‘I’m considering closing my Facebook account’

I use Facebook to stay in touch with my long-distance friends. Recently, I have learned to get their e-mail addresses instead. It’s too time-consuming to sift through the excessive stories in my “newsfeed.” Too often, this news is from people I don’t know well who describe their innermost secrets publicly on Facebook’s platform. Often what passes for news is nauseating at best.

Employers are the key to developing workplace harassment solutions

The workplace is shifting, and it’s clear that what has been tolerated in the past will no longer be acceptable. That’s a good thing. Everyone deserves to work in an environment where they feel safe, and employers must be part of the solution. As it stands now, Connecticut is a leader in creating safe workplaces. Our sexual harassment prevention training laws are some of the most stringent in the nation, and we should all be proud of that.

Connecticut’s chance to save net neutrality is now

Ever since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed its net neutrality rules last year, there has been massive public outcry. Net neutrality is the principle of open access to the internet. It enables users to access the services they want without interference from their internet service provider. Without the FCC’s net neutrality rules, internet service providers are free to block websites, deliberately speed up or slow down traffic from specific websites, or charge customers special fees for improved access.

Connecticut can’t afford NOT to pass paid family medical leave

I am writing to counter recent arguments that Connecticut’s economic woes mean that we can’t afford to pass ‘compassionate’ bills like House Bill 5387, AN ACT CONCERNING PAID FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE, despite strong bipartisan support inside the legislature and outside in the real world. Frankly, I am surprised by the lack of vision shown by opponents of the bill. How can we move forward and build our economy without creative solutions? The House passed HB 5386 last week by a vote of 142-4 and I would urge the Senate to move quickly to send it to the governor’s desk.

A Supreme Court justice should be a Constitutional conservative

Kudos to Neil Gorsuch! Much has been written by the left and the right about Neil Gorsuch — from his nomination for an opening on the Supreme Court to his voting on cases brought to the highest court in the land. So far, he has been conducting himself like all justices should: keeping personal opinions to himself, and speaking for our founders with a literal interpretation of the Constitution by using the definitions of words as they were used at the time of our founding.

Time to confront Connecticut’s looming financial crisis

Here we go again. Less than a year after a record 123 days without a budget, the legislature careens towards yet another budget crisis with 11th-hour negotiations and no clear path forward for addressing Connecticut’s looming financial crisis. Regardless of this year’s “fix,” the next governor and legislature will face a gaping $5 billion hole for the next two years that threatens our families, our jobs, and our employers. Last year’s crisis gave us a preview of what is in store if we stay on the current path: cuts to towns for police; cuts to education for our children; and cuts to programs that support the most vulnerable in our state.

A voting system in which the majority rules

In 48 states, the winner of the state’s popular vote is awarded all of its electoral votes. This is called winner-take-all. According to four lawsuits in four states (two red, two blue), winner-take-all is unconstitutional. It violates the doctrine of one person, one vote, the suits allege. It also disenfranchises everyone who voted for a losing presidential candidate. Plaintiffs want states to adapt what’s called proportional voting. That’s when a state’s electoral votes are awarded according to a candidate’s percentage of its popular vote. But if the plaintiffs prevail, they may not achieve what they say they will.

None of our politicians are leaders

We already knew that Donald Trump is morally and ethically unfit. Many voters ignored his history as a shyster in business. The role as president has amplified his mindless self-serving self-interest for personal gain. Mafia criminality is an apt description. All the ongoing exploitation and corruption will be exposed completely. Hillary Clinton’s would have been subtle, but there. Trump’s is blatant so that we can’t miss it. We now have to take accountability for what is coming next. Our choice. Our legacy.

Regionalize to save money? Okay, show me the numbers

Today it is often stated that pushing municipalities to share services is critical to solving the state’s financial problems. I doubt that.
First, municipalities have already regionalized services more than many realize. Second, while the term regionalization is hastily deployed, business plans showing the savings and who gets them are rarely seen. I suspect many of the ideas floated would not stand up to analysis.

A Filipino-American in Connecticut

Friday was April 13, 2018 — an ordinary day, but my work schedule allowed me to take the commuter train to New York City to pick up my newly issued Filipino passport. Here in Connecticut, as a veteran and now dual citizen, there is one more fight to ensure that the Connecticut Veterans Memorial in Hartford finally recognizes and chisels in the “Philippine-American War” in honor and memory of those who sacrificed their lives in that forgotten, conflict-soaked war long ago at the dawn of the American Century.

Universal background checks — Congress, what are you waiting for?

Universal background checks should be federal law at this juncture of our nation’s history. The fact that universal background checks are not mandated can reasonably be described as a failure of representative democracy. In the wake of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (Parkland, Fla.), it’s reasonable to ask – could a universal background check system have prevented the entire incident?

What the Parkland shootings should mean to Connecticut

What does the tragic shooting at the Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, 2018 mean for Connecticut? After Connecticut suffered the tragedy of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown on Dec. 14, 2012, Connecticut tightened up its gun control laws to the tightest among the 50 states. The recommendation to ban bump stocks that can turn a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon is welcome. To require more people to have background checks is also welcome. But this is not what the Parkland School shooting means for Connecticut.