“A Fussy and Difficult Student”

There’s a familiar face on the front page of the Providence Journal today:

From the beginning, the relationship between William Felkner and the Rhode Island College School of Social Work has sounded like the screech of chalk on a blackboard. …
Felkner has filed a lawsuit against Rhode Island College that revives arguments from conservatives who have assailed the NASW code of ethics, the profession of social work and the structure of academic programs in schools of social work across the country.

The article reminds readers of a quotation from one social work professor in Felkner’s past who succinctly illustrated the attitude that can fester when a group is ideologically cloistered, standing as timely evidence of the need for intellectual diversity and of the opportunity for citizen media, such as blogs, to have an effect by shedding light even in small dark pits:

[Felkner’s] complaint about the film prompted an e-mail from his professor, former adjunct faculty member James Ryczek. “Social work is a value-based profession that clearly articulates a socio-political ideology about how the world works and how the world should be,” Ryczek wrote.
While Ryczek said he wanted to promote an open debate in class, he acknowledged his own liberal leanings.
“I revel in my biases,” Ryczek wrote. “So I think anyone who consistently holds antithetical views to those that are espoused by the profession might ask themselves whether social work is the profession for them.”

One problem that arises from this particular mentality is that it creates a system whereby public funds are used toward the education of people subsequently tasked with pressuring the public for further funding by a caste of secular sacerdotalists who dictate the methods and means for which acolytes must advocate. Along those lines, note this paragraph, as well:

The School of Social Work and its advocacy arm, the Poverty Institute, favored an “education first” approach to welfare, arguing that training helps recipients land higher-paying jobs in the long run.

A peculiar and tricky business this balancing of “arms,” as one can begin to see (for example) in one California union’s stewardship of a charitable appendage:

A nonprofit organization founded by California’s largest union local reported spending nothing on its charitable purpose — to develop housing for low-income workers — during at least two of the four years it has been operating, federal records show. …
The primary mission of the charity — the Long Term Care Housing Corp. — is to provide affordable homes for the local’s members, most of whom earn about $9 an hour caring for the elderly and infirm. But SEIU officials declined to discuss the charity, saying it is a separate legal entity from the union, even though its board is dominated by officials from the local. The charity is located at the local’s headquarters.

In some respects, it’s surprising that Bill was able to infiltrate our local cell of poverty advocates as deeply as he did.

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John
John
12 years ago

It is fascinating to read the negative comments about Felkner on the projo site.
If public sector union members gave the issue a bit of thought, they might realize that perhaps the biggest reason RI’s budget and their pension plans are in such bad shape (and our taxes are so high) is the “deal with the devil” their own leadership (and their allies in the General Assembly) has made over the years with the very people Felkner is attacking: RIC, the Poverty Institute and their “progressive” supporters in the Democratic party. It is thanks to them, Kate Brewster, Elizabeth Burke Bryant, and the rest, that RI still offers among the most generous — and expensive — combination of social safety net programs in the nation (Rite Care, day care, who cares, the state will pay…). That has driven RI’s taxes into the stratosphere, dramatically changed the characteristics of our cities (or should I say nuestros ciudades), and caused so many business and affluent taxpayers to flee and/or not come here in the first place.
So by attacking RIC and the PI, Felkner is really doing more for rank and file public sector union members than Walsh, Reback and Montanaro ever have.
That and he’s taking on the whole issue of the controls on speech that characterize America’s campuses today, that are in direct conflict with the Bill of Rights.
So Bravo to Bill, and shame on any union member who attacks him.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
12 years ago

John,
Consider that the union bosses and poverty pimps see this as looking out for themselves.
50 percent plus illegitimacy rates provide a human inventory of “needy” children and “single parents” (a/k/a “breeders”) that provide “jobs” for unionized teachers, ESL teachers, special ed teachers and social workers. A bastard born in Providence is far more lucrative to those people than a legitimate child born in East Greenwich or Barrington.
The higher the benefits, the greater our welfare magnet status, the more human inventory, the more union members, and the more dues going to pay the union bosses, and the more union campaign “contributions” available to the Democrats who pass the laws structuring our “social services” programs and the more government dependent who will become a reliable constituency voting Democrat.
The bill for this devil’s pact is then sent to the “working families” of Rhode Island, who gullibly still believe that Democrats are the party of “working families” when they are really the party of non-working, parasitic “families.”

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
12 years ago

–The primary mission of the charity — the Long Term Care Housing Corp. — is to provide affordable homes for the local’s members, most of whom earn about $9 an hour caring for the elderly and infirm. But SEIU officials declined to discuss the charity, saying it is a separate legal entity from the union, even though its board is dominated by officials from the local. The charity is located at the local’s headquarters.
Sounds like they need a new Director. Just the kind of job that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was talking about with SEIU.
A match made in heaven, real SOB’s: Stern, Obama & Blagojevich.

Will
12 years ago

Great job, Bill! He got Page 1 coverage in the Projo, and it didn’t involve murder, being foreclosed upon, or being an illegal alien!
The way I look at it, Bill has made all the right enemies. The pro-poverty crowd is highly organized in this state, so it doesn’t surprise me when they react negatively to their grasp on power slowly slipping away.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

The faculty at the school of social work at RIC is using taxpayer funds to promote a political agenda and an exclusionist policy against anyone who doesn’t kiss their red asses.I hope Felkner(who I know next to nothing about believe it or not)makes their lives miserable.Especially a POS like”Dr”.Dan Weisman,the president of the RI ACLU.I love the way some puke with a Phd in Social Work calls himself a doctor.The term is an obscenity in his case.If he can’t treat a disease,he should keep the term “doctor”on campus.Felkner should sue these a**holes personally as well as in their official capacity.They might have to actually hire lawyers on their ow.Bill-if you’re reading this I’m 100% serious.SUE THEM PERSONALLY.

Phil
Phil
12 years ago

There was a front page story of course about your ideological soulmate William Felkner who has not done the required work for his degree. Stamps his feet and holds his breath…wait at least that would be an improvement and blames it on the liberals. Then one Bill Felkner turns up on the editorial page with a letter to the editor taking on all comers or at least all relations of anyone who has crossed him in Hopkinton where he resides. Just another busy day for your Billy. I wonder what he’s going to do when he grows up.

thinkaboutit
thinkaboutit
12 years ago

Perhaps this is just one more reason to close RIC? Would that save tax money, or are they fully self-supporting?

Erik D.
Erik D.
12 years ago

Close RIC?
Where else would we get the necessary teachers and nurses from?
Should we disintegrate our entire society just to save money?
Since money is just paper that can printed at will (albeit with possible ensuing inflation), the national and state debts are just bookkeeping notations.
Dissolving our entire civilization, just to balance an imaginary paper debt sounds illogical to me.
Joe B. wants Mr. Felkner to personally sue social workers and educators who advocate for the interests of the poorest and weakest members of society?
C’mon.
Caring about the well being of the poor doesn’t one a “poverty advocate” or “pro-poverty”… if anything it makes one anti-poverty.
Engaging in sophistry is not the way to solve our states problems.

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

Felkner is to be commended.
The proposal to cut off the colleges from state funding and make them self-supporting is brilliant.
BTW, where is our “hero” governor who promiseda supplemental by Dec. 15-today.
If he won’t do the job-quit and let Looney Left Liz take over. This will provide entertainment as the inmates take over the asylum. Laffey will get 70% in 2010.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
12 years ago

-Caring about the well being of the poor doesn’t one a “poverty advocate” or “pro-poverty”… if anything it makes one anti-poverty.
Deriving one’s livelihood from being an “advocate” for the poor while simultaneously ensuring that they stay that way through advocating continued funding for ineffective programs and subsidizing the irresponsible behavior the mires individuals in poverty most certainly makes them “pro-poverty,”
It’s not what they say their intentions are while they’re “advocating” for taxpayer dollars, it’s what they do.
Forty years of a “War on Poverty” and they’ve accomplished zilch, zero – except for destroying the family unit in minority communities and creating a permanent (if they have their way) underclass.
They are pimps.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

Erik D-just so you know where I’m coming from on the issue of personal lawsuits-I’ll explain.You didn’t call me names or throw invective,so I’ll approach it as two people having a conversation.
About 26 or 27 years ago I was one of about 130- some odd INS Agents and Illinois State Troopers sued in official capacity and personally by the ACLU and the Illinos Migrant Council as a result of the execution of a search warrant on an agricultural business in downstate Illinois.We arrested abot 140 illegal aliens and there were no injuries,claims of physical abuse,etc.However the “advocates” thought we spoke to some people we shouldn’t have.They went after our personal property and homes.This for carrying out a COURT ORDER of the US District Court.They expanded the original suit into operations that had occured in the past.They lost the suit.The US Attorney decided to represent all the officers in the civil suit.The ACLU suborned perjury in the case.It was not a nice experience to be falsely accused,insofar there was no karma involved in my case or most of the other officers.May God strike me with brain cancer if I EVER gave someone a bad case.
In the case of one officer,ISP Trooper Michael McCarter,he was killed on a traffic stop during the course of the lawsuit.The f**king ACLU went after his widow and children personally,although the Federal judge threw that out in a NY minute.Eventually all the officers were cleared.This whole incident left me with an attitude about “advocates” and the ACLU.
I don’t have a problem with social workers.I regularly enter discussions on Kmareka with social workers who seem to be perfectly decent people who are doing a necessary job.
I hope you can understand why I am sometimes a real pissed off individual.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

Here’s one more piece of info that will tell you Erik D why I stay pissed off.
One of the aliens we arrested was an oldtime border crosser-a real gentleman and a hard working guy who could’ve physically given us all we could handle.He had way more than the 44 pounds we allowed arrestees to take with them.Another officer and myself helped him pack his stuff and some younger guys we arrested gave him their “44 pounds”so he could bring all his hard earned stuff home.He told us it was time to see his family anyhow because he hadn’t seen them for 6 years.
He asked us to take him to the bank for his savings which we did.He wanted to take out about $6,000 in cash.We told him no-the Mexican police at the border would kill him for it.We got the bank to issue a transfer document that only he could present to a bank in Mexico.
This is what gets me so angry when I hear my job described as “Gestapo”by a scumbag like Steven Brown.Hence,my never to end war with professional activists.

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

I thought the Projo article was pretty good.
I don’t know Felkner, but there is no reason that a social worker should be required to espouse a particular political viewpoint just to be a social worker.
Can you imagine if a ROTC program said, “Oh, we require all our students to be Republicans because Republicans usually support higher defense budgets” and then went ahead and awarded grades on that basis!!
There would be nationwide outrage among the liberal elite.

Erik D.
Erik D.
12 years ago

Joe, that is an amazing story. It’s unconscionable that they tried to sue you guys personally for doing your jobs. Now I see what some people mean when they say that the left are often just as, if not more, fascist and vicious than the right in America.
Sorry you guys had to go through that.
Your anger at the poverty advocates and other special advocacy groups is understandable.

Erik D.
Erik D.
12 years ago

Ragin’ Rhode Islander wrote: “Forty years of a “War on Poverty” and they’ve accomplished zilch, zero – except for destroying the family unit in minority communities and creating a permanent (if they have their way) underclass.” I would respond that Jesus Christ said that the poor would always be with us, and considering the seemingly perpetually hierarchical nature of human civilization and economic distribution, I would have to agree. I honestly don’t think people go out and have children out of wedlock, or without jobs, because they think they can get welfare to support them. Having lived in a number of poor cities in RI, I just don’t see it. What I see are people who are just living their lives to the best of their abilities, with what they have and know, which often isn’t much. Many of them have been thoroughly manipulated, mislead and programmed for self destruction by mass media and popular culture, and then when nature takes it’s course, children are inevitably born. Poverty has always been with us, and very likely always will be with us, due to the differentials in knowledge, wealth and education among different strata of people. Should poor people really be blamed for being swept up and away in a tide of sexual permissiveness that exploded with the sexual revolution of the 1960’s, which was promoted by many educational and cultural leaders in our country, who the poor looked up to for guidance? I can’t say that they should. Most poor, slightly educated and otherwise powerless people are at the mercy of the larger social, cultural, religious, political and economic forces in the society in which they live, and those forces shape the very thoughts they think, and the way they live their lives. To blame poor, uneducated, powerless people, for… Read more »

Erik D.
Erik D.
12 years ago

btw Ragin’ Rhode Islander, it was slavery and it’s multigenerational effects that destroyed the family unit in black communities, not the social programs designed to alleviate some of their resultant suffering.
The (im)permanent black underclass in America was created largely as a result of that inhumane institution, in which families were torn apart, husbands from wives, and children from parents, to be sold, beaten, raped, oppressed and murdered on plantations, in mines and timber groves all across the USA, particularly in the South.
The white underclass, on the other hand, was largely created as a result of the sexual revolution of the 1960’s, in which traditional values were mocked and tossed aside, at the urging of cultural and educational “leaders” who the people looked up to as an alternative to the destructive and misguided military-industrial complex dominated establishment.
Unfortunately those rebellious youth were sold a false bill of goods, and the result is millions of single parent families, where millions of children were born out of wedlock, with the predictable resulting social chaos and economic hardship.
Then take those millions of fatherless children, and prop them up in front of the new electronic God called Television, which has been pumping their wayward and impressionable heads full of sex, drugs, violence and mayhem through music, movies, television and video games for generations, and you get the America we have today… a place of teenaged pregnancies, STD’s, drugs, rampant nihilism and materialism, and epidemic violence, including high school cafeteria massacres.
The only solution is to reform and replace this cancerous culture that is poisoning the minds and lives of millions of people, while at the same time pressure our religious, business and political leaders into providing real guidance and rewarding work opportunities to our young people.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

Erik D-think about this.I remember the era of legal segregation in the South and de facto segregation in the North.In most northern cities and some southern there was a class of Black professionals who served that community-lawyers,doctors,dentists,businessmen,funeral directors,ministers,etc.
In a bizarre twist of fate,when segregation finally went away(thankfully) these professional pillars of the community realized they could have anyone as a client and live where they wanted to.This didn’t happen overnight,but it did happen.The ministers and the funeral directors stayed-the other Black professionals and upwardly mobile people(in the economic sense)moved out and the “left behind” folks had a hole in their communities.Things devolved from there.
I’m not Black,so why is it my business?My grandaughter is though,and I don’t want her life to be more complicated than anyone else’s on that basis alone.
I won’t be around to see her reach adulthood,but it would be nice if she didn’t have to carry a burden from the get go.My greatest wish is that every individual is able to make their way through life on their own qualities.
My son(her dad) is what you would call “working poor”,but my wife and I do whatever we can to help-my son isn’t the kind to take anyone’s help easily.So when Kate Brewster and George Nee bark for more taxes I have to think”don’t they get it that a lot of middle class people have family thet come first?”And we still find money to give to Hasbro Children’s Hospital,RI Food Bank,Disabled American Veterans(I’m a life member),and the Salvation Army as well as my wife’s church(I’m not religious)-the “one size fits all”mentality just doesn’t work.

Will
12 years ago

“Close RIC?
Where else would we get the necessary teachers and nurses from?”
Think outside the box (or the state) … Massachusetts and Connecticut for starters. Perhaps we would even create an environment in Rhode Island where talented, educated people actually wanted to move here!
No offense, but expending state resources to train “teachers and nurses,” no matter how important they may be here, is simply a matter of using state resources to employ people who consume state resources. They don’t add to the economy, because they are government employees. They are net tax consumers, not net taxpayers. We need to create an environment where private investment and people from outside the state will want to come here.
PS Most black families in America, despite all the struggles and discrimination which they faced, were intact, nuclear families up until the 1960s, when well-intentioned and guilt-prone white liberals decided that they could substitute the role of the black father with big government welfare programs. Ever heard of the law of unintended consequences?

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
12 years ago

Eric D, What I’m about to say is not intended to be insulting, but earnest: you really need to examine something beyond the Poverty Institute / School of Social Work talking points, including just observing the world around you and factoring in human nature, its good points and its failings. — I would respond that Jesus Christ said that the poor would always be with us, and considering the seemingly perpetually hierarchical nature of human civilization and economic distribution, I would have to agree. Human society has always been hierarchical, and always will be. Hence the folly (at the cost of millions of lives during the 20th century) of collectivist utopianism such as communism, fascism, socialism and more recently Obama-ism. Your attempts to invoke Jesus Christ to justify the “poverty pimps” may be clever, but is misplaced. While there may always be poor people, that does not equate to the current level of poor people nor to the ineffectiveness of the “war on poverty.” — I honestly don’t think people go out and have children out of wedlock, or without jobs, because they think they can get welfare to support them. Having lived in a number of poor cities in RI, I just don’t see it. How else to explain 14, 15 and 16 year old girls having multiple illegitimate babies, by multiple “fathers” – they certainly don’t have jobs skills sufficient to support themselves, much less a “family,” but they certainly know how to sign up for the “benefits”! The 50% and above illegitimacy rate in the cities belies your “just don’t see it. Those quote — What I see are people who are just living their lives to the best of their abilities, with what they have and know, which often isn’t much. Ditto my previous response. —… Read more »

Erik D.
Erik D.
12 years ago

The intricacies of racial economics in America are very convoluted and beyond my understanding. Luckily the race problem seems to be resolving itself, slowly but surely.
The economic problems in America however appear to be the result of what I’ve been told is a “reversal of time”, in which life is slowly reverting back to the agrarian way of life that our ancestors knew hundreds and thousands of years ago.
Without alternative energy technology, the oil will almost certainly run out, and then what?
Agrarianism… that’s what I’ve been told by men wiser than myself, and what I seen on the horizon as well.
Considering all the abuses of modern technology, from genetic engineering, cloning, biological warfare, atomic warfare, technological brainwashing and degradation, late term aboritions, and stem cell research, it appears to be a good thing that the human race will be forced to return to a simpler way of life.

Erik D.
Erik D.
12 years ago

That last post was a brief response to Will and Joe. Ragin’ Rhode Islander wrote: “Human society has always been hierarchical, and always will be. Hence the folly (at the cost of millions of lives during the 20th century) of collectivist utopianism such as communism, fascism, socialism and more recently Obama-ism.” E: Personally I think the reason those movements failed is because the relied on demonization, force and violence. Marx and Engels never advocated violent revolution to my knowledge, but merely state that Communism would be the economically evolutionary result after pure Capitalism gradually transformed into Socialism. RRI: “Your attempts to invoke Jesus Christ to justify the “poverty pimps” may be clever, but is misplaced. While there may always be poor people, that does not equate to the current level of poor people nor to the ineffectiveness of the “war on poverty.” E: The problem with a “war on poverty” is twofold. First, all wars imply aggression, which is a primitive approach to problems. Second, since poverty will always exist, it can never be entirely eliminated, but just managed humanely, which is what the social workers try to do. RRI: “How else to explain 14, 15 and 16 year old girls having multiple illegitimate babies…” E: MTV, VH1, BET, Hollywood & Madison Avenue. RRI: “by multiple “fathers” ” E: Moral ignorance, due to lack of proper religious instruction and/or lack of appropriate role models. All substandard behavior is the result of ignorance. Ignorant people are not to be demonized, but instructed. RRI: “they certainly don’t have jobs skills sufficient to support themselves, much less a “family,” but they certainly know how to sign up for the “benefits”! The 50% and above illegitimacy rate in the cities belies your “just don’t see it.” E: Job skills to fill what jobs? Our… Read more »

eenicker
eenicker
9 years ago

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