Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

There's a right way and a wrong way to do things . . .

As I was walking to my car last night I saw a big, beautiful blue helicopter marked "NYPD" land at the Providence heliport, which is near my office. The brilliant thought "WTF?" came to me. It turns out that's how New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly travels -- at least when Marine One is unavailable -- and he was here to give a talk at an institute belonging to my employer.

Sadly, he was unable to speak because protesters shouted and jeered him off the stage. The photograph shows him with Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré, with whom I serve on the Commissioner of Health's Emergency Medical Services Working Group, and as you can see Steve does not look particularly happy. I wasn't there but I'm not happy either. I have previously expressed my unhappiness about this on Daily Kos and a commenter said there should be a limit to the people the university invites to speak, and how would I feel if they invited Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh?

Well, I'd feel just great, actually. Kelly was supposed to give brief remarks and then spend an hour in exchange with the audience. That was a world class opportunity to subject him to something he almost never gets: smart, informed people asking him tough questions and confronting him with the arguments about why his policies are counterproductive, unethical and contrary to the values we Americans claim to believe in. Reporters will never do that, but there were reporters in the room and they would have heard it. Even if they were fair and balanced, they would have had to report what those smart, informed people had to say.

Now that will never happen. Instead all we know is that east coast pointy-headed liberals won't even let the guy talk if they don't agree with him. Well, evidently that's true. It's also sad, and embarrassing, and it isn't smart or well-informed. It's FUAB. That is all.


Don Quixote said...

I hear ya. And I agree. We do have to learn how to LISTEN.

Cervantes said...

I wasn't even thinking about listening so much as seizing the opportunity to talk back persuasively, instead of just shouting him down.