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Schaper: Is Free Speech Petering Out In New England?

Thursday, January 02, 2014


WPRO’s Independent conservative/shock-jock John DePetro is under attack in the Ocean State, specifically following his attack on the unions picketing outside of Roger Williams Casino Park earlier this year.

Why were they gathered together to cause a lather of trouble? To protest General Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s fundraiser, as she was the key reformer who pushed through Rhode Island’s landmark pension reforms in 2011. As a rule, unions will fight to the end to prevent any cuts or reforms to wages, benefits, and pensions. Whatever one may say about their reasons and their rhetoric, the policies which have benefitted the connected public sector unions at the expense of the taxpayer, literally, cannot be afforded any longer.

DePetro referred to the people picketing as “a disgrace” then spelled out the word “whore” to describe them. Yes, and DePetro has twice before faced backlashes for other insensitive comments about some women, (but not every woman) including a claim many years prior that a rape victim was asking for trouble for frequenting a bar so late. And there was that “fat lesbian” comment.

Up till now, conservatives who had made insensitive remarks would get canned, but liberals with offenses aplenty, those that lasted long enough to be profitable, never got rebuked, let alone fired.

This year, that double-standard has faded. With the resignation of Pakistani-Britisher Martin Bashir from MSNBC because of his outrageous remarks against Sarah Palin. suggesting that someone should urinate and defecate in her mouth for Palin’s comparison of the growing national debt to slavery. Also, Alec Baldwin finally got his self-righteous rage-slander comeuppance this year, following his gay-bashing tirade against a New York paparazzo. His fledgling news show was cancelled, too, following aggressive lobbying by conservative groups.

Back to New England, and we find that not only DePetro is facing attacks, but also former Republican US Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez is taking a backlash. On his Facebook page, Gomez maligned the leaders of conservative blog Red Mass Group, calling them members of a “Klan”, and yes with a “K.”

Such race-baiting is destructive, insulting, and just plain stupid. Besides, Republicans are a frustrated breed as it is in the Northeast, and such back-biting in their own ranks just ranks with self-serving wickedness. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Gomez was testing the waters for a run for state treasurer, and he was vetting more liberal credentials to ingratiate himself with the Mass Lib constituency.

Red Mass Group’s Eno and Pinto fought back, and rightly so. Gomez was forced to retract and apologize, although his statements on Boston Public Radio highlighted his resistance to repudiate his remarks.

The conservative right in the United States is coalescing against race-baiting and hate-mongering, and it’s about time. However, do these trends mean better or worse for our political culture?

The Gomez get-back was a private matter, and privately handled. The Red Mass Group is likely red with glee, since they get some worthy press.

Now let’s consider the DePetro dust-up.

Politicians and public sector unions have been tarnished with the prostitution taint many times before. Syndicated cartoonist Michael Ramirez depicted former US Senator Ben Nelson and current, embattled Mary Landrieu of Louisiana as prostitutes for taking back room deals to help pass ObamaCare in 2010. Making fun of politicians is as old as the oldest profession, anyway.

Were DePetro’s comments insensitive? Of course. Did anyone have a right to dig into his past to find present reasons for sacking him a third time? Now, I am not so sure. Should he be fired for referring to the union protestors as “whores”? Hmm. The debate, picked up in greater measure by local conservatives, strongly suggests that Rhode Island public officials’ pressure against a private news medium, or a messenger, does not bode well for free speech.

Governor Deval Patrick and the Mass GOP did not get heavily involved in the Gomez-Red Mass flap, but when Governor Chafee decides to boycott an entire radio station, along with the backing of one-party rule Democrats in Providence, Rhode Islanders should reconsider. Putting aside allegations of sexual misconduct, should the radio host go up in smoke for his incendiary remarks?

For Our Daughters alleges:

DePetro labels women as "whores" on WPRO air.

No he did not.

The union/organization sponsoring the boycott against DePetro, For Our Daughters RI, is a union-sponsored machine. Does New England really want politicians and public sector unions censoring who can say what? Yet proponents of the boycott would argue: Organizations have boycotted media elements before, have they not?

The rub remains this: unions and politicians are funded with taxpayer dollars, monies taken from you and me, and then these same interests spend our coerced monies on candidates, causes, questions, or any kind of demonstrations, whether they serve the public which they claim to serve, or not. If they want to mount boycotts and recalls, they should be doing so on their own time with their own money, that is with money voluntarily extracted from their own supporters.

Boycotts should be a private affair. State officials, with their endemic pride, should not be able to amass power to silence dissent.

Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance.

Related Slideshow:
13 Biggest Blunders in Rhode Island of 2013

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13 School Buses

Shortly after the 2013-2014 school year got off to its start in Providence, it quickly stalled when bussing issues arose, stemming from an incident where a bus got lost on the East Side and let students off.

Using the power of social media and advocacy, parents of not only the students involved on the bus in question, but others as well banded together to demand accountability. They sought answers from the City of Providence and the bussing company, First Student, as to why the buses were late, why monitors were missing from some buses, and why it was so hard to reach anyone when they called.

When a report came to light that showed that consultants had suggested multiple options for cost savings besides the re-routing chosen, parents and the public questioned the Taveras administration's decision to cut costs when kids were arriving late to school, and home at night, up to 90% of the time.

The school committee brought the consultants back in to discuss better options, the results of which are yet to be seen. There is little doubt that parent advocates who used Facebook to share their stories and call for answers from the city and bussing company will continue to press the issue that students are brought to and from school on time.

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12 John DePetro

Radio talk show host John DePetro may have uttered his now infamous "whores" line back in September about female union members who picketed a fundraiser for General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, but a campaign that began quietly to protest his language picked up steam—and attention—in the weeks that followed.

The group For Our Daughters started a change.org petition to pressure advertiser Alex and Ani to sever ties with the show and DePetro. While DePetro offered an apology, it apparently wasn't enough for Governor Chafee, who signed the petition, and said he would not appear on WPRO as long as it had a relationship with DePetro. Soon other elected officials and candidates for statewide office followed suit, and DePetro hasn't been on air since the situation heated up.

In his defense, a change.org petition was started in support of DePetro by "RI Citizens for Free Speech", which writes that DePetro is "under attack by a paid organized union smear campaign designed to silence his vocal criticism. Do not allow politicians and unions to suppress free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment! We will not tolerate the sponsorship of the callers or the host of the John DePetro Show!"

GoLocal asked experts as to what they thought of the First Amendment defense—and ultimately, the decision will now lie in the hands of the brass of WPRO. Will DePetro stay or go? We'll most likely find out in 2014.

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11 Teamster's Threat

The inside machinations of internal Teamsters politics don't usually rise to the surface of the general public—or to the level of the Independent Review Board, established by consent decree between the Teamsters and U.S. government to investigate allegations of corruption—but it happened when New England Teamsters boss Sean O'Brien threatened retaliation against the opposition slate in the recent Local 251 elections in Rhode Island.

GoLocal obtained a copy of the video which features O'Brien, President of Teamsters Local 251 in Charlestown, MA and President of Joint Council 10, saying that Joe Bairos is one of his closest allies. Bairos was the Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Union Local 251 in Providence, RI.

"Anyone who takes on Bairos—they've got a major problem, they'll never be our friends—they need to be punished, held accountable for their actions," said O'Brien, who continued, "TDU sucks, go home...there's no doubt in my mind you're going to kick TDU's ass." 

O'Brien's actions earned him an investigation from the Review Board—outlined here—and Teamsters for a Democratic Union, the opposition slate targeted by O'Brien, were ultimately successful in RI. O'Brien's actions marked one of 2013's biggest blunders.

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10 Tripathi Accused

One of the saddest and most tragic blunders of 2013 happened when Brown student Sunil Tripathi, who had been missing since last seen on campus in March, was mistakenly identified as a suspect in the Boston marathon bombings in the chaotic days that followed.

Following his disappearance from campus, an intensive search was launched as well as a Facebook page, "Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi", and family members came to Providence in hopes of finding Sunil.

When the Boston bombings occurred and the news and social media was awash in trying to identify who the bombers were, Tripathi was mistakenly identified in one of the photos as being a suspect. For several hours, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, lit up with speculation that the missing student was somehow involved with the act of terrorism.

Tripathi's named was cleared when the Tsarnev brothers were identified and pursued, but not after putting Tripathi's family in national—and international—media spotlight the case of mistaken accusation. Tripathi's family, in a display of grace and courage, issued a statement to thank those who supported them throughout the ordeal, and used the events to raise awareness of finding Tripathi. Sadly, Tripathi's body was discovered a week later off India Point in Providence.

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9 Pools

When the City of Providence announced that the pool at the Davey Lopes Recreational Center would not be reopened in the summer of 2013, citing declining numbers in attendance, it set off a community reaction that might not have been anticipated by the Taveras administration.

A report on Providence recreation written by a Mayoral Fellow to Angel Taveras—and leaked to GoLocalProv—showed that the city administration ignored its own commissioned analysis, while it has systematically reduced recreation services, notably the closing of city pools.

The city said they would replace the pool with a water park, but community advocates from Councilman Davian Sanchez to Ray Rickman to Leah Williams Metts -- and dozens of others -- decried the move to deny youth the recreational opportunity of a swimming pool, and the ability to learn how to swim.

An agreement was reached between pool supporters and the Mayor's office—the Friday before Taveras announced his run for Governor the following Monday. What was 2013's biggest blunders will no doubt be revisited in 2014, as the re-opening of the pool will surely be on the table.

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8 Schilling's Knock Out

It has been no secret that there has been no love lost between Curt Schilling and Governor Lincoln Chafee in the fallout of the demise of 38 Studios, with a good deal of back-and-forth (and name-calling) taking place on Twitter.

In 2012, Schilling called Chafee a "dunce of epic proportions" over the handling of 38 Studios, saying that Chafee had always wanted the video game company to fail all along. "[Chafee] had a plan and executed it," Schilling said an interview with WEEI.

Schilling's penchant for tweeting got the best of him when he was teed up by Rhode Island comedian and heckler Jon Stenning, who after seeing Schilling appear on ESPN, decided to light the former Red Sox pitcher up. 

Stenning (@AtJonStenning) tweeted Schilling (@gehrig38), "How about you donate all the money you make on ESPN to the State of Rhode Island, you piece of s--t?"

Schilling took the bait. He tweeted back in response, "How about I just knock you out?"

As Rhode Island—and taxpayers—continue to address paying back over $100 million on the bonds issued for the video game company in 2010, Schilling's tweet goes to show just how heated the failure of 38 Studios continues to be.

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7 Raimondo Fee Disclosure

When the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) asked for information from the Rhode Island General Treasurer's office on state pension fund money manager fees—and was told it would have to pay $1500 for the information, which might not even produce the information requested—a firestorm erupted over the transparency and disclosure (or lack thereof) of information from the General Treasurer's office.

"That language was clearly written for a desired outcome, and that was that was to deter us from following up on the request," said AFSCME's Kreisberg. "These are public records—and they want to gouge us to get them, if at all? I don't think so." 

Forbes columnist Ted Siedle weighed in.  "In my experience, hedge funds—and their managers—know exactly what they're charging, and what their management fees are in basis points. These numbers should be readily available," said Siedle. "For a public office to ask that kind of money for public records, while legal, is pretty much unheard of." 

In a departure from current Rhode Island General Treasurer Gina Raimondo's strategy, former General Treasurer Frank Caprio announced that he will reduce the number of money managers and use of hedge funds in his bid for the office in 2014.

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6 Tobin on Mandela

Archbishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, who announced in August his decision to switch his voter registration from Democrat to Republican, made waves in the Ocean State—and beyond—when he took the opportunity of South African Leader Nelson Mandela's passing to criticize the civil and human rights leader for his position on abortion.

In a statement released on the Diocese of Providence's website on December 8, Tobin wrote, "There is part of President Mandela’s legacy, however, that is not at all praiseworthy, namely his shameful promotion of abortion in South Africa. In 1996 Mandela promoted and signed into law the “Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Bill” that, according to the New York Times, “replaced one of the world’s toughest abortion laws with one of the most liberal.

Tobin continued, "While we pray for the peaceful repose of President Mandela’s immortal soul and the forgiveness of his sins, we can only regret that his noble defense of human dignity did not include the youngest members of our human family, unborn children.”

A group called "Faithful America" responded by presenting Tobin with 19-thousand signatures demanding that he apologize for the remarks. In the petition they wrote, “Bishop Tobin, your shameful and mean-spirited attack on Nelson Mandela is an embarrassment to the church.”

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5 Strip Club Controversy

When it was discovered that a 15-year-old girl was working at Cheaters strip club in Providence in July, the city's "adult entertainment" underbelly deservedly took one on the chin.

Following the disclosure, Providence City Council President Michael A. Solomon announced he would be introducing new legislation to ensure that minors are not inadvertently hired to work at adult entertainment venues in the city of Providence.

“The recently reported case of a 15-year old girl being hired as a performer at a local adult entertainment establishment made clear the need for stricter requirements,” stated Solomon. In 2009, Solomon sponsored the city ordinance which prohibits people under the age of 18 from working at such venues. After the City approved the ordinance, the State also passed a law barring minors from employment at adult entertainment establishments.

Solomon would require adult entertainment licensees to obtain a criminal background check for each prospective employee, for the specific purpose of age verification. “Relying only on a driver’s licenses or a state-issued photo identification card as proof of age has proven to be problematic in a number of cases at strip clubs, as IDs can be manipulated and falsified,” Solomon said. “Requiring background checks for all employees, as a condition of the license for an adult entertainment venue, will allow owners and managers to obtain reliable information, so that they can be sure they are not violating city and state law by hiring minors.

Cheaters—and owner Charles Tapalian—has close political ties, with former member State Rep Peter Petrarca representing the club this year when it came under review from the Board of Licensing—and Tapalian being a major political donor, having given to Solomon, as well as Council member Terry Hassett. With this year's Cheaters' misstep, watch for closer scrutiny paid to the strip clubs—as well as politicians.

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4 Chafee Opting Out

In September, when Governor Chafee's office sent a media advisory for the press regarding an announcement being made at the DMV, few could have envisioned what that would be—that the former Senator and Mayor of Warwick would not be seeking running for Governor for a second term.

In 2010, Chafee switched from the GOP to run for Governor as an Independent and split the four-way contest to win the Governor's office with 39% of the vote.

Chafee then made a jump to the Democratic party in May of this year, after secretly meeting with President Obamawho then offered up his fundraising support to the former Republican. The potential 2014 Rhode Island Democratic gubernatorial primary looked like it would soon be a very heated battle between Chafee, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

Chafee's bowing out left the the Governor a "lame duck"—and dramatically changed not only the playing field for 2014, but how the game will be played. 

Said Jennifer Duffy with the Cook Political Report, "At least through the primary, the race was going to be all about Chafee, his record, and his style of governing. Now, the contest takes on all of the characteristics of an open seat. The candidates are going to have to lay out very clear visions for how they would lead the state. At the same time, they are going to have to focus more on each other. Chafee was a very unifying target."

Prev Next

3 Empty Superman Building

In the middle of the 2013 General Assembly session, privately-owned, Massachusetts-based High Rock Development, who purchased the Industrial National Bank Building in 2008, indicated it was seeking $48 million in historic tax credits from Rhode Island, in order to convert the historic "Superman" structure into roughly 250 to 275 apartments in the 428 foot tall office tower. 

In 2011, former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino warned that the building was a "ticking time bomb" - speculating what could happen if anchor tenant Bank of America were to leave. Prophecy became reality when Bank of America moved out in 2013, leaving the iconic downtown building vacant.

However, turning the building into predominantly residential space—with assistance from the city and the state—was not an easy sell, as taxpayer backing of 38 Studios remained fresh on Rhode Islanders' minds.

The timing of the proposal—well into the General Assembly session—was one of the cautionary flags for some. "This is looking way too similar to 38 Studios with the timing of all of this," said Representative Patrick O'Neill, who had been part of Speaker of the House Gordon Fox's leadership team - but split on the handling of 38 Studios.  "The mid-session announcement, the prospect of it getting pushed to an 11th hour vote with no idea what it looks like. We just can't afford to go down that road again."

In total, the funding that the developers were looking for from the state amounted to approximately $75 million in local, state, and federal funding—which just so happened to be the amount of the EDC's doomed loan to 38 Studios. Would it have made a difference had the amount not been so tied to the failed video game company? Former—and current—gubernatorial candidate Ken Block said, "Hang on to your wallets! The Superman Building project has all the makings of another 38 Studios."

Said Block, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. The State of Rhode Island has already been duped by the 38 Studios debacle and many legislators indicated that they did not know on what they were voting when they approved that deal."

Prev Next

2 CCRI President Pay

CCRI President Ray Di Pasquale, who began his tenure in 2006 with a salary of $180,000, has for the past three years had an annual salary of $265,000 and a total compensation package including health and retirement of over $370,000 due to his dual role as interim commissioner of higher education—at the time.

However, due to the reorganization of the state's education boards into the one Board of Education, Di Pasquale's most recent contract is solely for his duties at CCRI—at the same pay level as when Di Pasquale serving as commissioner as well. 

GoLocal uncovered that since 2006, over $50,000 has been spent on maintaining the pool on the President's property on the CCRI Knight Campus—and that in the same time frame, DiPasquale has expensed over $20,000 in entertaining costs at the private University Club.

For the 2010-2011 school year, CCRI’s three-year graduation rate was just 9.6 percent, ranking Rhode Island No. 48 in the country when it comes to graduation rates from two-year institutions.

As student loan debt surpasses $1 trillion in the United States, tuition costs have increased more than 1,000 percent in the past three decades. In 2012, the average salary for a community college president was $167,000 in 2012.

Prev Next

1 Restaurant Violations

Pasta sauce stored in a Home Depot bucket. Moths in flour. Toxic substances stored alongside food.

These were just some of the health violations listed by the Rhode Island Department of Health upon inspecting restaurants in Providence over the past year.

The Rhode Island Department of Health Office of Food Protection Inspection Report Access Page contains a searchable database of all inspected establishments in the state—and also allows people to sign-up for e-mail alerts "when your favorite restaurant is inspected."

GoLocal reported on restaurants looked at by the state between July 15, 2012 and July 15, 2013; establishments what were not looked at during this time would not have been reflected. 

Nearly half of the restaurants inspected in the city over the past year had less than ten violations reported during a single inspection. Those with higher levels of violations were often inspected again later in the year, and for most of those restaurants, the number of violations found the second time decreased significantly.

While some restaurants had over 20 violations found by the Department of Health—a number of establishments thought the inspectors comments helped to point out—and turn around—any health code blunders.

"When the inspector came, she was fantastic," said Lucia Chacon of Ristorante Lucia on Atwells Avenue. "She was very helpful, explaining what needed to be done, which we took care of. It was a very good thing."


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Will Collette

John DePetro HAS free speech. He exercised it by calling school teachers whores.

Now, others who find that offensive are exercising THEIR free speech by calling for WPRO, a commercial enterprise, to fire him.

That's how free speech works in California, where this writer lives, and in Rhode Island, where he doesn't.

The First Amendment protects the right of people to speak, but it does not immunize them from the consequences. You can exercise your free speech and be sued for defamation. And you can exercise your free speech and be fired when that speech is detrimental to your employer.

Why does GoLocalProv continue to give this California wingnut a forum in Rhode Island?

Arthur Schaper

Will, you have the same liberty as anyone else -- you do not have to read or listen to speech you disagree with.

My issue will remain the following, regardless of the personalities involved: if public sector unions in collusion with liberal politicians can silence dissent, even the most offensive, then what's left for a viability moral response to crippling union thuggery?


Russ C

"The rub remains this: unions and politicians are funded with taxpayer dollars, monies taken from you and me..."

Yes, in RI we call that a "salary". Apparently some think people shouldn't be allowed to spend their hard-earned money how they see fit.

Perhaps we should put restrictions on that, as well as on defense contractors, service members, and anyone else working for a business receiving tax dollars or tax breaks, who also "take" money from you and me.

Russ C

"...then what's left for a viability moral response to crippling union thuggery?"

And there you have it, the real issue. When unions fight back it's "crippling thuggery," against which those helpless corporations, including those with broadcast licenses to use the public airwaves, are powerless to confront without resorting to misogyny.

One is left to wonder if Arthur would be so quick to defend racist and antisemitic comments. Would he have been among the voices condemning those joining the Montgomery bus boycott as well?

Arthur Schaper

Russ. . .

Public employees are paid by something called "taxes".

Those monies come from individuals called "taxpayers" and private firms called "businesses".

Those public employees which have formed collective bargaining units have pressured politicians and city leaders to grant salaries, pensions, and benefits, yet the people paying, "taxpayers" are never at the table to negotiate.

If the governments do not give, then the unions push back, and they do not have to negotiate.

Remember FDR: Collective bargaining does not belong in the public sector.

When private unions strike, they are dealing with those with the money.

Why? Because the public sector unions have coalesced so much power and influence to distort representative democracy.

That is a regressive scheme, Russ, and is unsustainable as well as immoral.

Now public unions are using public monies to shut down private media? REALLY? You are not alarmed by this, Russ?

For the record, I believe that contractors should be thoroughly vetted, if used at all by public institutions. 38 Studios, for example, was "Junk!" I also agree that private corps using and abusing the public process should be stopped, as well.

Thanks for reading.

Arthur Schaper

Russ C(onway):

"One is left to wonder if Arthur would be so quick to defend racist and antisemitic comments. Would he have been among the voices condemning those joining the Montgomery bus boycott as well?"

How can you compare black people fighting for their right to sit where they want on a bus with public sector unions seeking to negotiate for monies without including the very people who pay their "salary"?

Now you are playing the race card, too?

That's a shame. Whatever credibility you have is slipping away.

I expect you to write about these matters on rifuture.org, by the way.

This discussion is not about race. Why are you bringing in race? Once again, personal attacks are all that the left has left.

That's why they are the "left".

It's over, Russ. Progressive politics has shown its true colors: regressive and invidious, and now no longer victorious.

In the words of Mr. Flynn:

"Stay Loco, my friends".

James T

Yes Arthur, we are all aware we enjoy the liberty of not listening. I have yet to hear anyone argue otherwise. It isn’t the right to listen (or not) that is in question, it is the right to speak. And when Will Colette points out that those critical of what Depetro says have the same right to voice their opinion that he does, and your response is “you don’t have to read or listen”, then I can only conclude you have no response to his point, so you’re attempting to change the subject.
Your entire argument is based on the assertion that these unions and politicians are “censoring who can say what” They’re not. As Will pointed out, Depetro remains free to say what he wants, and WPRO remains free to employ him. What the politicians did, and ALL they did, was say they did not like what he said, and will not go on his show or, in some cases, any show on WPRO while he remains on the air. Just like we are all free to not listen, they are free to not appear on any media outlet they choose, for whatever reason. Is it your contention they are obligated to appear on WPRO, whether they like it or not? You seem to almost acknowledge their right to boycott, but then try to make the argument that they took your money and are now financing the boycott with it. Please. The unions collect dues from their members. Those dues are deducted from their paychecks, and Yeah, I know, those paychecks come from taxes. You state that: “If they want to mount boycotts and recalls, they should be doing so on their own time with their own money”, but according to you, they have none of their “own money”, just “coerced money” they took from you, and they need approval from you how to spend it. Seriously? Good luck selling that. What about the money they pay in taxes, just like everyone else, can they use that at their discretion? And what did the politicians spend on this boycott? That would be zero. Oh but they should be using their ‘own time’ you say. What makes you think they didn’t? How do you know they didn’t take the two minutes it took to sign the boycott ‘on their own time’? Or is their time, like their money, subject to your approval? Got news for you. It’s not public money, or ‘monies’ as you like to call it, in an attempt to sound intelligent, and you have no say as to how they spend it.
A couple of other points. They weren’t ‘causing trouble’, they were exercising their right to protest. You quote what Depetro called them, but I noticed you left out ‘cockroaches’ and ‘union hags’. Any reason?
You call out “Governor Chaffee’ and ‘one-party rule Democrats’ for participating in the boycott, but there were quite a few Republicans that signed onto the boycott also. I noticed you don’t mention them, or Gina Raimondo, who also signed on. Why would that be? And I’m not sure what a ‘viability moral response’ is, but you don’t get to dictate others morality. And ‘crippling union thuggery’? You think organizing a boycott is ‘thuggery’?? I hope for your sake you never meet a real thug, but I’ll bet you’ll cool it with the name calling real quick if you do.

Arthur Schaper

"The unions collect dues from their members. Those dues are deducted from their paychecks, and Yeah, I know, those paychecks come from taxes. "

James, the unions collect these dues WITHOUT the workers' permission!

You cannot ignore that!

I do acknowledge that some GOP have also joined boycott. All the more, individuals should be concerned, in my opinion.

Thanks for reading!

James T

So now you want to argue about whether the workers have given permission to the union to collect dues (they have)? What happened to 'it's your money they took from you, and they have no right to spend it on things you don't agree with'? A bit tougher to defend that nonsense, huh? No response to my other questions either I see. Well, don't feel bad. Maybe you're not as smart as you think you are. Some advice though: if you're wrong, just admit it, people will have more respect for you than if you just try to change the subject...

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