Sina-cism: Yet s’mores liberal hypocrisy on display

If you’re like most Americans, you don’t read much of anything. If you’re like most liberal activists, you only read things you agree with.
Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream fame came to Worcester on Nov. 4 to sweeten the effort by “People Govern, Not Money” to gather signatures to put a question on the 2018 state election ballot that seeks to overturn the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.

I’ll never eat his ice cream again.

It’s not that I don’t like ice cream. I do, and Ben & Jerry’s is tasty enough. But I really don’t like people tampering with the First Amendment, and if it takes giving up a primary source of cholesterol to make that point, count me in.

The Supreme Court issued the Citizens United ruling on Jan. 21, 2010. If you’re like most Americans, you don’t read much of anything. If you’re like most liberal activists, you only read things you agree with, so I’ll bet you haven’t read much more than a couple excerpts from the 183-page Citizens United ruling.

You should, for it illustrates as only landmark Supreme Court rulings can how fine a creation our Constitution is, and how perilous it would be to chip away at it.

More Sina-cism: Let’s reclaim the liberal arts from today’s liberals

Sina-cism: Let’s reclaim the liberal arts from today’s liberals

The left points a finger of blame at Trump for his obvious verbal excesses, but the fault for the breakdown in civility and discourse is unchecked political correctness. Academia’s descent into madness predates Trump by many years.
Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

A generation or two ago, independent thought and expression were alive and well on America’s college campuses. Today, liberal drivel — occasionally punctuated by liberal intolerance and liberal fascism — has all but silenced the liberal arts.

Some incidents — such as the one at Middlebury College in March, when author and sociologist Charles Murray was shouted down and driven from the lecture hall (and a professor assaulted) — garner national attention. For a time, there is discussion over what to do about such intolerance.

The answer, sadly, is usually to forgive such behavior, or punish it so lightly as to encourage more of it. Middlebury claims more than 60 students were disciplined, but none was expelled and none faced criminal charges.

Related Sina-cism: ‘Coming Apart’ at Middlebury, and elsewhere

As disappointing as it is to see students put their education on hold to rudely and violently dismiss anything that might challenge their still developing brains, incidents such as Middlebury’s are not as insidious as the scenarios that play out daily on campuses nationwide.

Sina-cism: Montaigne is not on this inconsequential Worcester ballot

Several times this summer and fall I have asked myself whether I ought to gin up more enthusiasm for the upcoming Worcester municipal election.

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

But every time I looked at the ballot, heard a candidate speak, or read a profile or election story, I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed for the extra sleep.

If the French philosopher and essayist Michel de Montaigne were running, I’d feel differently. We’ll get back to him later. But he’s not, and the truth is that this Worcester municipal election is about as inconsequential as an election can get.

Perhaps, like incumbent Mayor Joe Petty, you believe Worcester is a city on the rise, with abundant investment, strong schools, great restaurants, a new hockey team, and a can-do spirit that has left its gritty mill city reputation in the past.

Perhaps, like challenger Konnie Lukes, you believe there is another Worcester, one missing out on prosperity, where gangs run rampant, drug-dealing is rife, there are too many empty storefronts, an opioid epidemic spirals out of control, and councilors fail to address problems like an over-reliance on property taxes.

More Sun commentary:

Sina-cism: Worcester — the mayhem on main streets

For some time, Worcester city officials have been talking about making Worcester a more walkable city. That’s a nice dream, but it’s not one that is going to come true anytime soon.

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

It’s not going to happen as long as the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles continues to insist on licensing new drivers who would be a threat to themselves and others if they were driving electric golf carts on lonely stretches of Interstate 90 in Montana.

Have you ever tried to cross Main Street at Chatham Street with the “Walk” light?

Your odds of a successful crossing are about the same as those enjoyed by Columbus when he tackled the Atlantic in 1492 — he knew he wanted to reach the other side of the water, but the conditions were often decidedly unfavorable.

Even prior to the rise of the machines — those handheld demons that occupy the attention of most motorists some of the time and some motorists all of the time — such an endeavor was hazardous. Today, it’s more or less a suicide attempt.

Sina-cism: For those taking a knee, it’s 4th down

It’s fourth down for athletes taking a knee to protest racial injustice and oppression in America.

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

Our stand-up-for-Old-Glory millionaire billionaire president, who in his spare time runs the country, was both impetuous and intemperate in his recent spats with the kneel-during-the-anthem millionaires who in their spare time play football.

But Trump was also mostly right.

Sure, NFL players are free to express themselves, as are those who follow their example, such as Doherty High player Mike Oppong, who a year ago took a knee to protest injustice. But that which is permissible is not always wise.

Sina-cism: Gerrymander case maps repulsive ground where courts should fear to tread

Americans have lots to worry about. They’ll have a lot more if the Supreme Court decides the case of Gill v. Whitford justifies federal intervention in the drawing of political district lines within states.

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

Wisconsin Democrats are upset that Republicans redrew district lines so as to preserve their electoral edge in the state assembly. It’s easy to see why, if you examine this map.

Many of the state’s districts are contiguous and as block-like as can be expected, featuring no more than the usual bumps necessary to ensure that population counts are within mandated limits.

But look at the area around the capital, Madison, and you find districts that consist of tracts and islands. Some Wisconsin state districts alternately touch down and skip over areas, like a fickle tornado on the Great Plains.

Yet, as bad as some of these Wisconsin districts are, they are paragons of geographic virtue compared to some Congressional districts, including these three howlers in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Texas — one held by a Republican, the other two by Democrats.

Turn back the clock to 2014, and there’s this national view, which shows that in much of the nation’s coal belt, gerrymandering has been raised to an art form.

Sina-cism: Some lamentable signs of our times

As if the presidential campaign season were not already long enough, and political lawn signs not divisive enough, some Americans in the wake of the 2016 contest have chosen to hang out ideological shingles detailing their core beliefs.

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

One of the more prominent proclaims that “Black Lives Matter, Women’s Rights Are Human Rights, No Human Is Illegal, Science Is Real, Love Is Love, and Kindness Is Everything.” A variation adds that “Water Is Life” and “Injustice Anywhere Is a Threat to Justice Everywhere.”

The signs are the work of Kristin Joiner, a Wisconsin native and graphic designer now living in Bermuda. According to her website, the signs originated in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. And if there were any doubt that the folks behind them were upset by the outcome, this link (also on Joiner’s website) should settle that.

Perhaps you’re looking for a simpler, multilingual message. If so, there’s the “Welcome Your Neighbors” sign, which originated at Immanuel Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

It declares: “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor” — with the same message repeated in Spanish and Arabic.

My fellow Americans, where to begin?

Sina-cism: May ‘We the People’ never lose our Constitutional voice

You know people really care about something when they can’t stop talking about it. For 230 years, we the people of the United States have been talking about the Constitution. That ongoing discussion was renewed once again last Sunday night at Millbury’s Asa Waters Mansion.

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

Roger Desrosiers, a retired Millbury High School history teacher and president of the Massachusetts Center for Civic Education, led a Citizen Lyceum program that focused on the status of the Constitution today.

Founded in 1987, MCCE is a private, nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that promotes civic education in the state’s public and private schools, courtrooms and communities, primarily through the well-known “We the People” program for students.

Sunday’s event was geared for adult learners. The venue and title were apt, for it was in Millbury in 1826 — the same year construction of the Waters Mansion began — that Connecticut native Josiah Holbrook founded the “Millbury Lyceum No. 1.” Holbrook had studied chemistry and mineralogy at Yale under the great naturalist Benjamin Silliman, later learned farming, and became an itinerant lecturer throughout New England. His mission was simple: provide a common education to the common man.

Sina-cism: Railers follow in IceCats’, Sharks’ tracks — but, how closely?

The season opener for the Worcester Railers — the city’s third minor-league hockey franchise in recent history — is being seen by some as a chance to net success where the previous two clubs, the IceCats and Sharks, failed.

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

I wish the Railers good luck, but how wrongheaded to think of the IceCats and Sharks as failed teams.

The IceCats arrived here in 1994 from Springfield, played 11 American Hockey League seasons, then left for Peoria, Illinois. They are now the AHL’s Utica Comets. The Sharks, after nine years in Worcester, are now the San Jose Barracuda, sharing an arena with their parent, the NHL’s San Jose Sharks.

The list of current and former AHL teams is long. With a few exceptions — the Hershey Bears (1938), Rochester Americans (1956), and Providence Bruins (1992) — AHL teams come and go with great frequency. Many number their seasons in single digits.

Sina-cism: DACA’s demise clears way for real reform

The world in 2017 is too populous, complex and dangerous a place to simply admit anyone who claims to share our ideals. There are rules to be followed.
Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program is not about cruelty. It’s not about sending the “best and brightest” back to countries where they have no ties of family, culture, or language. It’s not about damaging the economy.

The end of DACA — which will be done as an orderly, six-month phase-out — is about respecting the rule of law and forcing Congress to do its job.

In 2012, President Obama, frustrated by Congress’ failure to adequately address the fate of millions of illegal aliens, issued an executive order creating DACA. The program encouraged those with no legal claim to be in the United States to come out of the shadows and apply for a work permit and a two-year (renewable) period during which they could not be deported.

Many, including myself, warned then that DACA was a bad idea. By circumventing Congress, Obama was giving hope to millions, but without conferring any of the rights citizens enjoy. By encouraging illegals to come forward, the government was gaining key information that could come back to haunt those very people should there be a change in policy.

Related Sina-cism: The real line on immigration, and how Obama crossed it

Some say that haunting has now begun.