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Forum, Feb. 14: Stand with our young people, and with Sen. Bernie Sanders

Published: 2/13/2020 10:00:25 PM
Modified: 2/13/2020 10:00:14 PM
Stand with our young people, and with Sen. Bernie Sanders

It appears Sen. Bernie Sanders captured nearly half the vote among those under 30 in the Iowa caucuses, leading his nearest competitor by more than 2-to-1. There have also been several national polls showing Sanders above 50% among those under 35. If the older generations had not (thus far) proven more resistant to Sanders’ message, his victory in the Democratic primaries would be virtually assured.

A paradigm shift is often hard to see ahead of time, but this one is staring us right in the face. The progressive movement led by Sanders is the future of American politics. The only question is whether the corporate friendly neo-liberalism ushered in by the Clintons will give a last gasp strong enough to edge Sanders out for this nomination, causing us to wait four or eight more years, or whether the future will arrive in 2020. Will we older voters see the future coming, recognize what is at stake, and join the fight?

Many pundits believe that the progressivism of today’s youth is a phase, and that as they age they will “fall in line” politically. I do not think that will happen because the problems that conservatism and neo-liberalism have created will continue to get worse until progressivism has its day. The planet will continue to burn. Income inequality will continue to rise. The working class will continue its transformation into the working poor. The broken health care system will continue to implode.

Millennials recognize that our economic system is broken, because it is they, along with people of color, who are disproportionately suffering the consequences. Their share of the national wealth is lagging far behind what Generation X and baby boomers had earned at equivalent ages, despite working harder and longer hours now than ever. The older generations are letting the youth down, both in the economy and in the voting booth.

I believe in the youth of today and their vision of the future. I stand with them and Bernie Sanders so that they can have the future they deserve.



Sanders will divide Democrats

On Feb. 5, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the House Judiciary Committee that Russia is conducting a vigorous and covert social media campaign to sow discord among American voters, just as it did in 2016. The Russians once again seek to “pit us against each other,” Wray said.

Four years ago, according to a federal indictment, the Russians spent millions to promote Donald Trump and disparage Hillary Clinton using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. They also campaigned for Bernie Sanders, apparently recognizing that Sanders’ appeal was narrow (if idealistic) and far out of the mainstream. They also recognized that he was not a Democrat and not likely to campaign hard for the Democratic nominee. And if he were nominated, they must have reasoned, he’d be trounced by Trump in the general election.

We can’t be sure if the Russians are still campaigning for Sanders, but it would be prudent to heed the words of Wray. Democratic voters should choose a nominee who will unite the party, not divide it, and who can defeat Trump in November.



Supporting Amanda Smith for Windsor Selectboard

I am writing is support of Amanda Smith for Windsor Selectboard. This past November, I established a new residence when I relocated from Springfield, Vt., to Windsor. The need for assisted living came suddenly, and I was very fortunate to find the wonderful facility at Evarts House. My health has since improved. My many good memories of Windsor have existed since the mid-1940s, when friendships were established with student athletes there.

Amanda Smith graduated from Windsor High School and Wellesley College. After moving several times in support of her husband’s Army career, as well as volunteering internationally, she and her family chose to move back to Windsor. From her first job at Seldon Technologies to her recent work at both Historic Homes of Runnemede (where she cared for me and 12 other elderly residents) and now SD Associates, she strives to serve the town that has been home to her for so long. She will work to attract more businesses to provide more options for current residents to work locally and for our children to see a future where they don’t need to move away to advance professionally, including looking for ways to provide postsecondary learning opportunities here in Windsor.

She is running for the two-year Selectboard seat to offer her perspective and go-getter attitude to work for the community she loves. She is determined to work on promoting Windsor’s assets, through creating a welcome video for the town to attract prospective homebuyers and tourists, updating our town website to better support local residents and businesses, and supporting more art, recreational and cultural projects to celebrate our diversity, our natural beauty and our impressive history.

I truly believe she has the background and the drive to achieve these goals, so on March 3, please consider voting for Amanda Smith for Windsor Selectboard.



Vote for John P. Dumville for Royalton Selectboard

I would like to encourage all Royalton residents to vote for John P. Dumville for a two-year term on the Selectboard.

I have known him since 1984, when he and his parents welcomed me into the community, and we have remained friends. He grew up on a dairy farm and his family has been in Royalton for more than 100 years. He was a Selectboard member for 14 years until he chose not to run for reelection. He has served on the Board of Civil Authority and is a library trustee.

He worked as operations chief for state owned historic sites in the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. During that time he managed a $1 million budget and 50 employees. Now retired, he has more time to devote to the town he loves. He can bring perspectives to a board of relatively new members.

Please join me in supporting John P. Dumville as Selectboard member for a two-year term.



Suffering, death: Troubling truths about animal milk

There’s more to diets than food. It’s who we harm that’s usually overlooked in discussions about nutrition. A case in point is the dark and troubling truth about animal milk.

Animal milk, meant for baby animals, can sicken humans. It also results in the death of the animals. In the end, the mother cows and their babies are the means to money, and it ends horrifically for the animals — the final betrayal.

The mother cows are slaughtered when they no longer produce milk from serial forced impregnation. Baby bulls are slaughtered, too, for veal. Calves are separated from their mothers immediately and either raised as milk machines and then slaughtered, or slaughtered soon after birth for meat, because humans like eating babies.

So, no matter what dairy products we consume — grass-fed, organic or factory-farmed — we contribute to the suffering and killing of sentient beings who don’t want farmers’ arms and sperm guns up their vaginas, who don’t want to lose their children and mothers, who don’t want apparatuses sucking on them, and who want to live full lives, unharmed. Put yourself, your daughter, wife, mother, grandmother or sister in the place of the cow or calf — and then choose healthful, delicious plant milks.



The irony of Bloomberg, Steyer

The Trump administration’s “trickle down” economics gave the rich and big corporations tax cuts, which let them save in taxes so that they could invest money into the economy to create jobs. The reality is, the corporations bought back their stock, did not bring their big profits back from overseas, and have not invested in equipment, technology or manufacturing jobs as much as expected.

Now, the dissipation of the effects of the tax cuts, the ongoing trade war, oil prices and global economic slowdown have contributed to stagnation in manufacturing.

Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg spent $200 million on campaign ads in the first five weeks after announcing his candidacy. He and Tom Steyer have spent more than $310 million in advertising so far. I am shaking my head.

The irony? Marketing companies, media conglomerates and the “fake news” are benefiting incredibly from our political culture. CNN, Fox and all networks are getting paid big time for running political advertising. But think about this for a moment. Bloomberg is bringing old money, stuck in banks for decades, and spending it on a sector that President Donald Trump hates: the “fake news.” Liberals, Democrats and independents should thank Bloomberg and Steyer for that.


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