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

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…

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

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…

Cooling towers at Brayton Point
Shadows cover the Rhode Island political 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…

A dark, empty Medieval marketplace
Toll Verdict – RI Highway Spending Sixth Highest BEFORE Truck Tolls

“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…

Fascists are descending on Cranston Public Library.

The links are profuse and not worth culling, but on social media, progressive fascists are agitating to disrupt and have cancelled an event the Independent Women’s Forum is presenting at the Cranston Public Library tonight.  The library released a statement that states the legal facts, but perhaps with a bit too much hesitance for the…

The Rhode Island Saga needs a hero.

The Rhode Island Saga, Post 2 When people begin thinking in a deliberate way about how to turn their ideas, capital, and effort into businesses (which they sometimes get around to years after they’ve started operations), I put the process in terms of a story. The hero of the story is, obviously, the person or…

A cartoon cottage
A (Small) Change in Emphasis: Moving from Observe to Orient in the OODA.

The Rhode Island Saga, Post 1 Somehow, I’d naively believed that my ridiculously busy summer would cool as the children returned to school and I overcame a few large projects.  New content from me on Anchor Rising has certainly been lacking, and I apologize for that, but more has simply not been possible. To recap:…

A floor chart spanning the floor and walls
By Standard of AGW Scientists, Futile for the United States to Abate Its Modest Greenhouse Gases

Did you know that the United States generates only 12.67% of human-made greenhouse gases (GHG), with the balance generated by all other countries? I sure didn’t, until I went looking for the figure. That’s not much talked about in the media, nor is the fact that at 94%, naturally generated greenhouse gases dwarf human’s contribution…

Elorza’s reparations head fake is telling.

Although families and individuals who can show a direct link to harm by a specific government entity should, of course, have recourse, the idea that a city, state, or country should broadly atone for the sins of the people who used to live there is wrong-headed even in concept — more so in a churning,…

Racial conflict fist as a green light
The administration is raiding the homes of political opponents as well as Catholic schools (in a sense).

Maybe my brain is excessively wired to see connections and patterns, but the raid on President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home and the Biden administration’s efforts to bully Catholic schools into promoting radical sexual ideology seem very much connected. Rod Dreher gets us most of the way there, in an essay titled “Trump & Our Late Roman…

A Christian mug with colored pencils and an apple
What’s up with gas demand?

The economic news is peculiar, lately.  Inflation is high, and the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) is shrinking.  Yet, government data shows a strong increase in payroll jobs in the most-recent month.  It’s difficult to know which side of that “yet” the following news supports, or whether it helps explain how all of the above…

Help wanted sign
RI Republicans must stop taking an apologetic stance.

As long as I’ve been paying attention to politics in Rhode Island, mainstream Republicans have given the impression that they are ashamed of their affiliation — that they just found the ruling Democrats to be so off-base and corrupt that they needed a different option, and the GOP was the only viable one.  This isn’t…

Allan Fung and Kevin McCarthy in Jamestown 2022
Just a little shift in perspective goes a long way on climate change fear.

An underappreciated risk laps at the legs of our advanced knowledge.  When people didn’t know why things were happening in the world around them or how to predict change, they just dealt with them.  They invested some energy in a relationship with gods in the hope of exerting some control on their environments, but mostly,…

A woman dances around a fire
Energy and the environment are not separate stories.

When discussing public policy, responsible politicians, journalists, and members of the public should never separate the issues of energy and the environment.  They are a single, nuanced, and extremely complicated issue.  Absent this imperative, Democrat Governor Dan McKee feels free to brag about his environmental policy thus … “Over last 16 months my administration has…

Cooling towers at Brayton Point
Ripples
The declassification saga illustrates one of Trump’s most intriguing qualities.

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.

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

… 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.

The Left can always pat its own back.

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?

Just a thought apropos events at the Cranston Library tonight.

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.)

Apparently shipping illegal immigrants around the country secretly in the middle of the night is the way to do it.

Remember when nobody cared that the Biden administration was dropping off illegal immigrants across the country in the middle of the night, including in Rhode Island?

You don’t have to look very hard to see that the Democrats and mainstream media are playing you.

It is a good reminder on Labor Day, though.

Today the most prominent themes among the flotsam on RI Twitter are hagiographic tweets about labor unions and reports about failing infrastructure in the Providence area with respect to water management.  Folks, thank the unions for the flooding, because the expense they’ve imposed on infrastructure in Rhode Island is largely to blame.  Ignoring this reality is among the central missions of our government and news media.

Just to head off the inevitable commentary…

… if you see people citing the strange flash flooding in the Providence area and Rt. 95 as evidence of “climate change,” ask them whether the blame mightn’t more reasonably land on government officials’ poor management of the infrastructure under their authority.

Monkeypox may prove the cost of woke restrictions on acceptable observations.

As local media sources have started to track instances of monkeypox in our area, I’ve wondered how many Rhode Islanders know that it is mostly (although not entirely) a venereal disease spreading mostly among gay men.  Except, as Rod Dreher points out, that’s not a fact to which we’re permitted to react:

Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner, writes in the NYT that monkeypox is about to become another huge public health failure. His reasons for that grim conclusion are sound, but not once does he mention that the authorities could easily and effectively respond in part by shutting down gay sex clubs. Gay men cannot fail; they can only be failed by public agencies.

The contrast with our still-recent experience with COVID is striking.  Dreher makes it concrete in the person of Luisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, who oversaw a tremendous shutdown of economic activity for COVID but won’t impose limits on the Southern Decadence Festival in light of monkeypox.

Of course, the two epidemics may be pointing to the same problem.  A major reason the COVID response was so invasive is that we didn’t allow ourselves to distinguish between groups of people whose demographics put them in different risk categories.  Either we all must suffer or no precautions may be taken.

This imperative may backfire on progressives in the long run.  After all, if we’re all going to be restricted and freed without distinction, the boundary for acceptable behavior for everybody will constrict.

We’ve entered the pervasive-rent-seeking phase of our nation’s decline.

Something about this story feels profoundly discouraging to me:

Forty Rhode Island business owners traveled to Washington D.C. last week as part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Summit to meet with hundreds of officials to discuss how to boost access to capital, child care and government contracting.

Katie Schibler Conn, owner of KSA Marketing in Warwick, was one of those participants that made the trek to D.C. and spoke with Rhode Island’s U.S. Senator Jack Reed and U.S. Rep. David Cicilline.

“Small business owner” should connote a sense of independence — of providing for one’s self, one’s family, and one’s employees.  It’s “yes, I built that!”  Running to government for cash and subsidized family services is rent seeking, which is very much like working for the government.

Don’t forget that legislative grants are still out there.

Rhode Island provides an excellent case study in how corruption works.  Elections aren’t stolen at the ballot box (except as a last resort).  Rather, corruption rigs the game at every opportunity — buying and coercing votes so that they don’t have to be stolen or manufactured.  The only way to stop this is to get the money out of politics, and the only way to do that is to get as much power out of politics as feasible.

The reminder for these thoughts was the Providence Journal’s searchable tool for legislative grants, which House and Senate leaders hand out to legislators if they behave so they can buy good will (i.e., votes) in their districts.  It looks like the Projo duplicated the data while setting up the tool, so check it against the House and Senate lists, but it’s instructive to look through the grants in your community.

Anybody else get the feeling we’re not hearing much about COVID because the long-term evidence isn’t good for the lock-down artists?

More data on COVID immunity over the long-term is not actually that surprising to people who looked at the data honestly a year or more ago:

“Effectiveness of primary infection against severe, critical, or fatal COVID-19 reinfection was 97.3 percent … irrespective of the variant of primary infection or reinfection, and with no evidence for waning. Similar results were found in sub-group analyses for those ≥50 years of age,” Dr. Laith Abu-Raddad of Weill Cornell Medicine–Qatar and colleagues said after studying long-term natural immunity in unvaccinated people.

That percentage is higher than the protection from COVID-19 vaccines, according to other studies and real-world data.

Swedish researchers, for instance, found in May that two doses of a vaccine were just 54 percent effective against the Omicron variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19.

As time goes on, the whole thing looks more and more like a moral panic stoked in the service of political advantage and to promote a cultural and ideological shift.  Did it work?  Well, that data may take longer to develop.

I’ve finally written another Dust in the Light essay.

My pace of writing for these essays is much slower than my usual.  In part, the reason is that my 2022 has simply been busier than I expected, and I haven’t been able to manage my Dust in the Light allotment of time every week.  In bigger part, however, the reason is that, as clear as the concepts are to me, putting them into words so as to be explanatory is difficult.  Such writing is very easy when the writer is simply proclaiming beliefs with the a priori assumption that readers have necessary knowledge and agreement.  It’s much more difficult if the intent is to make the case for original ideas to people who will probably think the writer is crazy.

Be my sanity whatever it may be, exploring these ideas feels like the capstone project of my life, so I’ll keep trudging along.  (I think the next three will flow more smoothly, but we’ll see!)

This time around, I move from my proposed model for reality, which carried through to the Multiverse, and describe how beings emerge conceptually, down to the level of human beings.

“The Way Young Lovers Do”…

… on Astral Weeks by Van Morrison has to be one of the greatest tracks ever recorded

A random thought on Billy Joel…

I listened to so much Billy Joel as a tween and teen that one could almost say he was something of a father figure for me (hey, don’t judge).  One of his songs just came up on my shuffle, inspiring me to check in BillyJoel.com, which I haven’t visited in years.  With a few exceptions, the photos reinforce an impression I’ve had since first watching the video of his millennium concert decades ago: he just never seems happy.  With some exceptions, the smile never seems to reach his eyes, as the saying goes.

I say this believing myself still to be in tune with his professional persona.  In interviews from the ’80s and ’90s, I completely got his somewhat cynical and sarcastic Tri-State Area sense of humor.  But somewhere around the year 2000, the down-to-Earth-getting-what-a-lark-this-all-is star thing shifted to a guy-who-reached-the-top-and-didn’t-find-something thing.

Maybe that’s why he hasn’t really done any original work since his classical album in 2001.

Trying to explain the Supreme Court ruling to a child.

What did they change?

Well, there was a rule that said mommies had to be allowed to kill their babies before they were born everywhere in the country, and the court said states could decide whether or not to keep that rule.

Why would mommies want to kill their babies?

Biden’s bike fall is a horrible harbinger for our country.

Naturally, the mainstream media is choosing to share video of Joe Biden falling on his bicycle in which you can’t see what actually happened.  Barstool Sports has the good clip:

It wasn’t even one of those stumbles that happens from time to time. The White House occupant just forgot how to get off the bicycle.

The people who installed this man have put the planet in cataclysmic danger.

What’s the supporter overlap between suicide-barriers and physician-assisted suicide?

This is probably a strange question to pose, but nonetheless, one wonders.  As the state government moves toward spending big money on suicide barriers that will inevitably change the aesthetic character of the bridges on which they’re installed, what is the belief system underlying our local culture?  Where do supporters for such things stand on, say, physician-assisted suicide?

I ask only because my sense is that our society is deeply confused exactly in the way that would spend money to stop people from killing themselves by jumping off bridges while also spending money for doctors to pull the fatal chemical trigger upon request.

Yes, we should probably expect Democrats to have a hard time nationally.

The political commentary crew on CNN pretty uniformly believes Democrats will experience a “trouncing” come November.  Well, look.  That’s what happens when you install a senile old man through questionable means, selling him (to the extent you bother to make the case at all) as a reasonable centrist even though the people who make decisions on his behalf are hardcore Marxists.  The truth is that a “trouncing” is too soft.  If we had a healthy civic society, the Democrat Party would be utterly wiped from the face of American politics… and quickly replaced by a new opposition to Republicans.

Social justice wokism is a means for elite self-righteousness.

To live in the shoreline suburbs of Rhode Island is periodically to encounter raw evidence that progressivism has gained its purchase here, at least in part, as a way for some of the most privileged people in human history to feel themselves even more superior while assuaging their own guilt by accusing those who are slightly (or even significantly) less privileged of holding the incorrect views, all in the name of “tolerance” and support for the disadvantaged.

A Wildly Disproportionate High School Top 10.

I just came across listings of the top 10 students from three Rhode Island high schools’ graduating classes.  At two of them, nine out of 10 of the students are girls.

Being generally against inferring bias based on disproportionate outcomes, I’m certainly open to the possibility that two nearby schools both having only a single boy on a top 10 list just happened to happen.  Take enough random samplings of any binary population, and you may get some that are this out of whack.

But, still… given everything we know about education and culture these days, the dismissive conclusion is hard to credit.  At the very least, we would do well to devote some thought to whether anything is contributing to these imbalanced results, particularly given the unusual events of the past few years.  For the third district, boys had the majority of the top 10 (seven versus three), and the fact that it’s the wealthiest of the three may provide useful information, as well.

We live in the world of “Doh!”

You may have seen this image on social media offered as evidence that Fox News is just propaganda:

In combination with other similar observations, this is why I’ve been feeling down today. People are actually insisting that the single television news outlet not promoting the same content as all the others is the one spreading propaganda. My goodness!  That is the opposite of how propaganda works and the opposite of why it’s dangerous!

We’ve reached the point that many people think a refusal to goosestep is fascism, which is a sure sign that fascism is making gains.

An empty suit

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

John DePetro and Justin Katz search for RI Democrats’ electoral case.


A blue eye and a green eye

Heroes have something new and different to offer.

The core difference of an alternative view for Rhode Island governance involves a different vision for what it means to balance cooperation and individual liberty.

Workers clear 9/5/22 flood waters

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Clearing the State’s Drains

John DePetro and Justin Katz discuss the many ways government is failing in Rhode Island and beyond.

A red bird isolated on a wire

Politics This Week with John DePetro: A Politics Built on Pariahs

John DePetro and Justin Katz discuss the harm of a political system so monolithic those who disagree are outcasts.

A man picks a path in the woods

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Incentives Gone Wrong

John DePetro and Justin Katz discuss the ways in which Rhode Island politics encourage or discourage candidates.

Rattlesnake warning sign

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

John DePetro and Justin Katz review the political and cultural wrestling in Rhode Island.

A race starting line

Politics This Week with John DePetro: The General Election Kicks Off

John DePetro and Justin Katz review the primary and set up the general election.

Dan McKee scowls at Eva Mancuso on primary night

McKee has been to the crossroads.

Rhode Islanders got another glimpse of Dan McKee’s true character on election night, and they should be filled with fear… and pity.

Don't Think, Don't Ask, Pay Tax, Vote for Us

Politics This Week with John DePetro: In Advance of the Primary

John DePetro and Justin Katz check in on Rhode Island politics in advance of the primary election.

A blue eye and a green eye

Heroes have something new and different to offer.

The core difference of an alternative view for Rhode Island governance involves a different vision for what it means to balance cooperation and individual liberty.

Workers clear 9/5/22 flood waters

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Clearing the State’s Drains

John DePetro and Justin Katz discuss the many ways government is failing in Rhode Island and beyond.

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

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.

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

… 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.

The Left can always pat its own back.

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?

Just a thought apropos events at the Cranston Library tonight.

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.)

Apparently shipping illegal immigrants around the country secretly in the middle of the night is the way to do it.

Remember when nobody cared that the Biden administration was dropping off illegal immigrants across the country in the middle of the night, including in Rhode Island?

You don’t have to look very hard to see that the Democrats and mainstream media are playing you.