Society for the Avoidance of the Ubiquitous ‘T-word’

My brother-in-law, Jay, has heard enough and doesn’t want to hear another word, one in particular. No more conversations dominated by the “T-word.” Ever!
Blather on about the weather, the Olympics, the price tea in China, my recent colonoscopy, Jay pleads with me —anything but the T-word.
Do I really have to spell it out for you?

On the Parkland massacre: ‘Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We must do something now’

It is with profound sorrow and empathy that we try to understand and come to terms with the massacre that occurred at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine’s Day of all days. It is unthinkable that, once again, children and adults were shot and killed at a school, with at least 17 people dead and more wounded. We mourn for the victims and the survivors and reach out to all of their families who will be forever changed by this brutal act of violence.

Silent Cal, Noisy Donald and the business of America

In 1925, during another era of pronounced income inequality and less than five years before the Great Depression, President Calvin Coolidge addressed this existential question: What is America about? When taken out of context of its accompanying remarks, the bastardized version of his famous quote—“The business of America is business”— does not do our 30th president, or us, justice.

The value of values: The economics of freedom

My mother died last October at 93. She taught English and social studies (history and civics) at E.C. Goodwin Tech in New Britain, retiring in 1989. Recently my sister and I were packing her books for donation. I found a monograph among them. The year was 1978 and this was a mailing sponsored by the Standard Oil Company. It was the start of a propaganda and indoctrination campaign in support of Milton Friedman’s supply-side/trickle-down, neo-liberal economic policies implemented by President Ronald Reagan and utilized by both parties since. Here is a quote from the monograph that is the philosophical foundation of trickle-down:

For community health centers, a catastrophe in the making

As the daughter of an immigrant who raised his two daughters to believe that this is the greatest country in the world, I have always been proud of what our country stands for. That’s why when the call came asking if I would attend this week’s State of the Union Address, I felt an odd mix of excitement and sadness. Excitement to be a part of an American tradition taking place in the history-ladened halls of our national Capitol; sadness because I knew why I was being singled out for this honor and opportunity. I am the CEO of Fair Haven Community Health Care, a community health center in New Haven, which provides care to over 18,000 low-income residents of our community. Community health centers in the U.S. are currently under siege, due to the chaotic bipartisan bickering that has come to be the hallmark of my beloved government. Congresswoman DeLauro’s choice for her guest is one way she can shine a spotlight on the plight of Community Health Centers.

America needs a Census Bureau director who will count all fairly

Federal elections are the pillar of our national democracy, and the decennial census is the foundation for those elections and assuring that every person is counted accurately and has fair political representation. That makes the responsibility of the Census Bureau to carry out an accurate and fair census a critical charge. Everything from how we are represented in Congress to community resources for our schools, hospitals, and assistance to veterans depends on reliable and accurate census data. Unfortunately, as our country moves along a shrinking timeline for executing the 2020 census, serious legal concerns are emerging regarding how the Trump administration views Census Bureau leadership.

Dr. Bandy Lee is damaging the psychiatric profession

A Yale psychiatrist, Dr. Bandy Lee, is enjoying her 15 minutes of fame as the editor of the bestseller “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.” This book contains the opinions of 27 psychiatrists and psychologists, some of whom believe the President suffers from cognitive dysfunction and mental illness. In doing so, they are damaging a specialty that has struggled to gain respectability among the general public and making it more difficult for those with mental disorders to receive treatment.

Let’s talk about real issues, not Trump’s mental health

The Connecticut Mirror covered the invitation issued by Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) to a Yale psychiatrist, Bandy X. Lee, to her Washington home to discuss the sitting president’s fitness – or lack thereof – for the office he holds. The first time I saw the story, I scrolled by. The second time, I clicked on the link.  By the third or fourth time, I responded with a short series of tweets expressing my profound disappointment. By the third or fourth time I did this, I was invited to write an op-ed. That was last week. So much has happened in the intervening days, as has seemed to be the case since January 2017, that I, myself, questioned whether it was worth my time to write this, and your time to read it. But here we are.

What Jeff Sessions doesn’t understand about medical marijuana

On Jan. 4, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole memo, a 2013 document that limits federal enforcement of marijuana laws. This opens the door for a crackdown in the nine states with legal recreational marijuana. … I have researched a number of drugs of abuse and natural products for safety and effectiveness. Just because a drug has abuse potential doesn’t mean it’s always bad and just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s always safe. While I’m no fan of legalizing recreational marijuana use, I believe there has to be special dispensation for patients with a legitimate medical need.

Push for carbon-free and other climate-change legislation

The article published in the Connecticut Mirror on Jan. 18, “Sandy + 5; Irene +6: Coastal resilience still elusive and expensive,” highlighted the need for Connecticut’s coastal towns to develop plans to become more resilient to hurricanes and rising sea level, yet it made no mention of the need to address climate change, the consequences of which include coastal flooding and more extreme weather events.

President Trump should apologize to the Haitians

Why does President Trump always shoot himself in the foot? His policies of lower taxes and decreased regulation has the economy on a tear and the stock market booming. He has destroyed ISIS, forced NATO to pay its fair share and kept many of his campaign promises.
So why insult African Americans – whose unemployment has plummeted because of his policies – by calling Haiti and Africa a “shithole?”  President Trump should apologize and allow the 58,000 Haitians given temporary legal status after the earthquake to remain in the United States.

Why I am running a primary against Rosa DeLauro

I am a Democrat. I believe in progressive values. So, the big question is, why challenge Rosa DeLauro in this year’s Democratic Primary?
The answer is an easy one.
Millennials reading this should take note of this fact: Rosa DeLauro has served longer than you have probably been alive.
We are in a time of transition. I regard this race not so much as an election to challenge an incumbent, but rather as one to offer voters a progressive alternative — one with a proven track record, vision, energy, and fresh ideas.