“But Rhode Island Is Still Asleep”

Heavy metal/punk rocker Henry Rollins used to (and may still) do free-form monologue shows — sort of a cross between stand-up comedy and academic lecture. As you might imagine, his commentary was often sordid and aggressive, but in my youth, I found there to be an underlying goodness, even wisdom, in his talks.
One skit that illustrates my description well began with him speaking against hating people — as opposed to abstractions, like weakness. But he confessed that he couldn’t shake his hatred of folk-pop singer Edie Brickell (she of New Bohemians fame), and he described a work of performance art by which he imagines expressing his feelings. Essentially, he would go through bouts of torturing himself, after which a voice would come on the PA system and say, “But she’s still alive.”
That’s the voice I heard when Richard DiDomenico, of North Providence, ended a recent letter to the Providence Journal (no longer online) as follows, after scorning RI Speaker of the House Gordon Fox (D., Providence) for his heavy-handed opposition to e-Verify:

The U.S. in general seems to be awakening, but Rhode Island is still asleep!

I’m already hearing the echo of that line every time I hear of the contentious actions of New Jersey’s new Republican Governor Chris Christie. Perhaps it should haunt Rhode Islanders’ dreams until such time as we begin electing people who might attempt something more ambitious than preserving as much of the status quo as possible.

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michael
michael
11 years ago

Nothing like a little Black Flag to get the motor running!

rhody
rhody
11 years ago

Kudos for a Rollins reference – now there’s a guy who, if you get past the hardcore thrash and the tattooage, speaks common sense whether he’s a singer, actor, writer or publisher.
I’d like to see him follow in the footsteps of Midnight Oil singer Peter Garrett, who managed to earn a law degree during his band’s heyday. He was elected an MP in the late ’90s and eventually became Australia’s environmental minister.

Nirnay
Nirnay
11 years ago

We could have had Laffey. But Gio, Carcieri, et al would have none of that. Even the opposition party doesn’t really want change.
OK, time for bed.

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

During my years working with State of Rhode Island Department of Administration I was asked to research and author State of Rhode Island Information Technology and Information Systems Security; Standards, Program and Policies documents. After about 9 months of researching other states I started writing based on my commercial, military and Federal background in the field. I completed three documents which by my standards were voluminous but they included training materials as to why certain things were done in a certain way, dictionary of terms, law reference section and addressed all telecommunications, communications, Federal security requirements for sensitive but unclassified information and certification of hardware, firmware and software to security requirements. Everything was proofread by other department geeks and non-computer geeks but respected in their fields in all disciplines for legality, technical’s and continuity and after some changes a green light was given to ship the documents across the street to the state house for review and implementation as a RI state-wide endeavor. This was basically a canned approach with an open-ended back door for updates as technology and incidences evolved. I took the best of the best from all other 49 states and federal government. That was the last I heard about anything till one day in talking to a project manager she indicated she had killed the project because the expert consultant she was seeing from Boston had a better plan and she was miffed that my documents were forward over his. RI “e-Verify” was killed and not enacted in the state of Rhode Island. “E-Verify” requires the transmission and reception of personally identifiable sensitive Federal information about an individual which is subject to Federal law suit by the individual of not less than $2,000 per incident of public disclosure or misuse in transmission or end use. Federal… Read more »

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Ken-what is your answer?
There will never be a perfect system.
Please don’t go with “comprehensive immigration reform” because that just means amnesty and no enhanced enforcement.
I believe e-verify is the best we can do.So what if there are false negatives?If the person is legitimate there is a procedure in place to have them challenge the erroneous finding.
Just having the e-verify system operative will cause a lot of illegal aliens to refrain from seeking employment.
The law will deter them.What’s wrong with that?It means less time consuming worksite raids with the attendant sob story garbage foisted on us by the “advocates”.
It means ICE agents will be freed up to track down fugitives and criminal aliens.
Worksite raids were anathema to most agents.
If a naturalized citizen or legal alien gets a false negative they will actually have the easiest time clearing it up simply by producing their “A” number which can be verified in seconds.
There will be some identity theft of course.Just like there will be car crashes and tornadoes.
Don’t reject the good in search of the perfect.

Monique
Editor
11 years ago

Ditto everything Joe says. E-verify has a false negative of somewhere between 1% and 3%. That’s an astoundingly high accuracy rate.
The temptation of jobs is the number one reason for millions of people to endanger themselves and breach our borders and our sovereignty. Dry up the job supply and that will cut way back on the impetus to come here.
Quite simply, anyone (here I’m referring to elected officials and candidates) who doesn’t support the very reasonable, minimal step of implementing e-verify for the private sector rejects the notions of sovereignty and border security, not to mention the concept of Americans and legal immigrants getting first shot at a dwindling supply of jobs.

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

joe bernstein,
I’m not against “e-Verify”.
It’s the current information security requirements and safeguards that are not in place which would lead to a large number of law suits under the federal law that is the problem.
It would be very easy to challenge the security data transmission aspects of any computer system in court utilizing the Microsoft Operating system.
As far as I am concern the State of RI has done nothing to address the state-wide security issues nor has the state provided its own personnel with security training. Other states have very integrated security programs and laws related to the protection of personally identifiable sensitive information.
Of course nothing beats due diligence in security like the time I was working in Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport and there was a lot of commotion at an adjacent building. It seems a Polish national was working in a Top Secret Lab. with no green card nor security clearance discovered after security did a 6 month follow up security check.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

I arrested a Colombian national who was illegally in the US(although married to a citizen)and had a security clearance(not a high one)while working in a factory that made night vision devices.
She also voted by posing as a US citizen.And she had six larceny convictions.
Her explanation to me:”Well,at least I’m not a whore or a drug dealer”.
You can’t make this stuff up.
PS:She was convicted of falsely claiming US citizenship,a felony.

Monique
Editor
11 years ago

“She also voted by posing as a US citizen.”
ARRGGHH!!!

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

joe Bernstein, You got me thinking! Just what is it with INS and ICE that over the history the politicians have dismantled and resurrected the department too many time currently splitting it into three entities and lumping under DHS? No wonder USA boarders and immigration control is suffering! DHS is now the new resident in my old command world HQ (I was civilian employee) next to embassy row. I walked the halls just to say hello or trained in the Labs every time I visited Washington, DC. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the new name and it reminds me of what Admiral Dexter Poindexter was trying to do with DARPA funding right after 9/11 and “Total Information Awareness” (TIA) which Congress once full aware of the potential vehemently denied funding. Once TIA was developed it would allow the military or whatever part of the government that had access to the technology the ability to build a comprehensive data profile and track the daily activities of any American individual it chooses. A graphic on DARPA’s web site in 2003 envisioned use of “Transactional Data” including “Financial, Educational, Travel, Medical, Veterinary, Country Entry, Place/Event Entry, Transportation, Housing and Communications” data as well as “Authentication Biometric Data”, including “Face, Finger Prints, Gait and Iris identifiers.” The General from Northern Command (NORTHCOM), which provides protection for the continental USA openly talked about TIA at a conference in 2003, and other government and civilian officials showed keen interest. Now I don’t want to imply any end runs around congress or hanky-panky but it is interesting to note that the State of Rhode Island web page portal is designed and operated by NIC Inc. which is allowed to charge a minimal online fee ($5 and up) for services paid for with a credit card.… Read more »

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

joe Bernstein,
ADDEMDUN:
Paragraph “ChoicePoint acquired the database of most all the South American countries. ChoicePoint and the database are now called “LexisNexis Risk Solutions.”
Should read;”ChoicePoint acquired the driver’s license databases of most all the South American countries. ChoicePoint and all the databases are now called “LexisNexis Risk Solutions.”

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Ken-I can’t comment on most of your last post because it’s something I know nothing about. I can tell you this-the INS has been a hot potato nobody wanted,that’s for sure. Originally Border Patrol/INS was under the Dept of labor. The INS was later placed under Dept of Justice with the AG being at the top of the chain of command.The INS contained both enforcement and services divisions.Enforcement consisted of Border Patrol,Investigations,and Deportation&Detention. The Border Patrol was divided into sectors overseen by Chief Patrol Agents while interior enforcement and services were located in districts overseen by District Directors.DD’s and CPA’s in border areas had equal authority and the sectors and districts partially overlapped as they were not geographically the same.It was an administrative nightmare. One example:In El Paso the sector had an anti-smuggling unit,and so did the district.They did the same job for the same agency,yet barely communicted. Many District Directors had no enforcement background and consequently didn’t manage that function effectively. It was the worst management structure imaginable. We also had Comissioners running the INS who had no background in immigration laws and procedures. After 911 the DHS was formed(rather quickly for a government operation-hmmm?)and the Border patrol,Immigration Inspections,and Custom Inspections were formed into a separate agency called CBP. INS and Customs Investigations were formed into ICE.Also added to ICE was the Federal Protective Service formerly in the General Services Administration(!!)which was concerned with security of Federal property. INS and Customs inevstigations units rarely worked together before the consolidation because they had different missions,unlike INS Investigations and Border Patrol which had the same mission.Deportation&Detention was renamed DRO and became part of ICE. It’s a real clusterf*ck. Agents from Customs didn’ have to speak Spanish.INS agents had to be fluent. Customs got the upper hand in the consolidation so guess… Read more »

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
11 years ago

Recall that civl libertarian Barack Hussein Obama recently signed an executive order granting INTERPOL unfettered operational ability in the United States — no search warrants or anything else required.
Arguably granting a non-U.S. body the ability to operate in the U.S., and spy upon U.S. citizens without Constitutional protections is an impeachable offense.
But like the proverbial three monkeys, the media and ACLU sat on their hands — heard no evil, say no evil, spoke no evil.
Just imagine the outcry if Bush-Cheney had done this!

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

joe Bernstein, I feel for you guys who worked for INS. I’ve seen politics enter many organizations where it should not and almost destroy the agency! I got caught by a federal sucker punch called Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). I worked as a civilian computer information security specialist for Naval Computer and Telecommunications Command (NCTC) with responsibility for all computer security and messaging systems across 11 states. I also worked as a computer specialist at Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) plus I did Inspector General (IG) inspection of Submarine School, New London, CT; was TDY for a year attached to Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) in DC and instructed a computer security course at the Naval War College. I also was interviewed by National Security Agency for some of my published works. If I was not working for the government I would own 3 patents right now. During my slow periods I did computer systems repair at every command at Naval Base Newport and any US Navy vessel that docked at the base. But like I said, due to BRAC my detachment command was abolished. I was picked up by the Department of Defense financing my work with the State of RI, US Army and RI Army National Guard before I finally retired to Hawaii in 2006. I originally was Air Force and spent 2 volunteer years in Viet Nam after which I had workings with the US State Department, NASA, US Army Corps of Engineers, Germany, US Navy, US Marine Corps., Justice Department, FBI, Securities and Exchange Commission, First Fed Bank, NY, State Police, local RI police, FEMA, RI Emergency Management Agency and RI Department of Health. I find a lot of federal and military retirees in Hawaii because our retirement income is exempted from state income tax… Read more »

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

Ragin’ Rhode Islander, You said; “Recall that civl libertarian Barack Hussein Obama recently signed an executive order granting INTERPOL unfettered operational ability in the United States — no search warrants or anything else required.” According to “Fact Check” this is a myth: http://factcheck.org/2010/01/the-united-states-of-interpol/ President Obama’s Executive Order 13524 of Dec. 16 does nothing except grant to Interpol – the International Criminal Police Organization – certain privileges and immunities that the U.S. gives to dozens of other international groups under the International Organizations Immunities Act of 1945. Why did it take so long to bring Interpol under the act was because Interpol did not have an office in the USA till 2004. Bringing Interpol fully under the International Organizations Immunities Act is a process that was started by President Reagan (R) in 1983. With Executive Order 12425, Reagan declared that Interpol was covered by the act and all of its provisions except a few that had to do with exemptions from paying U.S. income, Social Security and property taxes, and several other issues. President Clinton (D) in 1995 took things a step further, ordering that Interpol be granted exemptions under the act for purposes of customs duties and importation restrictions. Now, with Obama’s order, the law enforcement group is fully normalized under the law, just like the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Inter-American Development Bank, the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission and nearly 100 other organizations. It’s likely that some of the hubbub springs from a fundamental misunderstanding about what Interpol does. Interpol is indeed a police organization, with 188 member countries. According to its Web site, it “aims to facilitate international police co-operation even where diplomatic relations do not exist between particular countries.” Its priority areas include the drug trade, global crime syndicates, fugitives, financial and high-tech crimes.… Read more »

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
11 years ago

Ken, I hope that you’re right. OTOH, I’m skeptical that if this were the case that it would take an executive order to consummate Interpol’s coverage under the act — did those 100 plus other entities all receive executive orders?

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

Ragin’ Rhode Islander, You can read every one of the Presidential Executive Orders on line if you want. I suggest you read the International Organizations Immunities Act and don’t forget, President Ronald Regan (R) started the Executive Order on Interpol, President Bill Clinton (D) expanded the Executive Order and President Obama (D) finished the Executive Order because Interpol now has a physical office in the USA as of 2004. The Internet has plenty of fodder and misinformation flying around. Just because you read it on the Internet and it sounds too blatant or you are directed to send or forward it to everyone you know should set off warning bells for you to check the source and story. The list of all 100 is as follows: International organizations designated by executive order as public international organizations entitled to enjoy the privileges, exemptions, and immunities conferred by the International Organizations Immunities Act, with executive order number, date issued, and volume and page of Federal Register publication: African Development Bank, Ex. Ord. No. 12403, Feb. 8, 1983, 48 F.R. 6087. African Development Fund, Ex. Ord. No. 11977, Mar. 14, 1977, 42 F.R. 14671. African Union, Ex. Ord. No. 13377, Apr. 13, 2005, 70 F.R. 20263. Asian Development Bank, Ex. Ord. No. 11334, Mar. 7, 1967, 32 F.R. 3933. Border Environment Cooperation Commission, Ex. Ord. No. 12904, Mar. 16, 1994, 59 F.R. 13179. Caribbean Organization, Ex. Ord. No. 10983, Dec. 30, 1961, 27 F.R. 32. Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Ex. Ord. No. 12904, Mar. 16, 1994, 59 F.R. 13179. Commission for Labor Cooperation, Ex. Ord. No. 12904, Mar. 16, 1994, 59 F.R. 13179. Commission for the Study of Alternatives to the Panama Canal, Ex. Ord. No. 12567, Oct. 2, 1986, 51 F.R. 35495. Council of Europe in Respect of the Group of States… Read more »

Justin Katz
11 years ago

Ken,
Ragin’s initial statement went a bit far, but your FactCheck citation elides a significant immunity that President Reagan had not extended:

Property and assets of international organizations, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, unless such immunity be expressly waived, and from confiscation. The archives of international organizations shall be inviolable.

Interpol is a foreign law enforcement agency that is now not subject to FOIA requests and such. I think a little more concern is merited about that than about the same privileges going to, say, the Pacific Salmon Commission.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Think about this-Heinrich Muller who was the head of the Gestapo,was also head of Interpol in the late 30’s and during WW2.Hmmm?

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

Justin, That immunity has been granted to all 100 other Internationals working in the USA and Reagan’s EO did not offer that under the original EO because Interpol did not have a physical presence (office space) owned by them in the USA. When I did not have sex with that women Clinton extended Reagan’s EO he was filling in some of the holes Reagan left out. Obama with his EO, because Interpol now has an office in the USA, completed the EO by validating the last few exceptions to Reagan’s EO that dealt with physical property located in the USA and financial matters (such as taxes, Social Security payments etc). For those who still want to yell and scream about this you’ll have to go back to President Ronald Reagan (R) who initiated the original EO offering International Organizations Immunities Act to Interpol. The only problem that could be construed with all of the noise about Obama’s EO is that he is the only “black” President out of the three Presidents and the second Democrat to go along with a Republican endorsed EO providing continuity in accordance with the 100 other EOs issued addressing the International Organizations Immunities Act. Before Interpol contracted their new physical USA office space they were allowed space in the US Department of Justice Building in DC which they still are allowed space. Interpol does not have a separate police force that fans out into the community that some “alarmist” have suggested. joe bernstein, According to the Internet there are three spellings all related to the head of the Gestapo but also to other Germans not related or being the head of the Gestapo. There is a Heinrich Müller. There is a Heinrich Mueller. There is a Heinrich Muller. However neither spelling of the names are… Read more »

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

Justin,
You said; “Interpol is a foreign law enforcement agency that is now not subject to FOIA requests and such. I think a little more concern is merited about that than about the same privileges going to, say, the Pacific Salmon Commission.”
Before I forget, you should read the US FOIA law before you try to quote it.
5 U.S.C. § 552 “Freedom of Information Act” (FOIA) is not enforceable outside of the confines of the U.S. Federal Government.
Whereas Interpol is not an “agency” of the U.S. Federal Government no request, demand or law suit citing 5 U.S.C. § 552 as the bases would be allowed in a U.S. court of law.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Ken-you’re right.It was some other Nazi war criminals.
Kaltenbrunner was hanged.Heydrich was assassinated.Nebe wasn’t charged with war crimes as far as I know-maybe he was dead by the war’s end.I don’t recall.

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