Friday, March 23, 2007

Ron Paul on National TV

Youth Fitness Challenge Invite

Youth in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, andbeyond, are invited to participate in a non-profit fitness challenge coinciding with National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.

The challenge is free for all kids ages 6-17 years old. The program is developed to encourage all youth to live a more active and healthy lifestyle. There is friendly competition in 4 different fitness categories for trophies, prizes, and Dick's Sporting Goods gift-certificates. Pre-registered kids will also get a free t-shirt. The event is sponsored by the Western PA Police Athletic League and the United States Marines.

I attached a basic pre-flyer for the challenge... the event will take place at the Pittsburgh Sports & Fitness Festival Friday May 25th 2007 at the ExpoMart. I hope to hear from you soon.

Thanks, Bill Viola (Director)
FRIDAY MAY 25th 2007 - 5:00 PM

[412] Pride is in. Call in. Peduto is out. Thinking again about campaign finance reform.

[412] Pride is in. Call in. Peduto is out. Thinking again about campaign finance reform. Pride is in. Call in. Peduto is out. Thinking again about campaign finance reform.

Print as many coupons as you have in your party.

PAT's mess. First things first. We need RETENTION VOTES for all authority board members

PAT announced its cuts.

We need all authority board members to be more accountable. Honz Man on KDKA Radio is calling for elections for its board members. I agree to a point. We want accountability. We want democracy.

But, we don't need to hold elections for the board members. We could however use RETENTION ELECTIONS for board members.

With the retention vote, the boards could be filled with appointed volunteers. The mayor and county executive could find the citizens who agree to serve on the board. They would get nominated to the board. However, the board members would have to be RETAINED with a 'yes' or 'no' vote by the citizens.

Elections are costly. They cost on many levels. Getting people to run for offices is nearly impossible too. To campaign for a board member spot would be crazy in the real world.

Who is going to print buttons, signs, and place ads that say -- "Vote for me. I want to be on the parking authority board."

Elections cost the community at many levels. The expense of campaigns is but one sink.

We would decide.

Board members would work to make a name for himself or herself. Otherwise, they'd go in and out based upon global community reactions. Board members would stand on their own acts. Activist groups could wage campaigns against board members, vote "NO" for so-and-so.

Furthermore, the retention elections for board members could be made to be more strict than a simple majority. To get retained on the bench, a judge needs only one more vote than those that want to get rid of the judge 'no.'

To keep the board seat at the first election, a 50% YES retention vote would be needed. Then to keep the seat after 2 years, a 65% YES retention vote would be required. To keep the seat after 4 years, a 75% YES retention vote would be needed. To keep the seat after 6 years, a 85% YES retention vote would be needed. To keep the seat after 8 and beyond, a 95% YES retention vote would be needed.

Vote needs can be more than majority rules.

UCLA vs. Pitt -- buddies

A deal was hatched between the coaches of UCLA and Pitt men's basketball team. They agree to NOT play against each other, except if they happen to meet in the NCAA tournament.

Pitt's old coach won the contest last night and goes to the elite 8, but he got emotional with the cameras rolling.

Meanwhile, on the gridiron, Pitt does not play against Penn State. They don't play because they were rivals, not best of buddies.

Go figure.

I'm a coach. I have scheduled matches and contests. But I don't think like they do. In swimming, we have different perspectives.

When I'm a coach, I want my team to race against the teams that are coached by my friends. If you have a good or great team, I want to go against you. I say bring it on.

That that does not kill us, generally makes us stronger.

Swimming has a different method for keeping score. In swimming, the prime aim is to improve, not to win. Our mission is more about getting better, not being 'on top.' We want improvement, and we want great rates of improvement. Just as everyone gets older and moves forward, I'm most interested in accelerated rates to excellence.

I think it is a human trait to aspire to be better. That should be our target, more so than being king for the day.

Some are fine at being a big fish in a little pond. Some want to be a little fish in a big sea. I'd like to be a big fish in a healthy environment with diversity and schools that go with and against the currents.

The same general concepts hold true for me in politics as well. My running or not does not hinge upon the opposition being my buddie or not. Loyal opposition can exist.

I would have loved to have run against Bill Peduto. There would be many instances were growth could have been expected as we took discussions to different places. That makes people uncomfortable.

Too often, Pittsburgh's political landscape is about living in a 'comfort zone.' As a coach I want to push, pull, and use what leverage I can muster and find to take people out of their comfort zone -- to improve.

Bike Pittsburgh's BikeFest. Can I present?

Bike Pittsburgh � BikeFest BikeFest is Bike Pittsburgh’s annual celebration of two wheeled madness, showcasing Pittsburgh in all of its uniqueness and beauty.
I'd love to present at this year's bike fest. Topic: Bike Experiences in Chengdu, China, and Christchurch, New Zealand from Mark Rauterkus.

The presentation would be a multi-media slide show with a take-home CD ROM of all the images and more. I'm releasing my images into the public domain.

Furthermore, a chapter of the presentation would be a series of suggestions of ways that the bike landcape in Pittsburgh could be enhanced, based upon what I've seen and my vision.

I've biked across Texas, been a race director at triathlons, enjoyed The Dam Ride and Pedal Pittsburgh, plus I want to advocate for bike efforts in our region.
china - my bike
The link above is but a tip of what I'd share with the participants. Furthermore, with your help, I'd be happy to make the CDs or DVDs avilable for all participants in the program, beyond who might attend my session. I could make it available for about $.40 each. Perhaps you'd be able to invest $300 or so on this project.

We are going to be in Christchurch from April 30 to June 12 or so. At the time of the expo, I'll be in town. But, I coach swimming every morning, except the weekend.

I'd be available at night. It might be something we could do in a classroom or even at an outdoor theater / screen.

I'd be available to do it multiple times as well.

Let me know.

OOoCon Call For Papers - to Spain

OOoCon Call For Papers - Wiki Call for Papers

The 2007 International Conference will be held in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain on 19th-21st September. See the Conference website:

The Community invites potential speakers to submit proposals for papers. Whether you are a seasoned presenter, or have never stood up in public before, if you have something interesting to share about - we want to hear from you.

Look, up in the sky ... it's a candidate! - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Thanks for the plug Eric.
Look, up in the sky ... it's a candidate! - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Peduto's subsequent early summer announcement that he was giving up swimming after deciding he couldn't bring himself to get wet drew considerably less news media attention.)
From Mark Rauterkus
I'm not going to give up swimming, by the way.

Candidate off ballot for not using full name

This is absurd. I dare not say much else, as I'll be asking for the court to rule in my favor shortly. But, others out in the blog world, feel free to go for it.
Candidate off ballot for not using full name Right after striking William W. Brown III from the Republican primary ballot because he didn't include a middle initial and a Roman numeral after his name, Judge Joseph James told the South Fayette man not to give up, to try next time.

'You know what, your honor? I seriously doubt that it's worth it,' Mr. Brown said yesterday. 'It's just a local election, for God's sakes. I don't know why anybody would go to the trouble.'

The trouble Mr. Brown went to consisted of two days missing work so he could wait through a record series of hearings in which candidates and their proxies attempted to bump potential rivals off the ballot on a range of technicalities. In some cases, signatures on the petitions turned out to be questionable. In other cases, ethics forms weren't filed on time.

Pittsburgh Post - Early Returns gives advice to volunteer voter analysis site: Flame on you!

Early Returns, a blog thingie of the Post-Gazette staff, made a mention of a new citizen (nonprofit) candidate showcase site from the Pgh League of Young Voters.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Local News - Early Returns The Pennsylvania League of Young Voters launched a Video Voter guide this week. Note to PLYV: delete that Peduto entry.

The guide can be found on the Web site of the Pittsburgh-based group at
I've visited that site. It is very good. I was about to blog about it, but most of all, I was about to dive in there, update my replies to the questions asked. And, I'd really like to review and react to the issues raised by various candidates.
From ads - political
As you could discover for yourself, some folks seeking office are clueless when it comes to the questions presented. Some folks give the wrong answers, in my not so humble opinion. Meanwhile, other candidates make replies that are wonderful. I loved Tom Fallon's statement about the kids. He was right on.

But, the POST-GAZETTE kills me with its advice to the League. The P-G told the League to drop the comments from a person who is not in the race now. Say WHAT! The Post-Gazette kills me and our community a thousand different ways, much like paper cuts that we must endure. That is horrid advice. And, what's more, it comes from a horrid source, the P-G.

Let's be clear. I want comments and content online. I don't want less. I don't want video statements to be taken down.

I want to hear from Bill Peduto, then, later, and in the future. The Post-Gazette wants to DELETE. Delete -- like in the readership of the city's major daily newspaper is half of what it once was. Delete -- like the population of the city used to be more than 600,000. Now population counts are diving under 300,000. They delete schools. They delete buses. They delete historic buildings. They delete candidate discussion points. They delete conversations of true merit.

Delete, as in kill democracy outright so that the mayor has no opposition in the primary. Delete so that the Republicans (and I used to resemble that remark) don't want to run for mayor due to the BIG DELETE KEY at the Post-Gazette.

We don't want DELETE. WE want inclusion. We want the whole story. We want voter choices and elections that are BETTER than what is offered to people in Communist China.

Don't ignore. Take you head out of your -- err -- hole in the sand. Report upon the whole range of the story, especially on the internet.
From ads - political
We need archives. We need history. We need to understand each other. We need the League of Young Voters to stick video cameras into the faces of candidates and would-be candidates. And, we don't need the Post-Gazette to tell them to delete certain files from those presentations.

I want raw footage. I want grassroots democracy. I want blogs where my comments and those of others are accepted for what they are worth.

Most of all, when there is a race in our neighborhood, like mayor, controller, city council, county council and such -- and there is a list of candidates who are running -- I want the list to be inclusive. I'm still deleted from the lists at the Post-Gazette.
Rich Lord gave me the impression that the P-G's powers that be won't include me or my running mates onto the list of candidates seeking office. My objections seemed to have cause a minor adjustment to the internet pages of the PG. The link advertised a complete list of candidates on the P-G page, but it was changed. It needed to be the P-G's way because I've not filed my papers to get onto the ballot. Humm...

Hillary, McCain, Obama, and countless others who are running for office in 2008. They are on many lists. They don't live here. And they have NOT filed their papers yet either. The P-G dedicates a lot of ink to them.

Life does not begin for a person after he or she files papers to be on the ballot for a specific race. Life is too precious to be led only by those who are in office already.

The Post-Gazette is forever dedicating lots of ink and space to those who are NOT running for office. Jack Wagner. Jim Ferlo, Sala Udin and Jim Roddey are all not running for mayor, but there have been (countless) stories on those guys.

So, does the P-G want a monopoly in providing our marketplace coverage of those who are NOT running for office? Did the League of Young Voters tread upon the turf of the P-G? Is that why the P-G political crew is so interested in giving advice to the PA League of Young Voters to DELETE the video snip of a member of Pgh City Council? He ran for mayor before. He might run again. He was seeking an endorsement.

We don't win by subtraction. Nobody wins that way. To not loose, perhaps, is fine for some. But victors don't triumph through a process of subtraction. We won't succeed. We won't prosper. We won't flourish.

We win by addition. We win by inclusion. We win by documenting as much as we can. With the internet, costs are only recycled electrons.

I don't want the YouTube mentions of Peduto, Fallon, T.Colazzi or others to be deleted. Keep em. Build, don't demoralize. Boost, don't destroy. Be brutally honest, don't lie by omission. Be trustworthy, not full of hype and blown by the wind.

The Post-Gazette has a gate-keeper mentality that should change. I crave a 'gang-plank mentality.' The P-G's Early Returns should be a magnet for attracting ideas, issues and solutions, as well as people. The Early Returns name hints at a time of a 'new dawn.' Should the Early Returns be Old and Elitist?

Next, on to this question of real merit:
From ads - political

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Colaizzi withdraws from council race - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Another one bites the dust.
Colaizzi withdraws from council race - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Theresa Colaizzi, 46, a two-term school board member from Greenfield, has dropped her challenge to unseat City Council President Doug Shields in the 5th District council race.

Colaizzi was Shields' lone challenger. Shields also is running for City Controller.

'I just decided that I have a lot more work to do on the school board, and that this is not the time to do this,' Colaizzi said.

Candidate Forums

B-PEP, League of Young Voters
6:30 pm - Thursday, April 12, 2007

at St. James A.M.E. Church, 444 Lincoln Ave.

Sponsored by: The Black Political Empowerment Project, The League of Young Voters, The League of Women Voters, The East End Collaborative, The Greater Pittsburgh Student Voices

6:30 pm - Thursday, April 26, 2007



Hill House Kaufmann Auditorium, Hill Dist.

Sponsored by The Black Political Empowerment Project, The League of Young Voters

For information call 412-758-7898 – e-mail:

Rick Swartz, Dem, of the Bloomfield Garfield Corp -- to face the challeng on March 30

I understand that the petition challenge directed for the Dem primary at Rich Swartz, candidate for Allegheny County Cheif Executive, is slated to go before the judge on March 30.

AGENDA FOR TONIGHT'S meeting in Garfield


Brief Overview of Garfield Comprehensive Housing Strategy Joann Monroe, Executive Director
Garfield Jubilee Association, Inc.

Accomplishments To Date Aggie Brose, Deputy Director

Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, Where we are Today Richard Swartz, Executive Director, Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation

Overview of Strategy for Garfield Heights Replacement Housing

HACP Vision (A. Fulton Meachem, Executive Director of HACP)
-Nature of Housing Authority Participation
-Funding Availability for Phases I, II, and III

Garfield Development Plan (Keith B. Key, President of KBK Enterprises)
-Financing Plan Overview
-Management Plan

Support Services, Section 3,and MBE Plan (Richard Morris, HACP)

Project Overview (Tisha Germany, KBK Enterprises)
-Timeline for Phase 1 Development
-Project Amenities
-Rent Structure and Qualifications for Units

Review of Site Plan for Phase I (Alexandra Laporte-Snediker, HACP)
-Site Plan
-Unit Elevations and Community Bldg

Questions and Answers

Next Steps – Quarterly Up-Date Community Meetings & Adjournment

Open Letter to Bill Peduto from Mark Rauterkus:
Now it the time to re-open prior discussions on campaign finance reform.

Dear City Council Member Peduto,

A few years ago, as a citizen and former candidate for mayor, I reviewed your legislation about campaign finance reform. I called for the public hearing about your bill. We talked about some of the fatal flaws in council chambers. The bill was tabled.

Furthermore, I was part of a committee that was established in the aftermath of the failed legislation offering. I was happy to be included in that effort. My begging plus some insistence from other members on council at the time helped to get me into those meetings.

Some of us were willing to deal with a wide range of issues concerning Pittsburgh's campaign finance reform. The committee was stacked with excellent people. Some of the best and brightest organizations in the region were represented and concerned. We came together to work in hopes of advancing solutions. All cared a great deal about our shared democracy. And, we kept true to the wishes of the bill's prime sponsor.

To this day, the work product of that committee has not been revealed. I've been disturbed, as you know, by the lack of action and silence for so many months. Our committee, in my opinion, offered some fine outcomes. These have been kept under wraps.

Now is the time to unleash those discussion about democracy in Pittsburgh, in advance of the 2009 campaign season. Let's re-kindle and begin to reclaim the discussion about campaigns in Pittsburgh.

You said yesterday, "The campaign to reform Pittsburgh continues." Well, that's good news. But, it is clear to me, the next step on this process of reform should include a new look at campaign finance reform. We've done plenty of work. The group was ready to make some suggestions. Plus, I have two specific side-line suggestions that go beyond what was offered by the committee.

In the days to come, I'd love to see you put the ordinance back onto the table with an attached call for an official public hearing in council chambers. Let's address the materials developed by the committee in the past and allow for additional citizen comment.

I feel certain that if some of the solutions I proposed back in those discussions would have been implemented, yesterday's news could have been avoided. Serious, system-wide reform can be accomplished. But, action is necessary.

Introduce a "place holder bill" called "campaign finance reform" so that we can quickly proceed to a public hearing.

Thanks for all you have done and are yet to accomplish in these regards.

Finally, for scheduling, in May and early June I'll be in New Zealand.

We had a wonderful Libertarian Meeting last night. On my way with OnQ call too.

Last night was our monthly meeting of the Allegheny County Libertarian Party. It was a success. We meet most months in the back room of Ritter's Diner.

On the way to the meeting, a running mate and I were talking on the phone. He gave me the head's up that the OnQ TV show had Joe S. M. and Jim R. talking politics. I called in and was able to get on the air with my observations.

I talked about the "candidate's affidavit" that would prevent Bill Peduto from entering the race as an Indie. And the law professor was kind with his remarks to me about my races. Meanwhile Jim Roddey said something about being embarrassed about the lack of showing from the Allegheny Republicans. Then I was clicked off the air.

I think it replays at noon today. I'll try to tape it.

Will Peduto's folks head to Dowd and what's his name in District 3

Bill Peduto can play a role in the race for city council on the South Side and for the seat presently held by Len.

What's your take there?

What's Bill's position?

Play hockey or help to unseat some other peers on council. Talk about a divide of Pittsburgh. Humm.

It is one thing to go negative. It is another to go alone.

The Burgh Report: The Breaking of a New Dawn

Splendid post from another blogger.
The Burgh Report: The Breaking of a New Dawn

Fandom and Peduto and More

From china - sculp...

Wise words to ponder today:
Fandom often involves collective hostility towards stars, rather than unalloyed worship and approval. Pianist Glenn Gould, who gave up concertizing, described the audience as a hostile force whose "primal instinct was for gladiatorial combat."

Presidents, athletes, movie stars, singers, and members of the British royal family are criticized by millions every day. Joey West published an *I Hate Madonna Joke Book*. *The Washington Post* ran a contest which encouraged readers to come up with humorous and elegant insults of celebrities. The Internet has led to a proliferation of celebrity "death pools," such as the Ghoul Pool, where people bet which famous individuals will die next. Fred and Judy Vermoral, in their study of fandom, noted: "we were astonished by the degree of hostility and aggression, spoken and unspoken, shown by fans towards stars. Later we realized this was one necessary consequence of such unconsummated, unconsumable passion."

Fans take pleasure in judging presidents, leaders, and famous entertainers by especially harsh and oversimplified stand­ards. Stars provide a realm in which prejudice is given free reign to rule opinion. Fans can let off critical steam, or vicarious love, without fear of repercussions, and without having to confront the complexity of the moral issues involved...
Source: Tyler Cowen's Personal Web Page. What Price Fame. The first chapter of his book, prior to copy editing and footnotes. The book was published by Harvard University Press.

Thanks to City Council President for the hat tip at another blog

From china - sculp...

Doug Shields, President of Pittsburgh City Council was reported to have said, yesterday:
2 Political Junkies 'You do these things, you learn.' He said. 'I tip my hat to anyone who gets into a mayoral race.'
Thanks Doug.

Not that the glowing words are behind us, let's get to the meat of the matter. Shields said that there wasn't a dragon to slay.

So, Peduto is out because he isn't quixotic. That's twisted logic.

I've been called idealistic and quixotic. I'm one to try to slay dragons with recycled electrons. I'm fine with the struggle to out-think and out-flank the evils that lurk in our political environment.

Of course Peduto's withdrawal yesterday will serve him well for a better run in the future.
From texture - misc.

But, I beg to differ with Shields on the concept that the city went down the drain in 2003. The sky was falling in 1999, in 2000, in 2001. We knew it. We talked about it. They might have been ignorant. But, the city was taking a big fall

Fan (above, click to see larger image of any image here) shows both dragon and phoenix. Same characters are on the tapestry below. They are telling characters. Bill Peduto will 'rise again.' Furthermore, the dragon to slay is in my sights.

From texture - misc.