The joke’s on us as RI officials fall into communist clichés.

Don’t let things like this slip under your awareness or your commentary, because plenty of Rhode Islanders have no experience or intellectual foundation to question the reporting: The R.I. Department of Health on Thursday ordered the owner of Roger Williams Medical Center and Our Lady of Fatima Hospital to take immediate steps to stabilize their…

A man in a suit yells at a brick wall
With Thanksgiving for our national inheritance, let’s turn away from the turmoil progressive division will create.

As we all prepare (if only nominally) to recall the gratitude we ought to feel for the establishment of the beacon of freedom into which we were born, with a specific nod to a moment of shared humanity on Thanksgiving, take a moment to play with a fancy interactive infographic Bloomberg published in September. The…

An colonial elite looks in a broken mirror while leaving the scene of an assault
“Clean Cars/Clean Trucks” Only Risks “Cleaning” Rhode Island of Dealerships and Tax Revenue

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports (Page 11) that as of the fourth quarter of 2022, Rhode Island has fifty dealerships that sell new cars.  Note that this figure does not include dealerships selling new trucks, new buses, new motor homes, new motorcycles, et etera. Governor Dan McKee’s proposed 2024 budget, Page 158 of…

The lessons of recent elections for RI Republicans remain clear.

Surprising absolutely nobody, Democrat Gabe Amo won the available Congressional seat in Rhode Island yesterday. For those who really get into local politics, the thrill of the bet in such races is predicting whether the Republican will come in closer to 30% or closer to 35%.  Gerry Leonard hit the 35%, so congratulations to him….

Mail ballot envelope
The University of Rhode Island isn’t exactly representing the spirit of Roger Williams in the Ocean State.

Although it no-doubt reveals my prejudices, if I were to rank Rhode Island’s handful of institutions of higher education on matters of freedom of thought, I’d expect Brown University — the Ivy League bastion of the elites  and producer of the likes of Aaron Regunberg and Tiara Mack — to top the list of badness. …

A scared white, male college student with his mouth covered threateningly from behind
Hard not to conclude Councilor Miguel Sanchez will approve of political killings in the United States.

Providence Democrat City Councilor Miguel Sanchez has been catching some deserved flack for marching with the anti-Israel rally in Providence over the weekend (although the criticism is coming from people who don’t exist within the awareness of Rhode Island power): If local journalists weren’t so intent on not paying attention to the wrong people, they…

Jose Clemente Orozco, The Clowns of War Arguing in Hell
Journalists find distrust of mail ballots inexplicable because they don’t want it explained.

Whether it’s deliberate manipulation or just a sloppy resort to groupthink, Nancy Lavin’s recent article on Rhode Island Current is a good illustration of how issues can be framed to support the preferences of the powerful. Note this section: Proponents tout these expansions as ways to improve voter turnout and access while easing the pressure…

Monkey statues in see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil poses
You could argue including the hidden parts of Anne Frank’s diary is a secondary violation.

A recent teapot tempest in the Censorship Wars (at least the skirmishes over keeping arguably pornographic and sex-promoting work out of elementary school libraries) has to do with parents’ objecting to a graphic novel version of Ann Frank’s diary.  You can dig multiple layers into the story, though, for a more-full picture. The first layer,…

A girl resembling Anne Frank sitting and covering her face
Let’s give real thought to why American government is in such a state.

As Americans on both sides of the political aisle highlight how poorly situated our federal government is in a time of international volatility (albeit for different reasons), we can’t look only at events of the past few months.  We also can’t assume we know the full answer fully from our own perspectives, so this is…

A crowd argues and riots in a large, dark hall
I’ve got no special feelings for Washington Trust, but I don’t trust the plaintiff.

Yesterday, through the ministrations of U.S. District Attorney Zachary Cunha under Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Biden administration pressured Rhode Island’s Washington Trust bank into a multimillion-dollar settlement and imposed a big PR hit over alleged racism in its lending practices.  Journalists are faithfully transcribing the “redlining” narrative they’ve been handed, which means our state…

Man Shakes Money Out of Another Man's Pockets
Ahlquist’s Armrest Revelations

One hesitates to make too much of an activist article like Steve Ahlquist’s August 9 report and transcription of a conversation with a Woonsocket city worker.  However, two observations are worth making, considering Progressives’ ascendance in Rhode Island and beyond. The first relates to the underlying issue.  The city has installed armrests in the middle…

A homeless man sleeping on a park bench at night
I have mixed feelings about (possibly) being muted by RI’s attorney general.

Social media provide a strange, unprecedented venue for public interactions.  On one hand, these platforms promise the degree of connectivity and access that has characterized the Internet from its early popularization.  On the other hand, a bit of space between our raw personalities and our in-print public personas is healthy. So, what to make of…

Peter Neronha speaks at a Democrat podium
Reality Pulls the Plug on Even a Modest EV Fleet Target

Excellent work by Jim Hummel of the Hummel Report with this investigative report, published on the front page of yesterday’s Providence Journal, pertaining to a state mandate that 25% of its vehicles be electric; i.e., zero emission. The goal was to make one quarter of the state’s light duty vehicle fleet EV’s by 2025.  So…

An electric car charging
RI Policy on Transgender Students: Ed Commissioner, RIDE, Governor Mum So Far

Current Rhode Island public school policy on transgender and gender nonconforming students was formally passed as a regulation in April 2018 by the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education and then-Education Commissioner Ken Wagner under the authority of the governor. Anchor Rising made the following inquiry by e-mail last month of the Rhode Island Council…

A little math on illegal immigrants should be the headline.

Place these two paragraphs from a recent Amy Russo article in the Providence Journal next to each other, and the real headline emerges:

From July into September, Jallow said about 50 migrants arrived in the state by plane from the southern border. Yet they come from a wide array of countries, including Afghanistan, Senegal and the Congo, as well as Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras. …

Jallow said previously she might have seen only one migrant per month – not counting the many refugees the center has served. Being deemed a refugee is a legal process that involves a lawyer and court proceedings required to gain asylum as a person who was persecuted or in mortal danger in their home country.

One migrant per month compared with about 50 in two months.  That’s an increase of 25 times.

Our government is deliberately repopulating our country to change it from within.

Rhode Island was one of just seven states in which residents’ income shrank in 2022.

Really, can’t we do better? Why do we put up with this?

StephenMoore: Red states get richer while blue states get poorer.

The answer to my questions may be that the people who won’t put up with it leave and take their income with them. Then the state redoubles to draw in people who’ll need government services, because that’s what their incentives are.

I wouldn’t claim to have a direct solution for Rhode Island’s early intervention programs.

But I have to wonder: as these groups come forward demanding more money, is anybody — whether journalists or state agencies — investigating the services that are being provided, the mandates imposed on the providers, or the nuts and bolts of the organizations providing them?

StephMachado: NEW: Rhode Island's health and human services agency is asking 
 to increase funding for Early Intervention next year

Such stories typically evince no trace of skepticism about the claims of the providers and to be based wholly on the assumption that they’re selfless and doing all that can be done for all the right reasons.  Maybe they are, maybe they’re not, or maybe they’re good people caught in a corrupt system, but journalists seem seamlessly and maybe unconsciously to jump from the existence of a problem to the conclusion that more money is the answer.

A passing thought on Washington Trust’s recent troubles in Rhode Island.

Conversations related to the Washington Trust settlement with the government, requiring the bank to address alleged racial discrimination on its part, indicate two views or standards for handling blame in society.

One side is convinced that somebody is to blame for the circumstances of life and that the job of society (particularly government) is to find people and organizations on which to pin that blame and impose a consequence for “justice.”  The fact that a rationale or investigative methodology is able to assign blame is, of itself, proof that the rationale or methodology is valuable and accurate.

The other side believes that blame isn’t so direct, simplistic, or easy to assign and, therefore, thinks it is the burden of society (particularly government) to prove that an individual or organization truly is to blame for a specific result before imposing consequences.

The first is the conduct of an easily guided mob.  The second provides a path to civilization and true justice.

Hamas journalists raise (and answer) a classic question of journalistic ethics.

The other day, I wondered whether younger folks have any sense of how long-standing is the problem of the huge gray area between journalists within the Palestinian territories (and elsewhere in the Middle East) and the terrorist organizations they’re covering.  Whether or not they’re more like terrorist propagandists is a gray area the terrorists have long manipulated.

The topic is now front and center, with images around social media of an AP reporter hugging Hamas leaders and apparently speeding toward the October 7 massacre with a grenade in his hand.  Personally, I’m sympathetic with those who see no moral doubt on the point, but it is a classic question of journalist ethics that people debate (or used to debate, anyway).  If you’re a journalist embedded with a militant faction and learn that they are planning an attack, should you warn the other side?

The question seems more difficult when it comes to official militaries in a declared war, because that’s much more clearly documenting the blundering trail of history.  Everybody involved understands it’s a contest of killing and destruction, and the world, writ large, has an interest in increasing documentation, not the least so that the rules of war, such as they are, can be maintained over time.  Everybody has an interest in the factions’ willingness to give journalists access.

In this case, though, with terrorists heading toward civilian areas on the way to a massacre of civilians, complete with rape and baby beheadings, the moral question evaporates, especially when the monsters were content to document it themselves.  There’s no excuse that doesn’t have the “journalist” counted among the terrorists.

The media’s “X community” style guide is problematic.

Consider this tweet from WPRI’s Ted Nesi as an indication of the dehumanizing aspect of the fashionable “community” phrase:

TedNesi: INBOX: Over 80 members of RI's Jewish community release an open letter to 


 asking them "to seek an immediate ceasefire in Gaza"

This politically correct practice allows 80 people to stand in for a “community” of nearly 20,000 people.  It’s careless identity politics, and it’s ideologically corrupt.  How do 80 people get to speak for 20,000?  Does Ted Nesi review a poll or survey the population?  No.  When it serves the progressive line, the speakers are part of the “community.”  When it doesn’t serve the progressive line, different language will be used — “some Jews” or the like.

The logic of radical escalation is not difficult to understand.

If “genocide” on the other side of the world justifies defacing statues, vandalizing buildings, and shouting down speakers, it will justify violence.


Diossa’s grandstanding on Washington Trust is disqualifying.

While I’m catching up on noteworthy items I’ve had on my to-do list, I have to point out that General Treasurer James Diossa’s grandstanding talk about “evaluat[ing] the banking relationship and the state’s business with Washington Trust Company” ought to be disqualifying for him to continue holding his position.  I’ve offered my opinion on the Biden Administration’s shake-down operation for financial institutions, but the point here is broader.  I could see the general treasurer having a position if asked in passing, but Diossa promoted his statement as part of an ideological pile-on.  Somebody in his position should be more respectful of the fact that Rhode Islanders’ livelihoods depend on businesses within the state.

Sadly, politicians’ words matter, and we’ve got a particularly callous and irresponsible bunch in office, these days.

Those using the government to target individuals always think they’re on the side of “the people.”

This tweet from Democrat Attorney General Peter Neronha is a little old, but I didn’t want to let it pass without comment in this space:

PeterNeronha: As I said, our win last week in federal court wouldn’t be the last time we’d have to fight for the right of all Rhode Islanders to access the shore. But we’re ready for the fights that lie ahead.  And there’s no client I’d rather represent than the people of this great state.

The people who own property in the state have rights, too.  Many, probably most, of them are “people of this great state.”  The AG has to enforce the laws as written, in which case we, the People, should take up abuses with our legislators, but being triumphal about being a free lawyer for some Rhode Islanders against others is the sign of an unhealthy political philosophy.

Our first imperative is to figure out how to reconvince young Americans that learning how to think is desirable.

I believe in humanity’s ability to adapt and recover, but it typically comes at the expense of a lot of waste and pain.  I’m increasingly worried that we’ve cheated younger generations of the ability to think.  Not only are schools failing to teach it, but our emphasis on schooling has drawn many children and young adults away from the work that would once have taught them the same lessons outside of school.

Allow me to translate the “river to the sea” slogan for progressives.

When you chant “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea,” what those within Israel or externally supportive of the country hear is similar to what you would hear if a large group of conservatives marched in the street chanting: “White people will be free, from Bar Harbor to San D.”

You would infer an insinuation that “freedom” in this context means expulsion of the Other and that this prohibition must span from one border of a region (i.e., the United States) to the other.  And you’d be correct to object to a group’s shouting chants that ignore the reality of representative democracy and the rule of law.

I suspect many progressives’ thought process is that Hamas’s recent atrocities were horrific, but the solution is to allow Palestinians, more broadly than Hamas, their area of autonomy.  I’d be surprised if most don’t think “the river to the sea” means the borders of Gaza.  Alternately, they may be using the apartheid framing, imagining that non-Jews are oppressed in Israel, in which case “freedom” means their enfranchisement throughout the country.

They should learn that those responses are not captured by the “river to the sea slogan.”  Rather, the people chanting it are responding to the terroristic slaughter of Jews in Israel by endorsing their expungement from the region, which the rest of us understand as genocide, indeed.

We can observe a six-step process for capturing the political imaginations of the youth.

Step 1: Construct a simplistic narrative with obvious good guys and bad guys and a conclusion with which nobody reasonable could disagree.

Step 2: Ensure that the “bad guys” can’t actually harm the people protesting.

Step 3: Provide singsong, rhythmic slogans that sound innocuous, but that the intended opposition will understand as threatening.

Step 4: Cultivate a supportive environment with quick dopamine rewards for easy actions and peer reinforcement.

Step 5: Guarantee no (or nominal) consequences for ostensibly rebellious behavior.

Step 6: Repeat to the point of violence or absolute control.

Here’s a logical ruler for assessing the likelihood between Hamas and Israel when it comes to the hospital bombing.

Hamas executed a brutal sneak attack with no declaration of war against innocent people in their homes and at a music festival.  The big complaint against Israel’s response, recently, has been that one day was not enough warning for people to evacuate an area they were planning to attack after a declaration of war.

Which of those seems more likely to blow up a hospital or the vehicles of those attempting to evacuate and blame it on the enemy?

Miserable RICAS scores won’t mean any response from Rhode Island.

Dan McGowan notes that new standardized test scores are out for Rhode Island public schools, and they’re not good.

DanMcGowan: NEW from 
: RICAS results are out. 33 percent of students in grades 3-8 are proficient in English and 30 percent are proficient in math.

Elsewhere, he finds a silver lining in the fact that English-language learners do better at English and are nearly caught up in math, but it seems like an indication of how poorly the schools are doing that native English speakers can’t keep up with those who are new to the language. In both subjects, in fact, we should question whether it’s a success that numbers are so low even those with language challenges are able to match them.

This is too little too late from the likes of Jha.

Nonetheless, it’s worth noting this mild corrective from Brown University’s Dr. Ashish Jha on Newsmakers, as summarized in a recent “Nesi’s Notes” column:

“I think we all in public health could have done a better job of communicating with more humility about what we knew and didn’t know. There was a desire by some people to act more certain than they were.” But he also thinks major damage was done by the decision to effectively impose a nationwide lockdown in the spring of 2020, which he blames in large part on a lack of visibility caused by the botched rollout of testing. “The virus was in big numbers here in Rhode Island, Boston, New York, Washington, D.C.,” he recalled. “There was almost none in Mississippi, almost none in Montana. And because we did not know that, we had to do a nationwide lockdown. And people in Mississippi rightly said, ‘Wait, you’re doing all these public health measures — our hospitals are empty, I don’t know anybody who’s got COVID, no one’s getting sick, this makes no sense.’ And that very blunt response actually I think was the basis for a lot of people losing faith in the public-health response.”

Notice two major omissions, though.  The first is from Jha, who doesn’t elaborate on how the overreactors will be held accountable.  As always, the experts get an unlimited “oops” card.

The corresponding second omission is from Nesi and the rest of the media.  Some folks had it right at the time.  A healthy media system would be rewarding them for that, now.

Education is the place to start trying to fix what’s wrong in RI and America.

As people newly look up from their lives to wonder about the craziness with which we’re surrounded — from collegiate support for Hamas to economic ignorance to scientific illiteracy to an inability to grapple with logic — they should turn their gaze toward our schools. Consider this recent Boston Globe column from Dan McGowan:

The state’s most recent report card shows that 81 percent of students [at Providence’s Mount Pleasant High School] were chronically absent during the 2021-2022 school year, zero percent of students were considered proficient in math, and the four-year graduation rate was 67 percent.

But here’s the worst part: McGowan puts those numbers forward to support one side over the other in a dispute over school building construction.  In other words, the discussion is miles and miles away from where it ought to be, which is the use of our education to provide a jobs program for labor unions and indoctrinate into progressive causes.

The building won’t matter until that’s fixed, and it’s not even a topic of conversation.

The impulse to invert the report of 40 babies with their heads cut off story is shocking.

True enough that it’s important to be skeptical of all reports, particularly the most horrific, at a time like this, but still… there is an air around some of those insisting that the story is not yet verified that implies if this story isn’t true, the whole atrocity is not that bad.  Psychologically, they seem to hope for excessive accusations so that they can discount anything below that mark as within tolerable bounds of unspeakable horror.

If strange or silent responses from progressives about Hamas’s atrocities seem odd…

… the explanation might be more than silent discomfort with a faction of their tribe’s doing something nakedly evil.  To progressives, this sort of thing must happen and is expected.  Maybe they find it lamentable (or maybe not), but they see it as inevitable on the path to their vision of justice.

Tom Holland argues, in his excellent history of Christianity, Dominion, that the Woke represent a distorted offshoot of the faith.  Just so, through their Marxist perversion, they carry forward the expectation for which Jesus prepared his followers:  “when you hear of wars and revolts, do not be alarmed; for these things must take place first.”

This is the deeper truth of their hypocritical responses to current events.  The revolution is everything, and they’ll respond the same when it comes for you.  The real question is whether enough people’s eyes are opened before it’s too late, and I’m not seeing it, even now.  So, the progressives will go about their lives… and wait.

What’s the outrage standard we should apply to video of Biden kicking his dog?

I ask because that looks pretty clearly to be what happens in the video attached to this tweet:

Tweet about Biden's dog with video appearing to show him kicking one

Given some online interactions, I’m not even sure Democrat partisans are psychologically capable of seeing the kick — as if it’s one of those optical illusions that some people just don’t process. I suppose the best-case scenario (if I suffer from an opposite shortcoming) is that the frail White House occupant tripped on the dog like he recently tripped on a stage, but that’s a problem in its own right.

Of most fundamental concern, however, is the need for a single standard.  We all know how this video would be treated were Biden a Republican.  In that way, this minor matter is too perfectly representative of so much about Biden’s time in office.  Powerful forces are set on ensuring he is propped up and his disasters are spun to be positives.  If this video does catch some attention, expect Democrats to crow about how agile he must be to kick a big dog like that.

A slick man charms the listener with a demon behind him

Politics This Week: Ulterior Motives from the RI Left

John DePetro and Justin Katz point out the hidden motives of RI politicians and activists and their works.

A young figure looks up the stairs in a shadowy building

The other day in RI, I saw the voters who weren’t there.

Mainstream ignorance of Rhode Island’s political opposition is a warning sign of an unhealthy and surreal political environment.

A man in a suit starts a fire against a government building

Politics This Week: RI Moves Further into Thugocracy

John DePetro and Justin Katz discuss the deteriorating civic structure of Rhode Island.

Mythical creatures press against two sides of a tower by the ocean

Politics This Week: A Need for Healthy Conflict to Right RI

John DePetro and Justin Katz discuss several indications of how oppositional politics would help keep Rhode Island upright.

A glowing child emerges in the midst of a crowd of crazed monsters

Politics This Week: Reality Begins to Peek Through the Madness in New England

John DePetro and Justin Katz find evidence across multiple issues that truth is beginning to break through Democrats’ wall of unity.

A young figure looks up the stairs in a shadowy building

The other day in RI, I saw the voters who weren’t there.

Mainstream ignorance of Rhode Island’s political opposition is a warning sign of an unhealthy and surreal political environment.

A man in a suit starts a fire against a government building

Politics This Week: RI Moves Further into Thugocracy

John DePetro and Justin Katz discuss the deteriorating civic structure of Rhode Island.

Mythical creatures press against two sides of a tower by the ocean

Politics This Week: A Need for Healthy Conflict to Right RI

John DePetro and Justin Katz discuss several indications of how oppositional politics would help keep Rhode Island upright.

A glowing child emerges in the midst of a crowd of crazed monsters

Politics This Week: Reality Begins to Peek Through the Madness in New England

John DePetro and Justin Katz find evidence across multiple issues that truth is beginning to break through Democrats’ wall of unity.

Trick-or-treating children distract an old woman to take her candy

Politics This Week: Trickery in RI Government

John DePetro and Justin Katz review many ways RI politicians are childish and misleading.

A girl walks through a haunted graveyard whistling

Politics This Week: Whistling Past a Changing Political Environment in RI

John DePetro and Justin Katz dig into important developments that the RI mainstream doesn’t want to address.

Wouldn’t it only be news if the state’s pension fund was at record lows?

I keep seeing these headlines about RI General Treasurer Seth Magaziner announcing record highs for the pension fund, but shouldn’t that always be the case?  Unless the workforce is shrinking, even keeping up with inflation should produce record highs.  It seems to me mainly an indication that we have too many people in PR in government.

Nicole Solas’s APRAs are bearing fruit.

Why would your “equity auditor” have to be “fluent in critical race theory” if CRT isn’t in the schools? On Twitter.

Nicole Solas tweet on equity auditor

Why is the State Department turning away military interpreters from rescue?

With the caveate that chaos makes it hard to know what’s going on and easy to get a partial story, this seems like a travesty.

The original story comes from the New York Times, but reading some of the implicitly pro-Biden replies to the linked tweet trying to cast doubt on it raises an important point:  None of this was necessary.  The U.S. supposedly set the time frame and could have gotten these people out earlier.  That is, the chaos, itself, is a catastrophic failure even if these folks survive.

Comedy Central’s version of Toby Flenderson Cancels ‘Diversity Day’ from its The Office re-runs

According to Daily Wire (first discovered by Barstool), Comedy Central doesn’t find a particular episode of the sitcom The Office funny after all.

The episode is famous for its politically incorrect storyline which features boss Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) forcing the paper company staff to participate in a racial diversity seminar where he speaks in an exaggerated Indian accent and reprises Chris Rock’s notorious standup routine about different kinds of black people.

I’ve been listening to Billboard Top 100 playlists from the ’80s and ’90s.

Something really strange happened in 1990.  There are some stand-outs, but mostly, pop/rock music fell off a cliff for a year.