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

Chris in S. Burlington 
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Re: “Jane O'Meara Sanders Turns to Legal Help for FBI Probe

The circumstances surrounding the break-in at Burlington College last summer, including the break-in of the main offices and theft of the hard drive, remain very fishy. Critical evidence has gone missing. As the police have said, the thief or thieves knew what they were doing. The security cameras were disabled in advance; the thief likely had the keys or possibly an experienced lock pick; and the hard drive has conveniently vanished into thin air. The other items stolen that day, a van and some generic old computers from the computer lab, were recovered fairly quickly. But the supposed thief of the recovered items was not even charged and the police seem all too willing to drop the case entirely.

Most people would probably be willing to accept Jane and Bernie's story that she had good intentions; was in way over her head; and simply hoped the misrepresented donations would materialize in the future. However, when hard drives go missing; and Jane and Bernie start lawyering up instead of talking, it begins to look uglier. Unfortunately, this is what we've come to expect from those in power and high places.

As bad as it is, and I am not giving Jane Sanders a pass, she should be fully investigated and prosecuted if necessary but small potatoes next to the JFK assassination; Gulf of Tonkin and Vietnam lies; Watergate; Iran-Contra; WMD lies for Iraq war, etc.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 06/27/2017 at 7:47 PM

Re: “A Vergennes Father Is Being Forced to Return to Mexico

Juan De La Cruz and his family's situation is good example of why Congress should pass immigration reform. Unfortunate Bernie Sanders joined many other Democrats (and far right Republicans) in voting against immigration reform proposed by President Bush in 2007. There were enough centrist Republicans that if the Democrats had hung together, it would have passed (& was 90% similar to the later "Gang of 8" proposal that failed under Obama). But they were determined to not compromise with the Republicans and give them a "win," making one wonder just how much the Democrats really believe their rah-rah immigrant rhetoric versus seeking to use it solely as a wedge issue. Whatever he says now, Bernie contributed to the situation facing this family by voting against immigration reform that would have let Juan eventually achieve legal status.

It is also truly astonishing the lengths the Vermont congressional delegation will go to in order to intervene on behalf of this (admittedly sympathetic) illegal alien but when it comes to 12,000 plus US citizen and legal immigrant constituents negatively impacted by the F-35 fighter jet basing, including the working-class, elderly and legal immigrant refugees, the delegation has refused to meet with even a single person! Who do they really represent? Apparently Texas Lockheed-Martin executives and illegal aliens go to the front of the line.

Juan is not being deported because he's an immigrant; nor because of his country of origin; but solely because he is an illegal alien who failed to comply with US law. The failure was more than once, and thus willing and intentional the 2nd time. Although ignorance of the law is no defense either; try that when you're nailed for speeding; but officer, I didn't know the speed limit; see how far that gets you.

18 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 06/24/2017 at 2:52 AM

Re: “Walters: Panel Ices Wind Rules Until October

What this issue really is about is whether Vermont will once again have strong and smart land use laws to protect people's health and home values, as long embodied by Act 250 and the local zoning encouragement provisions of Act 200.

If the John Greenberg commenting is the same John Greenberg from Brattleboro area, long active in opposition to Entergy and its Windham County nuclear power plant, one would expect shared support for smart land use laws. People opposed the nuclear plant for some good reasons, including protection of health and home values. No one fought more against the nuclear plant than Windham County based Peter Shumlin (then a state senator not well known in the rest of the state). Many people who voted for Democrat Peter Shumlin in 2010 were shocked to realize that the same Shumlin who ran as an environmentalist did not actually believe in Act 200, Act 250, ridge line protection, open space protection, wildlife habitat protection, wetlands protection, etc. if it did not involve his own backyard.

By the time the Legislature convened last year to pass industrial energy siting reform, it was no surprise that Shumlin vetoed the first version (influenced by Republicans) that might have actually helped the many threatened homeowners & property taxpayers. Version that passed instead is the one that now puts LCAR in the driver's seat to negate rules issued by Phil Scott. Perfect hedge by the Democrats, once again putting industrial energy ahead of taxpayer health & home values.

Shumlin even attacked the low-income, working class and elderly residents of Winooski and South Burlington regarding the F-35 fighter jet basing, noting that people who live in Chittenden County choose to live near an airport (as if he didn't choose to live in Windham County near a preexisting nuclear plant).

Environmental justice solely for Shumlin's property or Mr. Greenberg's property is not environmental justice at all. It is unfortunately just classic NIMBYism.

10 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 06/24/2017 at 12:52 AM

Re: “Walters: Panel Ices Wind Rules Until October

John Greenberg, say what you want, reality is all industrial wind and solar are exempt from Act 250 and all local zoning. Vermont Democratic Party has controlled both State Senate and House since 2005. Democrats are the ones who have made the industrial renewables push at behest of their campaign donors. They authored the legislation that put sole siting authority in the PSB. Democratic Legislature wrote & passed Act 61 in 2005, sponsored by Democrats Ginny Lyons and Claire Ayer. Governor Douglas signed it because it ordered the DPS to create a process to involve the public in siting decisions. Douglas no doubt took this legislation at good faith. Who knew that, beginning after Democrat Shumlin's election in 2010, Shumlin PSB would then interpret it to mean ignore the public in favor of fast-tracking every project? Planning Commissions from New Haven, Rutland, South Burlington, etc. testified at Shumlin's PSB, only to be ignored.

South Burlington taxpayers spent tens of thousands and countless volunteer hours updating their Comprehensive Plan and complying with Governor Kunin's Act 200. Shumlin's PSB said, "Who cares?" Now land zoned for natural resources protection and wildlife corridors is covered with hundreds of solar panels, fragmenting the last large wildlife habitat in town and damaging wetlands that once provided critical ecosystem filtering process all the way down to Shelburne Pond.

And, BTW, Governor Douglas and Republicans did get wise to what was going on and extent of collusion between Democratic campaign donors like industrial wind developer David Blittersdorf and the Democrats. Hence Douglas vetoed H 520 in 2007 & refused to sign Act 45 and the SPEED law in 2009 (which included among other provisions the exemption Blittersdorf wanted allowing projects on once-protected state lands). Wind power on Camel's Hump or Mt. Mansfield, go for it!

10 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 06/23/2017 at 11:03 PM

Re: “Walters: Panel Ices Wind Rules Until October

The Democrats are ignoring the message from this past election. Their overreach in providing total exemptions for their industrial energy campaign donors were not at all popular. Total exemptions from all local zoning rules (including even zoning for natural resources protection and wildlife corridors); and total exemptions from Act 250. A factor in the election of Phil Scott.

Why are the Democrats on LCAR determined to ignore the election? Do they even realize that the message they are sending to Vermont voters is that they prefer to continue the Shumlin years of embracing crony capitalism for industrial energy campaign donors?

There used to be bipartisan support for protecting the ridge lines. Lasted for over 40 years until the Democrats had one-party control & began to sell out the mountains to the highest bidders and let their lobbyists write the legislation. It is such a topsy-turvy world we live in when the Republicans (at least in Vermont) are now the party that is stronger in protecting the environment and promoting smart land use, and the Democrats are now the party of crony corporate capitalism. On the other hand, it was a Republican governor, Deane Davis, who signed Act 250 into law, so maybe not so strange after all.

25 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 06/23/2017 at 2:07 AM

Re: “South Burlington Student's Post on 'White Fragility' Goes Viral

It is sad that over 50 years since the passing of the Civil Rights Act, people still insist on judging others on the basis of the color of their skin. Frankly, regardless of the amount of melanin, it seems there is plenty of fragility to go around. Absolutely some fragile members of a tax-paying community who can ill afford to pay more school taxes. And some fragile people offended by a mascot who find racism where it does not necessarily exist. And even some fragile members of a school board who ordered a fragile school administration to rebrand a mascot 2 years ago and then brought zero accountability to said administration's refusal to execute such orders. On the other hand, if everyone is talking about it and making their points, just how fragile is anyone? If I was a fragile wolf, who knows, I might feel extremely offended that a bunch of humans want to culturally appropriate my species as their mascot.

52 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 06/03/2017 at 12:45 AM

Re: “Trumpatized? Prominent Vermonters Reveal Their White House Worries

America has seen many challenges. November 22, 1963. FBI and CIA lies to the Warren Commission and again to Congress during House Select Committee on Assassinations investigation in 1970's.

Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam lies. Watergate & Ford's total pardon of Nixon.

Consider foreign influence in elections. (1) Reagan-Bush, Sr. October Surprise deal with Iran to extend hostage crisis. Iran-Contra and Bush, Sr.'s total pardon of Iran-Contra crew. (2) Clinton taking illegal campaign cash from Chinese for 1996 reelection and then rejecting recommendations of FBI Director Louis Freeh for independent prosecutor.

Hard for Congress to exercise oversight, as Ms. Burgin states, if Congress not only doesn't fund investigations but also faces active resistance from Executive Branch. Consider this statement on PBS from Robert Blakey, Chief Counsel of House Select Committee on Assassinations: "I now no longer believe anything the [CIA] told [Congress] any further than I can obtain substantial corroboration for it from outside the CIA for its veracity. The CIA unilaterally deprived Congress of a chance to obtain the full truth. . . The Warren Commission's conclusion that the agencies of government cooperated with it, is, in retrospect, not the truth. Many have told me that the culture of the CIA is one of prevarication & dissimulation & that you cannot trust it or its people. Period. End of story. I am now in that camp."

If CIA is allowed to run a CYA domestic counter-op vs Congressional investigation into President's assassination with few consequences (other than weakening faith in our institutions), can we really expect Congress to do their job now? Anyone with open eyes over last 50 years has seen democratic norms are often an illusion. Still, US somehow ranks #7 out of 196 nations for transparency & corruption so I guess beats living in most other places.

6 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 05/26/2017 at 2:14 AM

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