Pretty sunrise today. I read the Patinkin puff piece on Vincent Cianci. Fascinating. Nowhere does he admit he did wrong, nowhere does he admit he hurt people as well as our city. It’s all a saga of Buddy’s triumph over adversity.
I often think of Rosemary Glancy, counting her last days in a Texas prison, begging for compassionate release. She followed Cianci’s ‘Leadership!’ but he was nowhere to be found when she took the fall for the corrupt City Hall he led. He didn’t even go to her funeral- had ‘business in Washington’.
People get hurt all around him, but it’s never his fault. I really think part of Cianci’s brilliance as a politician is that he totally believes in himself. It’s always about him and he’s always right. No more faith-based politics. The reality is ugly and waiting for another free ride at our expense.
Today’s Tarot is the III of Cups. Last night we were dancing at a kind of Irish wake for Rhode Island journalism, with Bob Kerr as guest of honor and Rudy Cheeks presiding.
What’s left? We have the radio, social media, word of mouth and some unemployed reporters who will keep on doing what they do. Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. What form will news take when the papers close down? Everything is rearranging.
Today’s Tarot is VII of Swords. Watch out for tricks, especially as a young challenger takes on an old dog.
If this race is close it may come down to lawyers-
In 1982, then-Providence Mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr. won reelection — despite a 20-percent, midyear tax increase to avert financial crisis in the city — after his allies waged an aggressive campaign to secure mail-ballot votes for him.
A three-month investigation by The Providence Journal published in February 1983 concluded that supporters of Cianci “abused the Rhode Island mail ballot law on a large scale. … Abuses were so widespread, and Cianci’s 1,074-vote margin of victory was so narrow, that the outcome of the election could have been affected.”
There was no evidence that Cianci — who is running for mayor again this year — was directly involved.
But his supporters routinely misled voters about their eligibility to vote by mail ballot. They frequently watched how voters marked their mail ballots, pressuring them to vote for Cianci and sometimes a slate of other candidates. They sometimes made vague offers of jobs, subsidized housing, tickets to entertainment events or Christmas baskets as the voters were marking their mail ballots.
And old dogs don’t need new tricks, here’s today’s news-
PROVIDENCE — The state police are investigating possible ballot tampering at the state’s largest homeless shelter after two “official-looking men with clipboards” entered Crossroads Rhode Island on Wednesday and asked residents to hand in their mail ballots — and in one case asked for a resident’s blank ballot.
Who the two men are is unclear, but a shelter resident identified one of them as the same man who helped him apply for a mail ballot on Columbus Day weekend and urged him to vote.
“He said, ‘Now remember Buddy when you vote,’” said Francis McKenna, referring to mayoral candidate Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. “And I told him, ‘I was born and bred in Providence. How could I forget him?’”
Cianci was good at not being ‘directly involved’. He was a lawyer who made his career prosecuting corruption. He could write the book on how to do corruption right, and did.
Vote, and drive your friends to the polls. Every vote counts.
Today’s Tarot is dedicated to journalists, especially at our paper of record, The Providence Journal.
Friday, that swanky place Pearl is honoring Journal columnist Bob Kerr. Sounds like a party. And it’s a fundraiser for the Fund for Community Progress.
Sunday,there’s potluck, journalists and The Gnomes and Mark Cutler and the Men of Great Courage at The Met. The Met is always a good time.
Thanks to Rhode Island’s Future for the pix, and go there for what’s left of the news in our sad city.
Hello friends. I think I’m fighting off a bug. This week is too interesting to get sick, so I won’t. But turning energy inward, not feeling creative right now. I’m posting this because it’s beautiful, and both my Atheist and religious friends can enjoy it. Happy Tuesday.
Cool astronomy pix from GuysFromAndromeda.com
Today’s Tarot is from the Major Arcana, V The Hierophant. I dedicate it to the Catholic bishops who this week rejected an opportunity to widen the embrace of the Church to include ‘unconventional relationships’–gay couples, divorced people, couples living together. No one says the Pope ain’t Catholic, but he’s moved to just a few steps behind the arc of history and that puts him too far ahead of his hierarchy for their comfort.
While the internet focuses on issues like denial of cupcakes to gay wedding parties, there are much worse consequences of discrimination in the US. Child custody battles and unfair firings from work are two legal battles being fought in states that have no anti-discrimination laws. In countries like Uganda, gays are being scapegoated in the way that Jews were in Nazi Germany before the Holocaust began. That is never a comparison to be used lightly, but the similarities are there. Religion is complicit, or compliant, just as it was then.
The Hierophant is strongest when he is facing direct opposition. He faces forward, preaching to the converted who kneel at his feet.
He is prepared for blasphemy, indeed he thrives on it.
What he lacks is lovingkindness, flexibility, practical answers to problems that arrive in shades of grey.
The challenge for Pagans is to reach out to his followers with humanity, respect, humor and confidence.
In the end, the Hierophant will need to come down off his throne and get a job. We’ll hasten that day by doing our own.
Today’s Tarot is the Queen of Wands. She’s the personage for a sweet day in mid-Autumn on the cusp of change. The temperature could drop like a stone by evening, but for now- enjoy.
Mercury Retrograde. That explains why I was late for a meeting, got caught in a traffic jam, got home to no supper and am sitting in my underwear typing when I should be getting ready for work. I’m not into astrology. I first heard about Mercury Retrograde when I took an AiKiDo class in the 70′s. It happens randomly and provides a perfect excuse for the screw-ups we create or just endure. Thank you, universe.
I’m glad that people are recalling the former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, and his effective though belated leadership in the AIDS epidemic. Ronald Reagan appointed him for his conservative views, which Koop maintained all his life. But Koop was a doctor, and he spoke the truth about what was needed for public health, even though it was not politically correct to put out the facts instead of inciting panic.
Right now, we could really use a Surgeon General, but Dr. Vivek Murthy’s nomination has been blocked by the
tobacco industry NRA, for pointing out that cigarettes cause lung cancer cheap, poorly-regulated guns are a public health threat. Reagan never had to deal with a Congress that made it a goal to keep the nation in gridlock until things got so bad that they could get elected on an anti-government platform.
I could hope that Mercury Retrograde will foul up evildoers and stall out the engines of destruction. So mote it be.
Coming down the home stretch to the elections. I think that for the first time since Claudine Schneider I may vote for a Republican. In the Lt. Governor’s race Catherine Terry Taylor says she will support HealthSource RI, and Daniel McKee said on WRNI he thought we couldn’t afford it. We can’t afford to lose a chance to engage all Rhode Islanders in consistent health care. Going to the Emergency Room when you are at death’s door is no substitute for having a regular doctor to keep you healthy.
I’m going to Seven Stars today to meet Marcus Mitchell, the write-in candidate for City Council 3rd ward. Kevin Jackson has lost my confidence after his endorsement of Buddy (Vincent) Cianci and his non-answer when I asked him why.
I’d rather live in un-interesting times, but what can you do?
Welcoming a Refugee
What Cheer, Providence? Today’s random image is Roger Williams finding help after his banishment from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for being the wrong kind of Christian.
After leaving Massachusetts, Williams, with the assistance of the Narragansett tribe, established a settlement at the junction of two rivers near Narragansett Bay, located in present-day Rhode Island. He declared the settlement open to all those seeking freedom of conscience and the removal of the church from civil matters, and many dissatisfied Puritans came. Taking the success of the venture as a sign from God, Williams named the community “Providence.”
Keep Providence dissident, Netop.
Historic illustration from Chicago State University.