11/19/2017
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A whiteboard explanation of the current surveillance issues in Vermont, and in many states which are within 100 miles of an international border.

What would it look like if a government really knew what it was doing?

Lacking a comprehensive, coherent account of rational beings acting in rational ways to work towards peaceful and reliable solutions to difficult questions, we offer here a fragmentary highlight reel of one day in the life of an American government  spinning in all directions toward no known goal in Syria. 

But first a note about the context of the current public debate about Syria: we’re getting conned by the White House on intelligence assessments. Again. As reported by Gareth...

When I was a much younger man, I once camped and hiked in Big Bend National Park in Texas. The Park is in a remote part of West Texas at the “big bend” of the Rio Grande south of Del Rio.

I hiked in the famous “hot spring” canyons and up in the Chisos mountains. I crossed the river into Mexico in a rowboat captained by a young, English speaking Mexican entrepreneur named Frank who then took me to a small hamlet that consisted of a bar, a general store that seemed to sell nothing but Coca Cola and single mud hovel with wash hanging on a clothesline to dry. 

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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...

There is no doubt by proponents and opponents that our movement to oppose the basing of the F-35 has been very successful. Our cause has been heard throughout Vermont, in the DOD and, specifically, the Air Force and other locations throughout the US as well as in some countries around the world. The combination of events, actions and the increasing participation by the number of concerned citizens has compelled the Air Force, VTANG, our Congressional Delegation, other state and local elected officials and the Green Ribbon folks to respond to our concerns, questions and demands.

Not always getting all the headlines but...

itemprop="name">At the height of the Clinton impeachment "crisis," both defenders and critics of the embattled president often referred to what they liked to called "those stubborn facts," basically bits of information the other side preferred not to acknowledge. Mass media seized any opportunity to exploit such disputes, offering themselves as even-handed defenders of fairness and truth. 

     But just a few months later, facts became irrelevant as the US and NATO geared up for a war...

Iraq and Libya have been taken out, and Iran has been heavily boycotted. Syria is now in the cross-hairs. Why? Here is one overlooked scenario. <

In an August 2013 article titled “Larry Summers and the Secret ‘End-game’ Memo,” Greg Palast posted evidence of a secret late-1990s plan devised by Wall Street and U.S. Treasury officials to open banking to the lucrative derivatives business. To pull this off required the relaxation of banking regulations not just in the US but globally. The...

Consider the seven Academy Award nominations received by the hugely popular film Argo, Hollywood’s 2013 Oscar winner for Best Picture, as well as Best Film Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay (#irony?), directed by Ben Affleck—who credits the film’s popularity with reviving his Hollywood career. In case you missed Argo (spoiler alert), the story revolves around Central Intelligence Agency operative Tony Mendez (played by Affleck), who convinces the Agency to build a fake movie production agency from scratch, slip into post–Revolutionary Iran, and liberate six Americans stranded in hiding at the Canadian embassy...

When the president asks Congress for a blank check for war, why does the Congress fret about setting a limit on war powers instead of just saying: “NO” to any check? What happened to checks and balances (as if we all didn’t know)?   

Already quislings of both parties in the Senate – Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Republican Pat Roberts of Kansas – are staking out the “compromise” position of a limited war in response to President Obama’s proposal for an open-ended war authorization.  According to Leahy, Democratic senate staffers are working on an alternative authorization for killing Syrians. ...

 

From Polyface Farm's Facebook page

Yesterday morning at shortly after 7 a.m. the phone rang: it was 911 calling us at the farm. Some cows had wandered out into the road at one of our leased farms.

We've been working on about 400 yards of new boundary fence on this farm and had the old fence all down, the site prepped, and half the new posts pounded in, hoping to finish up yesterday and stretch fence today. We'd left a couple of internal electric...

Labor Day brings the end of summer, the opening of schools and a swarm of education polls. The number of these tallies has increased as groups from the left and right launch efforts that – not too surprisingly – tend to produce results favoring their perspective. The granddaddy, and most universally respected, of these is the Gallup poll sponsored by Phi Delta Kappa, which just released its 45th annual report.

A couple of findings jump out; Most people have not heard of many of the nation’s biggest reform...

President Obama is apparently wobbling on the edge of committing an impeachable offense, specifically a military attack on Syria without the authorization of Congress, without the approval of the United Nations Security Council, and without any imminent threat to the United States.

The president finds himself pressured on one side by his own rookie mistake on August 20, 2012, when he said at a press conference, in answer to a question about the civil war in Syria, "We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of...

School is back in session. The U.S. of Empire trundles on. Vermont continues to explore independence. But, before we get back to routine - can you name this past summer's best movie? Plenty of Hollywood imperial blockbusters busted through, from "Star Trek" to "Superman" to "Wolverine" to (ugh) "Lone Ranger." And yes, moviegoers experienced the usual summer outbreak of predictable comedies, sequels, and the like. But the best movie of the summer, by far, came courtesy of co-directors Nat Faxon (who gave us such stinkers as "Bad Teacher") and Jim Rash.

If you've seen the film trailer...

This year, my tax bill to support public education in Vermont is $9,478.32, and, historically, I've felt it was money well spent. Right now, though, I'm frustrated that the Vermont Secretary of Education's answers to my 28 Questions about the Common Core aren't worth a plug nickel. I wanted to know the decision-making process that led Vermont to embrace the Common Core. Secretary of Education Vilaseca tells me, "The answers to many of the questions that you ask are available...

This is an excerpted chapter from the forthcoming Project Censored 2014 book - available in September 2013. Visit www.projectcensored.org for more information.

Every day . . . our children learn to open their imaginations, to dream just a little bigger . . . I want to thank all of you tonight for being part of that vitally important work. -Michelle Obama on Argo, via White House satellite feed to the Academy Awards...
As the debts can never be repaid, nations are now operating with whatever ad hoc funding the central bankers decide to provide – and those funds can only be spent on the programs specified by the banker's agents. This is a system of centralized economic management, but it's only an interim system. It functions as a life-support system for a dying economic paradigm, while a new economic paradigm is being rapidly established.
 
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Giant bank holding companies now own airports, toll roads, and ports; control power plants; and store and hoard vast quantities of commodities of all sorts. They are systematically buying up or gaining control of the essential lifelines of the economy. How have they pulled this off, and where have they gotten the money?

In a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke dated June 27, 2013, US Representative Alan Grayson and three co-signers expressed concern about the expansion...

There is money being made from carbon credits and such, but anthropogenic global warming is not about making money, nor is it about neoliberalism.

Neoliberalism is the application of laissez-faire doctrine to the global economy. The purpose of the Neoliberal Project has been to undermine national sovereignty, destabilize national economies, and establish supranational institutions, e.g. the WTO, that are destined to become part of the infrastructure of a global technocratic state. 
 
'Free trade' treaties created opportunities for...

Before Eliot Spitzer’s infamous resignation as governor of New York in March 2008, he was one of our fiercest champions against Wall Street corruption, in a state that had some of the toughest legislation for controlling the banks. It may not be a coincidence that the revelation of his indiscretions with a high-priced call girl came less than a month after he published a bold editorial in the Washington Post titled “Predatory Lenders’ Partner in Crime: How the Bush...

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