If you try to keep track of policy and politics in Rhode Island (and if you’re reading this site, you probably do), you should put the State of the State program on your watch list. The program usually has two half-hour segments, but sometimes sticks with one guest for an hour, and it’s a good way to get a different point of view from the mainstream, from both the guests and the hosts, who often ask questions public figures and others wouldn’t be asked elsewhere.
The latest episode had a segment on Title IX abuse and another on Second Amendment rights.
If we were inclined to pause and review video of incidents with an eye toward understanding why each person is doing what he or she is doing, maybe we could reduce the level of conflict in our society, but where’s the profit in that?
The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s new board member, Judge Robert Flanders, recently accompanies me for an appearance on the State of the State show to discuss the effect that state-level rulings and legislation can have on cities’ and towns’ ability to manage themselves and their budgets.
As another generation is misled into believing that socialism would be worth a try in the United States, one often hears how well the economic system works in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. But as John Stossel notes Sweden is not socialist.
With a prioritization of free markets, school choice, a less-progressive tax system, and privatized social safety nets, it’s arguably less socialist than the United States. In fact, when the country tried something closer to actual socialism a few decades ago, it was disastrous. Unfortunately, like the many examples of socialism’s failure, the memory of true believers tends to fixate on the dream of what they hoped would be, rather than the reality.
RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity CEO Mike Stenhouse offers the Center’s view on legislation that would limit landlords’ right to decide whether the way potential tenants’ will pay their rent should be a factor in deciding whether to rent to them, including a mandate to accept Section 8 vouchers:
Based on conversations with landlords I know, there is a major, legitimate, and non-racial reason why some business prefer not to accept clients subsidized by public money and all the red-tape they would have to go through. In this case, once a landlord accepts a federally subsidized Section-8 tenant, that business is now subject to a whole new array of mandates, red tape, and risks that otherwise, it would not have to worry about.
Under this legislative mandate, landlords would be subject to unfair rules by HUD, which we know from the RhodeMap RI debate years ago, does not care about private property rights. HUD has corrupted its mission of putting low-income people into appropriate housing to the point where it routinely tramples on the rights of other private property owners.
Looks like local political pundits will have to adjust their predictions for another candidate: Dr. Evil!
But of course his lair is in Rhode Island. Hasn’t that been obvious all along?
His entry into the Congressional game is definitely going to mix things up when we lose one of our two congressional seats in 2020. At least my five year old already knows all of the words to our soon-to-be-new national anthem.
City Schools of Decatur parent Pascha Thomas claims her daughter, known by the initials N.T. in public documents, was sexually assaulted last year by a male classmate in an Oakhurst Elementary School girls’ restroom. Thomas said her 5-year-old daughter complained of vaginal pain the evening of Nov. 16, 2017. When Thomas asked more, the girl said she was leaving a restroom stall when a little boy in her class came in, pinned her against the stall, and groped her genitals with his hands. She said she tried to get away and called for help, but no one came.
When Thomas reported the assault to school officials the next morning, they responded with “deliberate indifference” toward the assault and the victim, according to the complaint. Despite Thomas’ efforts to ensure justice for her daughter over the following weeks, she said, the school failed to conduct a meaningful investigation, discipline the alleged assailant, remove the child from N.T.’s class or ensure he would not use the girl’s restroom again, or offer any assurance of protection or psychological counseling for N.T.
At a meeting in December, the school informed Thomas the boy identified as “gender fluid” and was allowed to use the girls’ restroom per a districtwide policy opening restrooms and locker rooms to students based on their gender identity.
As the corresponding video notes, Thomas says the school district didn’t stop at “deliberate indifference,” but actually called the state agency charged with investigating child abuse. That agency paid the family a visit as and investigated the Thomas, herself.
Another point of emphasis is how little involvement parents had it the development and implementation of this policy. How many Rhode Island parents, do you think, know that our state’s approach to the transgender issue is to assume that government employees are on (at least) an equal footing with parents when raising children and, by the high school level, should be tasked with identifying transgender feelings and helping students hide them from their parents?