Unions are like the modern version of the the Medieval Church.

Something about the way labor unions are acting in the United States these days reminds me of the Catholic Church during a phase when it was ripe for criticism.  From a Stephen Moore essay in The Epoch Times in April: Last week, the United Mine Workers of America union endorsed Biden’s energy policies. Yes, you read…

Cooling towers at Brayton Point
“Tax the rich” often merely means “tax the elderly.”

With inside-government special interests who profit from higher taxes engaging in expensive campaigns to (you guessed it) increase taxes, the Pioneer Institute in Massachusetts makes an important observation: National data from the U.S. Treasury Department show that the majority of taxpayers earning more than $1 million in a year did so only once over a…

Pickpocketing in Oliver Twist
As usual, the Left scandalizes on the Right what the Left is actually doing.

For a week or so, the big political scandal in Rhode Island involved government officials, journalists, and a talk radio host questioning whether South Kingstown mother Nicole Solas was in league with some national organization on the issue of Critical Race Theory (CRT).  The evidence suggests that she was not, but look how differently left-wing…

Flier for the Zinn Education Project day of action
Even things like “legacy admissions” to college can have unexplored benefits.

News that Colorado has become “the first state to ban ‘legacy admissions’ for higher education,” as the headline on an Epoch Times article by Isabel Van Brugen puts it, might justifiably inspire ambivalence: Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill (pdf) that puts an end to public higher education officials giving preference to candidates with familial relationships…

Students graduating from college.
Vaccinating kids and young adults is a decision in need of copious input.

One lesson of parenting — even of living life as an adult for a while — is that decisions are often complex bets based on incomplete information.  Such is the case with decisions about vaccinating children for COVID-19. On the “no” side is the plain fact that COVID-19 has proven relatively mild, even when detectable,…

Teenager gets vaccinated
When did America become the Land of Other People’s Money?

Many things are concerning about the homeless encampment in Providence that has been in the news lately and about the way the issue is being framed, but one thread that really sticks out is this, from Brian Amaral’s Boston Globe story: Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris, who represents the area, said Elorza should call a state of…

WPRI coverage of encampment
Barrington High School shows how “project-based civics” makes students left-wing activists.

Parents Defending Education has released the Barrington school department’s response to its Access to Public Records Act (APRA) request concerning some teachers’ encouraging students to testify on a bill that seeks to ban Critical Race Theory (CRT) in Rhode Island schools: It appears from the documents that the administration was completely unaware both that students…

Jennifer Bergevine's email to students
Anecdotes are becoming data when it comes to anti-Catholic (and similar) hate crimes.

Christopher Bedford records some signs of the trend for The Federalist: The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts said when they first started tracking anti-Catholic attacks in the Bay State five years ago, there was about one a year. Since then, they have steadily increased. In the past year, there have been 15 attacks — just…

Screaming hand graffiti
The straight-up racism of Marc Lamont Hill exposes a rhetorical trap.

On his Black News Tonight show, Marc Lamont Hill pressed Critical Race Theory (CRT) critic Chrstopher Rufo on an explicitly racist question, which Amanda Presigiacomo captured for The Daily Wire: “What do you like about being white?” Lamont Hill asked Rufo, after stating that “whiteness” is a “marker of power.” Rufo rejected the premise, noting that…

Marc Lamont Hill and Christopher Rufo
Encouraging stable nuclear families would be a good place to start curbing violence.

Politicians always have time to figure out new ways to restrict explicit rights, like the right to bear arms guaranteed in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  They spend considerably less time (if any at all) addressing the changes in our society that actually might reduce violence. Consider the following, from an Epoch Times commentary…

Family on the beach at sunset
McKee’s excuse for extending the state of the emergency isn’t very good.

In fact, when pressed for justification, Governor Dan McKee ends up illustrating how fully our government operates along lines of special interests. From an Alexandra Leslie article on WPRI: The governor said there were a few reasons behind the decision, including keeping certain opportunities extended to businesses in place, like allowing takeout beer, wine and…

Dan McKee on WPRI
Michigan is another area in which the dive into election fraud continues.

Sundance posts on The Conservative Treehouse about the quest of Michigan attorney Matthew DePerno to prompt an audit of Michigan’s election results: Matthew DePerno has been attempting to navigate lawsuits through the unfriendly court system in Michigan in an effort to expose electronic manipulation of the 2020 election that took place. The Michigan legislature do not…

2000 image of ballot inspector
Something tells me public opinion on solar farms is going to involve a lot of “oops, we shouldn’t have done that.”

The people of West Greenwich are not happy that the giant solar farm in their town has not met the “you can only see it from an airplane” standard, according to Tolly Taylor, on WPRI: “Does it meet the standard of you can’t see it anywhere but an airplane?” [Town Administrator Kevin] Breene said. “No….

Solar farm in North Smithfield
Rhode Islanders shouldn’t get used to state-of-emergency government all the time.

Yesterday, June 10, in the two-thousand and twenty-first year of our Lord, Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee, the first of his name, did sign and decree the “One Hundred and Sixty-Eighth Supplemental Emergency Declaration,” extending the state’s COVID-19 state of emergency for another month. As is typical, the declaration contains “whereas” clauses to offer information…

States with legislation to change emergency declarations
If you’re young, motivated, and moving, the best bet is to go elsewhere.

The clickbait part of move.org’s survey of people who’ve moved is the comparison of states, but that may not be very helpful.  It isn’t clear, for example, whether the ranking of moves on the map is entirely people who crossed borders or includes internal moves.  Indeed, a plurality of respondents moved within the same city….

Palette of moving boxes on a truck lift
An education lesson from Australia suggests two ways to improve a lot and quickly.

The headline from an Australia-focused article in The Epoch Times, by Rebecca Zhu, carries a lesson: “Increased School Funding Does Not Lead to Better Performance: Education Minister.”  Here’s the evidence Zhu provides: Over the last 10 years, the UK has cut spending, while achieving better results in reading, maths, and science. “In the past decade, the…

A white student looks away
If pension obligation bonds worked, governments wouldn’t need taxes.

In another must-read column for the Cranston Herald, Steven Frias applies his historian’s rigor to the step-by-step details of how Woonsocket’s experience with a pension obligation bond (which I mentioned a few weeks ago) managed to make its preexisting pension-fund disaster even worse while giving the two essential elements for a pension obligation bond to…

Hand throws giant die
Steve Ahlquist’s clear description of his progressive beliefs on homelessness is a valuable contribution to consider.

Too often our reaction to ideas with which we disagree is to mock them or to dismiss them from the conversation.  Although the impulse is understandable, and I’m certainly guilty of it, doing so is a mistake.  Listening is how we understand, not only as a check on our own biases, but also as a…

Homeless man "seeking human kindness"
Does Barack Obama realize how much he stokes division? Is it deliberate?

Obama has always had a talent for talking out of both sides of his mouth.  On one hand, as Nina Bookout catches for Victory Girls, he’ll say things like this, reminiscent of the Democrat convention speech that put him on the national political map: Right now, it’s easy to focus on what divides us, and there…

Chains on white skin
Here are some climate-change facts you may not know.

It’s interesting to see information like this, in the New York Post, coming from Steven Koonin, who was undersecretary for science in the Obama administration’s Department of Energy: … both research literature and government reports state clearly that heat waves in the US are now no more common than they were in 1900, and that the…

Liquid pouring into an invisible glass
It appears that NEA-RI is stalking South Kingstown.

Most people who pay attention to these sorts of things know that the South Kingstown school department has the dubious distinction of having as one of its governing school committee members, Sarah Markey,  an actual organizer from the National Education Association of Rhode Island (NEA-RI), which is the state-level union representing the district’s teachers.  That…

NEA-RI logo overshadows South Kingstown schools logo
If there was insignificant fraud, election audits would clear the air, wouldn’t they?

Curiously, for all the national news that makes its way into Rhode Island–based media, stories like this, from Paul Sperry of RealClearInvestigations, don’t seem to get much airing: When Fulton County, Ga., poll manager Suzi Voyles sorted through a large stack of mail-in ballots last November, she noticed an alarmingly odd pattern of uniformity in the markings…

Mail ballot envelope
We now return to the promotion of drag queens to children at libraries.

One of the silver linings of having most of the more-progressive precincts of the nation shut down (a silver lining more than offset by the rest of the storm, of course) was that it limited progressives’ access to other people’s children.  Thus, controversies over drag queen story hours were limited to related incidents, like the…

Ninny Nothin anti-Christian Sacred Heart
Maybe there are non-medical ways to address mental deterioration.

In the midst of a public health debates that seem to have become stuck in the ruts of political battles, it’s nice to be reminded of the advances that are being made.  Glenn Reynolds highlights one example from the City University of New York (CUNY) Advanced Science Research Center: Recent studies suggest that new brain…

A lighted brain sculpture
TCI is another area where our politicians are happy to be extremists to the detriment of Rhode Islanders.

Last week, an Australian news source noted how extreme Rhode Island politicians are when it comes to imposing mandates on companies that serve our elderly parents and grandparents.  Connecticut just put a big ol’ circle around another area in which Ocean State politicians are extremists without concern for the average resident, as Douglas Hook reports…

A man fuels his car
Taxpayer/voter advocates across RI should prepare to track local budgets very closely.

Over on Tiverton Fact Check, I’ve posted an estimate of the extra revenue the town government may find flooding in over the next year: Along with the increasing cacophony of birds and fireworks, we know we must be well into spring in Tiverton as one hears the familiar calls of the town-government budgeters:  “Raise taxes. We…

Upward line chart
Is somebody trying to make the fire at the speaker’s law office go away?

John DePetro writes that he’s in communication with a federal officer who claims Rhode Island and Warwick fire officials have been providing misleading information: According to a Federal officer, the Rhode Island Fire Marshall’s office mislead Federal officials as to the suspicious fire May 11 at the law office of House Speaker Joe Shekarchi. The…

Fire report
Competitive elections that avoid the downward spiral of radicalism have to be a decision of the voters.

A commentary piece by Richard Pildes, a Constitutional law professor at New York University, should resonate with Rhode Islanders: The dynamics and incentives for candidates running in competitive districts are dramatically different than those candidates face in safe districts. For competitive seats, candidates know they must win over enough voters in the center, who might…

Sinking ship statue in a Providence park.
South Kingstown bond mailer

A Start to Fixing South Kingstown Schools’ Misbehavior

Revelations about the source of student information for a political mailer in South Kingstown give hints of the statewide machine taxpayers have to resist.


Cut roots on a wall

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Systemic Avoidance of Root Causes

This week, John and Justin discuss homelessness, gun crime, and the common theme that activists and politicians don’t want to touch the real problems behind them both.

An Analytical Eye for Systemic Racism

Studies purporting to find evidence of “systemic racism” often miss the mark or, alternately, identify “systemic racism” for which progressive ideology is to blame and that Critical Race Theory (CRT) will only make worse.

A shush post at VisionLab

When Journalists Deride Requests for Public Access in Government

With their ideological bias, Rhode Island journalists don’t see themselves as aligned with those seeking public accountability regardless of worldview, but with the powerful seeking to impose their worldview on the powerless.

Colors in a bubble

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Blowing Progressive Bubbles in RI

This week, John and Justin discuss how Rhode Island media, politicians, and officials trip themselves and others up because they see the world from within bubbles.

A water mill on a river

Matos’s Census Lessons and the Formation of a “Company State”

RI Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos took to the pages of the Boston Globe to herald the state’s Census-count success as a model for the provision of services, but progressives like her are redefining the relationship of the people with their government.

Immigrant crossing sign with Discover Beautiful RI sign

Politics This Week with John DePetro: RI’s Most Important Residents

The weekly conversation about politics between John DePetro and Justin Katz digs into the trends and hidden meanings behind politics and policy in Rhode Island, raising the question of whether it’s all about replacing Rhode Islanders with immigrants.

The Tragedy of RIDE’s LEAP Report

A little bit of document sleuthing points to the possibility that the RI Dept. of Education’s Learning, Equity & Accelerated Pathways Task Force buried findings that might really challenge the status quo and improve Ocean State education for our children.

A burning car

Act on Climate and TCI: The Plan to Impoverish Rhode Island

Predictably, the Transportation and Climate Initiative is being proclaimed as the transportation sector’s component of the central plan that will allow Rhode Island to achieve its aggressive emissions reduction goals. But what should we make of the fact that it isn’t nearly harsh enough?

Battle of Altenesch

An Antecedent of Our Modern Witch Hunts

The extermination of the Stedinger in 1234 provides an historical analogy by which we “deplorables” can understand our predicament… hopefully producing a different outcome.

A man in black pulls strings on fingers

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Everybody’s Focused on the Other

The weekly conversation about politics between John DePetro and Justin Katz focused on the ways everybody is looking for excuses not to address our real problems.

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