Category Archives: Fashion

🕎🕎Hanukkah 2021🕎🕎🕎🕎

By Edith Morgan

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Edith🕎🕎🕎

The celebration season is upon us, and this year the holidays seem closer one upon the other than usual. And in one way or another, most major religions are observing holidays – joyful events, with lights and candles.

And so, on the eve of Sunday, November 28, Jews around the world will light the first candle of the eight day observation of Hanukkah.

This holiday is not one of the major observances, unlike Passover and the New Year and Yom Kippur, but it is an extended occasion for joy, feasting, family get-togethers and free enjoyment of food, games, wine and entertainment.

Hanukkah celebrates the occurrence of a minor “miracle” over 2,000 years ago when once again the Jews recaptured that Temple in Jerusalem and set about removing pagan idols, restoring walls and floors, bringing back some of what had been stolen or destroyed and preparing the Temple for worship again.

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Celebrate Hanukkah!

As the legend goes, when they tried to burn the oil in the Temple, there was only one day’s worth of oil left, but miraculously it burned for EIGHT days – hence the eight-day-long celebration. The holiday commemorates the regaining of the Temple, and therefore is one of great joy and celebration. Coincidentally, it comes around harvest time and at the beginning of winter for those of us who live in zones where there are four seasons and where we like to have fun before winter sets in …

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Yummy potato latkes!♥️♥️♥️

The traditional eight-armed candelabra, known as a Menorah, also has one extra arm, for the servant (the Shamash) who is used to light all the other candles, one more each night, until all eight are lit. (A fun math problem is to ask the children how many candles it will take for all eight days). While there is no real gift exchange, there is “gelt” (money) which nowadays often takes the form of chocolate-filled gold or silver coins.

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Dreidel … and gelt, chocolate coins

There are some traditional foods associated with Hanukkah: probably the best known is “latkes” (potato pancakes), usually served hot with sour cream or apple sauce. Today some variations also include latkes made with sweet potatoes.

I have a whole collection of “Dreidels,” the four-cornered top that is the source of a lot of the games played at Hanukkah. They usually contain a Hebrew letter on each side, spelling out the first letter of the Hebrew saying that ”A miracle happened here.” In some homes children and adults make their own dreidels, and you can get quite skilful at spinning them like tops and winning games.

There is also music associated with this holiday, most commonly sung is the one to the tune of the well-known hymn, ”Rock of Ages.” As a child I knew several verses in German we sang at home as we lit the candles.

So, enjoy this holiday and its many fun days, and eat and be merry!

Worcester’s Veterans🇺🇲🇺🇸 – always in style🇺🇸♥️!

Celebrating Worcester’s Veteran’s Day Breakfast and Events

Text and photos by James Coughlin

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Jim!

It has been said many times that Worcester is a very special place to live. Some of those who say that liken Worcester to living in city that also geels like a town where everyone knows everyone else.

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The Marines, the US military’s elite

One overwhelming and indisputable fact is that people who live here, in my experience and in the experience of many people who live here, is that we care a lot about each other. And that caring attitude and understanding was very much on display yesterday as Worcester bheld its commemoration of Veterans Day.

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Vets at the special breakfast on Grove Street

A lot of wonderful things happened; it was a celebratory time: the events included an 8:30 a.m. breakfast at the Worcester Shelter for Homeless Veterans on Grove Street (at the site of the former Worcester Armory), a short parade to Lincoln Square and another ceremony later on in the day at the site of the Massachusetts Vietnam Memorial at Green Hill Park.

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The ceremony’s attendees were diverse …

What perhaps was most beautiful to see was that everyone who was there mingled freely with everyone else. Moreover, and what was most gratifying, it was held at a homeless shelter. And that was not a barrier in the least for top ranking city officials of such as Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus, Congressman James P. “Jim” McGovern and members of the Worcester City Council to mingle freely with our homeless and disabled vets, along with other members of the public: their constituents, the people whom the late U. S. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neil of Cambridge called, “His Board of Directors.”

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Staff of the Worcester Homeless Veteran’s Shelter march in the city’s Veteran’s Day parade.

Among those in attendance at the Veterans Day Breakfast was Richard “Rick” Cipro who is a Sergeant in the Worcester Police Department and who also is a veteran of The Iraq War. Not only that, he was deployed to Washington, D. C. back in January of this year in the wake of the insurrection at our nation’s Capitol Building on January 6. He ran unsuccessfully for Worcester City Council in the recently held election for district One City Councillor. He ran against popular incumbent City Councillor Sean Rose. To his credit, Cipro did not bury his head in the sand after his election loss: he came out on Veterans Day to be with his brother and sister comrades to celebrate Veterans Day.

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The crew at the shelter served up a tasty breakfast!

City Manager Augustus, who has provided excellent leadership and has presided over a building renaisance of the city, was happy to tell this reporter how proud he is that the city this week opened at UMass/Memorial healthcare in conjunction with the U.S. Veterans Administration, VA, a health clinic for veterans in the area needing medical care so they don’t have to travel all the way to Boston, Providence or Springfield to get proper medical care.

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At the vets shelter: health care advocates do outreach

This is what leadership and Worcester is all and that’s about helping each other out as newly installed Director of the Worcester Veterans Department, Alex R. Arriaga himself an Army Veteran of Iraq, said at a brief ceremony that was later held at Lincoln Square. “We are family,” he said.

And that’s what Worcester is all about in the final analysis – and don’t you forget it !

Vegetarianism – always in style! 🌽🫑🍞🥦Especially during Thanksgiving!🍠🥔💚🥬🫑🍆🥕💚🌽🥦

November is World Vegan Month!

By Heather Moore

Happy World Vegan Month! Every November, vegans and vegan-curious folk — those interested in trying more healthful, humane foods —bcelebrate the ever-growing popularity of vegan living. Journalists estimate that there are at least 79 million vegans in the world, based on the numbers recorded in Australia, India, the U.K., the U.S. and other nations with a blossoming vegan population. A 2020 study found that the number of vegans in the U.S. alone increased by 300% — about 9.6 million people — between 2004 and 2019.

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This Thanksgiving go for the TOFURKEY vegan holiday roast with stuffing – available at TRADER JOE’S IN SHREWSBURY, rt 9, right over the bridge.

If you haven’t already, why not pledge to go vegan for World Vegan Month? You’ll be in good company, and you’ll have plenty of options. Experts forecast that the global vegan food market will mushroom to over $24 billion by 2026, and analysts at Barclays bank predict that the global vegan food and drink market will expand by more than 1,000% by the end of the decade.

Vegans are sprouting up left and right because of mounting concerns about cruelty to animals, the climate crisis and health problems. I went vegan 28 years ago, primarily for ethical reasons. I was vegetarian for several years before that, until I realized that I was still supporting cruelty to animals, albeit unintentionally.

I knew that cows killed for their flesh are branded with hot irons, their horns are cut or burned off, and the males are castrated — without pain relief — but I didn’t understand that cows forced to produce milk suffer just as much, if not more.

On dairy farms, cows are repeatedly and forcibly impregnated so that they’ll produce a steady supply of milk for human consumption. When they give birth, their calves are taken away from them — the males are often killed for veal, and the females are sentenced to the same fate as their mothers. Eventually, they all end up at the slaughterhouse, dangling by a hind leg with their throats cut.

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Today!

And while I knew that it’s cruel to cram chickens raised for meat — smart, sentient birds who grieve when they lose a loved one — into filthy, severely crowded sheds before cutting their throats and often scalding them to death, I wasn’t aware that similar abuses are inflicted on egg-laying hens.

Most egg-laying hens spend their lives confined to a space the size of a standard file cabinet drawer with up to 10 others, unable even to lift a wing. A portion of each bird’s sensitive beak is cut off with a hot blade. Male chicks are useless to hatcheries — they don’t produce eggs, and they aren’t bred to produce the excessive flesh desired by the meat industry — so they’re usually suffocated or tossed into a grinder while they’re still alive.

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Beaks are removed when they are alive; they are scalded in hot water!! EAT LESS MEAT!!!

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Abuse, abuse, abuse … EAT LESS MEAT AND FEWER EGG DISHES!

Since animals are routinely killed by both the milk and egg industries, being vegetarian wasn’t enough for me. Fortunately, vegan options are now easy to find. Vegan foods not only taste great, they’re cruelty- and cholesterol-free and generally low in saturated fat. Vegans are less likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and vegan foods don’t cause animal-borne diseases, such as bird flu, swine flu and COVID-19. If you’re concerned about the environment, you’ll be pleased to know that producing vegan food uses up fewer resources and generates a lower volume of greenhouse gases than producing animal-derived foods does.

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Save the planet, make more of your meals plant-based!

When you consider the many benefits of going vegan, it makes sense that millions of people are celebrating World Vegan Month this November.

Will you be one of them?
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Do it for the planet, your health and the beautiful, sentient animals!

🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌

And … Vegan baking cheat-sheet for your holidays!♥️💚🍃:

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New Worcester column by Jim!

Ol’ Worcester Boy Returns to New Worcester Scene!

By Jim Coughlin

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Jim. photos submitted.

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Jim’s family puppy!

I was born in Worcester in the mid-1950s, and whenever I travel to the city of my birth, I must say I am unquestionably impressed by how she has progressed in so many ways over the fairly recent past.

Worcester has over the years been the recipient of much unworthy criticism from those who not
only were born and raised here, but also from those who have no history of being here.
If I can go back in time to the much heralded debate on the proposed Worcester Civic Center
from the late 1970’s and early 80’s, this was a time when a casual visitor to our city would say that Worcester was stuck in the past and that she was not going anywhere. And it was during this time that even the New York Times had picked up on the belief held by many and actually opined that Worcester was a dying city in Massachusetts. A newspaper article dubbed Worcester THE UTILITY CLOSET OF NEW ENGLAND.

The best way to describe this view would be to say that “Worcester was stuck energy: politically, socially and spiritually.” They would say that those in power were not open to change or any new ideas or energy. But then, the civic center came to our downtown Worcester area and brought all kinds of political and social energies to bear upon those who live here. Young people who previously would say they couldn’t wait to get out of Worcester were now giving that idea a second thought. In short, they began to see hope for not only themselves, but also for their kids.

In the mid 1980s, just after the time that the civic center was coming into its own energy, I witnessed that people here began to think differently, in that doing things or thinking in different ways would not be such a bad idea.
This was at the same time that there were pioneers and pioneeresses among the citizenry who came forward who were women who tried to join the ranks of both the Worcester Fire and Police Departments. They raised the question about themselves as prospective members of these Departments. Although they were not successful in their quests, they were successful in thinking differently, and more importantly in trying to have those in power think, perhaps if only for a time, that things could be done differently, here in Worcester.

Principal among the leaders on the Worcester City Council who through their legislative efforts successfully sought charter change was the late District 4 City Councillor Janice “Jan” Nadeau. Councillor Nadeau came to the council as a former Main South/South Worcester political activist and community organizer for
many years with Worcester Fair Share. So, when she wanted something done on the floor of the
city council, she knew exactly how to do it.
This change directly resulted in the city council placing before the voters a binding referendum to look at changes in Worcester’s municipal charter, the “Magma Carta” of our city government. Jan held office hours at the Pickle Barrel in the Piedmont neighborhood. She was famous for wearing her petite polyester pants suits!

Well, the voters gave their approval to the idea of looking at changes in how Worcester had operated since the 1940’s when we had a Board of Aldermen, a little different from a city council.

One transformational change that the Charter Commission that was appointed by then City Manager Francis J. McGrath enacted was to provide for the election of five district city councilors in addition to the Councilors at Large. This change by itself was directly responsible for the city council becoming
more diversified in that candidates of color would have an easier time being elected in a district race for city council, rather than running “at large” throughout the entire city.
Separate and distinct from councilors being elected in districts, the voices of women were finally being heard at Worcester City Hall.

For whatever reason or reasons, the policy makers in Worcester did hear these women when they said they wanted to join two departments that previously had been complete male bastions.

Now, Worcester to her everlasting credit, has 11 women on the fire department and, I think,
20 women police officers. To his credit, former City Manager Thomas R. Hoover should be
acknowledged for the crucial role he played in making the appointments of women fire fighters in Worcester in 2000.

These are just two examples of positive political and governmental changes in the city.
And there are more changes to be sure: the Union Station of my youth and until the 1990’s is no longer the dump that it was for far too long. Downtown Worcester has expanded with new
hotels and a pharmacy school and other areas that had previously existed as open barren spaceis now thriving with vitality in areas and neighborhoods, too numerous to mention.
One more than obvious change in this area has been the relocation of St. Vincent’s “St Vs” Hospital to downtown Worcester from Vernon Hill on Providence Street that sadly has had its nurses out on strike, for over six months days demanding better ratios of nurses in providing care to patients.

On the side of public secondary education, the city has just completed the construction of the
newest South High Community School and construction on the “new” Doherty High School on Highland Street is well under way.

Many years ago, before this new building and economic Renaissance came to Worcester, a local
parish priest privately told me that many people in the city looked extraordinary depressed.

However, based upon my many visits to Worcester over the past two years as a reporter for the
Worcester In City Times, I can say with 100 % certainly that those depressed energies are no
longer visible on the faces of Worcester residents as I travel throughout the neighborhoods of our city.

But despite my saying how Worcester has improved in so many ways, there will still be the city’s critics who choose to be either a “Debbie Downer” or a “Tommy Downer.” Quite frankly, some people will even complain if the sun comes out on a bright day in Worcester. So, kudos to Worcester and her citizenry for making all the positive, transformational changes that have happened over the period of the last 30 years!

Jim! Always in style!

A former Woo political activist hoped for more political, racial and gender diversity on the Worcester City Council – and got it!

By Jim Coughlin

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Worcester City Hall – our City Council reflecting our city these days. Finally. photo: Rose T.

I was born and raised in Worcester. Our family originally lived in the area of Worcester known as “Crown Hill.” We originaly lived on Chatham Street and later moved to Chandler Street, right next to both Beaver Brook Park and Foley Stadium. My father was a long-time community organizer in Worcester’s sports and athletic community and shortly after his death in 1986, Worcester State University, (WSU) named the athletic field in back of the university “The John F Coughlin Field.”

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Jim Coughlin. He’s a Boston boy now but often takes the train into Worcester to visit friends and report on Worcester events and people for CECELIA. Photo submitted.

By introduction, for those readers who don’t know me, let me say that I was a long time political activist in Worcester, going back to the mid 1970s. When I was only 19 and 21 years old, I served as the campaign manager for the late Mrs. Elizabeth L. “Betty” Price in her two successful campaigns for the Worcester School Committee in both 1973 and 1975. For those of you who don’t recall “Betty,” she was the first African American woman ever elected to the Worcester School Committee when the percentage of people of color in the city was only about 5%, much lower than it is today.

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Bill Coleman, right, and James Bonds spearheaded the drive to build the monument to Worcester’s Black soldiers of World War II, located at Lincoln Square. CECELIA file photo.

I clearly and vividly remember the “old Worcester,” along with the old Worcester City Councils of decades ago. During this time, I regularly attended city council meetings in the 1970s and ’80s when the legendary Francis J. McGrath served as City Manager. I remember 1973 as somewhat of a “revolutionary year” at the time in Worcester politics because this was the year that the voters elected not one, but the first three women EVER elected to the Worcester City Council: Mary Scano, Barbara Sinnott and Barbara Kohin.

But their terms did not last long. In 1975, all three women councillors were defeated by the voters. Of the trio, only former Councillor Kohin is still living.

For those of us who observed these changes, we thought we would never see a woman, any woman, break the sex barrier and join the ranks of the Worcester City Council. But they were all excellent public servants for the people of our city. By comparison, the city and, yes, the City Council over time also has become more diversified.

Thank goodness.

By comparison, to the older Worcester City Councils of the earlier days, the current council is no longer “9 white men” as it was back then, but rather it is far more representative of Worcester’s demographics in 2021. Now, on the current city council there are four women city councillors: Donna M. Colorio, Candy Mero Carlson, Kathleen Toomey and Sarai Riveria. Additionally, there are three councillors of color: Khrystian King, Sean Rose and Sarai Riveria.

It is no longer a big deal or even a surprise that the demographics of the city council has changed in both the racial and gender departments. This is a good step forward for the city council in being more representative of the entire city. And whatever happens in contested race for council in District Five between Etel Haxhiaj and George Stratman, the council will either increase by one more councillor of color or a woman councillor.

Running for Councillor at large is Peter Stefan, a Main South funeral home director and long-time community activist. Stefan has buried Worcester’s homeless for free for years and helped the city’s poor and seniors for decades – helping them pay for food, their prescription medicines and utility bills . He served on the board of directors of the PIP homeless shelter for many years and was an advocate for the work they did. He also supports homeless veterans and promises to donate all his City Council paychecks to local food pantries and food banks throughout Worcester County.

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Today: the old PIP, on the corner of Main and Charlton streets, in Main South. For years PIP board member and current city council candidate Peter Stefan would drive to Nissan’s Bakery by Crompton Park, buy a ton of sweets and bread and bring them down to the PIP for the homeless to enjoy at supper time. Photo: R.T.

William S. “Bill” Coleman III is also running for councillor at large. Coleman has run for city councillor at large many times before and has been a very active petitioner before the city council for over 30 years on a wide range of public policy initiatives.

For me, as a former Worcester political activist who only hoped for more political, racial and gender diversity on the city council when we were out in the neighborhoods of Worcester organizing for Betty Price in the mid-1970s, I am grateful that the electorate of Worcester has summoned itself to answer the call of many of us back then who actually wondered aloud and to ourselves if there ever would be these changes in the faces of our public servants at City Hall.

Kudos to Worcester for diversifying the make-up of the Worcester City Council!

9/11. 20 years later.

By Rosalie Tirella

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Another American hero! Our troops worked hard these past months to evacuate US canine soldiers, their partners and beloved friends … out of Afghanistan!

I remember, too, President Biden! That day and the days and months ahead when everything changed: War and more war. The surveillance state on steroids. Anti-Muslim sentiment. Gitmo. Water-boarding. “Rummy is Yummy” (and a liar)! Judith Miller reporting LIES in America’s premier newspaper. Beheadings and more beheadings. Filmed for all the world to see! Some great reporters lost in the fog of war – one beheaded on film, another’s Jeep riding over a homemade bomb. Those homemade bombs were hidden everywhere! Our soldiers had their legs and arms blown off. Seeing these young people on the TV news shows with their new, bionic limbs made me cry. Dick Cheney = Darth Vader = Bush’s Brain! Bush, so unyielding, so righteous in his folly. Condy Rice! She was beautiful and played the piano beautifully…as our boys and girls were warped by war. A volunteer military where only 1% of us serves. So we’re clueless about war, personally and as a country. … Sadam Hussain’s human meat grinders, his gold statues toppling … his tons of porn. Finally captured! Hiding in a tiny hole, underground, begging – arms raised as he surrenders – to live another day! Begging for mercy after he killed and tortured the “other” for decades. After he murdered thousands. After he urged his soldiers and followers to die rather than capitulate to America! He surrendered with bells on his toes! We did not blow his brains out. He was arrested and had a fair trial – and his people executed him.

It’s been a terrible 20! All the changes changing us!

Mandatory Credit: Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (11827661ae) US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 23 March 2021. Biden Remarks on Boulder Shootings, Washington, USA - 23 Mar 2021
Mandatory Credit: Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (11827661ae)
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 23 March 2021.
Biden Remarks on Boulder Shootings, Washington, USA – 23 Mar 2021

I remember, too, President Biden!

Here’s to peace! Tranquility. Trumpless times! Pristine lakes and rivers. Big fat Polar bears with chubby cubs! Blue skies and clean air, here we come! Let’s embrace free community college for our working poor and universal Pre-K. We’re out of Afghanistan – let’s wallow in peace!

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Let’s save our planet!

https://youtu.be/raIUKhwQ-6s

This just in: MARK YOUR CALENDARS! SEPTEMBER 10 – watch for free! Fahrenheit 9/11!

From filmmaker Michael Moore …

A Free Worldwide Screening of “Fahrenheit 9/11”

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Great flick!

I have an announcement for you. I would like to invite you to join me for a free worldwide screening on Friday, September 10th, of my 2004 film, Fahrenheit 9/11. We’ll watch it online together …

We’ve decided to hold this free screening because it’s become clear that many of our political, corporate and media leaders wish to rewrite the history of 9/11 and tell a fake-sentimental story that justified two wars of aggression, the removal of some of our basic constitutional rights, and the creation of the domestic surveillance state. This screening of Fahrenheit 9/11 is our attempt to tell the real facts and understand how our country has, since that fateful day, been in a downward spiral that must be and can be reversed.

The online film event will begin at 9pm ET on Friday, September 10th. I’ll say a few words, we’ll show the movie, and then afterward we’ll bring on some special guests for a discussion and take your questions live. As I said, it’s all free and it takes place right here on my Substack site, michaelmoore.com. To guarantee your “seat” from home, you simply need to be a free subscriber to this site. You can do that by clicking this button:

Fahrenheit 9/11 (still the highest grossing documentary of all time) questions the Bush administration’s motives for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It shows our troops speaking to the American people about the lies we’ve been told and shows the madness we’ve created on the ground in those countries. Many of the issues raised in the film – about voter suppression, poor treatment of military veterans, issues of race and class and U.S. militarism, are as timely today as ever.

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Michael Moore

The film was the first documentary in 50 years to win the top prize — the Palme d’Or — at the Cannes Film Festival. In the U.S., it won the People’s Choice Award — not for best documentary, but for Best Movie of the Year. It also broke an opening weekend box office record set by “Return of the Jedi”. That’s how weird it all was at the time.

Released just a little over a year into the Iraq War, the public overwhelmingly responded to the film which revealed the massive falsehoods and errors of the political, military and media establishment as they exploited the 9/11 tragedy for financial gain (see: military-industrial complex) and set the United States on a course for never-ending wars.

Fahrenheit 9/11 unfortunately remains even more relevant today as the same politicians and elites lead us down the same wrong roads. 20 years later and it is crushing that we still have not learned the lessons of 9/11. We lost the war in Afghanistan. We lost the war in Iraq. We lost the peace with Iran. We still rattle our sabres with countries like China while the world shakes its head and quietly laughs at us. We still believe we can solve problems by invading countries and killing civilians with drone attacks. We are no longer ‘#1’ except in our own minds. We created a fake War on Terror, we militarized our local police, we ended up trillions of dollars in debt — all to protect the so-called ‘homeland’ (a word straight out of the Fascist Dictionary) — when, in fact, the NSA and FBI now admit that our largest terrorist threat is from American citizens who are white supremacists seeking to overthrow Democracy. And we all know who their enablers are: The 147 Republican Senators and members of Congress who, just hours after the January 6th sacking of the Capitol, joined the insurrection and voted to overturn the presidential election results, claiming that Trump was their true president. They lost that vote, but all 147 of these traitors still remain in Congress.

So we are in dark times. Amongst the top industrialized nations we are still last in life expectancy, last in infant mortality, last in overall heath care, last in education, last in voter turnout, last in women’s rights — but first in gun deaths, first in mothers who die in childbirth, first in child poverty, first in number of people in prisons, first in student loan debt, first in home foreclosures and bankruptcies and first in citizens shot to death by the police. The world may laugh at us, but it’s no joke here in the U.S.

“This special screening of Fahrenheit 9/11 also marks the debut of “Mike’s Movie Night,” a new feature here on my recently announced site on Substack (the free platform on which you are reading this!). Every month or so, I’ll hold an online screening of a movie I love or have discovered and watch them with all my Substack members (occasionally the film’s director or actors will join us afterward). While this first “Mike’s Movie Night” next week will be available for free to all, subsequent movie nights will be my “thank you” gift to the paid members who are able to contribute and support our upcoming film and TV work. So become a member if you can!

New education column from Edith …

Power to the Teacher

By Edith Morgan

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A teacher’s tools … pic: E.M.

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The Worcester Public Library – a great resource for ALL students. pic: R.T.

I grew up in a home, and a belief system, where the teacher was revered and looked up to, and whose word was something to be taken very seriously. My teachers were in full control of their classrooms, and at least in the first few years, I believed everything my teachers said, and my parents backed what I was learning, sometimes to the dismay of my parents (as an eight year old I came home and declared I would have nothing to do with money, as my teacher had said that ”money was the root of all evil” and I would not have nothing more to do with it. My parents would not directly contradict my teacher, but they made sure that I later found out that the TRUE saying was that “the LOVE of money is the root of all evil.”

America has had a different history with teachers, from the itinerant Ichabod Crane to the present day certified, educated and continuously re-freshed with workshops and in-service programs teacher. Today’s teachers are professionals, in many ways specialists in their areas, who continuously seek better ways of serving their students.

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A busy year ahead for students and those who help them learn about the world and themselves.

When I first began teaching, I was paid $3,000 a year – but I was totally in charge of my classroom, left to implement the district curriculum as well as possible, given the fiscal constraints of public schools. But my power did not extend beyond the classroom and teachers were usually not consulted about what new buildings should be like or what the curriculum should be, except as an afterthought.

Our profession is the only one where decisions are made by the untrained and often uninformed. Just imagine if your doctor or your lawyer’s work was determined by a committee or a gaggle of politicians – what would their service be like??

It is high time that we give teachers some leeway and back them up, rather than to criticize and undermine their authority. Students very quickly figure out where the power lies, and if they imagine that it is in THEIR hands, you can be sure that they will soon misuse it.

WE ARE NOW COMING OUT OF NEARLY TWO YEARS OF VERY DIFFICULT TIMES, WHERE CHLDREN HAVE NOT DEVEOPED THE GROUP AND SOCIAL SKILLS THEY WOULD HAVE IN CLASSROOMS AND ON PLAYGROUNDS.

THEY HAVE BEEN SURROUNDED BY MEDIA THAT MISINFORM DELIBERATELY AND INCREASINGLY LIVE IN A SOCIETY WHERE FACTS, CRITICAL THINKING AND LOGIC ARE FALLING BY THE WAYSIDE.

We are going to have to be patient, and we will have to return to teaching our young to face reality, to think clearly, to seek facts before reaching decisions, and to value truth and reason above emotion. We, the adults around them, need to model responsibility and self control because our young do as we do, not as we say.

I have been heartened by the numerous examples of children showing empathy and kindness to others, including newcomers and those who are different from them. Would that our media and some of our politicians live by the same rules.

New column from Edith: the Jewish New Year – 5782

By Edith Morgan

It‘s early this year, beginning on the eve of September 6, which is the first day of Tishrei on the lunar calendar which is used to decide when Jewish holidays will be celebrated. All Jewish Holidays begin at sundown, so the Rosh Hashanah festivities begin then and last for two days. It is a time of joyous get togethers of families, feasting and wishing everyone a full and sweet year, usually symbolized by the sharing of apple slices (signifying a round, full year), and honey (signifying a sweet year).

The past year has been a difficult one for Jews everywhere – with the resurgence of the COVID virus in its newer forms and the increase in anti-semitic attacks in so many places. And, for me, the continual lies about Israel and the Middle East which too often are used to excuse the constant rocket attacks that Israelis suffer. The new year always brings with the hope that at last a real peace will break out and that Israel’s neighbors will at last get along with each other and with Israel.

There are fewer than 20 million Jews in the world and fewer than 8 million of them live in the tiny nation of Israel. And so my fervent wish is that last this coming year we can see a real peace come over that area, and the task of building a safe and prosperous environment for all can be started.

As we celebrate the coming of the year 5782, we should take time to remember our history – as the oldest continuous culture/religion in the known world. As far as I know, only China, which has more than 4,000 continuous years has been around so long.

Nine days after the New Year begins, Jews observe the very important occasion of Yom Kippur, known here as the “Day of Atonement.” It’s a solemn occasion when we Jews reflect upon those things we regret or need to atone for – and determine to do better in the coming year. There is no “confession” in the Jewish religion: each individual contemplates his own transgressions, mistakes and errors and makes her peace with God directly through prayer.

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Apples, sweetened with honey, a treat this holiday season … CECELIA file photo.

Because Israel has taken in Jews from so many different culture and nations, there are many rich traditions there to célèbrate and observe the holidays: Jews from Russia, Ethiopia, Germany and other nations have all brought their traditions, foods and costumes to share, and they enrich the tapestry that makes up the daily life there.

So, here is my own personal wish for all for the coming year 5782: May all enjoy good healath, with the COVID virus at last laid to rest. May all have shelter, food and safety and enjoy the love of family, friends and co-workers.

New from Jim: At Worcester City Hall – a rally against violence

By Jim Coughlin

The front entrance to Worcester City Hall was the scene on August 10 of a rally against violence that was sponsored by the Worcester Inter Faith Council. The date of the rally – which featured many speakers from the community that included local politicians, members of the local clergy, community activists and members of the Worcester City Council – coincided with what would have been the 45th birthday of a recent victim of gun violence in Worcester, Carlos M. Cruz. Cruz was senselessly gunned down on May 18 at the corner of Chandler and Queen streets.

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Cruz’s family urged Worcesterites to stop the killing.

In an interview with his brother after the rally, he told this reporter that his brother was trying to be a “peacemaker” in an argument with a mutual acquaintance and was shot dead on the spot. He said the police have apprehended the suspect who was deemed by the court to be “dangerous” and, as a result, still remains in confinement.

Perhaps the most emotionally moving of all the speakers was Carlos’s mother
who addressed the rally completely in Spanish as she was supported by her other son. When she spoke, there was not a dry eye among members of the audience and there was complete silence. This is something that no mother should have to do: bury her son or daughter.

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A young singer moves the crowd …

Among those family members who also spoke were Carlos’s brother and his cousin, Beatrice Ayala, who told the crowd, “Carlos’s mother can’t sleep” over the loss of her son. Carlos also left behind two young children. “Carlos was killed and his mother will never see her son, again,” she said. She told attendants of the rally, “… we are tired, but God will prevail.”

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It was hot and humid the day of the rally; nevertheless, it was well attended.

Another member of Carlos’s family who also spoke was his sister Sanjay Perez who told the crowd, “He (Carlos) always made sure everyone felt safe. He always had your back. We are in pain because someone took him from us.”

Carlos was also eulogized by a colleague of his, Stephen Lajoie from the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester where Carlos worked as a member of the housekeeping staff. Lajoie said just prior to the time that Carlos was gunned down he was on the way to becoming certified as a Personal Care Assistant, PCA, at UMass. In an interview with Lajoie, who serves as the Business Agent for Local 1445 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, (UFCW), AFL – CIO at the hospital, he said the day after Carlos was murdered, “everyone at UMASS was deeply hurt.”

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A family, a community, mourns …

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