Category Archives: Animal Issues

An end to speciesism🐻 … Main South: Aurora art show!🖌️ … and more♥️!

An End to Speciesism

By Tracy Reiman

It’s obvious when you think about it: Most conflict stems from the idea of “us vs. them.” Our family vs. theirs. Our country vs. theirs. Our religion vs. theirs. Our species vs. theirs.

In the ranking of species, humans have conveniently put Homo sapiens not only at the top but also in its own category separate from the rest of the animal kingdom—a ranking as inaccurate and arbitrary as declaring that men are more important than women or white people more important than people of color. Is the human race really separate from and above all the animal races? PETA doesn’t think so, and that’s why, in 2020 and beyond, we have our sights set on ending the toxic mindset known as “speciesism” — prejudice or discrimination based on species.

If you’ve ever wondered how someone can be moved to tears by a news story about an abused dog yet think nothing of eating a bucket of chicken wings that caused multiple birds to suffer and die, that’s speciesism.

It’s speciesist to convince ourselves that we have the “right” to experiment on animals in laboratories because it might help humans. It’s speciesist to tell ourselves that it’s OK to eat ice cream made from cow’s milk because our desire for the dessert outweighs a mother cow’s need to care for her calf. That it’s OK to steal sheep’s wool for sweaters and scarves and to deny orcas their freedom for our “entertainment.”

It may be convenient for humans to ignore animals’ interests, but it’s not right. Animals aren’t objects for us to use; they’re individuals, just like us. When we look into an animal’s eyes, there’s someone—not something—looking back at us. Someone who feels hunger, thirst, pain, fear, joy and love and who makes decisions, has preferences, overcomes challenges and uses language (even though we may not be able to understand it).

Anyone who has carefully observed animals knows this is true. Think of the clever sheep in the U.K. who learned that they could cross hoof-proof cattle grids by lying on their sides or backs and simply rolling over them. Their reward was tasty flowers and vegetables in neighboring gardens. Think of the octopuses who — though colorblind themselves — can, within a split second, elude capture by “becoming” part of the sandy ocean floor or the pearlfish who use oyster shells as speakers to help amplify the volume of their communications. Think of the elephants who mourn their dead, the female orcas who stay with their families for life, the puffins who use sticks to scratch their backs and the rats who willingly put themselves in harm’s way to save others.

These other animals aren’t just like us: They are us.

So how do we end speciesism in our own lives? We can start by valuing other animals as individuals, not for the ways they can be exploited. And then we must act, by rejecting anything that causes harm to other living beings. It can be as simple as choosing personal care and household products that aren’t tested on animals; leaving animal-derived foods off our plates; buying sustainable vegan clothing instead of items made from wool, leather, reptile skin or feathers; shunning SeaWorld, roadside zoos and other facilities that imprison animals for entertainment; and always referring to animals as “he” or “she” instead of “it” (the same pronoun you’d use for a sofa or table).

PETA’s vision for 2020 is that we all break free of our prejudices and see ourselves in everyone else — animals included. Are you ready? Visit PETA.org to find out how you can end speciesism in your own life.

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MAIN SOUTH: ART SHOW AT THE AURORA

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Aurora! pic: Rose T.

Creative Hub Worcester takes over Aurora Apartments Gallery Space

🖌️Who:​ Local non-profit organization Creative Hub Worcester, and this project is made possible by the support of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and The Community Builders

🖌️What:​ ​Creative Hub Worcester @ The Aurora Gallery proudly presents our first submission-based
exhibition, and opening reception, called “The Feeling of Otherness.” This is the first of four shows
which will take place in the course of four months, beginning in January, in the Aurora Apartments’
first floor gallery space.
Why:​ ​For Creative Hub, this exhibition series is part of a community-focused initiative that aims to celebrate and promote the work of local artists, specifically focusing on the voices of those who may be silenced or underrepresented. The Aurora Apartments first floor gallery, previously occupied by
Arts Worcester, deserves to continue its legacy as a premier exhibition space. Our January
exhibition, “The Feeling of Otherness,” aims to engage artists around the topics of prejudice,
discrimination, racism, and marginalized communities.”

🖌️Who Should Attend:​ The entire community is invited to come enjoy these exhibitions.

🖌️State and city leaders, Managers and Local Officials are invited to attend the opening receptions to support our local artists and learn more about Creative Hub Worcester’s current programs and initiatives.

When:​ Our January exhibit, “The Feeling of Otherness,” will kick off with an opening reception on Saturday, January 25 from 4:30pm-7:30pm.

The current exhibition schedule for 2020 is as follows:

January:​ “The Feeling of Otherness” ​Dates:​ January 24 – February 13th
February:​ “Main South Residents” ​Dates:​ February 15th – March 7th
March:​ “Multi-Theological Perspectives” ​Dates:​ March 9th – March 31st
April​: “Female Artists, Female Empowerment” ​Dates:​ April 4th – April 22nd

😊Where:​ This exhibition series will take place at the Aurora Gallery on the first floor at 660 Main St., Worcester, MA, 01610. Free parking will be available at the lot on the corner of Main St. and Ionic Ave., and the first floor where the exhibitions will be held is fully accessible.
Creative Hub Worcester’s mission is to provide affordable and accessible opportunities in the Arts for all Worcester area community members, with a focus on at-risk and under-served youth. 
Please contact gallery@creativehubworcester.org​

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The trad and rad:
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Vintage Valentines Day card from the Worcester Historical Museum, 30 Elm St., Worcester😊

“Cupid’s Trick” by Elliott Smith:

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A tribute to my father John F “Doc” Coughlin, Sr., a Worc. sports icon … Canal District’s Bob Largesse’s apts … MLK honored at Clark U + 🎶

By James P. Coughlin

With the upcoming dedication of the John F. “Doc” Coughlin Locker Room at the Worcester Ice Center in the Canal District of Worcester, on Dec. 7, I would very much like to add my deepest appreciation and heartfelt thanks for all that the officials at Worcester State University and the Ice Center have done done to make this new memorialization to my father, possible.

My father devoted over 40 years of his life to first serving as a Community Organizer for Worcester’s Athletic Community. He organized the Worcester Little League (for baseball) in 1956 (three years after I was born) and coached for 17 years. He was instrumental in the formation of the Worcester Peewee Youth Hockey Association and also coached for 14 years.

Subsequently, he organized the hockey program at what then was St. Peter’s High School on Main Street, Worcester, In 1981, the Worcester community honored him for his work with youth sports for over 25 years. And once that was done, he established the Hockey Program and Team at Worcester State College in _____ which is now known as Worcester State University, WSU. He was the first and most successful hockey coach in the history of Worcester State University, and his teams won more than 140 games in his 15-year career. Under his leadership, the school hockey team, “The Lancers” won the Eastern College Athletic (ECAC) Division III hockey championships for many years.

In doing some “family research” on my father, I learned that even as a young man growing up in the Winter Hill neighborhood of Somerville, Massachusetts, he also was a “sports community organizer” at the park in his neighborhood, Trump Field, between Somerville and Charlestown, MA in the Boston area. I am told from very reliable sources that he had an inexplicable knack for bring young people, his colleagues, together and very handily organized them into competitive teams for baseball and football on an informal basis.
Sadly, he lived only 66 years and on January 6, 1986 he died of pancreatic and liver cancer and I have been fatherless for 34 years since then.

In the wake of his death, my older brother John Francis Coughlin my senior by 8 years very ably began to carry on my father’s legacy by coaching hockey, not only at Worcester State but for other schools as well. I know that my father is now looking down from the heavens above and beaming with a great smile because of how proud he is of my brother for carrying on his legacy. He now serves as the assistant coach of the WSU hockey team under head coach Shayne Toporowski.

That was what my father devoted himself to for the hockey and athletic community of Worcester. But what I want to relate in this Op/Ed is about my relationship with my father.

My older brother, John, as a direct result of being older and accompanying my father to most, if not all of his hockey games became the “Athlete in the family.” By comparison, I became the “quiet Coughlin.” Quite frankly, I tried both baseball and hockey and I not very good at either, and my father was okay with that.

I took an interest in history and politics at an early age, becoming interested in not only religion but historical figures such as Eli Whitney, the inventor of the “Cotton gin” who happened to be either born in, or lived in nearby Westboro, Massachusetts, in the Worcester area. So, he took me to Westboro to literally track down the home where Whitney was born and trace the important things he did in that town.

I also had an interest in politics and something you should know about our family history, (if I might). My father and mother were both working in a women’s skirt factory in Boston and he met his future wife, Eva Barelli there. My mother just happened to have a sister who was then working as the personal secretary on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. to a “rising star” and freshman United States Senator from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy, and the rest is history.

Given my interest in politics at an early age (that could have possibly been transmuted to me by my aunt’s sister, Mary Barelli Gallagher), my father made it a point to bring me to visit and tour both the New Hampshire and Massachusetts State Houses.

As kids are at an early age, I also developed an interest in religion during my time attending the former St. Paul’s Elementary School on Chatham Street in Worcester. In particular, I had a fascination for seeing as many manger and Nativity scenes as I possibly could. So, my father, once again as a testament to the unconditional love he imparted on me, he took me around in his car and we visited literally EVERY SINGLE Catholic Church in the city that had a Nativity scene of the Christ child on display for Christmas. And he accompanied me to every church while I insisted at saying a short prayer at each church.

As a youth, for reasons I don’t recall, I never learned to swim. And in my early 20’s, I decided to take introductory swimming lessons, (not in Worcester, but in Cambridge, MA) at the YMCA in downtown Cambridge. One day, I , for whatever reason was running late for the bus departing from Seven Hills Plaza, going down Route 9 to Boston. As it turned out, I had missed the bus that morning in time to make it on some for my swimming class. So, my father being one “never to take no for an answer”he took it upon himself to literally chase after the bus like he was a police cruiser chasing after a suspect of a crime. We drove at a speed that was not “exactly at the speed limit” and eventually caught up with the bus in Shreswbury (about 10 miles from Worcester.)

Through these personal and special stories about my relationship with my father, I have tried to portray the “private Mr. Coughlin” behind the scenes in our family and how he interacted with me. However, the manner in which he treated me with unconditional love was absolutely identical to how he treated all of the young people whom he coached whether it was for baseball or hockey for over 25 years. Ion short, was truly about: being a selfless guide and helper for all the young people whom he coached over the years.

In many ways, my father was like an on-call social worker for his players. So in the final analysis, the nickname of “Doc,” which he acquired, I am told, because he once went out of his way to check on a player who was hurt in a game one night, was very appropriate for him.

Another part of my father that is also quite touching was how he did not have a “carte Blanche” way of treating of his players—rather he treated them all as individuals.
I have one very special memory of my dad paying very special attention to one of his younger hockey players when he was coaching in the 1960s.

During the course of one hockey game, he noticed that one of his better players was not playing his usual best. So, he decided to check in to see what was happening with this particular player’s reduced ice hockey performance. He had a great ability to read his players auras and could very easily tell if someone was withholding something from him.

Well, the young man’s father had recently died and he was still grieving from his loss. As a result, his emotional pain was having a major interference in his life and perhaps his hockey playing as well.

So, my father very quietly and with absolutely no fanfare of any kind, took it upon himself to do some very special fathering for this player.

He broke off from his plans for the next day or so and became a “surrogate father” for this player. He took him out to breakfast, lunch, and dinner; took him bowling and to a college hockey game; and did exactly the very things this player enjoyed doing with his late father.

In paying tribute to my father, I would be remiss if I did not also mention the rather important role that my mother played in our rather public hockey family in Worcester. My mother was a very supportive spouse to my father throughout his long coaching career. She always referred to the players on the then-Worcester State College hockey team as “my other boys.” It was a ritual after every hockey game that she would host the entire hockey team to an Italian dinner at our house at 332 Chandler St., regardless if the hockey squad won or lost its game that night. My mother would spend hours in preparation for the team’s meal that night. It would often be a 12-course meal, featuring all kinds of Italian food, homemade Italian pastries, and much more.

However, there was one rule in our family’s house. That was, if you were coming to dinner at the Coughlins, you absolutely had to eat—no ifs, and, or buts about it. God only help the hockey player or their girlfriends (who were also welcomed) who did not want to eat. My mother could not understand for the life of her, “Why would someone come into my house and not eat?” My grandmother was an Italian immigrant from Naples, who married my grandfather, who came from Rome. My grandparents had nine children, among them was my mother, Eva.
My grandmother passed onto all of her children, the Italian phrase, “mangia, mangia, beva, beva,” which translates into the English: “If you eat, you will feel better.” If you were among those hockey players who either declined to eat or as my mother would often say, “ate like a bird,” you were among those guests at our family dinner table who were treated to hearing my mother’s endless rendition of “mangia, mangia, beva, beva,” until those players or their girlfriends finally relented and had some dinner.

As for my dad’s players, besides calling him “coach,” they also affectionately called him “Mr. C.”
Similarly, the players also referred to my mother as “Mrs. C.”

As I introduced myself on the “John F. Coughlin Memorial Field” a short time ago as the son of “Doc” Coughlin, two of the coaches on the field at the time for football practice told me that my father had inspired them, personally, to coach after they graduated.

These stories are extremely touching to me as a member of the Coughlin family and are a great source of pride, strength, and appreciation as I have remained fatherless since the age of 32, when my father died of cancer on Jan. 6, 1986.

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Clark honors MLK Jr

From Clark University:

Clark U. to hold panel, film screening to commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., Jan. 22

Clark University will host Lessons from MLK: Seeking Solidarity in Times of Educational Inequity, a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Wednesday, January, 22; the day will consist of two community-wide programs to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. King.

🏵️“Lessons from MLK: Seeking Solidarity in Times of Educational Inequity,” a community luncheon/panel presentation featuring Clark faculty, staff, and community members who will discuss the persisting challenges and opportunities surrounding educational inequity in K-12 public school and university settings, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Tilton Hall in the Higgins University Center, 950 Main St.

🏵️From 5:30 – 8 p.m., the University will hold a screening of “I Am Not Your Negro,” the Oscar-nominated documentary based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, in Jefferson Academic Center, Room 320. A post -film discussion will follow.

🏵️Both events are free and open to the public. They are sponsored by Clark’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

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CANAL DISTRICT’S BOBBY LARGESSE’S CARDBOARD WINDOW PANES

Isn’t it a shame how Bob Largesse, who claims to be a Canal District “leader,” is a negligent landlord when it comes to his non-CD rental property. A few streets away from the Canal District is BOBBY’S inner-city package store at the end of Ward Street/bottom of Stone Street. Look at HIS APARTMENTS UPSTAIRS! A few days ago, in the depths of wintertime, when it’s around 25 degrees F outside, we saw the cardboard in his windows:

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Bob, a millionaire developer, knows what to do, but he ain’t doing it!

– text/photos by Rose T.

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🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶:

The late, great Elliott Smith once said his songs reflect a “strong, quiet beauty.” He was right. – R.T.

Rose’s New Year’s thank-you … and … Happy Veganuary! + 🎶♥️

BLESSED!

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♥️ pic: Rose T.

Last night I enjoyed a big bowl of lentil soup – homemade – by Chef Joey.😊 He gave me enough soup (with baby carrots, which I love) for lunch today and tomorrow. So tasty and healthful for these deep winter days!

It is good to have good friends! The true blue sort! The stick-by-your-side sort (not the fake, sunny weather types). The friends who drop sweaters off at your doorstep, let you use their cars, know your demons – your righteous and rocky ways – and still care. And still support your vision for your city, animals and the🌎. … So many InCity Times/CECELIA contributing writers have become dear ones – friends I will remember to my dying day! Some have been along for the kooky/brutal/sometimes inspired ICT ride for 10+ years! Some have hung on (by the tips of their fingernails!) for almost 20! … Through the years they’ve been for me, the rag, the website, my two dogs and Cece!
Never against.
Wow.

– Rosalie Tirella

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Turn over a new leaf in 2020: Go vegan

By Heather Moore

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Gingerly now!! pic: Chef Joey

Happy Veganuary, everyone! Veganuary, for the uninitiated, is the month when people around the world pledge to go vegan in order to help stop animal suffering, protect the planet and improve their health. More than a quarter of a million people in 190 countries pledged to go vegan in January 2019. According to the Veganuary program director in the U.S., 46% of people signed up for health reasons, 34% cited concerns about cruelty to animals and 12% were motivated by climate change.

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I’m hoping the figures will be even higher this year. It doesn’t really matter which reason means the most to you as long as you actually go—and stay — vegan. Scientists say that if we all went vegan, it could save the lives of up to 8 million humans (not to mention billions of animals), cut greenhouse-gas emissions by two-thirds and prevent 1.5 trillion dollars’ worth of climate-related damage by 2050.

Researchers have also said that going vegan is the “single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth.”

How much more incentive do you need?

According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, more than half of food-related greenhouse-gas emissions come from meat, eggs and dairy. If we want to combat climate change, alleviate world hunger, conserve water and land, and help prevent a mass wildlife extinction, we have to choose vegan foods.

It’s estimated that each vegan spares nearly 200 animals every year — and that’s just counting the animals who are killed and eaten, like chickens, cows, pigs and fish. Animal agriculture is also the main cause of habitat loss, and many of the recent fires in the Amazon rainforest were likely set by ranchers who were clearing land to raise cattle. At least 500 species, including jaguars, giant armadillos and tapirs, may have been harmed by the fires.

Animal-derived foods are killing the planet, and they’re killing us. Heart disease and stroke already account for more than $329 billion in health-care costs and lost productivity, and the cost of diabetes care exceeded $327 billion in 2017 alone.

Cardiologist Joel Kahn, one of the many health experts to endorse the Million Dollar Vegan initiative—a nonprofit, nonpartisan campaign that encourages world leaders and other prominent figures to go vegan, at least for a month — believes that going vegan can prevent 80% of the diseases that are costing us so much money and hurting our quality of life.

I suspect that’s one of the reasons why Million Dollar Vegan — which was cofounded by the same man who also helped launch Veganuary — is giving $1 to charity for every person who pledges to go vegan in January.

If you take the pledge, you’ll have plenty of company — and plenty to eat. More than half of the chefs in the U.S. added vegan items to their menus in 2018, and sales of vegan meats, such as Beyond Burgers and Sausages, have been skyrocketing. Between April 2017 and July 2019, sales of vegan food grew about 31%, to $4.5 billion. They’re estimated to reach $6.5 billion by 2023.

Don’t be left behind. If you haven’t already gone vegan, it’s never too late to start. Visit PETA.org to pledge to go vegan for at least 30 days.

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Why Going Vegan is the Ultimate New Year’s Resolution🍾♥️ + 🎶

From PETA.ORG:

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New year, new eating habits!😊

It’s a new year, and that means a New Year’s resolution may be on your mind. Perhaps you’ve decided to drop a few pounds to fit back into those favorite jeans that are hiding in the back of your closet, or maybe you’d like to do your part to save the planet. No matter what your goals are, follow through this year by going vegan, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier, happier new year!

You won’t believe how easy it is. You can accomplish all of the following New Year’s resolutions simultaneously—just by going vegan:

🍾1. Be More Adventurous

If you’re bored with your daily routine and eating the same foods, there’s a whole new world of vegan food for you to explore. Seitan, tempeh, and tofu can all be prepared in a number of delicious ways.
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Roll that roulade!

Search through some of our favorite vegan recipes to get started: visit PETA.ORG

🍾2. Be Kinder

What could be more kind than saving animals? This new year, give up animal flesh and other animal-derived foods and switch to a compassionate plant-based diet.

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Cute Cows!

🍾3. Lose Weight

Following a vegan diet that’s full of fruits and veggies has helped many people lose weight. Of course, tons of junk food options are vegan, too, so be sure to steer clear of processed foods if you really want to kick your weight loss to the next level!

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flat belly♥️!

🍾4. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

A staggering 51 percent or more of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture, according to a report published by the Worldwatch Institute. While biking to work is a great way to cut down on emissions, nothing compares to the impact you’ll make when you go vegan.

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Save her – 🌎🌎🌎♥️!!!

🍾5. Save Water

While skipping showers is one way to conserve water, the very best way is by going vegan. More than half of the water used in the United States today goes to animal agriculture, and since farmed animals produce 130 times more excrement than the human population, the run-off from farm waste is fouling our waterways.

🍾6. Be Healthier

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Rose lost 20 pounds after going veggie, cutting back on sugar and eating more mindfully!

Vegans are approximately one-ninth as likely to be obese as meat-eaters and have a cancer rate that is only 40 percent that of meat-eaters. People who consume animal-derived foods are also at increased risk for many other illnesses, including strokes, obesity, osteoporosis, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, multiple allergies, diabetes, and food poisoning. Learn more about the health benefits of vegetarian eating.

🍾7. Reduce Your Cholesterol
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Did you know that cholesterol is only found in animal-derived foods? For a healthier year, go vegan to cut out all cholesterol from your diet.

🍾8. Update Your Wardrobe🧣🧤

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Being vegan isn’t just about food choices — animals suffer and are killed for fur, leather, and wool. If your New Year’s resolution is to update your wardrobe, be sure to make compassionate choices like buying fashionable vegan leather and other synthetic options.

♥️9. Donate to Charity
Consider donating old fur items to the homeless to help keep them warm this winter.

♥️10. Save Money
Not only does eating veggies keep you healthier, it also helps you save money! Compared to the prices of animal flesh, plant-based staples — like beans, rice, pasta, and tofu — are much cheaper than meat.

♥️11. Travel More
Put aside any savings you have from not purchasing meat or expensive animal skins, and use the money for a trip to a place you’ve always wanted to explore.

If any of these New Year’s resolutions are on your list, make sure you follow through with them by going vegan — you’ll accomplish your goals and so much more!

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Steve’s Political Predictions – 2020 … and Iran … war??? No!!

PUNDIT’S PREDICTIONS FOR 2020

By Steven R. Maher

My editor recently asked me for my 2020 predictions. I don’t regard myself as a modern Nostradamus, but here I go again:

👓1. President Donald Trump will Tweet something that will outrage his enemies and delight his followers. The left will denounce this as another predictable act of character assassination by the greatest arch-villain of American history. Trump will say this is all fake news, that though what he tweeted was reported accurately, it wasn’t what he meant, and that therefore he shouldn’t be held responsible because he didn’t mean what he said. To the surprise of national pundits, any controversy over the Democrats impeachment of Trump disappears because Trump will continue to tweet bomb the Democrats, sucking all the political oxygen out of the atmosphere.

👓2. The United States Senate will vote to exonerate Trump of the impeachment charges.

👓3. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will be given the Nobel peace prize for trying to impeach Trump.

👓4. Worcester Congressman James McGovern will make headlines all over the globe when he denounces Trump as a 21st century Aaron Burr. Read McGovern’s remarks, Trump asks: “Who’s Aaron Burr?”

👓5. Four Republican Senators will have an attack of conscience after internal polls reveal they will be voted out of office if they give unqualified support to Trump during the Senate trial, and agree to subpoenaing former National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with narrowly drawn subpoenas, testifying only about the Ukrainian episode.

👓6. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will elope with both Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump, sneaking them out of the White House while Trump sits on the Presidential toilet in his bathrobe tweeting. Elvis Presley will appear at the wedding reception to sing “Jailhouse Rock”.

👓7. Either the Democrats or Trump will win control of the presidency and both houses of Congress in a landslide blowout in the biggest election turnout in American history. The winner of the Presidency will be the candidate whom most polls predict will lose.

👓8. William Weld will win the Massachusetts Republican Presidential primary in which thousands of Democrats and independents cross over so they can vote against Trump twice in 2020.

👓9. There will continue to be wars in the Middle East throughout 2020.

👓10. North Korea will NOT denuclearize in 2020.

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FYI:

CNN’s Fareed on Iran

Posted this vignette on my Rosalie Tirella FB page: NYE first nights, Woo style 🎶

… I wanted to tweak it today, here on the website, but after rereading it, I like it well enough:

New Years Eve First Nights, Woo Style

By Rosalie Tirella

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Worcester’s Main Street – last week. pic: Rose T.

Wouldn’t it be great to have our First Night back? … Years ago, New Year’s Eve, when I was 18, 19 and had the stamina to traipse down Main from noon to midnight, we celebrated in the heart of our city. Visiting every other downtown landmark to see it all: Woo city churches, halls, clubs, the YWCA and our library all hosting singers, jugglers, dancers, arts and crafts for kids, ethnic meals for $4 or $5 …sock hops! …jazz crooners … the Synchromaids at the YWCA kicking it all off with their Esther Williams spins and twirls in the Y pool – pre-Linda Cavioli. This, like all kiddie/family events, happened in the afternoon of New Year’s Eve.

First Night Buttons cost around $5. One year I saw BILL MORRISSEY ♥️ AND Patty Larkin in Mechanics Hall! But usually, we got – and loved – the hometown spin. Back then Worcester had a ton of local rock, pop, punk, folk and cover bands – they played all over Worcester County every weekend to devoted fans. Now my best friend, back home from college, my sister and I heard and danced to them all! Walking in the cold, down our Main Street lit up and shiny as the City could make it, sometimes with snow sprinkling down on us, with scores and scores of couples, families and single revelers, horns in hands, dime-store top hats on bald heads doing the same thing … We walked/ran down Main Street feeling energized, jazzed … happy in community.

Midnight on the steps at the old Worcester Auditorium – the light show, the beams of yellow and pink light criss-crossing the cobalt Worcester sky. A few couples uncorked their champagne, the countdown, the cheers, HAPPY NEW YEAR!! and then, at 12:01, like the frugal, practical Worcesterites we were, we all turned around and scurried back to cars … for home.

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Here’s something we can all agree on: Kindness♥️ counts! … and more❄️🎶

By Ingrid Newkirk

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Rose, in Vermont years ago … It’s at the hippie commune where she learned TO STOP EATING ALL ANIMAL FLESH. Great for animals, the planet and a person’s overall health. – R.T.

With acrimonious partisan rhetoric at a fever pitch, one might wonder if there is anything both sides of the aisle can agree on. It turns out there is: protecting animals. The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, a bipartisan bill that makes it a felony to torture and kill animals for fetish videos, passed both houses unanimously before being signed into law by President Trump.

The New York Times called PACT’s passage “a rare display of political unity,” but what’s not rare is the growing realization by people in red, blue and purple states that animals are thinking, feeling individuals who deserve respect and protection. It’s a sea change that is being felt all over the world. PACT is the latest in a series of groundbreaking laws protecting animals, including New York City’s ban on foie gras, California’s ban on selling fur, Florida’s ban on dog racing, Canada’s ban on whale and dolphin captivity, Norway’s ban on fur farming and the UAE’s ban on abandoning animals. These laws didn’t pass in a vacuum. They are a sign of people’s changing attitudes toward animals.

People aren’t just asking if the tanks at SeaWorld are too small — they’re recognizing that it’s wrong to confine and display intelligent, social, sensitive orcas at all. Companies are seeing the writing on the wall — and they’re responding by changing their business models.

Airbnb, TripAdvisor and other travel companies have stopped promoting SeaWorld and other venues that imprison animals for “entertainment.” One of the biggest of the big-box stores, Walmart, has stopped selling live fish. Longtime PETA targets Chanel, Coach, Gucci, Michael Kors, Prada and Versace have all gone fur-free. Restaurant chains are rolling out more vegan options every day, including Panera Bread, Uno Pizzeria & Grill, Subway (which began testing a new Beyond meatball sub), Del Taco and Dunkin’ Donuts (full disclosure: I had one of their delicious vegan sausage sandwiches for breakfast this morning). And institutions ranging from the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institutes of Health to cereal giant Kellogg’s are embracing superior, non-animal testing methods.

As PETA’s mission statement reads, “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way,” which means that those “others” who happen not to have been born human have the right to live out their own lives and pursue their own interests and don’t exist simply for humans to do with as we please, even robbing them of their very lives just for a sandwich or a pair of shoes.

In our new book, Animalkind, Gene Stone and I discuss aspects of animals’ rich emotional lives—from crow funerals and mouse love songs to sentinel geese and war-hero pigeons—and point out how similar humans and other animals are in all the ways that matter. We quote Dr. Thom van Dooren, an Australian anthropologist who argues that “human exceptionalism”—the belief that humans are superior to all other beings — has harmed our understanding of other animals. I believe it has also harmed our understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. Animals aren’t like us—they are us. Discriminating against animals simply because they are covered with fur, feathers or scales is as offensive as any other form of discrimination and just as unjustified.

If we shrug off speciesism, we show ourselves to be not superior to other animals but, rather, inferior to them, such as the kind, sensitive rat I mention in my book who opted to starve rather than subject another rat to an electrical shock or the goose who tried to comfort his dying mate in her final moments.

To reject discrimination, exploitation and violence based merely on species, we must take a hard look at our personal choices and change those that harm animals. We can go vegan to combat climate change or to clean out our clogged arteries, or we can do it because it is simply wrong to exploit, hurt and kill other living beings on a whim. Whether the victim is tortured for a sexual fetish or for a birthday celebration at a fancy restaurant, what matters is the suffering that went into that online video or that surf-and-turf special and the recognition that we can and must do something to stop it.

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FYI:

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Here’s Chef Joey’s T Day column/recipes – applicable to your Christmas🎄! + 🎶

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It’s that time of year!

By Chef Joey

It’s that time of year when Thanksgiving rolls in and families plan the annual get together, kids
look forward to three days off and parents scramble to find things to do on “Black Friday.” All the anticipation building up and then it hits and three weeks later the same people are at your door for Christmas.

As a European-raised child, Thanksgiving was a day of turkey, veggies and play time; once and a while it snowed. There was no ceremony associated with it
like Christmas, or Easter; it was a day for turkey and anything
else my mother cooked. As an adult, it’s a labor of love: cooking cleaning, dishes, laundry … then vacuuming the house again.

Now that I have a 4-year-old, the tradition light bulb kicked on. I must create memories for the rest
of her life! Platters that she will be excited to eat on this holiday, that she too will make in the future for her loved ones! I cannot believe it took me this long to figure that out! And now I finally get why so many of my friends love this holiday: it represents everything that was a comfort to us
as children – and now as providers.

There was a time when I left town every year and travelled instead of facing a baster.
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Maybe try something different this Christmas

I went to Hawaii, California, Washington State and even Iceland to avoid the stress, the belly aches and most of all the football games that ensued.

So, this year marks a first for me. I will create the Martha Stewart (formerly Betty Crocker in my day)
magical dinner and fancy pies for my family. It is really an easy dinner to make, and one of the least expensive when your store gives you free turkeys for shopping points or sells them at a whopping .79 cents per pound. The turkey is a no brainer really, it is all about the crispy skin and keeping it moist – the secret is to
bring it up to room temperature before you put it in the oven – you can stuff it which adds 5 minutes per pound cooking time. Generally, its 10 minutes per pound unstuffed and 15 minutes stuffed – that has
always been my basis, at 350 degrees.

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Tofurkey roll, Joey?

I only oil the carcass and sprinkle with sage, or Bell’s seasoning is
always consistent, and I place two
onions that I cut almost in half in
the pan to flavor up the broth to
make a scrumptious beverage
gravy. I have found that corn starch makes a fantastic thickener, and less lumps and it is gluten free.

By combining the “drippings” with hot water then with
¼ cup cold water add 2 tablespoons corn starch – mix well and add to your gravy mix and minutes later it is ready to pour. I have not figured out what sides to make, and
the joy of this holiday is everything can be more or
less baked or boiled to be cooked – green beans can be made either way, as is sweet potato, or squash.
Acorn squash is always lovely cut in half a tablespoon of butter in the cavity, sprinkle some cinna-
mon and drizzle with maple syrup (or add a little brown sugar). Bake for a good hour and it is done.

If you make butternut squash and you peel cube and boil it – what you don’t finish you can add
chicken stock to it and thin is out and make a soup for Friday’s lunch.

Sweet potato leftovers can be turned into a pie very easily – just follow a pumpkin pie recipe and substitute the pumpkin with sweet potato.

My stuffing recipe is an amalgam of my French Grandmother and my French mother’s creation. For 1 turkey …

… I take 5 stalks of celery chopped fine and 2 large onions chopped fine and I sauté them in a little sunflower oil and a tiny bit of water, so it does
not burn.

I add a fistful of chopped fresh sage. But if I cannot get it, I use Bells seasoning (about 3 table-
spoons) to the mix.

Then I add 1 pound of ground
beef and I tube (1 pound) of thawed breakfast sausage, like Jimmy dean for example. I add a cup of raisins and cook until the meat is no longer pink.

Let it cool and then take one box of “Saltine” crack-mers and crush all 4 sleeves and mix with the cooked meats – it’s that simple! You can add pine nuts to it or chestnuts that you have chopped up as well.

♥️Veggie Option: You can also take the meat out and substitute 2 cups cooked lentils instead for a vegan stuffing – it works
well.

If you do not stuff the turkey, and cook it in the oven, the key is to add some of the juices with your handy baster on top to add a little “fat” and flavor to your stuffing, I have quite a few friends who have turned this into their “family” recipe, and now I can honestly say my little Gigi will have this 80 year old recipe going on for quite a few more years!

🍎I am not a big dessert person, and I was playing around with some apple cider, and decided to make
a cake.

I shredded 2 peeled apples with the big side of the cheese grater. I combined 2 ½ cups flour, 1
tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp ginger and ¼ tsp ground cloves ¼ tsp
salt. Mix this together – in a pan melt 1 stick of butter until soft, mix in 1 cup cold cider then pour
over flour mix and stir – add in your apples and 1 tablespoon of vanilla.

This is when I taste the batter – I am not a sugar person, so I added ½ cup to the mix and that was plenty for me. I do not like sweet desserts – this also made great cupcakes.

For the cake I used a well-greased Bundt pan for cupcakes use liners for best results – bake at 350 for
about 35 mins – test with a cake tester for cakes – about 15 mins for cupcakes.

You can dust the top of your warm muffins with a mix of sugar and
cinnamon for extra flavor.

What ever your tradition, even if
its small, enjoy the day and the opening to the festive Christmas season.

Be safe, be warm and eat healthy!

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Veggie 🎄main dish🎄 option:

♥️♥️♥️♥️🎶♥️:

Animal “gifting” charities: suffering for sale! … and more🎶🎄

By Tracy Reiman

You may see the ads on television or receive a glossy catalog in the mail: a plea from an international charity to send money to “gift” animals to families in marginalized communities, ostensibly to fight world hunger. The appeals are filled with colorful images of families frolicking with goats or gleefully holding chickens. The marketing tactic plays on people’s desire to do good.

But sending farmed animals to families in impoverished countries can exacerbate financial and environmental strain while also causing significant animal suffering. Charity assessor GiveWell advises against the practice of giving animals to impoverished people, because if a family is struggling to provide for itself, how can it properly provide animals with housing, nutrition and medical care?

While the charities spin the outcome as one in which the animals are living in idyllic circumstances, the grim reality is that “gifted” farmed animals in developing countries can face deplorable conditions. They may go without shelter or shade in the burning heat and lack sufficient food and water. Since many recipient nations have few to no animal protection laws, animals may not receive veterinary care for even major injuries and illnesses. In fact, an impact analysis of a Heifer International operation in the Philippines revealed that nearly 92% of “gifted” animals who got sick ended up dying—likely as a result of inadequate preventative care.

In 2018, a PETA and Sentient observer traveled to Rajasthan, India, to see how animals were cared for in areas where the Heifer International “goat-gifting” program operated. What they found is deeply disturbing and upends the illusion that promotional materials lead donors to believe.

The eyewitness saw goats housed in extremely crowded pens, goats tied up so tightly that they could barely move, baby goats with sticks jammed in their mouths to prevent them from drinking their mothers’ milk (which is taken away for human consumption) and male goats pinned down and castrated without the use of anesthesia. Goats were seen suffering from conditions including an infected udder, a fractured limb and a maggot-filled wound—none of which were properly treated.

Raising and killing animals for food does not improve the human condition—it harms it. According to the United Nations, raising animals for food is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.” A study detailed in the journal of the National Academy of Sciences found that raising animals for food uses one-third of the world’s fresh water. And the traditionally animal “product”–heavy Western diet has been linked to a higher risk of suffering from diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer.

It’s evident that the best way to provide hungry people with relief while benefiting their overall health is to promote vegan eating. Feeding people plant-derived foods instead of meat, eggs and dairy is a far more efficient and productive way to meet the nutritional needs of a community. The human body can obtain all necessary proteins, minerals and complex carbohydrates from sustainable crops of vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and fruits. The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation points out that planting fruitful trees and plants not only serves communities for generations but also helps improve the surrounding air, soil and water.

It’s clear that poverty, hunger and environmental degradation are urgent global problems that require viable, long-lasting solutions. “Animal-gifting” charities must shift their focus to sustainable practices that genuinely empower communities, instead of promoting cruelty and wastefulness.

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PLEASE! NO PETS FOR XMAS! ALWAYS AN IMPULSE BUY/GIFT! DOGS AND CATS ARE A BIG RESPONSIBILITY! – R.T.

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Homeless for the Holiday … and WRTA bus-rider speak-out!🚌🚌 + 🎶

By Imalay Guzman

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Imalay and her husband and kids are safe and happy in their home.

When writing this column I like to keep it honest when talking about my life experiences. In the past I’ve had my fair share of barriers. It may not seem to be something out of the norm, considering that there’s a large portion of the United States population that is homeless. Looking back at that time in my life when I had no place to live, what automatically comes to mind is … survival.

This fall a friend from work was asking me questions regarding family shelters and organizations that could possibly help her financially, due to her homelessness. Reasons why I know how to navigate certain situations is because I was forced to become familiar with community services offered to low-income and or families in need. One thing I do have to say is that although I had gone through a rough patch, the things I learned that helped me get by, I get to pass down to others and help people in the long run.

For all those who don’t know, November was National Homeless Youth Awareness Month – begun back in 2007. Since then, the month of November has been acknowledged re: those children and families experiencing homelessness. It can be frustrating and depressing to be in need and have no idea what your next move is going to be – especially for young adults.

About 2.4 million young adults experience homelessness a year.

These are people who don’t only lose their homes, but also lose their stability and safety. It can be hard to relate to people who have to worry about where they will be resting their head every single night or trying to figure out how they are going to shower. Although many can sympathize few can relate and 9 out 10 these young adults have experienced or are experiencing trauma.

Many men and women have to learn how to survive. Can you imagine having to raise children in these conditions?? In the end, the children become traumatized long-term because of the different dangerous situations they had to face and overcome. Being exposed to people who have coped with their situation by using drugs, may eventually lead them to use substances because that’s what they are used to.

There are so many risk factors in these situations! For example: human trafficking

early parenthood

depression

or even PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)

I want people to know that there are agencies out there that can help you connect with community services – built for people who are facing hardships.

‘Tis the season of being appreciative for the things you have because life can be so much worse. When you pass by a beggar, remember that their life also has importance and, even though you may be good now, things can change in an instant.

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WRTA meeting! BE THERE to push for better service!

At the HUB! Thursday, DECEMBER 19 at 10 a.m.🚌🚌🚌🚌

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WRTA bus. pic: Rose T.

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I love this guy!!