Friday, July 06, 2007

The Burgh Report: Excellent Post by Mark Rauterkus

The Burgh Report: Excellent Post by Mark Rauterkus ... I really couldn't understand precisely what he was trying to do ...
Motivations are hard to understand. The easy questions in life are "who" and "when" and perhaps, "what."

The questions and insights of "how" and "why" are for the most advanced.

From time to time, I understand that I'm guilty of speaking over the heads of most of the folks in the audience. I aim to deliver content that goes beyond the basics.

I really confound my out of region friends and family. They don't know what's what in Pittsburgh. They don't live our Pittsburgh life. Our shared experiences of being in the Burgh -- is understood by a vast majority of my neighbors. So, lots of readers here, and lots of people who know me, my family, my passions, my work in other sectors are just "deer in the headlights" when it comes to a topical shift about Pittsburgh's political landscape. They zone out because they don't live in our 'twilight zone.'

Case in point, lots of the folks in suburban Pittsburgh felt good about Tom Murphy. Murphy gave them the Convention Center, PNC Park, Heinz Field, Lord & Taylor and an evacuation plan from the tallest downtown buildings in the wake of 9-11 fire-drills. My disdain for Tom Murphy and the logic of my objections to his leadership was lost on everyone 30-miles away from The Point -- and nearly everyone within 10-miles of The Point.

Case in point 2, few in the local media have a handle about what I'm about. Nearly none in the media have ever generate professional expressions that bolster and inter-twine with my positions and issues. There has always been a 'missing link' of sorts between myself and the MSM (mainstream media).

I've never been in the 40-under-40 crowd. I'm not going to show up on the Sunday Business Page shows. These are givens that are fine with me. But the point to make is that my mo-jo isn't defined by others. There isn't a focused, feature piece that connects the dots for John-Q-Public.

Complicated. Self-made. Multi-media, multi-dimensional, blah-blah-blah.

I'm a Libertarian too! I'm free. I'm stressing liberties. A framework for freedom isn't something that can fit in a downtown retail outlet with a tax-break. Home Depot, on the other hand, is something that you can drive to in East Liberty under a big orange logo that employs guys in bibs, each with a W2 on file, selling bricks and mortar. Go figure.

Finally, for now, I'm a coach. I love to push, pull, drag, trick, and cheer so that others get out of their "comfort zones." Education, like democracy, is messy. Community conversations are wild.

That's why. To kick up some dust.

I understand that my city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 2007, is still not a place where my children and their peers will want to reside. I understand that what we got here today is lacking. The opportunities are better elsewhere. There are too many hurdles to both prosperity and freedom in our region. I want my kids and their friends and classmates to thrive. I want what is best for future generations.

Politically, Pittsburgh is nearly a wasteland. The weirdness that resonates from within our public sector crumbles all sorta of other aspects of our lives. Our community lives are with big weaknesses. We are all poorer and less able to live up to our potential because of those nagging problems.

I'm fed up and I'm NOT going to flee. I'll stay put and fight with issues, ideas, concepts and votes -- from time to time. With us thinking again, perhaps some physical violence will be kept at bay.

I understand that I'm fortunate in this period in my life. The flexibility that I have isn't by chance. But, it does summon a sense of duty and purpose to what I do. I do what I do in large part because I am able and others are not.

Thanks for asking. Hope to see you around town soon. I'm sorry if we haven't met yet. Cheers.


Anonymous said...


Brevity is the soul of wit.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Brevity isn't the soul of influence nor education.

I'd have more powerful statements if they were longer -- if they were such that all the dots were connected.

Others don't always 'grasp' what I've said and posted because I've leveraged brevity.

Plus, my aim isn't 'wit.' Perhaps that works well at the Carbolic Smoke Ball.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is employing the right strategy in keeping his New York junkets and corporate-covered golf outings to himself. After all, it seems as if every time he does open his mouth he sticks his foot in it and raises even more questions about his ethical standards. (Certainly there's a campaign slogan or billboard in this for Republican challenger Mark DeSantis, right?)

Indeed, as 11th/12th-century German theologian and mystic Meister Eckhart once put it, "In silence man can most readily preserve his integrity." But Mr. Ravenstahl must realize this is the 21st century and the reality is he's a public servant accountable to the public.

Colin McNickle is the Trib's director of editorial pages. Ring him at (412) 320-7836. E-mail him at: