Welcome back to iBrattleboro.com Wednesday, November 22 2017 @ 10:50 AM GMT+4  
Home |  Directory |  Contact | 
Penn Says    
Sunday, February 10 2008 @ 02:47 PM GMT+4
Contributed by: KeithG

OpinionComments from former Greenfield resident Penn Jillette (Penn & Teller) concerning the Brattleboro Board's recent Bush/Cheney vote. As one might guess, funny stuff from a funny guy.

Penn says........

 

What's Related

Story Options
  • Printable Story Format

  • Penn Says | 39 comments | Create New Account
    The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they may say.
    Penn is on the mark---but he needs a haircut
    Authored by: Mr. Buddy Love on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 12:34 AM GMT+4
    He's right.

    I thought hippie crap was dead when punks came along in the mid-
    seventies as kind of the "Anti-Hippie" antidote, but the hippies seem
    to have had offspring, and they've spawned a sort of "retro hippie"
    wannabee culture of people too young to remember Altamont,
    Woodstock, or even the waning days of hippies and the rise of the
    disco polyester suits.

    But here's what I wanna know:
    Is there some lonely patch of turf in these benighted snakes where a
    lost tribe of "New Frontiersmen" live? You know, cleanshaven men,
    women in nice dresses and white gloves and pillbox hats, men wearing
    sharkskin suits and narrow ties like Sam Cooke, drinking martinis and
    talking about moon shots and astronauts, and doing the twist down at
    the club, puttin' Sinatra and Nat King Cole on the hi fi set? WHERE IS
    THIS LAND OF RETRO??? It's so much cooler (and like Barack Obama)
    than the hippies, who were just "beatniks for the boomers" when they
    became teenagers and young adults. I miss the positive attitude, the
    swagger and pizazz of the New Frontiersmen era. It was like, the
    MOST, daddy! Is there some remote section up in Maine or
    somewhere that these cool cats are hanging out? Because these
    hippies, what with the shaggy dog look and the downbeat philosophy
    are like, NOWHERESVILLE. A one-way ticket to ugliness and drabdom.
    Dude....
    Authored by: Lise on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 01:16 AM GMT+4
    I look around and while there are a few long hairs in town who you could call hippies in the traditional sense, they seem to me to be way in the minority. Most of the lefties I know personally were never hippies (too young or too old). We do tend to be anti-war, anti- wrecking of the economy, and anti-police state (as well as pro- environment, pro-freedom and independence, and pro-people), but -- does that make us hippies?

    And what of hipsters? Do they not rate? ;)

    But otherwise, I hear you somewhat on the issue of style. My parents term for the hippie look was 'cultivated drab' and they hated it. They were 50s people, and liked the styles of that era (although my mother said she lived in black turtlenecks so how that's stylish, I don't know - - guess it's a matter of time and taste).

    But anyway, I think the look of this town is more utilitarian than hippie. Most people dress to be comfortable more than stylish, from what I've seen, me included. (Sometimes I dress up just for the fun of it.)

    Dude....
    Authored by: Mr. Buddy Love on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 06:14 PM GMT+4
    Lise,

    I was being a bit facetious and cheeky in my er, comments. I guess I
    should have typed in a few "ha ha ha's" every now and then, to let
    readers know I was writing some satire.

    But, okay, I agree with you that this is a 'style' argument and not one
    of political belief. If Martin Luther King could crusade for civil rights
    while wearing a nice suit, why can't others save the whales while
    looking hip and fashionable, instead of wearing hair shirts and frowns?
    [ha ha ha]

    Speaking of perceptions and how others look at things, I had to
    explain to folks down in D.C. who are excited about Obama in the
    race for the White House (who consider themselves lefties) how, up
    here in Brattleboro, the far left doesn't quite trust Barack Obama,
    saying he's "part of the establishment." They looked at me quizzically
    and then one of them said: "Nothing wrong with being idealistic, the
    world definitely needs people like that, but for practical purposes
    rather than vanity causes, I'm voting for Obama next Tuesday." One
    of them agreed with my historical analogy of Lincoln actually winning
    the presidency against the more hard core liberal Abolitionists up in
    New England who thought he wasn't opposed to slavery enough. It
    took the idealism of the radicals, the Abolitionists, to push Lincoln's
    party to finally ban slavery outright, even though when Lincoln first
    ran for president, all he promised was to preserve the Union and to
    not allow slavery to expand north of a certain latitude in the West.
    Ironically, Obama could be the one who pushes to do big things to
    fight global warming, even though in his political speeches, like
    Lincoln before him, he isn't saying much in the way of specifics about
    it. It's kind of a "practical/idealistic" system of tug of war, where the
    idealistic pulls the practical along, forward, but the practical gets
    change done. I see Brattleboro as having lots of idealists, while I see
    other areas of the country as being populated more with realists, or
    practical types who are not so stubborn about voting for all or nothing
    candidate platforms.
    Penn Says
    Authored by: Maus Anon E on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 12:44 PM GMT+4
    I'm not that thrilled about the resolution myself - mainly because I think a far more effective action could have been taken. But to give credit where credit is due, Kurt Daims said the resolution would generate discussion - and it has. There has been a nationwide outpouring of support for the resolution, and for Brattleboro. I don't think any of it will lead anywhere, but, hey, it has been more positive than negative so far.

    I don't think rejecting the plastic culture that has much of our country in its grip makes you a hippie, but then, I lived here when the real hippies came here. Trust me, with a couple of exceptions, they're gone. But if standing up to war criminals is a "hippie" ideal, then count me in.

    Penn is a neocon idiot, by the way. http://www.ibrattleboro.com/article.php/20061011012646338

    -Maus

    ---
    Psyche!

    Nationwide support?
    Authored by: Christian Avard on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 05:07 PM GMT+4

    *** Kurt Daims said the resolution would generate discussion - and it
    has. ***

    How much of this discussion in your estimation has been meaningful?
    Is it mostly sloganeering and rhetoric or has there been any discussion
    whether or not something like this is feasible?


    *** There has been a nationwide outpouring of support for the
    resolution, and for Brattleboro. ***

    How serious is that? What evidence did you come up with that there's
    a nationwide outpouring of support? Did they read the resolution or did
    they just heard about it in the news and say, 'yeah, I like that! That's
    a great idea'" without knowing the illegality and short-sightedness of
    the resolution? There's a big difference there.

    I personally don't by it that there's been a lot of discussion going
    around other than the usual suspects and I don't think this resolution
    is going to scare the Bushies in any way, shape, or form, which I think
    you would have to. Other than that, it's just a bunch of chest
    thumping on our parts with no threat to the powers that be. Do we
    want to really do this or do we want to engage in the same ole same
    ole feel good discussions? Do we want power? Do we want to get the
    Bushies? Take a step back and ask yourselves if this is going after
    that goal.

    ---

    "A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory." - Steven Wright, comedian

    Nationwide support?
    Authored by: Lise on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 05:25 PM GMT+4
    Christian, lately you seem almost like a different person but I guess
    that's just because you're a hardcore skeptical journalist now.... ;)

    For the record, iBrattleboro has rec'd quite a lot of positive email on
    this -- in fact, there was one just yesterday from a guy in LA who
    wanted to know if the story was true and if so, to congratulate
    Brattleboro for doing it. Not only that, he sounded just like a normal
    person. Chris has posted positive email we've gotten elsewhere on
    the site.

    If I thought that there was any real harm being done here, I would
    have more reservations. But other than the Town having to receive a
    lot of email, which I'm sure they don't like, so what? If Congress
    won't impeach, for whatever puny reason, then I think it's perfectly ok
    for people who disagree with their position to use other legal
    democratic means to make their point. But that's just me.





    Nationwide support?
    Authored by: Christian Avard on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 06:06 PM GMT+4
    While it's true that there's been a lot of positive support coming into
    Brattleboro, I just don't think that reflects a consensus of what the
    majority of Americans really think. It gets some press mentions here
    and there but I'm sure this is not on a lot of people's radar right now.
    I also need to see if/how/why this tactic is smart, effective, and/or on
    the right track.

    While there may be no harm done I still think this discussion can't go
    anywhere. Here's my main problem with the resolution which no one
    has taken the time to answer and by all means this is where the
    discussion needs to go.

    *** You cannot indict somebody by referendum. You indict somebody
    by presenting the case to a Grand Jury. The Grand Jury hears
    testimony, including that a crime (defined by statute) was committed
    in the Grand Jury's territorial jurisdiction, and the Grand Jury votes an
    indictment. When an indictment is reported out by the Grand Jury, an
    arrest warrant is issued.

    Here there are some other problems. First, there's no crime as
    defined by statute. "Crimes against our constitution" is not a crime.
    the Declaration of Independence is not a statute. Second, it's a stretch
    to figure out how the crime may have been committed within the
    territorial jurisdiction of Vermont.***

    How do you legally prove that false and/or how do you prove that the
    resolution is legal and enforceable? That's where I think the discussion
    should be about. Instead I keep getting "oh, the legality doesn't mean
    jack" and I also hear one non sequitur after another about the
    Declaration of Independence and seize those who break the law.
    People pick up on this kind of reasoning and get turned off by it. I
    know because I've argued these same talking points on impeachment
    and gotten my ass kicked by people who do have a clue about law and
    order and I can't argue on their level, not with the information I get
    from Daims, DeWalt, John Nichols, or David Swanson. A lot of it
    seems to be made up to make our argument look sound. Kinda like
    Bush & Cheney's argument for going to war in Iraq.

    I don't see why we get more Vermont towns to pass impeachment
    resolutions. That seemed to be working fine. Why not get another 36-
    40 towns to pass the resolutions at this year's Town Meeting Day?
    Why not take the Wexler hearings to the next level? I wish we weren't
    reinventing the wheel when there were things already working in
    place. Now we want to arrest Bush & Cheney in an arena where the
    blind's leading the blind. That's not effective activism in my mind. At
    least let's know what we're talking about in terms of law and in terms
    of what town attorneys can do and cannot do. Not knowing this ahead
    of time doesn't look good. Besides, it's a stretch to think this will go
    beyond Brattleboro and raise awareness elsewhere (unless it's
    Northampton, MA, Olympia, WA, Eugene, OR, Boulder, CO, Ithaca,
    NY, Madison, WI, Cambridge, MA, Takoma Park, MD, etc.) Don't get
    me wrong, citizens need to step up and do something to raise
    awareness. I also think there are some things we should NOT do and
    Daims' resolution is one of those things that IMO is not well thought
    out. I just don't see this getting beyond the already converted.

    We can discuss all we want but I'll ask again, do we the people want
    to obtain the power to arrest these guys, which is what I thought the
    intention was to begin with, or are we just going to symbolically
    express this while crimes continue until January 20, 2009?

    Lise, I will say that spending most of my time outa Brattleboro has
    really opened me up to different (and fresh perspectives) on all kinds
    of local matters. I'm beginning to see what's realistic, what's tangible
    in local politics, local economic development issues, and I've actually
    seen people work together as opposed to fighting each other (like the
    Brattleboro SB). The places I work in don't have a Brattleboro mindset
    when it comes to town issues. I dunno how else to explain it but you
    see and experience the difference and it's definitely broaden my
    understanding of how towns work, what they do, and what they don't
    do.

    ---

    "A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory." - Steven Wright, comedian

    Nationwide support?
    Authored by: Lise on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 07:59 PM GMT+4
    I think you're taking this maybe a bit more seriously than I am. The
    way I see it, Bush and Cheney are absolutely never going to come to
    Brattleboro in real life. Hence the legalities are sort of a non-issue
    here.

    The ballot issue is a statement, not something I think anyone actually
    expects us to do. I'm ok with the statement. Others aren't. But
    hey, we all get to vote on it and then, if we vote it down, we'll be
    haled by the MSM (and all those folks outside of Bratt who disapprove
    of the statement) and Brattleboro's good name will be restored as a
    people who value propriety over rocking the boat with unenforceable
    initiatives. ;)
    Legalities or no legalities
    Authored by: Christian Avard on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 08:29 PM GMT+4
    *** The way I see it, Bush and Cheney are absolutely never going to
    come to Brattleboro in real life. Hence the legalities are sort of a non-
    issue here. ***

    Then if it's not about arresting Bush & Cheney, why did they choose to
    draft a resolution calling on the town attorney and police officials to
    arrest Bush & Cheney? Why not just pass a resolution condemning
    their presidency, if that's the point all along? I think it's irresponsible
    activism to bring something up without a.) following through what you
    claim to say and b.) want to have a discussion and then not talk about
    legalities and illegalities of the act people want to vote on. If it's not
    about arresting Bush & Cheney, why is it in the resolution to begin
    with? If it's to send a symbolic message from the community (and not
    about actually arresting anyone) fine, but don't include language in
    there that no attorney in any town has the power to do. That looks
    ignorant on our part. All I can say to the organizers is please sound
    like you know what you're talking about, especially when it comes to
    throwing language in there about law enforcement. People aren't
    getting the details of this and I wish people would just see the fine
    line in all this.

    People want to talk about Bush and Cheney's crimes and
    misdemeanors and want to talk about how towns/citizens can take the
    law into their own hands... but don't want to talk about what that
    really entails? If not, then what's the point? That's what doesn't make
    any sense to me. It reminds me what we used to say when we were
    growing up as kids:

    "Let's not do it but say we did!"

    ---

    "A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory." - Steven Wright, comedian

    Legalities or no legalities
    Authored by: tomaidh on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 02:20 AM GMT+4
    <Why not just pass a resolution condemning their presidency,>
    Would anybody outside of Brattleboro ever hear about it?
    The publicity our resolution is generating could be "the shot heard around the world"
    It is essential for the welfare of the world that we end this kakocratic regime by any lawful means, and we need all the help we can get.
    Nationwide support?
    Authored by: Mr. Buddy Love on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 08:04 PM GMT+4
    >>"Lise, I will say that spending most of my time outa Brattleboro
    has really opened me up to different (and fresh perspectives) on all
    kinds of local matters. I'm beginning to see what's realistic, what's
    tangible in local politics, local economic development issues, and I've
    actually seen people work together as opposed to fighting each other
    (like the Brattleboro SB). The places I work in don't have a
    Brattleboro mindset when it comes to town issues. I dunno how else
    to explain it but you see and experience the difference and it's
    definitely broaden my understanding of how towns work, what they
    do, and what they don't do. "<<
    _______________
    Christian, I've seen the same thing you are talking about in other
    towns and cities.
    To have cooperation and compromise rather than divisiveness and
    polarization, there must be a strong moderate middle -- or at least a
    willingness on the part of both extreme sides to bend a bit to find a
    middle ground. This was how Scandinavian countries were so
    successful in the early-to-mid-twentieth century, when the extremes
    of far right (conservative blue party) and far left (communists who
    were a tiny minority most of the time) + Social Democrats (red) who
    were the mainstream far left but not communist or marxist --- could
    cooperate and forge a Swedish "Middle Way" that authors like Marquis
    Childs wrote about. Political consensus doesn't mean caving in, but it
    does mean that each side puts problem solving solutions above
    idealistic partisanship and deadlock. Trade unions and owners did this
    too with the mutual goal of increased production and quality of goods,
    and worker benefits second to no other nation, so both sides were
    somewhat happy with the results. I think one of the reasons so many
    people seem drawn to Barack Obama is that he is perceived as being
    someone who will invite all parties to sit down at the table and let
    them have their say, before getting them to work together and
    compromise to win a forged consensus to get things done.

    Nationwide support?
    Authored by: Maus Anon E on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 08:56 PM GMT+4
    ***The places I work in don't have a Brattleboro mindset when it comes to town issues. I dunno how else to explain it***

    I think you are discovering what Ethan Allen meant when he said "The gods of the valleys are not the gods of the hills."

    -Maus

    ---
    Psyche!
    Nationwide support?
    Authored by: Christian Avard on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 09:48 PM GMT+4

    I'll say it right here right now:

    Getting out of the Brattleboro area has been a refreshing and eye-
    opening experience. That's all I'm gonna say.

    ---

    "A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory." - Steven Wright, comedian

    Nationwide support?
    Authored by: tomaidh on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 01:40 AM GMT+4
    Christian, you just don't get it, do you?
    Nationwide support?
    Authored by: Christian Avard on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 02:05 AM GMT+4

    Sorry Tom. I do get it and this is not the kind of activism I want to be
    associated with.

    Good luck on Town Meeting Day!

    ---

    "A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory." - Steven Wright, comedian

    Nationwide support?
    Authored by: Maus Anon E on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 02:13 AM GMT+4
    I think it's just hard to believe that there's so little to get. A lot of people expected a lot more from the brilliant minds in charge of the "resistance," especially since there was so much potential. When they got what amounts to a middle finger in the guise of an indictment resolution, some people felt a bit disappointed that such a golden opportunity had been pissed away on vanity.

    -Maus

    ---
    Psyche!
    Nationwide support?
    Authored by: tomaidh on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 02:36 AM GMT+4
    Maybe it's me who doesn't get it. The goal is to end the deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan and to halt the assault on the Bill of Rights. The way to do this is to get Bush and Cheney out of there before they do more harm, The only lawful means is impeachment, which must be initiated by the House. Congress is unresponsive, choosing to pursue partisan priorities rather than the wishes of their constituents. By stirring up the pot nationally, perhaps sufficient pressure can be brought to bear on Congress to act and begin hearings. Remember Nixon? For sure, if we do nothing, nothing will happen.
    Maybe?
    Authored by: Maus Anon E on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 02:48 AM GMT+4
    Well, I think if you actually expect this indictment resolution to turn into a nationwide impeachment mandate before January 20, 2009, maybe you're not being realistic. The positive compliments from people around the country may be nice, but they won't bring the troops home.
    Nobody suggests doing nothing, the suggestion is/was to do something that has a tangible result.

    -Maus

    ---
    Psyche!
    Maybe?
    Authored by: tomaidh on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 05:13 AM GMT+4
    I'm wide open for suggestions
    Maybe?
    Authored by: Maus Anon E on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 12:20 PM GMT+4
    It's a little late now to reach Town Meeting voters, isn't it? I wish people had been "open" while there was still time to come up with something for Town Meeting. I wish there had been some discussion on ibratt soliciting ideas, instead of an announcement of the indictment thing. I wish the authors had listened to the criticism of this indictment after it was announced. I wish they had thought more about results than vanity and ego.
    But we have what we have, and while I haven't changed my mind about it, I'll take Todd's misplaced advice below, and find happiness where I can: the response from around the country has been nice to hear.

    -Maus

    ---
    Psyche!
    Fresh perspectives?
    Authored by: cbridge on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 07:46 AM GMT+4
    Like, say, the view from Searsburg? Or Halifax, where the citizens keep
    taking the SB to court (they won the last one)? Or Readsboro, where
    rumour has it that the town clerk doesn't trust the SB with any original
    documents?

    I love living up in the hills, & I never was blind to the drawbacks of Bratt,
    but jeez, Christian, maybe a little less of the fervor of the converted?

    Seriously, though - I'm not sure why this silly resolution has gotten your
    knickers in such a tight twist. As you know, I agree with many of your
    points, but I can't see that it's worth all the energy you're expending on it.

    You lost me in one of these posts when you said you'd gotten ass-kicked
    on the impeachment issue. There are several very specific constitutional
    provisions & statutes which have been violated by assorted administration
    personnel - all legitimate impeachable offenses. No one has to be a
    lawyer to get that right; take it from one who discusses the issue with
    lawyer relatives, one of whom is a prosecutor.

    Welch's statement that Congress mustn't be distracted from stopping the
    war by an impeachment debate has been shown up as the pathetic
    nonsense it is. Instead of taking care of the people's vital business,
    those clowns are now busy playing gotcha with Roger Clemens, et al. Why
    not go back to prodding Welch instead of wasting time on Bratt's latest
    attempt to relieve their gloom & frustration - even if it is just a bit of
    political theater?
    Fresh perspectives?
    Authored by: Christian Avard on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 08:29 AM GMT+4
    *** Christian, maybe a little less of the fervor of the converted?

    Yeah, I realize there are problems in those towns as well but I will say
    that I've been seeing towns taking more practical approaches to town
    problems and not letting ideology get in the way.

    ***but I can't see that it's worth all the energy you're expending on
    it.

    What aggravates me is the unnecessary attention it's getting and the
    people who think it's making a difference. It's like they think they
    won the lottery with all this attention when all they have is a $2
    winning ticket.

    ***You lost me in one of these posts when you said you'd gotten ass-
    kicked on the impeachment issue.

    Come over to Talk Left and Freyne Land and you'll see what I'm
    talking about. I'm tired of getting the same old sloganeering talking
    points the impeachers keep feeding us. It gets old and people pick up
    that it's all hot air with no substance to back it up. I'm not saying
    impeachment is wrong but what I am saying is the nebulous
    sloganeering doesn't cut it for me anymore, especially for those in
    power and who have a clue about law, politics, and strategy. All that
    hot air is nothing against the powers that be in Washington.





    ---

    "A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory." - Steven Wright, comedian

    One more thing cbridge
    Authored by: Christian Avard on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 08:37 AM GMT+4
    *** Why not go back to prodding Welch instead of wasting time on
    Bratt's latest attempt to relieve their gloom & frustration - even if it is
    just a bit of political theater?

    I think that's a great idea and that's what we should have stuck too. Why
    not just get another 36 towns to pass impeachment resolutions to boot?
    Why not pressure the Vermont House to take up impeachment again?
    How 'bout pushing for the Wexler hearings? That seems much more
    practical.

    ---

    "A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory." - Steven Wright, comedian

    Nationwide support?
    Authored by: Maus Anon E on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 08:45 PM GMT+4
    ***How much of this discussion in your estimation has been meaningful?***
    Depends on what you mean by meaningful. I doubt if it has changed any minds, or inspired any actual change.

    ***What evidence did you come up with that there's
    a nationwide outpouring of support?***
    Perhaps you missed the Reformer article talking about the thousands of emails coming in from all over the country in support of the measure. When is the last time a little town in Vermont recieved thousands of emails from around the country about anything?
    You may also have stopped visiting the comment threads in which hundreds of people from around the country - and the world - have been cheering the effort.

    I think it's only fair give credit where it's due. I'm not suggesting that the resolution is anything more than a monumental waste of time and, worse, a wasted opportunity.

    -Maus

    ---
    Psyche!
    Meaningful and unmeaningful change
    Authored by: Christian Avard on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 09:58 PM GMT+4
    >>> I doubt if it has changed any minds, or inspired any actual
    change.

    That's the point. If it did do all that, then I'd consider it to be
    "meaningful" IMO.

    >>> When is the last time a little town in Vermont recieved
    thousands of emails from around the country about anything?

    Civil Unions in 2001-2002 and Judge Ed Cashman's ruling in 2006 are
    two good examples, if memory serves... I might even add DeWalt's
    impeachment movement and/or Jeffords leaving the GOP but that
    may be subject to more debate.

    While it's true complements have been coming around the world, I
    think it's still think it's premature to say it's a good representation of
    what the world thinks of this particular action.

    >> I'm not suggesting that the resolution is anything more than a
    monumental waste of time and, worse, a wasted opportunity.

    Good. Glad to know we're on the same page.






    ---

    "A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory." - Steven Wright, comedian

    Woops.... strike that.
    Authored by: Christian Avard on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 10:07 PM GMT+4
    >>>>>> When is the last time a little town in Vermont recieved
    thousands of emails from around the country about anything?

    Civil Unions in 2001-2002 and Judge Ed Cashman's ruling in 2006 are
    two good examples, if memory serves... I might even add DeWalt's
    impeachment movement and/or Jeffords leaving the GOP but that
    may be subject to more debate. >>>>>

    Sorry.... Those are state issues that got attention,

    When was the last time Brattleboro got this much attention around the
    world??

    Did we forget the nudity issue already?

    ---

    "A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory." - Steven Wright, comedian

    Meaningful and unmeaningful change
    Authored by: cgrotke on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 02:57 AM GMT+4
    Hmmm. I'm looking all over and I don't see any other resolutions on the
    ballot.

    I hear ya, Christian, but you, like me and everyone else in town, had every
    chance to offer an alternative. We could have gotten signatures for any number
    of things, but we didn't. You write about a meaningful resolution, but didn't
    take any action at all.

    I'm looking forward to election day. It will be a pleasure to get a ballot that
    says "Should we arrest Bush and Cheney if they come to town?" It will be a
    great thing to see printed on that piece of paper. I think many people will look
    at it, smile, and say "hell yeah!" (Cheney shot a man in the face, after all.)

    Like Lise, I don't expect to see either of them in town. But I also see this as
    insurance that they won't ever want to come here. That's worth something. : )

    Also, passing this would be news in every paper. If planned well, the town
    could be ready with a response that markets Brattleboro as a destination
    (rather than a "well, our town is nuts" sort of comment).

    Image the tourists coming to see the town that proudly proclaims "100% Bush
    and Cheney free", even if it was silly. Sell T-shirts for a summer and cash in.
    It would be impossible to buy that much publicity, and the polls are in our
    favor. The big money is on "change" right now - not coddling the White House.

    Related note: Conyers was reconsidering impeachment but said, basically, that
    there would be blowback from corporations. I take this as an admission that
    corporations are threatening representatives and that is why they will not ever
    impeach these two. (Check out his Crooks and Liars statement.) Congress isn't
    going to do this. Corporations have said they'll take them out.
    Meaningful and unmeaningful change
    Authored by: Christian Avard on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 08:34 AM GMT+4

    *** You write about a meaningful resolution, but didn't take any
    action at all.

    1. I don't live in Brattleboro anymore.
    2. I have two kids to raise and don't have time for activism
    3. With my current job, I think it would be awkward and inappropriate
    for me to be involved in an activist issue. That doesn't mean I can't
    opine on things.

    Know what I'm talking about?




    ---

    "A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory." - Steven Wright, comedian

    One last thing
    Authored by: Christian Avard on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 08:47 AM GMT+4
    *** we had every chance to offer an alternative.

    1. I didn't know about this until signatures were being collected.
    2. Just because someone put a resolution out there doesn't mean I would
    get behind it, even if that's the only thing they came up with.
    3. Like I said, there's effective and smart activism out there and there is
    not effective and unintelligent activism out there. This effort is IMO is
    the latter an not worth engaging in.

    ---

    "A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory." - Steven Wright, comedian

    Meaningful and unmeaningful change
    Authored by: Maus Anon E on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 02:31 PM GMT+4
    Chris, congress won't do anything because we allow them not to do anything. Instead of following the logical next step after the impeacment resolutions and hold our congressman accountable with a statewide recall petition to replace him with someone who will intoduce articles of impeachment, the impeachment movement flaked out and enabled him with an indictment resolution.
    If congress is faced by pressure from corporations that WILL do something, and an electorate that won't or can't do anything, guess what?

    The impeachment thing had legs. Even my town, which is considered a fairly moderate town by Windham County standards, the impeachment resolution passed. It was introduced by the former chair of the town Democratic committee and it was championed by the chair of the Republican committee. The chair of the Republican committee! It was a stunning display of bipartisan unity.
    The indictment resolution won't even pass the laugh test here.

    -Maus

    ---
    Psyche!
    Penn Says
    Authored by: Roo on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 07:08 PM GMT+4
    I didn't find that funny or smart. Sweeping generalizations. Wahoo.

    Penn and Teller had a show on one of the cable networks called
    "Bullshit". It was woefully agenda-laden and journalistically sloppy (it
    ostensibly was an exposé/investigative/mythbusting show). There's
    plenty of it on YouTube if anyone is so inclined.

    Personally, I think Penn Giilette stopped being funny, clever and relevant
    quite a while ago--kind of hard for him to maintain standards when he's
    so far up his own butt, I suppose.
    Says Roo
    Authored by: Mr. Buddy Love on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 07:28 PM GMT+4
    >>"I didn't find that funny or smart. Sweeping generalizations.
    Wahoo."<<

    The same thing used to be said by people living in Alabama who didn't
    like being grouped together as racists when their governor stood in the
    school house door in 1963 and said: "Segregation Then, Segregation
    Now, Segregation for ever!" I still think of most of Alabama however
    as being pretty reactionary at that time, despite the minority who
    lived there then who were white and not pro-George Wallace and
    segregation.

    I don't mean to pick on you Roo, but for most conservatives and
    moderates who live in other states, Brattleboro looks pretty far left.
    It's unfair to group all of us residents into that category, but there ya
    go...



    Who Care What Penn Say
    Authored by: annikee on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 03:00 AM GMT+4
    I'm so thoroughly disgusted with so many things and people I used to trust that I simply can't care. I don't think I'll bother to vote at all. For anything.

    ---
    "Kindness and love being the core of human interaction rather than power and material gain is at the heart of everything worth struggling for"-SK-B
    Hope
    Authored by: Todd on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 04:09 AM GMT+4
    I am answering this privately, rather than let myself get sucked into the public sniping which would surely otherwise result!

    So, I saw this: "I'm so thoroughly disgusted with so many things and people I used to trust that I simply can't care. I don't think I'll bother to vote at all. For anything." And that is a very familiar place for me. I don't in fact doubt that I'll visit it again. I'll bet you have danced in and out of this mental/emotional spot before too! So, I want to extend a thought from somebody outside that spot right now. You and I are potentially among the lights which can help guide people back through the current and upcoming smoke and wreckage of the current pattern we humans are in.

    Bad ideas, bad systems, bad species - must collapse for natural evolution to proceed. I think this evolutionary truth applies to society's, civilizations, empires just as much as it does to biological systems. It could be that our kind of intelligence and anatomy combined simply make long term survival of our species improbable. Or it could be just that the current "civilization"/technological/war model we've gotten stuck in is what must fail, and humans will go on. Who knows, but the population density of humans now and the massive consumption of a small western minority of them make it clear that a large course correction is due. And you and I are lucky enough to get to see it! ;-) Thats a Chinese curse right? "May you live in interesting times"

    But, despite the horror we have rained on earth as a species. So many millions of individuals among us have been just stunning creatures! The art, music, love, laughing, children, writing, explorations and more --- there is good in our species. Change is scary, really scary . . . I have two small children I'm about to go upstairs and snuggle with. I sit here in my office and look at the graphs of energy, climate, population, war, economies, resources, consumption, health, literacy . . . and more . . . and I then look into their eyes. And this is NOT stuff I want to be "right" about, but I can't trick myself into not seeing all the clear evidence.

    So how do I go on? Knowing that you and I, and despite the natural cynic in us all - MILLIONS of other humans, truly are unselfish in our core. Altruistic, and value the happiness and health of the many over the one. Of others over ourselves. In the smoking ruins of whatever lays before us, if there is to be any hope for us humans, it is going to be folks like us holding up a candle through the smoke for folks to follow.

    Meanwhile, as things disintegrate - we are all going to need to be candles for each other. We will all have moments of weakness. People you have respected and looked up to will do selfish and foolish things which shock you; and you and I will likely do the same to other people! Crazy and unpredictable times cannot help but effect us all. But if we can keep returning to a centered place, we can hopefully help a wiser and more loving group of humans emerge on the other side.

    But one thing for sure, in the bigger picture - regardless of if you and I are happy, this shit is going to play out the same general way no matter what. So choosing happiness is the more rational path. Yoga is helping me at the moment, but it could come to the point where a pre-frontal lobotomy is what makes the most sense for me!

    Hope my rambling at least gave you a couple of smiles, have a good night!

    ~Todd
    Not private!
    Authored by: Todd on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 04:11 AM GMT+4
    Clicked on the wrong place, and . . . oh well, it wasn't private and thats ok too!
    Penn saying is Penn earning
    Authored by: xteeth on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 01:41 PM GMT+4
    Then they win for sure. I think that if not the main goal, this is certainly way up there on their list of desirable outcomes. All the activists stand down, tail between legs and mumbling to themselves. You see, the plan is working even here. How else can you explain all this talk about how pointless it all is? The goal is to drive those of us that actually do anything to stop it. If it had no effect those people would just shut up.

    ---
    "Some people cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go." Oscar Wilde
    You're right xteeth
    Authored by: Christian Avard on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 02:01 PM GMT+4
    Kinda reminds me of the FOX News ticker story. About
    3-4 years ago, an antiwar demonstration took place outside their
    studios and the Fox News ticker flashed the following:

    "How do you keep a war protester in suspense? Ignore them."

    Even though this is FOX News saying this, it still is an effective
    strategy in
    dealing with activists. I can't think of anything else that could
    frustrate an activist and their cause than to be ignored constantly. I
    know this because I've experienced it myself leafleting outside
    Fenway Park and the Boston Common for "Stop Staples."

    This is precisely what we need to be doing with this ridiculous
    resolution.

    Let's move on people!

    ---

    "A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory." - Steven Wright, comedian

    Penn saying is Penn earning
    Authored by: annikee on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 02:02 PM GMT+4
    Except, it's not an unknown "they" that did it, xteeth. It was "our side", "our people". It's our own I'm talking about, not Penn the idiot, not the big bad boogiemen. Our own.

    ---
    "Kindness and love being the core of human interaction rather than power and material gain is at the heart of everything worth struggling for"-SK-B
    Penn saying is Penn earning
    Authored by: xteeth on Tuesday, February 12 2008 @ 04:48 PM GMT+4
    As usual, I failed to put my comment in the right place evidently. If you read it again after Annikee's comment, to which it was supposed to be a response, I think you will see that I meant the opposite of what you both interpreted. I am afraid that I get too sardonic and elliptical some times so I'll say it straight out. Please don't give up on voting and making petitions no matter who or how many people say they are a waste of time. People pointing out the waste of time stuff usually would like them to go away so they tell others not to waste their time. It is not in my opinion to do this. The waste is in not expressing your opinion howsoever you may. That is what makes the naysayers win. If you don't take part in your own futile gestures they win. Who can know just what one thing turns the tide or breaks the camel's back or "fill in platitude here." Silence must be taken as assent as Thomas More said. I don't and I don't think you (Annikee) assent to any of this, nor do I. If it makes no difference in the great scheme of things, later on you can say, "Well, I couldn't think of anything else to do, but at least I did this stupid thing." All those signs I put up at random on highways, come down very fast, cost money and time and risk legal sanction. I know that. I think they probably make no difference except to make me feel better. At least I did something. HOPE IS NOT LOST just tamped down a bit. http://freewayblogger.blogspot.com/2006/12/new-hampshire.html

    ---
    "Some people cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go." Oscar Wilde