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Steve Ahlquist is an award-winning journalist, writer, artist and founding member of the Humanists of Rhode Island, a non-profit group dedicated to reason, compassion, optimism, courage and action. The views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of any organization of which he is a member.

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"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” - Elie Weisel

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

"There comes a time when neutrality and laying low become dishonorable. If you’re not in revolt, you’re in cahoots. When this period and your name are mentioned, decades hence, your grandkids will look away in shame." - David Brooks

9 responses to “Legislators pass anti-choice license plate bill”

  1. Mike Sullivan

    How many years is it going to take Democrats to realize she is a waste of time and dump her as Leader.  But Newport voters need t wake up and VOTE HER OUT.   She is a waste of time and one of our worst State Senators ever.  Volunteer, donate, lick stamps….anything to get her opponent elected.  If you know anyone who is interested in running for office – ask them if they ever would consider opposing her. She is bought and paid for by the Catholic Church and needs to read the Constitution and most importantly, the Bill of Rights.

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  2. Gus Uht

    I also spoke at the committee meeting: Steve is right on. I just barely had enough time to look up Carenet on my cellphone and read its religious-orientation revealing Mission statement before being called to testify.
    I think what really got me was how President Paiva-Weed continued to smile through the whole charade. Well, this whole process may have been legal, but it wasn’t right. A fifth grader could tell you the bill was unconstitutional.
    Please, do call the Governor.

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  3. firedog

    Liberals have no problem with government funding the things THEY deem necessary or worthy. But God help me if I want to spend my money for this plate when the funds will be directed to a group that will help women who want to keep their child. Really… Tomorrow I will be picking up my accidentally conceived, mixed race , born out of wedlock 4 year old grandson who is the light of my life and the center of our family’s life. It’s a 2 sided issue but I guess only your side can get any government help. I pay taxes and my opinions count too. Put MARRIAGE EQUALITY on the plate and I’m sure there wouldn’t be a peep out of you…

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  4. DogDiesel

    Once again, Gordon Fox escapes anyone’s wrath on this site. Not that it’s an excuse but at least you know where Paiva-Weed’s motives originate. What the hell is Fox’s excuse. Is he hoping to get married in the Catholic Church?

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  5. Samuel Bell

    Here are the official vote records.
    Check how your legislators voted!

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  6. firedog

    I posted my first comment and above it a banner says that my comment is awaiting moderation. Does that mean I was mean or is my post being edited? Just wondering?

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  7. Barry

    The best defense against this mean-spirited bill intended to insult all who don’t share the cruel religous viewpoint that wants to force women to bear children they don’t want, is to make a contribution (besides asking the Gov to veto) to a pro-choice organization.  I hope one of them is going to fundraise with bumper stickers “choose reproductive freedom” or similar.
    Dog is right to point out the many passes Fox has gotten from progressives, probably because he got the same sex marriage bill thru. 
    i hope some political analysts will study why, almost alone among progressive causes, the gay rights issue is making progress while almost all the others – womens rights, voting access, labor, environment, help for the poor, … are all losing ground. 

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  8. cailin rua

    I watched the exchange between Tanzi and Corvese on Capitol Television, chilling, indeed. Then I watched Maria Cimini get up and speak about how this particular license plate was different than all the other “charity special license plates”.  I do not think so.  I don’t think state money should be used to funnel money to private organizations, even the Audubon Society.  

    On the road, yesterday, I sat in traffic behind a “Mr. Potato Head” license plate.  I know it’s a Rhode Island Food Bank license plate.  All I see is a Hasbro trademark, though.  Ditto for anything having to do with Gem plumbing.  One wonders how long it will take Citibank to push something through the legislature as a result of some cynical attempt brand some other cause in their name.  Will HBSC donate a large chunk of the money they’ve acquired through their money laundering operations to fund the Drug Abuse Resistance Education and have an HSBC “anti drug” license plate bill rammed through the legislature? 

    With this particular “pro life” license plate there is definitely a Church/State issue involved.  The problem runs deeper than that, however.  Corvese’s expression, “free speech” arena”, speaks clearly as to what are the problems involved.  It is the “Citizen’s United” effect.  He is making the argument that corporations are given authority through the first amendment to encroach on every aspect of civil life and government.  If you cannot see the connection, Google Christian Corporatism.  

    I think it would be a political mistake for progressives to turn this issue into an us/them confrontational one.  The debate is about principles basic to living in a free and fair society without an authority that is above question.  Corporate endorsements, sponsorships, unfettered contributions to influence political outcomes are bad for everyone, Catholics and non-Catholics, alike.  It’s time to widen the focus on every aspect of public funding and involvement on and with private entities, starting with schools – Catholic and non-Catholic private schools.


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