Senator, compromise will produce a ‘beautiful’ gun bill

Imagine that.  President Trump has asked Sen. Chris Murphy to work with three reasonable legislators in crafting a “comprehensive” gun bill that is to be “very powerful.” Just a few suggestions to the Connecticut senator as he is one of the most far-left members of Congress. The most important thing is this. You will have to give into negotiations with the other senators. But in doing so you may, just may, give the American people a “beautiful” effective bill that the President will sign into law to keep our schools safe.

Senators, how about prosecuting more gun crimes?

An open letter to Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy: I watched with interest the comments the two of you made after the recent school shooting event in Florida. I then logically thought about the situation and instead of immediately making a public statement of outrage of having done nothing to protect those kids, I thought that you should have considered these facts before pandering to the voters for yet more gun-control legislation.

Nuzzling muzzles and a dubious entitlement to bear arms

A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed (1791, Second Amendment).

I’m no Constitutional scholar nor historian, but I wonder if the wording of the Second Amendment could use a closer look for true intent and historical context. On reading it you will find combined references to citizens’ right to keep and bear arms and a “necessary” militia to protect the “free State.”

Employers — White House included — must not tolerate domestic violence

Rob Porter’s resignation as White House staff secretary amid domestic violence allegations from two ex-wives should provide us all moment to pause. Porter has been accused of physically and emotionally abusing his former spouses and a previous girlfriend. Of great concern is the reaction of his employer, The White House. White House support for Porter and questions around the integrity of the domestic violence claims has sent a chilling message to victims across our country. Despite words to the effect that “domestic violence should be taken seriously,” statements issuing from the President and his staff fall incredibly short of acknowledging the gravity of this problem.

A fairer, safer way to elect our presidents

Robert Mueller’s indictments last Friday confirm that even Russian hackers know where to find the people who elect America’s president. “The defendants and their co-conspirators,” says the federal court filing, “learned…that they should focus their activities on ‘purple states like Colorado, Virginia & Florida.’” Under our system, the outcome of the winner-take-all contest in about 40 states is practically preordained when campaigning starts. So Russian election-disrupters — like U.S. presidential candidates — know where to put their resources. And it’s not in Connecticut, where Hilary Clinton became the seventh Democrat in a row to win the state’s electoral votes.

The triumph of economy over morality — a solution to the DACA problem

Whatever is illegal and immoral becomes legal and moral in direct proportion to local, state, and federal governments’ needs for tax revenues. Therein lies Congress’s solution to the DACA debate. All it has to do is declare immediately all “Dreamers” as legal immigrants and levy a special tax against them for the privilege of being legitimized.

Russia’s resurgent Navy demands a coherent response, not wishful thinking

As we enter the second year of the Trump administration, the president’s inability to advance a firm, coherent U.S. position toward Russia persists despite a torrent of belligerent behavior by the Kremlin toward the West. Indeed, on the day he announced a new national security strategy that purported to challenge Russia, President Donald Trump could not help but publicly exult about the unctuous phone call he had received from Russian President Vladimir Putin the day before.

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.