John Freitag | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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John Freitag 
Member since Mar 21, 2018


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Re: “Vermont House Passes Emergency Coronavirus Bills After Procedural Delay

Perhaps it is because while finishing up some fruit tree pruning I have been listening to a series of lectures on Thucydides,Plutarch,Gibbon and Lord Acton on why democracies rise and fall, that I have a bit of sympathy for Rep. Browning's stance. Emergencies, some valid and some not, have often been the justification for the curtailment of liberty.
It will be interesting to see how the national elections play out this fall should this crisis continue and proposals are presented to change the process. Those now condemning Rep. Browning the loudest for holding to proper procedure in the face of some minor risks may find themselves advocating for a similar position in November.

13 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by John Freitag on 03/26/2020 at 1:36 PM

Re: “Vermont Faces 'Staggering' State Budget Shortfall

Looks like tough decisions ahead. Time to set priorities based on fairness and need, not on what special interests might desire.
If were going to be all in, which is the best way to get through difficulties, might well be the time to make hitherto avoided adjustments to our pension system in order to free up funds for critical needs.

25 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by John Freitag on 03/22/2020 at 8:28 AM

Re: “Holcombe Leads Candidates in Race for Cash; Zuckerman Gaining Ground

Given how much time and energy is now going into a two year election cycle, it may be time to consider going to a four year term for Governor.
This is something only a few years ago I was not in favor of. However campaigns, instead of traditionally starting in the summer before the election, now begin, as this current campaign did, barely six months into the Governor's two year term.
Perpetual campaigns do not make for good governance any more than having to meet the expectations of quarterly reports make for good long term business decisions.

10 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by John Freitag on 03/17/2020 at 7:59 AM

Re: “Senate Supports 10-Year Extension for Biomass Plant

Low grade wood is a viable part of our renewable energy mix. The Ryegate plant should be considered a bridge to wood burning plants that are used for the far more efficient use of both heat and electricity. It is important to keep the needed infrastructure of forests, foresters, loggers, and truckers in place until this transition is made.
Nearby Dartmouth College is considering going from high Sulphur oil to using wood to provide some of their needed base for heat and electricity. In light of recent studies that almost doubles the methane loss from fracking for natural gas, it makes even more sense to keep wood in the energy mix.

15 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by John Freitag on 03/12/2020 at 11:25 AM

Re: “After String of Losses, Sanders Says He’ll Remain in Race

Time to take it to a higher level. What is at stake here should Donald Trump be re-elected is the future of our constitutional democracy.
Bernie Sanders has made considerable progress in changing the nature of what can be considered politically in our nation. While it appears that most Democratic voters are choosing a more moderate path than he would like, Sanders still can play a positive role by doing what he does best:
highlighting the inequalities that now exist, the need for people to be involved in the political process, and the necessity of electing a new President, even if it is not Sanders himself.

11 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by John Freitag on 03/11/2020 at 3:51 PM

Re: “Solar Flares: Call to Double Vermont's Renewable Energy Capacity Ignites Debate

Solar needs to be just one part of a diversified affordable renewable energy portfolio. While is has its advantages including maximum output during peak need hot summer days, it also has the significant disadvantages of a long Vermont winter and only intermittent power production.
In addition some projects, like the large 5+ megawatt array on the Strafford/Thetford copper mine tailing pile which as then Selectboard Chair I supported, have more than two years after going into production not seen the promised taking down and transferring of utility lines to the new poles. This has ended up clogging up South Strafford village and roads to the site with multiple lines and poles. Perhaps we need to finish up some of the projects before pushing so hard for new ones.

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by John Freitag on 03/11/2020 at 11:40 AM

Re: “After Super Tuesday, Sanders Calls Race With Biden 'Neck and Neck'

Interesting how Republican Senators like Mitch McConnel and Lindsey Graham favor Bernie and a election that they feel would be a referendum on socialism instead of Biden which they feel would then focus the election on a referendum on Trump.

9 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by John Freitag on 03/05/2020 at 10:20 AM

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