Chris Powell: Suburbs prosper by zoning out the poor; coercion by liberals is quite all right; sanctimony cities

  Old County Jail Museum in semi-bucolic Tolland, Conn.

Old County Jail Museum in semi-bucolic Tolland, Conn.

MANCHESTER, Conn.

Chest-thumping is resounding in Connecticut's suburbs as Gov. Dannel Malloy proposes to transfer their state financial aid to the cities.    The thumping may be loudest in Tolland, where at a Town Council meeting the other day Town Manager Steve Werbner pandered to a standing-room-only audience. 

Werbner said: "They've taken a town like Tolland, which has done every thing right for many years, and penalized us for all that we've done."   

Tolland is a great town but what it and many other suburbs have done "right" has been mainly to zone out the poor and dysfunctional by minimizing cheap apartments, figuring that this way the burden of the slob culture coddled by the welfare system could be confined to the cities forever.   

Not anymore. With the governor's budget the government and welfare classes are cannibalizing the state even though taxpayers are tapped out. This cannibalizing is being done in the name of alleviating poverty, though for more than half acentury Connecticut's cities have only manufactured   poverty.   

The failure of state poverty policy to achieve its nominal objective has made it hard to blame the suburbs for zoning out the poor. But at last the suburbs may have to answer financially for their indifference to that failure. Maybe the suburbs now will discover that doing "everything right" requires them to start holding the poverty factories and their enablers to account.

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For weeks the  left, especially inConnecticut, where it is led by Governor Malloy, has been indignantly insisting that the federal government should not try to coerce states and municipalities into helping to enforce federal immigration law, as President Trump wants them to. On immigration the political left, especially in Connecticut, has taken a state's rights position and even a nullification position.   

So what happened last week when the Trump administration adopted its own states'  rights position, withdrawing Obama administration "guidelines" directing states to allow male students who want to be female and female students who want to be male to use whichever gender's bathroom they choose?   

The left freaked out that the federal government now will leave the bathroom issue to the states, though there is no federal legislationspecifically addressing the point, as there is with immigration. Governor Malloycalled the federal action "outrageous."    It seems that coercion by the government must be reserved for enforcing a liberal agenda and nobody else's.

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People from 50 churches around Connecticut and New York who gathered last weekend at a synagogue in Hamden seemed to think that God wants the UnitedStates to have no immigration law. According to the New Haven Register, they discussed not only how to protect ordinary illegal immigrants against deportation but also even illegal immigrants who have been criminally convicted.   

The event's organizer, Rabbi Herbert Brockman, of Hamden's Congregation Mishkan Israel, quoted Leviticus from the Old Testament: "When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him."   

People from 50 churches around Connecticut and New York who gathered last weekend at a synagogue in Hamden seemed to think that God wants the UnitedStates to have no immigration law. According to the New Haven Register, they discussed not only how to protect ordinary illegal immigrants against deportation but also even illegal immigrants who have been criminally convicted.   

The event's organizer, Rabbi Herbert Brockman of Hamden's Congregation Mishkan Israel, quoted Leviticus from the Old Testament: "When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him."    So is any immigration law enforcement necessarily doing wrong? Besides, just how much moral authority does Leviticus retain when its very next chapter, not quoted by the rabbi, demands the murder of homosexuals?   

The immigration issue is complicated. It involves not just what to do with the estimated 11 million people who have broken into the country illegally or stayed here illegally, and their innocent children, but also preserving the country's secular and democratic culture, which some immigrants abhor and want to destroy.  It also involves justice for the low-skilled native-born facing greater competition for jobs, and the value, if there is to be any, of citizenship itself.    The meeting in Hamden displayed the faction in the controversy that refuses to acknowledge all these issues. In pursuit of sanctuary cities, this faction is giving the country sanctimony cities.

Chris Powell is managing editor of the Journal Inquirer, in Manchester,  Conn., and a frequent contributor to New England Diary.