Monday Dec 16, 2013
North Kingstown, RI – Good morning, Ocean State. This is Bob Plain, editor and publisher of the RI Future blog podcasting to you from The Hideaway on the banks of the Mattatuxet River behind the Shady Lea Mill in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.
It’s Monday, December 16 and Rhode Islanders have officially survived more than half of the holiday season without having to hear from John DePetro, though GoLocal reports (mindsets?) the notoriously nasty morning shock jock will be back on WPRO tomorrow morning … that’s got to be a dicey proposition for Alex and Ani, which could become the focus on storefront protests if labor decides to take its anti-DePetro protest to the next level…
Twin River is in the news today … the state-sanctioned gambling parlor in Lincoln is looking to buy a Hard Rock Cafe casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. And as news breaks that Twin River is hoping to expand into the Monte Carlo of the Deep South, several state lawmakers are catching flack for playing charity blackjack at Twin River … the Providence Journal reports the big winners included Reps Scott Slater and Lisa Tomaso and Senator Mike McCaffrey.
In any case, I’m really glad Reps Scott Slater and Lisa Tomaso were able to redistribute a couple bucks from Twin River to local food pantries.
If it’s true that the Exeter recall campaign reflected the strong opposition to changing gun laws in Rhode Island, as Rhode Island Public Radio reported the day before the vote, then those who’d like to see stronger gun laws in Rhode Island should have nothing to fear from the NRA. 63 percent of this pretty rural and relatively gun-loving community voted against a recall that was, ostensibly, about the right to bear arms … or at least the right to get a permit to carry a concealed handgun from the local town clerk instead of law enforcement, as the rest of Rhode Island requires…
And kudos to Progressive Charlestown for beating the rest of the state on the Exeter recall story, by the way. This left-leaning blog that covers South County actually consistently has some of the best stuff in the state … for another example read Will Collete’s coverage of the COPAR quarry disaster wreaking havok with area drinnking water. The city of Westerly says COPAR is illegally mining a granite quarry for gravel, and while the issues is stuck in court, COPAR is allowed to go right on mining gravel.
Watch this weekend’s Newsmakers for a great debate on whether Edward Snowden was a hero or a criminal … my thought: the two aren’t mutually exclusive. For example, Nelson Mandela was both a criminal and a hero. So was Robin Hood, for that matter. And for a famous right-wing example of hero/criminal … a bunch of pretty well to-do Boston merchants decided to launch about a million bucks worth of tea into Boston Harbor.
MIT, Harvard and Brown have a new study that shows there’s little to no correlation between high stakes test scores and “the ability to analyze abstract problems and think logically.”
Is economic inequality the “defining issue of our time,” as President Obama said recently? Paul Krugman of the New York Times say so and Ezra Klein of the Washington Post has a more nuanced answer.
The key to this debate isn’t whether it’s fair or not that some of us get to be rich and others have to be poor … it’s the lack of social mobility. Put in Rhode Island terms, if you grew up in Barrington, chances are you are going to make a decent living as an adult. And if you grow up in Central Falls, chances are you’ll struggle financially.