Justin Katz

A water drop and ripples

The General Treasurer is an investment fund pitchman.

By Justin Katz | June 27, 2024 |

This ad for Rhode Island’s CollegeBound Saver fund promotion looks like a sleazy investment ad because it is: Around $22 million in administrative fees from the program go to the private companies that handle the money and the state.  This isn’t necessarily corruption, per se, but we can put it in the questionable bucket of…

A water drop and ripples

Jokes expose underlying truths about identity politics.

By Justin Katz | June 26, 2024 |

I’ll stipulate that comedian Sebastian Maniscalco’s story about a kindergartener who identifies as a lion is likely not true, but the exaggeration provides a useful framing, nonetheless: One of the kill-move cheats of progressives is to pose the question, of these identity politics instances, “How does it affect you?”  Appealing to Americans’ live-and-let-live sensibility, that…

A blurry hellscape begins to come into focus

The progressive picture is coming into focus.

By Justin Katz | June 26, 2024 |

A theme one picks up from podcast discussions with cognitive scientists is that much of our perception — what we understand as real — is a matter of our choices about what we don’t pay attention to.  A fully capable human has five senses, all of which are constantly sending more data to the nervous…

A water drop and ripples

Ken Block has raised enough money to keep his billboard campaign going.

By Justin Katz | June 26, 2024 |

It still seems like a waste of resources, to me.  Here’s his tweet from May, when he announced his continuing fundraising:   There’s no pressure, here. Once people have that initial burst of “right on” feeling, such billboards become part of the background.  When I looked into billboards years ago, they were about $10,000 per…

A water drop and ripples

Comparing two commencement addresses is definitely instructive.

By Justin Katz | June 25, 2024 |

Arthur Brooks offering the graduates of Providence College positive life advice: You can get rich by telling people that they’ll be happy if they drive a certain car. You can get elected President of the United States by convincing people that their lives will make sense if they just get angry and hateful enough about…

An old sign showing the burning of the Gaspee with the slogan, Resist Tyranny, and the dates 1772 and 2024

The United States of America is on the cusp of tyranny.

By Justin Katz | June 25, 2024 |

The New York “justice” system may or may not jail Donald Trump, but the impression Democrat partisans are giving is that the entire charade of a trial was meant primarily to produce the label, “convicted felon.”  This marketing ploy, as Roger Kimball notes, may not be working: “It’s my sense that the effort to weaponize…

A water drop and ripples

There’s one way to have better representation in Congress.

By Justin Katz | June 24, 2024 |

This is a belated acknowledgment that Ben Shapiro is exactly right about the Jerry-Springer-esque catfight in Congress last month: If we don’t like what we’re seeing in Washington, D.C., the only durable solution is to ensure it isn’t representative.  But just like the brawls on that famous gawker show, untangling ourselves from this mess is…

Special interests tug on a fraying rope in tug of war

Politics This Week: Special Interest Tug of War

By Justin Katz | June 24, 2024 |

John DePetro and Justin Katz look for the hidden dynamics of local politics.

McKee Antoinette serves cake

Politics This Week: Let Them Eat Leftovers

By Justin Katz | June 18, 2024 |

John DePetro and Justin Katz review the undercurrents of politics in RI and nationally.

A crowd mocks a mismatched boy while not noticing people getting away with things

Politics This Week: What People Don’t Care About

By Justin Katz | June 11, 2024 |

John DePetro and Justin Katz put a spotlight on the aspects of controversies that nobody seems to notice.