09/22/2017
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Most Likely to Secede

“I want Hunger Games to stir up a revolution,” explains Canadian actor and longtime leftie activist Donald Sutherland in a recent interview with “The Guardian.” And he isn’t kidding. Sutherland, who again plays evil Panem president Coriolanus Snow in the second installment of Suzanne Collins’ bestselling Hunger Games trilogy, doesn’t mince words in describing his frustration with his perceived apathy of today’s millennials. “You know the young people of this society have not moved in the last thirty years,” he observes. “They have been consumed with telephones. Tweeting. “ Sutherland’s sweeping stereotypes and Sixties nostalgia aside, he’s right about the Hunger Games – it has the potential to be read as a potent parable for our times....
Dear High Country News, As a Vermonter who lived out West for 10 years in my twenties, I have been a loyal HCN subscriber since 1992 - excellent newspaper - and was pleased to read Krista Langlois' fine article about secession in your new issue. Since I was quoted a bit out of context, here are a few additional observations. I hope you will publish them. 1. Secession is every American's birthright - the concept drives Jefferson's 1776 Declaration of Independence and is woven into the fabric of U.S. constitutional history. Secessionists, moreover, come in all stripes - rural and urban, liberal and conservative, east, west, north and south. 2. New Englanders, not Southerners, were the first secessionists - witness Connecticut's 1814...
True confessions. I enjoy “Homeland.” Like six million other weekly TV viewers, including President Obama, I tune in every week to Showtime’s wildly successful Emmy Award winning spy show, conceived by “24” creators Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, and based on Israeli writer Gideon Raff’s series “Hatufim” (“Prisoners Of War”). Where else on TV will you find a fictionalized dive into (in no particular order) C.I.A. intrigue, PTSD’s impact on war veterans, sexting and teenage angst, drone warfare, Beltway family jockeying, Middle Eastern money laundering, and the spinning of super-secret spy and counter spy scenarios? Not to mention great sex, and the chance, in this new third season, to vicariously voyage to Venezuela. Let’s also...
Gwen Hallsmith of Vermonters for a New Economy joins Senator Anthony Pollina and Gund Institute researcher Gary Flomenhoft to announce a New Vermont Public Bank Study.   Imagine this: The once and future Vermont Republic establishes a Vermont Public Bank and doing so:   1. CREATES JOBS - create more than 2,500 more of them for Vermonters.   2. INCREASES CAPITAL: Add $192 million to the Gross State Product.   3. BOOSTS OUTPUT: Increase state output by $342 million.   4. DELIVERS ENORMOUS INTEREST SAVINGS: Save close to $100 million in interest over 20 years, if used to finance Vermont state capital expenditures.   Sound exciting? We think so. How can you get involved?   Learn more about a Vermont public bank @...
Quick quiz from this independence-minded Vermont perfesser. What’s the United States’ greatest gift to the world? If you answered with the Declaration of Independence (all about “secession,” of course), the invention of the U.S. postal office (a few years after the first Vermont republic started delivering their own mail beginning in 1777), the national park idea, or really good beer, you are in the ballpark. The best answer, though, may be the invention of universal public education, something we do really well here in the once and future Republic of Vermont. So tell me if you've heard this mantra. Our public schools are terrible. Graduation rates are a scandal. Teachers are incompetent. Our kids are getting crushed in the...
“If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to be afraid of.” -Google’s Eric Schmidt I killed my TeeVee when I went to college in 1985. Stopped watching. Cold turkey. An active watcher all my young life, I grew up and decided that television was too corporate, too commercial, and too invasive. University life, with its infinite distractions, intellectual and otherwise, proved much more compelling. I continued my television-free life into my twenties, and found I didn’t miss the screen a bit. The “boob tube’s” critics, meanwhile, savaged the medium; the “idiot box” was a “plug-in drug,” creating a culture in which we were “amusing ourselves to death,” explained NYU media critic Neil Postman in a 1985 book with the same title (still...
Prescription drug addiction has emerged as one of Vermont’s most pervasive and most hidden public health problems. Now, “The Hungry Heart,” produced by Kingdom County Productions and directed by Peacham, Vermont filmmaker Bess O’Brien, provides a powerful and intimate look at the often hidden world of prescription drug addiction in a moving documentary that bears witness to the struggles of drug addicts, their families, and the medical professionals who do their utmost to support them. The hero of “The Hungry Heart” is St. Albans, Vermont pediatrician Fred Holmes, who has spent more than forty years counseling, supporting and mentoring a wide variety of addicts. Direct, honest, and compassionate with his patients, Holmes clearly...
Turn on your TeeVees. It's screen-driven pop culture propaganda dissemination time once again in the U.S. of Empire. Season 3 of Showtime's wildly successful spy drama "Homeland" kicks into high gear this Sunday, September 29 at 9:00 pm. With multiple Emmys and two seasons worth of spy mojo under its belt, "Homeland" has delivered some of TV's most memorable moments of our post 9/11 era. Six million Americans (2% of the population, including President Obama) count themselves regular die-hard weekly viewers. Here are four different ways "Homeland" fans pledge allegiance (season 3's tagline) to the show, and a quick primer on how you can get in on the action. Just remember - the job of corporate commercial media in the U.S. of Empire...
​ If Argo was the big winner on 2013 Oscars night, Kathryn Bigelow’s acclaimed film Zero Dark Thirty (ZDT) proved the big loser. Or was it? As a director, the talented Bigelow has crafted a deserved reputation for gritty realistic depictions of war—think Jeremy Renner as an emotionally detached bomb squad leader in The Hurt Locker. ZDT, which garnered multiple Oscar nominations, emerged as a gripping story—“witness the greatest manhunt in history”—based on Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal’s recasting of facts garnered from “unusual access to senior officials at the Pentagon and CIA who were deeply involved in the hunt for Osama bin Laden.”19 (More on this in a moment.) Critics initially praised the film on release for its “realistic”...
While I loved Tim Newcomb's "Retiring Vermont Yankee" cartoon and have framed your full-page Entergy Nuclear's mea culpa advertorial (Issue 9/4/13 is one for the ages - thanks), the oft-astute Paul Heinz's "Fair Game" column on Syria seemed a slapdash shillfest’ian stinker. Why does Heinz accept the U.S. government's official story that the Syrian government gassed their own citizens when evidence suggests it may have been Syrian rebels? Why does Heintz spill valuable ink painting our 3 Vermont Congressmen into an impossible "choose your poison" = false choice" corner - bomb Syria or watch Syria kill more civilians - while 2/3 of them are on summer vacation? Some suggestions for Paul. Contextualize the Syrian situation for us, your...

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