On November 3rd Trump lost the Presidential election in Vermont by a wider margin than in any other State in the union. But that did not prevent a couple dozen (peaceful) pro-Trump supporter from demonstrating in front of the Statehouse on January 6th. It was also feared that Trump’s lack of support in the Green Mountains would not prevent a minority of armed extremists from committing acts of violence today [1/17/21] in our Capital.
Warnings that fascists, those who supported the Trump coup, were planning armed actions in all 50 State Capitals in the U.S. were taken seriously here in rural Vermont. Throughout this morning and into the afternoon police in bullet proof vests, military grade helmets, and with automatic rifles in hand patrolled the streets of our Capital City of Montpelier (population: 7,800). The Mayor and City Council issued prior warnings encouraging residents to stay home. Many businesses were closed. And despite the threat of rightwing violence 100 anti-fascists converged on City Hall to demonstrate their support for democracy and unwillingness to concede to fascist threats. And the armed fascists? They were nowhere to be seen.
During his 1967 New York sermon, which made bold headlines in newspapers across the world, Martin Luther King cried out”A time comes when silence is betrayal.” And that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.” What would Rev. King say today about Americans bringing massive death and destruction to the innocent citizens and their children in Yemen, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan?
As I continue to ponder Representative Town Meeting system used by Brattleboro, I find myself coming to the same conclusion: it either needs to be reformed, or it needs to go.
The biggest problem is representation. While voters can elect “representatives” to participate in Representative Town Meeting, there is almost no representation going on. Unlike selectboard candidates, reps rarely state to voters what they stand for. Reps rarely hold district meetings to discuss issues. Voting records of reps aren’t tallied or made public. And almost all the information reps take to Representative Town Meeting is given to them by town officials, not constituents.
Voters, despite picking names on district ballots, often don’t know who represents them, how to reach them, or how those reps have voted. Writing in names of people better known to a voter has been eliminated, unless that person is deemed “official” through registering as a candidate. Sometimes reps get slots through the caucus process, under the radar of most district voters.
There is almost no accountability in this system.
Town Meeting Day and Windham Southeast School District elections are coming up on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
Due to the pandemic, the Municipal Center is closed to the public and there will be no in-person early voting in Brattleboro for this election. All voters are encouraged to visit their My Voter Page (https://mvp.vermont.gov) to update your registration address, including their physical AND mailing address, and request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you. If you encounter problems logging into your My Voter Page, please contact your Town Clerk. In Brattleboro, that number is 251-8157.
When Ben Franklin exited the room where the future of the United States was being decided, he was asked what kind of government we would have. He answered “a Republic, if you can keep it.” More than 200 years later, Just days ago, we witnessed a challenge to that democratic Republic. Fascists, at the direction of Donald Trump, attempted to subvert our Republic by legislative process and by violence in the streets and in the halls of Congress. That coup was defeated.
In the aftermath, our Vermont Governor, Republican Phil Scott, denounced the coup, defended democracy, and called for the immediate removal of Donald Trump from the office of Presidency. So too did our Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy and our Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders. In the VT General Assembly, a tri-partisan resolution overwhelmingly passed in the House and Senate (supported by Republicans, Democrats, and Progressives) demanding Trump to be removed from office. Further, Vermont’s Attorney General, TJ Donovan, demanded the immediate termination of a VT State Trooper who publicly voiced support for the coup. As President of the 10,000 member Vermont AFL-CIO I also denounced the failed rightwing insurrection (and our State Labor Council again confirmed our commitment to a General Strike in the event that a transfer of power does not take place on January 20th). And unlike in Washington DC and various State Capitals around the nation, demonstrations of support for the coup have been near nonexistent in the Green Mountains. In brief, Vermonters, regardless of party affiliation or political differences, remain united in our support for democracy. I am proud to call these Green Hills my home.
I’m honored to speak with you tonight, to have earned your trust through challenging times and to serve as Governor of the state I love.
The past year has been tough on all of us. We’ve faced a global pandemic that’s tested us in ways we never imagined. We’ve confronted racial injustice in America that’s been ignored for far too long. We’ve seen the worst of our politics and from our politicians. There is no greater example than the rioters at the U.S. Capitol yesterday. As I said, it was a shocking attack on our democracy and make no mistake: President Trump is responsible for fanning these flames.
All this comes at a time when our country feels more polarized, more divided, than I can ever remember. But in Vermont and across the country, voters came out in record numbers and sent a clear message, calling for moderation and unity and for leaders to treat everyone with dignity and respect, to work with anyone of any party to best serve all Americans.
The challenges we face demand the very best of all of us, that we rise above the partisanship and division, the pettiness and political games, to commit to the tough work ahead, to get through this crisis safer and stronger, and to do it together.
Today [1/6/21] thousands of neo-fascist Trump loyalists converged on Washington with the aim of forcing the annulment of the November election (which Democrat Joe Biden won by seven million votes). There they were met by Donald Trump himself who addressed the mob, falsely claiming that he won, that he would never concede defeat, and encouraging them to fight to keep him in power.
Meanwhile, Inside Congress Republican Representatives and Senators from the extreme right issued formal challenges to the Electoral College vote (which also spelled overwhelming defeat for Trump). Like their neo-fascist counterparts outside the Capital Building, these anti-democratic, anti-union law makers were actively seeking to carry out a coup against the majority will of the American people.
Thursday, January 14 Last day (5:00 P. M.) to file petition requesting that an article be placed on the Warning for Annual Town and Town School District Meeting (47 days preceding election). Approx. 469 (5%) signatures of registered Brattleboro voters required. 17 VSA 2642
Thursday, January 21 First day to post Warning for Annual Town and Town School District (not more than 40 days preceding election) 17 VSA 2641 (a)
Consent of Candidate forms for Brattleboro Town Officers, Windham Southeast School District (WSESD) Board Members, and Town Meeting Members are now available at the Town Clerk’s office. Please call or email our office to request the form. Due to the pandemic, petition requirements have been waived for candidates to have their names placed on the ballots for this election. Town elections will be Tuesday, March 2 at the American Legion, and the Annual Representative Town Meeting, Saturday, March 20, likely via Zoom. Consent of Candidate forms must be filed in the clerk’s office no later than 5:00 P.M. on Monday, January 25 in order to have their name placed on the ballot.
Clinical psychologist Mary Trump, (Donald Trump’s niece) has publicly predicted Trump’s increasingly dangerous, aberrant and delusional behavior. Her bestselling book “Too Much and Never Enough” chronicles how her uncle came to be the man he is today, and the dire, almost existential threat that he represents to the United States and the world.
Ms Trump warns that Donald Trump will only become more dangerous as Inauguration Day approaches and he faces the last days of his presidency.
DESCRIPTION: Apparently, the highest official of the US government owned by wealthy investors in war inadvertently let himself be overheard making an off-hand truthful remark that contradicts what the CIA overseen criminal media tells the world in excusing America’s genocidal crimes against humanity in Vietnam. Important is how criminal media seeks to ridicule someone saying something truthful about the the war it lied about and promoted
As 2020 coasts to a close, it feels unusually difficult to write a year-end essay that encapsulates all the things that happened to us this year. Even a personal essay would be too long to write, let alone read. But this sort of thing hasn’t stopped me before, so what follows are the highlights, by which I mean most memorable and important happenings of 2020 from my own perspective. Even this isn’t easy because processing experience takes time and a lot of this stuff just happened or is still going on. But here we go: Pause, rewind, and….
Trump Said. ‘I Keep My Promises.’ In 2016, he made more than 280 campaign promises. Let’s see how he did:
1. “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border …” (speech, June 16, 2015)
Trump has built 307 miles of walls along the 1,984-mile border. (≈15%)
2. “… and I will have Mexico pay for that wall.”
Mexico is not paying for it.
The four year American nightmare will be over soon. The mainstream media have already moved on and are giving Biden the attention of a sitting president. They really have no choice because Trump is still acting like a three year old in a sandbox who had his toy truck taken from him by a stronger kid.
The mainstream media will be able to move away from being the PR tool of a would-be dictator-pathological liar to reporting on the administration of a new president who has respect for others and who does not have an ego that is as needy as the plant Audrey in The Little Shop of Horrors movie that constantly says, “Feed me.”
Vermonters are very quietly passing around on the internet various versions of how they might file a lawsuit against Governor Phil Scott for exceeding his authority with his orders and mandates, making them lose jobs, businesses, income, and warm association with family and friends.
There are various proposed legal Briefs coming to a federal court in Vermont soon:
An Archetypical Anglo-American Colonial Crime Against Humanity!
In order to militarily penetrate the oil rich Middle East, a courageous and noble socialist Zionism and despised Holocaust survivors, denied refugee status, were used by an Anglo-American colonial business elite that was anti-Semitic in outlook, coldly indifferent and even complicit, during the Holocaust its investments in rearming Germany made possible.
I have been a perennial losing political candidate in Vermont for many years. One year I really thought I saw election fraud. I was watching the votes coming in, and thousands of votes for me were suddenly cut in half. I wrote a blog post about it at the time which may still be wandering the internet somewhere.
I began to think that Vermont was the testing ground for vote fraud. Vermont has a very small population and if you are a losing candidate, and you are not within a certain tiny percent of the winner, then you have no grounds, no legal cause of action to complain, if for example, you came in 4th and should
have come in 3rd.
Today I am writing to offer an apology to The Community Safety Review Committee, and all who have been involved in their work at any level.
I would like to do so by speaking about the first Municipal Diversity and Inclusion class I participated in early on in my time on the board. Within about the first five minutes of the class, we were told by the instructor, that we were about to learn that “being fair” doesn’t mean “treating the same” and that “equal” does not mean “equitable. The rest of the session discussed the importance of raising up voices who have less power within our systems and structures to level the playing field.
Unfortunately, we forgot that training when setting the date for the topic of Police Policies and Procedures. We missed an opportunity to change the game.
Vermont AFL-CIO Empowered To Call For General Strike If Trump Seeks To Carry Out Political Coup – Vote Overwhelmingly In Support!
At today’s Vermont AFL-CIO Convention (held over zoom due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Non 21), aprx 100 Delegates, rank & File union members, and select allies converged to consider the defense of democracy should there be a Trump coup. After much discussion, the assembled delegates overwhelmingly voted to authorize their elected Executive Board to call for a Vermont General Strike if democracy comes into crisis.
This historic authorization vote makes the Vermont AFL-CIO the first State Federation in the country to be on record ready to carry out a General Strike to defend democracy if Trump refuses to leave office.
Brattleboro Selectboard meetings have become very long. Too long, really.
It isn’t the number of items on the agenda. Even a short agenda can lead to a very long meeting.
Holding the meetings online might be part of the problem.
First, it adds time to each meeting to explain how to participate. It adds time to invite people to speak and wait for them to work out technical issues. Almost every virtual meeting has delays due to the meeting being virtual. Sometimes they are short delays, but they add up.