Category Archives: Uncategorized

Faceboook Begins Fighting Fake News


Major steps have recently been taken by Facebook to combat the spread of fake news and ultimately help decrease the amount of misinformation the public is exposed to.

The new feature on the social media sight flags stories that are disputed by the Associated Press and

When someone tries to share an article that is disputed, Facebook displays a warning that informs about the user that the information is disputed. Then a second pop-up that lets the user know Facebook is adhering to Poynter’s non-partisan code to distinguish that the article may have false information.

Facebook then links the user to pages on or on the AP website that explain why the article is labeled as disputed.

Individuals are able to ignore these messages and still post the article on their timeline, but directly below is a warning that says, “Disputed by and Associated Press.”

This feature apparently began a few months ago, but recently is making its appearance on social media where users are noticing it.

The model that Facebook chose to inform the public about fake news, and to tame the spread of fake news throughout social media, could be what the country needs.

Individuals who want to share questionable articles could be deterred if they are repeatedly informed that it is disputed by reputable fact-checkers.

This combats the spread of fake news from two angles; by informing the individual sharing the news and anyone who may come across in on Facebook.

This lessens the possibilities for people to become misinformed or play a part in the spread of fake news.

As it is a progressive step in the fight against fake news, this model of sifting out misinformation needs to be seen on other social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.

This model could even be seen going as far as flagging memes that spread made-up facts and ideas.

Among the most recent flagged articles that was seen and shared on Facebook was a fictionalized story: “Trump’s Android Device Believed To Be The Source of Recent White House Leaks,” from “The Seattle Tribune.”

The story carried the disputed label with the links to AP and explaining why the story was not real.

According to USA Today, the articles that do end up getting flagged not only have the label, but they also get pushed down on people’s newsfeed.

As sharing regardless of the disputed label is a personal preference and there is no clear solution to stopping that in the near future, hopefully more and more Facebook users will get the hint to just not share it at all.

If Facebook users respond the right way, only then should other social media platforms follow Facebook’s lead.

A Concern for Medicaid

Republicans in Congress and President Donald Trump are making an effort to alter the Medicaid program by issuing block grants, or per capita enrollment, to states.

This would differ drastically from how the funding is currently. “Medicaid now operates as either a negotiated fee-for-service system or a monthly rate per Medicaid enrollee. The federal government pays a portion of the expenses, and state government pays the other portion,” wrote

Ultimately the federal government pays for the needs of its beneficiaries. This results in the federal government covering about 57 percent of the states’ Medicaid costs, according to The Fiscal Times.

A block grant is a specifically structured federal funding with a set sum of money that will be given to the states in a designated period of time.

Under a per capita enrollment, the federal government would only reimburse the states for a specific amount per enrollee.

Whether states are issued block grants or per capita enrollment, Medicaid benefits are going to be impacted and will affect many elderly and disabled individuals. This would also impact children and adults who were unfortunate enough to be born with a disease, such as cystic fibrosis or kidney disease, that prevents them from working.

The change in Medicaid funding is part of Trump’s effort to save the federal government money, which he believes will leave more power in the hands of the state.

Medicaid is a federal program that provides healthcare funds for nearly 70 million Americans, according to the Chicago Tribune.

This raises concern in Connecticut because there are more than 765,000 Connecticut residents who receive Medicaid and $2 million at stake with the proposed cuts, according to the New Haven Register.

“Eliminating the federal dollars for experimenting with payment methods and care delivery structures would cost Connecticut billions,” said Lieutenant Nancy Wyman, co-chair of the Access Health CT board of directors to the New Haven Registrer.

The funds states are receiving for Medicaid should not be tampered with. They are used to help immense numbers of elderly and disabled individuals nationwide. Tampering with the funding to save the federal government money would impact the largest insurer in the country and the 73 million people they currently cover, two-thirds of which are in nursing homes.

There needs to be more caution taken when it comes to altering the dynamics of Medicaid and who that will impact. There seems to be an unwritten obligation that needs to be upheld in which Medicaid is maintained, or even improved in order to ensure all who rely on it are properly receive the care they need.

Lady Blue Devils Search For Answers

by Humera Gul

The Central Connecticut State University Women’s Basketball team had a tough go against Sacred Heart, digging a deeper hole in the Northeast Conference standing. The lady Blue Devils lost 82-61 to the Pioneers Saturday.

CCSU now moves to 9-15 overall, and 8-5 in the Northeast Conference.

The Blue Devils scored 25 points off of 22 turnovers committed by the Pioneers. Points were made by nine different players, showing CCSU’s versatility and chemistry on the court.

Kiana Patterson was 5 for 13 from the field, 3 for 9 from the arc and 3 out of 3 on foul shots. Patterson led the league in points, scoring at 22. She also had a rebound, an assist and a steal. Ashley Chin also had a decent game, shooting 4 for 6 from the field and 1 of 3 from the arc. She also had 1 assist and 2 steals. In total, Chin had 11 points total and was the second highest scorer for the Blue Devils.

Hannah Kimmel led the pioneers on Saturday. She was 7 of 14 from the field, 4 of 7 from the arc and 1 out of 2 on foul shots. She also had an astounding 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and a block. Kimmel finished the game with 22 points. Katherine Haines also played well, tailing Kimmel slightly. Haines was 9 of 14 from the field, 1 of 2 from the arc and 3 out of 4 for foul shots. She finished with 19 points.

One of the major issues for the Blue Devils in the second half was fouls. Multiple starters got fouls in the second half. On top of that, Sacred Heart was great on foul shots and capitalized on the opportunities.

Sacred Heart finished the day with 27 of 54 from the field, 13 of 23 from the arc and 15 out of 20 in foul shots. All averages were 50 percent or better. CCSU finished the day with 21-64 from the field, 6 of 26 from the arc and 13 of 24 in foul shots, a major disappointment considering the team was shooting under 33 percent from the field and the arc. Field goals percentage was 32.8 and 23.1 percent from the arc. CCSU will look to improve as the season dwindles down.

Sacred Heart moves to 13-11 overall and 10-3 in the Northeast Conference. CCSU will close out the road game series on Monday, February 13, at Fairleigh Dickinson at 7 p.m. The next home game will be this coming weekend, hosting Robert Morris at 1 p.m. at the Breast Cancer Awareness game.

Spoken Word: Kyla Lacey

by Christie Stelly

Kyla Lacey, a spoken word artist, performed at Central Connecticut State University Monday night, talking openly about her experiences with domestic violence and abuse.

Kyla writes poetry for a living, but does not use her education in the usual way. “I have a degree and I don’t really use it. I’ve never really been able to live a normal life,” she said. She has performed at over 100 colleges and universities in over 30 states.

“I think I just hope to inspire people to do something that makes them happy. Poetry makes me happy,” said Lacey. “It was something I was doing for free and now people pay me to do it.”

Students joined together to listen to Kyla perform about real life situations that she has found herself in.

“I’m part of a woman gender studies sexuality class and I’m also trying to become a victim advocate of some sort,” said CCSU student Olivia Doolan. “I’ve never heard of a spoken word artist, I just want to know more about it.”

Some of her favorite poems that she performed varied from talking about bad relationships to talking about her curly hair that she has learned to embrace.

She performed a poem about a conflict that she had been having with a friend. “Keep your friends close, but dispose of those that consult with your enemies. I loved real hard when I was hardly loved. It was my fault; I can’t blame anyone for my bad taste.”

A less serious poem about her hair still provided a message about learning to love yourself and embrace it. “My curls used to have to be shy and hide in middle school. Please know that my curls are unapologetically black. They’re not #teammixedchicks, they’re not racist.”

Being a survivor of domestic violence, she hopes that her story will help someone else. “It takes a woman seven times after coming back to a domestic violence relationship before she leaves,” Lacey said. She was in a relationship for four years, with violence beginning after the first year. “Nothing I did was ever good enough for him. You cannot love somebody into being a better person,” she said.

One out of four women will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetime. Opening up about her domestic violence issues made for an emotional room and allowed students to understand the importance of always loving and putting yourself first.

“I’ve been through a lot but I’ve learned to laugh and make money off of it. Turn my lemons into lemontini,” said Lacey.

Kyla has been nominated for numerous awards, including Campus Activities Magazine Best Female Artist. You can find her on Twitter @kyla_lacey or on Instagram @frequentfly_her.

Happening Around The World: South Korean President Facing Call to Resign

by Alonso Velasquez

Tens of thousands of South Koreans protested in Seoul last Saturday, demanding President Park Geun-hye to resign. This comes after allegations that Park revealed classified secrets to a  close friend not related to the government.

The crowd gathered in Gwanghwamun square, where it was estimated that anywhere from 45,000 to 200,000 citizens held signs saying “Park Geun-hye out” and “treason by a secret government.” Some stated that if Park doesn’t step down, the government should try to impeach her. The protest came a day after a teary Park apologized on national television for the scandal, stating that it was “all my fault.” In response to the outrage, she has removed prime minister and second-in-command Hwang Kyo-ahn and has reshuffled her cabinet, nominating three new senior officials. The nominees will have to be appointed by the national parliament. Many opposition politicians  are also requesting that the parliament should name the next prime minister.

The friend in question is Choi Soon Sil, who was arrested by prosecutors earlier in the week with charges of fraud and abuse of power. Choi, daughter of a late  pseudo-Christian leader and a longtime friend of Park, is believed to have received around $70 million from businesses pressured by the government to help fund her. It is alleged that Choi repeatedly meddled in government affairs such as making policy, appointing ministers and even picking the president’s clothing. The scandal began when Korean network JTBC uncovered that Choi had received secret documents via a tablet.

Due to her “shamanic” traditions, she is seen as Korea’s “Rasputin.”

Choi’s late father was a spiritual mentor to Park’s father, who was former President Park Chung-hee. After the elder Park was assassinated, the younger Park was alleged to have been greatly influenced by the younger Choi. In Park’s inauguration, she stood close to a tree with colorful silk purses, reportedly at the request of Choi to bring prosperity. However, Park denies participating in “occultic rituals” with Choi in Seoul’s presidential palace, nicknamed the “Blue House.”

Many Koreans are outraged over the scandal and feel like Park has been a puppet, with Choi really leading from the shadows.

Park currently sits at a record low five percent approval ratings, down from 30 percent before the scandal. Park has 15 months remaining in her term, with the next election scheduled for December 2017. If Park is to resign, law dictates that there must be an election within the following 60 days. While several politicians have asked Park to step down, opposition parties have resisted going full-force, fearing that it could negatively alter next year’s scheduled election.  Park became her nation’s first female president after winning a close race in 2012. She has regularly been criticized as being a dictator’s daughter as her father ruled the country as a military strongmen from 1962 until 1979.

Two former presidential aides, An Chong Bum and Jeong Ho Seung, have also been arrested for allegations that they helped fund Choi.

There were also protests in smaller cities like Gwangju, where 3,000 citizens protested.

‘We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!’

By Kaitlin Lyle

Looking closely into the issues of today, the Central Connecticut State University Theatre Department achieved an impeccable production in beginning its 2016-17 season with Dario Fo’s “We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!” Following a guest lecture by Ron Jenkins, the show’s translator, in September and a series of steadfast rehearsals, the culmination of the cast and crew’s dedicated work was discernable in last week’s performances.

Directed by Jan Mason, the story behind “We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!” is a testimony to the individuals who, driven by hunger, struggled to survive during the rampant inflation of the 1970’s. The play focused on the lives of two married couples and their reaction to the “autoriduzione” movement that struck Italy as well as the United States. After making the decision to pay the prices of their choosing, the couples maneuver within troublesome (and frequently hysterical) situations in order to get by. Within the first few minutes of Act One, the show’s title arose in the chant of the women refusing to pay the rising costs of their groceries. As the fiery heroine Antonia proclaims, “It was the shopping spree to end all shopping sprees! Not because we didn’t pay for the stuff, but because suddenly we were all there together with the courage to stand up for ourselves.” From the moment Antonia and Margherita decide to react against the injustice, the ensuing turn of events produced a riotous narrative that demonstrated the buoyant nature of the human spirit during a time of economic hardship.

The show ran from Oct, 11 to the 15 at the Black Box Theater of Maloney Hall, including two preview showings on the 11 and 12 and a free morning matinee on Oct. 14. The CCSU rendition of Dario Fo’s political farce featured a cast of five, including one performer who took on several roles that intermingled uproariously throughout the plot.

Actor Dustin Luangkhot exhibited a remarkable talent for comedy in playing a “utopian subversive” sergeant, a rigorous trooper, an undertaker with an Italian accent, and a senile grandfather, much to the bewilderment of Nick Carrano’s Giovanni. Senior Carrano conveyed a majority of the show’s feverish monologues with an artistic zeal, delighting the audience with his eccentric interpretations of the surrounding events. When paired with Orianna Cruz, who starred as the inventive Antonia, the duo was as dynamic in their lively interactions as the late Lucille Ball and Ricky Ricardo.

While rehearsing the nonsensical humor of Dario Fo’s work, Orianna Cruz found Fo to be an animated playwright, especially in his ability to fuse comedy with strong political meanings. “It is unusual, but very liberating because of the fact that, right now, people perform comedy just for the sake of entertainment and it kind of gets old after a while,” said Cruz.

In agreement, actor Kendra Garnett, who starred in the play as Margherita, described “We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!” as “commedia dell’arte.” “It isn’t just a comedy in that the only reason to be there is to be funny,” said Garnett. “It was also made to get a point across and it has a big message for everyone to take with them.” In her fourth mainstage production, sophomore Garnett was vibrant in her movements onstage as her character reacted to the madcap situations around her.

Alongside Margherita, her husband Luigi, played by senior Alex Szwed, shifts from internalizing the newfound societal inequalities to going along with his companions’ absurd means for survival, particularly in his scenes with Giovanni. The experience of “We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!” marks Szwed’s final mainstage production with the CCSU Theatre Department as well as his last collaboration with director Jan Mason. “I’m so grateful for this theater department,” said Szwed. “It has instilled great confidence in me, it has opened so many doors for so many great relationships, and I’m very sad and gracious in leaving.”

As an unexpected surprise, the cast and crew paid a kind tribute to the memory of playwright, Dario Fo, who passed away in Milan last Thursday, during their official opening night on Oct. 13. “He was definitely in our thoughts all day,” said Garnett, who observed that Fo’s passing altered the mood of their performance onstage. “It felt like we were definitely more doing it for him.”

Throughout the hysteria of the storyline as well as its timeless themes of desperation and determination, “We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!” created a lasting impression on its audience, delivering riotous laughter for their enjoyment and inspiring them with the plays underlying message. For a production that pinpoints the rising cost of living, the talent found at the Black Box Theater last week was undoubtedly worth the price.

Torpe Theater Celebrates Italian Culture Month with ‘A Touch of Sinatra’


by Kaitlin Lyle

Sitting in the audience of Torp Theater last Sunday afternoon, members of the Central Connecticut community enjoyed an enriching musical experience in observing “A Touch of Sinatra,” a show dedicated to presenting the life and music of Frank Sinatra and his companions in the music business.

Presented by the Italian Resource Center in cooperation with the Elihu Burritt Library, the occasion on October 16, 2016, was made possible through the suggestion of Dr. Maria Passaro of the CCSU Department of Modern Languages, who had seen “A Touch of Sinatra” at a library event over the summer. The performance took place at 3 p.m. in Davison Hall’s Torp Theatre and gathered a crowd of Sinatra enthusiasts. Following an introduction by Dr. Passaro and Dr. Carl Antonucci, Director of Library Services, the show commenced with Joe Gilligan narrating the well-loved singer’s story and Donnie Fararro providing musical talent from Sinatra’s broad music career.

“We’re going to show the good and the bad, the people he loved and the people who loved him, and his enemies,” said Gilligan at the start of their performance. “We’re going to do a bit of everything.” With that brief foreword, the duo brought the audience back in time to Sinatra’s early days, beginning with his birth on December 12, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey. As the audience began to settle into the ambiance that Gilligan and Fararro designed to tell Sinatra’s story, the theater was soon echoing with the familiar songs of the late artist, beginning with Fararro’s delivery of “New York, New York.”

With each account of the notable moments in Sinatra’s life, the theater lights would illuminate both the stage and the audience, subsequently lowering as the stories gave way to melody. In combining the words of his story with the lyrics of his music, the performers incorporated specific works that aptly depicted the trials and tribulations in Sinatra’s life: from his divorce from first wife Nancy Barbato (“All the Way”) to the moment of his first big break in 1939 (“Fly Me to the Moon”). With each celebrated song, the audience was enraptured as Fararro crooned the lyrics in the familiar style of the late artist. Along with their celebration of Sinatra through Fararro’s musical renditions, it was through Gilligan’s narration that the audience received an education of little-known details in Sinatra’s personal life, including the unfortunate eardrum injury he underwent at birth.

Between the anecdotes and the musical performances, Gilligan and Fararro shared a few jokes from their experiences that had members of the audience chuckling in their seats. However, their routine onstage was not entirely limited to narrating the life and music of Frank Sinatra, but also included the individual stories of Sinatra’s acquaintances during his music career, such as Perry Como, Johnnie Ray, and Dean Martin. In their renditions of Dean Martin’s melodies, the duo encouraged the audience to join them in singing the lyrics, succeeding as the crowd began singing “That’s Amore” with gusto. Yet it was during the grand finale – in which Fararro and Gilligan dedicated the song “My Way” to the memory of Sinatra’s beloved mother Dolly – that the audience members, regardless of age, joined in singing along with the popular ballad before replacing their singing with a standing ovation for the talent onstage.

Following the performances by Gilligan and Farrarro, there was an intermission outside of the theater that served Italian-style refreshments before the Italian film “Stanno Tutti Bene,” (Everybody is Fine) commenced.

Among the audience was Professor Gil Gigliotti of the English Department who was present along with the Western Culture II course that he co-teaches with Professor David Blitz of the Philosophy Department. Around the campus of CCSU Professor Gigliotti is especially known for his avid interest in the life of Frank Sinatra, as was referenced by Dr. Passaro in her introduction. As a professor in the English Department, he has taught several courses on Frank Sinatra throughout his time at CCSU, including a course abroad entitled “The London Sinatra(s)” during the winter semester of 2015. In addition, Professor Gigliotti has written two books that incorporate the musician’s life story, “Sinatra: But Buddy I’m a Kind of Poem” in 2008 and “A Storied Singer: Frank Sinatra as Literary Conceit” in 2002, both of which can be found at the CCSU library. Since December of 1993, he has hosted a radio program entitled “Frank, Gil, and Friends” on Tuesdays from 8 to 10 a.m. in affiliation with the CCSU Radio Station 107.7 WFCS, where Gigliotti is also the faculty advisor. At the heart of the professor’s time on the air is the music of Sinatra, from his contemporaries to the music that Sinatra inspired in today’s genres.

As a whole, Gigliotti remarked that he admires the late singer’s persistence and hard work throughout his music career. “He started off as a hit among young teenage girls and his career should have ended shortly thereafter, but for any number of reasons, he managed to come back and he stayed on top for the rest of his life.” said Gigliotti. With regards to “A Touch of Sinatra,” Gigliotti stated that he hoped that his students would be able to observe the performance with a critical eye, given the knowledge they attained over the past two months. “I’m not looking for them to take away anything specific as much as hearing someone else tell the story and perform the music,” said Gigliotti.

Needless to say, those who attended the performance in Torpe Theater this past weekend were treated to a well-rounded cultural event that celebrated the lives of notable Italian musicians as well as the music that has bonded their impact throughout generations.

CCSU Campus- A Previous Host for Independent Horror Films

By Kaitlin Lyle

With the full arrival of the fall season on campus, both the university buildings and attending students of Central Connecticut State University have been occupied with preparations for celebrating Halloween. As of this past Tuesday, a pumpkin carving competition was held in Semesters and the Elihu Burritt Library hosted its annual Trick-or-Treat e-resource fair.

In closing the week with the last Devil’s Den of October, the Society of Paranormal Research will be hosting a “Haunted Carnival” themed event in Semesters on Oct. 27. Yet even as the CCSU community makes arrangements for the popular fall holiday, many of its residents may be surprised in learning that, in the past, the campus has been used for the filming of two independent horror films, “The House of the Devil” in 2009 and “Laundry Night” in 2011.

According to Mark McLaughlin, the Associate Vice President of News and Media Relations at CCSU, the university is generally flexible in accommodating requests to utilize locations on campus for the purpose of filming. “It’s a good, prudent, and safe use of state property to help the entertainment industry and others recognize Connecticut as a rich resource for the arts,” said McLaughlin, who mentioned his involvement in accompanying both the film’s advance team and director in scoping out locations on campus.

Though the News and Media Relations does not require that the film company provide a certificate of insurance, precautions are established in order to notify university officials – such as the CCSU Police and Facilities Management – that campus facilities are being used for filming. As a result, Facilities Management ensures that the designated settings on campus are made available for those involved with the production, particularly in making sure that the campus buildings are accessible and that filming is scheduled when there are no events or classes taking place.

In addition, McLaughlin stated that, in the past, he has successfully lobbied for CCSU students to be a part of the filming process in order for them to attain professional exposure, whether they participate onscreen or behind the scenes. “Although the university does get a credit at the end of the movie, it’s almost always not identified as Central during the actual film,” said McLaughlin in closing.

Directed by Ti West, “The House of the Devil” is a 2009 homage to horror films of the 80’s as its protagonist, student Samantha Hughes, decides to accept a mysterious babysitting job that she finds posted outside of her dorm. Coinciding with a full lunar eclipse, the plot soon takes a terrifying turn as Samantha learns that the job’s elusive circumstances are meant to conceal her client’s ghastly secret. The horror film stars Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov, and Greta Gerwig, and is rated “R” for bloody violence. Throughout the opening credits of the film, director West establishes the storys atmosphere by tracking Samantha’s movements as she walks around her college campus. In doing so, viewers are then able to briefly observe various sections of CCSU, including the outdoor walkway of Vance Academic Center, Davidson Hall, the path alongside Marcus White Annex and Marcus White Hall, which is depicted in the film as the protagonist’s residence hall.

Presented by Lumonox Films, the short film “Laundry Night” displays the story of how a college student’s routine laundry trip takes an eerie supernatural turn, going from average to alarming within a short span of time. The film was directed by Peter Bradley and written by Erik Bloomquist, who also starred in the film. In utilizing the basement and laundry room of Barrows Hall for the purpose of creating a six-minute thriller, “Laundry Night” casts a frightening outlook over an otherwise comfortable lounging area for students.

For those interested in observing the CCSU campus as portrayed in a horror film, both “The House of the Devil” and “Laundry Night” are available for viewing via YouTube.


Latino De Oro

by Alonso Velasquez

The 10th Latino De Oro Awards ceremony showcased the many positive contributions made by the Latino community in the state of Connecticut. The gala, hosted by the Hispanic-focused newspaper, “Identidad Latina,” was held on Sunday, Sept. 10 in the Theater of the Arts at The Learning Corridor in Hartford from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Trophies were awarded to winners in ten categories, nine of which were chosen in an online poll with the tenth being a special Lifetime Award. Before the event, nominees got the opportunity to walk the unique golden carpet leading into the venue.The evening was hosted by Oscar Arango and Marilyin Kent.

The winners were State Representative Angel Arce, politics; Superintendent of the Connecticut Technical High School System Nivea Torres, education; Health Specialist Nilda Fernandez, health; rapper Shorty C, music; 1978 FIFA World Cup Winner Mario Kempes, sports; Executive Director of “Madre Latina” Yoellie Iglesias, Help to the Latino Community; UCONN student Alessandra Fournier, student; broadcaster Pedro Garcia, communications; Mexican folk dancer Tere Luna, arts and culture; and medic Alfonso Enriquez received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Enriquez is a Peruvian-born medic who spent most of his career at New Britain General Hospital. He founded the Hispanic American Cultural Council in 1980, which focused on putting Latinos on the grid at a time when they often went unnoticed.

Intertwined with the awards were performances by several regional and international artists including the Choco Band, Bachata singer Lizbeth, rap group Indio TDR and mariachi singer Carlos Javier, who was accompanied by Emperadores de Puebla. Food for the evening was prepared by the chef Izolda Miranda. There was also a tribute to recently deceased Mexican singer Juan Gabriel by Raquel Maldonado, whose music was played as an image of him was shown onscreen. Two 1000 dollar scholarships were also awarded incoming college freshmen Torrian Shannon and Pablo Idrovo.

Guests enjoyed the songs of the versatile Jose Paulo as well as old fashioned mariachi by México Antiguo. Other notable guests at the event were Senator Chris Murphy, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and the Consulate Generals of Brazil and Peru. During a speech, Murphy urged attendees to have a voice in politics and not let divisive political rhetoric break them apart. This event took place a week prior to the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, encouraging people to explore and gain a better understanding of Latino culture and to demonstrate that, no matter your background, “Si se Puede!”

Republican Party Contradiction


by  Ryan Callinan

As we move closer to the elections in November, I have noticed an increase in the number of political signs in the front yards of homes, as well as bumper stickers that announce support for one candidate or another.

After having recently seen many of these outward signs of allegiance to one party or candidate, there have been a few things that have struck me as odd or nonsensical.

One of them came to mind during a recent trip to Cabela’s, a store that caters to outdoor enthusiasts of all varieties.  Here was a parking lot full of cars and trucks belonging to people who enjoy the outdoors, benefit from what nature has to offer, and one would think would care somewhat about protecting the environment from being destroyed, which would mean no more hunting or fishing or any of the other activities all of those people were there to shop for.

Along with roof racks for kayaks and all other kinds of outdoor adventures, another trait that many of the vehicles shared was outward support for the Republican Party, mostly in the form of bumper stickers. Inside, I noticed multiple people with Republican Party shirts and hats.

Over the next couple weeks, I noticed sings showing support for Republican candidates in the yards of many people who also had boats, canoes, and four-wheelers in their yards.  With a track record of being anti-environment and pro-pollution, as shown through years of elected Republican officials fighting against bills that would protect the environment, while working to allow corporations to be allowed to pollute more freely, and by continuing to lie about and deny the scientifically-supported concept that human action has contributed greatly to a rapid change in Earth’s climate that. If not addressed, will most likely result in an uninhabitable Earth.

The Republican Party has shown that they are against protecting the outdoors that these nature enthusiasts enjoy.  How does this make any kind of sense?  Do people who are active members of the Republican Party not know about the efforts by Senators, Congressmen, as well as state legislators to fight nearly every proposed bill that seeks to protect the water, soil, and air that they and their children are exposed to?  Are they ignorant of the work the Republican Party has done and continues to do to turn federally protected park lands into privately-owned property that can then be developed or blocked off from public access and enjoyment?

This ignorance or hypocrisy (ignorance is they do not know that the officials they are voting for are working against the protection of the environment, and hypocrisy if they are claiming to care about the outdoors while supporting a political party that works to allow its destruction) has been difficult for me to understand.

However, when I think about how much of the Republican Party is made up of people who claim to be in favor of pro-life and then fight for easier access to weapons, such as assault rifles that are specifically designed to cause as much death as quickly and efficiently as possible. Or people who loudly claim to be members of a religion that is primarily based on loving and respecting all fellow humans, then they go on hateful and bigoted rants and teach their children to hate, it should not surprise me that there are so many people who take pleasure in outdoor activities while supporting a political party that works to make it easier for businesses to destroy the environment, because it will mean higher profit margins.

I am not a registered Republican or Democrat, and there are stances on issues that both parties take that I disagree with, but one that I don’t see how there is not more attention given to, is the environment, and the way the Republican Party has fought energetically to allow for more destruction and less conservation is, to me, a large enough issue that I could not possibly overlook it.

Without water or air that will not kill us, we won’t have the luxury of debating over things like taxes or guns.  If the atmosphere is allowed to get to a point where the planet is no longer suitable for life to exist on it, arguments over what was or wasn’t said in an email or how many times a candidate has been divorced or cheated on his or her spouse, will not matter in the least.