Ethics: Black Daze Rides Again

From Black Daze, an Occasional Commentator Who Seems to Know the IAFF Quite Well:

Eric: [I’m] just a concerned member with concerns in common with yours.

Perhaps it is just my inability to fathom the reach of this medium, but I fear we have merely scratched the surface of this deep, disturbing dilemma.

In less than one week, important committees will report to Cincinnati to examine the early resolutions, discuss and debate them, and offer them to the delegates assembled on the floor of the Convention.

These committees are filled with some of the best and brightest from around the 16 districts (from State leaders, local leaders and from the IAFF board and staff); they landed on these committees because their DVP nominated them and the GP approved them.

Therein lies the depth of the dilemma … whom of the committee appointees will be able to say to their own DVP or to Harold and his legal co-horts, “I want to adopt an ethics policy that reflects the dignity of our union” – in the face of Harold’s opposition, intimidation or threat to your future leadership in any capacity of the IAFF structure.

Further, there is the obvious opposition displayed by the inaction (tabled the simple motion to review the current policy!) of the Huppets who share the same fear of their “master.”

Worse yet, the[y] employ the same strategy on those members who reject the servant/master model of leadership!

The “incestuous” (unhealthily intimate or interconnected, especially so as to exclude the involvement or influence of others) nature of the appointments is an incredibly steep impediment to necessary change or correction.

Harold understands this – thrives on it, really.

Each of the board members and insiders seem more than comfortable with its continued practice and existence – as if they will someday sit near the throne. I wish I knew of a more appropriate method, but isn’t that what Conventions are all about?

Get together, discuss your union, what works, what doesn’t; brainstorm ways to make it better and debate the merits of the proposals … without the manipulative, heavy handed interference of the master.

Isn’t it an unfortunate truth that you now serve your “master” instead of the “elected leader” serving the general membership? Somehow they believe that the members of this union exist to provide them with money, position and power.

Leadership personalities at the International level can be an ardent study of psychology and a disappointing recognition of the reality we live in or under.

For all the good that has been accomplished by the IAFF and by Schaitberger, these last few months may very well be the way he is remembered.

Almost 100 years later and the traits of International leaders haven’t really changed much.

Keep the faith, Eric … I will too.

Black Daze

Care About Ethics?

Then “Share” this Post.

Help Create The Union We Want

Tell Your Convention Delegates to Support Resolution 10 


  • Mike Mohler says:

    I was on the Constitution and Bylaws committee and it was one of my proudest appointments. I worked with people like Frank Montenaro who set a great example for younger leaders. When it became obvious that I am not a rubber stamp for anyone I was removed from the committee. I believed in Schaitberger and was out front carrying the torch. Advice to everyone blind faith is not a good option if you really want to be a change agent. By the way I was asked if I am Black Daze. No I choose to not be anonymous.

    • Black Daze says:

      Mike: I am not gratified by my decision to remain anonymous – I find it a necessary means to share my opinions as to Eric’s awareness of unsuitable behavior or to express a common belief in a code of ethics to restore honor, principle and integrity to a admirable international union. I wish not to suffer the peril of being ostracized, persecuted and blacklisted for anyone’s utility. As you stated, you were blacklisted for not being a rubber stamp for anyone (Harold, I presume) so you have already been written off … I would deduce that you were exploited to further the cause of those who eventually blacklisted you (because you ceased to be of utility to them), as I assume that Eric was as well. Our union is better than that and every IAFF member (especially you & Eric) deserve principals with higher principles.
      Fiat justitia ruat caelum

  • Karrie Leigh Boswell says:

    The Moral Law, the First Constant

    One of the basic concepts in Sun Tzu the Art of War is “The Moral Law,” one of the Five Constants of warfare, as translated by Lionel Giles in 1910. Regardless of the label we use for it, Sun Tzu’s definition serves well: “The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.” “The Moral Law” is the unifying cause that unites a nation, an army, or an organization such as the IAFF; it is, in a military sense, the mission. In the IAFF, this is what constitutes the content of our cause to all IAFF members and affiliate leaders. It is the foundation of our political endorsements and drives our PAC fund. If Sun Tzu was analyzing our battle in terms of the IAFF vs. those who would seek to undermine or harm us politically then I think the resistance to a written ethics policy, and support for a grossly offensive pay raise for DVP would be the moment he would say the moral law began to unravel. He would begin to forecast defeat for our entire organization. This is the moment that the soldiers began to lose their will to fight. This is the moment that they no longer believed in a cause greater then themselves. This is the point when getting boots on the ground became all but impossible. Defining your moral law is essential to ensuring the people, or in this case the members and the affiliate leaders remain in accord with the moral cause. The written ethics policy, as it has played out, in the form of a resolution must be supported for accountability to the moral law of our IAFF at every level, from the top to the bottom. The pay raise for the DVP must be rejected at this time as it represents a direct threat to our moral law or mission.

    If I was the GP I would withdraw the resolution for the pay raise before I ever got to Cincinnati. Firefighters all over this country have felt the undeniable pinch of the economic contraction. Many many firefighters lost their jobs. Fire departments lost their safe staffing. Firefighters lost pensions, pay raises, and various other benefits such as sick leave banks and health plans. FIREFIGHTERS ARE STILLED LAYED OFF. To propose a pay raise at a time when so many IAFF members are still suffering is a direct blow to the soldier who serves based on moral law. If a FRD anywhere in this country proposed giving such an enormous pay raise to assistant chiefs and furthermore expected the firefighters to pay for it by enduring a pay cut (which is what a per capita increase is) then I would hope the affiliate leaders in that area and the IAFF leaders would wage war. A year ago I would have thought yes today I am not so sure. A year ago I would have sworn the IAFF would have picked up arms to defend the rights of Middle Class American Workers; today I’m not so sure. I think they are on the edge of picking of arms but it’s not to defend the Middle Class American Worker it’s to shot them between the eyes.

    I am sickened watching the hypocrisy of so many. Moral law is driven by the power of convictions not convenience. Its driven by actions not words. You cannot lie cheat and steal in one aspect of your life and expect a damn soul to believe you won’t lie in others. I don’t know what truth lies in the allegations about the GP and others. I can only make choices based on what is reflected in actions. I can tell you if someone accused me of such impropriety my ass and my big mouth would be on the floor of convention introducing the resolution and speaking in favor of it. A person can tell me they are honest but when I see you do dishonest things you’re a liar. You can tell me you support middle class workers but when I see you support the needs of the few on the backs of the many. Then I have to wonder if you’re not of the same mindset of the 1%. With all the problems facing this country and firefighters that are so severe, when we have seen class warfare being waged by the billionaires against the working families of America … I think we need people in leadership roles of the IAFF, the affiliates and the state associations who are prepared to stand up and say, ‘You know what? This IAFF belongs to all of its members. The agenda must always be based on what is best for the members and its mission not the needs of the few. To do otherwise undermines our moral law and will ensure our defeat. So say me Karrie Leigh Boswell, IAFF member 0430865 Local 2068

  • Anonymous says:

    I have to agree with Karrie Leigh Boswell. We should not be approving pay increases when departments here in Michigan have given 15% pay cuts along with paying $300 a month for health care and pension cuts. We do all of this to help save jobs and they still cut staffing every chance they get.

  • Brian Gaughan says:

    Would someone be able to post Resolution 10 here for everyone to read? Thanks in advance.

  • Curtis Dunn says:

    Eric as a 40 yr member of the IAFf I have read all if your blogs and while you have some support I for one don’t agree with the name calling and darn sure don’t have respect for anyone who post things and won’t put their name on you want to run your head have the balls to put your name in it ie black days!!!

    Curtis Dunn
    5th Dist

  • Dave Foreman says:

    Read this it may help you understand why there are no floor debates the is little or no independence and few if any who would dare to disagree with Harold.
    He is involved in most DVP elections then Denys it everyone knows he does it and still he Denys. Here is something to think about. People are not generally dishonest in only one part of their lives. When I think about this I immediately think of Harold.

Leave a Reply to Karrie Leigh Boswell Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *