Sunday, April 30, 2006

Court tosses Mount Lebanon rule requiring canvassers to register NewsFlash - Court tosses Mount Lebanon rule requiring canvassers to register 'Requiring people to tell the police in advance that they want to discuss political and religious matters with their neighbors is offensive to the very essence of a democracy,' said Witold Walczak, the Pennsylvania Legal Director of the ACLU.
What does this mean for Rosslyn Farms? They have some strict laws too.

All Star Tickets -- gotta go ON LINE

All-Star Week tickets will be available only through this online system, and customers must purchase tickets in strips, which include the same number of tickets for both ballpark events and All-Star FanFest at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. There is a limit of two strips per customer. In addition, All-Star FanFest tickets are on sale now and can be purchased in individual or group packages.

Diamond for Governor charts at 16% -- and it is VERY early for him at this point

This comes, in part, from the campaign of Diamond, so it might be taken with that understanding.Russ Diamond for Governor Diamond attracts 16% of the vote if he is included in the poll at this time. Third party candidates often receive more support in early polls than they will actually receive on election day. However, the impact of Diamond's inclusion in the poll is dramatic--the overall poll results switches from a 3-point Swann lead to a 4-point Rendell lead.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Splash with new contruction -- and the splash comes with a real splash! Posted by Picasa

SF Mayor Urges New Vision for Lagging US Broadband - Apr 21, 2006 - Digital Communities

This vision of a kayak, rope and inter-tube, gives a good representation of America's broadband connections and infrastructure. A fix that only caters to those on downtown sidewalks is no fix at all. 

America is losing ground in technology and with broadband. Being behind the times is hurting our region and nation -- and our kids -- in many economic ways.

SF Mayor Urges New Vision for Lagging US Broadband - Apr 21, 2006 - Digital Communities SF Mayor Urges New Vision for Lagging US Broadband

Think that fiber bringing gigabit bandwidth to the home is somewhere out in the distant technological future? Think again. This is today's technology that Japan's NTT Communications Corp. is already installing in homes.

Last year, according to Larry Smarr, director of California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), NTT had 1.6 million fiber customers. This year it is 4.6 million and the company is investing billions a year to aggressively achieve the goal of fiber based Internet service to 30 million homes by the end of 2010.

Smarr was speaking at a recent Big Broadband Conference organized by optical networking advocacy group FirstMile.US. Presentations from the conference have just now been made available online in streaming video,

Mayor's search for Fifth-Forbes developer is winding down

Mayor's search for Fifth-Forbes developer is winding down 'We want to make sure that we have not only the best plan but the developer who can deliver,' he said.
The way to make sure we have the best plan and developer is not to hold a set of private meetings and hatch deals behind closed doors. The public process regarding this public land is absent. This, again, proves why Pittsburgh has a smokey city image full of cronie deals.

This isn't best for Pittsburgh. It might be BEST for O'Connor and his debt.

Bob O'Connor got into debt when he spent $1-million on a fruitless campaign in 2001. Now he has to pay off.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Network Neutrality needs to be legislated now

Something is fishy!
Dismantling the Internet, Reviewed by Zoe Hoffman

On June 27, 2005, the US Supreme Court ruled that giant cable companies like Comcast and Verizon are not required to share their cables with other Internet service providers. Federal government -- from the FCC to the White House --and the media have worked cooperatively to quietly block open access to cyberspace. Mainstream media have censored and covered up Federal moves to commandeer, monopolize, and turn the Internet into an extension of itself. From Fox News to CNN, there has been dead silence as the greatest bastion of democracy in history is being dismantled - and resurrected in the image of AOL.

"Web of Deceit: How Internet Freedom Got the Federal Ax, And Why Corporate News Censored the Story," Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D, Buzzflash, 6/18/05

Downtown Wi-Fi plan hits City Council firewall

Of course the wi-fi deal needs to be sent back to the drawing table. Don't approve it! As it is, it stinks.
Downtown Wi-Fi plan hits City Council firewall A bid to bring wireless, outdoor Internet access Downtown ran into static before City Council yesterday, when members asked that the deal be reworked.

Just three council members voted for a proposal to allow the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and its contractor, US Wireless Online, to post Wi-Fi antennae on 53 city light posts Downtown, around PNC Park, and near Mellon Arena. Three other council members abstained, and three were not present.
The contract for the wi-fi deal was delivered to City Council at 10:20 am on Wednesday. The city council meeting started at 10 am the same day. They asked for a vote on the day they delivered a contract.

I'd vote no on that alone.

I'd call for another public hearing because the contract wasn't available when we gathered to talk about the deal on Monday, at a public hearing.

Then at the meeting, the $40 per pole charge was pulled out of thin air by Mr. Peduto.

Table the bill. Call for another public hearing. Have the PDP bring enough copies of their handouts for the public as well.

Shreveport Times quotes Tom Murphy, "don't give it away." (ugh!)

Regionalism... Humm. In Pittsburgh, we've got too many cooks to spoil the soup. Yet Murphy was here!
The Shreveport Times A regional approach to economic development — rather than separate groups — can lead to greater prosperity in this region, according to the results of a study released today.

The five-day panel study was conducted recently by Urban Land Institute Advisory Services with the Northwest Louisiana Association of Realtors. The panel included experts in real estate, urban planning, economics, residential development, construction, economic development and municipal government from across the country.

The panel recommended preserving and exploiting area natural resources, beginning with Red River.

Older neighborhoods bordering Shreveport and Bossier City downtowns could then be clustered with growing art and culture offerings, as well as mixed-use zoning, to produce residential-retail-cultural urban villages, according to panelist Zane Segel, a Houston-based developer, marketing consultant and real estate broker.

“The beauty of the region is what you’re proudest of,” panelist and former Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy told about 100 gathered at the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce this morning to hear the results.

“It’s a tourist attraction, a community value and a regional asset. Don’t give it away.”

Also under the prescribed master plan, as the region would grow, it should take steps to ensure educational and economic parity so all of its members could benefit together.

The final report will be completed and finished in a couple of months, said Leigh Ferguson, director of Urban Living and executive vice president of Sloss Real Estate Group in Birmingham, Ala., who guided the panelists in their charge. The next stage, he added, would be to enroll the region’s grass-roots stakeholders into forming a committee to weigh the panel’s suggestions and ultimately implement them.
I'm scratching my head. What if you're most proud of your diversity. Then do you need to have a regional approach?

New Orleans is a city of diversity. Well, it used to be.

Then there is the 'don't give it away' quote. It was printed without attribution, but I think it might have come from Tom Murphy. ??? That's what I've been saying with this expression of 'picking our cherries.' Some in Pittsburgh are happy to give away our most valued assets in terms of tax breaks. I don't want tax breaks for downtown -- because downtown is a place where we should be proud.

Perhaps the Steelers are our proudest institution -- so we give them a stadium and this year upgrade it with more public funds to put in 700 seats. But, we are not to give it away? Say what?

Today we learn that the Library Report is out and really, it is the library that is our most valued asset for the community. But you can get books and computer time at the library for free. They give it away.

In the end, I think we need to be most proud and most protective our two very important things. On a macro level, we need to be certain to extend and defend our freedom. On a micro level, we need to be most proud of our children, our families, and perhaps our kids friends if not their peers and the next generations.

If those are what make drives us -- Freedom and Future (as in kids) -- then I think it makes sense to figure out if they are extended with 'central planning' and a 'regional approach.'

Being flexible seems to work better when it comes to families and individuals.
Give of ourselves to the young.

I like to talk about a system where there is a 'framework for freedom' -- and that generally means we don't do a regional approach.

Finally, I do agree that you need to 'give it away' -- as in our freedom. The comment about the asset, 'don't give it away' stinks when you talk about these values.

You can't put freedom in a bottle. You can't put freedom in a fence and protect it like a lump of coal. You can't guard that asset and NOT give it away and still have it. Freedom, by its very nature, needs to be given away. The more you give, the more you get. Freedom and love work that way. This is a bit of a self-less passion.

And the same holds true with our kids. We raise them, we teach them well, we are devoted to them -- but we don't own the kids. We can't control the kids. We need to set the kids free too. They grow up. They move out. They are set free to make the world theirs -- shape the world -- and with some preparation, make it FREE for their kids yet to come.

Pittsburgh is a place where we raise our kids, create community, celebrate freedom, and give of ourselves to those around us who we trust and respect. The assumption and hope is to trust and respect authority and everyone, in these parts.

Wiki Woes for U.S. Politicians

Main Page - PittsburghPlatform My Platform Wiki site, now reads, this page has been accessed 75,920 times. On the 16th of the month, it was 69,077 times. The front page of the platform wiki is getting more than 500 hits per day.

A Georgia gubernatorial candidate accepted the resignation of her campaign manager Wednesday after he was accused of changing the online Wikipedia biography of an opponent in the upcoming Democratic primary.

Secretary of State Cathy Cox's opponent, Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor, said campaign manager Morton Brilliant altered an online encyclopedia entry to include a reference to Taylor's son being arrested for DUI after an accident that killed his passenger. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales confirmed these accusations. The Taylor for Governor campaign responded by accusing Cox of exploiting a family tragedy for political purposes and calling for her resignation, although Cox denied any knowledge of the addition.

This story is only the most highly publicized of a number of recent campaign scuffles involving Wikipedia. Brilliant has also been accused of editing the Wikipedia profile of current Governor Mark Sanford. Nearly twenty more changes have since been made to Sanford’s profile, presumably by both sides of the aisle.

Wikipedia has attempted to deal with problems concerning politically motivated revisions by tightening its submission guidelines and setting up alerts so that operators know when Capitol Hill staffers edit online profiles.
Go to the source, Politics Online, to get the links to Related Articles: Cox to 'Deal With' Wiki- Attack; Campaign Manager Resigns Amid Wikipedia Flap; South Carolina Politicos Get Tangled in Web Forum.

In other online, local news, Chris L of, is going to be a guest on with Ron Morris,, this Saturday (tomorrow).

I'll be at a swim meet this weekend.

Gas-tax-plank-Martin - PittsburghPlatform

Gas-tax-plank-Martin - PittsburghPlatform Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (LPPA) calls for tax break at the pumps

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Sandals Offers Democrats an Alternative

On the podcast interview with the One Man Think Tank, I was asked a question of "buy, hold, or sell" in terms of Rick Santorum. My advice was "hold" as I don't think Casey can deliver much to the state nor the nation.

This is from the D's race.
Casey's Hypothetical Lead on Santorum Slips;

Says May 16th is the Final Opportunity for Democrats to Avert Disaster in November Election

PITTSBURGH, PA -- A new poll released today by the Allentown Morning Call shows Bob Casey’s lead in a hypothetical matchup against Rick Santorum has slipped to single digits. This decline has occurred six months before Election Day and well before the TV ad blitz expected by Rick Santorum. Throughout the Democratic primary, Alan Sandals has said that the more voters learn about Bob Casey’s positions, the less support he will enjoy. This explains the rationale behind Casey’s attempts to limit the number of debates, keep the debate footage out of the public domain, and avoid debating in the major population centers of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
In a statement from Pittsburgh, Sandals said the following today:

“The erosion of support for Bob Casey in a hypothetical matchup against Rick Santorum is an unfortunate but predictable trend that underscores the great concern of mainstream Democrats about the vulnerability of the Casey candidacy. When he was recruited to run a year ago, the party leadership thought Democrats needed to imitate Republicans in order to win, but I have always disagreed with that strategy.

Democrats should stand for the principles we believe in, including women’s rights and the right to choose, an end to the military occupation of Iraq, support for stem cell research, and adequate controls to reduce handgun violence. Casey’s positions on these issues do not match the views of most Democrats and most moderate Republicans and Independents.

Voters in Pennsylvania need and want a U.S. Senate Candidate who will implement real change, but they won't find one in Bob Casey. May 16 is the final opportunity for Democrats to stand up and avert disaster in November.”
Not only is there Sandals, but the D's have Chuck Pennacchio as well.

Speaking up on wi-fi and technology

I just gave an interview to a media organization about the wi-fi deal and the rush to get an All-Star deal in place. They are rushing to launch a foolish plan. It seems to me that city hall wants an all-star strike out. They rush (haste makes waste) like there is no tomorrow. They want to swing three times at the same pitch.

Time and again, I speak up. I'm free to speak up. Others don't. Here is why....

This was snipped from comments at Pittsblog.
Regarding media coverage - I get the sense that they go as far as the community will allow. Most of these tech-focused organizations are all in the same game: self-protection. There seems to be an unspoken agreement to keep the bar low, disburse sizable grants to the same organizations again and again despite lackluster results, and not press for accountability of the millions of dollars spent annually on technology/R&D economic development initiatives in this region.

You'll hear people complain in private or off the record, but I think there's definitely a code of silence. Once you're in--on either the funder side or the recipient side, you keep your mouth shut, or your career options in this city are toast.

4/25/2006 9:13 PM

Anonymous said...

I agree the Pittsburgh Technology Council has become like the Allegheny Conference involved in tons of activities that no one really needs. Mike you should do an op-ed on them like you did on the Allegheny Conference.

Regarding the media - I agree no one speaks openly about these organizations and most of the boards are rubber stamps.
With this wi-fi deal before city council, the same truth holds. Those in the biz and on the various boards of other organizations don't want to rock the boat. Earthlink can't tell the city that the PDP plan is JUNK -- as if it goes into being, Earthlink will need to have a relationship with their customers over some of those poles (hot spots).

Same too with the Wireless Neighborhoods.

Deceased voter gets card from Diven - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Deceased voter gets card from Diven - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review For a dead man, James J. Bradley Jr. has a lot of political pull.

First, his name appeared in March on a nominating petition for the re-election of state Rep. Michael Diven, R-Beechview -- more than three years after Bradley, of Baldwin Township, died of a heart attack.

Now Diven has sent Bradley a birthday card, wishing him good health.
The sending of cards is a political trick. The four-color card of the photo of the state capital is nice -- and we all pay for it. Newsletters are often an expression of PR for the candidate up for re-election and less to do about real 'news.' Those behaviors stink and people have had enough.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Keith is pushing Big Charlie K as an All-Star. Voting starts soon.

All this jazz about getting wi-fi in time for the All-Star game takes an interesting spin if this "player" gets elected to the team.

There is some questions out there about 'write-in votes' with the new voting machines. How do you write in a person to the All Star squad? See the comments for a report that came in via email.

One-Man Think Tank: INTERVIEW: Pittsburgh political blogger Mark Rauterkus

One-Man Think Tank: INTERVIEW: Pittsburgh political blogger Mark Rauterkus INTERVIEW: Pittsburgh political blogger Mark Rauterkus

Get to know Steel City political blogger and state Senate candidate Mark Rauterkus on this edition of One-Man Think Tank, the state's top alternative newscast.

Downtown housing in need of boost, but how?

City Councilmembers say, "Pick our cherries."

It is bad economic policy, and bad progressive policy, to discount to our most valued assets so the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

City Councilman Bill Peduto has never seen a tax break that was big enough. Bill Peduto wants to take our most valued assets and diminish that tax burden so as to put a heavy tax on the neighborhoods. Bill Peduto is okay with policies that make the rich richer and the poor poorer.
Downtown housing in need of boost, but how?A debate on how to spur the emerging Downtown housing market is set to start today in Pittsburgh City Council.

On one side is Councilman William Peduto, who wants to replace the project-by-project tax breaks with a blanket abatement for most new construction. He's won some backing from Downtown advocates and developers.
Of course Peduto has won agreement with the downtown developers. They are the rich. They are the ones who pay into campaign fundraisers and go to $1,000 a plate events at The Rivers Club.

They drive the Pgh Downtown Partnerships so that they can get wi-fi on the sidewalk cafe meanwhile the kids in the neighborhoods who could USE wi-fi for homework, at home, can't.

They want to pick our cherries. They want to put in wi-fi coverage only in downtown hot spots. They want to ignore the neighborhoods. They want to give bigger tax breaks to the super rich. They want to subsidize the areas that don't need tax breaks. They want to put new tax breaks on places when the old tax breaks expire.

Instead, you need to tax the land. That's the policy of our great history that has given us affordable housing and downtown density. That's the policy that would make for a new revival in the city, the county and the region -- with Pittsburgh being a home to new development and new economic prosperity -- for everyone.

Equity matters. So, you don't allow a downtown deals to take root. You insist upon everyone being equal. You insist that wi-fi goes everywhere, or not at all.

You don't widen the digital divide as Peduto is trying to do.

You don't sit there at the table with a grin and say, 'community has been at the table' yet community is getting the shaft. Being at the table is one thing. Getting served is another. And getting the bill is yet another. They'll put the citizens at the table, not serve them, and have them pay because we've been at the table.

They get to pick the cherries -- they get the sweetheart deal -- they get to live off of foundation money -- they get to make tax breaks, again, for downtown deals that didn't work the last time -- and WE, the taxpayers and neighborhood workers get to pay the deal.

Here is the table.....

See that foot in the upper left part of the photo. That's how people vote, with their feet. Have a seat at this table. Pick up the bill, taxpayers. Service not required nor expected.

Suggested fixes: I'm not in favor of subsidized housing for rich people downtown with subsidized parking for their rich cars.

I'm not in favor of new planning groups to gather at the table set by city hall but leave out citizens, schools, taxpayers and people like me who represent the opposition. They can hatch up spledid plans -- but they need to be part of the city.

I'm not in favor of doing downtown plans when the city can't get flood control in other sections of the city, such as Hays. City needs to do the hard work that needs to be done to fix things that need to be fixed -- first.

I'm not in favor of doing TIF deals -- ever. So, let's agree to not do any TIF deals first and then let's do our best to figure out how we can set the TIF ceiling to ZERO. These new efforts from Petudo are needed now and are being put forth because the city is at its TIF limit. The tool box is spent and new tools and new city spending is needed by big spending.

Libertarian Reform Caucus site

Mind food> I really like the article, 'What is a Platform from the Liberty Reform Party.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Yahoo Photo Album -- of raw food


I just set up a photo album on Yahoo Photo, a new service. Can you give this a peek to see what you think, please.

Did the link work? What do you think of the images? Can you navigate? Did you watch with a slide show?

Thanks for the feedback.

All of these photos, and a ton of others, are being put into the public domain.

After more thought, yep, I'm still certain that the Wi-Fi plan for downtown is a bad deal for Pittsburgh.

Free Software for Schools by Open Source Victoria (Book) in Books > Computer Science & Technology > Applications & Software > Educational Software

This is an 81 page book. You can download it for free as a PDF. Teachers and school folks, as well as parents and college education majors, looking for new tools should give this a peek, at least.
Free Software for Schools by Open Source Victoria (Book) in Books > Computer Science & Technology > Applications & Software > Educational Software Free Software for Schools

by Open Source Victoria
This item rated Everyone by its creator.

Price: select the products you want to purchase

* FREE Download

What do you think, running mates? Should I give these guys a call?

Raj Bhakta from the "Apprentice" now to become Representative

Reply to:
Date: 2006-04-24, 11:42AM EDT

Become Part of Political and Television Documentary History

By winning his party’s nomination against all odds, he stunned the political establishment once, now he’s doing it again: Raj Peter Bhakta, the bow-tied star of Donald Trump’s “the Apprentice” is letting cameras where they’ve never been allowed before- on a political campaign!

Raj accepted the Philadelphia Republican nomination in a nationally publicized press conference last month that appeared in USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Post, Forbes, CNN and MSNBC.

Now, Raj is seeking a stellar team of the nation’s best and brightest to become part of a made for television documentary about what a smart, young, dedicated and aggressive campaign team can do.

Do you think you have what it takes to win elections on the ground? Are you tired of politics as usual? Can you hold up under the spotlight of the camera? Can you deal with the media; design and implement a winning web strategy; work extreme grassroots; set up rallies with hundreds of voters and inspire volunteers?

Participants will be selected primarily from top colleges and universities on the basis of previous achievement, personal dynamism, energy and zeal for reform. Participants must be willing to dedicate themselves to the campaign on a full time basis over the summer. They will be paid a weekly stipend and be provided housing.

The top three performing volunteers will go to Washington with Raj. To join the team please call Raj at 215-628-4001 or email

Paid for by Raj for Congress

Compensation: To be determined
no - Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
yes - Phone calls about this job are ok.
no - Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.
no - Reposting this message elsewhere is NOT OK.
Let's face it, I'm a "little fish," Yet, I swim upstream often. And, I do like to reside in a clean, clear, setting where I'm willing and able to accept scrutiny -- yet alone the lights of the network TVs.

Blooming flowers. For the past two years, around this time of year, our family has been packing for a trip to China. We went May 1 in 2004 and May 16 in 2005. Now in 2006, we're saying home. Just last month my wife went to the American Academy of Audiology in MN and was able to visit with one of her associates from Chengdu. She now works in LA. In the months to come, a new Ph.D. student is going to enter the program at Pitt -- a student Catherine taught in Chengdu on those trips. For me, I've still got these photos to organize.

Speaking of rivers, wireless, and interesting photos of food, this woman is bringing home dinner. Guess where she was?

Pittsburgh's Wi-Fi plan fails to cover the rivers and bridges

Wi-Fi on the water and with the rivers and even Voyager!
Today in city council chambers, the good people with The Pittsburgh Voyager were given special notice. Presently, a new vessile, a floating classroom and lab is being built. It will take 150 passengers and join the fleet on the North Side. A few other boats are working on the rivers now, taking school kids on field trips daily.

The rivers are NOT in the plan for wi-fi. It would be simple to put the wi-fi connections along the bridges and cover the water spaces. That is an attraction. These kids, their teachers and adults on their trips would be able to check email from a lap-top if the rivers were wi-fi ready.

One of our bridges was named for Rachel C. We could have a festival on the bridge and have vendors show their wares via the web and wi-fi -- if that was made into the plans.

Genetically Modified Food Conundrum - Yahoo! News

The Genetically Modified Conundrum - Yahoo! News
By Alyce Lomax

The U.S. is sometimes described as the bastion of biotech crops, the great hope for the sparkling future of genetically modified (GM) foods. That's seen as a boon to some of the companies that have been spearheading efforts to develop such crops and distribute them throughout the food supply. Likewise for the biggest food providers, who hope to market and sell these wares throughout the world. Yet there's still the fact that GM foods remain controversial, to say the least.

Feeling hungry? The images below were taken at markets in China and Thailand. Can you identify the items? Click on the photo get get a larger (expanded) view. I'm putting images and many others are put into the public domain.




















(To be honest, the worms are not to be eaten so much by people. This photo was taken on a street devoted to pets, aquariums and such. But, the butchers row is very near.)


People flee! People vote with their feet! And the solutions are silly ones that don't work!

Another great report from the Allegheny Insitutue is out. This one concerns that magical topic -- population loss.

The city is shrinking. The county is shrinking. And, I don't see it getting any better.

All the redding up that Bob O'Connor is trying to do isn't going to help much. Redding up is a valued activity -- but -- the undertaker does a good job too when a dead body arrives and a new haircut, suit and layer of make-up is applied -- to redd up the corpse for its final viewing and eventual trip to the worms.

Redding up could mean a new coat of red lipstick for the funeral home as another flock bites the dust and departs.

Real solutions go way beyond 'redding up.' To reverse the flow is going to take serious efforts and those are the things that people want to see and get behind.
According to recently released estimates from the Census Bureau (, Allegheny County suffered a net loss of around 43,000 citizens to other counties and states between April 2000 and July 2005. During the same period, the surrounding counties of Butler, Washington and Westmoreland together added about 12,500 net domestic migrants. All other Southwest Pennsylvania counties showed net outflows of domestic migrants. Thus, even if all the net migration increases in Butler, Washington and Westmoreland counties came from Allegheny County, it would mean that approximately 30,000 of Allegheny County’s net domestic outmigration left the region.
For example, putting wi-fi downtown in time for the All-Star Game is another example of fresh lipstick for all things that are 'deads-ville' here. The plan won't help. And, I contend that this is just another solution that HURTS the city in its hope of making a rebound.

The wi-fi plan for downtown is a crock of crap. The redd up efforts are ways to better sort the crap and put it into various crocks.

Another vivid example, the HOV Wabash Tunnel. This construction project was built with taxpayer money (mostly federal funds) and only 300 cars a day use it. The Wabash Tunnel is a crock-of-crap addition to our landscape that isn't helping one bit. We spent all the money -- and it didn't change the flow.

However, if the Wabash Tunnel was kept as a HOV lane -- and a bike/blade and pedestrian lane was put next to the HOV lane -- then we'd have something to brag about and use. More bikes would use the HOV lane than cars on any given day.

But, did City Council's Jim Motznik request that a bike lane be inserted within the Wabash Tunnel -- as I suggested at public comment weeks ago? I don't know, but I doubt it.

Do little leaders are going to lead Pittsburgh down the pathway we've been on --- outward migration.

North Catholic is leaving. Our Catholic Elem School, Bishop Leonard, is going to close and be merged into St. Mary's of The Mount. We already lost the Waldorf School from our neighborhood. Sure, it moved within the city, but why didn't a new school open there to join this school here? South Vo Tech is closed. Langley HS is at half of its capacity. CAPA, downtown's new high school for creative and performing arts, was built to serve the city and accept up to half of its students from the WPIAL schools, (i.e., beyond the city's borders). CAPA is lucky to get a dozen students from beyond the city -- as folks don't want to go to school here, don't want to live here and care less to be in a city that is full of so many miss-givings.

We've got problems. And, we've got people in leadership who are happy to let the problems linger while they hold onto their seats of power.

The King's Men are not up to the job at hand when it comes to this population decline. And the solutions we've come to expect from the King's Men don't help.

Court defeats audit -

Jack Wagner, our state's Auditor General, gets put into the realm of "meaningless" when it comes to his power to do an audit on public money in the hands of public officials.

Go figure.

This is just another vivid example of why our state is shrinking. People vote with their feet. People are leaving Pennsylvania.

Corruption! Tradition! Smoke! Not only is there a legacy of a 'smokey city' but in these instances it is also a 'smokey state.' Things are not transparent. Things are not open.

As a state senator, I would change the law so as to guarantee that the auditor general and any voter in the state has the right to audit any source of funds from politicians and governmental assets.
Court defeats audit - Court defeats audit


HARRISBURG -- Pennsylvania's fiscal watchdog, the state auditor general, has no authority to audit the Legislature's $135 million slush fund or its other expenses, Commonwealth Court ruled Monday.

Short of a reversal on appeal, the ruling means that more than $400 million in annual legislative spending won't be audited independently, said citizens' activist Gene Stilp, of Dauphin County, who filed a lawsuit last year claiming the Legislature's internal audit is a 'sham.'

The court dismissed Stilp's lawsuit in a 5-1 ruling.

Stilp, now an independent candidate for lieutenant governor, filed his lawsuit based on stories the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review published last year that reported legislators tapped the so-called 'surplus' money to collect unvouchered expenses authorized by a July pay raise. They repealed the 16 to 54 percent raises in November after outraged constituents complained."

Merits of wireless Internet in Downtown are debated

Merits of wireless Internet in Downtown are debated: "A Downtown wireless Internet network wouldn't get in the way of a later citywide system, one computing executive told Pittsburgh City Council yesterday.

Yes it could, said another.
An online poll runs along with this story. The question should be: Should the Pittsburgh Foundation community pay nearly $1-million to a company to build a downtown wi-fi network so people in PNC Park can be wireless? Or, should a no money be used from the generous Pittsburgh donors so that a city-wide network that is funded by EARTHLINK that is to reach all 88 neighborhoods, not just one, and with the EarthLink we'd get FASTER service and continual upgrades too?

I presented at that meeting. The PDP (Pgh Downtown Partnership) plan sucks. It sucks like old Easter Eggs. It sucks bad.

I gave my testimony. And four or more others were there to agree with me, even after I left the room and questions from Peduto and Shields were put to speakers. The visiting speakers took my stance -- and did not agree with the 'done deal mentality' that council seems hell-bent to deliver by the all-star game.

I'll be at city council today with three charts of my own.

Independent bid: Diamond welcomed in governor's race

The Herald Standard - Independent bid: Diamond welcomed in governor's race As an independent candidate, Diamond, a Lebanon County businessman, is certain to add pit bull bite to the strains of poodle-esque yapping from Democrat Gov. Ed Rendell and GOP nominee Lynn Swann.

DAVID Salo -- Coach at USC -- Superior Choice! Dave Salo, one of the nation’s top club swimming coaches for more than 15 years and a former Trojan assistant coach, has been named head coach for USC’s men’s and women’s swimming teams, Athletic Director Mike Garrett announced today (April 21).

He replaces Mark Schubert, who is assuming USA Swimming’s head coach position after guiding USC swimming for the past 14 years.

“Dave Salo brings a wealth of experience at all levels of competitive swimming,” said Associate Athletic Director Dr. Brandon Martin, who conducted the nationwide search to replace Schubert. “We believe that Dave is a perfect fit for our department, in terms of both developing and educating our student-athletes as well as winning championships.”

Salo, 47, who has coached Olympic medalists such as former Trojans Lenny Krayzelburg and Gabe Woodward, Aaron Peirsol, Amada Beard, Staciana Stitts, Colleen Lanne and Jason Lezak, comes to USC after serving as head coach of the Irvine Novaquatics from 1990 to 2006.

“Returning to USC, following in the footsteps of Hall of Fame coaches Peter Daland and Mark Schubert, is a coach’s dream,” said Salo. “The fact that it becomes my reality can’t be described adequately.
I just blogged about David the other day when a person requested his book. Then I tune into this news.

Wow. This is great for him and for USA Swimming.

“I have had a dream coaching career – coaching some of the best swimmers in the world with one of the best clubs in the country. The opportunity to come back to USC to coach one of the most storied programs in the history of collegiate swimming is tremendously exciting. I am looking forward to contributing to the culture of expected excellence at USC.”

Salo guided the Novas to numerous Junior National and U.S. National team titles as well as several age group championships. He was tabbed 2002 U.S. Swimming Coach of the Year after leading the Novas to U.S. Spring and Summer national titles.

In addition to his work with the Novas, he has served extensively at the national level, including head coaching assignments for the United States at the 2005 World Championships (men) and the 2001 Goodwill Games (men). His assistant coaching duties for the U.S. include the 2004 Olympics (men), 2003 World Championships (men and women), 2002 Pan Pacific Championships (men), 2000 Olympics (women) and the 1999 Pan American Games (women).

Nova swimmers and alums who trained under Salo have consistently dotted the roster of U.S. national teams, often in starring roles. Peirsol, the world record holder in the 100 and 200 backstroke (lcm), is a two-time Olympian and won 2004 Olympic gold medals in the aforementioned events. Beard is a three-time Olympian with seven medals, one of many elite breaststrokers who have come under Salo’s tutelage. Lezak, a four-time Olympic medalist in two appearances, is among American’s greatest sprinters.

Besides duties with the Novas and the U.S. team, Salo served as co-head coach at Orange Coast College from 2000 to 2004. The Pirates won the 2003 California state title and Salo was honored as state Co-Coach of the Year. Also in 2003, he became the Founding Director of Aquatics at Soka University in Alisa Viejo, Calif., where he recently completed his second season with the Lions.

Salo joined the Novas after five seasons (1985-90) working under legendary USC swimming coach Peter Daland. He helped guide Troy’s men’s team to five Top 5 NCAA finishes, including second-place marks in 1987, 1988 and 1990. Troy also had perfect dual-meet records in 1988, 1990 and 1991. Among the USC swimmers he helped coach were NCAA champions and Olympians Dave Wharton and Dan Jorgensen.

Salo graduated from Long Beach State with a B.A. and M.A. in exercise physiology and also served as an assistant women’s swimming coach there in 1981 and 1982. He earned his doctorate in the same field from USC in 1991.

Salo swam for Santa Rosa Junior College from 1976 to 1978 before transferring to Long Beach State.
The second book I ever published, Sprint Salo, by David Salo, was done before he was hired at Irvine for Nova.

getting a medal

This is where RMU and Point Park should be swimming The American Swimming Association University League is an association of student-run swim clubs from colleges and universities across the United States that enjoy the sport of swimming in a friendly, competitive environment. ASA U. was founded in response to the elimination of so many collegiate varsity swimming teams across the country. For more information and to join, please visit the 'University' link on

Monday, April 24, 2006

Old Congress Critter faces school teacher Isaac in D's primary

I like the underdog. I've got to know Mike Isaac a bit in the past weeks. He seems like a good guy that is worthy of your vote.
Campaign 2006: Rep. Doyle faces school teacher Isaac: "The 34-year-old Scott native acknowledges that he is a distinct underdog against the six-term veteran. He says he is running to give the district's voters a choice, noting that he differs from Mr. Doyle on abortion -- he is pro-choice, the incumbent opposes abortion -- and has criticized Mr. Doyle's votes on an omnibus energy bill and an anti-gang measure that would extend the federal death penalty to some juveniles. Reflecting the reasonably civil tone of this race, however, Mr. Isaac noted in a recent interview that he supports significant aspects of the incumbent's record, notably his position on the Iraq war."

Baylor To Coeds: Pose For Playboy, Face Consequences - Education - Baylor To Coeds: Pose For Playboy, Face Consequences: "WACO, Texas -- The world's biggest Baptist university warned students not to pose for Playboy, but a magazine spokeswoman said some showed up to meet photographers anyway."
I went to Baylor for a year for graduate school in HPER. This same story surfaces every year or so. Then it was the girls of the SWC (Southwest Conference).

The SWC has gone away, but the values of the university remain.

Wi-Fi in the City's Downtown neighborhood -- on the sidewalks -- stinks

I spoke up today about the plans in city council and with the PDP (Pgh Downtown Partnership) about some plans for Wi-Fi. The plans stink because the area is limited to downtown. And, the downtown coverage only goes to the sidewalks and the first two stories of the buildings.

The plan has many reasons to be skeptical.

We'll get wi-fi for the All-Star game and be cutting edge, like Spokane and hundreds of other municipalities.

I was interviewed for story on TV 11. WTAE 4 was in the hearing too.

Squeek, squeek.... I.B. stays at USC and ACLU can pull law-suit

Upper St. Clair keeps it I.B. program!

Now hundreds of families don't have to move to Pittsburgh Public Schools and attend Schenley High School.

The city has an I.B. program. Some have called for plans to expand the city's IB program to middle school grades too.

The Carbolic Smoke Ball - musical chairs

The Carbolic Smoke Ball Bush read a joint statement: “It is admirable that both Don and Craig have exhibited a steadfast willingness to remain completely inflexible and to 'stay the course,' in spite of vast empirical evidence suggesting that innumerable other routes would have been preferable.”

The Carbolic Smoke Ball: Protestor at White House reception yells at Hu to stop religious persecution in China

Funny -- and not so funny.
The Carbolic Smoke Ball: Protestor at White House reception yells at Hu to stop religious persecution in China 'Well, we have an effective way of dealing with them, too,' Bush assured him. 'For example, recently a rich lawyer got out of line, so I arranged for him to go quail hunting with my Vice President.'
Hat tip to Unspace.


Hobnob: "Hobnob, Inc. Corporate Headquarters:

5850 Ellsworth Avenue
Suite 300
Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Phone: 412.924.0630
FAX: 412.362.1440


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Altoona Mirror: Pittsburgh Law Blogger gets ink

Sorry Mike, not you this time.
Altoona Mirror - Making It Happen For You
It’s still up in the air as to whether bloggers are entitled to the same First Amendment rights as other media, and whether bloggers could be sued for libel and defamation, according to media attorney David Strassburger, partner in Strassburger, McKenna, Gutnick & Potter law firm in Pittsburgh. Sprintsalo: A Cerebral Approach to Training for Peak Swimming Performance: Books: David C. Salo

It is always nice to have nice things said about the work you do. Sprintsalo: A Cerebral Approach to Training for Peak Swimming Performance: Books: David C. SaloSprintsalo, November 4, 2003
Reviewer: 'tiffanygp' (Portland, Oregon)
This is one of the best swimming books written. It outlines Dave's approach to his training methods that eventually lead his team to win BIG TIME! Great book, I wish it was in print, my copy was stolen by another coach!
Recently I got a request, again, for the book, SprintSalo. This was the second book I ever published. A friend in California is back into coach, as am I. He wanted a copy of the book. So, I check here, like the rest of the world.

Every once in a while I wonder if I should get back into publishing books. I take a nap and the thought passes.

Google's China Problem (and China's Google Problem) - New York Times

Lots of buzz this week on the net with the visit to America of China's President. I don't have THAT much to say and would rather talk about the WPIAL AA Boys Tennis Champion, a girl. But, here is another chance to smear some additional photos from my archive.
Tomorrowland in Hong Kong Disney.
Google's China Problem (and China's Google Problem) - New York Times Inside the New China

A four-hour television series and interactive web site by The Times, The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the ZDF network of Germany.

Disney in Hong Kong, techie cool.

What others are saying, (sorta like self promotion) -- around the Diamond issue

I've gotten a few off-line emails. Generally, I hate off-line emails. Send your comments to the blog, or to a list, or expect the comments to flow out of my mouth some day or onto my own blog.

I'm not so good at thinking on my feet when I've got a bunch of secrets to protect. So, I live best when there are NO secrets to protect. So, I don't really like to be burdened with secrets in the first place. This is a public effort for the public good. I love to be open and try to walk that talk.
Hi Mark,

I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for very honestly, intellectually, and eloquently destroying these ridiculous arguments that Michele and CO. are making to justify their ridiculous, vindictive actions. ( Bitter, . . Party of 3 your table is ready ) I particularly enjoyed the “come to the commons, drop a turd and call it air freshener” That ROCKS!

Not that it matters (as you write addressing points not people) but I just thought I let you know that .....

Russ will over-come this non-issue with the character and ideology that has carried him to this place, . . and also with the help of intelligent, principled writers like yourself who excel in calling a spade, a spade. . . . Thank you Mark.
Clean sweep journey man.

I took this photo on the streets in China. There, the number one issue with the Communist Party is to fight corruption. They do a lot of clean up too. Lots and lots of people are on trash pick-up jobs. The city landscapes are often way better than anything we have here in terms of efforts to clean up.

Sorta sorry state <;/

That feud is over now.
ALL APOLOGIES. The super-secret folks at the Web site sure are sensitive.

Two weeks ago in this space, we accurately reported the Internet site for governmental geeks and policy wonks was off-line and printed speculation widely discussed in political circles as to the reason why.

Last week, we noted the Web site's return and welcomed back its operators.

This egregious conduct resulted in the anonymous people who run the site throwing a hissy fit, demanding a retraction and an apology for publishing correct information.

We're not sure if this qualifies, but we are indeed sorry that we don't apologize for printing facts.

If this doesn't suffice, people, at least get the name of this newspaper right if you again attempt to use it to try to increase your Web site's loyal readers beyond a few dozen. We're the Tribune-Review.

Trust us -- we'll get your names correct should we ever decide to print them.

Philadelphia Inquirer on Pa. legislators boost their pay day by day by...

Philadelphia Inquirer | 04/23/2006 | Pa. legislators boost their pay day by day by... Pa. legislators boost their pay day by day by...
Three lawmakers used the generous $141 per diem to collect more than $46,000 each over the last two years.

By Mario F. Cattabiani, Inquirer Staff Writer

Per diem means 'by the day' in Latin.

State Rep. Gaynor Cawley (D., Lackawanna) speaks it fluently.

So do Reps. Christopher Sainato (D., Lawrence) and Mark Cohen (D., Phila.).

Over the last two years, the three lawmakers each have collected more than $46,000 in per diems - flat payments given to lawmakers for meals and lodging while on official duty.

That's tops among the state's 253 legislators, and about double what the average House and Senate member collects, an Inquirer review of expense records shows.
Another great article.

The Mercury - Diamond comes out of the rough

The Mercury - Diamond comes out of the rough Diamond comes out of the rough, by Tony Phyrillas

The blue jeans and black T-shirt are gone. Russ Diamond is wearing a suit and tie these days.

Diamond, a thorn in the side of the political establishment for nearly a year, wants to be taken seriously. He wants to be Pennsylvania’s next governor.
Great article.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Part 2 of a crap trap

My response: Alright then. I guess I've worked tirelessly for
PACleanSweep since July because I want to sustain the status quo?
Apples and Oranges. But really, Apple Seeds to Apple Pie.

You want to get a free ride with what you did in the past? What you did in the past has nothing to do with what you are doing today. You can't rest on your laurels.
many people have raised the notion that Diamond's candidacy is controversial.
I don't buy that notion, for the reasons I mentioned. That is the crap trap. Because a lot of folks don't vote -- that does not mean that the best thing to do is not vote.

To me, (a repeat), the fact that Diamond is a candidate boils down to a decision of the individual, Diamond himself. I can't tell him what to do. You can't tell him what to do. If you want to say otherwise, you stand for less personal freedom. Diamond's decision to be a candidate or not should have nothing to do with you as his master. Diamond, nor anyone else, should NOT be a slave to anyone else.

The "controversial elements" of the Diamond effort should be (and could be) the CAMPAIGN, not being a candidate. There is no controversy to run or not to run. But I hope there is a lot of controversial aspects on what he says, how he says it, what messages people hear, and how this all unfolds with voters, media, supporters and other candidates. That is the "sustained conversations of the campaign" -- and that will rub people all different ways. That's the message and that's the essence of the interactions among politics. That's where the controversial elements MUST reside.

The BISHOP of the Pittsburgh Diocese could choose to run for PA Governor -- and that won't be a 'controversial decision.' He would be permitted to run for public office if he so chooses. If the Bishop shows up to a political TV debate and brings altar boys and the tall red Bishop's hat -- well, then comes a "controversial" moment.

Thanks for the spelling tips, BTW. I was in the middle of a lot of Earth Day fun and didn't touch up the typos until now.

Everyone has a right to be concerned. Everyone has a right to vote with their feet and leave organizations. Fine. But, you fail when you make a concern about the future into a threat. This goes to the core RIGHT -- the DIAMOND decision wasn't theirs to MAKE. To stay or leave is up to them.

I'm glad Diamond chooses to run his campaign with a 'my way or highway' approach. He should. It is his right, again. You are foolish to project otherwise onto him.

The board can be delicate now (OMG) -- after it shattered its good will. They (and posts like yours) screwed up and lost valued time and relationships. They over-reacted and injected more poison into the landscape than we'll ever be able to measure, today and for years to come.
Our opponents can now make the case that Diamond used PACleanSweep to promote himself have a valid point. Handling the matter DELICATELY was the RESPONSIBILITY of the Board of Directors.
Opponents always can make some valid points. You can't play only defense and win. You get points, they get points -- the winner is the one with the most points. The goal isn't to NEVER give the opponent a valid point. In football, you don't PUNT on first down. In hockey, you don't put all your players out there in the crease as GOALKEEPERS.

So, if Diamond did this Clean Sweep efforts to promote himself -- is that like the Governor going around the state to promote himself by giving away money (WAMS) on 4-foot cardboard checks? Of course there are valid points to be made on all sides. I'd say Diamond's self promotion is about 1,000 less than the acts of Rendell who spends money from the Commonwealth's taxpayers.

Likewise, if the Bishop runs for Governor, are people going to say he served the church as a way to promote himself too? Ask what's the real score?

The counter to my claim of "do-little board" being "I don't know cause I wasn't there" -- so I'm ignorant just proves me right again. Committed activists are not invisible. And, even if I have a blind spot, your counter should be more than a time card with 1,000 hours logged. And, you go back to the outset in that you want a free pass for past efforts for putting a turd into the well just now. This is today.

The next chapter isn't about a re-hash of the past chapter. You worked, fine. That's water over the dam. That's gone now. What is "fresh" is your repeat of a "crook" sling.

The student in class who got an "F" today can't go to the teacher and say, "I want an A on this paper because I got an A last month." Today's trash talk (without clear reasoning, IMHO) should NOT be ignored because of last month's good deeds. Deal with the time line of past, present and future. Otherwise, you're fooling yourself and your experiences and expectations are going to be at odds with many various forces.

This is a big state. You don't need to get along with everyone. There are saints and sinners -- and plenty of folks in the middle. Life is short. You can't please everyone. Fine....

Here is my take home advice: Live in the present. If we all lived in the present, we'd all be better off.

I hope you had a good day stuffing envelopes and picking up trash being that it is Earth Day and lots of folks were doing lots of things out and about today.

Freedom of Information Act = FOIA

'File Your Own FOIA' Party! Sponsored by the ACLU of PA, the Pittsburgh Bill of Rights Defense Campaign, and the American Friends Service Committee

From 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 at Friends Meeting House (4836 Ellsworth Avenue).

The last FOIA event was so successful that it is going to happen again. Join us for our next workshop that will walk you through filing your own 'Freedom of Information Act' request. Materials (except stamps) will be provided. Light refreshments will be served - pot luck contributions gratefully accepted but not required.

Upcoming Immigrants' Rights Events

Monday, April 24th, 7pm - 8:30pm, Town Hall Meeting on Immigrants' Rights with local immigration lawyer Adrian Roe and Reverend Linda Theophilus at Pitt's William Pitt Union - Ballroom.

At 10 am on Tuesday, April 25, support the Immigrants' Rights Resolution at Pittsburgh City Council, Council chambers, City County Building, Grant Street, Downtown.

At 3 pm on Monday, May 1, Immigrants' Rights Vigil, Allegheny Courthouse and Jail
2nd Avenue, Downtown. At 5 pm, Immigrants' Rights March, a permitted march from the Allegheny Courthouse and Jail to Mellon Square Park at 6th Ave. and William Penn Place.

All events are free and open to the public.

Green pond scum.... Well, green is happy if you have a mood ring, like Judy Moody. And, green is good to say, "Earth Day!"

Crap trap Q & A about Diamond

I should not step here, as a crap-trap has been set. Nonetheless, I will dance around it, as it needs to be knocked down. However the best way to be is positive and direct. So, if you really want to get to the heart of the matter, listen to this podcast.

One-Man Think Tank: Russ Diamond weighs in on Swann endorsing Jubelirer Click on the link below to hear independent for governor Russ Diamond weigh in on Swann's endorsement of Jubelirer ...

Now back to the thread. ITALIC words are from a public email on another list. My reply is plain text.

Here's five reasons, not counting the allegations against him in the court papers, because they're merely allegations at this point, why I won't support the guy and why I think everyone here should be loyal to this cause and not the man behind the curtain.
For starters, learn to count. Any way you add, the number does not include five. The court papers have not materialized, so they are only allegations. When you serve papers to the court, you need to also serve the opposition. That has not happened.

To be a man behind the curtain, one would need to be behind a curtain. If one is visible, in plain view, with a spotlight to shine and be shined upon -- there is not man behind the curtain. The one's who are behind the curtain might be ones who run a blog at blogspot and don't put up personal identification. That has unfolded on a number of instances so far.
He (Russ Diamond) makes a controversial decision to run for office and it causes operation clean sweep to fall into chaos.
NO. The decision to run for office is only "controversial" to those who want to sustain the status quo.

A party loyalist would NOT want to see an Independent in the race. There is no controversy in the decision. The decision is a personal decision that Russ Diamond gets to make. If anyone finds controversy in the decision of another -- then that shows a lack of respect for freedom of the individual.
He is unable to heal the break in the group.

When you have a cancer, a doctor may be unable to heal the body. At times -- you just whack it off. If your legs were lazy -- or worse, filled with disease, I'd want to cut them off and live, rather than die.

The group was not a group as the others beyond Russ Diamond did nothing. They were instructed to help and they failed to act, repeatedly, for months. So, the rehab failed. The surgical strike makes good sense in my view.
The activists he punished made offers and even made them publicly.
The activists were not active, hence they were not activist. And, if they were, they would have been known. And, there was no punishment. They were not entitled to anything as they didn't create a darn thing. They were takers.

The public noise was made, and it has little impact except to undermine and prove points of true loyalty (to the status quo).
If he didn't put his candidacy before operation clean sweep my instinct tells me we would not be in this brouhaha.
If he didn't start PA Clean Sweep, he would not have made a brouhaha at the outset. Perhaps you feel that more than 100 candidates throughout the state are not a brouhaha. I feel that Russ was out to rattle some cages. He rattled too many when he got drafted for a race for the Gov's mansion. Those that wanted to suppress the movement, from inside, had to act in negative ways then.

But, to go to your lack of logic, the brouhaha had begun in earnest long ago for Russ Diamond. It didn't start yet for the inactive board members -- because they were waste-cases. Your instincts are wrong.

He claims that his campaign has nothing to do with Clean Sweep but he sends me a request for money.

He sends requests to money to everyone in PA, I hope. Same too with other campaigns.
I've never signed up with his campaign and now that I see what he's about I won't.
Lots of people won't sign up for his campaign. Go to the sidelines, again. Don't do anything here. Lack of action is the point of your being. Go for it.
The only place he could have gotten my email was from this group.

I have your email too. So what.
So, he sends out requests for money for his campaign to Clean Sweep people while he says he's the chairman of Clean Sweep and while he should be raising money for Clean Sweep and Clean Sweep candidates.
So you want to be in politics yet you are offended by a request for money. Get a life.
On a discussion board for Clean Sweep he again asks for help getting him on the ballot even though he says he's not a Clean Sweep candidate.
Getting on the ballot should happen before being a clean sweep candidate, if you ask me. Case in point: I am not on the ballot. I am not a clean sweep candidate. However, I am running for PA Senate (42nd). If anyone wants to help me get on the ballot, I would like to get your help. As I get on the ballot, I may then ask for a clean sweep nod, but frankly, I don't think it brings me much. First things first.

It is prudent for Diamond to know if he is on the ballot before he even considers getting a clean sweep approval (how ironic is that anyway).
He says he is resigning from Clean Sweep to make a clean break of it, but he does this a week after he jumps into the race, and uses a televised publicity stunt to do it.
Right. That's good. Effective. Prudent.
Smear without anything...

To say 'he might be a crook' can have a reply, 'you might be a rapist.' Proof, evidence, justifications are needed and you've got NONE. That's a smear that shows stupidity. Your insults are a reflection on you.
Yeah this bickering should stop and it goes both ways.

It goes against logic most of all. It goes against facts most of all. It goes against history most of all. Sure, it goes both ways. But really, it is time to think again because the insults are not spilled in a vacuum. We have seen what's what for many months.
I've said my peace about it and now I'll get back to stuffing envelopes for my local candidate.
You can't show up to a commons, drop a turd into the well of democracy, and call it a freshener -- and get away with saying you've done a peace enhancement.

Go back to stuffing envelopes for the local candidate -- and it might just be Ed Rendell, your local candidate. Working for a local candidate is nice, but it might not really be a help in my opinion.

To be loyal to a cause, without a person, is the essence of living in an ivory tower. To be a real patriot is to be loyal to both real people and a real causes. In an effective world, the person and ideas go hand in hand.

Health Care Event, Sunday, May 21 at 1:30 pm

Please help swell the crowd at Temple Sinai (5505 Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill) Sunday, May 21, 2006 1:30-5:00 PM by attending a Citizens Hearing on Health Care Reform chaired by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) who is the Prime Sponsor-HR 676 "United States National Health Insurance Act: Also known as the "Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act" Let our public official know we want single-payer health care.

-- Nearly 46 million Americans and 1.5 million Pennsylvanians are uninsured.
-- 50 million have inadequate health insurance in the USA.
-- 18,000 Americans die each year because of no Health Care Coverage.
-- Half of all personal bankruptcies in the U.S. are related to debt from medical expenses.


Profits and administrative overhead currently take 25-30% of health care premium dollars. Medicare programs have only a 3% overhead. These savings and negotiated drug prices can help provide the necessary money to provide comprehensive high quality health care to all U.S. citizens.

-- Hear the testimony of local citizens concerning the health care crisis in our region.
-- Learn about single-payer solutions, also known as Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, specifically HR 676, introduced by US Rep. John Conyers with 68 co-sponsors, and PA SB 1085, introduced by State Senator Jim Ferlo.

-- Listen to the responses of our state and national elected officials to single-payer options.

Participate in building an action plan to advocate for single-payer health care.

List of Hearing Co-Sponsors in comments.

For more information, please contact Sandy Fox, Hearing Coordinator, at or write to the Western PA Coalition for Single-Payer Health Care, P.O. Box 81915, Pittsburgh, PA 15217.

Two concerts tonight at two venues (North Side and Oakland)

DownUnder Coffeehouse on Saturday, Apr 22 from 7:30-9:30 to hear Eve Goodman and Jack. Eve is a wonderful singer-songwriter, whose intricate guitar-playing and insightful lyrics will leave you captivated. The band Jack features three of the most loved songwriters from the Calliope Songwriters Circle: Stacy Mates, Dave LaRose and George Kantor. Come hear some of Pittsburgh's most exciting singer-songwriters in a relaxed coffeehouse atmosphere.

The DownUnder Coffeehouse is open one Saturday each month in Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church, 416 West North Ave, North Side. Suggested donation is $5.00. Desserts and coffee will be available. Call 412-322-4261 or see for more details.

And in Oakland, Caliope hosts a big folk concert too. I'm not sure if tickets are still available for the gig in Oakland.

Swann backs Jubelirer

This is being called a bomb, as in Swann dropped a bomb -- on himself. The statements came at at PIIN hosted event. PIIN = Pgh Interfaith Impact Network. I wanted to attend this event, but it didn't work out for me. I'm not too sure they would have wanted to see my "Jeff Diamond" for Governor petitions on the sidewalk. Perhaps they will now embrace them after Swann's showing.

Furthermore, Swann does not need to worry about lifting the ire of only the conservatives. Rather that is going to play poorly to all reformers as well.
Capitolwire: Swann endorses Sen. Jubelirer, risking conservative GOP

By Peter L. DeCoursey, Bureau Chief, Capitolwire

PITTSBURGH (April 22) – Weeks after a group of statewide conservatives buttonholed Lynn Swann to tell him to back away from public support of Senate President Pro Tem Robert Jubelirer, R-Blair, Swann endorsed Jubelirer while responding to a reporter's question here.

First, asked if he would endorse Jubelirer, Swann said, " … I certainly hope that, you know, whether it's a Sen. Jubelirer, or anybody else, that we have that kind of expertise there, that will help in the process of reforming government."

Asked again if he believed 30th Senate district voters should re-elect Jubelirer, Swann said, "Yeah, I think he would be a valuable ally in the Legislature."
Next, would someone ask Swann if he thinks Tom Murphy, old Pgh Mayor, should come out of retirement and seek another term in high elected office. He has experience too.

P-G article.

Olympic Song and Steven Spielberg at Opening & Closing Ceremonies

Let the games begin...
Jazz scholarship applicants sought - "Jackie Chan to record song for Beijing Olympics

Jackie Chan, Andy Lau, Alan Tam and other Hong Kong entertainers will record a pop song to promote the 2008 Beijing Olympics, an assistant to Tam said.

The song, titled 'Olympics Beijing,' is separate from the official theme song for the 2008 Games, the assistant, who only gave her surname, Lam, told The Associated Press on Thursday.

She said the Mandarin-language song, written by Eddie Ng, will be aired in China. It was unclear if the song would be released on CD.

Lam said Chan has signed on for the project but hasn't recorded his part yet. Others who have already completed their portions are Lau, Tam, Hacken Lee, Shirley Kwan, Andy Hui, William So and Jordan Chan, she said.

Other big names in the entertainment industry are involved with the Beijing Olympics, a major source of pride for the Chinese.

Famed Chinese director Zhang Yimou will oversee the design of the opening and closing ceremonies. American director Steven Spielberg has also signed on as a consultant for the two ceremonies."

See the Olympic Rings on the top of this gate. The figures on the top edges are volleyball players. The photo was take in Chengdu in the area of the provincial volleyball team's gym and residental spaces.

Friday, April 21, 2006

A Blogfest Over a Project in Brooklyn - New York Times

Station Square is FOREST CITY, fix-is-in Forest City, the Cleveland Firm, the Harrah's partner. Seems like they ran into a buzz saw from online advocates in New York.
A Blogfest Over a Project in Brooklyn - New York Times Like any developer, Forest City Ratner has had to contend with suspicious community groups, concerned politicians and skeptical editorial boards while seeking approval for the 8.7-million-square-foot venture.

But Atlantic Yards may well be the first large-scale urban real estate venture in New York City where opposition has coalesced most visibly in the blogosphere.
I've ranted a bit about how we do "blogfests" in our city -- as a social thing and nothing more. In New York, they have a "blogfest" with purpose and social implications.

Office 2004 Benchmarks on Intel-based Macs

Office 2004 Benchmarks on Intel-based Macs The big question is this: Does Microsoft Office 2004 run well enough on the new Intel-based Macs? Or should you delay your purchase of these machines?
The real question for me -- has been for years -- is all about I don't want to run Microsoft Office because I've been using on a PC.

Blogger gets sacked for talk back posts to self as another. No Pseudonyms!

Faces. Masks from the Opera in SW China.
The Times suspended Michael Hiltzik's Golden State blog on Thursday after the columnist admitted he's posted comments using pseudonyms.
"That is a violation of The Times ethics guidelines, which requires editors and reporters to identify themselves when dealing with the public," says the paper. "The policy applies to both the print and online editions of the newspaper. The Times is investigating the postings.

These faces can put drama into your site's comments as visiting bloggers, if you only invite them -- and make up the identities. But that would never happen HERE!

Rants from Russ and others

Clean sweep, walking along.

See the comments....

Meet the Steel City Derby Demons! -- PLUS -- Steelers to hardwood

After-Practice Party with the Demons! Starts at 10:30 pm on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 at The Smiling Moose in South Side - Upstairs. Gotta be 21 or older.

Steelers vs. Court Time All-Stars (featuring current professional and former collegiate players.) Slated for 8 pm on Friday, May 19, 2006 at Court Time. Tickets are selling fast (limited # available), call 412.754.2005 for tickets $5.

Scott Butler is Court Time Sports Center's Executive Director, 95 Enterprise Drive, Elizabeth, PA 15037.

Blog Fest is slated for 6:30 for a Friday in May. I don't see any mention of black tie nor prom.
Buggy Goes Live! Spring Carnival Celebration at CMU rolls around for April 20-22.

Saturday, April 22: Earth Day Festival and Rally in Highland Park with the Sierra Club. Festival and Rally: 11:00-12:30 and Educational Neighborhood Walk: 12:30-3:00. This all takes place at the Rhododendron Shelter, Highland Park (on Lake Drive).

The second Annual "Trash Bash" meets @ 18th and Carson @ 9 AM with coffee and donuts. They are supplying safety vests, brooms, gloves, bags and "graffiti whipes." They will have bottles of water and provide pizza and soda for lunch afterwards.

A river sweep is also slated for Saturday. Heard of this from some Mt. Washington folks. It starts around Station Square and moves up the South "shore" of the Mon to the boat launch in the park.

Rob Owens, of the P-G reported on Thursday, CASTING THIRD 'GEEK'. The third edition of The WB reality show "Beauty and the Geek," which will air in the future on the new CW network, will be in Pittsburgh casting brainless beauties and brainy guys with zero social skills.

If you qualify and want to be on TV, casting will be held Saturday at Boomerang's Bar & Grille in Oakland, 3901 Forbes Ave., from noon to 5 p.m. Applications are available online at

Blogs offer new avenue for businesses -

Wanted: More bloggers to join this venture and be a Running Mate. If you'd like to be on a blog that gets lots of readers -- I'd love to have the helpers.
Blogs offer new avenue for businesses - 'It is of growing importance for businesses to read blogs, and consider writing their own blogs,' said Mike Woycheck, information systems technologist for the Pittsburgh Technology Council. 'It's something businesses have to pay attention to, because it's not going to go away.'

Woycheck is a founder of Pittsburgh Bloggers, which began in late 2004 and now lists more than 400 local Web logs. Most are personal, but some, including The Bloomery and Mt. Lebanon's Aldo Coffee Co. blogs, are business-based.
Keep your own blog too -- but on matters of civic concern, local issues, trends and news reactions, pipe them over here.

All aboard.... our photo in a reflection before we board the Maglev in Shanghi.

In other local blogging news,
Local TV: Sheila Hyland to fill in on KDKA morning news WTAE is getting a WEB REPORTER. Channel 4 has hired a reporter who will file TV-style reports primarily for WTAE's Web site,

I still have a burning question about this page, a blast from the past, from the site in question.

Sifry's Alerts The blogosphere is over 60 times bigger than it was only 3 years ago.

No fans to light the Pirates' flame

There will be an All-Star boycott -- No Sweatshops, Bucco!

Why live in misery when the day was great -- and baseball was being played at dozens of high school sandlots all around western PA? Makes no sense when we have great baseball at the best price around -- at a high school game. We went today and on Wednesday. Great time. Dropped in for a few innings. Spent an hour or so. Wonderful.
No fans to light the Pirates' flame 'I think fans have been gracious,' he said. 'And maybe not vocal enough, maybe not vociferous enough with their displeasure. That's my opinion.'

It is a difficult viewpoint to refute, one that requires no more than a casual glance around PNC Park to reinforce.

There are no brown bags over anyone's heads, no banners advocating change, no boycotts being staged. Rarely are there boos when the home side fares poorly.

Langley baseball smashes The Dice -- and earlier in week on Brashier -- with 10-run rule mercy

Mustangs were not doing much horse play on the diamond this week. They are for real and kicking butt!

The team can hit, field and pitch. Way to go.

Drive Cleaner, Drive Greener 2006

News from the GASP event committee:
GASP's 3rd annual hybrid car display and test-drive event is set from 11 am to 5 pm on Saturday, May 20, 2006, at the Venture Outdoors Festival on Pittsburgh's North Shore, near Heinz Field.

FREE! Rain or shine. Parking will be available for $5. Parking is free for hybrid owners who display their cars!

* Test drive some of the latest hybrid electric cars to be introduced to the market.

* Talk to hybrid car owners about their experiences owning and driving vehicles using this new technology.

* Dealers will be on hand if you have questions about purchasing a new hybrid.

* Find out what financial incentives you can get when buying a hybrid vehicle.

* Information about upcoming hybrid vehicles will be available.

If you already own a hybrid car, we'd love to display it on Saturday, May 20. You can provide a valuable service by being available to answer questions about your experiences owning a hybrid and showing off your car's unique features! (Your car will only be on display and not used for test drives.)


* to help publicize the event by posting flyers and forwarding this e-mail message to friends

* to display their hybrid cars (see description above)

* to find hybrid car owners who will display their cars
* to put GASP in touch with dealerships who may be interested in participating in the event

* to make wooden free-standing sign frames

* to help at the event: setting up, handing out information, signing up test drivers, taking pictures, cleaning up.

If you can help with any of these, please contact GASP at 412-325-7382 or

Don't miss the free Venture Outdoors Festival with hands-on outdoor activities. It will be fun for the whole family!

Tony Phyrillas: Three men walk into a bar …

Tony Phyrillas: Three men walk into a bar …: "Three men walk into a bar …
A Democrat, a Republican and a Libertarian walk into a bar. No, this isn't a joke. It happened. The three men spent hours discussing ways to fix Pennsylvania's broken government and by the end of the night, all three agreed on almost all of the issues. Imagine that.

The Democrat is Irv Livingood, who is challenging 14-year incumbent Rep. Dante Santoni Jr. in the 126th District. The Republican is Bill Reed, who is taking on 20-year incumbent Rep. Dennis Leh in the 130th District. The former Libertarian is Russ Diamond, founder of PaCleanSweep and independent candidate for governor of Pennsylvania.

Full of hot air

Article: "“Reaching out to help a neighbor, I think, is exactly what Jesus would've wanted us to do,” Frank said. “From my perspective, politicians should have a sacred trust with the people.”

April 21 means....

Family tradition --- today.... Take a guess.

Tennis anyone -- or, is it only boys now and girls then?

Girls and Guys in the same racket sport.... That's my choice.

Girls and guys have a rich history of swimming together. I've seen a girl swim an 800 free in an individual even and score a time that would have beaten all the boys times in the 800 free RELAY in that meet. Bridget Bowman did it in a meet in Joliet, IL.