Political Thought

A man picks a path in the woods

What’s in an “alt-right”?

By Justin Katz | January 1, 2022 |

Even as long ago as the late ’90s, when I finished up my undergraduate studies, the seeds of cancel culture were visible.  Contrarian that I am, I would often challenge professors’ and other students’ arguments in classes that fostered debate, and some disputants were clearly looking for excuses to invalidate my case out of hand. …

Family on the beach at sunset

Imagine If We Were Able to Analyze What’s Really Going on With Inequality!

By Justin Katz | December 31, 2021 |

Rather than focusing on racial differences and calling each other names, we should be working together to spread the wealth around naturally, through our ingenuity and hard work.  All of us would benefit. Oh, well.  Maybe in 2022.

A water drop and ripples

The restrictions are the point.

By Justin Katz | December 30, 2021 |

I’ve suggested repeatedly that the motivation for the heavy government hand on COVID in states like Rhode Island isn’t a practical reaction to the virus so much as an emotional need to know that the government can tell people to do things when it wants.  Ben Shapiro has a similar point of view: So, why pursue…

Policeman

Consider it good news when the police are doing satisfying work.

By Justin Katz | December 29, 2021 |

A while back, I saw a short article about an incident in which the Providence police saved a woman from suicide. Police went to the scene at 9:26 a.m. Some officers tried to calm her down and coax her off the ledge, Verdi said. But at one point the woman became despondent and a crisis negotiator thought…

2021 written in beach sand

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Closing out 2021

By Justin Katz | December 27, 2021 |

John and Justin wrap up 2021 with discussion of how COVID politics have been going in RI and some predictions for Ocean State politics in the year to come.

A water drop and ripples

Stop and think about the economics of non-profits.

By Justin Katz | December 27, 2021 |

Articles like this from the New York Times are a fascinating view into a worldview where the frame is just shifted (off, I’d say) by a little bit.  (Search the link in Google to read the article if it’s blocked when you click.) In a Northern California school district, the superintendent is taking shifts as a lunchroom…

Cato's 2021 freedom map

Rhode Island’s kicking freedom out the door.

By Justin Katz | December 27, 2021 |

The Cato Institute’s Freedom in the 50 States index has Rhode Island slipping to 41st most free (i.e., 10th least free) for 2021, with the following ranks in its three major subcategories: Fiscal, #27 Personal, #33 Regulatory, #43 Keep in mind, of course, that this is freedom as defined by the libertarian Cato Institute, and…

A water drop and ripples

McKee is doing exactly what King George did.

By Justin Katz | December 27, 2021 |

This complaint in the Declaration of Independence came to mind while reading Democrat Governor Dan McKee’s executive order on the calculation of unemployment insurance fees for businesses: For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. Here’s the relevant text from McKee’s order: References to…

A water drop and ripples

The thing about Michael Fine is that he’s a socialist.

By Justin Katz | December 22, 2021 |

Interestingly, Dr. Michael Fine is against non-vaccination shaming, mainly because he isn’t very confident in the vaccines we have against COVID.  One gets the impression, however, that he makes that concession in order to promote his real goal: If everyone stops going to bars and restaurants TODAY, and stops shopping TODAY, we’ll see a drop…

The pain box in Dune 1984

In the modern context, Dune’s Pain Box would be an Affirmation Box.

By Justin Katz | December 21, 2021 |

With Dune back in the popular culture, all people of good will and right mind should be relieved that it includes one of the most profound moments of the book, captured here in the prior movie adaptation because it was the best clip I could find quickly:     The quick summary is this:  The priestess…

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