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Guest Commentary

An autumn snow to remember

Guest Commentary

Beautiful fat, floaty flakes fluttered to the trees. Leaves were frosted with billows of meringue. Evening came, wind stirred the flakes into giant swirls. Popping, cracking sounds blasted into the night while trees, saplings to ancient warriors, splintered their branches. Twenty inches of heavy, wet snow squashed its weight on the woods.

Social Security: a brilliant system

Guest Commentary

The 76th anniversary of Social Security has arrived, but rather than celebrating the program that provides more than 50 million people with annual benefits, some people are questioning its value as a critical American institution.
Opponents tout rumors regarding sustainability and the toll on our government as fact, and some are falling for it. The reality is that Social Security is one of the most successful programs in history.

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A reasonable alternative to biotechnology

Guest Commentary

In 2008, billionaire philanthropists Bill Gates and Warren Buffet launched The Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) program to end hunger in African communities where populations are growing faster than their crops. To do this, WEMA uses biotechnology to create drought- and heat-tolerant types of corn.

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The importance of whistleblowers

Guest Commentary

It was the winter of 1777 and a small group of sailors and marines were meeting on the docked warship Warren in Providence, R.I. The objective was not revolution against British forces. It was to preserve the sense of democracy rooting itself in America. The men were discussing a naval commander, Commodore Esek Hopkins, and the part he played in the torture of captured British soldiers.

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CT-N is vital to our democracy

Guest Commentary

At the end of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked whether the delegates had decided on a monarchy or a republic. His response was, “A republic, if you can keep it.” These words seem more prophetic today than perhaps ever before.

Take the case of Bell, Calif., where the city council voted to give themselves and other local officials enormous salaries. These salaries were approved at council meetings with little or no discussion or explanation. Apparently, no one in Bell took the time to attend those council meetings.

Nuclear industry ignores red flags

Guest Commentary

In June, the Associated Press (AP) released a four-part series of investigative reports on the re-licensing of nuclear power plants.
The findings are dismal: Nuclear reactors rarely comply with the original safety and operating standards set by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Instead, 30- to 40-year-old reactors continue running as regulators adjust the safety standards to accommodate the nuclear industry or neglect to enforce standards at all.

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Another view on nation’s problems

Guest Commentary

This column is an attempt to further the discussion of Social Security and Medicare contained in Anthony Piel’s Viewpoint piece, which was begun in the July 21 Lakeville Journal and is completed in this edition.

Mr. Piel’s intentions appear noble for wanting to provide health care for all, but a little accounting reality is needed to understand the royal mess we’re in. The current problem is the result of decades of bad accounting, and any notion that a little dial twisting will result in “problem solved” is going to result in a truly intractable problem in the near future.

‘Audacity of Hope’ voyage ends in disappointement

Guest Commentary

In the July 1Winsted Journal, I wrote about the Audacity of Hope, the ship with U.S. citizens and others attempting to sail to the shores of Gaza to provide humanitarian aid and much-needed publicity to the Palestinian tragedy. Since its launch, the passengers and crew have experienced a tremendous effort on the part of the Greek and Israeli governments to stop the ship.

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Save The Savior Of Kids

Guest Commentary

Jeanne Milstein is the state’s child advocate: She has done the job for 11 years. She is something of a saint, albeit a hard-boiled one with a sense of humor.

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Redistricting for the 64th District should be done with Kent in mind

Guest Commentary

A t a recent meeting of concerned residents of Kent, including myself, the upcoming state assembly redistricting hearings were seen as an opportunity to align Kent with its logical neighbors.