Archive for June, 2010

Not Enough Words To Describe It

June 21, 2010

My favorite local blog, Preserve Bristol, posted information on an upcoming Public Forum in Newport featuring my least favorite Education Commissioner. Deborah Gist claims she wants to bring an “education renaissance” to the state, but is that really what she thinks she’s creating in RI? Well, if it happens in Bristol-Warren, it won’t be thanks to her new funding formula that slashes the school budget by about 9 million dollars!

I don’t know anyone who supports education in Bristol less than Ms. Gist… Yet there she was at the Kickemuit Education Foundation’s 2nd Annual Bodacious Bee a few weeks ago with Rep. Gablinske (who voted for the funding plan), receiving applause for essentially trying to destroy our schools. I’ve got to think most of the civic-minded people at the event, which raised an incredible $22,000 for the district, are simply unaware of the level of damage about to be inflicted upon the community. Otherwise, like me, they would have been booing instead of clapping for Gist.

To look at this situation another way, as successful as the Bodacious Bee was, even if we were to have one per day we still couldn’t make up for the nearly 50% cut in state aid to our schools! And, at that rate, we’d run out of words to spell!

Evidently not one for spelling since she doesn’t even write her own speeches (thanks to Board of Regents member and, embarrassingly enough, native Bristolian, Angus Davis), Gist is more politician than Education Commissioner.

Gablinske, meanwhile, was lucky just to beat some kid (and a virtual unknown at that) last election. After practically sealing the fate of our district, don’t expect him to pull the upset again the next time around.

As for the millionaire Davis? With all the money he has for his cronies, I’m sure he’ll have a long and promising career in politics. Hey, maybe someday they’ll even name a charter school after him!

Check out Preserve Bristol for specifics on the forum and please attend it. Hopefully, with more voices of dissent, Deborah may finally get the Gist.

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More Israeli Propaganda In RI

June 15, 2010

The conflation of the defacement of a Warwick synagogue and a peace protest held in Providence against the deadly Israeli raid of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla continues. Nancy Kirsch, in the latest edition of the Jewish Voice and Herald of RI (JVHRI), attempts to merge the stories with a single headline. In addition, although the synagogue vandals had nothing to do with the protestors, her final paragraph in the second article refers back to the first. It’s a shame that some journalists would rather create their own narrative rather than just report on the truth.

In April, the East Bay Citizens For Peace hosted a talk by Jora Ehrlich entitled “Report from Dheisheh Refugee Camp, Palestine: A Jewish American Woman’s Eye-Opening Journey”. Prior to the event, JVHRI was asked to place the event on their on-line calendar and they refused. Apparently, Ms. Kirsch and her colleagues would prefer to keep their readers’ eyes closed when it comes to the questionable practices of the Israeli government.

There is a world of difference between graffiti-scrawling punks and peace activists who are genuinely concerned for the safety and well-being of all people (i.e. Jews and non-Jews alike). Standing up against violence and injustice in the Occupied Territories does not make one anti-Semetic. It makes one heroic… And no amount of Israeli propaganda will ever change that.

Join your local peace group and become a hero today.

RI Antiwar Group Issues Statement On Recent Press Coverage

June 11, 2010

This is part of a statement made by fellow peace activists, the RI Mobilization Committee to Stop War and Occupation, on recent press coverage.

While the RI Mobilization Committee to Stop War and Occupation (RIMC) appreciates the coverage in the Providence Journal last week of our protest action regarding the Israeli attack against a Gaza aid flotilla, we strongly object to the reference to the protest in a June 3 article by Journal staffer Eugene Emery, about the anti-Semitic defacing of a synagogue in Warwick.

The Israeli massacre aboard a ship in international waters attempting to deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, has received worldwide condemnation, including a statement by the new Conservative Prime Minister of Great Britain.  To link in any way our peaceful protest of this massacre on the high seas with the defacing of a local synagogue, was unfair and an instance of poor journalism.

We have every right to engage in protests against an unwarranted and vicious action by a foreign government without being gratuitously linked with a local instance of anti-Semitism.  This is unfair and insulting to our members, many of whom have made lifelong commitments to work for peace, freedom and social justice.  We request that the Journal issue a retraction and an apology for conflating two stories that were totally unrelated.

RI Mobilization Committee to Stop War and Occupation