Friday, May 04, 2007

The Unbelievable 30%

Actually, all humor aside, I highly recommend this piece by Rozius (of Rozius Unbound fame and infamy) available at All Things Democrat. It asks the very serious question: how the hell is it that there remains about a 30% core of Americans in just about every damned poll who still support George W. Bush through every horrific thing he has done (and failed to do) as president-in-cheat.

This 30% figure has stayed almost a constant for the last two-plus years when so very much more awful has happened not just on Bush's watch but directly because of what he does. (And brownie points to anyone who knows what American "tragedy" is referenced in the book/movie, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers.")

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Radio You?

I'm passing this along because I am a major proponent of this (and frankly, I'm considering doing this on my own, both over the airwaves along with simultaneous Webcast - and yes, I promise NOT to sing).

Have you ever dreamed of running your own radiostation? Here's the chance to make it happen.

The Federal Communications Commission is about to open up the publicairwaves to local communities.

The federal agency will open a brief window inOctober for issuing full-power, noncommercial radio licenses.Now may be the last chance for you or your community group to secure alicense.

But you have to be ready, organized and committed:Visit to Learn More

Free Press is working in partnership with Prometheus RadioProject, the Future of Music Coalition, and the Radio for PeopleCoalition to help communities across the country set up their own local,noncommercial stations.

Here's what you need to do to secure a spot on the dial:

Visit our Web site at

Enter your ZIP code in the "frequency finder" to see if space on the dialis available near you Answer the GetRadio questionnaire to see if you'reeligible to apply.

This opportunity may be our last chance to reclaim a segment ofthe radio spectrum for the public. Over the past several decades, localradio stations have been bought up and consolidated under a handful of largecommercial conglomerates. The result has been lousy, cookie-cutter formatsthat sound the same anywhere you go.

Be There, Friday to Learn About Voting Fraud and How To Counteract It

We know how much you love Ben Cohen (of Ben & Jerry's), our founder and creative visionary. Well, Ben and Greg Palast, a hero of the verified voter movement, will be together in Montpelier, VT this Friday to talk about voting integrity and the work we have left to do to secure our elections. And you are invited.

When: Friday, May 4th at 7:00pm

Where: Unitarian Church of Montpelier, 130 Main Street (at School Street) (map)

Greg was a pioneer journalist who exposed the dirty secrets of electronic voting, and Ben was the creative spark behind TrueMajority's famous "Computer Ate My Vote" campaign -- which helped eliminate paperless voting in states across the country. See them together at Friday's event which is hosted by Vermont voting activist and WGDR's Jim Hogue.

Friday, April 06, 2007

April 15-22: Join The Boycott to Impeach For Peace and Justice

More information here on the action against the Bush Administration.

Bigger Than You Think: The Story Behind The Pet Food Recall

The San Francisco Chronicle offers you the skinny on what has killed thousands of beloved cats and dogs thanks to tainted pet food.

Sweet Irony: Newt Gingrich Helps Bankrupt UVM's College Republicans

Ah, sweet mystery of life... nothing spells greed like GOPeons named Newt Gingrich. From the Burlington Free Press:
There was a certain irony in the recent demise of the College Republicans at the University of Vermont. What ultimately proved to be the club's undoing was an appearance on campus by a national Republican heavyweight: Newt Gingrich.

When the club invited Gingrich to speak at Ira Allen Chapel on Oct. 6, 2005, he settled for an undisclosed honorarium that was apparently higher than the College Republicans could afford. They took out a $7,000 loan from the Student Government Association to help pay the bill, but more than a year later, when the loan still wasn't fully repaid after several ultimatums, the Student Government Association decertified them. In other words, the College Republicans were removed last month from UVM's long list of "recognized," or subsidized, student clubs.

That left the College Democrats and the International Socialist Organization as two of the more prominent political organizations for students, and it left political conservatives with virtually no formal organizational outlet on campus.

This raises the question of how diverse the political climate is at UVM, a school where liberal or left-of-center views are widely seen as predominant.

Friday, March 16, 2007

From Siberia To Mud Season To Blizzard Yet Again?

For the first time in three months, temperatures here in Vermont hit above freezing which was great cause for celebration. However, we hit aboving freezing here in South Woodbury with well more than two feet of snow still in place from the St. Valentine's Day record blizzard and a big snowstore after that, which meant that Mud Season (one of the two additional seasons Vermont boasts besides the standard four; Black Fly Season is the other one) commenced.

Now, after days of trying to move along dirt roads where the ruts are two-feet or more deep, in a ride that was FAR more harrowing than anything any amusement park can or would dream up, we're back to just over single digit temps, the mud has frozen and now, we're told to expect a possible blizzard starting before midnight.

Oh goodie. More snow. More stuff to melt next time temps hit the seasonal average of a day-time high of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. So we can either stop freezing our asses off but be forced to stay home at the risk a bad accident OR have frozen toes while you're able to get out of the driveway in the car.

Oh joy. Oh bliss. Oh $@*$!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Civil Rights Under Siege In Israel

This letter from Mark Hage of Montpelier in the Time Argus, I believe, states some excellent points:
Thank you for your editorial ("Israel's Dilemma," Feb. 23) on the controversy in Israel over a manifesto that calls for the country, officially a "Jewish state," to become a bi-national state with full equality for all citizens.

Since the mid-90s, Palestinian citizens have intensified their political and legal efforts to achieve the same rights as Jews. There are more than one million Palestinian citizens in Israel, and they live under apartheid-like conditions. Hundreds of rural communities have been established since Israel was created in 1948, but are closed to Arab citizens. For 60 years, vast tracts of private Arab landholdings have been confiscated by government authorities to benefit Jews exclusively.

Most Palestinian children, prior to the university level, attend segregated, inferior and under-funded schools. Arab towns, the poorest in the country, are short-changed annually when it comes to municipal budgets and funding infrastructure projects.

Palestinians are no strangers to police brutality, and Israeli cops, like Jewish soldiers, are prone to being trigger-happy when their weapons are aimed at Arabs. In October, 2000, police shot dead 12 unarmed Palestinians and a man from Gaza during protests against Israel's repressive measures in the occupied territories. No Jewish officers were indicted for this atrocity.

Job discrimination against Palestinian workers is widespread, and substantial sectors of the Israeli economy are off-limits to them. The civil service is the country' largest employer, but in 2004, just 5 percent of its 55,000 workers were Palestinian. Islamic and Christian holy sites get a pittance of their funding from public coffers, and according to English journalist Jonathan Cook, "almost all of the Muslim and Christian holy places that existed in Israel before 1948 have been destroyed, fenced off, locked up or converted for the use of Jewish communities."

Israel is confronting a civil rights movement within its 1967 borders, and a national liberation struggle in the West Bank and Gaza. Both challenge the fundamental tenets and structures of Zionism, which elevate Jewish blood, privilege and religion over democracy, equality and the rule of law.

Mark Hage


Double Tragedy in Cabot

Those who watch Vermont news no doubt heard of the death by hit-and-run driver of a 27-year-old Cabot man, Jason Bear, Sunday evening, left to die in a ditch along the side of Route 215. The tragedy was compounded when it was discovered that the person who hit this by all accounts sensitive young father of a five-year-old son was none other than his stepfather, a man my age, also of Cabot, William Luther.

I realized I was probably in the same store when the dead young man was looking at DVDs and was traveling along that same road myself that evening. I wish I had some sense of what had happened so I could have gotten this young man assistance since he may have lived for some time after he was hit.

Many locals have criticized Luther for the action - not just leaving the scene of an accident and not trying to get his stepson help - but also for trying to cover up his crime by damaging his Jeep by first running it into a cement buttress and then into trees before he arranged to have the vehicle towed some distance away. But I suspect this was just a very sad case of someone panicking and then, as a result, doing absolutely everything wrong. I doubt those who make such mistakes ever believe ahead of time they would be capable of going to such lengths but, in truth, tragically, it happens all the time.

The only part of this that angers me is that Luther, like so many others, used, "I was drinking" as an excuse for what happened. But drinking and driving is a conscious act, so when you drink alcohol (or take drugs) and then get behind the wheel, "I was drunk" simply is no excuse. It enrages me everytime I hear someone use drugs or alcohol as a defense against an act they commit.

Otherwise, however, this case just saddens me: one life destroyed, another well on its way to such, and the rest of the family and close friends left to grieve for what might have been if Luther had not been drinking or out driving, or if he'd sought help for Bear immediately.

Unemployment In The State Is Rising

Story here, but the statistics don't show another face to the issue which should make these stats look far worse: the number of Vermonters under-employed and those who work 2-3 jobs, often without any benefits, and still can't make ends meet since Vermont is NOT a cheap place to live.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Vermont Confidential

Say hello to one of my new Green Mountain discoveries, Vermont Confidential (the blog). Looks good!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Vermont Made History Twice This Week, Actually

[Ed. note: Cross-posted at Cut to the Chase.]

Not just as the first to pass a resolution against Bush's handling of the Iraq war through both sides of the legislature (Iowa followed soon thereafter), but because our St. Viagra's day blizzard was the second worst in recorded weather history (and man, walking through chest-high corridors of snow with well over my head drifts is REALLY increasing the sense of cabin fever).

I like the first record; the second I could have done without (or done, but not with continuing single-digit-at-best temps).