Op/Eds

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...

THIS COMFY CHAIR may be a chair-and-a-half, but it’s still not big enough for all the Gong Girls.
03/10/2020
I’ll be honest with you: It’s not easy for me to focus on writing this column. Last night, we turned the clocks ahead one hour, but the baby seems not to have noticed. And it’s 46 degrees and sunny outside, with only a few patches of snow on the ground. (If you’re not a Vermonter, that’s amazing spring fever weather this time of year!) I’ve sent my family off to open barn at the sheep farm, and about the last place I want to be is inside forcing my exhausted brain to transcribe coherent thoughts while the ducks are having a party on the lawn outside. But these signs of spring give me hope...
03/09/2020
On Town Meeting Day, three towns within the seven-town Addison Central School District voted overwhelmingly on two advisory questions to overturn provisions of the district’s charter that limits their town’s ability to have an adequate voice to pick a school board representative from their town and to determine whether their elementary school should be closed. The citizen-led referenda in Ripton, Salisbury and Shoreham specifically asked if school board members should only be elected by their fellow townspeople and that a school should only be closed if a majority in that community elect to...

JAN DEMERS
03/09/2020
Bill Cherry made an appointment to speak with Gillian Franks from CVOEO’s Financial Futures Program over a decade ago. He was out of work and brewing beer in his home. His meetings with Gillian were intensive at first and then intermittent over the years. S w i t c h b a c k Brewing was born and is now a multimillion-dollar enterprise that has recently become employee owned. In Bill’s words, “The Micro Business Development Program was the only third-party consultant needed to get the company started. And I would have never known Chittenden Bank had just released funds for a business loan...

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Addison County Independent

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