Thursday, April 19, 2001

American Academy of Audiology -- convention in San Diego

The 13th Annual Convention and Exposition means a trip to San Diego. We lived large. Got to visit on the convention floor. Had parties with top professionals and celebs.

Took a trip to Terje's home office too. He lives on the island and does impressive computer programs with LISP, mainly.

The dates: April 19 to 22, 2001.

Wednesday, April 11, 2001

Speech: To Pump & Pittsburgh Next

Talking Notes from Mark's from April 11, 2001

An event at the Downtown Carnegie Library auditorium was held with five organizations including Ground Zero, PUMP and Pittsburgh Next. Pittsburgh Young Professionals ( was involved too.

The event's administration was bogus. Everyond did a fine job as far as being proper gentleman, but the event was silly from the outset. Strong objections to the format were voice weeks ago. All-in-all, the event was another sink and squandered opportunity. The organizers had plenty of clout, but they caved to the heavyweight candidates. They blinked. We all lost. So, these squeeking wheels roll for another day.

Ken Rice, you are a watchdog. You are part of the professional broadcasting media. You need to do your duties. Roles need to be filled. A bulk of the blame rests upon your shoulders.

The downside of the non-debate format includes the lack of will on the part of the young professional leadership for accelerated efforts in the next round. There is little hope that the group will get it right for the General Election if they so badly fumbled this round. This cycle was to be a dress-rehersal for events yet to come in the months of May, June, July, August, September and October -- getting set for the November 6th general.

My advice to the other organizations: Save face and plan your own events for the summer months. And, talk with the candidates or the ex-candidates in depth in advance of the program decisions.

Format Flaws:
Give and take among the candidates is needed. We need follow-up questions. We need to hear each other's replies. We need to run a campaign that isn't in a vacume. We need to get to the issues, and those who prevent that from happening are part of the problem. The Mayor is not being held accountable. The Mayor's show-and-tell is going to unravel as soon as the formats are done with some hints of fairness. There is very little justice at work in this city when there is no justice in the campaign process. It is not fair to be told that I can not listen to what my competitors say. Being closed minded is never a good option.

The news director at KQV said that the event was "worthless." He is right.

As a candidate who is going to trumpet justice, I can not take part in events that are unfair -- such as the one being organized for the next week by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Alliance and the Warhol Museum.

Life isn't fair. But, we need to hold our government in the role of protecting freedoms, rights and fairness. It is the role of government to insure fairness in justice. That is the highest mission of order -- and the justice is lacking with Mayor Murphy and Bob O'Connor.

These themes are not new to my campaign messages. On the very first instance when I shared a podium with three of the other candidates, I made a big point to the hosting organization, then at the JCC, that I was not happy that all the candidates were not invited and provided with equal time. Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice does. At times 99% correct is 100% wrong.



Young man, Young Man!
Your arms are too short to box with God.

My arms are too short to box with God.

The late, great, #8, Willie Stargell had powerful, athletic arms -- and they were too short.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. -- his arms were too short to box with God.

    Mayor Murphy -- He can't even climb into the ring.

  • Lone Voice

    As a single voice, it is impossible to make serious changes against the forces of tides. As a lone voice, they will break you like a twig.

    A Struggle Brews within Pittsburgh

    A struggle is in our midst.

    This struggle is not between the Pirates and another franchise of million-dollar entertainers.

    Not between the spectator and the empty seats and quotas of Nacho consumption.

    Not between Bob O'Connor and Tom Murphy and a cast of sideline characters.

    Not between the Democrats and the Republicans.

    Not between the Liberals and the Conservatives.

    Not even between those that "Have" and those that "Have-Not."

    True, Real, Actual, Serious, Insightful, Wise battle / fight / wages / campaign

    The Real Struggle comes down to The New vs. The Old.

    As a Free-Market Republican, I'm going to claim that this struggle has on one-side: The natural marketplace forces. This is very organic and includes respect for the web-of-life.

    On the other side is what is known as "corporate welfare." Government intrusion for the sake of a few corporate entities. It's eminent domain. authority-driven, top-down attitudes.

    Simple Terms for this struggle I see:

    Those who want to make history or those who are slaves of history.

    The real struggle is about the process: Should it be Bottom-Up or Top-Down.

    Distributed or Centralized power grids.

    Email and Web-Site Campaigns or old-school backslapping.

    Should leaders emerge from the ranks of the ordinary or should they be anointed?

    Should officials act like humble servants or else like pompous incumbents?

    Is the purpose: By the people and for the people -- or else -- to the people?

    Do votes mater and should they even occur -- or -- should work happen with leverage appointments and Authority Boards -- URA, Water-and-Sewer -- Stadium Authority. To a lesser extent, the Mayor has been running a charade with Plan C Task Forces and Riverlife Task Force.

    Are Grant Street actions for the flow and the means -- or - about the Ends? What about Results? Mayor Murphy says what gets done matters most. Murphy's talks say, "Look at the results." The key word in his campaign is RESULTS.

    I care more about HOW things get done rather than what gets done.

    Classic question: focus on the Destination or Journey? This is Government, not Business. When we look long and hard at things, the Mayor's story unravels. The ways, the being, the endeavors and the mingling count most -- not the end-result.

    Mussolini got the trains to run on time. Maglev, more on that later.

    Woops. I was going to have that be my "big line" of the night. It didn't get delivered. I'll have to use it in another setting later.

    Citizenship or cronies, board-rooms, done-deals.

    Open-source software or closed, proprietary, deals where we have to subpoena methodology from Sabre Systems.

    I crave inclusion -- and the Mayor is quick to point out Naysayers.

    Let's level-the-playing field, not perpetuate the status quo.

    I want to heighten our mobility and extend our free flow of thinking. We need to better our decision-making models. Or -- do we want to spin our wheels in a rut?

    A fluid, interactive approach or else dogmatic directions.

    Sustainable development or Nordstroms, Subsidies, TIFs.

    Being Free or being a subject.

    Total wellness or band-aids and triage from the emergency room.

    Proactive -- or too-little and/or too late.

    Behind-the-scenes struggle:

    The struggle takes many perspectives. I hope to share hundreds of them with you all on the web and in a couple of books. We need to take some time and connect the dots. We need to illustrate and come to common ground.

    Republicans and Dems

    I'll deliver the sustainable discussion and content that can take us to new civic insights. That is the message of tonight.

    Republicans, I want a landslide endorsement and support in the primary. Democrates, please read the book, make a donation, copy the handout.

    First Clincher for Courage: Justice

    Those who work on Grant Street have been lacking in their execution and respect for justice. The bulk of our problems center upon justice. When you boil it down, the justice in our lives is wanting. Justice can be the sole reason for toss them out of office.

    Second Clincher for Courage: Imagination

    Beyond justice, the heavyweighs are lacking in imagination. The creativity, the brilliance, the scope and depth of understandings and solutions have been wanting.

    They both pale in both JUSTICE and IMAGINATION.

    Once we engage all of our people in moment -to-moment justice and then inject some short-term and long-term imagination into the political landscape -- Pittsburgh will soar. Pittsburgh can thrive, not just survive.

    We need a plan for success. What Bob and Tom deliver sustains and quickens our declines for opportunities and population growth.


    Voting for Josh and Leroy Hodge is not a wasted statement. Not in the primary season.


    This next session didn't get delivered. I closed with the metion of Humpty Dumpty.

    Imagination for Solving Problems

    Some say that it is not possible to solve problems. Rather, decisions trade one set of problems for another. Some say government has no business solving marketplace problems, rather it only needs to administer justice.

    The Mayor's focus on results, says watch him solve problems.

    When the Mayor becomes a developer, then the developers become the government.

    Insightful leaders, those with great imaginations, choose pathways and make decisions from a long list of alternatives. It takes more imagination to develop that long-list of alternatives. It takes a great deal of inclusion to get all the ideas forward and flowing into the quilt of possibilities.

    Leadership with lacking imaginations often feels that the list of possibilities is short. Our elected officials need to realize that the potential list of creativity and imagination is alive and well within the people.

    There are plenty of other alternatives.

    Think again.


    Courage to Campaign

    To remove Mayor Murphy, we need big investigations into the alternatives. We need to know how the various candidates think and how they act. We need to know where they measure themselves on terms of justice and the matters that count the most.

    Let's play some volleyball with the issues. Let's learn to bump, set, spike.Let's have a contest in this pursuit so we all can win.


    Questions that came from the audience:

    Questions about my experience:

    I've never held any elected office. I'm not with a lot of experiences in stealing the tax-payers money. I prefer to be an open candidate and Mayor. I'm not versed in how to hide money from the public view and deceit.

    As a coach, I'm confident that I can lead and manage. I know how to ask people to perform and work with them to get the best out of us all.

    As a college educated person, I know how to communicate. I have a web-site. I'll use email. The one's who have graced the stage before me don't even have web sites.

    What about the PAT Bus Fares going up?

    Public transportation is a very big item in the city. That is one of the important aspects of making a more livable city.

    The PAT set-up is an Authority. They are low accountability. They are appointed boards. I want to move away from those styles of government.
    We need to get away from the corporate welfare and then we will have a lot of additional nickles in our pockets. The under river tunnel to service the North Side is going to cost some additional $600 Million. We don't need that type of spending.

    Question: What would you do for small business so that my computer firm would be able to compete with another much larger firm? (i.e., Computer Associates)

    I'd hope that if you can make a better widget than the other firms, the world will beat a pathway to your door. As mayor, I'd try to get the city to do some things -- such as cutting away red tape. We can look into ways to make the city vibrant so that you can recruit and retain employees. We can work to cross the digital divide with our citizens. We can provide better high-tech infrastructure, broadband wireless.

    What about Charter Schools, Vouchers, Education?

    The city has some choice in education now with the magnet program. That is good. More choice is better. We have a nice system of private schools. The city has a lot of home-schooled kids n the city as well. I think that there is a lot that the city and the Mayor's office can do right away to toss out some services for the home-school population within the city, such as with Citiparks. I want to retain those families within the city.

    My opponent is going to talk endlessly about Charter Schools. That is fine. He can do it to a fault.

    I think some Charter Schools can be great. Mostly, I'd love to open up 15-new Charter Schools because we have a million-people living within Pittsburgh again. We can open up the new schools with new arrivals to town.

    The Mayor can do a few things for education. For starters, the mayor can look into taking the older buildings that are closing off of the hands of the School District. We can look into making plans for their use in better ways -- sustainable ways.


    Letter to Mark Rauterkus from Rick Santorum, US Senator @ Campaign Finance Reform

    Tuesday, April 03, 2001

    start the process rolling

    From the website of: Mark Rauterkus
    Mayor's Race Candidate

    Some Ideas to Ponder

    Dear Neighbors of the South Side and Citizens with Interests in Phillips School,

    Tonight, I'd love to start the process rolling where we could plan serious quality time together in the near future. In this Mayor's Race, very few opportunities have been afforded to the citizen-candidates. Our messages are not being covered by the watchdog journalists in town. And, on-the-trails conversations are getting trampled by heavyweight opponents who refuse to "debate."

    If the process of the campaign is only that of a personality contest -- then we all are going to suffer into the future. Nobody wins. Our democratic landscape suffers. The success of democracy depends upon the reaction of the people to the opportunities presented.

    This formal request goes beyond the School Board vote, also a very important matter. There is much to do in that endeavor as well, and I'll help there as well. But, my burden now centers upon the Mayor's Race.

    Requested Action Items

    Let's sponsor a serious, in-depth, forum for a full-fashioned policy address about education and public policy. I would love to have the podium to give a 45-minute address about what we as a community should do and focus upon.

    The Republican opponent could also be involved to give his policy address too. It could be the same night, or afternoon, or else at a second night. So, I'd like to be "fair" in this treatment of the topic as there are plenty of great ideas that would flow between my opponent and myself.

    The School-Board Members, as well as others in government, as well as others who are candidates could be engaged in this event as well. We could have minor roles for them to play in the event. They could ask questions. They could give shorter emphasis talks. They could meet and mingle with the audience. They could provide campaign literature.

    The Republican Party in Pittsburgh, and this is more than 8,000 members, as well as the Republican Party in the County, could also be invited and play a role as to filling the audience, creating excitement. This would allow the school and the neighborhood to showcase itself to plenty of visitors.

    A various media outlet, perhaps a Radio or TV station, perhaps a newspaper, could use the event as a way to promote and be engage in the community. This is possible, but we'd have to get the process started quickly. Perhaps PCNC Nightalk would be able to tape the event and play the highlights for others to see later. Perhaps there is a PC21 show that would want to have an exclusive access to the broadcast rights?

    The school administrators, teachers and union workers from around the district should have more access and opportunity to get in-depth awareness from the various candidates and ideas.

    The home-schooled population, the private school parents and teachers, as well as the other minor groups that exist in the greater community -- such as the charter school advocates -- should all have an opportunity to gather and mingle with neighbors and share ideas on various educational issues.

    An event(s) that is visioned, if done well, can be a joy to organize. Most of all, the event can be a dress-rehersal for the next season's general election cycle. And, given the resources of who is in the area, our central locations, and the buzz of local politics starting to re-energize the city -- these events can become long-term opportunities for Phillips to make meaningful contributions with the ideas and nonprofit cash flow. Yes, these events can make money.

    Let's set in motion a sponsorship for serious, in-depth, forums for full-fashioned public policy talks and gatherings for the general election cycle. I would love to be sure that the winners of the Primary Election Cycle (as well as any Indies) have plenty of opportunities to cover the issues of the day in the General Election Cycle as well. Presently, that opportunity is wide open.

    The other party members need opportunities. I'd like to be "fair" in this treatment of the topics as there are plenty of great ideas that would flow between my opponent and myself.
    Thanks for your interest and feedback.

    Sincerely yours,
    Mark Rauterkus