Antifascism is more than you might think

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.

Mass shootings are an American problem — with an American solution

On awful, gut-churning days such as Monday, I find it important to remind myself that mass shootings happen almost nowhere else but the United States. As we become normalized to the regular pace of massive, execution-style killings — Sandy Hook, Charleston, Orlando and now Las Vegas — it’s critical to understand that the Groundhog Day phenomenon of horrific mass shootings is exclusive to the United States. I find consolation in this fact, because if the problem is particularly American, then the solution can be, too.

At risk: Fair and valid census data for Connecticut

The 2020 Census could be in jeopardy — and it could hit close to home in Connecticut. The right to equal representation for equal numbers of people is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment; though imperfect, this is the basis of our democratic system. The Constitution requires that every ten years, the nation undertakes what is arguably its most essential task: ensuring a fair and valid count of every single one of its now 330 million residents. But for the first time in modern history, a spending limit may hamstring the U.S. Census Bureau, put the accuracy of the count in question and cause a serious — and costly — undercount here.

The Constitution is 230 years old

As countries go, the United States is one of the relative youngsters, nevertheless, our constitution is the longest lasting constitution in human history. So, Happy Birthday to the most important document in the life of every American citizen, a document which represents and embodies the freedoms that we have been enjoying for the last 230 years.

In praise of mongrels

Before the wedding, my mother’ parents, who were high (albeit lax) Episcopalians, came a calling on my father’s parents, who were staunch Irish Catholics.  As a safety precaution, my paternal grandmother hid all the sharp knives.

Larson, Courtney: Fix ACA by letting 50 to 64-year-olds join Medicare

After passing the eight-year mark since passing the Affordable Care Act, nonpartisan data from sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau have confirmed the real-life benefits the ACA has brought to the state of Connecticut. As the Bureau reported, the uninsured rate in our state has fallen from 9.2 to 3.8 percent, patients can no longer be cut off from medical treatment due to lifetime limits on coverage, and Americans have the peace of mind in knowing that a childhood illness or chronic disease will not prohibit them from purchasing health insurance later in life. However, in the seven years since its passage, the ACA has not solved every problem in the healthcare system and serious challenges remain even today.

Senator, military action will not solve the North Korean problem

Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s comments (reported Aug. 10 in the article entitled “Blumenthal: North Korea strike near Guam would put military action on the table”) place too much emphasis on escalating threats. The idea that an exchange of threats or actual violence will resolve any differences with North Korea is at best ill-informed, and at worst, war mongering that only perpetuates our ongoing path of endless wars.

Vacation in the real world, Mr. President

Our president is presently ensconced in his natural habitat, an exclusive golf course resort in New Jersey. This is truly sad, not merely Twitter-sad.
With this whole glorious country spread before him —from the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam— our leader has chosen to embrace a fake landscape that only the well-to-do can frequent. He won’t be bumping into many wild things, or coal miners, on this trip.

CDC budget cuts threaten the fight against ‘superbugs’

Why are President Trump’s proposed cuts to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) such a bad idea? One big reason is that they are on the forefront of what Dr. Tom Frieden, former CDC Director, rightly called “one of our most serious health threats” — killer antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Connecticut must lead the way on universal healthcare

Affordable, quality health care can’t become a luxury: it’s a fundamental need, and access to it must become a fundamental right. Creating a single-payer system is the most effective way to guarantee access to healthcare for every person. … It’s time for Congress to advance a public healthcare system that provides every American — and all 3.6 million Connecticut residents — with affordable, quality healthcare. If Congress refuses to do it in Washington, it’s up to us to do it here in Connecticut.