Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Arkansas: I love ma, I love pa. I love good ol Arkansas

Ravenstahl gets 'face' time as possible rising star in national politics Then there are the Internet blogs.
Hi Mrs. Ravenstahl!

I got to meet Mrs. R, Luke's mom, at a D-party endorsement event at the IBEW Hall on the South Side. I was outside, of course, just to mingle with the folks on the sidewalk. While I was there, she came up to me and we had a nice chat. She like my blog, so I was told.

I told her that I try my best to be real, grounded and not vile -- nor driven by envy. Those were NOT my words, but my intended feelings and desires.

I too have good friends in Arkansas. Politically, that city is home to General Wesley Clark, a regular swimmer. The best buddie I have had the pleasure to know from Little Rock was Paul Blair, a great swim coach and gentleman who founded the Little Rock Dolphins. Sadly, Paul died not too long ago. He grew up in our region and was no stranger to Pittsburgh.

When I coached in the Southwest Conference, when there still was a SWC, the Univ. of Arkansas swimmers were in a relay in the next lane from our team -- and they set a world record. That was cool. It was a short-course meters mark in a sprint freestyle relay. They were flying. It was a pleasure for our swimmers to just get washed down the pool in their wake.
He urged the students in the crowd to "overcome those people who will try to rattle you. ... Somewhere back in Pittsburgh, a columnist is writing his or her perspective on how I could be doing better, a talk show host is flooding the airwaves with half-truths, at my expense. ... Do I care? No."

Then there are the Internet blogs.

"Many of them are interesting in the way they portray what I'm doing," he said. "Very negative. And my mom, she reads those all the time. ... It bothers her more than it bothers me."
I'd love to have this interview on a podcast. Too many ... for my tastes. I'd like to not read between the lines as much.

The negative talk reminds me a bit of the approach Tom Murphy took. Murphy always used the word, "NAYSAYERS." To him, "naysayers" were worthless. I was a huge Tom Murphy naysayer.

Murphy killed our city because he didn't listen to the naysayers. Time will tell what Luke does. To me, Luke looks to be in the same rut that Tom Murphy resided within in the last 8 years (or more) of his career.

In a rich life, there is both a ying and a yang.

For an eagle to 'soar' -- it needs both the right wing, left wing plus plenty of tail feathers.

To listen to the naysayers is mandatory, in my opinion. To do what naysayers suggest isn't.

I understand that everyone can't be pleased all the time. Fine. But I don't understand how some can feel so cocksure as to think that they know it all and can shut down their receptive senses from certain quarters.

Pittsburgh is too small to have an administration that caters to only certain populations and sub-groups. We need to get on the right track and then have everyone's input -- to fire on all cylinders.

Two more examples:

In athletics, I love to go up against an arch rival. Competition is welcomed and desired. Athletes want to be pushed and stretched by serious challengers.

In academics and with research, it is a practice by some brilliant people to send their latest works to their harshest critics. Enemy evaluations are solicited before the papers get published in peer review journals.

Time will tell how Luke behaves.

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