On December 12 – more than five decades after the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham — the people of Alabama made clear their intention to set right the hateful murders and destruction. They chose to trust the women who asserted that Republican candidate Roy Moore had sought them out and acted indecently towards them and they delivered their verdict that Moore was not fit to represent the people of Alabama in the U.S. Senate.
The wrong-way Republicans are on the dark side of history again, proposing tax cuts for their wealthy donors and oil companies while gutting programs that have helped to fuel the rise of America’s alternative energy industry. Solar and wind power, two of the fastest growing (and cleanest) sources of power in this country, provided nearly 7 percent of the nation’s electricity in 2016 (the same as hydropower). More Americans work in solar power today than in the coal industry. But various Republican proposals in House and Senate tax bills have targeted the incentives that have helped alternative energy surge, while providing tax and other benefits to fossil fuel and nuclear power purveyors — including opening up the National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil drilling.
As an Ahmadiyya Muslim American, I’m appalled at President Trump’s announcement of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The first wrong move — President Trump said: “I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.” This statement reminds me of Jesus’ warning to beware of wolves in sheeps’ clothing.
Republicans in Congress are about to pass the Trump tax bill, which hammers Connecticut. Our state is already getting cheated by the federal government, sending over $2,700 per resident to Washington more than we receive back. The Trump tax bill adds another $800 net loss per resident, money sent to D.C. which we never see again. We are in a hole; stop digging.
Our Bill of Rights is one of the greatest documents ever written. We have the finished document, but we know so little about the wise discussion that occurred among the founding fathers that led to the final product. Until now! Here is the actual transcript, just discovered during some housecleaning and renovation of Founder’s Hall at the College of William and Mary. It is dated January 15, 1790, a few months after James Madison wrote the first draft of these first ten amendments.
Connecticut is home to the largest proportion of Puerto Ricans in the continental United States, so it is expected that we will see one of the largest influxes of U.S. citizens coming from Puerto Rico to the mainland. Although it’s difficult to estimate the exact number of new arrivals, the state has received over 700 calls from people displaced from the Island and who need help.
“Happy Veterans’ Day, Thank you for your service, God Bless America, God Bless You, Sir or Ma’am” are greetings offered to veterans each year around November 11, originally called Armistice Day, celebrating the end of World War I, “the war to end all wars” that has become a legal holiday officially called Veterans Day. Over the coming weekend, throughout the country and here at home in Connecticut, cities and towns will honor and celebrate the contributions and sacrifices of generations of Americans who volunteered or who were drafted into military service during times of war and peace.
Divisiveness is a weapon of mass destruction. It destroys families, communities, and countries. It’s a plague. It sickens, weakens, and often kills its infected hosts who refuse to realize, until its too late, that their ignorant assumptions of someone or something not of their tribe — the other, the stranger, the religion, or the ideology — can lead to mass social destruction if we put fear and hatred reflexively ahead of listening and understanding.
Four years ago, when I was writing a book on the history of antifascism in the United States, I told a colleague at the University of Connecticut what I was working on. “Antifascism?” he said. “Not many people on the other side of that!”
How quaint that comment now seems. At the time, it reflected an unfamiliarity with the term “antifascism” in the United States. To me, the comment was also a healthy affirmation of antifascism’s commonsense ring. But that was before the election of an openly white nationalist President who has gone out of his way to demonize what he calls “ant-e-fuh.” Now, thanks to the Trumpian turn, there are plenty of people on the other side of that.
At 78, my uncle had survived Hurricane Maria’s winds and the floods its rains unleashed. But the deadliest time in most hurricanes is after the storm passes. And for my uncle, the devastation of the island where he’d lived his whole life was too much to bear. A week and a half after Maria made landfall, he hanged himself at his ruined home.
I am in Hartford, where I live, but now my mind is somewhere else. I believe that I share the same feelings held by people from Louisiana, Texas and Florida when they were flooded and beaten by a string of powerful and mean hurricanes. It is a feeling of abandonment and sorrow. My people are in the dark, thirsty, hungry and alone.
Our natural rush to respond to disasters brings out the collective best in us to help each other survive and recover. It unifies us. Let’s capitalize on this unifying spirit to mitigate the occurrence of self-inflicted disasters. Disasters caused by how we may choose to negotiate international diplomacy; to send our military into harms way; to address economic growth and security; to understand science; and to enforce the rights and fair treatment of the abused and vulnerable. Being passive observers won’t do. We must rush to help our government focus on creating a common good that is meant for all of us. To avoid self-inflicted disasters our leaders must choose wisely, and choose our leaders wisely we must.