Topics

City/Town Government

What’s in… What’s out… 8/23/19

A run-down of items in Rhode Island political news for the week.


A Problem of Basic Operations in Local Government

The problem of getting rid of “terrible teachers” points to a problem with the incentives of government when it is used to accomplish anything that isn’t straightforward and critical.


Remembering When Providence Was One of America’s Safest Cities

Rhode Island can’t afford to have its capital city gain a reputation as an unsafe place to live, work, or play.


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Civil Rights

A Challenge to Whitehouse’s Banana-Republic Legal Principles

Senator Whitehouse’s attack on the Supreme Court shows his cynicism and malleable legal principles.


Abortion “Compromise” Arguably Dehumanizes Unborn Children More

The supposed “compromise” legislation on abortion would arguably make supporting it worse than radical intellectuals who see abortion as a justified killing.


Constitutional Rights and the “Right Kind of Families”

What drives the passion against statements affirming the natural right to bear arms?


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Congress

Very Political with John DePetro: Pols Go for Positioning

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for July 22, Mayor Jorge Elorza’s self-positioning on the schools problem, Gina Raimondo’s national adventures, and David Cicilline’s impeachment vote.

Open post for full audio.


“Choice” is Clear in Upcoming Furious Healthcare Debate

A federal judge recently ruled that Obamacare is unconstitutional because the individual mandate, repealed in the 2017 federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is no longer in force. Even though existing federal health-care laws will remain in effect during the appeals process, states should not panic and codify Obamacare into state law, as it is not certain how long federal subsidies will remain intact.

While the courts hear the appeals, and with Democrats winning back control of the U.S. House of Representatives largely on the health-care issue, another furious debate is about to unfold.

Democrats will probably introduce some kind of government-centric plan, while Republicans are poised to introduce their own free-enterprise solution. What we all want are simply more choices at lower net costs.


Dr. Prakash Chougule: Choose Flanders for Balance of Representation in Congress

It’s been almost three decades since we have had balance of power in Rhode Island’s representation of U.S. Senators in Washington DC. Senator John Chafee(R) and Claiborne Pell(D), both highly regarded and respected across party lines, made Rhode Islanders proud at home and in Washington DC.

Time has come for Rhode Island to do it again.


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Culture & Family

School Policies Create a Parent’s Transgender Nightmare

An Illinois father’s story illustrates how policies like Rhode Island’s transgender “guidance” for schools and “conversion therapy” ban can undermine parents’ ability to help their children.


A Challenge to Whitehouse’s Banana-Republic Legal Principles

Senator Whitehouse’s attack on the Supreme Court shows his cynicism and malleable legal principles.


Remembering When Providence Was One of America’s Safest Cities

Rhode Island can’t afford to have its capital city gain a reputation as an unsafe place to live, work, or play.


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Economy

Gender Chicken and Occupation Egg on Opiate Overdoses

Trying to reduce opioid deaths in construction fields by taking the masculinity out of them could make matters worse, not better.


A Corporatist Partnership to Solidify a Top-Down Society in RI

A new form of government appears to be taking shape in Rhode Island before our very eyes.


Debt in the State of Rhode Island

Not surprisingly, the state’s analysis of the affordability of its debt finds that Rhode Island is doing OK. Residents should take a broader, less sunny, view.


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Education

What’s in… What’s out… 8/23/19

A run-down of items in Rhode Island political news for the week.


A Problem of Basic Operations in Local Government

The problem of getting rid of “terrible teachers” points to a problem with the incentives of government when it is used to accomplish anything that isn’t straightforward and critical.


School Policies Create a Parent’s Transgender Nightmare

An Illinois father’s story illustrates how policies like Rhode Island’s transgender “guidance” for schools and “conversion therapy” ban can undermine parents’ ability to help their children.


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Energy & Environment

PUC Decides RI Needs High Energy Prices

The proposed Burrillville power plant may not have been a good idea, but regulators’ finding that RI doesn’t need more energy production puts us all at risk.


Political Monday with John DePetro: Throwing Nickels and Dimes

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, was about new fees for beaches and parks, Mayor Hurricane signs on against climate change, and a mysterious personage in RIGOP circles.

Open post for full audio.


Governor’s Budget: The “Rhode To Serfdom”

Instead of seeking to shape Rhode Island’s future with the proven ideals of a free-society, Governor Raimondo’s proposed 2019-2020 budget is a stunning departure from America’s core values and, instead, would put our state on a “Rhode to Serfdom.”

The Governor’s regressive budget points us 180 degrees in the opposite direction of where we need to head, and would stifle any opportunity for growth.


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Gambling

What’s in… What’s out… #WaterFire,#Sharks, #TwinRiver, and more. 8/16/19

A run-down of items in Rhode Island political news for the week.


What’s in…. What’s out… 8/9/19

A run-down of items in Rhode Island political news for the week.


Two Giants’ Gaming Wars in Rhode Island

The political stakes are heating up as two major political forces come head-to-head seeking a big-money, long-term gaming contract with the state.


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General Assembly

Bright Today Educational Freedom Scholarships To Counter Collective Bargaining Inequities

At a cost of approximately $888 per year for each of Rhode Island’s one-million or so residents, a typical family of four is paying over $3500 annually to support the extravagant compensation programs for government workers, while the basic needs of their own families are being ignored by politicians.

Beyond these extreme financial costs, there may be an even more corrosive impact from this kind of political cronyism.


Right AGAIN – Sometimes, It Takes Years To Get Them To Listen

Right AGAIN! Did you see Speaker Mattiello on GoLocal Prov Live?

We’re glad that he echoed our Center’s long-time call that the Commerce Corp, and the state overall, must diversify its economic development program beyond just corporate handouts.


Rhode Island’s Politicians Are Failing

For too long, the political class has failed the people of our state. At $888 per year for each of Rhode Island’s one million residents, a family of four is paying over $3,500 annually for excessive compensation deals for government workers, while the basic needs of their own families are being ignored by politicians.

With almost two-thirds of these excessive costs being heaped upon municipal taxpayers, our recent Public Union Excesses report further estimates that property taxes could be reduced by 25% if more reasonable, market-based collective bargaining agreements were negotiated.


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Government

A Challenge to Whitehouse’s Banana-Republic Legal Principles

Senator Whitehouse’s attack on the Supreme Court shows his cynicism and malleable legal principles.


A Corporatist Partnership to Solidify a Top-Down Society in RI

A new form of government appears to be taking shape in Rhode Island before our very eyes.


Very Political with John DePetro: Pols Go for Positioning

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for July 22, Mayor Jorge Elorza’s self-positioning on the schools problem, Gina Raimondo’s national adventures, and David Cicilline’s impeachment vote.

Open post for full audio.


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Governor

Bright Today Educational Freedom Scholarships To Counter Collective Bargaining Inequities

At a cost of approximately $888 per year for each of Rhode Island’s one-million or so residents, a typical family of four is paying over $3500 annually to support the extravagant compensation programs for government workers, while the basic needs of their own families are being ignored by politicians.

Beyond these extreme financial costs, there may be an even more corrosive impact from this kind of political cronyism.


A Corporatist Partnership to Solidify a Top-Down Society in RI

A new form of government appears to be taking shape in Rhode Island before our very eyes.


Questions That Can’t Be Asked on Gender ID?

Adding new genders to driver’s licenses is the latest illustration of our modern tendency to make policy based on political abstraction rather than facts or rational justifications.


Back to top



Healthcare

School Policies Create a Parent’s Transgender Nightmare

An Illinois father’s story illustrates how policies like Rhode Island’s transgender “guidance” for schools and “conversion therapy” ban can undermine parents’ ability to help their children.


Gender Chicken and Occupation Egg on Opiate Overdoses

Trying to reduce opioid deaths in construction fields by taking the masculinity out of them could make matters worse, not better.


What’s in…. What’s out… 8/9/19

A run-down of items in Rhode Island political news for the week.


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History

“Publick Occurrences” – The Fundamentals: Patriotism & Faith

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:


Cable Street and the Facially Fascist

Comparing the Battle of Cable Street with today’s Antifa attacks would be a good lesson in critical thinking, if our education system were keen on teaching that skill.


Abraham Glazer: My First Visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

A visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum teaches lessons about evil and humanity, especially in contrast with the memorials to humanity’s highest ideals elsewhere in Washington, D.C.


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Immigration

Political Rorschach in the Wyatt Protest

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?


Do Elorza and Regunberg Support the ICE Firebombing?

While the mayor of Providence sows distrust of the federal government and his policy advisor likens the U.S. to Nazi Germany, an Antifa radical in Washington behaves as if their accusations are true.


Progressive Cranston Action Network Holds Pro-Illegal Immigration Rally Outside Cranston City Hall

Under thirty people rallied in front of Cranston City Hall on Monday evening to protest Mayor Allan Fung’s campaign promise to side with Rhode Island families over prisoners who have illegally immigrated to the United States when elected Governor.


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Infrastructure

What’s in… What’s out… 8/23/19

A run-down of items in Rhode Island political news for the week.


Rhode Island’s Latest Highway Ranking Underscores Non-Necessity of Tolls

The grotesque incongruity of some of the highest per-mile infrastructure spending and some of the worst roads and bridges in the country.


Chris Maxwell: National Academic Board Finds No Data to Support Raimondo & RIDOT’s Claims of Truck Damage to Highways & Bridges

The National Academy of Sciences’ Transportation Research Board (TRB) recently met to assess whether changes to truck size and weight (TS & W) should be implemented. The nation’s scholars, engineers and infrastructure “wonks” came away from the conference with a consensual determination that there was not enough data to support changes and that further studies were needed before any revisions were made to either decrease or increase the allowable dimensions and weight on America’s highways and bridges. In fact, the group spent significant time developing a plan for future research on the TS & Weight issue because there are information gaps and inconsistencies in studies.

So why are DOT leaders around the country yelling “fire in the theater” as they pin the trucking industry with the ills of our infrastructure?


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Legislation

Rhode Island’s Politicians Are Failing

For too long, the political class has failed the people of our state. At $888 per year for each of Rhode Island’s one million residents, a family of four is paying over $3,500 annually for excessive compensation deals for government workers, while the basic needs of their own families are being ignored by politicians.

With almost two-thirds of these excessive costs being heaped upon municipal taxpayers, our recent Public Union Excesses report further estimates that property taxes could be reduced by 25% if more reasonable, market-based collective bargaining agreements were negotiated.


Discussing the State’s Effect on Municipalities on State of the State

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.

6-10-19 Impact of Legislation/Court Decisions on Municipal Management and Cost from John Carlevale on Vimeo.


Suspended Disbelief in Providence Education Discipline Policy

In 2016, the General Assembly and Governor Raimondo hobbled schools’ ability to suspend misbehaving students; in 2019, we’re in a panic about chaos in the Providence school system.


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Media

Political Rorschach in the Wyatt Protest

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?


Doubt and Certainty in the National Narrative

If what conservatives perceive to be happening around the country is actually happening, what do we do about a news media that won’t acknowledge it?


Of Parasites and Polls in the Abortion Debate

The Providence Journal wants legislators to hurry up and pass legislation that constituents would not support so as to cut short debate and move on to other things.


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Musings & Announcements

Proud of my Dad’s Big-League, Historic Anniversary

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.


The Employment Situation In Rhode Island Is Getting Worse – Bucking National Trend

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.


Middendorf Pillar Of Freedom Award Winner: Daniel Harrop

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.


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National Security

Media Language and a Virtue-Signaling Lie

A small example of political “news” can illustrate the language by which journalists promote partisan and ideological positions.


An “Adaptive” System of Leaks Depends on Trust and Consequences

Journalists who support leaks have a point about their value as a safety valve for government abuse, but that safety valve requires that the consequences for breaking the law be real.


Never-Trump Right Gets Us to the Hub of the Matter

When it comes to Don Junior’s meeting with a Russian lawyer, it seems a lot of the key questions, the “and so”s, are being left out of the arguments.


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On a Lighter Note

What’s in… What’s out… #WaterFire,#Sharks, #TwinRiver, and more. 8/16/19

A run-down of items in Rhode Island political news for the week.


Proud of my Dad’s Big-League, Historic Anniversary

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.


Finding a Word for the New Ennui

What do adults call this feeling of boredom with all the tasks that must be done?


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Pensions

The Aesthetics of Benefits with Government Unions

The union-management dynamic within the context of government employment changes the way both sides see compensation packages.


How Much Union Members Are Paid, And How Much Taxpayers Can Afford

With the third highest property taxes in the country, a major encumbrance within an overall anti-taxpayer and anti-business climate that has dropped Rhode Island into bottom-10 rankings in a number of critical national indexes, the excessive costs of collectively bargained government services can be directly linked to this statewide problem.


Fire the Providence School Bus Drivers’ Union

Justin says, “Fire the Providence School Bus Drivers”. Maybe. Fire their union, the Teamsters? Absolutely.

What Teamsters Local 251 are trying to do to the drivers – whose best interest they supposedly represent – borders on criminal. It WOULD be criminal if they had a fiduciary role with regard to their members’ retirement.


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Political Theory

A Problem of Basic Operations in Local Government

The problem of getting rid of “terrible teachers” points to a problem with the incentives of government when it is used to accomplish anything that isn’t straightforward and critical.


A Challenge to Whitehouse’s Banana-Republic Legal Principles

Senator Whitehouse’s attack on the Supreme Court shows his cynicism and malleable legal principles.


Political Rorschach in the Wyatt Protest

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?


Back to top



Politics

What’s in… What’s out… 8/23/19

A run-down of items in Rhode Island political news for the week.


A Problem of Basic Operations in Local Government

The problem of getting rid of “terrible teachers” points to a problem with the incentives of government when it is used to accomplish anything that isn’t straightforward and critical.


Political Rorschach in the Wyatt Protest

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?


Back to top



Regulation

Questions That Can’t Be Asked on Gender ID?

Adding new genders to driver’s licenses is the latest illustration of our modern tendency to make policy based on political abstraction rather than facts or rational justifications.


Reading a Free Market Solution Between the Lines

Three items in this week’s Nesi’s Notes point to the conclusion that RI’s top-down economic development approach isn’t working and can’t work here.


Rhode Island’s Politicians Are Failing

For too long, the political class has failed the people of our state. At $888 per year for each of Rhode Island’s one million residents, a family of four is paying over $3,500 annually for excessive compensation deals for government workers, while the basic needs of their own families are being ignored by politicians.

With almost two-thirds of these excessive costs being heaped upon municipal taxpayers, our recent Public Union Excesses report further estimates that property taxes could be reduced by 25% if more reasonable, market-based collective bargaining agreements were negotiated.


Back to top



Science

What’s in… What’s out… #WaterFire,#Sharks, #TwinRiver, and more. 8/16/19

A run-down of items in Rhode Island political news for the week.


The Humorous, the Grotesque, and the Fanatical from Pro-Choice Advocates

Planned Parenthood’s promotion of a higher minimum wage presents a multi-layered lesson on what it means to be “pro-choice.”


The Environment in Which We Train the Future’s Leaders

On the American campus, Catholics are forced out of their jobs in the name of presenting a diversity of ideas while hoax papers are published because academics really do believe that identity politics can tell us about the physical universe.


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Sports

What’s in… What’s out… #WaterFire,#Sharks, #TwinRiver, and more. 8/16/19

A run-down of items in Rhode Island political news for the week.


Political Monday with John DePetro: The WooSox Debate the Chicken

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, about the merits of a political system that lost the PawSox and the wisdom of debating chickens.

Open post for full audio.


The Biggest Part of the PawSox Issue Is Not Being Discussed

Rhode Island politics have been messing things up for Rhode Islanders for decades, but by messing things up for the PawSox, they’ve finally gotten something right.


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Taxation

Bright Today Educational Freedom Scholarships To Counter Collective Bargaining Inequities

At a cost of approximately $888 per year for each of Rhode Island’s one-million or so residents, a typical family of four is paying over $3500 annually to support the extravagant compensation programs for government workers, while the basic needs of their own families are being ignored by politicians.

Beyond these extreme financial costs, there may be an even more corrosive impact from this kind of political cronyism.


Debt in the State of Rhode Island

Not surprisingly, the state’s analysis of the affordability of its debt finds that Rhode Island is doing OK. Residents should take a broader, less sunny, view.


Right AGAIN – Sometimes, It Takes Years To Get Them To Listen

Right AGAIN! Did you see Speaker Mattiello on GoLocal Prov Live?

We’re glad that he echoed our Center’s long-time call that the Commerce Corp, and the state overall, must diversify its economic development program beyond just corporate handouts.


Back to top



Unions

A Problem of Basic Operations in Local Government

The problem of getting rid of “terrible teachers” points to a problem with the incentives of government when it is used to accomplish anything that isn’t straightforward and critical.


Bright Today Educational Freedom Scholarships To Counter Collective Bargaining Inequities

At a cost of approximately $888 per year for each of Rhode Island’s one-million or so residents, a typical family of four is paying over $3500 annually to support the extravagant compensation programs for government workers, while the basic needs of their own families are being ignored by politicians.

Beyond these extreme financial costs, there may be an even more corrosive impact from this kind of political cronyism.


A Corporatist Partnership to Solidify a Top-Down Society in RI

A new form of government appears to be taking shape in Rhode Island before our very eyes.


Back to top



Welfare

Right AGAIN – Sometimes, It Takes Years To Get Them To Listen

Right AGAIN! Did you see Speaker Mattiello on GoLocal Prov Live?

We’re glad that he echoed our Center’s long-time call that the Commerce Corp, and the state overall, must diversify its economic development program beyond just corporate handouts.


Harvesting Free Breakfast on the Government Plantation

Mandating school participation in free breakfast programs makes sure that somebody gets fed, but it also feeds the government bureaucracy.


Governor Seeks to Punish Employers Via Proposed Medicaid Tax

Businesses should be applauded for hiring those most in need of work…not punished with more taxes, and certainly not made out to be the bad guy. It is misguided to think that if employees are not covered by their employer’s insurance plan, full or part time, and instead are enrolled in Medicaid, then the business should be punished.


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