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If You Ask Me

Don’t know much about history

There are certain qualities we once thought every president should have. He should never lie to us. He should try to unite us, be the president of all the people. He should know a lot about the U.S. Constitution and all of its amendments. 

And he should know history, especially ours. But this president neither seems to know or care much about what happened before his election.

What caused Trump to side with the enemy?

The headline on the column that appeared in this space on Feb. 8 asked, “What does Putin have on Trump?” Not a bad question, as things turned out.

After Helsinki, we should amend the question to read, “What does Putin have on Trump that caused the president of the United States to side with the enemy?”

Supreme Court won’t ignore public opinion

More than a century ago, Mr. Dooley, the Chicago Irish bartender created by journalist Peter Finley Dunne, sagely observed that, “the Soopreme Court follows the illiction returns.”

Today, the observation still stands, though it might be more accurate to say the 21st century Court follows the public opinion polls, which can be an even more reliable measurement of the nation’s will than the election returns.

A death in the family: Doing the work they believe in on a small newspaper

‘It’s like being a teacher or a nurse,” one reporter called his job after five colleagues were massacred in the newsroom of their small daily newspaper. “You get paid an honest wage to do work that you believe matters.” 

Since the tragedy, there have been many eloquent responses like this one, along with long overdue recognition of the role smaller newspapers like the Capital Gazette of Annapolis, Md., play in the life of the community and the nation.  

Five candidate primary doesn’t help Republicans

With Connecticut enjoying an economy that’s better than Louisiana’s and worse than the other 48 states, this would appear to be a likely year for the election of a Republican governor. 

Although a deep blue state, Connecticut has occasionally tired of long Democratic runs and given the Republican Party a chance to show what it can do with a governor — but not often a legislature — to call its own.  This looks like one of those years but it’s far from certain.

Check Trump’s ‘facts’ and don’t repeat them

After Joe McCarthy’s reign of terror in the name of anti-communism ended with his censure by the U.S. Senate, news organizations that unwittingly collaborated in his rise to power underwent a collective examination of conscience.  

Words you can say on TV and how they evolved

The recent vulgar eruptions by two television personalities, Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee, brought to mind my own experience with words that were never to be uttered on the air. 

I had been with WTIC Radio and Television for a couple of years in 1965 when the radio station celebrated the 40th anniversary of its founding in 1925.

As part of the observance, I was asked to write a memo on the events of the year 1925 so that the disc jockeys and talk show hosts could provide the listeners with colorful anecdotes about the events of the year.

NRA discovered the Second Amendment 50 years ago

My mother wouldn’t let her kids play with toy guns because she had the quaint idea that children shouldn’t be playing at killing other children.

Candidates: voters need specifics

Here is the pledge made by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont to the party’s base in accepting the nomination: “I’m not going to balance the budget on the backs of our teachers, not on the backs of our state employees and not on the backs of the most vulnerable.” 

So where does that leave the backs of the rest of us?

Ticket balancing, now diversity

The ancient and sometimes honorable practice of ticket balancing appears to be returning to the Connecticut political scene.  It never completely went away, but as various religious and ethnic groups prospered and no longer demanded representation on every gubernatorial ticket, it subsided for a time.