Op/Eds

03/16/2020
When I was young I was regularly admonished to finish all of my dinner because children were starving in China. While the logic of this still eludes me, the sad reality is that it was true. An estimated 39 million Chinese starved to death during this time. The tragedy is chronicled in great detail in “Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine 1958-1962” by Yang Jisheng. The reason this is relevant today is because the famine was not the result of a natural disaster, but the direct result of leaders failing to face reality. In an effort to promote their own careers and prove the success of...
03/16/2020
Our heartfelt thanks to the firefighters of the Bristol Fire Department along with Lincoln, Monkton, and Starksboro fire departments and the Bristol Rescue Squad, who responded to our house fire last week. We were fortunate to have such well-trained and equipped volunteer firefighters under the capable leadership of Chief Brett LaRose. They saved our house from total destruction and our smoke alarm saved our lives.  We encourage everyone to have smoke alarms on every floor that can communicate with each other.  Thank you to our friends, family, and neighbors who offered support, caring,...
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...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100