Topics

City/Town Government

Political Monday with John DePetro: Cracks in the Wall of Corruption

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for September 23, included talk a political operative’s indictment, other political operatives’ hemp biz, Block’s complaint against government operatives, Wyatt protesters, and an unpopular governor.

Open post for full audio.


Tiverton Recall Demonstrates Why Our Team Must Fight If We Are To Win

When those who support tyranny are organized and engaged, while those who believe in freedom are silent, the tyrants will win. Indeed, we are going to need a bigger army to defend our liberty.


What’s in..What’s out…10/4/19

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


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Civil Rights

The Legislature Needs a Direct Intervention from Voters

Legislators’ relentless attack on Rhode Islanders’ rights may leave only recourse to a constitutional convention.


Education Freedom: Our Children Need Opportunity Today

Everybody agrees that educating our youth is a moral obligation, and a vital basis for renewed economic growth.

Yet, very few in our political class have the courage to stand up to the special interests who want to maintain a government-run school monopoly. Look at the broken Providence School system. Parents need answers for their children today, not reforms that may help students five or even ten years down the road. Educational freedom is the answer.


A Thoroughly Predictable Chain of Events at the Wyatt Detention Center


In response to the events at the Wyatt Detention Center from two weeks ago, Our society could choose to accept anarchy, to accept that whoever has the bigger, tougher, better organized gang wins for themselves the use of public spaces; literally implementing might makes right as a governing principle. This does not seem to be a pathway that governing authorities in Rhode Island will consciously choose, as state government quickly remembered the importance of deterring violence from escalating, once the focus of events became people not involved in the intentional blocking of traffic.

A second possibility would be to cut the problem off at its root: enforcing laws and norms against blocking traffic and against denying people the right to travel in public spaces, and uniting around a shared norm that has served our society well. (I concede that that last phrase is a bit normative).

Of course, this depends on the right to travel being a norm that is widely shared. Is this still the case? The affinity repeatedly shown by protestors for blocking traffic, combined with the so-far one-sided response by Rhode Island authorities, suggests that it may not be; this, in turn, points in the direction of the third possible evolution of the system: convincing people that it is acceptable for government to protect fundamental rights within the context of a caste system, where some people have fewer rights than others. For various reasons, this is an unlikely candidate for smooth implementation.

That is your universe of choices. In the end, any way forward that abandons the impartial defense of the right to travel will lead to more and more cycles of violent conflict that will only be eliminated once the norm acting against those who try to block innocent people from traveling in public spaces is rediscovered.


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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

What’s in… What’s out…10/11/19

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


Is Government Over-Reacting With Vape Bans?

Are the decisions by the governors of Rhode Island and Massachusetts to halt the sale of vaping products (which will destroy jobs and small businesses) fueled by solid research or inspired by politically-correct activism?

While we recognize that this may be a sensitive topic to some people, there are many pro-liberty arguments that can be made on why these vape bans are wrong. It is deeply concerning that Governor Raimondo used her office to unilaterally ban a class of products.


Addressing the Toll of the First-Responding Job

When considering suicides among first responders, we should consider whether they used to get the help they needed without asking, in the form of cultural stability.


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Economy

Companies Can’t Deny the Math of Employment

Target’s experience with a too-high minimum wage illustrates in clear lines why government policy can’t simply assert economic fantasies as reality.


Is Government Over-Reacting With Vape Bans?

Are the decisions by the governors of Rhode Island and Massachusetts to halt the sale of vaping products (which will destroy jobs and small businesses) fueled by solid research or inspired by politically-correct activism?

While we recognize that this may be a sensitive topic to some people, there are many pro-liberty arguments that can be made on why these vape bans are wrong. It is deeply concerning that Governor Raimondo used her office to unilaterally ban a class of products.


Ocean State Exodus: We Are Losing Productive People

No single indicator should be of more importance to lawmakers and civic leaders than whether or not our state is retaining and attracting talented and productive people.

The opportunity for prosperity is a primary factor in the migration of families from state to state. In this regard, our Ocean State is more than just losing the race. Far too many Rhode Islanders are fleeing our state, leaving a swath of empty chairs at our family dinner tables.


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Education

The Pressure on Teacher Salaries

One reason for stagnant or declining teacher pay is the legacy costs of defined-benefit pensions, which weigh down government budgets.


Correcting Higher Education as a Funding Mechanism for Nonsense

If URI’s anti-Brady professor were expressing the ideological opposite views, we know how the school would be reacting, so maybe it should flip the script.


An Unpopular, Necessary Reform for Providence Schools

The most glaring problem in need of reform in the Providence school system may be the most unlikely one to be targeted.


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Energy & Environment

What’s in… What’s out…10/11/19

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


Global Climate Strike: An Inconvenient Data Point; Your Global Warming Confessions

Today, children around the world are participating in a Global Climate Strike. I won’t criticize them for this highly misguided activity but rather the adults – including, notably and disturbingly, educators – who have foisted on them a hysteria that is almost entirely free of facts and reasoning. For example, one important data point these children are almost certainly not learning in school or anywhere: the actual extent of the greenhouse gases generated by humans and, thereby, what we can conclude about our (very limited) culpability in global warming.

It is less than 6%. ALL of man’s fossil fueled activity – all factories, all power plants, all manufacturing, all cars, all countries, all 7.5 billion people – contributes less than 6% of greenhouse gases generated on the planet. The balance is generated naturally by Earth itself.


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.


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Gambling

What’s in..What’s out…10/4/19

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


Political Monday with John DePetro: In Search of Motives

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for September 23, included talk about politicians’ school choice, the state’s gambling choice, the motives for a speaker conference, the motives for an announcement, and an inappropriate put-down from a taxpayer-funded spokesman.

Open post for full audio.


Hints About an iLottery Should Be a Red Flag

The prospect of iLottery apps puts in perspective the importance of holding the constitutional line on sports betting, so Rhode Islanders can answer the question: Is this really what we want our government doing?


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General Assembly

Political Monday with John DePetro: Cracks in the Wall of Corruption

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for September 23, included talk a political operative’s indictment, other political operatives’ hemp biz, Block’s complaint against government operatives, Wyatt protesters, and an unpopular governor.

Open post for full audio.


Hope Within a Downward Spiral

The 2019 legislative session of the General Assembly had the feel of our freedoms’ letting go, and Rhode Islanders must find hope in the inability of insiders to keep the game going and the ability of non-insiders to organize.


The Legislature Needs a Direct Intervention from Voters

Legislators’ relentless attack on Rhode Islanders’ rights may leave only recourse to a constitutional convention.


Back to top



Government

Political Monday with John DePetro: Cracks in the Wall of Corruption

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for September 23, included talk a political operative’s indictment, other political operatives’ hemp biz, Block’s complaint against government operatives, Wyatt protesters, and an unpopular governor.

Open post for full audio.


Hope Within a Downward Spiral

The 2019 legislative session of the General Assembly had the feel of our freedoms’ letting go, and Rhode Islanders must find hope in the inability of insiders to keep the game going and the ability of non-insiders to organize.


Is Government Over-Reacting With Vape Bans?

Are the decisions by the governors of Rhode Island and Massachusetts to halt the sale of vaping products (which will destroy jobs and small businesses) fueled by solid research or inspired by politically-correct activism?

While we recognize that this may be a sensitive topic to some people, there are many pro-liberty arguments that can be made on why these vape bans are wrong. It is deeply concerning that Governor Raimondo used her office to unilaterally ban a class of products.


Back to top



Governor

Political Monday with John DePetro: Cracks in the Wall of Corruption

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for September 23, included talk a political operative’s indictment, other political operatives’ hemp biz, Block’s complaint against government operatives, Wyatt protesters, and an unpopular governor.

Open post for full audio.


Is Government Over-Reacting With Vape Bans?

Are the decisions by the governors of Rhode Island and Massachusetts to halt the sale of vaping products (which will destroy jobs and small businesses) fueled by solid research or inspired by politically-correct activism?

While we recognize that this may be a sensitive topic to some people, there are many pro-liberty arguments that can be made on why these vape bans are wrong. It is deeply concerning that Governor Raimondo used her office to unilaterally ban a class of products.


What’s in..What’s out…10/4/19

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


Back to top



Healthcare

An E-Cig Ban Throws Caution (and Liberty) to the Wind

Leaders contemplating a vaping ban to consider the data we have available, wait for more research to be conducted, and think of the long-term consequences of actions.


What’s in… What’s out… 9/27/19

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


What’s in… What’s out.. 9/20/19

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… 9/6/19

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


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.


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Legislation

The Legislature Needs a Direct Intervention from Voters

Legislators’ relentless attack on Rhode Islanders’ rights may leave only recourse to a constitutional convention.


What’s in..What’s out…10/4/19

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


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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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

Why I Will Carry the Torch at the Gloria Gemma Foundation’s “Illuminations of Life”

Personal experience with the ravages of cancer inspires an active response.


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.


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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 Pressure on Teacher Salaries

One reason for stagnant or declining teacher pay is the legacy costs of defined-benefit pensions, which weigh down government budgets.


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.


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Political Theory

Companies Can’t Deny the Math of Employment

Target’s experience with a too-high minimum wage illustrates in clear lines why government policy can’t simply assert economic fantasies as reality.


Addressing the Toll of the First-Responding Job

When considering suicides among first responders, we should consider whether they used to get the help they needed without asking, in the form of cultural stability.


Correcting Higher Education as a Funding Mechanism for Nonsense

If URI’s anti-Brady professor were expressing the ideological opposite views, we know how the school would be reacting, so maybe it should flip the script.


Back to top



Politics

Political Monday with John DePetro: Cracks in the Wall of Corruption

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for September 23, included talk a political operative’s indictment, other political operatives’ hemp biz, Block’s complaint against government operatives, Wyatt protesters, and an unpopular governor.

Open post for full audio.


Hope Within a Downward Spiral

The 2019 legislative session of the General Assembly had the feel of our freedoms’ letting go, and Rhode Islanders must find hope in the inability of insiders to keep the game going and the ability of non-insiders to organize.


What’s in… What’s out…10/11/19

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


Back to top



Regulation

Political Monday with John DePetro: Cracks in the Wall of Corruption

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for September 23, included talk a political operative’s indictment, other political operatives’ hemp biz, Block’s complaint against government operatives, Wyatt protesters, and an unpopular governor.

Open post for full audio.


The Legislature Needs a Direct Intervention from Voters

Legislators’ relentless attack on Rhode Islanders’ rights may leave only recourse to a constitutional convention.


Is Government Over-Reacting With Vape Bans?

Are the decisions by the governors of Rhode Island and Massachusetts to halt the sale of vaping products (which will destroy jobs and small businesses) fueled by solid research or inspired by politically-correct activism?

While we recognize that this may be a sensitive topic to some people, there are many pro-liberty arguments that can be made on why these vape bans are wrong. It is deeply concerning that Governor Raimondo used her office to unilaterally ban a class of products.


Back to top



Science

Global Climate Strike: An Inconvenient Data Point; Your Global Warming Confessions

Today, children around the world are participating in a Global Climate Strike. I won’t criticize them for this highly misguided activity but rather the adults – including, notably and disturbingly, educators – who have foisted on them a hysteria that is almost entirely free of facts and reasoning. For example, one important data point these children are almost certainly not learning in school or anywhere: the actual extent of the greenhouse gases generated by humans and, thereby, what we can conclude about our (very limited) culpability in global warming.

It is less than 6%. ALL of man’s fossil fueled activity – all factories, all power plants, all manufacturing, all cars, all countries, all 7.5 billion people – contributes less than 6% of greenhouse gases generated on the planet. The balance is generated naturally by Earth itself.


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.”


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Sports

Correcting Higher Education as a Funding Mechanism for Nonsense

If URI’s anti-Brady professor were expressing the ideological opposite views, we know how the school would be reacting, so maybe it should flip the script.


Hints About an iLottery Should Be a Red Flag

The prospect of iLottery apps puts in perspective the importance of holding the constitutional line on sports betting, so Rhode Islanders can answer the question: Is this really what we want our government doing?


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.


Back to top



Taxation

The Legislature Needs a Direct Intervention from Voters

Legislators’ relentless attack on Rhode Islanders’ rights may leave only recourse to a constitutional convention.


Ocean State Exodus: We Are Losing Productive People

No single indicator should be of more importance to lawmakers and civic leaders than whether or not our state is retaining and attracting talented and productive people.

The opportunity for prosperity is a primary factor in the migration of families from state to state. In this regard, our Ocean State is more than just losing the race. Far too many Rhode Islanders are fleeing our state, leaving a swath of empty chairs at our family dinner tables.


Hints About an iLottery Should Be a Red Flag

The prospect of iLottery apps puts in perspective the importance of holding the constitutional line on sports betting, so Rhode Islanders can answer the question: Is this really what we want our government doing?


Back to top



Unions

The Legislature Needs a Direct Intervention from Voters

Legislators’ relentless attack on Rhode Islanders’ rights may leave only recourse to a constitutional convention.


The Pressure on Teacher Salaries

One reason for stagnant or declining teacher pay is the legacy costs of defined-benefit pensions, which weigh down government budgets.


Addressing the Toll of the First-Responding Job

When considering suicides among first responders, we should consider whether they used to get the help they needed without asking, in the form of cultural stability.


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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