Seven Days Propaganda: Slander v. Truth

In times of confusion about “science” and the law, a reliable media with integrity is vitally important. Seven Days has publicly demonstrated that it is the opposite of a journalistic entity, by its laughably unintelligent hit-job effort against Chelsea Green Publishing to discredit a very reasonable and important book about COVID-19. Nothing should more motivate people to be distrustful of the official government story about COVID than the dishonest malarkey printed by Seven Days.

People often marvel that “good Germans” could support the abominations of Nazism. Hitler employed Joseph Goebbels as his chief of propaganda, commissioned to present “a favourable image of the Nazi regime to the German people” which eventually “played a decisive role in converting the masses to Nazism.” If the suggestion that Seven Days is acting like a modern Goebbels in Vermont seems controversial (as intended), please read on as I make my case.

The Rule of Law and COVID

Constitutional law requires government to demonstrate a “compelling governmental interest” (subject to a burden of “strict scrutiny”) in order to infringe upon fundamental liberties such as those being compromised by COVID (assembly, worship, free speech, travel, bodily integrity, work, discrimination, due process). Seven Days is overtly assisting the pharmaceutical industry and government to undermine protected rights by opposing any effort to hold government to its burden (just as Nazi propagandists undermined free speech and controlled the media in order to manipulate the German people).

Any lawsuit challenging COVID restrictions legally “burdens” the government to prove what it is claiming about COVID-19. Lawyers for plaintiffs would use “science” (and medical experts, and studies) to challenge the government’s proof. Seven Days reverses this, seeking to eclipse any questioning of the government’s story — no matter how dishonest or absurd the Party Line. Using a disgruntled employee, personal attacks, and dismissive scorn, Seven Days’ smear effort (“Vermont Publishing House Chelsea Green is Peddling Coronavirus Misinformation”) seeks to silence any questioning of the official COVID story. 

The “Truth About COVID” Book

Let us consider the “legal case” (which requires assessing scientific facts, not dismissing such inquiry) for eliminating Vermonters’ rights, and what Seven Days would have its readers believe. The harsh attack on Chelsea Green’s book by Dr. Joseph Mercola is predicated chiefly on these complaints:

The book posits, among other things, that COVID-19 was engineered as a bioweapon, then leaked — deliberately, Mercola invites us to believe — from a poorly managed laboratory in Wuhan, China, then exploited by a cabal of global elites to strip us of our inalienable rights and render us all frightened and impotent…. He refers to the virus, cleverly, as a “biological trigger” that worsens preexisting conditions, such as obesity and chronic illnesses, which are themselves the result of the cheap processed foods with which Big Ag has contrived to sicken Americans.

The queer thing about this portrait of Mercola’s claims is the sensible questions it strives to dismiss:

  1. “COVID-19 engineered as a bioweapon, then leaked… from a poorly managed laboratory in Wuhan, China…”Vanity Fair exposed in great detail the origins of this virus, and that it was very likely developed under “gain-of-function” research in Wuhan. The Wall Street Journal credibly reported that the COVID-19 virus can only have been created in a laboratory.
  2. Worsening of pre-existing conditions caused by cheap processed foods.

The profit-driven “industries” that produce much American food are most definitely contributing to chronic disease including obesity, and make people (especially the poor) more vulnerable to all diseases, including COVID.

These claims by Dr. Mercola are common-sense concerns for many critically-thinking Americans. Are Vanity Fair and the Wall Street Journal also to be stifled by Seven Days? There appears to have been a deliberate lie of massive proportions about the origin of COVID-19 — if not by a “cabal of global elites,” then by a federal government co-opted by Big-Pharma “science.” Americans have been stripped of their inalienable rights, and rendered frightened and impotent.  

Seven Days Battles Against Free Thought

Seven Days’ hit piece deceptively seeks to downplay any loss of liberties, or that anxieties are being irrationally inflamed. As to impotency, the recent book Countdown, by Dr. Shann H. Swan, attributes the 50% drop in sperm levels of men over the last four decades to chemicals in their food and environment, and warns that “the modern world is on pace to become an infertile one.” (Countdown was published by Simon & Schuster, in case Seven Days wishes to attack that publisher’s owners personally.)

The Seven Days “article” seeking to discredit the book “The Truth About COVID-19” is more than anything a personal attack against Margo Baldwin at Chelsea Green Publishing. Endless innuendos are suggested, but the issues of freedom of speech evaporate as Chelsea Green is chastised for publishing opinions with which an ex-employee disagrees. But that is the irony — who is to be the gatekeeper of what is acceptable to write, or publish, or distribute? When government actors and the media seek to filter what Americans are free to read — even when told the truth that COVID was man-made and that industrial, chemical-laden foods are harmful — how can there be any hope of the survival of inalienable rights?

In court, the government must prove that its restraints on liberties are factually justifiable — but Seven Days would inhibit any “challenges” to the government and/or medical establishment. They are joined by other silencers. One bookseller wrote a Letter to the Editor, duly published by the self-serving Seven Days

Thank you for the in-depth exposé of the disinformation being sold by Chelsea Green Publishing…. We at Everyone’s Books in Brattleboro will not carry this book and will be very cautious in the future about all its books. As a bookseller who is committed to social justice and truth-telling, we never feel that level of extreme indifference to the fate of our readers that a board member quoted in your story seems to express…. The false information being pushed by Margo Baldwin, who clearly believes in the anti-science drivel in this book, is dangerous and has already caused deaths.

Nancy Braus

PUTNEY

Interesting that Seven Days would endorse by publication an outlandish claim that “Margo Baldwin… has already caused deaths.” (Where is the science — proof — of that?). It also published a disgruntled ex-CGP employee’s letter stating:

Kudos to Seven Days for not just exposing the problematic book but for shedding a light on publisher Margo Baldwin’s insecure, narcissistic and bullying behaviors.

So much for facts, or journalism, or decency, at Seven Days. What does the publisher’s personality have to do with whether Dr. Mercola is correct that a better diet would boost the immune system against COVID, or that the virus was crafted via gain-of-function technology? Gossipy dirt is neither scientific, nor ethical. Seven Days would deprive Dr. Mercola the right to publish his opinions, and restrict Chelsea Green Publishing to tomes about fermentation and organic farming — subject to review and approval by sniveling short-term employees, of course. The fact that Seven Days stooped so low suggests there must be something there to investigate. (Please read Dr. Mercola’s book, and learn how to bolster your immune system by eating local organic foods and avoiding industrial toxins. Don’t permit Seven Days to murder you and your family with its obfuscations!)

Goebbels knew that “…his propaganda messages were limited by the rationale that ceaseless agitation only dulls the receptive powers of the listener.” At some point, a free-thinking people rebels against those who lie and oppress.

If Dr. Mercola is even partially correct, Seven Days is guilty of much more than a vicious personal slander against an individual. Vermonters should investigate thoroughly.   

The (Real) Doxxing of Vermonters

I recently wrote a commentary about a schoolteacher in Irasburg who played the crybaby victim when his public email was made public. The whining about “being doxxed” served to shift attention away from the real issue — that the teacher was indoctrinating children into social justice ideology by leading them to choose gender pronouns in school. 

A contrasting case reveals just how absurd this far-left squawking really is. Back in January, when some Trump supporters from Vermont traveled to the Capitol, a woman named Jennifer Reed posted supportive social media comments. In retaliation, one Rose Alexandre-Leach, a self-appointed Grand Wizard of the SJW thug ideology, decided to take action against Jennifer — by attacking her employers and livelihood

First, Alexandre-Leach attacked Mrs. Reed’s employer, a veterinary clinic in Addison County. The veterinarians did not post the allegedly offensive content, yet they became the targets of a group led by Rose, who wrote to them on facebook:

Hi Is this the front desk? I’m not sure who the best person to reach out to is, but I wanted to give you all a heads up that your office [sic] assistance Jennifer Reed, is posting publicly supporting violence at the capital, taking up arms against the government. I can send you all screenshots if you like. Is there a good person to let know at the vet clinic? I don’t want to just post it on the vet office public page or anything without checking in personally first. Thanks so much, Rose.

Note the shallow threat to post this “damning” info on the employer’s website unless they discharge Jennifer. Rose followed up with another taunt:

Hi all, Rose here. I reached out about one of your employees posts yesterday. I just wanted to screenshot the actual posts just in case you hadn’t seen them. I understand that you want to support your employee, but I urge you to reconsider. Thanks very much,

Rose

In response, this innocent business (whose owners may well be Democrats!) hired legal counsel, shut down their facebook and business pages, and experienced profound stress. The malicious thuggery of Alexandre-Leach extended also to Jennifer’s other publishing and business contacts, as a gloating Rose later posted:

Update in case anyone is curious: No word from Jennifer’s publishers yet, I’m going to follow up in a few days. [Veterinary Business Name] wrote back at 3AM last night and seem to have deleted both their facebook and their regular website. Jennifer also deleted her facebook and author’s site. The vets office replied that “they do not feel her posts in any way describe what you allege, however your posts clearly are a form of harassment, bullying and defamation” and then informed me that JenJen has reported me to the state police in New Haven.

No shame: but plenty of malicious intent, against an employer innocent of any wrongdoing or involvement. (I have not shared Rose’s email address, though I possess it: I believe it is private).  

Becca Balint’s Silly Hypocrisy

Consider in contrast the shameless attacks by Senator Balint against Senator Russ Ingalls, for the “crime” of concern for an upset child who a “woke” teacher perceives is his sole jurisdiction. This is hardly doxxing: trans-teacher Sam Carbonetti’s facebook page is alive and well — and he is being supported in his job by fellow ideologues who care not for children’s psyches or parents’ opinions. The ideologues circled wagons to perpetuate his abuse of children, and prevent his being held accountable! Let us balance the impact on children of this teacher’s conduct against the “crime” of revealing his already-revealed email address. Note how accountability is ducked by shifting blame to the blameless. 

Will more crocodile tears dribble now, from the face of Becca Balint? She may claim she didn’t know about Jennifer Reed, and she likely doesn’t. But there are many such victims — I talk to them, regularly. People whose decades’ long careers (and pensions!) have been threatened for a single facebook comment (in one case, objecting to transgender surgery for minor children). Perhaps Becca Balint’s ignorance of these innumerable and increasing instances of malicious doxxing would be her defense. 

Only, Senator Balint is far from ignorant — is she not demonstrating the exact same behavior, contorting facts to discredit and attack a fellow Senator, for political reasons? But more, is she unaware of her own constituents who have been attacked this way? No she is not — and through her steroidal attack against Russ Ingalls, she has invited scrutiny of her own backyard. Allow me to share more facts to rebut this endless stream of left-wing dishonesty.

Last year, prior to the election, many Trump supporters drove in convoys around the state to rally conservative supporters. One such convoy passed in front of a Putney family’s home, and their son videotaped it, thought it was amusing, and posted it on social media. Within hours (as with Balint’s launch against Ingalls), the family was attacked viciously. The social media post, and business page, were taken down, but screenshots had been saved, and there was malicious attacking yet to be done.

The family’s home business was targeted ruthlessly. Multiple drones hovered above; out-of-state plates adorned intimidating cars that parked menacingly at their home; vandals intruded on the property at all hours. The family closed their farming business, sold off thousands of dollars’ worth of recently-acquired assets at a loss, liquidated their inventory, and is selling their property and leaving the state — though lifelong native Vermonters. Their crime? Their kid posted a picture containing a Putney-banned flag. The son (a minor) has been traumatized.

Becca Balint knows exactly whom I’m talking about. She also knows this family was targeted previously for daring to display a “Klar for Governor” sign, and that all those signs were taken down in fear. Does she know that the Town of Putney has an “Equity and Inclusion Committee” that openly called me a racist (with zero evidence — slander, not doxxing), and discusses banning certain political affiliations (i.e, Republican) from Putney? This is ideological monopolization, and it is unconstitutional as well as unconscionable. And like the matter with “victim” Carbonetti and impacted children, it is turned upside down so that the aggressors play victim while victimizing others.

Carbonetti’s occupation, and family, and facebook account, are all well and thriving after the withering “doxxing” of sharing his public email address with the public. (Wouldn’t most teachers invite the dissemination of their contact info, and invite feedback from parents?). Unlike Vermonters suffering from actual doxxing, the trans-pronoun virtue-signalling schoolteacher has been sheltered with support from all quarters. Here we see an effort, supported by the liberal media and progressive Superintendent, to silence the conversation and exclude parents from having an opinion. It is the parents who ask questions that are the problem, we are told. They are “McCarthyites who must be silenced.” Similarly, School Superintendent Penny Chamberlin learned of a teacher conditioning young children to use gender pronouns, and that a parent and child objected, and responded by denouncing Senator Ingalls for “bashing people on social media,” then stated “I am not interested in keeping this thread going with the media.” Of course not: this thread is dead; children will be conditioned as the bureaucrats deem fit. We see who works for whom: there has been no doxxing of the SJW teacher unleashed on children in Irasburg; just gaslighting from the Alisnky playbook. 

The problem is not McCarthyite parents who ask reasonable questions, but representatives who abuse their position, and public trust, by lying about the facts, redefining terms, gaslighting anyone who stirs to think, and scapegoating anyone who stands in defiance. It is the self-righteous Becca Balint and Sam Carbonetti who must reexamine how they interact with constituents. Parents are going to keep this thread going.

The Horrid Real Attacks on Vermonters

There are many families who have been forced out of jobs, homes and the state of Vermont due to left-wing thuggery, and their stories will slowly be publicized. Mrs. Balint can help: she already knows many of them, and has not lifted a pinky — let alone her voice — to rescue them from conduct exponentially more pernicious than the nondoxxing experienced by CryBaby Sam. Perhaps she will draft some laws or rules, to reign in actual doxxing, before fantasizing about criminalizing a Senator’s reasonable effort to educate his constituents about alarming progressive policies in their school system.

Senator Russ Ingalls has done a good job as whistleblower, not doxxer — we are getting educated properly about the partisan malice towards parents in our school administrations, media, and elected officials. They are determined to shape our children into progressive proles, and they will not allow parents, wounded children, elected representatives, the constitution, the truth — or even an honest definition of doxxing — to interfere with their totalitarian plans. The schools believe they should “tell their story” using social media. For anyone who has a different tale to tell, social media and public contact of public servants is verboten…..

In a recent article, Senator Balint decried “the manufactured crisis around the bugaboo of “critical race theory….” Vermonters see that CRT is no bugaboo (or “bogeyman,” as she also called it), but alive and well in grade school classrooms — while teachers and progressives try to lie and conceal this obvious truth. Now Vermonters witness Senator Balint manufacture her bugaboo of “new Senate rules to prohibit Senators from distributing the email addresses of teachers.”

When so-called leaders and servants tell you not to pay any attention to that man behind the curtain who is pulling the levers controlling children’s lives, that’s a pretty good indication that citizens had better start looking harder, and holding elected public officials to account — not pass more rules to ensure they can’t be challenged.

Vermonters are tiring of being lied to, and about. Senator Becca Balint ought to consider falling on her sword and resigning: her conduct is abhorrent. (And her email is [email protected]).

CRT Comes to Vermont

The race-based assault against Vermonters began in earnest well before the spark of George Floyd.  The toxic ideology of “Critical Race Theory” (CRT) has been embraced for years by Vermont progressives, joined enthusiastically by RINO Governor Phil Scott.  Race is weaponized to promote every conceivable progressive policy.  America must inoculate itself from this CRT virus.  Vermont’s unfolding experimentation is the Petri dish that proves why.

Vermont’s mostly deaf Legislature has embraced a panoply of race-based bills in 2021:

  • H.268 seeks to legalize prostitution, claiming that its prohibition was “historically … used to prosecute men of color for having relationships with women.”  (In fact, Vermont banned prostitution in response to national feminist fervor.)
  • H.273 would create a “BIPOC Land Bank” for “Black and Indigenous People of Color” to be granted money to purchase farmland.  The Bill alleges (among other bald slanders) that Vermont excluded blacks from farmland using Jim Crow and sharecropping laws.
  • H.210 alleges that racial health and other disparities in Vermont are caused by “systemic racism” without regard to the influx of refugees and other low-income people “of color.”
  • S.25 allows black residents (“social equity applicants”) to receive loans, or fee reduction, to grow or sell cannabis.
  • Vermont House Devotionals have been used to vilify Vermont and its residents.

Concurrently, Vermont’s academic and executive circles have fueled the race focus:

  • Vermont’s newly minted (and recently arrived from NYC) “executive director of racial equity” has claimed that Vermont’s land-use laws (and CO2 deadlines) are racist and has scorned Vermont’s dairy farms.
  • Vermont’s police have been maligned as racists based on arrest disparities without consideration of the state-of-origin of suspects — in the midst of a heroin and fentanyl scourge.
  • Governor Scott has been quick to condemn Vermonters as racists.
  • COVID relief funds for sole proprietorships were distributed to minority but not white applicants

Most disturbingly, the indoctrination of Vermont’s public-school children with CRT is in full swing.  Segregating citizens by race in safe spaces has become commonplace in Vermont.  Now public schools will allow “students of color” to move to separate rooms during race discussions, and violent, white-hating poetry is being endorsed in school curricula.  (“Discrimination” is necessary, per the “theory” of CRT, to redress and cure discrimination.)

CRT seeks to eliminate First Amendment and other constitutional protections, in order to craft a novel society based on race and other identity attributes.  It posits no foreseeable end to this cycle of recrimination, offering not even the pretense of a world in which the MLK standard of “judge by character, not skin color” might be achievable.  This was exhibited in Vermont when a high school student who criticized CRT at a school board meeting was fired from his lifeguard position as punishment for his speech.

A Cultish Ideology

Vermont has offered the perfect “climate” to implement this nonsensical push toward “white wokeness.”  Vermont’s ultra-progressives are able to systematically substitute ideological conclusions in place of good policy.  Fabricating a race narrative cobbled together with manipulated facts and anecdotal arguments, these cultish zealots attract well-heeled but naïve white liberals who have no hesitation fomenting racial hatred by telling black people the “system” is rigged and that all white people (except them) subconsciously have it in for dark-skinned humans and must be brought to heel.

Thomas Sowell warns that no society in human history has achieved “equity” in the form of universally equal outcome — it is impossible.  But this does not dampen the allure of what Sowell dubs the “seemingly invincible fallacy” of CRT — that all racial disparities are necessarily the product of discrimination by white people.

Vermont is the ideal Petri dish to prove the fallacy of Critical Race Theory.  It is inequitable in distribution of resources, contemptuous of Vermont’s rural culture and abolitionist history, and divisive.  CRT is offensive to both moderate (MLK) Democrats and traditional conservatives.

Once dragged into the light of discussion and analysis, CRT will fail in Vermont, as it is failing across America.  It is racist opportunism dressed up as enlightened Utopia.  Vermont’s poor, white, rural inhabitants have witnessed equally pernicious liberal elite efforts previously — in the eugenics and lobotomy movements.

They won’t be fooled again

(Originally published at American Thinker, June 25, 2021)

In Defense of Food Liberty: The “Right” to Farm

The COVID pandemic traumatized the American economy as well as citizenry, exposing vulnerabilities (and dependencies) in the nation’s food distribution system. More Americans are now alert to the issue of food security as well as food quality — what if the nation had been as completely dependent on China for basic foods as it was for medical masks? In times of crisis, local farmers and locavore consumers are a vital part of the solution to this problem. But in today’s highly-regulated world, the legal parameters of the “liberty” of farmers to sell food to their customers (or even of citizens to grow vegetables for their own consumption!) continue to be defined.

Americans’ profound dependence on a fragile, fossil-fuel-gobbling, industrial food supply has increased with technological advances, globalization, and expanding government regulation of the hitherto sacrosanct “family farm.” As the factory food supply has grown, the health and safety risks of those “modern” and often inhumane facilities have been employed as justification to expand regulatory restrictions of smaller farms. Less than six decades ago, barely one-third of states required meat that was slaughtered and sold on the farm to be inspected. Disease outbreaks from “factory meat” have since been used to greatly expand costly regulation of non-offending small farms. This compels an unhealthy trend: younger would-be farmers and new ventures are discouraged from investing in the localvore economy.

The steady urbanization of America, encouraged by regulations and subsidies that favor industrially-produced food, continues to detach modern man from connection to the soil and food supply. This has resulted in bizarre regulatory restrictions that would be (properly!) seen as absurd a few decades past. Consider these reports back in 2014:

— In 2011, a woman in Oak Park, Mich., faced the possibility of jail time for having kept an edible garden in her front yard. The city claimed the woman’s vegetable garden didn’t fit its definition of “suitable live plant material.”

— In 2012, a Newton, Mass. resident was forced by the city to dig up the tomato garden he planted in his front yard or face a fine. 

— That same year, Tulsa, Okla., code enforcement officers trampled onto an unemployed woman’s front yard and ripped up the edible garden she had planted to help feed herself during lean times. 

— In 2013, Miami Shores, Fla., amended its ordinance to prohibit front yard vegetable gardens and informed Hermine Ricketts and her husband Tom Carroll that they faced fines of $50 a day if they did not destroy their beautiful garden.

This battle between municipal zoning laws and gardening has heightened due to COVID, but conflicts in the countryside have raged for years to protect traditional farms from newcomers who prefer the visual to the olfactory dimension of rural agriculture: “right-to-farm” laws have been widely enacted in response. (Not content to inhibit the self-reliant from growing vegetables or rearing chickens in suburbia, the city mice have expanded to surrounding agriculture lands; food-hostile zoning edicts in tow).

Claiming health and safety powers, government has regulated “unhealthy” foods based not only on production but on consumption  — taxes and bans on sugary or fatty foods abound. If universal food provision is a basic human entitlement, what kind of food? And how can any right be preserved when humans’ connections to the land and food are artificially severed? Does the right to “receive” food exist via government provision, or is there an individual right to produce one’s own that is sacrosanct and untouchable by government?

It does not seem controversial to state, as did Attorney Ari Bargil of the Institute for Justice, that “We have the right to use our own properties to grow our own food, as long as that use doesn’t impinge on someone else’s freedom to enjoy their property.” Yet that is precisely the frontline of the battle: government has impinged that liberty.

As 2015 Report by the Institute for Justice warned:

Today, from the federal government on down to states and cities, elected officials and regulators are cracking down with increasing relentlessness on the lives and livelihoods of the farmers, chefs, artisans, restaurateurs, food truck operators and others who raise, produce, make, cook and sell the food we eat—and in the process, undermining their right to earn an honest living and provide for themselves…. Food freedom is under attack…. The Founding Fathers fought against British laws just like these, and sought in the Bill of Rights to ensure that no American government would ever mimic Britain’s wayward colonial attacks on food freedom…..It’s time to remind our elected officials of the lessons of food freedom and to demand the return of our intertwined rights of food freedom and economic liberty.

Co-author Dave Berg published a Law Review article in 2013 titled “Food Choice Is a Fundamental Liberty Right,” (9 J. FOOD L. & POL’Y 173), which argued for constitutional support for an “individual’s right to purchase meat and poultry directly from the person who raised and participated in the slaughtering of that meat or poultry without mandatory governmental inspection.” Some have suggested granting such a right post-Citizens United would expand corporate power at the expense of individual liberties, but it is hard to imagine Monsanto claiming it has a “personal corporate right” to choose what foods it eats any more than Nike could credibly claim it has a right to an abortion. We Americans witness our neighbors being prosecuted not for chopping up a cow in their front yard, but for planting zucchini! — are we to deny people the freedom to garden under the pretense that corporations would abuse that right?

During the trauma of the COVID pandemic, citizens of all political persuasions witnessed the industrial nature and Orwellian dependency that is their modern food supply. Homesteaders (and would-be homesteaders) are the antidote to a growing effort to transfer responsibility to the government and mega-corporations for that which we once did ourselves — grow healthy food and eat it. COVID has revealed the folly of industrial food, but also armed many more with the desire and awareness to respond regeneratively.

With increasing dependency on Chinese and other foreign food producers that are often subjected to lax regulation, it is dubious to further curtail local farmers and consumers from their centuries-long traditions of commerce in the name of protecting their health. As increasing awareness of the importance of healthy local food motivates more people to try their hands at home gardening, chicken-rearing, or milking a family cow, the collisions with ubiquitous stifling regulations — zoning laws, meat inspection regulations, labeling requirements, etc. — will increase. It is imperative that the right to grow one’s own food be granted it’s proper priority for human health and pursuit of happiness.

Henry Kissinger famously said “Control oil and control the nations; Control food and you control people.” One need not point to nefarious intentions by Big Brother Monsanto to see the logic of Kissinger’s proposition — and the imperative to oppose any control of one’s food liberty by Big Government or Big Ag (the two are often aligned). Stay tuned as Americans strive to retain liberty in their own food production and distribution: the battle is just heating up.

(Previously published in Mother Earth News.)

Vermont Town Fires High School Life Guard for Questioning CRT

After a well-spoken student from Essex High School vocally opposed the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) at a public “townhall”-style meeting to discuss CRT implementation in Vermont schools, he was promptly fired by the Essex Parks and Recreation Department.  Initially the contrived cause was “…concerns around your ability to adhere to… core values,” but was switched to “perceived threats” that “…cause legitimate concern around your ability to equitably look out for the safety of everyone who attends our pools.”  This is CRT in action — shame and attack anyone who dares challenge its race-based tenets: even High School lifeguards.

The brouhaha began when 18-year-old Alex Katsnelson read a prepared statement at the Essex public CRT discussion event.  Like a sad-sack sitcom, the Essex Parks & Rec bullies pounced on the kid, parsing out his words to contrive imagined sleight:

While all of your comments are concerning, several of the comments you made publicly stand out — the first being: “the residents of Essex and Westford will not stand idly by as anti-whiteness invades our school system.” The second being: “what you people plan to do is redistribute opportunity based solely on individual identity.” The third being: “This is why we have fifth graders coming home and saying they wish they were black.”

This language does not remotely approach “threat speech” or “true threats.”  Alex Katsnelson’s comments are pure political speech, in a political forum — one of the most highly-protected forms of speech in American jurisprudence.  Parks & Rec is guaranteeing Alex a slam-dunk lawsuit!

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that speech which advocates the use of force can be restricted when it is directed to, and likely to, “incite or produce imminent lawless action.”  Nothing in this student’s comments remotely approach that strict standard.  Yet the June 10 Essex P&R letter intones gravely:

The first comment mentioned above could be taken as a threat against the school and/or our community. It is aggressive and threatening in nature, while also being vague enough to elicit fear. The second comment mentioned above uses an offensive phrase “you people” while also being very vague and intimidating in nature.The third comment, along with the rest of the public comments we have referenced, shows that you do not possess, and that you cannot uphold, the Village core beliefs and values around racial equity, diversity and inclusion.

Confused Standards?

The constitutional standards that apply to government entities do not permit the censorship of employees for saying things deemed “very vague,” that “could be taken as a threat,” or that “are vague enough to elicit fear.”  These bully bureaucrats are simply censoring this young man in the name of their “core belief”:

— Live the “golden rule” in every interaction by demonstrating a deep regard for the diversity, needs, feelings and beliefs of all people and acknowledging the ideas and opinions of everyone.

This perfectly exhibits the pernicious nature of CRT ideology — it pretends to be inclusive but is brutally insistent on adhesion to its cultish, race-based tenets.  More, it disregards merit in favor of ideological compliance: Alex Katsnelson is not criticized as an unfit lifeguard — by all indications he is superior in those qualifications.  He was fired solely for his political expression in a public forum:

We have made the determination that your public comments cause legitimate concern around your ability to equitably look out for the safety of everyone who attends our pools. In addition, we feel that your public comments are likely to cause future disruption with our residents. Your comments have already begun to cause disruption amongst your peers who have seen them. Your position by its very nature requires a degree of public trust, not often found in other instances of public employment. We cannot create an unsafe environment at our pool, nor can we create a situation where any of our residents feel unsafe or unwelcome at our pool.  

The Essex-Westford School Board approved (9 to 1!) the Critical Race Theory curriculum on June 15.  After thanking “those who opposed the equity policy for helping him to think more deeply about the district’s equity work,” board member Brendan Kinney made this pre-vote statement directed at those who challenged CRT:

“Historically the work of school boards has been apolitical. Yet in recent months, we’ve seen partisan tactics being used to promote a political agenda,” Kinney continued. “They spread misinformation, they take and twist comments out of context, they use false equivalence in making their arguments, and they deploy scare tactics to confuse parents and taxpayers.” 

These Vermont town entities surely do not “acknowledg[e] the ideas and opinions of everyone.”  But the First Amendment does, which is why CRT attacks free speech.

CRT zealots are eliminating lifeguards at public pools for political opinions, while drowning young children in a toxic experimental ideology.  The United States Constitution remains a mighty life (and liberty) preserver. 

Vermont School Board Complaint Employs CRT Intimidation

In a bizarre “Complaint” filed against recently-elected Vermont School Board member Elizabeth Cady, two citizens allege Cady’s inquiries about the introduction of Critical Race Theory (CRT) constitute a “clear breach” of School Board Operations Policy.  As in many states, this controversial ideology is seeping into Vermont’s curricula.  Cady’s case is instructive of the coercive pressure exerted by CRT radicals against those who dare question the hasty implementation of this novel, race-based “theory.”

Laura Taylor and Emily Franz allege that Cady “gave the impression that… she would represent special interests or partisan politics for personal gain.”  No monetary “personal gain” is identified.  Their real complaint is summarized in their conclusion: 

We are both strong supporters of the EWSD and its work on equity and inclusion. We feel that each and every member of the School Board should be as well.

CRT proponents oppose dissenting opinions.  A core principle of CRT asserts that free speech liberties have been used to oppress black people, and thus white people cannot be permitted a differing opinion — free speech is an obstacle to “equity.”  (Ryszard Legutko calls this “coercion to freedom.”)  A quasi-religious ideology, CRT is being launched in Vermont schools via what scholar Christopher F. Rufo aptly identifies as an “institutional orthodoxy.”  This dogma does not tolerate disagreement, as it “feels that each and every member” of society “should” agree to use skin color as a determinant of education and public policy. If one disagrees, one is a heretic to be targeted, shunned and slandered. 

The complaint falsely attributes an article written by reporter Guy Page to Mrs. Cady, which dared employ the word “uppity”:   

Before we point out the clear breach of the policy, we must take a minute to point out that the word “uppity” has deeply troubling racial and sexist undertones. It is deeply disturbing to us that a school board member would post under such an offensive, racist, and sexist title, and yet, it is not even the most unsettling aspect of the post.

Guy Page used the term exactly as the dictionary defines it, depicting Elizabeth Cady as being treated as “uppity” for standing up to CRT bullies! Guy Page didn’t employ the word offensively, or to allude to black people.  Definitional contortions by the Franz/Taylor grammarians imputed a litany of moral condemnations to bully Cady into silence — treating her as if she were uppity; falsely impugning her as a racist for an article she didn’t write.  Vermont parents must carefully scrutinize this stifling effort and its tyrannical proponents.

Guy Page’s article describes Elizabeth Cady as

…a pro-school choice, Critical Race Theory critic mom who in March defeated an incumbent pro-Critical Race Theory, anti-school choice candidate for a seat on the Essex School Board… [S]he’s a woman dedicated to a vision of a Vermont committed to fairness and equality for all. And she’s not afraid to speak out and urge others to do likewise….

Elizabeth Cady merely asked for fuller dialogue, and expressed sensible reservations about CRT.  Yet Franz and Taylor claim that 

With this post, along with her continual campaign of misinformation and contextually inaccurate data, Ms. Cady has made it clear that she does not believe in the district’s equity work, and that she is actively encouraging others to join her in this crusade, which she has made political through this post on a conservative website.

What Boardmember Cady wrote was this:

Whether or not you agree with the above being taught in schools is a personal choice, but my concern is that our community, as a whole, has been uninformed of these changes in schools and what it means to prioritize equity, specifically what is the desired end-state of equity in our schools…. If, as a parent or taxpayer, you share some of these concerns or have some of your own, I encourage you to attend the meeting and speak.  

This seems like a reasonable Voltairian appeal: but opposing views are verboten to the CRT cult.  What Franz and Taylor dub “the most unsettling aspect of the post” is that Elizabeth Cady dared question their newfound institutional orthodoxy:

This flagrant policy breach demonstrates what is apparent to many of us: EWSD School Board Member Liz Cady has a personal agenda that is not in the best interests of our schools, our students, or our community.

But isn’t the shoe on the other feet? Franz and Taylor advance a personal agenda to impose a CRT ideological indoctrination on Vermont children.  

Cady is a whistleblower and hero, whose loyalty to students and parents is her visible “personal agenda.”  The voters clearly wish to permit her to have her voice.  But most important, parents everywhere must critically examine this anti-Constitutional doctrine being rapidly introduced into America’s schools.


(Originally published at American Thinker.)

The COVID Vaccination Card and the “Mark of the Beast”

Proposals abound requiring citizens to prove they are free of COVID-19 to travel or buy goods, perhaps using a card, or a chip. Vermont has said refusal to be tested will be regarded as a presumed positive test, and reported as COVID… “in line with other states.” Some Christians call the COVID-19 vaccine “the mark of the beast.”  Travel-card proposals raise the same question — what is “the mark of the beast”?

The phrase is taken verbatim from Chapter 13 (Verses 16-18) of the Book of Revelation. Biblical scholars have generally tried to minimize interpretive license with this passage because it is so easily abused. This futuristic text predicts a “beast” will threaten complete totalitarian domination, targeting Christian believers.

Secular America mocks evangelists who point to the vaccine (or the immunization card) as “the mark.” But whether or not a COVID registration card fulfills biblical prophecy, that mark is indeed the sign of totalitarian domination. The language of Orwell, or Mao, or Huxley, might better be employed to describe the effects of such a requirement than Christian eschatology.

The technology is already there for our Brave “New-normal” COVID-ID World:

….a coalition of public and private entities are reportedly collaborating to launch CommonPass, “a trusted, globally-interoperable platform for people to document their COVID-19 status (health declarations/PCR tests/vaccinations) to satisfy country entry requirements while protecting their health data privacy.” IBM has also created its Digital Health Pass, which is designed to provide organizations with a way to bring people back into workplaces, schools, stadiums, and flights.

China employs similar tracking now, with social credits:

“Once discredited, limited everywhere” is the message China’s government announced in a report, released in early March, to the 23 million citizens it had banned from purchasing plane or train tickets the previous year. These citizens, the government declared, had proven themselves to be “untrustworthy”…. As a result, their freedom of movement has been revoked…. [T]he government is aiming for [its full social credit programme] to be fully operational and compulsory for all 1.4 billion Chinese citizens by next year…. It forces them to adhere to a system of morality imposed by the political ruling party….

The Biden administration’s sweeping implementation of edicts through executive orders threatens to increase American surveillance, using the same technological implements as China:

Stay-at-home orders, lockdowns and social isolation have meant that we rely on Silicon Valley companies to conduct basic life functions more than ever before. We order online from Amazon rather than shop; we conduct meetings online rather than meet in offices; we use Google constantly to navigate and communicate; we rely on social media more than ever to receive information about the world. And exactly as a weakened population’s dependence on them has increased to unprecedented levels, their wealth and power has reached all new heights, as has their willingness to control and censor information and debate.

One commentator coined the term “surveillance capitalists” to describe this escalating techno-tyranny:

….surveillance capitalists learned that the most predictive data come not just from monitoring but also from modifying and directing behavior. For example, by 2013, Facebook had learned how to engineer subliminal cues on its pages to shape users’ real-world actions and feelings. Later, these methods were combined with real-time emotional analyses, allowing marketers to cue behavior at the moment of maximum vulnerability. Democracy slept while surveillance capitalism flourished. As a result, surveillance capitalists now wield a uniquely 21st century quality of power, as unprecedented as totalitarianism was nearly a century ago.

This shift to cowed China-like compliance expanded following the 911 attacks, as Orwellian fear of unseen terrorists created “maximum vulnerability” for submission:

….the Corporate State has taken to monitoring all aspects of our lives, from cell-phone calls and e-mails to Internet activity and credit-card transactions. Much of this data is being fed through fusion centers across the country, which work with the Department of Homeland Security to make threat assessments on every citizen, including school children.

The purpose of a vaccination registration card must be questioned, when vaccination does not prevent transmission. There is no logical basis to track citizens for disparate treatment, yet some states are already doing so.

Scriptures aside, the blind secular rush to submit to complete COVID domination reflects a sacrifice of hundreds of years of Constitutional law and fundamental liberties on the fear-filled altar of COVID. Those who trust the government (pharmaceutical industry) to save (inoculate) them, seek a dubious savior indeed.

THE IMMINENT PERIL OF FISCAL COLLAPSE.

As Americans focus on survival under COVID-19, they remain largely oblivious to increasingly dire fiscal threats. A “debt monetization” virus (printing money without limit) has been unleashed on us, one that threatens inflation, economic stagnation, and unsustainable debt that will cripple future and present generations. And, if there is a resurgence of COVID-19, the combined wreckage will be irreversible: America will plunge into a new chaos.

[T]he Federal Reserve has broached “even more unconventional and far-reaching” monetary policies…

There are certainly scenarios where this does not unfold, all of which are dependent on COVID-19 waning. The stakes are very high: economic weaknesses exposed during the 2007-2008 crisis (including high leverage and systemic risk) were not cured. Critics claimed the 2008 bailout itself created a lasting moral hazard for banks, and regulatory oversight created by 2010’s Dodd-Frank Act was pared back significantly in 2018. As one market commentator, Nouriel Roubini, observed in 2020:

“After the 2007-2009 financial crisis, the imbalances and risks pervading the global economy were exacerbated by policy mistakes. So, rather than address the structural problems that the financial collapse and ensuing recession revealed, governments mostly kicked the can down the road, creating major downside risks that made another crisis inevitable…

Roubini forewarned that this weakness would be aggravated by protectionist policies enacted during COVID-19, and the United States government has done exactly as predicted: they’ve monetized the fiscal deficit to avoid total collapse. To justify this (and calm market anxieties), the Federal Reserve has broached “even more unconventional and far-reaching” monetary policies, to quote Roubini. These unprecedented policies include tacit promises by the Federal Reserve to the Treasury Department (and Biden administration) that, no matter how much money is printed, interest rates will remain low.Stock Exchange.

STOCK EXCHANGE.

Since 2007-2008, ear-tickling arguments that the old rules can be cast away, and money printed freely have proliferated. John C. Williams, currently President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is one such aficionado of “monetary policy under uncertainty.” While President of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Williams hazarded that:

“Milton Friedman famously said, ‘Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output.’ We are currently engaged in a test of this proposition … In my view, recent developments make a compelling case that traditional textbook views of the connections between monetary policy, money, and inflation are outdated and need to be revised.”

The Federal Reserve stated in mid-2020 that it will keep the federal funds rate near zero; this is itself a component of Fed aggressiveness called “forward guidance.” Traditionally, the Federal Reserve does not “guarantee rates for the future,” as this instills understandable market fear of unmonitored inflation. The federal funds rate (the rate banks charge for overnight loans, which is set by the Federal Reserve) strongly relates to interest rates on mortgages, credit cards, and other debt. But an important aspect of the Fed’s job is to monitor rates to prevent inflation—promising rates will remain low abandons that function, eliminating the Fed’s independent market monitoring function, and tying its (and the nation’s) fiscal hands in the event of rising inflation or other crises.

[A]n important aspect of the Fed’s job is to monitor rates to prevent inflation—promising rates will remain low abandons that function…

Promising low rates with unlimited spending power to the money-printers is a moral hazard: it encourages reckless debt monetization, unchallenged by a citizenry panicked by COVID and desperate for financial assistance. Morgan Stanley reported that early in the COVID-19 crisis, the Fed was buying securities at eight times the rate under 2007-2008 Quantitative Easing (QE), the process by which the Federal Reserve bought up trillions of dollars worth of mortgage and other securities to inject money into the economy and financial system. The Fed now holds more mortgages than ever, exceeding 34% of all mortgage debt.

The federal government has no choice. Mortgage (and rent) defaults skyrocketed when COVID-19 befell. Investors did not wish to own delinquent mortgages. Had the Fed not stepped in, the entire mortgage and banking system would have collapsed rapidly. The Fed’s actions kept interest rates artificially low, preventing (or merely postponing?) an uncontrollable rout.

But now, the debt-printing holding pattern must be maintained: interest rates are approaching zero, and the Federal Reserve is basically backing the entire mortgage market. The Fed dare not pull its monetary finger from this massive fiscal floodwall. President Biden’s tax plans will add another revenue-sapping straw to businesses’ backs—the Tax Foundation estimates some 46% of increased tax revenues will come from business, even as expansions of Child Care credits and other provisions reallocate wealth. Increases in corporate, capital gains, and individual income tax rates will undermine rather than bolster economic growth, especially when twinned with growing debt. As the Tax Foundation cautions, “Biden’s tax plan would reduce the economy’s size by 1.62% in the long run. The plan would shrink the capital stock by about 3.75% and reduce the overall wage rate by a little over 1%, leading to about 542,000 fewer full-time equivalent jobs.”

Meanwhile, not all COVID-19 spending is COVID-related—that pork is tying rocks to the feet of businesses trying to swim in fetid fiscal waters. Huge sums are being routed to arts organizations, and the President has launched a massive “infrastructure rebuilding program” for roads and bridges that he touts will “win the future.” Raising taxes while raising debt to fund expanded spending inflicts a chokehold on economic growth while creating strong inflationary pressures. Using COVID as an excuse to launch brave new economic experiments will have consequences: the risks of both inflation, and recession, are amplified by a reckless (desperate?) Federal Reserve policy that promises unconditionally to keep interest rates low long-term.

Note the constant pressure on the government and Federal Reserve to support Main Street and poor Americans, concurrently with banking Juggernauts that are “too big to fail.” This, too, is an almost impossible balancing act, as money funneled to Wall Street is more likely to cause asset inflation. One insightful investment analyst explains it this way: “When QE is used to buy mortgage-backed securities, corporate bonds, stocks, or other things, it mainly goes to financial markets rather than Main Street. When QE is used to buy Treasuries in a normal sense, it makes it to Main Street.” A large proportion of COVID relief funds have been applied in that first category, which artificially inflates asset values (as opposed to income). As Forbes magazine recently noted:

“By now pretty much everyone knows that the massive amount of financial stimulus from the central banks and the government has bid up all asset prices. But the Fed and the rest of the central bank community … are now all leaning on Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) which says that as long as there is no inflation, a sovereign government can, and should, print unlimited amounts of money to solve economic, financial and social problems.”

Contrary to popular belief, 62% of the 2019 federal budget supports social programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, versus merely 21% in 1960. This (inefficiently) fuels the economy, while gradually supplanting it: social program investments support consumer spending (demand), but provide zero investment capital, or business support. An economy doesn’t grow by service sector (healthcare, for instance) alone, so overlarge social programs tap economic vitality and undermine the economy more than they might stimulate it. Perhaps the President will soon announce his first Five-Year Plan.Credit Cards.

CREDIT CARDS.

NO ROOM FOR ERROR: COVID SQUEEZES THE FEDERAL RESERVE

This Scylla and Charibdis will narrow: for Biden, the Fed, and all Americans. As the COVID relief (and tax “stimulus”) spending works its way through the economy, both pressures on interest rates, and demands for yet more cash infusion, will increase, squeezing the nation between those competing pressures. Ironically, many people are earning more money on government relief than pre-COVID, and dependencies are increasing. It is unsurprising that narcotics overdose deaths spike each time COVID-19 “relief” checks are issued. But it is not sustainable, and at some point, substance abusers are just going to have to “earn” their fix (and food) again.

Properly understood, the Federal Reserve is not competently managing this crisis—it is feigning control while it is compelled into an unsustainable holding pattern of printing money.

The Federal Reserve’s purchases forestall mortgage rate spikes (temporarily), but they threaten artificial asset inflation (by pumping up demand, which causes prices to rise) that then tempts the Federal Treasury to shift its tax base from income (Main Street) to asset appreciation (Wall Street) in order to preserve revenue flows. This too is a moral hazard: taxing “gain” that is attributable to inflation is behind the current Dem push to tax wealthy New Yorkers for holding on to assets in an inflationary cycle.

Calling out Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for essentially giving Congress a green light to print money without fear of rate hikes, Wall Street Journal writer Joseph Sternberg cautions:

Treasury will benefit from Mr. Powell’s success in stoking stock and other asset markets to record highs over the past year even as the pandemic and attendant lockdowns throttled the Main Street economy. The growing disconnect between Wall Street prices and Main Street profits holds open the prospect that capital-gains taxation will grow ever more reliable as a revenue source … The government traditionally relied for revenue on the economy’s underlying productivity … To make the government proportionately more dependent on Fed-inflated capital gains, as Democrats are wont to do, would weaken an important tie between Congress’s fiscal role and the real economy. This is especially dangerous…”

The government is becoming “more dependent on Fed-inflated capital gains,” Sternberg cautions, which is “especially dangerous given mounting evidence in the economics literature that monetary and financial excess saps Main Street productivity rather than bolstering it.”

Properly understood, the Federal Reserve is not competently managing this crisis—it is feigning control while it is compelled into an unsustainable holding pattern of printing money. If it stops purchasing mortgages, rates will spike sharply, and panic will ensue. If it stops printing money for Main Street, upheaval and business decline are assured.U.S. Dollar.

U.S. DOLLAR.

America’s debt load now exceeds 134% of GDP and climbing, racing past the 130% threshold considered critical by many economists. The World Economic Forum summarizes this threat:

“[U]nder realistic parameter constellations, a debt ratio of 130% of GDP constitutes a critical threshold, where the line between sustainability and unsustainability is very thin. With a debt ratio above this ‘reference value’, a government might struggle to cope with the cost of debt … With very low interest rates, it is tempting for governments to spend more. However, while risk-free rates hover around zero in the euro area, high-debt countries face considerable risk premia that can lead to a feedback loop in which high-risk premia lead to higher debt, which in turn leads to ever higher risk premia.”

Debt service (the amount of revenue diverted to meet growing interest payments) begins to swallow real growth, even as interest rates spike (in part due to that debt), creating a vicious cycle (that “feedback loop” referred to above) from which not even the mighty Greenback is immune. America is now well beyond that threshold, praying it is not a cliff. Stratospheric lending levels led to widespread suffering in some European nations, who, because of their penchant for borrowing and spending, became known as the PIIGS nations (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain). Has America become a PIIGS country?:

“During the early 2000’s, fueled largely by an extremely accommodative monetary policy, these countries had access to capital at very low interest rates. Inevitably, this led to some of the weaker economies, especially the PIIGS, to borrow aggressively, often at levels that they could not reasonably expect to pay back should there be a negative shock to their financial systems. The 2008 global financial crisis was this negative shock.”

Perhaps America’s debt ratio should be compared with Italy’s (at 134.8% in 2019, now higher) or Spain’s (120.97%).

The Federal Reserve promises rates will stay low, and it will buy all mortgages—and market securities—required to uphold the markets. In essence, the Federal Reserve has become the economy, itself a terrifying prospect. But in all its promises and forecasts, the Fed is assuming a rosy national GDP growth of approximately 6.5% for 2021.

The March 10th, 2021 Economic Conference Board Forecast for the U.S. Economy considers a “pessimistic” scenario unaddressed by the Federal Reserve, in which an “additional wave” of COVID-19 mutations cause “the U.S. economy [to grow] by just 2.8 percent (year-over-year) in 2021.” Of course, a COVID-19 resurgence is just one of many economic shocks that could instead push national GDP into negative territory. But at 2.8% growth the Economic Conference Board forecasts “In this scenario, U.S. monthly economic output does not recover to pre-pandemic levels until sometime in 2022.”

Economics may be the science of yawns, but Americans should bolt awake to the knife’s edge along which President Biden and the Federal Reserve are so dangerously crawling. There is no margin for error: even if COVID disappeared tomorrow, a 140% deficit coupled with a declining economy and more taxes on businesses means that future generations carry the largest fiscal burden in U.S. history, bar none. Meanwhile, spendthrift state and federal governments are using COVID funds to expand rapidly, increasing long-term drains on real growth.

In the race through this treacherous channel, America must care for its poor and avoid revolt, while nurturing its banking and securities systems without sparking crushing inflation. The Federal Reserve pretends it has its hand on the monetary rudder, when in fact, the COVID-19 current has flung it wildly into uncharted seas. President Biden, too will howl at the wind, as we see whether we crash onto the rocks of strangling runaway inflation, or plunge into the whirlpool of economic and political anarchy.

(Originally published 4/9/2021 at Human Events)

Vermont Governor Phil Scott Calls Critics of Vaccinations Racists

Vermont’s Governor Phil Scott, an “enlightened” RINO, previously condemned all Vermonters as backwoods racists and all Trump-supporters as white supremacists, joined those who label all Vermont police as racists based on manipulated statistics, and also exempted Black Lives Matter protesters from COVID restrictions while shutting down conservative political rallies.  Now he is calling Vermonters racists yet again:

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott has condemned the “racist response” to his administration’s decision to make Black, indigenous, and people of color of any age eligible for a coronavirus vaccine before residents of other races.

As Thomas Sowell explains in Discrimination and Disparities (p. 23), age is a better determinant of wealth than race.  In Vermont, this is evident in numbers that show that BIPOC residents have lower home ownership and incomes than older whites — age explains those differences better than race (though another factor is that significant numbers of BIPOC have relocated to Vermont, including from foreign lands as impoverished immigrants, and this has greatly skewed Vermont’s statistics — but that is another story).  But in Vermont, this clear factual evidence is swept under the ideological carpet in favor of narratives that paint whitey as ubiquitous oppressor.

Scott perceives he is “rescuing” BIPOC people when in fact he is killing old white Vermonters using a warped ideology that also distorts scientific evidence.  Old white Vermonters are more at risk of mortality than young blacks, and Vermont’s demographics show that blacks are younger than whites (again, those new arrivals).  Providing COVID vaccinations to the old in priority over the young is consistent with sound medical science; providing it to young BIPOC in preference to old whites is the opposite, and bases medical decisions on a racist ideology that is increasingly revealed to cause more new inequities than it eliminates (see Thomas Sowell, The Quest for Cosmic Justice).

Says Scott:

Unfortunately, the legacy of racism in America, and in Vermont, still drives a lot of anger and fear. Recently, my office, the Health department and those hardworking individuals getting us vaccinated, have been subjected to vitriolic and inappropriate comments in social media and other forums regarding this decision. This too is unacceptable. And it is evidence that many Americans, and many Vermonters, still have a lot to learn about the impacts of racism in our country and how it has influenced public policy over the years.

Notice how facts — why white old people should medically stand in line behind 16-year-old blacks — and the law — Bakke and other decisions — are both avoided: complaining is “not acceptable.”  This is evidence that Vermont’s governor does not comprehend the science or the law, or why calling everybody a racist and playing the victim is growing tiresome.

Incorporating the obligatory George Floyd invocation, the governor carried the social justice game one more step:

And to my fellow Vermonters who find themselves the target of these comments and actions of prejudice, please know that we stand with you. Do not be intimidated by the hate speech. Do not allow these comments of racism to keep you from getting vaccinated or from anything you deserve as members of the Vermont community.

When white Vermonters sue the state because of dead loved ones killed by Governor Scott’s unconstitutional race-based decision, and invoke Bakke and other existing legal precedents, will Governor Scott malign them as racists?

It is not racist hate speech to challenge Governor Scott’s patently racist, medically spurious, unilaterally declared edicts, which threaten elderly Vermonters with a miserable death.  More and more Vermonters are standing up bravely to ask these logical (and legal) questions — refusal to answer them will no longer be tolerated.

Calling Vermonters and their history “racist” is not an effective evasion of accountability to science and the Constitution. 

Image: U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Sarah Mattison.