Personal experience with the ravages of cancer inspires an active response.
We’re excited to have a new writer on the Ocean State Current!
Joanne Giannini, JFK Democrat, served as a Rhode Island state representative from Providence (District 7, Mt. Pleasant/Elmhurst) from 1994 to 2010.
She will be adding her voice to our independent nonpartisan news and commentary wing.
She has previously written commentaries for the Providence Journal, the Federal Hill Gazzette, GoLocal Prov, and RI News Review.
The Current’s mission is to leverage online multimedia to ensure that a well-informed public has the breadth of information required for healthy self governance.
During her tenure in the General Assembly, she made appearances on CNN network news, Primetime news, and American Morning regarding legislation she filed in the Ocean State.
You can read her new posts by clicking the links below:
What’s in…. What’s out… 8/9/19
Two Giants’ Gaming Wars in Rhode Island
We’re always looking to add broader perspectives to the news and conservative commentary that we offer on the Current, so that many Rhode Islanders have a place to express their views. If you, or someone you know, would like to submit work to the Current, please reach out to us.
This week, let’s have a change of pace. Instead, I’d like to share something personal with you.
I’d like you to know how PROUD I AM OF MY DAD.
On Friday, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity hosted one of our signature events— our fourth annual Shotguns & Cigars fundraiser was a huge success. The day features outdoor fun, camaraderie, cigars, bourbon and wine, and a juicy steak all at Addieville East Farm. Teams of four enjoyed practicing our shotgun skills with sporting clays. We, once again, proved that our Second Amendment rights can be used responsibly.
Here are some images from this incredible day. Please e-mail Info@RIFreedom.org to inquire about joining us next year.
Happy Easter from everyone at the Center to you and your family! We hope you had a great holiday weekend.
We wish we had better news to deliver. Unfortunately, the employment situation in Rhode Island is getting worse, bucking the national trend. While state politicians crow each year about not implementing broad new taxes, the unfortunate truth is that by nickle-and-diming residents and by not implementing aggressive reforms Rhode Island will continue to lose ground, nationally.
I’ll be part of a panel discussion of school choice tonight, following keynote speaker Zeus Rodriquez. The event is hosted by Rhode Island Families for School Choice and will be held at Providence Hebrew Day School, at 450 Elmgrove Ave., in Providence, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
On Friday, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity was proud to present its prestigious Middendorf Pillar of Freedom Award for 2018 to Dr. Daniel Harrop at the second annual Ocean State Freedom Banquet.
As part of the recent Providence Journal sponsored “Publick Occurrences” panel discussion at RI College, I’d like to share some thoughts I prepared, but did not have the chance to put forth. The event’s premise – “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?” and the polarization of public discourse – leaves us two factors to consider:
What do adults call this feeling of boredom with all the tasks that must be done?
The persistence of that old 9/11 feeling and a reminder of long-ago friends raises thoughts about balancing what is there now with what used to be.
Will this statement about the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s funding put a rest to attacks about our funding?
The vast majority of the Center’s funding is derived from almost 500 in-state private donors, who support our mission to see Rhode Islanders live and work in a freer society. The occasional grants the Center may be awarded from national foundations are earned via a competitive grant application process in support of policy initiatives conceived by the Center.
There is no regular source of funding to our Center from any out of state group that seeks to influence our operations.
It is curious why our critics fail to understand that there are many, many concerned citizens in our state who share the Center’s free-enterprise vision. Such donors voluntarily choose to financially support our mission to put forth policy ideas to realize our vision to achieve increased freedom and prosperity, They, like us, believe that all citizens should be able to freely engage in a robust and honest public debate about such ideas.
The Center’s staff and Board of Directors make 100% of the decisions about which policy angles to pursue. We do not do the bidding of any outside group, however the interests of our Center and certain state and national foundations may occasionally overlap.
The answer to my question, above, is: of course not. Dark allegations about our funding are not sincere. They’re opportunistic slanders meant to belittle our work. There will never be a satisfactory level of transparency, because progressives will insinuate we’re hiding something (while attacking our supporters to chase them away).
I want to share with you an outstanding piece of reporting done by our Ocean State Current on a violent politically-motivated assault of a veteran by an alleged member of Antifa last Saturday. The Current broke this important story, and brought Rhode Islanders the real message of what was happening.
We’ve been using our email list and social media accounts to remind folks about our new subscription opportunity. “Subscription” is a bit of a misnomer; basically, it’s a monthly recurring donation (tax deductible, by the way) of $7.60 — about a quarter a day.
I won’t copy and paste the basic pitch on the donate page, but one point that I’d like to emphasize is that subscriptions do matter. Naturally, we’ve got some bills to cover, but more importantly, we’re increasingly convinced of the need to bring the Ocean State Current to the next level. Having a regular source of revenue will give work on the Current more weight versus other things we have to do and create the ability to promote what we do. That, in turn, should increase the number of readers, bringing more incentive to build the site and opening up new opportunities for content (and revenue).
Beyond the business strategy, knowing that people are willing to pay some of their hard-earned money in a completely voluntary way for our work — and the prospect of more of it — is extremely encouraging. Every person who makes that decision is like a shot in the arm, pushing us to find new ways to improve Rhode Island with information and a message that is too often absent (and too often suppressed).
Please, give it some thought and sign on for a regular donation.
Letting a Rolling Stone top 500 list set the background music for a while brings both nostalgia and perspective.
An effort to turn the writer’s focus from the markers of children’s progress out of the house and to the truly valuable time between those markers.
Casting about for something new (and yet sincere) to write this Memorial Day, I happened upon Mark Steyn’s quoting of his daughter’s poetry. In his New Hampshire town, apparently, the tradition is for fifth graders to read selected or self-authored poems in remembrance of the deceased heroes who have safeguarded our freedom and our way of life.
Fille Steyn’s offering is sweet and simple and not but so original and raises the question of poetry in our age. We don’t hear of adults’ reading poetry at such events anymore, and when we do, it seems contrived (not the poetry, necessarily, but the reading). Appreciation of the art seems to have faded. Perhaps the fault lies with the pill of modernism, deathly to the arts, that found a subject for mockery in the effort of crafting profundity and making it rhyme. Perhaps we’re not training ourselves to be as literate as once we were.
Or perhaps (and causal of the other possibilities) with a surfeit of entertainment soaking up our boredom, we’ve lost appreciation for the task of creating and understanding depth. My mother’s father, when we was old, took to writing poetry. One imagines the practice was once more common, and a population that writes poetry for leisure is more likely to read the pros for pleasure.
In 2012, I placed my grandfather’s picture over the first of two poems I wrote on successive Memorial Days. Here’s the second. I have to confess that it took some sitting with the poems, this morning, to find the meaning. That is the point of poetry, isn’t it? Poetry is rich and thick and, when it works, leaves us with memorable lines that somehow hint at the fertile contextual soil from which they sprang. Poetry is work.
On this day, last year, my subject was the quasi-debate about our proper attitude on Memorial Day… celebratory or somber? That question seems related to the loss of poetry. Simple words easily understood allow us to tread lightly on the ideas beneath. We nod at sentiment and congratulate the fifth-grade author.
There is most definitely a place for that, not the least in the training of the young to honor the dead. Still, the effort of deeper communication enriches the honor, and the richest of honors is due to those whom we recall on Memorial Day.
Long-time readers will have watched the content on the Ocean State Current ebb and flow. We’ve published extended investigative reports that have brought statewide media attention to issues; we’ve published stories and produced multimedia that have shed national light on compelling controversies; we’ve provided a forum for countering the mainstream narrative in the Ocean State… and sometimes we’ve struggled even to keep up a stream of blog posts that consist mainly of links to interesting things we’ve found on other sites.
When it comes to talent and know-how, we have the capacity to do more and better work and to grow this site as an alternative source of information and analysis, but we can only do what our resources allow us to do. The case isn’t easy to make in a state as monolithic and adrift as Rhode Island, but arguably, the most dire need of the state is just such an alternative voice as the Ocean State Current could be.
So, we’re asking you to consider clicking right here and signing up for a voluntary “subscription” that will add $7.60 per month to our bottom line.
We want to do more. Rhode Island needs us to do more. The problem is that so many holes are gaping to be filled by advocates for freedom, justice, and prosperity in our state that it’s frantic work trying to be the people with the tools and material for every one. Help us to keep the Ocean State Current as a priority.
This last week, one of America’s leading conservative thinkers, Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute, inspired over sixty local leaders at our Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity leadership luncheon. One guest said: “Every once in a while I get the opportunity to experience something that will change my life in such a profound positive way, that was exactly what happened to me yesterday as I listened to Mr. Arthur Brooks’ words of wisdom. I was further empowered and assured that together we all can and should make that needed difference!”
With “life entrepreneurship” as his central theme, Brooks encouraged the lawmakers and civic leaders in the audience to advance a “start up your life” attitude among the people of Rhode Island. Brooks said that by taking the risk of investing love, time, and commitment to the important people and self-improvement opportunities in one’s life, that this “start up your life” attitude will bring happiness, prosperity, and overall returns on that investment many times over.
The feedback from the bipartisan attendees, whether liberal or conservative, was overwhelmingly positive. As only Arthur Brooks can do, he challenged us intellectually to consider the kind of moral, family, and work culture we want to have in our state. Click here now to see pictures of the event.
On Friday, the Center held our first inaugural fundraising banquet -the 2017 Ocean State Freedom Banquet. At the banquet, a capacity crowd of 200 people were on hand to hear the keynote address by Grover Norquist, famed DC anti-tax warrior and President of Americans for Tax Reform.
— RI Ctr for Freedom⚓️ (@RICenterFreedom) November 10, 2017
Sympathy for the racist; learning how (not what) to think; in favor of price gouging and dismantling unions; and saying goodbye to an old friend
Who’s happier: the family man who mows the lawn and reads a good book, or the thug who gains notoriety for a profitable crime that he then blows because he’s a degenerate?
Spare a moment for the cranky person whom you encounter (or, ahem, read) and see if you can help him or her resolve the underlying ache.
Every year, this time of year, the budget for the State of Rhode Island comes out and, accompanied with surrounding legislation (much of it premised, one can infer, on quid pro quo for budget votes) shows the vision of the insiders who run our state. Every year, life in Rhode Island becomes more restrictive, business becomes harder, government budgets go up.
Earlier in this legislative season, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity put out a pair of “Hey, Dude!” radio ads illustrating the point from the perspective of somebody who wants more freebies and somebody who sees the opportunities inherent in a society out from under government’s thumb.
For a little fun, here’s a pair that I’ve put together.
What if the tide is going out? So what?
It ebbs and flows and comes and goes and shows
then only girdle, but soon only gut.
And that soft skin the tide of cloth exposed,
should I see it as vulgar truth displayed
or as my loved one bare, from nose to toes?
Matthew, a younger man than I, though staid,
when he wrote of Dover’s retiring din,
mistook mere hours’ light for life useless — grayed.
Young sir, my elder!
There’s beauty going out as coming in.
The tide’s a tiff, each sally to rebut.
The end o’erwhelmes where you or I begin.
Progressivism is not cool. Let me repeat that, because it is worth repeating: Progressivism is not cool; it is the opposite of cool. They want to control how you think, what you can say, what you can and cannot do. Progressivism is about dogma, it is not a political movement. It is a cult.
The cult of Progressivism is running rampant in Rhode Island. Unchecked or aided by the powers that be, the Progressives are gaining strength.
In Rhode Island, they have marched on the home of a defenseless Barrington resident and his partner, and brigaded a local town councillor … all for the grave crimes of daring to tell off-color jokes. Those are just two of the countless Progressive sins. SAD.
They have tried to silence peaceful rallies. They control the universities, even the Catholic ones, and they control the entertainment industry. But, most importantly here in Rhode Island, they are trying to trick you into believing they can control everything.
Progressives hate human life. Liberty is about human life. Liberty-minded millennials, like me, believe in human activity. We believe that individuals are capable of accomplishing great things, if only they were allowed to have a chance. We believe in big ideas, ideas like sales tax reform and school choice, that will unleash the power of human potential. These smart ideas will allow Rhode Island families to achieve their dreams. The progressive agenda is a sterile lifeless world of grey — a nightmare.
But, we are not without hope. Time and time again, I have seen the real people of our home state stand up and tell the progressives enough is enough. The regular people of our state have carried the torch of freedom, when our so-called political leaders have sat back and watched.
Now, it is time for a new generation to carry the torch of freedom. It is time for Rhode Island millennials to ditch the safe-spaces and coloring books, because there is a better way.
The America’s Future Foundation (AFF) is for conservative and libertarian young professionals who believe that they know how to better run their own lives than some bureaucrat.
We will be launching the Rhode Island chapter on June 2, 2017, at the Jake Speakeasy Lounge in Providence. (133 Douglas Avenue #1 Providence, RI 02908) Be there from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for our huge launch party. This event will be free to attend, we will have a free appetizers, and there is ample free parking.
Our featured guest speaker is Rep. Blake Filippi, Rhode Island’s first millennial House Minority Whip.
The stakes could not be higher. While progressivism is spreading like a disease across our country, here in Rhode Island, we are their petri dish. We aren’t the front line, we are deep within enemy territory. Unless they are stopped, they will continue to experiment on the normal people of our state with their radical social engineering schemes to try-and-fail at their “utopian” delusions.
AFF-RI will work to advance individual liberty, personal responsibility, free-markets, and clean government. In short, the opposite to the progressive agenda that is poisoning the Ocean State.
We are the counter-culture. We are the resistance. Join the brand-new AFF Rhode Island chapter for our huge launch party on Friday, June 2, 2017. Kickoff at 6:30pm at the Jake in Providence! I want you there.
Katz says that being honored with the award makes him feel as if he has to redouble his efforts to deserve it.
“While I have written quite a bit that has been explicitly Catholic, I’ve tended to see my vocation as a more subtle evangelism,” he says. “In our place and time, many people are entirely unmoored from our Christian roots, and the secular culture has taught them to be suspicious of the religious presentation. Articulating the beautiful logic and practical wisdom of a worldview rooted in Catholic belief and tradition can be the force of revelation in such an environment.”
The dinner and award ceremony — also highlighting the activities of others, whom I’d concede are much more deserving than I am — is next week and, apparently, sold out.