The great disagreement of our times is whether rights and dignity are innate, affirmed by a higher power, or are conceived by the individual and made real by the affirmation of the government.
David Brooks encourages traditionalists to focus on the mission of helping society but overlooks the probability that the Left will not let that happen.
Perhaps the single most destructive aspect of the Supreme Court’s set of rulings last week is the clear evidence that the culture of our ruling elite makes societal survival a secondary consideration (if that).
An interreligious panel on Pope Francis’s relationship with those of other faiths raises questions of religion’s relationship with politics, which returns us to the question of whether Francis has the world right.
Events in America suggest dark times for liberty and true diversity. But we can always rebuild, starting at the bottom.
Looking at current events, it’s tempting to be discouraged, but in the trials of a church in Charleston we can find inspiration to wipe discouragement away.
Another incident during the House debate over the budget, this one involving an amendment that would have directed resources to an investigation of 38 Studios, strengthens the impression that representative democracy is dead at the State House.
Professor Anna Bonta Moreland’s talk on “El Papa Francisco es Argentino” set some cultural context for the pope and raises questions about the risks of his worldview.
Alexander Mikulich closes out the 2013 Portsmouth Institute conference.
Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin closes out the second day of the 2013 Portsmouth Institute conference.
Kevin O’Brien, of Theater of the Word Production, performs a lecture in the persona of Orestes Brownson.
Jim Forest speaks on Dorothy Day on day 2 of the 2013 Portsmouth Institute Conference
Samuel Casey Carter, of the Faith in the Future Foundation, begins day 2 of the 2013 Portsmouth Institute conference.
Writer George Weigel closes out day 1 of the 2013 Portsmouth Institute conference.
Last night’s record-breakingly short budget debate marked the final end of Rhode Island’s period of representative democracy and the beginning of the last stage of its decline.
Senator Whitehouse’s notion of expanding the application of RICO suits might point the weapon in the wrong direction.
Unfortunately, some members of the General Assembly want to reinforce the marginalization of democratic control over public services that is sadly acceptable to both union leadership and to Rhode Island’s insider and managerial elites, via a pair of bills that would deny elected municipal authorities the power to set policies concerning platoon structure and overtime policy. Instead of making decisions, civil authorities would be reduced to asking for deals when trying to exercise basic command authority in these major areas. Try to imagine a system like this working further down the chain-of-command where, for example, a captain has to make a deal with members of his platoon when he wants something significant done. It wouldn’t work very well.
In Rhode Island parlance, this is frequently labeled as an issue of “management rights”, but that is an overly business-bourgeois conceptualization of the problem, and fails to capture the true magnitude of what is at stake. The real issue is whether we are a society where basic democratic control is exercised over the government chain-of-command or we are something else and something worse.
Full post below the fold….
A passage from Dickens’s Nicholas Nickleby illustrates that modern problems with representative democracy are not so modern, yet we’ve invested the system with so much more power and reach since then.
While we accept that teacher unions advocate to extremes for their members and that school committee’s strive to balance interests, parents or others who try to push just a little bit harder in the children’s direction are quickly denounced.
A reporter in search of racial division in Rhode Island mainly succeeds in encouraging it.
The destruction of the nuclear family is like a slow-motion nuclear bomb destroying the ability of our society to move people from destitution to success.
[The following was received via e-mail this afternoon.]
Concerned Citizen Seeks to Testify about Unfairness of Pension Settlement to Taxpayers at Court Hearing Tuesday, Schedules Press Conference to Explain Request to the Public
Concerned citizen Dr. William J. Murphy will hold a press conference in front of the Frank Licht Judicial Complex at 250 Benefit Street in Providence at 4:30 PM on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 to explain to the public the reasons for his request to testify about the unfairness of the pension settlement to taxpayers at the ongoing fairness hearings in Superior Court. Dr. Murphy will deliver a statement emphasizing that the terms of the settlement itself as well as the impropriety of the court-supervised secret negotiation process that produced it have significantly harmed the financial welfare of taxpayers, violated the political rights of citizens, and severely damaged the public interest.
(EAST PROVIDENCE, RI – May 25, 2015) – Dr. William J. Murphy, a concerned resident of East Providence, has petitioned the Rhode Island Superior Court to testify at the ongoing pension settlement fairness hearing Tuesday. He held a press conference at Superior Court in Providence on Tuesday to issue a statement explaining the reasons for his request.
Dr. Murphy opened his remarks by saying that, “The pension settlement is grossly unfair to good citizens of Rhode Island because it adds over $290 million to the unfunded pension debt that the state’s already overburdened taxpayers cannot afford. Even more troubling, the terms of the settlement itself as well as everything about the nature of the process itself fail to demonstrate appropriate sensitivity to the economic hardships this increased tax burden would impose on elderly citizens living on fixed incomes as well as low-income younger taxpayers and their families who remain deprived of adequate economic opportunities in part because of the unaffordable state pension system, the high rates of taxation imposed to feed it, and the resulting negative consequences for the Ocean State’s economic competitiveness.
[James Cournoyer sent the following e-mail to members of the General Assembly. It is published here with permission. Additional background on this subject is available here.]
Dear members of the General Assembly,
Please reject House Bill H-5473 and Senate Bill S-0533, which seeks to make fire-fighter Platoon Structures / Shift Schedules subject to Collective Bargaining, and therefore potentially subject to the decisions of unelected and unaccountable arbitrators.
These bills serve only to further erode essential Management Rights and the ability of municipalities to exercise home rule.
Employees are already afforded an abundance of work-place and employment protections via the myriad of state and federal labor laws and regulations that currently exist.
Commentary from state senator and history teacher James Sheehan points to a skewed understanding of representation and the government’s tendency to siphon money away from the public good.
From bedtime stories, to same-sex marriage, to sketches of Muhammad, evidence abounds to show how a society can lose its balance and fall into tyranny.
Environmental regulation and “sustainable development” may not cause income inequality, but they sure do correlate well with it.
Two capital projects dominating city and state discussions might be unproductive distractions from the necessary work that Rhode Island needs to do to rebuild its economist.
A union boycott letter being sent to Providence Hilton customers raises puts into question what an “unfair labor practice” actually is.