11/19/2017
Connect:

Blog

 

Joining others from across the region, a bus-load of Vermonters traveled to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regional detention facility outside of Boston on Thursday to confront the federal agency over the unparalleled rate of detention and deportation of undocumented workers. In addition to ramping up their fight to stop the deportation of organizer and “Human Rights Hero” Danilo Lopez, Vermont’s Migrant Justice organization also made the journey to Beantown to show solidarity with the rapidly...

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...

 

Charlotte- Gathering quietly together at the Charlotte Congregational Church on a humid Monday evening, about two dozen citizens listened to the increasingly well known story of Danilo Lopez, the migrant worker and human rights advocate that now under threat of deportation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Initially arrested by Vermont State Police nearly two years ago while riding in a car, Lopez was then illegally transferred to Border Patrol custody. Though that particular incident managed to resolve itself (and be transformed into a major human rights...

 

Montpelier- Outraged at the exclusive and non-representative procedure surround the Addison Natural Gas Project about 30 citizens from across Vermont gathered to confront the Department of Public Service in Montpelier on Monday. Primarily comprised of members of Rising Tide Vermont, the demonstrators submitted a statement for delivery to Commissioner Chris Recchia demanding a more open and inclusive process before moving forward in with PSB hearings.

The march on the DPS was...

 

Burlington- Residents from across Chittenden County gathered in Burlington on Wednesday to discuss Burlington’s livable wage ordinance as well as a variety of other issues related to Vermont’s labor movement. Supported by local chapters of the AFL-CIO, UE, and VSCA; the community “listening session” was primarily organized by the Vermont Workers’ Center as part of it’s new...

 “Secrecy, being an instrument of conspiracy, ought never to be the system of a regular government.”  -- Jeremy Bentham

The story from Vermont, of all places, is breath-takingly simple: the elected city council, in a bi-partisan vote, has decided to keep its law-making process secret, rather than openly address the question of whether a draconian no-trespass law it passed last winter is patently unconstitutional.    

That’s right, rather than explain why the law it passed is constitutional, the Burlington City Council is hiding behind lawyer-client...

Ask the world to name the US of Empire's most recognizable superhero, and chances are that Superman would be your guy. He's been invented and reinvented more times on TeeVee and by Hollywood than any other famed caped crusader of popular imperial lore, and occupies a special exalted place in the pantheon of good guys fighting for "truth, justice, and the American Way" (whatever THAT may be seems open to interpretation these days). So, it is with great fanfare that the newest iteration of the superman franchise, "Man of Steel," flies into theater globally this month.

At first glance, there's a whole lot to like...

Once upon a time, a friend and I hiked up to beautiful waterfall in the Rocky Mountains near Estes Park.  We walked up a trail that was very dense with vegetation of all sorts, mostly evergreens, but I am sorry to say, I did not look carefully enough to give an accurate census. After viewing the waterfall, I noticed that with a not to difficult a climb we could get to the top of the falls and look down into the valley below.  When we reached the top of the falls and surveyed what lay before us we both gasped.  The best analogy that I can give you was that of Arlington National Cemetery without the trees and the grass...

Part I

One of the many unexplained (at least not officially) anomalies of the persons claimed to have carried out the Boston Marathon bombings is the presence of key CIA figure in the direct family of the accused brothers. Ruslan Tsarnaev, the outspoken uncle of the brothers was married to Samantha A. Fuller until 2004. Samantha’s father is Graham Fuller, the senior CIA person who architected the Afghan Islamic fundamentalist Mujahideen war against the Soviets. He is also implicated in creating a global jihad network, presumably acting on behalf of CIA interests.

Ruslan Tsarnaev, who changed his name to Ruslan Tsarni...

White House, Feeling Pressured, Considers Escalating Syrian Civil War

When a president in his second term is suddenly revealed to be snooping into everyone’s business by every electronic means available, the natural reaction might be to try to change the subject

Trial balloons promoting U.S. military action in Syria started popping up yet again on June 10, as media from one end of the political spectrum to the other quoted mostly anonymous sources from the Obama administration and elsewhere with reactions to proposed violence ranging from enthusiasm...

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act” has been denounced as populist demogoguery. Here's why it isn't.

On July 1, interest rates will double for millions of students – from 3.4% to 6.8% – unless Congress acts; and the legislative fixes on the table are largely just compromises. Only one proposal promises real relief – Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act.” This bill has been dismissed out of hand as “shameless populist demagoguery” and “a cheap political gimmick,” but is it? Or could Warren’s outside-the-box bill represent the sort of game-changing thinking sorely...

It seems that in Oregon, some democrats want to force their perceived superior moral authority on others. How do pharmaceutical companies create demand for their products? In the case of vaccines, they lobby with Pediatric Associations and the State to make product purchase and consumption mandatory. 

But mandates have recently taken a chilling new twist. Yesterday, a bill that sets certain Medical Doctors and the State above religious freedom and a Parent’s Right to decide passed the Oregon Senate. 

Our inalienable rights to rear our young, worship whom we please and decide what goes into our bodies are not partisan issues...

While walking down Congress Street a few days ago, I was solicited by a Greenpeace volunteer. They were in Portland signing up new members and seeking donations. I chatted with the young woman for a few minutes, but declined to make a...

 

Several hundred citizens of Chittenden County gathered at Burlington’s Unitarian Universalist Church Thursday evening to conduct a “citizens hearing” and express their ever-increasing opposition to the coming arrival of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. From the moment of BTV’s selection as a home base for the new aircraft, citizens from nearby Burlington; South Burlington; Winooski; and others have been passionately and diligently organizing to prevent the arrival of the world’s most expensive weapons platform at the Vermont Air Guard...

Assassinating People Prevents Them From Attacking Us 
 
The United States uses Predator and Reaper drones to kill people at a distance, sometimes at random, sometimes Americans or children, and after a decade of this practice, in the face of scattered popular protest, President Obama gave a speech about it on May 23 that was preceded by waves of advance media buzz that the President was going to change some of the policy in the global war on terrorism. 
 
Who in a sane state of mind would expect any change of policy when the...

 

On the occasion of this 2013 Memorial Day, I find it altogether fitting and proper that we as a country take a moment away from our sunny picnics and parades to not only honor our fallen soldiers, but also to consider the decisions and decision-makers that have asked so much of them.

Appearing at the National Defense University in the first major foreign policy and counter-terrorism speech of his 2nd term, President Obama focused primarily on addressing many of the rising concerns regarding his overwhelming implementation of drone strikes around the world as...

 

Despite a series of torrentially rainy days, more than a hundred citizens from across the Green Mountain State marched on the Capitol in Montpelier and joined others from hundreds of cities around the world to express their increasing outrage against Monsanto Corporation. A primary subject of Montpelier’s latest bid to mandate the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food products, Monsanto has vowed to sue the state of Vermont, claiming that such an act would violate the free speech rights of the agri-business giant. No stranger to...

A few days ago in Stockholm I was walking by the water and was accosted by a youngish man from Ireland who shouted out my name. This is not something that happens to me often – apparently he is among that small subset of humanity that has read my book – so I took this coincidence as a sign to stop and have a conversation. 

It turned out he was in Sweden on a two-year program for boat-building, learning traditional techniques to build small boats by hand. His story inspired me in several ways. First, here was an intelligent young person is committed to work that offers no possibility of high social status or wealth. Second, he was...

One of the wry pleasures that’s repeatedly come my way since the beginning of this blog seven years ago is that of watching a good many of my predictions come true in short order. Now it’s true that I’ve also made a certain number of failed predictions over that time. Back in 2007 and 2008, for instance, I insisted that the US government wouldn’t be dumb enough to try to cover its ballooning budget deficits by spinning the printing presses; some idiocies, I thought, were too extreme even for the inmates of the current American political class.  As th Fed proceeds merrily through yet another round of quantitative easing, that assumption has...

Pages