Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Stay safe and smile -- and Happy Halloween to all

Stay safe out there with trick-or-treaters.


China comes through

China's Foreign Ministry says North Korea has agreed to rejoin six-nation nuclear disarmament talks, wire services report.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Energy drinks wire teens, worry me

I'm worried about these energy drink. This topic needs to be a new wellness issue talked about in schools and with coaches and teams.

Pittsburgh's market has had a long-standing energy drink for some years. It is called, "Ice Tea." Folks around here gulp the boxed iced tea by the half-gallon.

That stuff is strong in terms of its stimulant.
The State | 10/30/2006 | Energy drinks wire teens, worry others Energy drinks wire teens, worry others
By CARLA K. JOHNSON The Associated Press

CHICAGO — More than 500 new energy drinks launched worldwide this year, and coffee fans are probably too old to understand why.

Energy drinks aren’t merely popular with young people. They attract fan mail on their own MySpace pages. They spawn urban legends. They get reviewed by bloggers. And they taste like carbonated cough syrup.

Vying for the dollars of teenagers with promises of weight loss, increased endurance and legal highs, the new products join top-sellers Red Bull, Monster and Rockstar to make up a $3.4 billion-a-year industry that grew by 80 percent last year.

Thirty-one percent of U.S. teenagers say they drink energy drinks, according to Simmons Research. That represents 7.6 million teens, a jump of almost 3 million in three years.

Nutritionists warn that the drinks, laden with caffeine and sugar, can hook kids on an unhealthy jolt-and-crash cycle. The caffeine comes from multiple sources, making it hard to tell how much the drinks contain. Some have B vitamins, which when taken in megadoses can cause rapid heartbeat, and numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fast Break for Fathers and Families at UPMC SportsWorks, Sunday

Bring your kids. Fast Break for Fathers and Families is this weekend at UPMC SportsWorks on the North Side. Doors open for the event at 5 pm. Nancy Crago from Penn State has arranged for the Dairy Association to give away free yogurt-type snacks on site. She also has stickers and water bottles.

Charity Leonette from the Library will have literacy-type items and interesting crafts for the children. Read 365 donated bookmarks and a Great Dads Books list. The Three Rivers Adoption Council has graciously donated Caught Being Good stickers - 8 per child, Because Every Child Needs a Family heart magnet and Great African Americans of the 21st Century activities book. We have white paper bags to place all of the items donated by them, as well. Unfortunately, the Pirate Parrot and Pierogi will not be there, but they are interested in making appearances next year.

More than 150 people attended. A good time was had by all.

Volunteers who are not coaches, part of Penn State or the Library can help to stuff bags after the initial registration is completed.

Salon Interview: Camille Paglia | Salon.com

Salon Interview: Camille Paglia | Salon.com But I was still amazed at all those servile TV reviewers who raved about the recent four-hour PBS documentary about Andy Warhol. What a tedious, pretentious program -- with its funereal music and preening, jargon-spouting talking heads. Shows like that do incalculable damage to the reputation of the fine arts in the U.S. And this was about one of the most populist artists ever! Warhol, who came from working-class Pittsburgh, spoke directly to the mass audience with his Campbell's soup cans and Brillo boxes. And where was the protest about [director Ric] Burns' censoring out of Warhol's pioneering drag queens? It was outrageous, but the cowed reviewers didn't utter a single peep.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Urban planning forum set for Wednesday - Pittsburgh Business Times:

Urban planning forum set for Wednesday - Pittsburgh Business Times:: "Urban planning forum set for Wednesday
Pittsburgh Business Times - 4:08 PM EDT Friday
by Dan Reynolds

An urban planning forum inspired by Pittsburgh's late Mayor Bob O'Connor's idea to 'Redd Up' the city is scheduled to kick off on the North Side on Wednesday.

What's being dubbed the Pittsburgh Green Forum on Vacant Land Revitalization will be held at the Pittsburgh Project offices on Charles Street on the North Side next week.

Architects, environmental engineers and other businesses interested in supporting green growth in Pittsburgh are urged to attend and give their ideas on the topic of creating a plan for green spaces and networks using abandoned land in the city.

The forum hopes to find ways to make better use of the city's approximately 23,000 vacant lots.
The way to make better use of the vacant land is to tax it. Don't tax the buildings that go on the land. Rather, put a heavy burden on the land itself.

The Land Value Tax is the key to this problem.

Bob O'Connor did a lot to change tax policy and make it easy for downtown buildings to go vacant. And, his policy of a unified tax plan rewards those that tear down homes, let property decline. His policy needs to be reversed.

Now in all fairness to the late O'Connor. Bob had to do it to get over the hurt caused by the botched Sabre Systems re-assessments. But, the fix should have been for one year and the fix should have been such so as to allow for time to get the land value records for each property into a corrected condition. That long-term solution wasn't forthcoming from O'Connor.

Pa. Senate corrects lobbying, slots bills

Corruption proof, so says Ed Rendell. Yeah, right.
Pa. Senate corrects lobbying, slots bills Mr. Rendell praised this change, saying it 'sends a strong message to would-be criminals and will help make Pennsylvania's gaming industry corruption-proof. We will not tolerate any nefarious players in our gaming industry.'
The one gambling reform measure that I wanted, and have called for, is a sunset of the casino licenses. These bone-headed state lawmakers sold gambling licenses (or are in the process of selling them) that do not expire. The casino licenses they sold, for a one-time fee, go forever.

PA's Casino licenses go forever, like a palace of royalty that lives as it is god's will.

Only royalty and a corrupt official would ever belive, yet alone say in a newspaper, that any institution was 'corruption proof.'

Friday, October 27, 2006

Free Food and Pat Toomey - BLOGGER is BROKEN! I can't update this site, sadly.

Pat Toomey ran against PA's Senior US Senator in a hard primary battle two years ago. He had been in the US Congress and had put a term limit on himself and kept to his promise and didn't run for that next term. Since getting out of Congress, he has been with the an the Club For Growth.


Pat spoke at an event I attended about a month ago hosted by the Allegheny Institute, a local issues think tank. Pat gave a nice presentation on various matters.

I asked him specific questions about the lack of support for candidates in viable positions in elections who are not from the D nor R party. His answer was less than desired, to say the least. The Club For Growth has given money and attention that then draws donors for D candidates as well as mostly R candidates. But, great free market candidates who are not D nor R need not apply, sadly.

But, that's not stopping anyone from getting a free meal with the Rs picking up the tab in the following events.

I won't be attending.

There were a few questions about Pat's ambition. He might be a great governor candidate in four more years. Or, he might run for another office. Perhaps A.Specter won't run for another term next time? Perhaps Pat might make a grab to run for the PA Treasurer's job should Bob Casey, Jr. get elected?
Please Join Keynote Speaker Former Congressman Pat Toomey (R-PA) for a Republican National Committee Conservative Outreach Complimentary Event in Pennsylvania on November 1st or 2nd.

Respect for Life. Traditional Values.

Pat Toomey will speak. He is a pro-life and pro-family champion. He will address why he is also a Republican. He will be discussing why conservatives should strongly support Pennsylvania Republican candidates this November 7th.

SUBURBAN PITTSBURGH, Wednesday, November 1, 2006, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM, Four Points Sheraton, 910 Sheraton Drive, Mars, PA 16046 Complimentary Dinner Will Be Served.

BUCKS COUNTY/ALLENTOWN AREA, Thursday, November 2, 2006, 7:30 AM to 8:45 AM, Revivals Restaurant, 4 South Ridge Road, Perkasie, PA 18944-0322, Complimentary Breakfast Will Be Served.

SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE AREA, Thursday, November 2, 2006, 12:00 PM to 1:15 PM, Wilkes-Barre Republican Victory Center, 41 South Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701, Complimentary Lunch Will Be Served.

SUBURBAN PHILADELPHIA, Thursday, November 2, 2006, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM, Blue Bell Republican Victory Center, 1257 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422, Complimentary Dinner Will Be Served.

Please RSVP for this event by emailing Martin Gillespie at mgillespie@rnchq.org or by phone at (202) 863-8605.

Please be certain to specify which event you will be attending - and feel free to bring friends and family!
If you do attend, please don't start a food fight on my behalf.

Hungry? Watch the Video


Ms. Adventures on the Mon: BIG BEN UNABLE TO PERFORM "BERNADETTE'S WEIRD ARM THING," FORCED TO SIT OUT SUNDAY'S GAME AGAINST RAIDERS The highly calibrated test, which among other things, checks for range-of-motion ability and hand/eye coordination, was instituted as standard medical practice in 1986, and is considered to be the neuroscientific breakthrough equivalent of the Rorschach Test, which is used to evaluate a person's psychological condition.
I've been waiting for the opportunity to publish these masks from Opera in China.

Looks like he had his bell rung.

M. Hodge, perhaps?

Another reason why I coach swimming.

We've got our own tests in swimming. The basic one is what I call "opposites." It is a range of motion flexibility exercise. One arm swings around forward while the other swings around backwards. Then part tow of the ballistic excercise is called "opposite opposities."

Furthermore, I train the swimmers that I coach to be able to swim reverse. Even for great swimmers, this skill is difficult. Swimmers start in the lane with the hands in the gutter and the feet into the direction they'll swim. Then they swim feet first. And, we move the arms in all the styles of swimming an I.M. (fly, back, breast, free). Think of those old Super 8 movies playing in reverse.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Chief of operations loses his office - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Chief of operations loses his office - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 'There's no reason for the car,' said James Broussard, chairman of the Central Pennsylvania-based Citizens Against Higher Taxes. 'The car is available because it's part of the job, but he's not on the job.'
Does this story have wheels or not?

Luke said on the radio today, Thursday, at 11 am or so, that Dennis does NOT have use of his car any longer.

So, we've got conflicting stories. ???

Dennis might be a good one for hire by Jeff Koch. Jeff is going to need to have some muscle to win his re-election to Council in the spring.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Who needs a bowling league to make friends when there's the Web? - USATODAY.com

Fess up. Who is the singer in Pittsburgh?
Who needs a bowling league to make friends when there's the Web? - USATODAY.com At SpliceMusic.com, they call this 'rich media networking.' Splice offers online music recording and mixing. A singer in Pittsburgh, a guitarist in Saskatoon and a drummer in Swaziland could work together on Splice to record a song. To facilitate that, Splice built in ways for like-minded people to find each other and build relationships around creating music.

'We see that as a sticky and addictive form of interaction,' says Splice's Thomas Hutcheson.
Stickey, no less.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

PodCamp UnConferences / PodCampPittsburghSessions

I'm going to present at PodCamp Pittsburgh, on Sunday afternoon. Try to attend.
PodCamp UnConferences / PodCampPittsburghSessions 1:45 Mark Rauterkus: Thinking again with community interactions, plus vision and political jazz. Mark has been there with public domain art, open-source ideals, tech tools, house concerts and hybrid CD campaign handouts.

911-plank - PittsburghPlatform - concerning the NEW 3-1-1 phone do-hickey from Pgh, PA

Hop over

The 3-1-1 phone system is now working. This is a success. And, I'll take the credit for hatching the idea in public.
911-plank - PittsburghPlatform 911-plank
(Revision as of 20:26, 1 Mar 2006)

* The city should start a 311 system, like 911, but for less urgent calls.
Back in March, 2006, this page was on the Platform.For-Pgh.org.


At the Post-Gazette editorial board meeting with all the candidates in the city council race in 2006's special election, I raised the 3-1-1 system as something that I'd be sure to start. And, the P-G editors wrote about it, giving credit that I've raised plenty of good ideas.

Another feature that should also be considered, if anyone is listening, is Reverse 9-1-1. In the time of an emergency, we should have the technology tools to make phone calls out to various citizens and give warnings and updates.

Don't crash

The benefits of a Reverse 9-1-1 system are clear when you think about the events that unfolded on Friday in New Brighton. A freight train went off the tracks and a fireball was created. Some of the train's cars went into the river. Residents were evacuated.

With a Reverse 9-1-1 system, the authorities would have been able to call everyone within a mile of the accident telling them of the dangers, how to exit the area and where to turn for more insights.


Another big concern with the 3-1-1 system and today's announcement from Grant Street is the second point in the platform, also published formally in the Platform.For-Pgh.org months and months ago. I would NOT and we SHOULD NOT use the services as a way to self-promote. The 3-1-1 line should not be known as the Ravenstahl Response Line. That's wrong Luke.

I hated how the "Mayor's Complaint Center" was branded by Tom Murphy. I hated how it operated. I hated how it was closed as well.


Those that are on Grant Street should not be sending out postcards and putting up billboards for self-promotion on these technical matters of city life.

Otherwise, we'll need to counter with their names on things that are also failures and not around here any longer.

Should we name the soon to close Wabash Tunnel the Alan Hertzberg Tunnel?


Should we name the City's Charter Amendments after Jim Ferlo, in that we can't tell when to hold an election after the passing of Bob O'Connor due to its conflicting text?


Should we name the city's lone, closed indoor ice rink after Gene Ricciardi, a long-time councilmember and past head of the Committee that directed Citiparks.


Should we name the absent Halloween Parade after Tom Murphy. The South Side used to have a wonderful parade down East Carson Street with nearly ten marching bands. The dancers and musicians were often dressed up in costume too. Then the kids of the region were able to march and compete for prizes and even cash. But, the Haloween Parade on the South Side is just a memory now -- thanks to Tom Murphy. So, let's name it after HIM -- a Ghost Parade in 2006.


Then the Market House Youth Soccer League can be named after Jeff Koch, D, City Councilmember. There was a league there last year but it is GONE now. More than 90 kids used to play in three different levels three night s a week -- until Jeff came into office. See some photos -- as you can't find it in the real world now.


Those that want to slap their name onto things for self-promotion with public money need to watch out. The folly of that move can backfire.


Luke, you'd be wise to NOT call the 3-1-1 system the Ravenstahl Response Line.

Remember, I thought of 3-1-1 for Pittsburgh, published the idea, blabbed about it, was quoted in the newspaper about it too -- before Luke took the 3-1-1 concept over from Bob O'Connor. Bob O'Connor took a page from my playbook, again, and I'm happy he did.

I'm going to be happy to use the 3-1-1 line and services as necessary in the months to come. I'm not going to be happy to see self promotion on any city property from any politician.

In Australia, they use two words that are of interest to this conversation. One is "nick." The other "flog." To nick someone's idea or work is to take it, use it, re-deploy it and keep a low-key approach to the lifting. But to "flog" is to steal the idea and be overboard with boasting and of a grand attitude of the idea.

I don't want to see Luke "flog" just as I hated to see Tom Murphy put his name on garbage cans on sidewalks and grafitti trucks.

Furthermore, there are hundreds of additional ideas, great ideas, that can flow from my domain. Use them all you want. Put them into the system so we can fix the city. The ideas are not 'mine' really -- as I often harvest them from elsewhere anyway.

Nick freely and repeatedly.


Footnote: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_slang

Hold up and horse around, not over. Not easily.

West End Event proceeds without the co-star

Missing from debate, Tom Petrone, D, payjacker.

Last night was the only time when Bill Ogden, challenger, was set to square off at a community forum with long-time State Representative, Tom Petrone. Petrone didn't attend.

Sure, Petrone has an excuse. He was in Harrisburg and a few last minute things are getting some attention, such as gambling reform and lobby disclosure efforts. Neither of these are Petrone's domain however.

All in all, from what I gather, the event was a success for Bill Ogden.

Public Calendar with Google

Feel free to click and subscribe to the calendar and catch the events I post there.

Baseball in the Ashes - Detroit insights

Baseball in the Ashes Baseball in the Ashes by Dave Zirin

The Detroit Tigers are in the World Series and a historical look comes from a great sports journalist, Dave Zirin. He talks about race and hitory. Plus, about a time past when the Tigers played in the fall classic.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Visiting with Australia's Olympic Motivational Coach

Coaches: (L-to-R) Rauterkus, Bower, & Laurie Lawrence of Australia.

Check out the video below and witness a bit of the pep talk and poem he delivered to the guys at camp this summer.

Watch the Video



ISHOF - Laurie Lawrence (AUS) - 1996 Honor Coach From being around the Townsville Pool his father ran, and sparked into swimming by the legendary Hall of Famer Jon Henricks, Laurie Lawrence has become a swimming legend and a maker of champions, capable of lifting the spirits of those around him to soaring heights. He is many other things too - extrovert, patriot, poet, humorist, singer and now the most sought after motivational speaker in Australia. His swimmers have set over seventeen world records, and he has coached Aussie Teams to three Commonwealth Games and three Olympic teams. He possesses the qualities with which he works to instill in every competitor: be proud, persist, work hard, stand tall, don't quit, don't bend, don't break, don't fall.


Tricks or Treats?

Are you getting ready? Got your costume? Got your treats?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Candidate Forum for PA House Race: Ogden challenges Petrone, a 16 term D pay-jacker

The square off is slated for 7 pm on Monday, October 23, 2006 at Thaddeus Stevens School, of the Pgh Public Schools in the Elliott / Westend area of the city.

The forum has three parts: Intro, Bio and Vision, plus questions from audience. Plus, candidates ask each other questions.

Bill Ogden says he is NOT the type to debate "Party Lines" at this forum nor anywhere. He has the belief that the people should vote for the Person and Not the Party. He asks that people attend with an objective and open mind, and without party mantras.

Blog's pop quiz

Trick or Treat Quiz:

Where am I?

Hint, floor 1 is at the top in the elevator and at the top of the building.

Put your answer in the comments. Winner gets 12 Trick or Treat Goodies that we'll be passing out at our place on the 31st.

Give Them Back.com -- HEAVY

Give Them Back.com Story of Gun Confiscation In America

Brashear, a man with excellent vision, given his telescopes and ability to share

Investor's Business Daily, the national business newspaper published in Los Angeles, printed a biography of prominent 19th century astronomer and lens-maker John A. Brashear, near the top of page A3 of their Wednesday edition, by their Technology Reporter, Donna Howell.

Affectionately known as "Uncle John" to residents of Pittsburgh, Mr. Brashear, with little money and limited education, became the premiere producer of telescopes and precise scientific instruments in the latter part of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, and the confidant of major industrialists of the time including Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick.

There is one mistake in the article, when it is said that John Brashear became Chancellor of a school that became the University of Pennsylvania. He actually became Chancellor of the Western University of Pennsylvania, which became the University of Pittsburgh.

Friends of the Zeiss Project Director Glenn A. Walsh and Allegheny Observatory Director George Gatewood were interviewed and quoted for this article, read here or http://www.investors.com/editorial/IBDArticles.asp?artsec=21&issue=20061017.

Friday, October 20, 2006

"Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated" - from Dave Zirin and Pat Tillman's brother, Kevin Tillman

Pat Tillman's Brother Breaks his Silence

By Dave Zirin

When Pat Tillman, former NFL player and Army Ranger, died in Afghanistan in 2004, it unleashed a drama that moved from tragedy to obscenity to mystery.

First there was Pat's death. Because Tillman wasn't the kind of anonymous fallen soldier the Bush administration could blithely ignore, we all bore witness to the tears of his family - including his brother, best friend, and fellow Army Ranger, Kevin. Pat's death - like every last death that’s resulted from this horrific Middle Eastern escapade - was tragedy. Then came obscenity: it came out after Pat's funeral, that he had died at the hands of his own troops in a case of "friendly fire". This bit of information was suppressed from everyone outside the Pentagon and Oval Office even from Pat's family. It was even kept from Kevin, serving in Pat's battalion. Eulogists like John McCain - knowingly or unknowingly - told lies over Pat Tillman's body about death in combat. Bush gave a speech about Tillman over the jumbotron at football stadiums. He was given the Silver Star - a merit for combat, not friendly fire.

From the perspective of this administration, Pat died for the noble cause of PR.

Finally from obscenity sprung mystery. For Pat's parents Mary and Pat, Sr. there were unanswered questions. Why were they fed lies? Why were Pat's clothes and equipment burned at the scene? Why wasn’t Kevin told the truth at the scene? What happened to
Pat's journal, that he had kept with him for years? To pressure army investigators, Mary and Pat, Sr. went public about Pat's true feelings about the war in Iraq (he thought it was illegal) and his growing questioning about the Bush "war on terror." Now Pat's brother Kevin has broken his silence as well. Kevin has written a brilliant piece that should be distributed in front of every army recruitment center and sent to every person who wears the uniform. I don't agree with every word, but that's hardly the point: Kevin, like Pat, represents a growing surge in this country against the machinery death and the lies that grease its wheels. We have paid dearly for those lies. It's time to bring the troops home now.

You can email me back at dave@edgeofsports.com

After Pat's Birthday
By Kevin Tillman

It is Pat's birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy
of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice... until we get out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can't be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few "bad apples" in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It's interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing
from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don't be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that "somehow" was
nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat's birthday.

Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman,

Kevin Tillman




“We have said all along that the Isle of Capri plan is by far the best plan for the city and the region, and we are very encouraged that the Pittsburgh Gaming Task Force has reached the same conclusion. Over 50 elected officials, including Mayor Ravenstahl, and a number of major news outlets already have come out in support of the Isle of Capri. The local gaming task force has just added its voice to this growing chorus of support. It’s going to be hard for the state gaming commission to ignore the collective voice of the City of Pittsburgh.”"
It was hard to be the worst team in the NHL.

It was very hard to walk out and not play hockey for the second part of a year in a recent season.

It will be super hard to tear down the Civic Arena, a building that is owned by the public, and not the Penguins, for a new building that the public doesn't want nor need. If the new arena is being built with the windfall from gambling, it would be EASY for the Penguins to own and operate that building and NOT make it a public liability.

The Civic Arena suits us just fine for Disney On Ice, graduation day for Carrick High School, and the circus, when there isn't any demand for luxery box seats.

It will be super-duper hard to put any faith in a task force formed by Tom Murphy that is falling apart at the seams now and had spoke in June that it would NOT endorse any plan. That Task Force is filled with weenies and has had closed meetings throughout. There isn't an ice chip of democracy in their voice.

Want to talk about 'hard' -- let's talk. This is the team that built a roof over an indoor ice rink on the South Side years ago and then left the facility. It is hard to have a city without any indoor hockey facility, other than the Civic Arena. It is hard to have city hockey teams play all their games and practices in suburban rinks, even Pitt! And, it is hard to see that facility stay dark for so many years now.

It is hard to turn your backs on the local kids and leave them high and dry -- for a facility in your own sport. Hockey In the Hood knows about 'road trips' -- to the airport ice facility, from the city, for practices.

Great TV quote from Tom Martin, a candidate in the other part of PA

"We don't need new legislation to protect immoral legislators, we need new legislators who will follow existing laws."
Details about the debate event.
Centre Daily Times | 10/20/2006 | Candidates square off on the defense: "The political confrontations at the League of Women Voters of Centre County Candidates' Night took place before a packed house at the State College Borough Building and a live C-Net TV audience.

Corman, R-Benner Township, is a two-term state senator defending his 34th District seat against challenges from State College Democrat Jon Eich, Huston Township Libertarian Tom Martin and Perry County lawyer Bob Cash.
There, they've got four candidates on the ballot to choose among. Here, in PA's 42nd district, we only have one, an undemocratic democrat who isn't worth anyone's vote.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Libertarian is center stage as Cantwell and McGavick joust

Big victory for a Libertarian on the west coast when he was put onto the debate stage for a US Senate race.
Libertarian is center stage as Cantwell and McGavick joust Libertarian is center stage as Cantwell and McGavick joust


Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and Republican challenger Mike McGavick exchanged mostly familiar verbal blows Tuesday in an hour-long debate, a sedate event except for a barbed zinger by Cantwell about her opponent's tenure as Safeco's chief.

But if anyone 'won' the televised exchange -- Cantwell's and McGavick's second and final formal debate -- it was a third candidate, Libertarian Bruce Guthrie, just by being there.

McGavick accused the senator of being 'the biggest spender' in Congress in 2003 and 2004, of opposing what she terms tax cuts for the wealthy, and talking about 'peripheral issues,' not 'the issues that keep us up at night.' The front-running incumbent ignored or brushed off most of his charges.

The two major candidates disagreed, as they have before, about abortion rights, immigration, border security, oil drilling in the Arctic, how to keep Social Security solvent and how to decide whether and when to start pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq.

But they had to share the podium at the KING/5 studio in Seattle with Guthrie. It gave the polite, well-spoken Libertarian a forum for an earnest presentation of his sometimes out-of-the-mainstream views, a gift of TV exposure and equal footing with two major-party contenders that a third-party hopeful rarely gets.
The article also talks about a Green candidate and Green supporters who were arrested after being blocked from the debate stage.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Dr. Spampinato has taken a leave of absence

She is a top official with the Pgh Public Schools.

In other school news, I'm still worried about the lack of a second Spanish teacher at Frick Middle School. What's up with that? Bad hiring practices. You can't hire teachers after the school year starts. They do things too late.

Caseymania has caught fire.

Mandatory, all-day K.

Giggle post from GrassrootsPA.com blog comments.
Come on, people want a “new direction”. No more “rubberstamping”. No more “98%”. How about that new “bi-partasinship”. We’re finally gonna get Paris Hilton’s tax cut back. No more breaks for “Big Drug Companies” or “Big Oil”. We’re gonna finally close that nasty “Haliburton loophole”. Terrorism….uh…um…. ahh… (wait, I’ve got it here somewhere, oh yeah, here it is) “Fire Rumsfled”, and “new solutions”. For God’s sake UNIVERSAL PRE-SCHOOL FOR FOUR YEAR OLDS. Caseymania has caught fire. We’re just behind the curve.

Compendium Institute - News

Compendium Institute - News: "Compendium to support Open Content knowledge mapping"

Pennsylvania was one of only four states that had a Democratic-Republican ballot monopoly in 2006.

For state-wide office, we can only vote for Ds and Rs.

I hate it when there is only old-party choices.

Wonder why PA's population is on the decline.

Bottom welcome.
This puts the Commonwealth of PA at the bottom of the pile in another, key, economic indicator. Yes, this is 'economic' -- not just political. This is about being a place that welcomes new ideas, new visions, new people. Otherwise, we're just old and rusty.

Marty G (KDKA Radio) asks: "Pandering or Real" concerning the gambling reform from the PA House

My call says, neither. This is process. It isn't real in that there are at least two more steps needed before this becomes real. The PA Senate needs to pass a bill that is the same and the governor needs to sign it.

Hats off to Marty and the show to get the citizens a pipeline to Harrisburg on the making of a bill, and pressures to get it hatched. Mike Turzi went on the air, again, and today he pulled in a guest on his line for the on-air conversation, Sam Smith. Good snag!

For real reform, and something I've been asking for for more than a year: Give TERM LIMITS on the Casinos.

They've sold these casino licenses at a cheap price, without bidding, -- but the kicker is that the license never expires. They have the rights to run the casino forever.

A drivers license for a citizen needs to be renewed from time to time. A professional license, such as for a MD (medical doctor) or hair dresser does NOT go forever.

They sold the rights to the casino operators and should have had a sunset provision for each casino. Give them various terms, say, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of operations. Then make them renew and re-negotiate before they expire.

Give some control to our children's generation. Let them get drunk on the income from the fees for the re-do of the licenses.

If I'm elected to the PA Senate or become a public official, I'd make sure that there are sunset provisions on as many matters as possible. And, I'll work hard to put a terminal point in time for the casinos.

Invite to a Thursday event

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
Councilman Dan Deasy
Commander William Bochter
West End Valley Business Association
West End Village Residents Association, &
West Pittsburgh Partnership

Cordially invite you to attend a WEST END CELEBRATION HONORING THE OPENING OF PITTSBURGH's SPECIAL DEPLOYMENT DIVISION at 312 South Main Street (Old Zone Four) for a RIBBON CUTTING at 11:30 am to 12:30 pm on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2006. A light lunch will be provided.

ADDITIONAL OPEN HOUSE TOURS from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm.

Tour the Station - Meet the Staff: Motorcycle, DUI, EMS & Swat Team Exhibits

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Maybe a Mayoral Race Candidate: Mike Dawida

kdka.com - Former Commissioner May Join Mayoral Race Former Allegheny County Commissioner Mike Dawida says he's considering running
Mike, give your logic a review.

On one hand, Dawida says he still has "the same ideas when I was 28 years old." But, the young Ravenstahl is too young. Which way is it?

I don't think Dawida will be the only one who is a 'grown up' in the campaign.

I look forward to the second coming of Mike Dawida. The city will be better once Dawida ends his slumber.

Local Net & Minnesota Gubernatorial E-Debate

My observations for MN's Gov Race and the e-debate question about technology and broadband.
SAQ7 - Local Net | Minnesota Gubernatorial E-Debate - Oct. 9-19 Short Answer Question 7 - Which models of community involvement in broadband – be it wi-fi (wireless Internet), fiber, etc. - should be promoted or limited by the state or legislation? This might include the Windom municipal-owned fiber-to-the-home model, the Minneapolis franchise-like public-private wireless partnership, or other private marketplace models? Will you work toward a repeal/change of Minn. Stat. Ann. 237.19 requirement for municipalities to obtain a super-majority of 65% of voters before providing telephone services (including voice over the Internet)?

> Short Answer Question 7 - Local Net
> Which models of community involvement in broadband - be it wi-fi
> (wireless Internet), fiber, etc. - should be promoted or limited by
> the state or legislation?.

Seeing what the candidates wrote, I think that they all missed out on the big answer that I would have wanted to see.

What about the schools? What about the kids? What about educational needs?

I think it makes great sense to make investments in technology and broadband for our educational institutions. Then the marketplace can worry more about businesses. But, the marketplace needs to be pulled and pushed to care for the kids, for homework needs, for reserach, for study, and for parental involvement in school efforts.

Did others notice the same absence of info about schools in the initial responses?

+ Schools could be wi-fi hubs.
+ Schools can be places for experimental networks.
+ Schools can do outreach to school students in homes, with justifications.
+ Schools could be places to take caluclated risks with investments in tech and broadband.

Posted to: mn-politics-discuss@yahoogroups.com

Insights welcomed.

Pittsburgh Tuesday takes

Democrat sleaze: The Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee is engaged in what might be the most dishonest and sleaziest political smear job in the history of eystone State politics. Using partial, out-of-context quotes, it is attacking epublican 42nd Legislative District candidate Mark Harris. And it can only be ndicative of a party that thinks its candidate, Matt Smith, is in deep trouble. Mr. Smith should renounce this garbage. If he doesn't, "Matt Smith" will become synonymous with "sleaze."
Come out to hear both candidates at our church for a community forum with candiates from 7 to 8 pm on Monday, October 30, 2006 at 1240 Washington Road, Mt. Lebo. http://Sunnyhill.org.

Cleveland Columnist Who Shut Up to Speak Out - washingtonpost.com

The Columnist Who Shut Up to Speak Out - washingtonpost.comConnie Schultz Gave Up Her Platform to Jump on Her Husband's Bandwagon"
Read about family, couples, politics, media, campaigns and blah, blah, blah.

My only question, "Where is the first wife?"

CT Senate Debate On TV: Not Live, And No Local Media Allowed

courant.com | Senate Debate On TV: Not Live, And No Local Media Allowed: "Senate Debate On TV: Not Live, And No Local Media Allowed

When WFSB-TV, Channel 3, announced plans to sponsor the only debate of all five candidates in Connecticut's nationally watched Senate race, station general manager Klarn DePalma said the event reflects 'our commitment ... to deliver news and information to viewers in Connecticut.'

But it appears that the delivery is going to be delayed.

The Hartford CBS affiliate has banned representatives of the news media - other than its own - from Wednesday's 3 p.m. taping of the debate that is to be moderated by national CBS newsman Bob Schieffer before an audience of specially invited guests at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts.

After a news blackout of 27 hours, WFSB plans to show the canned one-hour event Thursday at 7 p.m.

'We're renting the hall, it's our debate, and we'll invite who we want to invite' - that was Channel 3's position, as paraphrased by Richard Foley, campaign manager for Republican candidate Alan Schlesinger. Polls show Schlesinger running a distant third in the race, and so, Foley said, 'we feel that we cannot make too many demands.'
The statement that this is 'our debate' is crazy.

Shame, shame, shame on WFSB-TV. Same to for any candidate that doesn't raise red flags while on the debate stage about the terms of the event.

Folks, our democracy is frail. We can't let junk like this onto our shared landscape.

Check out what they are doing in MN for the Governor's race. An on-going, on-line debate among all participants is a treasure to witness and makes a model that many others need to repeat in the election cycles to come.

Double zero - Post Gazette endorsement nails Petrone. Big win for Ogden, R, IMNSHO

IMNSHO = In my not so humble opinion. This is great news of Candidate Bill Ogden, R.
Double zero In the House, two painful non-endorsements
This is amazing news and a wonderful victory for Bill Ogden.

The P-G did NOT endorse Tom Petrone. Tom Petrone should retire from the state house. Other suggestions for Petrone will follow later.

Bill Ogden, Republican, was able to push out some of his ideas. However, he felt the interview didn't go as smoothly as it could have. Regardless, this is a big victory for Ogden.

Bill Ogden is much, much more than a personal trainer. He owns his own gym. He has been there for many years.

To call Ogden a 'personal trainer' is the same as calling Kevin Joyce, owner of a downtown restaurant, a cook or a waiter. Bill Ogden is a long-time small business owner. He employs people. He helps the economy by doing business here, in his home town.

How a blogger got in the middle of Foley story

We are investigative reporters.
How a blogger got in the middle of Foley story How a blogger got in the middle of Foley story

Monday, October 16, 2006
By Amy Schatz, The Wall Street Journal

MOORE, Okla. -- For three days, William 'Wild Bill' Kerr huddled over an old computer, trying to solve a curious mystery.

He wanted to figure out the identity of the congressional page who received the salacious instant messages that prompted Florida Rep. Mark Foley to resign Sept. 29, triggering the scandal that's rocking the House of Representatives just weeks before the election.

The 32-year-old conservative blogger said he felt the news media were distorting the story, and he suspected, among other things, that the page in question was over the age of consent.

Save the Internet song on YouTube

The production quality isn't top shelf, but the mix of the song's words, chords and concert setting is neat. Old folkie bloggers might like the tune's message.

I'm often upset with the media. It is nice to see that others share the same concerns.

OMG: Hannah Montana! ... HERE...

Series of made-for-DVD movies to be shot in Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Business Times: ... will star Emily Osment, co-star of the hit Disney Channel television series 'Hannah Montana.'
Do we still close roads, reserve street parking, and alter the bouncers on East Carson Street for film crews and movie stars if they are only working on flicks that are slated for a DVD release?

Let's not roll out the red carpet today, as it is raining. But we are in for something as it took a year of negotiatins for the one crew. It is bad when film crew talks with a city take longer than the creative work to author, direct, shoot and produce.

The broad range of financial support for Dept of Community and Economic Development means what, exactly?

Next months movie title, "Smart People" has its first casting call slated, TBA, in City Council Chambers. Keep watching this blog for details.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Joe Jencks on the Charts!

From Joe Jencks ho...
Joe played a concert for us on the South Side early in the year. His newest CD "Rise As One" charted at #24 on the Folk Music Charts in the US for the month of September! This marks the first time he hit the charts.

"Rise As One" is a live concert CD, celebrating the music of the labor movement in the US, and featuring traditional, modern and original music about workplace dignity. Visit www.joejencks.com for more info.

GrassrootsPA puts up telling quote of GOP Leader on behavior of Rs in leadership

GrassrootsPA � The Online Home For Pennsylvania’s Conservative MovementPA's GOP Chairman said, "We have a platform, but our guys didn’t read it. They lost their way,” Gleason said as he mentioned the pay raise, state budgets, approval of slot machine gambling, expansion of government and this year’s vote to raise the minimum wage as a few examples.

MP-N: Congressional Elections

Hi All,

I'm in Pennsylvania. I don't think Rick Santorum is going to win his re-election. The Dem in the race, Bob Casey Jr. is a real dolt who is a lazy worker, without much personality nor smarts -- but he'll win because there are no other options and Rick has worn out his welcome.

So, the notion that a vote for one person is also a mandate for something else needs to be put in the trash, where it belongs.

The post said, a vote for the R candidate in MN is really a post for Santorum to be a leader in the US Senate. I don't agree.

Politics is complicated. But, voting is simple.

A vote for a person on the ballot is a vote for the person on the ballot, at that time, for that post -- and NOTHING, or little else. That's the beauty of democracy. Politics is complicated. But voting is simple. And, we should keep it that way. All the other hang-ups and reading between the lines is not what really matters.

If you want to worry about the leadership of a legislative body, and that is a decent worry to ponder, then there are better things to do.

First, ask the candidate in your district if he or she will state support for or against those in leadership positions. For example, a guy running for state house can say that he will NOT vote for so and so as the speaker of the house. He'd vote for another person in the same party, I imagine. But those can be strong statements. And, we should ask those questions more and more of candidates.

Second, figure out where the tight elections are unfolding if the leadership of a body might tip -- and back those candidates in those locations with your funds and efforts accordingly. Those battleground districts and associated campaigns are ripe for influence from other quarters.

So, if you want Santorum out of the US Senate -- send money to Bob Casey. And, if you want to buffer his hope for Senate leadership, speak to Rs in campaigns in the US Senate and get a pledge that they'll NOT back Rick Santorum for leadership whatever.

It is interesting to see if these candidates choose to break ranks with expected leadership, or not.

Bob Casey to Paris Hilton: Watch your purse.

Bob Casey's remarks in the radio debate on Monday about more taxes for Paris Hilton was goofy. To make a point of Santorum being 'out of touch' and then to use the lines that Casey uses is ironic. Casey isn't the guy to hit a homerun against Santorum for being out of touch.

On KDKA Radio show following the debate, show host, Marty Griffin, was hitting in a negative way upon the mention of Bono. Senator Santorum mentioned Bono and Marty Griffin tried to dig for some humor in that and it backfired. Bono isn't a rock star that takes community involvement as a joke! The Bono mention in the debate was in a friendly, respectful way.

My unanswered question is, 'Do we all work hard?'

Then how can it be a 'do nothing Congress' and then they all work hard? The double talk from Casey is without logic.

Casey says to Santorum, "I don't know what you are talking about." (Not good Bob.)

Neither of those guys are going to get my vote. However, I give a big LOSS for today's radio debate to Bob Casey.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Veteran pols among hopefuls - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Told ya. Weeks ago I said that Jack Wagner would need to be in the list of potential candidates who are interested in running for mayor of Pittsburgh.
Veteran pols among hopefuls - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review He could face his most formidable challenge in the Democratic primary from state Auditor General Jack Wagner, who according to spokesman Steve Halvonik is considering a run. Wagner believes O'Connor was shepherding Pittsburgh toward financial recovery.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Posting to MN

Subject: Re: MP-N: Iraq .....and other things.

Hi All,

R. R. H. wants to arm the world, as we are armed, sorta. He said that is the only way to go.

Well, I think we can be more creative and come up with other pathways. For instance, consider the last time the USA nuked Canada. That would be crazy, right. There are many levels as to reasons why there isn't fear or threats of war and nukes between US and Canada.

Meanwhile, there was a time, not too long ago, when the situation between the US and Cuba was such that nukes were feared. They blinked. A disaster was dodged and a long period of US and Cuba isolation was a result. The Soviet friendship and subsidization for Cuba also went to nothing.

Interesting, today, many in Canada vacation in Cuba (interesting side note).

The roots to the solutions, I feel, are within the expression:


When we have a free market approach, with free trade and free travel -- then -- more peace and prosperity occurs and fears, uncertainty, doubt and war becomes diminished.

Furthermore, the trade needs to be free, organic and citizen driven -- not from the state. We need to turn away from the "mega deals" and "government deals" within business realms such as is the case with OPEC, Haliburton, and reconstruction of infrastructure after bombs turned back the clock to stone age survivals.

So, the slogan and truth found within not bombing customers might not hold when it comes to bombing suppliers.

We need more and closer trading partners. But, let's not fool ourselves with a hope to have them work in sweatshops to meet the demands and hungers of our consumerism.

eVote Blog, call to Tuesday's County Council Meeting on Voting & Paper Ballots

What are you doing Tuesday evening? Or, can you pen a letter and make a few phone calls for democracy?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Swim Coach gets hired for another gig

Tom Burchill formerly of Mt. Lebanon Aqua Club (Pittsburgh, PA) and Carmel Swim Club (Carmel, IN) has taken a position with Lancaster Aquatic Club, Lancaster, PA.
Too often, in Western PA, as well as other parts of the nation, we "EAT OUR YOUNG." Tom did a wonderful job as a swim coach, locally. He built up the program. He is a dynamic young coach. He moved out of state. His career hit a bump in the road. But now he's back in PA with a new team.

Good for Tom. Good for those in Lancaster and even throughout PA. I'm glad he is back home, sorta.

But I worry about the ways we treat our young coaches. We have problems in these areas and our systems are frail.

In other coaching news, not at all associated with anything -- the outcome of the bean-ball coach is now known. The judge ordered him to jail for one to six years. This is the guy who lost grips with what sports is all about and instructed a kid to hurt another, on his same team, before a baseball game. What a mess that was. The coach goes to jail to think about that for some time. As he was being escorted away, as show on TV, he still had this 'clueless attitude.'

Furthermore, a swimmer and son of fellow coach is now in a cast. He hurt his hand while playing goal in practice with the high school soccer team. Ouch. The Carlynton HS boys team is #1 seed in the WPIAL class AA. You can play soccer with your arm in a cast in high school. We'll see how the swim season goes, in a few weeks to come.

KnoxNews, injured paper gives interview and Reporter gets Pass NUKED by AD

KnoxNews: Today's Editorial ... the UT Athletic Department suspended the credentials of one of our sports writers, Dave Hooker, for not getting approval in advance for a player interview. Hooker worked through a source within the athletic department to arrange an exclusive talk with Inky Johnson, the popular cornerback who was badly hurt in the Air Force game.

That was a technical violation of the rules that the Sports Information Office issues in exchange for letting journalists have the access they need to conduct interviews and take photographs.

Other reporters covering the Vols have broken that rule in the past. But the Athletic Department decided to come down hard on Hooker.

Initially, the department contended that he had 'ambushed' the injured player on campus, in effect invading his privacy during recuperation. But Hooker has since provided UT with a tape recording of the interview, which clearly shows it was done by telephone and with Johnson's complete cooperation.

Mike Hamilton, UT's athletic director, says he just wants to look out for the 18- to 22-year-old student athletes who aren't professionals and shouldn't be overwhelmed by media attention. We'll grant there is validity to that concern. We don't want to treat these young men and women disrespectfully either, and Hooker didn't in the case of Johnson.

Unfortunately, it seems that some in the Athletic Department have another motivation as well - tightening control of news about the Vols and punishing the News Sentinel for some of its coverage.
So, how is the guy with the long hair doing? Well, he's a pro athlete.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court denies political choice

From hex
Pennsylvania Libertarian Party condemns decision to ban Senate candidate

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Libertarian Party today condemned the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision to remove Carl Romanelli, the Green Party U.S. Senate candidate, from the state ballot.

This year, Democrat and Republican candidates for statewide office needed only 2,000 signatures to get on the Primary election ballot and the winners required no additional signatures to be listed on the General Election ballot. In contrast, all other parties and independents needed 67,070 valid signatures to attain the same end.

Although the Green Party submitted 95,000 signatures, the Democrats challenged and convinced the courts that thousands of signatures were invalid, leaving the party 8931 short of the required total. Pennsylvania’s signature requirements are extremely strict. Signatures are rejected for technicalities such as forgetting to enter the date or entering information in the wrong box. In addition, the courts have redefined “qualified electors” from its statutory definition of Pennsylvania citizens over 18 to registered voters.

Supreme Court Justice Thomas Saylor dissented from the majority opinion because of this redefinition. “I maintain my belief that, under the material provisions of the Election Code, citizens need not be registered voters to validly sign nomination papers on behalf of an independent political body candidate. Since I do not believe that Appellant should be denied ballot access based on the Commonwealth Court’s existing assessment, I respectfully dissent from the majority’s present percuriamruling.”

To further discourage future efforts by independents and third parties to undergo the Herculean effort to offer Pennsylvanians additional choices on the ballot, the court ordered Mr. Romanelli to pay $89,000 in court costs and all the Democratic Party’s legal bills, which are expected to approach $1 million.

Tom Martin Libertarian Party State Senate candidate for the 34th District in Centre County (http://members.aol.com/martin4senate/) noted “The two old parties have further strengthened their monopoly on who can run for office. The great economist Adam Smith had important points about monopoly: One: They are the great enemy of good management and Two: Monopolies need government support to last. What better proof of both of these observations then the political parties using government support to protect themselves from the voters.”

Mr. Martin also failed to meet the draconian signature requirements in his efforts to run as the Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. Senate. He is now running as a write-in candidate.

With this year’s 67,070 signature requirement, Pennsylvania is the second worst state in the nation for ballot access. The Ballot Access Coalition has been pursuing a legislative remedy to this problem. The Voters' Choice Act (http://www.paballotaccess.org/voters_choice_act.html) is based on Delaware's reasonable ballot access law. Unfortunately, the VCA is locked in our legislature's State Government committee.

Ken Krawchuk, the Libertarian candidate for Pennsylvania Governor in 1998 and 2002, was outraged by the news. "This decision is the death knell for third parties in Pennsylvania. Who will undertake running for political office with the threat of a million dollar fine? Certainly not me! Unless we can convince the legislature to pass our Voters' Choice Act, this contemptible decision could drive me into political retirement. But I will still campaign full force against oath breaking judges who have made a mockery of our electoral process.
Press release from Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, 3915 Union Deposit Road #223, Harrisburg, PA 17109, 1-800-774-4487, www.lppa.org from, Chuck Moulton, Chair, Doug Leard, Media Relations

'Man of the Year' tanks in a landslide - 10/13/06 - The Detroit News Online

We watched the debate between Rick Santorum and Bob Casey -- and thought that was bad. My kids were into the debate, watching those jokers.
'Man of the Year' tanks in a landslide - 10/13/06 - The Detroit News Online

'Man of the Year' GRADE: D

Rated PG-13 for language including some crude sexual references, drug-related material and brief violence
Running time: 115 minutes

'Man of the Year' is a well-intentioned mess, a dated, yuk-it-up sloppy civics lesson with such a lack of conviction that it backs away from the very questions it poses, which is really too bad, because this movie should have afforded Robin Williams his best role in years.
Wonder what the reviewer / critic would have said about the tv debate last night.

Friday the 13th.

Feeling Lucky? Feeling Unfortunate?

How about the feeling of 'freeze out' or being 'left in the cold?'

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bookstore workshops on South Side

Dr. SALLY G. HOYLE discusses and signs her book, Same Homework, New Plan, on Tuesday, October 17th at 7:00 pm at the Joseph Beth Bookstore on the South Side (SS Works).
Take back your family's evenings and weekends! Clinical Psychologist Dr. Sally Hoyle offers easy-to-follow steps that busy parents can readily implement to decrease homework meltdowns and help kids achieve their academic potential. Written for parents of kids ages 7 to 16, Same Homework, New Plan shows parents the techniques they need to win the homework war.
101 Ways to Become the Perfect College Applicant
is the workshop and book for 2 pm on Sunday, October 22. No matter where you are in your high school career, 101 Ways will provide you with tips and activities to make you a solid college applicant with a stellar transcript, a winning essay, and great recommendations, not to mention great test scores and a strong overall application package! Get the answers to your questions. Application Anxiety? Not a chance. Kaplan's got you covered.

Somehow, it’s supposed to be our fault when they refuse to give fair and equal coverage to all candidates on the ballot

Got a great email from another Libertarian in a campaign, Barry Hess, of Arizona. He's hacked off, as I have been for years, about the piss-poor media coverage and how they've grown fond pulling the wool over the eyes of the consumers and voters. (Blogmaster edited the text, slightly.)
Dear Friends of Liberty,

All over the United States, Libertarians who conquered whatever ballot access hurdles they made third parties face, are now finding that they still have only a third-class status, with that status enforced by one group: the Media.

In Texas, James Werner, LP candidate for Governor, was denied access into a debate organized by Belo Corp. They allowed four people, including gadfly Kinky Friedman, to debate, so the old argument that "Three's a crowd" couldn't be used this time. He's now moving forward on a lawsuit.

Also in Texas, Bob Smither is running against a Democrat and a write-in Republican in Tom DeLay's former Congressional district. He's the only candidate on both the Special and General elections ballots. According to both MSNBC and the New York Times, Smither doesn't even exist, but the write-in sure does. Luckily, the locals do know he exists, because he's walking the district, working hard, and quickly gaining steam in that race.

In Washington State, Bruce Guthrie, the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, mortgaged himself to the hilt to the tune of more than $1 million for his campaign to meet debate requirements, and while the Media sponsors did finally agree to let him debate, it was touch and go there for a while, they still wanted to deny him equal access. It took $1 million on the table to even raise the question of having a fair debate.

In Ohio, Gubernatorial candidate Bill Peirce's campaign staff, in response to the Media locking him out of the debates, has resorted to wearing chicken suits in order to get any sort of press attention at all.

In Connecticut, Phil Maymin, candidate for the 4th District's congressional seat, had a stellar showing in a three-way debate, but pollsters won't include his name in their polls since he's gotten very little media play. The Media ignores him, since they, in turn, claim that they have no polling data supporting him.

This trend continues all over the country, in almost every race where we have a stake. This isn't new, of course. In 2004, my friend, Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Presidential Nominee/Candidate (on the ballot in all states), partnered with Green Party Nominee, David Cobb. They got arrested the night of the second debate between Bush and Kerry, right in front of the debate hall in St. Louis. Still, none of the major media even covered the story. A search on CNN.com that same night found zero articles on "Badnarik", because they had never covered him or his campaign.

In Arizona, I'm (Barry Hess) in the debates, and I'm holding my own. Some say I've won both debates so far. It has become clear that my true opponent in this race is neither Janet (D) nor Len (R). It's the second hand reporting and coverage of the debates, primarily by the newspaper of record, the Arizona Republic, that distorts our message, and attempts to marginalize any prospect of 3rd party gains. But most importantly, poor coverage violates the inherent right of the voters to judge for themselves by having all of the facts to consider.

The AZ Republic wrote, "Don't blame yourself if you haven't heard of Hess or much about his politics." Somehow, it’s supposed to be our fault when they refuse to give fair and equal coverage to all candidates on the ballot. You see, since Libertarians stand on principles, and refuse to take so-called “clean” election funding (which is out of the pockets of taxpayers), we are not “legitimate” candidates, running "real" campaigns. Never mind that they ignore all of our outreach events (or report them as only taking place at "gun shows"). Never mind that they ignore endorsements, fund-raisers, press releases, and all of the other tools that we use, the same as the other candidates. Somehow we just aren't campaigning 'hard enough' for them to take notice.

The actions of the AZ Republic, a big corporate media player, owned by Gannett, are unconscionable.

Other Libertarian candidates across the state are also suffering at the hands of the Republic, including Richard Mack, who is the only anti-war candidate in that race for Senate. The same 'skewing' happened with some of the Republican Gubernatorial candidates in their primary. Some of those candidates are now openly endorsing me over the Republican who won the primary, and they are joining our complaint about media bias on the record, and on streaming video for all to see.

I'm tired of it, I'm sick of it, and I'm fighting back. Effective immediately, our campaign will be attacking public enemy #1, the true opponent of 'clean elections' and an informed electorate, the Arizona Republic and their biases in reporting the facts.

Today marks the start of a new Hess For Governor campaign fund raising effort to raise at least $25,000 to purchase radio and print ads specifically attacking the blatant and shameless media bias of the AZ Republic, Arizona’s "newspaper of record".

Proceeds from this fund raising drive will be used to purchase spots in reputable media sources that have fulfilled their civic and moral duty to completely, accurately, and fairly report on the race for Governor of Arizona. These funds will not be used to attack the position or programs of Governor Janet Napolitano (D) or Challenger Len Munsil (R). The ads will specifically target the media bias of the Arizona Republic, and how it has abused the right of the public to have all of the facts about all of the candidates; not just those that support the Republic's own editorial biases and its desire to steer government policy and public opinion.

Now is the time to step up to the plate. We need to send a strong message to Big Media that we aren't afraid to go after them directly, and no longer play along, just waiting for them to throw us a bone once in a while.

On Nov 7th, every voter in Arizona will have three choices for Governor, not two.
Our goal: We will make sure they know which reporters can count to 3, and who just stops at 2.

(Sometimes, they'll count to 2.1, or 2.5, and then tell us we're lucky they even
mentioned us)

If you want to know what sort of radio and print ads we'll run, it'll be that simple a message:

We trust the voters to count to 3, but the Arizona Republic stops at 2. Wonder why?

If you are not convinced, go to the website and watch the two debates so far, and then compare what you see in the debates to the reporting the AZ Republic and others have done about it. Then please donate so we can go on the offensive against the real enemy of Libertarians and Democracy: Media Bias.

Help us send a strong message to the Media giants that "We're mad as hell. We're not going to take it anymore!" Donate. Even a small donation will go a long way in paying for print and radio ads. If you'd like to donate matching funds, please let us know. We know that the community can generate major funds when the cause is a good one.

As always, I remain at your service--

Barry Hess, Vice Chair of the Arizona Libertarian Party, and Candidate for Governor in Arizona

Millcraft may get $11M in funding - Pittsburgh Business Times:

Millcraft may get $11M in funding - Pittsburgh Business Times:
This is bad government.

Bob O'Connor said that the project wouldreceive no public subsidy. So then Fast Eddie, Gov. Ed Rendell, says otherwise. Bang, we're out $11-million!

And, the $11-million is only the start.

I don't have a favorable look upon future state investment for our downtown. I hate it because that means the free market is going to get put into the back seat and nothing else is going to happen, unless it comes with state money.

The price of downtown property just went up with bone headed statements like this. The people who are sitting on property just to speculate on them now don't need to sell them. They can wait it out and make a killing once the state enters the scene with a big old check.

Meanwhile, downtown slids deeper and deeper into its funk. Meanwhile, worthy projects elsewhere don't get attention.

Downtown is an anchor, a weight, a drag on the entire region. And this money means that the weight just got a lot bigger. The burden for picking our selves up with self reliance just exited the scene, if Ed Rendell keeps his job.

Ed wants to be important. I want the marketplace to be more important.

The state should see to it that there is a reliable funding stream for mass transit, not a bailout for some downtown building speculator.

Millcraft just arrived on the scene. Millcraft gets the upside from government money. Meanwhile the bill goes to the taxpayers. Meanwhile, the downward spiral that is downtown won't change.

With Bob O'Connor's approach, we had hope. He said no to eminent domain. Bob O'Connor said we'd take the fix up in baby steps without big development dollars flowing there from public sources. Bob's approach had merit and was a big change from the boneheaded deals of Tom Murphy.

Now Ed Rendell comes along and screws it all up.

Yes, downtown is important. But, it is important enough to leave government the hell out of the way.

When Millcraft gets this state money, it means that there will not be more oganic re-development with housing because property owners will sqat longer on low performing assets, waiting a generation or more for the big-fat government check.

Furthermore, we should never be in a conversation that talks about subsidized housing for rich people.

It would be better to take that $11-million and make a fix-up program for home-owners with low interest loans to get new roofs, sidwalks, porches, furnances, and such.

Spread the money around so no one person gets access to more than a $5,000 loan -- that gets paid back. That is what the URA used to do all the time. Then the purpose of the URA and government changed, for the worse, to become some mega developer for projects that always seem to fail.

Here is another idea: Take the $11-million and use it to cover this year's cash shortage associated with the new Convention Center. The Convention Center has a huge operational cost that is not being covered. The Convention Center has a bit of debt for the building of that 'white elephant' structure. The Convention Center's needs are now spilling over to gobble up $2-million from the RAD Funds. The RAD funds go to pay for Regional Assets, such as library costs.

The $11-million is nothing but the rich getting richer. And, the overall project will suffer. And, we've already given some serious money and benefits to the developer with cheap sales prices.

Plus, it is not as if this area has been neglected. The Lazarus and Lord & Taylor and numerous parking garages have been funded with serious investments. Now we're tossing good money after bad deals of the past. But the city and state will get the same failed outcomes.

The poison was about to come out of the system -- and leave it to Rendell to really screw it up.

I am firmly convinced that the state investment in this project is going to make for critical injury to Pittsburgh and the state. Investing this type of money in this type of project is a boneheaded deal.

To heal the city and the region, we must "Lay The Shovel Down." We must "Think Again."

And, what really hurts, is that Bob O'Connor had gotten that message. Bob wasn't going to cook up a deal with these types of funds to cause such harm to us all.

I have no confidence in the sitting governor nor in Millcrafts ability to own all of downtown. Nor do I want that to occur.

High rise living in the city should not come with public money.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

WPXI.com - News - Injury On Rugby Field Leads To McCandless Teen's Death

WPXI.com - News - Injury On Rugby Field Leads To McCandless Teen's Death Victim Suffered Concussion 1 Week Ago
Ouch. This is too much.

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

Save the date. Do you think the PA House will give us any gambling reform by then?
Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Category 2 – Pittsburgh

Monday, November 20 – beginning at 9:00 a.m.

• Station Square Gaming, LP
• Isle of Capri

Tuesday, November 21 – beginning at 9:00 a.m.

• PITG Gaming, LLC

State gives $25 million for Point State Park work

State gives $25 million for Point State Park work

I love parks. I've done a lot of study of urban parks. I'm making some educational videos on parks now, even.

Today I couldn't bring myself to going to this event. I felt that I might have needed to have cooled off with either a swim in the fountain or a jump into the river.

Point State Park was closed for the September Great Race -- because of a facelift. That already started.

This is a joke. The money won't come as we don't need to pave the sidewalks in gold, just to make it a 'golden triangle.'

The new park next to the new underwater tunnel next to the the new T-stop (subway) with a glass roof....

"Lay the Shovel Down."

Their crap isn't going to help our quality of life in the city.

Switch from Adelphia to Comcast brings outages for Internet customers

My web services have been slow, very slow.
Switch from Adelphia to Comcast brings outages for Internet customers ... their cable TV works just fine but their Internet service is nowhere to be found.
Meanwhile, in MN, the e-democracy debate put forth this very issue (broadband) as the second question for all of the candidates to address. I have not heard any talks about broadband in the PA election, other than the tax break given to Comcast because Rendell does a post-game football show in Philly.

Google to combine spreadsheets and word processing | TG Daily

Just the other day I blabbed about WRITELY, a document editing software utility that runs on the internet and allows for group work on documents in a word processor interface. Well, it seems that the tool is now with a new name and sibling for spreadsheets.
Google to combine spreadsheets and word processing | TG Daily Google is expected to introduce today a hybrid version of its online spreadsheet and word processing applications today. As such, Writely, the company Google acquired for online word processing, will lose its original name in favor of the new title 'Google Docs'. The new software, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, will offer an integrated version of the two free online services.

Since one of the key features is online collaboration with other people, the big advantage to Google Docs & Spreadsheets could be that document originators can more easily configure user access to their slate of files. Previously, there was no integration between the two, leaving users to set sharing capabilities for both Writely and Google Spreadsheets separately.

Goodell, Ravenstahl to attend W&J homecoming - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Have a good time.
Goodell, Ravenstahl to attend W&J homecoming - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, and Luke Ravenstahl, mayor of Pittsburgh, will be among the more than 1,000 alumni at Washington & Jefferson College's Homecoming festivities this weekend. Goodell (class of 1981) and Ravenstahl (2003) will serve as honorary co-captains at the Presidents' 2 p.m. football game against Westminster. As part of pregame activities, Ravenstahl and Goodell will be joined by W&J president Tori Haring-Smith for the coin toss. Ravenstahl, 26, was the starting W&J placekicker for three years, and he still holds the school record for career field goals made and most consecutive extra points.
Perhaps Luke can test drive his speech on how to behave in a community while attending college. Then he can deliver that to the college kids locally after he has worked out the bugs in the talk and associated, ramped-up enformcement issues.

Open container -- expect to spend the night in jail.

Pee in public -- expect to have your semester come to a grinding conclusion, without grades.

Deface private or public property -- expect to pay for the damages, give up your student ID, do hours of community service, and pick a new college for next year.

Burn a sofa -- transfer to Morgantown.

Miss recycled trash pick up days by more than 12 hours, find a new apartment as the landlord is going to eject you after a neighorhood complaint.

Can't park your car in a responsible way, turn over the keys and take the bus until you graduate.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Times Leader | 10/05/2006 | State high court upholds Romanelli ruling

Good news honny. I don't have $900,000 in debt. Times Leader | 10/05/2006 | State high court upholds Romanelli ruling But first, there’s the matter of finances. He said he owes around $100,000 to his lawyer, but the lower court opinion also left him owing roughly $900,000 in legal fees. About $90,000 is court costs, he said, and the rest is owed to lawyers for Bob Casey Jr., the state treasurer and Democratic hopeful for U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum’s seat. Undemocratic democrats are the slime of the earth.

USA Swimming Names Coaches for Pan American and World University Games

Lane 9 News Archive: USA Swimming Names Coaches for Pan American and World University Games Leading the U.S. men's team at the 2007 Pan American Games will be University of Southern California Head Coach Dave Salo. Salo, who has coached Olympic medalists such as Lenny Krayzelburg, Gabe Woodward, Aaron Peirsol, Amanda Beard and Jason Lezak, took over at USC after serving as head coach of the Irvine Novaquatics from 1990 to 2006. Salo also served as the head coach for the United States men's teams at the 2005 World Championships and the 2001 Goodwill Games and was an assistant coach for the 2004 men�s Olympic Team, the 2003 World Championships team, and the 2002 men's Pan Pacific Championships team. In addition, Salo was a women's assistant coach at the 2000 Olympics and the 1999 Pan American Games.

Today's Erik's Birthday -- and Tomorrow is National Pee Outside Day

Erik is 12 today. He has his own blog, but I'm not sure he has ever seen it. http://eRauterkus.blogspot.com.

It is a good thing he came out on the 10th, and not the 11th, as he'd be sharing his birthday with an activity that is very common around here (on the South Side).

Plus, he took more than 36 hours to arrive. Holding off to the 11th would have been, out of the question.
Pee Outside Day, From Uncyclopedia

A national holiday to many residents of Pennsyltucky, Pee Outside Day was started many years ago by a group of pseudo-shaolin monks located in the major metropolitan area of Nachos Grande. One day when watching Double Indemnity, Ron (known to some as 'Roy the Short,' even though his first name is Ron) got up and decided he wanted to relieve himself in the parking lot of the local Burger King.

On the way there, the group of 15 came upon a drowning bus of orphan seals. How they were drowning, the world will never know. The point is that Ron and all of his buddies got together and saved those seals. Tickertape parades and random acts of mollusc-chucking ensued. After this, Ron and his crew proceeded to Burger King and did what they came to do. Word of the monumental event spread and earned a place as a shining moment in Pennsyltucky's history.

Fun Facts

'Pee Outside Day' was originally called 'Save Orphan Seals Day,' but was changed to be more politcally correct, since some seals said it was offensive that they would want to be saved.
Source: http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Pee_Outside_Day

Movie's joke & Flashback

Did you see the new Robin Williams political movie trailer yet?

An older ad for Rauterkus for Mayor

Government FINALLY Infringing on our Freedoms

For years I've heard liberals complain that the George W. Bush administration is infringing on our freedoms, yet no tangible evidence has ever been produced.

However, there is freedom infringement in local government: these incredible, dare I say illogical, un-American smoking bans.

I have NEVER smoked a cigarette in my life. Nearly all of my cigar smoking (probably about 15 cigars in my entire 39 years on the planet) has been on Virginia beaches, on top of a Gateway Clipper boat, or on my wrap-around Victorian front porch.

Last time I checked, cigarette smoking was legal. I rarely go to bars...if a friend invites me for a Ginger Ale, I know that there's probably a toothless barfly nearby. That's what you expect at the bar.

And when I go for a concert at the neighborhood Moose, I know that we'll reek of smoke the next day. To the point that we are sick in the stomach. You know what, WE JUST DON'T GO ANYMORE!!!!!

The morality police that want to curb YOUR right to do something legal. it doesn't matter if it's being done in other cities. It's an infringement of our freedoms.

Some complain that workers are subjected to the smoke. GET ANOTHER JOB! I couldn't care less if you don't have the educational wherewithal to get a better job. That's the breaks!

The smoking ban, here in Pittsburgh, is inexplicably championed by both parties. However, this is a Democrat-controlled burgh and county. That being said, there isn't a single Republican championing YOUR right to do something legal.

This is a slippery slope. Soon, your representatives will be attempting to draft legislation that'll curb your enthusiasm for your favorite adult beverage. New York has already fired the second shot...donuts and their tasty, tasty fats. Big Brother is watching!!!

Smoke 'em if you got 'em! This legislation is just un-American.

Outside Santorum's Sanctum - October 10, 2006 - The New York Sun

Bowyer on Rick Santorum in 2006.
Outside Santorum's Sanctum - October 10, 2006 - The New York Sun ... I find myself wondering what Rick of 1992 would say about Rick of 2006. 'Jerry,' he'd say wagging his finger at me, 'I know the guy's problem. He doesn't live here anymore and he's grown out of touch with the people of the district.'

Mr. Bowyer is the chairman of Newsmakers Leadership Group, a media company headquartered in Pennsylvania, and author of 'the Bush Boom.' His firm has solicited advertising from many political campaigns, including Mr. Santorum's.
Worthy read.

We miss you Jerry.

Rutgers and James Madison Use Internet Creativity in Attempt to Save Men�s Teams

We should hold an informational picket at Heinz Field when the nationally ranked Rutgers football squad (men only) come to play and get kicked by Pitt in a couple of weeks. Drop a not in the comments area if you are interested in joining us.
Lane 9 News Archive: Rutgers and James Madison Use Internet Creativity in Attempt to Save Men's Teams Rutgers and James Madison Use Internet Creativity in Attempt to Save Men's Teams -- October 4, 2006

PHOENIX, Arizona, October 4. BOTH the Rutgers swimming and diving team and the James Madison swimming and diving team have recently used the Internet in an attempt to save their men's teams from facing the axe after this season.

Chris Feaster, JMU's men's head coach, has worked with his team to create www.savejmuswimming.com. To help, our readers can visit their web site and click Feedback on the left navigation bar for contact information of people in place that can help save the team.

Additionally, the squad opened up the DDP Swim Team group on Facebook.com, a social networking web site primarily for college and high school students. The group, which stands for Duke Dog Pride, already has more than 4,000 members in less then a week of activity.

Meanwhile, Rutgers' site (www.saverutgersswimming.org) has plenty of information to help located in the top navigation bar, including a How To Help link. This link contained step-by-step instructions on how to help in the fight to save the Rutgers' men's team. It also provides sample letters to the school's A.D. (Sample Letter) and to the school's president (Sample Letter).