Two Wrongs and a Right

Do two wrongs ever make a right?

Hunter Biden got a nice job paying $50,000 A MONTH because of his encyclopedic knowledge of the Gas Industry. Nothing wrong with that!

Joe Biden threatened the Ukraine in order to protect his son. Just a father doing his duty. Right?

And Donald Trump threatened the Ukraine if they fail to expose the Bidens. Just a concerned citizen doing his duty. Right?


The Brattleboro Charter Blues

Indeed, Ms Starr, the flaws are built into the documents. The social contracts we are obliged to accept wherever we live. A close look at how they work will show how they are designed to limit power, the ability to act, to a very small number and force the vast majority to simply react to what they do. For instance, the people are told that they are limited to participating at just certain times and places. Those times and places are then placed under tight control of that very small elite. The elites write the agenda, maintain total control of the meeting process, have one sided comment periods that excuses themselves from accountability and almost never share the full range of information and what little there is rarely appears in a timely manner.


Demote the Duke !

The Democratic Party of Orange County CA, recently passed a resolution condemning John Wayne for “racist and bigoted statements” he made during an interview with “Playboy” in 1971.

The resolution called for the Board of Supervisors to remove Wayne’s name, statue, and other likenesses from its international airport and “restore its original name: Orange County Airport.”


Department of Fireworks

The explosive substance we know as gunpowder was originally developed in China. The bright displays to expel evil spirits and bring good luck, we learned, could also be aimed at enemies and used to blow things up.

But what if we had never thought using it as a weapon?

I pondered this as we launched our illegal fireworks last night and listened as explosions from neighboring illegal fireworks shows reverberated off the hills.

What if we only used gunpowder for fireworks displays? 


Not All Americans Celebrate the Birth of a Racist Slave Owning USA Homicidal at Home Genocidal Abroad

Prominently placed statues of famous racists are no longer acceptable, just as policemen shooting African Americans has finally become unacceptable. Why not dispense with the far out illusion of a racist colonial capitalist USA being worth celebrating. Meanwhile left undone is the protecting of non-American Black lives from killer American GIs invading and bombing their beloved countries.


Brattleboro Absentee Ballots Available

Absentee ballots for the Primary Election to be held on August 11, are now available in Vermont town clerks’ offices.  Anyone wishing to vote prior to August 11 may apply for an absentee ballot until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 10.   Due to COVID-19, in-person early voting at the Brattleboro Town Clerk’s office will not be an option this year. Absentee ballots may be mailed to the voter by the clerk’s office or if a voter is in need can be delivered to the voter’s residence by two Justices of the Peace.  All ballots must be received by the clerk before the polls close on election day in order to be counted.  Ballots can be returned by mail (postage pre-paid), dropped off in advance of the election in the drop box in the Municipal Center parking lot, or returned to the polls on election day. For more information or to request an absentee ballot in Brattleboro call 251-8157. Sample ballots are available on the Brattleboro.org website, under elections.


Racism is a Tool for Oppression

The other day David Schoales included, in the context of a discussion group, a link to a June 2 statement issued by the Vermont Agency of Education director Daniel French. Following are the first two paragraphs of that statement:

“In light of the killing of George Floyd, another instance of police violence against a person of
color, we write to reaffirm the Agency of Education’s commitment to social justice and equity
literacy statewide. We firmly believe in our collective responsibility to create an anti-racist
education system and commit to supporting districts and schools in Vermont in their own
efforts to confront racism and create learning environments that are just, inclusive and
equitable.


VT AFL-CIO Stands With Black Communities In Resistance

June 28, 2020, Montpelier, VT – Black Lives Matter. The Vermont AFL-CIO understands and recognizes that the United States of America is a nation which has long been governed by a ruling class whose power (social and economic) is rooted in slavery, racism, inequity, and oppression. We further see with clear eyes that Black people, whose ancestors were brought to this country in chains, have suffered (and continue to suffer) oppression on a massive and inexcusable scale. Such facts are made plain by not only looking at history, but also by looking at contemporary unemployment figures, poverty rates, average household income, incarceration rates, and through policing data. People who are Black are also murdered by American police officers with sickening regularity. George Floyd was not an exception. He, like Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Terence Crutcher, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray (to name but a few), was one of the latest in a long line of martyrs going back hundreds of years (and accounting for thousands of taken lives). We must not become numb to these murders. We cannot accept that Black families must educate their children on how to not become the target of unprovoked police violence. We cannot allow systematic racism and police violence against Black people to continue as the regularity that it has always been. Rather, we must resist.


WSESD Public Ballot Information Meeting on Boycotting the Budget

My understanding of President of the WSESD Board David Shoales response at the Public Ballot Information Meeting about boycotting passing the budget was that recovering from COVID was his exclusive priority, separate from and against this opportunity to motion with prison abolition, labor union empowerment, and enslavement reparations.


Where Are We Going? Does It Matter?

Spoon Agave: There are no obvious signs of leadership in Brattleboro so I can only conclude that the collective vision in the Municipal building is that the pandemic will end someday and everything will be OK. If anyone reading this has seen something different please share what it is. At the moment it feels like the town is simply marking time (just filling potholes) until whatever happens happens and we’ll deal with it then. That is one strategy, anyway.

Dot Lenhart: Do you have any suggestions?


Reparations of People Enslaved in Prisons and the Military

Earlier this month I released a public statement addressed to People in government organizing slavery reparation movements’ legislation to recognize that People incarcerated and People employed in the military have both been and are currently treated as property denied both constitutional and life protections of freedoms, rights, and liberties. We can and will change such insanely brutal conditions with prison abolition and labor union empowerment. The newspapers have not published my letters and I have not been allowed access to participate at official reparations meetings which say no one is denied entry.


Re: George Floyd

Recently, the Chief of Police wrote a letter to the people of Brattleboro, referencing the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

He mentioned that the police have a professional duty to protect and serve everyone in the community with dignity and respect. He also related that “We have made de-escalation tactics a priority in use of force trainings. Once the resistance stops or the situation is under control, the tactics need to evolve with the situation.”

Sounds good,

It was not always that way here in Brattleboro.


100+ Vehicle Caravan Pickets For Job Security & New Deal in Burlington – Solidarity With Black Lives Matter

June, 2020, Burlington, Vermont – On Tuesday June 9 in Burlington, 45 Vermont Labor Unions and allied organizations answered the call issued by AFSCME Local 1343 to picket for job security and a New Deal economic recovery. In a powerful display of progressive Labor unity AFSCME City workers, led by Local President Damion Gilbert and Vice President Jesse Greeno, insisted that the Mayor guarantee that workers and public services come first during these hard times. 1343 further urged the City Council to support a charter change to allow for a wealth tax on the richest residents to better fund public services, and that if cuts need to be made that they come from Police Department equipment & brass and by way of cutting high paid political appointee positions.


Cris Ericson Is On The 2020 Progressive Party Primary Election Ballot. Please Watch Her Home Kitchen Video!

Cris Ericson, previously an independent and U.S. Marijuana Party candidate, is now a 2020 Progressive Party candidate for the Vermont primary election August 11, 2020. Absentee ballts are being sent out as early as the last week of this month, June 2020. Candidates have to use new ways to communicate with Vermont voters!

Cris Ericson is also happy to announce that she sees Emily Peyton as a Republican this time, and Boots Wardinski on the 2020 primary election ballot running against Cris Ericson for Governor of Vermont on the Progressive Party 2020 primary election ballot. Good candidates are not defeated because they lose in the past, they just run again! We are like sports teams that lose and lose and never give up and then surprise, surprise, we will win, hopefully in 2020!


20 Union Demands – All To The Union Picket Lines June 9 – Come and Fight for a Green New Deal for Vermont!

Demand a New Deal – No To Racism – No To Austerity – Union Yes!
“An Attack On One Is An Attack On All”

WE DEMAND A NEW DEAL!

NEW DEAL: We demand the Federal Government, the State of Vermont and municipalities commit to a economic recovery effort through a progressively funded NEW DEAL that puts the working class first, and gives rise to a more directly democratic society free of racism, discrimination, oppression, and economic exploitation of the laboring classes;


Vermont AFL-CIO President Speaks: Demand A New Social Contract That Puts Workers First & Green New Deal!

Last week I, as Vermont AFL-CIO President, talked with WGDR’s Carl Etnier (a UAW member) about COVID-19, the health concerns of Early Childhood Educators, the fight of Burlington City workers (AFSCME) to defend their pay and benefits (while not suffering layoffs), the need to rebuild the economy through a more directly democratic Green New Deal, and Labor’s support for Progressive David Zuckerman for Governor.

It is beyond the pale that while we continue to struggle and suffer during the pandemic, that the elite and many politicians are calling for cuts to social spending, the closing of colleges, for workers to lose their jobs or suffer wage & benefit reductions, and for the wealthy among us to continue benefiting from the massive tax cuts reaped under the Trump Administration. All the while tens-of-thousands of Vermonters are out of work (40 million across the Nation). Thousands are already lining up at Vermont National Guard bread lines! And yet the rich, and too many politicians who they wield influence over, want to protect their comfort and privilege by asking YOU to tighten YOUR belt. The Vermont AFL-CIO rejects this basic premise!


Surveillance Cameras

The attached image illustrates surveillance cameras installed in a street in Communist China. Fortunately we live in a free country where such things don’t exist (except on Main Street in Brattleboro).


“The Stand At Paxton County”

I always thought very highly about Humane Societies and animal rights people in general. It’s not always the case.

In the film “The Stand At Paxton County”, I got an entirely different view of the whole situation. (It’s currently available on Netflix)

Though the film is fiction, it’s based on reality.


Where There’s a Will…

Homelessness has been stopped in its tracks in Brattleboro. As I write this, there is not a single person that I am aware of that does not currently have shelter. This is an incredible achievement. What’s more incredible is that it was accomplished within the last 30 days. 

As we saw COVID-19 advance toward Vermont, we at Groundworks Collaborative worked closely with our State partners to establish and enact guidance that eventually led to everyone that was without housing, or who was precariously housed, being able to access local motel rooms. It is quite remarkable that a vision Groundworks has held for our community—that everyone has their basic needs met with dignity—has become a reality during this crisis.  This need not be an anomaly.

Groundworks’s staff have answered the call when needed most and I have to share my deep appreciation for their work—especially as they put themselves and their families at risk to come to work each day. Without them, we would not be able to be so effectively meeting our community’s basic needs.