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Posted inCT Viewpoints

Divisiveness: A weapon of mass destruction

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.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

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.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Government always matters

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.

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The Blue Water Navy vets need your help

There are an estimated 1,800 Vietnam Blue Water Navy Veterans in Connecticut. They are not entitled to VA Benefits due to exposure to herbicides, aka Agent Orange. The Agent Orange Act of 1991 was implemented to provide much-needed care to veterans who were exposed to the harmful chemical cocktail Agent Orange. In 2002, the VA amended its initial plan and excluded thousands of “Blue Water” Navy vets — vets who served right off the coast — from receiving their rightful benefits.

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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.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Heartache will be looming if Trump cuts foreign aid

Disappointment and heartache will be looming over the United States if the Trump administration follows through with its plan to cut the federal funding for foreign aid. If you did not know this was happening, you need to get informed quickly. What’s at stake is that poverty programs such as USAIDS will lose funding — funding which goes towards helping suffering people with food assistance, medical treatments, and many more programs that save lives.

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Helping the newest, neediest minority

The Society for the Welfare And Manumission of Plutocrats will provide succor and largess to a hitherto overlooked minority group in our midst: the well to do, the wealthy, and the filthy rich (the three main gradients on the International Richer Scale). At one percent of the American population (give or take, but mostly take), these poor people (figuratively speaking) need our help.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

On Independence Day, a lesson in local governance

Although the Declaration of Independence depicted him as a despot, the real conflict between England and her American colonies was not between King George III and Democracy but between the rights of the British people represented as they were by their own Parliament, and the rights of the American colonists represented as they were by their own colonial assemblies. In this conflict no one was a greater supporter of the rights and authority of the British Parliament than the King.