On Oct. 27, 1936, Connecticut theater-goers watched It Can’t Happen Here, performed by the Federal Theater Project, one of the New Deal’s progressive jobs programs. The Nobel prize winner Sinclair Lewis had refashioned his dystopian novel into a dramatic play. It premiered simultaneously in 21 cities across the country, including Hartford and Bridgeport. Americans in the 1930s were being groomed to accept fascism as a macho solution to the troubles faced by the United States. Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here was a roadblock to that disturbing movement.
While criminal justice reform has gained mainstream, bipartisan acceptance over the past few years, the system remains a tangle of overlapping issues—racial disparities in sentencing, felon disenfranchisement, and disproportionate rates of mental illness in prisoners, for example. As of 2014, Connecticut had 326 people sentenced to state prisons for every 100,000 residents, and 35 women for every 100,000 female residents; this rate of female incarceration is just over half of that nationwide. Yet, American incarceration is so extreme that Connecticut’s relatively low rates are still higher than those of most medium- and large-sized countries in the world for both incarceration in general and incarceration of women.
Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal need to follow the example set by their peers in New York and Massachusetts and responsibly question the further building and enhancement of the interstate methane (natural gas) pipelines running through Connecticut.
The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement should not be voted on during the “lame duck” session of Congress after the election — that unique moment in the political calendar when representatives who have retired or been voted out of office still hold their seats for a short time and political accountability to constituents is at its lowest.
When people are faced with an overwhelming challenge, the advice they often hear is “take it one day at a time.” While I see the wisdom in that way of thinking, I recently have adopted my own mantra—I’m taking life 12 weeks at a time.
Wood smoke has become the new “second hand” smoke and it is making thousands of people sick across the country. The components of wood smoke are virtually the same as cigarette smoke and yet wood smoke is hardly regulated while cigarette smoke is highly regulated.
The 2016 Connecticut Department of Public Health Report on adverse medical events was recently released. I was waiting for this report and hoping that I would read about significant improvements from the past years, showing meaningful reductions in the number of patient harm events leading to death or serious injury or consequences. What I read was that there has been no significant reduction in the number of patient harm events over the last year.
I wholeheartedly agree with child welfare advocates who say that children should, whenever possible and when safe to do so, be kept in their homes. Frankly, I can’t imagine anyone who would disagree. But when obvious red flags are ignored for the sake of keeping a child at home, then there is a serious problem. That is why I disagree with Richard Wexler’s portrayal of what is happening in Connecticut, and his unfair criticism of the state’s child advocate and lawmakers who have raised concerns.
Evidenced by his recent approval ratings, Gov. Dannel Malloy has turned Connecticut into a state of cynics. I used to be one of these cynics, feeling powerless and disillusioned. But I will not let that deter me from the important work ahead to restore faith in our state government.
When it comes to our horrendous traffic, especially on I-95, everybody wants to find blame with someone other than themselves. “Who are these people and why are they driving now, on “my road?” they ask.