Op/Eds

03/12/2020
Life will be a bit different for the next few months as we move through what will become known as the Coronavirus pandemic. Medical experts are predicting that 40 percent to 70 percent of Americans will become infected with the virus. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel predicted that 80 percent of Germans will be infected with the virus. Those are alarming numbers that should make everyone take notice. It is not, as President Trump has maintained for the past several weeks, no big deal. It’s precisely that pig-headed notion and rejection of scientific and medical evidence that has put this...
03/12/2020
I am a Vermont primary care pediatrician with a background in public health. The U.S. public health response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been a slow-motion train wreck that highlights the fragility of public health networks. It’s what happens when leadership is slow to respond, when science is ignored and facts are distorted, and when leadership defunds critical infrastructure. It has been more than two months since the onset of this epidemic and our CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is only now beginning to provide for timely testing, albeit only in limited...
03/12/2020
Several developments this past week emphasize the importance of this year’s elections for the U.S. Senate, where Republicans now hold a 53 to 47 majority. To control the chamber, Democrats would need a net gain of three seats if a Democrat were elected vice president, and a net gain of four seats if there were a Republican vice president. Most Democratic candidates for the Senate in competitive states are pleased that Joe Biden appears more likely than Bernie Sanders to be the Democratic presidential nominee. Democrats in states such as Arizona, Colorado and North Carolina do not want a...
03/12/2020
Give Sen. Bernie Sanders credit. After his shellacking in Tuesday’s primaries — in which former vice president Joe Biden won in four or five of the six states, including a trouncing of Sanders in Michigan, 53-40 percent, and blowouts in Mississippi, Missouri and Idaho — Sanders chose to remain quiet. Rather than issue a fiery commentary or create excuses, he left the space open for Biden to claim victory, which he did with grace. Furthermore, in comments to the press this Wednesday, while Sanders announced he would continue his race for the Democratic primary nomination through next Tuesday’s...
03/12/2020
Mongolia is a herding land with nomads and their 44 million goats, cattle, camels, horses and sheep. The favorite food is mutton from sheep. Mutton with noodles. Mutton dumplings. Mutton covered in deep fried dough. Boiled mutton. I am familiar with these. The first time I noticed sheep’s head as a special food was during my second trip to Mongolia. From my sixth-floor apartment on the outskirts of the capital Ulaanbaatar I heard a loud roar. I looked down upon the wall of an empty foundation below and saw a man aiming a kerosene torch at what looked like an animal’s head sitting on the wall...
03/12/2020
Editor’s note: This is the 50th in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. Normally, I try to write the essays in this series in the third person, as anyone should when writing history. Impartiality is the rule. One’s person should not intrude. But I confess that, when reading and thinking about the Civil War, I am constantly overcome by feelings of unease, disappointment, sadness, anger and shame. With apologies to Julia Ward Howe, whatever glory the Civil War evokes has become tarnished in my imagination. To be sure, the Confederate insurrection...
03/12/2020
I am a dad. I am a protector of my family and loved ones. I cannot stand bullies. I try to look at all sides of the issue before I render a decision. I am neither Republican nor a Democrat. However, I do tend to side more towards the Democratic philosophy. After, seeing 52 Republican senators acquit a man who clearly committed crimes, who voted against the majority of Americans, I am disgusted with all these cowards. It has been said all over social media and other media venues the present Republican Party has turned into the Cult of Trump. I have friends, relatives and loved ones who...
03/12/2020
“What if there was a prolonged illness in the family? Should I be pacified by the fact that I only have to come up with $15,000 out of my own pocket to pay for it, before insurance contributes (on top of the $9,000 I’m paying in premiums)?” This quote is included in a recently released report from the Vermont Health Care Advocate’s Office aptly entitled, “Health Care Doesn’t Work if You Can’t Afford It.” The report echoes similar national findings that with rising out-of-pocket costs, people are avoiding trips to the doctor, especially to their primary care providers. Shouldn’t our...
03/12/2020
We need to stop climate change, because greenhouse gases are overheating the Earth. In cold places glaciers are breaking and melting so sea levels are rising so more floods can happen. Climate change also affects rainfall, because warm air holds more water than cold air and there will be more rainfall. More rainfall is a problem because more floods will happen and floods get higher. In hot places, the water is evaporating quicker so living organisms are dying because they can’t get enough water for drinking or fishing. A drought is when the ground dries up and there is no water for organisms...
03/12/2020
The 2020 presidential election is Bernie Sander’s to lose. By this I do not mean that I expect Sanders’s to be the Democratic candidate opposing Donald Trump in November. It will certainly be Joe Biden. But unless Sanders and his cohort of Bernie Bros abandon their fantasies of a political revolution and unite with moderate Democrats and even some Republicans to defeat Donald Trump, Trump will be reelected. And the consequences of another four years of Trump in the White House are too terrifying to contemplate. But to prevent this, Sanders must cease his quixotic contests against all...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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