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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Free speech, even hateful speech and public order

Can Police Prevent the Next Charlottesville?
By Robert Faturechi for ProPublica



Even before the demonstration in Virginia began last weekend, the police there knew they weren't going to be able to handle what was coming.

Charlottesville police officers, including Sgt. Jake Via of the investigations bureau, had been contacting organizers and scanning social media to figure out how many demonstrators were headed their way and whether they would be armed.

"The number each group was saying was just building and building," Via said. "We saw it coming. ... Looking at this, I said, ‘This is going to be bad.'"

The protesters' numbers were too large and the downtown park too small. City officials tried to get the demonstration moved to another, more spacious location, but lost in court after the rally's organizer, backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, alleged his freedom of speech was being infringed.

The protests, of course, ended tragically. Local law enforcement was widely blamed for losing control of the event and standing back even as people were attacked.


Proof that Donald Trump doesn't believe in science

Master race?


Why is sea rising faster along the East Coast?

East Coast's rapidly rising seas explained
By Stephanie Livingston, University of Florida

When the Indian River Lagoon on Florida’s Atlantic coast became much saltier after 2011, Arnoldo Valle-Levinson began to investigate.

The UF professor of civil and coastal engineering sciences in the College of Engineering checked local tidal gauges, revealing that seas in the region were rising nearly 10 times faster than the long-term rate recorded in that region. 

When he reviewed tidal data for the entire eastern seaboard, he found similar numbers for all the tide gauge stations south of Cape Hatteras, revealing the regional extent of the "hot spot." 

Sea level rise hot spots — bursts of accelerated sea rise that last three to five years — happen along the U.S. East Coast thanks to a one-two punch from naturally occurring climate variations, according to a new study lead by Valle-Levinson.


Dog of the week

Meet Rosemary
Animal Rescue RI

Rosemary is an active girl that just loves attention.

She is smart and would love for someone to work on trick training with her.

She has been very dog social and LOVES to romp around the play yard.


Republicans are Right: Going to College Hurts

Women owe two-thirds of the nation’s outstanding $1.3 trillion student loan debt.



Image result for college debt & womenGoing to college is a good thing, right? That’s at least what I was told as a kid, and what led me to get a college degree. I was the first one in my family to do so.


Yet new public opinion polling shows most Republicans think colleges have a negative impact on the country. 

Unfortunately, they might be right — but not for the reasons you might expect them to give.


Attending college has been proven to unlock opportunities. A report by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities found that college graduates are 24 percent more likely to be employed than high school graduates — and earn $1 million more over a lifetime.


Those with college degrees are also more than twice as likely to volunteer, and over three times more likely to give back to charity.



College educations also affect the way people vote. Three-quarters of bachelor’s degree holders vote in presidential elections, compared to just over half of high school graduates.


So why might some view college negatively? Well, there’s a lot of reasons — 1.3 trillion, to be precise. That’s how much debt students, current and former, are carrying in this country: $1.3 trillion worth, and rising.


Who’s hit worst by this skyrocketing debt? Women, who owe two-thirds of that amount — and especially black and Latina women.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Trump doesn’t condemn racism – he instigates it

No automatic alt text available.Trump’s unwillingness to denounce the white supremacists who came to Charlottesville bent on violence has been part of his political strategy from the start.

Remember, weeks after he began his campaign by alleging that Mexican immigrants were criminals and rapists, two brothers in Boston beat up and urinated on a 58-year-old homeless Mexican national, subsequently telling police “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.”

Instead of condemning the brutality, Trump excused it by saying “people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again.”

During campaign rallies Trump repeatedly excused brutality toward protesters. “You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks.”

After white supporters punched and attempted to choke a Black Lives Matter protester, Trump said “maybe he should have been roughed up.”


Business as usual: Nazis, good or bad?


For more cartoons by Tom Tomorrow, CLICK HERE.

One of those "beautiful" monuments Trump wants to preserve


For more information on this "beautiful monument," CLICK HERE.

Trump busts the Secret Service


Donald Trump has been wasting taxpayer dollars on his personal vacations, protection for his giant golden tower in New York, security at his golf clubs, and pretty much everything else you can imagine ever since he assumed office.

But if you needed an example of how bad things are…we can’t even afford to pay the Secret Service agents protecting him anymore.

CNBC reports that more than 1,000 agents have “already hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances that were meant to last the entire year” thanks to the “crushing workload” Donald Trump has brought them.
The compensation crunch is so serious that the director has begun discussions with key lawmakers to raise the combined salary and overtime cap for agents, from $160,000 per year to $187,000 for at least the duration of Trump’s first term.
But even if such a proposal was approved, about 130 veteran agents would not be fully compensated for hundreds of hours already amassed, according to the agency.
“I don’t see this changing in the near term,” Alles said.

TODAY: Free Trees Available To Homeowners This Fall

Registration for popular program that helps save energy, money opens August 21st

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is teaming up once again with the Arbor Day Foundation, Rhode Island Tree Council, and the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association to give away 1,000 trees as part of the State's Energy-Saving Trees Program. 

The Program helps homeowners conserve energy and reduce utility costs while beautifying their neighborhood.

"We're excited to join with the Arbor Day Foundation and our local partners again this fall to offer free trees to Rhode Islanders," said DEM Director Janet Coit. 

"This program is extremely popular and most trees are spoken for within days of registration opening - so be sure to register early! Planting a tree is a great way for homeowners to reduce their monthly expenses while promoting a healthier environment and creating a beautiful memory with their families."


Gutting public education for fun and profit

Betsy DeVos’s ‘School Choice’ Is Really Crony Capitalism
Jeff Bryant

Image result for School Choice’ Is Really Crony CapitalismU.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos says she supports “great public schools,” but her actions continue to show her hypocrisy on that subject.

Her recent trip to Michigan, her home state, offers yet more proof of the real focus of her leadership – and it isn’t about supporting public schools.

Whose STEM?

During her visit to a Michigan community college, reporters questioned DeVos on her support for public school teacher training and professional development programs.

The school, Grand Rapids Community College, offers an extensive array of education courses to prepare new teachers and help veteran faculty grow their instructional skills. 

Reporters couldn’t help but point out that President Trump’s budget has proposed massive cuts to teacher training programs, including eliminating $2.4 billion in funding for Title II, the third-largest federal K-12 program in the country.

Nevertheless, DeVos told reporters, “President Trump and I are very big proponents of continuing to support teachers and develop teachers.”


Sunday, August 20, 2017

It’s Not About ‘White Culture’

There's no way to march with KKK members and Nazi flags in a non-hateful way.
Image result for charlottesville protest“I came to this march for the message that white European culture has a right to be here just like every other culture,” a white nationalist protester in Charlottesville told Newsweek. But, he claimed, he’s “not an angry racist.”

White nationalists often use this messaging. They claim they aren’t racists; they just want to celebrate white European culture and heritage.

What’s unreasonable about that, they say? Shouldn’t every group of people be allowed to celebrate their own culture?

There are two problems here.

One is historical baggage. History doesn’t have many examples of people innocently “celebrating white European culture,” but it does have an awful lot of examples of ugly and sometimes violent racism perpetrated by white people of European descent. Slavery. Jim Crow. Lynchings. Hitler.

That isn’t to say that Americans of European heritage don’t have a culture to celebrate. Not at all.

They just generally celebrate it based on national traditions and not in a generic, pan-white-people sort of way. You might celebrate Irish culture on St. Patrick’s Day, for example. Or you could celebrate French culture on Bastille Day with French wine and food.

In America, we celebrate the Fourth of July with fireworks and Thanksgiving with turkey. But these holidays are for all Americans, not just the white ones.

America has never been a white country. It was once entirely populated with Native Americans. Then the first Europeans arrived, and they soon brought the first enslaved Africans. 

All of those groups, as well as all of the people who followed later, contributed to making our country and our culture what it is today.

Second, the goal of “celebrating white European culture” is a thinly veiled lie.

It’s a lie because the marchers were carrying Nazi flags, flags associated with the genocide of 6 million Jews and countless others the Nazis wanted to remove from humanity’s gene pool.


Trump to the rescue

For more cartoon by Mike Luckovich, CLICK HERE.

Recap of yesterday's Boston protests

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