Did U.S. or Israel Drop a Nuke on Syria?

“The fact of the matter is, what we are seeing in both these cases is a tactical nuclear strike, probably by cruise missiles launched from aircrafts near the borders of Syria or right off the coast in the Mediterranean.”

– Greg Thielmann, arms control expert

Cold-hearted Obama! Two Million Koreans Murdered in Own Country “A Victory”?

“Obama calls Korean War a victory” 7/27/2013
He studied through a PhD in law at Harvard. Yet doesn’t know, or pretends not to know US history.
US bombed to death more than two million Koreans, men, women and children in their own beloved country,
many as often as not in their very own homes, many especially gross US atrocities only recently apologized for.
Author promises such upside down history will not wash much longer

That’s What I AM

After spending some time with the dictionary trying to find the terms that best describe me, progressive, radical, activist, I find that I do not wear any of these hats well. My mission is awareness, critical thinking, free speech and some personal ownership for the world we live in. In fact I founded a corporation in 2010 called The Awareness Initiative Inc., to do exactly that.

Sanders: New Fed Chief Must Make Jobs Top Priority

BURLINGTON, Vt., July 28 – Saying that “it’s time for new leadership at the Federal Reserve and a new approach to our troubled economy,” U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today urged President Obama to appoint a new central bank chairman who will “put the needs of the disappearing middle class ahead of the interests of Wall Street and the wealthy few.”

Sanders said Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz or former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich would be “excellent candidates” to replace Chairman Ben Bernanke when his term ends next January 31.

Drastic Cuts in NEH Funding Will Impact Vermont Humanities Council

If you have ever attended a “First Wednesdays” program at the Library, please read the following appeal:

“Dear Friends,

We need your help — today — to protect funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Vermont Humanities Council. This week, the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee sent a budget bill for FY 2014 to the full Appropriations Committee that includes only $75 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), a drastic 49% cut, which would come on top of a 19% cut over the past three years.

Veterans’ Committee Advances Health Care, Benefits Bills

WASHINGTON, July 24 – The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs today approved a package of bills to improve benefits and health care services for veterans and their families.

Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the package includes a measure to bring the Department of Veterans Affairs in line with a Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. Other legislation approved by the Committee would improve the delivery of care and benefits for veterans who experienced sexual assault in the military. Another bill would make the VA provide detailed reports to Congress on its effort to eliminate a staggering claims backlog.

Sanders Challenges White House Report on Student Loans

WASHINGTON, July 23 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said a White House report today masks a big boost in college loan interest rates that would be in store for students and parents under a White House-backed bill now before the Senate.

“The White House is being disingenuous and is trying to sweep under the rug big increases in interest rates for students and parents in the near future,” Sanders said. “Because college costs are out of control and interest rates are rising, students are leaving college deep in debt or in some cases choosing not to continue their education because they cannot afford it,” Sanders added.

The Problem Solvers, Co-chaired by Rep. Welch, Unveils Legislative Agenda

Rep. Welch announces bipartisan coalition aimed at breaking Congressional gridlock

Washington, DC. (July 18th, 2013) At an outdoor rally on Capitol Hill this morning, Rep. Peter Welch joined  in announcing a new bipartisan, bicameral coalition aimed at breaking Congressional gridlock. Welch is a co-founder of the coalition, known as “The Problem Solvers,” and serves as one of eight co-chairs. 

The Problem Solvers coalition, which is affiliated with No Labels, is comprised of 37 Republicans, 43 Democrats, and 1 Independent. At the rally, the group unveiled its legislative agenda, which includes a Welch-authored energy efficiency initiative.

Stand Whose Ground?

It was depressing, but not unexpected, to read this morning that George Zimmerman was found not guilty.

The “Stand Your Ground” law allows people to use deadly force on someone, then claim self defense. In an ideal sense, the concept applies to defending one’s home from an intruder.

In Florida, it means you can kill a young black man if you find him suspicious.

Zimmerman was not defending his home or his property. There was no threat to him.

Police Fire Project Alternative

Many readers here have probably read the viewpoint column I wrote and the Commons printed in their current issue. If not, here is the .

The basic gist is that if we can at all afford 14.1 million dollars for the police and fire facilities we can get much more for our money if we scale that project back some (but retain its most important features) and use the savings for economic development.  The thrust of my views are that public safety is not a serious issue for now (tho it would be improved to a significant degree anyway under this plan) but the economy is.  I  will even argue that several million dollars poured into development and the creation of jobs will have greater and more salutary effect on public safety than an armored indoor loading dock for handling prisoners.

Rep. Welch Announces Privacy Legislation Regulating Operation of Domestic Drones

Burlington, VT. (July 12th, 2013)- This morning, on the steps of the Chittenden County Courthouse, Rep. Peter Welch unveiled legislation that would require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to inform Americans and protect their privacy as the agency issues operating licenses for unmanned aerial vehicles flying over the United States. The FAA estimates that 30,000 drones will be operating in the U.S. over the next 20 years.

Welch will introduce the legislation in the House of Representatives next week when he returns to Washington. He was joined at the press conference by ACLU of Vermont Executive Director Allen Gilbert.

America’s Rule: The Morals of Legality

Just about all the bad things our governments do are defended with the claim that they are legal.  But just because it is legal to do something, is it necessarily right?  Anything can be made legal, after all.

We usually think of murder as being fundamentally wrong and almost certainly illegal, but it can be made legal in certain circumstances — as, for instance, when a drone kills dozens of innocents along with its alleged terrorist targets.  

Sen. Sanders Details Tax Plan to Close Loopholes

WASHINGTON, July 10 – Skeptical of a bid to overhaul the tax code by corporate-friendly congressional tax writers, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today laid out his own specific proposals to raise revenue by closing loopholes that let multi-national corporations and oil companies avoid hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairmen of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, this summer launched a nationwide tour to hear what corporations want in a revamped tax code. Sanders said the tax code should be reformed to address the needs of the middle class and working families, reduce deficits and make profitable corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.

Students Tell Sanders How College Loans Impact Families and Careers

WASHINGTON, July 9 – Responding to more than 700 emails from college students and graduates in Vermont and around the nation, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called today for restoring student the loan interest rate to the level that was charged before the rate doubled on July 1 to 6.8 percent.

“We have a major crisis in our country today in terms of the high cost of college and the incredible debt burden that college students and their families are facing,” Sanders said in a Senate floor speech. “Our job is to improve that situation, to lessen the burden on students and their families – not to make it worse.”

Sanders read from some of the emails he received about how student loans have affected people’s careers and families.

Lots of Rain with Little News Coverage

Upstate Vermont, central Vermont, Albany New York area, and multiple parts of New Hampshire have experianced in some cases over six inches of rain in the last few days.   New Hampshire and New York have decleared states of emergency to deal with well over thirty roads made unpassible as a result of these rains.   All this disaster going on and not even a minute of news coverage last night.   

A few years ago the similar damage occured and it made national news.   It seems that this is the new normal.   Flooding and destructive storms everyday.  Some place in the USA is facing some type of natural disaster.  This seems big news to me yet it is becoming so common that I hear people in the blogs saying they are tired of hearing about it.

Job Creation For Undocumented Illegal Aliens Should Not Be Slaughtering Horses For Human Food!

New Mexico, is one of the top ten states with the most
undocumented illegal immigrants.
 Governor Peter Shumlin, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy
and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders  of Vermont
want illegal aliens in  Vermont and Governor
Peter Shumlin wants them to have drivers’
licenses.  THE PROBLEM  is now,
NEW MEXICO is  planning to allow the  SLAUGHTER

Love Letter

I started this letter last year, in a fit of pique at President Obama, who I perceived was moving in the wrong direction. Today, I finished it. Here’s what I wrote:

Dear President Obama,

All of your policies are wrong. Here are some things missing from your policies:

– heart
– soul
– beauty
– love
– joy