September 14, 2010

So That Nobody Hasn't Been Warned

Justin Katz

Just in time for election season, I've finally managed to read Travis Rowley's The Rhode Island Republican. For good reason, the largest portion of the forty-page pamphlet addresses unions, specifically public-sector unions, primarily in context of the "Cloward-Piven Strategy":

In 1966, two Columbia University political scientists, Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, penned an article in the Nation magazine titled, "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty." The purpose of the article was to inform Marxist radicals of the most prolific method for hastening a socialist revolution. What became known as the Cloward-Piven Strategy instructed anti-capitalists to overload welfare bureaucracies with impossible obligations, thereby causing civil unrest and economic collapse. The political turmoil, it was predicted, would lead to the rejection of capitalism and the embrace of the quick fixes promised by redistributive policies.

That certainly rings familiar during the era of the Obamanation.

For most of us who pay regular attention, Travis's project was to collect examples that have tended to blend together into a sense of "normal" over the years, and we do well to seek reminders of the mentality that we face (and that must be stopped at the ballot box). Here's one telling passage, involving the move in Providence to force businesses to retain employees after a sale or merger:

[Rhode Island Hospitality Association President Dale] Venturini pointed out that "from July 2008 to July 2009, city revenue from the 1 percent hotel tax has dropped nearly 11 percent," and informed the Council that the "city hotel industry has been battered by the drastic reduction in corporate travel for conventions." Executive Director of the Convention Center Authority James McCarvill said that the legislation would "make it harder for the Authority to negotiate new contracts for food vendors at The Dunk and for management of the Convention Center."

But it matters little to dictatorial Democrats what business professionals have to say. And when McCarvill questioned the Council's authority to have their hands so deeply involved in business affairs, Councilman Solomon "maintained that the city [was] within its jurisdiction since the hotels and convention center buildings currently recieve, or did receive, public money, including city tax breaks."

Let it be known, once you accept any form of tax leniency from the government, Democrats consider you their property, and grant themselves unlimited license to mingle in your private affairs. Now ask yourself, Have I ever claimed a tax deduction?

It's quite the reasoning. Government will confiscate the wealth of private individuals and businesses not just for the operation of necessary functions, like public safety and infrastructure, but for the purpose of shaping society. And when they don't confiscate that wealth, officials see that not so much as money not taken, but as money given.

Of course, to the Left, morality — as conceived and interpreted by the Left — is its own justification for government action, even when it makes no sense, as this insight from Travis notes:

... Howard Dean will have nothing of the free exercise of charity, which is the danger to his liberal logic. If people already have a sense of community, then why would Dean feel compelled to control it? If "communitarianism" is people's "natural tendency," why would an elected agency be required in order to provide it? Why is the practice of taking-and-giving necessary in a world chock full of good-hearted communitarians [as Dean argued as justification for blending capitalism and socialism]?"

Well, because liberals want charity to go to the people whom they prefer for causes of which they approve. A cause that has the effect of creating dependents and decreasing the disincentive to procreate recklessly? That's for them. A charity that reinforces Christian faith? Not so much.

The one concern that I have with The Rhode Island Republican is that I'm not sure whom Travis considers to be his audience. While the reminders to the likes of Anchor Rising readers are worth the short time to read the booklet and a rallying cry to conservative activists is always worth heeding, the people who really require to be informed are those who haven't already spotted the threads that Travis follows. They are apt to be suspicious of the frequent focus on some narrow figures on the Rhode Island Left, like Patrick Crowley, and pushed toward the apathy that meets partisan squabbles by unnecessary heat and name calling. (For example, Travis declares National Education Association [NEA] Rhode Island Executive Director Bob Walsh to be a "dingbat" early in the text.)

That said, Travis does provide a foundation from which his readers can go on to do the work of persuading their neighbors that their votes, this year, shouldn't be a simple matter of habit, because that approach has proven to be unhealthy to us all.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Crowley it seems,doesn't even get much response when he posts material on RIF anymore.Even the leftists over there get tired of the shrilling.
I've met Bob Walsh a few times and I don't see how he could be called a "dingbat".
He just puts the needs of his union followers ahead of the welfare of the educational system.
Now,I think that's wrong and irresponsible,but it's also nothing new with teachers' unions.
There certainly is a left wing consortium here in RI,where one will find the same people involved in multiple organizations and causes.
Jobs With Justice,Immigrants in Action,DARE,International Socialist Organization,IWW,Olneyville Neighborhood Association,PRYZM,Ocean State Action,and its subsidiary,Clean Water Action,etc,etc.
Then there are the national organizations that operate and Organizing for America are two that come to mind.
Let's not forget the ACLU,which,in RI,no longer even makes a pretense of waiting for a legitimate complaint-they are proactive in pursuing policies that weaken the fiber of society.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 14, 2010 9:03 AM

Travis had a forum on GoLocalProv. Whether it because he wasn't submitting his piece on time every week like Jerzyk does or there was something else going on, he's been replaced as the conservative spokesman by Don Roach (who gets his piece in every week).

Posted by: rhody at September 14, 2010 11:32 AM

Joe, please don't inslut the ACLU. They have been enlisted by the TCC, including justin to defend themselves from a lawsuit. Funny how things work out sometimes.

Posted by: triplerichard at September 14, 2010 11:34 AM

triplerichard-I will continue to tell the truth(what you call insult)about the ACLU because I've seen personally how they operate-I don't feel like writing a book here on it-I've actually gone into detail previously-and frankly I don't care who they defend-it's their agenda and tactics that I find un-American and disturbing.
What is TCC?

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 14, 2010 12:35 PM

I take the left vs. right, liberal vs. conservative stuff with a grain of salt, knowing through experience and interaction with people from all walks of life that it is a bunch of hooey for the most part.

Some people seem to thrive on the proverbial line in the sand, and try to profit, either financially or status wise by increasing the imaginary divide.

Sure, a divide exists, and people have their beliefs, but it is not nearly as deep as some would have you believe. Travis thrives on the divisive nature of the media driven clash of philosophies. I wish he focused his energy and talent on bringing people together rather than further apart.

Posted by: michael at September 14, 2010 2:35 PM
Howard Dean will have nothing of the free exercise of charity, which is the danger to his liberal logic.

Where you and Travis are confused is that we're talking about justice, not about charity. You "Me Party" types want all the privileges of American liberty with none of the responsibility.

I have already established the principle, namely, that the earth, in its natural uncultivated state was, and ever would have continued to be, the common property of the human race; that in that state, every person would have been born to property; and that the system of landed property, by its inseparable connection with cultivation, and with what is called civilized life, has absorbed the property of all those whom it dispossessed, without providing, as ought to have been done, an indemnification for that loss...

But it is justice, and not charity, that is the principle of the plan. In all great cases it is necessary to have a principle more universally active than charity; and, with respect to justice, it ought not to be left to the choice of detached individuals whether they will do justice or not.[my emphasis in bold]
Thomas Paine, 1797

Posted by: Russ at September 14, 2010 2:46 PM

"the forty-page pamphlet "

"Anchor Rising readers are worth the short time to read the booklet"

Pamphlet? booklet?

Just yesterday there was this:

"Incidentally, I'm among "the 22 young conservative writers who have contributed to 'Proud to Be Right: Voices of the Next Conservative Generation,' published next month by Harper and edited by Goldberg," mentioned at the top of the essay."


Is there room for two conservative writers here in RI? Just promise me you two won't have a little catfight. It's tedious and gets you no where.

Posted by: Phil at September 14, 2010 3:21 PM

Travis doesn't seem to understand that as long as our members have pensions, they have a vested interest in capitalism, albeit a bit more regulated than Travis would prefer. His thesis that the philosophical underpinnnigs of the labor movement are based on an unknown article from 1966 is a bit odd, if not downright paranoid. He did do a good job of recruiting Republicans to run this year, though, and he deserves credit for that.

Posted by: Bob Walsh at September 14, 2010 4:52 PM

Bob-it's not all about dollars and cents concerning teachers.
I went to public schools all my younger days with classes of at least 35-40 students and guess what-we got educated.
I think when standards for teachers are enforced,as at charter schools,they will be encouraged to do a better job with their careers on the line.
I'm not suggesting they turn out all Rhodes scholars,but at least students with reasonable skills.
I understand a lot of problems can be traced to the home life and environment of the students.It's not all on the teachers.
Back in the day,newly arrived Puerto Rican students got true total immersion and they turned out the better for it-they really did learn English-and we also had European(gasp!!)immigrant kids-mainly refugees from DP camps and many of them became highly successful.Also a lot of West Indians,but they spoke English as a first language.
They also didn't designate every third kid as special ed because they were a little difficult.
In my second grade class we had two kids who were like clockwork-every afternoon one would crap himself and the other would vomit up his lunch.No one made a big deal of it.
They let us run wild at recess and we were calmed down when we got back to class.
We had "lineup" before school in the morning-like a prison.The older kids were designated as "guards"-no sh*t,that was their title.
Nowadays the kids run the place.So I understand the situation isn't clear cut.
In NYC in the Fifties and Sixties,they had "600" schools-no touchy-feely,all male teachers and they didn't screw around-if you went to a "600" school,you got disciplined one way or another.
I'm sure Steven Brown would have her period over it,but a few kids got salvaged.
In high school,our "yard" teacher(and my history teacher) was about 5'4" with glasses-a little Jewish guy,but he had also been a tailgunner on a B-17 in WW2 and no 6'knuckle dragging idiot was going to intimidate him,and we had some serious gangs in that school.Fortunately they confined their murders to off school grounds-we also had two full time cops there-I graduated in 1963-so let's say the school wasn't Boston Latin.
I know I'm rambling on,but I miss the hell out of school as it used to be.
They TAUGHT us stuff that's useful to this day.
In my 6th grade we had to read a book and write the author-I got back a personal card from Robert A.Heinlein-I couldn't believe it.
We had to know what products were made in specific cities all around the country.Of course today that's easy-nothing to speak of.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 14, 2010 9:03 PM
Is there room for two conservative writers here in RI? Just promise me you two won't have a little catfight. It's tedious and gets you no where.

That's the problem dealing with these Tea Party types... No room! No room!

Posted by: Russ at September 15, 2010 11:11 AM

You mean like those hissy fit catfights that Matt Jerzyk and Charles Drago have had on RIF?

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 15, 2010 11:31 AM

No, not like that. I love those, so there's plenty of room at RIF for that, imho! I was thinking of this as metaphor for the fringe right, lockstep Republican movement of late.

There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talking over its head. 'Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,' thought Alice; 'only, as it's asleep, I suppose it doesn't mind.'

The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: 'No room! No room!' they cried out when they saw Alice coming. 'There's plenty of room!' said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.

Posted by: Russ at September 15, 2010 11:42 AM
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