Archive for November2014

FDNY History: A Roar Amidst the Flames

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Steamer Tremont The Tremont was a 260-foot long, side-wheel paddle-steamer plying the waters between Providence, RI and New York. She originally made the Boston to New York run but the burgeoning railroads had put a stop to that. Railroads were willing to cut their freight and passenger prices to match or undercut the steamer lines […]

A Tale of Two Wars: JFK and Obama

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Nobody Likes to Lose, Especially Generals John Kennedy was shot and killed 51 years ago this week. He had served in WWII in the South Pacific and been seriously injured when his torpedo patrol boat, 109, was sliced in half by the Amagiri, a Japanese destroyer while on night patrol. His combat duty and military […]

Safety: Hillsborough at 25

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Crowd Control or Part of One? Pay Attention. 2014 is the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough football disaster when 96 fans were killed and 766 injured in a crowd crush in Sheffield, England. Fans, most of them young, were pinned in or near the fence surrounding the field and died of compressive asphyxia. Though it […]

Twittercide: The Social Media Transaction

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A Van and A Flag This week saw the sacking of Emily Thornberg, British Member of Parliament, from her job as a “shadow minister” because of an uproar over a photo she tweeted, sans caption. The photo: UK politics are an especial mess at the moment as an election looms and the conservatives are being […]

Legacy of the Big Black Buck

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 Race, Sex and Social Media The most powerful southern racist narrative involves swarthy and virile black men, slaves originally, having their way with lily white belles while the master is out. The chaste and pure mistress succumbs to the animal passions of her ebony attacker and it is left to white men to redeem her […]

A Tar Baby and a Rented Mule

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All the World’s a Slur Former Governor and GOP stalwart Haley Barbour was (partially) hung out to dry last week over employing the term “tar babies” in describing some of President Obama’s policy positions. Similarly, Ray Allen, a Virginia GOP consultant was called out when he said that Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell would beat […]

Vic, AU: CFA Cuts, UFUA Howls

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“…job cuts are ill-conceived and stupid” Victoria, Australia’s Country Fire Authority (CFA), the state agency providing fire service outside Melbourne, Geelong, and other cities is cutting 164 positions on the brink of the 2014 fire season. The United Firefighters Union of Australia (UFUA) Victoria Branch is taking strong exception to the cuts. Peter Marshall, UFUA […]

Pope Francis as Company Officer

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Anybody hanging around a firehouse for a bit has come across the unhappy crew intent on driving their leader crazy. Perhaps it is the unfortunate officer’s first posting or possibly a mutiny in the making by the salty dogs. At any rate, the symptoms and behavior are easily spotted: the crew’s surly demeanor coupled with […]

Eleven, Eleven, Eleven

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When the Bell Tolls Tuesday, November 11th at 11 a.m. we pause to honor all who have served in our armed forces. That now famous hour signaled the end of the First World War in 1918. This 11/11/11 is like no other as it is also the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the “War […]

Sex, Religion and Power

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You’re On Mikvah Camera The religious world, or at least a segment of it, was shaken recently by the news of Washington Rabbi Barry Freundel’s arrest on charges of voyeurism. The Rabbi is alleged to have videotaped female congregants and others as they disrobed and used a ritual bath known as a “mikvah.” Freundel, in addition […]

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