On Memorial Day, reverence and sadness

On this Memorial Day, a Connecticut writer remembers his great uncle who, like millions of others, made the ultimate sacrifice against tyranny and oppression.

Captain William George Gabain, my great uncle, died 100 years ago in the Great War, now known as World War I. He was killed in action in northern France, as he was trying to make sure that all of his men had heard the order to withdraw in the face of an overwhelming German advance. He and several other soldiers in The Rifle Brigade of the British Expeditionary Force were last seen surrounded by enemy troops.

President Trump, Make America great again by uniting Palestine and Israel

Reliably unpredictable and defiantly unconventional, our President Donald Trump is known as a wily negotiator of real estate and trade deals, a creative manipulator of immigration and election laws as well as grandstander on domestic and foreign policy—tax cuts for the wealthy, reneging on international agreements and treaties (Paris Climate Accord, Iran Nuclear Deal). But now he’s outdone himself. He’s keeping his promise to make America great again by taking the first step to make Palestine/Israel one country again.

A compassionate solution to the immigration problem

The immigrants gathered at the border waiting to get into the United States face an uphill battle.  They claim that they  are subjected to brutality by gangs and cannot live in that environment any longer.  Others claim that there is no credible proof (more than hearsay) that these conditions exist.  We also don’t know who, among these people are actually fleeing legitimate oppression and danger, those who want to gain access to America for the purpose of simply creating a better life for themselves, or, how many wish to gain access for illegal purposes.  Regardless of which camp they may fall into, here they are, and we’re a compassionate country. This proposal is simple, and, it can eliminate the need for a border wall.

The goal in Korea should be peace and trade – not unification

Last week, the world witnessed a first tangible step toward a peaceful, prosperous Korean peninsula. On April 27, 2018, Kim Jong Un became the first North Korean leader to step foot in South Korea – where he was welcomed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in. A few days later, the South Korean government reported that Kim had promised to give up his nuclear arsenal under certain conditions.

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.

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.

U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty — Champion of women’s rights

When Donald Trump became President, liberal Connecticut Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty proudly donned the symbolic pink hat, becoming a fierce member of “The Resistance” to protest the ascent of this evil misogynist.   As the #MeToo movement  — a reaction against male sexual assault — gained steamed, she tweeted  “As a young intern and an attorney, I saw and experienced my fair share of harassment in the workplace. I know how traumatizing, isolating, and painful harassment can be. I understand what that does to one’s work environment.”

The national popular vote won’t solve the problem

The debate over a proposed compact in which Connecticut would cast its seven electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote is missing the forest through the trees. The problem isn’t that presidents win despite the popular vote. The problem is that presidents win despite not winning a majorities in the states. That may seem like a distinction without a difference, but it’s not.

Harnessing the power of Connecticut’s conscious capitalism

Water utilities were created to maintain a vital, life-sustaining resource. Achieving this ideal has become increasingly difficult as the industry struggles to grow despite mounting challenges to sustainability, including droughts, climate change, aging infrastructure and the forthcoming retirement of baby boomers. At the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority (RWA), we accept what we can’t control and are committed to focusing on what we can influence by looking inward and elevating our internal cultural values. Our nonprofit corporation has adopted the philosophies of Conscious Capitalism, which have allowed us to grow and become stronger. This philosophy recognizes the potential of a business to make a positive impact on the world.

Don’t let Trump de-fund the National Endowment for the Arts

We write as Board Members and Staff of the Connecticut Arts Alliance (CAA) and for the tens of thousands of Connecticut arts organizations and artists on whose behalf CAA works. On February 12, President Trump released his FY 2019 budget request. His proposal includes the termination of our nation’s cultural grant-making agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The ‘Year of the Woman’ in Connecticut begins now

Across the nation, 2018 is labeled the “Year of the Woman,” given the high volume of women running for elected office. But here in Connecticut, we can’t wait until November to put “the Year of the Woman” to action. Right now is our time to speak out and be heard. Let’s look at the facts: women in Connecticut currently earn 79 cents to every dollar paid to men, slightly below the national average. The wage gap is greater for women of color: black women earn 58 cents and Latina women earn 47 cents to every dollar paid to white men.

2018 should be the ‘#youtoo’ year — to change workplace culture

It is time to rethink our harassment policies and practices and employ new strategies to protect the most vulnerable workers, give victims safe reporting options and empower all employees to create respectful work environments. This week Gov. Dannel Malloy stepped forward and called for our state agencies to assess its harassment policies and training practices and to make recommendations for improvements. This is the type of leadership that is needed now. We encourage the legislative and judicial branches to do the same.