11/19/2017
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Let me issue and control a nation‘s money and I care not who writes the laws.

– Amschel Rothschild

Perhaps the single most important thing to know about power in the world today is that most nations do not have control over their own currencies. Instead privately owned, for-profit central banks – such as the Federal Reserve Bank in the US – create money out of nothing and then loan it at interest to their respective governments. This is an incredibly profitable scam, but that’s not the worst of it.

Not only do the central banks have...

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Global security begins in Washington, where the secretary of defense says that American isolationism is a bigger threat to the rest of the world than American hubris and that's why "we must remain the world's only global leader." If that sounds confused and contradictory, it's only because that's who we are as a government in the early 21st century.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke at length (35 minutes) about "America's long-term national security priorities" as the keynote speaker for the Global Security Forum 2013,...

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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...

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Now we know exactly how many members of the U.S. House of Representatives care enough about American terrorism to attend a Congressional briefing about a U.S. drone attack that followed a classic terrorist pattern in killing a grandmother and wounding nine children in Pakistan. Five.

Five members of "the people's house" came to the briefing, and one of them was there for the full 90 minutes.

When one of the witnesses expressed disappointment at the turnout, a congressman reassured him: this was better than we expected. They were all Democrats.

Had any other...

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From 2003 until September 2011, Bill Keller was Times executive editor. Earlier he was a reporter and Washington bureau chief. He's now an op-ed columnist and Times Magazine contributor. His columns are best avoided. They shun truth and full disclosure. They avoid telling readers what they most need to know. Managed news misinformation substitutes. All of it fit to print isn't fit to read. It's typical Times journalism. Readers are cheated. They're betrayed. They deserve better. Growing millions seek it. Alternative media sources provide it. ...
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On Oct. 21 Gov. Peter Shumlin Tweeted: “Congratulations to Luke Foley for winning the #VT Teacher of the Year Award!” Better late than never. Luke Foley was named Vermont Teacher of the Year nearly a week earlier, on Oct. 15. I was disappointed that Gov. Shumlin couldn’t make it nearly next door to Northfield Middle High School to congratulate Luke Foley in person — and demonstrate to the students filling the auditorium what an important even this was.

Shumlin’s schedule listed no commitments the day Foley received his award. Maybe Shumlin was resting up for his next day 7:30 a.m. appearance at the ribbon cutting for the new...

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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.

...

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Nearly 500 people marched into the Burlington, Vt., City Council meeting on October 28 to testify for or against the basing of the boondoggle F-35 warplane at Burlington International Airport.


The City Council planned to hear testimony before voting on two resolutions initiated by the Stop the F-35 Coalition that would bar the plane. One would have banned the plane outright--the other would have imposed noise and crash rate regulations that would have effectively kept the plane out as well.

The movement against the warplane had reached such a critical mass that just two weeks ago, activists were optimistic they would actually win. But Vermont's political...

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(This essay is an excerpt from the forthcoming book, “The Vermont Way: Restless Spirits and Popular Movements”.)

The idea of defying the forces of centralized power and wealth can be seductive, especially if you live in a small, isolated place with a reputation for being contrary and the sense that it’s different, even exceptional.
 
In Congress, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders has reflected this perspective, challenging corporate secrecy and the powers of international financial institutions by forging alliances that cross traditional lines. When that strategy was attempted in Vermont during the late...
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Image by Dylan Kelley for Vermont Commons 

The latest high-ranking Vermont Democrat to push for prime military pork in her state is Burlington city attorney Eileen Blackwood, who released a slippery legal memo October 17th that is as cleverly political as it is narrowly legal, leading to widespread, obtuse media coverage along the lines of Vermont Public Radio's simply false headline: "City Report: Burlington Can't Block F-35."

Blackwood's "preliminary...

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