Population Is a Problem
[Re Emoji That, May 22]: You make a declining birth rate in Vermont sound like a bad thing; it is not! It means Vermonters see the degradation that is happening all around us and we care about the environment, not just what the humans can exploit. We are No. 1 on the awareness list. Those who want to live with more crowding have plenty of other options.
Even here, we can't seem to get our legislators to act on climate change. The surest way to reduce one's carbon footprint to zero permanently is to have no children.
The collective reporting in ["'Just Right'? Vermont Lawmakers Finesse Final Bills in Overtime," May 22] omitted the success of the Vermont Senate in passing Senate Resolution 5, the Keep Vermont Nuclear Bomber Free Resolution. This is wonderful news for our state. As a resident of Burlington, I am incredibly pleased that our six senators voted to reflect the voices of many of their constituents who have supported this resolution. Thank you, senators Tim Ashe, Phil Baruth, Debbie Ingram, Ginny Lyons, Chris Pearson and Michael Sirotkin, for standing up to oppose the proliferation of nuclear warfare in our front yard.
Having F-35 nuclear bombers based in our state does nothing but put a red dot on our backs for America's adversaries.
The total votes on the resolution were 23-7 in favor of a ban. This means that a majority of Vermont's senators were informed enough to prioritize the safety and well-being of their constituents during the vote. Thanks to their efforts, Vermont is saying no to any future attempts by this administration — or any other administration, for that matter — to drop a nuclear weapon on another country. That blood shall not be shed in our name. To all the legislators who stood for what is right, I am grateful.
'No Plan At This Time'
[Re Off Message: "F-35s Diverted to BTV Provide an Unexpected Preview of What's Coming," May 29]: I attended the event at the Burlington International Airport, at which the Vermont Air National Guard attempted to address concerns about the new noise map for F-35 fighter planes. Most people I saw and heard had not signed up for this plan.
The individuals from the Air National Guard were standing at a table looking sharp in their dress uniforms, and they seemed ready and well prepared for the questions about nuclear weapons. When I asked about the possibility of F-35s carrying nuclear weapons, I received exactly what I expected: "There is no plan at this time for nuclear capability for the F-35." As a Vietnam-era veteran, I have heard this kind of language before. I immediately wondered when that plan would change. Perhaps the Guardsmen are unaware that the U.S. Department of Defense stated in its 2018 Nuclear Posture Review: "We are committed to upgrading the DCA [dual-capable aircraft] with the nuclear-capable F-35 aircraft."
The people in our communities have spoken on numerous occasions. In May, the Vermont Senate passed a vote for no nuclear weapons in Vermont. I personally do not want the F-35s in our community or our state. They belong on a military base that is not set in the most populated county, next to an international airport. So when the plan changes to have nuclear capability, the aircraft will already be where they belong.
The Big Lie?
[Re Off Message: "Many More Homes Are Inside High-Decibel Areas on New F-35 Sound Maps," May 28]: Government officials lied to get a pet project approved? Say it isn't so!
[Re Off Message: "Vermont to Enact Abortion Rights Law, Gov. Scott's Aide Says," May 20]: So let me see if I understand. The whole narrative about endangered reproductive rights, intrusion on the integrity of a woman's body, the "right" to excise an intrusive growth, etc., has prevailed. The proposition that we are endorsing the extermination of a class of unwanted, well, future Vermonters has not been the view of the legislative majority. Is that it? And we are proud to be enlightened compared to much of the rest of the country. Right?
Does it occur to my fellow citizens that we are echoing the argument for property rights voiced in the South Carolina legislature in 1860? We eventually came to see that slaves are not property. They are people — citizens. When will we come to see in utero "growths" as people, too?
[Re Off Message: "At Homecoming Rally, Bernie Sanders Thanks Vermont," May 25]: Where can you find a job you really enjoy, work three days a week, and be respected and treated like royalty with no chance of being fired? This job includes three to four months off per year with pay, free travel and a lucrative pension vested after 10 years. You'll also have the freedom to look for a better job, taking all the time off you need in seeking it, and draw a full salary and benefits without being penalized. Your health care is the best — often called the "gold plan," with no co-pays or deductibles. If the new job search is fruitless, you can reclaim your old job without penalty, or loss of seniority or status.
As taxpayers, we're being taken for a ride, because every senator or congressperson running for president in 2020 has the above job description. We're a bunch of chumps to allow this to happen. We get what we accept.