Only a Fool Fights in a Burning House

Fruitless arguing hinders us from finding solutions.

It’s no secret that politics today in our country, state and especially our city has been monopolized by the extremes. Whether this has been driven by the 24 hour news cycle, most notably FOX News or MSNBC, or huge lobbyist bank accounts held by corporations and public union organizations is up for debate. What is clear, however, is arguing the fate of our government along the extremes will get us more of what we have now.

Unfortunately time is not our friend in attempts to sort out the winners and losers of this type of debate here in East Providence, as a budget commission has settled in and is now, de facto running the city. It reminds me of the proverb uttered by one of Gene Roddenberry’s characters in Star Trek. "Only a fool fights in a burning house." Well the house is on fire, and we still have people pointing fingers at each other in relentless fashion here on The Patch.

I’ve recently found it somewhat comical, though at the same time troubling, that many of my posts and comments, along with some other posters, have been vilified by both sides of the extremes. It’s as if logic and reason now have no place in our political conversation. I’m sure some of this is coming from those associated with the heavily union backed Democratic Party and the union loathing Republican Party. And then of course even the local Democratic Party is severely split depending on what set of unions are supporting each faction, which further complicate matters.

What gets lost in all this, unfortunately, is identifying the real problems here in the city and focusing on solutions together. 

Great thinkers over the millennia, going back to Buddha and Aristotle, among many others, have always advocated the "middle way" to the path of wisdom. If we can’t identify leaders who can move along these lines, without reverting to personal attacks and back room politics, I’m sure many people in East Providence, will themselves decide to act normally upon finding themselves in a burning house.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Arthur Dolloff April 04, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Yes Joe the house is burning. As we know sometimes it takes a slap in the face to get the attention of a hysterical person so they will see the house is burning. Left or right politics is often the evil face of reality. We had our own farce of an election and that was before the High Court said it was ok to use huge sums of money to influence voting. I think the point that must be kept in mind is “out of sight out of mind” or to be more to the point many EP residents seem to have short memories and will follow their fellow Lemmings over the cliff. Can we afford to have this happen again? NO!! If it takes a strongly worded and continuously voiced presence to make the truth be seen – SO BE IT!
Joe Botelho April 04, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Well said.
Doubting Thomas April 04, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Correct. And unfortunately, sad to say but burning one's house may be the only way to get out. Who with even a 1/4 of a brain would buy real estate in this city. If you aren't already out you're stuck and scre.....
S April 05, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Joe you are really not thinking... say it clearly and out load... you are talking in riddles, be honest you are a John Faria boy. You are backing Bruce Rogers and pretend to be in the middle. You are one of the Gregg's boys
S April 05, 2012 at 02:33 AM
only a fool fights in a burning house is very true however your boys are fighting a lost battle in a burning house and they started the fire... how stupid is that
Working Man April 05, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Joe the FLAMES are getting higher, as you I am a sports guy, I attended the opening day of EP varsity baseball at pierce on mon, no scoreboard , bathroms locked, and if the game went long no lights, I am sure Hendriken appreiciated the hospitality.
Rags 1 April 05, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Only fools will not try to put it out. Seems more approriate to the situation in EP. Finding solutions, not additional problems and name calling will begin torward progress. So far, a neutral budget commission has to be the compass--too bad.
Joe Botelho April 05, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Clearly wrong on both counts. You accuse me of not thinking. You're real problem with me is that I AM thinking and not being a Lemming as Mr. Dolloff mentioned earlier. Say it clear and out loud? I think my point was pretty clear...we need to work together. I find it odd that you make such a request while you hide behind anonymity and toss bombs from the other side of the pond. Backing Bruce Rogers? You clearly don't know your East Providence political history. A John Faria Boy? I am affiliated with the Moderate Party, clearly not Mr. Faria's cup of tea. I do like Gregg's, however, fine food, reasonably priced and the service is exceptional. You're problem started with on The Patch as soon as I discussed the obvious gerrymandering of the Senate and House districts in the city. Based on your comments, my opinion is that you are probably associated with the democratic faction out of Riverside opposed to that of John Faria. The new district 18 suits Bill Conley quite well if he were to choose to run. And Based on a recent ad in The Reporter, it may well be the case. http://towniewatch.typepad.com/Reporter%204-12.jpg Now I like Bill, a fine man, extremely intelligent and he cares about the city. But if the district was carved up in order to enable his candidacy, the party responsible ought to be up front about it if they firmly believe it was done for the good of the city. What do they have to be ashamed of? I can't be any clearer and louder than that.
Joe Botelho April 05, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Who are your "boys"
Joe Botelho April 05, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Well said.
Joe Botelho April 05, 2012 at 04:07 PM
That's unfortunate Working Man. I understand there is no security detail and Pierce at night either. I can't imagine what impact that will also have on that facility. I'm sure if taxpayers were allowed to vote on where their payments would be spent when they paid the bill, surely preserving Pierce Field and its quality facilities would be near the top of the list. Of course I've spent many decades at Pierce since I was a kid, so I may be a bit bias on that one.
david sullivan April 06, 2012 at 06:50 PM
And the normal behavior of a person in a burning house is to get the hell out. As many are...bye bye property values (even with 4% mortgages)...imagine if the rates spike? Im all for reasonable solutions. New people is a good place to start. The same people doing the same things perpetuates this cycle of decline. The finger pointing is part of vetting candidates and some are to be blamed and should be exposed as such. When youre a self motivated union bag boy, the public should know about it before entering the voting booth.
Paul April 07, 2012 at 01:50 AM
One of the problems is that many, if not most people, vote without knowing or caring to know about the true allegiances of their candidates. They get flyers in the mail from obscure organizations, attend candidates' spaghetti suppers, or see a humongous Katie Kleyla picture on the back of a truck, and that serves as their data gathering exercise prior to voting. I would welcome people like Joe Botelho and others who are in the know (and not just guessing) to provide their insights on the inner working of city politics so that we can use their perspectives as one more data point when voting. Obviously, formulating opinions based on candidates' photos mounted on the back of a pickup truck hasn't worked well for our city.
Rags 1 April 07, 2012 at 01:26 PM
The key to political success in a non-partisan city of our size is to stick to the issues that matter such as fiances and costs for services, campaign in the neighborhoods the old fashion way, take advice from those future constitutents that you engage, and answer all your phone calls--sound old fashion--it is--but that is what EP needs. Leadership and popularity are not always a corellation. Too many times when things get tough the tough get going. Just some thoughts.
Arthur Dolloff April 07, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Joe, Don't use too many words; S has a hard time understanding long sentences. And deep thoughts are totaly out of the question.
Arthur Dolloff April 07, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Very strong point David
Arthur Dolloff April 07, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Paul, We all work together or we all face another assembly of Union clowns controlling our city. Unfortunately some of these bloggers scare people from posting with their bullying tactics, such a shame more do not “flag as inappropriate” their comments.
Arthur Dolloff April 07, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Rags, We have had different opinions in the past on other subjects but I support your old fashioned thoughts.
S April 07, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Oh Arthur your such a dolt
Joe Botelho August 14, 2012 at 01:11 PM
East Providence Democrats are divided, not by ideology, but by which set of unions support it as I mentioned at the top of this post. This is clearly demonstrated by the article in today's ProJo. Read to the end of the article to see where the vast amounts of campaign money flows in this city. Between this and the gerrymandering, one begins to wonder if the people in East Providence actually have a choice? Read the article here. http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODE/ProJo/LandingPage/LandingPage.aspx?href=VFBKLzIwMTIvMDgvMTQ.&pageno=MQ..&entity=QXIwMDEwMg..&view=ZW50aXR5


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