The Three Doors of Possibility Upon Realization That RI Is Bought

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Erika Sanzi is not happy with Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo’s decision to sign legislation giving teachers’ unions their long-sought-after evergreen contracts, which guarantee that they never have to negotiate if they don’t like the direction in which their contracts might go.  Under an image of a card reading, “GAME OVER Thank you for playing,” Sanzi starts her post by noting the thank you offered to Raimondo by National Education Association of Rhode Island Executive Director Robert Walsh.  Writes Sanzi:

It’s never a good sign for students or taxpayers when the Executive Director of NEA RI is sending thank you notes to the Governor—on Twitter. Perhaps a moment of silence is in order. There was a time that Governor Gina Raimondo was a champion of reform, that rare Democrat willing to ignore and even clap back at unions if it meant doing right by taxpayers. And students. And parents. And the state’s economy. There was a time she knew that evergreen contracts could bankrupt the state.

Sanzi will be an interesting Rhode Island personality to watch going forward.  Her post appears to be one of those cris de coeur that mark a moment of final realization.  Personally, I’ve had so many that I don’t remember the first.  That is why my most difficult occupational task is reading and grading legislation.  In any legislative session, a person who reads all of the legislation that receives a floor vote in either chamber of the General Assembly will come across at least a half-dozen bills per year that are so obviously insane and damaging to the state that it blots the “Hope” right from our flag to know that elected legislators are actually approving of them.

At the end of the day, there are only three directions to go upon such a realization.  The first is to make the conscious decision not to know.  This is the origin of “Rhode-apathy.”  A person decides that the state has enough positives to stay and comes to the wholly rational decision that worrying about things that can’t be changed can only detraction from enjoyment of the good.

The second option is the most common one among conservatives and Republicans, which is to get out of here.  This may be the biggest factor making a right-of-center opposition seem impossible.  Any momentum we build up seems to swirl off into eddies when our strongest supporters crash upon that last rock and they decide they have had enough.

The last option is for those of us who think in terms of a civic responsibility approaching missionary work.  Stay and fight.  Find the weakness in the corruption and beat it.  I’ve chosen this path in large part because I think Rhode Island is likely a leading edge.  It’s a ground zero in the zombie apocalypse of corruption, and being here is the only way to find the cure.

I hope Sanzi takes door number 3.



  • Phil Hirons Jr

    I know, so #1 is not an option. I’ve watched numerous fellow conservatives leave for greener pastures and then tell us all about it. I’ve made a commitment to stay in RI thru 2024 but I might be out of civic responsibility after that.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    Ask not for whom the bell tolls

    I have seen a lot of number 2. While many stay here to complete their earning years (usually self employed) they are out of here when retirement time comes. They move to warmer climates without estate tax.

  • ShannonEntropy

    I vote for Door Number One

    A person decides that the state has enough positives to stay and comes to the wholly rational decision that worrying about things that can’t be changed can only detraction from enjoyment of the good

    …. Take the HONK PILL !!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4OhbzSFpnk

  • Joe Smith

    Sanzi will be an interesting Rhode Island personality to watch going forward.

    Really – will we see a change from the Op-Ed she wrote in 2014 praising the Gov’s first election as boding well for students. I think more she’ll be among the litany of single issue RI “reformers” who end up when push comes to shove still voting “D” and justifying it by saying this time it will different.

    I think your option 3 is flawed in using the term “missionary.” Missionary gives the notion of conversion to a way of thinking (and acting) based on a very rigid set of beliefs. That’s part of the problem with RI GOP. It’s also a feature now of the no compromise progressive left in the state – a trait that should be exploitable in a majority independent voter affiliation state.

    However, no change is going to come by offering some version – correct as it may be more often than not – of some conservative, right to work, free market state with a flawed (at best) national messenger. The independent majority public is not buying that to the same extent they are not buying (yet) the progressive message.

    Take a look at the senate judiciary vote on abortion bill. While some headlines trumpet RI senate committee votes down abortion bill with the implication the majority do not support abortion, the real point is a a few democrats – who *still support* abortion and made that position clear – opposed the left sneaking in an expansion. This would have passed even with some nudging more if the left hadn’t gone for a home run instead of settling for a wall ball double.

    You’re not getting rid of public sector unions. You can’t impose radical school choice on the current system, you only get this hodge podge of charters, poorly regulated government subsidization of privates, and traditional schools that end up costing more with mixed results in a state with declining enrollment. You can’t gut the dependency culture of the state in one swoop.

    The Janus decision may have been correct; however, it is also not a coincidence that the public sector unions in the year following in RI have pushed through major gains – indicating Janus was a wake-up call for unions more so than the “hey you’re free if you want to leave” call to members. Be careful what you wish for if you haven’t slowly built a foundation for that new house to sit on.

    Missionaries are either very successful with their message..or they get killed. The GOP has suffered the latter. East Greenwich is case study 1 – and the GOP rewards the architect of that debacle with the state leadership chair. Running failed leaders repeatedly whose message seemed to be “I’m not her/them” isn’t a great strategy either in a state with a lot of people resigned to your Option 1.

    So, instead of missionary..well, I’m not sure the right name..but the below from Scientific American makes the point.

    “the very same thing happens in our experiment, which suggests that people have a pretty high degree of flexibility about their political views once you strip away the things that normally make them defensive. Their results suggest that we need rethink what it means to hold an attitude. If we become aware that our political attitudes are not set in stone, it might become easier for us to seek out information that might change them.”

    To come full circle..if the GOP announced their platform would support changing the student teacher sexual assault bill, would Sanzi step up and support the GOP? Would the GOP step and support say a Dan McKee if on balance he would a better fiscally responsible Governor than say the likely other Democratic – especially when the GOP has *nobody* even remotely in a position to win.

  • bagida’wewinini

    I have to disagree with Erika Sanzi the blogger that the so called Evergreen contract law is not good for parents, students and all others living in this state. The law is designed to prevent cities and towns from taking away salary and charging more for health insurance when a contract between teachers and the city or town expires. By removing the incentive for cities and towns to purposely engineer that outcome the law assures negotiations will be done in good faith. If the scales were not balanced and cities and towns aggressively pursued these non negotiations retention of seasoned educators would be difficult. Why would anyone with college education debt, a mortgage and a family to support put up with the disruption every couple of years. That might be fine with some of these “taxpayer groups “ and dark money financed scribblers but I don’t think it’s good for those educators or ultimately their students and their parents and all others in the community who value good public educators and education. Elections matter and the will of the people is being expressed.

    • Joe Smith

      I think you miss the point why the unions wanted this bill. In the past, when the contract expired ahead of a successor, school boards and town councils generally followed a ‘status quo” principle – in this state because the labor board is stacked for labor anyway. The line of what is a management right – and in theory doesn’t have to be negotiated anyway – versus a bargained item is a bit blurry; however, wages and benefits fall into the “bargain” category.

      Hence, boards and councils were never going to let a CBA expire so as to gut salaries or health insurance. It may be the case management wants to get concessions in those areas, but it won’t happen from unilateral imposition after CBA expiration. Heck, salaries and benefits get frozen so in one sense management at least gets a break if a CBA expires.

      Now, the issue recently has been management claiming management rights *after* the CBA expired in situations like North Kingstown changing firefighter schedules and Warwick refusing to arbitrate a grievance (since the grieved activity occurred after the CBA expired hence Warwick SC claimed the teacher had no standing to file a grievance). Of course, the state labor board sided with the union- essentially saying a de facto “evergreen” situation exists until a new contract is reached.

      Well, the superior court slapped down the labor board – but even then the court said it was still on a “case by case” basis; meaning a contract was not “evergreen” but most parts probably are.

      Now, the unions used to the labor board being their back stop said well have to remove the “case by case” exception and simply codify the labor board position..and the GA and Gov gave them what they wished.

      If you think it is leveling the negotiations, I suspect you have never been on the management side of a CBA. Negotiations were already tilted to the union and now the one area management at least could consider has been removed. The only leverage management has now is wages and benefits are frozen so I have no doubt the next moves by the union will be to push the GA for a “retroactivity” law or for teachers to push a “statewide” contract.

      Warwick School Department, et al. v. Rhode Island State Labor Relations Board

      • bagida’wewinini

        I was thinking more about the actions of the East Providence school committee in 2009 in their imposing salary reductions and raising insurance contributions to the towns teachers. The next year the RI Supreme Court sided with the school committee, hence the push by unions to get an evergreen law on the books by democratic means

        • Joe Smith

          You have to remember the key “clause” in that ruling – “a committee can make unilateral changes when faced with an actual deficit. ” In other words, Title 16 only trumps Title 28 if the school committee is facing an actual deficit and must be balanced by the 30 Jun deadline. (Interestingly the state has never enforced this for charters..)

          I’m pretty sure the court would have struck down the EP School committee actions if EP finances were not such a mess at the time.

    • ShannonEntropy

      It cracks me up how every time you libtards donut have to do an end-run in the courts to get what you want from the gum-mint yer all “Elections have consequences”

      Funny how you guys never seem to get caught saying that about oh let’s say Donald Trump

      • bagida’wewinini

        Elections have consequences. I acknowledge that Trump won the presidency and we are dealing with the consequences and will in the future. I live in one of the second amendment sanctuary towns where all of the town council is Republicans so it’s to be assumed that there is a large contingent of Trump fans among my neighbors. So I’m living that reality. My work puts me in contact with Trump supporters and they don’t use words like the one you used for me. It’s much more like f..king stupid liberals with descriptions of what they would like to do to them. Sprinkled in their everyday speech are words for immigrants and African Americans that most people stopped using a long time ago. So I think I am aware that elections have consequences

        • Rhett Hardwick

          “Sprinkled in their everyday speech are words for immigrants and African Americans that most people stopped using a long time ago.”

          Why is it that being a “Nazi” and associating with people who support the “orange haired Mussolini”, I only rarely hear those terms. I will admit I more frequently hear “black” or “colored” than African -American.

          • bagida’wewinini

            Forgive me for being delicate in the way I wrote what I hear daily. Nigger Coon Spic are more accurate examples if you must know

          • Rhett Hardwick

            I have to admit that none of the pejoratives you list are unknown to me. In fact I was surprised you left out “blue gums”. Having spent large portions of my youth in the South, I always noted that they were more frequently heard in suburban New England, where “Coloreds” were practically unknown, than in the South. I recall a conversation I once had with a young black woman who was raised in Boston, but whose family was from the same county in NC as my own. I referred to having coonhounds as a kid. It was clear from her facial expression that she assumed they were bred for chasing runaway “coons”, as opposed to their actual purpose of treeing raccoons. Sad. Reminds me of family stories of how “nice Irish girls” did not walk in the “Italian” sections of Providence.

        • ShannonEntropy

          I toats feel for ya bagi… it must be holy heck living amongst all those Bible-readin’ gun-totin’ sunscreen-avoidin’ Barbeque-in’ climate-change-denyin’ beer-swillin’ neon-Nazi deplorables

          Here’s an idea: send some of them over to where we live — the Warwick half of Pawtuxet Village which is just inside Erin Lynch Prata’s GA Senate District 31

          Remember her ?? She Chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and has spent most of this year so far trying to get infanticide legalized in Li’l Rhody. Maybe we can give her an “election with consequences” she won’t soon forget [ most election yrs she duzn’t even have an opponent ]

          Her birthday was yesterday [ 05 / 17 ]. She turned 44 — a good age for a mieskeit to start planning her return to her solo law practice which should shrivel up and die just like The Clinton Foundation did when their principals no longer wielded any political power

          • bagida’wewinini

            Actually my situation of the last couple of years has informed me about what German Jews experienced in the 1930s. The history that I only read has come alive for me so it has not been a total waste. I am not familiar with your representative but you may wish to relocate to Alabama if you are so concerned about controlling women’s rights in respect to childbearing but that is far from the topic of Katz’s efforts to smear public education on behalf of his dark money sponsors

          • ShannonEntropy

            I’ve been to Alabama… a really bee-you-tee-ful State and the denizens seem friendly enough… much more pleasant and sanguine than your typical dour New Englander

            Our kids & grandbabies all live here tho so I doubt we’ll be moving anytime soon

            If I ever do move there it will be to a wonderful small city called Orange Beach. It reminds me of Folly Beach SC where I lived during the yrs I lived in that State

          • Rhett Hardwick

            Why do I suspect he is a product of the Common Core Curriculum? Why does anyone sign on here to insult us, is there really any expectation that will change minds?

        • Mike678

          Consequences such as a good economy and lower unemployment? As for your anecdotal evidence, I have found that the most intolerant and hateful group are the so-called progressives…and the group most likely to make up stories.

    • Rhett Hardwick

      “The law is designed to prevent cities and towns from taking away salary and charging more for health insurance when a contract between teachers and the city or town expires.”

      You have pointed out the obvious. Teachers are employed as “contractors”. So, they live, or die, by the “contract”.

  • D. S. Crockett

    To add to the discussion, the term “Leftist” is appropriate since liberalism references those like-minded people who believe in individual liberty. The founders were liberals while we would describe modern day leftist Democrats as “Totalitarians”.

    • ShannonEntropy

      Have read the classic political philosophy tome,
      F A Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom ??

      He points out that both Communism & Nazism are basically the the same: Totalitarianism

      People always say the Nazis were “right-wing extremists” but they’re wrong: the Nazis were Socialists*, just like today’s Lib-Dems & the “Anti-fa”

      * even their official name was Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP)… National Socialist German Workers’ Party

      • Rhett Hardwick

        I have also always wondered why the Nazis were considered “right wing”. Granted they did not seek to “own the means of production”, they sought only to “control the means of production”. Oh well, back to my “1000 year plan”.

  • D. S. Crockett

    The modern day socialists control the means of production through regulation (i.e. the Euro method), so no need to own the means of production.

  • ShannonEntropy

    …you may wish to relocate to Alabama if you are so concerned about controlling women’s rights in respect to childbearing

    Actually I donut really care all that much about abortion one way or the other. What gravels me about Lynch Prata is that she spends ALL her time on the issue. And she just announced Friday that she is gonna waste even MORE time on trying to get Goldin’s infanticide bill passed

    Roe isn’t gonna get overturned any time soon and she can deal with it then if it ever is overturned so with all the many prablems facing this State isn’t there *some* other more-productive things she could be doing ??

  • D. S. Crockett

    Alveda King has got it right – abortion is a civil-rights issue. Now that’s thinking like the leftist Democrats. Finally, someone on the right who’s got it right.

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