Democrat Sees Opioid Addiction As Opportunity

Connecticut State Capitol

Connecticut State Capitol

Opioid addiction knows no bounds, rich or poor, cities or suburbs, age and race are not a factor the impact is devastating, debilitating and too often death. The increase in deaths has been called an epidemic by some and a tragedy by nearly all.

 
Times change, it wasn’t all that long ago that marijuana was considered a drug problem in nearly every community. Today we see the “weed” as a legalized recreational option in some communities. Times have changed and our approach to the opioid addiction issue is changing.

 
There is no second chance when death is the alternative, our approach to opioids by the nature of the problem must be effective. There is no fool-proof answer but there are some different ideas.

 
Coventry Connecticut like many communities has provided their police with Narcan an opiate antidote to save lives. It is not a preventative it only addresses the problem after an overdose has occurred. The real goal over a long term in any community should be to prevent the addiction and eliminate the heartaches, broken dreams, and social costs.

 
In Eastham Massachusetts the local police are helping to pioneer and fund the local Project Purple, a group of students who share objectives of self-empowerment, making good choices and living without putting substances in their bodies. Members of the Purple Project take a pledge against substance abuse and ultimately attract others to seek their lifestyle.

 
The statistics and social scientists tell us addiction most often starts in teen years, and that is the time to emphasize prevention. Knowing an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is not a new concept, it remains solid advice in nearly all matters of health. Eastham understands the value of prevention but the program is not a guarantee.

 
One Connecticut legislator wants to address the issue on a state-wide basis. It may sound like a wise idea, the only problem is his thinking on how to accomplish the goal. State Senator Joseph Crisco is a Democrat from Woodbridge his problem is his thinking is in line with his party’s approach to a problem. His idea is to introduce another new tax.

 
Mr. Crisco wants to impose a new fee on the manufacture, distribution, prescription, and dispensation of opioids. Yes, you got it. He wants to tax those that legally obtain the drugs to treat serious medical problems and somehow wants you to believe that will stop those addicted to opioids. It would make a more rational conversation if it were said, don’t let any opportunity to tax go by,

 
Connecticut Democrats have already created a tax environment that is limiting economic growth and driving firms out of State. Senator Crisco is now targeting several pharmaceutical companies in Connecticut that manufacture opioids in a tax bullseye. Taxing those most in need of treatment, and compassion is not the sensible solution to opioid addiction and attacking another industry with new taxes is senseless.

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Governor Blames Past Angelic Supporters For Storm

Governor Dan Malloy

Governor, Dan Malloy

Hartford – Governor Malloy today announced the State will face this weather emergency with all the resources available to him as Governor of Connecticut. He said, “It is established science that storms of this nature are a result of our human impact on the environment”. The Governor went on to say, “Connecticut residents have over a period of time been angelic in their efforts to support him and his fight to reverse the human impact on our climate.”

The Governor was at the State Armory now being used as an emergency center during the storm. He activated the National Guard and addressed them this afternoon. His message was clear, “You have been activated to address the accumulation of powder now falling and covering the entire state. This powder from the heavens must be controlled and you shall be our first line of defense.”

“Many of our saintly citizens, have dedicated hours of effort to address the climate issues facing our state but they have now passed to the great beyond. As is so often the case many of those angels have inadvertently created this new problem.” The guard troops stood at full attention awaiting their orders but many had a look of surprise they could not hide when the Governor finally drew his speech to a conclusion as he gave the this order:

“I hereby order the National Guard to confiscate, all existing bottles of Head and Shoulder anti-dandruff shampoo and to immediately supply all funeral facilities with adequate supplies for immediate application. Funeral directors have been ordered to treat all of the dead with Head and Shoulders to stop this angelic dandruff from covering our State. You are our first responders, and our last line of defense, I wish you well in your efforts.”

Many of the troops were seen leaving the armory scratching their heads and reporters questioned if all of the problem was really heavenly sent. One lonely Republican, working as a janitor at the center called the entire press conference, “just another snow job by Malloy.”

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It’s Time To Say Good-By

"He who transplanted sustains" takes on new meaning as GE leaves

“He who transplanted sustains” takes on new meaning as GE leaves

Hartford was a hub, New Haven a nucleus, and Waterbury the heart around which small towns grew and flourished. All were vibrant, dynamic and creative urban centers. All three were centers of wealth and commerce in their respective areas.

 

They all had something else in common, a political machine. Not a political machine dedicated to represent a unity of strength in diversity but rather digging a ditch of dichotomy. They saw the skylines change with raising glass. They could have joined with those within the rising spires with skyline visions to new horizons of opportunity, but their visions were not skyward.

 

The political machines took another road. They threw stones, not those of metamorphic beginnings but those founded by political heat and pressure. The growth could have been seen as opportunities for the common man, as incubators of opportunities encouraged to flourish and grow. The machine saw opposition and the potential of economic growth that would threaten their stranglehold on political power.

 

The political machines, saw the financial growth of economic opportunity as a storehouse of potential plunder waiting to be attacked like swag off a loading dock. The story was the same from places far away like Jersey City, and Newark to our cities of Connecticut. The rhetoric was repeated, the policies were duplicated, and the ditch of dichotomy had to be dredged to protect the machine.

 

The machine taxed and punished the job creators, they destroyed the dreams, and shattered the hopes. They shoveled their dirt, with the rhetoric of division, destruction and ruin, piling the mud along their ditch.

 

The opportunities left the cities, the people that remained were more dependent than ever on the hollow hopes of false promise from the political machine. The ditch of dichotomy has grown deeper as metamorphic stones of politics have piled higher buffered with political mudslinging from the city moat.

 

To preserve and expand their fiefdoms the political machine has moved to the halls of the State Capital. They have taken their ruinous reins of power and rhetoric of destructive dichotomy to new levels. They are leading our State down the path they have taken our cities.

 

To anyone that watched the slow destruction of our cities, and the loss of economic opportunities, the loss of GE was no surprise. History repeats itself. Connecticut is marching down the path following the same bandwagon that has led our cities from splendor to mere memories of what once was.

 

Remember when Hartford, was known as the insurance capital of the world, and we waved good-by to so many, history repeats itself. Today we wave good-by to GE, and history repeats itself. Voting for another Democratic machine candidate and hoping for a different result is folly, history repeats itself.

 

The leaders of industry and commerce are on the move and the lights of opportunity are leaving our state. We can change our direction now or we can kick the can down the road like the State unfunded pension problem. We can leave a legacy of darkness for our next generation or we can act.

 

It is time for a new light in leadership for Connecticut. It is time to make history, it is time to vote to turn Connecticut in a new direction, it is time to wave good-by to Malloy, Murphy, Blumenthal, Courtney, DeLauro, Wyman, Merrill and the rest of the machine.

 

Will you be part of the solution, will you help to defeat the machine? What path do you want for Connecticut, one of darkness or light? You can help to build the new path in your Republican Town Committee where plans are now underway for a better tomorrow.

 

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Changing A Generation A Challenge For America

Labor force participation from WSJ

 

 

 

For those old enough to remember the 1950’s you remember the typical American family where, you walked to school, mom stayed home and dad lived with you and had a job. The economy was driven by pent up demand for consumer goods after a World War which brought sacrifice to every home.

 
A lot of men spent their late teens and early 20’s in the harsh conditions of war in Europe or facing vicious brutality in the South Pacific. Their dreams for the future were formulated not within the ivy halls of a university, but in foxholes, and craters of destruction. It was the school of hard knocks, filled with an overdose of reality, an atmosphere that causes a man to grow up fast.

 
When the war was over America had a generation of men that had learned the value of team work, they were full of motivation and dreams. Working hard was not an issue, they had already faced a depression and war, and they knew what it was like to do without. Now was their time and America was their place.

 
Neighborhoods were carved out of farms to satisfy the dreams and demands for home ownership. The camaraderie of military life extended to the neighborhoods where you knew your neighbors, they were a real part of your life. There was a strong moral fabric underlying life in America, people took responsibility for themselves and their neighbors it was the natural thing to do.

 
Today we talk about climate change as if change is something new, academic study will tell us the climate has been in constant change for billions of years. The climate is never static, like the tides and the waves of the sea it forever moves. The more important change we need to discuss is the change in our social fabric, our moral foundation as a nation, by comparison climate change is merely a diversion and distraction.

 
Times change, I get it, and nothing stays the same but the questions I must ask are these, as a society are we changing in the right direction? Are we walking a path of convenience and comfort on the road to complacency and collapse? Have we passed on to the next generation the lessons of life, the moral character and an understanding of their personal responsibility to their family, to their community and yes to their nation?

 
Surely life is different for the youth of today, times have changed. Life has changed and we must change, but because we live in a land of liberty we can choose the change we want, we can dream and walk our own path. The path of life is an individual path of challenge and choice, it is our responsibility to provide a compass for guidance, and to teach the next generation how to choose their path.

 
Increasingly many young people are choosing not to face the challenges, not to take responsibility, not to become part of the fabric that is America. The days of volunteerism and community contribution are fading, and yet the needs continues as we go forward we are coming to a crossroad.

 
Even the basic foundation of self-responsibility is showing signs of crumbling. The labor-force participation rate (the share of people who either have a job or are actively looking for a job) has been dropping for some time. The most alarming trend however is found within the demographics of what should be the most productive workers, those between the ages of 25-54.

 
Make no mistake that trend will have a negative impact on government’s ability to cover the cost of Social Security but that is not the worst of it. No, the larger impact is the social change of not working, not gaining and understanding the values of working, not only financially but the greater values derived from the work experience in an emotional, physical and mental sense.

 

 

The tides of time and weather change, and we have little choice but to adapt to that change. The changes we can control are the changes we make along the path of life and the benefits of experience we pass to the next generation. Changing the direction of Labor-force participation should be a national priority.

 
Taking action and taking the high road will not always easy. Changing the direction of a generation is a challenge but facing the challenges head on has rewards, just ask those from the “greatest generation”. They grew up during a depression, found sacrifice in war and built a nation from experience found in the ashes of destruction, they worked to toward goals founded in hopes and dreams. They did it with hard work and labor-force participation, we need to change in that direction once again.

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A Case of Human Bondage or Fair Share

U. S. Supreme Court 2016

U. S. Supreme Court 2016

Rebecca Friedrichs is having her day in court, not just any court but the highest court of the land, the United States Supreme Court. The basic issue of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association revolves around the fact that teachers in California are required to pay union dues even though they may not belong or agree with the goals or policies of the union.

 
Many union supporters will say it is only fair for Rebecca to pay since she also gets to receive the benefits for which the union negotiates. Union hardcore members say those that do not contribute are “free riders” since they receive the benefits of collective bargaining without having to pay for that service.

 
Rebecca and her co-plaintiffs believe they should not be obligated to support an organization they do not choose to join. The plaintiffs justify their position by pointing out, a person should not be obligated to yield the fruits of their labor to any person or organization with which they fundamentally disagree or choose not to support. Hardcore union opposition would say the current requirement to pay dues as a non-member is nothing short of legalized extortion.

 
We often talk about our “rights” as citizens. Some of our rights are clearly defined within our founding documents, such as the right to a jury trial, and some are rights that have been established in interpretative decisions or later legislative ways such as the right to an abortion. The basic question before the court in this case is to determine if a citizen has a “right to work” unfettered by an obligation to yield financial earnings to others for the privilege of working on a particular job.

 
Society has changed since the founding of this nation, we no longer accept slavery as morally acceptable, we have seen the abuse of sharecroppers, or workers virtually tied to a company stores and we loathe such situations. We prosecute those that would seek profits from human bondage and sexual exploitation of others. We prosecute because both the bondage and the acts are morally abhorrent within our society. Human bondage in any form is abhorrent.

 
Does the issue before the court touch our very core of belief in the rights of mankind? Let us consider a reading from the preamble to our Constitution:

 
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

 
If it is self-evident, that all mankind is equal and that the Creator has endowed them with the rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness hence, no government under our Constitution can transfer or assign those rights without consent from one citizen to another. In our society today as we enjoy the “liberty” of living in a country with great freedom, working is a means to pursue our happiness to a great degree.

 
Therefore, the “right to work” for every individual should be unencumbered. The time for any citizen to be bound by the chains of obligation to another for the “right to work” should have ceased with the Emancipation Proclamation. Human bondage is immoral in any form. Human bondage is not limited to chains, extortion, and fear but also extends to involuntarily being bound or subjected to some external power or control.

 
A union should not fear or oppose the recognition of the “right to work”. A good union will provide the services which satisfy the needs of workers and workers will still join and support the union for the value it delivers.

 
In criminal law every defendant is entitled to an attorney, it is a right, but not an obligation. We all benefit by virtue of case law on the work of others provided in past cases. We are not “free riders”. If you go to court in any matter you can act pro se, you need not pay dues to any law association or union and yet you have the history of cases available for use. Your “right to work” like your right to legal council is not a privilege for which you must pay it is an unalienable right endowed to you by your Creator.

 
May the Supreme Court recognize the endowment of the Creator and break the chains of bondage restraining the rights of mankind working in pursuit of happiness. May God, once again bless America and the American worker.

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Be Careful What You Wish For

President Barack Obama

President
Barack Obama

When it comes to evaluating gun violence and death in the United States, opinions begin to unify around the belief we have more than a civilized society should. While America may be more divided now by race and politics more than at any other time since World War II we remain unified in our rejection of violence within our society.

 
Our common refrain is peace on earth, goodwill to man, our approach to obtain such a vision is as diverse as it is elusive. Our desire as noble and honorable it may be can be misdirected and detrimental to our goal.

 
Recently President Obama addressed the nation to offer his view on gun violence and his thoughts as to how to address the issue. His personal frustration with Congress and the voice from the “people’s house” he vocalized his thinking and actions. Much of what he said, related to the issue of gun control in some form.

 
Too often solutions to problems are a smoke screen to further an agenda more than to solve the problem. Sometimes the solutions bring more difficulty than the original problem. Sometimes our desire to address a problem is so strong it overrides our judgement and fogs our thinking. This could be just one of those times.

 
The President wants the Department of Health and Human Services “to remove unnecessary legal barriers preventing States from reporting relevant information about people prohibited from possessing a gun for specific mental health reasons.” On the surface this sounds like a reasonable wish, but be careful what you wish for. The object is to limit access to guns for people challenged by mental illness, not to discourage those same folks that need help from seeking treatment.

 
Many times minor problems be they mental or physical start with small issues that if treated early can prevent more serious issues at a later time. When we discourage early treatment for mental illness it is easy to draw the conclusion that we exacerbate the problem and increase the odds of a more serious consequence at a later date.

 
For example if we consider the treatment of depression as a reason to prohibit the possession of a firearm we greatly reduce the number of people allowed to have a firearm but we also provide an reverse incentive to seeking treatment for even a minor issue. The mere treatment for mental illness does not make a person a maniacal psychopath on the edge of violent eruption to harm themselves or others. It is precisely that type of thinking that has created a bias and reluctance for people to seek the help they may so rightly need.

 
Before you jump on the bandwagon to address gun violence by stigmatizing the treatment of mental illness, let us not throw out the baby with the bath water. Let us be careful what we wish for, let us not move forward with thinking fogged by politics or hidden agendas.

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A Moral Dilemma

IMG_8727-1Try to place yourself in this situation and decide as the story unfolds just what you are thinking by asking yourself some questions. What is the right thing to do, am I making the morally correct decision and what should the consequence be for my actions?

You work for a large company, and you are in charge of a rather large department. Each year your boss asks you to put together a budget to run your department. You know there are things you need and some extras you would like, so you put a few extras in your request.

After the boss reviews and edits your budget it is given to you as approved and you are expected to run the department based on the budget. It is up to you to lead and direct spending in line with the budget as approved. Sometimes you get lucky and things come in under budget and sometimes well things go a little off the expected line and you go over a bit.

You know it is not your money to spend as you wish, but you did create the budget, got it approved based on priorities and expectations. Can and should you overspend in some areas knowing you have enough in other areas or should you get approval from the boss or financial department to transfer the extra money to cover the over spending first?

Now just a month or so before the end of the budget year you discover you have a windfall of extra money you have not yet spent in your budget. What is the right thing to do? (A) Should you let the money stay in the account and show a surplus at the end of the year, after all it is not your money and you know it should go back to the boss? (B) Spend the money on items you put into the next year budget knowing if you do that you are creating a surplus next year because you will have already procured the items in the budget or should the financial department or boss make that decision? (C) Spend the extra money this year on items not in the budget for next year but things that you think would be good to get now even if the boss did not have them presented in a budget?

If you were the boss how would you react to each of the choices above? If there was a surplus should it have been spent, or should the money go back to the boss and let the boss or financial department decide what should be done with the money? Would you be a happy boss if were a quarter million dollars spent?

Ok now that you have given that some thought exchange the parties, let the boss be the taxpayers, you are the Board of Education and the financial department is the Town Council. The above scenario is very real.

Last spring the Coventry Board of Education had a surplus, instead of returning the money to the taxpayers by having a surplus at the end of the year they spent the money. They purchased some computers that were in the next year budget and some that were not yet approved within a budget as a current need. The rest was also allocated. The original surplus seems to have been in excess of $250,000. The Town Council is asking questions………..The Board of Education is asking for more money.

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