The author of The Shad has had the good fortune to come from a wonderful family, attend a top-notch university, work at Yale, work in Manhattan and for the state legislature here in Connecticut. So maybe you’d think I’d have a refined, experienced read on society and people in general. Turns out, there is more than a modicum of naiveté behind these fingers on the computer at times. Two incidents this week shocked and awed me.

First were the actions of protestors outside the Halls of Congress as some members filed in to vote on the Health Care Reform bill. Forget which side of the issue one is on for a moment. Members reported being showered with all sorts of insults but very troubling were the use of n-word at several black congressmen and anti-gay slurs at U.S. Rep. Barney Frank. Some members on the other side of the aisle stood on a balcony applauding the protestors. This is not to say they were applauding the deplorable slurs, but applauding angry protestors doesn’t become a member of Congress.

Second is right here in the state with the 4th largest number of millionaires—Connecticut. The Connecticut White Wolves, a neo-Nazi, white supremacist group got themselves a high profile this week when four members and an associate were indicted on weapons charges.

The group was at first, a loosely organized group of young “skinheads.” But in recent years, members of the White Wolves have stepped up their deplorable activity. According to the Anti-Defamation League’s website, “Over the past two years, what began as a small collection of racist skinheads in Stratford, Connecticut, has grown into the largest and most active extremist group in the state,” the ADL says on its web page. “The group describes itself as a ‘white nationalist skinhead organization’ and promotes an ideology espousing hatred of Jews and racial and ethnic minorities. Members, though typically young, have been involved in a number of criminal acts in Connecticut and have forged ties with nationally recognized hate groups…”

Bigotry is alive in places you might not suspect.
The trial of two sisters in a dispute over a winning Powerball tickets starts today in New Britain. Teresa Sokaitis is trying to get what she says is her half of the $500,000 winnings. Her sister, Rose Bakaysa, apparently disagrees. Teresa is 84. Rose is 87. If you’ve ever seen elderly sisters argue, it’s not pretty.

The twist in this case is that there is a written contract signed by the two, promising to share any gambling winnings. Rose’s representative says the contact is no longer valid because the two sisters had a falling out a few years ago. And to add to everything, it was the two ladies’ brother who actually purchased the ticket. The Shad never desired to be on a jury but in this case, an exception can be made.