The EAI Blog is a forum for our members and followers to post and share a variety of perspectives on topical issues. We encourage diverse, and civil debate. These opinions do not necessarily reflect the position of the Institute.

John Kerry on Climate during Ukraine Crisis

Former Senator and Presidential candidate John Kerry has long been one of my least favorite people. He is now the high level Biden climate ambassador charged with persuading the world to join in the war against climate change. Let me share with you one of his recent pronouncements.

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EAI's Dialogues with Meg Hansen

The Kids Are Not Alright

 

The rise of cancel culture in recent years parallels the institutionalization of catastrophic thinking (e.g. “The world is going to end in 12 years”). These toxic thought patterns and behaviors wreak havoc on our psyche and all the more on that of young people. Then came COVID-19.

Public health leaders and politicians pretended that the disease is equally deadly to all age groups. It allowed them to enact indiscriminate policies – lockdowns, school closures, and mask mandates – that exacted a heavy price on the youngest Americans. In a nationally representative survey of 941 K-12 educators, 97 percent reported academic and social-emotional learning losses in their students because of COVID-related disruptions in schooling.

Over the last two years, children have been experiencing emotional and mental health crises. Cases of self-harm, panic attacks, phobias about contamination, eating and sleeping disorders, screen addiction (computers and mobile devices), and teen substance use have surged. In many instances, young children are losing previously achieved developmental and behavioral milestones. Finally, schools continue to mandate masks even though cloth/ surgical masks offer poor protection from COVID, and the harms caused by extended mask use have been well documented.

Suffice to say, the kids are not alright.

Exposure to chronic, recurrent traumatic events during one’s early years has been linked to poorer physical and mental health outcomes in adulthood. It also correlates to severe social and emotional dysfunction that compromises interpersonal relationships at home, in the workplace, and in the community. 

In this episode of EAI’s Dialogues with Meg Hansen, we explore why so many truths about early trauma are considered taboo by the public health establishment. Our guest Anna Runkle is the creator of the popular YouTube channel, “Crappy Childhood Fairy,” which has 239,000 subscribers. A living proof expert in trauma, she reaches a global community of 300,000 people with her teachings on how to recognize and heal Complex PTSD. Runkle holds a Masters in Public Policy from UC Berkeley and spent thirty years in the field of public health.

We address difficult questions like how a two-parent, child-centric family structure affects child development. How does hookup culture hurt young women and men? Why don’t public health authorities call out cancel culture for what it is – a cult of narcissistic abuse? We connect trauma at an individual level with large-scale societal happenings, and examine how an epidemic of untreated trauma is affecting the American body politic.

 

Watch the conversation on YouTube or Facebook. You'd rather listen? Subscribe to EAI's Dialogues with Meg Hansen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify so you never miss an episode.

 

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Ethan Allen Institute Names Meg Hansen New President

The Ethan Allen Institute is excited to announce that Meg Hansen will take over as president on March 1. Hansen, who joined EAI’s Board of Directors in January, has been active in the fields of public policy, grassroots advocacy, and related media initiatives since Vermont became her home over a decade ago. She fell in love with the region (and her now husband) while earning a graduate degree in the humanities from Dartmouth College (2014).

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Black History Month

February is Black History Month, and it’s a very good time for non-Black Americans to gain a full appreciation of the centuries of slavery, segregation, persecution and oppression that the white majority of our country imposed upon a people brought here in bondage and abused in every imaginable way, in some cases right up to the present day.

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Senate Rental Registry Debate Colored by Visions of Ideal Government

Senator Michael Sirotkin’s testimony last week in favor of a rental housing registry (S.210), was quite illuminating. “I think what this really comes down to is a philosophy issue. One person thinks that government can do good, and in some cases it needs to do good. And other people feel like when there's government involvement it can't do any good. I think their lies the crux of the difference of opinion. We have a rental housing inspection system that does not work, it hasn't worked for 30 years now we have a big problem and it's time for us to step up and fix it.”

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The $48 Million Child Tax Credit Game

Last week we were treated to a self congratulatory news release from House speaker Jill Krowinski and Ways and Means chair Janet Ancel, announcing their latest venture to fight poverty: the child tax credit.  “It is critical we continue to work together to support all Vermonters as we recover from pandemic and focus on building resilient communities,” said Speaker Krowinski. “Today’s vote on a child tax credit for working families…is a key part of this plan. H.510 will provide needed relief for Vermonters to make payments on their mortgage or rent, buy food and basic essentials, pay for child care, and so much more.”

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Oops. Major Component of Climate Plan Violates US Constitution.

The unelected Climate Council put forward its Climate Action Plan (CAP) in December 2021 with two major components: 1) The Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), which was basically a cap-and-trade-style carbon tax on motor fuels, and 2) a Clean Heat Standard (CHS), which is basically a cap-and-trade-style carbon tax on fossil based home heating fuels (oil, propane, natural gas, kerosene).

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Scott’s Contractor Bill Veto

On February 10 Gov. Scott vetoed H.157, the Small Contractor Registration Bill, on the grounds that “this bill favors larger and more established businesses at the expense of small, entry-level businesses by imposing, by law, specific contract and insurance requirements that many of the smaller businesses will not be able to meet.”  Good for him!

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Critical Race Theory & Opportunity over Equity

For those Vermonters who are concerned about the inclusion of critical race theory in our public schools , there’s some heartening news from Virginia.

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EAI Launches New Video Podcast

The Ethan Allen Institute is excited to present the preview of our new video podcast *EAI's Dialogues with Meg Hansen.* Our goal is to present thought-provoking conversations about the most consequential issues we face today with guests that are on the vanguard of their respective disciplines.

Podcast listeners have a median age of 34 years – younger than that of broadcast radio (where the median age is 47 years) and network television (57 years). The percentage of monthly podcast listeners in the 12-to-34-age category grew from 27 percent in 2017 to 49 percent in 2020. 

Indeed, these numbers will keep growing. Podcasting is booming. With this project, we aim to expand EAI's reach especially to a younger demographic. It will also strengthen our ability to promptly engage with and drive the news cycle. 

You can watch EAI"s Dialogues with Meg Hansen on YouTubeVimeo, and Facebook and listen to the episodes on Apple Podcasts and SoundCloud. The first episode drops on Monday, February 21.


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