Thursday, February 16, 2006

Open Forum

The busway is still kicking, and it's still a bad idea. Have I mentioned that it runs, for almost its entire length through Newington and New Britain, through a right-of-way currently occupied by an abandoned rail line (the rest of the way parallels the existing in-use Amtrak rails)? Have I also mentioned that the Cedar Street station, while less than a mile walk from CCSU next to sidewalk-less, heavy traffic roads, is still in the middle of a swamp next to a strip mall?

...I guess it's better than nothing. But a rail line would be better. For example, take a look at what Rhode Island is doing.

The legislature is still considering reform of eminent domain laws, but anything final is a ways away.

Apparently, it's Catholic Celebration of Marriage Week, which is as good an excuse as any for the Family Institute of Connecticut to write another blog post about gay marriage and society's impending doom. I have a lot of tolerance for groups I don't agree with and for other points of view--but not for these people, who cloak hardline dogma with psuedoscience and the illusion of reason. Fortunately, their sort of organization doesn't have the power here that they do in other parts of the country.

What else is going on?

Quick Note: I've been seeing an uptick in racist and sexist language around here by one or two anonymous commenters. This person should be aware that any further blatently racist or sexist remarks will be deleted.


Anonymous said...

So the unemployed people in Hartford and New Britain can ride back and forth all day? What a stupid freakin' idea. Is there really that much of a traffic problem between those two communities?

Anonymous said...


You don't like the Family Institute but instead of Linking to Love is a Family or some other reasonable site you give then a Hyperlink to your Blog?

This place is rotting from the Head down.

Anonymous said...

"So the unemployed people in Hartford and New Britain can ride back and forth all day?"

Another day at CTLocalPolitics, and yet another blatantly racist comment from an anonymous Republican blogger.

Anonymous said...

New Wikipedia category makes me laugh:

People shot by standing Vice Presidents

ht: Wonkette

Anonymous said...

to anon 252 -

I am a registered Democrat, voted for Kerry, for Curry, for Perez and so on. I live in Hartford, am a 28 year old Puerto Rican male and agree 100% with the individual who posted that. Furthermore, take a look at the cities of Hartford, New Haven New Britan, Bridgeport...that is where the unemployment is. It isn't a racist comment, it is a fact, which can be seen on paper...wake up man. With comments likle that, you are part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

Stereotyping the people living in Hartford and New Britain as "unemployed" isn't racist?

Besides the obvious use of code language, one might consider that the people riding the bus are usually on their way to work.

That's right. Not everyone in Hartford and New Britain is on welfare. In fact, the overwhelming majority of CT's city folks are honest, hard-working, Americans.

Anonymous said...

Where did the writer stereo type anything? He made a comment based upon fact.

Dictionary Definition of stereotype: A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image

"...the unemployed people in Hartford and New Britain..." is what he wrote.

Stereotype would be "all the people who live in hartford and New Britan are unemployed".

How is that comment different from, "all the unemployed people in Greenwich"

Seems in your defense of the people in Hartford & New Britan, you yourself presented a stereotype.

Slug said...

Having lived in New Britain all of my young life, I do think that there needs to be SOME mode of transportation in and out of the city, other than CT Transit. NB is in a prime location for business, and this would be a feeder for bringing in a good workforce, drawing from localities other than NB. I'm personally a fan of having a light rail line connecting all the Hartford suburbs to create an area where folks of all income brackets and all circumstances can access jobs throughout the region without having to put a car on the road, or dealing with traffic. Plus it makes it easy for kids in cities like New Britain, East Hartford, Bloomfield or Manchester to broaden their exposure, see what else is out there beyond their neighborhood, and feel like they have more opportunities out there. I think a bus line will be shunned by most folks and quickly become a prime crime locale--the type of place parents warn their kids not to go.

kerry guy said...

I don't think the unemployment comment was racist, either. The I wopuld guess the people who live in one of those communities on the busline and work in another currently drive their cars. I don't assume they are going to give them up and hop on the bus. I think the true users of the busway will be those without cars. If those individuals are currently working, odds are they are locally employed. I just don't see this as having the type of impact on the economy that others do. The busway is simply too short.

Slug said...

...and thank you, GC, for the admonition. Without a certain level or decorum this forum could quickly lose whatever following it has cultivated among both the common person and opinion leaders.

sanity said...

Oh for cyring out loud Anon 2:52. Give it a rest! Yesterday, my defense of the other anon's "gin and juice" was incorrect, but only because I had never heard the term before and then your proceeded to label me a racist. You gave no consideration to the fact that I am unfamiliar with that term because I don't move in circles of people who tend to be racially insensitive and use racial slurs. All that mattered to you was that I am a Republican and you have judged all Republicans to be racists and just plain bad, un-worthy people.

Some of the very same traits that can be used to describe a racist can also be used to describe you. Things such as single mindedness, close mindedness, being judgemental, ignorance, generalizing an entire class of people in a broadly derogatory context. Am I calling you a racist? No. Am I saying you are as bad as a racist? No, but you aren't much better, especially since you seem sensitive to the awful effects of racism. Classifying and treating the entire class of people that make up Republicans as less worthy people the way you do is hypocritical.

So what was racist about Anon 1:59's comment? Where did he mention someone's race or use a 'racial slur'? Are you saying that all unemployed people are black or hispanic? Anon 1:59's comment was inappropriate and insensitive to the unemployed and to the people of Hartford and New Britian, but it was not racist. But the constant insults and generalizations you slam Republicans such as myself with makes you no better, in fact it makes you worse than anon 1:59. There are no more rotten Republicans than there are rotten Democrats - both parties have their fair share nasty people and fortunately those nasty people are a minority in each party. At least half of my friends and acquaintences are Democrats (I'm very happily married to a Democrat) so I know better than to think you actually speak for the majority of Democrats. I know better than to generalize Democrats and think that they are less-worthy people.

What I said yesterday does apply here today. Now let's stop attacking each other get back to some real and respectful discussion.

sanity said...

Sorry, GC, for my little rant there.

Back to the busway/light rail discussion. Hartford wants to bring more people, especially young people, back into the city to live, work and/or enjoy the cultural scene. In addition to this transporation being use for commuting, does anyone think this could bring more people in to enjoy Hartford's cultural offerings and night life?

Anonymous said...

Look, the fact is there is no reason to spend hours in back and forth over whether someone or something is or is not racist. If the problem isn't easily solved in face-to-face conversations, then it will never be adequately resolved on a blog, where folks take ZERO ownership of their words and hide behind catchy handles or simply post as "Anonymous." Let GC decide what is and isn't racist/sexist/or patently false, and he can omit it. The beauty of this forum is that we can post whatever we want--let's just make sure it's representative of what we really feel and not an attempt to get a rise out of someone because of what they believe.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight.

In the future if someone makes a "gin n' juice" comment, or suggests everyone riding the bus, (or living in a city) is unemployed and on welfare, -- in the name of "tolerance" it ought to be ignored?

Utterly amazing.

And to Mr. InSanity, -- you are correct. Not all Republicans are racists,-- but it is a well-known fact that racists vote Republican.

Proud Moderate dem said...

i'm as non rascist as they come so maybe if one wants to use gin n juice in the future they should use the following chorus from the song.

Rollin down the street, smokin indo, sippin on gin and juice

Laid back [with my mind on my money and my money on my mind]

Scrubb said...

Anon 4:48pm - You have just spent almost an entire afternoon harping on "code words" and anaylzing what someone, whose background you have no idea of, thinks or is implying. I think you'll find that the vast majority of people here agree that racism, in all its forms, is dead wrong. And if you would at least give yourself a name, other than Anon, you would certainly have earned yourself the "Racial Watchdog" moniker of this group.

But now that you have sufficiently beaten this horse to death, have you anything of substance to share on the topic at hand?

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

Scrubb: I wouldn't bank on Anon4:48 having anything constructive to add ... Anon4:48 punctuates (and rants) an awful lot like DeanFan84 checking in anonymicely ...

sanity said...

Is anyone aware of any independent economic impact assessments regarding the busway versus light rail versus nothing? Are there any polls that have been taken of the residents of Newington, New Britain and West Hartford that indicate if a busway or light rail were built that they would use it, to what extent they would use it and what they would use it for (i.e. - commuting, nightlife, Hartford cultural and sporting events)?

nedweenie said...

Did anyone else see this in Craig's List? An opportunity for someone to get their mug on TV commenting on the 2006 senate race.

Aldon Hynes said...

Random comments:

I just hope that no one starts posting comments about Mohammed and bombs. We don’t want riots in Enfield.

Anon(4:10) Not all the folks here take ZERO ownership of their words. My handle isn’t at all catchy.

All of this said, in spite of Sanity being a Republican, I need to agree with his comments at 4:00. The comments by Anon(1:59) were inappropriate and insensitive. There are a lot of people from all sides of the political divide making inappropriate and insensitive comments, and it is really too bad.

We can and should be having some intelligent discussions here. Mass transportation is a very important issue. From what I’ve read, I don’t think that the busway is a great idea and I would rather see light rail. My understanding is that light rail gets better passenger miles per gallon than buses, but I don’t have details. Does anyone else?

It is also my understanding that rail draws a broader demographic of travelers than buses, perhaps in part because of the stereotype of bus riders that Anon(1:59) was perpetuating.

As to light rail or the busway helping in the revitalization of Hartford’s nightlife, I am dubious. Too often mass transit doesn’t run late enough into the night to help the nightlife.

TrueBlueCT said...

Aldon good point about Mass Transit never running late enough for the nightlife crowd.

Just went to your blog, Orient Lodge, and it looks as if you are Mr. Campaign Central these days. I suggest everyone pay Aldon a visit if they want to see what an online warrior really looks like!

"Wearing Lots of Hats".

TrueBlueCT said...

p.s. You need to scroll up to read the "Wearing Lots of Hats" thread.

Anonymous said...

RI is not at all comparable to CT.

Most of RI's population lives close enough to I-95 (or south of E. Greenwich, Rt 4) to smell the diesel fumes.

Rail works well in a congested corridor with a single hub point (like downtown Providence).

Like it not , CT is endless suburbia. The economics of decentralized residential and commercial development make rail problematic expect perhaps for NH-Hartford, and that's only cause the track's there already

ct_guy said...

Dan Malloy announced a bunch of West Hartford support today. Actually a pretty decent list. Their press release is here.

Anonymous said...

Where is Dan on the repeal of the estate tax? The New Haven Independent said he sided with Rell, word on the blog was that he hadn't taken a position.


Anonymous said...

Not to change the subject, but did anyone see how Chris Murphy spelled Rahm Emanuel's name wrong when he posted that he was coming on his website? It is pretty much concensus among us progressives that Murphy is not ready for prime time.
I am a big fan of Rahm, but the guy is not going to resonate with 5th district voters! We need a moderate to combat Queen Nancy and I wish Paul Vance did a better job fundraising or Bill Curry would finally jump in the race. I think we have a real chance of beating Nancy in this environment but this kid Murphy is not the guy that is going to be able to do it as he has no roots and no base with which to wage a credible campaign.
I can see both shays and simmons losing this time FINALLY but we need a better candidate for the 5th than Murphy... i know many of you agree

Lon said...

The latest Connecticut Young Democrats Podcast is online! On this episode Matt & I interview April Capone Almon, the lone Democrat on the East Haven City Council. April was one of the Connecticut Young Democrats' endorsed candidates in the 2005 municipal cycle.

Show notes:

Governor Rowland is out of jail.

Westbrook's First Selectman is arrested on charges of coercion and extortion. He has no plans to resign.

The 2nd District race is now a tossup according to the Cook Political Report. We love Joe Courtney!

Direct download by clicking here. iTunes subscription available on our website,

Our next episode will be our first "on location" production! We'll be at the Young Democrats of America winter meeting in Philadelphia this weekend interviewing young Democratic leaders from across the country.

the wandererr said...

G.C.: regionalization of sevices doesn't appear to save a lot of money on the surface but from an operational standpoint there are some areas that do make sense with the biggest one being emergency communications from a few centralized dispatch centers. The technology these days is expensive on a first cost basis but it is also broad enough to cover big areas. will the cities and towns go for it? Doubtful!

Chris MC said...

proud mod dem hit it squarely on the head (in an earlier thread on the subject) again. It is curious that Republicans, OK, nobody, wants to engage with the real debate.

Not that regionalizing services isn't a worthwhile endeavor. But get out the back of your nearest envelope and figure out in dollars what that really means. Not so much, certainly not a sea-change.

The elephant on the table (no pun) is education spending. Something like 70% of your local budget expenditures across the state. Nobody actually talks about it, because it is the third rail of municipal politics, which is to say State politics as well.

This blog would be a great place where people could anonymously discuss the nitty gritty of our method and system of education. And I don't mean the usual wizzing on the teachers, as if by treating them like unskilled labor expenses - that drop directly to the bottom line when you reduce them - we will achieve anything like competitiveness in the globalizing competition for high-margin businesses and so on.

But we have a school system that runs on an agrarian calendar using an industrial model that often resembles a process of institutionalization and commodity processing, funded by a system of evaluating wealth that lost its validity in Connecticut about what, twenty-five years ago?

Incidently, in lower Fairfield County towns like Darien and Greenwich they aren't calling for cutting local property taxes. That money goes to their local schools, and serves to make the exclusivity of those communities greater. Get it? Don't bother saying otherwise, I've lived there and witnessed it. It was a topic of conversation.

the wandererrr said...

ChrisMC: yeah I saw that on the earlier post but what you ignore is all the one time federal and state grants that go to the cities and towns to duplicate services - like your post. In case you missed it CT has maxed out its charge cards on capital expenditures. In business we look at both first time and operating expenses. In government, especially CT, you don't.

And the school costs are all about salary and benefits - better than ever for the recipients of the salry and benies.

Chris MC said...

Heh. Wandererrr is guilty of making an assumption or two of his own here that flaw his point (what you ignore is all the one time federal and state grants that go to the cities and towns to duplicate services - like your post.)
OK, first, I've ignored nothing of the sort. Those assumptions you're dismissing are not part of my thinking, so that piece of your argument addresses a straw man. Secondly, I re-posted at GC's suggestion. Pay a bit closer attention there, wandererrr.

In case you missed it CT has maxed out its charge cards on capital expenditures.
Actually, that is a key part of my point. But you weren't reading thoughtfully and so it didn't occur to you, evidently.

In business we look at both first time and operating expenses. In government, especially CT, you don't. Priceless. You have no way of knowing it, but you are speaking to a businessman, not a bureaucrat, and not a defender of the status quo.

Your argument is very predictable, wandererrr, as your sneering reply demonstrates.

What I am saying, again, is that the assumptions on both sides of this entrenched (for lack of a better term) "dialogue" are identical, and the course and outcome of the argument consistent and predictable.

To put it in more "business"-like terms then, what is not happening is productivity improvements.

The big hint here is that trying to reduce pay and benefits for teachers is the cudgel of lazy righties who, despite their protestations that we should be more "business"-like, seldom demonstrate either acumen or effort - never mind political courage and leadership - to actually understand and deal with the status quo.

And the school costs are all about salary and benefits - better than ever for the recipients of the salry and benies. You're just emphasizing the fact of life pointed out in my post, that 70% of municipal budgets go to education, and that people don't complain about it when the benefits are perceived to be going to their own interests (children/exclusiveness). Make an effort already.

Anonymous said...

Traffic is really a problem nowadays, traffic should be controlled properly or else we would end up in traffic jams.

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