(Spoiler Alert: It’s Not Me)

My calling out of a uniformed FDNY captain at the J6 rally in DC earned me twenty minutes of twitter fame.

I heartily thank all my union brothers and sisters and others who showed their support and backed me up.

Someone even called me a rock star, LOL.

By the way, I never heard from my IAFF leadership despite the national attention given to the matter; it was the perfect opportunity to show where the IAFF stands on protecting democracy and truth.

My district vice-president, his fellow board members, President Kelly and Secretary Lima all…


On Saturday, I decided to attend the "J6" rally at the U.S. Capitol whose sponsors proclaim that the now jailed insurrectionists are "political prisoners" and "patriots."

I went to support police officers injured and dying from the insurrection.

Having recently moved, I salvaged an old piece of wrapping paper and scrawled "Support Our Police" on it before heading down.

While holding the sign I was asked, again and again, if I was a "counter protester", as if supporting the police who defended democracy on January 6 was counter to the J6 message.

As a retired fire fighter of 23 years…


Who needs the Mafia when we have our own?

Today’s New York Times reports that the Feds busted members of the Colombo crime family for a racketeering scam involving health and safety and a union.

Wait a minute, that sounds like the IAFF and its executive board.

Vincent Ricciardo, a.k.a “Vinny Unions” and his crew were “manipulating the selection of union health fund vendors to contract with entities connected to the family” and “directed the union official to hire a consultant selected by the Colombo family, saying: “It’s my union and that’s it.”

Harold Schaitberger and his corpulent cronies also…


I was a local President for nearly 7 years. I must have been so naive. I fooled myself into believing the IAFF was “ different” than other corrupt organized labor organizations. We were doing it the right way; setting the example. Were we ever? I am so embarrassed and ashamed of what has become of this once proud union. Disgusting. Jeff Coffey

The IAFF hasn’t been “proud” in recent memory, at least if ethics and honesty are the benchmarks.

We are talking about the IAFF at the top level; local affiliates are generally honest and serve members diligently.

The higher…


Down 10–6, Bottom of the Second

Kelly

Wouldn’t you think that sitting next to Harold Schaitberger in board meetings for four years that Ed Kelly would have learned how to keep the board in his hip pocket?

Not so, apparently.


Whitehead

Al Whitehead, former president and secretary-treasurer of the IAFF, died this week, he was ninety-one.

I met him in the mid-80s, perhaps at the Cincinnati convention; he was impressive in person, fit, well-dressed, articulate and youthful.

It was a very curious time, Jack Gannon was president of the IAFF and Al held the number two spot but wanted to be president eventually.

Elections were held every two years and Whitehead needed time to build support which meant while he wanted Gannon’s job he also needed to back Gannon (and block Gannon’s opponents) until he was ready to run for president…


“The diesel exhaust of democracy”

To partake of the news is to get the sense that anti-vaxers have real traction; a new survey proves otherwise, again.

Despite all the poison and invective of the radical right, 68% of those surveyed trust Fauci; the CDC and FDA get 76% and 77% approvals respectively.

Fauci

It’s easy to see why Mitch McConnell has suddenly become more vocal about getting vaccinated, if the polling results are a proxy for election voting, Republicans are in trouble. Not only are they losing support, they are actually killing their own voters.


Today we should celebrate leaving.

The headline below is from the Guardian, seeming to suggest that post-US Afghanistan should be our concern after spending twenty years there.

In modern history, they in turn have tossed off the yoke of the British Empire, the Soviet Union and now the U.S.; no system of government is to their liking: be it monarchy, communism, democracy.

There’s a lesson there for us.

First, last and always Afghans are tribal, choosing tribe over the ideals of equality and humanity.

Even so-called Afghan pro-democracy forces would sabotage progress if it meant a loss of tribal power…


But he had a PhD!

Nathan Allen

Last weekend Nathan Allen, a 28-year old resident of Winthrop, MA, went on a rampage during which he executed two Black people; he was later shot dead by police.

The Daily Beast advised us, “Newlywed Nathan Allen is a shooter we should all study because his violent race hatred seemed to come from nowhere — concealed beneath all his layers of apparent decency.”

The Beast thinks we should be thrown off either by the fact that Allen was married or that he was a newlywed, as if either is an antidote for hate.

Allen had…


Ride at your own risk.

Utah Crash, 4 dead, 17 seriously injured.

This past weekend 10 people, including 9 children, were killed in an Alabama crash.

Small buses (30 passengers +/-) and 15–17 passenger vans have atrocious safety records often resulting in passenger ejections and roof failures.

Less than two years ago, a small bus in Utah killed four and seriously injured 17 when it rolled.

In that crash, the NTSB said, “driver experience, licensing, alcohol or drug use, fatigue, distraction, and/or medical issues were not factors in the crash, nor was the mechanical operation of the bus.”

Translation: The vehicle did not protect passengers; roof and…

Eric Lamar

Firefighter, DC City Guide and Part-Time Sailor

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