Brattleboro will soon be going through a public process to determine how to spend over $3 million in ARPA funding. The selectboard will be setting up a process for gathering ideas and suggestions, evaluating them, and deciding what to do. They will be looking for items that give the greatest long-term benefit to Brattleboro.
As the Lorax would say, “I’d like to speak for the trees.”
I’m not sure what the right amount is, but for argument’s sake I’d like to suggest $100k be spent on shade trees. Few things would give longer-lasting benefits to the town.
DESCRIPTION: During this time in which many of us are still mourning the recent passing of former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark it seems appropriate to reflect on Ramsey’s many warnings to humanity like, ‘The government of Americans will lie, deceive, kill, do whatever it must to dominate – investors in war who control it insanely insensitive to the beauty of life and planet.’
Imagine what the state of gun violence in this country would be like if we put as much effort into establishing sensible restrictions on the sale and ownership of guns as we have put into the COVID pandemic. Although that kind of effort will never happen on a national level it is possible that individual states could do more to make it harder to own a gun.
The debates have raged for years. Those who hide behind the second amendment are nothing more than a bunch of selfish crybabies who have always lived in a world where they think everything revolves round their needs and wishes. Whenever we hear their cries for their brand of freedom we need to counter with some facts about gun violence.
It removes sales tax on guns.
If I buy a cap pistol, I must pay sales tax but if I buy a .357 magnum I don’t.
The 27 $million to the family of George Floyd answering allegations that his civil rights were violated within a flourishing American culture of excessive force, racism and impunity by implication puts protective value on all lives in the USA. Remaining valueless are the millions of lives taken overseas by Americans, including by Black GIs who afterward return home to face mortal racist danger themselves.
It was a ka-RAZY meeting. The 2021 RTM ran into overtime and continued Sunday (3/21), and since the members only had the remaining agenda to handle, they were alert and curious at the end. Many members and the moderator made efforts to preserve even more time for the proposals of the RTM members.
BCS advanced an uncontroversial educational pamphlet for the members that passed overwhelmingly. Toward the end there were a glitch and a flurry of objections as the establishment didn’t have a quorum (enough participants) for a big money maneuver. The panic was hilarious, as the moderator counted the members three times and Tim Wessel apparently arranged for people to return from dinner to vote to “adjourn the meeting to a later date so we could convene only to officially end the meeting”.
Why do the rest of us allow the British (the former genocidal colonial power) to get away with claiming the right to destroy the world if Britain comes under some sort of less than clearly defined non-nuclear attack? Is there no legal authority to sanction the UK and its officials involved in threatening Humanity – the UN Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission, the IAEA, the WHO, the international Criminal Court?
Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting members should try an experiment. The body should form a Warrant Committee for a trial period of one year and see how it goes.
What’s a Warrant Committee?
When Bob Gannett brought Representative Town Meeting to Brattleboro, his experience with it began in Milton, MA. And in Milton, Town Meeting Representatives have a much bigger role in setting the agenda and budget to be voted on. Representatives elect a 15 person Warrant Committee to decide what articles will be warned.
Article II – “Shall the Town [of Brattleboro] permit the operation of licensed cannabis retailers subject to such municipal ordinance and regulation as the Selectboard may lawfully adopt and implement?”
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It will now be legal to purchase spinach in state-approved shops, so long as it is not too fresh. Our political leaders hope that legalizing this popular vegetable with government-regulated distribution through specially-favored retailers, will squeeze out illegal growers and criminal spinach-pushers.
I am having a hard time deciding how to vote. If I vote “no,” my vote will increase the anti-pot tally and be seen as opposition to legal marijuana. If I vote, “yes,” I will be voting for state-sponsored restraint of trade, meant to harm those of our friends who for decades took risks practicing illegal horticulture and free-enterprise, keeping us supplied.
The issue of deadly racism in the USA has been brought to the attention of all Americans by the persistent efforts of impassioned activists, especially by carrying placards with photographs of African-American victims of deadly police actions. Article suggests how the greater toll of darker skinned people murdered by Americans overseas could become a burning issue of concern for American activists fighting racism at home.
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.
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….
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.
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.