Monday, October 2, 2017

Stolen Children

Today I got in the car and heard the news of the Las Vegas massacre. On the way home, they played Tom Petty after announcing his passing. His lyric “I don't understand the world today” haunts me on this day of inconceivable loss. So many lost their lives to the act of a man that never before raised the slightest alarm.

In Irish culture, such turns of fate are explained as the works of faeries, the mystical beings of the eternal woods who come and exchange the dead for the living. A victim of a stroke who loses some faculty is said to have been deprived by a faery, taking his good mind and replacing it with something tarnished. Like pirates, they return to the forest with their booty, enjoying endless revelry, unconcerned by the blemishes left by their passing through the world of mortal humans.

Yeats wrote of the legend of the faeries, how it would console those who lost a sibling before their time. While they came and went like grim reapers, the fear of their coming was balanced by a pagan notion of heaven where the lost child would enjoy a life without care for time eternal.

The Stolen Child

W. B. Yeats, 1865 - 1939

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he’s going,
The solemn-eyed:
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

j24u - a deeper dive into current events by John Kilian

Here they are:
    Oct 25, 2016  Topics include MidEast conflict, immigration, U.S. health and healthcare,demographic changes in U.S.

    Oct 26, 2016 Catholic Church, Afghanistan, Swordfish

   Nov 4, 2016 FBI, Wikileaks, The path to the Presidency for Hillary Clinton seems likely but not uncontested.

   Nov 6, 2016  meaning of j24u, performed by Leonard Cohen,Irish Rugby, Global Warming

   Nov 7, 2016 Landslide predicted, FBI v. State Department history, Canadiens fast start, sans PK Subban

   Nov 8, 2016 Election Day, Cats Stevens, age differences between parties.

   Nov 9, 2016 Election 2016 postmortem, Belinda Carlyle 

   Nov 10, 2016 Wendy Colonna, We Are One, Trump policy on Gun Control, Mental health

   Nov 12, 2016  The rise of the Montreal Canadiens, and the demise of Leonard Cohen and TPP

  Nov 23, 2016 Regime Change hurts Canadiens, Darly Hall and John Oates, Demise of youth hockey?, ROW tie-breaker, Election fraud allegations

Stay tuned for more.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Middletown Poems

End of the Season

Their only win of the season
led to a game under the lights.
They ran and kicked but in the end
they lost again that night.

We gathered afterwards on the bench
where all twelve of them could sit.
They spoke of the fun they had
and how much it would be missed.

The playoff game in latest October
was played in an early November chill.
Even in all the excitement
the weather dampened the thrill.

A coach had words to say
on how the kids could better play,
but the last word went to the girl not too old
to say at last, "It is cold!"

Friday, February 21, 2014

Gold Medal For Kevin Dineen

A thrilling end of regulation play in the ladies gold medal hockey game. With a minute to go and the Canadians on the attack with an extra skater, trailing by one, a linesman commits a cardinal sin of officiating and interferes with play on the blue line. An American plays the puck down the ice towards the empty net,... and it hits the post! Holy cow!

Une fin palpitante du jeu de la réglementation dans l'or médaille jeu de hockey de dames. Avec une minute à faire et les Canadiens à l'attaque avec un patineur supplémentaire, de fuite par un, l'arbitre assistant commet un péché cardinal de l'arbitrage et interfère avec le jeu sur la ligne bleue. Un Américain joue la rondelle sur la glace vers le but vide, ... et il tire sur le poteau! Vache sacrée!

I would have felt sad for Kevin Dineen if he lost, because the Canadian coach was also the captain of the Hartford Whalers. i spoke with Kevin not long ago when he was coaching the visiting team against the Connecticut Whale. He told me how nice my family was, with a great deal of melancholy. Within days his mother would pass away.

Je me suis senti triste pour Kevin Dineen si il a perdu, parce que l'entraîneur canadien a également été le capitaine des Whalers de Hartford. J'ai parlé avec Kevin il ya pas si longtemps, il a été entraîneur de l'équipe visiteuse contre le Connecticut Whale. Il m'a raconté comment ma famille était agréable, avec beaucoup de mélancolie. Dans les jours sa mère allait mourir

He would return in the playoffs and his team would rally from two goals down to end the season for the Whale. On his exit Hartford treated him to a standing ovation, chanting "Let's Go Whalers" as he walked around the boards waving and thanking the fans, as he left the ice he played on, for the last time.

Il reviendra dans les séries éliminatoires et son équipe se rallierait de deux buts à la fin de la saison pour La Baleine. Sur sa sortie Hartford a traité à une ovation debout, chantant "Let's Go Whalers" alors qu'il marchait dans les conseils agitant et en remerciant les fans comme il a quitté la glace, il a joué sur pour, la dernière fois.

Lucky for the linesman, the Canadians complete the two goal rally today, and then they win in overtime. Kevin Dineen wins the Gold! Let's Go Whalers!

Heureusement pour le juge de touche, les Canadiens compléter les deux but rassemblement aujourd'hui, et ils gagnent en prolongation. Kevin Dineen remporte la médaille d'or! Let 's Go Whalers!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tenor and Bass - Timeline



At the beginning of 1938, the Austrian government, in an effort to maintain its independence from Germany, ordered a referendum to decide whether to join Germany, and thus reneged on a pledge to German Chancellor Adolf Hitler to agree to the merging of the two countries. Pro-independence supporters were expected to prevail in the balloting, and Italy's Prime Minister Benito Mussolini pledged to defend the Austrian regime against a German occupation.

On March 9, Rupert von Trapp completed his medical school studies.

On March 11, after Hitler persuaded Mussolini to renege on his pledge to the Austrians, a coup in Austria coincided with the arrival of German troops to seal the unification of Germany and Austria. The bells of Salzburg were rung in celebration at the insistence of the German military. German laws were adopted quickly that removed Jewish doctors from Austria's state hospitals.

The Von Trapp Family Choir declined an invitation to sing at the celebration of Adolf Hitler's birthday on April 20.

On May 20, in anticipation of a German invasion, the government of Czechoslovakia mobilized their military. A clandestine plot by senior leaders of the German military and civilian leadership determined to depose Hitler by force in the event he order Germany to engage Czechoslovakia in armed combat.

The Trapp family fled Austria in June by train, eventually reaching England, and toured Europe over the summer. The Austrian frontier is sealed shortly after there departure. Against the will of Georg von Trapp, Heinrich Himmler, a chief architect of the Holocaust, takes control of his villa in Aigen.

At this time, it was a matter of common knowledge that political opponents of the Nazi Party were being committed to concentration camps. In the summer of 1938, a concentration camp was opened in Mauthausen, Austria at the site of a quarry operation. The steps leading up from where stone was removed by prisoners became known as the “Stairs of Death.”

In fall, the von Trapp family secured an advance from an American concert promoter and departed for the United States aboard the American Farmer, arriving on October...

Negotiations between allies France and England versus Germany over the summer resulted in the withdrawal of France and Britain's threats of force to defend Czechoslovakian sovereignty over the ethnically German portions of the country known as the Sudetenland. Without the support of its allies, Czechoslovakia allowed German troops to occupy the Sudetenland without armed resistance in early October.

Ernest Hemingway published “The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Storieson October 14. The “Fifth Column” refers to a clandestine force of sympathizers who support an invading force by way of espionage and sabotage. People of Germanic heritage were viewed with suspicion as Europe and the United States witnessed the expansion of Germany.

On November 9, anti-Jewish mobs in Germany and Austria carried out extensive vandalism of Jewish businesses, houses, schools, hospitals and synagogues. Local authorities did not intervene as they watched countless window panes shattered and fires lit, earning the event the title “Kristallnacht” - the Night of Breaking Glass. Many Jews were killed in the process, and tens of thousands of Jews were sent to concentration camps in the wake of this event, triggered by a reaction to a German diplomat being killed by a Polish Jew.


Johannes von Trapp was born in Philadelphia to Georg and Maria on January 19.

In February, the von Trapp was notified that their visa would not be extended.
In March, they left by ship on the Normandie to tour Scandanvia.

On September 1, German troops invaded Poland.
On September 3, France England declared war on Germany, and Winston Churchill was appointed as Britain's First Lord of the Admiralty.
On September 17, the Soviet Union invaded Poland
On October 6, the former territory of Poland was divided and annexed by the two invaders.

From October 7 to 11, upon returning the the United States aboard the Bergensfjord from their Scandanavian tour, the Trapp Family Choir was taken into custody on Ellis Island by immigration authorities. Rupert was spared incarceration due to his status as an applicant to immigrate.

On November 30, the Soviet Union's Red Army invaded Finland.

On March 13, hostilities between Finland and the USSR ended. The invasion of Finland by the Soviet Union's Red Army in the winter of 1939-40 was repelled by a force that was greatly outnumbered. The Finnish troops were trained to maneuver in Arctic environments, featuring infantry on skis, and camouflagued by white parkas.
On April 9, Germany invaded Norway. The British Navy's assault on Narvik, Norway in the spring of 1940 sought to deprive Germany of strategically important sources of iron ore for their war machine. Austrian mountain troops held the Navy and five times as many British and French troops at bay by holding high ground above the port and its entrances. The British could not contest these positions due to the absence of troops trained in extreme cold and mountainous and snow-covered terrain. Despite their targets proximity to the Arctic Circle, only summer uniforms were brought on board by the British. Norway remains under German occupation until the end of the war.
On May 10, Germany invaded Belgium and the Netherlands. On the same day, Neville Chamberlain resigned and was replaced by Winston Churchill as the British Prime Minister.
On Jun3 22, after British and French forces were pushed back to the sea, an armistice between Germany and France established a German occupation zone in northern France that included all of France's Atlantic coastline.
On July 3, negotiations with the French admiral in command of a large contingent of vessels in Algeria failed to secure British objectives that would at least neutralize the threat that the formidable naval force there would fall into the hands of Germany. A massive barrage of British naval artillery destroyed the WWI era Battleship Britagne, with a thousand sailors on board perishing.
In the summer, German air forces attacked British military targets in Great Britain. British counter attacks on Berlin included a sortie that inadvertantly bombed the civilian population. The Battle of Britain then excalated, as Hitler ordered the daily bombing of London over the course of September and October.
Germany's inability to destroy Britain's coastal defenses pre-empted the launch of Operation Sea Lion, a planned amphibious and airborne invasion of Britain.

On March 11, the third anniversary of the annexation of Austria by Germany, the United States officially ended its neutrality when President Roosevelt signed lend-lease legislation providing financial and material aid to Great Britain, the Soviet Union, Free France, China, and other allies.
On June 22, Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, invading the Soviet Union in the largest invasion in the history of warfare. The intentional deprivation of food to foreign troops and civilians in areas that fell under German control led to the starvation of millions.
During the summer of 1941, the United States halted the export of petroleum to Japan. Negotiations were accompanied by the positioning of naval assets by both countries in preparation for battle over the Dutch West Indies, a strategic souce of petroleum and rubber, and the majority of Americans acknowledged the likelihood that the United States would enter the war as combatants.
On December 7, Japan attacked American ships recently deployed to Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiin Islands. Within days the United States declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy.

In May, Hitler and Mussolini meet in Salzburg. In this meeting, Mussolini commits to the large scale deployment of Italy's Eighth Army to the Eastern Front that would follow in June. The force includes three newly created divisions of mountain (alpini) troops.
During the summer, the von Trapps perform for an Army camp in Stowe, Vermont. Later they buy farmland on Luce Hill there.
On January 26, Soviet forces target Italy's Alpini divisions, the last remaining units of the Eight Army.
By February, Italy's Eigth Army no longer exists in Russia, after suffering heavy casualties.
On March 9, on the fourth anniversary of Rupert's graduation from medical school, Rupert and Werner von Trapp report as draftees of the U.S. Army. They become innaugural members of the U.S. Army Ski Troops, the predecessor of the 10th Mountain Division. They soon become U.S. Citizens.
On May 16, the Allies bomb Rome.
On July 10, the Allies invade Sicily.
On July 23, the King of Italy deposes Mussolini.
On September 8, General Eisenhower announces the surrender of Italy. The Allies and Germans battle to occupy Italy over the next 20 months.
October 18 to November 11 – At the Third Moscow Conference, the Allies(China,UK,US,USSR) agree that after the war, Austria will be treated as the first victim of Nazi aggression, and be permitted to regain its independence.

The 10th Mountain Division deploys to Italy.
The allies drop a single bomb on Salzburg's Cathedral. During the war, fifteen allied sorties result in the destruction of close to half the city's buildings.

March 29 – Soviet forces cross Austria's eastern frontier. The Red Army suffers heavy losses, and their victory is followed by their perpetrating vast amounts of sex crimes over several years time, eventually leading the Soviets to strictly garrison its occupation forces in Austria in 1948.
April 29 – French forces cross Austria's western frontier.
May 8 – Germany surrenders. British and American forces enter Austria. Austria is occupied by the Allies(France,UK,US,USSR) until 1955, when its independence is restored. Salzburg becomes the center of American occupation operations in Austria, and Werner and Rupert von Trapp return to Austria as occupying forces in American uniforms.
July 26 – The Allies(China,US,USSR) submit Postdam Declaration of terms for Japaneses surrender. The “prompt and utter destruction” of Japan is threatened.
August 6 – The United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.
August 8 – The Soviet Union declares war on Japan, breaking a six year truce.
August 9 – The Soviet Union invades Manchuria, previously occupied by Japan. Later that day, the United States drops a second atomic bomb on Japan, this time in Nagasaki.
August 15 – A recording of the Emperor of Japan is broadcast on radio announcing his acceptance of the Postdam Declaration – ending hostilities in World War II. Japan is occupied by American forces.

The von Trapp brothers return to Vermont.
Rupert von Trapp graduates from the University of Vermont, and marries Henriette Lajoie, whom he had six children.

Werner von Trapp marries Salzburg native Erika Klambauer, a childhood friend of his sister, Martina, and with whom he had six children.

1950 Werner von Trapp erects a stone chapel to honor WWII veterans on the hill above the family home, carrying the stones used to build it up the hill in his ruck sack.
Ski Troops in WWII

The invasion of Finland by the Soviet Union's Red Army in the winter of 1939-40 was repelled by a force that was greatly outnumbered. The Finnish troops were trained to maneuver in Arctic environments, featuring infantry on skis.

The British Navy's assault on Narvik, Norway in the spring of 1940 sought to deprive Germany of strategically important sources of iron ore for their war machine. Austrian mountain troops held the Navy and five times as many British and French troops at bay by holding high ground above the port and its entrances. The British could not contest these positions due to the absence of troops trained in extreme cold and mountainous and snow-covered terrain. Despite their targets proximity to the Arctic Circle, only summer uniforms were brought on board by the British. Norway remains under German occupation until the end of the war.
The United States formed the 10th Mountain Division in 1943, before the advent of recreational skiing in America. Austrian ex-patriots, among them the von Trapp brothers, Rupert and Werner, were instrumental in training American troops with no prior experience on skis or alpine conditions. The 10th Mountain distinguished themselves for valor, suffering among the highest casualty rates of any unit in the war. They exceeded the expectations of their foes, achieving surprise by taking terrain thought to be impassable, leading to the capture of troops and positions that gave the allies a vital strategic advantage.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Lost Cause

Lost Cause

There was no disguising the pain on the face of the physician when the discussion on the topic of obesity came to a close. Over sixty, he had seen a career filled hard luck cases. Debilitated and dying children were the grist for his mill, yet he remained positive despite the exposure to all these tragedies. Illness in children is not entirely avoidable. A person who works in pediatrics as long as he found peace in helping those he could help, without becoming distraught by the cases where he was helpless to alter dire outcomes.

The conversation progressed from an anecdote of a patient post-op who was accompanied by seven highly trained medical professionals packed into an ICU room. Fourteen drips were running, and another staff member stood before a computer in the hallway, laboring to document the various interventions underway, along with constant assessments being taken and recorded, as well.

How much does it cost to compensate skilled healthcare workers? All are required to complete lengthy preparations that do not come cheap. Just serving the school debts of the people at the patient's bedside is an enormous sum. All tolled, the care for this patient far exceeded any premiums she had paid into her healthcare plan.

Insurance spreads the cost across a pool of people, managing the risk present for each and every one of its members. Some of us will get cancer, and the bills will be born by the lucky people in the pool who are not ill. It works great for diseases that are relatively rare. It doesn't work at all when 35% of the pool has a severe illness.

35% of adults in the United States are obese. That is a pool buster. Diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular demise, they all lead to patients in ICUs surrounded by caregivers who are still paying off their medical school bills. That's what was killing the Doc who had seen it all over his distinguished career. Obesity isn't just killing his patients, it is undermining his profession. How are the 65% who aren't obese going to pay the bills of the 35% who are? And, what really wrinkled his brow is the fact that there is no good reason for so many of our children to be so overweight.

He had heard the last beats of the hearts of young ones passing on from diseases no one could cure, and managed to maintain enthusiasm for treating those he could. Now, 35% of the country is putting their health up for grabs, despite the fact that changes in diet and exercise are well known solutions. Our nation has become a patient that could thrive, if only it could muster a will to live.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Downtown Drive-Thru: Abbreviated History of the City of Middletown

Abbreviated History Middletown

1/18/78 – The roof of the Hartford Civic Center collapses under the weight of snow.

89 – The Buttonwood Tree Bookstore and Performance Center opens on North Main Street.

7/28/89 2:20 PM – Nine-year-old Jessica Short of Wallingford is stabbed to death during a street fair on Main Street.

3/93 – Mayor Sebastian Garafalo appoints himself as tax collector. The Republican Town Committee replaces the vacancy in the Mayor’s office with Stephen Gionfriddo.

94 - Oddfellows Playouse, with extensive community support, acquired and renovated the 10,000 sq. ft. historic building that is now its home on Washington St.

3/18/94 – Klekolo World Coffee opens on Court Street.

96 - North End Action Team (NEAT) evolved in 1996 from a city-sponsored Urban Homesteading Task Force, begun in response to widespread concerns about negative conditions in the city's North End.

2/16/00 - John McCain wins a majority at the Middletown Straw Poll

7/1/01 – Middletown’s Downtown Business District, created earlier in the year via a successful referendum, establishes a tax rate of 3 mils.

2/21/04 - John Edwards wins a majority at the Middletown Straw Poll

6/15/05 - Retired Connecticut State Trooper Michael Bochicchio Jr. opened fire in the Middletown Superior Court parking lot on with a .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol loaded with hollow-point bullets, killing Donna Bochicchio and seriously wounding Julie Porzio. He then shot himself in the head. The shooting occurred in the middle of the Bochicchios' divorce trial; Porzio was representing Donna Bochicchio.

9/14/05 – Mayor Domenique Thornton charged with DUI by the Middletown Police Department.

9/21/05 – Charges against Mayor Thornton are dropped is Middlesex Superior Court.

11/8/05 – The Mayor loses her bid for re-election. The election of Common Council is subsequently ordered by the State Supreme Court to be repeated owing to the use of a faulty voting machine on this Election Day.

6/23/06 – Former Mayor Stephen Gionfriddo pleads guilty to mail fraud and wire fraud charges in federal court.

8/31/06 – O’Rourke’s Diner burns down. It has no fire insurance.

1/25/08 - Ron Paul wins a pleurality at the Middletown Straw Poll

2/11/08 5 AM – O’Rourke’s Diner reopens with help from the community.

5/16/08 1:30 AM – Middletown Police arrest five Wesleyan university students. Tasers, dogs and pepper spray are used to control the crowd. Two students are sent to Middlesex Hospital, one with multiple dog bites.

4/09 - The City of Middletown issues a cease-and-desist order to the local chapter of Food Not Bombs. Prior to the order, the City Health Inspector had cited the organization for distributing food without a license.

5/6/09 Wesleyan Junior Johanna Justin-Jinich is shot to death as she worked behind the counter of the Red and Black Café in Broad Street Books.

2/7/10 11:17 AM A natural gas explosion occurred at the Kleen Energy Systems power station. The initial blast killed five and injured at least fifty; one of the injured later died in hospital, bringing the total death toll to six. Earth-quake-like tremors are felt ten miles away.

5/18/10 After hastily adjourning a special meeting of the Board of Education in executive session, Board Chairman Ted Raczka walks down the hall to confront a Middletown police officer, assigned to guard the Board of Ed offices against evidence tampering in a case between the City and the Board of Ed. Eventually, eight officers are called to the scene, including the Chief of Police. At the same time, MPD is investigating two homicide cases.

2/2/11 Occupants of 505 Main Street flee the building moments before it suffers a catastrophic collapse, due to the weight of snow piled on the roof. Bricks flung from the collapse damage cars on Main Street.

10/17/11 Deputy Chief Patrick McMahon placed on administrative leave following allegations by fellow police officers that he was drinking beer while in his duty uniform and carrying his sidearm.

11/8/11 The Mayor loses his bid for re-election.

2/9-11/12 - John Basinger performs a one man version of King Lear at the Oddfellows Playhouse on Broad Street. Basinger is renowned for reciting “Paradise Lost” from memory.

12/12 - A grand jury subpoena was served on the Middletown-based Community Health Center Inc. in early December, demanding documents including any emails and paper communications with numerous Democratic officials and political aides, including Wyman, Barnes, and former state House Speaker Christopher Donovan.

12/14/12 - Daniel Persaud is unaccounted for since approximately midnight, when he fell into the river near the East Hartford boat launch.

2/8-9/13 Three feet of snow falls on Middletown. Schools are closed for the following week.

3/19/13 – Police are called to the home of Planning and Zoning Commissioner Molly Salafia in response to an unsolicited visit to her porch by Board of Ed Member Ed McKeon. He is publicly opposed to zoning changes that would make it possible to build a Starbucks on a part of Washington Street that previously only allowed residences.

8/3/13 - Middletown Police recover a corpse in the waters between Wilcox Island and mainland Middletown.

8/12/13 - East Hartford Police identify the body discovered on 8/3/13 (see 8/3/13), as Daniel Persaud, unaccounted for since 12/14/12 (see 12/14/12)