Fog creeps in the small hours of morning among the old grey buildings of Providence’s business district. It halos streetlights, and the headlights of the occasional wandering car or city bus. The salty tang of Narragansett Bay has drifted in with the fog. I can taste it when I go to the door for a breath of outside air to escape the mustiness of the building lobby. I’m halfway through the Third Shift on Tuesday morning, deciding if I have the balls to leave the security desk for another trip in the freight elevator down to the basement men’s room. I don’t want to, not after what I heard earlier tonight, but I washed down a small pepperoni pizza with three Diet Cokes and a Ginger Ale just after midnight, and there’s really no question I need to answer the call of nature.
The freight elevator door slides open at basement level, and I walk along a corridor lined with trash bins and maintenance doors to the men’s room. The bathroom door is ajar and the lights are on just as I left them. If anything’s waiting in there, I want to see it from the outside corridor. Not that I saw anything the first time, you understand, it’s only what I heard. But that doesn’t prevent me from imagining the possible owner of the mouth that hellish noise came from. I cross the tile floor to the urinal and unzip. Waiting for my bladder to agree that it needs to piss more than it wants to get out of here takes a minute or two.
I transferred to the Kurd’s Head Building from the apartment complex three weeks ago and up until now everything has been peaceful. Even the water cooled, century old boilers have not overheated, and the water pit that supplies them with water has not overflowed. The shriek I heard, that turned my spine to water just after I came on duty at eleven, does not reoccur by the time I finish my business.
It’s been two months since that night, and the shriek, enraged and nearly ultrasonic in its fury, has not been repeated. The most disturbing thing in that men’s room is the stained tile from a leaking urinal. Which explains, I suppose, why weird events become stories around campfiresand at Halloween parties and not documented phenomena. They don’t operate according to schedule. People who claim to collect solid evidence like detectives of the paranormal find their cases shot full of holes in the ordered scientific laboratory. This pleases me. Not everything in this world should be correlatable like an accountant’s business figures.
I’ve found myself in the neighborhood of life’s strange and unverifiable incidents several times. Sometimes it’s disturbing, sometimes amusing, a few times downright terrifying. I blog about some of them, use others in my short stories, or as material for my Haunted Cabaret internet radio show. Sometimes I decide it’s best to keep quiet and not tell at all. I do this not because these things are unspeakable, because nothing is unspeakable in our present day culture. Political correctness deals only with social indiscretions, not atrocities. Atrocities are reported with glee, by the media and in private conversation, with an affection that used to be reserved for adolescent love affairs.
Most of what you’ll see on the news that’s described as shocking and tragic: ISIS, the shooters killing children are media created. A small factual item is taken a terrorist attack, the murder of a kidnapped or abused child and amplified and glorified until it spawns a string of sequels. We love sequels, whether it’s Star Wars, Freddy Krueger the pedophile and cultural icon, or ISIS finding new and painful ways to kill people (The people we are fascinated to watch being tortured and killed lately are Christians, gays and women in general so much for America’s progressive agenda).
It’s impossible to describe, in suitable words, the feeling of waking in the pitch dark from a nightmare, frozen with terror, and feeling the indentation that sinks down the mattress as something heavy sits down at the foot of your bed. I can tell you about it, but I can’t describe the experience to make you feel what I felt. Even though this has happened to me several times, and once, something much worse.
So maybe there is such a thing as unspeakable. Not in terms of social taboos, at least not in this country, but in terms of words being insufficient to convey the extent of terror, like the time I saw the thing in the kitchen that almost stopped my heart. I can’t tell you about that any better than I just did. Words fail me...a terrible failure for a writer to admit. But they failed H. P. Lovecraft, who often resorted to piled up adjectives attempting to describe the ultimate horror, and St John the Divine, reduced to describing Paradise in terms of white bathrobes and golden stairs, so at least I’m in good company.
(Host of The Haunted Cabaret)
Physicians’ Organization Throws Support Behind Effort to End Marijuana Prohibition in RI
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, an organization led by some of the most prominent physicians in the country, has formally endorsed the effort to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use in Rhode Island.
The addition of DFCR to the Regulate Rhode Island coalition comes at a pivotal time, just as state lawmakers are considering legislation to end marijuana prohibition.
Members of DFCR’s leadership team include former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders; integrative medicine pioneer Dr. Andrew Weil; Dr. H. Westley Clark, former director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment; Dr. Chris Beyrer, founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights; Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School; Dr. David Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Community Health at Brown University; Dr. Donald Abrams, chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division at San Francisco General Hospital; and Dr. David Nathan, a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Statement from Dr. David Lewis, founder of Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies and Professor Emeritus of Community Health and Medicine, Brown University Alpert Medical School:
“Our over-reliance on the criminal justice system has caused needless harm to families and communities without meeting its goals. The public already ‘gets it’, that the War On Drugs has failed.”
Statement from Dr. James Crowley, former president of the Rhode Island Medical Society, member of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, and co-chair of Regulate Rhode Island:
“By any objective measure, cannabis is far less harmful than alcohol. Given what the science tells us, it makes no sense to continue criminalizing marijuana and punishing adults who use it responsibly. Prohibiting cannabis has created an out-of-control illicit market that undermines public health and safety. It is time for us to take a new approach.”
Statement from Dr. David Nathan, founder and president of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation:
“Doctors for Cannabis Regulation is proud to stand with Regulate Rhode Island in calling for a more sensible approach to cannabis policy. Our organization believes that you don’t have to be ‘pro-marijuana’ to oppose its prohibition. It is clear that the prohibitionist approach causes more harm to society than marijuana itself. The public health benefits of legalizing and regulating marijuana similarly to alcohol are significant, and we think it is time for Rhode Island and the rest of the country to take steps toward reforming the failed policy of marijuana prohibition.”
Providence, RI -- While Rhode Island ranks 48th on the Jobs and Opportunity Index (JOI), demonstrating the deep need for new work within our state, the House is considering a bill that would kill ride sharing services like Uber or Lyft. These services are an efficient and innovative part of Rhode Island's economy, and should be given a chance to prosper according to the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, which today updated its list of the BEST and WORST bills of the 2016 General Assembly session.
By adding unreasonable burdens, H8044, sponsored by House Majority Whip Rep. Jay Edwards (D, Portsmouth), would impose heavy regulations and fees for transportation network companies (like Uber), including (among other things) $150 fees for each driver, unusual insurance regulations, bans against cash use, bans on driver gun licensing, and disability mandates. As seen in other states, legislation like this could force Uber or Lyft to leave the Ocean State due to government interference.
At a higher level, once again General Assembly lawmakers in 2016 are on track to continue a multi-year, negative trend of public policy that will reduce economic justice for Rhode Islanders. This according to the 2016 General Assembly Freedom Index, an interactive, live tool published by the nonpartisan Center.
Also of note, 14 individual lawmakers currently have scores above zero, while in 2015 not a single Representative or Senator earned a positive score.
Lawmakers and the public are encouraged to visit the Legislation tab on the 2016 Freedom Index to determine the bill rankings for the majority of bills that have been rated, but not yet voted on. The "Summary" tab displays individual lawmaker scores.
Summary: As of May, of the 324 bills that have qualified for the index:
Additional resources are available on the main RI Freedom Index page, including a number of online and interactive tools and information for users, with links to scores from prior years:
RI Free Radio: How did you become a Libertarian?
Mr. Perry: I wrote about this in my book A Rebel's Journey: My Path to Liberty. I first learned about libertarianism from Neal Boortz in 1999 when he was talking about the Fair Tax. I somehow found the World's Smallest Political Quiz, scored a 70/100 (on the border between conservative/libertarian), and first joined the Libertarian Party. I've been a Life Member of the LP since 2008.
RI Free Radio: Are there any Libertarian principles you are particularly interested in?
Mr. Perry: Equality of rights. Specifically that no person has more rights than anyone else, and can not delegate a right they don't have.
RI Free Radio: Do you have plans to grow and/or improve the Libertarian Party?
Mr. Perry: We improve the Libertarian Party by consistently promoting libertarian principles, not watered-down half measures disguised as libertarian principles.
RI Free Radio: Are there any "pet" issues that you are particularly interested in?
Mr. Perry: My "pet issue" is reforming election laws, specifically ballot access laws to allow for equal treatment of candidates and voters.
RI Free Radio: What can be done to improve the current economic situation?
Mr. Perry: Abolish coercive taxes, which would allow people to keep more of their money to spend on goods and services that will improve rather than destroy their communities.
RI Free Radio: What is your thoughts on monetary policy? Should be Fed be abolished?
Mr. Perry: The legal tender laws need to be repealed to allow the creation of competing complementary free market currencies. Absolutely, and should be done along with repealing legal tender laws.
For more information on the Perry Campaign go to: darrylwperry.com
Note: Mr. Perry will be in Rhode Island on Saturday, May 7th. First for an hour long interview on Coalition Radio on WPRO with Host Pat "P.O. Taxpayer" Ford and guest co-host Tony Jones @ 6pm (the interview will also be video streamed live via: facebook.com/TheCoalitionRadio) and then for a meet & greet @ Agave Restaurant in Bristol starting @ 7:30pm
Note: The 2016 Libertarian Party National Presidential Nominating Convention will be held over Memorial day weekend in Orlando, FL.
Providence, RI: WaterFire Providence announces the 2016 WaterFire season which currently includes nine full lightings and one partial lighting.
As sponsorship develops, WaterFire will announce additional lightings and programming -- watch for updates on the WaterFire Providence website (www.waterfire.org), Facebook page (http://facebook.com/waterfireprovidence) and Twitter account (http://twitter.com/waterfireprov).
“We are really pleased to announce the 2016 WaterFire season which will present many of our most popular events as well as some exciting new surprises,” remarked Barnaby Evans, WaterFire’s creator and executive artistic director.
The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza will return to Washington Street for most full lightings with local artists presenting and selling their work. Food vendors will be located on Washington, College and Steeple Streets and National Grid will be providing charging stations for the public to use to power up their mobile devices for free throughout the installation again this year. Nursing Placement will return as WaterFire Providence’s official First Aid Station provider. Visitors can pick up a brochure/map in many local hotels or at the event at one of WaterFire Providence’s guest greeter stations or at the WaterFire Store on Canal Street that lists all events and activities throughout the day and evening.
WaterFire Providence’s Plan Your Trip to Providence webpage (http://waterfire.org/visit/plan-your-trip-to-providence/) is the #1 resource for up-to-date details about the event, transportation, parking, hotels, restaurants and other local attractions. Ignite Providence (http://igniteprovidence.com) is a WaterFire curated website presenting activities and events in and around Providence on WaterFire weekends that helps visitors explore a longer stay in the Creative Capital.
Saturday, May 21st
Basin Lighting – Sunset: 8:05 p.m.
Sponsored by The MET High School, Celebrating 20 Years
Saturday, May 28th
Full Lighting – Sunset: 8:11 p.m.
Sponsored by Bank of America
Saturday, June 18th
Full Lighting – Sunset: 8:24 p.m.
Sponsored by CVS Health Charity Classic and The Providence Journal
Saturday, July 9th
Full Lighting – Sunset: 8:22 p.m.
Sponsored by Amica Insurance with the generous support of the Textron Charitable Trust
Saturday, July 23rd
Full Lighting – Sunset: 8:12 p.m.
Sponsored by Cox Business
Saturday, August 6th – Hep C Hope: A WaterFire Lighting for RI Defeats Hep C
Full Lighting – Sunset: 7:59 p.m.
Sponsored by HepCHope.com
Saturday, August 20th
Full Lighting – Sunset 7:37 p.m.
Sponsored by Fidelity Investments and National Grid
Saturday, September 24th
Full Lighting – Sunset 6:38 p.m.
Sponsored by the Confucius Institute & US-China Institute at Bryant University andNortek
Saturday, October 1st – Flames of Hope a Celebration of Life™
Full Lighting – Sunset: 6:26 p.m.
Sponsored by Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation and Lifetime Medical
Saturday, November 5th – WaterFire Salute to Veterans
Full Lighting – Sunset: 5:34 p.m.
2016 Season Sponsors: Bank of America, The City of Providence and Mayor Jorge Elorza, Cox Communications, CVS Health Charity Classic, Dominion Power and Energy, Emery’s Catering, iHeart Media Providence, Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation, HepCHope.com, IGT, Lifetime Medical, National Grid, Nortek, Nursing Placement, The Providence Journal, The Rhode Island General Assembly and the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts, TRAC Builders, Waste Management, WPRI 12 & FOX Providence & The Rhode Show
2016 Co-Lead Fire Sponsors: Amica Insurance, Confucius Institute and US-China Institute at Bryant University, Cox Business, Fidelity Investments, Textron Charitable Trust
2016 Media Sponsors: Cox Media, Cumulus Media: News Talk 630 AM & 99.7 FM and Talk and Business 790 AM, iHeart Media Providence, The Providence Journal, WPRI 12 & FOX Providence & The Rhode Show
2016 Basin and Partial Fire Sponsors: Dunkin’ Donuts - Slam Dunk WaterFire, The MET School - Celebrating 20 Years
WaterFire Providence is still actively seeking sponsors to add additional lightings in the 2016 season with potential open dates including September 3rd, September 17th and October 15th.
“WaterFire offers one of the most powerful opportunities anywhere for corporations and other organizations to engage their customers and communities. We create unforgettable customer experiences tailor-made for sponsors’ needs,” Says Bronwyn Dannenfelser, Director of Resource Development.
Contact Bronwyn@waterfire.org for more information regarding sponsorship opportunities.Each year WaterFire attracts nearly 1 million visitors to downtown Providence to experience art in the city. Annually, WaterFire activity creates $113 million in economic output for local businesses, generates over $9 million of tax revenue for the State of Rhode Island and supports 1,294 jobs for community residents.
WaterFire _Providence is a 501(c)3 independent, non-profit arts organization whose mission is to inspire Providence and its visitors by revitalizing the urban experience, fostering community engagement and creatively transforming the city by presenting WaterFire for all to enjoy. Created in 1994 by the artist Barnaby Evans, each year approximately one million visitors come to Providence to experience WaterFire making it one of the largest tourist attractions in the State of Rhode Island and Southern New England region.
For more information about WaterFire Providence, please visit http://waterfire.org or call 401-273-1155.
May 3, 2016, Santa Fe, NM — Gov. Gary Johnson released the following statement in response to Sen. Ted Cruz’s decision to withdraw from the Republican presidential nomination race:
“With the withdrawal of Senator Cruz from the Republican race, the table for November’s election is set. Sen. Cruz fought hard, and for that he deserves credit, regardless of whether one agreed with him on the issues or not. His departure from the race, along with the likely nomination of Hillary Clinton by the Democrats, makes it clear that neither of the two ‘major parties’ will offer voters in November a small government candidate. What they are offering voters are two of the most polarizing candidates in recent history.
“Polarizing as they may be, when the rhetoric is pushed aside, will either of those candidates shrink the government? Will either of them stop the military interventions that are not making us safer? Will either of them stop the government from spying on us citizens? And will either truly bring government spending under control, stop the deficits that are bankrupting us, and get the government off our backs so that Americans can find the jobs they want and put us back on a path to opportunity?
“In November, there will be three candidates on the ballot in all 50 states: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and the Libertarian Party nominee. I hope to be that nominee. With millions of Americans now feeling politically ‘homeless’, a two-term Governor who balanced budgets, cut taxes, cut regulations and truly reduced the size of government may offer the home they are seeking.”
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