Tag Archives: InCity Times

US foreign policy under Bush/Obama: what’s wrong with this partnership?

By Mike True

Daily cartoons in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette ridicule President Obama, making no distinction between the success of his domestic policies and the failure of his foreign policies.

Republicans in Congress, meanwhile, vote NO on any Obama initiative, even when it helps to revive the economy and improve health care. They seem unwilling to concern themselves with governance. In their lust to return to power, they seem to care less about Americans victimized by a depression.

Ironically, after voting against economic aid to unemployed citizens, Republicans then approved billions of dollars in military aid to Pakistan. Does it matter to Congress that 60% of Pakistanis regard the U.S. as their enemy and that a significant portion of that aid ends up in the hands of insurgents in Afghanistan? Why do we continue to send our young men and women to die and to kill in such circumstances?

On matters of foreign policy, however, Democrats and Republicans mostly agree. Both of them appear satisfied with Obama’s abuse of executive authority, represented by his commitment to another failed policy, this time in Afghanistan. Continue reading US foreign policy under Bush/Obama: what’s wrong with this partnership?

Fall fashion’s hottest trend: faux fur

By Paula Moore

If you’d rather go naked than wear fur, you’re in luck. This fall, faux fur is everywhere. Many of the hefty fashion magazines on newsstands this month include spreads spotlighting faux-fur coats and other creations. Designers and retailers from Anna Sui to Uniqlo are selling faux-fur bags, faux-fur jackets, boots trimmed with faux fur and more. Even veteran designer Karl Lagerfeld featured head-to-toe fake fur in his fall collection for Chanel.

Whether it’s a sign of a slow economic recovery (fake fur is considerably cheaper than the “real thing”) or a nod to the growing “eco-fashion” movement hardly matters. For the sake of the millions of animals suffering in crowded wire-mesh cages on fur farms, faux fur is one trend that we should all embrace.

On fur farms around the world, animals spend their entire lives in small, filth-encrusted cages, often with no protection from the driving rain or the scorching sun. Rabbits’ tender feet become raw and ulcerated from rubbing against the wire mesh of the cage bottoms, and the stench of ammonia from urine-soaked floors burns their eyes and lungs. Video footage taken during undercover investigations of fur farms in China and France shows rabbits twitching and shaking after their throats are cut. Continue reading Fall fashion’s hottest trend: faux fur

North Utah Valley Animal Shelter betrays dogs and cats

By Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Loves fetch and belly rubs. Sweet dog. Good for a family.”

That’s how Chance was described on his intake form at the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS).

But NUVAS did not place Chance with a loving family. PETA recently obtained his photo and those of 50 other dogs who were also sold by NUVAS to the University of Utah for use in deadly experiments.

We may never know what became of Chance. We do know that experimenters at the University cut holes into the chests and necks of dogs from NUVAS, implanted pacemakers into their hearts to induce irregular heartbeats, and then killed and dissected them. They also drilled holes into the skulls of cats from NUVAS and used others for training exercises in which they repeatedly forced hard plastic tubes down the cats’ delicate throats.

Descriptions of all these animals were recorded on the shelter’s intake forms. They were described as “very cute,” “cuddly,” “good with children,” “housebroken,” able to “sit and shake hands,” etc.

In other words, they have qualities that remind us of our own special companion animals.

PETA wants NUVAS to stop betraying the very animals it is charged with protecting.

It is the only shelter in Utah that still engages in the shameful practice of selling animals for experimentation. Continue reading North Utah Valley Animal Shelter betrays dogs and cats

Thirty years and getting stronger every day!

What a difference 30 years makes!

When PETA was founded in a Maryland basement in 1980, you’d have been hard pressed to find any organizations fighting for the right of all animals to live free from suffering and abuse. Thanks to the generosity of compassionate donors and supporters, PETA is now the largest animal rights organization in the world, and our very name is synonymous with passionate advocacy for all animals.

While PETA’s groundbreaking undercover investigations, eye-catching campaigns, and life-changing educational efforts have helped us grow into the powerful force for animals that we are today, the success of all our work comes from just one source — kind individuals. Continue reading Thirty years and getting stronger every day!

Voter apathy

By Chris Horton

Ward 8 in inner-city Worcester saw a turnout of 7.5% of registered voters, perhaps 3.5% of the adult population, and Ward 10 Precinct 4 in downtown Worcester actually saw a turnout of 3.7% of the registered voters.

Ward 9 on the upscale West Side by contrast saw a 28.6% turnout of voters (perhaps 21% of the adult population), and suburban Paxton 29.9% – still shockingly low by world standards.

The general explanation of these low turnouts is apathy and ignorance.

The story I keep hearing from every side is that the problem is “all those [other] people sitting around watching TV and eating potato chips, believing everything they’re told. They’re stupid. Give them money to pay for cable and Nintendo and they’re happy.”

But “all those other people” are telling each other the same story about everybody else too, including about them! (This no doubt has something to do with the fact that the media manages to never reflect back to us the reality of our lives, what we think and how we feel. TV creates a fantasy world full of people who are basically ok with the way things are, leaving us all feeling out of step with and angry at each other.) Continue reading Voter apathy

Will President Obama allow 60-year-old space program veterans to retire?

By Ingrid Newkirk

New Mexico’s Governor Richardson met with National Institutes of Health (NIH) officials recently in a last-ditch effort to stop NIH from moving 202 “retired” chimpanzees out of Holloman Air Force base and back into invasive experiments. NIH is moving swiftly to transfer the chimpanzees into facilities so substandard that caging conditions within them violate not only everything that we have come to know about what chimpanzees require but also federal law itself. Some of the animals are 60 years old; some are left over from the space program. Gov. Richardson’s visit came on the heels of petitions and pleas by everyone from physicians, veterinarians and primatologists to actors such as Gene Hackman, all of which have been ignored.

It was only a week earlier that Time magazine’s cover story asked the question, “What’s on animals’ minds?” Fifteen years before, as Dr. Jane Goodall mulled over the complex relationships within chimpanzee families, Time had asked, “Do animals think?” Now the question is “What do animals think?” In the case of chimpanzees, who have been taught to use sign boards and even American Sign Language to communicate with their human captors, they think a lot.

The more pressing question is now “What is NIH thinking?” And the answer isn’t befitting our nation’s level of awareness about animals and its commitment to their protection.

In 2001, the U.S. Congress recognized that chimpanzees should be retired from experimentation. “Retirement” has not meant a beachfront condo or a return to the Gombe. Charities have managed to wrest away some chimpanzees, rehabilitate them from a life that, in some cases, consisted of 34 years on a concrete bench in a tiny cell or two decades in a steel cage barely any bigger than the animal’s body, and put them in group care. Continue reading Will President Obama allow 60-year-old space program veterans to retire?

Salmonella poisoning tied to cruel farming practices

By Heather Moore

Congressional leaders have launched an investigation of the two Iowa egg farms that were recently implicated in the nationwide salmonella outbreak. As this case shows, America’s food safety system clearly isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

But perhaps now that more than 1,300 people have fallen ill from eating tainted eggs (and experts estimate that at least 38 other people get sick for each reported case of salmonellosis), people will realize that we need to change more than our food safety regulations. We need to change the way we eat. We can start by scratching eggs off our shopping lists. There’s cruelty in every carton.

Among other things, Congress plans to review documents pertaining to the health, safety, environmental and/or animal welfare allegations against or violations committed by Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms—the Iowa farms implicated in this case—and/or their suppliers. I can save them some trouble there. Jack DeCoster, the owner of Wright County Egg and Quality Egg of New England, the company that supplies chickens and chicken feed to both Wright County and Hillandale, has been cited for numerous offenses throughout the years, including cruelty to animals. Continue reading Salmonella poisoning tied to cruel farming practices

So the Worcester Public School teachers want a contract …

By Rosalie Tirella

… and they, of course, are making asses of themsleves – totally out of touch with America’s 14% poverty rate, and almost 10% unemployment rate, totally oblivous to the fact that few AVERAGE American workers (professional or blue/collar) bring down $100,000 a year salaries – the way many of our Worcester Public School teachers do. Our school principals make around $130,000. Other professionals in our public school system make more than/around $100,000, too!


Which is why Mayor Joe O’Brien this week called for an “objective” court-appointed mediator to step in and save the City of Worcester from these hogs.

I had lunch with one of my former Worcester Public School teachers a few months ago – a wonderful human being. A person who, like many teachers in the good ol’ days of WPS, went into teaching because she was absolutely passionate about kids and learning. “To be with you kids – oh, it was so special – … ” (How many WPS teachers would say that about their former pupils?)

Anyways, this former WPS teacher, a person who worked overtime many a day in our city schools (FOR FREE) and did wonderful things for students (FOR FREE) like rescue hundreds of used WPS text books out of WPS dumpsters to drive them to a boys’ residential school, was amazed – absolutely amazed! – that today the City of Worcester has a boat-load of teachers who make around/more than $100,000 a year! Continue reading So the Worcester Public School teachers want a contract …

Pipped out!

By Ron O’Clair

I have resided right next door to the P.I.P. Shelter for the last 14 years, since 03 July 1996 to be exact. I have seen most everything, and I have also heard most everything, often in the wee hours of the morning. The people that hang around the shelter, many of them clients, or former clients in some cases, cause all kinds of trouble for the average resident of the neighborhood.

We are more than tired of the bullshit that goes on day and night. Mostly due to the fact that the shelter is part of the neighborhood, and acts like a magnet that draws them to it like flies to honey. They stand out there selling drugs, sun, rain, snow, or sleet, do not seem to matter, it is business as usual for them.

There are a lot of rip off artists amongst them, and the customers that are ripped off sometimes come back looking to get revenge on the ones that ripped them off, so there have been cases of mistaken identity where an innocent bystander takes the punishment dished out as a result. Continue reading Pipped out!