Category Archives: Rhode Island Local

Lost wisdom at Providence College…

220px-Sheldon_Whitehouse_2010My opinions on Sheldon “Silver Spoon” Whitehouse are no secret, nor is my assertion he is unfit to hold any public office. With that said today, I remain confused at how and why this clearly pro-abortion politician winds up giving a major policy speech at an esteemed Catholic Institution of higher learning. The sort of strange and quasi-historical  “double standard” applied by folks like Rev. Brian Shanley in his press release on the matter, is nothing short of unsettling. Rest assured however, I mean to understand how it is that opportunistic and ideological demagogues like Senator Whitehouse are allowed an unchallenged platform in a place where God’s words “Thou shall not kill” should bar them at the door.

Now I think anyone with half a brain can figure out Whitehouse is looking for a couple of snapshots with the good Reverend to use in future campaigns. The question is, why does Tom Tancredo get the axe because his positions on immigration don’t jive with Bishop Tobin’s, but Whitehouse is allowed in with the blood of the unborn on his hands.

This just doesn’t pass the sniff test for me. The administrators over at PC, (home of my beloved Friar’s), are gonna have to do better than a little press release before they skate on this one.

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“Skin in the game”…

Dr. Benjamin Carson is the kind of man we should be sending to Washington. If not for the fact he is a doctor (a pediatric brain surgeon no less), and we are in such short supply of doctors because of Obamacare, I would start a petition today to draft him for a political run. Why do I say this, you ask?

175974_5_I caught just a bit of his remarks at the recent National Prayer Breakfast where he lectured and President on healthcare and then schooled him on tax reform. This man has two things which are clearly in short supply in Congress these days, character and common sense. His basic premise on taxes (as described in his book, “America the Beautiful”),  is a “flat tax” for all, very much like a “religious tithe”, would dramatically simplify the tax code and solve most of Washington’s spending vs. revenue issues. It would also go a long way to rooting out the political evil which now presides over our finances. Simply put, an across the board percentage of one single and mutually agreed upon “denomination” would be applied to every working American (and collecting one). Obviously, if you have some “skin in the game”, you are naturally more inclined to be concerned with how “your” money gets spent. Moreover, the incentive to better ones fiscal position, is reinforced by the notion that you are treated no differently than any other tax payer. The flip side of that coin of course, is that you should expect no different accommodation.

The videos and web page below are about as sensible an approach as I have heard in some time. There is no dark political objective, and no prevalent ideology with the exception of that which is our cultural, and undeniable national origin. I must agree, a “flat tax” would be the single best solution to our financial troubles to come along in over eighty years, and would return our nation to its Constitutional foundations. Politicians take note, “We the People” are gonna get this message eventually. Unfortunately, the rest of what Dr. Carson has to say is only for those who love and appreciate their country.


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Rubio Response…

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

In the face of sequestration which will devastate our military while our enemies strengthen theirs, and as our debt laden economy teeters, a mere shadow of its former vibrancy, propped up by reckless spending and foolish ideological rhetoric, the President of The United States will speak to Congress and the nation tonight and tell us we are on the mend. The truth is this country is obviously demoralized. It has been successfully re-defined by a small but highly effective minority. This “new norm” is a carefully cultivated mediocrity, devoid of effort and ripe with folks content with the status-quo. Fading fast are the days of risk and reward, hard work and success. Our country now seems held together by false “safety nets” and excuses, generational theft and selfishness.

No nation on planet earth is perfect to be sure, but we are special, unique, our creed and founding rooted in the God-given freedom to succeed of our own effort, each according to his or her own talent and drive. In turn and unfettered, those successes breed a collective spirit and national success unmatched in human history. That spirit and desire to be better and to live better, are what have defined the U.S. for generations, and held us together through many a hellish challenge.

Mr. President, this is not a time to divide a nation already “taxed” and pummeled by misinformation and demagoguery. We need a leader who believes in the real America, not someone who will remake the culture and traditions which built America. Consequently, I look forward to hearing the Republican response, articulated by a man who understands that “We the People” will only succeed as “one nation under God” if we are truly “one nation under God”.

For Conservatives who know the POTUS will come out passive aggressive and predictably partisan tonight, seizing on every opportunity to run the class warfare playbook against his political opponents, Senator Marco Rubio represents an almost JFK moment. He’s a breath of fresh air, and a “real” son of immigrants. A true American success story, Rubio is poised to enter the history books as a pivotal player in our nation’s future, and I will be watching and listening to him closely…

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1-20-13, The Inauguration of Apathy…

Inaugural_platform-001_s640x427Whether you agree with him or not, Barack Obama will be sworn in as President of The United States for a second term. The backdrop of this inauguration however, will be one of uncertainty and disillusionment to be sure.

We are living in a time of choices like we have never faced, and they are not necessarily ideological choices. Nevertheless, most Americans must now decide whether they will recognize and accept the factual evidence of our national “situation”, or whether they will choose to ignore that evidence, blame someone or something else, and hope the “situation” will correct itself. Here are some undeniable truths to consider though, if you have the intestinal fortitude…

Our overall economy has already morphed into an over-extended and dormant entity on life support, chugging along at what would normally be considered a pathetic pace. Stocks are up though they are critically overvalued paper, and lack the raw capital which once calmed a long term investor. Unemployment remains under-reported and elevated because of uncertainty over the rising costs associated with owning and running a business. Ideological taxes and benefit burdens threaten to blow up middle America, with a recent report from a former GAO Chief predicting Obamacare may very well collapse the entire economy. (Note: Most credible analysts who aren’t drinking the Obama Kool-Aid support that prediction.) And as a nation, we spend nearly twice what we take in, with our debt now growing beyond our realistic ability to pay it off of our great-grandchildren’s backs.

In full view of all of these facts many have simply chosen to dig in their partisan heals and spit into the proverbial fan. Politicians for life on both sides of the aisle have put us on a collision course with financial Armageddon, and there seems little “We the People” are prepared to do about it. Moreover, Chief Justice John Roberts will swear in a President tomorrow, who lacks both the life experience and historical grasp to lead us back onto the right avenue, a demagogue, drunk on perceived adoration, and who is content see this college experiment through to it’s inevitable conclusion, even if it means the United States emerges but a shell of its former glory.

Now some will call me a racist for my conclusions. Still others will call (me) the partisan, and I will undoubtedly argue against this foolishness to the bitter end. That said, what we are facing here is a mathematical certainty with unimaginable consequences, which can no longer be denied or framed as just some radical doomsday prediction. The hard numbers are now in plain sight. Make no mistake, I too am stunned at how quickly this country was lulled into a catatonic 1960’s mentality, unable to see reality or reason, blinded by rhetoric, and selfishly willing to deny their posterity.

So as I watch and listen to President Obama take the oath of office once more, and I hear him swear to uphold the Constitution of this nation once again, and then I listen some more as he will undoubtedly rehash much of the old “Hope and Change” diatribe, I will be considering my sons and our children’s America. Regrettably, my conclusions will be the same as they were in 2008. The President is not the problem. We are…

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Little Rhody Reason…

RI DLT Director Fogarty

RI DLT Director Fogarty

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate fell from 10.4 to 10.2 percent. So significant was this to the Chafee Administration, that Charles Fogarty from the Department of Labor and Training sprinted to the airwaves to tout this most momentous of occasions. After listening to Fogarty’s painful “right direction” diatribe, I did a little numbers juggling of my own.

At our present rate of recovery here in “Little Rhody”, we might be at the current national unemployment level by the year 2017. Moreover, the trending numbers, or “indicators” as they are sometimes called, do not take into consideration those who have simply dropped off the employment radar or moved away, nor do they account for small business friendliness and cost of living factors which are all “trending” badly to say the least…

Adding insult to “The Ocean States” already embarrassing economic injury, WPRO Radio Personality Dan York reminded his listeners yesterday, that if Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has his way and lowers the state sales tax to 4.5 percent, there won’t be enough retail money left in Rhode Island to pay for an order of “Chowda” and Clamcakes…

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Fact and reason only please…

foxandfriendssat007I always cut radio and television folks a little slack, as I understand the ratings component. That said, I caught a bit of John DePetro’s broadcast on 630 WPRO AM this past Friday, when he seemed to belittle callers for their notions about the Second Amendment. During the segment he attempted to define the use of firearms in the case of a government ordered forfeiture. In doing so he was pitting firearms proponents against the Rhode Island National Guard in a fictitious battle, and asking if they would fight our volunteer army in defense of their guns, a foolish and cheap assertion at best. Now it is understood that not everyone is a Constitutional scholar, but let me see if I can help you understand what your callers were trying to say as you ridiculed them on the air, Mr. DePetro.

The simple truth is that the Second Amendment does in fact have a very specific meaning, one which politicians and gun control advocates don’t like discussing. It doesn’t suggest war with our Armed Forces, but it does speak to a populace left defenseless against an unbridled government, one which has forgotten its oath and origin, and which has moved away from the Liberty for which it was formed. This nation is unique in that posture John, and dare I say, its free citizens understand some of the collateral negatives associated with the misuse of firearms by those of an evil design.

We are all mournful to the horrors of Newtown, and we are all searching for answers. However, fact and reason must rule the day if those answers are to be realized. The idea of “safety” is not related to the Second Amendment as written. In fact the violence which occurs during a mass shooting is symptomatic of much broader and complicated social manifestations, which our elected officials do not wish to be scrutinized for.

Understand something Sir, history dictates that oppression and genocide in the 20th Century were always preceded by the subjugation of the masses, very often by removing the means by which the masses might prevent that subjugation. To think that it will never happen here, is to be, well, naïve.

No one is suggesting armed confrontation with our brave men and women in uniform. But purposely misrepresenting a Constitutional Amendment for the sake of generating controversy, speaks volumes for our declining recognition and respect for the document, and just makes you part of the problem.

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“Here’s fourteen bucks, and I’ll see ya’ at the polls”…

minimum_wage(1)Apparently my home state is among those that will raise the minimum wage come 1/1. Across the country there are a number of states which will do the same. But Rhode Island is a great example of the “wrong headedness” which dominates what I like to call the “Obama political landscape” these days.

Let’s put aside for a moment, the idea that minimum wage positions are not meant to be permanent or what many would call “living wage”, but rather starter or entry-level positions, which is what my dad taught me and what I believe to this day. And let’s also put aside the predictable politics of the Left as they fish for support among the uniformed/brainwashed. I would just like to know how in the world an extra $14.00 per week is going to make a significant difference in someone’s, or some family’s bottom line. Now firstly, save that Barrington rich guy stupidity. I’ve seen my share of hard times, and I don’t need a life lesson from any misguided “occupy type” or Progressive sycophant. But in a state legendary for its inhospitable business climate, excruciating tax burdens, and regional cost of living disparities, one would think our elected officials would be hard at work on a more substantial and “maybe even” long term approach.  Alas, Rhode Island will now make it even harder for small business out ahead of “Obamacare”. Moreover, when we hear our Rhode Island Delegation to Washington talk about jobs, one has to ask why in the world you would take away what little incentive there is left for companies to hire. And why in the world would you incentivize those companies to do more with “less” people.

In the face of such dire economic circumstances, Rhode Island offers the same tired and ineffective foolishness. “Here’s fourteen bucks, and I’ll see ya at the polls”…

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I will see you on the field in 2013…

untitled… As we attempt to take stock of Christmas 2012, there is obvious angst in America, and with good reason. I will be honest and tell you, I’m going to take a page from Bill O’Reilly’s book, and be “much tougher on the opposition this year”. For too long many of us have given a pass to those whose intentions we know to be anything but honorable, both in the political and news media arena. The truth and the facts have been watered down to accommodate a very vocal, disingenuous and agenda driven minority. Our heritage and culture are in danger of extinction, and our future is in question because we allow the argument to be framed as the enemies of freedom would have it. Our children will not live in their grandparents United States, as we parents have allowed their “inheritance” to be squandered in the name of a false utopia, predestined for failure by historical truth and example. No, I have decided there is far too much at stake, and little to be gained by simply allowing Progressivism to extinguish the torch of Liberty so many have died to protect. 2013 must be different. “We the People” must acknowledge and accept that we have dropped the ball, and time is no longer on our side. We must make a choice, or become just another failed nation which cast off freedom in favor of being ruled.

In the midst of a maelstrom of economic strife, albeit not just of one party’s making, President Barack Obama was elected and promised “Hope and Change” in 2008. He stood in the glow of history and eloquently described a new road for our country, a road paved with bi-partisan thinking and cooperation. Instead, we are on track to double our debt, and our economy is now on the brink of yet another crippling and potentially far more debilitating recession. Moreover, we have never seen a more uninformed and divided America, nor have we known a president more focused on ideological change and partisan politics, as this one. Now some may try and answer this with cries of racism and other baseless accusations, but I submit to you that there has not been an administration in U.S. history which has done more to promote that which they lament with such fervent gusto.

I’m sorry, but no more lies. No more acceptance of what common sense and sound principle tells us is wrong simply for the sake of “consensus”. In the end, a “consensus” of wrongheaded individuals who offer up the same tired, debt laden, and counterproductive so-called solutions, only prolongs the inevitable failure of a structure built on a compromised foundation.

We are indeed compromised in so many ways my fellow Americans. To deny this only makes you part of the problem. Instead, let us join together and face a storm unlike any we have ever faced. It will begin in our hearts, in our homes, and yes, in our churches. And it will only transcend to our cities, our states and to the nation, if it is shaped in the mold of a national movement to re-capture the “American Dream” we have lost. The reality is our “national death clock” has been sped up dramatically by irresponsible representation from local government to Washington, as well as a hijacking of the American self-reliant and entrepreneurial spirit our parents and grandparents passed on to us. We cannot and should not stand by and allow that spirit to be squashed by the naysayers and revisionists. This is not about party my friends. It’s simply “now or never” …

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Honor them…

I suppose that in the age of the 24 hour news cycle we should expect nothing less than bell to bell coverage of the unimaginable tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Consequently, we should also expect agenda driven politicians and uniformed ideologues to exploit that tragedy for political and/or ideological gain. I recently posted on Facebook that I was trying desperately not to engage out of respect for the lost and their grieving families, and in spite of the enormous amount of misinformation being spewed by the anti-gun crowd. Unfortunately, it is now painfully obvious this may not be possible. The deaths of these young children and those who sought to protect them at the Sandy Hook Elementary School must not simply be the catalyst for change of the wrong kind, promoted by those of the wrong intent.

Make no mistake, the loss of these innocents by the hand of evil, manifested in the form of a person with mental illness, begs a discussion of a higher sort with the aim of protecting our most valuable resource on planet earth, our children. Having said that, the critical task at hand will require level headed and truthful participants with no ulterior motives, and whose intentions are laser focused on the above and nothing else. So let’s look at what is being put out there at present, both on the political as well as the media fronts.

For starters, it is clear the President will charge ahead with what he ignored in his first term because it was politically dangerous. On its face this should tell you much about Mr. Obama’s political intentions. I would add however, the suggestion his emotion is not genuine is simply ridiculous. The POTUS has two school age daughters and I’m quite sure he has been rattled by the events of 12/14. No, this is an ideological battle not a personal one, at least in terms of any solution going forward.

Notwithstanding personal attacks by either side, President Obama named his VP Joe Biden as the point man for a committee to make recommendations, citing Biden’s input on the Clinton era assault weapons ban. I’m sorry, would that be the ban which had “zero” impact on violent crime, as vetted by every credible reporting agency including the CDC, which conducted no less than 50 inquiries desperately searching for evidence to support the ban but found none? Oh, and Attorney General Eric Holder will be sought out for his input and has already recommended a stronger BATFE. I’m sorry, would that be the Attorney General and BATFE embroiled in the “Fast and Furious” gun running scandal which resulted in the deaths of over nine hundred Mexican civilians and two border agents?

When you add in Dick Durbin and Dianne Feinstein, two of the most partisan and uniformed politicians on the matter of gun control, it is easy to come to the conclusion that the “discussion” on how to make our children safer will be dominated by politics and misinformation. Moreover, the statistical data continues to show that so-called “assault weapons” account for just 1/5 of one percent of all violent crime, with 1/7 of all guns in circulation in the U.S. being “assault weapons”, just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the “numbers within the numbers” which clearly show the futility of additional gun control. (Note here, one only need look to the states with the highest violent crime rates to find the most draconian gun laws).

Look, this debate is just getting started. And while I continue to believe it is incumbent upon us to focus our efforts on supporting the families in their time of sorrow and loss, we must also guard against feel good applications which always results in the erosion of freedom, while doing nothing to address the issue of violence in our nation. Turning a blind eye to the root causes and societal factors which are at the heart of our “national condition”, is akin to doing nothing at all in the face of this unholy nightmare. As a father, I am with whoever truly endeavors in the name of the victims and the Newtown community, honestly and with the same motivations. As a patriot, I must also endeavor to preserve and protect my son’s liberty from those who would manipulate it by way of false and ideological rhetoric, intended only for political gain and offered not as substantive and genuine solutions. I feel the two approaches are inexorably linked. In the name of those lost, let the truth, the facts and a genuine desire to keep our children safe, be the catalyst for real “change for the better”…

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Demographically speaking…

Many things inspire my writing. I do not automatically fall in line with the “news of the day” folks as this is predictable to me and often not of great interest to my readers. It’s the story within the story I’m chasing, that in turn allows me to reconcile the events which affect us all.

I was reading on-line recently when I came across a very flattering sequence of photos showing the President with his wife and one of his daughters taking in a pro-basketball game. Smiles and hugs abounded, and Mr. Obama the man looked quite content with his life post-election. Unlike some who write as I do, I’m usually inclined to give the POTUS a pass in these situations because he is also a family man and should be able to enjoy his life, at least to the extent he can and within the context of his awesome “responsibilities”. Truth be told, that difficult balance goes with the job he fought so hard to keep.

Nevertheless, I read a contrasting article this morning about a women in Rhode Island who was laid off last year and has been struggling with the fact her unemployment benefits are quickly coming to an end. She has cashed in her life insurance and sold just about everything she owns to stay in the game. She reminded the interviewer that her bills are still due regardless of her employment status, and that her gas had been shut off at different times while she struggled to pay the bill. With winter approaching, my heart went out to this women as you could clearly see the anguish on her face in a photo taken for the article.

Now I know Liberals out there will defend the President on this one, and say that he cannot and should not be expected to live life as a recluse in mourning for those struggling in “the worst recession since the Great Depression”, as he himself describes it. Normally I would be inclined to agree with that analogy. However, “this President” has taken extraordinary pains to identify himself with a particular demographic in this country, all the while bashing another demographic and touting what he calls “progress” on the economic front.

So as the work force remains at historically low levels, and many finding work are settling for underemployment as opposed to no employment, and as our national debt continues to grow while a fiscal chasm looms ahead of the new year, and while so many Americans continue to struggle in an economic climate on which our President readily admits “We’ve got more work to do”, I would suggest to Mr. Obama that he at least try and appear a bit more introspective during this very difficult holiday season for many Americans.



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