Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Pittsburgh Comet: District 9

The Pittsburgh Comet: District 9 UPDATE: Burgess 39, Kirkland 32, Carlisle 21, Taylor 3
The dems did a re-do on the endorsement for city council, district 9. They had an endorsement before. But the winner, 22-year-old Ms. Cooper, got tossed from the ballot by the judge because of a failed deadline for the financial disclosure forms. Ouch.

Many were happy to see that Twanda Carlisle got third in the first election. Some of us are hungry for change. Thankfully, she got third again in the re-do.

3 way, 2 way, 1 way -- highway

One can fight, fold or flee. Everyday citizens see this (see the letter to the editor below) and wonder why in the world would anyone want to enter this pile of poop. Most of the time, after it is seen once or twice, people understand. It just isn't worth it. Political life can really stink around here. So, "at the end of the day," as the cliche says, most folks resolve to say little, do little and seek the next available opportunity elsewhere. Then when the time is right and something better is evident, they leave. They flee. They vote with their feet. They hit the highway and move away.

Thanks for sharing the insights in the letter to the editor.
Speaking of tactics

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07090/773997-110.stm

I wish to respond to Dennis Roddy's statement in his March 22 article "City Candidates Removed From Primary Ballot," in which he insinuates that I, as attorney for the Patrick Dowd campaign for City Council, might have been "engaged in a tactical maneuver to winnow the field and give their candidate better odds against
the incumbent."

Apparently the incumbent's political maneuvering seems to have escaped Mr. Roddy's attention. It should be clearly noted that Leonard Bodack Jr., through Anthony Lisowski, initiated ballot challenges against both Patrick Dowd and Tom Fallon on the basis of errors in their statements of financial interests. (How much better can the odds be than to remove all challengers?)

When Mr. Bodack learned that his effort to knock Mr. Dowd off the ballot was unsuccessful, he then withdrew his challenge against Mr. Fallon. Did he suddenly change his opinion about the value of information omitted from Mr. Fallon's statements of financial interests? Or did he decide that, with Mr. Dowd now remaining in the race, a three-person contest would be more advantageous to his campaign?

These tactics, sadly, are an unfortunate misuse of the judicial system for political purposes. Mr. Bodack should be ashamed of himself and the voters in City Council District 7 should remember this on May 15.

ISOBEL STORCH, Highland Park
Pittsburgh has a brain drain, in part, because of the acts described in the letter.

The the second play in the playbook from the un-democratic democrats is shown above. The first play in their un-democratic playbook is to knock off the top challenger. Second play: don't knock off a minor challenger when there is a major challenger on the ballot. Two challengers are easier to beat than one.

Bodack's play didn't work. It backfired.

Bodack is very good at counting when you only need to use one hand.

U.S. women top Aussies for water polo gold - Saturday March 31, 2007 11:01AM

SI.com - More Sports - U.S. women top Aussies for water polo gold - Saturday March 31, 2007 11:01AM Coach Guy Baker jumped fully clothed into the pool to congratulate his team Saturday after the United States edged Australia 6-5 to win the women's water polo gold medal at the world championships.

Rick Swartz for Allegheny County Executive - Home

His web site is now working. Check it out.
Rick Swartz for Allegheny County Executive - Home A real Democrat isn’t afraid to fail.
I'm not afraid. And, I've not won past elections. But, in my heart and in my head, I can say with confidence that I've yet to FAIL in any of my campaigns so far, despite the fact that I've not yet gotten close to scoring one move vote than the 2nd place.

I've not failed.

When you are true to your mission, and true to the struggle -- honest and open -- then that's a success.

Candidates can win elections and fail in doing so.

I'm a swim coach. I ask swimmers to better themselves. We look for improvments. We strive for 'best times.'

My best time and your best time may not be one in the same.

Swimmers also like to break records. I've broken a few records. I've helped to make history. That, it seems to me, is hard to do when it is called a failure.

I was part of the 2001 primary between two candidates. We were in the opposition party. That was the first time in generations that two were seeking the nomination. I left that party a few years later. The next time, in 2005, they went to one candidate, Joe Weinroth. Now in 2007, they went to none.

In 2001, we ran against Tom Murphy. We predicted certain things that came true. We didn't win in 2001 -- but we won on some important points. The Murphy Administration was pushing the city over the brink and a lot of Dems in town didn't know it, didn't want to understand it, and didn't think it was real. We won credit for that then.

And, that credit helped to insure that Tom Murphy would NOT be able to run again for office the next time. Tom Murphy debated the opponents in the 2001 campaign once -- on the Sunday night before the Tuesday election. That was his last debate.

Tom Murphy won the battle but lost the war. That's not a failure.

There have been a lot of victories and wins. We've had success in runnnig. We've had some bumps in the road too.

Hope that the Swartz camapign gets some attention. What do you think about his site and messages?

Onorato: Smoking fine for South Side parlor 'excessive' - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Onorato: Smoking fine for South Side parlor 'excessive' - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Onorato: Smoking fine for South Side bingo parlor 'excessive'
Do you think he should have thought this bill through. Think again, before you sign the bill, Mr. Onorato. Onorato bucked hard to get the bill re-written. Now that it is a bill, he calls it excessive.

Double speak.

Deadline looms large! Change your party. Get into the mix yourself as a candidate in the general election.


The video above, a political video on YouTube is something I just made based on a song and the message for early April. It is just over a minute in length.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Insights to a campaign for US President via Congressmen's Ron Paul's campaign

I've been asking locals to switch out of the Republican and Democratic parties to support effort as a Libertarian. Here is another call going the other way, but for 2008.
First and foremost, the goals that we hope to accomplish are:

1. Bringing the message that liberty can be reestablished in American only by respecting the rule of law, the U. S. Constitution.

2. Saving America from bankruptcy, world war and a continued fascist regime by getting Ron Paul elected President.

What you can do:

1. Republicans need to get involved in the party. Become voting delegates at your precinct, county and state conventions. Support Ron Paul at all these events. Ask them to invite Ron Paul to speak at their state conventions! (1-800-RON-PAUL)

2. Republicans need to call the county chairs, executive committee and state chairmen of your individual state. Ask that they support and endorse Ron Paul. Tell them that it is imperative at this time in history that we have someone who in incorruptible and a true conservative because this country is going bankrupt – financially and morally.

3. Those of you, who are not Republicans, hold your nose and take the plunge as Ron Paul is running in the Republican primary and believe it or not, most grassroots Republicans believe in limited government and want someone to believe in Ron Paul is that Republican.

4. Write letters to the editors of newspapers about supporting Ron Paul for President.

5. Continue to hammer talk show blogs and email commentary promoting Ron Paul for President. (you have done a great job at this). Ask them to invite Ron Paul onto their station. Tell them to call 1-800-RON-PAUL. Promote him and the issues of liberty and the U.S. Constitution.

6. Ron Paul has to win Republican primaries before he can get to the next step – the general election, so we need you to work in Republican circles to get that done.

Thanks so much. You don't know how much we love you as supporters. If it weren't for you holding back the tide of big government by supporting Ron Paul in all of his endeavors, we would have little hope for freedom.

So, because of you, there is Hope for America!

The Daily News - Onorato addresses Twin Rivers assembly

Where did I put my decoder ring?
The Daily News - Onorato addresses Twin Rivers assembly 'Part of the reason this got accomplished (new arena for Penguins) is I would not budge on not using tax dollars,' he said.

Onorato goes 0 for 3 with court cases this week. Swartz prevails and is a ballot opponent to Onorato for the D primary

Lawyers on behalf of Dan Onorato put a legal attack up against a citizen soldier today. Right before the session was to occur before the judge, the team of attorneys blinked and pulled the objection. The despicable legal attack, groundless, without any merit and an insult to the citizens of democracy, was going down in flames.

Rick Swartz is on the ballot for the May 2007 primary against Dan Onorato.

From people & vips


And, for good reason. Swartz has a right to be on the ballot.

Swartz fights to have his voice heard

2 Political Junkies: Swartz fights to have his voice heard Candidate Swartz is determined to remain on the ballot, and his campaign will help Chief Executive Dan Onorato hear the messages he's not currently getting from his inner circle. To that end, Swartz asks supporters to code their contributions: donations ending in $.95 for people who are upset about the transit situation; donations ending in $.96 for people who are upset about the voting machine fiasco; $.97 for road and development decisions; $.98 if you feel the assessment issue has not been fixed; and $0.99 for people who generally support the democratic process and want the county executive to listen better on ALL issues.

Bring your video cameras to the planning hearing on Tuesday

Now is the time to bring video cameras to the planning meeting. They don't want video cameras. I do. I want open governement. I want cameras to point at public officials and public acts -- not on citizens.
Casino panel created Mr. Ravenstahl said the formation of the task force coincides with a public hearing scheduled Tuesday before the city planning commission on PITG Gaming's master plan for the casino development.

Lane 9 News World Record for the United States

Lane 9 News Archive: Flash! World Championships: Victory in 800 Freestyle Relay and Another World Record for the United States: "Winning his fifth gold medal and setting the 21st world record of his career, Phelps led off in 1:45.36 and was followed by Lochte's effort of 1:45.86. Keller then hopped in and delivered his best swim of the meet, a mark of 1:46.31. Vanderkaay handled the anchor leg in 1:45.71 and the U.S. had another global standard. Keller's leg was key, as he's struggled this week and it was uncertain how fast he'd go. For Lochte, it was his second world record of the night, joining his standard in the 200 backstroke.

'You could say I had a good night,' Lochte said. 'These other three guys and the crowd made it happen.' "

Casino panel created with 39 people

Thank goodness the Pgh Gaming Task Force is gone. I'd love to see some proof of that death, however.
Casino panel created The Pittsburgh Gaming Task Force is gone, but another one will be taking its place to help ensure that the proposed Majestic Star casino in Chateau will be a quality development and a good neighbor.
One step forward is quickly followed by one step back, given the bigger government leadership of Dan and Luke.

Furthermore, Dan and Luke are co-chairs.

Let's call the new Gaming Task Force what it is, a Political Action Committee. Are these guys going to chair the Gambling Adiction Meetings too?

I'd love to see the mayor and county executive do something else. It is called "govern."

Oakland Road Construction

Penn Dot has detour information for the Boulevard of the Allies construction project in a PDF newsletter that just sucks. The newsletter looks good, but at first glance, people who drive these roads can't figure out what's what.

The newsletter provides the specific timelines month by month of the road closures. This project begins next Monday, April 2nd.

Students, patients and workers in Oakland and South Side are sure to feel the impact of these closures immediately. Allow the appropriate travel time or pack a swim suit to cross the Mon.

OpenOffice.org saves bundles for city governments

German City of Freiburg moving to OpenOffice.org and ODF

According to this German article the German City of Freiburg will deploy OpenOffice.org on 2,000 desktops and expects to save 0.5M Euro over the next two years compared to a migration to Microsoft Office 2007. The City of Freiburg also adopts ODF in order to become vendor and product independent.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Perils of Unearned Wealth

TCS Daily - The Perils of Unearned Wealth: Scarcity is a tutor and when it is no longer there to restrain our appetites, only character remains. If character was never developed... well, just watch today's news and you'll see.
Interesting article by Jerry Bowyer.

[412] Community gathering about city-owned, closed ice rink on South Side -- PLUS -- running mate news with an final invite for YOU to RUN too.

My email blast went out on a Thursday night. If I don't have your email address, I'd love to get it.
[412] Community gathering about city-owned, closed ice rink on South Side -- PLUS -- running mate news with an final invite for YOU to RUN too. [412] Community gathering about city-owned, closed ice rink on South Side -- PLUS -- running mate news with an final invite for YOU to RUN too.
I've got some "running mate news" and an invite to you to consider running for public office.

First, a non-political invite: I'm holding an open community meeting to discuss the city-owned, presently closed, indoor ice rink facility once called Neville Arena. We are going to gather at 7 pm on Tuesday, April 17, 2007 in the cafeteria at Phillips Elementary School on Sarah Street. A RFP (request for proposals) has been issued by the city.
http://rauterkus.blogspot.com/2007/03/community-meeting-called-huddle-to.html
Now for exciting election news:

Weeks ago I announced my intention to run, or I should say, STAND, for six offices for the November 6, 2007 general election. Now the count has been reduced to five. Everyone in Pittsburgh knows that Bill Peduto dropped out of the race and left the field vacant, other than for the incumbent. This isn't the case for me. I'm dropping out of a race, but others are coming in to take my place. I'm moving to increase competition, voter choice and accountability.

A fellow Libertarian is going to work with me and get onto the ballot for the slot for the member at large seat on the Allegheny County Council.

Furthermore, others have stepped up. We are just about to begin our quest to get signatures for our nomination papers. The ELEVEN following candidate roles are now filled.

1. Allegheny County's Chief Executive, -- Mark Rauterkus
(I'm the only candidate other than Dan Onorato and Rich Swartz, both Democrats. And, Mr. Swartz faces the judge tomorrow morning, Friday 3-30. Lawyers working on behalf of Onorato are trying to knock him off the ballot. Despicable.)
2. Allegheny County District Attorney -- (not me)

3. Allegheny County Sheriff -- (not me)

4. Allegheny County Treasurer -- (not me)

5. Allegheny County Controller -- (not me)

6. Allegheny County Council Member, at-large -- (not me any longer)

7. Allegheny County Council Member, district 13 -- still me, Mark Rauterkus

8. Mayor, City of Pittsburgh -- Mark Rauterkus

9. Controller, City of Pittsburgh -- Mark Rauterkus

10. City Council, district 3 -- Mark Rauterkus

11. City Council, district 7 -- (not me)

A few of the above slots are still in a 'place holder status.' For example, I'm still listed five times. But, by the end of the summer, I hope to better target and focus my race to one spot and have five other citizens standing with me -- all of us running for the various,
respective offices.

Many other municipal seats are still without opposition and are wide open for challengers. More are considering the options and possibilities. How about you? For instance, to run for boro office in Sharpsburg, only only needs 10 VALID signatures to get onto the
ballot.

However, to be a candidate for the general election on November 6, 2007 -- you need to be certain to opt OUT of the "D" and "R" parties within the next week. Do it now. You can't run for public office as a Libertarian or as an Independent if you are a member of either old
parties within 30 days of the PRIMARY election.

Early April -- right now -- presents the last opportunity for YOU to change your registration so you are eligible for the ballot in the fall.

I can help you. I will get you the voter registration forms if you need one. I will tell you want offices are open in your area. I will ponder and talk with you about what we are doing and how we can work together so that the present flock of politicians are not give a 'free ride' come the fall election.

Thanks for your consideration.

Ta.

Mark Rauterkus
http://Rauterkus.blogspot.com
http://Elect.Rauterkus.com http://Platform.For-Pgh.org
412 298 3432 = cell

PS: Michael Phelps, USA swimmer, is making waves at world championships in Australia. He has four gold records and is going for eight. So, this could prove to be the perfect season to enter multiple events and head south of the equator. FYI: On April 28, my family and
I are traveling to Christchurch, New Zealand, for teaching, study and writting. Go Phelps!

Michael is up to four golds

Go Michael Go!

Republicans -- dead in the water and Dimiti covered both sides of the issue

Dimiti spent 90 minutes of air tim on KDKA Radio talking to two Republican Party leaders, Bob Hillen and Bob Glancey. They reached a deal so the boss of the RCAC.net would not need to get smacked down by the judge. The court date was looming large.

I'm glad that a new love fest is starting in the Republican realm. For a few years now, the chairman of the Republican Party in the County didn't speak to the chir from the city.

In 2007, the local republicans are putting a few candidates on the ballot. There are some judge candidates. There are two )used to be three) running for Allegheny County Council At-Large. The guy with the office now has had enough. There is a guy for sheriff. Perhaps a few are running for office in the municipal races, but none in the city, except David Adams, who is going to mount a write-in campaign shortly for City Council District 9.

The killer of that entire spell of interivews and remarks was Dimiti who said at the end. "Well, there you have it. We covered both sides."

Producer at KDKA Radio, "Mark, we can't take your call because we have equal time concerns."

Dan Onorato was on the air talking about a few different issues with the Honz Man today, after 2 pm. I called.

My pre-air conversation with the producer when like this: I'd like to point out to Fred that Dan is interested in letting the voters decide about the sheriff but his lawyers are working on his behalf to knock off his lone Dem party challenger in court tomorrow.

Dan will be zero for three tomorrow.....

Then I'm on hold for two minutes.

Then comes the voice of a producer, "Mark, we can't have you on the air as we are worried about equal time concerns." click

Say what?

Onorato blasts judiciary. Onorato is ZERO for TWO and the third is on deck for Friday.

Dan Onorato is blasting the judiciary. He struck out twice in the last two days. Well, his third at bat comes tomorrow, before the judge. His lawyers are bringing the challenge to the bench to knock Rich Swartz off the ballot.
Onorato blasts judiciary - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
This reminds me of Ben Howland, UCLA coach, saying that the deck was stacked against his team after the NCAA picked the brackets for the March Madness. Oh well, it worked out for the Bruins.

Dan's real problem with property tax assessment isn't because of anything that they are doing in Beaver County, Westmorland County nor Butler County. Dan's problems are in Allegheny County.

Dan doesn't have the magic to turn the clock back to 2002. And he tried. And, he thought that his turn-the-clock-back solution was viable.

Dan is also crying the blues because the voters will choose who is going to be the sheriff, not him.

Dan Onorato is not good for democracy.

Dan Onorato is not good for a modern Allegheny County. Dan, you can't turn back the clock. Time has its ways. Once you're bald, even your hair won't grow back.

Dan says "home rule" is about voters controlling their own destiny. Duhh. Voters are going to control the destiny -- by electing a sheriff every four years.

Talk about frustration.

Dan won't win in the challenge and Dan won't win in the removal of the challenge either. His lawyers, when they see that the challenge is not going to stick are going to back away.

Community Meeting called. Huddle to discuss the city-owned, vacant, closed indoor ice rink in South Side Park

Come one, come all.

I'm calling and hosting a meeting at 7 pm on Tuesday, April 17, 2007, to discuss the stituations with the now vacant indoor ice rink located in South Side Park.

The Neville Ice Rink was closed in 2001. A private operator let it die and the city did little in oversight of its operation.

Now the city has issues a RFP, request for proposals. See it on the city's web site. It is a long PFD.

Feel free to pass the word about this meeting. If you'd like to speak at the meeting to insert an agenda item, call or email me in advance. 412 298 3432. Mark@Rauterkus.com. Everyone will be able to speak. But, if you have more to say or present -- let me know, please.

I expect I'll release an agenda the day before the meeting.

I love viable, open alternatives. Progress in the real world. Get OpenOffice.org.

The OpenOffice.org Community announce the release of OpenOffice.org 2.2, the latest version of the leading open-source office suite. With upgrades to its word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, and database software, the free software package provides a real alternative to Microsoft's recently-released Office 2007 product - and an easier upgrade path for existing Microsoft Office users. OpenOffice.org 2.2 also protects users from newly discovered vulnerabilities, where users' PCs could be open to attack if they opened documents from, or accessed web sites set up by, malicious individuals.

In version 2.2, users will immediately notice the improvement in the quality of text display in all parts of OpenOffice.org. The reason for this is that the previously optional support for kerning, a technique to improve the appearance of text written in proportional fonts, has now been enabled by default. OpenOffice.org's unique pdf export function has also been enhanced with the addition of the optional creation of
bookmarks feature, and support for user-definable export of form fields.

While OpenOffice.org 2.1 functions well on Microsoft's Windows Vista, version 2.2 makes use of some of the new cosmetic changes available in Vista, the new file dialogues being an example. Apple Mac users will notice a smaller download and a smaller installed size. The Apple Mac Intel version has many stability improvements, and bug fixes ranging from .ppt export to improved UNO connections. Version 2.2 now requires Mac OS X 10.4.x running X11.

Turning to some of the enhancements made to the individual components of OpenOffice.org, the Calc spreadsheet has received additional enhancements to its support for Microsoft file formats, including improved support for Pivot Tables and some specialised trigonometric functions. Base, the database component, has improved SQL editing functionality as well as a new "Queries within Queries" feature. Compatibility options for some database drivers, such as Oracle ODBC, have been improved. Impress, the presentations component, offers improvements in the handling of hidden slides which has been made more intuitive.

It is important to remember that OpenOffice.org is not just a software package, but is also a development and user community. One demonstration of this is the ability of third party developers to create extensions in a simple manner. Third party extensions can now be more closely integrated and features have been added to dramatically simplify the installation and updating of these. In addition, features have been added to assist those participating in the translation and localisation of
OpenOffice.org.

In addition to being immediately available for download from the traditional download servers, OpenOffice.org is also available from a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) network. Alternatively, OpenOffice.org Community Distributors supply the software on CD-ROM in many countries and native language translations will be available from their relevant communities.

About OpenOffice.org

The OpenOffice.org Community is an international team of volunteer and sponsored contributors who develop, support, and promote the leading open-source office productivity suite, OpenOffice.org®. OpenOffice.org's leading edge software technology (UNO) is also available for developers, systems integrators, etc to use in OpenOffice.org extensions or in their own applications.

OpenOffice.org supports the Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) OASIS Standard (ISO/IEC 26300) as well as legacy industry file formats and is available on major computing platforms in over 70 languages. OpenOffice.org software is provided under the GNU Lesser General Public Licence (LGPL) and may be used free of charge for any purpose, private or commercial.

The OpenOffice.org Community acknowledges generous sponsorship from a number of companies, including Sun Microsystems, the founding sponsor and primary contributor.

OpenOffice.org 2.2 may be downloaded free of charge from
http://download.openoffice.org/

Pgh Public Schools Parent Involvement Policy sees light of day

The Parent and Family Involvement Policy recently passed by the Board is now available on the web in the policy section, http://www.pps.k12.pa.us/Policies.asp
It is also posted from a link from the Parents Page, under Parent Involvement, on the left navigation.

The district is planning and providing Professional Development to principals, staff and parents. Information and opportunities for parental engagement both district-wide and school based will be provided.

Please feel free to begin discussions on the Policy through your PSCC, PTO/PTA meetings.

There have been plenty of changes in the way the district interacts with the parents. Not all for the good, in my humble opinion. For the past couple of years, there have been walls created. Let's take a peek and see if this policy works to build more division or make for better interactions.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Running Mate Meeting


That's me, (on the left) with the newest member of the Libertarian Party. A new dawn is about to break!

The Housing Bubble Blog - Both Lender And Borrower Underestimated The Risks

Someone with a blog in Arizona points out some twisted logic. Downtown housing is happening. So, our mayor wants to give away free rides by lowering taxes to the elite. Meanwhile, the rest of the city gets to pays more.

Condo sales are happening without the tax break. Don't provide a tax break for some, and not for others, when the tax break is not necessary. Don't rob Peter to pay Paul. Don't rob neibhorhoods to pay for downtown. Don't rob some and give to others.

Even if this tax abatement plan is bigger than downtown, don't do it. Do it for everyone or do it for none.

Don't reward neighborhoods that are in decline. That is the type of reward that only provides benefits to the speculators.
The Housing Bubble Blog “Both Lender And Borrower Underestimated The Risks” The Pittsburgh Post Gazette. “David W. Bishoff is so pleased with condominium sales at the Carlyle, the soon-to-be-converted Union National Bank building at Fourth Avenue and Wood Street, Downtown, that he’s ready to try it again — right next door.”

“While it might seem like too much to some, Mr. Bishoff has no doubt the market can support it. ‘The question isn’t whether this city can absorb 200 or 400 or 600 or even a thousand. This Downtown should easily absorb and keep filled several thousand units,’ he said.”

“Mayor Luke Ravenstahl used the ribbon cutting to pitch his proposed tax abatement program for residential housing that is now before City Council.”

“One Carlyle buyer, Brian Ritz, likened his investment to ‘owning a piece of the Golden Triangle.’”
People are less interested in owning a piece of the Golden Triangle and more interested in owning the people who govern. Who owns the mayor? Who owns the County Executive?

Open thread. Jason Phillips meets Bruce Kraus in court to seek past promised wages

Jason Phillips was hired at one time to work on the Bruce Kraus campaign for city council. Some sum of money was, reportedly, not payed to Jason from Bruce. So, he quit. And, then he jumped into the race himself. And, to get his money, he sued.

Today the guys met before the judge.

A decision is expected in the next three days.

I don't know what's what, really. But perhaps we'll find out various versions on the street or in this blog in the comments below.

Cough, cough -- $16K -- Lithuanian Hall stung for smoking. "Oh 64," ...

Walking in the neighborhood today, I noticed both the WTAE TV van and the KDKA TV van. Meanwhile, our city's and county's democracy gets choked to death.
Health Department fines South Side bingo hall Lithuanian National Society on Jane Street in the South Side was fined $16,250 for failing to adopt and implement a workplace smoking policy and allowing 65 people to smoke at its bingo on March 21.

McNeilly suit's expense might top $185K for Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

This is not how I want to see our city's taxpayer money spent.
McNeilly suit's expense might top $185K for Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Pittsburgh's decision to settle police Cmdr. Catherine McNeilly's civil rights lawsuit out of court could sting taxpayers for $185,000 -- or more.

City lawyers are recommending payment of $85,000 to McNeilly -- who makes a yearly salary of $79,877 -- to compensate for emotional and professional damage she suffered by being demoted to lieutenant on Dec. 7, after she made confidential police personnel records public. Her lawyers fees are expected to top $100,000.

Judge: County sheriff must be elected - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Who wants to run for Sheriff as a Libertarian?
Judge: County sheriff must be elected - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Allegheny County's longstanding tradition of electing a sheriff will carry on, at least for another five years, a county judge ruled today.

Common Pleas Judge Eugene B. Strassburger III sided with the Sheriff's Association of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in its lawsuit to keep the county and Chief Executive Dan Onorato from holding a public referendum in May asking voters to decide whether the county sheriff should remain an elected position or be appointed by the chief executive.
We need a candidate for this office.

Our misguided mayor is not a fluke. We've got a real problem, Dimiti.

Dimitri V of the Pgh Tribune Review, a four-day host of a KDKA Radio show, asked callers to vote for either "Mayor Luke - or - Mayor Fluke."

I called in. After a few words I was clicked off the air.

Our misguided mayor is for real. We have real problems in the mayor's office. Those are not to be taken lightly.

This is Mark Rauterkus. You don't beat the mayor by offering insults and name calling. You beat him by offering real alternatives.

... click ...

Dimiti said he didn't realize he was making an insult.

This way my email to Dimiti, Dimitri@KDKARadio.com, at 8:55 am today, sent before he went on the air:


Hi Dimitri,

As vice chair of the Allegheny County Party -- and one who is working hard to get candidate recruitment and voter education for ballot access for myself and other candidates, I'd love to get on the show.

Dan Onorato is without any opposition from other parties. He is trying to toss off the other D who put in papers to run against Dan in the primary. Other than me, L.

Luke Ravenstahl is without any opposition within and beyond his party. Other than me, L.

County Controller -- no opposition, other than a L. (I recruited.)

County Treasurer -- no opposition, other than a L. (I recruited)

The list goes on.

The municipal elections are another big can of worms too. Plus, Sharpsburg, Upper St. Clair -- and everywhere gets to elect school board members and boro folks. We need to get the movement to the 3rd party, and Libertarian, option.

It takes 10 signatures to get onto the ballot as a Libertarian in Sharpsburg as a boro council member.

I'd be able to help callers, either on the air or after the show -- do research for their areas.

And, I've got to get onto the ballot with thousands of signatures of voters in Allegheny County. A guy had his signature tossed off the nomination petition by the judge because he didn't use his middle initial when he signed his name.

Many ABSURD rules are killing democracy by thousands of paper cuts.

I can't get the election department to get me a PDF of the nomination papers. I'm going to take them to court next week if this isn't resolved.
Dimitri is a Libertarian. He is free to do what he wants. But, as a Libertarian, I would wish he'd have a much different approach.

I have respect for the man, Luke Ravenstahl, and office, Mayor of Pittsburgh. But, I have no confidence in his "direction." His policies are lacking. They'll lead the city to further ruin. Luke is the mayor and there are real problems on Grant Street.

The fluke comes in the thinking that a negative campaign that is riddled with name calling is going to help at all. Bill Peduto stated as much. Dimiti seemed saddened that Peduto pulled out of the race.

Once real libertarian alternatives are presented, then hope will arrive.

Dimiti offered three hours of air time to Luke Ravenstahl OR his SPOKESPERSON for the show on Thursday. Three HOURS. And, the offer was extended 'on the air.' Furthermore, Dimiti is okay to only speak to a spokesperson, not the mayor.

Nobody from the administration, including Luke, is going to go on the show with Dimitri. No way.

If I was on the show for three hours, and if the Tribune Review had a different policy about covering the whole story so as to be sure to include the perspectives of local Libertarians and local opposition candidates, then we'd have a winning approach.

If I was on the show for three hours this week, and if the Trib printed, covered and interacted about our news, letters, positions and solutions -- then thw mayor would have reason to be on the air and be accountable to the voters.

MacYapper: RUN BILLIE RUN? EDITION

MacYapper: RUN BILLIE RUN? EDITION JOHN,
you should know that as several attorney's have pointed out to me, the very fact that Bill submitted nominating petitions for the race as a Democratic means that he is automatically disqualified, under the so-called 'Caliguiri Rule', from running as an independent in the General Election. Everyone seems to know about the first part of the Caliguiri rule, which requires you to switch parties 30 days before the primary, but the second part of the Caliguiri rule also says that you cannot run under a different party banner if you have submitted nominating papers in the previous primary election.

I'm not a lawyer, but I know several who have looked at this and said Bill is disqualified, and would easily be removed from the ballot should he try to run....

Three for Three. Swimmer is still golden. Five more to go.

The World Championships for aquatic sports is happening in Melbourne, Australia and the excitiment is building.

Michael Phelps has his third gold and shatters 200 Fly World Record. To be more exact, Phelps obliterated his 200 butterfly world record with an eye dropping 1:52.09. The prior world record had been 1:53.71 set at the Missouri Grand Prix a month ago. China’s Wu Peng took silver in 1:55.13, while Russia’s Nikolay Skvortsov grabbed bronze in 1:55.22.

Phelps got his first medal as part of a USA relay. In the second event, the 200 free, he won and also got a world record, one that he hadn't held before.

Phelps could get EIGHT golds in the meet.

Suit Settled For Police Commander - News

Housekeeping of bad headline:
Suit Settled For Police Commander - NewsCity Council Approves McNeilly Settlement
The headline, above does not match the last line of the article. It is posted below.
The settlement is still subject to approval by Pittsburgh City Council.
No bill for the payment of this settlement has gone before city council, yet. It is pending. It might come in a week or two. Furthermore, there might be two bills. One for the payment of the police officer. The other for the payment of the officer's attorney. The later has not been revealed.

When either bill comes before city council, citizens will have the right to call for a public hearing on this matter by getting a petition signed by residents of the city.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Make a Splash

Make a Splash Drowning is a leading killer of American children.

Phelps sets world record in 200-meter free at Worlds

Michael is on fire.
Lane 9 News Archive: Flash! World Championships: The Thorpedo is Shot Down; Michael Phelps Sets World Record in 200 Freestyle Michael Phelps posted the almost unbelievable time of 1:43.86 in the 200 freestyle Tuesday night
He hopes to get eight gold medals. He got two now. The first was with the USA Medley Relay.

But not only did he get gold, he set a new world record in an event that he hadn't ever set a world record in, the 200 free. Plus, it happened on Ian Thorpe's country. Thorpe had held the world record and has recently retired.

Places: St. Nicholas is spared, but what about its windows?

Fine read.
Places: St. Nicholas is spared, but what about its windows? But in 2001, City Council designated the church a city historic landmark. Because the diocese opposed the designation, approval required a supermajority of council, and got it.

When PennDOT was able to draft new plans that shifted the highway toward the river to save the church, everyone who had worked and hoped and prayed for its survival breathed a sigh of relief.

Penn Hill High School, class of 1977, Reunion Discussions to Occur on TalkShoe

I've been lurking on a list devoted to my high school class, Penn Hills, 1977. We are not getting any younger. A 30-year party should be in the works. I don't see any action. So, I've taken the next steps.

I'd called for classmates to join me on a TALKCAST, a telephone conference
call, to talk about the Penn Hills class of 77 reunion efforts.

This technology wasn't around last year. But, it is basic. The main tool is the telephone.

MEETING #1:
11 PM Eastern (for 30 minutes) - on Thursday night, March 29, 2007.

MEETING #2:
11 PM Eastern on Tuesday night, April 3, 2007

Phone Number: (724) 444-7444
Talkcast ID: 3177


Your PIN needs to be obtained by going to http://TalkShoe.com. You'll need your PIN to enter the discussions for speaking and listening. Get that in advance of the meeting. It might take a few minutes. (Do it now.)

I'll play host and helper. Email: Mark@Rauterkus.com. The show is simply called, "On your mark." We've got to get started.

We should talk about past reunions, present plans, infrastructure, lists, and more. It can be freewheeling. Those with history and insights are not only welcome, but expected!

The conversations are recorded. So if you miss the meeting, you can later download and listen to a podcast or via your PC.

If you can't afford the 30-minute long distace phone charge to the (724) phone number, you can use Voice Over IP for free. Check the TalkShoe site for directions.

This technology deployed by TalkShoe is cool. You should check it out for these reasons alone. But, we should be getting the reunion efforts moving too.

Hope to talk to you soon. This Thursday and again next Tuesday -- 11 pm.

Thanks.

Mark Rauterkus, mark@Rauterkus.com

412 298 3432 = my cell

Despicable - Wiktionary

despicable - Wiktionary The despicable challenge of Rich Swartz's right to be a candidate in the Dem Primary by Dan Onorato's legal goons comes into focus on March 30.

Dispicable: Contemptible; mean; vile; worthless; pitiful; paltry; sordid; low; base.

Onorato is in charge of our democracy and on the Board of Elections. His acts are fit or deserving to be despised; contemptible; mean; vile; worthless; as, a despicable leader; despicable company; a despicable gift.

Next week's word for the ongoing drinking game among bloggers is "dispicable."

Tuesday takes - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Ugh.

Tuesday takes - Pittsburgh Tribune-ReviewSad state: One of the wags with whom we regularly converse says Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has 'demonstrated a shocking lack of character and judgment,' that retreating challenger Bill Peduto 'has the backbone of a jellyfish' and that the city Republican Party can't find anyone to even 'mount a perfunctory challenge.' His conclusion: 'How pathetic.' That about covers it.

Something's missing: A slick Port Authority update on its North Shore Connector construction touts what a 'good investment' extending light rail to the near North Side will be. And it talks of all the millions of dollars worth of wonderful 'economic impact' that this government boondoggle will provide. Odd, however, that nowhere does it mention the cost -- at least $435 million. Which is a 100 percent waste.
Not so fast TRIB. Let's connect the dots.

It is SAD that the opposition in the City and County GOP realm is so hopeless. They can't field candidates many candidates in 2007. But this cycle they are smart enough to NOT field them when the shouldn't.

But the last words in the Trib in the first story are: "That about covers it." WRONG. The rest of the story is not yet being told in the Trib. The Libertarians are pushing to become a much stronger voice in 2007 for opposition. Libertarians have a slate of candidates. Libertarians have a suite of principles. Libertarians have mastered objections and rely upon reason in the solutions offered.

Jump to the last story: SOMETHING IS MISSING. The rest of the story is missing.

Furthermore, I've been one of the most vocal against the North Shore Connector for years. Extending light rail to the North Side, as they are doing it, is stupid. So, when it comes to a key transportation issue, I'm on the side of the Trib. But, the Trib is blind to the missing link. Something is missing. Real journalism that covers the whole story is missing at the Trib, still.

I'd love to see the Trib 'grow up' and help our city and region. The Trib has an important role to play, on a daily basis. Work with the community for goodness sakes.

SYNERGY waits.

Karma is like the string that
holds the pearls together.
Pittsburgh Tribune Review is without good karma. Its pages are missing something. We need to endure sustained discussions so we can string together stories that provide value.
From texture - misc.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Candidate night: Brookline

The good people of Brookline had a community meeeting tonight. I went and got to present.

If others have community gathering with candidates, I'd like to know, attend, and speak.

There are still of closed door party meetings these days. But few are for members of any party. I'm very willing to go throughout the county -- not just in the city.

Mayor Luke walked the South Side on Friday night

A while ago, Luke spoke to a group of citizens at the South Side Market House. He told them he'd come tothe neighborhood in the 'wee hours' and walk the streets to get a feel for the streets and lack of respect a number of drunks can exhibit.

He gave a date and then broke the date. He wanted the visit to be a 'surprise.' Well, the visit came last Friday night.

My family and I were in bunked down in Grove City as a prep for the all-day Saturday swim meet. Sadly, I missed the mayor and the stations of the cross, bar crawl inspectors, citizen watchdogs, whatever.

I heard that there were more than a dozen in the 'party.' They bumped into a few boys and girls M-F-ing on East Carson Street. But, all-in-all, with the rain earlier, the Pitt game the night before and hangovers still putting a hurt on some -- the night was without a big meltdown.

When the skipper returns from fleet duty, we'll need to tell him to NUKE the ticking clock on that promise. It has been check off the list.

South Side Youth Center

A meeting of the minds is slated for Tuesday at 8 pm.
South Side Youth Center the first post to my new blog. My goal is to keep everyone involved in the South Side Youth Center’s development up to date with what I’m doing.
Reuse of the existing, closed, indoor ice rink, Neville Arena, is under discussion. The city finally issued the RFP (request for proposals).

Blast from the past. I got in in 2003 about this facility in the Tribune Review.
Group wants rink reopened - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Community activist Mark Rauterkus of South 12th Street said discussions at a number of the community organization meetings that he attends have increasingly turned to the issue of reopening the ice rink.

'People feel that it is a shame for us to have a facility like this just sitting empty,' said Rauterkus, 42, who has two sons. 'I just think we need more amenities, more things to offer our young people. Having the rink closed creates a dark hole in that part of the neighborhood.'

Mark Kinney, who serves on the Market House Children's Athletic Association board, is working to reopen the rink. The association coordinates recreational programs for more than 500 South Side children.

'It's not like we have a vacant piece of land, and we're saying we want to build a new ice skating rink on it from scratch,' said Kinney, who lives on Leticoe Street. 'The facility is already there. We just need to get people together and work with the city to get it opened.'"

Prodding the 'Burg's GOP - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review



Prodding the 'Burg's GOP - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review A Libertarian is hosting the Marty Griffin radio show on KDKA, 1020 AM this week. Humm.

Go Dimitri.

The GOP got poked with a cattle prod again in the press at the Trib. I know what it feels like to be a Republican candidate for mayor.

In 2001, when the Republicans had TWO candidates for Mayor, Dr. James Carmine and myself, the Trib didn't offer an endorsement nor an interview with either of us. I was able to ride the coat-tails of Josh Pollock, 18 year old candidate for Mayor. He was a senior at CAPA High School. Josh makes Luke looks to be balding.

Meanwhile, the Trib gave its endorsement in the contested Dem primary. But, the Trib didn't even mention an endorsement in the contested GOP Primary. They were absent. AWOL. The cattle prod should go to those who are editors of the Trib.

The opposite of LOVE is not HATE. Indifference is what has killed Pittsburgh by sleeping watchdogs in the Fourth Estate.

The "jolted lover" reactions are flowing in the P-G's pages with its poor handling of issues and Peduto's campaign that resulted in his pulling out of the D primary. Treatements from the Trib, for the last election cycles have been worse.

But, they can improve. The coverage should improve. Time will tell.

Bootcamp PR: Pittsburgh to Host First-Ever Podcasting and Blogging BootCamp

I was a presenter at the PodCamp in the fall. And, I am expecting to have a role in the BootCamp as well.

Pittsburgh, PA – BootCamp, a FREE one-day event designed to give anyone interested in blogging or podcasting all the tools they’ll need to get started, will be held at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, 420 Boulevard of the Allies, on Saturday April 21, 2007, from 9 am-4 pm. For more information and to register, go to: www.bootcamppgh.org.

BootCamp is being organized by Justin Kownacki, creator of popular Pittsburgh web series Something To Be Desired and co-organizer of the recent PodCamp Pittsburgh as well as the upcoming PodCamp Pittsburgh 2. The one-day learning intensive will present the basics of blogging, audio/video podcasting, and social networking in 24 scheduled sessions separated into three “tracks”: Art/Content, Technology/Process, and Business/Marketing. In addition, attendees will have numerous opportunities for individual attention and hands-on practice. By the end of the day, participants will not only have a better understanding of “new media” but will also actually have their own blogs and podcasts up and running. Plus, they’ll be fully prepared for the more in-depth topics that will be covered in PodCamp Pittsburgh 2, a FREE weekend event in August expected to draw some of the biggest names on the internet.

Although anyone with an interest is invited to attend, BootCamp is an especially tremendous opportunity for CMU, Pitt, and other local college students who are studying anything from journalism to business, education to entertainment. Rather than offering yet another typical day of classes, BootCamp is a fully immersive and interactive experience including a hands-on computer lab and roaming experts giving personal attention. The price tag is another attraction. Registration is absolutely FREE at www.BootCampPgh.org, and attendees are welcome to take in as much or as little as they’d like during the one-day event.

Small business owners can also benefit from learning more about the power of the internet. Since they generally lack the funds of larger companies, staying competitive can be a challenge. BootCamp will provide the tools to reach a larger audience through blogging, podcasting and social networking, all dynamic, inexpensive ways for companies to get noticed and keep people’s attention. And since BootCamp is FREE, it’s all benefit and no risk.

BootCamp is still seeking additional sponsorship. Interested businesses should contact Justin Kownacki at jkownacki@gmail.com.

For additional information, Contact: Justin Kownacki, 412-628-4231, jkownacki -AT- gmail -dot- com

http://www.bootcamppgh.org

Slippery Rock & local scholarship in memory of Mt. Washington guy -- with a 5K

Running Mate, Tracy Link, posted insights for wider awareness about a local 5K race and a college scholarship.

First, about Rochy.
Rochy grew up in Mt. Washington and went to four Pittsburgh schools, including Carrick High School. It was there that his outstanding ability truly emerged. He ran at Carrick and soon went on to run at Slippery Rock University. He was an extraordinary athlete with perfect form and true talent. However, it was not just his given talent that made him a standout at Slippery Rock. As the team captain, he was the definition of a leader and easily gained the admiration of all his teammates. At the age of 26, on a camping trip, while swimming with family and friends in the Cheat River in West Virginia at a popular camp spot, Rocky jumped from a bridge as many had done before him. However, he never emerged. A search began immediately and followed for the next 6 days. Hundreds of friends, family and many volunteers spent night and day combing the river and surrounding area. It was a trying time for all involved bonding us together as no other experience could. Rochy died July 31, 2004. This race, in his name is held on the anniversary of the weekend that he went missing and in the streets that he so often ran to assure that his spirit will always run on.
Some of the details (edited slightly on this blog. Full document.
This concept was established in 2004, for a Pittsburgh Public School student to receive a full scholarship to Slippery Rock University, in the name of Roch Furgiele. An annual 5K race occurs in Mt. Washington to raise money for this fund. Slippery Rock is also on board and will support this project.

I have attached a copy of a letter regarding intention and criteria for students and also the scholarship application as well. If you would please distribute to all Pittsburgh Public High School Counselors, Mike Gavlik and high school track and field coaches. If you have any questions, please contact myself or the Coordinator Donna DiRenna, Roch's Mom.

Included in the letter, you will see that the committee is seeking a student to be named as this year's recipient. The committee would like present the day of the race. If possible, the Superintendent, Mr. Romaniello and Coach and counselor of the student chosen could attend. Call if you have additional questions 412-600-8089.

Sincerely, Tracy Link
The 5K is slated for the last Saturday in July 28, 2007.

General Constitutional Convention. I want to be there too

If there is a Constitutional Convention, and I think that there should be, I want to be there and be a part of the discussions. I support the hosting of a Convention, not because of the poorly written existing constitution. The one we have now is just fine. Rather, it is to build the grass roots awareness and engagement among citizens. And, holding a constitutional convention would give us a chance to see those in power squirm.

Those in the legislature and administration should not be able to attend.

I don't like the idea of holding a convention and having a predetermined sandbox of topics. If the Pandora's Box is going to be opened, then open it fully.

The number one need to call for the constitutional convention is to address ballot access, election fraud and other matters that are central to the vote among the people.
Contact: Tim Potts, 717-243-8570

HARRISBURG - A co-founder of Democracy Rising PA today asked the Senate State Government Committee to authorize the Commonwealth's first general constitutional convention in more than 130 years and to adopt a method for selecting delegates "to achieve the goal of fair representation for all ... segments of the citizenry."

Tim Potts said Democracy Rising PA since 2005 has collected ideas for changes to the state's Constitution. Now numbering more than 180, the ideas touch every Article of the Constitution.

Democracy Rising PA is the only group so far calling for a general convention. Others have proposed to limit the areas of the Constitution that delegates could address.

Potts said Democracy Rising PA believes it would be unconstitutional and contrary to the principles of self-governance to hold a limited convention.

To limit the convention, he said, would be "tantamount to King George telling Thomas Jefferson what he could discuss in the Declaration of Independence and to de ny that those convened in Philadelphia in 1787 could go beyond the confederation to propose to their fellow citizens a more perfect union. It bespeaks a distrust of citizens that undermines the foundation of this noble experiment."

Potts said a limited convention could forbid discussion of dozens of ideas, including:

  • imposing term limits on committee chairs and legislative leaders, an idea favored by 77% of voters, according to the recent Keystone Poll . Article II, Section 9
  • prohibiting lame-duck session, an idea favored by 82% of voters in the same poll. Article II, Section 14
  • imposing stricter procedural rules on bills that require concurrence or conference committees. Article III, Section 5
  • prohibiting judges and justices from having private meetings with members of the other branches where issues of public policy, such as the pay raise, are discussed. Article V, Section 17
  • prohibiting the use of eminent domain for private purposes. (Article I, Section 10)
  • providing citizens with the power of initiative, referendum and recall. Article I, Section 20; Article VI, Section 7
  • guaranteeing equal ballot access for all potential candidates for public office and permitting all voters to participate in all elections. Article VII, Section 6
  • permitting a graduated income tax, prohibiting property taxes and providing a dedicated funding source for public transportation. Ar ticle VIII, Sections 1 and 2
  • consolidating municipal governments and school districts and permitting revenue sharing in pursuit of regional priorities. Article IX, Section 8

"Especially at a constitutional convention, we need to take the long view," Potts said.

"What we do today can be undone by another generation if it proves to produce more harm than good. The only constant in the long view is the "inalienable and indefeasible right" of citizens "to alter, reform or abolish their government..." ( Article I, Section 2 )."

Democracy Rising PA also asked the committee to reject basing the selection of delegates on Senatorial districts because citizens have little confidence in the highly political product of the re-apportionment process of 2001. According to Potts, the re-apportionment was "based in large part on a desire to protect incumbent lawmakers and to configure as many senatorial districts as possible to be as politically safe as possible for one party or the other."

He said that delegates could be selected according to other regional divisions that are not based on political considerations but that do maintain county borders intact. He cited the 12 PennDOT districts, 46 districts for the delivery of mental health and mental retardation services and seven districts of the Department of Labor and Industry as examples.

The process for selecting delegates should use census data and statistical modeling techniques to ensure that delegates as a whole r eflect the demographic and economic make-up of the areas they represent.

If, for example, women constitute 50 percent of the citizens in a region, they should constitute 50 percent of the region's delegates. Similarly, senior citizens and those earning above or below the median income of the region should be represented by a proportional number of the region's delegates, he said.

Potts cited a Citizens' Assembly held in British Columbia five years ago as a model of this approach. Called sortition , or allotment, the process for selecting delegates dates to ancient Greece, although it is used today in Pennsylvania and elsewhere for selecting juries.

Delegates would be chosen at random from among registered voters until, on the whole, those selected accurately reflected the characteristics of the region. Anyone chosen by lottery could refuse to serve, re-opening a position for someone else who has similar characteristics.

Click here for Potts's full testimony. And here for the Constitution section of DR's web site.

Elect.Rauterkus.com becomes THE high-profile race(S) for city & county

Ink in today's P-G.

Others can emerge, for sure!
Peduto's exit leaves no high-profile races for city, county offices South Side swim coach Mark Rauterkus has said he's running for mayor, and five other offices, as a Libertarian, and others could emerge.
Then there is this double talking from Dan Onorato:
"Maybe the city's in a position to look for some security and let things settle down a bit," said Mr. Onorato. "We don't have elections to distract us."
I find NO SECURITY in giving politicians in Pittsburgh a FREE PASS. Conditions in Pittsburgh have settled down, down, down. Pittsburgh has been in a death spiral for a long time, since before Onorato was elected to city council.

Elections are not a distraction. Accountability is more than an annoyance.

The king, the king's men and the king's horses are NOT able to put Pittsburgh together again, even with the aid of the Overlords (ICA, Act 47). Of interest in the P-G today, in another front page article, is the status of Act 47 salvation.

Act 47 doesn't assure city's financial health, report saysAct 47 doesn't assure city's financial health, report says. Act 47, the state law that offers a lifeline to Pennsylvania's financially distressed cities, is merely 'triage' for a gravely ill Pittsburgh.
Told ya. Who wants to talk lifelines? I do.

The real lifeline comes in an end run around the status quo politicians. They've been running to Harrisburg. That isn't going to work. In the end, we need a shift in thinking. We need to be self reliant. We need to fix our own woes. We need to get our house in order. We need to set our own priorities and take care of ourselves.

We need viable lifeline to our kids and to our seniors. We can't use the lifeline to our crumbled, hopeless city that is at beggers status. We need self determination. We need to be responsible right here and right away.

Senior Suspended Over Keychain Tool

kdka.com - Penn Hills Senior Suspended Over Keychain Tool
Be careful. But, ZERO TOLERANCE Programs are not just. It is hard to have the mom give a statement that makes any sense. She is in the mix.

I'm not in favor of these no-tolerance programs. You can't make the rule book as smart as the players. You need rational, reasonable, common-sense leaders who can look at the whole picture.

This is a good reason to have charter schools.

Should the kid pull out of school and opt to attend the charter school, the district would need to pay a few thousand dollars out of its budget. Meanwhile, the district might need to pay attorney charges to protect its no-thinking no-tolerance rules. Money isn't going to education.

Scroll down and learn about how the terrorist list is growing. Put this kid's name there too. Then he won't be able to take a commercial flight as well. Nor will he be hired to be a coach or bus driver when he's 50.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Future of Ron Paul by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

The Future of Ron Paul by Thomas E. Woods, Jr. No one quite knows what to do about Congressman Ron Paul, Republican candidate for president.
I have an idea what to do about him. Promote him. Blog about him. Tell others about him so he can gain in popularity and support.

The campaigns I'm running in 2007 can help to set the stage for his campaign in 2008's primary.

Voters that like Ron Paul should be interested in supporting me at a local level as well.
He refuses to play by the rules.
Humm. I play by the rules. But, I don't play within the confines of the accepted norms. It isn't against the rules to run for six offices at once.

The rules say, elections in Pennsylvania shall be fair and free. That's what the PA Constitution says, if you think that is 'rule like enough.' But, the judges and legal understandings of what is fair for one is not fair for another.
He’s a bigger supporter of the free market than anyone in Congress, but he’s also the most consistent opponent of war. (That the conjunction of these positions – which amount to classical liberalism in a nutshell – should actually seem surprising or odd goes to show how perverse our political system has become.)
I too am a free market advocate. In 2001 when I ran for mayor, I called myself a 'free market republican.' That description did NOT sit well with the 'corporate welfare republicans' such as Jim Roddey.

Pittsburgh's elected leaders need to repsect to the marketplace. We can't have government playing a role in trying to trumph the will and forces of the market. Too often, elected politicians have had inflated beliefs that their laws and government actions could turn around the tides of common sense against the forces of the markets. They've been wrong time and time again. They've tried retail. They've tried TIFs. They've tried to subsidize suburban malls on wetlands. They are trying to jump start downtown as a residential destination.
Other than Dennis Kucinich, he is the only authentic antiwar candidate in either party. He has won so many awards from the National Taxpayers Union that he’s probably lost count. CNET rated him the best out of all 435 congressmen in the House of Representatives on issues relating to the Internet. There is no more reliable civil libertarian in Congress than Ron Paul.

His conduct, moreover, is beyond reproach. Lobbyists don’t even bother going to his office. If their scheme doesn’t fall among the federal government’s enumerated powers under the Constitution, they know perfectly well that there is no chance Ron Paul will support it.

Paul’s new book, A Foreign Policy of Freedom, calls for the abandonment of hyper-interventionism and the restoration of a foreign policy of commerce and peace. Although more and more Americans polled agree that their government should mind its own business and try to scale back its impossible commitments – Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes of Columbia and Harvard, respectively, now say that their initial estimate of $2 trillion as the long-term cost of the Iraq war is too low – no one in politics other than Ron Paul will actually say such a thing, much less write a book about it. At last we have a choice, not an echo, as Phyllis Schlafly used to put it.
I like choice. I hate silence on important issues. Many have taken the easy road and said little or nothing about the hard, cold facts.
Dr. Paul, an Ob/Gyn who has delivered 4,000 babies in his career, utterly defies the view of the world shared by right-wing blogs and talk radio, in which America is divided into "liberals" who oppose the Iraq war and conservatives who support it. (As I’ve shown in the past, "liberals" don’t have a particularly stellar antiwar record over the past hundred years, and the "liberal media," including the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the cable news networks, overwhelmingly supported the Iraq war.) Ron Paul’s candidacy is having the useful effect of showing people that their ideological choices are not limited to Al Franken and Rush Limbaugh. You can in fact be antiwar without being a leftist.
Humm. Sounds like the song, "Don't Put Me In a Box." http://Elect.Rauterkus.com/sounds/DPMIABhigh.mov
At the same time, some on the left are giving Paul a respectful hearing, sensing that this is no ordinary politician. A writer for The Nation argued that "this Constitution-wielding contender, who voted against authorizing Bush to invade and occupy Iraq and has steadily opposed that war since its launch four years ago, would certainly make the GOP debates worth watching – and perhaps applauding."

A writer for the Keene Free Press, who admits he doesn’t "normally give Republicans much of a hearing," found himself in for a "pleasant surprise" at one of Paul’s New Hampshire speeches. "His speech, like his candidacy, is refreshing. Paul seems to be genuinely authentic. He doesn't have the feel of a politician. His arguments are substantive, and his demeanor warm."
Refreshing. Authentic. Warm, at times.
For my part, I hope Paul decides to run. In a weak field, Paul is a true champion. America is at a critical crossroads. Our liberties have been trampled. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are in shambles. Our reputation has been tarnished internationally by decades of provocative foreign policy. Paul is the only candidate thus far who seems interested in reversing that trend. And for that, if he runs, he has my vote.
What about that problem of a 'weak field?' Weak field sounds like the Pittsburgh political landscape too.
An antiwar Republican who is also much sounder on other issues than they are – this is not exactly welcome news to neoconservatives. Not long ago, the neoconservative Pajamas Media featured a presidential poll on which Ron Paul kept winning. That wasn’t the outcome they wanted, naturally, so they finally removed him from contention in order to make things come out right.
Been there. Done that too.
Covering their tracks, Pajamas Media tried to claim that they wanted to feature only those candidates who registered at least one percent in national polls. When Ron Paul surpassed that figure, however, they still refused to include him, even though they have included people like Tommy Thompson who are at zero percent because they are not actually running for president. Read all about it here.

Paul did manage to make his way onto the Fox News Channel thanks to the entreaties of hundreds of viewers who wrote to the station demanding to know why the "fair and balanced" network had totally neglected the Paul candidacy. It was a short appearance on Fox News Live’s "Because You Asked" feature, which features stories that viewers themselves have asked to be covered.
I sent my email to every address at FoxNews on this matter last week.
Ron Paul has made numerous media appearances, from C-SPAN to Lou Dobbs, since and prior to the announcement of his candidacy. Still, the strategy thus far has been to ignore him to the extent possible. That approach cannot work in the long run, since for one thing the enthusiasm for Dr. Paul all over the Internet cannot be contained forever. For another, people are going to become curious about him when they watch, or hear reports about, the first Republican primary debate on April 4. They’ll see a bunch of establishment hacks uttering platitudes devised for them by handlers and focus groups, and they’ll see Ron Paul, who unlike his opponents is not only intelligent enough to write his own speeches, but who will also raise questions the other candidates would prefer not to discuss. He can pummel every single one of them on their lousy records on taxes, the Constitution, and war. Ron Paul is about to spoil the party. This will be like no other Republican primary debate in many, many years.

Now that will get him noticed.
I've had my debate troubles as well. Same too, recently, with Bill Peduto. I was on one TV debate when I ran for PA Senate against Fontana and Diven. They would not have me in another debate after that.
Think of how much less interesting, indeed how downright intolerable, this election cycle would be without Ron Paul: a bunch of hacks and drones, not one of whom would make a single substantial change to Washington, D.C., if elected. Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani may as well drop the pretense and just run on the same ticket, for heaven’s sake. And since they’re part of the same racket, they both despise Ron Paul much more than they dislike each other – another excellent endorsement of Dr. Paul, of course.

I’ve sometimes said that political discourse in America today consists of a three-by-five card from which no one is permitted to stray. The issues we’re allowed to discuss are confined to whether the top tax rate should be 35 percent or 38.1 percent, for example, or whether the U.S. government should invade country A or country B. If you argue that the questions themselves are faulty in that they unduly restrict our choices, you have strayed from the three-by-five card and will not appear on Meet the Press ever again.

Ron Paul has a tremendous opportunity to shred that three-by-five card once and for all.
Well, I'm all for tossing those 3x5 cards. But, don't get that excited to say that we'll be able to chuck them once and for all. Hardly. Once or twice is great. But the 'for all' ending gives a sour note in logic to an otherwise splendid article.

Still pushing for running mates

It is my intention to stand for six offices for the general election in 2007 as a Libertarian. These roles include:
  • Allegheny County Executive

  • Allegheny County Council, Member at-large

  • Allegheny County Council, Member, district 13

  • Mayor (Pittsburgh)

  • Controller (Pittsburgh)

  • City Council, district 3

Part of the process is to get onto the ballot. I can be a 'place holder' for others. Then our political body can switch candidates. So, in the end, I might run in six races. Or, I might run for one office and have five others join me as candidates.

Furthermore, other running mates have arrived and are candidates as well. Folks, we are going going to work together. Some are going to run for city council, Allegheny County Treasurer and Allegheny County Controller. More are in the wings. Possible running mates are making decisions about other offices too.

This is the last week for my push to find other RUNNING MATES. If I can run for six offices, perhaps you or someone you know can run for ONE.

Who do you know that would like to run for office in November. Well, I really mean run or STAND for office. Most the the election is presently filled with incumbents and Libertarians. And, we've got a long way to go just to get onto the ballot. But before those worries begin in earnest, how about we network to find a few more candidates so all the races have options presented to the voters come NOVEMBER.

If you know anyone, call or email me. I'll follow up.

I've got a CD that I've been passing to others with some nice messages and music. Other resources on my end are being shared with 'running mates.' This year's theme song is great: Come With Me. Hear it on the web or on the CD.

Click to Play
Joe Jencks sings the title track for Elect.Rauterkus.com for 2007.
District Attorney, Sheriff, and lots of municipal offices are wide open and in need of running mates. Feel free to forward this call to others.

Mark@Rauterkus.com
http://Elect.Rauterkus.com

412 298 3432 = cell

Carbolic Smoke Ball: RAVENSTAHL REPORTS ON FACT-FINDING MISSION TO NEW YORK

Carbolic Smoke Ball: RAVENSTAHL REPORTS ON FACT-FINDING MISSION TO NEW YORK: Declaring it 'a heckuva town,' Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said his impromptu visit to this city was a morale-booster for a local population still reeling from 9/11, a struggling economy, and the Donald Trump-Rosie O'Donnell feud.
Judge, I'd love to get a link on your blog roll to this blog, Mark Rauterkus & Running Mates.

Let's do justice to The Hill. I love density talk

Let's do justice to The Hill - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Think wanton variety -- apartments, townhouses and multiple-family homes. Don't think tall. Think thick. Think Big Apple three-story brownstones. Think the South Side, not the Hill's suburb-like Crawford Village, which she calls 'admirable' but not nearly dense enough.

Expecting this generation of public-private power brokers to successfully rebuild a neighborhood destroyed by a previous generation of power brokers is, at best, a stretch. Gratz says success is plausible. But she also says it's a mistake to think the Lower Hill can be reborn without first fixing and repopulating the wrecked Downtown that former Mayor Tom Murphy's urban bumblings created.

No matter how the Lower Hill is developed, it'll be wise to ignore what politicians promise or predict. In 1956 Mayor Lawrence boasted at a conference on urban design at Harvard that, 'In my judgment, the redevelopment of the Lower Hill -- a giant bite from the core of the city -- will be the greatest of our Pittsburgh projects, under way or yet envisioned.' The Hill's still waiting.
Urban density works for me. Free market density works too. As does the land value tax.

When we tax the land and not the buildings, we'll get the most out of the development. But, they've already taken too much of the land for non-taxed ownership.

PAT 2007 Funding Crisis with links

Read it and weep. Great collection of links from running mate, G.W.
PAT 2007 Funding Crisis 2007 Pittsburgh Public Transit Funding Crisis: Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT)

Cullen Jones and Maritza Correia Star in New Documentary, Bring More Attention to Disadvantaged - Timed Finals

Cullen Jones and Maritza Correia Star in New Documentary, Bring More Attention to Disadvantaged - Timed Finals With a lot of attention being paid to the new factually based movie “Pride,” starring Hollywood heavyweights such as Terrence Howard and Bernie Mac, another documentary chronicling the trials and tribulations of a Boston inner-city swim team is also starting to garner some attention. According to The Morning Sentinel, the film, entitled “Parting the Water,” will be debuted as a work in progress at the upcoming Maine International Film Festival (expected release of 2008) and will present the story of an underfunded team trying to succeed against more well-developed suburban programs.

Most notably, the film features in-depth interviews with Maritza Correia, the first woman swimmer of color to compete for the US in the Olympics, and resident phenom Cullen Jones, ranked number one in the world in the 50 free for 2006, and also African-American. The film, amongst other goals, will likely shed more light on the inequality of swimming.

Speedo podcast covers Pride with Amada Beard

Speedo Pride Premier In the sixth video of the Speedo Make Waves podcast series, seven time Olympic medalis Amanda Beard catches up with the films stars Academy Award nominee Terence Howard, Bernie Mac, and Tom Arnold. She also spoke to director Sunu Gonera, and Jim Ellis, the real life inspiration for the film.
Opening night with interviews of many of the stars.

Phelps helps Jones makes swimming history

SI.com - More Sports - Phelps helps Jones makes swimming history Cullen Jones became the rare black swimmer to claim a world championship, joining Michael Phelps, Neil Walker and Jason Lezak on a U.S. team that just missed setting another world record while winning the 400-meter freestyle relay Sunday.
Other links:
USA Swimming - 20 Question Tuesday Archive

Cullen Jones Signs With Nike For Reported Two Million - Timed Finals

Filmmaking pair show works in progress Jenny Levison and Josh Waletzky, of Hoboken, N.J., will show their documentary films, 'Parting the Waters' in Maine at a film festival.

Creativity Exchange: Below the Belt Journalism

Hold the phone. Richard Florida on Bill Peduto and the "below the belt" knock by the P-G.
The Creativity Exchange: Below the Belt Journalism But I can't let the recent editorial hit-job by the Post-Gazette on Councilman Bill Peduto's decision to leave the race for mayor slide.
Is being a real force for change and being a truly good man one in the same?

The voice of Richard Florida is the voice of a guy who choose to flee.

Bill Peduto didn't give up his calling and his dream in pulling out of the race in 2007. He still has his job. He is still into politics. He still is keeping his campaign office open. He didn't go back to teaching kids how to read or giving care of the sick. Those devotions are still on the back burner with Peduto. He did go back to hockey, so he hinted. Go Pens Go!

The political establishment wasn't all over Peduto to get out of the race. Those facts are out and won't change. The political establishment was shocked by Peduto's quitting.

I'm glad Professor Florida took a stance. I'm glad he poked his blogging finger at the P-G for its poor actions and logic. But hit em square when you swing, without the huffing and puffing.
For the Post-Gazette to attack this ultimately personal decision using the words and tone it does is just unconscionable. It is a case of squelching of the highest magnitude - a nasty, negative, despicable journalistic mugging. The paper's leadership and editorial board should be ashamed of themselves.
I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for a "sorry statement" from the P-G. But better than asking for the editors of the PG to be "sorry" -- how about a statement from the editors of the P-G that "it won't happen again."

Seeing the a statement from the P-G change its ways would be worth the anguish of Peduto falling of the sword last week.

Dormont grad for prez

Letter to the editor from a libertarian.
The Republican Party has presided over double-digit increases in federal spending and debt, more intrusive government, uncontrolled immigration and an interventionist foreign policy that has resulted in an ill-conceived and apparently endless war.

Most Americans oppose these policies, but the GOP's leading presidential candidates support them.

Now voters have a choice. Ron Paul, a nine-term Republican congressman from Texas and Pittsburgh native who graduated from Dormont High School in 1953, has announced his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination.

Rep. Paul, who ran for president as a libertarian in 1988, consistently votes for smaller government, less spending, lower taxes and personal and economic freedom. He often casts the lone vote in the House against legislation he believes violates the Constitution. He supports a foreign policy of strong defense and avoidance of foreign entanglements and pre-emptive wars.

Paul insists on strong enforcement of immigration laws. He favors local, not federal, funding and control of schools and the right to home-school. He's pro-life and for Second Amendment rights and against warrantless wiretaps, corporate welfare and abuses of eminent domain.

Like Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, Ron Paul believes that government is usually the problem, not the solution. He's the only presidential contender who's serious about restoring government to the constitutional limits intended by our nation's Founders. He deserves our support.

Thomas Gillooly, Forest Hills

Terror Database Has Quadrupled In Four Years - washingtonpost.com

Terror Database Has Quadrupled In Four Years - washingtonpost.com U.S. Watch Lists Are Drawn From Massive Clearinghouse

Each day, thousands of pieces of intelligence information from around the world -- field reports, captured documents, news from foreign allies and sometimes idle gossip -- arrive in a computer-filled office in McLean, where analysts feed them into the nation's central list of terrorists and terrorism suspects.

Called TIDE, for Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, the list is a storehouse for data about individuals that the intelligence community believes might harm the United States. It is the wellspring for watch lists distributed to airlines, law enforcement, border posts and U.S. consulates, created to close one of the key intelligence gaps revealed after Sept. 11, 2001: the failure of federal agencies to share what they knew about al-Qaeda operatives.

Peduto bails - Trib says that's more than sad

Peduto bails - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review And unless someone files as an independent candidate for the November general election, untested Luke Ravenstahl will be elected in his own right, unchallenged.

That's more than sad.
It would be more than sad if Luke runs unchallenged. It is WAY MORE than sad to tell the reporters at the TRIB that I'm running so that Luke does not run unchallenged and have them do nothing.

I've gotten ink at the Trib for fighting on fatherhood issues, for fighting to reopen the closed indoor ice rink. And, that story is fresh again last week. And for Pitt / Oakland issues.

I've had a Trib photographer follow me on a Steelers Game Day when they played at Three Rivers Stadium -- but nothing ran in the paper.

When I die, the Trib is going to have enough information in its files to publish a special edition of the newspaper. They covered my life in political efforts but choose to print little of it. The Trib seems dedicated to the decline of the region. The Trib Editors score A+ and making frustrations, and that is 'more than sad.'

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Swim Championships

Our league swim meet was today. At the end of the morning session, the little kids had given our team, Carlynton, a lead of less than 20 points. The older kids swam in the afternoon session. We finished in third place. Eleven teams are in the league.

Last year our squad was second. The year before, our first in the league, we were third as well. The host team, Grove City, won. The meet was at Westminster.

I took an hours worth of video. Stay tuned.

Our kids, and everyone, did well. Good energy throughout.

There were a lot of tight races. In one instance, Erik seemed as if he was going to win the 50 fly. But he squeezed in an extra stroke to fit his touch onto the wall at the finish. So, he got 5th place. Bang -- some of those races were t-i-g-h-t.

The kids from all the teams did a great job. So did the host. Way to go Grove City! Thanks! We'll get you next year.

Featured Article: Pride, the movie, covered in EBONY

Featured Articles Page Open Swim
Going the distance with Pride director, Sunu Gonera

N.Y. Police Spied Broadly Before G.O.P. Convention - New York Times

N.Y. Police Spied Broadly Before G.O.P. Convention - New York Times For at least a year before the 2004 Republican National Convention, teams of undercover New York City police officers traveled to cities across the country, Canada and Europe to conduct covert observations of people who planned to protest at the convention, according to police records and interviews.
Give me Liberty or give me a lot of NYC Policemen and Policewomen at our monthly Libertarian meetings at Ritters Diner on the third Thursday of the month, except in December, when we generally meet at John Harvards Brew Pub in Monroeville for a holiday party.

Peduto to keep options open come fall

Earth to Peduto. Come in Bill.

The blip Bill Peduto has put onto the radar screen concerning the November election is wonderful. People of Pittsburgh, as well as the media, need to be reminded from time to time that an election cycle includes both a primary and a general election. One is in the spring. The other in the fall. Both have a purpose and merits.

After Pittsburgh comes to understand that both the primary election and the general election are serious milestones, then we'll begin to thrive again. Thinking with less than half a brian isn't smart, desired nor inclusive. This attention to the reality of the overall situations is enjoyed.

However, the blip on the radar screen Peduto has cast has a weird trajectory when it comes to the mayor's race. So as to avoid any further hardship to supporters that remain, understand that an intersection with the 2007 general election between mayor and Bill Peduto is impossible. The candidate affidavit and ethics statement to be part of a political body includes a statement about NOT being part of a political party effort.

Really funny, however, is the concept put forth by Honz Man on his show at KDKA Radio. Peduto was on the air with Hon Man the day after quitting the race. Honz Man suggested that Peduto become a Republican and run for mayor. (sigh.)

The deadline to enter the R primary was the same deadline met by Peduto to enter the D primary, March 6, 2007. Deadlines have come and gone. Peduto can't be a Republican for the November 2007 general election for that simple time-warped reason. Plus, Peduto would not want to be a Republican for a zillion other reasons.

Luke Ravenstahl and his boss, Dan Onorato, would be much better suited at being Republican than Peduto.
Peduto to keep options open come fall Mr. Peduto, who effectively resolved the Democratic mayoral primary Tuesday with his surprising decision to abandon his candidacy, reiterated that he's made no decision on whether to pursue an independent candidacy in the fall.
If the top brass in Bill Peduto's machine want to open a spoof internet site and jump-start a run for dog catcher in the general election of 2007, let me know how I could volunteer as an associate webmaster.