In Rhode Island, It’s Not Stupidity, but Ignorance


Noting my recent article on the topic, Arlene Violet wonders if Rhode Islanders are dumb enough to keep falling for the scam of unconstitutional debt laundered through “quasi-public” agencies:

The Rhode Island Supreme Court years ago ruled that the quasi-public agencies can do this debt since they are not “state agencies,” but it is time to revisit that ruling. Rhode Islanders have been abused over and over again by these quasi’s like the PBA (Public Building Authority) and RIHMFC (Rhode Island Housing Mortgage and Finance Corporation) etc., which became the favor factory for the politically connected people.

A tangential question comes to mind, and it’s one that has been nagging at me since Anchor Rising wandered onto a largely empty political field back in 2004: Why, by the turn of the millennium, had it fallen to outsiders and unknowns to expose the scams embedded within Rhode Island government?  Why was there nothing like Anchor Rising in the pre-Internet print world, prepped to grab the Internet space the moment it became viable?  Why did it take Don Hawthorne’s volunteering to run for school committee to expose the lie behind teacher steps?  Why is it so easy to uncover scams in every area of RI government activity when it occurs to somebody to investigate it?  Shouldn’t such things have long been the bread and butter of some legacy organization?

This would be a great topic for a Steve Frias research project.  It just seems so obviously something that the American system of governance and society was built to foster; why did that break down in the Ocean State?

An obvious piece of the puzzle is that new media, mainly the Internet, but also talk radio, finally created a tunnel through the mountain of insider connections that made activist groups and the news media part of the establishment in our small, everybody-knows-everybody state.  Still, with groups like the “business-backed” Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC) and the RIGOP, not to mention news media, there had to be a breakdown of the incentive structures to create an opposition with more reason to expose the scams than to play along.

Maybe the Democrat-union-progressive alliance simply moved too quickly and maybe the state’s size just made it too easy for the opposition to up and leave.  Perhaps the Internet came too late to counteract the sense of hopelessness that people whom the DUP alliance (read: “dupe”) targeted for gaslighting felt before they decided it wasn’t worthwhile to stay and fight, and all who remain are those of us who either have ties too strong to leave or a missionary zeal to help Rhode Island’s vulnerable and misled residents.

  • Mike678

    Perhaps the average productive RI’er is very busy making a living for his/her family while the looters and their ilk, living off the gov’t cheese, have time to advocate, rally, etc.. After all, they are motivated to get more of what you earn.

    The harder the Gov’t makes us work to get by, the less time we have to become informed–and the local media does its part to support the regime and makes sure what news we do get is slanted in the ‘correct’ direction.

  • George from Warwick

    You don’t understand the trve depth of the problem here, Justin

    Standing up to these people means taking your life into your hands

    I have one friend who was on the board of one of these State-public entities. When he opposed the Union’s wishes he got his tires slashed and his home vandalized. Afraid for his & his family’s safety, he resigned

    See also = Cranston residents / Parking Ticket Scandal. What did those innocent constituents do to deserve *that* mis·treatment ??

    • Mike678

      Define “innocent.” Were these cars not parked illegally?

      • ShannonEntropy

        Sudden intense enforcement of previously rarely- or never-enforced ordinances constitute major harassment and abuse of the citizenry ,, especially when that enforcement is undertaken to achieve a political goal

        If illegal overnight parking was deemed some threat to public safety, why did it only occur in the wards whose councilmen opposed a new police contract ??

        Issuing warnings to offenders for a brief period would have been the way to go … ignorance of the law is no excuse; but most of those ticketed prolly didn’t even realize that overnight parking was banned. Here in Warwick it is perfectly legal on residential streets

        • Mike678

          I understand your main point–targeted ticketing is wrong–and agree. My issue was with the use of the term innocent. If you were parked illegally, whatever the rationalization, you were parked illegally–and not “innocent.”

          Guess I get tired of people playing the victim–it’s always the other guy that was wrong. Responsibility goes both ways.