What if nobody in RI knew about McKee’s one saving grace (school choice)?

Because Democrat Governor Dan McKee has been so broadly disappointing from a moderate-to-conservative perspective, this is encouraging news: For the first time in the state’s history, a Rhode Island governor has officially recognized the last week of January as “Rhode Island School Choice Week.” Gov. Daniel McKee recently signed a proclamation recognizing School Choice Week…

National School Choice Week 2022 logo
That little-known, world-famous personality selling out the Vets is Jordan Peterson.

Looking for something to do at The Vets in Providence one of these weeks? Tickets are widely available for the Rhode Island Philharmonic’s performance of Scheherezade on Saturday, February 12.  Angelique Kidjo the next evening?  Pick your section.  The next weekend, the multiple shows of Trolls Live! have plenty of seats available.  If you’re in the…

Veterans Memorial Auditorium
The strings of the COVID-narrative reset are showing.

You know, it’s difficult not to laugh at the computer screen when reading something like this in January 2022: Massachusetts has a new way of how they are reporting COVID-19 hospitalizations to differentiate between what they are calling “primary” and “incidental” cases. The state is now reporting the difference between patients who were admitted for the…

A man in black pulls strings on fingers
Details on Doherty’s early Congressional speculation are important to consider.

Rhode Islanders won’t be surprised that former State Police Colonel and gubernatorial candidate Brendan Doherty is considering a run for Congress now that incumbent Representative James Langevin has announced the opening.  Here’s the interesting wrinkle, though: This time around, Doherty is considering entering the Democratic primary for the 2nd District, which covers western Rhode Island….

The Easy, Scientific Way for Gov McKee To Facilitate Real Continuity of Care for Dr. Skoly’s Patients

In early October, the Rhode Island Department of Health and then-Director Nicole Alexander Scott ordered Dr. Stephen Skoly to to stop caring for patients, stating that he was an “imminent threat to the health of the public” because he declined to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Skoly has natural immunity against the disease and has…

What’s going on with the COVID narrative?

Mainstream news sources are beginning to admit things that were entirely ignored, except by us fringe wackos, just a few short months ago: The study examined infections in New York and California last summer and fall and found people who were both vaccinated and had survived a prior bout of COVID-19 had the most protection….

Reporters taking notes
Congress is a better fit for Fung.

Having expressed deep skepticism, to the point of opposition, concerning the possibility that Allan Fung might run for governor again, I thought I should note that his running for the Congressional seat that Democrat Jim Langevin is opening up would be a very different matter: Former Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, a two-time Republican nominee for…

An elephant leans beside a ditch
What is URI president Marc Parlange covering with his wokeness?

Maybe some people collect them or leverage them for some purpose or other, but honorary degrees from colleges and universities have always seemed pretty useless and ceremonial to me — like a certificate to thank a person for participating in an event. With the latest radical move from the University of Rhode Island’s new president,…

Part of the mural at URI
Documents about waking to wokeness will one day be studied.

One day, somebody will publish a thick collection of documents written by those who have been awakening to, and warning about, wokeness.  Jordan Peterson’s open letter explaining his resignation as a tenured professor will be among its pages (if anybody can afford the rights!).  Some will scoff at Peterson, but this document is the most…

A college class
Anybody who wants to help disadvantaged minorities should support this.

You can’t help but be moved by stories like this.  Similarly, you can’t miss the political reasons they aren’t more widely spread. [Denisha] Merriweather’s future looked bleak. “Teachers would sigh when I walked through the door,” she said of the district schools she attended. “Another Merriweather,” they would judge. “My family name was not that…

Boy in a library
It’s starting to feel like we’re being bought off.

I’ll be honest.  Facing a massive imminent bill for a prematurely failed septic system while I’m in the midst of a career adjustment and at a high-water mark for higher-education expenses spanning generations, news about a state-administered federal program to hand out up to $50,000 to homeowners initially felt like an opportunity: The newly opened…

An essential worker sign
Do we want to be defined by nanny-state bans?

Democrat state representative from Warwick David Bennett continues his long streak of bad legislation with an effort to ban nips — those little bottles of alcohol that have been a fixture of liquor stores for decades: Rep. David Bennett, D-Warwick, is tired of spotting discarded nips strewn along the side of the road whenever he…

A Nipyata
McCardle is wrong to saddle the Somewheres with election concerns.

Libertarian columnist for the Washington Post Megan McCardle appeared on Russ Roberts’s EconTalk podcast to talk about the late Roger Scruton’s contrast of the Somewheres, whose worldview is deeply tied to a sense of belonging somewhere, and the Anywheres, who (if I may attempt to summarize their desire charitably) want to feel at home wherever they may go. …

Sign reading "You'll Get It Eventually"
Rhode Island Democrats, is this you?

As expected as it probably should be, I have to say I’m still a bit surprised by these survey findings: – Fifty-eight percent (58%) of voters would oppose a proposal for federal or state governments to fine Americans who choose not to get a COVID-19 vaccine. However, 55% of Democratic voters would support such a…

Biden & Fauci comply posters
Ripples
Something subcutaneous is going on in the education establishment.

Anybody else getting the feeling that there’s some deliberate initiative going on under the skin of public education that we only see here and there when it bursts out into a blemish?  Here’s one such pimple, from Timothy Duffy, who is the head of the state association for school committees:

Duffy’s association exists to advocate for the unique interests of Rhode Island’s school committees.  Whether or not you agree with me that such organizations are harmful to the civic health of our state, perhaps you’ll join me in wondering how harping on the race comparisons of teachers and students serves Duffy’s clients.

I bet there are some very interesting communications floating around that would only be included in an Access to Public Records Act request by accident.

Why is the head of a labor union such a thorough partisan?

Here’s a line worth teasing out from Ted Nesi’s latest roundup column:

NEARI union leader Bob Walsh said he is considering a run, adding, “I am also weighing what is best for the Democratic Party to keep this seat in Democratic hands.”

Yes, the answer is obvious, but it’s worth pausing to ask:  Why is the head of a teacher union in the news expressing overriding concern for the interests of a particular political party?  To ask is to answer.  Perhaps that’s why the local media never asks.

Why is RI consistently one of the worst states for driving?

It doesn’t make much sense to me.  We’ve got a small state that isn’t terrible for traffic, despite being densely populated.  You’d think local authorities could keep the roads in order.

But there it is:  According to WalletHub, the Ocean State is the second-worst state for drivers in the country, after Hawaii.

  • Cost of Ownership & Maintenance: 4th worst
  • Traffic & Infrastructure: 4th worst
  • Access to Vehicles & Maintenance: 5th worst

If it weren’t for the 7th best safety, we’d certainly be dead last.

Rhode Island is compounding badness on badness.

Not mentioned in the stories about Governor Dan McKee’s delay of the new nursing home staffing mandates is that they are arguably the most-extreme minimum standards in the world.  Imposing new mandates in the middle of a nurse-staffing crisis is simply insane.  Holding off these mandates would be considered an obvious thing to do in any community that is (1) sane and (2) not completely controlled and placed in the service of labor unions.

The fact that our legislators wouldn’t do the obvious is not, however, the most maddening aspect of this situation.  No, that award goes to the fact that the governor is making this change, in my view, illegally, by invoking his enhanced emergency powers… which the General Assembly has been content to accept when it saved them from taking responsibility.

Ultimately, that’s the most important thing.  The governor should let these mandates go into effect so that our “representatives” can get what they wanted… and pay the price because of the disaster they would have obviously caused.

Eventually, we need voters to be able to see just what damage they’re doing with their votes.

College loan forgiveness is a policy to give money to the advantaged.

Brad Polumbo writes:

Few causes are as central to the progressive movement as student debt “cancellation” (which really means taxpayers absorb the burden of $1.7-plus trillion in student debt). But yet another study just confirmed that there’s actually nothing “progressive” about student debt cancellation at all.

A new analysis from the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution finds that “almost a third of all student debt is owed by the wealthiest 20 percent of households and only 8 percent by the bottom 20 percent.”

The issue has a strange feel, once scratches the surface of analysis.  Some significant percentage of the benefit would go to wealthy families for whom college was an easy matter of course.  Some significant percentage would go to people who made an investment in higher education, and it was successful.  Some percentage took out loans to buy useless degrees.

The only advantage to the blanket loan-cancelation policy is that it buys votes for lefitsts.

URI went ahead and revoked its honorary degrees to Michael Flynn and Rudy Giuliani.

One interesting sidebar to watch (maybe) is whether any of the local journalists reporting on the development will bother to find and quote any URI graduates who disagree with the move.  I added the parenthetical “maybe” to cover the unlikely event that they actually do.  It’s echo chambers all the way down.

A great cognitive dissonance is coming.

As always, Glenn Reynolds captures a key point while linking to a story about three Connecticut girls who have filed a complaint after having two biological males dominating their sport:

I’ll bet they supported Biden in 2020 though.

By “they,” Reynolds means the three girls, whom odds would place as reflexive Democrats and who are now finding that Utopia comes at a price.

We may (if we’re fortunate) be headed toward a great cognitive dissonance in our culture.  The Left’s great march through the institutions established the ability to define what all good people must believe, and they promulgated the false notion that bad things can never come from good intentions.  Those notions would be harmful even if progressive policies worked, and they don’t work, so good-feeling idealism is about to come up against a wall of pain and reality.

I have to admit to continuing skepticism about boosters.

This is a couple months old, but with continued pressure for booster shots, it continues to be on my mind:

… the recommendations — even those approved unanimously — mask significant dissent and disquiet among those advisers about the need for booster shots in the United States.

In interviews last week, several advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and to the Food and Drug Administration said data show that, with the exception of adults over age 65, the vast majority of Americans are already well protected against severe illness and do not need booster shots.

All the advisers acknowledged that they were obligated to make difficult choices, based on sparse research, in the middle of a public health emergency. But some said they felt compelled to vote for the shots because of the way the federal agencies framed the questions that they were asked to consider.

I’m not anti-booster, but it’s difficult to feel like we’re getting straightforward medical advice, these days.

What if Native Americans displaced somebody else?

Rick Moran asks that dangerous question:

So what happened to these older, primitive societies — the Clovis people and others who were clearly present in North and Central America before modern Native Americans? They no doubt had what they considered “their land” to hunt and forage. Who stole it from them and wiped them out?

It’s not a simple question because there are so many holes in our knowledge of early North Americans. There may have been tribal conflicts, and there may have been tribal marriages. The DNA record is silent about land claims, but is that really the point?

Moran goes on to note that indigenous people on other continents (including white ones) were similarly displaced and then displaced again.  We don’t like to admit it, these days, but that’s how history has worked everywhere.  It shouldn’t be forbidden to consider that the Americas were not some land of purity until the arrival of Columbus.

The Left doesn’t really believe its own rhetoric.

Brian Gottstein notes that Washington, D.C., is requiring proof of vaccination for various purposes, but also photo ID to validate that the vaccine card holder is in fact the person named on it:

Hold on a minute! Wasn’t it just a few short months ago—as the battles over election reform raged in the states—that we were told requiring photo ID to vote was racist and discriminatory because black folks couldn’t get IDs? In fact, it was considered so racist that businesses, sports teams, and celebrities boycotted entire states.

Now, by the left’s own definition, Washington just instituted a whole new level of systemic racism. And it’s certainly affecting the black population—the district’s largest racial group—disproportionately.

We Said Hello, Goodbye

Sometimes I forget how great this song is.

Someday we’ll learn that centralizing power centralizes benefit.

Brad Polumbo conveys a should-be-unsurprising finding from an MIT study:

The federal government has spent an astounding $42,000 per federal taxpayer on so-called “stimulus” efforts since the pandemic began. Where did all that money go? Well, as it turns out, one of the biggest stimulus programs, the Paycheck Protection Program, failed miserably. …

The analysis shows that even though 93 percent of small businesses received loans from the program, only between 2-3 million jobs were preserved. The program spent an astounding $170,000-$257,000 for each job it helped preserve! That’s, erm, a lot more than most of those jobs even pay.

Moreover, the study finds that only 23 to 34 percent of the program’s dollars went to workers who would’ve otherwise lost their jobs—meaning the vast majority went to “business owners and shareholders.” (Oh, and a whole bunch was lost to fraud, too).

Some business owners got to take some nice vacations with the money, that’s for sure.

Is Langevin getting out in advance of an investment controversy?

John DePetro speculates:

The real reason is an explosive story about to hit regarding Langevin under investigation regarding stock trading. Langevin would feel obligated to answer questions and face constituents if he was seeking another term in office or was indicted, but will ignore the press as the story leaks out.

Congress has seemed to become a place to get conspicuously wealthy.  We should change that.

Here’s something to think about if you’re down.

Late January and February can be tough, emotionally, in New England.  Even when it’s sunny out, things look kind of dead, and biting cold can be painful rather than invigorating, which is to say, not very inviting.

Christian believers will often comfort those who feel down by assuring them that they are loved.  As wonderful as that sounds, it can, in my experience, completely miss the problem.  The problem is that the person doesn’t feel loved, so fine… if this is what being loved feels like, what’s the difference?

Think on this, instead:  Your life is important because your experience of it is a relationship with God — or a relationship with the universe, if that’s easier to accept — and it is completely unique, and it is yours.

The question of what the other party to that relationship wants of you is a question you can work out over time, and if it helps, I’ll assure you that He wants what is best for you because He does love you.  But step 1 is seeing life as a relationship because a relationship is alive with possibility and the need for definition, with an allowance for downs, but the promise of ups.

They really do think that racism is good.

Apparently, the RI Foundation’s racist pay boost for Providence teachers of the right race is not the only policy of its type in the country.  This is in Minnesota:

The Mankato School Board voted unanimously earlier this month for a policy that may grant additional pay exclusively to non-white teachers.

The board is chaired by Jodi Sapp, who previously came under fire for requiring concerned parents to dox themselves in order to comment on school matters. Under her leadership, the board voted to amend district policy so that non-white teachers only may receive “additional stipends” to become mentors to other non-white colleagues. The new policy will also have the district “placing American Indian educators at sites with other American Indian educators and educators of color at sites with other educators of color.”

One cannot avoid the conclusion that in both cases, those involved genuinely believe that racist policies are good.  The challenge of reaching such people is the same as it has been throughout history.

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.

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Couples on a dance floor

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Do the Langevin Shake-Up!

John DePetro and Justin Katz discuss a surprising political announcement and contrasting speeches.


Richard August and Susan Donovan on State of the State

State of the State: Current Legislation, Concerns, and Issues

Host Richard August reviews with Representative Susan Donovan recent legislation and current concerns and issues of the past legislative session. This includes pay equity, a privacy bill relating to health care, child opportunity centers, gender conversion therapy for minors, affordable housing, the safe school act, non-gender specific rest rooms, the nursing home equity staffing act, an African American history curriculum and more.

A toilet made into a face

Your bathroom is changing.

Ed Del Grande describes the bathroom of the future.

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.

Richard August and Susan Donovan on State of the State

State of the State: Current Legislation, Concerns, and Issues

Host Richard August reviews with Representative Susan Donovan recent legislation and current concerns and issues of the past legislative session. This includes pay equity, a privacy bill relating to health care, child opportunity centers, gender conversion therapy for minors, affordable housing, the safe school act, non-gender specific rest rooms, the nursing home equity staffing act, an African American history curriculum and more.

A toilet made into a face

Your bathroom is changing.

Ed Del Grande describes the bathroom of the future.

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.

Ripples
We Said Hello, Goodbye

Sometimes I forget how great this song is.

Someday we’ll learn that centralizing power centralizes benefit.

Brad Polumbo conveys a should-be-unsurprising finding from an MIT study:

The federal government has spent an astounding $42,000 per federal taxpayer on so-called “stimulus” efforts since the pandemic began. Where did all that money go? Well, as it turns out, one of the biggest stimulus programs, the Paycheck Protection Program, failed miserably. …

The analysis shows that even though 93 percent of small businesses received loans from the program, only between 2-3 million jobs were preserved. The program spent an astounding $170,000-$257,000 for each job it helped preserve! That’s, erm, a lot more than most of those jobs even pay.

Moreover, the study finds that only 23 to 34 percent of the program’s dollars went to workers who would’ve otherwise lost their jobs—meaning the vast majority went to “business owners and shareholders.” (Oh, and a whole bunch was lost to fraud, too).

Some business owners got to take some nice vacations with the money, that’s for sure.

Is Langevin getting out in advance of an investment controversy?

John DePetro speculates:

The real reason is an explosive story about to hit regarding Langevin under investigation regarding stock trading. Langevin would feel obligated to answer questions and face constituents if he was seeking another term in office or was indicted, but will ignore the press as the story leaks out.

Congress has seemed to become a place to get conspicuously wealthy.  We should change that.

Here’s something to think about if you’re down.

Late January and February can be tough, emotionally, in New England.  Even when it’s sunny out, things look kind of dead, and biting cold can be painful rather than invigorating, which is to say, not very inviting.

Christian believers will often comfort those who feel down by assuring them that they are loved.  As wonderful as that sounds, it can, in my experience, completely miss the problem.  The problem is that the person doesn’t feel loved, so fine… if this is what being loved feels like, what’s the difference?

Think on this, instead:  Your life is important because your experience of it is a relationship with God — or a relationship with the universe, if that’s easier to accept — and it is completely unique, and it is yours.

The question of what the other party to that relationship wants of you is a question you can work out over time, and if it helps, I’ll assure you that He wants what is best for you because He does love you.  But step 1 is seeing life as a relationship because a relationship is alive with possibility and the need for definition, with an allowance for downs, but the promise of ups.

They really do think that racism is good.

Apparently, the RI Foundation’s racist pay boost for Providence teachers of the right race is not the only policy of its type in the country.  This is in Minnesota:

The Mankato School Board voted unanimously earlier this month for a policy that may grant additional pay exclusively to non-white teachers.

The board is chaired by Jodi Sapp, who previously came under fire for requiring concerned parents to dox themselves in order to comment on school matters. Under her leadership, the board voted to amend district policy so that non-white teachers only may receive “additional stipends” to become mentors to other non-white colleagues. The new policy will also have the district “placing American Indian educators at sites with other American Indian educators and educators of color at sites with other educators of color.”

One cannot avoid the conclusion that in both cases, those involved genuinely believe that racist policies are good.  The challenge of reaching such people is the same as it has been throughout history.

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.