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Columnist John Sheirer: Defeating a compulsive liar
07-06-2024 8:19 PM

By JOHN SHEIRER

Dear Mr. President: Here are some thoughts about the recent debate based on my decades of teaching public speaking and persuasion. This will be tough love because I know you’re strong enough to handle it.With all due respect, we thought you’d do...

Displaying articles 1 to 16 out of 16 total.
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Columnist John Sheirer: Trafficking in the rule of law
06-10-2024 6:01 AM

By JOHN SHEIRER

About 20 years ago, I was driving the speed limit on Route 9, staying in my lane, keeping a watchful eye, and thinking about the errands I needed to complete that day.Then I saw a black SUV speeding toward me from a side street on my right. I assumed...


Columnist John Sheirer: Eclipse eclipsed expectations
05-12-2024 4:45 PM

By JOHN SHEIRER

During the afternoon of May 10, 1994, I stepped outside into reduced light to see silvery, crescent-shaped shadows shimmering dreamily beneath a mid-sized maple tree. Then on August 21, 2017, I joined my wife Betsy near the Smith College greenhouse...


Columnist John Sheirer: If I complain about paying my taxes …
04-07-2024 4:01 PM

By JOHN SHEIRER

Dear Friends,As April 15 approaches, I keep hearing complaints about paying taxes. I may not support everything the government does with the tax money I pay, but I understand the basic importance of paying taxes as part of our shared civic...


Columnist John Sheirer: Empathy can’t get past belief problems
03-10-2024 7:01 PM

By JOHN SHEIRER

My wife Betsy and I recently heard a CNN political commentator tell us for perhaps the hundredth time, “We have to understand Trump supporters.”“Have you noticed that they never ask people to understand Biden supporters,” Betsy said. Her astute...


Columnist John Sheirer: A power in hands that work
02-11-2024 2:48 PM

By JOHN SHEIRER

Last summer, I asked my boss about taking some time off to address a medical issue. “As the human body ages,” I said, “strange things happen.” We laughed.“You must have lots of sick time saved up after working more than 30 years,” he said. I showed...


Columnist John Sheirer: Why Trump will lose again
01-07-2024 7:00 PM

By JOHN SHEIRER

Four years ago, my column in this newspaper predicted that Donald Trump would lose the 2020 presidential election. Readers who opposed Trump told me, “I wish I had your optimism,” or “That’s what you said in 2016,” or “His crazies have gotten worse...


Columnist John Sheirer: We all deserve the privilege of normalcy
12-10-2023 6:00 PM

By JOHN SHEIRER

Nearly 40 years ago, I entered a college classroom as the instructor for the first time. I was a 23-year-old graduate teaching assistant, charged with my very own section of English composition. Twenty-five students silently inspected me as I placed...


Columnist John Sheirer: Dousing the NRA dumpster fire
11-12-2023 6:38 PM

By JOHN SHEIRER

Considering the terrible situations in the Middle East, Ukraine, and elsewhere, the effects of climate change across the planet, the Republican debacle in the House of Representatives, and the continued Republican subservience to their...


Columnist John Sheirer: It’s time for a functional Republican Party
09-10-2023 1:52 PM

By JOHN SHEIRER

Some people say that political parties hurt America. I disagree. When people work together, we accomplish more than when we operate individually. I also believe in airing healthy disagreements to understand various viewpoints and develop productive...


Columnist John Sheirer: Welcome to our national search committee
08-13-2023 9:43 AM

By JOHN SHEIRER

During my three decades working at a community college, I’ve had the honor of serving on two dozen search committees and chairing half a dozen. Seeing the many people who I helped hire doing great things for our college over the years has been deeply...


Columnist John Sheirer: Guiding a divided country on a broken leg
06-12-2023 9:25 AM

By JOHN SHEIRER

As we assembled outside Dunkin’ Park in Hartford for Asnuntuck Community College’s 2023 commencement, I was surprised to see Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal. Back in April, Blumenthal marched in a national championship parade for the UConn men’s...


Columnist John Sheirer: Making predictions in unpredictable times
05-07-2023 4:49 PM

By JOHN SHEIRER

When I walk our dog Libby, a little, shaggy, sweet-natured border terrier, through our neighborhood, I can safely predict two things. First, everyone will love seeing Libby. Second, Libby will love seeing everyone.One of our neighbors calls Libby “The...


Columnist John Sheirer: Maybe it’s the red hat — Coming around to MAGA thinking
04-09-2023 1:01 PM

By JOHN SHEIRER

When President Donald Trump was indicted on April 1, my thinking totally changed. After years of being a liberal/Democrat, I’m now all-in on MAGA thinking. That April 1 indictment finally “woke” me to the treachery of the socialist left. Sure, CNN...


Columnist John Sheirer: Competency testing for politicians? Yes, please!
03-12-2023 11:33 PM

By JOHN SHEIRER

‘Old people need to take a driving test to keep their license!” That’s a topic young students sometimes propose during the persuasion unit of a composition or public speaking course.One fortunate aspect of teaching at a community college is that I...


Columnist John Sheirer: Critical thinking cure for fake news
05-07-2017 9:58 PM

By JOHN SHEIRER

Donald Trump and his supporters are currently the leading purveyors of “alternative facts” and “fake news,” but they didn’t invent these phenomena. They simply took advantage of a political climate that discouraged critical thinking and promoted...


Columnist John Sheirer: Learning that we're all Trump's victims
01-09-2017 12:24 AM

By JOHN SHEIRER

Growing up, I attended a tiny Lutheran church near our family farm. During a Christmas service four decades ago, as our beloved pastor was delivering another soft-spoken sermon about kindness and grace, thick sheets of snow thundered down the pitched...

Displaying articles 1 to 16 out of 16 total.
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