A Decades Long Relentless Attack on the Constitution

For decades our own government relentlessly has attacked the Constitution.  Although gradual, there has been a continual wearing down of Constitutional limitations within government.  Under the current administration the radical left would like to turn the Constitution into a living document.  In that matter they could change whatever they wanted to.  They continue to disrespect the Constitution by removing the constraints that we conservatives hold dearly, the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, 5th Amendment, the 10th Amendment, etc.  The goal of the extreme left in the party is to elevate the US government into a national government with supreme authority

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About That Rail Route More Parallel to I-95

We’re not sure what to make of reported comments by Amtrak head William Flynn, who apparently reassured Charlestown, RI in a recent phone call that the multistate Northeast Corridor Commission is now leaning toward routing a new high-speed rail line between Providence and New Haven on a path “more parallel to Route 95.” If you don’t recall, the last attempt to finalize a route — a fiasco known as the Kenyon to Old Saybrook Bypass — went down in flames in 2017. That left unfinished business on the federal level, where the Federal Railroad Administration still needs (wants?) to complete

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Captivity Kills Belugas and it’s Time to Talk About it

Here we go again—Mystic Aquarium bewildered over the death of a beluga—this time one it recently imported from Canada. The cause of this whale’s death is not known, so the body was sent to University of Connecticut for examination. So-called “mysterious illnesses” have claimed the lives of belugas at Mystic over the years—Aurora, Winston, Naku, to name a few. They all died despite “extraordinary efforts by aquarium veterinarians and animal care staff.” It’s time to address the elephant in the room—captivity kills belugas. To prevent these “illnesses” and deaths, simply leave belugas in the ocean. Stop trading them. Stop trying to breed them. Stop

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High School History Remains Diplomatic Cherry-Picking

American history taught in high schools today remains diplomatic cherry-picking. Often omitted are dark sides of manifest destiny’s “divine sanctioning” on which U.S. expansionism rests. Except for the Seven Years’ (i.e. “French and Indian”) War fought for global primacy between France and Britain in North America (1754-63), little else between pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock (1620) and 1776 is accentuated. King Philip’s War between New England colonists and Mohegan allies against coalitions of Wampanoag, Narragansett and other tribes led by Metacomet (aka “King Philip”) is one such sacrifice to time and textbook size. Another is the Pequot War (1636-38) and

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The Unlosable War We Just Lost

We just lost an unlosable war. Over the last five years, with relatively modest military resources and extremely low casualties – less than 70, we’ve been able to maintain relative stability in Afghanistan. Now, Biden has pulled the plug. Now, Afghanistan is a disaster, a stain on U.S. honor and values, and a defeat with incalculable costs for ongoing U.S. foreign policy. While the Pentagon stopped releasing troop levels in 2017, the last reported level was about 10,000, although the AP reports that the Trump Administration planned as many as 14,000 troops in 2017. Yet the low casualty levels imply

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Somers Schools Show Downside of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Programs

Americans have never complained when politicians and adults played politics because the players and the rules were always clear and understood. But this has changed. It is now fair game for administrators to politicize public schooling and our children’s education. Students are now being exploited as malleable pawns in the manufacturing of a militia of political activist. This hijacking of public education has occurred by well-intentioned but overly righteous activists. The fundamental principles of objective truth, scientific reasoning and universal educational standards are being abandoned in favor of a highly political and ideological pseudo-pedagogy.  It’s therefore not a surprise when

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Palm: Who Controls the Narrative?

Everywhere we turn, people are debating “critical race theory,” questioning others’ motives, and trying to quantify the truth. These are important, painful discussions. From my perspective as a female state legislator who acknowledges my white privilege, these debates play out at the Capitol in real, and sometimes alarming, ways. During the legislative session that just ended, much of this discussion centered on race, gender, equity and alleged voter fraud. And whether taking place in the wee hours or during prime time – and whether said as a toss-off statement or repeated during an hours-long filibuster – it’s quite clear that

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Comparing ‘Critical Thinking’ and ‘Critical Consciousness’ Pedagogy in Public Schools

On Wednesday August 11th, The Connecticut Association of Schools hosted an event titled – Learning & Leading for Systemic Racial & Social Justice. The star-studded lineup included opening remarks by Miguel Cardona, U.S. secretary of education, and remarks by Charlene Russell-Tucker, acting Connecticut commissioner of education. In the spirit of Rahm Emanuel’s saying, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” the clear intent of this conference was to take this moment of America’s racial reckoning, to shift the purpose of K-12 education from developing critical thinking to an emphasis on critical consciousness. The term critical thinking was

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More Pervasive than the Delta Variant is the Poor Judgement That’s Spread it

More pervasive than the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) is America’s poor judgment that’s spread it. Despite heroic attempts by scientists, vaccine producers and hospital staffs to limit transmission, irresponsible governors and vax-resisters are oases in the desert for SARS-CoV-2 to replicate and evolve. The 3 COVID vaccines FDA’s made available – Moderna, Pfizer; Johnson & Johnson – have proven efficacy against all variants now circulating in the country, including Delta. But inoculations are lagging, and because Delta is 1,000 times more transmissible than D614G, 95 percent of patients treated in hospitals today for COVID infections are unvaccinated. Vaccine avoidance, if unabated,

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Social Work Caucus Denies Failures of Juvenile Justice

Legislators belonging to what might be called the General Assembly’s social work caucus gathered at the state Capitol the other day to insist that there really isn’t much wrong with juvenile justice in Connecticut but that, of course, it always could use more social workers and “programs” to help keep young people out of trouble. The social work caucus members insisted that while some car thefts and other crimes lately committed by juveniles have been brazen and atrocious, the recent increase in car thefts is a national phenomenon and over the long term car thefts have actually declined. But the

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Focused Leadership: ‘Checking the Right Boxes’

Since the Old Lyme municipal elections in 2019, Town Leadership under Mr. Timothy Griswold has been steadfastly focused on completing major town projects and undertakings while keeping town spending under control.  Numerous town projects were floundering prior to this change in leadership.  Subsequently as promised, the Board of Selectman, in concert with prudent support from the Board of Finance, has checked the boxes for campaign promises made in 2019.  Here are a few salient examples of those accomplishments: Completion of the Mile Creek Bridge Replacement Project. Completion of the Hains Park Restroom Facilities Project. Planning set in motion for studying

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Low Wage Employment Remains Down 32%

Connecticut’s employment numbers are trailing the rest of the country in all income groups as the state struggles to bounce back from the COVID lockdowns, but the jobs gap remains especially pronounced for low wage workers. Connecticut’s low wage jobs – defined as those earning $27,000 or less per year – remain 32.8 percent below pre-pandemic levels, according to data compiled by Track the Recovery, a project by Harvard University and Brown University. Nationally, those same jobs are 20.9 percent below pre-pandemic levels. Similarly, middle wage workers earning between $27,000 and $60,000 per year remain down .5 percent whereas nationally those

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Transportation Scofflaws

What do Metro-North and the Merritt Parkway have in common, I mean, aside from often crawling at a snail’s pace?  Well, both seem to be hotbeds of unenforced safety rules. Anybody who has driven the Parkway knows that its 1930’s design cannot accommodate trucks, but they are there all the time.  Tom Lombardo, a fellow Board member on the Merritt Parkway Conservancy, recently conducted an unscientific survey to quantify the problem. In a single hour one weekday morning he logged 212 trucks, buses and commercial vehicles traveling in both directions on the highway. That’s more than three per minute.  Now compare

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Candelora, Somers, Petit Helped Move State in Right Direction on Healthcare

Like every state, Connecticut is experiencing a healthcare provider shortage that was only worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.   To expand access to healthcare in our state, one of the first steps to take is ensuring that medical providers are able to perform key functions to maximize quality and access to healthcare services.   For PAs (physician assistants), outdated regulations can hinder the ability to provide the best possible care to as many patients as possible. PAs are licensed medical professionals who diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and often serve as a patient’s principal health care provider.    Fortunately,

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By the Numbers — COVID and the Return of School

In any given year, for every 100,000 people living in Connecticut about 200 are victims of potentially life-altering violent crime. 8 die in car crashes. 5 are killed by firearms. 1 drowns. Somewhat fewer are hit and killed by cars. About 20 are victims of forcible rape. And about 50 males for every 100,000 will die from accidental poisoning or exposure to chemicals and solvents. Over the last 18 months, based on CDC numbers, about 233 of every 100,000 people in Connecticut died of COVID-19. But in Connecticut, the odds of a young person, aged 19 and under, dying of

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The Charmed Life of Connecticut State Employees… Amid Devastation
in the Private Sector

Connecticut’s privileged state employees and its downtrodden private sector workers might as well occupy different planets. Hundreds of thousands private sector workers lost their jobs during the pandemic. State workers have enjoyed a decade-long no-layoff guarantee, so not one was thrown out of work. While private sector workers struggled to get by during the pandemic, state workers got two 5.5% pay raises, one eight months before and the second four months into the pandemic. Local police and firefighters and predominantly private sector health care workers manned the frontline jobs during the pandemic, as did essential retail workers – in grocery

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State Police Integrity Fails; And State Ignores Voter Fraud

Accountability and integrity are slipping badly with the Connecticut state police. The agency has failed to complete an investigation of trooper misconduct arising from a retirement party at a brewery in Oxford 22 months ago. Security video reported last week by the Hearst Connecticut newspapers shows that state police Sgt. John McDonald drank heavily for five hours at the party. Leaving in a state police car, McDonald drove about three-quarters a mile before smashing into a car carrying a woman and her daughter, pushing them off the road and seriously injuring them. McDonald was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless

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Are You A Female Over 45? Guess What? You’re Invisible

Don’t blame it on the numbers. According to state Census Bureau numbers, more than half a million women between 45-54 call Connecticut their home. Another 177,000 are 55 and older. They outnumber men slightly.  Yet increasingly, ageism is hitting home for vibrant, talented women of a certain age who, arguably, feel the sting more acutely in their personal, social and professional lives. In a 2019 article in The Atlantic , “The Invisibility of Older Women”, author Akiko Busch writes, “The invisible woman might be the actor no longer offered roles after her 40th birthday, or the 50-year-old woman who can’t

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Avarice, not Pride, Precedes the Fall.

With inflation uncomfortably high, climate change causing Northern Hemisphere disasters and the Delta variant undermining economies here and abroad, an indecisive Federal Reserve Board scheduled meetings this week to rethink its ultra-low interest rates. Policymakers considered putting the brakes on a $120 billion-a-month bond-buying spree designed to keep long-term lending rates miniscule. As usual, the Fed’s intention was to incentivize borrowing, spending and debt-accumulation during the COVID crisis. This comes at a time experts insist the U.S. economy is gradually recovering from post-pandemic recession and jobs, ostensibly, are on the upswing. But a bold new era has dawned in America’s

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ABC’s to CRT

The COVID pandemic upended every aspect of schooling, family life, and society; it came uninvited, unwanted and with a vengeance never seen by anyone living today.  Of all institutions, schools made a superhuman effort to move 50 million children from schools to homes for schooling.  However, another pandemic has surfaced—[Marxist] Critical Race Theory.  It’s brewing a heated and emotional battle among parents and boards of education (BOE) spawning over 165 opposing parent groups.   The resistance has nothing to do with teaching the history of racism, but rather what and how it’s being taught.   So why should everyone be concerned?   “A

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Juvenile Crime Forum Avoids Relevance and Accountability

Last week’s well-attended forum on juvenile crime and justice, called by Glastonbury’s Town Council, was illuminating, just not so much about juvenile crime and justice. Dozens of people expressed their anger about the inability of state and municipal government to curtail the explosion of car thefts, burglaries, and other misconduct by young people who have realized that there will never be any punishment for them, just therapy, now that political correctness controls juvenile justice. Mostly the forum illuminated Connecticut’s social contract, whereby the Democratic Party is permitted to operate the cities as poverty and patronage factories, with their daily murders

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Science, Above All, Should be the Guiding Principle in which we Unify and Trust

Science has unparalleled potency validating facts and deriving truths because its well-defined methods makes reality tangible. Where philosophy relies solely on logic, reason and thought experiments, science primarily collects data through empiricism ─ testing, measuring and compiling evidence obtained from direct observation. Science is thusly independent of belief.  It assumes hypotheses under investigation are false until rigorously proven. And standards for rejecting “null hypotheses” are high; only 95-99 percent statistical confidence bounds give assurances correlations aren’t chance. Non-reproducible single occurrences are valueless to scientists. Stray contradictory claims, oft-repeated conspiracy theories, and targeted disinformation won’t induce rejections of theories or hypotheses

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Amazon

These days “Getting There” doesn’t just mean moving yourself from point A to B, but the logistics of moving stuff from dozens of locations to your doorstep.  And nobody does that better than Amazon. Want a new pair of jeans? Click once and they’re delivered the next day.  Need a new printer?  Maybe a couple of days because they’re still scarce, thanks to the home-office explosion.  Your favorite ointment out of stock at CVS?  Save yourself a trip, click here and apply twice daily. In his 2013 book “The Everything Store” (yes, available on Amazon), business writer Brad Stone chronicle

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State Employee Unions Help Lamont as They Criticize Him

Connecticut’s state employee unions may be rendering great service to Governor Lamont’s probable campaign for re-election by complaining about him. This service may be greater than their usual provision of manpower to Democratic campaigns. For their complaining suggests that the governor isn’t their tool as most Democrats are. Last week the unions protested the governor’s recalling their members back to work at state government offices. Among other things the unions argued that by working from home they are reducing carbon emissions. Yes, the unions are always looking out for the planet first, not themselves. Then the unions held a rally

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‘Disaster Capitalism’ is as Old as Capitalism Itself

The idea crises can be used to disorient, manipulate history, and cultivate societal change is nothing new. “Disaster capitalism” is as old as capitalism itself. Baron Rothschild, 18th century British nobleman whose banking family loaned money (at huge interest) to warring factions, including Lincoln’s Federals and Davis’ Confederacy, put it bluntly. “The time to buy,” he said. “Is when there’s blood in the streets.” Taking the same robber baron approach, Wall Street, U.S. CEOs and industrialists routinely hedge bets by investing in crises and exploiting despair. In his last presidential address, Dwight Eisenhower warned against the military-industrial-political complex and risks

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Right to Read or a Better Way?

The “Right to Read” bill — HB 6620 section 1 — passed this session, represents a failure to think outside of the box in response to the literacy crisis in Connecticut. “As measured before the pandemic in the statewide assessment of English Language Arts, nearly half of Connecticut’s public school students fell short of grade-level reading expectations, and outcomes were significantly lower for students of color,” according to State Senator Patricia Billie Miller. Connecticut is not alone in its literacy crisis. On June 11, 2021, the Economist reported that “Less than half (48%) of all American adults were proficient readers

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No ‘sensitive’ way to Inflict this Level of Environmental and Cultural Destruction.

In December 2016 I traveled from Rhode Island to Connecticut to a meeting at the Old Lyme Town Hall where one of Connecticut’s US Senators, Richard Blumenthal, promised to do everything in his power to stop the Federal Railroad Administration’s plan for the “Old Saybrook to Kenyon Bypass” including tying himself to the railroad tracks. I loved the imagery of Senator Blumenthal tied to the tracks, not because I would ever want to see him hurt (I have great admiration for the senator), but because the image showed such uncompromising opposition. On July 16’th the Connecticut Examiner reported that both

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Government Sets the Price of Money – and That Creates a Wealth Gap

How deeply a society understands money seems to vary inversely with the functionality of the money used in that society. For the U.S. money hasn’t been too much of a problem. This lack of understanding in America, reminds me of the David Foster Wallace joke: There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What

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Are Connecticut Politics Serving The Greater Good?

Just last week we celebrated Independence Day. Do we need to return to the words of the US Constitution? America’s founding fathers laid the foundation for our political climate. Within the Constitution it read “When government no longer serves the people; the people have the right to alter or abolish it and reinstitute new government.” Those who hold governmental power must always be cognizant their power derives from the people being governed.   “We the people” must guide their actions or we face tyranny.  In the past several months I have witnessed a government out of control. A government that

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Jahncke: Connecticut is in a Full-blown Jobs Crisis.

The state workforce has shrunk by about 160,000, or 8.2%, from its pre-pandemic level of 1.93 million in February 2020, the worst decline in the nation. Only three other states have experienced drops of more than 5%. Of Connecticut’s remaining workforce, about 140,000, or 7.9%, are unemployed – the highest unemployment rate of the 50 states. Combined, 300,000 people, or 15.5% of the pre-pandemic workforce, have dropped out or are currently unemployed. The next worst level is 10.9% in Hawaii. Being last is one thing that Connecticut is accustomed to, but to trail 49th place by a huge 4.6% margin

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