Monday, January 31, 2011

Apples to Apples. Go figure

(posted by me at another blog in a thread about the SI article about Aliquippa.)

Think again.

The PIAA and high school sports are NOT about districts, but rather about schools (for classification only) and teams from schools and athletes from schools. The district is not REALLY a factor in athletics.

I am not mixing the apples and oranges -- nor making bad analogy defenses.

Team to team comparisons are what matters in sports the most, then it is school to school. District to district, not so much.

As per talk of ALL OF THEM -- as in All Schools -- then talk about the LEAGUES, the WPIAL, the District VIII, the PIAA.

"Do you think you are fooling someone?" No. Do you?

Teachers do not NEED to be faceless. It is a choice. Anonymous is fine. Posters don't need to be bullies either. What you surmise and what I do are different. BTW, I surmise that you are him too, but just with a different handle, again.


Apples = students;
Apple bushel buckets = teams;
Apple trees = schools;
Apple orchards = leagues;

One orchard (DVIII) is right in the middle of another orchard (DVII = WPIAL).

The school district could be represented as various farmers with certain choices of fertilizers, ambitions and options. Some farmers might only have one apple tree. Others a few. Farmers would also have other realms to care for (say oranges, livestock, etc.).

Competitions in HS sports are among student to students and among teams to teams. That's apples to apples and bushels to bushels.

An orange, go figure, could be a musician -- or -- a student in a calc class -- or -- some fully different asset to a farmer.

The head farmer, say Farmer Lane, could choose to focus 100% of the efforts on the chickens, a stable of horses and other fields and gardens and leave the apples to their own -- out of sight, out of mind. Ripe, rot, no worries.

Meanwhile, we're still waiting for you to deliver some analogy and any value for moving the conversation in the wake of the SI feature.

Open Knowledge Foundation Blog Blog Archive � Open Public Data: Then What? - Part 1

Open Knowledge Foundation Blog Blog Archive Open Public Data: Then What? - Part 1: "We tend to assume that the opening up of public data will only produce positive outcomes for individuals, for society and the economy. But the opposite may be true. We should start thinking further ahead on the possible consequences of releasing public data, and how we can make sure they are mostly positive."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Interesting doping theory about a cyclist suspension

Posted on the Supertraining public list and worth repeating as a theory.


Posted by: "wreckless61a"  

I don't know how much information about the Contador case got through to the US. But here's the rumour from Europe.

First of all, Alberto Contador was found to have very low levels of clenbuterol in his blood. The amount found was 400 times less than what a WADA accredited lab must be able to detect. It is strange that a lab used such an accurate and expensive test. Unless they had a reason.

Anyway, that's what he was accused of.

He then claimed it was a very low dose (true) and he got it from eating tainted beef that was wrapped in plastic. This was either given to him as a gift, or a cook bought it on the local market. Both explanations are highly unlikely, but what's interesting is the explicit mention of the plastic wrap.

The most likely scenario is this. Contador was using micro dosages of clenbuterol early in the season during training. Also he was tapping his blood to be used for blood doping later in the competition. Perhaps they had the blood tested but it wasn't flagged because of the low levels.

Riding the Tour de France he used this blood. The lab initially didn't find the clenbuterol. What they did find however were plasticizers in his blood, a sure evidence of blood being stored in plastic bags and injected in his bloodstream.

So now they knew he was dirty, but they didn't have anything to charge him with, since this test was not accepted by WADA.

That's when they turned around and took a closer look at his blood. And that's when the low levels of clenbuterol were found.

To me, this is a very likely scenario, because it explains why Contador mentioned the plastic wrap of the meat, and it also explains why the lab would use a test that is 400 times more accurate than required.

Johan Bastiaansen of Hasselt, Belgium
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fir for how long now?

The below may be of interest:
http://well. blogs.nytimes. com/2010/ 12/29/phys- ed-if-you- are-fit-you- can-take- it-easy/.

...a number of newly published studies offer compelling reasons to get out and exercise on the one hand, as well as new estimates of just how little we can do and still benefit on the other.

The most sobering of the recent studies, published last month in The British Journal of Sports Medicine, looked at a large group of retired elite male athletes, most now in their 50s. Some had remained physically active, although they were no longer competing. Others had taken fully to sloth, avoiding almost all exercise. When the researchers examined the health profiles of the two groups, they found, to no one's surprise, that the sedentary ex-athletes had a much higher risk of metabolic abnormalities, including insulin resistance, than their more active counterparts. Training hard and often in their youth had not conferred lifelong health benefits on the athletes as they aged, not if they now sat around all day.

Similarly, although in a more compressed time frame, a study published earlier this year found that when a group of world-class kayakers completely quit training (at the end of a competitive season), they rapidly lost strength and endurance. After only five weeks of not training, according to one measure of strength, they'd sloughed off about 9 percent of their muscular power and 11 percent of their aerobic capacity.In other words, being almost completely inactive, whether for a short or prolonged period of time, inexorably de-tones muscles and compromises health. The benefits of regular activity don't last long.

But there is a loophole. In these same studies, as well as others, relatively small amounts of activity allowed participants to maintain much of the health and fitness they had previously gained. In the kayaking study, for instance, some of the athletes didn't completely cease their training at the end of the season; they merely cut back, limiting themselves to one weight-training session and two endurance workouts per week (a fraction of their full-season training) and consequently lost barely half as much of their aerobic power as the kayakers who stopped exercising altogether. Five weeks "of markedly reduced training in a group of elite athletes seems effective for minimizing the large declines" in conditioning "that take place by completely stopping physical training," the authors wrote.Even more relevant to those of us who aren't world-class athletes (and aren't, therefore, likely to reduce our training to three sessions a week), a study just published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggests that visiting the gym only once a week may be enough for young and older athletes to hold onto past strength gains.

For the study, researchers with the University of Alabama at Birmingham recruited one group of adults in their 20s and 30s and another in their 60s and 70s and had both groups undertake a four-month program of fairly strenuous weight training, with thrice weekly, multiset sessions at the gym. By the end, all of the volunteers were dramatically stronger and had added considerable muscle mass.The researchers then randomly assigned the volunteers to different groups for the next eight months. One group quit all exercise. Another cut the number of their training sessions by two thirds, showing up at the gym only once a week. The final group not only reduced the number of their gym sessions to once a week, but completed only a third as many exercises during that session, for a total reduction in exercise volume to one-ninth.

At the end of the eight months, the groups' muscle size and strength varied markedly. The volunteers who stopped all exercise, whether they were young or old, had lost most of their newly acquired muscle mass, as well as a large portion of their strength. Those who'd continued to train once a week, however, had maintained much of their muscle mass, as well as their strength. The younger volunteers had even added muscle mass with the once a week full sessions (although not with the shortened bouts). Older volunteers hadn't augmented their muscle size during the maintenance routines, but they had lost little of their strength gains, even when their exercise volume was reduced to a ninth. A "once per week exercise dose was generally sufficient to maintain positive neuromuscular adaptations," the study authors concluded.

There are caveats to these encouraging findings, of course. You must have a baseline level of fitness to maintain, for one thing. Before they moved to the once-a-week routine, the weight trainers completed four months of three-times- a-week sessions. If you have no fitness base, resolve now to build one. The latest studies also did not pin down just how long you can maintain a reduced level of exercise, without the vestiges of fitness finally slipping away. The maintenance portion of the strength-training experiment lasted eight months; the kayaking study stretched only to five weeks. At some point, you probably have to return to a full exercise program. But for now, a little may be enough.

Friday, January 28, 2011

College tour of Historically Black Schools in the South

The 5th Annual NEED Tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities is accepting applications for 10th grade students to visit colleges and universities in Alabama, Atlanta, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and District of Columbia. The tour will take place April 16th - April 23, 2011. Please visit the NEED website to download the HBCU Tour Application. There are a limited number of spaces available, therefore send in the application as soon as possible. If you have questions, please contact Arlene Tyler Holland at or 412.566.7393.

Sole Trader, Partnership, Company and Trust Business Structures

My photo from Auckland was used in a business article on the web. Cool.
Sole Trader, Partnership, Company and Trust Business Structures

Before starting a new business it is important to understand how different business structures affect income tax payments. Being informed helps to determine which structure best suits a business and its owner.

Read more at Suite101: Sole Trader, Partnership, Company and Trust Business Structures

Thursday, January 27, 2011

TV dictates USA Sevens: Sport: Rugby: Sevens

Start to tune into Rugby Sevens now -- because the NFL season next year is NOT going to happen without a labor agreement. Rugby -- as the nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

The pools and match schedule have been announced for the 2011 USA Sevens, the fourth event in this year’s HSBC Sevens World Series, to be played in Las Vegas on February 12-13.

As current World Series leaders, England head Pool A as top seeds. All four Cup quarter-finals will be played at the end of day one, February 12, allowing the Cup final to be broadcast live throughout the US on February 13.

USA Sevens Tournament Director Dan Lyle added: “Four years ago, USA Sevens set out to attain mainstream legitimacy and exposure in the context of American sport, and this exciting new partnership with NBC reflects the hard work achieved to realise this opportunity.

“Working with our event partners NBC Sports, the IRB, USA Rugby and some fantastic new sponsors, we look forward to presenting the 2011 tournament to the largest US audience ever to have watched our great sport.”

In addition to the four Cup quarter final ties being played at the end of a lengthened day one, the four trophy finals are also rearranged at the end of day two. In order for the Cup final to coincide with prime time across the east coast of America, the showpiece match will be played before the three other finals at 14:15 local time.

Top seeds England won the first event of the season in Dubai. On day one in Las Vegas they face Argentina, France and Caribbean qualifiers Guyana in Pool A.

Eight-time World Series winners New Zealand won the second event in George line up as second seeds in Pool B with opening matches against Wales, Kenya and South American qualifiers, Uruguay.

Samoa and Fiji currently lie in third and fourth position respectively in the World Series standings. Fiji face Australia, Scotland and Canada in Pool C, while defending USA Sevens champions Samoa face a mouth-watering tie against hosts US as well as South Africa and Japan in Pool D.

After the first two events in Dubai and South Africa, England lead the HSBC Sevens World Series with 44 points. New Zealand are second (40), Samoa third (36), Fiji fourth (32) and South Africa fifth (24).

The third leg of the World Series will be played in Wellington, New Zealand on February 4-5, after which the teams will travel on to Las Vegas for the USA Sevens.

Contador blasts 'unfair' ban: Sport: Other Sport: Cycling

Contador blasts 'unfair' ban: Sport: Other Sport: Cycling

The International Cycling Union (UCI) had provisionally suspended Contador in August, in advance of a decision on his immediate future by the REFC, after trace amounts of clenbuterol, a banned weight loss/muscle-building drug also used to fatten cattle, were found in a urine sample taken during the Tour de France.

Contador denies any wrongdoing, and says he unknowingly ingested the clenbuterol from beef brought from Spain to France during the second rest day of the Tour, just four days before he won his third title on 25 July.

Clenbuterol was banned by the European Union in 1996, but it is still administered illicitly by some cattle farmers.

Fitzgerald announcing county executive bid Friday

Fitzgerald announcing county executive bid Friday

County Council President Rich Fitzgerald will declare his candidacy for county executive Friday morning at event where he will showcase an endorsement from Rep. Mike Doyle.

The widely anticipated announcement will take place in the courtyard of the Allegheny County Courthouse, the same spot where Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty, so far the only declared candidate for the post, unveiled his bid earlier this month. So far, they are the only competitors for the Democratic nomination to succeed the incumbent, Dan Onorato, who has announced that he will not seek a third term.

On council, Mr. Fitzgerald was known as a close ally of the Onorato administration. He has made no secret of his interest in the county's top post, quietly laying the foundation for a bid over the last year while Mr. Onorato pursued his unsuccessful quest to be elected governor.

On the Republican side, county Councilman Matt Drozd has said that he is exploring a bid. Patti Weaver, a key organizer of the region's Tea Party movement has also acknowledged interest in the office. Many Republican committee members received an email last weekend advising them that Ms. Weaver would make an announcement earlier this week, but that event was subsequently canceled. Jim Roddey, the county GOP chairman, said he expects Ms. Weaver to announce her candidacy late next week. Ms. Weaver did not return a call seeking clarification or her plans.

Fw: [ooo-announce] The Community Announces the Release of OpenOffice.org3.3

* 3.3 Ready for Download*

--Free Productivity Suite Used by More than 100 Million Now Includes
Enterprise Features--

Hamburg, Germany, 26 January 2011--- The Project today
announces the release of 3.3, which includes features and
improvements addressing current and future user requirements, regardless
of scale. Stepping into a new arena, 3.3 brings to
enterprise users, both in public and private sectors, improved
compatibility with Microsoft Office, spreadsheet and presentation
enhancements, and superior security and collaboration options. A full
list of what the Project's Community have accomplished can be found at
<>. 3.3 marks a milestone in the suite's maturation. Ten
years after the Project was initiated, the suite has grown from being
the "free alternative" to the default and even preferred choice for the
more than one hundred million who have come to value the quality,
reliability, and extensibility of the application, as well as the
flexibility given by the the suite's file format, the OpenDocument
Format (ODF), the leading open standard for office documents.

To download 3.3 for free: <>

There is a lot that is new and enhanced in 3.3. But not
least, it is also simply faster, both in startup time and in overall
operation. Some of the of new elements include:
* embedded standard PDF fonts
* new document security and collaboration options
* provisions for one million rows in a spreadsheet
* new options for CSV (Comma Separated Value) import in Calc
* ability to insert drawing objects in Charts
* improved slide layout handling in Impress
* a common search toolbar

Andrew Southworth, Network Coordinator, Canadian Labour Congress, wrote,
"It's never been just about the savings. The Canadian Labour Congress
selected in support of what it does and how it goes about
doing it. It's the full support of the ODF that frees us from committing
to any one vendor. And it's the extensions, the enterprise elements and
the open-source code that gives all those we represent and work with in
Canada, from schools to hospitals to libraries to private sector
corporations the freedom of real productivity — without being locked
into a particular company's vision of how you should work. Saving money
on software is great. But, with its support of the ODF,
is more than about the bottom line. It's about the freedom to choose the

A full guide to new features is available at
<>. The security
bulletin with full details of the potential vulnerabilities fixed is at
<>. is fully supported by the worldwide Community and by
professional companies, both large and small. Oracle proudly continues
the sponsorship of the Project building the application and welcomes
contributions from all.

* Press Kit: <>

* The Case for <>

** Contact
Peter Junge (UTC +08h00), Beijing, China Marketing Project Lead
pj @

- International Marketing Contacts:

The Project is composed of an international team of
volunteer and sponsored contributors who develop, translate, document,
support, and promote the leading open-source office productivity suite,®. The Project, sponsored by Oracle, spans the globe, and
its community includes members from all sectors. Thanks to the efforts
of the Community, software may be downloaded and used
entirely free of charge for any purpose, private or commercial. All are
encouraged to join the Community and participate in the making and
promotion of the suite and file format. software uses the OpenDocument Format OASIS Standard
(ISO/IEC 26300), as well as supporting file formats used by such as
Microsoft Office, and is available on major computing platforms in over
100 languages. software is provided under the GNU Lesser
General Public License version 3 (LGPL v.3). It offers all users the
license of using what works and working with what's there, all for free.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hello, I Must Be Going: A Requiem For A Talk Show Curmudgeon

When I moved to Pittsburgh in 1990, my first job was selling copiers, practically door to door. I was on the road a lot, and (with the exception of my then-fiance), without a friend. I was still in love with radio, especially “talk” radio, and I fortuitously found 1250 am WTAE.

The afternoon shift was helmed by an unconventional host named Doug Hoerth. He could talk about books, TV, movies other entertainment, as well as politics. He was very intelligent, and downright goofy. I fancied him right away.

In 1990, Doug was in Pittsburgh for only 10 years and he was still a Jersey-boy at heart. That separated him from a lot of “yinzers,” that continue to populate the local talk show landscape. Matter of factly, Doug talked about reading newspaper after newspaper, magazine after magazine, book after book. (I learned about William F. Buckley's run for Mayor of New York exclusively because of Doug's show. I got Buckley's out-of-print book out of the Carrick library immediately after work one day as a result.)

It might be hard to find a more well-read talk show host (not to be confused with Jerry Bowyer, the smartest talk show host I've ever heard, but that's another story), as Hoerth went to downtown newsstands for New York tabloids and anything else he could read.

In the early 1990's, Doug Hoerth was as good a talk show host as there was anywhere. Anywhere.

Granted it also helped that Doug was surrounded by other talented talkers, like Lynn Cullen and Phil Musick. Lynn, I remember, wept on the air when former Pittsburgh Mayor Richard Caliguiri died suddenly. Musick was even more of a fan of books than Hoerth, but he wasn't nearly as entertaining (Phil was a writer first). It's easy to say that that lineup was the best I heard in my 20 years in this great city.

Hoerth was also eclectic. Some would say weird. He was.

A former bud exterminator in Florida, Hoerth challenged a radio station program director to put him on the air. That was the beginning of a storied career. He worked at much-larger KDKA but really found his footing at WTAE. It was obvious that Hoerth was prickly. His life was an open book for long-time listeners. He was an alcoholic, clean since something like the late 1970's. Unlucky in love—if memory—serves he was married once, long-divorced and without children.

Doug went out of his way to never mention exactly where he lived, but frequent listeners could figure out it was Bellevue, a working-class hamlet just north of downtown. He didn't cook, but ate every meal at restaurants in his neighborhood. Other than those outings, he boasted of never leaving his apartment, which was a stone's throw from his “Wall of Unwed Mothers,” a loitering area for young girls pushing strollers.

Some “homespun” stories revolved around a coffee pot he kept in his bedroom. It was a makeshift bedpan he used so he wouldn't have to haul himself out of bed at night. I'm not sure if that was inspired by anything Jean Shepard wrote. Shepard, a popular radio personality far before his “A Christmas Story” became a holiday staple, was one of Hoerth's inspirations.

Hoerth was summarily bumped from the afternoon shift to morning drive for inexplicable reasons. His show wasn't the powerhouse of intelligentsia it once was, with Hoerth and producer Lawrence Gaines talking about their lack of sleep, “All in the Family” and “The Godfather” over and over again. I'm not sure when it happened, but Hoerth was let go by WTAE. His prospects were limited.

For a while, another AM talker, WPTT, tried to pick up the mantle of smart, local talk. They hired Cullen, and after a while off the air, plucked Hoerth from near obscurity and put him back behind the microphone. (I even called the station and talked with the program director in an attempt to cast a vote on Hoerth's behalf about a year and a half before he was signed.) His first shift back was a frantic, excitable mess. But it was fantastic to have him back.

Internationally-known Forensics Pathologist Cyril Wecht was a perpetual guest. The two had tremendous discussions about everything under the sun, and Hoerth could stand toe-to-toe with the famed attorney/man-of-science. That wasn't always easy to do in talk radio, as Wecht's “Progressive” viewpoints often clashed with those of “Classic Liberal” Bowyer. Hoerth, a Libertarian, pretty much got along with everyone on air.

Another famed Pittsburgher, wrestler Bruno Sammartino was another visitor who was great for grand stories. In fact, it was on Hoerth's show that Sammartino “outed” famed actor Vincent Price for “liking larger men.” According to the long-time champ, Sammartino patronized a New York bar with friend Frank Sinatra and was unsuccessfully approached by Price. Hoerth about took a spit take on air. As did all who listened.

Granted, there was a time in which even I burned out from Uncle Dougie. His “edginess” was gone, never to return, except for the story of his mother.

Hoerth's mother lived with him during her waning years. After her passing, Doug started to talk that she was “back.” With Doug Hoerth telling the story, with his flare and sincerity, you truly thought it might be possible (even though it rarely happened outside of Divine Intervention). It was classic Hoerth.

Along the way he hosted listeners on Fridays. Four average joes would come in and they'd all discuss the issues of the day. I was originally on first after Major League Baseball players avoided a work stoppage. Most were happy. I said the Pirates would never compete unless there was a salary cap. To this day, they have not been competitive.

I was on again about a year later. During a commercial break, Hoerth looked at me, shook his finger and said. “You. You're good.” It was a triumph for sure. Hoerth then raced out and had a cigarette. Doug liked cigarettes. A lot.

It's a little known fact that Doug SCREAMED into the microphone, largely because of his own horrendous hearing. He said it was from a lifetime of listening to music through head phones. It was still jarring to hear his distinctive laugh and terrific thought of consciousness at a high decibel.

It's been a few years now since Doug Hoerth was let go from WPTT. The station nearly went dark, but it was saved by Ron Morris, “The American Entrepreneur.” It's a “Money Talk” station but Morris and long-time producer Darryl Grandy played a piece or two from Doug's archives today. Darryl, like Gaines (who passed a few years ago), like my friend Greg Kuntz, like my friend John Sawa, like my friend Dan Zabo, were producers for Doug Hoerth. And sadly, they were all shunned by the reclusive genius that was Doug Hoerth.

The radio show was Doug's reason to go on. And fan, any long-time listener knew it was.

According to published reports, a friend was worried about Hoerth earlier this week and called authorities. His body was found in his apartment. According to his own broadcasts, Hoerth was terrified of dying alone in his apartment and not being found for a while. That's exactly what happened.

Long time fans can't watch Blazing Saddles or hear Groucho Marx and not think about Doug Hoerth, the boy from Jersey who did good.

Doug Hoerth, dead at 66. Pittsburgh radio will never be the same. We all lost a friend.

Swim propaganda

Thin Ice Warnings

If you fall through ice-

* Don't try to climb out immediately. Instead, kick to get horizontal in the water with your legs behind your torso. Then, try to slide forward onto solid ice.
* Once out of the water, roll away and avoid standing until you are several body lengths away from the ice break.
* A set of ice picks are ideal safety tools for rescuers and victims alike. When the ice pick is jammed on the ice, the retractable sheath exposes the pick. This allows a rescuer to crawl out to the victim, or gives a victim the opportunity to crawl his way out of the ice hole.

When trying to rescue a person who has fallen through ice-

* Call, or have someone call 9-1-1 first.
* Try to improvise a throwing assist, such as an empty jug with a line attached.
* If going onto ice to reach a victim is unavoidable, use a device to distribute the rescuer's weight over a wide area.
* Use a reaching assist, such as a branch or hockey stick, to extend the reach of the rescuer and prevent him or her from being dragged into the water by the victim.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dowd wants to dissolve parking authority, others

Liquidate! Liquidation! YES.

Pittsburgh city Councilman Patrick Dowd says he may launch a campaign to dissolve the city parking authority, saying that body and some other authorities are stuck in a no man's land between independence and subservience to the city.

Mr. Dowd said he would prefer making the parking authority, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority and Urban Redevelopment Authority more independent of city government.

But if that can't be done, he said, he'll consider taking steps to dissolve them and bring their operations under city control. He said he'd start with the parking authority, which was drawn into last year's pension bailout controversy.

Read more:
For years, I've been saying the same things -- sorta.

Pittsburgh should get rid of all the authorities. Nuke em all. Take them apart, brick by brick.

This may take some time, say 1 to 5 years. Don't be stupid and give the assets away so that the rich get richer. We don't need some no-bid contracts and those wire pullers swooping in to build a Mon-Valley Toll Road over the once public process.

But Dowd wants to make the authorities MORE independent of city government and that's just wrong. What's that about? Wishing upon a star? To make the URA more independent of city government comes when developers are private firms that choose to develop and invest as they so choose. That's more independent. But, that's not an authority any more, that's the marketplace at work.

Dissent Magazine - Winter 2011 Issue - Got Dough? How Billion...

Wire pulling and wire pullers article about education and schools. Power and money influences explained, in part.
Dissent Magazine - Winter 2011 Issue - Got Dough? How Billion...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Honoring Count Noble, the 'Man O'War of English setters'

Honoring Count Noble, the 'Man O'War of English setters': "The champion bird dog from a century ago may be recognized with marker in Sewickley"

Perhaps the dog lover, Bruce Kraus, got something accomplished?

If not, give out a proclamation, won't ya?

He saved the Carnegie Library System -- if only we could have a new tax to pay for it.

Fw: Progress Report -- Never want to open an email with this first line.

Hi Tyranny Fighters:

This probably will my last message before being arrested and incarcerated. The current situation is:

1. In my civil case against the Department of Homeland Security, et al. Judge Holwell has issued an ORDER to not write to him again. This make it awkward to continue this case.

2. In the criminal case, I will mail the attached letter tomorrow. As you can see from the attached pdf, a legal team has been formed and has authority to act on my behalf while I am incarcerated.

3. It is important that the rest of you continue extra-legal action on a continuous basis.

4. Recently I have given speeches to the Campaign for Liberty in Orlando, FL on January 8, 2011, and to the Libertarian Party of Manhattan, NY annual convention on January 15, 2011 discussing the fate of the nation.

5. I am slated to give radio interviews on January 23 with Corey Moore of 89.3 KPCC, on January 27 with Lee Parker of Global Freedom Report, and on February 4, 2011 with Rob McNally on WKRP.

6. My book entitled "The Non-Trials" has been sent to the publisher. It should be at booksellers within a week or two. The sales price is $25.95. The book discusses my journey through the NY State and federal courts after my arrest of April 17, 2007 across the street from the UN in New York City.

7. We have raised about $2000.00 in donations for field work organized by James Cox. This is enough money for two weeks. Obviously we will need more to keep the program going. Please make contributions through Pay Pal to Any questions should be addressed to bile. James intends to start canvassing northern Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina in the next few weeks.
Also the national Libertarian Party is sending 1,000 door hangers plus 200 bumper stickers for free. I would like to extend James canvassing to Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and eastern Texas in future weeks. However we will need more donations immediately to do so. So far donations have ranged from $3.33 to $250.00. Please give what you can.

> 8. Suggested Books
> Michael Badnarik gives a course about the U. S. Constitution using his book "Good to be King."
>> His E-mail address is in the header of this E-mail.
> Mike Benoit has written a book entitled "Sham and Shame of the Federal Income Tax." You can purchase it directly from him for five dollars. He will send you a pdf free. His E-mail address is in the header of this E-mail.
> 9Warning
> You should know that the Federal Protective Service, and possibly the FBI, is intercepting my E-mails. Another violation of our civil liberties. Be prudent if you write to me. However a U. S. court recently has ruled that If the government wants to see your emails stored by an Internet service provider, they first will have to get a warrant. See:
> Yours in freedom and justice—Julian


Friday, January 21, 2011

Thank You Mr. White, P-G Sports Reporter, with correction from a few weeks ago

City League clarification
There is one change in the City League's plan to possibly join the WPIAL.

Within the next few weeks, a City League athletics overhaul committee will submit a proposal to Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent Dr. Linda Lane for the league to join the WPIAL for the 2012-13 school year. Under the proposal, the City would have nine schools in the WPIAL.

Current City League schools Allderdice, Brashear, Carrick, Langley, Oliver, Perry and Westinghouse would join the WPIAL along with two other schools.

University Prep and Pittsburgh Science and Technology would combine for sports under a cooperative sponsorship agreement.

The ninth City League school in the WPIAL would be Obama. Schenley is closing after this school year, and its students will be part of Obama, which will move into the Peabody High building for the 2011-12 school year. Peabody also is closing at the end of the school year.
Good to have this reported upon properly.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The ultimate public trial

Hi Tyranny Fighters:


On January 11, 2011, I (Retured PSU Professor and Liberty Activist, Julian H.) was notified by summons that I have been criminally charged with jury tampering. The moment of truth has arrived. My response to the court is given at the end of this E-mail. The dance begins. Finally we will have the opportunity to inform the jury in the U. S. District Court: Southern District of New York that the judges have routinely lied to it.

This trial could be the defining trial of the decade. We must not blow it. I will represent myself as counsel pro se. However, I am asking all the attorneys and others knowledgable in the law on the Tyranny Fighters mailing list receiving this E-mail to join as co-counsels. Particularly, I hope that the American Jury Institute/Fully Informed Jury Association and the American Civil Liberties Union join me to provide advice, guidance and strategy.

I maintain the role as lead counsel, because I can and will say and do things that could disbar any attorney.

In addition, I request that all of you that write for news outlets, have radio shows, and/or blogs will publicize this trial to the hilt. I intend to provide a blow by blow flow of trial information. Be sure to send your material to major news outlets. The rest of you can write letters-to-the editor of your local newspapers and magazines with trial information as it becomes available.

I want this to be the ultimate public trial.

Fw: Martin Strel (Big River Man) announces new project

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: "Amazon Swim Expedition"<>
Sender: "Amazon Swim Expedition"<>
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2011 23:02:44 -0500
Subject: Martin Strel (Big River Man) announces new project

To view as a Webpage, click here
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January 06, 2011
Martin Strel - Big River Man Updates
Martin swimming the amazon
Martin swimming the Amazon

Dear fans and swimmers,

Guinness book of world records 2011
Guinness book of world records 2011

Happy new year to you all. Hopefully 2011 will bring you renewed motivation, new challenges and lots of excitement! We wish you the best of luck in the pursuit of your goals.

It has been quite some time since we last updated you on  the Guinness World Record holder,
Martin Strel. Martin’s documentary, Big River Man, is still showing in many countries and he continues to spread his incredible Amazon swim message that people can achieve their goals and make a difference throughout the world. Also Martin has been swimming and promoting environmental messages for two decades. But Martin would not be Martin if he was not planning new projects and here they are, coming out now!

1) BBC World Radio Interview on 06 January, 2011

Martin’s recent interview with Matthew Bannister of BBC World Radio will be aired worldwide from 6 January 2011. Martin’s interview features on the BBC’s “Outlook” programme which explores remarkable human stories behind the news. To check times in your area please follow this link:
Martin will announce his new project(s) during this interview - stay tuned to find out!

2) Sponsorship opportunity

We are looking for a corporate sponsor for Martin’s new swimming challenge. Martin’s projects attract huge media exposure globally. We will again be producing a documentary of Martin’s swim, which will be aired on TV worldwide. Please direct all enquiries to

3) Speaking engagements

Martin is now based in North America , where he continues to train and speak at various events. Martin is available as a public motivational/inspirational speaker, travelling from USA/Canada – please see HERE for further details.

4) Big River Man DVD release in North America

Our award-winning documentary has finally been released in North America. We are selling signed copies for the special price of 10.90 EUR until 31 January 2011.
To buy a copy Click HERE.

5) Other interesting read:

- UN: Dirty Water Kills More People Than Wars
- James Cameron, an Ally Out of ‘Avatar’ to stop the Amazon dam

Wishing You The Best 2011!

Amazon Swim Team,,,      

This message was sent to by

ulica 28.maja 65, ljubljana, ljubljana 1000, Slovenia

Friday, January 14, 2011

Zodiac issues? Try to decode this:


Photo taken of this 'plate' in one of our visits to China. It was in a resale / art market. I think it has to do with the Zodiac there. Who can decode it?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Amrican Dream

Meeting with the Black & White Reunion / Summit Against Racism, Jan 22, 2011

School Reform's next challenge: Sports

Pittsburgh Public Schools has been planning changes among the sports opportunities for city students that could include a move away from the "City League" and enter into the WPIAL. Mixing the schools, programs, teams, players and fans from the urban with the suburban counterparts can make interesting competitive and racial realities more visible on a day to day basis, should this occur. Is there the political will and vision to overhaul sports in the city schools?

Mark Rauterkus, a parent and member of the PPS Sports Reform Task Froce, has been a long-time advocate for community sports. This year Coach Mark ran water polo for PPS Summer Dreamers and volunteers as the AM swim coach for Schenley HS Boys. His swimmers set state records in four states (including PIAA and WPIAL records). He has coached NCAA Division I teams for 8 seasons.

Michelle Porter, an engaged parent and PTO leader at PPS schools, is a serious sports fan with two emerging star basketball players, a boy in 9th grade and a girl in 6th. She works at CMU and has keen perceptions after being to thousands of gyms throughout the region.

Invited Scribe: Jake House, PPS Administrator in charge of PPS Sports Reform Committee. Jake moved to Pittsburgh to tackle this issue on a full-time basis.

Dr. Lane, new boss at Pittsburgh Public Schools - part 1 - My OPEN Letter to her

Open Letter
To: Dr. Linda Lane, Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools

From: Mark Rauterkus - 412-298-3432
Parent of 2 PPS students, sports coach, advocate and member of the PPS Athletic Reform Task Force
Monday, January 10, 2011

Dear Superintendent Lane,

This weekend the Post-Gazette ran another article about pending efforts of sports reform in Pittsburgh Public Schools. (

The article included this telling statement:
"The athletics overhaul committee, headed by Jake House, includes coaches, school athletic managers, school board members and school administrators."

Missing from the news coverage includes:
- PARENTS (three of us were on the committee, yet omitted from the article)
- ATHLETES on PPS squads
- Taxpayers
- Community leaders
- Sports boosters
- Park and Recreation Professionals (one was included, yet off the article)
- Fans
- Alumni
- Citizens
- WPIAL Athletes, Coaches, Administrators, Fans.
- Officials (one was on the committee).

Without a doubt, sports and after-school programming has plenty of moving parts. Reform makes a hard issue for all involved, including the students. Student voices and the associated engagement discussions with a wide community has been a weakness in the planning quest so far. This can be fixed with your help now.

The Annual Summit Against Racism, a community event on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at East Liberty Presbyterian Church, needs your support. Michelle Porter and I are leading a 90-minute workshop devoted to dissolving the City League and what this means for the PPS and race relations in Western PA. (http://www.BlackAndWhiteReunion.Org)

Can you help to insure that we invite and bring plenty of PPS students athletes and PPS coaches to the event, as well as Jake House, the committee's coordinator? There we can work on an agenda for serious outreach in this topic to further engage students -- both at the schools and in our communities for the months to come. We can have better school opportunities for our kids!

Thanks for the consideration and support in this important aspect of our city and region. I look forward to working with you and other PPS Administrators to make this occur in the very near future.

I gave this letter to Dr. Lane on Monday night at CAPA High School in a 'meet and greet' that happened just prior to the "evening with Dr. Lane." The letter was also given to a few school board members and some of the members of the PPS Administration that night.

Fw: Blocking Netflix

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: "Josh Levy," <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2011 14:59:36 +0000
To: Mark Rauterkus<>
Subject: Blocking Netflix

Dear Mark,

Tell the FCC:
Stand Up for Mobile Internet Users

When we access the Internet on our phones — as more of us do every day — we expect to be able to go wherever we want, whenever we want.

But a terrible new service plan from MetroPCS — the fifth-largest U.S. mobile phone carrier — is the latest phone industry attack on Net Neutrality. The company is limiting users' ability to access certain websites and services, unless they pay extra for the privilege.

Free Press just alerted the FCC to this blatant violation of Net Neutrality.1 Please click here to tell the FCC to launch an investigation.

Here's what MetroPCS’s new pricing scheme looks like:

  • Customers purchasing the most expensive plan will have to pay extra to access Netflix, Skype or any website using “advanced HTML” on their phones. 
  • Those with the cheapest data option won't be able to access any of these online services, except for YouTube -- despite its similar data usage.

It gets worse. MetroPCS’s plans disproportionately affect people of color and urban communities, whom the company recognizes as a major portion of its customer base, and who largely depend on mobile phones to access the Internet.2

There is a way that we can stop MetroPCS's discriminatory practices. Last month, the FCC adopted weak rules that leave mobile Internet users virtually unprotected from these types of abuses, with two big exceptions: They prohibit the blocking of websites and competing video and voice communication applications on mobile phones. Yet that’s exactly what MetroPCS is doing.

The FCC must now take action to protect the public and enforce these new rules. If the agency does nothing, we could see a domino effect in which larger carriers like AT&T and Verizon introduce their own forms of mobile blocking and discrimination. We can’t let that happen.

The FCC must take MetroPCS to task before other carriers follow suit. Tell the FCC: Enforce your new rules. Investigate MetroPCS’s outrageous, anti-Net Neutrality practices.

Mobile Internet users should have the freedom to access any sites or services they want. The FCC must respond to our concerns3, protect our online rights and investigate MetroPCS now.


Josh Levy
Online Campaign Manager
Free Press

P.S. Have friends with MetroPCS service? Forward this e-mail to them and make sure they sign our letter as well.

1. "Groups Ask FCC to Investigate MetroPCS for Violating Net Neutrality Rules," National Journal, 1/11/11:

2. "For minorities, New 'Digital Divide' Seen," USA Today, 1/11/11:

2. "Letter Urging the FCC to Investigate MetroPCS," Free Press, 1/11/11:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fw: PA Economic Boost Awaits Action

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: "Bob Logue" <>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2011 14:16:26 -0500
To: <Undisclosed-Recipient>
Subject: PA Economic Boost Awaits Action

Would a $24 Billion Dollar infusion of economic activity (at NO COST to government on any level) boost Pennsylvania's stagnant economy?
  • There is $8 Billion sitting idly in tax escrow accounts in banks all over Pennsylvania.  Banks pay NO interest on the $8 Billion they hold so this idle money gains the depositor (home owner with a mortgage) absolutely nothing.  Banks cannot lend the money, so it generates NO economic activity in the market place; and banks don't benefit either. It just idly sits there waiting until yearly property taxes are due on homes, and then the banks forward the money to the counties, school districts and municipal governments. 
  • Economists say money reverberates through our economy multiple times.  We used three times (a very conservative estimate) to arrive at the $24 Billion in economic activity that would be occur if the $8 billion in tax escrow accounts was no longer required from those with home mortgages.
  • Homeowners with mortgages would pay only the principal and interest on their mortgage plus homeowners insurance; cutting their monthly 'house' payment by multiple hundreds of dollars. 
  • More people could keep their homes.
  • More people could buy homes greatly boosting the housing market.
  • More people would improve their homes.
  • More young people would establish their home for their families in Pennsylvania rather than some other state
  • More seniors (retirees) would remain here, keeping their accumulated wealth here, too.
  • Greater population would attract more businesses to serve them.
  • Tens of thousands of PERMANENT jobs would be created IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR with no need for governmentally funded so called 'job creation' programs.                Make-work governmentally induced jobs are often temporary—lasting only until the federal or state funding is no longer forthcoming. 
  • More people working + more businesses equals more tax revenue for schools, counties and municipalities.
  • More people able to purchase homes means revitalization of our suffering municipalities.
  • No more sheriff sales for 'delinquent' property taxes currently based on phony, corrupt assessment figures stealing the homes and most, or all of the equity of 30,000+ Pennsylvania homeowners EVERY YEAR.
  • No more countywide reassessments which cost Pennsylvania taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
  • Smaller government since every county's property tax assessment offices, could be cut dramatically, saving taxpayers tens of millions across the state.
  • No more harassment of homeowners since there would be no more reassessment hearings.
  • The Lottery-Funded Property Tax Rebate program could be abolished, saving the lottery over $60 million per year, which could be used to provide more seniors with PACE coverage, or expanded Rent Rebates.
  • True home ownership would come to Pennsylvanians for the first time in our history—since we currently in effect only 'rent' our homes from the counties, municipalities and school districts.  Private property ownership rights is a basic component of our freedom. 
How could this dream become a reality?  First, if anyone tells you it can't work...they are either misinformed or lying.  They need only to check with the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee which studied the STOP Primary Residence Protection plan and found abolishing all three property taxes on primary residences (homesteads\farmsteads) is fiscally sound and economically viable.  The schools, counties and municipalities would be fully funded with replacement revenue for the lost property tax revenue.  Increased economic activity would mean even more revenue for the county and municipal governments and school districts than they are currently receiving.
     During the 8 years of Governor Ed Rendell's reign of error, 240,000+ Pennsylvania families lost their homes and equity and he couldn't have cared less.  Will Governor Corbett be any better?  Let's hope and pray he will.  Do whatever you can to spread this message to Governor Corbett, the newly elected or re-elected legislative leaders and YOUR state reps and senators.  Print this out and mail it to them...or if you can find e-mail addresses for them...send it by E-mail. 
     I welcome their response at    or to Box 306, Fairbank, PA 15435-0306.  Happy New Year to you and your family.  It won't be a happy new year for the 30,000+ homeowners who will have their homes and equity stolen this year due to the corrupt Pennsylvania property tax system.  Bob Logue, STOP Primary Residence Protection Plan.  Learn more at   and  hit on the STOP page. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Division III athletes doing well at colleges

Latest News -

Data from the first year of a two-year pilot program in Division III to assess student-athlete academic performance reveals that student-athletes are graduating at rates comparable with or higher than those of their student body counterparts.

A total of 115 Division III schools voluntarily submitted graduation-rates data in the first year of the pilot. Results from this representative, division-wide sample showed that 66 percent of student-athletes who enrolled as freshmen in 2003 graduated within six years (the same methodology used to calculate federal graduation rates in Divisions I and II). That compares favorably with the 65 percent graduation rate for the general student body at the 444 active and provisional Division III member schools.

300 turn out to meet new city school chief

300 turn out to meet new city school chief

Dr. Lane said she believed that it was important for teachers to know their craft but added, "In the heart of it, you've got to love the kids. They know."
I have a lot to say about this event. I took notes, not my video camera. I expect that it will be on the TV on the city station or PPS Tube soon.

Stay tuned.

Bill would make council members resign to run for other office

Rev. Burgess is making himself a real outcast in council now. Way to go.

I like the spirit of this bill. But, a few points. First, this bill is most needed at present within the Pgh Public School's BOARD. That is where I have pushed for it for the longest time. We don't want the volunteer, elected board positions to turn into opportunities to step upon the backs of the students for personal gain so that runs for other office can be launched from the school board. That is a long-standing suggestion of mine that is less of a factor in 2011 than it has been in the past. But still, the suggestion holds.

Furthermore, in Allegheny County Council where such a law exists, it is not really followed, as per PA Senator Wayne Fontana. He said he was going to run for office while on council and only quit council after he voted as he wanted in some tight decisions. Then he quit. The P-G editorial flamed him for breaking the rules of the county charter too. So, some of these political jerks are too big for their deeds to follow the established mandates (i.e., Wayne Fontana) -- hence -- the policy needs to be iron clad and with teeth should they go their own way. Guillotines would provide ample satisfaction and fear.

Bill would make council members resign to run for other office
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
By Joe Smydo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess today proposed legislation that would require City Council members to resign if they wanted to campaign for another office.

Mr. Burgess said the legislation, which he's entitled "Resign to Run," is designed to ensure city officials focus on the city's business, not the next political opportunity.

"The public should not pay for the ambitions of elected officials, he said.

Read more:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chelsa Wagner announces controller bid

Chelsa Wagner announces controller bid: "Chelsa Wagner announces controller bid"

I think someone wants to stay close to home and going to Harrisburg is too much work.

But, in my humble opinion, she would be way better than either Nick Kotik or else George Matta. They want jobs and have done nothing to light my fire while in office in the past.

The job of controller is a place were we want and need real fire lighters. Not much of that has happened in recent decades.

Let's vote.

Try these words on for size when in a sticky situation, "Let's vote." It could be at a community meeting, a meeting with school administrators, or even in City Council Chambers -- and you'll get quick push-back.

When the voting process gets opened, a big can of worms is revealed. Who votes? Who gets to craft the question? Who gets to count the votes? Can we do 'elimination voting' or 'percentage votes?' When do we vote? When do we vote again if the one's in power don't like the outcome?

Policy Brief
An electronic publication of
The Allegheny Institute for Public Policy

January 13, 2011 Volume 11, Number 2

Is Taxpayer Referendum on Its Way to Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh Councilman Burgess has introduced a measure to give City voters the power to approve or reject property tax increases. The proposed ordinance calls for a referendum asking voters if they want to change the City charter to require a referendum on all property tax increases. As Reverend Burgess notes, “this is about giving the people the power to fight a tax increase.” The Councilman should be congratulated for this bold initiative.

We have been a strong and consistent advocate of voter referenda for tax hikes for over a decade. It is a public policy which could hold great promise for Pittsburgh’s future. Of course there are elected officials who are very opposed to giving voters approval power over taxes. Responding to Reverend Burgess’s proposal, a member on Pittsburgh City Council said, “you elect people, and they make those decisions.” Granted, that is the way it is supposed to work. Sadly, Council’s long running inability to hold expenses down has necessitated ever increasing tax revenues to fund spending growth.

Others on Council view the ability to tax as “an important tool” in governing the City. But their power to tax has led to the profligate spending that has put the City in the bind it now finds itself in. Misuse and abuse of this “important tool” lie at the heart of Pittsburgh’s financial nightmare. Arguing for continued unrestrained authority to set tax rates is illogical and specious as well as incredibly self-serving.

Finally, there are those who worry voters will never approve a tax increase. They have every reason to be worried about that in light of taxpayers’ disgust with the inability of government to rein in spending. Still, there may be cases where voters can be convinced a legitimate need exists for additional revenue.

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR for short) movement has been around for quite some time. Colorado was one of the first states to implement fully the concept. All tax increases at all levels of government in the state are subject to referendum approval and government expenditure growth is strictly limited to the inflation rate and population growth. After implementation in the early 1990s Colorado became one of the fastest growing states in the country.

TABOR’s rationale is quite simple and straightforward. Over time elected officials almost inevitably find it easier—for various reasons—to bend to the entreaties, or threats, of powerful interest groups to spend money that redounds to the benefit of these groups. Such interest groups represent sources of campaign financing and reliable voters on election day and whose wishes dare not be ignored. On the other hand, taxpayers are a disparate population with many allegiances and political views. Their broad interest in having government be as effective and low cost as possible is rarely the foremost concern of elected officials. Typically taxpayers as a whole do not march as an interest group or testify on spending measures or new programs. Then too, taxpayers are often conflicted because not only do they pay taxes they are members of interest groups that benefit from government largesse.

Taxpayers who do not work for government or who are not part of a favored interest group are at a disadvantage compared to the aggregation of special interests who tend to get what they want. This is especially true in an environment where strong public sector unions are present.

Greater economic prosperity in communities with TABOR is easy to understand. Businesses like a low tax environment. And they also like having the assurance that government spending will be constrained so that tax rates are not under continual threat of being raised. Government in a TABOR community must work hard to be lean and efficient including adopting cost saving measures such as outsourcing non-core functions. New programs requiring big spending increases are much less likely to get off the ground. Government instead is forced to focus on its core functions, something it should be doing without being forced. Finally, a very salutary result of TABOR is that government’s burden on taxpayers is far less likely to increase over time and can actually be lowered.

Politicians who fight voter approval of tax increases are saying, “trust us to do what is best.” The problem is their track record is beyond deplorable and there is little or no taxpayer trust in them. Government exists for the benefit of all citizens including taxpayers and their input on momentous decisions is crucial. And while voter approval of every governmental decision is not possible or desirable, on the biggest decision of all—the amount of resources government will have to spend—voters should have the ultimate say.

No system is perfect nor can any system solve every problem or anticipate every adverse situation. But voter approval of taxes, accompanied by strict spending limits, offers a far better approach to fiscal matters than the irresponsible government behavior that has driven Pittsburgh into the financial ditch it finds itself stuck in.

So, Reverend Burgess is to be commended for proposing this first important step of referendum for tax hikes. It would be very positive for the future of the City and the way it is perceived by the business community if Council would approve the Reverend’s proposal and allow the citizens to vote on whether they want tax increases to be subject to referendum.

Surely, in light of the government’s litany of financial management failures, Council and the Mayor should grasp this opportunity to show a little humility and demonstrate some faith in the good sense of the people of Pittsburgh—and a lot less deference to political power players.

Jake Haulk, Ph.D., President Frank Gamrat. Ph.D., Sr. Research Assoc.

For updates and commentary on daily issues please visit our blog at

If you have enjoyed reading this Policy Brief and would like to send it to a friend, please feel free to forward it to them.

For more information on this and other topics, please visit our web site:

If you wish to support our efforts please consider becoming a donor to the Allegheny Institute. The Allegheny Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all contributions are tax deductible. Please mail your contribution to:

The Allegheny Institute, 305 Mt. Lebanon Boulevard, Suite 208, Pittsburgh, PA 15234

Thank you for your support.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

How pension bailout came in a frenzy at 11th hour

How pension bailout came in a frenzy at 11th hour

Ms. Doven said. "It really was a three-ring circus."

Read more:
And the mayor says it is not his fault. So there.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Bike movie on Feb 3 at South Side Works

Ride The Divide mountain bike film coming to Pittsburgh, Feb. 3.

The promoter of "Ride The Divide," the mountain bike documentary that was named the best adventure film at the 2010 Vail Film Festival is looking for ticket buyers. If you are not familiar with the film, please check the trailer at

Coming to Pittsburgh for a one-night-only show on Thursday, Feb. 3 at the Southside Works Cinema. This is the final stop on a 10-day, 10-city Midwest tour that is part of a larger nationwide tour. It is selling out theaters all over the country and anticipate we will sell out the South Side's 267 seats on this night as well.

Spread the word throughout your cycling club or team about this event, which should be the highlight of the cycling season in Pittsburgh this winter.

Use the attached information to get the word out through emails, your web sites, your Facebook pages and putting up posters at places you frequent, such as coffee shops and brew pubs. Press release (also pasted below for your convenience), a printable poster, and our jpeg logo which can be used with an calendar events listings you might be able to post online.

Here is the link to our Facebook event which has all the information in it as well:!/event.php?eid=190087151007312

And here is the direct link to purchase advance tickets:

If you have any questions, or any ideas to help get the word out to a wider audience, please contact me as soon as possible. I hope to see you and your club members out at the show.

Thank you.

Garry Harrington, Colorado Springs

Ride The Divide, the award-winning feature-length documentary about the world's toughest mountain bike race, will conclude its Midwest mid-winter tour when it stops in Pittsburgh on Thursday, February 3, at the Southside Works Cinema.

The film chronicles the story of several mountain bikers who attempt the 2,711-mile race named the Tour Divide along the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains. The movie was named the Best Adventure Film at the 2010 Vail Film Festival.  This film has become an instant cycling classic, and made its television premiere in September on the Documentary Channel. But the Adventure Cycling Association said the film should be seen on the big screen: "The cinematography is stunning!"

Added UpaDowna, "Ride The Divide is one of the most inspiring real cycling movies … in a long time." Epic Riding summed the movie up as follows: "In a word? Fantastic. In more words? Moving, funny, inspiring."  

Ride The Divide embraces the inspiring stories of three of the racers who experience the immense mountain beauty and small-town culture as they attempt to pedal from Banff, Canada, to a small, dusty crossing on the Mexican border. There's Mike, a 40-year-old family man who uses this challenge to chart a new course in life; Matthew, a leader in extreme endurance racing who's competing for his fifth time; and Mary, the first female rider to race this route.

As they set out, they will attempt to accomplish what very few have been able to. Over the course of a few weeks, they'll attempt to climb over 200,000 vertical feet along the backbone of the Rocky Mountains.  They'll experience mental breakdowns, treacherous snow, hellacious blisters, and total fatigue. Above all, they'll race with no support – at times in total isolation. The tests of endurance and the accomplished moments throughout Ride the Divide prompt us to reflect on our inner desires to live life to the fullest.  

Ride The Divide made its debut at the Vail Film Festival and was named the best adventure film at the event.

Outside Magazine proclaimed that "(t)he toughest bike race in the world is not in France," after reviewing the film.  

Ride The Divide will be shown at 7 p.m. at the Southside Works Cinemas located at 425 Cinema Drive in Pittsburgh. Tickets are $15 at the door, and $10 in advance at The event is sponsored by Venture Outdoors of Pittsburgh (  Media contact: Garry Harrington 603-209-5010 <>
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Much work is left for City League's move to WPIAL

Much work is left for City League's move to WPIAL: "The Pittsburgh City League is moving forward with plans to join the WPIAL.

Within the next few weeks, a 22-member athletics overhaul committee for Pittsburgh Public Schools is expected to forward a proposal to new superintendent Linda Lane that calls for the City League to join the WPIAL for the 2012-13 school year."

There is a big mistake in the article. The teams at Pgh Obama will NOT be part of a coop with Sci-Tech and U-Prep.

Where are the religious liberals?

David Dunn, a dear friend from our church, wrote this article that ran in the Post-Gazette.
Where are the religious liberals?: "Where are the religious liberals?
They have let conservative politicians and talk-show hosts claim the high ground
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
By David Dunn

Two generations have passed since it was common to see people of liberal religious faith take to the public square to champion worthy causes, fight for those with no voice and demand justice from the powers-that-be.

Religious liberals served as the moral battering ram of the civil rights movement and took to the streets in waves to confront those who sought to justify wars in southeast Asia.

Since then, however, religious liberals have faded into the woodwork, doing good works with humble voices mostly in the safety of their own congregations."

Of course, there have been certain occasions in recent years when their voices have been raised. Many protested the invasion of Iraq in 2003. More recently, many traveled to Arizona to protest that state's enactment of an ethnic profiling law that posed as immigration reform, and the Catholic Church displayed qualified support for the health care law passed last summer.

But these few points of light have failed to illuminate a righteous path out of the woodwork.

This has not gone without notice. Religious conservatives have moved in and laid claim to the moral high ground once occupied by religious liberals.

For the most part, religious conservatives have been good tenants and have served this nation well in many ways. They have been doing the heavy lifting in the public square over the last 40 years.

That said, conservative politicians and media entertainers also have carpetbagged their way onto this moral high ground, finding religious conservatives to be the most genial of neighbors.

How can any people of religious faith, conservative or liberal, condone the hateful speech so often delivered these days under the cloak of religion?

Radio show host Dr. Laura practiced Orthodox Judaism until 2003 and authored a book on the significance of the Ten Commandments in everyday life. Her show, in her own words, is supposed to offer "advice infused with a strong sense of ethics." Instead, she routinely demeans, discredits and puts down callers who come to her in a time of need. People of faith should forgive individual mistakes, but they also should hold people accountable for their body of work.

Glenn Beck professes that religious faith is the cornerstone of his life and guides his vision for America. That is fine, but it does not excuse comments referring to President Barack Obama as a racist or a Nazi and or claims that people like himself were central to the civil rights movement and somehow need to "reclaim" it.

Former U.S. senator and likely presidential candidate Rick Santorum, perhaps more than any other modern politician, employs his religious faith as a weapon against those who do not fit into the limited confines of his ideological box. He routinely invokes his religious faith to essentially condone war against Islam and the persecution of homosexuals.

Jesus sought the persecution of no one and simply called upon the religious to live their faith more perfectly. Perhaps Gandhi had someone like Rick Santorum in mind when he said, "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

Eventually, those who use hateful speech and ideas to further their own ends behind the guise of religion will fall under the weight of their own hypocrisy, but without an organized challenge to hateful ideas, this can take a very long time.

Religious conservatives have the most to lose when such personalities are taken as de facto ambassadors of their religious faith, but all people of faith need to confront them and their ideas.

Religious liberals need to reclaim the religious landscape they let slip away over the last 40 years. Modern political and social conservatives have done an excellent job of making "liberal" a dirty word. Religious liberals need to come together and become again an uplifting voice for America that counters those of hatred and intolerance.

Religious liberalism has much to be proud of in the story of America. Our founding fathers held a variety of religious beliefs but many today would be considered liberal Christians. They were activist revolutionaries who drew upon their religious faith to envision a radical democratic country and make it a reality.

Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address," a speech essentially regarded as a sacred testament to the meaning of America, drew from ideas conceived by liberal clergy. His closing words about "government of the people, by the people, for the people" were inspired by liberal Unitarian minister Theodore Parker, who had earlier expressed American democracy as a "government of all, by all, for all."

If people of liberal religious faith wish to further this vision of America, they need to start organizing and start acting in the public forum. And they need to realize that religious conservatives are not the enemy.

Doctrines may differ, positions on emotionally charged issues may differ and cooperation may at times be difficult, yet there is much upon which all people of religious faith can agree. With this, a true pluralistic vision of America, consistent with the ideals of our founding fathers, can be rediscovered.

David Dunn, an engineer, lives in Eighty Four and is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the South Hills, Mt. Lebanon (