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January 28, 2016

Finding Purpose Through the Zombie Apocalypse

AMC’s hit television series, The Walking Dead, is probably not a go-to resource for many Rhode Island Catholic readers in search of spiritual insights. The show, as its title hints, takes place in a world in which some sort of disease causes corpses to come back to life — just enough to wander the Earth in search of still-living people to consume.

In keeping with the entire zombie genre, it’s gory fare. Also in keeping with similar stories, its monsters are more creepy than scary. For the most part, they stagger along making easily identifiable groaning noises. They aren’t quick or stealthy. What they are is relentless, and the dread that they instill has mainly to do with their status as harbingers of the end of the world.

Zombies, as a threat, turn out to be relatively manageable; the dread comes from the question: What now? A central theme of the series is the problem of what meaning there could possibly be in a world overrun with such creatures.

Continue reading in Rhode Island Catholic.

January 20, 2016
January 18, 2016

Shipping R.I. decisions to D.C.

The language of Brookings Institution scholar Bruce Katz (no relation), whom Gov. Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island Foundation have invited into the state to offer consultation on economic development, might seem so close to some on the political right that casual news consumers would get the impression of substantial common ground.

Continue reading in the Providence Journal.

January 14, 2016

Dan Yorke invited Justin on to his midday 630AM/99.7FM WPRO talk radio show to discuss Governor Gina Raimondo’s suspicious hiring of a chief innovation officer who will actually work with the private-nonprofit Rhode Island College Foundation.

January 14, 2016

What Tiverton’s credit rating really means

I wrote in a letter last month that moving forward as a community means being able to discuss differences of opinion in the way that a community should.  At its bottom, that means we must treat the challenges that we face as problems to be solved, not as knots in a rope that we’re using for political tug of war.

We see a good example when the municipal government’s budget reserves tangle up with Tiverton’s credit rating.  As part of a recent refinancing arrangement, Tiverton hired Moody’s Investor Services to rate the town’s bonds, and the result came back as A1, which is the fifth-best rating possible (out of 16).  To hear town officials and their political allies tell it, the rating will cost the town big money and was mostly a consequence of voters’ approving elector-petition budgets at the last two financial town referendums (FTRs).

Continue reading in the Sakonnet Times.

January 7, 2016

For four years, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity has reviewed all legislation receiving a vote on either chamber floor in the state General Assembly, using the bill scores to rank legislators in both the House and Senate.  Every year, Justin reads the bills, writes a brief summary, gives an initial rank, and then collects feedback from other reviewers. He also designed and maintains an interactive site allowing Rhode Islanders to investigate their legislators’ performance by district or city/town.

Find out more about the 2015 Freedom Index.

justinkatz-portrait

Known mainly for espousing conservative views in a state where they are not encouraged, Justin Katz is a Roman Catholic Christian husband and father of four who currently works as Research Director for the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity and Managing Editor of Anchor Rising & the Ocean State Current, where he writes daily.  Believing that thought and action are inextricably linked, the former carpenter also indulges in creative arts as a writer, musician, and designer and is active in local politics with the Tiverton Taxpayers Association, for which he maintains Tiverton Fact Check and acts as treasurer for the associated charity, Tiverton Cares.  As he’s able, Justin also strives to capture the daily pleasures of life through photographs on RI Is My Home.