10/18/2018
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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...

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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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The Fourth Amendment of the U. S. Constitution is anti-police-state

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”  

The founding document of the United States is inherently suspicious of a government’s willingness to abuse its powers, a suspicion rooted in centuries of tyranny around...

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“If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to be afraid of.”

-Google’s Eric Schmidt

I killed my TeeVee when I went to college in 1985. Stopped watching. Cold turkey. An active watcher all my young life, I grew up and decided that television was too corporate, too commercial, and too invasive. University life, with its infinite distractions, intellectual and otherwise, proved much more compelling. I continued my television-free life into my twenties, and found I didn’t miss the screen a bit. The “boob tube’s” critics, meanwhile, savaged the...

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by James Marc Leas

When Burlington City Attorney Eileen Blackwood issued a legal opinion on the resolution to bar basing of F-35 warplanes at Burlington Airport, the Mayor of Burlington, Miro Weinberger, issued a punchy one-sentence statement suggesting it was a knockout blow to the resolution. The legal opinion concluded that Burlington cannot legally block the F-35.

By the very next day, however, the negative conclusion evaporated and turned into a strong positive. A 3 page response provided by Stop-the-F-35 Coalition...

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For all the talk about the United States approaching a catastrophic Debt Ceiling and subsequent unprecedented but exceptional default that would have unpredictable but probably dire impact on pretty much everybody, one thing you don’t hear much is that:

There is No Debt Ceiling.

Seriously, the relevant law literally does nothing to control the national debt. A serious Debt Ceiling law would prevent Congress from appropriating expenditures beyond the debt limit.  Congress has never done that, Congress probably never would do that, even if...

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This paper is an investigation into whether or not Vermont State funds, deposited in TD Bank North, are safe. Documents and opinions from several experts were solicited and received.[1] Gary Murphy and I examined the new regulations of the FDIC in an effort to find out if the FDIC had set the stage for the confiscation of state money that was deposited in a "TBTF" (Too Big to Fail Bank).  We looked at the confiscation of deposits and pensions in Cyprus and Poland, and at the debacles in Detroit and Philadelphia.

We compared the...

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