Raising Children In Trump’s America

President Trump’s crackdown on immigrants had an unexpected effect in Westport.

A few schoolchildren were worried. What, they asked their parents, would happen to their Spanish teachers? Would they be deported?

Other parents heard similar stories, about fears for foreign classmates.

Some parents had their own worries. How, they wondered, should they raise their kids in this “new” America?

They might get answers — or at least, meet similarly fretful folks — this Tuesday night (April 25, 7:30 p.m., Christ & Holy Trinity Church).

The Democratic Women of Westport are hosting a panel. The title — “Raising Children in Trump’s America” — is both timely and provocative.

President Trump, with some American kids.

The DWW says the discussion will “address the needs emerging in our community as a result of the new political landscape.” Panelists will discuss how to talk to children about the political climate in a way that is “authentic, and not fear-based.” The goal is to “use kindness as an act of resistance.”

The panel includes political activists, as well as Marji Lipshez-Shapiro (senior associate director of the Anti-Defamation League of Connecticut) and Claire Dinshaw, editor-in-chief of Staples High School Inklings newspaper.

It will be moderated by Rob Simmelkjaer, a Westport Democratic Committee member and on-air contributor at NBC Sports.

Among the topics they’ll address:

  • How drastic policy shifts are being felt in Fairfield County
  • How immigrant and refugee families are faring locally
  • The social impact of Trump’s rhetoric on our schools and community.

There are sure to be questions from the audience — and comments here, from “06880” readers.

Please be civil.

118 responses to “Raising Children In Trump’s America

  1. Nancy Hunter

    Invite the Murdoch sons to the panel for balance.

  2. Bobbie Herman

    The young ladies pictured with Trump at the top of the column were called “The All-American Kids” and performed at one of his rallies. Trump agreed to pay their father $2500, but then stiffed him. I wonder if he still voted for him.

  3. Elaine Marino

    According to a December 2016 article in Naples News, the father of one of the “USA Freedom Kids” dropped his lawsuit against the Trump campaign. The father also stated that President Obama “pushed the country backward” and that he believed “Donald Trump is the guy who can really turn it around.”

    http://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/2016/12/19/usa-freedom-kids-drops-lawsuit-against-trump-campaign/95346680/

  4. Jeff Arciola

    What a joke.

    • Jeff Arciola

      Have the great Democratic Governor Malloy come and discuss the great things him and his administration are doing for Connecticut. That would be more productive thank telling your little children why your spainish teacher had to leave because she was here ILLEGALLY.

      • Hi Jeff- I am surprised that you would think that trying to deal with children’s fears and anxieties over the uncertainty of what they see and hear is a joke or rates bringing the Governor and your feelings about him into this discussion.

        It really isn’t a laughing matter when kids are frightened about what they’ve heard being talked about on TV and by their peers (for or against- deporting people, deporting kids, can we be deported, why are they being deported, can they come back, what did they do.)

        Do you think that should be discussed with your kids or grandkids? I think any parent would agree it is a real problem these kids and their parents will have to deal with – a problem that can’t be ignored, made into a joke or sidestepped by diversion- regardless of one’s political persuasion.

        Ask yourself- It the Republican club, Women’s League, local churches and synagogues or Y had sponsored this discussion- would it be a joke?

        • This is a partisan effort; it is driven by politics and nothing else.Let’s not pretend “it’s for the children”. I don’t remember reading about programs related to raising children in FDR’s America, when the male relatives of children were being dragged off to fight and die in foreign wars, and when the President was holding secret trials and executions, and throwing Americans into concentration camps. No programs for raising children in Truman’s America after he dropped nuclear weapons on Japan killing hundreds of thousands of people, and then sent the male relatives of children of to fight and die in Korea. No programs for raising children in JFK’s America as he brought American and the world to the brink of nuclear war. No programs for raising children in LBJ’s America as he lied about the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and then dragged the male relatives of children off to die in a senseless war in Vietnam. This current effort is strictly partisan, and should not be dressed up as anything else.

          If the children of Westport can’t handle current events without needing cry ins, they are not going to make it. In reality, this sort of effort is more an opportunity for the parents to rant on about their feelings.

          • Well, I do remember those posters during the LBJ presidency: “War is not healthy for children and other living things.”

            • Do you remember Democrats organizing meeting to help parents raise children in LBJ’s America? Neither do I. Maybe children were more intelligent and resilient.

              • If you mean, “Do you remember Democrats organizing resistance to LBJ, so that their children would not have to die in a far-off, senseless war?” the answer is yes.

                • No, I meant organizing programs like the one the Democrats are sponsoring in Westport. The Democrat’s resistance to LBJ tramped up AFTER he send hundreds of thousands of US soldiers to Vietnam, and then eliminated deferments for graduate school. The war was a political liability at that point. How about FDR, Truman, JFK; where were the programs sponsored by Democrats for raising children in America during those regimes ? No matter how you spin it, the current effort is blatantly partisan, there are no higher motives.

                  • You’re right, Michael. I don’t think after JFK inspired a generation with his “Ask not what your country can do for you…” speech that there was a groundswell of parental fear about his influence on their children. My apologies.

                    • He inspired a generation by enacting cuts in tax rates and rebuilding the military. He said also;

                      We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom–symbolizing an end as well as a beginning–signifying renewal as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forbears prescribed nearly a century and three-quarters ago.

                      The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe–the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.

                      Not one Democrat could give that speech today.

                    • And not too many Republicans could give some of the speeches that Eisenhower — or even Reagan — gave.

                    • Bart Shuldman

                      Dan. Being the ultimate optimist, I will hope either party can find someone to give the speech, even if the Democratic gave a Reagan speech and a republican a JFK.

                      Somehow we have to get to the middle and lead. The progressives and the conservatives are destroying both our country and our state. The first to go will be Hartford and the CT. We will learn a very ugly lesson with both as we frost watch hartford go bankrupt.

                      Then the US will not be too far behind.

                    • Dan; yes they could. Read the military industrial complex speech in its entirety. But if you think not, that’s fine, but my point still stands; no cry ins and no hysteria. When is the last time you heard a Democrat acknowledge the source of our rights as set forth by the Founders?

                    • Any time Barack Obama spoke.

                    • You mean READ don’t you Dan?

                    • Are you implying that President Obama — the constitutional professor — simply read speeches that were handed to him? As opposed to our current communicator-in-chief? You’re kidding, right?!

                    • Nope I’m not. I hold an opinion of that guy that is obviously a 180 from yours Dan, and having heard him speak (if you can call it that) extemporaneously without his teleprompter and/or prepared remarks I can tell you the guy is pretty much a harumphing, bumbling, idiot when forced to speak his own mind without anyone having done that in advance for him.
                      I better hasten to note (smile) that I, like you, am entitled to my opinion.

                    • So, hypothetically speaking, in a “speak-off” (if such a thing were to exist), who would be more articulate: #44 or #45?

                    • Pretty damn close to a draw in my opinion Dan. And cringeworthy all around I would bet.

                    • Yeah, Dan and now that you mention it, I also don’t recall any previous President saying stuff like:
                      “You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.”
                      “2nd Amendment people, maybe there is’ something you can do” (in regards to Hillary)
                      “I would bomb the shit out of ’em. I would just bomb those suckers.”
                      “Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”

                      I find most of what he’s says cause for extreme concern… never mind his rhetoric being severely lacking in anything “inspiring.” Truly “un-presidented.”

                    • Dan; give one example when Obama expressed the belief that our rights come from God an not the government.

                    • Sharon Paulsen

                      Dan,

                      Excellent reference to that speech!

                      Broad intelligence exhibited there.

                      Good stuff to remember … and draw upon.

                      Thank you.

                    • Dan; He conflated inalienable rights and civil rights. A typical shortcoming of those who have no understanding of the Founding. You may have a right to buy all the medical care you want, but you have no right to force someone else to pay for it.

                    • Got it. Kind of like you have the right to read “06880” every day — and comment all you like, going back to the anonymous days — but I have no right to force you to contribute even a penny to it, right?

                    • Dan;

                      No, I have no right to comment hear. No one does. You have no ability to force me to pay for the blog. If you want to make this a pay to play blog, you can do so, and I can choose to pay or not. You have a right to buy ice cream, but you have not right to force someone else to pay for it. If you want it, you pay for it. It is a free exchange; unlike Medicare.

                    • Of course I can’t force you to pay for it. But I figured you would be someone who would reward effort and initiative (the 3-5 hours a day I put into this blog). I wouldn’t figure you to be a free-loader, someone who takes and takes and never gives back. You’ve enjoyed “06880” for 8 years, and have been able to voice your opinions for all that time without contributing a penny to it. That’s your choice. It just seems a bit surprising. I’ll continue to offer “06880” to you, and all my readers. I’m proud that nearly all the “frequent commenters” contribute something — no matter what their political leanings. I’m just sayin’…

                  • Dan;

                    A debate between 44 and 45? I would pay to see that. Should be held in a cage in Vegas, with pay per view.

                    • Early line is even money.

                    • Bruce; It will a really yuge cage and the Mexicans will pay for it.

                    • Ya know, Dan,

                      You are 100% RIGHT: as an Independent, I want to carry my weight for giving me this forum to express my opinions. I just dropped a “schilling or two in the bucket.”

                      I want to Thank You for all you do for our school, our community and our kids.

                      P.S. FYI, the amount is related to my “speculation” on when I believe we might see an end to this “so-called President” 😉

                      Best,
                      Lisa Marie Alter

                    • Thanks, Lisa. You rock!

                    • Difference of Opinion Dan re Ms Alter…………..while you may think she “rocks” I would have a different descriptive adverb

                    • Bruce Kent:
                      Namaste to you as well.

                      “Ms. Alter”

                • Lisa;

                  FDR and Truman and LBJ DID bomb the shit out of them. A Democrat President was the only President to use nuclear weapons. Did you have cry ins?

                • Dan;

                  It’s YOUR choice and it is my choice. If want to charge for your sevice, feel free. See what the market reveals.

  5. Sharon Paulsen

    It’s good to offer up an open dialogue/forum about this.

    It helps to talk things out.

    Also, since kids pick up on the negativity and fear that stems from our politics (even if they are somewhat shielded from the news … because it still finds ways to trickle into their realm of existence), I think it’s a great idea to get in front of it with ideas about communication.

    There will be kids who are openly exposed to the vitriol (maybe from a misguided household, or from a no-restriction-access to tv and internet environment), and will bring “what they learn” into their daily socialization at school, etc..

    So, maybe this proactive approach will help children, when confronted with the hate/fear/bullying, to better handle it?

    One thing I might suggest though: perhaps avoid the label of “new America” in the dialogue. It portends an inevitability … and I’d rather like to think (hope) that this is more of an extreme, but temporary “blunder” in our country right now.

    😌

    • Are there any Republican panelists? It might balance the conversation and provide different perspectives, from which our children can certainly benefit.

    • Nancy Hunter

      Sharon, as usual your balanced comments are the ones well worth reading/”listening to”.
      A question, though, that maybe you can answer: Why are so many people so cranky these days? People in Westport, of all places, are cranky!? Why? Personally, I don’t encounter it anywhere I travel, only through media/blogs.
      (Maybe I just answered my own question).

      • Bart Shuldman

        Nancy. I respectfully asked that you leave us alone In Westport. Try it. You just might get a life in Canada.

        • Nancy Hunter

          Bart, I’m writing to Sharon, who I consider a friend, even though we’ve never met. We both grew up in Westport and so have similar recollections that go back to the mid-late ’60’s. Why do you want to banish neighbours?

        • Sharon Paulsen

          Bart,

          We are all 06880 peeps here.

          I’m a born and bred.

          Nancy also has a history as a Westport resident (sorry Nancy that I don’t recall if you specified your time-line here in this amazing town).

          Your comment is pure vitriol, and it affected me enough to respond and defend against it, for a fellow Westporter.

      • Sharon Paulsen

        Hey, thanks Nancy.

        Yup, I think you did answer your own question, lol.

        IMO, “angry” has always been … well, everywhere.

        Blogs and forums provide a tantalizing opportunity for “the angry” to voice-out, behind an imaginary veil of protection.

        We all do it too, at times.

        B/C … human nature, and what-not.

        Carry on! 😎

  6. Lisa Marie Alter

    Fortunately, I have raised my child who came of age in Obama’s America. I know where he stands squarely in terms of his politics, and outlook on social justice and human rights, and I am proud of it and confident of his position going forward into adulthood.

    In reference to your expression of “temporary blunder,” Sharon,
    I too am hoping that Trump’s America is but a blip in our country’s progress towards a government that represents all of her inhabitants’ best interests in the quest for liberty, equality and the “pursuit of happiness.”

    For those who may have missed it, here is a summary of the past week’s events (just one week) of the Trump “Administration”:

    Sincerely,
    Lisa Marie Alter

    Week #23, ending 4/22/17, (credit to author Amy Siskind).
    1. Seven weeks have passed since Trump’s tweet accusing Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower. He has yet to offer any evidence or apologize.
    2. American Oversight, a group of liberal lawyers, is suing the DOJ and FBI seeking proof for Trump’s wiretapping claim.
    3. Trump has yet to offer any evidence or apologize for his accusations that Susan Rice committed a crime by spying on his campaign.
    4. The New Yorker reported not only did bi-partisan members of the House find nothing in the Rice intercepts, but also the rationale came clear: per an intelligence source, the WH said, “We are going to mobilize to find something to justify the President’s tweet that he was being surveilled.’
    5. Trump hosted a disastrous Easter Egg Roll, including telling the children, “We will be stronger and bigger and better as a nation than ever before,” and forgetting to lift his hand to his heart during the National Anthem.
    6. NYT reported on violations and a raft of potential conflicts-of-interest as Trump appoints former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants to craft policies in industries where they formerly worked.
    7. OGE director Shaub noted that Trump rolled back an Obama requirement that appointees not accept jobs in agencies they recently lobbied, and that Trump has granted waivers allowing appointees to take up matters which benefit their former clients.
    8. WAPO reported 168 corporate interests have made requests to Trump for regulatory relief, all likely to be granted, “especially those designed to advance environmental protection and safeguard worker rights.”
    9. On Tax Day, breaking precedent with every modern-day president, Trump did not release his tax returns, nor explain why.
    10. WSJ reported that in the first quarter, Trump’s campaign funds paid $500k to Trump’s companies including hotels, golf clubs and restaurants.
    11. Trump raised $107mm for his inaugural, doubling Obama, although Trump’s crowds and festivities were markedly smaller. It’s unclear where unspent money has gone, while numerous “pay-to-play” stories emerge.
    12. For example, Rachel Maddow reported on a $666,ooo gift from a businessman named R. W. Habboush, which led to a meetings between his son and both an NSC official and Bannon to discuss how to open up business with Venezuela, which is heavily sanctioned by the US.
    13. Trump dropped his campaign promise to let Medicare negotiate bulk discounts on prescription drugs after meeting with pharma lobbyists.
    14. Ivanka was granted China trademarks during dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago. As reported in Week 22, Trump also changed his position saying China does not manipulate its currency.
    15. FT reported Manafort stepped in to the China action, advising Chinese billionaire Jiehe on how to access to Trump’s $1tn infrastructure plan.
    16. CREW filed an amended complaint to its emoluments challenge against Trump in federal court, adding new plaintiffs who claim they’ve been “directly harmed by a loss of business and wages.”
    17. Dow Chemical donated $1mm to Trump’s inauguration, then asked the regime to ignore a study on its pesticide which was “originally derived from a nerve gas developed by Nazi Germany,”
    18. Trump billionaire outside adviser, Steve Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone which has significant holdings in China, stands to gain from US-China policies he helped to shape.
    19. USA Today reporters pieced together that Trump companies own 400+ luxury condos and homes worth $250mm up for sale or rent presenting people, corporations or foreign interests an opportunity gain influence through purchases.
    20. Further, since Trump launched his presidential bid, Trump companies have sold at least 58 units for $90mm — almost half to LLCs. Since Election Day, 14 units have been sold for $23mm — half to LLCs.
    21. The House Oversight Committee sent a letter asking Trump for details on how and when the Trump will donate profits made from foreign government officials. Reps Cummings and Chaffetz signed the letter.
    22. Two days earlier, without explanation, Chaffetz said he would not run for re-election in 2018, and that he may leave office early to return to the private sector.
    23. Despite denials by the Trump, Erik Prince’s had close ties to the Trump regime, including riding the Acela with Conway, providing advice to Trump’s inner-circle including Flynn, and entering Trump Tower through the back entrance.
    24. As mentioned in Week 21, Prince had a one-on-one meeting with a Putin insider in Seychelles on January 11. He is also Betsy DeVos’s brother.
    25. Without explanation, the national security official leading the DOJ investigation into whether the Trump regime colluded with Russia, abruptly resigned.
    26. CNN reported that the FBI used information in the Steele dossier, which they independently confirmed, for their FISA warrant against Page.
    27. CNN reported Russia tried to use Trump advisers, including Page, to infiltrate the campaign. Page is one of several advisers US and European intel found to be in contact with Russian officials during the campaign.
    28.The DOJ said is it preparing charges against WikiLeaks founder Assange, with Sessions saying Assange’s arrest is a priority. Strangely, the Trump regime has turned on Assange, after lauding him during the campaign.
    29. Sessions left open the possibility of prosecuting US news organizations for publishing leaked information, and stories on the Trump-Russia scandal continue to pour out.
    30. As part of a custody battle, InfoWars’ Alex Jones said he is a “performance artist.” As noted in Week 19, InfoWars and Breitbart are under FBI investigation for their roles in Russian hacking of our election.
    31. NBC compiled a seating chart of attendees at Putin’s December 2015 RT celebration dinner. Other than Flynn seated next to Putin, Stein was also at Putin’s table and Assange appeared via satellite. NBC also reported on efforts by RT to promote Stein (and hurt Hillary) in the primary.
    32. The House Intel Committee announced it will reopen its Trump-Russia probe ex Nunes. Yates, Comey, Rogers, Brennan and Clapper have all been invited to testify.
    33. Nikolai Andrushchenko, a Russian journalist and Putin critic, was beaten to death by strangers. He is the 12th “mysterious” Russian death in recent months.
    34. Like their interference in the US, Russian sources are flooding French social media with fake news ahead of France’s election.
    35. Reuters reported on a Putin-linked think tank that very purposefully and carefully orchestrated an attack on the US election. Fake news, pro-Kremlin bloggers and cyber-attacks were all part of the plan.
    36. Exxon sought a US waiver to resume drilling in their Russian jv with Rosneft — a deal forged by Tillerson, who is ring fenced from Exxon for only one year. Amid outcry, permission was denied by the Treasury Department.
    37. The UK Election Commission has launched an investigation of Farage’s Leave.EU for its funding. The involvement of Cambridge Analytica — which also allegedly has ties to Bannon and the Mercers and the Russian hacking of the US election — was not declared to the election watchdog.
    38. Sessions said he was “amazed” that a US judge “on an Island in the Pacific” (aka Hawaii) could block Trump’s Muslim Ban.
    39. Sessions took a fact-free swipe at another ethnically diverse city, saying New York City was soft on crime and plagued by gangs murders.
    40. ICE immigrant arrests were up 33% in the first two months of the Trump regime, including a doubling of noncriminal arrests.
    41. The first protected DREAMer, Juan Manuel Montes, who is 23 and have lived here since age 9, was deported by Trump.
    42. Trump ally Rep Steve King celebrated the deportation by tweeting a photo of a frosty beer mug with the words, “First non-valedictorian DREAMer deported. Border Patrol, this one’s for you.”
    43. Ironically, a federal lawsuit brought on behalf of Montes has been assigned to Judge Curiel, the jurist infamously attacked by Trump for his Mexican heritage during the Trump University case.
    44. Trump signed an executive order to review high-skilled H-1B immigration visas.
    45. Trump’s order does not, however, impact low-skilled H2A or H2B visas. According to CNN, Trump businesses have received 1,024 H-2B visas since 2000, and Trump Vineyards has received 64 H-2A permits since 2006
    46. In a troubling provocation, Russian aircraft were spotted flying off the coast of Alaska four times in four day this week.
    47. Amidst silence from Trump and our State Department, pogroms of gay men in Russia’s Chechnya region escalated. Russia also banned Jehovah’s Witnesses, claiming “extremist activities.”
    48. Trump shocked US and international officials when he called Turkey’s Erdogan to congratulate him on passage of a referendum which allows Erdogan to further consolidate power as an autocrat. International monitors have said the vote was not “genuinely democratic.”
    49. Trump held a secret meeting at Mar-a-Lago with former presidents of Colombia, threatening to undermine the country’s peace agreement with rebel leaders. The meeting was arranged by Rubio, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and was not on Trump’s schedule.
    50. Meanwhile, at a speech in WI, Trump called some of Canada’s trade practices a “disgrace” and claimed NAFTA is “a disaster for our country.”
    51. In another embarrassment of US foreign policy, Trump promised “we are sending an armada”- the USS Carl Vinson carrier group was being deployed to waters off the Korean Peninsula. This was not true.
    52. Mattis and McMaster also made similar misstatement about the USS Carl Vinson’s location. While traveling in the region, Pence assured our allies the misstatements were “not made intentionally.”
    53. On Wednesday, Tillerson said that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal. On Thursday, Trump said Iran was not in complaint.
    54. Trump offended our S. Korea allies with a claim that the country “actually used to be part of China.” Trump apparently gleaned this “knowledge” from his conversation with Xi Jinping.
    55. For his upcoming visit to London, Trump demanded a carriage ride with Queen Elizabeth II down a strip that leads to Buckingham Palace.
    56. Three month in, Trump has only filled 4% of key roles in the executive branch. And with all the international hot spots and conflicts, the State Department remains largely vacant, including Deputy Secretary.
    57. A State Department official who helped shape the Iran nuclear deal was summarily reassigned for criticizing Conservative Review and Breitbart.
    58. The Surgeon General was also quietly dismissed on Friday evening, without explanation or a full-time replacement.
    59. DeVos’s pick to head the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights said she faced discrimination for being white.
    60. In his first three months of office, Trump has made 417 false or misleading claims.
    61. Trump first quarter job approval stood at 41%, the lowest of any modern day president by 14 points in Gallup polling.
    62. The Resistance claimed a major victory, bringing down FoxNews icon Bill O’Reilly. Some speculated that the rise of Trump, and his backing of O’Reilly after recent allegations, laid the groundwork for O’Reilly’s fall.
    63. Hundreds of thousands are expected to march on Earth Day in the global March for Science in DC and at 609 satellite locations.

    • Your sources are The NYT, New Yorker, CNN ? Are you kidding?

      Could you quote more biased yellow news than those three?

      And what is your point? Clearly you voted democrat.

      I can say that Gorsuch on the bench, cutting suffocating regulations, plans to lower Corp and individual taxes, getting rid of O Care and showing military strength is a great start.

      • Lisa Marie Alter

        And clearly you voted Trump –
        Refer to my response to “Rachel” below.

        Oh and where do you get your news ? (Breitbart ? That is not news.)

        Lisa Marie Alter

  7. Rachel Halperin

    I really trying to respect everyone’s opinions politically, but cut and pasting a list like the one above is ridiculous, especially if the majority of that list isn’t even true. Please back up your beliefs with real thoughts, not someone’s list of fodder for news.

    • Lisa Marie Alter

      First of all, not sure who “Rachel” is – but feel free to GOOGLE any and all of those items – these are substantiated stories and were covered by mainstream news outlets — the only two I feel she “editorialized” were Items 5 (calling the Egg Roll “disastrous” – which is subjective) & Item 68 (crediting the Resistance with O’Reilly’s firing)… Perhaps you are watching too much FauxNews ?

      Secondly, the intent is to Share information with interested parties in the Comments section of a related story – if you are not interested, or are one of the 98% of Trump voters who still “stands by your man,” feel free to keep on walking…

      Finally: I have no intention of “defending” these facts to someone who has no interest in facts.

    • Hi Rachel-

      1-On this blog you are supposed to identify yourself with first and last names. No trolls allowed.

      2- Could you help me out by identifying specifically which of the 63 statements aren’t true and give your sources. I read and saw most of these on the broadcast news and newspapers. I would like to check your sources myself.

      Thank you!!

      • Rachel Halperin

        My name is Rachel Halperin and my intent was not to troll. I’m still fairly new to Westport and this site so please forgive me if you thought I was trying to hide myself or my beliefs. My intent was not to offend anybody and while I may not have the same hatred towards Trump that others do, it’s a little too obvious where the news is coming from when it’s all NBC, CNN, etc..that is all I was saying. No doubt I’d be bullied here if all my comments and beliefs came from Fox/WSJ.
        Hoping that we can all continue to respect each other’s opinions and if my Initial comments came off as rude, that was not the goal.

  8. Let’s remember that it’s ILLEGALS and in particular ones with criminal activity that the trump administration rightfully intends to kick out of the US.

    As in any situation where a child fears something it’s the parents responsibilty to explain the truth if he is old enough to understand.

    There is nothing for anyone to fear. Pres Trump is simply enforcing existing laws. Laws that the democrats have ignored for 8 years.

  9. Nancy Hunter

    Paper, rock, scissors.

  10. Bart Shuldman

    This just appears to be politically motivated given some of the topics. The third bullet caught my attention-the impact on our schools.

    May I ask that you add to the discussion the negative impact on Westport schools caused by Governor Malloy’s mismanagement of CT’s budget and the support he received from Westport’s State Rep Jonathan Steinberg. The. We can have a meaningful discussion on what is happening to our wonderful schools.

    If there is any issue to be discussed regarding Westport schools, it should be the budget cuts, with an honest discussion of why it is happening and how it is happening.

    I would also suggest you add some Republicans to the panel to show this will be fair and balanced.

  11. Mary Ruggiero

    Some folks have done lots of digging to find some facts, some inferences and some will conjectures about the trumps campaign dn admin. I wonder what folks would have found if the same energetic investigations had been done on the previous admin. Just wonderin’.

    While illegal immigrant arrests are up, deportations are down and neither number comes up to Obama at the height of his deportations. Just saying’.

    If kids are afraid, it’s primarily because they don’t have the facts of the situation. It’s Parents’ job to give them the facts. NO
    Spanish teacher in Westport is going to be deported – assuming they were hired legally and are documented in some way.

  12. Mary Ruggiero

    Sorry for the e typos – not for the comments.

  13. Conservatives think everything that doesn’t trumpet a radical agenda is simply Democratic partisanship…

    Science, reason, common sense, tolerance – all clearly liberal constructs!

    • Raymond Marra

      liberals are tolerant? HaHa, are you kidding? the only time a liberal is tolerant is when you agree with him. otherwise you are lambasted and ridiculed to no end. and lets not talk about the violence perpetrated by the looney most left liberals who demonstrate using violence and fear.

    • Democrats are not liberals, they are leftists. They advocate coercion and violence. Democrats hug science only when it supports their beliefs. Often when they offer up arguments supported by “science” there is no science, only partisan rhetoric.

      • Bruce J. Kent

        well and accurately stated Michael. A gentleman named Mark Romano provides my favorite quote on the left’s favorite technique:

        “Liberal’s idea of free speech is: you’re free to say whatever you please as long as what you say is what I want to hear. And if it’s not what I want to hear, then I’ll arbitrarily label it as “hate speech” and have it silenced and ultimately banned.”

      • Michael:
        Interesting that would you allege that “Democrats advocate violence”… usually after several back-and-forth exchanges on various blogs/FB, when a Trump supporter’s arguments begin to collapse, they resort to posting pictures of themselves brandishing assault weapons or their gun collections. This has happened to me, as well as numerous friends.

        Lisa Marie Alter

        • And Democrats arr running through the streets rioting . The foundation of the Democrat platform is to use violence to redistribute income. They preach hatred of those who are successful.

          • Wait – I thought the Dems were accused by Trump Supporters as being “Elitist Intellectuals”… now you’re saying they are scrappy rabble rousers ? (BTW, I’m an Independent – refuse to declare allegiance to either party.)

            And, it’s also called marching and protesting are called “exercising one’s First Amendment rights”… it’s not “rioting.”

            • No, they are storm troops assaulting those who disagree with them. They are destroying property and inhibiting free speech. The American left are Stalinists. BTW I am a Libertarian.

          • Bart Shuldman

            Michael. I would hope that most democrats do not preach hatred of those that are succesful. That seems a bit too far to stretch.

            Unfortunately we are watching as our country and our state grapples with budget issues and instead of ‘FIXING THE PROBLEM’ some blame the succesful and want to tax and tax. President Obama used the term 99 and 1– or the ‘one percenters’. That set off some on the left to use that as their strategy to fix serious budget issues-just tax the wealthy. That never works.

            Just look at CT to see the impact of this failed strategy. The wealthy are moving out of CT and state income taxes not meeting projections. Businesses are also starting to leave (GE, Thompson Reuters, Rogers Corporation).

            I will continue to hope that we find a center to balance all our wants and find a way to work thru our issues. Especially her in CT.

            • Bart; Sanders and Warren do preach hatred of those who are successful as part of their effort to confiscate wealth forcibly.

              You are right in on an I important issue; a big threat to the wellbeing of Westport’s children originates in Hartford. You will never get the Democrats in Westport to acknowledge that fact; it is not in their best interest.

  14. Jeff – you’re right- forget the kids- we should discuss Malloy!
    Michael- you’re also right- forget the kids- this is only about partisan issues.
    Ray -you’re right- forget the kids- it is all about those damn illegals and liberals.
    Mary- you’re right- forget the kids- it is all about those damn facts.
    Rachel- you’re right- forget the kids- it is all about cut and pasting fake news.
    Bart- I guess you’re right as well- it is not about the kids- it is all about Steinberg.

    A modest proposal- you should all go to the meeting and tell them- forget about the kids- there are more important things to discuss!

    • Have the meetings; don’t pretend it is about the kids. It is a forum for partisan rants. Has any generation needed this sort of coddling? Have fun, just do not expect to be taken seriously.

    • Bart Shuldman

      Steve. I did not say forget the kids. But I know it
      Probably makes you feel better to write such a thing.

      If children are worried in westport, then why? Is it the fear that freshman sports could be eliminated in Staples? Let’s talk about it. Is it the special needs children with programs getting eliminated. Let’s talk about it. Is it the gifted program that could get eliminated, let’s talk about it.

      I watch the many meet Ng’s where students stood up, and told the BofE of their worry in westport. While you would like to focus inn Trump, and I am no fan of that guy, I am worried about the children in a westport and the budget cuts to our education and sports programs and other programs. While you want to focus inn trump, I would like to focus on the students fears that presented at the many meetings and help them understand what is happening to westport.

      Steve-all these comments show the serious divide in our nation. But my goal is to see Westport survive the serious fiscal crisis in CT and help our students understand why it is happening and then discuss what can be done.

  15. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    If children are old enough to get upset by what’s in the media then they’re probably old enough to process the facts for themselves, during family discussion or if all else fails maybe in social studies class…..that’s assuming that they’re getting all of the facts that they need to process the issue. I was a parishioner of Christ and Holy Trinity from 1952 (my birth) until I moved away in 1978. I lived through Korea, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassinations of JFK, MLK and RFK as well as Vietnam as a child…..I remember having been very troubled (to the point of tears) and even going to church to pray. I don’t ever remember any need having been expressed for the Democratic Women of Westport to hold an intervention at Christ and Holy Trinity to help me sort these issues out.

    • Bobbie Herman

      The DWW (Democratic Women of Westport) hold periodic forums on current issues that we believe would be of interest to the discerning public. Previous topics included gun control, immigration, civil rights, and education. A question and answer period welcomes comments, both pro and con, in order to have all opinions aired.

      The Republican Women’s group has been invited several times to join the forums to provide their “side” of a mutually-agreed upon topic, but they have always refused.

      Bobbie Herman — former President of the Democratic Women of Westport (8 years)

      • Nancy Hunter

        That’s disappointing, Bobbie, that your invitations have been turned down. We seem to be living in a more individualistic society, lacking empathy for those with differing opinions and experiences. Yet, today’s younger generation is smart, involved, civil and respectful of the larger “conversation “. Reading many of the comments above, perhaps a lesson can be learned.

        • Really; then why are they rioting in Berkeley?

          • Nancy Hunter

            Maybe you haven’t visited a majority of worldwide campuses today, but that is a good question.

          • Bart Shuldman

            Michael. You raise a very good question and concern with what is going on at Berkley. While the speaker might not be one that many don’t want to listen to, our American freedom should dictate our actions and let Ann speak. Something is terribly wrong when we don’t.

            Just imagine if people protested violently against Obama giving a speech now. We can never only have it one way.

            • Seems to be a wonderful opportunity to repeat myself with the Mark Romano’s accurate analysis:

              “Liberal’s idea of free speech is: you’re free to say whatever you please as long as what you say is what I want to hear. And if it’s not what I want to hear, then I’ll arbitrarily label it as “hate speech” and have it silenced and ultimately banned.”

            • I agree 100% Bart.

              • Bart Shuldman

                Dan. Thank you.

                Just my opinion, but this did not start with trump. Again, just my opinion but President Obama serperated our wonderful country into what he called the 99 and 1. He made someone being successful a target. That caused one American to ‘dislike’ another based on nothing more than being succesful. Anger was easy.

                We can just look at CT to see the same
                Type of rhetoric. Tax the wealthy is being screamed in hartford. Some say-tax the 1%ers.

                Trump will do nothing to help resolve the division that has occurred and that will continue. Now we have a very liberal university try to force a speaker from speaking.

                Here in Westport we will do the same by having this panel. It is not a panel to help dissolve the confrontation, in no way can any one say it is. What it will do is perpetuate the negative rhetoric and give fuel to those that attend, to get angrier.

                JMHO

      • Bart Shuldman

        Bobbie. Was this a mutually agreed topic? Was it presented in a way that made it non-political?

        I have a suggestion-let’s get a panel together in the current situation with CT’s fiscal crisis and the effects on hospitals, schools and social programs in Westport.

        Let’s do it!! Any help, just let me know.

        • Bobbie Herman

          Bart — the topic was never decided upon. The invitation was made for a joint forum with a topic to be “mutually agreed upon.” That was as far as it got.

          • Bart Shuldman

            Bobby. Let’s do a meeting as I suggested. Did you write back avoiding my suggestion or are you going to work in it? Cutting education in westport is very important to all of us and given the situation in Ct a meaningful discussion would be wonderful for all in town

            Let’s do it!!

            • Not going to happen. The Democrats are the source of the threat and they will not show up to defend de-funding Westport schools.

            • Bobbie Herman

              Bart — why don’t you come to the Forum tomorrow evening and raise the point during the discussion period?

              • Bart Shuldman

                Bobbie. With all your concern for the well being of our children I am sure you can assemble a new panel regarding the budget cuts to hospitals and schools in CT and the effect on Westport. Let me know when you can get it together and will make sure I attend. I will predict many will be at this panel as Westport continues to cut the education budget and hospitals in our area raise costs to overcome the taxes they will now need to pay.

                I am sure you will make sure it is nonpartisan.

                Just let me know.

  16. Nancy Hunter

    “Please be civil.”

  17. Bruce Kent – calling Obama “a harumphing, bumbling, idiot”… seriously ?
    Damn, I believe more than half of America would consider it a tough call: Trump — or Palin ????

    Waiter, I’ll have a LARGE WORD SALAD, extra dose of unfinished sentences and dangling modifiers. Oh, and please serve the Alternative Facts on the side, not on top. K’thanks.

    Read it, but suggest you take 3 Advil first and wash them down with a strong shot of whiskey (to numb your brain from the assault):
    https://apnews.com/c810d7de280a47e88848b0ac74690c83

    Here are 2 choice excerpts:
    TRUMP: I have great relationships with Congress. I think we’re doing very well and I think we have a great foundation for future things. We’re going to be applying, I shouldn’t tell you this, but we’re going to be announcing, probably on Wednesday, tax reform. And it’s — we’ve worked on it long and hard. And you’ve got to understand, I’ve only been here now 93 days, 92 days. President Obama took 17 months to do Obamacare. I’ve been here 92 days but I’ve only been working on the health care, you know I had to get like a little bit of grounding right? Health care started after 30 day(s), so I’ve been working on health care for 60 days. …You know, we’re very close. And it’s a great plan, you know, we have to get it approved.

    TRUMP: I don’t know yet. People want the border wall. My base definitely wants the border wall, my base really wants it — you’ve been to many of the rallies. OK, the thing they want more than anything is the wall. My base, which is a big base; I think my base is 45 percent. You know, it’s funny. The Democrats, they have a big advantage in the electoral college. Big, big, big advantage. I’ve always said the popular vote would be a lot easier than the electoral college. The electoral college — but it’s a whole different campaign (unintelligible). The electoral college is very difficult for a Republican to win, and I will tell you, the people want to see it. They want to see the wall, they want to see security. Now, it just came out that they’re 73 percent down. … That’s a tremendous achievement. … Look at this, in 100 days, that down to the lowest in 17 years and it’s going lower. Now, people aren’t coming because they know they’re not going to get through, and there isn’t crime. You know the migration up to the border is horrible for women, you know that? (Unintelligible.) Now, much of that’s stopped because they can’t get through.

  18. Bart: Appreciate your concern about CT’s fiscal crisis… however, perhaps you should focus your immediate concerns on tRump’s obsession with building his $25 billion wall – that Mexico will NOT be paying for – and will be costing America’s taxpayer’s BIGLY.

    Michael Petrino: you say “A debate between 44 and 45? I would pay to see that. Should be held in a cage in Vegas, with pay per view.”…
    My money is on the “smarticulate,”buff, hip, black dude – not your bloated, incoherent, xenophobic, mentally-ill clow— Never mind ! Hope he works out for you.

    • Pay attention; I am a Libertarian. I did not vote for Trump, although if forced to choose I would not have voted for your brain damaged sociopath. I suggest you get treatment for your TDS.

      • Nancy Hunter

        How do Libertarians manage to accomplish anything?

        • I always wondered that too, Nancy… Perhaps it’s the constant ED (electile disfunction) among Libertarians that leads to their excessive AB. 😏

          LM Alter

    • Bart Shuldman

      I suggest you start worrying about the fiscal crisis in CT-Our state as we knew it is about to dramatically change:

      Friends and Neighbors;

      $4 BILLION DOLLARS!!!!

      The latest news out of Hartford is extremely concerning as state income tax receipts are falling far behind projections. As of April 21st 2017, the State of Connecticut is $267 MILLION behind the budget forecast for personal income tax collections.

      If Connecticut personal state income tax collections continue to fall short of projections, it is likely that the state will collect less personal income taxes this fiscal year than the last fiscal year.

      It is very alarming that the Office of Fiscal Analysis was already projecting a $3.6 billion budget deficit for the next 2 year biannual budget. These budget projections were based on Connecticut achieving this year’s collection for personal Income taxes. With CT now collecting $267 MILLION less this year, then the next 2 year budget will need to be revised using the lower figure for Connecticut personal income taxes. This adjustment will add an additional $534 Million ($267 Million x 2) to the upcoming 2 year budget deficit.

      Connecticut taxpayers now face the reality that the next biannual budget will be forecasted at a whopping $ 4 BILLION deficit.

      The Financial Death Spiral in Connecticut is accelerating.

      Your friend and neighbor,

      Bart

  19. “Pay attention”…! Likewise, suggest you get treatment for your AB.

    I am an Independent – you have no idea who I voted for.
    …”brain damaged sociopath”… I didn’t vote for Trump either.

    Lisa M. Alter

  20. Bobbie Herman

    Dan — as of 11:00 pm, you have 98 comments on this post. Mine makes 99. Is this a record?

  21. Elaine Marino

    I hope to attend the discussion tomorrow night. If I can’t, I hope that someone could raise an issue that concerns me greatly.

    The protests against free speech taking place this week at Cal Berkeley are disconcerting. How can anyone work to resolve differences if “one side” does not allow “the other side” to speak? My husband and I have taught our children to listen to both sides, to research the facts from various sources, and to form their own opinions.

    Last month, Middlebury College professor Allison Stanger “feared for her life” and suffered a concussion after being attacked by a mob of students who protested the speaker she invited to campus. Professor Stanger wrote an opinion piece that included the following: “Once we got into the car, protesters climbed on it, hitting the windows and rocking the vehicle whenever we stopped to avoid harming them.” I was shocked to know that such violence occurred at Middlebury College:

    Here is an excerpt from an opinion piece in the Wellesley (College) News:

    “This being said, if people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted. If people continue to support racist politicians or pay for speakers that prop up speech that will lead to the harm of others, then it is critical to take the appropriate measures to hold them accountable for their actions.”

    http://thewellesleynews.com/2017/04/12/free-speech-is-not-violated-at-wellesley/

    In my view, the words “… or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted” are themselves a form of hate speech. For our youth to believe that they have the right to prevent another person from expressing views that differ from theirs and that “hostility might be warranted” when others “do not adapt their beliefs” — then indeed our future is bleak.

    Elaine Marino

  22. Peter Gambaccini

    Dan, I’m going to send you another check, just to partially cover the amount of time it took to moderate this thread alone. I realize it’s my “right” not to send one, but I’m going to send one.

    • Thanks, Peter! I am sure Michael Petrino thinks you and I are saps for doing what we do — I for running this website while simply asking for contributions, and you for stepping up to the plate to help — while he has fed off the “06880” teat without contributing a penny for 8 years. But we both know it’s all about community — Westport, and the larger global one — and not just our own individual selves.

      • Very uncharacteristic of you Dan. Such hostility.

        • Bart Shuldman

          Michael. You post a lot, which you can as 06880 is an open blog. But Dan works hard putting 06880 together and getting new posts out everyday. Posts you make lots of comments about.

          Please think about donating to 06880. Please.

  23. Bart Shuldman

    Lisa. I respectfully suggest you pay attention to the fiscal crisis in CT. Property taxes, income taxes and sales taxes will probably go up. Westport will face the potential demand by Governor Malloy to pay 1/3 of the Teachers pension plan. As we just watched, the education budget in westport will come under severe scrutiny and cuts.

    Please pay close watch. The fiscal crisis is about to get much worse.

  24. Mary Ruggiero

    Bart S. If there ever is a meeting to address our death spiral, I will be there. The state once held up as an example for NY to follow is in fiscal shambles.
    But let’s keep doing the same things, and maybe the results will magically be different.

  25. Elaine Marino

    As a follow-up to my previous post regarding the attack on free speech taking place on college campuses, NPR is hosting a show about this subject starting at 10:00 am today:

    http://the1a.org/shows/2017-04-25/too-pc-or-not-pc-the-debate-over-free-speech-on-campus

    From the NPR website:
    “How did colleges become ground zero for attacks on free speech? Violence has broken out on a few liberal campuses nationwide over the last few months after controversial conservatives were scheduled to speak. UC Berkeley is under fire after officials canceled and then rescheduled a lecture by conservative pundit Ann Coulter. A look at how we can have robust debate on campus and keep students safe.”

    If you can’t tune in live, the podcast will be available after the segment concludes.

    • Bart Shuldman

      Elaine. It’s not only free speech–did you hear about this yestersday? All of a sudden liberals/progressives are against free speech and now ‘racists’?

      http://m.ctpost.com/local/article/Democrat-apologizes-for-token-black-11095327.php

      Referring to the Republican candidates for local office as “rich, fat, white guys” and the current State Senator George Logan as the “token black” Republican, is beyond comprehension. Had similar racist and sexist comments been made by a Republican operative about Democrats, the torrent of public outcry, including torch marches, editorial outrage and public recrimination would be deafening.

  26. Bonnie Bradley

    I read all 117 comments on this posting twice. I said to myself that I would never comment on this one, ever! But…

    I am not a contentious person. “Live and let live” is my motto and I respect others rights to their opinions, as much as I might disagree. Thus, I find myself stunned and saddened by the anger, the vitriol expressed throughout many of the above comments.

    Presumably, you all currently live or previously lived in Westport. WESTPORT! Everybody knows about Westport – a special, privileged town offering the best of everything: intelligent, gifted people, the finest schools, beautiful & luxurious homes, world-famous shopping, superb athletic and recreational facilities, Compo Beach!, fine restaurants, celebrities in the arts, literature, the sciences, and business. And, by definition and necessity… quite wealthy.

    As for myself, I left the Westport of my family, my history and my birth because – with other important reasons – I could not afford to live there any more. And, left Owenoke, at that. But I am not angry. Not at the government, or taxes, or “all the new people who crowded into town and ruined everything,” or really, anything else. Anger is exhausting and it dulls the mind.

    Still, with all of that, I wonder at the anger I hear in so many comments. With all that you have, some of you seem to relentlessly begrudge and insult others over… their opinions?… their “attitude”? Count your blessings. Lighten up. Disagree if you will but be civil. What’s the point of having everything if the result is ending up nasty?

    Finally, I can’t resist quoting my New Oxford Dictionary which has this to say about the word “liberal” – “given or giving freely, generous, abundant, unprejudiced, not rigorous, directed to general broadening of mind, favoring moderate reforms.”

    Just saying…