Chris in S. Burlington | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Chris in S. Burlington 
Member since Feb 26, 2014


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Re: “Legislators Negotiate Who Will Pick Vermont's Top Military Officer

"Senators stressed the dysfunction of the current process, suggesting that asking 150 representatives and 30 senators to vet and vote on multiple candidates for the post was an antiquated, awkward and inefficient process."

Yes, it is very awkward to watch the Democratic Party repeatedly prioritize Lockheed Martin's budget-busting F35 fighter jet and basing it in Vermont's most densely populated area, regardless of negative impact to health and home values of thousands upon thousands of Vermont's most vulnerable. Including Representative Stevens taking a page from the Peter Shumlin and Shap Smith playbook and, yet again, suppressing legislation to examine the full impacts of the F35 and its newly expanded "not suitable for residential use" zone. Shumlin and Shap Smith did it to their own Democratic Party colleague, George Cross of Winooski. Tom Stevens doing it now.

How antiquated, awkward and inefficient for the super-majority of Democrats to dare be presented with candidates for Adjutant General under the prior system, such as retired Air Force Colonel Rosanne Greco who had some questions about the F35 fighter jet and its basing. Not sure if there were other reasons for reforming the selection process but seems awfully coincidental how they suddenly prioritized this change.

3 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 05/16/2019 at 8:36 PM

Re: “Group Appeals Burlington Telecom Sale to Vermont Supreme Court

Sue Bob Kiss and people who advised him for the debt & $ they diverted? They are who is responsible.

Not a fan of Weinberger's support for F35 fighter jet but on issue of Burlington Telecom, he is doing best he can with cards he was dealt. Including using money from the sale to hold down property tax increases; and reinvest by getting better sidewalk plows (that hopefully will not gouge out peoples yards or tear up fencing, etc. anymore). Also, BT sale has helped Burlington's credit rating, which lowers costs of borrowing for infrastructure projects and future taxes.

Blaming Weinberger for this is like blaming Phil Scott for the terrible school-funding situation state-wide that was caused by Democratic Party Supreme Court appointees who wrote Brigham decision & Democrats who created Act 60; or blaming Phil Scott for Vermont budgetary problems thanks to Peter Shumlin flushing $100 million plus down the toilet in ill-fated exploration of universal health care. Scott inherited these from Democratic Party & is doing his best with it. Weinberger inherited BT disaster and has done decent job there.

I do appreciate Steve Goodkind's long-term perspective on issues in his wheel-house, as former DPW Director. For example, as he has pointed out, multiple studies show Burlington needs more parking; not less. Goodkind could be mentor for younger Prog City Council members like Hanson and Freeman, who seem intent on removing yet more parking spots, in contrast to all of Goodkind's good work before?

13 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 05/07/2019 at 6:27 PM

Re: “Senate Passes Constitutional Amendment to Slavery Ban

So glad our legislature is spending its valuable and limited time to deal with issues like this that impact everyday, ordinary Vermont residents on a day to day basis. Issues like this must take precedence over pocketbook issues such as ever escalating property taxes that hit every single Vermont resident, whether homeowners or through increasing rent. . .

But seriously, Senator Ingram sounds almost as silly as US Senator Dick Durbin from Illinois, who said the Democratic Party could never support chain migration reform in our immigration system because, in Senator Durbin's words, "When it came to the issue of, quote, 'chain migration,' I said to the president, do you realize how painful that term is to so many people? African-Americans believe they migrated to America in chains and when you talk about chain migration, it hurts them personally." With zero acknowledgement that his own former colleague, African-American, Democratic Congresswoman and civil rights icon Barbara Jordan, strongly recommended chain migration reform as part of the many recommendations of President Clinton's Bipartisan Commission on Immigration Reform (aka Jordan Commission). "Chain migration" was a neutral, academic term that arose in the 1960's as a result of the changes enacted under 1965's Immigration and Nationality Act. Used largely by demographers.

If legislature is going to amend VT Constitution, why not do something that helps every Vermonter today and eliminate the language relied upon by VT Supreme Court in Brigham school-funding decision? Well-intentioned decision that has had disastrous, unintended long-term consequences.

15 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 04/27/2019 at 2:13 AM

Re: “Four to Be Charged With Murder in Burlington Shooting

@some of us are sometimes right, interesting article. Thanks for the link.

Yes, I was talking about the IAT. And not only is it not scientifically reliable, it is not even clear it is scientifically valid. I.e., that it tests for what it purports to. And yet policy-makers, human resources departments, college orientation sessions, etc. are now starting to take actions based on this theory. I am curious as to whether examples they suggest are actually result of implicit bias (vs, in fact, explicit bias). They acknowledge every implicit bias test & study has its limitations. But then say that b/c one can't consider any single test because of limitations, instead look at all tests together as a whole and that will then prove implicit bias (even though each of these given tests does not prove anything by itself).

Perhaps it is just matter of semantics since real world consequences what they are. They all agree real world discrimination continues. However, these broad average results about job application call-backs; professor response rate; physician prescription-writing, etc. may well be more about explicit bias. Certainly good to be aware so everyone can best treat each person as individual human being. But simultaneously normal for people to have bias because of evolution. Whether it is Han Chinese toward non-Han Chinese; Japanese toward non-Japanese; North Africans toward non-North Africans; etc. NYT did article on Indian immigrants in US who choose to retire to all-Indian retirement communities in FL, etc. Everyone has bias. Things can always improve but diverse USA continues to be attractive to many immigrants.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 04/27/2019 at 1:28 AM

Re: “Four to Be Charged With Murder in Burlington Shooting

I respect the good faith of the original commenter but I disagree with the sentiment expressed therein. We are now well over 50 years past the Civil Rights Act. Passed before most everyone in Generation X was born (and certainly anyone younger). We should be judging each human being as an individual, based on their own individual actions. Doesn't matter race, gender, religion, etc. Stereotyping and racial profiling, whether it is in college admissions or police traffic stops, is wrong. In general, the last few years seem to have seen a big rise in judging people based solely on their immutable characteristics (including from all sides of the political spectrum). Just silly that we are in 2019 and people are still making broad categorizations based on the amount of melanin someone is born with (or sometimes in other cases based on the chromosomes someone receives during their mother's pregnancy). How someone conducts themselves is what matters, as an individual human being.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 04/23/2019 at 8:08 PM

Re: “Four to Be Charged With Murder in Burlington Shooting

There has been a lot of talk about so-called "implicit bias" recently. This idea is brilliant in a TED Talk kind of way and has an intuitive attraction in seemingly trying to explain certain phenomenon in society. However, would encourage anyone to investigate the science behind "implicit bias." It turns out there is no scientific basis for this theory. It is neither scientifically valid nor scientifically reliable. Validity in the scientific context means does the test actually test for what it purports to? I.e., does the implicit bias test actually test for implicit bias? Or is it just testing reflexes, vision, hand-eye coordination, etc? And reliability means are the test results replicable? When the same person takes the same test a 2nd and 3rd time, the test results should be the same or almost identical. This has not been the case. The scientific community is well aware of this, as well as the original theorists behind "implicit bias." They have tried to acknowledge the serious limitations and it was just a theory.

More likely there is still plenty of explicit bias from people of all stripes because it is considered to be hard-wired into the human species over tens of thousands of years.

3 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 04/23/2019 at 7:54 PM

Re: “One Dead After Shootout in Burlington's Old North End

@Gigrape52, thanks for the heads-up. I truly did not know either way, which is why I asked the question. Yes, this was something I have dealt with before but it was prior to 2016 and the "Ban the Box" law. Have been hearing that particular house has been an issue for a while so perhaps it is just that some landlords choose to look the other way and are happy to take whatever rent money, however derived.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 04/17/2019 at 3:03 PM

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