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Posts published in “Connecticut Newspapers”

The Biggest Threat to the Climate: China

Upon his inauguration, President Biden issued a flurry of executive orders related to climate change, including one designating climate change a national security threat.

The primary security threat by this new climate-change name looks the same as the leading national security threat in traditional terms: China. The totalitarian Communist dictatorship is responsible for almost 30% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to the European Commission's Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR).

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Readers Set the Record Straight

Joe Markley, Ed Dadakis and Dan Quigley have sent letters to the editor to set the record straight about state employee compensation in response to attacks by state employee union apologists upon columns on The Red Line. The Red Line is grateful to Messrs. Markley, Dadakis and Quigley for their defense of fact-based journalism.

Here are their letters:

Lamont Should KISS Off Taxes

Last week, Governor Lamont invoked the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid) to explain his reordering of the sequence of eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations. He should not stop there. The entirety of state government could use a rigorous application of the principle.

Last year, Yankee Institute released a study of state revenue sources. The study was simple. What it found was not. The study was just a one-page list of all the state’s revenue sources – all 344 of them.

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Lamont’s Budget: Everything is “Capped,” Except State Employee Compensation

Governor Lamont unveiled his proposed Connecticut Comeback budget last week. A comeback is unlikely given the long-festering problem of overgenerous and woefully underfunded compensation for privileged state employees.

For over a decade, state employee compensation has exceeded compensation in Connecticut’s private sector by about 40 percent, the biggest gap in the nation.

The consequence is that the State Employee Retirement Fund (SERF) is drastically underfunded. It is difficult to fund such wildly overgenerous benefits.

What now is an ongoing gravy train for state employees is ultimately a train wreck for them and the state.

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Schools Are Safe, If Not Havens from COVID

New CDC Studies, Experience in CT Show Little In-School Spread

The evidence is piling up that schoolchildren, teachers and staff are safe in schools. Indeed, the evidence suggests schools are the “safest place” for them to be, as CDC Director Robert Redfield said last November. Yet, teacher unions and other school employee organizations are ignoring mounting evidence that support Redfield’s words.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control released its first two studies of in-school spread of COVID-19, first, a study of the experience of 17 Wisconsin schools that operated in-person from August through November.

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Martin Luther King in Connecticut

In the Summer of 1944, He Worked in CT's Tobacco Fields

After a long summer of frequent violence and riots attending protests and after the recent horrific assault on the Capitol, it is especially meaningful to remember that non-violence was the bedrock of Martin Luther King's activism.

Remembrance is enriched by discovery of new previously unknown dimensions of the person or event. King spent college summers in Connecticut working on tobacco farms. It was the first time he ventured outside the Jim Crow South. He said it was an eye-opening experience.

Marvelously, high school students and teachers in Simsbury have just completed a years-long project to memorialize King's time in Connecticut. The CT Hearst newspapers have a wonderful article by Robert Marchant describing King's summers in the Nutmeg state and the Simsbury high school project.

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Closing Schools Is A Cure Worse Than the Disease

Dr. Fauci, CDC Director Redfield and Surgeon General Adams Say Schools Should Be Open, Yet CT Education Unions Want Them Closed

Earlier this month, just days before the first Connecticut health care workers were administered the newly-approved coronavirus vaccine, a coalition of public school employee unions demanded Governor Lamont close schools - and extend all school employees a full-pay-no-layoff guarantee.

December 28, 2020

What a striking juxtaposition between the selfless dedication of health care workers who have been treating patients hospitalized with serious – and highly contagious – cases of COVID-19 for nine straight months and the selfish outlook of the 14,000 petition signers, who, only over the last three months, started again to interact with school-age kids, who present the lowest risk of transmission of all segments of the population.

December 30, 2020

To demand the closing of schools is tantamount to desertion on the field of battle. The top generals in this war -- Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams -- have all said schools should be open. Fauci said this earlier this month even as the current surge of the virus was well under way.

January 4, 2020

School children themselves have virtually no risk from COVID-19. Of the 225,000 COVID-related deaths for which the CDC has demographic data, there have been only 130 school-age COVID-19 deaths, while 195 died of the seasonal flu during the 2019-2020 school year.

Schoolchildren do become infected. But do they spread the virus? That is a fair question for adult school employees.

Some studies published in the summer and early fall "suggest" that children may be "potential" spreaders, but they do not conclude that they are. Significantly, both Dr. Fauci and Director Redfield called for schools to be open after the publication of these studies, about which, presumably, they were aware.

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