Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 01-09-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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8 OPINION JANUARY 9-15, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH PROVIDENCE EDITION Like most people I love the idea of a new year. Symbolically, it reminds us of the fact that we made it through another year and that we have a future where we can change things, well, mostly about ourselves. It's like a new lease on life. So, as 2019 rolled into town I read with antici- pation the comments of the newly installed state officers and legislators. I looked to see if the President had ended his temper tantrum which has resulted in a shutdown of government. If push came to shove would the United States Republican senators approve a budget which it exactly passed and sent to the House or would they turn tail? So, we know the answer to all these questions by now. There is only one conclusion. There is a slow- motion crisis in America and in Rhode Island. Take the State of Rhode Island. Nothing much has changed. The same elected officials are repeating the same mantra. In fact, they sound delusional. How far from the truth can it be that Rhode Island has been transformed into a role model for the rest of the country? The sorry results of the educational performances of students should create a gag reflex to such a claim. Banning the media initially from the inaugural "ball" so the pub- lic wouldn't know who the insiders were who picked up the tab was a harbinger of continued contempt for transparency. The legislative leaders' respective hands must still be pounding as they patted themselves on the back. A partial coup in the House of Representatives sputtered to a halt as the Speaker peremptorily rejected reasonable propos- als of reform. Like Donald Trump he punished those who wouldn't tow the party line by dumping Rep. Katherine Kazarian (D-East Providence) from her role on a committee or dissing the so-called Reform Caucus proposals which correctly included 48 hours' notice before action on the Budget. The national scene is also pock-marked by the antics of an immature President. This is a time when truths that seemed self- evident in the Constitution are no more. Truth is a fiction when the President has told a documented 7,000 or so lies at the rate of five false- hoods a day since in office. Federal workers are toy pieces in a game of chick- en. Anyone who disagrees with the President, like Defense Secretary Mattis or former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, are vilified after their service. The President acts like the bully know-it-all we have met too many times in our lives. Lest the reader think that I blame Mr. Trump as the cause of our democratic deterioration, let me say I do not. He is a symptom. In his war on U.S. institu- tions and tenets which gov- ern this country's democ- racy, he is emboldened by his party in Congress, particularly Sen. Mitch McConnell, and his many supporters throughout the country and here in Rhode Island. I dislike that I am not more optimistic in 2019. The rule of law has seemed to go out the window. Without it the capricious, the authoritarian, and the tyrannical rule supreme. Rhode Island Democrats might like to take stock of their credentials lest the Democrats defeat democ- racy in this state. Similarly, self-evaluation is a must for Trump supporters. Before political party, we are all Americans. Violet is an attorney and for- mer state attorney general. Poli-Ticks ARLENE VIOLET It's hard to be upbeat What ever happened to "Middle America?" Is it still out there somewhere? Those people who used common sense to come to political posi- tions based on their experi- ences and knowledge, and not based on what some obvi- ously biased professor, or news writer, or TV talking head was pontificating about? Right now, again, we are talking in circles around immigration, and the natural question a nation's leaders and people should ask: How many people do we want here, and who? Do we want farmers or machinists? Doctors or straw - berry pickers or scientists? Do we allow them in forever, or merely for the harvest? It seems to me these are reasonable, middle-of-the-road questions. If a laborer from Central America comes here temporarily to harvest, for instance, and has done it for a period of years and is a solid worker, it seems to me he'd become a good American. We should welcome him or her. We allow young men and women from other countries into our universities. Many embrace the opportunity, study hard, learn deeply, and offer huge potential as new Americans, or as citizens of their own countries if they return home. Can we "right-size" the United States? After all, we colonial "originalists" of European ancestry, mainly whites, along with African Americans, abort more than 10,000 of our own children each week, and have killed tens of millions since Roe v. Wade in 1973. To remain an economic power, the U.S. needs a steady supply of younger workers. Many of them come from over - seas, attracted by the promise of liberty and prosperity. There's nothing new about that. Many of us have ancestors who came to the Blackstone Valley from Quebec and Ireland to work in the mills and other businesses that sprouted up to support the mill workers. So I think most Americans agree that we need a steady flow of workers, many who will indeed "do the work we Americans (who have been here awhile) are too lazy to do." This is sad, but true. I've noted it. I've lived it. What drives us apart, it seems, is the cost of newcom - ers who come illegally. When my ancestors arrived, they were on their own. There were no welfare programs to help them along. Yes, their children began to attend schools, and they might have received some small level of first aid in an emergency, but the cost of edu - cation and hospitalization have exploded since those days. Many years ago, a friend in nursing told me about a woman from Colombia. She was dropped by relatives in the foyer of Pawtucket Memorial Hospital, and needed Intensive Care Unit help for about two weeks. She was made healthy, and returned to Colombia. The cost of her care was estimated to be a quarter million dollars. Was the woman, a non-citizen, "entitled" to this care? Or would the money have been more "fairly" spent on a poor U.S. citizen from Pawtucket who needed help and had inadequate insurance? Yes, we are a kind people, but is this right? Is it fair to the people – health insur - ance ratepayers and taxpayers – who have to pay for non- Americans? Do we owe our best health care to anyone in the world, or should we make choices? Is it good public policy to allow a poor, single woman to cross our border, deliver a child at taxpayer expense, claim her child's rights as an American, and then her own benefits as mother, while offer - ing little advantage to her new country? Certainly, it is kind policy, it is generous policy. But the only way this continues is that we don't have to pay for it. The high cost of illegal immigration (and much more) is hidden in our $22 trillion debt. Imagine a world where we actually had to pay for all this – the extra schooling and staff, the health care, the police, judiciary, the prisons. Imagine if somebody actually met you each week and took the $5, or $7, or $10 and told you "We need this for all of the new people coming here." Might you grow resentful if you needed the money for your own family? I don't know when common sense died, but I know today's border wall debate isn't fixing anything. As long as we don't have to pay the bill – as politi - cians of both parties prefer – we'll never solve the problem. Eventually, our debt bomb will explode and this will all end very badly. Ward is publisher of The Valley Breeze. Where is 'Middle America?' From the Publisher TOM WARD Founded in 1956 by The Burgess Family Volume XXI, Number 24 January 9, 2019 valleybreeze.com @ Breeze THE NORTH PROVIDENCE ABOUT US The Valley Breeze Newspapers are a locally owned and operated group of free weekly newspa- pers serving the people of Cumberland, Lincoln, North Smithfield, Woonsocket, Smithfield, Scituate, Foster, Glocester, North Providence, Pawtucket, R.I., and Blackstone, Mass. Each Thursday, 58,500+ copies are distributed to retailers, banks, offices, and restaurants and other busy spots. Circulation is audited by the Circulation Verification Council of St. Louis, Mo. and has earned its "Gold Standard Award." OUR MISSION It is the Mission of The Valley Breeze to facilitate a positive sense of community among the res- idents of Northern Rhode Island by providing a forum for the free exchange of ideas, and to provide information of local events and neighbors. It is our further Mission to provide the highest quality advertising at the lowest possible cost to retailers, professionals, tradespersons, and other service providers in order to enhance the economic well-being of our community. Thomas V. Ward, Publisher tward@valleybreeze.com James Quinn, Deputy Publisher jquinn@valleybreeze.com Ethan Shorey, Managing Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com Barbara Phinney, Controller accounting@valleybreeze.com

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