Civil Liberties

American flag behind a barred window

How can “open government groups” be so blind to the reality of remote public meetings?

By Justin Katz | December 21, 2021 |

I’m honestly baffled that a coalition of “open government organizations” would call on Democrat Governor Dan McKee to reinstate executive orders allowing government bodies to meet remotely again: We therefore once again strongly urge you to reinstate your earlier executive orders so as to permit public bodies to meet virtually and thereby allow the public…

A blurry Google logo

Watching Big Tech is like watching a trap close.

By Justin Katz | December 20, 2021 |

The evolution of online information technology companies is a lesson in the importance of first principles. Only recently has the convenience of cloud technology become so overwhelming in some activities that I’ve been giving in to it in a more-general way, and the temptation is always there to make it central.  The idea, which has…

A water drop and ripples

Is Rhode Island too small for its own citizens’ good?

By Justin Katz | December 16, 2021 |

One part of my diagnosis of Rhode Island’s problems is that it’s just not big enough for opposing factions to build up and keep each other honest in state-level government.  Pushback against the New York governor’s mask mandate at the county level brough that to mind: At least 13 counties in New York state are…

A water drop and ripples

The bias against traditional values is deep and pervasive.

By Justin Katz | December 15, 2021 |

Those who think that a Christian flag should be unique in being disallowed from public flagpoles may not be bigots: Over the past 12 years there have been 284 flags—from LGBTQ rainbow flags, a Turkish flag with the Islamic star, to Communist China flags—raised on a public flagpole owned by the city of Boston. But…

Hospital beds

The idea of patients should be de-romanticized.

By Justin Katz | December 14, 2021 |

As we construct the stories by which we understand reality, we tend to romanticize people when they’re generalized.  In healthcare, for instance, patients are “people who need help,” and we have a set of emotions and moral ideas associated with them as a concept. The problem is people need all sorts of kinds of help,…

Emotions with masks and shades

Don’t worry! The science has studiously avoided figuring out how harmful masks are to children.

By Justin Katz | December 9, 2021 |

Is it just me or do the people who support mask mandates seem deliberately to be avoiding the points that those in opposition are actually making? At some point after my post responding to his call for a statewide mask mandate, Boston Globe reporter and columnist Dan McGowan tweeted a link to the CDC’s (incredibly one-sided)…

Dr. Stephen Skoly's office building

Dr. Skoly appears to be receiving a lesson “to encourage the others” as the saying goes.

By Justin Katz | December 1, 2021 |

When I worked with the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, we would periodically get tips from people about problems or corruption in our state, but the tipsters would very rarely volunteer to step forward.  They feared, with good reason, audits, safety reviews, property inspections, and other forms of government harassment.  Silence and toleration has…

A man in a plague mask on a swing

Hey! Maybe the solution for health care staff shortage is more mandates!

By Justin Katz | November 18, 2021 |

Problems with Rhode Island’s health care industry indicate an across-the-board failure of government management.  Remember when they shut down our economy to avoid overwhelming our medical infrastructure?  Well, that move — and all that came after it — may be resulting in a much more intractable, longer-term failure. Want to count the ways? One. Staff at…

A water drop and ripples

The parental-rights narrative is always being framed.

By Justin Katz | November 18, 2021 |

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen it characterized as “doubling down” before when a party to a lawsuit has appealed to a higher court, but here’s Sarah Doiron on WPRI: Several parents who are challenging the state’s school mask mandate are doubling down on their efforts by appealing a Rhode Island Superior Court judge’s…

A ring of doctors and nurses

Taking on Health and the World

By John Loughlin | November 13, 2021 |

Dr. Tim Shafman on lung cancer, Dr. Stephen Skoly on vaccine mandate harm, Laurie Gaddis Barrett on the school mask mandate lawsuit, and Major Wayne Morse.