Time To Retool

Now that it is clear that commerce, trade and most of life as it existed prior to COVID will never be the same, it is time to figure out ways to reconstruct the world so we can move on. Rather than re-opening restaurants with changes that reflect government policies, owners should be looking ahead a year or two and developing new business plans.

No doubt there are many forward thinking business owners who are sitting down and making plans for how to move beyond basic survival and how to thrive in the new world that has been thrust upon us. Large retail stores and supermarkets can probably do well with a few simple measures in place such as requiring that employees and customers wear masks and that crowds be controlled.

Referendum Petition for Annual Municipal Ballots Alternative to the Brattleboro Common Sense Version

Registered Voters can deliver #ReferndumPetitions in an envelope addressed to the Municipal Clerk’s Office into the black box at that says, “For Tax Payments” at the parking lot entrance of the Municipal building.

REFERENDUM PETITION for Annual Municipal Ballots

Whereas the 2020 Selectboard has approved a budget without resolve of enslavement reparations, police and prison abolition, the undersigned voters of the Brattleboro/Wantastegok Municipality hereby petition for referendums pursuant to Charter article 3 section 4; motioning a direct democratic public vote on the entire FY21 and budget ballots (which the 2020 Selectboard, acting as Representative Town Meeting, approved April 16, 2020) to be scheduled, warned, and accessible online.

Deadly Priorities

Why do so many Americans value the lives of others so little? Why are they willing to allow the spread of disease, disability and death with such arrogant defiance so they can eat at restaurants, have their hair cut and mingle in public crowds at beaches and rallies?
Some argue that if more businesses do not re-open then the economy will suffer too much. We have a society that worships commerce and the power of the dollar and that is one of the reasons so many Americans are deciding to stop taking measures to spread the COVID virus.

We must re-tool our economy in the face of the pandemic while also making the decision to value life above all else. Our collective ethos is heading in the wrong direction and a lot of people are going to suffer and die.

Next Steps

American protestors have forced the world to examine racism and the issues that contribute to it. It is a monumental milestone in American history but these protests, fueled by the death of George Floyd, will hopefully be the opening round of the battle for systemic social reform that has been needed in this country for too many decades.

The length and breadth of the protests show that there are significant numbers of Americans who are willing to use their voices to promote short and long-term change. The big question hanging over all of this is whether or not politicians and policymakers will listen thoughtfully and work to implement meaningful systemic change.

Not Another Day In Paradise

Another black man is murdered by American police. People are outraged and they take to the streets. Their protests help to ease the pain of injustice every black person has to endure every day while trying to enjoy the privileges and rights of citizenship that the rest of us take for granted.

Those in power will sit back and do nothing to change the root causes of injustice that have led to yet another horrific moment in American history. They will engineer sound bites and they will pick out easy political memes to try to ease their base of the brain-dead followers who also are in the same political camp as the rich and privileged. They will even go so far as tear-gassing crowds of people near their home so they can take a walk whose purpose is to use the Bible as a prop in a culture war of their own creation.

Saying No To Power and Yes To Life!

I was part of the Vermont Peace Movement from 1882 to 1984. A very short time indeed. However it was packed full of intense moments of friendships and activism with David Dellinger (who then lived in Peacham, Vermont) and Abbie Hoffman both of the Chicago 7. We were arrested numerous times during those Nuclear Freeze days of Helen Caldicott. When David Dellinger endorsed Jesse Jackson for President in the 1984 Vermont primary I deeply pondered what it would take to bring about a world where “Imagine All the People Living Life as One”. How do you vote in a change of heart?? So here is another page of my life to consider as once again our country is in the midst of anguish and pain. Thank you, Melevav of the old Common Loaf Bakery, Brattleboro.


Radical of Radicals – Depth of A Movement

Hundreds of Protestors Fill Brattleboro’s Main Street In Response To Floyd Killing

George Floyd protest1

Hundreds of protestors in Brattleboro on Sunday joined in the nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd.

Lining Main Street from one end to the other on both sides of the streets, were social-distanced people with masks and signs, chanting and singing. This crowd was probably as big if not bigger than the Iraq War protests in 2003.

A sampling of signs:

Black Lives matter

Justice for Floyd

2000 Vermonters Demonstrate Against Racist Murder of George Floyd – Cities Across The U.S. In Rebellion

Tonight, over 2000+ Vermonters converged on the Burlington Police Department in protest of the racist murder of unarmed Black man George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis PD. Over the last 48 hours, rebellions & demonstrations have broke out in a multitude of US cities. In Minneapolis citizens overran the police department building where the officers responsible for the killing were based. Violent confrontations have flared between protesters and law enforcement in many urban centers outside Vermont. President Trump has called for looters to be shot, and has threated to mobilize the U.S. military.

In Burlington, the demonstrations were lead by Black Lives Matter. Amongst the many protesters were VT AFL-CIO District Vice President Dwight Brown, AFSCME Local 1343 President Damion Gilbert, and Progressive State Representative Brian Cina (who is also a member of DSA).

Unusual Demonstration on Putney Road

another world is possible

There was an unusual demonstration on Putney Road, this past Sunday.

Messages of hope. A number of people in fantasy costumes. Some of the banners and signs had a symbol which I am not familiar with — anyone have any ideas what it is?

We Are All Lab Rats

As the death toll continues to climb in the U.S. and worldwide during the COVID 19 pandemic, economic and social needs are becoming more of a priority than the prevention of morbidity and mortality. Societies are opening and trying to be as cautious as possible, but even scientifically based efforts and careful monitoring are nothing more than a crap shoot. Every move we make is nothing more than wishful thinking, because we still do not know a lot about the potential of the virus

If you want to stay safe during the coming months the only way to do so is to minimize your contact with other people, wear a face mask in public places and use hand sanitizer liberally. This may sound like the same old mantra and it is, because the COVID 19 virus is still multiplying among us and we have no cure and only supportive treatment for those who contract the virus.

Mourn On Memorial Day & Indict Our Ruling Criminally Insane Murderous Investors in Wars on Wall St.

On Memorial Day, after mourning our loved ones, taken away from us by our ruling criminally insane murderous investors in Weapons of Mass Destruction on Wall Street, let us at least indict these pathetic racist colonial powered accumulators of capital in our hearts and minds and look to the day when pale skin bankers will no longer wield such incredible power over the planet and humanity.

Thinking of You! From the Common Loaf Bakers

I stepped out of the rally organizer’s van. It was like stepping into a churning river, the thought flashing through my mind, “I was coming out!” At last, my newly formed convictions of conscientious objection to war and oppression would become known. I was taking a big risk, but the world seemed entrapped in the deathgrip of war and injustice. Stepping up to the microphone I was in full dress military uniform. It was December of 1981 in Southern West Germany and many Germans were wanting to control their destiny.

Venezuela Can Be Protected by Quoting Martin Luther King and Other Famous Condemners of US Crimes

King cried out “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world is my own government.” Obama’s pastor, “God Bless America? No! God damn America for her crimes against humanity!” Michael Moore, “sick and twisted violent people that we’ve been for hundreds of years, it’s something that’s just in our craw, just in our DNA. Americans kill people, because that’s what we do. We invade countries. We send drones to kill civilians.”

Divided We Fall

As the pandemic evolved there seemed to be hope for a unified effort to combat a common enemy. Despite the political polarization in the United States, it did seem possible that we might be able to cast aside some of the “us vs them” mentality to join forces and minimize the death and destruction that the COVID 19 pandemic is causing.

Instead, we have business as usual. The U.S. president is displaying more and more signs and symptoms of progressive mental illness. Everything is about him and, if you don’t agree with his unfounded recommendations about dealing with the virus, then he will punish you by withholding support and supplies from your state.

The Next Phase

We are now entering a new phase of pandemic adjustment. The first few months were a novelty and, although many people had a hard time adjusting, it seemed that most people were able to cope while holding out hope for temporary change.

Now that it is clear that we are going to have to change our lives for the long term and that there is no exact time frame for society to re-open, people are losing patience. Early on, people were almost too friendly, trying to be respectful of each other in supermarkets and other places that have been able to remain open. But that friendliness is wearing thin and some people are taking out their frustrations on others.

Then there are the mostly brain-dead yahoos who think their personal liberty is more important than the lives of others as they protest around the country. Thankfully, they are a minority, but they are being supported by Trump. Some governors have decided that reinvigorating commerce is more important than protecting lives. That puts all of us in jeopardy.

Vermont Primary Voting?

There will be an election – the State Primary – in August (!) this year in Vermont (!). . . and it’s not too early to be prepared.

How do you do that, you ask?

Visit your My Voter Page, update your registration address, including your physical and mailing addresses, and request absentee ballots.

Brattleboro Time Trade – Uncancelled

One thing in Brattleboro is UNCANCELLED!  Brattleboro Time Trade is perfect for this very time…

We trade TIME rather than $$$… and can be very creative about how we do it — 6 feet apart, remotely by Facebook, Zoom, telephone, Hangouts, you name it…  For example — Get someone to help you with your computer… then trade with someone else — the beautiful handmade cards you love to create… your imagination is the only limit…

Groundworks Invites Supporters to Fundraise By Camping-in-Place on May 1

BRATTLEBORO—Amidst the organization’s many measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Groundworks Collaborative has pivoted to a virtual approach for their 8th annual Camp for a Common Cause fundraiser.  

The event, which normally seeks a permit to lift the Town of Brattleboro’s public camping restriction for one night each May on the Brattleboro Common, will happen virtually this year on Friday, May 1st.  Organizers are encouraging participants to camp at home—on lawns, in garages, on balconies and decks, etc.—and in so doing, raise funds that Groundworks reports it needs “now more than ever.”  

Groundworks Responds to COVID-19 and Seeks Volunteers

In preparation—and following the guidance recommended for homeless shelters and programs—Groundworks has taken a number of preventive and precautionary steps in response to COVID-19.  Our goal is to protect our community’s most vulnerable neighbors by responding with an abundance of caution, while not contributing to feelings of panic or fear.

Groundworks is working closely with State partners to ensure a strong local response to keep our shelter guests safe.  Our staff at both shelters are engaging in additional cleaning and sanitizing protocols, and we have limited access to restrict any external guests at any of our program sites.