LETTERS: Trump fires Tillerson / Girl Scouts / Southington medical marijuana dispensary / CT Supreme Court

LETTERS: Trump fires Tillerson / Girl Scouts / Southington medical marijuana dispensary / CT Supreme Court

Presidential bully


As a former superintendent of schools and executive director of a professional association, I know how difficult it is to fire someone face to face.  So, I understand why President Trump decided to fire Secretary of State Tillerson via Twitter instead of meeting with him to deliver the news.

Understanding, however, does not equate to justification. Nobody deserves to find out via a Tweet that they have lost their job just because their boss does not have the courage to deliver the news in person. 

The President enjoys giving bellicose speeches that attempt to bully others into doing what he wants them to do.  Like all bullies, however, Donald Trump runs away from situations in which he has to actually display courage with actions instead of just words.

Recently, the president claimed that if he would have been there, he would have charged into the high school in FL as soon as he heard shots. As a person who has grandchildren in schools in CT and elsewhere, I find no comfort in these words from someone who does not even have what it takes to fire someone face to face.

Joseph J. Cirasuolo, Wallingford,

Confidence and character


March 8 was International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It was also a day to spark conversation about how we still have a ways to go to ensure equality among all.

Girl Scouts of Connecticut is part of a sisterhood of 2.6 million across the globe. In Connecticut, we have nearly 30,000 girls and over 13,000 adults who believe in the power of every girl and young woman. On March 12, Girl Scouts turned 106 years young — 106 years of being the leading expert on girls. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, when Juliette Gordon Low organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we’ve honored her vision and legacy to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

In those days, the role of women in this country was on the brink of dramatic change. Women did not have the right to vote yet, but many were working to lead women into the next century.

There were also countless efforts of reform regarding race, immigration, and civil rights. Juliette was headstrong in giving every girl the opportunity to be a Girl Scout — something we continue to hold to today.

Girl Scouts is the one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results. From advocating for pay equity and fair treatment of women to bridging the gender gap in STEM and civil service, Girl Scouts are bold, visionaries, and confident leaders.

The need for female leadership has never been clearer or more urgent than today and Girl Scouts has the expertise to give girls and young women the tools they need to change the world, to break barriers and shatter glass ceilings here in Connecticut and across the globe.

Mary Barneby, Madison

The writer is CEO of Girls Scouts
of Connecticut.

Risks vs. rewards


I am writing in partial response to your opinion column on March 9 by Jeffery Kurz. Quoted in the column is an assertion by Christina Simms, youth services director for the Town of Southington: “Calling marijuana a medicine, it lends to thinking it’s safe.” This assertion leads me to believe we have done a terrible job educating our youth about medications.

One of the axioms I was taught in pharmacology was, “The only safe drugs are useless drugs as they have no active properties.” The corollary was, “All drugs are poisonous and should be used only if the benefits outweigh the risks.”

We should be discouraging our youth from taking any psychoactive substance if it cannot be shown that the benefit outweighs the risk.

Our youths’ perceptions of psychoactive substances are established long before they start school. Every time they have watched their parents have a drink, smoke a cigarette or take an anti-anxiety medication they have absorbed the lesson that it’s OK to take mind-altering substances.

Every time they have watched on TV or other media an admired adult take a drink, have a cigarette or use drugs, the lessons provided by parental modeling were reinforced. Opening a medical marijuana dispensary in town is not going to materially add or subtract from the pre-existing attitudes of our youth.

Samuel Hendrickson, Southington

Supreme court nominee


Regarding the reasons why Associate Justice Andrew McDonald’s nomination as chief justice of the CT Supreme Court is in trouble:

There is a bare mention of Sen. Gayle Slossberg’s (D Milford) recusal from voting on the nomination and a mention by Sen. Len Fasano (R) of Justice McDonald’s refusal to recuse himself in two cases. But no inquiry into the nature of these events.

By going to other sources, one can begin to understand why McDonald is in trouble. He was abusive to Sen. Slossberg prior to becoming a justice and then refused to recuse himself from a case involving her husband. He has also shown a profoundly undemocratic bent by substituting his own political beliefs for those of the General Assembly on the death penalty issue. And it seems he thinks his rather substantial ego is immune from the normal standards of judicial behavior we expect on issues concerning “the appearance” of impropriety.

Justice McDonald’s sexuality does not elevate him above the acceptable standard of judicial behavior.

Thomas F. Flynn III, Wallingford


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