07/26/2017
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Whenever the Federal Reserve wants to tweak the dials of the economy -- or pretend that it can -- it turns first to its sock puppet at The Wall Street Journal, John Hilsenrath, and "leaks" a rumor of policy change (HERE). They like to do this late on Fridays when financial markets are about to close, so that market players will have a whole weekend to ponder the Fed's actions like medieval viziers reading goat entrails.

     Last Friday's puddle...

It was a fairy tale premise: Once upon a time a charismatic prince appeared magically and gave an inspiring, instantly famous speech. Four years later he was leading the most powerful kingdom in the world from the brink of disaster. 

Believable, isn’t it? But, as Ken Silverstein revealed in Harpers long before the 2008 presidential election, by the time Barack Obama gave his keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention he “had already undergone an equally successful but much quieter audition with Democratic Party leaders and fund-raisers, without whose support he would surely...

A long time ago, at the end of the last millennium, a group of U.S. government elites collectively known as “neoconservatives” drafted a visionary document called “The Project for a New American Century” (PNAC). Easily readable via the Internet, this PNAC document made clear that the 21st century United States’ chief goal would be nothing less than world domination (dubbed “full spectrum dominance” in Pentagon’ese) in the name of waging a global sequential war for the planet’s remaining fossil fuel energy resources. Looking back over the decade since the 9/11/2001 tragedy (itself an unsolved mystery, as...

Isn't it a good thing Boston and 9/11 have almost nothing in common?

Talking about the Boston Patriots' Day bombings in a 500-word statement on the Senate floor April 16, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell did what he's paid to do, he played politics with a terrible event about which he has no special knowledge.

He began reasonably enough: "Today, the thoughts of every American are with the people of Boston, but especially with the many victims of yesterday's horrendous attacks, and their families."

That's hyperbole, of course, and there's no way he can know if it's true,...

If you always do what you’ve always done, a popular saying nowadays has it, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. Most people accept that readily enough in the abstract.  It’s when they attempt to apply this logic to their own lives and thinking that they get tripped up, because self-defeating patterns very often arise from a mismatch between basic presuppositions about the world and the world as it’s actually experienced, and confronting that mismatch is not an easy thing. It’s usually much simpler to insist that it’s different this time, and repeat the same failed strategy yet again.
 
The...

By Vidda Crochetta

What is it about the future we seem to fear so much? Will we all end by “dining on ashes” paralyzed like lumps of coal on a fire? Will there be any free space left to sit on the ground “and tell sad stories of the death of kings?”

We have to start somewhere.
 
Yet, the time is at hand and we do not have what it takes to coalesce our minds and spirit into a reckoning force that cannot be ignored.
 
But the night is young. In the darkest hours only those who are the bravest will rush in “where angels fear to tread.” Let’s hope...

 

   As I'm sure is common to many of us involved with and/or reading this blog, I spend a lot of time on online forums discussing issues of peak oil, climate change, fiat money collapse and other questions that may determine the survivability of complex human civilization. I often find it jarring to come downstairs from such discussions and see friends or family watching MSNBC hotly “debating” whether such and such a state has a “constitutional” right to revoke abortion rights prior to 10 weeks instead of the pre-established 12, whether so-and-so has doomed his candidacy by opposing gay marriage rights, or lamenting how influential the “gun...

As published in Voice of America by Julie Taboh, April 29, 2013:  

Aluminum is everywhere. From airplanes to cooking pans, this versatile, light-weight metal has been around for generations.

And its many benefits have made life easier and more convenient for millions of people. But a new documentary portrays what the filmmaker describes as the "dark side" of aluminum.

It’s in the cans we drink out of...

 

Montpelier- As many as 1,700 people descended on Montpelier Wednesday to celebrate May Day, the international workers’ holiday, to show their support and participate in solidarity activities for workers’ rights, human rights, immigration reform, and a range of climate justice issues. Primarily organized by the Vermont Workers’ Center, this year’s May Day festivities were also celebrated by more than a dozen other organizations including...

In a personal blog post titled "A Commentary on the Marathon Murders," Richard Falk begins by describing Boston's "dominant reactions" to the Patriots' Day bombing as being full of compassion for the victims, resolve to catch the perpetrators, and an urge to restore normalcy as swiftly as possible:

In this spirit, it is best to avoid dwelling on the gory details by darkly glamorizing the scene of mayhem with flowers and homage. It is better to move forward with calm resolve and a re-commitment to the revolutionary ideals that midwifed the birth of the American nation. 

Such responses are generally...
 
It's been said that a man’s religion is the thing he can’t bear to have questioned. If there’s any truth in that old saying, the idea that faith in progress is a religion has a great deal going for it. Over the seven years this blog has been appearing, I’ve discussed any number of controversial issues and made plenty of proposals that contradict the conventional wisdom of our times; none of them has fielded me as many spluttering denunciations as the suggestion that belief in progress is the most important civil religion of the modern industrial world.
 
A commenter on one of the many...

Confucius said that the health of a nation could be determined by the integrity of its homes. If we apply that standard, we’re in trouble.

Culturally, most Americans don’t even have homes anymore. They have houses, not homes. Homes are something that are made, not bought. And, homes, thus, require homemakers. That’s right, plural: homemakers. I’m not talking about just women. And, I’m not talking about Ozzie and Harriet stereotypical housewives.

I am talking about what Dr....

“[W]ith Cyprus . . . the game itself changed. By raiding the depositors’ accounts, a major central bank has gone where they would not previously have dared. The Rubicon has been crossed.”

—Eric Sprott, Shree Kargutkar, “Caveat Depositor

The crossing of the Rubicon into the confiscation of depositor funds was not a one-off emergency measure limited to Cyprus.  Similar “bail-in” policies are now appearing in multiple countries.  (See my earlier articles ...

Who Are The Terrorists, And Can You Know One When You See One? 

How is President Obama NOT a terrorist, like President Bush and other presidents before him? What does it mean to be a terrorist? Isn’t someone who commits or colludes in a terrorist act quite simply a terrorist? What is a terrorist act? Isn’t a terrorist act an act of violence designed to murder, main, and terrorize civilians?

Is there a difference between a terrorist act and an act of war? Not necessarily. The bombing of London 1941 and Hiroshima 1945 were acts of war,...

At this very moment, there are approximately 130 prisoners on hunger strike in the prison facility operated by the United States military located at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Numerous reports and testimonials corroborate this: detainees’ lawyers, human rights advocates, the Red Cross, and others. Initially denying the very existence of the hunger strike, the military has now slowly acknowledged that there were indeed a small number of prisoners on hunger strike, only about 20… then 40, then 60, and now finally admitting that at least 100 prisoners are starving themselves to death in peaceful protest of their imprisonment...

Does Homeland Security Apply to The Whole Homeland?

Boston’s bombings have brought out all kinds of conspiracy theory and bigoted reactions, even though nobody knows anything with much certainty yet. The West Fertilizer Company explosion on April 17 resulted from an actual, American conspiracy of a very familiar sort, a conspiracy of deliberate corporate denial or deceit – for an example, think about tobacco companies – combined with government inaction.

When an explosion in Texas kills an as yet uncertain number of people, leveling almost...

TOP STORY 

Welcome to the Drones Wars: States Debate Limits as Business Eyes $89 Billion
 
Idaho took the lead in protecting people from drone surveillance last week when Gov. Butch Otter became the first state leader to sign legislation. Known as the “Preserving Freedom from Unwanted Surveillance Act,” the law restricts the use of drones by government or law enforcement, particularly when it involves gathering of evidence and surveillance on private property....

In the wake of terror attacks, politicians are fond of proclaiming, “We will not be intimidated.” By this they seem to mean that we won’t cower in fear, but will boldly root out the terrorists, visit upon them the hand of justice, and hold them to account. “Make no mistake,” about that, they say. We will be tough, and by tough they mean heightening security at home, intensifying counter-terrorism measures abroad, and punishing the perpetrators and all who give them aid and comfort.

Tough and strong though they seem, all of these responses are based on fear. They are the actions of people who are afraid of terrorism...

Our MOST LIKELY TO SECEDE book tour kicked off in fine fashion @ Shiretown Books (LINK) in Woodstock, Vermont on Saturday, April 13 with a celebration to honor of Thomas Jefferson's 270th birthday and our new book. 
2VR cake and candles included!


Thanks to everyone who came out for a provocative discussion about the nature of Vermont independence.

Special thanks to Shiretown Books for hosting our event.

...

PRESS RELEASE: Innovative Co-op Solar Hot Water Heating Program Ends on April 30th

The Energy Co-op of Vermont announced that it has expanded its Co-op Solar hot water heating program to include Addison county. The program is designed to help Vermonters save money and energy by heating their water with the sun. In 2012, Co-op Solar helped install over 40 solar hot water systems in Chittenden county. This February, Senator Bernie Sanders, Andrew Perchlik from the Department of Public Service and CEDF, David Blittersdorf, CEO of AllEarth Renewables and Board Member of the Energy Co-op of Vermont, Tom Berry from...

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