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If You Ask Me

Much to like about the Finns, but not forest raking

In one of my earliest grade school memories, I am lining up in the hallway with my classmates for an air raid drill in late 1939 or early 1940 when the boy next to me asks, “Who are you for, the Russians or the Finns?”

There was only one right answer and I quickly said, “the Finns.” Being for the Finns was automatic for a couple of reasons. They were the underdog in a war with Russia and they were known as an honorable people. “The Finns always pay their debts,” was an oft-repeated statement of fact.  

Did you ask for whom the tolls toll?

Having gotten elected after promising not to increase the state income tax and sales tax while still reducing property taxes, Ned Lamont has to start looking for new money.  

NRA to MDs: Gun control not your business

Little attention was paid in the media and elsewhere when the American College of Physicians and Surgeons (ACP) updated its position on gun control at the end of October.  

The new proposals — keeping people with domestic violence history from buying guns, allowing families to get guns legally taken from a member at risk of hurting himself or others, safe gun storage and banning assault weapons, large capacity magazines and bump stocks — were both reasonable and unsurprising from a group dealing with gun violence and its victims every day.  

Advantage: Dannel over Donald

In an election influenced by two deeply disliked individuals, whose names appeared nowhere near a ballot, Dannel has prevailed over Donald. 

Being another Dannel Malloy, though hardly desirable, proved preferable to being another Donald Trump in the race for governor of Connecticut.  

Best Red Sox ever, but baseball is still succeeding in hurting itself

It was a wonderful World Series, wasn’t it — with the best Red Sox team we’ve seen in seven decades of watching them.

But the games were so long.

We knew things had gotten out of hand after Game 3. It was not only the longest World Series game ever played; it was longer than the entire four-game World Series the Yankees and Cincinnati Reds played in 1939.

Before that happened, the only thing the wondrous 2018 Red Sox had in common with the 1939 Yankees was their regular season victories — a very nice 108 games.

Who will it be for governor, the has-been or never-was?

Governor of Connecticut was a job nobody in either party wanted this year so Connecticut’s voters were offered the leftovers and will make one of them governor next Tuesday.

The polls indicate the battle between the Democratic has-been and the Republican never-was could go either way, with maybe a slight edge in this one-party state to the Democrat and maybe not. It’s as if it doesn’t matter, probably because it doesn’t. Neither has gone beyond base-pleasing talk to offer real solutions to Connecticut’s serious problems. 

Democratic US House might open some windows

If, as anticipated, the Democrats gain control of the U.S. House of Representatives, that body’s tax writing Ways and Means Committee — frequently known as “the powerful” Ways and Means Committee — may want to start the new year with hearings on how it’s possible to take tax deductions for expensive properties you didn’t even pay for.  

Still nothing like being in the newspaper

With the Red Sox comfortably ahead—10-1 or so—in the second game of that extremely satisfying series with the Yankees, I turned to the Turner Classic Movies channel during a commercial break at just the right time.

Melancholy mounts in race for governor

I’ve been voting since I filled out an an absentee ballot for Dwight Eisenhower at Fort Knox in 1956 and in all those years, I can’t remember an election with candidates less appealing than the pair running for governor of Connecticut in November—except for the pair who ran for president two years ago. 

I still hope to do my civic duty and vote for someone for governor but at the moment, a month before Election Day, I can’t cast that vote for either of the major party candidates, Ned Lamont or Bob Stefanowski.  

An American disease for centuries

Xenophobia, an intense or irrational fear of things foreign, especially people, has been an American disease since some natives of this continent took an instant dislike for the white people in funny clothes landing on their shores 400 years ago.

Once those white people proved the natives’ suspicions were warranted by kicking them off their lands, the first white, Anglo Saxon Protestants had things pretty much to themselves for centuries.