Now is the time for President Obama to stop treating Vladimir-KGB-Putin like a gentleman and to start playing hardball using former President Reagan’s policy of peace through strength. Reagan would have gone straight for the jugular and taken action to disturb Putin. He would have resurrected and expanded the antiballistic missile shield for Poland that was scrapped by Obama in 2009. This action would bring Putin back to the bargaining table. If Obama does not revise his foreign policy views, he is on the path of joining the list of the most inept presidents in USA history.
Ralph J. Esposito, Meriden
Bring it on, but let’s be honest. It’s less about President Obama’s debate on income inequality than about his campaign to demonize the GOP and conservatives before the upcoming elections. Unfortunately, I believe that he uses the poor who earn the minimum wage yet keeps them there in poverty, at best. Even a young CCSU student (Kevin, from Wallingford, R-J, 3-4) has learned in basic economics class that the president’s plan for the minimum wage is flawed. By increasing the minimum wage to $10.10, the president (and Gov. Malloy) pushes millions of young people who have developed work skills and earned market wages back to the minimum wage poverty status.
I think that he punishes millions unfairly because the value of these skilled wage earners is lowered, made equal with the de facto unskilled. And who wouldn’t love a 40-percent increase? Of course the undergrads cheered. It’s that soft virtue of being nice, except that the CBO says it could cost up to a million lost jobs. Am I missing something here? Absolutely not. After a closer review, we hear the president say he needs the young to fund Obamacare and he would only be using the $10.10 minimum wage, that income inequality ploy, to get them to register for Obamacare in order to make it viable. And the deceit of buying votes is a bonus. And at the other end, the president must cut the cost of elderly medical care. And our Democrat representatives are doing their part, too. They are willing accomplices, pushing for assisted suicide legislation to permanently help cut medical costs to keep Obamacare afloat. Curiously, a year ago these same argued that people would die if they didn’t sign up. We deserve better.
John Montgomery, Meriden
‘Under the rug’
On March 19 I attended (with a group called “Our families can’t wait”) the public health commission hearing on HB5534. It is an Act concerning the provisions of services to people with intellectual disabilities. My 54-year-old son and I waited 12 hours to testify. I have to admit, he was great. There were riveting stories and camaraderie throughout the whole ordeal from parents from all corners of Connecticut. I am weary of this battle to find funding to place my son in a home that he can live out his life safely and with joy. This battle has taken 10 years with him being a Priority 1 on a residential wait list — a list with no value, because it has no funding. The Department of Developmental Services has seen some of the largest budget cuts in years — budget cuts to an agency where those individuals it serves have no voice. Well, I am the voice of my son, George Johnson — and he has a right to live his life in the pursuit of happiness and not be torn from his family home upon my death or my inability to care for him. He should have his family involved in transitioning him to his new home. How barbaric of an agency and government in the 21st century not to allow this. I will fight this fight as long as I am able, but it would be nice if public and government officials heard our plea. A needed helping hand would occur with the support of HB5534, which is now headed to the appropriations committee. I have e-mailed the committee and our local legislators; let’s see if they do the right thing now. We can no longer let this issue be swept under the rug.
Joanne Ouellette, Meriden
As educators, we sometimes lament that much of what we do gets reduced to a reading or mathematics test score. Much is written, policies are passed, resources allotted, grants awarded, and housing decisions are made based on the yearly publication of a district’s scores on standardized tests. The students we teach are as diverse in their interests as they are in their abilities. If we only focus on a few aspects of their success in school, we miss the opportunity to see multiple ways students show their skills, talents, aspirations and gifts. I recently had a chance to see another side of success in the Meriden Public Schools. Along with another set of elementary-aged children, my children had the opportunity to play the roles of the two little children in the theatrical production of South Pacific, by Rodgers and Hammerstein. For four weeks, I was able to see, first-hand, the achievement of these impressive high school students as they learned their acting parts, sang the many songs, created and manipulated a set design that transformed the auditorium into the South Pacific, controlled the lights and sound with the precision of a professional audio expert, and brought to life the beautiful musical score of this classic play.
This experience, for my children, has been as powerful in shaping their love of school as any other. Seventeen-year-old Maloney High School senior Ricky Baribault, who plays Luther Billis in the play, said it best prior to the group meeting on Friday night, “I have never been around a group of people that have been so accepting and supportive of one another before in my life.” Twenty years from now, these kids may not remember their score on a test, but they will remember how they felt being a part of the production.