JohnGreenberg | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Recent Comments

Re: “Welch Backs $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package, From Afar

Donna Boutin: Do you really believe that only Democrats and RINOS are making money in the stock market on insider information? If so, you need to read more newspapers: at least 2 Republican senators made millions selling stock before the virus hit (Loeffler of GA and Burr of NC). Greed is not limited to any political party.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by JohnGreenberg on 03/31/2020 at 11:21 AM

Re: “Welch Backs $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package, From Afar

Theodore Lewis: There's no relationship whatsoever between the stocks Welch buys and the checks he's giving out. Among many other differences, he buys stocks with HIS money; the checks being given out are underwritten by YOURS and mine.

7 likes, 27 dislikes
Posted by JohnGreenberg on 03/28/2020 at 10:28 AM

Re: “Johnson Boots Rep Off Committee for Insisting on Quorum Vote

The more I've thought about Ms. Browning's argument that she followed her "principles," the less sense it makes. Most citizens, but surely all legislators know that 2 well-founded principles often collide with one another. That's precisely why none of our Constitutional rights is "unlimited." The Supreme Court exists largely to resolve these very conflicts.

We have the right to speak our minds, based on the 1st Amendment principle of freedom of speech, but not the right to cry "fire" in a crowded theater, endangering the lives and liberties of others. Examples are easy to proliferate.

I mentioned Judaism in a previous comment, but on reflection, other religions encounter this as well. In Catholicism, for example, the clash between "Thou Shalt Not Kill" and the notion of self defense and justice resulted in an extensive elaboration of the doctrine of "just wars."

Browning's principle -- which is frankly dubious on its face -- clearly conflicted with the principle that obvious measures to protect public health and save lives should be implemented. She chose to ignore the latter, endangering her colleagues and, ultimately all Vermonters. Put bluntly, this is reckless endangerment.

Finally, just what IS Browning’s “principle” here? Prior to modern technology, being “present” for a quorum meant being physically present: there was no alternative. But now there is. How is a voting remotely any less democratic than voting in person? Should we count absentee ballots as only partial votes?

3 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by JohnGreenberg on 03/28/2020 at 10:23 AM

Re: “Johnson Boots Rep Off Committee for Insisting on Quorum Vote

Brava Madame Speaker!

Rules are rules? Those making these claims seem to believe that legislative rules are divine commandments. Even if these rules WERE divinely inspired, which they obviously are not, in Judaism at least there are circumstances which permit devout practitioners to ignore rules, especially when matters of life and death are involved.

Moreover, such comments ignore the careful preparation that leadership and members undertook BEFORE reaching this point, as well as the fact that the new regime can be brought to a halt any time that a majority of members disapproves of what's happening.

There is NO threat to democracy or transparency by conducting business remotely. Every legislator still has the right to be heard, to modify legislation, and to serve his or her constituents. NOTHING is being lost that comes close to the value of one human life. No "principle" can justify Ms. Browning's egregious behavior.

16 likes, 35 dislikes
Posted by JohnGreenberg on 03/27/2020 at 1:23 PM

Re: “Coronavirus Pandemic Requires a Health Care Reckoning, Sanders Says

In reply to those who responded to my remarks:

1) I know virtually nothing about Chinese healthcare, nor did I claim to. My mention of "public and private" was strictly a response to the comment I replied to which claimed it to be largely public. A bit more reading (…) suggests that the role of the central government is similar to ours: about a third of total funding.

2) I have no access to statistics other than those reported in American and other media sources. Ultimately, I suppose, these come from the Chinese government, but presumably there are at least some mechanisms available to fact-check them, since early government reports were, in fact, negated by these same media sources.

It is, of course, possible that later analysis will show the current Chinese statistics to have been misleading or otherwise fudged. In an ongoing crisis, we can only use the best information we have, while recognizing its imperfections.

3) China does have an authoritarian government which so far, we do not. Sometimes, authoritarian governments are effective: Hitler, it is said, made the trains run on time. I am NOT endorsing authoritarian governments; I'm stating, what I believe, are facts.

4) We are far from having to choose between effective government and loss of liberty. Governor Scott (and other governors) are exemplifying this every day.

Unfortunately, the president is not. Lying repeatedly to the public about vital health information is counter-effective AND heads us towards, not away from, loss of liberty.

3 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by JohnGreenberg on 03/15/2020 at 11:40 AM

Re: “Coronavirus Pandemic Requires a Health Care Reckoning, Sanders Says

"Do you think government run healthcare could come up with the increased volume of testing that is occurring?" If not, how do you explain the fact that South Korea is testing thousands of times more cases than the US? Literally.

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by JohnGreenberg on 03/14/2020 at 10:46 AM

Re: “Coronavirus Pandemic Requires a Health Care Reckoning, Sanders Says

"I believe the PRC has a public health care system, how'd that work out?" In the beginning, not well. Shortyly thereafter, quite well. The virus curve in China has flattened substantially, unlike those in other countries which have taken fewer and less effective measures.

And, a quick search shows that China has a mixed public and private system.

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by JohnGreenberg on 03/14/2020 at 10:43 AM

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