As Ed Achorn reminds us, the Constitution is only as strong as the people’s willingness to enforce it, and too many Rhode Islanders apparently believe our founding document can be waived if they’re scared or can claim that lives will be saved.
As may or may not be happening in other Rhode Island towns, the governor’s emergency declaration (not to mention the example that she’s setting) has dramatically reduced the number of town officials who actually matter. With three Town Council members — Joseph Perry, John Edwards (the Fifth), and Stephen Clarke — as well as the leadership of the Budget Committee completely abdicating their authority and shirking their responsibility, the town is being entirely run by the triumvirate of Town Council President Patricia Hilton, Interim Town Administrator Christopher Cotta, and Town Solicitor Michael Marcello, with a supporting role for Vice President Denise DeMedeiros. No other elected officials in town matter. Even the town’s Home Rule Charter bends to what the Triumvirate decrees.
Meanwhile, on the school side, the suspended teachers’ union president and the National Education Association of Rhode Island are taking advantage of the fact that the school department is forbidden by law from disclosing details of the incident. NEARI is also pledging to stick it’s well-funded, mobster-like nose in the town’s elections to ensure that the town has management that the union prefers starting in November.
My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for May 18, included talk about:
- Providence College kids rebel
- The Catholic bishop sends the governor a message
- Narragansett Town Council considers resistance
- Justice Flanders signals a challenge
- Rally-goers take up the call
- A delay of Phase 2 reopening
- The teachers’ union flexes in Tiverton
For many Rhode Islanders, summer is our defining time of year; it’s the plug that recharges our batteries and motivates us to make it through another year in our challenging state. The governor needs to know what that is worth to you.
In an open letter to Governor Gina Raimondo, religious leaders in Rhode Island begin to insist that engaging in religious worship is not a non-critical leisure activity, but an essential activity for human life.
My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for May 11, included talk about:
- The governor’s New Order
- Cops push back
- Protesters push back
- The press pushes back
- Will businesses push back?
- Will the General Assembly push back?
- Elorza gets push-back and stumbles
Perhaps a commerce communications director could craft a better message for anxious business owners, but that wouldn’t be the tone his boss is promoting.
My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for May 4, included talk about:
- The governor and reopening
- Hospitalization counts
- The General Assembly peeks its head out
- Mattiello and the AG
- Achorn drops from the Providence Journal editorial branch
- A big budget hole
As noted, the survival rate of COVID-19 in United States is over 94%. Now for the implication of this data point with regard to our government’s choice of course – an onerous and heavily damaging lockdown.
Governor Raimondo wants Rhode Islanders to take on faith that she actually has the authority she’s wielding and that she’s basing decisions on “science,” but the public, and the news media, should not follow the cult of personality.
“The Emperor’s New Clothes” is a story affirming that there is such a thing as truth, even when people are tricked or bullied into pretending otherwise.
The governor’s phases for opening the economy are too slow, too limited, and leave too much at her discretion for the foreseeable future.
My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for April 27, included talk about:
- Nesi’s interview with Gina
- The propaganda poister
- The threat of mail ballots
- Protests on a Saturday, organized versus genuine
- Identity politics as the constant
WPRI Channel 12’s Eli Sherman and Walt Buteau reported on April 17 that 80% of COVID-19 deaths in Rhode Island have occurred in nursing homes. (All deaths from a pandemic are awful but somehow a nursing home setting is especially horrifying both because of the vulnerability of the residents and the perception, normally correct, that nursing homes are safe places.)
This disturbing pattern continues with the most recent COVID mortalities announced by the state yesterday: 10 of 13 were nursing home residents.
Contrasting Roger Kimball’s calm erudition with the hysterics demanding “how many people do you want to die” points to a need for us to be able to consider difficult questions in public.
The desire to open up the economy isn’t selfish or reckless; it’s humanitarian.
Our very different Easter experience this year presents an opportunity to ask our elected officials to renew their vows, so to speak.
Public schools and teachers unions in RI and MA are providing our state an education that can lead us to a post-plague renaissance if we’ll learn the lessons.