Dave's Column

Dave Richards for July 25th.............

 

­­­­­­­­­Dave Richards for July 25th…………

 

 

--To follow up on a topic from last week, I took the opportunity to drive by the DMV Registry office on Pond Street in Woonsocket.  What I saw could be encouraging, but only to a point.  I did not see the line waiting for the triage booth coming out the front doors and down the path to the parking lot as I had in the past.  I did see what appeared to be long lines inside, though.  I hope the apparent improvement is lessening the suffering of those who try to comply with the laws of our state.

 

--I just have to say this, even though as I type I can hear certain people disagreeing with me.  I’ve had it with so-called “pitcher’s duels” in baseball this year.  I don’t get it and I’ve never got what some people see in these low-scoring affairs.  I say there is a reason there are nine players on each team.  I said NINE, not TWO.  You may well say to me, Dave, who cares what you think?  To that I reply, “I’m a spectator.  Baseball is a ‘spectator sport’.  I’m the customer.  What I think had darned better matter.” 

 

  There have always been pitcher’s duels.  I get that.  But I’m seeing duel after duel after duel this season, and I don’t like it at all.  Give me some offense, I say!.  There’s got to be a reason all those trees have died to give the other eight players something to hold in their hands, and it ain’t to swat flies.  Those trees died so players can hit baseballs with the bats, so the players should start doing it.

 

 --Congratulations are in order, I think, for State Representative Bob Phillips (D- Dist. 51, Woonsocket, Cumberland) and State Senator Roger Picard (D- Dist. 20, Woonsocket, Cumberland) who joined together and engaged the support of the members of their respective houses to see a new law signed by Governor Raimondo last week.  Without going into too much detail, Rhode Island school districts will now be able to elect to make up for school days lost to weather or building issues with approved school work sent home with students, rather than having no choice but to add the lost days to the end of the school calendar.  Each community will have the option to adopt this policy or to not.

 

  Personally, I don’t see why any school district would not elect to enable this new option.  I admire the simple logic of this measure.  After all, it’s all about imparting knowledge to our young people, isn’t it?  It seems to me a reasonable compromise to exchange time at home for time in a class room when the class room time is lost through no fault of the student.

 

 

--From our “Time Marches On” Department:  I usually drive a small car.  It’s thrifty and very easy to park, which is important to me.  This, I suppose, comes from lessons learned in the 1970s when OPEC engineered an embargo which raised the price of gas and oil dramatically. 

 

  However, the social cycle we are now in demands luxury and status in automobiles.  Luxury pickup trucks and SUVs make up the majority of U.S. auto sales.  So, it will surprise no one that General Motors is considering discontinuing six models which are neither trucks nor SUVs.

 

  The Chevy Volt Hybrid, Buick Lacrosse, Cadillac XGS, the affordable Sonic, and even the venerable Chevy Impala may soon go the way of the Oldsmobile, relegated to history.  Hey, you can’t expect them to keep making them if they’re not selling, right?

 

 

--Finally, I found it interesting that just days after my comments on what a lousy job being White House Press Secretary for President Trump must be, that the current occupant of that office resigned.  It does make some sense that an executive like Mr. Trump would feel more comfortable with a financial professional on his team even if the financial professional knows nothing of how to handle the press.  As I review what I just wrote I realize how little it makes sense until you frame the thought with the understanding that Mr. Trump knows little to nothing of how to govern a nation, as evidenced by his decision to refuse an invitation to the NAACP convention in nearby Baltimore. 

 

  I think a leader who is adept at the special skills needed to engage and govern a nation of dissimilar peoples would do what former President George W. Bush did.  Mr. Bush attended the convention.  He was gracious and polite and listened attentively to what people there told him.  Even though neither side believed for a moment that his policies would be changed by the information he gained, who is to say that his decisions weren’t ‘moderated’ in some way by an understanding of the different points of view. 

 

   Regardless, even though they didn’t agree, Mr. Bush at least showed the NAACP the respect of attendance and civility.  What more could you ask of a leader?  We are not getting even that from Mr. Trump.  I hope this doesn’t come back to bite him in the future.  Remember, Donald Trump’s success as president is the success of all of us.  Frustrating, sometimes, isn’t it?

 

  

--That’s what I think.  What do you think?  Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Dave Richards for July 18th

 

­­­­­­­­­Dave Richards for July 18th…………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

--Well, today is the day the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles ‘takes off the training wheels’ and opens all offices for walk-in business.  They’re telling us the new computer system has performed well servicing a regulated number of customers who reserved their place in line over the Internet. 

 

 

 

  But can this new computer system make the difference when the lines are out the front door on Pond Street with people just waiting to see the lady in the triage booth?  We will see.  You’d think they’d eventually get it right, but the temptation to perpetuate gosh awful service could be great when you consider that they are in one of two businesses in America where you are practically expected to “get it wrong” most of the time and can do so with no fear of consequences.  By the way, the other business is weather forecasting.

 

 

 

--A news story of the future started brewing down in Warwick last week.  U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly came to Rhode Island at the request of U.S. Senator from Rhode Island Jack Reed.  The story we were given is that the senator has been told that Green Airport must grow in size.  You can just imagine how much support there will be within the state to borrow more money to construct a bigger terminal and maybe take a few more blocks of houses to extend the runways.  Not only do I see no support, but I predict a sizable protest against such a plan.

 

 

 

  I personally cannot find support in my own mind for making Green Airport bigger.  The way I see it, Green’s unique strength is its smallness, seriously.  I could see maybe sinking a few bucks into the North Central and Charlestown airports, but to go into debt so our airport can become even less competitive makes no good sense to me. 

 

 

 

  You may be asking yourself why the Homeland Security Secretary was asked to come see T.F. Green in person.  I know I did.  The best I could come up with is that Senator Reed knows that Homeland Security can get money to do anything it wants to if it can say it will enhance national security.  Regardless, it doesn’t hurt to have friends in high places when you want to get something big done.

 

 

 

 

 

--Congratulations go out to Woonsocket’s Community Care Alliance.  The organization formerly known as Family Resources has a history of helping the unfortunate going back to the 1800’s.  It was the original group behind Woonsocket’s beloved Milk Fund, and has grown under the capable leadership of Ben Lessing to the point where Woonsocket’s CVS Corporation is funding more good work by Community Care Alliance to the tune of a quarter million dollars so they can establish a much needed treatment center for those with opioid issues.  I’m sure you have read or heard of the recent shocking increases in opioid addictions and related deaths across the country.  Unfortunately, our area is not immune to this, but now at least we will be able to do something to keep people from dying. 

 

 

 

--Some of you may think of libraries as a rather studious, quiet but not necessarily exciting place.   While this may have been true years ago, today’s modern library has expanded its scope to sponsor events far beyond books and the odd ‘book discussion group’ here and there.  For instance, the Woonsocket Harris Public Library is involved in producing TV programs about life in the community.  Also, they’ve recently invited teens to come to learn how to prepare for the “Zombie Apocalypse”, (very entertaining for teens) and this Friday they tell me teens are invited to gain hands-on experience with robots.  Similar activities are being sponsored by other libraries in the area.  Your local library isn’t just for reading anymore.

 

 

 

--Before I go, I’d like point out this is the season for local fairs and festivals.  Many of them celebrate the rich heritage of the countries of origin of the many different peoples who make up America.  Last week we had the Southeast Asians and the Dragon Boats on the Blackstone River.  This Saturday and Sunday at the St. John The Baptist Romanian Orthodox Church in Woonsocket the Romanian and Macedonian American Festival will display their Ethnic and American Music and Dancing and foods like Shish-Kebab, Baklava, Grilled Romanian Sausage, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls and other selections too numerous to mention here.  This is what America is all about, the best of all the countries and cultures of the world banding together to make one fantastic country.  I hope you’ll take time to support these worthy volunteer efforts.  When you do, you will contribute to what makes America the greatest country of them all.

 

 

 

 

 

--That’s what I think.  What do you think?  Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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Dave Richards for July 4th, 2017

 

­­­­­­­­­Dave Richards for July 4th…………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

--I am happy to address you on this Independence Day.  It is right that we take a few minutes on the one day designated as the “birthday” of our great republic to count our collective blessings. 

 

 

 

  Blessing number one I see is the one undeniable fact that in the United States of America, even though there are many things wrong, we have a Constitution which is the envy of the civilized world.  It enables each of us to make the changes needed to keep our nation vital and growing.  It is a document which has been often assailed, occasionally amended, but it is always strong enough to be the rock our society rests upon.   

 

 

 

  Our freedoms are rarely showcased as completely as they are during a holiday parade.  And here I refer to Cumberland’s Arnold Mills July 4th Parade on Nate Whipple Highway.  A classier exhibit of Americana you will be hard-pressed to find.  It is where I have spent part of my July 4th holiday for most of the years of my adult life.  Each time I see it, my heart swells with pride that I live where I do and I’m free to do what I do.  If you’re reading these words Tuesday morning, you still have time to join me and the many thousands for this great yearly spectacle.

 

 

 

  Another blessing to count these days is the way that public opinion in our country is sometimes galvanized into one unanimous idea.  And on this Independence Day, it has to do with perhaps the most independent man in America.  Yes, virtually all the country is unanimous in the opinion that our President is a nut!  Although, we are a bit divided on what we should do about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

--What’s all this foolishness about the foolishness coming out of The White House?

 

 

 

  Don’t people know when their leg is being pulled?  Anybody who hasn’t figured out by now that President Trump cannot be expected to act like your average ‘leader of the free world’ has no one but themselves to blame for their gullibility. 

 

 

 

  I will admit to you that when Mr. Trump was elected I expected that a lot of his shenanigans would disappear from view as he played the role of our top political leader.  But they didn’t disappear, so get used to the idea that you’ll be shaking your head a lot for the next few years. 

 

 

 

  Donald Trump is not the first such “unique individual” to occupy the highest elected office in our land.  But he is the first such person with a “Twitter” account, making it nearly impossible to ignore his, shall we say,  “idiosyncrasies”.

 

 

 

  As for the government official, I forget her name now, who sounded off with righteous indignation on a national newscast claiming that the president is inciting violence against members of the press, I have one comment.  “Aw, c’mon!”  That official’s statement demeans the intelligence of the American public.  It makes as much sense as when my dear mother, listening to what such people were saying back in the 1960s, told me she didn’t want me to watch The Three Stooges on TV anymore because it would encourage me to gouge someone’s eyes out.  (By the way, she got over that.)  99.99% of people can tell the difference between entertainment and reality.  I am happy to count myself in the majority in this regard.  Now that we know our president’s “tweets” are silly entertainment (I mean, really, professional wrestling?) we can all just take them with a grain of salt, I think.

 

 

 

  Do I approve of the behavior of President Trump when he grabs his smartphone and acts like a school boy taunting those he doesn’t like?  Of course not.  But there’s nothing in the U.S. Constitution which says that “the President shall not embarrass us or himself”.  The Founding Fathers left that out of the Supreme Document because it is merely common sense the president wouldn’t do that.  Ahem.  I would state the obvious if I said common sense is in terribly short supply in government these days, so I won’t bother. 

 

 

 

  In closing, let me just repeat my belief that stress kills more people than do guns.  Getting stressed out about Mr. Trump’s personal behavior will do you no lasting good.  Remember the words of the wise man who asked for the strength to change the things he could and the wisdom to know the difference between the things he could change and the things he could not?  It seems clear to us all now that nobody is going to change Donald Trump’s personal behavior.  Yes, I agree many of his actions show a distinct lack of self-respect, and this is regrettable, but that point is moot now.  The time for us to have done something about that was before he was elected.  It is time now to make the best of it.  Give up trying to change President Trump’s personality and direct your effort into hoping he gets the REALLY important things right.     

 

 

 

 

 

--That’s what I think.  What do you think?  Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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Dave Richards for June 27th

 

­­­­­­­­­Dave Richards for June 27th…………

 

 

 

 

 

--I was doing some writing for a trade paper this past weekend and while I was developing a point, I realized what the problem is with the world today.  Armed with this knowledge, I thought I’d share it with you.

 

 

 

  Selfishness.  That is the root of the problem.  I believe it is selfishness which is encouraged from several different directions and for selfish reasons which is slowing the progress of society as a whole and America in specific today.

 

 

 

  Look around you, my friend, and you see it every day.  MYVerizon, My Pillow, My Yahoo, My Cloud, even My UCSC (University of California at Santa Cruz).  Together with personal media devices which play everyone’s personal music preferences, it seems to me that people growing up today are actually pushed toward selfishness. 

 

 

 

  It goes further.  Playing organized sports where there is no score kept and everyone is a “winner”, and all get trophies just for showing up.  These are not the lessons which need to be taught for people to learn how to survive and conquer adversity.  These are the lessons we need to teach people to make them self-entitled coveters of anything new and shiny.  I think teaching THAT lesson is a big mistake for the future of humanity. 

 

 

 

  Everybody would like to stand out, be a leader, and be admired.  The hard truth is, unfortunately, that everybody cannot be those things.  Everybody has their own gifts and talents, and they should make the most of them through their lives, but only a few have that magnetic ‘stand-out’ personality, the ability to lead wisely, and the maturity to handle admiration without being affected by it. 

 

 

 

  And here’s where it all goes wrong, I think.  If you have a whole society trying to be leaders, unique individuals who don’t need to care what others think, then nobody is truly leading because nobody is following.  Does the term “Too Many Chiefs and Not Enough Indians” ring a bell?

 

 

 

  That is what I see happening now in our society, and I don’t think it is a healthy trend.  History has taught us what any society can do if they come together and pull in the same direction toward a common goal.  The United States during World War Two comes to mind immediately in this regard.  The people who remember the situation our country was in when that war started are mostly gone now, but history books remind us we were ill-prepared for even entering a war, let alone the idea of winning it.  However, in the face of true adversity, people, working together and bringing all their unique and incalculably valuable gifts to the same well-focused purpose made that happen. 

 

 

 

  Today, without leadership focusing us to work on any one purpose, we are free to work on any purpose which pleases us.  This is okay for a short time, but when we do this to the exclusion of helping (or even caring about) others, the fabric of society begins to weaken.  Over time it begins to tear and become useless.  I think that’s where we are today and we should do something about it.  Some are trying.  We need more people to try.

 

 

 

  The more I live, the more I see the truth in the idea that humans need adversity.  And when they don’t have it from natural causes like war, disease, or pestilence, then they must manufacture adversity.  This is why there is so much public hatred and hostility being displayed today.  A time-proven leadership technique is, if there isn’t enough adversity to galvanize the followers, invent some.  Sometimes a leader will make unpopular decisions to get the followers all united in their dislike of the leader.  But more often these days, the leader will demonize the opposition and get their followers hating the opposition to solidify their purpose.  This is what we see happening in partisan politics these days.

 

 

 

  The more I see this happening, the more I comfort myself with the knowledge that they wouldn’t be doing this if there were any true adversity in the world.  But then I reflect on the world situation and I question the validity of that idea.

 

 

 

  You see, there really is a tiny minority of militant Muslims who mean to harm the United States.  They know all they need to do is to do nothing for a while and let Americans start arguing amongst themselves again, taking the focus of most Americans away from a real danger and making themselves easy targets for the people who really do want to kill them.  I believe this is happening now, and instead of arguing amongst ourselves we should be making preparations for our defense.  Some people are trying to do this, but not enough of them. 

 

 

 

  One example of the few who are trying is President Trump and his so-called “Travel Ban”.  Look, I don’t know if it’s a good idea or not, several subordinate courts of learned people have said it is not.  But regardless of if that particular idea of addressing the situation is a good method or a bad one, SOMETHING should be done to remind Americans that there are many thousands of people in this world whose deeply-held beliefs are that Americans and our way of life must be erased from the planet.  Some way must be found to defend ourselves because those people are just waiting for their chance to act on their beliefs.    

 

 

 

  Just reading what I wrote there, I realize my words could be construed as “demonizing the opposition”.  But you know that’s not true.  You are not paranoid if they really ARE out to get you.  There should be a clear difference in the mind of any thinking person between focusing attention on members of an opposition political party who are “trying to eat your babies and kill your grandparents” and people who really are trying to kill YOU.

 

 

 

  Resist the urge to fall into the ‘Selfish Trap’, friend.  Teach your young ones that caring for others and working together are what humans are better at than any species on the planet.  Be civil in your discourse with others and tolerant in the exercise of your beliefs.  That’s not being selfish, that’s being a great person, worthy of being followed and admired.

 

 

 

--That’s what I think.  What do you think?  Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

--30—                                                   

 

                                                                                                              

 

Dave Richards for June 20, 2017

 

 

Dave Richards for June 20th…………

 

 

 

 

 

--This week, it's all about 'clubs', folks............

 

 

  First, a reminder about our beloved Le Club Par-X.  The members of the Par-X Club have a long tradition of using their hall and kitchen to help individuals and other organizations to raise money for worthy causes.  Organizations we all support like Autumnfest and The Milk Fund have benefitted from the untold generosity of the members of Par-X who get up early on a Sunday morning and prepare a full breakfast complete with eggs any style, meat and beans which are so much favored by the locals that people come in droves to every Par-X breakfast.

 

 

 

  Well now, the Par-X will have an event this Friday evening to raise money to keep their hall in top condition so they can continue to help others.  It’s a chowder and clam cake supper and the chef will be none other than Mickey G. operating out of his famous mobile clam shack.  Your choice of red or white chowder and those yummy clam cakes will be available to eat there at the Par-X or take home with you.  And the proceeds help a swell group of people who always help others when asked.  I hope you’ll remember to join me this Friday and be there to help these fine people help themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

--Also, this weekend is the weekend for the largest event in the U.S. for home amateur radio enthusiasts, called HAMs.  It called “Field Day”.  This weekend amateurs will set up temporary transmitting and receiving stations in fields and open areas all around the country as they invite the licensed and non-licensed alike to come out “open house style” and see what the hobby is all about. 

 

 

 

  Our local HAM club, the Blackstone Valley Amateur Radio Club, will be set up on the grounds of the former Chopmist Hill Inn on Chopmist Hill Road in Scituate, now home of the Scituate Senior Center.   If you go, you’ll see examples of the original social media, HAM radio, and if you want you’ll get the chance to ‘key-up’ and talk to others on a special radio set up for guests-only. 

 

 

 

  Amateur radio operators are an important part of our nation’s plan for safety in the event of natural or man-made disasters because, unlike the Internet, which is vulnerable to attacks and downed lines, individual amateur radio operators continue to operate in the worst of conditions. And they relay vital information in times of true need. 

 

 

 

  Check them out at the Field Day Event at the Scituate Senior Center, on Route 102, just south of the intersection with Route 6.  I think you’ll be impressed.  And what you see just might spark your own interest, or the interest of a young person you bring along.

 

 

 

 

 

--I think we all have things which bother us disproportionately.  These are the little things which don’t seem to bother others, but which “push OUR buttons”.  One of them for me is these so-called “loyalty clubs” which are all the rage right now. 

 

 

 

  I don’t like people I don’t know compiling and using my personal information and buying habits and using them to ‘market’ me.  We’ve all heard about the grandma and grandpa who are bombarded with ads for baby formula and other items for newborns simply because they once bought a box of disposable diapers for a young family member and used their ‘store club’ key chain card. 

 

 

 

  What is maddening to me is that people by and large are willing to sell this information about themselves to large corporations to use with no controls and for literally pennies, sometimes.  I take a different view.  Oh, I know that nobody lives anonymously anymore.  In the 21st Century it is not only possible but indeed likely that a stranger can know things about me that I am not aware of myself.  But to simply give corporations information they can use to ‘market’ you is completely avoidable in my mind.  At least it should be.  Unfortunately there is a financial penalty today for choosing to keep your privacy, and I think this is wrong.

 

 

 

  You see, the way I look at it is the whole concept is a dishonest manipulation of customers for profit.  If a store can afford to sell me a pound of grapes for $2.69, then they should just sell it to me and everyone for $2.69.  They should not mark-up the same pound of grapes to $2.99 a pound simply because a customer didn’t join their store club and give them permission to track their private buying habits and probably also share the data for cash with other companies for profit.   

 

 

 

  The dishonesty of this system is obvious to me.  Under disguise of being a customer’s ‘friend’ and caring so much about their ‘friend’ that they will sell items to them for less, the stores keep the prices where they want them for their ‘friends’ but then take the opportunity to jack up the prices to gouge everyone who’s not a ‘friend’.  I have a deep-seated problem with that, and I refuse to participate.  Let’s face it, no store can sell at a loss, not even to a ‘friend’.

 

 

 

  Our Rhode Island General Assembly is busy every year passing laws for special interests.  How about they pass a law to stop this method of price gouging and information mining?  I say there should be one fair price for everyone!

 

 

 

--That’s what I think.  What do you think?  Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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Dave Richards for June 13, 2017

Dave Richards for June 13th…………

 

--Well, after a spring which has had (after two days of summer-like weather) the coolest and rainiest run of weather most of us can recall, we have finally been given our first official mini heat-wave.  Three or more consecutive days over 90 degrees, and today is number three.  Tonight a weather front will pass through and starting tomorrow we are back to late spring weather again, with highs in the 70s.  Good. 

  I look at weather in the summertime the same as I do in Winter.  Mix it up, I say.  I can more easily take the brutal cold of a New England winter if it only lasts for a few days at a time and then goes above freezing for a few days before returning back to the deep-freeze.  And I suppose that’s what bothered all those people I heard complaining about the raw, rainy weather recently.  It just kept up day after day without change. 

  But now that we have more summerlike weather conditions, some of the old summertime downside has returned as well.  A few nights ago, at about 1:30 in the morning, there I was snoozing happily with the bedroom window  open, enjoying the nice fresh air in my slumber, when my rest was abruptly interrupted by the smell of skunk discharge.  Ugh!  I closed the windows as soon as I could.  Sunday evening the folks in my neighborhood decided to top off a hot day with fireworks, and lots of them, too. 

  I don’t begrudge them their fun, but it is disturbing over so many hours without stop and so many weeks before the holiday.  I remember thinking when they made some fireworks legal a few years ago that we would no longer be hearing simple ‘salute’-type fireworks, but much more of the stuff which hasn’t been made legal yet, and that’s just what I am seeing.  I thought the sky rockets which flew up above the tree tops and then exploded were still prohibited from people’s back yards.  I just hope nobody gets hurt, that’s my real concern. 

  I remember as a young boy it hadn’t been very many years since the personal purchase of fireworks had been made illegal by the Rhode Island Legislature.  There were some people I knew who still had some they’d bought before they were outlawed and, well, “waste-not, want-not”, right?  But I do remember being told of people who lost fingers and eyesight and such because they weren’t careful enough, and that fireworks needed to be respected in the same manner we respect guns.  Still, back then we were only poking a hole in the base of an empty vegetable can to stick the fuse of the firecracker out through it and then placing a slightly larger empty tin can on top of that one.  When the fuse hit the business end of the firecracker the explosion launched the top tin can way up into the air.  I’m seeing far more dangerous incendiary fun taking place today.  Let’s all be very careful out there.

 

--What a wonderful time I had at the 2017 Woonsocket High School Graduation Ceremonies last Friday!   I was especially delighted that it took place outdoors at Barry Memorial Field.  The forecast early in the week was exemplary, but by Wednesday and Thursday thunderstorms were predicted.  However, by Friday morning all references to thunderstorms were removed from the forecast and the chance of a shower reduced to only 20 percent. 

  I saw Woonsocket Superintendent of Schools Dr. Patrick McGee overseeing the setup early Friday morning at Barry Field and he was beaming as brightly as the sun at the prospect of an outdoor ceremony.  He had never counted it out in his heart, not even when the forecast looked threatening.  He was like a man whose faith was being rewarded.  But not without one more test of that faith. 

  Twenty minutes before the ceremony that afternoon the skies opened up with a passing thundershower scattering the thousands of early-arrivers to wherever they could find shelter.  A surprising number of people had brought umbrellas with them and shared the protection they afforded with those nearby.  In about five minutes, the rain was over and the skies remained dry for the rest of the day.  I considered it good, strong leadership on the part of the Superintendent.  We’re lucky to have such a wise man running our district.

 

--261 young people received their diplomas that day.  I heard several comments about the years when we had twice that many graduates in a class and questions about why the number was “so small”.  The truth, as I see it, is that far fewer babies are being born these days compared to twenty or thirty years ago.  In fact, a news release this past weekend supported my theory.  The Mormons announced that their numbers are barely holding steady this year due to the very facts I stated.  Fewer babies are being born and people are often waiting until later in life to even begin having families.  So much for the “population explosion” we heard so much about back in the 60s and 70s.

  I’ll close this week with a quote.  “No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”  I know we’re supposed to attribute quotes to their authors when we use them in print, but the author of this one is either long dead, or, if the Desiderata truly is a hoax as some claim, the author doesn’t wish to be credited.  So I’ll break protocol and decline.  Have a nice week.

--That’s what I think.  What do you think?  Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. 

Thanks for reading!

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Dave Richards for June 6, 2017............

--Sometimes I sit here at the beginning of another week and I wonder what I could comment on.  Weeks like this one, however, I wonder what I won’t comment on.  Where to I begin?

--It was announced last week that Mr. Scott Pelley has been replaced as the anchor of The CBS Evening News broadcast.  Good.  I’ve mentioned in these pages before I thought there was a better way to accomplish what he was trying to do by ridiculing the apparent chaos in Trump Administration.  News anchors on other networks found a better way to do this without the open ridicule element.  They simply reported the facts as they saw them and let the viewers realize for themselves how crazy it all was.  I believe this is a better method because I believe that newscasts are supposed to be primarily informational as opposed to confrontational. 

  When it began, I supposed it was Mr. Pelley’s idea to improve the ratings of his broadcast which was at that time rated third out of three.  I imagined that the top brass at CBS agreed to the gamble.  I either imagined wrongly, or the brass saw it wasn’t working and withdrew their support.  Regardless of which, they made a change.  Good.  So Mr. Pelley leaves the broadcast with fewer viewers than it had when he started and with the broadcast still rated third out of three, but now a lower third. 

  Scott Pelley still has a job at CBS as a contributing reporter on 60 Minutes.  Good.  Everybody should have a job.  And I do believe that Scott Pelley is better cast on a magazine show which editorializes and slants the news for entertainment value instead of on a nightly news broadcast which shouldn’t do those things.  Remember, on 60 Minutes all you really need to do to get ratings is to make someone cry on camera.  Go for it, Scott.

--I read a radio industry editorial last weekend which stated, “Sean Hannity’s Struggle is OUR Struggle”.  To that I say ‘Rubbish!’.  You may know that Mr. Hannity is the latest nationally syndicated talk show host to get in public trouble.  I’m sorry it happened to him, I don’t wish bad luck on any person.  But let me just say that I believe anyone who does a radio talk show should care more for the opinions of the listeners than for his/her own opinion.  Also, that anyone who serves themselves at the expense of others will always lose in the end.  It’s in all the history books, over and over again.  Read it for yourself.

--One last thought before I go.  We were talking yesterday morning on our Coffee An’ program with General Manager of The Call and The Times, Paul Palange about the current rash of terrorist attacks and other conflicts in the world today.  The president of our country took the occasion of the London Bridge attack to sound the claxon for his travel ban against people trying to enter the United States from places where terrorists come from.  The Prime Minister of Great Britain called upon the governments of all democratic countries to band together to control information on the Internet which aids terrorists in recruiting and their other foul deeds.  Both are controversial ideas, and I’m sure both people are doing what they think is right.  But…….

  I have an idea which is far less controversial than theirs and far easier to implement.  And it’s not even my idea.  When things get crazy like this I always think of my dear old friend, the late Salty Brine.  For all the many years Salty was on the air he would sign off each broadcast on radio or TV with “Brush your Teeth and Say your Prayers!”.  And, while this was a show-biz friendly thing to say, and could be dismissed as just another catch-phrase, if you took the time to think about what those words truly meant you can see that Salty put a lot of wisdom into them. 

  The way he explained it was “you should take responsibility for yourself and the things you can do something about, and what you cannot do something about should be placed by you into the hands of your God.”  No suggestion was made as to which manifestation of God he was referring to, leaving the choice of Deity completely to the individual. 

  I can’t imagine a simpler or wiser thing to say at any time, but most especially when people have cause for concern in their lives, as they do today.  So I recommend we remember Salty’s saying at times when we just don’t know whom to trust.  Trust in yourself.  Trust in your God.  Set an example of self-respect and positivity for others every day.  It’s a simple recipe for a good life, well-lived.  And I say if everyone did this the world would be a better place for everyone to live.

 

--That’s what I think.  What do you think?  Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. 

Thanks for reading!

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Dave Richards for May 30th............

 

­­­­­­­­­Dave Richards for May 30th…………

 

 

 

 

 

--As the years go by, the way we see some things changes.  Memorial Day is seen today as the beginning of summertime, even though it was originally set aside to care for the graves of fallen veterans.  And something which comes in hundreds of colors, is the reason automobile tires are always black. 

 

 

 

  It is true, the meaning of the Memorial Day holiday is somewhat askew, but we do still honor fallen veterans today.  But did you know that rubber automobile tires weren’t always black?  I was looking the other day at some photos of old classic cars.  Several excited my curiosity.  Those old cars from the early 20th Century were sporting gleaming white rubber tires.  As I thought about that, I considered how difficult it would have been to keep those tires clean, especially back in a day when only a small percentage of roads were paved with asphalt.  So I decided to look it up and I learned that white is the natural color of cured rubber and that making them black was considered a major improvement, but not for the reason you may think.

 

 

 

  Tires are black because today’s tire manufacturers add carbon black to the mixture when they are made.  But they didn’t do it so their tires wouldn’t always look dirty.  They did it because the carbon black also made the rubber tires last longer, it slowed down wear.  Now the connection to something which comes in hundreds of colors……..

 

 

 

  The Goodrich Company was a major supplier of rubber tires in the early 20th Century.  The company which supplied Goodrich with the carbon black material was Binney & Smith, the creators of Crayola Crayons.  I found that very interesting.  Now on to this week’s rant………….

 

 

 

--I heard a news story yesterday regarding automobile traffic in Cumberland which made me shake my head.  The claim is that a significant problem is being caused in town by parents driving their children to school instead of sending them on a School Bus.  This pushed my button.  Why?  Because I believe we are seeing one of the many “unintended consequences” resulting from the trend to over-protect children over the last generation or so. 

 

 

 

  Anyone of sufficient years will tell you that, as much as it sounds like an argument waiting to happen, the truth is that it IS possible to over-protect our children and delay their education in the needed survival skills of life.  We’ve been watching it happen for years so that now it seems the DCYF will come and take your kids away if you do not accompany them to the bus stop in the morning.  Then, when they’re on the bus there are always two people in charge, one driving and another who can watch the kids.  Later, there’s a full-blown police presence INSIDE the school, complete with a sworn officer of the law.  No wonder today’s kids are quite comfortable with Google tracking everything they read, say, or look up on the Internet!

 

 

 

  The way I see it, now that you have conditioned the parents to get up and bring the kids to the bus stop, it’s just a small adjustment needed to take them the rest of the way to school.  It’s totally logical.  But our roads were not developed to handle this traffic.  How will we solve this?  I predict the current problems will give rise to further ‘home-schooling’.  And further home-schooling will cause an increased inability of future generations to learn how to live and get along with other people. 

 

 

 

  I think developing inter-personal skills is vital for society itself.  And, I think delaying the teaching of those skills is a cruel way to raise children.  Oh, you can bemoan the harshness of life all you want, but to quote a former president of the United States who would have celebrated his 100th birthday last weekend, “Life isn’t fair.”  And I think you’d better teach your children this lesson as soon as they are able to understand it.  And then teach them how to deal with it in a way which moves their lives forward in a positive direction.  If you do this, you’ll be giving your children a most valuable education in survival itself.

 

 

 

  In the early 1970’s there was a popular song recorded by Johnny Cash called “A Boy Named Sue”.  It was the story of a man who was given a girl’s name at birth by a father who knew he wouldn’t be there to teach the boy how to defend himself in the world.  Despite the humorous theme of the song, there was a small bit of wisdom in the idea behind it. 

 

 

 

  About the best we can hope for as parents is that our children survive their mistakes.  I think the better we prepare them for that, the better parents we are.  A gentle, wholesome discipline is what is called for, NOT over-protection. 

 

 

 

 

 

--That’s what I think.  What do you think?  Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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Dave Richards for May 23rd

 

­­­­­­­­­Dave Richards for May 23rd…………

 

 

 

 

 

--Ya know, I think that if the latest proposal for a new ballpark for the Pawtucket Red Sox was totally paid for by the owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox there would still be organized opposition.  I believe that if The Lord Jesus Christ himself came to Rhode Island today he would be demonized by the negative people of our State who are so steeped in the mind-set of destroying anything they can in order to feel some small sense of control in their lives that they don’t even think of what they’re doing or saying or how it appears to reasonable people.  They just attack mindlessly, and without examining the facts.

 

 

 

  One such group in this case, unfortunately, is the Rhode Island Republican Party.  I was surprised at this because, although both political parties on the national level have lost their minds and attack anything the other side is or supports like mad dogs, I had not seen it done here in our State.  However, before I’d could even read the official press release about the new stadium proposal, my inbox was tagged with a “Three Strikes for the Paw Sox” press release from the Rhode Island Republicans.  I had initially hoped it came from out-of-state sources, but I have no evidence it didn’t come from Rhode Islanders.  To bad.

 

 

 

  To my regular readers I apologize for repeating myself, but for the sake of new readers I will say that the reason I do not personally support either of the two major political parties is that although they both are comprised of some fine, intelligent and hard-working people, when they are in a group they turn into a mindless, vicious, negative, and destructive mob, both parties do.  The term “bi-partisan” hasn’t been valid in political discourse since the Oldsmobile.

 

 

 

  I have said before the only thing this kind of immature and careless behavior can produce is mutual self-destruction, as each side baits the other into more and more self-destructive behavior.  The end-result is never victory for either side, but only an un-ending feud which does no one any good.  Shame on both parties.  Shame and disgrace.  I advise all to avoid party politics until the parties both grow up and act in accord with their members’ individual values and worth.

 

 

 

  Back to the Paw Sox stadium proposal.  My point is there should be a lively debate on the facts of this issue.  I’ve read the opponents’ venomous comments.  I am not persuaded in any debate by attacks which are not based in fact, but are instead based in rabble-rousing and fanning the flames of emotion because when emotions reign, reason is impossible and when you’re talking about millions of dollars, reason is imperative. 

 

 

 

  I have also heard the presentation explained rationally by the proponents.  What they say makes sense to me, but one side does not a debate make.  I seek more information before I choose a side to support.  I think we all should.

 

 

 

  To sum up, if the opposition will only offer emotional rhetoric and the proponents are offering reasoned logic, then debate itself is poorly served.  But I think we need a calm and logical debate to make big money decisions. 

 

 

 

  I call upon opponents to come to the debate table with logic and reason and to present their position without painting the other side as evil.  If you believe you are in the right, I say fight fairly for your convictions with the facts as you see them and win or lose the debate as mature men and women with intellect and integrity.  If you don’t, what choice would I or others like me have but to choose to support the people acting like respectable grown-ups instead of with the ones acting like crying kids calling the other side liars and claiming “they started it!”?  Not much of a choice, I say.

 

 

 

--That’s what I think.  What do you think?  Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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Dave Richards for May 16th.........

 

­­­­­­­­­Dave Richards for May 16th…………

 

 

 

 

 

--With Mother’s Day behind us and so many family celebrations taking place at this time of year, there’s plenty of positive energy floating around. I think we could get by without me throwing roses this week.  In this edition, I think I’ll take a hard look at a current news story and tell you what I really think.

 

 

 

--I have an opinion.  It’s just an opinion, and I’m not even very happy with it myself, but I just can’t seem to persuade myself it is wrong.  The news that tax collections into the coffers of the State of Rhode Island General Fund are not only down, but down to the tune of $100 million is, to me, the result of something which is a bigger story. 

 

 

 

  Some in our government are surprised by the shortfall.  Some are not so much surprised as they are dismayed.  Some, like our governor, are looking for a scapegoat.  She blames our new president.  But as much as I disapprove of Mr. Trump’s work myself, I can’t help but see the governor’s words as anything more than political rhetoric.  The kind of destructive political rhetoric which nullifies the user’s words pointless and corrodes their reputations of intelligence and honesty.

 

 

 

  Getting back to my opinion.  I have long held the opinion that our economy in Rhode Island, and even our entire country, is not as good as we are being told it is by government officials.  Having that opinion as I have for such a long time, I’m sure you can understand that when something like a ‘surprise’ shortfall of $100 million comes along, to me it means one of two things happened.  Either somebody in the budget office mistakenly over-estimated revenue, or…………..the suppositions of how good the economy would be were, shall we say, “overly optimistic”.

 

 

 

  One economic barometer officials use to “prove” the economy is as good as they want it to be is the stock market, and the way the stock market seems to be going up most of the time.  I say it’s an illusion.  The stock market will go up forever.  Not every day, of course, but over time.  It goes up as surely as the progressive jackpot goes up on slot machines in the casinos.  But just like a slot machine, if you are playing and have more than you started with, you haven’t really ‘won’ yet.  You see, you never really win until you cash out.  Similarly, if your stocks are up, you don’t have the money to spend until you sell the stocks.  But if everybody sold their stocks so they really would have their money to spend………the stock market would surely crash.  So, I conclude, the stock market gains are not a sign of a good economy. 

 

 

 

  The other economic barometer officials use to claim “all is well” is the unemployment rate.  I have never been persuaded that the unemployment figures delivered dutifully each month by our DLT are derived by a system which does not favor a ‘politically friendly methodology’ with a blind eye to the reality of people who are not employed enough to support the kind of revenue upon which the state’s budget was founded. 

 

 

 

  To put it simply, if someone is not drawing unemployment benefits, that person is not counted as unemployed.  And these days, there are no extensions of unemployment benefits in effect, so in less than a year’s time all benefits for an unemployed worker are exhausted.  The way I understand things, that means our unemployment rate, the way they calculate it now, cannot fail to improve every month as people, still without jobs, are counted as working.

 

 

 

  It follows, then, that when state budget revenue projections are calculated using the false unemployment numbers being reported, those revenue projections will wrong.

 

 

 

  Is it a crime to falsely report better-than-reality figures?  Probably not.  It’s been going on for years and nobody is in jail yet for doing it.  But the real ‘crime’ I see here is the way they use this game to get away with deficit spending.  And the real ‘crime’ of it all is that when we deficit-spend we are in debt and then we truly cannot afford to do the things we need to do.  This causes us to continue to juggle and lie and deficit-spend on into the future in an exercise resembling a Ponzi scheme.  And you know what happens then.

 

 

 

  I’ve been going over the amendments to her budget the governor is recommending.  She’s now going to close down and sell some group homes for special needs people to raise cash.  Some other people getting benefits now will lose those benefits.  Also, vendors who sell goods and services to the state will now be forced to “kick-back” one percent of their well-earned payments for goods and services back to the state in the form of an “administrative fee”.

 

 

 

  These are troubling times, my friend.  When you want to spend more money than you have and you justify it by lying about how much money you will earn………well………if it were you or me…….we’d be in big trouble. 

 

 

 

  We’ve got work to do to clear up this mess.  Hard work.  And we need serious people to do it, not people who will blame a president who is not a member of their political party simply because your party people will like you better if you do.  We need people who don’t give up to get along.  We need a state government which is not so steeped in situational ethics that even they don’t know the truth from the lies.

 

 

 

  I had a friend years ago who was a retired priest.  He’d pop off from time to time with comments that were unexpected, but they really made you think.  About government corruption he’d say, “We need another flood.”, referring to Noah.  I’d like to think there’s a better way, but considering what I’ve just written………maybe Father was right.  It’s hard to argue with his logic.

 

 

 

--That’s what I think.  What do you think?  Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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