Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Fwd: Gunning for Russia

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John 
The New Democrats are gunning for Russia . . . be prepared to duck and cover, just like we did in the 1960s.



Monday, February 27, 2017

Fwd: Perez chosen as DNC Chair

---------- Forwarded 
From: John 

Doing it to themselves, and to us, once again.  The Democratic Party is incapable of learning from failure because it is dominated by neoliberal elites who care not at all for the rest of us.



Sunday, February 26, 2017

Blast Email from Friday

[412-public-news] Outdoor hockey tomorrow - inside your brain hockey today - in the pool next week

Mark Rauterkus mark.rauterkus at gmail.com 
Fri Feb 24 14:43:43 EST 2017

Hi All,

Pittsburgh hosts an outdoor hockey game this weekend, and I'm excited to
turn you onto an enriching educational experience from the NHL and Penguins
for youngsters that blends science and math with sports and technology.

You have to check out this Hockey Scholars online course from a firm,

The educational games are authentic to the sport, and it hits close to home
since the NHL's stadium series built a rink, with associated markings,
angles, etc. at Heinz Field. Give it a whirl. I'm pleased enough to
recommend it to you. If you have any youngsters, especially those in the
middle grades, this makes a nice out-of-school-time learning challenge with
a computer.

More insights:

Our passcode: 36ce56eb
Create an EverFi account the first time by going to
http://www.everfi.com/login and click Register. Then enter 36ce56eb and
click Next.

If you already have an account at Everfi, login to the account and enter
d79ea057 in the top right corner.

More details and those instructions are on the attached, 2-page PDF.

= = Other quick news bites:= =

+ Good luck to the varsity swimmers headed to WPIALs and State
Championships, starting next week for those in PA.

++ Our star city swimmer, defending WPIAL Champion in the fly, Sead, 11th
grade, enters this year's meet as the #1 seed in the backstroke.

+++ The Saturday Swim School resumes in March. We're seeking more
participation at 11:30 am for middle school kids and their mentors /

++++ We're hiring and training coaches, captains, lifeguards and swim
instructors for our staff for this summer. Apply.

+++++ My spring after-school swim and water polo schedule includes Mondays
at Westinghouse, Tuesdays & Thursdays at Obama, Wednesdays at Allegheny,
Fridays at Arsenal and Saturdays at Oliver High School.

++++++ Families in Pittsburgh interested in putting their students into PPS
Summer Dreamers should approach their school PRINCIPALS now. The sign-up
process is changing. We'll be offering Swim & Water Polo for 3rd and 4th
graders at U-Prep (Hill District) and King (Northside).

++++++ We're starting a Hybrid SUMMER team with The Pittsburgh Project too.
Swim, Water Polo, SKWIM, Triathlon too. More on that soon.


Mark Rauterkus       Mark at Rauterkus.com
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim & Water Polo Camp Executive Coach
Varsity Boys Swim Coach, Pittsburgh Obama Academy
Recent Head Water Polo Coach, Carnegie Mellon University Women's Club Team
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team


412 298 3432 <(412)%20298-3432> = cell

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Fwd: Telling it like it is

---------- Forwarded
From John

Paul Street and Mike Whitney take liberals to task – and it's about time they listened!



Saturday, February 25, 2017

Fwd: Something different, John's paper on money and debt

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John
This evening I am sending out a paper I wrote concerning the exciting topic of money and debt, why we don't understand it and why it's important that we do.  In my opinion this is the most misunderstood concept in the nation today and one of the most destructive myths ever created.  I hope that you will take the time to read this and let me know what you think.  I have included some reference material at the end which may be of interest should you want to learn more.


Link to the paper in PDF

Fwd: DNC Chairman Election

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John 

If Thomas Perez wins the election as Democratic Party Chairman it is time to formally abandon all hope for a constructive reordering of Democratic Party priorities.  It simply means that the corporate and financial titans have once again won the day and that the corporate centric policies which ruled Obama's presidency and led to Clinton's defeat in 2016 will continue unabated in the Democratic Party.  This will insure continued Republican dominance in national elections.  It's not clear where progressives and the left can turn, but it's certainly clear that continued support of DNC endorsed candidates will bring only more of the same and is not worth the time and effort involved.  Until the Democratic Party is forced to recognize that it must cease being the party of corporate and financial plutocrats and return to its Middle American roots, there is no reason to vote for DNC endorsed Democrats.



Friday, February 24, 2017

Nutritional seminar can be scheduled for your group of school guardians

Nice offer and PR for insights about nutrition

Full Time Job with Eastside Neighborhood Employment Center is now posted

Check out this posting is interested. 

Fw: Highmark Foundation Creating a Healthy School Environment Grant and Awards Program

Hello, PPS Healthy School Leaders-

I wanted to send a reminder about the Highmark Foundation Creating a Healthy School Environment Grant and Awards Program.  The deadline to apply for the Building Sustainable and Lasting Changes in Schools grant is approaching soon – Friday, March 17th. There are additional grant opportunities to also consider. Please read below for more information…

The Highmark Foundation is pleased to announce the
2017-2018 Creating a Healthy School Environment Grant and Awards Program

The goal of the program is to create healthier school environments that experience positive, sustainable, and lasting change through comprehensive strategies.  The program is open to schools, grades K-12, in central, northeast and western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Creating a Healthy School Environment Grant and Awards program is a multi-faceted approach to school-based grant making.  School grants are available to schools in central and western Pennsylvania and West Virginia through this new coordinated approach.

·         Building Sustainable and Lasting Changes in Schools grant funding supports evidence-based programs that address one of four priority areas: bullying prevention, child injury prevention, healthy eating and physical activity, or environmental health. As a requirement for funding, grant recipients must provide measureable pre-and post-program intervention status reports. Application deadline: March 17, 2017.

·         Advancing Excellence in School Nursing awards recognize the important role school nurses play in adolescent health and wellness. Up to eight school nurses will be presented this honor, accompanied by $1,500 to be used for professional development or school resources. Application deadline: March 17, 2017.

·         Meeting Health Needs through Supportive Services grants are part of a strategy to support economically disadvantaged school districts and high-needs schools with financial assistance to meet basic health requests. Rolling application period through December 31, 2017.
Applications may be found at https://highmarkfoundationrfp.versaic.com. 
All applications are to be submitted online. 
Visit https://highmarkfoundationrfp.versaic.com to create an account and follow the instructions for submitting an application.

Click here to download the instruction booklet or visit the Highmark Foundation website at www.highmarkfoundation.org.

120 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1733, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

If you are interested and need assistance with the application, let us know!


Britnee Nwokeji, MSEd
Health Promotion Program Manager
Healthy Schools, Out-of-School Time

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Lawrenceville Medical Building
4401 Penn Avenue
Second Floor, Suite 2104
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
(412) 692-8721 (Work)
(412) 692-7182 (Fax)


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Fwd: Excellent article on Debt

----- Forwarded message
From: John Hemington

Attached is a talk given by economist Dr. Michael Hudson at the Union Theological Seminary at Columbia in January including so commentary and questions by participants.  It is one of the best discussions of credit, debt, poverty I have yet seen.  It should be of particular interest to those Christian and Jewish believers who look to biblical scripture for guidance in living their lives.  But, in fact, it should be of interest to all who are concerned with the political and economic trends in today's world.  To quote from Dr. Hudson:  :  We're at a turning point in history.  If we don't solve the problem of economic polarization, which is caused mainly by debt, we're going to go into another dark age.  We're going to have neo-feudalism.  We're going to have neo-serfdom, except that you're not going to be tied to the land like serfs were.  Neoliberalism is the force driving us all toward this new dark age and some of those now in charge in this country truly believe that the wars of the end times are coming in this generation and are hoping to speed up their coming.  Everyone should be taking this with the utmost of seriousness as the future of the planet is at stake.


NLA Contract

I did this work and never put in an invoice to get paid. I make it as my volunteer efforts at Westinghouse. NLA is Neighborhood Learning Alliance. Mt. A Church and Wesly ran the program.

For Fun and the season: Second Line, the Fifth,

Love the name and the beat:

Young Men Olympian Junior Social Aid and Pleasure Club.

How is your krewe?

Are you in the second line?

Fwd: Trump and the Deep State

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John Hemington

I suspect that the first attachment will make a number either uncomfortable or angry as you may think that it is a defense of Donald Trump's presidency – it is not.  However, I believe that it is a dead-on accurate reflection of what is now taking place in this country.  The neoliberal wings of both the Democratic and Republican Parties – including all of the main stream and neoliberal media – are waging a full-court press to discredit and eliminate a sitting president.  Regardless of one's feelings about Trump, and I find him to be despicable, the propaganda war which is being waged against him sets an exceedingly dangerous precedent – up to and including the suggestion that the 'Deep State' should act to "take him out."  The tactics being employed are right out of the Joe McCarthy playbook from the 1950s.  And, don't forget, if Trump is removed in one way or another, we are left with a much smoother, more devious version of Trump in Mike Pence.  The Pence project will be no less destructive than the Trump project, but will be much more difficult to fight against.

The second attachment deals with neoliberal/neoconservative effort to intensify the chaos and destruction of the Middle East, this time in Yemen.  It focuses on the frightening silence of Western media concerning the devastation being wrought on millions of innocent civilians by US surrogates Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates using American weapons, planes and aerial refueling capacity.  This is and has been for quite a long while an unconscionable operation aimed at supposed Iranian terrorism, which actually is virtually nonexistent in the current Middle East.  Almost all real terrorist activity is Saudi inspired Sunni groups such as al Qaeda and other similar groups.  These, of course, we fund and support while claiming to simultaneously be waging war against them.  It is the murderous height of hypocrisy at its very worst and it is all transpiring in our name and the blood of innocents is on our hands.



Fwd: Worthwhile presentation

---------- Forwarded message

The Summer King: The Josh Gibson Story
Thursday, February 23rd
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Steel Valley High School Auditorium
3113 Main St, Munhall, PA 15120

The very first world premiere in Pittsburgh Opera's distinguished 78 year history hits close to home.  The Summer King tells the story of baseball legend Josh Gibson. Josh went from the sandlots of Pittsburgh's North Side to the pinnacle of greatness in the Negro Leagues, before ultimately being enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
Join the The Josh Gibson Foundation, Pittsburgh Opera, The Battle of Homestead Foundation, and Steel Valley School District on Thursday, February 23, 2017, 7:00 PM, for a preview community event at the Steel Valley High School Auditorium featuring some of the cast, a few local pro athletes and a program about Homestead's role in fostering the Negro Leagues and stars like Hall of Famer Josh Gibson.


Fwd: [DW] Facebook: Building Global Community - What's your response to Mark Zuckerberg?

---------- Forwarded message
From: Steven Clift

Democracies Online
Photo of Steven Clift
Facebook: Building Global Community - What's your response to Mark Zuckerberg?
by Steven Clift
in Newswire - Steven Clift's Democracies Online Newswire

I invite everyone to read and comment on Mark Zuckerberg's important
"Building Global Community" letter:
This is a special Facebook Group I've created to connect lots of
disparate communities for a unified conversation that I will share
with my contacts at Facebook.
You'll find a link to his letter and posts organized by the five key
questions Mark asks and posts to share media reports and more:
Or jump straight to his letter: http://po.st/zuckglobal
Also, while I don't have my first tele meeting with a foundation on
this until next week, now seems like a good time to share
E-Democracy's draft proposal for Local Civic Facebook Groups:
Zuckerberg's letter highlights the absolutely vital role of "engaged
leaders" creating "meaningful groups." E-Democracy's magic mix is
supporting YOU - those leaders - in local communities working to
create local community and civic life Facebook Groups that foster
inclusive and supportive local online communities that foster civic
engagement and informed communities. So, if you want to add your city
to the list of the 22 cities with volunteer interest, email me -
clift@e-democracy.org - with "Civic Facebook Groups" in the subject
line. We drafted most of this proposal in December, so we are ecstatic
that Facebook's next mission is so well aligned with our scrappy work.
Steven Clift
P.S. You can jump in deeper now (we are just getting started):
1. Supportive Communities:
2. Safe Community:
3. Informed Community:
4. Civically-Engaged Community:
5. Inclusive Community:
Other Conversations:
Media Reports:

Monday, February 20, 2017

Fwd: I keep searching . . .

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Believe it or not, I keep searching for some good news to send around, but these are difficult to come by in this terrifying 'new world' of Trump & company.  However, if you weren't already frightened sufficiently, the two articles included in the PDF file attached from Consortium News should rattle your cage just a bit more.  It seems that ever since the election, Democratic Party elites are hoisting the banners for war just about anywhere it is not yet engulfing the world.  Not being satisfied with most of the Middle East and Afghanistan already in flames and chaos – with millions of people dead, wounded and displaced – the Democratic Party elites are calling for more blood and destruction so as not to be outdone by their Republican colleagues on this score.  Now legislation has been introduced in Congress, by a Democrat, to give Donald Trump unfettered authority, with no Congressional oversight, to attack and wage war on Iran any time he so pleases.  If this doesn't make you a bit uncomfortable, then you may want to check out the fires we are attempting to set in Ukraine, another of our favorite war charities – oh, and yes, China too.  It is true what the historians have said that dying empires are interesting places and times indeed. 

Good night and good luck!



Friday, February 17, 2017

Fwd: Three must read posts . . .

---------- Forwarded message 
From: John Hemington

For those of you who do not regularly check out Yves Smith's exceptional Web site Naked Capitalism, attached are three good reasons to do so regularly.  Naked Capitalism regularly has some of the best and most well-reasoned evaluations of economic and political activities in the nation and the world.  It also maintains a comment section where its posts are analyzed and debated in a rational, moderated and controlled manner by informed and intelligent readers.  I don't generally include the comments when I send out articles from the site as they can frequently be quite extended, but they are usually well worth checking out to get a full-throated discussion of the particular topic.  Yves Smith (pen name for Susan Webber) is a Wall Street veteran who understands well how things work economically to undermine both economic and democratic processes.  I do hope you will follow and support Naked Capitalism and when you find it appropriate contribute your reasoned comment whether pro or con as well as a donation or two.  It is an invaluable resource in this age of fakery.

Below is a particular example on one of the comments to a post, it's a bit long, but well worth your time:

January 27, 2017 | reader James F. Hoisted from comments
I, too, am worried by our descent into prewar hatred.  I had a friend from Dubrovnik in the'80s.  She was a typical Yugoslav – half Croatian, quarter Serbian, and a quarter Russian.  She was full of hope, smart, pretty, and heartbreakingly na├»ve.  If she survived the war, I'm pretty sure my friend lost what made her a beautiful human being.  She haunts me.  Civil wars seem implausible until they start and then they follow the devil's logic.  People like my friend tend to die in them or turn into something less than they were in order to survive.
I'm an old man now working on my doctorate through a senior citizens' scholarship.  I grew on the North-East Coast.  I live in the rural South now.  I know people from everywhere because I've been around a long time.  Comfortable people from the cities, Democrat or Republican, want to hit someone, hard… but they have by and large never worn a uniform or had a gun pointed at their heads.  They're frustrated which makes sense but they don't know when a bloody fight is coming.  You can smell it coming like folks down here can smell a tornado or like mothers smell death on its way and snatch their children off the front porch.
Here in Flyover Country things are bad, really bad.  I recently visited family in Northern California.  Things were pretty nice.  Not opulent by any means but the shelves were stocked.  Security guards in Target let the kids play around.  Around here – not so much.  Not so much as a Target.  We have long lines, empty shelves, and the kids, black and white, always seem aware that they're not safe.  Comfortable people in cities worry about reproductive health care.  We worry about getting a four-dollar antibiotic for pneumonia at Wal-Mart without having to spend several hundred bucks for the prescription (real life experience with insurance).  Our mean income is about a quarter of Northern California's.  Housing is cheaper but it's not cheap and it's a lot worse housing.  Food and utilities are a lot more expensive.  Everything including food and medicine is taxed.  We're dying here, slowly perhaps but we're dying none the less.
Even so, my Democrat and Republican friends and family from the coasts couldn't care less about my neighbors.  They couldn't care less about fifteen years of war or the kids we send to fight it or the kids our kids kill.  I understand.  It's only natural to look to one's own interests and what happens in Natchez or Mosul doesn't hit home.  However, they're all angry – angry at Flyover people for being sick and poor and tired of being cannon fodder.  And so I have to listen to why we don't deserve jobs or health care because we're stupid.  We should move or die because markets [rule].  I had to justify FDR, religion, the very idea of peace, and social solidarity.  I have to defend unions and explain why my state voted for Trump – sometimes to the same person.  I have to advocate for veterans, the majority of cops that don't murder kids and BLM while I'm trying to eat my potatoes.  It's exhausting.  It's depressing.
Statistics show that urban areas are 'bluer'.  They have better health care, better functioning government, and better opportunities.  However, not all urban dwellers are comfortable.  Chicago has world class hospitals, universities, and pizza.  It also has an astronomical murder rate and a police force that got caught torturing its citizens.  It has a deep blue machine that excels in privatization.  Blue cities are rough with their mostly black and brown poor citizens but poor whites suffer too.  I know.  I spent decades doing social work in city hellscapes.  I know what it's like to step over bodies and have people bleed all over me.  Crime isn't out of control when statistics say so.  Crime is out of control when you or people you love get hurt.  Likewise, cops shooting unarmed black people is a problem; cops shooting unarmed white people is a problem; people deciding to start an idiosyncratic revolution by shooting cops is a problem; criminals killing kids is also a problem.  Statistics and social theory don't really matter at a child's funeral.  Life is statistically better in blue enclaves but there is a difference between Compton and Hollywood, Brookline and Dorchester, Harlem and Manhattan.  That's a brute fact that uncomfortable people face every day.
Flyover people and the uncomfortable urban poor fight the never-ending wars.  We provide commodities like food and coal and oil and metals.  We provide cheap labor.  Comfortable people have decided that most of us aren't really needed.  Immigration, free trade, and automation have made us redundant but we're not going away.  At least we're not going away fast.  Flyover people and the uncomfortable urban poor have no real place in establishment –Democratic or Republican – thinking.  We are the establishment's problem and the establishment is our problem.
Where do we go from here?  Bernie had some good answers to some burning questions.  Trump has some very questionable answers to the same problems.  I don't know if the Anarchists on Inauguration Day had any answers but they recognized the problem.  The comfortable people who posed with pussy hats leave me questioning whether this country can or even should be saved.  The comfortable protesters certainly have the legal right to their comfortable lives and they have the legal right to advocate for war with Russia and they have the legal right to hate the President and wear silly hats.  They have a legal right to despise the Deplorables and to petition to have sleeping homeless people removed from their places of business.  They have the legal right to demand respect for their sexual choices.  They have these legal rights because the government guarantees them and if they tear down the civic peace of government, who will protect these rights?  I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I see the postmodern farce of Madonna in an orange prison jumper.  Is she supposed to be King Christian wearing the Star of David during Nazi occupation?  Are Ashley Judd and Julia Roberts supposed to be our Red Emma and our pistol packing Connie Markowitz?  Is Lena Durham supposed to be our Marianne or our Greece Expiring on the Ruins of Missolonghi?  What I really want to know is will those people drinking Starbucks die with us on the barricades because the differences between guerrilla theater and guerrilla war are getting really blurry.
I don't want to get too snarky but I am getting pretty cranky.  Revolutions, as Lenin insisted, are not tea parties.  In revolutions resisters get shot for showing courage; in films about revolutions actors get applause for making a courageous performance.  The Democratic Resistance may be as silly looking as Teapartiers dressed in revolutionary drag but it is much more dangerous.  In 2008, Obama was really popular and he had the support of his own party.  Obama failed to ram through his agenda because he refused to rally the people who put him into office.  By the time the Republicans hamstrung his administration, he had already lost his momentum.  Obama was defeated in the Massachusetts senatorial campaign and by his failure to support Wisconsin's unions.  McConnell's obstructionism and Trump's birtherism were obnoxious but they didn't destroy Obama's agenda.  Failure to push for card check, Medicare for all, voter registration, prosecuting Wall Street fraud and war crimes, new trade deals, authorizing the extra-judicial murder of US citizens, and overthrowing the government in Guatemala, Ukraine, and Libya were the real disasters.
In 2016, Trump is much less popular than Obama in 2008.  His most progressive polices (which he shared with Sanders) like reversing trade agreements, renegotiating drug prices, building infrastructure, and stopping a war with Russia depend on Democratic support.  His own party hates him.  Impeaching or (God forbid) assassinating Trump would throw the entire government into the hands of Pence and Ryan.  That would re-gear the war on Russia, reinstate the trade deals and guarantee the end of the New Deal and the Civil Rights era.  Does anyone on the so-called Left really think that's a good idea?  There'd be a real fight then; the kind where lots of people die in loud and messy ways.  Who is going to do the fighting and dying then?  I don't think it's going to be the people in pussy hats but I'm sure I'll be going to plenty of funerals if I live that long.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Fwd: Every so often . . .

---------- Forwarded message
From: John Hemington

Every so often someone writes a column which cuts through the fog and clearly identifies what is really going on and what must be done in response.  This is the case by Peter Gaffney in the first attachment.  Gaffney understands just why the great risk we now face is organizing resistance in support of the failed Democratic Party policies which led us to Trump.  Read this article, it is important.

The second attachment by Ramzy Baroud presents the face of Israel as it has always been, one of destruction, devastation and dismemberment of the Palestinian people which will now clearly result in a purely apartheid structure in what will be known as 'Greater Israel' for those deemed suitable to remain in the 'Jewish state' – the rest will, as is ever the case, be uprooted and exiled or killed.  And, as always, Israel will do this with our blessing and our help.  Such is the state of the world these days.


Fwd: Registration for 2017 Codefest is Open

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Sara from Steel City Codefest" <hello@steelcitycodefest.com>
Date: Feb 16, 2017 7:14 AM
Subject: Registration for 2017 Codefest is Open 
To: <mark@rauterkus.com>

Registration is Live for Steel City Codefest
View this email in your browser
Check out this story of Codefest 3.0

Registration is live!

Steel City Codefest: March 31- April 7 

Don't miss your chance to develop apps for real-world challenges and build relationships across sectors in Pittsburgh. Register today through ShowClix!

Are you excited to start forming your team? Join our Slack Channel and start connecting!

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