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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Is the economy booming for YOU?

The untold story of Trump’s ‘booming’ economy

Image result for untold story of Trump’s ‘booming’ economyAmericans are not happy, and for good reason: They continue to suffer financial stress caused by decades of flat income. 

And every time they make the slightest peep of complaint about a system rigged against them, the rich and powerful tell them to shut up because it is all their fault.

One percenters instruct them to work harder, pull themselves up by their bootstraps and stop bellyaching. Just get a second college degree, a second skill, a second job. Just send the spouse to work, downsize, take a staycation instead of a real vacation. Or don’t take one at all, just work harder and longer and better.

The barrage of blaming has persuaded; workers believe they deserve censure. And that’s a big part of the reason they’re unhappy. If only, they think, they could work harder and longer and better, they would get ahead. They bear the shame. They don’t blame the system: the Supreme Court, the Congress, the president. And yet, it is the system, the American system, that has conspired to crush them.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, unemployment is low and the stock market is high. But skyrocketing stocks benefit only the top 10 percent of wealthy Americans who own 84 percent of stocks. And while more people are employed now than during the Great Recession, the vast majority of Americans haven’t had a real raise since 1979.

It’s bad out there for American workers. Last month, their ranking dropped for the third year running in the World Happiness Report, produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a UN initiative.

Breaking news


What about after they're born?

Pic of the Moment

“Bank Local” initiative expands

Treasurer Magaziner's small business loan program expands reach

State Treasurer Seth Magaziner's BankLOCAL initiative, which incentivizes banks and credit unions to make loans to small businesses in Rhode Island, has expanded its reach by welcoming two new banks, BankNewport and Freedom National Bank.

"Small businesses are essential to Rhode Island's economy. Too many entrepreneurs and small business owners have difficulty getting loans to expand their businesses and hire more people," said Treasurer Magaziner. "With the BankLOCAL program, we are moving millions of dollars to community banks and credit unions when they make loans to small businesses in Rhode Island."

Treasurer Magaziner's BankLOCAL initiative moves the State's cash -which has historically been deposited in big national and international banks- back home to Rhode Island credit unions and local banks. 

Since the program launched in 2017, BankLOCAL has moved more than $26 million back to Rhode Island, supporting loans to more than 235 small businesses.

Add avocado to your diet

Avocados, as a substitution for carbohydrates, can suppress hunger without adding calories
Illinois Institute of Technology

avocado satisfying GIF
See the next page for another great
avocado prep technique
A new study released by the Center for Nutrition Research at Illinois Institute of Technology suggests that meals that include fresh avocado as a substitute for refined carbohydrates can significantly suppress hunger and increase meal satisfaction in overweight and obese adults.

As rates of obesity in the United States continue to rise, the findings from Illinois Tech suggest that simple dietary changes can have an important impact on managing hunger and aiding metabolic control.

The new research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrients, assessed the underlying physiological effects of including whole and half fresh Hass avocados on hunger, fullness, and how satisfied subjects felt over a six-hour period. 

Researchers evaluated these effects in 31 overweight and obese adults in a randomized three-arm crossover clinical trial. These dietary changes were also shown to limit insulin and blood glucose excursions, further reducing the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease by adding healthy fats and fibers into a regular daily diet.

Will avarice and incompetence end the NRA?

Financial woes are at the heart of the NRA's tumult
Brian Mittendorf, The Ohio State University

The National Rifle Association’s 2019 annual convention in Indianapolis drew around 80,000 gun enthusiasts, an arsenal of firearm-accessory vendors and appearances by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

It also produced an unusual display of disunity at the top.

The NRA’s now-former President Col. Oliver North lost his job after accusing Wayne LaPierre, the gun group’s long-serving CEO, of financial improprieties. LaPierre countered by accusing North of extortion. The New York attorney general’s office is now investigating the NRA’s finances.

The increasingly complicated and public drama may seem to have come out of nowhere. But it’s actually a culmination of years of financial problems.

As an accounting scholar who researches nonprofit finances, I have seen the crisis at the NRA slowly unfold in its tax filings. From my perspective, some key financial red flags underlie the NRA’s current struggles.

Friday, May 17, 2019

How to Build the Green New Deal

Cities and States May Already Have Answers
Image result for local green new dealOver the past several months, legislators in Washington have engaged in heated conversations about the Green New Deal, the potential plan to help the United States to cool the planet by quickly and equitably curbing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to cleaner energy sources.

The hotly debated idea has both vocal supporters and detractors. But even for those who champion the mission, there’s still a lot to figure out about how it would be developed and implemented.

The good news is that any effort to bring the Green New Deal to fruition wouldn’t need to start from scratch. Proponents can, and should, look to states and cities for help and inspiration, says Caitlin McCoy, a fellow at Harvard Law School who specializes in in climate, clean air and energy. 

McCoy just authored a new policy paper that shows areas where state and local governments have been leading and how understanding their progress is crucial to crafting any new sweeping federal legislation.

Big surprise

Pic of the Moment

May 29 exhibit opening at Mystic Aquarium

Mystic Aquarium logo

Marine National Monuments

Marine National Monuments Exhibit Opening and Film Premier

Mystic Aquarium
Wednesday, May 29

Doors open at 7:15pm; program begins promptly at 7:30pm  

Please join us for a Conservation in Action event in celebration of a new exhibit on our nation's five Marine National Monuments. Enjoy the premier showing of Living Monuments, a 20-minute film that captures the spectacular beauty of these regions, their incredible biodiversity and the conservation efforts to restore these ecosystems. Reception to follow with tour of new exhibit.

Free Admission
Please RSVP by May 22

Mystic Aquarium's Conservation in Action series features guest speakers who share their experiences with and contributions to the conservation of our ocean planet. 

Marine National Monuments exhibit developed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in partnership with Mystic Aquarium

US Fish and Wildlife Service logo

Bring on the bunnies

Federal, state wildlife agencies release New England cottontails on island refuge

Image result for new england cottontail rabbitAs part of an ongoing conservation effort to restore the rare New England cottontail rabbit to New England and eastern New York, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with partners, released 13 wild-caught New England cottontails Tuesday, May 7, on Nomans Land Island National Wildlife Refuge, an island off Martha’s Vineyard.

Formerly used by the U.S. Navy to practice bombing, the island refuge is anticipated to host a thriving, sustainable population of rare rabbits and serve as a source of rabbits to boost mainland New England cottontail populations. The project is part of a larger range-wide New England cottontail conservation and restoration effort.

In late winter, MassWildlife biologists and technicians trapped 13 wild rabbits on the mainland. The rabbits were cared for by Bristol County Agricultural High School students in Dighton, Massachusetts. Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence provided veterinary services and the University of Rhode Island conducted genetic work. 

Why pay more?

Checking drug pricing in other countries could save Medicare tens of billions
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Image result for drug prices
A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that prices for brand-name prescription drugs averaged 3.2 to 4.1 times higher in the U.S. when compared with prices in the United Kingdom, Japan and the Canadian province of Ontario. 

The study also found that the longer the brand-name prescription drug was on the market, the greater the price differential.

If the Medicare program used the same prices as these other countries, the estimated savings to Medicare Part D would have been almost $73 billion in 2018 alone, the study found. Medicare Part D is an optional prescription drug benefit, available to Medicare beneficiaries for a premium and administered by private insurance companies.

The findings will be published in the May issue of Health Affairs.

U.S. prescription drug prices for brand-name drugs are the highest in the world. One approach to lower U.S. prescription drug prices is to benchmark drug prices to those paid in other countries using a pricing model known as external reference pricing. 

What mass shootings do to those not shot

Social consequences of mass gun violence
Arash Javanbakht, Wayne State University

File 20190508 183106 135sjpv.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1Mass shootings are a tragic new normal in American life. They happen too often, as evidenced by the May 7 shooting in Highlands Ranch, Colo. and the April 30 shooting in Charlotte, N.C., the April 27 shooting at a synagogue in San Diego on the last day of Passover.

Schools, places of worship, movie theaters, workplaces, schools, bars and restaurants are no longer secure from gun violence. Families lose loved ones, and lives are ripped apart.

Often, and especially when a person who is not a minority or Muslim perpetrates a mass shooting, mental health is raised as a real concern – or, critics say, a diversion from the real issue of easy access to firearms.

Less is discussed, however, about the stress of such events on the rest of society. That includes those who survived the shooting; those who were in the vicinity, including the first responders; those who lost someone in the shooting; and those who hear about it via the media.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Trump's contemptibles

Finding Punishments To Fit The Crimes
By Terry H. Schwadron, DCReport New York Editor

Image result for Capitol jail cellWhen you think Trump should face punishment for seriously bad behavior or revel in it, you might admit that what we have at this moment is a governmental crisis that defies easy expectation.

We know that we have a White House that has no respect for Congress, and a Democratic-majority House that seethes over a president getting away with well, several somethings, if not prosecution. 

And now, just to show he’s over any challenge, Trump is thumbing his nose at answering any questions from House chairs who want to pursue their Constitutional duty for governmental oversight.

The result so far, as we saw last week, is to recommend contempt of Congress—and me—for Attorney General William P. Barr. 

But wait, there are already promises of more for say, former White House lawyer Don McGahn, should he decline a subpoena to testify, or any number of cabinet secretaries who now have the Trump license to tell the House leaders to go pound sand.

Aiding and abetting

For more cartoons by Mike Luckovich, CLICK HERE.

Who is REALLY paying Trump's tariffs?

Pic of the Moment

How Climate Change Will Affect Real Lives

Now and in the Future
Related imageClimate change has already had serious effects, but as we know from the steady and increasingly loud drumbeat of projections from various scientific bodies, the dangers will grow much greater in future decades.

But what does this actually look like?

Projections of life in 2050 or 2100 seem like the stuff of science fiction, yet those seemingly distant decades are not so far off. The 22nd century is roughly one lifetime away. The great majority of today’s young adults will see 2050, and many children currently in your local daycare or elementary school will see 2100.

It seems difficult for us to plan for developments that are decades away, but climate science is clear that our actions today and over the next few years will make a profound difference to the planet and its inhabitants in the years to come.

How will climate change affect the lives of today’s young adults?

Buyer Be Aware

By FRANK CARINI/ecoRI News staff

The Eat Like a Fish citizen science project studied wildlife in a human habitat: the markets, kitchens, and tables that form the final links of the supply chains that connect ocean to plate. (Eating with the Ecosystem)
The Eat Like a Fish citizen science project studied wildlife in a human habitat: the markets, kitchens, and tables that form the final links of the supply chains that connect ocean to plate. (Eating with the Ecosystem)

Dogfish doesn’t have an appetizing ring to it. The name for this member of the shark family has kept it off dinner plates, at least in the United States. In Britain, dogfish is often the key ingredient in fish and chips.

A few years ago, in an attempt to make the fish sound more appealing, the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, New England fishermen, and conservationists tried to rebrand it as “Cape shark.” 

The effort to create local demand for this plentiful regional species, which grew in number with the collapse of the cod fishery, hasn’t yet taken hold.

With its mild white boneless flesh, Kate Masury, program director forEating with the Ecosystem, said dogfish is less flaky than cod but just as delicious.

Eating with the Ecosystem, a Rhode Island-based nonprofit that promotes a place-based approach to sustaining New England’s wild seafood, is working with consumers, chefs, suppliers, processors, and fishermen to build a market for dogfish and the many other lower-valued species swimming off New England’s coast.

VIDEO: Trump urges Americans not to buy from American companies because of his own tariffs

He really doesn't understand just how bad his own plan is.

To watch this video on YouTube: 

President Donald Trump kicked Monday morning off with a series of tweets defending his new tariffs against China. His latest tactic is to urge Americans not to buy products from American companies if they manufacture in China.

The way tariffs work is that American businesses pay the fees for bringing in goods manufactured in China, which they then pass on to consumers. The president reasons, however, that Americans can easily avoid these increased costs.

Trump said there is “no reason” for U.S. consumers to pay the tariffs, before claiming that companies inside China would soon move to other countries. In the meantime, Trump said people should just buy products from inside the United States.
….completely avoided if you by from a non-Tariffed Country, or you buy the product inside the USA (the best idea). That’s Zero Tariffs. Many Tariffed companies will be leaving China for Vietnam and other such countries in Asia. That’s why China wants to make a deal so badly!…— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2019
Tariffs can still have an impact on the cost of a product, even if you buy it from inside the United States.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The law on Trump's tax returns

Why the IRS is legally required to give Congress Trump's tax returns – but probably won't
Philip Hackney, University of Pittsburgh

Image result for trump taxesIs the IRS required to hand over the president’s tax returns if Congress asks?

According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the answer is a resounding no – at least when it comes to the request submitted by Democratic Congressman Richard Neal on April 3. Mnuchin said it “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose.”

Although many Americans have been interested in reviewing the tax returns of President Donald Trump since the 2016 campaign, this was the first time newly empowered House Democrats had formally sought those records. The president has claimed he can’t release them because they are being audited.

As a tax professor and former attorney at the Internal Revenue Service, I think the law is clear that the IRS must turn over Trump’s returns to the House Ways and Means Committee, which Neal chairs.

But there’s the law, and there’s political reality – and I believe it’s unlikely he will ever actually obtain the returns.

How Trump tariffs work

Celebrate Charlestown's History

Cross' Mills


                       The History of the                           Burlingame Civilian Conservation Corp
Charlestown, RI  1933-1942

Sponsored by the Charlestown Historical Society
and the Cross Mills Public Library
Presented by Author, Marty Podskoch
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
6:30 pm at the Cross Mills Public Library

Come learn about Charlestown's efforts during President Rosevelt's 'New Deal' plan to relieve the poverty and  unemployment of the  country during the Great Depression.

Civilian Conservation Camps (CCC) were formed around the nation to aid in the revitalization of the economy and communities. Workers built trails, roads, campsites & dams, stocked fish, built and maintained fire tower observer's cabins & telephone lines, fought fires and planted millions of trees.  The CCC disbanded in 1942 due to the need for men during WWII.   Please join us for this very interesting and informative presentation and invite and share with others.  

Memorial Day Weekend Opening at
the CHS Archive and 1838 Schoolhouse

The CHS Archive and 1838 Schoolhouse will be opening this Memorial Day weekend with the normal seasonal hours on Friday and Saturday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.  This year we will also be open on Sunday morning from 10:30 to Noon before the Memorial Day Parade begins!  Please stop by and enjoy the Charlestown Naval Air Field (CNAF) WWII exhibit which commemorates Charlestown's presence during the war.  New period airplane models and photographs are on display.

We would like to take a brief moment to thank you, our membership, for your support this Spring with dues and donations.  

Your support allows us to provide not only you, but also Charlestown's visitors with increased awareness of our town's history. It also enables us to maintain the CHS Archive and 1838 Schoolhouse.


                                       THANK  YOU!
About Us

Charlestown Historical Society
P.O. Box 100
Charlestown, RI  02813

The Charlestown Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization registered in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.