Editorial: Silence is deadly to needed gun reforms

When he opted out of a moment of silence last week in the House chamber, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes was not disrespecting the victims of the mass murder in Las Vegas.

He was respecting his job.

“Anywhere else — in a Rotary Club, at a baseball game — do a moment of silence,” the Connecticut Democrat told “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah Tuesday.

“If you’re in the one room where you could start fixing this problem … that’s negligence. That’s not honoring anybody. Honoring the victims would mean we’re going to fix this,” Himes said.

It’s sad how much sense this makes.

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?

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 201]: Trump bashing? There’s a remote chance you’ll miss it

Even the best of our presidents had their flaws.

Transformational JFK was a legendary lecher (and not the only one). Washington and Jefferson were among those to infamously own slaves. The list goes on. But President Trump raises the ire of his opponents like few elected leaders in history.

His recent irresponsibly pandering speech and attack on the First Amendment rights of NFL players is merely the latest salvo from the Troll-in-Chief.

Hitch, for one, thinks it’s high time to change the channel.

Editorial: Sports and the racial divide

If social media is any significant part of your online habit, your feeds have most likely become overwhelmed with posts about NFL protests in which players or entire teams took a knee or locked arms during the national anthem.

The madness began Friday night when, during a speech in Huntsville, Alabama, President Trump shamelessly pandered to his base by calling for players who knelt during the anthem to lose their jobs.

How very patriotic (the Sun editors said sarcastically).

Flanagan, ex-senator, opens up about her role regulating legal pot in Mass.

Don’t be too hard on the towns that aren’t ready to ride the Massachusetts recreational marijuana train, said new Cannabis Control Commission member Jennifer Flanagan.

“For them, it’s not coming down to money. That’s what I think is interesting,” said Flanagan, the former Democratic state senator from Leominster, in an interview last week with the Sun.

“I understand there are taxes to be had from this and there is money to be gained, but some towns are not comfortable having it on Main Street,” she said in reference to pot shops. “We need to allow them to get there and not force their hand with it.”

Gov. Charlie Baker made Flanagan the first of five appointees to the commission, which will oversee implementation of the new state law legalizing the use, sale and growth of marijuana, based on her background as the Senate chairperson of both the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee and the Special Senate Committee on Opiate Addiction.

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.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 199]: On Gaffney’s battle with the media

Michael T. Gaffney may well be the (self-proclaimed) People’s Councilor® — he certainly won’t be the People’s Mayor for at least the next two years — but he’s proved to not be much of a media darling.

There are several plausible reasons for this. Sure, the city’s GOP standard-bearer has built an impressive base of support while earnestly serving his community, but that hasn’t stopped columnists and commenters — a largely liberal set — from painting the agitating attorney with a Trumpian brush.

And now, Gaffney has told the media he has nothing more to say to us. Hitch thinks he knows why.

David Barsamian

Inbox [Sept. 17-23]: News and notes from Worcester State, Becker, Anna Maria, Friends of Goddard Library, GWCF and Library Foundation

Have news you or your group would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to info@worcester.ma. Be sure to include a link to the full release on your site or Facebook page so we can include it and send Sun members your way.

David Barsamian to speak at WSU Tuesday

Broadcaster, author and award-winning investigative journalist David Barsamian will be the first speaker featured in Worcester State University’s new Provost’s Series on Democracy and Diplomacy.

Barsamian will deliver two talks. The first is a campus lecture, “The New Political Resistance in the Age of Trump,” at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the May Street Building, 280 May St.; the second, a community lecture, “Media, Propaganda, and U.S. Foreign Policy,” at 7 p.m. Ghosh Science and Technology Center, Room 102, 486 Chandler St.