About half of countries who attempt to build single-payer systems fail. That’s Hsiao’s estimate after working with about 10 governments in the past two decades. Whether he’s in Taiwan, Cyprus, or Vermont, the process is roughly the same: meet with legislators, draw up a plan, write legislation. Only half of those bills actually become law. The part where it collapses is, inevitably, when the country has to pay for it.
Ezra Klein's Vox Media looks at the financial and administrative mechanics
of Governor Peter Shumlin's quest to bring single-payer health care to Vermont. Bonus: 12 questions
posted by psoas
on Apr 9, 2014 -
"In October 2013, Drs. Tim Perkins and Abby van Den Berg of the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center
, revealed the findings of a study at a maple syrup conference in New Brunswick, Canada that sent waves through the industry. In 2010, they were studying vacuum systems in sap collection operations. Based on the observation that one of the mature trees in the study that was missing most of its top was still yielding high volumes of sap, they hypothesized that the maples were possibly drawing moisture from the soil and not the crown. Previously, they had presumed that the sap dripping from tap holes was coming from the upper portion of the tree. But, if the tree was missing most of its crown then, they surmised, it must be drawing moisture from the roots. ... They realized that their discovery meant sugarmakers could use saplings, densely planted in open fields, to harvest sap. In other words, it is possible that maple syrup could now be produced as a row crop like every other commercial crop in North America.
" [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Jan 23, 2014 -
One year after the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
decision, which, overturning over 100 years of precedent, opened a floodgate of corporate money into election campaigns, Virginia Lyons (D-VT), has introduced legislation
(full text of bill not yet available, articles here
) in the Vermont State Senate to amend the United States Constitution to explicitly state that corporations are not
This would overturn the controversial notion of corporate personhood
which was established in the 1800s. Controversial not only for the unequal distribution of rights and responsibilities among humans and corporations, some, like Thom Hartmann
), have claimed that the notion of corporate personhood was established as an intentional misinterpretation
of the decision as recorded by court reporter J.C. Bancroft Davis, former president of the Newburgh & New York Railway Co. [more inside]
posted by laminarial
on Jan 24, 2011 -
"It had a sign outside it saying Museum of the Americas, but no one ever visited it. Anyway, so he opened this door, turned on the lights one by one, and the sight that met my eyes
is something I shall never, ever forget because instead of a congregation of people in this disused church, it was a congregation of portraits
." Philip Mould
, an art expert and a host of the British version of Antiques Roadshow, describes an early business trip where he met Earle Newton
. Newton's home grown Museum of the Americas, a collection of over 300 rare 17th- and 18th-century English and American portraits
, was housed in a nondescript church on the side of a road in rural Vermont. The collection, later valued at over nine million dollars, became the Earle W. Newton Center for British and American Studies
at the Savannah College of Art and Design upon Newton's death. [via]
posted by jessamyn
on Nov 9, 2010 -
First, there was the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck
. Now, everyone's favorite super-premium conglomerate-owned sticking-to-its-righteous-roots ice cream company has transformed "Chubby Hubby" into Hubby Hubby
(only in VT, only for September), in support of same sex marriage, which is legal in Vermont as of this month. No word yet whether Iowa-based Winnebago will follow suit with a specially-named RV.
posted by ericbop
on Sep 3, 2009 -
is a daily diary comic by James Kochalka. The latest strip is always free but the archives are subscription only. He also a musician, his most famous song being Hockey Monkey
, and he has number of songs up for free on his site. [via Eddie Campbell who says: "Beginning in 1998 Kochalka took the form of daily strip and imbued it with a life that has been missing from it for a long time. Since then he has made sure his daily round is not finished until a strip is done. Another thing I like about it is the way he carefully avoids any taint of 'continuity'. There is no story here, just the eternal incidentalness of life as it is lived."]
posted by Kattullus
on Aug 29, 2007 -
"All Creeds. All Breeds. No Dogmas Allowed."
Whether you are a dog person or not, you have probably seen Stephen Huneck's woodcut illustrations
or children's books
. The man clearly likes his canines. About eight years ago, a wild idea
came to him shortly after he returned home with his wife and three dogs following a near-fatal illness that left him in a coma for two months. He was inspired to build a non-denominational chapel on his 400-acre mountain-top farm in St. Johnsbury (named "Dog Mountain," naturally), and to style it in the manner of a small village church built in Vermont around 1820. He then opened Dog Chapel
to the public. "I look at this chapel as the largest artwork of my life, and my most personal."
he says. It looks cool
posted by miss lynnster
on May 29, 2007 -
Interactive Toxic Town from Natl Library Medicine
This NLM link shows relatively small everyday sources of toxics around town. Most worry over envirodisasters like Love Canal
and Libby Montana
but toxics in homes, schools, and small biz can add up to a bigger dose for most of us. The toxic town thread from June 2nd shows the incredible scale of industrial negligance at the nasty sites. Time capsules are neat when you stumble into something gramps left in the attic to remember his hey day. But hazwaste sites are time capsules of a different sort, left behind by industries escaping their environmental liabilities. These sites tell the story of utter disregard for the environment and community as hazwaste was poured down floor drains, dumped into soil and unlined lagoons, or directed into nearby streams. Most of us live far enough away from these chemical bullseyes to not be directly affected. But even more unbelieveably, sometimes the industry was able to pawn off its waste as "clean fill", getting rid of the stuff and spreading it all over town. Prime examples: Grand Junction CO
and Stratford CT
. But you don't need that for your street to harbor toxic waste - there are thousands of small waste sites in various stages of discovery or cleanup embedded in every state, rural/suburban/urban towns alike. Leaking tanks beneath gas pumps, dry cleaners, small industry, farms, nurseries,and even some homes can be toxics hot spots. Vermont's statewide hazwaste site list broken down by town
is an example - it would be smart to find the list for your town.
posted by whatstoxic
on Oct 11, 2006 -
(I-VT) has decided not to run for re-election in 2006 and Bernie Sanders will run for the Senate seat. Major General Martha Rainville
(adjutant general of the Vermont Army National Guard) is thinking of making a run as a Republican.
posted by C17H19NO3
on May 9, 2005 -
An announcement from Trey:
"So Coventry will be the final Phish show...For the sake of clarity, I should say that this is not like the hiatus, which was our last attempt to revitalize ourselves. We're done. It's been an amazing and incredible journey."
posted by methree
on May 25, 2004 -
6000 breathtaking aerial photos
of American towns and other sites, with particularly good coverage of towns in New England (MA
). All of this by one photographer, Joseph Melanson, whose mission in life is "to show you facets of your environment that you never realized no matter how long you lived there."
posted by dougb
on Aug 6, 2003 -
Get to know that name because you will likely be hearing it often in the coming months. The Governor of Vermont is currently the only Democratic presidential contender who has officially declared his candidacy. He is gaining press nationally and internationally as a potential breath of fresh air on the American political landscape. An interesting mix of liberal populism and traditional conservative fiscal responsibility, he is known to rub colleges from both sides of the ideological spectrum the wrong way. Regardless of your opinion on his politics, do you think this man have a shot? Do the proverbial square pegs in the Democratic and GOP round holes ever stand a chance? Will the Bush and Gore juggernauts forever push differing ideas into the realm of third parties or is there room for descent from within?
posted by EmoChild
on Aug 27, 2002 -
The Strolling of the Heifers.
It's not exactly the running of the bulls
, but Brattleboro, Vermont's "three-day festival about cows, small towns, small farms and the myriad things that make rural life special" hopes to support the local farming community, which has been badly squeezed
since the expiration of the Northeast Dairy Compact. It features (among other things) a milking contest
between U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, U.S. Senator James Jeffords, and U.S. Congressman Bernie Sanders.
posted by mattpfeff
on May 13, 2002 -