New from Nicholas Alahverdian: Semiotics in Autumn Rhythm

New from Nicholas Alahverdian

For Nicholas Alahverdian, a Harvard scholar with a vast array of research interests and focal areas, Jackson Pollock’s work was that of a genius.

Nicholas Alahverdian 2019
Nicholas Alahverdian Copyright 2019

Jackson Pollock’s painting style was not merely improvisational – it also incorporated characteristics reminiscent of those artists and authors who engaged in the practice of writing and/or painting in the style of stream-of-consciousness.

Nicholas Alahverdian
Nicholas Alahverdian

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Drip after drip, smear after smear, mixing the two – these techniques cumulatively defined the greatness of his work.

Nicholas Alahverdian
Nicholas Alahverdian

Loyal to his art and chronically dissatisfied with his performance, he lengthened his artistic stride to further his aesthetic interpretation of the world in which we live.

Nicholas Alahverdian
Nicholas Alahverdian

About Nicholas Alahverdian

Nicholas Alahverdian was born and raised in the Boston metropolitan area. Orphaned at the age of 14, Nicholas was a bookworm and aspired to become a lawyer, journalist, and an elected official. Nicholas said “I found that each profession complemented the other, and as one grows in influence in one field, they simultaneously acquire knowledge to assist intellectual advancement in variant fields. Law, journalism, and politics have a symbiotic relationship with one another, and being involved in those three fields as a professional would epitomize being a public servant.”

Nicholas Alahverdian, About the Author
Nicholas Alahverdian

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At Harvard, he concentrated in comparative literature and political science. His professors and advisors included Henry Louis Gates, Jr., John Hamilton, Theo Theoharis, and Thomas Underwood.

Alahverdian has taught political science, literature and creative writing as an adjunct lecturer at Harvard University and other institutions. Nicholas taught courses on political advocacy in the 21st century, with a particular focus on how multiple factors are damaging public faith in elections. and in some cases, democracy in its totality. Nicholas has long been a key figure in helping companies and individuals adopt a fresh approach to campaigning and lobbying, discarding outdated tactics and restructuring for greater success and revenue generation.

Nicholas Alahverdian worked on many political campaigns, including stints with Cranston Mayor John O’Leary, State Representative Raymond A. Hull, East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva, and many others. Nicholas Alahverdian’s interests outside of work include poetry, the opera, and reading.

Visit https://www.nicholasalahverdian.com for more information

Lewis & Mere Christianity

Comparing the idea of Christian ethics to the readings in C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity

Nicholas Alahverdian

In this volume, Lewis explicates the meaning of ‘law’ in the material sense as well as the spiritual sense. Lewis speaks of the Law of Nature and how it “must be something above and beyond the actual facts of human behaviour (p. 23).” As Lewis explains further, he parallels observation with speculation and notes that man doesn’t observe he is man, he in fact knows and actively recognizes he is man as he says “we are men (ibid).”

When man received the Mosaic law, he recognized that there were regulations exacted by God to his people. Wisdom, as interpreted by the Jews, was knowing through God and faith, whereas Socratic wisdom consisted of knowing that one cannot know all.

As the Mosaic law sustained the people throughout the centuries, it became clear that it was imperative that the law be fulfilled so that the men of Lewis’ description could be the recipients of the comprehensive blessings associated with the fulfillment of the Law. Indeed, it was faith that made Abraham righteous; the law came after. As was detailed in the lecture of May 18th, the law was always destined to prepare for Christ as it was a step on the path to Him.

Nicholas Alahverdian, CS Lewis
CS Lewis © 2018 Nicholas Alahverdian. All rights reserved.

There are three kinds of Catholic law: eternal law; natural law, and positive law (as discussed in the lecture on May 19th). The Ten Commandments stood to govern exterior human acts and prepare for Christ whilst the New Law is the Law of Love and is in direct correlation with freedom and grace. This law fulfills the Old Law and governs interior human acts.

As Christ said, “Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you.” Humanity obeying this law would singlehandedly solve most of the ethical and moral problems in the world. The foundation of iniquity to Lewis is pride (p. 122) and as such, the solution of the aforementioned problems would be attained through the dissolution of pride which “leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind (ibid).” Pride is the antithesis of Godliness; it is doing to others the polar opposite of what one would want done to him.

Continue reading Lewis & Mere Christianity

Nicholas Alahverdian uncovers 1,450% increase in child deaths or near-deaths since Gina Raimondo elected

DCYF expert releases statement on foster child deaths during the first 3 years of the tenure of Governor Gina Raimondo

MORE CHILDREN IN DCYF CARE HAVE DIED UNDER SPEAKER MATTIELLO AND GOVERNOR RAIMONDO THAN ANY OTHER SPEAKER AND GOVERNOR COMBINED

Nicholas Alahverdian uncovers 1,450% increase in child deaths or near-deaths since Gina Raimondo was inaugurated

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCTOBER 18, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (nicholasalahverdian.com) — Harvard scholar and DCYF reform activist Nicholas Alahverdian unleashed a fierce warning to the people of Rhode Island today after discovering that more children in the care of the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) have been killed or nearly killed since Governor Gina Raimondo and Speaker Nicholas Mattiello have risen to power in state government. 

Gina Raimondo
Gov. Gina Raimondo has turned a blind eye to the chaos at DCYF

The report is released by the Office of Nicholas Alahverdian in conjunction with a video detailing the failures of Raimondo and Mattiello which can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiM09Hic0RI

“What we have found,” said Nicholas Alahverdian, “Through diving into everything from Providence Journal archives to FOIA requests, is that children in DCYF care are more at risk than ever. This is an election year and I take no ignominy in stating the obvious: Gina Raimondo and Nicholas Mattiello have not — though executive order or legislation — done anything to substantially curve this dangerous trend of dead or nearly-dead DCYF kids.”

Nicholas Alahverdian, Gina Raimondo
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo

“Gina Raimondo and Nicholas Mattiello have blood on their hands,” Nicholas Alahverdian continued. “One of the last times a child died in state care was the case of Thomas Wright, under the administration of former Governor Donald Carcieri. Coincidentally, I had the same social worker as little T.J. Wright — and while he was being killed in Woonsocket, I was being tortured and raped in Florida — all in the month of October 2004. Poor Patricia Chabot was so overburdened with a high rate of cases that she had one kid being tortured and raped and another ending up dead — all in one month. This practice continues unabated to this day under the Raimondo administration — except it is literally and exactly 1,450% worse.”

Nicholas Alahverdian, Nicholas Mattiello
Nicholas Mattiello, Speaker of the House

As the 2018 election draws near, it is important to highlight the records of the incumbents. “We have had over 30 deaths or near-deaths in the past 3 and a half years,” said Nicholas Alahverdian. “Gina Raimondo, in her ubiquitous blasé tone, has dismissed DCYF issues as ‘longstanding.’ While these issues are longstanding, these dead kids are 8 and 9 years old. They are not given a fair chance at life.”

Turning to the situation of Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, Alahverdian was considerably infuriated: “Over 50% of the House Chamber supported an omnibus bill and individual bills to overhaul DCYF. Not one bill — bills which were introduced year after year — made it out of committee. Not one. Nicholas Mattiello’s legal counsel and members of the Joint Committee on Legislative Services worked to actively inhibit any legislation that would improve or overhaul DCYF. Vicariously, Nicholas Mattiello is jointly responsible for the deaths and abuse suffered by children in DCYF care.” 

Nicholas Alahverdian, Harvard
Harvard scholar Nicholas Alahverdian

The study, conducted by Nicholas Alahverdian and his team of researchers, found that within the past three gubernatorial administrations, there has been a stark increase in DCYF child deaths since Raimondo became Governor. “In 2008, DCYF investigated reports of the death of a child in their care. In 2003, we saw the tragic death of T.J. Wright. Within a five year timespan, we had two investigations of DCYF-related deaths,” said Alahverdian. In the Chafee administration from 2011 to 2015, there were no child deaths. Yet under Gina Raimondo, we as a state have to take a seat and say to ourselves ‘within 4 years there have been over 30 deaths or near-deaths’” 

“It’s unconscionable,” said Alahverdian. “We have dead Rhode Island kids while Raimondo mingles in glitzy ballrooms raising funds for her campaign — policies which, by practice, include the disregard of DCYF-related killings.” 

Mike Chippendale, Nicholas Alahverdian, Doreen Costa, DCYF
Rep Michael Chippendale, Lobbyist Nicholas Alahverdian, and Rep. Doreen Costa at the Rhode Island State House Press Conference on DCYF

Nicholas Alahverdian, a former legislative aide for the Rhode Island House of Representatives hired at the age of 14, has been fighting for DCYF reform since 2002. Alahverdian suffered torture, abuse, and negligence in the infamous night-to-night program at the same time he worked for the state government. 

When legislators and the media began to act and report on the abuse Alahverdian was suffering, he was exiled by Family Court Chief Judge Jeremiah S. Jeremiah and Governor Donald L. Carcieri to two facilities — Manatee Palms in Florida and Boys Town Residential Treatment Center in Nebraska — which were later closed by their own states for torture, abuse, and neglect. Thought that period of time, Alahverdian was allowed to contact no one at all — lawyers, the courts, DCYF social workers, the police.

Alahverdian later sued his abusers in federal court in Rhode Island, led an attempted state and federal legislative blitz to attempt to enhance DCYF policies and practices, and studied comparative literature at Harvard University. 

###

Contact: Nicholas Alahverdian
+1 401 472 4955
nalahverdian@gmail.com
nicholasalahverdian.com

Resources: 

T.J. Wright Killing: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/29263056/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/man-gets-life-fatal-beating-over-spilt-milk/#.W8fjzS2ZORs

Nicholas Alahverdian Biography: https://www.nicholasalahverdian.com/nicholas-alahverdian-biography/

Brief Nicholas Alahverdian biographical video (2011): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnYCsZg-FdY

2011 WPRI 12 Story on Nicholas Alahverdian story and legislation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTufox9v7to

2002 Providence Journal Column by Bob Kerr- https://www.nicholasalahverdian.com/posts/posts-14611102483-a-survivor-tells-the-story-of-kid-dumping/ 

2011 Providence Journal Column by Bob Kerr- https://www.nicholasalahverdian.com/nicholas-alahverdian/nicholas-alahverdian-he-knows-the-ri-system-inside-and-out/

Providence Journal op-ed 2017 – http://www.providencejournal.com/opinion/20170407/nicholas-alahverdian-dcyf-workers-need-help-to-protect-children

Press Release: Rhode Island DCYF expert calls for House and Senate review of long-delayed legislation

Nicholas Alahverdian legislation would satisfy federal concerns

Continue reading Press Release: Rhode Island DCYF expert calls for House and Senate review of long-delayed legislation

DCYF Report: Recurrent, vile and ominous abuse findings. Again.

Mattiello and Raimondo need to go. Here’s why.

By Nicholas Alahverdian
nicholasalahverdian.com

I have, in collaboration with current and former Representatives Bob DaSilva, Raymond Hull, Michael Marcello, Anastasia Williams and multitudinous others, drafted and submitted bills to ameliorate the seemingly irremediable Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF). We have introduced this legislation year after year. Each bill, year after year, has been held for further study.

Interestingly enough, when I was actively lobbying for this legislation in my 2011 DCYF reform blitz, we had over 40 co-sponsors in the House. Think about that for a second. The House of Representatives has 75 members. There were forty co-sponsors. If those bills were transmitted from committee to the floor for a vote, they would have passed with flying colors. Continue reading DCYF Report: Recurrent, vile and ominous abuse findings. Again.

The Nicholas Alahverdian Torture Case: Governor Chafee Meeting and Press Conference

Following a meeting with the Governor’s Office, Nicholas Alahverdian will hold a brief press conference on Friday, April 8, 2011 at 3 p.m. at the State House Rotunda to discuss the details of his federal lawsuit against DCYF and take questions about his experiences of abuse and negligence, substantiated by state and federal authorities (see links to news stories), in Rhode Island, Nebraska, and Florida group homes and treatment facilities.

Nicholas Alahverdian was exiled from the State of Rhode Island by the Department of Children, Youth and Families after illuminating the deficiencies at facilities monitored by them to legislators of the Rhode Island General Assembly. At the time, he was an employee of the Rhode Island House of Representatives. When Nicholas was exiled, he began to be tortured in both facilities which had long records of violence and maltreatment against patients, with both facilities undergoing significant state investigations with courts issuing grand jury indictments and orders to halt admissions. Nevertheless, Alahverdian was banished to these facilities.
Nicholas Alahverdian, RI, Lincoln Chafee
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee and Nicholas Alahverdian

Nicholas Alahverdian was sent to one facility in Nebraska, the Boys Town Residential Treatment Center; and one in Florida, Manatee Palms Youth Services (owned by Premier Behavioral Solutions, a subsidiary of the nationally troubled Psychiatric Solutions, recently purchased by Universal Health Services). Both were shut down by their respective state regulatory agencies for violations of federal and state regulations, including abuse and negligence.

In Florida, Nicholas Alahverdian was raped by a staff member who admitted to the crime and was later imprisoned (see attached documents). Also, the for-profit Florida facility has been shut down in recent years for hiring convicted felons and retaining them, not providing sufficient staff, and hiring abusive people, most of whom were directly out of high school.

Alahverdian will also discuss legislation going before the House Judiciary Committee on April 12, 2011 to end out-of-state placements and enhance the Rhode Island Children’s Bill of Rights, sponsored by Rep. Michael Marcello and Rep. Bob DaSilva. There will be a large rally on Tuesday the 12th at 3 p.m. (press advisory to be sent later today/Monday) before the bills go before the House Judiciary Committee at the rise of the House (typically around 4:30).

 

EVENT DETAILS
    WHO: NexusGovernment, Nicholas Alahverdian
    WHAT: Press Conference on lawsuit, DCYF reform legislation
    WHEN: Friday, April 8 at 3 p.m.
    WHERE: Rhode Island State House Rotunda
Nicholas Alahverdian in 2010

Buddy Cianci Runs Again

BY ANDREW MARANTZ

Hollybeth Runco, a blond woman in her forties, lives in a two-story Craftsman-style house on the east side of Providence, Rhode Island. On a recent Sunday afternoon, she and her husband, Tom, sat at their dining-room table with a few friends, drinking Cabernet and waiting for their guest of honor, Vincent Cianci, Jr., who is known by his nickname, Buddy.

“When we moved here, ten years ago, all I heard was Buddy jokes,” Tom said.
Susan Teeden-Cielo, a friend from the neighborhood, said, “When Hollybeth announced this, she got a lot of hate just for giving Buddy the time of day.” (Responding to Runco’s invitation, one neighbor wrote, “This waste of skin is a cancer to Providence.”)

“People think he’s a stain on the city, and they are worried that he’s slick enough to make people forget what he’s done,” Tom said.

Cianci was the mayor of Providence from 1975 to 1984, and again from 1991 to 2002. (Philip Gourevitch wrote about Cianci for The New Yorker in 2002.) He is the most influential figure in the city’s modern history, and many people credit him with bringing economic life to what was once a post-industrial backwater. He is also a convicted felon who is something of a local joke.

Though he left prison seven years ago, stores still sell T-shirts that say “Free Buddy”; his face is on the label of a popular brand of pasta sauce, Mayor’s Own Marinara. He also hosts a call-in radio show, which he describes as “lucrative.” Improbably, he is running for a seventh term, as an independent. Even more improbably, he has a decent chance of winning: a recent poll has him six points in the lead. He seems to belong to a special class of zombie politicians—Marion Barry, Eliot Spitzer—who can be embarrassed by scandal but not shamed into silence.

Runco, a former engineer, is now a homemaker. She has two children, one of whom has special needs. A few weeks ago, she heard a rumor that the public schools would be cutting back on special-education services. She called the school board and met with the current mayor, but their answers were not satisfactory.

“Finally, I found the name of Buddy’s campaign manager and cold-called her. She was on my couch the next day,” Runco said. Cianci offered to attend an informal meeting about the issue, and Runco invited a dozen friends. “Some are skeptical, some are haters, some are agnostic,” she said. “I don’t think anyone is ready to say they’re a supporter, including myself.”

A Lincoln Town Car pulled up, and Cianci climbed the stairs to the house, a bit unsteadily. He was once cannonball-shaped, with a charging gait and a voluminous toupee. Now, at seventy-three, he is thinner, slower, and openly bald. He wore khakis, a buttoned blazer, and thick glasses that magnified puppy-dog eyes. “I’m mostly here to listen,” he said, before talking for fifteen minutes.

“The city has changed, but not really,” he said, sitting at the dining-room table. “The biggest thing this time around is the technology. We hired a company that breaks down voters and their behavior—you know, people who like baseball are more likely to vote for me, that kind of thing. It’s remarkable how much privacy we’ve given up in this country.” Noticing that he had his back to some of the guests, he turned and said, “My apologies, ladies. I’m not used to doing theatre in the round.”
Runco, seated across from Cianci, said, “I’m going to sit right here, because I’m partially deaf and I read lips. It’s not that I want to make out with you.”

“Good,” Cianci said. “I’ve got enough problems.”

In 1984, Cianci’s first term was interrupted when he was found guilty of assaulting a man who was dating his ex-wife. In 2002, after undercover federal agents recorded hundreds of conversations in City Hall, Cianci was indicted on twenty-nine charges of corruption. He told the group at Runco’s house, “I was found not guilty of the RICO”—crimes defined by the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act—“but was found guilty of conspiracy to commit RICO. Go figure.” He served a four-and-a-half-year prison term but still professes his innocence, preferring to speak vaguely of “regrets.” “I gave a speech and some kid sits in the front row and says, ‘What would you have changed in your life?’ Being a smart-ass, I said, ‘The verdict.’ ”
Runco and her guests voiced their concerns. Kirsten Murphy said, “My son can see our elementary school from his window, but the city told us that they would allocate funds to bus him to another school.”

“That’s just stupid!” Cianci said.

“What’s your plan for busing?” Runco asked.

“Look, I was mayor when we were going through voluntary desegregation,” he said. “I know I don’t look that old, but I am. But now you have to revert to neighborhood autonomy.” He added, “My good friend Richie Daley, in Chicago, he’s done a pretty decent job with the schools out there.” (Daley, Chicago’s former mayor, survived several scandals.)

Cianci took a call on his iPhone—it had something to do with an upcoming city-council vote. As he talked, he took a bite of one of the meatballs Teeden-Cielo had put out, and made an A-O.K. hand gesture.

He hung up the phone. “I want to talk about the story of American cities,” he said. “I made a decision years ago not to knock down our historic buildings. That was the big thing back then—knock ’em down, build something new. I don’t want to name names, but New Haven and Hartford did that.” He continued, “People ask other questions—whether we should invade Iraq and all that. That’s not me. I pick the garbage up.”

“I don’t know if this is too personal, but I have to ask,” Kira Greene said. “In the past, obviously, things didn’t always go the way you wanted them to go. I don’t know how to phrase it, but—could you be a better mayor because you made mistakes?”

“Oh, absolutely,” Cianci said. “In hindsight, if I want to be honest, I wouldn’t have voted for myself in 1974. It took a few years to get running. But I had a lot of vitality and devotion to the city, and that hasn’t diminished at all. They ask me, ‘Isn’t it a shame for you to run again?’ I’m not the problem. The city is in debt, failing schools—that’s the shame.”

He stood up. “Hey, listen, I talked too much—that’s been my trouble my whole life—but I really enjoyed it.”

After showing him out, Runco said, “I think it was less about deciding ‘I’m definitely voting for him’ and more just about getting comfortable with the idea.”

“It’s harder to hate someone when they’re sitting right in front of you,” Tom said. He had been in the anyone-but-Buddy camp, but he was reconsidering. “Our friends warned us not to get taken in: ‘He puts on a good show, but don’t believe a word he says.’ Well, unless you hook him up to a polygraph, I guess it’s impossible to know.”

A Survivor Tells the Story of Kid Dumping

A survivor tells the story of kid dumping

Bob Kerr, ProJo, Nicholas Alahverdian
Bob Kerr

By Bob Kerr

24 November 2002

The Providence Journal

© 2002 Providence Journal/Evening Bulletin. All Rights Reserved.

As Nicholas Alahverdian and I talked, he took in the view of the Rhode Island State House from The Journal cafeteria.

Nicholas Alahverdian, State House
RI State House

“You don’t know how much I love going in that building,” he says.

Alahverdian loves the excitement of it, the reporters and the politicians. He’s been part of it. He’s worked for his state representative. He’s testified at hearings.

He wants to be a politician. And a lawyer. And a journalist.

Don’t bet against him hitting the career trifecta. He’s already been tested in ways few of us will ever know.

Nicholas Alahverdian State House
Nicholas Alahverdian

“I don’t think I’ve been harmed at all,” Nicholas Alahverdian says. “I think it’s all part of a plan that’s been assigned to me for upcoming events.”

He talks about the dark, uncertain part of his life as “boot camp.” It has taught him things and prepared him.

He’s 15, smart and articulate and almost painfully polite. He introduces himself with a handshake. He even said it was an honor to meet some of the people here at The Journal. He reads the newspaper. When he opens his backpack, a copy of David McCulloch’s biography of John Adams is the first thing he takes out.

He speaks from the other side of a lot of hard, cold statistics. He’s a kid caught in a cruel social shuffle that has left him with a heavy load of uncertainty when he desperately needs something solid and reliable.

RI, Rhode Island, torture
Nicholas Alahverdian

His insistence on being all that he can be is remarkable.

After we talked Thursday afternoon, Nicholas Alahverdian headed for the bus stop and a ride to his latest group home in Providence.

At a time when he should have no concerns more pressing than homework and maybe the girl who sits two rows over in his Spanish class, he is forced to live his life in bits and pieces, never knowing how long he will be living or going to school in the same place.

There was a point in Nick’s nomadic life, when the Rhode Island social service system put him in a foster home in North Smithfield. It was probably the best experience he’s had, the closest he’s come to his ideal of home and family.

“I can’t tell you how loving this family was – how they accepted me into their home. They were so caring.”

He stayed there for two days. That’s all he was scheduled for. Then he went home to his real family for the Christmas holidays at the end of 1999.

Then he returned to a shelter in Woonsocket.
“It was decent for someone my age,” he says of the shelter. “There were caring people there. There were activities set up for us each night.”

As we talk, he sorts through a stack of notes he’s taken on his life so far. There are also copies of school grades and newspaper stories I wrote about his stepfather, a popular local performer.

It is amazing how matter-of-fact he is about it, as if every 15-year-old goes through this kind of jolting, disjointed life in which faceless people are making the calls on where he will live and where he will learn. He sorts through his papers, tells his stories and provides a stunning personal voice for all the stories about kids in Rhode Island who get moved around like pieces on a real-life board game.

He has been in night-to-night placement under the Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF). It is often little more than a couch to sleep on for the night, followed by a day of wondering where the next couch will be.

“It’s scary ridiculously scary,” he says. “There are punks in there, they took my sneakers, my clothing. I was threatened, assaulted. I saw kids hit each other with hockey sticks.

“You wake up in the morning at 5:30 and you go the DCYF building and wait to see where you’re going to go the next night.

“You’re not in school and I love school. You’re not associating with friends. You’re not treated decently. And how can your parents know where you are?”

In one sense, he knows it has to be this way. In another, he rails against the injustice of it and the self-defeating madness of dumping kids in often strange and frightening places.

The list of his stops on what seems a journey with no real destination is daunting. It winds through Coventry, Woonsocket, North Providence, Cranston, Providence, Narragansett and points in between.

Nicholas Alahverdian has been to a bunch of schools, some of which insulted his intelligence with course work and materials geared to children 5 or 6 years younger. He remembers being assigned the book The Pokey Little Puppy when it seemed like something from his distant past.

He once addressed the Cranston School Committee on how he felt he was being unfairly judged on his past in his classroom assignment.

Now, he is attending Hope High School where he’s on the debate team. He’s living in a group home in Providence which he considers one of the better ones he’s been in.

“It’s like a challenge at Hope,” he says, “a challenge to help yourself learn.”

And through it all, he remains this delightful survivor who seems to have held on to a real sense of who he is and what he wants to be, despite the efforts of the state of Rhode Island to keep him forever on the move.

There is a great temptation to listen to his story and thoroughly enjoy his company and then ask him something like “How the hell have you gotten through all this with so much hope and determination?”

We’ll hear from him somewhere down the road. He says all that training he received in his own personal “boot camp” has gotten him ready. It’s gotten him ready for war.

“It’s a war with people who are trying to destroy kids’ lives,” says my new friend Nick.