Category Archives: Animal Issues

Trump should dump Bolton and hire Tulsi Gabbard … + more🎡🎡

By Steven R. Maher

Trump was right to cancel the military strike against Iran, after the Iranians shot down a U.S. unmanned drone. Such a strike could have ended up as a prelude to another world war, and further destabilized an already fragile Middle East. This might have satisfied neocons like john Bolton, someone whom Trump hopefully will fire soon.

Conservative columnist Patrick J. Buchanan, in a column posted Friday entitled “Memo to Trump: Trade Bolton for Tulsi” suggested that Trump trade Bolton for Hawaiian Congresswoman and Democratic Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard.

Buchanan has long been critical of the neocon advocacy of Middle East wars and U.S. military involvement in “regime change.” Bolton has been advocating military strikes against Iran for years. Said Gabbard at the June 26, 2019, first night Democratic debate: “For too long our leaders have failed us, taking us into one regime change war after the next, leading us into a new Cold War and arms race, costing us trillions of our hard-earned tax payer dollars and countless lives. This insanity must end.”

“By debate’s end, Gabbard was the runaway winner in both the Drudge Report and Washington Examiner polls and was far in front among all the Democratic candidates whose names were being searched on Google,” wrote Buchanan. “Though given less than seven minutes of speaking time in a two-hour debate, she could not have used that time more effectively. And her performance may shake up the Democratic race. If she can rise a few points above her 1-2% in the polls, she could be assured a spot in the second round of debates. If she is, moderators will now go to her with questions of foreign policy issues that would not have been raised without her presence, and these questions will expose the hidden divisions in the Democratic Party.”

Buchanan writes that Gabbard will pose difficulties for the political establishment of both parties: “The problem Gabbard presents for Democrats is that, as was shown in the joust with [Congressman Tim] Ryan, she takes positions that split her party, while her rivals prefer to talk about what unites the party, like the terribleness of Trump, free college tuition and soaking the rich. Given more airtime, she will present problems for the GOP as well. For the foreign policy Tulsi Gabbard is calling for is not far off from the foreign policy Donald Trump promised in 2016 but has since failed to deliver.”

The U.S. does not need any more military involvement in the Middle East. Hopefully, Gabbard’s star will continue to rise.

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FYI:

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Think again this Independence Day

By Heather Moore

Do you plan to cook a cat this Fourth of July? How about grilling a canary? It sounds sick, I know, but it really isn’t much different from celebrating the holiday by eating cows, pigs, chickens and other animals, who can feel pain, love, joy and sadness, just as cats, birds and dogs can.

The euphemistic names given to many animal-derived foods — hamburgers and hot dogs, for example — belie what they really are: the flesh of sentient animals who were killed in violent, bloody ways.

But why balk at the notion of a cat kebab if we don’t have a problem with throwing a chicken kebab or a hot dog on the grill?

After all, eating a “hot dog” is no less perverse than eating a dog. So why is it “acceptable” to eat some animals but not others?

Animals who are commonly killed for food may not be as familiar to us as the dogs and cats we live with, but they’re sentient individuals with unique personalities. They form friendships and they love their families, just as our animal companions do.

🌺When hens aren’t imprisoned in factory farms, they lovingly tend to their eggs and “talk” to the chicks who are still inside, waiting to hatch.

🌺Piglets run to their mothers’ voices, and mother pigs “sing” to their young while nursing.

🌺On dairy farms, grieving mother cows bellow and frantically search for their babies long after they’ve been sold for veal or beef.

It’s speciesism — a form of discrimination based on nothing more than species — to claim that certain animals deserve compassion and empathy, while others do not. Decent people realize that blacks shouldn’t be enslaved by whites, that women are just as capable as men, and that children shouldn’t be mistreated regardless of their citizenship status. So why is it so hard to acknowledge that cows, chickens and pigs don’t belong on a barbecue any more than dogs and cats do?

PETA wants everyone to give a thought to what (or rather, whom) they eat and the fact that eating one animal is no different from eating another.

Right now, chickens are being shackled upside down, their throats are being slit, and many are being scalded and dismembered while they’re still conscious.

Pregnant pigs are being confined to gestation crates so small that they can’t take a single step in any direction.

Cows are being branded with hot irons, their horns are being cut or burned off, and the males are being castrated — all without any painkillers. These animals endure all this suffering just so people can eat a burger or a piece of cheese.

This July 4 holiday, please think of them, and declare your independence from meat and other animal-based foods!

Today, there are endless tasty vegan options to enjoy instead, such as marinated vegetable kebabs, Beyond Burgers and faux BBQ chicken. And if a grilled dog actually does make your mouth water, try a veggie dog!

New from Steve – Presidential Debate #2: Analysis + Opinion … and more 🎠

Democrats Hold Raucous Debate🇺🇸

By Steven R. Maher

The June 27, 2019, Democratic donnybrook revealed there are deep schisms not only in the country at large but in the Democratic party itself. We may have to await polling data in the next week or two to determine who really won the 2-night debate.

Particularly disastrous for former Vice President Joe Biden was a confrontation with California Senator Kamala Harris, who eloquently described incidents of racism she encountered growing up as an African American.

“As the only black person on this stage, I would like to speak on the issue of race,” said Harris, who then turned to Biden and said: “There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me. I do not believe you are a racist. And I agree with you, when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground.”

Biden’s response was to attack Harris for misquoting his position. But the person Biden should be angry at is the campaign adviser who advised him to double down. Biden would have been far better off to apologize prior to the debate for his mistake, fire whomever advised mulishly digging in his heels, and move on.

Harris also showed charisma when the other candidates were loudly bickering with each other: “”Hey guys, America does not want to witness a food fight. They want us to know how we’re going to put food on their table.” It was the best line of the evening.

Knives were out

The knives were clearly out during the debate, and not just for Biden. They were especially on display when South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg eloquently described the ramifications to his community of a police shooting of an African American. Buttigieg said that he had tried to improve relationships between the black community and law enforcement.

Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper asked Buttigieg why it’s taking “so long” to bridge the gap between the police and the African American community. Buttigieg responded by boasting he had “too much accountability” after the police shooting. But U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell jumped into the conversation. “If the camera wasn’t on and that was the policy, you should fire the chief [of police],” Swalwell told Buttigieg.

Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders major goal in the debate was to win back the left-wing vote he received in 2016, which has been hemorrhaging away to Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. Sanders was passionate and eloquent. But the drama put on by Harris and Biden on the race question, and Buttigieg and Swallwell over the police shooting, probably detracted from Sanders’ efforts to stop the drain of support from his campaign to Warren’s.

Aggressiveness

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand set the bar for aggressiveness during the debate, repeatedly interrupting the other candidates to put in her two cents on a variety of subjects. Perhaps she was trying to show she could stand up to President Donald Trump. But this aggressiveness could be a red flag to voters; Gillibrand reminded this writer of the similarities between how Trump behaved in debates in 2016 and how Gillibrand conducted herself at the Miami debate. In both cases, Trump and Gillibrand ignored the rules and spoke over other candidates who had been given the floor by the debate moderators.

1% candidates

There were several candidates for whom the two June 2019 debates may be the swan song of their Presidential aspirations. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, with his wealth distribution program, will probably best be remembered for not wearing a tie to the debate; this will be noted in footnotes in future accounts of the campaign.

Providing some much-needed comic relief at the end of the debate, self-help guru Marianne Williamson addressed herself to Trump: “[I]f you’re listening you have harnessed fear for political purposes, and only love can cast that out. I am going to harness love for political purposes.” Except when it comes to pornography stars and Playboy Bunnies, love does not seem to be one of Donald Trump’s motivating emotions.

It should be noted that we are still 200 or so days away from the first caucuses. In the world of Presidential politics, that can be a lifetime. But as the June 27, 2019, Presidential debate showed, this is going to be a very tumultuous campaign season.

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FYI …

From MASSCAP:

DID YOU KNOW …

Income Inequality in Mass:

The Top 1% of families take home 23% of all the income in Massachusetts

The Top 1% of families make roughly 30 times as much as the bottom 99%.

Massachusetts is as unequal now as it was at the height of the Roaring 1920’s.

10% Poverty Rate and 14% Child Poverty Rate in MA according to the Federal Poverty Line.

If you include those that are “near poor” (up to twice the Federal Poverty Rate): 22% “Near Poor” and 27% Children “Near Poor” in MA

Sources: Economic Policy Institute (The Unequal States of America)
Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward (MASSCAP Commissioned report published in May 2018)

POLICY MATTERS:

Creating Opportunity

The state support and funding for policies and programs that create opportunity is critical. We are advocating for policies that strengthen families, bridge the wage gap, create economic opportunity, and strengthen the human services infrastructure – all of which reduce inequality.

We thank both the House and the Senate for their hard work in the FY20 budget process and the inclusion of so many important resources. We hope to see the following essential line items in your final conference report.

Bridging the Wage Gap:

Increase Resources for Free Tax Prep for Low-Income Wage Earners through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program Sites (1201-0100) – We thank the Senate for including $200,000 in 1201-0100.

Strengthening Families through Affordable & Accessible Early Education and Care

Increase Child Care Resource Referral Access Management in Early
Education Program (3000-2000) – We thank the Senate for including $10.1M.

Increase resources for Early Educators Salaries (3000-1042) – We thank the House of Representatives for including $20 M.

Increase resources for HeadStart (3000-5000) – We thank both House and Senate for including in budget. We ask for support of the Senate allocation of $12M.

Creating a Foundation for Economic Opportunity

Support Services for Unaccompanied Youth Housing and Wraparound Services (4000-0007) – We thank both House and Senate for including in budget. We ask for support of the Senate allocation of $5M.

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Rose this afternoon: at her kitchen table learning all about BETO’S POLICIES. Many of them are “kitchen table” issues that appeal to working-class Rose and her world, such as Beto’s calling for a federal minimum wage that is raised to a $15/hour living wage💖!:
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WE HAVE NOT GIVEN UP ON  THE GOOD, SMART, ENERGETIC, COMPASSIONATE AND DETERMINED PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BETO O’ROURKE!
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GO, BETO, GO!

CLICK HERE to learn more about Beto O’Rourke!

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P.S. From these companies: buy their animal-product-free personal care items! Plus, the makeup, soaps, etc are never tested on bunnies or other animals!:
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Jim McGovern, Schweikert introduce bipartisan bill to help cancer patients … about last night’s prez debate🇺🇸 … + more

Reps. McGovern, Schweikert Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Help Cancer Patients and Individuals Affected by Alopecia Areata

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Go, Jim!!

Congressmen Jim McGovern and David Schweikert (R-AZ) have introduced H.R. 3332, a bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives to help patients who are undergoing chemotherapy and individuals affected by Alopecia Areata.

Many private insurance plans already cover wigs for those undergoing treatments that cause hair loss or who are affected by alopecia areata.

This bill would help patients on Medicare pay for wigs that are not currently covered.

“Every cancer patient deserves access to quality healthcare that will help them undergo treatment with the support and dignity they need. For cancer patients who experience hair loss, a wig can mean so much, but is not always covered by their insurance,” Congressman James McGovern said. “This bill will help to change that, and ensure that every cancer patient who loses their hair can afford a wig and undergo treatment with the dignity and respect they deserve. I urge all of my colleagues in Congress to support this important bill.”

“I am pleased to see this bipartisan legislation be introduced to provide necessary resources for Medicare patients experiencing the physical changes of chemotherapy and effects of Alopecia Areata, said Congressman David Schweikert. “This legislation improves Medicare coverage by allowing seniors to have the same access to wigs that are often provided by other insurers following treatment. This is a step in the right direction for how we support our brothers and sisters who bravely fight through extremely difficult situations and I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.”

With no known cause or cure, alopecia areata is an autoimmune skin disease affecting approximately 6.8 million Americans, many of whom are children. Many individuals affected by alopecia areata utilize cranial prosthetics (or wigs) as there are currently few effective treatment options. Unfortunately, these prosthetics can come with a significant out-of-pocket cost for Americans with low or fixed incomes. This is especially burdensome for children, who often require cranial prosthetics for attending school.

McGovern first introduced the bill last year after a meeting with Mary Aframe, who runs the Women’s Image Centers located in Worcester and Leominster, Massachusetts. Aframe said she has heard from many women who are looking for a wig due to hair loss after cancer treatment – specifically breast cancer. Many were on Medicare and struggled to afford a wig, sometimes even choosing different treatment paths to avoid hair loss.

“This bill is so desperately needed. A wig is not only medically necessary as a part of a woman’s physical recovery, but also for the emotional recovery that comes with going through cancer treatment, said Aframe. “Feeling confident in your new skin is paramount to overcoming the challenges and changes women face during cancer diagnosis and treatment.”

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Cool:

On last night’s first Democratic presidential debate

By Rose T.

Why not strike through and speak Spanish to get your point across during a presidential debate? To let the world know where you stand on the migrant issue – to reach an audience you need to reach – even if you mangle a couple of verbs and pronouns along the way? Why not, if you live in the border town of El Paso, as candidate Beto O’Rourke does, tell the world of your experience, make your compassion and policy known? Why not speak your truth to people who need to hear it?

Why not, a la Booker and Castro, speak Spanish, too – let Trump and his base know THAT A MAJORITY MINORITY AMERICA IS COMING. So get ready. Adjust.

The Democratic party IS the future!

This doesn’t mean white working class guys lose what little they have, economically. Robotics and AI have done that – not migrants. Plus: big US corporations’s moves to China and other low-wage places. Close the corporate tax loopholes so these big corporate cheats think twice about leaving America. FREE PUBLIC COLLEGE for all low-income kids and adults so our folks can be properly educated and trained to work in, survive in, the new global economy! Especially are laid-off blue collar guys! Not easy. But everyone needs to adjust. Change is the only thing the world can ever count on! The saying goes! For eons! Cliched but TRUE!!

So instead of mocking presidential contender BETO O’ROURKE …

… embrace what he sees IS ALREADY HERE: a diverse, complicated, wonderful America that needs a new kind of leadership/PRESIDENT. Communication. Out reach. Campaign events and stlyings. It’s all gotta change. To TRUMP UP our fears and prejudices, like Donald T. does every hour of every day, is not the way to go, America. Too reckless and evil. The country fails and flails … Migrant kids die, are kept in vans for 24 hours …
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Cages. …

Of course, this is Trump’s intention. His immigration “policy.” INTENTIONAL. To gin up his base. To win re-election.

VOTE DEM! REJECT TRUMP AND HIS EVIL WAYS AND WORLD VIEW!

I want to note: Beto O’Rourke stood his ground last night at the debate, and he did so in a classy, respectful, modest way!!

Beto wasn’t obnoxious and mean like fellow candidate Castro or in-your-face and loud Booker or DeBlasio. Beto didn’t sound or feel like Amy K. or any of the lesser knowns, either – you know, like a politician. He was himself … The exact opposite of a Donald Trump.

Castro or Booker or DeBlasio against Trump in 2020?

It would feel like the same type of jerk trying to cancel himself out. Who’d win if the candidates FELT the same? Trump, of course. He IS the meanest, toughest, lowest.

A Beto O’Rourke on the same debate stage as Trump?

Well then, Americans would have a real choice.

Between men. Between human beings. Between minds, hearts … two ways of being in the world.

It would be:

A runner (Beto) versus a waddler (Trump)

A good husband (Beto) vs a rapist (Trump)

A lover of earth, sea and sky (Beto) versus a hater of all living creatures and their habitats (and that includes people!) – Trump

A slim, sexy, attractive guy who looks great in suits (Beto💖) vs a fat, unattractive guy who should be dead already cuz of his horrendous eating/health habits (Trump)!

A youthful guy (Beto ) vs an old gas bag (Trump)

A uniter vs a divider

Yes, you can be soft spoken and strong, like Beto. Respectful yet forceful … strong.

Beto O’Rourke: he’d be a balm to this country’s exhausted, weary, wary soul. A tonic for emotionally abused America, all of us beaten down souls, thanks to the Trump disaster.

Less anger, less hatred, less braggadocio, less violence and pain. Trump has upped the ante! Beto would calm it all down!

The more voters see of the good Beto, the more they’ll appreciate the difference – they’ll wanna dump the evil Trump in 495 days!

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Go, Beto, go!!!

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Book review by Steve M. … and more🍔

“The Syrian Jihad” by Charles R. Lister, by the Oxford University Press, New York (2015, 500 pages)

Reviewed by Steven R. Maher

Few countries in the world are in as disastrous shape as Syria. According to Wikipedia, “Estimates of deaths in the Syrian Civil War, per opposition activist groups, vary between 371,222 and more than 570,000. In 2016, from an estimated pre-war population of 22 million, the United Nations (UN) identified 13.5 million Syrians requiring” refugee assistance.

In an effort to educate himself – and the readers of CECELIA and the InCity Times website, through this book review – this writer scanned the CW-Mars website for books relative to Syrian civil war. He didn’t find a lot of material. One of the more recent (2015) works was Charles R. Lister’s “The Syrian Jihad.”

Tough read

This book was a tough read for two reasons. For one thing, it was printed in an 8-point font. It is exactly 500 pages long. Even the most dedicated reader would have difficulty getting through this. It looks like Lister was told to fit his text into a 500-page limit, and shrinking it down to the point of being almost unreadable was the solution.

The other reason that this is a tough read is that the author crammed a massive amount of data into this book. There are literally dozens of pages filled up with the names of newly established rebel groups, fronts, and strawmen. The seemingly endless recitation of an alphabet soup of terrorist sub-entities leaves one’s head spinning. But there were some things this writer learned from this book, such as that climate change in the middle east set the stage for this bloody civil war and there is genuine difficulty sealing off a border when individuals are determined to enter one’s country.

Climate change

Between 2006 and 2010 Syria was hit by a long drought. “The 2007-8 crop season was hit the worst, with average levels of rainfall declining by 66 percent from the normal annual average,” writes Liter. Crop yields fell by 32% in government irrigated areas; other areas “reliant on rainfall for watering plummeted by as much as 79%”. These shortfalls resonated throughout the Syria economy, with crop yields overall dropping 50%. Prices soared as the government, trying to rein in fiscal deficits, lifted subsidies on fuel and fertilizers, creating a nightmare scenario of falling prices with rising costs for Syrian farmers.
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians fled to the suburbs of Damascus, Aleppo, and other big cities. Impoverished, living in strange surroundings, these refugees were to prove highly receptive to Jihadist recruiters when the “Arab Spring” broke out in 2011.

Border control

Another interesting story that appears in this book is the Syrians efforts at keeping Jihadists from infiltrating the country through Iraq. After the U.S. 2003 invasion, Coalition Provisional Authority Chairman Paul Bremer abolished the 35,000 strong border guard. In very quick order the 600-mile border between Iraq and Syria borders became a porous, largely unguarded frontier.

The Syrians increased their border guard from 700 men to 10,000 and took other measures: “Moreover, a total of 557 border posts border posts – each between 1.0 and 2.4 kilometers apart, manned by five to eight soldiers armed with personal weapons and one heavy machine gun – had been constructed along a new sand berm, which ranged form 6 to 12 feet tall along the entire frontier. Electricity poles were placed along known smugglers to flip vehicles driving at speed at night, a new ‘integrated computer system was introduced at was introduced at all border crossings.’”

Despite all these measures, thousands of Jihadis, fresh from fighting the U.S. military in Iraq, infiltrated through the still porous borders. This demonstrates that no matter how hard a country tries to stop immigrants from entering a particular country, where there is a will, the “undocumented aliens” seem to find a way in.

There are several other interested stories regarding the conflict in Lister’s book. However, one reads through this book with a sinking feeling that Syria is a doomed country, the people bloodied and dispersed, facing a future without even much hope.

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From PETA.ORG:

KICK-ASS CURRY BURGERS!

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Makes 6 Vegan Burgers

INGREDIENTS:

For the Burgers:

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. curry powder
½ tsp. garam masala
½ tsp. cumin
cup cilantro
1 cup cooked quinoa
1¼ cups cooked lentils (about 1 15-oz can)
½ cup chickpeas
1-2 tbsp. vegetable broth
½ cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup hazelnuts
¼ cup dried cranberries

For the Avocado-Coconut Spread:

1 rip avocado
3 tbsp. canned coconut milk
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp jalapeno, seeds removed and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Additional Ingredients:

Alfalfa sprouts
Burger buns

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pulse the hazelnuts in a blender until chopped. You don’t want crumbs, you want halves and quarter size pieces. Even a few wholes will be okay.

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil for about 3 minutes over medium heat.

Add the carrot, cilantro, and spices.

Toss to coat and cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in the quinoa and stir fry for a minute or two longer.

Remove from heat and set off to the side.

Use a blender or food processor to combine the chickpeas and lentils. Add the vegetable broth as needed to get the mixture going. You want it to be pretty close to pureed, but it’s okay if a few lentils or chickpeas remain intact.

In a mixing bowl combine the lentil/chickpea puree with the quinoa/veggie mix, panko bread crumbs, hazelnuts, and cranberries.

Mix well and then form into 6 patties.

You can cook these on the grill or in a cast-iron skillet. They came out great both ways, but we were able to get the outside a little crispier in the cast-iron skillet.

To make the avocado-coconut spread, simply blend together all of the ingredients.

Then, build your burger by adding the spread and alfalfa sprouts. Enjoy!

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FYI:

See, what did we tell ya about readers coming to us? … and PETA op-ed + more🌞

I received this letter to the editor via email a few hours ago!💖💖💖💖💖:

On Green Island Grrrl column: MT. CARMEL CHURCH

Rosalie Tirella –

This past weekend I had the opportunity to spend time in Worcester, after dropping off my (newly enrolled) son at The College of the Holy Cross, for orientation.

While having breakfast one morning at one of the delicious diners in town, I picked up the May 3 edition of your paper. The article about Our Lady of Mount Carmel church was beautifully written; full of imagery and historical perspective.

As a third generation Italian-American who attends Mt. Carmel church in Utica, NY, I could fully appreciate the value of a prosperous Catholic community.

Your vivid details took me back to my own childhood and similar experiences. Keep up the great writing and continued success.

Respectfully,

Anthony Ricco

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From PETA:

When the law fails animals, it’s up to us to step in

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Go, Danny, go!🦊🐒👏🏻🐈🐶🐄🐂🦓

By Daniel Paden

Sometimes, seeing is not believing.

In April, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) asked the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to review video footage from inside one of the largest pig factory farms in the province and investigate whether it had violated the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

The footage was shocking, but hardly surprising — it could have been filmed anywhere pigs are treated as commodities. Eyewitness investigations of farms in Pennsylvania, Utah, the United Kingdom and Germany have revealed that these intelligent, social animals are subjected to the same appalling neglect and abuse as those at the British Columbia farm.

Pigs were crammed into metal gestation crates barely any larger than their own bodies, unable even to turn around. Some were lame and had bloody lacerations; others suffered from painful, protruding, volleyball-size umbilical hernias.

Heavily pregnant sows were forced to give birth in even more-restrictive farrowing crates — they could nurse but not otherwise tend to their babies for the first weeks of their lives. Unattended piglets died slowly, rotting in the crates, while the survivors, out of reach of their distressed mothers, were forced to live alongside the corpses.

After being transferred to stacks of cramped, battery-style cages with slatted floors, these young pigs, who often have to endure tail amputation, typically without anesthetics, are eventually moved to bleak pens. In the eyewitness video, those unable to walk languished on the filthy floor, as did others who could only lie there listlessly. One struggled to walk on her misshapen front legs.

This farm sentences more than 1,000 pigs to a hellish, dungeon-like existence for most of their miserable lives. Denied any psychological stimulation, much less the opportunity to bond and play with other pigs or simply lie in the sun, they can do nothing but stare at the cinder block wall just in front of their noses.

After several months of extremely close confinement, young pigs are trucked to the slaughterhouse. One exposé after another has documented that because of botched stunning attempts in certain slaughterhouses, some pigs are still conscious when they’re dumped into tanks of scalding-hot water to remove their hair and soften their skin.

Despite the horrific footage, the SPCA decided late last month, based on a technicality, that charges against the pig farm, which is owned in part by a board member of the BC Pork Producers Association, would not be pursued.

Like all animals, including humans, pigs value their lives, want to protect their young, and are capable of feeling fear and pain. Sensitive, friendly and loyal, they are soothed by music, love playing ball and even enjoy getting a massage. They have long been considered smarter than dogs — pigs have learned to play video games and indicate temperature preferences in their surroundings — and the complexity of their social lives rivals that of primates.

Given the choice, they would spend their days foraging, playing and sunbathing.

But when pigs are confined to factory operations where their natural needs are ignored and their well-being is exploited to fatten the bottom line, they have no choice.

The good news is that we do.

When the law and authorities won’t protect pigs, it’s up to each of us to decide whether to support this kind of abuse. And if we decide not to, then there’s only one choice left: to leave pigs off our plates.

Daniel Paden is vice president of evidence analysis for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510; www.PETA.org.

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Trump/his administration = 👿:

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Future💖 prez💖💖? He says the U.S. Republican party is so out-of-step with America and toxic it’ll be a third party in 10/15 years.

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Every Baby Boomer on the planet has this album 💖:
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pic: Rose T.


It’s a beautiful summer day! Play it fuckin’ loud!!

A Dorrie rant🐶: Excessive taxes! … and more!🎶📸

By Dorrie Maynard

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Having lived in Worcester for more than 20 years and owning property for most of that time, I consider myself to be an active member of the community. I work and live in the community. I volunteer in the community, and I pay taxes in the community. Taxes such as property and excise to the City of Worcester.

This past excise tax bill I happened to pay a bit late and was charged a $5.82 late fee. I typically pay my bills once a month, so I was going to pay that “fee” shortly. In the meantime, I received yet another bill from the treasury department of Massachusetts, which included a $12 warrant fee and a $10 additional fee plus the $5.82 late fee. So now I owe $27.82, when my initial excise bill was only $57.50.

I called to discuss this outrageous fee and how and why was it necessary? It’s not like it was months overdue! I have always paid my property taxes and excise taxes on time – this was just an overlooked issue for the first time: “Oh no, these fees are
mandated by the State of Massachusetts and can not be
changed or reduced, no exceptions”!

I work very hard for my money and an additional $22 fee in what I believe to be of an excessive amount is difficult to spare. I paid the fine but only under
duress and protest, as I believe it is outrageous. Besides, I didn’t want there to be an outstanding warrant on me. For an overdue
excise tax bill! I have never been in any trouble with the law. I don’t even have any marks
on my driving record but, if I didn’t pay the fee, I would have a warrant against me!

Gotta love this city and state. I guess they have to make up for income that they don’t receive from the onslaught of students who come here, don’t pay Mass excise tax or Worcester’s high car insurance rate, as they all drive out-of-state vehicles! And most don’t
pay property taxes. Oh and their colleges that don’t pay property taxes either.

Unfortunately, I can’t really move out of the city because I couldn’t even get an apartment any where for what I pay for my mortgage, taxes and insurance. I am happy that
my house is increasing in value but that also makes it practically impossible to buy something affordable else where.

So as Worcester is about to expand into new horizons, the “real” working class and small-time community dwellers are being forced out. I believe we are also being “forced” to make up for taxes and fees not being collected from the
thousands of students that come here and wreak havoc on local neighborhoods.

Just my opinion, of course!!

********

⛅Rose woke up to THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER and National Selfie Day:
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☂️☔⛅. This a.m, amid all the a.m. flotsam and jetsam. pics: Rose T.

🙄National selfie 🤳 day. A cursed day “celebrating” smart phones (ugh) and social media (ugh+). Necessary evils to running a newspaper these days. Rose got carried away by newspaper websites a decade ago and started this website because she and her writers love to blog/write. But FB, Instagram, freakin’ Snap Chat is 1. for self-absorbed kids and 2. marketing, sometimes crass, sometimes bragadocio-us. This ultimately sucks.

… Except when real revolution is happening in the Middle East or places that we need to “witness” in real time. Then social media, Twitter especially, is a gift from God. Regular folks with their smart phones making history💖💖…

“We’re Dylan!” Rose tells the social media pushers in her life. “No outreach necessary! We’re great writers – our readers COME TO US!”
Ha!

And so the beat goes on:
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☂️☂️☂️

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☔☔☔☔☔

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⛅⛅⛅⛅

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Rainy days and National Selfie Days …

💖The Carpenters💖💙💖💙💙:

☮️☮️☮️☮️☮️☮️

FYI:

Go, Sam 🐝!!:

Ron O. comes upon Mass. State Police K-9 unit training session in S. Worcester … and more🥠

Ron O’Clair’s photos, last week:

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lots of participants …

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amazing working dogs!

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These beautiful heroes deserve the best life after hours and on their days off!

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Intelligent and heroic!

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Our Massachusetts state police working dogs EARN the best retirement – the taxpayers want it so! These dogs’ jobs are so stressful they’re old before their time and ready to rest at age 7 or so years! In a loving forever home! Not locked away, isolated, in a backyard kennel! – Rose T.

☮️From the Mass State Police☮️:

These photographs are from an ongoing narcotic detection school for members of our K9 Section.

The [above] images show them detailing techniques of motor vehicles.

Dogs are creatures of habit, and the unit, under the direction of its commander, Lt. Erik Ramsland, goes to great pains to teach a methodical, section by section search of vehicles (a similarly methodical process is taught for any types of searches, i.e. building searches etc.).

Often, the dogs work on the exterior of a vehicle for a week before even being introduced to the passenger compartment.

The scent detection school lasts weeks. We train odor recognition of several types of narcotics.

**********

💙LOVE AND RESPECT ALL WORKING DOGS!💚💛💛

🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶

From Ron O:

As I was heading over to Camp Street I happened upon a large number of Massachusetts State Police K-9 SUV’s parked outside of a towing/storage facility on Southgate Street.

It had just been in the news about the police having found a dead body in a van at a tow yard, and here I see the State Police sniffing all around a mini-van which I immediately assumed to be for training the dogs to react to the smell of decomposing bodies. It got my curiosity sufficiently aroused to demand that I stop and find out if my hunch was correct, or what was the real story behind what I had witnessed.

Come to find out I was wrong about the cadaver dog training.

That was not the same van the police discovered the day before with the dead person inside.

Turns out it was a regularly scheduled Narcotics Detection School for K-9 officers the Massachusetts State Police conducts there on a regular basis.

**********

💛💚💙💜💙:

🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶:

Perfection:

He’s old but still gorgeous, and his voice is STILL spectacular! The sexiest guy in the building – for all times!:

PRISON LETTERS REVEAL TRUMP HAD FOLLOWER IN WHITEY BULGER … and more🎂🎵

By Steven R. Maher

Letters Whitey Bulger sent from prison reveal that the “Boston gangster raved about the president, and railed against ex-special counsel Robert Mueller” according to NBC News.

Bulger apparently carried on a brisk correspondence, sending hand-written notes to a variety of individuals, including one of the jurors who voted to convict the former South Boston crime boss. The subjects included Bulger’s health, his girlfriend Catherine Grieg who was arrested with him in 2011, special counsel Robert Mueller, the death of a juror’s son in the opioid crisis, and the heavy dosing of LSD Bulger received from the CIA when he volunteered to be a guinea pig in the “MK-Ultra” program.

But the biggest surprise was Bulger’s constant praise of President Donald J. Trump. Bulger himself had problems with the Boston media. Whitey hated the Boston Globe (during the busing crisis Whitey shot up the Globe’s offices one night and fire-bombed JFK’s birthplace) and once ordered the assassination of Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr.

“Trump is tough and fights back instead of bowing down to pressure — and caving in to the press!” Bulger wrote. “U.S. agrees with hi[s] press attacking and his reaction increases his popularity — He has my vote so far.”

“Media is a bigger problem than Trump,” wrote Bulger. “Through U.S. history the media’s hunger for scoops and headlines has cost the lives of U.S. servicemen. Can cite examples.”

“Trump is fortunate to have loyalty of [conservative commentator Bill Cunningham], Rush Limbaugh + Hannity AKA ‘Little Rush,'” continued Bulger.

“Sorry to hear Trump is being boxed in by so many,” Bulger wrote of the Mueller probe. “Trump is experiencing what Mueller and company can orchestrate,” Bulger went on. “[Mueller] should observe biblical saying – ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.'”

Bulger himself believes that, despite episodes like Stormy Daniels, Trump has reformed and is now faithful to his wife Melania. “My bet is he’s happy with present wife and settled down,” Bulger said in one letter. “No way would he wind up in Oval Office with a Monica Lewinsky — That was a scandal! Same media that attacks Trump would cover up for Bill Clinton.”

Attacks Southie

South Boston was Bulger’s haven while he was running the Boston rackets. In later years Bulger said the neighborhood was ruined: “Patriotism was a part of that neighborhood,” Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen wrote on June 10, 2019, quoting from one of Bulger’s letters. “Sadly, it’s changing. Rich people moving in, Moslems, illegals.”

Commented Cullen sarcastically: “Yes, before all the yuppies and outsiders of color, everything was just swell when Whitey and his henchmen were gunning people down in Southie, shaking down anybody and anything that moved, and sinking bodies in secret graves.”

Man of the Hour

“History may show Trump was the man of the hour,” Bulger continued. “[Trump] [feels] China respects him and [is] hesitant to try to bully him.”

Yet, in a very revealing gem, Bulger sounded like one of today’s millennials in explaining why he turned to a life of crime. He mailed one letter writer a picture of himself in prison, in his younger years, and wrote her: “This was my final prison picture close to graduation and have to go out in the world to compete,” Bulger wrote. “1st job 1.25 an hour in a noisy paint shop — 2nd and final job union laborer 3.65 an hour — After that went back to what came naturally.”

One wonders if Bulger was younger and out looking for a job and ended up as laborer at $3.65 an hour, would he be singing Trump’s praises? He’d probably be out campaigning for Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

But the reality is, all this means is that with Bulger no longer among the living, there’s one less vote for Trump.

📷📷📷📷📷📷📷

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A fine cookbook for July 4th🇺🇸 … and every day!

🎸🎸🎸🎸🎸🎸

🎂Happy Birthday, Paul🎈 McCartney!🎂🎉🎵🎉🎈

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Paul, left, … always in Rose’s kitchen, wherever that may be🌟

Perfection:

To be human! To hear this! How lucky did we get?!:

It was really about his Mum’s passing:

“She was just seventeen and you know what I mean. …” That says it all!🎉

PETA FINDS NEW SPECIES OF DOG THAT TAKES TO THE SKIES!😉 … and more💮

Nope. They don’t build their nests in trees …
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💮💮💮💮. pics: Rose T.

You often find them in the inner-city, living under eaves of three-deckers and such …

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🤗🤗

They adjust to all the people and pets!🙂
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🕊️🕊️🕊️🕊️🕊️

These ingenious city dwellers need “rebranding”! PETA steps up!:

PETA FINDS NEW SPECIES OF DOG THAT TAKES TO THE SKIES

Sky Puppies?

PETA Is Changing the Way Everyone Views Pigeons!

Pigeons are savvy, personable city dwellers with interesting lives!

It’s time we gave them a public relations makeover. Let’s see … we need a name that will reflect their intelligence, their spunk and their lovability. Got it! How about “sky puppies”?

Think about it: They poop in public, beg for food, and recognize people who are nice to them and, just like dogs, they’ve lived alongside humans for thousands of years. So what if pigeons eat off the ground? If you think that’s weird, apparently you’ve never lived with a dog.

THESE FLYING PUPS ARE MORE AMAZING THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE!

These Fidos of Flight have a culture, can be superstitious, mate for life, and are wonderful parents. Sky puppies even pass the self-awareness “mirror test” which only a handful of other animals have done. They can recognize all 26 letters of the English alphabet, and, as city dwellers, they’re great problem solvers.

Sky puppies also understand space and time, and given their unique brain structure, we’re not even sure how! They are math whizzes of the animal kingdom and can distinguish between number groups and learn abstract mathematical rules. We’ve only seen two other species on Earth do this: humans and rhesus monkeys.

“Sky Puppies”!💖:
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Share these images to show your support for sky puppies, and tell everyone you know to do the same! Once everyone knows pigeons as sky puppies, these lovable birds will finally get the recognition they deserve and take their rightful place alongside beloved doves, who, after all, are literally from the same family as pigeons.

Never forget: Human beings stole pigeons from their homes and forced them to live in our society. Pigeons must scavenge and try to survive in places that they weren’t adapted to live in. So the next time someone gets upset about pigeon droppings, we hope they’ll remember that humans defecated on the streets of our modern cities for years before someone came up with a sewer system. Pigeons don’t have the luxury of indoor plumbing!

We want folks to realize there’s no important difference between land and sky puppies. The only reason we treat pigeons differently from our beloved dogs is because of speciesism — the misguided idea that one species is more important than another. No one in their right mind would dare poison a cute little puppy or shoot dozens of dogs for “sport.” But this happens to pigeons a lot. When all they want is to live out their lives free from human interference and cruelty, just like the puppies of this world.

Protect Sky Puppies!

Protect sky puppies by pledging never to tolerate seeing kids chase or harass them, to stick up for them when other humans are trying to hurt them, and to prevent them from being harmed by cats. Also, call pigeons “sky puppies” whenever you can, and encourage your friends and family to do so as well!🤗🤗🤗

🌏🌏🌏🌏🌏🌏🌏

FYI:

AOC IS TERRIFIC!:

Another Trump-whisperer …


💖💖

Just a thought … and … Horses aren’t the only ones suffering on the racetrack … + more☮️

Posting these op-eds in my cool backyard … with my mutts …

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👟👟👟👟👟. pics: Rose T.

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🏵️🌺💮🏵️💮💮

**********

HORSES AREN’T THE ONLY ONES SUFFERING ON THE RACETRACK

By Jennifer O’Connor

These are desperate times for the horseracing industry. Even people who pay no attention to racing — which is just about everybody — are aghast by the carnage on America’s racetracks, where horses are collapsing and dying in shocking numbers.

But some tracks are in such dire financial straits that they’re resorting to even more gratuitously cruel promotions to try to get customers through the gates: forcing ostriches, camels and zebras to race with human jockeys on their backs. Spectators may find these races novel, but the animals always lose.

In their natural homes, ostriches are desert-dwelling herd animals who form close bonds. Females lay their eggs in a communal nest, allowing the eggs and young all to be cared for by one bonded pair.

Even though they’re large and strong, ostriches are not anatomically designed to bear the weight of an adult human. And they’re not trained to “race,” either; when people climb on their backs, they panic. For prey animals like ostriches, being straddled is akin to being pounced on by a predator. This fear, coupled with the stress of unfamiliar surroundings and crowds of people, prompts a frantic and unpredictable flight response that is difficult to control. It’s dangerous not just to the ostriches, but also to the riders, the handlers and the general public.

In the desert where they belong, camels live in social herds and spend their days roaming and foraging. They communicate by moaning, groaning, bleating, bellowing, rumbling and roaring. They often exchange greetings by blowing in each other’s faces. Both Bactrian and dromedary camels have little patience for rough handling, and they can be skittish and erratic. Zebras, too, are intolerant of chaos and confusion.

Some years ago, five camels and a zebra escaped from the exhibitor who typically supplies animals for these racetrack exhibitions; four of the camels were killed after being hit by cars. Last year, two zebras escaped, and one was hit and killed by a car.

With the growing public pushback against cruel animal displays, these novelty races are heading in the wrong direction. Kind people don’t view animals as objects to be mocked or forced into submission. Citizens are driving bans against animal exhibitions all over the United States and indeed the world. Austria, Bolivia, Greece, Mexico, Peru and many other countries have banned wild animal circuses, while others, including Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Hungary, India and Poland, have banned the confinement of dolphins and other marine mammals.

In March, Iran’s department of environment deputy director announced that no dolphinariums will be allowed in the country, stating, “We believe recreational centres can be constructed without harassing animals.”

Businesses that fail to recognize that attitudes have changed are doomed.Concern about the cruelty in horseracing continues to mount, and tawdry novelty sideshows just add to the public indignation.

🐈🐈🐈🐈🐈🐈

Just a thought …

By Rose T.

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Worcester City Hall, last week.

In my new ‘hood I see so many terrific kids – most poor, some really deprived – living day to day but with plenty of pluck and sparkle! They run, giggle, chase their dogs, bop along Blackstone River Road to school with heavy backpacks loaded with school books. Their book bags are sometimes three times as wide as they are! The kids wanna meet you, meet the world! … after all, the world in all its dappled beauty is new to them … and beckons.

Some neighborhood kids have great parents, but many have middlin’, apathetic moms/dads/guardians. Losers just like my old man. For instance, even though I’m surrounded by three- and two deckers that are filled with kids and their parents, I never smell the aromas of hot suppers being cooked at dinner time. When I was a little kid growing up on Lafayette Street everyone was poor but most parents cooked dinner for their kids. The family downstairs from us in our three decker had a short order cook for a dad, and every time he made his homemade pork and beans he’d bring up a huge pot of the yumminess and proudly present it to my mother. He had his little reading glasses on, a sign he was serious, working, creating … . He’d talk with my mom, then tell her in a serious tone of voice: “LOW MEDIUM, Cel. Low medium.” Ma tended to leave things on high for too long and overcook all the tasty juices and flavors out of meats, vegetables, even cabbage. “Jack” knew Ma. He was her friend – and so was his wife. My mother, my Bapy, my two kid sisters and I feasted that night – and the night after. And the night after that. DEELISH!

Sometimes my mother would return the kindness and give our downstairs neighbors some of her homemade stuffed green peppers. Several overcooked, pale green peppers stuffed with well done hamburger, goopie rice and tomato sauce. Mushy but tasty.

Our neighbors were real neighbors. We weren’t related but we were family. And families shared. Like the time Jack and Missy’s 9-year-old boy Johnny was playing with one of the bigger kids in the neighborhood and was on the train tracks and was hit by a train and his “friend” went home and didn’t tell a soul. Johnny died. After that, Missy sat on her back porch stairs every night for weeks, just staring into the Green Island night. She told my mom…Ma mourned with her. I’m a vegetarian now, but I still love Jack’s meal … miss eating it, miss him and Missy.

Sometimes I see the tiny, skinny kids in my neighborhood – they’re about 7 – hauling their family’s big garbage bags to throw into the dumpsters. Their parents should be doing this chore! It’s heavy, dirty work. But the parents are being lazy and, let’s be brutally honest, using their kids. To do a chore they find repellent. Parents can give their little kids, after they feed them well, other chores to do around the house: making their beds, tidying up their bedrooms, organizing their toy area, even folding clean laundry. We did all this on Lafayette Street. So did our friends. I don’t remember any of us hauling garbage for our parents when we were 7 years old. And we were all renters in older, sometimes run down three deckers. Our parents were store clerks, security guards, nurses aides … But we made due. And they tried to follow a code of behaviors that was taught to them by their parents.

A different America.

Still, American kids ARE GRAND! STILL GOOD! SO FRIENDLY AND OPEN! Bopping along Blackstone River Road to school in the morning… mostly unaccompanied by an adult, even the little ones. MY POINT: OUR KIDS ARE DOING BEAUTIFUL THING/S – in spite of uninspired parents and their uninspired parenting styles.

We know our public schools are stepping up – have been for years. They’ve become the village where our city kids heal and grow. The WPSchools provide a lot to poor kids: free breakfast, lunch and snacks; free laundry rooms, free dental clinics; free health clinics; free clothing, food pantries … and the chance to get a solid education. I can see why WPS Superintendent Maureen B. is so unbelieving in the face of all the recent parental backlash. After all she’s done for city families! She’s tried so hard for poor kids – done so much to keep them safe, healthy and learning. She and the schools are pinch hitting for pathetic parents!

So … WHY CAN’T THE CITY OF WORCESTER, through CM Augustus and the city council, take it all to another level: FREE COLLEGE AT QUINSIGAMOND COMMUNITY COLLEGE OR WORCESTER STATE U – the city’s PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING – IF YOU’RE A POOR WORCESTER KID. And you want to go to college. To learn, to be excited by art, music, math, computers … get trained for a good job. Enter the middle class.

Why not support our brave young souls of Cambridge Street, Canterbury Street, Kilby Street, Lafayette Street, Blackstone River Road … the Kings and Queens of Green Island and South Worcester? They’re coming from hardscrabble backgrounds and don’t complain. Cuz they’re kids and are innocent. They transcend the muck every day – with dignity and grace.

Why not reward them?

Enough of Governor Charlie Baker and our state legislators’ bull shit teeny answers to BIG societal questions. Enough of their band aid programs where poor families have to jump through 100 hoops to get scraps – a few free credits, a bit of financial help here and there.

SEE THESE KIDS NOW!

SEE THEM FOR THE HEROES THEY ARE! RESPECT THEM! AND GIVE THEM THE TOOLS THEY NEED TO GROW, SUCCEED AND ENJOY A FULL LIFE. Stop grinding our youth, the city’s future, down into the ground!

NEW YORK CITY has this program. Makes this promise. BOSTON, TOO. FREE PUBLIC COLLEGE IN THESE CITIES – FOR THEIR CITY KIDS.

So … LET’S GO WORCESTER!!