This Is the Critical Issue for the State

One more statistic to paste into our collage of problems facing the state, all of which point to the same conclusion:

The Mortgage Bankers Association, which compiles the most comprehensive statistics on mortgage loan performance nationwide, also had grim numbers for Rhode Island in the third quarter of the year, the months of July, August and September. The association, which bases its statistic on a nationwide survey of 44 million mortgages serviced by banks, credit union, mortgage companies and other institutions, reported that 10.25 percent of Rhode Island’s mortgages are 30 days or more past due. That’s the record high since the association began keeping records in 1972, according to spokeswoman Carolyn Kemp.

And here’s a bucket of cold water on the foreclosure side:

Looked at a different way, the middle-class Rhode Island suburb of Warwick has a rate — 8.4 — that is higher than a slew of aging Massachusetts factory communities, such as Worcester, 6.4; Fitchburg, 5.9; Lowell, 5.83; Springfield, 5.7, and Fall River, 5.3.

Warwick has about a 60% higher foreclosure rate than Fall River. How long, I wonder, until the entire state of Rhode Island becomes available for eminent domain seizure on the grounds that it’s blighted?
Rhode Island needs jobs. It needs them quickly, and it needs them in large quantities. Tinkering with “targeted policies” isn’t going to do it. Fiddling whith “this receipts tax” and “that receipts tax” gimmicks isn’t going to do it. The state needs to cut taxes, remove mandates, and erase regulations.
If RI House Speaker Bill Murphy wants to cheerlead to promote the state, we’ll get him some pom-poms and a little skirt, but he’ll be performing to empty bleachers unless the message is “we’re changing for your benefit.” The hard part is that the change has to be credible, and that’ll prove a difficult sell if we have the same people at the State House who have cheered us into the ground.

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George
George
11 years ago

“How long, I wonder, until the entire state of Rhode Island becomes available for eminent domain seizure on the grounds that it’s blighted?”
Not long at all, especially if the state’s leading conservative blog continues its policy of “be nice to Bob Walsh”. Evil people are ruining our state! The truth must be told in plain english. What needs to be told, ought to be told, exactly the way it is!
I’ve been away for a few days, but haven’t forgotten Andrew’s censorship of peoples’ rightful expression of anger toward the very people who are bringing us down. Too late to comment way down on that post.

Andrew
Editor
11 years ago

Rhode Island is tanking, because comments are very occasionally edited on a political blog. It’s nice to know that, though we may be into the holiday season, the competition for “dumbest comment of the year” is still alive and well.
When we are covering a story, Anchor Rising is always going present the most accurate information available to its readers on the subject, even if you would prefer that the source be ignored.
If a point in a political or policy discussion can’t be made without being crude or personal, then the point is not worth making. And if you think our policy of editing (not censoring, Anchor Rising is not a branch of the government) extreme comments means that it’s not worth the time it takes for you to offer your valuable insights to the audience that visits here, then you can go start a blog of your own, and show us how it should be done.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

Check the local real estate listings even in towns like Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket. There are some real steals out there. Prices are back to where they were in ’02 or ’03. This is an incredible opportunity for a first time home-buyer. Not as great for someone just looking to swap out or move to a better community.
As for George’s second comment, I support what Andrew did. Andrew did not delete the constructive part of the comment, only the repetitive name-calling. We get it, we know where he comes from. This blog is much better when people are having constructive discussions, which as I understand it, was Andrew’s goal to promote. Kudos to him.

MadMom
MadMom
11 years ago

Yes, the statistics are grim and the facts don’t lie. We are going down the drain without drastic change in the GA. It’s downright ugly (even without the rather unappealing mind image of Bill Murphy in a little cheerleader’s skirt).
Obviously, most of the readers here get it, the tea party and other reform groups get it, but do the majority of Rhode Islanders who will decide the make-up of the next GA get it? Does any organization in the state conduct valid polls to gauge the level of awareness of the pending disaster we face amongst the general electorate? I’m just wondering; is the state savable? With a whole lot of work, will there be enough people who will finally get it? Or is this a lost cause?

George Elbow
George Elbow
11 years ago

Andrew,
As you can imagine, I’m with George on this one.
Putting aside debates over “editing” and “censorship”, the bottom line is that we need to stop bending over backwards (and frontwards) in accomodating the likes of Bob Walsh in an effort to appear objective with a guy who’s sole purpose in life is to harvest the taxpayers to the benefit of his unaccountable Entitlement-minded Union flock.
We need to call a spade a spade and stop with the nonsense of trying to have a dialogue with people like Bob just for the sake of dialogue. Bob’s has a long record …we know where his head is at and all the talking won’t change that, nor is there anything to learn from him by talking to him.
He simply talks us to death. Then while we trudge off to work with his flock on our backs, he scoots off to the Statehouse to hatch his latest diabolical plan (e.g. the perpetual teacher contract; binding arbitration for teachers, etc.)
We need to expose this guy for the clown he is. The constant bowing down to him in an effort to appear objective just perpetuates the “credibility” this guy has with our elected officials.
Indeed, we need to harshly expose the likes of Bob Walsh. And with respect to the salty language sometimes used, I would suggest that we learned that technique from Bob’s #2 Clown, Patrick “I struggle mightly with basic math” Crowley.

George
George
11 years ago

Don’t worry Andrew, I don’t think your censorship will be a direct cause of our dear state’s pending, all-but-inevitable demise. There will be many causes further up the list after the autopsy.
Thank you George Elbow for expressing, better than I did, exactly how I feel.
To put it another way:
Put lipstick on an “unaccountable Entitlement-minded Union flock” … you still have an “unaccountable Entitlement-minded Union flock”
Whatever those houses are going for in Lincoln (forget about Cumberland and Pawtucket – lousy schools), when Chafee is governor; they will be worth about 40% less.

Andrew
Editor
11 years ago

It’s not about niceness. It’s about civility. It’s not about “appearing objective” according to some mythical standard. It’s about putting out the best, most accurate information possible, so the public can understand the consequences of decisions being made.
If you are afraid that Bob Walsh’s talk on issues and numbers is more convincing than any point you are able to counter, after people have had an opportunity to consider the best information available, to the point where you’re quaking in your boots at the thought of him even having a forum to speak, then you need to get the hell out of the way, because you’re not contributing to the growing number of good and gutsy Rhode Islanders who don’t believe that the unions and their political allies have the more persuasive arguments and who are working hard to take their case to the public on the merits of the issues involved, which is the only way to effect permanent, meaningful change.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

MadMom wrote: “Does any organization in the state conduct valid polls to gauge the level of awareness of the pending disaster we face amongst the general electorate? I’m just wondering; is the state savable? With a whole lot of work, will there be enough people who will finally get it? Or is this a lost cause?” Yes, this is a lost cause, no, no one gets it. Want proof? Here are some election results from 2006 from one perspective: Question 3: Should the state increase the budget reserve amount, Yes 59.5% Question 4: Do you want to pay an additional $74.8M in taxes for higher ed: Yes 62% Question 5: Do you want to pay an additional $88.5M in taxes for transportation: Yes 75.4% Question 6: Do you want to pay an additional $11M in taxes for the zoo: Yes 67.8% Question 8: Do you want to pay an additional $3M in taxes for the DEM: Yes 60.7% Question 9: Do you want to pay an additional $50M in taxes for affordable housing: Yes 66% Those questions alone cost the taxpayers more than $229M. And that’s not even the General Assembly’s fault. That is the taxpayers themselves saying “YES! I want to pay more in taxes for those things!!” Instead of saying “NO! General Assembly, you cut other things to fund the DEM, to fund higher ed, to fund transportation.” When that Assembly person comes to your door next year, tell them no more bonds, pay for it with what you got and cut out the fat. Heck, there were only 9 questions on the ballot in 2006 and the way the voters decided to spend like a bunch of drunk sailors, I’d expect there to be at least 20 questions asking for bonds next time. Examples like this show… Read more »

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

“We need to call a spade a spade”
Yes, but that can be done by countering statements with actual facts, not by calling the members of an organization the man represents “pigs” for the 80 millionth time.
And again, blaming Bob Walsh and blaming teachers for their contracts is like blaming Alex Rodriguez for getting $25M a year from the Yankees. They asked for it and the towns gave it to them. If you want to call anyone a “pig”, aim it at the School Committees who continually let the unions do whatever they want. These aren’t unilateral contract signings. The unions don’t get anything without the school committee agreeing to it.
And I’ve still never seen an answer on why a school committee can’t just tell a union, “Thanks, but your services are no longer needed” when a contract is up and open up every position in the school system to applications.

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

Trying to shut up people with whom you disagree is Fascist behavior. Georges, are you guys Fascists? Coarse or emotional language negatively affects your credibility, and so it self-defeating.
Escalating verbal duels is not the solution for the union problem in RI, whether it’s the NEA or any other of those corrupt thug organizations.
The solution to the union problem is to change the regime in this state by enacting right-to-work legislation to replace Title 28 of the General Laws. Several other states, including Alaska, have bills pending to do exacly that.
I urge you get involved in changing the situation rather than merely moaning about it in comments on Anchor Rising.
Take a look at http://nrtwc.org/ the website of the Right to Work Foundation for useful information on how to free our state from union bondage.
And if you agree with me that the present composition of the General Assembly is too dominated by the unions to enact a RTW law any time soon, get to work on electing replacements for the stooges on Smith Hill. It is an election year, you know.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
11 years ago

–“And again, blaming Bob Walsh and blaming teachers for their contracts is like blaming Alex Rodriguez for getting $25M a year from the Yankees. They asked for it and the towns gave it to them. If you want to call anyone a “pig”, aim it at the School Committees who continually let the unions do whatever they want. These aren’t unilateral contract signings. The unions don’t get anything without the school committee agreeing to it. And I’ve still never seen an answer on why a school committee can’t just tell a union, “Thanks, but your services are no longer needed” when a contract is up and open up every position in the school system to applications.”
The same dynamic that has hiJacked the representative process in the General Assembly is at play with the school committees.
Many SC members are spouses of teachers and/or teachers themselves and/or retired teachers / school administrators. So the union is largely “bargaining” with itself.
Plus, things such as step increases and tenure are imposed by General Assembly statute, not by collective bargaining. Guess who was behind that legislation? (Unions worship “the collective bargaining process” – except when they don’t.)
The unions have gamed the system in their favor.
It is folly to try to reason with them or expect them to be fair — they only understand power.
Right to Work would be a good start for improving the private sector economy in RI, making RI the only RTW state north of Virginia and so overnight transforming RI into a state with an exceptionally attractive business climate for this region.
But as for public sector unions, they should be eliminated from RI.

George
George
11 years ago

BobN. Who did I say I wanted to shut up? All I’m saying is lets not shut up the people who have an opionion about Bob Walsh and his self-serving designs.
Civility? The term has no meaning in Rhode Island. There is a media-sponsored double standard. The Bob Walshes, Pat Crowlies and Patrick Kennedies are honored for the outrageous lies they put forth to advance their cause and fool the populous. Yet, when honest people come forth with research, facts and figures, they’re labeled as right-wing facists and racists. I am not advocating calling anyone any names that do not fit. I am advocating telling it like it is. This so-called civility doesn’t work because the very definition of civility has been hijacked by the left and the media.
I will not get out of the way, in fact I will get in your way and in your face if you think being nice to the scum who have ruined this state is the way we are ever going to solve the crisis we’re in.
False Civility is what’s going to get Linc Chafee elected and drive us deeper into a hole.
By “civility” I wonder if you mean pandering to unions, like Lincoln Chafee did, giving away the store in Warwick and like other “Republican” mayors do now? That strategy is only pushing us closer to the edge of the abyss.

George Elbow
George Elbow
11 years ago

BobN,
Go back and read my prior posts …I am a HUGE advocate of a “Right to Work” state.
As George noted, we are not trying to shut anyone up …although I wouldn’t be bothered the least if Bob Walsh lost his voice for about a year or two.
Our issue is that we are NOT going to pretend he has anything positive to bring to the table with respect to the taxpayers and the fiscal survival of this state with his nut-bag & unsustainable Union-hack demands.
By the way, are you concerned that by referring to the NEA in a less than civil manner (i.e. as a “corrupt thug organization”) YOU undermine YOUR credibility? Just wondering.

George Elbow
George Elbow
11 years ago

Patrick,
Forgive my lack of civility, but what the F’ planet are you from?
You actually compare the New York Yankees CHOSING to give A-Rod a massive contract to the Teachers’ Union “asking for” and receiving unsustainable contracts?
Give me a break.
Was A-Rod able to hold the Yankees hostage like the Teachers Unions hold “the children” and taxpayers hostage with screwball Union sponsored Collective Bargaining rules, Work-to-rule tactics, etc.
And with respect to your common sense query about school committees just saying “Thanks but your services are NO longer needed”, just look no further than East Providence for your answer.
The Yankees could do that to A-Rod at the end of his contract. But that doesn’t happen with the Teachers Union. Bob Walsh and his ilk tie the taxpayers up in Court, using laws they were able to get passed by the GA while the rest of us were busy at work supporting their hardly working lazy asses.
It’s real simple Patrick …the reason this state is circling the drain financially and our PUBLIC schools are lousy despite some of the highest costs in the nation rest squarely at the feet of the Bob Walshes of the state and their unaccountable, Entitlement-minded dues-paying Union-hack members.
And if you think tip-toeing around Bob, aknowledging him in a manner that implies he has something positive to bring to the table is going to help, then you are more stupid then you appear when you compare a negotiation between A-Rod and the Yankees to a “negotiation” between the Teachers Union and the Municipality.

Justin Katz
11 years ago

George Elbow:
Please pause for a moment and reflect on how easily you’ve transitioned from giving Bob Walsh (as a central figure in a corrupted system) the harsh treatment to giving pretty much the same treatment to a stranger on the Internet who’s closer to your views than to Bob’s. I hope that you can come to see the folly in giving people the choice between your brash insults (even if you consider it tough love) and Walsh’s measured tone.
What you’re missing in your initial vehemence is that the state is not going to turn around — even after utter collapse — unless people who more or less agree with Bob Walsh change their minds. There are people who find his points persuasive, and it is contrary to the process of reevaluation to assume that they’ll take the initiative to understand and consider the points of people shouting at them from across the street.

George Elbow
George Elbow
11 years ago

Justin,
Would it help if I whisper to them from accross the street?
Unlike perhaps you, I don’t have much patience for people like Patrick who can’t see the forest through the trees, comparing an A-Rod contract to an extorted Teacher contract, or worse, after witnessing what has gone on in EP to ask why we can’t tell the Teachers Union “Thanks, your services are no longer needed”.
Nor do I have patience for the BobN’s who lecture me about civility while in the same breadth referring to the NEA as a “thug orginization”.
In summary, I’ll take the “measured” Tony Dungy approach when dealing with talent like Peyton Manning. Short of that, I’ll stick with Bill Parcels, Vince Lombardi and Mike Ditka “shouting” at their players from accross the field as they rack up Super Bowls.
That being said, you are correct that we must change the minds of those fools that follow the gosphel of Bob Walsh and his ilk. And that begins and ends by not pretending his screw-ball ideas have one shread of merit or benefit to the survival of this State.

Justin Katz
11 years ago

Here’s the thing: nobody acknowledges you as their coach. You aren’t a successful professional X hired, supported, and paid by the same people who pay everybody else.
Analysis is faulty if it presumes inappropriate roles to justify impulsive behavior.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

“Bob Walsh and his ilk tie the taxpayers up in Court, using laws they were able to get passed by the GA”
Care to cite those laws? If you can, you’d be the first. I’ve even heard Tony Carcieri asked my exact question about why he can’t just fire all the teachers, since they don’t have a contract, and he always refers the questioner to the town’s lawyers. Sounds to me like there’s no legal reason why he can’t.
And yeah, I’m happy to use EP as an example. The union had demands and the school committee has said “no”. Simple as that. That’s a lesson that the other 38 districts could learn, and probably will learn after this example.
I’m guessing we can all count on you to be working for your local candidates opposing your representatives in the State House? Big campaigner, are you? Hope to see you on the campaign trail there George.
As for Walsh, I’ve never said anything about tip-toeing around him or acknowledging him in any way. I can speak for myself just fine thanks. All I’ve said was giving my support to Andrew for editing parts of a comment post.

Andrew
Editor
11 years ago

Then again, George Elbow positing himself as everyone’s superior would explain why he assumes that anyone cares about who George Elbow does and doesn’t have patience with.
But I’m pretty sure that Dungy, Ditka and all the others communicated in person, not by blog-comment. But we can find a happy medium. In fact, both Georges can do this for us: they can take all of the crude invective they think enhances the real work in real life that other people are doing on issues, print it up in big-block letters, and put in on signs on their front lawns — that will get more attention than whispering on a street corner, or even leaving comments on a blog. What do you say, Georges?
And BobN is right. Dismissing someone who is working through the system (though that system may be a little messed up) as having nothing worthwhile to say, before you’ve heard what been said, reeks of a fascist attitude, borne out of a crippling fear of an inability to win an actual argument on the merits.

Justin Katz
11 years ago

Patrick:
It’s a silly question. These issues are clearly written into the law after the Rhode Island fashion. It operates in three stages:
1. A politically powerful individual or group threatens to sue based on an asserted legal principle, and more often then not, the targets of the threat give in rather than expend the money and energy.
2. If the targets dispute the assertion, the matter goes to an unelected board, which typically finds more frequently in favor with the powerful individual or group. Thereafter, the asserted principle becomes an asserted policy.
3. If the targets dispute the board’s finding, the matter goes to the judiciary, which typically seeks to resolve the proximate matter without actually resolving the underlying question. At any rate, the process is sufficiently painful for the targets that the powerful individual or group proceeds to declare the asserted principle to be confirmed law.

George Elbow
George Elbow
11 years ago

Patrick, What’s the status of the EP contract? Answer – tied up in court, compliments of the Bob Walsh / NEA supported Union. Your solution, “Thanks, your services are no longer needed” is EXACTLY the way it should be. But fairness & common sense do not prevail because the likes of Bob Walsh have so perverted the system. My hope is that EP prevails in court (and suspect they will). But the point remains that Bob Walsh & Co do all they can to pervert the system. He’s at it again in trying to push the “perpetual teachers’ contract” and “binding arbitration”. While guys like us are busting our tails at work every day, he’s hanging around the Statehouse like a freak’n spider sucking the lifeblood out the hardworking private sector. Unlike Andrew, I’m not the least bit interested in pretending that Bob Walsh has NOT contributed mightily to the destruction of this state. As previously stated, Bob has a long history. I need not engage him in pleasantries to know what he is about. I’m not interested in pretending that he has anything of value to offer. His one and only objective is to harvest the taxpayers to the benefit of his flock, often times behind BS slogans like “do it for the children”. When a thief arives at my door for the third time, I don’t reach out, pat him on the back and chat with him in an effort to disuade him from robbing me again. Instead, I open the door and hit him right between the eyes and then kick him in the nuts. While Andrew sits around having tea and pastries with Bob, his flock of Entitlement-minded hacks are raping and pillaging the state. Trust me, the pleasantries did nothing to stem the tide. Cheers.… Read more »

George Elbow
George Elbow
11 years ago

Andrew,
I don’t recall saying I was superior to anyone. I merely said I don’t have patience for hypocrites like BobN who lecture me on civility in the same breadth that they refer to the NEA and all of its fine members as a “thug organization”.
Also, saying I have no patience for Patrick stupidly suggesting that an A-Rod contract is the same as an extorted Teacher contract is in no way saying I am superior.
So climb down of your high-horse and get your facts straight.
Similarly, Justin, I don’t recall saying or suggesting that I was anyone’s coach.
Rather, I was pointing out that there are different approaches to communicating effectively. You have your way, Andrew has his, and I have mine.
I would suggest that mine is perhaps as opposite Andrew’s as is Tony Dungy’s is Bill Parcell’s. Both Coaches, with their differing styles, have proven successful track records.
So you too ought climb off your high-horse, as I don’t know what proof you have to show that your manner of communicating is any more effective than mine, except that you control the editing.
Cheers.

Andrew
Editor
11 years ago

Try not to hit your head as you’re backpedaling, George. But like I’ve been saying, making coherent arguments isn’t exactly your thing. So you play delusional little fantasies in your mind instead (“I’m Bill Parcells. And I’m stopping a robber from invading my home”) to avoid confronting the reality that you’re terrified that if it came down to you and Bob Walsh, mano-a-mano, in front of audience, debating on the merits, he’d mop the floor with you. Fortunately, not everybody suffers from your fears. There are people in Rhode Island who believe that they can right the state, by offering a clear, honest alternative to a public that has the opportunity to hear all sides. They’re willing to do the hard work of making that case in public and not afraid to let their opposition speak, because they’re actually capable of defending their positions – that’s how they won round 1 of the binding arbitration issue. Those are the people who might save RI. Don’t count yourself among them. As to your last point… So you too ought climb off your high-horse, as I don’t know what proof you have to show that your manner of communicating is any more effective than mine, except that you control the editing. …the answer is that I’ve been part of an effort, from both the top-level contributors and a large group of the commenters, that’s helped to build an audience around a thoughtful discussion of issues and ideas. You are a parasite on that effort. If you weren’t around, Anchor Rising would be pretty much the same. If Anchor Rising wasn’t around, you be screaming or maybe just muttering in your basement, with no one to hear you. Then again, you can always prove me wrong by starting a blog of your own,… Read more »

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
11 years ago

I am abstaining from any commments on Mr. Walsh. However, I don’t think that jobs are going to answer the foreclosure problem.
I think much of the foreclosure volume is about “I got a friend” and “the fix is in”. Some knowledge of how mortgage people were paid, only support this outlook.
I recommend a look through ForgottenProvidence.com. Look at the pictures and search comments on the amounts they were mortgaged for. This should not have been possible, those properties could never have truly appraised for the amounts financed.
I am sure the cities got on board as those sales provided “comparable sales” for assessment purposes. This permitted higher assessments to aid the city coffers.
These sales had the inevitable spill over. If a run down, but vinyl sided, three decker in Central Falls was “worth” $350,000, what was a nice small single in Warwick worth?
That there were a high percentage of crooked “mortage professionals” is without doubt, and they were paid in commissions tied to the interest rate they could extract. In RI this would be considered “the way it works”.
When considering mortgage figures, it is well to remember that over 50% of all foreclosures are located in just 12 counties country wide. It is also worth remembering that a very large percentage of borrowers new the whole thing was “cooked”. They were also encouraged by constantly rising values and the “bigger fool” theory. They counted on holding on for a year, then being bailed out.

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

Seems that I struck a tender nerve in George’s elbow. In my experience, people who lash out like that do so because they know they are wrong. Often, those who most resent what they call a “lecture” are those who most need one.
I was referring to the (now edited) post that wanted to silence Walsh. There is no hypocrisy in my accurate characterization of his organization which uses a combination of political pressure and the threat of force to achieve its self-serving goals at the expense of the state’s children and their parents. Civility wasn’t my standard; the First Amendment was.
The real thrust of my comment is that instead of merely whining about the behavior of the unions, people need to take real, tangible action to defeat them. Focusing on that task will produce results; much as I love AR, posting belligerent comments here will not.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

GE wrote: “Patrick, seriously, do you really believe a negotiation between A-Rod and the Yankees is the same as a negotiation between a teachers’ Union that holds “the children” hostage with “work-to-rule” tactics? Keep in mind that the Yankees can walk away from A-Rod and negotiate with someone else. EP, on the other hand, is FORCED to negotiate with the “bargaining unit” that is the EP Union. So tell me you were not serious with that flawed analogy.” and “Also, saying I have no patience for Patrick stupidly suggesting that an A-Rod contract is the same as an extorted Teacher contract is in no way saying I am superior.” No, you’re missing the point. You’re using hyperbole when you call it extortion and that’s fine, but it is still a negotiation. In EP, yeah, they’re in courts, but the EP school committee hasn’t just signed over everything the union wanted. What if the other 38 did the same thing? We always hear of the endless resources of the union, but what if they had to defend against every town in the state? 39 times? I don’t know that even NEARI has that kind of money. And to the ARod point, all I said was that blaming the union for the benefits and money they receive is like blaming ARod for getting $25M a year. You also say that a part of the reason that the unions have an advantage over the towns is because they’ve rigged the system by constantly lobbying the Assembly. Is that illegal? Sounds to me like they did their job and us the voters have not. Again, why blame them when they’re just doing their job. Tell me this George, if you knew that all you had to do was go to your boss and ask… Read more »

George Elbow
George Elbow
11 years ago

Andrew, There you go again, you simpleton. Never did I say “I am Bill Parcells”. Nor did I back peddle. What I said was that there is the Tony Dungy (i.e. Andrew) soft approach and there is the harsh approach of the likes of Parcells, Ditka & Lombardi. Both can be successful. I furhter suggested that when you have a super talent like Peyton Manning, the soft approach may very well work (the implication being that we are not always dealing with super-talents, thus the soft approach may not be appropriate). As evidenced by Parcell & Co, the harsh approach can be equally successful. So again, climb down off your high hobby-horse and get your facts straight. With respect to silencing someone, never did I say or suggest that either. Actually, YOU were the one that chose to silence (“edit”) someone. Indeed, my suggestion wasn’t to Silence Bob Walsh. Rather, it was a request to begin “calling a spade a spade” and provide the neccessary harsh critique of the crap he continually throws into the face of the taxpayers. As opposed to your approach of pussy-footing around Bob and allowing him to coopt you into his nonsense by easily baiting you with such lines as “I thought you were a think tank” so that you dutifully scurry off and attempt to pretend that Bob’s views have a shred of merit. No, I don’t want to silence Bob (although, as I said, if he lost his voice for a year or two, I wouldn’t be sad). I just want to see people provide the justfiable harsh response to his nonsense. With respect to debating Bob Walsh, you’ve got to be kidding. When has Bob or Pat or any of their ilk engaged in a discussion (harsh or otherwise) in which they… Read more »

George Elbow
George Elbow
11 years ago

Patrick, You are the one missing the point. Even if you can’t figure it out through the haze, I assure you there is NO comparison to a negotiation between A-Rod and the Yankees who have the absolute right and freedom to walk away from A-Rod and that of a School Commitee “negotiating” with a Union to which they are FORCED to bargain with and who has proven that they are quite comfortable with employing terrorist tactics such as “Work-to-Rule”. No comparison what so ever. That is not to say that School Committees have done a good job. I agree 100% with your common sense sentiment that they should be more aggressive (like EP) and that they should take the take it or leave it approach. Too many SCs are more concerned with having a “good working relationship” with the Union than doing what needs to be done (what I call the Andrew-approach). But having said that, don’t give the likes of Bob Walsh an elpaso by saying they are merely “asking” for something that School Committees give. It is more complex and sinister than that. Bob Walsh & Co have perverted the system such that we spend more time & money in the courts than we do educating students. And again, you and I have to work everyday to pay for this nonsense, whereas Bob goes to work everyday with the objective of adding more perversion to the system. I’d love to be in a position to hang around the Statehouse everyday “asking” for handouts, but I actually have a productive job I must attend to. So again, your “Thanks, but your services are no longer needed” is the right, fair and common sense approach. Unfortunately, Bob Walsh and his ilk have done all they can to remove common sense… Read more »

Andrew
Editor
11 years ago

So now we see the real “George Elbow” approach. Act one way in person, but another when anonymous. Totally and completely gutless. If you want to define an “Andrew” approach, by the way, it’s never writing anything about someone that you wouldn’t be willing to say to that’s person’s face.
But please, tell us why your RISC friends are too good for what you write here.

George Elbow
George Elbow
11 years ago

BobN,
Huh?
You wrote: “Civility wasn’t my standard; the First Amendment was.”
If that were the case, you’d be defending George’s initial protest against Andrew’s “edits”.
Also, you are indeed a hypocrite.
You wrote in your initial post:
“Coarse or emotional language negatively affects your credibility, and so it self-defeating.”
“Escalating verbal duels is not the solution for the union problem in RI”
Yet you finished that sentance by referring to the NEA and all of its fine upstanding dues-paying members as a “corrupt thug organization”.
I’d classify that as an example of “escalating verbal duels” and borderline “coarse”, if not definitely emotional.
Sorry Bob, you don’t have a leg to stand on.
But I am absolutely with you 100% on Right-to-Work and we need to press relentlessly on that issue.
Tell you what. I’ll press hard, you press medium and Andrew can press soft. Between the approaches, we should be able to get it done.
Cheers.

Andrew
Editor
11 years ago

HAHAHAHAHA George is going to press hard! Yep, he’s going to press those keys real hard, typing up the same old insults, while other people are laying it on the line, doing the real work of taking on the opposition, in the real world, and in public, with a full range of arguments they are willing to stand behind, which George is too scared to do.

George Elbow
George Elbow
11 years ago

Andrew,
The simple answer to your off-point question is that your readers can chose not to read my posts.
In contrast, a woman walking into earshot of a conversation does not have the easy ability to not hear my harsh commentary.
And I assure you that your assertion of me not saying something to someone’s face is completely false.
Cheers.

George Elbow
George Elbow
11 years ago

Andrew,
You are sounding more and more like EMT & Co. with your dellusions of grandeu.
You are “laying it on the line”, “doing the real work”, and I am “scared”, “quaking in my boots”, etc.
It is like listening to Tom Kenney telling us how he “gives selflessly” or EMT telling us he has pictures of his hero, Lazy-Ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty, doing things that “would make you wet your pants” …such as sitting on his lazy ass while collecting a taxpayer funded paycheck and benefits.
Come on now. You can do better than that. Please don’t morph into those clowns.
PS – aside from the comment of Pressing hard, medium, soft …do you not agree with my response to BobN??

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

AR is not a public forum and free speech is not guaranteed on this private property.
I have read your posts, and you seem to deliberately twist what others say and then argue against your interpretation.
I don’t think the movie in your head will sell many tickets.

George Elbow
George Elbow
11 years ago

BobN – thanks for the non-response, very Walsh-like indeed.
Don’t worry. I agree with your less than “civil” enditment of the NEA.

Andrew
Editor
11 years ago

Bzzzt. Your continuing “point” is that people have to hear your harsh invective in order to “expose” the true Bob Walsh. And besides, a person can walk away from a conversation, just a like reader can skip past a comment. So give us another reason why your RISC friends are too good for what you write here.
And tell us what forum you’ll be making the public statement of your remarks at. We may be able to get a camera there to record you, and even invite some members of the opposition, so you can say it to their faces. Or are you too scared, George?

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
11 years ago

–“We always hear of the endless resources of the union, but what if they had to defend against every town in the state? 39 times? I don’t know that even NEARI has that kind of money.” THe national will kick in money. I believe that it has already done so re: East Providence. May I humbly suggest that debating with Bob Walsh, Pat Crowley and their merry band of parasites is a waste of time? The answer is to go around them and build a bully pulpit. If the RIGOP had any cajones it would publicly push for right-to-work legislation (citing how many jobs it would bring to RI) AND publicly push to repeal the Michaelson Act and rid RI of the teachers unions. Also, universal vouchers to enable parents to get their children out of the clutches of both the teachers unions and education bureaucrats. Then show how that would improve school performance while lowering taxes. Then target the seniors regarding property taxes, and parents AND the minority community re: the universal vouchers and what would be a first-time opportunity for their children to receive a quality education and grasp that first rung of the ladder of upward mobility. WIth this either/or, bright-line difference then put the Democrats and teachers unions on the defensive concerning why property taxes must be so high, what justification can the teachers unions offer for their continued existence in RI, and how can the Democrats and teachers unions justify their continued exploitation of Rhode Island’s children? Of course at present the RIGOP has no such cajones — and via Avedesian and the like — is part of the problem, not part of the solution. And unless / until the Avedesians and Savages (Representative District NEARI) are purged from the RIGOP it will remain a… Read more »

Andrew
Editor
11 years ago

Your irrational rage against firefighters has nothing to do with this thread, George, so why bring them in.
It’s not me doing the tough part of the work of changing this state, I’m just a yahoo-blogger. It’s the people out there getting ready to run for office, lobbying, and forming all kinds of watchdog and citizen activism efforts who are doing the real work. You want to tell them that they have delusions of grandeur too (from behind your keyboard, of course)?
The other commenters in this thread are too classy to say it, but the idea that you and they are part of some kind of coordinated team is laughable. (p.s. I hope you don’t think that’s too harsh for your friends at RISC who may be reading this.)
However, I am willing to put my real name on my posts and stand behind everything I write, which means that however large or small my contributions are to the efforts out there are, they are infinitely bigger than those of George Elbow, who is too afraid in-person to stand behind what he claims needs to be said.

Andrew
Editor
11 years ago

RRI,
But is there really a choice of whether to debate or not to debate? I’m thinking specifically of the end of round 1 of the binding arbitration situation; the unions ran a bunch of pro-arbitration television ads. The taxpayer/conservative/good-government side couldn’t ignore that push (and didn’t) but following the George Elbow/Mike Cappelli strategy based on a message of DON’T LISTEN TO THE PIGS AND THE PROVIDENCE FIREFIGHTERS CONTRACT SITUATION IS STILL MESSED UP would have led to the good guys going down in flames.
The point is, the unions and progressives are going to be showing up for the forseeable future (and I know you have a proposed legal change as to how to eliminate that, but that step would also involve a good deal of public persuasion to get the necessary legislative changes). The taxpayers and conservatives and their allies have to be able to make a better more convincing case on the merits, wherever discussion and debate arises in order to win. That’s how these “downright democracies” of ours work.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
11 years ago

–“The taxpayers and conservatives and their allies have to be able to make a better more convincing case on the merits, wherever discussion and debate arises in order to win.”
Can be done. Easily. Borrow from the Democrat playbook and humanize the issues with human props and inflaming emotions.
For example, run calbe TV ads in Warwick replaying images from the years of “work to rule” and explain how they have a chance to vote so that it never can happen again.
Statewide, find some seniors who sold their homes because they could no longer afford the property taxes — put a face on it by putting them on TV describing the pain.
Runs ads explaining how much public school teachers are really making, including adjusting for a full-time equivalent compensation — and contrast with the poor results they’re producing. Put a child up there wondering why his/her future is being diminished in favor of the teachers unions.
Use blanked out faces and names to show examples of 40 and 50-something “retirees” collecting state pensions, while regular citizens in their 60’s and 70’s describe how they can’t afford to retire (in part because their high taxes are going to fund the young retirees just shown).
The Democrats and their union / poverty industry benefactors have so screwed up Rhode Island that there’s a cornucopia of real world examples available to inflame the heretofore complacent electorate, if only there were an opposition party that wanted to win instead of going along to get along and, like dogs, sitting on the floor and accepting crumbs thrown from the Democrat table as the plutocrats gorge themselves at the taxpayers’ expense.

George Elbow
George Elbow
11 years ago

[And with the direct insults and name-calling of an Anchor Rising contributor, George Elbow finally breaks the last remaining thread of my tolerance for his commentary. — JK]

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

“AR is not a public forum and free speech is not guaranteed on this private property.
I have read your posts, and you seem to deliberately twist what others say and then argue against your interpretation.
I don’t think the movie in your head will sell many tickets.
Posted by BobN at December 5, 2009 12:15 PM”
+1
*cough* straw man *cough*

George
George
11 years ago

I have not advocated crude invective. Not on this thread or any other. I simply advocate telling it like it is. No dressing, no make-up, no decorations – just the truth.
The trouble is, the truth about Bob Walsh and the likes of him, may make some people uncomfortable. I’m saying, we need to get comfortable with the truth, or we’re all doomed!
Bob Walsh is not a nice person. I have seen him write absolute lies and cheep, cheep insults about honorable people on that other blog. Calling him and his legions “pigs” is quite mild (and a lot more truthful) in comparison.

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

And again, my point. Rather than waste time and energy calling Bob Walsh any names, I’d rather see people take active steps to depose the unions from their current position as power-broker in the GA.
The most effective unarmed street-fighting tactic is the sucker punch.
When some terrorist group took a Russian hostage, the KGB didn’t make any noise – they just executed an effective solution.
The effective solution is not calling names – it is in effecting positive change in the way our state is run. One one front it is exposing the networks of corruption that connect the government employee unions and our state’s politicians, and then exposing what those insider deals cost the state’s taxpayers, parents and children. On another it is recruiting and supporting good people to oppose the GA incumbents in November 2010 and end the stranglehold that the unions and the Democrat Party have had on our state for decades, before the state is killed by it.

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

‘The effective solution is not name calling’
A rather pretentious comment coming from the one who wrote the NEA is a ‘corrupt thug orginization’.
I believe an NEA member would be justified in saying that BobN is name calling.
Yup, it seems like BobN wants it both ways. Can you say hypocrite?

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