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April 22, 2013

Together Again for the First Time

Justin Katz

The title of this post is a phrase that's struck me as peculiar ever since I first spotted it on a comic book that had found its way into my childhood collection, somehow. Does it indicate that it was the second time the two characters had been together? Or had they been together in some other setting or comic book series before?

Whatever the case, the phrase seems applicable to a joint venture that places Anchor Rising and the Ocean State Current at the same URL. As a matter of content, the two have had considerable overlap, but with respect to content emphasis, they differ somewhat, and organizationally, they are very distinct. The organization part is the critical one, with the Current having a back-office structure that we hobbyists at Anchor Rising have never had the capacity to build.

But the relevance of the comic book implied in my title goes beyond the bold-print declaration that appeared in a Kablow!-style call-out on its cover.

Continue reading on the Ocean State Current...

March 17, 2013

Joyeuse Fête de la Saint-Patrick!

Marc Comtois

Why the French? Because I'm the great-great grandson of a girl from County Clare whose family immigrated to Quebec instead of America!

On the other hand, my wife's family came over from Cork straight to Boston....So Happy St Patrick's Day!

December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Carroll Andrew Morse


From St. Anthony's Church; North Providence, Rhode Island, in the 2012th year of Our Lord.

December 24, 2012


Marc Comtois

November 11, 2012

Thank You Veterans

Marc Comtois

This picture is a good example of why we honor our veterans. No matter what, in times when most of us would take cover, they endure out of duty, honor and for their country. Thank you.

November 8, 2012

15,000 Gasps for Air

Justin Katz

The most discouraging thing about Tuesday's election results was the totality of it. From where I sit, voters made the wrong decisions at the local level, at the state level, and at the federal level. It isn't my purpose, here, to begin the debate about why.

Suffice, for now, to say that those on the right have to find a way to better explain and communicate our society's predicament in terms of causes and solutions. Folks in Rhode Island who say that the state is just too liberal for our ideas are missing the point. Those who tabulate Americans in a demographic tableau of the United States and project the trajectory of ideology and party are ultimately expressing a flawed, racist notion.

First, ideas can change. Human beings are rational; if we're not, then all of the liberties of behavior that social liberals proclaim are little more than assertions that we're free to be instinct-driven animals. We've reached our condition of advancement by, over time, adapting to reality in response not to physical stimuli, but to stimulating abstractions. Ideas.

And second, correct ideas are not regional or racial qualities. If we have correctly assessed the society in which we live (I think we have), and if we have some sense of the shape of the solutions (I think we do), then we must explain these things. It is not enough to lament that blacks don't presently vote for a particular party. It is the wrong approach to begin with the objective of voicing the ideas that people already have in order to attract them to our political banner.

Our ideas should change because we've found better ones, not because we want them to be liked. To do otherwise would be marketing for marketing's sake. Leave it to industry to prioritize the sale above the thing sold.

This is not the context in which I would have liked to observe that we've now reached the 15,000-posts line. It's not a perfect count, I should note: that number includes all blogs on our back end, most substantially Dust in the Light.

But it still indicates a lot of words. A lot of ideas.

When we began Anchor Rising, eight years ago yesterday, we expressed the goal of progress for Rhode Island. Tuesday's discouragement was that we have not seen it.

Nobody, back then, expected Rhode Island to have turned around by now. But it was reasonable to think Rhode Islanders would be giving signs of recognizing the problem. At best, they're recognizing that there is a problem, which I suppose is a sort of pre-dawn light.

So, we enter another year and another term. We begin the next 15,000 posts, because when recognition comes, it will be helpful that so much has already been written.

Ideological minorities don't (or shouldn't) expect to effect an immediate revolution of ideas. But we can lay out an alternate case, so that as people awake to the fact that things must change (and if they don't flee), it is with the possibility of asking, "What is it that they've been saying all these years?"

May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Marc Comtois

April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Carroll Andrew Morse


(Art created by Donut Diva)

February 27, 2012

The Ocean State Current: Carpenter No More

Justin Katz

Many of you have already heard, through one channel or another, that I've been working on a new project that has moved me from the construction site to an online media office. (Still mainly my basement.) Well, that project, The Ocean State Current, has just quietly gone live. Noise to follow.

Rather than copy and paste, for Anchor Rising readers, information about the site, I'll simply refer you to its about page and a more personalized blog post that I've published on its "Justin's Case" page. I'll also point out that I've spent the past week blogging to nobody, so there's over a week's worth of posts containing content that I could bear to cast directly into an archive, but that AR readers will find worthy of perusal.

The most important thing that I can say about the Current is that it cannot succeed unless people read it and participate in the conversation, there. So, if you've got the space in your schedule to add it to your daily (or hourly) routine, please do so. I'll be covering many more events, delving into a greater number of policy issues, breaking stories, interviewing people, and even digging a bit more deeply into blog content than I've been able to do here for quite some time.

As to Anchor Rising: This site will continue, and I will continue as administrator. As I've been joking in person, it would take more work to hand it off than to simply keep the habits up. Even my frequency of posts may not change very much. The Current has replaced my carpentry; it may conceivably create an opening for even greater participation in the AR community. What content, when, how, where, why... well, that's something that will have to work itself out over the coming months.

And the greatest benefit of it all may be that the other contributors will have reason to grow to fill the space, as they've so often proven themselves talented enough to do. We're ankle deep in the election year, and our state, nation, and world are staring at a long hallway of unknowns, so there's plenty to say, to research, and to debate.

January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Marc Comtois

Feel free to post your 2012 wishes, resolutions, hopes, dreams, lottery numbers and general thoughts in the comments. Here's hoping 2012 is a good one!

December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Carroll Andrew Morse


From Benoit Square; Fairhaven, Massachusetts, in the 2011th year of Our Lord.

Photographer's note: The above picture was taken on the morning of Christmas eve 2011. In the process of taking this picture and a few others, I heard the beeping of several car horns on the road behind me. Turning around "to see what was the matter" (to borrow a phrase), I saw Santa Claus, standing on an opposite street corner, waving to passers-by. I finished snapping the pictures of the Benoit Square nativity, intending when I was done to ask Santa if I could take a photo or two of him. However, by the time I turned around again, he was gone.

November 15, 2011

Building and Talking Pensions

Justin Katz

ABC6 has posted video of the news story in which I appeared, last week, about pensioners who make more than they did as employees.

It's too bad the reporter didn't come back an hour or so later; a shot of me trying to lift the 25' wall that she filmed me framing would have been much more dramatic. (I did get the wall up, by the way, but it took a few tries to convince my muscles that it was in their interest to perform the act in one push... and then it took a few days for them to recover.)

Thanks to reporter Abbey Niezgoda for making the long trip out to Tiverton to include me in the story.

November 8, 2011

Me Versus the Rally

Justin Katz

I'll be on the 5:00 and 6:00 evening news broadcasts on ABC6 talking about my analysis of public pensions that are higher than the salaries from which they grew. I got the impression that I'll be presented in opposition to the pro-high-pension rally that the unions are hosting, today.

October 24, 2011

Early on the Radio

Justin Katz

I'll be going on the Helen Glover Show, WHJJ 920 AM, at 7:45, this morning to talk some more about hybrids and pension reform in general.

October 21, 2011

Some Lunchtime Listening

Justin Katz

If you're near a radio from 12 to 1 p.m., today, tune in to 99.7FM/630AM WPRO. I'll be appearing on the Dan Yorke show to talk about pensions and (no doubt) various other topics of interest to Anchor Rising readers.

October 19, 2011

Negotiating Points in the Pension Proposal

Justin Katz

I've got the first of two planned posts about the pension reform proposal up on the blog section of Mike Stenhouse's new Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity site.

Over the remainder of 2011, I'll be contributing content to the Center on a limited range of topics, pension reform being one of them. My Anchor Rising activities will continue, though... hopefully increasing once a seasonal event that I'm planning for my children's school is removed from my plate after this weekend.

Without getting into too much detail, I'd note that anybody who's thought it might do the state some good to have me researching, reporting, and writing full time can help make that a reality simply by following my links over to the rifreedom.org and participating in the conversation.

October 7, 2011

This Morning’s Political Roundtable

Carroll Andrew Morse

My appearance on this morning’s WRNI Political Roundtable (1290AM today, 88.1FM tomorrow) is available on the station’s website.

August 31, 2011

Welcoming Patrick Laverty to the Contributors List

Justin Katz

With all of Anchor Rising's contributors' finding it difficult to maintain a schedule of frequent posts, and with a critical election season coming our way, we're thrilled to expand our roster by one.

Patrick Laverty has long been a regular participant in our comment sections and has been blogging at Another RI Blogger. Other than that, I'll let him discover himself to you, so to speak.

Per past practice, Patrick will have to blog from behind the mask of our Roger Williams graphic. In due time, we'll get him his very own Anchor Rising avatar.

August 26, 2011

Changes of Season

Justin Katz

For the record, I didn't intend to scale back quite so drastically or quite so quickly, but in a variety of respects (mostly having to do with various responsibilities), summer ended early. It didn't help that it took me until last night to get through the long-awaited novel A Dance with Dragons, by George R.R. Martin.

But hey, if Drudge can run a hurricane path graphic and the accompanying headline for days on end, surely we can get away with light posting. According to the Weather Channel's interactive map, we're right at the border of the point at which hurricane Irene fades from a major threat to a dramatic storm.

Just to be safe, though, be sure to get out to the store and buy some milk. Nothing wards off extreme weather quite so effectively as a large distribution of dairy in refrigerators across the state.

August 22, 2011

Damn, I Always Did Like That Jim Baron

Monique Chartier

Many thanks to the Pawtucket Time's Jim Baron for his kind words and solicitation on behalf of Anchor Rising yesterday in the second part of his "Politics as Usual" column, selfishly pasted below in its entirety. It means a lot not just considering the source (from the mind and pen of one of the state's region's outstanding reporters) but because, as a regular reader of his opinion column, I know that he disagrees with the positions put forth in about 80% of A.R.'s posts!

Scaled-back blogs

Information is a precious commodity and it is always a shame to see a quality provider of reliable information and commentary goes away. We’ve all seen daily newspapers disappear across the country and even the world.

Websites and blogs started springing up to fill the void, many of them excellent, many not so much.

Rhode Island has been fortunate to have several excellent blogs and bloggers but recently one of them gave us bad news.

The folks at Anchor Rising.com, a conservatively-oriented political site, announced this week that they are being forced to scale back their efforts so that the main contributors can concentrate on earning a living at their day jobs. They had been hoping to raise enough money to sustain a full-time staffer on a payroll, but as Justin Katz and Marc Comtois (who, along with Monique Chartier do the lion’s share of the posting) explained in separate posts, that didn’t happen.

That is truly a shame.

In navy-blue Rhode Island, it is important, if not imperative, to have a conservative voice speaking out, even if the message often falls on deaf ears.

As blogs go, Anchor Rising is an excellent one. The postings are consistently of a high intellectual level, well argued and supported with facts. You don’t have to agree with them, but you have to respect them as well-reasoned opinions. There is almost none of the name-calling, flaming and other vitriol that too often mar many sites, particularly political discussions) on the Internet. Some of the reply comments can get a bit rambunctious, but that is always going to happen when you deal with the public.

Anchor Rising goes on, but its posts will be fewer and further between, and that is unfortunate.

If you have an interest in keeping many sides of the political dialogue ongoing and vibrant (and you do, whether you recognize it or not) you might want to visit Anchor Rising on the web and check it out. There is a link there you can click on to donate money (nothing good comes free). If you are one of those rich conservatives people read about (sometimes on this page), you might want to consider underwriting a valuable voice in the political debate.

August 21, 2011

We Still Have a Home on the Internet

Justin Katz

Readers who've been around that long may recall a little bit of a panic 'round here two years ago that we wouldn't be able to cover our Web hosting costs around this time of year. Well, this year, thanks to your monthly and one-time donations, I was able to renew for another year with no trouble at all.

That doesn't mean that we'll individually have any more time in the day to generate content, but it does keep us going in some capacity — and with our options open should circumstances change.

Thanks for the help.

August 18, 2011

Charting a New Course

Marc Comtois

So we tried to see if we could make a fiscal go of it, as Justin has explained, but now we’re scaling back a bit at Anchor Rising. (Some of us--me--got an early start with a particularly busy summah). Over the last few months, we’ve all have found it harder to do our duty and put up regular posts, as we’ve felt obligated to do since we started taking sponsors (as Justin touched upon with Matt Allen last night), while also waiting for some group or individual to step forward and help us fund a full-time position. We thought it was worth a shot.

Obviously, we share the same ideological touchstone as many conservatives, libertarians and even some of those “traditional” Rhode Island Democrats and Independents. But that doesn’t, or hasn’t, translated into funding to help us take Anchor Rising to another level. It appears, to me at least, that an established “brand” like Anchor Rising isn’t attractive for funding because our voice isn’t likely to be shaped or altered depending on who is supplying the coin. Let’s face it, ideology or philosophy aside, we think what we think and we post it. There are little battles amongst the ranks of political movements and we tend not to take sides in those. But we’ll sure as hell tell you if we think you’re wrong, even if we agree with you on most other things. A lot of people—groups or investors—can’t handle that, especially if they’re giving you money. And I can’t say that I really fault anyone for that attitude. It’s their money.

After Justin’s post on Monday, long-time new media “friend of the blog” Ian Donnis noted it and highlighted a statement I made about blogging in an interview that Justin, Andrew and I had with Ian (while he was at the Phoenix) in 2008:

“You have to do it because you love doing it for its own sake. Lots of blogs flame out. People get bored or realize how hard it is. But I think that so long as you are passionate about something — whether politics, music, food or whatever — you will be able to keep it going. Just don’t ever look at it as a way to make money or gain power.”

I guess I was right, but it was worth a try. While it is a "scaling back", I prefer to think of it as charting a new course. Still on the journey, just going a different way (in a smaller boat!).

All that aside, I like to think we’ve helped inform and coalesce Rhode Islanders over the last few years; that we’ve helped them realize that things don’t have to be as they are just because “this is Rhode Island.” For the nearly 7 years we’ve been going at it, we’ve seen other conservative groups—some of them sponsors--come and go. We were here before OSPRI and their Transparency Train. We were here before RISC changed their “S” from “Shoreline” to “Statewide”. We were here before the Tea Partiers and we started before Matt Allen got his own show. Some have exited from the scene or become less or more influential. Some have changed direction and some continue on. We’ll continue on, too (if not as prolifically!).

After all this time, we and our commenters and our readers have become a sort of big family: full of conservative and liberal brothers and sisters (and a few libertarian middle children) and more than our fair share of spaced out cousins and just plain crazy old uncles (you know who you are). We’ll still be here to offer a conservative perspective and our comments section will remain as our own "lively experiment" by providing you with a forum to agree or argue (and yes, to flame or troll--again, you know who you are!).

But enough of that. Let's continue sailing on.

Scaling Back

Justin Katz

We began talking with Matt Allen on WPRO every Wednesday just before 7 p.m. back in early 2008, and last night I took our final call. We just don't feel right about having him tout our activities on such a regular basis when we're not sure how active we'll actually be. That doesn't mean we won't be listening to his show or even that we won't be calling in from time to time, but when we do, we'll be regular callers.

Stream by clicking here, or download it.

August 15, 2011

Facing Reality

Justin Katz

We're coming up on seven years since Anchor Rising launched. In the peculiar sensation of time, the days have felt as if they've sped, but it seems as if the site has been around forever.

When we started out, we had the attitude of hobbyists — we would battle the problems of Rhode Island and the nation as we had time. But as we moved forward, not only did we pick up a healthy growth curve of readers, but we slid into habits of research and content creation somewhat beyond a hobbyist's scope. We've done some real, substantive research; we've gathered audio and video of events as if it were our occupation.

And we've done a fair bit of good.

Last winter, I was hopeful that enough people had seen the value in what we do that we could find funding for a single full-time job. We pretty quickly found enough pledges to form a healthy baseline, but nowhere near enough to make the transition without a large investment from a single person or group. Twice the possibility of the dream come true was tantalizingly close, but, well, people have their own ideas and priorities.

I continue to believe that a year of full-speed Anchor Rising would make its own case (and allow enough freedom of time and movement) for us to find consistent revenue to continue growing beyond the range of a hobby. Unfortunately, we lack the resources to fund that year; I (for one) don't even have the remaining capacity for debt to take out a business loan for that purpose.

Yet, life has its demands. I'm going to do my best to continue with the regular content for the rest of August, but come September, I have to reorder my priorities. We'll still be here, making our opinions known, but I'll be putting aside the sense of obligation to have a steady stream of new posts. Spring 2011 was just too arduous, and I've got to find some other direction.

In terms of the free market, Rhode Island and its center-right contingent have expressed a lack of interest in a media organization such as Anchor Rising is and could be. It's unfortunate that we're about to slide into the most critical election season in recent memory — both for Rhode Island and for the United States. We had hoped to provide a counter to the stream of skewed PolitiFacts and politically tilted journalism and to challenge the flawed ideas that dominate Rhode Islanders' sense of how things should function.

The state, in particular, really, truly needs a voice that will make the long-term case that conservative ideas aren't strange notions at which to scoff in the thick of debates and campaigning, but are at the very least arguable and are very likely correct. Anchor Rising's readership has been small, relative to the major media organizations in Rhode Island, but our reach has been broad, attracting the attention of the people who set the storyline for the state.

I can't think of a better political or ideological investment than making good ideas and common sense seem less foreign year 'round. That's the groundwork that must be in place for real reform to occur. Activist groups can alert the public to the greatest excesses, and charismatic politicians might individually slip into office with just the right blend of name recognition and negative ads. But their victories will be fleeting unless we change the way that people understand their society.

For that, what's necessary is continual conversation... reasoned explanations of a method of thought, with research and examples from current events as evidence. Anchor Rising is well positioned to offer such a service, but the effort can't continue to require so much sacrifice of our personal lives and ambitions.

April 28, 2011

A Main Page Summary

Justin Katz

On last night's Matt Allen Show Monique gave Matt a rundown of some of the more interesting posts currently on the main page. Stream by clicking here, or download it.

April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Carroll Andrew Morse


(Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc - www.reverendfun.com)

February 23, 2011

Talking Blogging

Justin Katz

I'll be sharing my experience as a blue-state blogger with the Providence College Republicans tonight at 7:30 p.m., in room 112 of the Providence College Slavin Center. Admission is free and open to the public if you're inclined to swing by.

January 4, 2011

Another Way to Comment

Carroll Andrew Morse

You may have noticed over the past few months that we've occassionally been reprinting Anchor Rising posts over at the Anchor Rising Facebook page; part of the intention is to experiment with a comment-space that is a little less anonymous than the no-registration option of a standalone blog. To use the old cliche, one method of commenting is not better than the other, they're just different, and I can envision productive dynamics emerging from both forms.

I think I've got things set up so that anybody with a Facebook account can comment on the posts we send over there, and we promise not to "share" (in the Facebook sense) every post of every day, so you can "like" the Facebook page, without having to worry about your newsfeed potentially being overwhelmed by Anchor Rising entries.

For this evening, the floor is now open at Facebook, on the subject of the Cranston inaugural ceremonies and first City Council meeting.

Comment via Facebook.

December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Carroll Andrew Morse


December 21, 2010

Important Note on Commenting

Justin Katz

In an attempt to reclaim some of our blogging time each day by eliminating unwanted automated comments, we've made a couple of minor but significant changes to the rules of commenting. The changes

  • You must leave the space labeled "URL" completely blank.
  • Your comment cannot contain the text "http:" — either as text or as a hyperlink.
  • Unfortunately, that means that hyperlinks won't work in the comment boxes any longer, you'll be able to post the URL, starting with "www" (or whatever).
  • On the bright side, this allows us to get rid of the anti-spam code.

December 16, 2010

Teachers, Meetings, Speeches, and Money

Justin Katz

How Central Falls should resolve its education problems, meeting (or not) with the governor-elect, speaking to the Tea Party, and needing dough were the topics when Matt and I spoke last night on the Matt Allen Show. Stream by clicking here, or download it.

Again, please email or call (401-835-7156) me to pledge financial support — as subscriptions, donations, or advertising — for 2011.

December 12, 2010

Hot for the Moment

Justin Katz

I was pleased and surprised to discover that I'm on the desirable side of Dan McGowan's latest "Who's hot and who's not in RI politics" list on GoLocalProv, in company of Chafee and Tavares, Steven Constantino, and the DREAM Act.

The reason is our "quiet campaign" to create a full-time job on the site, so I can only imagine that it falls to Anchor Rising's readers and supporters to keep me of the "not hot" list in the event that we don't reach our target.

On that note, I'd point out that — at reader request — we've added options to our "subscribe" button on the left-hand side of the page. The standard subscription is still $7.60 per month, but if you're so inclined, there are higher monthly amounts enabled.

December 7, 2010

Here's What You Should Believe, Today

Justin Katz

Well, look at that: Anchor Rising made GoLocalProv's list of "opinion makers."

Anchor Rising is the conservative voice in the blog world in RI. Led by Justin Katz, it is always driving the agenda and one of the first in the market to create a destination for conservatives to share their views.

By the way, I've been so busy, this week, that I've neglected to remind you that we're trying to create a full-time position within Anchor Rising — which would not only be a boon to the Rhode Island Right and an opportunity in the "dream come true" spectrum for one lucky blogger, but would also be somewhat unprecedented, especially in our tiny state. As the weeks move along, I'm increasingly convinced that it is possible to find the necessary funding. Please email or call (401-835-7156) me to pledge financial support — as subscriptions, donations, or advertising — for 2011.

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Marc Comtois

For many years, the Saturday Evening Post captured the pulse of America, particularly its cover art. In 1943, Norman Rockwell provided one of the iconic images of Thanksgiving with this cover.

"Freedom From Want" ~ Norman Rockwell

Ironically, the cover appeared in March, not November, and, as its title illustrates, was in reference to one of President Franklin Roosevelt's 4 Freedoms.

Fifteen years earlier, in 1938, J.C. Leyendecker portrayed what, to many modern Americans, Thanksgiving is really all about.

"After Turkey Nap" ~ J.C. Leyendecker

Yet, it was Rockwell's cover of 1945 that speaks to contemporary times as much as when it was first published.

"Home for Thanksgiving" ~ Norman Rockwell

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers, to all of your family and friends and to all of our men and women in uniform.

November 11, 2010

Thank You

Marc Comtois

Thank you to all our veterans and to all who continue to serve our country. Your sacrifices will not be forgotten.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 8

For those who would like to help our local veterans and their families, please visit Operation Homefront New England. Or if you'd just like to say "Thank You", head on over to the USO.

Finally, a little history.

April 20, 2010

Where I've Been

Justin Katz

Sorry to disappear, this afternoon. Thanks to your donations, I was able to sneak away from the construction site a little early, today, in order to play journalist (sort of) and interview RI Education Commissioner Deborah Gist. Now I turn to processing the video, which I'll have up first thing in the morning.

April 11, 2010

That Long Slow Upward Climb

Justin Katz

Things cooled a bit after the healthcare vote, but I thought I'd take a moment to note that March was Anchor Rising's most trafficked month ever:

For the uninitiated, "visits" are calculated as unique visitors coming back during a time not less than an hour. In other words, one person downloading a dozen pages within a half hour is just one visit. Another person coming back every hour on the hour counts each time. This particular software also filters out robots and other non-people visitors for the final count.

The reason I pay attention to this software is that it's been consistent where our other methods are erratic, even though they'd permit us to make greater claims. The reason I track visits is that "unique visitors" doesn't capture reader devotion, and "page views" and "hits" are susceptible to design tricks. (If a site gets you to download a lot of files just to view its main page, it can claim extra pages and hits.)

The key point, though, is that we continue to grow, and we're very glad to have you reading, supporting, and challenging us. If you'd also like to help us move things to the next level, please consider financial support, as well:

Subscriptions of $0.25 per day (payments of $7.60 per month) and donations of any size may be made using credit cards via PayPal (no PayPal account is necessary) by clicking the following:

Those who would prefer the more direct route of checks or money orders can make them out to Anchor Rising and send them to:

Anchor Rising
P.O. Box 751
Portsmouth, RI 02871

For advertising, whether along the sides of the blog or as one of these here Community Crier posts, email Justin.

April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Carroll Andrew Morse


(Art created by Donut Diva)

March 29, 2010

Here and There Around the Internet

Justin Katz

It's been bugging me that Web pages that I haven't had cause to update for a long, long time not only looked outdated, but gave visitors no reason to suspect that I've done much of anything for the better part of a decade. So, I took a moment to forward TimshelArts.com and JustinKatz.com to Dust in the Light. (The first two links will bring you to the old versions, if you're curious.)

It also occurred to me that, since I'm writing in so many places, now, it'd be worth tracking my activities in one place. So, I'll be using Dust in the Light for that purpose, linking to my posts here and elsewhere and posting the occasional item that doesn't quite fit anywhere else, such as this poem that conversation with a friend inspired me to pen a week or so ago.

These changes led us to slip a little farther into the strange, dubious world of social media. You can now follow Anchor Rising on Twitter for streaming announcements, there, of what goes up here. You can also follow what's going up at Dust in the Light at my Facebook page and my Twitter page (although the Facebook page doesn't appear to update as frequently as it should, for some reason).

You can also follow Marc on Twitter. He appears to intend to actually provide unique content through that medium.

And while I'm making announcements, I should note that the economy is working against our intentions to ratchet up our activities during this critical election season, so anything you can do to help would be much appreciated. Subscriptions of $0.25 per day (payments of $7.60 per month) and donations of any size may be made using credit cards via PayPal (no PayPal account is necessary) by clicking the following:

Those who would prefer the more direct route of checks or money orders can make them out to Anchor Rising and send them to:

Anchor Rising
P.O. Box 751
Portsmouth, RI 02871

For advertising, whether along the sides of the blog or as one of these here Community Crier posts, email Justin.

March 12, 2010

UPDATED: Two Tiverton-Related Notes

Justin Katz

UPDATE: I was able to restore the lost post

1. The post to which I linked on the Tiverton Citizens for Change blog was accidentally deleted, this morning. My time is way too limited to reconstruct it, and I apologize for any confusion.

2. The Tiverton Budget Committee voted last night to put a level-funded budget for the school district on the docket for the financial town meeting. Inasmuch as my visibility seems have positioned me to be among the most viscerally disliked people in town, I thought I should note — in my personal capacity — that I do not agree with that result. I don't agree with it strategically, as a means of reallocating resources from pay and benefits for adults back toward programs for students, and I don't agree with it as a final outcome, at least not yet, when the staff just voted to re open its contract and the school committee and teachers haven't played their cards, yet.

March 2, 2010

A Local Focus

Justin Katz

In addition to my regular schedule on Anchor Rising, I'll be putting a daily post up on the Web site of Tiverton Citizens for Change, focusing on content related to the town, specifically. My intention is not only to have an effect politically, but also to experiment with a new model that we've been discussing for years, leveraging blogs and multimedia at the local level, with Anchor Rising tying that information into the state-level discussion.

Much of the TCC content will be of the sort that probably wouldn't make it onto my AR posting list because of its narrow focus. However, the experiment comes into play in the sense that I'll be liveblogging from town meetings, there, as well as posting town-related video, as I've done this morning with the recent "pay as you throw" trash pickup hearing.

January 28, 2010

Anchoring the Violent Roundtable

Justin Katz

Whatever you're doing, tomorrow night, be sure to tune in to 630AM/99.7FM WPRO from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. Marc, Monique, and I will be storming the WPRO studios to take over Matt Allen's Violent Roundtable.

(Alright, alright, we've been invited, and Matt will still be running the show, but it always makes for an engaging hour.)

December 5, 2009

An Undebatable Line

Justin Katz

Contributorship has its advantages, among which is the right not to be called unnecessary names in the comments sections. Indeed, crossing that line is such a monumentally stupid thing for a commenter to do if he or she derives any value from participating in the ongoing discussions, here, that I can only conclude that the culprit isn't actually interested in maintaining that privilege.

For those who require an explanation, it's simple: Each contributor is more important, more valuable, to Anchor Rising than a slew of readers, even active readers. That's why we've asked him or her to step out from the shadows with a real name, actual contact information, and even a picture and take some ownership of the Anchor Rising brand. We're not paid for this, and dodging schoolyard insults on our own turf is an unacceptable negative.

And so, George Elbow's comments are no longer welcome on Anchor Rising. As always, sincere repentance will be accepted.

November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Marc Comtois

To commemorate Thanksgiving this year, I thought it appropriate to post George Washington's original Thanksgiving Proclamation setting aside Thursday, November 26th (exactly 220 years ago!) as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer.

General Thanksgiving

By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America


WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houfes of Congress have, by their joint committee, requefted me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to eftablifh a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and affign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of thefe States to the fervice of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our fincere and humble thanksfor His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the fignal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpofitions of His providence in the courfe and conclufion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have fince enjoyed;-- for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to eftablish Conftitutions of government for our fafety and happinefs, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;-- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are bleffed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffufing useful knowledge;-- and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleafed to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in moft humbly offering our prayers and fupplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and befeech Him to pardon our national and other tranfgreffions;-- to enable us all, whether in publick or private ftations, to perform our feveral and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a bleffing to all the people by conftantly being a Government of wife, juft, and conftitutional laws, difcreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all fovereigns and nations (especially fuch as have shewn kindnefs unto us); and to blefs them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increafe of fcience among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind fuch a degree of temporal profperity as he alone knows to be beft.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand feven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington

November 20, 2009

Five Years

Marc Comtois

I believe it has gone unmentioned so far, so I'll do it: November 7th marked Anchor Rising's 5 Year anniversary. I'm not sure what the average blog shelf-life is out there, but I suspect (and based on my own experience!) that we've surpassed it easily. That is partly due to our own doggedness (and the plethora of local source material) to be sure, but it would have been much harder if we had found ourselves opining to no one. So, thanks readers, whether agreeing or disagreeing, for keeping the Anchor Rising.

Anchor Rising on the Roundtable

Justin Katz

Although you all should listen to Matt Allen every night (and especially on Fridays), for planning purposes, it may interest you to know that Anchor Rising (Andrew, Marc, and me) will be filling the seats and taking the mics for his Violent Roundtable from eight to nine o'clock, tonight, on 630AM/99.7FM WPRO.

November 13, 2009

Technical Issues

Justin Katz

Our Web host upgraded our hardware and software, and most everything seems to have gone smoothly. For some reason, however, I'm not able to access Anchor Rising — the page itself — using my Cox cable modem. With my mobile Internet modem, however, I've got no problems.

Are other Cox users able to access the site? Anybody else having strange issues?

November 11, 2009

Ah, Technology

Justin Katz

Just FYI: Some time in the middle of the night, my email stopped working. I'm trying to get it up and running, but in the meantime, that may explain my lack of response to any messages that you've sent.

October 19, 2009

Grassroots, Multimedia, and Being Bound

Justin Katz

It was a variegated weekend, with:

  • Video from the first RI Voter Coalition Meet the Candidate Forum here, here, here, and here
  • And thoughts on the tea party movement here
  • Two of us on the Violent Roundtable there
  • One of us on the topic of binding arbitration elsewhere
  • Information about offering testimony thereon here
  • Assisted suicide sparking debate here and here
  • The loss of taxpayers surprising few here
  • A head-stapling teacher and local authority here
  • And a snowy, global warming day here

October 16, 2009

Out and About, Tonight

Justin Katz

Andrew and Monique will be on Matt Allen's Violent Roundtable tonight, from 8:00 to 9:00. I'm going to try to get there, as well, but starting at 6:00, I'll be doing my usual liveblogging-youtubing thing from the Coventry Elks in West Greenwich, where the Rhode Island Voter Coalition is hosting a Meet the Candidates forum.

October 12, 2009

The Weekend Autumn's Chill Arrived

Justin Katz

This weekend brought assorted topics:

October 5, 2009

A Political Weekend

Justin Katz

With a few exceptions, it was a weekend of two political events. Of course, there's the Republican Northeast Conference, which I liveblogged here, here, and here, with the following video footage (thus far):

  • The first evening brought introductory remarks, including from RIGOP Chair Gio Cicione and Governor Jim Douglas of Vermont.
  • Governor Carcieri kicked off Saturday morning.
  • Rhode Island politico turned RNC Chief of Staff Ken McKay talked horse race.
  • Former Congressman and U.S. Senatorial Candidate from Connecticut Robert Simmons revved the crowd.
  • Congressional Candidates Justin Bernier (CT), John Loughlin (RI), and Charles Lollar (MD) introduced themselves, with Lollar emerging as somebody to watch on the national scene.
  • My personal favorite was Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (MI), who turned his speech into a Q&A session, providing answers that few could have matched even if written.
  • Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu got down into the nitty gritty of politics and clearly had a profound effect on the crowd.

The other event of the weekend was Glenn Beck's book signing in Providence, which Marc previewed and Andrew covered. The notable thing was the huge crowd of fans juxtaposed with the almost non-existent handful of protesters. (Guess which the Providence Journal emphasized.)

On other topics, Monique looked at Attorney General Patrick Lynch's travel record, and Marc responded to Mark Patinkin's experience traveling to the site of actual Communism.

October 2, 2009

A Turn to 10

Justin Katz

Well, I'm off to the Republican National Committee Northeast Conference in Newport, but Bill Rappleye just stopped by to interview me about the survivability of unions in Rhode Island. Watch for the segment on channel 10 on either the five or six o'clock news. I'll keep an eye out for online video.

September 29, 2009

Discussing the Vlog

Justin Katz

I'm hearing that Matt Allen will be discussing the content of today's vlog during the 7:00 hour (although he just said it may move to the 8:00 hour). I'll be listening and will probably call in to expound (unless the conversation captivates me, as often happens). Listen on 630AM/99.7FM or stream online on WPRO's Web site.

In the meantime, he's talking about what Dan Yorke was talking about, this afternoon: The personally aggrandizing motivations of House Speaker Bill Murphy for keeping the General Assembly from convening as our state collapses.

September 28, 2009

Another Too-Short Weekend

Justin Katz

This weekend was dominated by the healthcare debate, particularly Congressman Patrick Kennedy's controlled version of the town-hall meeting, which I liveblogged and videotaped. The casual viewer will see that Kennedy's expressed fears about political violence had no proximate basis. Which would seem to match a sort of meta-rhetorical theme, in that specifics of the Democrats' healthcare plan, such as the intention to tax the rich, have no proximate logic.

Meanwhile, the internationalistas are moving to assert their authority over the financial industry. A student of recent history should conclude that they're much more likely to take action on that front than on the front of Iranian intransigence.

Back in Rhode Island, things are pretty much as they've been: We're scaring away businesses, leaving our students ignorant, and shaking our heads at the sort of leader that we send to Washington.

September 24, 2009

Contrasting Healthcare Fora

Justin Katz

I've just received word that I will be allowed to do my liveblogging, YouTubing thing at Congressman Patrick Kennedy's limited-attendance healthcare forum, on Saturday. We can then compare and contrast the candidate, audience, and message with State Representative John Loughlin's healthcare town hall meeting in Tiverton on Wednesday.

September 21, 2009

A Working (and Not) Weekend

Justin Katz

Our content, this weekend, seems like a reverberation of thought from Labor Day, because most of the posts are somehow related to working.

  • There's the state worker so out of touch as to whine about being called "nonessential."
  • There's the carpenter and blogger worrying (some would say "whining" here, too) about the financial ramifications of not working Saturdays (more specifically: working in a way so as to make money).
  • Robert Muksian argues that America should raise Social Security taxes on the working in order to maintain benefits for the retired, semiretired, and old-enough-to-retire.
  • Monique noted a certain state that is, unsurprisingly, known to be a bad place to retire, tax-wise.
  • And then there are a slew of posts about the work that particular people do, starting with the job of priests and all of the faithful to send off the dead appropriately.
  • Newspaper editorial boards, of course, are shirking their duties if they exclude highly relevant information.
  • One can't exclude the political hackery of the current speaker fo the U.S. Congress.
  • And Jon Stewart does an excellent job of spearing ACORN agents who seemed well rehearsed in their job of securing financial assistance for people who did the important work of pretending that their occupations were jaw-droppingly objectionable in order to expose corruption.
  • Meanwhile, Mark Steyn holds that the President isn't doing his job very well when it comes to international affairs.
  • Finally, the question of whether it would be preferable to be eternally of this world or of the next may come down to whether one wishes to work for eternity or not.

September 18, 2009

Don't forget....

Marc Comtois

Anchor Rising is on the Matt Allen show tonight from 8-9 PM. Tune in to here Justin, Andrew and Monique "get violent" (heh) with Matt. Matt doesn't usually take calls during the Violent Roundtable, but feel free to comment here!

Right-Wing Violence Tonight

Justin Katz

Schedule accordingly: Andrew, Monique, and I will be joining Matt Allen for his Violent Roundtable tonight on 630AM/99.7FM WPRO.

September 14, 2009

The Weekends March On

Justin Katz

The big news of the weekend, I'd say, was the continuing ability of opposition groups to generate large protests, the Providence version of which Monique and Andrew attended. The Providence Journal, disappointingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, thought something else was most worthy of its attention.

Word came of economic solvency being an issue for Rhode Island businesses, and Dilbert suggested some other fears applicable to the state of the state. We continued discussion of the inviolability of public-sector pensions. watched video of school committee debates about open negotiations in Tiverton, and noticed contract-related battles in the Pawtucket district.

Meanwhile, on the national front, the government and media have begun pushing the message that the fate of the economy rests with consumers' willingness to incur patriotic debt. The marriage debate roiled on, touching political philosophy. Reformers declared their current philosophy to be "Enough!" And the abortion struggle added another adult murder, this time of a pro-lifer, as ever by a psychopath.

Internationally, Don noted the Obama Administration's differing treatment of democrats and tyrants, and I pondered the end of the world.

September 8, 2009

A Long Weekend in Review

Justin Katz

It was a long weekend with some big thoughts.

  • I joined Larry Kudlow in seeing the suffering of small businesses (which isn't without government causes) as an ill-boding omen.
  • With some commenters seemingly incapable of discerning humor, I proposed amphibious cars as an alternative economic engine to "green jobs" for our state.
  • Monqiue noted that an alternative to "green"jobs is advisable.
  • Froma Harrop's endemic foolishness on healthcare matters came up again.
  • As did excessive concern about swine flue.
  • Nevermind excessive concern about toddler depression, which relates to Patrick Kennedy's mental health legislation in disconcerting ways.
  • But Monique's survey of various dietary findings provides some non-disconcerting (concerting?) information for social drinkers.
  • And I take issue with Michael Kinsley's games with rationing.
  • Meanwhile, whether the criminal or hero suffers more from the latter's pursuit of the former remains an open question, although it's clear that impatient drivers ought to avoid winding up behind me in traffic.
  • Switching gears completely (perhaps not so completely, actually), I suggested that the progressive/liberal lamentation of lost literacy might have something to do with the diminished prominence of literary propaganda.
  • Similarly, Monique pointed out that mainstream media propaganda on behalf of public sector unions may be losing its political currency.
  • Which may contribute to a sense that it's time for a liberal revolution... by which I mean a conservative one.
  • In a convoluted way (Me convoluted? Naw.), perhaps judicial restraint could help to facilitate just that.
  • Governments of various tiers' ensuring continuing deficits will contribute to such an outcome, as well.
  • As might the Obama administration's introduction of left-wing nuts into czarist positions.
  • Speaking of czarist positions, Monique challenges their existence altogether.
  • Meanwhile, I'd suggest that Pope Benedict's view of proper globalization could play a role in a reworking of international society... where fallibility doesn't derail his elucidation.
  • I'd also suggest that religious folks across the Anglosphere consider Cardinal George Pell's warning.
  • And to cap off the weekend, mild banter with everybody's favorite infamous local unionist ties quite a number of the above themes together to point toward fundamental differences of philosophy.

August 31, 2009

Last Weekend in August

Justin Katz

It was a final lazy summer weekend, although I spent most of it doing behind-the-scenes work that will emerge in the weeks to come, but we did manage to take up some topics:

  • Education Commissioner Deborah Gist challenged the Woonsocket School Committee and gave Julia Steiny some vague objectives.
  • In response to steps taken in Venezuela, Monique pondered threats to free speech and press.
  • Commenter David and I may have found the first hints of common ground among tactics of Tiverton contract negotiations.
  • Michael Fine advocated for "a public option"... despite it all.
  • And Rep. Peter Palumbo (D, Cranston) managed an inside track on some government contracts that don't exist, yet.

August 24, 2009

The Weekend After a Busy Week

Justin Katz

Personally, much of my weekend was spent trudging the learning curve of digital video, but I began Saturday blogging from an RIGOP fundraiser, of which I subsequently posted video. For a breath of fresh (if not optimistic) air, I pointed readers to Mark Steyn's thoughts on the signals that Democrats are sending about the direction of the United States.

Sunday morning arrived with some thoughts on Bob Kerr's soft condescension and Frank Caprio's lapse into the RI political style. Meanwhile, Andrew stopped by an RI Tea Party healthcare protest. And I closed out the day with another example of typical politics in RI, this time with the governor's nomination of his chief of staff to a judicial opening.

August 17, 2009

Through a Busy Weekend

Justin Katz

It was a weekend of events and video. First, I checked in from the Rhode Island Republican Assembly's "Victory over Statism" barbecue and posted video of the speeches (made possible with a camcorder funded via the advertising and reader donations by which we piece together a limited budget). The next day brought the National Organization for Marriage Rhode Island's celebration at Aldrich Mansion in Warwick, from which I also checked in and posted video.

Other issues on the table, this weekend:

  • Andrew noted a change in presidential emphasis on a public option in healthcare.
  • Teachers' unions maintained their emphasis on rigid and destructive personnel practices in Rhode Island's schools.
  • Bob Dylan maturely accepted that young police officers don't necessarily know who he is.
  • The Moderate Party of Rhode Island felt a bit of political undertow as the Board of Elections fielded calls from signers to remove their names from the party's birth petition, as it were.
  • And I tipped up my nose at the black-bladed windmill in the uncouth Rhode Island West.

August 10, 2009

Posts This Weekend

Justin Katz

Our weekend posting began with an investigation of whether the claims of some on the RI left that taxation has no correlation with the number of wealthy residents hold water. They don't. Which adds a bit of emphasis to my exhortation (with events listed) that right-leaning reformers need to begin to get together. In a sense, we have to organize ourselves against followers of The Organizer.

In a local context, attempts by the establishment left to change the topic from the obvious fixes to Rhode Island policies require a rebuttal and resistance that only an organized movement can provide. That said, when we do come together to act, what Jon Scott calls "New Yankee Republicans" should realize that social issues can't be cleared from the table, for both strategic and philosophical reasons.

Mac checked in to mention his Wall Street Journal piece on Israel and American policy.

Monique considered the financial equations in Massachusetts healthcare law, and I considered the numbers behind proclamations that the economy is turning around.

A short documentary on a student council president campaign at Brown led me to ponder why our culture won't grow up. And a Deal Hudson review of Andrew McNabb's book of short stories led me to ponder the importance of perspective along the line between art and religion. Not unrelated are the speeches that are now available from the Portsmouth Institute conference on William F. Buckley.

It all seems to come together, somehow, in testimony from a woman formerly in the life that the world of stripping and prostitution is a form of modern indentured servitude.

And, by the way, Paul Kelly has still not been allowed to move back into his own home.

August 7, 2009

Violent Tonight

Justin Katz

I'll be back on the radio, tonight, participating in Matt Allen's Violent Roundtable. The other guest is Rep. Peter Palumbo (D, Cranston).

August 5, 2009

WPRO During Daylight

Justin Katz

Just so's anybody with an interest has an opportunity to tune in: I'll be on 630AM/99.7FM with Dan Yorke for the 2:00 hour today on WPRO.

August 3, 2009

A Weekend in August

Justin Katz

The big event of the weekend, for those of us who would push and pull Rhode Island toward a healthier political culture, was the summer meeting of the Rhode Island Statewide Coalition, audio here.

In an Engaged Citizen post, Kathy Santos lists some critera by which voters should gauge their state-level representatives. A reader email about the state's relationship with small businesses that collect taxes on its behalf provides an example of an advisable change in perspective.

On the related front of employment, I suggested that among the state's services to Rhode Islanders who haven't been able to find work, here, for over a year and a half should be the provision of information and assistance relocating somewhere that might be a better professional match. Although, perhaps Monique points toward another solution, with her mention of the young lady in New York who is suing her institute of higher education because it failed to place her in a job.

Monique also took a look at some legislation that would continue Rhode Island on its path of providing a quality of education that, if not litigable, certainly deprives our children, on average, of their due (for all we pay for it).

On a political note, Monique wondered why the Board of Elections seems intent on confusing the nascent Moderate Party. And on healthcare, I suggested that recipients of foreign "single-payer" benefits probably have a more complicated set of emotions and motivations than would tend toward objective assessment of their systems, and in any case, they ought to think twice before recommending that the United States follow their lead.

July 27, 2009

And Next Weekend, By the Way

Justin Katz

I'll be liveblogging from RISC's summer meeting this Saturday, so if you're there, say "hello," and if you're not, follow along.

I'm particularly curious to hear the talk of our new Commissioner of Education, Deborah Gist. I suspect she's got much more to learn about the ways of Rhode Island than she knows, and it'll be an interesting toss of the dice to see how she responds. Saturday, I'll be looking to see whether she gives any evidence of an inkling about the real problems of the state.

The Last Weekend in July

Justin Katz

Directly and indirectly, it was a weekend of political philosophy.

Kicking it off, I expressed dismay about the pervasiveness among government officials of the principle that government must search far and wide (and manipulate the law) in order to increase revenue. Cut spending, says I. Implying something similar, Monique gave a quick review of the powers of Rhode Island's Caruolo Law.

Then I set off a bomb along one of the fault lines of the right-wing coalition by proposing a simple amendment to the anti-prostitution bill that would bring the progressives onboard if their preferences really were about protecting the prostitutes. I subsequently endeavored to explain that insisting that Rhode Islanders lack the right to ban consensual behavior violates the fundamental civic right to determine the system under which one will live. In this line, there is apparently more work to do.

In a not-unrelated development, Monique presented evidence of the petitioning efforts of Rhode Island's fast-growing cult of moderation. (I kid.) She also noted that Rhode Island's rules for getting on the ballot are especially arduous compared with other states. And I observed the odd happenstance that local officials in Rhode Island seem more inclined to go to court to force state-level officials to change their policies rather than run against them... as if they don't actually believe the players can change (or that changing the players does any good).

For a moment of Hurrah, I pointed to Cliff May's statement that American withdrawal from the urban streets of Iraq was done in victory, not defeat.

July 25, 2009

Figuring Out This Technology Thing

Justin Katz

Both the lack of posts and any sporadic performance on the main page are (probably) explained by the same thing: I've been trial-and-error-ing my way through some new coding possibilities.

Not resolved yet, but hopefully soon.

July 20, 2009

The First Real Weekend of Summer (It Seems) Review

Justin Katz

Healthcare remained the key topic 'round here over the weekend, beginning with my opinion that the urgency to pass a bill within weeks is faux (and reckless). I subsequently honed in on one reason government operatives might be so keen on universal healthcare: It opens the door to control of people's behavior and, therefore, the people themselves. Monique got down to the dirty work and enumerated some of the bad to worse aspects of the healthcare reform legislation.

On a related note, I took some cues from music to understand why the cult of Obama will persist regardless of the consequences of his presidency.

Turning to another hot federal issue, Monique passed along an alternative from state Rep. John Loughlin (R, Tiverton, Portsmouth, Little Compton) to "cap and trade." And broadening the topic, she listed some of the major expenditures of our government and queried about the source of funding.

Meanwhile, I dipped a toe in the simmering waters of turmoil between merchants and credit card issuers, the former of whom are looking to the government for advantage.

Monique suggested, following a Providence Business News article, that Rhode Island's economic outlook is for continued winter. Looking even more locally, I couldn't help but chuckle at the difficulties resulting from arduous zoning rules in Tiverton that are intended to micromanage economic development and are succeeding (after a fashion) at just that.

And finally, with a religious undertone, we mused on the preponderance of asterisks and disclaimers in our culture.

July 13, 2009

Weekend Review

Justin Katz

Weatherwise, it appears that spring has finally arrived, which is good, considering that we're already a couple of weeks into summer. For those of you whom blue skies or other draws kept away from the Internet, here's what went up on Anchor Rising.

The RI Tea Party and the Bristol parade was still a topic of interest. I suggested that, should the ban not be removed, the Tea Party and friends ought to take advantage of a loophole (and, you know, their constitutional rights) and walk the parade route next year distributing as much stuff as possible. Monique renewed the question of what danger was posed and why free Constitutions are more dangerous than vendors' wares.

I revisited the Newsmakers episode featuring OSPRI's Bill Felkner and NEA's Pat Crowley in order to challenge the suggestion that taxing residents to pay unionists is healthy for a receding economy. I also expressed disagreement with an instance of eminent domain in North Providence, pointed out Keith Stokes's argument that the "plantations" in our state's name has more to do with freedom than oppression and suggested that Speaker Nancy Pelosi ought to run, not walk, back to Washington and warn the federal government that it should avoid a national imitation of Rhode Island's approach to governance, which appears to be an intention, in some respects.

On a not-unrelated note, Monique explained why the RI Senate's concerns that an e-Verify bill would not be legal are unfounded. Regarding another hot issue, I recommended Walter Schmidt's explanation of some of the intolerable downsides to "cap and trade" (and, yes, I linked again to the Tax Foundation's song about that policy).

Turning to public figures as a topic, I put another evidential exhibit on the stack labeled "Obamanation." By contrast, mention of Neal Freeman's reminiscences about his friend, William F. Buckley, Jr., highlights that man's talent for friendship.

And for some lighter fare, I argued that humanity ought to figure out what, precisely, gives value to human life before embarking on intentional redirection of evolution that likely winds up, in one way or another, supplanting us.

July 6, 2009

Independence Weekend in Review

Justin Katz

It being a holiday weekend — and only two days, at that — we took it somewhat easier than usual. (There's certainly an allegory for my schedule in the fact that a fireworks show of approximately 30 minutes ate up a little over two hours of my Saturday evening, but I'll leave it alone for now.)

On the fourth, Andrew posted the Muppets' "Stars & Stripes Forever," which readers should watch through to the very end so as not to miss an accurate comment on Internet culture.

It took me into Sunday afternoon to write and post a rumination on the relative ugliness of life in the past. Although technology has overcome many sources of pain and discomfort, when it comes to public office, it's appearing that such advances have a disparate effect.

In the later afternoon, Monique observed the increasingly conspicuous opposition of teachers' unions to charter schools as the federal government promotes them. It's possible that their stringent opposition to a popular innovation will affect voters' decisions in local elections that are relevant to school funding and operation.

June 30, 2009

Peculiar Goings On with Comments

Justin Katz

For some reason, one of our spam filters became overly broad within the last sixteen hours — blocking for example, comments including the URL "anchorrising.com," as well as the various IP addresses of regular readers. Having been alerted to the problem, I "approved" all of the comments that had been withheld, and I apologize for any confusion.

This could have been a temporary blip in the functioning of our neighborhood of the Internet, or it could have been a deliberate stratagem from one of our (ahem) neighbors. I'd appreciate it if regular readers who get any sort of message about comments being "held for review" (for example) would send me a quick email so that I can investigate.

June 29, 2009

Weekend Review

Justin Katz

A typical weekend on Anchor Rising — and just about all such Web sites, as far as I can tell — brings a 25% drop in daily visitors compared with a weekday. Herewith a summary of our Saturday and Sunday posts for readers who believe their weekends better spent doing otherwise than obsessively reloading our site. (Can you imagine?)

I began the weekend pondering the implications of males' natural behavior for a society definitionally concerned with targeting behavior toward civilization's ends. It took fewer intellectual steps than one might think to transition to a look at the upshot of federal and state trends in energy legislation that will increase costs for everybody across the country, with Rhode Island (as ever) striving to impose an additional premium on its residents.

In like vein, I later noted that market and medical realities will not bend for government care and wondered aloud how a gang with police power will respond to them. Marc pointed out that one strategy (at least for Democrats) might be to give labor unions special treatment. On education, some resident comments at a West Warwick town meeting prompted the question of whether it mightn't save money just to send all of our children to private school.

Focusing more directly on governance qua governance, I directed readers to the Wall Street Journal's argument that progressive policies hurt and opined that nepotism doesn't help. Monique offered Speaker of the RI House Bill Murphy the suggestion that less government might be more, when it comes to the General Assembly. I posed the hypothetical of whether Murphy's expressed objective of allowing legislators to "cool off" was more likely a hope that others would look away. Monique might quip that legislators desire, thereby, to sweep the non-cancellation of local mandates under this year's rug.

Mark Steyn inspired a post on celebrity culture and politics, for which I subsequently presented a piece of evidence in the form of a columnist's pining for dates like the Obamas go on.

Monique also posted a cartoon on Iran by the ever insightful Charlie Hall.

June 5, 2009

Invading the Studio Again

Justin Katz

Andrew, Marc, and I will be invading the 630AM/99.7FM WPRO studio again, this evening, for the second all-Anchor Rising Violent Roundtable from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the Matt Allen Show (which begins at 6:00 p.m.). What the topics will be only Matt knows — which is why I'll be reading my newspaper a little more closely today — but the hour always flies by; please join us.

April 30, 2009

Matt on the Mind

Justin Katz

While I'm thinking of it: Andrew and I will be on Matt Allen's Violent Roundtable tomorrow night from 8:00-9:00 p.m. That's on 630AM/99.7FM... as if you didn't know.

January 30, 2009

Perpetually Requiring a Helping Hand

Justin Katz

This will be the final post of our week of rattling the cup. Thank you to all who have donated and subscribed online, as well as to those whose snailmail donations have not yet arrived. Unless a substantial surprise awaits us, we're still a long way from the goal of funding a full-time job, but readers' generosity has certainly made it possible for us to forge ahead and expand our activities. As with the reclamation and recovery of Rhode Island, our advance will be incremental.

Although we're wrapping up our formal blogathon (so to speak), I'd note that the links to donate and subscribe will remain on the left-hand side of the page for use throughout the year. I'd also suggest, for those who are uncomfortable about or disinclined toward monetary contributions, that we'd welcome anything that might further our mission. Gift certificates, for example, to technology stores and such would help us to remained armed. If somebody were interested in helping us to fund Internet access via cell phone service, we'd be better able to generate content. And if readers would like more coverage of their regions of the state, gift subscriptions to local papers would not be wasted (but coordinate this one with me so that we avoid unnecessary duplications).

In similar fashion, we continue to request donations of effort. Engaged Citizen posts certainly advance our cause. Coverage of events that we cannot attend would expand the utility of the site.

But in the meantime:

Subscriptions of $0.25 per day (payments of $7.60 per month) and donations of any size may be made using credit cards via PayPal (no PayPal account is necessary) by clicking the following:

Those who would prefer the more direct route of checks or money orders can make them out to Anchor Rising and send them to:

Anchor Rising
P.O. Box 751
Portsmouth, RI 02871

January 29, 2009

A Hub for the Opposition

Justin Katz

I've had reason to be optimistic, over the past few days, that the various isolated (and sometimes schismatic) groups that have thus far constituted the Rhode Island right (or center-right) are beginning to come together. The factors that bind us are of increasing importance, compared with those that tend to push us apart.

No doubt, key players are engaged in conversations behind the scenes, but I've found it particularly encouraging to see the town-level groups and individual citizens weaving together the various degrees of conservatism, leveraging the disparate tools provided by the state-level subgroups (e.g., organization by RISC and data from OSPRI). This process will continue, and as it does, we'll need a place, fundamentally independent from the rest, to hone our agreements and work on our disagreements — an informational hub and meeting place.

I suspect you know what I have in mind. Anchor Rising is uniquely positioned at the intersection of various pathways — media, community, research, reportage — and we hope to expand our activities in all directions. Among them is identifying and cultivating participants in the civil debate and political struggle.

Of course, that requires resources.

Subscriptions of $0.25 per day (payments of $7.60 per month) and donations of any size may be made using credit cards via PayPal (no PayPal account is necessary) by clicking the following:

Those who would prefer the more direct route of checks or money orders can make them out to Anchor Rising and send them to:

Anchor Rising
P.O. Box 751
Portsmouth, RI 02871

A Bleg for a Blog

Justin Katz

Long-time participants in the blogosphere — a group in which I'd include lurking readers — will be familiar with the term "blegging." It was coined, I believe, by Jonah Goldberg, of National Review, who used it to indicate a blog post begging for information from readers. Our current bleg is for financial support, as Monique explained to Matt Allen, last night, on the Matt Allen show. Stream by clicking here, or download it.

Monique and Matt are absolutely correct that, to the extent that we're able to raise money from readers, we won't have the appearance of being beholden to any particular interests. I'd stress, though, that our ideological drive and (at least my) stubbornness are strong protection against corruption-by-financing. This is currently volunteer work for all of us, and our sense of the project has been formed in that crucible, regardless of our ability to become, as Monique put it, "semi-pro."

January 28, 2009

Ears on the Ground and Flies on the Wall

Justin Katz

I've a direct interest in the proceedings, of course, but part of what I've been doing at all of these public meetings in Tiverton has been developing and practicing a citizen-driven mode of coverage. The mainstream media doesn't cover everything, and of what it does, it offers only that for which it has space and believes there to be a large audience. But having public eyes and ears present when power is being applied is a necessity.

I honestly don't know the degree to which my increasing ability and habit of recording and posting audio from various meetings is to credit for the good behavior of the Tiverton teachers' union, last night, but I think it likely to have been a factor. Hearing the union leader in East Providence stammer after Jim Hummel played one of my recordings for her live on the radio had to have made an impression.

In that regard, citizen recordings can have two related benefits:

  • They enable other busy citizens to hear important moments at meetings, without having to attend every one.
  • To the extent that they give the unions a reason to behave, they'll make it more likely that more citizens than just those representing taxpayer groups will stand up and speak.

Inasmuch as we are able, Anchor Rising will be working to expand not only our own, but also others' coverage of events in other towns. The more broadly we can apply the technique, the more likely a reformist movement will congeal, and the better it will be able identify and target common themes and problems.

Once again, the limiting factors are the nearly synonymous time and money, so if you're able, please help us to bring Anchor Rising to another level of utility.

Subscriptions of $0.25 per day (payments of $7.60 per month) and donations of any size may be made using credit cards via PayPal (no PayPal account is necessary) by clicking the following:

Those who would prefer the more direct route of checks or money orders can make them out to Anchor Rising and send them to:

Anchor Rising
P.O. Box 751
Portsmouth, RI 02871

January 27, 2009

Strangeness as an Advantage

Justin Katz

I mean, really, who wants to spend their free time sifting through numbers and tapping away at data entry? Well... we do! It's like a terrible itch when a question of truth arises and an argument clashes with one's understanding. Sometimes only a spreadsheet will do.

While most folks would see such laborious tasks as a means toward the end of income, it is our peculiar desire to raise money so that we can do more research and analysis. Already we've used some of our trickle of funds to gain access to such information as the IRS taxpayer migration tables. If we were able to finance some time, we'd be able to expand our investment in data that others have collected, as well as develop our own.

(And there's the dark secret of our motivation: When one's objective is truth, information is power.)

Subscriptions of $0.25 per day (payments of $7.60 per month) and donations of any size may be made using credit cards via PayPal (no PayPal account is necessary) by clicking the following:

Those who would prefer the more direct route of checks or money orders can make them out to Anchor Rising and send them to:

Anchor Rising
P.O. Box 751
Portsmouth, RI 02871

January 26, 2009

Beginning the Ramparts

Justin Katz

Let's leave this on an emotional level for a moment: What's your feeling about these times through which we're living? For me, the impression is of watching my fellow Rhode Islanders and fellow Americans building bulwarks against the invasion of an unknown future and being brushed aside each time I shout that they're making the whole thing wrong. A few years ago, we needed mostly to clear out some old rubble before building, but now, now we're going to have to dismantle a misguided structure — held together with the latest in stubborn fasteners and impossibly strong adhesives. Each new post raised and set in concrete will ultimately have to be pried from the ground. And the enemy is bearing down on us all.

That's a dark and cryptic metaphor, to be sure, but at all layers of government, it seems, the solutions that are en vogue resemble the problems that they purport to solve. Misanalysis is the order of the day, and self-serving blindness its foundation. What's needed is to increase the volume at which we who see can be heard, and to increase the number of our voices.

Our reaction to the last election, at the state and national levels, has served as motivation for us, at Anchor Rising, to ratchet up our output, increase our participation, and brainstorm new activities for the new year — leading up to the next election. Judging from the healthy rebound that we've seen in readership after the holiday lull, as well as feedback that we receive from around the state, you've been noticing our efforts.

We want to keep the momentum going. We want to assist in the construction of the right sort of ramparts.

There's only so much that hobbyists can do, of course, which is why we'd like to begin the transition to something more. The two ingredients for that project are time and money — the former of which may easily be expressed in terms of the latter. If we don't feel compelled to work extra hours on nights and weekends for financial reasons, we'll have more time to take up the goals of Anchor Rising. If we have the means to absorb hours of missed work, we'll be able to expand our participation in the civil debate. If we have the technology to maximize our investigational and literary productivity, we'll be able to cover more ground.

For some perspective, if three-quarters or so of the unique visitors to the site each day thought our daily offerings worth $0.25, or $7.60 per month, we could fund a full-time position based on that revenue alone. If you'd count yourself among that crowd, the "subscribe" button below and on the left-hand side of the page will enable automatic, regular payments.

We'll never achieve such a high percentage, of course, because some portion of our daily visitors are computers, not people, others come here randomly each day, and still others are folks who'd just as soon see us disappear from the Rhode Island scene. That being the case, any additional donations that you're willing and able to provide would go a long way.

Subscriptions and donations may be made using credit cards via PayPal (no PayPal account is necessary) by clicking the following:

Those who would prefer the more direct route of checks or money orders can make them out to Anchor Rising and send them to:

Anchor Rising
P.O. Box 751
Portsmouth, RI 02871

The interests against which we must struggle for the sake of our society are well organized and well funded. In response, our intention is not to redirect the funding of our allies our way, but to provide a common understanding of the landscape, to enable a forum through which to broaden our agreement and define our purpose, and to develop a communications network by which reformers can come together. We'll continue to work toward these ends regardless of our income, but our effectiveness will in part depend on its increasing.

Even as outgunned as we are, truth has proven to be a powerful weapon, but it is not enough if nobody hears it and if nobody acts on its basis. Please, help us to build the structure from which it can be delivered.

January 13, 2009

Correction and East Providence

Justin Katz

Two notes:

  1. Apparently, I was incorrect about town councils' having the authority to reduce tangible propert taxes to 0%. According to John, in the comments, the town is limited in the degree to which it can make one class of tax higher (or lower) than another. (That does not disallow the 25-year exemption.) I should note, however, that, also in the comments, Representative John Loughlin has pledged to introduce legislation granting towns more control over such taxes.
  2. I'll be at the East Providence School Committee meeting this evening. If you're near a computer after 7:30 p.m., check in from time to time. If you're also at the event (and you can find me) say "hello."

January 8, 2009

Moving Forward

Justin Katz

Last night on the Matt Allen show, I mentioned our coverage of the governor's speech and gave some general suggestions about the direction of Anchor Rising in the new year. Stream by clicking here, or download it.

I have to say that the governor's plan takes more ground (and concedes less) than I'd expected, giving me some hope that the state can head in a better direction without utter collapse. As I wrote in the comments to our liveblogging post, it's important, however, not to forget the basics of Rhode Island politics just because we're relatively happy with the governor's direction.

Part of the "political coverage" built into our system as it stands is coverage to do the wrong thing. The House may pass this proposal having already arranged for the Senate to make fatal changes. On something else down the road, the Senate will take a political risk, and the House will kill it. Meanwhile, the governor's new commission on consolidation (empowered to propose legislation directly) will contain a mole or two who'll scuttle advancement in the governor's name.

And as I said in response to a question about how legislators could get away with raising taxes in this environment: Wait until just after an election.

January 7, 2009

The Governor, Us, and You

Justin Katz

So you can plan your evening: We'll be liveblogging the governor's speech tonight at 7:00, and we'll be doing so in an Engaged Citizen comments section that'll go up around that time, so you can liveblog right along with us.

December 13, 2008

Three Bloggers and a Talk Host

Justin Katz

If you missed (or would like to recap) last night's all–Anchor Rising Violent Roundtable on the Matt Allen Show, the download is available here. Matt, Andrew, Monique, and I discussed matters various and sundry, and I even sang a bar from the musical 1776.

December 12, 2008

Internecine Rhetorical Heat

Justin Katz

Anchor Rising will be invading the 630AM/99.7FM WPRO studio tonight for an all-AR Violent Roundtable on the Matt Allen show. Tune in to hear Andrew, Monique, and me bat around the issues of the day as Matt tosses them out to us.

December 7, 2008

A Pause Before the Future Comes

Justin Katz

Thanks to the Rhode Island Republican Assembly for the invitation to their Christmas dinner, last night. Good food and excellent conversation.

I'll say this: I'm starting to get a sense of some of the possible strategic intentions of the RIGOP, and I can't say that I'm overly enthusiastic. It's good to know, however, that there's a satellite group of good folks who know their way around Rhode Island politics.


On my way home, I turned off 195 in Fall River, rather than at 24, as usual. Of course there's a big sign at the state line, on Main Street, but it's hardly necessary: The immediate transition from smooth roads to a rough ride is notice enough.

December 5, 2008

Talkin' Violent Roundtable Blues

Justin Katz

For those near a radio from 8:00 to 9:00 tonight, I'll be on Matt Allen's Violent Roundtable. Those near a computer, can stream the show here.

December 4, 2008

Come a Saturday Night

Justin Katz

Incidentally, I'll be at the Christmas party of the Rhode Island Republican Assembly this Saturday evening. If you happen to attend, please help me with my habitual social awkwardness at public gatherings by saying "hello."

November 4, 2008

Blogging the Election Away

Justin Katz

Anchor Rising's liveblogging of the election has already begun over on a special page of the 630wpro Web site. Although our "coverage" won't really kick in until this evening, we'll have posts up over there throughout the day.

The posting here at home should continue, as well, both on non-election topics and as a repository for any images or multimedia that we may gather from our various locations.

November 3, 2008

Click Over Tomorrow

Justin Katz

It's probably a function of personal involvement, more than anything, but this election just seems to be a bigger event than usual, so I'm sure y'all will be taking in the news on the radio and TV and poking around the Internet. Well, along your way, be sure to click over to WPRO's Web site, because the Anchor Rising contributors will be liveblogging on location, as it were. (I'll post a direct link when I have one.)

Andrew will be hanging out with the Republicans at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. Monique will be down in South County with Jim Haldeman and the gang. Marc'll be tucked away in his home blogging station, keeping an eye on the news and blogosphere. Don is deep in the heart of red America and may check in from flyover country.

And me? Well, I'll be in the belly of the beast, taking in the sights and sounds of the RI Democrats' celebration at the Providence Biltmore, hoping that any breaking news doesn't involve me. (I guess I should have faked a cramp when the folks at WPRO asked us to have a foot race around the office as part of the assignment process.)

The experience is new to us all, so we've no idea what to expect, although it can't help but be more interesting than blogging the debates.

October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Marc Comtois

They say good humor always includes a bit of truth....


Hey, it's a convergence of Halloween, Election Season and the creation of Rhode Island's own H.P. Lovecraft all wrapped up into one--how could I resist (h/t Michael Drout)!?

October 2, 2008

Bumped, Not Displaced

Justin Katz

As some readers may have noticed, Anchor Rising's usual Wednesday night slot on the Matt Allen Show was preempted by Matt's interview with Governor Carcieri.

Not to worry, though, we've merely moved the feature to this evening at the usual time (around 6:50 p.m.).

July 27, 2008

Friday Night on Sunday

Justin Katz

I've been remiss in not noting that readers who missed Andrew's appearance on Matt Allen's Violent Round Table can download the hour here.

July 25, 2008


Justin Katz

I gotta say (as I live-blog Matt Allen's Violent Round Table [in a sense]) that Andrew is really good at hitting the pith of the conservative perspective in a discussion.

It's interesting how we all approach discussions differently, with different strengths coming into play given the opposition, the topic, and even the specific point made. I suppose that's how very different people can all come to think each other brilliant.


During the Lightning Round call-in, Joe Bernstein got on the radio with an immigration question. I love that he introduced himself as "Joe from Anchor Rising."

We've had some heated debate about who is and who is not an "Anchor Rising blogger," but we hope to develop a community feel, even as we resist efforts to peg us officially with commenters' statements.

I guess the proof is in the fact that I knew exactly who "Joe from Anchor Rising" was.

Andrew on "Violent" Tonight

Marc Comtois

Andrew will be in-studio for Matt Allen's Violent Roundtable tonight from 8:00 to 9:00. So watch Sox/Yanks, turn down the volume (or click on the CC) and tune in at 630 AM, 99.7 FM, or online for the action. Multi-tasking!

July 11, 2008

My Turn to Get "Violent"

Marc Comtois

I'll be taking a seat at Matt Allen's Violent Roundtable tonight from 8:00 to 9:00. The other scheduled guests are media legal analyst Lou Pulner and Ian Donnis of the Providence Phoenix. Between Ian and myself, I bet we'll get some Red Sox talk in there somewhere.

Tune in at 630 AM, 99.7 FM, or online.

July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!!!

Marc Comtois

May 29, 2008

Like There's Something Better to Do on Friday Nights

Justin Katz

For those who wish to devote an hour of their Friday nights to productive, edifying ends, I'll be on Matt Allen's Violent Roundtable again tomorrow night, this time with Tiverton/Little Compton/Portsmouth Republican Representative John Loughlin and Coventry/East Greenwich/Warwich/West Warwick Democrat Senator Leonidas Raptakis.

May 26, 2008

Between Burger Bites...

Marc Comtois

...Please remember why you are enjoying the long weekend.

Thank you to all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and God Bless their families.

May 9, 2008

Time Flying, Apology, and Preemptive Explanation

Justin Katz

My hour in the the spotlight of Matt Allen's Violent Roundtable tonight was one of the most fun that I've spent in awhile, although I suppose one can only hope that listeners were that engaged. (Streaming audio available here). Really, conversation from commercial break to commercial break felt not unlike a seaplane touching down on the water for a few moments at a time. As the one non-radio guy there, however, I fear that I should take some responsibility in the face of complaints that this edition wasn't sufficiently "violent."

In keeping with my mitigated personality, I'd like to offer a preemptive explanation of something that I said: While discussing gambling in Rhode Island, I joked that the government ought to begin supplementing decreases in the public assistance that people receive with lottery tickets. (Hey, match it dollar for dollar!) Before RI Futurites get out their fire-dance costumes and add this clump of hair to the effigy of my evil opinions, I'd like to clarify that I wasn't promoting a system of giving people in precarious situations an unsecured rope to grab. To the contrary, my intention was to lampoon the practice of using gambling revenue to support the government. Statistically, it's a very regressive form of taxation, and further soaking the poor and working class into further debt with the dubious promise of unlikely riches is tantamount to giving them a turn at the roulette wheel in exchange for money or public investments that might actually improve their lives.

But I could go on. Such roundtables are like rapid-fire brainstorming sessions for more contemplative writing, and the breadth of the topics are evidenced by the conversation that continues during the commercial breaks. For example:

  • How the storyline will go if Obama wins the nomination but loses the election. My thought was that there's plenty of time for the American people to forget the primaries and for Democrats to construct the much more comfortable storyline that it was the angry old white man who kept Barack down — not the storied woman. Matt, I believe, took the position that the next few years will see Hillary building on that impulse with a ready-made retrospective "if only" of her candidacy. Jason Martins seemed to believe that Hillary's done after this.
  • I got looks from the other panelists when I responded to a caller's question about Israel taking out Iranian nukes by suggesting that the Jewish nation would swing in with a last-ditch strike, that the world would be outraged for a day, but then everybody would go back to business as usual, knowing deep down that Israel had done not only what it needed to do to survive, but the right thing. Everybody else thought the radical Muslims wouldn't possibly tolerate Israeli military strikes inside Iran. My response was that these regimes are centrally concerned with maintaining their own fragile rule and realize that they cannot win an all-stakes battle with the United States and Israel. I'd add, now, that there isn't much amperage that they can add to their anti-Israel hate rhetoric.
  • Although we didn't get into it, the whole concept of the state's profiting from gambling is excellent fodder for some ruminations about church and state — to wit, that the state is committing us, via our representatives, to be in the position of profiting from others' misfortunes to so direct a degree that we're expanding the hours during which those people can lose their hard-earned money with the explicit intention of raising more to support our detrimentally large government. A theist might be tempted to suggest that thus do we pull ourselves further into darkness.
  • I was going to say that the comic book conversation should have come first, as a warm up, but then again, it did: before we were even on the air, we were discussing the likely plot setting of a forthcoming Captain America movie. I swore I'd read somewhere that rumors are of a Captain America who's part of a U.N. mission of some sort (which was the missing context behind Jason's on-air comment about Captain United Nations), but I can't find the article that gave me that impression.


The audio quality of the above-linked stream has been increased to a more comfortable level.

Facing the Violent Roundtable

Justin Katz

Just a reminder that I'll be participating in Matt Allen's Violent Roundtable tonight from 8:00 to 9:00. (I believe those are the times.)

Tune in at 630 AM, 99.7 FM, or online.

May 8, 2008

In Case You Missed It

Justin Katz

Those who were unable to catch my chat with Matt Allen about kids today can listen to the four-minute segment by clicking here (or download).

We'll be doing this every Wednesday; tune in at 6:50 p.m. next week for Andrew's at bat.

In the interim, by the way, I'll be participating in Matt's Violent Roundtable discussion this Friday night from eight to nine. (He clarifies the meaning of the name in the comment section of this post.) I heard it last week, and it's sure to be a must-listen hour of radio to cap each workweek.

May 5, 2008

Anchor on the Air

Justin Katz

We wanted to give y'all some time to rearrange your schedules, cancel plans, and disregard obligations: Starting this week, Anchor Rising will have a (roughly) ten-minute spot on the Matt Allen Show, Wednesdays at 6:50 p.m. We'll be using the time to inform the 630AM/99.7FM WPRO listening audience about what we're discussing, here on our little patch of the Internet, discuss matters of general interest, and make the occasional intellectual lunge (hopefully with insight outweighing wordplay on especially heavy topics).

Tune in! If you're on the Right, for some edifying talk. If you're on the Left, to find out whether Matt will refer to us as a "think tank."

April 30, 2008

World Famous in Rhode Island

Justin Katz

Ian Donnis has a piece in this week's Providence Phoenix exploring the RI blogging scene. The picture of Marc, Andrew, and me having coffee at Starbucks — I hasten to note — is contrived propaganda. It was raining, and we couldn't do the shoot on an aircraft carrier in Newport, so we followed the photographer's suggestion of the Biltmore (which has free WiFi, by the way). Moreover, this photo was sort of an afterthought, so I'd already folded my giant American flag.

April 17, 2008

Not Enough Interest for the Effort

Justin Katz

The topic of Matt Jerzyk's family is hereafter off the table for comment discussion. I'd hoped to walk a subtle line and maybe pursue a lesson in rhetoric and persuasion, but it's apparently not possible.

This ban isn't instituted out of fear of lawsuits. It's not done to protect Matt or out of a reluctance to "expose" him. It's not done out of a lack of conviction that social reaction to immoral behavior is crucial in society. We simply have little interest in the topic, around here, and the effort to guide conversations on it is proving too costly in time and attention.

I've deleted some recent comments and will hereafter delete them upon posting.

March 26, 2008

Voting for Something That Really Matters

Justin Katz

Well, isn't that interesting: Rhode Island Monthly Best of Rhode Island ballot has a line for the best local Web site.

I'll have to give my vote some thought...

March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Carroll Andrew Morse


March 4, 2008

Back on the Air

Justin Katz

Well, we've got unusually high traffic for this time of night, still, so for anybody checking in: I should be back on the air with Matt Allen around 9:30 p.m.


Sorry, false alarm. Understandably, the station doesn't want to drift away from the real-time results coverage.

I guess I'm back to typing, instead of talking. For now.

On the Air

Justin Katz

Although I'm sure the overlap between the group of people reading Anchor Rising at this time of night and the group of people who listen to nighttime talk radio is significant, I'd like to mention that I'll be chatting about the primaries with Matt Allen on 630 WPRO sometime after 7:45 p.m.


Imagine a world in which the local blogger is cut short on talk radio to make way for a former President... sheesh.

Well it was fun; thanks to Matt for the opportunity.


Listening to Bill Clinton speaking with Matt Allen, a terrifying image came to mind: the ex-president stepping through the door of the White House, setting his suitcase on the floor, and saying, "Home, sweet home."


Wow. Listen to Matt having a wonkish discussion with President Clinton on an election night!

February 11, 2008

The Final Day

Justin Katz

Today is the final day to get in on our order of Anchor Rising sport shirts. (Although we'll welcome donations at any time throughout the year.) As I've said, we'll keep Anchor Rising going as long as we're able, simply out of passion and interest, but having greater resources at our disposal would dramatically broaden the range of things that we could accomplish.

If you're planning to donate $60 or more, send me an email (with your shirt size) before 4:00 this afternoon, and I'll add you to the list. That might also be a good idea if you've sent your donation through the mail within the past few days... just to make sure.

Donations of $60 or more will inspire a gift of this year's AR apparel choice, a navy blue sport shirt with red collar trim and the Anchor Rising logo on the left of the chest:

Here's a picture of the Anchor Rising logo as it was embroidered on the hats that we ordered last year, and as it will be embroidered on this year's shirts:

Donations of any size can be made via PayPal by clicking the "Donate" button. Checks or money orders — made out to me (for the time being) — can be sent to:

Justin Katz
Anchor Rising
P.O. Box 751
Portsmouth, RI 02871

Again, shirts are a limited-time offer for donations made before Monday, February 11. Be sure to provide an address and your shirt size.

Donations are not tax deductible. That means that we have to pay taxes on it, and that you can't claim it as a charitable contribution. However, it also means that we can write anything we want and that your identities are safe with us.

February 7, 2008

Time and Money

Justin Katz

My posting rate has been considerably lower this week in part because I've been neck-deep in statistics — some of the data purchased with our newly created expense account. We owe that luxury to those of you who've been so kind as to donate.

That being the case, it's worth mentioning that you have only five more days to get in on our Anchor Rising shirt order.

I should also mention something that I thought I'd left tacked at the end of each of these posts: your donations are not tax deductible. That means that we have to pay taxes on it, and that you can't claim it as a charitable contribution. However, it also means that we can write anything we want and that your identities are safe with us.

Donations of $60 or more will inspire a gift of this year's AR apparel choice, a navy blue sport shirt with red collar trim and the Anchor Rising logo on the left of the chest:

Here's a picture of the Anchor Rising logo as it was embroidered on the hats that we ordered last year, and as it will be embroidered on this year's shirts:

Donations of any size can be made via PayPal by clicking the "Donate" button. Checks or money orders — made out to me (for the time being) — can be sent to:

Justin Katz
Anchor Rising
P.O. Box 751
Portsmouth, RI 02871

Again, shirts are a limited-time offer for donations made before Monday, February 11. Be sure to provide an address and your shirt size.

February 5, 2008

A Note on Advertisements

Justin Katz

A free way (or at least consumerist way) to help Anchor Rising is to click on any advertisements that we manage to procure. More than once, if you're so inclined. Daily, even.

Just be aware of what you're reading. We try to keep a reasonable eye out for ads of a dubious nature, but we're generally disinclined to restrict the message. I'd note, for example, that the founders of Bullitics (see ad at left) have progressive resumés, but there's no obvious twist to their polls.

February 4, 2008

Battling the Machine

Justin Katz

While conducting some research, yesterday, that is at the top of my to-post list, it struck me how extensive the machine is that pushes policies to take our money by force of law — much of it funded with our money, in one way or another.

There's no way that we could match the chain of effort that runs through the unions, the colleges, Washington think tanks, and the various progressive foundations, but anything that you can contribute to Anchor Rising will help us to put a few more loads into our slingshot.

Donations of $60 or more will inspire a gift of this year's AR apparel choice, a navy blue sport shirt with red collar trim and the Anchor Rising logo on the left of the chest:

Here's a picture of the Anchor Rising logo as it was embroidered on the hats that we ordered last year, and as it will be embroidered on this year's shirts:

Donations of any size can be made via PayPal by clicking the "Donate" button. Checks or money orders — made out to me (for the time being) — can be sent to:

Justin Katz
Anchor Rising
P.O. Box 751
Portsmouth, RI 02871

Again, shirts are a limited-time offer for donations made before Monday, February 11. Be sure to provide an address and your shirt size.

February 2, 2008

Today's Reason to Give

Justin Katz

Because the Big Blue Bug saw its shadow. Six more years of political corruption unless we amplify our voices and scare the thing back into its hole. (Hey, whataya want? It's Saturday.)

Donations of $60 or more will inspire a gift of this year's AR apparel choice, a navy blue sport shirt with red collar trim and the Anchor Rising logo on the left of the chest:

Here's a picture of the Anchor Rising logo as it was embroidered on the hats that we ordered last year, and as it will be embroidered on this year's shirts:

Donations of any size can be made via PayPal by clicking the "Donate" button. Checks or money orders — made out to me (for the time being) — can be sent to:

Justin Katz
Anchor Rising
P.O. Box 751
Portsmouth, RI 02871

Again, shirts are a limited-time offer for donations made before Monday, February 11. Be sure to provide an address and your shirt size.

January 30, 2008

Working Toward an Ideal

Justin Katz

We thank everybody who's contributed to our fundraising efforts thus far, but we're still a ways off even from covering expenses. If you've yet to do so, please take a moment to consider what might be an appropriate contribution, for you, and make it.

Rhode Island is going to need alternative sources of information in the years to come. We're obviously not the only voices out there in the wilderness. We might not even be the best, and we're certainly a long, long ways from the ideal, but we're working on it.

We'll keep pushing Anchor Rising forward to the best of our abilities regardless, but there will increasingly be a direct correlation between how much help we receive and how much more we can do.

Donations of $60 or more will inspire a gift of this year's AR apparel choice, a navy blue sport shirt with red collar trim and the Anchor Rising logo on the left of the chest:

Here's a picture of the Anchor Rising logo as it was embroidered on the hats that we ordered last year, and as it will be embroidered on this year's shirts:

Donations of any size can be made via PayPal by clicking the "Donate" button. Checks or money orders — made out to me (for the time being) — can be sent to:

Justin Katz
Anchor Rising
P.O. Box 751
Portsmouth, RI 02871

Again, shirts are a limited-time offer for donations made before Monday, February 11. Be sure to provide an address and your shirt size.

January 28, 2008

A Monday Reminder

Justin Katz

There are now only two weeks within which to donate sufficiently to Anchor Rising to receive this year's AR-wear as a gift.

Donations of $60 or more will inspire a gift of this year's AR apparel choice, a navy blue sport shirt with red collar trim and the Anchor Rising logo on the left of the chest:

Here's a picture of the Anchor Rising logo as it was embroidered on the hats that we ordered last year, and as it will be embroidered on this year's shirts:

Donations of any size can be made via PayPal by clicking the "Donate" button. Checks or money orders — made out to me (for the time being) — can be sent to:

Justin Katz
Anchor Rising
P.O. Box 751
Portsmouth, RI 02871

Again, shirts are a limited-time offer for donations made before Monday, February 11. Be sure to provide an address and your shirt size.

January 25, 2008

Today's Pitch for Supporting Anchor Rising

Justin Katz

It would annoy — perhaps even disturb — all the right people. I mean, it's a stimulus of hoots of rage and gnashing of teeth when the Providence Journal decides to call us a think tank in our bio lines. Imagine the madness were we to prove able to raise money successfully!

For our part, donations of $60 or more will be stimulus for a gift of this year's AR apparel choice, a navy blue sport shirt with red collar trim and the Anchor Rising logo on the left of the chest:

Here's a picture of the Anchor Rising logo as it was embroidered on the hats that we ordered last year, and as it will be embroidered on this year's shirts:

Donations of any size can be made via PayPal by clicking the "Donate" button. Checks or money orders — made out to me (for the time being) — can be sent to:

Justin Katz
Anchor Rising
P.O. Box 751
Portsmouth, RI 02871

Again, shirts are a limited-time offer for donations made before Monday, February 11. Be sure to provide an address and your shirt size.

January 24, 2008

Surviving the Rough Seas

Justin Katz

As Anchor Rising readers know, tough times are looming in Rhode Island. Whether those times amount to a squall, a season, or an era depends in greatest part on the honesty and bravery of the General Assembly. Are we looking at a year of hardship? Three years? Even longer? Whichever it may be, the machine is in motion, and longer will almost definitely mean sinking lower, and I, for one, am not optimistic.

Therefore, it's either a bad time or just in time for Anchor Rising's contributors to get serious. This year, we'll be stepping toward more official existence. We'll be making plans to do more, to be more active, to have more of an effect. And that means raising more money.

As Anchor Rising readers also know, none of us are insulated from the hard times of the state. The months ahead threaten difficult decisions, and we're going to need your help if we're going to make those decisions in the way that we think (or hope) you'd prefer. It won't take much money to keep us afloat, by the standards of organizational players at the state level, but it will take more than the occasional ad to which we're accustomed. So in time-honored blogosphere tradition, we have no choice but to rattle the cup:

If Anchor Rising were a daily paper, a donation of $36.50 would be equivalent to a year's subscription at 10 cents per issue. To those who donate $60 or more, we'll send as a gift (in telethon lingo) this year's AR apparel choice, a navy blue sport shirt with red collar trim and the Anchor Rising logo on the left of the chest:

Donations of any size can be made via PayPal by clicking the "Donate" button. Checks or money orders — made out to me (for the time being) — can be sent to:

Justin Katz
Anchor Rising
P.O. Box 751
Portsmouth, RI 02871

We'll be looking for donations year 'round, but the shirts are a limited-time offer for donations made before Monday, February 11. Be sure to provide an address and your shirt size.

Donations — I should note — are not tax deductible. But then, we're not restricted by certain laws of dubious constitutionality.


In answer to a specific request, here's a picture of the Anchor Rising logo as it was embroidered on the hats that we ordered last year, and as it will be embroidered on this year's shirts:

January 20, 2008

Accidentally Taking the Good with the Bad

Justin Katz

By way of a functionality note: We're in the midst of a particularly voluminous and pernicious wave of comment spam, so if a comment of yours should happen to disappear, it's more likely to have fallen victim to my speed-weeding than to have been deliberately removed.

I've already caught one such error, myself, but don't be afraid to let me know if your words disappear.

December 31, 2007

Happy New Year from Anchor Rising

Marc Comtois

We at Anchor Rising wish all of our readers a healthy and happy 2008!


Here's to hoping that 2008 brings better times to our state. Strive On!!!

December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Carroll Andrew Morse


From La Salette shrine; Attleboro, Massachusetts, in the 2007th year of Our Lord.

November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Marc Comtois

The First Thanksgiving 1621 by Karen Rinaldo

Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after have a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the company almost a week, at which time amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

Edward Winslow, Mourt's Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, 1622, Part VI

November 3, 2007

Technical Difficulties

Justin Katz

At least from my computer, it appears that we're having some technical difficulties, with Anchor Rising being replaced at intervals with one of those generic stolen-URL promotional sites. As it happens our domain name registration renews today, but that may very well be coincidental. Perhaps, with the storm, connections are being lost somewhere out there in the real-world backbone of cyberspace. Oddly, though, I've had no problems with Dust in the Light, which is set up in exactly the same manner, on exactly the same renew schedule.

Whatever the case, I apologize for the glitches.

October 2, 2007

Justin Katz: Introducing Our Newest Contributor: You

Engaged Citizen

After a few years of blogging, during which the ebbs and flows of our writing have taken us each in several directions, on several levels of analysis, with multiple genres of writing, we've come to the conclusion that we can only cover so much ground. Would that we could develop in depth analysis — scatterplots, even — for every local, state, national, and global issue. Would that we could hound every town council and school committee in Rhode Island! Clearly, we need more eyes to see and fingers to type.

On the other hand, we've been surprised at and encouraged by the personality that Anchor Rising has developed, with the aggregate influence of our individual voices. Although our door is ever open for new contributors, we've stood shoulder to shoulder in the opening, wary of inadvertent changes to the Web site's character.

Engaged Citizen is our solution to these and other needs, desires, and problems. Our newest contributor is you. Rather, it could be you if you take the initiative. If you engage.

As with everything we do, we're aware that the feature will develop of its own accord, so our rules for submissions will be very limited, at first. Each regular Anchor Rising contributor (with tenure of at least three months) has the capability of posting under the Engaged Citizen byline. When in doubt, email me. All entries must be published under your actual name, and your identity must be reasonably verifiable. All publication (and unpublication) is at our discretion, but all rights remain with you.

Other than that, when it comes to thrust, length, detail, topic, and so on, the space is yours to define (under our watchful eyes, of course). Inasmuch as we're able to provide it, the opportunity is yours to help move this state out of the acrid waters in which it currently floats and to further the causes of reasonable discussion and the gradual acquisition of truth.

To submit an Engaged Citizen post to Anchor Rising click "Email" next to my picture at left.

September 21, 2007

The Morning After

Justin Katz

Thanks to everybody who came out last night. I'm always nervous to communicate with folks in a medium that I can't edit, but it was certainly fun.

We'll be planning more events in the future, and if you have any ideas, we'd love to hear them.

September 20, 2007

Just to Clarify

Justin Katz

It's the TGI Friday's on the corner of Bald Hill Road and 117, not (as I'm told there is one) the location by the airport.i

Last Reminder

Justin Katz

Tonight's the night of our first-ever informal Anchor Rising gathering. Warwick TGI Friday's bar area. 7:00 p.m.

Even if you can do no more than stop in for a beer and a hello, we'd love to see you there. Or if you'd like to spend three hours working through RI's political corruption or the difficulties of providing universal healthcare, there's a good chance that at least one of us will be in the mood.

September 19, 2007

TGIF on Thursday

Justin Katz

Just a reminder: tomorrow night at 7:00 at TGI Friday's is Anchor Rising's first attempt at an informal gathering of writers and readers. I'll have Anchor Rising baseball caps for the first five people to ask me for one.

Hope to see you there.

September 13, 2007

TGI Anchor Rising

Justin Katz

Although unsure what to expect, we though it would make for an interesting evening to invite y'all to an informal get-together next Thursday night, September 20, at the bar area of the TGI Friday's in Warwick (by the Michael's craft store and across from the expensive-car sales plaza). Although we're prepared to enjoy yet another evening of each other's company, we'd very much enjoy the opportunity to spend an evening hardly talking to each other at all. (That might not have come out right...)

We'll be there around 7:00 p.m. and will not (we promise) bring our laptops. (Although digital cameras and stealth bloggerware are another matter.) I will have complimentary embroidered Anchor Rising baseball caps for the first five people to ask me for them.

September 11, 2007

By the Way

Justin Katz

It occurred to me to suggest that, whenever one of us appears on TV, on the radio, or in print, notes from y'all commending the appropriate producers, hosts, and editors for their good sense certainly couldn't hurt. You know, if you've the time and motivation.

August 19, 2007

Crossing the Line

Justin Katz

Anchor Rising will not allow itself to be used to make specific threats of personal violence. Bobby Oliveira's comments are no longer welcome here. If he manages to get through our defenses (which is probable, given that he's on AOL), please let us know so that we can promptly delete his comments.

I've closed the comments section to this post, because it doesn't seem fair to talk about somebody who is forbidden from responding, even if the comments are legitimate. This doesn't mean, by the way, that the discussion will be allowed to simply move to a different post.

Crossing the Line

Justin Katz

Anchor Rising will not allow itself to be used to make specific threats of personal violence. Bobby Oliveira's comments are no longer welcome here. If he manages to get through our defenses (which is probable, given that he's on AOL), please let us know so that we can promptly delete his comments.

I've closed the comments section to this post, because it doesn't seem fair to talk about somebody who is forbidden from responding, even if the comments are legitimate. This doesn't mean, by the way, that the discussion will be allowed to simply move to a different post.

August 9, 2007

The Faces of Anchor Rising

Justin Katz

We've been surprised to learn, over the past year or so, how many people don't entirely get how much of a group project Anchor Rising actually is. If the ventures of one of us bring a particular reader to the page, that writer has seemed to become the "face" of the blog for him or her. So, we've had local artist Colby Cook (email) create some portraits to give y'all a face with which to associate each post and to better convey the aggregate personality of Anchor Rising.


As yet, we're unable to present a portrait of Mac Owens, but as soon as I'm able, I'll add one to this post. I'll do the same with any new contributors.

August 2, 2007

Reform-Minded Ad

Justin Katz

Speaking of opposition to parasitic lawyers, please be sure to see what our newest advertisers have to say.

The more y'all click the ads, the more likely sponsors are to renew and the more likely others will be to give us a chance. Believe me that they do pay attention.

Reform-Minded Ad

Justin Katz

Speaking of opposition to parasitic lawyers, please be sure to see what our newest advertisers have to say.

The more y'all click the ads, the more likely sponsors are to renew and the more likely others will be to give us a chance. Believe me that they do pay attention.

July 27, 2007

Anchor Rising on On the Record

Carroll Andrew Morse

Matt Jerzyk and I complete our tour of Rhode Island’s major TV networks this Sunday at 7:30 am with an appearance on WLNE-TV’s (ABC 6) On the Record with Jim Hummel hosted by none other than Jim Hummel.

July 8, 2007

From Pixel to Paper

Marc Comtois

Yes, that's my piece about DCYF's structural problems found on this morning's Providence Journal editorial page, nestled between the Editor's thoughts on NY Mayor Bloomberg's possible presidential run and Froma Harrop's piece on the house swallow. Of necessity--no surprise--I had to boil down the information I provided in my lengthier posts hereabouts (here and here), so if new visitors are interested on where I got the numbers, please follow the links. Finally, there is also an informative piece by the ProJo's Steve Peoples on well-meaning Child Advocate Jametta Alston, who brought the problems at DCYF more directly into the light.

July 7, 2007

Out of Our Blog

Justin Katz

Upon the first mention of the notion that I'm about to put forward, Mac provided the humorous, self-deflating title of "Anchor Reclining." The basic idea is that the contributors to Anchor Rising — including commenters — ought to do more than transform pixels into arguments. We ought to meet. Converse. And we should probably do some drinking, as well.

The wall against which we keep bouncing is that we, blog authors, having some minor attributes equatable (brace yourselves) to geekiness, aren't exactly sure how to go about such an event. So, it has fallen to me to ask you (yous and y'all): If we were to host an informal get-together — meaning that attendees pay their own way — perhaps at a local bar, maybe with hors d'oeuvres — where and when would you be most interested in attending?

With "where," I'll take the gamut from specific locations to general regions. With "when," I'll take specific dates or (preferably) days of the week.

If you aren't inclined to be so forward as to present your suggestions as comments, please feel free to email me.

Depending on response, I may perpetually boost this post to the top o' the blog.

July 4, 2007


Marc Comtois


May 28, 2007

They Died For Us

Marc Comtois

MORE: Thoughts from Michael Yon in Iraq and Peter Collier in the WSJ.

May 26, 2007

A Lesson in Web Stats (Because Nobody Else Will)

Justin Katz

We could legitimately declare that Anchor Rising has had 94,250,358 hits, or 101,009 per day, over the life of the site, but that would be deceptive. I mention this because from time to time you'll see a site parading the fact that it's had x number of hits, and if that's all the information you're given, it's just about impossible to know what it really means. The main problem is that, in conversational usage, hits means page views, or (in advertising lingo) impressions, and some folks even take it to mean readers. With respect to the statistics that most Web page owners have concerning their sites, however, those are all different measurements:

  • Hits are typically the number of files downloaded, or even requests for files. So, if you were to click over to a page with 25 photographs, an audio file, and 50 design-related images (such as the various parts of the yellow line that traces Anchor Rising), then that one page view would count (including the actual html file) as 77 hits. If you accidentally close your browser and reload the page, then depending how much information your computer has cached (or saved on your hard drive for future reference), you might trigger that many more hits again.
  • Page views are more akin to what print media types track as impressions. That's the number of downloaded files with extensions that typically indicate full pages — such as .html or .php. So, even if none of the pictures on our hypothetical Web page come through, you would have counted as two page views. If you were to come to Anchor Rising, click to read the comments, and then make a comment of your own, your activity would count as four page views — the main page, the comment page, the preview page, and the reloaded comment page with your comment.
  • Visits are generally tracked according to page views with a given interval between them. Those four page views would count as one visit, but if you were to contemplate your comment for half an hour (or some other interval of time, longer or shorter) before making it, the two sessions would count as separate visits.
  • Uniques or sites are individual IP addresses and, although there are qualifications that I'll describe in a moment, might be thought of as the number of people reading the page in a given time period.

Of these four metrics, I've tended to keep the closest eye on visits, because as you can see, hits are next to meaningless from a real-people standpoint, and pages can be quickly racked up, but there is increased value to readers who come back several times a day. (There's also the possibility that different people are using the same computer, or even the same home network, thus counting as the same IP address.) For comparison purposes, however, using the same metric still isn't precise, because different software programs track visits differently.

For one thing, some track downloads of a particular picture. The colorful square on the bottom of our left-hand column is an example, and related statistics are based on the number of times that image is downloaded. Of course, if somebody is reading a text-only version of a page or has images blocked or has cached the image, he won't count. If the tracking service is hung up and the person manages to read everything he wants before it loads, that page view won't count, either. For this reason, some folks place the image at the tops of their html, to ensure that it gets counted; sometimes, though, delays can be considerable, so since we prefer your value as interested readers to your value as statistics, it's the very last thing that Anchor Rising offers to your computer.

Other tracking software works directly on the server, which is obviously more accurate. Even so, some count or don't count different extensions as pages, as opposed to files (such as .css style sheets). Some track visits every half-hour; others on the hour. Some appear to make adjustments that even I haven't cared to figure out. When looking at average-per-day statistics, some go back to the Web site's very first day, and others use only a certain period of time, such as a month or year. Thus, our average number of daily page views is currently 677 on the lowest of our four tracking systems, while it is 36,075 on the highest.

And then, even adjusting for all of this, the impression that one gets of a site's popularity has to be adjusted with reference to the computer behind each request. Every time Google checks to see what words we're using, that counts as traffic. Every time a spammer's bots probe our site for weaknesses, that counts. Every person who clicks over from a search engine to quickly skim a two-year-old post for relevance or to see a searched-for image in context counts. Every potential advertiser. Every person who's just trying to copy our html.

So, if you owned a Web site, which numbers would you use? When asked, I've always tried to offer a realistic estimate based on my general understanding of our statistics, even though I've realized that comparisons might therefore be unfair to us. Then again, something tweaks my conscience at the thought of taking credit for the "readership" of some automated computer program that downloaded a one-pixel JPEG image. Similarly, while I do not want people to underestimate our numbers, it would cross a line into a distasteful sliminess to deliberately lead them to exaggerated conclusions — or even to allow them to mislead themselves.

For these reasons — as well as to enable a concrete application of today's Web stat lesson — the following is an untweaked snapshot of our daily visits and page views using three different programs. (I've left out the high-end outlier, from which I derived the above eye-poppers.) For a little bit of extra context, our Web host appears to think that Webalizer is more accurate than AWStats. Site Meter is the software based on that colorful image on the bottom of our left-hand column.

Although it would be reasonable to simply go with the Webalizer data (which, I'm told, is the most popular statistics measurement online), for interviews and conversation, I usually give a rough average of Webalizer and AWStats. I'd note, though, when comparing with other types of Web sites, and even more so other types of media, that blog readers tend to be especially plugged in — in a variety of senses; there's also considerable difference even among blogs in the type of content they offer and in the way in which readers use them. That's why, for my own purposes, I concentrate on our readership trends (which are really the only information for which I use Site Meter at all), and on their basis, I've no reason to complain or to be coy:

Having little sense of what y'all might have thought before, I don't know whether any of this is surprising to you, whether in a good or bad way. From our perspective, we're more interested in having you come by because you're interested in what we have to say than because you think we're the happening conservative bloggers of the region.

May 10, 2007

Righteous Indignation and a Blogger's Responsibility

Marc Comtois

The left-side of the local blogosphere is atwitter with calls to fire WPRO's Dan Yorke for an assertion/information he let slip during his show. (I won't repeat the comment, you can find it on your own.) However, what I did find interesting was that a similar assertion had been made in the comments section (the last one) of one of the righteously indignant blogs almost exactly two years ago. It raises an interesting question: if it's not OK for Yorke to publicly assert something, regardless of whether or not it's common knowledge, what responsibility do we as bloggers have to ensure that our anonymous commenters don't do the same? Or does anonymity confer a mantle of plausible deniability for us?

I know that we at Anchor Rising let our commenters have a pretty free reign, but we have, in the past, removed comments that have made assertions that we would consider un-provable or distasteful. As part of the "new media" bloggers need to keep an eye out for such things in their comments section. I'm not trying to be holier-than-thou, after all, there are probably still a few "hearsay" comments floating around our comments sections, too. As named bloggers who have "ownership" of these sites, we are responsible for what is asserted by anonymous commenters on our blogs. Thus, it behooves us to reign in the "gossip" to help strengthen our position as "serious" news/commentary outlets. The trick is to do it without scaring away people. (I know, we've had this discussion before).

Update: For those interested in blogger-navel gazing, I posed a shorter version of this as a comment over at RI Future (comment #40), to which I've received a response (#44) and have replied (#50).

April 23, 2007

Civility — It's Not Just for Winners!

Justin Katz

I'll be the first to admit that it's all too easy, while in the rapture of our rightness, to lose sight of the fact that we're in the minority in this state... by a lot. So outnumbered are we that the Warwick Daily Times's imbalanced labelling of blogs needn't be seen as an unmitigated example of bias. Calling Anchor Rising "conservative" on a list of Rhode Island blogs is reasonably accurate shorthand for "this one is different from the rest."

That being the case, the best strategy for bringing about political and cultural change is even more advisable for us, and by this, I mean persuasion, not shouting loudest and not talking with the most self-confident vitriol. In the circumstances that our geographic reality places us, any opportunity to engage in discourse with others whose views differ from our own is, perhaps, a chance to win a convert, very possibly an opportunity to plant seeds of reconsideration, and almost definitely a time to hone our own arguments.

Some of you may recall the tone of the comment sections on this site back during the Laffey/Chafee primary, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that our continuing to allow comments at all was an iffy thing at that time. Now, I'm sure some clever-headed one among you will think to respond that our readership will dry up should we restrict comments, or do away with them altogether. To such a threat, I can only reply by patiently explaining that we don't view this as a business venture; we're not looking for fame, and we're certainly not worried about our trickle of revenue evaporating — which is to say that my reply is, "So what?"

We publish this blog for two reasons:

  • We enjoy thinking, writing, and discussing these topics.
  • We hope to change our state, country, and world for the better, to foster a healthier culture and society (again, mainly through reasoned persuasion).

If you look likely to thwart us in either of these goals, we will have no choice but to begin limiting the forum that we provide (free of charge, and with the highest of hopes).

Civility — It's Not Just for Winners!

Justin Katz

I'll be the first to admit that it's all too easy, while in the rapture of our rightness, to lose sight of the fact that we're in the minority in this state... by a lot. So outnumbered are we that the Warwick Daily Times's imbalanced labelling of blogs needn't be seen as an unmitigated example of bias. Calling Anchor Rising "conservative" on a list of Rhode Island blogs is reasonably accurate shorthand for "this one is different from the rest."

That being the case, the best strategy for bringing about political and cultural change is even more advisable for us, and by this, I mean persuasion, not shouting loudest and not talking with the most self-confident vitriol. In the circumstances that our geographic reality places us, any opportunity to engage in discourse with others whose views differ from our own is, perhaps, a chance to win a convert, very possibly an opportunity to plant seeds of reconsideration, and almost definitely a time to hone our own arguments.

Some of you may recall the tone of the comment sections on this site back during the Laffey/Chafee primary, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that our continuing to allow comments at all was an iffy thing at that time. Now, I'm sure some clever-headed one among you will think to respond that our readership will dry up should we restrict comments, or do away with them altogether. To such a threat, I can only reply by patiently explaining that we don't view this as a business venture; we're not looking for fame, and we're certainly not worried about our trickle of revenue evaporating — which is to say that my reply is, "So what?"

We publish this blog for two reasons:

  • We enjoy thinking, writing, and discussing these topics.
  • We hope to change our state, country, and world for the better, to foster a healthier culture and society (again, mainly through reasoned persuasion).

If you look likely to thwart us in either of these goals, we will have no choice but to begin limiting the forum that we provide (free of charge, and with the highest of hopes).

March 14, 2007

Ocean State Blogger--The Return

Marc Comtois

After a 10 month hiatus, I decided to slap a new coat of paint on my ol' Ocean State Blogger site and bring her back, but with a new mission. Originally, OSB was my solo blog in which I posted about things in much the same way I do here at Anchor Rising. The new OSB will be a blog about "things that make me go hmmm" (to quote Will Smith--yikes.) What does that mean? Well, think a really obvious rip-off of this guy, and you've got it figured out. The primary goal is personal--I want a web-based suppository of all of the things that have heretofore resided in a "Raw Material" bookmark on my browser. In essence, I'm going to live-blog the creation of my own topic-based research library. If you're into that, feel free to stop by.

January 1, 2007


Carroll Andrew Morse

Happy New Year!

December 22, 2006

Understanding the Last-Minute Christmas Shopper

Carroll Andrew Morse

I predict utter mayhem -- even more so than usual – at the last-minute Christmas shopping scene this year. Certain insights I have into the mind of the last-minute shopper lead me to this prediction.

Here’s how (ahem, I’ve heard) the last minute shopper approaches the Christmas season. Sometime around Thanksgiving, he or she looks at the calendar and locks onto the last full weekend before Christmas day. The last-minuter then says to himself, “that’s when I need to finish my shopping by”.

Unfortunately, last-minute shoppers are not necessarily good shoppers. They’re not terribly efficient. They tend to wander a bit. They get easily distracted by things like TCBY stands at the Providence Place Mall. The result is that it takes them more time than they think it will to do their shopping. They can’t easily accomplish everything they need to in a single weekend.

Now, when Christmas falls on a Friday, the problem is not so bad. Shoppers unable to complete their missions on the last pre-Christmas weekend still have four days to spread themselves out over, so no one day of the final week before Christmas will be too bad.

It’s a little more difficult when Christmas falls on a Wednesday. Last minute shoppers have just two days of bonus time to pack themselves into.

But when Christmas falls on a Monday, there is no built-in margin for error, no last few weekdays to act as a safety valve. This means all of last minute shoppers, trying to do all of their shopping, for all of their friends and relatives, in just two days. The density of shoppers spikes. Madness rules the days.

In a marginally related announcement, my blogging will probably be light for the next day or two…

November 12, 2006

Insecurity, Thy Name Is the Internet

Justin Katz

Well, apparently the liberal Internet conspiracy continues.

Resulting from what looks to have been some relatively benign and low-level hacking, our comments sections were down for at least a few hours. I thought things had been quiet 'round here.

For future reference, please don't be shy about contacting me regarding problems with Anchor Rising's functionality. I was able to fix this one in a matter of seconds... as soon as I found out about the problem.

November 10, 2006

Guess What We Forgot?

Marc Comtois

With all of the election hoopla, none of us Anchor Rising contributors thought to remember that November 7 was the two-year anniversary of this blog. In the past year, I think that we've managed to pull at least a couple links of the ol' anchor chain out of the water. At the very least, our anchor weighing has caused at least a few ripples here and there (for example).

I believe that we have proven ourselves to be intellectually honest and responsible while advocating for conservatism in the arena of ideas. This has lent us a degree of credibility with other media outlets and, in turn, the increased exposure they have offered has allowed us to broadcast a conservative viewpoint to the broader public. Hopefully, we've opened some minds along the way.

But enough of the self-congratulation. The anchor still needs to be weighed. So let's get back to manning the windlass and keep cranking.

November 9, 2006

Liberals Must Have Invented the Internet

Justin Katz

Just to let folks know: I'm having issues with my email and am not receiving all messages sent my way. (Correspondents may or may not receive an error message saying that my emailbox is full.) I'm workin' on it, but it's always difficult to overcome these liberal conspiracies.

If ever anybody is rebuffed by my usual email account and/or is sending something of particular importance, please feel free to include "justindkatz@yahoo.com" as a carbon copy. If you've sent anything over the past few days, it mightn't be a bad idea to resend it to that address.

November 2, 2006

Anchor Rising in Glossy Print

Justin Katz

Anchor Rising is featured in a report by Ellen Liberman in the latest edition of Rhode Island Monthly (which hasn't yet updated its Web site to reflect the new issue):

Diogenes of Sinope was one of the original Cynics, ancient Greek philosophers who shunned the status quo. Most famously, Diogenes wandered the birthplace of democracy, the marketplace of Athens, in broad daylight bearing a candle. He was searching for an honest man, someone like himself, who lived by his principles.

Strictly speaking, Justin Katz of Tiverton is not a Cynic. But as a political conservative, he's found himself in opposition to Rhode Island's liberal Democratic mainstream, and — ideologically, at least — lonely. In the modern age, however, one does not need a candle or a market to find a like-minded soul. Moveable Type software, suitable for blogging, and an inexhaustible supply of opinions and stamina will do.

Which is to say, perhaps, that technology is making it easier for those who live by their principles to carry their own candles. Not surprisingly, as bloggers never tire of pointing out, those who've gained access to spotlights frequently give the impression that they scorn candles because they distrust daylight. Says Chip Young, the Philipe of "Philipe and Jorge" in the Providence Phoenix:

"I don't rely on blogs at all... It's almost like listening to talk radio. You get all these disparate opinions from people who've had their first six-pack by noon."

According to Liberman, Young writes "a political media and current events satire column," so I understand that he might be attempting to showcase a biting wit. But to be so stupendously wrong about the purveyors of a medium of such acute interest in both his areas of focus leaves one with the impression that he is mainly guarding the cachet of his mainstream morning merlot.

At any rate, thanks to Ellen Liberman for the reminder that the wax burns (and hangovers) are not in vain.

October 29, 2006

... and on BSR 88.1FM on Monday Night

Justin Katz

I'll be part of a segment about the casino issue on the Brown Student Radio show Off the Beat, which airs tomorrow night at (I believe) 7:30 p.m. Those in the Providence area can tune in to 88.1 FM, but anybody the world 'round can listen to the live stream on bsrlive.com.

October 28, 2006

Anchor Rising on 10 News Conference this Sunday

Carroll Andrew Morse

I will be appearing on WJAR-TV's (NBC 10) 10 News Conference program this Sunday at 6:30 AM along with panelists Matthew Jerzyk of RI Future and Dan Yorke of WPRO-AM radio, along with hosts Jim Taricani and Bill Rappelye giving the alternative media's perspective on the current Rhode Island political scene.

October 12, 2006

A Note on Rejected Comments

Justin Katz

We've had enough readers email to ask why their comments have been rejected that it's worth offering a preemptive explanation.

Since we're constantly inundated with automatically generated comment spam, we employ a variety of solutions to cut down on the amount. One solution is to close down comments and trackbacks after a certain period of time. Another is to compare comments to a list of suspect phrases and URLs.

Because our list of banned text allows a limited number of entries, the challenge for us has been to ban the broadest phrase without capturing words that readers might legitimately write. Unfortunately, as we've recently discovered, this challenge is made all the more difficult, because the software doesn't differentiate between punctuation and spaces.

If a comment of yours to one of our posts is rejected, a flashing red error message will appear that will end with the suspect text. A case in point:

Your comment could not be submitted due to questionable content: Host Com

In this case, the problematic series of letters is "host com," as in "host communications," because "host.com" is banned.

I've plans to change our software, but there are no fixes that are simple enough for me to implement quickly. And I simply haven't had the time to take the care necessary for a more integral — and therefore more perilous — set-up. In other words, the option, for the time being, is between living with the occasional error in comment rejection and risking a complete collapse of Anchor Rising's software that I haven't the time to fix expediently.

I apologize for any inconvenience, but I've had to choose the former.

September 11, 2006

Primary Information Clearinghouse

Carroll Andrew Morse

I hope not to detract from the solemnity of this day so excellently captured in Don Roachs posting immediately below -- as we bloggers say, read the whole thing.

However, I would like to make Anchor Rising readers aware that below Dons post, we have posted several items that will be of interest to voters looking for information about the candidates in tomorrows primaries for First District Congressman and/or Mayor of Providence.

June 30, 2006

On Banning Commenters

Justin Katz

Anchor Rising's policy on deleting comments and banning commenters is being turned up a notch. If you're commenting on this Web site, you're doing so to advance a conversation. Some of you are using comments as an outlet for political spin... and that's alright, too. But when the comment sections get to the point that contributors dread rhetoric for which their posts are providing platforms, things have gone too far.

Ultimately, all we ask is civility, a measure that has apparently been too loose thus far. As of now, obvious logical fallacies bearing offensive insinuations will no longer be tolerated. Example:

... you must be that special type of guy who catches his wife sleeping around but pretends that nothing happened instead of throwing her out. ...

Unless you enjoy seeing your no-good wife sleeping around with other guys....

I'm well aware that some will argue that such rhetoric stays on the fair side of debate, and in some contexts, I might agree. In the context of this Web site, however, we've unlimited latitude to decide the tone that we believe to be most consistent with our goals. In lieu of the work of installing a registration system — which may scare away many a valuable commenter — and of ceasing comments altogether, an increasingly strict (as needed) editorial policy seems like a reasonable approach.

Of course, sincere explanations — and apologies, if necessary — can lead to unbanishment.

June 3, 2006

Anchor Rising on Newsmakers this Sunday

Carroll Andrew Morse

I will be appearing on WPRI-TV's (Channel 12) Newsmakers program this Sunday at 6:30 AM (rebroadcast on WNAC-TV [Channel 64]) Sunday at 10 AM) along with Matthew Jerzyk of RI Future, host Steve Aveson and panelist Ian Donnis discussing the nature of political blogging.

Disclaimer: Since the subject is blogs-as-media, viewers should prepare themselves to witness the amazing spectacle of Mr. Jerzyk and I offering our perspectives without any left-versus-right fireworks.

May 29, 2006

"They represent the highest form of the citizen"

Carroll Andrew Morse

Honor Roll of Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan

Honor Roll of Soldiers Killed in Iraq

They represent the highest form of the citizen, and every man and woman among them was a volunteer. This plain statement requires no further rhetoric.

-- Christopher Hitchens, in OpinionJournal, Today

April 17, 2006

A Note on Advertisements

Justin Katz

With advertising on Anchor Rising beginning to... well, just beginning, I thought it worthwhile to offer readers some perspective on our advertising practices (such as they will be). Our acceptance of paid advertisements does not imply endorsement of the product, service, or stated position. In general, we will do a little bit of research to ensure that the advertisement is not an obvious scam, and we will accept most ads with messages that we do not find repulsive. Other than that, we'll reserve the right to comment on our advertisers — positively or negatively — as we see fit.

April 12, 2006

Rich Lowry Speaking at Brown TONIGHT!!!

Carroll Andrew Morse


Over at the Corner, Rich Lowry says that his appearance begins at 7:30 tonight.

According to the latest edition of the RI Republican Newsletter delivered to my inbox early this morning

Wednesday April 12 - NATIONAL REVIEW magazine Editor RICH LOWRY speaks at BROWN UNIVERSITY - 8:00 P.M. - in Salomon Hall on the main campus green. Sponsored by the College Republicans. Mr. Lowry will talk about the war on terrorism.
And for those looking for a solid opening act to precede Mr. Lowry
Wednesday April 12 - JOHNSON & WALES UNIVERSITY College Republicans Meet The Candidates Night - 6:30 P.M. - at the Harborside Campus (located on the Providence/Cranston line, off Allens Ave.). Most statewide GOP candidates are expected to come (Steve Laffey, Bill Harsch, Sue Stenhouse, Allan Fung & others). For more info, E-mail JWU CR Chairman Armand Cortellesso at: NauticaALC@netscape.net

February 9, 2006

Anchor Rising Live at CPAC!

Carroll Andrew Morse

WASHINGTON D.C. -- I am blogging this morning from the site of the 33rd annual Conservative Political Action Conference. I'll be spending the next 2 1/2 days learning about the issues, arguments, and people that will be shaping our national politics and will try to represent Rhode Island well to the rest of the country.

I post anything interesting I learn as soon as I can...

January 11, 2006

Yes, Virginia, I Am an Editor

Justin Katz

For those who might be wondering: "tramping" is le mot juste for the new category that I've begun with my previous post.

January 10, 2006

Taking a Brief Sabbatical

Marc Comtois

As some of you may know, I've been pursuing an MA in History (at Providence College) over the past few years in my spare time. During the next few weeks I'll be both finalizing my Master's Thesis and prepping for the Oral Comprehensive exams that are scheduled for "some time in February" (gotta love laid back academia, huh?). I'll still be stopping by and may chime in from time to time, but priorities are on the aforementioned academic pursuits. After that, I hope to return to writing my always fascinating and insightful posts that you have all come to enjoy. ;0 So, until then, stay conservative!

December 25, 2005

Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Carroll Andrew Morse

In 1897, a young girl named Virginia O'Hanlon asked the following question to the editors of the New York Sun...

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.' Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?
Here is Sun editorial writer Francis Church's answer...
VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measure by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest man that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank GOD! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Merry Christmas everyone!

December 24, 2005

Santa Slightly Ahead of Schedule

Carroll Andrew Morse

North American Aerospace Defense Command confirms that Santa has successfully lifted off from the North Pole and is slightly ahead of schedule.

Continuing updates from NORAD available here.

December 5, 2005

On the Wavelength

Justin Katz

For anybody with a spare half-hour tonight: Brown student radio interviewed me about living and blogging conservative in Rhode Island for tonight's edition of Off the Beat. The show airs locally on 88.1 FM and globally via online stream at 7:30 p.m.

November 21, 2005

Mac Owens On Ingraham Show

Marc Comtois

Anchor Rising contributor and National Review Online Contributing Editor Mac Owens will by on Laura Ingraham's nationwide radio show today at 10 AM to discuss the similarities between Iraq and Vietnam (you can stream it here). I suspect you can get a flavor of what Mac will be talking to Ingraham about by reading his latest column up at NRO, "Defeated by Defeatism: Why Jack Murtha is Wrong."

UPDATE: No Mac on Ingraham today (the vagaries of live radio), so it looks like he was pushed to later in the week. We'll keep you updated.

November 12, 2005

Anchor Rising Turns One!

Carroll Andrew Morse

When Justin, Marc, Don and myself started blogging together a year ago, we werent exactly sure where we were going, but we were sure wed be able to find worthwhile topics -- topics not receiving the attention they deserved -- to discuss.

Almost coincident with our one-year anniversary, evidence appeared that our supposition was correct. A Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam article in the Weekly Standard laid out a program for a new domestic conservatism. One issue of prominence was healthcare. Here are a few snippets of their thoughts on healthcare

Republicans need to deliver a market-friendly health care reform, and simply the current hodgepodge of command-and-control and laissez-faire.

For instance, Mitt Romney has proposed in Massachusetts that health insurance be made universal by making it mandatory.

More important, severing health care coverage from employment will eliminate the gaps in coverage that occur when workers move from one job to the next. Workers will no longer be shacked to jobs they despise, thus offering a tremendous boon to productivity.

A very similar discussion via e-mail between myself and one Mister Justin Katz was a precursor to the creation of Anchor Rising. Here's Justin discussing healtcare, over a year ago, at Dust in the Light...
Our system "combines the compassion of raw capitalism with the efficiency of bureaucratic socialism.

Rather, mandatory, private, health Insurance universal coverage in exchange for universal responsibility." That, it seems to me, might be the American way to create a universal health plan.

Employees might benefit from companies' newfound need to develop other ways to attract and keep employees, once risking temporary unemployment is no longer to risk one's life.

Rest assured, here at Anchor Rising, we will continue to bring you tomorrows solutions to todays problems!

On a more personal note, let me add that I am proud to have been able to contribute to the civic discussion of this past year through my association with my Anchor Rising co-bloggers.

September 3, 2005

Welcoming Don Roach

Justin Katz

Anchor Rising welcomes Don Roach to its contributors list. Don is a graduate from Brown University and a resident of Providence. His blogging efforts began — and continue — at Black, White, Left, & Right.

September 2, 2005

Happy Labor Day

Carroll Andrew Morse

Blogging will most likely be light over the Labor Day weekend as we celebrate the end of summer and rest up for a fall that promises to be interesting and challenging for Rhode Island and the nation.

Here again is Instapundits list of hurricane relief links , for those looking for places to contribute to relief and recovery from Katrina.

And here is an example, from Hugh Hewitt, of the kind of creative thinking that will allow the US to quickly recover from this disaster by refusing to accept that Americans should ever be treated like Third World refugees. If our leaders dont realize this, then its time for new leaders.

September 1, 2005

Donating to Katrina Relief

Carroll Andrew Morse

Hi folks. We've just recovered from our first major bout with "technical difficulties" (not storm related). However, before you go on to read wisdom about Rhode Island politics that you can't get anywhwhere else, please visit Instapundit's list of options for donating to hurricane Katrina.

July 26, 2005

Andrew at TCS

Marc Comtois

Over at Tech Central Station, Andrew has some suggestions at to The Right Way to Reform the UN.

July 1, 2005

Andrew's new column's up at TCS

Marc Comtois

Andrew has a new column up at TCS, titled "Men of Words or Deeds?" about the Democrats' reaction to Karl Rove and their lack of ideas in general. (I would like to note that is close to paraphrasing my alma mater's motto: Acta non Verba).

May 9, 2005

Mac on Lincoln and Emancipation

Marc Comtois

Our own Mac Owens sets the record straight regarding Lincoln and the when, where and how of emancipation today in National Review On Line.

May 5, 2005

Andrew on Bolton for U.N.

Marc Comtois

Andrew has a new piece up at Tech Central Station explaining how John Bolton is "Too Controversial Because He Is Too Conventional."

February 16, 2005

And Then There Were Five

Justin Katz

Anchor Rising is ecstatic to announce a fifth contributor: Mac Owens. Mac is an associate dean of academics and professor of national-security affairs at the Naval War College in Newport; he's also a contributing editor for National Review Online. Rhode Island is fortunate to have the likes of Mr. Owens as engaged citizens, and Anchor Rising will certainly be the better for its providing him a platform.

February 7, 2005

"Get On Board Now" — Good Advice, That!

Justin Katz

The guys at PRESSblog, a Rhode Island blog for marketers, have reviewed a number of Southern New England blogs "to determine what value they might have to advertisers." Although I may be, you know, mildly biased, I think they give some great advice when it comes to Anchor Rising:

Will Appeal to: Republican candidates for office, especially in Rhode Island. In fact, a savvy candidate would look to get on board now to help early fundraising. It can also appeal to organizations supporting conservative causes, including those pushing for a federal marriage amendment or, more locally, opposing a Rhode Island casino.

I'd also add a general consideration that PRESSblog doesn't mention, perhaps because it's somewhat outside of the offline advertising model. As described in a recent article about comment spam, blogs are disproportionately powerful when it comes to reaching the top of the list created by search engine algorithms. Investment in a few relatively inexpensive, long-running ads could ensure that a particular site makes the first page of a Google search for relevant terms.

So, for any of a host of reasons, any savvy candidates out there should feel free to email me at any time to help with our their fundraising!

It occurs to me that we haven't noted the paid text ads that we already have on the Sponsors tab at left.

As a general policy, although we will attempt reasonable diligence, advertising doesn't necessarily equal endorsement. If we've experience with an advertiser's product, we will likely write about it, and if we need something that an advertiser has on offer, we would probably take the opportunity to try it out. We also welcome feedback from readers about their own experiences.

January 25, 2005

Andrew's Latest up at TCS

Marc Comtois
Andrew has a new piece up at TCS, "Tipping the Foreign Policy Balance," in which he outlines the difference between geopolitical "realism" and "liberalism." The President clearly favored a "liberal" strategy in his Inaugural Address.

December 15, 2004

Reminder: Don Hawthorne on WARL Tonight

Marc Comtois
Just a reminder that Don Hawthorne will be appearing on the Rick Adam's radio show on WARL 1320 AM tonight from 8-9 p.m. If you're in the Greater Providence area, you should be able to pick it up over the air. If not, they do stream.

December 12, 2004

Worthy Worthies

Justin Katz

Thanks to Lane Core, who featured one of Don's posts as part of his weekly Blogworthies series. Lane's Blog from the Core is always worth reading, but his Blogworthies are a weekly must-peruse.

December 8, 2004

Anchor in the Update

Justin Katz

Thanks to Dave Talan for including a mention of Anchor Rising in the latest edition of his R.I. Republican Update email. The blurb is about "the relatively new occurrence" of the blog movement. Talan also mentions Chuck Nevola's The Senescent Man (as well as Dust in the Light and The Ocean State Blogger).

There aren't any instructions in the email regarding the procedure for subscribing, but if you're interested, I believe you can get on the mailing list by sending your request to DaveTalan@aol.com.

December 1, 2004

The Spare-Time Revolution

Justin Katz

Sorry for the lack of new posts, folks. That's one of the potential difficulties when one's substantive efforts must be made during moments not spent supporting one's family. We thank you for continuing to stop by, and we promise that the lapse is only temporary.

November 29, 2004

And then There Were Four

Justin Katz

Anchor Rising welcomes Donald B. Hawthorne to our contributors list. Readers may recognize Don's name from the pieces that he's published in The Providence Journal taking on Rhode Island's teachers' unions (see his Recent Publications on the sidebar).

Don's interests are much broader, however, and he's sure to be an even more significant benefit to the cause of changing Rhode Island than he already is.

November 24, 2004

Playing Catch-Up

Justin Katz

Apologies for the lack of posts over the past couple of days. Judging from my daily rounds, we don't appear to be the only quick read out there. That's no excuse, of course, and we do appreciate your readership. (Arguably that appreciation is served by not posting fluff just to fill space.)

Among my reasons, personally, for not posting is that I've been trying to catch up with various tasks and correspondence. Among the tasks was making some additions to the blogroll:

As always, if you're aware (or are) of a resource to which we should link, please feel free to contact us.

November 12, 2004

The Anchor in the Corner

Justin Katz

A beleaguered — but hearty and hopeful — welcome to readers of NRO's Corner. By way of assuring Mr. Ponnuru that there do exist conservatives in Rhode Island, I note that this blog is the product of three of them and that there are at least four other rightish bloggers in the state. Away from the computer, I personally know about a dozen people who voted for President Bush.

If you're among the 161,636 Bush-voting Rhode Islanders whom I haven't mentioned, I hope you'll make a point of checking in on us and helping to make the conservative discussion more than a whisper in this state.

I should note for the millions beyond our borders that we don't intend to limit our writing to local issues. And even with those, of course, we could use all the help we can get...

November 10, 2004

Late, as Usual

Carroll Andrew Morse

My apologies for being late to the kick-off party.

Thanks go immediately to Justin for setting this blog up and giving it a professional look. It makes it almost look like we are important! Now, my temptation is to next write the sentence "but of course, as conservative leaning individuals in Rhode Island, we're not".

That oversimplifies things. Institutional Republicanism here in southern New England is very weak, but (as Marc and Justin have mentioned), conservative ideas still find a resonance. So we're going to see if we can help healthy, two or more sided political discourse flourish in Rhode Island.

November 8, 2004

Anchors Aweigh

Marc Comtois

First things first: I'm not a native. I've resided in the Ocean State for well-nigh ten years now and am still getting used to it all. You all know the litany of "things Rhode Island": Coffee milk, cabinets, hot weiners, Del's, etc. After nearly a decade, I now feel comfortable calling myself a Rhode Islander, though I also realize that I have a good 20 or 30 years to go before "real" Rhode Islanders acknowledge me as one of their own. Nonetheless, here I am. This is my home and I have an interest in making things better for both myself, my family and for my neighbors.

Now, it's not as if I came to the Ocean State from Mars. What I most definitely am is a lifelong New Englander: born in Vermont, interlude in Massachusetts, raised in Maine and parents who now reside in New Hampshire. As such, I am a Yankee through and through. I understand the work ethic, the wit and the sense of community as well as the wry cynicism, the provincialism and attitude that the rest of the world is screwed up while New England is indeed the "Shining City on the Hill." Well, maybe that was once true, but, as the recent election all too clearly has shown, New England is becoming isolated from the rest of the nation politically, socially and, unfortunately, economically.

While on the face of it Rhode Island is the most Democrat of the six New England states, I don't believe it is the most liberal, which is an interesting dichotomy. As such, I believe, along with Justin and Andrew, that progress can be made within the Ocean State towards providing the citizens with an alternative to the same "good old boy" network they have come to know and, almost perversely, enjoy. It seems like many in our state take pleasure in Rhode Island's reputation of political corruption and that they are, at the very least, resigned to more of the same. We at Anchor Rising don't think it has to be that way. We've manned the Anchor windlass and applied some tension to the chain and now we need some help to actually bring this thing up. Care to come aboard?

November 7, 2004

The Difficulties of Digital Freedom

Justin Katz

I did my best — testing the blog in multiple browsers on multiple computers in multiple screen sizes— to ensure that everything will appear as intended for anybody with a reasonably recent Internet browser. Still, the quirks of Web design manifest in unpredictable ways. Indeed, there are a couple of minor IE issues that I've decided that I just have to live with.

Because every computer in the world potentially skews a Web site in bizarre ways, I wanted to leave open a spot right at the beginning for any feedback that readers might have to offer. I especially want to know if things just plain aren't working, but general thoughts would fit here as well. Click the comments link below.

Welcome to Anchor Rising!

Justin Katz

About a year ago, I experienced, simultaneously, pleased surprise and sinking disappointment upon discovering that the various online lists of Web logs (blogs) revealed none identifiably from Rhode Island at a higher rank than my blog. It's nice to be in the running for even obscure titles, of course, but being aware of my relatively poor showing outside of the Ocean State niche led to a dampening conclusion:

There simply isn't much by way of alternative media in Rhode Island.

Around the same time, Carroll Andrew Morse, who had been working his way toward regular publication in the online commentary magazine, Tech Central Station, emailed me to confess that he, too, was a Rhode Island conservative. Thinking that such rare creatures ought to band together, he proposed that we start a group blog, and I immediately suggested including Marc Comtois of The Ocean State Blogger.

Circumstances sapped the project of momentum, back then, but something in the change of our nation's political atmosphere toward the end of this year's campaign season suggested that reinvigorating it was less an investment than a calling or obligation. Not only is our state in dire need of frank and equitable debate within its own borders, but we remain on course to find ourselves nationally on the wrong side of a sort of Cold Civil War.

It is with the goal of progress — of moving the state forward toward less-waning waters, of hoisting our many anchors — that we have at last put together this long overdue forum for ideas outside of the local consensus. Of course, because none of these United States can progress apart from the others, it will be crucial for us to participate in the national and global discussions of our day. Therefore, while the perspective of Anchor Rising is from Rhode Island, and its focus will be on matters affecting those who live here, its approach will not be provincial. Truth is truth, after all, and error, error.

While we three bloggers compose Anchor Rising initially, we can only accomplish so much on our own. Therefore, we invite readers to contact us — using the email addresses on the left-hand side — with any news, information, or commentary that they believe to be important. Most blog posts will have sections for comments and discussion, as well. Similarly, we will always be open to expanding our list of contributors; interested readers should contact me via email, with either writing samples or links to their own blogging efforts.

Lastly, it must be said that Anchor Rising will necessarily be written and maintained during nights, weekends, and moments stolen from work and play. Our schedules limit the amount that we can manage — often drastically. Sponsorship from those with the means and the interest to offer it — in any form — will go directly toward helping us to accomplish more.

Such considerations will keep, however. For the moment, all that remains to be done is simply to begin — with faith that inquiry, thought, and credulous discussion can shape the eras of human history. And if we challenge ourselves, and if we engage each other, we can work our way around to the right side of hope.