07/26/2017
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Third Way Economics

As I researched the banking system in Vermont for the public bank report I'm working on some interesting things emerged.  What you mainly hear from people in power is "Don't change anything!  Everything is fine!"  But a pattern emerges about sovereignty that I find very interesting.  Liberals (democrats) have always been ok with big government and centralized power, so it's not surprising that they don't support Vermont sovereignty.  They can't attack big business because then they will be called the dreaded socialist word.  Conservatives have always espoused local control, ie: states rights.  So what's more interesting is how "conservatives" have sold out Vermont to (mostly foreign) big business under the ideology that "the market knows...
I was driving back from Amherst, Ma and stopped somewhere around Windsor, VT and noticed a headline in the Rutland Herald that said, “State Catches Heat for Yankee closing”. The article could just have easily come from the Times Argus:  “Angry Vernon residents blamed the state of Vermont Monday for the looming shutdown of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, two Vermont House committees were told…More than one Yankee employee said they didn’t want to leave Vermont, and they didn’t know where they would find a job to replace their job at the Vernon reactor.” What it should have said is “Fracking Catches Heat for Yankee Closing” because fracking dropped the price of natural gas fired electricity, which put Vt Yankee out of business...
Secessionists should celebrate the DC shutdown.  WHOO HOO!  We got what we have wanted for 10 years.  For 16 days the national government was out of business. Did the economy collapse?  Did the terrorists attack?  Was there chaos in the streets?  Did the sky fall?  No.  None of these things happened.  The fear is overblown. Was your life affected at all?  Seriously think about it.  It didn't affect me in the slightest.  I am not everyone, since I receive no federal government services, and am not employed by the feds. I do think that Social Security and Medicare are important for now, but as Bernie has repeatedly stated SOCIAL SECURITY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BUDGET DEFICIT OR NATIONAL DEBT since it's funded separately!  In fact the...
  "The business of national security is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." (Slight alteration of Hunter Thompson's original quote) In 1935 retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler (A two time medal of Honor winner, and most highly decorated officer at that time) published a booklet entitled, "War is a Racket". In this booklet Butler outlined the blatant war profiteering that took place during WW I: DuPont, makers of gunpowder, profits increased 850% during the war, compared to the same period of time before the war, from $6 million to $58 million. Bethlehem Steel: $6 million to $49 million = +716% US Steel: $105...
Verizon Land Line service has just outdone themselves for the worst possible service and exceeded their previous record of atrocious and mendacious customer service.  After 60 hours they are incapable of adding long distance service to my land line.  In the old days before automation, adding long distance service used to take about 5 minutes.  The agent would ask, "Which long distance service would you like, Sprint, MCI, or ATT?  "I'll take Sprint."  "Ok, SPRINT is now turned on."  "Thank you." I lost my cellphone and needed to use the land line to call people back with out-of-state numbers.  I called Verizon Land Lines Sunday at 8AM and after getting past the firewall of robot answering machines I ordered long distance service.  Next I...
We are constantly being told that the "free market" (a government regulated program) is more efficient, and therefore we must privatize everything.  I generally agree that some things are done better by the private sector, as long as we don't privatize the commons. But my support for the "free-market" was challenged recently by an experience with VERIZON getting internet service at my summer rental house.  Although this may sound like a boring and routine story, you might find it entertaining, I'll try to make it so. This was my second major FUBAR experience with the VERIZON LAND LINE department.  I'll digress briefly to that incident:  The first FUBAR was when I made the mistake of combining my wireless and land line bill into one...
The upcoming "sequestration" this Friday originated in the Budget Control Act of 2011.  Since Congress can't agree on anything, they passed a bill for automatic budget cuts starting this Friday of $85 billion this year.  Cutting the bloated Empire's budget is a good thing if you ask me.  Starve the beast.  But of course Democrats and Militarists are crying wolf about the devastating results of budget cuts, especially the militarists. Writers such as William Bennett are calling the military budget cuts "disastrous", catastrophic and the like, citing Leon Panetta, Sens. John McCain, and Lindsey Graham. " Sen. Graham said the full brunt of these cuts would mean "no more F-35s (Hurrah!), no more modern fighters" and "it means that those...
Thomas Naylor used to propose that perhaps one of the best solutions for Vermont to escape the US Empire would be to join the Canadian Maritime provinces, and form a small peaceful country called "New Acadia".  Vermont has joined Canada, but not the way Thomas imagined it.  Canada owns Vermont. Let's start with energy. How 'bout that Gaz Metro!  This Quebec company is part of an international comglomerate explored by a VT Digger article.  It owns 100% of VT Gas, the only natural gas dealer in Vermont, which delivers natural gas to the northwest corner of the state.  All the gas in the pipeline comes from gas fields in Alberta, which make a 2000 mile trek to Vermont.  Gas flows in, cash flows out to Quebec. Gaz Metro also owns Green Mt...
Not everyone follows the actions of the private bank cartel called the federal reserve, but I'm sure we'll hear about it Friday at the New Economy conference in Montpelier.  You should all know what the fed is up to lately:  QE3 PLUS!  See article here. You may know that QE3 is a fed program to purchase $40 Billion in mortgage bonds per month from banks, basically taking crap off their hands and making us pay for it. The latest plan is to add $45 billion in Treasury bonds to that. These are open market operations where the Treasury bonds are bought from banks, thereby increasing the money supply and supposedly lowering interest rates further. The US Treasury pays interest on Treasury bonds, and the fed supposedly returns most of it to us...
Carole Gioeli, Settlement Officer IRS Brookhaven Appeals 1040 Waverly Ave. Stop 906 Hotlsville, NY 11742 Dear Carole,             I received your response to my request for a CDP appeal on my 2007 taxes.  Your determination is correct:  My disagreement IS a “moral, religious, political, constitutional, conscientious, or similar objection to the payment of federal taxes that reflect a desire to delay or impede the administration of federal tax laws.” Since you are threatening me with a $5000 penalty if I don’t withdraw my hearing request, what choice do I have?  That is usually called blackmail and I resent it.  I would like to address the issue of this being a “frivolous” or “desire to delay” issue, prior to withdrawing my...

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