The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. - Anaïs Nin

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Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Op/Ed


The Op/Ed opinion section

Marijuana Legalization and the Transfer of Wealth From Local Communities

Vermont Senators

With marijuana legalization being pushed through the legislature this year, what has been obscured is the impact this current bill would have on existing local economies.

The recent Rand Report estimated annual consumption of marijuana in Vermont at up to 55,000 pounds. The report fails to define where all that marijuana comes from. While it is certain some is imported from other states, it is also a given that a large percentage of the marijuana currently consumed in Vermont is grown locally.

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Redress - Not Amnesty for Wrongful Nonviolent Marijuana Incarcerations

Considering that consenting adult marijuana consumption is one of the definitive victimless crimes, where there is no apparent victim and no apparent serious pain or injury, it means it should never have been a crime to begin with.If anything, the history of marijuana laws and their application are arbitrary, irrational and draconian by any reasonable standards. Therefore, marijuana consumers are victims of the law, not offenders of the law.

Evidently, now that marijuana consumption is moving into the mainstream of legalization, it makes me wonder what the hell were we thinking of all those years of criminalization? Clearly, there was and is no good conscience behind criminalizing marijuana. Historically, the escalation of marijuana laws turned tens of millions of Americans into criminals who were not criminals before.

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Token Economy

On social media we have personas we prop up, be they wild pseudonymic selves, or some semblance of our verifiable ID’s. On Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, et. al., there’s the ever-present component of a post being liked or faved, or recycled.  Many posters curry favor, pander, intimidate, or otherwise stoke the flames of approval-by-click. Many online personalities have cultivated followings of several hundreds or thousands of people.

A pattern occurs which supposes that every submission will get at least some percentage of affirmation. Meaning many tokens of approval and affection. I’m wondering what happens to general human relations when this newly dominant form of sharing comes with expectation of a cluster of facile responses- from mostly strangers, or ‘friends’ through association?

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Now After US Media Has Again Suckered the World About Rev. King! Time to Lower the Boom

DESCRIPTION:
Okay, once again during Martin Luther King’s 2016 birthday celebrations, genocide justifying US media has suckered the world by suppressing King’s condemnation of "US atrocity wars and covert violence on three continents since 1945 meant to maintain unjust predatory investments." Once again, the last year of King's life during which he was vilified as a traitor for condemning the mass murder that was being perpetrated by his countrymen in Vietnam and Laos, has been tightly blacked out of all mention. Let's get Beyond Vietnam translated into all languages.

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Shout King Held All Americans Responsible for Atrocity Wars for Lucrative Predatory Investments

DESCRIPTION:
What the world and most every Americans under the age of fifty, do not know (for it having been criminally suppressed in all US media for nearly a half-century), is that exactly one year before being assassinated, Rev. King condemned the US war in Vietnam and all previous "atrocity wars and covert violence on three continents since 1945 meant to maintain unjust predatory investments" and held all Americans, including himself, responsible for these atrocity wars for "not being willing to give up the pleasures and privileges that come from the immense profits from those predatory investment the wars and violence had been protecting.

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Police/Fire Survey

     The post bringing us the Police/Fire survey begins by stating that the town is asking the public to weigh in on how to proceed.  In actuality it is asking the public to choose between one of the projects they have chosen to put before us.  Sort of like voting in the former Soviet Union.  The state named the candidates from the Communist Party and the people got to decide which one they wanted.  The citizens could theoretically vote them all down but there wasn't any point.  There would just be another slate of Communist Party members.

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Mobility Scooter Problem at Hannaford

I use a store mobility scooter when grocery shopping.  Today at Hannaford's at the checkout, they asked me if I would like them to get me another cart to go out to my car.  I said, "Why would I need another cart?"  They said because you aren't allowed to take the cart outside anymore.  A myriad of thoughts went through my head.  It's hard enough for me to get all the way into the store now, since they moved the electric carts out of the entranceway, and they expect me to get all my groceries and me out to my car without the e-cart? What is going on? 

A letter from corporate apparently came down with the pronouncement.  I will be calling corporate 1/7/16 to find out more.  The line I was given by the frontline staff was that there have been accidents because the carts are too low.  I said, oh, are they going to stop allowing children and any Little People in the parking lot, too?  Never at a loss for a sarcastic retort, am I!!  I apologized, and said I would contact corporate with my concerns and stop taking out my anger on them.

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The Coming Saudi Crack-up?

The Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia has a lot of oil.

The Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia has a lot of Shiites.

Many of the oil workers in the Eastern Province (as well as Bahrain, Oman & UAE) are Shiites.

These Shiites are currently very angry.

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How To End War

This year's seasonal epiphany had a fitting theme – peace and how to attain it.  It was a two part revelation.  The first is very simple: stop starting new wars.  If there's not already a war somewhere, don't start one.  Period.  No matter how undemocratic you think the regime or how crappy their policies, bombing a country does not improve the lives of the people there.  On the contrary, it destroys lives in every sense.  

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2015 In Review - A Cavalcade of Crises

So many things happened in 2015, it's hard to catalog in one year-end summation. To a large extent, It was a year defined by crises, including financial distress in Greece and China as well as the Syrian refugee crisis and the rise of ISIL. But before we plunge into the disaster zone, it was also a political year. What better place to start than the US presidential campaigns, now well underway.

Here in Vermont, many were heartened by Bernie Sanders' strong start and people-powered campaign. It was nice to see someone take on Hillary, even as he gave her a pass on her various scandals (emailgate, Benghazi). There was also the rise of Donald Trump as the Republican frontrunner who can say almost anything and still gain in the polls. Despite the theatrics, politics this year provided a patter of response to the events of 2015, as the real world intruded into the carefully crafted platforms of the various candidates. They were forced to take positions on gun control, foreign affairs, Black Lives Matter, and the global economy, articulated in a string of debates held by both parties. Voters who are paying attention got the chance to hone their own positions against those who would be our leaders over the next several years.

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Resolved! Rev. King's Outcry Re Illegal Wars for Predatory Investments Will Trigger Prosecution

DESCRIPTION:
Will 2016 be the year in which a prominent voice quotes King's condemnations of US wars. Good people everywhere should resolve this new year to follow Ramsey Clark in his efforts toward hearing the truthful and liberating words of King as a catalyst toward achieving justice and adjudicated compensations that will end profitable genocide

TEXT:
Will it happen in 2016, during the weekend holiday in the United States dedicated to Martin Luther King's birth date. that of the dozens of nations presently under attack, whether by US NATO UN military or economic warfare, one will field a celebrity status leader reading to the public from King's long suppressed sermon Beyond Vietnam - a Time to Break Silence?

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Brattleboro's Business License (Tax) Needs Reform

At about this time each year, Brattleboro businesses generously donate over $50,000... to the Town of Brattleboro for a town business license.

That’s $50,000 that is diverted from food and heat drives, year-end bonuses, and holiday gift buying and into the town’s coffers. It is also an unnecessary hurdle for business owners in Brattleboro.

There are many things wrong with this approach, all easily solved if we are serious about being business-friendly.

It doesn’t need to be collected at this time of year.

The current system requires payments be made during the holiday season, when food drives, heat funds, and donations to other worthy causes need funds. This is the only time it can be collected, according to the way the town operates the program.

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Christ's Birthday in an America That Kills Jesus Multiple Times in Multiple Countries Daily

DESCRIPTION:
Jesus warns harming God's children is equivalent to harming the Lord. "As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." This principle of a common humanity is basic to the Nuremberg Principles of Int’l Law, written to prosecute anyone, who would ever do what the Nazis did, which included bombing, invading and occupying innocent nations as Christian Americans have done since end of World War Two

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"We Choose To Go To The Moon"

President Kennedy’s speech “We choose to go to the Moon”  3:42 minutes
Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the Moon in 1969. There have been six manned U.S. landings between 1969 and 1972. A cursory trolling of the Internet will bring a trove of manned moon landings hoax claims and debunkers of the hoax theory. Did man walk on the moon or not?

One strong indicator against man walking on the moon hoax is that if the 1969 landing was a hoax, then all six manned missions to the moon were a hoax, as well as all of the unmanned vehicles landings and all the manned orbits around the moon. If a hoax is in order, then it would not make sense to create a hoax for just the first manned mission but to create a hoax for the entire array of Apollo missions.

In fact, there are too many indications that the manned landings were for real.

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I Miss the Reformer Christmas Stocking

I miss reading all the comments and good wishes in the donation column. I miss having a local charity that gave 100 percent of the proceeds to its intended beneficiaries.

I miss Pat Smith running the newspaper campaign. I miss how people would write: In lieu of local Christmas cards. I miss how you could write anything you wanted and make it as long as you wanted and it would get printed.

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A Nuremberg Trial for US Funding Slaughter of Syrians Destruction of Libya Iraq Afghanistan

TITLE:
A Nuremberg Trial for US Funding Slaughter of Syrians Destruction of Libya Iraq Afghanistan by jay janson

DESCRIPTION:
"Assad killed his own people peacefully protesting!" Sound familiar? Substitute 'Gaddafi' for 'Assad,' and one is on one's way to bring to mind so many other similarities made to be forgotten in TV, radio and printed news and entertainment in Western media, media owned by corporations profitably investing in the illegal and unconstitutional use of US Armed Forces and CIA. CIA creation and use of 'Islamic' terror is reviewed.

TEXT:

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Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street is looking to resurrect itself by calling for activists to pledge to a demonstration and sit-in in spring. I have always been a keen supporter of the movement. I joined two Wall St local groups and an offshoot work group of one of them and the movement is dear to my heart. However, I think it’s futile this idea of demonstrating. It merely keeps us in the position of hamsters on the wheel. As long as we supplicate anyone or any entity, we are essentially saying that we need permission.

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How Do You "Plug" A Back Up Battery Into A Generator? VTEL Isn't Telling Me Enough

Monday, November 23, 2015 3:54 PM

jjones @vermontel.com; jim.condos @sec.state.vt.us; jcampbell @leg.state.vt.us; vt13@ aol.com anita @leg.state.vt.us

Hi! Julie,

is the VTEL back up battery located outside or inside the residential house?

Is it up a pole?

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ISIL and Us

The Middle East has been America's military playground for over 30 years. Starting with the first Gulf War, the US has gone beyond the installation of dictatorial puppets and into the realm of constant warfare, with drone strikes only a part of our present involvement in that region. Up until now, not much of this has touched the average American, who lives thousands of miles away from the carnage. Unless you or a someone you knew was in the military and deployed there, it didn't feel real. Or at least it didn't, until recently. Paris changed all that. Suddenly, the battlefield was no longer just the Middle East, where we could safely ignore it, but potentially here, where we live.

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Brattleboro Kiln Dried Noise Increase

I've been living on Elliot Street, south side, above the BKD complex for about 5 years. There has always been factory fan noise, but up until now, the decibel level has been not too bad.

Recently, however, I noticed a marked increase in the fan noise-say in the last month or so. The level is difficult to tolerate-I run a white noise generator whenever I'm home. And it barely contains the hum. If there are others who have noticed this intrusion, I'd like to hear from you. BKD ought not to be allowed to just turn up the fans and wreck the neigborhood, just to generate a bit more $$.

Paul Miksis

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