Justin Katz: Introducing Our Newest Contributor: You

After a few years of blogging, during which the ebbs and flows of our writing have taken us each in several directions, on several levels of analysis, with multiple genres of writing, we’ve come to the conclusion that we can only cover so much ground. Would that we could develop in depth analysis — scatterplots, even — for every local, state, national, and global issue. Would that we could hound every town council and school committee in Rhode Island! Clearly, we need more eyes to see and fingers to type.
On the other hand, we’ve been surprised at and encouraged by the personality that Anchor Rising has developed, with the aggregate influence of our individual voices. Although our door is ever open for new contributors, we’ve stood shoulder to shoulder in the opening, wary of inadvertent changes to the Web site’s character.
Engaged Citizen is our solution to these and other needs, desires, and problems. Our newest contributor is you. Rather, it could be you if you take the initiative. If you engage.
As with everything we do, we’re aware that the feature will develop of its own accord, so our rules for submissions will be very limited, at first. Each regular Anchor Rising contributor (with tenure of at least three months) has the capability of posting under the Engaged Citizen byline. When in doubt, email me. All entries must be published under your actual name, and your identity must be reasonably verifiable. All publication (and unpublication) is at our discretion, but all rights remain with you.
Other than that, when it comes to thrust, length, detail, topic, and so on, the space is yours to define (under our watchful eyes, of course). Inasmuch as we’re able to provide it, the opportunity is yours to help move this state out of the acrid waters in which it currently floats and to further the causes of reasonable discussion and the gradual acquisition of truth.
To submit an Engaged Citizen post to Anchor Rising click “Email” next to my picture at left.

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michael
13 years ago

It’s about time. I’m sick of having to wait for you guys to say something before I can chime in. So what if it’s your site? I finally get my bully pulpit! Thanks, I’ll be back.

Monique
Editor
13 years ago

Wait a second, bub. We’re not here just to promote someone’s book … even if it is getting rave reviews …
http://www.projo.com/news/bobkerr/sunco16_09-16-07_KO74INQ.326f5d8.html

Monique
Editor
13 years ago

… and is available at Paladin Press for just $22. No sirree.
http://www.paladin-press.com/detail.aspx?ID=1576

michael
13 years ago

Jeez, I’m totally misunderstood. I would never dream of using this forum as a means to promote my book, even though it will be available at Borders in Garden City and Providence as well as The Brown University Bookstore and Books on the Square. Never!

PDM
PDM
13 years ago

Great idea. Maybe now we can hear from real conservatives instead of you neo-conned dittoheads.

Tom Kenney
13 years ago

I’d like some of you who criticize the Providence Firefighter’s Union to read this account of a night in my life (not a completely unusual night). I’m posting this from work at the station – my 3rd night in a row (the first was the night of this fire), and in my 25th hour of a 38 hour shift. I’m dead tired and hoping for an easy night…we’ll see. Bergen Street House Fire / 19Feb08 The bell hit at 2104 hours, alerting us of a reported building fire at 23 Bergen Street. The three of us on Engine 15 that night knew that we had better be quick in getting out the door on this one or the 14’s (Engine 14) would beat us in to our fire. Bergen Street is right on the border of our respective first-in districts. We stepped into the boots and bunker pants that were neatly placed on the apparatus floor beside the truck just waiting to be put to use. As we pulled the suspenders over our shoulders we stepped into the truck and began donning our fire coats. Brian pushed the ignition button, which brought the diesel engine to life, switched on the emergency lights, and headed out into the cold dark night. Nothing had to be spoken between us. We all knew just what to do, and we each began our own mental preparations for the job ahead. Brian whipped the truck to a hard left onto Mt. Pleasant Ave. as I jotted down the address on the small notepad mounted on the dash in front of me and then turned on the siren. Kenny was in the back jump seat. As the ‘rear-step man’ of a first-in three-man engine company, it would be his job to immediately grab the 200 foot,… Read more »

rhodeymark
rhodeymark
13 years ago

Tom – nice essay, very well written. While I understand your assertion that this night wasn’t completely unusual, I think we can all agree that the job of firefighter is thankfully more routine, with the lions share being preparation and readiness for the intervals of (hopefully) controlled chaos. Why did you preface your account with a pointed call-out of those who would criticize the union? What does union policy have to do with your personal professionalism and dedication? I just want say that I have retired firefighters in my extended family, and greatly appreciate their service. However, policies that affect good order and discipline, or further our economic crisis, are almost as detrimental to the community as having a less than optimal force. I personally am still several years from my own retirement, and have already started actively scouting retirement locations away from the mounting lunacy that is lil’ Rhody.

Joe Ouellette
Joe Ouellette
13 years ago

Cicilline: Unfinished Business! Jeopardizing our Public Safety Let me begin by stating that I am neither a democrat nor a republican. I am not a union member nor have I ever been affiliated with one. I am an independent voter, property owner and seriously concerned citizen. The Mayor’s proposed staffing cuts at our Fire Department will jeopardize the public safety of everyone who lives, works or plays in this City (Providence). Mayor David Cicilline has done some great things for our City. I, for one, am happy with my shiny new garbage can and the recycling bins (especially the recycling bins). Also, the lead water pipes on my street have been replaced. However, Handling the contract negotiations with the Firefighters Union (Local 799) is not one of his crowning achievements. Now we understand the Mayor has been able to cut down the number of employees on the City Payroll. But making those same cuts in the Fire Dept is not something we’re interested in supporting because it endangers the public safety. In reality, he should actually be boosting the number of firefighters. Why? The cuts will most likely effect the number of firefighters responding to an emergency. Currently nearly 1/2 of our Engines are staffed below the minimum standard set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The NFPA is widely recognized as the authoratative source on public safety. The NFPA standard is 4. Half of our Engines are at 3. Additionally, the 4th man reduces the number of firefighter injuries. The Mayor has not released the the basis for his intended cuts. I understand there is a report out there. We paid for it. We want to see it. NOW. There is a lot of new construction out there that has been completed or is in the process of… Read more »

Tom Kenney
13 years ago

Rhodeymark,
First of all, while I agree that this night was not a normal night, I believe that you’d be surprised at how often these types of fires occur in Providence. Many don’t make the news at all, and many others only get a paragraph or so in ProJo a couple of days later.
I began the post with a call-out of people who criticize my union because many of them (not all) publicly state that firefighting in Providence is a “racket”, and that we sit around all day and sleep at night. I want everyone who thinks they can criticize us to understand what we do for a living. This fire (and hundreds more per year) are what WE do to earn our money.
As for our “union policy”, I’d like to know what union policy hurts the state or the city. Does it cost the taxpayers money to have the protection of a professional fire department? Of course it does. But what policy (that you are sure of) is detrimental to the community?

Ron Reagan III
Ron Reagan III
13 years ago

I attended my first GOP meeting last night and wanted to share my thoughts on the candidates and the overall picture. The candidates for the Chairmainship of the party: Rob Manning is the incumbent, with a good track record for the first 2 years of his tenure. He was refreshingly honest in his assertion that there is no $ from National, and that a coalition of states sharing a small % of the National budget can generate some $ for RI. His comment about face recognition on the Beltway is also true, but he has been rather low-profile for the last couple of years and I’m hoping that a re-election will re-energize his efforts to bring not only $ to the Party, but cohesion and common purpose as well. He looked great, comfortable in a lightwieght suit that projected success. Great shoes. Carol Mumford made a good speech and has some good credentials for the position. Her background lends iteself to the $ management responsibilities of the job, but I was left wondering what kind of leader she would be – especially in a position that needs gravitas and strength to forge a cohesive and engaging Republican party. She wore an unremarkable ensemble, comfy shoes and had an air of competence about her. I don’t know Joe Trillo personally, but his meat’n’potatos approach leaves me ambivalent at best. He is a fixture in RI politics and has alot of relevant experience, but his demeanor and stage/crowd presence is not engaging. In fact, I found him to be somewhat intimidating – not a good attribute. His dress-pant, rumpled shirt and questionable belt (out of style in 1989) was not a good choice. Also, expensive shoes left unkempt is not a good message. Pat Morgan made a good speech, but it was… Read more »

Tom Kenney
13 years ago

To George Elbow: . . I refuse to continue this debate on a post that was written by a father who lost his son. You shouldn’t be able to lash out your hateful lies without having to be held to facts you can back up! . . . “”””Of course the BLS statistics on Dangerous jobs include FFs. I know it eats at you that you didn’t make the Top 10, but saying over and over again that the data didn’t include FFs doesn’t make it so.”””” . . Look it up and you’ll find that you’re wrong. Of course you think it should be taken the way you’d like it to be and let everyone else look it up to prove you wrong. . . . “”””With respect to anonymity, I suspect if I was praising you and your Entitlement minded Union actions, you’d have no problem …just like you have no problem with the likes of people that sign off as EMT, Phil, Dave, etc.”””” . . I think that NO ONE should be allowed to personally attack someone anonymously. That is common courtesy and a right that every American citizen holds. The right to confront one’s accuser. Apparently these kind of rights are one-sided. You want them, but don’t want to extend them to your adversaries. What a brave man you are. A typical internet bullie. . . . “”””By the way, how do we really know that “Tom Kenney” is really Tom “Giving Selflessly” Kenney for the PFD??”””” . . E-mail: tekpfd@yahoo.com . Lieutenant on Engine 15, “A” Group, 136 Mt. Pleasant Ave. . . . “”””Lasly, once again, please explain the mistatements in my above posts (where I apparently “insulted” you with the truth).”””” . . I continue to show you and you continue to… Read more »

Tom Kenney
13 years ago

Elbow, You state 4 “FACTS” that you say are not debatable. I agree, BUT I agree because you continue to mis-state (dare I say lie about?) the facts. 1. As far as I’ve seen EMT made a single “personal” attack on the mayor. Anonymity (in my opinion) is a problem when personal attacks are a regular part of your posts. Like yours. You can’t make a single post without a personal attack. You have continually attacked me personally, yet I can’t attack you because I have no idea who you are or what type of work (if any) you do. I don’t know whether you’re a man, woman, boy or girl. Are you David (lie through your teeth) Cicilline? 2. You claim that I’m contradicting myself by personally attacking people on this forum. Well, as far as I know I’ve only attacked you, the mayor and my chief “personally”. All people who deserve to be attacked…AND (now here is the part you don’t seem to understand) every one of you know who is attacking you and are free to throw my past or present actions and statements in my face to discredit me. How can I fight a fair fight with a ghost? 3. You refuse to acknowledge the difference between costing the city money & putting the public’s safety in jeopardy with regards to union officials being detached from their positions to perform union bisiness. Whether you or I think the time off (or the amount of time off) was justified or not is not the issue. The point is that time off (at full pay) for union officials is a common practice that continues to this day despite your ramblings. The practice was stopped in the case of our union president, however, by our chief. The fact that… Read more »

George Elbow
George Elbow
13 years ago

Tom Kenney, As Ronald Reagan used to say …”there you go again”. EMT made anonymous “personal attacks” and you didn’t call him on it, as you said you would. But when that gets pointed out to you, you decide to change the rules, make excuses and rationalize. Give it Tom, you lose on this one. Furthermore, I’m not sure I agree with you that I am making personal attacks. I am merely commenting on and responding to the WORDS of someone posting under the name “Tom Kenney”, or EMT and others for that matter. In fact, I don’t know a personal thing about “Tom Kenney” or anyone else on this blog (nor do I care to), other than what they write, which is what I respond to. So quit your whining. With respect to your ludicrous support of Lazy-Ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty’s not showing up for 3+ years to do the FF job that the Taxpayers paid him to do, it is good to know that tax dollars spent or “wasted” has NO correlation to Public Safety. We’ll keep this little nugget in mind next time we do the Budget. We’ll spend less, since the two are not related. Right? And you can no longer whine that spending (reduced or otherwise) impacts Public Safety. On behalf of taxpayers everywhere, I thank for this little jewel. With respect to Union hacks using Taxpayer funds to do Union business, you justify it as “being common practice”. That’s brilliant Tom. It was also once common practice to not to let women vote, but did that make it right? Do you think anyone in the Private sector would still have a job if they pulled what Lazy-Ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty pulled? But more importanly Tom, I will defer to the following words… Read more »

George Elbow
George Elbow
13 years ago

Tom Kenney,
Would you at least agree that we can ELIMINATE Lazy-Ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty’s position since his 3+ year absence from the job he was paid to do did NOT jeopradize nor negatively impact Public Safety?
Since there is no Public Safety impact by having him not show up to the job (as you have clearly stated), let’s just eliminate the position and save the money for more important items like equipment.
What do you say Tom, are you with me on this? You’ve already made the case that Lazy-Ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty not showing up to do the job he was paid to do has no impact on public safety.
I see an opportunity here for you and I to work together and agree on something. I’ll be happy because we’ll eliminate waste and you’ll be happy ‘cuz we’ll free up resources that are currently having no impact on public safety and reapply them to something that will impact public safety (new equipment). Maybe we can get you those air-conditioners you’ve been complaining about.

George Elbow
George Elbow
13 years ago

Tom Kenney,
I was Googling trying to help you prove your unproven point that the Dept. of Labor’s Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs purposely excludes FFs from the rankings.
I couln’t find any evidence of that, but I did find this site which I think you’ll find most interesting. It is very descriptive of you. You should definitely read it. EMT should as well.
The site is: http://littlejohn.blogs.com/beirut/2007/10/firefighters-as.html

George Elbow
George Elbow
13 years ago

Tom Kenney,
Loved your letter-to-the-editor in today’s Projo (June 23) regarding the exorbident overtime paid to PFD Union members.
Once again, when confronted with hard facts, you launch into whiny excuses & rationalizations.
I noticed that, when listing your excuses / rationalizations for the exorbident overtime, you conveniently forgot to mention that one of the reasons overtime was so high was due to your buddy Lazy-Ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty NOT showing up to the job the Taxpayers were paying him to do, resulting in the need to another FF to cover his slot via Overtime, thus Costing the Taxpayers extra money, not to mention that it put the Public Safety at risk.
Tom, you lose all credibility when you leave that little detail out of your whine sessions.
Actually, to say you “lose” credibility would imply that you had some to begin with. And we know that’s not the case.

Brian Mekdsy
13 years ago

In an opinion authored by Justice Scalia, the U.S. Supreme Court held, on June 26, 2008, that the Second Amendment to the Constitution protects an individual right, unconnected with militia service, to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, including self-defense in one’s home. The ruling struck down the District of Columbia’s general prohibition on the possession of handguns, as well as its requirement that all lawful firearms be kept “unloaded and dissembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device.” The decision by the Supreme Court upholds the ruling of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that “the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess firearms and that the city’s total ban on handguns, as well as its requirement that firearms in the home be kept nonfunctional even when necessary for self-defense, violated that right.” In the majority opinion, the Court examined the relationship between the Amendment’s prefatory clause (“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State”) and its operative clause (“the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”), holding that, rather than a limitation, the prefatory clause “announces a purpose.” Analyzing the term “Right of the People,” the Court points out that in the other three instances where the term is used in the Constitution — the Assembly and Petition Clause of the First Amendment, the Search and Seizure Clause of the Fourth Amendment, and the Ninth Amendment — the term “unambiguously refer[s] to individual rights, not ‘collective’ rights, or rights that may be exercised only through participation in some corporate body.” Therefore, the Court states that its analysis starts “with a strong presumption that the Second Amendment right is exercised individually and belongs to all Americans.” In addition, the Court examines the… Read more »

Justin Katz
13 years ago

Sorry, Michael (whose comments I’ve deleted), we’re not interested in having this become a forum for offensive conspiracy theories. Peddle them elsewhere.
I’ll take the opportunity, though, to do something that I’d been considering already and close the comments section of this post. Too many people are misconstruing the procedure and intent of Engaged Citizen.
Email me with submissions.

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