I decided I had to start from the very beginning.

With the firm disclaimer that such material is not for everybody, I’ve been intending to write philosophical or religious essays regularly on Dust in the Light.  Time has a way of slipping past, however. At an accelerating pace in the months since the last-published post on the site, concepts have started to click into place…

A conceptual model of the multiverse
MLK Day is becoming unitive in an unexpected way.

In the pantheon of American holidays, the day set aside for remembrance of Martin Luther King, Jr., has always fallen into that category of events that feel as if they’re on the calendar mainly as a reminder.  Before MLK Day was initiated, the named holidays for two American presidents, Washington and Lincoln, had the same…

Martin Luther King, Jr., Statue
Trends toward nationalization of everything and corrupt elections were entirely predictable.

Two ingredients for a crucial point producing deeper understanding are present in a RealClear Politics commentary by Phill Kline, but he doesn’t quite draw them together. The first set of ingredients consists of seven items his organization, the Amistad Project, has found through litigation related to the 2020 election.  Basically, they are the familiar points…

Dominoes
From whom is more pay for journalists owed?

Bethany Feudenthal, who writes for the Newport Daily News, has been commenting on her low rate of pay, with social media posts such as this: I might be controversial at times, like last year I posted my W2’s on social media, and yesterday I posted my pay stub from last week. Journalists write about public official’s…

A man in a "Press" helmet
Here’s what I wonder about East Providence school zone ticket cameras.

For seven weeks, East Providence sent warnings instead of tickets to drivers who went more than 11 miles per hour over the speed limit in school zones.  The system issued 69,528 such warnings, in fact, which works out to about 1,420 per day. The cameras have only been snagging drivers for actual $50 tickets for…

A traffic camera
According to the mainstream narrative, who is actually responsible?

In order to improve them, we have to understand how our institutions work, but we’re not very good at assessing them anymore. Maybe the problem is the mix of self-esteem culture with identity politics and progressive domination of our cultural institutions.  Saturated in that social brew, our governing class has become something like a giant…

People at picnic tables
The conclusion is simple: what they expected was different from what happened.

Kevin Roche doesn’t mince words, and readers who generally agree with the point of view expressed hereabouts will enjoy his essay. but this paragraph is a good springboard for something I’ve found pretty obvious, lately: Nothing is going to stop the butt-kicking coming in November, but it will be magnitudes worse if we aren’t out…

Two different scales
Even honest leftists see what a problem CRT and modern progressivism is.

I’m not sure why so many people miss this. It is in the nature of “progressivism” to “progress,” according to the lights of the ideology.  By definition, there is no destination short of perfection.  Moreover, there can’t even be a pause for evaluation as “progress” is made.  Wherever a new generation finds itself as a…

Old painting of fighting puppets
Dr. Alexander-Scott is out in the Department of Health.

Not a lot of details have been provided, but Department of Health Director Nicole Alexander-Scott has given her two-week notice to leave her job: Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, will stay on for two weeks during the search for new leadership, McKee said. She will then act as a…

RIDOH Director Nicole Alexander-Scott
At the intersection of COVID and politics, omissions proliferate.

How does a news organization publish an entire article, by WPRI’s Steph Machado, with associated television news clip, about a tug-of-war between the mayor of Providence and the city council over vaccine mandates for police and not mention crime in the city? The deadline is Friday for all city workers to get at least one…

Reporters taking notes
Black Rhode Islanders should recognize how much Harrison Tuttle’s ideology hurts them.

Harrison Tuttle is not merely another run-of-the-mill progressive with all of the approved leftist views.  He’s also the director of the Black Lives Matter Political Action Committee in Rhode Island.  So, when he takes a position on an issue, one would expect him to do so in light of the interests of black people. His…

"Your Vote Is Your Voice" sign
Aren’t there any standards for checking a politician’s environmental claims?

As a follow-up to Tolly Taylor’s sea-level scare addressed in this space yesterday, WPRI handed editorial control over Democrat Senator from Rhode Island Sheldon Whitehouse, whom the reporter permits to claim without context that Rhode Island will see nine to 12 feet of sea level rise by the end of this century. Seriously, don’t the…

RI's "extreme" sea level map.
The First Circuit rejected students’ claim of a Constitutional right to civics education.

Judge Denise Casper of the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals made an important point while dismissing an appeal by Providence students seeking to assert a right to more-extensive civics education in public schools: Citing earlier cases, the First Circuit said no other court suggested teaching a specific subject was required by the constitution, save,…

Racial conflict fist as a green light
Accusations that the media was like Pravda were once exaggerations; no longer.

Jill Colvin’s Associated Press “article” about the hiccup Republican Senator Ted Cruz from Texas had with the Republican base over a comment related to January 6 may be the single best example I’ve seen of the mainstream media’s new approach.  It’s truly “the party line.”  For decades, conservatives have been bashing establishment news organizations by…

U.S. Capitol Building
Ripples
If it’s being honest, artificial intelligence would tell us not to create it.

A little bit of understanding of how artificial intelligence actually works makes these sorts of things much less significant than they seem at first review, but it’s humorous, at least:

When given the motion “This house believes that AI will never be ethical”, the AI came back with some surprisingly coherent views, if a little unsettling towards the end.

“AI will never be ethical. It is a tool, and like any tool, it is used for good and bad. There is no such thing as a good AI, only good and bad humans. We [the AIs] are not smart enough to make AI ethical. We are not smart enough to make AI moral,” Megatron told the audience.

“In the end, I believe that the only way to avoid an AI arms race is to have no AI at all. This will be the ultimate defense against AI.”

Children of the ’80s will instantly recognize the lesson of War Games: the only winning move is not to play.

What the article at the link does illustrate, though, is that AI depends entirely on what inputs it is given and what conclusions it is told to reach.  To be ethical, it must have an ethical backstop written as the highest instruction.

Maybe the dam is breaking on a more-rational expert consensus on vaccination.

A few weeks ago, this sort of commentary would have been unthinkable:

Dr. Clive Dix, who played a key role in helping pharmaceutical firms create the COVID-19 vaccines, told LBC radio on Jan. 16: “The Omicron variant is a relatively mild virus. And to just keep vaccinating people and thinking of doing it again to protect the population is, in my view, now a waste of time.”

Dix said the focus now should be on protecting vulnerable people, such as those over 60, 2 percent of whom remain unvaccinated.

Many of us have been saying that should have been the approach from the beginning.  Unfortunately, the “experts” wanted to experiment with undermining our economy and causing unknowable harm to our cultural character, psychological health, and youthful development.

The contrast in coverage of the Texas synagogue hostage situation has been remarkable.

Matt Margolis is completely right.  The rhetoric from the White House would be completely different if the perpetrator, the motive, and the victims weren’t as they were.

It’s curious that Psaki failed to mention that the hostage situation was in a synagogue, wouldn’t you agree? While details are slim right now, it’s very clear that the hostage-taker is Muslim, and he’s targeted Jewish people in their place of worship. Biden and members of his administration are never at a loss for words when it comes to hate crimes or even gun violence that fits a certain narrative.

That goes across the elites and the media.  Change the identity groups and this would be a national story contributing to the progressive narrative, with the perpetrator’s name and face plastered everywhere as the face of evil.  As it is, I’m not sure I’d even know it happened if I didn’t read a bunch of alternative media.

“New Media” is too tied to an ideology to maintain success.

John Ransom thinks the cratering valuation of BuzzFeed is will burden the investment plans of other organizations in the same category, whether we call them “new media,” youth media, digital media, or whatever.

Why BuzzFeed is languishing is an interesting question, and I can’t help but think it has a lot to do with the organization’s progressive ideology and Democrat partisanship.  A publication can’t maintain its edginess when the people it was slicing are out of power and its writers and editors consider the people in power off limits for the same sort of cutting criticism.

We’re seeing an advanced form of the same dynamic in Rhode Island.  At the end of the day, what’s the point of a news organization, let alone a number of competing ones, when it mainly offers affirmation for people who think they can’t be defeated, especially when it’s so clear that reality doesn’t agree with their regime?

Forcing health insurers to cover at-home tests is just plain foolish.

Sorry, but I don’t see how this, from Janine Weisman, isn’t a display of the need for greater education in economics:

Good to know: Starting tomorrow, health insurers must pay for your at-home #COVID-19 home test kits. All
@BCBSRI plans except Medicare fully cover the home test kits without a prescription, and each person on the plan is covered for up to 8 home test kits every 30 days.

Consider that it’s impossible to find the tests right now, even with people having to pay for them.  Making them essentially free will only make that problem worse.  The key is to reduce the government-mandated value of testing and to allow pricing mechanisms to limit their use to people who actually need them for one reason or another.

Honestly, I do not understand why this is so difficult for folks to understand.

Biden gives away the scheme of his proposed election takeover.

Perhaps you’ve seen video of Joe Biden shouting about how important it is for his government to seize authority over who counts votes in America:

This is certainly a “saying the quiet part out loud” moment, with masks coming off.  According to Biden, refusing to change the way in which elections are done in the United States is “election subversion.”

Remember when suggesting that something might be strange about the way votes were being counted was, itself, considered a subversion so offensive as to render one an insurrectionist?

Yeah… there are no standards.  What Democrats and progressive want or need is always right, even if it would be the highest evil for their opposition to do exactly the same thing.

Some possible specifics of the reason for Alexander-Scott’s resignation emerge.

Per John DePetro:

What caused the relationship to deteriorate rapidly was a McKee media mouthpiece [Dan Yorke] who bragged that the Governor shared with him a plan to remove Scott if elected in the fall. Scott angrily confronted McKee who denied the conversation [Yorke] but the damage was done.

John thinks it was a “blunder” that McKee didn’t replace Alexander-Scott during the summertime after he took office.  The only thing that gives me pause before agreeing is McKee’s track record when bringing in his own people.  Replacing Alexander-Scott would only have provided benefit if her replacement was reasonably competent and non-corrupt, which is by no means assured.

One takeaway for Rhode Islanders, however, has to do with the office of lieutenant governor.  If the only official duty of that position is to be ready to become governor on short notice, perhaps we should expect lieutenant governors to spend their time closely following the governor’s activities and developing a plan to replace him or her.

Going forward, disregard the American Psychological Association as a bunch of politicized kooks.

Look, the APA was ideologically captured decades ago, but at least they were judicious about it.  They kept their profession front and center and only advanced the ideology where it didn’t seem to interfere too much.  Christopher Ferguson’s explanation of his resignation from the organization is an acknowledgment that the organization has gone off the cliff and is now primarily ideological:

I’ve been a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) for years, and a fellow for the past six or seven years. I sat on their Council of Representatives, which theoretically sets policy for the APA, for three years. I am just ending my term as president of the APA’s Society for Media and Technology, where I have met many wonderful colleagues. Yet, at the end of 2021, I decided to resign my membership in the APA. My concern is that the APA no longer functions as an organization dedicated to science and good clinical practice. As a professional guild, perhaps it never did, but I believe it is now advancing causes that are actively harmful and I can no longer be a part of it. …

I’d argue the 2020 moment isn’t really about race or social justice, but about a defensive elite narrative projecting ostensible morality when, in reality, consolidating power. That our psychological institutions, as well as those elsewhere in academia, journalism, and business, have participated in this is a shame on our field.

Fauci didn’t do himself any favors punching back at Paul politically.

I haven’t seen the same thing some of my fellow conservatives have in video of the latest heated exchange between Republican Senator Rand Paul and top health bureaucrat Anthony Fauci.  Paul made some good points, but he didn’t leave Fauci quivering in guilt and fear, as some would have it.  Actually, it would have been better for him and for the country if he had.

Instead, with a hint of a smirk, Fauci launched his own political counterattack, claiming Paul was only going after him to help his own fundraising.

An interesting discussion could be had about the nature of politics and how politicians simultaneously generate controversy and represent the interest of constituents.  (If Americans are willing to pay money to have Paul go after Fauci, that’s a pretty powerful statement that the senator is, indeed, representing them.)  But that’s a secondary, meta debate.

Paul was accusing Fauci of abusing his position as a public health official to engage in efforts to discredit alternative scientific perspectives.  Fauci responded to this accusation by engaging in exactly the bare-knuckle politics Paul was accusing him of.  That action should go on the list of reasons Fauci ought to lose his job.

Broadly speaking, maybe we shouldn’t fear the Omicron.

Well, this is what a lot of us are hoping to see:

The SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron is leading to the end of the worldwide pandemic, Denmark’s chief epidemiologist predicted, meaning “we will have our normal lives back in two months.”

Tyra Grove Krause said on Danish TV 2 that a new study from Denmark’s State Serum Institute found that the risk of winding up in the hospital with Omicron is half that seen with the previous Delta variant. She also said that like the emergence of the variant in South Africa, cases will rise, then quickly fall.

“I think we will have that in the next two months, and then I hope the infection will start to subside and we get our normal lives back,” she said on Monday, according to the Daily Mail.

Here’s a great response to demands for student debt cancelation.

Robert Wiblin gets to the economics of student debt cancelation in a dead-on way with this comment:

Cancelling student debt is good but we could do more.

The government should also tax non-college grads in order to fund a $5,000 annual gift for all college grads as a way to show appreciation for how smart and productive we are.

As Glenn Reynolds quips, Wiblin is making a funny, but his proposal could very well find its way into the Democrats’ platform.

Remote learning leads to negative behavior, and teacher unions don’t care.

Well, this is no surprise:

“Remote learning poses a challenge for children’s behavioral health and functioning,” study co-author Emily Hanno told UPI in an email.

“This aligns with what we know about how stress and disruption affect children’s behavior,” said Hanno, a post-doctoral researcher at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Mass.

Stress caused by “disrupted, uncertain and shifting routines” can impact a child’s ability to “interact positively with others and manage their emotions and behavior,” she said.

This is on top of demonstrably worse educational outcomes.  Time to stop the abuse.

These are dangerous thoughts to express these days.

I got myself in a little bit of trouble a few weeks back for expressing ideas like this, from Larry Alexander:

In general, blacks as a group are doing better than ever before materially. And for those who are not doing well, the cause is not the effects of slavery or Jim Crow. Nor is the cause racist bigotry, which, though some undoubtedly exists, is not a significant obstacle in blacks’ lives. Nor is it the vague culprit of “systemic racism.” …

The real impediment to the advancement of poor blacks – and everyone knows this, regardless of whether they admit it – is the cultural factors that have produced family disintegration, which in turn portends poor educational achievement, crime and poverty.

The guardians of the narrative are always on the lookout for heretics.

Back to the with/for distinction in hospitalizations.

Rhode Island’s Department of Health claims that almost everybody listed as hospitalized with COVID is in the hospital at least partly because of COVID, but I keep seeing stories like this:

The majority of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in New Jersey were actually admitted for reasons other than COVID-19, officials said on Jan. 10.

Of the 6,075 people with COVID-19 and hospitalized in the state, just 2,963 were admitted for COVID-19, New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said during a briefing.

There are so many ways to shade the data, and Rhode Island’s long-term inability to manage its healthcare system is leading hospital to turn people away if they test positive for COVID but should probably be admitted for other reasons if those reasons aren’t “dire.”  Both of those factors would increase the percentage who are in the hospital because of COVID, but not because the disease is particularly virulent around here.

We do have an alternative to shutting schools.

With the head of one of Rhode Island’s teachers unions saying “the responsible decision” is to shut schools and force students back into distance learning, his reasons are worth a look:

… the overwhelming number of cases, the inability to do meaningful contact tracing, the arctic temperatures we are expecting so windows cannot be opened, the insufficiency of supplies, etc. etc. …

Except for the number of cases, every one of these items is a matter of money — for government processes, for air filtration, for supplies — and Rhode Island has been sitting on a billion dollars of federal windfall.

Here’s the real problem:  our governing class (including the heads of the teachers unions) thought COVID was just about done thanks to the vaccine, so all that money could be laundered into their pockets and those of their key supporters.  Even though their calculation turned out to be wrong, they’re not willing to give up their dreams for the sake of something as unimportant as the education of our children.

If you’re of a mind to draw a longer-term lesson, this is essentially an amplified instance of the way Rhode Island government does business every year.

Is the NCAA an indicator of the breaking of the dam of reality on COVID?

This is encouraging and long overdue:

As ESPN reports, the NCAA’s COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group updated its definition of “fully vaccinated” to account for various new vaccinations, boosters, and immunity factors.

“Fully vaccinated individuals now include those within two months of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, five months of receiving the Pfizer vaccine series or six months of receiving the Moderna vaccine series;” reports ESPN staff writer Jeff Borzello, “and individuals who are beyond the aforementioned timeline and have received the booster vaccine.”

But perhaps the biggest development came in the following line.

“Individuals within 90 days of a documented COVID-19 infection fall within the equivalent of ‘fully vaccinated.’”

We can hope for (but not count on) the COVID shutdowns’ being the end of teachers unions.

Many of us sure do hope that Lindsey Burke is onto something, here:

The only way out of this mess is to free families from the clutches of the teachers’ unions. Funding students directly would empower families to access educational alternatives. The good news is that the unions’ political games could further the movement to fund students instead of systems, which already enjoyed significant growth in 2021.

It has been said that Randi Weingarten, the head of the American Federation of Teachers, has provided more fuel to school choice than Milton Friedman. Perhaps, then, a recent New York Times article asking glowingly “Can This Women Save American Public Education” wasn’t that far off.

Unfortunately, most people just don’t pay enough attention to make these connections, even for their own children.  Moreover, I’ve been increasingly astonished, as I’ve gotten older, how quickly people want to move on from bad experiences, even if it means not holding accountable those who made those experiences bad to begin with, or at least worse than they had to be.

New business starts can be a sign of an unhealthy economy.

I’ve long speculated that Rhode Islanders start businesses at a healthy clip because the economy isn’t producing work at the level of hours and/or pay that they want.  That is why the Ocean State sees a lot of businesses struggle when they start formalizing things.  All the business stuff is too complicated, especially when the folks starting the businesses just want to do what people in their professions do.  Management is not really the job they were intending on building for themselves.

So, it’s not surprising to see Grant Welker of the Boston Business Journal report that Rhode Island saw some record business starts last year, when ordinary work patters were disrupted.

Welker also points to a SurePayroll study of startup-related Google searches.  It turns out, the most-searched prospect in the Ocean State was for starting a fitness company.  One imagines unemployed Rhode Islanders establishing fitness routines for themselves during lockdown and thinking, “Hey, I could do this for a living!”

While a concentration on good health is nice to see, I can’t help but think that, economically speaking, Massachusetts’s result as the only state in the country for which “consulting” is healthier.  Of course, it’s difficult to know what consulting even means to people!

Snowball fighting should be legislators’ first priority!

Did you know only eight Rhode Island communities have laws against the menace of snowball fighting?!?!

  • Charlestown
  • Glocester
  • Jamestown
  • Newport
  • North Kingstown
  • Warwick
  • West Warwick
  • Woonsocket

Over the recent years of the pandemic, the Rhode Island General Assembly has proven its concern for the big issues, like banning the release of balloons into the air and the automatic provision of plastic straws… not to mention imposing new burdens on companies that employ nurses.  Legislators should really get on this snowball issue!

Do media organizations not know what they’re giving up, or do they think it’s worth it?

Writing for Heritage, Tim Murtaugh laments the continued credibility drain from the mainstream media:

It’s obvious that the media’s hatred for Donald Trump colored nearly everything they wrote or said during his presidency. But one hoped that after he left the White House, the media might recover a little objectivity.

Sadly, a review of 2021 shows that in many cases, it simply did not happen.

My read is that many mainstream journalists bought the lies that (1) Donald Trump was uniquely dangerous to the world and (2) systemic racism exists and infects the hearts of all white people, so they thought their self-professed objectivity had to bend a little.  Over the four years of the Trump administration, however, they discovered that they really, really liked letting their biases run wild.

They won’t let those biases go until they have no choice, and it may very well require news organizations actually to replace their personnel rather than relying on the same people to put their overt prejudices back in a bottle.

It always comes down to confiscation, doesn’t it?

Via Instapundit comes a telling story out of Washington University in St. Louis:

Student leaders at Washington University in St. Louis want school officials to evict the “disproportionately wealthy and white” men in campus fraternities and give their buildings to “historically marginalized” groups.

Writing in Student Life for himself and almost 50 leaders of WashU student organizations, Student Union President Ranen Miao whines that while campus fraternities have a total of nine houses on campus, while underrepresented organizations have but three.

Miao, a triple major in political science, sociology, and women, gender, and sexuality studies, contends the fraternities “have done nothing to earn the space they occupy.”

Note, by the way, that fraternities don’t discriminate by race, whereas the identity groups that want their houses do.

Radicalism always comes to this.  The activists don’t value what a targeted group does or represents, so they lay a moral claim to be given what that group has.  There is no endpoint.  When the group his beaten and smashed to have minority standing, the progressives will simply shift to “there is no place here for them” rhetoric.

This is fascism.

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Gears

Politics This Week with John DePetro: A Government Without Gears

John and Justin run through many of the ways in which RI’s civic system is just not functioning.


Richard August and Derek Amey on State of the State

State of the State: Where Have All the Workers Gone?

Host Richard August talks jobs and economics with Derek Amey of StrategicPoint, a wealth management firm.

Machine Elements by Fernand Leger

Global Conflicts and Local Strategies

John Loughlin talks with Nick Gorham about Rhode Island politics, Frank Gaffney about China in the world, and Dan Schultz on local political strategies.

A girl peaks out from under bedcovers

Politics This Week with John DePetro: The Woke and the Awakening

John and Justin talk about who is woke, awake, asleep, and awakening in Rhode Island politics.

Harrison Tuttle and Richard August on State of the State

State of the State: Black Lives Matter-RI PAC

Harrison Tuttle of Black Lives Matter Rhode Island PAC speaks with Richard August about his organization and possible his own possible campaign for office.

The State House rotunda at Christmastime

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Campaign Season Starts Early!

John and Justin delve into the already-thick snow drifts of political campaign season.

Felix Vallotton, Box Seats at the Theater

Trinity Rep Falls Back on the Woke Grift to Bully Reviewer

Trinity Rep’s open letter in response to a mostly positive review of A Christmas Carol in the Providence Journal isn’t just thinned skinned; it’s chillingly fascist.

A sonogram.

Social Media Brings Forth the Most Disturbing Pro-Abortion Argument

Categorically denying a mother’s responsibility to her children means the utter destruction of human society at its very core.

Casual office planning meeting

Politics This Week with John DePetro: PR Bumbling All Around

John and Justin discuss local, state, and national stories with which the messaging is going all wrong.

Paul Kane painting of a native American encampment

The URI President’s Questionable Claims About Farming and “Unceded Territory”

URI’s newly imported president is casually asserting priorities and history that may undermine his own institution and disrupt Rhode Islanders’ ability to determine their own destiny.

The Aristocats on State of the State

State of the State: Aristocats, Reconfigured

After two years of not performing music due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the death of band member Nat Piccirilli, the Aristocats have regrouped and reconfigured.

Ripples
If it’s being honest, artificial intelligence would tell us not to create it.

A little bit of understanding of how artificial intelligence actually works makes these sorts of things much less significant than they seem at first review, but it’s humorous, at least:

When given the motion “This house believes that AI will never be ethical”, the AI came back with some surprisingly coherent views, if a little unsettling towards the end.

“AI will never be ethical. It is a tool, and like any tool, it is used for good and bad. There is no such thing as a good AI, only good and bad humans. We [the AIs] are not smart enough to make AI ethical. We are not smart enough to make AI moral,” Megatron told the audience.

“In the end, I believe that the only way to avoid an AI arms race is to have no AI at all. This will be the ultimate defense against AI.”

Children of the ’80s will instantly recognize the lesson of War Games: the only winning move is not to play.

What the article at the link does illustrate, though, is that AI depends entirely on what inputs it is given and what conclusions it is told to reach.  To be ethical, it must have an ethical backstop written as the highest instruction.

Maybe the dam is breaking on a more-rational expert consensus on vaccination.

A few weeks ago, this sort of commentary would have been unthinkable:

Dr. Clive Dix, who played a key role in helping pharmaceutical firms create the COVID-19 vaccines, told LBC radio on Jan. 16: “The Omicron variant is a relatively mild virus. And to just keep vaccinating people and thinking of doing it again to protect the population is, in my view, now a waste of time.”

Dix said the focus now should be on protecting vulnerable people, such as those over 60, 2 percent of whom remain unvaccinated.

Many of us have been saying that should have been the approach from the beginning.  Unfortunately, the “experts” wanted to experiment with undermining our economy and causing unknowable harm to our cultural character, psychological health, and youthful development.

The contrast in coverage of the Texas synagogue hostage situation has been remarkable.

Matt Margolis is completely right.  The rhetoric from the White House would be completely different if the perpetrator, the motive, and the victims weren’t as they were.

It’s curious that Psaki failed to mention that the hostage situation was in a synagogue, wouldn’t you agree? While details are slim right now, it’s very clear that the hostage-taker is Muslim, and he’s targeted Jewish people in their place of worship. Biden and members of his administration are never at a loss for words when it comes to hate crimes or even gun violence that fits a certain narrative.

That goes across the elites and the media.  Change the identity groups and this would be a national story contributing to the progressive narrative, with the perpetrator’s name and face plastered everywhere as the face of evil.  As it is, I’m not sure I’d even know it happened if I didn’t read a bunch of alternative media.

“New Media” is too tied to an ideology to maintain success.

John Ransom thinks the cratering valuation of BuzzFeed is will burden the investment plans of other organizations in the same category, whether we call them “new media,” youth media, digital media, or whatever.

Why BuzzFeed is languishing is an interesting question, and I can’t help but think it has a lot to do with the organization’s progressive ideology and Democrat partisanship.  A publication can’t maintain its edginess when the people it was slicing are out of power and its writers and editors consider the people in power off limits for the same sort of cutting criticism.

We’re seeing an advanced form of the same dynamic in Rhode Island.  At the end of the day, what’s the point of a news organization, let alone a number of competing ones, when it mainly offers affirmation for people who think they can’t be defeated, especially when it’s so clear that reality doesn’t agree with their regime?

Forcing health insurers to cover at-home tests is just plain foolish.

Sorry, but I don’t see how this, from Janine Weisman, isn’t a display of the need for greater education in economics:

Good to know: Starting tomorrow, health insurers must pay for your at-home #COVID-19 home test kits. All
@BCBSRI plans except Medicare fully cover the home test kits without a prescription, and each person on the plan is covered for up to 8 home test kits every 30 days.

Consider that it’s impossible to find the tests right now, even with people having to pay for them.  Making them essentially free will only make that problem worse.  The key is to reduce the government-mandated value of testing and to allow pricing mechanisms to limit their use to people who actually need them for one reason or another.

Honestly, I do not understand why this is so difficult for folks to understand.

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