Tag Archives: vote

City Councilor Michael Gaffney drops another bomb


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A few days ago: Rose walking her mutts. With the leaves turning color, her thoughts turn to the fall city election … pic: R.T.

By Rosalie Tirella

No, it is not the usual City Councilor Michael Gaffney political hate bomb, right before this Tuesday, September 19, the last date all Woo city councilor candidates at large must officially declare their intent to run for mayor. No, this time, it’s not Gaffney: demonizing minorities, refugees or immigrants; accusing the editor of a local paper of being a sexual predator after the paper runs A FEW PARAGRAPHS! on him that he doesn’t like – Gaffney does this to cost the editor his job and stop the stories – not to help women; lying about and twisting the intentions of present Worcester Mayor Joe Petty; cynically thinking he’s smarter than every one else in the room so he boldly obfuscates and manipulates his way into the voters’ psyches.

No. It’s not the usual Gaffney scheme, taken straight out of the Donald Trump Shit on the Other – Prey on the Weak Handbook. No. This is something new: Gaffney’s declared that this fall, this election season  – when he runs for mayor of Worcester for the second time – HE WILL NOT BE TAKING ANY QUESTIONS FROM THE MEDIA – pertaining to his mayoral run!

That’s right: He will be answering zero Q and A-where do you stand on the issues? candidate surveys. He will be participating in zippo candidate profile pieces, shunning any kind of forum hosted by any paper, radio or TV station  … saying NO to any media-sponsored forum that will help voters make informed decisions in the voter’s booth this November. 

A guy who runs for mayor of the second largest city in New England but refuses to tell the voters what he is gonna do, if elected mayor! That’s Gaffney!

Endorsements? Screw ’em! The Gaffer, who never shuts up when it comes to spreading falsehoods about his perceived political enemies, is clamming up when it comes to talking facts, ideas and goals for Worcester! Unless he is planning to spend $40,000 on advertising, like he did last election cycle, so he can control his message, totally. Because he’s got the dough. … Very presidential candidate Donald Trump! Money money money.

Boycotting voter education, while doling out a ton of voter miseducation on Turtle Boy!

Even though Gaffney thinks he’s merely poking a thumb into the local media’s eye ball, grabbing control of his message, he’s  hurting himself. You wonder: What is Mike Gaffney so afraid of? What is Mike Gaffney trying to hide, ashamed to admit, unwilling to own? Why can’t he be a part of this very American tradition? What doesn’t he want to discuss?

Obviously, quite a lot. Basically the way he does politics – his political m.o.

For starters:

Gaffney’s Sanctuary City lies/race-baiting debacle that messed up Worcester for weeks;

his vindictive political style and bashing of poor people a la his political supporter CHANGE WORCESTER FB PAGE ANONYMOUS AUTHOR PAUL COLLYER – a guy who is so NEGATIVE about Worcester it hurts!

… or may be it’s Gaffney equating – like his buddy Aidan Kearney, owner and writer of Turtle Boy – minorities and poor people with crime and stupidity, an America on the cusp of moral collapse

… or, like Aidan Kearney, like Donald Trump, it could be Gaffney’s stoking the prejudices of people who fear a changing Worcester/America – and refusing to admit to the fact in order to keep feeding the red meat to  his political “base”

… or, coordinating hateful stories with Turtle Boy … and Paul Collyer’s FB page, Change Worcester, becoming an echo chamber – though Collyer has often been the original source from which some of the puke was first puked up.

When you think about it, every puke-y, ugly Worcester political  hate-storm, every nasty Woo political scream fest, every depressing headline about one Woo group pitted against another can be traced to City Councilor Michael Gaffney. Or, if not the source, the Gaffer’s fanned the flames of misunderstanding and prejudice. For political gain. To win.

Now why would we want a guy like this to be Mayor of Worcester?

Worcester is the second largest city in New England. A complicated, diverse, growing metropolis! We deserve better! Incumbent Mayor Joe Petty is better – he is a BETTER man than Gaffney will ever be. He’s a bigger man, a man whose heart is not capable of hatching all the shifty, soul-shriveling political schemes of a Mike Gaffney. And, for this Woo voter, that’s what it comes down to: Petty is perfect for my city of 2018 and beyond not just because he’s a guy with the smarts and collaborative instincts to create a Woo on the move but because he’s got Modesty and Grace. Grace: a quality the spiritually vacuous Gaffney knows nothing about. Being a good person who never exploits the OTHER in our society, the weariest and weakest among us: refugees, the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the men, women and kids struggling with drug addiction. Mayor Joe Petty works hard to make our city a millennial playground, but he also keeps his eyes on our kids in our schools, our families in our inner-city neighborhoods, our workers who need good jobs and job training … even our pups in our dog parks! He is a GOOD PERSON WHO DOES RIGHT BY EVERYONE. In a multicultural city, with a minority-majority public school system, a lot of poor folks who the global economy has abandoned … during these awful Trump Times in which cities are gut-punched daily, courtesy of our insane President, we need Grace in City Hall. We need Joe Petty.

We don’t need schemer, never-dreamer Mike Gaffney!

He’s our gonzo City Council candidate!😝💚🇺🇸

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Ron O’Clair – terrific writer💚! Interesting inner-city political candidate.🇺🇸

Why Vote for Me?

By Ron O’Clair

As we head down the road to the preliminary election in September, you have to ask yourself, of all the people running in this election cycle, who am I going to vote for? And why?

A fair question! And one that I hope to give you an answer to here:

I have been working for the last 30 years on behalf of the residents of my beloved City of Worcester, and most never knew what I was doing, nor why I was convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that it needed to be done.

Someone had to make the sacrifices required to see the job through to its completion.

That someone happened to be me.

All these years I have been cataloging abuses made in various guises by those who are being paid a handsome salary on the back of the average working stiff in the form of – trap of – high taxes$$$. We hoi polloi foot the bills that keep them in clover!

I have nothing against paying our Worcester Police Law Enforcement Personnel a living wage, plus benefits, lest they be tempted to work against us – and for the drug cartels. There have already been cases here in Worcester of that happening – Operation Tune-up!

What I do have a problem with is when the people put in positions of trust and authority over “the people” abuse that trust or authority to deprive the least of us of our inalienable rights to be free and unmolested as we go about our legal and lawful business. I am against those who target certain people based on wrong assumptions.

When these abuses and usurpations of power happen, there is a process in place meant to provide relief for those who are unjustly persecuted, and even maliciously prosecuted, for crimes that either never happened or were blown out of proportion into something bigger for more sentence.

When that process itself is corrupted by malfeasance, ineptitude, cronyism, nepotism and outright favoritism, what is a citizen supposed to do?

Pack his toothbrush as he heads off to do time to satisfy the lust of some jerk putting him or her in jail just because they CAN – and not because a crime was in fact committed!

Well, when the victim happens to be a dual citizen / soldier like me – in service to the United States Government on a Federal Level, there is only one thing to do: INVESTIGATE.

I had the Constitutional authority granted to me as a non-commissioned officer in the rank of E/5 to back my play, and the corrupted County of Worcester had not a freaking clue as to the deep pile of doo doo they stepped into when they attempted to, and succeeded in, covering up for a corrupted Court officer who attempted to murder a prisoner – me! – in restraints, and in custody of the Trial Court of the Commonwealth at 50 Harvard Street that 30th day of September, 1986. A fateful day indeed.

I was nearly killed that day. And the Court Officer was in fact 100% disabled by me so that I could have the ability to breathe back when he let go of my throat after I put his lower left leg bones out the back of his leg with my Air Force low quarter dress shoes that I was wearing at the time of the assault on my person there on my charge of “Disturbing the Peace”!

I want to bring honesty and accountability to our City of Worcester Government, and to do that I need a chair on the Worcester City Council Floor.

Vote Ron O’Clair for City Council and “RULE OUT CORRUPTION” in the City of Worcester.

Ronald O’Clair
ronaldoclair@hotmail.com
(774) 242-1468 for donations of volunteer time or money for the Campaign for Worcester City Council. All donations will go for a worthy cause. Guaranteed.

Some electoral musings: CLOSING POLLS SHOW CLINTON LEADING

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The country needs another awesome prez! pic:R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

On the last day of the 2016 campaign, new polls show Hillary Clinton’s lead against Donald J. Trump is steady.

Fox News this morning reported that Clinton was ahead in a national poll – 48% to 44%. Given that Fox is the more conservative mainstream media outlet, whose pundits like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity have been favorable to Trump, this is clearly not a slanted poll. Likewise, the Boston Herald and Franklin Pierce University did a poll that yielded the same 48% to 44% result.

Transit strike

There were concerns that a mass transit strike in Philadelphia would prevent thousands of African-Americans from voting in the key Pennsylvania battleground states. The strike ended Monday when the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and a union representing 5,000 employees announced a deal on the eve of Election Day. “Tentative agreement reached. We are off strike,” Local 234 announced on its website.

Cyber Security

With the uproar over WikiLeaks and Russian hackers, voters might be concerned someone in Moscow will be invading their voting booth to change their votes. Fortunately, America’s voting network is decentralized, safely in the hands of city and town clerks. There is no national database of voters that the Russians can hack into to change election results. The Russians would need to hack into the electronic voting lists of a substantial number of cities and towns to affect an election. Given that the state and federal governments are working with the larger communities to cyber-protect them from our former Cold War adversary, the small entities probably can take care of themselves. Keeping our elections decentralized would be a good thing.

Two calls from the Governor

Today I received two robo-telephone calls from Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker. In one call Governor Baker asked me to vote for Question 2 to lift the charter school cap. In the next call Governor Baker asked me to cast my vote for State Representative Paul Frost (R-Auburn), so Baker and Frost could continue fighting for equal pay for women. I was too abashed at receiving two calls in one day from such an august figure to tell the Governor that I had voted two weeks ago in early voting!

Florida

A Republican consultant in Florida, David Johnson, told Reuters news agency that he believed Clinton could win Florida by as much as three points, thanks in part to the shortcomings of his own party’s get-out-the-vote efforts. “We used to have a great statewide operation,” Johnson told the Naples Daily News. “Now I’m not convinced that’s going on, because I don’t see the evidence. And I see it on the Democrats’ and their allies’ side.”

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On election eve: to Donald Trump from ICT:

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Worcester dump truck. pic:R.T.

State of the Race: FOX NEWS RETRACTS FALSE CLAIM CLINTON WILL BE INDICTED

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Oh, Lord, stay with us! pic:R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

Fox News is the cable channel liberals love to hate. While portraying itself as “fair and balanced” in its reporting, flamboyant commentators like Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly and Sean Hannity organize Fox’s ideological base of Republicans and conservatives with their attacks on various villains, especially Hillary Clinton. So, it was with some glee that the left greeted with delight news that Fox founder Bill Ailes was forced to resign under a cloud of controversy due to allegations of sexual harassment.

Now it turns out that two Fox network stars, Bret Baier and Hannity, ended up retracting false statements about Hillary Clinton and her presidential campaign.

“Continue to an indictment”

In a special report, Baier on November 2, 2016, broadcast the following, per a transcript on the “Real Clear Politics website:

“Here’s the deal,” said Baier. “We talked to two separate sources with intimate knowledge of the FBI investigations. • “One: The Clinton Foundation investigation is far more expansive than anybody has reported so far. Several offices separately have been doing their own investigations.

• “Two: The immunity deal that Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson, two top aides to Hillary Clinton, got from the Justice Department in which it was believed that the laptops they had, after a narrow review for classified materials, were going to be destroyed. We have been told that those have not been destroyed — they are at the FBI field office here on Washington and are being exploited.

• “Three: The Clinton Foundation investigation is so expansive, they have interviewed and re-interviewed many people. They described the evidence they have as ‘a lot of it’ and said there is an ‘avalanche coming in every day.’ WikiLeaks and the new emails. They are “actively and aggressively pursuing this case.” Remember the Foundation case is about accusations of pay-for-play… They are taking the new information and some of them are going back to interview people for the third time. As opposed to what has been written about the Clinton Foundation investigation, it is expansive.

• “The classified e-mail investigation is being run by the National Security division of the FBI. They are currently combing through Anthony Weiner’s laptop. They are having some success — finding what they believe to be new emails, not duplicates, that have been transported through Hillary Clinton’s server.

“Finally, we learned there is a confidence from these sources that her server had been hacked. And that it was a 99% accuracy that it had been hacked by at least five foreign intelligence agencies, and that things had been taken from that…

• “There has been some angst about Attorney General Loretta Lynch — what she has done or not done,” continued Baier. “She obviously did not impanel, or go to a grand jury at the beginning. They also have a problem, these sources do, with what President Obama said today and back in October of 2015. I pressed again and again on this very issue… The investigations will continue, there is a lot of evidence. And barring some obstruction in some way, they believe they will continue to likely an indictment.”

A meal of his own words

Baier soon found himself having to eat a huge meal consisting of his own words. On Friday November 4, 2016, Baier during a Fox news alert admitted many of the “facts” quoted above were completely and totally false.

“Baier said he relied on a single anonymous source within the FBI for his report about an alleged hack of the server,” the Washington Post reported on November 4, 2016. “’I was quoting from one source about his certainty that the server had been hacked by five foreign intelligence agencies. As of today, there still are no digital fingerprints of a breach, no matter what the working assumption is within the bureau.”

“I explained the phrasing of one my answers to Brit Hume on Wednesday night, saying it was inartful the way I answered the last question about whether the investigations would continue after the election,” the Post further quoted Baier. “And I answered that yes, our sources said it would, they would continue to, likely, an indictment.

“That just wasn’t inartful. It was a mistake and for that I’m sorry. I should have said they will continue to build their case. ‘Indictment,’ obviously, is a very loaded word, Jon, especially in this atmosphere, and no one knows if there would or would not be an indictment, no matter how strong investigators feel their evidence is. It’s obviously a prosecutor who has to agree to take the case and make that case to the grand jury.”

Baier’s false allegations quickly made their way to the Internet and conservative columnists. Pat Buchanan devoted a whole column to what Baier said, stating that the Justice Department should make known before the election if Baier’s story was true, so the American people wouldn’t elect Clinton.

Sean Hannity apologizes

One person who was slow to take down from his website Baier’s retracted falsehoods was Fox commentator Sean Hannity. A few days earlier Hannity apologized after he made false remarks on his radio show that President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren had deleted tweets favoring Hillary Clinton.

“Fact is they didn’t,” Hannity later tweeted. “I humbly apologize. Live radio.”

Are you confused? Let us un-confuse you!

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Jett says: Vote YES on Question 3!

By Edith Morgan

Early voting in Massachusetts …

I did it – and it was quick and easy, and foolproof. On Wednesday I was at the Worcester Senior Center to attend a class, have a cup of coffee, and enjoy some good conversation with friends – took my husband along, and the two of us decided to vote, as long as we were here anyway.

The line was long at times, so we waited a short time, and jumped into line when it was very short. We checked in, were checked off, got directions for filling out our TWO-page ballot!!, filled in the ovals by our choices, sealed up our ballots and inserted them in the box being guarded by the policeman on duty there. And, feeling virtuous, we sat down in the center’s library, read the paper and went home. And that was all there was to it.

Talking with people, it became obvious to me that many folks did not realize that they could vote here or at any of the five locations set up in Worcester.

Each location has a row of small computerized lists containing ALL THE NAMES OF ALL THE VOTERS IN THE ENTIRE CITY – so any registered voter can vote at any of the five sites, on any of the planned days.

With all the talk about voter fraud, we expect none at all in this election: once you have voted early, there is an “X” and EV placed by your name, so there is no way you can show up any other day, or at any other site and try to vote again. (Actually, the figures are that there have been only 37 cases of voter fraud in ONE BiLLION votes cast in America!!!) The voters are much more honest than we give them credit for!

The two weeks (seven days a week) early voting schedule should accomplish two things:

It will enable many voters who have trouble getting to the polls where they are assigned to vote any day of the week that is most convenient for them;

and it will relieve the long lines on November 8 – which we expect in the Presidential election.

So there is no longer much excuse for not voting. With so many days, so many locations, so many choices, I can not see what more we can do.

If you are still not certain, and need more information, or want to see the entire schedule, go to www.worcestema.gov

…Or exercise your previous right to an absentee ballot, or vote on November 8 at the same place where you are accustomed to voting. If you are not sure whether you are properly registered, inquire at the City of Worcester Election Commission (508-799-1134). If you have moved recently you may still be registered at your old address. (The RMV and the U.S. Post Office do NOT send your new address to the election commission.)

When you get your two-page ballot, if there is any office or any ballot question you do not wish to answer or have no opinion about, then vote all the others – your ballot still counts!

JUST VOTE!

We’re always on the outside, inner-city Worcester! MAKE YOUR VOICE COUNT! VOTE!… EARLY VOTING BEGINS TODAY!

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Rose’s ‘hood, 10/24/2016. pics:R.T.

By Rosalie Tirella

Worcester’s callous cops. Even the young ones! (my experiences with them have hurt me and taught me to fear them)….Our racially segregated public schools, the lilly white teaching staff in our majority-minority school system…as if Black or brown people are incapable of being school teachers…so little REAL outreach done to Moorehouse, Temple etc! VOTE YOUR INTERESTS, INNER-CITY WORCESTER! All the municipal jobs we’ve been denied (with polite smiles) stick in our craws.

On the national “stage” Donald Trump spells THE END of neighborhoods like ours!…With his Supreme Court justices POOR WOMEN will lose reproductive rights. The wealthy and middle class have always had access to safe abortions, tests, procedures!

Trump, a global warmining-denier, will defile, pollute our neighborhoods. Will we be able to see our sky?

Trump will make our streets more dangerous! He will create a police state in our hoods! Poor people have always been king of the streets! Lovely but … violent. The solutions are multi-faceted.

Just last year: Outside my house: I saw the young guy – a kid –  reach in the inside of his coat for his gun…I saw my situation in the most intense way! Every second was oceans deep! Infinite. I didn’t – couldn’t – squander precious nanoseconds with the thought: He’s going to shoot me.

He didn’t.

The Blessed Mother shyly praying, in my ivy pot, on my window ledge – was she on my side?

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The kid saw, as my car turned the corner into the driveway, that it was just me, ol’ Rose, with her two crazy little dogs Jett and Lilac. Just Rose. And Lilac. And Jett…

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His hand fell down, to his side. His shoulders relaxed.

Mine too. I felt safe again.

Police cruisers outside my three decker now, as I write this post. They are always around. Today two vans, white with blue trim…new, courtesy of the Worcester taxpayer? Most cars in my hood are old, except for the luxury vehicles of the top-dog drug dealers. Not the drug runners. They drive crap cars like mine. Or conduct business on foot.

Legalizing marijuana (ballot Q) might take some of the pressure off my hood. We’ll always have the heroin. But with weed, fewer of our kids will land in jail for something that is so NO gateway drug, though potentially dangerous for teens. We cannot arrest our way out of this complex problem. Where are we putting all these lives? In a 10-foot cell!

More Ballot Questions to consider: Like Q 2. I am voting YES. To LIFT THE CHARTER SCHOOL CAP TO ADD UP TO 12 MORE IN MASS.

THERE ARE SEVERAL HUNDRED WORCESTER FAMILIES STILL TRYING TO GET THEIR KIDS INTO A WORCESTER CHARTER SCHOOL!

Too many poor people with their backs against the school yard wall!

Inner-city families, living pay check to food pantry to taxi cab ride to shit apartment…They need MORE GOOD THINGS IN THEIR LIVES…school choice is a good thing. It helps moms and dads make the right choices for their kids and their situations. They know best…Vote your interests, inner-city Worcester!

Q 3: YES TO HUMANE LIVING QUARTERS FOR FARM ANIMALS.

ENSLAVE THE CHICKENS, PIGS and VEAL CALVES, ENSLAVE the poor workers on the factory farms.

The workers must learn and practice abuse, torture…they are stuck in a world of unending fear and pain. They are treated no better than the animals. They too are immersed. In the stench. The disease, the filth …the degradation of God’s handiwork – both man and beast.

Vote YES ON 3.

THE FIVE VOTING LOCATIONS IN WORCESTER: (Early voting begins today and runs through Friday, November 4.)

• Precinct 1: from 8:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and Oct. 31; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Unitarian Universalist Church, 90 Holden St.

• Precinct 2: from 8:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Nov. 1; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Recreation Center, 28 Mulberry St.

• Precinct 3: 8:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Nov. 2; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Worcester Senior Center, 128 Providence St.

• Precinct 4: 8:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Nov. 3, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Clark University, Higgins Center, 950 May St.

• Precinct 5: 8:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday, and 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 4 at Worcester State University, May Street Building, 280 May St.

Unlike Worcester, most Massachusetts cities and towns will allow voting in their city halls or town halls! To vote at Worcester City Hall would have been so convenient for many inner-city Worcester residents! … Next time, Woo!

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Green Island Grrrl’s take on Election Day, Nov. 8 … the presidential let down …

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This a.m.: Rosalie relaxin’ with mutts, Lilac … pics:R.T.

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… and Jett

By Rosalie Tirella

This holiday morning, hanging with the mutts at the shack, I decided to decide how I was gonna vote Tuesday, November 8. My viewpoint, the lens through which I see and navigate this crazy ol’ world, is liberal hippy baby boomer mixed with blue collar muster and grit, an ($$)impoverished Green Island childhood made brilliant and beautiful by my late mom and her inspired parenting style, six or so years in the Pioneer Valley (I’m a UMass/Amherst grad) – “commie country” to some – and several years of bouncing around second-rate cities in my younger days. Plus a sojourn at a hippie country commune when I was 19 or 20 – a jaunt that damned near killed my mom but made me a vegetarian for life – and 15 years of putting out InCity Times while living in  run-down apartments throughout Worcester’s  run-down ‘hoods. And dealing with all THAT SHIT. As you know, if you’ve been reading me …

So my perspective is UNIQUE, to say the least! Or to say the most – cuz I keep on writing for you!

Here’s what this Green Island Grrrl  plans to do Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8:

* VOTE FOR HILLARY CLINTON for President.

Yeah, I like Hill less than when this horror show (aka “presidential” campaign) began, don’t really give a shit if she has a vagina, am less impressed with her personally – she IS gonna sell part of her soul down the Republican River. But I believe people like me have the most to gain by voting for Hillary Clinton. Women like me who want equal pay and control over their bodies: want to see abortions safe and legal for all women – never performed by money grubbing hacks in dirty rooms; neighborhoods like mine; cities like mine; families like the one I grew up in: the one my late mom headed as a single, minimum-wage earning parent; schools like Worcester’s: filled with kids from poor families, many of them hungry; kids from countries all over the world – kids in immigrant families just beginning their American story  … all of us above (most of America) have nothing to gain from the Republican nominee, the odious Donald Trump (Worcester has its own Donald – City Councilor Mike Gaffney – and he’ll come to the same crooked end-road as The Donald) and a fair amount to gain from Hillary Clinton.

Under Hillary, working families will see paid family leave; the minimum wage guy or gal (in America it’s mostly middle-aged gals) will see a modest increase in their paychecks; the environment will be safeguarded – even cherished; the Mid East may be stabilized; ISIS may be tamped down; the United States Supreme Court will be fair, thoughtful and wise – JUSTICE FOR ALL!; the LGBQT community will have all rights – same as all other communities.

Make no mistake: Clinton is a politician. She can be calculating. But there is compassion under that helmet-hairdoo! And intelligence and tenacity. America will be a smarter, stronger, BETTER COUNTRY with Clinton as our president!

Vote for Hillary Clinton!

Trump.  The Republican nominee. Trump, the petulant, the lost boy, the carnival barker in the almost empty tent…we’ve heard his shtick before… it’s grown old…we are walking out of the tent, shaking our heads. I watched part of the second presidential debate last night and actually kinda felt sorry for the tax-evading slob. Watching Donald lumber around that stage like some big old bear with buck shot up his ass, with the pathetic red power tie that seemed lost in his billowy blue suit … It was sad. A man who could have rode half of America  to the presidency … .

Our economic/ terrorist/ISIS/global economy/crime anxiety IS real! Many – so many of us! – are HURTING AND we want and need a president – like FDR – who can connect to our pain, speak, really speak, to us. Make our lives better. And The Donald seemed to get it. Reflect America back to America! (Just like Bernie did in the primaries!) Hillary and every other career politician kinda dismissed, glossed over our ACUTE pain. Pretended Americans’ bad, sad, scary feelings weren’t there! Because they are not of our America – they are out of touch political elites  who never ever have to worry about making that mortgage payment, finding that second job after you’ve been downsized at 50 years old.  SO MANY IN OUR COUNTRY ARE HURTING! IT DOESNT FEEL LIKE the America of our grandparents or parents – when we all pulled together to defeat the Great Depression and Adolph!

Donald didn’t know what to do with all our feelings! Hillary may …

So, Election Day I will vote for Hillary Clinton. Expecting good stuff. Not expecting great.

WE NEED GREAT.

Clinton thumps Trump in first debate

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Tune in to the Presidential debates, America! pic:R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

Hillary Clinton had to accomplish several things at the first Presidential debate on September 26, 2016. She had to look Presidential, provoke Trump into losing his temper, display a personality that didn’t turn off voters, and show what Trump called stamina, .i.e., appear in good health. In the course of 90 minutes Clinton did all these things.

The real winner of this debate may not be known until the polls close Election Day, November 8, 2016, exactly six weeks from today. Many pundits thought Trump destroyed himself in the Republican debates, only to see his poll numbers rise. So Hillary supporters shouldn’t celebrate too early. But the impression from this observer is that Clinton won on both style and substance.

Ahead on style

Joe Sixpack might not want to take Hillary out for a beer but economically, voting for Clinton may not appear so outlandish to some blue collar workers. Hillary did not make any outstanding gaffes, partly because Trump did not seize his opportunities. At one point the candidates were asked about cyber-security. Instead of leaping in and bludgeoning Clinton on her missing emails, Trump let the question pass. Likewise, Clinton stated that one of the reasons for the 2008 stock market crash was that regulators took their eyes off Wall Street. That would have been the perfect opportunity for Trump to zing Clinton on taking from Wall Street firms millions of dollars for giving speeches, but Trump inexplicably let the opportunity pass by.

The television screen split between Trump and Clinton played to Clinton’s advantage. Viewers saw a cheerful, smiling Clinton while Trump was speaking. They saw mostly a grimacing, grim and grumpy Trump while Clinton spoke.

The contrast of demeanors was extraordinary. Watching Trump, one was reminded of Richard Nixon’s 1960 debate performance, where Nixon sat grimly, his eyes shifting back and forth. Clinton’s smiling was similar to that of Ronald Reagan’s 1980 performance, where Reagan chuckled and smiled on camera when he was attacked by President Jimmy Carter. Reagan gave the appearance of amiability, which Clinton managed to replicate.

The optics thus favored Clinton, who kept up the façade of a happy warrior with one liners that set off laughter in the audience. “I know you live in your own reality,” said Clinton at one point. During the birther debate Clinton said to Trump in a response aimed at the television audience: “Just listen to what you just heard.”

Trump’s gaffes

Trump’s gaffes, while consistent with his performances in the Republican primaries, contained not only verifiable misstatements of fact (“fact checking”), but led Trump to say things better left unsaid. Watching Clinton detour Trump into several political blind alleys, one was reminded of the final scene in “Animal House,” where a character named “The Stork” directed a band into an alley. Trump was like the tuba player in that band, banging out the same old tunes while marching futilely against the wall.

Speaking of walls, Trump did not bring up his emotionally appealing (for some) plan to wall off Mexico. A few other things Trump did not seemed prepared for:

• At a time when he is trying to gain African-American votes, Trump should have avoided the birther issue as if it were Ebola. Clinton learned her lessons about the emails, making a slight confession and appearing contrite. Trump could have worded his answer concisely, used the elasticity of the English language to make a non-apology apology, appeared contrite, and then stopped talking on the subject. Instead he went on a rambling answer that probably did not win him any African-American votes.

• Whereas Trump hesitated to take advantage of several questions to, or answers from, Clinton during the debate, Clinton jumped in with both feet when Trump was asked about his taxes. Clinton detailed all the things Trump could be hiding by not releasing his taxes. We can expect to see this footage in Clinton campaign advertisements, as we can Trump’s statement to the effect that he was too smart to pay taxes.

• When Clinton brought up Trump’s statement that he hoped for a recession so that he could make great buys from bankrupt property owners, Trump stated, “That’s called business.” For millions of Americans, recession means the loss of jobs, bankruptcy and losing their homes. Most Americans don’t have the cash on hand to snap up good property buys when they’re out of work and just trying to survive.

Practice, practice, practice

Why did Clinton outperform Trump? The same way people get to play Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said Clinton’s performance during the debate was “polished and well-rehearsed.” That was essentially the case. Clinton had prepared for the debate, with every smile, line and expression carefully rehearsed for the viewers. Clinton learned from her mediocre performance at the “Commander in Chief” what not to do. Without his teleprompter and advisers, Trump didn’t know when to talk and when to shut up, doing one when he should have done the other.

Trump would have been much better off if he had spent more time preparing for the debates. If Trump learns from this first debate, as well as Clinton did from the commander in chief debate, Trump can still make a comeback.

Dump Trump!

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pic: R.T.

By Edith Morgan

Voters, use your heads!

I came to America at the end of 1941, two months before Pearl Harbor, with my parents and brother, after having fled Germany in March 1933 (two months after the Germans voted Hitler in). We barely got out, without papers, and with only our lives. Our house and possessions, my father’s judgeship, and worst of all our citizenship, were taken – making us “nonpersons” in the eyes of other nations.

All that happened in a very short time, in what was then the world’s most educated and technically advanced nation. Since I came of age, I have voted in every election.

When I came here, we voted for candidates that were smarter, better informed, and more statesmanlike than we were, and whose lives and backgrounds gave us reason to believe in them. There were then about 125 million Americans. Now we are over 315 million. We have so much media attention and access to so much more information, yet our political campaigns have degenerated into name-calling, distortion and even outright lying. Money, in ever greater amounts, dominates the everlasting campaigns, and facts fly out the window. Emotions, illogic and even rabid ignorance rule the day.

And we may be electing Donald Trump as the next President of the United States!

Trump, a man who proudly claims that he and he alone has all the answers, but cannot (or will not) answer the most basic questions about the job.

A man whose life history is one long and consistent story of self-promotion and acquisition by questionable means.

I cannot detail all the facts but urge all who read this to refer to the book The Making of Donald Trump, by David Cay Johnson. It is an easy read and traces several generations of Trumps – and the way they have led their lives.

I believe that the division of powers between the presidency, the congress and the courts is wise and very necessary. Especially with Trump. There is occasional tussling between the branches, mostly over who can do what. But Donald Trump proposes to do what HE, and he alone, can do. I have heard that story before and know where it leads. Only in a dictatorship is this possible. Already many of our allies are expressing disbelief, worry and sometimes disgust that we are even considering such a man for our highest office!

Donald Trump has a long history of failures and evasions:

bankruptcies

failure to pay his employees

skirting labor laws

gleefully rejoicing at the misfortune of others and figuring how best to profit from their troubles

making fun of those who serve our country but having himself managed four deferments

… and touting all his horrendous behavior as “good business”

We still have not seen his income tax returns, as he has maintained the lie that he is being audited. Why would the IRS audit so many years of returns, for so long? His so-called Doctor’s report gives us no information, only an unsupported opinion.

There is so much more – all easily documented.

Being President of the United States is not a game: too many Americans’ lives depend on our government. We cannot afford to give in to emotion and our worst instincts. All that lies between us and self-destruction is our ability to use our brains: Let us NOT vote in Donald Trump! We deserve better!

Edith parked in Rose’s space: NO ON QUESTION 2!!

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How will YOU vote on November 8???? pic:R.T.

By Edith Morgan

Maybe November 8 will be different – maybe everyone will show up to vote! (We’re electing our President, after all!) Or maybe the new early voting days will bring out enough of us to really make a difference.

Certainly the turnout on September 8 did not make me feel very hopeful, although there was some excuse for the lack of interest, in that there were unusual factors: 1) election day fell on a Thursday; 2) it was really poorly advertised by the parties: 3) there were too many wards where there was no contest; 4) I suspect a certain fatigue on the part of the voters, having been barraged with the incessant stupidities of the presidential campaign.

Still, some people who have never missed an election DID show up – even just to be counted, where they had no choices provided.

But November 8 will give us plenty to think about and to choose! As a retired educator and with a lifetime dedication to the idea of universal public education, I have watched for several decades now as the privatizers and money/power grabbers slowly made inroads into our public school systems: nationally, they cut public funding, closed many neighborhood schools and imposed a spurious testing system designed to punish the schools attended by the poorest and minority children.

Since most of the American public has for some time strongly supported their public schools, a direct frontal attack would have met with real resistance. So, there had to be the scurrilous, undercover attacks on aspects of the system that were vulnerable.

In addition to budget cuts, attacks on teachers and multiple choice tests designed to put down rather than to help the most needy, the notion of “choice” was sold as an alternative to making EVERY American school good and great. While we were promised that charter schools would introduce creative and innovative education ideas, to be then introduced to the public schools, that idea soon got lost …The rest of the story is history …

But now, with Ballot Question 2, we have a chance to at least put a halt on the draining of the life-blood of our schools.

Question 2 proposes to lift the cap on further charter school expansion in Massachusetts.

So, a NO vote will keep the cap we have now at its present level.

We have a chance to stop the erosion in its tracks – it’s the least we can do. So I urge, plead, entreat EVERY VOTER to cast a ballot and at least vote No on 2!  Even if you are totally turned off by the Presidential race, give our children a chance! Make sure that the very necessary funding our public schools depend on is not drained away any more. It’s the least any of us can do!