November 6, 2009

Swing and a Miss

Marc Comtois

This morning, the NEA's Pat Crowley's lamely attempted to use Alinsky's Rules #5 (Ridicule) and #11 (" Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it") on Education Commissioner Deborah Gist and put up a post that displayed the sort of empathy and prudence we've all come to expect. In the post, Crowley vaguely alluded to getting the "Gist" (ha...ha...) of what the new Education Commissioner abilities were and then linked to this video with no further explanation. I suppose the reader was to anticipate that some egregious evidence contra the new commish was about to be laid out.

Instead, we saw a video that originally accompanied this story from the Washington Post from February this year (and which was mentioned in this story from the Johnston Sun Rise in October).

A few years ago, Deborah [Gist] said, she was flipping through a copy of the Guinness book and realized she didn't want to grow her toenails to epic lengths and had little chance of running 100 meters in less than 9 seconds. "Then I got to this record and it said 'Most Kisses in a Minute.' I've kind of been known for being affectionate in my kissing, and I thought, 'That's it. That's the one.' "

All she needed was 109 people -- you see, the record is for most consecutive kisses by different people.

On Saturday, about 140 people gathered at the house....She withstood the onslaught, and Vince and I clicked 118 kisses, minus six disqualifications, for a total of 112 and a record (pending Guinness's approval).

The event raised $20,000 for the Wellness Community, a cancer-support organization in Bethesda.

Gist was inspired to raise the money after her uncle died from cancer. I guess Pat thought this all was supposed to cast a negative light upon Gist, though I'm not sure what conclusions were to be drawn.

Understandably, the commenters to Crowley's post also apparently missed why this was so important to Pat and many praised Commissioner Gist for being light-hearted and caring (and even a community organizer!). I wouldn't have even commented on it...except now the post and the comments it generated have disappeared--"- This diary has been removed "--though reference to the comments can be found by checking some of the user profiles (like here, here or here) and this comment also mentions the disappearance of the post.

Why the post and comments were removed is obvious; it ends up putting Crowley, not Gist, in a poor light. But instead of blank space, maybe an explanation is warranted, guys? Regardless, it would appear the commissioner is winding Pat up so much with talk of teacher evaluations and dropping seniority that its affecting his well-known judgment and tact....ahem...or maybe he's just jealous that he didn't get a chance to kiss the commish himself.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Maybe Crowley is beginningto wear even on the new management at RIF.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 6, 2009 12:39 PM

Who could be surprised? When you are low-life scum like Crowley, nothing is beneath you.
Anybody need more evidence that Crowley is a piece of crap?
Bob Walsh must be real proud to be associated with such filth.

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at November 6, 2009 12:52 PM

if this is some attempt at superiority it failed. the hell with crowley but really are your opinions any better? no.

Posted by: Im_Not_Gay at November 6, 2009 12:56 PM

ING--I know, silly ain't it? Thinking it strange to make fun of someone raising money for cancer.....I'd hardly say this is an attempt at superiority...though that may actually be what's going on with you.

Posted by: Marc at November 6, 2009 1:04 PM

The earlier conversations on RIFuture by Bob Walsh and Patrick Crowley regarding the Projo make me think they are under external pressure to squelch criticism. There seems to be a big change in Bob Walsh's writing style. Now, they both appear to demonizing the sources of criticism, rather than addressing the issues. Has it become embarrassing for the NEA at the national level to see the criticism leveled at their local group?

Also, Patrick appears to be using the 'troll' ratings feature on Rhode Island Future almost anytime someone disagrees with him. That feature removes comments and posters from the discussion. I think it is a shame that Rhode Island Future is evolving into a self-censoring non-debate. It had been an excellent source for lively discourse.

Posted by: Robert Balliot at November 6, 2009 2:04 PM

Even the comments that Marc linked to are disappearing.

As for their "troll" ratings, that's been the m.o. of that site and their administrators for a long time now. If you disagree, little Napolean the site admin will call you a troll at least 17 times per comment and then ban you. Usually without notice or explanation, before or after.

It really is a nightmare of a site.

Posted by: Patrick at November 6, 2009 2:16 PM

I banned myself from RIF when I realized that for the most part(there are exceptions)the left doesn't debate-they use boilerplate and pout a lot.They also exaggerate things beyond belief-the Jack McConnell method of expressing "outrage".(It makes him lots of money though.)

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 6, 2009 3:02 PM

Brian Hull is the one good one of the lot. "Alex" the moderator has his moments, sometimes he goes a little overboard with "on topic" rule enforcement, but that's par for online moderators, and it's never really affected me.

Pat Crowley has gone absolutely berserk with censoring all dissenting voices on RIFuture. He rates almost all of my posts "0", the "troll" rating, to try and get them removed, even when they are completely on topic, simply because they often do not support progressive policies. I've tried to have reasonable discussions with him a number of times, usually he just insults me with a one-liner and leaves.

I'm strongly considering leaving the site. Unlike Anchor Rising (with which I also frequently disagree policy-wise), most of the people on RIFuture have NO interest in debate or discussion whatsoever. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not invested in either "side", liberal or conservative, so I can unbiasedly say that this site is much more tolerant and reasonable in its approach. Let's keep it that way, folks!

Posted by: Dan at November 6, 2009 5:21 PM

Alinsky's rules 5 and 11 are exactly why ad hominum attacks on liberals are fair game. But it's not just that... it's also because they are stupid, greedy, pigs.

Posted by: George at November 6, 2009 5:44 PM

I am also an Independent, but I do not bother with RIF. AR is a forum where people actually discuss issues and it is considered okay to have divergent opinions. People may respectfully challenge one another and that is what makes a political discussion forum interesting. Trolling does not equal having a dissenting opinion. Trolling, by definition, is making unprovoked personal attacks on other posters, using inappropriate and abusive language, and spamming. IMHO, I don't see the point in even trying to have a discussion with people who might just erase all of my comments because (gasp!) I might actually have an independent opinion on something. RIF must be pretty boring, with everyone just agreeing all the time.

As for this business with Gist, it seems Crowley can't bear to have people think ill of him so he had to remove any post that might have inadvertantly made him look bad (i.e., ridiculing someone for engaging in a harmless, good-natured activity to fund cancer research). However, it appears he only continues to make himself look worse, and in the end will lose everyone's respect - even those folks that he thinks are on his side.

Posted by: Tabetha at November 6, 2009 6:57 PM

Crowley is an adolescent radical in a man's body.

If I were a rank and file teacher I'd be mighty PO'd that I'm paying dues to provide him with a six-figure income so that he can spend his days blogging and organizing and attending "community activist" events for the various union-funded front groups like ACORN and Jobs with Justice.

But hey, from the perspective of folks who care about children and taxes, it's great having him out there as the "bad cop" face of the "professionals" in the teachers unions.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at November 7, 2009 10:43 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.