People who want to think for themselves are not the target of national Democrats’ talking points.

Among my frustrations with social media in recent years has been the way my streams become filled with content in which I have minimal interest — like Democrat propaganda — because people share it in disbelief.  The frustration is primarily with the realization that people apparently believe in completely incompatible realities, which is what motivates…

Men discuss box of garbage in a dark shop
In Rhode Island, government is a natural disaster.

Yes, yes, words get thrown around in state-level politics, but there’s an important lesson in East Providence City Council President Bob Rodericks’s letter asking Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee to declare a state of emergency over the closure of the Washington Bridge between East Providence and Providence: … East Providence is impacted more than any…

A road inspector sleeps on his car
In the current environment, expedited voter registration is an invitation to fraud.

When one of our cars became unusable last year, my family had to buy another, which we did at a dealer in Massachusetts that a friend had recommended.  We’ve bought cars in Massachusetts, before, but it appears that something has changed.  Registering the car took about a month, during which time we were short a…

The word, "vote," on puppet strings
Rhode Island’s K-12 Transgender Policy: Why Are Education Commissioner and Council Silent?

Following our first inquiry of Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green and the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education about Rhode Island transgender policy in K-12 schools and their non-response, Anchor Rising reached out a second time, this time asking, … current RIDE policy permits schools to discuss transgender procedures with students.  RIDE policy also permits schools…

A word on housing.

Amidst all the other happenings in Rhode Islanders’ lives, it’s worth a moment to consider that we’ve reached the point that the General Assembly is delving into such levels of micromanagement as housing setbacks and in-law apartments in local zoning.  That’s a sign that we’re doing things wrong. In the mania of the day (or…

A dense conformist neighborhood on the water
A Central Landfill meeting gives a sense of what’s being lost from media.

Considering how frequently I criticize professional journalists, I may too infrequently convey how powerful I think their role can (and should) be.  A recent Johnson Sunrise article by Rory Schuler, about the resignation/retirement of Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) Executive Directo Joseph Reposa, is an excellent example of what we’re losing.  Without making a gooey…

Reporter shocked at 19th Century public meeting
The system we inherited doesn’t persist of its own accord.

News that the Rhode Island Republican Party is struggling to hit the qualification requirements to place any presidential candidates on the primary ballot points to a deep problem in our state’s political landscape.  This is true even if we put to the side (for now) rumors that some large number of signatures were inexplicably invalidated….

An unkempt and overrun baseball stadium
RIDOT About Bridge Inspections: Psych! You Need a Data Key

The featured image is by RIDOT of a broken steel rod on the Washington Bridge Westbound, one of the critically failed components that caused the sudden closure of Interstate 195 west on December 11. How these components went critical between July, its most recent inspection (link to report) until December 8, when they were purportedly…

Short memories and an urge to dictate have brought Rhode Island a plastic bag ban.

Honestly, I expected the COVID experience to put an end to the high-school-civics-project of banning single-use plastic bags, but stores’ bag dispensers now sit empty, and Rhode Islanders have another reason to lean toward shopping in Massachusetts or online. In Rhode Island, our legislators have a chronic difficulty understanding consequences and the availability of alternatives. …

A man freaks out about a plastic bag in a tree in an urban park
A recipient society produces the government plantation.

So much of Rhode Island’s predicament can be explained by incentives.  People who rely on government for their prosperity, for instance, have a great deal of incentive to manipulate the processes thereof, whereas our community lacks institutions with incentive to counterbalance them politically.  Something similar and related — though much broader on a social scale…

The RI State House in the middle of a plantation
To solve the doctor shortage, all RI has to change is everything.

This has been lingering around my to-do list for a while, but the problem is only getting worse, so for the foreseeable future, it’s an evergreen topic in Rhode Island: Yes, this is a massive problem permeating all of our society, and there’s only so much a small state like Rhode Island can do about…

Rhode Island's new flag with the state motto of "Hurt"
Say, How About We Start Repairing Bridges Worst to First?

You may remember that truck-only tolls were passed with dire statements about the condition of Rhode Island bridges.  “People will die if we don’t get this new revenue stream to repair Rhode Island’s poor bridges” was repeatedly stated or heavily implied during the debate about and passage of the proposed new, legally quizzical, unnecessary toll…

Here’s the scary thought, Rhode Island.

Nobody on your political bench can do much better than what you’re seeing now. Democracy has produced the government you actually wanted for so long that the bill is coming due.  I wrote about the “Four Horsemen of Rhode Island’s Apocalypse” 15 years ago, and the situation’s only gotten worse as people not in the…

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
People just don’t want to find ways to live together, do they? (We should try objective government.)

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…

Dogs debating in town hall
Ripples
We need to ask the “and so” of healthcare principles.

When I see statements like the following (from a former Bernie Sanders surrogate, in this case), my reaction is usually, “Fair enough, but then what”?

DrDooleyMD: Insurance denying things because they say it’s “not medically necessary.”  

Like, I’m the doctor, not you.  I said it’s necessary.  Medically.  

WTH are you talking about? 

We just let Big Insurance practice medicine without a license and that’s not okay.

So what’s the alternative?  If we move toward the single-payer, government-managed system Dr. Dooley likely supports, then it’ll be politicians and bureaucrats rather than doctors.  And even in the case of doctors, if other people are going to be made to pay for people’s healthcare, how do we ensure that doctors are not driven by ideology or some other non-medical incentive?  They’re human, too.

“Just make it so” just does not work.

Here’s a quick lesson younger Americans should learn.

A truism about government used to be heard periodically:  A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.  That saying’s a bit dark, though, and makes its point in an extreme way that younger Americans who’ve been raised with an implicit trust of big government might reject out of hand.

Here’s a milder version that everybody should at least consider:  If the government provides you services and pays for all your needs but makes your life more difficult and takes more of your wealth, the only thing that changes is your dependency on government.

Of course, the unspoken bargain in the minds of many who support larger government is that they will get more of what they need at the expense of other people who don’t need what they have.  For now, however, simply encouraging thought about tradeoffs would be a helpful step.

Oh, it’s just the speaker buying votes.

As business-as-usual as it may be, we shouldn’t become numb to Rhode Island’s base-level corruption, as Democrat House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi demonstrates here:

JoeShekarchi: I was very proud to help support the Warwick Junior Hockey Association - @RIJrBlues, which will be hosting its first annual Winter Classic. Mite teams will face off at the Bank Newport rink in downtown Providence.

Charitable contributions are wonderful, but this photograph raises some questions.  Is that his official State House office?  Is that a personal check, a gift from his campaign, or a taxpayer-funded legislative grant?  What’s with the attached business card?  Was this a donation or a transaction?

It’s difficult to speak out as if against donations to children’s sports leagues, but that’s an indication of the evolved cleverness of the corruption, not the importance of doing so.  A state in which his sort of thing was considered inappropriate would be far less corrupt across the board.

The problem is teachers’ contempt for their role.

The quotation John pulls from the article is worth highlighting:

JohnDePetroShow:  “A lot of districts that have contracts coming up are thinking about what this means if the unions are becoming more militant, if they’re not afraid of a judge, if they’re not afraid of being held in contempt, and if they think it can get them more,”

The disregard of the law is only an incremental worsening of the problem.  Teachers’ going on strike (especially for crass considerations like even higher pay and benefits) has always seemed shocking to me and one of the reasons their unionization seems wholly inappropriate.  If they don’t care about the harm that their unions do to children, why should they care about the law?

Our institutions are guided by primitive and simplistic racism

I used to spend time pointing out the problem with this sort of bean-counting racism (and sexism), but it hardly seems interesting anymore.  The findings aren’t meant to indicate anything real; they’re simply intended to promote a simple-minded ideology.  We can see this in the fact that the conclusions only ever point in one direction.  If there are more white people than their portion of the population, that’s bad.  On the other hand, if there are more women or minorities than the population would suggest, that’s good.

It’s heads we win, tails you lose.

DanMcGowan: URI's staff and faculty is 84.9 percent white, according to the university's affirmative action report.

In an intelligent, non-superstitious, egalitarian world bureaucrats would be embarrassed to publish such reports, and journalists would be embarrassed to promote them.  Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world, and I suppose as people like me tire of pointing out the obvious, younger generations will simply accept the propaganda as facts… until they realize they’ve been swindled.

Are there any homeless caves in Rhode Island?

Yeah, officials will complain about the danger of uninspected residences, but as somebody who grew up in an era when fiction was filled with secret communities in society’s hidden corners, I have to admit these homeless caves are cool:*

CollinRugg:NEW: Massive furnished homeless *caves* discovered in California 20 feet below street level.I wonder if there’s anything comparable around here.

* I should specify that the coolness of the residents’ solution is distinct from the apparent necessity for it, which is a problem we should resolve.

Progressives really want a civil war, don’t they?

In recent years, a strange emphasis has been emerging on America’s political Left on the notion of treason.  The accusation flies not only against hated political personages, but also retroactively in ways it didn’t used to be applied, like the Confederacy.  It isn’t difficult to see where this is going:

ruthbenghist: Greg Abbott is a dangerous subversive who does not recognize Biden as president nor, apparently, federal authority.

According to this person, the governor of Texas is “a dangerous subversive” for disagreeing with the Dear Leader and issuing an official proclamation in accord with legal due process.  (Yes, that’s what it is, even if it is subject to legal challenge.)  These people will be happy to lock up their opponents… or worse.

We’re in desperate need of basic economic lessons around here.

Economically illiterate activists are laying the groundwork to make housing harder to find, and make life worse, in Rhode Island:

JenStewartRI: Thanks for this important reporting @antoniafarzan & @projo

This is how economics works.  The rent goes up to reflect the real value of the property.  Other property owners see the value of their space and reconsider their usage.

For example, instead of renovating or building to add a new storage unit (which progressives hate), the property owner renovates or builds apartments.  When the supply increases, the value and the rent will stop climbing or go down.  Cap rent, and you’ll get the reverse effect: less housing and higher prices.

Unfortunately, the same activists have been training each other for decades to dismiss such arguments as mumbo-jumbo from evil, greedy people.  That’s a shame, and they’ll probably never question whether they, themselves, are contributing to the suffering as it increases.  They’ll get angrier and angrier that others didn’t react as they’d expected them to, taking it as greater proof of evil.

McKee’s absolution shows it’s time to disband the Ethics Commission.

This is how appeals to the Ethics Commission often end, these days:

IanDon: Reax:

McKee - "This stunt was a waste of taxpayer resources"

@JohnMarionjr
 - "the lunch ... even if it’s legal, isn’t how people think government should work.” 

@RIGOPChairman
 - "To do business in Rhode Island, you should not need to go through this."

From personal experience, I can testify that the Ethics Commission combines the gradual accretion of ethical allowances with the possibility that the commission will completely disregard its precedence to suit its preferences of the moment.  Thus, it tends toward increasing permissiveness with a constant danger of being embarrassed, as a complainant, when the commission decides to change its mind on a whim.

The entire exercise has become one of giving approval to manifestly unethical conduct.  We should get rid of it and let voters decide what’s ethical without giving politicians recourse to a board of insiders who are happy to give them seals of approval.

We really need mature leadership in RI, and I wish Neronha were offering it.

Look, I generally disagree with Attorney General Peter Neronha’s politics, but I could put that aside if I thought he were coming to conclusions reasonably.  Unfortunately:

PeterNeronha: If you want to understand how private equity kills healthcare systems, and gets out before anyone knows the systems are dead, read this.  And remember how private equity ownership would have Roger Williams/Fatima circling the drain, but for our escrow.I’m certainly not going to defend predatory investment firms, but read the article.  Steward Health Care was already dying.  The story is of an equity firm finding a way to make money off it nonetheless.

Trying to make this a government vs. private sector issue is a terrible framing that distracts from the reality causing healthcare problems, while also making it ripe for private sector predation.  Whether Neronha does so deliberately or not, it’s difficult to conclude otherwise than that the distraction is intended to be away from government’s role in the mess.

How many people even know it’s a question why the Brown student was shot?

I warned, when John DePetro and I discussed it some weeks ago, that we shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that the Brown University student shot in Vermont was the victim of anti-Palestinian sentiment.  Now, fully aware how polarized we are, I wouldn’t assert that everybody should take Daniel Greenfield’s FrontPageMag article as proof to the contrary, but I do wonder how many people outside of those who seek news from conservative media even know this:

The three Muslim men were returning home from a party on Saturday night when James J. Eaton, a local resident with a history of mental instability, stumbled out of a white clapboard house on the residential street and without a word fired four shots at the three men.

Eaton had been described as “that hippie guy” and “progressive”, an organic farmer who had posted a meme with a definition of “Amerika” that called it “the worst sense of the United States, ie imperialism, corruption and the global exportation of American culture.”

He appeared to be a Biden supporter …

In reality, Eaton supported Hamas.

For progressives, it seems, this isn’t how evidence works.  If Arab students are shot, it must be because of anti-Arab bigotry, the details are just coloring.

Step lightly toward the bright future of AI medicine.

Such information as this, tweeted by Gregory Conley, is important to keep within your awareness:

GregTHR: I am not capable of judging the veracity of this research. All I can say is that the pace of innovation happening in AI is incredible to watch. The future looks bright.

Such exploration is valuable, but we need strong personal and cultural safeguards against abuse.  Earlier this week, the Dall-E 3 AI (via ChatGPT) I use for many of the images on this site refused to add the Confederate flag on top of the General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard.  Even putting aside errors and the sci-fi talk of AI’s developing its own hostile intentions, we have to wonder what medical AI will refuse to do or, conversely, insist on doing.

On the human level, talk about how “using a human [for medical treatment] *at all* is costing lives” is a plea to shift diagnosis away from a human being in whose eyes you can look to other human beings who may have no interpersonal medical experience at all.

Here’s a good thread on the peculiar tactics of progressives.

Over the course of several tweets, John Hayward provides an explanation of why the Left uses tactics that seem sure to bother people rather than win them over, starting here:

Doc_0: Some wonder why they do stuff like this, because it's not "persuading" anyone or winning support to their side - it just makes normal people loathe the Hamas sympathizers even more. The perps do have a goal, but it's not to persuade, win sympathy, or even "raise awareness."

In brief, these are the shock troops so their slightly more socially legitimate allies can promise to make the disruptions go away for a political price. The deceit is that the disruptions never go away; there’s always another cause.

The biggest mistake normal folks make is to think the purpose is persuasion.  It’s not.  It’s power, pure and simple.  The activists want to assert power to disrupt your life so you’ll exchange political power for relief.

For this reason, it would not be the sort of gotcha question that journalists typically direct at Republicans to ask Democrats whether they support these tactics, and then to remove from office any who will not actively oppose them.  If they don’t oppose them, they implicitly support them.

If the mainstream doesn’t know about it, it must not exist.

I earmarked this Boston Globe article, which John DePetro and I discussed last week, for one additional point related to this:

“A great scoop can come from anywhere,” said Brian Stelter, a media reporter who previously hosted CNN’s “Reliable Sources” and was a fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center. “Right wing media historically has talked about others reporting, but done very little reporting on its own.”

That’s just not accurate.  “Right-wing media” has done a whole lot of reporting at every market, from local to national.  The likes of CNN simply ignore it as if it can’t be of real interest.  That’s one of the ways they’ve controlled the social narrative over the past however-many decades.

The reality is that the story of the Harvard president’s plagiarism was just too much for the media to ignore, as much as they would have liked to.

Perhaps if mainstream outlets (including the Boston Globe) were to open their minds to different outlets, different stories, and different journalists, they’d discover a wide world of content they didn’t even imagine existed.  Unfortunately, I don’t think they want to imagine it because they fear they’ll bring it into being… or at least to the attention of the voters they live to manipulate.

The goal is to rewrite our history and unmoor us from it.

Fortunately, this trial balloon has already been deflated, but do not doubt for a moment that the horizon is full of others like it:

ByronYork: In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the National Park Service plans to remove the statue of William Penn from Welcome Park, which is named after Penn's ship on the site of Penn's house. Seeks to make the park experience more 'welcoming, accurate, and inclusive.'

They (the bureaucrats, progressives, and, sadly, Democrats) believe a rootless country will be easier to subdue and control with permanent power.  I think they’re wrong, but they’ll destroy the country in the experiment.

I’m seeing an interesting lesson for mainstream media types in RI.

Without naming names, I’m observing an interesting phenomenon on Twitter, recently.

I’ve been saying that the Trump era led mainstream journalists to give themselves permission to ignore everybody with whom they disagree — which is to say, “conservatives.”  This has a downstream consequence, though:  when you determine to ignore people with whom you merely disagree, you forfeit your ability to differentiate the credibility of people with whom you merely disagree and those who are truly obnoxious.

I offer this admittedly vague point as a lesson for consideration.  If your standards for respectability become too tight, you can’t expect the differentiations of “unrespectable” to stay in place.  It becomes a big, undifferentiated mass.

The predictable costliness of an unused ferry.

The state has announced the end of the sparsely used ferry from Bristol to alleviate traffic on the Washington Bridge. Amanda Milkovits has some of the details:

Since its inception on Dec. 21, when just 162 passengers boarded the ferries, ridership on the ferries between Bristol and Providence has reached 2,814, through Sunday, Dec. 31. The boats have run every day, except for Christmas and New Year’s Day, and RIDOT found that ridership was higher on some of the days around the holidays than on other weekdays.

The state has so far spent $738,000 through Tuesday to provide the ferry service, including the fuel, said RIDOT spokesman Charles St. Martin. The total cost, including the fuel and renting the barge for the ferry dock, is around $66,597 per day, according to RIDOT.

That works out to $262 per passenger, and an average of about 255 passengers per day barely affects the 90,000-per-day traffic across the bridge.

One can understand the well-meaning impulse; a ferry likely came to the mind of anybody who wondered how people could get across the bridge.  But rational people who factor in budgets to the smallest degree should have quickly dismissed the idea.  Much of the traffic through Providence doesn’t stop in Providence.  A ferry might make sense when a large number of people are going to a specific, walkable place.

Indeed, if a ferry did make sense, it would probably exist already, and for a profit.

Wind farm problems show the danger of progress without a unifying belief.

Politicians have forced people in the Northeast to invest heavily in wind energy by means of our electric bills and taxes, and more problems are appearing:

m_jfrench: NEWS: Equinor and BP cancel New York contract for Empire Wind 2, which asked for the biggest (percentage wise) cost increase of any OSW project and was rebuffed by regulators

The linked article is worth reading:

Equinor, along with its joint venture partner BP, has agreed with NYSERDA to cancel the contract for the project, citing rising costs due to inflation, interest rates and supply chain disruptions.

This is the problem with top-down governance to implement progressive plans.  Increases in costs generally, inflation, and (I know this for professional reasons) difficulty finding labor are at least partly attributable to education subsidies (why be a sucker and work when you can go to college to study anything regardless of practical use and have your loans forgiven?), overspending, and other progressive policies, and all are now interacting in corrosive ways.
While they’re convincing themselves and others that their schemes will work, central planners can only use the projections available to them at the time, which they’re also spinning and minimizing to pass other programs.  This is why market forces are preferable guides; they price in as much as possible, like the ultimate artificial intelligence algorithm.
Maybe we’re being distracted from the genuine treason of the Democrats.

Elon Musk suggests Americans aren’t sufficiently aware of the rivers of illegal immigrants continuing to flood toward the United States:

ElonMusk: The public should be made aware of this

Cartoonist and author Scott Adams adds: “We are literally importing poverty.”  Poverty isn’t all.  We’re also importing illness, social disorder, political disfunction, and more.

Americans, of all people, should not be anti-immigration, and legitimate arguments exist across multiple intellectual disciplines over how regulated it ought to be, but we’re not having those discussions.  Led by the Biden administration, Democrats are pretending this massive influx is not happening, or at least cannot be controlled, which means we’re not adequately preparing or handling it appropriately. This justifies beliefs, like mine, that the illegal immigration is being permitted to happen (even encouraged) for some ulterior motive, like political dominance for Democrats or clients for the administrative state.

That context makes me wonder if the strange hostility we’ve been seeing in Rhode Island toward Mike Flynn and, more broadly, Donald Trump, and their supposed “treason” is a quasi-deliberate movement to own the term, “treason,” and undermine its power, making it more difficult for Americans to articulate what it means that Democrats are betraying our country.

Progressives took over academia and journalism to rewrite facts and history.

I wondered, the other day, whether young Americans are so much ignorant of history as they are indifferent to the truth.  Here’s another shocking datapoint in that set:

JGreenbergSez: So…
@cbinkley
 and 
@ByMoriah
…can either of you explain what this means?

Following the trail of links suggests that the culprit is not ignorance or, for that matter, indifference.  This is part of an approach.  A filmmaker (presumably of an activist bent) made a film about a document apparently by the lieutenant governor in Massachusetts Bay, and an AP “reporter” presented it in a way designed to solidify and expand the impression that it was widespread and the simplistic impression that aggression was entirely one way (rather than part of the jumble of people during more-violent times).   Now, other AP “reporters” take the next step by defining “scalping” as a practice “taken up by white colonists,” expanding the impression once again.  The next step will be to remove the already tenuous hint that the colonists might have initiated the practice to advance the rewritten history that all evil comes from white men, and everybody else is innocent or, at worst, merely reacting to white aggression.

Keep your printed history books, folks.  We may not be far off from the possibility of tracing these claims back through history as we move increasingly on the shifting sands of the Internet.

The government insider merry-go-round.

John DePetro and I discussed this a few weeks ago, but the topic is worth a short, written note, too, because the vignette presents too perfect a lesson:

While tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders were stuck in traffic for upwards of three to four hours, Governor Dan McKee was attending a political fundraiser for Rhode Island Department of Transportation Chief of Staff John Igliozzi on Tuesday night. …

The fundraiser was held at “The Social” at 1449 Mineral Spring Avenue in North Providence. Igliozzi is expected to run for Rhode Island Attorney General in 2026.

Igliozzi, who is following family tradition in his involvement in Rhode Island government, was a long-time member of the Providence City Council and became its president when Sabina Matos took the appointment to fill Dan McKee’s lieutenant governor position, when he took the appointment to fill Gina Raimondo’s gubernatorial seat, when she took the appointment to work in the Biden White House.

Our state government is filled with such people.  There is nothing wrong with building such a life; indeed, from some perspectives, it could be seen as a life of dedication to the city and state.  However, when that culture becomes too entrenched, and when there is no opposing set of insiders in another party to throw randomness and cooperation into the system, it’s a problem.

Thus, during a time of infrastructure calamity resulting from poor government services, the governor is at a fundraiser for a guy who notched up the insider ladder along with him a few years ago, who is a leader in the department that had just experienced such a massive failure, and who is preparing to take another horse in the state government merry-go-round… and there’s nobody in a political position to give Rhode Islanders a way to have an electoral say on the matter.

Rising tide floods a city

Politics This Week: High Tide for Special Interests

John DePetro and Justin Katz discuss unions, immigration, infrastructure, borrowing, and other ways special interests profit from government.


A 1950s coach has a bad idea

Politics This Week: RI Pols Put the Exploitation in “Team”

John DePetro and Justin Katz review the ways in which RI’s self-appointed “coach” and self-presumed captains manipulate the “team” of Rhode Islanders.

Toy General Lee car drives up a book open to be a ramp

The Confederate Flag and Irony

Reactionary responses to Nikki Haley’s comments about the Confederate flag show the irony of progressive ideology.

Sketch of Disaster Dan Sitcom

Politics This Week: RI’s Undeclared Disaster

John DePetro and Justin Katz go over the slow-rolling perpetual disaster of RI politics and government.

Man with a knife sneaks up behind a Republican girl

Politics This Week: The Danger of Political Innocence

John DePetro and Justin Katz detail gaps in political awareness in RI.

Government insiders play in a snowfall of cash

Politics This Week: Snowfall of Favors

John DePetro and Justin Katz trace the disconnect between what Rhode Island needs and what its politicians keep supplying.

An old man contemplates a pit expanding to consume a city

Politics This Week: Distracted by Disaster

John DePetro and Justin Katz lament the lack of focus on the basics in RI government and media.

Children dance near a burning RI State House

Politics This Week: RI Bridges Falling Down

John DePetro and Justin Katz wonder whether Rhode Island can withstand deterioration with its current leadership.

A visual representative of bureaucracy blocks access to a highway

Johnston’s unreachable neighborhood illustrates the problem with insider-ocracy.

Johnston’s challenge gaining access to a neighborhood during emergencies exposes several problems of RI’s way of doing things.

A 1950s coach has a bad idea

Politics This Week: RI Pols Put the Exploitation in “Team”

John DePetro and Justin Katz review the ways in which RI’s self-appointed “coach” and self-presumed captains manipulate the “team” of Rhode Islanders.

Toy General Lee car drives up a book open to be a ramp

The Confederate Flag and Irony

Reactionary responses to Nikki Haley’s comments about the Confederate flag show the irony of progressive ideology.

Ripples
We need to ask the “and so” of healthcare principles.

When I see statements like the following (from a former Bernie Sanders surrogate, in this case), my reaction is usually, “Fair enough, but then what”?

DrDooleyMD: Insurance denying things because they say it’s “not medically necessary.”  

Like, I’m the doctor, not you.  I said it’s necessary.  Medically.  

WTH are you talking about? 

We just let Big Insurance practice medicine without a license and that’s not okay.

So what’s the alternative?  If we move toward the single-payer, government-managed system Dr. Dooley likely supports, then it’ll be politicians and bureaucrats rather than doctors.  And even in the case of doctors, if other people are going to be made to pay for people’s healthcare, how do we ensure that doctors are not driven by ideology or some other non-medical incentive?  They’re human, too.

“Just make it so” just does not work.

Here’s a quick lesson younger Americans should learn.

A truism about government used to be heard periodically:  A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.  That saying’s a bit dark, though, and makes its point in an extreme way that younger Americans who’ve been raised with an implicit trust of big government might reject out of hand.

Here’s a milder version that everybody should at least consider:  If the government provides you services and pays for all your needs but makes your life more difficult and takes more of your wealth, the only thing that changes is your dependency on government.

Of course, the unspoken bargain in the minds of many who support larger government is that they will get more of what they need at the expense of other people who don’t need what they have.  For now, however, simply encouraging thought about tradeoffs would be a helpful step.

Oh, it’s just the speaker buying votes.

As business-as-usual as it may be, we shouldn’t become numb to Rhode Island’s base-level corruption, as Democrat House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi demonstrates here:

JoeShekarchi: I was very proud to help support the Warwick Junior Hockey Association - @RIJrBlues, which will be hosting its first annual Winter Classic. Mite teams will face off at the Bank Newport rink in downtown Providence.

Charitable contributions are wonderful, but this photograph raises some questions.  Is that his official State House office?  Is that a personal check, a gift from his campaign, or a taxpayer-funded legislative grant?  What’s with the attached business card?  Was this a donation or a transaction?

It’s difficult to speak out as if against donations to children’s sports leagues, but that’s an indication of the evolved cleverness of the corruption, not the importance of doing so.  A state in which his sort of thing was considered inappropriate would be far less corrupt across the board.

The problem is teachers’ contempt for their role.

The quotation John pulls from the article is worth highlighting:

JohnDePetroShow:  “A lot of districts that have contracts coming up are thinking about what this means if the unions are becoming more militant, if they’re not afraid of a judge, if they’re not afraid of being held in contempt, and if they think it can get them more,”

The disregard of the law is only an incremental worsening of the problem.  Teachers’ going on strike (especially for crass considerations like even higher pay and benefits) has always seemed shocking to me and one of the reasons their unionization seems wholly inappropriate.  If they don’t care about the harm that their unions do to children, why should they care about the law?

Our institutions are guided by primitive and simplistic racism

I used to spend time pointing out the problem with this sort of bean-counting racism (and sexism), but it hardly seems interesting anymore.  The findings aren’t meant to indicate anything real; they’re simply intended to promote a simple-minded ideology.  We can see this in the fact that the conclusions only ever point in one direction.  If there are more white people than their portion of the population, that’s bad.  On the other hand, if there are more women or minorities than the population would suggest, that’s good.

It’s heads we win, tails you lose.

DanMcGowan: URI's staff and faculty is 84.9 percent white, according to the university's affirmative action report.

In an intelligent, non-superstitious, egalitarian world bureaucrats would be embarrassed to publish such reports, and journalists would be embarrassed to promote them.  Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world, and I suppose as people like me tire of pointing out the obvious, younger generations will simply accept the propaganda as facts… until they realize they’ve been swindled.