A horse-riding general leads his troops off a cliff

Politics This Week: Breaking from the Top

By Justin Katz | May 21, 2024 |

John DePetro and Justin Katz look for the realities behind the headlines in Rhode Island.

Dogs debating in town hall

People just don’t want to find ways to live together, do they? (We should try objective government.)

By Justin Katz | December 8, 2023 |

Silly and local as it is, this is one of those stories that makes me despair for the future: A few years ago, some folks petitioned for Tiverton to give some land next to the library to a group that wanted to put together a dog park. People using it are supposed to park across…

Writing on the wall

Fear of school shootings feels a lot like fear of Omicron.

By Justin Katz | December 16, 2021 |

The Omicron count has begun in Rhode Island!  One: The case was detected in a woman in her 20s who lives in Providence County. The individual recently returned to Rhode Island from New York and had previously completed their primary vaccination series. She did not receive a booster shot, according to the health department. Two:…

Cash, cuffs, and the American flag

The COPS Hiring Program is yet another way government spends tax dollars to force the spending of more tax dollars.

By Justin Katz | November 20, 2021 |

It adds up, of course, but when government is trillions of dollars in debt, a hundred million here and there seems hardly to count.  That may be part of the reason that news of grants like the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program doesn’t typically question where the…

American flag in a field at sunset

Three types of rights cast a shadow on RI’s current situation.

By Justin Katz | October 22, 2021 |

Locally, the Rhode Island opposition (such as it is) is grappling with the shifting ground of our rights. Presumably, for example, parents have a right to send their children to schools that do not provide pornographic material to them and to demand a reversal via school committee meetings when that reasonable expectation is not met. …

Image of COVID as planet Earth

UPDATED: Tiverton is last for vaccination but near-best for COVID hospitalizations?

By Justin Katz | October 20, 2021 |

Living in the town, of course it caught my eye that Dan McGowan of the Boston Globe outed Tiverton as the only town in Rhode Island with a vaccination rate below 50%: Tiverton is now the only city or town in Rhode Island with a COVID-19 vaccination rate below 50 percent, according to data from the…

Edwin Lord Mills A Royal Procession

Will McKee’s new emergency declaration bring us back to non-transparency, as with Tiverton’s hidden millions?

By Justin Katz | August 24, 2021 |

Some municipalities were only just getting back to some semblance of the openness and transparency that citizens enjoyed prior to COVID.  For a year, give or take, municipal bodies seized dictatorial control of their meetings, stomping on the public’s right to see and to participate. In towns like Tiverton, where the council leadership has palpable…

Newport Superior Court

Our legal system has developed a systematized path to eliminate our right to self governance.

By Justin Katz | August 3, 2021 |

At the core of our very ability to call our system a “representative democracy” is that we write down rules by which we all must abide.  New rules can be implemented and old rules can be repealed or amended, but the more fundamental it is, the more difficult it is to change.  Thus, bureaucrats can…

The Deterioration of New England Local Government (and of the United States)

By Justin Katz | December 4, 2012 |

Paul Rahe’s written an excellent essay explaining why libertarians ought to be social conservatives (via Instapundit), which is a point on which I’m writing for future publication. For the moment, though, this paragraph is more immediately relevant: In America, [Tocqueville] found institutions, mores, and manners antithetical to what he took to be democracy’s natural drift.…

Unionize? Hellooo, You’re Management

By Monique Chartier | November 25, 2012 |

Here’s something I never thought I’d say: good decision, RI State Labor Board. The Rhode Island State Labor Relations Board recently dismissed a petition to unionize by Tiverton’s municipal department heads. The board decided the matter on Nov. 7, saying the superintendent of wastewater collections, the town planner, tax assessor, zoning officer, senior center director,…