It surprised many that Town Manager Yoshi Manale resigned after just a few months. But it isn’t that surprising.
Brattleboro is unusual. For a small town, there is a tremendous amount of media. Two newspapers, three radio stations, citizen journalists, and others pay close attention to what goes on in town government. Add in social media, discussions in offices, and conversations on the street and you end up with a rather active core population that follow the details of town government.
There are big cities with less coverage of their municipal governments and fewer news outlets. And big city news is often dominated by crimes, fires, and other distractions, making municipal news a smaller piece of the overall newscast or front page headlines.
An Alert and Warning!
NATO Secretary-general calls for “transformation” of NATO into a fighting force against Russia and China
Noam Chomsky, 93, issues warning: ‘We’re approaching the most dangerous point in human history’
There’s a funny skit on the Don’t Crush That Dwarf album by Firesign Theatre in which two tv news anchors banter about the apocalypse. “Last year, Patty, you and the viewers will be interested in noting that the world ended.” To which his partner replies, “As we know it, Hugh!”
This is kind of what’s happened to us. The world, as we knew it, has ended and now we’re in a new world, feeling less than brave, and facing all four Horseman of the Apocalypse at the same time. For people who’ve been living in the virtual world for most of the last two decades, waking up and discovering that the real world that we were counting on is going, going, gone, the whole flaming mess we’re in must seem like a bridge too far. How could we have gotten to this?
How do you stop a deranged dictator from creating his own image of the world while he kills people and terrorizes an entire planet? I don’t have the answer to that question and it looks like world leaders are having a hard time slowing the juggernaut of death and destruction that Putin is causing.
Sensible and humane people see war as an option only after all other methods of diplomacy have failed. In Putin’s world, diplomacy is a tool for weak nations. He knows that he can use bombs and bullets whenever he wants because he has no regard for human life. When a leader is of that mindset, diplomacy and the gentler methods of compromise and conciliation will never succeed.
Before kick off at the Super Bowl, a moment of silence for the Afghani children that have been starved to death by the American government impounding their food money would have been appropriate. It would have shown that Americans care and wish their government would unfreeze the more than 9 $billion so Afghani children can be fed and go on living. Some US Congressmen and women spoken out.
My father was always conservative. Although never a registered Republican — he preferred to see himself as an Independent — his views were decidedly to the right. For my part, I too saw myself as independent but took the opposite road politically, becoming what he would call “a liberal.” Consequently, we rarely saw eye to eye about political matters, although it never came to blows.
But somewhere in the early 21st century, my dad retired from his job and began to have more time on his hands. Having moved to rural Rhode Island and having no friends in the area or work to keep him occupied, he acquired the unfortunate habit of listening to talk radio. Rush Limbaugh was his favorite show. As a frequent visitor to the new family homestead, I became the target of his right-wing ire. After all, it’s no fun being angry if you have no one to attack over it.
Identified Flying Objects
I spent much of yesterday devouring UFO stuff. In this morning’s reverie, it all came together.
Why have governments devoted enormous resources to denying their existence?
• They are afraid that we’d “panic”. Yeah, right!
If, during the three day Martin Luther King birthday holiday, a world attention getting source, for example, a Chinese government spokesperson, would point out that the government of the United States of America was condemned as the most violent in the world by America’s own idol, this writer believes it would be a sensation, and a most difficult moment for the U.S. government and America’s wars supporting mainstream media.
“Our lives are now shaped by the pursuits, products and priorities of the world’s wealthiest people.” … “Like it or not, we are now in Musk’s world.”
TIME Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief
TIME Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief in his explanation of why Elon Musk was chosen as TIME’s 2021 Person of the Year mentions quite insightfully that to Musk
“steering capital allocation away from the government to those who will be good stewards of it, is progress.
This Christmas season, as always, CIA controlled mainstream media is filled with unctuous images of the hungry homeless in America being charitably served food by private citizens and institutions. It has long become an American tradition of kindness during the season celebrating the birth of all loving Jesus along with gift giving Santa Claus, and along with the encouragement and participation of churches, this tradition often receives government support .
The Christmas time Christian tradition of charitable feeding of the hungry homeless in capitalist USA never extends to include those millions of men, women and children made hungry by heartless US sanctions on countries overseas. The hard hearted Deep State investors in war of the Military Industrial Complex would never allow any of its captive US presidents to be gracious to the hungry in sanctioned nations at Christmas time.
When Senator Patrick Leahy announced his retirement recently he set off a political chain of events that marked the start of the campaign season. Leahy served almost 50 years in the Senate and he proved to be one of Vermont’s best political assets.
Rep. Peter Welch has served Vermont in Washington since 2007. He is the heir apparent to Leahy’s seat. There will be contenders for the office but it is clear that Welch will be the frontrunner and the person most prepared to represent Vermont in the Senate.
In freezing Afghanistan’s money the government of the United States of America is committing genocide in Afghanistan and trying to have its CIA controlled Western media portray those dying as the fault of the Taliban government, which the US 2001 invasion overthrew but which easily and quickly reinstated itself when the American military withdrew 20 years later in August of 2021.
Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world. The Afghan central bank had $9.4 billion in reserve assets as of April, according to the International Monetary Fund, which is equivalent to about a third of the country’s yearly economic output.
If Americans could only imagine what it was like for the citizens of thirteen much smaller nations to have been bombed and invaded by the American veterans who are celebrated on Veterans Day in the USA every November 11.
How would Americans take its own countryside being high altitude carpet bombed the way Laos, South Vietnam, North Vietnam and Cambodia suffered? What if twice the amount of bombs dropped in Europe, Asia and Africa during the Second World War, were dropped on the United States of America over a 15 year period like was done to Vietnam? – if USA were invaded over the same period by of a superpower army of up to a half-million better armed soldiers with tanks and napalming air support?
The Brattleboro Selectboard has begun budget season. It’s the time of year when citizens should speak up if they want something funded or defunded.
It’s also the time of year Representative Town Meeting Reps should be paying close attention, attending meetings, asking questions, and sharing information they learn with those they represent.
It’s quite easy to do nowadays, but wasn’t always this way. The current board likes to mention that they have traditions and that things are done a certain way, but that’s only been the last few years.
The Selectboard was reviewing and adding to their goals at their most recent meeting. There are a few more items they should take up:
End Weigher of Coal Position
This is just embarrassing in 2021. Brattleboro should rid itself of any mention of coal. It’s such an easy thing to do. Town Managers since Barb Sondag have promised to get this done. All it takes is sending an article to Representative Town Meeting.
Preparations for nuclear war have been in the news, even mainstream news, more than just occasionally:
NATO unveils master plan to defeat Russia in nuclear war, Voice of London, UK., October 23, 2021 
America’s failed weapons test shows Washington is currently hopelessly outgunned by Beijing in the race for hypersonic supremacy International Journal, Oct. 22, 2021 
China says new hypersonic missile a blow to US ‘strategic superiority,’ New York Post, Oct. 17, 2021 
This writer is puzzled by the absence of fear of nuclear war as a topic of concern.
Holidays are lethal. The undue stress of celebrating holidays wrecks the health of our little golden biosphere. Holidays are also not necessary for our personal well-being, and, in some cases, they are stressful and unhealthful to too many people.
Since the turn of the 20th Century when southern soft drink brands started using Santa Claus as an advertising ploy to increase soda sales in the northern winter markets, the lethal nature of human holidays has been tearing earth’s resources asunder.
Oscar Wilde said, “Give me the luxuries, anyone can have the necessaries.” Even Oscar Wilde would agree today that consumer carnage holidays are a luxury we can no longer afford. The fact that too many of the holidays are religious-based means nothing in the context of people hell-bent on the self-destructive nature of continuing holidays.
USA Congress plans to spend a $1.5 trillion on improved nuclear weapons! 
“If We Don’t End War, War Will End US,” 
Twenty years after the end of the Cold War there are at least 23,000 nuclear warheads still in existence, with a combined blast capacity equivalent to 150,000 Hiroshima bombs. The U.S. and Russia together have over 22,000, and France, the UK, China, India, Pakistan and Israel around 1,000 between them.
As some may already know, I was appointed by the Vermont Senate to represent municipalities’ interests on the Cannabis Control Board’s Advisory Committee. While I wouldn’t claim to have the level of “expertise in municipal issues” that some other longer-serving Selectboard members in Vermont might have, I feel that my past work advocating for the rights of towns, cities and villages does give me some insights, and I’m doing my best to represent local taxpayers during many rapid deliberations over the shape of the upcoming retail cannabis marketplace.
I want to make very clear my opposition to a hastily made decision by one of our sub-committees, the Market Structure, Licensing, Taxes and Fees Sub-Committee, without reasonable input taken and considered from the Vermont municipalities. This committee has evidently already voted to “cap” what local town clerks can charge for a cannabis license to $100 yearly, a laughable amount considering the fact that the state portion of yearly fees being currently considered are between $5,000 and $10,000.
The ‘Taking a Knee’ Phenomenon Shows Celebrities have extraordinary power to influence public protest against injustice.
The wide spread effectiveness of the ‘Taking the Knee’ phenomenon is proof that celebrities have extraordinary power to influence public action in protest of social injustice
(This would seem to imply, by the way, that a celebrity’s power to influence brings a higher level of citizen responsibility to speak out – yet so few do.)