the two-party system and just have one. Let's start by getting rid of the third party candidates and just have two.
News flash: This year's race for mayor is a special election and it isn't even for a four-year term.
We are electing a mayor for two years. Life will still go on after 2009. When you grow up and become an adult, you have a world of choices. That's part of being in a mature life.
Children are not as 'developmentally developed' and are often better when given limited choices.
Face it, Pittsburgh's political landscape needs to evolve, mature, grow-up, be open, be inclusive, be thoughtful. Perhaps the young people (PUMP) like dealing with baby choices. I don't. Grow up. Grab onto life. Grin and bear it for short periods. Adults behave with civility and patience.
Besides, Luke told us that one of his problems is that he goes too fast, as we have seen. Haste makes waste. Same too with the debate inclusion issue. Don't be so quick to rush ahead with only two on the stage because you've said so. That's acting childish. A childish mayor and a childish population could present troubles.
News flash: Pittsburgh is still shrinking.
I don't like the fact that dozens and dozens of neighborhood family friends of ours have packed up and left town. They didn't like leaving either. Uprooting is hard work and it hurts -- for all.
Our city is shrinking -- not growing -- and so goes the debate stage and the maturity of our political landscape.
I wrote about this to the Ethics Hearing Board. You don't fix ethics with unethical acts and unethical policies.
You don't fix a shrinking city by shrinking the debate stage to only those with deep pockets and labels you approve.
It is painful to listen to them all. Folks, the quality of our candidates is weak because of that whole 'crazy' thing. (footnote to Mark DeSantis saying something about being crazy for running.)
A person runs for political office and there are NO debates -- that's crazy.
A person runs for office and gets on the ballot and is excluded from a rare debate -- that is crazy.
We include everyone now, without question, because the next time we want better candidates. That is sanity and logical.
Newsflash: Schultz, I didn't run for MAYOR, because I KNOW that there are too many bigots in this town in high places.
If I would have run for mayor, or County Executive, I would have been getting very close to breaking my #1 rule of political engagement -- "Don't burn out."
Frankly, Tony Oliva did a better job at the PUMP / Duquesne Univ. forum than what I would have done had I entered that race. He went onto the stage and spoke for 3 minutes and gave the audience the best humor of the entire night. Tony Oliva was made into a minority, put in the back of the bus, but still made everyone smile. -- Mr. Bo Jangles.
I'm more like Rosa.
Shame goes to those who would choose to wear blinders. Shame squared for those who are baby enough to think they should be putting blinders on others.
This is a struggle for maturity.
Bram, you are a baby by crowing for the elimination of Tony Oliva from future debates. Grow up. Move beyond the bigoted behavior. Cope.
Tony is a intelligent, reasonable, impressive young man (as you posted) who also fought for freedom as a paratrooper. He has come to the ballot out of additional duty to community and public good so as to speak his peace.
You loose everything when you don't see the big picture. Pittsburgh is at the brink. Bigots will drive the final nail into its coffin.
What kind of fixtures should we leave for our kids?
Newsflash: I run because of my children and their peers in the city.
Frankly, I know that this city isn't good enough for my kids -- at this point. I want to give my kids "golden opportunities." Pittsburgh doesn't provide them. My kids are going to be competitive with anyone -- the world over. My kids should be free to be whatever they want. And, they should not need to settle for something inferior. Pittsburgh's landscape does not provide the liberties to be all you can be in any kind of pursuit. There are too many holes, too many sinks, too many gottchas. Most are institutional weaknesses. Many talents can't bloom here.
Too often we grow our kids and tell them, "it is time to leave." Pittsburgh's departures are painful and obvious.
Furthermore, my kids are not your typical children. No kids are 'average.' But, it is safe to say, we don't worry much about 'no child left behind' in my home. We don't leave our kids behind when we go to China (3 times), New Zealand, Canada, Chicago, California, or even to paddle on a canoe in the river. We are blessed. And, we stay in the city. And, we stay to fight the good fight.
So, when Bram calls for a departure from the debate stage -- he needs to realize that he is falling into the same rut. Pittsburgh does not need more departures. Brams wish makes it harder for our kids to stay here and shine no matter what label they choose for themselves.
Pittsburgh needs to be a place where we can explore different visions, new ideas and hear from different voices. Pittsburgh needs to garner its strength and passion by blending all its elements into a patchwork of diversity.
Everyone has roles. We need the coal miners. We need the veterans. We need the sewing machine operators. We need the pickets from time to time too. We need to listen.
In the debates, there is a lot of chatter from both Luke Ravenstahl and Mark DeSantis about how the city does not listen to residents. "Did too. No way. Yes sir. No answer, etc." Public process has come under scrutiny. United this, neighborhood that, whatever. Luke Ravenstahl snubbed the hearing with the women seeking resolution to the promotion of police officers with domestic abuse matters. Luke missed a packed house of North Side residents raising demands in advance of the slots parlor's arrival. Being heard is important. Learning to listen is this global goal for politicians. Meanwhile, DeSantis didn't even campaign in the spring primary. Go figure.
Unless, of course, it applies to them and their election and their debates.
Well, this election is "OURS" -- not "theirs."
I'd love to see each campaign (Ravenstahl's and DeSantis) issue a statement that all the candidates on the ballot should be included in all the debates. That would move Pittsburgh forward.
I'd love to see every citizen of the region issue their own statements to all the media outlets and all the neighborhood groups that debates should be held for all the races and all the candidates on the ballot should be included.
Otherwise, the shrinking continues. Otherwise, the quality withers. Otherwise, those seeking freedom depart.
Jon Delano of KDKA TV said that only 30,000 or 40,000 people will vote in the election. No wonder. KDKA needs to hold its debate and have all the people on the ballot in the studio -- else Pittsburgh's silent majority is going to continue to vote with its feet by leaving the city, leaving the county, and leaving the region.
The Pittsburgh Comet: Eliminate the Libertarian and the Socialist (pt 4) Tony Oliva (L) seemed like an intelligent, reasonable, impressive young man -- who has not a single interesting thing to say.