Lessons to guide students away from the dangerous threads of human nature (as realized in Nazism) must account for the reality that the Devil can switch sides.
Providence Representative Aaron Regunberg tramples economics to demagogue against National Grid.
Abortion is the Left’s leading argument for giving people the power to take away others’ humanity.
The General Assembly is irresponsible to debate and even pass legislation with no concrete sense of how much it will cost or why people don’t do as the legislators want independently.
The Rhode Island House Oversight Committee is holding a hearing right about now on DCYF and the deaths of children that had been on their radar. The Ocean State Current took a look at staffing trends at DCYF compared to those at the Department of Administration during the last three years.
Rhode Island’s employment picture is looking better, but improvements are either possible statistical aberrations, the consequence of slow growth (rather than recent policies), or undone by other economic factors.
In a heavy-handed edict, reminiscent of soviet-style totalitarianism, the state of Rhode Island considered restricting the free-flow of goods and commerce by restricting trucker traffic on secondary roads this week.
Whether we’re witnessing a conspiracy or the coalescence of incentives, government’s entire purpose is to maintain the space for the exercise of our rights.
French fries and Confederate statues.
The significance of Block’s voter-fraud findings depends what numbers one emphasizes, but the most reasonable number for concern is pretty big.
While the Rhode Island media piles up the headlines against Providence City Council President Luis Aponte over misuse of campaign funds, blogger Johanna Harris is using campaign finance data as intended: to research Mayor Elorza’s donors.
Did the State of Rhode Island contribute to the ten year old DMV computer saga by failing to provide adequate manpower for data migration? The Ocean State Current asked some questions – and got answers (of a sort).
Such thoughts are surely verboten across the entire Left and among some on the Right, but I don’t see how a reasoned assessment can conclude otherwise than this: President Trump is still preferable to the President Clinton from whom he saved our country. Yes, that’s a bit like saying amputation is preferable to death or blindness to a vegetative state, but sometimes life (and our countrymen) force such decisions upon us.
President Trump is reinforcing the Left’s divisive culture war and could certainly be handling that better, but a President Clinton would have reinforced the dismantlement of our rights. If President Trump’s great sin, recently, was that he was too quick to equivocate over blame in Charlottesville, Hillary Clinton would have been unequivocal in furthering the treatment of conservatives, broadly speaking, as people without rights. In that regard, even where Trump’s bad, at least he’s reminding liberals why we maintain those rights.
I offer the foregoing preamble in preface to a “hurrah” in response to this news, reported by Joseph Lawler in the Washington Examiner:
After the Obama Justice Department began Operation Choke Point in 2013, Hensarling and other conservatives accused them of denying the constitutional rights of businesses like gun dealers and payday lenders by targeting them for scrutiny under the program, cutting off their access to the banking system under the guise of investigating fraud and money laundering.
The GOP said companies were still wary that they could lose access to the banking system, and needed clear guidance from the Trump administration that the program wouldn’t be continued.
In a joint statement, Hensarling, Goodlatte, and Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri and Darrell Issa said that the Trump administration has “restored the Department’s responsibility to pursue lawbreakers, not legitimate businesses.”
In all the Sturm und Drang we see in the news, don’t lose sight of the fact that the absence of what we have now does not mean the ideal, or even the tolerable, but the elevation of some other intolerable circumstance.
Zach Maher, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, explains how the government-paid-parental-leave-in-Sweden-is-great scales fell from his eyes:
When the girl’s parents refused to subject her to this unnecessary procedure, the hidden machinery of the Swedish welfare state sprang into motion. My brother-in-law and his wife were required to attend multiple interviews with social workers and to submit friends and neighbors in their small town for questioning. Social workers even inspected their home. Suddenly, decisions as benign as what milk to buy seemed potential evidence of parental deficiency. My in-laws feared their two children might be taken from them.
In Sweden, the state reserves for itself ultimate responsibility for children’s well-being. As a parent my job is to give my kids the trygghet necessary to become productive, tax-paying members of Swedish society. This is why I receive financial support and medical benefits. The state is paying me to be a parent. I am, in effect, an employee—and if I do a poor job, my responsibility as a parent might be taken away from me.
When we give government responsibility for things — even good things, like the well-being of children — we also give it authority over those who provide those things, like parents. Suddenly, government isn’t just filling in gaps, but seeking out gaps by putting parents under the microscope.
The United States is not immune to such thinking, obviously. Some 20 years ago, on Matt Allen’s Mental Floss radio show with the more-liberal Jennifer Brien, the latter argued that schools have to teach sex education (liberally tinted, naturally) because parents simply aren’t doing the job adequately. I called in to ask what gives her or the government the right to make that determination, but she wouldn’t be shaken from the assertion of need. (And then I was cut off.)
Suggesting that he and his wife “insist… on having their own ideas about raising children,” Maher asks, “Does this mean we can’t accept parental support from the state?” My guess is that he doesn’t really have a choice — that the government doesn’t actually see it as an exchange or contract.
So… Boston. A small group organized what turned out to be an actual rally for free speech, and left-wing “counter protesters” — likely ranging from Antifa to well-meaning college kids and others — turned out ready to brawl with Nazis. In fairness, the news media promoted it as if it was the same sort of white supremacist rally as in Charlottesville, because that sold stories and helped them advance the narrative that racists are resurgent in America.
When it turned out there were no white supremacists to attack, the “counter-protesters” dragged an elderly woman by her American flag, screamed threats at a young man with a MAGA hat and an Israeli flag, and threw bottles of urine at police officers.
Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds offers a related reminder:
Note that although the Tea Party movement was treated much worse by mainstream media than Antifa has been, Tea Partiers never physically attacked journalists, or anyone. Note also that this didn’t get the Tea Party any credit, or even spare it from being compared to Nazis and the Klan.
Shame on the journalists and politicians creating the false sense of boogeymen. On the other hand, thank you for doubling down on your ideological winnings from last week and losing it all, bringing us back to status quo ante: left-wing violence and opposition to free speech.
From what I’m reading, more “counter protesters” were arrested than actual free-speech advocates attended. Guess that means there really aren’t two sides to the political violence. The whole thing was a good lesson, though, of what the Left, mainstream media, and national Democrats hope to accomplish by tarring the entire Right as racist and minimizing the violence of the Left.
Interviews & Profiles
Arthur Christopher Schaper asks illegal immigration expert Jessica Vaughn about the consequences of sanctuary city policies under former Providence Mayor David Cicilline.
Rob Paquin and Bob Plain discuss the candidates for U.S. Congress from Rhode Island (mostly by way of the issues).
Rob Paquin and Bob Plain discuss a debate between candidates for RI Secretary of State and related topics.