Politics This Week with John DePetro: Do the top-ticket Dems have an argument?

By Justin Katz | October 3, 2022 |
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An empty suit

On WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM, John DePetro and Justin Katz discuss:

  • McKee, the seagull master
  • McKee vs. Kalus
  • Homeless advocacy and budgeting
  • Democrats’ pledge to be nothing more than partisans
  • Providence students move toward Maoist struggle sessions


Featured image on Shutterstock.

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Lizzo is the perfect illustration of the dishonest game being played.

By Justin Katz | September 29, 2022 |
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We can have honest discussions about propriety and the conflicting emotional reactions people have to public images, but the strange controversy over pop-star Lizzo’s playing an historic flute of James Madison’s is a great illustration of the dishonesty of mainstream progressive rhetoric.

It is as clear as a crystal instrument that the mainstream isn’t interested in discourse or common ground.  Instead, their strategy is obviously and undeniably to offend, but with a twist that allows them to retreat with shrug and an accusation of bigotry.

Plainly put, somebody who responds to objections to this…

Lizzo crystal flute onstage

… by asking how anybody can object to this …

Lizzo plays flute at Library of Congress

… is not interested in honest discussion, harmony, or social cohesion.  Such people are interested in division and domination of those who have different beliefs from them.

After a quarter century arguing cultural points, I can’t say I care about the propriety of the images, at this point.  The danger is much, much more immediate that we can’t (that we’re not allowed to) draw obvious distinctions and discuss the things we actually disagree about.

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A passing thought on the outrage about the PUC’s energy-price increase.

By Justin Katz | September 28, 2022 |
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Cooling towers at Brayton Point

I saw in the Boston Globe, today, some spin blaming Donald Trump for New England’s worsening energy woes.  The phrases are almost like a trick image that looks different when you cross your eyes or look at it directly. The reporter’s eyes appear to be crossed, and those of the progressives citing the text on social media certainly are:

But the problem, according to ISO New England, is that older fossil-fuel power plants are being retired faster than new clean energy projects are coming on line. That challenge was illustrated by Donald Trump-era delays in the approval process for the Vineyard Wind offshore project, which had been initially slated to be generating electricity by now, and legal challenges that have slowed progress on a planned transmission line to bring hydroelectric energy from Quebec.

The problem is “retiring” fossil-fuel power plants more quickly than replacements come online and the demand that the replacements be politically fashionable.

Look, maybe a case can be made for the green stuff, but what’s striking about the PUC protesters and others is the utter refusal to acknowledge that we live in a world of tradeoffs.  Their preferences must always be entirely without consequence and morally obvious.


Featured image by Justin Katz.

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Politics This Week with John DePetro: Double Standards in Culture and Politics

By Justin Katz | September 26, 2022 |
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Rattlesnake warning sign

On WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM, John DePetro and Justin Katz discuss:

  • The urgent warning of the Cranston library protest
  • The unheeded warning about truck tolls
  • Revelations and schedules for the governor’s race


Featured image by Zach Savinar on Unsplash.

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Shadows cover the Rhode Island political marketplace.

By Justin Katz | September 26, 2022 |
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A dark, empty Medieval marketplace

The Rhode Island Saga, Post 4

Watching their comfortable surroundings erode and darken, the heroes of the Rhode Island Saga head out in search of answers and to see whether they can do something with their unique, but undefined, gifts to turn the trends around.  To them, restoring the balance of cooperation and individual liberty is the obvious solution.  Maybe all that’s needed is for people to be engaged in conversation and reminded of the hope and magic that permeates the kingdom.

So, they arrive at the Marketplace.  They’ve been there many times with the kindly couple who raised them, but in the past it always seemed like a friendly, bustling place of adults doing grown-up things.  Now the heroes can’t shake the feeling that people are behaving as if controlled by invisible forces.

In business analysis, which I’ve adapted from Michael Porter’s Five Forces analysis, the challenge at this stage is to determine what leverage various groups have with the business.  In a market with a wealthy client base that has abundant options, customers will have a great deal of leverage, for example, and the business must plan around it.  Similarly, if the product relies on resources that few suppliers can procure, then those suppliers will have the leverage.

Naturally, the first step in such analyses is identifying whom to include in each group, and that stage will be a little more challenging, here, because we’re translating business categories into socio-political categories.  Customers are relatively straightforward to translate, as the people the heroes need to persuade — in a word, voters.  Competitors are also easy to identify, as the parties and political movements opposed to the heroes’ program.

But who counts as suppliers for a movement?  Who are the non-competitors, who offer alternative products?  Who are the entrepreneurs who might enter the market with new variations of the service?  And then how much of a challenge will each category present to the heroes?

These are big, challenging questions, so we’ll have to take them up in individual posts.

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The declassification saga illustrates one of Trump’s most intriguing qualities.

By Justin Katz | September 22, 2022 |
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A water drop and ripples

Namely, he uses the methods of the Left, and the Left hates him for it.  Read CBS News’s explainer on the issue at hand:

Presidents do have sweeping authority to declassify records, but there is a process that is normally followed.

Generally, a president’s instructions to declassify documents are first written down in a memo, typically drafted by White House lawyers, which the president would then sign. Relevant agencies are usually then consulted and when a final decision is made, the document would be marked, with its old classification level crossed out, and stamped, “Declassified on X date” by the agency in question.

“Generally,” there is a process “that is normally followed,” but legions of hostile journalists and talking-head lawyers cannot point to documentation of that rule.  (Presumably it exists even if they think it does!)

Should Trump have followed the traditional process?  Certainly, but progressives do this sort of thing all the time:  When it is convenient, they throw away the process that everybody had previously agreed existed in order to do what they want.

As much as I’d prefer adherence to expectations, the overarching principle that the rules have to apply equally is true on the higher plane, as well.

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Toll Verdict – RI Highway Spending Sixth Highest BEFORE Truck Tolls

By Monique Chartier | September 21, 2022 |
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“Permanently enjoined” – in a methodical, 90+ page ruling, federal district court Judge William Smith has turned thumbs down on Rhode Island’s truck-only tolls, noting that they are discriminatory, that they do not “fairly approximate use of the facilities” and that they violate the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.

Click here for an excellent description by Coalition Radio’s Pat Ford of the legal arguments of the case when it finally hit the courtroom in May.

It’s important also for us to to remember the travel of the “arguments” for the necessity of tolls themselves: they’ve gone from from DANGER! DANGER! BRIDGES ARE GOING TO FALL DOWN IF WE DON’T TOLL TRUCKS! when they were proposed seven years ago to “I like surpluses” earlier this year [Governor Dan McKee responding to Pat Ford’s spot on question about whether truck tolls should end in view of all of the infrastructure money that Rhode Island is sloshing in] with a stop to do unnecessary major repairs on at least one high traffic/high toll volume bridge along the way. Umm, really? If the condition of Rhode Island’s bridges in 2016 was such a hazard to the motoring public, why haven’t we been repairing bridges from worst to first? Why are we undertaking MAJOR REPAIR JOBS on BRIDGES THAT DON’T NEED IT?

Now Rhode Island is “permanently enjoined” from tolling only trucks. There has already been some hand-wringing about “how will we replace that revenue??”, leading to speculation that tolls could be expanded to all vehicles.

Couple of things. First of all, RIDOT Director Peter Alviti has repeatedly downplayed the significance of truck toll revenue, noting either that it is only 10% of RIDOT’s budget and/or only 10% of the Rhodeworks program. Excellent. So it won’t be a hardship for RIDOT to do its job without it.

Secondly and far more importantly, Rhode Island’s per lane mile spending on state-owned roads was sixth highest (page 34) BEFORE the revenue from truck tolls or the tsunami of fed infrastructure money.

Sixth highest per mile spending and Rhode Island had – say it with me now – “some of the worst roads and bridges in the country”.

Fast forward three years and many tens of million dollars in truck toll revenue and the situation has actually worsened: as of January of this year, Rhode Island has the second worst highways in America and, as of February of this year, Rhode Island had the third worst bridges.

It’s like there’s an inverse relationship between how much money Rhode Island spends on its infrastructure and the quality of it. The more we pay for infrastructure, the worse it gets.

The numbers don’t lie. Rhode Island’s bad infrastructure is not due to a lack of revenue. So it decidedly will not be solved by the addition, resumption or [edited] expansion of any revenue source.

[Featured image by DEX Studios.]


Monique has been a contributor to Anchor Rising for over ten years, was volunteer spokesperson for the citizens advocacy anti-toll group StopTollsRI.com for three+ years and began working for the Rhode Island Trucking Association as a staff member in September of 2017.

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The thing I’m not getting about the climate protesters in Boston…

By Justin Katz | September 21, 2022 |
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A water drop and ripples

… is how true believers come to the conclusion that the way to advocate for the environment is to cause an event that leads to thousands of people sitting in idling cars.

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The Left can always pat its own back.

By Justin Katz | September 20, 2022 |
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A water drop and ripples

Social media is pretty humorous, today.  After the Cranston library’s lawyers prevented it from cancelling the Independent Women’s Forum event last night (although it appears to have decided never to rent out rooms to any outside groups again) and police prevented disruption, the progressives are congratulating themselves on not censoring or disrupting the event.  By their own spin, they can never lose.

Is anybody falling for it besides them?

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Just a thought apropos events at the Cranston Library tonight.

By Justin Katz | September 19, 2022 |
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A water drop and ripples

If people have to bring in the police to protect themselves from you as you advocate to deprive them of their Constitutional rights, maybe they aren’t the hateful ones.

(These progressives will not only applaud persecution of people with whom they disagree; they’ll feel self-righteous while doing it.)

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