Dave Richards for August 21st…………….
--When I was a small boy, I remember my grandfather told me I couldn’t go with him into town to shop because my blue jeans had rips in the knees. He told me that “they’d think you were a beggar and arrest you for vagrancy.” Well, maybe Grandpa was laying it on a little thick with that comment, but I got his meaning. “Don’t look like a beggar”.
Fast forward to today and begging is now an almost legitimate profession and we see them in many public places. Perhaps they really need help and perhaps they are just looking for an easy buck, I don’t know. But I do know that it is tolerated today as it never was years ago.
--That thought put me in mind of a news story I recently read. Social media on the Internet has given rise to yet another phenomena. “Crowdfunding”, as it is now called, is being used by more and more people to fund medical expenses.
Despite the efforts of President Obama, more than 28 million Americans still have no health insurance. And the CEO of one of the better known “crowdfunding” websites, Rob Soloman of GoFundMe.com says that one in every three funding campaigns on his service is to raise money for medical expenses.
A disturbing trend.
But it still remains that our country is the only western nation without some form of universal health care, and the U. S. spends more than any other nation in the world on health care costs.
A very disturbing trend.
--I have a file full of information on the whole Pawsox episode going back years. Now that the decisions have been made and the deals have been done and the battles have been lost and won, I was going to write something deeply moving and profound on the subject. I did the research work. It was going to be my best writing, I thought.
However, I just don’t want to anymore. I can no longer write objectively because I’m really, really angry. I’m not angry about the Pawsox decision to move to Worcester. That’s business and I felt their move was all but assured when the Rhode Island General Assembly failed to act on the proposal by the end of the 2017 legislative session. At that point it would have taken a full reversal of attitude to save it in 2018. Of course, I hoped I was wrong. But I wasn’t, as it turns out.
So, it wasn’t the decision to move that had me spitting mad last Friday. It was the news release we received from Governor Gina Raimondo’s office saying she’ll “fight to keep the Pawsox from leaving Rhode Island”. Just writing those words again stirs up my temper! As I fight to calm myself, I remind myself to keep it civil, but a citizen’s duty is to critique the work performance of our elected leaders and to speak out when we find it lacking. No personal attacks, just keeping the comments to the subject of work output of someone whose paycheck I contribute dollars to. I say this, “The time to fight was during the 2017 Assembly session and also during the past 2018 Assembly session, not now!”
What any governor could have done was to go to the assembly, or send trusted and skilled emissaries, and win the votes needed to make a deal that would make the club want to stay here. This governor did not do that. If asked, she said she wanted them to stay. But she did not do all she could to make it happen. So, in my opinion, to make the statement quoted here AFTER the fact is, in light of the lack of effort in the past, not only disingenuous, but I think it rises to the level of misdirection, subterfuge and, yes, a boldfaced dishonesty. I am insulted by it.
Yes, I am disappointed with the actions of the General Assembly, but you cannot lay all the blame on them. They should be held accountable, yes, but I give them a pass because they are not free to vote their conscienses for fear of retribution from their chamber leadership. I am also disappointed that the ball club themselves could not re-group to put on the kind of campaign that, for instance, Twin River management put on to get the grassroots support of the people of Rhode Island. But when we started this whole thing the Pawsox were told (based upon past results) that the proposal wouldn’t be a hard sell. By the time they realized initial projections of support were inaccurate, time was not on their side.
In conclusion there was a little blame for some, but the one person who could have done far more to prevent the loss of this business to Massachusetts “phoned it in”. However, for that person to claim they will fight to reverse what that person “let” happen is just so…………so…..infuriating!
What we needed to avoid this loss is a governor who doesn’t just let the title of their temporary job do the talking for them, but to be the one who rolls up their proverbial sleeves and “makes the right thing happen” in act and deed. We need somebody like Pawtucket Mayor Dan Grebien. You know, it’s too serious a matter to joke about, but I would really like to have a governor who would advocate for our state the way Mayor Grebien advocated for his city.
--That’s what I think. What do you think? Comments to: email@example.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.
Thanks for reading.