Fairfield County Reflections: The Frog In The Water

I don’t remember much from my high school biology class.

But I do remember the “frog in boiling water” story.

If you put a frog in boiling water, supposedly it jumps out. Yet if the temperature is tepid, then gradually increased, the frog boils to death.

Our country is that frog. And the water is boiling.

Yesterday, Congressman Jim Himes posted a series of tweets. “Catching my breath after the attack on the Capitol,” he began, “I’m reflecting on all that we have to do.”

He mentioned “Lectern and Viking Guy” — the insurrectionists who stole a lectern and were dressed in a fur hat and horns, respectively — as well as “a deranged President.”

Lectern and Viking guy.

But it was the next tweet that was astonishing.

Maybe it shouldn’t have been. I know there are people who are absolutely convinced the election was stolen. I know they believe Joe Biden is doddering, that the government is filled with pedophiles, and that a communist/socialist deep state is quietly taking over.

Still, I thought those people with those out-there views are “out there.” They live in Michigan and Mississippi and Montana. They don’t live here.

Well, they do.

Maybe this stuff is boiling all around me, and I don’t know it. Maybe I’m the frog in the water.

Congressman Jim Himes, at Bedford Middle School.

Congressman Himes said he’d received a copy of a letter from a New Canaan parent, whose child’s teacher had offered suggestions on how to talk to kids about the attack.

Those suggestions triggered the parent.

Well, reading the parent’s screed triggered me. The venom, misinformation, paranoia — and fear — that leaped off the screen made my nauseous. Furious. And scared.

“Every sentence is provably untrue and filled with hate and violence,” Himes noted.

Yet there they were, written by a fellow constituent, in an affluent suburb similar to mine, just 10 minutes away.

Here is what the parent said to the principal:

I write you very much as a dedicated, incredible principal whom my daughter is very fond of.

However, perhaps Dr. “Ignorance is Bliss” should discuss how millions of hard working, patriots were disenfranchised at the hands of an overt subversive, political takeover that featured sabotaging a presidential election by fraudulently placing a demented man, who couldn’t even fill an audience a fraction size of an elementary school gymnasium, along with his jezebel, to the highest office. As far as I’m concerned, those disgraceful, politicians, some of whom have been proven to have ties to the CCP, got off very lightly as they should’ve faced justice at the hands of those godsend, patriots.

I don’t recall any outrage or referring to BLM & Antifa criminals as “rioters” when they ransacked the country for months, looting, raping, and pillaging over the death of a thug who we later learned at one point in his life, pointed a loaded weapon at the abdomen of a pregnant woman.

When the coward, silver spoon fed, limousine liberal, Will Haskell, from Westport, CT, and his harem of self-loathing, guilt-ridden, affluent, white liberals want to force our schools to regionalize as part of their wealth redistribution, socialist agenda, which will subject you and others on this recipients list being stuck dealing with unruly, animals in the classroom, I’m sure the likes of the previously mentioned, coward will inform the masses, with a delusional, false sense of nostalgia, just how “well” “diversity’ is working out, as New Canaan residents are ransacked and our home values are destroyed.

Until Wednesday, the Confederate flag had never been paraded through the US Capitol.

As George W. Bush famously said after Donald Trump’s inauguration “carnage” address, “Well, that was some weird shit.”

What goes through that New Canaan parent’s mind is indeed weird. It’s also dark, demonic, and terrifying as hell.

And — like the coronavirus, which we’ve all pretty much stopped talking about, even though it’s more virulent than ever — it must be all around us. Even if we can’t see it.

If someone is thinking those thoughts in New Canaan, someone is probably thinking the same thoughts in Westport.

And probably more than one someone.

Until yesterday, I thought towns like ours were immune to those sorts of ideas.

Which makes me not unlike all the people, all around, who think they are somehow immune to the pandemic.

It also makes me very similar to the poor, un-sensing – and ultimately quite dead — frog in the boiling water.

(To read all of Congressman Himes’ tweets from yesterday, click here.)

78 responses to “Fairfield County Reflections: The Frog In The Water

  1. Gail Jenson Roach

    Funny but Sandy Hook woke me up to the knowledge it CAN happen where I used to live and felt safe. After that, the events of the past 4+ years didn’t surprise me all that much.

  2. Dan, you are too nice for current times. 75 million Americans voted for him, who dare not speak his name. Biden did not take 100% of CT. As they screamed in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”: “They are among us!” and in Westport, too.

    I only wish they weren’t truly themselves but had been replicated by an alien seed pod. I hope this comment will bring some of them into the light, so we’ll know their names. I grabbed the Parler app off the Apple store just before it was banned to keep an eye out.

    While Biden feels like the Covid vaccine, we’re similarly still in for some very rough times ahead. Bet you dollars to bagels there will be gunfire at the inauguration. Hopefully, no one will be hurt.

    • The rounded figure is 74 million. Yes it makes a difference, the 75 million figure is wrong. The actual figure mathematically rounds down. He inflated it to disinform, don’t further it please

    • Mr. Kutik is not only correct that “they are among us!”, they are more than likely your plumber, your electrician, your trash hauler, your financial advisor, your lawn outfit owner, your R.E. agent and, yes, your doctor.

      • Precisely, Dan Katz, thank you for expanding my point.

        Though I’m sure you join me in hoping your doctor has not denied the science of the coronavirus for 10 months. And your financial advisor realizes that tax cuts for the wealthy and largest corporations only help the stock market and certainly not the general economy.

  3. Bruce Fernie SHS 1970

    Doesn’t surprise me at all… what surprises me is how many folks who consider themselves open minded and intelligent can never understand opposing opinions.

    The current calls for censorship and control of social media will please everyone until that same censorship and control is turned on the only world views they hold dear.

    Trump will be gone soon but unfortunately the problems we are now experiencing won’t be.

    I have never enjoyed Russel Brand but he makes some very salient points in this recent video: https://youtu.be/orad8gIfCiY

    • John D. McCarthy

      Per Himes’ email, “Every sentence is provably untrue and filled with hate and violence,” So saying this is simply a matter of liberals being intolerant and unable to understand other opinions is wide of the mark.

  4. I wonder what this parent’s beliefs were prior to 2016? Did they sign the letter to Congressman Himes?

    • Yulee Aronson

      As long as hate has a megaphone it will spread like wildfire. It happens time and time again all over the world as throughout history. Education is important but not unfortunately enough. There is no vaccine against ignorance and hate 😩

  5. I don’t have, and never had, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. I’ve never used Amazon, nor have I ever bought anything on line! I’m very happy living this way.

  6. Seems to me that a large part of the Republican party faithful has been terrorized for many years by right-wing radio, right-wing TV, and right-wing social media conspiracy theorists. Limbaugh and Hannity, Fox and Trump and his power-hungry acolytes have cast a perverse and cynical spell over unwitting swaths of our country whose instincts toward insularity are exploited for profit and to their own detriment and to democracy’s detriment. This terrorized population have been threatened with murderers and rapists coming over the border and of dreaded liberals seizing their guns and liberties. They fear immigrants. They fear people of color. They are very afraid of imagined catastrophes. They hide from the truth — not able to face the fact of an election loss. Shivering in fear, they seek and will fight for the protection of the very people who terrorized them – Trump and his sycophants. Ironically, those faithless protectors – lie to them about real threats – COVID-19 and climate change.

  7. Karen Solicito

    “Jezebel” jumps right off the page for me. Worse, “his Jezebel”. That tells me everything I need to know about the author, and it ain’t good. Only small minded people suffering from victim mentality need to soothe themselves by reducing strong and successful women to ‘jezebels’.

    • Indeed. I’m proud of our state representatives (and school leaders) and how they are trying address the systemic issues dividing our country. What saddens me after reading the New Canaan parent’s letter is the thought of his daughter, growing up in a sexist, racist, hateful houshold where Biden and Harris are seen as “a demented man” and “his Jezebel,” Haskell has his “self-loathing harem,” and the idea that her school could have to “deal with unruly, animals in the classroom,” because of “how well diversity is working out, as New Canaan residents are ransacked…” I pray for her welfare.

    • “Jezebel” jumped off the page for me too. That and the eccentric commas. I hadn’t realized ‘jezebel’ was part of the canon and wondered whether “demented man” now meant Biden/Harris would now be Ahab/Jezebel.

      But I think this is not mostly about the reduction of strong and successful women, ala Hillary, given the racial insecurity of the rest of the letter. I suspect this is specifically invoking the Jim Crow stereotyping of Black women, particularly when coupled with the BLM/Antifa trope of raping and pillaging.

      I’m in the middle of reading Mary Chesnut’s diary (the C. Vann Woodward edition) and her abolitionist tendencies do seem to arise significantly from tying the policy and practice of raping slaves to her own subjugation as a wife (of extreme privilege, of course), so maybe they are too entwined to separate.

      An irony, too, that the Bette Davis film ends with yellow fever quarantining.

  8. I have just removed a post from “Ron Dildon.” That is not his real name, and I could not confirm his identity. A reminder: All “06880” commenters must use full, real names. Thank you.

  9. Dan,

    Himes stated that every sentence in the New Canaan letter is provably untrue. Would you or Himes do the readers a favor and state the facts that disprove each sentence.

    Also, your statement “Until yesterday, I thought towns like ours were immune to those sorts of ideas.” seems quite narrow. Almost half the people in the country voted for the Republican candidate. I find it fascinating that rather than asking “Why?”, people like yourself always go negative using terms like “dark, demonic, and terrifying as hell.”. The division in this country didn’t start with Trump, it was festering long before he arrived. Why? The people who claim Trump’s presidency was illegitimate, now claim Biden’s election was fair and honest. Really, the media was essentially part of Biden’s campaign. Big tech and media outlets blocked the NY Post story about Hunter Biden, the Ukraine, China, and his father, which we now know is under scrutiny our government. Did any of the news outlets cover the multiple historic mideast peace deals with Israel? Why?

    I do not believe Covid-19 and climate change are the real threats. The 2 greatest threats I see are the implosion of our country due to the divisiveness and inability to accept differing opinions and the continuing rise of China and their worldwide influence. While some people have been running around screaming about Trump, calling Trump voters Nazi’s, screaming for Trump’s impeachment, did anyone happen to notice what China was doing in Hong Kong. Do you think those actions aren’t a threat to Democracy?

    I could go on much longer than this, but frankly it’s not worth the time. I know what’s coming. I know how some people will respond. I know what some people will think. I also doubt that a single person reading this will step back before responding to ask even a single serious question about “Why?” regarding people they don’t agree with.

    One final note. I didn’t vote for Trump because I think he’s a great statesman, a leader, or someone I admire. I printed out, sat down, and read the 110 page Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations. I listened to the policies being proposed by the Democrats, the green new deal, packing the court, single payer healthcare, eliminating fracking, tax increases, eliminating the filibuster, open borders, eliminating charter schools, socialism and I knew those aren’t the policies that I believe are best for this country. I looked at California and knew that’s where a Biden administration will take us. I decided to vote for the policies that I believe are better for our country. Also, I find it quite interesting that most people in this comments section who agreed with Dan used “They” when speaking about people who don’t agree with them, lumping everyone into a single category of deplorable (my word not anyone else’s). Talk about divisive…

    Thanks for your time.

    • Mary Schmerker

      Mr. Garrison. I am asking why before I respond here fully. For the record, I do not live in Conneciicut any longer. I live in a very red state.

    • You “read” that “Open Borders” is a policy being proposed by Democrats? May I ask where you “read” that?

      I’m sure it was from a reputable unbiased source if you “read” that at all.

      California has a larger GSP than India– which has 200x the population. It is one of the five most productive geographic regions on Earth– and doesn’t even have any oil.

      If you resent being “lumped in” with all the other “patriots”, perhaps start by not echoing the same falsehood….

    • Russell Gontar

      I’ve read the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations. It does NOT advocate for “open borders”. In fact, that term isn’t used a single time. The word “Border(s)” is used 14 times, but again, in not a single case is the case for open borders stated, suggested or implied.

      Tell us Mr. Garrison, while you feel it is necessary to make up such “falsehoods”?

  10. Just a comment on the frog. My liberal credentials are solid so I don’t need to comment on that. What you remember from high school biology is wrong. Frogs will jump out as the water warms..

  11. Garrison

  12. Just as Jon Meacham said, the election was about Democracy v. Capitalism. Sure, crazy white supremacist losers voted for Trump and put a Fascist in the oval office but so did ordinary people who voted their pocketbooks and put a Fascist in the oval office.

    After all, only five fewer Fairfielders voted for Trump in November as voted for him in 2016. How many of those Ffld Republicans were nasty white supremacists and how many were just being practical and followed the money. It’s an ethical dilemma and reminds me of a book/movie, The Remains of the Day, about a butler who devoted his life to supporting his employer and realized years later that he aided and abetted the evil that his employer represented.

    How about those Ffld Republicans, who voted for Trump, twice?

  13. Michael Mossman

    The entitlement of people who believe that their opinion “needs to be heard”when it’s been debunked hundreds of times… What infantile whining!

    Yes, a diversity of points of view makes our discussion more robust. The tiresome and now seditious bleating of proven falsehoods does not. We need less of this, not more. Evidence and facts matter, not just crackpot propaganda. If you believe it, prove it. Repeating a lie doesn’t make it true. Grow up.

    And if you back this junk Qrap, have the guts to sign your name to it. Funny how conspiracy theories and cowardice go hand in hand.

    Thanks, Dan and Jim for this needed discussion!

    • Michael, thanks for proving my point.

      Bob Garrison

      • Dermot Meuchner

        How did Michael prove your point Mr. Garrison? Can you elaborate on what is fallacious in his reply? Believing in conspiracies is a lot like faith , it’s what you’re willing to believe that’s driving your thought process. You can’t put five people in a room and get them to agree on the weather, but people will believe whatever appeals to their mindset regardless of independent facts. In my opinion, Dunning-Krueger is a pandemic issue.

  14. Cristina Negrin

    Wondering what the content of “Ron Tilden’s”post was that you took down but “Bob G” is ok?

    • Ron’s post was about the liberal agenda; it was removed because that was not his real name. Bob Garrison’s post is very welcome — he used his full name (after being asked), is clear and well-written, and adds to the discussion.

      All comments are fine, so long as they are not libelous — and commenters use their real, full names. I’m trying to monitor this discussion as best I can (along with everything else), but some people refuse to use real, full names. It’s aggravating, for sure.

  15. Diane Yormark

    They are terrorists. They pedal hate. We must all stand up against them at every turn. Bad things happen when good people do nothing…so do something. Yes, there is virulent and abysmal ignorance in our backyards. We need to stand up and protect our community, our brave elected officials (who pledge to serve us), and the truth. The horror of that New Canaan letter is a window into the cancer amongst us. So don’t sit idle. Write emails and letters, join groups, speak up when you hear prejudice and stay informed. Let the good people who also surround us join together for peace and in solidarity.

  16. Dan has a rule that if you post a comment, you need to put your full name. That wasn’t always the case, and when Bowling with the Backiels was posted, I was disappointed that I couldn’t see some of the full names of those who posted those nice and uplifting comments on our family businesses. I’m glad he made that adjustment to 06880. It’s now his rule, and it should be followed.

  17. Lynda Shannon Bluestein

    Thank you for this post Dan. I had to re-read the letter from the New Canaan parent to let it sink in. These views are, as you say, not “out there” but right here, up close and personal. There is so much in that letter – the false stolen election narrative, the BLM and Antifa characterizations of looting, raping and pillaging, the attack on Will Haskell, the characterization of school children as unruly animals ending how diversity has somehow caused New Canaan residents’ homes to be ransacked and lose value. Where to start? A Truth and Reconciliation initiative akin to what the Unity Government in South Africa since our divides are deep, raw and seemingly intractable?

  18. Michael Mossman

    And thanks, Bob Garrison, for coming out of hiding.

    You miss the point, not surprisingly. The point is that trying to win an election via social media and unconstitutional Congressional stunts when you lost at the ballot box and in court is unacceptable.

    And the endless stream of misinformation and conspiracy garbage only serves to dumb down our policy debate. Especially when part of the public retreats into media sources that don’t challenge debunked propaganda and only repeats it. That is weak and corrupt. Evidence. Facts.

    Why you voted for Trump is your business and your right. Keeping proven fallacies and violent incitement in check is all of our business. Holding our elected officials responsible for sedition and incitement to violence is all our business, even if we liked some of their ideas.

    Ethics and the rule of law matter, Bob. Not just your opinion.

    • Michael,

      A couple of points here. First, it was never my intent to not include my name. I sign everything as BobG. A years long habit I admit.

      I don’t believe I ever stated that Biden’s win at the ballot box was illegitimate, rather I was pointing out that Biden won with the full aid of the media, which ignored things that should’ve been made public and potentially influenced the election. I cited two examples of Hunter Biden and Mideast peace agreements. I’ve never denied Biden won at the ballot box, nor did I state the antics of Trump post election, or the crazy Capitol protestors were sane/appropriate. They were not.

      Second, and perhaps I wasn’t clear enough here, my post wasn’t about what I believe, although I offered that up as an example. I was merely pointing out that roughly half of this country voted for someone other than Biden, and the vitriol faced by that group (myself included) is not warranted. We are not all racists, white supremacists, Nazi’s, fascists, etc… We are Americans who love this country, just like you do. A key point I was trying to make was that this started long before Trump, and until we all try and understand why, we’ll just keep going around in circles.

      As I stated, my biggest fear is the implosion of our country. Social media is not our friend, as it makes it to easy to be nasty and hateful. I want to leave this country for my kids no worse off than what I had.

      Now, today is a glorious day, sunny with warm temperatures for January. I’m going on my usual 6 mile walk around Compo with my Golden Retriever Bruin. I will smile and say hello to everyone I see, as usual, and if you see me with my Red Sox knit hat on, please do the same. Bruin, nor I will bite.

      Best to all…


      • Russell Gontar

        Biden won with the “full aid of the media”? Really? Is FoxNews, One America News, Breitbart, Infowars, Alex Jones, Steve Bannon, Rush and Hannity part of “the media” too? Maybe you are not all racists, white supremacists, Nazi’s, fascists, etc…but a significant number of people you align yourself are. There aren’t fine people on both sides when one side is an out of control mob of violent criminals.

        Go Yankees!

  19. some people seem to have trouble separating angering many people with actually being correct. just because people yell at you, doesn’t mean you win the argument.

  20. Bruce Fernie - SHS 1970

    “Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”

    Harry S. Truman, 1950

    Special Message to Congress

  21. Please, everyone, whatever “side” you’re on, don’t completely write off the other side as idiotic, ignorant or in both cases “fear mongering” of different sorts. What’s worst is not being able to find anything in common anymore w/the opposition, fellow humans. Relegating those opposed to our view as “other” raises the spectre of naziism. to The anger & hate on both sides has muddied the waters. But please, before you insult my tin foil hat, remember that where there’s smoke, there’s often fire. I no longer can tell what side I’m on 100% of the time- certainly against hate & violence, and I don’t want churches shut down, freedom of religion is important to me, I worry about what children are hearing, being exposed to & what the world will be like for them as they grow older. Call me crazy but I’m wondering what things would have been like had Kennedy finished his term, under a Pres. Perot or McCain or Gore? Would we have still gotten here eventually? And is there a way out, a way back?

  22. Also, I’m not a republican but I do agree with them about the importance of personal responsibility. The people on both sides clamoring to claim better victimhood are not terribly constructive.

  23. Donald Trump could call a press conference and invite 250 correspondents from around the world and talk for 14 hours straight! Everyone in the world would be able to hear and read what he says. He hasn’t chosen to do that.

  24. I have a suggestion – be on the side of facts and truth. Right-wing media and social media spread false information and lies, including the disgusting lie that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax. These purveyors of false information have no shame. Baseless claims of election fraud led to the attempted overthrow of our government by Trump-supporting domestic terrorists. The fact is Joe Biden defeated Trump in a fair election. The election wasn’t stolen. Seven million more Americans voted for Joe Biden’s vision for future of America and rejected Trump’s. Joe Biden won 306 electoral votes. That is not debatable. Those are the facts. That is the truth. There is no other side. To those who can’t handle the truth, get a grip – there will be another Presidential election in four years, and rest assured in the meantime that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who actually believe in democracy, the Constitution and this Republic, will accept the results.

  25. Can we please please please understand that all social media is not… freedom of speech… they are platforms as is Dan’s blog…. he has rules, they have rules…. our area has had a very long “glorious” history of racism antisemitism, and intolerance… why are we surprised that such repugnant points are view are still held.. only difference they have money

  26. A racist rapist on track to kill at least 500,000 Americans after putting kids in cages, pillaging the Treasury, crapping all over the environment, and breaking the law? I see why people support him. What’s not to like?

  27. Dan’s comment about the false “they don’t live here” belief is instructive in two ways:

    1) We enlightened coastal folk are too quick to blame the benighted Southerners and Midwesterners for extremist political views, even when our neighbors and even relatives right here have these same attitudes, albeit in lower proportions.

    A little of this self-satisfaction even came through the other day in 06880 when a commenter suggested that Dr. Scott Atlas’ moral stature might be more elevated had he received his secondary education at our oh-so-special Staples High School. (That comment made me embarrassed to be a Staples grad.)

    2) If you look at the history of political terrorism and extremism in American — Left and Right — you will find that bad actors DISPROPORTIONATELY live “here” if you take that to mean our own socioeconomic niche. In other words, if you take the sum total of those Americans guilty of bombings, kidnappings, cult mass killings, espionage for murderous totalitarian regimes — they’re more likely to come from affluent, white collar, well-educated families rather than the stereotypical uneducated “red necks” we are so prone to ridicule.

    • Hi Mr Blau

      I reread the previous post on “Evan Stein’s Residents Rise to the COVID Occasion.”

      I was pleased to read so many Blau family members were born at Maimonides Hospital- after all my son is gainfully employed there.

      To be clear- I am the commenter you pointed out as “self satisfied about Staples HS education”. I am sorry you are embarrassed to be a Staples HS graduate because of my comment!

      But- I will double down and say that my wife and I could not be more pleased with the education and life experience each of our five Staples HS graduates have had. Besides Evan at Maimonides Hospital- they are all unembarrassed Staples graduates although I admit I can sometimes embarrass them.

      One teaches science in a NYC middle school, another is the STEM teacher in the Easton Redding schools, Richard (who posted on the Evan thread is a local chef caterer and our oldest is the head lawyer on charge of global something or other at Morgan Stanley. A few graduated with high honors, one was even valedictorian, a couple wrestled and made it to states and a couple were swimmers with one making it to states as well. And I won’t go through the singing, the UN club, starting a mock trial club, etc etc etc.

      So on to Scott Atlas who is a sore point for me and the entire radiology community. I am a retired Interventional Radiologist and like Evan I did have Neuroradiology responsibilities at my hospitals. Therefore to having seen how Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist was chosen and then chose to back up President Trump’s opinions was disheartening. To now see the dreadful results of his terrible advice resulting in hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths led me to believe that the least I could offer him was a Staples education in hopes he would have turned out to be a better person, capable of making better life choices.

      I hope you are no longer embarrassed to be a Staples HS graduate.

      • Dr. Stein, I think Staples is a great school, and Westport is a great town, but sometimes get a little turned off by intimations — from parents as well as school staff — that our children are better people than kids from less special places in the provinces. When I went off to a small college in Minnesota, I made the mistake of extolling the specialness of my hometown in my first essay for Freshman Rhetoric class. (I think the coup de grace was mentioning I’d taken a writing course from an author at The New Yorker magazine.) I was savagely shot down by my prof and felt terrible about it for the rest of the semester. My wife, who hails from that same more modest part of the country, loves Fairfield County, but had a reaction similar to that of my rhetoric prof when a Westport guy told her, as if it were a surprise, that he knows some people from Minnesota who actually read books and even appreciate serious theater!

        • Hi again and so soon

          I am glad we both agree Staples HS is a great school. It has great teachers and incredible numbers of programs/ activities for the kids to participate in. I would hope that all schools could offer their kids as much.

          That doesn’t make the Staples kids better it only offers them more opportunities to learn.

          Scott Atlas is a well trained neuroradiologist, with impeccable credentials, who thought he could replace Anthony Fauci in offering advice to President Trump on contagion and pandemic- much to the dismay of the entire medical community-especially neuroradiologists.

          I think you missed the humor/irony in my stating Staples HS might have changed him for the better. The yiddish expression that is applicable to Scott Atlas is- “Gut Tsehelfen”- only God could have helped. It is not an understatement that Atlas has the blood of hundreds of thousands of Americans on his hands for giving medical cover to President Trump’s ill conceived political notions on a viral contagion and how to deal with this pandemic.

          I rest my case.

          Stay well- wear a mask, socially distance and wash your hands.

  28. My main fear is that for ten more days we have a president who has the emotional maturity of a petulant five year old and a messianic complex to boot. And this person has his finger on the nuclear trigger.

    Note to all those who say government should run like a business – the only form of government that runs like a closely-held business (e.g. Trump’s business empire) is a dictatorship. Democracy requires people to work together and COMPROMISE. There’s no room for the “my way or the highway” mentality that has gripped Washington since both sides (yes, I said BOTH sides) have retreated to their extremes. It all seems to have started with the Tea Party and the expulsion of moderate candidates from the Republican Party.

  29. As long as disagreement on policy is labeled racist and hateful, we will not be together.

    • Sorry, Mary. as my previous comment characterized the New Canaan parent’s views as racist and hateful, allow me to say that calling Haskell’s women aides a “self-loathing harem” and (presumably) black and brown schoolchildren from nearby Norwalk as “ransacking, unruly animals,” exposes a root cause of what divides us. We need to address that toxic view directly as we strive to find common ground on policy. As Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

  30. John, The First Amendment is safe! Trump can go on TV, hold press conference, have the White House issue statements on his behalf.

  31. This is great, Dan. Your blog prompted such a ferocious discussion and flushed two Trumpers out of the woodwork. Great that you can find the time to enforce your real, full-name policy.

    May I repeat to them something said many times before:

    “You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.”

    Despite hearing Big Lies for four years (I believe Goebbels popularized that practice and expression, while “enemy of the people” was actually Stalin’s), everyone should try hard now to figure out the difference.

    As Mitt Romney said, “One path to unity is telling people the truth.” Hear that 100+ Republican members of Congress who supported the Arizona election challenge before the Brown Shirts came in to stop you?

    I didn’t know until recently that Mussolini was first elected in a mostly free and fair election in Italy and then figured out how not to hold another one. Do you imagine Trump reads history or is it just instinct?

  32. Ngassam Ngnoumen

    Dear Dan, thanks for continuing to be a thoughtful conduit for self reflection as a community. I appreciate that our leaders and citizens are openly initiating courageous conversations and self reflections thus empowering us to do the same. The truth is that we are all part of this journey. Getting to a shared vision requires us to continually evaluate what can we do differently going forward as Americans. We truly are the superheroes we need.

  33. Of course, today’s news is that the Republican Attorneys General Association paid for robocalls on Tuesday with the message “At 1 p.m., we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal.”

    Republican State Attorney Generals. The people charged with enforcing the law and defending the constitution. Urging sedition.

    Of course, none of them claim knowledge of the calls. Funny how that happens.

    • Werner Liepolt

      And Clarence Thomas’s wife paid for 70 busses of protestors to participate in the insurrection.


    • James Waldron

      Westporters who are Trumpers! Among us!!! Identify them, gather them up, lock them up! Well ya know, except for the Staples grads. You people are certifiable crazy.

      NewBrook is wonderful.

  35. Dermot Meuchner

    This is America ( Childish Gambino), why anyone is surprised shocks me. This has been America’s MO all over the world, we are just now seeing it at home and folks are shocked! It’s been festering for 50 years, now it’s showing us the underbelly of our republic in name only.

  36. Rob Simmelkjaer

    There’s absolutely no reason to be surprised that people with these views live in our midst. They live in every community in America. Only if the rest of us — regardless of political party — live out our values in everything we do can we outnumber and overcome them. We must all play a role in defending the truth, which is under attack like never before, and in speaking out against lies and hate whenever and wherever we see it. We must push back the darkness.

    A small number of hateful people can do very bad things. But historically terrible things, the kinds that enslave, oppress or even kill millions of people, can only occur when many others, people who know better, go along for the ride out of fear or convenience. When they vote for someone whom they know has no business in the job because they want lower taxes, they are aiding the darkness. When they look past a man’s fatal character defects because they want him to appoint their preferred judges, they are aiding the darkness. And when they go along with lies of a stolen election because they want to inherit his political movement, they are aiding the darkness.

    I urge everyone reading this to ask themselves how they can be part of the light, because the darkness is all around us.

  37. Jay Walshon MD FACEP

    These 4 years of Trump illustrate the dangers to our democracy abetted by those who keep explaining that they “supported the policies” and not “the man” with the delusion that “the party” would control his despicable character instead of subcumbing and many even emulating. This NYT article really does a good job at explaining much of the how’s and why’s of what’s occurred.

  38. We can attribute such derangement to the efforts of Fox News, One America and Newsmax among others. There’s profit in hate.

  39. Quynh Rodriguez

    I find the analogy of the “frog in boiling water” inappropriate. Are we bathing in insidious and deadly ideology? Is your ideology deadly to me because it is contrary to mine? I love living in a place with independent thinkers and people who are complex and diverse. While we may find discomfort in opposing views, as long as they don’t kill us, we will be wise to consider them respectfully. This man in New Canaan exerted his freedom to express himself in a way that appears poisonous to you and unexpected of a person of his supposed wealth and stature. Should we assume that wealth and privilege will predict enlightened thinking? Let’s tolerate each other’s views and celebrate our diversity in ideology like a true free society.

    • You may have missed that there was a seditious attack on the Capitol that resulted in the deaths of five, including a Capitol police officer.

      I think the frog boil analogy is spot on. Through four years of abhorrent behavior by the President, many became numbed to his outlandish statements and, suddenly, it was a surprise when he did what he said he would do – deny the result of an election because he lost.

      • Quynh Rodriguez

        Chris, thank you for this reply. I did not miss the attack on the Capitol. Any loss of life is a tragedy.

      • Diane Johnson

        Chris Grimm, I agree with your reply. We are well beyond simply “tolerating each other’s views and celebrating diversity” when those views include greed, racism, hate and violence.

        • Quynh Rodriguez

          I understand that civilized persons dislike greed, racism, hate and violence. I am myself very much against the above. However, as a Vietnamese refugee, I cherish freedom of speech even when it is offensive. I was recently called a “ching chong” at the barbershop where my 16 year-old son was getting a haircut. He later asked me why I didn’t create a scene and we had a nice conversation about freedom of speech. Yes, people should have the right to have the wrong opinions, bad manners and even make hateful, spiteful comments that do not involve threats. Violence no. Thank you for your reply Diane.

  40. But frequently it’s impossible to even have a rational conversation!

  41. A. David Wunsch

    “by fraudulently placing a demented man…” This line stuck out for me. I watched the debates. Biden was sharp… where did she get this opinion?. I look at the images of Trump and Biden on TV. Trump is overweight , wrinkled, dyed hair. Biden looks healthy– lean and fit .I ‘ll bet that Biden
    outlives Rump. ADW Staples 1956

  42. My last comment had a mistake. Monday’s NYT has a big feature on the political history of the big lie. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/10/world/europe/trump-truth-lies-power.html?

    An excerpt: “The utility of lying on a grand scale was first demonstrated nearly a center ago by leaders like Stalin and Hitler, who coined the term “big lie” in 1925 and rose to power on the lie that Jews were responsible for Germany’s defeat in World War I.”

    So Trump’s instincts were traceable to Hitler, not to Stalin, as I said. Sorry.

  43. One of my sons (Evan) shared this with me- When you are in a political discussion- take a moment to look around. If your side has lots of people dressed in nazi clothing or folks draped in confederate flags- it is safe to assume you are on the wrong side of a debate- unless of course you happen to hate jews and black people.

    In Charlottesville – there were not “fine people on both sides”. We all saw that one side was marching in full nazi gear chanting “Jews will not Replace us” and “Blood and Soil”. Frankly- there was not a single person in that particular crowd anyone of us would want to replace- whether we are a jew or non jew!! They could have been chanting- “Sane People will not Replace Us!! ” Antifa means anti fascist- it formed to fight fascists- No fascists- no need for an Antifa. Based on the idea of “Never Again”!

    The New Canaan parent who wrote the letter to the school principal just provides a window for us to realize there are angry Trump supporters all over. I can only hope the recent brutal attack on the Congress by many in nazi clothing and carrying Dixie flags helps Trump supporter realize they are on the wrong side of this debate!

    • Diane Johnson

      Very well stated, Steve. We are in horrifyingly scary times where supposedly educated people have become radicalized and brainwashed.

  44. Dan, well-put. The idea that these maniacs/cultists/victims of FoxNews or what-have-you are not living among us is naive. They are not only voters but electeds, right in our municipalities. We all need to watch who we vote for, in any level of office. And focus hard on educating the next generation, and generations beyond, to be able to think for themselves, to recognize when media is messing with their fear, and how to empathize with people different from themselves. Education, education, education.

  45. I am sorry the New Canaan resident mouthed off. I would like to think he is a recent resident, as this is not the spirit of New Canaan. I first moved here in 1958 (yes, 1958, with my parents) and I consider New Canaan a place for gentlemen, not crass individuals like the author of the letter.
    Rob Docters

    • Mr. Doctors: New Caanan has no more “gentlemen” in residence than does any other town in America…all towns have ass holes and some of them express their uneducated opinions on political subjects. We were just made privy to one such but there are dozens more in New Canaan and, yes, right here in Westport.