Friday, December 29, 2017

Fwd: Two must read articles

From John H

Attached are two "must read" articles both of which deal in one way or another with the future of American "democracy".  The first, by eminent historian Jackson Lears.  It is perhaps the best I have encountered anywhere concerning the Russian hacking story and what it means for the ability of the American people to regain our democratic institutional processes which are rapidly being discarded and destroyed by the exclusion of dissent and the envelopment of society in a neo-McCarthyist mindset. 

The second brief article by Norman Solomon follows on with some comments about how Americans concerned with these processes should respond to the neoliberal/neoconservative nature of the Democratic Party elite which has shown no interest whatsoever in modifying its pro-corporate, pro-Wall Street, pro-military interventionist policies in order to focus on the real needs of the people it claims to represent.

I strongly encourage you to read both.



Fwd: 10 best articles & podcasts of 2017

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Bryan Harris

Cool podcasts or audio recordings I found this year...
Cool articles I read this year...
Cool articles we published this year...
What cool podcast episodes and blog posts did you come across in 2017?
Hit reply and let me know!
You're getting this email because you signed up for the Videofruit email newsletter. To completely opt-out of everything, forever and ever, click this link:

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Fwd: 13 tools and spreadsheets of 2017

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Bryan Harris <>
Date: Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 7:06 AM
Subject: 13 tools and spreadsheets of 2017
To: <>

A few cool software tools I started using in 2017…

1. Process.St: All of our core internal processes run in It's great.

2. SERPWatcher: We use this to monitor our rankings and SEO goals.

3. Clubhouse: To track and plan all of our development stuff

4. Full Page Screen Capture: I build my email and landing page swipe files with this.

5. Trip Mode: Kills internet to certain apps to make sure nothing is hogging it.

A few cool tools Videofruit built in 2017…

1. DripScripts: Quit writing email sequences from scratch.

2. One Click: Get 40% more partner webinar registrations.

3. Don't Hit Publish: Confidently write better emails, blog posts and sales pages.

4. Agent: Find your next speaking gig in 30 seconds.

5. SmartBribe Pro: Get more shares and traffic to your content.


A few cool spreadsheets Videofruit started using in 2017…

1. Profit Tracker: Each day our bookkeeper updates our profit numbers so I always know where we are at.

2. Goal Setting: What the team uses to log their daily and monthly goals

3. Sales Planner: How we project and plan for promotions and content


What cool tools and spreadsheets did you come across in 2017?

Hit reply and let me know!


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Videofruit LLC 1910 Madison Avenue #2017 Memphis, Tennessee 38104 United States


Mark Rauterkus
Swimming and Water Polo Coach, Schenley High School, Pittsburgh, PA
412 298 3432 = cell

Fwd: This Week in News for Senator Rand Paul - December 22, 2017

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: U.S. Senator Rand Paul <>
Date: Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 4:49 PM
Subject: This Week in News for Senator Rand Paul - December 22, 2017
To: <>


Dear Friend,

Before we get into this week's events, Kelley and I want to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas!  We recorded a special Christmas message for you that you can watch HERE.

May your holiday season be filled with joy and peace as we close the book on 2017 and welcome in a new year.

You can find my latest update from a busy week in Washington below!

Dr. Rand Paul Applauds Passage of Tax Reform

On Wednesday, the Senate delivered on its promise of allowing Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money by passing tax reform, a commitment I worked to hold it to by fighting to make sure the bill became a bigger and better tax cut and included repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate.

I applaud this reform, which will lead to economic growth, greater business investment, and new opportunities for the American people.  

This legislation repeals the burdensome Obamacare individual mandate that punishes Americans who do not purchase health insurance, and it nearly doubles the standard deduction for individuals and married couples, while also leveling the playing field for our job creators.  

Already, we are seeing this legislation make a difference, as major companies have announced changes following its passage, including raising workers' salaries, providing $1,000 bonuses, increasing giving to charity, and investing more funds here at home.

Before the vote, I stated in my video message from Washington this week (which you can watch HERE) that the bill is a good start to bringing tax relief to every Kentuckian, and I urged Congress to support it so we could go into the holidays knowing we honored our promise.

As we approach a new year, I look forward to continuing the fight for limited government, lower taxes, and individual liberty for all. 

Dr. Rand Paul Offers Congress a Chance to Stick to Budget Caps

Shortly before the Senate voted last night to fund the government through January 19, I forced it to also hold a vote on abiding by Congress' own PAYGO ("Pay As You Go") budget requirements instead of once again ignoring them.

"We have a real problem in our country, and we must do something about it. Ultimately, there will be a day of reckoning.  You cannot continue to borrow so much money," I said on the Senate floor.

"Who's willing to say, 'You know what?  I'm for tax cuts, but I'm also for saying, across the board, we need to have spending restraint,'" I asked my fellow senators.

Though the Senate opposed my attempt to rein in its spending, I will continue speaking out as debate resumes in January.

You can find my speech from Thursday night HERE.

(Dr. Paul Challenges the Senate to Stop Running Up the Debt - December 21, 2017)

Dr. Rand Paul and Sen. Ron Wyden Lead Bipartisan Press Conference to Call for Reform of Government's Surveillance Tools

On Tuesday morning, U.S. Senators Mike Lee (Utah), Patrick Leahy (Vermont), and Steve Daines (Montana) joined Senator Ron Wyden (Oregon) and me for a bipartisan press conference to discuss Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which was scheduled to expire at the end of December, and the need to protect Americans' civil liberties through FISA reform.
During the event, I called for "a full-throated debate on reforming, controlling, and overseeing this enormous power we allow our intelligence community to have."

Demonstrating how support for surveillance reform crosses political lines and unites Americans, we were also joined at the event by representatives from both the conservative grassroots organization FreedomWorks and the ACLU. 

As I have previously mentioned, Senator Wyden and I introduced the USA Rights Act (S. 1997) in October to reform Section 702 of FISA and end warrantless backdoor searches of Americans' calls, emails, texts, and other communications that are routinely swept up under a program designed to spy on foreign targets.

When Congress voted to fund the government for a few more weeks last night, the resolution also temporarily extended Section 702.  At our Tuesday press conference and throughout the week, I made it clear I will oppose any long-term reauthorization of warrantless searches of American citizens, and this includes filibustering such an attempt, if necessary.  We must have a serious, meaningful debate, and we must have reform. 
You can watch video of my and Senator Wyden's opening remarks at our press conference HERE.

Dr. Rand Paul Meets with the Caudill Seed Company

On Thursday, I had an opportunity to meet with Dan and Corey Caudill from the Caudill Seed Company, which is based in Louisville.

We talked about Caudill Seed's background and operations, and we also discussed topics including the state of their industry and reducing bureaucratic overreach.

(Dr. Paul with the Caudill Seed Company - December 21, 2017)

Dr. Rand Paul Releases Special "Festivus" Edition of The Waste Report

Today, I released a special "Festivus: Airing of Grievances for 2017" edition of The Waste Report, which again shines a spotlight on wasteful spending and misplaced priorities that put taxpayers on the hook for the federal government's bad management. 

In its three years, my Waste Report series has documented approximately $6 billion in wasteful spending. 
This year's collection also includes excerpts from "Worldwide Waste: How the Government is Using and Losing Your Money Abroad," a 2017 Waste Report series that documented more than $3 billion of wasteful, taxpayer-funded endeavors overseas.
Highlights from the Festivus Waste Report include the IRS failing to recover over $76 million in "unallowable expenses" to government contractors, and the Department of Transportation spending $1.5 million on a park bathroom in Queens, NY.
You can find my "Festivus: Airing of Grievances for 2017" edition of The Waste Report, which totals up over $560 million in waste, HERE.

Media Wrap-Up

This week, I was interviewed on shows including Fox News' America's Newsroom and spoke on the radio with Leland Conway and Tom Roten.  I also had a chance to discuss FISA reform with Circa, and you can read their report HERE.

Have an Issue or Concern?

If you are a Kentucky resident and need assistance with a federal agency, please feel free to contact my Bowling Green office at 270-782-8303.  One of my staff members will be more than happy to assist you.

Stay in Touch with Dr. Paul on Social Media

You can stay up to date on my latest news and activities by visiting my Senate website,, or my official Facebook and Twitter pages.  You can watch my Senate floor speeches and press interviews at my YouTube channel HERE.

Warm Regards,

Bowling Green
1029 State Street
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Phone: 270-782-8303
Washington, DC
167 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510
Phone: 202-224-4343


Mark Rauterkus
Swimming and Water Polo Coach, Schenley High School, Pittsburgh, PA
412 298 3432 = cell

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Fwd: Mixed bag

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

It's very near the holidays so a very merry chug of holiday cheer to all who read this!

Attached are two very different pieces, but both worth reading – particularly if you are one of those tempted to invest in bitcoins for Christmas.  It is now pretty clear that the current bitcoin frenzy is mirroring the Dutch tulip bulb bubble in the 1500's; so, if you elect to proceed, do so with great caution and be prepared to lose a great deal.

The second article is particularly important for those who still believe that the mainstream media provides accurate reporting when it comes to Russia and the U.S. activities in and toward Russia.  It is written by Mark Ames, the founder and editor of the The eXile an ex-pat satirical news sheet and Matt Taibbi published in Russia during the Yeltsin years and into the Putin years when it was shut down by the Russian government.  Ames wrote is as a defense of his integrity after he was demeaned in a 'hit piece' by Kathy Lally, a reporter for the Washington Post, in the Washington Post, years after the supposed events took place.  It is important because Ames provides an interesting inside examination of the types of reporting done by mainstream journalists operating out of Moscow during those years.  It is worth a good look.

Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year to all and to all a good night.



Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Fwd: Statement by Paul Jay of the Real News Network

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

Below is a short video by Paul Jay of the Real News Network.  He makes some extremely important points that all of us need to hear.  I urge you to watch it and, if possible, donate to this important news site, it is one of the very best available these days.  Thanks!


Monday, December 18, 2017

No practice policy at PPS throughout the holidays is a way to soil the slogan, EXPECT GREAT THINGS.

UPDATE: I got a call from the PPS COO and we were granted permission to practice on a couple / few days of the winter break. Permits were submitted.

- - original post - - 

Hi Dr. Hamlet:

Coaches need to coach. Athletes need to practice.

It is CRAZY to not grant the varsity swim teams, and, for that matter the coaches and players for the varsity basketball teams and wrestlers, NO ACCESS to their high school facilities for the duration of the Christmas break.

Teams should be able to use the facilities in the schools on these dates:
Saturday Dec 23
Wednesday, Dec 27
Thursday, Dec 28
Friday, Dec 29
Saturday, Dec 30

The teams could hold practices within the window of time from 9 am to 2 pm on those days. 

No games. No outside teams, but we need practice times. 

We have had problems with this in past years. We have had been granted practice time last year. In other years, not so much. I've stood in the lobby of our school one year with 15 kids ready to go to practice on December 26 and been refused entry to the swim pool by the custodian because the principal did not sign off on the pool permit. 

This year they're not even allowing any permit to be written. 

Other school districts often hold three practices a day over the holidays. We get NONE. We want to compete. 


Mark Rauterkus
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 = cell

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Fwd: Start &Turn Clinic @ Chatham University on January 6th

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

Dear Middle School Swim Team & Parents,

Chatham University's Swim Team coaches will be holding a Starts/Turns Clinic at Chatham pool near the end of the Ellis Winter Break, and I'm forwarding information for those of you who may be interested to attend!

It is for Grades 5 through 8, and will go from 12:30 PM - 500 PM.  The cost is $40.00, and registration is here:  Chatham Start and Turn Clinic.

They will cover open turns and flip turns, forward starts, backstroke starts, and relay takeoffs.  I haven't worked these as much into our workouts as much as I'd like due to our limited time in the water, so this is a great opportunity to dedicate time to these skills which really merit full periods of concentration.  The Clinic will be instructed by Head Coach Carter Crosby and great coaching staff.  Coach Carter has been a big supporter of the Ellis team and has been a mentor to myself in many aspects of coaching, so you're going to get good stuff!

This is an "off" weekend for Allegheny Mountain swimmers, so there are no AMS meets going on that weekend, and it's during the Ellis Winter Break, too.

Thank you separately for those of you who have expressed interest in practicing through the Winter Break, and please stay tuned for more word on that.

Ok, stay healthy, and see you all on deck,
Coach Ed

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Fwd: Dr. Marshall Goldsmith January 26, 2018

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: McShane, Lydia Frances

Frances Hesselbein
  Leadership Forum presents

Hesselbein Lecture Series

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith
Helping Successful Leaders Get Even Better

5:00-7:00 p.m.
University Club, Ballroom B
123 University Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

In this interactive keynote, Dr. Goldsmith will share challenges that come with success in leadership and illustrate FeedForward – a positive process for learning that has been successfully implemented around the world. He will share his proven process for leadership development that is backed by award-winning research involving over 86,000 respondents. Participants will take away practical ideas that can help them become more effective leaders.

RSVP gspiaji -at- or call  Lydia at 412-648-1336.

Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership/GSPIA

Monday, December 11, 2017

Fwd: Request for Proposals: Seed Award for Economic Opportunity

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: The Sprout Fund

Sprout and BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania are requesting collaborative proposals for working groups to increase economic opportunity in Pittsburgh.
View this email in your browser

Request for Proposals

Through the generous support of the BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania, The Sprout Fund is seeking proposals to mobilize collaborative, community-led projects that enhance opportunities for residents of all backgrounds to contribute to the economic vitality of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

Three working groups will receive $5,000 grants to develop collaborative solutions to expanding economic opportunity in the region. Following a community-advised process, one working group will be supported with up to $40,000 in catalytic resources to implement their project.

Working group applications are due January 26, 2018. Supported working group activities will take place from February to April 2018, and a second community-advised decisionmaking process will take place in May 2018 to select the most promising project.

Prospective participants are encouraged to submit an inquiry form and host a pre-application planning meeting prior to submitting a proposal.

Seed Award for Economic Opportunity

Despite recent gains, economic opportunity isn't distributed equitably across Pittsburgh. While the region earns national acclaim for innovation and livability, the inclusiveness of our region's job growth lags far behind that of other American cities.

In November 2017, The Sprout Fund hosted an ideation session to better understand community priorities for expanding economic opportunity in Pittsburgh. As participants considered their own definitions of economic opportunity, two key themes emerged: equal access and local context. Participants emphasized the importance of making resources accessible to all and expressed the critical need to meet community members where they are, starting with a process that asks people to define their own needs and articulate their own vision of success. The Sprout Fund's Seed Award for Economic Opportunity seeks to expand on these themes and the efforts of people already working in this space by mobilizing collaborative approaches that expand economic opportunity for all.

Sprout is requesting collaborative proposals from local organizations with a demonstrated aptitude for convening diverse organizations. Three applications will be selected to become working groups that will develop complete project proposals through a series of ideation and community feedback meetings in winter and spring 2018.

Review the complete Request for Proposals and get started
Support for this project is generously provided by the BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Copyright © 2017 The Sprout Fund, All rights reserved.

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