WWAC Talk Friday, Oct. 25: Isis and the Crisis in Eastern Syria

Windham World Affairs Council invites you to a talk by Clare Morgana Gillis, PhD, Brattleboro resident and WWAC board member, on Friday, Oct. 25 at Centre Congregational Church. Dr. Gillis will speak on “Beheading in the age of its technological reproducibility,” examining Isis propaganda and its afterlife in news and in the popular imagination, and she will consider the effect of those images on human rights issues surrounding thousands of captured Isis foreign fighters now held in Kurdish jails in eastern Syria.


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 Eleventh Commandment

Last week Israel announced it would bar two American lawmakers from entering the country. One of them wanted to visit her dying grandmother who lives there.
Reps Omar and Tlaib have long been fierce critics of the Israeli government and its treatment of Palestinians. Most Americans are unaware of this treatment.


Declaration of Climate Emergency – Full Text and Comments

Here is the full text and comments of the proposed “Declaration of Climate Emergency” from Brattleboro Common Sense. The issue is on the agenda for the next meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard.

….

Whereas this article, to be known as the Declaration of Climate Emergency, is in accordance with a resolution promoted by the selectboard in 2003, and with resolutions on energy and climate change promoted by Brattleboro Common Sense through votes of the people in 2010, 2014, and of town representatives in 2018; and whereas the youth of Brattleboro are calling on today’s town leaders to formally acknowledge the truth of the emergency;


Van Deusen Runs For VT AFL-CIO President

VERMONT AFL-CIO UNITED!
A TEN POINT PROGRAM & SLATE FOR WORKING CLASS POWER!

VT AFL-CIO United! Candidates For Executive Committee
President: David Van Deusen, AFSCME
Vice President: Karl Labounty, AFSCME
Secretary/Treasurer: Danielle Bombardier, IBEW
Member-At-Large: Tim LaBombard, IBEW
Volunteer In Politics: Omar Fernandez, APWU


Public Officials Can’t Block Critics From Official Social Media Accounts

You may have read that courts ruled that Trump, using a Twitter account for official, open government purposes, cannot block people based on the views they express. This applies to all public officials, not just Trump. It’s a first amendment issue.

Members of the Selectboard and elected Representative Town Meeting reps should take notice and proceed with caution.


A Veto Proof Majority…

Cabot, Vermont -In 2017 they told us, “we can’t do right by working Vermonters because we don’t have the votes to override the Governor’s veto.” Then we gave them enough votes to do just that… And on Friday the Vermont Speaker of the House sought to adjourn without achieving a livable wage.  Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Vermonters continue to labor 40-60 hours a week at poverty wages (many thousands without healthcare).  And throughout the five months during which the General Assembly was in session, they could not even be bothered to hold one single hearing on card check (S.36).  But this should not come as a surprise…


Press Release: Picket Lines To Meet Scott Walker In Burlington On May 30

Montpelier, VT, 5/10/19 -The Vermont Republican Party has invited Wisconsin’s former union-busting Governor, Scott Walker, to speak at a fundraiser in Burlington’s Hilton Hotel on May 30. On April 26, AFSCME-Vermont called for Scott Walker to be met with labor/community picket lines. To date, 22 VT labor unions (representing over 17,000 union members) have endorsed the picket, along with 5 allied community organizations, and 5 political groupings. More endorsements are expected in the coming days.

“To labor unions, woman’s groups, racial justice organizations, and pro-union progressives of all stripes, Scott Walker represents the worst of the worst in terms of the wrong direction the extremist-anti-union-right would like to take our country if given the change. Walker believes workers should have NO collective bargaining rights, that our education system should be privatized, that women should not control their own bodies, and that the wealthiest 1% should receive massive tax cuts (at the price decimating our social services).


Governing by Decree: Presidential Power in the Age of Trump

President Donald Trump

If it seems as though the US President is the boss of the whole world, it’s because in many ways, he is. Presidential powers for modern presidents are prodigious. With the power to impose sanctions and tariffs, control the government through executive orders, and order military action, a determined president can create a lot of geopolitical mayhem.

The most remarkable tool to that end is the economic sanction which is a form of punishment designed to destabilize countries America has strategic interest in by crippling their economies. Most sanctions bind American companies from doing business in the target nation. But recently, there has been a new form of sanction, called a secondary sanction, that aims to prevent any country or individual in the world from doing business with our declared enemy.


Early Voting in Brattleboro – Ballots Available

Early/absentee ballots for the Special School Merger Election to be held May 21, are now available in the Brattleboro, Town Clerk’s office.  Anyone wishing to vote prior to May 21 may apply for an early/absentee ballot until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 20.

Early/absentee ballots may be voted in person in the Clerk’s office, mailed to the voter by the Clerk’s office, picked up by the voter, or if a voter is in need can be delivered to the voter’s residence by two Justices of the Peace.  All voted ballots must be received by the Clerk before the polls close on election day in order to be counted.  For more information or to request an early/absentee ballot call 251-8157.


AFSCME Local 1343 President Challenges Lawmakers Stand With Us On Card Check, Or You Are Complicit

Montpelier, Vermont 4/3/19 -Vermont AFL-CIO Unions including AFSCME, AFT, IBEW, USW, & PFFV, have been fighting all winter to get legislators to advance H.428 & S.36, card check recognition for public sector workers. The bills were introduced in the House by Progressive Brian Cina, and in the Senate by Democrat/Progressive Phillip Baruth. If passed, card check would establish that whenever a majority of workers sign a Union card in any given public sector shop, their Union would be immediately recognized. Despite Labor’s united front on this issue, the Vermont Senate and House (which is overwhelmingly composed of Democrats) has yet to hold hearings on the bills, let alone move them out of committee.


Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting 2019

Representative Town Meeting 2019

Brattleboro Representatives are holding their Representative Town Meeting. The crowd is slowly gathering at the gym, where those elected will be talking town and school business for most of the day. Will they approve an extra 1% local option tax? Will there be surprises, twists, and turns? We will find out.

The Town portion of business  comes first, and there are a number of preliminary formalities to endure before actual business begins.


Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting District Caucuses

Brattleboro Districts 1 & 3 will caucus just prior to Representative Town Meeting on Saturday, March 23 at Brattleboro Union High School beginning at 8:00 AM in the Gym. Representative Town Meeting begins at 8:30 AM.  District 1 will be accepting nominations to fill and appoint one town meeting member seat for 1 year. District 3 will be accepting nominations to fill and appoint one town meeting member seat for 1 year.


Brattleboro Town Schoolboard Informational Forum and District Caucuses

Brattleboro Town Schoolboard will hold a pre-representative town meeting information forum on Wednesday, March 20 at Green Street School beginning at 6:30 PM in the Gym.  At 6:00 p.m., town meeting members of each district will be available to meet with constituents to offer residents an opportunity to share their views and discuss articles to be voted on at the annual meeting.  Also, at that time, Districts 1 and 3 will be accepting nominations to fill town meeting member vacancies for 1 year.


Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting Informational Forum and District Caucuses

Brattleboro Town Selectboard will hold a pre-town meeting information forum on Wednesday, March 13 at Academy School beginning at 7:00 PM. Representative Town Meeting articles will be discussed, including the budget, and the bond issue.  At 6:30 p.m., town meeting members of each district will be available to meet with constituents to offer residents an opportunity to share their views and discuss articles to be voted on at the annual meeting.  Also, at that time, all three districts will be accepting nominations to fill town meeting member vacancies for 1 year.


Selectboard Candidate Interview – Oscar Heller

Oscar Heller

Another in our series of 2019 selectboard candidate interviews, this time with Oscar Heller who is running for a one-year seat.

Give us a brief biography – who are you? What do you do?

Hi! I’m Oscar.

I was born in New York, but when I was 14 my parents picked a summer camp at random off the internet. That camp was Camp Waubanong in Brattleboro. I spent most of the next dozen summers in Vermont. In 2014 I moved here for good. I live on Elliot Street, just before the park, with my girlfriend Jessie and our two cats.


Selectboard Candidate Interview – Tim Wessel

Wessel Family

We continue our series of interviews with candidates for Selectboard, this time with Tim Wessel, the only incumbent and a three-year seat candidate.

Give us a brief biography – who are you? What do you do?

Hi, I’m Tim! I’m a father to a 29 year old AND a 13 month old, which is crazy and strange and pretty darned wonderful too. I work for myself running Vermont Films, a video production company here in Brattleboro, and I spend my work life shooting and editing films for many different clients, both local and national. Many people saw my appearance on House Hunters on HGTV a few years back, and I also work in production for that show about once a month, usually traveling to do so. My wife and I just celebrated our second wedding anniversary, and the first birthday of our son.


Selectboard Candidate Interview – Daniel Quipp

daniel quipp

Next in our series of interview with Brattleboro Selectboard candidates is Daniel Quipp, running for a one-year seat.

Give us a brief biography – who are you? What do you do?

I’m originally from Wales and married to a person who grew up in Newfane. I have been coming to Brattleboro since 2004 and have lived here since 2014. I’m currently a crisis fuel worker with SEVCA and just started a new job with Vermont Interfaith Action working in Windham and Bennington counties.