Content Types


Race and Left and Right in Different Dimensions

The Left won’t let politics be politics when race or gender is involved, because it’s a convenient way to silence those who disagree (even if they don’t understand that’s what they’re doing).

Modern Elites Just Prefer a Different Scapegoat Class… Everybody Else

In assuring his writers that he’s simply playing anthropologist when describing the perspective of urban whites, David Wong exposes the falsehood of his newly adopted urban attitude.

Narragansett Well Positioned to Lower Commercial Taxes

Going to a single tax rate for residential and commercial taxes would help Narragansett businesses, and the town’s high taxes suggest it could be done without raising rates on residents.

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September 2016 Employment: Cresting a Diminutive Peak?

In September, whatever boost Rhode Island was seeing in employment cooled and jobs evaporated; meanwhile, Rhode Islanders’ income fell in the second quarter, even as taxes increased.

August 2016 Employment: Getting in the Increases Before the Revision

As usual this time of year, the story of Rhode Island’s employment picture depends greatly on whether one expects a large downward revision. For the moment, the employment picture looks brighter than it’s been, although not by much.

July 2016 Employment: Two-Month Spurt Only Seems Unusual

For the first time in a while, Rhode Island’s employment picture looks to be on the upswing, although similar results in prior years have tended to be revised away.

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The System Is Rigged, and Rhode Islanders Should Know

With Rhode Island’s experience of government (and the Providence Journal’s 100% status quo endorsements), can anybody in the state really doubt that the system is rigged?

RIDE Gets Requirements and Accountability Backwards

As long as the education system takes the attitude that “the diploma belongs to the student,” meaningless rhetoric and wishy-washy standards will lead to meaningless degrees.

Public Service Announcement: Don’t Let Your Condescension Blind You to What’s Coming

The message is becoming clearer that the only hope is for more respect and humility from an elite that has proven incapable of taking the warning. So, here we go.

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Investigative Report

Article 18: Another Insider “Deepwater” Scam in the Making? (Corrected)

Despite disturbing new revelations and renewed public criticism about insider legislative grants, cronyism appears to be alive and well at the Rhode Island State House. And once again, Ocean State families and businesses would be asked to foot the bill.

In the budget that got voted out of the Finance Committee early Wednesday morning, alert observers spotted and brought to the attention of the RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity as well as the Ocean State Current on Friday an extensive revision to Article 18.

They are correct to loudly ring warning bells about it. If it stays in, state electric ratepayers are in for even higher electric rates than they currently pay.

Cooler & Warmer Time Line and the Commerce Corp.’s Promotional Focus

The Commerce Corp. is being vague about the time line of the development of the failed “Cooler & Warmer” brand, which raises questions about what it’s hiding and whom it’s promoting.

Was Final RhodeWorks Vote Scheduled Before the Bill Was Submitted?

Correspondence related to the removal of the toll gantries on the Sakonnet River Bridge on Super Bowl Sunday suggests that the date was no surprise, that the state paid a premium for the timing, and that government officials had the schedule for RhodeWorks legislation planned out well in advance.

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Longer Twitter

Do Warwick Schools Operate with Sickouts Every Day?

It’s good to read, this morning, that Warwick’s public school teachers didn’t contribute to the recent wave of thuggishness in Rhode Island by having an organized sick-out over the disinclination of the school department to keep giving them more and more money to teach fewer and fewer students.  But then Paul Edward Parker’s article reports:

Eighty-three teachers have called in sick, according to Catherine Bonang, secretary to Superintendent Philip Thornton.

On an average day, the number of teacher absences runs in the 60s, Bonang said. The school system has about 840 teachers.

What?  On a typical school day, one in thirteen teachers is absent?  That’s between 7.1 and 8.3%!  According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average absenteeism in America is 2.9%.  (It’s 2.7% in the private sector and 3.5% among government employees, which is a 30% difference.)

Granted, the BLS data excludes vacations, personal days, and a few other reasons people miss work, while the Warwick secretary may or may not be including such absences in her rough number.  On the other hand, we also have to consider that there are only around 180 school days in the year to begin with.

Whatever the case, should it sit well with the taxpayers and parents of Warwick that their public school teachers are so often not in the classroom?

Gross Behavior from Democrat Bill Lynch and Yoga Pant Fascists

The Providence Journal opinion editors were disturbed by the flash mob incensed at a letter to the editor in a local Barrington paper about yoga pants:

… marching by the hundreds on the writer’s house — in a residential neighborhood, in possible violation of town ordinances — smacks of something more chilling and threatening: an attempt to demonstrate that such speech will not be tolerated. The underlying message was that those who speak out as the letter writer did will be hounded by organized protesters and find the sanctity of their neighborhood invaded.

Elsewhere, the paper reports on the letter writer’s travails, providing the image of him “scrub[bing] the street of scrawls left behind by the protesters” and saying that the experience isn’t “over for me.”

Since we seem to have some agreement that terrorizing private citizens when they presume to participate in public discourse is wrong, let’s turn our attention to Bill Lynch and the Rhode Island Democrat Party.  Late yesterday, several local journalists promoted a press release from the party in which “Senior Advisor” Lynch claimed to reveal how much money the conservative Gaspee Project and Roosevelt Society have spent “in an attempt to influence this election.”

The press release then prints (twice) this disgusting paragraph:

For the Gaspee Project, one of the donors, Warren Galkin, is a Wall Street executive who has donated over a quarter million over the years and who was involved in a life insurance annuity pool that defrauded insurance companies by using the identities of terminally ill patients.

Note that this exact line of attack is so out of bounds that even the far-left group Think Progress has called it “nasty.”  As Think Progress explains, Galkin wasn’t “involved in” illegal activities; he was one of multiple investors, from a local police chief to the Democrat governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, in a process they’d been led to believe was aboveboard.  According to the Washington Post there was “no indication that McAuliffe (D) or other investors were aware that Caramadre was stealing identities.”

Think about what Lynch and the Rhode Island Democrats are doing, here.  They’re digging through campaign reports looking for any individual they can slime as a villain in order to protect their near-total domination of Rhode Island government, even as the state falls apart.  Given the number Lynch’s fellow partisans who’ve had run-ins with the law in recent years, perhaps this thuggishness isn’t surprising.

The behavior is also not surprising in light of the post in this space yesterday describing how progressives work to intimidate people who don’t agree with them and silence everybody else.  Between mob-like marches on letter-writers’ houses and the state Democrat Party’s targeting not even of candidates or activists, but of those who support them, the message is unmistakable:  Participate in Rhode Island society or the political process, and people with no sense of boundaries or of common decency may make you pay a high cost.

Father Marciano’s Homily and the Care of His Soul and Ours

The headline above Katherine Gregg’s Providence Journal story on Father Robert Marciano’s recent Presidential election homily, “Warwick priest: A vote for Clinton would put ‘immortal soul’ in peril“, fails to convey an important detail about what Fr. Marciano actually said (though the story itself does provide an accurate quote). While the headline refers to the soul in a general way, Fr. Marciano in his homily referred only to his own…

I cannot vote for Mrs. Clinton since my immortal soul would be in peril by cooperating in the destruction of innocent human life.

Fr. Marciano follows the powerful example of St. Thomas More — who was martyred, by the way, for refusing to say what the government of his time wanted him to say — in being explicit about a danger to his own soul.  St. Thomas More’s understanding of the individual soul and the role of individual conscience is captured beautifully in a famous exchange from the film “A Man for All Seasons“…

The Duke of Norfolk: “Oh confound all this. I’m not a scholar, I don’t know whether the marriage [of Henry VIII] was lawful or not but – dammit, Thomas, look at these names! Why can’t you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship!”

Thomas More: “And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?”

(The line is based on correspondence attributed to St. Thomas More).

To a believing Catholic, the conscience spoken of by St. Thomas More does not allow for unconstrained individual choice. A properly formed conscience must follow God’s laws and every individual bears the responsibility of learning them and following them to the best of his or her ability. Ultimately, whether one has done enough in forming and following one’s conscience to gain entry into heaven is decided by a single judge: not a priest, bishop or even the Pope, but God Himself.

As to what can be known prior to God’s judgement, theological debate is ongoing as to whether many people are able to do what is required for salvation, or whether only a few will make it to heaven.

But it is precisely because no one on earth can say with absolute certainty who is saved and who isn’t that a priest has a responsibility to move as many people as he can towards a greater chance of salvation by encouraging everyone to more closely conform their consciences and their actions to the teachings of the Church. If a significant danger to the salvation of many arises in the form of political leaders who pursue their own earthly gains by ignoring and even opposing church teaching, then a priest has an unavoidable responsibility to point out that cavalierly following such leaders may lead away from the path of salvation.

We should take Fr. Marciano at his word, when he says that his understanding and acceptance of Church teaching means that he would have to violate his own conscience to vote to place certain candidates who strongly oppose key Church teachings into positions of influence. And because Fr. Marciano cannot know the precise state of anyone’s conscience but his own, we should also take him at his word when he limits his certainty of knowledge of when conscience has been violated to himself, while he encourages his congregation and his community to move in a direction where the salvation of as many souls as possible is most assured.

Trading the scare-quotes in the headline for two additional characters, i.e. “Warwick priest: A vote for Clinton would put my immortal soul in peril” would have much more accurately conveyed the tradition of Catholic belief that Fr. Marciano is a part of.

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Interviews & Profiles

Arthur Christopher Schaper: Cicilline’s “Grand Theft Auto” Sanctuary City

Arthur Christopher Schaper asks illegal immigration expert Jessica Vaughn about the consequences of sanctuary city policies under former Providence Mayor David Cicilline.

10 News Conference Wingmen, Episode 46 (Congressional Debates)

Rob Paquin and Bob Plain discuss the candidates for U.S. Congress from Rhode Island (mostly by way of the issues).

10 News Conference Wingmen, Episode 45 (Secretary of State Debate)

Rob Paquin and Bob Plain discuss a debate between candidates for RI Secretary of State and related topics.

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