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Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 – The Year in Guns

By the Numbers

As 2015 draws to a close the startling numbers of victims of gun violence for 2015 are becoming known.

Below are some numbers, consolidated by The Gun Violence Archive, “an online archive of gun violence incidents collected from over 1,200 media, government and commercial sources daily in an effort to provide near real-time data about the results of gun violence,” 

The Guardian who maintains an interactive online database of people killed by the police in the United States called “The Counted,” and Gawker who compiled their own list of gun violence for the year.

Soon to be a blockbuster Marvel movie

For more cartoons by Ruben Bolling, CLICK HERE.

Trout fishermen’s treat – more trout added to local fishing spots

Some 1,400 hatchery-raised trout stocked in ponds and rivers throughout state
AFV Pets dog fail falling oops

PROVIDENCE - Just in time for the winter fishing season, the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is stocking ponds and rivers across Rhode Island with some 1,400 brown and brook trout.

"We hope families will take time to venture outdoors and experience the thrill of reeling in a trout at one of these prime fishing locations," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Fishing is a popular winter activity for people of all ages, providing an opportunity to unwind, recharge, and connect with nature. What a wonderful way to ring in the New Year!"

Stocked waterways include:
  • Meadowbrook Pond, Richmond
  • Carbuncle Pond, Coventry
  • Olney Pond, Lincoln
  • Silver Spring Lake, North Kingstown
  • Round Top Ponds, Burrillville
  • Barber Pond, South Kingstown
  • Upper Melville Pond, Portsmouth

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When Life Makes Resolutions for You

See if you can find space for feelings — your own as well those of others — in 2016.

Last year, I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions. But it appears that life made them for me.

Two changes occurred in my life, and I responded. In retrospect, 2015 produced more personal growth than perhaps any other year of my life.

The first change occurred shortly after New Year’s Day. After months of therapy, I was able to feel my feelings in a more intense, genuine way than ever before.

In the past, I’d tried to cut myself off from all unpleasant feelings. It’s not fun to feel sadness, anger, or fear — and it’s inconvenient, too. But they don’t go away when you do that. Repressing them isn’t benign at all.

Now I’ve learned to recognize when I need to take the time to address my own difficult emotions.
When you’re a busy graduate student with a long to-do list, spending an evening taking care of yourself and focusing on your emotions is excruciating. But it’s far healthier and more productive in the long run than bottling them up — and it makes you a better friend to the important people in your life.

The second change happened on the job. I was assigned a gig as a teaching assistant for a class on race and ethnicity. As a white woman with no academic background in the subject, I was bound to make mistakes and offend some people. And I did.

Enstrictly Speaking, 2016 Could Be a Trailrazer

Trumpalist isn’t a word, at least not yet.
trump donald eagle bald

My 9-year-old daughter hunkers down for hours with the Warriors books. 

She’s on her fifth run through the dozens of tomes in this series that our local libraries keep handy about clans of cats who want nothing to do with people. 

Poring over them does wonders for my daughter’s vocabulary, but I could do without the occasional hissing and other feline habits she’s acquired.

Meanwhile, my 8-year-old son is hooked on Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants graphic novels. Those books chronicle the adventures of two potty-talking boys, often joined by their trance-prone principal cavorting around in a cape and skivvies. Somehow, he’s reading above grade level anyway.

Becoming avid readers made my bookworms interested in the mechanics of language. The other day, we talked about neologisms — words that don’t yet exist but ought to, since they’re instantly clear.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Smear tactics didn’t work

The media is too deep in the weeds with the horse race politics of the 2016 presidential election to notice this, but Planned Parenthood actually won the legislative battles that mattered in the past year.
American Prospect co-founder and co-editor Robert Kuttner makes the strong case in a blog post on the Huffington Post:
Little noticed in the deal that Congress approved Friday is the fact that the anti-abortion lobby got wiped out. The deal included no provisions cutting funding for Planned Parenthood — an issue on which Republicans have been prepared to shut down the government in past budget fights.
Nor did the anti-choice zealots have any success on their other proposed riders intended to reduce reproductive rights. There were proposed cuts in federal spending for sex education, family planning and Planned Parenthood.
Same with efforts to further restrict abortion rights in the name of religious freedom, or international family planning, or attempts to block the government from requiring multi-state plans to include the full range of family planning services.

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Spooky words from Steven King

Martin Shkreli: My Person of the Year

Had his passion for lying, cheating, and stealing not done this weasel in, he’d be a promising GOP presidential candidate.
A Chip Off the Old PharmabergIt’s time — past time, really — to name the person of the year. (TIME Magazine does it. Why not me?)

There were many worthy candidates in 2015: the Pope, the Donald, and Luke Skywalker, to name just a few. But only one symbolized the spirit of the year.

I speak, of course, of Martin Shkreli.

For those of you with short-term memory problems, he’s the weasel/drug honcho who bought the rights to a life-saving drug that had been on the market for years, and immediately raised its $13.50-a-pill price to $750 — a 5,000 percent hike.

He said he’d use the extra money for research to develop a life-saving drug of his own, but nobody believed him. He was just doing what a long line of drug company executives do — gouge desperately sick people.


Rhode Island Community Food Bank

There's Still Time.
Help Feed Our Hungry Neighbors.
Countdown to End Hunger

Dear Progressive Charlestown reader,
Right now, struggling parents don't know if they'll be able to put food on the table for their family. Hungry seniors on limited budgets don't know where their next meal is coming from. Children right here in Rhode Island will start the new year by going to bed hungry.
But with your support, we can help our neighbors start the new year with hope, not hunger.
If you make a gift before December 31, your donation will be matched, up to $50,000, by our End Hunger Challenge fund.
Please give now to help the Rhode Island Community Food Bank provide nutritious food for hungry children, families and seniors in the year ahead.
I'm so thankful for compassionate friends like you who take action to help end hunger in our communities. The people we serve are especially thankful for you, too! Your generosity truly touches lives.
Thank you,
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Andrew R. Schiff
Chief Executive Officer

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