Topics

City/Town Government

Doing Corporate Welfare Better

Government activities shouldn’t be measured versus utter failure, but against the alternatives.


The Political Show in East Greenwich

Representative democracy isn’t about who can put the loudest group of people (including outsiders) in a room to intimidate elected officials.


Political Monday with John DePetro, No. 35: Handling Shootings and Voters

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, the topics were the Raimondo-Assumpico messaging struggle, Fung’s poll, and the Board of Elections’ admission.

Open post for full audio.


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Civil Rights

Motivation and Standardized Tests

American students require incentive to perform on tests… and in life.


Jeff Hunt: A Great Deal of Evidence CO Pot Wasn’t a Great Deal

Jeff Hunt puts forward evidence from five-years of experience with legalized marijuana suggesting that states should think twice before implementing or considering such policies.


Last Impressions 38: Making the Season Less Frightening

A politically incorrect Halloween, being honest about our differences and challenges, and a thought on tax policy.

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Congress

Political Monday with John DePetro, No. 38: RI Races for Governor and Senate

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, the topic was the 2018 campaign season, specifically the races for governor and U.S. Senate.

Open post for full audio.


Leaving Out the Key Number on the GOP Health Plan

Another GOP ObamaCare reform proposal, and another wave of studies and news reports that tilt the numbers so Americans can’t see how desperately necessary reform is.


State House Report with John DePetro, No. 26: Resurrected Legislation and the Ghost of Failures Past

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WADK 1540 AM show, last week, the topics were the likelihood of an evergreen veto override, whether the DCYF would haunt Gina, PawSox, DACA, and Rhode Works transparency.

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Culture & Family

Actual Moral Decision Making on Political Compromises

In assessing how to react to the morally difficult decisions raised by morally compromised politicians, we have fundamental questions to decide.


Rhode Island Needs A “Light Touch” Regulatory Approach

The goal of an effective regulatory strategy should be to ensure that occupational licensing is no more burdensome than needed to address present, significant and substantiated harm.

Under a “light touch” regulatory approach, businesses are freer to develop and produce jobs.


Last Impressions 42: Giving… and Making… Passes

The Democrats’ pass and the big government limit on moral voting.

Open post for full audio.


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Economy

Rhode Island Needs A “Light Touch” Regulatory Approach

The goal of an effective regulatory strategy should be to ensure that occupational licensing is no more burdensome than needed to address present, significant and substantiated harm.

Under a “light touch” regulatory approach, businesses are freer to develop and produce jobs.


Doing Corporate Welfare Better

Government activities shouldn’t be measured versus utter failure, but against the alternatives.


Money-Grabbing State Officials Seek To Tax Everything That Moves

Yet again, Rhode Island has been saddled with a bottom-10 ranking: This time for its heavy-handed occupational licensing regulatory regime, which effectively denies many people the right to earn a living. In Washington, the Trump administration is returning to a “light-touch” regulatory strategy, a strategy that our state would be wise to follow.


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Education

Motivation and Standardized Tests

American students require incentive to perform on tests… and in life.


One-Size-Fits-All Transgender Mandate Puts Students At Risk

The transgender issue extends far beyond bathroom or locker-room rights. As expressed in a June 2016 “guidance” document from the RI Department of Education (RIDE) on transgender rights, RIDE itself will be seeking to bully local school districts into conformity, openly flaunting its disrespect of other students and of parental rights.


Doubts About an “Unconventional Approach to School”

A more-easy-going pedagogy at one Tiverton elementary school makes things easier for employees and takes some burden off parents, but is it good for the students?


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Energy & Environment

Preparing for the Future Without Experience of the Present

If we’re really under threat of cataclysmic climate change, why do the activists have to go back so far for examples and use on-paper predictions to suggest acceleration?


The Path To Lower Electric Prices Is Clear

Already ranking a dismal 45th on the overall Family Prosperity Index, Rhode Islanders will soon suffer from a 16-21% increase on their electricity bills, making matters even worse.


Regunberg Meddling with a Model Beyond His Ken

Providence Representative Aaron Regunberg tramples economics to demagogue against National Grid.


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Gambling

Last Impressions Podcast Episode 16: The Light of the World

Awards, earned and maybe not yet earned; Fight Club; Twin River; and it’s my birthday.

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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.


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General Assembly

Money-Grabbing State Officials Seek To Tax Everything That Moves

Yet again, Rhode Island has been saddled with a bottom-10 ranking: This time for its heavy-handed occupational licensing regulatory regime, which effectively denies many people the right to earn a living. In Washington, the Trump administration is returning to a “light-touch” regulatory strategy, a strategy that our state would be wise to follow.


Chris Maxwell: RIDOT’s Inadequate Environmental Assessment Intended to Accelerate Toll Bait Lawsuit

[Below are the prepared comments of Chris Maxwell, President of the Rhode Island Trucking Association, for the RIDOT toll gantry workshop Tuesday evening. The video of Chris’ actual comments, abbreviated due to time constraints, can be viewed here. For the sake of the news outlet that erroneously reported that public comment Tuesday night was mostly a re-hash of old objections and omitted all on-topic comments from their story, Ocean State Current has bolded all of Chris’ comments that pertain to the Environmental Assessment that was the subject of Tuesday’s workshop.]

Good evening. My name is Chris Maxwell and I represent the Rhode Island Trucking Association and all local trucking companies adversely affected by truck-only tolls.

Our opposition to this plan from its introduction in the spring of 2015 is well-documented. And despite the justified rancour that still exists, our industry’s willingness to contribute to infrastructure improvement remains steadfast – even beyond our existing contributions which are considerable.

In 2016, the trucking industry in Rhode Island paid roughly $70 million in federal and state roadway taxes.


Hearing Tuesday on First Toll Gantries With Acute Case of UHIP-itis

RIDOT has identified the locations of the first two proposed toll gantry locations in southern Rhode Island. This Tuesday, they will be holding a workshop and taking public comment on their newly-released (not to say rushed out the door) Environmental Assessment of the locations. The problem is that the assessment suffers from exactly the same serious flaw as the ill-fated UHIP system: it was released before it was ready. “Continue Reading” to learn why – and for deets about attending the hearing.


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Government

Doing Corporate Welfare Better

Government activities shouldn’t be measured versus utter failure, but against the alternatives.


Money-Grabbing State Officials Seek To Tax Everything That Moves

Yet again, Rhode Island has been saddled with a bottom-10 ranking: This time for its heavy-handed occupational licensing regulatory regime, which effectively denies many people the right to earn a living. In Washington, the Trump administration is returning to a “light-touch” regulatory strategy, a strategy that our state would be wise to follow.


Political Monday with John DePetro, No. 35: Handling Shootings and Voters

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, the topics were the Raimondo-Assumpico messaging struggle, Fung’s poll, and the Board of Elections’ admission.

Open post for full audio.


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Governor

Political Monday with John DePetro, No. 38: RI Races for Governor and Senate

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, the topic was the 2018 campaign season, specifically the races for governor and U.S. Senate.

Open post for full audio.


Chris Maxwell: RIDOT’s Inadequate Environmental Assessment Intended to Accelerate Toll Bait Lawsuit

[Below are the prepared comments of Chris Maxwell, President of the Rhode Island Trucking Association, for the RIDOT toll gantry workshop Tuesday evening. The video of Chris’ actual comments, abbreviated due to time constraints, can be viewed here. For the sake of the news outlet that erroneously reported that public comment Tuesday night was mostly a re-hash of old objections and omitted all on-topic comments from their story, Ocean State Current has bolded all of Chris’ comments that pertain to the Environmental Assessment that was the subject of Tuesday’s workshop.]

Good evening. My name is Chris Maxwell and I represent the Rhode Island Trucking Association and all local trucking companies adversely affected by truck-only tolls.

Our opposition to this plan from its introduction in the spring of 2015 is well-documented. And despite the justified rancour that still exists, our industry’s willingness to contribute to infrastructure improvement remains steadfast – even beyond our existing contributions which are considerable.

In 2016, the trucking industry in Rhode Island paid roughly $70 million in federal and state roadway taxes.


Political Monday with John DePetro, No. 36: Legacies and Baseball Homes

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, the topics were Judge Flanders’s announcement and chances, the PawSox thoughts of Attleboro, and the Raimondo-bomb of UHIP.

Open post for full audio.


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Healthcare

Political Monday with John DePetro, No. 36: Legacies and Baseball Homes

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, the topics were Judge Flanders’s announcement and chances, the PawSox thoughts of Attleboro, and the Raimondo-bomb of UHIP.

Open post for full audio.


HealthSource and Medicaid Numbers Are Signs of Warning, Not of Hope

What if the “spike” in HealthSource reflects job loss and the tidal wave of Medicaid is permanent and swelling?


Jeff Hunt: A Great Deal of Evidence CO Pot Wasn’t a Great Deal

Jeff Hunt puts forward evidence from five-years of experience with legalized marijuana suggesting that states should think twice before implementing or considering such policies.


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History

Last Impressions 39: Children of the Law

The sexist children of the General Assembly, blue states as a fleet of Titanics, Rand got God wrong, and a progressive contradiction.

Open post for full audio.


A Fixed Mower and a Good Heist

Who’s happier: the family man who mows the lawn and reads a good book, or the thug who gains notoriety for a profitable crime that he then blows because he’s a degenerate?


Lessons for Protection When the Devil Switches Sides

Lessons to guide students away from the dangerous threads of human nature (as realized in Nazism) must account for the reality that the Devil can switch sides.


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Immigration

Luis Vargas: A Conservative Case for DREAMers

Luis Vargas argues that free market and traditional principles should give the so-called DREAMers a place in a conservative immigration reform policy.


DACA and a Back Door to Gubernatorial Favors

Governor Raimondo gets to know who helped fund her DACA-fee-payment campaign, but her office says the public cannot.


Last Impressions 33: Tolerance of Wealth and Difference

Accepting luxuries for those who can afford them and freedoms for those who disagree.

Open post for full audio.


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Infrastructure

Chris Maxwell: RIDOT’s Inadequate Environmental Assessment Intended to Accelerate Toll Bait Lawsuit

[Below are the prepared comments of Chris Maxwell, President of the Rhode Island Trucking Association, for the RIDOT toll gantry workshop Tuesday evening. The video of Chris’ actual comments, abbreviated due to time constraints, can be viewed here. For the sake of the news outlet that erroneously reported that public comment Tuesday night was mostly a re-hash of old objections and omitted all on-topic comments from their story, Ocean State Current has bolded all of Chris’ comments that pertain to the Environmental Assessment that was the subject of Tuesday’s workshop.]

Good evening. My name is Chris Maxwell and I represent the Rhode Island Trucking Association and all local trucking companies adversely affected by truck-only tolls.

Our opposition to this plan from its introduction in the spring of 2015 is well-documented. And despite the justified rancour that still exists, our industry’s willingness to contribute to infrastructure improvement remains steadfast – even beyond our existing contributions which are considerable.

In 2016, the trucking industry in Rhode Island paid roughly $70 million in federal and state roadway taxes.


Hearing Tuesday on First Toll Gantries With Acute Case of UHIP-itis

RIDOT has identified the locations of the first two proposed toll gantry locations in southern Rhode Island. This Tuesday, they will be holding a workshop and taking public comment on their newly-released (not to say rushed out the door) Environmental Assessment of the locations. The problem is that the assessment suffers from exactly the same serious flaw as the ill-fated UHIP system: it was released before it was ready. “Continue Reading” to learn why – and for deets about attending the hearing.


Last Impressions 34: Spun Up on Diversity

A governor’s 1,000-day extravaganza, spinning personal income, honest non-transparency, and Dr. Seuss’s prophecies come true.

Open post for full audio.


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Legislation

State and Local Tax Deduction, Media Bias Lesson

The Providence Journal is proclaiming the “hard hit” to Rhode Islanders of losing the state-and-local tax deductions on their federal taxes, but it will really only hurt a small percentage of higher-income tax filers.


Jeff Hunt: A Great Deal of Evidence CO Pot Wasn’t a Great Deal

Jeff Hunt puts forward evidence from five-years of experience with legalized marijuana suggesting that states should think twice before implementing or considering such policies.


Last Impressions 37: Lesson #1 Is Believe It or Lie

The transgender mandate in schools is about determining truth and forcing you to believe it… or at least to lie.

Open post for full audio.


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Media

Political Monday with John DePetro, No. 38: RI Races for Governor and Senate

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, the topic was the 2018 campaign season, specifically the races for governor and U.S. Senate.

Open post for full audio.


Last Impressions 42: Giving… and Making… Passes

The Democrats’ pass and the big government limit on moral voting.

Open post for full audio.


Christmas Divisions Can’t Escape the Clarifying Lunacy of 2017

Look past the usual “Christmas culture war” story and observe how reporting of a controversy works to dismiss everything important about the underlying disagreement.


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Musings & Announcements

The 2017 Ocean State Freedom Banquet

On Friday, the Center held our first inaugural fundraising banquet -the 2017 Ocean State Freedom Banquet. At the banquet, a capacity crowd of 200 people were on hand to hear the keynote address by Grover Norquist, famed DC anti-tax warrior and President of Americans for Tax Reform.


Last Impressions 30: Keeping in Touch… for Various Reasons

Sympathy for the racist; learning how (not what) to think; in favor of price gouging and dismantling unions; and saying goodbye to an old friend

Open post for full audio.


A Fixed Mower and a Good Heist

Who’s happier: the family man who mows the lawn and reads a good book, or the thug who gains notoriety for a profitable crime that he then blows because he’s a degenerate?


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National Security

Media Language and a Virtue-Signaling Lie

A small example of political “news” can illustrate the language by which journalists promote partisan and ideological positions.


An “Adaptive” System of Leaks Depends on Trust and Consequences

Journalists who support leaks have a point about their value as a safety valve for government abuse, but that safety valve requires that the consequences for breaking the law be real.


Never-Trump Right Gets Us to the Hub of the Matter

When it comes to Don Junior’s meeting with a Russian lawyer, it seems a lot of the key questions, the “and so”s, are being left out of the arguments.


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On a Lighter Note

Harry Potter and Muggle Fly-Over Country’s Conservative Stories

The Harry Potter novels are in some regards liberal wish fulfillment, not only that magic exists, and not only that the elect can be whisked away to an exclusive world, but also that we can ignore the obvious and profess progressive beliefs.


Last Impressions Podcast Episode 19: The Tides of Liberty and Attraction

What is government for? What turns me off about libertarianism, and what turns some men on about lesbianism? And a poetic response.

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Deception and War in Walking Dead

Avoiding war (or entering it justly) requires actively working to bring about and maintain peace, and a willingness to acknowledge when a state of war already exists.


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Pensions

Last Impressions 39: Children of the Law

The sexist children of the General Assembly, blue states as a fleet of Titanics, Rand got God wrong, and a progressive contradiction.

Open post for full audio.


Making Up for Pension Losses

Just as appliance consumers need a practical guide for decibel levels, news consumers need a better sense of what pension return numbers actually mean.


Last Impressions Podcast Episode 13: In Whom Do We Trust?

Trust in Trump (versus the elite), trust in intelligence gathering, trust in pensions and economic development, and trust in the police

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Political Theory

Actual Moral Decision Making on Political Compromises

In assessing how to react to the morally difficult decisions raised by morally compromised politicians, we have fundamental questions to decide.


Putnam Paine: Communist Rhode Island Through and Through

The fight against communism is more difficult when we don’t know what it is we’re fighting.


The Political Show in East Greenwich

Representative democracy isn’t about who can put the loudest group of people (including outsiders) in a room to intimidate elected officials.


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Politics

Political Monday with John DePetro, No. 38: RI Races for Governor and Senate

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, the topic was the 2018 campaign season, specifically the races for governor and U.S. Senate.

Open post for full audio.


Actual Moral Decision Making on Political Compromises

In assessing how to react to the morally difficult decisions raised by morally compromised politicians, we have fundamental questions to decide.


Last Impressions 42: Giving… and Making… Passes

The Democrats’ pass and the big government limit on moral voting.

Open post for full audio.


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Science

Limits on Government’s Ability to Define Your Life Only Go One Way

The commentary of legislators supporting a ban on “conversion therapy” shows that they’re pushing an ideological agenda more than they’re trying to help actual people.


Progressives and Artificial Intelligence

Future reliance on artificial intelligence would be the fulfillment of the progressive vision that experts can guide society, so why is a Providence progressive an early opponent?


Hey, Let’s Try Public Debate and Open Inquiry

With resistance to climate alarmism still high, maybe the solution is a new approach for scientists to address the subject and present it to the public.


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Sports

Political Monday with John DePetro, No. 36: Legacies and Baseball Homes

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, the topics were Judge Flanders’s announcement and chances, the PawSox thoughts of Attleboro, and the Raimondo-bomb of UHIP.

Open post for full audio.


Soccer Salaries and the Outrage Contagion

The gender-war angle doesn’t provide very good perspective for economic issues; indeed, it might make sense for U.S. Soccer to increase gender pay disparities in the short term.


State House Report with John DePetro, No. 22: Political and Cultural Battles

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WADK 1540 AM show, last week, the topics were Gordon Fox, a summer Senate race, racial politics, and the possible WorSox.

Open post for full audio.


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Taxation

Rhode Island Needs A “Light Touch” Regulatory Approach

The goal of an effective regulatory strategy should be to ensure that occupational licensing is no more burdensome than needed to address present, significant and substantiated harm.

Under a “light touch” regulatory approach, businesses are freer to develop and produce jobs.


Money-Grabbing State Officials Seek To Tax Everything That Moves

Yet again, Rhode Island has been saddled with a bottom-10 ranking: This time for its heavy-handed occupational licensing regulatory regime, which effectively denies many people the right to earn a living. In Washington, the Trump administration is returning to a “light-touch” regulatory strategy, a strategy that our state would be wise to follow.


Rhode Island 49th On The Jobs & Opportunity Index

Rhode Islanders want to prosper in an economic climate that rewards hard work, encourages small-business growth, creates quality jobs, and can lead to a better life for their families. In this regard, the traditionally cited monthly unemployment rate is often used by state lawmakers as a benchmark to evaluate the effectiveness of state economic policy initiatives. However, this rate represents a very narrow glimpse of the employment health of a state and can often paint an incomplete, or even inaccurate, snapshot of the broader economic picture.


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Unions

Money-Grabbing State Officials Seek To Tax Everything That Moves

Yet again, Rhode Island has been saddled with a bottom-10 ranking: This time for its heavy-handed occupational licensing regulatory regime, which effectively denies many people the right to earn a living. In Washington, the Trump administration is returning to a “light-touch” regulatory strategy, a strategy that our state would be wise to follow.


Chris Maxwell: RIDOT’s Inadequate Environmental Assessment Intended to Accelerate Toll Bait Lawsuit

[Below are the prepared comments of Chris Maxwell, President of the Rhode Island Trucking Association, for the RIDOT toll gantry workshop Tuesday evening. The video of Chris’ actual comments, abbreviated due to time constraints, can be viewed here. For the sake of the news outlet that erroneously reported that public comment Tuesday night was mostly a re-hash of old objections and omitted all on-topic comments from their story, Ocean State Current has bolded all of Chris’ comments that pertain to the Environmental Assessment that was the subject of Tuesday’s workshop.]

Good evening. My name is Chris Maxwell and I represent the Rhode Island Trucking Association and all local trucking companies adversely affected by truck-only tolls.

Our opposition to this plan from its introduction in the spring of 2015 is well-documented. And despite the justified rancour that still exists, our industry’s willingness to contribute to infrastructure improvement remains steadfast – even beyond our existing contributions which are considerable.

In 2016, the trucking industry in Rhode Island paid roughly $70 million in federal and state roadway taxes.


The Political Show in East Greenwich

Representative democracy isn’t about who can put the loudest group of people (including outsiders) in a room to intimidate elected officials.


Back to top



Welfare

Rhode Island Needs A “Light Touch” Regulatory Approach

The goal of an effective regulatory strategy should be to ensure that occupational licensing is no more burdensome than needed to address present, significant and substantiated harm.

Under a “light touch” regulatory approach, businesses are freer to develop and produce jobs.


Rhode Island 49th On The Jobs & Opportunity Index

Rhode Islanders want to prosper in an economic climate that rewards hard work, encourages small-business growth, creates quality jobs, and can lead to a better life for their families. In this regard, the traditionally cited monthly unemployment rate is often used by state lawmakers as a benchmark to evaluate the effectiveness of state economic policy initiatives. However, this rate represents a very narrow glimpse of the employment health of a state and can often paint an incomplete, or even inaccurate, snapshot of the broader economic picture.


Political Monday with John DePetro, No. 36: Legacies and Baseball Homes

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, the topics were Judge Flanders’s announcement and chances, the PawSox thoughts of Attleboro, and the Raimondo-bomb of UHIP.

Open post for full audio.


Back to top



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