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Lawless New England

Connecticut’s General Assembly, as most people know, is non-operative; ditto the state’s court system; ditto doctor’s offices – but not golf courses. Doctors may still golf, despite the ravages of Coronavirus. Hospitals, we are told, are losing money because their elective surgeries have been curtailed.

It was not long ago that the administration of Governor Dan Malloy, now in charge of the college system in Maine – closed – sent his Office of Policy Management guru, Ben Barnes, rooting through hospitals looking for additional tax funds. Connecticut, as usual, was broke at the time and thirsting for additional tax revenue. Barnes was asked why the state was showing such peculiar interest in raising taxes on hospitals, and he replied, in the accent of Willie Sutton, the bank robber, “because that’s where the money is.” Connecticut, since 1991, the year then Governor Lowell Weicker graced the state with his income tax, has been piling up budget deficit after budget deficit, largely becau…
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Connecticut, Constitution State No longer

The founding of Connecticut, as was the case of the founding of Rhode Island by the redoubtable and indestructible Roger Williams, began as a religious conflict between Thomas Hooker and John Cotton of Massachusetts.Voting in Massachusetts was limited to freemen, individuals admitted to churches after their religious views and personal histories had been affirmed by the clergy. Hooker and the Reverend Samuel Stone, looking to embrace a wider congregation, and discontented with what they regarded as a too severe limiting of religious suffrage, lit out, as Mark Twain might have said, for the territories. The two men led about a hundred protesters out of Massachusetts and in 1636 founded the Hartford settlement, named after Stone’s birthplace in England, Hertford.Thus was the Connecticut colony born, the General Court representing Wethersfield, Windsor and Hartford.Meeting in May, 1638, the Court framed a written constitution, The Fundamental Orders, establishing a government for the com…

Thumb Twiddling While Coronavirus Sacks Connecticut

Nursing homes in Connecticut were sacked by Coronavirus -- the way an invading, colonizing army sacks a small, unarmed village -- while the attentions of politicians in the state were devoted chiefly to a) creating largely unnecessary space in hospitals for potential Coronavirus admissions, b) dangerously shuttering people in their houses, c) depriving Connecticut citizens of their work space, d) closing businesses unilaterally deemed“non-essential” by the governor’s office, and e) running up an enormous state debt in the face of a recession wholly caused by poor decisions made by state politicians – but not all politicians at all times; the legislative branch of government in Connecticut was in hibernation as Coronavirus ravaged the state.
Months after nursing home deaths accounted for more than half of total deaths in the state attributable to Coronavirus, the news has begun to trickle up to news services in Connecticut. “Out of the state’s more than 3,500 deaths,” Connecticut Public…

April In Connecticut, The Cruelest Month

April is the cruelest month, breeding/ Lilacs out of the dead land… T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland
On May 22nd of April, the cruelest month, Governor Ned Lamont took a bow during his daily Coronavirus briefing, this time at Gay City State Park in Hebron. Front page headlines in the Hartford Courant blared: “Extremely Good News: State reports lowest single-day increase in [Coronavirus] cases since late March; June 20 eyed for phase 2 of reopening.”
The governor advised Connecticut residents desperately in search of normalcy, “I used to say stay home. Now I say go to a little-used park. Go to one of the ones that aren’t on the mainstream. Go there with your family. Keep your distance, if you see a group of people coming up. That’s what spring is about, and we are going this (sic) all together.”

The Lucian Correspondence

I have a modest proposal.
I was talking to a friend of mine, a politically connected tradesman and a marine retired from service. Everyone should be advised that there is no such thing as an ex-marine. I doubt this is true in all cases, but marines, when they grow old, tend to lose some conventional inhibitions. I suppose that’s true of most of us. Conventions can be a smothering blanket, but in the winter one wants warmth. Inhibitions gone, friends are the next to ditch us. Anyway, my marine friend is full of salty expressions. Comradeship arouses in men, especially when engaged in battle or sports, the scatological imperative.
People, he says, think politicians are helpful – compassion and do-goodism is after all in their job specs -- and so people turn to them when in distress, even when the distress is caused by the self-same politicians. But, my friend says, politicians the world over are concerned chiefly with acquiring power and utilizing it to their benefit. Politici…

Politicians, “Science”, And The Multitude Of Sins

How scientific is science in the matter of Coronavirus?
Science is settled opinion. Medical science is settled opinion on medical matters, political science – yes, there is such a thing – is settled opinion on political matters. The one thing we do not want in any confluence of the two is confusion and mass hysteria, which can best be avoided by observing this rule: Politicians should decide political matters and medical scientists should decide medical matters. Occasionally, politicians decide that mass fright can better able convince the general population than rational argument.  
The answer to the above question is simple: In the case of new viruses, science, as defined above, must be silent. There can be no “scientific” view of Coronavirus because it is a new phenomenon, the recent arrival of a stranger on the medical block. Concerning Coronavirus, there are, properly speaking, multiple views of different scientists, many of whom will disagree with each other on important points.

Connecticut Department of Frustration (CDF) Phone Log, May

CDF: Connecticut Department of Frustration, what’s your problem?
Caller: Not a problem, just an observation… (Click)
CDF: (To Ms. Obstruction, her boss at CDF, seated next to her). I love to get rid of these observant menaces. I usually hand them off to the Department of Motor Vehicles. They always have a crush of business down there, even more so now that some of the crew is working from home… Hello CDF.
Caller: I’m a lobbyist, and I’m calling for…
CDF: Hold on a sec sir, I’ll connect you with the governor’s office. (To Ms. O) Money talks, “Them that’s got shall get” and all that jazz... Hello, CDF.