Monday, February 28, 2011

England Finds That Olympics Aren’t Spurring Millions to Exercise -

England Finds That Olympics Aren’t Spurring Millions to Exercise -

When London was awarded the 2012 Olympics, organizers promised an ambitious legacy: to get two million more people in England involved in sports and physical activity.
The Brits are GREAT at "sit down sports." The photo is sorta funny, as the guy is sitting down with the exercise equipment.

What are "sit down sports?"

Rowing, Crew, Bobsled, Luge, -- humm... What else?

From Erik

When the Olympics went to China, tons and tons of new playground equipment was put in throughout the country.

Fw: [DW] Skype call at in minutes 4pm NZ Time, 10pm EST - Online groups for quake community recovery In Christchurch

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Clift <>
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2011 20:39:00
To: <>
Subject: [DW] Skype call at in minutes 4pm NZ Time, 10pm EST - Online groups for quake community recovery In Christchurch

Find me on Skype: netclift

Steven Clift -
  Executive Director - http://E-Democracy.Org
  Follow me -
  New Tel: +1.612.234.7072

From: Steven Clift <>
Date: Sun, Feb 27, 2011 at 1:52 PM
Subject: 4pm Monday Call, Possible online "Neighbours Forums" across
Christchurch to assist community recovery
To: Team <>

To: Christchurch Councillors and Community Board Members
From: Steven Clift,
CC: Canterbury Issues Forum

During these most difficult times, our thoughts and prayers are with
you and your community.

With my interactions with local volunteers in your fair city and
visits years ago where I presented to your council as it developed its
online consultation strategies, I have a special place in my heart for

For those who have not heard of, we host "Issues
Forums" across 15 communities in three countries including the
Canterbury Issues Forum.

Over the last few years we have had amazing growth and participation
in _neighbourhood_ level online forums in the UK and Minnesota (where
I am based). Under normal circumstances we never open local forums
without a local volunteer forum manager and at least 100 initial
participants recruited.

These are not normal circumstances.

Based on initial local interest on the existing regional forum, we are
exploring the rapid creation of 10 to 20 Neighbors Forums that would
cover your entire council. We would then be in a position to do
community-wide promotion and outreach. For perspective, own neighbours
forum - - serves an area with 10,000
residents and over 15% of households are engaged daily.

In the next 48 hours we will evaluate whether this is viable and
whether there is sufficient volunteer interest (in this case, people
can help from far away like those raised in Christchurch now living
further a field) staring with a Skype call at 4 p.m. Monday your local
time. I am "netclift" on Skype and will call out to you on a regular
line if you e-mail me your number. (If we switch to a teleconferencing
service, for this or a future call, I will e-mail you.)

The key issue is just how to most effectively establish the rough
boundaries of each forum so they are small enough to function in a
neighborly and useful way. We find there is a sweet spot around areas
with 10,000 residents and/or very strong senses of local identity.

Here is the rough proposal:  (text below for convenience)

Here is where to join to get involved in discussions about the idea.

Also, the last thing we want to do is open a very local forum where
one already exists that works. (Note the while we do feed our forums
into Facebook and Twitter, these tools rarely work in isolation for
hyper-local community exchange.) So, within your community board area,
please let us know if there are existing two-way forums (or community
information websites who might want to get involved), by e-mailing us:

Please pass this along far and wide.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please e-mail me or
post them to the Canterbury Issues Forum. This idea has to be viewed a
truly helpful and timely for us to pursue it.

Steven Clift -
Executive Director

For those mobile e-mail reader among you, text from -

This is a "real-time" working page to define the rapid creation of
neighbour online forums across Christchurch to promote post-earthquake
community recovery.

   * Get Involved - Join the long-time Canterbury Issues Forum now
(also on Facebook and Twitter).
   * Read the evolving proposals
   * Global volunteers Skype group call Monday, Feb 28 4 p.m.
Christchurch time (convert) - Skype "netclift" to be added.

Today, Neighbours Forums mix e-mail, the web, Facebook, and Twitter to
reach a critical mass of local people. Multi-channel approaches are
required to prevent exclusion.
[edit] Proposed Neighbours Forums

There appears to be an urgent need for neighbor to neighbor two-way
communication across Christchurch that complements the one-way
information alerts available.

By Tuesday, March 1 we will determine:

   * 1. How many forums to open and their coverage areas.
   * 2. Whether there is the volunteer capacity to make this work.

In addition to our five years experience with the Canterbury regional
forum, has extensive experience with public
neighbourhood level forums in the UK and Minnesota in the U.S.. Forums
at this hyper-local level are in the works for 3 areas in Auckland.

There is no one size fits all rule to neighbor forums, but in general
they work best when defined by a sense of community identity. They
enhance community engagement when they are tied to (or within)
community boards and elected councillor districts when possible.
Sometimes these political boundaries run in the opposite direction of
on the street senses of identity, school zones, and marketplace
patterns. Our neighbour forums tend to work best when they serve areas
with 5,000 to 20,000 in population. Some of our forums with roughly
5,000 households have attracted over 15% of households with engagement

Drafting Geographic Scope

This is our starting list - 8-16 based on the Christchurch community
boards with one or two forums per community board.

Each forum needs a simple name like "Papanui Neighbours Forum" and a
sentence that lists all the major places people need to know to figure
out is the forum coverage area is their best fit.

   * Which potential forums should be merged?
   * Which neighbourhoods not listed (like Avonhead, Saint Albans,
New Brighton, Sydenham, Linwood, Marshland etc. ... these are names on
Google Maps and the map that are not in the names
of community boards) with strong identities split by community board
boundaries really need their own forum?
   * Which area do YOU want to make happen as the leader?

This is a "wiki" - just press edit to make changes.

   * Akaroa - Add your name, e-mail here to volunteer as the forum
start-up leader
   * Wairewa

   * Burwood
   * Pegasus

   * Fendalton
   * Waimairi

   * Hagley
   * Ferrymead

   * Lyttelton-Mt Herbert - SAMPLE forum.

   * Riccarton
   * Wigram

   * Spreydon
   * Heathcote

   * Shirley
   * Papanui

Also, proposing:

   * Central Christchurch

Other maps and resources to help ID boundaries/centres of forums:
Christchurch real estate areas, Wikipedia on area geography, map, placenames on bus map, placenames on Google
Maps, population density, library locations, add more here.
[edit] Existing Neighbourhood Places Online

If you know of Facebook Pages, e-mail lists, social networks, place
blogs, etc. with critical mass participation covering small areas
within Christchurch, please list them here.


[edit] Regional Quake Response Online Networking and Resources

There is no shortage of regional information resources and Facebook
Pages responding to the quake. We will use these networking to recruit
hyper-local participation by neighbourhood.



Steven Clift -
  Executive Director - http://E-Democracy.Org
  Follow me -
  New Tel: +1.612.234.7072

Group home for Newswire - Steven Clift's Democracies Online Newswire:

Replies go to members of Newswire - Steven Clift's Democracies Online Newswire with all posts on this topic here:

For digest version or to leave Newswire - Steven Clift's Democracies Online Newswire,
with "digest on" or "unsubscribe" in the *subject*.

Newswire - Steven Clift's Democracies Online Newswire is hosted by Democracies Online -

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

World's Most Liveable Cities: 2011 Economist Intelligence Unit Report (PHOTOS)

World's Most Liveable Cities: 2011 Economist Intelligence Unit Report (PHOTOS)

Based on a combination of environment, health care, culture and infrastructure, Vancouver topped the list of the world's most liveable cities for the fifth straight year, according to a new report.

The Liveability Ranking and Overview assesses living conditions in 140 cities around the world. A rating of relative comfort for 30 indicators is assigned across five broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure. The survey gives an overall rating of 0-100, where 1 is intolerable and 100 is ideal.

The full report can be purchased for US $500.

Cyclists dodge rocky death |

Check out these visual with this story from our old home-town of Christchurch. Cyclists dodge rocky death |

Three cyclists caught on Evans Pass in Lyttelton during the earthquake yesterday dodged boulders the size of busses as they ran for their lives, and a jogger may have been killed.

Woops. Pitt host WVU on Thursday

It is still Wed.
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Earth Dog Tonight - for those in WV, rather than cheer against Pitt at 9 pm or burn your couch should they pull an upset

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: Russell Mokhiber <>
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2011 06:16:16 -0500 (EST)
To: <>
Subject: Earth Dog Tonight

My 13 year old son, Nico, asked me yesterday:

Dad, what's a civil liberty?

Well, Nico, in some countries, if citizens want to meet, to assemble, to discuss politics, they can't.

If they try to assemble, the police will come and bust it up.

In the USA, we can meet openly.

We can discuss politics, and the police can't do anything about it.

We have this thing call a civil liberty, this freedom -- to meet, to assemble, and to speak.

Which is what we are doing tonight.

At the Earth Dog Cafe in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.

Featured speakers:

Dr. Margaret Flowers on the failure of private health insurance industry -- and what we can do about it.

And Kevin Zeese on the $700 million a day we spend in Iraq and Afghanistan -- and what we can do about it.

Plus a Q/A session.

We've had a good response to our initial publicity for this event.

Should be more than 100 people there tonight.

Earth Dog Cafe.

Tonight -- 6 pm to 9 pm.

Music by The Hayride Trio.

It's the second in a series of monthly meetings to discuss the political economy of the USA.

Hope you can join us tonight.


Russell Mokhiber

PS: See yesterday's article in the Martinsburg Journal here:

If you would like to stop receiving these emails, please click here

empowered by Salsa

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Any insights into the class action suit with Jordan Tax Service? One blog reader wants to know.

This was posted in another thread:
I am eager to find some information on a class action lawsuit against Jordan Tax Services.

They contacted me with a 30 day notice that I did not pay a bill 4 years ago. They never cached the check I sent and never informed me of missing any payments until 4 years later. I disputed the charges which they ignored, instead they filed a court case and communicated to me months later that they are taking me to court, with an entirely different face value they stated in the first letter. They are demanding extra fees that I know they never spent on my case.

Two more people I know are dealing with very costly demands from the same company which details are even more horrifying than mine. How many more there is? How long do we have to put up with the unprofessional business practices of this company?

Jordan Miles civil and criminal cases go on

Jordan Miles civil and criminal cases go on

City Solicitor Daniel Regan said OMI has not, to his knowledge, closed its probe of the incident.

Read more:
Hey Mr. Regan -- what are you waiting for? Finish your work and do your job already.

Public Resource Aims to ‘De-Specialise’ Open Data « E-Government Bulletin Live

Public Resource Aims to ‘De-Specialise’ Open Data « E-Government Bulletin Live

The Making a Difference with Data (MadwDATA) site ( ) features examples of how to use open data and case studies from different public sector organisations, as well as a discussion forum, interviews and details of workshops and other events.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Eagle, student newspaper, did an article on Erik Rauterkus

The Eagle

Erik Rauterkus is a sophomore at Obama Academy and is the fastest person on the swim team. The boys swim coach Mr. Gasparovic says “Erik is 120% in everything that he does.” With City Championships coming up, Erik had a few words to say on the subject.

AlphaLab Summer/Fall 2011 application cycle is now open!

Mike Woycheck writes:

AlphaLab is now accepting applications for the Summer/Fall 2011 session that officially starts on June 14th, 2011! AlphaLab has been called by previous participants as "no better way to start your company" and "uniquely designed to help my type of company develop, seek investment, and grow."

The application deadline is Monday, April 4th, 2011. For more information about the application process and to access the AlphaLab application, visit: . Additionally, follow our blog ( and Twitter account ( for additional up-to-date information.

As we did during the last application period, we will be holding “office hours” that will allow applicants to meet the AlphaLab team and ask questions about AlphaLab and the application process. The “office hours” are current scheduled for the following dates/times:

Monday, February 28th 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Friday, March 11th 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thursday, March 24th 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

We've provided a method to allow interested individuals to schedule themselves for a meeting slot the following site: Two slots are available for each 20-minute time period. If a particular slot is grayed out, it has already been reserved. Participation can either be done in person or via conference call. For any issues or questions, you can e-mail: application (at) alphalab [dot] org.

Thanks for your continued support of AlphaLab,


Dear Attorney General -- Fire these folks!

From Julian, a retired professor at Penn State University:
Below is a letter that will be sent to USA's Attorney General, Eric Holder, on Tuesday (tomorrow). It is self-explanatory. I am asking him to fire the two U. S. Attorneys prosecuting my criminal case for jury tampering. Also I asking to have them disbarred and tried for perjury.

I would appreciate it if each of you would write a letter to Attorney General Holder with CC to U. S. Attorney Breet Bharara and Assistant U. S. Attorney Mermelstein. It can be a very short letter. You only need say that you have seen my correspondence with the Attorney General, and that you agree that Bharara and Mermelstein should be fired and tried for perjury.

If the attorney general receives one letter, it is a crank letter to be ignored. If he receives 100 such letter, he pays attention. One thousand letters will set him into reply mode. Meanwhile Bharara and Mermelstein will go into panic mode. The point is to scare and punish them. If we can accomplish action against these 2 attorney generals, then the police and U. S. attorneys will stop, or at least reduce, harassing harmless people.

Thank you for your support. Yours in freedom and justice


734 Rutland Avenue
Teaneck, NJ 07666
February 22, 2011

Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Re: U. S. v. Julian Heicklen, Case # 10 Crim. 1154 in U. S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York

Dear General Holder:

Enclosed is a copy of indictment against me which U. S. Attorney Preet
Bharara has signed. Referring to me, he testified that “and before a jury of which
he was a member.” This was a deliberate lie. I was not present at the Grand Jury
hearing, nor even notified that there was such a hearing, so I could not correct the

Furthermore the Grand Jury hearing was illegal. The purpose of a Grand
Jury is to have a secret hearing to protect the defendant from damage to his
reputation, if he is not indicted. It is not the function of a Grand Jury to permit the
prosecutors to tell lies to which a defendant cannot respond.

I live in New Jersey, which is not in the jurisdiction of the Second Circuit.
This fact was known to the U. S. Attorney. Therefore I could not have been a juror
in the U. S. District Court of the Southern District of New York. My name could
not even have been on the potential jury list.

U. S. Attorney Bharara and his prosecuting Assistant U. S. Attorney Rebecca
Mermelstein deliberately lied to a Grand Jury. They have committed perjury. I am
asking that both of them have their employment with the U. S. government be
terminated immediately. Further I request that both of them be criminally indicted
for perjury, and that they be barred from ever again practicing law.

This country cannot have afford to have U. S. Attorneys deliberately lying tojurors in legal proceedings. They must be removed if your office hopes to retain
the trust of the American people.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Julian Heicklen, Defendant, Counsel Pro Se

Encl: Indictment for U. S. v. Julian Heicklen Case # 10 Crim. 1154 in U. S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York

CC: President Barack Obama, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,
Washington, DC 20500

Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, 324 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC
20510 (202)–224–3224

Senator Robert Menendez, 528 Hart Senate Office building, Washington, DC
20510 (202)–224–4744

Congressman Steve Rothman, U. S. House of Representatives Office Building,
Washington, DC 20515

News Editor, The New York Times, 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10018

News Editor, NY Post, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036-8790

Co-Anchors Elizabeth Vargas and Chris Cuomo, 20/20, ABC Television, 77 W
66th St # 13, NY 10023

Bill Owens, Executive Editor, 60 Minutes, CBS Television Network 51 West 52nd
Street, New York, New York

U. S. Attorney Breet Bharara, Southern District of New York, One Andrews Plaza,New York, NY 10007

Assistant U. S. Attorney Rebecca Mermelstein, Southern District of New York,
U.S. Courthouse, 300 Quarropas Street, White Plains, NY 10601

Sunday, February 20, 2011

This is not a good way to wake up in the morning. If anyone is in New York on Feb 24, try to show up.


Very early in the morning (6:00 am according to Assistant U. S. Attorney Mermelstein) of Friday, February 18, 2011, my daughter Judy noticed lights flashing on our cars parked across the street. One Teaneck, NJ police officer rang the doorbell and informed Judy that someone was trying to break into our cars. She opened the door to talk with him. Immediately 9 police officers swarmed into the house. Four were from the Teaneck, NJ police. They held my daughter hostage downstairs. They would not permit her to return to her room to dress.

The five police from the Federal Protective Service, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, went upstairs and into the bedroom where my wife and I were sleeping. They surrounded our bed and then awakened us. They informed me that they had a warrant for my arrest, and that I was under arrest. I asked them to identify themselves, but they refused. They ordered me to dress. I went to the bathroom and clothed myself in a shirt, underpants, regular pants, sock, and Patakis (the slippers issued to me when I was a prisoner in Rikers Island).

Again I asked them to identify themselves and informed them that they were under obligation to do so. They refused. I repeated my request, but they refused again. I went limp and fell to the floor. They carried me downstairs, out the door, put me in a paddy wagon and took me to Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, NJ.

At the hospital, I was given a medical exam. My pulse, temperature, and blood pressure were taken. Blood was drawn from my left wrist, a finger was poked with a needle for a blood sugar test. An electro-cardiogram was taken. The doctors informed the police that I was medically sound and could leave. Then a strange thing happened. I was not tortured, as was previously done at 5 other hospitals. Apparently the Department of Homeland Security has not yet notified small towns like Teaneck that the hospitals are required to torture patients brought by the police. Another example of government inefficiency.

At this point, I was handcuffed and placed horizontal in the paddy wagon for the ride to the U. S. District Court in Manhattan, NY. Three other police cars accompanied us. At the federal courthouse, I was placed into a wheel chair and taken to the police section of the federal building at 500 Pearl Street. Fingerprints and pictures were taken. Then I was wheeled to a cell with a toilet. The handcuffs were removed, and I was left alone. Immediately I urinated to prevent my bladder from bursting.

I was left in the cell for some time. I took a nap. Then four guards handcuffed me and wheeled me to another cell in the court facilities. Again I was fingerprinted and pictures taken. I was moved to a third holding area just outside the courtroom. After several minutes, I was wheeled into the courtroom in handcuffs. I lowered my head and did not look at the judge or anyone else. I refused to speak.

Magistrate Judge Ellis presided over the hearing. Rebecca Mermelstein was the Assistant U. S. Attorney, who was the prosecutor representing the U. S. Government. Judge Ellis appointed Sabrina Shroff from the public defenders office of the U. S. government as my stand-by counsel.

Prosecutor Mermelstein informed the court that I had missed many previous appearances. She stated that I had influenced another juror on a case in which I was a juror, and influenced jurors in other cases. She asked that I be held in custody.

Ms. Shroff wanted to intervene on my behalf. Judge Ellis asked if this was acceptable to me. I spoke for the first time, since I fell to the floor in my home. I asked to speak with Ms. Shroff privately before I made a decision. I was wheeled out of the court room, still in handcuffs, to a cell where Ms. Shroff and I spoke. She advised me that I should accept whatever terms that would get me released.

We returned to the courtroom where I stated that I did not appear at my court appearance date, because the Court would not guarantee a jury trial, as I had requested and because the deadline set for a speedy trial, as set by the court rules, had passed. Ms. Mermelstein informed the judge that the charges against me had a maximum prison time penalty of 6 months, so I was not entitled to a jury trial.

The Sixth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution states, in part: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury ...” Why is it that lawyers, who do not understand English, are allowed to participate in legal matters? They do not understand what the words “all” and “speedy” mean. The federal court rules state that “speedy” means within 70 days. How come lawyers cannot count to 70? Legal matters, in particular, require and understanding of English and addition. (This paragraph did not occur in court. It is my editorial opinion added after the fact.)

I gave Judge Ellis a lecture. I said that my court appointed Attorney, Shroff, said that he was a fair judge.

I informed the judge that the US Attorney, Ms. Mermelstein, had jst committed perjury twice. I was not a juror on any case in this court and could not have been a juror, because I do not reside in the jurisdiction of the Second Circuit, which includes NY City. I am not even on the potential juror list. Furthermore I stated that I had never served on a jury. I asked him if he would ever let me sit on a jury, and he stated he would not. I informed him that neither would any other judge.

I asked him to charge Ms Mermelstein with perjury. He refused. I replied that settles that evaluation. I accused him of violating my rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the U. S. Constitution. Furthermore I reminded him that I had asked that Judge Wood, who is the judge appointed to the case, be recused because she had threatened me for exercising my legal rights in a previous case, from which she was recused.

Judge Ellis said that he did not have the authority to do anything but set my release conditions or lack thereof. He said that there were four possibilities:

1. Hold me in prison with no bail
2. Set bail for my release
3. Release me under bond for failure to appear at future court appearances
4. Release me unconditionally.

He decide to release me under bond. The prosecuting attorney requested that the bond be for $10,000. My stand-by counsel argued for $1,000. Judge Ellis set the bond for $2,500.00 to be paid if I failed to appear at court appearances on Thursday, February 24, 2011 in Newark, NJ and on Friday, February 25, 2011 in Manhattan.

The court gave me the copies of documents relating to my case which Ms. Mermelstein, but not I, had received. I signed the bond and was released at 6:45 pm. I arrived home at 8:00 pm, at which point my wife and daughter noticed a hole that the police had made in my pants.

My daughter Judy gives her story:

This morning the Teaneck Police knocked on the door about 6:15 am. They told me that someone had broken into our car parked on the street (a lie) so I opened the door. Five agents from the Federal Protective Service (DHS markings on their coats) barged in and demanded to see Julian Heicklen. They had a warrant (which they did not show me, but they did show him) and they went up to his bedroom to wake him.

Special Agent Badge 27 and the four Teaneck Police officers (Detective Hayes, Officer Caruso, Officer Ortiz, and Detective Fisco) detained me downstairs so I don’t know exactly what happened upstairs, but my understanding is that he was cooperative (e.g. got dressed, etc…) until they refused to tell him their names and badges, at which point he fell to the floor. They called the ambulance and four medical attendants carted him off about 6:55 am.

The warrant was for jury tampering and was issued by the Southern District of NY. I believe he was taken to Holy Name hospital in Teaneck, to be transferred to 500 Pearl Street in Manhattan when ready.

My wife Susan gives this story

She continually called the court throughout the day. She reports this timeline:

1:35 pm: Janice informed her that I was in pre-trial.

2:45 pm: Jim told her that I was about to go into the courtroom now. Call back in 45 minuted.

3:30 pm: Doing the case now. Call back in 25 minutes.

3:53 pm: Vinny told her that I had not seen the judge yet. Court stays in session until 5:00 pm.

4:26 pm: Gilbert says that I am seeing the judge.

4:55 Jim told her that I am seeing the judge.

5:25 pm: Court told her that I am being released on bond.

6:07 pm: I have been released.

The Indictment

“The Grand Jury charges:

From at least in or about October 2009 up to and including in or about May 2010, in the southern District of New York, Julian Heicklen, the defendant, attempted to influence the actions and decisions of a grand and petit juror of a court of the United States, to wit, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, upon an issue and matter pending before such juror, and before a jury of which he was a member, and pertaining to his duties, by writing and sending him a written communication in relation to such an issue or matter, to wit, HEICKLEN distributed pamphlets urging jury nullification, immediately in front of an entrance to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, located at 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York.”

Signed by Breet Bharara, United States Attorney.

Of course, the U. S. Attorney committed perjury. I could not possibly have been a juror in the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of NY, because I do not live in its jurisdiction. My name cannot even be on the eligible juror list.

I never knowingly sent any juror a written communication, because I do not know who was juror , or even what trials were in progress, except for my own. I suppose that the U. S. Attorney will get someone to lie and say he received such a communication by promising him a reduced sentence. That is why it is important that I have witnesses at the hearing.

Court dates
My court appearance at which I have agreed to appear are at the:

U. S. District Court, Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Building and
United States Courthouse , 50 Walnut Street, Room 4015, Newark NJ 07102
Telephone: 973-645-3730 at 10:00 am on Thursday, February 24, 2011.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse
500 Pearl Street, Room 120, New York NY 10007-1312.
Telephone: 212-805-0136 at 10:00 am on Friday, January 25, 2011.

I would appreciate it if as many of you that can appear at the hearings, so that I can have witnesses to counter the court lies. The courtrooms have not been assigned, so that the room number given above are for the Clerks’ offices. Also a demonstration outside the courthouses would be useful to generate publicity.

Yours in freedom and justice


Friday, February 18, 2011

Varsity Xtra: Sun is setting on Schenley High

Article on Pittsburgh Schenley. Varsity Xtra: Sun is setting on Schenley High

Skiers should wear helmets - coroner |

Skiers should wear helmets - coroner |

All skiers and snowboarders should wear ski helmets, the Canterbury Coroner says.

Regional coroner Richard McElrea made the comment at an inquest in Ashburton yesterday into the death of American student Rachel Swett, 21, on Mt Hutt last year.

''The fact is that had she been wearing a ski helmet properly, there would have been much greater chance of survival,'' he said.

Iowa wrestling star refuses to face girl - Sports -

Iowa wrestling star refuses to face girl - Sports -

A standout Iowa high school wrestler refused to compete against a girl at the state tournament on Thursday, relinquishing any chance of becoming a champion because he says wrestling a girl would conflict with his religious beliefs.

Joel Northrup, a home-schooled sophomore who was 35-4 wrestling for Linn-Mar High School this season, praised his first-round opponent, Cedar Falls freshman Cassy Herkelman, and Ottumwa sophomore Megan Black, who became the first two girls to make the state wrestling tournament in its 85-year history.

But in a brief statement issued through his school, Northrup said he defaulted on his match with Herkelman because he doesn't think boys and girls should compete in the sport.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mt. Lebanon commissioner enters county executive race

Run. Got running mates?
Mt. Lebanon commissioner enters county executive race

Swimmer found near start line: Sport: Other Sport

Swimmer found near start line: Sport: Other Sport

Swimmer found near start line
2011-02-17 09:42

Midar Dam in KZN Midlands

Durban - Police Search and Rescue teams have recovered the body of the swimmer who went missing during the aQuelle Midmar Mile over the weekend.

Nico Mellet, 45, is thought to have drowned during the event on Saturday.

Officials realised he was missing when his coded tag did not register at the finish line on Saturday.

More than 16 000 swimmers participated in the event, which is the largest open water swim in the world.

According to the EastCoastRadio website, Jack Haskins, who is with the Police Search and Rescue Unit, said they found Mellet's body on Wednesday afternoon near the starting line following a massive search operation at the dam in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands.

“At approximately 14:00 the deceased surfaced. He was approximately 500 metres from the start of the Midmar Mile,” Haskins said.

"We've had eight navy divers, as well as 10 South African Police divers from Pietermaritzburg and Port Shepstone, as well as two Search and Rescue dog handlers that were all involved," he said.

Haskins says the discovery will give the family some closure.

"The family has been by our sides from day one. They've sat with us from day one, right up until the last minute," he said.

A post mortem will be conducted.

Other links:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Another County Executive Race is brewing in Pittsburgh this year.

The RMU Documentary program presents "Portrait of a Campaign", a behind the scenes look at the 2003 race for Allegheny County Chief Executive.

Tuesday 3/1/2011, 10:00 AM

Tuesday 3/1/2011, 10:30 AM

Thursday 3/3/2011, 7:00 AM

Monday 3/7/2011, 9:00 PM

Thursday 3/10/2011, 7:00 AM,

Thursday 3/10/2011, 7:30 AM

Monday 3/21/2011, 11:00 PM

Ex- UConn hooper (W) get off the hook in doping troubles in Europe.

Thank goodness this gets behind her.

------Original Message------
From: SI com Alerts
Subject: 2004 Athens Summer Games News
Sent: Feb 16, 2011 2:04 PM

Alert Name: 2004 Athens Summer Games News

Turkey lifts provisional doping ban on Taurasi
02/16/11 12:44 PM, EST
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkey's basketball federation lifted American star Diana Taurasi's provisional doping suspension Wednesday after a lab retracted its finding that she tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
Read the full story at


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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fw: Tiger Polo Spring League

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From: "Jim Staresinic" <>
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2011 09:30:57 -0500
To: <>; <>
Subject: Tiger Polo Spring League

With the assistance of a couple of club parents, we’ll be launching our marketing/communications for the Spring League this week. The competitions dates are:


April 3rd and 10th

May 8th, 15th and 22nd (on the 22nd we will be at Chartiers Valley


All but the last date will be at North Allegheny and times are TBD but likely noon to 4.


Entry deadline will be Monday, March 28th which will give us about one month for people to sign up. More details to come this week, but wanted to get you guys in the loop early so that you can start recruiting. We hope to make this much bigger than last year.




Loss of school pools linked to drownings |

Loss of school pools linked to drownings |"We are losing our culture of swimming education and it is having disastrous effects," she said.

"We really need the government to make this a priority... it is a life or death issue."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pittsburgh schools want more students in AP courses

A HUGE mistake from Pittsburgh Public Schools.
Pittsburgh schools want more students in AP courses
They needd to say that more students are desired for AP and IB courses.

Airport here desires overflow from East Coast

Bribery and restrictions of freedom loom large.
Airport here desires overflow from East Coast

Fw: SSSNA E-Blast 2/14 - Meeting Tomorrow 2/15, Soup Contest this Saturday

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From: South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association <>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2011 07:10:32 -0500
To: South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association<>
Subject: SSSNA E-Blast 2/14 - Meeting Tomorrow 2/15, Soup Contest this Saturday

2/15 - SSSNA General Meeting -  
The next meeting of the SSSNA is February 15 at 7:00 PM.  The rescheduled program from our January meeting includes Dr Lindenbaum from UPMC Urgent care Center,  Zone 3 Police, and Councilman Bruce Kraus.  The meeting is held in the main lounge of St Paul of the Cross Retreat Center, 148 Monastery Ave. in the south Side Slopes.
2/19 South Side Soup Contest - Volunteers Needed
See below for a message from Jennifer Jeffers, Committee Chair for the Soup Contest:
The Seventh Annual South Side Soup Contest will be held on Saturday, Feb. 19, from noon to 3pm. 
Last year's event far exceeded expectations, raising over $20,000 and more than 1,000 canned food items for The Brashear Association Food Pantry.  This is a wonderful event that showcases the South Side neighborhood and a great opportunity for South Side residents and local business owners to work together for a good cause. 
A large event such as this takes a lot of time and energy, which is why we're reaching out for volunteer support.  Right now, we're specifically in need of Soup Captains.  The Soup Captain acts as the onsite manager at each of the soup stops overseeing volunteers, checking in contest attendees, and monitoring soup and other supplies.  In addition, the Soup Caption will be the direct point of contact for the event management staff.  The Soup Captain must be present at the retail location for the duration of the event and are integral to the management and success of the event.
Below is a link to WQED OnDemand, who did a feature on last year's event.  The short video provides further information about the contest and the Brashear Association's Food Pantry.
If you're interested in being a Soup Captain this year, please contact me.  There will be a Soup Captain Orientation meeting on Wednesday, February 16th at 6pm at the Brashear Association, where we will go into further detail.  If you aren't able to be a Soup Captain but would still like to volunteer, please let me know.  We have many duties available for our volunteers.  Any time that can be offered is greatly appreciated! 
For more information about the South Side Soup Contest, please visit
Thank you for your time,
Jennifer Jeffers
Committee Chairperson
Thank you for being a part of the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association - Neighbors working together to make the Slopes a more livable, beautiful, and safe community.  The SSSNA hopes to keep the community informed about upcoming events, news in the Slopes, and volunteer opportunities through this E-Blast.  If you do not wish to receive this E-Blast, reply to this email and you will be removed. Feel free to forward to any neighbors you think may be interested.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Helmets and heads

Sports such as hockey and football should start to use throw-away helmets, much like bike helmets. A bike helmet works once. Then it breaks or cracks. Then it is worthless and needs to be tossed away.

In hockey, some have called for the removal of helmets to make the game safe. Rather than remove the helmet, make it a helmet that breaks if it has an impact that is too hard. Then the player and his broken helmet would need to sit out the rest of the game.

I favor throw away helmets, not toss away players. ".

After rejecting a proposal that would have forced players to sit out at least one play if their helmet is dislodged, the committee decided to gather data on how prevalent the problem is in college football."

The Eagle gives insights into Wikipedia and some kid named Donovan

The Eagle: "Wikipedia Ain’t So Bad, and Yes, I’m a Geek

-Ah Wikipedia, it’s the first thing up when you Google something, it contains more than 17 million articles, and has more than 365 million readers. Almost every kid in America has seen its white pages at least once in their lives. Wikipedia even has its sister sites that range from anything that focuses from video games to military secrets. But in schools Wikipedia and all of its sister sites are shunned, exiled, and segregated from the other articles on the internet. Teachers, or at least some of them, believe that Wikipedia will contain false information. And they don’t want anything Wikipedia-related in a student’s work. But just how reliable is Wikipedia?"

Chuck Tanner: The Last World Series Manager That Mattered

Yesterday, Major League Baseball lost a unique player, marvelous manager, and an incredible man.

Rest in Peace Charles William Tanner.

Welcomed to this world in New Castle, PA on the 4th of July in 1928, Chuck Tanner was born to be a baseball man. A left-handed and hitting left-fielder, Chuck Tanner recorded a unique feat. On April 12, 1955, in his first at-bat for the Braves, Chuck Tanner laced a home run in Milwaukee. It was a statistic that would be remembered countless times, and duly so.

After a journeyman career, Tanner transitioned to a managerial career, starting in 1963 in the minor leagues. In 1970 his Major League Managerial career began with the Chicago White Sox. He piloted that team for five years before being fired. He immediately was hired by Oakland in 1976. His team recorded a ML record 341 stolen bases that year but Chuck didn't impress.

In another one of the most unique twists in Major League history, Chuck Tanner—a manager—was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Two years later, Tanner's “We Are Family” Bucs, lead by Wilver Dornell Stargell, won the World Series when Omar Moreno snagged a rather routine fly-ball in Baltimore.

Baseball in Pittsburgh has not been the same since.

Tanner had his share of ups-and-downs in the remaining six seasons of his Pirates career. He was let go for young Jim Leyland and moved on to Atlanta for three more seasons. Tanner's major league managerial career was 1,352 and 1,381.

In the years since, Tanner had been a regular site at Three Rivers Stadium, and then PNC Park. Most recently, Tanner was a Senior Advisor to management. He could be seen leaving the ball park early, taller than you might expect, thin and always in a good mood.

As a kid, Chuck Tanner was seen exclusively as a good man and a fantastic motivator. When Phil Garner, then the manager of the Houston Astros, managed the National League All-Stars in the game at PNC, he chose Chuck to be a special guest coach. Tanner also threw out a ceremonial first pitch.

A couple of years ago, I'd see Chuck leave PNC Park. One day in particular I excitedly saw him talk with the ticket takers near the Home Plate Gate, as I worked Security just outside the gate. I was impressed that a “Big League” personality by any gauge, was talking to the part-time workers in red vests. I couldn't imagine Tony LaRussa or Lou Pinella (who also was traded once as a manager) talk to the riff-raff at the ball park.

Then Chuck Tanner came my way.

“Hello Mr. Tanner, how are you?”

“I'm good. How are you?”

Chuck stopped in his tracks.

I extended my hand and he shook it.

“Do you know what I refer to you as,” I asked.

He looked inquisitive and smiled.

I smiled broadly back to him.

“You are the manager of the last World Series team THAT MATTERED.”

With that, Chuck Tanner registered the words. And smiled ever more broadly.

As I remember, he reached out and put his left hand on my shoulder.

Chuck Tanner then laughed with me and said, “Thank you.”

It was a light-hearted moment between two guys who loved the Pittsburgh Pirates.

At that moment, Chuck Tanner treated me like a friend.

Just like he has countless other baseball fans. They too were his friends.

The Pittsburgh Pirates, one of the most storied teams in the history of all baseball, lost one of its most storied managers. A true leader. A Man. Rest in Peace Chuck Tanner. And thanks.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Murphy pushes bill to shield U.S. from China's currency

Over-reaching looks like this.
Murphy pushes bill to shield U.S. from China's currency

After their efforts were rebuffed at the end of the last Congress, Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, reintroduced a bill Thursday targeting China for its allegedly undervalued currency.

Read more:
Murphy's meddling isn't what I want him to do.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fw: [school-discuss] Open Source (and Open Data) bills in NH

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From: Joel Kahn <>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 14:24:43 -0800 (PST)
To: <>
Subject: [school-discuss] Open Source (and Open Data) bills in NH

I don't know how many of you are following the activities of
Open Source for America, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to
pass this along. Hopefully, it will at least provide more
useful material for discussions--so spread the word.
I'm wondering if this could somehow come up during the
fight for the 2012 New Hampshire presidential primary.... :-)


--- On Thu, 2/10/11, Cohn, Seth <> wrote:

From: Cohn, Seth <>
Subject: [state-local-wg] Open Source (and Open Data) bills in NH
Date: Thursday, February 10, 2011, 5:47 AM

Open Source (and Open Data) bills in NH

Greetings, I actually have hearings today on my New Hampshire legislative bills for Open Source and Open Data.

If you'd like to weigh in... emails in support to
would be most appreciated (don't have to be today, but the next few days would be good...)
The more they hear from folks in other states with successful use of Open Source,
the better the chances of this bill... (and the Open Data bill wouldn't hurt either... but it's outside this mailing list's scope slightly)

Please cc: me, so I can follow up with you...

Thanks in advance,

Rep. Seth Cohn
Merrimack 6, State of New Hampshire
legislator and open source geek

state-local-wg mailing list

435 volunteers

Steve's idea makes sense:
With redistricting we will have 435 new US congressional districts by 2012.

How about creating a loose network of 435 non-partisan, non-aligned Facebook
Pages for each district?

Each page would be designed for people who live in the new district to
exchange views across the political spectrum.

My experience is that participation in each page will need to be built and
someone(s) needs to tend the garden so to speak to remove spam and really
abusive stuff IF you want sustained quality participation. (If you prefer
pitched battles among the most partisan 1% then run it on auto-pilot.)

So, why not have each page built as a student project with students from
different ideological perspectives working together to make it work and
learn how to facilitate and recruit online. Key is seeding discussions with
news and links of direct relevance to the district and local implications of
national policy.

Anyone want to take this idea and run with it? Contact us:

(P.S. There is actually an example of a virtual parlimentary constituency
discussion in Kenya like this. Why not in the U.S.?)

My mentor, Fletcher Gilders, talked about as a glory day flashback from Kenyon College

Fletcher was the best. I miss him greatly.
Kenyon Vaults Back ino Diving After a Decade of Rest - The Kenyon Collegian - Sports: "It wasn't until the mid-1980s that the diving program really came into its own. 'The diving team of the mid '80s up to the late '90s was better than any team in that time,' Steen said. The reason? The hiring of the 'best diving coach of all time,' according to Steen — Fletcher Gilders. Gilders, an NCAA Division I record-setting national champion for Ohio State University, was one of the most successful divers in collegiate history. He was so successful as a diver that his national record, set while at OSU, was not overturned until Greg Louganis came along. After a very successful and decorated career as the swimming and diving coach at Ohio University (developing three Olympic divers and winning eight Mid-American conference titles), he came to Gambier to coach the diving squad in 1985. During his 12 years coaching at Kenyon, Gilders produced three Division III champions and won three NCAA Division III Coach of the Year honors. Now deceased, he is remembered much fondness and respect.

The diving team took a turn for the worse after Gilders' retirement. Without such a dedicated, consistent and 'high-caliber, absolutely adored' coach as Gilders, according to Steen, the program had since fallen into somewhat of a rut for the latter part of the '90s and into the 2000s."
Fletcher retired -- but really, he died way too young. The guy was a lot like the recently departed Jack LaLane. Fletcher was shorter, fit like a bull, functional in his problem solving, and clever with his insights as to what movements to coach and what to ignore until later.

Raja for Commissioner - Raja’s Story

Raja for Commissioner � Raja’s Story: "A first generation American, Raja was born in Bangalore, India, known as the “Silicon Valley of India.” After graduating from the region’s leading university with a degree in electrical engineering, he moved to Pittsburgh to attend graduate school earning a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA with Honors from Carnegie Mellon."

Allegheny Grows funds first-year projects in Wilkinsburg, Bellevue and Penn Hills

Hold the hoe!
Allegheny Grows funds first-year projects in Wilkinsburg, Bellevue and Penn Hills: "Penn Hills officials are providing a water truck and leaf-mulch compost for a community garden on the site of a former municipal ballfield. The tract had been planted as a garden last year by a youth group. Produce grown through this year's effort will benefit up to three local food pantries."

I love the garden efforts. But let's not take over any more ball fields.

Where is this field turned garden, exactly?

Voters Choice Act is introduced in PA again

For more information, please contact Bob Small (610-543-8427) or Ken Krawchuk (267-496-3332)

The Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition (PBAC) is pleased to report that their Voters' Choice Act has been introduced in the Pennsylvania Senate as Senate Bill 21.

The prime sponsor of the Act, originally authored by the PBAC in 2005, is state Senator Mike Folmer (R-48) of Lebanon. According to Folmer, "Both the federal and state Constitutions begin with the same three words: 'We ThePeople.' In order to give the people a stronger voice in their state government, we need to eliminate barriers for candidates seeking office. No state makes it more difficult for third party and independent candidates to run for office than Pennsylvania. My 'Voters' Choice Act' significantly eases these restrictions. "The Act offers greater freedom of choice to Pennsylvania voters by making it much less difficult for independent and third party candidates to get their names on the November ballot.

Under current law, Democratic and Republican candidates are required to collect between 1,000 and 2,000 signatures to get their names on the statewide ballot, while all others must collect as many as 67,000 signatures in recent years. But under the Voters' Choice Act, independents and candidates of political bodies would need to collect the same number of signatures as the candidates of the two old parties, and once a third party registers 0.05% of the electorate as members of that party(approximately 4,200 voters), their candidates may be nominated according to the party's rules, and at the party's expense, without having to collect signatures.

Ken Krawchuk, a Libertarian member of the PBAC and two-time candidate for Pennsylvania governor, applauded Sen. Folmer's initiative. "Why should one candidate be forced to collect thirty-three times as many signatures as another?" Krawchuk asked. "The only thing the existing law does is stifle competition at the ballot box and prevent new ideas from being introduced into the political debate. In a land that's known for freedom, how can such a thing be fair?"

According to Carl Romanelli, a Green Party member of the PBAC, "Passage of the VCA will demonstrate that legislators are serious about reform and leveling the playing field. It is heartening to see support for this legislation among Greens, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, Reformers and independents. We are respectfully requesting all PA Senators of goodwill to lead this effort for Pennsylvania. "The PBAC encourages all citizens to contact their state senators and request that they co-sponsor the Voters' Choice Act, Senate Bill 21.

The Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition is a group of individuals and organizations committed to building better government in Pennsylvania. Formed shortly after the 2004 election cycle, the Coalition includes leading members of the Libertarian Party, the Green Party, the Constitution Party, the America First Party, the Reform Party, the Prohibition Party, the Socialist Party, the Unified Independent Party, the New American Independent Party, the Social Democrats USA, and the Ralph Nader campaign, among others. The purpose of the Coalition is to reform the restrictive Pennsylvania ballot access laws and bring them in line with the constitutional mandate that "Elections shall be free and equal."

More information about the Coalition and the Voters' Choice Act can be found at http://PaBallotAccess. org.
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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Better late than never - news - the-press |

In sports news elsewhere, a promise is made -- broken -- and fixed. Sounds like the NFL and those 400 tickets to the Super Bowl -- but it isn't.
Better late than never - news - the-press |

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Penguins, city discuss redevelopment

This is what lies look like.
Penguins, city discuss redevelopment

"We understand and respect [the historic review] process," he said. "We think that waiting until that is done doesn't make a whole lot of sense in terms of" being ready to start development once a decision has been made.

Read more:

Monday, February 07, 2011

Our 30 Year Mistake

Our 30 Year Mistake

I hope that Egyptians are able to work toward a more free and just society. Unfortunately, much of the blame for the unrest in Egypt and the resulting instability in the region rests with US foreign policy over the past several decades. The US government has sent more than $60 billion to the Egyptian regime since the Camp David Accords in 1978 to purchase stability, including more security for the state of Israel. We see now the folly of our interventionist foreign policy: not only has that stability fallen to pieces with the current unrest, but the years of propping up the corrupt regime in Egypt has led the people to increase their resentment of both America and Israel! We are both worse off for decades of intervention into Egypt’s internal affairs. I wish I could say that we have learned our lesson and will no longer attempt to purchase – or rent – friends in the Middle East, but I am afraid that is being too optimistic. Already we see evidence that while the US historically propped up the Egyptian regime, we also provided assistance to groups opposed to the regime.

Work & Life Balance

Game for learning? Not Monday morning in the Pittsburgh schools

Game for learning? Not Monday morning in the Pittsburgh schools

Steeler Nation, as we all know, is no nanny state. So why do Pittsburgh Public Schools students need a two-hour delay the morning after the Super Bowl?

The reason, the district said, is "for the safety of our students."

A spokeswoman said Thursday, "As you know, with the Super Bowl comes a lot of Super Bowl parties and such. We just feel it's best not to have our students out very early with people who have been up late." The people she was referring to were those "on the road who may be out early after having a very late night."

While some Pittsburghers have been known to celebrate a Super Bowl victory with excessive gusto, it's easier to imagine their recklessness in public between midnight and 2 a.m. than at 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. We can't help but wonder if the real reason for canceling the first two hours of class Monday is to give adults -- parents, teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria staff, etc. -- more time to get on their game face for work. If so, for shame.

Read more:
Sports are games of space, time and relationships.

The Steelers and all our sports teams are hard workers, and sports teaches us that. But it is also a prime teacher of and platform for building relationships. We are Pittsburgh. We know Coach Tomlin. We feel for the players and the team and the organization and the city and the region and each other. This is a time to travel, to network, to be in community. And this time and these lessons are not presented every week nor every lifetime.

We take an extra two hours to insure that we value and invest the relationships of community.

Then there is one other reason. Those that work hard, rest hard. Recovery is part of the wellness factors. To study and learn in school, we have to be prepared.

The NFL gives the teams an extra week to prepare for the SuperBowl. We can provide an extra two hours to prepare for the Monday classroom. That's our time to shine and we want to be there -- ready to do the heavy lifting of learning.

I'm glad we had an extra two hours today. Next time, I'll ask for a two and a quarter hours -- just for good measure as I'm still running a tad late.

Go to school!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Colin Delany's book on politics and use of the internet

Colin wrote:
I just put out a completely updated version of the Online Politics 101 guide to using digital tools to, well, change the world! The new version (2.0) has 22 chapters covering the tools and tactics of online politics (including a new one on Twitter), and is rewritten from beginning to end to reflect the changes in online advocacy since 2008. Since initial publication in 2006, the earlier versions have been downloaded over 50,000 times and have been used as a roadmap by campaigns around the world. Best of all, it's free! More info:

Blog post with announcement and details

Direct link to the PDF download page (the guide can also be browsed by
chapter on

Obviously, please help spread the word! Pass it along to anyone you think might benefit -- that's what it's here for. Oh, that and to give people a reason to buy me drinks.

Colin Delany -- dissecting the craft of online political advocacy
cpd -at- epolitics -dot- com
202-xxx-xxxx - cut by blogmaster.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Education Week: An Open Message to President Barack Obama

Education Week: An Open Message to President Barack Obama

President Obama, when you were elected in 2008, teachers, parents, and most of us with an abiding faith in the public school envisioned a new era of school support and renewal in accord with the hopes and promises engendered by your election campaign. Instead, the centerpiece of your education program so far, the Race to the Top, reinforces, expands, and intensifies the No Child Left Behind Act of President George W. Bush and the America 2000 manifesto of President George H.W. Bush—all of which have embraced nationalized high-stakes testing as the instrument of accountability imposed upon children and teachers.

Another challenger for Kraus

Another challenger for Kraus

The slate is getting crowded for Bruce Kraus's South Side City Council seat.

Kraus is already getting challenged for the Democratic nomination by SS Chamber of Commerce president Gavin Robb. Yesterday Democratic committeeman Jason Phillips joined the fray, saying in a statement that the "crux of his campaign focuses on our need to fix our roads, improve snow and ice removal from our secondary street, pick up garbage, demolish blighted homes, eradicate graffiti and most of all, provide Police, Fire and EMS services to our residents. Mr. Phillips invasions a City Council tenure where constituent services rank highly."

The Inflation Intifada: Hunger And Revolution In The Third World - Jerry Bowyer - The Great Relearning - Forbes

The Inflation Intifada: Hunger And Revolution In The Third World - Jerry Bowyer - The Great Relearning - Forbes

The point is that with economic power comes economic responsibility. With the status of economic super-power comes the burden of economic super-responsibility. The U.S. dollar, at least for now, is the reserve currency of the world. When we explicitly tinker with its value we implicitly tinker with the currency values of the world. When we force food into gas tanks, large swaths of the world starve. When western elites fiddle, the cities of the world burn with revolution.

Thinking about the Pittsburgh Promise

Wouldn't it be nice if the kids that graduate from Pittsburgh Public Schools (or Pgh Charter Schools I guess) that attend out-of-state universities for undergraduate education (and hence can't get Pittsburgh Promise funding) could:

+ Use the Pgh Promise for grad school (Medical, Law, Dental, etc.) within PA. Pay up to $10K per year to not exceed $40k.

+ Use Pgh Promise funds for home ownership of primary residence within the city if under the age of 30. Pay up to $10k per year and not to exceed $40k total.

I'd rather see the students that attend out-of-state schools get the same funding as those that attend in-state schools, but the above options mentioned above seem to push for the desired results and offer another level of 'gracious fairness' to the formula.

Diocese to sports fans: Behave yourselves

Sportsmanship concerns: Diocese to sports fans: Behave yourselves
Diocese to sports fans: Behave yourselves
Thursday, February 03, 2011
By Kaitlynn Riely, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Parents and coaches in the Pittsburgh diocese's 100 Catholic elementary schools received a letter recently warning that those who do not control their tempers would be banned from Catholic school sports.

The letter, written by Ronald T. Bowes, assistant superintendent for public policy and development and the athletic director with Pittsburgh Catholic Schools, was prompted by two recent though separate incidents in the diocese's Catholic school basketball league.

Without going into detail, Dr. Bowes' six-paragraph letter mentions "serious incidents" that involved "conduct unbecoming Catholic school students, coaches and parents."

In a phone interview Wednesday, Dr. Bowes declined to name the elementary schools involved but said that in both incidents one student accused another of using a derogatory term. The two incidents involved separate teams and separate players, and after the accusations were made, parents and fans yelled and argued.

Read more:
Meanwhile, in other sportsmanship news in Pittsburgh, we've got this action on the ice.
Goalies fight between the blue lines.

Fate of Civic Arena debated

Fate of Civic Arena debated

Franklin Toker, an architecture professor and the author of "Pittsburgh: A New Portrait," argued that the arena "is, historically, the most representative building now standing in the city of Pittsburgh," more so than the Cathedral of Learning, the county courthouse or the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

He said the arena's planning and construction "coincided exactly with the most exhilarating, most creative and most ambitious moment this city has ever known: the Pittsburgh renaissance."

Read more:
Go Professor Toker!

Egyptian army starts rounding up journalists: News24: Africa: News

Egyptian army starts rounding up journalists: News24: Africa: News
Friday, is designated "departure day" for Mubarak.

Good spam

Spam was something to eat, and it wasn't the worst we'd get. But, those were the good old days. Here is some spam that is a message from the old folks to the youngsters.

If you are 36, or older, you might think this is hilarious!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning.... Uphill... Barefoot... BOTH ways...yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of forty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia! And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it!

1) I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

2) There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter - with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!

3) Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! Nowhere was safe!

4) There were no MP3's or Napsters or iTunes! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!

5) Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless. Cause, hey, that's how we rolled, Baby! Dig?

6) We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that's it!

7) There weren't any freakin' cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a damn call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your "friends". OH MY GOSH !!! Think of the horror... not being in touch with someone 24/7!!! And then there's TEXTING. Yeah, right. Please! You kids have no idea how annoying you are.

8) And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection agent... you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

9) We didn't have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'. Your screen guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen.. Forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

10) You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!! NO REMOTES!!! Oh, no, what's the world coming to?!?!

11) There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-bastards!

12) And we didn't have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove! Imagine that!

13) And our parents told us to stay outside and play... all day long. Oh, no, no electronics to soothe and comfort. And if you came back inside... you were doing chores!

And car seats - oh, please! Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on. If you were lucky, you got the "safety arm" across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling "shot gun" in the first place!

See! That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled rotten! You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1970 or any time before!

The Over 40 Crowd

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Meeting Notice for nonprofits doing open source software for Saturday

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

-----Original Message-----
From: "Terence J. Golightly" <>
Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2011 22:39:22
Reply-To: Announcements only <>
Subject: [wplug-announce] Meeting Notice


WPLUG is hosting a general user meeting on Monday February 7th from
6:30pm until 8:00pm at the Panera Bread on Centre Ave. in Shadyside.
This meeting will be a "Techno Salon" which is a small group discussion
forum about a current topic in Free Software. This Techno Salon topic is
"Free Software in use by Pittsburgh nonprofits and beyond". Special
guests will be Johnny Qwalick of Goodwill, Dave Sevik of and Susy Robison from The Homeless Children's Fund.
For more information about this meeting please click on the following links:

Please rsvp to Seating is limited. Preference will be
given to Members.


Terry Golightly
Vice Chair Your WPLUG

wplug-announce mailing list

Dallas dreams different sports dreams for the future.

------Original Message------
From: SI com Alerts
Subject: 2004 Athens Summer Games News
Sent: Feb 2, 2011 4:34 PM

Alert Name: 2004 Athens Summer Games News

Frank Deford: Even during the Super Bowl, Dallas has its eyes on the Olympic Games
02/02/11 02:09 PM, EST
Even as Dallas bursts its buttons, hosting the Super Bowl for the first time in Jerry Jones' new American coliseum, the city has developed an even greater itch it wants to scratch.
Read the full story at


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Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

EPLC Regional Workshops for School Board Candidates

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: Ron Cowell <>
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2011 18:07:47 -0500
To: Ron Cowell<>
Subject: EPLC Regional Workshops for School Board Candidates




The Education Policy and Leadership Center, with the Cooperation of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) and Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO), will conduct A Series of Regional Full-Day Workshops for 2011 Pennsylvania School Board Candidates.


Incumbents, non-incumbents, campaign supporters and all interested voters are invited to participate in these workshops.


Registration is $40 and includes coffee/donuts, lunch, and materials.  For details and registration information, please go to


Philadelphia Region

Saturday, February 26, 2011 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Montgomery County Intermediate Unit, 1605 West Main St., Norristown, PA 19403


Lehigh Valley

Saturday, March 5, 2011 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Catasauqua Area School District, District Administration Office, 201 N. 14th St., Catasauqua, PA 18032
(Organized by the Children’s Coalition of the Lehigh Valley)


Pittsburgh Region
Saturday, March 12, 2011 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Doubletree Hotel Pittsburgh/Monreville, 101 Mall Blvd., Monroeville, PA 15146

Harrisburg Region
Saturday, March 19, 2011 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Pennsylvania School Boards Association Headquarters, 400 Bent Creek Blvd., Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
Registration Fee - $40

Registration fee includes coffee/donuts, lunch, and materials.



8:00 a.m. – Registration & Coffee

8:30 a.m. to Noon – Morning Sessions

PART I – Legal and Leadership Roles of School Directors and School Boards

PART II – State and Federal Policies: Implications for School Boards

Noon – Lunch & Discussion

12:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Afternoon Sessions      

PART III – Candidates and the Law

PART IV – School District Finances and Budgeting


Register at