Sanders Welcomes Pope Francis Statement on Poverty

WASHINGTON, May 16 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today applauded Pope Francis for condemning a “cult of money” in the world that he said was oppressing the poor.

In a major speech at the Vatican on Thursday, Francis said the global financial system has worsened poverty while benefiting the wealthy few. “While the income of the minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority of the majority is crumbling,” Francis said.

Tree Committee Looks at Skatepark

Referring to front page article in today’s Reformer 5/15/13 “Clements also said that the plans are only on paper at this time and machinery or changes in drainage could have a further impact on the trees. These two trees will be trashed. I don’t see any other way around it, ” said Clements. The Reformer article neglected to mention one of the trees to be removed as a consequence and unlikely to survive the construction of the proposed skatepark project is the majestic Norway Spruce many have come to identify with Crowell Lot as one of the original estate trees that has up to now survived at least two major hurricanes, Irene most recently, and has often been the center of this contoversy and a primary example of what’s at stake for those wanting to defend the right to preserve the park as a green area and natural tree lined setting void of excess concrete. 

Sanders: As Deficit Declines Don’t Forget Working Families

WASHINGTON, May 15 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, today issued the following statement on a Congressional Budget Office report that the federal deficit is expected to total $642 billion in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30:

“It is very good news for our country that we are making progress on deficit reduction. President Obama inherited a $1.4 trillion deficit when President Bush left office more than four years ago. This year, the deficit is on track to be cut by more than half from what it was in January of 2009.”

But What Can I Do?

“But what can I do?”  It’s a question that comes up a lot in conversation and one I’ve grappled with in recent months as  I’ve tried to figure out a response to it.  When nothing we do seems to make any difference, why should we even care what’s going on let alone try to do something about it?  Or to put it another way, what is an ordinary person to do in the face of the kind of unsettling news that has become routine in the last ten years?    

Slow and Steady

Minnesota has just passed a law legalizing gay marriage! We now have 12 states plus the District of Columbia -that are embracing marriage equality for all of it’s citizens. It has taken a long time to get this much momentum but now it feels like a wave of hopefulness that can not be stopped. Slow and steady progress. Nevada may be next!

Antiwars Belatedly Cry Meaninglessly “Hands Off Syria!” Never “Nuremberg Trial for Americans!”

Antiwar leaders do not call for the prosecution of US homicidal crimes against humanity ALREADY committed in Syria, nor of crimes committed in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Grenada, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Cuba, Lebanon, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Guatemala, Congo, Korea and Greece. Crimes committed without arrest, arraignment, indictment, punishment, imprisonment, or hanging

 Antiwar leaders protest, “Hands off Syria!”, but do NOT call for the prosecution of US homicidal crimes against humanity ALREADY committed in Syria by CIA, State Department, Congress, the Executive branch and investment bankers.

Governor’s Misguided Views On Gun Control

A recent LTE from Putney resident Elan Moses contained too much misinformation to be useful (Governor’s misguided views on gun control).

While his point that Vermont’s lack of gun legislation opens the door to many abuses, his suggestions for curing this were naïve and disingenuous.

“It does not mean we do not make efforts to make it harder to acquire semi-automatic weapons here in
Vermont”. I don’t think he has any idea what a Semi-Automatic firearm really is. (Unfortunately, this attitude is widespread in America. The very word “semi-automatic” has a high scare factor despite the fact that the
overwhelming majority of hunting rifles used in the USA today are semi-automatic).

Why No Vermont Women in Leadership Positions?

This may seem a strange time to bring this up as there is no election looming, but for better or worse now is when it is hitting me.

Our New England neighbor, New Hampshire has an all woman congressional delegation – Senators Shaheen and Ayotte and Congresswomen Shea-Porter and Kuster, plus Governor Maggie Hassan. Vermont has never its whole history put a woman in one of those seats.

Police Fire Petition & Questions of the Legality of the Town Representative Vote

The citizens of Brattleboro had rejected the Police Fire Station proposal at least three times, as I best remember, over a ten year peiod. I was aghast again to find not only was the town and Slectboard was pushing this, the town and Selectboard knew that if they gave it the voters it would be rejected. This was the opinion of the Selectboard.

They then had the town representatives vote on it.  When I spoke to representives in my district, he  said, “I’ll vote the way I want, regardless of what you would like.”  This is the most egregious example of the town representatives. He was absolutely in favor of the Police Fire station regardless of what the people in his district wanted. I aksed him if he would reconsider and put this before a town wide vote, and he said, “No, I have made up my mind. And the citizens don’t have the information they need to make an informed decision.” 

Building a Better Business Culture

I just had the quintessential bad experience trying to return a rug to Macy’s; hard to reach customer service, no call backs, endless e-mails, and then being told the rug was not returnable because the 30 day period had expired (due to Macy’s own unavailability and failure to respond).

Because our struggling little hamlet is not without her own public relations and customer service issues, I am with the hope that it will hit a mark and make a difference for the better.

In History Reversed, Vietnam’s Crimes Against Humanity In America Would Be Prosecuted

A reverse-history brain-twister to provoke imagining what victims of US firepower must feel. A ubiquitous, war criminal media, steeped in latest techniques of psyop constantly programs a reverse-reality that justifies undeclared wars meant to maintain high profitability for predatory investments and a confidence in the exceptional goodness of Anglo-Saxon America that obviates compassion for the wars designated enemies.

If Vietnam had bombed the United States for fifteen years bringing death to some three million Americans in cities, towns and countryside across America during a brutal occupation by a half-million heavily armed Vietnamese soldiers, there is no way that the US would not have brought Vietnam before the International Court of Justice.

F Troop in the People’s Republic of Vermont

F Troop in the People’s Republic of Vermont

Yup, I was born in Vermont, but through no fault of my own, I wound up living in the People’s Republic of Vermont. As that poet said, “Brattleboro is a socialist experiment gone deeply awry.” I would add, it is a socialist experiment, greased with payola, and incompetency that makes the F Troop look like an efficient organization.

Guns for Tots: Time To Arm The Children?

Guns for Tots: Time to arm the Children?

It is absurd to think that we need to have armed guards in schools. A more pragmatic approach is to arm the children. From kindergarten to college, everyone is armed, from the tiny little cute derringers in the guise of a cell phone, to the backpack portable semi-automatic rifles, or the gym bag size to hold a few Berettas.

When, we Americans think of our proud tradition of gun ownership we recall Daniel Boone as a child killing a bear with a flintlock or Davie Crocket as a lad killing a mountain lion. Tupac Shakur who wasn’t afraid to face life with a gun in his hand, “No longer living in fear, my pistol close in hand.” If our heroic ancestors can kill these ferocious beasts, why can’t any child worth his salt — lock and load?

Sanders: Earth Day

BURLINGTON, Vt., April 21 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a member of the Senate environment and energy committees and the sponsor of legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, issued the following statement on Monday’s observation of Earth Day:

“Unless we take bold action to reverse climate change, our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are going to look back on this period in history and ask a very simple question: ‘Where were they? Why didn’t the United States of America lead the international community in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and preventing the devastating damage that the scientific community was sure would come?’

Open Letter to Governor Peter Shumlin

Reach Up? Governor Peter Shumlin is showing hatred towards low income Vermonters in more ways than one!

Give Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin’s administration an F-  for providing an air pollution permit to a  proposed BIOMASS Plant in a residential neighborhood of Springfield, Vermont, a neighborhood of many low income Vermonters.

This is abuse against low income Vemonters!

How Sweet Is The First Cry Of A Baby?

It’s not that women aren’t violent. Of course they can be and have been violent.

It’s that women have the evolutionary advantage of violent events and changes to their natural bodies that put them on notice of what’s to come.

Terrifying Times

Just spoke with friends in Boston and Cambridge and they have never seen anything like this before. Everything is shut down; public transporation; taxis; schools; government offices, businesses- everyone in Boston and surrounding towns have been ordered to stay inside. A friend who lives in Cambridge said it’s like a ghost town – nobody on the streets, no sounds of traffic, nothing. Very eery.

I hope that no more innocent people are killed in the ongoing search for the remaining bombing suspect. 19 years old – you wonder how someone becomes this evil; this twisted by such a young age. Frightening times we live in. I wonder if we will ever see peace.

I doubt it will happen in my lifetime – hopefully in my grandson’s. 

Sanders Votes for Background Checks, Assault Weapons Ban

WASHINGTON, April 17 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today voted for expanded background checks on gun buyers and for a ban on assault weapons but the Senate rejected those central planks of legislation inspired by the shootings of 20 first-grade students and six teachers in Newtown, Conn.

“Nobody believes that gun control by itself is going to end the horrors we have seen in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., Blacksburg, Va., Tucson, Ariz. and other American communities,” Sanders said. “There is a growing consensus, however, in Vermont and across America that we have got to do as much as we can to end the cold-blooded, mass murders of innocent people. I believe very strongly that we also have got to address the mental health crisis in our country and make certain that help is available for people who may be a danger to themselves and others,” Sanders added.