Quick Read

A message in a bottle at the beach

Rhode Island Republicans need a new policy strategy.

By Justin Katz | January 30, 2023 |

Two stories in the news recently have been nagging at me in combination over the past week.  The first is the Republican response to Democrat Governor Dan McKee’s State of the State address, as delivered by Senate Minority Leader Jessica de la Cruz.  Here’s the part that resonates particularly oddly: Where McKee called for cutting…

A behind the back cash bribe

Rhode Island’s privileged class may begin getting more than half off its property taxes.

By Justin Katz | January 27, 2023 |

Once upon a time, the common wisdom was that government work couldn’t compete with the private sector for pay but made up for it in benefits and job security.  Whether that was ever true, I don’t know, but it has long been the case that government workers in Rhode Island get the best of all…

A hooded man in shadows

Goyette is a problem for mainstream Democrats.

By Justin Katz | January 18, 2023 |

Or rather, he would be if anybody were reporting on the story.  As Republican state representative Brian Newberry noted a week ago on Twitter, Jordan Goyette’s story is not one that anybody in Rhode Island’s mainstream is keen to cover: If you picture the news media as a filtering machine, Goyette falls easily through one…

A teacher reads to children

Maybe we should try for a more-empathetic political atmosphere.

By Justin Katz | January 13, 2023 |

Somewhere or other in my social media flow, I recently came across the outrage of a moment, wherein a director of communications for a school district jumped in to halt a Dr. Seuss reading that had prompted discussion of America’s racial past: The assistant director of communications for Olentangy Local School District abruptly stopped the…

A toy school bus

The underlying problem in education is depressingly difficult to repair.

By Justin Katz | January 10, 2023 |

Perhaps my favorite moment in all of music ever comes in the last movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.  The music is a bouncy march, and in the libretto, the singers are proclaiming an intent to take paradise by storm, like “a victor.”  The mood changes suddenly, however, and I’ve always thought it a deliberate statement…

RI State House over caution tape

Go back to the first question of spending.

By Justin Katz | January 2, 2023 |

Like it or not, we’re all tangled up with each other, so in some degree, the choices we make and the value we create or destroy affect everybody.  How we structure society is a decision about how we utilize “our” resources.  That doesn’t mean maximizing efficiency or economic advancement or anything else must be the…

Teenager gets vaccinated

Can the provaxers change their minds?

By Justin Katz | December 30, 2022 |

A skeptical reader can find many things worthy of comment in David McRaney’s How Minds Change even beyond the author’s central objective of training people how to manipulate others psychologically to implement radical policies.  Not wanting to write a book in response, I’ll probably just bring them up as they become relevant. One side point…

A Mrs. Claus ornament on a Christmas tree

Why are Christmas trees scarce?

By Justin Katz | December 24, 2022 |

It’s “climate change,” of course; that’s the easy go-to answer for anything having to do with the natural environment.  Even when there’s a more proximate explanation, the global bogeyman has to be tacked on, as the Boston Globe’s Dharna Noor does in this case: The culprit behind all those dead trees: Drought, which hit New England…

A wolf removes its sheep mask

Another front that reasonable people in RI can’t forget.

By Justin Katz | December 23, 2022 |

I know, I know… put something else on the list why don’t you?  Well, this is an area that cannot be forgotten: Progressives have spent decades deliberately invading institutions with an eye toward turning them politically to their favor, which mean first making them political.  I’m not among those on the other side who believes…

A shadowy man on the phone

Keep the RI Foundation off the pedestal.

By Justin Katz | December 22, 2022 |

At the moment, it appears to be simply talk, but this is a concerning idea for Democrat Rhode Island Senate President Dominick Ruggerio to float: Ruggerio floated an outside-the-box idea for the state takeover of Providence schools: He wants to work with the Rhode Island Foundation, the state’s largest philanthropic organization, to see if it…