Well, Juno (the blizzard) didn’t turn out to be ’78 redux, but it did shake everyone up, and it seems a lot of those responsible for dealing with the storm did their homework and got Vo Dilun back on track in a day or two. It was bad enough to shut down RIPTA for over 24 hours, but there were precious few power outages and Governor Gina passed what people are calling her first major test as the state’s Head Ramrod with flying colors.
Things were a bit spottier on the city and town level. There was the expected grumbling about the slow progress of plowing in some communities and, most dramatic of all, the realization that the storm interrupted vital doughnut deliveries to a number of Dunkin Donut franchises throughout the state. We cannot confirm this, but there was a rumor that in some police departments, word of the doughnut drought led some personnel to wear black cloths on their heads.
Somehow we survived it all and the Biggest Little can now breathe a sigh of relief as we forge on into the abyss.
Portrait of the Artist
We know that our old pal Linc is none too fond of his official portrait as governor that will grace a wall in the state house, but Phillipe and Jorge think it is perfect for a man who always kept his own counsel and endured more dark times than necessary.
Done by artist Julie Gearan, it shows Linc within a grim light, wearing a black topcoat and with a faraway look at, no doubt, more incoming storms. While the former governor wanted none of the usual accessories surrounding him − globe, portrait of Lincoln, library of unread books − it really does bring home the man in real life. Someone who boldly challenged his own party, who was indeed an Independent Man like the one atop Halitosis Hall, and would stick to his guns until a high-noon shootout when challenged.
Two of the best features of Gearan’s excellent piece are subtle, but powerful. The sight of clouds lifting from the dark days in the background and Linc’s left hand resting on a rock with stems of marsh grasses rising around it. Yes, things did improve during Chafee’s tenure, whether you like admitting it or not. And his total, unqualified dedication to the environment was evident daily, and a tribute to his father, the late Senator John Chafee, author of the national Clean Water Act, whose power and prescience endures until this day.
It is great to see that this nuanced and no-nonsense portrait will be featured at the state house; its honesty will be light years away from the stiffly posed portraits of previous government leaders trying to convey a sense of dignity and honor who were conversely at best crooks, thieves and scoundrels whose first concern was to feather their own nests, the public be damned. The truth may hurt, Linc, but it has always been a rare commodity on Smith Hill, and both you and Ms. Gearan should be proud of your efforts.
No More Homecomings
There has been a great deal made lately of Arab/Muslim terrorists who left their developed home countries to travel to the likes of Syria or Yemen (pick your own third-world hellhole) to get military training there, and then come back home and commit mass murders against innocent citizens. While France and Great Britain are most concerned, especially since Charlie Hebdo, the US has our own crop of detestable scum flying the radical Islam flag, both here and in Stone Age nations.
Although government officials have either gotten their knickers in a twist or simply wet those panties, P&J believe there is a fairly easy solution. When one of these assimilated psychopaths buys a ticket to travel to the Mideast or another resort vacation spot like Afghanistan, inform them that it is only going to be a one-way voyage. They will simply not be allowed to return, and their photos and personal info will be disseminated to every checkpoint in every country from which they may attempt their re-entry.
Will this stop the influx of terrorists entirely? Not a chance. But it would be a good first step. And as to protecting civil rights in free, essentially democratic countries, P&J would use the argument against these terrorism importers, famously used by great minds like Aristotle and the Marx Brothers, “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.” P&J are certain there will be plenty of second thoughts by these human scum leaving those pied-a-terres in Paris and London for a lifetime of “one hot and no cot” in a charmingly appointed cave or the delightful heat of the desert.
In the meantime, nous sommes Charlie, and are not afraid.
Passing of a Great Man
Phillipe & Jorge would like to join the chorus to salute the life of Dr. Stanley Aronson, the founding dean of Brown University’s Alpert School of Medicine, who passed away on Jan 28. Dr. Aronson had a huge and positive effect on life in the Biggest Little, not just through his pioneering work in medicine and as a mentor to generations of medical students and physicians, but also for his weekly columns that ran in the Providence Journal (on Mondays) for many years and were among the most erudite and learned articles to appear in the daily paper. He was also a co-founder of Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island. We recommend the obituary/salute written by Scott MacKay, political reporter for RI’s NPR station, WRNI, that can be found on the station’s website (ripr.org).
Ain’t No Sun Shine?
One of the first things to strike the pure-heart and inquiring mind of Phillipe when he moved to England decades ago was that one of the country’s largest papers, The Sun, featured just inside the front page photos of women baring their breasts. He found this feature to be very popular with his fellow workers on a construction site, who had less than degrees from Oxford or Cambridge, as well it might, because the news content of The Sun makes the New York Post look like The Times of London.
If you ever wondered how Australian media magnate Rupert ‘The Dirty Digger” Murdoch rose to prominence, it was through this great idea for what is now commonly know as “tits on page 3.” These topless shots were always accompanied by a caption that was to somehow justify their presence: “Frisky Liverpool lass Daphne is enjoying the surf in Bimini during her holiday vacation.” Yeah, and now Clive is spending too much time in the bathroom at home studying the stock market results in the paper.
There are conflicting reports in the British media these days after a shocking decision, supposedly ordered by the Dirty Digger, that the women on page 3 now wear bras or bikini tops while frolicking. But knowing Murdoch, if sales slip even a bit, the working class men in England will again be shouting “Phwoar!” after they pick up their morning copy of the Dirty Digger’s rag en route to the building site or factory.
P&J are now pondering if the head ramrods at the Urinal have already started moving on the quote from David Dinsmore when he became editor of The Sun back in 2013, and who vowed to keep the “tits on Page 3” alive: It is a “good way of selling newspapers.” Prepare to get ‘em out, Rhody girls.