Category Archives: Fashion

Impeaching Trump: from Congressman Jim McGovern🇺🇸 … and FYI + 🎶

Chairman McGovern’s Opening Statement as Rules Committee Considers Resolution Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for High Crimes and Misdemeanors

Congressman McGovern

WASHINGTON, DC — Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern (D-MA) yesterday delivered the following opening statement as the Rules Committee began its markup of H. Res. 755, impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Chairman McGovern’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:

editor’s note: we’ve made some sentences bold:

The Rules Committee will come to order.

It’s unfortunate that we have to be here today. But the actions of the president of the United States make that necessary.

President Trump withheld congressionally approved aid to Ukraine, a partner under siege. Not to fight corruption, but to extract a personal political favor.

President Trump refused to meet with Ukraine’s president in the White House until he completed this scheme. All the while, leaders in Russia – the very nation holding a large part of Ukraine hostage, the very nation that interfered with our elections – had another meeting in the Oval Office just last week.

These are not my opinions. These are uncontested facts.

We’ve listened to the hearings. We’ve read the transcripts. And it’s clear that this president acted in a way that not only violates the public trust.

He jeopardized our national security.

And he undermined our democracy.

He acted in a way that rises to the level of impeachment.

That is why we are considering H. Res. 755 today – a resolution impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Congress has no other choice but to act with urgency.

When I think back to the Founders of this nation, they were particularly concerned about foreign interference in our elections.

They understood that allowing outside forces to decide American campaigns would cause the fundamentals of our democracy to crumble.

But the evidence shows that is exactly what President Trump did – not only allowed, but solicited foreign interference, all to help him win his reelection campaign.

What shocks me, quite frankly, about so many of my Republican friends is their inability to acknowledge that President Trump acted improperly.

It seems the only Republican members willing to admit the president did something wrong have either already retired or announced plans they intend to retire at the end of this Congress.

I get it – it’s hard to criticize a president of your own party. But that shouldn’t matter here.

I admired President Clinton when he was president and I still do today. But when this House impeached him – which I didn’t agree with – I went to the House Floor and said I thought what President Clinton did was wrong.

Because moments like this call for more than just reflexive partisanship. They require honesty. And they require courage.

Are any Republicans today willing to muster that strength and say what this president did was wrong?

Let me say again what happened here: this president withheld congressionally approved military aid to a country under siege to extract a personal political favor. He did not do this as a matter of U.S. policy. He did this for his own benefit.

That is wrong!

And if that is not impeachable conduct, I don’t know what is!

I’ve heard some on the other side suggest this process is about overturning an election. That is absurd. This is about President Trump using his office to try and rig the next election.

Think about that. We like to say that every vote matters. That every vote counts. We learned in grade school about all the people who fought and died for that right. It is a sacred thing.

I remember as a middle schooler in 1972 leaving leaflets at the homes of potential voters urging them to support George McGovern for president. No relation, by the way. I thought he had a great name. And he was dedicated to ending the Vietnam War, feeding the hungry, and helping the poor.

I remember what an honor it was to ask people to support him, even though I was too young to vote myself. And what a privilege it was later in life to ask voters for their support in my own campaigns.

I’ve been a part of winning campaigns, and I’ve been a part of losing ones, too. People I thought would be great presidents, like Senator McGovern, were never given that chance.

Make no mistake – I was disappointed, but I accepted it.

I would take losing an election any day of the week when the American people render that verdict.

But I will never be ok if other nations decide our leaders for us.

And the president of the United States is rolling out the welcome mat for that kind of foreign interference.

To not act would set a dangerous precedent – not just for this president, but for every future president.

The evidence is as clear as it is overwhelming. And this administration hasn’t handed over a single subpoenaed document to refute it. Not one!

So now it’s up to us to decide whether the United States is still a nation where no one is above the law. Or whether America is allowed to become a land run by those who act more like kings or queens. As if the law doesn’t apply to them.

It is no secret that President Trump has a penchant for cozying up to notorious dictators. He’s complimented Vladimir Putin. Congratulated Rodrigo Duterte. Lauded President Erdogan. Fell in love with Kim Jong Un.

I could go on and on and on. Maybe the president is jealous that they can do whatever they want.

These dictators are the antithesis of what America stands for. And every day we let President Trump act like the law doesn’t apply to him, we move a little closer to them.

Benjamin Franklin left the Constitutional Convention and said the founders had created ‘a republic if you can keep it.’

There are no guarantees. Our system of government will persist only if we fight for it. The simple question before us is this: are we willing to fight for this democracy?

I expect we’ll have a lot of debate here today. I hope everyone searches their conscience.

To my Republican friends: imagine any Democratic president sitting in the Oval Office. President Obama. President Clinton. Any of them. Would your answer here still be the same?

No one should be allowed to use the powers of the presidency to undermine our elections or cheat in a campaign. No matter who it is. And no matter their party.

We took an oath. Not to defend a political party but to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

History is testing us. We can’t control what the Senate will do. But each of us can decide whether we pass that test – whether we defend our democracy, and whether we uphold our oath.

Today we’ll put a process in place to consider these articles on the House Floor. And when I cast my vote in favor, my conscience will be clear.

Before I turn to our ranking member, I first want to recognize his leadership on this committee.

We take up a lot of contentious matters up here, and often we are on different sides of many of issues. But he leads with integrity and cares deeply about this House.

There will be passionate disagreement here today. But I have no doubt that we will continue working together in the future and side by side on this committee to better this institution.

Let me also state for the record that Chairman Nadler is unable to be here today because of a family medical emergency. We are keeping him and his family in our thoughts and prayers.

Testifying instead today is Congressman Raskin. He is not only a valued member of this committee, but also the Judiciary and Oversight Committees. In addition, Congressman Raskin is a constitutional law professor, so he has a very comprehensive and unique understanding of what we’re talking about today. I appreciate him stepping in and testifying this morning.

I also want to welcome back Ranking Member Collins, a former member of the Rules Committee.

Now, let me turn to our ranking member, Mr. Cole, for any remarks he wishes to make.



Canal District, Worcester: under the Green Street Bridge.
file photo: R.T.

More needs to be done here in Worcester. In the chi chi Canal District close to 50 homeless folks were sleeping on the front and back porches of the church rectory a few nights ago because Hotel Grace – where the homeless can spend the night – only opens if it is 32 degrees out – literally “freezing.” Two or three nights ago it was a few degrees above freezing … so people suffered.

IT SHOULD NOT ALL FALL ON VOLUNTEERS WITH GOOD HEARTS to solve a city problem. The Community HealthLink shelter on Queen Street is not enough! City officials must DO MORE to house or help our homeless! Why not, for instance, buy a few old abandonned factories and convert them into teeny apts/rooms for our homeless?

– text+pic:Rose T.




Smith – now a part of Rose’s record collection. pic:R.T.

Below: a beauty of a winter tune. Big Star sung by Elliott Smith.
Some one once asked Smith if he made “sadsack music.” Smith said, No, he didn’t think so. Later, on a TV show, he said his music had a “Strong Quiet Beauty.” Perfect.♥️
If you love music, you will “get” my SHEER JOY – ESPECIALLY AT THIS AGE! – TO DISCOVER (LATE, I KNOW) A NEW MUSICAL VOICE! To listen to song after song after song (all new to me) and go WOW!! I LOVE THIS!!🎶 A kind of renewal … a brief return to youngness. Like me hearing the Beatles for the first time at 14 … your first real hike in Vermont woods ….. or learning (I am pretending here) that the suitcase filled with early Hemingway short stories – the only drafts – stuffed in a suitcase and lost by Ernest’s pretty young wife Hadley – had been found! AND THE STORIES WERE PERFECT.

– Rose T.

The Wretched WRTA … new Steve column + 🎶

NEEDED: A Complete Overhaul of Worcester’s Wretched Public Transit – the WRTA (but first make bus rides FREE to all bus riders!)

Text+pics by Rosalie Tirella

A WRTA bus was late last week – by 40 minutes. The WRTA bus driver laughed as he announced his arrival – no apologies, just a guffaw. RUDENESS RULES ON THE WRTA – so common amongt the bus drivers. They drive fast and dangerous, some of them. Others zoom by kids trying to catch the bus – riders have to call WRTA headquarters to say NO! NOT TO A CHILD!

FREE THE WRTA! OVERHAUL the city’s bus system!

Last night the female bus driver on the Millbury to Worcester bus never showed up at her stop in Millbury, then there was no heat on her bus last night – she had her windows open, worried about catching germs. WRTA riders were cold.


A first-class city NEEDS first-class public transit!

Why do Worcester’s city leaders and officials put up with our crappy public transit system?? Oh, right, because City Councilors’ mothers or City Manager Ed Augusus’s aunties don’t ride the bus! and middle class adults (city hall staffers) often give their older cars to their kids or neices and nephews when they buy a new/newer vehicle.

A MONTH RIDING THE WRTA BUSES would change their apathetic tunes!

But for now: Worcester City Councilor Gary Rosen said at a council meeting: SCRAP THE WHOLE THING! BUSES ARE OBSOLETE! City Councilor Gary Rosen is obsolete! Gary is too old and out of touch! Like so many at City Hall, he doesn’t get the new Woo – all the diversity, our new citizens or second generation who need a hand up – NOT THE WRTA slap-around! Gary, ride the WRTA buses for a month – experience the sporadic, unreliable service; the jerk bus drivers;…
One of the rudest!

… the long walk with bags of goods to City Hall from the Hub (WRTA ended the free shuttle bus between the two sites last WINTER). City Councilor Gary Rosen, meet the great, uncomplaining bus riders, many special needs, or folks who do not speak English – AND TELL THEM THEIR MODE OF TRANSPORTATION TO WORK, SHOP, VISIT relatives and friends is obsolete!





By Steven R. Maher

As the House of Representatives prepares to vote out two impeachment articles against President Donald Trump, Democrats have reason be concerned over how this might affect the 2020 elections. If there’s one thing the Republicans under Trump have gotten good at in the past three years, it’s mudslinging smears, lies, innuendoes, and untruths at their opponents.

The Democrats should not be surprised if Trump tries to get Joe and Hunter Biden before the Senate, hands on the bible, swearing to tell the truth under the pains and penalties of perjury. Other than being the son of the Vice President of the United States, what is it about Hunter Biden that caught the eye of Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian oil company that hired him for $50,000 a month? What did he do to earn his $50,000 a month? Attend a few board meetings?

The Washington Post said in 2014 that Hunter Biden was hired to head up the legal department at Burisma Holdings. Did he use his specialized knowledge to help expand the company’s business?

It would be one thing if Hunter Biden was saving millions of dollars by writing new software programs for the oil company. Maybe he devised legal strategies which saved the company millions in regulatory costs. In that case, the $50,000 spent here or there on Biden’s wages would be worth the cost. Absent such savings or benefits, this is “swamp” politics at its worst.

The Republicans are planning to subpoena the whistle blower, to whom the law granted anonymity if he came forward. But the real victim here may be Joe Biden. He does not appear to have profited from his son’s Ukrainian work. His Presidential campaign is on the verge of being destroyed by Trump’s maneuvering. Whether that that will be worth Trump going down in history as only the third President in American history to be impeached was worth it remains to be seen.

Democrats should be aware that Trump’s acolytes are planning to subpoena any Democratic who can do harm to Trump or Biden. This is going to get very nasty very quickly. Democrats who have been pummeling Trump verbally for the past 76 days on this scandal should expect to be made uncomfortable as Trump mounts his defense.

Chef Joey👨‍🍳: always in fashion!❄️ … Vinny’s “tale”!🐶 + 🎄🎶

ICT_Yum Yums-edited
Make a great salad today, but hold the chicken, bacon crumbles, (in other words: meat!)! ICT file photo: Rose T.

By Chef Joey❄️🐿️🎅

Some days start out wonderful and, for an unknown reason, chaos ensues, and after the “storm” a calm generally takes place. Not this story. This is a different twist on recipes, neighbors, dogs and social media.

I was taking pictures in my kitchen for an recipe for InCity Times online and making one of my new “Healthy Lunch” quinoa salads that I’ve been making, due to a recent surgery to replace discs in my upper neck. I need to watch my weight. The recipes for my Dijon and Greek Quinoa salads will be at the end of this story, so you will have healthy lunch choices that are nutritious and gluten-free.

So, I glance over at my sliding glass door and I see two massive dogs (over 100 pounds each) peering in through the screen door. I said out loud: “Who do you belong to? I’ve never seen you before.” At this point my little pups come out – Vinny who at 12 pounds considers himself a fair match should Godzilla appear – makes a warning bark and within three seconds the screen door is popped off, plants go flying, and Vinny gets dragged out of the house and is suddenly becoming the mastiff’s snack.

I drop what I am doing and lunge outside – I have no business doing this as I had two discs and titanium plates inserted into my upper neck Friday. I am on bed rest and nothing over 5 pounds to lift; my right side is compromised due to having pinched nerves and not being as strong as my left side.

This is the chaos: The attack dog that we will call “Rover” randomly bit my dog without making a single sound, while the other dog looked on blankly. I pounced on the dog and pried its mouth open like a fool, but that was my instinctive reaction to protect my “fur baby”! I successfully opened his jaw and Vinny, all the while yelping for his life, is free. No sooner does this happen then the mastiff lunges forward and chomps down again on Vinny, causing a blood curdling scream from Vinny. At this point, I notice a young boy behind me visibly shaken and a stream of “Oh my God’s!” and “I’m so Sorry!” while I said: Stay back so you don’t get hurt (I know this little boy as a friend of my daughter’s and one of the great neighborhood kids who loved swimming in my backyard swimming pool with the neighbors’ kids).

Now Richard comes out and says: “What the F*#@ is going on?!” and sees the scene. He jumps in and restrains “Rover” from behind, and I successfully open his jaw again and Vinny scampers away sideways, while yelping in pain. He bolts away, so fast, like I have never seen …

I look at the boy, and he explained to me that the dogs got out of their pen. It was his fault. He was so sorry; he was crying and shaking and quite frankly stunned.

I told him to take his dog home – now. I needed to find Vinny to assess the situation. He had run away into the woods behind our house. I was now in pain, as my adrenalin was no longer needed.

I run around my house looking for Vinny – nothing. I am back in my back yard and the boy is still standing there, in shock. I say, “Get that dog OUT OF HERE!” and he couldn’t as he had no leash. I told him to take my dog run and use it and bring it back. I head for the woods, no Vinny.

I am walking, yelling, hoping to find my dog. I stop at the neighbors, they are mortified, but jump I to help with the search. I now had to stop walking, my right side was hurting me, my neck was sore, and I realized I had been bitten by a 100-pound mastiff three times. I paid no attention until I stopped looking.

Baby♥️ Cece, what are you doing here?! 📷:R.T.

So this is the part about pets: I have and always have owned pets, dogs and cats, and they all get along, sleep in the same beds, love their treats and pats on their backs and heads – and most important – cuddles. I give my daughter hugs and cuddles and do everything to make her a gentle soul to all creatures. The dog that broke through our sliding door, almost killed Vinny and left me with three big puncture wounds – this dog “Rover” was NOT socialized. He was horrible with dogs and people. I learned he was a rescue from another state, but he was not ‘social’ – he lacked a certain connection that most happy dogs have. When you knock on my door, you get the warning barks, but once inside and my dogs know you are ok, you get slurped – like it or not. Even with this situation, I did not sense that at all.

So I get the hydrogen peroxide, I clean my wounds, call the police to report a loose dog with no collar because it came off during the skirmish, then contacted animal rescue, and then SOCIAL MEDIA. I started with the “Nextdoor” app – I posted the story and started getting feedback. Then I posted to Facebook, and all my pet lover friends shared it to their walls. It was magical!! Then this is where my village comes together! A real, old-fashioned search party was forming! People dropped what they were doing (it is now 4:30 p.m.) and started coming to my house with flashlights, snacks and the desire to help find my Vinny. We had about 18 people total.

At one point on the ‘Nextdoor’ app, someone posted they saw a dog whimpering in the ball field about a mile from my house close to 7:30 p.m., mentioning they just saw the post. With that lead, my neighbors down the street, mind you now it is pitch black, raining and cold, call me to tell me they found Vinny – cold, scared and barking: stay away from me! But also yelping and crying for help. They called me and Richard, and I flew down to the park where they isolated him into a corner. The only light source was the LED headgear that they sported. They had blankets for us to wrap him up in … I picked Vinny up and he passed out immediately.

I chose to bring my pup home to evaluate the situation, knowing this could be an expensive night. All his punctures were scabbed and only his paw was bleeding from where he was grabbed in the house. I cleaned him up, sensed there were no major arteries hit, and he ate and ate and zoomed to his bed and slept. The next day we went to the vet’s, and the doc told us Vinny had a lot of trauma to his spine and was swollen. All the bites were clean and, since we didn’t have proof of rabies for the other dog, Vinny needed a booster, in addition to antibiotics and pain meds.

These days our Vinny is recuperating just fine and is almost 100% back to normal. We found out “Rover” was not vaccinated for rabies and the vaccine had expired – so I had to go get shots! Eight the first day, then five more shots over a period of two weeks! I have one more and am done!

Social media saved “Vinny” from hypothermia and coyotes! We have our share over here! The feedback on FB when we posted “FOUND!” was pure joy! So the moral of the story is stay connected – with your neighbors, your pets, your kids and online!

Now go make a salad!

Chef Joey and family♥️! photo submitted




Worcester: Burncoat High School’s food pantry … + more🍎🎶

For the holidays: another Edith Morgan story geared to our needy WPS students and families. This Christmas may be a good time to make a donation to the school’s food pantry! … And whatever you say about Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Maureen Binienda (hire TEACHERS OF COLOR, Maureen! Flagg Street School has an all white teaching staff and student body!), she has done a lot at South High, at Burncoat, now for our entire school district, to alleviate poverty in our community. To help ALL poor WPS students and their families! Food pantries, gently used clothing stores, health centers, dental clinics, free washers and dryers – they are ALL IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS, throughout our city! These extras HELP ALL STUDENTS OF ALL COLORS! Let’s remember Maureen’s compassion and good works for WPS students. The times are a changin’- but we’ve got to appreciate her strong past!
– Rosalie T.

The Food Pantry at Burncoat Senior High School

By Edith Morgan

Staples and “extras” – always needed at Burncoat. pics: PETA.ORG

A breakfast dish for the entire family using ingredients found at most community food pantries

I went to Worcester’s Burncoat Senior High School, on Burncoat Street, this week to write about their food pantry (one of several in the city), I discovered that even here, in the heart of my neighborhood in the Lincoln/Burncoat area, hunger stalks homes and families.

And so, about three years ago,
the Burncoat Food Pantry was born:
I spoke with the school’s assistant principal and a guidance counselor
who filled me in about their activities to relieve hunger among some of their students. As a retired teacher, I know very well how hard it is to learn and concentrate on an empty stomach – and how much energy it takes just to get through the morn-ling till lunch time.

Like most of the food pantries
in Worcester, in churches, neigh-
borhood centers, and other schools,
Burncoat High School’s operates during school hours: as the big sign outside the school’s front entrance says, the pantry is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nonperishables, like canned goods and staples, can be donated during those times, and should be left inside the front door.

While Burncoat has a large percentage of students eligible for free and subsidized lunch, about 5% of the student body of around 1,000 is really suffering from hunger. It is these students who came to the attention of staff and counselors, and for whom the pantry was established.

On Fridays, they can select cans and staples to take home, from the rows of donated goods in the pantry.

In its first year, the pantry distributed 19 turkeys with all the
trimmings; the following year 36
bags were distributed; this year there will be 50 bags of turkey and other Thanksgiving goodies given out.Getting donations, doing all
the work to keep up this effort, is, according to school officials, a coordinated effort, with many generous people pitching in: Each school department is assigned items they are to contribute, and I was told of examples of different ideas being implemented for raising money and donations – and both staff members with whom I spoke repeatedly praised the great generosity of everyone in the community. Assumption College, some
local businesses, neighbors -everyone gives! The Language Honor Society, for example, held a food drive; Life Skills students help to organize the donated materials, etc. Cooperation among schools also was mentioned: Before establishing this pantry, Burncoat staff visited South High School, which also has a successful food pantry.

I came away from my visit to Burncoat High impressed with the caring atmosphere and the attention paid to the total student.

Anyone who lives in the area (or
anywhere around), is welcome to
contribute, or help out! Favorite
items for year-round needs are:
pasta, rice, beans, soups, and the
perennial favorites – PEANUT


♥️Vegan recipes – no animals harmed!♥️


This song exudes my old Worcester – the “ol’ neighborhood” guys – Worcesterites down to their long underwear and can of BUD! A Woo Classic, by Elliott Smith!:

“Happy Thanksgiving!” from Beto O’Rourke … and … Wed. wrap-up✨🎶

But first …

Worcester’s proposed new homeless shelter shouldn’t be at J.B.’s junkyard!

Great idea, Mauro DePasquale! Let the state/city make the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel recreation center A NEW CITY HOMELESS SHELTER. Winter is here …Why have our homeless men and women freezing to death on our city streets?

So many young, homeless kids in the Canal District. They need services! photo: Rose T.

The beloved church of Worcester’s Italian-American community was razed – the only church building left standing: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Recreation Center. file photo: Rose T.

😢We hear Hotel Grace plans to leave St. John’s church basement and shelter its homeless on Southbridge Street – in J.B./Frankensteins junkyard big concrete building. … BIG mistake! You cannot just dump 50 – 100 homeless people in a huge concrete box and pay J.B. $$$$.

Legit homeless shelters need: showers, heat, toilets, separate, safe quarters for the women, space for men, a kitchen, a triage nurse, a social service advocate. Like the old PIP – but not a wet shelter. To give $$$ and trust the lives of the most vulnerable in our community to the hustler J.B. IS WRONG!

Hotel Grace folks, please WORK WITH THE DIOCESE AND CM ED AUGUSTUS TO GET THE OUR LADY OF MT CARMEL CHURCH Recreation Center – a big, safe space with toilets, the required facilities – up and running as a homeless shelter.

It is not – like J.B.’s building – sitting on a main Worcester street, in an already struggling neighborhood – a South Worcester ‘hood on the rise again!

Mt. Carmel Rec Center is set way back off Shrewsbury Street, on Mullbury Street. It is a quick walk from the WRTA Union Station HUB … buses or vans can easily drop off and pick up clients …

This building should not be razed, and if the Italian American community wants to keep it alive doing Jesus’ work, then PERFECT! Praise God!

– Rose T.



BETO, run for public office again – US senator-TX, governor of TX, El Paso mayor! Any one will do – America needs your strong, compassionate voice!

Dear Rosalie,

Throughout the week we had seen giant beams of light moving through the night sky over El Paso and Ciudad Juárez. Saturday night after Ulysses’ basketball game at the Delta center, we drove down to Bowie High School, where the lights on the El Paso side of the border originated, to learn more.

The lights it turned out were part of an installation known as “Border Tuner” or “Sintonizador Fronterizo.” Participants here and at a location in Juárez were able to control the beams of light — and when a beam of light from El Paso intersected with a beam of light from Juárez, the participants on both sides of the border could suddenly hear each other and speak to each other.

At one point on Saturday night a DJ in El Paso was transmitting music on his beam of light and a woman in Juárez was singing along on hers. All of us could listen as their beams were joined.

A little later Amy and Ulysses and I stepped up to the mic and introduced ourselves to whoever might be listening on the other side.

“Hola, me llamo Beto. Como se llama usted?”

“Catalina” came the response from the other side of the river.

“Y cuantos años tiene, Catalina?”


“Yo tengo cuarenta y siete,” I told her.

I then shared my kids’ ages and asked her what sports she played:

“Tengo hijos de trece, once y nueve años. Cuales deportes juega, Catalina?”

“Taekwondo,” she answered.

I encouraged Ulysses to speak. He stepped up to the mic and told her he played basketball, “yo juego baloncesto.”

We then watched and listened as others spoke to people across the river through these beams of light. A family who followed us turned the dial that moved the light beam so that it connected with a different light beam from Juárez. A new conversation began, with a different family, about food and music.

There were tens of thousands of people on both sides of the border who participated, able to talk and listen to each other regardless of the political or national divisions or the physical distances. Sometimes profound conversations about history and art, sometimes playful conversations between young people who were getting to know one another (a young woman in Juárez asked a young man in El Paso, “eres guapo?”), sometimes collaborative music compositions, sometimes families talking about sports and their favorite kinds of foods (Catalina told us hers were tacos).

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, the artist who conceived the project, told me that he wasn’t so much building bridges between Juárez and El Paso as he was illuminating the connections that already exist — connections of family, of history, of culture, of language, of people.

Border Tuner was beautiful and it helped us to remember or see in a different way how special the U.S.-Mexico border is. Not a place to be afraid of, not something to lock down or wall-off. It’s a place to celebrate and share with one another. At its best it’s an example of how people can be good to each other… a timely example given the divisions in our country and the willingness of some to try to make us believe our differences are dangerous.

It reminded me to be grateful for where I live and for the people of this binational community. And how important it is to tell our story, lest it be told for us or against us.

Amy and I are going to spend Thanksgiving in El Paso with family who will be coming in from all over. We’re hoping to get in some great hikes in the Franklins, maybe see a couple of movies. Eat a lot of great food.

We hope that you and yours have a safe, restful and fulfilling Thanksgiving. I am grateful for you and for everyone I’ve had the chance to work with this year, for everyone who has volunteered for or supported our work, for everyone doing all that they can for this great country at its moment of truth.

Happy Thanksgiving,




And you gotta love the sweet ewe, too! She’s hanging out with Rose, 19, at the VT commune …years ago😢! Here, Rose became a vegetarian because she loved caring for the farm animals, like the beauty below:
in Vermont♥️♥️, many years ago…

Thanksgiving is about grace and compassion — leave turkeys♥️ off the table

By Craig Shapiro

Factory farms!😢😢😢 Birds pluck their own feathers when they are stressed!!

The silver-haired man scowled, the thirtysomething could barely mask his contempt, the teller looked the other way and the woman piling turkey breasts into her cart just ignored me.

You’d think that the T-shirt I was wearing was emblazoned with “Socialism Is Sexy!” Instead, it featured a drawing of a turkey beneath the words “Eat No” and was the focus of an unscientific experiment: With Thanksgiving coming up, I wanted to see if anyone, anywhere — at the big-box store, the mall, the bank or the grocer’s — would ask, “Why?”

The fact that they didn’t underscores why 45 million turkeys will be slaughtered for Thanksgiving again this year.

Had they asked, I would have told them that these exceptional animals experience fear and pain just as we humans do, explained that the meat industry chews them up and spits them out, and pointed out that roasting an animal’s flesh is antithetical to the holiday spirit.

And I would have suggested that they visit a sanctuary and get to know the turkeys who live there in peace and security. People who’ve had the good fortune to spend time with turkeys relish the experience.

One turkey, Marnie, who lives at a sanctuary in New York, is the undisputed boss of the barn. Nicknamed “The Alpha,” she’s all sass. Another, Amy, lives at another New York sanctuary. She’s a sweet, shy girl who falls asleep when her feathers are stroked. And Garner is a people bird: When volunteers clean his quarters in Massachusetts, he plants himself in front of them to get their attention.

Marnie, Amy and Garner aren’t anomalies. Turkeys are inquisitive, affectionate animals who form long-lasting social bonds. They’re playful and protective and have good and bad days. In nature, they can live up to 10 years, time well spent foraging, mingling, enjoying dust baths, sleeping in trees and making babies.

Turkeys raised for Thanksgiving are hatched in incubators — instead of enjoying their mother’s warmth, they huddle around a heat lamp. After a few weeks, they’re crowded by the thousands into rank, windowless sheds, their “home” for the rest of their abbreviated lives. The intense stress can make them unnaturally aggressive, so in order to keep them from hurting or killing each other, parts of their toes and beaks are cut off—without any painkillers.

In 1970, the average turkey raised for meat weighed 17 pounds. Today, they’re bred, drugged and genetically manipulated to gain weight fast. The turkeys are so abnormally heavy — 28 pounds on average — that their legs often buckle and break under the strain. They’re also prone to congestive heart and lung disease and, because they can’t mate naturally, are forcibly artificially inseminated.

They’re only 3 to 5 months old when they’re shoved into a crate, trucked to the slaughterhouse and shackled by the legs, which sometimes fracture in the process. Their heads are dunked in electrified water, their throats are slit and then they’re submerged in a tank of scalding-hot water for feather removal.

A single slaughterhouse can kill 360 turkeys a minute. When the stunning is botched, which isn’t unusual on high-volume kill lines, the turkeys are conscious throughout the ordeal.

Their frozen carcasses are then shipped to the supermarket for you to pick through.

That would have been my answer had anyone asked why not eat turkeys (or any other type of animal). I would’ve reminded them that Thanksgiving is about compassion and grace and then asked how on Earth, on a day when families get together in a spirit of goodwill, serving the flesh of another sentient being could possibly be part of the celebration.

It would’ve been a rhetorical question.
Delicious – and turkey-less!!! Buy it ready-made at TRADER JOE’S grocery store (inexpensive AND healthy!), located on Rt 9 in Shrewsbury – just over the bridge!

Make this a true Thanksgiving. Go vegan!!



By Steven R. Maher

The fifth Democratic Presidential debate, held November 20, 2019, didn’t reveal too much new. But compared to the daily drama of the House impeachment proceedings of President Donald A. Trump, this writer found it rather boring.

If newcomers Michael Bloomberg and Deval Patrick had been included, that would have spiced things up. But the Democratic party subjects candidates to vigorous tests, such as fund raising, standing in the polls, etc., before letting candidates participate. There wasn’t time to do this for the new candidates. So, we had to listen to many of the same candidates make the same arguments, which seem increasing stale.

Two candidates, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Bernie Saunders (D-Vermont) seem stuck in many polls, tied for second place. Biden remains the front runner in national polls, but all eyes were on the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg. In the past several weeks Buttigieg has surged in the first in the nation Iowa caucuses.

Many Presidential candidates place heavy emphasis on the Iowa caucuses. A win in Iowa is usually followed by a burst of publicity, hopefully leading to the New Hampshire election, the first in the nation primary elections. Buttigieg’s growth in the polls has been attributed in part to his less drastic and less expensive proposals for health care.

The best line of the evening was from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota): “If you think a woman can’t beat Trump, Nancy Pelosi does it every day.”


St. John’s Church, Monday♥️
photo: Rose T.

St. John’s Church on Temple Street, led by the iconic Fr. John Madden – my “Padre”!

The church’s Holiday Mass Schedule🎄All WELCOME!! Thousands attend – beautiful!

✝️ Mass on Thanksgiving Day – 8 a.m. and 🥞breakfast to follow in the St. Francis Xavier Center♥️.
Christmas Mass schedule:

☪️4:15 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. on the 24th

❄️8 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. on Christmas Day


Monday wrap-up✝️🇺🇸🐈 …

pic: R.T.

We will see all of Worcester today! Dignitaries, city councilors, the city manager, neighborhood people, our poor, rich and homeless and our first responders … all converging on the stately St. John’s Church on Temple Street and surrounding neighborhoods . .. The funeral of WFD Fireman Lt. Jason Menard – 11 a.m. … The ceremony, the rituals, the beauty of a Roman Catholic mass. The hundreds and hundreds of firemen and women from all over the North East walking our streets, kneeling on the church pews, standing together in small groups in the church parking lot … wearing their pure white dress shirts, drycleaned and pressed … their navy blue uniforms adorned with medals – heartbreaking and unforgetable!

– Rose T.


From Steve:


By Steven R. Maher

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick is coming to the Democratic Presidential campaign trail fresh from Bain Capital, the investment company 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney presided over during his Presidential campaign. President Obama and most of the Republican candidates had portrayed Romney’s Bain as a corporate predator, taking over and selling off other companies’ assets, or leveraging them to the hilt for profit. In the process, Bain was alleged to have devastated entire communities with massive layoffs.

It’s a strange relationship for a liberal Democrat to have, but the friendship between Patrick and Bain dates back to the earliest days of Patrick’s first gubernatorial campaign. In a 2012 investigative report, the InCity Times took a closer at this alliance after an episode where Patrick, a long time political ally of President Obama, shocked many in the political world when he told CNN Bain was not a “bad company.” Patrick’s comments reportedly appeared in Romney campaign advertisements in battleground states.

State law requires campaign donations over a certain amount of money to include the name of the donor’s employer. So, in 2012 we went to the website of the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) which allows a search of campaign donations by a donor’s employer, and then sub-search by candidate. We searched Contributor Employers containing the name “Bain,” sorted by candidate.

Like Start-up

Deval Patrick received 31 donations from Bain employees totaling $11,500. The fascinating thing about this support is that 65% of it came at the time Patrick needed it most: prior to his first election as Governor in 2006. Patrick received 14 donations totaling $4,900 prior to the September 26, 2006 Democratic primary and another 7 donations totaling $2,500 before the November 2006 general election. It may not sound like much, but for a struggling gubernatorial candidate without spectacular personal wealth of his own, such amounts go a long way in the early stages of a campaign.

Romney received only two Bain donations worth $700 in 2007, the same amount in 2008, one Bain donation of $200 in 2009, $1,200.00 in five donations in 2010, and none at all in 2011 and 2012 at the time of our report.

Bain looked at Patrick the way an investment company looks at a start up company with an attractive new product: a good investment, providing seed money for a struggling political entrepreneur. For Mitt Romney, the payback he received from the Bain donations was enormous: staggering under the blows from Obama’s attacks on Bain, he got a rebuttal from an African American supporter of Obama. It was a return on investment, in political terms, that was priceless, a working man’s equivalent of having a winning Power Ball ticket.

Patrick was not the only high-level Massachusetts Democrat to benefit from Bain employees’ largesse:

Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray received ten donations worth $4,350; State Treasurer Steven Grossman received $2,350 in six donations; Boston May Thomas Menino received $500 from a Bain donor; Massachusetts Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi, (before DiMasi went to jail), received a $250 donation from a Bain employee. The Massachusetts Democratic State Committee received $35,000 in donations from Bain employees. Former Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly received $1,000 in contributions from Bain employees and former State Senate President Robert E. Travaglini received $700 from Bain employees.


From BETO – save Rodney Reed!! + FYI

It’s been over a week since I left the campaign trail and it’s been so good being home with family and hearing all of your support. I’m grateful to have so many of you at my back. So today, I’m asking you to join me in helping someone else.

I’m reaching out in the interests of justice for a man who is about to be wrongly executed. On November 20, the state of Texas plans to execute Rodney Reed despite overwhelming evidence that points to his innocence.

Governor Greg Abbott has the power to stop the execution. He’s done it before, he can absolutely do it again. So our job is to make sure that we cause an outcry so loud, so united that Abbott has no choice but to listen to our demands and cancel the execution.

Here are the two best ways you can help save this man’s life and put pressure on Governor Abbott:

Sign the petition. Add your name to the petition and join millions of other people in urgently demanding Governor Abbott to stop the execution.

Make phone calls. With only 8 days left, we need to ramp up the pressure and show the urgency of our demands.

Dial this Number: (512) 967-0567
With this number, you’ll be connected to Governor Abbott’s office and other influential people with the power to stop or delay Reed’s execution. Before you’re connected, you’ll be provided some pointers on what to say during the call. If you get sent to voicemail, please leave a message and try calling again whenever you can.
Rodney Reed has been on death row since 1998,
alleging him responsible for the murder and rape of Stacey Stites.

Since his arrest, Reed has faced mountains of unfair challenges –– not uncommon in our broken incarceration system –– in proving his innocence. He was repeatedly denied DNA testing that could support his case, critical pieces of evidence were withheld from his trial, and in the end an all-white jury convicted Reed. Despite his flawed trial and evidence from a new witness claiming that Stites’ ex-fiancé admitted in prison that he’s responsible for the murder of Stites, Reed remained on death row.

When you look at the facts, it becomes painfully clear that going forward with executing Rodney Reed would be absolutely wrong.

It’s our duty to stand up to this unfair, racist incarceration system and fight for every single human’s right to find justice.

Please take a couple of minutes out of your day to sign the petition or call Governor Abbott’s office before time runs out.

Thanks for your help,

Beto O’Rourke


Historic … bloodbath! Come together, America!!!!😢😢

Go, NYC!!🦆🦆🦆 … and … Try a Vegan♥️ Thanksgiving Feast this autumn! + 🎶

NYC foie gras ban makes way for ducklings!

By John Di Leonardo

The New York City Council has taken a bold step toward eliminating one of the worst factory-farming abuses by listening to its conscience instead of foie gras industry falsehoods and overwhelmingly passing a citywide ban on this deadly atrocity.

As a Long Island resident who rescues hundreds of abandoned ducks every year, I take this win personally. Unlike most people who consume foie gras (and even those who produce it), I have gotten to know many ducks firsthand, which is how I know that they are smart, playful and highly social. They have long memories and display abstract reasoning from a very young age, and many mate for life and grieve for a long time if their partners die. Insatiably curious, ducks are always looking for something to do, from splashing and blowing bubbles in mud puddles to staging epic mock straw-throwing battles and even playing fetch like dogs.

One duck I found abandoned in a canal last year was a moulard, the same breed that is commonly raised and killed for foie gras. Like other moulards I have met, this fellow was endearingly gentle and friendly, so much so that I named him Angel.

Foie gras producers take advantage of moulards’ sweet nature in the most despicable way imaginable—by ramming a pipe down their throats and pumping up to 4 pounds of grain into their stomachs every day. Because gentle moulards endure this abuse stoically, the foie gras industry adds insult to injury by making the absurd claim that they don’t mind being tortured.

As an anthrozoologist who is well acquainted with duck behavior, I can assure you that they mind very much being confined to cramped, filthy sheds and pens where they have no choice but to live amid their own excrement.

They mind very much never, ever getting a chance to bathe or swim, one of their intrinsic needs as waterbirds.

And yes, they mind very much when their diseased livers expand to up to 10 times their normal size, pressing on other internal organs and making it difficult for them to breathe and regulate their body temperature.

Their frantic panting, unkempt feathers and difficulty walking are all clear indications of their pain and discomfort.

New York City Council Member Justin Brannan was spot-on when he said, “Force-feeding a bird for the sole purpose of making it sick to create some bizarre delicacy is gruesome and inhumane.” Even famous chefs have disavowed foie gras.

The late Charlie Trotter visited several foie gras farms, after which he said, “What I have seen, it’s just inappropriate. … I don’t believe that any animal would have to go through that for our benefit.” Influential French-born chef Albert Roux says foie gras “should carry a health warning … so that people are aware of the inhumane methods of producing the delicacy.”

Angel — whose mangled, partially amputated beak was mute testimony to his factory-farm past — was lucky enough to escape the blade that claims millions of his brothers (most ducks killed for foie gras are male). He went to live at JuneBug Lodge, an idyllic vegan bed and breakfast in Watkins Glen, New York, where he became fast friends with a group of other rescued ducks and chickens.

Angel was special, but no more so than any of the birds who are imprisoned, force-fed and slaughtered for foie gras.

They are all sensitive individuals who want nothing more than to do what nature intended — swim in ponds and socialize with their family and friends. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask!



Veggies! Yes! pic: R.T.

Let’s torture ZERO – or try for fewer, you carnivores!! – animals this holiday season! Have a heart – cook/sample some veggie treats, sides – and even main dishes – this Thanksgiving/Christmas! TRADER JOE’S, ON ROUTE 9 in Shrewsbury, HAS THEIR INCREDIBLE Thanksgiving Tofurkey Roll ready for you! Yummy! A great center of the table gracing main meal.♥️ – Rose T.



Sweet Potato Biscuits

1 cup cooked sweet potatoes

1 cup flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

4 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

Mash the sweet potatoes well in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients and the oil. Mix well. Add the seeds.

Using your hands, form into 6 biscuits. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes at 375°F.

Makes 1 dozen! Enjoy!


Apple Bavarian Torte

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. vegan margarine, chilled

3 apples, peeled, cored, cut in half, and thinly sliced

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup white sugar, chilled

1/4 tsp. plus 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup flour, chilled

1 8-oz. package nondairy cream cheese (try Tofutti or Galaxy brand)

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Oil a 9-inch springform pan.
In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon margarine. Toss the apples with the brown sugar and cinnamon and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain off and reserve the liquid.

Cream together 1/2 cup margarine, 1/3 cup white sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and the flour. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Set aside.

In a food processor, blend together the nondairy cream cheese, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, cornstarch, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

Pour this mixture over the crust and spread the apples on top.
Bake for 10 minutes. Drizzle with a couple of spoonfuls of the reserved apple liquid, avoiding the edges of the pan, and continue baking for 25 minutes.

Sprinkle almonds over the top of the torte. Continue baking until lightly browned. Cool before removing from the pan.

Makes 6 to 8 servings🐔🦃🦆🐖♥️🍂


This past weekend was a Paul Simon kind of weekend …
🎶🎶🎶pic: R.T.

I saw their big reunion concert in NYC’s Central Park years ago! Drove down in the back of a pick up truck from that Vermont hippie commune I was stuck on and told you about. Foolish, sweet youth and youngness! Baby-faced joy! It was a chilly ride down, even with the cute head farmer hugging me all the way …