Tag Archives: death


Praying today for the people – THE CHILDREN! – of Syria! Praying our President acts with grace and wisdom.

A scary, uncertain time. Peace! In the ‘hood, Syria, Russia, America! pics: R.T.

McGovern, Pelosi Call for Congress to Reconvene to Debate Military Authorization for Syria

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern, a senior House Democrat and leading critic of the expanded use of military force by presidents in both parties, joined House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers calling for Speaker Ryan to immediately call the House of Representatives back into session to debate an Authorization of the Use of Military Force for military actions taken in Syria.

In February 2017, Congressman McGovern led a bipartisan group of 19 lawmakers calling for Speaker Ryan to hold a debate and vote on the authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) for U.S. military operations in the Middle East.

Following President Trump’s unilateral action to order airstrikes against Syria last night, Congressman McGovern is renewing that call with this statement:

“Every president must obtain congressional authorization to launch military strikes and President Trump is no exception. President Trump’s unilateral action to attack Syria without consulting Congress and obtaining authorization is an alarming violation of the checks and balances put in place by the Constitution – safeguards established to prevent presidents from taking our country to war without the consent of the American people.

“Americans must have a say when it comes to war. President Trump’s failure to work with Congress to achieve a bipartisan consensus on military action has shut out the voices of the American people and raised serious concerns about the possibility of military escalation without any input from their elected leaders. The time to debate U.S. military operations is before we drop bombs and send troops – not after.

“Today I am joining the growing bipartisan call for Congress to immediately reconvene to debate the path forward for U.S. military operations in Syria. If the President intends to escalate U.S. military involvement in Syria, he must to come to Congress for an Authorization for Use of Military Force which is clearly crafted to meet the threat and prevent another endless war. The American people and our men and women in uniform deserve nothing less.”


Full Text of Pelosi Letter to Speaker Ryan:

April 7, 2017

The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House
H-232, United States Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Mr. Speaker,

I am writing to request that you call the House back in session immediately to debate any decision to place our men and women in uniform in harm’s way.

Bashar al-Assad ‘s chemical weapons attack on his own people places him outside the circle of civilized human behavior. Assad also continues to attack his own people with conventional weapons. Meanwhile, Russia props up the Assad regime and enables its brutal war crimes to continue.

The President’s action and any response demands that we immediately do our duty. Congress must live up to its Constitutional responsibility to debate an Authorization of the Use of Military Force against a sovereign nation.

As heartbreaking as Assad’s chemical weapons attacks on his own people was, the crisis in Syria will not be resolved by one night of airstrikes. The killing will not stop without a comprehensive political solution to end the violence. The American people are owed a comprehensive strategy with clear objectives to keep our brave men and women in uniform safe and avoid collateral damage to innocent civilians in Syria.

I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible on this matter of grave concern to our national security.

best regards,

Democratic Leader

This Valentine’s Day, show some serious love to animals! Pledge to go vegetarian – or eat way less meat! Drop the fur – forever! Bannish wool from your closet! Fight for ALL animals (even the ones you don’t think are cute)!💙

From PETA.ORG. Some sweet – and arresting – images. – R.T.









Animal rights! – always in style!

Rosalie’s mom loved cats! When she died Rose “inherited” April (pictured above), a homeless kitty Mrs. Tirella had made her precious own – for a decade+! pic:R.T.

A heartbreaking fate awaits homeless cats, as I learned firsthand

By Colleen O’Brien

I met Big Show nearly five years ago, when I moved into my new house. At the time, he was one of three feral cats who were fed and given outdoor shelter by a kind neighbor. He was a beautiful boy, with long, fluffy orange hair and big golden eyes.

One day, one of the cats, whose name I never knew, appeared injured, so I took her to the vet. She couldn’t walk and had a number of injuries to her hindquarters, and the vet recommended euthanasia to end her suffering. That left Big Show and Smokey, a black cat who was Big Show’s best friend.

Each summer, we’d see Big Show and Smokey looking for shade to keep cool. We put up a big umbrella on our porch for them to lie under. In the winter, I put straw in the houses and shelters that my neighbor had set up for them so they had something to burrow down into to fend off the cold. Still, these shelters couldn’t keep them as warm as a home would have. Every time a winter storm came through, I worried that they would freeze to death. During sweltering summers and bitterly cold winters, life must have been miserable for them.

My family and I started feeding them regularly, putting out food when we got home from work. Initially, they took only food that was placed at the end of our yard. But after more than four years of this routine, Big Show became a bit more comfortable around us and began timidly making his way onto our back porch for food. Once Smokey saw that his friend was safe, he joined him.

Eventually, Big Show began watching for the kitchen light to come on, signaling that I was home. Then he’d venture onto our back porch and call out until I fed him. As always, Smokey would join him once he was sure there was no danger.

One night, during one of our feedings, Big Show finally let me pet him. From neck to tail, there was not a spot on this poor cat that wasn’t covered with matted knots. They were so tight against his skin that I knew it must be uncomfortable, even painful, for him to move. I tried to pet mostly his face and head and to avoid touching the knots and hurting him. He loved it. I think this was the first time in his life that he’d been touched. After that night, he began visiting not only for food but also for affection. I decided to give him just a couple more days to learn to trust me, then I would take him to the vet and have the knots removed.

But I never got the chance.

Not long after that, Big Show was lying on our porch late one night. He didn’t get up to greet me, which I thought was odd, but I ignored the voice in my head telling me that something was wrong. Smokey, as always, was nearby, watching. I petted Big Show for a while and then went inside. That was the last time I saw him.

The next day, I thought about his behavior the night before, and I just knew something was wrong. I called my neighbors, but no one had seen him. My fiancé and I went out looking for him but to no avail. When we saw Smokey lying all alone in a neighbor’s yard, my heart sank.

I believe Big Show came to my house the night that he was dying. Then he went somewhere and died alone.

I can’t forgive myself for not taking him to the vet that night. I failed him. And whoever dumped him on the street and left him to fend for himself—they failed him, too. I hope I made his life a little better while I knew him. And I’ll try to do the same for Smokey, who is alone now, and for any other cats who show up homeless in my neighborhood because their “owners” refuse to spay or neuter their animals or don’t recognize or care how dangerous and miserable it is for cats who are forced to live outdoors.

Keeping your dogs out of the heat – always in style!

Lilac looks so elegant these days! She’s on a summer walk with Jett and Mama Rose.

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

Most dogs love going for walks, romping at the dog park, leaping for Frisbees or sprinting for tennis balls. But during the “dog days of summer,” when temperatures are soaring, letting dogs overexert themselves (or forcing them to) isn’t doing them any favors. In fact, it could do them in.

Dogs simply can’t handle the heat. Unlike humans, they can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their footpads. When ambient temperatures rise above 89.5 degrees, they can’t effectively shed their body heat, and when their body temperature reaches 106 to 109 degrees, heatstroke sets in, resulting in brain damage or death. Those who are elderly, overweight or flat-faced—such as pugs, boxers, bulldogs and other breeds—are especially at risk.

Making dogs run with you while you jog or bike during hot weather can kill them—they will collapse before giving up, and by then it may be too late to save them. Even those who are used to running and in good physical shape are in danger: Last month, for example, Mojo, a K9 officer with the Arlington Police Department in Texas, reportedly became overheated while pursuing a fugitive. Despite being rushed to an animal hospital, he didn’t survive.

Hot pavement, sand and other surfaces can scorch dogs’ sensitive footpads, causing pain, burns and permanent damage, as well as reflecting heat back onto their bodies. In Arizona last month, a pit bull reportedly died of heat exhaustion while hiking on a trail in 107-degree temperatures. The dog’s guardian called the police for help, but by the time the first responders arrived, it was too late.

You can protect your dog by walking early in the morning and late at night when it’s cooler and always testing the ground with your hand—hot to the touch is too hot for Spot. Choose shady routes, and walk on the grass instead of the pavement. Carry plenty of water and stop often in the shade to rest and take a water break.

Exercise and sweltering temperatures are a deadly combination for dogs, but the ones who can’t move are just as vulnerable on summer days. Countless dogs have suffered and died of heatstroke because they were chained or penned outside with no escape from the blazing sun and blistering heat.

In July, both a puppy and an adult dog in North Carolina reportedly died after their tethers became tangled in a bush, trapping them in direct sunlight with no access to shade or water. Also last month, a Labrador retriever in Maryland reportedly died after being left on a second-story deck in 90-degree weather. According to the police, the deck’s surface was even hotter—109 degrees.

Never leave dogs outdoors unattended, especially in the heat, and if there are chained or penned dogs in your neighborhood, check on them often to ensure that they have water (in a tip-proof container) and shade (as well as food and shelter), and encourage your neighbors to let them live indoors. If they lack these basic necessities, provide them with water and notify local authorities immediately.

It should go without saying, but hot cars are also death traps for dogs. Never leave an animal (or child) in a parked car in warm weather, even for a short period of time with the windows slightly open. Dogs can succumb to heatstroke within minutes—even if the car isn’t parked in direct sunlight. If you see a dog in a hot car, ask nearby businesses to page the vehicle’s owner or call 911 immediately. If the dog appears to be in imminent danger (e.g., rapid panting, bright red tongue, dizziness, vomiting), quickly find a witness who can confirm your account if possible and then take whatever action is necessary to save the animal’s life.

During the “dog days of summer”—and always—keep your dogs safe by keeping them indoors, with air conditioning or fans running and plenty of fresh, cool water available. Special cooling mats and vests for dogs can also help keep them comfortable.

And please, spread the word: Heat kills.

Lilac and Jett


Two flower pics taken during our walk:



And the newbies at Rose’s shack:



Flower power!!!

Pics:Rose T.

For the Princeton girl runner


By Rosalie Tirella

I’ve been thinking about the girl who was murdered in Princeton while running. She was 27 – a girl to me. And she was a runner. A girl runner – different from boy runners in that many boys/men, even the fat, slovenly ones, take to the road in a bluster. All cocky delusion, huffing and puffing  and seeing themselves sinewy, smooth … athletes.

Girls are different: Often we run to empower ourselves, sometimes we run to achieve a kind of female perfection – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually … PERFECT. Running makes you think you can get there. Yes, we feel free on the road: hair streaming in the wind, body sun glistened. Yes, we experience the runner’s euphoria, the inner peace – on our high arches or on our feet that are not built for the road at all – pronators! Yes,  we run to be with ourselves , have no one barking at us, except the occasional mutt on our running route. But still  … the pictures that society has emblazoned on our brains bark at us.

Was the Princeton girl runner a lover of her body and mind? Did she feel free to think her own thoughts? Did she feel fearless on the road? Pensive? Relaxed?

Did she wear the expensive, state-of-the-art, breathable, technology-boasting, body-encasing leggings and tank tops that scream FOXY, or did she favor slipping into a soft, old, faded concert tee and a pair of loose fitting gym shorts from high school or college? Did it really make a difference what she wore?

Look at those thigh muscles – beautiful! She runs up that hill with determination, her body now closer to, hugging, the earth, to make the running up that hill easier – to get less push back from the wind. Primal. Animal moves.

When the Princeton girl runner ran did she: Sprint? Lope? Traipse? Do a little pogo , in exuberance, when she thought she was absolutely alone and no one could see her?

Did the girl runner enjoy running in her new home, the big metropolis (New York City!)? On its cement-hard streets,  Central Park paths? Did she miss her family and bounding down the gray dusty Princeton roads, the canopy trees blessing her as she, just a wisp of a girl really!, raced past their gnarly roots – most of which run deep into the earth, a mystery achievement! The roots are looking for water, minerals and other sustenance from the soil. A life all their own, undetected by eyes…

Just like  girl runners alone in the city or in the country. Just like the Princeton girl runner whose last minutes of life, remain a mystery to us. Yes, we know the facts: She was found naked, her hands, feet and head burned – authorities say her killer did this to destroy his/her DNA, the evidence.  She had a routine: every weekend she visited her mom and went for a run on Sunday before returning to New York. But the facts convey nothing. We’ll never know her thoughts as she fought a losing, losing battle… we’ll never experience her pain: bones crushed, blood flowing, physical trauma,  physical shock, then finally death – not surrounded by loved ones after a life lived well, but lying in the dirt, like roadkill.

Who will sustain her parents now?

Her poor father!  In the newspapers he talked so highly of his daughter – so proud of her intelligence, her tenacity, her career at Google, her relatively new life in  arguably the greatest city on the planet! NEW YORK CITY! A city swimming in over-achievers, Type A personalities! Just like his daughter! She had so much promise!!! Dad intimates to the newspapers.

Who will pick Dad up off this road, the road of  infinite sorrow and loss? Does he have an old pair of his daughter’s running shoes?  Does he grab them and slam them into his chest, where his breaking heart is? 

The girl runner’s killer left her in the woods –  away from the road she was running on. Was she raped? Authorities are investigating. We know she put up a fight. She was a big city girl with a big city job running in her puny little hometown. She had run marathons. She was an athlete. She was on the cusp…Didn’t her killer see her for what she was?  The killer saw a slip of a girl running, twiggy as a yearling, easy to bring down. Under the magnificent tree canopy in deafening silence. No one was around. She was all alone, a single daisy – a crawling ant – in the dirt.

The murderer burned her feet – the feet she used to run on country roads, city streets, under the sunshine, under rain clouds, maybe even under thunder clouds! When the Princeton girl runner ran in New York City did she marvel at the Empire State Building, smile at the trees and children playing catch in a pocket park?

A wisp of  a girl, the apple of her father’s eye. A girl who that morning woke up in the bedroom of her childhood home, smelling all the old familiar smells, listening to her mother’s voice, grown a bit husky through the years, a life lived to its middle.

Not like her.  The girl runner died at 27.  Just five years out of college. A kid. Just a kid.

A high achieving kid, through and through – the kind of girl, I bet, who ran all kinds of races in her head: career, classroom, relationships … her dad keeping score for her too in Princeton. Did all the races tire her out? Look at her pictures in the newspapers. She looks beautiful in some photos, thin and tired in others. Her brown eyes expressionless, even sad.

She was raised in  an upper-middle class Worcester County town – the best we’ve got! exclusive, 99% white, loaded with 1-percenters! The evening before she was murdered her dad took her out to dinner to the best, most expensive, most exclusive feeling restaurant in Worcester! The Chop House! Money and status…and love.

I was a runner in college, a little younger than the Princeton girl when I ran. No teams, no races, no marathons for this non-athlete – even though I could run comfortably for an hour. Running for myself. By myself. With my thoughts, my impressions. In Amherst, while a student at the University of Massachusetts. To be awed by the Amherst countryside  – to see the tobacco leaves fat and heavy in the rain, to see the cows in the barnyard together, big snouts touching big rumps.

I felt POWERFUL. FREE. ALIVE. ANIMAL. HAPPY running in Amherst. Even when I was sad, off road. Which is why I kept running! I was on the road every day for an hour and in the gym every other day. To feel equilibrium that physical exertion brings to body and soul  … I lost my period! From running too much! It happens to us girl runners a lot. The pursuit of excellence and peace backs up on us and we become … borderline anorexic.

Did it happen to the Princeton girl runner?

In the UMass classroom I fidgeted…jonesing for my daily run! Eating a quick light dinner. Couldn’t wait to be out running! I ran in all weather – torrential downpours, major snow storms …I remember the streets where snow plow blades had packed the snow down good and flat. I was out with the snowplows! All that Amherst running…listening/not listening to myself.

Nature sings her song! And it all feels so simple and easy! To put on a good pair of running shoes and head out into the world! Whoosh!!! Girl runners grab their sneaks and bound out the door all over the world, every day. Many are killed by stalkers, serial killers, ex-spouses.

The city sparkles, the countryside soothes, both beckon, and we girl runners run toward the beauty! Sun light, bright city street lights, filigree branches against window panes. Who’s there behind the ever green bush, behind the branches that hold the dozens of little brown sparrows that fly there at night to sleep. They look like little pine cones!

The  girl runner sprints by, then catches her breath!

Vendetta: Bobby Kennedy versus Jimmy Hoffa

… By James Neff

Reviewed by Steven R. Maher

(InCity Times Book Review)

In 1975 former Teamsters President James R. Hoffa mysteriously disappeared. Hoffa has not been seen or heard from since, except from for the people who kidnapped and presumably killed him. Hoffa’s life was defined in large part by his decade-long feud with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who was convinced that Hoffa was a tool of organized crime.

Hoffa’s disappearance coincided with his efforts to regain the Teamster’s Presidency. It was widely speculated – but never conclusively proved – that Hoffa was in fact assassinated by organized crime to prevent him from regaining the Teamster’s Presidency.

The two men could not have been raised in more different environments: Kennedy was the son of one of America’s richest men, attended elite pre-college schools as a teenager, and attended Harvard. Hoffa’s father died of a stroke and his mother was left with four children to raise in an era where there was no social safety net. She took in laundry to make ends meet.

Hardscrabble poor

“Hoffa and his brother Bill, eighteen months older, trapped birds, snared rabbits, and caught fish for the supper tables,” writes Neff. “[T]hey harvested apples, pears, strawberries, hickory nuts, and walnuts – anything within arm’s reach or a few steps inside a fence.”

Eventually, Hoffa’s mother moved the family to Detroit, where she worked in an auto factory. Surrounded by immigrants who scorned the Hoffas as “hillbillies,” Hoffa and his siblings found themselves fighting off bullies. Hoffa dropped out of school at the 9th grade. It was in this savage world of poverty and brutality that Hoffa came to see life as a Darwinian jungle where only the fittest survived.

Hoffa eventually got a job at a produce plant, where he led a walkout against a very exploitive management and negotiated a fairer deal for his co-workers. The striking workers evolved into a Teamster’s local, and Hoffa’s career as a union organizer was launched.

Not hagiography

Hoffa owed his ascension to the Teamster’s Presidency to Kennedy. Teamsters President Dave Beck was charged with misusing Teamster’s funds to enrich himself after Kennedy (then Chief Counsel for one of the rackets committees) investigated Beck’s finances. After this cleared the way for Hoffa to become Teamster President, Kennedy turned his eyes towards him.

Kennedy was convinced that Hoffa was an evil figure. Kennedy was “driven by a conviction of righteousness, a fanaticism of virtue, a certitude about guilt that vaulted over gaps of evidence” wrote Neff, quoting longtime Kennedy friend and biographer Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

The rest of this book is taken up by Kennedy’s pursuit of Hoffa. After John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960, he appointed his younger brother Robert Attorney General. RFK began an all-out war against the Mafia, which some historians believed backfired into President Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963. RFK continued to pursue Hoffa, who was imprisoned in 1967 on jury tampering charges. The animus Hoffa felt towards the Kennedys was summed up by Hoffa’s venomous remarks upon hearing of President Kennedy’s assassination: “They killed the son of a bitch. I hope the worms eat out his [President Kennedy’s] eyes.”

Neff went out of his way to be balanced. Much of what has been about the Kennedy brothers since the 1960s has been hagiography, depicting them as iconic figures. Neff portrays Robert Kennedy as a flawed human being, driven by a righteous vindictiveness to put Hoffa in prison no matter what. Hoffa’s wrongdoing, such as allowing mobsters to loot the Teamster’s pension fund to finance Las Vegas casinos, seems to have been downplayed as well for the same reason.

Readers looking for the details on JFK’s 1963 assassination, the 1968 murder of Robert Kennedy, and Hoffa’s 1975 disappearance will be disappointed. These subjects are touched on only in passing; Hoffa’s disappearance is summed up in only two pages. Earlier in the book Neff spends a great of time reviewing the Mafia’s acid blinding by crusading journalist Victor Riesel, a sidebar that pretty much went nowhere.

This is not the last we will hear on the Kennedy-Hoffa feud. The subject is too important to the development of the labor movement in mid-twentieth century America. Neff has substantially enhanced the record. The definitive book remains to be written.

Muhammad Ali: he did it his way

Ali in America – defiant, in a White man’s world …

By Gordon Davis

What a Black man needed to do in Racist America. This is a question that we all face in one way or another. What does a woman need to do in a man’s world? What does an immigrant need to do in the land of majority natives?

Muhammad Ali is being buried today, June 10, 2016.

The death of Muhammad Ali compelled me to think of his experiences and the experiences of other Black men. Ali is a hard person to write about, as he was to say the least multi-faceted. It is a condition that our alienation from the society in which we live forces onto us.

I liked Sonny Liston in 1964. He was a Philly fighter, and I thought he would beat the crap out of the loud-mouthed self-promoter known as Cassius Clay. Clay, to a certain extent, reminded me of the buffoons that Black men had played in the movies in order to survive in a racist society.

It was quite a shock when Clay beat Liston.

Buffoons were not supposed to beat Philly fighters.

When Clay changed his name to Ali, he seemed to have intentionally alienated himself forever from what is now called mainstream society.

Ali joined a group that was calling for separate societies for Black and White folks. Almost everyone else, in the mainstream, called for an integrated society. He had this continuous contradiction in his life, as he had White friends and worked with White people in the boxing industry. He was able to maintain this contradiction better than other Black men, especially with his talent for boxing.

It was this ability that made him important to Black people: How to be defiant in a racist America without being beaten down to levels of great indignity.

We Black people admired him for this reason. In the bosses’ America all working people – who are the majority of Black people – live under the fear and threat of impoverishment for speaking out of turn or speaking truth to power. We only have to look at the fate of Worcester’s MOSAIC to see this. Every Black person in the City of Worcester knows this and has to some extent made compromises or sacrificed his/her dignity. Some of us have gone silent. Some of us pretend to love the boss. Others continue to fight against racism and economic injustice.

When Ali lost his ability to speak as a result of his illness, he could no longer defy the system of racial and economic injustices that all working class people face. It was during his last years of relative silence that bosses in American began to express their love for Ali.

I know that Ali was a charitable man and did good for humankind. Most of all, he gave us hope and was an example of defiance – without being beaten into shame and poverty.

He did it his way.

Gordon is parked in Yum Yums cuz I want to post now!

The War in Afghanistan, President Obama and Worcester PeaceWorks

By Gordon Davis

President Obama has broken his promise to withdraw all U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016.

This is not a surprise, but it is sad and it is discouraging. It means that the misery of war in Afghanistan will continue for an indefinite time. Only death, misery and refugees will be the product of the President’s decision.

When the United States went to war with Afghanistan in 2002 it was to avenge the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. George Bush was President when the Taliban was defeated and Al Qaeda went into hiding.

Worcester PeaceWorks was formed immediately after 9-11 by many in the Worcester peace community. Claire and Scott Schaeffer Duffy and Kevin Ksen played major roles. We held rallies in Worcester and went to the huge, anti-war rally in New York City – a worldwide event in which millions of people participated.

Worcester PeaceWorks tried to get the Worcester City Council to pass a resolution against the War in Iraq when several soldiers from Worcester were killed. The City Council would not hear the petition, citing Rule 33 of the Worcester City Charter.

Since then President Obama has killed or captured almost all of Al Qaeda who were responsible for the 9-11 attacks and withdrew troops from Iraq.

Worcester PeaceWorks, for the most part, stopped functioning after President Obama’s election in 2008. The Worcester Catholic Worker movement, including Mike True and the Center for Non Violence, continued to have anti-war demonstrations at Lincoln Square. The Progressive Labor Party would every so often call for an end to “imperialism” – as it did during the beginning of the Civil War in Syria.

President Obama ordered a drawdown of forces from Afghanistan with the hope that a government friendly to the USA would be able to rule Afghanistan after the American troops leave.

This has not happened.

After more than 10 years no government set up by the USA has been strong enough to defeat the Taliban.

This effort at nation building in Afghanistan has proven a failure.

There is no clear American policy there except to protect the suspect American friend, President Hammid Karzai, living in Kabul.

The people of Afghanistan are suffering, as can be seen in the thousands of refugees seeking asylum in the European Union.

Killing people with drones has done more harm than good, especially when so many civilians are killed. There is an insight of another of the irony in one Nobel Peace Prize winner, President Obama, killing another Nobel Peace Prize winner, the International Doctors Without Borders.

It looks like we have lost in Afghanistan, like we did in Vietnam.

It is time we get out and take those who want to leave with us as refugees.

It makes no sense to continue with the misery of war when we cannot win. 

The USA has avenged the 9-11 attacks and punished the perpetrators. It is time to declare “mission accomplished” and stop the killing and misery.  

Unfortunately, many in the Peace community, including Worcester activists, do not want to oppose politicians who are considered to be “progressive” candidates. 

Like the BlackLives Matter activists, the peace activists should compel the candidates to declare their intentions with Afghanistan, Israel and Syria.

A long cold winter for many outdoor dogs


The Jett-ster never stays outside alone, chained up … . Winter can kill a dog forced to live outdoors! Please call the City of Worcester animal control officers, who work out of the police department (  (508) 799-8606) or the Worcester Animal Rescue League  – (508) 853-0030 – if you see a “junkyard dog” forced to be outdoors hours at a time this winter or any other dog forced to live outdoors in the freezing cold. They’ll help the dog, remove the dog if necessary.  – R. T.

By Teresa Chagrin, PETA.ORG

It was 20 degrees outside. The tiny gray dog, tethered to a tree, had no shelter and no way to stay warm. Her hair was falling out in clumps because of a severe skin infection, leaving her shivering and on the brink of hypothermia. Thankfully, the little dog, now named Suzy, was rescued after a concerned passerby called PETA’s Emergency Response Team, which mobilized a compassionate local humane officer.

Many other dogs who are forced to face the winter on a chain or in a backyard pen aren’t as lucky.

A sweet pit bull named Daisy, alone in an Arkansas backyard, froze to death one subzero January night because the chain that she was attached to prevented her from reaching shelter. In North Carolina, PETA fieldworkers found three chained pit bulls—Mylie, Buck and Roscoe—dead inside their bare doghouses. They were just skeletons covered with skin and had no body fat to insulate them from the winter cold. Every bone in their bodies was visible.

Dozens of other dogs across the country die similar cold, painful deaths every year because their guardians—if they can even be called that—are ignorant of or indifferent to their needs.

Every dog longs and deserves to live indoors with a loving human “pack,” but dogs who are relegated to the backyard are often deprived of companionship, adequate shelter and other basic needs.

Overturned barrels or plywood lean-tos offer no protection from howling winds and freezing temperatures. Old rugs and blankets, which people sometimes toss to dogs for bedding, freeze after they get wet. A basic dry doghouse stuffed with straw and covered with a flap, while no substitute for a loving home, is a luxury compared to what most chained and penned dogs are given.

Dogs’ fur coats don’t provide adequate protection from the elements—especially when it comes to short-haired, small, young or elderly dogs.

Frostbitten ears, toes and tails, hypothermia and death are daily threats to dogs who are left outdoors in the winter.

Older dogs who have spent winter after bitter winter on the cold, hard ground endure the added misery of aching, arthritic joints.

While their families stay cozy and warm inside heated homes, many dogs who are left outdoors shiver themselves to sleep every night—if they can sleep at all.

The effort to stay warm burns extra calories, so dogs left outside often endure constant hunger or can even starve to death without an increase in calories.

Dogs have died of dehydration in the middle of winter simply because no one noticed that their water bucket had frozen solid.

Even if they survive the winter, chained dogs have little to look forward to. Summer brings sweltering temperatures, flea and tick infestations, flies—who are attracted to the animals’ waste and bite their ears bloody—and the torment of hearing and seeing people outdoors but being unable to run, play or interact with them.

In every season, the aching loneliness and crushing deprivation of solitary confinement remain.

If there are chained or penned dogs in your neighborhood, don’t let them suffer through another long, cold, lonely winter. Call the authorities if the dogs have no food, water or shelter or if their life appears to be in danger. Befriend their guardian, and offer to take them for walks. Take treats, food and toys along on your visits. Consider allowing them to sleep in your home on especially cold nights. Above all, urge their guardian to let them live indoors with the rest of the family—so that they will not only survive the winter but also have a life worth living.

This article was written by Teresa Chagrin, an animal care and control specialist in PETA’s Cruelty Investigations Department.


By Gordon T. Davis

Who will believe in the justice system after the prosecutor for St. Louis County defended the No True Bill for the indictment of Officer Wilson, who admittedly shot an unarmed Black man, Michael Brown, killing him?

This is what I heard when Mr. McCullough gave his press conference:

1. Michael Brown was shot outside of Officer Wilson’s car by Officer Wilson

2. Michael Brown ran away from the car

3. Officer Wilson gave chase

4. Brown stopped running and turned around

5. Brown’s hands were visible and held no weapons

6. Michael Brown was unarmed

6. Officer Wilson shot Michael Brown four more times, killing him.

The question that everyone is asking is how there is no probable cause for a crime. Mr. McCullough weakly said that the physical evidence did not match the testimony. He did not say how the physical evidence that Michael Brown was unarmed and shot twice while at the car and four times after running from police was evidence of no crime.

The testimony of witnesses had a consistency: Michael Brown tried to run away after being shot and he was unarmed. When he stopped running, his hands were visible.

There is outrage through the country and within Worcester. On the night of the No True Bill more than 100 people demonstrated at Worcester City Hall. At least two more demonstrations are planned for November. A movement of people is needed just to effectuate temporary changes for the better. However, because of the systemic issues, the whole justice system might have to be changed.

Ferguson MO reminds me of the killing of Worcester resident Cristino Hernandez by the Worcester Police in 1993.

There was an inquest into his death.

The judge ruled that there was no crime, but he also ruled that the police used excessive force.

Even with this ruling, the two police officers who killed Mr. Hernandez were never fired, let alone disciplined. However, based on the excessive force ruling the family of Cristino Hernandez sued the City of Worcester for wrongful death. This is a possibility for the Brown family.

The issue of race is to a large extent significant. There is a stereotyping of dark-skinned people and lower income people. The stereotype is that we are dangerous and our lives are not important.

White cops and, to a certain extent Black cops, do not see us as people, but as targets. The laws give these policemen the license to kill us with impunity while on the street.

This license to kill us has to be taken away. In many ways it is like the “stand your ground” laws which allow cops and others to kill anyone when they “believe” their life to be in danger.  That standard should change to someone’s life “actually” being in danger instead of the “belief” that someone’s life  is in danger.  It would make the killing of the twelve-year-old boy in Cleveland by the cops a crime, as the cop who shot the boy was never in mortal danger.