Topics

City/Town Government

Last Impressions Podcast Episode 8: Your Meaning, Their Madness

Missing the kiss (and the point), teacher union fantasy, charity for them, and stuff for you

Open post for podcast.


Contingent Arguments on the Left

Rhode Islander Akash Chougule calls Democrats “hypocrites” in the Wall Street Journal, and a Tiverton Leftist attacks political opponents by comparing them with… communists.


Keeping a Record of a Library’s Claims

Internet archives of past promotions for government borrowing and online access to historical budget data make it possible to see how agencies draw the public along toward their desired ends.


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Civil Rights

Contingent Arguments on the Left

Rhode Islander Akash Chougule calls Democrats “hypocrites” in the Wall Street Journal, and a Tiverton Leftist attacks political opponents by comparing them with… communists.


The Mirror of the Welfare Cliff: The Rehabilitation Cliff

Our criminal justice system should be about justice, not lifelong labeling of people as unworthy of inclusion in society.


The Long-Predictable Mob at Middlebury

The attack on Charles Murray was another step on a path that I was attacked for warning about years ago, and I fear things will get worse before there’s a correction.


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Congress

Mark Zaccaria: Advice to Senator Whitehouse

Mark Zaccaria suggests that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse should back away from his attacks on Constitutional rights and focus on making a positive difference in people’s lives.


Arthur Christopher Schaper: Checking in with Congressional Sympathy from the West Coast

Arthur Chrsitopher Schaper commiserates with Rhode Islanders as a California conservative represented by an anti-2nd Amendment sit-in progressive.


Distrust in Government Leads to Desire for… Big Government?

Poll findings about trust in government at different levels and in different states might reveal a contradiction for progressives and a dark future for Rhode Islanders.


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Culture & Family

Social Engineering and Welfare Undermining the Family

Central planners (if they’re not being ideological) can miss things with which they have no experience, and as with men and the family, those things can be hugely important.


Last Impressions Podcast Episode 8: Your Meaning, Their Madness

Missing the kiss (and the point), teacher union fantasy, charity for them, and stuff for you

Open post for podcast.


Last Impressions Podcast Episode 7: Howling at the Snowflakes

Scared of the flakes, right to work, against smarts, and parenting through adventure

Open post for podcast.


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Economy

Last Impressions Podcast Episode 8: Your Meaning, Their Madness

Missing the kiss (and the point), teacher union fantasy, charity for them, and stuff for you

Open post for podcast.


For Sales Tax Reduction and Better Government in General

Elected officials in Rhode Island move forward without considering the possible effects, perhaps doing more harm than good as they take more and more of Rhode Islanders’ income away.


Idiocracy and Economic Development in Rhode Island

Watching Rhode Island decision-leaders continue to make decisions based on a mix of selfish interest and ideological delusion is frustratingly like watching Idiocracy


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Education

Last Impressions Podcast Episode 8: Your Meaning, Their Madness

Missing the kiss (and the point), teacher union fantasy, charity for them, and stuff for you

Open post for podcast.


Let’s Make Students the Priority in Education Again

A lack of accountability in public education is creating systemic abuse of students and taxpayers and can only be ended with school choice.


Idiocracy and Economic Development in Rhode Island

Watching Rhode Island decision-leaders continue to make decisions based on a mix of selfish interest and ideological delusion is frustratingly like watching Idiocracy


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Energy & Environment

Gablinske: Energy Crisis Calls for Realistic Solutions

A thoughtful, well grounded op-ed by former state rep Doug Gablinske in Thursday’s Providence Journal, who makes the reality case that the electricity to be generated by the proposed Burrillville power plant is very much needed.


Tiverton Casino: Live by the Government, Die by the Government

Thanks to efforts to restrict the development of a piece of land in Tiverton, a government casino and hotel became its best use.


Some Day, My Prince … Er, Cheap, Green Energy Will Come

You may have been keeping half an eye on the proposed power plant that a firm called Invenergy would like to build in Burrillville. Friday, the Providence Journal reported that

Invenergy has failed to sell the second half of the power output of its proposed fossil fuel-burning power plant in Burrillville to the regional electric grid.

Opponents of the proposed plant understandably view this development as good news. However, it is not a fatal blow for the proposed power plant, as the article notes.

Further along, the article also notes that New England has had 4,200 megawatts of generating capacity taken off line (my observation: this happened in large part due to out-of-control EPA regulations by the Obama administration), and another 6,000 megawatts are at risk of going off line. Accordingly, many of us are concerned about the cost and continued adequate supply of electricity.

Environmentalists believe they have the answer.

But opponents of the plant say that renewable sources can fill in any need for new power in New England.

Yikes. Sorry, no, that is simply not the case.


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Gambling

Tiverton Casino: Live by the Government, Die by the Government

Thanks to efforts to restrict the development of a piece of land in Tiverton, a government casino and hotel became its best use.


A Society in Which the Casino and the Government Must Always Win

A gambler under scrutiny for having found ways to tilt the odds in his favor is a good metaphor for taxpayers who are never permitted to win in the rigged game that politicians, labor unions, and other special interests have built.


RI’s Bad Decisions and Burning Money Instead of Tobacco

My op-ed in today’s Providence Journal places the match of Rhode Island’s experience of the tobacco settlement money (a one-time-fix turned bad debt) on the pile of bad decisions that the state government has made in the past decade or so:

According to a review by ProPublica, Rhode Island has just refinanced some of the resulting debt, with the expectation that “the deal would shave $700 million off a $2.8 billion tab due on the bonds in 2052.” In that regard, it’s a bit like the state’s pension reform, which was marketed as salvation but merely shaved about $3 billion from $9 billion of unfunded liability.

The people who operate Rhode Island’s government are racking up quite a list of these liabilities.


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General Assembly

For Sales Tax Reduction and Better Government in General

Elected officials in Rhode Island move forward without considering the possible effects, perhaps doing more harm than good as they take more and more of Rhode Islanders’ income away.


Unfair And Unreasonable Occupational Licensing Restrictions

It is time to change the status quo in Rhode Island. What if lawmakers were to realize the policy culture of considering only material needs has been harmful to our families? Instead, lawmakers should work to empower more families with the soul-fulfilling power of work by removing the obstacles that stand in their way. Rhode Island needs bold, broad-based reform ideas; ideas that will help existing and would-be businesses and families. One big idea is removing the heavy-hand of government occupational licensing restrictions on small businesses.


Last Impressions Podcast Episode 6: A Day Without Perspective

Governing under the influence… of progressivism, the persecuted Godfather, sexist perspectives, and opposition to empathy

Open post for podcast.


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Government

Last Impressions Podcast Episode 8: Your Meaning, Their Madness

Missing the kiss (and the point), teacher union fantasy, charity for them, and stuff for you

Open post for podcast.


Last Impressions Podcast Episode 6: A Day Without Perspective

Governing under the influence… of progressivism, the persecuted Godfather, sexist perspectives, and opposition to empathy

Open post for podcast.


Keeping a Record of a Library’s Claims

Internet archives of past promotions for government borrowing and online access to historical budget data make it possible to see how agencies draw the public along toward their desired ends.


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Governor

For Sales Tax Reduction and Better Government in General

Elected officials in Rhode Island move forward without considering the possible effects, perhaps doing more harm than good as they take more and more of Rhode Islanders’ income away.


New York Times Helps Transform Raimondo Slowdown into “Momentum”

With the help of selective statistics and mainstream media spin-amplification, Governor Raimondo is convincing the country her slowdown is momentum.


Closing School Gives Context for Choice

A closing private school in Newport could teach a lesson on civic society and the role of government, if we let it.


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Healthcare

Gaming the Whack-a-Mole Consequences of Central Planning

A young father who leveraged government and the news media to avoid health care costs is upset that local politicians didn’t find that to be evidence of his expertise.


Taxpayers Paying Millions to Waste Their Lives

Economic changes and government policy have been drawing millions of Americans toward a life of dependency on both government and drugs.


Abortion Bill Is Either Astonishingly Radical or Shockingly Inept

Despite the objections of politicians who want the support of progressives and the money of abortionists, H5343 is either unbelievably radical or all-too-believably incompetent in its drafting.


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History

Plywood and Hemlock Each in Its Place

Plywood has its place in construction, as populism has its place in religion.


Last Impressions Podcast Episode 5: Changing the Heart of Evil

Slut-shame-shaming Voldemort, credentials versus competence, and the tsar’s numbered days.

Open post for podcast.


Last Impressions Podcast Episode 3: High Noon for Experts

A bad guy on the 12:00 train, UHIP messaging, and the rule of the experts.

Click here for the podcast.


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Immigration

Last Impressions Podcast Episode 8: Your Meaning, Their Madness

Missing the kiss (and the point), teacher union fantasy, charity for them, and stuff for you

Open post for podcast.


Oh, the “Day Without Immigrants” Was Yesterday

Even those who noticed that the “Day without Immigrants” was Thursday might have heard a different message than organizers intended.


Last Impressions Podcast Episode 2: Reality Show America

American fascism, Moira Walsh’s evil men, and the governor’s bad arguments.

Click here for the podcast.


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Infrastructure

Tiverton Casino: Live by the Government, Die by the Government

Thanks to efforts to restrict the development of a piece of land in Tiverton, a government casino and hotel became its best use.


Policies to Help Poor and Minority Families in Inner Cities

Policies that start by asking what’s best for inner city families will be conservative in nature and will prove activists who thrive on urban angst to be demagogic frauds.


Ideology and the Forces of Inefficiency in Government

Progressives become reactionary when it comes to big-government programs because they benefit from inefficiency and don’t trust freedom.


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Legislation

The Mirror of the Welfare Cliff: The Rehabilitation Cliff

Our criminal justice system should be about justice, not lifelong labeling of people as unworthy of inclusion in society.


Aimee Gardiner: Now is the Time to Take a Stand Against the HPV Mandate

The 2017 General Assembly session is picking up steam, and the movement against the HPV vaccine mandate in RI has not lost momentum. Rhode Islanders Against Mandated HPV Vaccinations has continued to rally support and to speak with legislators. Our efforts are paying off. Three bills have been submitted already for 2017 and a forth may come soon.


Unfair And Unreasonable Occupational Licensing Restrictions

It is time to change the status quo in Rhode Island. What if lawmakers were to realize the policy culture of considering only material needs has been harmful to our families? Instead, lawmakers should work to empower more families with the soul-fulfilling power of work by removing the obstacles that stand in their way. Rhode Island needs bold, broad-based reform ideas; ideas that will help existing and would-be businesses and families. One big idea is removing the heavy-hand of government occupational licensing restrictions on small businesses.


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Media

New York Times Helps Transform Raimondo Slowdown into “Momentum”

With the help of selective statistics and mainstream media spin-amplification, Governor Raimondo is convincing the country her slowdown is momentum.


The Long-Predictable Mob at Middlebury

The attack on Charles Murray was another step on a path that I was attacked for warning about years ago, and I fear things will get worse before there’s a correction.


Standing Against the Liberals’ Fascist Groupthink

What do we do when the system insists that we sit down and be quiet? Stand up.


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Musings & Announcements

Word Choice, Boundaries, and Finding Ways to Communicate

The reasoning behind my use of the word “slut.”


The Conversation Starts Tuesday: Opportunity To Become Self-Sufficient

Everyone concerned about the well-being of our state’s families should be alarmed by our unacceptable 48th-place ranking. It is time to challenge the status quo insider mindset and to search for a more holistic path to help real Rhode Islanders improve their quality of life. This week, the Center will co-host a forum at Bryant University, that will provide an ideal opportunity for community, religious, and political leaders to convene and begin the process.


My First Christmas at Home

There are two ways that Christmas can come to feel like every other day, and one of those ways is incalculably better.


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National Security

Former Administration, Current Spies

News of domestic spying and the continued activities of anonymous “former officials” ought to raise concerns and return everybody (including progressives) the the lesson that loyalties can change.


Refreshing Our Memory on the State of Debate on Torture

As our view of torture becomes a matter of public debate again under President Trump, public debate must consider what counts as torture and what makes it wrong.


The Partisans Who Cried “Bear”

If the hacking-Russians story proves to be (as it appears) more spin attempting to undermine Trump, Democrats will lose credibility that America should want them to have as the opposition.


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On a Lighter Note

Katz’s Kitchen Sink: #WeKnowBetterRI

As part of its 100-year anniversary self-promotion, the Rhode Island Foundation has been spreading around a video by Nail Communications that is slap-in-the-face offensive.  It begins by putting swear words in the mouths of children reading statements from (quote) actual Rhode Islanders; it tells Rhode Islanders to (quote) stop complaining and if they don’t have anything nice to say, well, be quiet.

Let’s be blunt, here.  Given Rhode Island’s parade of corrupt officials and its stagnant economy, we would be shirking our responsibility as citizens if we didn’t complain.  Now, if Nail Communications were to make another video about the view of Rhode Island’s insiders, it might go something like this.

[Advisory: In keeping with the original Nail Communications/RI Foundation video, the following contains bleeped swears.]


Katz’s Kitchen Sink: But Bountiful Parody Song

As the fiscal year comes to a close for the State of Rhode Island and most municipalities in June, it’s ever more clear that civic life in Rhode Island revolves around government budgets.  For insiders, town, city, and state budgets represent their hopes and dreams — often their livelihoods.  For everybody else, though, they can be a time of dread, as the impossibility of real change is affirmed, cherished programs are threatened (if you’re on that side of the ledger), or more money is confiscated from your bank account (if you’re on the other side of the ledger).

Herewith, a parody song to the tune of “But Beautiful,” inaugurating a somewhat regular new video series, “Katz’s Kitchen Sink,” which will feature whatever sort of content I think might be useful to throw at the problems of the Ocean State — songs, short skits, commentary, or whatever.

Download an mp3 file of this song.

But Bountiful

A budget’s taxes, or it’s pay
Handouts are credits or giveaways
We’re investing, or we save
But bountiful

Bountiful, our industry’s bureaucracies we run
It’s a budget you have no choice but to fund

A budget appropriates, or it steals
Votes are traded in backroom deals
Nobody’s sure just what’s real
But bountiful

And I’m thinking if I had chips, I’d cash them in for gold
And take them to a more bountiful abode


Shout Down the Hate

When a mob of Brown University students brought their politically correct disease down the street to Rhode Island’s State House, they made it near impossible to resist writing a parody song about their symptoms.


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Pensions

Last Impressions Podcast Episode 8: Your Meaning, Their Madness

Missing the kiss (and the point), teacher union fantasy, charity for them, and stuff for you

Open post for podcast.


Anomalies or the Tip of the Radical Iceberg in Public Schools?

The evidence continues to appear that government schools are drifting from their educational mission and toward left-wing indoctrination.


A Society in Which the Casino and the Government Must Always Win

A gambler under scrutiny for having found ways to tilt the odds in his favor is a good metaphor for taxpayers who are never permitted to win in the rigged game that politicians, labor unions, and other special interests have built.


Back to top



Political Theory

Contingent Arguments on the Left

Rhode Islander Akash Chougule calls Democrats “hypocrites” in the Wall Street Journal, and a Tiverton Leftist attacks political opponents by comparing them with… communists.


Closing School Gives Context for Choice

A closing private school in Newport could teach a lesson on civic society and the role of government, if we let it.


Rest and Enjoyment in Modern Society

Progressivism eliminates rest and enjoyment at the cultural level, but offers it as a carrot for individuals as long as they go along with the program.


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Politics

Last Impressions Podcast Episode 8: Your Meaning, Their Madness

Missing the kiss (and the point), teacher union fantasy, charity for them, and stuff for you

Open post for podcast.


Let’s Make Students the Priority in Education Again

A lack of accountability in public education is creating systemic abuse of students and taxpayers and can only be ended with school choice.


Contingent Arguments on the Left

Rhode Islander Akash Chougule calls Democrats “hypocrites” in the Wall Street Journal, and a Tiverton Leftist attacks political opponents by comparing them with… communists.


Back to top



Science

Excluding Religion from Government Schools Effectively Establishes Religion

Young Catholics find secular education pushes them away from their faith, which proves that government schools are not truly neutral on the most fundamental question of our lives.


Using Climate Change to Bring in a Tide of Activism

Three Brown faculty members traffic in questionable statistics in an apparent push to end the deadly scourge of days that are “merely warm.”


Mark Zaccaria: Advice to Senator Whitehouse

Mark Zaccaria suggests that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse should back away from his attacks on Constitutional rights and focus on making a positive difference in people’s lives.


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Sports

Shut Down the NCAA

The NCAA handed down a one half of one game suspension for current Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel for taking money for autographs. However, they have a bit of a history with giving out much longer suspensions for lesser offenses. It’s time to shut down the NCAA.


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Taxation

For Sales Tax Reduction and Better Government in General

Elected officials in Rhode Island move forward without considering the possible effects, perhaps doing more harm than good as they take more and more of Rhode Islanders’ income away.


Some Badly Needed Perspective for Attorney General Peter Kilmartin

Let’s clarify some things for Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, shall we, and then explain to him where his political career currently stands.


UHIP & Prostitution? Big Government Is Not Competent Enough To Run Our Lives

The status quo in Rhode Island needs a reality check with regard to the now epic UHIP computer systems disaster. With reports of Rhode Islanders being driven to extreme measures to make up for the loss of social safety net, the insiders must realize that once again they have headed down the wrong path. Big government is incompetent to run our lives.


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Unions

Last Impressions Podcast Episode 8: Your Meaning, Their Madness

Missing the kiss (and the point), teacher union fantasy, charity for them, and stuff for you

Open post for podcast.


Let’s Make Students the Priority in Education Again

A lack of accountability in public education is creating systemic abuse of students and taxpayers and can only be ended with school choice.


Last Impressions Podcast Episode 7: Howling at the Snowflakes

Scared of the flakes, right to work, against smarts, and parenting through adventure

Open post for podcast.


Back to top



Welfare

Social Engineering and Welfare Undermining the Family

Central planners (if they’re not being ideological) can miss things with which they have no experience, and as with men and the family, those things can be hugely important.


Last Impressions Podcast Episode 8: Your Meaning, Their Madness

Missing the kiss (and the point), teacher union fantasy, charity for them, and stuff for you

Open post for podcast.


The Mirror of the Welfare Cliff: The Rehabilitation Cliff

Our criminal justice system should be about justice, not lifelong labeling of people as unworthy of inclusion in society.


Back to top



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