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Monday, January 22, 2018

Republicans screw the troops. What is wrong with these people?

Republicans Killed The Bill To Make Sure Troops Get Paid During Shutdown
By Conover Kennard 

Image result for McCaskill & military pay
She tried to protect soldiers' pay check, but Mitch McConnell said
"I object."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been busy today trying to blame Democrats for the government shutdown even though Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the White House.

The Trump administration is blaming ‘loser’ Democrats, who it claims puts party above military families. The former reality show star is also using that same rhetoric. 

When the government shut down in 2013, the Obama administration ensured that the military would be paid.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced a resolution that would have ensured that pay for military service members and death benefits would not be disrupted.

“I don’t want one moment to pass with there being any uncertainty of any soldier anywhere in the world that they will be paid for the valiant work they do on behalf of our national security,” McCaskill said.

That sounds reasonable enough, right? 

Well, not to Mitch McConnell. For some reason, the Kentucky Republican objected to McCaskill’s resolution. That killed McCaskill’s proposal which required unanimous consent. 

Grow Local proponents outline challenges ahead

2nd annual Rhode Island Food Summit supports local food movement

FoodNearly 400 people gathered at the University of Rhode Island on Jan. 18 for the second annual Rhode Island Food Summit to network with those who work in the local food system and to hear from local experts, discuss partnership opportunities, learn about funding sources, and celebrate and support the development of the local food movement in the state.

Dan Levinson, founder of the URI Food Center and one of the organizers of the event, opened the program by encouraging the audience members “to see yourself as a great actor in a spectacular community that has a shot at being a game changer in how our culture looks at food.”

He set the scene for more than 50 speakers, each of whom had just a few minutes to tell their personal story, outline the issues they were tackling, pitch innovative ideas or ask for or offer advice. And throughout the afternoon, Levinson offered those new to the Rhode Island food scene a minute to introduce themselves and their activities.

Trump In Trouble With Safety Inspectors AGAIN

Related imageTrump’s Florida resort—the Winter White House—absolutely sucks. It’s not that membership is so ridiculously expensive so much as it is that the place is falling apart despite the ridiculously expensive membership. 

A recent visit from Florida health and safety inspectors revealed several problems that make Mar-a-Lago unsafe for Trump’s fans and patrons, no matter who they are or where they come from.

Last February, when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spent time with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, inspectors said that the kitchen violated health standards by keeping sushi at temperatures that allowed it to start rotting, more or less.

But that’s not all. This past November, Florida inspectors cited Mar-a-Lago for having a staircase that was falling apart, and for a lack of smoke detectors capable of alerting people with impaired hearing of danger. 

The staircase had slabs of concrete missing, and rebar was visible. That could cause someone using the staircase to fall, potentially causing serious injury, or even death.

As for the smoke detectors, well, it wouldn’t be surprising if Trump and his management staff thought the hearing-impaired could just go burn.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

'Presidency for Sale'

Report Details Big-Buck Spending by Influence Seekers at Trump Properties
Related imagePresident Donald Trump's first year in office has been a "year of unprecedented conflicts of interest," according to a new report that documents how dozens of political candidates, foreign governments, interest groups, and other private entities have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at the president's properties since his inauguration.
"Donald Trump entered office with the most blatant and potentially corrupting conflicts of interest in the history of American politics, and things only got worse from there." —Robert Weissman, Public Citizen
The 64 patrons identified by Public Citizen—through government filings and news reports—in Presidency for Sale range from the private prison company GEO Group and the American Petroleum Institute, to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Society and the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a contingent of lobbyists and state officials that work to advance a corporate agenda in legislatures across the country.

The Saudi Arabian government is also on the list, and as Public Citizen noted in a tweet about its report, "The Saudi effort to curry favor with the Trump administration stands out above all: A PR firm spent $270,000 on behalf of the Saudi government at the Trump International Hotel in D.C. on an undisclosed date." 

The full list, detailed in a public spreadsheet, includes:

Tried as an adult?

Who did it?

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From the Worm Ladies of Charlestown

Your best resource for everything vermiculture!

The Worm Ladies of Charlestown, Inc. 

Change your world!  

  It's Time
to work on improving your soil for this spring's more chemicals...try using worm castings and/or aerated compost tea!

The Worm Ladies Event Calendar

Bloom where you are planted: a medley of herbal ideas by Linda A.Fleming

Beauty, integrity, and resilience: can a garden have everything? by C. Colston Burrell

The truth about garden remedies. by Jeff Gillman

Creating a Resilient Garden

 march 3, 2018,
 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Center For Biotechnology And Life Sciences,
URI  Kingston Campus

The URI Master Gardener Program is pleased to bring you Creating a Resilient Garden, an engaging one-day gardening symposium designed for those who want to learn more about creating beautiful and environmentally-sound gardens. The sessions will help you DESIGN resilient gardens, DISCOVER 
herb gardening, and DECODE the truth about garden remedies.  

  2018 RI Compost Conference

Thursday March 8, 2018 
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Student Union, Rhode Island College, Providence, RI 02908

Mark your calendar! The 19th Annual Vermiculture Conference will be on November 10-11, 2018. It's on Saturday and Sunday, which is more convenient for many folks. Parking is free on campus on the weekend, so it's an added bonus. 

It's far too early to have an agenda, so this is just a Hold the Date email. However, I updated the website, so the first page has 2018 information. We'll be in the awesome Hunt Library again. I left the 2017 information on speakers and agenda on the website so you can see what we did last year. 

Worms and castings and bins are available in North Kingstown and in Charlestown; however, it is best to call first--401-742-5915 or 401-322-7675.


The Worm Ladies are located in the fourth hoop house on the west side of the property 4W

161 East Beach Road Charlestown, Rhode Island 02813 

DEM, Partners Help Local Farms "Green" Their Operations, Save Money

$120,000 Awarded for Renewable Energy Investments

interview point GIFThe Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), in partnership with the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources and the Rhode Island Resource Conservation & Development Area Council, announced $120,000 in grants to help farmers "green" their operations and save energy and money. 

The awards, funded through the Rhode Island Farm Energy Program (RIFEP), will support solar projects at six local farms across the state.

"These grants are a win for Rhode Island farmers and for our state," said Governor Gina Raimondo. "Our commitment to expanding clean energy on farms and throughout Rhode Island will help lower energy costs, create jobs and protect the beauty of our state for future generations."

Funded projects include:

Make yourself at home

This CEO Wants a Key to Your House

Related imageWould you give your house key to a complete stranger, letting that person (whose name you don’t even know) walk right into your home when you’re not there?

One stranger who’s brazenly asking you and millions of other people to do just that is Jeff Bezos.

He’s the head honcho of Amazon, the e-commerce behemoth whose vast supercomputer network routinely compiles and stores dossiers on every one of his customers. He’s obsessed with having the most data on the most people — it’s a little creepy.

Now, adding to the creep factor, Bezos literally wants Amazon to get inside your home. And, ironically, he’s using “security” as his rationale.

Rather than simply delivering the products you order from Amazon to your doorstep, the corporation wants a key to unlock your door, allowing its delivery crews to go inside and do you the favor of placing the packages securely in your abode.

What could possibly go wrong with that?

Saturday, January 20, 2018

World 'At the Very Edge' of Nuclear War, Warns Pope

Warning follows Pope Francis's call for nuclear weapons to be banned.

A boy carries his dead brother on his shoulders while he waits at a cemetery in Nagasaki in an image taken by U.S. Marine Joe O'Donnell in 1945.
A boy carries his dead brother on his shoulders while he waits at a cemetery
in Nagasaki in an image taken by U.S. Marine Joe O'Donnell in 1945.
Pope Francis on January 15 warned about the increasing threat of nuclear war, saying the world is now at the brink of that catastrophe.

Speaking to press aboard the papal plane, he responded to a question about the threat by saying, “I think we are at the very edge."

"I am really afraid of this. One accident is enough to precipitate things," he said.

Vatican officials had distributed to the reporters a 1945 photo of a young boy carrying on his shoulders his lifeless brother, who had been killed by the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki.

The pope wanted to share it, he said, "because an image like this can be more moving than a thousand words."

The back of the image had four words: "The fruit of war."

"Like, really very smart...stable genius"

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"Is that all you get for your money?"

Pic of the Moment

Twitter now says over 50,000 Twitter accounts sending election-related content were Russian-linked

Update on Twitter’s Review of the 2016 U.S. Election
By Twitter PublicPolicy, Friday, 19 January 2018 

This is one of several examples Twitter gave of a Russian-linked tweet
EDITOR’s NOTE: This is Twitter’s own news release. The amount of Russian election hacking they reveal is shocking and offers more concrete evidence of Russian tampering with the 2016 election. However, when I looked through the Twitter news release, they do not say whether they included Donald Trump’s own Twitter account. – Will Collette

When we appeared before the United States Congress last fall, Twitter publicly committed to regularly updating both congressional committees and the public on findings from our ongoing review into events surrounding the 2016 U.S. election.

Twitter is committed to providing a platform that fosters healthy civic discourse and democratic debate.  We have been cooperating with congressional investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. We have committed to be as transparent as possible about sharing what we have learned through our retroactive investigation into activity related to the election.

Since we presented our findings to Congress last fall, we have updated our analysis and continue to look for patterns and signals in data. Today, we are sharing an update on several aspects of that ongoing work, as well as steps we are taking to continue to make progress against potential manipulation of our platform.

Fast food makes the immune system more aggressive in the long term

Study shows that even after switch to healthy diet, the body's defenses remain hyperactive
University of Bonn

Image result for trump eating fast food
The study explains a lot
The immune system reacts similarly to a high fat and high calorie diet as to a bacterial infection. 

This is shown by a recent study led by the University of Bonn. Particularly disturbing: Unhealthy food seems to make the body's defenses more aggressive in the long term. 

Even long after switching to a healthy diet, inflammation towards innate immune stimulation is more pronounced. 

These long-term changes may be involved in the development of arteriosclerosis and diabetes, diseases linked to Western diet consumption. The results will be published in the journal Cell.

The scientists placed mice for a month on a so-called "Western diet": high in fat, high in sugar, and low in fiber. 

The animals consequently developed a strong inflammatory response throughout the body, almost like after infection with dangerous bacteria. 

Get the protest signs ready

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

Related image
For those of you who think wind turbines are ugly, how about this?
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke may not meet with his advisors and staff but he is speaking with governors of states who oppose his proposal to expand offshore drilling. 

On Jan. 12, Zinke spoke with Gov. Gina Raimondo and four other governors about their opposition to the sweeping proposal to open federal waters off the East and West coasts, as well as parts of the Arctic, to gas and oil extraction.

In a phone call with Zinke, Raimondo explained that offshore fossil-fuel drilling threatens New England’s marine life and economy.

“Secretary [Zinke] committed to coming to Rhode Island and working with us. He made no commitment on giving us an exemption,” governor's office spokesman David Ortiz said.